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Alejandro Agostini, Enric Celaya
Function approximation in online, incremental, reinforcement learning needs to deal with two fundamental problems: biased sampling and nonstationarity. In kinds of tasks, biased sampling occurs because samples are obtained from specific trajectories dictated by the dynamics of the environment and are usually concentrated in particular convergence regions, which in the long term tend to dominate the approximation in the less sampled regions. The nonstationarity comes from the recursive nature of the estimations typical of temporal difference methods...
October 20, 2016: Neural Computation
Wang Kezhu, Xu Pan, Lu Cong, Dong Liming, Zhang Beiyue, Lu Jingwei, Yang Yanyan, Liu Xinmin
Ginsenoside Rg1 is one of the major active ingredients of Panax ginseng and has showed notable improving learning and memory effects in several behavioral tasks, such as water maze, shuttle-box, and step-through, based on avoidance. However, there was no report about the role of Rg1 on the performance of reward-directed instrumental conditioning, which could reflect the adaptive capacity to ever-changing environments. Thus, in this study, the reward devaluation test and conditional visual discrimination task were conducted to study the ameliorating effects of Rg1 on cognitive deficits, especially the loss of adaptation capacity in chronic restraint stress (CRS) rat model...
October 20, 2016: Phytotherapy Research: PTR
Catherine de Blacam, Sean Tierney, Odhran Shelley
BACKGROUND: Surgical training requires exposure to clinical decision-making and operative experience in a supervised environment. It is recognised that learning ability is compromised when fatigued. The European Working Time Directive requires a decrease in working hours, but compliance reduces trainees' clinical exposure, which has profound implications for plastic surgery training. The aim of this study was to evaluate plastic surgery registrars' experience of an EWTD-compliant rota, and to examine its impact on patient care, education, and logbook activity...
October 20, 2016: Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Amy Blake, Bryan T Carroll
OBJECTIVE: This paper analyses how game theory can provide a framework for understanding the strategic decision-making that occurs in everyday scenarios in medical training and practice, and ultimately serves as a tool for improving the work environment and patient care. Game theory has been applied to a variety of fields outside of its native economics, but has not been thoroughly studied in the context of health care provision. METHODS: The paper discusses four of the most common 'games' and applies each to a scenario in medicine to provide new insight on the incentives and drivers for certain types of behaviour and a deeper understanding of why certain results are valued more strongly than others...
November 2016: Medical Education
Joanna Granich, Alena Dass, Margherita Busacca, Dennis Moore, Angelika Anderson, Svetha Venkatesh, Thi Duong, Pratibha Vellanki, Amanda Richdale, David Trembath, Darin Cairns, Wendy Marshall, Tania Rodwell, Madeleine Rayner, Andrew J O Whitehouse
BACKGROUND: Evidence for early intensive behavioural interventions (EIBI) by therapists as an effective treatment for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is growing. High-intensity and sustained delivery of quality EIBI is expensive. The TOBY (Therapy Outcomes by You) Playpad is an App-based platform delivering EIBI to facilitate learning for young children with ASD, while enabling parents to become co-therapists. Intervention targets include increasing joint attention, imitation and communication of children with ASD...
October 19, 2016: BMC Pediatrics
Krisztián A Kovács, Joseph O'Neill, Philipp Schoenenberger, Markku Penttonen, Damaris K Ranguel Guerrero, Jozsef Csicsvari
During hippocampal sharp wave/ripple (SWR) events, previously occurring, sensory input-driven neuronal firing patterns are replayed. Such replay is thought to be important for plasticity-related processes and consolidation of memory traces. It has previously been shown that the electrical stimulation-induced disruption of SWR events interferes with learning in rodents in different experimental paradigms. On the other hand, the cognitive map theory posits that the plastic changes of the firing of hippocampal place cells constitute the electrophysiological counterpart of the spatial learning, observable at the behavioral level...
2016: PloS One
Hideyuki Matsumoto, Ju Tian, Naoshige Uchida, Mitsuko Watabe-Uchida
Dopamine is thought to regulate learning from appetitive and aversive events. Here we examined how optogenetically-identified dopamine neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area of mice respond to aversive events in different conditions. In low reward contexts, most dopamine neurons were exclusively inhibited by aversive events, and expectation reduced dopamine neurons' responses to reward and punishment. When a single odor predicted both reward and punishment, dopamine neurons' responses to that odor reflected the integrated value of both outcomes...
October 19, 2016: ELife
Jasmin Remmes, Carina Bodden, S Helene Richter, Jörg Lesting, Norbert Sachser, Hans-Christian Pape, Thomas Seidenbecher
Behavioral profiles are strongly shaped by an individual's whole life experience. The accumulation of negative experiences over lifetime is thought to promote anxiety-like behavior in adulthood ("allostatic load hypothesis"). In contrast, the "mismatch hypothesis" of psychiatric disease suggests that high levels of anxiety-like behavior are the result of a discrepancy between early and late environment. The aim of the present study was to investigate how different life histories shape the expression of anxiety-like behavior and modulate fear memory...
2016: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Hans Lehrach
Every human is unique. We differ in our genomes, environment, behavior, disease history, and past and current medical treatment-a complex catalog of differences that often leads to variations in the way each of us responds to a particular therapy. We argue here that true personalization of drug therapies will rely on "virtual patient" models based on a detailed characterization of the individual patient by molecular, imaging, and sensor techniques. The models will be based, wherever possible, on the molecular mechanisms of disease processes and drug action but can also expand to hybrid models including statistics/machine learning/artificial intelligence-based elements trained on available data to address therapeutic areas or therapies for which insufficient information on mechanisms is available...
September 2016: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Matthew H Holden, Stephen P Ellner
Despite major advances in quantitative approaches to natural resource management, there has been resistance to using these tools in the actual practice of managing ecological populations. Given a managed system and a set of assumptions, translated into a model, optimization methods can be used to solve for the most cost-effective management actions. However, when the underlying assumptions are not met, such methods can potentially lead to decisions that harm the environment and economy. Managers who develop decisions based on past experience and judgment, without the aid of mathematical models, can potentially learn about the system and develop flexible management strategies...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Deborah Edwards, Sally Anstey, Daniel Kelly, Jessica Ballie, Jane Hopkinson
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore the views of student nurses' and stakeholders of what is important for student nurses to know about cancer treatment and care. BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the number of people living with cancer is increasing because the population is aging and effective cancer treatments are prolonging survival. All nurses need knowledge, skills, confidence and competence to support people living with cancer. Education is an important tool in preparing a nursing workforce that can support people affected by cancer...
October 18, 2016: Journal of Clinical Nursing
Yun Lin, Chao Wang, Jiaxing Wang, Zheng Dou
Cognitive radio sensor networks are one of the kinds of application where cognitive techniques can be adopted and have many potential applications, challenges and future research trends. According to the research surveys, dynamic spectrum access is an important and necessary technology for future cognitive sensor networks. Traditional methods of dynamic spectrum access are based on spectrum holes and they have some drawbacks, such as low accessibility and high interruptibility, which negatively affect the transmission performance of the sensor networks...
October 12, 2016: Sensors
Peter Nilsson
A number of chronic disease conditions tend to cluster in families with an increased risk in first-degree relatives, but also an increased risk in second-degree relatives. This fact is most often referred to as the heritability (heredity) of these diseases and explained by the influence of genetic factors, or shared environment, even if the more specific details or mechanism leading to disease are not known. New methods have to be explored in screening studies and register linkage studies to define and measure consequences of a positive family history of disease...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
Virginia F Randall, Christopher W Foster, Cara H Olsen, Anne B Warwick, Katrina A Fernandez, Gary Crouch
BACKGROUND: Many medical institutions have moved forward with curricular objectives aimed at teaching professionalism, but the question remains: are we teaching the most appropriate content at the most opportune times to maximize sustained learning? The students' point of view of professionalism is helpful in addressing this question. AIM: To describe the views of professionalism held by students and faculty at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences...
October 2016: Military Medicine
Joshua N Hook, David Boan, Don E Davis, Jamie D Aten, John M Ruiz, Thomas Maryon
Hospital safety culture is an integral part of providing high quality care for patients, as well as promoting a safe and healthy environment for healthcare workers. In this article, we explore the extent to which cultural humility, which involves openness to cultural diverse individuals and groups, is related to hospital safety culture. A sample of 2011 hospital employees from four hospitals completed measures of organizational cultural humility and hospital safety culture. Higher perceptions of organizational cultural humility were associated with higher levels of general perceptions of hospital safety, as well as more positive ratings on non-punitive response to error (i...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Kristina Kasparian, Karsten Steinhauer
First language (L1) attrition is a socio-linguistic circumstance where second language (L2) learning coincides with changes in exposure and use of the native-L1. Attriters often report experiencing a decline in automaticity or proficiency in their L1 after a prolonged period in the L2 environment, while their L2 proficiency continues to strengthen. Investigating the neurocognitive correlates of attrition alongside those of late L2 acquisition addresses the question of whether the brain mechanisms underlying both L1 and L2 processing are strongly determined by proficiency, irrespective of whether the language was acquired from birth or in adulthood...
October 14, 2016: Neuropsychologia
David Mathar, Leonora Wilkinson, Anna K Holl, Jane Neumann, Lorenz Deserno, Arno Villringer, Marjan Jahanshahi, Annette Horstmann
Incidental learning of appropriate stimulus-response associations is crucial for optimal functioning within our complex environment. Positive and negative prediction errors (PEs) serve as neural teaching signals within distinct ('direct'/'indirect') dopaminergic pathways to update associations and optimize subsequent behavior. Using a computational reinforcement learning model, we assessed learning from positive and negative PEs on a probabilistic task (Weather Prediction Task - WPT) in three populations that allow different inferences on the role of dopamine (DA) signals: (1) Healthy volunteers that repeatedly underwent [(11)C]raclopride Positron Emission Tomography (PET), allowing for assessment of striatal DA release during learning, (2) Parkinson's disease (PD) patients tested both on and off L-DOPA medication, (3) early Huntington's disease (HD) patients, a disease that is associated with hyper-activation of the 'direct' pathway...
September 19, 2016: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Sari Ylinen, Alexis Bosseler, Katja Junttila, Minna Huotilainen
The ability to predict future events in the environment and learn from them is a fundamental component of adaptive behavior across species. Here we propose that inferring predictions facilitates speech processing and word learning in the early stages of language development. Twelve- and 24-month olds' electrophysiological brain responses to heard syllables are faster and more robust when the preceding word context predicts the ending of a familiar word. For unfamiliar, novel word forms, however, word-expectancy violation generates a prediction error response, the strength of which significantly correlates with children's vocabulary scores at 12 months...
October 16, 2016: Developmental Science
Shikha Jain Goodwin, Derek Dziobek
Ever since video games were available to the general public, they have intrigued brain researchers for many reasons. There is an enormous amount of diversity in the video game research, ranging from types of video games used, the amount of time spent playing video games, the definition of video gamer versus non-gamer to the results obtained after playing video games. In this paper, our goal is to provide a critical discussion of these issues, along with some steps towards generalization using the discussion of an article published by Clemenson and Stark (2005) as the starting point...
September 2016: Postdoc Journal: a Journal of Postdoctoral Research and Postdoctoral Affairs
Mary Thuss, Yolanda Babenko-Mould, Mary-Anne Andrusyszyn, Heather K S Laschinger
The purpose of this study was to explore Rwandan nursing clinical instructors' (CIs) experiences of structural and psychological empowerment. CIs play a vital role in students' development by facilitating learning in health care practice environments. Quality nursing education hinges on the CI's ability to enact a professional role. A descriptive qualitative method was used to obtain an understanding of CIs empowerment experiences in practice settings. Kanter's Theory of Structural Power in Organizations and Spreitzer's Psychological Empowerment Theory were used as theoretical frameworks to interpret experiences...
October 15, 2016: International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship
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