Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 2454
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    A deep learning quantification of patient specificity as a predictor of session attendance and treatment response to internet-enabled cognitive behavioural therapy for common mental health disorders.
    Hitchcock, C ; Funk, J ; Cummins, R ; Patel, SD ; Catarino, A ; Takano, K ; Dalgleish, T ; Ewbank, M (Elsevier BV, 2024-01-19)
    BACKGROUND: Increasing an individual's ability to focus on concrete, specific detail, thus reducing the tendency toward overly broad, decontextualised generalisations about the self and world, is a target within cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). However, empirical investigation of the impact of within-treatment specificity on treatment outcomes is scarce. We evaluated whether the specificity of patient dialogue predicted a) end-of-treatment symptoms and b) session completion for CBT for common mental health issues. METHODS: This preregistered (https://osf.io/agr4t) study trained a deep learning model to score the specificity of patient dialogue in transcripts from 353,614 internet-enabled CBT sessions for common mental health disorders, delivered on behalf of UK NHS services. Data were from obtained from 65,030 participants (n = 47,308 female, n = 241 unstated) aged 18-94 years (M = 34.69, SD = 12.35). Depressive disorders were the most common (39.1 %) primary diagnosis. Primary outcome was end-of-treatment score on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Secondary outcome was number of sessions attended. RESULTS: Linear mixed-effects models demonstrated that increased patient specificity significantly predicted lower post-treatment symptoms on the PHQ-9, although the size and direction of the effect varied depending on the type of therapeutic activity being completed. Effect sizes were consistently small. Higher patient specificity was associated with completing a greater number of sessions. LIMITATIONS: We are unable to infer causation from our data. CONCLUSIONS: Although effect sizes were small, an effect of specificity was observed across common mental health disorders. Further studies are needed to explore whether encouraging patient specificity during CBT may provide an enhancement of treatment attendance and treatment effects.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Exploring grandparents? receptivity to and preferences for a grandchild nutrition-focused intervention: A qualitative study
    Robinson, A ; Jongenelis, MI ; Morley, B ; Talati, Z (ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2023-02)
    OBJECTIVE: Interventions promoting healthy eating in children typically overlook the critical role of grandparent caregivers. Utilising a co-design approach, this study (i) assessed the receptiveness of grandparents to a nutrition-focused resource aimed at promoting healthy eating in their grandchildren and (ii) explored grandparents' preferences for resource delivery and dissemination. METHODS: Seventy-nine grandparents (58% female; mean age=69.37 years) who were secondary carers to a grandchild aged 3-12 years participated in one of 10 focus groups. Focus group transcripts were imported into NVivo for coding and semantic thematic analysis. RESULTS: The vast majority of focus groups (n=9) were receptive to receiving a nutrition-focused resource. Participants indicated that such a resource should contain strategies that help grandparents promote healthy eating in their grandchildren rather than outline what grandchildren should be fed. A range of delivery (pamphlets, seminars and fridge magnets) and dissemination (online, email) methods were suggested. CONCLUSIONS: A nutrition resource that equips grandparents with the strategies they need to promote healthy eating in their grandchildren would likely be welcomed. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Results provide program developers with the preliminary information required to tailor childhood lifestyle interventions to the needs of grandparents, thus helping increase acceptability and uptake.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Unlocking the secrets of secrets: How can we learn about experiences that cannot be recreated in the laboratory?
    Slepian, ML ; Kalokerinos, EK (Wiley, 2024-02)
    People keep secrets for years with significant ramifications if the information were ever revealed. How can we understand the effects of long-held secrets? The current paper presents a new perspective on secrecy and how it can be studied. By examining the multiple experiences people have with their multiple secrets, we can obtain a fuller view of how secrets affect people in daily life. Additionally, by examining a set of common secrets, across people, we can understand how secrets (i.e., exemplars) differ from one another, and we can study how those differences relate to important variables like well-being. That is, rather than study a specific secret or secrecy situation (which will have limited generalizability), we can seek to study the entire universe of secrets, both to make generalizations across that universe and to compare different secrets to one another. Using the question of whether secrecy causes lower well-being, we discuss this Multiple Exemplar Measurement approach alongside other methodologies. We highlight the many benefits of taking an exemplar-level perspective, both for understanding secrecy and other psychological phenomena more broadly.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Temporal stability of Bayesian belief updating in perceptual decision-making
    Goodwin, I ; Hester, R ; Garrido, MI (SPRINGER, 2023-12-21)
    Bayesian inference suggests that perception is inferred from a weighted integration of prior contextual beliefs with current sensory evidence (likelihood) about the world around us. The perceived precision or uncertainty associated with prior and likelihood information is used to guide perceptual decision-making, such that more weight is placed on the source of information with greater precision. This provides a framework for understanding a spectrum of clinical transdiagnostic symptoms associated with aberrant perception, as well as individual differences in the general population. While behavioral paradigms are commonly used to characterize individual differences in perception as a stable characteristic, measurement reliability in these behavioral tasks is rarely assessed. To remedy this gap, we empirically evaluate the reliability of a perceptual decision-making task that quantifies individual differences in Bayesian belief updating in terms of the relative precision weighting afforded to prior and likelihood information (i.e., sensory weight). We analyzed data from participants (n = 37) who performed this task twice. We found that the precision afforded to prior and likelihood information showed high internal consistency and good test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.73, 95% CI [0.53, 0.85]) when averaged across participants, as well as at the individual level using hierarchical modeling. Our results provide support for the assumption that Bayesian belief updating operates as a stable characteristic in perceptual decision-making. We discuss the utility and applicability of reliable perceptual decision-making paradigms as a measure of individual differences in the general population, as well as a diagnostic tool in psychiatric research.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    13q32.1 as a candidate region for physiological anisocoria.
    Bosten, JM ; Lawrance-Owen, AJ ; Bargary, G ; Goodbourn, PT ; Mollon, JD (BMJ, 2023-11)
    BACKGROUND: Physiological anisocoria is an asymmetry of pupil size in the absence of pathology. METHODS: Images of the pupils under standard illumination were collected in the course of a whole-genome association study of a range of visual functions in 1060 healthy adults. DNA for each participant was extracted from saliva samples. RESULTS: We found no relationship between anisocoria and the difference in refraction between the eyes, nor between anisocoria and difference in acuity. There was a small but significant relationship with lightness of the iris, in that the eye with the smaller pupil was associated with the lighter iris. There was a strong association between anisocoria and a local region of chromosome 13 (13q32.1), a region lying between the genes GPR180 and SOX21. The strongest association was with the single-nucleotide polymorphism rs9524583. CONCLUSION: The very specific region associated with anisocoria is one where microdeletions (or microduplications) are known to lead to abnormal development of pupil dilator muscle and hence to the autosomal dominant condition of microcoria. It is possible that alterations at 13q32.1 act by altering the expression of SOX21, which encodes a nuclear transcription factor.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    A Scoping Review of the Measurement of Depression in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment
    Major, G ; Bagnall, A-M ; Bhar, S ; Bryant, C ; Dow, B ; Dunt, D ; Fearn, M ; Harper, R ; Leung, W-Y ; Mnatzaganian, G ; O'Bree, B ; Doyle, C (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2023-08-08)
    OBJECTIVES: Depression and cognitive impairment are disabling conditions that commonly occur together in older adults. The interaction is challenging when choosing appropriate measurement scales. This review aimed to summarize the scales to measure depression symptoms in older people with cognitive impairment, investigating how cognitive impairment is related to the choice of measurement, and how the setting may affect the choice of measurement. METHODS: A scoping review of literature published between 2015 and 2021. RESULTS: After screening 1580 articles, 26 were included in the review with 11 different measures of depression symptoms identified. The measures mostly commonly used were the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI-Q). Most studies did not report on the usability of depression scales used with people with cognitive impairment and only two scales (CSDD and NPI-Q, not GDS) have been validated for use with this population. CONCLUSIONS: Severe cognitive impairment was under-represented in the identified studies, and no association was detected between study setting, cognitive impairment and type of measure used. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians and researchers should consider both the cognitive status of participants and the setting they live in when choosing a measure of depression symptoms.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Is conservative opposition to climate change threat-based? Articulating an integrated threat model of climate change attitudes
    Stanley, SK ; Jylha, KM ; Leviston, Z ; Walker, I (WILEY, 2023-12-15)
    Throughout the literature, there are assertions that those endorsing conservative ideologies reject the science and solutions of climate change due to perceived threat. That is, they fear that accepting climate change means accepting problems with a favoured socioeconomic system and supporting action on climate change threatens to disrupt these systems. We draw together lines of research and reasoning on this topic to outline three key predictions this perspective makes about the drivers of conservative denial of climate change and opposition to climate policy. The first is that an asymmetry exists in climate-related threat perceptions, whereby greater endorsement of conservative ideology predicts lower perceived threat from climate change and greater perceived threat from climate reform. Second, climate-related threat perceptions are multifaceted, such that threats to economic and cultural well-being can be experienced, at personal or collective levels. Third, the asymmetry in threat perceptions explains conservatives' lower support for pro-climate reforms. We then specify a new integrated threat model of climate change attitudes, review the current evidence for and against each prediction in this model and outline ways to interrogate these theoretical predictions with empirical research. Doing so will advance understanding of the underpinnings of ideological disagreement on climate change.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Feedforward connectivity patterns from visual areas to the front of the brain contain information about sensory stimuli regardless of awareness or report.
    Rowe, EG ; Garrido, MI ; Tsuchiya, N (Elsevier BV, 2023-12-09)
    Current theories of consciousness can be categorized to some extent by their predictions about the putative role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in conscious perception. One family of the theories proposes that the PFC is necessary for conscious perception. The other postulates that the PFC is not necessary and that other areas (e.g., posterior cortical areas) are more important for conscious perception. No-report paradigms could potentially arbitrate the debate as they disentangle task reporting from conscious perception. While previous no-report paradigms tend to point to a reduction in PFC activity, they have not examined the critical role of the PFC in "monitoring" or "reading out" the patterns of activity in the sensory cortex to generate conscious perception. To address this, we reanalysed electroencephalography (EEG) data from a no-report inattentional blindness paradigm (Shafto & Pitts, 2015). We examined the role of feedforward input patterns to the PFC from sensory cortices. We employed nonparametric spectral Granger causality and quantified the amount of information that reflected the contents of consciousness using multivariate classifiers. Unexpectedly, regardless of whether the stimulus was consciously seen or not, we found that information relating to the current sensory stimulus was present in the pattern of inputs from visual areas to the PFC. In light of these findings, we suggest various theories of consciousness need to be revised to accommodate the fact that the contents of consciousness are decodable from the input patterns from posterior sensory regions to the PFC, regardless of awareness (or report).
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Neural mechanisms of visual motion extrapolation
    Turner, W ; Sexton, C ; Hogendoorn, H (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2024-01)
    Because neural processing takes time, the brain only has delayed access to sensory information. When localising moving objects this is problematic, as an object will have moved on by the time its position has been determined. Here, we consider predictive motion extrapolation as a fundamental delay-compensation strategy. From a population-coding perspective, we outline how extrapolation can be achieved by a forwards shift in the population-level activity distribution. We identify general mechanisms underlying such shifts, involving various asymmetries which facilitate the targeted 'enhancement' and/or 'dampening' of population-level activity. We classify these on the basis of their potential implementation (intra- vs inter-regional processes) and consider specific examples in different visual regions. We consider how motion extrapolation can be achieved during inter-regional signaling, and how asymmetric connectivity patterns which support extrapolation can emerge spontaneously from local synaptic learning rules. Finally, we consider how more abstract 'model-based' predictive strategies might be implemented. Overall, we present an integrative framework for understanding how the brain determines the real-time position of moving objects, despite neural delays.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Effect of Disease-Modifying Therapy on Disability in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Over 15 Years
    Kalincik, T ; Diouf, I ; Sharmin, S ; Malpas, C ; Spelman, T ; Horakova, D ; Havrdova, EK ; Trojano, M ; Izquierdo, G ; Lugaresi, A ; Prat, A ; Girard, M ; Duquette, P ; Grammond, P ; Jokubaitis, V ; Van der Walt, A ; Grand'Maison, F ; Sola, P ; Ferraro, D ; Shaygannejad, V ; Alroughani, R ; Hupperts, R ; Terzi, M ; Boz, C ; Lechner-Scott, J ; Pucci, E ; Van Pesch, V ; Granella, F ; Bergamaschi, R ; Spitaleri, D ; Slee, M ; Vucic, S ; Ampapa, R ; McCombe, P ; Ramo-Tello, C ; Prevost, J ; Olascoaga, J ; Cristiano, E ; Barnett, M ; Saladino, ML ; Sanchez-Menoyo, JL ; Hodgkinson, S ; Rozsa, C ; Hughes, S ; Moore, F ; Shaw, C ; Butler, E ; Skibina, O ; Gray, O ; Kermode, A ; Csepany, T ; Singhal, B ; Shuey, N ; Piroska, I ; Taylor, B ; Simo, M ; Sirbu, C-A ; Sas, A ; Butzkueven, H (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2021-02-02)
    OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that immunotherapy prevents long-term disability in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), we modeled disability outcomes in 14,717 patients. METHODS: We studied patients from MSBase followed for ≥1 year, with ≥3 visits, ≥1 visit per year, and exposed to MS therapy, and a subset of patients with ≥15-year follow-up. Marginal structural models were used to compare the cumulative hazards of 12-month confirmed increase and decrease in disability, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) step 6, and the incidence of relapses between treated and untreated periods. Marginal structural models were continuously readjusted for patient age, sex, pregnancy, date, disease course, time from first symptom, prior relapse history, disability, and MRI activity. RESULTS: A total of 14,717 patients were studied. During the treated periods, patients were less likely to experience relapses (hazard ratio 0.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.43-0.82, p = 0.0016), worsening of disability (0.56, 0.38-0.82, p = 0.0026), and progress to EDSS step 6 (0.33, 0.19-0.59, p = 0.00019). Among 1,085 patients with ≥15-year follow-up, the treated patients were less likely to experience relapses (0.59, 0.50-0.70, p = 10-9) and worsening of disability (0.81, 0.67-0.99, p = 0.043). CONCLUSION: Continued treatment with MS immunotherapies reduces disability accrual by 19%-44% (95% CI 1%-62%), the risk of need of a walking aid by 67% (95% CI 41%-81%), and the frequency of relapses by 40-41% (95% CI 18%-57%) over 15 years. This study provides evidence that disease-modifying therapies are effective in improving disability outcomes in relapsing-remitting MS over the long term. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class IV evidence that, for patients with relapsing-remitting MS, long-term exposure to immunotherapy prevents neurologic disability.