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Behav. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Open AccessReview Creative Arts Interventions for Stress Management and Prevention—A Systematic Review
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020028
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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Abstract
Stress is one of the world’s largest health problems, leading to exhaustion, burnout, anxiety, a weak immune system, or even organ damage. In Germany, stress-induced work absenteeism costs about 20 billion Euros per year. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Central Federal
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Stress is one of the world’s largest health problems, leading to exhaustion, burnout, anxiety, a weak immune system, or even organ damage. In Germany, stress-induced work absenteeism costs about 20 billion Euros per year. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Central Federal Association of the public Health Insurance Funds in Germany ascribes particular importance to stress prevention and stress management as well as health enhancing measures. Building on current integrative and embodied stress theories, Creative Arts Therapies (CATs) or arts interventions are an innovative way to prevent stress and improve stress management. CATs encompass art, music, dance/movement, and drama therapy as their four major modalities. In order to obtain an overview of CATs and arts interventions’ efficacy in the context of stress reduction and management, we conducted a systematic review with a search in the following data bases: Academic Search Complete, ERIC, Medline, Psyndex, PsycINFO and SocINDEX. Studies were included employing the PICOS principle and rated according to their evidence level. We included 37 studies, 73% of which were randomized controlled trials. 81.1% of the included studies reported a significant reduction of stress in the participants due to interventions of one of the four arts modalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Aesthetics and Interpersonal Resonance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Understanding the Role of Negative Emotions in Adult Learning and Achievement: A Social Functional Perspective
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020027
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
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Abstract
The role of emotions in adult learning and achievement has received increasing attention in recent years. However, much of the emphasis has been on test anxiety, rather than the wider spectrum of negative emotions such as sadness, grief, boredom and anger. This paper
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The role of emotions in adult learning and achievement has received increasing attention in recent years. However, much of the emphasis has been on test anxiety, rather than the wider spectrum of negative emotions such as sadness, grief, boredom and anger. This paper reports findings of a qualitative study exploring the experience and functionality of negative emotions at university. Thirty-six academic staff and students from an Australian university were interviewed about emotional responses to a range of learning events. Data analysis was informed by a prototype approach to emotion research. Four categories of discrete negative emotions (anger, sadness, fear, boredom) were considered by teachers and students to be especially salient in learning, with self-conscious emotions (guilt, embarrassment, shame) mentioned by more students than staff. While negative emotions were frequently viewed as detrimental to motivation, performance and learning, they were also construed under some circumstances as beneficial. The findings are discussed in relation to the value of social functional approaches for a better understanding of the diverse roles of negative emotions in learning and achievement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Neuroprotective Effects of neuroEPO Using an In Vitro Model of Stroke
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020026
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 10 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein initially identified as a hormone synthesized and secreted by the kidney that regulates erythropoiesis. EPO, and a group of its derivatives, are being evaluated as possible neuroprotective agents in cerebral ischemia. The objective of this study, using an
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Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein initially identified as a hormone synthesized and secreted by the kidney that regulates erythropoiesis. EPO, and a group of its derivatives, are being evaluated as possible neuroprotective agents in cerebral ischemia. The objective of this study, using an in vitro model, was to determine how neuroEPO—which is a variant of EPO with a low sialic acid content—protects neurons from the toxic action of glutamate. Primary neuronal cultures were obtained from the forebrains of Wistar rat embryos after 17 days of gestation. Excitotoxicity was induced after nine days of in vitro culture by treatment with a medium containing 100 µM glutamate for 15 min. After this time, a new medium containing 100 ng of neuroEPO/mL was added. Morphological cell change was assessed by phase-contrast microscopy. Oxidative stress was analysed by measuring antioxidant and oxidant activity. After 24 h, the treatment with 100 ng of neuroEPO/mL showed a significant (p < 0.01) decrease in mortality, compared to cells treated with glutamate alone. neuroEPO treatment decreased mortality and tended to reproduce the morphological characteristics of the control. The oxidative stress induced by glutamate is reduced after neuroEPO treatment. These results confirm that neuroEPO has a protective effect against neuronal damage induced by excitotoxicity, improving antioxidant activity in the neuron, and protecting it from oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State of Art in Non-Clinical Models for Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Effect of Active Creation on Psychological Health: A Feasibility Study on (Therapeutic) Mechanisms
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020025
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
Creation is an important part of many interventions in creative arts therapies (art, music, dance, and drama therapy). This active part of art-making in arts therapies has not yet been closely investigated. The present study commits to this field of research using a
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Creation is an important part of many interventions in creative arts therapies (art, music, dance, and drama therapy). This active part of art-making in arts therapies has not yet been closely investigated. The present study commits to this field of research using a mixed-methods design to investigate the effects of active creation on health-related psychological outcomes. In an artistic inquiry within an experimental design, N = 44 participants engaged in active art-making for eight minutes in the presence of the researcher (first author) with a choice of artistic materials: paper and colors for drawing and writing, musical instruments, space for moving or performing. Before and after the creation, participants completed a well-being, a self-efficacy and an experience of creation scale, and in addition found their own words to express the experiences during the activity. We hypothesized that the experience of empowerment, freedom, impact, and creativity (Experience of Creation Scale) mediates the positive effect of active creation on the outcomes of self-efficacy and well-being, and evaluated this assumption with a mediation analysis. Results suggest that the effect of active creation on both self-efficacy and well-being is significantly mediated by the Experience of Creation Scale. This article focuses on the quantitative side of the investigation. During the process, qualitative and quantitative results were triangulated for a more valid evaluation and jointly contribute to the emerging theory frame of embodied aesthetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Aesthetics and Interpersonal Resonance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Synchronization, Attention and Transformation: Multidimensional Exploration of the Aesthetic Experience of Contemporary Dance Spectators
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020024
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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Abstract
The co-presence of bodies in intersubjective situations can give rise to processes of kinesthetic empathy and physiological synchronization, especially in the context of dance: the body and attention of the spectators are oriented towards the dancers. In this study, we investigate the processes
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The co-presence of bodies in intersubjective situations can give rise to processes of kinesthetic empathy and physiological synchronization, especially in the context of dance: the body and attention of the spectators are oriented towards the dancers. In this study, we investigate the processes of “body-mind” resonance between a choreography and its spectators, and more specifically the lasting impact of this resonance post-performance. We then explore the relation between the observed effects and subjective measures of attention. The study focuses on the work of the French choreographer Myriam Gourfink, who develops a unique movement, based on the slower breathing of dancers: the breathing generates an extremely slow movement without rhythmic ruptures. Phenomenological studies of her work report changes in temporal perception and changes in bodily attentional states. We made use of two cognitive tasks in order to quantify this change in temporal perception: Spontaneous Motor Tempo (SMT) and Apparent Motion effect (AM) before and after a 40-min live performance. Subjective reports were collected at the end of the performance. Physiological data were recorded before and after the performance. We performed a control experiment with a choreography of a distinctly different quality of movement. Post-Gourfink performance, we observed a significant deceleration of SMT and a decrease in its variability, while AM was reported with longer temporal intervals. Neither of these effects was observed in the control condition. Furthermore, an increase in perception of AM was correlated with a slower breathing rate after the performance. Correlations with subjective reports suggest a link between changes in cognitive and physiological dynamics and the degree of absorption of the spectators in the performance. In addition, these changes were related to specific reported attentional dispositions that we interpret as a form of attentional resonance. The ensemble of the results suggests an expansion of the “specious present” that is related to the slowing of physiological rhythms, and an attentional resonance between spectators and the choreography. The intricate relation we observed between inter-personal resonance and temporal cognition, foregrounds the notion of shared present as a neurophenomenological construct. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Aesthetics and Interpersonal Resonance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Coordinated Interpersonal Behaviour in Collective Dance Improvisation: The Aesthetics of Kinaesthetic Togetherness
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020023
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Collective dance improvisation (e.g., traditional and social dancing, contact improvisation) is a participatory, relational and embodied art form which eschews standard concepts in aesthetics. We present our ongoing research into the mechanisms underlying the lived experience of “togetherness” associated with such practices. Togetherness
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Collective dance improvisation (e.g., traditional and social dancing, contact improvisation) is a participatory, relational and embodied art form which eschews standard concepts in aesthetics. We present our ongoing research into the mechanisms underlying the lived experience of “togetherness” associated with such practices. Togetherness in collective dance improvisation is kinaesthetic (based on movement and its perception), and so can be simultaneously addressed from the perspective of the performers and the spectators, and be measured. We utilise these multiple levels of description: the first-person, phenomenological level of personal experiences, the third-person description of brain and body activity, and the level of interpersonal dynamics. Here, we describe two of our protocols: a four-person mirror game and a ‘rhythm battle’ dance improvisation score. Using an interpersonal closeness measure after the practice, we correlate subjective sense of individual/group connectedness and observed levels of in-group temporal synchronization. We propose that kinaesthetic togetherness, or interpersonal resonance, is integral to the aesthetic pleasure of the participants and spectators, and that embodied feeling of togetherness might play a role more generally in aesthetic experience in the performing arts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Aesthetics and Interpersonal Resonance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Sensitivity to Social Contingency in Adults with High-Functioning Autism during Computer-Mediated Embodied Interaction
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020022
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This makes the emerging “second-person approach” to social cognition a more promising framework for studying ASD than classical approaches focusing on mindreading capacities in detached, observer-based arrangements. According to the second-person
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This makes the emerging “second-person approach” to social cognition a more promising framework for studying ASD than classical approaches focusing on mindreading capacities in detached, observer-based arrangements. According to the second-person approach, embodied, perceptual, and embedded or interactive capabilities are also required for understanding others, and these are hypothesized to be compromised in ASD. We therefore recorded the dynamics of real-time sensorimotor interaction in pairs of control participants and participants with High-Functioning Autism (HFA), using the minimalistic human-computer interface paradigm known as “perceptual crossing” (PC). We investigated whether HFA is associated with impaired detection of social contingency, i.e., a reduced sensitivity to the other’s responsiveness to one’s own behavior. Surprisingly, our analysis reveals that, at least under the conditions of this highly simplified, computer-mediated, embodied form of social interaction, people with HFA perform equally well as controls. This finding supports the increasing use of virtual reality interfaces for helping people with ASD to better compensate for their social disabilities. Further dynamical analyses are necessary for a better understanding of the mechanisms that are leading to the somewhat surprising results here obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Aesthetics and Interpersonal Resonance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Follow-Up of Peripheral IL-1β and IL-6 and Relation with Apoptotic Death in Drug-Resistant Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Patients Submitted to Surgery
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020021
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
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Abstract
Increasing amounts of evidence support the role of inflammation in epilepsy. This study was done to evaluate serum follow-up of IL-1β and IL-6 levels, as well as their concentration in the neocortex, and the relationship of central inflammation with NF-κB and annexin V
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Increasing amounts of evidence support the role of inflammation in epilepsy. This study was done to evaluate serum follow-up of IL-1β and IL-6 levels, as well as their concentration in the neocortex, and the relationship of central inflammation with NF-κB and annexin V in drug-resistant temporal lobe epileptic (DRTLE) patients submitted to surgical treatment. Peripheral and central levels of IL-1β and IL-6were measured by ELISA in 10 DRTLE patients. The sera from patients were taken before surgery, and 12 and 24 months after surgical treatment. The neocortical expression of NF-κB was evaluated by western blotting and annexin V co-localization with synaptophysin by immunohistochemistry. The neocortical tissues from five patients who died by non-neurological causes were used as control. Decreased serum levels of IL-1 and IL-6 were observed after surgery; at this time, 70% of patients were seizure-free. No values of IL-1 and IL-6 were detected in neocortical control tissue, whereas cytokine levels were evidenced in DRTLE. Increased NF-κB neocortex expression was found and the positive annexin V neurons were more obvious in the DRTLE tissue, correlating with IL-6 levels. The follow-up study confirmed that the inflammatory alterations disappeared one year after surgery, when the majority of patients were seizure-free, and the apoptotic death process correlated with inflammation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Tyrosine Hydroxylase, Vesicular Monoamine Transporter and Dopamine Transporter mRNA Expression in Nigrostriatal Tissue of Rats with Pedunculopontine Neurotoxic Lesion
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020020
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
Background: The degeneration of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) precedes the degeneration of the nigral cells in the pre-symptomatic stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although the literature recognizes that a lesion of the PPN increases the vulnerability of dopaminergic cells, it is unknown if
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Background: The degeneration of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) precedes the degeneration of the nigral cells in the pre-symptomatic stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although the literature recognizes that a lesion of the PPN increases the vulnerability of dopaminergic cells, it is unknown if this risk is associated with the loss of capability of handling the dopaminergic function. Methods: In this paper, the effects of a unilateral neurotoxic lesion of the PPN in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) and dopamine transporter (DAT) mRNA expression in nigrostriatal tissue were evaluated. Three experimental groups were organized: non-treated rats, NMDA-lesioned rats and Sham-operated rats. Results: Seven days after the PPN lesion, in nigral tissue, TH mRNA expression was higher in comparison with control groups (p < 0.05); in contrast, VMAT2 mRNA expression showed a significant decrease (p < 0.01). DAT mRNA expression showed a significant decrease (p < 0.001) in the striatal tissue. Comparing nigral neuronal density of injured and control rats revealed no significant difference seven days post-PPN injury. Conclusions: Findings suggest that the PPN lesion modifies the mRNA expression of the proteins associated with dopaminergic homeostasis at nigrostriatal level. It could represent vulnerability signals for nigral dopaminergic cells and further increase the risk of degeneration of these cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State of Art in Non-Clinical Models for Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Long-Term Electroclinical and Employment Follow up in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery. A Cuban Comprehensive Epilepsy Surgery Program
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020019
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to present a long- term electroclinical and employment follow up in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients in a comprehensive epilepsy surgery program. Forty adult patients with pharmacoresistant TLE underwent detailed presurgical evaluation. Electroencephalogram (EEG) and clinical follow
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The purpose of this paper is to present a long- term electroclinical and employment follow up in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients in a comprehensive epilepsy surgery program. Forty adult patients with pharmacoresistant TLE underwent detailed presurgical evaluation. Electroencephalogram (EEG) and clinical follow up assessment for each patient were carried out. The occurrence of interictal epileptiform activity (IEA) and absolute spike frequency (ASF) were tabulated before and after 1, 6, 12, 24 and 72 months surgical treatment. Employment status pre- to post-surgery at the last evaluated period was also examined. Engel scores follow-up was described as follows: at 12 months 70% (28) class I, 10% (4) class II and 19% (8) class III-IV; at 24 months after surgery 55.2% (21) of the patients were class I, 28.9% (11) class II and 15.1% (6) class III-IV. After one- year follow up 23 (57.7%) patients were seizure and aura-free (Engel class IA). These figures changed to 47.3%, and 48.6% respectively two and five years following surgery whereas 50% maintained this condition in the last follow up period. A decline in the ASF was observed from the first year until the sixth year after surgery in relation to the preoperative EEG. The ASF one year after surgery allowed to distinguish “satisfactory” from “unsatisfactory” seizure relief outcome at the last follow up. An adequate social functioning in terms of education and employment in more than 50% of the patients was also found. Results revealed the feasibility of conducting a successful epilepsy surgery program with favorable long term electroclinical and psychosocial functioning outcomes in a developing country as well. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Behavioral Sciences in 2017
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020018
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Behavioral Sciences maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
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