Wellington, New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington

Wellington, New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington was established in 1897 by Act of Parliament, and was a constituent college of the University of New Zealand.It is particularly well known for its programmes in law, the humanities, and some scientific disciplines, and offers a broad range of other courses. Entry to all courses at first year is open, and entry to second year in some programmes is restricted.Victoria had the highest average research grade in the New Zealand Government's Performance-Based Research Fund exercise in 2012, having been ranked 4th in 2006 and 3rd in 2003. Victoria has been ranked 265th in the World's Top 500 universities by the QS World University Rankings . Wikipedia.

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Ellenbroek B.A.,Victoria University of Wellington
Neuropharmacology | Year: 2012

Antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia arrived in the clinic in the fifties of the previous century and have since been the most effective treatment for patients with this devastating disorder. In spite of the more than half a century of clinical experience, and the introduction of a large number of chemical divers antipsychotic drugs, several recent large, multi-center studies have shown that, although novel (second generation) antipsychotics seem to be tolerated somewhat better (especially in relation to neurological side effects), their therapeutic potential is comparable to that of first generation antipsychotics. Hence there is still an urgent need for better pharmacological tools to treat schizophrenic patients. The current paper reviews the benefits and shortcomings of the currently available drugs, and gives an outlook towards the drugs and targets that are currently being pursued in clinical trials. Given the uncertainty of the drug discovery process and the relatively poor predictive validity of the currently available animal models, it is, at present, impossible to predict which of these drugs will ultimately become available for treating schizophrenic patients. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Schizophrenia'. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ellenbroek B.A.,Victoria University of Wellington
British Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Histamine H3 receptors are best known as presynaptic receptors inhibiting the release of histamine, as well as other neurotransmitters including acetylcholine and dopamine. However, in the dorsal and ventral striatum, the vast majority of H3 receptors are actually located postsynaptically on medium sized spiny output neurons. These cells also contain large numbers of dopamine (D1 and D2) receptors and it has been shown that H3 receptors form heterodimers with both D 1 and D2 receptors. Thus, the anatomical localization of H3 receptors suggests a complex interaction that could both enhance and inhibit dopaminergic neurotransmission. Dopamine, especially within the striatal complex, plays a crucial role in the development of addiction, both in the initial reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, as well as in maintenance, relapse and reinstatement of drug taking behaviour. It is, therefore, conceivable that H3 receptors can moderate the development and maintenance of drug addiction. In the present review, we appraise the current literature on the involvement of H3 receptors in drug addiction and try to explain these data within a theoretical framework, as well as provide suggestions for further research. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed issue on Histamine Pharmacology Update. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2013.170.issue-1 © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

Ward T.,Victoria University of Wellington
Journal of Sexual Aggression | Year: 2014

Theory formulation and development are crucial cognitive tasks in science and help to explain empirical findings and to guide future research. In this paper, I examine theory creation in the sexual offending domain and note that there is a sense in which the field has become somewhat stagnant. After reviewing the function of theories and explanatory strategies in psychopathology and the sex offending area, I make five suggestions for future development. First, I propose that we should endorse integrative pluralism as a theory-building strategy. Second, we need to shift our focus from construct validity procedures and look to understand underlying causal processes. Third, attention to individuals' experiences, values and beliefs should be a priority, and we ought not to regard this level of analysis as unworthy of research. Fourth, theorists should clearly describe the targets of their explanations prior to setting out theories and, ideally, before they start formulating them. Fifth, we ought to capitalise on the work already provided by seminal researchers in the field and not continually reinvent the wheel. © 2013 © 2013 National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers.

Martin A.,Victoria University of Wellington | Santos L.R.,Yale University
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2016

Much recent work has examined the evolutionary origins of human mental state representations. This work has yielded strikingly consistent results: primates show a sophisticated ability to track the current and past perceptions of others, but they fail to represent the beliefs of others. We offer a new account of the nuanced performance of primates in theory of mind (ToM) tasks. We argue that primates form awareness relations tracking the aspects of reality that other agents are aware of. We contend that these awareness relations allow primates to make accurate predictions in social situations, but that this capacity falls short of our human-like representational ToM. We end by explaining how this new account makes important new empirical predictions about primate ToM. Previous research suggests that nonhuman primates, unlike human adults and children, do not track the beliefs of others.However, primates do track the current and past perceptual awareness of others when predicting their behavior or competing with them.We argue that primates succeed in ToM tasks by representing awareness relations between agents and true (but not false) information.In contrast to other accounts arguing that primates represent knowledge and ignorance, this awareness relations account is consistent with failures in false belief tasks and with recent findings that primates competitively keep information concealed but do not actively conceal it.The awareness relations account makes new predictions for the performance of primates in tasks that require a full-fledged understanding of the mental state of ignorance. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Schenk S.,Victoria University of Wellington
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2011

A number of reviews have focused on the short- and long-term effects of MDMA and, in particular, on the persistent deficits in serotonin neurotransmission that accompany some exposure regimens. The mechanisms underlying the serotonin deficits and their relevance to various behavioral and cognitive consequences of MDMA use are still being debated. It has become clear, however, that some individuals develop compulsive and uncontrolled drug-taking that is consistent with abuse. For other drugs of abuse, this transition has been attributed to neuroadaptations in central dopamine mechanisms that occur as a function of repeated drug exposure. A question remains as to whether similar neuroadaptations occur as a function of exposure to MDMA and the impact of serotonin neurotoxicity in the transition from use to abuse. This review focuses specifically on this issue by first providing an overview of human studies and then reviewing the animal literature with specific emphasis on paradigms that measure subjective effects of drugs and self-administration as indices of abuse liability. It is suggested that serotonin deficits resulting from repeated exposure to MDMA self-administration lead to a sensitized dopaminergic response to the drug and that this sensitized response renders MDMA comparable to other drugs of abuse. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRASUPP-03-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2017

The objective of the AENEAS project is to develop a concept and design for a distributed, federated European Science Data Centre (ESDC) to support the astronomical community in achieving the scientific goals of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The scientific potential of the SKA radio telescope is unprecedented and represents one of the highest priorities for the international scientific community. By the same token, the large scale, rate, and complexity of data the SKA will generate, present challenges in data management, computing, and networking that are similarly world-leading. SKA Regional Centres (SRC) like the ESDC will be a vital resource to enable the community to take advantage of the scientific potential of the SKA. Within the tiered SKA operational model, the SRCs will provide essential functionality which is not currently provisioned within the directly operated SKA facilities. AENEAS brings together all the European member states currently part of the SKA project as well as potential future EU SKA national partners, the SKA Organisation itself, and a larger group of international partners including the two host countries Australia and South Africa.

Curtis N.F.,Victoria University of Wellington
Coordination Chemistry Reviews | Year: 2012

The cyclic tetraamine 2,5,5,7,9,12,12,14-Octamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane can occur as six-diasterioisomers which are best characterised by the Cahn Ingold Prelog (CIP) priority rules. When coordinated, the nitrogen centres can occur in five configurations, resulting in 30 possible configurations. The configuration of the amines and their metal-ion compounds are unambiguously defined by the CIP configuration of the four carbon and four nitrogen chiral centres present. The chemistry of these cyclic tetraamines, and their metal-ion compounds is reviewed, with emphasis on structural studies, which permit unambiguous assignment of configuration. The literature reporting the preparations and properties of 2,5,5,7,9,12,12,14-octamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane and its compounds contains confusing and incorrect configuration assignments. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..

Sterelny K.,Victoria University of Wellington
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

This paper contributes to a debate in the palaeoarchaeological community about the major time-lag between the origin of anatomically modern humans and the appearance of typically human cultural behaviour. Why did humans take so long-at least 100 000 years-to become 'behaviourally modern'? The transition is often explained as a change in the intrinsic cognitive competence of modern humans: often in terms of a new capacity for symbolic thought, or the final perfection of language. These cognitive breakthrough models are not satisfactory, for they fail to explain the uneven palaeoanthropological record of human competence. Many supposed signature capacities appear (and then disappear) before the supposed cognitive breakthrough; many of the signature capacities disappear again after the breakthrough. So, instead of seeing behavioural modernity as a simple reflection of a new kind of mind, this paper presents a niche construction conceptual model of behavioural modernity. Humans became behaviourally modern when they could reliably transmit accumulated informational capital to the next generation, and transmit it with sufficient precision for innovations to be preserved and accumulated. In turn, the reliable accumulation of culture depends on the construction of learning environments, not just intrinsic cognitive machinery. I argue that the model is (i) evolutionarily plausible: the elements of the model can be assembled incrementally, without implausible selective scenarios; (ii) the model coheres with the broad palaeoarchaeological record; (iii) the model is anthropologically and ethnographically plausible; and (iv) the model is testable, though only in coarse, preliminary ways. © 2011 The Royal Society.

Gamlen A.,Victoria University of Wellington
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers | Year: 2013

New Zealand, like many countries, has recently shifted from casting emigrants in a negative light to celebrating expatriates as national champions. What explains this change? Wendy Larner focuses on recent government initiatives towards expatriates as part of a neoliberal 'diaspora strategy', aimed at constructing emigrants and their descendants as part of a community of knowledge-bearing subjects, in order to help the New Zealand economy 'go global'. This study confirms that the new diaspora initiatives emerged from a process of neoliberal reform. However, it also highlights that in the same period, older inherited institutional frameworks for interacting with expatriates were being dismantled as part of a different dynamic within the wider neoliberalisation process. It argues that the shift in official attitudes towards expatriates arose from the overlap between these two processes in the period 1999-2008. In this way, the research builds on the 'diaspora strategy' concept, placing it within a broader analysis of institutional transformation through 'creative destruction', and linking it to a wider research agenda aimed at understanding state-diaspora relations beyond the reach of neoliberalism. © 2012 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).

Low J.,Victoria University of Wellington
Child Development | Year: 2010

Three studies were carried out to investigate sentential complements being the critical device that allows for false-belief understanding in 3-and 4-year-olds (N = 102). Participants across studies accurately gazed in anticipation of a character's mistaken belief in a predictive looking task despite erring on verbal responses for direct false-belief questions. Gaze was independent of complement mastery. These patterns held when other low-verbal false-belief tasks were considered and the predictive looking task was presented as a time-controlled film. While implicit (gaze) knowledge predicted explicit (verbal) false-belief understanding, complement mastery and cognitive flexibility also supported explicit reasoning. Overall, explicit false-belief understanding is complexly underpinned by implicit knowledge and input from higher-order systems of language and executive control. © 2010, the Author(s).

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