67 research outputs found

    The benefits and boundary conditions of drawing on episodic memory

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    Drawing, as an encoding strategy for to-be-remembered words, has previously been shown to provide robust episodic memory benefits in young adults. In this dissertation, I provide experimental evidence that drawing enhances memory in both healthy older adults and individuals with probable dementia. In Experiments 1 to 5, I showed that these populations demonstrated superior episodic memory as measured by free recall for common nouns that had been drawn rather than written during encoding. I suggest that incorporating visuo-perceptual information into the memory trace by drawing pictures enhances memory by increasing reliance on visual-sensory brain regions, which are relatively intact in normal aging and dementia. Further, I provide findings regarding the boundary conditions of the drawing effect, in Experiments 6 to 8, demonstrating that drawing is only beneficial when it is semantically related to the to-be-remembered information. Finally, in Experiments 9 to 11, I demonstrate that while drawing boosts memory for studied information, it also makes one more susceptible to having false memories for related information, than does either writing or mental imagery. These findings suggest that drawing enhances memory by promoting recollection of rich visual contextual and semantic information during retrieval, and this leads to the unintended side effect of increasing false alarm rates to related information. Overall, the findings in this dissertation refine the theoretical explanation for the drawing effect by establishing a variety of circumstances in which drawing is, and is not, beneficial for memory performance

    Interfering with episodic memory for words and pictures to uncover their representational codes

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    In this thesis, a divided attention paradigm was used to infer the representational codes used by words and pictures in long-term memory. Semantically categorized lists of words (Expt. 1) or pictures (Expt. 2, 3, 4, and 5) were studied or retrieved while simultaneously making size judgments to another set of distractor words (Expt. 1 and 2) or pictures (Expt. 3, 4, and 5) presented concurrently. We manipulated (within-subjects) the semantic relatedness and visual similarity (Expt. 4 and 5) of distractor to target item. Recognition accuracy for words was poorer when distractors were semantically related to target items. Recognition accuracy for pictures was equivalent with semantically related and unrelated distractors, but poorer when picture distractors were both semantically related and visually similar to the target item. These findings suggest that long-term episodic memory for words and pictures both require access to semantically-based representations, but that picture memory also requires access to visuo-spatial representations for optimal performance

    Foraging enrichment alleviates oral repetitive behaviors in captive red-tailed black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii)

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    The relationship between inadequate foraging opportunities and the expression of oral repetitive behaviors has been well documented in many production animal species. However, this relationship has been less‚Äźwell examined in zoo‚Äźhoused animals, particularly avian species. The expression of oral repetitive behavior may embody a frustrated foraging response, and may therefore be alleviated with the provision of foraging enrichment. In this study, we examined the effect of different foraging‚Äźbased enrichment items on a group of captive red‚Äźtailed black cockatoos who were previously observed performing oral repetitive behavior. A group of six cockatoos were presented with five foraging enrichment conditions (no enrichment (control), sliced cucumber, fresh grass, baffle cages, and millet discs). Baseline activity budgets were established over a 10‚Äźday preintervention period and interventions were then presented systematically over a 25‚Äźday experimental period. This study demonstrated that the provision of foraging interventions effectively increased the median percentage of time spent foraging compared to control conditions (range, 5.0‚Äď31.7% across interventions vs. 5.0% for control), with two of the interventions; grass and millet discs, significantly decreasing the expression of oral repetitive behaviors (control‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ16.6 vs. 8.3% for both grass and millet discs). Finally, a rapid‚Äźscoring method utilized by zookeepers during the study proved to be a useful proxy for the amount of time the cockatoos spent interacting with the foraging interventions and overall time spent foraging

    Use of Reversible Contraceptive Methods Among U.S. Women with Physical or Sensory Disabilities

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    Peer Reviewedhttps://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/138241/1/psrh12031.pdfhttps://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/138241/2/psrh12031_am.pd

    The mental health experiences and needs of methamphetamine users in Cape Town: A mixed-methods study

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    Background. South Africa (SA) has a burgeoning problem of methamphetamine use, particularly in the Western Cape Province. Although methamphetamine has been associated with elevated psychological distress, there has been little examination of the mental health needs of out-of-treatment methamphetamine users in SA.Objective. To describe the mental health experiences and needs of out-of-treatment methamphetamine users in Cape Town. Methods. Active methamphetamine users were recruited using respondent-driven sampling techniques. Eligible participants (N=360) completed a computer-assisted assessment and clinical interview, where they provided data on mental health symptoms and treatment- seeking behaviour. A subset of 30 participants completed qualitative in-depth interviews in which they provided narrative accounts of their mental health experiences and needs. Analysis of the mixed-methods data was conducted using a concurrent triangulation strategy whereby both methods contributed equally to the analysis and were used for cross-validation. Results. About half of the participants met screening criteria for depression and traumatic stress, and there were some indications of paranoia. Using substances to cope with psychological distress was common, with participants talking about using methamphetamine to numb their feelings or forget stressful memories. One-third of women and 13% of men had previously tried to commit suicide. Despite the huge mental health burden in this population, very few had ever received mental health treatment. Conclusion. The data indicate a need for integrated care that addresses both substance use and psychiatric needs in this population. Mental health and drug treatment services targeting methamphetamine users should include a concerted focus on suicide prevention.
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