Väitöskirjat: Recent submissions

Now showing items 1-20 of 7590
  • Pellikka, Havu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis presents research on two topics related to sea level in the Baltic Sea: regional sea level rise and meteotsunamis, i.e. meteorologically generated tsunami waves. While these phenomena act on very different time scales, they are both relevant for estimates of coastal flooding risks. Main objectives of this work are i) to present projections of mean sea level change in Finland by 2100 as location-specific probability distributions that can be used as a basis for decision-making in coastal management, and ii) to study the occurrence of meteotsunamis on the Finnish coast and the weather conditions that create these waves. Global mean sea level is rising in the warming climate. This will affect coastal life worldwide, but sea level does not rise uniformly around the globe. Projections of future sea level rise have large uncertainties, especially because the response of the Antarctic ice sheet to climatic changes is poorly known. This makes the upper tail of the probability distribution of sea level rise hard to pin down. In this work, an ensemble of global sea level rise projections is adjusted regionally to form a probability distribution of regional sea level rise. The results suggest that sea level rise in the Baltic Sea will be about 80% of the global mean, without including the effect of land uplift. To obtain probability distributions of mean sea level change relative to land, the effects of postglacial land uplift and wind-induced changes in mean sea level are combined with the sea level rise distributions. According to the average scenario, the sea level in the Gulf of Finland is expected to rise ca. 30 cm in 2000–2100, while mean sea level decline will continue in the Gulf of Bothnia. However, the high-end scenario projects sea level rise everywhere on the Finnish coast, ranging from 21 cm in Vaasa to 90 cm in Hamina. Meteotsunamis occur in shallow sea areas worldwide and can reach a height of several metres in extreme cases. In the Baltic Sea, such high, inexplicable sea waves are historically known as Seebär on the German-speaking southern coast and sjösprång in Swedish-speaking regions. According to old literature and recent eyewitness reports, meteotsunamis can occur all around the Baltic Sea and cause mild damage. The highest reliably documented events have been 1–1.5 metres high. After decades of no reported occurrences, three meteotsunamis were observed in Finland in the summers of 2010 and 2011. This work gives a detailed description of these events and their meteorological origin. The waves were created by air pressure disturbances propagating over the sea. The speeds of the disturbances were close to the long wave speed in the sea, which amplifies the wave. Such resonance effects, in addition to local coastal bathymetry, are central in the formation of meteotsunamis. To study the frequency of meteotsunami occurrence on the Finnish coast, meteotsunamis were detected in the original tide gauge charts and high-resolution sea level data from the Gulf of Finland over the past century. In total, 121 potential events were identified in the summer months of 1922–2014, with typical wave heights of 10–30 cm at the tide gauges. A statistically significant increasing trend in the number of meteotsunamis was found in Hamina in the eastern part of the gulf, but not in Hanko in the west. A strong connection between lightning observations (1998–2014) and meteotsunami occurrence was found: lightning numbers were over ten times higher on days when a meteotsunami was recorded compared to other summer days.
  • Rehan, Sheikh Feroze (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The objectives of this thesis were to make a systematic and detailed analysis of the diversification of farm households in Bangladesh. The thesis, based on three articles, applied data from a survey of 260 farm households in the central, northern, and southwest regions of Bangladesh. The first, second and third papers highlighted on-farm diversification, income diversification and the relationship between farm and food consumption diversification respectively. The first article identified the factors influencing on-farm diversification and, in doing the analysis, the paper compares farm households highly specialized in rice cultivation with more diversified farm households. Results revealed that the age of the head of the household, technical assistance, farm size, access to markets, access to credit and regional dummies are the main determinants of on-farm diversification. The active participation of women in farming activities was a noteworthy determinant that was found to increase diversification in Bangladesh. The second article investigated the determinants and purpose of income diversification in Bangladesh. The findings showed that the extent of the overall diversification was determined by household endowments of assets such as wealth, higher education, easy access to market, more earners, better infrastructure, and its purpose was accumulation of wealth. However, farm households are involuntarily pushed into off-farm wage diversification for survival, and off-farm self-employment diversification is chosen as an accumulation strategy to capture higher return opportunities. This study pointed out that diversification is linked to agriculture rather than being a condition of departing from it. Article 3 linked the research gap through presenting empirical evidence on the effect of diversification on household food security in the Bangladeshi context. The study found that diversification positively influences food security, especially from the food consumption diversity viewpoint. Importantly, this suggests that special focus is required on diversified multiple crop and non-crop production and moving out of pure rice cultivation. Moreover, formulating policies that emphasize investment in infrastructure, electrification, and education to facilitate diversification and enhance household food security has been recommended.
  • Holmström, Oscar (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The lack of access to diagnostics is a global problem which causes underdiagnosis of various common and treatable diseases. In certain areas, the access to laboratory services and medical experts is extremely limited, such as in sub-Saharan Africa, with often less than one practising pathologist per one million inhabitants. Annually, hundreds of millions of microscopy samples are analysed to diagnose e.g. infectious diseases and cancers, but the need for more is significant. During the last decade, technological advancements and reduced prices of optical components have enabled the construction of inexpensive, portable devices for digitization of microscopy samples; a procedure traditionally limited to well-equipped laboratories with expensive high-end equipment. By allowing digitization of samples directly at the point of care (POC), advanced digital diagnostic techniques, such as the analysis of samples with medical ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) algorithms, can be utilized also outside high-end laboratories – which is precisely where the need for improved diagnostics is often most significant. The aim of this thesis is to study how low-cost, POC digital microscopy, supported by automatized digital image analysis and AI can be applied for routine microscopy diagnostics with an emphasis on potential areas of application in low-resource settings. We describe, implement and evaluate various techniques for POC digitization and analysis of samples using both visual methods and digital algorithms. Specifically, we evaluate the technologies for the analysis of breast cancer tissue samples (assessment of hormone receptor expression), intraoperative samples from cancer surgeries (detection of metastases in lymph node frozen sections), cytological samples (digital Pap smear screening) and parasitological samples (diagnostics of neglected tropical diseases). Our results show how the digitization of a variety of routine microscopy samples is feasible using systems suitable POC usage with sufficient image quality for diagnostic applications. Furthermore, the findings demonstrate how digital methods, based on computer vision and AI, can be utilized to facilitate the sample analysis process to e.g. quantify tissue stains and detect atypical cells and infectious pathogens in the samples with levels of accuracy comparable to conventional methods. In conclusion, our findings show how technological advancements can be leveraged to create general-purpose digital microscopy diagnostic platforms, which are implementable and feasible to use for diagnostic purposes at the POC. This allows the utilization of modern digital algorithms and AI to aid in analysis of samples and facilitate the diagnostic process by automatically extracting information from the digital samples. These findings are important steps in the effort to develop novel diagnostic technologies which are usable also in areas without access to high-end laboratories, and the technologies described here are also likely to be applicable for diagnostics of other diseases which are currently diagnosed with light microscopy.
  • Pötzsch, Tobias (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis explores the process of social inclusion of adult migrant learners enrolled in integration education programs. It reveals the Inclusectionalities denoting the intersections of inclusion and exclusion through which liminal spaces are revealed that position migrant students as between and betwixt belonging and othering. The study is based on research findings obtained during multiple case study fieldwork in Finland and Canada between 2015-2017 consisting of in-depth and group interviews with migrant students and staff as well as extended periods of participant observation. The Finnish case studies consist of Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) programs at The Swedish Adult Education Institute (Arbis) in Helsingfors and The Civic Institute (Medis) in Mariehamn, on the Åland Islands, while NorQuest College’s Language Integration for Newcomers to Canada program (LINC) in Edmonton represents the Canadian case. Anti-oppressive methodologies (AOP), as well as perspectives integrated from Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) and Critical Migration Studies (CMS) with their ideals of challenging structural racism and working for social change inform the theoretical framework of critical social inclusion as well as the study’s research design. The empirical findings show that social inclusion within the educations was tangled, episodic, and far from uniform or straightforward. Its negotiations revealed the presence of widely contradictory and conflicted responses which oscillated between Civic Integrationism’s striving to inculcate a “coherent” national narrative and Transformation Inclusion’s more “incoherent,” critical and egalitarian interpretations. The findings, presented in three main themes: Inclusion Within the Walls, Inclusion Beyond the Walls and (Colour) Blind Spots, also reveal that both enabling and disabling factors emerged in implementing critical social inclusion within the case studies’ different educational, social and national environments. Educational programs where integration was myopically equated with host country language acquisition often lost sight of the breadth and depth – the “real life” focus – broader social inclusion demanded. Secondly, where an integrationist normative narrative – as in, “aren’t we supposed to teach them how to live here?” – justified prevailing power and racial hierarchies, it stood in the way of reciprocal learning and student agency in reshaping curricula and inclusion efforts. A third factor concerned how willing staff, administrators and other stakeholders were to turn the majority gaze inwards in interrogating their own role in maintaining cultural and structural inequalities as well as white entitlements. By diverting this gaze, the white social frame grounding these inequalities became institutional background and “common sense” views of culture, learning and integration eluded critical analysis. The fourth factor refers to the prevailing social and political climates in which integration education programs were embedded. Where these climates emphasized controls and compliances which racialized and othered migrants, they accentuated students’ abjection from the social body. Lastly, social inclusion necessitates robust expressions of joint political agency yet implementations of LINC and SFI were generally characterized by a politics of apoliticality. Because programs were not developed around critical citizenship foundations but emphasized more “neutral” incarnations of language and cultural learning, they extended limited sanctioned opportunities for teachers and students to collectively challenge social and structural injustices. A key discursive and cognitive transposition is the study’s contention that if critical perspectives of social inclusion are to become a lived reality for “all” program participants, then majorities must also be subjected to the “integration spotlight.” Turning the majority gaze from the migrant inwards, presumes a sea change in attitudes, aims and program implementations. How one answers the question of who serves as an arbiter over which expressions of migrant diversity are judged as beneficial or as obstacles to inclusion is crucial here.
  • Laitinen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation describes the different forms of the emergence of hesitation in Russian television shows. By hesitation I mean a situation in which the speaker does not know how to react and encounters a speech production problem or some trouble in interaction. Therefore, this involves all pragmatic, semantic, structural, lexical and phonetic problems that emerge in talk in the different delays in a projected trajectory. The analysis focuses on finding different markers of hesitation in Russian television shows, exploring the differences in the use of the different hesitation markers and discovering possible limitations of their use. The theoretical background for this study includes Functional Syntax. I also take into consideration psycholinguistic studies of speech production phases. The framework for the analysis is provided, among others, by conversation analysis (CA) and interactional linguistics. The data for the study consist of four extracts from Russian television shows of 1 h 15 min in length. The programs were recorded and broadcast on Russian television in the 1990s. In my data the total number of hesitation markers and their strings is approximately 625. Furthermore, because of the multifunctionality of linguistic devices, there are circa 375 markers that imply or might imply hesitation among the other functions that they fulfil. The results show that hesitation may occur in Russian television shows in a total of seven different ways. These hesitation markers are 1) explicit phrases, 2) filled pauses, 3) prosodic markers, 4) unfilled pauses, 5) lexical markers, 6) repeated lexical elements, and 7) delays in fulfilling the pragmatically projected component. Moreover, these markers typically occur in strings. Two hesitation markers, i.e. filled pauses and prosodic markers, are located in every context in my data. Hence, these can be described as common hesitation markers. In contrast, all the other markers are more specific and more context related. To conclude, the main findings of the study indicate that hesitating is a rather discreet action, and different markers may reveal details of the nature of the problem and the speaker’s attitude toward his own chance of solving the speech production problem or the trouble in interaction. Generally, the results of this dissertation partly replicate and partly widen the findings of previous studies concerning hesitation in Russian and some other languages. The contribution of this study is to suggest that the methods of conversation analysis and interactional linguistics may be applied together with the theoretical assumptions of psycholinguistics and Functional Syntax.
  • Miettinen, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation develops a framework to examine socially optimal forest management when nutrient and sediment loads from forestry are considered as a negative externality. The Faustmann rotation model is extended to include the runoff function to describe the water quality impacts of nutrient and sediment loads from forestry. This thesis consists of an introductory section and four articles that analyze the different forest management practices and associated water protection. Examined practices include final harvesting in both mineral soils and peatlands, stem-only harvesting and whole-tree harvesting in peatlands, and ditch network maintenance. The water protection measures included are buffer zones in mineral soil forestry and overland flow fields and sedimentation ponds in drained peatlands. The main contribution of this thesis is the developed framework for analyzing socially optimal forest management when water quality is taken into account. The analysis shows that the nutrient and sediment load damages associated with forest management depends highly on management practices. The nitrogen load caused by final harvesting in mineral soils results in relatively low nitrogen load damages. In contrast, the sediment load damages due to ditch network maintenance in the sensitive headwater catchment are very high. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness of water protection measures differs significantly. From society´s viewpoint, the buffer zones used in mineral soil forest management are not a cost-effective water protection measure but when biodiversity benefits are taken into account, in addition to water quality, they become socially desirable. Overland flow fields are very cost-effective water protection measures for peatland forestry. Finally, the water protection costs in forestry and agriculture are compared in a river basin model. A cost-effective solution requires the highest nutrient reductions in agriculture, though it also implements water protection measures, especially in drained peatland forestry.
  • Lötjönen, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis studies the design of socially optimal policies for climate mitigation and water protection for two agricultural production lines: crop and dairy production. It provides analytical insights into optimal management, both in the absence and presence of nutrient runoff and greenhouse gas emissions, and develops policies to incentivize private production when externalities to water and atmosphere exist. Special attention is devoted to the coeffects of agricultural water protection measures on climate mitigation and of climate mitigation measures on water protection and their implications for marginal abatement costs and optimal policies. The thesis studies crop rotations with legumes and dairy production in detail. It additionally derives cost functions for reducing emissions by combining individual measures, such as fertilization, buffer strips, catch crops, tillage methods, afforestation and green fallow. In general, Pigouvian taxes on greenhouse gas emissions or on diffuse nutrient loading as first-best policies are not possible due to problems in measuring nonpoint source loading. Therefore, second-best policies, such as uniform taxes levied on animal numbers or fertilization or subsidies based on buffer strip width or transporting manure, are developed and applied numerically. Based on the findings, in comparison to the first-best policies, the second-best policies are relatively effective in producing the desired policy goals. Study I of the thesis shows how legumes in crop rotations outperform cereal monocultures economically and environmentally in many cases, provided there is adequate demand for legumes, and develops differentiated nitrogen tax and buffer strip subsidies based on the cultivated crop. Study II focuses on the use of nitrogen, land use, dairy cow diet and climate emissions within dairy production. This study demonstrates the overall spatial pattern of manure application and illustrates the main measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient runoff. Uniform nutrient taxes are found functional, although spatially differentiated taxes produce higher welfare. Study III highlights the importance of accounting for multiple pollutants and their coeffects when designing environmental policies and calculating marginal abatement costs. In the case of cobenefits, the optimal tax on the focus pollutant is relatively higher, increasing abatement and the supply of cobenefits.
  • Salmivirta, Seppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation explores the features of learning in the progressive inquiry learn-ing environment supported by mobile technology devices while studying science. Developed e-learning environment is also examined. The study analyses knowledge from constructivist and social constructivist perspectives in the context of the learning environment that was under development. The study was conducted as a design-based research (DBR) in collaboration with a sixth grade school class and the classroom teacher. Three iterative devel-opment cycles were carried out during the academic year 2012-2013 in real-world classroom settings. The research data consisted of interviews with student groups and the teacher and of a database stored in the e-learning environment including the structure of the e-learning environment, knowledge building online discus-sions and research reports from the student groups. The student interviews were conducted using the stimulated recall method (STR) in semi-structured group in-terviews after each development cycle. The e-learning environment used in the learning projects was used as a stimulus for the interviewees. The interview data was analysed by means of qualitative content analysis, both in theory-guiding and as emergent meanings. The online data was examined by content analysis meth-ods. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis were used. The results of the study show that the students' work in the specific learning environment shows characteristics of learning such as activity, intentionality, con-structivism and reflection. At the same time, a set of generic skills called explor-atory learning skills emerge. The learners’ presentation of research questions and refinement questions, important to science education, can be improved by devel-oping the context and utilising online discussion, according to the results. The results also show that the more learners' work involved exploratory learning skills, the more research questions they could solve in different ways. The use of mobile technology has a positive connection with the learning fea-tures that have emerged in the research. The more the students perceived the ben-efits of mobile technology when studying, the more they expressed in the inter-view the features of meaningful learning. The speed and easiness of use of the mobile device support collaboration and conversation in a flexible learning envi-ronment. The results show that a rich learning environment can be built into the e-learning environment and that the online and face-to-face guidance of students when studying is important. The results also demonstrate that learners need sup-port and stimulation to use technology to support their studies. However, the ex-periences of students and teachers reveal that development efforts can signifi-cantly reduce the challenges of working in a mobile environment.
  • Pilli-Sihvola, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis consists of an introduction and four articles which analyse disaster risk management (DRM), including disaster risk reduction (DRR), disaster management and climate change adaptation (CCA) from economic and policy perspectives. The main research question is: what are the means to overcome the salient challenges in DRM and CCA policies and measures which have been designed to reduce the risks posed by extreme weather under uncertainty? Theoretically, it advances the policy level development of DRM and CCA integration and provides a mathematical definition for over-adaptation to climate change. Empirically, it analyses integrated DRM and CCA policies and measures, and analyses challenges related to their development and implementation. Article I provides a formal definition for DRR and CCA policy integration at horizontal (inter-ministerial) and vertical (intra-ministerial) dimensions to assess DRR and CCA policy-making and analyses policies and their integration challenges in Zambia. The theoretical contribution to the literature is the formal definition for DRR and CCA policy integration and the empirical contribution is provided by evidence of potential challenges created by the governance system. Article II discusses the contribution of the underlying vulnerability drivers of governance, societal and political factors, culture, policies and their implementation, and argues that vulnerability reduction is a key aspect in reducing disaster and climate change risk. The theoretical contribution furthers the discussion on new dimensions in climate change risk analyses by emphasising the potential impacts of societal development, such as social trends and social cohesion, in effective DRM and CCA. The article contributes to the empirical literature by assessing Nordic welfare state structures as a means to reduce disaster risk and climate change. Article III analyses the costs and benefits of a major integrated DRM and CCA policy in Finland, and describes how over-adaptation, i.e. over-investment in DRM and CCA may affect the legitimacy of a policy aiming partially at reducing extreme weather risk. The article contributes to the theoretical literature by providing a mathematical definition for over-adaptation and to the empirical literature through the case study. Article IV assesses the effects of a potential innovation in weather service provision to improve CCA and safety in the road transport sector. The article identifies and describes the main trends and potential innovations in the provision and use of weather services. It contributes to the empirical literature on CCA and weather service benefit valuation.
  • Nummijoki, Jaana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Physical mobility is a central factor in elderly people’s agency in the twilight of life. The loss of elderly people’s physical mobility presents a major challenge for modern society. To address this challenge, a group of practitioners and experts in the field of elderly care in Helsinki designed and implemented a tool, the Mobility Agreement, to cultivate agency and promote elderly people’s physical capability and mobility. The framework for the Mobility Agreement was developed from 2006 to 2009 as part of a co-operative research and development project on promising practices in home care, funded by the City of Helsinki and led by researchers from CRADLE at University of Helsinki. The Mobility Agreement provides structured support for the elderly in everyday life during home care visits. It is a plan jointly prepared by the home care client and his or her home care worker to promote day-to-day exercise. The home care worker provides assistance by selecting and monitoring the exercises. When necessary, a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist may be involved. With the introduction of the Mobility Agreement, the focus of the home care staff shifts: less time is spent managing home care duties on behalf of the elderly person, and more time is spent guiding and encouraging the client to exercise regularly. My study focuses on the encounters of home care clients and workers and the working methods associated with the Mobility Agreement, used to support the clients’ functional capacity and physical mobility. The practical underlying philosophy (Jones, 2007) is to move from doing to people, to doing on behalf of people and eventually to doing with people, in such a way that that the elderly client has more opportunity to be in charge and do things him- or herself, but with assistance rather than care. Qualitative data were collected from two developmental research projects in Helsinki over a six-year period (2006–2012) through observations, video-recordings during the home care encounters, and interviews of home care workers and their elderly clients. I used ethnographic observation, analyzed the dialogues, and tracked indications of the emergence of transformative agency among the participants. This analysis allowed me to conceptualize the adoption of the Mobility Agreement practice as a transformation in which home care workers could recognize and support their elderly clients’ transformative agency, as well as that of their own. This study also addresses the restrictive factors that may prevent the formation of agency. This dissertation is an empirical, ethnographic and longitudinal formative interventionist study, based on the cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT). Its aim is to generate and support a cycle of expansive learning (Engeström, 2015). The dissertation consists of four empirical articles and a summary that brings them together to present a picture for learning opportunities to break new ground in home care encounters. The study addresses three research questions: 1. What prevents the formation of shared agency in home care? The results of this study show that defensive learning cycles arise from home care workers’ fear of additional work and new competence demands, and from home care clients’ quest for safety, often crystallized in fear of falling. The formation of shared agency is hampered if the contradiction between the efficiency of the home care worker (doing his or her job) and the potential effectiveness of the home care service (maintaining the functional capacity and reducing social exclusion among elderly people) is not expansively worked out. The introduction of the Mobility Agreement thus becomes a source of frustration rather than a developmental process mediated by a useful tool promoting physical mobility exercises in home care visits. 2. What kinds of learning take place when an agency-fostering new practice is introduced in home care encounters? Expansive learning takes place when such a new practice triggers the development of an expanded shared object, which allows the home care client and the home care worker to construct shared goals, plans and practices concerning the clients’ functional capacity and physical mobility. This in turn requires new kinds of dialogue and cooperation, as well as reflective interaction between the two separate yet intertwined processes of the home care client’s learning and the home care worker’s learning. In other words, the client and the worker need to understand and commit to an idea of embodied and discursive co-configuration, which includes continuous negotiation between these two parties, and eventually also with other actors who contribute to the client’s overall home care service and wellbeing. 3. What main insights are needed to accomplish a sustainable, agentive transformation process in home care and change the home care script? These insights require co-configuration work that maintains and supports the elderly person’s functional capacity, postpones frailty, and reduces the risk of social exclusion. The planned and professionally initiated use of the Mobility Agreement succeeds when it connects and merges with client-initiated and incidental uses of artifacts as second stimuli. The expansive use of artifacts is of crucial importance for the quality and continuity of future-making in critical encounters. The answers given above summarize the findings of my four research articles (Articles I–IV). These articles also illustrate four perspectives of agency and their implications for home care. Article I introduces a perspective on agency as co-configuration in home care, with new forms of agency generated with the help of the Mobility Agreement. In article II, the key notion is “germ cell.” In supporting physical mobility among the elderly, getting up from a chair emerges as the germ cell, shaped and articulated primarily by means of bodily movements. The new collective concept of sustainable mobility emerges by expansion from the germ cell of the simple movement of getting up from a chair. This new concept has the potential to transcend and overcome the contradiction between safety and autonomy, and to generate a new kind of shared transformative agency. The meaning of the artifacts (Article III) emerges during critical encounters in which two or more relevant actors come together to deal with a problem that represents both a potentially shared object and a conflict of motives. Artifacts can be used both restrictively, to avoid engaging in the implementation of the Mobility Agreement; and expansively, to initiate and support actions that implement the Mobility Agreement. Article IV identifies the importance of learning cycles as a perspective on shared transformative agency. Learning emerges as interplay, movement between the expansive and defensive learning actions of the home care client and the worker. Home care encounters have an in-built asymmetry between the potentially powerful practitioner and potentially powerless elderly client. When the learning challenge requires reorientation of both parties, the power relations seem to become much more open-ended and mutable. When the home care worker and the client engage in either a predominantly defensive or a predominantly expansive learning cycle, in many cases it is not at all simple to determine who is teaching or leading, or who is guiding whom. Shared transformative agency is a key quality of expansive learning. It requires volitional actions from both participants. Mutual volition is at the core of shared transformative agency, defined as breaking away from a given frame of action and taking the initiative to transform it. Co-configuration requires flexible knotworking in which no single actor has the sole, fixed authority. New forms of work organization in the social and health sector require further research on negotiated knotworking across boundaries in the care of elderly people living at home. Keywords: Home Care, Mobility Agreement, Shared Transformative Agency, Double Stimulation, Expansive learning, Germ Cell
  • Laamanen, Heimo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Recent and expected future developments in the domains of artificial intelligence, intelligent software agents, and robotics will create a new kind of environment where artificial entities and human beings seamlessly operate together to offer services. The users of these services may not necessary know whether the service is actually offered by a human being or an artificial entity. This kind of environment raises a requirement for using a joint terminology between human beings and artificial entities, especially in the domain of the epistemic quality of information. The epistemic quality of information will play an important role in this kind of intelligent distributed systems. One of the main reasons is that it affects the dependability of those systems. Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief including their nature, sources, limits, and forms. Human beings have been interested in epistemology since the times of ancient Greece, as knowledge is seen to be an important factor of human beings' actions and success in the actions. We are of the opinion that the scene of epistemology is changing more than ever before: artificial intelligence has entered into the domain. In this thesis we argue that first, an intelligent software entity is capable of having beliefs and second, both knowledge and justified belief will be important factors in the dependability of AI-based agents' actions and success in the actions. We carry out a theoretical analysis of the epistemological concepts - belief, justified belief, and knowledge - for the context of intelligent software agents and dependable intelligent distributed systems. We introduce enhanced definitions of justified belief and knowledge, which we call Pragmatic Process Reliabilism. These definitions can be adopted into dependable intelligent distributed systems. We enhance the dependability taxonomy in order to cope better with the situations created by learning and the variation of the epistemic quality of information. The enhancements comprise the following concepts: attributes (skillfulness, truthfulness, and serveability), fault classes (training fault and learning fault), failure (action failure and observed failure), and means (relearning and retraining). We develop a theoretical framework (Belief Description Framework - BDF) to perceive, process, and distribute information in order to verify that our ideas can be implemented. We model the framework using Unified Modelling Language in order to demonstrate its applicability for implementation. First, we define relationships between epistemological concepts and software entities (classes). Second, we show that information, belief, justified belief, and knowledge can be specified as classes and instantiated as objects. The Information class defines the environment - a kind of information ecosystem - of information. It is the central point. It has relationships with other classes: Proposition, Presentation, EpistemicQuality, Warrant, Security, Context, and ActorOnInformation. Third, we specify some important requirements for BDF. Fourth, we show by modelling BDF using the UML modelling method that BDF can be specified and implemented.
  • Macher, Thomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Plato’s dialogue Cratylus concerns the question of whether the correctness of names/ words (ἡ τῶν ὀνομάτων ὀρθότης) is a matter of convention (συνθήκη) or nature (φύσις). While interpreters are divided over the assessment of this challenging work as a whole, there is near unanimity among them when it comes to the evaluation of the conception of language articulated by the character Hermogenes, the proponent of the conventionalist view in the text. It is, they maintain, highly problematic and, therefore, philosophically of little interest. The aim of this book is to show, through detailed philosopical-exegetical analyses of relevant passages of the Platonic dialogue, that such an evaluation is hardly plausible, since Hermogenes has a coherent – albeit not quite sufficiently complex – conception of language that allows him to give a convincing answer to the question of why names/words are correct. Crucial for this undertaking is to show that the three most common points of criticism brought forward against this conception are completely unfounded: It turns out that it does not exclude the possibility of successful intersubjective communication within a language community, and that it entails neither the impossibility of saying something false nor a »global« ontological relativism of the Protagorean type. Moreover, it becomes apparent that this conception is in all likelihood the first coherent conventionalist theory of language in the verbatim transmitted texts and text fragments of Greek-European culture. The study is completed by two brief observations: 1. the character Socrates in the Cratylus probably holds conventionalist views too; 2. this circumstance – together with the fact that in the Platonic corpus conventionalist statements can also be found in some passages outside the Cratylus – suggests that Plato himself should be regarded as a linguistic conventionalist. This book is primarily intended for Plato researchers. However, it may also be of interest to those who do research on the early history of the Western philosophy of language.
  • Angove, Charlotte (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Aquatic plant meadows provide a variety of global ecosystem services. Their populations are declining globally. To conserve and restore aquatic plant meadows and the services which they provide, it is necessary to understand their ecology. A key approach which allows us to explore plant ecology is to investigate the relationships between plant functional traits and ecosystem processes. By investigating plant functional traits, it is possible to develop insights about functional diversity and plant growth strategies. In this thesis, plant functional traits, functional diversity and plant growth strategies are used to investigate aquatic plant biomass production responses to the environment. A series of manipulative experiments were conducted in situ in submerged aquatic plant meadows of the northern Baltic Sea using SCUBA. Firstly, the role of plant traits, species identity and sediment porewater NH₄⁺ availability for plant nitrogen uptake rates were investigated using a short-term (3.5 h) nitrogen enrichment experiment (Chapter I). Secondly, a 15-week transplant experiment was conducted to explore plant functional trait and functional diversity relationships to productivity (Chapter II). Finally, a similar experiment with additions of the bivalve Limecola balthica (12 weeks) was conducted to investigate infauna effects to plant functional trait–productivity relationships (Chapter III). Chapter I showed that short-term nitrogen uptake rates from the sediment were driven by plant-biomass related demands. Similarly, results suggested that plants likely drained ammonium availability from their adjacent sediment porewater. Overall, Chapter I parameterised the possible unfulfilled potential for larger temperate aquatic plants to cycle nutrients. Chapter II results showed strong relationships between productivity and traits which enhanced light capture (height and leaf area). Leaf tissue δ¹³C and functional richness were also related to community productivity. The relationship between height and productivity was likely exacerbated by a competitive height interaction between the tallest and second tallest species. Overall, functional richness was related to community biomass production, likely by selecting for traits which enhanced light capture (selection effect) with potential consequences to carbon supply. Findings support inferences from previous studies of aquatic plant communities which showed that height is strongly related to aquatic plant productivity and trait identity may be more descriptive for primary production compared to functional diversity indices. Chapter III results showed Specific Root Length (SRL) exhibited the strongest relationship to productivity. Leaf area was also related to community production and Median Maximum Root Length (MMRL) exhibited a marginally non-significant relationship to productivity. SRL exhibited collinearity to species identity, therefore it was not possible to interpret SRL effects separately to other traits which may coincide with species identity. Community SRL was related to community shoot frequency, not aboveground biomass production. SRL and shoot proliferation both represent strategies to enhance nutrient absorption from the sediment. Relationships between plant leaf tissue nutrient concentrations (N (% DW), δ¹⁵N, δ¹³C) and L. balthica condition index suggested that L. balthica affected the sediment nutrient supply and enriched the plants with nutrients. Overall, Chapter III showed that infauna, common in aquatic plant meadows, can change aquatic plant trait-productivity relationships and thus arguably the drivers for submerged aquatic plant community growth. Findings of this thesis can be applied to a variety of other temperate submerged aquatic plant communities. Targeted research questions could contribute to further understanding of submerged aquatic plant ecosystem ecology, including the ecology of monocultures. This thesis summary suggests updating the current description of context-dependent seagrass biomass responses to sediment nutrient enrichment. It proposes a model which, once tested, would help to improve predictive modelling for submerged aquatic plant biomass responses to future change. Also, results of this thesis contribute towards increasing effectiveness of future management by providing insights to infauna effects on plant functioning. This is beneficial to current restoration development because infauna additions to submerged aquatic plant meadows are an option for increasing seagrass restoration success and seagrass resilience to future change. This thesis identifies that there is requirement for further research in seagrass meadows which form dense root-rhizome mattes, and it describes potential options for future research. It also recommends isotope-tracing experiments and compound-specific isotope tracing experiments to better understand mechanisms of nutrient exchange between infauna and temperate submerged aquatic plants. It has empirically shown current limitations of global plant trait syntheses and it identifies constructive steps forward to improve the global perspective of plant trait ecology. Finally, this thesis advocates the value of insights gained from data-rich functional diversity experiments and plant functional trait experiments. To conclude, this thesis has improved the collective understanding of temperate aquatic plant ecosystem functioning.
  • Toivakainen, Niklas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis is an essayistic exploration into human self-alienation, into the split or strife between the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’, or ‘mind’ and ‘body’. Its central aim is to open up a perspective on the problem of the life of the mind, a perspective that suggests a shift in the understanding of this problem form a purely epistemological-ontological (or structural) to a radically moral-existential one. The thesis begins with a certain idea of the mind-body problem, which is in turn identified as confused and unclear, but out of which a certain general logic and dynamic is distilled. It then moves on to analyse this logic and dynamic and develops a specific perspective on or understanding of it. Perhaps one might say that the ‘truth’ of the perspective that is opened up lies in the way in which it is able to guide us to a radically moral-existential horizon without losing touch with the general logic and dynamics from which it sets out. One of the central claims that the thesis makes, through the perspective it attempts to open up, is that the ‘inner-outer’ split, or human self-alienation, concerns a moral-existential displacement of desire, and more specifically, a displaced desire for (social) affirmation. The rationale of this temptation or urge to displace desire, it is argued, lies in the way in which (social) affirmation phantasmatically manage to secure a (displaced or split) desire from the other. Moreover, it is in and in relation to this logic and dynamic of desire and affirmation that the ‘body’ or the ‘outer’ enters the picture and is identified as announcing itself as the object and instrument of displaced desire. ‘Body’ is disassociated form the soul or the ‘inner’ and its desire, or, alternatively, (mis)identified with it, and thus seen as somehow the cause of the ‘mind-body strife’, or, alternatively, seen as that which somehow necessarily veils the ‘real of the soul’. The narrative of the thesis is structured along the following lines. It begins by identifying the contemporary naturalist ‘mind-body problem’. Distilling or deciphering out of this, so it is argued, confused problem a general logic and dynamic, the thesis moves on to discuss Francis Bacon’s, and more importantly, René Descartes’ epistemological outlook and mind-body dualism. Here the discussion centrally revolves around how Bacon’s and Descartes’ mind-body dualism and the associated mind-body strife binds together epistemology with ethics; their claim that the mind-body strife essentially concerns a ‘problem of the will’. This discussion is followed by an extensive reflection on Plato’s dialogue Gorgias. The suggestion is that the Gorgias ties together the different themes and concerns that have emerged in relation to the discussion on the mind-body strife and helps clarify issues that remains obscure in Descartes’ philosophy and, consequently, in contemporary naturalist philosophy of mind. It is also in connection to the reading of Gorgias that one of the central claims of the thesis is developed, namely that the mind-body strife is rooted in a displaced desire for social affirmation. In the final chapter, the central questions and concerns identified throughout the thesis are re-discussed, now with the question of meaning at the epicentre. Drawing on resources identified in both Plato and Wittgenstein, the chapter develops critical perspectives on what is termed the Augustinian-Cartesian picture of the soul and meaning, as well as on Jacques Lacan's theory of (decentred) subjectivity. The final chapter ends with a sketchy account of how the central claims developed in the thesis can be illustrated in terms of ‘examples’.
  • Pärnänen, Pirjo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Our studies focused on using Candida glabrata (C. glabrata) as a model organism to isolate and investigate the role of C. glabrata cell wall proteases as host protein- degrading virulence factors and the inhibition of their action. The cell wall proteins of microbes are in the frontline of first contact with the host cells in oral mucosa. C. glabrata is the second most prominent Candida yeast, and it is commonly found in the normal oral microbial flora causing opportunistic yeast infections, particularly in hospitalized patients. It is considered innately azole- resistant and treatment is more difficult compared to the typical Candida albicans (C. albicans) infections. Azoles are the most commonly used antifungal agents used in candidosis. There is an urgent need of development of topical antimicrobial agents, and wild berries such as lingonberry, have been increasingly studied. Lingonberries are known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anticancerous properties and are considered beneficial to health. To this background we studied in vitro and in vivo the effects of a patented, fermented lingonberry juice (Lingora®, from now on abbreviated as FLJ). It was specially developed to be used as a mouthwash on C. glabrata and other typical microbes of the oral flora related to yeast infections and caries. Our primary goal was to isolate, identify and characterize C. glabrata cell wall proteases with biochemical methods: enzymatic treatment of C. glabrata cells, MDPF-zymography, SDS-PAGE, 2D-PAGE and LC-MS/MS. These methods may be used to isolate and identify novel Candida cell wall proteases enabling their further characterization and inhibition studies. Further in vitro studies were conducted on the effect of FLJ on intracellular protein expression of C. glabrata with the 2D-DIGE method. The proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS. The inhibition of proliferation and invasion of two aggressive oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) lines (HSC-3, SCC-25) with FLJ and curcumin were measured in vitro by colorimetric ELISA and three- dimensional Myogel spheroid assay. Finally, we conducted a clinical pilot study including oral examinations, microbial cultivations and measurements of active MMP-8 concentrations using PerioSafe® point-of-care test. FLJ was used as a mouthwash to see if it has also in vivo effects on three microbes of the oral microbiota. From the C. glabrata cell wall we identified a novel, uncharacterized 25 kDa serine protease, Cwp1.2., with an estimated pI of 7.6 and gelatinolytic activity. This activity was inhibited by PMSF, a known serine protease inhibitor. Certain C. glabrata intracellular protein expressions related to glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative stress and biofilm formation were significantly diminished after treatment with FLJ. These proteins include e.g. heat shock protein and redoxin, which are expressed by C. glabrata when predisposed to stress. Downregulation of these proteins causes C. glabrata cells to be more vulnerable to environmental stress and may cause lower virulence. FLJ showed to inhibit proliferation and invasion of two aggressive OTSCC cell lines similar to curcumin. FLJ is safe, has no known interactions with medications and could be studied to be used as an adjunctive therapy in management of OTSCC. The clinical mouthwash pilot study with FLJ results showed statistically significant reduction in Candida and S. mutans counts. Our in vitro studies also indicate growth inhibitory effect on the most common periodontitis- related bacteria. Bleeding on probing (BOP), visible plaque index (VPI) and trend of active matrix metalloprotease-8 (aMMP-8) values were also reduced during the FLJ mouthwash period. Lactobacilli counts increased during the mouthwash period. Although lactobacilli are thought to be related to caries the clinical parameters and clinical outcome indicate a balancing effect on the oral microbial flora from a dysbiotic to a symbiotic direction. This diminished microbial related inflammatory burden should be studied further in context with broader positive general health effects. The results show several beneficial aspects of FLJ in the oral environment. The methodology used in these studies might be applicable to other oral microbes in developing novel antimicrobial agents related to cell wall proteases of Candida. Combined in vitro and in vivo studies showed effects of FLJ on C. glabrata intracellular proteins, host cell derived proteins including anti-inflammatory effects, tongue carcinoma cells and oral microbiota.
  • Manderoos, Sirpa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The capacity of agility has been extensively studied in sport-specific contexts. Thus, there is a great need for understanding possible explanatory factors determining the capacity of agility and the meaning of agility in physical functioning in middle-aged and older people. The Agility Test for Adults (ATA) has been developed to assess the capacity of agility more comprehensively than previously used agility tests do. The main aims of this study were to evaluate 1) the test-retest reliability of the ATA and to quantify a clinically meaningful change (MDC95), 2) the determinants of agility, 3) the feasibility of the ATA, and 4) the effects of participation in competitive sports in young adulthood or life-long LTPA on the present level of physical functioning. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) was used as a framework to define the measures of physical functioning. The study includes three study cohorts. The first includes healthy untrained adults (n = 52, 25 women and 27 men) who participated in the reliability study. The second study cohort consists of 233 healthy participants (149 women and 84 men). The third includes 100 male former elite athletes (endurance n = 50, power n = 50) and 50 matched controls aged 66 to 91 years. Both objective measures and questionnaires-based data were used. The high reliability scores of the ATA showed that it is stable and reliable in untrained adults. The magnitudes of the values identifying clinically meaningful changes in the ATA were small in both women and men. Jumping length was the main determinant of agility in women and men, whereas jumping height and age were the main determinants of the results of the ATA in a cohort of men aged 66-91 years. Data including elderly men allowed the evaluation of the feasibility of the ATA for people over sixty years old and with a large age distribution. A former elite athletic career interrelated with greater explosive force production of the lower extremities at old age among former elite power athletes, which may partly be explained by participation in competitive power type sports from young age, and not by life-long LTPA. The thesis provides recommendations for a reliable, responsive, and clinically useful measurement method of the ATA suitable for evaluating the capacity of agility in middle-aged and older adults. The ATA seems to be a more sensitive test to reveal physical disorders of a participant than the other commonly used mobility tests. By using responsive measures, it is possible to identify early decline in agility. Our data set also showed that lower limb muscle function measured by a test demanding explosive power plays an important role in maintaining or enhancing the capacity of agility.
  • Kalenius, Aleksi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    One of the fundamental questions of all societies is the possible trade-off between quality of outcomes and equality of opportunity. The question of a possible trade-off between equality of opportunity and level of outcomes has a long history in the sociology of education, and it has been seen as a fundamental question of the field. Economics literature recognises that equality of opportunity is not, unlike equality of outcomes, in a trade-off with quality of outcomes. Rather, inequalities of opportunity generate inefficiency and are thus in a trade-off with the level of outcomes. Here, building on this difference, we make a distinction between outcome trade-off and opportunity trade-off. Equality of opportunity is standardly measured indirectly, taking outcomes associated with circumstances to be due to circumstances and thus an indication of inequality of opportunity. This approach assumes that the circumstances of the individual are independent of the responsibility characteristics. The assumption flows from taking responsibility to be inseparable from individual freedom, whereby an individual should not be held responsible for the direct or indirect consequences of unchosen circumstances. When responsibility is directly linked to individual choice, we may also take any between-types differences in outcomes between groups facing different environments as evidence of the differential effects of those environments. Equality of opportunity is a causal concept, decomposing the outcomes as due to just and unjust causes. Due to the complexity of social phenomena such as intergenerational mobility, well-defined causality is out of reach, yet the concept of opportunity requires counterfactuals and causality. We propose that, rather than abandoning the causal core of the concept of equality of opportunity, or high standards in identifying well-defined causality, complex circumstances should be understood as ill-defined treatments. The area of education reveals interesting tensions because cognitive outcomes cannot be redistributed. It is usually taken to follow that differences in cognitive outcomes that are due to innate ability are not unjust, even though this means making individuals effectively responsible for something beyond their choice or control – their innate ability. This is what makes the opportunity trade-off possible. It arises because individuals in different circumstances may differ by innate ability. To bridge the gap between responsibility linked to freedom and learning outcomes linked to innate ability, we propose a typology of responsibility characteristics to allow for a more explicit recognition of the reasons for holding individuals responsible for causes beyond their control. The core concept introduced is natural responsibility characteristic, referring to a cause that individuals are held responsible for, but beyond the influence of persons individually or collectively. This makes natural responsibility characteristics historically contingent rules of regulation that depend on the level of technology, broadly construed. The two hypotheses on the causes of the association between background circumstances and cognitive outcomes emphasise ability and opportunity. The opportunity hypothesis takes outcome differences associated with circumstances as being due to the opportunities that different groups face, while the ability hypothesis takes differences to arise from between-group differences in innate ability. Both innate ability and opportunity can be observed only indirectly, but the opportunity hypothesis predicts that the between-type difference is minimised with high outcomes, while the ability hypothesis leads us to expect that equality of opportunity and the level of outcomes form a trade-off. The two perspectives can be combined in an ability-opportunity curve, the peak of which depends on the contribution of innate ability differences to between-group differences in outcomes. The causal chain between genetics and cognitive outcomes is insufficiently understood to provide clarity to the role of genes in explaining between-group differences in cognitive outcomes. While all researched human traits are heritable and we find an association between genetics and outcomes, unobservable associations between environment and genetics currently prevent well-defined identification of the causal contribution of genetics to between-group differences. The empirical sections of the work approach the question of equality of learning opportunity and the level of learning outcomes using IALS and PIAAC, two studies of adult skills. The ability-opportunity curve is approached, observing the association between equality of opportunity and the level of learning outcomes for different parental education types. The results indicate a positive association between equality of learning opportunity and the level of adult skills for all parental education types, matching the prediction of the opportunity hypothesis. While high proficiency can be achieved with high levels of equality of opportunity, the two usually go together. The positive association between equality of opportunity and the level of learning outcomes is stronger for lower parental education types and on longer time frames. The longer-term equality of opportunity is a strong predictor of the level of learning outcomes even in the short term. Equality of outcomes, here captured by income inequality, explains much of the same variation as equality of opportunity, supporting the opportunity-equalising effects of income equality attested to by the Great Gatsby curve. Longer-term equality indicators also predict learning outcomes of the high parental education type over time to the same degree as contemporary equality indicators, implying that equality indicators may provide advance warning of the direction of the evolution of learning outcomes. The results imply that developed countries still find themselves on the upward-sloping section of the ability-opportunity curve. In the analysis of possible traces of education reforms in between-cohort differences in equality of opportunity, IALS and PIAAC paint a largely concordant picture of the evolution of proficiency across cohorts. The pattern applies to the youngest groups of IALS, implying that cohort discontinuities in adulthood may be associated with differences in educational experiences in youth and with policy reforms. Comparing the timing of the observed discontinuities with the timing of education policy reforms, we identify 29 discontinuities that can be associated with notable changes in education policy. Reforms towards longer education and more comprehensive schooling seem mainly to be associated with improved equality of learning opportunity, while in some countries similar reforms in the 1990s seem to be associated with declining equality of opportunity. A brief, slightly more in-depth, look at Finland reveals a large increase in inequality in the 1990s, which broadly matches other data sources. The observation is of interest for several reasons. It would, if the results of our analyses are anything to go by, predict a later decline in learning outcomes, something that Finland has famously observed over the last 13-25 years. In addition, many of the internationally-known characteristics of the Finnish education system have been linked to the reforms of the 1990s and those reforms have been used to explain the rise of Finland to international fame and to the position of a global benchmark. The timing of the increase in inequality matches these reforms. The results suggest that the causes of Finnish success might have been misidentified and that we may have, both nationally and internationally, learnt the wrong lessons from Finland. Keywords: equality of opportunity, learning outcomes, large-scale survey, adult skills, education policy
  • Rodionov, Andrei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition and consequent loss of motor control remains one of the main causes of disability. Motor recovery after SCI depends on the amount of spared and restored neural connections in the spinal cord. Most SCIs are incomplete and even neurologically complete injuries possess some spared neural connections. Damaged motor pathways can be reactivated by external stimulation. However, current treatment approaches are mainly palliative, such as assisting adaptation to impairments. Thus, there is a need for novel therapies to induce neuroplasticity in the spinal cord and strengthen weak and disrupted neural connections. In this thesis, paired associative stimulation (PAS) was applied as a long-term treatment for chronic incomplete SCI of traumatic origin. PAS is a non-invasive neuromodulation paradigm where descending volleys induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex are timed to coincide with antidromic volleys elicited by peripheral nerve electrical stimulation (PNS). The stimulation protocol was designed to coincide TMS- and PNS-induced volleys at the cortico-motoneuronal synapses in the spinal cord. Continuous pairing of TMS and PNS stimuli can change synaptic efficacy and produce long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity in the corticospinal tract. Augmentation of synaptic strength at the spinal level has clear therapeutic value for SCI, as it can enhance motor control over paralyzed muscles. The aim of the thesis was to investigate the possible therapeutic effects of long-term PAS on hand and leg motor function in individuals with chronic incomplete SCI of traumatic origin. Study I explored long-term PAS therapeutic potential by providing long-term PAS until full recovery of hand muscle strength or until improvements ceased. The PAS protocol was designed to coincide TMS- and PNS-induced volleys in the cervical spinal cord, which is both the location of the stimulated lower motor neuron cell bodies and the site of the injury. Improvements up to normal values of hand muscle strength (Manual Muscle Test [MMT]) and increased amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were obtained after more than 1-year stimulation in a participant with SCI. The participant regained almost complete self-care of the upper body. This was the first demonstration of restoring normal strength and range of movement of individual hand muscles by means of long-term PAS. The effect persisted over 6 months of follow up. Study II probed the effects of long-term PAS on leg muscle strength and walking in a group of five people with SCI. The PAS protocol was designed to coincide TMS- and PNS-induced volleys in the lumbar spinal cord but the site of the injury was in the cervical spinal cord. Long-term PAS delivered for 2 months significantly increased the total lower limb MMT score. This effect was stable over a 1-month follow up. Walking speed increased after 2 months of PAS in all participants. This study was the first demonstration that long-term PAS may significantly increase leg muscle strength and affect walking. The MMT score prior to the intervention was a good predictor of changes in walking speed. Study III developed a novel technique that enables probing neural excitability at the cervical spinal level by utilizing focal magnetic coil and anatomy-specific models for re-positioning of the coil. The technique enabled recording of highly reproducible MEPs and was suitable for accurate maintenance and retrieval of the focal coil position at the cervical level. In summary, this thesis contributes to the understanding of therapeutic efficacy of long-term PAS for restoration of motor control over hand and leg muscles after chronic SCI. This work challenges the view that chronic SCI is an irreversible pathologic condition and demonstrates the possibility of restoring neurological function many years postinjury when spontaneous recovery is extremely rare. The increased amplitude of MEPs, sustainable motor improvements, and the effects observed regardless of injury location indicate that PAS induces stable changes in the corticospinal pathways.
  • Kormacheva, Daria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis addresses the topic of collocations and their behavior based on Russian language data. In the course of four articles, I develop a better understanding of collocations that is based on a corpus-driven approach. Collocations are defined as statistically significant co-occurrences of tokens or lexemes within a syntactic phrase that are extracted by statistics-based automatic analysis tools and are restricted to various extents: from semantically not-idiomatic to full idioms. In the article “Evaluation of collocation extraction methods for the Russian language” (2017), my co-authors and I discuss of the methods used to extract statistical collocations and provide results pertaining to the comparison of five metrics for extracting statistics-based collocations as well as the raw frequency. First, this research has demonstrated that the results of the discussed metrics are often correlated and, second, that the degree of idiomaticity of the extracted units varies significantly. In “What do we get from extracting collocations? Linguistic analysis of automatically obtained Russian MWEs” (2015), I offer a comparison of the empirical and phraseological perspectives on collocations and introduce research where I attempt to position empirical collocations within the scope of a phraseological theory. This research demonstrates that empirical collocations have different tendencies to form idiomatic lexical units and I reveal the shortcomings of describing the idiomaticity of expressions in terms of strict classes. In “Choosing between lexeme vs. token in Russian collocations” (2019), I examine grammatical profiling as a method used to define the optimal level of representation for collocations. I have demonstrated that collocations have different distributional preferences across the corpus. I have also analyzed the relationship between token and lexeme collocations based on the degree to which their grammatical profiles resemble the grammatical profiles of their headwords (although the border between the two types is not clear-cut). I also offered a plausible method of differentiating between these two collocation types. Finally, in “Constructional generalization over Russian collocations” (2016) my co-authors and I present the main concepts of Construction Grammar and introduce the research where a substantial number of automatically extracted collocations were demonstrated to form clusters of words that belong to the same semantic class, even when they are not idiomatic. Such constructional generalizations have shown that there is a more abstract level on which collocations can be stable as a class rather than on the level of single collocations.
  • Myllykangas, Jukka-Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming. In aquatic systems, microbes in anoxic sediments are the main methane producers. However, due to effective oxidative filters in the sediments and the water column, most of the methane produced does not end up in the atmosphere. This study explores methane dynamics in the Baltic Sea from the open sea, to estuaries and specific microbial processes. Major inflow cycles control methane dynamics in the open Baltic by bringing oxygen to the deep basins, where methane typically accumulates in large amounts during stagnation. The introduction of oxygen during a major inflow in 2014–2015 caused the disappearance of methane from the deep basins due to a combination of oxidation and displacement. However, the effects of the inflow were short-lived and methane started accumulating again in less than a year after the inflow. The coastal areas were more dynamic, and the primary source of methane varied with distance offshore. Near the river mouth of the studied estuarine system, methane brought in by the river was the most important source, whereas further offshore sedimentary methanogenesis fuelled by a legacy of eutrophication was the primary source. Atmospheric fluxes of methane were highest near the river mouth and decreased seawards, while bathymetry was the main control of sedimentary fluxes. Seasonality had a strong effect on methane dynamics, with methane concentrations generally increasing towards winter. However, as in the open Baltic, displacement also played a role at times, removing large amounts of methane at a time. While aerobic methane oxidation in the water column was the primary sink offshore, in the coastal areas anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was by far the most important sink. Offshore, sulphate mediated AOM is expected to be the most important type of AOM. However in this study, metal mediated AOM was an equally important sink in the sediments. Both rates of AOM, and microbial community abundances, were highest below the main sulfidic zone in the sediment, pointing towards non-sulphate AOM pathways. Overall, eutrophication has had a large impact on methane dynam ics in the Baltic Sea. The legacy of past eutrophication fuels methanogenesis in the coastal areas to this day, despite reductions in nutrient and organic matter input from land, leading to enhanced atmospheric flux of methane. In the future, climate change will likely exacerbate methane emissions from the Baltic Sea.