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  • Kimppa, Lilli; Shtyrov, Yury; Hut, Suzanne C. A.; Hedlund, Laura; Leminen, Miika; Leminen, Alina (2019)
    Learning a new language requires the acquisition of morphological units that enable the fluent use of words in different grammatical contexts. While accumulating research has elucidated the neural processing of native morphology, much less is known about how second-language (L2) learners acquire and process morphology in their L2. To address this question, we presented native speakers as well as beginning and advanced learners of Finnish with spoken (1) derived words, (2) inflected words, (3) novel derivations (novel combinations of existing stem + suffix), and (4) pseudo-suffixed words (existing stem + pseudo-suffix) in a passive listening EEG experiment. An early (60 msec after suffix deviation point) positive ERP response showed no difference between inflections and derivations, suggesting similar early parsing of these complex words. At 130 msec, derivations elicited a lexical ERP pattern of full-form memory-trace activation, present in the L2 beginners and advanced speakers to different degrees, implying a shift from lexical processing to more dual parsing and lexical activation of the complex forms with increasing proficiency. Pseudo-suffixed words produced a syntactic pattern in a later, 170 240 msec time-window, exhibiting enhanced ERPs compared to well-formed inflections, indicating second-pass syntactic parsing. Overall, the L2 learners demonstrated a gradual effect of proficiency towards L1-like responses. Advanced L2 learners seem to have developed memory traces for derivations and their neurolinguistic system is capable of early automatic parsing. This suggests that advanced learners have already developed sensitivity to morphological information, while such knowledge is weak in beginners. Discrepancies in ERP dynamics and topographies indicate partially differing recruitment of the language network in L1 and L2. In beginners, response differences between existing and novel morphology were scarce, implying that representations for complex forms are not yet well-established. The results suggest successful development of brain mechanisms for automatic processing of L2 morphology, capable of gradually attaining L1-like functionality with increasing proficiency. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Svedholm-Häkkinen, Annika M.; Lindeman, Marjaana (2018)
    Actively open-minded thinking (AOT) is often used as a proxy for reflective thinking in research on reasoning and related fields. It is associated with less biased reasoning in many types of tasks. However, few studies have examined its psychometric properties and criterion validity. We developed a shortened, 17-item version of the AOT for quicker administration. AOT17 is highly correlated with the original 41-item scale and has highly similar relationships to other thinking dispositions, social competence and supernatural beliefs. Our analyses revealed that the AOT is not a unitary construct, but comprises four distinct dimensions, some of which concern attitudes towards knowledge, and others concern attitudes towards people. This factor structure was replicated in another data-set, and correlations with other measures in four data-sets (total N = 3345) support the criterion validity of these dimensions. Different dimensions were responsible for the AOT's relationships with other thinking dispositions.
  • Meemken, Marie-Theres; Horstmann, Annette (2019)
    Altered eating behavior due to modern, food-enriched environments has a share in the recent obesity upsurge, though the exact mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to assess whether higher weight or weight gain are related to stronger effects of external cues on motivation-driven behavior. 51 people with and without obesity completed an appetitive Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer (PIT) paradigm. During training, button presses as well as presentation of fractal images resulted in three palatable and one neutral taste outcome. In the subsequent test phase, outcome-specific and general behavioral bias of the positively associated fractal images on deliberate button press were tested under extinction. While all participants showed signs of specific transfer, general transfer was not elicited. Contrary to our expectations, there was no main effect of weight group on PIT magnitude. Participants with obesity exhibited higher scores in the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire Disinhibition scale, replicating a very robust effect from previous literature. Individual Restraint scores were able to predict body-mass index (BMI) change after a three-year period. Our data indicate that PIT is an important player in how our environment influences the initiation of food intake, but its effects alone cannot explain differences in—or future development of—individual weight.
  • Papazacharias, Apostolos; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Gelao, Barbara; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Quarto, Tiziana; Mancini, Marina; Porcelli, Annamaria; Romano, Raffaella; Caforio, Grazia; Todarello, Orlando; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Bertolino, Alessandro (2015)
    Earlier studies have demonstrated that emotional stimulation modulates attentional processing during goal directed behavior and related activity of a brain network including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the caudate nucleus. However, it is not clear how emotional interference modulates behavior and brain physiology during variation in attentional control, a relevant question for everyday life situations in which both emotional stimuli and cognitive load vary. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of negative emotions on behavior and activity in IFG and caudate nucleus during increasing levels of attentional control. Twenty two healthy subjects underwent event related functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a task in which neutral or fearful facial expressions were displayed before stimuli eliciting increasing levels of attentional control processing. Results indicated slower reaction time (RI) and greater right IFG activity when fearful compared with neutral facial expressions preceded the low level of attentional control. On the other hand, fearful facial expressions preceding the intermediate level of attentional control elicited faster behavioral responses and greater activity in the right and left sides of the caudate. Finally, correlation analysis indicated a relationship between behavioral correlates of attentional control after emotional interference and right IFG activity. All together, these results suggest that the impact of negative emotions on attentional processing is differentially elicited at the behavioral and physiological levels as a function of cognitive load.
  • Holm, Marja E.; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M.; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S. (2018)
    This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.
  • Eeroia, Tuomas; Vuoskoski, Jonna K.; Kautiainen, Hannu (2016)
    The paradox of enjoying listening to music that evokes sadness is yet to be fully understood. Unlike prior studies that have explored potential explanations related to lyrics, memories, and mood regulation, we investigated the types of emotions induced by unfamiliar, instrumental sad music, and whether these responses are consistently associated with certain individual difference variables. One hundred and two participants were drawn from a representative sample to minimize self-selection bias. The results suggest that the emotional responses induced by unfamiliar sad music could be characterized in terms of three underlying factors: Relaxing sadness, Moving sadness, and Nervous sadness. Relaxing sadness was characterized by felt and perceived peacefulness and positive valence. Moving sadness captured an intense experience that involved feelings of sadness and being moved. Nervous sadness was associated with felt anxiety, perceived scariness and negative valence. These interpretations were supported by indirect measures of felt emotion. Experiences of Moving sadness were strongly associated with high trait empathy and emotional contagion, but not with other previously suggested traits such as absorption or nostalgia-proneness. Relaxing sadness and Nervous sadness were not significantly predicted by any of the individual difference variables. The findings are interpreted within a theoretical framework of embodied emotions.
  • Kesäläinen, Jonna; Suhonen, Eira; Saha, Mari; Sajaniemi, Nina (2022)
    The aim of this study was to examine how children’s stress activation is related to special educational needs (SEN) and temperament in early childhood special education (ECSE). The study had 76 participants from 17 integrated ECSE groups. At the beginning, the children were divided into four status groups as follows: children without SEN, children with language disorders, children with self-regulation difficulties, and children with severe disabilities. The children’s temperament was assessed by their parents. Stress activation was examined by collecting and studying saliva samples from the children on two consecutive days. The results showed no differences between stress activation in the children’s status groups, nor any connections between stress activation and temperament. The high quality of the ECSE groups might explain these results. Further research based on these findings is needed.
  • Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Brattico, Elvira; Bailey, Christopher J.; Korvenoja, Antti; Koivisto, Juha; Gjedde, Albert; Carlson, Synnove (2010)
    Musical competence may confer cognitive advantages that extend beyond processing of familiar musical sounds. Behavioural evidence indicates a general enhancement of both working memory and attention in musicians. It is possible that musicians, due to their training, are better able to maintain focus on task-relevant stimuli, a skill which is crucial to working memory. We measured the blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activation signal in musicians and non-musicians during working memory of musical sounds to determine the relation among performance, musical competence and generally enhanced cognition. All participants easily distinguished the stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that musicians nonetheless would perform better, and that differential brain activity would mainly be present in cortical areas involved in cognitive control such as the lateral prefrontal cortex. The musicians performed better as reflected in reaction times and error rates. Musicians also had larger BOLD responses than non-musicians in neuronal networks that sustain attention and cognitive control, including regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex, lateral parietal cortex, insula, and putamen in the right hemisphere, and bilaterally in the posterior dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus. The relationship between the task performance and the magnitude of the BOLD response was more positive in musicians than in non-musicians, particularly during the most difficult working memory task. The results confirm previous findings that neural activity increases during enhanced working memory performance. The results also suggest that superior working memory task performance in musicians rely on an enhanced ability to exert sustained cognitive control. This cognitive benefit in musicians may be a consequence of focused musical training.
  • Sulkava, Sonja; Ollila, Hanna M.; Alasaari, Jukka; Puttonen, Sampsa; Harma, Mikko; Viitasalo, Katriina; Lahtinen, Alexandra; Lindstrom, Jaana; Toivola, Auli; Sulkava, Raimo; Kivimaki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi; Partonen, Timo; Silander, Kaisa; Porkka-Heiskanen, Tarja; Paunio, Tiina (2017)
    Study Objectives: Tolerance to shift work varies; only some shift workers suffer from disturbed sleep, fatigue, and job-related exhaustion. Our aim was to explore molecular genetic risk factors for intolerance to shift work. Methods: We assessed intolerance to shift work with job-related exhaustion symptoms in shift workers using the emotional exhaustion subscale of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, and carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using Illumina's Human610-Quad BeadChip (n = 176). The most significant findings were further studied in three groups of Finnish shift workers (n = 577). We assessed methylation in blood cells with the Illumina HumanMethylation450K BeadChip, and examined gene expression levels in the publicly available eGWAS Mayo data. Results: The second strongest signal identified in the GWAS (p = 2.3 x 10E-6) was replicated in two of the replication studies with p Conclusions: These findings suggest that a variant near MTNR1A may be associated with job-related exhaustion in shift workers. The risk variant may exert its effect via epigenetic mechanisms, potentially leading to reduced melatonin signaling in the brain. These results could indicate a link between melatonin signaling, a key circadian regulatory mechanism, and tolerance to shift work.
  • Mononen, Riikka; Niemivirta, Markku; Korhonen, Johan; Lindskog, Marcus; Tapola, Anna (2022)
    We investigated the levels of and changes in mathematics anxiety (MA), symbolic numerical magnitude processing (SNMP) and arithmetic skills, and how those changes are linked to each other. Children's (n = 264) MA, SNMP and arithmetic skills were measured in Grade 1, and again in Grade 2, also including a mathematics performance test. All three constructs correlated significantly within each time point, and the rank-order stability over time was high, particularly in SNMP and arithmetic skills. By means of latent change score modelling, we found overall increases in SNMP and arithmetic skills over time, but not in MA. Most interestingly, changes in arithmetic skills and MA were correlated (i.e. steeper increase in arithmetic skills was linked with less steep increase in MA), as were changes in SNMP and arithmetic skills (i.e. improvement in SNMP was associated with improvement in arithmetic skills). Only the initial level of arithmetic skills and change in it predicted mathematics performance. The only gender difference, in favour of boys, was found in SNMP skills. The differential effects associated with MA (developmentally only linked with arithmetic skills) and gender (predicting only changes in SNMP) call for further longitudinal research on the different domains of mathematical skills.
  • Tammilehto, Jaakko; Punamäki, Raija-Leena; Flykt, Marjo; Vänskä, Mervi; Heikkilä, Lotta M.; Lipsanen, Jari; Poikkeus, Piia; Tiitinen, Aila; Lindblom, Jallu (2021)
    The quality of parenting shapes the development of children's emotion regulation. However, the relative importance of parenting in different developmental stages, indicative of sensitive periods, has rarely been studied. Therefore, we formulated four hypothetical developmental timing models to test the stage-specific effects of mothering and fathering in terms of parental autonomy and intimacy in infancy, middle childhood, and late adolescence on adolescents' emotion regulation. The emotion regulation included reappraisal, suppression, and rumination. We hypothesized that both mothering and fathering in each developmental stage contribute unique effects to adolescents' emotion regulation patterns. The participants were 885 families followed from pregnancy to late adolescence. This preregistered study used data at the children's ages of 1 year, 7 to 8 years, and 18 years. At each measurement point, maternal and paternal autonomy and intimacy were assessed with self- and partner reports using the Subjective Family Picture Test. At the age of 18 years, adolescents' reappraisal and suppression were assessed using the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire and rumination using the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire. Stage-specific effects were tested comparing structural equation models. Against our hypotheses, the results showed no effects of mothering or fathering in infancy, middle childhood, or late adolescence on adolescents' emotion regulation patterns. The results were consistent irrespective of both the reporter (i.e., self or partner) and the parental dimension (i.e., autonomy or intimacy). In addition to our main results, there were relatively low agreement between the parents in each other's parenting and descriptive discontinuity of parenting across time (i.e., configural measurement invariance). Overall, we found no support for the stage-specific effects of parent-reported parenting in infancy, middle childhood, or late adolescence on adolescents' emotion regulation. Instead, our findings might reflect the high developmental plasticity of emotion regulation from infancy to late adolescence.
  • Riekki, Tapani; Svedholm-Häkkinen, Annika M.; Lindeman, Marjaana (2018)
    Using the empathizing-systemizing theory as our framework, we investigated how people with high self-reported empathizing (having good social skills and being interested in people) and systemizing (being interested in physical things and processes) differ in the social information processing of emotionally negative photographs of people during “spontaneous watching” and emotional and cognitive empathy tasks. Empathizers evaluated the pictures as more emotionally touching and the reactions in the photographs more understandable than the systemizers. Compared to the empathizers, systemizers had stronger activations in the posterior cingulate cortex, an area related to cognitive empathy, as well as in the left superior temporal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus when watching emotional photographs spontaneously. During guided emotional and cognitive empathy tasks, these differences disappeared. However, during the emotional empathy task, higher systemizing was associated with weaker activation of the right inferior frontal gyrus /insula. Furthermore, during emotional and cognitive empathy tasks, empathizing was related to increased activations of the amygdala which were in turn related to higher behavioral ratings of emotional and cognitive empathy. The results suggest that empathizers and systemizers engage in social information processing differently: systemizers in more cognitive terms and empathizers with stronger automatic emotional reactions.
  • Sandell, Mari; Hoppu, Ulla; Mikkila, Vera; Mononen, Nina; Kahonen, Mika; Mannisto, Satu; Ronnemaa, Tapani; Viikari, Jorma; Lehtimaki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli T. (2014)
    Genetic variation in bitter taste receptors, such as hTAS2R38, may affect food preferences and intake. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between bitter taste receptor haplotypes and the consumption of vegetables, fruits, berries and sweet foods among an adult Finnish population. A cross-sectional design utilizing data from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns cohort from 2007, which consisted of 1,903 men and women who were 30-45 years of age from five different regions in Finland, was employed. DNA was extracted from blood samples, and hTAS2R38 polymorphisms were determined based on three SNPs (rs713598, rs1726866 and rs10246939). Food consumption was assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire. The prevalence of the bitter taste-sensitive (PAV/PAV) haplotype was 11.3 % and that of the insensitive (AVI/AVI) haplotype was 39.5 % among this Finnish population. PAV homozygotic women consumed fewer vegetables than did the AVI homozygotic women, 269 g/day (SD 131) versus 301 g/day (SD 187), respectively, p = 0.03 (multivariate ANOVA). Furthermore, the intake of sweet foods was higher among the PAV homozygotes of both genders. Fruit and berry consumption did not differ significantly between the haplotypes in either gender. Individuals perceive foods differently, and this may influence their patterns of food consumption. This study showed that the hTAS2R38 taste receptor gene variation was associated with vegetable and sweet food consumption among adults in a Finnish population.
  • Gialluisi, Alessandro; Andlauer, Till F. M.; Mirza-Schreiber, Nazanin; Moll, Kristina; Becker, Jessica; Hoffmann, Per; Ludwig, Kerstin U.; Czamara, Darina; St Pourcain, Beate; Honbolygo, Ferenc; Toth, Denes; Csepe, Valeria; Huguet, Guillaume; Chaix, Yves; Iannuzzi, Stephanie; Demonet, Jean-Francois; Morris, Andrew P.; Hulslander, Jacqueline; Willcutt, Erik G.; DeFries, John C.; Olson, Richard K.; Smith, Shelley D.; Pennington, Bruce F.; Vaessen, Anniek; Maurer, Urs; Lyytinen, Heikki; Peyrard-Janvid, Myriam; Leppanen, Paavo H. T.; Brandeis, Daniel; Bonte, Milene; Stein, John F.; Talcott, Joel B.; Fauchereau, Fabien; Wilcke, Arndt; Kirsten, Holger; Mueller, Bent; Francks, Clyde; Bourgeron, Thomas; Monaco, Anthony P.; Ramus, Franck; Landerl, Karin; Kere, Juha; Scerri, Thomas S.; Paracchini, Silvia; Fisher, Simon E.; Schumacher, Johannes; Noethen, Markus M.; Mueller-Myhsok, Bertram; Schulte-Koerne, Gerd (2021)
    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a learning disorder affecting the ability to read, with a heritability of 40-60%. A notable part of this heritability remains unexplained, and large genetic studies are warranted to identify new susceptibility genes and clarify the genetic bases of dyslexia. We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 2274 dyslexia cases and 6272 controls, testing associations at the single variant, gene, and pathway level, and estimating heritability using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. We also calculated polygenic scores (PGSs) based on large-scale GWAS data for different neuropsychiatric disorders and cortical brain measures, educational attainment, and fluid intelligence, testing them for association with dyslexia status in our sample. We observed statistically significant (p <2.8 x 10(-6)) enrichment of associations at the gene level, forLOC388780(20p13; uncharacterized gene), and forVEPH1(3q25), a gene implicated in brain development. We estimated an SNP-based heritability of 20-25% for DD, and observed significant associations of dyslexia risk with PGSs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (atp(T) = 0.05 in the training GWAS: OR = 1.23[1.16; 1.30] per standard deviation increase;p = 8 x 10(-13)), bipolar disorder (1.53[1.44; 1.63];p = 1 x 10(-43)), schizophrenia (1.36[1.28; 1.45];p = 4 x 10(-22)), psychiatric cross-disorder susceptibility (1.23[1.16; 1.30];p = 3 x 10(-12)), cortical thickness of the transverse temporal gyrus (0.90[0.86; 0.96];p = 5 x 10(-4)), educational attainment (0.86[0.82; 0.91];p = 2 x 10(-7)), and intelligence (0.72[0.68; 0.76];p = 9 x 10(-29)). This study suggests an important contribution of common genetic variants to dyslexia risk, and novel genomic overlaps with psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and cross-disorder susceptibility. Moreover, it revealed the presence of shared genetic foundations with a neural correlate previously implicated in dyslexia by neuroimaging evidence.
  • Henttonen, Pentti; Salmi, Juha; Peräkylä, Anssi; Krusemark, Elizabeth A. (2022)
    Continued interest in the distinction between grandiose narcissism, vulnerable narcissism and the fluctuation between grandiose and vulnerable states has expanded the repertoire of self-report instruments. The present study examined the psychometric properties of four brief narcissism measures [the Narcissistic Personality Inventory-13 (NPI-13), Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS), Super-Brief Pathological Narcissism Inventory (SB-PNI), and the g-FLUX] in a Finnish sample of university students. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the reliability of the NPI-13, g-FLUX, SB-PNI Vulnerability, and two HSNS subfactors (Oversensitivity and Egocentrism). Tests of measurement invariance indicated the NPI-13, SB-PNI Vulnerability, HSNS Oversensitivity, and the g-FLUX perform similarly between males and females and are generally similar between individuals in younger and older age groups. Construct and predictive validity were evaluated by examining relations between narcissism measures and relevant criteria including psychopathology symptoms, self-esteem, well-being, five factor traits, and empathy. Results supported the construct validity of all four measures, while correlational profiles highlighted the convergence between the g-FLUX and measures of both grandiosity and vulnerability. The NPI-13 was most predictive of NPD symptoms, whereas vulnerable narcissism measures were most predictive of psychopathology. Results further establish the psychometric properties of the NPI-13, SB-PNI Vulnerability, HSNS Oversensitivity, Egocentrism, and provide new validation of the g-FLUX.
  • Kujala, Miiamaaria V.; Somppi, Sanni; Jokela, Markus; Vainio, Outi; Parkkonen, Lauri (2017)
    Facial expressions are important for humans in communicating emotions to the conspecifics and enhancing interpersonal understanding. Many muscles producing facial expressions in humans are also found in domestic dogs, but little is known about how humans perceive dog facial expressions, and which psychological factors influence people's perceptions. Here, we asked 34 observers to rate the valence, arousal, and the six basic emotions (happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust, fear, and anger/aggressiveness) from images of human and dog faces with Pleasant, Neutral and Threatening expressions. We investigated how the subjects' personality (the Big Five Inventory), empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and experience of dog behavior affect the ratings of dog and human faces. Ratings of both species followed similar general patterns: human subjects classified dog facial expressions from pleasant to threatening very similarly to human facial expressions. Subjects with higher emotional empathy evaluated Threatening faces of both species as more negative in valence and higher in anger/aggressiveness. More empathetic subjects also rated the happiness of Pleasant humans but not dogs higher, and they were quicker in their valence judgments of Pleasant human, Threatening human and Threatening dog faces. Experience with dogs correlated positively with ratings of Pleasant and Neutral dog faces. Personality also had a minor effect on the ratings of Pleasant and Neutral faces in both species. The results imply that humans perceive human and dog facial expression in a similar manner, and the perception of both species is influenced by psychological factors of the evaluators. Especially empathy affects both the speed and intensity of rating dogs' emotional facial expressions.
  • Pedersen, Nancy L.; Gatz, Margaret; Finch, Brian K.; Finkel, Deborah; Butler, David A.; Dahl Aslan, Anna; Franz, Carol E.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Lapham, Susan; McGue, Matt; Mosing, Miriam A.; Neiderhiser, Jenae; Nygaard, Marianne; Panizzon, Matthew; Prescott, Carol A.; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Sachdev, Perminder; Whitfield, Keith E. (2019)
    The Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) is a consortium of 18 twin studies from 5 different countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, United States, and Australia) established to explore the nature of gene-environment (GE) interplay in functioning across the adult lifespan. Fifteen of the studies are longitudinal, with follow-up as long as 59 years after baseline. The combined data from over 76,000 participants aged 14-103 at intake (including over 10,000 monozygotic and over 17,000 dizygotic twin pairs) support two primary research emphases: (1) investigation of models of GE interplay of early life adversity, and social factors at micro and macro environmental levels and with diverse outcomes, including mortality, physical functioning and psychological functioning; and (2) improved understanding of risk and protective factors for dementia by incorporating unmeasured and measured genetic factors with a wide range of exposures measured in young adulthood, midlife and later life.
  • Aulbach, Matthias Burkard; Knittle, Keegan Phillip; Haukkala, Ari Heikki (2019)
    Dual-process models integrate deliberative and impulsive mental systems and predict dietary behaviours better than deliberative processes alone. Computerised tasks such as the Go/No-Go, Stop-Signal, Approach-Avoidance, and Evaluative Conditioning have been used as interventions to directly alter implicit biases. This meta-analysis examines the effects of these tasks on dietary behaviours, explores potential moderators of effectiveness, and examines implicit bias change as a proposed mechanism. Thirty randomised controlled trials testing implicit bias interventions (47 comparisons) were included in a random-effects meta-analysis, which indicated small cumulative effects on eating-related behavioural outcomes (g = -0.17, CI95 = [-0.29; -0.05], p = .01) and implicit biases (g = -0.18, CI95 = [-0.34; -0.02], p = .02). Task type moderated these effects, with Go/No-Go tasks producing larger effects than other tasks. Effects of interventions on implicit biases were positively related to effects on eating behaviour (B = 0.42, CI95 = [0.02; 0.81], p = .03). Go/No-Go tasks seem to have most potential for altering dietary behaviours through implicit processes. While changes in implicit biases seem related to the effects of these interventions on dietary outcomes, more research should explore whether repeated exposure to implicit bias interventions may have any practical intervention value in real world settings.
  • Laskowski, Kate; Moiron, Maria; Niemelä, Petri Toivo (2021)
    Central theories explaining the maintenance of individual differences in behavior build on the assumption that behavior mediates life-history trade-offs between current and future reproduction. However, current empirical evidence does not robustly support this assumption. This mismatch might be because current theory is not clear about the role of behavior in individual allocation versus acquisition of resources, hindering empirical testing. The relative importance of allocation compared to acquisition is a key feature of classic life-history theory, but appears to have been lost in translation in recent developments of life-history theory involving behavior. We argue that determining the relative balance between variation in resource allocation and acquisition, and the role of behavior in this process, will help to build more robust and precise predictions.
  • Monti, Ricardo Pio; Gibberd, Alex; Roy, Sandipan; Nunes, Matthew; Lorenz, Romy; Leech, Robert; Ogawa, Takeshi; Kawanabe, Motoaki; Hyvärinen, Aapo (2020)
    Neuroimaging-driven prediction of brain age, defined as the predicted biological age of a subject using only brain imaging data, is an exciting avenue of research. In this work we seek to build models of brain age based on functional connectivity while prioritizing model interpretability and understanding. This way, the models serve to both provide accurate estimates of brain age as well as allow us to investigate changes in functional connectivity which occur during the ageing process. The methods proposed in this work consist of a two-step procedure: first, linear latent variable models, such as PCA and its extensions, are employed to learn reproducible functional connectivity networks present across a cohort of subjects. The activity within each network is subsequently employed as a feature in a linear regression model to predict brain age. The proposed framework is employed on the data from the CamCAN repository and the inferred brain age models are further demonstrated to generalize using data from two open-access repositories: the Human Connectome Project and the ATR Wide-Age-Range.