This book examines how Russia, the world’s most complicated country, is governed. As it resumes its place at the centre of global affairs, the book explores Russia’s overarching strategies, and how it organizes itself (or not) in policy areas ranging from foreign policy and national security to health care, education, immigration, science, sport, agriculture, the environment and criminal justice. The book also discusses the structures and institutions on which Russia relies in order to deliver its goals in these areas of national life, as well as what’s to be done, in policy terms, to improve the country’s performance in its first post-Soviet century. Edited by Irvin Studin, the book includes contributions from a tremendous list of Russia’s leading thinkers and specialists, including Alexei Kudrin, Vladimir Mau, Alexander Auzan, Simon Kordonsky, Fyodor Lukyanov, Natalia Zubarevich and Andrey Melville.
The authors proposed and mathematically described model of a new type of the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam recurrence (the FPU auto recurrence) and hypothesized an adequate description of the heart's electrical dynamics within the observed phenomenon. The dynamics of the FPU auto recurrence making appropriate electrical dynamics of the normal functioning of the heart in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG) was obtained by a computer model study. The model solutions in the form of the FPU auto recurrence – ECG Fourier spectrum were evaluated for resistance to external disturbances in the form of random effects, as well as periodic perturbation at a frequency close to the heart beating rate of about 1 Hz. In addition, in order to simulate the dynamics of myocardial infarction model, studied the effect of the surface area of the myocardium on the stability and shape of the auto recurrence – ECG spectrum. It has been found that the intense external disturbing periodic impacts at a frequency of about 1 Hz lead to a sharp disturbance spectrum shape FPU auto recurrence – ECG structure. In addition, the decrease in the surface of the myocardium by 50% in the model led to the destruction of structures of the auto recurrence – ECG, which corresponds to the state of atrial myocardium. Research models have revealed a hypothetical basis of coronary heart disease in the form of increasing the energy of high-frequency harmonics spectrum of the auto recurrence by reducing the energy of low-frequency harmonic spectrum of the auto recurrence, which ultimately leads to a sharp decrease in myocardial contractility. In order to test the hypothesis has been studied more than 20,000 ECGs both healthy people and patients with cardiovascular disease. As a result of these studies, it was found that the dynamics of the electrical activity of normal functioning of the heart can be interpreted by the display of the detected by authors the FPU auto recurrence, and coronary heart disease is a violation of the energy ratio between the low and high frequency harmonics of the FPU auto recurrence Fourier spectrum equal to the ECG spectrum. Thus, the hypothesis has been confirmed.
The materials of The International Scientific – Practical Conference is presented below. The Conference reflects the modern state of innovation in education, science, industry and social-economic sphere, from the standpoint of introducing new information technologies.
It is interesting for a wide range of researchers, teachers, graduate students and professionals in the field of innovation and information technologies.
Adequate assessment of individual functional motor potentials is important for developing appropriate rehabilitation strategies in ischemic stroke . Microstructural changes in corticospinal tract (CST) and corpus callosum (CC) were repeatedly correlated to post-stroke outcome [2, 3]. However, relationship between them and functional recovery remains unclear. Here we investigated relationship between integrity of CST and CC assessed with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and brain functional state assessed with navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) in chronic ischemic supratentorial stroke.
The present volume is the fourth issue of the Yearbook series entitled ‘Evolution’. The title of the present volume is ‘From Big Bang to Nanorobots’. In this way we demonstrate that all phases of evolution and Big History are covered in the articles of the present Yearbook. Several articles also present the forecasts about future development.
The main objective of our Yearbook as well as of the previous issues is the creation of a unified interdisciplinary field of research in which the scientists specializing in different disciplines could work within the framework of unified or similar paradigms, using the common terminology and searching for common rules, tendencies and regularities. At the same time for the formation of such an integrated field one should use all available opportunities: theories, laws and methods. In the present volume, a number of such approaches are used.
The volume consists of four sections: Universal Evolutionary Principles; Biosocial Evolution, Ecological Aspects, and Consciousness; Projects for the Future; In Memoriam.
This Yearbook will be useful both for those who study interdisciplinary macroproblems and for specialists working in focused directions, as well as for those who are interested in evolutionary issues of Cosmology, Biology, History, Anthropology, Economics and other areas of study. More than that, this edition will challenge and excite your vision of your own life and the new discoveries going on around us!
The book presents the most important aspects of safe digital image workflows, starting from the basic practical implications and gradually uncovering the underlying concepts and algorithms. With an easy-to-follow, down-to-earth presentation style, the text helps you to optimize your diagnostic imaging projects and connect the dots of medical informatics.
In the context of global efforts to move towards universal coverage in health systems, this report reviews health financing reforms in the Republic of Moldova and looks in particular at how the population´s access to health services has been affected. In 2004, as has been widely documented elsewhere, wholesale reforms were made to the way in which government funds were used to fund health services, shifting the system overnight from a highly fragmented and inflexible one, to one in which funds for the health sector were pooled nationally, allowing improved risk-sharing as a result of greater flexibility to allocate funds in line with health needs. A new source of funding in the form of a payroll tax for health was also introduced directly leading to a growth in total levels of government health spending. A second phase of reforms starting in 2009 addressed the issue of gaps in population coverage under mandatory health insurance, with legislative measures taken to ensure that all citizens of Moldova had access to primary health care, and to ensure that the poor receive subsidized health insurance. Fiscal constraints have limited the full implementation of these reforms however. Moldova has shown that it is prepared to tackle difficult policy issues head on and has articulated clear goals for the sector. In particular, the Roadmap “Accelerating Reforms: addressing the needs of the health area through investment policies” approved on 1 March 2012, lays a clear agenda for the next phase or priority reforms focusing on principally on service delivery reorganization but also on health financing. This is the correct focus given that progress on a number of priority indicators such as equity in access to services and financial protection has been limited in recent years. This report summarizes the main impact of health financing reforms to date and agrees with the Roadmap about the major challenges for the coming decade, in particular the need to address inefficiencies in service delivery, but also to ensure that the close link between guaranteed benefits and available funding is maintained in future policy decisions.
Abstract reasoning is associated with the ability to detect relations among objects, ideas, events. It underlies the understanding of other individuals’ thoughts and intentions. In natural settings, individuals have to infer relevant associations that have proven to be reliable or precise predictors. Salience theory suggests that the attribution of meaning to stimulus depends on their contingency, saliency, and relevance to adaptation. So far, subjective estimates of relevance have mostly been explored in motivation and implicit learning. Mechanisms underlying formation of associations in abstract thinking with regard to their subjective relevance, or salience, are not clear. Applying novel computational methods, we investigated relevance detection in categorization tasks in 17 healthy individuals. Two models of relevance detection were developed: a conventional one with nouns from the same semantic category, an aberrant one based on an insignificant common feature. Control condition introduced non-related words. The participants were to detect either a relevant principle or an insignificant feature to group presented words. In control condition they inferred that the stimuli were irrelevant to any grouping idea. Cross-frequency phase coupling analysis revealed statistically distinct patterns of synchronization representing search and decision in the models of normal and aberrant relevance detection. Significantly distinct frontotemporal functional networks with central and parietal components in the theta and alpha frequency bands may reflect differences in relevance detection.
Altered functional connectivity of the amygdala has been observed in a resting state immediately after fear learning, even one day after aversive exposure. The persistence of increased resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala has been a critical finding in patients with stress and anxiety disorders. However, longitudinal changes in amygdala rsFC have rarely been explored in healthy participants. To address this issue, we studied the rsFC of the amygdala in two groups of healthy volunteers. The control group participated in three fMRI scanning sessions of their resting state at the first visit, one day, and one week later. The experimental group participated in three fMRI sessions on the first day: a resting state before fear conditioning, a fear extinction session, and a resting state immediately after fear extinction. Furthermore, this group experienced scanning after one day and week. The fear-conditioning paradigm consisted of visual stimuli with a distinct rate of partial reinforcement by electric shock. During the extinction, we presented the same stimuli in another sequence without aversive pairing. In the control group, rsFC maps were statistically similar between sessions for the left and right amygdala. However, in the experimental group, the increased rsFC mainly of the left amygdala was observed after extinction, one day, and one week. The between-group comparison also demonstrated an increase in the left amygdala rsFC in the experimental group. Our results indicate that functional connections of the left amygdala influenced by fear learning may persist for several hours and days in the human brain.
Long-duration spaceflight causes widespread physiological changes, although its effect on brain structure remains poorly understood. In this work, we acquired diffusion magnetic resonance imaging to investigate alterations of white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) compositions in each voxel, before, shortly after, and 7 months after long-duration spaceflight. We found increased WM in the cerebellum after spaceflight, providing the first clear evidence of sensorimotor neuroplasticity. At the region of interest level, this increase persisted 7 months after return to Earth. We also observe a widespread redistribution of CSF, with concomitant changes in the voxel fractions of adjacent GM. We show that these GM changes are the result of morphological changes rather than net tissue loss, which remained unclear from previous studies. Our study provides evidence of spaceflight-induced neuroplasticity to adapt motor strategies in space and evidence of fluid shift– induced mechanical changes in the brain.
Goldberg, the author of the “novelty-routinization” framework, suggested a new pair of cognitive styles for agent-centered decision-making (DM), context-dependency/independency (CD/CI), quantified by the Cognitive Bias Task (CBT) and supposedly reflecting functional brain hemispheric specialization. To date, there are only three lesion and activation neuroimaging studies on the CBT with the largest sample of 12 participants. The present study is the first to analyze whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), involved in contextual agent-centered DM.
We compared whole-brain resting-state FC of the DLPFC between CD (n = 24) and CI (n = 22) healthy participants. Additionally, we investigated associations between CD/CI and different aspects of executive functions.
CD participants had stronger positive FC of the DLPFC with motor and visual regions; FC of the left DLPFC was more extensive. CI participants had stronger positive FC of the left DLPFC with right prefrontal and parietal-occipital areas and of the left and right DLPFC with ipsilateral cerebellar hemispheres. No sex differences were found. CD/CI had nonlinear associations with working memory.
The findings suggest that CD and CI are associated with different patterns of DLPFC FC. While CD is associated with FC between DLPFC and areas presumably involved in storing representations of current situation, CI is more likely to be associated with FC between DLPFC and right-lateralized associative regions, probably involved in the inhibition of the CD response and switching from processing of incoming perceptual information to creation of original response strategies.
Despite the increasing popularity of neurofeedback, its mechanisms of action are still poorly understood. This study aims to describe the processes underlying implicit electroencephalographic neurofeedback. Fifty-two healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to a single session of infra-low frequency neurofeedback or sham neurofeedback, with electrodes over the right middle temporal gyrus and the right inferior parietal lobule. They observed a moving rocket, the speed of which was modulated by the waveform derived from a band-limited infra-low frequency filter. Immediately before and after the session, the participants underwent a resting-state fMRI. Network-based statistical analysis was applied, comparing post- vs. pre-session and real vs. sham neurofeedback conditions. As a result, two phenomena were observed. First, we described a brain circuit related to the implicit neurofeedback process itself, consisting of the lateral occipital cortex, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left orbitofrontal cortex, right ventral striatum, and bilateral dorsal striatum. Second, we found increased connectivity between key regions of the salience, language, and visual networks, which is indicative of integration in sensory processing. Thus, it appears that a single session of implicit infra-low frequency electroencephalographic neurofeedback leads to significant changes in intrinsic brain connectivity.
Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) allows investigating inhibitory and excitatory interactions in the human motor cortex noninvasively. Short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and facilitation (SICF) are used to measure cortico–cortical excitability in patients with, e.g., stroke, dystonia, and Parkinson’s disease. However, the role of the induced electric field (E-field) orientation remains partly unclear. Posterior–anterior (PA)-oriented E-field elicits motor evoked potentials (MEPs) with the lowest stimulus intensities due to the recruitment of corticospinal neurons, indirectly via excitatory synaptic inputs to corticospinal axons (indirect (I-) waves). Stimulation in the lateral–medial (LM) orientation directly activates corticospinal axons, which leads to the generation of both direct (D-) and I-waves. Conditioning stimulus (CS) with an intensity between 50% and 90% of resting motor threshold (RMT) induces activation of GABAA inhibitory mechanisms observed as the SICI (inhibitory) effect on MEP amplitude. In contrast, if the CS intensity is above RMT, the SICF (excitatory) phenomenon can be present due to the superposition of D- and I-waves. Our aim was to investigate the dependence of inhibitory and facilitatory mechanisms on the orientation of the induced E-field of CS and TS. We developed a multi-locus TMS (mTMS) transducer, which allowed us to control the E-field orientation independently for CS and TS at a millisecond inter-pair interval (IPI). Eight healthy subjects (five males; mean age 29, range 21–35 years) participated in the study. mTMS was applied to the hotspot of the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle in the left primary motor cortex. The stimulus intensities were based on the individual RMT of APB for PA and LM orientations. TS and single pulses were administered at 110% RMT. Twenty single pulses were applied for each TS orientation and for each of the 32 paired-pulse conditions. CS and TS stimuli were applied in every combination of the PA and LM orientations with four CS intensities (50, 70, 90, and 110% RMT) and two IPIs (1.5 and 2.7 ms) in a random order. Interaction between CS orientation, IPI, and CS intensity significantly affected TS MEP amplitudes. We observed no statistically significant difference between the responses induced by PA- and LM-oriented TS. CS at 70% RMT for SICI and at 110% RMT for SICF induced similar effects regardless of the TS orientation. We established that LM-oriented CS at 90% RMT produced a greater inhibition than stimuli at the same intensity in the PA orientation. Our results emphasize the minimal influence of the CS E-field dorientation on the test pulse. Additionally, we demonstrate the pivotal role of the stimulus intensity for any CS orientation. SICI and SICF evoked using perpendicular CS and TS directions indicate that we stimulated overlapping neuronal populations with both pulses.
Rigid amphipathic fusion inhibitors are potent broad-spectrum antivirals based on the perylene scaffold, usually decorated with a hydrophylic group linked via ethynyl or triazole. We have sequentially simplified these structures by removing sugar moiety, then converting uridine to aniline, then moving to perylenylthiophenecarboxilic acids and to perylenylcarboxylic acid. All these polyaromatic compounds, as well as antibiotic heliomycin, still showed pronounced activity against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) with limited toxicity in porcine embryo kidney (PEK) cell line. 5-(Perylen-3-yl)-2-thiophenecarboxylic acid (5a) showed the highest antiviral activity with 50% effective concentration of approx. 1.6 nM.
The cooperative dynamics of cellular populations emerging from the underlying interactions determines cellular functions and thereby their identity in tissues. Global deviations from this dynamics, on the other hand, reflect pathological conditions. However, how these conditions are stabilized from dysregulation on the level of the single entities is still unclear. Here, we tackle this question using the generic Hodgkin–Huxley type of models that describe physiological bursting dynamics of pancreatic -cells and introduce channel dysfunction to mimic pathological silent dynamics. The probability for pathological behavior in -cell populations is ~100% when all cells have these defects, despite the negligible size of the silent state basin of attraction for single cells. In stark contrast, in a more realistic scenario for a mixed population, stabilization of the pathological state depends on the size of the subpopulation which acquired the defects. However, the probability to exhibit stable pathological dynamics in this case is less than 10%. These results, therefore, suggest that the physiological bursting dynamics of a population of -cells is cooperatively maintained, even under intercellular communication defects induced by dysfunctional channels of single cells.
This study investigates whether economic freedom of a region drives firm performance. Despite the large number of papers about the relationship between economic freedom and growth, there is still little evidence on the role of economic freedom in performance of individual firms. We address this gap in the literature using hierarchical linear modelling, allowing us to investigate regional differences in company level performance. The dataset consists of information about 1096 companies combined with the Index of Economic Freedom for Russian regions during the period 2004 – 2014