Research in the context of the dental school has traditionally been focused on institutional/faculty accomplishments and generating new knowledge to benefit the profession. Only recently have significant efforts been made to expand the overall research programming into the formal dental curriculum, to provide students with a baseline exposure to the research and critical thinking processes, encourage evidence-based decision-making, and stimulate interest in academic/research careers. Various approaches to curriculum reform and the establishment of multiple levels of student research opportunities are now part of the educational fabric of many dental schools worldwide. Many of the preliminary reports regarding the success and vitality of these programs have used outcomes measures and metrics that emphasize cultural changes within institutions, student research productivity, and student career preferences after graduation. However, there have not been any reports from long-standing programs (a minimum of 25 years of cumulative data) that describe dental school graduates who have had the benefit of research/training experiences during their dental education. The University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry initiated a BSc Dent program in 1980 that awarded a formal degree for significant research experiences taking place within the laboratories of the Faculty-based researchers and has continued to develop and expand this program. The success of the program has been demonstrated by the continued and increasing demands for entry, the academic achievements of the graduates, and the numbers of graduates who have completed advanced education/training programs or returned to the Faculty as instructors. Analysis of our long-term data validates many recent hypotheses and short-term observations regarding the benefits of dental student research programs. This information may be useful in the design and implementation of dental student research programs at other dental schools.
This three-wave 35-year prospective study used the Job Demands-Resources model and life course epidemiology to examine how life conditions in adolescence (1961-1963) through achieved educational level and working conditions in early adulthood (1985) may be indirectly related to job burnout 35 years later (1998). We used data (N = 511) from the Finnish Healthy Child study (1961-1963) to investigate the hypothesized relationships by employing structural equation modeling analyses. The results supported the hypothesized model in which both socioeconomic status and cognitive ability in adolescence (1961-1963) were positively associated with educational level (measured in 1985), which in turn was related to working conditions in early adulthood (1985). Furthermore, working conditions (1985) were associated with job burnout (1998) 13 years later. Moreover, adult education (1985) and skill variety (1985) mediated the associations between original socioeconomic status and cognitive ability, and burnout over a 35-year time period. The results suggest that socioeconomic, individual, and work-related resources may accumulate over the life course and may protect employees from job burnout.
Cognitive and receptive language development were examined in 135 60-month-old and 137 72-month-old children for whom prenatal exposure to marijuana, cigarettes, and alcohol had been ascertained. Discriminant Function analysis revealed an association between prenatal cigarette exposure and lower cognitive and receptive language scores at 60 and 72 months. This paralleled and extended observations made with this sample at annual assessments at 12 to 48 months of age. Unlike observations made at 48 months, prenatal exposure to marijuana was not associated with the cognitive and verbal outcomes. Relatively low levels of maternal alcohol consumption did not have significant relationships with the outcome variables. The importance of assessing subtle components rather than global cognitive and language skills to detect potential behavioral teratogenic effects of the drugs being examined is discussed.
Comment In: J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1992 Dec;13(6):425-81469111
This brief article provides a description of some new ideas about admission of university engineering students in Sweden. The current system of admission is based on upper-secondary school grades and the Swedish Scholastic Assessment Test. These measures are used for admission to all higher education. For many reasons, ideas for a new admission model have been proposed. This model includes a sector-oriented admission test, which the universities are supposed to use for different purposes, such as selection, eligibility, diagnostics, and recruitment.
Comment On: Psychol Rep. 2003 Oct;93(2):399-40914650662
Bivariate dual change score models were applied to longitudinal data from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging to compare the dynamic predictions of 2-component theories of intelligence and the processing speed theory of cognitive aging. Data from up to 5 measurement occasions covering a 16-year period were available from 806 participants ranging in age from 50 to 88 years at the first measurement wave. Factors were generated to tap 4 general cognitive domains: verbal ability, spatial ability, memory, and processing speed. Model fitting indicated no dynamic relationship between verbal and spatial factors, providing no support for the hypothesis that age changes in fluid abilities drive age changes in crystallized abilities. The results suggest that, as predicted by the processing speed theory of cognitive aging, processing speed is a leading indicator of age changes in memory and spatial ability, but not verbal ability.
The over-representation of reading and spelling difficulties in children with complex communication needs has been well documented. However, most of the studies reported have indicated that at least some children using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can achieve and demonstrate effective literacy skills, highlighting the heterogeneity of this group. This paper presents findings from a cross-linguistic study of 14 Swedish and 14 Irish children with cerebral palsy who use AAC, outlining their performance on a range of phonological awareness, reading, and spelling tasks developed for the purposes of the study. All participants were referred to the study as functioning in the average range of intellectual ability. Of the 28 participants, eight were classified as good readers, on the basis of their success on tasks involving connected text; while 10 presented with single-word reading skills; and 10 were categorized as non-readers. This paper explores the similarities and differences within and across these groups, in terms of associated skills and experiences. While analyses of group data suggests some common abilities and difficulties, exploration of individual profiles highlights the heterogeneity of the participants' profiles, suggesting a need for detailed individual assessment and interventions.
After intensive, long-term musical training, the auditory system of a musician is specifically tuned to perceive musical sounds. We wished to find out whether a musician's auditory system also develops increased sensitivity to any sound of everyday life, experiencing them as noise. For this purpose, an online survey, including questionnaires on noise sensitivity, musical background, and listening tests for assessing musical aptitude, was administered to 197 participants in Finland and Italy. Subjective noise sensitivity (assessed with the Weinstein's Noise Sensitivity Scale) was analyzed for associations with musicianship, musical aptitude, weekly time spent listening to music, and the importance of music in each person's life (or music importance). Subjects were divided into three groups according to their musical expertise: Nonmusicians (N = 103), amateur musicians (N = 44), and professional musicians (N = 50). The results showed that noise sensitivity did not depend on musical expertise or performance on musicality tests or the amount of active (attentive) listening to music. In contrast, it was associated with daily passive listening to music, so that individuals with higher noise sensitivity spent less time in passive (background) listening to music than those with lower sensitivity to noise. Furthermore, noise-sensitive respondents rated music as less important in their life than did individuals with lower sensitivity to noise. The results demonstrate that the special sensitivity of the auditory system derived from musical training does not lead to increased irritability from unwanted sounds. However, the disposition to tolerate contingent musical backgrounds in everyday life depends on the individual's noise sensitivity.
Music is listened in all cultures. We hypothesize that willingness to produce and perceive sound and music is social communication that needs musical aptitude. Here, listening to music was surveyed using a web-based questionnaire and musical aptitude using the auditory structuring ability test (Karma Music test) and Carl Seashores tests for pitch and for time. Three highly polymorphic microsatellite markers (RS3, RS1 and AVR) of the arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A) gene, previously associated with social communication and attachment, were genotyped and analyzed in 31 Finnish families (n=437 members) using family-based association analysis. A positive association between the AVPR1A haplotype (RS1 and AVR) and active current listening to music (permuted P=0.0019) was observed. Other AVPR1A haplotype (RS3 and AVR) showed association with lifelong active listening to music (permuted P=0.0022). In addition to AVPR1A, two polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR and variable number of tandem repeat) of human serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), a candidate gene for many neuropsychiatric disorders and previously associated with emotional processing, were analyzed. No association between listening to music and the polymorphisms of SLC6A4 were detected. The results suggest that willingness to listen to music is related to neurobiological pathways affecting social affiliation and communication.