163 research outputs found

    Evolving empowerment in an online community collection memories of Amsterdam East

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    In this article we study the evolvement of empowering and dis-empowering aspects of a local memory website, initiated by the Amsterdam Museum and currently active for more than a decade. The results partly fill a gap in the available literature about this field, because the relation between collective empowerment and online behaviour in these communities has been underexposed. Departing from a narrative perspective on memories as resources for empowerment, we show how the online dynamics around these memories exhibit collective processes of identity formation, social learning and networking. However, certain patterns in the online dynamics also uncover that, although the online activity is increasing, the diversity in the content and the number of participants are decreasing. Describing the organizational development of the local memory community, we argue that the growth into a self-organizing community is the cause of increasing activity and decreasing participation. This implies that the online community has become a small, empowered group, which at the same time has developed dis-empowering characteristics, i.e. limitations to include ‘other’ locals, neighbourhoods and topics. We illustrate how the current self-organization, unintentionally, fuels the decreasing diversity in content by a natural selection process of a rather homogeneous group of participants. In addition, the conviction of what constitutes a successful online community is discussed for emphasizing individual empowerment and attracting empowered locals instead of vulnerable ones

    Collective Empowerment through Local Memory Websites : balancing between group interest and common good

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    The research in this dissertation explores the social significance of local memory websites. Local memory websites offer local residents a platform where they collect and share memories about particular places or experiences in their neighbourhoods and districts. Following a systematic review and a broad field study, a narrative approach is developed to study collective levels of empowerment within the ‘Memory of East’ and the ‘Memory of West’, both in Amsterdam. Two empirical questions steer a double case study: 1) ‘How does the organizational development influence the online dynamics?’ and 2) ‘What collective empowerment do the online dynamics express?’ With its stronger social capital, the Memory of East is more likely to resist official memory intuitions, commercial popular culture and local politics than the Memory of West. On the other hand, with its more inclusive character, the Memory of West is more representative for the broad cultural backgrounds of its inhabitants than the Memory of East. These findings are shown to be related to five organizational continuums on which both websites are plotted to indicate their crucial organizational differences. Apart from a claim about the theoretical value of this model, it is illustrated how it functions as a discursive tool for the core groups behind both websites

    Genetic Determinants of Financial Risk Taking

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    Individuals vary in their willingness to take financial risks. Here we show that variants of two genes that regulate dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission and have been previously linked to emotional behavior, anxiety and addiction (5-HTTLPR and DRD4) are significant determinants of risk taking in investment decisions. We find that the 5-HTTLPR s/s allele carriers take 28% less risk than those carrying the s/l or l/l alleles of the gene. DRD4 7-repeat allele carriers take 25% more risk than individuals without the 7-repeat allele. These findings contribute to the emerging literature on the genetic determinants of economic behavior

    Contribution of Cytochrome P450 and ABCB1 Genetic Variability on Methadone Pharmacokinetics, Dose Requirements, and Response

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    Although the efficacy of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) in opioid dependence disorder has been well established, the influence of methadone pharmacokinetics in dose requirement and clinical outcome remains controversial. The aim of this study is to analyze methadone dosage in responder and nonresponder patients considering pharmacogenetic and pharmacokinetic factors that may contribute to dosage adequacy. Opioid dependence patients (meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, [4th Edition] criteria) from a MMT community program were recruited. Patients were clinically assessed and blood samples were obtained to determine plasma concentrations of (R,S)-, (R) and (S)- methadone and to study allelic variants of genes encoding CYP3A5, CYP2D6, CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and P-glycoprotein. Responders and nonresponders were defined by illicit opioid consumption detected in random urinalysis. The final sample consisted in 105 opioid dependent patients of Caucasian origin. Responder patients received higher doses of methadone and have been included into treatment for a longer period. No differences were found in terms of genotype frequencies between groups. Only CYP2D6 metabolizing phenotype differences were found in outcome status, methadone dose requirements, and plasma concentrations, being higher in the ultrarapid metabolizers. No other differences were found between phenotype and responder status, methadone dose requirements, neither in methadone plasma concentrations. Pharmacokinetic factors could explain some but not all differences in MMT outcome and methadone dose requirements

    Genetics of self-reported risk-taking behaviour, trans-ethnic consistency and relevance to brain gene expression

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    Risk-taking behaviour is an important component of several psychiatric disorders, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Previously, two genetic loci have been associated with self-reported risk taking and significant genetic overlap with psychiatric disorders was identified within a subsample of UK Biobank. Using the white British participants of the full UK Biobank cohort (n = 83,677 risk takers versus 244,662 controls) for our primary analysis, we conducted a genome-wide association study of self-reported risk-taking behaviour. In secondary analyses, we assessed sex-specific effects, trans-ethnic heterogeneity and genetic overlap with psychiatric traits. We also investigated the impact of risk-taking-associated SNPs on both gene expression and structural brain imaging. We identified 10 independent loci for risk-taking behaviour, of which eight were novel and two replicated previous findings. In addition, we found two further sex-specific risk-taking loci. There were strong positive genetic correlations between risk-taking and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Index genetic variants demonstrated effects generally consistent with the discovery analysis in individuals of non-British White, South Asian, African-Caribbean or mixed ethnicity. Polygenic risk scores comprising alleles associated with increased risk taking were associated with lower white matter integrity. Genotype-specific expression pattern analyses highlighted DPYSL5, CGREF1 and C15orf59 as plausible candidate genes. Overall, our findings substantially advance our understanding of the biology of risk-taking behaviour, including the possibility of sex-specific contributions, and reveal consistency across ethnicities. We further highlight several putative novel candidate genes, which may mediate these genetic effects

    Transancestral GWAS of alcohol dependence reveals common genetic underpinnings with psychiatric disorders

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    Liability to alcohol dependence (AD) is heritable, but little is known about its complex polygenic architecture or its genetic relationship with other disorders. To discover loci associated with AD and characterize the relationship between AD and other psychiatric and behavioral outcomes, we carried out the largest genome-wide association study to date of DSM-IV-diagnosed AD. Genome-wide data on 14,904 individuals with AD and 37,944 controls from 28 case-control and family-based studies were meta-analyzed, stratified by genetic ancestry (European, n = 46,568; African, n = 6,280). Independent, genome-wide significant effects of different ADH1B variants were identified in European (rs1229984; P = 9.8 x 10(-13)) and African ancestries (rs2066702; P = 2.2 x 10(-9)). Significant genetic correlations were observed with 17 phenotypes, including schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, depression, and use of cigarettes and cannabis. The genetic underpinnings of AD only partially overlap with those for alcohol consumption, underscoring the genetic distinction between pathological and nonpathological drinking behaviors.Peer reviewe
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