Social scientists have suggested that cultural diversity in a nation leads to societal instability. However, societal instability may be affected not only by within-nation or α diversity, but also diversity between a nation and its neighbours or β diversity. It is also necessary to distinguish different domains of diversity, namely linguistic, ethnic and religious, and to distinguish between the direct effects of diversity on societal instability, and effects that are mediated by economic conditions.
We assembled a large cross-national dataset with information on α and β cultural diversity, economic conditions, and indices of societal instability. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the direct and indirect effects of cultural diversity on economics and societal stability. Results show that different types and domains of diversity have interacting effects. As previously documented, linguistic α diversity has a negative effect on economic performance, and we show that it is largely through this economic mechanism that it affects societal instability. For β diversity, the higher the linguistic diversity among nations in a region, the less stable the nation. But, religious β diversity has the opposite effect, reducing instability, particularly in the presence of high linguistic diversity.
Within-nation linguistic diversity is associated with reduced economic performance, which, in turn, increases societal instability. Nations which differ linguistically from their neighbors are also less stable. However, religious diversity between neighboring nations has the opposite effect, decreasing societal instability.
This study adds to a growing body of research on the contextual determinants of marriage choice and provides new information on ethnic intermarriage in the late 19th Century. Census microdata for 66 major cities in 1880 are used to estimate a multilevel model of assortative mating of Irish, German, and British immigrants. Results demonstrate that marital choices made by individuals are significantly affected by the local urban context where they live. In addition the very large disparity in endogamy between the British and other groups can mainly be attributed to the smaller size of the British population in these cities.
Intermarriage; immigration; ethnicity; contextual effects
Salmonella enterica is among the principal etiological agents of food-borne illness in humans. Increasing antimicrobial resistance in S. enterica is a cause for worldwide concern. There is concern at present in relation to the increasing incidence of human infection with antimicrobial agent-resistant strains of S. enterica serotype Typhimurium, in particular of phage type DT104. Integrons appear to play an important role in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes in many Enterobacteriaceae including S. enterica. In this study the antimicrobial susceptibilities and phage types of 74 randomly collected strains of S. enterica serotype Typhimurium from the Cork region of southern Ireland, obtained from human, animal (clinical), and food sources, were determined. Each strain was examined for integrons and typed by DNA amplification fingerprinting (DAF). Phage type DT104 predominated (n = 48). Phage types DT104b (n = 3), -193 (n = 9), -195 (n = 6), -208 (n = 3), -204a (n = 2), PT U302 (n = 1), and two nontypeable strains accounted for the remainder. All S. enterica serotype Typhimurium DT104 strains were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, Sulfonamide Duplex, and tetracycline, and one strain was additionally resistant to trimethoprim. All DT104 strains but one were of a uniform DAF type (designated DAF-I) and showed a uniform pattern of integrons (designated IP-I). The DT104b and PT U302 strains also exhibited the same resistance phenotype, and both had the DAF-I and IP-I patterns. The DAF-I pattern was also observed in a single DT193 strain in which no integrons were detectable. Greater diversity of antibiograms and DAF and IP patterns among non-DT104 phage types was observed. These data indicate a remarkable degree of homogeneity at a molecular level among contemporary isolates of S. enterica serotype Typhimurium DT104 from animal, human, and food sources in this region.
The small alpine district of East Tyrol (Austria) has an exceptional demographic history. It was contemporaneously inhabited by members of the Romance, the Slavic and the Germanic language groups for centuries. Since the Late Middle Ages, however, the population of the principally agrarian-oriented area is solely Germanic speaking. Historic facts about East Tyrol's colonization are rare, but spatial density-distribution analysis based on the etymology of place-names has facilitated accurate spatial mapping of the various language groups' former settlement regions. To test for present-day Y chromosome population substructure, molecular genetic data were compared to the information attained by the linguistic analysis of pasture names. The linguistic data were used for subdividing East Tyrol into two regions of former Romance (A) and Slavic (B) settlement. Samples from 270 East Tyrolean men were genotyped for 17 Y-chromosomal microsatellites (Y-STRs) and 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs). Analysis of the probands' surnames revealed no evidence for spatial genetic structuring. Also, spatial autocorrelation analysis did not indicate significant correlation between genetic (Y-STR haplotypes) and geographic distance. Haplogroup R-M17 chromosomes, however, were absent in region A, but constituted one of the most frequent haplogroups in region B. The R-M343 (R1b) clade showed a marked and complementary frequency distribution pattern in these two regions. To further test East Tyrol's modern Y-chromosomal landscape for geographic patterning attributable to the early history of settlement in this alpine area, principal coordinates analysis was performed. The Y-STR haplotypes from region A clearly clustered with those of Romance reference populations and the samples from region B matched best with Germanic speaking reference populations. The combined use of onomastic and molecular genetic data revealed and mapped the marked structuring of the distribution of Y chromosomes in an alpine region that has been culturally homogeneous for centuries.
We have examined genetic diversity at fifteen autosomal microsatellite loci in seven predominant populations of Orissa to decipher whether populations inhabiting the same geographic region can be differentiated on the basis of language or ancestry. The studied populations have diverse historical accounts of their origin, belong to two major ethnic groups and different linguistic families. Caucasoid caste populations are speakers of Indo-European language and comprise Brahmins, Khandayat, Karan and Gope, while the three Australoid tribal populations include two Austric speakers: Juang and Saora and a Dravidian speaking population, Paroja. These divergent groups provide a varied substratum for understanding variation of genetic patterns in a geographical area resulting from differential admixture between migrants groups and aboriginals, and the influence of this admixture on population stratification.
The allele distribution pattern showed uniformity in the studied groups with approximately 81% genetic variability within populations. The coefficient of gene differentiation was found to be significantly higher in tribes (0.014) than caste groups (0.004). Genetic variance between the groups was 0.34% in both ethnic and linguistic clusters and statistically significant only in the ethnic apportionment. Although the populations were genetically close (FST = 0.010), the contemporary caste and tribal groups formed distinct clusters in both Principal-Component plot and Neighbor-Joining tree. In the phylogenetic tree, the Orissa Brahmins showed close affinity to populations of North India, while Khandayat and Gope clustered with the tribal groups, suggesting a possibility of their origin from indigenous people.
The extent of genetic differentiation in the contemporary caste and tribal groups of Orissa is highly significant and constitutes two distinct genetic clusters. Based on our observations, we suggest that since genetic distances and coefficient of gene differentiation were fairly small, the studied populations are indeed genetically similar and that the genetic structure of populations in a geographical region is primarily influenced by their ancestry and not by socio-cultural hierarchy or language. The scenario of genetic structure, however, might be different for other regions of the subcontinent where populations have more similar ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and there might be variations in the patterns of genomic and socio-cultural affinities in different geographical regions.
According to archaeological records and historical documentation, Italy has been a melting point for populations of different geographical and ethnic matrices. Although Italy has been a favorite subject for numerous population genetic studies, genetic patterns have never been analyzed comprehensively, including uniparental and autosomal markers throughout the country.
A total of 583 individuals were sampled from across the Italian Peninsula, from ten distant (if homogeneous by language) ethnic communities — and from two linguistic isolates (Ladins, Grecani Salentini). All samples were first typed for the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and selected coding region SNPs (mtSNPs). This data was pooled for analysis with 3,778 mtDNA control-region profiles collected from the literature. Secondly, a set of Y-chromosome SNPs and STRs were also analyzed in 479 individuals together with a panel of autosomal ancestry informative markers (AIMs) from 441 samples. The resulting genetic record reveals clines of genetic frequencies laid according to the latitude slant along continental Italy – probably generated by demographical events dating back to the Neolithic. The Ladins showed distinctive, if more recent structure. The Neolithic contribution was estimated for the Y-chromosome as 14.5% and for mtDNA as 10.5%. Y-chromosome data showed larger differentiation between North, Center and South than mtDNA. AIMs detected a minor sub-Saharan component; this is however higher than for other European non-Mediterranean populations. The same signal of sub-Saharan heritage was also evident in uniparental markers.
Italy shows patterns of molecular variation mirroring other European countries, although some heterogeneity exists based on different analysis and molecular markers. From North to South, Italy shows clinal patterns that were most likely modulated during Neolithic times.
Major values of medical librarians, as exemplified in their periodical literature 1903-1977, are identified as "professionalism," "cooperation," "sense of community with health sciences practitioners," and "knowledge orientation." These values are examined in terms of interdisciplinary research into human values. Professionalism is studied in greater depth in relation to criteria on a scale of professionalism. Medical librarians have been most concerned with the criteria of organization, specialized education (with more emphasis on continuing education than on introductory medical library education), and service orientation. Indication of challenge to long-held values exists in the contradictions among certain related assumptions underlying our self-image, our current lack of standards, and changing societal views toward commitment to a single, life-long specialization. It is suggested that there is unexplored potential for support of our traditional values and the development of new ones by comparing them with the value systems of health scientists and educators of health sciences practitioners.
We constructed a corpus of digitized texts containing about 4% of all books ever printed. Analysis of this corpus enables us to investigate cultural trends quantitatively. We survey the vast terrain of ‘culturomics’, focusing on linguistic and cultural phenomena that were reflected in the English language between 1800 and 2000. We show how this approach can provide insights about fields as diverse as lexicography, the evolution of grammar, collective memory, the adoption of technology, the pursuit of fame, censorship, and historical epidemiology. ‘Culturomics’ extends the boundaries of rigorous quantitative inquiry to a wide array of new phenomena spanning the social sciences and the humanities.
The paternal origins of Thoroughbred racehorses trace back to a handful of Middle Eastern stallions, imported to the British Isles during the seventeenth century. Yet, few details of the foundation mares were recorded, in many cases not even their names (several different maternal lineages trace back to ‘A Royal Mare’). This has fuelled intense speculation over their origins. We examined mitochondrial DNA from 1929 horses to determine the origin of Thoroughbred foundation mares. There is no evidence to support exclusive Arab maternal origins as some historical records have suggested, or a significant importation of Oriental mares (the term used in historic records to refer to Middle East and western Asian breeds including Arab, Akhal-Teke, Barb and Caspian). Instead, we show that Thoroughbred foundation mares had a cosmopolitan European heritage with a far greater contribution from British and Irish Native mares than previously recognized.
Thoroughbred horse; foundation of breed; maternal origins; phylogenetics; mitochondrial DNA
Personal naming practices exist in all human groups and are far from random. Rather, they continue to reflect social norms and ethno-cultural customs that have developed over generations. As a consequence, contemporary name frequency distributions retain distinct geographic, social and ethno-cultural patterning that can be exploited to understand population structure in human biology, public health and social science. Previous attempts to detect and delineate such structure in large populations have entailed extensive empirical analysis of naming conventions in different parts of the world without seeking any general or automated methods of population classification by ethno-cultural origin. Here we show how ‘naming networks’, constructed from forename-surname pairs of a large sample of the contemporary human population in 17 countries, provide a valuable representation of cultural, ethnic and linguistic population structure around the world. This innovative approach enriches and adds value to automated population classification through conventional national data sources such as telephone directories and electoral registers. The method identifies clear social and ethno-cultural clusters in such naming networks that extend far beyond the geographic areas in which particular names originated, and that are preserved even after international migration. Moreover, one of the most striking findings of this approach is that these clusters simply ‘emerge’ from the aggregation of millions of individual decisions on parental naming practices for their children, without any prior knowledge introduced by the researcher. Our probabilistic approach to community assignment, both at city level as well as at a global scale, helps to reveal the degree of isolation, integration or overlap between human populations in our rapidly globalising world. As such, this work has important implications for research in population genetics, public health, and social science adding new understandings of migration, identity, integration and social interaction across the world.
Maps of disease occurrences and GIS-based models of disease transmission risk are increasingly common, and both rely on georeferenced diseases data. Automated methods for georeferencing disease data have been widely studied for developed countries with rich sources of geographic referenced data. However, the transferability of these methods to countries without comparable geographic reference data, particularly when working with historical disease data, has not been as widely studied. Historically, precise geographic information about where individual cases occur has been collected and stored verbally, identifying specific locations using place names. Georeferencing historic data is challenging however, because it is difficult to find appropriate geographic reference data to match the place names to. Here, we assess the degree of care and research invested in converting textual descriptions of disease occurrence locations to numerical grid coordinates (latitude and longitude). Specifically, we develop three datasets from the same, original monkeypox disease occurrence data, with varying levels of care and effort: the first based on an automated web-service, the second improving on the first by reference to additional maps and digital gazetteers, and the third improving still more based on extensive consultation of legacy surveillance records that provided considerable additional information about each case. To illustrate the implications of these seemingly subtle improvements in data quality, we develop ecological niche models and predictive maps of monkeypox transmission risk based on each of the three occurrence data sets.
We found macrogeographic variations in ecological niche models depending on the type of georeferencing method used. Less-careful georeferencing identified much smaller areas as having potential for monkeypox transmission in the Sahel region, as well as around the rim of the Congo Basin. These results have implications for mapping efforts, as each higher level of georeferencing precision required considerably greater time investment.
The importance of careful georeferencing cannot be overlooked, despite it being a time- and labor-intensive process. Investment in archival storage of primary disease-occurrence data is merited, and improved digital gazetteers are needed to support public health mapping activities, particularly in developing countries, where maps and geographic information may be sparse.
Indian populations endowed with unparalleled genetic complexity have received a great deal of attention from scientists world over. However, the fundamental question over their ancestry, whether they are all genetically similar or do exhibit differences attributable to ethnicity, language, geography or socio-cultural affiliation is still unresolved. In order to decipher their underlying genetic structure, we undertook a study on 3522 individuals belonging to 54 endogamous Indian populations representing all major ethnic, linguistic and geographic groups and assessed the genetic variation using autosomal microsatellite markers.
The distribution of the most frequent allele was uniform across populations, revealing an underlying genetic similarity. Patterns of allele distribution suggestive of ethnic or geographic propinquity were discernible only in a few of the populations and was not applicable to the entire dataset while a number of the populations exhibited distinct identities evident from the occurrence of unique alleles in them. Genetic substructuring was detected among populations originating from northeastern and southern India reflective of their migrational histories and genetic isolation respectively.
Our analyses based on autosomal microsatellite markers detected no evidence of general clustering of population groups based on ethnic, linguistic, geographic or socio-cultural affiliations. The existence of substructuring in populations from northeastern and southern India has notable implications for population genetic studies and forensic databases where broad grouping of populations based on such affiliations are frequently employed.
WormBook () is an open-access, online collection of original, peer-reviewed chapters on the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans and related nematodes. Since WormBook was launched in June 2005 with 12 chapters, it has grown to over 100 chapters, covering nearly every aspect of C.elegans research, from Cell Biology and Neurobiology to Evolution and Ecology. WormBook also serves as the text companion to WormBase, the C.elegans model organism database. Objects such as genes, proteins and cells are linked to the relevant pages in WormBase, providing easily accessible background information. Additionally, WormBook chapters contain links to other relevant topics in WormBook, and the in-text citations are linked to their abstracts in PubMed and full-text references, if available. Since WormBook is online, its chapters are able to contain movies and complex images that would not be possible in a print version. WormBook is designed to keep up with the rapid pace of discovery in the field of C.elegans research and continues to grow. WormBook represents a generic publishing infrastructure that is easily adaptable to other research communities to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge in the field.
Prospective evaluation of pregnancy outcomes in pregestational diabetes along the Atlantic seaboard 2006–2007.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy group, representing five antenatal centers in a wide geographical location, was established in 2005. All women with diabetes for >6 months before the index pregnancy were included. Results were collected electronically via the DIAMOND Diabetes Information System. Pregnancy outcome was compared with background rates.
There were 104 singleton pregnancies. The stillbirth rate (25/1,000) was 5 times, perinatal mortality rate (25/1,000) 3.5 times, and congenital malformation rate (24/1,000) 2 times that of the background population. A total of 28% of women received prepregnancy care, 43% received prepregnancy folic acid, and 51% achieved an A1C ≤7% at first antenatal visit.
Women are not well prepared for pregnancy, and outcomes are suboptimal. A regional prepregnancy care program and centralized glucose management are urgently needed.
The Cross River region in Nigeria is an extremely diverse area linguistically with over 60 distinct languages still spoken today. It is also a region of great historical importance, being a) adjacent to the likely homeland from which Bantu-speaking people migrated across most of sub-Saharan Africa 3000-5000 years ago and b) the location of Calabar, one of the largest centres during the Atlantic slave trade. Over 1000 DNA samples from 24 clans representing speakers of the six most prominent languages in the region were collected and typed for Y-chromosome (SNPs and microsatellites) and mtDNA markers (Hypervariable Segment 1) in order to examine whether there has been substantial gene flow between groups speaking different languages in the region. In addition the Cross River region was analysed in the context of a larger geographical scale by comparison to bordering Igbo speaking groups as well as neighbouring Cameroon populations and more distant Ghanaian communities.
The Cross River region was shown to be extremely homogenous for both Y-chromosome and mtDNA markers with language spoken having no noticeable effect on the genetic structure of the region, consistent with estimates of inter-language gene flow of 10% per generation based on sociological data. However the groups in the region could clearly be differentiated from others in Cameroon and Ghana (and to a lesser extent Igbo populations). Significant correlations between genetic distance and both geographic and linguistic distance were observed at this larger scale.
Previous studies have found significant correlations between genetic variation and language in Africa over large geographic distances, often across language families. However the broad sampling strategies of these datasets have limited their utility for understanding the relationship within language families. This is the first study to show that at very fine geographic/linguistic scales language differences can be maintained in the presence of substantial gene flow over an extended period of time and demonstrates the value of dense sampling strategies and having DNA of known and detailed provenance, a practice that is generally rare when investigating sub-Saharan African demographic processes using genetic data.
The review presents the newly published book "Electrophysiological Recording Techniques" by Humana Press. This is an important collection of articles devoted to an issue that has gained increasing attention in modern neuroscience research - electrophysiological recording techniques. The present book is a timely update of methods spanning from single cell recordings to local field potentials, cortical, and scalp EEG recordings. The book presents the progressive development of electrophysiological recording methods by including both existing and new advanced technologies. Theoretical considerations on important issues like current source density analysis, local field potential and signal generation are also in focus. In most of the chapters, methods are illustrated with specific experimental results and are discussed towards future developments and applications. Chapters can be read independently because each chapter appears with its own theoretical background, literature survey and specific methodology. The book can be of interest to a broader audience willing to look at the contemporary state of development of electrophysiological methods. Also, it can be of special interest to scientists with high expertise working in the field of neuroscience and behavior.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease estimated to cause about 230 million infections worldwide every year, of which 25,000 are fatal. Global incidence has risen rapidly in recent decades with some 3.6 billion people, over half of the world's population, now at risk, mainly in urban centres of the tropics and subtropics. Demographic and societal changes, in particular urbanization, globalization, and increased international travel, are major contributors to the rise in incidence and geographic expansion of dengue infections. Major research gaps continue to hamper the control of dengue. The European Commission launched a call under the 7th Framework Programme with the title of ‘Comprehensive control of Dengue fever under changing climatic conditions’. Fourteen partners from several countries in Europe, Asia, and South America formed a consortium named ‘DengueTools’ to respond to the call to achieve better diagnosis, surveillance, prevention, and predictive models and improve our understanding of the spread of dengue to previously uninfected regions (including Europe) in the context of globalization and climate change.
The consortium comprises 12 work packages to address a set of research questions in three areas:
Research area 1: Develop a comprehensive early warning and surveillance system that has predictive capability for epidemic dengue and benefits from novel tools for laboratory diagnosis and vector monitoring.
Research area 2: Develop novel strategies to prevent dengue in children.
Research area 3: Understand and predict the risk of global spread of dengue, in particular the risk of introduction and establishment in Europe, within the context of parameters of vectorial capacity, global mobility, and climate change.
In this paper, we report on the rationale and specific study objectives of ‘DengueTools’. DengueTools is funded under the Health theme of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community, Grant Agreement Number: 282589 Dengue Tools.
dengue; dengue control; dengue diagnostics; economic evaluation; entomology; climate change; early warning systems; risk mapping; surveillance; globalization
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, had guarded many German scientists of a Jewish descent before the Second World War. Dr. Rudolf Nissen was one of the outstanding surgeons who had served in the Turkish university hospitals. He had created an antireflux procedure which is named after his own name while he was working in our clinic, the Cerrahpaşa Hospital. From a laparoscopic approach, the Nissen fundoplication was the gold standard intervention for the surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Currently, video laparoscopic surgery is evolving quickly with the guidance of new technology. Single-port (SP) laparoscopic transumbilical surgery is one of the newest branches of advanced laparoscopy.
Simple or complex manipulations may be performed with SP laparoscopic transumbilical surgery. The advantages, which are gained from conventional laparoscopy, can be invigorated by an SP laparoscopic approach. The retraction technique of the liver and the optical system were the most important factors, which made the Nissen fundoplication possible via single port. Here, we report that totally laparoscopic transumbilical SP Nissen fundoplication procedure was performed in three patients for sliding hiatal hernia with GERD.
Totally laparoscopic transumbilical SP Nissen fundoplication is a safe and feasible technique for the surgical treatment of GERD.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11605-010-1183-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Nissen fundoplication; Single port; Laparoscopy; Transumbilical; Gastroesophageal reflux
Achilles tendinopathy is the predominant overuse injury in runners. To further investigate this overload injury in transverse and longitudinal studies a valid, responsive and reliable outcome measure is demanded. Most questionnaires have been developed for English-speaking populations. This is also true for the VISA-A score, so far representing the only valid, reliable, and disease specific questionnaire for Achilles tendinopathy. To internationally compare research results, to perform multinational studies or to exclude bias originating from subpopulations speaking different languages within one country an equivalent instrument is demanded in different languages. The aim of this study was therefore to cross-cultural adapt and validate the VISA-A questionnaire for German-speaking Achilles tendinopathy patients.
According to the "guidelines for the process of cross-cultural adaptation of self-report measures" the VISA-A score was cross-culturally adapted into German (VISA-A-G) using six steps: Translation, synthesis, back translation, expert committee review, pretesting (n = 77), and appraisal of the adaptation process by an advisory committee determining the adequacy of the cross-cultural adaptation. The resulting VISA-A-G was then subjected to an analysis of reliability, validity, and internal consistency in 30 Achilles tendinopathy patients and 79 asymptomatic people. Concurrent validity was tested against a generic tendon grading system (Percy and Conochie) and against a classification system for the effect of pain on athletic performance (Curwin and Stanish).
The "advisory committee" determined the VISA-A-G questionnaire as been translated "acceptable". The VISA-A-G questionnaire showed moderate to excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.60 to 0.97). Concurrent validity showed good coherence when correlated with the grading system of Curwin and Stanish (rho = -0.95) and for the Percy and Conochie grade of severity (rho 0.95). Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) for the total VISA-A-G scores of the patients was calculated to be 0.737.
The VISA-A questionnaire was successfully cross-cultural adapted and validated for use in German speaking populations. The psychometric properties of the VISA-A-G questionnaire are similar to those of the original English version. It therefore can be recommended as a sufficiently robust tool for future measuring clinical severity of Achilles tendinopathy in German speaking patients.
On account of a series of unique historical events, the present-day denizens of South Tyrol inhabit a cultural, political, and linguistic autonomous region that intercalates Italians and Austrian/German Italians. We compared contemporary Italian and Austrian/German Italian girls' and boys' adaptive behaviors in everyday activities in this region. Using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, we first interviewed mothers about their children's communication, daily living, socialization, and motor skills. Main effects of local culture (and no interactions with gender) emerged: Austrian/German Italian children were rated higher than Italian children in both adaptive daily living and socialization skills. Next, we explored ethnic differences in childrearing. Austrian/German Italians reported fostering greater autonomy in their children than Italians, and children's autonomy was associated with their adaptive behavior. Children living in neighboring Italian and Austrian/German Italian cultural niches appear to experience subtle but consequentially different conditions of development that express themselves in terms of differing levels of adaptive behaviors.
Past research has demonstrated cross-linguistic, cross-modal, and task-dependent differences in neighborhood density effects, indicating a need to control for neighborhood variables when developing and interpreting research on language processing. The goals of the present paper are two-fold: (1) to introduce CLEARPOND (Cross-Linguistic Easy-Access Resource for Phonological and Orthographic Neighborhood Densities), a centralized database of phonological and orthographic neighborhood information, both within and between languages, for five commonly-studied languages: Dutch, English, French, German, and Spanish; and (2) to show how CLEARPOND can be used to compare general properties of phonological and orthographic neighborhoods across languages. CLEARPOND allows researchers to input a word or list of words and obtain phonological and orthographic neighbors, neighborhood densities, mean neighborhood frequencies, word lengths by number of phonemes and graphemes, and spoken-word frequencies. Neighbors can be defined by substitution, deletion, and/or addition, and the database can be queried separately along each metric or summed across all three. Neighborhood values can be obtained both within and across languages, and outputs can optionally be restricted to neighbors of higher frequency. To enable researchers to more quickly and easily develop stimuli, CLEARPOND can also be searched by features, generating lists of words that meet precise criteria, such as a specific range of neighborhood sizes, lexical frequencies, and/or word lengths. CLEARPOND is freely-available to researchers and the public as a searchable, online database and for download at http://clearpond.northwestern.edu.
A linguistic validation of the Self-Assessment Goal Achievement (SAGA) questionnaire was conducted for 12 European languages, documenting that each translation adequately captures the concepts of the original English-language version of the questionnaire and is readily understood by subjects in the target population.
Native-speaking residents of the target countries who reported urinary problems/lower urinary tract problems were asked to review a translation of the SAGA questionnaire, which was harmonized among 12 languages: Danish, Dutch, English (UK), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish. During a cognitive debriefing interview, participants were asked to identify any words that were difficult to understand and explain in their own words the meaning of each sentence in the questionnaire. The qualitative analysis was conducted by local linguistic validation teams (original translators, back translator, project manager, interviewer, and survey research expert).
Translations of the SAGA questionnaire from English to 12 European languages were well understood by the participants with an overall comprehension rate across language of 98.9%. In addition, the translations retained the original meaning of the SAGA items and instructions. Comprehension difficulties were identified, and after review by the translation team, minor changes were made to 7 of the 12 translations to improve clarity and comprehension.
Conceptual, semantic, and cultural equivalence of each translation of the SAGA questionnaire was achieved thus confirming linguistic validation.
SAGA; Validation; Lower urinary tract symptoms; Overactive bladder; Goal achievement; Patient-reported questionnaire
The language sciences – Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, and Computational Linguistics – have not been broadly represented at the Cognitive Science Society meetings of the past 30 years, but they are an important part of the heart of cognitive science. This article discusses several major themes that have dominated the controversies and consensus in the study of language and suggests the most pressing issues of the future. These themes include differences among the language science disciplines in their view of numbers and symbols and of modular and distributed cognition; and the need for an increasing prominence of questions concerning language and the brain.
language sciences; linguistics; psycholinguistics; statistical learning; probabilistic approaches; symbols and rules; modularity; language and the brain
For centuries, the colonial governments used a combination of race and ethnic characteristics to subjugate and control people of color, and scientists of the day provided evidence of the "natural order of things" to support national policies of domination, segregation and control. There have been many examples of events in the past 70 years to suggest that achievements by ethnic peoples are not genetically determined and that race and ethnicity are merely terms to describe external features, language, culture, social mores and folklore. BiDil was the first drug in this country approved by the FDA for use in a single "race" after a clinical trial that enrolled only members of that race. Thus arose the question of the efficacy of doing race-based research in humans. In order for this kind of research to have any scientific basis, each individually defined or self-declared race would have to have a 100% pure gene pool, and the data show that the gene pool among whites, blacks and Hispanics in America is very heterogeneous. This makes for far greater similarities among U.S. citizens than any perceived differences, and genomic science has failed to support the concept of racial categories in medicine. Scientists involved with the first mapping of the human genome have noted that there is no basis in the genetic code for race. That being the case, there appears to be no justification for race-based research among human beings.
Studies demonstrating the involvement of motor brain structures in language processing typically focus on time windows beyond the latencies of lexical-semantic access. Consequently, such studies remain inconclusive regarding whether motor brain structures are recruited directly in language processing or through post-linguistic conceptual imagery. In the present study, we introduce a grip-force sensor that allows online measurements of language-induced motor activity during sentence listening. We use this tool to investigate whether language-induced motor activity remains constant or is modulated in negative, as opposed to affirmative, linguistic contexts.
Participants listened to spoken action target words in either affirmative or negative sentences while holding a sensor in a precision grip. The participants were asked to count the sentences containing the name of a country to ensure attention. The grip force signal was recorded continuously. The action words elicited an automatic and significant enhancement of the grip force starting at approximately 300 ms after target word onset in affirmative sentences; however, no comparable grip force modulation was observed when these action words occurred in negative contexts.
Our findings demonstrate that this simple experimental paradigm can be used to study the online crosstalk between language and the motor systems in an ecological and economical manner. Our data further confirm that the motor brain structures that can be called upon during action word processing are not mandatorily involved; the crosstalk is asymmetrically governed by the linguistic context and not vice versa.