Darryl, a cartoon-based measure of cardinal posttraumatic stress symptoms in school-age children. (1/29)

OBJECTIVES: This report examines the reliability and validity of Darryl, a cartoon-based measure of the cardinal symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHODS: We measured exposure to community violence through the reports of children and their parents and then administered Darryl to a sample of 110 children aged 7 to 9 residing in urban neighborhoods with high crime rates. RESULTS: Darryl's reliability is excellent overall and is acceptable for the reexperiencing, avoidance, and arousal subscales, considered separately. Child reports of exposure to community violence were significantly associated with child reports of PTSD symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Darryl possesses acceptable psychometric properties in a sample of children with frequent exposure to community violence.  (+info)

Dopey's seizure. (2/29)

Angelman syndrome is a neurogenetic condition namely characterized by developmental delay, virtual absence of expressive verbal language, peculiar organization of movement, seizures and happy demeanor. This syndrome has been recognized since 1965, but it seems that Walt Disney presented an original depiction of it in his first full-length animated film, including myoclonic jerks and an apparently generalized tonic-clonic seizure.  (+info)

TopDraw: a sketchpad for protein structure topology cartoons. (3/29)

SUMMARY: Protein topology cartoons are a representation of structural data commonly used by structural biologists to illustrate the relationship between one-dimensional sequence and three-dimensional structural data in a convenient two-dimensional format. TopDraw is a simple, freely available TCL/Tk based drawing program designed specifically for the production of publication quality topology cartoons in a style commonly presented by structural biologists. AVAILABILITY: TopDraw is freely available under the terms of the GNU General Public License. It can be downloaded from http://stein.bioch.dundee.ac.uk/~charlie/scripts/topdraw.html.  (+info)

Humor modulates the mesolimbic reward centers. (4/29)

Humor plays an essential role in many facets of human life including psychological, social, and somatic functioning. Recently, neuroimaging has been applied to this critical human attribute, shedding light on the affective, cognitive, and motor networks involved in humor processing. To date, however, researchers have failed to demonstrate the subcortical correlates of the most fundamental feature of humor-reward. In an effort to elucidate the neurobiological substrate that subserves the reward components of humor, we undertook a high-field (3 Tesla) event-related functional MRI study. Here we demonstrate that humor modulates activity in several cortical regions, and we present new evidence that humor engages a network of subcortical regions including the nucleus accumbens, a key component of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system. Further, the degree of humor intensity was positively correlated with BOLD signal intensity in these regions. Together, these findings offer new insight into the neural basis of salutary aspects of humor.  (+info)

Behavior change in the funny papers: feedback to cartoonists on safety belt use. (5/29)

A multiple baseline across 8 nationally syndicated cartoonists evaluated the effects of personal advocacy letters encouraging presentations of a specific prevention message--the depiction of safety belt use in comic strips showing motor vehicle occupants. During baseline these cartoonists depicted safety belt use in only 15% (6 of 41) of their strips with occupied vehicles, but following receipt of a personal letter requesting safety belt use 41% (42 of 102) of their strips depicted safety belt use. Four cartoonists showed clear and immediate increases in depiction of safety belt use, 2 demonstrated delayed and somewhat less consistent belt use, and 2 cartoonists showed no change. The approach and results are discussed with regard to advocacy efforts intended to influence presentation of prevention messages in the media.  (+info)

Patient communication: a multidisciplinary approach using animated cartoons. (6/29)

Communication is a major problem in the management of patients. Miscommunication occurs frequently in populations with low reading skills, illiteracy does not completely account for the observed low rates of recall of communicated information. Transmission of the message also plays an important role. Successful strategies to improve communication with patients include the use of videotapes, videotape modeling or cartoon illustrations. Do these products communicate effectively because they overcome illiteracy or because they also transmit a very clear message? Can good transmission of messages overcome illiteracy? In this study, we compared the effectiveness of a printed message about polio vaccinations with the same message converted into a production of animated cartoons using marketing and advertising techniques. The production that resulted from using this strategy showed that in the setting of this study, a well-designed animated cartoon is more effective in delivering a message than the same information provided in written instructional materials.  (+info)

Prevention of viral hepatitis C: assessment of a comic strip-based information campaign targeting adolescents. (7/29)

BACKGROUND: The risk of exposure to hepatitis C virus increases markedly in adolescence, and students are thus a preferential target for information campaigns. The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of a hepatitis C information campaign targeting secondary-school students. METHODS: The study was done in 52 classes of 11 general and vocational secondary schools. Before the information meetings and two months afterwards, the students received an anonymous questionnaire to test their knowledge of hepatitis C. The information session was backed up by a comic strip depicting scenarios involving hepatitis C. RESULTS: The students were aged from 14 to 24 years (mean 15.9 years, SD 0.9 years). Respectively 1509 and 1419 questionnaires were completed before and after the information session. Answers to the first questionnaire showed that the students' knowledge of hepatitis C was poor. Scores improved significantly after the information session, from an overall mean of 6.2 (SD 2.0) to 8.5 (SD 1.7) (p<0.001). The largest score improvement concerned transmission due to illicit drug use, the potential severity of the disease, and lack of a vaccine. The improvement was significantly larger among pupils who said they read the comic strip than among those who did not (p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: General and vocational secondary school students in France have mediocre knowledge of hepatitis C, particularly its modes of transmission and the lack of a vaccine. Knowledge improved significantly when measured two months after an information session, suggesting that subsequent at-risk behaviours might be reduced.  (+info)

A theory of mind investigation into the appreciation of visual jokes in schizophrenia. (8/29)

BACKGROUND: There is evidence that groups of people with schizophrenia have deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM) capabilities. Previous studies have found these to be linked to psychotic symptoms (or psychotic symptom severity) particularly the presence of delusions and hallucinations. METHODS: A visual joke ToM paradigm was employed where subjects were asked to describe two types of cartoon images, those of a purely Physical nature and those requiring inferences of mental states for interpretation, and to grade them for humour and difficulty. Twenty individuals with a DSM-lV diagnosis of schizophrenia and 20 healthy matched controls were studied. Severity of current psychopathology was measured using the Krawiecka standardized scale of psychotic symptoms. IQ was estimated using the Ammons and Ammons quick test. RESULTS: Individuals with schizophrenia performed significantly worse than controls in both conditions, this difference being most marked in the ToM condition. No relationship was found for poor ToM performance and psychotic positive symptomatology, specifically delusions and hallucinations. CONCLUSION: There was evidence for a compromised ToM capability in the schizophrenia group on this visual joke task. In this instance this could not be linked to particular symptomatology.  (+info)