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    Watching talking faces:The development of cortical representation of visual syllables in infancy

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    From birth, we perceive speech by hearing and seeing people talk. In adults cortical representations of visual speech are processed in the putative temporal visual speech area (TVSA), but it remains unknown how these representations develop. We measured infants’ cortical responses to silent visual syllables and non-communicative mouth movements using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Our results indicate that cortical specialisation for visual speech may emerge during infancy. The putative TVSA was active to both visual syllables and gurning around 5 months of age, and more active to gurning than to visual syllables around 10 months of age. Multivariate pattern analysis classification of distinct cortical responses to visual speech and gurning was successful at 10, but not at 5 months of age. These findings imply that cortical representations of visual speech change between 5 and 10 months of age, showing that the putative TVSA is initially broadly tuned and becomes selective with age.</p

    Baseline characteristics of a European patient population with difficult-to-treat depression (RESTORE-LIFE) treated with adjunctive vagus nerve stimulation

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    BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder is a complex heterogeneous disorder. Treatment is especially challenging for patients with "difficult-to-treat depression" (DTD): a less stigmatizing and more clinically relevant framework defining depression that continues to cause significant burden despite usual treatment efforts.METHODS: RESTORE-LIFE is a prospective, observational, multicenter, post-market study being conducted in Europe and is designed to reflect real-world clinical application of adjunctive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy (VNS) for DTD. Baseline characteristics of RESTORE-LIFE patients were analyzed and compared to published treatment-resistant depression (TRD) trials.RESULTS: This analysis includes the initial 98 RESTORE-LIFE patients who commenced treatment with VNS. Patients had a mean of 11.4 failed anti-depressant treatments, 1.1 suicide attempts, 87 % had prior electroconvulsive therapy, and 36 % had an endocrine/metabolic comorbidity. On average, disease severity was comparable to that in TRD trials (n = 15,463). However, RESTORE-LIFE patients appear to have been experiencing DTD for a longer duration and their DTD was characterized by a lack of positive mental health and meaningfulness of life, to a greater degree than by excess of negative mood. Despite high comorbidity rates in RESTORE-LIFE, VNS implantation was performed safely with no discontinuations due to surgical adverse events.LIMITATIONS: RESTORE-LIFE enrolls any patient receiving adjunctive VNS for DTD. Prescription of VNS may be biased by differences in practices amongst sites and countries.CONCLUSIONS: The present analysis offers insight into contemporary real-world use of VNS Therapy for DTD in Europe representing a comprehensive characterization of DTD and how this population may differ from those in the TRD literature.</p

    Explainable text-based features in predictive models of crowdfunding campaigns

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    Reward-Based Crowdfunding offers an opportunity for innovative ventures that would not be supported through traditional financing. A key problem for those seeking funding is understanding which features of a crowdfunding campaign will sway the decisions of a sufficient number of funders. Predictive models of fund-raising campaigns used in combination with Explainable AI methods promise to provide such insights. However, previous work on Explainable AI has largely focused on quantitative structured data. In this study, our aim is to construct explainable models of human decisions based on analysis of natural language text, thus contributing to a fast-growing body of research on the use of Explainable AI for text analytics. We propose a novel method to construct predictions based on text via semantic clustering of sentences, which, compared with traditional methods using individual words and phrases, allows complex meaning contained in the text to be operationalised. Using experimental evaluation, we compare our proposed method to keyword extraction and topic modelling, which have traditionally been used in similar applications. Our results demonstrate that the sentence clustering method produces features with significant predictive power, compared to keyword-based methods and topic models, but which are much easier to interpret for human raters. We furthermore conduct a SHAP analysis of the models incorporating sentence clusters, demonstrating concrete insights into the types of natural language content that influence the outcome of crowdfunding campaigns

    Effects of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 compared to TNF inhibitors on lipid profile:Results from an observational multicentre rheumatoid arthritis cohort

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    AIM: To evaluate the impact of selective cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4Ig) compared to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) on cardiovascular (CV) clinical and laboratory outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).METHODS: We performed a prospective observational multicenter study of RA patients included in the "Cardiovascular Obesity and Rheumatic DISease (CORDIS)" Study Group database, collecting demographic, clinical, and laboratory data of those starting a CTLA-4Ig or TNFi at baseline, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up.RESULTS: Of the 206 RA patients without previous CV events enrolled in the study, 64 received a CTLA-4Ig and 142 a TNFi. The two groups did not differ in age, gender, or smoking habits, and the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome was similar. Over a follow-up period of 12 months, although no significant differences were found in the disease activity course, we observed that LDL cholesterol levels slightly decreased only in the CTLA-4Ig-treated patients.CONCLUSIONS: Patients treated with both CTLA-4Ig and TNFi did not differ in disease activity response and changes in traditional CV risk factors after 12 months of treatment. However, CTL-A-4Ig treatment is associated with a favorable change in lipid profile at 12-month follow-up.</p

    Multi-source multi-modal markers for Bayesian Networks:Application to the extremely preterm born brain

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    The preterm phenotype results from the interplay of multiple disorders affecting the brain and cognitive outcomes. Accurately characterising these interactions can reveal prematurity markers. Bayesian Networks (BNs) are powerful tools to disentangle these relationships, as they inherently measure associations between variables while mitigating confounding factors. We present Modified PC-HC (MPC-HC), a Bayesian Network (BN) structural learning algorithm. MPC-HC employs statistical testing and search-and-score techniques to explore equivalent classes. We employ MPC-HC to estimate BNs for extremely preterm (EP) young adults and full-term controls. Using MRI measurements and cognitive performance markers, we investigate predictive relationships and mutual influences through predictions and sensitivity analysis. We assess the confidence in the estimated BN structures using bootstrapping. Furthermore, MPC-HC's validation involves assessing its ability to recover benchmark BN structures. MPC-HC achieves an average prediction accuracy of 72.5% compared to 62.5% of PC, 64.5% of MMHC, and 71.5% of HC, while it outperforms PC, MMHC, and HC algorithms in reconstructing the true structure of benchmark BNs. The sensitivity analysis shows that MRI measurements mainly affect EP cognitive scores. Our work has two key contributions: first, the introduction and validation of a new BN structure learning method. Second, demonstrating the potential of BNs in modelling variable relationships, predicting variables of interest, modelling uncertainty, and evaluating how variables impact each other. Finally, we demonstrate this by characterising complex phenotypes, such as preterm birth, and discovering results consistent with literature findings.</p

    Dialectics of Love in Sartre and Lacan

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    What is love for Sartre and Lacan? In Dialectics of Love in Sartre and Lacan, Sinan Richards examines Sartre’s and Lacan’s writings on love to draw out a distinctly Lacanian conception of love and subjectivity. Richards begins by demonstrating how Sartre’s in itself for itself is a convincing shorthand for Lacan’s central object of study, before presenting and explaining the various aspects of Lacan’s psychophilosophical project to show how, for Lacan, the subject is marked by various pathologies. He argues that, for Lacan, as for Sartre and Schelling before him, the subject is ontologically sick, and, by its very structure, the Oedipus complex produces subjects that are prey to a mental collapse at any moment. As a result, for Lacan, the subject has no choice but to identify with their potential madness, a constitutive aspect of their subjectivity. He concludes by making a compelling case that love in the Lacanian schema is the subject’s mad wish to reunite in itself with for itself, which is an always impossible yet necessary aspect of subjectivity. The book presents fresh insights on Lacan and Sartre that will appeal to students and scholars of psychoanalysis, philosophy, comparative literature and critical theory

    “They had clothes on their back and they had food in their stomach, but they didn't have me”:The contribution of parental mental health problems, substance use, and domestic violence and abuse on young people and parents

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    Background: The parental risk factors of mental health problems, substance use, and domestic violence and abuse each individually negatively impacts children's health and developmental outcomes. Few studies have considered the lived experience and support needs of parents and children in the real-world situation where these common risks cluster. Objective: This study explores parents' and young people's lived experiences of the clustering of parental mental health problems, parental substance use, and domestic violence and abuse. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 mothers, 6 fathers, and 7 young people with experiences of these parental risk factors. Transcribed interviews were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results: Four themes were developed, 1) cumulative adversity, 2) the impact of syndemic risk, 3) families navigating risk, and 4) family support. Parents and young people described family situations of stress wherein they experienced cumulative impact of multiple parental risk factors. Parents sought to navigate stressors and parent in positive ways under challenging conditions, often impeded by their own childhood trauma and diminished confidence. Parents and young people spoke of the need for, and benefits of having, support; both as a family and as individuals, to successfully address this trio of parental risks and the related impact. Conclusions: This study highlights the high level of stress families experience and the efforts they go to mitigate risk. Services and interventions need to reflect the complexity of multiple needs and consider both the whole family and individuals when providing support.</p

    Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes (PPROM):a study of patient experiences and support needs

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    BackgroundPreterm prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM) is a common obstetric condition but outcomes can vary depending on gestation. Significant maternal and fetal complications occur including preterm birth, infection, abruption, cord prolapse, pulmonary hypoplasia and even death. Although the need for psychological support is recognised it is unclear how much is actually offered to women and their families. This study aimed to survey the views of women and their families who have undergone PPROM in order to understand the care and psychological burden these families face.MethodsAn online survey was conducted, recruiting women via social media with collaboration from the patient advocacy support group Little Heartbeats. Responses were collated where fields were binary or mean and standard deviations calculated. Framework analysis was used to identify and analyse themes in free text responses. Results180 PPROM pregnancies were described from 177 respondents. Although care was variable and respondents were from across the world there were common themes. Five themes were highlighted which were: a lack of balanced information regarding the condition, support in decision making and support with the process, specific psychological support and ongoing psychological consequences of PPROM.ConclusionThis survey highlights areas in which care needs to be improved for women with PPROM. Previous studies have shown that providing good care during the antenatal period reduces long term psychological morbidity for the whole family. The need for support, with regard both to information provided to women and their families and their psychological support needs to be addressed urgently.<br/

    The Borrowed Hills

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    Natural disaster and risk preferences: evidence from Sri Lankan twins

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    We estimate whether risk preferences are affected by traumatic events by using a unique survey of Sri Lankan twins which contains information on individual’s exposure to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, validated measures of mental health and risk preferences, and a rich set of control variables. Our estimation strategy utilizes variation in experiences within twin pairs and allows us to explore wealth shocks and/or changes in mental health as mechanisms. We find that exposure to the tsunami lead to less risk aversion, a result that is not explained by mental health

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