392 research outputs found

    Attentional Focusing Instructions and Force Production

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    Research progress assessing the role of attentional focusing instructions on skill acquisition and performance has lead researchers to apply this approach to force production tasks. Initial converging evidence indicates that force production tasks are sensitive to verbal instruction; externally focused instructions (onto movement outcomes, or onto the object force is being exerted against) are shown to be more beneficial than internally focused instructions (focusing attention onto the movements being executed). These benefits are observed for maximal and accurate force production, as well as the maintenance of force production in prolonged tasks. A range of mechanisms are identified supporting the proposal that an external focus promotes movement efficiency in line with energy and effort conservation. Future research is required to assess how this developing body of work interacts with the broader understanding of psychological and physiological factors implicated in the effective production, maintenance, and limitation of maximal or sub-maximal forces

    Energy Efficient Engine: High-pressure compressor test hardware detailed design report

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    The objective of the NASA Energy Efficient Engine program is to identify and verify the technology required to achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption and operating cost for future commercial gas turbine engines. The design and analysis is documented of the high pressure compressor which was tested as part of the Pratt and Whitney effort under the Energy Efficient Engine program. This compressor was designed to produce a 14:1 pressure ratio in ten stages with an adiabatic efficiency of 88.2 percent in the flight propulsion system. The corresponding expected efficiency for the compressor component test rig is 86.5 percent. Other performance goals are a surge margin of 20 percent, a corrected flow rate of 35.2 kg/sec (77.5 lb/sec), and a life of 20,000 missions and 30,000 hours. Low loss, highly loaded airfoils are used to increase efficiency while reducing the parts count. Active clearance control and case trenches in abradable strips over the blade tips are included in the compressor component design to further increase the efficiency potential. The test rig incorporates variable geometry stator vanes in all stages to permit maximum flexibility in developing stage-to-stage matching. This provision precluded active clearance control on the rear case of the test rig. Both the component and rig designs meet or exceed design requirements with the exception of life goals, which will be achievable with planned advances in materials technology

    Clean Home-Delivery in Rural Southern Tanzania: Barriers, Influencers, and Facilitators

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    The study explored the childbirth-related hygiene and newborn care practices in home-deliveries in Southern\ud Tanzania and barriers to and facilitators of behaviour change. Eleven home-birth narratives and six focus group discussions were conducted with recently-delivering women; two focus group discussions were conducted with birth attendants. The use of clean cloth for delivery was reported as common in the birth narratives; however, respondents did not link its use to newborn’s health. Handwashing and wearing of gloves by birth attendants varied and were not discussed in terms of being important for newborn’s health, with few women giving reasons for this behaviour. The lack of handwashing and wearing of gloves was most commonly linked to the lack of water, gloves, and awareness. A common practice was the insertion\ud of any family member’s hands into the vagina of delivering woman to check labour progress before calling the birth attendant. The use of a new razor blade to cut the cord was near-universal; however, the cord was usually tied with a used thread due to the lack of knowledge and the low availability of clean thread. Applying something to the cord was near-universal and was considered essential for newborn’s health. Three hygiene practices were identified as needing improvement: family members inserting a hand into\ud the vagina of delivering woman before calling the birth attendant, the use of unclean thread, and putting\ud substances on the cord. Little is known about families conducting internal checks of women in labour, and more research is needed before this behaviour is targeted in interventions. The use of clean thread as cord-tie appears acceptable and can be addressed, using the same channels and methods that were used for successfully encouraging the use of new razor blade

    The Effects of Astaxanthin on Cognitive Function and Neurodegeneration in Humans: A Critical Review

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    Oxidative stress is a key contributing factor in neurodegeneration, cognitive ageing, cognitive decline, and diminished cognitive longevity. Issues stemming from oxidative stress both in relation to cognition and other areas, such as inflammation, skin health, eye health, and general recovery, have been shown to benefit greatly from antioxidant use. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant, which has been outlined to be beneficial for cognitive function both in vitro and in vivo. Given the aforementioned promising effects, research into astaxanthin with a focus on cognitive function has recently been extended to human tissue and human populations. The present critical review explores the effects of astaxanthin on cognitive function and neurodegeneration within human populations and samples with the aim of deciphering the merit and credibility of the research findings and subsequently their potential as a basis for therapeutic use. Implications, limitations, and areas for future research development are also discussed. Key findings include the positive impacts of astaxanthin in relation to improving cognitive function, facilitating neuroprotection, and slowing neurodegeneration within given contexts

    Reply to ‘Pseudoreplication and greenhouse-gas emissions from rivers'

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    Tiegs et al.1 highlight the significance and relevance of the findings of Comer-Warner et al.2 on greenhouse-gas emissions from streambed sediments but raise questions about some aspects of the experimental design. We support their call for more detailed field and laboratory-based studies on this subject. However, we believe that their concerns relate to uncertainties and limitations in the experimental design that were discussed explicitly in the original paper (and accompanying transparent peer review process—available online), or represent criticisms related to highly improbable minor anomalies that may unnecessarily dismiss experimental results as discussed below

    Psychological strategies to resist slowing down or stopping during endurance activity: An expert opinion paper

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    Within this paper, we provide an expert opinion on five evidence-based psychological strategies that could help endurance participants overcome slowing down and stopping during performance: goal setting, motivational self-talk, relaxation, distraction, and pacing. We argue that these strategies are well-suited for delivery as brief-contact, educational interventions that could be accessible to large numbers of participants who do not have access to a sport and exercise psychologist. These interventions could be delivered using websites, online videos, workshops, or magazine articles. We propose a novel use for implementation intentions (i.e. if-then planning) to develop endurance participants’ conditional knowledge of when to use specific strategies. In addition, although research evidence suggests that these psychological strategies may be efficacious for overcoming thoughts of slowing down or stopping, there are important limitations in the research evidence. In particular, there is a dearth of ecologically valid, field-based effectiveness studies. Finally, we consider situations where attempts to resist slowing down or stopping during endurance activity may not be advisable. Scenarios include when there is an increased likelihood of injury, or when environmental conditions increase the risk of life-threatening event

    Staff experiences of Providing Maternity Services in Rural Southern Tanzania -- A Focus on Equipment, Drug and Supply Issues.

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    The poor maintenance of equipment and inadequate supplies of drugs and other items contribute to the low quality of maternity services often found in rural settings in low- and middle-income countries, and raise the risk of adverse maternal outcomes through delaying care provision. We aim to describe staff experiences of providing maternal care in rural health facilities in Southern Tanzania, focusing on issues related to equipment, drugs and supplies. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted with different staff cadres from all facility levels in order to explore experiences and views of providing maternity care in the context of poorly maintained equipment, and insufficient drugs and other supplies. A facility survey quantified the availability of relevant items. The facility survey, which found many missing or broken items and frequent stock outs, corroborated staff reports of providing care in the context of missing or broken care items. Staff reported increased workloads, reduced morale, difficulties in providing optimal maternity care, and carrying out procedures that carried potential health risks to themselves as a result. Inadequately stocked and equipped facilities compromise the health system's ability to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity by affecting staff personally and professionally, which hinders the provision of timely and appropriate interventions. Improving stock control and maintaining equipment could benefit mothers and babies, not only through removing restrictions to the availability of care, but also through improving staff working conditions

    Climate change, climatic variation and extreme biological responses

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    Extreme climatic events could be major drivers of biodiversity change, but it is unclear whether extreme biological changes are (i) individualistic (species- or group-specific), (ii) commonly associated with unusual climatic events and/or (iii) important determinants of long-term population trends. Using population time series for 238 widespread species (207 Lepidoptera and 31 birds) in England since 1968, we found that population 'crashes' (outliers in terms of species' year-to-year population changes) were 46% more frequent than population 'explosions'. (i) Every year, at least three species experienced extreme changes in population size, and in 41 of the 44 years considered, some species experienced population crashes while others simultaneously experienced population explosions. This suggests that, even within the same broad taxonomic groups, species are exhibiting individualistic dynamics, most probably driven by their responses to different, short-term events associated with climatic variability. (ii) Six out of 44 years showed a significant excess of species experiencing extreme population changes (5 years for Lepidoptera, 1 for birds). These 'consensus years' were associated with climatically extreme years, consistent with a link between extreme population responses and climatic variability, although not all climatically extreme years generated excess numbers of extreme population responses. (iii) Links between extreme population changes and long-term population trends were absent in Lepidoptera and modest (but significant) in birds. We conclude that extreme biological responses are individualistic, in the sense that the extreme population changes of most species are taking place in different years, and that long-term trends of widespread species have not, to date, been dominated by these extreme changes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'
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