Men and women with autism have ‘extreme male’ scores on the ‘eyes test’ of mindreading

first_imgEmail Share on Twitter Share Scientists at the University of Cambridge University have published new results in the journal PLoS ONE from the largest ever study of people with autism taking the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ test. Whilst typical adults showed the predicted and now well-established sex difference on this test, with women on average scoring higher than men, in adults with autism this typical sex difference was conspicuously absent. Instead, both men and women with autism showed an extreme of the typical male pattern on the test, providing strong support for the ‘extreme male brain’ theory of autism.The study was led by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) in Cambridge University. Almost 400 men and women with autism or Asperger Syndrome took the test online, which entails looking at a series of photographs of just the eye region of the face, and picking which of 4 words best describe what the person in the photo is thinking or feeling.The ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ test is known as an advanced ‘theory of mind’ or empathy test, designed to reveal subtle individual differences in social sensitivity. It particularly measures the ‘cognitive’ component of empathy, that is, the ability to recognize or infer someone else’s state of mind. The test has been used in hundreds of studies worldwide, showing reliable sex differences in typical individuals, with women on average scoring higher than men, and showing that people with autism score lower on average than people without autism. LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Pinterest The team investigated whether men and women with autism perform differently on this test, and used it to evaluate the ‘extreme male brain’ theory of autism, in the largest study to date. This theory predicts that on tests of empathy, typical females will score higher than typical males, who in turn will score higher than people with autism. The results confirmed this pattern.Professor Baron-Cohen commented: “We are seeing this pattern not just on the Eyes test but on a number of measures. Last year we saw it on the Empathy Quotient, a self-report measure of social sensitivity, and on the Systemizing Quotient, a self-report measure of one’s interest and aptitude in understanding systems. This year we saw it in prenatal testosterone levels, where boys with autism had elevated levels of this hormone compared to typically developing boys, who in turn have higher levels than typically developing girls. And a decade ago we found how much prenatal testosterone you have influences your scores on the Eyes test. Future research needs to delve into what is giving rise to this pattern.”Dr Carrie Allison, Research Manager at the ARC and another member of the team, said: “Imagine looking at people’s eyes and not being able to ‘read’ them effortlessly and intuitively for what the other person may be thinking or feeling. This research has the potential to explain why children with autism, from the earliest point in development, avoid looking at people’s eyes, and become confused in rapidly changing social situations, where people are exchanging glances without words all the time. This disability may be both a marker of the early-onset empathy difficulties in autism, and contribute to exacerbating them. Teaching children with autism how to read emotional expressions non-verbally should become an important clinical focus for future research and practice.”Dr Meng-Chuan Lai, the William Binks Autism Neuroscience Fellow at the ARC and senior author of the study, added: “There are substantial individual differences in terms of how well a person with autism performs on the Eyes test, but the social difficulties of both men and women are reflected on their test scores. In addition, women with autism differ more from typical women than men with autism differ from typical men. The relationship between autism and sex and gender is becoming an important topic for autism research.”last_img read more

People Moves: Ashurst, Gerald Eve, Montreaux and more

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Atlas Copco Compressors Appoints Neil Breedlove As Vice President, Business Line Manager For US Oil-Free Air Division

first_imgROCK HILL, S.C. – Atlas Copco Compressors has appointed Neil Breedlove vice president, business line manager for its U.S. oil-free air division. Breedlove received his executive master in business administration degree from Baylor University. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “Neil brings over 28 years of experience in oil-free air, and has worked with many of the industries that require oil-free air for critical processes, including oil and gas, power generation, steel fabrication, food and beverage, semiconductor, air separation and automotive,” said John Brookshire, president, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC. “His experience in all aspects of the business line will serve him as he works to grow the oil-free air business according to our short- and long-term business goals.” Breedlove was previously the manager of CTS Service Sales – Southern Region and served as the regional sales manager for both the industrial and oil-free air division. He began his career at Atlas Copco as a design assembly and test engineer within the oil-free engineering group and was part of the team responsible for the finished build-out of both the standard and customized oil-free Z series compressor. In his new position, Breedlove will be responsible for continuing the development and growth of the company’s oil-free air business in the U.S. He also will be responsible for maintaining a strong sales and marketing team to develop and implement business development goals in accordance with the oil-free air division’s targets and objectives.last_img read more

Valencia Orange & Green Tea Smoothie

first_imgIngredients (serves 2)6 Valencia oranges (juiced)2 green tea bags1 c water2 Tbsp strained Greek yogurt1 Tbsp honey2 c iceDirectionsFirst steep the green tea bags in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Once you have made the tea, set it in the fridge to cool while you juice your oranges. When the tea is cool, simply put all ingredients in the blender and let it rip.The result should be a light refreshing start to the day. Sharelast_img

Ports clog up as Belgian strike goes ahead

first_imgThe strike by port labourers has been called by three national unions in protest over the erosion of index-linked pay rises and tax increases.The strike is currently having a major effect on shipping operations in the area, with the ports of Zeebrugge, Ghent and Antwerp particularly badly affected.ISS Belgium has advised that there is a backlog of 65 ships waiting at anchorage to call at the port of Antwerp, with a further 12 vessels waiting to depart.”We regret that the strike, which is organised to protest against the austerity policy of our government, is affecting the port of Antwerp this much,” commented the Belgian port’s press officer, Annik Dirkx.”The port companies, terminal operators and other port users informed their clients about the strike, so that everybody was able to take the necessary precautions to reduce the expected difficulties to a minimum”It is also anticipated that this 24-hour strike will be followed by a national general strike on December 15, 2014.The port of Antwerp confirmed that it would organise itself in the same way that it has today for the upcoming national strike.www.iss-shipping.comwww.portofantwerp.comwww.portofzeebrugge.bewww.portofghent.belast_img read more

Grieve: legal aid cuts hurt, but bar is just too big

first_imgAttorney general Dominic Grieve has spoken of his sympathy for lawyers affected by the legal aid cuts – but insisted the legal sector cannot be immune from austerity measures.Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today, Grieve expressed his concern that the cuts would increase the number of litigants in person.But Grieve (pictured) said the cost to the taxpayer of legal aid could not be ignored – and ultimately that the numbers of barristers practising criminal law was too high.‘The lord chancellor is between a rock and a hard place – he has to implement savings which are exceptionally challenging,’ said Grieve.‘I have never been of the view you can exempt legal aid from that category. I am the first to recognise the bar and Law Society have a very difficult task and we have to look very carefully at the way it gives rise to an increase in litigants in person. But it’s not an area that can be left out the equation when it has grown so exponentially.’On the size of the bar, Grieve said the problem arose because practitioners cannot simply be redeployed to another area of the business.‘For self-employed people it is death by a thousand cuts and it’s an extremely painful process. The bar has to focus as a profession on the numbers required to fund the service. Even before these changes we had exceeded the amount and volume of work available. I am very confident about the long-term future of the bar, but the transition is exceptionally difficult.’When pressed on why the legal profession should face cuts when it contributes so much to the UK economy, Grieve said he understood that view, but after three years as a government minister he had found that ‘everyone has a reasoned plan for why expenditure should not be cut from their own area’.Grieve has been prominent in the national media as one of the few ministers prepared to promote the Human Rights Act – with justice secretary Chris Grayling among those who want it redesigned.The attorney general reiterated his support for the existing legislation, saying there were ‘numerous examples’ of the way the Human Rights Act has helped people. ‘It has acted as a very powerful force for improving the ways administrators carry out their work,’ he added.Angela Patrick, director of human rights policy for rule of law pressure group JUSTICE, called on the government to find examples where the European Convention on Human Rights had damaged the UK’s interests. ‘Which of the rights do we drop?’ asked Patrick. ‘Do we want to be in the same company as Belarus for human rights?’Follow John Hyde’s live blog of the Conservative Party conference here.last_img read more

Class 390 sets higher crashworthiness standards

first_imgBODYSHELLS to form Virgin Trains’ second Pendolino Britannico trainset are due to be shipped from the Italian port of Savona to Britain this month. Having started life in Fiat Ferroviaria’s plants in Italy, they will be taken for fitting out and final assembly to Alstom’s Birmingham plant, where the nine-car Class 390 pre-production set is nearing completion. Testing of this unit is crucial to the contract for Alstom and Fiat to supply Virgin with 53 trainsets (RG 10.98 p707), and the aim is to begin running trials in November. A 10th car, originally intended for dynamic hauling tests, is shortly to start static trials.Quite where the 225 km/h pre-production train will be able to demonstrate its capabilities is an open question. Because of uncertainties over planning permission that have so far prevented use of the intended test site in Britain at Old Dalby, Alstom and Fiat were obliged to examine other options. These included Railtrack’s East Coast Main Line, routes in France, possibly the Lille – Calais TGV line, the Velim loop in the Czech Republic, and even the test track operated by Transportation Technology Center Inc in Pueblo, Colorado, USA. Ultimately, the trains will have to be tested on the route they are destined to serve, but capacity on the WCML is already a major issue for the operators that share it, all the more so as the £5·8bn upgrading programme to fit the line for the new trains is in full swing.Fiat is meanwhile gearing up its production lines to allow assembly of 18 Virgin cars a month. The end cars are being put together in Colleferro near Roma, and the centre cars at Savigliano near Torino.The company has invested heavily to handle the volume of work, and new equipment at Savigliano includes automatic bogie welding gear, a robot milling machine for cutting window openings and other orifices in pre-assembled aluminium alloy sidewalls, roofs or floor structures, as well as a new paintshop.The bodyshells are assembled from long double-skin extrusions supplied by Alusuisse: five for the floor, five for each sidewall, and four in the roof. In contrast to the ETR460 and subsequent Pendolino builds, there are two structural transverse elements that form partitions inside the car. These are needed because the centre of the roof has a large hole to accommodate the air-conditioning packs.The Class 390 design sets unprecedentedly high crashworthiness standards for trains in Britain. According to Fiat, these are considerably higher than those specified in Britain’s Railway Group Standards, and the company commissioned AEA Technology to carry out tests to check this. The results in Table I indicate that the crashworthiness requirements for 160 km/h operation are more than covered at 225 km/h. nClass 390 suppliersMain contractors Fiat and AlstomAluminium alloy extrusions AlusuisseTransmission drives VoithBrakes KnorrWheelsets LucchiniGangways HübnerDoors IFEAir-conditioning LiebherrPantographs Brecknell WillisToilets EvacTABLE: Table I. Class 390 crashworthiness performance Railway Group Standards AEA Technology test results (up to 160 km/h) (up to 225 km/h) Energy Collapse Peak Energy Collapse Peak absorbed distance force absorbed distance force MJ m MN MJ m MNCab end full face 1 1 4 3·3 0·97 4Cab end over-ride 0·5 1 4 0·58 0·44 1·7Trailer car end full face 1 1 4 2·12 0·72 3·8CAPTION: Right: Collapsible elements are built into the roof and floor structure over the end doors of the trailer carsCAPTION: Centre car bodyshells under construction in Fiat Ferroviaria’s Savigliano plant in northern Italylast_img read more

ČD closes Railjet deal

first_imgCZECH REPUBLIC: State-owned operator ČD finally signed a €200m deal with Austrian Federal Railways and Siemens Mobility on September 30 under which it will acquire 16 Viaggio Comfort (Railjet) push-pull trainsets using an option on ÖBB’s original contract with Siemens which was no longer required by the Austrians.Announced in mid-June, the deal had been delayed by three months following a legal challenge from Skoda Transportation, which questioned the deal’s transparency. Skoda also claimed it was capable of delivering cheaper trains of comparable quality, although it has nothing in its product portfolio at present. On August 8 Skoda won a temporary injunction from Czech anti-monopoly authority ÚOHS to prevent ČD from signing the contract, but following a further hearing this injunction was dismissed on September 23, when ÚOHS ruled that the purchase would not break Czech law.The agreement was signed on the final day when the already-extended option between Siemens and ÖBB had been due to expire. Delivery of the trains is now expected to start at the end of 2012 and will continue until 2014. ČD will use several sources of finance to fund the deal, including issuing bonds and the sale of disposable assets. ČD believes that the new trainsets, bought at a very advantageous price, will strengthen its position in the central European rail passenger market.The 230 km/h trainsets are to be deployed first on EuroCity international services on the Hamburg – Berlin – Praha – Wien – Graz axis, bringing a much higher level of comfort for domestic passengers on the Ústí nad Labem – Praha – Brno route. They will be hauled by ČD’s Class 380 multi-voltage electric locos, which are currently being supplied by Skoda. However, the loco deliveries are nearly three years behind schedule, and ČD had threatened to revoke the contract in the light of the dispute over the Railjets. ČD has also announced its intention to purchase 10 new multi-voltage electric locomotives capable of 230 km/h operation.ČD currently has a total of 641 coaches available for its international services, of which only 56 are less than 10 years old. The majority are between 20 and 30 years old, but 158 vehicles have been in service for more than 30 years.last_img read more

Designs for Roseau River Promenade under review

first_img Sharing is caring! LocalNews Designs for Roseau River Promenade under review by: – January 25, 2014 Share Share 60 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share This is what the Roseau River Promenade is expected to look like after completionDesigns for the much talked about Roseau River Promenade is expected to be revised following the effects from the December 24, 2013 flooding associated with a trough system. The Roseau River Promenade, when complete, is expected to enhance the ambiance of the Roseau River and the City. The promenade, which has three main features, will be constructed between the West Bridge and the Dominica-China Friendship Bridge, as part of the Ministry of Tourism’s master plan to eliminate pollution, squatting and vagrancy within the City.Tourism Minister Ian Douglas said the designs for the project has been completed by consultants and are now being reviewed by engineers of the Ministry of Public Works. “What we have found really quite interestingly is in the last two weeks the kind of rains we have had and what the river did before Christmas, we realize that we may have to revise and review the drawings, some of the walls may have to be higher,” he said. According to Douglas, the existing river wall on the northern side has to be reviewed, considering the Christmas Eve flooding.“We are looking at that right now to put it back on the table for the engineers at Public Works to confirm to us whether the present designs that we have are adequate for going forward with the promenade,” he said. Douglas noted that the plan is to construct a facility that can withstand flooding from the river. “Of course the wall has to be done even before the start of the amenities like the restaurant and others on the southern banks of the river but the promenade is in progress. Like everything else we want to make sure that we get it right and we want to make sure that all our designs and everything is in keeping with the river flow, the force of the river when you have inclement weather and all those issues we trying to concretize before the actual building of the Roseau River Promenade begins,” he noted. It is not sure yet how much the project will cost however government had initially set aside eight million dollars for that project. Douglas revealed that there are a number of options available for funding at this time, including the European Union. The construction of a walkway, defence walls, restaurant, kiosks, public convenience, kid’s playground, parking and reclaiming of 12 feet of the river bank is expected to be part of the Promenade.Dominica Vibes News Tweetlast_img read more

Dominicans encouraged to view model roof as it tours island

first_img Share 345 Views   no discussions Share Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! Press ReleaseRoseau, Dominica, 28 February, 2018— The Ministry of Planning, Economic Development and Investment with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB) continued to partner to advocate for building resiliency in Dominica post Hurricane Maria. A model roof designed and built by the EWB team will be on display at various locations across the island. First seen at the Carnival Monday Parade on 12 February 2018, the model roof has been an effective way to engage Dominicans in discussion on building back better. Five model roofs have been built and these, along with the revised Guide to Dominica´s Housing Standards, also advanced by the Ministry of Planning, UNDP and EWB, are critical to advocacy and education for building back better.“Apart from being a tangible example of a resilient roof, it has been a great communication tool,” says Benjie Hayek of EWB.“It really gets us great feedback from members of the public who are seeking information from us and who are sharing their Hurricane Maria experience,” she added. For the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning, Mrs. Gloria Joseph, the roof and document complement each other for outreach efforts. “While members of the public can interact with the mobile roof, i.e. see and touch, they cannot go home with it and so the Guide enables them to reference what they have learnt, not just when they actually have to rebuild but throughout the entire process from planning to buying materials. It is a ready reference they can carry with them in various stages of the rebuilding process and that goes a long way in supporting the efforts of the Ministry,” she stated. To date, the roof has been displayed at EH Charles and Rudolph Thomas hardware stores in Roseau and Portsmouth respectively as well as the government headquarters and Roseau Market. A town hall meeting was held on Wednesday 21 February 2018 at the Credit Union Hall in Portsmouth, where a cross section of the community attended a discussion on building back better. Senior Development Control Officer and officer for the North in the Physical Planning Division, Joseph Fontaine, was very encouraged by the feedback from the audience.“The persons who attended included home owners, contractors and material suppliers, all of whom were affected by Maria in one way or another. They asked pertinent and very technically specific questions, and were very eager to apply the changes we have suggested as they rebuild. So as someone who has to, at some point, inspect their structures, this is very encouraging.”This week the model roof was on display in Grand Bay on Monday and Marigot the following day and will be on display for the rest of the week as follows:Wednesday 28th February 2018: Soufriere at the Christian Union Church from 4:00pmThursday 1st March 2018: Kalinago Territory at the St. Cyr Resource Centre from 9:30am, Castle Bruce at the Castle Bruce Secondary School from 3:00pmOther dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks. UNDP´s support for the education programme including the model roofs, revised Guidelines and outreach activities has been made possible through a US$3 million grant from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, mainly towards resilient roof construction through procurement of materials and equipment. This support will be implemented through partnerships with other agencies including four buildings at the Princess Margaret Hospital with the Ministry of Health; five health centres with AmeriCares Foundation; the Dominica State College with the Ministry of Education; and 600 homes for vulnerable households through international partners Caritas, International Organization for Migration (IOM), IsraAid and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Repairs to the roofs of apartments at Bath Estate and Elmshall will be carried out with funds from the government of India. Hurricane MariaLocalNewsRecovery Dominicans encouraged to view model roof as it tours island by: – February 28, 2018last_img read more