University of Granada
  • Granada, Granada, Spain
Recent publications
ABSTRACT Physical exercise is considered as a promising medication free and cost-effective adjunct treatment for substance use disorders (SUD). Nevertheless, evidence regarding the effectiveness of these interventions is currently limited, thereby signaling the need to better understand the mechanisms underlying their impact on SUD, in order to reframe and optimize them. Here we advance that physical exercise could be re-conceptualized as an “interoception booster”, namely as a way to help people with SUD to better decode and interpret bodily-related signals associated with transient states of homeostatic imbalances that usually trigger consumption. We first discuss how mismatches between current and desired bodily states influence the formation of reward-seeking states in SUD, in light of the insular cortex brain networks. Next, we detail effort perception during physical exercise, and discuss how it can be used as a relevant framework for re-dynamizing interoception in SUD. We conclude by providing perspectives and methodological considerations for applying the proposed approach to mixed design neurocognitive research on SUD.
Weakley, J, Johnston, RD, Cowley, N, Wood, T, Ramirez-Lopez, C, McMahon, E, and García-Ramos, A. The effects and re-producibility of 10, 20, and 30% velocity loss thresholds on acute and short-term fatigue and recovery responses. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2023-This study aimed to establish the effects and reproducibility of implementing 10, 20, and 30% velocity loss thresholds (VLTs) during the free-weight barbell back squat on acute and short-term perceived soreness, neuromuscular fatigue, and physical performance. Using a repeated, counterbalanced, crossover design, 12 team-sport athletes completed on separate sessions 5 sets of the free-weight barbell back-squat until reaching VLTs of either 10, 20, or 30%. Outcomes were measured immediately postexercise and 24 hourS after each session. To assess reproducibility, the same sessions were repeated after 4 weeks. Immediately postexercise, small differences in countermovement jump (CMJ) and 10-m sprint performance were observed between VLT conditions, whereas small to moderate differences in differential ratings of perceived exertion were reported (10% , 20% , 30%). At 24 hours, trivial differences in CMJ outcomes were found but small differences in 10-m sprint performance were detected between conditions (10% , 20% , 30%). In addition, at 24 hours, a single small difference in radial deformation using tensiomyography was found between 10 and 30% conditions, whereas large to very large differences in perceived soreness were reported between conditions (10% , 20% , 30%). Finally, the standard error of measurement of all outcome measures at 24 hours were of a similar magnitude to those reported in tightly controlled, short-term studies. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that VLTs help control the fatigue outcomes that occur as a response to resistance training and that they are reproducible. Therefore, for practitioners who wish to prescribe resistance training and be confident in the subsequent fatigue response, it is strongly advised that VLTs are implemented.
Microwave-induced plasmas generated at atmospheric pressure are very attractive for a great variety of applications since they have a relatively high electron density and can generate large amounts of reactive species. Argon plasmas can be sustained inside dielectric tubes but are radially contracted and exhibit filamentation effects when the diameter of the tube is not narrow enough (over 1.5 mm). In this work, we describe a new approach for creating microwave (2.45 GHz) plasmas under atmospheric pressure conditions by using a surfatron device and power from 10 W. This modified design of the reactor enables the sustenance of non-filamented argon plasmas. These new plasmas have a higher gas temperature and electron density than the plasma generated in the original surfatron configuration. The new design also allows for the maintenance of plasmas with relatively high proportions of water, resulting in the generation of larger quantities of excited hydroxyl radicals (·OH*). Thus, this novel configuration extends the applicability of microwave-induced plasmas by enabling operation under new conditions. Finally, the degradation of methylene blue (MB) in aqueous solutions has been assessed under different initial dye concentrations and argon flow conditions. The new plasma produces a substantial increase in hydrogen peroxide and nitrate concentrations in water and leads to a noteworthy enhancement in MB degradation efficiency. The introduction of water into the plasma produces a minor additional improvement.
The Attention-Related Driving Errors Scale (ARDES) is a self-report measure of individual differences in driving inattention. ARDES was originally developed in Spanish (Argentina), and later adapted to other countries and languages. Evidence supporting the reliability and validity of ARDES scores has been obtained in various different countries. However, no study has been conducted to specifically examine the measurement invariance of ARDES measures across countries, thus limiting their comparability. Can different language versions of ARDES provide comparable measures across countries with different traffic regulations and cultural norms? To what extent might cultural differences prevent researchers from making valid inferences based on ARDES measures? Using Alignment Analysis, the present study assessed the approximate invariance of ARDES measures in seven countries: Argentina (n = 603), Australia (n = 378), Brazil (n = 220), China (n = 308). Spain (n = 310), UK (n = 298), and USA (n = 278). The three-factor structure of ARDES scores (differentiating driving errors occurring at Navigation, Manoeuvring and Control levels) was used as the target theoretical model. A fixed alignment analysis was conducted to examine approximate measurement invariance. 12.3 % of the intercepts and 0.8 % of the item-factor loadings were identified as non-invariant, averaging 8.6 % of non-invariance. Despite substantial differences among the countries, sample recruitment or representativeness, study results support resorting to ARDES measures to make comparisons across the country samples. Thus, the range of cultures, laws and collision risk across these 7 countries provides a demanding assessment for a cultural-free inattention while-driving. The alignment analysis results suggest that ARDES measures reach near equivalence among the countries in the study. We hope this study will serve as a basis for future cross-cultural research on driving inattention using ARDES.
The growing demand for food has led to an increase in the use of herbicides and pesticides over the years. One of the most widely used herbicides is glyphosate (GLY). It has been used extensively since 1974 for weed control and is currently classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Group 2A substance, probably carcinogenic to humans. The industry and academia have some disagreements regarding GLY toxicity in humans and its effects on the environment. Even though this herbicide is not mentioned in the WHO water guidelines, some countries have decided to set maximum acceptable concentrations in tap water, while others have decided to ban its use in crop production completely. Researchers around the world have employed different technologies to remove or degrade GLY, mostly at the laboratory scale. Water treatment plants combine different technologies to remove it alongside other water pollutants, in some cases achieving acceptable removal efficiencies. Certainly, there are many challenges in upscaling purification technologies due to the costs and lack of factual information about their adverse effects. This review presents different technologies that have been used to remove GLY from water since 2012 to date, its detection and removal methods, challenges, and future perspectives.
Aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability have become one of the most relevant characteristics for all contaminants. This is especially important in case of surfactants, which are discharged in wastewater treatment plants or directly into the aquatic bodies. The aim of this study is the integral assessment of the biodegradability of the non-ionic surfactant polyoxyethylene glycerol ester PGE-OE17. The aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation of PGE-OE17 was evaluated at different initial surfactant concentrations, and the evolution of the toxicity of the surfactant and its by-products was followed during the aerobic and anaerobic processes using bacteria Vibrio fischeri. PGE-OE17 was not completely biodegradable neither aerobically nor anaerobically, and the increase in the initial surfactant concentration had a negative effect in the biodegradation. Toxicity of the surfactant solutions and degradation by-products had a first increase followed by a gradual decrease during both tests, revealing that toxic substances released can harm the microorganisms and therefore hinder the biodegradation. Additionally, combined aerobic-anaerobic biodegradation tests were performed, consisting in a first aerobic treatment of different duration and initial concentration, followed by a complete anaerobic treatment. Results showed that a balance between aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation duration can maximize the biodegradation rates in comparison with only aerobic or anaerobic tests.
This short paper associated to the invited lectures introduces two key concepts essential to artificial intelligence (AI), the area of trustworthy AI and the concept of responsible AI systems, fundamental to understand the technological, ethical and legal context of the current framework of debate and regulation of AI. The aim is to understand their dimension and their interrelation with the rest of the elements involved in the regulation and auditability of AI algorithms in order to achieve safe and trusted AI. We highlight concepts in bold in order to fix the moment when they are described in context.
Este artículo analiza la propuesta teórica del posjudaísmo articulada por el proyecto YOK en respuesta a la crisis del judaísmo institucionalizado en Buenos Aires, Argentina. Contrario a cualquier forma de pensar lo judío en términos tradicionales y normativos, el proyecto posjudío se planteó como una deconstrucción capaz de derribar los muros del judaísmo tradicional y, con el mismo movimiento, dar voz a aquellos judíos que no encuentran acomodo en las infraestructuras institucionales de la comunidad. Nuestra hipótesis es que su arquitectura conceptual, cuyo objetivo es conseguir la total liberación de las formas identitarias judías, termina legitimando una nueva servidumbre, esta es: la adaptación de lo identitario a la fluidez del mercado. Para demostrarlo, me detendré en reflexionar sobre cómo el posjudaísmo repiensa, desde el andamiaje de las filosofías posmodernas, la comunidad tradicional con el fin de proponer un judaísmo en las antípodas de este, un judaísmo basado en un trabajo de autocreación incesante que apele a lo plural, a lo abierto y a lo emancipado de toda norma y de todo dogma. Esto me permitirá demostrar cómo la autocreación es fruto de las dinámicas posmodernas de transformación de la subjetividad cimentadas sobre la emoción y la individualidad creadora.
The importance of development studies comes from the need to assess and solve economic problems. Graduation from LDC status represents an important milestone in their development path. This research tries to deepen on the relationship between the fulfillment of the “graduation criteria” established by the United Nations and the evolution of the foreign trade indices of a group of Asian LDCs about to graduate (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Timor-Leste, Nepal, and Myanmar), checking how trade, one of its engines for economic development, has involved during the last years and, specifically, on their way to graduation. First, the characteristics of the LDCs and the criteria to exclude them from the list are analyzed. Second, a set of indices are presented to find out the trade flows throughout the period observed. Finally, conclusions and future lines of research are proposed. The results show that all the countries studied have succeeded in expanding their share in world trade. The high participation of Bangladesh is justified by the size of its economy and its weight within the textile trade. Regarding diversification, all of countries present a highly concentrated pattern of exports and their exchanges are carried out with few countries. This lack of trade diversification places them in a vulnerable position. The relative trade balance index indicates that all of them are competitive with their trading partners in the products analyzed and the six have comparative advantage. To conclude, the analysis confirms that the trade structure of the LDCs considered has improved, but with differences due to their characteristics.
Objective: To evaluate the optical properties and the relative translucency parameter of Ceramill ZI White (3Y-TZP) and Ceramill Zolid FX White (5Y-PSZ) zirconia ceramic systems and compare them with those of the bovine dentin and enamel/dentin structures. Materials and methods: 3Y-TZP and 5Y-PSZ zirconia ceramic systems were evaluated. A 0.5-mm-thick 3Y-TZP (3Y-NC.5), 0.5-mm-thick (5Y-NC.5), and 1.4-mm-thick (5Y-C.14) were used. A 0.5-mm-thick dentin specimens and 1.4-mm-thick enamel/dentin specimens (n = 5) were obtained from anterior bovine maxillary teeth. Scattering, absorption, transmittance, and albedo coefficient were calculated using Kubelka-Munk's model. Data were statistically analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests (p < 0.001), and goodness-of-fit coefficient (GFC). Relative translucency parameter differences were evaluated using translucency thresholds. Results: Reflectance, scattering, absorption, and transmittance properties were wavelength dependent. Good matches (GFC ≥ 0.999) in spectral reflectance were observed between 0.5-mm-thick dentin and 1.4-mm-thick enamel/dentin, and 3Y-NC.5 and 5Y-NC.5. Scattering was the main optical extinction process during light interaction with zirconia and dental structures, as indicated by albedo coefficient. Translucency differences were acceptable only for 3Y-NC.5 and the dentin structure, and 5Y-C.14 and the enamel/dentin structure. Conclusions: Optical properties of 3Y-TZP and 5Y-PSZ dental zirconia differed from each other and from bovine dental structures. Nevertheless, 3Y-TZP showed similar relative translucency parameter to bovine dentin. Clinical significance: To achieve the best esthetic results in restorative dentistry, it is crucial for clinicians to know about the optical properties of 3Y-TZP and 5Y-PSZ and to be able to compare these properties with those of dental structures.
Background The objective of this study was to investigate whether different body mass index (BMI) groups could serve as a distinguishing factor for assessing motor proficiency and social and emotional maturity in adolescent girls. Methods 140 girls ranging from 12 to 14.5 years old were selected from the schools of Tabriz city, Iran. After their height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index, they completed the following questionnaires: Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of motor proficiency, Second Edition,Vineland Social Maturity Scale, and Emotional Maturity scale. Results normal-weight girls had a meaningful advantage against overweight and underweight participants in the gross motor factor of motor proficiency (p = 0.004), but there wasn’t a meaningful difference in the fine motor p = 0.196) and coordination factors (p = 0.417). Also, social maturity showed an advantage of normal and underweight adolescent girls in the self-help dressing factor (p = 0.018), while the locomotion skills (p = 0.010) factor revealed a better performance of normal weight and overweight groups over underweight adolescents. No significant differences were observed in the emotional maturity subscales (p = 0.63) between the groups. Conclusions The present study demonstrates that BMI has a direct influence on adolescents’ gross motor proficiency and social maturity.
Resumen La estimación del rendimiento es muy importante para la industria vitivinícola, ya que proporciona información útil para la gestión de viñedos y bodegas. Los efectos del cambio climático, como el aumento de las temperaturas y la menor disponibilidad de agua, pueden afectar a los componentes del rendimiento del viñedo. En general, la previsión tradicional del rendimiento se basaba en el recuento manual y destructivo de los racimos y el peso de las bayas. Los métodos convencionales no proporcionan una estimación precisa y son lentos, caros y laboriosos. En este estudio, se utilizaron métodos novedosos que emplean tecnologías digitales como el uso de la detección próxima, la visión por ordenador y la inteligencia artificial para la estimación del rendimiento en viñedos comerciales. La visión por ordenador se utilizó para la detección automática de diferentes características del dosel y para la calibración de ecuaciones de regresión para la predicción del rendimiento por cepa. La inteligencia artificial se utilizó para el recuento automático de racimos. Los resultados mostraron que el algoritmo de aprendizaje profundo fue capaz de detectar racimos con una alta precisión. En conclusión, nuestros resultados demostraron la aplicabilidad de estos nuevos métodos para evaluar los componentes del rendimiento en viñedos comerciales.
Nowadays, diseases are one of the major threats to sustainable viticulture. Manual detection through visual surveys, usually done by agronomists, relies on symptom identification and requires an enormous amount of time. Detection in field conditions remains difficult due to the lack of infrastructure to perform detailed and rapid field scouting covering the whole vineyard. In general, symptoms of grapevine diseases can be seen as spots and patterns on leaves. In this sense, computer vision technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) provide an excellent alternative to improve the current disease detection and quantification techniques using images of leaves and canopy. These novel methods can minimize the time spent on symptom detection, which helps in the control and quantification of the disease severity. In this article, we present some results of deep learning-based approaches used for detecting automatically leaves with downy mildew symptoms from RGB images acquired under laboratory and field conditions. The results obtained so far with AI approaches for detecting leaves with downy mildew symptoms are promising, and they put in evidence of the huge potential of these techniques for practical applications in the context of modern and sustainable viticulture.
Dung removal by macrofauna such as dung beetles is an important process for nutrient cycling in pasturelands. Intensification of farming practices generally reduces species and functional diversity of terrestrial invertebrates, which may negatively affect ecosystem services. Here, we investigate the effects of cattle-grazing intensification on dung removal by dung beetles in field experiments replicated in 38 pastures around the world. Within each study site, we measured dung removal in pastures managed with low- and high-intensity regimes to assess between-regime differences in dung beetle diversity and dung removal, whilst also considering climate and regional variations. The impacts of intensification were heterogeneous, either diminishing or increasing dung beetle species richness, functional diversity, and dung removal rates. The effects of beetle diversity on dung removal were more variable across sites than within sites. Dung removal increased with species richness across sites, while functional diversity consistently enhanced dung removal within sites, independently of cattle grazing intensity or climate. Our findings indicate that, despite intensified cattle stocking rates, ecosystem services related to decomposition and nutrient cycling can be maintained when a functionally diverse dung beetle community inhabits the human-modified landscape.
The environmental exposure that heritage buildings have suffered for centuries results in many cases in problems of alteration and modification of their original conditions that can cause deterioration and even building ruin. The necessary study and intervention require carrying out previous investigations that guarantee a correct diagnosis and a rehabilitation proposal according to the state of conservation and entity of the property. In the present investigation, once the incidence of temperature on the behavior of Macael marble is known, the analysis of its mechanical resistance and its possible alteration is proposed. The study is carried out on quarry material and in the material on which 50 cycles of accelerated aging have been applied, in which high thermal gradients are produced. Through the application of non-destructive (ultrasonic pulses measurement and Rebound Smith Hammer) and destructive (compression test) techniques, results are obtained that show a high reduction in compressive strength as the number of cycles applied increases and the thermal gradient applied increases. The correlation obtained shows a high index R both for the non-destructive tests with the destructive test, as well as the correlation between the two non-destructive tests, confirming the validity of this type of technique to carry out the analysis of the state of a building.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is a prevalent mental disorder characterized by cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes. Symptoms of SZ include hallucinations, illusions, delusions, lack of motivation, and difficulties in concentration. While the exact causes of SZ remain unproven, factors such as brain injuries, stress, and psychotropic drugs have been implicated in its development. SZ can be classified into different types, including paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual. Diagnosing SZ involves employing various tools, including clinical interviews, physical examinations, psychological evaluations, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and neuroimaging techniques. Electroencephalography (EEG) recording is a significant functional neuroimaging modality that provides valuable insights into brain function during SZ. However, EEG signal analysis poses challenges for neurologists and scientists due to the presence of artifacts, long-term recordings, and the utilization of multiple channels. To address these challenges, researchers have introduced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, encompassing conventional machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) methods, to aid in SZ diagnosis. This study reviews papers focused on SZ diagnosis utilizing EEG signals and AI methods. The introduction section provides a comprehensive explanation of SZ diagnosis methods and intervention techniques. Subsequently, review papers in this field are discussed, followed by an introduction to the AI methods employed for SZ diagnosis and a summary of relevant papers presented in tabular form. Additionally, this study reports on the most significant challenges encountered in SZ diagnosis, as identified through a review of papers in this field. Future directions to overcome these challenges are also addressed. The discussion section examines the specific details of each paper, culminating in the presentation of conclusions and findings.
Intervention in cultural heritage buildings today involves improving energy performance that achieves a reduction in energy consumption and emissions, improving the quality of the environment. To carry it out, the studies and actions are mainly focused on the facades, which forces us to propose strategies for which it is necessary to carry out specific studies of the envelope, since various construction and material solutions are recognized in these buildings. On the other hand, the preservation of the protected elements forces to discard proposals applied in buildings of recent construction. The objective of this study focuses on the comparison of the thermal behavior in the Royal Hospital of Granada (Spain) in locations with different orientation and for two different periods. For this purpose, a methodology based on the study of thermal patterns in situ is used through the application of non-destructive techniques and the thermal simulation of the rooms by computer systems, for the different periods. The results confirm the importance and improvement of the thermal behavior in the analyzed spaces depending on the orientation, the use of the adjoining spaces, the climatic conditions and the construction system based on thick stone walls. In addition, thermal comfort conditions offer significant differences between rooms. As a whole, they offer valuable information that will allow strategic planning of the building to be carried out in the actions planned for the future, taking into account its use and its location, guaranteeing more efficient and effective rehabilitation actions.
Background Few studies in Latin America have examined the association between cardiovascular risk factors and cognitive impairment (CI) in a nationally representative sample. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate the prevalence of CI in a nationally representative sample of adults aged 60 years or older from Chile and to investigate the association between cardiovascular risk factors and CI. Methods Data from the cross-sectional 2016–2017 National Health Survey of Chile, which included 2031 adults (63.7% women) was used. Body mass index, metabolic syndrome (blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting glucose or treatment for diabetics, waist circumference, and HDL cholesterol), risk of cardiovascular disease (history and measured variables, using the Framingham risk score), tobacco use, and physical activity were measured. CI was assessed using the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE). Results Overall, the prevalence of CI was 12.2% at the national level. Significant differences in CI were observed by age, education level, risk of cardiovascular disease, and smoking. High risk of cardiovascular disease was associated with higher odds of CI (OR: 2.04; 95%CI: 1.20–3.45) compared to low risk. Smoking was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of CI (OR: 0.56; 95%CI: 0.36–0.87) compared to never smoking. Body mass index, metabolic syndrome, and physical activity were not associated with CI. Conclusions This study provided additional support for previous findings on the relationship between cognitive decline and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Worse CI was associated with the group with the highest risk of cardiovascular disease, and the presence of lifestyle factors, such as obesity and physical inactivity, exacerbate this relationship, but not being a current smoker.
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17,066 members
Fernando Blanco
  • Department of Social Psychology
Fernando Hernandez-Mateo
  • Department of Organic Chemistry
Salvador Gonzalez Garcia
  • Department of Electromagnetism and Matter Physics
Avda. del Hospicio, s/n, 18071, Granada, Granada, Spain
Head of institution
Pilar Aranda Ramírez
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