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Improving Chinese Mothers’ Health Literacy: A Wechat Intervention, Qiong Chen Oct 2019

Improving Chinese Mothers’ Health Literacy: A Wechat Intervention, Qiong Chen

Doctoral Dissertations

The health literacy and eHealth literacy of women during the reproductive age is crucial, as it can affect their health and the health of their children. Promoting health literacy is essential to achieve mothers’ empowerment by improving access to and capacity of using health information effectively. However, functional, interactive, and critical health literacy and eHealth literacy have never been assessed among Chinese women.

The first study during this dissertation assessed functional, interactive, and critical health literacy and eHealth literacy among 421 of Chinese mothers with children under 3 years old. The results revealed overall less than optimal level of health ...


Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, Ryan Papargiris Jul 2019

Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, Ryan Papargiris

Masters Theses

When searching for an object, we store a mental representation of the target, which guides our search through the use of attention. The effectiveness of this search guidance varies depending on the task and the relationship between target and distractors. With a better understanding of how search guidance changes over time within a trial, we can better compare the differences between experimental conditions. Eye tracking data from a variety of search tasks were analyzed to determine how color guidance varied over the course of the trial. Color guidance for a given fixation was evaluated based on the distance in color ...


Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney Jul 2019

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney

Masters Theses

Trees provide countless environmental, economic, and societal benefits to the urban environment, and may become increasingly important to maintaining environmental quality and human well-being in the face of increasing urbanization and climate change. However, trees in these urban areas are rapidly diminishing across the United States. Much of this loss can be prevented with proper planning and management, focused on selecting tree species that are both well-suited to the area’s growing conditions and able to survive the many stress factors in an urban setting. Choosing which tree species to plant in Massachusetts is especially challenging considering the lack of ...


One Year Change In Cognitive Function In Male And Female Common Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus), Brianna Healey Jul 2019

One Year Change In Cognitive Function In Male And Female Common Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus), Brianna Healey

Masters Theses

Long term cognitive studies in humans and nonhuman primates such as macaques are difficult because of their long lifespan. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a non-human primate who shares with humans many features characteristic of primates, including a complex brain and cognitive function. They also have a short lifespan (~10 years) that makes them a great model in studies of cognitive aging. This study focuses on the rate of decline in cognitive function in male and female marmosets based on performance on reversal learning tasks over 2 years of testing.

We found that marmosets improved their overall performance from ...


Urban Biodiversity Experience And Exposure: Intervention And Inequality At The Local And Global Scale, Evan Kuras Mar 2019

Urban Biodiversity Experience And Exposure: Intervention And Inequality At The Local And Global Scale, Evan Kuras

Masters Theses

As cities expand globally, researchers must clarify how human activities and institutions shape biodiversity and conversely, how ecological processes shape human outcomes. Two features of contemporary cities motivate this thesis. First, urban residents, and especially children, are spending less time in nature and consequently, miss out on healthy and formative experiences with biodiversity. Second, residents with the least access to biodiversity tend to be those with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES). Together, these patterns convey a multi-layered environmental injustice: not only might urbanites become increasingly estranged from biodiversity, disinterested from its conservation, and disconnected from its benefits, but these outcomes ...


The Neural Correlates Of Stereotype Threat And The Stereotype Inoculation Model In Young Women, Chaia Flegenheimer Jul 2018

The Neural Correlates Of Stereotype Threat And The Stereotype Inoculation Model In Young Women, Chaia Flegenheimer

Doctoral Dissertations

A promising intervention technique for stereotype threat effects is the stereotype inoculation model (SIM), which utilizes in-group role models to counteract stereotype-induced pressures. However, it remains unclear how the SIM may impact neural mechanisms during stereotype threat, including negative feedback bias (increased attention to undesirable feedback). The following three studies aim to examine the behavioral (Study 1) and neural (Study 2) markers of ST in women and how these markers are influenced by the SIM (Study 3). In each study, participants completed a non-traditional math task (the approximate number task). In the first two studies, one group was told the ...


Effort-Related Motivational Dysfunctions: Behavioral And Neurochemical Studies Of The Wistar-Kyoto Rat Model Of Depression, Brendan Abbott Jul 2018

Effort-Related Motivational Dysfunctions: Behavioral And Neurochemical Studies Of The Wistar-Kyoto Rat Model Of Depression, Brendan Abbott

Masters Theses

Depression and related disorders are characterized by motivational dysfunctions, including deficits in behavioral activation and exertion of effort. Animal models of relevance to depression represent a critical starting point in elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms underlying motivational dysfunctions. The present study explored the use of the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) animal model of depression to examine effort-related functions as measured by voluntary wheel running and performance on a mixed fixed ratio 5/progressive ratio (FR5/PR) operant task. Given the known link between activational aspects of motivation and the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, the behavioral effects of d-amphetamine (0.5 and 1.0 ...


Assessing The Long-Term Sequelae Of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Janna Mantua Mar 2018

Assessing The Long-Term Sequelae Of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Janna Mantua

Doctoral Dissertations

A mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), also known as a concussion, is defined as an injury that results in an alteration of consciousness or mental status. Previous studies have shown mTBI populations experience a number of chronic (> 1 year) symptoms, such as sleep disturbances (e.g., sleep stage alterations), mood alterations (e.g., depressive symptoms), and cognitive alterations (e.g., poor concentration). The three chapters of this dissertation sought to explore these long-term sequelae and the possible interrelations between them. In the first experiment, sleep-dependent memory consolidation of neutral stimuli was probed in a chronic mTBI sample and a control ...


A Representational-Hierarchical Account: A New Theory Of False Memories, D. Merika Wilson Jul 2017

A Representational-Hierarchical Account: A New Theory Of False Memories, D. Merika Wilson

Masters Theses

Past research has supported a representational-hierarchical theory of memory and perception that extends the ventral visual stream into the medial temporal lobe. In this account, representations are organized in a hierarchical manner, such that structures located further anterior in the brain contain complex representations of whole objects and areas further posterior in the visual cortex contain representations of simple features. When conjunctive representations are compromised, an individual must rely on simple-feature representations to complete mnemonic and perceptual tasks. However, these simple-feature representations are susceptible to feature-level interference, which can cause false recognition of novel objects. The goal of the present ...


The Effects Of Predictability On Stereotypic Behavior In Nonclinical Adult Humans (Homo Sapiens) And Rhesus Macaques (Macaca Mulatta), Amy Ryan Jul 2017

The Effects Of Predictability On Stereotypic Behavior In Nonclinical Adult Humans (Homo Sapiens) And Rhesus Macaques (Macaca Mulatta), Amy Ryan

Doctoral Dissertations

Stereotypies, or repetitive and purposeless behaviors, are observed in both humans and other animals. They have been primarily studied in captive animal and clinical human populations with comparably little research devoted to understanding less severe levels of stereotypies observed in nonclinical populations of adult humans and in most captive animals. As these behaviors are sometimes associated with routine events, I explored the relationship between the predictability of anticipated events and mild stereotypies. I studied this relationship in captive rhesus macaques and a novel comparison group of adult humans from a nonclinical population. I designed two experimental paradigms, a wait paradigm ...


Evaluation Of The Recreational Catch-And-Release Fishery For Golden Dorado Salminus Brasiliensis In Salta, Argentina: Implications For Conservation And Management, Tyler Gagne Mar 2017

Evaluation Of The Recreational Catch-And-Release Fishery For Golden Dorado Salminus Brasiliensis In Salta, Argentina: Implications For Conservation And Management, Tyler Gagne

Masters Theses

Golden dorado (Salminus brasiliensis, Cuvier, 1816) is increasing in popularity as a target for recreational anglers practicing catch-and-release (C&R) in northern Argentina and bordering countries. However, to date no research has looked at the potential social and ecological implications of growth in this recreational fishery. The first manuscript of this thesis assessed the consequences of C&R on golden dorado captured by anglers on the Juramento River in Salta, Argentina. This evaluation examined physical injury, physiological stress, reflex impairment, and short term post-release behavior to develop a clear set of evidence-based best practices for C&R. In addition, the ...


The Neural Correlates Of Emotion Reactivity And Regulation In Young Children With Adhd, Claudia I. Lugo-Candelas Nov 2016

The Neural Correlates Of Emotion Reactivity And Regulation In Young Children With Adhd, Claudia I. Lugo-Candelas

Doctoral Dissertations

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most frequently occurring pediatric neurobehavioral disorder. Although emotion reactivity and regulation are frequently impaired in ADHD, few studies have examined these factors in preschool aged children with ADHD, and none have explored the neural correlates of emotion reactivity and regulation in this group though event-related potentials (ERPs). Children aged 4 to 7 with (n = 24) and without (n = 30) ADHD symptoms completed an attention task composed of four blocks: baseline, frustration, suppression, and recovery. In the frustration and suppression blocks, negative affect was induced by false negative feedback. During the suppression block, children were ...


River Herring Conservation In Freshwater: Investigating Fish Reproductive Success And The Educational Value Of Citizen Monitoring Programs, Meghna Marjadi Nov 2016

River Herring Conservation In Freshwater: Investigating Fish Reproductive Success And The Educational Value Of Citizen Monitoring Programs, Meghna Marjadi

Masters Theses

Over the last century anadromous alewife (Alosa psuedoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), collectively called river herring, suffered drastic declines throughout their range from Newfoundland (Canada) to North Carolina (USA). A 2011 petition to include river herring in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was rejected, partly due to inadequate information towards identifying coast-wide population status. Additionally, knowledge gaps were identified with basic ecology of the river herring life cycle in freshwater, including species reproductive strategies. In Chapter 2, I investigated how body size, spawning arrival time, and sex influence river herring reproductive success. I collaborated with the Massachusetts Division of ...


Urban Agriculture And Ecosystem Services: A Typology And Toolkit For Planners, Kathleen Doherty Nov 2015

Urban Agriculture And Ecosystem Services: A Typology And Toolkit For Planners, Kathleen Doherty

Masters Theses

This thesis makes the connection between urban agriculture and a specific suite of ecosystem services and lays out a typology and toolkit for planners to take advantage of these ecosystem services. The services investigated here are: food production, water management, soil health, biodiversity, climate mitigation, and community development benefits. Research from a variety of fields was aggregated and synthesized to prove that urban agriculture can be beneficial for human as well as environmental health.

A set of urban agriculture typologies was generated to illustrate best practices to maximize a particular set of ecosystem services. The typologies are: production farm, stormwater ...


Behavioral And Neural Mechanisms Of Impulsive Choice, Jesse Mcclure Nov 2015

Behavioral And Neural Mechanisms Of Impulsive Choice, Jesse Mcclure

Doctoral Dissertations

Impulsive choice is defined as the preference for a small immediate reward over a larger delayed reward. Individual variablity in impulsive choice correlates with many socially relevant behaviors. Although forms of impulsive choice have been studied in both behavioral ecology and psychology, the exchange of knowledge between these fields is just beginning. Drawing from both of these fields will improve our research methods allowing for a more detailed understanding of this complex behavior. Existing tasks to measure impulsive choice conflate the delay and quantity of the reward. To address this, I have drawn from foraging research to establish a method ...


Estrogen-Sensitive Learning Is Not Affected By Combination Ethinyl Estradiol And Levonorgestrel Oral Contraceptive Use, Darlene F. Ficco Aug 2015

Estrogen-Sensitive Learning Is Not Affected By Combination Ethinyl Estradiol And Levonorgestrel Oral Contraceptive Use, Darlene F. Ficco

Doctoral Dissertations

Two studies were conducted to explore the cognitive effects of combination ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel contraceptive use during late adolescence and young adulthood. Three groups of females, naturally cycling, active pill phase, and hormone-free interval phase, were tested on a battery of estrogen-sensitive, i.e., place learning and word generation, and estrogen-insensitive, i.e., map drawing, mental rotation, digit span, story recall, and object recall, tasks. Study 2 was conducted as a means to replicate the findings observed in Study 1 and to manipulate task difficulty and sensitivity. Two measures of mood were administered, and salivary estradiol levels at time ...


The Role Of Napping On Memory Consolidation In Preschool Children, Laura Kurdziel Nov 2014

The Role Of Napping On Memory Consolidation In Preschool Children, Laura Kurdziel

Doctoral Dissertations

Nocturnal sleep has been shown to benefit memory in adults and children. During the preschool age range (~3-5 years), the distribution of sleep across the 24-hour period changes dramatically. Children transition from biphasic sleep patterns (a nap in addition to overnight sleep) to a monophasic sleep pattern (only overnight sleep). In addition, early childhood is a time of neuronal plasticity and pronounced acquisition of new information. This dissertation sought to examine the relationship between daytime napping and memory consolidation in preschool-aged children during this transitional time. Children were taught either a declarative or an emotional task in the morning, and ...


Integrated Modeling Of Land Use And Climate Change Impacts On Multiscale Ecosystems Of Central African Watersheds, Simon Nampindo Nov 2014

Integrated Modeling Of Land Use And Climate Change Impacts On Multiscale Ecosystems Of Central African Watersheds, Simon Nampindo

Doctoral Dissertations

Assessment and management of ecosystem services demands diverse knowledge of the system components. Land use change occurring mainly through deforestation, expansion of agriculture and unregulated extraction of natural resources are the greatest challenges of the Congo basin and yet is central to supporting over 100 million people. This study undertook to implement an integrated modeling of multiscale ecosystems of central African watersheds and model the impact of anthropogenic factors on elephant population in Greater Virunga landscape. The study was conducted at varied scales, regional, landscape, and community. Regional study included watershed analysis and hydrological assessment using remotely sensed data implemented ...


Attention Modulates Erp Indices Of The Precedence Effect, Benjamin H. Zobel Nov 2014

Attention Modulates Erp Indices Of The Precedence Effect, Benjamin H. Zobel

Masters Theses

When presented with two identical sounds from different locations separated by a short onset asynchrony, listeners report hearing a single source at the location of the lead sound, a phenomenon called the precedence effect (Wallach et al., 1949; Haas, 1951). When the onset asynchrony is above echo threshold, listeners report hearing the lead and lag sounds as separate sources with distinct locations. Event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that perception of separate sound sources is accompanied by an object-related negativity (ORN) 100-250 ms after onset and a late posterior positivity (LP) 300-500 ms after onset (Sanders et al., 2008; Sanders ...


Were Neandertal Humeri Adapted For Spear Thrusting Or Throwing? A Finite Element Study, Michael Anthony Berthaume Nov 2014

Were Neandertal Humeri Adapted For Spear Thrusting Or Throwing? A Finite Element Study, Michael Anthony Berthaume

Masters Theses

An ongoing debate concerning Neandertal ecology is whether or not they utilized long range weaponry. The anteroposteriorly expanded cross-section of Neandertal humeri have led some to argue they thrusted their weapons, while the rounder cross-section of Late Upper Paleolithic modern human humeri suggests they threw their weapons. We test the hypothesis that Neandertal humeri were built to resist strains engendered by thrusting rather than throwing using finite element models of one Neandertal, one Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) human and three recent human humeri, representing a range of cross-sectional shapes and sizes. Electromyography and kinematic data and articulated skeletons were used ...


Loss Of Cell Surface Agal During Catarrhine Evolution: Possible Implications For The Evolution Of Resistance To Viral Infections And For Oligocene Lineage Divergence, Idalia Aracely Rodriguez Apr 2014

Loss Of Cell Surface Agal During Catarrhine Evolution: Possible Implications For The Evolution Of Resistance To Viral Infections And For Oligocene Lineage Divergence, Idalia Aracely Rodriguez

Doctoral Dissertations

The divergence of the two superfamilies belonging to the Infraorder Catarrhini –Cercopithecoidea (Old World monkeys) and Hominoidea (apes, including humans) – is generally assumed to have occurred during the Oligocene, between 38 and 20 million years ago. Genetic studies indicate that this time period was one of active genetic evolution under strong purifying selection for catarrhine primates. This includes selective pressures on the glycoprotein galactosyltransferase 1 (GGTA1) gene and subsequent inactivation “clocked” at approximately 28 ma, possibly prior to the Cercopithecoidea/Hominoidea split. The GGTA1 gene codes for an a1,3 galactosyltransferase (GT) enzyme that synthesizes a terminal disaccharide, a ...


The Structure Of Consciousness, Lowell Keith Friesen Sep 2013

The Structure Of Consciousness, Lowell Keith Friesen

Open Access Dissertations

In this dissertation, I examine the nature and structure of consciousness. Conscious experience is often said to be phenomenally unified, and subjects of consciousness are often self-conscious. I ask whether these features necessarily accompany conscious experience. Is it necessarily the case, for instance, that all of a conscious subject's experiences at a time are phenomenally unified? And is it necessarily the case that subjects of consciousness are self-conscious whenever they are conscious? I argue that the answer to the former is affirmative and the latter negative.

In the first chapter, I set the stage by distinguishing phenomenal unity from ...


Visuospatial Reasoning In Toddlers: A Correlational Study Of Door Task Performance, Iris Louella Price May 2009

Visuospatial Reasoning In Toddlers: A Correlational Study Of Door Task Performance, Iris Louella Price

Open Access Dissertations

Previous research using violation-of-expectation paradigms suggests that very young infants have a good understanding of unobserved physical events. Yet toddlers appear to lack this knowledge when confronted with the door task, a visuospatial reasoning task which parallels ones used in the habituation/looking time studies. Many studies have been conducted in an effort to determine why toddlers perform poorly on the door task yet the answer remains unclear. The current study used a correlational approach to investigate door task performance from both psychological (executive function), and neuroscience (prefrontal cortex) perspectives. Children between the ages of 2 ½ - 3 years were ...


Landscape Ecology Of Large Fires In Southwestern Forests, Usa, Sandra L Haire Feb 2009

Landscape Ecology Of Large Fires In Southwestern Forests, Usa, Sandra L Haire

Doctoral Dissertations 1896 - February 2014

The recent increase in large fires in southwestern forests has prompted concern regarding their ecological consequences. Recognizing the importance of spatial patterns in influencing successional processes, I asked: (1) How do large fires change plant communities?; (2) What are the implications of these changes for ponderosa pine forests?; and (3) What is the relationship of fire severity to gradients of climate, fuels, and topography? To address the first two questions, I studied succession in the woody plant community at two sites that burned in high-severity fire: La Mesa fire in northern New Mexico (1977) and Saddle Mountain in northern Arizona ...