The anisochrony of a stimulus sequence was manipulated parametrically to investigate whether rhythmic entrainment is stronger in the auditory modality than in the visual modality (Experiment 1), and whether it relies on top-down attention (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, participants had to respond as quickly as possible to a target presented after a sequence of either visual or auditory stimuli. The anisochrony of this sequence was manipulated parametrically, rather than in an all or none fashion; that is, it could range from smaller to larger deviations of the isochrony (0, 10, 20, 50, 100, 150 and 200 ms). We compared rhythmic entrainment patterns for auditory and visual modalities. Results showed a peak of entrainment for both isochrony and deviations of isochrony up to 50 ms (i.e., participants were equally fast both after the isochronous sequences and after 10, 20 and 50 ms deviations), suggesting that anisochronous sequences can also produce entrainment. Beyond this entrainment window, the reaction times became progressively slower. Surprisingly, no differences were found between the entrainment patterns for auditory and visual rhythms. In Experiment 2, we used a dual-task methodology by adding a working memory n-back task to the procedure of Experiment 1. Results did not show interference of the secondary task in either auditory or visual modalities, with participants showing the same entrainment pattern as in Experiment 1. These results suggest that rhythmic entrainment constitutes a cognitive process that occurs by default (automatically), regardless of the modality in which the stimuli are presented, and independent of top-down attention, to generate behavioural benefits.
Context dependence of information has been shown to be based, at least in part, on the attention contexts received at the time of training. Recent research suggests that attention to irrelevant contexts may be a byproduct of the activation of a general exploratory attentional mechanism prompted by high prediction errors associated with situations of uncertainty. Alternatively, low prediction errors may engage an attentional mechanism of exploitation in situations in which contexts play a relevant role. A selective review discusses the potential of this approach to explain context switch effects from an attentional perspective.
Laura Puigcerver, Sara Rodríguez-Cuadrado, Víctor Gómez-Tapia and Jordi Navarra
Although the perceptual association between verticality and pitch has been widely studied, the link between loudness and verticality is not fully understood yet. While loud and quiet sounds are assumed to be equally associated crossmodally with spatial elevation, there are perceptual differences between the two types of sounds that may suggest the contrary. For example, loud sounds tend to generate greater activity, both behaviourally and neurally, than quiet sounds. Here we investigated whether this difference percolates into the crossmodal correspondence between loudness and verticality. In an initial phase, participants learned one-to-one arbitrary associations between two tones differing in loudness (82dB vs. 56dB) and two coloured rectangles (blue vs. yellow). During the experimental phase, they were presented with the two-coloured stimuli (each one located above or below a central “departure” point) together with one of the two tones.
Participants had to indicate which of the two-coloured rectangles corresponded to the previously-associated tone by moving a mouse cursor from the departure point towards the target. The results revealed that participants were significantly faster responding to the loud tone when the visual target was located above (congruent condition) than when the target was below the departure point (incongruent condition). For quiet tones, no differences were found between the congruent (quiet-down) and the incongruent (quiet-up) conditions. Overall, this pattern of results suggests that possible differences in the neural activity generated by loud and quiet sounds influence the extent to which loudness and spatial elevation share representational content.
Sixteen naïve male Wistar rats were exposed to intermittent food delivery to measure the development of schedule-induced wheel running, using fixed time (FT) 30, 60, 120, 240 and 480 s schedules, counterbalanced across animals according to a Latin square design (except under the FT 480 s, which was always presented last to complete the data set). Rats were also exposed to a massed-food control condition. Wheel running was induced in the range of 30-240 s with a gradation as a function of inter-food interval (IFI) length. The temporal distribution of wheel turns was generally presented in the form of an inverted U-shaped as IFIs progressed, showing maximum responding during the first portion of the interval. The introduction of massed-food resulted in an immediate reduction in wheel running. These results support the notion that wheel running can be schedule-induced and categorized into the so-called adjunctive behaviors. These data indicate that IFI length affects the development of schedule-induced wheel running and that the rate of wheel running is maintained by intermittent reinforcement, which are common characteristics of schedule-induced behaviors. Likewise, this idea is supported by the occurrence of a similar temporal pattern to that found with other adjunctive behaviors, such as schedule-induced polydipsia, with its maximum manifestation occurring between the beginning and middle of IFIs.
Riverbank erosion is a regular phenomenon that displaces millions of people every year worldwide. More than 100,000 people are displaced due to river erosion every year in Bangladesh. People have to resettle in a different place leaving behind their property and familiar environment. This transformation with economic crisis acts as a major stressor for the persons and their families. However, people may adapt different strategies to adapt this difficult situation and keep themselves healthy. They might have higher coping skills due to what they had to endure. This study aimed to find out the difference in the mental health status and coping strategies among the river bank erosion affected and non-affected people in Bangladesh
We interviewed 100 adult respondents, of whom 50 had been affected and 50 had never been affected by river erosion in Bangladesh. All the participants completed self-report sociodemographic questionnaires; their mental state was evaluated with the Bangla version of the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) and the coping was measured using the COPE scale.
The mental health well-being score of the affected group was significantly lower than the non-affected group. However, accounting for gender, income and age, the affected group had lower mean score in coping (55.86) then the non-affected group (64.04). However, the difference was not statistically significant.
Riverbank erosion is a major natural disaster in Bangladesh that makes people vulnerable to mental disorder. However, it receives less attention; we hope this study will stimulate future researcher to explore mental state and coping mechanism in multiple perspectives and develop evidence-based service for them.
S M Yasir Arafat, Konstantinos Papadopoulos, Mohammad S I Mullick and Md. Saleh Uddin
Life is full of stressors, which have to be confronted efficiently to grow up. However, reaction to stressors is personalized, complex and coordinated. Vulnerable persons adjust poorly to stressors and express inappropriate responses, while resilient persons practice adaptive physiological and psychological responses. Promotion of resiliency is an intricated issue, which demands strategies at both macro and micro-level. Microlevel strategies are focused on the community, family and individual level, while macrolevel strategies formulate the principles. Nevertheless, prediction of vulnerability and resiliency is really a challenge, as different persons facing same stressors react differently. Some are growing as resilient and others as vulnerable. We aimed to discuss resiliency, vulnerability, importance in relation to health outcome, promotion of resiliency and controversies of vulnerability and resiliency.
Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi, Olanrewaju Isaac Owoeye, Almu Bello and Linda Ekele Iyadi
To determine the prevalence of the assumption that ‘reading too much’ could cause madness (i.e., severe mental illness) among medical, nursing, and community health students, and also explore the relationship between these students’ status on this assumption and their academic performance.
This study was a cross-sectional study conducted among a convenient sample of medical, nursing, and community health students (n = 122) studying within the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital campus, Sokoto, Nigeria. Study tool was a paper questionnaire, which obtained information on the demographic profile, awareness of ‘madness’, assumption that ‘reading too much’ is a cause of madness, and self-rating of the participants’ academic performance in their current course of study. Data collected was analysed using the SPSS version 20 software. Test of associations between variables were done using Chi square test.
The mean age of the 122 respondents was 27.3 years, majority (61.5%) of them were males, and 53.3% were medical students. More than half of the surveyed nursing students (54.2%) and community health students (55.6%), unlike the surveyed medical students (24.6%), had the assumption that reading too much could make them run mad. There was no statistically significant relationship between the assumption that ‘reading too much’ is a cause of mental illness and academic performance of the respondents.
Assumption that reading too much could cause madness is a fairly common phenomenon among the surveyed tertiary school students, irrespective of their level of academic performance. There exists the need to disabuse the minds of tertiary school students from the assumption that reading too much could make one run mad.
Lara N. Schulze, Sandra Van der Auwera, Deborah Janowitz, Johannes Hertel, Katharina Wittfeld, René Walk, Nele Friedrich, Henry Völzke and Hans J. Grabe
Obesity is associated with several somatic diseases and increased psychological burden. This study focused on two potential psychological predictors of the body mass index (BMI), childhood trauma and depressive symptoms.
We used three independent populations: two general population samples (Study of Health in Pomerania, SHIP-2, N = 1,657; SHIP-TREND-0, N = 3,278) and one patient sample (GANI_MED, N = 1,742). Childhood trauma was measured with the childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ) and depression with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) in SHIP-2 and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) in SHIP-TREND-0 and GANI_MED. We investigated the impact of childhood trauma and depression on BMI. Furthermore, we used mediation analysis to assess whether depression was a significant mediator on the path from childhood trauma to adult BMI in each of the three samples.
In all the three populations, depressive symptoms exhibited a significant association towards higher BMI (p < 0.05). Childhood trauma was positively associated with BMI with significant associations in SHIP-TREND-0 (p < 0.001) and GANI_MED (p = 0.005). The relationship between CTQ and BMI was significantly partially mediated (p < 0.05) by depressive symptoms in SHIP-TREND-0 (38.0%) and GANI_MED (16.4%), in SHIP-2 results pointed in the same direction. All the trauma sub-dimensions, except sexual abuse, exhibited at least one significant association towards increased BMI in one of the samples.
Childhood trauma and depressive symptoms may be considered as causes of obesity. These results suggest that psychological treatments against obesity should address childhood maltreatment as well as depressive symptoms in their diagnostic assessment and could facilitate psychotherapeutic treatment when necessary.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent disorders in childhood, which may pose risks in later life such as academic underachievement and anti-social behaviour. It has been suggested that mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) may contribute to positive outcomes with child and adult populations. In this article, we aim to systematically review the literature regarding the effectiveness of MBI on both children with ADHD and their parents.
Seven databases were searched using the PRISMA criteria and included peer-reviewed journals and grey literature.
Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Findings suggested that MBI had positive results in addressing attention deficits in children with ADHD, but in terms of hyperactivity, the evidence was conflicting. MBI interventions also appear to effectively address parental stress and family functioning. However, the rating from the quality assessment showed several methodological limitations.
The current evidence on the impact of MBI on ADHD symptoms is non-conclusive. However, promising data indicated the potential for MBI in addressing parental stress and family functioning. Further research is recommended to overcome the current methodological limitations.
Self-concept distortion has been extensively linked with decreasing mental health in gay and lesbian youth. Social context has been proposed to have a moderating effect on the development of a healthy self-concept. However, no good quality review has approached these concepts with regards to LGBT youth.
A systematic review was conducted on the relationship between social context and self-concept in gay and lesbian youth. Twenty studies were included in the review.
Quality assessment of papers yielded moderate methodological strength. Findings implied that social context has considerable influence on self-concept development. Discrepancies in assessment methods, areas of social context examined, and one-dimensional nature of examining self-concept interferes with drawing explicit conclusions regarding the relationship between social context and self-concept.
Positivity of social context is not conclusively relatable to positive self-concept development, and similarly, a negative context is not predetermining of self-concept distortions. Building on resilience factors of gay and lesbian youth, working together with families, and advancing and utilizing available educational and community resources should mitigate the strength of overt and covert heterosexism hindering healthy self-concept development. Further longitudinal and cross-cultural research will be necessary to provide insight into the mechanisms of associations.