Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Research Publications

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    Psychosocial Well-Being and Functional Outcomes in Youth With Type 1 Diabetes 12 years After Disease Onset
    Northam, EA ; Lin, A ; Finch, S ; Weather, GA ; Cameron, FJ (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2010-07-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Type 1 diabetes in youth and community controls were compared on functional outcomes. Relationships were examined between psychosocial variables at diagnosis and functional outcome 12 years later. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Participants were subjects with type 1 diabetes (n = 110, mean age 20.7 years, SD 4.3) and control subjects (n = 76, mean age 20.8 years, SD 4.0). The measures used included the Youth Self-Report and Young Adult Self-Report and a semi-structured interview of functional outcomes. Type 1 diabetes participants also provided information about current diabetes care and metabolic control from diagnosis. RESULTS: Type 1 diabetes participants and control subjects reported similar levels of current well-being but for the youth with type 1 diabetes, the mental health referral rates over the previous 12 years were higher by 19% and school completion rates were lower by 17%. Over one-third of clinical participants were not currently receiving specialist care and this group had higher mental health service usage in the past (61 vs. 33%) and lower current psychosocial well- being. Within the type 1 diabetes group, behavior problems, high activity, and low family cohesion at diagnosis predicted lower current well-being, but were not associated with metabolic control history. Poorer metabolic control was associated with higher mental health service usage. CONCLUSIONS: Type 1 diabetes participants report similar levels of current psychosocial well-being compared with control subjects, but higher levels of psychiatric morbidity since diagnosis and lower school completion rates. Psychiatric morbidity was associated with poor metabolic control and failure to transition to tertiary adult diabetes care.
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    Transforming Disability: Music in Special Education
    Farrell, H (Australian Society for Music Education, 2009)
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    Which patient will feel down, which will be happy? The need to study the genetic disposition of emotional states
    Sprangers, MAG ; Bartels, M ; Veenhoven, R ; Baas, F ; Martin, NG ; Mosing, M ; Movsas, B ; Ropka, ME ; Shinozaki, G ; Swaab, D (SPRINGER, 2010-12-01)
    PURPOSE: In quality-of-life (QL) research, the genetic susceptibility of negative and positive emotions is frequently ignored, taken for granted, or treated as noise. The objectives are to describe: (1) the major findings of studies addressing the heritable and environmental causes of variation in negative and positive emotional states and (2) the major biological pathways of and genetic variants involved in these emotional states. METHODS: Literature overview. RESULTS: The heritability estimates for anxiety and depression are 30-40%. Related traits as neuroticism and loneliness are also highly heritable. The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis is the 'final common pathway' for most depressive symptoms. The many findings of investigated genes are promising but not definitive. Heritability estimates of positive emotional states range between 40 and 50%. Life satisfaction and mental health share common genetic factors with optimism and self-esteem. The prefrontal cortex is a candidate brain area for positive emotional states. Biological and genetic research into positive emotional states is scarce. CONCLUSION: Genetically informative studies may provide insights into a wide variety of complex questions that traditional QL studies cannot deliver. This insight in turn will help us to design more effective supportive programs that could moderate the outcomes of genetically based predispositions.
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    Social cognitive determinants of ecstasy use to target in evidence-based interventions: a meta-analytical review
    Peters, G-JY ; Kok, G ; Abraham, C (WILEY, 2008-01-01)
    AIMS: The health hazards and prevalence of ecstasy use have been documented in two decades of research, but no review reporting on potentially modifiable antecedents of use is available. The aim of this study was to integrate systematically research identifying cognitive correlates of ecstasy use. Such research has the potential to identify targets for evidence-based interventions designed to discourage use. METHODS: The databases PsycINFO and MedLine were searched, inclusion criteria applied to resulting hits, and descendency and ancestry approaches applied to the selected publications. Reported associations between cognitive determinants, including intention to use and ecstasy use measures, were synthesized by calculating a weighted mean effect size, r. RESULTS: The pattern of associations lent support both to the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and the expectancy approach as descriptions of potentially useful determinants. Attitudes were associated most strongly with intention and use, followed by subjective norm and perceived behavioural control. CONCLUSIONS: Consideration of the strength of associations and the potential modifiability of identified cognitions suggests that evidence-based interventions to discourage ecstasy use should target negative expectancies, perceived behavioural control and anticipated regret, and consider tailoring perceived behavioural control elements.
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    The weight of representing the body: addressing the potentially indefinite number of body representations in healthy individuals
    Kammers, MPM ; Mulder, J ; de Vignemont, F ; Dijkerman, HC (SPRINGER, 2010-07-01)
    There is little consensus about the characteristics and number of body representations in the brain. In the present paper, we examine the main problems that are encountered when trying to dissociate multiple body representations in healthy individuals with the use of bodily illusions. Traditionally, task-dependent bodily illusion effects have been taken as evidence for dissociable underlying body representations. Although this reasoning holds well when the dissociation is made between different types of tasks that are closely linked to different body representations, it becomes problematic when found within the same response task (i.e., within the same type of representation). Hence, this experimental approach to investigating body representations runs the risk of identifying as many different body representations as there are significantly different experimental outputs. Here, we discuss and illustrate a different approach to this pluralism by shifting the focus towards investigating task-dependency of illusion outputs in combination with the type of multisensory input. Finally, we present two examples of behavioural bodily illusion experiments and apply Bayesian model selection to illustrate how this different approach of dissociating and classifying multiple body representations can be applied.
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    How many motoric body representations can we grasp?
    Kammers, MPM ; Kootker, JA ; Hogendoorn, H ; Dijkerman, HC (SPRINGER, 2010-04-01)
    At present there is a debate on the number of body representations in the brain. The most commonly used dichotomy is based on the body image, thought to underlie perception and proven to be susceptible to bodily illusions, versus the body schema, hypothesized to guide actions and so far proven to be robust against bodily illusions. In this rubber hand illusion study we investigated the susceptibility of the body schema by manipulating the amount of stimulation on the rubber hand and the participant's hand, adjusting the postural configuration of the hand, and investigating a grasping rather than a pointing response. Observed results showed for the first time altered grasping responses as a consequence of the grip aperture of the rubber hand. This illusion-sensitive motor response challenges one of the foundations on which the dichotomy is based, and addresses the importance of illusion induction versus type of response when investigating body representations.
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    Dynamic causal modelling for EEG and MEG
    Kiebel, SJ ; Garrido, MI ; Moran, RJ ; Friston, KJ (SPRINGER, 2008-06-01)
    Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) is an approach first introduced for the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to quantify effective connectivity between brain areas. Recently, this framework has been extended and established in the magneto/encephalography (M/EEG) domain. DCM for M/EEG entails the inversion a full spatiotemporal model of evoked responses, over multiple conditions. This model rests on a biophysical and neurobiological generative model for electrophysiological data. A generative model is a prescription of how data are generated. The inversion of a DCM provides conditional densities on the model parameters and, indeed on the model itself. These densities enable one to answer key questions about the underlying system. A DCM comprises two parts; one part describes the dynamics within and among neuronal sources, and the second describes how source dynamics generate data in the sensors, using the lead-field. The parameters of this spatiotemporal model are estimated using a single (iterative) Bayesian procedure. In this paper, we will motivate and describe the current DCM framework. Two examples show how the approach can be applied to M/EEG experiments.
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    Spatially localized time shifts of the perceptual stream
    Hogendoorn, H ; Verstraten, FAJ ; Johnston, A (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2010-01-01)
    Visual events trigger representations in different locations and times in the brain. In experience, however, these various neural responses refer to a single unified cause. To investigate how representations might be brought into temporal alignment, we attempted to locally manipulate neural processing in such a way that identical, simultaneous sequences would appear temporally misaligned. After adaptation to a 20 Hz sequentially expanding and contracting concentric grating, a running clock presented in the adapted region of the visual field appeared advanced relative to an identical clock presented simultaneously in an unadapted region. No such effect was observed following 5-Hz adaptation. Clock time reports following an exogenous cue showed the same effect of adaptation on perceived time, demonstrating that the apparent temporal misalignment was not mediated by differences in target selection or allocation of attention. This effect was not mediated by the apparent speed of the adapted clock: a clock in a 20-Hz-adapted spatial location appeared slower than a clock in a 5-Hz-adapted location, rather than faster. Furthermore, reaction times for a clock-hand orientation discrimination task were the same following 5- and 20-Hz adaptation, indicating that neural processing latencies were not differentially affected. Altogether, these findings suggest that the fragmented perceptual stream might be actively brought into temporal alignment through adaptive local mechanisms operating in spatially segregated regions of the visual field.
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    Frontiers in respiratory physiology - grand challenge.
    Davenport, PW ; von Leupoldt, A ; Wheeler-Hegland, K ; Colrain, IM (Frontiers Media SA, 2010)
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    Schizophrenia-like psychosis and aceruloplasminemia.
    Walterfang, M ; March, E ; Varghese, D ; Miller, K ; Simpson, L ; Tomlinson, B ; Velakoulis, D (Informa UK Limited, 2006-12)
    Schizophrenia-like illnesses occur in a variety of medical and neurological conditions but to date have not been described in association with aceruloplasminemia. Aceruloplasminemia is an autosomal recessive disorder of iron metabolism which leads to iron deposition in the basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum and hippocampus and which usually presents in middle age with extrapyramidal symptoms and dementia. We describe a 21-year-old woman on treatment for aceruloplasminemia who presented with schizophrenia-like psychosis and declining function in the absence of neurological signs. Neuropsychological testing showed significant dominant hemisphere deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging showed bilateral iron deposition in the cerebellar dentate nuclei and thalami, frontal atrophy, and periventricular white matter hyperintensities. Functional imaging suggested global hypoperfusion. The clinical, cognitive and imaging findings were not typical for either aceruloplasminemia or schizophrenia alone and the possible relationship between the two disorders is discussed with particular reference to implications for our understanding of schizophrenia.