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Behav. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2018) – 13 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Test–Retest Reliability of a Social Interaction Task
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100097 - 22 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1931
Abstract
Accurate repeatability of experimental data is the basis of professional scientific research. In this study we analyzed three consecutive experiments: The subjects had to complete a questionnaire three times under similar conditions within a 2–3 week interval to ensure reproducibility of the original [...] Read more.
Accurate repeatability of experimental data is the basis of professional scientific research. In this study we analyzed three consecutive experiments: The subjects had to complete a questionnaire three times under similar conditions within a 2–3 week interval to ensure reproducibility of the original data from experiment to experiment, using the method of test–retest reliability. Absolute reliability was assessed by the standard error of measurement (SEM) and smallest real difference (SRD). The relative reliability was estimated by calculating the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC3,1) (average measures) and the results demonstrate almost perfect agreement. The social interaction model was applied for organization of the experimental study. In this virtual model, the participants had to choose one of three types of reactions (i.e., attacking, avoiding, or friendly) to stimuli-facial expressions (i.e., angry, fearful, sad, neutral, and happy). The results show significant correlation between personal characteristics and social interactions. The results of the influence of such personal characteristics as agreeableness, collectivism, extraversion, neuroticism, and those shown on the Relational-interdependent Self-Construal Scale and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory are highly consistent with other researchers’ data and common sense. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Communication Surrounding Estrangement: Stereotypes, Attitudes, and (Non)Accommodation Strategies
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100096 - 20 Oct 2018
Viewed by 2363
Abstract
To address Americans’ general attitudes and behavioral intentions toward adult children who are estranged from their parents, the current study employed online survey data from 151 Americans recruited through Amazon MTurk. Their responses revealed negative stereotypes (e.g., childish, ungrateful) and positive stereotypes (e.g., [...] Read more.
To address Americans’ general attitudes and behavioral intentions toward adult children who are estranged from their parents, the current study employed online survey data from 151 Americans recruited through Amazon MTurk. Their responses revealed negative stereotypes (e.g., childish, ungrateful) and positive stereotypes (e.g., independent, strong) of the adult child who is estranged, as well as negative assessments of the parent who is estranged. Generally, participants perceived the adult children as more competent than warm. Compared to other participants in this sample, those participants who were estrangers or estrangees themselves held more positive attitudes overall, including more positive perceptions of estranged children’s warmth and competence. In response to open-ended survey questions asking participants how they would communicate with someone they knew to be estranged, common responses were avoidance of family-related topics, (heightened) physical distance, and accommodation to the needs of the person who is estranged. Implications are discussed surrounding the lack of warmth associated with those experiencing estrangement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Estrangement)
Open AccessArticle
Two Experiments on the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Touching-Effect of Touching on the HPA Axis-Related Parts of the Body on Both Healthy and Traumatized Experiment Participants
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100095 - 17 Oct 2018
Viewed by 2492
Abstract
Two experiments were conducted to measure both the psychological and physiological effects of touching on the HPA axis related parts of the body. HPA stands for the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal. One experiment was conducted with a group of healthy experiment participants, and [...] Read more.
Two experiments were conducted to measure both the psychological and physiological effects of touching on the HPA axis related parts of the body. HPA stands for the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal. One experiment was conducted with a group of healthy experiment participants, and another was with a group of traumatized participants who had Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). In the experiments, the back of an experiment participant was touched, where a kidney-adrenal was supposed to reside, and both the psychological and physiological effects were measured. As a result, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an indicator of the parasympathetic nerve system function and, especially, an indicator of the social engagement system increased, by a statistically significant degree, as a consequence of HPA touching in both the healthy and the trauma group, in comparison with the control. The traumatized participants had a lower RSA, and this was increased by HPA touching, accompanied by a decrease of the heart rate. It is worth noting that the social engagement function was possibly enhanced by HPA touching, especially in the trauma group, whose members tend to have difficulty being pro-social. This touching method is very simple, so it can be administered not only by oneself, but also by psycho-therapists and body workers in order to enhance both psychological and physiological well-being. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Basal Levels of Salivary Alpha-Amylase Are Associated with Preference for Foods High in Sugar and Anthropometric Markers of Cardiovascular Risk
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100094 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) influences the perception of taste and texture, features both relevant in acquiring food liking and, with time, food preference. However, no studies have yet investigated the relationship between basal activity levels of sAA and food preference. We collected saliva from [...] Read more.
Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) influences the perception of taste and texture, features both relevant in acquiring food liking and, with time, food preference. However, no studies have yet investigated the relationship between basal activity levels of sAA and food preference. We collected saliva from 57 volunteers (63% women) who we assessed in terms of their preference for different food items. These items were grouped into four categories according to their nutritional properties: high in starch, high in sugar, high glycaemic index, and high glycaemic load. Anthropometric markers of cardiovascular risk were also calculated. Our findings suggest that sAA influences food preference and body composition in women. Regression analysis showed that basal sAA activity is inversely associated with subjective but not self-reported behavioural preference for foods high in sugar. Additionally, sAA and subjective preference are associated with anthropometric markers of cardiovascular risk. We believe that this pilot study points to this enzyme as an interesting candidate to consider among the physiological factors that modulate eating behaviour. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cellular Redox Imbalance and Neurochemical Effect in Cognitive-Deficient Old Rats
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100093 - 13 Oct 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1833
Abstract
The purpose of the present study is to access the linkage between dysregulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission, oxidative metabolism, and serine signaling in age-related cognitive decline. In this work, we evaluated the effect of natural aging in rats on the cognitive abilities for hippocampal-dependent [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study is to access the linkage between dysregulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission, oxidative metabolism, and serine signaling in age-related cognitive decline. In this work, we evaluated the effect of natural aging in rats on the cognitive abilities for hippocampal-dependent tasks. Oxidative metabolism indicators are glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations, and cytosolic phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity. In addition, neurotransmitter amino acid (L-Glutamic acid, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), DL-Serine and DL-Aspartic acid) concentrations were studied in brain areas such as the frontal cortex (FC) and hippocampus (HPC). The spatial long-term memory revealed significant differences among experimental groups: the aged rats showed an increase in escape latency to the platform associated with a reduction of crossings and spent less time on the target quadrant than young rats. Glutathione levels decreased for analyzed brain areas linked with a significant increase in MDA concentrations and PLA2 activity in cognitive-deficient old rats. We found glutamate levels only increased in the HPC, whereas a reduced level of serine was found in both regions of interest in cognitive-deficient old rats. We demonstrated that age-related changes in redox metabolism contributed with alterations in synaptic signaling and cognitive impairment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relation of Structural and Functional Changes in Auditory and Visual Pathways after Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100092 - 12 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Auditory and visual pathways may be affected as a consequence of temporal lobe epilepsy surgery because of their anatomical relationships with this structure. The purpose of this paper is to correlate the results of the auditory and visual evoked responses with the parameters [...] Read more.
Auditory and visual pathways may be affected as a consequence of temporal lobe epilepsy surgery because of their anatomical relationships with this structure. The purpose of this paper is to correlate the results of the auditory and visual evoked responses with the parameters of tractography of the visual pathway, and with the state of connectivity between respective thalamic nuclei and primary cortices in both systems after the surgical resection of the epileptogenic zone in drug-resistant epileptic patients. Tractography of visual pathway and anatomical connectivity of auditory and visual thalamus-cortical radiations were evaluated in a sample of eight patients. In general, there was a positive relationship of middle latency response (MLR) latency and length of resection, while a negative correlation was found between MLR latency and the anatomical connection strength and anatomical connection probability of the auditory radiations. In the visual pathway, significant differences between sides were found with respect to the number and length of tracts, which was lower in the operated one. Anatomical connectivity variables and perimetry (visual field defect index) were particularly correlated with the latency of P100 wave which was obtained by quadrant stimulation. These results demonstrate an indirect functional modification of the auditory pathway and a direct traumatic lesion of the visual pathway after anterior temporal lobectomy in patients with drug resistant epilepsy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Experiment on the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Skin Moisturization on Lower Legs—In Expectation of Application to Nursing Practice at Hospitals
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100091 - 30 Sep 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2058
Abstract
This study hypothesized that moisturizing treatment of the skin has a positive effect on psychological and physiological aspects. In this experiment, the effect of touch with moisturizer for two minutes on the lower legs was measured in terms of brain activity, heart rate, [...] Read more.
This study hypothesized that moisturizing treatment of the skin has a positive effect on psychological and physiological aspects. In this experiment, the effect of touch with moisturizer for two minutes on the lower legs was measured in terms of brain activity, heart rate, and center of gravity unrest (X axis) in 10 healthy male and female experiment participants. The Right Laterality Ratio Score decreased after treatment, suggesting a relaxation effect of the treatment. Although it was not statistically significant, a decrease was observed. Heart rate decreased after the treatment at a level of statistical significance (p < 0.01), suggesting a relaxation effect of the treatment. Center of gravity unrest (X axis) increased after the treatment with statistical significance (p < 0.05). Therefore, skin moisturizing treatment was found to be effective both psychologically and physiologically in this experiment. The finding is expected to be applied to the field of nursing to support elderly people to enhance their mental well-being and balancing ability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gender Identity Development among Teenagers Living in the Subarctic Region of Russia
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100090 - 29 Sep 2018
Viewed by 1889
Abstract
Gender identity is an important element of an individual’s identity and is one of the regulators of human behavior while acquiring social roles. The aim of this empirical research is to study gender identity development among teenagers living in the subarctic territories of [...] Read more.
Gender identity is an important element of an individual’s identity and is one of the regulators of human behavior while acquiring social roles. The aim of this empirical research is to study gender identity development among teenagers living in the subarctic territories of Russia. The results show the correlation between types of gender identity among male and female teenagers, the dynamic in the correlation between gender identity types during adolescence and the characteristics of each type of gender identity in adolescence from the point of view of psychological properties. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Faecal Microbial Markers and Psychobiological Disorders in Subjects with Morbid Obesity. A Cross-Sectional Study
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100089 - 27 Sep 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
Morbidly obese subjects have a high prevalence of comorbidity and gut microbial dysbiosis, and are thus suitable for the study of gut-brain interactions. The aim was to study the associations between the faecal microbiota’s composition and function and psychobiological comorbidity in subjects with [...] Read more.
Morbidly obese subjects have a high prevalence of comorbidity and gut microbial dysbiosis, and are thus suitable for the study of gut-brain interactions. The aim was to study the associations between the faecal microbiota’s composition and function and psychobiological comorbidity in subjects with BMI > 40 kg/m2 or >35 kg/m2 with obesity-related complications. The faecal microbiota was assessed with GA-Map dysbiosis test ™ (Genetic Analysis, Oslo Norway) and reported as dysbiosis (yes/no) and degree of dysbiosis, and the relative abundance of 39 bacteria. The microbiota’s function was assessed by measuring the absolute and relative amount of faecal short chain fatty acids. Associations were made with well-being, mental distress, fatigue, food intolerance, musculoskeletal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and degree of abdominal complaints. One hundred and two subjects were included. The results confirmed the high prevalence of comorbidity and dysbiosis (62/102; 61%) and showed a high prevalence of significant associations (41/427; 10%) between the microbiota’s composition and function and the psychobiological disorders. The abundant, but in part divergent, associations supported the close gut-brain interaction but revealed no clear-cut and straightforward communication pathways. On the contrary, the study illustrates the complexity of gut-brain interactions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Chameleon-Like Properties of Psychoactive Drugs: Examinations with HR LC-MS/MS Technology of Patients Presenting at the Emergency Department Following the Use of Synthetic Cannabinoids: A Case Series and Literature Review
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100088 - 22 Sep 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2104
Abstract
The chameleon can disguise itself in nature by taking on different colors and forms. As synthetic cannabinoids (SC) have clinically similar effects to those of several psychoactive agents, they are one of the most difficult intoxications to diagnose. The reasons for this are [...] Read more.
The chameleon can disguise itself in nature by taking on different colors and forms. As synthetic cannabinoids (SC) have clinically similar effects to those of several psychoactive agents, they are one of the most difficult intoxications to diagnose. The reasons for this are due to clinical variations throughout the world and the differences in symptoms having not been determined due to their similarity to the intoxication of several other drugs. The aim of this study was to obtain prospective data of patients presenting at the Emergency Department (ED) with suspected SC intoxication, and as a result of prospective examination of samples, to determine a new generation of SC use, SC types, clinical findings, and treatments. Method: A total of a 15 patients with suspected SC intoxication who presented at the ED of the Health Sciences University Kayseri Training and Research Hospital between January 2017 and January 2018 were examined. Samples taken prospectively from patients who were followed-up for a diagnosis of SC intoxication were examined with the HR LC-MS/MS method; SC were determined, and the test results of other psychoactive agents that were used concurrently were examined. Conclusions: Three significant findings emerged as a result of this study. Firstly, due to the different clinical forms of presentation at ED associated with SC use and the range of intoxications that cannot be diagnosed, advanced laboratory tests are required, in addition to routine tests for the determination of SC. Secondly, those diagnosed as having taken SC were also determined to have used it concurrently with substances that have a high potential for addiction, such as amphetamines and quetiapine. Thirdly, in regard to examples of cases presented in the literature, anti-psychotics, fluid hydration, and anxiolytics can be used as treatment options for those diagnosed with SC use. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Rotating and Neurochemical Activity of Rats Lesioned with Quinolinic Acid and Transplanted with Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100087 - 20 Sep 2018
Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder that results from the degeneration of striatal neurons, mainly GABAergic neurons. The study of neurochemical activity has provided reliable markers to explain motor disorders. To treat neurodegenerative diseases, stem cell transplants with bone marrow (BM) [...] Read more.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder that results from the degeneration of striatal neurons, mainly GABAergic neurons. The study of neurochemical activity has provided reliable markers to explain motor disorders. To treat neurodegenerative diseases, stem cell transplants with bone marrow (BM) have been performed for several decades. In this work we determine the effect of mononuclear bone marrow cell (mBMC) transplantation on the rotational behavior and neurochemical activity in a model of Huntington’s disease in rats. Four experimental groups were organized: Group I: Control animals (n = 5); Group II: Lesion with quinolinic acid (QA) in the striatum (n = 5); Group III: Lesion with QA and transplant with mBMC (n = 5); Group IV: Lesion with QA and transplant with culture medium (Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) injection) (n = 5). The rotational activity induced by D-amphetamine was evaluated and the concentration of the neurotransmitter amino acids (glutamate and GABA) was studied. The striatal cell transplantation decreases the rotations induced by D-amphetamine (p < 0.04, Wilcoxon matched pairs test) and improves the changes produced in the levels of neurotransmitters studied. This work suggests that the loss of GABAergic neurons in the brain of rats lesioned with AQ produces behavioral and neurochemical alterations that can be reversed with the use of bone marrow mononuclear cell transplants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Race, Intergenerational Social Mobility and Stressful Life Events
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100086 - 20 Sep 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2758
Abstract
Background. Socioeconomic status (SES) has smaller protective effects on the health of African Americans, and the differential association between social mobility and stress may explain the diminished returns of SES for African Americans. Aim. This study tested the race/ethnic differences in the association [...] Read more.
Background. Socioeconomic status (SES) has smaller protective effects on the health of African Americans, and the differential association between social mobility and stress may explain the diminished returns of SES for African Americans. Aim. This study tested the race/ethnic differences in the association between upward and downward social mobility and stress in a nationally representative sample of African American and White American adults. Methods. This study included 3570 African Americans and 891 non-Hispanic White Americans from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), 2003. Race/ethnicity, gender, age, upward and downward social mobility (independent variable, defined as difference between parent and respondent education), and stressful life events (SLE, dependent variable) were measured. Linear regression models were used for data analysis. Results. In the pooled sample that included both races, upward and downward social mobility were both associated with SLE, the net of all covariates. Significant interactions were found between race/ethnicity and social mobility, suggesting a stronger association between social mobility and stress for White Americans than for African Americans. According to race-stratified models, upward and downward social mobility were associated with higher SLE for White Americans but not African Americans. Conclusion. Although upwardly and downwardly mobile White Americans experience more stress than the socially stable White Americans, African Americans do not experience a change in SLE related to their intergenerational social mobility. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Improved Socio-Emotional and Behavioral Functioning in Students with Autism Following School-Based Smartglasses Intervention: Multi-Stage Feasibility and Controlled Efficacy Study
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100085 - 20 Sep 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3947
Abstract
Background: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) commonly demonstrate prominent social communication deficits, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and chronic irritability. These challenges hinder academic progress and frequently persist despite educational, behavioral, and medical interventions. An assistive smartglasses technology may aid these individuals, especially [...] Read more.
Background: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) commonly demonstrate prominent social communication deficits, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and chronic irritability. These challenges hinder academic progress and frequently persist despite educational, behavioral, and medical interventions. An assistive smartglasses technology may aid these individuals, especially if the technology is efficacious in ecologically-valid school settings. This study explored the feasibility and efficacy of Empowered Brain, a computerized smartglasses intervention designed as a socio-emotional behavioral aid for students with ASD. Methods: This two-part six-week study involved four school children with ASD from a public elementary school. The study incorporated an initial three-week feasibility stage followed by a three-week controlled longitudinal efficacy stage. Both stages involved the use of a twice-daily socio-emotional intervention with the smartglasses. Educators completed pre-intervention and post-intervention Aberrant Behavioral Checklist (ABC) ratings at the start of the feasibility stage, and weekly during the efficacy stage. Primary outcome measures were improvements in the ABC subscales of irritability, hyperactivity, and social withdrawal. Results: Students in both feasibility and efficacy stages demonstrated improvements (decreases) in irritability, hyperactivity, and social withdrawal compared to a baseline period and control periods, respectively. Participants in the controlled efficacy stage demonstrated decreased ABC subscale scores of 90% for irritability, 41.6% for hyperactivity, and 45.6% for social withdrawal. An intervention exposure-response improvement in irritability and hyperactivity was found during the efficacy stage. Educators rated the technology as superior or vastly superior compared to other assistive technologies. Conclusion: A substantial number of school children with ASD demonstrate chronic and impairing cognitive and behavioral challenges. This study provides evidence that Empowered Brain, a smartglasses-based socio-emotional aid for autism, is both feasible and efficacious in improving symptoms of social withdrawal, irritability, and hyperactivity in students with autism. The improvement is demonstrated as part of a longitudinal school-based intervention. Further studies involving larger samples and incorporation of randomized controlled trial methodology are underway to further elucidate the impact of this technology. Full article
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