Weekend schedule for Texas tripleheader

first_imgThe Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will be in action at Texas Motor Speedway. The Monster Energy Series and Xfinity Series head into their second races of the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs, while the Camping World Truck Series enters the second race in the Round of 6. Check out the full schedule below, which is subject to change.MORE: You can win a trip to MiamiNote: All times are ETMORE: How to find NBCSNSUNDAY, NOV. 41:00:00 p.m.: Driver/crew chief meeting2:30:00 p.m.: Driver introductions2:45:00 p.m.: Re/Max Skydive Team Exits Plane3:00:00 p.m.: Moment of Silence3:00:15 p.m.: Intro and Invocation by Bret Shisler with Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries3:00:50 p.m.: Presentation of Colors by Euless Police Department3:01:00 p.m.: Pledge of Allegiance by Local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts3:01:35 p.m.: National anthem by Air National Guard Band of the Southwest3:02:50 p.m.: Flyover by 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland, Oregon3:07:50 p.m.: “Drivers, Start Your Engines” by Major Ed Pulido, U.S. Army (retired)3:16:20 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 (334 laps, 501 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN1, 4)PRESS PASS (Watch live)6:30 p.m.: Post-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series raceTHURSDAY, NOV. 14:05-4:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice (No TV) (Results)6:05-6:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice (No TV) (Results)RELATED: VIP experience for Ford fanFRIDAY, NOV. 22-2:55 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN2)3:05-3:50 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity Series first practice, NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN App)4:10 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, FS2 (Results)5:35-6:25 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity Series final practice, NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN App)7 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Busch Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN App)8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series JAG Metals 350 (147 laps, 220.5 miles), FS1 (Results)PRESS PASS (Watch live)12:30 p.m.: Joey Logano12:45 p.m.: Chevrolet1 p.m: Gray Gaulding1:15 p.m.: Aric Almirola1:30 p.m.: Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Daniel Hemric3:30 p.m.: Kyle Busch3:45 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr.4 p.m.: Hailie Deegan7:45 p.m.: Post-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying10:30 p.m.: Post-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series raceSATURDAY, NOV. 312:30-1:25 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series second practice, CNBC/NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN App)1:40 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying, CNBC/NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN App)3-3:50 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice, NBC Sports App (NBCSN joins in progress at 3:30 p.m. ET) (Results) (Canada: TSN App)4:30 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (200 laps, 300 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App (Results) (Canada: TSN2)PRESS PASS (Watch live)6:45 p.m.: Post-NASCAR Xfinity Series racelast_img read more

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Risk of Bird Flu Pandemic Growing

first_imgClick here to read more. The risk of a human influenza pandemic remains real and is probably growing as the bird flu virus becomes entrenched in poultry in more countries, health officials warned on Tuesday. Some 150 experts are attending a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to update its guidance to countries on how to boost their defenses against a deadly global epidemic. last_img

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NDVotes promotes voter registration, education in midterms season

first_imgEditor‘s note: Throughout the 2018 midterm election season, The Observer will sit down with various student organizations and professors to discuss political engagement and issues particularly pertinent to students. In this first installment, News Editor Natalie Weber speaks with NDVotes about their plans for the semester.When organizers revived NDVotes in anticipation of the 2016 presidential election, they envisioned it as a three semester endeavor ending in the fall of 2016.Now, almost three years since its inauguration, the non-partisan organization continues to promote political engagement in the Notre Dame community and beyond, Rosie McDowell, who advises the group through the Center for Social Concerns, said.“There was so much energy after [the election] that all the students involved at that time were like ‘No way, we can’t let this go,’” McDowell said. “So I think as … a lot of political scientists have reported, this midterms season seems especially important … maybe not unique to our campus or students in general, but I think there’s a lot of energy and engagement in the political process right now [and] in the voting process right now.”With the approach of midterm elections, the group plans to focus on voter registration and education both at the University and in South Bend, NDVotes co-chair and senior Kylie Ruscheinski said. Alongside the Center for Social Concerns, NDVotes is sponsored by the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and the constitutional studies minor.“A big part of the NDVotes mission is it’s not just registration — it’s being active throughout,” Ruscheinski said. “So that’s why the midterms season is also good to push this. It’s not just a big election every four years. It’s constant engagement.”The organization will continue its Pizza, Pop and Politics series throughout the semester, in addition to engagement events such as a midterm results watch party. It also plans to facilitate voter registration in both South Bend and at Notre Dame through tabling at local events.“We’re really trying to get every dorm represented so there’s a point of contact in every dorm that is well-versed in how to register, how to get your absentee ballot and I think that’s a big push this year,” sophomore Rachel Sabnani, chair for dorm liaisons, said.The organization also includes representatives from several student organizations, including student government, the Notre Dame Right to Life Club and GreeND, amongst others.“I would say a powerful thing about the task force and a lot of student organizations on campus is that no matter what beliefs have been brought to the table by that wide spectrum of beliefs, we’re all sitting at the table because we believe Notre Dame students can and should make an impact on politics through their vote and in being informed,” Ruscheinski said. “So yes, the views might be different, but they’re all in the room together and we’re all working on getting certain topics out to the entire student body.”By representing and bringing together various political organizations, members of NDVotes share a common goal of promoting political engagement amongst younger generations, sophomore and co-chair Michael Marotta said.“We feel that the work we’re doing is really important because as of right now, our generation and the generation before us are the ones who are going to be the most impacted by decisions that politicians are making today,” he said. “And as we’re growing in number, our generation is becoming the driving force in the electorate — in the present and in the future.”Disenchanted by the current political climate, many young people disengage from the political process, junior Sheila Gregory, chair for community outreach, said.“A lot of young people feel like voting isn’t a way to have their voice heard, so they’ve just kind of sworn off the political process altogether because they’re like ‘These people don’t represent me,’” she said. “And then I think what you saw in 2016 with several close races, all over the country, within the presidential itself and several states was within a percent, people can really see how voting impacts elections.”As a senior and task force member, Prathm Juneja shares Gregory’s concerns. A member since his freshman year, Juneja said he sees a connection between the work of NDVotes and the University’s mission.“I think it’s fair to say that people in our generation seem to be growing more distant from political issues, and that really concerns me,” he said. “And I think that’s a real concern on an elite college campus like Notre Dame, where our mission as a university is to raise students who will do good for the world.“If you’re not thinking about politics, if you’re not thinking about world issues, or American issues or the issues of people who weren’t nearly as lucky as us to get here then all that work is for nothing.”Tags: 2018 midterms, Election Observer, NDVoteslast_img read more

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VHCB awards $4.59 million for land conservation, recreation, home ownership

first_imgVermont Business Magazine At its June meeting, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board awarded $4,597,550 to conserve nearly 3,260 acres of farmland, recreational land and town forests in 20 towns and to provide for home ownership and housing accessibility around the state. VHCB commitments of state funds will leverage an additional $7.8 million in town funds, local fundraising, bargain sales, donations, mortgage financing and federal dollars. Fourteen of the farm projects include special water quality protections and three projects use federal funding from the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, focused on protecting and improving water quality in the Lake Champlain Basin.Left: open land in Westford to be transfered to a dairy farm as part of a project to conserve a town forest (Vermont Land Trust photo); center: Georgia Town Forest land conserved by the Vermont Land Trust, with VLT Biologist Liz Thompson, John Moseley (landowner), County forester Nancy Patch and Ken Minck with the Georgia Conservation Commission. (VLT photo);right: Gale Meadow Pond in Wiinhall where 192 acres will be added to the Wildlife Management Area there (Pieter van Loon/VLT photo).Gus Seelig, VHCB Executive Director, said, “These VHCB investments will bolster Vermont’s agricultural economy, protect permanent public access to water and forestland, improve water quality and flood resilience, subsidize home ownership opportunities and provide for accessibility improvements in private homes for people living with physical disabilities.”Commitments of $2,060,000 in VHCB funding and $2,884,000 in federal funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service will be used to conserve 2,259 acres on 15 farms in the towns of Westford, Shelburne, Cambridge, Fairfield, Monkton, Barre Town, East Montpelier, Charlotte, Randolph, Tunbridge, Troy, Shaftsbury, Essex Junction, Swanton and Georgia. Grants to famers selling development rights through the Vermont Land Trust will assist with nine farm transfers to new owners and provide capital for reinvestment, diversification, debt reduction or retirement. The conserved farms will include dairy, hay, beef and vegetable operations. Additionally, VHCB provided funding to facilitate the transfer of a previously conserved farm in Granville to new farmers. Providing public access to recreation, protecting town forests and wildlife habitat, VHCB committed $690,000 to conserve 1,000 acres as follows:Bean Pond, Sutton – with a $40,000 VHCB grant, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation will add 30 acres and 3,600 feet of pond frontage near the headwaters of Crystal Lake to Willoughby State Forest;Rikert Swimming Access, Sharon – The Vermont River Conservancy will use $55,000 in VHCB funding to purchase and conserve 10 acres, creating boating, swimming and fishing access with frontage on the White River and the Broad Brook, including a primitive campsite for paddlers;Brattleboro – With $18,750 in VHCB funding, the Vermont River Conservancy will undertake a floodplain restoration project on 12 acres along the Whetstone Brook in a neighborhood near the downtown, providing trails and public access to the river;In Sharon, The Nature Conservancy will use $119,500 to purchase 450 acres with diverse natural communities and rare species that includes two miles of frontage on the White River and links a Wildlife Management Area with other conserved land;A $175,000 grant will assist the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife to purchase 192 acres for addition to the Wildlife Management Area at Gale Meadows Pond in Winhall;The towns of Georgia and Westford worked with the Vermont Land Trust to conserve town forests. In Georgia, $132,500 in VHCB funding will protect 177 acres near Silver Lake, which is used as a back-up water supply for the town of St. Albans. On the edge of the village of Westford, 130 acres will be conserved, providing access to trails from the village and the local school, securing future wastewater treatment capacity for the village. Open land will be conserved and sold to a local dairy farmer.Housing commitments included a $445,000 VHCB grant to enable the Vermont Center for Independent Living to make accessibility modifications to homes and apartments around the state. The HOMELAND Program, which assists moderate-income households to become home owners, will use $600,000 in VHCB funding to make purchase subsidy grants to 14 homebuyers. A grant of $157,500 will help Habitat for Humanity and Vocational Education Programs to purchase land and make site improvements for the construction of seven single-family homes.Source: www.vhcb.org(link is external) 6.29.2016last_img read more

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Sen. Hukill comes through for Business Law and RPPTL sections

first_img August 1, 2016 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Sen. Hukill comes through for Business Law and RPPTL sections Senior Editor “If you don’t love people, you can’t do this job.” That’s Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, on the phone between campaign activities, setting a time for an interview. It might be the height of the wilting Florida summer heat, but the former teacher turned lawyer sounds energized as she actively campaigns for reelection, even though voting is still four months away. Redistricting has dramatically altered the veteran lawmaker’s district. She currently represents most of Volusia County and parts of Lake and Marion counties. Her new district keeps the Volusia base but drops Lake and Marion and adds much of Brevard County to the south. She faces only a “no-party-affiliated” candidate on the November ballot but is nonetheless running hard in her new district. For those who know Hukill — and that includes legislatively active members of the Bar’s Business Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections — that vigorous campaign will come as no surprise. “She knows her stuff,” said Michael Chesal, former Legislation Committee chair for the Business Law Section. “She’s a passionate, take-the-bull-by-the-horns legislator.” Chesal worked with Hukill last year on the Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act, or CADRA, legislation to help small businesses and individuals who had their computer systems hacked or otherwise compromised. There were other state and federal statutes, but they weren’t much help to those victims. The Business Law Section made the issue a legislative priority and Hukill agreed to sponsor the highly technical bill in the Senate. Chesal said he helped provide technical assistance on the bill, but for one key Senate committee meeting his flight was canceled. “Sen. Hukill didn’t need me. She worked really hard to understand the issues,” he said. “She said all of the stuff I would have said.” RPPTL member Tae Bronner, who worked with Hukill on estate and digital asset bills, agreed. “She’s dedicated; she’s very knowledgeable and thorough, and she’s wonderful to work with,” she said. “She’s interested in doing the right thing for the citizens of Florida and reaching the right results. Her constituents and the citizens of Florida are always her main concern.” The estate bill helped define when attorneys’ fees can be paid from trust assets, disposing of nonresident property through a will, and addressed a court decision that the section saw as causing problems with elective shares, which could be detrimental to spouses, Bronner said. The digital assets bill was a groundbreaking bill that addresses what happens to a deceased person’s online accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, email, and even online banking. “It had quite a bit of opposition from Google and Facebook,” Bronner said. “It was based on the uniform act nationally, and we were one of the first three states to enact it. Sen. Hukill was great on sticking with us and supporting us and making it a reality.” For Hukill, it was an extension of her passion for addressing matters related to online privacy in the digital age. “So many people are going digital, if not only in their personal life but also in their professional life,” the senator said. “Most people did not realize that you didn’t own your digital assets. You don’t own your email, your LinkedIn, your Twitter. You really can’t, like in a normal situation, designate a personal representative and instruct them what to do with your assets because you don’t own them. “So much of your information, personal and business, is locked up in those accounts and you can’t access them or manage them if you are incapacitated or have died,” she added. “You can now. That was actually the first one to take effect in the country.” Like many major issues, it took two sessions to get the groundbreaking legislation passed. “It took a while to educate people as to what the need was. But by the time I filed it in the second session, we had done the groundwork. There was no question on whether we needed it. It was, ‘How do we do it?’” Hukill said. She added she enjoys working with the Bar sections because their legislative proposals are thoroughly vetted by lawyers with practical experience in the subject areas. The accomplishments on those bills are even more impressive considering they were in addition to Hukill’s duties over the past two years as chair of the powerful Senate Tax and Finance Committee, which sets tax policies and raises the revenues to fund state government. (She also serves on the Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities, Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, and Fiscal Policy committees, and the Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight.) A New York City native, Hukill graduated from the City University of New York’s Hunter College and then taught in city schools for 10 years while getting her master’s from Columbia University in speech pathology and audiology. “Along the way, I realized I probably wasn’t going to stay in teaching. I was one of those people interested in everything,” she said. “I started reading some law and decided, ‘Let’s take the LSAT,’ and the rest is history.” She attended St. John’s University School of Law, obtaining her J.D. in 1978. Hukill moved to Long Island and began practicing there. She added with a laugh, “Everyone was a St. John’s graduate, and a lot of the judiciary were St. John’s grads.” In 1988, she followed her parents, who had retired to Port Orange, to Florida where she first settled in the Town of Ponce Inlet, across the Halifax River from Port Orange. The public service bug bit, and she was elected to the Ponce Inlet Town Council in 1992, where she worked to change regulations to make the retirement town friendlier to families. “I wanted to fix something. That’s how a lot of people get involved in politics; they want to fix something,” Hukill said. After moving to Port Orange, she was elected to the city council in 1998, and became vice mayor. In 2000, was elected mayor, serving for four years until she was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2004. Term-limited out in 2012, she ran and was elected to the Senate. Hukill also maintains her law practice, as much as her public office allows, doing wills, trusts, and probate work. She is also a member of the RPPTL Section. “I think a practicing lawyer brings a very practical perspective [to the Legislature] because my perspective is not all theory,” she said. Hukill also wishes there were more attorneys in public life, including the Legislature, where they can catch nuances missed by others. “It gives you a leg up. You’re used to reading statutes and you’re used to interpreting,” she said. “Most people, that’s not what they do in their normal life.” In her public life, Hukill relishes both the large and small accomplishments. She recalled a tax policy bill that encouraged businesses to invest in new equipment, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Another bill, reflecting her passion for protecting privacy in the digital age, came from a TV news story she saw about schools collecting biometric information from students. “I started researching and found out it was true and absolutely horrifying,” Hukill said, adding she filed a bill, which eventually passed, “to stop school districts from collecting biometric information from kids and then doing anything they wanted with it. No information is 100 percent safe, although we like not to believe it. Once you take someone’s personal information like that, it can’t be changed.” She also enjoys basic constituent work, helping residents navigate state bureaucracy and red tape. “When I go places, I always meet one or two people who tell me, ‘Oh, you helped me so much or you helped my daughter.’ “That’s when you feel like a million bucks,” Hukill said. Sen. Hukill comes through for Business Law and RPPTL sectionslast_img read more

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Gophers change offseason workouts

first_img“I want guys to become independent, critical thinkers and take ownership of their experience,” he said.Tatera said the coaching staff gives the team a lot of responsibility, and players wanted to bring a new intensity to the program.“We’ve had so much success in the program that at times, we get a little lackadaisical in our preparation,” he said.Players sat down this summer and also talked about changing their attitudes at practice in order to play faster and with more passion, Tatera said.Thonvold said he hopes to see the work manifest on the field.“If you do a lot of good offseason work like that, you’re going to see the results in the spring,” Thonvold said. “We figured why not … see if we can make an improvement in areas that we’re lacking, and that’s what we did.”Thonvold said players training together and knowing their teammates have been working hard gives them confidence and trust in each other.The Gophers baseball players have referred to the season as a “grind” time and time again, and the goal is to be ready for it.“In the later parts of your season, you know your body is going to hold up because of the work you put in in the preparation,” Thonvold said. Gophers change offseason workoutsMinnesota made the change to lift five days a week in the offseason. Daily File Photo, Emily DunkerMinnesota catcher Mark Tatera dives back toward first base Friday, May 24, 2013, during the Big Ten tournament at Target Field. The Gophers lost 7-4 to Nebraska and finished fourth in the six-team tournament. Betsy HelfandFebruary 27, 2014Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintGophers head coach John Anderson has always believed that the leader of a team has to be the team itself.That was on display this past summer, as members of the baseball team took the initiative to change the team’s offseason lifting routine.“We tried to come together and change the atmosphere in the weight room,” sophomore pitcher Lance Thonvold said. “In previous years, not that we hadn’t been weightlifting, but it wasn’t exactly something we put a lot of focus toward.”Thonvold said he, junior pitcher Ty McDevitt and junior utility player Mark Tatera led the charge.“We were the ones who got together and decided — but it was a group effort — change doesn’t happen with just three people,” Thonvold said. “If we wanted to make anything happen, everyone had to be on board, and everybody was.”Thonvold said the team’s offseason regimen used to consist of lifting three days a week while using Tuesday and Thursday as conditioning days.The new plan included lifting five days a week as a group.“The five-day-a-week push was kind of what we needed,” Thonvold said. “It’s a camaraderie thing for us, and I think it really helped.”A group of players met with team coaches and strength coaches, and Anderson said the players helped “design our program and put it in play.”While some coaches might have strict instructions with their offseason plans, Anderson is a little different.last_img read more

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That time your boss caught you watching cat videos and said, ‘don’t work too hard’

first_imgForbes:“Don’t work too hard!”Imagine that your boss says this phrase to you: What do they mean? Well, it all depends on the context.If you had been burning the midnight oil and pulling a series of late-nighters, it is likely said with great sincerity. Your boss may be expressing deep concern that you are wearing yourself out and need to get some rest.But consider a different context: your boss says “don’t work too hard” after you are caught watching a cat video on YouTube. In this case, the phrase is intended to be sarcastic – your boss is suggesting that you might not be working hard enough.Read the whole story: Forbes More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

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New Content From Perspectives on Psychological Science

first_imgMeditation and the Wandering Mind: A Theoretical Framework of Underlying Neurocognitive MechanismsTracy Brandmeyer and Arnaud DelormeBrandmeyer and Delorme provide a theoretical framework of the neurocognitive mechanisms by which meditation may influence mind wandering and other spontaneous thought processes. This framework suggests that brain networks linked to meditation mediate spontaneous thought processes, and that the practice of meditation impacts cognitive and sensory processes implicated in emotion regulation and attention. The authors suggest that meditation’s benefits may result from increased engagement of the neural networks that regulate attention, emotions, cognition, and perception. The Sisyphean Cycle of Technology PanicsAmy O. OrbenThroughout history, new technologies (e.g., radios, smartphones) have raised concerns and, even as the old concerns are dismissed, new concerns arise with new technologies. Orben examines this Sisyphean cycle of technology panics and synthesizes what we have learned about past panics, what causes them to keep occurring, and why research fails to address them. Historically, she notes, psychologists have been encouraged to research how new technologies affect people in order to calm a worried population, but they often fail because of a lack of established theory. Thus, Orben suggests the need for improved research and policy approaches to new technologies. Psychosocial Vulnerabilities to Upper Respiratory Infectious Illness: Implications for Susceptibility to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)Sheldon CohenCohen’s laboratory has extensively studied psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to illness after exposure to a virus affecting the respiratory tract. Here, he cautiously suggests that similar factors might help to identify who is at a higher risk of developing complications after exposure to coronavirus 2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Smoking, inadequate vitamin C levels, and chronic psychological stress are associated with greater risk of respiratory illness after virus exposure, whereas social integration, social support, physical activity, good sleep, and moderate alcohol intake are associated with a decreased risk of illness. A Comparison of Two Neurobiological Models of Fear and Anxiety: A “Construct Validity” Application?Kenneth F. SchaffnerSchaffner discusses the application of “construct validity,” relating it to the concepts of “truth” and “validity” in science. The author uses an example from recent fear research involving the Ledoux and Pine two-system model (TSM) and the fear-center model (FCM). He summarizes empirical findings and arguments for and against each model, using an argument-based analysis of their construct validity and applying “epistemic values.” His analysis (i.e., a construct-progressivity assessment) ultimately favors the TSM, with the caveat that any future analysis of this type may change depending on instruments and advances.center_img The Multiverse of Methods: Extending the Multiverse Analysis to Address Data-Collection DecisionsJenna A. HarderResearchers may make multiple decisions while analyzing data (e.g., which participants to exclude). In a classic multiverse analysis, they analyze each possible data set to examine how each decision affects the results. However, their decisions affect the results even before the analysis phase. Harder proposes a multiverse-of-methods analysis, in which the multiverse of data sets is composed of real data sets from studies with different data-collection methods. She demonstrates the application of this method using 19 studies on shooting decisions. How Can Intranasal Oxytocin Research Be Trusted? A Systematic Review of the Interactive Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on Psychosocial OutcomesA. Mierop, M. Mikolajczak, C. Stahl, J. Béna, O. Luminet, A. Lane, and O. CorneilleMierop and colleagues present a review of the research on how psychosocial outcomes (e.g., altruism, lie detection, empathy, threat perception, emotion recognition) are affected by the administration of intranasal oxytocin (IN-OT). These effects appear to be highly heterogeneous and seldom replicated. Moreover, statistical power has been very low, and the research practices have been characteristic of exploratory research. These results make it difficult to tease apart the true and false effects of IN-OT, write Mierop and colleagues. They suggest next steps to move the IN-OT field forward.last_img read more

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The neuroscience of loneliness – and how technology is helping us

first_imgShare LinkedIn Email Pinterest Share on Facebookcenter_img Share on Twitter Large numbers of people around the globe have been forced into solitude due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, social distancing is utterly at odds with our drive for social connection, the cornerstone of human evolution.Suddenly confronted with a lack of social interactions, many of us are now experiencing more loneliness. We are missing that reassuring hug or shoulder pat from another human – things we might normally expect in times of adversity. To cope, we try to fill the void with online social activities, such as synchronised Netflix viewings, games and video chat dance parties. But do these help?The lonely brainWhen we spend quality time with another person, we experience intrinsic joy. Brain scanning studies show that subcortical brain regions, such as the ventral striatum, which plays an important role in motivation, are activated when receiving monetary and social rewards. When we feel lonely and rejected, brain regions associated with distress and rumination are activated instead. This may be due to evolution driving us to establish and maintain social connections to ensure survival. Lonely people also have a more negative focus and anxiously scrutinise people’s intentions. Sometimes this can become so strong that it makes us feel even more lonely – creating a vicious cycle.Not everyone relishes social connection to the same extent though. People with a more extrovert personality type seek more social activities, have access to larger social networks, and report lower perceived loneliness. People who score highly on neuroticism tend to report more perceived social isolation.Loneliness has for some time been recognised as a significant threat to physical and mental health and has been found to be predictive of mortality.So how can you best cope with loneliness and isolation? Analysis has suggested that the most successful interventions find ways to address the distorted thinking that loneliness creates. So if you are feeling lonely, try identifying automatic negative thoughts – such as assuming people don’t want to hear from you – and reframing them as hypotheses rather than facts.Another recent review of literature found that targeting coping strategies can also be beneficial. It discovered that approaches such as joining a support group to remove feelings of loneliness work particularly well. Emotion-based coping strategies, such as lowering expectations about relationships, were not as effective.Technological solutionsSocial media is often vilified in public discourse. But many people who are self-isolating now rely on online social tools. An important aspect missing in instant messaging and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, however, is the nonverbal cue – such as a smile, gesture or glance. These allow us to gauge the tone and context of a social encounter. When this information is missing, we perceive fewer friendly cues from others.So while online tools can be helpful during periods of isolation, embodiment and social presence are nevertheless missing. But there are ways to boost the rewards of online communication. One study used augmented reality to enable two people to interact with each other’s video chat images and found that they reported higher sense of social presence and a more engaging experience. Similarly, participating in shared activities benefits the formation of close relationships with others. So whether it is a virtual pub quiz or a dance party, this may be particularly valuable during lockdown.Robots designed to engage us on a social level could also help isolated people feel less lonely, as they carry the benefit of embodiment. In a randomised control trial with Paro, a cuddly baby seal robot, residents in a care home who interacted with it reported reduced feelings of loneliness.Research from our own laboratory seeks to identify how robotic features or behaviours influence our ability to feel socially connected to these machines. For example, a new study highlights that people conversationally engage with a humanoid robot to a similar extent as another person, and more so than with a voice assistant like Alexa or Siri.New advances in mobile brain imaging technologies, along with the increasing social sophistication of some robots, provide opportunities for examining how people establish and maintain social connections with robots in real time.While the rise of social robots appears futuristic, they are already moving out of factories and into our homes, supermarkets and hospitals. They even have new social roles in the coronavirus crisis – for example as supermarket assistants, reminding shoppers of new health and safety rules.Until we all have a sophisticated social robot to keep us company, perhaps the best remedy is to keep in touch with our loved ones online, especially through shared activities. And let’s focus on the fact that close human contact will soon be safe again.By Emily S. Cross, Professor of Social Robotics, Macquarie University and Anna Henschel, PhD Candidate in Psychology & Neuroscience, University of GlasgowThis article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.last_img read more

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NEWS SCAN: E coli O26 testing, Florida cholera case, dengue sequelae

first_imgNov 30, 2010 Florida reports second cholera caseA woman who moved from Haiti to the Orlando, Fla., area within the past month was diagnosed as having cholera and has recovered, raising the state’s number of cholera cases to two, the Orlando Sentinel reported yesterday. Health officials from Orange County Health Department said the case was identified through Florida’s disease surveillance system and that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed samples from the patient and confirmed the infection. Florida is also investigating a possible third cholera case, reportedly in a doctor who got sick on a flight from the Dominican Republic. Health authorities have said they expect to see cases related to Haiti’s cholera outbreak turn up in the United States. The risk of spread in the United States is low because of good sanitation conditions. Cholera typically spreads through contaminated water or food. Florida is home to a large Haitian population.Nov 29 Orlando Sentinel story USDA issues E coli O26 beef sampling noticeThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today issued an advisory for inspectors on how to collect samples in the event that illnesses with Escherichia coli O26 are linked to ground beef. Federal officials routinely test only for E coli O157:H7, but USDA officials have signaled that they may soon be monitoring for six non-O157 strains of Shiga-toxin-producing E coli that are known to be pathogenic in humans, including O26. Regulators have lacked tests to rapidly detect the strains, but earlier this month a USDA official told meat producers that the USDA has so far validated tests for four of the strains. In August Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., based in Pennsylvania, recalled 8,500 pounds of its ground beef after Maine and New York officials linked the product to an E coli O26 illness cluster. In today’s notice the FSIS advises inspectors to follow sample collection procedures similar to those for E coli O157:H7.Nov 30 FSIS noticeNov 2 CIDRAP News ScanAug 30 CIDRAP News Scancenter_img Dengue may cause long-term symptoms, autoimmune disturbanceMore than half of patients who contracted dengue fever experienced symptoms in the 2 years after infection, as well as alterations in autoimmune markers, according to a new study. Cuban researchers observed clinical data from 68 patients who had dengue fever, 29 patients who had dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), and 42 who had asymptomatic infections. They found that 55 of the 97 symptomatic patients (57%) had persistent clinical symptoms following recovery from the initial infection, even as much as 2 years after contracting the disease. Such sequelae were more common among women, with 44 of 55 (80%) experiencing them. In addition, alterations in autoimmune markers occurred in 20 of a subset of 26 symptomatic patients (77%), which the authors said “could suggest an autoimmune-based disturbance.”Nov 29 Int J Infect Dis abstractlast_img read more

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