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Sexuality and Gender Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Control Study  [PDF]
Susanne Bejerot, Jonna M. Eriksson
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087961
Abstract: The ‘extreme male brain theory of autism’ describes an extreme male pattern of cognitive traits defined as strong systemising abilities paired with empathising weaknesses in autism spectrum disorder. However, beyond these cognitive traits, clinical observations have suggested an ambiguous gender-typed pattern regarding several sexually dimorphic traits. The aim of the present study was to investigate if patterns of non-cognitive sexually dimorphic traits differed between the autism spectrum disorder and control groups. Fifty adults with autism spectrum disorder and intelligence within the normal range, and 53 neurotypical controls responded to questions on gender role, self-perceived gender typicality and gender identity, as well as sexuality. Measures used were a Swedish modification of the Bem Sex Role Inventory and questions on sexuality and gender designed for the purpose of this study. Our results showed that one common gender role emerged in the autism spectrum disorder group. Masculinity (e.g. assertiveness, leadership and competitiveness) was weaker in the autism spectrum disorder group than in the controls, across men and women. Self-perceived gender typicality did not differ between the groups but tomboyism and bisexuality were overrepresented amongst women with autism spectrum disorder. Lower libido was reported amongst both male and female participants with autism spectrum disorder compared with controls. We conclude that the extreme male patterns of cognitive functions in the autistic brain do not seem to extend to gender role and sexuality. A gender-atypical pattern for these types of characteristics is suggested in autism spectrum disorder.
Individual Differences in the Discrimination of Novel Speech Sounds: Effects of Sex, Temporal Processing, Musical and Cognitive Abilities  [PDF]
Vera Kempe, John C. Thoresen, Neil W. Kirk, Felix Schaeffler, Patricia J. Brooks
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048623
Abstract: This study examined whether rapid temporal auditory processing, verbal working memory capacity, non-verbal intelligence, executive functioning, musical ability and prior foreign language experience predicted how well native English speakers (N = 120) discriminated Norwegian tonal and vowel contrasts as well as a non-speech analogue of the tonal contrast and a native vowel contrast presented over noise. Results confirmed a male advantage for temporal and tonal processing, and also revealed that temporal processing was associated with both non-verbal intelligence and speech processing. In contrast, effects of musical ability on non-native speech-sound processing and of inhibitory control on vowel discrimination were not mediated by temporal processing. These results suggest that individual differences in non-native speech-sound processing are to some extent determined by temporal auditory processing ability, in which males perform better, but are also determined by a host of other abilities that are deployed flexibly depending on the characteristics of the target sounds.
Preliminary investigation of plasma levels of sex hormones and human growth factor(s), and P300 latency as correlates to cognitive decline as a function of gender
Eric R Braverman, Thomas JH Chen, Amanda LC Chen, Mallory M Kerner, Howard Tung, Roger L Waite, John Schoolfield, Kenneth Blum
BMC Research Notes , 2009, DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-2-126
Abstract: In this large clinically based preliminary study several sex-stratified associations between hormone levels and cognition were observed, including (1) for males aged 30 to 49, both IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 significantly associated negatively with prolonged P300 latency; (2) for males aged 30 to 49, the spearman correlation between prolonged P300 latency and low free testosterone was significant; (3) for males aged 60 to 69, there was a significant negative correlation between P300 latency and DHEA levels; (4) for females aged 50 to 59 IGFBP-3 significantly associated negatively with prolonged P300 latency; (5) for females at all age periods, estrogen and progesterone were uncorrelated with P300 latency; and (6) for females aged 40 to 69, there was significant negative correlation between DHEA levels and P300 latency. Moreover there were no statistically significant correlations between any hormone and Wechsler Memory Scale-III (WMS-111). However, in females, there was a significant positive correlation between estrogen levels and the number of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) complaints.Given certain caveats including confounding factors involving psychiatric and other chronic diseases as well as medications, the results may still have important value. If these results could be confirmed in a more rigorously controlled investigation, it may have important value in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cognitive impairments and decline.A review of the literature reveals that sex hormones have often been associated with changes in behavioral and mental abilities. As noted by Craig and Murphy, estrogen may modulate brain function, and acute loss of ovarian hormones increases neuronal membrane breakdown. Additionally, suppression of ovarian function may reduce activation of brain regions that are critical for memory [1]. Other research has shown that estrogen use may improve mood amongst women with postnatal or perimenstrual depression; however, it may contribute to incre
Perfil das habilidades cognitivas no envelhecimento normal Profile of cognitive abilities in normal aging  [cached]
Valéria Lopes de Souza,Mirian Fernanda Borges,Cássia Maria da Silva Vitória,Ana Lúcia de Magalh?es Leal Chiappetta
Revista CEFAC , 2010,
Abstract: OBJETIVO: analisar as fun es cognitivas em idosos no envelhecimento normal e verificar se variáveis como sexo, idade e escolaridade interferem no perfil dessas habilidades. MéTODOS: foi realizado um estudo prospectivo, observacional transversal, com uma amostra constituída por 50 idosos institucionalizados, sem comprometimento neurológico e queixa de memória, com idade variando de 65 a 89 anos que possuíam grau de escolaridade variando de 0 a 15 anos. O teste utilizado neste estudo foi o Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD). RESULTADOS: o sexo feminino obteve diferen a significante nos subtestes de Memória, Evoca o e Reconhecimento. A faixa etária de 65 - 75 anos obteve diferen a significante no subteste de Evoca o. A faixa de escolaridade de 8 - 15 anos obteve diferen a significante nos subtestes de Boston e no de Fluência. CONCLUS O: as mulheres tiveram um melhor desempenho nos subtestes que envolviam memória. Os idosos considerados jovens foram melhores na prova de memória relacionada à evoca o. Os indivíduos que tiveram um maior grau de instru o obtiveram um melhor desempenho nas habilidades que envolviam linguagem. PURPOSE: to analyze the cognitive functions in elderly during normal aging and check if variables such as sex, age and education interfere in the profile of those abilities. METHODS: a prospective, traverse and observational study was accomplished with a sample constituted by 50 institutionalized elderly without neurological compromising and memory-related complaint, with age varying from 65 to 89 years and having an education grade varying from 0 to 15 years. The test used in this study was the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD). RESULTS: the feminine gender obtained significant difference in the Memory, Recall and Recognition tests. The age group: 65 - 75 years, obtained significant difference in the Recall tests. The range of education from 8 to 15 years obtained significant difference in the Boston tests and in the Fluency test. CONCLUSION: women had a better performance in the tests that involved memory. The elderly considered youths were better in the proof of memory related to recall. The individuals that had a better instruction grade obtained a better performance in the abilities that involved language.
Development of cognitive abilities as educational goal  [PDF]
Milanovi?-Nahod Slobodanka S.,?aranovi?-Bo?anovi? Nade?da
Zbornik Instituta za Pedago?ka Istra?ivanja , 2004, DOI: 10.2298/zipi0436066m
Abstract: The present paper sets out to consider cognitive abilities development depending on learning and educational goals. Three standpoints and their effects on the quality of cognition are opposed: determination of tasks and goals beforehand, non-determination of tasks and goals beforehand, and alternative models where general and specific goals are planned specification being left to curriculum executors. Thereafter, consideration is given to the learning theories where it is insisted either upon learner’s individual activities or upon planning of learning context which contains interrelations between teachers, learners and contents. Emphasis is placed on a discrepancy between theoretical ideas providing good reasons for independently constructed knowledge evaluation, on the one hand, and school practice that commonly does not attribute great importance to such knowledge on the other hand. How the development of cognitive abilities will proceed in teaching depends largely on teachers themselves - their understanding of tasks and goals, qualifications they possess for school subject they teach manner of executing instruction, and familiarity with student personality needs. We can accept the standpoint that we need the theory focusing straight on education, but must be broad enough to embrace both individual and contextual perspective as well as activities of both teachers and students.
Speaker Sex Influences Processing of Grammatical Gender  [PDF]
Michael S. Vitevitch, Joan Sereno, Allard Jongman, Rutherford Goldstein
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079701
Abstract: Spoken words carry linguistic and indexical information to listeners. Abstractionist models of spoken word recognition suggest that indexical information is stripped away in a process called normalization to allow processing of the linguistic message to proceed. In contrast, exemplar models of the lexicon suggest that indexical information is retained in memory, and influences the process of spoken word recognition. In the present study native Spanish listeners heard Spanish words that varied in grammatical gender (masculine, ending in -o, or feminine, ending in -a) produced by either a male or a female speaker. When asked to indicate the grammatical gender of the words, listeners were faster and more accurate when the sex of the speaker “matched” the grammatical gender than when the sex of the speaker and the grammatical gender “mismatched.” No such interference was observed when listeners heard the same stimuli, but identified whether the speaker was male or female. This finding suggests that indexical information, in this case the sex of the speaker, influences not just processes associated with word recognition, but also higher-level processes associated with grammatical processing. This result also raises questions regarding the widespread assumption about the cognitive independence and automatic nature of grammatical processes.
Editorial: Sex and Gender in Jung's The Red Book  [cached]
Joseph Gelfer
Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality , 2011,
Abstract: Editorial: Sex and Gender in Jung's The Red Book
Cognitive abilities and superior decision making under risk  [PDF]
Edward T. Cokely,Colleen M. Kelley
Judgment and Decision Making , 2009,
Abstract: Individual differences in cognitive abilities and skills can predict normatively superior and logically consistent judgments and decisions. The current experiment investigates the processes that mediate individual differences in risky choices. We assessed working memory span, numeracy, and cognitive impulsivity and conducted a protocol analysis to trace variations in conscious deliberative processes. People higher in cognitive abilities made more choices consistent with expected values; however, expected-value choices rarely resulted from expected-value calculations. Instead, the cognitive ability and choice relationship was mediated by the number of simple considerations made during decision making --- e.g., transforming probabilities and considering the relative size of gains. Results imply that, even in simple lotteries, superior risky decisions associated with cognitive abilities and controlled cognition can reflect metacognitive dynamics and elaborative heuristic search processes, rather than normative calculations. Modes of cognitive control (e.g., dual process dynamics) and implications for process models of risky decision-making (e.g., priority heuristic) are discussed.
Development of the Nurses' Observation Scale for Cognitive Abilities (NOSCA)  [PDF]
Anke Persoon,Liesbeth Joosten-Weyn Banningh,Wim van de Vrie,Marcel G. M. Olde Rikkert,Theo van Achterberg
ISRN Nursing , 2011, DOI: 10.5402/2011/895082
Abstract: Background. To assess a patient's cognitive functioning is an important issue because nurses tailor their nursing interventions to the patient's cognitive abilities. Although some observation scales exist concerning one or more cognitive domains, so far, no scale has been available which assesses cognitive functioning in a comprehensive way. Objectives. To develop an observation scale with an accepted level of content validity and which assesses elderly patients' cognitive functioning in a comprehensive way. Methods. Delphi technique, a multidisciplinary panel developed the scale by consensus through four Delphi rounds (>70% agreement). The International Classification of Functioning/ICF was used as theoretical framework. Results. After the first two Delphi rounds, the panel reached consensus about 8 cognitive domains and 17 sub domains. After two other rounds, 39 items were selected, divided over 8 domains and 17 sub domains. Discussion. The Nurses' Observation Scale Cognitive Abilities (NOSCA) was successfully designed. The content validity of the scale is high because the scale sufficiently represents the concept of cognitive functioning: the experts reached a consensus of 70% or higher on all domains and items included; and no domains or items were lacking. As a next step, the psychometric qualities of the NOSCA will have to be tested. 1. Background The vulnerability of elderly hospital patients is characterised by simultaneously occurring somatic, psychological, and social problems, which may result in problems in cognitive functioning, mood, behaviour, activities of daily life, and, consequently, in declining quality of life. Determination of an individual’s specific cognitive status is important for two reasons. First, the choices of nursing interventions are substantially influenced by the patient’s cognitive abilities. The patient’s cognitive abilities determine the provision of nursing care to a large extent as they influence communication, the support to be given in daily life activities, the recognition and treatment of other nursing problems (e.g., pain, behavioural problems), and discharge policy [1–3]. The nurse’s approach to individual patients is also largely influenced by the type of cognitive problem. In case of memory problems, for example, information is repeated or written down; in case of problems in sustaining attention, a quiet environment is offered; and in case of executive problems, information is kept simple. Second, facilitation of medical diagnosis is another reason for determining cognitive status. Neuropsychiatric
Environmental Change Enhances Cognitive Abilities in Fish  [PDF]
Alexander Kotrschal,Barbara Taborsky
PLOS Biology , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000351
Abstract: Flexible or innovative behavior is advantageous, especially when animals are exposed to frequent and unpredictable environmental perturbations. Improved cognitive abilities can help animals to respond quickly and adequately to environmental dynamics, and therefore changing environments may select for higher cognitive abilities. Increased cognitive abilities can be attained, for instance, if environmental change during ontogeny triggers plastic adaptive responses improving the learning capacity of exposed individuals. We tested the learning abilities of fishes in response to experimental variation of environmental quality during ontogeny. Individuals of the cichlid fish Simochromis pleurospilus that experienced a change in food ration early in life outperformed fish kept on constant rations in a learning task later in life—irrespective of the direction of the implemented change and the mean rations received. This difference in learning abilities between individuals remained constant between juvenile and adult stages of the same fish tested 1 y apart. Neither environmental enrichment nor training through repeated neural stimulation can explain our findings, as the sensory environment was kept constant and resource availability was changed only once. Instead, our results indicate a pathway by which a single change in resource availability early in life permanently enhances the learning abilities of animals. Early perturbations of environmental quality may signal the developing individual that it lives in a changing world, requiring increased cognitive abilities to construct adequate behavioral responses.
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