• A pilot exploration of heart rate variability and salivary cortisol responses to compassion-focused imagery.

      Rockliff, Helen; Gilbert, Paul; McEwan, Kirsten; Lightman, Stafford; Glover, David; University of Derby; Kingsway Hospital; University of Bristol; Manchester Royal Infirmary (Giovanni Fioriti Editore, 2008-06)
      This study measured heart-rate variability and cortisol to explore whether Compassion-Focused Imagery (CFI) could stimulate a soothing affect system. We also explored individual differences (self-reported self-criticism, attachment style and psychopathology) to CFI. Participants were given a relaxation, compassion-focused and control imagery task. While some individuals showed an increase in heart rate variability during CFI, others had a decrease. There was some indication that this was related to peoples self-reports of self-criticism, and attachment style. Those with an increase in heart rate variability also showed a significant cortisol decrease. Hence, CFI can stimulate a soothing affect system and attenuate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in some individuals but those who are more self-critical, with an insecure attachment style may require therapeutic interventions to benefit from CFI.
    • A pilot feasibility study exploring the practising of compassionate imagery exercises in a nonclinical population

      McEwan, Kirsten; Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby; School of Medicine; Cardiff University; UK; Mental Health Research Unit; Kingsway Hospital; Derby UK (Wiley, 2015-10-10)
      This study assessed the acceptability of practising compassionate imagery as an online task without clinician support. Participants completed questionnaires at baseline, after, and 6 months of follow-up. Participants engaged safely and successfully with the tasks. There were significant improvements in questionnaire scores which were largely maintained over 6 months.
    • Postural reorientation does not cause the locomotor after-effect following rotary locomotion

      Osler, Callum J.; Reynolds, Raymond Francis; University of Birmingham, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences (Springer, 2012)
      After a period of stepping on a rotating platform, blindfolded subjects demonstrate a tendency to unconsciously turn when stepping in place, an after-effect known as podokinetic after-rotation (PKAR). Recent studies have also reported a change in postural orientation following the adaptive period and have suggested that this is causally related to PKAR. Here, we assess changes in trunk orientation following platform adaptation and determine their relationship to PKAR. Specifically, we determine whether a reorganized standing posture causes PKAR. Ten subjects stepped on a platform rotating at 60deg/s for 10 min, with a cadence of 100 steps/min. Following adaptation, a significant PKAR response was seen, with a mean yaw rotation velocity of 6.0 ± 2.2deg/s. In addition to this dynamic after-effect, there was a significant twist of the trunk with respect to the feet when standing still (6.9 ± 4.5deg; mean ± SD), confirming the presence of a postural reorientation after-effect. However, the magnitudes of the two after-effects did not correlate (r = 0.06, p = 0.87). Furthermore, in a second experiment, a prolonged passive twist of the trunk was used to induce postural reorientation. However, in this case, PKAR was not induced. These results demonstrate that PKAR is not an automatic consequence of reorganized standing posture.
    • Postural threat differentially affects the feedforward and feedback components of the vestibular-evoked balance response

      Osler, Callum J.; Tersteeg, M. C. A.; Reynolds, Raymond Francis; Loram, Ian D.; University of Birmingham, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences; Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, Institute for Biomedical Research into Human Movement and Health (Wiley, 2013)
      Circumstances may render the consequence of falling quite severe, thus maximising the motivation to control postural sway. This commonly occurs when exposed to height and may result from the interaction of many factors, including fear, arousal, sensory information and perception. Here, we examined human vestibular-evoked balance responses during exposure to a highly threatening postural context. Nine subjects stood with eyes closed on a narrow walkway elevated 3.85 m above ground level. This evoked an altered psycho-physiological state, demonstrated by a twofold increase in skin conductance. Balance responses were then evoked by galvanic vestibular stimulation. The sway response, which comprised a whole-body lean in the direction of the edge of the walkway, was significantly and substantially attenuated after ~800 ms. This demonstrates that a strong reason to modify the balance control strategy was created and subjects were highly motivated to minimise sway. Despite this, the initial response remained unchanged. This suggests little effect on the feedforward settings of the nervous system responsible for coupling pure vestibular input to functional motor output. The much stronger, later effect can be attributed to an integration of balance-relevant sensory feedback once the body was in motion. These results demonstrate that the feedforward and feedback components of a vestibular-evoked balance response are differently affected by postural threat. Although a fear of falling has previously been linked with instability and even falling itself, our findings suggest that this relationship is not attributable to changes in the feedforward vestibular control of balance.
    • Practical compassions: repertoires of practice and compassion talk in acute mental healthcare

      Brown, Brian; Crawford, Paul; Gilbert, Paul; Gilbert, Jean; Gale, Corinne; DeMontfort University; Nottingham University; University of Derby; Faculty of Health and Life Sciences; De Montfort University; Leicester UK; Division of Nursing; Nottingham University; Nottingham UK; et al. (Wiley, 2013-10-11)
      This article reports an exploratory study of the concept of compassion in the work of 20 mental health practitioners in a UK Midlands facility. Using notions of practice derived from phenomenology and Bourdieusian sociology and notions of emotional labour we identify two contrasting interpretive repertoires in discussions of compassion. The first, the practical compassion repertoire, evokes the practical, physical and bodily aspects of compassion. It involves organising being with patients, playing games, anticipating disruption and taking them outside for cigarettes. Practitioners described being aware that these practical, bodily activities could lead to patients ‘opening up’, disclosing their interior concerns and enabling practical, compassionate mental health work to take place. In contrast, the second, organisational repertoire, concerns organisational constraints on compassionate practice. The shortage of staff, the record-keeping and internal processes of quality control were seen as time-greedy and apt to detract from contact with patients. The findings are discussed in relation to Bourdieu and Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological accounts of practice and habit and set in context in the growing interest in placing compassion centrally in healthcare. We also explore how the exercise of compassion in the way our participants describe it can afford the more effective exercise of medical power.
    • Pragmatic aspects of communication and language comprehension in groups of children differentiated by teacher ratings of inattention and hyperactivity

      Bignell, Simon; Cain, Kate; University of Derby; University of Lancaster (British Psychological Society, 2007)
      Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience pragmatic language deficits, but it is not known whether these difficulties are primarily associated with high levels of inattention, hyperactivity, or both. We investigated pragmatic aspects of communication and language comprehension in relation to poor attention and/or high hyperactivity in a nondiagnosed population of 7- to 11-year olds. Classroom teachers rated their pupils' attention and hyperactivity/impulsivity on the ADD-H Comprehensive Teacher Rating scale (ACTeRS). Three groups were formed: children with poor attention and low hyperactivity (poor attention group), children with good attention and high hyperactivity (high hyperactivity group), and children with both poor attention and high hyperactivity (poor attention/high hyperactivity group). Their performance was compared with that of same-age controls in two studies: Study 1 (N = 94) investigated the comprehension of figurative language in and out of context and Study 2 (N = 100) investigated the pragmatic aspects of communication using the Children's Communication Checklist – Second Edition. Two groups, the poor attention and the poor attention/high hyperactivity groups, were impaired in both their comprehension of figurative language and their communication skills. The high hyperactivity group was impaired in their comprehension of figurative language but they did not exhibit communication impairments. The findings extend work with clinical populations of children with ADHD: even in a nondiagnosed sample of children, poor attention and elevated levels of hyperactivity are associated with pragmatic language weaknesses.
    • Pragmatic Randomised controlled trial of a trauma-focused guided self-help Programme versus InDividual trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (RAPID): trial protocol.

      Nollett, Claire; Lewis, Catrin; Kitchiner, Neil; Roberts, Neil; Addison, Katy; Brookes-Howell, Lucy; Cosgrove, Sarah; Cullen, Katherine; Ehlers, Anke; Heke, Sarah; et al. (Springer Nature, 2018-03-27)
      Abstract Background: There is good evidence that trauma-focused therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are effective. However, they are not always feasible to deliver due a shortage of trained therapists and demands on the patient. An online trauma-focused Guided Self-Help (GSH) programme which could overcome these barriers has shown promise in a pilot study. This study will be the first to evaluate GSH against standard face-to-face therapy to assess its suitability for use in the NHS. Methods: The study is a large-scale multi-centre pragmatic randomised controlled non-inferiority trial, with assessors masked to treatment allocation. One hundred and ninety-two participants will be randomly allocated to receive either face-to-face trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (TFCBT) or trauma-focused online guided self-help (GSH). The primary outcome will be the severity of symptoms of PTSD over the previous week as measured by the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM5 (CAPS-5) at 16 weeks post-randomisation. Secondary outcome measures include PTSD symptoms over the previous month as measured by the CAPS-5 at 52 weeks plus the Impact of Event Scale – revised (IES-R), Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Alcohol Use Disorders Test (AUDIT-O), Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), short Post-Traumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and General Self Efficacy Scale (GSES) measured at 16 and 52 weeks post-randomisation. Changes in health-related quality of life will be measured by the EQ-5D and the level of healthcare resource utilisation for health economic analysis will be determined by an amended version of the Client Socio-Demographic and Service Receipt Inventory European Version. The Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) will be collected at 16 weeks post-randomisation to evaluate treatment satisfaction. Discussion: This study will be the first to compare online GSH with usual face-to-face therapy for PTSD. The strengths are that it will test a rigorously developed intervention in a real world setting to inform NHS commissioning. The potential challenges of delivering such a pragmatic study may include participant recruitment, retention and adherence, therapist retention, and fidelity of intervention delivery.
    • Predictors of painkiller dependence among people with pain in the general population

      Elander, James; Duarte, Joana; Maratos, Frances A.; Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby; University of Derby; Coimbra University, Coimbra, Portugal; University of Derby; University of Derby (2013-10-23)
      Aims: Self-medication with painkillers is widespread and increasing, and evidence about influences on painkiller dependence is needed to inform efforts to prevent and treat problem painkiller use. Design: Online questionnaire survey. Participants: People in the general population who had pain and used painkillers in the last month (n=112). Measurements: Pain frequency and intensity, use of over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, risk of substance abuse (SOAPP scale), depression, anxiety, stress, alexithymia, pain catastrophizing, pain anxiety, pain self-efficacy, pain acceptance, mindfulness, self-compassion, and painkiller dependence (Leeds Dependence Questionnaire). Findings: In multiple regression, the independent predictors of painkiller dependence were prescription painkiller use (ß 0.21), SOAPP score (ß 0.31), and pain acceptance (ß -0.29). Prescription painkiller use mediated the influence of pain intensity. Alexithymia, anxiety and pain acceptance all moderated the influence of pain. Conclusions: The people most at risk of developing painkiller dependence are those who use prescription painkillers more frequently, who have a prior history of substance-related problems more generally, and who are less accepting of pain. Based on these findings, a preliminary model is presented with three types of influence on the development of painkiller dependence: a) pain leading to painkiller use, b) risk factors for substance-related problems irrespective of pain, and c) psychological factors related to pain. The model could guide further research among the general population and high risk groups, and acceptance-based interventions could be adapted and evaluated as methods to prevent and treat painkiller dependence.
    • Professional football clubs’ involvement in health promotion in Spain: an audit of current practices

      Lozano-Sufrategui, Lorena; Pringle, Andy; Zwolinsky, Stephen; Drew, Kevin J; Leeds Beckett University (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-09-20)
      The implementation of effective community-based health interventions within Spanish football clubs has the potential to positively influence the public health agenda and enable the health care system in Spain to be more successful and sustainable. This paper aims to explore the involvement of Spanish football clubs in health promotion activities, their potential for future involvement and what that would require. A mixed methods explanatory sequential design, with a purposive sample of La Liga clubs. Data collection included online questionnaires and phone interviews. Quantitative methods enabled us to describe the number and types of programmes the clubs are currently involved in. Qualitative data was useful to further unpick the processes followed by the clubs in planning and developing health promotion programmes, while identifying any determinants to change. Seventeen clubs completed questionnaires and 11 participated in interviews. Clubs generally support inclusive programmes that target disadvantaged groups. Health-related programmes focus on healthy eating, physical activity and blood donation. Thematic analysis of interviews with 11 representatives of La Liga clubs resulted in three key themes. These related to: (1) Diversity of programmes; (2) (Lack of) evidence-based approaches to intervention design and evaluation; and (3) Contrasting views about a club’s role in health promotion interventions. Spanish football clubs have potential to reach into communities that are currently underserved. However, there is limited infrastructure and understanding within the clubs to do this. Nevertheless, there is huge opportunity for organisations with public health responsibility in Spain to implement translational approaches within football-based settings.
    • Psychological and physiological effects of compassionate mind training: A pilot randomised controlled study

      Matos, Marcela; Duarte, Cristiana; Duarte, Joana; Pinto-Gouveia, José; Petrocchi, Nicola; Basran, Jaskaran; Gilbert, Paul; University of Coimbra; John Cabot University; University of Derby (Springer, 2017-06-08)
      The development of the compassionate self, associated with practices such as slow and deeper breathing, compassionate voice tones and facial expressions and compassionate focusing is central to Compassion Focused Therapy. This study explores the impact of a two-week Compassionate Mind Training (CMT) program on emotional, self-evaluative and psychopathology measures and on heart rate variability (HRV). Participants (general population and college students) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: CMT (n=56) and Wait-List Control (n=37). Participants in the CMTcondition were instructed to practice CMT exercises during two weeks. Self-report measures of compassion, positive affect, fears of compassion, self-criticism, shame, depression, anxiety and stress, and HRV were collected at pre and post intervention in both conditions. Compared to the control group, the experimental group showed significant increases in positive emotions, associated with feeling relaxed and also safe and content, but not activated; and in self-compassion, compassion for others and compassion from others. There were significant reductions in shame, self-criticism, fears of compassion, and stress. Only the experimental group reported significant improvement in HRV. Developing awareness of the evolved nature and inherent difficulties of our minds allied with practicing CMT exercises has beneficial effects on participants' psychological and physiological well-being.
    • Psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the perceived maternal parenting self-efficacy (PMP S-E) tool for primiparous women

      Vargas‑Porras, Carolina; Roa‑Díaz, Zayne Milena; Barnes, Christopher; Adamson-Macedo, Elvidina N.; Ferré‑Grau, Carme; De-Molina-Fernandez, Maria Inmaculada; Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga; University of Bern, Switzerland; University of Derby; University of Wolverhampton; et al. (Springer, 2020-01-09)
      The objective of this study was to determine the validity and the reliability of the Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-Efficacy tool translated into Spanish and adapted to be used among primiparous women of term babies. Validation study. A total of 210 women participated in the survey to establish construct validity and reliability. The questionnaire has 20 items and four subscales. The higher the score, the higher the self-efficacy. A process of translation/back-translation and cultural adaptation in accordance with international standards and an expert review were conducted to test face and content validity. The Validity Content Index and an exploratory factor analysis were used to identify the structure of the questionnaire. Reliability was estimated using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. Linguistic and cultural adaptation, validation and reliability were performed. Face validity for women was as follows: high comprehension (99%); and for experts: medium comprehension (84.1%), medium clarity (83.9%) and medium precision (80%). Concerning pertinence, the content validity index was 0.93 (i.e., highly pertinent). Concerning relevance, the content validity index was 0.96 (i.e., highly relevant). Factor validation identified four factors that accounted for 91% of the variance. Overall Cronbach’s alpha value was 0.98 (IC 95 0.97–0.98). Given the robust properties of the Spanish version of the Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-efficacy, it may be used to identify women with low self-efficacy and to assess the effectiveness of health-based interventions.
    • Pupil dilation and cognitive reflection as predictors of performance on the Iowa Gambling Task

      Simonovic, Boban; Stupple, Edward J. N.; Gale, Maggie; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Cognitive Science Society, 2017-07)
      Risky decisions and implicit learning involve both cognitive and emotional factors. As the primary test-bed for the Somatic Marker Hypothesis (SMH), the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) was devised to examine these factors. Skin conductance evidence has shown anticipatory physiological responses to the deck contingencies which supports SMH. However, skin conductance is not without limitations and pupil dilation is an alternative physiological marker. In the present study, the predictive effects of anticipatory pupillary responses to positive and negative decks on IGT performance were examined in an extended version of the task. The extended Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) was used to examine the relationship between reflective thinking and IGT performance. Data demonstrated that reflective thinking correlated with performance from the second block onwards and that learning continued on the IGT into the additional sixth and seventh blocks, indicating that performance was not optimized until the final block. Regression analysis further showed that both anticipatory pupil dilation for disadvantageous and advantageous decks, and reflective thinking were strong predictors of overall IGT performance. Thus, while both emotional and reflective processes are implicated in IGT performance, analytic cognition plays a more salient role than traditionally acknowledged.
    • A qualitative analysis of psychological processes mediating quality of life impairments in chronic daily headache

      Tenhunen, K.; Elander, James; University of Derby (2005)
      Quality of life impairments are greater in chronic daily headache (CDH) than in episodic headache conditions like migraine. This qualitative interview study aimed to identify psychological processes associated with quality of life impairments among individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for CDH. Grounded theory analysis showed that perceived loss of control was the central experience mediating the impact of CDH on quality of life. The results provide explanations for previous quantitative findings about quality of life impairments in CDH, and could inform interventions to reduce the impact of CDH. Further research could also examine the roles played by perceived control in the onset and development of CDH, including possible links with pre-emptive analgesic use.
    • A qualitative analysis of psychological processes mediating quality of life impairments in chronic daily headache

      Tenhunen, Katri; Elander, James; University of Derby (SAGE Publications, 2005-05-01)
      Quality of life impairments are greater in chronic daily headache (CDH) than in episodic headache conditions like migraine. This qualitative interview study aimed to identify psychological processes associated with quality of life impairments among individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for CDH. Grounded theory analysis showed that perceived loss of control was the central experience mediating the impact of CDH on quality of life. The results provide explanations for previous quantitative findings about quality of life impairments in CDH and could inform interventions to reduce the impact of CDH. Further research could also examine the roles played by perceived control in the onset and development of CDH, including possible links with pre-emptive analgesic use.
    • A qualitative study of the understanding and use of ‘compassion focused coping strategies’ in people who suffer from serious weight difficulties.

      Gilbert, Jean; Stubbs, James; Gale, Corinne; Gilbert, Paul; Dunk, Laura; Thomson, Louise; Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust; Slimming World; University of Derby; University of Nottingham (Biomed Central, 2014-11-11)
      Abstract Background The physical and psychological health problems associated with obesity are now well documented, as is the urgency for addressing them. In addition, associations between quality of life, depression, self-esteem, self-criticism, and obesity are now established indicating a need for a better understanding of the links between self-evaluation, affect-regulation and eating behaviours. Methods Compassion has now been identified as a major source of resilience, helpful self-relating and affect regulation. Thus this study used semi-structured interviews to explore the understanding and experiences of compassion in 2 overweight men and 10 women seeking help for weight problems. The interviews examined people's understandings of compassion, their recall of experiences of compassion in childhood, their current experiences of receiving compassion from others, being compassionate to others, being self-compassionate, and whether they would be compassionate or self-critical for relapses in overeating. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis (Qual Res Psychol, 3: 77-101, 2006). Results Participants saw compassion as related to ‘caring’ and being ‘listened to’. However, their recall of earlier experiences of compassion was of primarily practical help rather than emotional engagement. Typically their response to their own relapse and setbacks were self-criticism, self-disgust and even self-hatred rather than self-caring or understanding. Self-critical/hating responses tend to be associated with poor weight regulation. Conclusions When people with weight problems relapse, or struggle to control their eating, they can become quite self-critical, even self-hating, which may increase difficulties with emotionally coping and maintaining healthy lifestyles and eating habits. Although turning to others for support and compassion, and becoming self-compassionate are antidotes to self-criticism, and are associated with better coping and mental health, many participants did not utilise compassionate strategies – often the opposite. It is possible that interventions that include mindfulness and compassion training could be helpful for these difficulties.
    • Randomized trial of a DVD intervention to improve readiness to self-manage joint pain

      Elander, James; Robinson, Georgina; Morris, John; University of Derby (2011)
      A DVD (digital video disk) intervention to increase readiness to self-manage joint pain secondary to hemophilia was informed by a 2-phase, motivational-volitional model of readiness to self-manage pain, and featured the personal experiences of individuals with hemophilia. The DVD was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial in which 108 men with hemophilia completed measures of readiness to self-manage pain (Pain Stages of Change Questionnaire) before and 6 months after receiving the DVD plus information booklet (n = 57) or just the booklet (n = 51). The effect of the DVD was assessed by comparing changes in Pain Stages of Change Questionnaire scores (precontemplation, contemplation, and action/maintenance) between groups. The impact on pain coping, pain acceptance, and health-related quality of life was tested in secondary analyses. Repeated-measures analysis of variance, including all those with complete baseline and follow-up data regardless of use of the intervention, showed a significant, medium- sized, group time effect on precontemplation, with reductions among the DVD group but not the booklet group. Significant use time effects showed that benefits in terms of contemplation and action/maintenance were restricted to those who used the interventions at least once. The results show that low-intensity interventions in DVD format can improve the motivational impact of written information, and could be used to help prepare people with chronic pain for more intensive self-management interventions. The findings are consistent with a 2-phase, motivational-volitional model of pain self-management, and provide the first insights to our knowledge of readiness to self-manage pain in hemophilia.
    • A randomized-controlled pilot trial of an online compassionate mind training intervention to help people with chronic pain avoid analgesic misuse

      Dhokia, Mayoor; Elander, James; Clements, Keith; Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby (American Psychological Association (APA), 2020-04-09)
      Problematic use of prescribed and over-the-counter analgesics is widespread and increasing among people with chronic pain, but the availability of preventative and treatment services is limited. We evaluated a 21-day online intervention based on compassionate mind training in a prospective, randomized-controlled trial. The participants were 73 adults with concerns about their use of analgesics for chronic pain conditions. Participants completed measures of analgesic use, misuse and dependence, plus self-criticism and self-reassurance (self-inadequacy, self-reassurance and self-hate), cognitive impulsivity (negative urgency, lack of perseverance, lack of premeditation, sensation-seeking and positive urgency) and behavioral impulsivity (delay discounting) at baseline, post-intervention and 1-week post-intervention follow-up. Following baseline assessment, participants were randomized to compassionate mind training (CMT; n=38) or relaxation music (RM; n=35), both delivered online. No adverse events or safety issues were reported and high participant retention and exercise completion rates showed that the intervention was acceptable to participants. Repeated measures analysis of variance showed that by comparison with RM, the CMT group had reduced prescription analgesic use (F=6.123, p=0.015), analgesic dependence (F=14.322, p<.001), self-hate (F=12.218, p<0.001), negative urgency (F=7.323, p=0.006) and lack of perseverance (F=7.453, p=0.001) from baseline to post-intervention, and those improvements were maintained at follow-up. The results show that exercises based on CMT principles and techniques and delivered online can reduce analgesic use, risk of analgesic dependence, and some aspects of self-criticism and impulsivity.
    • Rank perception and self-evaluation in eating disorders

      Cardi, Valentina; Di Matteo, Rosalia; Gilbert, Paul; Treasure, Janet; King's College London; University of Chieti-Pescara; University of Derby; King's College London; Institute of Psychiatry, Psychological Medicine, Section of Eating Disorders; London United Kingdom; Department of Neuroscience and Imaging; University of Chieti-Pescara; Chieti Italy; Mental Health Research Unit; University of Derby; Derby United Kingdom; et al. (Wiley, 2014-02-18)
      ABSTRACT Objectives Heightened sensitivity to social comparison and negative self-evaluation have been implicated in the development and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs). This study used behavioral tasks, as well as self-report measures, to examine processing of social rank-related cues and implicit self-concept in participants with EDs. Method Fifty healthy participants (HCs), 46 people with an ED, and 22 people recovered from an ED (REC) undertook an attentional bias task using social rank-related cues and an implicit self-evaluation task. In addition, they completed self-report measures of social comparison, submissive behavior, and shame. Results People with EDs showed vigilance toward social rank-related stimuli and lower implicit positive self-evaluation than HCs. Self-report data confirmed the behavioral findings and showed that people with EDs had higher levels of unfavorable social comparison, submissive behaviors, and external and internal shame than HCs. People who had recovered from an ED showed an intermediate profile between the two groups. Discussion People with EDs have heightened sensitivity to social rank-related cues and impaired self-evaluation at an automatic level of processing. Some of these biases remain in people who have recovered. Interventions which aim to remediate social threat sensitivity and negative bias about self and others might be of benefit in EDs. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:543–552)
    • Reading sentences with a late closure ambiguity: does semantic information help?

      Lipka, Sigrid; University of Derby (2002)
      Stowe (1989) reported that semantic information eliminates garden paths in sentences with the direct-object vs. subject ambiguity, such as Even before the police stopped the driver was very frightened. Three experiments are presented which addressed some methodological problems in Stowe's study. Experiment 1, using a word-by-word, self-paced reading task with grammaticality judgements, manipulated animacy of the first subject noun while controlling for the plausibility of the transitive action. The results suggest that initial sentence analysis is not guided by animacy. Experiment 2 and 3, using the self-paced task with grammaticality judgements and eye-tracking, varied the plausibility of the direct-object nouns to test revision effects. Plausibility was found to facilitate revision without fully eliminating garden paths, in line with various revision models. The findings support the view of a sentence processing system relying heavily on syntactic information, with semantic information playing a weaker role both in initial analysis and during revision, thus supporting serial, syntax-first models and ranked-parallel models relying on structural criteria.
    • Recognition of subtle and universal facial expressions in a community-based sample of adults classified with intellectual disability

      Owen, S.; Maratos, Frances A.; University of Derby; Department of Psychology; University of Derby; Derby UK; Department of Psychology; University of Derby; Derby UK (2016-02-09)
      Background Across the USA and UK schemes now exist to aid the successful integration of adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities into general society. One factor that may prove important to the success of such schemes is social competence. Here, understanding the facial expressions of others is critical, as emotion recognition is a prerequisite to empathetic responding and an essential factor in social functioning. Yet research in this area is lacking, especially in community-based samples. Method We investigated the performance of 13 adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability (ID), relative to 13 age-matched controls, on three tasks of emotion recognition (emotion categorisation; recognition of valence; recognition of arousal), using a number of ‘basic’ (angry, happy) and more ‘subtle’ (compassionate, critical) emotional expressions, as well as the posers face in a default relaxed (i.e. ‘neutral’) state. Importantly, the sample was drawn from a community-based initiative, and was therefore representative of populations’ government schemes target. Results Across emotion recognition tasks the ID adults, as compared to controls, were significantly impaired when labelling the emotions displayed by the poser as well as recognising the associated ‘feelings’ conveyed by these faces. This was especially true for the neutral, compassionate and angry facial expressions. For example, ID adults demonstrated deficits in categorising neutral and subtle emotional expressions, as well as assessing the valence of such facial expressions. In addition, ID adults also struggled to assess arousal levels; especially those associated with compassionate and angry faces. Conclusion Given both basic and subtle emotions are conveyed in a range of daily situations, errors in interpreting such facial expressions and, relatedly, understanding what potential behaviours such expressions signify could contributing to the social difficulties ID adults face. This is important since current initiatives such as ‘personalisation’ do not appear to have schemes supporting training in this area and understanding the facial expressions of others is, after all, one of our most important non-verbal social communication tools.