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    3687 research outputs found

    Helping in times of crisis: Examining the social identity and wellbeing impacts of volunteering during COVID‐19

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    COVID-19 produced the largest mass mobilisation of collective helping in a generation. Currently, the impact of this voluntary activity is not well understood, particularly for specific groups of volunteers (e.g., new vs. existing) and for different amounts of voluntary activity. Drawing on social psychological work on collective helping, and work from the Social Identity Approach to Health, we seek to address this gap through an analysis of survey data from 1,001 adults living in the south of England (333 men; 646 women; age range = 16–85) during the first UK lockdown. Measures included time spent volunteering pre-/post COVID, community identification, subjective wellbeing, and volunteering intentions. Those who volunteered during COVID-19 reported higher levels of community identification than those who did not. However, subjective wellbeing benefits were only found for those volunteers who maintained the same level of volunteering (in terms of time) pre-and post-COVID lockdown. New volunteers showed significantly lower levels of wellbeing when they were undertaking 5 or more hours of volunteering a week. Our findings provide unique insight into the variable relationship with wellbeing for different groups of volunteers, as well as how the experiences and functioning of ‘crisis’ volunteering are different from volunteering during ‘normal’ times

    Visual exploratory activity in elite women’s soccer: An analysis of the UEFA Women’s European Championship 2022

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    Recent research has developed understanding of the technical and tactical determinants of success in elite women’s soccer, however a lack of research exists on analysing how elite female players visually explore their environment to support skilled soccer performance. This study aimed to describe the visual exploratory activity (VEA) of elite female central midfield players and understand the relationships between VEA, performance with the ball and specific contextual and situational factors. Thirty female central midfield players (M age = 26.7 years, SD = 3.8) from the eight teams who competed in the knock-out stages of UEFA Women’s European Championship 2022 were analysed. Television broadcast and UEFA tactical footage were combined to analyse players across the seven knock-out stage matches, totalling 1,038 individual ball possessions. The mean scan frequency before receiving the ball was 0.35 scans/second. Results showed pitch location when receiving the ball to be the main predictor of scan frequency, which in turn predicted action result (p = 0.003) and turn with the ball (p = 0.003). Scan frequencies were lower compared to men’s elite and academy players. This study sets a platform for experimental research to further our understanding of VEA and performance with the ball in women’s soccer

    Stories from Edzell Lodge children’s home in the 1940s and 1950s: lessons for practice and research

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    ‘Gnatola ma no kpon sia, eyenabe adelan to kpo mi sena’ (‘Until the lion has his or her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story’) (Ghanian proverb, available at: Historically, both the discipline and profession of social work have been imagined and constructed by those who oversee social work services – ‘the hunters’, according to the aforementioned Ghanaian proverb. Thus, it has been predominantly white, middle-class, non-disabled, mainly female, Global North voices that have determined what social work looks like and how it is carried out across the world. However, this is changing. Today, many more ‘lions’ are telling their stories, as this article demonstrates. Through the curated narratives of Bob, Doug and Rose, as well as that of their storyteller/collaborator, Viv, we learn that growing up in care in Scotland in the 1940s and 1950s was ‘confused and confusing’ for the children at the heart of it. Contradictory discourses competed for dominance, and the children experienced unintended consequences from the ‘care’ they received. While not attempting to universalise on the basis of three people’s stories, we believe that they have much to teach social work

    Effects of Matcha green tea on heart rate variability and physiological and metabolic responses in young adult female

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    Introduction: Compared to other green teas, higher intake of multiple phytochemicals is achieved with Matcha green tea consumption. Green tea consumption is known to have metabolic effects but is also consumed for supposed calming effects. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of encapsulated Matcha green tea on heart rate variability metrics during supine rest, as well as on physiological and metabolic responses during both supine rest and moderate-intensity exercise. Methods: Healthy females (n=8, age: 22±3 yrs, body mass: 68±11 kg, height: 162±5 cm) volunteered. The study employed a placebo-controlled, randomised cross-over design. Time-domain heart rate variability metrics during supine rest (n=5) and physiological and metabolic responses using indirect calorimetry techniques during supine rest and 60-min of moderate-intensity (~ 4-METs) treadmill walking (speed: 4.4±0.5 km·h-1) were measured following 3 weeks of 3 g·day-1 of Matcha green tea or placebo. Results: During supine rest with Matcha green tea, all participants had lower heart rates by 13±7% (P=0.01, d= -1.45), higher mean beat-to-beat RR intervals by 16±9% (P=0.03, d=1.25), higher SDNN by 44±32% (P=0.01, d=0.76) and higher pNN50 by 139±139% (P<0.01, d=1.28). Matcha green tea had no effects on the physiological and metabolic responses during supine rest and moderate-intensity treadmill walking (e.g. respiratory exchange ratio, placebo: 0.78±0.04; Matcha: 0.78±0.03, P=0.87). Fat oxidation during supine rest was correlated (r=0.75, P<0.01) with the moderate-intensity walking induced fat oxidation. Conclusions: In young adult healthy females, Matcha green tea beneficially effects heart rate variability metrics during supine rest indicating an alteration in parasympathetic nervous activity and therefore suggestive of a relaxing effect. Matcha green tea did not change the metabolic responses during supine rest and exercise possibly due to the low respiratory exchange ratio in the female cohort. Future work should address the effectiveness of Matcha green tea during conditions of psychological stress

    Multiplanar lumbar, pelvis and kick leg sequencing during soccer instep kicking from different approach angles

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    Multiplanar kinematic and kinetic sequencing from different approach angles can highlight how soccer players perform fast and accurate kicks. This study therefore aimed to a) determine multiplanar torso, pelvis and kick leg sequencing during instep kicks and b) highlight the effect of different approach angles on these sequencing patterns. Twenty male soccer players (mass 77.9 ± 6.5 kg, height 1.71 ± 0.09 m, age 23.2 ± 3.7 years) performed kicks from self-selected (∼30−45°), straight (0°) and wide (67.5°) approaches and multiplanar lumbo-pelvic, hip and knee angular velocities, moments and powers were derived from 3D motion analysis. The results suggest tension arc release between the upper and lower body functions as a two-stage mechanism. The first phase of arc release was characterised by increases in concentric hip flexion and transverse lumbo-pelvic velocities towards the ball. The second phase was characterised by increasing concentric lumbo-pelvic flexion and knee extension work to angularly accelerate the kicking knee towards foot-to-ball contact. Further, alterations in kinematic and kinetic sequencing helped maintain performance (ball and foot velocities at ball contact) and accuracy at approach angles other than self-selected. These findings can help coaches and practitioners design effective training practices

    Memory-efficient spike-time-dependent plasticity for future driverless car park infrastructure

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    In addition to localization and mapping, current challenges faced by driverless (autonomous) car parks encompass computational complexity, resulting in elevated CPU utilisation and substantial memory consumption. This paper presents a memory-efficient Spike-Time-Dependent Plasticity (STDP) approach for future driverless car park infrastructure (DCPI). The proposed method utilizes self-organized mapping (SOM) classification and memory optimization techniques to analyze traffic occupancy trends. Results from geospatial data mining show optimised memory usage for vacant slots and trajectory mining clusters. Additionally, the impact of lateral suppression on STDP is demonstrated, highlighting the usefulness of STDP in managing complex memory scenarios in DCPI. Results show that STDP provides a robust neuromorphic scheme for lightweight memory utilisation particularly for tasks requiring precise timing and coordination

    Full familiarisation is not required for the Self-Paced 1 km Treadmill Walk to Predict Peak Oxygen Uptake in Phase IV Cardiac Patients

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    Exercise is a recommended part of phase IV cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR). The 1 km treadmill walk test (1-KTWT) is a submaximal continuous exercise test to predict cardiorespiratory fitness in patients with cardiovascular disease. We examined physiological, metabolic and subjective responses in patients with cardiovascular disease with self-selected, unchanging walking speed for two 1-KTWTs. Fifteen men (age: 65 ± 9 yr, height: 174 ± 5 cm, body mass: 86 ± 17 kg, BMI: 28.5 ± 5.5 kg·m−2, body fat%: 27.7 ± 7.5%, 10 on beta-blockers) were recruited from phase IV CR groups in the United Kingdom. Participants established a self-selected walking speed for the 1-KTWT and performed the 1-KTWT on separate days with recording of physiological responses to predict VO2peak with equations. For the two 1-KTWTs, no differences existed for walking speed, mean and maximal heart rates, oxygen uptake, predicted VO2peak (1st 1-KTWT (range: 41–78% VO2peak, 95%CI, 53–65; 2nd 1-KTWT range: 43–78% VO2peak, 95%CI, 52–65) and rating of perceived exertion. In phase IV cardiac patients, the 1-KTWT with self-selected, unchanging walking speed can be used for VO2peak prediction without the need for a full familiarisation. The self-selected constant walking speed for the first 1-KTWT can be used to support nonsupervised physical activity for phase IV CR patients

    The neuromodulatory role of dopamine in improved reaction time by acute cardiovascular exercise

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    Acute cardiovascular physical exercise improves cognitive performance, as evidenced by a reduction in reaction time (RT). However, the mechanistic understanding of how this occurs is elusive and has not been rigorously investigated in humans. Here, using positron emission tomography (PET) with [ C]raclopride, in a multi-experiment study we investigated whether acute exercise releases endogenous dopamine (DA) in the brain. We hypothesized that acute exercise augments the brain DA system, and that RT improvement is correlated with this endogenous DA release. The PET study (Experiment 1: n = 16) demonstrated that acute physical exercise released endogenous DA, and that endogenous DA release was correlated with improvements in RT of the Go/No-Go task. Thereafter, using two electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) studies (Experiments 2 and 3: n = 18 and 22 respectively), we investigated what triggers RT improvement. The EMS studies indicated that EMS with moderate arm cranking improved RT, but RT was not improved following EMS alone or EMS combined with no load arm cranking. The novel mechanistic findings from these experiments are: (1) endogenous DA appears to be an important neuromodulator for RT improvement and (2) RT is only altered when exercise is associated with central signals from higher brain centres. Our findings explain how humans rapidly alter their behaviour using neuromodulatory systems and have significant implications for promotion of cognitive health. KEY POINTS: Acute cardiovascular exercise improves cognitive performance, as evidenced by a reduction in reaction time (RT). However, the mechanistic understanding of how this occurs is elusive and has not been rigorously investigated in humans. Using the neurochemical specificity of [ C]raclopride positron emission tomography, we demonstrated that acute supine cycling released endogenous dopamine (DA), and that this release was correlated with improved RT. Additional electrical muscle stimulation studies demonstrated that peripherally driven muscle contractions (i.e. exercise) were insufficient to improve RT. The current study suggests that endogenous DA is an important neuromodulator for RT improvement, and that RT is only altered when exercise is associated with central signals from higher brain centres

    Examining the importance of local and global patterns for familiarity detection in soccer action sequences

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    Pattern recognition is a defining characteristic of expertise across multiple domains. Given the dynamic interactions at local and global levels, team sports can provide a vehicle for investigating skilled pattern recognition. The aims of this study were to investigate whether global patterns could be recognised on the basis of localised relational information and if relations between certain display features were more important than others for successful pattern recognition. Elite (n = 20), skilled (n = 34), and less-skilled (n = 37) soccer players completed three recognition paradigms of stimuli presented in point-light-stimuli format across three counterbalanced conditions: ‘whole-part’; ‘part-whole’; and ‘whole-whole’. ‘Whole’ clips represented a 11v11 soccer match and ‘part’ clips presented the same passages of play with only two centre forwards or two peripheral players. Elite players recognised significantly more accurately than the skilled and less-skilled groups. Participants were significantly more accurate in the ‘whole-whole’ condition compared to others, and recognised stimuli featuring the two central attacking players significantly more accurately than those featuring peripheral players. Findings provide evidence that elite players can encode localised relations and then extrapolate this information to recognise more global macro patterns

    Promote “we” to inspire me: examining the roles of group identification and trust in the association between identity leadership and follower inspiration

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    Recent research has highlighted leaders as a source of inspiration for followers in sport, providing leaders embed, embody, and represent the group’s values (i.e., the leader demonstrates identity leadership and creates a shared identity). Consequently, two studies (one cross-sectional and one longitudinal) aimed to examine the relationship between identity leadership and follower inspiration via the mediating roles of group identification and trust in the leader. In Study 1, 233 participants completed measures of identity leadership, group identification, trust in their leader, and follower inspiration in a cross-sectional design. In Study 2, 121 participants completed the same measures at two time points (towards the start and end of the season). Cross sectional findings (Study 1) indicated that group identification and trust serially mediated the positive association between identity leadership principles and follower inspiration. Whereas, in Study 2, identity advancement and identity impresarioship at the start of the season predicted follower inspiration at the end of the season through trust in the leader but not through group identification. Taken together, the findings add weight to the importance of identity leadership by not only suggesting that followers of leaders who engage in identity leadership are more inspired but, also, by highlighting important mechanisms (group identification and particularly trust) that may explain these processes


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