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Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of depression later in life. A cross sectional study in East Attica, Greece

) to screen for depressive symptoms and to estimate the prevalence of depression in this particular population group. Patients with scores of 0–5 are considered normal; a score of 6–10 indicates moderate depression; and 11–15 indicates severe depression ( Fountoulakis et al., 1999 , Yesavage et al., 1982 ). In order to quantify the presence of sleep disturbances, the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS-8 items) was administered to all the participants. Each item of the scale is rated 0–3 (0: no problem and 3: serious problem). Scores ≥ 6 indicate diagnosis of insomnia

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Right Cerebral Hemisphere Language and Communication Functions in Females and Males with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Normal Intelligence

., & Calhoun, S. L. (2003). Analysis of WISC-III, Stanford-Binet: IV, and academic achievement test scores in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(3), 329-341. doi: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024462719081. McCann, J., & Peppé, S. (2003). Prosody in autism spectrum disorders: a critical review. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 38(4), 325-350. doi: 10.1080/1368282031000154204 Mill, A., Allik, J., Realo, A., & Valk, R. (2009). Age-related differences in emotion recognition ability

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An Exploratory Study of the Perception of Ingroup Communication Relative to Social Representation Objects

Abstract

Although social representations theory often assumes that communication is a condition for the existence of social representations, research rarely assesses related properties. The study aims at characterizing the perception of ingroup communication relative to topics that are potential social representation objects for a sample of Brazilian undergraduates. The participants completed single-item Likert scales assessing twelve social objects in three communication dimensions: perception of frequency of ingroup communication, perceived importance of ingroup opinion and estimated agreement with ingroup opinion. One-sample t-tests and repeated measures ANOVAs were carried out to compare the score of each topic with the dimension means and among themselves. The results showed that objects such as university course and friendship had high scores in all three dimensions and are suitable objects for basic research when communication assumptions are considered. The discussion addresses the need for preliminary characterization to assess the group-object relationship in social representations research.

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Using MLU to study early language development in English

Using MLU to study early language development in English

The study examines the parameter of Mean Length of Utterance (MLU), measured both in morphemes (MLUm) and words (MLUw), in early language development in the case of two English children matched for age. The MLU scores of a normally developing child were compared to the MLU results of a language-impaired child in a longitudinal study. Moreover, the reliability of the MLU index measured in words was also tested in both children. The MLU analysis was based on the CHILDES database and CLAN programme, where the transcripts of spontaneous speech samples are used to calculate basic language parameters at different age-points. The findings of this study indicate that despite the expected delay, the language-impaired child followed a similar route of language development as the control child. However, significant differences between MLUw and MLUm confirmed that the parameters performed two different linguistic analyses.

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Leading with words? Emotion and style in the language of U.S. President Clinton's public communications

Leading with words? Emotion and style in the language of U.S. President Clinton's public communications

Samples of U. S. President Clinton's public communications were scored with a computer program for the emotional undertones of their words, for the proportional occurrence of negations and very common words, and for the use of first and second person pronouns. The first two measures address emotion, the remaining ones style. Measures successfully discriminated (97% correct classification) formal communications from informal ones and informal communications where the President was physically present with his audience from those where he was not (90%). Classification for two sets of validation samples was very strong (90%). Measures discriminated President Clinton's Executive Orders from President G. W. Bush's. Discriminant functions based on emotional measures alone were almost as successful as those including measures of style (no more than 8% fewer correct classifications). Results are interpreted in terms of theories of persuasive presidential rhetoric.

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Brief Report: The Role of Psychological Language in Children’S Theory of Mind and Self-Concept Development

Abstract

Children’s self-concept and theory of mind are both important factors in children’s social, cognitive and emotional development. Research on gender differences in children’s theory of mind understanding reveals contradictory findings such as higher degree of social understanding or theory of mind in girls (Villaneuva Badenes, Clemente Estevan, & Garcia Bacete 2000), boys score higher than girls (Russell et al., 2007), or no gender differences at all (Villaneuva Badenes, Clemente Estevan, & Garcia Bacete, 2000). This research study is part of a larger 3-year longitudinal study, investigating children’s social and emotional development during middle childhood. This study explores the gendered relations between self-concept and social understanding (including psychological language) in middle school aged children (n = 49, ages 11-13). Results suggest a negative correlation between boys’ sense of self-worth and psychological language. Implications for curriculum development that promotes socio-emotional literacy within middle school are discussed

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Metaphor Processing in Schizophrenia Patients: A Study of Comprehension and Explanation of Metaphors

Abstract

The study assessed the quantity and quality of errors made by schizophrenia patients in understanding and interpretation of the same metaphors, to evaluate metaphor understanding and explanation depending on the type of presentation material, and to analyze the correlation of illness symptoms with metaphor comprehension and explanation. Two groups of participants were examined: a schizophrenia sample (40 participants) and a control group (39 participants). Metaphor processing was assessed by the subtests of the Polish version of the Right Hemisphere Language Battery (RHLB-PL). The patients were also evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Schizophrenia patients scored significantly lower in explanation of metaphors, making more incorrect literal and abstract mistakes or providing no answer more frequently. No differences were observed in understanding metaphors; no correlation between symptoms and metaphor processing was obtained. In both groups, picture metaphors were easier to comprehend and written metaphors were easier to comprehend than to explain.

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Influence of Voice Intonation on Understanding Irony by Polish-Speaking Preschool Children

Abstract

The main aim of the presented study was to investigate the influence of voice intonation on the comprehension of ironic utterances in 4- to 6-year-old Polish-speaking children. 83 preschool children were tested with the Irony Comprehension Task (Banasik & Bokus, 2012). In the Irony Comprehension Task, children are presented with stories in which ironic utterances were prerecorded and read by professional speakers using an ironic intonation. Half of the subjects performed the regular Irony Comprehension Task while the other half were given a modified version of the Irony Comprehension Task (ironic content was uttered using a non-ironic intonation). Results indicate that children from the ironic intonation group scored higher on the Irony Comprehension Task than children who heard ironic statements uttered using a neutral voice. Ironic voice intonation appeared to be a helpful cue to irony comprehension.

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Comprehension of Ironic Utterances by Bilingual Children

Abstract

This study investigates verbal irony comprehension by 6-year old bilingual children speaking Polish and English and living in the USA. Researchers have predominantly focused on monolingual populations when examining non-literal language in young children. This is the first exploratory study of how irony is comprehended by children growing up in a bilingual setting. Results suggest that 6-year olds from this population score high in decoding the intended meaning behind an ironic utterance and that there is a relation between this ability and the development of their theory of mind (ToM). Interestingly, the data suggests that in the tested sample, no difference could be observed between comprehension of sarcastic irony (i.e., irony containing the element of blame directed towards the addressee) and non-sarcastic irony (irony without criticism towards the interlocutor). The results may be a basis for assuming that irony comprehension may be different in bilingual, compared to monolingual, samples.

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The Effects of Age on Stroop Interference in Clinical vs. Healthy Groups of Children

The Effects of Age on Stroop Interference in Clinical vs. Healthy Groups of Children

The Stroop task is widely used to assess attentional dysfunction due to a frontal or frontoparietal deficit and is also thought to be related to the maturation of the prefrontal cortex. The study aimed to prove the diagnostic usefulness of the Polish Names and Colors Interference Test (TINiK) in a clinical setting and to investigate the pattern of performance on four TINiK subtasks according to the type of brain damage (focal or diffuse) and age of the patients. A total of 107 subjects (62 female, 45 male) aged 11-18 were divided into two groups: children aged 10;4-14;6 and adolescents aged 14;7-17;10 within each diagnostic category: healthy (H - 35), heterogeneous focal brain damage (BD - 36) and cardiac arrhythmia (CA - 36). The number of correct responses in the 60s time limit was collected for each TINiK task. The H group significantly outperformed both clinical groups. The H and CA groups show improvement of performance systematically with age on all TINiK subtasks although at a different level. The BD group displayed merely non-significant developmental improvement especially among the adolescent group. A discriminant analysis using the four basic TINiK scores was able to significantly differentiate the BD from the H group (83.1%) and the BD from the CA group (74.6%), but less well the CA from the H group (63.9%). TINiK has acquired preliminary neuro-psychological validation in Polish children. Developmental improvement in interference control may be hampered by various neuropathological mechanisms which are yet to be identified.

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