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See detailEffects of cold stimulation on cardiac-vagal activation: Randomized controlled trial with healthy participants
Jungmann, Manuela; Vencatachellum, Shervin UL; van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL et al

in Journal of Medical Internet Research (in press)

Background: The experience of psychological stress has not yet been adequately tackled with digital technology by catering to healthy individuals who wish to reduce their acute stress levels. For the ... [more ▼]

Background: The experience of psychological stress has not yet been adequately tackled with digital technology by catering to healthy individuals who wish to reduce their acute stress levels. For the design of digitally mediated solutions, physiological mechanisms need to be investigated that have the potential to induce relaxation with the help of technology. Research has shown that physiological mechanisms embodied in the face and neck regions are effective for diminishing stress related symptoms. The study described in this paper expands on these areas with the design for a wearable in mind. As this study charts new territory in research, it also represents a first evaluation of the viability for a wearables concept to reduce stress. We inquire into the effects of cold stimulation on heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in the neck region using a Thermode device. Objective: The objectives of this study were to assess whether (a) HRV is increased and (b) HR is decreased during a cold stimulation compared to a (non-stimulated) control condition. Effects were in particular expected in the neck and cheek regions and less in the forearm area (c). Methods: Participants were seated in a lab chair and tested with cold stimulation on the right side of the body. A Thermode was placed on the neck, cheek and forearm. Participants’ electrocardiogram was recorded and subsequently analyzed. The study was a fully randomized, within subject design. The cold stimulation was applied in 16 s intervals over 4 trials per testing location. The control condition proceeded exactly like the cold condition, except the thermal variable was manipulated to remain on the baseline temperature. HR was measured in msec IBI. rMSSD analyses were used to index HRV. Data were analyzed using a repeated measurements analysis of variance approach with two repeated measurements factors, i.e. Body Location (neck, cheek, forearm) and Condition (cold, control) Results: The data analysis of 61 participants (on exclusion of outliers) showed a main effect for body location for HR and HRV, a main effect for condition for HR and HRV and an interaction effect for condition and body location for HR and HRV. The results obtained demonstrate a pattern of cardiovascular reactivity to cold stimulation, suggesting an increase in cardiac-vagal activation. The effect was found to be significant for cold stimulation in the lateral neck area. Conclusion: The results confirmed our main hypothesis. This sets the stage for further investigations of the stress reduction potential in the neck region by developing a wearable prototype that can be used for cold application. Future studies should include a stress condition, test for a range of temperatures and durations, and collect self-report data on perceived stress levels to advance current findings. [less ▲]

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See detailCompte rendu de Ph. Poirier (dir.), Les pouvoirs d’un parlement. La Chambre des députés du Luxembourg, Promoculture-Larcier, Windhof, 2014
Heuschling, Luc UL

in Hemecht : Zeitschrift für Luxemburger Geschichte = Revue d'Histoire Luxembourgeoise (in press)

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See detailResilience factors in children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and their parents: the role of child and parent psychological flexibility.
Beeckman, Melanie; Hughes, Sean; van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL et al

in Pain Medicine : The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (in press)

Objective: Chronic pain is central to Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and is predictive of impaired functioning. Whereas most work has focused on identifying psychosocial risk factors for maladaptive ... [more ▼]

Objective: Chronic pain is central to Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and is predictive of impaired functioning. Whereas most work has focused on identifying psychosocial risk factors for maladaptive outcomes, we explored the idea that child and parental psychological flexibility (PF) represent resilience factors for adaptive functioning of the child. We also explored differences between general versus pain-specific PF in contributing to child outcomes. Methods: Children with JIA (8-18 years) and (one of) their parents were recruited at the department of pediatric rheumatology at the Ghent University Hospital in Belgium. They completed questionnaires assessing child and parent general and pain-specific PF and child psychosocial and emotional functioning, and disability. Results: The final sample consisted of fifty-nine children and forty-eight parents. Multiple regression analyses revealed that child PF contributed to better psychosocial functioning and less negative affect. Child pain acceptance contributed to better psychosocial functioning, lower levels of disability and lower negative affect, and also buffered against the negative influence of pain intensity on disability. Bootstrap mediation analyses demonstrated that parental (general) PF indirectly contributed to child psychosocial functioning and affect via the child’s (general) PF. Parent pain-specific PF was indirectly linked to child psychosocial functioning, disability, and negative affect via child pain acceptance. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that child and parental PF are resilience factors and show that pain acceptance buffers against the negative impact of pain intensity. Implications for psychosocial interventions that target (pain-specific) PF in children as well as in parents are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailParental emotion and pain control behaviour when faced with child’s pain: the emotion regulatory role of parental pain-related attention-set shifting and heart rate variability
Vervoort, Tine; Karos, Kai; Johnson, Dan et al

in Pain (in press)

, The present study investigated the moderating role of parental pain-related attention-set shifting and heart rate variability (HRV) for parental distress and pain control behaviour when faced with their ... [more ▼]

, The present study investigated the moderating role of parental pain-related attention-set shifting and heart rate variability (HRV) for parental distress and pain control behaviour when faced with their child’s pain. Participants were 54 school children and one of their parents. Parental HRV was assessed at study commencement followed by a cued switching task indexing parental ability to flexibly shift attention between pain-related and neutral attentional sets. In a subsequent phase, parents observed their child perform a CPT task, allowing assessment of parental pain control behavior (indexed by latency to stop their child’s CPT performance) and parental distress – assessed via self-report following observation of child CPT performance. Findings indicated that parental facilitated attentional shifting (i.e., engage) towards a pain-related attentional set contributed to higher levels of pain control behaviour when faced with increasing levels of chid facial display of pain. Pain control behaviour amongst parents who demonstrated impeded attentional shifting to a pain-related attentional set was equally pronounced regardless of low or high levels of child pain expression. Parental ability to shift attention away (i.e., disengage) from a pain related set to a neutral set did not impact findings. Results further indicated that whereas high levels of parental HRV buffers the impact of child facial pain display upon parental emotional distress and pain control behaviour, low levels of HRV constitute a risk factor for higher levels of parental distress and pain control behaviour when faced with increased child facial pain display. Theoretical/clinical implications and further research directions are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailHealth benefits of walking in nature: a randomized controlled study under conditions of real-life stress.
Olafsdottir, Gunnthora; Cloke, Paul; Schulz, André UL et al

in Environment & Behavior (in press)

We investigated the effects of recreational exposure to the natural environment on mood and psychophysiological responses to stress. We hypothesized that walking in nature has restorative effects over and ... [more ▼]

We investigated the effects of recreational exposure to the natural environment on mood and psychophysiological responses to stress. We hypothesized that walking in nature has restorative effects over and above the effects of exposure to nature scenes (viewing-nature-on-TV) or physical exercise alone (walking-on-a-treadmill-in-a-gym) and that these effects are greater when participants were expected to be more stressed. Healthy university students (N=90) were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 conditions and tested during an exam-free period and again during their exam time. Mood and psychophysiological responses were assessed before and after the interventions, and again after a laboratory stressor. All interventions had restorative effects on cortisol levels (p < .001), yet walking in nature resulted in lower cortisol levels than did nature viewing (p < .05) during the exam period. Walking in nature improved mood more than watching nature scenes (p < .001) or physical exercise alone (p < .05). [less ▲]

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See detailInformation sharing, credit booms and financial stability: Do developing economies differ from advanced countries?
Leon, Florian UL; Guérineau, Samuel

in Journal of Financial Stability (in press)

This paper analyses the impact of credit information sharing on financial stability, drawing special attention to its interactions with credit booms. A probit estimation of financial vulnerability ... [more ▼]

This paper analyses the impact of credit information sharing on financial stability, drawing special attention to its interactions with credit booms. A probit estimation of financial vulnerability episodes—identified by jumps in the ratio of non-performing loans to total loans—is run for a sample of 159 countries divided into two sub-samples according to their level of development: 80 advanced or emerging economies and 79 less developed countries. The results show that: i) credit information sharing reduces financial fragility for both groups of countries; ii) for less developed countries, the main effect is the direct effect (reduction of NPL ratio once credit boom is controlled), suggesting a portfolio quality effect; iii) credit information sharing also mitigates the detrimental impact of a credit boom on financial fragility but this result holds only for advanced and emerging countries and for household credit booms; and iv) the depth of information sharing has a negative impact on the likelihood of credit booms (but not the coverage of IS). [less ▲]

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See detail‘État de droit’ : Why import the German term ‘Rechtsstaat’ ?
Heuschling, Luc UL

in Meierhenrich, Jens; Loughlin, Martin (Eds.) The Cambridge Companion to the Rule of Law (in press)

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See detailAttentional bias to pain-related information: A meta-analysis of dot-probe studies
Todd, Jemma; van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Sharpe, Louise et al

in Health Psychology Review (in press)

Studies investigating attentional biases towards pain information vary widely in both design and results. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the degree to which attentional biases towards pain ... [more ▼]

Studies investigating attentional biases towards pain information vary widely in both design and results. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the degree to which attentional biases towards pain occur when measured with the dot-probe task. A total of 2168 references were screened, resulting in a final sample of 4466 participants from 52 articles. Participants were grouped according to pain experience: chronic pain, acute pain, anticipating experimental/procedural pain, social concern for pain, or healthy people. In general, results revealed a significant, but small bias towards pain words (d= 0.136), and pain pictures (d= 0.110) in chronic pain patients, but not in those with acute pain, those anticipating pain, or healthy people. Follow-up analyses revealed an attentional bias towards sensory pain words in the chronic pain group (d= 0.198), and the acute pain group (d= 0.303), but not other groups. In contrast, attentional biases towards affective pain stimuli were not significant for any pain groups. This meta-analysis found support for attentional biases towards sensory pain stimuli in patients with chronic pain in comparison to healthy individuals across a range of common parameters. Future researchers need to consider task design when seeking to optimally measure pain-relevant attentional biases [less ▲]

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See detailA transdiagnostic dimensional approach towards a neuropsychological assessment for addiction: an international Delphi consensus study.
Yucel, Murat; Oldenhof, Erin; Ahmed, Serge et al

in Addiction (Abingdon, England) (in press)

BACKGROUND: The U.S. National Institutes of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) seek to stimulate research into biologically validated neuropsychological dimensions across mental illness ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The U.S. National Institutes of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) seek to stimulate research into biologically validated neuropsychological dimensions across mental illness symptoms and diagnoses. The RDoC framework comprises 39 functional constructs designed to be revised and refined, with the overall goal to improve diagnostic validity and treatments. This study aimed to reach a consensus among experts in the addiction field on the 'primary' RDoC constructs most relevant to substance and behavioural addictions. METHODS: Forty-four addiction experts were recruited from Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The Delphi technique was used to determine a consensus as to the degree of importance of each construct in understanding the essential dimensions underpinning addictive behaviours. Expert opinions were canvassed online over three rounds (97% completion rate), with each consecutive round offering feedback for experts to review their opinions. RESULTS: Seven constructs were endorsed by >/=80% of experts as 'primary' to the understanding of addictive behaviour: five from the Positive Valence System (Reward Valuation, Expectancy, Action Selection, Reward Learning, Habit); one from the Cognitive Control System (Response Selection/Inhibition); and one expert-initiated construct (Compulsivity). These constructs were rated to be differentially related to stages of the addiction cycle, with some more closely linked to addiction onset, and others more to chronicity. Experts agreed that these neuropsychological dimensions apply across a range of addictions. CONCLUSIONS: The study offers a novel and neuropsychologically informed theoretical framework, as well as a cogent step forward to test transdiagnostic concepts in addiction research, with direct implications for assessment, diagnosis, staging of disorder, and treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Reflection of Data-Driven Value Creation in the 2018 OECD and EU Proposals
Sinnig, Julia UL

in EC Tax Review (in press)

Is the current corporate tax system fit for the digitalized economy? The 2018 interim report of the OECD and the proposals of the European Commission on the introduction of significant digital presence ... [more ▼]

Is the current corporate tax system fit for the digitalized economy? The 2018 interim report of the OECD and the proposals of the European Commission on the introduction of significant digital presence and a digital services tax give new insights into policymakers’ perception of ‘value creation’ and income generation in digitalized business models. Although the right way to tax digitalized business models seems disputed with regard to the diverging outcomes of the OECD’s and European Commission’s work so far, it seems to be of common understanding that user data are susceptible of establishing a taxable nexus. In a first step, this article aims at analysing how the collection and processing of user data may create such genuine link between an income generating activity and a state territory enabling this state to exercise its taxing right. In that respect, the concept of value creation, a driving concept in the discussion on how to tax digitalized businesses, is critically reviewed and an attempt to understand its real meaning is presented. In a second step, the article analyses to which extent the long- and short-term proposals of the European Commission reflect such data-driven (taxable) value creation, critically highlighting their main characteristics and flaws. [less ▲]

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See detailRevisiting Gaussian Mixture Models for Driver Identification
Jafarnejad, Sasan UL; Castignani, German UL; Engel, Thomas UL

in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Vehicular Electronics and Safety (ICVES) (ICVES 2018) (in press)

The increasing penetration of connected vehicles nowadays has enabled driving data collection at a very large scale. Many telematics applications have been also enabled from the analysis of those datasets ... [more ▼]

The increasing penetration of connected vehicles nowadays has enabled driving data collection at a very large scale. Many telematics applications have been also enabled from the analysis of those datasets and the usage of Machine Learning techniques, including driving behavior analysis predictive maintenance of vehicles, modeling of vehicle health and vehicle component usage, among others. In particular, being able to identify the individual behind the steering wheel has many application fields. In the insurance or car-rental market, the fact that more than one driver make use of the vehicle generally triggers extra fees for the contract holder. Moreover being able to identify different drivers enables the automation of comfort settings or personalization of advanced driver assistance (ADAS) technologies. In this paper, we propose a driver identification algorithm based on Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM). We show that only using features extracted from the gas pedal position and steering wheel angle signals we are able to achieve near 100 accuracy in scenarios with up to 67 drivers. In comparison to the state-of-the-art, our proposed methodology has lower complexity, superior accuracy and offers scalability to a larger number of drivers. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Empirical Evaluation of Evolutionary Algorithms for Unit Test Suite Generation
Campos, Jose; Ge, Yan; Albunian, Nasser et al

in Information and Software Technology (in press)

Context: Evolutionary algorithms have been shown to be e ective at generating unit test suites optimised for code coverage. While many speci c aspects of these algorithms have been evaluated in detail (e ... [more ▼]

Context: Evolutionary algorithms have been shown to be e ective at generating unit test suites optimised for code coverage. While many speci c aspects of these algorithms have been evaluated in detail (e.g., test length and di erent kinds of techniques aimed at improving performance, like seeding), the in uence of the choice of evolutionary algorithm has to date seen less attention in the literature. Objective: Since it is theoretically impossible to design an algorithm that is the best on all possible problems, a common approach in software engineering problems is to rst try the most common algorithm, a Genetic Algorithm, and only afterwards try to re ne it or compare it with other algorithms to see if any of them is more suited for the addressed problem. The objective of this paper is to perform this analysis, in order to shed light on the in uence of the search algorithm applied for unit test generation. Method: We empirically evaluate thirteen di erent evolutionary algorithms and two random approaches on a selection of non-trivial open source classes. All algorithms are implemented in the EvoSuite test generation tool, which includes recent optimisations such as the use of an archive during the search and optimisation for multiple coverage criteria. Results: Our study shows that the use of a test archive makes evolutionary algorithms clearly better than random testing, and it con rms that the DynaMOSA many-objective search algorithm is the most e ective algorithm for unit test generation. Conclusions: Our results show that the choice of algorithm can have a substantial in uence on the performance of whole test suite optimisation. Although we can make a recommendation on which algorithm to use in practice, no algorithm is clearly superior in all cases, suggesting future work on improved search algorithms for unit test generation [less ▲]

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See detailIdentifying elastoplastic parameters with Bayes' theorem considering double error sources and model uncertainty
Rappel, Hussein UL; Beex, Lars UL; Noels, Ludovic et al

in Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics (in press)

We discuss Bayesian inference for the identi cation of elastoplastic material parameters. In addition to errors in the stress measurements, which are commonly considered, we furthermore consider errors in ... [more ▼]

We discuss Bayesian inference for the identi cation of elastoplastic material parameters. In addition to errors in the stress measurements, which are commonly considered, we furthermore consider errors in the strain measurements. Since a difference between the model and the experimental data may still be present if the data is not contaminated by noise, we also incorporate the possible error of the model itself. The three formulations to describe model uncertainty in this contribution are: (1) a random variable which is taken from a normal distribution with constant parameters, (2) a random variable which is taken from a normal distribution with an input-dependent mean, and (3) a Gaussian random process with a stationary covariance function. Our results show that incorporating model uncertainty often, but not always, improves the results. If the error in the strain is considered as well, the results improve even more. [less ▲]

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See detailTeacher expectations concerning students with immigrant background or special educational needs
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Glock, Sabine UL

in Journal of Educational Research and Evaluation (in press)

Male students with immigrant backgrounds are disproportionally referred for special educational support outside regular classrooms or schools, which may reflect differential teachers´ expectations ... [more ▼]

Male students with immigrant backgrounds are disproportionally referred for special educational support outside regular classrooms or schools, which may reflect differential teachers´ expectations concerning the academic achievement of students based on socio-demographic characteristics. Although research has indicated differential teachers´ expectations for students based on immigrant background or special educational needs (SEN), less is known about a possible double vulnerability associated with combined stereotypes. Therefore, in the current study both SEN and immigrant background were systematically varied and teachers were asked to rate the students´ academic achievement. Results show that teachers´ expectations of students with SEN and immigrant background was lower than for students without immigrant background, especially in regards to language proficiency. These results may help to explain the overrepresentation of students with immigrant background in special educational programs. The educational and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailMaintenance location routing for rolling stock under line and fleet planning uncertainty
Arts, Joachim UL; Tönissen, Denise; Shen, Zuo-Jun

in Transportation Science (in press)

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See detailOracles for Testing Software Timeliness with Uncertainty
Wang, Chunhui UL; Pastore, Fabrizio UL; Briand, Lionel UL

in ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (in press)

Uncertainty in timing properties (e.g., detection time of external events) is a common occurrence in embedded software systems since these systems interact with complex physical environments. Such time ... [more ▼]

Uncertainty in timing properties (e.g., detection time of external events) is a common occurrence in embedded software systems since these systems interact with complex physical environments. Such time uncertainty leads to non-determinism. For example, time-triggered operations may either generate different valid outputs across different executions, or experience failures (e.g., results not being generated in the expected time window) that occur only occasionally over many executions. For these reasons, time uncertainty makes the generation of effective test oracles for timing requirements a challenging task. To address the above challenge, we propose STUIOS (Stochastic Testing with Unique Input Output Sequences), an approach for the automated generation of stochastic oracles that verify the capability of a software system to fulfill timing constraints in the presence of time uncertainty. Such stochastic oracles entail the statistical analysis of repeated test case executions based on test output probabilities predicted by means of statistical model checking. Results from two industrial case studies in the automotive domain demonstrate that this approach improves the fault detection effectiveness of tests suites derived from timed automata, compared to traditional approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailNew synthetic opioids: Part of a new addiction landscape.
Karila, Laurent; Marillier, Maude; Chaumette, Boris et al

in Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews (in press)

Synthetic opioids (SO) are a major risk for public health across the world. These drugs can be divided into 2 categories, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical fentanyls. A new generation of SO has ... [more ▼]

Synthetic opioids (SO) are a major risk for public health across the world. These drugs can be divided into 2 categories, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical fentanyls. A new generation of SO has emerged on the drug market since 2010. North America is currently facing an opioid epidemic of morbi-mortality, caused by over-prescription of opioids, illegally diverted prescribed medicines, the increasing use of heroin, is and the emergence of SO. Furthermore, this opioid crisis is also seen in Europe. SO are new psychoactive substances characterized by different feature such as easy availability on the Internet, low price, purity, legality, and lack of detection in laboratory tests. They have not been approved or are not recommended for human use. Opioid misuse is associated with somatic and psychiatric complications. For many substances, limited pharmacological information is available, increasing the risk of harmful adverse events. Health actors and the general population need to be clearly informed of the potential risks and consequences of the diffusion and use of SO. [less ▲]

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See detailEscaping reality through videogames is linked to an implicit preference for virtual over real-life stimuli
Deleuze, Jory; Maurage, Pierre; Schimmenti, Adriano et al

in Journal of Affective Disorders (in press)

From the theory of compensatory Internet use, escapism through videogames may constitute a coping strategy that is sometimes helpful but, in some cases, maladaptive. Yet, evidence supporting this view has ... [more ▼]

From the theory of compensatory Internet use, escapism through videogames may constitute a coping strategy that is sometimes helpful but, in some cases, maladaptive. Yet, evidence supporting this view has, to date, been gathered only through the use of explicit self-reported questionnaires, which are known to be biased. Accordingly, the aim of the current study was to test whether the escapism motive is related to a preference for the virtual environment. Method. A laboratory task that allowed the measurement of implicit attitudes, namely, the Affect Misattribution Procedure was created with stimuli from real world and videogames. The task was administered online with a series of questionnaire and completed by 273 online gamers from the community. Results. The results showed that participants had more positive attitudes toward pictures depicting virtual environments than toward those depicting real environments. Furthermore, those participants who frequently used videogames to escape real life and were highly engaged in video gaming had a more pronounced positive implicit attitude toward the virtual environment. Discussion. This study contributes to a better understanding of the psychological processes underlying escapism in videogames and calls for a refinement of the escapism construct, which can be related to both problematic (i.e., potential coping strategy) and nonproblematic patterns of videogame use. Among the limitations, it should be noted that the selection of stimuli related to videogames is restricted to one genre of game, and that the participants’ environment could not be controlled due to the online design. [less ▲]

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See detailShifting Epistemologies for Discipline and Rigour in Educational Research: Challenges and Opportunities from Digital Humanities
Priem, Karin UL; Fendler, Lynn

in European Educational Research Journal (in press)

This paper historicizes “rigour”, discipline” and “systematic” as inventions of a certain rational spirit of Enlightenment that was radicalized during the 19th century. These terms acquired temporary ... [more ▼]

This paper historicizes “rigour”, discipline” and “systematic” as inventions of a certain rational spirit of Enlightenment that was radicalized during the 19th century. These terms acquired temporary value in a transition during the 19th century when a culture of research was established within a modern episteme. Beginning in the 20th century, this development was perceived as problematic, triggering criticism from philosophy and the arts, and even within the sciences. “Discipline”, “rigour” and “systematic” have changed meanings over time, and recent contributions from Digital Humanities are promising for a renewed critical debate about rigour in research. Both digital humanities and quantitative research deal with big data sets aimed at providing a large-scale analysis. However, unlike most quantitative research, digital humanities explore uncertainties as their main focus. Attention to the human-machine collaboration has led to more expansive thinking in scientific research. Digital humanities go further by advancing a metaperspective that deals with the material hermeneutics of data accumulation itself. [less ▲]

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See detailVisceral-afferent signals from the cardiovascular system, but not urinary urge, affect startle eye blink
Schulz, André UL; Schilling, Thomas M.; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Physiology and Behavior (in press)

The aim of the current study was to investigate if startle methodology is suitable to reflect urinary urgency. Eighteen healthy men were tested on two separate days, each including an ingestion of fluid ... [more ▼]

The aim of the current study was to investigate if startle methodology is suitable to reflect urinary urgency. Eighteen healthy men were tested on two separate days, each including an ingestion of fluid until 80% of the subjective urge to micturate was reached. EMG responses to acoustic startle stimuli were assessed before and after micturition, as well as in the early and late cardiac cycle phases (230 vs. 530 ms after a cardiac R-wave). Sonographic assessment confirmed bladder-filling status. Emotional arousal, stress, urge and unpleasantness ratings, as well as mean blood pressure were higher before than after micturition. Startle eye blink responses were lower during the early than during the late cardiac cycle phase, but were not affected by bladder filling status. We conclude that startle methodology is suitable for the investigation of afferent signals from the cardiovascular system, but not to reflect urinary urgency. This result may be due to different neurophysiological mechanisms underlying afferent signals from the bladder compared to other visceral organs or interference with affective states or sympathetic activation associated with bladder filling. Notwithstanding, the present research protocol of fluid intake, sonographic assessment of the bladder, and subjective reports, can be applied to examine visceral-afferent signals from the bladder. [less ▲]

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