New tourist attraction in Zagreb: An old tunnel opens under the Upper Town

first_imgPhoto: Zagreb.hrThe passage will be 350 meters long and more than three meters wide. It originally served as a shelter during World War II. After the completion of the works, the tunnel will become a tourist attraction where various cultural, entertainment, educational and other programs will be held. For all older generations to whom the stairs from Mesnička, Duga ulica and Tkalčićeva have become an obstacle, an elevator will be dug to reach Vranicani’s meadow, which, as the mayor emphasized, will be good for caterers from Gornji grad.”The second phase is the search for a vertical exit to the Upper Town. One solution is Gradec, the other Vranicani’s meadow, we still have to agree. The third phase is to ‘iron’ Radićeva Street “Concluded the first man of the city of Zagreb, Milan Bandić at the opening of the works. The Grič tunnel, which connects Mesnička Street with Radićeva Street in Zagreb’s Upper Town, will open in two months for tourists and citizens. The 350-meter-long tunnel connects Mesnička and Radićeva streets, was built in the 40s and is parallel to Ilica, which has four exits, which are also planned to open to the public as a new tourist attraction.”The works on the Grič Tunnel will take place in three phases. The first is to do what is needed for security reasons, so that people can pass from Radićeva 19 to Mesnička, ie Streljačka. We have four side exits to Ilica. Three are now able to open, and for the fourth we will negotiate with the tenants, as it exits into their backyard. We will slowly talk humanely, negotiate, until we agree. We won’t do anything by force. This will take two months. If we do not agree, then we will go to legal means to resolve it, but again in a nice way. ” Milan Bandić, the mayor of the city of Zagreb, points out and adds thatTunnel rehabilitation project manager Ivica Blažun explained that the works will last 60 days and that the tunnel lining will be repaired, the floor will be repaired, the drainage system will be renovated, drainage will be repaired, new electricity and public address installations will be installed, the exits to Ilica will be repaired. entrance to the tunnel, according to historical matrices Photo: Zagreb.hrAs part of the new tourist attraction, there will also be a “Museum of Sense”, which is applied for EU funds, in which, using screens, projections and holograms, spaces will be created for the presentation of content from Zagreb’s history. The director of KIC, Emil Matešić, pointed out that all projects dealing with content can contribute to the improvement of the tourist offer of Zagreb and a more active cultural and artistic life of the city.The total value of the investment is 1,35 million kuna, which will certainly enrich the tourist offer of the city of Zagreb.last_img read more

Representatives of UNESCO in the monitoring mission to resolve the issue of Plitvice Lakes National Park

first_imgAs part of the activities aimed at reducing the pressure on the Plitvice Lakes National Park initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, representatives of UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which conducts expert evaluations for UNESCO, arrived in Croatia for a reactive monitoring mission. will give his opinion on the situation in the park as well as the optimal solutions.The representative of the UNESCO Secretariat Sussana Kari and Pierre Galland from IUCN met today in Zagreb with representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning, the Croatian Environment and Nature Agency, the Croatian Institute for Spatial Planning, the Ministry of Tourism and Hrvatske vode and JU NP Plitvice Lakes. The meeting reviewed the situation in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and discussed, among other things, the problems of a large number of visitors, problems with the spatial plan and related issuance of building permits, inspection, water supply and drainage system.Representatives of the reactive monitoring mission during their stay in Croatia will visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park and hold meetings with representatives of the Park, local self-government and all other stakeholders involved in the issue of over-attendance.Photo: Plitvice Lakes National ParkThe reactive monitoring mission was called by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, aware of the problems in the Plitvice Lakes National Park regarding the pressure from visitors as well as the intensified construction of facilities. “Our main goal is the effective protection and preservation of the Plitvice Lakes National Park through better management of visitors and increased control over the construction of facilities and other infrastructure, so that the pressure of tourism would not endanger the natural values ​​for which the park is included in the UNESCO list. stand out from the Ministry of Protection, Environment and Energy.The Ministry, in cooperation with other bodies, will develop a joint action plan to address the identified problems for each of the sectors (spatial planning and construction, nature protection, water management) and in accordance with UNESCO instructions, after the mission, take further necessary steps to address the issue. .last_img read more

How the largest association of psychologists in the US colluded in torture

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Email Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img In November 2014, the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association (APA) asked David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, to lead an independent review of allegations that the APA colluded with government officials to sanction the use of interrogation techniques tantamount to torture.The APA asked Hoffman to investigate these allegations just weeks before the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s use of torture, a report that raised major questions about the participation of psychologists in interrogation sessions.Hoffman was specifically asked to investigate questions about ethical guidelines issued by the APA in 2002 and 2005 that dictated when psychologists could ethically participate in national security interrogations. Share Hoffman’s report was leaked on July 10 and confirmed many people’s (including my) worst suspicions.Here, then, is what we now know – and here is my analysis of how the country’s biggest association of psychologists could choose its “ethics policy based on its goals of helping [the Department of Defense].”The APA and DOD: a special relationshipHoffman has confirmed that that officials at the APA colluded with the Department of Defense (DOD) as well as the CIA to allow psychologists to participate in interrogations from the beginning of the “war on terror” until Obama came into office in 2009 and rescinded authorization for enhanced interrogation techniques.Although I have been working in medical ethics for 20 years, I first became aware of and alarmed by health care personnel’s participation in the use of torture a decade ago, when photos were leaked from the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib.More specifically, this led me to study what medical students and graduate psychology students were learning about military medical ethics and their obligations as health professionals under the Geneva Convention.It also prompted me to look at the close relationship between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the American Psychological Association.How the APA drafted its ethical guidelinesDrafting policy and ethical guidelines for psychologists is one of the central tasks the APA performs. And to craft these statements and guidelines, the APA uses panels of psychologists.The Hoffman report reveals that the collusion between the APA and government affected both the composition of panels designed to craft APA policy and the content of their proclamations.These proclamations set APA policy and, in effect, dictate what is ethically permissible or not for psychologists. The Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) task force 2005 report – that fully gave permission to psychologists to participate in interrogations – is an example of this.The PENS report was authored in partial secrecy and approved by a panel carefully selected by APA officials, the majority of whom had close ties to DOD. As Hoffman reveals, the PENS task force was “the result of close and confidential collaboration with certain Defense Department officials before, during, and after the task force met.”The PENS report allowed psychologists to participate in interrogations if they adhered to US law, but they violated every international code of medical ethics.The point is that the way the Bush administration crafted US law flew in the face of medical ethics, allowing for detainees to be tortured, for example, because they were not “prisoners of war,” and therefore not protected by the Geneva Conventions.The APA didn’t change guidelines on interrogations until 2013The APA’s permissive ethical stance allowed psychologists to participate in interrogations, providing necessary cover for dubious so-called “enhanced techniques” to continue.In this the APA stood alone among the major organizations for health professionals in the United States. By 2006, both the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association issued decrees prohibiting their members from participating in interrogations.If the APA had done the same and prohibited psychologists from participating, harsh interrogations and torture would have come to a screeching halt because their presence, as health professionals, provided an air of legitimacy to interrogations. And this was needed (at least in part) to confer protection against future prosecutions of the interrogators. Any interrogators who were questioned could easily point to the psychologists then present to illustrate that their methods had to be safe and ethical.In fact, the APA did not rescind the 2005 PENS report until 2013.And even then, there remained significant holes that still allowed psychologists to be present during interrogations.The APA thwarted efforts to oppose unethical behavior and took active steps to protect the psychologists involved in the interrogation program from professional ethical complaints.In fact, it was the APA’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, who oversaw much of this effort. To top things off, unbeknownst to the APA board, Behnke himself reportedly received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators.And – as all of this was happening behind the scenes – the APA leadership was telling the APA general membership that the goal of the association’s standards was to protect the health and welfare of the prisoners at Guantanamo.Young psychologists aren’t learning military medical ethicsHow could this happen?Part of the answer must lie in the fact that psychologists receive little training about the ethical duties of health care personnel in military settings. Without that training, many of them simply didn’t know better.In a paper published last year, colleagues and I found that 74% of graduate students in psychology had received less than an hour of instruction on military medical ethics.We also found that only one-third to one-half of students in these courses could correctly answer questions about when they would be required to disobey an unethical order, for instance, according to the Geneva Conventions.The Geneva Conventions are clear in stating that prisoners are required to give only their name, rank, branch of service and serial number to interrogators. Additionally, they should be given food, shelter and medical treatment and never humiliated, threatened or harmed in any way.The APA colluded with the DOD. Now what?In the wake of the Hoffman report, APA ethics director Steve Behnke has gone (whether voluntarily or not is not yet clear) and, in an official statement, the organization has acknowledged the “deeply disturbing findings” that were “a failure to live up to our core values” and has outlined various recommendations.The APA has also announced the departure of three other staff members: CEO Norman Anderson, Deputy CEO Michael Honaker, and the Executive Director for Public and Member Communications Rhea Farberman.More, however, is to be done.The APA should also publicly praise those dissident psychologists who have over the last decade steadfastly protested APA’s support of interrogations and torture – despite the chiding they received from the APA administration.Additionally, the APA ought to call for significant investment in in ethics education for practicing psychologists as well as psychology trainees.The fact that the United States resorted to torturing prisoners – many of whom are innocent, or in the words of the Senate Report on torture, “wrongfully detained” – will likely go down as one of our country’s most egregious ethical lapses. The fact that a major health care association colluded in this lapse is unconscionable.By J Wesley Boyd, Harvard UniversityJ Wesley Boyd is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University.This article was originally published on The Conversation.Read the original article.last_img read more

Imagery effective way to enhance memory, reduce false memories, study finds

first_imgShare Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Using imagery is an effective way to improve memory and decrease certain types of false memories, according to researchers at Georgia State University.Their study examined how creating images affected the ability to accurately recall conceptually related word lists as well as rhyming word lists. People who were instructed to create images of the list words in their head were able to recall more words than people who didn’t create images, and they didn’t recall false memories as often. False memories occur when a person recalls something that didn’t happen or remembers something inaccurately.The findings are published in the Journal of General Psychology. Email “Creating images improved participants’ memories and helped them commit fewer errors, regardless of what kind of list we gave them,” said Merrin Oliver, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in the educational psychology program in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State.In the study, 102 undergraduate students at Georgia State were shown 10 word lists, one at a time, on a projector and asked to recall the words immediately after each list. Half the lists were related by meaning and half by sound. The participants were divided into two groups, with one group receiving instructions to imagine each word visually and the other group receiving instructions to remember the words.After the recall tests, participants completed a word search for seven minutes to clear their mind. Then they completed a recognition test, in which they saw some of the words from the previous lists as well as some previously unseen words, and had to indicate which words they studied.“We aren’t good at judging the source of our memories,” Oliver said. “These lists usually remind people of a word that they didn’t actually study, so they mistakenly recollect studying words similar to those on the list.”For example, after studying a list of conceptually related words (for example, candy, sugar, chocolate, heart, taste, tooth, honey, cake), many people falsely remember the word sweet. When asked to study confusing sound-related lists (for example, doll, bail, balk, wall, fall, bald, pall, bill), the word ball is a common false memory. When a person activates related words in his or her brain, this activation spreads to other related items and leads to memory errors. In this study, imagery helped stop this spreading activation.Although imagery decreased false memories during immediate recall, the simple imagery procedures in this study were not sufficient to lessen false memories for conceptually related lists during the delayed recognition test. The brain develops strong memory traces for activation of related concepts and doesn’t easily forget this type of information.“Our study suggests more detailed imagery instructions are necessary to help filter out false memories during a recognition test, where false memories are typically very high,” Oliver said. “People should create detailed images with unique characteristics to help avoid the endorsement of false memories on recognition-based tests like true/false or multiple-choice assessments, where you are tempted by lures and possible false memories.”last_img read more

Study identifies 15 genomic regions linked to depression among people of European ancestry

first_imgShare on Twitter Share LinkedIn Pinterest Scientists have discovered 15 genome sites – the first ever – linked to depression in people of European ancestry. Many of these regions of depression-linked genetic variation turn out to be involved in regulating gene expression and the birth of new neurons in the developing brain.But – in a twist – the researchers didn’t have to sequence anyone’s genes! Instead, they analyzed data already shared by people who had purchased their own genetic profiles via an online service and elected to participate in its research option. This made it possible to leverage the statistical power of a huge sample size to detect weak genetic signals associated with a diagnosis likely traceable to multiple underlying illness processes..This novel use of crowd-sourced data was confirmed with results from traditional genetics approaches in the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health.center_img Roy Perlis, M.D., M.SC., of Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital – a grantee of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) – and colleagues from industry, report on their findings August 1, 2016 in the journal Nature Genetics.It’s well known that at least some depression runs in families and some risk is inherited. Yet, prior to this study, conventional genome-wide approaches had failed to reliably identify chromosomal sites associated with the illness in populations with European roots. Since depression is thought to be like fever – a common set of symptoms likely rooted in multiple causes – lumping together genetic data from people with different underlying illness processes likely washed out, or statistically diluted, subtle evidence of effects caused by risk genes.To increase their odds of detecting these weak genetic signals, the researchers adopted a strategy of studying much larger samples than had been used in the earlier genome-wide studies. They first analyzed common genetic variation in 75,607 people of European ancestry who self-reported being diagnosed or treated for depression and 231,747 healthy controls of similar ethnicity. These data had been shared by people who purchased their own genetic profiles via the 23 and Me website and agreed to participate in the company’s optional research initiative, which makes data available to the scientific community, while protecting privacy.The researchers integrated these data with results from a prior Psychiatric Genomic Consortium genome-wide-association study, based on clinician-vetted diagnoses of more than 20,000 patients and controls of European ancestry. They then followed-up with a closer look at certain statistically suspect sites from that analysis in an independent 23 and Me “replication” sample of 45,773 cases and 106,354 controls.In all, Perlis and colleagues found 17 genetic variations linked to depression at 15 genome locations. In addition to hinting at a link between depression and brain gene expression during development, there was also evidence of overlap between the genetic basis of depression and other mental illnesses. While the genome sites identified still account for only a fraction of the risk for depression, the researchers say the results support the strategy of complementing more traditional methods with crowd-sourced data.“We hope these findings help people understand that depression is a brain disease, with it’s own biology,” said Perlis. “Now comes the hard work of using these new insights to try to develop better treatments.” Share on Facebook Emaillast_img read more

Study: We understand that social media does not equal social interaction

first_imgShare If you worry that people today are using social media as a crutch for a real social life, a University of Kansas study will set you at ease.Jeffrey Hall, associate professor of communication studies, found that people are actually quite adept at discerning the difference between using social media and having an honest-to-goodness social interaction. The results of his studies appear in the journal New Media & Society.“There is a tendency to equate what we do on social media as if it is social interaction, but that does not reflect people’s actual experience using it,” Hall said. “All of this worry that we’re seeking out more and more social interaction on Facebook is not true. Most interactions are face to face, and most of what we consider social interaction is face to face.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn Email According to Hall, social media is more like old-fashioned people-watching. “Liking” something is similar to a head nod. It’s not social interaction, but it’s acknowledging you are sharing space with someone else.“Keeping tabs on other people sharing our social spaces is normal and part of what it means to be human,” Hall said.Hall is no stranger to research on social media. New Media & Society published an earlier study of his that found people can accurately detect the personality traits of strangers through Facebook activity.In his current paper in the journal, Hall details three studies. The first demonstrates that when using social media, most of us are engaged in passive behaviors that we don’t consider social interaction, like browsing others’ profiles and reading news articles.The second diary study demonstrates that most of what we consider social interaction with people in our close circle of friends happens face to face. When interaction with these close others is through social media, it’s not something passive like browsing or “liking” but rather using chat or instant message functions.Here’s where it gets interesting, Hall said. The first study found that chatting and commenting — things that we would even consider social interaction — are but 3.5 percent of our time on social media.The third study had participants contacted at random times throughout the day. This study drives home how adept we are at separating social media use with social interaction. People reported 98 percent of their social interactions took some other way than through social media.“Although people often socially interact and use social media in the same time period, people understand they are different things,” Hall said. “People feel a sense of relatedness when they’re interacting face to face, but using social media does not make them feel connected.”All three studies, Hall said, circle around the idea that we still value face-to-face time with close others for the purpose of talking.“If we want to have a conversation, we’re not using social media to do it,” he said.The findings speak to a broader anxiety that many still have regarding social media.“There’s a worry that people are seeking out more and more social interactions on Facebook and that social media is taking over our face-to-face time,” Hall said. “I’m saying, ‘Not so fast.’ People use social media to people-watch and still seem to enjoy a good face-to-face conversation.”last_img read more

Bipolar adolescents continue to have elevated substance use disorder risk as young adults

first_imgFor the five-year follow up, structured psychiatric interviews were conducted for 68 of the original participants with bipolar disorder – 37 being lost to follow up – and 81 control group members. Among those in the bipolar group, 23 no longer met criteria for the disorder, 36 still were experience active symptoms and 9 had symptoms that did not meet full criteria. During the five years since the original study, more members of the bipolar group developed new cases of substance use disorder than did controls, leading to an overall incidence rate of 49 percent versus 26 percent.While controlling for the presence of other disorders – including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or conduct disorder – did not affect the bipolar-associated risk in the original study, the new analysis found that controlling for conduct disorder caused the increased levels of substance use disorder to disappear. That result suggests that co-occurring conduct disorder plays a significant role in the risk associated with bipolar disorder.“We were surprised to find that conduct disorder, but not ADHD, played such a large role in mediating the increased risk of substance use disorder among those with bipolar disorder,” says Wilens, who is an associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “While this might be result of having only a few participants with bipolar disorder alone, it may be that it is the presence of conduct disorder that drives substance use disorder as adolescents with bipolar disorder become young adults. Since symptoms of bipolar disorder usually appear before substance use disorder develops, clinicians following youth with bipolar disorder should carefully monitor for cigarette smoking and substance use, along with treating bipolar symptoms.”Wilens and his colleagues are also analyzing a subgroup of study participants who received detailed brain imaging in an effort to understand the brain circuitry involved in these disorders and their interaction. They also plan to investigate factors underlying the persistence of bipolar disorder and the impact of treatment on the incidence of smoking and substance use disorder. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share Email A follow up to a previous study finding an association between adolescent bipolar disorder and the incidence of cigarette smoking and substance use disorder finds that risk was even greater five years later, particularly among those with persistent bipolar symptoms. The report from a team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, also finds evidence that the presence of conduct disorder, in combination with bipolar disorder, may be the strongest influence on the risk of smoking and substance use disorder.“We also made another interesting finding – that those originally diagnosed with bipolar disorder who continued to have symptoms five years later were at an even higher risk for cigarette smoking and substance use disorder than those whose symptoms were reduced either because of remission from bipolar disorder or from treatment,” says Timothy Wilens, MD, chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Mass. General Hospital for Children and co-director of the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine, who led both studies. “Both those with active symptoms and those whose symptoms had improved were at greater risk than our control group.The original study, published in the June 2008 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, analyzed extensive data – including family histories, information from primary care physicians and the results of structured psychiatric interviews – on 105 early adolescents diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a control group of 98 with no mood disorders. Among those participants, with an average age of 14, the rate of substance use disorder among those with bipolar disorder was 34 percent, while it was only 4 percent in controls. The risk for smoking was 22 percent for those with bipolar disorder and 4 percent for controls.last_img read more

Brain scan study suggests mental math exercises could boost emotional health

first_imgShare on Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn Share Share on Twittercenter_img Engaging a specific part of the brain during mental math exercises is connected with better emotional health, according to a new brain-scanning study published by Duke researchers in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.The research takes a preliminary step toward informing new brain training strategies to stave off depression and anxiety. Although the relationship between math and emotion needs further study, the new findings may also lead to new tests gauging the effectiveness of psychological therapies.“Our work provides the first direct evidence that the ability to regulate emotions like fear and anger reflects the brain’s ability to make numerical calculations in real time,” said Matthew Scult, a neuroscience graduate student in the lab of the study’s senior investigator Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. Email Although they may seem unrelated, doing “cold” calculations and regulating “hot” emotions both rely on similar mental gymnastics: the ability to manipulate and update information. Researchers have long speculated about the link between the two.In the new study, Hariri’s group analyzed brain activity of 186 undergraduates — using a type of non-invasive brain scan called functional magnetic resonance imaging — while they were doing math problems from memory.The students are participants in the ongoing Duke Neurogenetics Study, which is exploring relationships between genes, the brain and mental health. In addition to the scans, participants completed questionnaires and interviews assessing their mental health status and emotional coping strategies.Memory-based math problems stimulate a region of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which has already been linked to depression and anxiety. Studies have found, for example, that higher activity in this area is associated with fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression. A well-established psychological treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches individuals how to re-think negative situations, has also been seen to boost activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.In the current study, the more active a person’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was while performing mental math, the more likely he or she was to report being able to adapt their thoughts about emotionally difficult situations.“We don’t know for sure why that is, but it fit into our hypothesis that the ability to do these more complex math problems might allow you to more readily learn how to think about complex emotional situations in different ways,” Scult said. “It is easy to get stuck in one way of thinking.”Greater activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex also was associated with fewer depression and anxiety symptoms. The difference was especially obvious in people who had been through recent life stressors, such as failing a class. Participants with higher dorsolateral prefrontal activity were also less likely to have a mental illness diagnosis.It is still unclear whether more actively engaging the brain area with math exercises would lead to better emotional coping strategies or the other way around. The researchers plan to collect the same type of data over a longer time period, to see whether one observation precedes the other.“We hope, with these and future studies, that we can inform new strategies to help people regulate their emotions, and to prevent symptoms of anxiety and depression from developing in the first place,” Scult said.last_img read more

Autism-linked protein crucial for feeling pain

first_imgIn a study published earlier this year, Jiang and other collaborators at Duke described a mouse model of autism in which they deleted a prominent autism gene called SHANK3, which is mutated in 1 percent of people with the disorder. These mice show several features of autism, including social deficits and excessive self-grooming.That study did not examine pain. But about 70 percent of individuals with autism or a related disorder called Phelan-McDermid syndrome who have mutations in SHANK3 are known to have sensory processing problems, according to Jiang, who treats children with autism at Duke’s Children Hospital & Health Center.In the new study, Ji’s group put SHANK3-deficient mice through a battery of sensory tests, finding that the animals had lower sensitivity than normal mice to heat and heat-related pain — akin to the soreness a person feels after a sunburn.It turns out that the SHANK3 protein is normally present not only in the brain, but also in a cluster of pain-sensing neurons called the dorsal root ganglion in mice. The group also found SHANK3 in the same types of cells from human donors who did not have autism.“This was a big surprise that SHANK3 is expressed in the peripheral nervous system, but before this study, no one had ever looked for it outside of the brain,” Ji said.The scientists found that TRPV1 and SHANK3 are actually present together in sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglion, and that they interact. In the mice missing SHANK3, TRPV1 never makes it to the cell surface, where it normally does its job. Missing even half of normal level of SHANK3 drastically lowers TRPV1’s ability to transmit pain signals, suggesting that SHANK3 is a crucial molecule for pain sensation.SHANK3 is better known for its role in the brain. It is found in the tiny clefts called synapses where signals are passed from one neuron to the next. Until now, it was believed to be present only in the receiving end of the synapse, called the postsynaptic terminal, where it acts as a scaffold to secure specific receptors that receive chemical messages.The new study also shows that SHANK3 is expressed on the sending sides of the synapse, called presynaptic terminals. The scientists hope to understand next what the protein might be doing there.“That changes our understanding of how these two components (of the synapse) work together to contribute to autism-related behavior and will change how we develop effective treatments,” Jiang said.TRPV1 blockers are already the focus of intense research and development, but these compounds come with side effects. The new study suggests a more specific way to block TRPV1 — through its interaction with SHANK3 — in order to avoid these side effects, Ji said.Ji and Jiang are both members of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. The study also includes three co-first authors: Qingjian Han from Ji’s group who discovered SHANK3 in sensory neurons and pain defects in SHANK3 mutant mice; Yong Ho Kim, an electrophysiologist in Ji’s group who found diminished TRPV1 function in SHANK3 mutant mice; and Xiaoming Wang from Jiang’s lab who generated SHANK3 mutant mice. Share on Twitter Email Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Sensory problems are common to autism spectrum disorders. Some individuals with autism may injure themselves repetitively — for example, pulling their hair or banging their heads — because they’re less sensitive to pain than other people.New research points to a potential mechanism underlying pain insensitivity in autism. The study, conducted by two teams at Duke University and appearing online Dec. 1 in the journal Neuron, is the first to connect autism to one of the most well-studied pain molecules, called TRPV1 (transient receptor potential ion channel subtype V1), which is a receptor for the main spicy component of chili peppers.“Not enough research has been done on the mechanisms driving sensory problems in autism, but it’s important because sensory processing probably affects to some degree how the brain develops,” said co-author Yong-hui Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics and neurobiology at Duke. Jiang collaborated with Ru-Rong Ji, Ph.D., professor of anesthesiology and neurobiology and chief of pain research in Duke University School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology. Sharelast_img read more

Harnessing ADHD for business success: Impulsivity materializes in entrepreneurial action

first_imgLinkedIn The symptoms of ADHD foster important traits associated with entrepreneurship. That conclusion was reached in a study conducted by an international team of economists, who found that entrepreneurs with ADHD embrace new experiences and demonstrate passion and persistence. Their intuitive decision making in situations involving uncertainty was seen by the researchers as a reason for reassessing existing economic models.Poor concentration, hyperactivity, a lack of self-regulation – at first glance, the symptoms of ADHD would seem to lower performance. On the other hand, successful entrepreneurs are frequently reported to have ADHD. “We noticed sometime that some symptoms of ADHD resemble behaviors commonly associated with entrepreneurship – in a positive sense,” says Prof. Holger Patzelt of the Entrepreneurship Research Institute at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).In cooperation with Johan Wiklund, professor at the Syracuse University, and Dimo Dimov, professor at the University of Bath, Patzelt asked 14 self-employed people with ADHD about their diagnoses, their careers and their personal background. The study shows that important symptoms of ADHD had a decisive impact on the subjects’ decision to go into business and on their entrepreneurial approach: Pinterest Share Emailcenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Impulsiveness:People with ADHD are quick to lose their patience. Several of the participants in the study cited boredom in their previous jobs as a reason for setting up their own company, where they could follow up on their own ideas whenever they wanted. One woman reported that she had introduced 250 new products within just a few years. In situations that would be highly stressful for others, such as difficult meetings with important customers, many of those surveyed felt at ease and stimulated. “Their impulsiveness, resulting from ADHD, gives them the advantage of being able to act under unforeseen circumstances without falling into anxiety and paralysis,” says Patzelt.Most of those surveyed act without thinking, even when making far-reaching decisions. One of the entrepreneurs described buying a friend’s company over lunch. He only learned of the friend’s plan to retire during the meal. Other participants reported that they make investments with no strategy and commit large sums of money to projects with highly uncertain outcomes. Some entrepreneurs believe that this kind of quick decision making is the only way to be productive, and are willing to live with setbacks as a result. Some have difficulty coping with structured activities.“A marked willingness to try out new things and take risks is an important entrepreneurial trait,” says Patzelt. However, the respondents’ impulsive actions led to success only when they focused on activities essential to the development of their businesses. One disadvantage of their impulsiveness was mentioned by all of them: problems with routine tasks such as bookkeeping.Hyperfocus:When people with ADHD have a strong interest in a task, they display an unusual level of concentration known as hyperfocus. One entrepreneur reported that he often becomes completely absorbed in crafting customer solutions. Another constantly keeps up with the new technologies in his industry to the point that he is now much in demand as an expert. “With their passion and persistence, and the expertise they acquire as a result, entrepreneurs can gain a substantial competitive advantage,” says Patzelt.High activity level:Many of the entrepreneurs in the study work day and night without taking time off. That is due to the their hyperfocus, but also to the physical restlessness associated with ADHD. The entrepreneurs use this to fuel their workload. As their energy levels are not constant throughout the day, an advantage in running their own businesses is that they can set their own hours.“Logic of people with ADHD symptoms is better attuned to entrepreneurial action”Summing up the results, Patzelt says, “ADHD was a key factor in their decision to go into business for themselves and decisively impacted important entrepreneurial traits: risk taking, passion, persistence and time commitment. Impulsiveness has a special role to play. For People with ADHD it is okay to make intuitive decisions even if the results are bad.”Although one third of those surveyed failed in their business ventures or had little success, Patzelt sees the results of the study as vital for prompting a reassessment of prevailing assumptions in entrepreneurship research: “The way we evaluate entrepreneurial decisions is largely based on rationality and good outcomes. In view of the multitude of uncertainties, however, can such decisions always be rational? People with ADHD show us a different logic that is perhaps better suited to entrepreneurship.”last_img read more