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    Retrieval Practice and Context Reinstatement

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    Retrieval practice is a powerful learning strategy, but the mechanism(s) behind it are not fully understood. One account of this testing effect (i.e., enhanced memory for information that was previously retrieved vs. restudied) is the episodic-context account (Karpicke et al., 2014). According to this theory, successful retrieval requires contextual reinstatement which updates the target memory representation to include features of the current test context along with features of the initial study context. The resulting composite trace provides varied features that are more likely to match those on the final test. However, the specific features necessary for reinstatement remain unclear. The current study was designed to clarify the nature of these features using a three-phase paradigm. In phase 1, participants studied targets paired with different cues (phonemic vs. semantic) and presented in one of two different lists. In phase 2, participants either: (a) restudied the words; (b) restudied and made cue discrimination judgments; (c) restudied and made list discrimination judgments; or (d) freely-recalled the words. In phase 3, a final recognition test assessed item and context memory (i.e., cue type and list number). Unconditionalized analyses of final test performance found no differences between learning conditions. However, when only looking at words successfully retrieved at practice and thus subjected to reinstatement, free recall practice generally outperformed all other conditions on item and context memory, aside from the Restudy + Cue Discrimination condition. These results suggest that semantic, rather than temporal, features may be most relevant to the learning benefits of retrieval practice

    John F. Kennedy: Words Louder Than Actions in Newly-Independent Africa

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    John F. Kennedy\u27s polarizing relationship with newly independent African leaders in the middle of the 20th century is one of the lesser-told stories of his career. From an early age, Kennedy developed a strong compassion for the underprivileged and oppressed. In tandem, he became staunchly pragmatic regarding political decisions. This thesis argues that Kennedy\u27s pragmatic Cold War agenda usually overruled his genuine moral compassion to assist newly-independent African countries. Each chapter analyzes an aspect of Kennedy\u27s moral approach towards building relationships with African nationalists, only to show that his fiercely pragmatic Cold War policy prevented these relationships from reaching their full potential. Ultimately, Kennedy\u27s words spoke louder than his actions when it came to his courting of newly-independent African nations and their leaders. His Cold War agenda dictated the final say in every decision he made, holding him back from enacting long-term change in a continent possessing tremendous potential. This thesis consists of an introduction, four chapters, and a conclusion. The introduction analyzes how certain experiences during John F. Kennedy\u27s upbringing instilled genuine moral compassion in him, while also considering other early experiences that made him fiercely pragmatic. Chapter 1 contrasts JFK with his predecessor, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Unlike Kennedy, Eisenhower paid little heed to Africa, giving Kennedy an automatic advantage in building relationships. At times, he made active attempts to avoid meeting with African nationalists. Not used to genuine attention from Western powers, African nationalists greatly appreciated Kennedy\u27s interest in their cause. Chapter 2 discusses Kennedy\u27s methods of courting African nationalists. The relationships he cultivated through personal connections, welcome receptions, and charm eased the deployment of numerous aid programs to African nations. However, Kennedy\u27s progressive approach to African countries and the potential for long-term change was stymied by contradictions from his Cold War agenda. This becomes clear upon analysis of Kennedy\u27s policy towards South Africa and the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Guinea-Bissau. Kennedy supported white minority rule in those countries because of his Cold War agenda - Portugal was a NATO ally in possession of the Azores Air Force Base, and South Africa was a stalwart against communism in a key geographic location. Chapter 3 is an in-depth analysis of the most famous aid program Kennedy deployed to Africa: the Peace Corps. Introduced two months into JFK\u27s presidency, the Peace Corps fulfilled the challenge laid out in Kennedy\u27s Inaugural Address: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. However, much like the rest of Kennedy\u27s rhetoric on Africa, there was much positivity and theoretical growth promoted by the Peace Corps, yet few lasting changes achieved. Chapter 4 breaks down the similarities between Kennedy\u27s approach to courting African nationalists and his response to domestic civil rights issues. Kennedy used his success with courting African nationalists to gain support from civil rights leaders, and vice versa. However, Kennedy\u27s lack of response to civil rights crises and hesitancy to meet with civil rights leaders showed that, once again, he fell short of his potential to enact lasting change. Finally, the conclusion ties these four events together and references Robert F. Kennedy\u27s 1966 speech in South Africa. This speech highlights the vision for real change Kennedy wanted to fulfill in Africa if he hadn\u27t given precedence to his Cold War agenda

    Fetal Movement Visualization to Empower Pregnant People

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    Miracles of life do not occur all the time. Every year in the US, 24,000 stillbirths-babies lost after 20+ weeks gestation-devastate families [10]. Healthcare providers recommend parents in the third trimester of pregnancy perform fetal movement counting to monitor their baby\u27s health [12, 16]. As a result, mobile apps rise in popularity to assist mothers in tracking when and how many times their babies kicked. Using the fetal movement counting information collected, apps graph the data for users. However, despite the diversity of apps available, a formal analysis of the usability of those visualizations is missing. This research is especially needed because mothers may rely on that data to make pregnancy-related decisions. Therefore, this study proposes and evaluates three visualizations of fetal movement data: line, bar, and calendar charts. Through usability testing with 19 women, we find that the most effective visualization depends on baby types. A bar or calendar chart that distinguishes the time of the kick count session is helpful if the baby moves differently throughout the day. If the baby moves consistently, a line chart graphing individual kick count sessions on the x-axis is more effective

    Revolutionizing Cleft Palate Repair: A Novel Approach to Head Stabilization

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    Roughly 1 in 1600 infants in the US each year are born with cleft palate, an orofacial defect characterized by a hole in the roof of a child\u27s mouth. Children with a cleft palate may experience difficulty breathing and eating, delayed speech development, hearing loss, and dental complications. Corrective procedures most commonly occur in the first year of life, requiring the child to undergo intensive surgery. Head stabilization during this operation is an afterthought, with no designated device to adjust the angle of the child\u27s neck and provide access to the palate. We developed a device that prioritizes safety, stability, and precision, decreasing the complexity of the surgical setup and ultimately improving pediatric palate repairs

    Evolving Difficulty Targeted Bouldering Routes

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    The challenge of utilizing artificial intelligence to generate indoor rock climbing routes with a specific grade is an interesting and unsolved problem due to its complexity and subjectivity. We use MAP-Elites, an evolutionary, quality-diversity algorithm, in conjunction with GradeNet [8] to produce a set of disjoint MoonBoard climbing routes that sufficiently challenge a climber without exceeding their physical and technical limitations. We evaluate these routes through visual a assessment survey by climbers as well as an in-person study in which climbers attempt to climb the generated routes. While our algorithm generally performs well in producing complete or near-complete archives of diverse climbs at every difficulty level as assessed by GradeNet, they fall short when it comes to in person trials. Additionally, the data from user surveys, while supporting the claims of Duh and Chang [8] about GradeNet\u27s superiority to human grad- ing ability, is inconclusive in determining the success of our algorithm. These results leave open the path for future work to leverage the relative success of quality-diversity while accounting for the shortcomings of route quality and difficulty present in our system\u27s design

    Effect of interest rates on firms\u27 performance in developing European countries

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    The central bank uses monetary policy to maintain the balance of the economy in the country. Each country in Europe has a central body that regulates the total supply of money and supports economic expansion. By using expansionary and contractionary monetary policies the central bank in each country targets inflation and keeps unemployment low. The central bank frequently employs the discount rate, open market operations, and reserve requirements as its three primary monetary policy tools. Through monetary policy, the central bank affects the profits, revenue, income, investment, turnover, and long-term and short-term liabilities of businesses. Adjusting interest rates influences the borrowing and expectations of firms. In order to grow, firms need to focus on labor, technology, marketing, investing, capital, and customers. This research focuses on the effect that interest rates have on businesses\u27 performance in European countries, particularly in nations that are members of the European Union but are not in the Eurozone such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden as well as East European nations that are neither members of the EU nor the Eurozone such as Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine. Using 1995-2019 data from the statistical websites of each country and the World Bank, this study finds that interest rates have a negative effect on firms\u27 performance in these European countries

    Association Between Previous Mental Health Disorders and Post- COVID-19 Conditions

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be challenging to many scientists and physicians due to its rapid spread and long lasting effects. The objective of this study is to determine whether high levels of psychological distress leads to increased risk of developing post-COVID-19 conditions (long COVID). A total of 55 participants from a small family practice in New York State were the sample for this study. Patient charts were reviewed to gather PHQ-9 scores and look for diagnoses of long COVID symptoms. The results did not reveal any significant relationship between mental health conditions and long COVID symptomatology

    Points, Lines, and Bodies: The Mereological Problem in Leibniz

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    The Dream Thief

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    In a world where humans are granted with the ability to live lucidly in their dreams, seventeen year old Saturn is incapable. Saturn believed she was unable to dream at all, that was until a scientist, Dr. Robino, revealed she is capable of much more: entering the dreams of others. When she begins to invade the dreams of her architect neighbor Fawn, she starts to question Dr. Robino\u27s morals

    The Impact of Weight and Race on Perceptions of Anorexia Nervosa

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    Objective: This study examined how weight and race impact stigma, perceived need for treatment, and perceived severity of the condition for individuals with anorexia nervosa. Method: Four hundred eighty-one participants were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk; 311 were used in analysis. Participants completed two scales (RIBS and CAMI) that measured previous exposure to mental illness. Participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions in which they read a passage (vignette) about a White or Black woman with anorexia nervosa (underweight), atypical anorexia nervosa (overweight) or major depressive disorder (control condition). Participants completed three post-vignette scales that assessed stigma toward the woman in the vignette, perceived need for treatment and perceived severity of the condition, and fat-phobia beliefs. Results: Two separate linear regressions were run to examine the effect of the demographic characteristics of the participants on the items that measured stigma (stigma assessment) and perceived need for treatment and perceived severity of the disorder (mental health literacy scale). Post-hoc MANOVAs were run with the significant demographic variables as covariates alongside the RIBS, CAMI, and Fat Phobia scales; vignette weight and race were assessed as independent variables and the stigma assessment and mental health literacy scale were assessed as dependent variables. Neither analyses yielded significant results for Vignette Weight, Vignette Race, or for Vignette Weight x Vignette Race. The BMI of participants had a significant effect on the stigma assessment and mental health literacy scales, and education level had a significant effect on the mental health literacy scale. Discussion: Future research should examine how other factors or identities (such as gender and sexual orientation) impact stigma and perceptions of eating disorder severity. Future research should extend the current study by using different study designs and providing participants with visual stimuli. The current study has important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of anorexia nervosa


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