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Stephan A.,Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research | Stephan A.,Roosevelt University | Stephan A.,University of Melbourne | Crawford R.H.,University of Melbourne | de Myttenaere K.,Roosevelt University
Building and Environment | Year: 2013

Many cities are likely to expand in the coming decades and this expansion will probably include low-density neighbourhoods. There is an increasing pressure on cities worldwide to accommodate an increasing population. It is therefore crucial to assess the energy demand and related greenhouse gas emissions implications of such development.This paper uses a representative low-density neighbourhood in Melbourne, Australia, assesses its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions over 100 years and investigates various scenarios related to house size, transport technology, housing typology and the temporal evolution of parameters.Results show that the energy required to produce and replace building materials and infrastructures constitutes 26.9% of the total energy consumption, while operational and transport requirements represent 39.4% and 33.7% respectively. One of the analysed scenarios reveals that replacing half of the built area of the suburb with apartment buildings reduces the total energy consumption per capita by 19.6%, compared to a typical single storey detached house layout.Regardless of the uncertainty in the data, the main conclusion is that each of the embodied, operational and transport energy demand and associated greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced in order to improve the overall environmental performance of new urban neighbourhoods. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Manard M.,University of Liege | Carabin D.,University of Liege | Jaspar M.,University of Liege | Collette F.,University of Liege | Collette F.,Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research
BMC Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Background: Research on cognitive control suggests an age-related decline in proactive control abilities whereas reactive control seems to remain intact. However, the reason of the differential age effect on cognitive control efficiency is still unclear. This study investigated the potential influence of fluid intelligence and processing speed on the selective age-related decline in proactive control. Eighty young and 80 healthy older adults were included in this study. The participants were submitted to a working memory recognition paradigm, assessing proactive and reactive cognitive control by manipulating the interference level across items.Results: Repeated measures ANOVAs and hierarchical linear regressions indicated that the ability to appropriately use cognitive control processes during aging seems to be at least partially affected by the amount of available cognitive resources (assessed by fluid intelligence and processing speed abilities).Conclusions: This study highlights the potential role of cognitive resources on the selective age-related decline in proactive control, suggesting the importance of a more exhaustive approach considering the confounding variables during cognitive control assessment. © 2014 Manard et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Clobert M.,Catholic University of Louvain | Clobert M.,Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research | Saroglou V.,Catholic University of Louvain | Hwang K.-K.,National Taiwan University
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin | Year: 2015

Does Buddhism really promote tolerance? Based on cross-cultural and cross-religious evidence, we hypothesized that Buddhist concepts, possibly differing from Christian concepts, activate not only prosociality but also tolerance. Subliminally priming Buddhist concepts, compared with neutral or Christian concepts, decreased explicit prejudice against ethnic, ideological, and moral outgroups among Western Buddhists who valued universalism (Experiment 1, N = 116). It also increased spontaneous prosociality, and decreased, among low authoritarians or high universalists, implicit religious and ethnic prejudice among Westerners of Christian background (Experiment 2, N = 128) and Taiwanese of Buddhist/Taoist background (Experiment 3, N = 122). Increased compassion and tolerance of contradiction occasionally mediated some of the effects. The general idea that religion promotes (ingroup) prosociality and outgroup prejudice, based on research in monotheistic contexts, lacks cross-cultural sensitivity; Buddhist concepts activate extended prosociality and tolerance of outgroups, at least among those with socio-cognitive and moral openness. © 2015 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc Source

Sultan S.,University of Paris Descartes | Luminet O.,Catholic University of Louvain | Luminet O.,Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research | Hartemann A.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2010

Background: Little systematic research into the diagnostic performance of instruments used to screen for clinical depression is available for people with diabetes. The objective of this study was to compare performances of the HADS and BDI-SF and their components in association with a standard diagnostic interview. Methods: In a sample of 298 French outpatients from a diabetes clinic (165 men, aged 59.4 ± 10.7 years), we assessed diagnoses of clinical depression (CD, n = 42) and major depression (MD, n = 30) using the MINI and administered the HADS and BDI-SF. Results: Cognitive symptoms from the BDI-SF (BDIcog) were more closely associated with MD than CD. BDIcog and HADS total scores performed best overall in identifying clinical depression (AUCs under ROC curve 85%). For identification of CD, the sensitivity/specificity of BDI cognitive symptoms was 88/71% (cutoff 3+) and for the HADS 83/65% (cutoff 13+). For identification of MD, BDIcog scored 83/80% (cutoff 4+) and HAD-A 80/76% (cutoff 9+). Logistic regression analyses further suggested that BDIcog and HAD-A discriminated between depressed and non-depressed patients better than the somatic and anhedonia items present in the same scales. The depression subscale of the HADS performed poorly. Limitations: The consecutive nature of the sample may limit the generalizability of our findings. Conclusion: Results suggest that, in addition to depressed mood, both negative thoughts and anxiety are core elements for the correct identification of clinical depression in chronic illnesses such as diabetes. It may be more appropriate to use the total score when applying the HADS and distinguish non-somatic symptoms within the BDI. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Busoniu L.,Technical University of Delft | Ernst D.,Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research | Ernst D.,University of Liege | De Schutter B.,Technical University of Delft | Babuska R.,Technical University of Delft
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics | Year: 2011

This paper introduces an algorithm for direct search of control policies in continuous-state discrete-action Markov decision processes. The algorithm looks for the best closed-loop policy that can be represented using a given number of basis functions (BFs), where a discrete action is assigned to each BF. The type of the BFs and their number are specified in advance and determine the complexity of the representation. Considerable flexibility is achieved by optimizing the locations and shapes of the BFs, together with the action assignments. The optimization is carried out with the cross-entropy method and evaluates the policies by their empirical return from a representative set of initial states. The return for each representative state is estimated using Monte Carlo simulations. The resulting algorithm for cross-entropy policy search with adaptive BFs is extensively evaluated in problems with two to six state variables, for which it reliably obtains good policies with only a small number of BFs. In these experiments, cross-entropy policy search requires vastly fewer BFs than value-function techniques with equidistant BFs, and outperforms policy search with a competing optimization algorithm called DIRECT. © 2010 IEEE. Source

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