University of Roehampton
  • London, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Inflammation plays a fundamental role in the development of several metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D); the complement system has been implicated in their development. People of Black African (BA) ethnicity are disproportionately affected by T2D and other metabolic diseases but the impact of ethnicity on the complement system has not been explored. We investigated ethnic differences in complement biomarkers and activation status between men of BA and White European (WE) ethnicity and explored their association with parameters of metabolic health. We measured a panel of 15 complement components, regulators and activation products in fasting plasma from 89 BA and 96 WE men. Ethnic differences were statistically validated. Association of complement biomarkers with metabolic health indices (BMI, waist circumference, insulin resistance and HbA1c) were assessed in the groups. Plasma levels of the key complement components C3 and C4, the regulators clusterin and properdin and the activation marker iC3b were significantly higher in BA compared to WE men after age adjustment, while FD levels were significantly lower. C3 and C4 levels positively correlated with some or all markers of metabolic dysfunction in both ethnic groups while FD was inversely associated with HbA1c in both groups, and clusterin and properdin were inversely associated with some markers of metabolic dysfunction only in the WE group. Our findings of increased levels of complement components and activation products in BA compared to WE men suggest differences in complement regulation that may impact susceptibility to poor metabolic health.
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian fight-game with live music, historically practiced in Brazil since colonial times. Over the years, capoeira activities have been archived in a variety of art forms, from ethnographic drawings to documentary photography and motion pictures, many of which carry racist connotations. Contrary to this trend, in this article, we take a closer look at a series of modern capoeira drawings by Carybé, published in the 1951’s book Jogo da Capoeira. Widely reproduced and appropriated, these drawings continue to inform how we imagine capoeira today and, in 2014, was included in the recognition of capoeira as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Our examination pays close attention to few overlapping game tactics or attitudes related to fight, play, dance, sports and drama. In short, we argue that Carybé’s artistic depictions of capoeira post have been instrumental to the recognition of this Afro-centric practice.
Most of the studies about mental health and quality of life of emerging adults have been conducted in developed countries and non-students’ population has been neglected, limiting the generalisation of the results to other socioeconomic realities. This paper reports the results of an observational study on differences between the two cohorts (students vs non-students) both on mental health and quality of life measures but also on demographic, lifestyle and mental health variables in emerging adults living in a middle-income country. Associations between variables and interactions in the prediction of both outcomes scores were explored to understand how much other variables may contribute to differences between the two groups. We found poorer mental health and worse health-related quality of life in the students than the non-students, although effect sizes were small. Differences between the groups on some sociodemographic predictor variables were statistically significant, showing fairly strong effects, for social status, sleeping hours and parenting, however, none of the predictor variables showed confounding with group effects on both outcomes. Developing countries are growing and work forces are changing, creating a huge global need to understand these changes and the effects on the mental health and quality of life of this evolving population. Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04596345).
This study investigates the practice of “sounding for others,” wherein one person vocalizes to enact someone else’s putatively ongoing bodily sensation. We argue that it constitutes a collaborative way of performing sensorial experiences. Examples include producing cries with others’ strain or pain and parents sounding an mmm of gustatory pleasure on their infant’s behalf. Vocal sounds, their loudness, and duration are specifically deployed for instructing bodily experiences during novices’ real-time performance of various activities, such as tasting food for the first time or straining during a Pilates exercise. Vocalizations that are indexically tied to the body provide immediate displays of understanding and empathy that may be explicated further through lexicon. The existence of this practice challenges the conceptualization of communication as a transfer of information from an individual agent – even regarding assumedly individual body sensations – instead providing evidence of the joint nature of action and supporting dialogic theories of communication, including when language-marginal vocalizations are used.
In recent years there has been much research regarding the extent to which social status is related to long-term indices of health. The majority of studies looking at the interplay between social status and health have been conducted in industrialized societies. However, it has been argued that most of human evolution took place in small, mobile and egalitarian hunter-gatherer groups where individuals exhibited very little variation in terms of material wealth or possessions. In this study, we looked at the extent to which two domains of social status, hunting reputation (being perceived as a good hunter) and popularity (being perceived as a friend), are related to physiological stress levels among Hadza men, hunter-gatherers living in Northern Tanzania. The results of our study show that neither hunting reputation nor popularity is associated with stress levels. Overall, our data suggest that, in at least some traditional small-scale societies exhibiting an egalitarian social model, such as the Hadza, the variation in social status measures based on both popularity and hunting reputation does not translate into one of the commonly used indices of wellbeing.
Objective Assessing and accommodating patient preferences is integral to evidence-based practice. This qualitative study sought to explore patient perspectives and experiences of preference work in psychotherapy. Methods Participants were 13 UK-based patients who had completed up to 24 sessions of a collaborative–integrative psychotherapy. Ten participants identified as female and three as male. Interviews were conducted at endpoint and analyzed using a team-based, consensual qualitative research approach. Results Three superordinate domains were developed: Preferences Themselves, Process of Working with Preferences in Psychotherapy, and Effect of Preference Work (or its Absence). Patients typically wanted leadership, challenge, and input from their psychotherapist, and an affirming style. Patients attributed the origin of their preferences to personal history, characteristics, or circumstances; the present psychotherapy; or past episodes of psychotherapy. Some preferences changed over time. Preference work was described as having positive effects on the therapeutic relationship and patients’ intrapersonal worlds; however, variantly, non-accommodation of preferences was also experienced as beneficial. Conclusion Our findings provide in-depth answers to a range of novel questions on preference work—potential mechanisms by which preference work impacts outcomes, factors that may facilitate preference work, and origins of preferences—as well as nuancing previously-established quantitative findings. Implications for clinical training and practice are discussed.
We build a two-moment decision-theoretic framework to study how firms in the food-processing industry negotiate between risk and return while relying on imported inputs for production at an intensive margin. Two possibilities emerge: either a co-movement or a trade-off in risk and return under various industry and economic conditions. Building on our theoretical setting, we design a testable empirical framework that considers a panel of 316 firms in the Indian food-processing industry between 1993-2009. We find strong evidence of a decrease in the absolute risk aversion preference, although the magnitude varies measurably across firms.
The bed of fluvial ecosystems plays a major role in global biogeochemical cycles. All fluvial sediments migrate and although responses of aquatic organisms to such movements have been recorded there is no theoretical framework on how the frequency of sediment movement affects streambed ecology and biogeo-chemistry. We here developed a theoretical framework describing how the moving-resting frequencies of fine-grained sediments constrain streambed communities across spatial scales. Specifically, we suggest that the most drastic impact on benthic and hyporheic communities will exist when ecological and biogeochemical processes are at the same temporal scale as the sediment moving-resting frequency. Moreover, we propose that the simultaneous occurrence of streambed patches differing in morphodynamics should be considered as an important driver of metacommunity dynamics. We surmise that the frequency of patch transition will add new dimensions to the understanding of bio-geochemical cycling and metacommunities from micro-habitat to segment scales. This theoretical framework is important for fluvial ecosystems with frequent sediment movement, yet it could be applied to any other dynamic habitat.
Objective Across contexts, from social cognition to the COVID-19 pandemic response, individual variation in the regulation of interpersonal distance has typically been viewed as a voluntary choice. Here we examine the frequency of unintentional lapses in interpersonal distancing, and their relationship with childhood ADHD symptoms. Method We administered a novel measure of difficulty with interpersonal distancing across three undergraduate samples (total N = 1,225), in addition to measures of recalled childhood ADHD symptoms, mind wandering, and hyperfocus. Results Almost all (>97%) participants reported unintentional lapses in maintaining interpersonal distance, with 16% experiencing such lapses frequently. Thirty percent of the variance in these reports was accounted for by attentional traits: Inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive ADHD symptoms jointly predicted difficulties with interpersonal distancing, with the former relationship fully mediated by hyperfocus and spontaneous mind wandering. Conclusion Both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive ADHD symptoms confer vulnerability to frequent unintentional lapses in interpersonal distancing.
Purpose This study investigated the effects of acute hyperthermia and heat acclimation (HA) on maximal and rapid voluntary torque production, and their neuromuscular determinants. Methods Ten participants completed 10 days of isothermic HA (50 °C, 50% rh) and had their knee-extensor neuromuscular function assessed in normothermic and hyperthermic conditions, pre-, after 5 and after 10 days of HA. Electrically evoked twitch and octet (300 Hz) contractions were delivered at rest. Maximum voluntary torque (MVT), surface electromyography (EMG) normalised to maximal M-wave, and voluntary activation (VA) were assessed during brief maximal isometric voluntary contractions. Rate of torque development (RTD) and normalised EMG were measured during rapid voluntary contractions. Results Acute hyperthermia reduced neural drive (EMG at MVT and during rapid voluntary contractions; P < 0.05), increased evoked torques ( P < 0.05), and shortened contraction and relaxation rates ( P < 0.05). HA lowered resting rectal temperature and heart rate after 10 days ( P < 0.05), and increased sweating rate after 5 and 10 days ( P < 0.05), no differences were observed between 5 and 10 days. The hyperthermia-induced reduction in twitch half-relaxation was attenuated after 5 and 10 days of HA, but there were no other effects on neuromuscular function either in normothermic or hyperthermic conditions. Conclusion HA-induced favourable adaptations to the heat after 5 and 10 days of exposure, but there was no measurable benefit on voluntary neuromuscular function in normothermic or hyperthermic conditions. HA did reduce the hyperthermic-induced reduction in twitch half-relaxation time, which may benefit twitch force summation and thus help preserve voluntary torque in hot environmental conditions.
The harmful effects of Covid 19 on children living in poverty have refocused attention on the complex nature of child poverty and the vexed question of its relationship to education. The paper examines a tension at the heart of much discussion of child poverty and education. On the one hand, education is often regarded as essential for children’s flourishing and a means by which children can “escape” poverty; yet on the other hand, education systems, institutions, and practices, often reflect and entrench the disadvantages associated with poverty. Narratives concerning education as an escape from poverty tend not to deal in any depth with the injustices associated with poverty, stressing instead the transformative potential of education. By contrast, largely sociological analyses of the ways in which schooling reproduces inequalities tend to stop short of developing a normative account of how education can contribute to transforming the structural injustices related to poverty and its effects on children’s lives. In working to move beyond this analytic impasse, the paper shows how the cluster of concepts, which Robeyns (2018) locates as central to the capability approach, give insights which help to address these two different lacunae. The notion of conversion factors highlights the significance of taking account of existing relationships in education, while the distinction between capabilities and functionings helps guide practices regarding the education of children living in poverty. Drawing on literature on the heightened inequalities associated with poor children’s experience of lack of schooling during the COVID pandemic, the paper sketches some of the ways in which sociological analysis and normative evaluation can be linked in taking forward an “ethically engaged political philosophy” (Wolff, 2018) to discuss child poverty and education in real schools.
Osteoclasts contribute to bone marrow (BM)-mediated drug resistance in multiple myeloma (MM) by providing cytoprotective cues. Additionally, 80% of patients develop osteolytic lesions, which is a major cause of morbidity in MM. Although targeting osteoclast function is critical to improve MM therapies, pre-clinical studies rarely consider overcoming osteoclast-mediated cytoprotection within the selection criteria of drug candidates. We have performed a drug screening and identified PI3K as a key regulator of a signalling node associated with resistance to dexamethasone lenalidomide, pomalidomide, and bortezomib mediated by osteoclasts and BM fibroblastic stromal cells, which was blocked by the pan-PI3K Class IA inhibitor GDC-0941. Additionally, GDC-0941 repressed the maturation of osteoclasts derived from MM patients and disrupted the organisation of the F-actin cytoskeleton in sealing zones required for bone degradation, correlating with decreased bone resorption by osteoclasts. In vivo, GDC-0941 improved the efficacy of dexamethasone against MM in the syngeneic GFP-5T33/C57-Rawji mouse model. Taken together, our results indicate that GDC-0941 in combination with currently used therapeutic agents could effectively kill MM cells in the presence of the cytoprotective BM microenvironment while inhibiting bone resorption by osteoclasts. These data support investigating GDC-0941 in combination with currently used therapeutic drugs for MM patients with active bone disease.
Emotional and behavioural problems are closely associated with impairments in regulating emotions and in executive functions (EF). To examine this further, the aim of the present study was to determine whether EF and emotion regulation at baseline would predict emotional and behavioural problem scores post-intervention, and further explore the extent to which emotion regulation mediates these outcomes. Participants were 41 primary school children who exhibited emotional and/or behavioural problems, aged 8 to 11 years. All the children completed measures of emotional and behavioural problems, cognitive emotion regulation, anxiety symptoms, and performed two experimental tasks to measure working memory and response inhibition before and after participating in a transdiagnostic Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-based programme, “Super Skills for Life” (SSL), and at 3-months follow-up. Results revealed significant reduction in the use of maladaptive emotion regulation strategy catastrophising and other blame following the intervention. Additionally, EF and emotion regulation was associated with outcomes for emotional problems and conduct problems. More specifically maladaptive emotion regulation strategy such as catastrophising and other blame was closely related with self-reports of emotional problems, likewise other blame, was also linked with scores of conduct problems. This study provides preliminary empirical support for EF and emotion regulation in predicting outcomes of emotional and behavioural problems in children following intervention.
Psychological research often seeks general rules applying across individuals, an aim that is in tension with examining that which is unique to any individual. There are general statistical regularities across individuals’ subjective self-report which enable much psychology and psychotherapy research to combine data from self-report questionnaire responses with statistical and psychometric methods to create a fundamental part of Cronbach and Meehl’s foundational nomological networks of validity. However, these methods only apply when most participants answer the same questions on measures creating nomothetic data and this has led to a neglect of idiographic data. This paper reviews a method of analysis of idiographic data, of “rigorous idiography”: the method of derangements. This is a remarkably simple statistical test of whether purely idiographic data convey reliable information. We show how the method appeared to become stuck in a bibliometric backwater but we expand on its potential for research and practise and hope it will be taken up and used correctly and more widely.
Prayer is often taken to be the solution to all manner of things. But what happens when prayer is not so much the solution to the injustices of the world as part of the problem? In this article, I present Karl Barth's idea of the ‘shadow-side’ of creation as a way of querying the prayer-as-the-solution-to-everything trope and encouraging more disciplined thinking about prayer – one that is self-critical, alert to and realistic about the dangers of prayer and yet not without hope in the promise of prayer's remaking. I call this way of thinking about prayer a ‘negative’ theology of prayer.
Histories of the freedom of movement during the Cold War often focus on issues of immigration. Yet, national security frameworks set up after the Second World War also involved restrictions of the right to leave one's own country. This article takes the Federal Republic of Germany as a case study to probe the political tensions between codified constitutional rights of the individual, new human rights norms, and the Bonn government's anti-communist mobilisation during the 1950’s. The example of the right to leave shows that the state retained crucial powers to curtail basic rights in the name of national security state.
In recent years there has been a great deal of documentation on how social relationships are related to various aspects of human wellbeing. However, until recently most studies investigating the effects of social relationships on wellbeing have applied social network measures to reported social contacts. Recent advances in the application of bio-loggers in biological studies have now made it possible to quantify social relationships based on in-person, rather than self-reported, social interactions. We used GPS-derived in-camp and out-of-camp proximity data to analyse how in-person proximity is related to Hair Cortisol Concentration (HCC) among Hadza hunter-gatherers. Time spent in close proximity to other camp members was associated with higher HCC, especially in women. In contrast, individuals who spent more time in close out-of-camp proximity to their best friend experienced lower HCC. Our study suggests that physiological costs related to group living might be mitigated by in-person interactions with close friends. We also find that the location (i.e., in-camp vs out-of-camp) of proximity to others and self-perceived friends is associated with HCC among the Hadza.
Attentional control theory (ACT) was proposed to account for trait anxiety's effects on cognitive performance. According to ACT, impaired processing efficiency in high anxiety is mediated through inefficient executive processes that are needed for effective attentional control. Here we review the central assumptions and predictions of ACT within the context of more recent empirical evidence from neuroimaging studies. We then attempt to provide an account of ACT within a framework of the relevant cognitive processes and their associated neural mechanisms and networks, particularly the fronto-parietal, cingular-opercula, and default mode networks. Future research directions, including whether a neuroscience-informed model of ACT can provide a platform for novel neurocognitive intervention for anxiety, are also discussed.
Sexual selection is driven by two main mechanisms, intrasexual selection and intersexual selection. Classically, elaborate male ornamentation is considered to function as an intersexual signal, in which females choose potential mates on the basis of their conspicuous colouration. However, some studies have shown that male sexual ornamentation may also serve as an intersexual signal of strength or dominance (as ‘badges of status’), mediating conflict between males. Among primates, such signals often comprise bright colouration on the face, scrotum, or chest. The potential function as a badge of status of the dark facial colouration seen in a number of primate species is less explored. In this study of male Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) living in a semi-free ranging enclosure at Trentham Monkey Forest, I predicted that darker faced males would be higher ranked, receive higher rates of submissive behavior, and spend less time with males in close proximity, respectively. I found that male facial colour was not related to rank, rate of submissions received or patterns of proximity to conspecifics. Thus, this work does not support the hypothesis that dark facial colouration serves as an intrasexual badge of status in this species.
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Catherine Gilvarry
  • Department of Psychology
Fulvio D'Acquisto
  • Health Sciences Research Centre
Lewis Halsey
  • Department of Life Sciences
Mick Cooper
  • Department of Psychology
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