Research

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  • Aging, Culture, and Memory for Socially Meaningful Item-Context Associations: An East-West Cross-Cultural Comparison Study
    Aging, Culture, and Memory for Socially Meaningful Item-Context Associations: An East-West Cross-Cultural Comparison Study
    Research suggests that people in Eastern interdependent cultures process information more holistically and attend more to contextual information than do people in Western independent cultures. The current study examined the effects of culture and age on memory for socially meaningful item-context associations in 71 Canadians of Western European descent (35 young and 36 older) and 72 native Chinese citizens (36 young and 36 older). All participants completed two blocks of context memory tasks. During encoding, participants rated pictures of familiar objects. In one block, objects were rated either for their meaningfulness in the independent living context or their typicality in daily life. In the other block, objects were rated for their meaningfulness in the context of fostering relationships with others or for their typicality in daily life. The encoding in each block was followed by a recognition test in which participants identified pictures and their associated contexts. The results showed that Chinese outperformed Canadians in context memory, though both culture groups showed similar age-related deficits in item and context memory. The results suggest that Chinese are at an advantage in memory for socially meaningful item-context associations, an advantage that continues from young adulthood into old age., Yang L, Li J, Spaniol J, Hasher L, Wilkinson AJ, Yu J, et al. (2013) Aging, Culture, and Memory for Socially Meaningful Item-Context Associations: An East-West Cross-Cultural Comparison Study. PLoS ONE 8(4): e60703.
    Airfoil Performance at Low Reynolds Numbers in the Presence of Periodic Disturbances
    Airfoil Performance at Low Reynolds Numbers in the Presence of Periodic Disturbances
    The boundary-layer separation and wake structure of a NACA 0025 airfoil and the effect of external excitations in presence of structural vibrations on airfoil performance were studied experimentally. Wind tunnel experiments were carried out for three Reynolds numbers and three angles of attack, involving hot-wire measurements and complementary surface flow visualization. The results establish that external acoustic excitation at a particular frequency and appropriate amplitude suppresses or reduces the separation region and decreases the airfoil wake, i.e., produces an increase of the lift and/or decrease of the drag. The acoustic excitation also alters characteristics of the vortical structures in the wake, decreasing the vortex length scale and coherency. Optimum excitation frequencies were found to correlate with the fundamental frequencies of the naturally amplified disturbances in the separated shear layer. The results suggest that acoustic waves play a dominant role in exciting the separated shear layer of the airfoil. Moreover, low-frequency structural vibrations are found to have a significant effect on airfoil performance, as they enhance the sound pressure levels within the test section., Journal of Fluids Engineering. May 2006, Vol. 128. DOI: 10.1115/1.2175165
    Alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, and related mortality in Italy in 2004: effects of treatment-based interventions on alcohol dependence
    Alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, and related mortality in Italy in 2004: effects of treatment-based interventions on alcohol dependence
    Background The tradition of consuming alcohol has long been a part of Italian culture and is responsible for a large health burden. This burden may be reduced with effective interventions, one of the more important of which is treatment for Alcohol Dependence (AD). The aim of this article is to estimate the burden of disease in Italy attributable to alcohol consumption, heavy alcohol consumption, and AD. An additional aim of this paper is to examine the effects of increasing the coverage of treatment for AD on the alcohol-attributable burden of disease. Methods Alcohol-attributable deaths and the effects of treatments for AD were estimated using alcohol-attributable fractions and simulations. Deaths, potential years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability adjusted life years lost were obtained for 2004 for Italy and for the European Union from the Global Burden of Disease study. Alcohol consumption data were obtained from the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health. The prevalences of current drinkers, former drinkers, and lifetime abstainers were obtained from the GENder Alcohol and Culture International Study. The prevalence of AD was obtained from the World Mental Health Survey. Alcohol relative risks were obtained from various meta-analyses. Results 5,320 deaths (1,530 female deaths; 3,790 male deaths) or 5.9% of all deaths (4.9% of all female deaths; 6.3% of all male deaths) of people 15 to 64 years of age were estimated to be alcohol-attributable. Of these deaths, 74.5% (61.3% for females; 79.8% for males) were attributable to heavy drinking, and 26.9% (25.6% for females; 27.5% for males) were attributable to AD. Increasing pharmacological AD treatment coverage to 40% would result in an estimated reduction of 3.3% (50 deaths/year) of all female and 7.6% (287 deaths/year) of all male alcohol-attributable deaths. Conclusions Alcohol was responsible for a large proportion of the burden of disease in Italy in 2004. Increasing treatment coverage for AD in Italy could reduce that country’s alcohol-attributable burden of disease., Shield, K. D., Rehm, J., Gmel, G., Rehm, M. X., & Allamani, A. (2013). Alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, and related mortality in italy in 2004: Effects of treatment-based interventions on alcohol dependence. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 8(1), 21-21. doi:10.1186/1747-597X-8-21
    Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland
    Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland
    Abstract Rehm, J., Rehm, M. X., Alho, H., Allamani, A., Aubin, H., Bühringerm G,m Daeppen, J., Frick, U., Gual, A., & Heather, N. (2013). Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 2(2), 53-67. doi: 10.7895/ijadr.v2i2.89 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v2i2.89) Aim: To describe guidelines and common practices for alcohol dependence treatment in Europe. Design: Systematic and qualitative review; for each country, guidelines were identified via systematic literature research, followed by interviews with treatment experts. Setting: European Union (EU) countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. Participants: Experts in alcohol dependence treatments and treatment systems. Measure: Semi-structured questionnaire for interviews. Findings: While fewer than half of EU countries have formal national guidelines for alcohol dependence treatment, a majority of these countries have guidelines by professional organizations such as psychiatric or neuropsychopharmacologic societies, and several are currently developing such guidelines. Abstinence is the usual treatment goal, but the majority of countries accept reduction of drinking as an intermediate or secondary goal, in practice even more than in the guidelines. Psychotherapy, mainly cognitive-behavioral approaches, motivational interviewing, and family therapy, is the most common treatment for relapse prevention, in part accompanied by pharmacotherapy (disulfiram, acamprosate and naltrexone being used most often). Conclusions: There are differences in treatment for alcohol dependence in Europe. The introduction of reduction of drinking as one treatment goal may attract more patients. Keywords alcohol dependence, treatment, abstinence, reduced drinking, pharmacotherapy, Rehm, J., Rehm, M., Alho, H., Allamani, A., Aubin, H., Bühringer, G., Daeppen, J., Frick, U., Gual, A., & Heather, N. (2013). Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 2(2), 53-67. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v2i2.89
    Alexithymia and eating disorders: a critical review of the literature
    Alexithymia and eating disorders: a critical review of the literature
    Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties identifying feelings and differentiating between feelings and bodily sensations, difficulties communicating feelings, and a concrete cognitive style focused on the external environment. Individuals with eating disorders have elevated levels of alexithymia, particularly difficulties identifying and describing their feelings. A number of theoretical models have suggested that individuals with eating disorders may find emotions unacceptable and/or frightening and may use their eating disorder symptoms (i.e., restricting food intake, bingeing, and/or purging) as a way to avoid or cope with their feelings. The current critical review synthesizes the literature on alexithymia and eating disorders and examines alexithymia levels across eating disorders (i.e., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified), the role of alexithymia in binge eating disorder, and the influence of alexithymia on the development of eating disorders as well as treatment outcome. The clinical implications of the research conducted to date and directions for future research are discussed., Nowakowski, M. E., McFarlane, T., & Cassin, S. (2013). Alexithymia and eating disorders: A critical review of the literature. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1(1), 21-21. doi:10.1186/2050-2974-1-21
    All-fiber passively mode-locked femtosecond fiber lasers
    All-fiber passively mode-locked femtosecond fiber lasers
    This dissertation presents three all-fiber designs of passively mode-locked lasers in order to achieve high pulse energy, environmentally-stable dissipative soliton (DS) operation in all-normal-dispersion cavities. A numerical model for DS mode-locked fiber lasers based on the nonlinear Schrodinger equation has been used to guide the experimental designs. Firstly, an environmentally-stable and ultra-compact SESAM mode-locked fiber laser is demonstrated. The all-fiber design is realized using a mode-field-adaptor (MFA) to couple light onto the SESAM. A polarization-maintaining fiber loop mirror serves multiple functions as a highly reflective mirror, an output coupler and polarization selector. Self-starting and stable DS mode-locking operation is achieved with 1.7 nJ pulse energy and a 22 ps pulse width. Secondly, an ultra-stable DS mode-locking was demonstrated in a long cavity ring laser with a nonlinear amplified loop mirror (NALM) as a mode-locking device. The output pulses of 32 nJ, 615 fs de-chirped pulse width were obtained with the Raman signal suppressed below -20 dB in a 81 m long cavity. The mode-locking is self-starting and the mode-locked pulse train shows excellent stability. Thirdly, the mode-laser cavity was extended with a piece of large-mode-area (LMA) fiber with a low dispersion to further scaling up the pulse energy to 56.8 nJ. The laser pulses were compressed to 750 fs by a pair of volume gratings. In the processing of scaling-up the pulse energy of the NALM mode-locked fiber laser, some interesting physical phenomena were observed, such as the operation regime transition from noise-like to DS with a sudden reduction of Raman signal and a unique waves-splitting with a stable temporal spacing. The phenomena were studied and explained in this dissertation. In addition to the mode-locked fiber laser, a CW and a Q-switched fiber lasers were also designed with a single-mode- multimode- single-mode (SMS) filter as an effective mean of overcoming nonlinear effects. The transmission spectral property of the SMS was studied which fits well with theoretical calculation. One high efficiency SMS CW fiber lasers and one SMS Q-switched fiber laser were designed which showed the effectiveness of the SMS filter for inhibiting the SRS and significantly reducing SPM.
    An Analysis of Canadians’ Scope of Internet Usage
    An Analysis of Canadians’ Scope of Internet Usage
    Presentation to the 2008 Statistics Canada Socio-economic Conference, Ottawa, May 2008., Presentation to the 2008 Statistics Canada Socio-economic Conference, Ottawa, May 2008.
    An Application for Regional Coastal Erosion Processes in Urban Areas: A Case Study of the Golden Horseshoe in Canada
    An Application for Regional Coastal Erosion Processes in Urban Areas: A Case Study of the Golden Horseshoe in Canada
    Urban growth has had unprecedented consequences on environmental sustainability and anthropogenic activity. The eroding coastlines throughout the world are subject to the massive expansion of urban areas and the accountability of sustainable hinterland landscapes. The Golden Horseshoe is Canada’s fastest growing region extending from the Niagara Peninsula and one of the most active economic regions in North America. This paper adopts a combined assessment of land use change and transitions in the coastal stretches of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Comprising the urban expansion of the region between 1990 and 2011, an integrated assessment was carried out to: (i) detect changes in coastal lines along Lake Ontario; (ii) derive land use changes along the coast through spatial accounting matrices; and (iii) integrate climate change data for a combined assessment of future erosion loci. Visible erosion was found between the decade of 1990 and 2000, while certain areas have shown coastal recession in the southern region. The maximum recession was found to be 30 m, with an increasing urban sprawl of 19.8% between 1990 and 2000. A combined temperature increase of 2 °C over the coming decades brings the increase in urban heat islands leading to the importance of combined land policies to mitigate the common problem of erosion in vulnerable urban stretches and liveability concerning spatial resilience of growing urban regions in North America., Vaz, E., & Bowman, L. (2013). An application for regional coastal erosion processes in urban areas: A case study of the Golden Horseshoe in Canada. Land, 2(4), 595-608. doi:10.3390/land2040595
    An Examination of the difference in Performance of Self-Care Behaviours between White and Non-White Patients Following CABG Surgery: A Secondary Analysis
    An Examination of the difference in Performance of Self-Care Behaviours between White and Non-White Patients Following CABG Surgery: A Secondary Analysis
    BACKGROUND: The demographic profile of the patient receiving coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery in Canada has changed significantly over the past 20 years from mainly white (i.e., English, Irish, Scottish) to non-white (i.e., Indian or Chinese). To support individuals who have recently undergone a CABG procedure, patient education is provided to guide performance of self-care behaviours in the home environment. The relevance of this education, when applied to the current CABG surgery population, is questionable, as it was designed and tested using a white, homogenous sample. Thus, the number and type of self-care behaviours performed by persons of Indian and Chinese origin has not been investigated. These individuals may have varying self-care needs that are not reflected in the current self-care patient education materials. PURPOSE: The intent of this study was to examine the difference in the type and number of self-care behaviours performed between white and non-white patients following CABG surgery. METHODS: This study is a sub-study of a descriptive, exploratory design that included a convenience sample. Ninety-nine patients were recruited, representing three cultural groups (White, Indian, and Chinese). Descriptive data were used to describe the sample and identify specific self-care behaviours performed in the home environment. FINDINGS: Results indicate statistically significant differences between white and non-white individuals related to use of incentive spirometer (p = 0.04), deep breathing and coughing exercises (p = 0.04), and activity modification (p < 0.05) at 1 week following hospital discharge. IMPLICATIONS: Future research and theoretical exploration are required to assist in the understanding of the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the differences that are noted between white and non-white groups., Fredericks, S., Lo, J., Ibrahim, S., & Leung, J. (2010). An examination of the difference in performance of self-care behaviours between white and non-white patients following CABG surgery: A secondary analysis. Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 20, 4, 21-29.
    An Investigation of Backscatter Power Spectra from Cells, Cell Pellets and Microspheres
    An Investigation of Backscatter Power Spectra from Cells, Cell Pellets and Microspheres
    Online version of a conference paper originally published as: An Investigation of Backscatter Power Spectra from Cells, Cell Pellets and Microspheres, M.C. Kolios, L. Taggart, R..E. Baddour, F.S. Foster, J.W. Hunt, G.J. Czarnota and M.D. Sherar, In Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Publisher URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=1293510
    An Investigation of GIS Overlay and PCA Techniques for Urban Environmental Quality Assessment: A Case Study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    An Investigation of GIS Overlay and PCA Techniques for Urban Environmental Quality Assessment: A Case Study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    The United Nations estimates that the global population is going to be double in the coming 40 years, which may cause a negative impact on the environment and human life. Such an impact may instigate increased water demand, overuse of power, anthropogenic noise, etc. Thus, modelling the Urban Environmental Quality (UEQ) becomes indispensable for a better city planning and an efficient urban sprawl control. This study aims to investigate the ability of using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to model the UEQ with a case study in the city of Toronto via deriving different environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Remote sensing, GIS and census data were first obtained to derive environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Two techniques, GIS overlay and Principal Component Analysis (PCA), were used to integrate all of these environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Socio-economic parameters including family income, higher education and land value were used as a reference to assess the outcomes derived from the two integration methods. The outcomes were assessed through evaluating the relationship between the extracted UEQ results and the reference layers. Preliminary findings showed that the GIS overlay represents a better precision and accuracy (71% and 65%), respectively, comparing to the PCA technique. The outcomes of the research can serve as a generic indicator to help the authority for better city planning with consideration of all possible social, environmental and urban requirements or constraints., Faisal, K., & Shaker, A. (2017). An Investigation of GIS Overlay and PCA Techniques for Urban Environmental Quality Assessment: A Case Study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sustainability, 9(3), 380., This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs.
    An axiomatic theory of engineering design information
    An axiomatic theory of engineering design information
    Recent research in design theory has sought to formalize the engineering design process without particular concern for the paradigm used to model design information. The authors propose that no correct formalization of the design process can be achieved without first formalizing the semantics of the information used in the process. To this end, the authors present a new formal theory of design information. The theory, called the Hybrid Model, is an extended form of axiomatic set theory, and relies on it for consistency and logical rigor. The theory is stated as a collection of axioms, using a standard logic notation. Design entities are modeled by formal units called objects. Generalized functions and relations are used to formalize important ordering schemes and abstraction mechanisms relevant to design, including classification by structure and by function, aggregation, specialization and generalization. The hybrid model is meant not only to aid in the study of the design process itself, but also to improve communications between designers, assist standardization of design specifications, and develop new, powerful software tools to aid the designer in his work., Unfortunately, for some reason the paper is rendered in backwards page order. Sorry.