Can virtual museums threaten real museums?

first_imgThe first online museum artt.hr has opened in Croatia – a virtual place that brings together the best works of contemporary art authors applied for the competition “HT Award – MSU Zagreb” since this competition exists to this day.This is an interesting fusion of art and digital and in this way the artist and creator of the museum, Juri Armada brings creativity closer to the younger generations, while on the other hand he breathed new life into contemporary art. Neon installations, photographs and everything that has been exhibited in the museum for the last nine years are now available with a few clicks and bring art to your home.The new project is especially interesting because in a completely new way it encourages the research of art as a special form for the growth, education and mature development of each person. By the way, the HT Award for Croatian Contemporary Art is the largest and at the same time one of the most significant awards for contemporary visual creativity in Croatia. The exhibition of selected works over the past ten years has been profiled into a representative and relevant overview of the situation on the domestic art scene. Over the past decade, more than two hundred authors have applied for the competition each year, and three redemption and one audience award have been given each year. The purchased works form the collection of Hrvatski Telekom, which is an integral part of the holdings of the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, and the works will be exhibited in a permanent exhibition.Can virtual museums threaten real museums? Will tourists travel less because they will have a 3D destination experience from the comfort of their armchairs and thus reduce the arrival of guests in real time? Is it threatening VR tourism or is it another promotional tool that can generate new feelings, experiences in tourism and ultimately increase the arrival of tourists in a tourist destination?There are a lot of questions, but you don’t have to worry, I can’t. On the contrary, new technologies (VR, AR, virtual museums) are not a threat, but an opportunity for tourism in order to better present tourist destinations. “VR can only improve tourism. When you try go-karting in virtual reality, then you really want to go go-karting or an airplane or something else. ” – pointed out Hrvoje Prpić, a business angel and a successful entrepreneur, and the originator of the 3D online shopping project Trillenium. Also, today, and there will be more and more, through virtual reality we can “be” virtually in a destination, but it will only awaken the motive for a real and real experience, ie coming to a tourist destination for a real experience.So is the virtual museum, which can only further popularize the consumption of culture and encourage you to finally visit, for example, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. More and more individual museums also have their own virtual display, all with the goal of getting the desire and motivation to experience live art.It’s like a football match, when you see on television that something is great and cool then you want to experience it live, if it were the opposite, football matches would have been without fans in stadiums for a long time due to TV broadcastsNew technologies provide new challenges and business opportunities, the only question is whether we want to ignore it or accept it as a normal business process. It is important to follow new trends and technological achievements because if destinations and hoteliers do not follow the step, time and technology will overtake them and they will no longer be able to follow the market competition.Anyway, technology is there to help and speed up all business processes, changes are happening faster and those who ignore it will unfortunately have to close their doors. Don’t be afraid of new technologies, but use them to improve your business.last_img read more

Childhood bullying causes worse long-term mental health problems than maltreatment

first_imgShare A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry shows that children who have been bullied by peers suffer worse in the longer term than those who have been maltreated by adults.The research is led by Professor Dieter Wolke from Warwick’s Department of Psychology and Warwick Medical School. The study was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego on Tuesday 28 April.There is already an established link between maltreatment by adults and the mental health consequences for children. Professor Wolke and his team wanted to examine whether long-term mental health issues among victims of bullying were related to having been maltreated by adults as well. They looked at data from 4,026 participants in the UK ALSPAC study (Avon Longtitudinal Study of Parents and Children) and 1,273 participants from the US Great Smoky Mountain Study.For ALSPAC they looked at reports of maltreatment between the ages of 8 weeks and 8.6 years; bullying at ages 8, 10 and 13; and mental health outcomes at age 18. Data from the Great Smoky Mountain Study had reports of maltreatment and bullying between the ages of 9 and 16, and mental health outcomes from 19-25 years old.Professor Wolke said: “The mental health outcomes we were looking for included anxiety, depression or suicidal tendencies. Our results showed those who were bullied were more likely to suffer from mental health problems than those who were maltreated. Being both bullied and maltreated also increased the risk of overall mental health problems, anxiety and depression in both groups.”In the ALSPAC study 8.5% of children reported maltreatment only, 29.7% reported bullying only and 7% reported both maltreatment and bullying. In the Great Smoky Mountain Study, 15% reported maltreatment, 16.3% reported bullying and 9.8% reported maltreatment and bullying.Professor Wolke added: “Being bullied is not a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up; it has serious long-term consequences. It is important for schools, health services and other agencies to work together to reduce bullying and the adverse effects related to it.” Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img Share on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterestlast_img read more

Men who buy sex have much in common with sexually coercive men

first_imgShare Pinterest Share on Facebook “It’s like she’s not really there.” – Study participant who bought sexMen who buy sex have less empathy for women in prostitution than men who don’t buy sex, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. The research, co-authored by UCLA professor Neil Malamuth, also found that men who buy sex are more likely to report having committed rape and other aggressive sexual acts.The study of 101 men in the Boston area who buy sex and 101 men who do not indicates that sex buyers’ perspectives are similar to those of sexually coercive men. Emailcenter_img LinkedIn Share on Twitter “Our findings indicate that men who buy sex share certain key characteristics with men who are at risk for committing sexual aggression,” said Malamuth, a professor of communications studies and psychology. “Both groups tend to have a preference for impersonal sex, a fear of rejection by women, a history of having committed sexually aggressive acts and a hostile masculine self-identification. Those who buy sex, on average, have less empathy for women in prostitution and view them as intrinsically different from other women.”In other studies, a lower level of empathy among men has been associated with sexual aggression toward women.Whether prostitution is a job or sexual abuse has long been debated. The new findings support the view that prostitution is more like sexual abuse.“We hope this research will lead to a rejection of the myth that sex buyers are simply sexually frustrated nice guys,” said Melissa Farley, the study’s lead author and executive director of Prostitution Research and Education, a San Francisco-based nonprofit.Had the study found no differences between the views of men who buy sex and those who don’t, it might have given credence to those who advocate legalizing and regulating prostitution, said Farley, an expert on prostitution and human trafficking.“However, given the significant levels of sexually aggressive attitudes and behavior found in sex buyers, a more progressive legal policy would be like that seen in Sweden and Norway, where prostitution is understood as a predatory crime against economically and ethnically marginalized women,” she said. “The Nordic model arrests sex buyers but decriminalizes those in prostitution and provides them with exit services.”One man who bought sex and was interviewed for the study compared the transaction to disposing of a coffee cup after he had finished drinking from it. “When you’re done, you throw it out,” he said.Another said of women in prostitution, “I think a lot of times they feel degraded. I mean, the ones I know have no self-confidence, so they feel less than a person, and more like a commodity.”Malamuth said the study confirmed the predictive ability of many of the risk factors for sexual aggression he has studied for the past 35 years. His Confluence Model characterizes men who are at higher risk for committing sexual aggression. It emphasizes several key risk factors, including antisocial behavior, a preference for impersonal sex, treating sex more as a sport than as part of an intimate relationship, and “hostile masculinity,” which includes traits such as a narcissistic personality, hostility toward women and a desire to have power over women.The men in the study were relatively knowledgeable about coercion and sex trafficking, and about many of the reasons that women entered prostitution.The researchers screened more than 1,200 men to reach two groups of men who were similar in age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The men were guaranteed anonymity and each was interviewed for about two hours. The study was funded by Hunt Alternatives, a private foundation.last_img read more

Study in mice shows how brain ignores distractions

first_imgIn a study of mice, scientists discovered that a brain region called the thalamus may be critical for filtering out distractions. The study, published in Nature and partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, paves the way to understanding how defects in the thalamus might underlie symptoms seen in patients with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia.“We are constantly bombarded by information from our surroundings,” said James Gnadt, Ph.D., program director at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). “This study shows how the circuits of the brain might decide which sensations to pay attention to.” Thirty years ago Dr. Francis Crick proposed that the thalamus “shines a light” on regions of the cortex, which readies them for the task at hand, leaving the rest of the brain’s circuits to idle in darkness.“We typically use a very small percentage of incoming sensory stimuli to guide our behavior, but in many neurological disorders the brain is overloaded,” said Michael Halassa, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s senior author and an assistant professor at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “It gets a lot of sensory input that is not well-controlled because this filtering function might be broken.” LinkedIn Email Pinterest Share on Facebookcenter_img Share on Twitter Share Neuroscientists have long believed that an area at the very front of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC) selects what information to focus on, but how this happens remains unknown. One common theory is that neurons in the PFC do this by sending signals to cells in the sensory cortices located on the outer part of the brain. However, Dr. Halassa’s team discovered that PFC neurons may instead tune the sensitivity of a mouse brain to sights and sounds by sending signals to inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) cells located deep inside the brain.To study attention, Dr. Halassa’s team designed a test that challenged mice to focus and ignore distractions. The researchers trained mice to use either a light or a sound to figure out which of two doors hid a milk reward. Before each decision, the mice heard a noise that told them to anticipate the light or the sound that would lead them to the correct door. The mice then needed to use the right cue and ignore the irrelevant one in order to get their reward.The researchers used genetically modified mice in which specific neurons could be activated or inhibited with rays of light. Silencing neurons in the PFC while the mice anticipated the cue increased errors. The mice chose the wrong door in response to the light or sound cue, implying they could not concentrate in that setting. In contrast, silencing neurons of the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes visual information, during anticipation had no effect on attention. The mice chose the correct door in response to a light cue. Overall, the results suggested that connections between PFC and sensory cortical neurons were not involved with this type of attention, as previously thought.Instead, further experiments suggested that the TRN played a critical role. Turning on TRN neurons involved in vision during anticipation of the light cue increased errors whereas turning that same circuit off had the opposite effect — the mice had trouble paying attention to the sound but not the light.“We interpreted this to mean that inactivating the visual TRN makes irrelevant visual input much more distracting,” Dr. Halassa said.The team also observed that when mice needed to focus on the light, activity dropped in the visual TRN and increased in the part of the thalamus that processes visual inputs, called the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). However, those changes did not happen when the PFC was inactivated. These findings suggested that the PFC modifies activity in the thalamus in order to shift attention toward visual information.To figure out if fluctuations in the TRN and LGN were linked, the researchers developed a new technique called chloride photometry that allowed them to directly monitor how much chloride was entering LGN neurons in real time. The more chloride ions flowed into a neuron, the more inhibited the mice became. The group found that more chloride entered and inhibited the LGN during trials that required mice to ignore the light and focus on the sound.“With this new technique, we can actually watch how circuit problems in the mouse thalamus may lead to problems with concentration that underlie certain neuropsychiatric disorders in humans,” Dr. Halassa said. This work may provide the mechanistic basis for Dr. Crick’s theory of the thalamic searchlight.last_img read more

Review of 130 studies suggests gun restrictions can help reduce gun deaths

first_imgShare on Facebook Share on Twitter “In most countries, we saw evidence of reduction in the firearm death rates after the enactment of firearm legislation” said Julian Santaella-Tenorio, a doctoral student in Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School and the study’s lead author.Santaella-Tenorio and his Columbia co-authors, Professors Magdalena Cerdá and Sandro Galea, also found evidence that specific laws, such as background checks and rules on storage, reduced specific kinds of gun deaths including intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively.By comparison, laws in place about carrying concealed weapons or standing your ground either had no effect on gun deaths or increased gun violence. “While our review is not proof that gun laws reduce violence, and also taking into account that for some countries there are very few papers examining firearm laws effects, we did see evidence showing an association between firearm laws and a decline in firearm homicide and suicide rates,” noted Santaella-Tenorio.“Since we limited our review to changes in firearm policy and not ownership in general or other types of policy, the debate should not end here.” Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Email A study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health looked at the associations between firearm-related laws and firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries and deaths. The paper is the first to explore the evidence from around the world on gun laws and gun violence to determine whether gun restrictions help reduce gun deaths.While the research did not conclusively prove that restrictions, or relaxation of laws, reduce gun deaths, the results indicate that gun violence tended to decline after countries passed new restrictions on gun purchasing and ownership. Findings are published online in the February issue of Epidemiologic Reviews.The researchers reviewed the findings from 130 studies conducted from 1950 to 2014 in 10 countries that had overhauled their gun law, mostly in the developed world, including the U.S., Australia, and Austria. A few studies looked at gun laws in middle-income countries, including Brazil, Colombia and South Africa. Sharelast_img read more

Is symptom expression a form of communication?

first_imgPinterest LinkedIn Share Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Symptoms of illness are not inevitably tied to an underlying disease –rather, many organisms, including humans, adapt their symptom expression to suit their needs. That’s the finding of Arizona State University’s Leonid Tiokhin, whose research appears in the Quarterly Review of Biology.Tiokhin, an anthropology doctoral candidate in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, uses evolutionary theory to understand human behavior and psychology, and is especially interested in the evolution of communication.His article, “Do Symptoms of Illness Serve Signaling Functions? (Hint: Yes),” argues that changing symptom expression to alter others’ behavior can be beneficial in several different ways. For example, feigning or exaggerating symptoms of illness can cause an individual to receive extra aid and social support from others, or can prevent unwanted others from interacting with them. Share on Twitter Alternatively, suppressing symptoms of illness can prevent exploitation by those who prey on the weak, as well as prevent avoidance by potential mates. In some cases, it can even benefit organisms to self-induce illness, actually causing pathology, if the costs they pay to do so are outweighed by the social benefits.Tiokhin’s key contribution is his development of a comprehensive conceptual framework for understanding how, when and why symptoms have signaling functions. In doing so, he suggests that signaling theory can shed light on some longstanding puzzles in the medical field, such as how symptoms can exist without disease and why symptom severity fluctuates in different contexts.last_img read more

Researchers find what could be brain’s trigger for binge behavior

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Rats that responded to cues for sugar with the speed and excitement of binge-eaters were less motivated for the treat when certain neurons were suppressed, researchers discovered.The findings suggest these neurons, in a largely unstudied region of the brain, are deeply connected to the tendency to overindulge in response to external triggers, a problem faced by people addicted to food, alcohol and drugs. The findings, due to appear in the June 15 issue of the journal Neuron, are now available online.“External cues — anything from a glimpse of powder that looks like cocaine or the jingle of an ice cream truck — can trigger a relapse or binge eating,” said Jocelyn M. Richard, a Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral fellow in psychological and brain sciences and the report’s lead author. “Our findings show where in the brain this connection between environmental stimuli and the seeking of food or drugs is occurring.” Sharecenter_img First researchers trained rats to realize that if they heard a certain sound, either a siren or staccato beeps, and a pushed a lever, they would get a drink of sugar water. Then, as the rats performed the task, researchers monitored neurons within the ventral pallidum area of the rats’ brains, a subcortical structure near the base of the brain.When the rats heard the cue linked to their treat, a much larger-than-expected number of neurons reacted — and vigorously, researchers found. They also found that when the neuron response was particularly robust, the rats were extra quick to go for the sugar. The researchers were able to predict how fast the rats would move for the sugar just by observing how excited the neurons became at the sound of the cue.“We were surprised to see such a high number of neurons showing such a big increase in activity as soon as the sound played,” Richard said.Next, the researchers used “optogenetics,” a technique that allows the manipulation of cells through targeted beams of light, to temporarily suppress the activity of ventral pallidum neurons while the rats heard the sugar cues. With those neurons inactive, the rats were less likely to pull the sugar lever; when they did pull it, they were much slower to do so.That ability to slow and calm the reaction to cues or triggers for binges could be key for people trying to moderate addictive behaviors, Richard said.“We don’t want to make it so that people don’t want rewards,” Richard said. “We want to tone down the exaggerated motivation for rewards. Email Pinterestlast_img read more

Relationship quality tied to physical and mental health for young adults

first_imgShare on Twitter Share LinkedIn Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest For young people entering adulthood, high-quality relationships are associated with better physical and mental health, according to the results of a recently published study by a University at Buffalo-led research team.“Health benefits begin to accrue relatively quickly with high-quality relationships and supportive contexts,” says Ashley Barr, assistant professor in UB’s Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. “And then we see detrimental effects from low-quality relationships – particularly, those low-quality relationships that last a long time.”Over the last few decades, the transition into adulthood has been extended, according to Barr. Younger people today are waiting longer to get married than those in previous generations, and they’re waiting longer to finish school. During this period, they’re moving in and out of relationships. “Much of the research literature focuses on relationships and health in the context of marriage,” says Barr. “The majority of our respondents were not married, but these relationships are still impactful to health, for better or for worse.”This is Barr’s second study to look at how the quality of relationships during the transition into adulthood affects health. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology.She previously conducted research with an all-African-American sample that suggested patterns of instability in relationships mattered when it came to depressive symptoms, alcohol problems and how people reported their general health.Given those findings, the researchers wanted to see if the same patterns held true in a very different sample.And they did.Using the Iowa Youth and Families Project, a sample of all-white youth coming from two-parent, married families in rural Iowa, Barr says about one-third of the sample experienced relatively large changes in their relationships over a two-year period.“We took into account satisfaction, partner hostility, questions about criticism, support, kindness, affection and commitment,” says Barr. “We also asked about how partners behave outside of the relationship. Do they engage in deviant behaviors? Is there general anti-sociality?”Barr says the longer people are in high-quality relationships, or the faster they get out of low-quality relationships, the better their health.“It’s not being in a relationship that matters; it’s being in a long-term, high-quality relationship that’s beneficial,” she says. “Low-quality relationships are detrimental to health. The findings suggest that it’s better for health to be single than to be in a low-quality relationship.”Barr says the attention to changes in these relationships is important, particularly in the context of the extended transition to adulthood.“It’s rare today for young adults to enter a romantic relationship and stay in that relationship without ever changing partners or relationship characteristics,” she says. “We now have two studies that found similar patterns and similar implications for those changes.”last_img read more

Same genes could make us prone to both happiness and depression

first_imgShare on Facebook Professor Fox said: ‘If you take a gene that is linked to mental illness, and compare people who have the same genetic variant, it becomes clear that what happens to their mental health is based on their environment. We suggest that while no gene ’causes’ mental ill health, some genes can make people more sensitive to the effects of their environment – for better and for worse.‘If you have those genes and are in a negative environment, you are likely to develop the negative cognitive biases that lead to mental disorders. If you have those genes but are in a supportive environment, you are likely to develop positive cognitive biases that increase your mental resilience.’Professor Fox is currently carrying out further research into this combined genetic and environmental effect on our mental filters, which she has dubbed the ‘CogBIAS project’, in a programme of work funded by the European Research Council.She intends to see how sets of genes may affect mental health outcomes and how these are moderated by people’s environments. The hope is that such research may enable us to understand people’s underlying genetic sensitivity and deliver more tailored support to deliver the best possible mental resilience and health for each person. Email Share on Twitter Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn The same genes that make us prone to depression could also make us prone to positivity, two psychology researchers have suggested.Professors Elaine Fox, from Oxford University, and Chris Beevers from the University of Texas at Austin reviewed a number of studies for their paper in Molecular Psychiatry. They say that there is a need to combine studies in mental health genetics with those that look at cognitive biases.Professor Beevers said: ‘Cognitive biases are when people consistently interpret situations though particular mental ‘filters’ — when people have a cognitive bias that emphasises negative aspects or thoughts, they are more at risk of mental health disorders. There is a lot of research about these biases, and a lot of research about genes that may make people susceptible to mental ill health. However, we suggest that it could make more sense to bring together these two areas of research.’ Sharelast_img read more

Dyslexia linked to shorter memory trace of previous stimuli

first_imgShare “While dyslexics are mainly diagnosed according to their reading difficulty, they also differ from non-dyslexics in performing simple perceptual tasks, such as tone-frequency discrimination,” says first author Sagi Jaffe-Dax.“Our lab previously found that this is due to ‘poor anchoring’, where dyslexics have an inefficient integration of information from recent stimuli, collected as implicit memory. This memory typically forms ‘anchors’ that provide specific predictions that clarify noisy stimuli, and we wanted to see why this is not the case in dyslexics,” says Ahissar.In the current study, the team gave 60 native Hebrew speakers, including 30 dyslexics and 30 non-dyslexics, frequency discrimination and oral reading tasks. During the frequency-discrimination task, participants were asked to compare two tones in each trial. All participants’ responses were affected, or biased, by implicit memory of previous stimuli. Both groups were affected in similar ways by very recent stimuli, but dyslexics were less affected by earlier stimuli.“This suggests that implicit memory decays faster among dyslexics,” says Jaffe-Dax. “We decided to test this hypothesis by increasing the length of time between consecutive stimuli and measuring how it affects behavioral biases and neural responses from the auditory cortex, a section of the brain that processes sound.“Participants with dyslexia showed a faster decay of implicit memory on both measures. This also affected their oral reading rate, which decreased faster as a result of the time interval between reading the same nonword – a group of letters that looks or sounds like a word – numerous times.”The team concludes that dyslexics’ faster recovery from stimuli can account for their longer reading times, as it causes less reliable predictions for both simple and complex stimuli.Co-author Orr Frenkel explains: “The formation of adequate predictions is crucial for becoming an expert in general, and an expert reader in particular. Achieving this depends on matching printed words with predictions based on previous encounters with related words, but such predictions are less accurate in dyslexics.“However, while shorter implicit memory means they are unable to yield efficient predictions, it may be advantageous with unexpected stimuli, such as novel events in a sequence of predictable, familiar events. Further studies will be needed if we are to establish whether this is indeed the case.” Email Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Researchers have provided new insight into the brain mechanisms underlying a condition that causes reading and writing difficulties.Humans have a type of long-term memory (called ‘implicit memory’) that means we respond less to stimuli as they are repeated over time, in a process called neural adaptation. But the new research suggests that dyslexics recover faster than non-dyslexics from their responses to stimuli such as sounds and written words, leading to their perceptual and reading difficulties. The discovery could pave the way for earlier diagnosis and intervention of the condition.Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that affects one in every 10 to 20 people in the UK alone, impacting their ability to read and spell words but not affecting their general intelligence. Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led by Professor Merav Ahissar of the Psychology Department and The Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, decided to carry out a number of experiments with dyslexics and non-dyslexics to shine new light on the mechanisms behind this condition.last_img read more