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Amorim M.C.P.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Simoes J.M.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Almada V.C.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Fonseca P.J.,University of Lisbon
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology | Year: 2011

Signal attributes should show different degrees of variability depending on the information to be conveyed. Species identity is usually associated with stereotyped features of a signal, whereas other types of information such as individual quality and motivation are associated with signal plasticity. Lusitanian toadfish males form aggregations during the breeding season and emit a tonal advertisement call (the boatwhistle) to attract mates to their nests. We test the hypothesis that the boatwhistle can convey information both on individual identity and motivation by checking how signal parameters vary with time. We study how the physical (tide level) and social (calling alone or in a chorus) environments and male calling rate affect this advertisement signal and how all these external and internal factors (environment, social and male motivation) blend to modulate the Lusitanian toadfish's advertisement call. Boatwhistles of each male were very stereotyped in short periods of time (minutes), but intra-male signal variability greatly increased in a longer time scale (days). Nevertheless, significant differences among males could still be found even in a long time scale. Pulse period was the acoustic feature that most contributed to discriminate among males. Tide level and male calling rate modulated boatwhistle characteristics, and there was a differential effect of tide on call attributes depending on male calling rate. Social acoustic environment only affected calling rate. These results suggest that inter-individual differences in call characteristics and call plasticity may mediate both male-male assessment and mate choice. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Pechorro P.,University of Lisbon | Maroco J.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Poiares C.,University of Lisbon | Vieira R.X.,University of Lisbon
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology | Year: 2013

The main objectives of the present study were to validate a Portuguese version of the Antisocial Process Screening Device-Self-Report and to evaluate the predictive importance of some constructs in discriminating between inmate delinquent youth and community youth. With a total of 760 participants, male (n = 543) and female (n = 217), divided in an inmate forensic sample (n = 250) and a community sample (n = 510), the authors were able to demonstrate psychometric properties that justify its use with the Portuguese juvenile population, in terms of factor structure, internal consistency, temporal stability, convergent validity, divergent validity, concurrent validity, and cutoff score. The predictive importance of psychopathic traits, self-reported delinquent behavior, and behavior problems on the prediction of sample membership (forensic vs. community) was established by binary logistic regression. © The Author(s) 2013.


Marques A.,University of Lisbon | de Matos M.G.,University of Lisbon | de Matos M.G.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada
International Journal of Public Health | Year: 2016

Objective: To report the prevalence and trends of the BMI of Portuguese adolescents in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Methods: 4138 boys and 4472 girls self-reported weight, height, physical activity, perception of health and life satisfaction. Results: For adolescents aged 11–13 years, the prevalence of overweight/obesity decreased from 23.5 % in 2002 to 20.7 % in 2010, using IOTF cutoff points, and decreased from 32.4 to 28.4 % between 2002 and 2010 using WHO cutoff points. For adolescents aged 15–17 years, the prevalence increased from 13.9 to 16.8 % between 2002 and 2010 using IOTF cutoff, and increased from 14.8 % in 2002 to 18.2 % in 2010 when using WHO cutoff points. Although the prevalence decreased among younger adolescents and increased among older ones, the differences were not significant. Physical activity in the last 7 days (p < 0.05), better life satisfaction (p < 0.05) and perception of health (p < 0.001) predicted lower body mass index z score. Conclusions: Overall, there have been no significant changes in overweight and obesity prevalence in Portuguese adolescents from 2002 to 2010. However, the prevalence remains high and therefore it is important to continue surveillance. © 2015, Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+).


Faria A.M.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Faria A.M.,University of Algarve | Gonalves E.J.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

Gobiesocids are typically reef-dwelling species whose larvae have been found in several Nearshore rocky environments, this suggests a possible retention pattern for these species. Retention may occur due to the physical features of an area and/or active larval behaviour, such as swimming abilities. In the laboratory, we measured the ontogeny of swimming behaviour (routine speed and critical speed, Ucrit) of 2 clingfish species, Lepadogaster lepadogaster and L. purpurea. L. lepadogaster larvae swam better than L. purpurea larvae, but this difference might be related to differences in water temperature,since the former is a spring spawner, whereas the latter spawns during winter. It is wellknown that water viscosity increases with decreasing temperature, making swimming more difficult. Routine and critical swimming speeds of larvae of both species increased with ontogeny (size) despite high variability at any ontogenetic state. Ucrit ranged from 1 to 9.4 and 1.2 to 6.5 cm s-1 in L. lepadogaster and L. purpurea, respectively. Routine speeds were ∼18 to 19% of the maximum Ucrit registered for both species. Interestingly, swimming speed started to decrease as settlement size (10 to 11 mm total length) was approached, concurrent with the development of a ventral sucking disk thatallows individuals to attach to the bottom of the swimming chamber and counteract strong currents. This shift in swimming behaviour that is associated with settlement is probabl an adaptation to the cryptobenthic mode of life of these fish. © Inter-Research 2010.


Quelhas A.C.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Johnson-Laird P.N.,Princeton University | Juhos C.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology | Year: 2010

The theory of mental models postulates that conditionals of the sort, if A then C, have a "core" meaning referring to three possibilities: A and C, not-A and C, and not-A and not-C. The meaning of a conditional's clauses and general knowledge can modulate this meaning, blocking certain possibilities or adding relations between the clauses. Four experiments investigated such interpretations in factual and deontic domains. In Experiment 1, the participants constructed instances of what was possible and what was impossible according to various conditionals. The results corroborated the general predictions of the model theory and also the occurrence of modulation. The resulting interpretations governed the conclusions that participants accepted in Experiment 2, which also yielded the predicted effects of a time limit on responding. In Experiment 3, the participants drew the predicted conclusions for themselves. In Experiment 4, modulation led to predicted temporal relations between A and C. We relate these results to current theories of conditionals. © 2010 The Experimental Psychology Society.


Taborsky B.,University of Bern | Oliveira R.F.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Oliveira R.F.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2012

'Social competence' refers to the ability of an individual to optimise its social behaviour depending on available social information. Although such ability will enhance social interactions and thus raise Darwinian fitness, its evolutionary and ecological significance has been largely ignored. Social competence is based on behavioural flexibility. We propose that the study of social competence requires an integrative approach that aims to understand how the brain translates social information into flexible behavioural responses, how flexibility might be constrained by the developmental history of an individual or by trade-offs with other (ecological) competences, and how social plasticity feeds back on fitness. Finally we propose a hypothesis of how social competence can become a driver of social evolution. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Phillips J.B.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Jorge P.E.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Jorge P.E.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Muheim R.,Lund University
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2010

Magnetic compass orientation by amphibians, and some insects, is mediated by a light-dependent magnetoreception mechanism. Cryptochrome photopigments, best known for their role in circadian rhythms, are proposed to mediate such responses. In this paper, we explore light-dependent properties of magnetic sensing at three levels: (i) behavioural (wavelength-dependent effects of light on magnetic compass orientation), (ii) physiological (photoreceptors/ photopigment systems with properties suggesting a role in magnetoreception), and (iii) molecular (cryptochrome-based and non-cryptochrome-based signalling pathways that are compatible with behavioural responses). Our goal is to identify photoreceptors and signalling pathways that are likely to play a specialized role in magnetoreception in order to definitively answer the question of whether the effects of light on magnetic compass orientation are mediated by a light-dependent magnetoreception mechanism, or instead are due to input from a non-light-dependent (e.g. magnetite-based) magnetoreception mechanism that secondarily interacts with other light-dependent processes. © 2010 The Royal Society.


Phillips J.B.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Muheim R.,Lund University | Jorge P.E.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Jorge P.E.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2010

In terrestrial organisms, sensitivity to the Earth's magnetic field is mediated by at least two different magnetoreception mechanisms, one involving biogenic ferromagnetic crystals (magnetite/maghemite) and the second involving a photo-induced biochemical reaction that forms long-lasting, spin-coordinated, radical pair intermediates. In some vertebrate groups (amphibians and birds), both mechanisms are present; a light-dependent mechanism provides a directional sense or 'compass', and a nonlight- dependent mechanism underlies a geographical-position sense or 'map'. Evidence that both magnetite- and radical pairbased mechanisms are present in the same organisms raises a number of interesting questions. Why has natural selection produced magnetic sensors utilizing two distinct biophysical mechanisms? And, in particular, why has natural selection produced a compass mechanism based on a light-dependent radical pair mechanism (RPM) when a magnetite-based receptor is well suited to perform this function? Answers to these questions depend, to a large degree, on how the properties of the RPM, viewed from a neuroethological rather than a biophysical perspective, differ from those of a magnetite-based magnetic compass. The RPM is expected to produce a light-dependent, 3-D pattern of response that is axially symmetrical and, in some groups of animals, may be perceived as a pattern of light intensity and/or color superimposed on the visual surroundings. We suggest that the lightdependent magnetic compass may serve not only as a source of directional information but also provide a spherical coordinate s stem that helps to interface metrics of distance, direction and spatial position. © 2010. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Galhardo L.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Galhardo L.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Oliveira R.F.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Oliveira R.F.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2014

Social isolation is a major stressor which impacts the physiology, behaviour and health of individuals in gregarious species. However, depending on conditional and contextual factors, such as social status and group composition, social isolation may be perceived differently by different individuals or even by the same individuals at different times. Here we tested the effects of social status (territorial vs. non-territorial) and previous group composition (i.e. type of social group: mixed sex group with two territorial males, TT vs. mixed sex group with one territorial and one non-territorial male, TnT) on the hormonal response (androgens and cortisol) to social isolation in a cichlid fish ( Oreochromis mossambicus). The different steroid hormones measured responded differentially to social isolation, and their response was modulated by social factors. Social isolation elicited a decrease of 11-keto formation only in territorial males, whereas non-territorial males present a non-significant trend for increasing KT levels. Testosterone did not respond to social isolation. Cortisol only increased in isolated individuals from TnT groups irrespective of social status (i.e. both in territorials and non-territorials). These results suggest that it is the perception of social isolation and not the objective structure of the situation that triggers the hormonal response to isolation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Beja V.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada | Leal I.,Instituto Superior Of Psicologia Aplicada
European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care | Year: 2010

Objective To gain a deeper understanding of healthcare providers' perceptions on the abortion counselling they provide and its usefulness. MethodWe conducted in-depth interviews with 16 healthcare providers working in the Lisbon metropolitan area. The interviews were then subjected to content analysis. ResultsWe identified the following themes on abortion counselling description: receiving the woman and understanding her request; providing information; supporting decision-making; managing emotional and psychological issues; addressing contraception; managing third-party involvement; offering psychological counselling; informing about the State's support and offering social counselling. All participants described counselling as useful but valued different aspects of it: information provision; addressing contraception to prevent future unplanned pregnancy/abortion; emotional support; decision-making support; addressing emotional issues beyond abortion; enticing women to seek healthcare in the future; preventing poor emotional post-abortion adjustment. Counselling was considered of no use to change the woman's abortion decision. ConclusionThe abortion counselling provided in Portugal is in tune with the latest literature on the subject, following a client-centred approach focused on the provision of information and emotional support. It can be improved, however, particularly in what concerns the staff's communication and counselling skills. Further research is needed to improve the provision of abortion care in Portugal. © 2010 The European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health.

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