New model of cognitive flexibility gives insight into autism spectrum disorder

first_imgCognitive flexibility is the ability to shift our thoughts and adapt our behavior to the changing environment. In other words, it’s one’s ability to disengage from a previous task and respond effectively to a new one. It’s a faculty that most of us take for granted, yet an essential skill to navigate life.In a new paper published in the journal Trends in Neurosciences, University of Miami (UM) College of Arts & Sciences researchers clarify many of the concepts surrounding cognitive flexibility and propose a model of its underlying neural mechanisms. The new model may be instrumental in understanding behavioral and neurological disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder.“By understanding how the brain attempts to implement cognitive flexibility in a neurodevelopmental disorder like autism, we can better understand the nature of the disorder,” said Dina R. Dajani, Ph.D. student of psychology in the UM College of Arts & Sciences and first author of the study. “The model will inform whether we should try to teach individuals with autism the strategies utilized by typically developing individuals, or instead improve upon already existing strategies of individuals with the disorder.” Share LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twittercenter_img Email Pinterest For instance, knowing if there is a simple increase or decrease in connectivity between brain regions compared to healthy individuals, or whether those with autism use entirely different brain regions to implement cognitive flexibility will enable researchers to better design interventions to improve cognitive flexibility skills.The more cognitive flexibility an individual has, the greater his or her chances of doing well in life. Previous studies have shown that greater cognitive flexibility relates to better reading abilities as a child, resilience as an adult, and quality of life in the advanced years.“Our goal was to summarize and provide directions for future research on a topic that is relevant for understanding several prevalent developmental disorders,” said Lucina Q. Uddin, assistant professor of psychology in the UM College of Arts & Sciences, principal investigator of this study and co-author of the paper. “We believe that a better understanding of the neural systems mediating this critical ability will help clinicians design more effect treatments to help individuals who have difficulty with flexible behaviors in daily life, particularly those with autism.”In the paper, the researchers analyzed the existing literature and neuroimaging studies on cognitive flexibility and put forth a hypothesis regarding the fundamental neural mechanisms of this important faculty. The researchers suggest four components that work together to implement cognitive flexibility: salience detection/attention (both achieve similar goals to direct attention to behaviorally relevant events), working memory, inhibition and switching.If their model is validated, it will provide a strong foundation for researchers to use as a basis in determining what may be wrong in individuals with impaired cognitive flexibility.“Our concept is quite different from other conceptualizations of cognitive flexibility because we describe it as arising from four separate cognitive operations, whereas other researchers have described it as a manifestation of a single cognitive operation,” Dajani said. “This novel hypothesis may help our understanding of this complex ability.”The title of the study is “Demystifying cognitive flexibility: Implications for clinical and developmental neuroscience.” The researchers are now using functional neuroimaging to test the “four components” cognitive flexibility hypothesis.last_img read more

Georgi Samuilov: I am considering resigning from the chairmanship of the…

first_imgBotev’s president Georgi Samuilov gave an interview about the club’s condition and future management plans. He stated that he intends to resign from the chairmanship of the Board of Directors of PFC Botev Plovdiv after the end of the season. However, he assured that he will remain a member of the Board of Directors and Botev continues to be his cause. According to him, the club is in good condition and it is time for a new stage of management. Here is the whole interview: – Mr. Samuilov, what is the balance for you and for PFC “Botev Plovdiv” during this difficult season during a pandemic? –I can confidently say that we have created the necessary conditions under which PFC “Botev Plovdiv” to function smoothly, and the team to focus entirely on its performance on the field. With joint efforts we managed to reach a satisfactory solution to the most painful problem – the unfinished construction of the club stadium. This happened thanks to the Prime Minister Mr. Boyko Borisov and the Mayor of Plovdiv Mr. Zdravko Dimitrov. Some claimed that the management did not have the will to cope, but now we will have the opportunity to support our favorite team in his home “College”. We rely mainly on young Bulgarian football hopes and especially on our children’s and youth school. Botev Plovdiv signed professional contracts with six teenagers of the club. These are Dimitar Balinov, Gabriel Zemyarski, Emil Kolev, Dimitar Proychev, Blagovest Danchev and Atanas Chernev. Few native clubs can boast of such a thing. And not only this! This year PFC “Botev” has realized the most successful DYUSh for 10 years. For the first time, the “Canaries” are in the top three in the final standings in all three elite youth groups. This season many teenagers got into the training and match process of the representative men’s team of “Botev”. The talents from the school Stanislav Rabotov, Stanislav Shopov and Dimitar Tonev established themselves and recorded participation in a number of matches in the First League and the Cup of Bulgaria. We also attracted midfielder Slavcho Shokolarov for one year with an option to extend by another. That’s why I think that the fans shouldn’t interfere in DYUS, because things are going well there. – PFC “Botev Plovdiv” did not make a strong return to the championship. You suffered a loss from “Arda” Kardzhali, you defeated “Danube” Ruse and in general the performance of the team is not at the expected level. What caused this? -Yes, it is so despite the great efforts we have made. I am often disappointed. What hurts me the most is that we did not reach the final for the Bulgarian Cup, where we belong. As president of the club, I have a responsibility to ensure its proper functioning and I believe that I have provided everything necessary. PFC Botev Plovdiv is in very good financial condition. A stable budget and sponsorship advertising contracts are provided. Other teams have far lower budgets, but perform better. The club is already stabilized with guaranteed conditions for development. We have a high level of DYUS, which is key to the survival of the club. I am calm because we managed to save the oldest professional football club in our country through teamwork, joint efforts and cooperation with the fans. I believe in Botev and I think it is only a matter of time before our team starts to reverse the negative trend with the support of the fans. The main task for me and the other members of the board was to provide conditions and a healthy environment for our team and our children’s school, which I also think we managed to achieve. Above all, it is important for us that the club remains consistent in implementing its policies to achieve the set strategic goals. Both we as the management and the fans want victories. That is why I am disappointed and I am considering resigning from the post of Chairman of the Board of Directors of PFC Botev Plovdiv after the end of the season. I want to assure all fans that PFC Botev is also my cause, which I will not give up and therefore I will remain a member of the Board of Directors. – Before the pandemic there was tension with some of the fan clubs of “Botev Plovdiv”. Is your decision influenced in any way by this? -Of course not! I can’t be angry with the fans who want the best for the team and are right because we want the same. However, I believe that I have fulfilled what I promised and it is time for a new stage of governance. The club should be headed by a leader who will bring more energy and dynamism. Because I am very busy and I have a lot of commitments in my business. That is why we need a manager who is fully committed to everyday tasks and fully participates in the life of the club. I have repeatedly stated that dialogue is, in my opinion, the only way to achieve the goals of the development of PFC “Botev” Plovdiv. In March, shortly before the declaration of the state of emergency, we organized a meeting between the Management Board of PFC Botev and the supporters’ factions. We discussed all current issues and there were no taboo topics. Everyone could express their opinion and their vision. This is the way to smooth out misunderstandings and contradictions. However, we are all united by the “yellow-black” idea, so it will be in the future. – Are you still of the opinion that the club made the right decision not to support the proposal to terminate the championship, despite the poor results for “Botev”? – Absolutely yes! This is a worthy solution, as long as, of course, the epidemiological situation allows it, in compliance with the measures announced by the government against the spread of COVID-19. We have no right to easily give up the belief that real battles are decided on the ground, not off it. We were faced with a completely new situation. Not only us, but also every professional football club in Bulgaria. It was an unprecedented blockade that spread virtually all over the world. There is no area of ​​life that is not affected. The world economy has stopped and is currently starting to drive the economic wheel, which I hope will happen quickly and the forecast for the recovery of economic growth will come true in 2021. I believe that PFC “Botev” has managed to overcome this challenge, which in fact has its benefits. I believe that no matter how complex and difficult a situation is, there are always positive sides. The question is to what extent a person is ready to upgrade and have a wide enough worldview to draw the right conclusions and lessons.last_img read more

After the Impact Made Last Season, Wayne Rooney Looks to Guide D.C. United Further in 2019

first_img“We saw what Wayne is – a high quality, elite soccer player. He didn’t lose possession, made some key passes and got on the end of a few balls in the box. This is what he’s going to do for us,” said D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen to the media after that win. D.C. United was at the bottom of the MLS standings heading into the summer. Then by late June, news broke that the team acquired a major international superstar on the heels of the first true D.C. United home game of the season. Three nights later, Rooney had his first multi-goal game with two in a 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers. His scoring would become a regularity down the stretch. Rooney scored eight goals in D.C. United’s final seven games. In all, Rooney finished his first season with the black and red with 12 goals and seven assists. Rooney scored his first goal with D.C. United in his fourth game, a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. A few weeks later, Rooney made the play of the year chasing the ball down after a clear, stealing it, and launching a perfect pass to Luciano Acosta in the final seconds of stoppage time. Acosta finished it and D.C. United stole a victory from the jaws of a draw. Three important standings points that could’ve been just one. Top photo: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports Wayne Rooney has had success in his international soccer career. Now he’s the face of soccer in our nation’s capital. From the moment fans greeted Rooney when he landed at Dulles Airport to early-November’s penalty kicks contest in the Knockout Round of the MLS Playoffs, it was a memorable first season for Rooney in the MLS. “It was strange, we went from losing the game basically to winning in the span of five seconds. It’s great, they’re the best games of football to win,” added Rooney. Our weeklong D.C. United preview series continues Wednesday as we look back on how the black and red did during the 2019 preseason. D.C. United entered that inaugural home game with just two wins. That first game at Audi Field was the start of something special. From July 14 through the end of the season, the club finished with a 12-4-4 record to earn a home game in the Knockout Round of the MLS Playoffs. “He made a hell of a play and it showed what he’s about. I think we’ll see that more and more from him here. He’s a selfless winner and has come here to prove himself, even though he doesn’t need to. He’s here to raise level of the group, including myself. And today, that play is indicative of who he is,” said Olsen after the game. D.C. United’s magical season came to an end on Nov. 1 in a close, hard-fought defeat to the Columbus Crew that ended in penalty kicks. That round of PK’s could’ve gone either way but the defeat will make Rooney and company hungry for an even better 2019. Now that Rooney is entering his first full season with the club, he has the experience from 2018 under his belt and will look to use that home stretch success as fuel. There won’t be any schedule challenges for D.C. United of a road heavy first half. In fact, D.C. United is opening the new season at home against the defending champions, Atlanta United FC. Please follow and like us: On July 14 just after the second half began, Rooney took the Audi Field pitch for the first time as an official member of the black and red. He later assisted on Paul Arriola’s second goal of the game in the 80th minute to seal the 3-1 win. D.C. United entered the 2018 season with a strange schedule. With Audi Field not 100% ready, the team had to open with a majority of their games on the road. The few times they were home featured a game at Maryland Soccer Plex and the US Naval Academy. last_img read more

Nick Foles injury update: Jaguars QB (collarbone) to be placed on IR/to return, report says

first_img“I knew right when I hit the ground that something was wrong,” Foles told reporters after the game. “I felt it. … All I saw was two red jerseys in my face, I hit the ground and heard a crack. Going into the sidelines and getting checked … I just saw the play for the first time before I came in here. It’s unfortunate, but at the same time I’m trusting the good Lord.”He wasn’t the only quarterback to get hurt in the chippy game, as Chiefs third-year signal-caller Patrick Mahomes played through an ankle sprain. Kansas City receiver Tyreek Hill also suffered a shoulder injury and had to be taken to a local hosptial.The Jaguars are slated to visit the Texans in Week 2 action. While Minshew played very well in his NFL debut, the Jaguars on Monday reportedly acquired QB Josh Dobbs from the Steelers for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick. Dak Prescott contract: Jerry Jones says extension for Cowboys QB ‘imminent,’ but did price just go up? It’s becoming clear that Nick Foles will likely sit out the first half of this season.According to NFL Media, the Jaguars quarterback is expected to be placed on the injured reserve/return list after undergoing surgery scheduled for Monday morning. Jonathan Allen injury update: Redskins defensive lineman (knee) week to week While the team has yet to confirm the injury or provide an official update, it was reported that Foles suffered a broken left collarbone in Sunday’s 40-26 loss to the Chiefs.Should Foles in fact be placed on IR, he would be eligible to return in Week 10 following Jacksonville’s bye when the Jaguars visit the Colts on Nov. 17. Related News Eric Weddle injury update: Rams safety enters concussion protocol Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken right collarbone in October 2017 and ended up missing eight weeks with the injury.Foles was hit by Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones during a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark in the first quarter. The Jaguars medical staff tended to Foles and took him to the locker room, but he was ruled out for the game just minutes later.FOLES JUST DROPPED IT RIGHT IN THE BUCKET 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/A4YKGAwnCg— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 8, 2019⁦@ProFootballDoc⁩ Nick Foles pic.twitter.com/75OLb2UTe9— aprilshowers (@aprilclev19) September 8, 2019Foles finished the day having completed 5 of 8 passes for 75 yards and one touchdown before being replaced by rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, who was selected in the sixth round of April’s draft.last_img read more