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Behav. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Open AccessArticle A Cohort Study Comparing Women with Autism Spectrum Disorder with and without Generalized Joint Hypermobility
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030035
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 17 March 2018
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Abstract
Reports suggest comorbidity between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). People with EDS and the broader spectrum of Generalized Joint Hypermobility (GJH) often present with immune- and endocrine-mediated conditions. Meanwhile, immune/endocrine dysregulation is a popular theme in
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Reports suggest comorbidity between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). People with EDS and the broader spectrum of Generalized Joint Hypermobility (GJH) often present with immune- and endocrine-mediated conditions. Meanwhile, immune/endocrine dysregulation is a popular theme in autism research. We surveyed a group of ASD women with/without GJH to determine differences in immune/endocrine exophenotypes. ASD women 25 years or older were invited to participate in an online survey. Respondents completed a questionnaire concerning diagnoses, immune/endocrine symptom history, experiences with pain, and seizure history. ASD women with GJH (ASD/GJH) reported more immune- and endocrine-mediated conditions than their non-GJH counterparts (p = 0.001). Autoimmune conditions were especially prominent in the ASD/GJH group (p = 0.027). Presence of immune-mediated symptoms often co-occurred with one another (p < 0.001–0.020), as did endocrine-mediated symptoms (p < 0.001–0.045), irrespective of the group. Finally, the numbers of immune- and endocrine-mediated symptoms shared a strong inter-relationship (p < 0.001), suggesting potential system crosstalk. While our results cannot estimate comorbidity, they reinforce concepts of an etiological relationship between ASD and GJH. Meanwhile, women with ASD/GJH have complex immune/endocrine exophenotypes compared to their non-GJH counterparts. Further, we discuss how connective tissue regulates the immune system and how the immune/endocrine systems in turn may modulate collagen synthesis, potentially leading to higher rates of GJH in this subpopulation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Individual’s Connection to Nature Can Affect Perceived Restorativeness of Natural Environments. Some Observations about Biophilia
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030034
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract
This study investigates the relationship between the level to which a person feels connected to Nature and that person’s ability to perceive the restorative value of a natural environment. We assume that perceived restorativeness may depend on an individual’s connection to Nature and
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This study investigates the relationship between the level to which a person feels connected to Nature and that person’s ability to perceive the restorative value of a natural environment. We assume that perceived restorativeness may depend on an individual’s connection to Nature and this relationship may also vary with the biophilic quality of the environment, i.e., the functional and aesthetic value of the natural environment which presumably gave an evolutionary advantage to our species. To this end, the level of connection to Nature and the perceived restorativeness of the environment were assessed in individuals visiting three parks characterized by their high level of “naturalness” and high or low biophilic quality. The results show that the perceived level of restorativeness is associated with the sense of connection to Nature, as well as the biophilic quality of the environment: individuals with different degrees of connection to Nature seek settings with different degrees of restorativeness and biophilic quality. This means that perceived restorativeness can also depend on an individual’s “inclination” towards Nature. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Age-Related Changes in the Behavior of Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030033
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
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Abstract
The knockout mouse model, B6.129P2-Apoetm1Unc is homozygotic for the Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) deletion; thus, it is capable of developing hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis but ApoE is also a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system, so these animals
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The knockout mouse model, B6.129P2-Apoetm1Unc is homozygotic for the Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) deletion; thus, it is capable of developing hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis but ApoE is also a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system, so these animals could also be models of neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of this study was to determine age-related changes in spontaneous behavior and in learning and memory of Apolipoprotein E knockout mice. Spontaneous behavioral measurements included sleeping pattern, motor coordination and balance by rotarod and open field activity, whereas learning and memory tests included forced alternation in Y-maze, novel object recognition and passive avoidance conditioning. Significant behavioral differences between aged knockout mice and age-matched wild type strain, C57Bl/6 were found in all the behavioral tests, except for the rotarod test. Genetically’ modified mice exhibited less huddling contact during sleeping, decreased locomotor activity in novel environments and in learning and memory deficits. These results are consistent with the cognitive impairment and memory loss seen as the earliest clinical symptoms in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The ApoE knockout mice might therefore be an appropriate model for studying the underlying mechanisms involved in behavioral changes caused by neurodegenerative diseases as well as for evaluating new therapies for these pathologies. 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 Humans’ Relationship to Flowers as an Example of the Multiple Components of Embodied Aesthetics
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030032
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper phenomenologically and qualitatively explores the relationship between humans and flowers as a relationship that throws light on the synergetic dynamics of embodied aesthetics. Its methods include qualitative description and thematic analyses of preferred flower types, as well as concept maps of
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This paper phenomenologically and qualitatively explores the relationship between humans and flowers as a relationship that throws light on the synergetic dynamics of embodied aesthetics. Its methods include qualitative description and thematic analyses of preferred flower types, as well as concept maps of the general term ‘flower’ by 120 students in Israel. The results revealed the interactive perceptual-compositional elements, as well as embodied, relational, and socially embedded elements of the aesthetic pleasure associated with flowers. Implications of this case study are generalized to understand the multiple and interactive components of embodied aesthetic experiences as a deep source of pleasure through interactive stimulation by and connection to the natural world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Aesthetics and Interpersonal Resonance)
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Open AccessArticle Concurrent and Simultaneous Use of Cannabis and Tobacco and Its Relationship with Academic Achievement amongst University Students
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030031
Received: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
The combined use of cannabis and tobacco is frequent in Europe. Few studies have nonetheless explored this pattern of consumption and its relationship with academic achievement in Spanish population. The aim of the present study was to analyze (1) the frequency of four
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The combined use of cannabis and tobacco is frequent in Europe. Few studies have nonetheless explored this pattern of consumption and its relationship with academic achievement in Spanish population. The aim of the present study was to analyze (1) the frequency of four patterns of polydrug use the last year (non-dual users of cannabis and tobacco; concurrent users: cannabis and tobacco separately; simultaneous users: tobacco in cannabis “joints”; simultaneous users: tobacco in cannabis joints alongside alcohol) by gender and age; (2) grade point average (GPA) by gender and age; (3) the association between the frequency of the four patterns of use and the GPA amongst a sample of 477 Spanish university students. The use of cannabis and tobacco (concurrent and simultaneous) and GPA were assessed by means of self-reported questionnaires. Statistically significant differences were found for the GPA with respect to gender. The GPA by the non-dual users of cannabis and tobacco was significantly higher than the GPA corresponding to the concurrent and simultaneous users. The combined use of cannabis and tobacco, regardless of the type of use (concurrent or simultaneous), is moderately related to poor academic achievement amongst university students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Behavior Effects of Tobacco and Cannabis Smoking)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Resilience in Elders of the Sardinian Blue Zone: An Explorative Study
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030030
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Background: older adults from the Sardinian Blue Zone self-report low depressive symptoms and high psychological well-being. However, the role of dispositional resilience as a determinant of these characteristics is unknown. Objectives: the current study had three aims. First, to investigate associations
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Background: older adults from the Sardinian Blue Zone self-report low depressive symptoms and high psychological well-being. However, the role of dispositional resilience as a determinant of these characteristics is unknown. Objectives: the current study had three aims. First, to investigate associations among several putative predictors, including dispositional resilience and three established markers of positive and negative mental health. Second, to determine if gender differences in dispositional resilience, independent of age and cognitive impairment, are present in this population. Third, to examine the relative importance of the predictors of self-reported mental health and well-being. Methods: 160 elders were recruited in the Sardinian Blue Zone. The participants completed self-report measures of dispositional resilience, satisfaction with social ties, physical health, depressive symptoms, and psychological well-being. Results: trait resilience was significantly associated with predictors and markers of mental health. Males had significantly greater trait resilience. In regression analyses, dispositional resilience and satisfaction with social ties were significant predictors of all markers of mental health. Other factors were significantly associated only with certain markers. Conclusions: trait resilience and strong social ties appear to be key determinants of the high mental health of Sardinian Blue Zone older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Older Adult Resilience from a Life-course Perspective)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Embodied Cognition and the Direct Induction of Affect as a Compliment to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030029
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
We make the case for the possible integration of affect experience induced via embodiment techniques with CBT for the treatment of emotional disorders in clinical settings. Theoretically we propose a possible integration of cognitive behavioural theory, neuroscience, embodied cognition and important processes of
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We make the case for the possible integration of affect experience induced via embodiment techniques with CBT for the treatment of emotional disorders in clinical settings. Theoretically we propose a possible integration of cognitive behavioural theory, neuroscience, embodied cognition and important processes of client change outcomes such as the therapeutic alliance to enhance client outcomes. We draw from evidence of bidirectional effects between embodiment modes of bottom-up (sensory-motor simulations giving rise to important basis of knowledge) and top-down (abstract mental representations of knowledge) processes such as CBT in psychotherapy. The paper first describes the dominance and success of CBT for the treatment of a wide range of clinical disorders. Some limitations of CBT, particularly for depression are also outlined. There is a growing body of evidence for the added value of experiential affect-focused interventions combined with CBT. Evidence for the embodied model of cognition and emotion is reviewed. Advantages of embodiment is highlighted as a complimentary process model to deepen the intensity and valence of affective experience. It is suggested that an integrated embodiment approach with CBT enhances outcomes across a wide range of emotional disorders. A description of our embodiment method integrated with CBT for inducing affective experience, emotional regulation, acceptance of unwanted emotions and emotional mastery is given. Finally, the paper highlights the importance of the therapeutic alliance as a critical component of the change process. The paper ends with a case study highlighting some clinical strategies that may aid the therapist to integrate embodiment techniques in CBT that can further explore in future research on affective experience in CBT for a wider range of clinical disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Aesthetics and Interpersonal Resonance)
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