Browsing by Subject "behavior"

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  • Välimäki, Nelli-Noora; Bakreen, Abdulhameed; Häkli, Sara; Dhungana, Hiramani; Keuters, Meike H.; Dunlop, Yannick; Koskuvi, Marja; Keksa-Goldsteine, Velta; Oksanen, Minna; Jäntti, Henna; Lehtonen, Sarka; Malm, Tarja; Koistinaho, Jari; Jolkkonen, Jukka (2022)
    Background: Species-specific differences in astrocytes and their Alzheimer disease-associated pathology may influence cellular responses to other insults. Herein, human glial chimeric mice were generated to evaluate how Alzheimer disease predisposing genetic background in human astrocytes contributes to behavioral outcome and brain pathology after cortical photothrombotic ischemia. Methods: Neonatal (P0) immunodeficient mice of both sexes were transplanted with induced pluripotent stem cell-derived astrocyte progenitors from Alzheimer disease patients carrying PSEN1 exon 9 deletion (PSEN1 Delta E9), with isogenic controls, with cells from a healthy donor, or with mouse astrocytes or vehicle. After 14 months, a photothrombotic lesion was produced with Rose Bengal in the motor cortex. Behavior was assessed before ischemia and 1 and 4 weeks after the induction of stroke, followed by tissue perfusion for histology. Results: Open field, cylinder, and grid-walking tests showed a persistent locomotor and sensorimotor impairment after ischemia and female mice had larger infarct sizes; yet, these were not affected by astrocytes with PSEN1 Delta E9 background. Staining for human nuclear antigen confirmed that human cells successfully engrafted throughout the mouse brain. However, only a small number of human cells were positive for astrocytic marker GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein), mostly located in the corpus callosum and retaining complex human-specific morphology with longer processes compared with host counterparts. While host astrocytes formed the glial scar, human astrocytes were scattered in small numbers close to the lesion boundary. A beta (beta-amyloid) deposits were not present in PSEN1 Delta E9 astrocyte-transplanted mice. Conclusions: Transplanted human cells survived and distributed widely in the host brain but had no impact on severity of ischemic damage after cortical photothrombosis in chimeric mice. Only a small number of transplanted human astrocytes acquired GFAP-positive glial phenotype or migrated toward the ischemic lesion forming glial scar. PSEN1 Delta E9 astrocytes did not impair behavioral recovery after experimental stroke.
  • Atanesyan, Arthur; Hakobyan, Anahit; Reynolds, Bradley (2021)
    In this paper, the Spiral of Silence theory (SOS) in the study of mass communications is applied to examine the trends and mechanisms of public opinion in Social Media (SM), using the popular topic of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study includes a secondary analysis of the data on pandemic information consumption obtained through four mass surveys conducted in Armenia. In the period from July 1 to August 30, 2020, we also surveyed Armenian Facebook users by means of Google forms during the highest outbreak of the pandemic in Armenia. In particular, the study demonstrates that although the majority of people are well informed about both public conduct requirements and the sanctions for misconduct during the pandemic, they do not follow the rules but hide their real opinion, preferring to openly agree with the official position while silently breaking the rules (that is, they keep their silence). We have found a correlation between the opinion environment of “friends” and other Facebook users, and a willingness to express their own opinion. Due to the predominance of the self-presentation mode as a communication strategy on Facebook, there is a trend among Armenian users not to risk their reputation, and avoid possible critics by keeping silence, if the discussion goes against their opinion. The findings of the study might be helpful both for the further development of communication theories and its application to the conditions of new pandemic reality, and for a better understanding of communicative behavior mechanisms in SM.
  • Bos, Nick; Kankaanpää-Kukkonen, Viljami; Freitak, Dalial; Stucki, Dimitri; Sundström, Liselotte (2019)
    Eusocial insects, such as ants, have access to complex disease defenses both at the individual, and at the colony level. However, different species may be exposed to different diseases, and/or deploy different methods of coping with disease. Here, we studied and compared survival after fungal exposure in 12 species of ants, all of which inhabit similar habitats. We exposed the ants to two entomopathogenic fungi (Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum), and measured how exposure to these fungi influenced survival. We furthermore recorded hygienic behaviors, such as autogrooming, allogrooming and trophallaxis, during the days after exposure. We found strong differences in autogrooming behavior between the species, but none of the study species performed extensive allogrooming or trophallaxis under the experimental conditions. Furthermore, we discuss the possible importance of the metapleural gland, and how the secondary loss of this gland in the genus Camponotus could favor a stronger behavioral response against pathogen threats.
  • Nokelainen, Ossi; Rezende, Francisko de Moraes; Valkonen, Janne K.; Mappes, Johanna (2022)
    A big question in behavioral ecology is what drives diversity of color signals. One possible explanation is that environmental conditions, such as light environment, may alter visual signaling of prey, which could affect predator decision-making. Here, we tested the context-dependent predator selection on prey coloration. In the first experiment, we tested detectability of artificial visual stimuli to blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) by manipulating stimulus luminance and chromatic context of the background. We expected the presence of the chromatic context to facilitate faster target detection. As expected, blue tits found targets on chromatic yellow background faster than on achromatic grey background whereas in the latter, targets were found with smaller contrast differences to the background. In the second experiment, we tested the effect of two light environments on the survival of aposematic, color polymorphic wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis). As luminance contrast should be more detectable than chromatic contrast in low light intensities, we expected birds, if they find the moths aversive, to avoid the white morph which is more conspicuous than the yellow morph in low light (and vice versa in bright light). Alternatively, birds may attack first moths that are more detectable. We found birds to attack yellow moths first in low light conditions, whereas white moths were attacked first more frequently in bright light conditions. Our results show that light environments affect predator foraging decisions, which may facilitate context-dependent selection on visual signals and diversity of prey phenotypes in the wild. Light environments are constantly changing and may alter visual appearance of prey, but also bias predators' decision making. Our findings using blue tits in visual search tasks and the wood tiger moth prey under two light environments demonstrate that birds show context-dependent predatory behavior. This suggests that light environments can play a major selective role and influence visual signaling in the wild.
  • Uutela, Marko; Lindholm, Jesse; Rantamaki, Tomi; Umemori, Juzoh; Hunter, Kerri; Voikar, Vootele; Castren, Maija L. (2014)
  • Lindfors, Pirjo; Minkkinen, Jaana; Katainen, Anu Hannele; Rimpelä, Arja (2019)
    Background: Previous research suggests that parental knowledge of the child's activities and whereabouts prevents adolescents' alcohol use. However, evidence on whether the positive effects of maternal and paternal knowledge are distinctive for boys' and girls' alcohol use is inconclusive. We examined whether perceived parental knowledge at age 13 prevents alcohol use at age 16, whether the effect of maternal and paternal knowledge was the same for both genders, and whether paternal knowledge had as strong an effect as maternal knowledge. Method: Adolescents answered a school survey in 2011 (age 13) and 2014 (age 16) in Finland (N = 5742). Perceived maternal and paternal knowledge was measured separately using a Parents' Monitoring Scale. The data were analysed via moderation regression modelling using Bayesian estimation. Results: Perceived maternal and paternal knowledge at age 13 predicted boys' and girls' lower alcohol use at age 16. For those who had not used alcohol at age 13, parental knowledge protected against an increase of alcohol use at age 16. Both maternal and paternal knowledge had a shielding effect against the increase of boys' and girls' alcohol use, but maternal knowledge had a stronger shielding effect than paternal knowledge. Conclusions: Both maternal and paternal perceived knowledge at age 13 buffers against the adverse development of alcohol use at age 16 for both genders. Underlining the importance of parent-child communication and knowledge about the child's activities should be a part of family health counselling and school health services.
  • Somppi, Sanni; Törnqvist, Heini; Koskela, Aija; Vehkaoja, Antti; Tiira, Katriina; Väätäjä, Heli; Surakka, Veikko; Vainio, Outi; Kujala, Miiamaaria (2022)
    Simple Summary The relationship between owner and the dog affects the dog's attachment behaviors and stress coping. In turn, the quality of the relationship may affect owner's interpretations about their dog's behavior. Here, we assessed dogs' emotional responses from heart rate variability and behavioral changes during five different situations. Dog owners evaluated the emotion (valence and arousal) of their dog after each situation. We found that both negative and positive incidents provoked signs of emotional arousal in dogs. Owners detected the dog's arousal especially during fear- and stress-evoking situations. The dog-owner relationship did not affect owners' interpretation of dogs' emotion. However, the dog-owner relationship was reflected in the dog's emotional reactions. Close emotional bond with the owner appeared to decrease the arousal of the dogs. Dog owners' frequent caregiving of their dog was associated with increased attachment behaviors and heightened arousal of dogs. Owners rated the disadvantages of the dog relationship higher for the dogs that were less owner-oriented and less arousable. Dog's arousal may provoke dog's need to seek human attention, which in turn may promote the development of emotional bond. We evaluated the effect of the dog-owner relationship on dogs' emotional reactivity, quantified with heart rate variability (HRV), behavioral changes, physical activity and dog owner interpretations. Twenty nine adult dogs encountered five different emotional situations (i.e., stroking, a feeding toy, separation from the owner, reunion with the owner, a sudden appearance of a novel object). The results showed that both negative and positive situations provoked signs of heightened arousal in dogs. During negative situations, owners' ratings about the heightened emotional arousal correlated with lower HRV, higher physical activity and more behaviors that typically index arousal and fear. The three factors of The Monash Dog-Owner Relationship Scale (MDORS) were reflected in the dogs' heart rate variability and behaviors: the Emotional Closeness factor was related to increased HRV (p = 0.009), suggesting this aspect is associated with the secure base effect, and the Shared Activities factor showed a trend toward lower HRV (p = 0.067) along with more owner-directed behaviors reflecting attachment related arousal. In contrast, the Perceived Costs factor was related to higher HRV (p = 0.009) along with less fear and less owner-directed behaviors, which may reflect the dog's more independent personality. In conclusion, dogs' emotional reactivity and the dog-owner relationship modulate each other, depending on the aspect of the relationship and dogs' individual responsivity.
  • Rajala-Schultz, P. J.; Gott, P. N.; Proudfoot, K. L.; Schuenemann, M. (2018)
    Drying cows off at the end of lactation is a routine management practice in dairy operations. Most dairies in the United States and many other countries dry cows off abruptly (e.g., stop milking cows on a set day), which has been shown to affect cow comfort. Gradually reducing milk production is another approach to dry cows off, routinely used in some countries and herds. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of abrupt and gradual milk cessation and milk yield at the time on cow activity after dry-off. Daily lying time, number of lying bouts per day, average lying bout length, and steps taken per day by abruptly and gradually dried-off cows were monitored by data loggers for 2 wk before and after the final milking at the end of lactation. Gradual cows were milked once daily for the last week of lactation, and abrupt cows were milked as usual (3 x /d) until the end of lactation. Gradual cessation of milking significantly reduced milk yield by the day of dry-off. After dry-off, gradual cows tended to have longer lying bouts than abrupt cows, but no other differences in cow activity between the 2 treatments were observed. Regardless of the dry-off method, the average length of a lying bout decreased by 4 min and total daily lying time decreased by 19 min after dry-off for each 5-kg increase in milk yield before dry-off. Lying behavior of primiparous cows was more affected by the level of milk yield at dry-off than that of older cows. A reduction in lying times with increasing milk yield may indicate discomfort due to the accumulating milk in the udder. Using a method that lowers milk production before dry-off and managing primiparous and multiparous cows separately around dry-off are beneficial for cow comfort after dry-off.
  • Sourander, Andre; Ristkari, Terja; Kurki, Marjo; Gilbert, Sonja; Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, Susanna; Kinnunen, Malin; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; McGrath, Patrick J. (2022)
    Background: There is a lack of effectiveness studies when digital parent training programs are implemented in real-world practice. The efficacy of the internet-based and telephone-assisted Finnish Strongest Families Smart Website (SFSW) parent training intervention on the disruptive behavior of 4-year-old children was studied in a randomized controlled trial setting in Southwest Finland between 2011 and 2013. After that, the intervention was implemented nationwide in child health clinics from 2015 onwards. Objective: The main aim of this study was to compare the treatment characteristics and effectiveness of the SFSW parent training intervention between the families who received the intervention when it was implemented as a normal practice in child health clinics and the families who received the same intervention during the randomized controlled trial. Methods: The implementation group comprised 600 families who were recruited in the SFSW intervention between January 2015 and May 2017 in real-world implementation. The RCT intervention group comprised 232 families who were recruited between October 2011 and November 2013. The same demographic and child and parent measures were collected from both study groups and were compared using linear mixed-effect models for repeated measurements. The child psychopathology and functioning level were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) version 1.5-5 for preschool children, the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU), and a modified version of the Barkley Home Situations Questionnaire. Parenting skills were measured using the 31-item Parenting Scale and the shorter 21-item Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). The estimated child and parent outcomes were adjusted for CBCL externalizing scores at baseline, maternal education, duration of the behavior problems, and paternal age. The baseline measurements of each outcome were used as covariates. Results: The implementation group was more likely to complete the intervention than the RCT intervention group (514/600, 85.7% vs 176/232, 75.9%, respectively; P Conclusions: The internet-based and telephone-assisted SFSW parent training intervention was effectively implemented in real-world settings. These findings have implications for addressing the unmet needs of children with disruptive behavior problems. Our initiative could also provide a quick socially distanced solution for the considerable mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Koota, Elina; Kääriäinen, Maria; Kyngäs, Helvi; Lääperi, Mitja; Melender, Hanna-Leena (2021)
    Background Emergency care clinicians are expected to use the latest research evidence in practice. However, emergency nurses do not always consistently implement evidence-based practice (EBP). An educational intervention on EBP was implemented to promote emergency nurses' use of EBP, and the effectiveness of it was evaluated. Aims This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an EBP educational intervention on emergency nurses' EBP attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and behavior. The study also examined learners' satisfaction with the EBP educational intervention. Methods A randomized controlled trial with parallel groups with evaluations before the education, immediately after it, and 6 and 12 months after the education was conducted at four emergency departments in two university hospitals. The experimental group (N = 40) received EBP education while the control group (N = 40) completed self-directed EBP education. The primary outcomes were emergency nurses' EBP attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and behavior, while the secondary outcome was satisfaction with the EBP education. Results Thirty-five participants of an experimental and 29 participants of a control group completed the study. There were no statistically significant (p <.05) improvements and differences between groups in EBP attitude, self-efficacy, or behavior immediately after the EBP education. At the 6-month measurement point, the experimental group showed significantly better EBP attitudes, behavior, knowledge, and self-efficacy than the control group. At the 12-month measurement point, the improvements began to decrease. The groups also differed significantly in terms of participant satisfaction with how the teacher encouraged learners to ask clinical questions. Linking Evidence to Action The EBP educational intervention implemented in this study had a positive effect on emergency nurses' EBP attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and behavior. The effects of the education appeared the best 6 months after the education. After this point, the results began to decrease and approached baseline levels. EBP educational interventions designed for emergency nurses should apply various teaching strategies to improve their EBP attitude, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, behavior, and satisfaction with the education.
  • Sepers, Bernice; Erven, Jolijn A. M.; Gawehns, Fleur; Laine, Veronika N.; van Oers, Kees (2021)
    Early developmental conditions are known to have life-long effects on an individual's behavior, physiology and fitness. In altricial birds, a majority of these conditions, such as the number of siblings and the amount of food provisioned, are controlled by the parents. This opens up the potential for parents to adjust the behavior and physiology of their offspring according to local post-natal circumstances. However, the mechanisms underlying such intergenerational regulation remain largely unknown. A mechanism often proposed to possibly explain how parental effects mediate consistent phenotypic change is DNA methylation. To investigate whether early life effects on offspring phenotypes are mediated by DNA methylation, we cross-fostered great tit (Parus major) nestlings and manipulated their brood size in a natural study population. We assessed genome-wide DNA methylation levels of CpG sites in erythrocyte DNA, using Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS). By comparing DNA methylation levels between biological siblings raised in enlarged and reduced broods and between biological siblings of control broods, we assessed which CpG sites were differentially methylated due to brood size. We found 32 differentially methylated sites (DMS) between siblings from enlarged and reduced broods, a larger number than in the comparison between siblings from control broods. A considerable number of these DMS were located in or near genes involved in development, growth, metabolism, behavior and cognition. Since the biological functions of these genes line up with previously found effects of brood size and food availability, it is likely that the nestlings in the enlarged broods suffered from nutritional stress. We therefore conclude that early life stress might directly affect epigenetic regulation of genes related to early life conditions. Future studies should link such experimentally induced DNA methylation changes to expression of phenotypic traits and assess whether these effects affect parental fitness to determine if such changes are also adaptive.
  • Åhlgren, Johanna; Voikar, Vootele (2019)
    Individually ventilated caging (IVC) systems for rodents are increasingly common in laboratory animal facilities. However, the impact of such substantial change in housing conditions on animal physiology and behavior is still debated. Most importantly, there arise the questions regarding reproducibility and comparison of previous or new phenotypes between the IVC and open cages. The present study was set up for detailed and systematic comparison of behavioral phenotypes in male and female mice of three widely used inbred strains (C57BL/6JRccHsd, DBA/2JRccHsd, 129S2/SvHSd) after being kept in two housing environments (IVC and open cages) for 6?weeks (since 4?weeks of age) before behavioral testing. The tests addressed exploratory, anxiety-like and stress-related behavior (light-dark box, open field, forced swim test, stress-induced hyperthermia), social approach and species-specific behavior (nest building, marble burying). In all tests, large and expected strain differences were found. Somewhat surprisingly, the most striking effect of environment was found for basal body temperature and weight loss after one night of single housing in respective cages. In addition, the performance in light-dark box and open field was affected by environment. Several parameters in different tests showed significant interaction between housing and genetic background. In summary, the IVC housing did not invalidate the well-known differences between the mouse strains which have been established by previous studies. However, within the strains the results can be influenced by sex and housing system depending on the behavioral tasks applied. The bottom-line is that the environmental conditions should be described explicitly in all publications.
  • Komulainen, Emilia; Zdrojewska, Justyna; Freemantle, Erika; Mohammad, Hasan; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Deshpande, Prasannakumar; Marchisella, Francesca; Mysore, Raghavendra; Hollos, Patrik; Michelsen, Kimmo A.; Magard, Mats; Rauvala, Heikki; James, Peter; Coffey, Eleanor T. (2014)
  • Lüscher, Michelle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    The importance of equine welfare has become more important in the last years. There is a need for welfare parameters, which help to define and measure the welfare of domestic horses. The importance of sleep on health and wellbeing is well-known in humans but has not yet been extensively studied in horses. It is known that horses sleep either non-REM-sleep or REM-sleep. Also, horses are able to partially sleep in a standing position. For REM-sleep they need to have muscle atony and lie down. Horses are easily disturbed while sleeping and many factors affect how much and how long horses spend sleeping. Horses are also able to postpone their REM-sleep for extensive periods of time, which directly effects their health and welfare. The aim of our study was to measure and analyze how the softness of the bedding in the lying areas affect the sleeping and resting behavior of horses. This thesis was part of the UNIHEPO initiative, which consisted of multiple studies around equine sleep. For our study we conducted a cross over study with sixteen (16) clinically healthy horses in the equine school Ylä-Savon ammattiopisto during fall 2022. The study included three treatments: the normal amount of bedding as the baseline, then thin (5 cm) bedding and thick (15 cm) of bedding. We recorded three periods: the baseline, and then two consecutive periods with half of the stalls having thick bedding and the other half thin. The duration of each treatment period was 21 days, respectively. We switched the treatments after the first period so that that each horse had both treatments. We recorded and analyzed the first two (2) and last two (2) nights of each period. The results were reported as seconds calculated from the median of the daily mean values. Only the data from the two treatments was analyzed for this thesis. The horses exhibited more resting behaviors and supported their necks longer in a sleeping position, when the bedding was thicker (p=0,002). There was no statistically significant difference between the treatments when lateral recumbency bout amounts or lying durations were analyzed, but the lying duration was longer. With thicker bedding the horses had a higher number of sternal recumbency bouts (p=0,013) and the bout duration was longer (p=0,001). Also, the total duration spent in sternal recumbency was higher on thicker bedding (p=0,002). Surprisingly we noticed rolling behavior after lying bouts almost solely on thicker bedding (p=0,004). There were also some tendencies for correlation between the height of the horses, lying bouts and bedding thickness. Our research provided us with valuable information on the factors affecting the sleeping and resting behavior of horses. At the same time the need for further research was highlighted. Still, our results reinforce the scientific knowledge, which is crucial in developing and promoting equine welfare.
  • Hakola, Riina; Leino, Timo; Luukkonen, Ritva; Kauppi, Paula (2020)
    BackgroundThe focus in occupational health check-ups is in work and health, but they offer also a possibility to assess health behavior and give guidance e.g. on weight control. We wanted to study whether having occupational health checks-up, receiving physicians' advice to change health behavior or participation in health promotion programs had an effect on obesity in a five-year follow-up from 1998 to 2003 in asthmatic and non-asthmatic workers.MethodsAltogether 23,220 individuals aged 20-54years were picked up from a randomized Finnish population sample. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to calculate the risk for obesity in 2003. The variables used in the modelling were gender, age, smoking, asthma, depression, and physical workload.ResultsBoth asthmatic and non-asthmatic workers gained weight during the follow-up. Of the asthmatics 48 and 47% of the non-asthmatics had occupational health-check-up in the last 5years. Of the asthmatics 18 and 14% of the non-asthmatics had received physician's advice to change their health behavior (p30) in 2003 were gender (men OR 1.19), older age (OR 1.25), smoking (OR 1.07) or depression (OR 1.44).ConclusionsResults show that having occupational health checks-up or receiving physicians' advice to change health behavior or participation in health promotion programs did not stop gain of weight during a five-year follow-up. Asthmatic workers did not differ from non-asthmatics. Male gender, older age, smoking, and depression were associated with obesity but not the physical workload.
  • Ekholm, Anders; Pasternack, Daniel (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2002)
    Working Papers
    Recent research documents that institutional or large investors act as antagonists to other investors by showing opposite behavior following disclosure of new information. Using an extremely comprehensive official transactions data set from Finland, we set out to explore the interrelation between investor size and behavior. More specifically, we test whether investor size is positively (negatively) correlated with investor reaction following positive (negative) news. We document robust evidence of that investor size affects investor behavior under new information, as larger investors on average react more positively (negatively) to good (bad) news than smaller investors. In the light of this study it seems increasingly feasible that several recent findings of heterogeneous investor behavior are functions of differences in overconfidence.
  • Sokolowska, Ewa; Viitanen, Riikka; Misiewicz, Zuzanna; Mennesson, Marie; Saarnio, Suvi; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Kängsep, Sanna; Liljenback, Heidi; Marjamäki, Paivi; Autio, Anu; Callan, Saija-Anita; Nuutila, Pirjo; Roivainen, Anne; Partonen, Timo; Hovatta, Iiris (2021)
    Cryptochrome 2 (Cry2) is a core clock gene important for circadian regulation. It has also been associated with anxiety and depressive-like behaviors in mice, but the previous findings have been conflicting in terms of the direction of the effect. To begin to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of this association, we carried out behavioral testing, PET imaging, and gene expression analysis of Cry2(-/-) and Cry2(+/+) mice. Compared to Cry2(+/+) mice, we found that Cry2(-/-) mice spent less time immobile in the forced swim test, suggesting reduced despair-like behavior. Moreover, Cry2(-/-) mice had lower saccharin preference, indicative of increased anhedonia. In contrast, we observed no group differences in anxiety-like behavior. The behavioral changes were accompanied by lower metabolic activity of the ventro-medial hypothalamus, suprachiasmatic nuclei, ventral tegmental area, anterior and medial striatum, substantia nigra, and habenula after cold stress as measured by PET imaging with a glucose analog. Although the expression of many depression-associated and metabolic genes was upregulated or downregulated by cold stress, we observed no differences between Cry2(-/-) and Cry2(+/+) mice. These findings are consistent with other studies showing that Cry2 is required for normal emotional behavior. Our findings confirm previous roles of Cry2 in behavior and extend them by showing that the effects on behavior may be mediated by changes in brain metabolism.
  • Ruokamo, Enni; Meriläinen, Teemu; Karhinen, Santtu; Räihä, Jouni; Suur-Uski, Päivi; Timonen, Leila; Svento, Rauli (IPC Science and Technology Press, 2022)
    Energy Policy
    Field experiments have shown that information nudging can help households to save energy, however, the effectiveness varies depending on aspects such as information content, delivery mode and study area. This article evaluates the impacts of information nudges on residential electricity consumption with a randomized field experiment. This opt-in experiment was conducted in Finland. Information was administered via monthly email newsletters and an online energy service platform. The aim is to find out whether i) energy saving tips combined with and without online energy service platform providing electricity consumption information, and ii) peer comparisons (i.e., social norm) influence households’ electricity consumption. The results show a high seasonal variation in the treatment effects within the groups who were registered users of the online energy service platform. Those with access to usage feedback and versatile energy savings tips (without the social norm comparisons) reduced their electricity consumption around 10% in wintertime. The results imply challenges in encouraging energy saving behavior among households less interested in following their electricity consumption.
  • Voikar, Vootele; Gaburro, Stefano (2020)
    Animal models of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders require extensive behavioral phenotyping. Currently, this presents several caveats and the most important are: (i) rodents are nocturnal animals, but mostly tested during the light period; (ii) the conventional behavioral experiments take into consideration only a snapshot of a rich behavioral repertoire; and (iii) environmental factors, as well as experimenter influence, are often underestimated. Consequently, serious concerns have been expressed regarding the reproducibility of research findings on the one hand, and appropriate welfare of the animals (based on the principle of 3Rs—reduce, refine and replace) on the other hand. To address these problems and improve behavioral phenotyping in general, several solutions have been proposed and developed. Undisturbed, 24/7 home-cage monitoring (HCM) is gaining increased attention and popularity as demonstrating the potential to substitute or complement the conventional phenotyping methods by providing valuable data for identifying the behavioral patterns that may have been missed otherwise. In this review, we will briefly describe the different technologies used for HCM systems. Thereafter, based on our experience, we will focus on two systems, IntelliCage (NewBehavior AG and TSE-systems) and Digital Ventilated Cage (DVC®, Tecniplast)—how they have been developed and applied during recent years. Additionally, we will touch upon the importance of the environmental/experimenter artifacts and propose alternative suggestions for performing phenotyping experiments based on the published evidence. We will discuss how the integration of telemetry systems for deriving certain physiological parameters can help to complement the description of the animal model to offer better translation to human studies. Ultimately, we will discuss how such HCM data can be statistically interpreted and analyzed.