Goldsmiths Research Online

    An ERP investigation of premotor sensory activity and response control in adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder.

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    Within the Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) literature the primary research focus has been directed towards children with DCD. Little has been investigated regarding the long term prognosis of these individuals with regards to the impact of the disorder in later life. Also, previous investigations and resulting suggestions of underlying aetiology have been based on behavioural data of poor performance with few studies examining the underlying biological considerations. Thus, the research within this thesis had two key aims. The first being to examine underlying processes associated with adaptive and goal directed movement in a sample of adults with DCD. The second aim was to provide biological evidence for the continued difficulties of adults with DCD. Previous work in the area of cognitive psychology has identified distinct sensory and motor control functions as hallmarks of efficient and adaptive movement. This thesis explores the underlying sensory and motor control abilities of adults with DCD. There were two key aspects of this thesis with the first consisting of an investigation into the manner in which adults with DCD utilize sensory functions as a consequence of movement preparation. The secondary portion of this thesis focused on two key aspects of response modulation, the ability to effectively activate cortical regions underpinning effector response and response inhibition. Both aspects of the thesis drew methodological influences from the field of electroencephalography. This approach provided direct biological measurement of both sensory and response related activity. The data obtained within this thesis provides evidence that adults with DCD do in fact demonstrate both atypical behavioural and biological functions during manual response activity. Chapter 4 highlighted key behavioural findings identifying that the DCD group demonstrates continued difficulty with accurate movement compared to typically developing peers. Chapters 5 and 6 focused on sensory activity as a consequence of movement preparation. The findings from these chapters suggest that adults with DCD present with maladaptive early sensory processing functions required for accurate movement output. Findings from the later chapters investigating response related activity suggest that adults with DCD experience difficulty with both measures of response activation and inhibition. In summary, these findings suggest that adults with DCD experience an array of sensorimotor and response related difficulties vital to adaptive goal directed movement. Importantly, the findings presented within this thesis are the first to present direct biological based evidence for continued difficulties in a sample of adults with DCD. Conclusions are discussed in relation to previous research along with the possible influences these findings have in behaviour. The limitations of the current research and suggestions for future work are also considered

    Vacillations of Affect: How to Reclaim ‘Affect’ for a Feminist-Materialist Critique of Capitalist Social Relations?

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    In this paper, I elaborate on the value of the notion of affect and the related concept of affective labour for a feminist-materialist critique. The core argument is that an affective conception of the relationship between subject and structure would allow for a constructive intervention into the definition of ‘materialism’ that builds the ground for any critical social theory, but remains unfinished in the Marxist tradition. For that purpose, it will however be necessary to develop the concept of affect beyond the common, decidedly a-political interpretations that are part of the New Materialist Feminism, as well as beyond the overly em- phatic connotations that the post-Workerist tradition has attached to it with regards to its immeasurable characteristic that might allow for the creation a non- capitalist future from within our present

    Heroic heads, mobility mythologies and the power of ambiguity

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    This paper explores how the contradictions of neoliberal education reform and its companion, the self-made aspirational subject, are embodied by Sir Michael Wilshaw, former headteacher of Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, East London, through his leadership practices. Wilshaw creates powerful mobility and morality tales that pave over the contradictions and ambiguities inherent in the academies programme and Mossbourne’s approach. Drawing on a larger study of Mossbourne, the paper focuses on how raced and classed pathological discourses are mobilised and inverted both by Wilshaw and policy rhetoric, cultivating compliance through a belief in the aspirational subject capable of transcending social structures. The paper argues that neoliberal academy reforms are not about autonomy, but the imperative to comply with centralised policy demands at the expense of democratic participation and accountability

    The Role of the Writer and Authorship in New Collaborative Performance-Making in the United Kingdom from 2001-2010

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    Throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century, the changing statuses of the writer and the text have not only been reflective of the ways in which collaborative theatre-making processes involving writing have changed, but are also emblematic of how theatre-makers have positioned themselves within the rapidly shifting cultural and economic climate in the UK. This thesis seeks to discover what shifts have occurred as well as future implications for the role of the commissioned writer. Its prime focus is an investigation of the working methods of three different generations of collaborating companies in the UK and the commissioned writers with whom they work: Shared Experience, Frantic Assembly and Filter Theatre. This investigation is structured on a company-by-company basis, examining two productions from each company (each written by different writers or writer/directors) as examples of writer-company collaborative practice, comparing one to the other in order to understand each company and writer’s approach to working collaboratively. It addresses such issues as, what is the role of the writer in new collaborative theatre-making culture in the UK and how it has been influenced by historical debates and practices regarding the role of the writer and the text: how texts can be produced in different processes that involve a writer; how authorship is negotiated by practice between writers and other creative collaborators; and the extent to which the models or processes of working analyzed here have originated from or been influenced by historical collaborative practice. This investigation utilizes interviews with practitioners involved in the development of these productions as well as company archival material and analyzes relevant contemporary texts and performances as well as the work of historical practitioners that has informed the legacy of these the three contemporary companies. In addition to performance theory, this thesis will draw on management and branding theory, in order to interrogate the relationship between hierarchy and the creative process, within the context of the changing cultural, economic and political climate of the early twenty-first century. This thesis will propose that historical practices of writing and collaboration and the distinct strands of working that evolved from it have a significant relationship to, and can illuminate contemporary practice as well as serve as historical models of working; some of the approaches to collaborative writing used by Shared Experience, Frantic Assembly and Filter Theatre can be considered either conscious copying or modification of an extant practice or accidental imitations which arose from similar cultural circumstances but embodied the same basic idea of an extant practice. This thesis will also propose that Shared Experience, Frantic Assembly and Filter Theatre and the commissioned writers and writer/directors with whom they have collaborated have developed a flexible process of working in order to allow for negotiation and serve their particular production and artistic goals. The role of an individual writer can change from company to company and production to production and therefore the author or authors of the piece might include not only the writer, but also the director, performers, designer and/or dramaturg. Ultimately, this thesis will look to the future by providing a framework with which performance scholars and emerging practitioners can better understand and also continue to develop writer-company collaborative practice

    Music@Home: A novel instrument to assess the home musical environment in the early years.

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    The majority of children under the age of 5 appear to show spontaneous enjoyment of singing, being exposed to music and interacting with musical instruments, but whether variations in engaging in such activities in the home could contribute to developmental outcomes is still largely unknown. Critically, researchers lack a comprehensive instrument with good psychometric properties to assess the home musical environment from infancy to the preschool years. To address this gap, this paper presents two studies that describe the development and validation of the Music@Home questionnaire, which comprises two versions: Infant and Preschool. In Study 1, an initial pool of items was generated and administered to a wide audience of parents (n = 287 for the Infant, n = 347 for the Preschool version). Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify different dimensions comprising the home musical environment of both infants and pre-schoolers, and to reduce the initial pool of items to a smaller number of meaningful items. In Study 2, convergent and divergent validity and internal and test-retest reliability of the new instrument were established, using data from a different sample of participants (n = 213 for the Infant, n = 213 for the Preschool version). The second study also investigated associations between the Music@Home and musical characteristics of the parents, such as their musical education and personal engagement with music. Overall, the Music@Home constitutes a novel, valid and reliable instrument that allows for the systematic assessment of distinct aspects of the home musical environment in families with children under the age of 5. Furthermore, the Infant and Preschool versions of the Music@Home present differential associations with musical characteristics of the parents opening a new area of inquiry into how musical exposure and interaction in the home may vary across different developmental stages

    Children of the Twins Early Development Study (CoTEDS): A Children-of-Twins Study

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    The Children of the Twins Early Development Study (CoTEDS) is a new prospective children-of-twins study in the UK, designed to investigate intergenerational associations across child developmental stages. CoTEDS will enable research on genetic and environmental factors that underpin parent-child associations, with a focus on mental-health and cognitive related traits. Through CoTEDS we will have a new lens to examine the roles that parents play in influencing child development, as well as the genetic and environmental factors that shape parenting behaviour and experiences. Recruitment is ongoing from the sample of approximately 20,000 contactable adult twins who have been enrolled in the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) since infancy. TEDS twins are invited to register all offspring to CoTEDS at birth, with 554 children registered as of May 2019. By recruiting the second generation of TEDS participants, CoTEDS will include information on adult twins and their offspring from infancy. Parent questionnaire-based data collection is now underway for one- and two-year-old CoTEDS infants, with further waves of data collection planned. Current data collection includes the following primary constructs: child mental-health, temperament, language and cognitive development; parent mental-health and social relationships; parenting behaviours and feelings; and other socio-ecological factors. Measurement tools have been selected with reference to existing genetically-informative cohort studies, to ensure overlap in phenotypes measured at corresponding stages of development. This built-in study overlap is intended to enable replication and triangulation of future analyses across samples and research designs. Here, we summarise study protocol and measurement procedures and describe future plans

    Electrostimulation Contingencies and Attention, Electrocortical Activity and Neurofeedback

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    There is a growing body of evidence for diverse ways of modulating neuronal processing to improve cognitive performance. These include brain-based feedback, self-regulation techniques such as EEG-neurofeedback, and stimulation strategies, alone or in combination. The thesis goal was to determine whether a combined strategy would have advantages for normal cognitive function; specifically operant control of EEG activity in combination with transcutaneous electro-acustimulation. In experiment one the association between transcutaneous electroacustimulation (EA) and improved perceptual sensitivity was demonstrated with a visual GO/NOGO attention task (Chen et al, 2011). Furthermore reduced commission errors were related to an electrocortical motor inhibition component during and after alternating high and low frequency EA, whereas habituation in the control group with sham stimulation was related to different independent components. Experiment two applied frequency-domain ICA to detect changes in EEG power spectra from the eyes-closed to the eyes-open state (Chen et al, 2012). A multiple step approach was provided for analysing the spatiotemporal dynamics of default mode and resting state networks of cerebral EEG sources, preferable to conventional scalp EEG data analysis. Five regions were defined, compatible with fMRI studies. In experiment three the EA approach of Exp I was combined with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback. SMR training improved perceptual sensitivity, an effect not found in a noncontingent feedback group. However, non-significant benefits resulted from EA. With ICA spectral power analysis changes in frontal beta power were associated with contingent SMR training. Possible long-term effects on an attention network in the resting EEG were also found after SMR training, compared with mock SMR training. In conclusion, this thesis has supplied novel evidence for significant cognitive and electrocortical effects of neurofeedback training and transcutaneous electro-acustimulation in healthy humans. Possible implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are considered

    The Right to a Privilege? Homonormativity and the Recognition of Same-Sex Couples in Europe

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    The Council of Europe (CoE) and its judicial body, the European Court of Human Rights, are at the forefront of the debate for the redefinition of the notion of ‘family’ in relation to the inclusion of same-sex couples. The recent jurisprudence has demonstrated a change in the Court’s approach to the question of what counts as a family, by terms of Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This much-anticipated development, nonetheless, begs the question of how the ‘right to marry and found a family’ might prove to be a privilege rather than a right. This article tries to shed light on the contradictions underpinning the expansion of the concept of family in the context of the CoE, suggesting the existence of a conflation of both heteronormative and homonormative narratives of kinship in the construction of a notion of the ‘family’ that encompasses same-sex couples

    Emergent Material: Reinventing the Compositional Process

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    This paper addresses various aspects of my recent compositional practice, which focuses on an interchangeability between pre-planned and spontaneous processes. For sometime my work has explored the relationships obtaining between complex compositional processes, and a more intuitive, even improvised, gestural scanning of the material. Notation and aspects of instrumental techniques further form an important part of this discourse as a means of articulating more complex relationships where emergent properties form a fundamental aspect of the material. The resultant material, therefore, is generated through a symbiotic relationship between various interactive layers of complex compositional processes, which are then mediated by more informal, intuitive interpretations, with a specific gestural surface in mind. This process inevitably problematizes the traditional view of the creative discourse as a kind of transcriptive process, where subjective material is often defined by certain inherited habits of thought. The work of the painter Francis Bacon or the shorter prose works by Samuel Beckett exhibit a similar relationship to the creative process in relation to the role of structure and the imagination, with a view to unlocking deeper areas of meaning beyond simple narrative or representation. I will examine the nature of such structures in relation to my own compositional processes with a view to explore in the interchange between process and imagination

    Contemporary Issues in the Worldwide Anglican Communion: Powers and Pieties

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    Contemporary Issues in the Worldwide Anglican Communion offers unique perspectives on an organisation undergoing significant and rapid change with important religious and wider sociological consequences. The book explores what the academic research community, Anglican clergy and laypeople are suggesting are critical issues facing the Anglican communion as power and authority relations shift, including: gender roles, changing families, challenges of an aging population, demands and opportunities generated by young people, mobility and mutations of worship communities; contested conformities to policies surrounding sexual orientation, impact of social class and income differences, variable patterns of congregational growth and decline, and global power and growth shifts from north to south
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