84 research outputs found

    Speed and stasis: femininity and symbolism in John Dos Passos\u27s 1919

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    My thesis connects the ideas of speed, movement, symbolism and feminism in Dos Passos’s work 1919, the second book of the U.S.A. trilogy. For the women in the novel―Janey Williams, Eveline Hutchins, Eleanor Stoddard, and Daughter― there is an ever-present tension in their existence as they struggle between the static roles available for women as symbolic figures outside of time and the personal mobility that allows them to participate in history. By using speed as a measure of extreme behavior, I examine the degrees to which women could move outside of their domestic sphere of inequality and the speed at which they could safely do so. The first chapter of this paper focuses on Daughter, who shows that even excessive speed and mobility can be stifling, leaving one reduced to a symbol. By noting her obvious connections to futurism, I show that she oversteps the boundaries of acceptable femininity through speed, resulting in her ultimate death and the death of her unborn child. The second chapter is devoted to Janey Williams and Eleanor Stoddard, who both lose momentum and virtually stop moving at all. They become stagnant characters who are easily reduced to symbolism. Eveline is the focus of the final chapter. Her speed of movement throughout her story is consistent as she constantly refuses to be categorized, symbolized, or idolized. She is the only female character of 1919 that lives on into The Big Money, and for this reason she seems stands apart from the others. Finally, my epilogue addresses the direction in which the world is moving for women at the end of 1919

    Detecting genes for developmental dyslexia on chromosome 6p

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    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a complex, cognitive disorder, characterised by an impairment in reading despite adequate educational, motivational and intellectual opportunities and in the absence of any sensory or neurological disability. Family and twin studies have shown that genes make a substantial contribution to individual variation in risk of DD. Genetic linkage and association studies have implicated a number of chromosomal regions that may harbour susceptibility genes for DD, including regions on chromosomes 6p and 15q. The aims of this thesis were to identify novel susceptibility gene(s) for DD on chromosome 6p and to replicate the association reported between DD and EKN1 on chromosome 15q. Eleven genes on chromosome 6p were tested for association with DD using data derived from DNA pooling assays of 168 SNPs. Nineteen associations were observed and a minimum set of 13 SNPs were chosen for individual genotyping in a case-control and family-based sample. Nine SNPs revealed association with DD (p0.20). No significant associations were observed between EKN1 and component phenotypes of DD. This study identifies KIAA0319 as a susceptibility gene for DD and suggests that EKN1 is unlikely to increase vulnerability to DD.EThOS - Electronic Theses Online ServiceGBUnited Kingdo

    Detecting genes for developmental dyslexia on chromosome 6p

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    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a complex, cognitive disorder, characterised by an impairment in reading despite adequate educational, motivational and intellectual opportunities and in the absence of any sensory or neurological disability. Family and twin studies have shown that genes make a substantial contribution to individual variation in risk of DD. Genetic linkage and association studies have implicated a number of chromosomal regions that may harbour susceptibility genes for DD, including regions on chromosomes 6p and 15q. The aims of this thesis were to identify novel susceptibility gene(s) for DD on chromosome 6p and to replicate the association reported between DD and EKN1 on chromosome 15q. Eleven genes on chromosome 6p were tested for association with DD using data derived from DNA pooling assays of 168 SNPs. Nineteen associations were observed and a minimum set of 13 SNPs were chosen for individual genotyping in a case-control and family-based sample. Nine SNPs revealed association with DD (p<0.03) located in PRL (1 SNP), MRS2L (1 SNP), KIAA0319 (4 SNPs), THEM2 (2 SNP) and 1 intergenic SNP. A haplotype comprising rs4504469/rs6935076 (KIAA0319) revealed strong evidence for association with DD (p=0.0001). This combined with the results of logistic regression analyses suggests that variation within K1AA0319 increases susceptibility to DD. Component phenotype analysis of the rs4504469/rs6935076 haplotype suggested that variation on the haplotype may influence a number of components of reading. It may also influence single word reading across the normal ability spectrum, but for other component phenotypes, variation on rs4504469/rs6935076 may influence affection status only. Association between DD and EKN1 was tested in a large family-based sample. No association was observed between SNPs previously reported to show association with DD (p>0.20). No significant associations were observed between EKN1 and component phenotypes of DD. This study identifies KIAA0319 as a susceptibility gene for DD and suggests that EKN1 is unlikely to increase vulnerability to DD.EThOS - Electronic Theses Online ServiceGBUnited Kingdo

    Exploring differences in individual and group judgements in standard setting

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    Context Standard setting is critically important to assessment decisions in medical education. Recent research has demonstrated variations between medical schools in the standards set for shared items. Despite the centrality of judgement to criterion-referenced standard setting methods, little is known about the individual or group processes that underpin them. This study aimed to explore the operation and interaction of these processes in order to illuminate potential sources of variability. Methods Using qualitative research, we purposively sampled across UK medical schools that set a low, medium or high standard on nationally shared items, collecting data by observation of graduation-level standard-setting meetings and semi-structured interviews with standard-setting judges. Data were analysed using thematic analysis based on the principles of grounded theory. Results Standard setting occurred through the complex interaction of institutional context, judges’ individual perspectives and group interactions. Schools’ procedures, panel members and atmosphere produced unique contexts. Individual judges formed varied understandings of the clinical and technical features of each question, relating these to their differing (sometimes contradictory) conceptions of minimally competent students, by balancing information and making suppositions. Conceptions of minimal competence variously comprised: limited attendance; limited knowledge; poor knowledge application; emotional responses to questions; ‘test-savviness’, or a strategic focus on safety. Judges experienced tensions trying to situate these abstract conceptions in reality, revealing uncertainty. Groups constructively revised scores through debate, sharing information and often constructing detailed clinical representations of cases. Groups frequently displayed conformity, illustrating a belief that outlying judges were likely to be incorrect. Less frequently, judges resisted change, using emphatic language, bargaining or, rarely, ‘polarisation’ to influence colleagues. Conclusions Despite careful conduct through well-established procedures, standard setting is judgementally complex and involves uncertainty. Understanding whether or how these varied processes produce the previously observed variations in outcomes may offer routes to enhance equivalence of criterion-referenced standards

    Detecting genes for developmental dyslexia on chromosome 6p.

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    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a complex, cognitive disorder, characterised by an impairment in reading despite adequate educational, motivational and intellectual opportunities and in the absence of any sensory or neurological disability. Family and twin studies have shown that genes make a substantial contribution to individual variation in risk of DD. Genetic linkage and association studies have implicated a number of chromosomal regions that may harbour susceptibility genes for DD, including regions on chromosomes 6p and 15q. The aims of this thesis were to identify novel susceptibility gene(s) for DD on chromosome 6p and to replicate the association reported between DD and EKN1 on chromosome 15q. Eleven genes on chromosome 6p were tested for association with DD using data derived from DNA pooling assays of 168 SNPs. Nineteen associations were observed and a minimum set of 13 SNPs were chosen for individual genotyping in a case-control and family-based sample. Nine SNPs revealed association with DD (p0.20). No significant associations were observed between EKN1 and component phenotypes of DD. This study identifies KIAA0319 as a susceptibility gene for DD and suggests that EKN1 is unlikely to increase vulnerability to DD

    Day Re-construction: Understanding How College Students Manage Their Time Through Self-monitoring

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    With a plethora of possibilities for new social experiences, activities, and other prospects, college students may find it challenging to balance their time. To facilitate their awareness of and reflection upon time expenditures regarding the three pillars of a balanced life: work, personal maintenance and leisure. We designed and evaluated a web app called LifeLogger. This application harnesses semi-automated, self-tracking, and visualization features to support awareness and reflection of time use. We invited 13 participants to interact with the prototype for a week, and followed up with semi-structured interviews to understand their experiences of the application. We find that LifeLogger increases participants awareness and encourages self-reflection on time use, which could facilitate participants in comprehend- ing their time expenditures. We conclude by discussing potential design strategies for time management

    Determining the influence of different linking patterns on the stability of students' score adjustments produced using Video-based Examiner Score Comparison and Adjustment (VESCA)

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    BACKGROUND: Ensuring equivalence of examiners' judgements across different groups of examiners is a priority for large scale performance assessments in clinical education, both to enhance fairness and reassure the public. This study extends insight into an innovation called Video-based Examiner Score Comparison and Adjustment (VESCA) which uses video scoring to link otherwise unlinked groups of examiners. This linkage enables comparison of the influence of different examiner-groups within a common frame of reference and provision of adjusted "fair" scores to students. Whilst this innovation promises substantial benefit to quality assurance of distributed Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs), questions remain about how the resulting score adjustments might be influenced by the specific parameters used to operationalise VESCA. Research questions, How similar are estimates of students' score adjustments when the model is run with either: fewer comparison videos per participating examiner?; reduced numbers of participating examiners? METHODS: Using secondary analysis of recent research which used VESCA to compare scoring tendencies of different examiner groups, we made numerous copies of the original data then selectively deleted video scores to reduce the number of 1/ linking videos per examiner (4 versus several permutations of 3,2,or 1 videos) or 2/examiner participation rates (all participating examiners (76%) versus several permutations of 70%, 60% or 50% participation). After analysing all resulting datasets with Many Facet Rasch Modelling (MFRM) we calculated students' score adjustments for each dataset and compared these with score adjustments in the original data using Spearman's correlations. RESULTS: Students' score adjustments derived form 3 videos per examiner correlated highly with score adjustments derived from 4 linking videos (median Rho = 0.93,IQR0.90-0.95,p < 0.001), with 2 (median Rho 0.85,IQR0.81-0.87,p < 0.001) and 1 linking videos (median Rho = 0.52(IQR0.46-0.64,p < 0.001) producing progressively smaller correlations. Score adjustments were similar for 76% participating examiners and 70% (median Rho = 0.97,IQR0.95-0.98,p < 0.001), and 60% (median Rho = 0.95,IQR0.94-0.98,p < 0.001) participation, but were lower and more variable for 50% examiner participation (median Rho = 0.78,IQR0.65-0.83, some ns). CONCLUSIONS: Whilst VESCA showed some sensitivity to the examined parameters, modest reductions in examiner participation rates or video numbers produced highly similar results. Employing VESCA in distributed or national exams could enhance quality assurance or exam fairness

    GABA-ergic Dynamics in Human Frontotemporal Networks Confirmed by Pharmaco-Magnetoencephalography.

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    To bridge the gap between preclinical cellular models of disease and in vivo imaging of human cognitive network dynamics, there is a pressing need for informative biophysical models. Here we assess dynamic causal models (DCM) of cortical network responses, as generative models of magnetoencephalographic observations during an auditory oddball roving paradigm in healthy adults. This paradigm induces robust perturbations that permeate frontotemporal networks, including an evoked 'mismatch negativity' response and transiently induced oscillations. Here, we probe GABAergic influences in the networks using double-blind placebo-controlled randomized-crossover administration of the GABA reuptake inhibitor, tiagabine (oral, 10 mg) in healthy older adults. We demonstrate the facility of conductance-based neural mass mean-field models, incorporating local synaptic connectivity, to investigate laminar-specific and GABAergic mechanisms of the auditory response. The neuronal model accurately recapitulated the observed magnetoencephalographic data. Using parametric empirical Bayes for optimal model inversion across both drug sessions, we identify the effect of tiagabine on GABAergic modulation of deep pyramidal and interneuronal cell populations. We found a transition of the main GABAergic drug effects from auditory cortex in standard trials to prefrontal cortex in deviant trials. The successful integration of pharmaco- magnetoencephalography with dynamic causal models of frontotemporal networks provides a potential platform on which to evaluate the effects of disease and pharmacological interventions.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding human brain function and developing new treatments require good models of brain function. We tested a detailed generative model of cortical microcircuits that accurately reproduced human magnetoencephalography, to quantify network dynamics and connectivity in frontotemporal cortex. This approach identified the effect of a test drug (GABA-reuptake inhibitor, tiagabine) on neuronal function (GABA-ergic dynamics), opening the way for psychopharmacological studies in health and disease with the mechanistic precision afforded by generative models of the brain
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