66,278 results for 2000

  • Simple guilt and cooperation

    Peeters, Ronald; Vorsatz, Marc (2018-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We introduce simple guilt into a generic prisoner’s dilemma (PD) game and solve for the equilibria of the resulting psychological game. It is shown that for all guilt parameters, it is a pure strategy equilibrium that both players defect. But, if the guilt parameter surpasses a threshold, a mixed strategy equilibrium and a pure strategy equilibrium in which both players cooperate emerge. We implement three payoff constellations of the PD game in a laboratory experiment and find in line with our equilibrium analysis that first- and second-order beliefs are highly correlated and that the probability of cooperation depends positively on these beliefs. Finally, we provide numerical evidence on the degree of guilt cooperators experience.

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  • Algorithms to process data from the MARS molecular imaging system

    de Ruiter, Niels (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The MARS molecular imaging project aims to research, develop, and commercialize a spectral computed tomography (CT) system. My thesis describes the work I performed to reconstruct volumes from the MARS prototypes. The challenge was to develop the algorithms while maintaining image processing software that met the immediate needs of the MARS team. Using the Medipix detector, the current prototype is capable of simultaneously scanning up to 8 energy bins. Every additional energy bin improves the potential for material discrimination at the molecular level. Data acquired from the MARS prototypes are a collection of exposures over various geometric transformations of the source, detector, and subject. To process these, I developed two applications, mPPC (MARS Preprocessing Chain) and mART (MARS Algebraic Reconstruction). The application mPPC prepares data for reconstruction while also improving the image quality. In particular, various issues that result from the Medipix detector are addressed in the preprocessing software. The application mART reconstructs the preprocessed data into volumes. It adopts a variation of SART to simultaneously reconstruct all the energy bins. The results are a good balance between quality and performance. To link the components of the data processing chain, all the software adopts the stable and popular DICOM standard. The DICOM standard provides formats to package the data while also providing protocols for both storing (and backup) and transferring the data. To summarize, the outcomes of my thesis are two applications which, together, perform all the necessary steps to reconstruct high quality volumes from the MARS system. With the addition of the DICOM standard to store and transfer the data, the result is a data processing chain which fulfils the needs of the MARS team.

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  • The impact of high and low-intensity transcranial magnetic stimulation on measures of cortical excitability

    Sykes, Matthew John (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    In recent decades, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has emerged as one of the most promising techniques for clinical therapies. It has been proposed for use in a wide number of neurophysiological disorders including Alzheimer’s, depression and stroke rehabilitation. The technique produces a heterogeneous magnetic field, which induces a suprathreshold electric field in a small focal zone of underlying cortical tissue, depolarising a population of neurons. When these pulses are applied in a repetitive fashion, known as repetitive TMS (rTMS), the excitability of the cortex can be altered. Outside of the small focal zone, broad areas of cortex are subject to much weaker induced current intensities, below the threshold for action potential generation, however, increasing evidence suggests they may have a measurable physiological impact. Despite great initial promise, clinical results for various rTMS treatment paradigms have been mixed, with response rates between and within patients showing high-variability. One potential source of this variability may be unintended effects of the low-intensity fields outside of the targeted population. The aim of the experiments in this thesis were to investigate the impact of rTMS at high- and low-intensities on measures of cortical excitability in the neocortex, using rodent models. The first study explored the effects of two separate anaesthetics on rTMS-induced changes in cortical excitability, using a high-intensity coil and measured using motor evoked potentials. Animals were anaesthetised with either a xylazine/zoletil combination or urethane. In contrast to previously reported success, high-intensity excitatory rTMS here was unable to increase MEP amplitudes, under either anaesthetic. The xylazine/zoletil combination however, was found to increase measures of excitability in the baseline recording, compared to animals anaesthetised with urethane. To investigate low-intensity rTMS, an 8-mm rodent specific coil was used for all subsequent experiments. This produced a magnetic field strength of 120 milliTesla, an order of magnitude below the 1-2 Tesla for human coils. Magnetic fields this powerful are comparable to those emitted by human coils outside of the focal zone. In the final two studies, the ability of low-intensity rTMS to depress or facilitate cortical excitability was measured directly using both local field potentials (LFPs) in vivo and calcium imaging of cortical neurons in vitro. Local field potentials were measured as contralaterally evoked waveforms in anaesthetised rats, recorded from layer V of the motor cortex. Brain slices of juvenile mice were prepared to measure the somatic levels of calcium in layer V neurons, as well as the amplitude of electrically evoked calcium transients. In both cases, rats or mouse brain slices were treated with low-intensity rTMS in the form of theta-burst stimulation or quadripulse stimulation. Overall, no significant effect of low-intensity rTMS was found in LFPs or somatic calcium levels. These data suggest that the effects of low-intensity rTMS, if any, may be subtle changes and as such, the population based techniques used here lacked the required sensitivity to detect these alterations. Consequently, it is unlikely that low-intensity magnetic fields during human application of rTMS are able to significantly influence electrophysiological outcomes and thus contribute to the variability observed.

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  • Screening the Stage: Film Adaptations of Shakespeare that Originate on Stage 1995-2015

    Stone, Alison Kempthorne (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis re-examines the relationship between stage and screen in film adaptations of Shakespeare. The dynamic field of Shakespeare on screen has paid relatively little critical attention to the specific antecedent stage productions that inform the film adaptations in this study as adapted texts. This study questions some of the assumptions in adaptation scholarship about the primacy of the cinematic in film adaptations of Shakespeare and, conversely, some assumptions about the power of co-presence in creating a sense of liveness in theatrical performance. The two mediums of film and theatre inflect each other as these films reproduce, deny, work with, or substitute for their theatrical origins through the process of adaptation. The structure of this project tells a story of increasing proximity to the stage, that is, from films that I term ‘cinematic’ to ‘archival’ films that seek to preserve a specific stage production, and finally to the emerging intermedial form of livecasting that broadcasts live theatrical performance to cinemas. The cinematic films, Richard Loncraine’s Richard III (1995) [Richard Eyre’s National Theatre Richard III (1990)] and Ralph Fiennes’s Coriolanus (2011) [Jonathan Kent’s Almeida Theatre Coriolanus (2000)], apparently leave the stage behind to engage with all the affordances of film. The two films I term archival, Gregory Doran’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Hamlet (2009) [Doran’s RSC Hamlet (2008)] and Rupert Goold’s Macbeth (2010) [Goold’s Minerva Theatre Macbeth (2007)], move much closer to the stage, on the spectrum between the cinematic and the theatrical, because they seek to preserve a specific, very successful, stage production after its theatrical run. Finally, the livecasting case studies are the closest of all to the stage. Two major livecasting theatre companies, the Royal National Theatre (NT Live 2009-) and the RSC (RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon 2013-), present their live broadcasts as if they were transparently theatrical, allowing the cinema audience to ‘look through’ the screen at the live performance. While this project tells a story of increasing proximity to the stage, each chapter also resists and complicates that narrative. The cinematic films, which apparently seek to efface their stage origins, retain significant theatrical elements. The mediums of film and performance can be at work in each other. The films I call archival experiment, perhaps inadvertently, with the contradiction in terms of filming theatrically. While Doran wanted to capture his stage production on film, Goold’s stage production was heavily influenced by the cinematic. Each of the livecasting case studies examines a different aspect of the contradiction between announced transparency and actual intermediality in the NT Live Timon of Athens (2012), the NT Live Othello (2013), and the RSC Live The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2014). Those aspects are, respectively, text and paratext, film grammar, and the “myth of non-mediation” (Wyver 2014b, 109). Despite the apparent novelty, livecasting is not entirely new. An almost forgotten technology called the electrophone used telephone lines to broadcast live theatre in London starting in 1895. Both livecasting technologies remake liveness in conditions of reception that are shared and ephemeral. Livecasting is changing not only the ‘ecology’ of theatre, but also of film. Livecasting will shape the future prospects for adaptation of films that originate on stage.

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  • Stereological analysis of the normal red nucleus, and the effect of delayed treatment with adult-sourced adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells on neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and motor skills, in the rat

    Aghoghovwia, Benjamin Emoefe (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The red nucleus (RN) was investigated first to provide important data for the transfer of information through the RN and to learn key stereological methods that were then applied to the stem cell study. Six male rats, and a set of serial 40µm glycolmethacrylate sections for each rat, were used to quantify the absolute number, N, within the RN. A systematic sample of sections was obtained to estimate the total volume of the RN. The sampled sections were used to estimate the numerical density Nv using the optical disector method. It was found that the RN consisted, on average, of 8,400 parvicellular neurons and 7,000 magnocellular neurons. Exposure to hypoxia and ischemia (or hypoxia-ischemia, HI) in the brain neonatally can lead to cerebral palsy. Due to difficulties regarding the early diagnosis and treatment of HI injury, there is an increasing need to find effective therapies. This research investigates the long- and short-term effects of delayed treatment with stem cells, derived from adult fatty tissue, on neuronal restoration in the brain, and motor skills. On postnatal day (PN) 7, male Sprague-Dawley rat pups were weight-matched, exposed to either HI brain injury or no HI injury, and assigned to groups (n = 8/group for long-term study, and 4/group for the short-term study) - untreated (HI+Dil), normal controls (Normal+Dil), single- and double stem cell-treated (HI+MSCs×1, HI+MSCs×2). On PN14 and 16, all groups were treated with either diluent or stem cells. For the long-term study, all animals were then tested repeatedly on the cylinder and staircase tests for their motor skill ability and perfused on PN107-109. However for the short-term study, the animals were perfused on PN21. Serial 5µm frozen sections were cut and stained for striatal dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein-(DARPP)-32-positive spiny projection neurons. The N of these neurons was estimated using the Cavalieri’s, physical disector and Abercrombie/unfolding methods for the long-term study, and Cavalieri’s and Abercrombie/unfolding methods for the short-term study. For the long-term study, the HI groups were impaired on left- versus right-sided motor skills on the staircase test, but the control animals were not. However, this promising outcome was not observed on the cylinder test which revealed no significant difference for L% - R% use among all groups (p>.05). A one-way ANOVA revealed no significant difference (p>.05) across all groups. The N of DARPP-32-positive neurons was also not significantly greater (Mann-Whitney test, p > 0.05) in the Normal+Dil compared to all HI groups. For the short-term study, there was a significant difference in the N of DARPP-32-positive neurons when all groups were compared (p.05). These results suggest that double treatment with adipose-derived MSCs has therapeutic potential for rescuing striatal neurons after neonatal HI.

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  • The dose individualisation of oral anticoagulants

    Mohd Saffian, Shamin (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Oral anticoagulants are used to treat and prevent blood clots. All anticoagulants carry the risk of bleeding if the systemic exposure is too high, while inadequate exposure will increase the risk of thrombosis. Therefore, the safe and effective use of all oral anticoagulants will require dose individualisation and monitoring. The overarching goal of this thesis is to critically evaluate and explore dose individualisation methods for warfarin and dabigatran therapy to improve patient outcomes. For warfarin, methods for predicting the maintenance dose were investigated. Specifically, Chapter 2 investigates the predictive performance of a Bayesian dose individualisation tool for warfarin. It was found that the maintenance dose was over-predicted especially in patients requiring higher daily doses and further studies into the source of bias were conducted. Chapter 3 further evaluates whether published warfarin maintenance dose prediction algorithms can accurately predict the observed maintenance dose in patients who require ≥7 mg daily (the upper quartile of dose requirements). A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to answer this question. It was found that all warfarin dosing algorithms included in the study under-predicted the maintenance dose in this group of patients. One common metric to measure predictive performance of a model is the mean prediction error, which is a measure of bias. The work conducted in Chapter 2 and 3 suggests that the mean prediction error may not capture non-constant bias. This is when the predictions systematically deviate away from the line of identity in one direction in relation to the observed data. Chapter 4 proposes new method to assess predictive performance to analyse non-constant systematic deviation from the line of identity. The proposed method is not specific to warfarin, but can be applied to the analysis of predictive performance in general. For dabigatran dosing, aspects of concentration monitoring as a means of determining a suitable dosing rate were explored. In Chapter 5, an assay using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed to measure all active entities of dabigatran concentrations in human plasma. The assay was used to measure dabigatran concentrations collected from a previous study. A de novo population pharmacokinetic model was not pursued in the first instance as the data were fairly sparse. Instead, the measured concentrations were used in Chapter 6 in a simulation based study to select an appropriate prior population pharmacokinetic model that might be used in a future Bayesian dose individualisation method for dabigatran. The overall intention of Chapter 6 was to develop a Bayesian dose individualisation method for dabigatran. In conclusion, this thesis has identified the limitations of current methods for predicting warfarin maintenance dose and has explored dabigatran concentration monitoring as a means of improving dabigatran dosing. Models for predicting warfarin maintenance dose were critically evaluated and it was found that all existing models can not accurately predict the maintenance dose in patients requiring higher daily doses. An improvement in the method to assess predictive performance was proposed. The work conducted in this thesis on dabigatran dosing provides the basis for future research to individualise dosing and monitoring using population pharmacokinetic models.

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  • Job desire and response distortion in personality assessments

    Roess, Michaella Delphine; Roche, Maree A. (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess whether individuals engage in response distortion when applying for which they are highly motivated by job desire. Design/Method/Approach: Participants completed questionnaires regarding scenarios of different jobs to assess the level of job desire and personality dimensions. Personality dimensions were assessed using the 50 item IPIP to determine a representation of the Big Five factor framework commonly relied upon by HR managers. The data was analysed by the use of ttests to determine statistical significance. Findings: Response distortion was found to be significantly higher for all personality variables in the high job desire than in the low job desire. Implications: The results indicate that merely applying for a job can not be assumed to mean that every applicant has the same level of motivation, job desire, and that consequently, the responses to the personality dimensions may be distorted.

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  • The past is a foreign climate : Shigeyuki Kihara meets the Anthropocene

    Seja, Nina (2017-07-11T00:13:21Z)

    Journal article
    Unitec

    A young Samoan woman stands constrained in a voluminous black dress. The black-and-white photographs emphasize a Victorian formality and sensibility. This ancestor from the past is Shigeyuki Kihara’s Salome, a young ancient who stands at the interstices of the past, present and future. Surveying diverse topographies of the Pacific nation, she looks at what was, and is, and what will be. She is the common thread in Kihara’s recent series ‘Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?’ (2013). Te philosophical undercurrent about the nature of existence echoes Paul Gauguin’s 1897–98 painting of the same name. But the self-reflexivity – a common trope in the oeuvre of this Apia and Auckland-based artist – renders Gauguin’s Pacific through a postcolonial lens. Salome has returned after centuries have passed, to see, as Kihara refects: ‘whether the aspirations that she had in her time have been realised by the descendants, only to come back and perhaps be disappointed by some of the results.’

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  • Leon Battista Alberti, mental rotation and the origins of three-dimensional computer modeling

    Mitrovic, Branko (2017-07-11T00:13:30Z)

    Journal article
    Unitec

    Buildings are three-dimensional objects, but architectural communication about them occurs primarily in the two-dimensional medium of drawings. The use of drawings to communicate about buildings goes back to ancient times; however, the idea of basing a systematic relationship between a building’s shape and its two-dimensional representations on quantification is much more recent. Systematic here refers to the assumption that a complete two-dimensional visual representation (for instance, a set of drawings) of a three-dimensional object can be formulated by means of a clearly defined and consistently applied mathematical procedure. This procedure may be, for instance, a perspectival or orthogonal projection, but it must be consistently applicable: once the shape of the object is known, one should be able to produce its two-dimensional representations from any given side. The procedure must also enable one to depict the complete shape of the three-dimensional object using a set of two-dimensional representations—the way, for instance, modern three-dimensional computer modeling enables one to “rotate” the shape of an object on a computer screen. Finally, the procedure must not be misleading. The resulting representations must not suggest the existence of things they are not meant to represent—all points and lines in a drawing must be representations of their spatial equivalents. There should be no point or line in a drawing that does not represent some point or line in the spatial disposition of objects (real or imaginary) that the drawing represents. Fifty years ago, architecture schools taught descriptive geometry as the mathematical discipline that enabled architects to achieve such systematic representations, resolve difficult spatial relationships between elements, and develop their ability to visualize the buildings and spaces they designed. Presumably, modern three-dimensional computer modeling, which relies on the same assumption that quantification can guarantee the consistency and completeness of two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional shapes, has made this training obsolete. In this article I will consider the first theoretical articulation of the idea of a systematic and consistent representation of three-dimensional shapes in a two-dimensional medium in the history of architecture. It should not be surprising that Leon Battista Alberti was the first to formulate the idea—or that his formulation cuts deep in some of the central assumptions that architects necessarily make about space as the medium in which they operate.

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  • Fruits of the fig-tree : a counsellor’s role in assisting gifted and talented adolescents to address their multipotentiality

    Hurst, Nikki; Riley, T. (2017-07-11T00:13:43Z)

    Journal article
    Unitec

    Multipotentiality in gifted and talented adolescents refers to the fact that these individuals have numerous and diverse abilities and interests that can affect their career choices and decisionmaking. To help these young people achieve their potential, a broad understanding of the nature and effects of multipotentiality is crucial, as is emotional support and advocacy from counsellors—with school guidance counsellors and careers counsellors ideally placed to assist. This article provides information and ideas from relevant academic literature and research to facilitate understanding of the associated concepts, and to introduce suggested interventions for use with multipotentialed gifted and talented young people. The principal findings from the review of literature suggest the usefulness of specifically targeted counselling that is underpinned by an understanding of the implications of multipotentiality; an holistic, values-based and lifespan approach to career planning; mentoring; experiential learning; and early intervention, coupled with long-term planning and broad academic study. It has also become clear that much more research is required, particularly from New Zealand viewpoints.

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  • The doctoral writing conversation: establishing a generic doctoral writing programme

    Johnson, E. Marcia (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Over the past few decades, the number of people enrolled in doctoral study has increased dramatically across the world. In practical terms, this has meant that universities now receive increasingly diverse students with regard to ethnicity, age, language, culture, and background preparedness for higher degree study. Students can, and often do, begin their doctorates with scant understanding of the precise expectations and rigorous demands of thesis writing. Yet, regardless of academic discipline, successful completion of a doctorate requires a written thesis. To help students master thesis writing requirements, a proliferation of self-help writing books, blogs, specific writing techniques, and programmes have emerged. This paper describes an approach developed at a New Zealand university where a generic doctoral writing programme, the Doctoral Writing Conversation, has evolved to make explicit to students the implicit language understanding that accomplished academic writers use to produce text. Utilising the idea of language as a tool to mediate understanding, the paper will explore how the programme is structured and functions but will also describe some of the insights I have gained along the way.

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  • Predictors of Workplace Bullying and Cyber-Bullying in New Zealand

    Gardner, Dianne; O’Driscoll, Michael P.; Cooper-Thomas, Helena D.; Roche, Maree A.; Bentley, Tim; Catley, Bevan; Teo, Stephen T. T.; Trenberth, Linda (2016)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Background: The negative effects of in-person workplace bullying (WB) are well established. Less is known about cyber-bullying (CB), in which negative behaviours are mediated by technology. Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, the current research examined how individual and organisational factors were related to WB and CB at two time points three months apart. Methods: Data were collected by means of an online self-report survey. Eight hundred and twenty-six respondents (58% female, 42% male) provided data at both time points. Results: One hundred and twenty-three (15%) of participants had been bullied and 23 (2.8%) of participants had been cyber-bullied within the last six months. Women reported more WB, but not more CB, than men. Worse physical health, higher strain, more destructive leadership, more team conflict and less effective organisational strategies were associated with more WB. Managerial employees experienced more CB than non-managerial employees. Poor physical health, less organisational support and less effective organisational strategies were associated with more CB. Conclusion: Rates of CB were lower than those of WB, and very few participants reported experiencing CB without also experiencing WB. Both forms of bullying were associated with poorer work environments, indicating that, where bullying is occurring, the focus should be on organisational systems and processes.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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