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Irony and Proverb Comprehension in Schizophrenia: Do Female Patients “Dislike” Ironic Remarks?
Alexander M. Rapp,Karin Langohr,Dorothee E. Mutschler,Barbara Wild
Schizophrenia Research and Treatment , 2014, DOI: 10.1155/2014/841086
Abstract: Difficulties in understanding irony and sarcasm are part of the social cognition deficits in patients with schizophrenia. A number of studies have reported higher error rates during comprehension in patients with schizophrenia. However, the relationships of these impairments to schizotypal personality traits and other language deficits, such as the comprehension of proverbs, are unclear. We investigated irony and proverb comprehension in an all-female sample of 20 schizophrenia patients and 27 matched controls. Subjects indicated if a statement was intended to be ironic, literal, or meaningless and furthermore rated the meanness and funniness of the stimuli and certainty of their decision. Patients made significantly more errors than controls did. Globally, there were no overall differences in the ratings. However, patients rated the subgroup of stimuli with answers given incorrectly as having significantly less meanness and in case of an error indicated a significantly higher certainty than controls. Across all of the study participants, performances in irony ( ) and proverb ( ) comprehension were significantly correlated with schizotypal personality traits, suggesting a continuum of nonliteral language understanding. Because irony is so frequent in everyday conversations, this makes irony an especially promising candidate for social cognition training in schizophrenia. 1. Background Defective appraisal of the intention of others and difficulties with language are hallmark features of psychopathology in schizophrenia. Social cognition deficits have been previously identified and are currently being extensively researched. The results show that deficits in social cognition are relevant to real-world functioning and outcome [1]. Training of social cognitive skills has gained increasing interest in schizophrenia therapy. In this context, the comprehension of ironic remarks by patients with schizophrenia has become a research focus both as an outcome measure and as a training goal [1–5]. This is obvious, considering that the decision on whether a remark made by others is intended to be ironic or not is slightly artificial, but is instead required routinely in everyday interaction. Everyone is familiar with irony. It is remarkably frequently used, as shown by linguistic research [6, 7]. For example, Gibbs [8] showed that 1 out of 8 conversational turns in an everyday communication among college students was ironic. In the case of linguistic irony (which alone is discussed here), an ironic expression is usually incorrect and often the opposite of what the
Isn’t it ironic? Neural Correlates of Irony Comprehension in Schizophrenia
Alexander M. Rapp, Karin Langohr, Dorothee E. Mutschler, Stefan Klingberg, Barbara Wild, Michael Erb
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074224
Abstract: Ironic remarks are frequent in everyday language and represent an important form of social cognition. Increasing evidence indicates a deficit in comprehension in schizophrenia. Several models for defective comprehension have been proposed, including possible roles of the medial prefrontal lobe, default mode network, inferior frontal gyri, mirror neurons, right cerebral hemisphere and a possible mediating role of schizotypal personality traits. We investigated the neural correlates of irony comprehension in schizophrenia by using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In a prosody-free reading paradigm, 15 female patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy female controls silently read ironic and literal text vignettes during fMRI. Each text vignette ended in either an ironic (n = 22) or literal (n = 22) statement. Ironic and literal text vignettes were matched for word frequency, length, grammatical complexity, and syntax. After fMRI, the subjects performed an off-line test to detect error rate. In this test, the subjects indicated by button press whether the target sentence has ironic, literal, or meaningless content. Schizotypal personality traits were assessed using the German version of the schizotypal personality questionnaire (SPQ). Patients with schizophrenia made significantly more errors than did the controls (correct answers, 85.3% vs. 96.3%) on a behavioural level. Patients showed attenuated blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response during irony comprehension mainly in right hemisphere temporal regions (ironic>literal contrast) and in posterior medial prefrontal and left anterior insula regions (for ironic>visual baseline, but not for literal>visual baseline). In patients with schizophrenia, the parahippocampal gyrus showed increased activation. Across all subjects, BOLD response in the medial prefrontal area was negatively correlated with the SPQ score. These results highlight the role of the posterior medial prefrontal and right temporal regions in defective irony comprehension in schizophrenia and the mediating role of schizotypal personality traits.
Explorative Teaching and Research—From Memory Work to Experience Stories  [PDF]
Karin Widerberg
Creative Education (CE) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2016.714196
Abstract: Memory work is an approach developed to help us problematize the things we take for granted and as such an invitation to methodological explorations in teaching and research. By our own stories of memories and experiences we are invited to look for variety—in our own stories as well as in relation to the stories of the others—regarding content as well as interpretations. A set of techniques is developed to make this happen, in writing as well as in analyzing. Focusing on the social aspects of a story does not only imply a possibility to connect different analytical levels (micro and macro) and verify concepts and theories. It also allows us to question or specify fixed or simplified categories and concepts by making other memories, experiences and understandings visible. As such it is an approach that stimulates creativity and knowledge production in both teaching and research, to the joy of all participants. In this article it is illustrated how the approach can be used in different settings and on different themes in both teaching and research hereby also illuminating the kinds of knowledge that can be gained. Cases and detailed accounts of how the approach can be used when teaching a one-day workshop, a three-day course but also in a two-hour lecture in a regular class on BA-level are given. Examples of the use of the approach in different research projects are also presented so as to illuminate the bridge between research and teaching and how research approaches can be made into teaching approaches. The illustrations are meant to inspire further use and development of the approach so as to fit different situations and themes in teaching and research.
Systematic Comparison of the Effects of Alpha-synuclein Mutations on Its Oligomerization and Aggregation
Diana F. Lázaro,Eva F. Rodrigues,Ramona Langohr,Hedieh Shahpasandzadeh,Thales Ribeiro,Patrícia Guerreiro,Ellen Gerhardt,Katharina Kr?hnert,Jochen Klucken,Marcos D. Pereira,Blagovesta Popova,Niels Kruse,Brit Mollenhauer,Silvio O. Rizzoli,Gerhard H. Braus,Karin M. Danzer,Tiago F. Outeiro
PLOS Genetics , 2014, DOI: doi/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004741
Abstract: Aggregation of alpha-synuclein (ASYN) in Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites is the typical pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. Furthermore, mutations in the gene encoding for ASYN are associated with familial and sporadic forms of PD, suggesting this protein plays a central role in the disease. However, the precise contribution of ASYN to neuronal dysfunction and death is unclear. There is intense debate about the nature of the toxic species of ASYN and little is known about the molecular determinants of oligomerization and aggregation of ASYN in the cell. In order to clarify the effects of different mutations on the propensity of ASYN to oligomerize and aggregate, we assembled a panel of 19 ASYN variants and compared their behaviour. We found that familial mutants linked to PD (A30P, E46K, H50Q, G51D and A53T) exhibited identical propensities to oligomerize in living cells, but had distinct abilities to form inclusions. While the A30P mutant reduced the percentage of cells with inclusions, the E46K mutant had the opposite effect. Interestingly, artificial proline mutants designed to interfere with the helical structure of the N-terminal domain, showed increased propensity to form oligomeric species rather than inclusions. Moreover, lysine substitution mutants increased oligomerization and altered the pattern of aggregation. Altogether, our data shed light into the molecular effects of ASYN mutations in a cellular context, and established a common ground for the study of genetic and pharmacological modulators of the aggregation process, opening new perspectives for therapeutic intervention in PD and other synucleinopathies.
Missing the Target?—Targeted Therapy in Small Cell Lung Cancer  [PDF]
Karin R. Purshouse
Advances in Lung Cancer (ALC) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/alc.2014.33008

Small cell lung cancer [SCLC] is a devastating form of cancer, with most patients harbouring extensive disease at diagnosis and survival of less than 5% at five years. Progress in novel therapies has been limited. This specialist review explores current targeted therapy options and potential areas of development.

Intoxica??o por Baccharidastrum triplinervium (Asteraceae) em bovinos
Langohr, Ingeborg Maria;Gava, Aldo;Barros, Claudio S.L.;
Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira , 2005, DOI: 10.1590/S0100-736X2005000400009
Abstract: an outbreak of poisoning by baccharidastrum triplinervium in cattle from paraná, brazil, is described. the disease occurred during a severe drought in early summer. the onset of clinical signs was two days after 50 cows and 8 heifers had been introduced into a pasture with high density of b. triplinervium that showed signs of having been consumed by the animals. fifteen animals (9 cows and 6 heifers) got sick. of these 15, two cows and four heifers died after a clinical course of 12-60 hours. clinical signs included depression, ruminal atony, moderate bloat, marked dehydration, mild diarrhea and anorexia. the animals were restless, laying down and getting up constantly, remaining progressively longer periods in sternal recumbency. once in that position, the animals had an extended head or the head turned to one of the sides of the body, and were groaning. additionally, the cows had an abrupt fall in milk yield. the remaining affected cattle presented milder clinical signs and were partially back to their feed on the day following the onset of the clinical signs. the milk production was back to normal values within one week. the main gross lesions observed in two necropsied cows were in the forestomachs and abomasum, consisting of edema of the ruminal wall, as well as of diffuse reddening of the mucosae of the rumen, reticulum, abomasum and of some of the omasal folds. the main histological lesions included multifocal ballooning degeneration and necrosis of the lining epithelium of the rumen, associated with neutrophilic infiltrate. the diagnosis was based on the epidemiological data and on the experimental reproduction of the disease by force-feeding 3 bovine with the aeral fresh parts (20 and 30g/kg) of b. triplinervium. chemical analysis of dried material from b. triplinervium harvested at the site of the outbreak was negative for macrocyclic trichothecenes.
Towards a Semantic Lexicon for Biological Language Processing
Karin Verspoor
Comparative and Functional Genomics , 2005, DOI: 10.1002/cfg.451
Abstract: This paper explores the use of the resources in the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) for the construction of a lexicon useful for processing texts in the field of molecular biology. A lexicon is constructed from overlapping terms in the UMLS SPECIALIST lexicon and the UMLS Metathesaurus to obtain both morphosyntactic and semantic information for terms, and the coverage of a domain corpus is assessed. Over 77% of tokens in the domain corpus are found in the constructed lexicon, validating the lexicon's coverage of the most frequent terms in the domain and indicating that the constructed lexicon is potentially an important resource for biological text processing.
Using the Response Surface Method to Optimize the Turning Process of AISI 12L14 Steel
Karin Kandananond
Advances in Mechanical Engineering , 2010, DOI: 10.1155/2010/362406
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to determine the optimal cutting conditions for surface roughness in a turning process. This process is performed in the final assembly department at a manufacturing company that supplies fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) spindle motors for hard disk drives (HDDs). The workpieces used were the sleeves of FDB motors made of ferritic stainless steel, grade AISI 12L14. The optimized settings of key machining factors, depth of cut, spindle speed, and feed rate on the surface roughness of the sleeve were determined using the response surface methodology (RSM). The results indicate that the surface roughness is minimized when the depth of cut is set to the lowest level, while the spindle speed and feed rate are set to the highest levels. Even though the results from this paper are process specific, the methodology deployed can be readily applied to different turning processes. 1. Introduction Hard disk drives (HDDs) are magnetic discs used to store data in most computer systems, and they are rotated by the spindle motors to read-write data. The standard technology for spindle motor is fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) [1]. The crucial part of the FDB is the spindle motor sleeve which contains fluid to reduce the stress between the rotating shaft and sleeve. The turning process is utilized to manufacture the FDB sleeve, and the surface roughness of sleeve is known to affect the quality of the sleeve. Since the surface quality depends on many factors including feed rate, depth of cut, and spindle speed, the surface roughness will be minimized if the relationship between turning process parameters and the surface quality is fully recognized [2]. 2. Literature Review Among the most basic operations performed by machine tools are drilling, milling, grinding, and turning or lathing. The turning process is a machining method that removes material from the surface using a rotating cutting tool that moves to a workpiece. The surface quality, which is measured in terms of surface roughness, is utilized to evaluate the performance of the turning operation. The surface roughness is known to be significantly affected by different cutting parameters, that is, the depth of cut, spindle speed, and feed rate [3]. Therefore, the surface roughness will be optimized if the appropriate cutting conditions are selected. Statistical prediction methods, such as the response surface methodology (RSM), are frequently utilized to model the surface roughness, so that the desired levels of machining parameters are achieved. There are numerous works reporting the success
Effectively Monitoring the Performance of Integrated Process Control Systems under Nonstationary Disturbances
Karin Kandananond
International Journal of Quality, Statistics, and Reliability , 2010, DOI: 10.1155/2010/180293
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to quantify the effect of autocorrelation coefficients, shift magnitude, types of control charts, types of controllers, and types of monitored signals on a control system. Statistical process control (SPC) and automatic process control (APC) were studied under non-stationary stochastic disturbances characterized by the integrated moving average model, ARIMA  (0,1,1). A process model was simulated to achieve two responses, mean squared error (MSE) and average run length (ARL). A factorial design experiment was conducted to analyze the simulated results. The results revealed that not only shift magnitude and the level of autocorrelation coefficients, but also the interaction between these two factors, affected the integrated system performance. It was also found that the most appropriate combination of SPC and APC is the utilization of the minimum mean squared error (MMSE) controller with the Shewhart moving range (MR) chart, while monitoring the control signal (X) from the controller. Therefore, integrating SPC and APC can improve process manufacturing, but the performance of the integrated system is significantly affected by process autocorrelation. Therefore, if the performance of the integrated system under non-stationary disturbances is correctly characterized, practitioners will have guidelines for achieving the highest possible performance potential when integrating SPC and APC.
Monopolizing Clinical Trial Data: Implications and Trends
Karin Timmermans
PLOS Medicine , 2007, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040002
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