Now showing items 1-20 of 1027

    • Necessary connections: “Feelings photographs” in criminal justice research

      Rogers, Chrissie (2019)
      Visual representations of prisons and their inmates are common in the news and social media, with stories about riots, squalor, drugs, selfharm and suicide hitting the headlines. Prisoners’ families are left to worry about the implications of such events on their kin, while those incarcerated and less able to understand social cues, norms and rules, are vulnerable to deteriorating mental health at best, to death at worst. As part of the life-story method in my research with offenders who are on the autism spectrum, have mental health problems and/or have learning difficulties, and prisoner’s mothers, I asked participants to take photographs, reflecting upon their experiences. Photographs in this case, were primarily used to help respondents consider and articulate their feelings in follow-up interviews. Notably, seeing (and imagining) is often how we make a connection to something (object or feeling), or someone (relationships), such that images in fiction, news/social media, drama, art, film and photographs can shape the way people think and behave – indeed feel about things and people. Images and representations ought to be taken seriously in researching social life, as how we interpret photographs, paintings, stories and television shows is based on our own imaginings, biography, culture and history. Therefore, we look at and process an image before words escape, by ‘seeing’ and imagining. How my participants and I ‘collaborate’ in doing visual methods and then how we make meaning of the photographs in storying their feelings, is insightful. As it is, I wanted to enable my participants to make and create their own stories via their photographs and narratives, whilst connecting to them, along with my own interpretation and subjectivities.
    • Personalised nutrition: Making it happen

      Stewart-Knox, Barbara (2019)
      Personalised Nutrition allows individual variation in dietary, lifestyle, anthropometric, phenotypic and/or genomic information to be considered when giving dietary advice. Compared to ‘generic’ dietary health messages, personalised dietary advice has been shown more likely to result in healthy dietary change. Personalised regimes can help clients in this endeavour by putting them in control and taking into consideration individual propensity for behaviour change, motives for food choice as well as social and lifestyle factors impacting upon the eating context. Provision of personalised nutrition services across Europe should consider inter-country differences in perceived barriers to uptake of personalised nutrition including those associated with the process from the collecting of information and taking of biological samples through to how the results are interpreted and delivered. Irrespective of European country, potential consumers appear to trust health professionals such as dietitians over commercial agents to provide personalised nutrition. Dieticians, therefore, are likely to play a key role in making personalised nutrition happen in the future. Organisations representing nutrition and dietetics professionals will need to be consulted for guidance on how to address the ethical and legal issues around personalised nutrition and regulate practice. A future is envisaged where commercial personalised nutrition will work with existing health providers in bringing the benefits of personalised nutrition to the wider public.
    • The type of concurrent task affects dual-task performance in Huntington's disease

      Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2014-09)
    • Increasing the discoverability on non-English language research papers: a reverse-engineering application of the pitching research template

      Faff, R.W.; Shao, X.; Alqahtani, F.; Atif, M.; Bialek-Jaworska, A.; Chen, A.; Duppati, G.; Escobar, M.; Finta, M.A.; Jeny, A.; Li, Y.; Machado, M.A.V.; Nishi, T.; Nguyen, B.; Noh, J-E.; Reichenecker, J-A.; Sakawa, H.; Vaportzis, Ria; Widyawati, L.; Wijayana, S.; Wijesooriya, C.; Ye, Q.; Zhou, Q. (2017)
      Discoverability or visibility is a challenge that faces all researchers worldwide – with an ever increasing supply of good research entering the scholarly marketplace; this challenge is only becoming intensified as time passes. The global language of scholarly research is English and so the obstacle of getting noticed is magnified manyfold when the article is not written in the English language. Indeed, despite rapid advances in technology, the “tyranny of language” creates a segmentation inhibiting scholarly research and innovation generally. Mass translation of non-English language articles is neither feasible nor desirable. Our paper proposes a strategy for remedying this segmentation – such that, the work of non-English language scholars become more discoverable. The core piece of this strategy is a “reverse-engineering” [RE] application of Faff’s (2015, 2017) “pitching research” template. More specifically, we provide translated versions of the “cued” template across THIRTY THREE different languages: (1) Arabic; (2) Chinese; (3) Dutch; (4) French; (5) Greek; (6) Hindi; (7) Indonesian; (8) Japanese; (9) Korean; (10) Lao; (11) Norwegian; (12) Polish; (13) Portuguese; (14) Romanian; (15) Russian; (16) Sinhalese; (17) Spanish; (18) Tamil; (19) Thai; (20) Urdu; (21) Vietnamese; (22) Myanmar; (23) German; (24) Persian; (25) Bengali; (26) Filipino; (27) Italian; (28) Afrikaans; (29) Khmer (Cambodia); (30) Danish; (31) Finnish; (32) Hebrew; (33) Turkish. Further, we showcase illustrative dual language examples of the RE strategy for the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French cases.
    • Age and task difficulty differences in dual tasking using circle tracing and serial subtraction tasks

      Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Stout, J.C. (2014-04)
      The aim of this study was to investigate age-related differences in dual task performance by using an upper limb proprioceptive task. Twenty-eight younger (18–30 years) and 28 older (>60 years) healthy adults performed circle tracing and serial subtraction tasks separately and concurrently. The tasks had two levels of difficulty: easy and hard. The circle tracing task included direct (easy) and indirect (hard) visual feedback conditions, and it was paired with serial subtraction by twos (easy) or threes (hard). We found that older adults were significantly slower than younger adults across all conditions and had significantly greater dual task costs when they performed circle tracing with easy serial subtraction. Higher levels of task difficulty were associated with slower speed in both groups. We found no age differences in accuracy. Participants either traded speed for accuracy or accuracy for speed regardless of age group. Overall, the findings suggest that speed and accuracy may be affected differently during dual tasking. In addition, older adults may rely more extensively on proprioceptive feedback to guide upper limb movement compared with younger adults.
    • Effects of task difficulty during dual-task circle tracing in Huntington's disease

      Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2015-02)
      Huntington’s disease (HD) is associated with impairments in dual-task performance. Despite that, only a few studies have investigated dual-tasking in HD. We examined dual-task performance in 15 participants in the early stages of HD and 15 healthy controls. Participants performed direct circle tracing (able to view arm) and indirect circle tracing (arm obscured) either on their own (single tasks) or paired with serial subtraction by twos or threes (dual tasks). Overall, our results suggested that HD participants were significantly slower and less accurate than controls. Both groups were slower and less accurate when performing indirect circle tracing compared with direct circle tracing. HD participants experienced greater dual-task interference in terms of accuracy when performing direct circle tracing compared with indirect circle tracing. Despite that, controls were more inclined to speed–accuracy trade-offs compared with HD participants. Importantly, unlike controls, HD participants were not disproportionately faster when performing direct circle tracing as a single task compared with the dual-task conditions. Our results suggest that simple tasks place greater attentional demands on HD participants compared with controls. These findings support that impaired automaticity may be responsible for some of the attentional deficits manifested in HD.
    • A tablet for healthy ageing: the effect of a tablet computer training intervention on cognitive abilities in older adults

      Vaportzis, Ria; Martin, M.; Gow, A.J. (2017-08)
      Objective: To test the efficacy of a tablet computer training intervention to improve cognitive abilities of older adults. Design: Prospective randomized controlled trial. Setting: Community-based aging intervention study, Edinburgh, UK. Participants: Forty-eight healthy older adults aged 65 to 76 years were recruited at baseline with no or minimal tablet experience;43 completed follow-up testing. Intervention: Twentytwo participants attended a weekly 2-hour class for 10 weeks during which they learned how to use a tablet and various applications on it. Measurements: A battery of cognitive tests from theWAIS-IV measuring the domains ofVerbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing,Working Memory, and Processing Speed, as well as health, psychological, and well-being measures. Results: A 2× 2 mixed model ANOVA suggested that the tablet intervention group (N = 22) showed greater improvements in Processing Speed (η2 = 0.10) compared with controls (N = 21), but did not differ in Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing, or Working Memory (η2 ranged from −0.03 to 0.04). Conclusions: Engagement in a new mentally challenging activity (tablet training) was associated with improved processing speed.Acquiring skills in later life, including those related to adopting new technologies, may therefore have the potential to reduce or delay cognitive changes associated with ageing.It is important to understand how the development of these skills might further facilitate everyday activities, and also improve older adults’ quality of life.
    • Dual task performance may be a better measure of cognitive processing in Huntington's disease than traditional attention tests

      Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2015)
      Background: Past research has found cancellation tasks to be reliable markers of cognitive decline in Huntington’s disease (HD). Objective: The aim of this study was to extend previous findings by adopting the use of a dual task paradigm that paired cancellation and auditory tasks. Methods: We compared performance in 14 early stage HD participants and 14 healthy controls. HD participants were further divided into groups with and without cognitive impairment. Results: Results suggested that HD participants were not slower or less accurate compared with controls; however, HD participants showed greater dual task interference in terms of speed. In addition, HD participants with cognitive impairment were slower and less accurate than HD participants with no cognitive impairment, and showed greater dual task interference in terms of speed and accuracy. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that dual task measures may be a better measure of cognitive processing in HD compared with more traditional measures.
    • Dual task performance in Huntington's disease: a comparison of choice reaction time tasks

      Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2015-09)
      Objective: This study investigated whether dual tasks make disproportionately high demands in Huntington’s disease (HD) compared with controls, and also tested the Multiple Resources Theory. Method: Thirteen HD participants and 13 controls completed 2 dual task sets that varied in difficulty and complexity: Set 1 paired simple choice reaction time (RT) with digit forward, and Set 2 paired complex choice RT with digit backward. Results: We found that HD participants were overall slower; however, although they maintained similar levels of accuracy in the simple choice RT tasks with controls, their accuracy decreased in the complex choice RT tasks. In addition, we found that HD participants were more susceptible to speed-accuracy trade-offs. Despite that, they did not show greater dual task costs than controls. Conclusions: Overall, our findings do not support the Multiple Resources Theory, but they do provide some support for the Unitary Resource Theory and the attentional impairment hypothesis.
    • Older adults perceptions of technology and barriers to interacting with tablet computers: a focus group study

      Vaportzis, Ria; Clausen, M.G.; Gow, A.J. (2017-10-04)
      Background: New technologies provide opportunities for the delivery of broad, flexible interventions with older adults. Focus groups were conducted to: (1) understand older adults’ familiarity with, and barriers to, interacting with new technologies and tablets; and (2) utilize user-engagement in refining an intervention protocol. Methods: Eighteen older adults (65–76 years old; 83.3%female) who were novice tablet users participated in discussions about their perceptions of and barriers to interacting with tablets. We conducted three separate focus groups and used a generic qualitative design applying thematic analysis to analyse the data. The focus groups explored attitudes toward tablets and technology in general. We also explored the perceived advantages and disadvantages of using tablets, familiarity with, and barriers to interacting with tablets. In two of the focus groups, participants had previous computing experience (e.g., desktop), while in the other, participants had no previous computing experience. None of the participants had any previous experience with tablet computers. Results: The themes that emerged were related to barriers (i.e., lack of instructions and guidance, lack of knowledge and confidence, health-related barriers, cost); disadvantages and concerns (i.e., too much and too complex technology, feelings of inadequacy, and comparison with younger generations, lack of social interaction and communication, negative features of tablets); advantages (i.e., positive features of tablets, accessing information, willingness to adopt technology); and skepticism about using tablets and technology in general. After brief exposure to tablets, participants emphasized the likelihood of using a tablet in the future. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that most of our participants were eager to adopt new technology and willing to learn using a tablet. However, they voiced apprehension about lack of, or lack of clarity in, instructions and support. Understanding older adults’ perceptions of technology is important to assist with introducing it to this population and maximize the potential of technology to facilitate independent living.
    • Pitching non-English language research: a dual-language application of the Pitching Research Framework

      Faff, R.; Shao, X.; Alqahtani, F.; Atif, M.; Bialek-Jaworska, A.; Chen, A.; Duppati, G.; Escobar, M.; Finta, M.; Jeny, A.; Li, Y.; Machado, M.; Nishi, T.; Nguyen, B.; Noh, J-E.; Reichenecker, J-A.; Sakawa, H.; Vaportzis, Ria; Widyawati, L.; Wijayana, S.; Wijesooriya, C.; Ye, G.; Zhou, C. (2018)
      The global language of scholarly research is English and so the obstacle of getting noticed is montainous when the article is not written in the English language. Indeed, despite rapid advances in technology, the “tyranny of language” creates a segmentation inhibiting scholarly research and innovation generally. Mass translation of non-English language articles is neither feasible nor desirable. Our paper proposes a strategy for remedying this segmentation – such that, the work of non-English language scholars become more discoverable. The core piece of this strategy is a “reverse-engineering” [RE] application of Faff’s (2015, 2017a) “pitching research” template. More specifically, we provide access to translated versions of the “cued” template across thirty-three different languages, and most notably for this journal, including the Romanian and French languages. Further, we showcase an illustrative dual language French-English example.
    • People's beliefs and expectations about how cognitive skills change with age: evidence from a U.K.-wide aging survey

      Vaportzis, Ria; Gow, A.J. (2018-07)
      Objective: We conducted a U.K.-wide survey to collect information on people's beliefs, fears, perceptions, and attitudes to cognitive aging. Methods: This community-based aging survey included 3,146 adults aged 40 years and over. Results: Respondents believed memory might be the earliest cognitive skill to decline (mean: 59.4 years), followed by speed of thinking (mean: 64.9). Those in their 40s were more pessimistic, because they estimated cognitive changes would start up to 15 years earlier than respondents aged over 70. Having a purpose in life, healthy eating, challenging the mind, sleep, and physical activity ranked higher in terms of perceived importance for maintaining or improving cognitive skills. However, less than 50% engaged in any of these activities. Although 91% believed there are things people can do to maintain or improve their cognitive skills, more than 40% were unsure or did not know how to do so. Respondents who strongly agreed that changes in cognitive skills might be a sign of something more serious were significantly more likely to do various activities to benefit their cognitive skills. Conclusion: Results suggest that people are less aware of the potential cognitive benefits of certain activities, such as exercise and diet. It is important to build awareness about the benefits of lifestyles and activities for cognitive health.
    • Older adults experiences of learning to use tablet computers: a mixed methods study

      Vaportzis, Ria; Clausen, M.G.; Gow, A.J. (2018-09)
      Background: We wanted to understand older adults’ experiences of learning how to use a tablet computer in the context of an intervention trial, including what they found helpful or unhelpful about the tablet training, to guide future intervention studies. Methods: Mixed methods study using questionnaire and focus group approaches. Forty-three participants aged between 65 and 76 years old from the “Tablet for Healthy Ageing” study (comprising 22 in the intervention group and 21 controls) completed a post-intervention tablet experience questionnaire. Those who completed the tablet training intervention were invited to share their experiences of engaging with new technology in post-intervention focus groups. We conducted three separate focus groups with 14 healthy older adults (10 females). Results: Questionnaire data suggested that the overall experience of the 22 participants who participated in the tablet training intervention was positive. The majority of participants said that it was likely or very likely they would use a tablet in the future. The focus group themes that emerged were related to the perception of tablet training, the experience of using tablets, and suggestions for future studies. Participants mentioned that their confidence was increased, that they enjoyed being part of a social group and downloading applications, but they also felt challenged at times. Advantages of using tablets included the ability to keep in touch with family and friends, a motivation to contribute to the community, and the potential for tablets to improve mental abilities and overall health and wellbeing. Participants made suggestions that would enable tablet usage, including improvement of features, and suggestions that would improve future tablet training studies, including smaller classes. Conclusion: Our findings have implications for the development of interventions utilizing new technologies that might promote the health and wellbeing of older adults.
    • A systematic literature review and meta-analysis of real-world interventions for cognitive ageing in healthy older adults

      Vaportzis, Ria; Niechcial, M.A.; Gow, A.J. (2019-03)
      Activities running in community-based-settings offer a method of delivering multimodal interventions to older adults beyond cognitive training programmes. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the impact of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of ‘real-world’ interventions on the cognitive abilities of healthy older adults. Database searches were performed between October 2016 and September 2018. Forty-three RCTs were eligible for inclusion with 2826 intervention participants and 2234 controls. Interventions to enhance cognitive ability consisted of participation in activities that were physical (25 studies), cognitive (9 studies), or mixed (i.e., physical and cognitive; 7 studies), and two studies used other interventions that included older adults assisting schoolchildren and engagement via social network sites. Meta-analysis revealed that Trail Making Test (TMT) A, p =  0.05, M = 0.43, 95% CI [-0.00, 0.86], digit symbol substitution, p =  0.05, M = 0.30, 95% CI [0.00, 0.59], and verbal fluency, p =  0.04, M = 0.31, 95% CI [0.02, 0.61], improved after specific types of interventions versus the control groups (which were either active, wait-list or passive controls). When comparing physical activity interventions against all control groups, TMT A, p =  0.04, M = 0.25, 95% CI [0.01, 0.48], and digit span forward, p =  0.05, M = 0.91, 95% CI [-0.00, 1.82], significantly improved. Results remained non-significant for all outcomes when comparing cognitive activity interventions against all control groups. Results therefore suggest that healthy older adults are more likely to see cognitive improvements when involved in physical activity interventions. In addition, TMT A was the only measure that consistently showed significant improvements following physical activity interventions. Visuospatial abilities (as measured by TMT A) may be more susceptible to improvement following physical activity-based interventions, and TMT A may be a useful tool for detecting differences in that domain.
    • Sharenting: pride, affect and the day to day politics of digital mothering

      Lazard, L.; Capdevila, Rose; Dann, C.; Locke, Abigail; Roper, S. (2019)
      The coming together of parenting and routine posting on social networking sites has become a visible and recognisable theme and the term ‘sharenting’ has found a place in everyday talk to describe some forms of parental digital sharing practices. However, while social media has undoubtedly provided a space for parents to share experiences and receive support around parenting, sharenting remains a contestable issue. Thus, one reading of sharenting would be as a display of good parenting as mothers ‘show off’ their children as a marker of success. However, the term also can be used pejoratively to describe parental oversharing of child-focused images and content. In this paper we explore the practice of sharenting in terms of pride, affect, and the politics of digital mothering in a neoliberal context to conclude that sharenting can be best understood as a complex affective and intersectional accomplishment that produces motherhood and family as communicative activities within digital social practices.
    • Carving a dialogical epistemology for investigating altruism: A reply to Mitchell and Eiroa–Orosa

      Intezar, Hannah; Sullivan, Paul W. (2018-11-28)
      This is a reply to Sue Mitchell and Francisco J. Eiroa-Orosa’s ‘Love your enemy.’ The latter seeks to explore the self-transcending potential of altruistic behaviour through a dialogical paradigm. It not only initiates fresh discussion on the subject of altruism, but also advances new discussion on Bakhtinian aesthetics. For the continuation of this forward momentum, we suggest a more nuanced approach to the placement of the ‘researcher’ within the applied methodological matrix. Similarly, we also advocate for the synthesising of research tools, often appropriated by theological studies, into said methodological matrix. This is a reply to: Mitchell, Sue and Eiroa-Orosa, Francisco J. 2018. “Love your enemy? An aesthetic discourse analysis of self-transcendence in values-motivated altruism.” Global Discourse https://doi.org/10.1080/23269995.2018. 1511766