Lisbon, Portugal
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Dupont S.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Dupont S.,ISPA University | Bergametti G.,University Paris Diderot | Simoens S.,École Centrale Lyon
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface | Year: 2014

Semiarid landscapes are characterized by vegetated surfaces. Understanding the impact of vegetation on aeolian soil erosion is important for reducing soil erosion or limiting crop damage through abrasion or burial. In the present study, a saltation model fully coupled with a large-eddy simulation airflow model is extended to vegetated landscapes. From this model, the sensitivity of sand erosion to different arrangements and type of plants (shrub versus tree) representative of semiarid landscapes is investigated and the wind erosion reduction induced by plants is quantified. We show that saltation processes over vegetated surfaces have a limited impact on the mean wind statistics, the momentum extracted from the flow by saltating particles being negligible compared to that extracted by plants. Simulated sand erosion patterns resulting from plant distribution, i.e., accumulation and erosion areas, appear qualitatively consistent with previous observations. It is shown that sand erosion reduction depends not only on vegetation cover but also on plant morphology and plant distribution relative to the mean wind direction. A simple shear stress partitioning approach applied in shrub cases gives similar trends of sand erosion reduction as the present model following wind direction and vegetation cover. However, the magnitude of the reduction appears significantly different from one approach to another. Although shrubs trap saltating particles, trees appear more efficient than shrubs to reduce sand erosion. This is explained by the large-scale sheltering effect of trees compared to the local shrub one. ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Melo G.,Higher School of Nursing, Lisboa | Maroco J.,ISPA University | De Mendonca A.,University of Lisbon
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Objective We hypothesize that the personality influences the caregiver's depression, burden and distress related to BPSD. Subjects and methods Participants were 105 consecutive patients with dementia and their family caregivers, living at home, attending a Dementia Clinic. A cross-sectional design was used with an applied a structured interview at home. Comprehensive assessments included: personality (NEO-FFI), burden (ZBI), depression (CES-D) and distress related to BPSD (NPI-distress). Statistical Path analysis was used to study the hypothetical causal and mediating effects between independent and criterion variables. Results Neuroticism increased, whereas extraversion decreased, both caregiver's depression and burden. Agreeableness was also found to decrease the burden. The personality characteristics only indirectly influenced the caregiver's distress related to BPSD. Conclusion These results reinforce the importance of including personality as an individual resource of the caregiver in the conceptual models and research on caregiving. Assessment of caregiver's personality characteristics should be taken into account for the planning of intervention programs. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Scholten M.,ISPA University | Read D.,Durham University | Read D.,Yale University
Psychological Review | Year: 2010

It is commonly assumed that people make intertemporal choices by " discounting" the value of delayed outcomes, assigning discounted values independently to all options, and comparing the discounted values. We identify a class of anomalies to this assumption of alternative-based discounting, which collectively shows that options are not treated independently but rather comparatively: The time difference, or interval, between the options sometimes counts more and sometimes counts less if it is taken as a whole than if it is divided into shorter subintervals (superadditivity and subadditivity, respectively), and whether the interval counts more or less depends on the money difference, or compensation, involved (inseparability). We develop a model that replaces alternative-based discounting with attribute-based tradeoffs. In our model, people make intertemporal choices by weighing how much more they will receive or pay if they wait longer against how much longer the wait will be, or, conversely, how much less they will receive or pay if they do not wait longer against how much shorter the wait will be. This model, called the tradeoff model, accommodates, in a psychologically plausible way, all anomalies that the discounting approach can and cannot address. © 2010 American Psychological Association.


Costa R.M.,ISPA University | Brody S.,Charles University
European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology | Year: 2014

Objective Given that adiposity is related to poorer female sexual function, among many other health problems, the present study aimed at testing the hypothesis that larger waist circumference, an index of subcutaneous and abdominal fat mass, is associated with lack of specifically vaginal orgasm. Study design One hundred and twenty Portuguese women of reproductive age had their waist measured and reported their past month frequency of penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), vaginal orgasm, orgasm from clitoral masturbation during PVI, non-coital partnered sex (in the absence of same-day PVI), non-coital partnered sex orgasm (regardless of same-day PVI), masturbation, and masturbation orgasm. Results In both simple and partial correlations (controlling for age, social desirability responding, relationship status, and cohabitation status), larger waist circumference was associated with lack of any vaginal orgasm and with having masturbated in the past month. In a multiple regression, larger waist circumference was independently predicted by lesser frequency of vaginal orgasm, greater frequency of masturbation, and older age. Conclusion Abdominal fat mass appears to be adversely associated with lesser capacity for vaginal orgasm, but not for orgasms from other sexual activities. Results are discussed in the context of vaginal orgasm being relatively more contingent on situations of increased fitness in both partners. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Carvalheira A.,ISPA University | Traeen B.,University of Tromsø | Stulhofer A.,University of Zagreb
Journal of Sexual Medicine | Year: 2014

Introduction: Low sexual desire has been studied more extensively in women than in men. Aim: The study aims to analyze the correlates of distressing lack of sexual interest and the self-assessed reasons for the lack of sexual interest among heterosexual men from three countries. Methods: A web-based survey was completed by 5,255 men aged 18-75 years from Portugal, Croatia, and Norway. Main Outcome Measures: We used an item that assesses lack of sexual interest from the British NATSAL 2000. Anxiety and depression were measured with the SCL-ANX4 and SCL-DEP6. Relationship intimacy was measured using a five-item version of the Emotional Intimacy Scale. A shortened version of the Sexual Boredom Scale was used to assess proneness to sexual boredom in relation to the duration of relationship, and personal distress was evaluated using an item created for this study. Results: Distressing lack of sexual interest lasting at least 2 months in the previous year was reported by 14.4% of the participants. The most prevalent comorbidity among these men was erectile difficulty (48.7%). Men with low confidence levels in erectile function, not feeling attracted to the partner, and those in long-term relationships were more likely to have experienced lack of sexual interest than were men with high confidence levels and those who felt attracted to their partner and those in shorter-term relationships. Professional stress was the most frequently reported reason for lack of sexual interest. Sexual boredom as a result of a long-term relationship was significantly and negatively correlated with the level of intimacy (r=-0.351, P<0.001) and sexual satisfaction (r=-0.497, P<0.001). Conclusions: Distressing lack of sexual interest in heterosexual men was associated with a number of intrapersonal (self-confidence in erectile function, stress), interpersonal (relationship duration, partner attractiveness), and sociocultural variables. © 2013 International Society for Sexual Medicine.


Boavida T.,ISPA University | Aguiar C.,Instituto Universitario Of Lisbon | McWilliam R.A.,Siskin Childrens Institute
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education | Year: 2014

The authors describe a training program designed to improve the knowledge and skills of early childhood interventionists. Within the context of using the Routines-Based Early Intervention approach, this training focused on improving the quality of goals and objectives on individualized plans, through the Routines-Based Interview. We structured the training around five face-to-face sessions and a follow-up 3 months later. Here, we describe the development of the program, its content and methods, and the results on improvement of the goals and objectives with 80 professionals. These participants had completed the training, provided pretraining data, and provided posttraining data. Results showed that the training described here had the desired very large effect: Quality ratings of goals and objectives increased by over three standard deviations. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2013.


Oliveira R.F.,ISPA University | Oliveira R.F.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2012

Social plasticity is a ubiquitous feature of animal behaviour. Animals must adjust the expression of their social behaviour to the nuances of daily social life and to the transitions between life-history stages, and the ability to do so affects their Darwinian fitness. Here, an integrative framework is proposed for understanding the proximate mechanisms and ultimate consequences of social plasticity. According to this framework, social plasticity is achieved by rewiring or by biochemically switching nodes of the neural network underlying social behaviour in response to perceived social information. Therefore, at the molecular level, it depends on the social regulation of gene expression, so that different brain genomic and epigenetic states correspond to different behavioural responses and the switches between states are orchestrated by signalling pathways that interface the social environment and the genotype. At the evolutionary scale, social plasticity can be seen as an adaptive trait that can be under positive selection when changes in the environment outpace the rate of genetic evolutionary change. In cases when social plasticity is too costly or incomplete, behavioural consistency can emerge by directional selection that recruits gene modules corresponding to favoured behavioural states in that environment. As a result of this integrative approach, how knowledge of the proximate mechanisms underlying social plasticity is crucial to understanding its costs, limits and evolutionary consequences is shown, thereby highlighting the fact that proximate mechanisms contribute to the dynamics of selection. The role of teleosts as a premier model to study social plasticity is also highlighted, given the diversity and plasticity that this group exhibits in terms of social behaviour. Finally, the proposed integrative framework to social plasticity also illustrates how reciprocal causation analysis of biological phenomena (i.e. considering the interaction between proximate factors and evolutionary explanations) can be a more useful approach than the traditional proximate-ultimate dichotomy, according to which evolutionary processes can be understood without knowledge on proximate causes, thereby black-boxing developmental and physiological mechanisms. © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


The genetic structure of Squalius populations from Portuguese Atlantic- and Mediterranean-type streams (assigned to six distinct morphoclimatic regions) was compared using sequences of the cyt. b and beta-actin genes. The drainage area was significantly correlated to all the genetic diversity indices, pointing to the need to control for this effect in comparing populations with different histories and paleoecologies. A significant correlation was also found between genetic diversity and the morphoclimatic regions to which the rivers were assigned, with the highest diversity in warmer, lower latitude, Mediterranean-type streams. This relationship was not due to idiosyncratic characteristics of the clades compared. When the drainage area and phylogenetic effects were removed, the southern Mediterranean streams harboured significantly more genetic diversity even when compared with much larger northern streams. It is argued that these results are likely caused both by the metapopulation structure of the Mediterranean streams and by the severe reduction or local extinction of populations in the northern rivers during glaciations. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Juhos C.,ISPA University | Quelhas A.C.,ISPA University | Byrne R.M.J.,Trinity College Dublin
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition | Year: 2015

Four experiments tested the idea that people distinguish between biconditional, conditional, and enabling intention conditionals by thinking about counterexamples. The experiments examined intention conditionals that contain different types of reasons for actions, such as beliefs, goals, obligations, and social norms, based on a corpus of 48 intention conditionals established through an extensive materials test (n = 136). Experiment 1 (n = 19) showed that retrieved alternative reasons suppress the affirmation of the consequent and denial of the antecedent inferences from conditional intentions, whereas retrieved disabling reasons suppress the modus ponens and modus tollens inferences from enabling intentions. Experiment 2 (n = 61) showed that the suppression effects also occur for explicitly provided alternatives and disablers, for a large corpus of 80 intention conditionals. Experiment 3 (n = 60) showed that the suppression effects also occur for unfamiliar content, for which participants cannot rely on prior knowledge or beliefs about probabilities. Experiment 4 (n = 26) showed that participants retrieve alternatives and disablers readily for intentions just as they do for causal conditionals. The implications of the results for alternative accounts based on possibilities and probabilities are discussed. © 2014 American Psychological Association.


Costa R.M.,ISPA University | Peres L.,ISPA University
Substance Use and Misuse | Year: 2015

Background. Previous research shows that smoking status is unrelated to female sexual difficulties. However, degree of nicotine dependence has not been measured, and the assessment of sexual functioning has not specified penile-vaginal intercourse (henceforth, intercourse), which is more clearly impaired by sexual difficulties than other sexual behaviors. Objectives. To test if smoking status is associated with poorer female sexual function during intercourse, and if nicotine dependence rather than smoking status is related to poorer female sexual function. Methods. During 2012, 129 Portuguese community women reported their smoking status, and completed the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and an adaptation of the FSFI to assess sexual functioning specifically during intercourse, as well as the desire thereof. Results. Smokers reported higher desire for intercourse and were more likely to have actually engaged in it in the past 4 weeks. Among the coitally active women in the preceding 4 weeks, nicotine dependence correlated with lower desire for intercourse. Smoking status and nicotine dependence were unrelated to arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, pain. Conclusions. The findings are consistent with many studies that fail to demonstrate an increased risk of sexual difficulties among female smokers. However, nicotine dependence, rather than smoking status per se, might be associated with lower libido. The results suggest the possibility of an inverse U-shaped relationship between smoking and libido with a moderate use of tobacco being associated with higher sexual desire. © 2015 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

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