Round table on the development of an integrated strategy for sustainable development of the island of Krk

first_imgA round table on the need to develop an integrated strategy for sustainable development of the island of Krk was held on the island of Krk, organized by the Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka and the association “Eko Kvarner”.A specific reason for this gathering, “think thank”, people of various profiles from the public, private and non-governmental sector who need to think aloud about the future of their homeland, is the current development of as many as three independent tourism development strategies that are being developed on Krk: Tourism Development Strategy of the City of Krk, Tourism development strategy of the island of Krk, Tourism development strategy of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County with a special section – the island of Krk. “Council for Sustainable Development of the Island of Krk”, a volunteer, independent group of people of good will, has so far had two gatherings on the topic of urban problems of Vrbnik and controversial proposed locations for the construction of wind farms in Treskavac.Vjeran Piršić, the head of the association “Eko Kvarner” in his introduction pointed out the problem of “attack” on the west coast of the island of Krk where, among other things, plans to expand the Port of Rijeka to an area of ​​400 ha near Omišalj, then capacity of 12.000 people and the construction of a tourist resort on the stretch from Valbiska to Pinezić on an area of ​​one million square meters “In addition, there is a project for the construction of an LNG terminal near Omišalj, then the problematic “Haludovo” near Malinska and the planned construction of a tourist resort in the bay Torkul. When everything is added up, it turns out that almost 70% of the coastline of the western part of the island of Krk is reserved for various forms of building structures, mostly owned by private capital companies. If all the above were realized, there would undoubtedly be an ecological, social, traffic, water resource situation that would be unsustainable. The west coast of the island of Krk is managed by three local self-government units that independently plan development and make plans that are not harmonized. Therefore, it is necessary to critically analyze the consequences of joint (non) planning of the content of dubious values ​​for the local community at such gatherings. Finally, such gatherings should lead to the formation of the Ecological Institute on the island of Krk, following the example of best practices in the world. ” pointed out Vjeran PiršićMr. Hrvoje Katunar, a representative of the Service for Support of Research and Economic Relations at the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka, pointed out the example of Vrbnik, which means an attack by one owner on a resource that benefits the general population. “If, for example, Vrbničko polje were in the hands of one owner, each resident of Vrbnik would be deprived of an annual income of HRK 11.000,00 based on the purchase of grapes for the production of žlahtina. Also, a significant part of the population could not count on income from wine sales, activities related to wine production, tasting, trade, catering. All together it would lead to the extinction of the settlement of Vrbnik. A similar thing could happen to Šotovent if certain holders of the capital company would build megastructures to accommodate tourists and thus “spend the quota” of the receptive capacity of the area. “AndKatunar snappedThen the indigenous population could no longer count on the development of their accommodation capacities and an increase in family income, which would bring them to the brink of subsistence. Namely, it is a well-known fact that employment opportunities in large tourist resorts are very limited and are reduced to seasonal work with a paid hourly rate. In such circumstances, young people are not creditworthy and do not have the opportunity to achieve economic and social independence, secure a home and start a family. Young people from the island go abroad and cheaper wage earners from underdeveloped areas of Croatia come to work seasonally and will soon come from other countries as well. Such a situation leads to demographic erosion and the destruction of the foundations of the sustainability of the local community. The basic economic and social unit of society is the family. Without young families there is no survival of the community.Photo: TZ KrkIn addition, the local population already bears the costs of infrastructure development, which would additionally burden the mentioned megastructures and produce unsustainable peak loads in traffic, waste disposal, energy consumption, water and the like. Previous experiences with large hotel systems show that through the tender centralized procurement, the purchase of island, even Croatian products of higher value and price is completely bypassed, so with the imperative of lower entry costs, lower quality products are procured from abroad. This does not create additional value on the island and degrades the indigenous island gastronomy.Čedomir Miler, Deputy Mayor of the City of Krk, supported the need for synergistic planning, which he supported with a practical example of content planning along the Punat Bay, which is cadastrally shared by the Municipality of Punat and the City of Krk. The plans of the two local self-government units in this small and very sensitive area are completely opposed and in fact unsustainable. Previous attempts to plan joint development through the Center for the Development of the North Adriatic Islands have failed, but a new similar initiative is clearly needed. Majda Šale, director of the Tourist Board of the island of Krk, also pointed out the need to harmonize planning activities on the example of making plans for the development of tourism in the city, islands and counties that are not coordinated. In the end, all the plans come down to forming an even bigger “dormitory”, regardless of the type of accommodation, everything else is in the background.Zoran Skala, a well-known “green” activist, warned of black prognoses for the survival of humanity if the erosion of the environment is not stopped immediately. “Water, food, energy with climate change threatening major disasters are at stake. These are parameters that limit any development according to the current matrix. The Mediterranean is saturated with contents that pollute it, so it is threatened by “burning”, destruction of basic living resources due to overload. Skala proposes the organization of a three-day internal conference on the island of Krk, which should bring together all relevant stakeholders in professional and informal gatherings, a kind of “team building””Skala points outZdenko Kirinčić, a representative of the Municipality of Dobrinj and the head of the renewable energy sources program at KD Ponikve, advocates the development of a Sustainable Development Plan for the island of Krk with the exact tasks and names of the holders of certain programs. His team is already working on a “short supply” trade project for food products (P2P model). Together with the Technical Faculty in Rijeka, an Integral Study of Ecological Traffic on the Island of Krk is being prepared. Supports the idea of ​​forming multidisciplinary teams to facilitate the exchange of information on all activities by sector and to better plan pilot projects that will be feasible.Orlić Anton, a representative of the Municipality of Punat, drew attention to the exceptional air quality due to which guests come to Punat and its family accommodation outside the main tourist season. The experts of the Red Cross Maribor performed air tests and came to the conclusion that in the area of ​​the municipality of Punat, and probably most of the island of Krk, the quality is such that it could be said that “air is a cure” here. This is a tremendous advantage just for the extension of the tourist season where through certain activities in nature and staying in the fresh air the organism can be regenerated for the next few months. That is why the people of Maribor decided to build a resort for children in Punat. In marketing, this fact is completely untapped.Frane Mrakovčić, director of the utility company “Ponikve” gave an overview of the pros and cons of the division of the former single Municipality of Krk into seven local governments. Even today, some issues of common interest are not resolved integrally, although, for example, issues of water, waste, and sewerage have led to an above-average level of quality of these services through joint planning and execution. Spatial planning is still uncoordinated on the island, although it is somewhat “controlled” through the county spatial plan. Unfortunately, in the past, people from the executive branch, local committees to municipalities have emphasized the sale of private land to third parties, which has acquired the habit of quick earnings but also short-term profits and irreversible loss of resources for local community development based on entrepreneurial ventures. indigenous population. In a way, all local governments should be forced to work together in key development planning activities.Ms. Galjanić, a representative of the City of Krk and the Administrative Department for Urbanism, reminded that the basis for the adoption of all previous spatial plans are our wishes, these are the plans of wishes. Planning, on the other hand, should be done on the basis of resources, the possibility of accepting all forms of usurpation of space – the number of people, energy consumption vehicles, water and the like. Of course, the resource base should also include the local population, their property, young people ready for entrepreneurial ventures. Has anyone ever measured that social potential?Dr. sci Vedran Kirinčić, a professor at the Technical Faculty in Rijeka, a young, highly educated man, warns that the goal for today’s young generations is to obtain a diploma as soon as possible and “escape”, an economic escape from Croatia. There are a small number of people who are eager to come to live on the island under favorable conditions and start some “start up” projects, “living incubators” of new ideas. It should certainly give young people the opportunity to realize themselves at home and not have to look for such an opportunity abroad.Igor Hrast, a representative of the young generation and the City of Krk, drew attention to the fact that it is his generation that will carry out the plans that we are now bringing. That is why it is not good for these plans to be made without involving young people in their design. Today, young people want to achieve all the benefits at a fast pace, in Croatia everything is happening too slowly, so a good part of the young population of Krk is planning or has already gone to Ireland and Canada. Projects for the future should bring together young people from all over the island. It would also be good if there was one, island primary school in one place, where all the children from the island would meet and socialize. This would contribute to the later better cooperation we strive for.One of the conclusions was that everyone needs constant education about existing models of development. For years, we have adhered to only one, modified, outdated pattern according to which development is planned based on country, terrain and position. It is necessary to change the paradigm of development in which the center of importance would be the local man, the preservation of local values, cultural, social, environmental, gastronomic… These values ​​create the reason for tourist travel. The modern tourist is looking for an authentic experience, likes to explore the destination, wants to be a part of the local culture. Political leaders, directors of tourist boards, councilors of municipal councils, all those who make important decisions for the future of the island of Krk and the younger generations should also be educated.One of the new approaches to strategic planning for the development of tourism on the island could be a project to improve family accommodation to the level of small family hotels. The project “one hundred family hotels on the island of Krk” with 70 beds each, could replace the construction of a resort with 7.000 beds. Such hotels, which already exist on the island, (“Forza” in Baška, “Placa” in Krk, “Kanajt” in Punat, “Pinija”, “Villa Margaret”, Villa Rova in Malinska, “Vinotel” Toljanić in Vrbnik…) they can operate much longer than large facilities, are more economical, more flexible, incorporate domestic products and services into their product and thus create added value on the island. 100 small hotels can permanently employ 1.500 people, family members of the owners and as many more people in ancillary services. Indigenous products such as žlahtina, olive oil, Krk lamb, Krk prosciutto, sheep cheese, cottage cheese, but also Dubašljanska peach, Baška tomato can be placed through such facilities…Nedo Pinezićlast_img read more

New spectacular video studio Romulić & Stojčić from Motovun

first_imgLast spectacular time lapse video “Hvar – into the storm“Of the fantastic duo Romulić & Stojić multimedia studio, it is not enough to say that it was a hit on social networks and was broadcast by many world media, and it was viewed hundreds of thousands of times. The same video was used for the video Eurovision songs by Nina Kraljić, and has been viewed nearly 2 million times.   After the mentioned success, we did not wait long for a new impressive and fantastic video of Mario Romulić and Dražen Stojičić, this time from Motovun. Croatian photographers Mario Romulic & Dražen Stojčić have been trying for years to capture the spring fog that emerges from the Mirna Valley, and it only appears when special weather conditions set in. After many unsuccessful trips and catching the morning fog around the Motovun hill, and perseverance is always rewarded, finally came the day when the magic fog was caught through the lens of Marija and Dražen.In the production of another impressive video Romuliću and Stojčić were joined by editor Goran Markovanović and music composer and pianist Matej Meštrović. The result is a new impressive video by Romulic & Stojčić multimedia studio, called “Misty Motovun”.The only thing we can say is – relax and enjoyMisty Motovun – timelapse movie from Romulic & Stojcic on Vimeo. “Bridges and viaducts” declared the most beautiful brand in 2015.                         Romulić & Stojičić receive praise and awards for their work from all over the world, and recently won the award for the most beautiful postage stamp in 2015. Choosing the most beautiful issue of Croatian postage stamps is a tradition that the Croatian Post has maintained for 19 years. among 47 issues of 2015 postage stamps. Votes were collected from 28 countries around the world, including Algeria and Kenya, and the winner was announced on March 31, 2016 at the Post Office 10101 Zagreb. The appropriate postal block “Bridges and Viaducts” by Dean Roksandić received the most votes and was declared the most beautiful edition from 2015.Romulić & Stojičić multimedia studio Web / Vimeo / FacebookTime laps technique This is a technique called time laps, which means that for a certain period of time all night, a couple of hours, continuous photos are taken during the day, which after processing are converted into a video sequence.last_img read more

Caffeine intake associated with reduced levels of erectile dysfunction

first_imgMen who drink the equivalent caffeine level of two to three cups of coffee a day are less likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED), according to researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).The results of a study published recently in PLOS ONE found that men who consumed between 85 and 170 milligrams of caffeine a day were 42 percent less likely to report ED, while those who drank between 171 and 303 milligrams of caffeine a day were 39 percent less likely to report ED compared to those who drank zero to seven milligrams a day. This trend was also true among overweight, obese and hypertensive men.“Even though we saw a reduction in the prevalence of ED with men who were obese, overweight and hypertensive, that was not true of men with diabetes. Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for ED, so this was not surprising,” said David S. Lopez, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., lead author and assistant professor at UTHealth School of Public Health. Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img According to the journal article, the suggested biological mechanism is that caffeine triggers a series of pharmacological effects that lead to the relaxation of the penile helicine arteries and the cavernous smooth muscle that lines cavernosal spaces, thus increasing penile blood flow.In the United States, 18.4 percent of men 20 years and older have ED, suggesting that more than 18 million men are affected. Caffeine is consumed by more than 85 percent of adults, according to previous research.Data for the study came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and ED was assessed by a single question during a computer-assisted interview. Caffeine sources in the study included coffee, tea, soda and sports drinks. LinkedIn Sharelast_img read more

Neural efficiency hypothesis confirmed: In more intelligent people, the brain does more with less

first_imgShare on Twitter Pinterest Share LinkedIn Emailcenter_img Share on Facebook The brains of more intelligent people are capable of solving tasks more efficiently, which is why these people have superior cognitive faculties, or as Elsbeth Stern, Professor for Research on Learning and Instruction at ETH Zurich, puts it: “when a more and a less intelligent person are given the same task, the more intelligent person requires less cortical activation to solve the task.” Scientists refer to this as the neural efficiency hypothesis, although it ceased being a hypothesis quite some time ago and is now accepted by experts as an undisputed fact, with ample evidence to support it.While working on her doctoral thesis in Stern’s work group, Daniela Nussbaumer also found evidence of this effect for the first time in a group of people possessing above-average intelligence for tasks involving what is referred to as working memory. “We measured the electrical activity in the brains of university students, enabling us to identify differences in brain activity between people with slightly above-average and considerably above-average IQs,” explained Nussbaumer. Past studies conducted to identify the effect of neural efficiency have generally used groups of people that exhibit extreme variations in intelligence.Facial memory tested Psychologists define working intelligence as a person’s ability to associate memories with new information as well as to adapt to changing objectives by filtering out information that has become irrelevant. The frontal lobe plays a pivotal role in these processes. In order to test these abilities, the ETH researchers asked 80 student volunteers to solve tasks of varying complexity on a computer.One task, for example, was to determine whether individual letters or faces were part of a selection of letters or faces that had been shown to the subjects immediately beforehand. An especially difficult task involved identifying letters and faces shown to the subjects during past runs of the test within a time limit. While the students were completing the tests, the researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) to measure their brain activity. For the results analysis, the researchers had the subjects take a conventional IQ test and then split them into two groups: one with slightly above-average IQs and another with well above-average IQs.Neural efficiency for moderately difficult tasksThe researchers found no differences in brain activity in either group of subjects when they performed very easy or very difficult tasks. They did, however, see clear differences in the case of moderately difficult tasks. Stern attributes this to the fact that none of the subjects had any trouble whatsoever with the simple tasks and that the difficult tasks were cognitively demanding even for the highly intelligent subjects. In contrast, all subjects succeeded in solving the moderately difficult tasks, but the highly intelligent subjects required fewer resources to do so.Stern uses the analogy of a more and less efficient car: “When both cars are travelling slowly, neither car consumes very much fuel. If the efficient car travels at maximum speed, it also consumes a lot of fuel. At moderate speeds, however, the differences in fuel consumption become significant.”Intelligence is not a muscleSo is it possible to use EEG measurements to draw any direct conclusions about intelligence? Stern qualifies the findings: “If you want to learn something about intelligence, you have to perform a conventional IQ test, because these tests still provide the most reliable results,” she says. EEG and other brain activity readings are not precise enough to assess the intelligence of an individual. Still, using these methods may be an interesting way to study how different levels of intelligence are manifested in the brain.The ETH researchers’ intelligence study also suggests that it is impossible to “exercise” working memory. This has been a controversial issue among scientists in recent years because of contradictory findings in different studies. If subjects practise a certain task for a prolonged period, they improve with time. As Stern and her peers have now shown in their study, people who have practised certain tasks do not have any advantage over their unpractised counterparts when confronted with new, yet similar tasks.The study was published in the journal Intelligence.last_img read more

Optogenetic research shows which neurons flip fertility master switch

first_imgPinterest Share New Zealand scientists have achieved another milestone in their world-leading efforts to understand the neural mechanisms underlying the brain’s master control of fertility.Researchers at the University of Otago Centre for Neuroendocrinology have published the first direct evidence that it is kisspeptin* neurons working in synchrony that generate the small, episodic hormone pulses that are crucial to normal reproductive functioning in humans and other mammals.The findings are published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Email LinkedIncenter_img Share on Twitter Professor Allan Herbison, who led the study, says that episodic pulses of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to the pituitary gland have long been known to be essential to maintain fertility.“These episodic pulses–which occur roughly every hour or so–prompt the pituitary to release two key hormones (LH and FSH) into the bloodstream also in a pulsatile manner.“Many types of infertility result from disorders of pulsatile hormone release, ranging from problems at puberty through to the inability to conceive. For example, a very common cause of infertility in women, polycystic ovarian syndrome, is caused when pulses occur too fast,” Professor Herbison says.He says a key unresolved question has been what the underlying mechanism is that generates the GnRH pulses.“Is it solely the GnRH neurons generating the pulse, or other activity in the wider network of neurons governing fertility?”Studying mice, the research team sought to answer this question by using state-of-the-art optogenetic techniques to selectively activate kisspeptin neurons in a particular part of the brain’s hypothalamus.After measuring blood samples they found that activating this small population of kisspeptin neurons was remarkably potent at generating pulses of LH secretion.When the researchers activated the kisspeptin neurons in mice lacking kisspeptin receptors on their GnRH neurons, no LH pulses were generated.“These findings represent an important insight that will inform future efforts to develop new fertility treatments aimed at producing more or fewer GnRH pulses, depending on the problem,” he says.It is thought that up to one-third of all cases of infertility in women involve disorders in the area of brain circuitry that Professor Herbison and his team are studying. Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Study links dispositional mindfulness to lower obesity risk and less belly fat

first_imgShare Loucks’ study, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, looked at how 394 people in the New England Family Study (NEFS) scored on the six-point Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Participants rated their agreement with 15 prompts, such as ‘I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present’ and ‘I could be experiencing some emotion and not be conscious of it until some time later.’The researchers also measured the amount of belly and hip fat each person had using the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. They also gathered measurements of body mass index and other data on each participant’s health, lifestyle, and demographics.The research team’s analysis found that even after adjusting for a multitude of possible confounding factors (e.g., age, smoking, socioeconomic status), people with MAAS scores below four were 34 percent more likely to be obese than people with a score of six. Meanwhile, people with the lower MAAS scores had, on average, a bit more than a pound of belly fat (448 grams) than people with the high score. Both of these results were statistically significant.Because the volunteers have been NEFS participants since childhood, the researchers could track whether they were obese as children. Among the study’s findings is that people who were not obese as children but have become so as adults were significantly more likely to be low MAAS scorers.Is the connection causal?The study only measures an association, Loucks and his co-authors note. It does not prove that higher mindfulness causes weight loss. But here’s what Loucks hypothesizes is going on: Like other animals, people are evolutionarily predisposed to stock up on calories when they are available and to rest when they get the chance. In prehistoric times that was a sensible survival instinct but in a first-world context of fast food and television, it can easily lead to excessive weight gain.Mindfulness, which other studies have shown can help people overcome cravings and eat a healthier diet, Loucks said, may be the cognitive tool people need to overcome their instincts. Similarly, it may help people override an aversion to initiating exercise (research suggests that people feel great after working out but often feel ambivalent about getting started).“That’s where the mindfulness may come in,” Loucks said. “Being aware of each and every moment and how that’s related to what we do and how we feel.”Testing interventionsLoucks acknowledged that the differences inherent dispositional mindfulness seems to make, while significant, are not huge.“Awareness seems to be enough to have a small to medium effect,” Loucks said. “Then there is the question of what could we do to increase it.”Clinical trials of whether specific interventions enhance the apparent benefits of mindfulness would help determine whether it indeed has a causal role in lowering obesity risk. Prior studies of mindfulness in weight loss have yielded promising but still inconclusive results, Loucks said. A study of nearly 400 people finds that those who exhibited more ‘dispositional mindfulness’, or awareness of and attention to their current feelings and thoughts, were less likely to be obese and had less abdominal fat than people who did not exhibit as much of that awareness.Dispositional mindfulness is not the same as mindfulness meditation, in which people make a conscious, focused practice of attending to their current state and sensations. Instead, it’s more of an inherent personality trait, though it can also be taught.“This is everyday mindfulness,” said lead author Eric Loucks, assistant professor of epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health. “The vast majority of these people are not meditating.” Share on Twitter LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Pinterest Emaillast_img read more

Better safe than sorry: Babies make quick judgments about adults’ anger

first_img“Our research suggests that babies will do whatever they can to avoid being the target of anger,” said lead author Betty Repacholi, an I-LABS faculty scientist. “At this young of an age, they have already worked out a way to stay safe. It’s a smart, adaptive response.”In one of the studies, published in the March issue of Developmental Psychology, Repacholi and co-authors wanted to see how exposing babies to an unfamiliar adult’s anger toward another adult would affect the babies’ behavior in a new situation. Do the babies assume that the initial negative encounters would happen again?“Our research shows that babies are carefully paying attention to the emotional reactions of adults,” said co-author Andrew Meltzoff, co-director of I-LABS.“Babies make snap judgments as to whether an adult is anger-prone. They pigeon-hole adults more quickly than we thought,” added Meltzoff, who holds the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Chair at UW.The experiment went like this: The babies, 270 15-months-old that included a mix of boys and girls, sat on their parents’ laps across the table from a researcher called the “Experimenter.”The baby saw the Experimenter demonstrating how to play with a series of toys. In each trial, a second researcher, the “Emoter,” reacted in either a neutral way (“That’s entertaining.”) or negative way by saying “That’s aggravating!” in a stern voice when the Experimenter performed her action on the toy. The Emoter’s reaction was the same for each toy.Then the baby had a chance to play with the same toy.The researchers measured how readily the babies imitated the Experimenter’s actions. Babies who witnessed the angry outburst were less likely to play with the toy or to duplicate the adult’s actions than babies who saw a neutral reaction from the Emoter.Watch a video from an earlier study demonstrating the experiment:Next, the Experimenter showed the baby how to play with a new toy. This time, however, the previously angry Emoter now appeared to be neutral.“We wanted to see if babies would treat the anger they had seen before as a one-off event or whether they see it as being part of the person’s character,” Repacholi said.When given the chance to play with the new toy, the babies who knew the Emoter’s angry history avoided playing with the toy, compared with the babies who were in the neutral group.“It’s as if the baby doesn’t trust that the Emoter is now calm,” Repacholi said. “Once babies have detected that someone’s prone to anger, it’s hard to dismiss. They’re taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach, where they’re not going to take a risk even though the situation has apparently changed.”A second new study by Repacholi, Meltzoff and team suggests that babies are capable of coming up with appeasement gestures in situations involving anger-prone adults. The findings are published online and will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Infancy.Using a similar experimental setup, another group of babies — 72 15-month-olds, with an even number of boys and girls — first observed either the “angry” or “neutral” Emoter’s reaction to toys used by the Experimenter.Then, the twist: the Experimenter brought out new toys designed to be highly desirable to the infants, such as a toy with a small ball that lit up when rotated.Sitting on their parents’ laps, the babies got to play with the appealing toy briefly before the Emoter — who had a neutral facial expression and wasn’t showing any anger at this point — asked for a turn.What did the babies do? Those who had previously seen the Emoter be angry readily relinquished the toys. That is, 69 percent of babies in the “anger” group gave up the toys compared to 46 percent of babies in the “neutral” group.“I was so surprised to see the infants give the toys away — it was like they were appeasing or compromising with the adult,” Repacholi said. “They didn’t want to risk making the previously angry adult mad again. They didn’t act this way with the other adult who had not shown anger.”Together the studies illustrate how babies:– make quick judgments about people’s emotional qualities– can have negative emotions dominate their perceptions of a person’s character, and– tend to assume a person with a history of anger will become angry again even if the situation has changed.“Our studies show that babies are very tuned into other people’s anger,” Repacholi said. “For parents, it’s important to be mindful of how powerful that emotion is for babies.”Added Meltzoff, “The babies are ’emotion detectives.’ They watch and listen to our emotions, remember how we acted in the past, and use this to predict how we will act in the future. How long these first impressions last is an important question.” Adults often form fast opinions about each other’s personalities, especially when it comes to negative traits. If we see someone argue with another driver over a parking space, for instance, we may assume that person tends to be confrontational.Two new research studies with hundreds of 15-month-old infants demonstrate that babies form similar generalizations about others and make attempts to appease adults they consider prone to anger.The research, by scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), reveal for the first time that 15-month-old babies generalize an adult’s angry behavior even if the social context has changed. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter LinkedIncenter_img Email Share Pinterestlast_img read more

In the classroom: Narcissistic boys more likely to bully than narcissistic girls

first_imgShare Past studies have shown a positive relationship between narcissism in youth and ringleader bullying. However, most past research lacks a longitudinal component; that is, these studies did not follow the same group of participants over time.In a new study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, researchers sought to find out if longitudinal studies of this relationship would allow them to distinguish between two types of bullying: direct (physical and verbal) and indirect (gossiping). Researchers were also interested in the role that gender played in narcissism and bullying, as boys appear more likely to directly bully, while girls seem more likely to indirectly bully a peer.Researchers recruited 393 children in elementary schools in the Netherlands to participate in the study. Of these, 51% are female, and all were in the fourth grade at the beginning of the study. All participants remained in the same classroom for the duration of the study. The children self-reported their narcissism scores, which were evaluated on the Childhood Narcissism Scale (CNS). The children were then asked to nominate bullies from their classrooms, and they could not nominate themselves. Teachers also ranked the students on their resource control, meaning a student’s level of social dominance and ability to access scarce materials. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img LinkedIn Pinterest The results of this study revealed gendered differences students. Female students had no specific association with narcissism and bullying. Highly narcissistic females were not more likely to engage in either type of bullying. There was also no overlap between high narcissism and high resource control.Male students were not only more likely to bully more than females, but male students ranking high on the CNS were also likely to both directly and indirectly bully. Narcissistic male bullies also tended to be successful in terms of social dominance. One reason male narcissistic bullies more often engage in indirect bullying may be because they perceive this type of bullying as more effective. Indirect bullying requires only one participant, whereas direct bullying requires more coordination with peers. Narcissistic males also scored higher in terms of resource control. However, in-depth analysis suggests that bullying, not narcissism, yields higher than average resource control. Males who were high in bullying but low in narcissism scored higher than males low in bullying but higher in narcissism.Researchers suggested that this study can be used as an intervention strategy for bullies that specifically targets the rewards system of bullying. Bullies can only achieve dominance and prestige when their actions are reinforced by their peers. This can be challenged by developing strategies to discourage bystander behavior in the classroom.last_img read more

Estrogen patch in newly postmenopausal women may reduce Alzheimer’s risk

first_imgMenopause is defined as occurring 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period and marks the end of menstrual cycles. In the U.S., the average age of menopause is 51. A rapid decline in estrogen with menopause may be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease risk in women.The Women’s Health Initiative study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that menopausal hormone therapy started in women 65 or older increased the risk of dementia. In contrast, the multicenter Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study tested the hypothesis that healthy and younger women would respond to menopausal hormone therapy more favorably.The Mayo Clinic study used data from the Kronos study to determine the effects of menopausal hormone therapy shortly after menopause, during the critical window of rapid estrogen depletion — five to 36 months past menopause. Researchers investigated the brain amyloid deposition in 68 women ages 42 to 59 who participated in the Kronos trial during this critical window. The researchers used positron emission tomography, also known as a PET scan, to look for the brain amyloid deposits three years after the trial ended.Of the 68 women, 21 received estrogen via a skin patch, 17 received estrogen orally and 30 received a placebo. Amyloid deposition was lower in women who received the patch, compared to the placebo, and the effect was most apparent in women with the APOE e4 genotype. The oral treatment was not associated with lower amyloid deposition.The authors are seeking funding to perform amyloid PET imaging at eight more Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention study sites around the U.S.“If our results are confirmed in the larger group of women, this finding has the potential to change the concepts for preventive interventions that drive the Alzheimer’s disease field today,” Dr. Kantarci says. “It also may have a significant impact on women making the decision to use hormone therapy in the early postmenopausal years.” LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Twitter Sharecenter_img Email Share on Facebook Can estrogen preserve brain function and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease when given early in menopause? Newly postmenopausal women who received estrogen via a skin patch had reduced beta-amyloid deposits, the sticky plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, a Mayo Clinic study published this month in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found. Ultimately, these deposits harm neurons, leading to cognitive problems.In the study, women with APOE e4 — one form of the most common gene associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease — had lower levels of amyloid deposits.“This study showed, for the first time, that the brain amyloid deposition — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — is reduced in newly postmenopausal women who received 17beta-Estradiol patch form of hormone therapy,” says lead author Kejal Kantarci, M.D., a Mayo Clinic radiologist. “Women with APOE e4, who have a greater genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, particularly benefited from this therapy.”last_img read more

Unique baby names are more prevalent during times of economic hardship

first_imgA recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology has found that parents were less likely to give their babies common names in times of economic hardship, based on baby names before, during, and after the Great Recession.Individuals and culture influence each other all the time. Important parts of culture is the importance placed on the individual versus the community, as well as economic factors like unemployment rate and income inequality. This study examined the effects of economic and cultural conditions on behavior by analyzing baby names. The percentage of babies receiving common names is indicative of a more community based mentality, whereas babies with uncommon or unique names point to individualism. Analyzing names is a useful way to examine behavior, as “naming practices are behaviors embedded with cultural values.” Naming a child not only reflects social and cultural values, but also acts as the first act of transferring one’s culture onto a new generation.There are three possible models for changes in naming over time. The first model, the Communal Deprivation model, predicts that parents will name children common names during recession years, as economic hardship decreases individualism. The second model, the Threat Model, suggests that economic hardship leads to more individualized names. Terror management theory suggests that threats (possibly including economic hardship) move people to value the parts of their culture that provide meaning. Finally, the Individualism Model suggests that increasing cultural individualism and its after-effect will extend the decline in common names into and after the recession. Share on Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Email Share The current research examined “the link between economic conditions and naming behavior by examining trends before, during, and after the Great Recession and links between economic conditions and naming behaviors over a longer time period.” The study used the names from the Social Security Administration, which has the names of 350 million American babies born between 1880 and 2015. The study controlled for immigration, both legal and illegal. Researchers took into account two states, California (where housing prices dropped) and Texas (where housing prices remained relatively stable), in order to see if there was a significant impact of economic conditions on naming, or if naming was more of a cyclical trend and not connected to the state of the economy.The study found American parents were “less likely to give their children common names during the years of the Great Recession compared to the years immediately before it, including boys’ and girls’ names at all levels of popularity.” The decline of common names was similar in both California and Texas, which were affected differently by the recession. These results are supported best by the Individualism model, as economic conditions were not the primary reason for the trends in baby names.This study suggests that naming trends are an indicator of the cultural environment in the United States, specifically the focus on individualism. Some of the trend could be attributed to the perceived threat level in terms of the economy, which could lead to parents wanting their children to stand out. One limitation of the study is the Social Security Administration database, where different spellings of names are registered as different names entirely. Even then, the need to spell a name differently is also an indicator of a desire for uniqueness.last_img read more