Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Psychology

Kinds of Salience

  • identity salience
  • mortality salience
  • perceptual salience
  • political salience
  • stimulus salience

  • Selected Abstracts


    As scholars have observed, government agencies have ambiguous goals. Very few large sample empirical studies, however, have tested such assertions and analysed variations among organizations in the characteristics of their goals. Researchers have developed concepts of organizational goal ambiguity, including ,evaluative goal ambiguity', and ,priority goal ambiguity', and found that these goal ambiguity variables related meaningfully to financial publicness (the degree of government funding versus prices or user charges), regulatory responsibility, and other variables. This study analyses the influence of the external political environment (external political authorities and processes) on goal ambiguity in government agencies; many researchers have analysed external influences on government bureaucracies, but very few have examined the effects on the characteristics of the organizations, such as their goals. This analysis of 115 US federal agencies indicates that higher ,political salience' to Congress, the president, and the media, relates to higher levels of goal ambiguity. A newly developed analytical framework for the analysis includes components for external environmental influences, organizational characteristics, and managerial influences, with new variables that represent components of the framework. Higher levels of political salience relate to higher levels of both types of goal ambiguity; components of the framework, however, relate differently to evaluative goal ambiguity than to priority goal ambiguity. The results contribute evidence of the viability of the goal ambiguity variables and the political environment variables. The results also show the value of bringing together concepts from organization theory and political science to study the effects of political environments on characteristics of government agencies. [source]

    Cognitive load, trigger salience, and the facilitation of triggered displaced aggression

    Eduardo Antonio Vasquez
    Researchers hypothesize that a state of limited cognitive processing capacity increases aggression. In the context of the triggered displaced aggression (TDA) paradigm, a 2 (Salience of triggering event: high/low),,2 (Cognitive load at trigger: yes/no),,2 (Cognitive load at aggression: yes/no) between participants experiment tested this hypothesis. Results showed that inducing cognitive load in previously provoked participants while they received a triggering provocation augmented aggression toward the target when the latter was highly salient. Affective reactions to the trigger partially mediated this effect. In contrast to expectation, however, inducing cognitive load while participants aggressed against their target did not affect aggression levels. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Communicative Correlates of Satisfaction, Family Identity, and Group Salience in Multiracial/Ethnic Families

    Jordan Soliz
    Guided by the Common Ingroup Identity Model (S. L. Gaertner & J. F. Dovidio, 2000) and Communication Accommodation Theory (C. Shepard, H. Giles, & B. A. LePoire, 2001), we examined the role of identity accommodation, supportive communication, and self-disclosure in predicting relational satisfaction, shared family identity, and group salience in multiracial/ethnic families. Additionally, we analyzed the association between group salience and relational outcomes as well as the moderating roles of multiracial/ethnic identity and marital status. Individuals who have parents from different racial/ethnic groups were invited to complete questionnaires on their family experiences. Participants (N = 139) answered questions about relationships with mothers, fathers, and grandparents. The results of the multilevel modeling analyses are discussed in terms of implications for understanding multiracial/ethnic families and family functioning. [source]

    Corticosterone Facilitates Saccharin Intake in Adrenalectomized Rats: Does Corticosterone Increase Stimulus Salience?

    Unlike normal rats, adrenalectomized rats do not voluntarily drink sweet saccharin solutions. To test whether this is a function of corticosterone in the circulation, and if corticosterone also increases the impetus for drinking saccharin after a period of withdrawal, we performed the following experiments. Young male rats were sham adrenalectomized (sham) or adrenalectomized (ADX); the ADX rats were provided with subcutaneous pellets containing (percent replacement of corticosterone, %B) 0%B, 15%B, 30%B or 100%B. Sham and ADX rats were immediately provided with saline (0.5%) and saccharin (2 mM) bottles in their home cages. Saccharin was allowed for 4 days on, 3 days off, 4 days on, 3 days off and a final day on, over the 15 days experiment. The dose of corticosterone determined both how much saccharin was voluntarily drunk by the ADX rats and the degree of overshoot after days off. Corticosterone also determined energy balance of the groups of ADX rats. The 30%B pellets restored food intake, body weight gain, insulin and caloric efficiency to the normal levels observed in sham rats. White fat depot weights and uncoupling protein concentration in brown adipose tissue were restored to sham levels by 100%B, suggesting that these variables which depend on activity in the sympathetic nervous system require considerable glucocorticoid receptor occupancy. We conclude that corticosterone increases the willingness to ingest sweetened water in a unimodal, dose-related manner, while moderate doses of corticosterone restore energy balance. [source]

    The Thrust of the Problem: Bodily Inhibitions and Guilt as a Function of Mortality Salience and Neuroticism

    Jamie L. Goldenberg
    ABSTRACT We argue that existential concerns underlie discomfort with the physicality of the body and that activities likely to make individuals aware of their physical body (e.g., sex, dancing) may be inhibited and cause guilt. Further, individuals high in neuroticism may be especially vulnerable to such difficulties. To test this, individuals high and low in neuroticism were primed with thoughts about their mortality or a control topic and then engaged in an exercise designed to promote body awareness before self-reporting guilt. A comparison group engaged in non-body-oriented behavior. The results revealed that high neuroticism participants inhibited their body-oriented behavior when mortality was salient and that they experienced a marginal increase in guilt after performing the behavior in conjunction with mortality salience. Discussion focuses on the relationship between neuroticism, mortality salience, inhibition surrounding the body, and guilt. [source]

    The Salient Issue of Issue Salience

    This paper proposes a model where the set of issues that are decisive in an election (i.e., the set of salient issues) is endogenous. The model takes into account a key feature of the policy-making process, namely, that the decision-maker faces time and budget constraints that prevent him from addressing all of the issues that are on the agenda. We show that this feature creates a rationale for a policy-motivated decision-maker to manipulate his policy choice in order to influence which issues will be salient in the next election. We identify three motivations for the decision-maker to manipulate his policy choice for salience purposes. One is to make salient an issue on which he has an electoral advantage. A second motivation is to defuse the salience of an issue on which he is electorally weak, which is accomplished by either implicitly committing to a policy outcome or triggering a change of salient issue for the challenger. A third motivation is to induce the opposition party to nominate a candidate who, if elected, will implement a policy that the incumbent decision maker finds more palatable. [source]

    Passion and Reason: Aristotelian Strategies in Kierkegaard's Ethics

    Norman Lillegard
    Both Aristotle and Kierkegaard show that virtues result, in part, from training which produces distinctive patterns of salience. The "frame problem" in AI shows that rationality requires salience. Salience is a function of cares and desires (passions) and thus governs choice in much the way Aristotle supposes when he describes choice as deliberative desire. Since rationality requires salience it follows that rationality requires passion. Thus Kierkegaard is no more an irrationalist in ethics than is Aristotle, though he continues to be charged with irrationalism. The compatibility of an Aristotelian reading of Kierkegaard with the "suspension of the ethical" and general problems with aretaic ethical theories are treated briefly. The author argues that it is possible to preserve a realist ethics in the face of the "tradition relativism" which threatens the version of virtue ethics here attributed to Kierkegaard. [source]

    Compassionate Values and Presidential Politics: Mortality Salience, Compassionate Values, and Support for Barack Obama and John McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election

    Kenneth E. Vail III
    In line with terror management theory, this research demonstrates that mortality salience motivated increased support for John McCain in the absence of reminders of compassionate values. However, polls had indicated that Barack Obama was generally perceived as the more compassionate of the two candidates. Thus, when compassionate values were made salient, death reminders motivated participants to uphold these values by significantly increasing their support for the more compassionate Barack Obama instead. The implications of these findings for terror management theory, the 2008 presidential election, and political endorsements are discussed. [source]

    The Birth of Words: Ten-Month-Olds Learn Words Through Perceptual Salience

    CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 2 2006
    Shannon M. Pruden
    A core task in language acquisition is mapping words onto objects, actions, and events. Two studies investigated how children learn to map novel labels onto novel objects. Study 1 investigated whether 10-month-olds use both perceptual and social cues to learn a word. Study 2, a control study, tested whether infants paired the label with a particular spatial location rather than to an object. Results show that 10-month-olds can learn new labels and do so by relying on the perceptual salience of an object instead of social cues provided by a speaker. This is in direct contrast to the way in which older children (12-, 18-, and 24-month-olds) learn and extend new object names. [source]


    CRIMINOLOGY, Issue 1 2007
    Marriage is central to theoretical debates over stability and change in criminal offending over the life course. Yet, unlike other social ties such as employment, marriage is distinct in that it cannot be randomly assigned in survey research to more definitively assess causal effects of marriage on offending. As a result, key questions remain as to whether different individual propensities toward marriage shape its salience as a deterrent institution. Building on these issues, the current research has three objectives. First, we use a propensity score matching approach to estimate causal effects of marriage on crime in early adulthood. Second, we assess sex differences in the effects of marriage on offending. Although both marriage and offending are highly gendered phenomena, prior work typically focuses on males. Third, we examine whether one's propensity to marry conditions the deterrent capacity of marriage. Results show that marriage suppresses offending for males, even when accounting for their likelihood to marry. Furthermore, males who are least likely to marry seem to benefit most from this institution. The influence of marriage on crime is less robust for females, where marriage reduces crime only for those with moderate propensities to marry. We discuss these findings in the context of recent debates concerning gender, criminal offending, and the life course. [source]

    Behavioral discrimination of sexually dimorphic calls by male zebra finches requires an intact vocal motor pathway

    David S. Vicario
    Abstract Vocal communication between zebra finches includes the exchange of long calls (LCs) as well as song. By using this natural call behavior and quantifying the LCs emitted in response to playbacks of LCs of other birds, we have previously shown that adult male zebra finches have a categorical preference for the LCs of females over those of males. Female LCs are acoustically simpler than male LCs, which include complex acoustic features that are learned during development. Production of these male-typical features requires an intact nucleus RA, the sexually dimorphic source of the main telencephalic projection to brainstem vocal effectors. We have now made bilateral lesions of RA in 17 adult males and tested their discrimination behavior in the call response situation. Lesioned birds continue to call, but lose the male-typical preference for female LCs. The degree of loss is correlated with the extent of RA damage. Further, the simplified LCs of males with RA lesions have a variable duration that is correlated with stimulus features. In effect, the call response behavior of lesioned males becomes like that of females. Apparently, in the absence of RA, the remaining intact structures receive different call information than RA normally does, and/or process it differently. This suggests that the vocal motor nucleus RA could play a role in the transformation of a signal encoding the salience of stimulus parameters into a control signal that modulates the probability and strength of responding. 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Neurobiol 47: 109,120, 2001 [source]

    Olfactory learning in the rat immediately after birth: Unique salience of first odors

    Stacie S. Miller
    Abstract An infant rat's chance of survival is increased when it remains close to the nest. Early olfactory learning supports such adaptive behavior. Previous experiments indicated that non-associative odor exposure immediately after birth promoted later attachment to a similarly scented artificial nipple. The goal of the current experiments was to extend these findings on olfactory learning in the hours after birth by: exposing pups to more than one odor exposure (Experiment 1), dissecting the role of timing versus order of odor exposure (Experiment 2), testing the odor specificity of these effects (Experiments 3 and 4), and evaluating associative odor conditioning soon after birth (Experiment 5). Without explicit prior odor experience, pups only hours old do not respond much to a novel odor. Prior non-associative odor experience increases later motor activity to that same odor and to novel odors. Furthermore, these findings may be specific to certain amodal dimensions of the (in our case) lemon odor exposure. Single odor non-associative and associative conditioning was equally effective immediately after birth and during the third postnatal hour. Nevertheless, pups given two mere odor exposures responded to the first one more than the second at test, regardless of whether the exposures began immediately or 2,hr after birth. Possible mechanisms for these findings concerning early olfactory learning are discussed. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 51: 488,504, 2009 [source]

    Spatial conditional discrimination learning in developing rats

    Kevin L. Brown
    Abstract The present study established an effective procedure for studying spatial conditional discrimination learning in juvenile rats using a T-maze. Wire mesh located on the floor of the maze as well as a second, identical T-maze apparatus served as conditional cues which signaled whether a left or a right response would be rewarded. In Experiment 1, conditional discrimination was evident on Postnatal Day (PND) 30 when mesh,+,maze or maze-alone were the conditional cues, but not when mesh-alone was the cue. Experiment 2 confirmed that mesh-alone was sufficiently salient to support learning of a simple (nonconditional) discrimination. Its failure to serve as a conditional cue in Experiment 1 does not reflect its general ineffectiveness as a stimulus. Experiment 3 confirmed that the learning shown in Experiment 1 was indeed conditional in nature by comparing performance on conditional versus nonconditional versions of the task. Experiment 4 showed that PND19 and PND23 pups also were capable of performing the task when maze,+,mesh was the cue; however, the findings indicate that PND19 subjects do not use a conditional strategy to learn this task. The findings suggest postnatal ontogeny of conditional discrimination learning and underscore the importance of conditional cue salience, and of identifying task strategies, in developmental studies of conditional discrimination learning. 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 46: 97,110, 2005. [source]

    Contextual modulation of spatial discrimination reversal in developing rats

    Jerome H. Pagani
    Abstract Reversal of discrimination learning is influenced by manipulation of the training context. In adult and developing rats, contextual changes made between acquisition and reversal aid the learning of the new discrimination, possibly by serving to release proactive interference from the originally acquired discrimination (M. E. Bouton & D. C. Brooks, 1993; N. Spear, G. Smith, R. Bryan, & W. Gordon, 1980). The present study sought to examine this effect in an appetitive T-maze task, as a function of different contextual manipulations. Rats of three ages, Postnatal Day (PND) 19, PND23, and PND30, were tested for their ability to acquire and reverse a position habit in a T-maze. Contextual changes were made between acquisition and reversal sessions and consisted of one of three manipulations: (a) texture; the texture of the maze floor was changed via the addition or subtraction of wire mesh; (b) maze; subjects were reversed in a different maze that was identical in construction to the training maze, but differed in spatial location; (c) texture and maze; subjects were shifted to the new maze, the floor of which differed in texture from the training maze but was otherwise identical in construction. Results showed that the texture,maze combination was an effective aid to reversal learning at all ages tested. The texture alone, however, was not effective at any age. The maze alone also was an effective cue for reversal, but proved to have the greatest effect for PND30 subjects. During ontogeny, the contextual modulation of reversal learning is importantly influenced by the nature and the salience of the contextual cue. 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 46: 36,46, 2005. [source]

    Age-related differences in neural correlates of face recognition during the toddler and preschool years

    Leslie J. Carver
    Abstract Research on the development of face recognition in infancy has shown that infants respond to faces as if they are special and recognize familiar faces early in development. Infants also show recognition and differential attachment to familiar people very early in development. We tested the hypothesis that infants' responses to familiar and unfamiliar faces differ at different ages. Specifically, we present data showing age-related changes in infants' brain responses to mother's face versus a stranger's face in children between 18 and 54 months of age. We propose that these changes are based on age-related differences in the perceived salience of the face of the primary caregiver versus strangers. 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 42: 148,159, 2003 [source]

    Predictive tracking over occlusions by 4-month-old infants

    Claes Von Hofsten
    Two experiments investigated how 16,20-week-old infants visually tracked an object that oscillated on a horizontal trajectory with a centrally placed occluder. To determine the principles underlying infants' tendency to shift gaze to the exiting side before the object arrives, occluder width, oscillation frequency, and motion amplitude were manipulated resulting in occlusion durations between 0.20 and 1.66 s. Through these manipulations, we were able to distinguish between several possible modes of behavior underlying ,predictive' actions at occluders. Four such modes were tested. First, if passage-of-time determines when saccades are made, the tendency to shift gaze over the occluder is expected to be a function of time since disappearance. Second, if visual salience of the exiting occluder edge determines when saccades are made, occluder width would determine the pre-reappearance gaze shifts but not oscillation frequency, amplitude, or velocity. Third, if memory of the duration of the previous occlusion determines when the subjects shift gaze over the occluder, it is expected that the gaze will shift after the same latency at the next occlusion irrespective of whether occlusion duration is changed or not. Finally, if infants base their pre-reapperance gaze shifts on their ability to represent object motion (cognitive mode), it is expected that the latency of the gaze shifts over the occluder is scaled to occlusion duration. Eye and head movements as well as object motion were measured at 240 Hz. In 49% of the passages, the infants shifted gaze to the opposite side of the occluder before the object arrived there. The tendency to make such gaze shifts could not be explained by the passage of time since disappearance. Neither could it be fully explained in terms of visual information present during occlusion, i.e. occluder width. On the contrary, it was found that the latency of the pre-reappearance gaze shifts was determined by the time of object reappearance and that it was a function of all three factors manipulated. The results suggest that object velocity is represented during occlusion and that infants track the object behind the occluder in their ,mind's eye'. [source]

    Interrupting infants' persisting object representations: an object-based limit?

    Erik W. Cheries
    Making sense of the visual world requires keeping track of objects as the same persisting individuals over time and occlusion. Here we implement a new paradigm using 10-month-old infants to explore the processes and representations that support this ability in two ways. First, we demonstrate that persisting object representations can be maintained over brief interruptions from additional independent events , just as a memory of a traffic scene may be maintained through a brief glance in the rearview mirror. Second, we demonstrate that this ability is nevertheless subject to an object-based limit: if an interrupting event involves enough objects (carefully controlling for overall salience), then it will impair the maintenance of other persisting object representations even though it is an independent event. These experiments demonstrate how object representations can be studied via their ,interruptibility', and the results are consistent with the idea that infants' persisting object representations are constructed and maintained by capacity-limited mid-level ,object-files'. [source]

    Examination stress in Singapore primary schoolchildren: how compliance by subjects can impact on study results

    G. Parker
    Objective: Examinations are anecdotally viewed as extremely stressful to Singapore schoolchildren. We test this postulate by obtaining parental ratings of children's emotional stress levels longitudinally in a large representative sample of sixth (P6) and fifth (P5) class primary schoolchildren, respectively, exposed and unexposed to a streaming examination. Method: Children's stress levels were rated monthly by a parent for 10 months. Results: Analyses failed to find evidence of any differential stress impact across P6 and P5 comparison groups, apart from a subset of P6 children whose parents complied with every monthly survey. Conclusion: The streaming examination in the final year of primary school did not emerge as a general stressor to children, but achieved salience within a defined subset of children whose parents were highly study compliant. Study compliance may be a proxy variable of some import, and have wider relevance to other cohort studies and to intervention trials. [source]


    ECONOMICS & POLITICS, Issue 1 2009
    We investigate the relationship between corruption and political stability, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. We propose a model of incumbent behavior that features the interplay of two effects: a horizon effect, whereby greater instability leads the incumbent to embezzle more during his short window of opportunity, and a demand effect, by which the private sector is more willing to bribe stable incumbents. The horizon effect dominates at low levels of stability, because firms are unwilling to pay high bribes and unstable incumbents have strong incentives to embezzle, whereas the demand effect gains salience in more stable regimes. Together, these two effects generate a non-monotonic, U-shaped relationship between total corruption and stability. On the empirical side, we find a robust U-shaped pattern between country indices of corruption perception and various measures of incumbent stability, including historically observed average tenures of chief executives and governing parties: regimes that are very stable or very unstable display higher levels of corruption when compared with those in an intermediate range of stability. These results suggest that minimizing corruption may require an electoral system that features some re-election incentives, but with an eventual term limit. [source]

    The Political Economy of Postmaterialism: Material Explanations of Changing Values

    ECONOMICS & POLITICS, Issue 2 2002
    Robert Grafstein
    This paper uses a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model of the US political economy to explore the impact of public insurance on the way individuals react to partisan changes in economic policy. In response to these aggregate political shocks, individuals rely on public insurance to insulate them from government-induced volatility in consumption. As a result, the public appears to be relatively less materialistic in its vote choices as well as in "values" surveys, but only because its underlying materialism has less political salience. Thus this insurance model provides an alternative analysis of the rise of "postmaterialist values" and their relation to unemployment. [source]

    The effects of acute exercise on attentional bias towards smoking-related stimuli during temporary abstinence from smoking

    ADDICTION, Issue 11 2009
    Kate Janse Van Rensburg
    ABSTRACT Rationale Attentional bias towards smoking-related cues is increased during abstinence and can predict relapse after quitting. Exercise has been found to reduce cigarette cravings and desire to smoke during temporary abstinence and attenuate increased cravings in response to smoking cues. Objective To assess the acute effects of exercise on attentional bias to smoking-related cues during temporary abstinence from smoking. Method In a randomized cross-over design, on separate days regular smokers (n = 20) undertook 15 minutes of exercise (moderate intensity stationary cycling) or passive seating following 15 hours of nicotine abstinence. Attentional bias was measured at baseline and post-treatment. The percentage of dwell time and direction of initial fixation was assessed during the passive viewing of a series of paired smoking and neutral images using an Eyelink II eye-tracking system. Self-reported desire to smoke was recorded at baseline, mid- and post-treatment and post-eye-tracking task. Results There was a significant condition time interaction for desire to smoke, F(1,18) = 10.67, P = 0.004, eta2 = 0.36, with significantly lower desire to smoke at mid- and post-treatment following the exercise condition. The percentage of dwell time and direction of initial fixations towards smoking images were also reduced significantly following the exercise condition compared with the passive control. Conclusion Findings support previous research that acute exercise reduces desire to smoke. This is the first study to show that exercise appears to also influence the salience and attentional biases towards cigarettes. [source]

    How reactions to cigarette packet health warnings influence quitting: findings from the ITC Four-Country survey

    ADDICTION, Issue 4 2009
    Ron Borland
    ABSTRACT Objectives To examine prospectively the impact of health warnings on quitting activity. Design Five waves (2002,06) of a cohort survey where reactions to health warnings at one survey wave are used to predict cessation activity at the next wave, controlling for country (proxy for warning differences) and other factors. These analyses were replicated on four wave-to-wave transitions. Setting and participants Smokers from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Samples were waves 1,2: n = 6525; waves 2,3: n = 5257; waves 3,4: n = 4439; and waves 4,5: n = 3993. Measures Warning salience, cognitive responses (thoughts of harm and of quitting), forgoing of cigarettes and avoidance of warnings were examined as predictors of quit attempts, and of quitting success among those who tried (1 month sustained abstinence), replicated across four wave-to-wave transitions. Results All four responses to warnings were independently predictive of quitting activity in bivariate analyses. In multivariate analyses, both forgoing cigarettes and cognitive responses to the warnings predicted prospectively making quit attempts in all replications. However, avoiding warnings did not add predictive value consistently, and there was no consistent pattern for warning salience. There were no interactions by country. Some, but not all, the effects were mediated by quitting intentions. There were no consistent effects on quit success. Conclusions This study adds to the evidence that forgoing cigarettes as a result of noticing warnings and quit-related cognitive reactions to warnings are consistent prospective predictors of making quit attempts. This work strengthens the evidence base for governments to go beyond the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to mandate health warnings on tobacco products that stimulate the highest possible levels of these reactions. [source]

    Craving: what can be done to bring the insights of neuroscience, behavioral science and clinical science into synchrony

    ADDICTION, Issue 8s2 2000
    Roger E. Meyer
    Alcohol self-administration behavior is the common thread that is necessary to bring the insights of neuroscience, behavioral science and clinical science into synchrony around the concept of craving. Animal models should address the molecular and cellular changes that take place in behaviorally relevant brain regions of rats consequent to chronic self-administration of ethanol. Animal models can focus on the biology of the anticipatory state in alcohol preferring/consuming rats, as well as studies of the effects of possible medications on this state in the animal model, on actual alcohol consuming behavior, and on the residual effects of chronic alcohol on the non-human mammalian brain. In human studies of craving, cue-reactivity in the absence of the opportunity to drink alcohol does not have the same salience as cue-reactivity in which drinking is possible. Moreover, actual drinking behavior serves to validate self-reports of craving. Studies of limited alcohol self-administration in the laboratory are an essential element in screening new medications for the treatment of alcoholism. Studies to date suggest no adverse reaction to the participation of alcoholic subjects in limited alcohol self-administration studies, but the research community should continue to monitor carefully the outcomes of alcohol-dependent subjects who participate in this type of research, and efforts should always be made to encourage these subjects to enter active treatment. In outpatient clinical trials of new treatments for alcoholism, the assessment of craving should include queries regarding symptoms and signs of protracted abstinence such as sleep disturbances, as well as questions regarding situational craving. Field observations of alcoholics in their favorite drinking environments would contribute greatly to our understanding of the real-world phenomenology of craving. [source]

    The acute anti-craving effect of acamprosate in alcohol-preferring rats is associated with modulation of the mesolimbic dopamine system

    ADDICTION BIOLOGY, Issue 3 2005
    Michael Cowen
    Acamprosate (Campral ?) is a drug used clinically for the treatment of alcoholism. In order to examine further the time-course and mechanism of action of acamprosate, the effect of acute and repeated acamprosate administration was examined on (i) operant ethanol self-administration and (ii) voluntary home cage ethanol consumption by alcohol-preferring Fawn-Hooded, iP and Alko Alcohol (AA) rats. Acutely, acamprosate was shown to cause a significant decrease in operant ethanol self-administration by Fawn-Hooded and alcohol-preferring iP rats in part by decreasing the motivational relevance of a specific ethanol cue; however, repeated injection of acamprosate led to tolerance to this effect. Voluntary alcohol consumption in the home cage in Fawn-Hooded and AA rats was also reduced by an acute acamprosate injection; however, again tolerance developed to repeated injections. In a separate experiment, the effect of acamprosate on markers of the dopaminergic system was examined. Interestingly, acute acamprosate was also shown to cause increased dopamine transporter density and decreased dopamine D2-like receptor density within the nucleus accumbens but not in the caudate-putamen, suggesting a link between the decreased motivational salience of the ethanol cue and altered dopaminergic signalling within the nucleus accumbens. With repeated injections of acamprosate, markers of the dopaminergic system returned to steady state levels with a similar temporal profile to the development of tolerance in the behavioural studies. Along with previous studies, our findings indicate that acamprosate modulates the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and may thereby decrease ethanol reinforcement processes; however, these effects undergo tolerance in alcohol-preferring rats and may in part explain the fact why some subjects are non-responders to chronic acamprosate treatment. [source]

    Double dissociation of the effects of selective nucleus accumbens core and shell lesions on impulsive-choice behaviour and salience learning in rats

    Helen H. J. Pothuizen
    Abstract The nucleus accumbens can be subdivided into at least two anatomically distinct subregions: a dorsolateral ,core' and a ventromedial ,shell', and this distinction may extend to a functional dissociation. Here, we contrasted the effects of selective excitotoxic core and medial shell lesions on impulsive-choice behaviour using a delayed reward choice paradigm and a differential reward for low rates of responding (DRL) test, against a form of salience learning known as latent inhibition (LI). Core lesions led to enhanced impulsive choices as evidenced by a more pronounced shift from choosing a continuously reinforced lever to a partially reinforced lever, when a delay between lever press and reward delivery was imposed selectively on the former. The core lesions also impaired performance on a DRL task that required withholding the response for a fixed period of time in order to earn a reward. Medial shell lesions had no effect on these two tasks, but abolished the LI effect, as revealed by the failure of stimulus pre-exposure to retard subsequent conditioning to that stimulus in an active avoidance procedure in the lesioned animals. As expected, selective core lesions spared LI. The double dissociations demonstrated here support a functional segregation between nucleus accumbens core and shell, and add weight to the hypothesis that the core, but not the shell, subregion of the nucleus accumbens is preferentially involved in the control of choice behaviour under delayed reinforcement conditions and in the inhibitory control of goal-directed behaviour. [source]

    Ventral pallidal neurons code incentive motivation: amplification by mesolimbic sensitization and amphetamine

    Amy J. Tindell
    Abstract Neurons in ventral pallidum fire to reward and its predictive cues. We tested mesolimbic activation effects on neural reward coding. Rats learned that a Pavlovian conditioned stimulus (CS+1 tone) predicted a second conditioned stimulus (CS+2 feeder click) followed by an unconditioned stimulus (UCS sucrose reward). Some rats were sensitized to amphetamine after training. Electrophysiological activity of ventral pallidal neurons to stimuli was later recorded under the influence of vehicle or acute amphetamine injection. Both sensitization and acute amphetamine increased ventral pallidum firing at CS+2 (population code and rate code). There were no changes at CS+1 and minimal changes to UCS. With a new ,Profile Analysis', we show that mesolimbic activation by sensitization/amphetamine incrementally shifted neuronal firing profiles away from prediction signal coding (maximal at CS+1) and toward incentive coding (maximal at CS+2), without changing hedonic impact coding (maximal at UCS). This pattern suggests mesolimbic activation specifically amplifies a motivational transform of CS+ predictive information into incentive salience coded by ventral pallidal neurons. Our results support incentive-sensitization predictions and suggest why cues temporally proximal to drug presentation may precipitate cue-triggered relapse in human addicts. [source]

    Issue salience in regional party manifestos in Spain

    It is based on a content analysis of the party manifestos of the Spanish PP and PSOE in eight regional elections held between 2001 and 2003. It provides an innovative coding scheme for analysing regional party manifestos and on that basis seeks to account for inter-regional, intra-party and inter-party differences in regional campaigning. The authors have tried to explain the inter-regional variation of the issue profiles of state-wide parties in regional elections on the basis of a model with four independent variables: the asymmetric nature of the system, the electoral cycle, the regional party systems and the organisation of the state-wide parties. Three of their hypotheses are rejected, but the stronger variations in the regional issue profiles of the PSOE corroborate the assumption that parties with a more decentralised party organisation support regionally more diverse campaigning. The article concludes by offering an alternative explanation for this finding and by suggesting avenues for further research. [source]

    The missing piece: Measuring portfolio salience in Western European parliamentary democracies

    Portfolios constitute an important payoff, not just because they provide access to patronage, but because influence over policy decisions tends to go with control over the key government portfolios. It is easy to discover which and how many portfolios each party holds in any government, but what is missing is accurate measurement of the value or salience of these portfolios. Some attempts have been made to measure portfolio salience, but they have lacked one or more of the following properties: cross-national scope, country-specific measurement, coverage of the full set of postwar portfolios, measurement by multiple experts and measurement at the interval level. In this article, we present a new data contribution: a set of portfolio salience scores that possesses all of these properties for 14 Western European countries derived from an expert survey. We demonstrate the comprehensiveness and reliability of the ratings, and undertake some preliminary analyses that show what the ratings reveal about parliamentary government in Western Europe. [source]

    Learning from the Danish case: A comment on Palle Svensson's critique of the Franklin thesis

    Mark N. Franklin
    Palle Svensson in this issue of EJPR has objected to the characterisation of Danish voters made by Franklin and others who, in various publications, expounded the thesis that on issues of low salience, referendum votes tend to follow party lines. Svensson finds evidence that the Maastricht Treaty was not an issue of low salience to Danish voters in the ratification referendums conducted there, and gives other details of the evolution of public opinion regarding Europe that clarify the circumstances in which our thesis should apply. In the light of his arguments, this Comment presents a more nuanced version of the thesis that learns from the Danish case, and should be of greater utility than our earlier version in helping to interpret the role of government standing in referendum outcomes. [source]

    Cognitive load, trigger salience, and the facilitation of triggered displaced aggression

    Eduardo Antonio Vasquez
    Researchers hypothesize that a state of limited cognitive processing capacity increases aggression. In the context of the triggered displaced aggression (TDA) paradigm, a 2 (Salience of triggering event: high/low),,2 (Cognitive load at trigger: yes/no),,2 (Cognitive load at aggression: yes/no) between participants experiment tested this hypothesis. Results showed that inducing cognitive load in previously provoked participants while they received a triggering provocation augmented aggression toward the target when the latter was highly salient. Affective reactions to the trigger partially mediated this effect. In contrast to expectation, however, inducing cognitive load while participants aggressed against their target did not affect aggression levels. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]