672 research outputs found

    Autobiographical memory and hierarchical search strategies in depressed and non-depressed participants

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    Background: There is a growing body of literature showing individuals with depression and other trauma-related disorders (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder) recall more overgeneral and less specific autobiographical memories compared to normal participants. Although the mechanisms underlying overgeneral memory are quite clear, the search strategy operated within the autobiographical knowledge base, at time of recollection, requires further exploration. The current study aimed to examine the hierarchical search sequence used to recall autobiographical memories in depressed and non-depressed participants, with a view to determining whether depressed participants exhibited truncated search strategies. Methods: Thirteen depressed and an equal number of non-depressed participants retrieved 15 memories each, in response to 15 commonly used cue words. Participants reported the first memory that entered in their mind. All memory descriptions were recorded and later transcribed verbatim for content analysis.Results: Depressed participants retrieved autobiographical memories faster, produced shorter memory descriptions and were less likely to recall positive memories than non-depressed participants. Non-depressed participants were more likely to commence retrieval by accessing lifetime period knowledge followed by general event and event specific knowledge, whereas depressed participants showed a tendency to terminate retrieval at the general event level. Conclusions: It is concluded that depressed participants do adhere to the same hierarchical search strategy as non-depressed participants when retrieving specific autobiographical memories, but that they terminate their search early, resulting in overgeneral memories

    Chromatic Illumination Discrimination Ability Reveals that Human Colour Constancy Is Optimised for Blue Daylight Illuminations

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    The phenomenon of colour constancy in human visual perception keeps surface colours constant, despite changes in their reflected light due to changing illumination. Although colour constancy has evolved under a constrained subset of illuminations, it is unknown whether its underlying mechanisms, thought to involve multiple components from retina to cortex, are optimised for particular environmental variations. Here we demonstrate a new method for investigating colour constancy using illumination matching in real scenes which, unlike previous methods using surface matching and simulated scenes, allows testing of multiple, real illuminations. We use real scenes consisting of solid familiar or unfamiliar objects against uniform or variegated backgrounds and compare discrimination performance for typical illuminations from the daylight chromaticity locus (approximately blue-yellow) and atypical spectra from an orthogonal locus (approximately red-green, at correlated colour temperature 6700 K), all produced in real time by a 10-channel LED illuminator. We find that discrimination of illumination changes is poorer along the daylight locus than the atypical locus, and is poorest particularly for bluer illumination changes, demonstrating conversely that surface colour constancy is best for blue daylight illuminations. Illumination discrimination is also enhanced, and therefore colour constancy diminished, for uniform backgrounds, irrespective of the object type. These results are not explained by statistical properties of the scene signal changes at the retinal level. We conclude that high-level mechanisms of colour constancy are biased for the blue daylight illuminations and variegated backgrounds to which the human visual system has typically been exposed

    Environmental control on the distribution of metabolic strategies of benthic microbial mats in Lake Fryxell, Antarctica

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    naEcological theories posit that heterogeneity in environmental conditions greatly affects community structure and function. However, the degree to which ecological theory developed using plant- and animal-dominated systems applies to microbiomes is unclear. Investigating the metabolic strategies found in microbiomes are particularly informative for testing the universality of ecological theories because microorganisms have far wider metabolic capacity than plants and animals. We used metagenomic analyses to explore the relationships between the energy and physicochemical gradients in Lake Fryxell and the metabolic capacity of its benthic microbiome. Statistical analysis of the relative abundance of metabolic marker genes and gene family diversity shows that oxygenic photosynthesis, carbon fixation, and flavin-based electron bifurcation differentiate mats growing in different environmental conditions. The pattern of gene family diversity points to the likely importance of temporal environmental heterogeneity in addition to resource gradients. Overall, we found that the environmental heterogeneity of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and oxygen concentration ([O2]) in Lake Fryxell provide the framework by which metabolic diversity and composition of the community is structured, in accordance with its phylogenetic structure. The organization of the resulting microbial ecosystems are consistent with the maximum power principle and the species sorting model.© 2020 Dillon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

    Retuning of Inferior Colliculus Neurons Following Spiral Ganglion Lesions: A Single-Neuron Model of Converging Inputs

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    Lesions of spiral ganglion cells, representing a restricted sector of the auditory nerve array, produce immediate changes in the frequency tuning of inferior colliculus (IC) neurons. There is a loss of excitation at the lesion frequencies, yet responses to adjacent frequencies remain intact and new regions of activity appear. This leads to immediate changes in tuning and in tonotopic progression. Similar effects are seen after different methods of peripheral damage and in auditory neurons in other nuclei. The mechanisms that underlie these postlesion changes are unknown, but the acute effects seen in IC strongly suggest the “unmasking” of latent inputs by the removal of inhibition. In this study, we explore computational models of single neurons with a convergence of excitatory and inhibitory inputs from a range of characteristic frequencies (CFs), which can simulate the narrow prelesion tuning of IC neurons, and account for the changes in CF tuning after a lesion. The models can reproduce the data if inputs are aligned relative to one another in a precise order along the dendrites of model IC neurons. Frequency tuning in these neurons approximates that seen physiologically. Removal of inputs representing a narrow range of frequencies leads to unmasking of previously subthreshold excitatory inputs, which causes changes in CF. Conversely, if all of the inputs converge at the same point on the cell body, receptive fields are broad and unmasking rarely results in CF changes. However, if the inhibition is tonic with no stimulus-driven component, then unmasking can still produce changes in CF

    A mechanism for the inhibition of DNA-PK-mediated DNA sensing by a virus

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    The innate immune system is critical in the response to infection by pathogens and it is activated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) binding to pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). During viral infection, the direct recognition of the viral nucleic acids, such as the genomes of DNA viruses, is very important for activation of innate immunity. Recently, DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a heterotrimeric complex consisting of the Ku70/Ku80 heterodimer and the catalytic subunit DNA-PKcs was identified as a cytoplasmic PRR for DNA that is important for the innate immune response to intracellular DNA and DNA virus infection. Here we show that vaccinia virus (VACV) has evolved to inhibit this function of DNA-PK by expression of a highly conserved protein called C16, which was known to contribute to virulence but by an unknown mechanism. Data presented show that C16 binds directly to the Ku heterodimer and thereby inhibits the innate immune response to DNA in fibroblasts, characterised by the decreased production of cytokines and chemokines. Mechanistically, C16 acts by blocking DNA-PK binding to DNA, which correlates with reduced DNA-PK-dependent DNA sensing. The C-terminal region of C16 is sufficient for binding Ku and this activity is conserved in the variola virus (VARV) orthologue of C16. In contrast, deletion of 5 amino acids in this domain is enough to knockout this function from the attenuated vaccine strain modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). In vivo a VACV mutant lacking C16 induced higher levels of cytokines and chemokines early after infection compared to control viruses, confirming the role of this virulence factor in attenuating the innate immune response. Overall this study describes the inhibition of DNA-PK-dependent DNA sensing by a poxvirus protein, adding to the evidence that DNA-PK is a critical component of innate immunity to DNA viruses

    Beyond the required LISA free-fall performance: new LISA pathfinder results down to 20  μHz

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    In the months since the publication of the first results, the noise performance of LISA Pathfinder has improved because of reduced Brownian noise due to the continued decrease in pressure around the test masses, from a better correction of noninertial effects, and from a better calibration of the electrostatic force actuation. In addition, the availability of numerous long noise measurement runs, during which no perturbation is purposely applied to the test masses, has allowed the measurement of noise with good statistics down to 20  μHz. The Letter presents the measured differential acceleration noise figure, which is at (1.74±0.05)  fm s^{-2}/sqrt[Hz] above 2 mHz and (6±1)×10  fm s^{-2}/sqrt[Hz] at 20  μHz, and discusses the physical sources for the measured noise. This performance provides an experimental benchmark demonstrating the ability to realize the low-frequency science potential of the LISA mission, recently selected by the European Space Agency

    The effectiveness of modern cardiac rehabilitation : A systematic review of recent observational studies in non-attenders versus attenders

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    BACKGROUND: The beneficial effects of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) have been challenged in recent years and there is now a need to investigate whether current CR programmes, delivered in the context of modern cardiology, still benefit patients. METHODS: A systematic review of non-randomised controlled studies was conducted. Electronic searches of Medline, Embase, CINAHL, science citation index (web of science), CIRRIE and Open Grey were undertaken. Non-randomised studies investigating the effects of CR were included when recruitment occurred from the year 2000 onwards in accordance with significant CR guidance changes from the late 1990's. Adult patients diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were included. Non-English articles were considered. Two reviewers independently screened articles according to pre-defined selection criteria as reported in the PROSPERO database (CRD42015024021). RESULTS: Out of 2,656 articles, 8 studies involving 9,836 AMI patients were included. Studies were conducted in 6 countries. CR was found to reduce the risk of all-cause and cardiac-related mortality and improve Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) significantly in at least one domain. The benefits of CR in terms of recurrent MI were inconsistent and no significant effects were found regarding re-vascularisation or re-hospitalisation following AMI. CONCLUSION: Recent observational evidence draws different conclusions to the most current reviews of trial data with respect to total mortality and re-hospitalisation, questioning the representativeness of historic data in the modern cardiological era. Future work should seek to clarify which patient and service level factors determine the likelihood of achieving improved all-cause and cardiac mortality and reduced hospital re-admissions

    Guillain-Barré syndrome: a century of progress

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    In 1916, Guillain, Barré and Strohl reported on two cases of acute flaccid paralysis with high cerebrospinal fluid protein levels and normal cell counts — novel findings that identified the disease we now know as Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS). 100 years on, we have made great progress with the clinical and pathological characterization of GBS. Early clinicopathological and animal studies indicated that GBS was an immune-mediated demyelinating disorder, and that severe GBS could result in secondary axonal injury; the current treatments of plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin, which were developed in the 1980s, are based on this premise. Subsequent work has, however, shown that primary axonal injury can be the underlying disease. The association of Campylobacter jejuni strains has led to confirmation that anti-ganglioside antibodies are pathogenic and that axonal GBS involves an antibody and complement-mediated disruption of nodes of Ranvier, neuromuscular junctions and other neuronal and glial membranes. Now, ongoing clinical trials of the complement inhibitor eculizumab are the first targeted immunotherapy in GBS

    Discrimination of conventional and organic white cabbage from a long-term field trial study using untargeted LC-MS-based metabolomics

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    The influence of organic and conventional farming practices on the content of single nutrients in plants is disputed in the scientific literature. Here, large-scale untargeted LC-MS-based metabolomics was used to compare the composition of white cabbage from organic and conventional agriculture, measuring 1,600 compounds. Cabbage was sampled in 2 years from one conventional and two organic farming systems in a rigidly controlled long-term field trial in Denmark. Using Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structures-Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA), we found that the production system leaves a significant (p = 0.013) imprint in the white cabbage metabolome that is retained between production years. We externally validated this finding by predicting the production system of samples from one year using a classification model built on samples from the other year, with a correct classification in 83% of cases. Thus, it was concluded that the investigated conventional and organic management practices have a systematic impact on the metabolome of white cabbage. This emphasizes the potential of untargeted metabolomics for authenticity testing of organic plant products
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