Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Stefana Francisca Lupu

14 Effects of Music Training on Social-Emotional Development and Basic Musical Skills: Findings from a Longitudinal Study with German and Migrant Children

Authors: Stefana Francisca Lupu, Jasmin Chantah, Mara Krone, Ingo Roden, Stephan Bongard, Gunter Kreutz


Long-term music interventions could enhance both musical and nonmusical skills. The present study was designed to explore cognitive, socio-emotional, and musical development in a longitudinal setting. Third-graders (N = 184: 87 male, 97 female; mean age = 8.61 years; 115 native German and 69 migrant children) were randomly assigned to two intervention groups (music and maths) and a control group over a period of one school-year. At baseline, children in these groups were similar in basic cognitive skills, with a trend of advantage in the control group. Dependent measures included the culture fair intelligence test CFT 20-R; the questionnaire of emotional and social school experience for grade 3 and 4 (FEESS 3-4), the test of resources in childhood and adolescence (FRKJ 8-16), the test of language proficiency for German native and non-native primary school children (SFD 3), the reading comprehension test (ELFE 1-6), the German math test (DEMAT 3+) and the intermediate measures of music audiation (IMMA). Data were collected two times at the beginning (T1) and at the end of the school year (T2). A third measurement (T3) followed after a six months retention period. Data from baseline and post-intervention measurements are currently being analyzed. Preliminary results of all three measurements will be presented at the conference.

Keywords: musical training, primary-school German and migrant children, socio-emotional skills, transfer

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13 A Randomized Controlled Intervention Study of the Effect of Music Training on Mathematical and Working Memory Performances

Authors: Ingo Roden, Stefana Lupu, Mara Krone, Jasmin Chantah, Gunter Kreutz, Stephan Bongard, Dietmar Grube


The present experimental study examined the effects of music and math training on mathematical skills and visuospatial working memory capacity in kindergarten children. For this purpose, N = 54 children (mean age: 5.46 years; SD = .29) were randomly assigned to three groups. Children in the music group (n = 18) received weekly sessions of 60 min music training over a period of eight weeks, whereas children in the math group (n = 18) received the same amount of training focusing on mathematical basic skills, such as numeracy skills, quantity comparison, and counting objectives. The third group of children (n = 18) served as waiting controls. The groups were matched for sex, age, IQ and previous music experiences at baseline. Pre-Post intervention measurements revealed a significant interaction effect of group x time, showing that children in both music and math groups significantly improved their early numeracy skills, whereas children in the control group did not. No significant differences between groups were observed for the visuospatial working memory performances. These results confirm and extend previous findings on transfer effects of music training on mathematical abilities and visuospatial working memory capacity. They show that music and math interventions are similarly effective to enhance children’s mathematical skills. More research is necessary to establish, whether cognitive transfer effects arising from music interventions might facilitate children’s transition from kindergarten to first-grade.

Keywords: music training, mathematical skills, working memory, transfer

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12 Neuromarketing: Discovering the Somathyc Marker in the Consumer´s Brain

Authors: Mikel Alonso López, María Francisca Blasco López, Víctor Molero Ayala


The present study explains the somatic marker theory of Antonio Damasio, which indicates that when making a decision, the stored or possible future scenarios (future memory) images allow people to feel for a moment what would happen when they make a choice, and how this is emotionally marked. This process can be conscious or unconscious. The development of new Neuromarketing techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), carries a greater understanding of how the brain functions and consumer behavior. In the results observed in different studies using fMRI, the evidence suggests that the somatic marker and future memories influence the decision-making process, adding a positive or negative emotional component to the options. This would mean that all decisions would involve a present emotional component, with a rational cost-benefit analysis that can be performed later.

Keywords: emotions, decision making, somatic marker, consumer´s brain

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11 An Analytical Exploration of the Gender-Corruption Thesis in the Nigerian Context

Authors: Francisca Anene


Studies indicate that gender equality and corruption are negatively correlated. This has been attributed to two opposing arguments - 'fairer-sex' and 'fairer-system'. Though there is no agreement on the reason for the correlation, it has been suggested that gender equality can be actively pursued as a means of combating corruption and instituting good governance in countries perceived to be more corrupt. This paper explores the relationship between gender, corruption and good governance in Nigeria. With the aid of secondary empirical data from various sources including Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, World Values Survey, World Bank Enterprise Survey and Afrobarometer, a correlation is established between gender and corruption and the causative factors are explored in the Nigerian context. On the basis of the above, the paper demonstrates that though a numerical increase of women in leadership/influence may result in the achievement of gender equality in Nigeria, true equality must go beyond numbers if it is to be used as a means for instituting good governance.

Keywords: corruption, gender equality, good governance, Nigeria

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10 Internet-Based Architecture for Machine-to-Machine Communication of a Public Security Network

Authors: Ogwueleka Francisca Nonyelum, Jiya Muhammad


Poor communication between the victims of the burglaries, road and fire accidents and the agencies, and lack of quick emergency response by the agencies is solved through Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication. A distress caller is expected to make a call through a network to the respective agency for emergency response but due to some challenges, this often becomes arduous and futile. This research puts forth an Internet-based architecture for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication to enhance information dissemination in National Public Security Communication System (NPSCS) network. M2M enables the flow of data between machines and machines and ultimately machines and people with information flowing from a machine over a network, and then through a gateway to a system where it is reviewed and acted on. The research findings showed that Internet-based architecture for M2M communication is most suitable for deployment of a public security network which will allow machines to use Internet to talk to each other.

Keywords: machine-to-machine (M2M), internet-based architecture, network, gateway

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9 The Reuse of Household Waste in Natural Dyeing as a Tool for Upcycling

Authors: Juliana Bastos dos Santos, Francisca Dantas Mendes, Abdul Jabbar Mohammad Khatri, Adam Abdul Jabbar Khatri


This research aims to describe the experimentation of color extraction from household waste, for the application of the natural vegetable dyeing technique, as a more sustainable option for the upcycling process. Based on the research of the case study, this article intends to record the process of collecting the materials, extracting the colors and their applicability. The study aims to deepen the knowledge about possible alternatives that generate less impact on the environment throughout the process of plant stamping and, also, to spread the concepts of sustainability in fashion. Therefore, this content becomes relevant for valuing an artisanal production process, reconnecting with ancestral knowledge. This article also intends to serve as a record of ancestral artisanal processes, based on the indigenous and African matrices that are pillars of Brazilian culture.

Keywords: natural dyeing, sustainability, organic residue, fashion, reuse

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8 A Software Tool for Computer Forensic Investigation Using Client-Side Web History Visualization

Authors: Francisca Onaolapo Oladipo, Peter Afam Ugwu


Records of user activities which are valuable for forensic investigation purposes are provided by web browsers -these records in most cases are not in visual formats that are easily understood, thereby requiring some extra processes. This paper describes the implementation of a software tool for client-side web history visualization providing suitable forensic evidence for investigative purposes. Visual C#, Perl and gnuplot were deployed on Windows Operating System (OS) environment to implement the system and the resulting tool parses and transforms a web browser history into a visual format that enables an investigator to quickly and efficiently explore, understand, and interpret the user online activities in the context of a specific investigation. The system was tested using two forensic cases: the client-side web history files generated by Mozilla Firefox browser was extracted using MozillaHistoryView utility, then parsed and visualized using bar and stacked column charts. From the visual representation, results of user web activities across various productive and non-productive websites were obtained.

Keywords: history, forensics, visualization, web activities

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7 Paleopalynology as an Analysis Tool to Measure the Resilience of the Ecosystems of the Western Mediterranean and Their Adaptation to Climate Change

Authors: F. Ismael Roman Moreno, Francisca Alba Sanchez


Over time, the plant landscape has changed as a result of the numerous events on a global and local scale that have happened. This is the case of the Mediterranean ecosystems, one of the most complex and rich in endemisms on the planet, subjected to anthropic pressures from the beginning of civilizations. The intervention in these systems together with climate changes has led to changes in diversity, tree cover, shrub, and ultimately in the structure and functioning of these ecosystems. Paleopalinology is used as a tool for analysis of pollen and non-pollen microfossils preserved in the flooded grasslands of the Middle Atlas (Morocco). This allows reconstructing the evolution of vegetation and climate, as well as providing data and reasoning to different ecological, cultural and historical processes. Although climatic and anthropic events are well documented in Europe, they are not so well documented in North Africa, which gives added value to the study area. The results obtained serve to predict the behavior and evolution of Mediterranean mountain ecosystems during the Holocene, their response to future changes, resilience, and recovery from climatic and anthropic disturbances. In the stratigraphic series analyzed, nine major events were detected, eight of which appeared to be of climatic and anthropic origin, and one unexpected, related to volcanic activity.

Keywords: anthropic, Holocene, Morocco, paleopalynology, resilience

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6 The Use of Network Tool for Brain Signal Data Analysis: A Case Study with Blind and Sighted Individuals

Authors: Cleiton Pons Ferreira, Diana Francisca Adamatti


Advancements in computers technology have allowed to obtain information for research in biology and neuroscience. In order to transform the data from these surveys, networks have long been used to represent important biological processes, changing the use of this tools from purely illustrative and didactic to more analytic, even including interaction analysis and hypothesis formulation. Many studies have involved this application, but not directly for interpretation of data obtained from brain functions, asking for new perspectives of development in neuroinformatics using existent models of tools already disseminated by the bioinformatics. This study includes an analysis of neurological data through electroencephalogram (EEG) signals, using the Cytoscape, an open source software tool for visualizing complex networks in biological databases. The data were obtained from a comparative case study developed in a research from the University of Rio Grande (FURG), using the EEG signals from a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) with 32 eletrodes prepared in the brain of a blind and a sighted individuals during the execution of an activity that stimulated the spatial ability. This study intends to present results that lead to better ways for use and adapt techniques that support the data treatment of brain signals for elevate the understanding and learning in neuroscience.

Keywords: neuroinformatics, bioinformatics, network tools, brain mapping

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5 Analysis of the Air Pollution Behavior Registered at MACAM Net Using DOAS, Associated with High Pollution Episodes

Authors: Francisca Rojas Martínez, T. Pedro Oyola


The combination of the geographical and meteorological conditions of the Santiago basin are unfavorable for the circulation of atmospheric pollution, especially in the autumn and winter months. The problem of environmental pollution in the Metropolitan Region has been studied since the 1960s because the city has presented high pollution levels for most of the year, levels that have even been compared with those in cities in developed countries, This implies serious consequences for the health of the population. Two of the most important gasses present in the contamination are NO2, and O3, the highest concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are measured during the winter, in addition, it is considered as a great contribution to the fine fraction of particulate matter and as a precursor of tropospheric ozone. On the other hand, tropospheric ozone is a pollutant of photochemical origin and is strongly enhanced by solar radiation, which is why its presence in the atmosphere is more significant in the spring and summer. The measurements were made at 3 different places in Santiago, and were used different equipment; a DOAS for gasses measures, SIMCA for Black Carbon Measure and the MACAM net for particulate matter and meteorological condition. The results shows an important relation between height and presence of pollution gasses, and additionally, pollution episodes are in common low temperature (< 10 °C) and high relative humidity (> 80%), which are factors that allows the air suspension of particulate matter and focus NH4+ and NO3-.

Keywords: black carbon, DOAS, episodes, high pollution, simca

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4 Mental Health Stigma: Barriers to Treatment and Participation in Mental Health Care among University Students in Kenya

Authors: Scholastic Nangila Adeli, Francisca Mbutitia Ngithi


Stigma is commonly associated with mental health patients and may act as a barrier to individuals who may seek or engage in treatment services. Stigmatization among university students is common whether they know someone with a mental health problem, or have a good knowledge and experience of mental health issues. The objective of this study was to establish the various barriers that prevent university students who have mental health challenges from seeking treatment and care. The study was a descriptive in nature where 320 respondents helped to establish the barriers to treatment or participation in mental health care among university students. A questionnaire was used to help establish the barriers and attitude towards mental illness among the respondents. Results from this study revealed that mental illnesses are common among university students and they are manifested in different forms like; anxiety and panic attacks, mood and eating disorders, Impulse control leading to gambling, alcohol and drug addictions, anger and depression leading to loneliness. Mental stigma (both social and self) was the major barrier with 62% of the respondents stating that social stigma was worse than self-stigma. This is because of the social discrimination towards the victim of mental challenges. On issues of attitude, 71% of the respondents said that they can never admit that they have a mental issue and would rather secretly seek clinical or psychological help for fear of being discriminated or excluded by peers. This view is informed by the societal belief that people with mental health challenges were dangerous (associating them with criminal behavior) and hard to socialize with or help. From the findings of this study, it is concluded that mental health problems are real among university students in Kenya and it is important for the university environment to minimize or eradicate stigma within the social circles. Stigma can be minimized or eradicated by creating awareness among university students and fostering social inclusion so that the students who have mental health challenges can experience a sense of belonging and acceptance hence build their self-esteem.

Keywords: disorders, impulse control, mental health problems, stigma

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3 Development of a Wound Dressing Material Based on Microbial Polyhydroxybutyrate Electrospun Microfibers Containing Curcumin

Authors: Ariel Vilchez, Francisca Acevedo, Rodrigo Navia


The wound healing process can be accelerated and improved by the action of antioxidants such as curcumin (Cur) over the tissues; however, the efficacy of curcumin used through the digestive system is not enough to exploit its benefits. Electrospinning presents an alternative to carry curcumin directly to the wounds, and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is proposed as the matrix to load curcumin owing to its biodegradable and biocompatible properties. PHB is among 150 types of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) identified, it is a natural thermoplastic polyester produced by microbial fermentation obtained from microorganisms. The proposed objective is to develop electrospun bacterial PHB-based microfibers containing curcumin for possible biomedical applications. Commercial PHB was solved in Chloroform: Dimethylformamide (4:1) to a final concentration of 7% m/V. Curcumin was added to the polymeric solution at 1%, and 7% m/m regarding PHB. The electrospinning equipment (NEU-BM, China) with a rotary collector was used to obtain Cur-PHB fibers at different voltages and flow rate of the polymeric solution considering a distance of 20 cm from the needle to the collector. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to determine the diameter and morphology of the obtained fibers. Thermal stability was obtained from Thermogravimetric (TGA) analysis, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) was carried out in order to study the chemical bonds and interactions. A preliminary curcumin release to Phosphate Buffer Saline (PBS) pH = 7.4 was obtained in vitro and measured by spectrophotometry. PHB fibers presented an intact chemical composition regarding the original condition (dust) according to FTIR spectra, the diameter fluctuates between 0.761 ± 0.123 and 2.157 ± 0.882 μm, with different qualities according to their morphology. The best fibers in terms of quality and diameter resulted in sample 2 and sample 6, obtained at 0-10kV and 0.5 mL/hr, and 0-10kV and 1.5 mL/hr, respectively. The melting temperature resulted near 178 °C, according to the bibliography. The crystallinity of fibers decreases while curcumin concentration increases for the studied interval. The curcumin release reaches near 14% at 37 °C at 54h in PBS adjusted to a quasi-Fickian Diffusion. We conclude that it is possible to load curcumin in PHB to obtain continuous, homogeneous, and solvent-free microfibers by electrospinning. Between 0% and 7% of curcumin, the crystallinity of fibers decreases as the concentration of curcumin increases. Thus, curcumin enhances the flexibility of the obtained material. HPLC should be used in further analysis of curcumin release.

Keywords: antioxidant, curcumin, polyhydroxybutyrate, wound healing

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2 The Effectiveness of Exercise Therapy on Decreasing Pain in Women with Temporomandibular Disorders and How Their Brains Respond: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors: Zenah Gheblawi, Susan Armijo-Olivo, Elisa B. Pelai, Vaishali Sharma, Musa Tashfeen, Angela Fung, Francisca Claveria


Due to physiological differences between men and women, pain is experienced differently between the two sexes. Chronic pain disorders, notably temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), disproportionately affect women in diagnosis, and pain severity in opposition of their male counterparts. TMDs are a type of musculoskeletal disorder that target the masticatory muscles, temporalis muscle, and temporomandibular joints, causing considerable orofacial pain which can usually be referred to the neck and back. Therapeutic methods are scarce, and are not TMD-centered, with the latest research suggesting that subjects with chronic musculoskeletal pain disorders have abnormal alterations in the grey matter of their brains which can be remedied with exercise, and thus, decreasing the pain experienced. The aim of the study is to investigate the effects of exercise therapy in TMD female patients experiencing chronic jaw pain and to assess the consequential effects on brain activity. In a randomized controlled trial, the effectiveness of an exercise program to improve brain alterations and clinical outcomes in women with TMD pain will be tested. Women with chronic TMD pain will be randomized to either an intervention arm or a placebo control group. Women in the intervention arm will receive 8 weeks of progressive exercise of motor control training using visual feedback (MCTF) of the cervical muscles, twice per week. Women in the placebo arm will receive innocuous transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation during 8 weeks as well. The primary outcomes will be changes in 1) pain, measured with the Visual Analogue Scale, 2) brain structure and networks, measured by fractional anisotropy (brain structure) and the blood-oxygen level dependent signal (brain networks). Outcomes will be measured at baseline, after 8 weeks of treatment, and 4 months after treatment ends and will determine effectiveness of MCTF in managing TMD, through improved clinical outcomes. Results will directly inform and guide clinicians in prescribing more effective interventions for women with TMD. This study is underway, and no results are available at this point. The results of this study will have substantial implications on the advancement in understanding the scope of plasticity the brain has in regards with pain, and how it can be used to improve the treatment and pain of women with TMD, and more generally, other musculoskeletal disorders.

Keywords: exercise therapy, musculoskeletal disorders, physical therapy, rehabilitation, tempomandibular disorders

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1 Study of the Removal Efficiency of Azo-Dyes Using Xanthan as Sequestering Agent

Authors: Cedillo Ortiz Cesar Isaac, Marañón-Ruiz Virginia-Francisca, Lozano-Alvarez Juan Antonio, Jáuregui-Rincón Juan, Roger Chiu Zarate


Introduction: The contamination of water with the azo-dye is a problem worldwide as although wastewater contaminate is treated in a municipal sewage system, still contain a considerable amount of dyes. In the present, there are different processes denominated tertiary method in which it is possible to lower the concentration of the dye. One of these methods is by adsorption onto various materials which can be organic or inorganic materials. The xanthan is a biomaterial as removal agents to decrease the dye content in aqueous solution. The Zimm-Bragg model described the experimental isotherms obtained when this biopolymer was used in the removal of textile dyes. Nevertheless, it was not established if a possible correlation between dye structure and removal efficiency exists. In this sense, the principal objective of this report is to propose a qualitative relationship between the structure of three azo-dyes (Congo Red (CR), Methyl Red (MR) and Methyl Orange (MO)) and their removal efficiency from aqueous environment when xanthan are used as dye sequestering agents. Methods: The dyes were subjected to different pH and ionic strength values to obtain the conditions of maximum dye removal. Afterward, these conditions were used to perform the adsorption isotherm as was reported in the previous study in our group. The Zimm-Bragg model was used to describe the experimental data and the parameters of nucleation (Ku) and cooperativity (U) were obtained by optimization using the R statistical software. The spectra from UV-Visible (aqueous solution), Infrared absorption and Raman spectroscopies (dry samples) were obtained from the biopolymer-dye complex. Results: The removal percent with xanthan in each dye are as follows: with CR had 99.98 % when the pH is 12 and ionic strength is 10.12, with MR had 84.79 % when the pH is 9.5 and ionic strength is 43 and finally the MO had 30 % in pH 4 and 72. It can be seen that when xanthan is used to remove the dyes, exists a lower dependence between structure and removal efficiency. This may be due to the different tendency to form aggregates of each dye. This aggregation capacity and the charge of each dye resulting from the pH and ionic strength values of aqueous solutions are key factors in the dye removal. The experimental isotherm of MR was only that adequately described by Zimm-Bragg model. Because with the CR had the 100 % of remove thus is very difficult obtain de experimental isotherm and finally MO had results fluctuating and therefore was impossible get the accurate data. Conclusions: The study of the removal of three dyes with xanthan as dye sequestering agents suggests that aggregation capacity of dyes and the charge resulting from structural characteristics such as molecular weight and functional groups have a relationship with the removal efficiency. Acknowledgements: We are gratefully acknowledged support for this project by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, México (CONACyT, Grant No. 632694.)

Keywords: adsorption, azo dyes, xanthan gum, Zimm Bragg theory

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