1,840 research outputs found

    A Spark Of Emotion: The Impact of Electrical Facial Muscle Activation on Emotional State and Affective Processing

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    Facial feedback, which involves the brain receiving information about the activation of facial muscles, has the potential to influence our emotional states and judgments. The extent to which this applies is still a matter of debate, particularly considering a failed replication of a seminal study. One factor contributing to the lack of replication in facial feedback effects may be the imprecise manipulation of facial muscle activity in terms of both degree and timing. To overcome these limitations, this thesis proposes a non-invasive method for inducing precise facial muscle contractions, called facial neuromuscular electrical stimulation (fNMES). I begin by presenting a systematic literature review that lays the groundwork for standardising the use of fNMES in psychological research, by evaluating its application in existing studies. This review highlights two issues, the lack of use of fNMES in psychology research and the lack of parameter reporting. I provide practical recommendations for researchers interested in implementing fNMES. Subsequently, I conducted an online experiment to investigate participants' willingness to participate in fNMES research. This experiment revealed that concerns over potential burns and involuntary muscle movements are significant deterrents to participation. Understanding these anxieties is critical for participant management and expectation setting. Subsequently, two laboratory studies are presented that investigated the facial FFH using fNMES. The first study showed that feelings of happiness and sadness, and changes in peripheral physiology, can be induced by stimulating corresponding facial muscles with 5‚Äďseconds of fNMES. The second experiment showed that fNMES-induced smiling alters the perception of ambiguous facial emotions, creating a bias towards happiness, and alters neural correlates of face processing, as measured with event-related potentials (ERPs). In summary, the thesis presents promising results for testing the facial feedback hypothesis with fNMES and provides practical guidelines and recommendations for researchers interested in using fNMES for psychological research

    Categories of Mystical Experience in The Voice of the Silence by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

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    The Voice of the Silence (1889), compiled by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, is widely regarded as one of her most influential works, yet it has been relatively overlooked in academia. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap by identifying, classifying, and establishing the categories of mystical experience found in this book. Additionally, it aims to compare and contrast these categories with the four marks of religious experience established by James to determine if any new categories emerge. To achieve these objectives, the applied thematic analysis (ATA) methodology was employed, utilising qualitative and quantitative approaches to identify themes in the data. The qualitative approach used word frequency counters and NVIVO analysis software to identify five primary themes: Way, Soul, Self, Light, and Heart. These themes were then thoroughly examined through a detailed analysis of the raw data, revealing instances where they were utilised. An analytical-interpretive approach was used to explore these emerging themes further and uncover potential connections and meanings between them. This study identified six categories of mystical experience: noetic quality, ineffability, passivity, transiency, indifference to sensory stimuli, and belief. These categories were compared and contrasted with James' four marks of religious experience. This analysis led to the discovery of two new categories, indifference to sensory stimuli and belief, which contribute to our understanding of religious experience within esoteric currents like the Theosophical Society and the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

    Climate Change and Critical Agrarian Studies

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    Climate change is perhaps the greatest threat to humanity today and plays out as a cruel engine of myriad forms of injustice, violence and destruction. The effects of climate change from human-made emissions of greenhouse gases are devastating and accelerating; yet are uncertain and uneven both in terms of geography and socio-economic impacts. Emerging from the dynamics of capitalism since the industrial revolution ‚ÄĒ as well as industrialisation under state-led socialism ‚ÄĒ the consequences of climate change are especially profound for the countryside and its inhabitants. The book interrogates the narratives and strategies that frame climate change and examines the institutionalised responses in agrarian settings, highlighting what exclusions and inclusions result. It explores how different people ‚ÄĒ in relation to class and other co-constituted axes of social difference such as gender, race, ethnicity, age and occupation ‚ÄĒ are affected by climate change, as well as the climate adaptation and mitigation responses being implemented in rural areas. The book in turn explores how climate change ‚Äď and the responses to it - affect processes of social differentiation, trajectories of accumulation and in turn agrarian politics. Finally, the book examines what strategies are required to confront climate change, and the underlying political-economic dynamics that cause it, reflecting on what this means for agrarian struggles across the world. The 26 chapters in this volume explore how the relationship between capitalism and climate change plays out in the rural world and, in particular, the way agrarian struggles connect with the huge challenge of climate change. Through a huge variety of case studies alongside more conceptual chapters, the book makes the often-missing connection between climate change and critical agrarian studies. The book argues that making the connection between climate and agrarian justice is crucial

    Effects of municipal smoke-free ordinances on secondhand smoke exposure in the Republic of Korea

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    ObjectiveTo reduce premature deaths due to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure among non-smokers, the Republic of Korea (ROK) adopted changes to the National Health Promotion Act, which allowed local governments to enact municipal ordinances to strengthen their authority to designate smoke-free areas and levy penalty fines. In this study, we examined national trends in SHS exposure after the introduction of these municipal ordinances at the city level in 2010.MethodsWe used interrupted time series analysis to assess whether the trends of SHS exposure in the workplace and at home, and the primary cigarette smoking rate changed following the policy adjustment in the national legislation in ROK. Population-standardized data for selected variables were retrieved from a nationally representative survey dataset and used to study the policy action‚Äôs effectiveness.ResultsFollowing the change in the legislation, SHS exposure in the workplace reversed course from an increasing (18% per year) trend prior to the introduction of these smoke-free ordinances to a decreasing (‚ąí10% per year) trend after adoption and enforcement of these laws (ő≤2‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.18, p-value‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.07; ő≤3‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ‚ąí0.10, p-value‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.02). SHS exposure at home (ő≤2‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.10, p-value‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.09; ő≤3‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ‚ąí0.03, p-value‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.14) and the primary cigarette smoking rate (ő≤2‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.03, p-value‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.10; ő≤3‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.008, p-value‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.15) showed no significant changes in the sampled period. Although analyses stratified by sex showed that the allowance of municipal ordinances resulted in reduced SHS exposure in the workplace for both males and females, they did not affect the primary cigarette smoking rate as much, especially among females.ConclusionStrengthening the role of local governments by giving them the authority to enact and enforce penalties on SHS exposure violation helped ROK to reduce SHS exposure in the workplace. However, smoking behaviors and related activities seemed to shift to less restrictive areas such as on the streets and in apartment hallways, negating some of the effects due to these ordinances. Future studies should investigate how smoke-free policies beyond public places can further reduce the SHS exposure in ROK

    A Lei da Mediação de Conflitos: estudos sobre a sua aplicação

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    Financiamento de MEDLaw - FCT UIDB/04112/2020.Os dez anos de vig√™ncia da Lei da Media√ß√£o em Portugal constitu√≠ram o mote para a compila√ß√£o nesta obra de diversos estudos emp√≠rico-dogm√°ticos sobre a sua aplica√ß√£o, analisando-se quest√Ķes prementes como a voluntariedade ou obrigatoriedade da media√ß√£o, a executoriedade do acordo de media√ß√£o e a Conven√ß√£o de Singapura, as exig√™ncias processuais e a suspens√£o dos prazos de prescri√ß√£o e caducidade com o recurso √† media√ß√£o, a organiza√ß√£o associativa dos mediadores e a import√Ęncia da sua forma√ß√£o, o funcionamento dos sistemas p√ļblicos de media√ß√£o, bem como novas √°reas de aplica√ß√£o da media√ß√£o, em especial no dom√≠nio administrativo e na recupera√ß√£o extrajudicial de empresas, e ainda a relev√Ęncia do desenvolvimento cient√≠fico sobre este meio de resolu√ß√£o de conflitos. Ao regulamentar num √ļnico diploma, pela primeira vez no nosso ordenamento jur√≠dico, a media√ß√£o p√ļblica e privada, a Lei n.¬ļ 29/2013, de 19 de abril, constituiu um marco legislativo. Dez anos volvidos, importava refletir sobre a sua aplica√ß√£o pr√°tico-jur√≠dica, norteados pelo objetivo de promover o estudo e a efetiva implementa√ß√£o da media√ß√£o de conflitos em Portugal. Esta obra constitui o output desenvolvido no √Ęmbito do projeto de investiga√ß√£o MEDLAW, com o apoio da Funda√ß√£o para a Ci√™ncia e Tecnologia, no √Ęmbito do financiamento base atribu√≠do ao polo de Leiria do Instituto Jur√≠dico Portucalense, com a ref. UIDB/04112/2020.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Luminescent Nanocrystals: Line broadening and formation mechanisms

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    Nanomaterials have become an increasingly important class of materials in the past decades due to their size-tunable optical, electronic, and magnetic properties. Nanomaterials are not only of great scientific interest, but their versatility has also resulted in a wide range of applica¬tions. This thesis focuses on two types of luminescent (light-emitting) nanomaterials, cadmium chalcogenide nanocrystals (NCs) and NaYF4 NCs doped with rare earth ions (lanthanides, e.g., erbium and ytterbium). Both the optical properties and nanocrystal growth mechanisms are investigated. Semiconductor NCs, especially CdSe nanoplatelets (NPLs), exhibit narrow emission bands in the visible part of the spectrum, a property needed for more efficient white light LEDs (w-LEDs) and vibrant displays. In these applications, the luminescent materials operate at elevated tem¬peratures, which affects the emission linewidth. Insight into this thermal broadening is important for application in w-LEDs but has so far not been investigated over a temperature range that is relevant for these applications. In this thesis, I report on the temperature-dependent spectral linewidth of cadmium chalcogenide NPLs and QDs. NaYF4 NCs doped with lanthanide ions are efficient upconversion materials that can convert two low-energy infrared photons to one high-energy visible photon. These materials can be used in deep-tissue imaging and to enhance the efficiency of solar cells. The formation mechanism of both NaYF4 NCs and CdSe NPLs is still debated. Control over the NC growth is essential to adjust the NC properties. In this thesis, I report on the mechanisms of their nucleation and growth, monitored using in situ absorption and x-ray scattering techniques

    Chatbots for Modelling, Modelling of Chatbots

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    Tesis Doctoral inédita leída en la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Departamento de Ingeniería Informática. Fecha de Lectura: 28-03-202

    Acelera√ß√£o da biodigest√£o da fra√ß√£o org√Ęnica de res√≠duos s√≥lidos urbanos (res√≠duo alimentar)

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    Orientadora: Prof¬™. Dr¬™. Michele Rigon SpierCoorientador: Prof. Dr. Andr√© Bellin MarianoTese (doutorado) - Universidade Federal do Paran√°, Setor de Tecnologia, Programa de P√≥s-Gradua√ß√£o em Engenharia de Alimentos. Defesa : Curitiba, 22/05/2023Inclui refer√™ncias: p. 149-166Resumo: O destino inadequado dos res√≠duos s√≥lidos urbanos (RSU) √© um grande problema ambiental global. Para evitar o ac√ļmulo em aterros, uma das alternativas incentivadas √© a biodigest√£o anaer√≥bica, realizada em biodigestores, na qual os res√≠duos s√£o convertidos em produtos √ļteis como o biog√°s bruto. O Brasil apresenta potencial para a produ√ß√£o de biog√°s, mais precisamente o biometano, componente do biog√°s bruto, que necessita ser purificado. Diante dos volumes di√°rios de produ√ß√£o de RSU nos maiores centros urbanos, o objetivo principal desse estudo foi desenvolver uma solu√ß√£o tecnol√≥gica para acelerar o processo de biodigest√£o anaer√≥bica convencional de fra√ß√£o org√Ęnica oriunda de res√≠duos alimentares, de modo a reduzir tempo de processo e aumentar o rendimento de biometano no biog√°s bruto. Desta forma, o trabalho foi dividido em 6 cap√≠tulos para desenvolvimento dessa pesquisa: Cap√≠tulo 1 - revis√£o da literatura; Cap√≠tulo 2 - constru√ß√£o de um sistema de biodigest√£o em frascos de 100 mL; Cap√≠tulo 3 - avalia√ß√£o do sistema de neutraliza√ß√£o da biodigest√£o; Cap√≠tulo 4 - uso de codigestor com estabilizante; Cap√≠tulo 5 - isolamento de grupos de microrganismos e uso de enzimas para a biodigest√£o; e Cap√≠tulo 6 - otimiza√ß√£o dos valores ideais de grupos de microrganismos e enzimas como inoculantes, utilizando a ferramenta estat√≠stica DCCR. Com isso, o presente estudo possibilitou desenvolver um sistema de biodigest√£o com frascos de 100 mL e demonstrar o comportamento da biodigest√£o quando s√£o adicionados de recicl√°veis, condicionados em diferentes rotas de processo (√ļmido e extrasseco) e em termos de granulometria e temperatura (mesof√≠lica e termof√≠lica). A partir dos experimentos para ajuste de pH, observou-se que o acetato de s√≥dio (CH3COONa) como agente tamponante apresentou o melhor desempenho. Por outro lado, o lodo de tratamento de esgoto contribuiu para a manuten√ß√£o do pH neutro e n√£o inibiu efetivamente a produ√ß√£o de biog√°s. A substitui√ß√£o do N2 pelo ambiente headspace n√£o afetou o processo de avalia√ß√£o do biog√°s, sendo sua adi√ß√£o opcional. O pr√©-tratamento do res√≠duo inserido no biodigestor para determina√ß√£o do tamanho de part√≠cula (1,18 mm) contribuiu na padroniza√ß√£o, por√©m, nenhum tratamento interferiu no processo de rea√ß√£o do biog√°s acumulado. A quantidade de s√≥lidos vol√°teis adicionados pode afetar a biodigest√£o, mas os testes mostraram efeitos semelhantes para as respostas do biog√°s e do biometano. Em rela√ß√£o aos isolamentos de grupos de microrganismos, a pesquisa possibilitou a identifica√ß√£o de dois grupos provenientes de res√≠duos alimentares e lodo de esta√ß√£o de tratamento de esgoto (EA e EB), que desempenharam um papel significativo na produ√ß√£o de biog√°s e biometano durante o processo de biodigest√£o. Al√©m disso, os delineamentos experimentais possibilitaram reduzir a quantidade e identificar as vari√°veis significativas e suas concentra√ß√Ķes ideais dos grupos microbianos EA = 5,25 x 109 UFC¬∑mL-1, EB = 6,90 x 109 UFC¬∑mL-1 e enzimas CA, C, L, P nas dosagens de 45 U¬∑g-1. Conclui-se que o processo foi otimizado em 10 dias comparado com o processo convencional que tem dura√ß√£o m√©dia de 45 dias, obtendo um aumento de 72% e 88% (v/v) na produ√ß√£o de biog√°s e biometano, respectivamente, para o res√≠duo alimentar, utilizando o bioacelerador.Abstract: The inadequate disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) is a significant global environmental problem. To avoid accumulation in landfills, one of the encouraged alternatives is anaerobic biodigestion, carried out in biodigesters, where waste is converted into useful products, such as raw biogas. Brazil has potential for biogas production, specifically biomethane, a component of raw biogas that requires purification. Considering the daily volumes of MSW generated in major urban centers, the main objective of this study was to develop a technological solution to accelerate the conventional anaerobic biodigestion process of the organic fraction derived from food waste, in order to reduce process time and increase biometane yield in raw biogas. Therefore, the work was divided into 6 chapters for the development of this research: Chapter 1 - literature review; Chapter 2 - construction of a 100 mL biodigestion system in flasks; Chapter 3 - evaluation of the biodigestion neutralization system; Chapter 4 - use of co-digestion with stabilizer; Chapter 5 - isolation of microbial groups and use of enzymes for biodigestion; and Chapter 6 - optimization of the ideal values of microbial groups and enzymes as inoculants, using the statistical tool DCCR. This study enabled the development of a 100 mL biodigestion system and demonstrated the behavior of biodigestion when recyclables were added, conditioned through different process routes (wet and dry), in terms of particle size and temperature (mesophilic and thermophilic). Through pH adjustment experiments, improved configurations to prevent acidification of the biodigestion process were observed. The best result was obtained when sodium acetate (CH3COONa) was used as a buffering agent. However, sewage sludge contributes to maintaining neutral pH and does not effectively inhibit biogas production. The substitution of N2 with headspace did not affect the biogas evaluation process and its addition was optional. Pre-treatment of the waste inserted in the biodigester for particle size determination (1.18 mm) contributed to standardization, but none of the treatments interfered with the accumulated biogas reaction process. The addition of volatile solids can affect biodigestion, but the tests showed similar effects on biogas and biomethane responses. Regarding the isolation of microbial groups, the research enabled the identification of two groups derived from food waste and sewage treatment plant sludge (EA and EB), which played a significant role in biogas and biometane production during the biodigestion process. Furthermore, the experimental designs made it possible to reduce the quantity and identify the optimal configuration for the process (EA = 5.25 x 109 CFU¬∑mL-1, EB = 6.90 x 109 CFU¬∑mL-1, CA = 45 U¬∑g-1, C = 45 U¬∑g-1, L = 45 U¬∑g-1, and P = 45 U¬∑g-1) that combined the microbial groups and commercial enzymes, leading to increased biogas and biomethane production. In conclusion, the process was optimized within 10 days, resulting in a 72% increase in biogas production and an 88% increase in biomethane production (v/v) for food waste, using the bioaccelerator
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