Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara
Recent publications
This study draws on the linguistics literature, which recognizes the role of language attributes in shaping individual behaviour. We theorize that weak-future languages (e.g., Chinese), which create the perception that the future is closer temporally to the present than do strong-future languages (e.g., English), favour future-oriented behaviours such as investment in crowdfunding of entrepreneurial ventures. To test this thesis, we use a mixed-method approach, combining an original dataset of crowdfunding investments in 53 countries (Study 1) and a randomized experiment examining the investment behaviour of 77 bilingual (English-Chinese) students (Study 2). We find that natives of countries with weak-future languages engage more actively in crowdfunding of entrepreneurial ventures compared to individuals from countries with strong-future languages. We find that this effect dominates the stable effect of national culture. In other words, perceiving the future as closer means that the future assumes greater psychological importance for weak-future speakers and, therefore, they enact more future-oriented behaviours.
In this paper, we study the rate of occurrence of failures (ROCOF) of higher order for continuous time semi-Markov processes (SMP). This indicator gives information on whether there are a lot of failures or only a few within a time interval. It also considers the relative positioning of tuples of failures in time. Here, we consider SMP with a mixed probability distribution for the initial law of the system taking into account the possible random starting from any state with any duration. Furthermore, under suitable assumptions on the transition rates, we determine an explicit formula for the ROCOF of higher order and we recover as particular cases previous results obtained in the literature. A numerical example demonstrates the possibility of using this index in real applications. A possible application in the field of mathematical finance is also discussed.
Finite mixtures of linear regressions are often used in practice in order to classify a set of observations and/or explain an unobserved heterogeneity. Their application poses two major challenges. The first is about the maximum likelihood estimation, which is, in theory, impossible in case of Gaussian errors with component specific variances because the likelihood is unbounded. The second is about covariate selection. As in every regression model, there are several candidate predictors and we have to choose the best subset among them. These two problems can share a similar solution, and here lies the motivation of the present paper. The pathway is to add an appropriate penalty to the likelihood. We review possible approaches, discussing and comparing their main features.
The biological age is an indicator of the functional condition of an individual’s body. Unlike the chronological age, which just measures the time from birth, the biological age of a human is also affected by its medical condition, life habits, some sociodemographic variables, as well as biomarkers. Taking advantage of the statistical concept of depth, which serves as a measurement of the degree of centrality of a multivariate observation with respect to a dataset, we assess the biological age of an individual as the chronological age that would make her selected records as deep as possible when compared with those of other individuals with a chronological age similar to hers. Some direct conclusions of this imputation technique are presented.
Antidepressant drugs are prescribed to patients with depressive, anxiety disorders, and other conditions. Evidence about antidepressant discontinuation syndrome (ADS) and related outcomes is sparse, although potentially burdensome in some patients. The present state-of-the-art review aims to appraise the most current evidence about ADS critically. ADS has been documented for most antidepressant drugs, although most literature focuses on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors prescribed for depression. While down-titration cannot exclude the chance of ADS, it is nonetheless warranted in the clinical setting, especially for short half-life and sedative compounds such as paroxetine. Integrative management with concurrent pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy may minimize the eventual unpleasant effects arising within the discontinuation process. In addition, patient-tailored interventions and education should be part of the discontinuation strategy. Future research must rely on broadly accepted definitions for ADS and related phenomena such as antidepressant withdrawal and shed further light on the underpinning neurobiology. Discriminating between ADS-related phenomena and relapse of depression is likewise warranted, along with a neuroscience-based nomenclature instead of a class one.
The primary objective of this chapter is to present an overview of the different key technologies that will be needed in order to fly the technically most challenging of the representative missions identified in Chapter 4 (the Pillar 2 Horizon 2061 report, Lasue et al., 2021). It starts with a description of the future scientific instruments which will address the key questions of Horizon 2061 described in Chapter 3 (the Pillar 1 Horizon 2061 report, Dehant et al., 2021) and the new technologies that the next generations of space instruments will require (Section 2). From there, the chapter follows the line of logical development and implementation of a planetary mission: Section 3 describes some of the novel mission architectures that will be needed and how they will articulate interplanetary spacecraft and science platforms; Section 4 summarizes the system-level technologies needed: power, propulsion, navigation, communication, advanced autonomy on-board planetary spacecraft; Section 5 describes the diversity of specialized science platforms that will be needed to survive, operate, and return scientific data from the extreme environments that future missions will target; Section 6 describes the new technology developments that will be needed for long-duration missions and semipermanent settlements; finally, Section 7 attempts to anticipate some of the disruptive technologies that should emerge and progressively prevail in the decades to come to meet the long-term needs of future planetary missions.
Seismic risk for a stone masonry template health centre developed by the NGO Pahar Trust is assessed for the entirety of Nepal, accounting for the latest probabilistic seismic hazard analysis available for the country. Micro-modelling in OpenSees is employed to derive a high-fidelity model of the Pahar Trust health centre and to perform a cloud analysis deriving fragility curves. Regularisation criteria are carried out to optimise irregular stone masonry modelling and validated against consolidated analytical formulations and recent experimental campaigns. The study contributes to establishing a strategy for defining the implicit seismic risk for the case of implementation of template designs in a highly variable seismic hazard for which a detailed numerical study can be applied to an entire region. Micro-modelling represents a very convenient approach given the limited availability in low and middle-income countries of experimental results for the masonry and the easier accessibility of separate material tests on the masonry components. Results are also benchmarked against empirical and numerical studies developed in the literature for the same country context finding a relatively good matching with a less conservative results in terms of vulnerability due to the higher accuracy of the modelling strategy. Risk assessment results obtained for the health centre are comparable to the acceptable risk targets for developed countries in all cases for which quality controls guarantee the rigorous implementation of structural details.
It is known that the study of the boundary behavior of (harmonic or) holomorphic functions, to which N. Sibony has contributed with penetrating work, is linked to the differentiation of integrals. In 1936, R. de Possel observed that, in the general setting of a measure space with no metric structure, certain phenomena, relative to the differentiation of integrals, which are familiar in the Euclidean setting precisely because of the presence of a metric, are devoid of actual meaning. In the first part of this work, we introduce the concept of functional convergence class that provides a unifying framework for various limiting processes and enables us to establish a hierarchy between them, and show that, within this hierarchy, the notion of filter (introduced by H. Cartan just a year after De Possel’s contribution) occupies the position of wider scope. In the second part of this work, we show how to reformulate some of the contributions of de Possel in the language of filters.
This paper introduces a novel portfolio optimization method, the Clustered Minimum Spanning Tree Nested Optimization, capable of overcoming the limitations of classical asset allocation, such as instability and over-concentration of portfolio weights, and providing a defensive mechanism against the enhanced systematic risk during high-volatility periods. To do so, we follow a graph theory and clustering-based multi-step approach that accounts also for volatility regime switches. In a bootstrapping setup, we show that our approach produces well-diversified and stable portfolios outperforming the competing methods in terms of risk-adjusted performance while curtailing tail risk by achieving lower portfolio kurtosis.
As an integral part of the innate immune system, the NACHT, leucine-rich repeat (LRR), and pyrin domain (PYD)-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome orchestrates the inflammatory response following injury. Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and its major product interleukin (IL)-1β are central to the pathogenesis of a wide array of cardiovascular diseases ranging from atherosclerosis to acute myocardial infarction and heart failure, and from inflammatory heart disease to peripheral artery disease and venous thromboembolism. Assembly of the NLRP3 inflammasome has been reported in leukocytes, fibroblasts, cardiomyocytes, platelets, and the endothelium, in which it regulates cellular responses to acute and chronic damage. NLRP3 inhibitors have been developed and investigated in preclinical and early phase clinical studies with encouraging results awaiting validation. In phase II–III clinical trials, inhibition of IL-1β and IL-6, downstream of the inflammasome, has been shown to be safe with a promising efficacy profile across a variety of cardiovascular disorders. While further investigation is ongoing, anakinra and rilonacept, two IL-1 blockers, have recently become standard-of-care for the treatment of recurrent pericarditis. This chapter provides an overview of the available preclinical and clinical findings supporting the central role of the inflammasome and related cytokines including IL-1β and IL-18 in the more common cardiovascular diseases.
This paper analyses the impact of matching frictions in the Portuguese labour market on individual unemployment hazard rates and unemployment durations. The coexistence of permanent contracts and temporary contracts in the Portuguese (dual) labour-market is akin to a matching friction, with a contract-type mismatch between jobseekers who prefer permanent contracts, whereas firms, in turn, prefer to offer temporary contracts. The paper uses a rich micro dataset which allows to compute a time and space varying contract-type mismatch index, over 86 local labour markets (job-centers of the Portuguese Public Employment System) and five years. Employing discrete time hazard models and a stock-flow matching mechanism, we find that local labour markets with higher contract-type mismatch rates are characterized by lower hazard rates and longer unemployment duration. Improving the desirability of temporary contracts and information about local contract-type mismatch rates may reduce matching frictions and average unemployment duration.
The deformation style of the continental lithosphere is a relevant issue for geodynamics and seismic hazard perspectives. Here we show the first evidence of two well-distinct low-angle and SW-dipping individual reverse shear zones of the Italian Outer Thrust System in Central Italy. One corresponds to the down-dip prosecution of the Adriatic Basal Thrust with its major splay and the other to a hidden independent structure, illuminated at a depth between 25 and 60 km, for an along-strike extent of ~ 150 km. Combining geological information with high-quality seismological data, we unveil this novel configuration and reconstruct a detailed 3D geometric and kinematic fault model of the compressional system, active at upper crust to upper mantle depths. In addition, we report evidence of coexisting deformation volumes undergoing well-distinguished stress fields at different lithospheric depths. These results provide fundamental constraints for a forthcoming discussion on the Apennine fold-and-thrust system's geodynamic context as a shallow subduction zone or an intra-continental lithosphere shear zone.
Deep learning techniques and tools have experienced enormous growth and widespread diffusion in recent years. Among the areas where deep learning has become more widespread there are computational biology and cognitive neuroscience. At the same time, the need for tools able to explore, understand, and possibly manipulate, a deep learning model has strongly emerged. We propose an approach to map a deep learning model into a multilayer network. Our approach is tailored to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), but can be easily extended to other architectures. In order to show how our mapping approach enables the exploration and management of deep learning networks, we illustrate a technique for compressing a CNN. It detects whether there are convolutional layers that can be pruned without losing too much information and, in the affirmative case, returns a new CNN obtained from the original one by pruning such layers. We prove the effectiveness of the multilayer mapping approach and the corresponding compression algorithm on the VGG16 network and two benchmark datasets, namely MNIST, and CALTECH-101. In the former case, we obtain a 0.56% increase in accuracy, precision, and recall, and a 21.43% decrease in mean epoch time. In the latter case, we obtain an 11.09% increase in accuracy, 22.27% increase in precision, 38.66% increase in recall, and 47.22% decrease in mean epoch time. Finally, we compare our multilayer mapping approach with a similar one based on single layers and show the effectiveness of the former. We show that a multilayer network-based approach is able to capture and represent the complexity of a CNN. Furthermore, it allows several manipulations on it. An extensive experimental analysis described in the paper demonstrates the suitability of our approach and the goodness of its performance.
In this opinion article, the complex issue of the possible role of mother-infant lateralized interaction in the development of brain functional organization is addressed from different perspectives. In particular, its origins and potential effects are comparatively analyzed from both an ontogenetic and a phylogenetic point of view and are explored including both environmental (e.g., social) and genetic factors. What emerges is a suggestive scenario in which mother and infant are the actors of a sensorimotor lateralized interaction capable of affecting not only the development of the infant’s brain functions later in life, but also the very evolution of advantageous brain organization patterns across generations.
Previous trials showed the tolerability and efficacy of a palliative radiotherapy (RT) regimen (SHARON) based on the 4 fractions delivered in 2 days in different oncological settings. In order to identify possible predictors of symptomatic response, the purpose of this study is to perform a pooled analysis of previous trials. We analyzed the impact on symptomatic response of the following parameters: tumor site, histological type, performance status (ECOG), dominant symptom, and RT dose using the Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test. One-hundred-eighty patients were analyzed. Median RT dose was 20 Gy (range: 14–20 Gy). The overall response rate was 88.8% (95% CI 83.3–92.7%) while pre- and post-treatment mean VAS was 5.3 (± 7.7) and 2.2 (± 2.2), respectively (p < 0.001). The overall response rate of pain, dyspnea, bleeding, dysphagia, and other symptoms was 86.2%, 90.9%, 100%, 87.5%, and 100%, respectively. Comparing the symptomatic effect based on the analyzed parameters no significant differences were recorded. However, patients with locally advanced disease showed a higher rate of symptomatic responses than metastatic ones (97.3% vs 83.0%; p = 0.021). Finally, the complete pain response rate was more than double in patients with mild to moderate (VAS: 4–7) compared to those with severe (VAS > 7) pain (36.0% vs 14.3%; p = 0.028). This pooled analysis showed high efficacy of the SHARON regimen in the relief of several cancer-related symptoms. The markedly and significantly higher complete pain response rate, in patients with mild-moderate pain, suggests early referral to palliative RT for patients with cancer-related pain.
Placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) disorders are pathological conditions correlated to a high risk of adverse maternal surgical outcomes, especially if not diagnosed. In the last 10 years, the literature interest for prenatal diagnosis of PAS disorders has been noticeably greater. More recently, significant progression in prenatal imaging techniques permitted an increase of early identified cases and a more accurate diagnosis of these anomalies, especially in women with multiple risk factors. The aim of this chapter is to give an overhaul on prenatal diagnosis of PAS disorders throughout gestation and to report whether integration between first‐ and third‐trimester ultrasound can predict the development and severity of these anomalies. Placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) disorders are associated with a high risk of adverse maternal surgical outcomes, especially if not diagnoses. The aim of this paper is to provide an up to date on prenatal diagnosis of PAS disorders and to report whether integration between first‐ and third‐trimester ultrasound can predict the presence and severity of these anomalies.
Objective With this study, we evaluated the short-term effects of different modes and settings of noninvasive respiratory support on gas exchange, breathing parameters, and thoracoabdominal synchrony in preterm infants in the acute phase of moderate respiratory distress syndrome. Study Design A feasibility crossover trial was conducted in neonates < 32 weeks' gestation on nasal continuous positive airway pressure (n-CPAP) or bilevel n-CPAP. Infants were delivered the following settings in consecutive order for 10 minutes each: • n-CPAP (5 cm H2O) • bilevel n-CPAP 1 (Pres low = 5 cm H2O, Pres high = 7 cm H2O, T-high = 1 second, rate = 30/min) • n-CPAP (5 cm H2O) • bilevel n-CPAP 2 (Pres low = 5 cm H2O, Pres high = 7 cm H2O, T-high = 2 second, rate = 15/min) • n-CPAP (5 cm H2O). During each phase, physiologic parameters were recorded; the thoracoabdominal synchrony expressed by the phase angle (Φ) and other respiratory patterns were monitored by noncalibrated respiratory inductance plethysmography. Results Fourteen preterm infants were analyzed. The mean CPAP level was significantly lower in the n-CPAP period compared with bilevel n-CPAP 1 and 2 (p = 0.03). Higher values were achieved with bilevel n-CPAP 2 (6.2 ± 0.6 vs. 5.7 ± 0.5 cm H2O, respectively; p < 0.05). No statistical difference in the Φ was detected, nor between the three settings. Conclusion Our study did not show any superiority of bilevel n-CPAP over n-CPAP. However, nonsynchronized bilevel n-CPAP might be helpful when additional pressure is needed. Key Points
Since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in March 2020, governments worldwide have resorted to various measures to manage and contain the spread of the virus. In Italy, for example, severe restrictions on freedom of movement were enforced from the very beginning, and they lasted until the vaccination campaign picked up in Spring 2021. At that point, the executive started to lift the most severe measures progressively, and, at the same time, it began to use other legal instruments. For instance, besides progressively enforcing a compulsory vaccination requirement for some categories of people only, the executive introduced a novelty in the Italian legal system: the Green Covid-19 Certificate (or ‘Green Pass’), which not only became a condition to access venues and make use of services, but it also became a condition for the enjoyment or exercise of fundamental rights, including the rights to education and work. The aim of this paper is to assess the Italian Government’s decisions through the lenses of liberal democratic constitutionalism, reflecting upon the balance that was struck between public health and individual fundamental rights. This kind of assessment is especially important in times of emergency, as they are typically defined by fast-tracked and temporary decisions which may, nevertheless, “inadvertently” become embedded in the constitutional legal order.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the success of major non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as quarantine orders, has depended upon robust rates of citizens’ adherence to protocols. Thus, it is critical to public health for research to illuminate factors that affect compliance with contagion-mitigating practices. Previous research has examined sociodemographic factors and aspects of psychological distress as correlates of adherence to public health guidelines. The current study expanded this research to investigate the psychosocial process of co-rumination, which has been identified in previous research as a maladaptive type of social interaction that is associated with elevated levels of anxiety and depression. Data were collected from 932 Italian adults during the initial stages of the highly stressful COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. A path model was tested to examine multivariate relationships among sociodemographic characteristics, symptoms of psychological distress (i.e., depression and anxiety), co-rumination via cellphone, and self-reported adherence to COVID-19-related public health restrictions. Results revealed that higher rates of co-rumination via cellphone were associated with lower levels of adherence to public health restrictions. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were differentially related to co-rumination processes and adherence to public health restrictions. Higher levels of depression symptoms were directly associated with poorer adherence to public health restrictions, and this path was mediated through higher levels of co-rumination via cellphone. On the contrary, higher levels of state anxiety were directly associated with greater adherence to public health guidelines. This path was also mediated through co-rumination via cellphone. Higher levels of anxiety were correlated with lower levels of co-rumination, which in turn were correlated with lower levels of adherence. These results suggest fruitful directions for future research examining co-rumination as a maladaptive coping behavior that may be addressed within public health interventions.
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4,128 members
Lucia Tonucci
  • Department of Philosophical, Educational and Economic Sciences
Claudio Robazza
  • Dipartimento di Medicina e Scienze dell'Invecchiamento
Maria Spinelli
  • Department of Neurosciences, Imaging and Clinical Sciences
Giampiero Neri
  • Department of Neuroscience & Imaging
Davide Quaglione
  • Department of Philosophical, Pedagogical and Economic-Quantitative Sciences
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