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Lisbon, Portugal

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

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. Source

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

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. Source

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

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. Source

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

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. Source

Carvalheira A.,ISPA University | Traeen B.,University of Tromso | Stulhofer A.,University of Zagreb
Journal of Sexual Medicine

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. Source

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