ResearchPad - Human Factors and Ergonomics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Adaptation changes in dynamic postural control and contingent negative variation during repeated transient forward translation in the elderly]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989dab6ab0ee8fa60bad1dd

Background

Adaptation changes in postural control and contingent negative variation (CNV) for the elderly were investigated during repeated forward floor translation.

Methods

Fifteen healthy elderly persons, living in the suburban area of Kanazawa City, Japan, underwent backward postural disturbance by a forward-floor translation (S2) 2 s after an auditory warning signal (S1). A set with 20 trials was repeated until a negative peak of late CNV was recognized in the 600-ms period before S2, and the last set was defined as the final set. Electroencephalograms, center of foot pressure in the anteroposterior direction (CoPap), and electromyograms of postural muscles were analyzed.

Results

CoPap displacement generated by the floor translation was significantly decreased until the twelfth trial in the first set, and mean CoPap displacement was smaller in the second and final sets than in the first set. The mean displacement was significantly smaller in the final set than the previous set. A late CNV with a negative peak was not recognized in the first and second sets. However, most subjects (13/15) showed a negative peak by the fourth set, when the late CNV started to increase negatively from about 1,000 ms after S1 and peaked at about 300 ms before S2. At about 160 ms before the CNV peak, the CoPap forward shift started. The increase in timing of the gastrocnemius activity related to the CoPap shift was significantly correlated with the CNV peak timing (r = 0.64). After S2, peak amplitudes of the anterior postural muscles were significantly decreased in the final set compared to the first set.

Conclusions

It was demonstrated that even for the elderly, with so many repetitions of postural disturbance, a late CNV with a negative peak was recognized, leading to accurate postural preparation. This suggests the improvement of frontal lobe function (e.g., anticipatory attention and motor preparation) in the elderly.

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<![CDATA[Effect of empathy trait on attention to faces: an event-related potential (ERP) study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db1dab0ee8fa60bce8cb

Background

Empathy is deeply linked with the ability to adapt to human social environments. The present study investigated the relationship between the empathy trait and attention elicited by discriminating facial expressions.

Methods

Event-related potentials were measured while 32 participants (17 men and 15 women) discriminated facial expressions (happy or angry) and colors of flowers (yellow or purple) under an oddball paradigm. The empathy trait of participants was measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1980).

Results

The empathy trait correlated positively with both the early portion (300 to 600 ms after stimulus onset) and late portion (600 to 800 ms after stimulus onset) of late positive potential (LPP) amplitude elicited by faces, but not with LPP elicited by flowers.

Conclusions

This result suggests that, compared to people with low empathy, people with high empathy pay more attention when discriminating facial expressions. The present study suggests that differences exist in methods of adapting to social environments between people with high and low empathy.

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<![CDATA[Visual information without thermal energy may induce thermoregulatory-like cardiovascular responses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989daf9ab0ee8fa60bc3e75

Background

Human core body temperature is kept quasi-constant regardless of varying thermal environments. It is well known that physiological thermoregulatory systems are under the control of central and peripheral sensory organs that are sensitive to thermal energy. If these systems wrongly respond to non-thermal stimuli, it may disturb human homeostasis.

Methods

Fifteen participants viewed video images evoking hot or cold impressions in a thermally constant environment. Cardiovascular indices were recorded during the experiments. Correlations between the ‘hot-cold’ impression scores and cardiovascular indices were calculated.

Results

The changes of heart rate, cardiac output, and total peripheral resistance were significantly correlated with the ‘hot-cold’ impression scores, and the tendencies were similar to those in actual thermal environments corresponding to the impressions.

Conclusions

The present results suggest that visual information without any thermal energy can affect physiological thermoregulatory systems at least superficially. To avoid such ‘virtual’ environments disturbing human homeostasis, further study and more attention are needed.

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<![CDATA[Effect of time pressure on attentional shift and anticipatory postural control during unilateral shoulder abduction reactions in an oddball-like paradigm]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989d9edab0ee8fa60b6d0fc

Background

The effect of time pressure on attentional shift and anticipatory postural control was investigated during unilateral shoulder abduction reactions in an oddball-like paradigm.

Methods

A cue signal (S1) - imperative signal (S2) sequence was repeated with various S2-S1 intervals (1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 s). S2 comprised target and non-target stimuli presented at the position (9° to the left or the right) indicated by S1. Right shoulder abduction was performed only in response to target stimuli, which were presented with a 30% probability. The P1, N1, N2, and P3 components of event-related potentials were analyzed, and onset times of postural muscles (electromyographic activity of erector spinae and gluteus medius) were quantified with respect to middle deltoid activation.

Results

There was no significant effect of S2-S1 interval on the latency or amplitude of P1, N1, or N2. The percentage of subjects with bimodal P3 peaks was significantly smaller and the slope of the P3 waveform in the 100 ms after the first peak was significantly steeper with a 1.0-s S2-S1 interval than with a 1.5- or 2.0-s S2-S1 interval. The onset of postural muscle activity was significantly later in the shorter interval conditions.

Conclusions

These results suggest that with a shorter S2-S1 interval, that is, higher time pressure, attention was allocated to hasten the latter part of cognitive processing that may relate to attentional shift from S2 to next S1, which led to insufficient postural preparation associated with arm movement and anticipatory attention directed to S2.

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<![CDATA[Recent topics on the scope of physiological anthropology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989d9f3ab0ee8fa60b6f3c9 ]]> <![CDATA[Difference in effects of cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption on serum non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels is related to mitochondrial DNA 5178 C/A polymorphism in middle-aged Japanese men: a cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da07ab0ee8fa60b763a7

Background

Mitochondrial DNA 5178 cytosine/adenosine (Mt5178 C/A) polymorphism is associated with longevity in the Japanese. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether Mt5178 C/A polymorphism modifies the effects of habitual smoking or habitual drinking on serum non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol levels in middle-aged Japanese men.

Methods

A total of 394 male subjects (age 53.9 ± 7.9 years; mean ± SD) were selected from among individuals visiting the hospital for regular medical check-ups. After Mt5178 C/A genotyping, a cross-sectional study assessing the joint effects of Mt5178 C/A polymorphism and cigarette smoking or alcohol drinking on serum non-HDL cholesterol levels was conducted. High levels of serum non-HDL cholesterol were defined as serum non-HDL cholesterol levels ≥160 mg/dl or ≥190 mg/dl.

Results

For men with Mt5178A, cigarette smoking may increase serum non-HDL cholesterol levels (P for trend < 0.001), as well as the risk of high levels of non-HDL cholesterol (serum non-HDL cholesterol levels ≥160 mg/dl, P for trend < 0.001; serum non-HDL cholesterol levels ≥190 mg/dl, P for trend = 0.004). On the other hand, for men with Mt5178C, after adjusting for age and body mass index, alcohol consumption may decrease serum non-HDL cholesterol levels (P for trend = 0.043) and the risk of high levels of non-HDL cholesterol (serum non-HDL cholesterol level ≥160 mg/dl, P for trend = 0.005).

Conclusions

These gene-environment interactions on serum non-HDL cholesterol levels may contribute to the establishment of individualized prevention of the risk of high levels of serum non-HDL cholesterol.

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<![CDATA[Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da2fab0ee8fa60b83ea5

The purposeful application of fermentation in food and beverage preparation, as a means to provide palatability, nutritional value, preservative, and medicinal properties, is an ancient practice. Fermented foods and beverages continue to make a significant contribution to the overall patterns of traditional dietary practices. As our knowledge of the human microbiome increases, including its connection to mental health (for example, anxiety and depression), it is becoming increasingly clear that there are untold connections between our resident microbes and many aspects of physiology. Of relevance to this research are new findings concerning the ways in which fermentation alters dietary items pre-consumption, and in turn, the ways in which fermentation-enriched chemicals (for example, lactoferrin, bioactive peptides) and newly formed phytochemicals (for example, unique flavonoids) may act upon our own intestinal microbiota profile. Here, we argue that the consumption of fermented foods may be particularly relevant to the emerging research linking traditional dietary practices and positive mental health. The extent to which traditional dietary items may mitigate inflammation and oxidative stress may be controlled, at least to some degree, by microbiota. It is our contention that properly controlled fermentation may often amplify the specific nutrient and phytochemical content of foods, the ultimate value of which may associated with mental health; furthermore, we also argue that the microbes (for example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species) associated with fermented foods may also influence brain health via direct and indirect pathways.

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<![CDATA[Relationship between the percentage of body fat and surrogate indices of fatness in male and female Polish active and sedentary students]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da3fab0ee8fa60b89598

Background

Limited data have indicated that body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist to height ratio (WHtR) of athletes and young adults provide misleading results concerning body fat content. This study was aimed at the evaluation of the relationship between different surrogate indices of fatness (BMI, WC, WHR, WHtR and body adiposity index (BAI)) with the percentage of body fat in Polish students with respect to their sex and physical activity.

Methods

A total of 272 students volunteered to participate in the study. Of these students, 177 physical education students (90 males and 87 females) were accepted as active (physical activity of 7 to 9 hours/week); and 95 students of other specializations (49 males and 46 females) were accepted as sedentary (physical activity of 1.5 hours/week). Weight, height, waist and hip circumferences were measured, and BMI, WHR, WHtR and BAI were calculated. Body fat percentage was assessed using four skinfold measurements.

Results

Classification of fatness according to the BMI and the percentage of body fat have indicated that BMI overestimates fatness in lean subjects (active men and women, sedentary men), but underestimates body fat in obese subjects (sedentary women). In all groups, BMI, WHR, WHtR and BAI were significantly correlated with the percentage of body fat (with the exception of WHR and hip circumference in active and sedentary women, respectively). However, coefficients of determination not exceeding 50% and Lin’s concordance correlation coefficients lower than 0.9 indicated no relationship between measured and calculated body fat.

Conclusion

The findings in the present study support the concept that irrespective of physical activity and sex none of the calculated indices of fatness are useful in the determination of body fat in young adults. Thus, it seems that easily calculated indices may contribute to distorted body image and unhealthy dietary habits observed in many young adults in Western countries, but also in female athletes.

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<![CDATA[Associations between renal impairment and anemia in older, rural Japanese men: the Nagasaki Island study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da47ab0ee8fa60b8c022

Background

Renal impairment is known to be associated with atherosclerosis, which in turn is reported to be positively associated with hemoglobin levels. In addition, renal impairment is known to be associated with a form of anemia known as renal anemia.

Methods

To clarify the associations between renal impairment and anemia, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 1,105 60 to 89-year-old men, who were not taking medication for anemia and were undergoing general health check-ups.

Results

Compared with non-chronic kidney disease, chronic kidney disease (CKD) with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 was found to constitute a significant risk of anemia. However, we noted that this risk was lower for mild renal impairment (60 mL/min/1.73 m2 ≤ GFR <90 mL/min/1.73 m2). Compared with the non-CKD reference group, the classical cardiovascular risk factors adjusted odds ratio (OR) for anemia was 1.81 (1.23 to 2.68) and compared with the normal renal function (GFR ≥90 mL/min/1.73 m2) reference group, the ORs for mild renal impairment and CKD were 0.26 (0.15 to 0.47) and 0.60 (0.33 to 1.09).

Conclusions

Independent from classical cardiovascular risk factors, CKD, which was identified during general health check-ups, appeared to constitute a significant risk of anemia for older Japanese men. For mild renal impairment, however, this association was a reduced risk of anemia and thus possibly a higher risk of atherosclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Sexual dimorphism in digital dermatoglyphic traits among Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db37ab0ee8fa60bd37d8

Background

The purpose of this study was to evaluate gender-wise diversity of digital dermatoglyphic traits in a sample of Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka.

Findings

Four thousand and thirty-four digital prints of 434 Sinhalese individuals (217 males and 217 females) were examined for their digital dermatoglyphic pattern distribution. The mean age for the entire group was 23.66 years (standard deviation = 4.93 years). The loop pattern is observed more frequently (n = 2,592, 59.72%) compared to whorl (n = 1,542, 35.53%) and arch (n = 206, 4.75%) in the Sinhalese population. Females (n = 1,274, 58.71%) have a more ulnar loop pattern than males (n = 1,231, 56.73%). The plain whorl pattern is observed more frequently in males (n = 560, 25.81%) compared to females (n = 514, 23.69%).The double loop pattern is observed more frequently on the right and left thumb (digit 1) of both males and females. Pattern intensity index, Dankmeijer index and Furuhata index are higher in males.

Conclusions

Ulnar loop is the most frequently occurring digital dermatoglyphic pattern among the Sinhalese. All pattern indices are higher in males. To some extent, dermatoglyphic patterns of Sinhalese are similar to North Indians and other Caucasoid populations. Further studies with larger sample sizes are recommended to confirm our findings.

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<![CDATA[Physiological relaxation induced by horticultural activity: transplanting work using flowering plants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da01ab0ee8fa60b74177

Background

Despite increasing attention and a growing volume of research data, little physiological evidence is available on the benefits of horticultural activity and the different effects on individuals. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological effects of horticultural activity and to examine how differences in personality alter these effects.

Results

The effects of transplanting real flowers (horticultural activity) and handling artificial flowers (control activity) on human physiological activity were compared. On the first day, eight participants engaged in horticultural activity and another eight in the control activity. On the second day, participants switched roles. Participants’ physiological conditions during each activity were assessed by measuring the heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV). Psychological responses, which were measured using a semantic differential rating scale, showed that the horticultural activity promoted comfortable, soothed, and natural feelings, compared to the control activity. Analysis of physiological responses using two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that sympathetic nervous activity significantly decreased in the late time period (11 to 15 minutes) of horticultural activity only in the type A group.

Conclusions

This study supports the fact that the horticultural activity can enhance psychological and physiological relaxation effects, although these physiological effects can differ among individuals with different personalities.

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<![CDATA[The relationship between consumption of tyrosine and phenylalanine as precursors of catecholamine at breakfast and the circadian typology and mental health in Japanese infants aged 2 to 5 years]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db47ab0ee8fa60bd90c8

Background

This study aims to examine the relationship between tyrosine and phenylalanine intake at breakfast as precursors of dopamine, and scores on the Torsvall-Åkerstedt Diurnal Type Scale and of mental health in Japanese infants aged 2 to 5 years.

Results

An integrated questionnaire was administered to parents of 1,367 infants attending one of ten nursery schools governed by Kochi City or a kindergarten affiliated with the Faculty of Education at Kochi University (775 answers for analysis: 56.7%) in May and June 2008. Questionnaires included the Torsvall-Åkerstedt Diurnal Type Scale and questions on sleep habits (onset, offset, quality, quantity, and so on), meal habits (content and regularity of timing), and mental health (depressive states). Amount of tyrosine and phenylalanine intake was calculated based on a breakfast content questionnaire and data on the components of amino acids in foods. Infants who ingested more than 800 mg of tyrosine or phenylalanine at breakfast per meal were more morning-type than those who ingested less than 800 mg (ANOVA: P= 0.005). However, this relationship disappeared in the ANCOVA analysis (with the covariance of tryptophan intake, P= 0.894). Infants who ingested more than 800 mg of the two amino acids at breakfast showed significantly higher mental health scores (lower frequency of depressive states) than those who ingested less than 800 mg (ANOVA: P = 0.004). This relationship remained significant when ANCOVA analysis was performed with the covariance of tryptophan (ANCOVA: P= 0.017).

Conclusions

These results suggest that tyrosine and phenylalanine ingested at breakfast are not related with circadian phase, but are relate with mental health in infants.

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<![CDATA[A human-specific allelic group of the MHC DRB1 gene in primates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db3aab0ee8fa60bd46eb

Background

Diversity among human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules has been maintained by host-pathogen coevolution over a long period of time. Reflecting this diversity, the HLA loci are the most polymorphic in the human genome. One characteristic of HLA diversity is long-term persistence of allelic lineages, which causes trans-species polymorphisms to be shared among closely related species. Modern humans have disseminated across the world after their exodus from Africa, while chimpanzees have remained in Africa since the speciation event between humans and chimpanzees. It is thought that modern humans have recently acquired resistance to novel pathogens outside Africa. In the present study, we investigated HLA alleles that could contribute to this local adaptation in humans and also studied the contribution of natural selection to human evolution by using molecular data.

Results

Phylogenetic analysis of HLA-DRB1 genes identified two major groups, HLA Groups A and B. Group A formed a monophyletic clade distinct from DRB1 alleles in other Catarrhini, suggesting that Group A is a human-specific allelic group. Our estimates of divergence time suggested that seven HLA-DRB1 Group A allelic lineages in humans have been maintained since before the speciation event between humans and chimpanzees, while chimpanzees possess only one DRB1 allelic lineage (Patr-DRB1*03), which is a sister group to Group A. Experimental data showed that some Group A alleles bound to peptides derived from human-specific pathogens. Of the Group A alleles, three exist at high frequencies in several local populations outside Africa.

Conclusions

HLA Group A alleles are likely to have been retained in human lineages for a long period of time and have not expanded since the divergence of humans and chimpanzees. On the other hand, most orthologs of HLA Group A alleles may have been lost in the chimpanzee due to differences in selective pressures. The presence of alleles with high frequency outside of Africa suggests these HLA molecules result from the local adaptations of humans. Our study helps elucidate the mechanism by which the human adaptive immune system has coevolved with pathogens over a long period of time.

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<![CDATA[The physiological and psychological relaxing effects of viewing rose flowers in office workers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da53ab0ee8fa60b8e46b

Background

In recent years, the physiological relaxing effect brought by nature is becoming clear; however, many workers find it difficult to be exposed to nature in their working environment. Exposure to fresh flowers represents an opportunity to incorporate nature into their working lives. In this study, we examined the effects of exposure to roses on physiological and psychological variables (heart rate variability, pulse rate, and subjective responses) in office workers.

Results

The experimental site was Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc., in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Thirty-one male office workers were included in the present study. The subjects were exposed to thirty unscented pink roses (Rosa, Dekora) arranged in a cylindrical glass vase for 4 min. In the control condition, the subjects were not exposed to flowers. After the experiments, the subjects completed a questionnaire. The order of exposure was counterbalanced among subjects. Among subjects exposed to roses, the high-frequency component of heart rate variability was significantly higher than in controls. Similarly, 'comfortable,’ 'relaxed’ and 'natural’ feelings were more common in subjects exposed to roses.

Conclusions

Data from this study support the presence of physiological and psychological relaxing effects of being exposed to flowers on office workers.

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<![CDATA[Ocular blood flow decreases during passive heat stress in resting humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db4cab0ee8fa60bdac01

Background

Heat stress induces various physiological changes and so could influence ocular circulation. This study examined the effect of heat stress on ocular blood flow.

Findings

Ocular blood flow, end-tidal carbon dioxide (PETCO2) and blood pressure were measured for 12 healthy subjects wearing water-perfused tube-lined suits under two conditions of water circulation: (1) at 35°C (normothermia) for 30 min and (2) at 50°C for 90 min (passive heat stress). The blood-flow velocities in the superior temporal retinal arteriole (STRA), superior nasal retinal arteriole (SNRA), and the retinal and choroidal vessels (RCV) were measured using laser-speckle flowgraphy. Blood flow in the STRA and SNRA was calculated from the integral of a cross-sectional map of blood velocity. PETCO2 was clamped at the normothermia level by adding 5% CO2 to the inspired gas. Passive heat stress had no effect on the subjects’ blood pressures. The blood-flow velocity in the RCV was significantly lower after 30, 60 and 90 min of passive heat stress than the normothermic level, with a peak decrease of 18 ± 3% (mean ± SE) at 90 min. Blood flow in the STRA and SNRA decreased significantly after 90 min of passive heat stress conditions, with peak decreases of 14 ± 3% and 14 ± 4%, respectively.

Conclusion

The findings of this study suggest that passive heat stress decreases ocular blood flow irrespective of the blood pressure or arterial partial pressure of CO2.

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<![CDATA[Physiological and psychological responses of young males during spring-time walks in urban parks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba5564

Background

It is widely believed that contact with the natural environment can improve physical and mental health. Urban green spaces may provide city residents with these benefits; however, there is a lack of empirical field research on the health benefits of urban parks.

Methods

This field experiment was performed in May. Seventeen males aged 21.2 ± 1.7 years (mean ± standard deviation) were instructed to walk predetermined 15-minute courses in an urban park and a nearby city area (control). Heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) were measured to assess physiological responses. The semantic differential (SD) method, Profile of Mood States (POMS), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to measure psychological responses.

Results

Heart rate was significantly lower while walking in the urban park than while walking in the city street. Furthermore, the urban park walk led to higher parasympathetic nervous activity and lower sympathetic nervous activity compared with the walk through the city street. Subjective evaluations were generally in accordance with physiological reactions, and significantly higher scores were observed for the ‘comfortable’, ‘natural’, and ‘relaxed’ parameters following the urban park walk. After the urban park walk, the score for the ‘vigor’ subscale of the POMS was significantly higher, whereas that for negative feelings such as ‘tension-anxiety’ and ‘fatigue’ was significantly lower. The score for the anxiety dimension of the STAI was also significantly lower after the urban park walk.

Conclusions

Physiological and psychological results from this field experiment provide evidence for the physiological and psychological benefits of urban green spaces. A brief spring-time walk in an urban park shifted sympathetic/parasympathetic balance and improved mood state.

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<![CDATA[Time window for cognitive activity involved in emotional processing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db36ab0ee8fa60bd3309

Background

From previous studies it is becoming evident that the processing of unpleasant stimuli occurs early (0 to 300 ms); however, it is not clear how cognitive processing related to pleasant/unpleasant emotions occurs at later time windows (≥300 ms). On the other hand, as evident from the previous reports, BIS and BAS personality traits are strongly associated with unpleasant and pleasant responses, respectively. Therefore, in the present study, we aim to identify the time window involved in human pleasant/unpleasant emotional processing by investigating ERP components correlated with BIS/BAS personality traits.

Methods

Twenty-nine men took part in the study and recording ERP during presented sounds. BIS/BAS score was calculated using the Japanese edition of the BIS/BAS questionnaire.

Results

Significant correlation was not observed between BIS and BAS scores. A significant and positive correlation was observed between N100 amplitude and BIS score. A positive correlation was found between BAS fun seeking subscale score and LPP amplitude. Our findings did not contradict previous study results.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that the processing of unpleasant emotions takes place early on, since N100 response was larger in high BIS subjects who are known to be sensitive to unpleasant emotions. LPP was larger in high BAS subjects who are known to be sensitive to pleasant emotions. The LPP was considered to be augmented because the ACC activity level during pleasant emotions reflected on LPP.

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<![CDATA[Individual differences in the physiological effects of forest therapy based on Type A and Type B behavior patterns]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da26ab0ee8fa60b80cba

Background

In recent years, the physiological relaxation effects of natural environments have been widely exploited, and although individual differences in the effects of forest therapy are known, assessment methods have not been clearly established. This study used a classification based on Type A and Type B behavior patterns to explain individual differences in physiological responses to forest environments.

Methods

We performed physiological experiments in 44 forest and urban (controls) areas. In total, 485 male university students (age, 21.8 ± 1.6 years) participated in the study. The subjects were asked to visit forest or urban environments randomly and observe each landscape for 15 min. The subjects’ pulse rates and blood pressures were tested to evaluate their physiological responses. The Kwansei Gakuin daily life questionnaire was used to identify Type A and Type B behavior patterns in subjects.

Results

The pulse rate was significantly lower in the Type B group after exposure to forest areas than after exposure to urban areas, whereas no significant difference was observed in the Type A group. In addition, the pulse rate was significantly lower in the low scoring subjects in the Type B group, which was consistent with changes in their diastolic blood pressure.

Conclusions

These results suggest that individual differences in pulse rate and blood pressure in response to forest environments can be explained by Type A and Type B behavior patterns.

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<![CDATA[Oxygen uptake, heart rate, perceived exertion, and integrated electromyogram of the lower and upper extremities during level and Nordic walking on a treadmill]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da7dab0ee8fa60b99153

The purpose of this study was to characterize responses in oxygen uptake ( V·O2), heart rate (HR), perceived exertion (OMNI scale) and integrated electromyogram (iEMG) readings during incremental Nordic walking (NW) and level walking (LW) on a treadmill. Ten healthy adults (four men, six women), who regularly engaged in physical activity in their daily lives, were enrolled in the study. All subjects were familiar with NW. Each subject began walking at 60 m/min for 3 minutes, with incremental increases of 10 m/min every 2 minutes up to 120 m/min V·O2 , V·E and HR were measured every 30 seconds, and the OMNI scale was used during the final 15 seconds of each exercise. EMG readings were recorded from the triceps brachii, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, gastrocnemius, and tibialis anterior muscles. V·O2 was significantly higher during NW than during LW, with the exception of the speed of 70 m/min (P < 0.01). V·E and HR were higher during NW than LW at all walking speeds (P < 0.05 to 0.001). OMNI scale of the upper extremities was significantly higher during NW than during LW at all speeds (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the iEMG reading for the VL was lower during NW than during LW at all walking speeds, while the iEMG reading for the BF and GA muscles were significantly lower during NW than LW at some speeds. These data suggest that the use of poles in NW attenuates muscle activity in the lower extremities during the stance and push-off phases, and decreases that of the lower extremities and increase energy expenditure of the upper body and respiratory system at certain walking speeds.

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<![CDATA[Effects of a late supper on digestion and the absorption of dietary carbohydrates in the following morning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db19ab0ee8fa60bcdb12

Background

Our previous experiment showed that the light intensity exposed on the subjects during evening time had no effect in the following morning on the efficiency of the digestion and absorption of dietary carbohydrates ingested at a usual suppertime. People who keep late hours usually have a late suppertime; thus, we examined the effects of a late suppertime on gastrointestinal activity in the following morning in comparison to that of a usual suppertime.

Methods

Twelve female university students volunteered as paid participants. The breath hydrogen test was carried out to estimate the amount of unabsorbed dietary carbohydrates and the percentage of the total amount of dietary carbohydrates in the breakfast that were unabsorbed, as well as to estimate oro-cecal transit time. The respiratory quotient was also measured to find the ratio of carbohydrates/lipid metabolism in the post-breakfast state. Subjects’ peripheral blood glucose concentration was measured by a blood glucose meter. The subjects participated under two different experimental conditions: with a usual suppertime (having supper at 18:00) and a late suppertime (having supper at 23:00).

Results

The efficiency of the digestion and absorption of dietary carbohydrates in the breakfast under late suppertime conditions was higher than that under usual suppertime conditions. Usual or late suppertime had no effect on the ratio of carbohydrates to lipids oxidized after the subjects had breakfast. There were significant differences in the blood glucose level between the two conditions at 30, 60, 120, 150, and 180 minutes after having breakfast, whereas the mean blood glucose level under late suppertime conditions was significantly higher than under usual suppertime conditions.

Conclusions

Having a late supper showed a worse effect on postprandial serum glucose profiles the following morning. This study confirmed that keeping our usual meal timing is important for our health.

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