3,059 research outputs found

    Social Interaction in Patients'�Hospital Choice: Evidences from Italy

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    In this paper we study the influence of social interaction on patients' hospital choice and its relationship with quality delivered by hospitals, using Italian data. We explore the impact on individual choices of a set of variables such as travel distance, individual- and hospital-specific characteristics, as well as a variable capturing the effect of the neighbourhood. The richness of our data allows us to disentangle contextual effects from the influence of information sharing on patients' hospital choices. We then use this framework to assess how such interaction is related to clinical hospital quality. Results show that network effect plays an important role in hospital choices, although it is less relevant for larger hospitals. Another empirical finding is the existence of a negative relationship between the degree of interaction among individuals and the quality delivered by hospitals. The absence of a source of information on the quality of hospitals accessible to all individuals, such as guidelines or star ratings, exacerbates the importance of information gathered locally in hospital choices, which may result in a lower degree of competition among hospitals and lower quality.health care, social interaction, quality

    Distribution of antennal olfactory and non-olfactory sensilla in different species of bees

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    Several species of social bees exhibit population-level lateralization in learning odors and recalling olfactory memories. Honeybees Apis mellifera and Australian social stingless bees Trigona carbonaria and Austroplebeia australis are better able to recall short- and long-term memory through the right and left antenna respectively, whereas non-social mason bees Osmia rufa are not lateralized in this way. In honeybees, this asymmetry may be partially explained by a morphological asymmetry at the peripheral level—the right antenna has 5% more olfactory sensilla than the left antenna. Here we looked at the possible correlation between the number of the antennal sensilla and the behavioral asymmetry in the recall of olfactory memories in A. australis and O. rufa. We found no population-level asymmetry in the antennal sensilla distribution in either species examined. This suggests that the behavioral asymmetry present in the stingless bees A. australis may not depend on lateral differences in antennal receptor numbers

    Perché pensare la crisi dell’ue in termini di conflitti costituzionali

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    Gli autori espongono le ragioni per affrontare l’attuale crisi dell’Unione europea da una prospettiva che cerchi di rivitalizzare i conflitti costituzionali come componente ineliminabile del costituzionalismo democratico. Muovendo dall’analisi delle ragioni che hanno condotto alla crisi dell’Euro e a Brexit, viene invocata la necessità che l’Unione si doti di adeguati meccanismi di espressione e inquadramento di alcuni dei suoi conflitti costitutivi (quelli intorno all’economia e alla moneta, alla gestione dell’immigrazione e alle pretese di sovranità degli stati), se vuole essere all’altezza delle sue ambizioni costituzionali.The contribution seeks to explore the reasons why the current EU crisis should be investigated from a perspective focussed on the rehabilitation of constitutional conflicts. Moving from a brief survey of the factors leading to the Euro crisis and to Brexit, the necessity is invoked that EU is vested with institutional, normative and political instruments that could allow some basic conflicts (with regard to economy, migration and national sovereignties) to be expressed and channelled. In view of the authors, this should be a pre-requisite for making the EU an authentic democratic polity

    Left or right cholesterics? A matter of helix handedness and curliness

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    We have investigated the relationship between the morphology of helical particles and the features of the cholesteric (N∗^\ast ) phase that they form. Using an Onsager-like theory, applied to systems of hard helices, we show that the cholesteric handedness and pitch depend on both the pitch and the curliness of the particles. The theory leads to the definition of pseudoscalars that correlate the helical features of the phase to the chirality of the excluded volume of the constituent particles

    Individual-Level and Population-Level Lateralization: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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    Lateralization, i.e., the different functional roles played by the left and right sides of the brain, is expressed in two main ways: (1) in single individuals, regardless of a common direction (bias) in the population (aka individual-level lateralization); or (2) in single individuals and in the same direction in most of them, so that the population is biased (aka population-level lateralization). Indeed, lateralization often occurs at the population-level, with 60–90% of individuals showing the same direction (right or left) of bias, depending on species and tasks. It is usually maintained that lateralization can increase the brain’s efficiency. However, this may explain individual-level lateralization, but not population-level lateralization, for individual brain efficiency is unrelated to the direction of the asymmetry in other individuals. From a theoretical point of view, a possible explanation for population-level lateralization is that it may reflect an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) that can develop when individually asymmetrical organisms are under specific selective pressures to coordinate their behavior with that of other asymmetrical organisms. This prediction has been sometimes misunderstood as it is equated with the idea that population-level lateralization should only be present in social species. However, population-level asymmetries have been observed in aggressive and mating displays in so-called “solitary” insects, suggesting that engagement in specific inter-individual interactions rather than “sociality” per se may promote population-level lateralization. Here, we clarify that the nature of inter-individuals interaction can generate evolutionarily stable strategies of lateralization at the individual- or population-level, depending on ecological contexts, showing that individual-level and population-level lateralization should be considered as two aspects of the same continuum

    A right antenna for social behaviour in honeybees

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    Sophisticated cognitive abilities have been documented in honeybees, possibly an aspect of their complex sociality. In vertebrates brain asymmetry enhances cognition and directional biases of brain function are a putative adaptation to social behaviour. Here we show that honeybees display a strong lateral preference to use their right antenna in social interactions. Dyads of bees tested using only their right antennae (RA) contacted after shorter latency and were significantly more likely to interact positively (proboscis extension) than were dyads of bees using only their left antennae (LA). The latter were more likely to interact negatively (C-responses) even though they were from the same hive. In dyads from different hives C-responses were higher in RA than LA dyads. Hence, RA controls social behaviour appropriate to context. Therefore, in invertebrates, as well as vertebrates, lateral biases in behaviour appear to be associated with requirements of social life

    A Comprehensive Robust Adaptive Controller for Gust Load Alleviation

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    The objective of this paper is the implementation and validation of an adaptive controller for aircraft gust load alleviation. The contribution of this paper is the design of a robust controller that guarantees the reduction of the gust loads, even when the nominal conditions change. Some preliminary results are presented, considering the symmetric aileron deflection as control device. The proposed approach is validated on subsonic transport aircraft for different mass and flight conditions. Moreover, if the controller parameters are tuned for a specific gust model, even if the gust frequency changes, no parameter retuning is require

    XPS analysis of Fe2O3-TiO2-Au nanocomposites prepared by a plasma-assisted route

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    Fe2O3 nanodeposits have been grown on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrates by plasma enhanced-chemical vapor deposition (PE-CVD). Subsequently, the obtained systems have been functionalized through the sequential introduction of TiO2 and Au nanoparticles (NPs) by means of radio frequency (RF)-sputtering. The target nanocomposites have been specifically optimized in view of their ultimate functional application in solar-driven H2 generation. In the present study, our attention is focused on a detailed X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) characterization of the surface composition for a representative Fe2O3-TiO2-Au specimen. In particular, this report provides a detailed discussion of the analyzed C 1s, O 1s, Fe 2p, Ti 2p, and Au 4f regions. The obtained results point to the formation of pure Fe2O3-TiO2-Au composites, with gold present only in its metallic state and each of the constituents maintaining its chemical identity

    In-vivo two-photon imaging of the honey bee antennal lobe

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    Due to the honey bee's importance as a simple neural model, there is a great need for new functional imaging modalities. Herein we report on the use of two-photon microscopy for in-vivo functional and morphological imaging of the honey bee's olfactory system focusing on its primary centers, the antennal lobes (ALs). Our imaging platform allows for simultaneously obtaining both morphological measurements of the AL and in-vivo calcium recording of neural activities. By applying external odor stimuli to the bee's antennas, we were able to record the characteristic odor response maps. Compared to previous works where conventional fluorescence microscopy is used, our approach offers all the typical advantages of multi-photon imaging, providing substantial enhancement in both spatial and temporal resolutions while minimizing photo-damages and autofluorescence contribution with a four-fold improvement in the functional signal. Moreover, the multi-photon associated extended penetration depth allows for functional imaging within profound glomeruli.Comment: 3 pages, 3 figure
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