The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival opens

first_imgBy raising the festival flag Libertas with verses Hymns of freedom July 10 at 21:00 in front of the church of St. Vlaho, the 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be officially opened, which will be traditionally held from July 10 to August 25 this year as well. In 47 days, at almost twenty ambient locations, more than 2.000 artists from all over the world will perform more than 60.000 drama, music, ballet, folklore and other programs in front of an international audience of 70 domestic and foreign visitors.Two titles await the festival audience in the premiere drama program. Cafeteria Carlo Goldoni, translated and adapted by Fran Čale, is one of the legendary plays of the golden age of the Games, directed by Tomislav Radić and played for a full ten years on Gundulićeva Poljana. At the 67th Games, director Vinko Brešan will have his Cafeteria, also in translation and adaptation by Fran Čale, set in front of Sponza as a comedy with singing and dancing in which his faithful collaborator is Mate Matišić who signs songs. The playwright is Mira Muhoberac, the set designer is Marin Gozze, the costume designer is Doris Kristić, and the choreographer is Anamarija Bogdanović. Fran’s coffee maker will be played by Nikša Butjer, and Mr. Lukša by Pierre Meničanin. The celebration of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare is joined by the Dubrovnik Summer Festival with the installation of Othella translated by Vladimir Gerić and directed by Ivica Boban. At the Lovrjenac Fortress, Othella will play the national champion of the HNK Drama in Zagreb, Dragan Despot, Jaga Rakan Rushaidat, and Desdemona Anja Đurinović. The premiere is on August 20th.”Othello on Lovrjenac will deal with a motif that seems very current to me, he will deal with the emergence of manipulators, the manipulators of today. These are the ones who seem cute, little angels, but they will find ways to take power and destroy the one next to them. It’s Jago and there’s no such character anywhere else in Shakespeare. Because Othello on Lovrjenac. Jago destroys the nobility, the beauty, the value that Othello offers. ” pointed out Mani Gotovac, assistant intendant for the drama and accompanying program.In addition to the regular drama, music and ballet program, the festival audience will be able to enjoy the rich dance and music of Croatian folklore heritage performed by the Folklore Ensemble Linđo from Dubrovnik, which will hold regular ceremonies in front of the church of St. Vlaho and thus celebrate fifty years of performing at the Games, and the most prestigious Croatian ensemble LADO. Film screenings realized in cooperation with the Pula Film Festival will take place in the Jadran and Slavica summer cinemas, while the atrium of the Sponza and Lazareti palaces will be turned into gallery spaces for art and photography exhibitions by José Cura, Tihomir Lončar, Jagoda Buić and Mare Bratoš and Dejan Stokić. A monograph by Ivo Dulčić, author Igor Zidić, will also be presented Pava Urban’s war diary editor Dubravka Vrgoč. Contemporary performance practices are also brought to the festival audience by the BADco art collective. Project Stranac it premiered in June 2015 as part of the Perforation Festival, and at the 67th Games it will be performed on the Revelin terrace.”On behalf of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, I would like to thank all the financiers and sponsors who have recognized the value of our program. These are primarily the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia osiguranje, HEP, Kraš, Croatia Airlines and many others. Thanks also to all citizens, all Dubrovnik hotel houses and city institutions that help us realize programs with their resources. And not only in Dubrovnik, but also in Zagreb. Without the wholehearted help of the Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Zagreb Puppet Theater and the Zagreb Youth Theater, where rehearsals for our performances took place throughout June. Therefore, thank you to them in Zagreb who understand what we are doing and support us“Are the words with which the conference was concluded by the attorney of the director of the Games, Paulina Njirić.Program of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival 10.07-25.08.2016.Drama program In the drama program, the audience can expect reruns Dubrovnik trilogies Ivo Vojnović, directed by Stasa Zurovac, as well as several dramatic guest appearances. A contemporary play comes from the Zagreb Youth Theater #radninaslovantigona Argentine author team of Jazmina Sequeira and Luciano Delprato, directed by Renata Carola Gatica, which represents a plot in the city of Thebes, shaken by a terrorist attack, and in it a young and rebellious internet activist Antigone, determined to expose the conspiracy behind the tragedy. The play premiered in April 2015, and at the 30th Gavella Evenings it was awarded Best Director. Molièrov arrives from the Gavella City Drama Theater An imaginary patient, comedy-ballet in three acts, directed by Krešimir Dolenčić, premiered in September 2015. Sophocles Antigone – 2000 years later directed by Lenka Udovicki, produced by the Ulysses Theater and the MESS Sarajevo Festival, is a play that tries to draw a parallel between Sophocles’ heroine and our space, twenty years after the war, and premiered in August 2015 in Mali. Brijuni. Professor and director Mira Muhoberac with students from the University of Zagreb set Dunda Maroja as he imagines that Držić himself could have originally shown it in 1551 in the City Hall of the Republic of Dubrovnik. Two performances are in the Art School Park.Ballet lovers For ballet lovers, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in co-production with the Slovenian National Theater from Maribor is preparing a ballet diptych Prelude for the afternoon of a fauna Claude Debussy choreographed by Edward Clug, which will also be the premiere of this ten-minute piece, and Carmen Rodion Ščedrin, choreographed by Valentina Turcu, who will be performed on the island of Lokrum, accompanied by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Simon Krečič. Contemporary dance will be presented by the Zagreb Dance Ensemble with the work of renowned Spanish choreographer and dancer Daniel Abreu Anything, performed by six dancers. The guest performance was realized through the Dance Network of Croatia. Lokrum will also be the place where, within the program Writers at the Games, through two author’s evenings Milana Vuković Runjić and Daniel Rafaelić to tell a hitherto untold story Maximilian and Carlotta on Lokrum about the unhappy and brave Archduke, his restless and sensitive wife, and the dreams they had on that island. An evening of poetry by Igor Zidić A summer night’s dream will be held accompanied by a lute in the newly renovated church of St. Stephen in Pustijerna, and the author’s evening of the versatile artist – playwright, screenwriter, composer and musician – Mate Matišić will be seen in the Rector’s Palace. Within the same program, Mani Gotovac will be shown in stage adaptation and adaptation Preface, guitar and 7 pages from the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by GG Márquez.Music program Right at the beginning of the 67th Games, the music program opens with a big name – tenor José Cura – whom critics often called the “fourth tenor” alluding to the famous Three tenors, who will perform as a conductor and singer at the Opening Ceremony, directed by Ivan Miladinov, and the day after, on July 11, in front of the Church of St. At the gala concert, Vlaho performed the most beautiful arias with soprano Linda Ballova and the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Mladen Tarbuk. The rich music program, which includes more than twenty concerts, is dominated by piano recitals with the most distinguished domestic and foreign pianists of all generations. Ivo Pogorelić, Philippe Entremont, Michele Campanella and young Andrew Tyson and Aljoša Jurinić will hold recitals in the atrium of the Rector’s Palace. In addition to the evening dedicated to his father Arsen Dedić, Matija Dedić will perform with Matej Meštrović and the famous Turkish pianist, composer and pedagogue Hakan Ali Toker in front of the Palace at a concert called Four seasons for three pianos. It will also be the world premiere, as the name suggests, of a cover of Vivaldi’s seasons for three pianos signed by Matej Meštrović, which is also a rare opportunity to see three pianos on stage. World-renowned violinist and concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra Roman Simović will perform with pianist Ratimir Martinović, and violinist Davide Alogna with pianist Alexander Frey. Among the chamber concerts, the performances of the Nordic Chamber Orchestra with Radovan Vlatković, one of the world’s greatest cornists, and the performance of the Vienna Philharmonic Ensemble stand out. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will play in Dvor for two evenings with renowned conductors Amos Talmon and Ertug Korkmaz and soloists: clarinetist Marija Pavlović, bassoonist Pieter Nuytten, violinist Stephen Waarts and cellist Jelena Očić. It will be premiered at a concert in August dedicated to the late maestro Ivo Dražinić. Symphony composer Fran Đurović, and the 67th Games will be closed by the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ivo Lipanović, with mezzo-soprano Dubravka Šeparović Mušović, soprano Valentina Fijačko and last year’s winners of the Orlando Henschel Quartet.Towards the future Thinking about the future of the festival and wanting to promote young artists, the Games devised a new program called Towards the future which includes six concerts at which the audience will be introduced to the laureates of prestigious international competitions. American pianist Andrew Tyson can boast of prizes from the Competition Queen Elisabeth i Géza Anda in Zurich. Violinist Stephen Waarts is also a laureate of the competition Queen Elisabeth te Menuhin competition in 2014 while Russian pianist Andrei Gugnin in 2014 won first prize at the International Competition Valsesia in Italy and Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna in 2013. Ukrainian violinist Alexey Semenenko won second prize in the competition last year Queen Elisabeth, and will perform at the Games with pianist Inna Firsova. Russian pianist Yury Favorin has won awards at competitions Olivier Messiaen in France, the Austrian Foundation Gyorgy Cziffra i Nikolai Rubinstein competition for young pianists, and is also a laureate of the competition Queen Elisabeth in Brussels. The program of young music stars would not be complete without the Croatian representative Aljoša Jurinić, a finalist of the 17th International Piano Competition Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw in 2015 and this year’s winner of the competition Queen Elisabeth. A novelty in the program is getting out of the city walls and discovering forgotten places throughout the county. Thus, the great Mexican pianist and conductor Enrique Bátiz will hold a piano recital at the Franciscan Monastery of St. Vlaho in Pridvorje, and the Henschel Quartet will perform in the Pinakothek of the Church of St. Nikola in Cavtat.last_img read more

The Rijeka Nautic Show docks on the Rijeka waterfront

first_imgThe Port of Rijeka will host another edition from September 23rd to 25th Rijeka Nautic Showa.This nautical fair is based on the long tradition of Rijeka’s fair activities and since its beginnings in 2013 it has quickly become an important meeting place for all lovers of sea and sailing, boaters, sailors, sports and recreational fishermen, divers, people who like to sail and spend time. at sea and by the sea. With a rich accompanying program, the fair announced the participation of more than fifty exhibitors who will present a selection of vessels, marine engines and equipment from world manufacturers, and the fair will be attended by about thirty innovators from the nautical sector.”A rich accompanying program awaits you: exhibitions of innovation and technical creativity, sailing regatta, entertainment and a diverse tourist offer. This year we are also hosting an attractive sport fishing competition BIG OM – BIG Game Fishing”Announced the organizers of the fourth Rijeka Nautic Show.There are only a few days left during which you can take advantage of early check-in:, and more information can be found on the official web sitelast_img read more

Croatia – The Land of Nikola Tesla

first_imgThis Saturday 15.4. on Cvjetni Square in Zagreb, starting at 9:00 am, an event entitled “Croatia: The Land of Nikola Tesla” will be held as part of the initiative of the company EVA BLUE from Zagreb. The company EVA Blue from Zagreb, with its partner Hep, is organizing this event with the aim of promoting and implementing knowledge, innovation and new technologies, especially in the field of e-mobility and renewable energy sources. Citizens and visitors will be able to see and try out various electric vehicles, from Tesla, electric bicycles and scooters and other innovative solutions in e-mobility, while the youngest will get acquainted with electric vehicles for the first time through fun and educational activities.The initiative was launched with the aim of promoting and implementing knowledge, innovation and new technologies, especially in the field of e-mobility and renewable energy sources. We wish, said the company’s director Tina Kolovrat, together with partners such as HEP, to enable new ideas and solutions to be more easily implemented in the Croatian social, media and economic space through this initiative. Citizens and visitors will be able to see and try out various e-vehicles, from Tesla, e-bikes and e-scooters and other innovative solutions in e-mobility, while the youngest will get acquainted with e-vehicles for the first time through fun-educational activities.Today, the name Nikola Tesla is synonymous with progress, knowledge and new technologies around the world. Our partner HEP, who was the first in Croatia to recognize the European trend of introducing determinants of sustainable development in the energy and transport sectors, is always associated with these values, which is why he was awarded the title of Ambassador of Alternative Fuels at the end of 2016.Without infrastructure, there is no development of e-mobilityHEP has so far put into operation 36 public ELEN filling stations in Croatia in cooperation with cities and interested partners, and plans to establish a network of filling stations along the most important Croatian roads with co-financing from European Union funds. The goal is to double the existing number of ELEN filling stations in the next year. Without infrastructure, there is no development of e-mobility, ie increasing the number of e-vehicles for private and business purposes. These and similar projects aim to join the recent world events in the field of electromobility, reduction of harmful gases, traffic safety, infrastructure development and strengthening the tourist, technological and energy potentials of the Republic of Croatia, adds Kolovrat.There are several companies in America that bear his name, and the most important is Tesla Motors, the manufacturer of electric vehicles Tesla, which is most responsible for the great popularization of Tesla’s character and work. Highlighting positive examples will stimulate a wave of optimism and interest in action among young people. Tesla’s name should be used in the branding of our country abroad, Kolovrat points out, whose projects “Croatia – Nikola Tesla’s Country” and “Nikola Tesla EV Rally Croatia 2017” are the most beautiful and quietest rally that takes place for the fourth year in a row. The rally serves as a platform for the promotion of e-mobility, renewable energy sources and green technologies in Croatia and abroad.Related news: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND QUIETEST RALLY IN THE WORLD NIKOLA TESLA EV RALLY CROATIA 2017last_img read more

Teaching vocab to kids early may lead to better academics, behavior

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Share on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterestcenter_img Email Two-year-old children with larger oral vocabularies enter U.S. kindergarten classrooms better at reading and mathematics as well as better behaved, according to a team of researchers lead by Paul Morgan, associate professor of education policy studies, Penn State.Other research has found that children who are doing better academically in kindergarten are more likely to go to college, get married, own homes and live in higher-income households.“Our findings provide compelling evidence for oral vocabulary’s theorized importance as a multifaceted contributor to children’s early development,” Morgan said. Morgan, who worked with researchers at Penn State, the University of California, Irvine, and Columbia University, examined data from parental surveys reporting on the size of their children’s vocabularies at two years of age. The researchers found that vocabulary gaps between groups of U.S. children were already evident by this early time period. Females, those from more economically advantaged families, and those receiving higher quality parenting had larger oral vocabularies. Children born with low birth weight or who were being raised by mothers with health problems had smaller vocabularies.When Morgan and his colleagues looked at how the children were doing three years later in kindergarten, they found that children with larger vocabularies at two years of age were better readers, knew more about mathematics, were more attentive and task persistent, and were less likely to engage in acting out- or anxious-type behaviors. This was the case even after adjusting for the family’s economic resources, the children’s prior cognitive functioning and behavior, and many other factors.The research appears in the latest edition of Child Development and supports prior studies showing that vocabulary differences emerge very early during children’s development and help to explain later differences in how children are doing in school. The study’s findings underscore the importance of early intervention.“Our findings are also consistent with prior work suggesting that parents who are stressed, overburdened, less engaged and who experience less social support may talk, read, or otherwise interact with their children less frequently, resulting in their children acquiring smaller oral vocabularies,” Morgan explained.“Interventions may need to be targeted to two-year-olds being raised in disadvantaged home environments,” Morgan’s colleague George Farkas, professor of education at the University of California, Irvine, said, adding that home visitation programs that provide assistance to disadvantaged, first-time mothers before and after childbirth may help clarify the role parents play by connecting them to various social services and support systems.last_img read more

Study finds fair trade logo boosts consumer’s willingness to pay

first_imgShare on Twitter Share Critically, the emblem influences subjective evaluations of products, as researchers at the Center for Economics and Neuroscience at the University of Bonn demonstrated in their latest study: While test subjects lay in a brain scanner, they bid on various food products. Each of these products was available in two versions – Fair Trade or conventionally produced. The results were clear: On average, participants were willing to pay around 30 percent more for products produced according to Fair Trade standards, compared to their conventionally produced counterparts.Logo activates brain’s reward systemAs the study was conducted in a brain scanner at the LIFE&BRAIN Center in Bonn, researchers could also show that products labeled with this emblem led to increased activity in specific brain regions: For example, they observed increased activation in regions important for reward processing as well as frontal regions that process abstract product attributes (e.g. whether or not a product carries a Fair Trade logo, and the meaning of such a label).Part of the frontal lobe ultimately calculates the willingness to pay in an area known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, (vmPFC), which refers to the area’s location. “The higher the activity in the vmPFC, the more money subjects were willing to pay,” explains Prof. Dr. Bernd Weber, neuroscientist at the University of Bonn. The scanner data suggests that the vmPFC integrates information from other brain areas and uses this information to calculate an overall value. Based on information from various regions, it reaches a decision: Would I pay 50 cents for the Fair Frade banana? Or just 30 cents?Fair Trade products taste betterThe Fair Trade logo leads to even more widespread effects: the food labeled with Fair Trade logos also tasted better. In a second experiment, participants sampled two pieces of chocolate, declared as coming from either Fair Trade or conventional production. Participants then rated the product’s palatability. The piece of chocolate labeled with a Fair Trade emblem received superior taste evaluations.“Pure imagination,” says the study’s lead author Laura Enax. “Both pieces of chocolate are actually identical.” Share on Facebook LinkedIncenter_img Email Products labeled with a Fair Trade logo cause prospective buyers to dig deeper into their pockets. In an experiment conducted at the University of Bonn, participants were willing to pay on average 30 percent more for ethically produced goods, compared to their conventionally produced counterparts. The neuroscientists analyzed the neural pathways involved in processing products with a Fair Trade emblem. They identified a potential mechanism that explains why Fair Trade products are evaluated more positively. For instance, activity in the brain’s reward center increases and thereby alters willingness to pay computations.The study results have now been published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.A blue-green circle around a stylized figure in black with a raised arm: Since its launch in 2003, the Fair Trade logo has hardly changed. Currently, it is found on a great variety of products, including coffee, bananas, creams, wine bottles and even soccer balls. Pinterestlast_img read more

Can you avoid hangovers after heavy drinking?

first_imgPinterest 789 Canadian students were surveyed about their drinking in the previous month, and questioned about the number of drinks, the timeframe of consumption, and the severity of their hangover. The researchers calculated the estimated Blood Alcohol Concentration in those who experienced hangovers and those who didn’t. In fact, four-fifths (79%) of those who claimed not to experience hangovers had an estimated blood alcohol level of less than 0.10%.According to lead author Dr Joris Verster (Utrecht University);‘We have been working with Canadian and Dutch students on this issue. In general, we found a pretty straight relationship; the more you drink, the more likely you are to get a hangover. The majority of those who in fact reported never having a hangover tended to drink less, perhaps less than they themselves thought would lead to a hangover’.In a further refinement, the group looked at whether eating or drinking water directly after drinking alcohol made you less likely to experience a hangover. They questioned 826 Dutch students on their latest heavy drinking session, and whether they had food or water after the alcohol. 449 students (54.4%) ate after drinking. The students were asked to rate their hangover (from absent to extreme). In fact, hangover severity was not very different between the two groups.As Joris Verster said‘Those who took food or water showed a slight statistical improvement in how they felt over those who didn’t, but this didn’t really translate into a meaningful difference. From what we know from the surveys so far, the only practical way to avoid a hangover is to drink less alcohol’.He added ‘These are early questionnaire-based studies, and are amongst the first of their kind. This means they have limitations, but they do give us an indication of what happens. Our next step is to move forward with more controlled trials’.Commenting for the ECNP, Dr Michael Bloomfield (University College, London) said:“Throughout the world the economic and social costs of alcohol abuse run into hundreds of billions of euros per year. It’s therefore very important to answer simple questions like ‘how do you avoid a hangover?’ Whilst further research is needed, this new research tells us that the answer is simple – ‘drink less’.” LinkedIn Share Share on Facebookcenter_img Share on Twitter Email Are some people immune to hangovers, and can eating or drinking water after heavy drinking prevent a hangover? The answers appear to be ‘no’ and ‘no’ according to new research presented the ECNP conference in Amsterdam.Excessive alcohol consumption has familiar consequences, many of them quite damaging. If a person does not experience a hangover – and 25% to 30% of drinkers regularly claim this – they may be more likely to continue drinking, so good research into the outcomes of drinking to excess is needed.A group of international researchers from the Netherlands and Canada have surveyed drinking habits to see what can be understood about ‘the morning after’.last_img read more

Using humor to help toddlers learn

first_imgShare Email Share on Facebook LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img When Esseily and her colleagues studied their data, they found that the children who laughed at the antics of the adults were able to repeat the action themselves more successfully than those who didn’t laugh, as well as those who were included in the ‘humorless’ control group.Why laughter seems to be related to the toddlers’ ability to learn isn’t entirely clear, but Esseily and her team put forward two possible explanations. The first relates to temperament. “In this case, it is not humor per se that may have facilitated learning,” the authors suggest, “but [that] temperamentally ‘smiley’ babies were more likely to engage with the environment and therefore to attempt and succeed at the task.” It could also be the case that ‘laughing babies’ might have higher social skills or cognitive capacities, allowing them to interact more easily with others and making them more amenable to mimicking the actions of others.The second explanation the authors put forward relates to brain chemistry. It is well known that positive emotions, like laughter or engaging well with an experimenter, can increase dopamine levels in the brain, which in turn has a positive effect on learning. “Thus, the effect observed here might be a general effect due to positive emotion and not to humor or laughter per se,” they note.More research needs to be done into the effect of humor on learning, of course, but parents about to embark on the un-funny business of toilet training might want to keep laughing – no matter what. Pinterest We all know that laughter is the best medicine, but a team of French scientists has discovered that using humor also appears to help toddlers learn new tasks, reports a new study in the journal Cognition and Emotion.Building on the knowledge that making older children laugh can enhance many aspects of cognition, Rana Esseily and her colleagues designed an experiment to see whether using humor could also have an effect on the ability of infants to learn.Each of the 18-month-olds selected to participate in the final part of the study observed an adult using a tool to grab an out-of-reach toy. In one group the adult simply played with the toy after retrieving it; but in the other group, the adult threw the toy immediately on the floor, which made half the children in that group laugh.last_img read more

Sleep may strengthen long-term memories in the immune system

first_imgLinkedIn Studies in humans have shown that long-term increases in memory T cells are associated with deep slow-wave sleep on the nights after vaccination. Taken together, the findings support the view that slow-wave sleep contributes to the formation of long-term memories of abstract, generalized information, which leads to adaptive behavioral and immunological responses. The obvious implication is that sleep deprivation could put your body at risk.“If we didn’t sleep, then the immune system might focus on the wrong parts of the pathogen,” Born says. “For example, many viruses can easily mutate some parts of their proteins to escape from immune responses. If too few antigen-recognizing cells [the cells that present the fragments to T cells] are available, then they might all be needed to fight off the pathogen. In addition to this, there is evidence that the hormones released during sleep benefit the crosstalk between antigen-presenting and antigen-recognizing cells, and some of these important hormones could be lacking without sleep.”Born says that future research should examine what information is selected during sleep for storage in long-term memory, and how this selection is achieved. In the end, this research could have important clinical implications.“In order to design effective vaccines against HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, which are based on immunological memory, the correct memory model must be available,” Born says. “It is our hope that by comparing the concepts of neuronal and immunological memory, a model of immunological memory can be developed which integrates the available experimental data and serves as a helpful basis for vaccine development.” Share Email More than a century ago, scientists demonstrated that sleep supports the retention of memories of facts and events. Later studies have shown that slow-wave sleep, often referred to as deep sleep, is important for transforming fragile, recently formed memories into stable, long-term memories. Now, in an Opinion article published September 29 in Trends in Neurosciences, part of a special issue on Neuroimmunology, researchers propose that deep sleep may also strengthen immunological memories of previously encountered pathogens.“While it has been known for a long time that sleep supports long-term memory formation in the psychological domain, the idea that long-term memory formation is a function of sleep effective in all organismic systems is in our view entirely new,” says senior author Jan Born of the University of Tuebingen. “We consider our approach toward a unifying concept of biological long-term memory formation, in which sleep plays a critical role, a new development in sleep research and memory research.”The immune system “remembers” an encounter with a bacteria or virus by collecting fragments from the bug to create memory T cells, which last for months or years and help the body recognize a previous infection and quickly respond. These memory T cells appear to abstract “gist information” about the pathogens, as only T cells that store information about the tiniest fragments ever elicit a response. The selection of gist information allows memory T cells to detect new pathogens that are similar, but not identical, to previously encountered bacteria or viruses.center_img Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Difficulty processing speech may be an effect of dyslexia — not a cause

first_imgShare Pinterest The cognitive skills used to learn how to ride a bike may be the key to a more accurate understanding of developmental dyslexia. And, they may lead to improved interventions.Carnegie Mellon University scientists investigated how procedural learning – how we acquire skills and habits such as riding a bike – impacts how individuals with dyslexia learn speech sound categories. Published in Cortex, Lori Holt and Yafit Gabay found for the first time that learning complex auditory categories through procedural learning is impaired in dyslexia. This means that difficulty processing speech may be an effect of dyslexia, not its cause.“Most research on the cause of dyslexia has focused on neurological impairments in processing speech sounds that make up words, and how dyslexic individuals have difficulty learning how to map visual letters to those sounds when they are learning to read,” said Holt, professor of psychology in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC). “Our finding that procedural learning is impaired in dyslexia is important because it links observations of procedural learning deficits in dyslexia, which are not language-specific, with the phonological impairments so typical of dyslexia.” To determine procedural learning’s role in processing speech sounds, adults with dyslexia and a control group played a video game. Holt developed the game and previously used it to show that it engages procedural learning of speech and non-speech sounds among listeners who do not have dyslexia.While navigating through a three-dimensional outer space-themed environment, listeners heard novel complex nonspeech “warble” sounds that they had never before encountered. The object of the game was to shoot and capture alien characters. Each of the four visually distinctive aliens was associated with a different sound category defined by multiple, somewhat variable, sounds. As participants moved throughout the game, game play speed increased and encouraged players to rely more on aliens’ sounds to guide navigation.The results showed that the participants with dyslexia were significantly poorer than the control group at learning the sound categories that corresponded with the different aliens and generalizing their learning to new sounds introduced after the game.“Auditory training has already shown promise in remediating phonological and reading skills in dyslexia. Understanding the nature of how procedural learning deficits interact with auditory category learning in dyslexia will direct evidence-based approaches to the next generation of dyslexia interventions,” Holt said. Share on Facebookcenter_img LinkedIn Email Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Study ‘opens gate’ to understanding depression

first_imgLinkedIn Pinterest “Clinicians who treat depression tend to work on a trial-and-error basis, whereas this model could give them a more systematic and effective method for making decisions about treatment,” said Andrea K. Wittenborn, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies and lead investigator on the study. “Most importantly, this model provides a method for personalizing treatment to each unique patient.”Depression is likely caused by multiple biological, psychological, social and environmental drivers, and these factors often overlap, such as cortisol hormone levels going up in response to stress from troubled relationships or economic hardship. Yet most previous research on depression focused on only one or two factors, and not how the many factors intersect and unfold over time.Wittenborn and colleagues analyzed nearly 600 scientific articles on depression and incorporated the major drivers of depression discussed in the research into a complex model that essentially diagrams how one driver affects another. Depression drivers range from sleep problems to social isolation to inflammation of the brain.Study co-author Hazhir Rahmandad, an MIT scholar, is an expert in a process called system dynamics that’s more common to engineering and business. The team used this approach to create a comprehensive model of depression. While future research is needed to further validate the model, it’s a vital first step in better understanding depression and potentially improving care for the illness.Thanks to the findings, therapists or even patients one day could plug depression triggers into a smartphone app and receive a recommendation for the most appropriate treatment.Despite decades of intervention, research and public awareness efforts, depression remains a remarkably destructive public health problem that costs the United States more than $210 billion a year, Wittenborn said. While psychotherapy and antidepressants help some people, response varies widely and only leads to meaningful improvement for about half of patients.“This model opens the gate to understanding depression as it relates to the whole person and all of his or her experiences,” Wittenborn said. “It helps us understand how depression varies by person – because we know depression varies widely across people, and we think that has something to do with why treatment is not always effective.” Share on Twitter A new scientific model that incorporates the myriad drivers of depression could lead to more precise treatment for an illness that affects 350 million worldwide.Developed by scientists at Michigan State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the model provides a better understanding of depression and the foundation for creating a pioneering tool to attack the complex disorder.A paper outlining the research team’s findings is published online in the journal Psychological Medicine.center_img Share on Facebook Share Emaillast_img read more