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Session 8A-8D14:00-15:30 // day one

8A - Behavioural Science and Social Systems University of Warwick, University of Leeds, and IIE MSA

In this paper, I argue for the non-necessity of linguistic conventions for linguistic communication. I elaborate on an argument given in a series of papers by Davidson (1984; 1986; 1994). I aim to strengthen his argument through a deeper understanding of Lewis's (1969; 1975) account of conventions, establishing what it means for communication to be explained by conventions. Specifically, conventions explain communication when the reason for the use a specific word/meaning pair is given by interlocutors' learned mutual expectations. When interlocutors communicate using neologisms, they cannot use their learned mutual expectations to guide their word choice. I then defend the non-necessity of linguistic conventions against two attempts to reinterpret linguistic conventions in order to accommodate linguistic innovation. I conclude that Lewis's project of showing how conventional meaning arises out of use forces us to accept the non-necessity of linguistic conventions for linguistic communication.

Different cultural contexts may impact the results and scores of psychological tests. On most countries in Africa and Latin America, where the scientific development is not as advanced, psychological tests developed in the United States of America and Europe are utilised out of cultural context (Fernandez, 2008). The problems arise as psychologists attempt to use psychological tests that are culturally biased at the time of assessing individuals from the country of question. Additionally, the reliability and validity of tests that have been translated into other languages may not be the same as the original version of the same test (Allen & Dana, 2004). The purpose of this presentation is to identify the main problems and issues that can be brought up by the utilisation of three common psychological tests, namely, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV), the Rorschach Inkblot Method (RIM), and the Koppitz Developmental Scoring System for the Bender Gestalt Test - Second edition (Koppitz-2), in the cultural context of Latin American countries. With the growing numbers of migrants around the world, and more specifically, the mass migration of Venezuelans to other countries in Latin America and the USA, the importance for both psychologists and test-takers to be aware of the potential cultural bias that a psychological test may hold, keeps increasing. Lastly, recommendations for test developers and tests users will be given with the attempt to lower the issues and limitations that are brought up by the cultural differences in the field of psychological testing and assessment.

Objectives: To explore online pregnancy forum health-related use and evaluate quality of information shared.

Design: Retrospective qualitative approach.

Setting: Two internet discussion forums; Mumsnet and Netmums.

Population: Users of pregnancy-focused subforums.

Methods: This study had two phases of data collection and analysis. First, thematic analysis of a representative sample (n=480) of posts explored motivators for forum use. Second, a subgroup (n=153) of threads with clinical content were assessed for congruence with reputable sources.

Main outcome measures: Engagement motivators, clinical congruence, potential harm, peer moderation.

Results: Common motivators for forum engagement were requirements for lived experience, unlimited access and opportunity to express emotions. Forums were often used as a triage system, concerningly, this failed to appropriately refer ten cases where the original poster needed urgent medical assessment. Of 1098 responses sharing advice, information or experience, 601 (54.74%) were accurate, 230 (20.95%) were erroneous, incomplete or misleading and 267 (24.32%) lacked credible evidence. Of these, 60 (5.46%) were potentially harmful. Few discussions were self-regulating, with only 12 of 230 (5.22%) poor-quality messages subsequently rectified.

Conclusions: Exchange of information and emotional support amongst peers are key functions of online pregnancy forums. There is a modest prevalence of poor-quality or potentially harmful information but more concerningly a lack of peer moderation. We suggest healthcare providers ensure all pregnant women have a clear understanding of when clinical consultation is required. They may wish to discuss the supportive community aspects of online forums in cases where offline support is lacking.

Funding: None.

A participant must be informed about a study before they participate else the experimenter may cause discomfort or harm to the individual. Imagine if a researcher filmed you without telling you, you may feel uncomfortable upon discovery. But sometimes telling a participant about the experiment can change their behaviour and bias the measures. If you know you're being filmed, you'll certainly act differently. So, a researcher has to choose between ethically briefing the participant or being unethical and protecting the validity of the results. Another factor is that participants typically don't read consent forms because they're boring. This may lead to high attrition and wasting the researchers time if the participant begins an experiment they don't wish to complete.

This research reviews the problems facing experimental briefing in detail and outlines a solution which is currently being tested. Myriad briefing is a method of providing several random procedures along with the real procedure so the participant doesn't know what they will do. The participant therefore provides consent to all possible procedures but doesn't know which one to expect. The uncertainty may also create curiosity and increase readability of the consent form thus solving all problems. Current research is testing the applicability of this method in neuroscience laboratory experiments, but there are potential applications in all fields of human research.

8B - Technology, Engineering and Modelling University of Warwick, University of Leeds, and Baruch College, City University of New York

Diabetic Foot Ulcers represent a major health issue around the world. The clinical treatment of DFU has drawbacks such as the difficulty of accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Current methods for DFU assessment typically involve visual inspection of the plantar surface to determine the plantar topology, which neglect both of plantar pressure and dynamic movement. Our team are developing a load measurement system, dynamically measuring load in 3 axes, to collect plantar pressure data (normal plantar pressure shear plantar stresses). From this data we wish to determine the presence of foot ulcers. We simulated two types of foot profile (healthy and diseased) using a silicone foot model, across different walking conditions.

In this research, we propose a deep LSTM (Long Short Term Memory) network for this binary classification. LSTM network is most suitable model for this dataset as it allows sequence data as an input, and make prediction based on the individual time steps of sequence data. Investigation showed that using full (3 axis) load information as an input to the classification model provided better performance than relying on only shear or normal stress in isolation. Training the LSTM model on our dataset and performing 10-fold cross validation gave an accuracy of 0.975. This shows the potential for predicting DFU allowing patients for an early treatment and safety measures. Future work will consider training on a more extensive dataset to explore the potential to deliver a paradigm shift in diabetic foot care.

In 2016, the Japanese government voted to expand the interpretation of Article 9 of the constitution -- which prevents Japan from going to war -- from self-defense to include the defense of its allies, raising new concerns regarding its security posture. Japan’s security posture is of strategic importance to the U.S., as Japan plays an important role in helping the U.S. balance against Chinese military influence in East Asia. I hypothesized that the role of public opinion, the influence of an iron triangle over the economic policy-making process, Japanese involvement in UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO), and regional threats posed by China and North Korea are four political factors that exercise the greatest influence over Japan's security decisions. I used Japanese Ministry of Defense documents, UN PKO reports, public opinion polls, and news reports published by Japanese and Western media outlets to analyze causal mechanisms between the four political factors and changes in Japan's security posture. I show that Japan has changed its security policies through increased defense spending, Article 9 reinterpretation, and renewed security commitments with the U.S. However, my findings suggest changes in security policy have not constituted a shift in security posture. Without the support that is needed to undergo the constitutional amendment process, Japan will continue to practice a "Goldilocks approach" to its security posture. Future scholarship could explore what kind of political factors are necessary to trigger re-posturing by the Japanese government.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air particles have been increasing at an alarming rate for the past few decades. Since 80.7% of the population lives in urban areas across the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016), atmospheric particulate matter is a hazardous environmental threat to the health of urban populations overall and specifically to New York City residents. Although federal, state and local regulations have reduced emissions from transportation, off-road, and stationary sources, the City’s air quality still fails to meet Federal standards mostly due to ozone and fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) levels. There are public health impacts associated with air pollution. NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene estimates that, every year, PM2.5 pollutions in New York City causes more than 3,000 deaths, 2,000 hospital admissions for lung and heart conditions, and approximately 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma in children and adults (Kizzy M. Charles-Guzman, 2012). Studying the patterns of various components in the atmosphere will lead us to better understand urban air quality and its spatial and temporal patterns. My research is to compile, compare and correlate data from sensors measuring PM2.5, CO2, 03, CO, NO, NO2, temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed and wind direction. The sensors are located at the CUNY ASRC building in Harlem. This analysis will lead to further measurements to determine the major sources and sinks of these components.

Confidence is a known mediator of mental rotation strength, influenced by factors attributed to familiarity - classified by experience, exposure and knowledge. This study focused on the effects between stimulus and academic familiarity in Chemistry on 3D Mental Rotation Tests. 2-types of stimuli were used, block and molecular model, for performance comparison.

Stronger mental rotation performance was found for chemistry undergraduates (CS) than non-chemistry undergraduates (NCS), particularly towards the molecular model stimulus. This indicated a degree of difficulty induced by an intrinsic mechanism within the chemistry-based stimulus, which impeded recognition and comprehension. Inaccuracy was especially high amongst non-identical stimuli, fabricated with additional chemistry-based features, notably, cyclic, bulky and rotated substituents. In effect, participants struggled with stimuli that invoked multi-step rotation. This emphasised the effect of how low exposure negatively impacts stimulus familiarity.

Furthermore, performance improved with increasing year group within CS, demonstrating the importance of academic familiarity. In addition, CS are taught analytical techniques e.g. Newman Projections, to simplify mental rotation problems. Application of these techniques, is enhanced by prior chemistry knowledge and experience, hence improving comprehension of complex spatial information, and highlighting the major influence of academic familiarity.

Finally, sex differences were also observed, although the results did not indicate direct causal relationship. Sex differences highlighted the importance of specialised training in mental rotation tasks to improve mental rotation performance.

Improvements were suggested to further define aspects of the chemistry stimulus that induced difficulty in recognition of the stimulus and the extent to which academic familiarity enhances this influence.

8C - Social Change, Inclusion and Engagement University of Warwick, University of Leeds, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

West African (Senegalese, Malian, Ivorian, Guinean) colonial subjects of the French Empire played a vital role in French Internal Resistance (1940-1945). However, their contributions have been largely overlooked by the prevailing historical narratives surrounding The Second World War. This research aims to identify the West African men and women who fought in the French Internal Resistance. This research forms part of a larger ongoing research project to identify members of the French Internal Resistance who were subjects of the French Empire. It examines how these men and women's racial identity influenced their decision to join a Resistance group or movement, the roles they were given or undertook and their interactions with both their comrades and the enemy (French and German). Furthermore, the project makes an important contribution to the commemoration of Second World War in France, by diversifying the range of stories depicted.

If African film already reaches spectators in Europe, it most often does so via screenings at international film festivals. The films that make it to the film festivals, however, are usually either sponsored by those festivals themselves or they are international co-productions, financed with European money. And, of course, those European funds and production companies that invest in African film do so with the expectation that the film will be made in such a way that it will be profitable in Europe. This leads African film makers to having to adapt their narrative and aesthetic style to the taste of a western audience, in order to gain international recognition. Through in-depth interviews with various African film makers and European programmers, this interpretative paper is set out to gain insights into the various discourses on the role of African film festivals. It first seeks to address the needs and concerns of independent African film directors when it comes to funding, audience and the perception of African cinema. Secondly, it uses the Afrika Filmfestival in Leuven (Belgium) as a case study to see in which ways it differs from a big, international film festival such as the International Film Festival of Rotterdam when it comes to funding, audience and the perception of African cinema.

According to the accepted model of meiosis in biology, it is expected that reproduction between a male and female organism should give 50:50 chance of XX (female)/XO (male) progeny. However, this ratio has been found to not always be true in nature. A recently discovered nematode species- Auanema rhodensis had a skewed ratio, where reproduction between a male and female, almost always produced XX progeny and it is only when a male and a hermaphrodite (half male and half female) reproduced, that XO progeny was observed. Cellular analysis has revealed that during the generation of sperm in males, the cell cytoplasm and its organelle (such as mitochondria) divide asymmetrically towards the direction of the cell that contain an X-chromosome. Thus, only a viable X-carrying sperm is able to fertilise a female nematode oocyte and the resulting offspring has XX genotype. A hypothesis was made that the X-chromosome in sperm may carry a signal for asymmetric division of cell organelle. To test this hypothesis, mutant males (containing XX genotype) were crossed with wild type females of species A. rhodensis. Both XX and XO offspring from the cross were collected and genotyped to determine the pattern of X-chromosome inheritance. The results obtained opposed the hypothesis and indicated that even sperm cells without the X-chromosome were viable and able to fertilise a female oocyte. Thus, the cause for asymmetric cell division is not linked to X-chromosome and leaves this genetics and developmental biology field open for further exploration.

In 1905, the French Third Republic passes a law on the Separation of the Churches and State. It introduces, on an institutional and national scale, the term laïcité� which can only be translated by "secularismâ€� in English.

Originally, the laïcité is a legal and moral obligation of neutrality from the State to its citizens. It guarantees them independence from any religious institution, freedom of conscience and free exercise of one's beliefs. It is on this principle of laïcité that the identity of the French Republic - and therefore its collective and national identity - has been built.

Yet, the 1989's ""affaire du voile"" (or Islamic veil affair) exemplifies the contemporary evolution of the concept into a secular clericalism, an identity-based ideology. In fact, today's redefinition of the French laïcité involves gender equality and sexual freedom. Therefore, the body of French Muslim women - and its metonymic form, the hijab - is colonized by the State which has constructed it as oppressed.

This rewriting of the concept has contributed to the nationalisation of feminism, or ""femonationalism"", used as a tool by the State to implement its discourse on the veil. For instance, non-profit organization Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whore Nor Doormats) and their 2003 exhibition ""Mariannes d'aujourd'hui"" embodies this politicization of the veil into a patriarcal and anti-republican accessory, feeding the nationalist narrative of the State. The latter can be analysed as the contemporary equivalent of the XIXth century French imperialism: in 1830, already, Algerian Muslim women were forced to unveil.

8D - Medical Innovations University of Warwick (with Monash University)

Background: First line treatments for mild-moderate and moderate-severe depression according to the UK NICE guidelines for the management of depression in adults are psychological therapies followed by or alongside pharmacological treatment. Here we conducted an audit of patient records (as recorded by GPs) to compare practice to the guidelines. Methods: Incident cases were retrospectively identified from electronic primary care records (SystmOne). From 40,320 registered patients within the Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, cases were identified based on previously coded new diagnoses of depression in the 2016-17 and 2018-19 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) years. Patient notes were then screened for records of discussions of pharmacological and psychological therapies at the diagnostic appointment and against exclusion criteria. Recorded discussions were compared against the NICE guidelines. Results: In 2016-17 (n=315) the proportion of diagnostic appointments where psychological therapies for depression were discussed was greatest in those aged 18-29 (70.8%) but decreased in each age group to 56.3% in those aged ≥65. In 2017-18 (n=244) the discussion of psychological therapies had increased to 81.6% those aged 18-29 but had decreased to 39.4% in those aged ≥65. Discussion of pharmacological management was similar across all age groups. Implications: This audit demonstrates that for those aged ≥65 GPs management discussions around psychological therapies are being carried out or recorded less. The practices involved are circulating the results of the audit to their GPs and we will reconduct the audit for the 2019-20 QOF year to evaluate whether this has led to changes in practice.


To use TexRad to separate ischaemic and non-ischaemic tissue based on the changes seen in the tissue characteristics following vascular occlusion earlier than can be determined by visual inspection.


Follow up non-enhanced CT heads of 39 patients showing areas of infarction were used to identify corresponding regions of ischaemia on initial scans. TexRadTM was used to analyse textural parameters of the ischaemic and anatomically corresponding non-ischemic regions in initial and follow-up scans. The data mining tool Weka, was then trained to recognise patterns in the data and to classify regions as ischaemic or non-ischaemic. The radiology reports of initial scans were used to assess the accuracy of ischaemic stroke detection by visual inspection alone.


Use of the filtration-histogram method of textural analysis, revealed that it is possible to identify correctly an area of ischaemia on initial scans with an accuracy of 60.2% (p=0.017) vs 38.4% accuracy of visual inspection by radiologists.


These results suggest that it is possible to use known regions of infarction, to identify and predict from the initial CT imaging the area of potential future infarction. Furthermore, textural analysis has been demonstrated to identify the potential infarction with greater accuracy than a reporting Radiologist.

Background: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is growing in prevalence. No definitive disease modifying treatment that affects HFpEF patient mortality is currently available. It has been suggested that patients may benefit from a dedicated HFpEF clinic following a structured HFpEF management plan, but there is little research to evaluate its effectiveness.

Aims: Our primary aim was to identify whether treating HFpEF patients in a specific HFpEF clinic rather than a general heart failure clinic made a difference to the number of unplanned hospital admissions to University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW). Mortality outcomes in these patients was also recorded for the same time period.

Methods: Patient records were retrospectively analysed, and 101 patients from the HFpEF clinic met our inclusion criteria. The number of admissions and mortality outcomes in 6 months, and where possible 12 months, from the patient's initial appointment in clinic was subsequently recorded. These were then compared to 101 randomly selected patients treated in a general heart failure clinic.

Results: We found no change in frequency of hospital admissions between the two cohorts, although the majority of admissions that did occur were due to non-cardiovascular causes. There was a significant increases in non-cardiovascular mortality seen in the HFpEF clinic after 12 months.

Conclusion: The differences in mortality appear to have been driven by age-related non-cardiovascular comorbidities. Whilst the dedicated HFpEF clinic provides treatment from a Cardiology perspective, patient outcomes may be improved by the addition of a physician or gerontologist to maximise comorbidity control.

Multiple-sclerosis (MS) affects over two-million people worldwide typically between the ages of 20-40 ( The disease impedes nerves’ communication with the brain primarily causing loss of motor control and fatigue. Currently, there is no known cure to MS. Patients commonly experience a relapse of the disease after some period of stability. Neurologists treat MS with a range of drugs such as, Betaseron, Avonex, Rebif, Copaxone and others, in order to counteract the relapse and bring the patient back to a healthier state. However, neurologists have difficulty deciding when to give their patients a certain drug and what they can expect from it. This research attempts to construct a mathematical model to help neurologists administer MS relapse drugs. The model has been developed using the Python programming language’s Numpy/Scipy libraries and with data provided by MS researchers at Melbourne University. Using probabilistic methods, an accurate simulation helps predict the rate of MS relapse, the dynamics of the cohort’s wellbeing and the effectiveness of the drug administered. As far as the researchers are aware, there has been no mathematical modelling of the effects of different drugs on MS relapses. The researchers believe they can obtain an accurate model of the effects of common drugs on patients, using a database provided by a research team at the University of Melbourne. If successful, this work will allow neurologists to be more effective in treating and studying MS and provide some basis for future results to build upon.