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    Keeping an Eye on the Periphery:How Eccentricity affects Visual Selection

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    After reading the work of this thesis I hope you are convinced that eccentricity is a major factor that cannot be ignored when it comes to understanding visual selection. More specifically, in Chapter 2 we showed that while the proportion of selecting targets and salient items does not change with eccentricity, the dynamics of saliency- and relevance-driven selection do change. That is, the effect of saliency was protracted at a further eccentricity, while the effect of relevance was delayed. This discrepancy between overall selection and performance over time can be explained by the difference in saccade latencies between conditions. That is, as the saccade latency distribution shifted in time with increasing eccentricity, so did the effects of saliency and relevance. In Chapter 3, consistent with earlier work, we challenged existing models of visual selection, showing that the time at which a saccade is initiated greatly influences whether it will be saliency- or relevance-driven. That is, short latency eye movements are more likely to be saliency driven while later eye movements are more likely to be relevance driven. Importantly, we showed for the first time that this separation in time leads to a brief period in between saliency-driven and relevance-driven selection in which the eyes appear to be in ‘limbo’. That is, selection appears to operate randomly, irrespective of saliency and relevance. By fitting different models on the data, we showed that the dynamics of saliency- and relevance-based selection are best described as two independent processes that do not influence each other. We propose an alternative view on the classic priority map model, in which saliency effects are actually a byproduct of a difference in processing speed between different items. That is, on the priority map, salient items are available for selection earlier than non-salient items as they are processed more quickly and elicit therefore more activation at an earlier point in time. After a while, this difference in activation disappears because then non-salient items are processed as well, resulting in a period of non-selectivity. After this, the influence of behavioral relevance takes effect, and activity for the relevant item increases. In Chapter 4 we showed that subjects are more likely to select items that are presented close to fixation than items presented further away. This central selection bias was larger than would be expected based on low-level sensory differences between eccentricities suggesting an important role for attentional competition. In Chapter 5 we were able to determine, for the first time, the time course that the effect of eccentricity follows. Here we showed that eccentricity mainly influences those saccades that are initiated early. That is, eccentricity operates in a similar time window as saliency. As a consequence, the effects of saliency were diminished as the eccentricity difference between the two items grew, but those of relevance were unaffected. In Chapter 6 we showed that attentional capture by salient distractors is modulated by the bias that is described in Chapter 4. That is, even though we saw no effect of eccentricity on attentional capture in overall manual RTs, using eye movement data we showed that participants are more likely to select an item closer to fixation than an item presented further away. Crucially, on those trials in which an eye movement was made towards the distractor reaction times increased with distractor eccentricity while the likelihood of making an eye movement to the distractor in the first place decreases with increasing distractor eccentricity. As these effects go in opposite directions, overall RT showed no effect of distractor eccentricity when all trials were combined together

    Essays on Risk Creation in the Banking Sector

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    This thesis consists of four essays exploring risk creation in the banking sector. The essays examine how conflicting interests can compromise the objectivity, judgment, and decision making of economic agents. Consequently, they may prioritize their personal or institutional interests over the best interests of others or the entire financial system. Chapter 2 delves into the conflict of interest that arises when a bank serves as an investor in the stock market. Chapter 3 revisits the discussion of the potential misalignment between sovereign incentives and the collective interests of the currency union, particularly in the bond market. Chapter 4 draws attention to a situation where regulations in the banking sector may be advantageous for a government in the sovereign bond market. Finally, Chapter 5 looks at the flip side of the coin, examining how banks may be susceptible to moral hazard concerns in their FX lending decisions, given that they do not fully bear the consequences of their actions

    Effects of additions to independent silent reading on students’ reading proficiency, motivation, and behavior:Results of a meta-analysis

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    One often used approach to increase students' reading frequency is investing in independent silent reading (ISR) at schools: regularly scheduling time during which students read silently in books of their own choice. However, evidence for the impact of ISR is inconclusive and there appear to be important barriers to its effects on students' reading frequency, motivation, and proficiency: particularly struggling readers have difficulties choosing appropriate books, simply allotting time for reading does not guarantee that students read, ISR lacks accountability, and students are not always given the opportunity to interact about what they read. The aim of the current meta-analysis was to test whether additions to ISR that aim to overcome these barriers contribute to the effects of ISR on students' reading. Using outcomes of 51 effect studies covering 56 samples of students in primary and secondary education, we established a small but significant positive short-term intervention effect on overall reading proficiency (Cohen's d = 0.27). We additionally found that additions to ISR were particularly effective for students at risk of reading failure; for stronger readers, effects were absent. Finally, we found a negative effect of help or instruction by the teacher, which suggests that activities during reading might interfere with students' engagement with texts.</p

    Self-reported sleep bruxism and mortality in 1990–2020 in a nationwide twin cohort

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    Background: The association of sleep bruxism with mortality has not been studied. Objectives: Altogether 12 040 subjects from the nationwide Finnish twin cohort were included in the analyses. We examined whether self-reported sleep bruxism is associated with increased risk of mortality, and if so, whether the effect is independent of known common risk factors. The time span of the follow-up was 30 years. Methods: Cox proportional hazards regression models (Hazard Ratios and their 95% Confidence Intervals) adjusted by age, sex and covariates were used to assess the effect of baseline bruxism status in 1990 on future mortality in 1990–2020. Results: The risk of mortality among all participants (n = 12 040), independent of missing covariates and adjusted by age and sex, was 40% higher in weekly bruxers than in never bruxers (HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.16–1.68, p &lt;.001). However, when adjusted by all studied covariates, (n = 11 427) the risk was no longer observed (HR 1.04, 95% CI 0.86–1.25, p =.717). Despite the overall lack of between bruxism and mortality after adjustment for covariates, we examined the cause-specific risks for major cause-of-death groups. There were no substantial associations of weekly bruxism with major disease outcomes by the fully adjusted hazard ratios for them. Conclusion: Bruxism does not kill—in line with its definition of being rather a behaviour (with all its phenotypes) than a disease.</p

    Role of alkaline-earth metal in catalysed imine hydrogenations

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    Alkaline-earth metal (Ae) catalysts have been recently developed for challenging imine and alkene hydrogenation at moderate reaction conditions, providing a sustainable alternative to transition metal catalysis. The understanding of catalytic hydrogenations mediated by group 2 metals is underdeveloped and mechanistic studies are scarce from experimental and computational sides. Herein, we examine the role of the metal on the catalytic hydrogenation of imines by Ae[N(SiMe3)2]2 (Ae = Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba) using state-of-the-art computational techniques. Trends in energy barriers and turnover frequencies agree remarkably well with the experimentally observed increase in catalytic activity upon descending group 2 (Mg ≪ Ca &lt; Sr &lt; Ba). Structural and chemical bonding differences in the key intermediates were found to be the main driving force behind the enhanced reactivity of heavier Ae catalysts. More specifically, the N-Ae-H^ bond angle is drastically reduced in the Ca, Sr, and Ba catalytic species driven by the participation of the d-orbitals in the chemical bonding. The activation strain model reveals that these catalytic reactions are strain controlled and the higher activation barriers for the Mg catalyst originates from unfavourable bond angles in the Mg hydride species featuring linear structures and a more covalent metal-hydride bond. Further decomposition of the interaction energy reveals that stronger repulsive interactions destabilize the Mg species, indicating that the steric congestion due to the small Mg centre impedes reaction kinetics. Overall, the different aspects to be considered in the Ae catalyst design for imine hydrogenations are the strength and flexibility of the Ae-H bond, the bond ionicity, the N-Ae-H^ angle and the strength of the noncovalent interactions in the TOF-determining intermediate.</p

    Cognitive Signals of Language Processing

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    The approach to cognitive plausibility adopted in this book relies heavily on information that can be drawn from cognitive signals. We introduce a range of cognitive signals that reveal patterns of language processing in humans and discuss methodological characteristics. The cognitive signals we can collect differ with respect to temporal accuracy, the degree of consciousness involved, and the levels of linguistic processing they reflect. We showcase how the research question affects the choice of the most suitable cognitive signal type.</p

    Meta-analyses reveal the importance of socio-psychological factors for farmers’ adoption of sustainable agricultural practices

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    Agricultural systems support societies in various ways but also cause substantial sustainability challenges. Sustainable agricultural practices are key to achieving sustainability targets, yet we lack generalizable knowledge on why farmers apply such practices. Here, we quantified the relationship between farmers’ adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and their underlying motivational factors. Based on a systematic review, we meta-analyzed 14 motivational factors from 225 studies reporting 522 effect sizes, representing 327,778 farmers from 23 European countries. We found (1) substantially stronger positive effects for general attitude, intention and perceived usefulness compared with economic outcomes and environmental awareness, (2) dissonance between intention and actual behavior, and (3) geographic, thematic, and effort-effect bias in literature. Stimulating the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices hence requires reconsidering the currently strong emphasis on economic factors in favor of a wider set of motivational factors, especially by addressing socio-psychological factors via transparency, communication, and training

    Ethno-racial variation in psychotic experiences in the United States:Findings from the National Latino and Asian American Survey and the National Survey of American Life

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    BACKGROUND: Ethno-racial differences in psychosis risk are documented; however, there is less research on whether these differences extend to sub-threshold psychotic experiences, and whether there is significant variation within ethno-racial categories.METHODS: We analyzed data from the National Latino and Asian American Survey (NLAAS) and the National Survey of American Life (NSAL). Using multivariable logistic regression, we examined the association between race/ethnicity and lifetime psychotic experiences among Latino, Asian, and Black adults in the general population, adjusting for gender, age, nativity, education level, income level, employment status, and everyday discrimination.RESULTS: Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Hispanics had greater odds of lifetime psychotic experiences when compared with Mexicans, though differences diminished when adjusting for covariates. Filipino and other Asians had greater odds of lifetime psychotic experiences when compared with Chinese, though again, differences diminished when adjusting for covariates. Among Black Americans, there were no significant ethnic subgroup differences.CONCLUSION: Ethno-racial differences extend across the psychosis continuum. There are nuanced health profiles across and within ethno-racial categories. Differences may be attributable to differences in experiences living in the US, underscoring the need for community-specific interventions.</p

    Systematic literature reviews:The added value of a scoping review for legal literature reviews

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    In some scientific fields, such as the medical and social sciences, systematic literature reviews are frequently conducted. A systematic search for literature minimizes the risk of overlooking information or drawing conclusions based on an incomplete overview. This article focuses on a type of systematic literature reviews, the scoping review method, that may be of interest to legal scholars. This method can be used to answer an exploratory research question aimed at identifying important concepts or knowledge gaps by systematically searching, selecting and synthesizing literature. In seven steps, following the PRISMA guideline, the scoping review method is outlined. Concrete examples are outlined using a case example: a scoping review on divorce­-related relocations in the context of doctoral research at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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