91,063 results

  • Acceptance of Using an Ecosystem of Mobile Apps for Use in Diabetes Clinic for Self-Management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

    Pais, S; Parry, D; Petrova, K; Rowan, J

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Mobile applications (apps) for self-management of diseases such as diabetes and for general well-being, including keeping track of food, diet, and exercise, are widely available. However, consumers face a flood of new mobile apps in the app stores and have no guidance from clinicians about choosing the appropriate app. As much as clinicians would like to support a patient-centered approach and promote health and wellness mobile apps, they may be unable to provide advice due to the lack of comprehensive and reliable app reviews. This research reviewed a selection of health and wellness mobile apps suitable for the self-management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). A prototype of an ecosystem that integrated the data generated by the apps was built and its usefulness and ease of use were evaluated. The results show that the ecosystem can provide support for GDM self-management by sharing health and wellness data across the diabetes clinic.

    View record details
  • “It’s Not the Way We Use English”—Can We Resist the Native Speaker Stranglehold on Academic Publications?

    Strauss, P

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    English dominates the academic publishing world, and this dominance can, and often does, lead to the marginalisation of researchers who are not first-language speakers of English. There are different schools of thought regarding this linguistic domination; one approach is pragmatic. Proponents believe that the best way to empower these researchers in their bid to publish is to assist them to gain mastery of the variety of English most acceptable to prestigious journals. Another perspective, however, is that traditional academic English is not necessarily the best medium for the dissemination of research, and that linguistic compromises need to be made. They contend that the stranglehold that English holds in the publishing world should be resisted. This article explores these different perspectives, and suggests ways in which those of us who do not wield a great deal of influence may yet make a small contribution to the levelling of the linguistic playing field, and pave the way for an English lingua franca that better serves the needs of twenty-first century academics.

    View record details
  • Trust-based Adaptive Routing for Smart Grid Systems

    Xiang, M; Bai, Q; Liu, W

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Smart Grid is the trend of next generation electrical power system which makes the power grid intelligent and energy efficient. It requires high level of network reliability to support the two-way communication among electrical services, electrical units such as smart meters, and applications. The wireless mesh network infrastructure can provide redundant routes for the smart grid commu nication network to ensure the network availability. Also due to its high level of flexibility and scalability features that make it become a promising solution for smart grid. However, similar with many other distributed ad-hoc networks, trust is a critical issue for wireless mesh networks. In this paper, we proposed a novel trust-based geographical routing protocol, named as Dynamic Trust Electi ve Geo Routing (DTEGR), which allows peers in a smart grid system to adjust their interaction behaviours based on the trustworthiness of others. The simulation studies have confirmed that DTEGR can achieve better routing performance in different network scenarios, and also to achieve high level of reliable data transmission in smart grid communication networks.

    View record details
  • When we all clap together: Labour unions as agents of development for informal cremation workers in Tamil Nadu

    Naylor, Michael Christopher (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    While labour unions have a history of helping lift working people out of poverty in Western countries, their place in development is unclear. Mainstream development literature typically sees their potential contribution to development to be limited and waning as they are replaced by new, more dynamic actors. This dismissal of labour unions from the development sphere appears to stem largely from their inability to effectively support workers in the informal economy of developing countries, whom are the most likely to face injustice and poverty. In order to address the question of whether labour unions can be agents for development of informal workers this thesis examines a case study of the Mayana Vettiyangal Sangam, a labour union of informal cremation workers in Tamil Nadu, India. Through semi-structured interviews with 39 members and supporters of the labour union, this thesis explores both the mechanics of the Mayana Vettiyangal Sangam and what it has achieved for its cremation worker members. It sets out to understand what strategies can be employed for informal workers to undertake collective bargaining and how effective these have been at delivering livelihood improvements for the cremation workers in Tamil Nadu. It also assesses both the functions of the Sangam and what it has achieved, against three principles of ‘good development’ – participation, sustainability and equity. The findings show that through a mixture of innovative strategies the cremation workers in Tamil Nadu have been able to achieve some livelihood improvements and do so in a manner which is both participatory and equitable. It suggests that despite challenges, labour unions can be agents of development for informal workers and their potential contribution to development should not be overlooked.

    View record details
  • Algorithmic Design in Hybrid Housing Systems

    Paulin, Robert (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis utilises digital tools to explore notions of flexibility and resilience in the New Zealand suburban house typology. Through aligning with culturally specific paradigms found in traditional Māori Papakāinga settlements, the research questions current western models of community and connectedness through digital simulations. The methodology brings together social, cultural and climactic forces as key influences to internal domestic programme and overall form. The design process is informed by occupancy requirements associated with family types and projected domestic behaviour. This is mapped to cumulative weather data in relation to location and context. Buildable form is therefore a reflection of site specific conditions and planning in relation to various social configurations influenced by culture and community. A key aspect of this research is the creation of a residential model for multi-generational living. Long term adaptability of this residential model is established through planning for future organic expansion & contraction within the development through the careful consideration of modular building platforms that can deal with varying degrees of social diversity. This design research is largely influenced by pre-Socratic theorists and architects working on translating social, geographical and cultural information into data that can inform computational design and simulations. This form of design interpretation through mathematics has arguably stemmed from the birth of calculus in the 17th century, whereby a formula is used to clarify equations with a multitude of variables often represented by Letters and symbols. Utilizing this knowledge in computer aided design (CAD) allows a designer to produce an equation that represents the process from data to design. Aligning design to the mathematical systems allows the work to represent a quantified, systematic depiction of information as opposed to the romanticized view of the ‘Genius Architect’. The workflow and theory behind this research solidifies the role of algorithmic design in architecture and testing the plausibility of these theories in a housing system. While being largely based on the theories of multi-agent systems and algorithmic design, this system also outlines a modular building technology that embellishes design diversity and flexibility. The architecture proposed utilizes parametric design tools and the concept of housing types in a state of flux, whereby the singular entity of the home is considered as part of a much wider collection of housing situations which is forever changing. By adopting the ecological approach seen in nature we allow the space for intergenerational, bicultural living arrangements that have the flexibility to respond to changes without diminishing the flow of social domains.

    View record details
  • The effect of novel kappa opioid peptide receptor agonists on learning and memory in rats

    Welsh, Susan Adele (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Kappa opioid peptide receptors (KOPrs) are a class of opioid receptors which shown analgesic and anti-addictive properties. Nonaddictive analgesics would be beneficial as morphine, one of the most commonly prescribed opioids for chronic pain, activates the brain reward system and can lead to addiction. Although medical research is progressing rapidly, there is still no treatment for psychostimulant abuse. KOPr agonists show promise in this regard but display undesirable side effects and could negatively affect memory. Salvinorin A (Sal A), a structurally unusual KOPr agonist, has a reduced side effect profile compared to the more traditional KOPr agonists such as U50,488. The effect of Sal A and U50,488 on memory is controversial as they have both been shown to induce a memory impairment and also to improve memory impairments. Sal A also has a poor pharmacokinetic profile with a short duration of action. Structural analogues of Sal A have improved pharmacokinetic and side effect profiles compared to Sal A yet retain the analgesic and anti-addiction properties. This thesis will investigate whether Sal A analogues, namely Ethynyl Sal A (Ethy Sal A), Mesyl Salvinorin B (Mesyl Sal B), and Bromo Salvinorin A (Bromo Sal A), produce a memory impairment. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were evaluated in the novel object recognition (NOR) task to determine whether novel Sal A analogues impair long term recognition memory. The degree of novelty was also investigated on a cellular basis through quantifying c-Fos immunoreactive neurons within the perirhinal cortex, an area of the brain shown to respond to novelty. Acute administration of Sal A (0.3 and 1 mg/kg) and novel analogues Ethy Sal A (0.3 and 1 mg/kg), Mesyl Sal B (0.3 and 1 mg/kg), and Bromo Sal A (1 mg/kg) showed no significant differences compared to vehicle when tested in the NOR task. The prototypical KOPr agonist, U50,488 (10 mg/kg), produced a significant decrease in recognition index compared to vehicle when tested in the same task as the novel analogues. Correlating the recognition indices calculated from U50,488 in the NOR to c-Fos counts in the perirhinal cortex showed a strong positive correlation with an increase in RI relating to an increase in c-Fos activation. U50,488 (10 mg/kg) showed a non-significant trend compared to vehicle in the number of c-Fos immunoreactive cells within the perirhinal cortex. Neither Sal A nor novel analogues affected NOR, suggesting no impairment of long term recognition memory. The lack of this side-effect, among others, demonstrates that the development of potent KOPr agonists with reduced side-effect profiles is feasible. These novel analogues show improvement over the traditional KOPr agonists.

    View record details
  • Aesthetics of Digital Emotion

    De Bono, James (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis explores the use of RTVE as a tool to produce atmosphere that evokes complex emotional response from virtual inhabitants of the space. Within architectural representation a shift to architectural visualisations in digital mediums have lost the prominence of the sensual communication of atmosphere and emotion in the abstract component of space. The Aesthetics of Emotion constructs a methodology to reintroduce this sensuality into digital space, that draws from knowledge of both the intangible atmosphere and the technical Presence to allow an iterative articulation of objective atmospheric design within digital space.

    View record details
  • Talk It Out: Promoting Verbal Communication Through Virtual Reality Games

    Bodnar, James (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Verbal communication skills have been shown to be important for both social and professional settings. However, a need for greater communication skills has been identified for graduated students entering the workplace, specifically task-based verbal communication (Daniels, 2001). In light of these findings new communication teaching techniques need to be explored to better prepare our students for effectively communicating information in their future work environment. This thesis researched the potential for virtual reality video games to promote verbal communication skills in students. The motivation behind using virtual reality video games to teach these skills is based on the theory (Richard Van Eck, 2006) that video games have the potential to enhance the learning outcome of students. Initial research also shows that virtual reality experiences further immerse the player in the educational setting improving their engagement with the game's content (Thornhill-Miller & Dupont, 2016). The thesis researched how virtual reality games can teach verbal communication skills firstly by analysing past works, completing an in- depth literature review and multiple case studies. Secondly, by using research through design methods in the creation of a prototype game that incorporates both communication and game teaching mechanics researched in the first stage. Finally, user tests were conducted on the prototype game to analyse how effective it was at promoting verbal communication skills in students. The paper’s outcome was that virtual reality games can be effective at promoting verbal communication skills and have tested specific teaching techniques and video game mechanics that can be used to effectively promote these skills.

    View record details
  • Rebuilding Sustainable Transport in Christchurch? A mixed-methods study of the effects of workplace relocation on transport choice and emissions

    Whitwell, Kate (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Tackling the challenge of climate change will require rapid emissions reductions across all sectors, including transport. This study adds to the literature by investigating factors that may encourage sustainable transport choices at a time of change and therefore reduce emissions. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to explore the impact of a relocation of employees from several dispersed work locations back to one office building in the central business district on transport choices and carbon emissions in Christchurch, New Zealand. This case study found that such a recentralisation of employment can result in employees making more sustainable transport choices and can contribute to decreases in transport emissions from commuting, even in a highly car-dependent city. The relocation led to a 12 percent rise in the proportion of employees commuting actively or by public transport and resulted in a significant drop in commuting emissions (16 percent). The primary contributing factor was the change in location of the office itself, reducing the average commuting distance and increasing accessibility to public transport and active travel. A further contributing factor was the perceived reduction in parking availability at the new location. Further results support the existing literature on barriers to sustainable transport, identifying any factor that impacts on the feasibility of the journey by alternative modes, such as commute time or safety, as a significant barrier to uptake. Overall findings suggest that relocating offices provides a good opportunity to encourage employees to consider changing to a more sustainable commute mode, and that significant numbers may make such a shift if commute time or distance are reduced. Realising substantial mode shift however will depend on cities providing feasible and efficient sustainable alternatives to driving a car to work.

    View record details
  • Density and Desire: Toward's New Zealand's peculiar urban dream

    Coxhead, Vanessa (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Density and Desire explores changes in the social organisation of New Zealand, the notion and use of the home, the contribution of dwellings in our cities and an alternative vision for the future dwelling. New Zealand is experiencing a period of rapid transformation that is changing the way we live, work and socialise, as well as our sense of cultural identity. Our population is becoming dramatically more diverse, more urban, and of very different age and family profiles, creating demand for a wider range of housing options that can adapt to changing social patterns. For these reasons and more, we face new questions about living in a community, of dwelling diversity, of promoting sociability, and of creating conditions for neighbourliness. The move towards higher density living in New Zealand’s major cities provides an exciting opportunity for architecture. There is an urgent need to build dwellings and this thesis argues that apartments are a necessary part of our future. However, there is a certain stigma attached to apartment dwelling as ‘second best’ — if you can’t afford a house, you’ll settle for an apartment. The romance of the ‘Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise’ (Mitchell) is traded in for a plot peppered with horror stories: paper-thin walls, shoebox-sized ‘chicken coop’ confinement, lack of flexibility, onerous body corporate rules… the list could go on, and it does. The research benchmarks itself against the quantity and the quality of the single detached dwelling on a quarter-acre block both as a spatial measure and the representation of home. By asking ‘how many more dwellings can we get on that space’ and ‘what is the notion of home in the future’, it seeks to resolve some of the problems associated with our initial round of higher density. Domestic architecture can be defined as a system of relationships between oppositions — this thesis explores these relationships through three strategies: Hybrid, Separations & Connections, and Looseness. Each of these deals with the spatial and social characteristics of the city and the home and are used as a technique for controlling relationships at a range of scales and intimacies — from urban to interior — and as a tool for connecting or interrupting the public and private, inside and outside, and building and landscape. Density and Desire offers a conceptual framework with a series of strategies that demonstrate the potential of the apartment building to re-define urban living and the peculiar New Zealand urban dream.

    View record details
  • Second-hand poetics: Dynamic shifts from home to monument

    Williams, Tina (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis began with an Antarctic story. There is something sublime about the adventures of Scott and Shackleton; their ability to entertain the emotive sensation of place, despite a physical detachment. Tales of exploration arrest moments of suspense, drama and inspiration and yet they are surrounded by the fact that Antarctica is a barren, isolated expanse. The opportunity of these particular constructs, which operate between intimacy and departure, to serve the creation of a special experience, it exists beyond the replication of these narratives; they might suggest how New Zealand national identity might be framed. The natural architecture of the frozen continent is grand. Its timelessness rivals the foundations that the rest of the developed world is built on. Yet simultaneously its stories create a rapport which personalises identity and allows memory to be mobilised. New Zealand built history has only recently emerged but representationally the identity of the nation is monumental, especially in relation to Antarctic. This thesis asks how the relationship between NZ and Antarctica might be physically manifested through architecture, in order to deepen the stability of NZ historical identity. The project is situated on the Lyttelton harbour where New Zealand and Antarctica have historically converged. At this location the vicarious nature of the Antarctic story is exploited so that the sense of place might exist even though, physically and temporally, it is not attached to the Antarctic. This is realised through a set of imagined dwellings on Dampier Bay, which are contained within the definition of ‘Home’. The programme of this research acts to acknowledge this duality and formalises it as the ‘monument’ and the ‘home’. The primary understanding of programme will however be domestic, as it is the point at which our most intimate memories are created. The realisation of the monument will be introduced through the act of designing itself. Architecture is used as a tool to negotiate the exchange of personality between the two places and ideas, with the poetics of representation providing a framework for investigation. Because the method is derived from such poetics, my own subjective will is asserted onto these interpretations. The process has therefore become non-quantifiable, it relies instead on a level of intuition. The Antarctic story resonates with the moments we find identity in, they have the potential to complement New Zealand’s Architectural history where it is wanting of poetic agency.

    View record details
  • Uncovering the Gender Agenda - The Impacts of Fair Trade on Gender Relations in Chile

    Chapman, Jasmin (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Neoliberalism has perpetuated social inequality on a global scale. Augusto Pinochet’s neoliberal experiment would have significant repercussions on Chilean society. The evolution of export agriculture propelled Chile to economic success; a pioneer for the Latin American region. Unfortunately, macroeconomic advancements did not correlate to improvements in social equality. Fair trade, an alternative economic model, emerged in response to these growing inequalities. The movement promotes a more equitable distribution of wealth, despite operating within the neoliberal economy. Furthermore, the movement represents a promise of improved livelihoods to the producers and communities which have been marginalised by the predominant neoliberal system. The application of fair trade across Latin America has been extensive. In response to increased consumer demands, the range and volume of fair trade initiatives has continued to flourish. Chilean fair trade has demonstrated incredible potential through promoting improvements in labour conditions and community development. Furthermore, the low numbers of fair trade participants have proven beneficial in minimising opportunities for corruption. However, a lack of awareness has remained the largest barrier to future fair trade expansion in Chile. One of the most significant, yet controversial consequences of the export evolution was the emergence of the temporera labour force. Despite associations with severe labour abuses, temporera employment has improved significantly over the past thirty years. The temporeras of El Palqui have attributed these remarkable improvements to increased government support and union representation. Unfortunately, gender inequality continues to plague Chile, both within agriculture and on a national scale. Fair trades clauses on gender equality have demonstrated incredible potential to influence and improve gender relations in Chile. Collaboration between fair trade, alternative ethical trading initiatives, civil society and government appears to be particularly promising. Cooperation between these institutions holds the potential to transform opportunities for female exploitation into opportunities for their empowerment.

    View record details
  • Does the Occipital Face Area Contribute to Holistic Face Processing?

    Henderson, Gates (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Face perception depends on a network of brain areas that selectively respond to faces over non-face stimuli. These face-selective areas are involved in different aspects of face perception, but what specific process is implemented in a particular region remains little understood. A candidate processisholistic face processing, namely the integration of visual information across the whole of an upright face. In this thesis, I report two experimentsthat examine whether the occipital face area (OFA), a face-selective region in the inferior occipital gyrus, performs holistic processing for categorising a stimulus as a face. Both experiments were conducted using online, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to disrupt activity in the brain while participants performed face perception tasks. Experiment 1 was a localiser in which participants completed two face identification tasks while receiving TMS at OFA or vertex. Participants’ accuracy decreased for one of the tasks as a result of OFA but not vertex stimulation. This result confirms that OFA could be localised and its activity disrupted. Experiment 2 was a test of holistic processing in which participants categorised ambiguous two-tone images as faces or non-faces while TMS was delivered to OFA or vertex. Participants’ accuracy and response times were unchanged as a result of either stimulation. This result suggests that the OFA is not engaged in holistic processing for categorising a stimulus as a face. Overall, the currentresults are more consistent with previous studies suggesting that OFA is involved in processing of local face features/details rather than the whole face.

    View record details
  • Augmented Reality On Display: How might augmented reality technology be used to create meaningful interactive museum exhibits?

    Bishop, Jonathon (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The aim of this thesis is to explore augmented reality technology and the methods in which it can be applied to museum displays to enriching the experience of visitors. Artefacts within museums have rich histories which are not always apparent. This is due to the way artefacts are currently displayed and the way information is communicated in exhibitions. is project will set out design guidelines to inform the development of augmenting museum experiences. These guidelines will provide criteria and parameters for the use of augmented reality in museums, and will also be accessible to museum staff to create or enhance existing exhibits for visitors. The guidelines will be produced through a combination of different contextual research methods and will inform a final designed case study. These contextual research methods include: completing a practical exploration of augmented reality exhibits, reviewing museum practice and conducting a series of interviews directed at augmented reality experts. Once these guidelines are produced they will be tested using research through design and human centred design methods in a final case study. The findings of this thesis aim to emphasise how augmented reality is a tool for enhancing the communication of contextual history. It also forms the basis for further research into how augmented reality’s combination of virtual and physical worlds can broaden our experience of the museum space.

    View record details
  • Toward the Synthesis of the Fungal Metabolite (-)-TAN-2483B

    Phipps, Daniel (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the search of chemical species with potential therapeutic biological activity, synthetic chemists have looked to nature for inspiration. Molecules built by biological machinery often have structures predisposed for biological interaction. (-)-TAN-2483B and the related compounds (-)-TAN-2483A, and waol A are fungal metabolites that display biological activity in kinase inhibition and parathyroid-induced bone resorption. Though total syntheses of (-)-TAN-2483A and waol A have been achieved, the established methodology does not afford access to (-)-TAN-2483B owing to the unique relative configuration about the ring system. Derivatives of D-galactal have been synthesised, and functionalised at the C-1 and C-2 positions, laying the groundwork for a route to (-)-TAN-2483B and analogues. Using D-galactal derivatives is advantageous as it circumvents some difficult transformations in the existing method for analogue synthesis. The functionalities installed were halide and formyl groups at the C-2 position, and acetylenes at the C-1 position. The synthesis of 2-haloglycals from tri-O-acetyl-D-galactal using N-halosuccinimides was achieved in 32% and <37% for the bromo- and iodo- variants respectively. Vilsmeier-Haack formylation was explored using per-benzylated and per-acetylated galactals as substrates. Formylation of the per-benzylated species was achieved in 78% yield in accordance with literature values. Vilsmeier-Haack formylation on the per-acetylated galactal has not been reported and the glycal was found to be a poor substrate for the formylation. Theories regarding the incompatibility of the per-acetylated species with Vilsmeier-Haack conditions were developed. Ferrier-type alkynylation of the 2-halo/formylglycals was explored, with yields up to 17% and 13% for the bromo- and iodo- species (unoptimised), and 7% for 2-formylglycal (after optimisation studies). The resulting 1-ethynyl-2-formyl/halo-2,3-unsaturated pyrans could be potential intermediates en route to the furanone ring of the target compound.

    View record details
  • Uncertainty and Investment Choice in a Real-Options Model of the Firm

    Hobbs, Cameron (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A firm must consider many factors when adopting an investment policy including, but not limited to the size, scope, and cost of each investment, as well as the firm's financial condition. The multitude of considerations makes optimal decision-making much more complex than is indicated by standard real-option models of investment. This thesis investigates the behaviour of a cash-constrained firm that has access to two distinct investment opportunities. Such a firm must not only choose the timing of each investment, but often it must also choose between investments. When compared with similar one-project models of the past, the introduction of an additional investment opportunity alters the general results in a variety of ways. If one of the projects has a high yield, and therefore a quick payback period, this project can provide benefits over and above its NPV as the cash it generates relaxes future capital constraints for follow-up investment. When the firm is sufficiently constrained, this can lead to an investment policy where high-yield low-NPV projects are implemented instead of lower-yield higher-NPV projects, a direct deviation from the NPV rule. If one of the projects can raise a relatively large proportion of its value as collateral for investment, then the constrained firm will at times accelerate investment in this project in order to free up cash reserves for the other opportunity. In single-project models, when the firm is able to invest in a low NPV project, the value of additional cash is low. This is because the project will be delayed regardless of the level of cash. However, when the firm has a second investment opportunity, if one project has a low NPV and the other a high NPV then additional cash is beneficial to the firm. The two-project model also provides insights into how resources should be allocated if the constrained firm decides to split and operate the projects as separate firms. When cash is low, more resources should go to the spin-off with the high NPV project in order to give it the best chance of being initiated. However, when cash is high, disproportionately more resources should go to the spin-off with the lower NPV project as investment in the higher NPV project is likely to occur without the help of additional resources.

    View record details
  • Six months exclusive breastfeeding : a relational behaviour influenced by actual and virtual social networks : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of philosophy in Midwifery, Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Alianmoghaddam, Narges

    Thesis
    Massey University

    Six months exclusive breastfeeding:|ba relational behaviour influenced by actual and virtual social networks : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of philosophy in Midwifery, Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    View record details
  • Emotion recognition and intellectual disability : development of the kinetic emotion recognition assessment and evaluation of the emotion specificity hypothesis : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Godinovich, Zara Angela

    Thesis
    Massey University

    Deficits in social adaptive functioning are a defining criterion of intellectual disability (ID) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), and a key predictor of social inclusion and subsequent quality of life (Kozma, Mansell, & Beadle-Brown, 2009). Impairment in facial emotion recognition is often cited as the component skill responsible for the social difficulties observed. This position has been formally conceptualised by the emotion specificity hypothesis (ESH; Rojahn, Rabold, & Schneider, 1995), which proposes that individuals with ID manifest a specific deficit in facial emotion recognition beyond that which can be explained by difficulties in general intellectual functioning. Despite apparent widespread acceptance, there is not yet sufficient evidence to substantiate these claims. Moore (2001) proposes that emotion perception capacities may be intact in people with ID, and that reported deficits are instead, due to emotion recognition tasks making extensive cognitive demands that disadvantage those with lesser cognitive abilities. The aim of the present study was to clarify the nature of facial emotion recognition abilities in adults with mild ID. To this end, the Kinetic Emotion Recognition Assessment (KERA), a video-based measure of facial emotion recognition, was developed and a pilot study completed. The measure was designed to assess emotion recognition abilities, while attempting to reduce information-processing demands beyond those required to perceive the emotional content of stimuli. The new instrument was assessed for its psychometric properties in individuals with ID and neurotypical control participants. Initial findings supported the interrater reliability and overarching construct validity of the measure, offering strong evidence in favour of content, convergent and predictive validity. Item difficulty and discrimination analysis confirmed that the KERA included items of an appropriate level of difficulty to capture the range of emotion recognition capacities expected of individuals with mild ID. The secondary focus of the study was to assess how subtle methodological changes in the assessment of emotion recognition ability may affect emotion recognition performance, and in turn provide insight into how we might reinterpret existing ESH literature. To this end, the KERA was also applied in an investigation of the potential moderating effects of dynamic cues and emotion intensity, in addition to the assessment of the ESH. The results offer strong evidence that individuals with ID experience relative impairment in emotion recognition abilities when compared with typically developing controls. However, it remains to be seen whether the observed difficulties are specific to emotional expression or associated with more generalised facial processing. Preliminary findings also suggest that like their typically developing peers, individuals with ID benefit from higher intensity emotional displays; while in contrast, they observe no advantage from the addition of movement cues. Finally, the overarching motivation for the reassessment and improved measurement of the ESH, was in the interests of improving real-world outcomes associated with emotion recognition capacities. Accordingly, emotion recognition data were also interpreted in the context of three measures of social functioning to explore the link between social competence and emotion recognition ability. Results indicated that emotion recognition abilities are linked to outcomes in social adaptive functioning, particularly for females.

    View record details
  • Explorations into the nature of insulin binding to oxidized dextran : this thesis was presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Chemistry at Massey University

    Li, Yuming

    Thesis
    Massey University

    The results reported in this thesis comprise an investigation into the conjugation of insulin to oxidized dextran, various release studies from the conjugates, and an attempt to interpret the binding nature of the conjugates. A model system involving the sustained release from insulin-dextran conjugates has been employed in this study. For insulin, up to 3 potential sites only (A1-Gly. B1-Phe and B29-Lys) were expected to bind to oxidized dextran. The rate of release and the maintenance of activity of the released protein are vital to such systems. Success in the interpretation of the binding nature of the conjugate will allow us to investigate its relationship to the rate of release. The desired rate of release for the sustained release of protein could then be achieved, once the projected binding could be obtained. Activation of dextran was achieved by periodate oxidation to give levels of 8%, 16% and 27% oxidized dextran. Insulin was chosen for its relatively 'uncomplicated' structure and few possible sites available for binding with activated dextran. Insulin was bound to the dextran through imine bonds. Complex formation was examined under a wide range of conditions. Initial studies were begun with the determination of a desirable basic molar ratio. A molar ratio of insulin to 8% activated dextran of 10 : 1 arose from this set of experiments. Insulin was bound to 27% activated dextran at pH 7.4, pH 9 and pH 10. In the cases of pH 9 and pH 10, many more lower MW complexes were formed than at pH 7.4. It seemed that the higher the pH of formation, the more crosslinks occurred between an insulin molecule and dextran molecules in the lower MW range. Approximate physiological pHs (pH 7.1-7.8) were used for complex formation in all subsequent experiments. Release studies were carried out under approximate physiological conditions (pH 7.4, 37°C). Immediate release was observed upon isolation by size exclusion chromatography. The greatest release occurred in the first 24 hours for all three activation levels. The higher the activation level of dextran, the lower the level of release. An equilibrium was established after several days' release and studies at 37°C produced the expected result: greater release relative to ambient. A number of studies were carried out with complex after sodium cyanoborohydride had been used to reduce the imine bonds. The first set of experiments on the reduced complexes was enzymatic cleavage studies, which employed trypsin and α-chvmotrypsin. The results for trypsin digestion of the reduced insulin-27% oxidized dextran complex indicated partial binding had occurred at B29-Lys, in combination with full binding at B1 and/or Al. Amino acid analysis results of the isolated complex after trypsin digestion indicated about 90% binding occurred at B29-Lys for the complex, which formed at pH 7.1. The results of α-chymotrypsin digestion study were shown questionable due to its incomplete cleavage. The reduced complexes were analyzed by amino acid analysis. The insulin-27% activated dextran complexes formed at pH 7.4, pH 9 and pH 10 showed similar extents of binding at B1-Phe, indicating B1 might be the prime binding site. There was more binding at B29 and A1 for the pH 9 than at pH 7.4 case. At pH 10 abnormal values arose. The studies for the complexes of insulin with 16% and 27% activated dextran indicated the more highly activated the dextran, the greater the binding at B29 and A1. Trials with the 2, 4-dinitrophenyl-derivativatization method proved to be a useful way to examine the degree of B1 and B29 binding from the amino acid analysis results of complex. The insulin-16% activated dextran complex formed at pH 7.1 was found to be about 100% binding at B1, 60% at A1 and 50% at B29. Oxidative and reductive cleavage studies of A and B chains of insulin and the complex were carried out to investigate the level of A1 binding. After chemical cleavage of the three disulfide bonds in insulin and subsequent chromatography, the amino acid analysis results for the treated complexes indicated a significant proportion of A chain had bound to dextran, i.e. at A1. An estimation of 60-70% of A1 binding was achieved for this study. This exploratory study has shown that varied complex formation conditions such as the level of activation of dextran, pH, and temperature could alter the extent of binding between insulin and dextran molecules. Amino acid analysis of the reduced complex was a useful method to interpret the binding.

    View record details
  • "Presumed straight until demonstrated otherwise" : the relationships between sexual identity, heteronormativity, sexual identity development and psychological well-being : a thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Bejakovich, Tamara

    Thesis
    Massey University

    The conceptualisation and development of a sexual identity has been debated in the literature. Whether identity is conceptualised as categorical or on a continuum, people with same sex experiences, such as those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning and other (LGBQ+), demonstrate lower psychological well-being than their heterosexuallyidentified counterparts. Some have argued this is a result of the stress associated with minority status; others comment on the influence of the development of a sexual identity divergent of the heterosexist norm. Literature supports both claims, yet inconsistencies exist in the study of the psychological outcomes of those with LGBQ+ identities. The current research intended to alleviate some of these debates with three foundational aims: to explore the placement of the sexual identity categories along the continuum, and incorporate more sexual identity categories in sexual identity assessment, demonstrating respect for diversity; to examine the differences in psychological well-being between people with different sexual identities and in different phases of development; and to investigate how dimensions associated with sexual identity, such as identity disclosure, influence these differences. To do this, the study utilized an online survey incorporating a number of measures. People with different sexual identities were significantly different along the sexual identity continuum. In addition, as suspected, non-binary identities (defined in this research as people not ascribing to either heterosexual or lesbian/gay identities) reported lower levels of well-being. When accounting for differences in identityrelated factors, such as identity uncertainty and disclosure, several of the significant differences were eliminated, and all but one of the remaining significant findings demonstrated reduced effect sizes. Those in the Synthesis phase of individual and group identity development generally reported greater levels of psychological well-being. Once again, when controlling for identity-related factors these differences were reduced or eliminated. Future research should investigate a universal model of sexual identity formation, and should assess identity dimensions in those identifying as heterosexual. Gaining greater understandings in the experiences of people with LGBQ+ identities demonstrates areas to target for interventions in order to decrease the disparities which exist between people with these and heterosexual identities.

    View record details