Behav. Sci.2016, 6(2), 12; doi:10.3390/bs6020012 - published 15 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Exemplar, prototype, and rule theory have organized much of the enormous literature on categorization. From this theoretical foundation have arisen the two primary debates in the literature—the prototype-exemplar debate and the single system-multiple systems debate. We review these theories and debates. Then, we examine the contribution that animal-cognition studies have made to them. Animals have been crucial behavioral ambassadors to the literature on categorization. They reveal the roots of human categorization, the basic assumptions of vertebrates entering category tasks, the surprising weakness of exemplar memory as a category-learning strategy. They show that a unitary exemplar theory of categorization is insufficient to explain human and animal categorization. They show that a multiple-systems theoretical account—encompassing exemplars, prototypes, and rules—will be required for a complete explanation. They show the value of a fitness perspective in understanding categorization, and the value of giving categorization an evolutionary depth and phylogenetic breadth. They raise important questions about the internal similarity structure of natural kinds and categories. They demonstrate strong continuities with humans in categorization, but discontinuities, too. Categorization’s great debates are resolving themselves, and to these resolutions animals have made crucial contributions.
Behav. Sci.2016, 6(2), 11; doi:10.3390/bs6020011 - published 13 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A growing body of data indicates that, compared to humans, rhesus monkeys perform poorly on tasks that assess executive attention, or voluntary control over selection for processing, particularly under circumstances in which attention is attracted elsewhere by competing stimulus control. In the human-cognition literature, there are hotly active debates about whether various competencies such as executive attention, working memory capacity, and fluid intelligence can be improved through training. In the current study, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) completed an attention-training intervention including several inhibitory-control tasks (a Simon task, numerical Stroop task, global/local interference task, and a continuous performance task) to determine whether generalized improvements would be observed on a version of the Attention Network Test (ANT) of controlled attention, which was administered before and after the training intervention. Although the animals demonstrated inhibition of prepotent responses and improved in executive attention with practice, this improvement did not generalize to the ANT at levels consistently better than were observed for control animals. Although these findings fail to encourage the possibility that species differences in cognitive competencies can be ameliorated through training, they do advance our understanding of the competition between stimulus-control and cognitive-control in performance by nonhuman and human primates.
Behav. Sci.2016, 6(2), 10; doi:10.3390/bs6020010 - published 7 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Movement therapy is one type of upper extremity intervention for children with cerebral palsy (CP) to improve function. It requires high-intensity, repetitive and task-specific training. Tedium and lack of motivation are substantial barriers to completing the training. An approach to overcome these barriers is to couple the movement therapy with videogames. This investigation: (1) tested the feasibility of delivering a free Internet videogame upper extremity motor intervention to four children with CP (aged 8–17 years) with mild to moderate limitations to upper limb function; and (2) determined the level of intrinsic motivation during the intervention. The intervention used free Internet videogames in conjunction with the Microsoft Kinect motion sensor and the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit software (FAAST) software. Results indicated that the intervention could be successfully delivered in the laboratory and the home, and pre- and post- impairment, function and performance assessments were possible. Results also indicated a high level of motivation among the participants. It was concluded that the use of inexpensive hardware and software in conjunction with free Internet videogames has the potential to be very motivating in helping to improve the upper extremity abilities of children with CP. Future work should include results from additional participants and from a control group in a randomized controlled trial to establish efficacy.
Behav. Sci.2016, 6(2), 9; doi:10.3390/bs6020009 - published 6 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Over 50% of young people have dated by age 15. While romantic relationship concerns are a major reason for adolescent help-seeking from counselling services, we have a limited understanding of what types of relationship issues are most strongly related to mental health issues and suicide risk. This paper used records of 4019 counselling sessions with adolescents (10–18 years) seeking help from a national youth counselling service for a romantic relationship concern to: (i) explore what types and stage (pre, during, post) of romantic concerns adolescents seek help for; (ii) how they are associated with mental health problems, self-harm and suicide risk; and (iii) whether these associations differ by age and gender. In line with developmental-contextual theory, results suggest that concerns about the initiation of relationships are common in early adolescence, while concerns about maintaining and repairing relationships increase with age. Relationship breakups were the most common concern for both male and female adolescents and for all age groups (early, mid, late adolescence). Data relating to a range of mental health issues were available for approximately half of the sample. Post-relationship concerns (including breakups) were also more likely than pre- or during-relationship concerns to be associated with concurrent mental health issues (36.8%), self-harm (22.6%) and suicide (9.9%). Results draw on a staged developmental theory of adolescent romantic relationships to provide a comprehensive assessment of relationship stressors, highlighting post-relationship as a particularly vulnerable time for all stages of adolescence. These findings contribute to the development of targeted intervention and support programs.
Behav. Sci.2016, 6(1), 8; doi:10.3390/bs6010008 - published 17 March 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Youth sexuality has been primarily studied with a focus on its potential public health issues, such as sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, and its comorbidity with other risky behaviors. More recently, it has been studied as a normative step in romantic partnerships, either pre- or post-marital, as well as outside the context of romantic involvement. In this paper, we review the extensive literature on sexuality in adolescence and early adulthood both within and outside romantic relationships (i.e., casual sexual relationships and experiences; CSREs). Furthermore, the recent recognition of youth sexuality as a developmental task has led to a renewed interest from scholars in youth who abstain from sexual encounters, whether deliberately or not. A brief overview of the literature on cultural differences in sexuality, and sexual-minority youth sexual development is also provided. This paper concludes by suggesting future directions to bring the field of youth sexuality and romantic relationships forward.
Behav. Sci.2016, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/bs6010007 - published 29 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Our systematic review identified 21 quantitative articles and eight qualitative articles addressing dating violence among high risk young women. The groups of high-risk young women in this review include street-involved, justice-involved, pregnant or parenting, involved with Child Protective Services, and youth diagnosed with a mental health issue. Our meta-analysis of the quantitative articles indicated that 34% (CI = 0.24–0.45) of high-risk young women report that they have been victims of physical dating violence and 45% (CI = 0.31–0.61) of these young women report perpetrating physical dating violence. Significant moderator variables included questionnaire and timeframe. Meta-synthesis of the qualitative studies revealed that high-risk young women report perpetrating dating violence to gain power and respect, whereas women report becoming victims of dating violence due to increased vulnerability.