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    ABSTRACT: Measuring hunger and satiety in children is essential to many studies of childhood eating behaviour and obesity. Despite this, few validated measures currently exist that allow children to make accurate and reliable ratings of their hunger/satiety. Three studies aimed to address this issue by validating the use of a new categorical rating scale, Teddy the Bear, in the context of estimated and real eating episodes. Forty-seven 6- to 8-year-old primary school pupils participated in Study 1, which used a between-participant design. Results from this study indicated that the majority of children were able to use the scale to make estimated hunger/satiety ratings for a character in a story using the scale. No significant differences in the ratings of hunger/satiety of children measured before and after lunch were observed and likely causes are discussed. To account for inter-individual differences in hunger/satiety perceptions Study 2 employed a within-participant design. Fifty-four 5- to 7-year-olds participated in this study and made estimated hunger/satiety ratings for a story character and real hunger/satiety ratings before and after lunch. The results from this study indicated that the majority of children were able to use the scale to make estimated and real hunger and satiety ratings. Children were also found to be significantly hungrier before compared to after lunch. As it was not possible to establish what types of food and in what quantity children ate for lunch a third study was carried out in a controlled laboratory environment. Thirty-six 6- to 9-year-olds participated in Study 3 and made hunger/satiety ratings before and after ingesting an ad libitum snack of known composition and quantity. Results indicate that children felt hungrier before than after the snack and that pre-snack hunger/satiety, as well as changes in hunger/satiety, was associated with ad libitum snack intake. Overall, the studies indicate that our new categorical rating scale has potential for use with primary school children. Implications of our findings and possible contexts for its application are discussed.
    Appetite 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Two eye movement experiments tested the effect of orthographic and/or phonological overlap between prime and target words embedded in a sentence. In Experiment 1, four types of overlap were tested: phonological and orthographic overlap (O+P+) occurring word initially (strain–strait) or word finally (wings–kings), orthographic overlap alone (O+P−, bear–gear) and phonological overlap alone (O−P+, smile–aisle). Only O+P+ overlap resulted in inhibition, with the rhyming condition showing an immediate inhibition effect on the target word and the non-rhyming condition on the spillover region. No priming effects were found on any eye movement measure for the O+P− or the O−P+ conditions. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the size of this inhibition effect is affected by both the distance between the prime and target words and by syntactic structure. Inhibition was again observed when primes and targets appeared close together (approximately 3 words). In contrast, no inhibition was observed when the separation was nine words on average, with the prime and target either appearing in the same sentence or separated by a sentence break. However, when the target was delayed but still in the same sentence, the size of the inhibitory effect was affected by the participants’ level of reading comprehension. Skilled comprehenders were more negatively impacted by related primes than less skilled comprehenders. This suggests that good readers keep lexical representations active across larger chunks of text, and that they discard this activation at the end of the sentence. This pattern of results is difficult to accommodate in existing competition or episodic memory models of priming.
    Journal of Memory and Language 01/2014; 73:148–173.
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    ABSTRACT: Derivational morphological processes allow us to create new words (e.g. punish (V) to noun (N) punishment from base forms. The number of steps from the basic units to derived words often varies (e.g., nationality<national<nation: two-steps) and there is evidence that complex derivations cause more brain activity than simple ones (Meinzer, Lahiri, Flaisch, Hannemann, & Eulitz, 2009). However, all studies to date have investigated derivational processes in which morphological complexity is related to a change in surface form. It is therefore unclear whether the effects reported are attributable to underlying morphological complexity or to the processing of multiple surface morphemes. Here we report the first study to investigate morphological processing where derivational steps are not overtly marked (e.g., bridge-N>bridge-V) i.e., zero-derivation (Aronoff, 1980).We compared the processing of one-step (soaking<soak-V) and two-step (bridging<bridge-V<bridge-N) derivations together with monomorphemic control words (grumble) in an fMRI experiment. Participants were presented with derived forms of words (soaking, bridging) in a lexical decision task. Although the surface derived -ing forms can be contextually participles, gerunds, or even nouns, they are all derived from verbs since the suffix -ing can only be attached to verb roots. Crucially, the verb root is the basic form for the one-step words, whereas for the two-step words the verb root is zero derived from a basic noun. Significantly increased brain activity was observed for complex (one-step and two-step) versus simple (zero-step) forms in regions involved in morphological processing, such as the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG). Critically, activation was also more pronounced for two-step compared to one-step forms. Since both types of derived words have the same surface structure, our findings suggest that morphological processing is based on underlying morphological complexity, independent of overt affixation. This study is the first to provide evidence for the processing of zero derivation, and demonstrates that morphological processing cannot be reduced to surface form-based segmentation.
    Neuropsychologia 01/2014; 53:47-53.
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    Food Quality and Preference 01/2014; 35:14.
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibitory mechanisms are thought to underpin the well-documented impairing effects of alcohol on attention. Here, we use a novel priming paradigm to investigate the effects of alcohol on inhibitory mechanisms in attention. Participants were assigned to an alcohol (N=15), or placebo (N=15) group. The dose of alcohol was 0.8 g/kg for males and 0.75 g/kg for females. Participants were asked to report figure reversals during presentation of the face-vase ambiguous figure. Prior to this, they were shown a prime that was either semantically relevant to the face-vase stimulus or was neutral. Semantic priming decreased the number of figure reversals in the first half of the test session in the placebo group but not in the alcohol group. The placebo group was also more likely than the alcohol group to report the first interpretation of the figure to be the same as the semantic prime. Prior presentation of a semantic prime had a stabilising effect on reversal rate, suggesting that the primed interpretation inhibited the alternate interpretation. The absence of an effect in the alcohol group is consistent with an alcohol-related impairment of this inhibition.
    Journal of Psychopharmacology 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Prior neuropsychological evidence suggests that semantic and phonological components of short-term memory (STM) are functionally and neurologically distinct. The current paper examines proactive interference (PI) from semantic and phonological information in two STM-impaired patients, DS (semantic STM deficit) and AK (phonological STM deficit). In Experiment 1 probe recognition tasks with open and closed sets of stimuli were used. Phonological PI was assessed using nonword items, and semantic and phonological PI was assessed using words. In Experiment 2 phonological and semantic PI was elicited by an item recognition probe test with stimuli that bore phonological and semantic relations to the probes. The data suggested heightened phonological PI for the semantic STM patient, and exaggerated effects of semantic PI in the phonological STM case. The findings are consistent with an account of extremely rapid decay of activated type-specific representations in cases of severely impaired phonological and semantic STM.
    Memory 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) and is a frequent diagnosis in the prodromal phases of psychosis. We investigated whether psychopathological factors could discriminate which subjects with SAD are more likely to develop PLEs. A sample of 128 young adults with SAD was split into two subsamples according to the presence of clinically relevant PLEs. Correlations between PLEs and other psychopathological markers were explored. The SAD with PLEs group showed higher level of anxiety, depression, and intolerance of uncertainty (IU) compared with the SAD without PLEs group. A limitation of this study is that the cross-sectional design precluded the analysis of causality. In our sample, the presence of PLEs is related to higher levels of depression, anxiety, and IU. The current findings are consistent with hypotheses suggesting that cognitive disturbances, together with social anxiety, may result in PLEs.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 12/2013; 201(12):1053-1059.
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    ABSTRACT: The medial pFC (mPFC) is frequently reported to play a central role in Theory of Mind (ToM). However, the contribution of this large cortical region in ToM is not well understood. Combining a novel behavioral task with fMRI, we sought to demonstrate functional divisions between dorsal and rostral mPFC. All conditions of the task required the representation of mental states (beliefs and desires). The level of demands on cognitive control (high vs. low) and the nature of the demands on reasoning (deductive vs. abductive) were varied orthogonally between conditions. Activation in dorsal mPFC was modulated by the need for control, whereas rostral mPFC was modulated by reasoning demands. These findings fit with previously suggested domain-general functions for different parts of mPFC and suggest that these functions are recruited selectively in the service of ToM.
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Previous experience is thought to facilitate our ability to extract spatial and temporal regularities from cluttered scenes. However, little is known about how we may use this knowledge to predict future events. Here we test whether exposure to temporal sequences facilitates the visual recognition of upcoming stimuli. We presented observers with a sequence of leftwards and rightwards oriented gratings that was interrupted by a test stimulus. Observers were asked to indicate whether the orientation of the test stimulus matched their expectation based on the preceding sequence. Our results demonstrate that exposure to temporal sequences without feedback facilitates our ability to predict an upcoming stimulus. In particular, observers' performance improved following exposure to structured but not random sequences. Improved performance lasted for a prolonged period and generalized to untrained stimulus orientations rather than sequences of different global structure, suggesting that observers acquire knowledge of the sequence structure rather than its items. Further, this learning was compromised when observers performed a dual task resulting in increased attentional load. These findings suggest that exposure to temporal regularities in a scene allows us to accumulate knowledge about its global structure and predict future events.
    Vision research 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Several behavioural correlates of self-injury, aggression and destructive behaviour have been identified in children and young adults with intellectual disabilities. This cross-sectional study aimed to further explore these correlates in very young children with developmental delay. Parents of 56 children (40 male) under the age of five years (mean age 2 years 10 months) completed a questionnaire about their child's behaviour and the presence of behavioural correlates, including repetitive, over-active or impulsive behaviour and more severe developmental delay. Parents reported very high prevalence of self-injurious, aggressive and destructive behaviour: 51%, 64% and 51%, respectively. A binary logistic regression revealed that a higher score on a measure of overactive and impulsive behaviour significantly predicted the presence of destructive behaviour. A multiple linear regression revealed that both repetitive behaviour and number of health problems approached significance as independent predictors of severe self-injurious behaviour. Despite the very small sample, several factors emerged as potential predictors of self-injurious, aggressive and destructive behaviour. These findings support the need for further investigation in a larger sample. Confirmation in this age group could help guide the development of targeted early intervention for these behaviours by identifying behavioural risk markers.
    Research in developmental disabilities 11/2013; 35(1):36-45.
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