• Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms might be destroying your intimacy : a test of mediational models in a community sample of couples

      Perrier, Colin; Department of Psychology (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      The present research focused on the pathways through which the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may negatively impact intimacy. Previous research has confirmed a link between self-reported PTSD symptoms and intimacy; however, a thorough examination of mediating paths, partner effects, and secondary traumatization has not yet been realized. With a sample of 297 heterosexual couples, intraindividual and dyadic models were developed to explain the relationships between PTSD symptoms and intimacy in the context of interdependence theory, attachment theory, and models of selfpreservation (e.g., fight-or-flight). The current study replicated the findings of others and has supported a process in which affective (alexithymia, negative affect, positive affect) and communication (demand-withdraw behaviour, self-concealment, and constructive communication) pathways mediate the intraindividual and dyadic relationships between PTSD symptoms and intimacy. Moreover, it also found that the PTSD symptoms of each partner were significantly related; however, this was only the case for those dyads in which the partners had disclosed most everything about their traumatic experiences. As such, secondary traumatization was supported. Finally, although the overall pattern of results suggest a total negative effect of PTSD symptoms on intimacy, a sex difference was evident such that the direct effect of the woman's PTSD symptoms were positively associated with both her and her partner's intimacy. I t is possible that the Tend-andBefriend model of threat response, wherein women are said to foster social bonds in the face of distress, may account for this sex difference. Overall, however, it is clear that PTSD symptoms were negatively associated with relationship quality and attention to this impact in the development of diagnostic criteria and treatment protocols is necessary.
    • Predicting performance on fluid intelligence from speed of processing, working memory, and controlled attention

      Anum, Adote.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      Fluid inteliigence has been defined as an innate ability to reason which is measured commonly by the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM). Individual differences in fluid intelligence are currently explained by the Cascade model (Fry & Hale, 1996) and the Controlled Attention hypothesis (Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999; Kane & Engle, 2002). The first theory is based on a complex relation among age, speed, and working memory which is described as a Cascade. The alternative to this theory, the Controlled Attention hypothesis, is based on the proposition that it is the executive attention component of working memory that explains performance on fluid intelligence tests. The first goal of this study was to examine whether the Cascade model is consistent within the visuo-spatial and verbal-numerical modalities. The second goal was to examine whether the executive attention component ofworking memory accounts for the relation between working memory and fluid intelligence. Two hundred and six undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 28 completed a battery of cognitive tests selected to measure processing speed, working memory, and controlled attention which were selected from two cognitive modalities, verbalnumerical and visuo-spatial. These were used to predict performance on two standard measures of fluid intelligence: the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) and the Shipley Institute of Living Scales (SILS) subtests. Multiple regression and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were used to test the Cascade model and to determine the independent and joint effects of controlled attention and working memory on general fluid intelligence. Among the processing speed measures only spatial scan was related to the RPM. No other significant relations were observed between processing speed and fluid intelligence. As 1 a construct, working memory was related to the fluid intelligence tests. Consistent with the predictions for the RPM there was support for the Cascade model within the visuo-spatial modality but not within the verbal-numerical modality. There was no support for the Cascade model with respect to the SILS tests. SEM revealed that there was a direct path between controlled attention and RPM and between working memory and RPM. However, a significant path between set switching and RPM explained the relation between controlled attention and RPM. The prediction that controlled attention mediated the relation between working memory and RPM was therefore not supported. The findings support the view that the Cascade model may not adequately explain individual differences in fluid intelligence and this may be due to the differential relations observed between working memory and fluid intelligence across different modalities. The findings also show that working memory is not a domain-general construct and as a result its relation with fluid intelligence may be dependent on the nature of the working memory modality.
    • Probes of tocopherol biochemistry: fluorophores, imaging agents, and fake antioxidants

      Ghelfi, Mikel; Department of Chemistry
      The body has many defence systems against reactive radical species, but none are as crucial in the protection of lipid membranes as vitamin E. As a result of a selection process mediated by the α-tocopherol transfer protein (α-TTP), α-tocopherol is the only form of vitamin E retained in the body. This chaperon protein has been well studied because of its role in vitamin E transport. Furthermore, malfunctions of α-TTP cause vitamin E deficiency leading to ataxia and other neurodegenerative disease. Protection of neuronal tissue is critical and is reflected in the high retention of α-tocopherol in the central nervous system. Neuronal tissues receive α tocopherol from astrocytes, cells that are linked to hepatic tissue and able to express α-TTP, however the exact path of delivery between these cells is still unclear. A technique called fluorescent microscopy allows the tracking of fluorescent molecules in cells to find their location and interactions with other parts of the cell. The focus of this study is the synthesis of a fluorescent tocopherol analogue with a long absorption wavelength, high photostability, and that binds selectively to  α-TTP with high affinity. Most health benefits associated with vitamin E consumption are based on its capability to inhibit lipid peroxidation in cell membranes by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS). Oxidative damage in membranes puts cells in a “stressful” state, activating signalling events that trigger apoptosis. Vitamin E down-regulates apoptotic functions like inflammation, macrophage activation and cell arrest in a stressed state, returning the cell back to normal functioning. At the same time, vitamin E has a preventive effect for atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s and cancer. With the deeper understanding of cell signalling processes associated with vitamin E the question arose whether protein interactions or the ROS scavenging is responsible for cell survival. To test this hypothesis, a non-antioxidant but α-TTP binding tocopherol analogue was synthesized and administered into oxidatively stressed, α-TTP deficient cells. If the cells were unable to restore homeostasis and stop apoptosis with the new molecule, this would suggest that the antioxidant function of α-tocopherol is the reason for survival. Cancer is regarded as one of the most detrimental diseases with a high mortality rate. One key aspect in medical research is the increased drug specificity towards targeting cancer. Chemotherapy applies cytotoxic compounds, which weaken the immune system because both malignant and healthy cells are destroyed. The specificity of the anti-cancer drugs are enhanced when encapsulated into liposomes that bear target-directing molecules such as antibodies which recognize cancer cell specific antigens on the cell membrane. The question remains if the encapsulated drug reaches the cancer or not. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are used to find malignant tissue in the body. CT imaging uses highly charged X-ray particles to scan the patient, possibly having damaging cytotoxic effects. Obtaining MRI results require the use of contrast agents to enhance the quality of images. These agents are based on transition metals, which potentially have chronic toxicity when retained in the body. Alternatively short-lived radiotracers that emit a γ-photon upon positron decay are used through a process called positron emission tomography (PET). Rapid decay times make the use of PET a less toxic alternative, however the decay products might be toxic to the cell. For this reason a vitamin E based PET agent was created, which produces naturally safe decay products based on known metabolites of vitamin E, useful to track liposomal delivery of chemotherapeutic agents. This work describes the non-radioactive synthetic procedures towards a variety of vitamin E PET analogues. The cytotoxicity of the most promising vitamin E PET tracer was evaluated along with its synthetic byproducts.
    • The production and synthetic utility of the dioxygenase-derived metabolites of substituted aromatics

      Froese, Jordan; Centre for Biotechnology
      The substrate scope and selectivity of toluene dioxygenase overexpressed in E.coli JM109 (pDTG601A) was investigated with series of ortho-halobenzoates and para-substituted arenes. Palladium-catalyzed carbonylation methodology was developed to convert halogenated cis-dihydrodiol metabolites to the corresponding carboxylates and a comparison of the overall efficiency between the enzymatic and chemical methods of access was made. Some of the metabolites produced by toluene dioxygenase were employed in a synthetic approach toward tetrodotoxin. Enzymatic dihydroxylation of benzoic acid with R. eutropha B9 provided the corresponding ipso-diol that was used in the first total synthesis of pleiogenone A, a bioactive natural product. Experimental and spectral data are provided for all new compounds.
    • Prostate Cancer and the Search for Novel Biomarkers

      Haj-Ahmad, Taha Alexander; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2013-05-06)
      The primary objective of this research project was to identify prostate cancer (PCa) -specific biomarkers from urine. This was done using a multi-faceted approach that targeted (1) the genome (DNA); (2) the transcriptome (mRNA and miRNA); and (3) the proteome. Toward this end, urine samples were collected from ten healthy individuals, eight men with PCa and twelve men with enlarged, non-cancerous prostates or with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Urine samples were also collected from the same patients (PCa and BPH) as part of a two-year follow-up. Initially urinary nucleic acids and proteins were assessed both qualitatively and quantitatively for characteristics either unique or common among the groups. Subsequently macromolecules were pooled within each group and assessed for either protein composition via LC-MS/MS or microRNA (miRNA) expression by microarray. A number of potential candidates including miRNAs were identified as being deregulated in either pooled PCa or BPH with respect to the healthy control group. Candidate biomarkers were then assessed among individual samples to validate their utility in diagnosing PCa and/or differentiating PCa from BPH. A number of potential targets including deregulation of miRNAs 1825 and 484, and mRNAs for Fibronectin and Tumor Protein 53 Inducible Nuclear Protein 2 (TP53INP2) appeared to be indicative of PCa. Furthermore, deregulation of miR-498 appeared to be indicative of BPH. The sensitivities and specificities associated with using deregulation in many of these targets to subsequently predict PCa or BPH were also determined. This research project has identified a number of potential targets, detectable in urine, which merit further investigation towards the accurate identification of PCa and its discrimination from BPH. The significance of this work is amplified by the non-invasive nature of the sample source from which these candidates were derived, urine. Many cancer biomarker discovery studies have tended to focus primarily on blood (plasma or serum) and/or tissue samples. This is one of the first PCa biomarker studies to focus exclusively on urine as a sample source.
    • Proximate influence on eusocial caste behaviour

      Awde, David N; Department of Biological Sciences
      Queens and workers of eusocial sweat bee species are morphologically and developmentally similar, which means that each female is capable of behaving as a queen or a worker. However, few females lay eggs and behave as queens, while the majority of females provision the queen’s offspring, rarely lay eggs, and behave as workers. This makes eusocial sweat bee species, such as Lasioglossum laevissimum, excellent models to study the underling environmental (social) and genetic factors that contribute to variation in caste behaviours. My research focused on describing some of the proximate mechanisms that influence caste behaviours in L. laevissimum females. The social environment of a sweat bee colony, specifically the behaviour of a queen, can have a dramatic impact on worker behaviour. Queens suppress worker reproduction by physically bullying their workers. In a nesting aggregation at Brock University, almost half of L. laevissimum nests became queenless, which provided me with a natural experiment to assess the direct influence by queens on worker behaviour. Dissection data showed that a small proportion (17%) of workers developed their ovaries in both queenright and queenless nests. This suggests that L. laevissimum queens exert an early, negative, and strong influence on worker egg-laying behaviour, which lasts after she is gone. Next I assessed the relationship between gene expression and L. laeivsismum caste behaviours. I predicited that queens would express a gene associated with egg-laying, vitellogenin, more than workers, and that workers would express genes associated with foraging, the foraging gene, more than queens. Lasioglossum laevissimum queens had higher vitellogenin expression levels than workers, and females with high ovarian development had high vitellogenin expression, regardless of caste. On the other hand, queens and workers had similar foraging expression levels. Gene expression comparisons between queens and workers highlight two important behavioural characteristics of sweat bee castes. First, in eusocial sweat bees, both queens and workers actively provision brood at some point during the breeding season, which is reflected in their similar foraging expression levels. Secondly, queens lay eggs while a small proportion of workers have queen-like ovarian development, reflected in vitellogenin expression differences between castes.
    • Psychopathic Traits and Impulsivity Subtypes: An Examination of Two Complex, Multifaceted Constructs

      Hosker-Field, Ashley; Department of Psychology
      Research has demonstrated inconsistent results regarding the relationship between impulsivity and the interpersonal and affective facets of psychopathy. Therefore, the purpose of this work was to clarify and reconcile the variable empirical findings. Generally speaking, the relationship between psychopathic traits and impulsivity was expected to differ based on the psychopathy factor and type of impulsivity under investigation. Studies 1 and 2 examined psychopathy and impulsivity in on-line and student samples, utilizing the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale and several self-report measures of impulsivity. Study 2 included laboratory-assessed behavioural impulsivity measures. Results indicated that across studies erratic lifestyle was uniquely, positively associated with all self-reported impulsivity measures, but surprisingly unrelated to laboratory-assessed behavioural impulsivity. Interpersonal manipulation was uniquely, negatively associated with lack of premeditation and non-planning, and callous affect was uniquely, negatively associated with urgency across studies. Studies 3 and 4 examined the psychopathy-impulsivity relationship in youth and on-line samples. Psychopathy was examined using the Antisocial Process Screening Device (youth) and the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (adults). Impulsivity was approximated via preselected facets of the HEXACO-PI-R and the UPPS Impulsive behavior scale (Study 4 only). Results indicated that the impulsivity (youth) and erratic lifestyle (adults) subscales were uniquely associated with heightened impulsivity. Callous-unemotional traits in youth were also associated with higher levels of impulsivity. In adults, interpersonal manipulation and callous affect were largely unrelated to impulsivity at the multivariate level (with few exceptions). Findings demonstrated that the behavioural characteristics of psychopathy contributed to a pervasive tendency towards a variety of impulsive behaviours. This relationship was consistent across the youth, adult, on-line, and student samples. Among adults, the emotional and interpersonal psychopathy traits may be unrelated to impulsivity. Interpersonal manipulation traits may result in a slightly greater tendency to demonstrate premeditated, planned behaviour, whereas callous affect may reflect slightly lower urgency. However, callous-unemotional traits in youth do appear to be related to heightened impulsivity. Findings provide a better understanding of the psychopathy-impulsivity relationship. This is the first set of studies to utilize the HEXACO model to approximate pre-established impulsivity domains. Findings also address the issue of suppression when examining multifaceted constructs, particularly psychopathic traits.
    • A Qualitative Study of Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Awareness, Readiness, and Response to Discrepancy in Student Outcomes in a Greater Toronto Area School District

      Nezavdal, Frank; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This qualitative study explored principals’ access, use, and response to discrepancies in student outcomes that reflect systemic inequities. Discovering how principals access, use, and respond to complementary school climate data to attend to issues of disproportionality is an important step toward making schools more equitable and more inviting. Principals’ behaviours with various data sources were explored in relation to Gorski’s (2015) framework of equity literacy by examining principal knowledge and skills in recognizing, responding to, and redressing inequity. Historically, the focus of school improvement has been primarily on student achievement although some school districts—such as this GTA school board—have developed more robust systems of data collection employing greater disaggregating factors revealing inequities in various populations of students. Systemic inequities have been seen in data about school context, student assets, and well-being factors such that measurement of inequity has become possible. This study began with questionnaire data that exposed significant variations with regard to principals’ equity literacy and beliefs. Selection criteria were used to focus on principals who articulated their commitment to equity and demonstrated higher awareness of discrepancy in order to identify promising practices. The purposive sample of school principals was interviewed, again revealing substantial variance in equity literacy. Unexpectedly, almost one-third of principals did not recognize patterns of social inequity in their data. Although participants reported a commitment to equity, interviews revealed much variance between individuals and therefore an inconsistency in capacity to redress inequity. Some principals revealed strategies that could be transformational in creating more equitable schools yet the knowledge and skills required were far from universal. Key threats to using data for equitable purposes were also brought to light including “not seeing” inequity, and underdeveloped data and equity literacy skills. These threats suggest there is a need to employ more consistent techniques to redress inequity and that stronger policies may facilitate better monitoring of equity outcomes.
    • Raising Creativity: Exploring How Creativity Can be Nurtured in Educational Contexts

      Zak, Rebecca; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2014-09-09)
      The question of how we can encourage creative capacities in young people has never been more relevant than it is today (Pink, 2006; Robinson as cited in TEDtalksDirector, 2007; Eisner as cited in VanderbiltUniversity, 2009). While the world is rapidly evolving, education has the great challenge of adapting to keep up. Scholars say that to meet the needs of 21st century learners, pedagogy must focus on fostering creative skills to enable students to manage in a future we cannot yet envision (Robinson as cited in TEDtalksDirector, 2007). Further, research demonstrates that creativity thrives with autonomy, support, and without judgment (Amabile, 1996; Codack [Zak], 2010; Harrington, Block, & Block, 1987; Holt, 1989; Kohn, 1993). So how well are schools doing in this regard? How do alternative models of education nurture or neglect creativity, and how can this inform teaching practice all around? In other words, ultimately, how can we nurture creativity in education? This documentary explores these questions from a scholarly art-based perspective. Artist/researcher/teacher Rebecca Zak builds on her experience in the art studio, academia, and the art classroom to investigate the various philosophies and strategies that diverse educational models implement to illuminate the possibilities for educational and paradigmatic transformation. The Raising Creativity documentary project consists of multiple parts across multiple platforms. There are five videos in the series that answer the why, who, how, what, and now what about creativity in education respectively (i.e., why is this topic important, who has spoken/written on this topic already, how will this issue be investigated this time, what was observed during the inquiry, and now what will this mean going forward?). There is also a self-reflexive blog that addresses certain aspects of the topic in greater depth (located here, on this website) and in the context of Rebecca's lived experience to complement the video format. Together, all video and blog artifacts housed on this website function as a polyptych, wherein the pieces can stand alone individually yet are intended to work together and fulfill the dissertation requirements for Rebecca's doctorate degree in education in reimagined ways.
    • Reactivity of a Low Valent Gallium Compound

      Kassymbek, Aishabibi; Department of Chemistry
      The work described in this thesis is conducted to expand the reactivity of the β-diketiminate gallium(I) compound, NacNacGa (NacNac=[ArNC(Me)HC(Me)NAr]−, Ar=2,6-iPr2C6H3). The reactivity of NacNacGa towards various unsaturated compounds is studied. In particular, reaction between NacNacGa and phenyl isothiocyanate resulted in the oxidative addition of the C=S bond under ambient conditions, leading to the isolation cyclization product NacNacGa(κ2-S2CNPh) and sulfide isocyanide-bridged dimer (NacNacGa)2(μ-S)(μ-CNPh). Additionally, a [1+4] cycloaddition with a conjugated aldehyde (methacrolein) and a [1+2+3] cycloaddition with isocyanate and carbodiimide are presented. The oxidative cleavage of P=S bond of triphenylphosphine sulfide at increased temperatures gave the previously reported sulfide bridged gallium dimer. In situ oxidation of NacNacGa in the presence of substrates featuring donor sites led to the C-H activation reactions. As such, C-activation of pyridine N-oxide, pyridine, cyclohexanone, DMSO, and Et3P=O by a transient NacNacGa=O resulting in the corresponding gallium hydroxides is demonstrated. DFT calculations suggested initial formation of adducts between substrates and NacNacGa=O followed by a C-H bond abstraction from the substrate. Similarly, a transient gallium imide NacNacGa=NSiMe3, generated from the reaction of NacNacGa with trimethylsilyl azide, is shown to cleave C-H bonds of pyridine, cyclohexanone, ethyl acetate, DMSO, and Et3P=O with the formation of gallium amides. In an attempt to isolate a gallium alkylidene, NacNacGa was treated with trimethylsilyl(diazomethane). Instead, a monomeric gallium nitrilimine and a metalated diazomethane were obtained. The gallium nitrilimine undergoes 1,3-addition reaction with phenylsilane and catecholborane forming gallium hydrazonides. Its reaction with diborane resulted in the formal nitrene insertion into the B-B bond to produce a gallium diborylamide. DFT calculations revealed intermediate gallium alkylidene formation from the reaction of NacNacGa with diazomethane that upon reaction with the second equivalent of diazomethane leads to a gallium nitrilimine.
    • Reactivity of Aluminum Carbenoid with Unsaturated Substrates

      Dmitrienko, Anton; Department of Chemistry
      Reactivity patterns of the β-diketiminate aluminum(I) complex NacNacAl towards a variety of unsaturated molecules were determined. Reaction of NacNacAl with one equivalent of benzophenone affords η2(C,O) adduct III-2 that undergoes cyclization reactions with benzophenone (III-3), aldimine (III-4), quinoline (III-5), pyridine (III-6), phenyl nitrile (III-7), trimethylsilyl azide (III-8), and a saturated cyclic thiourea (III-9). The latter reacted via unusual C−N cleavage. Analogous η2-coordination products were prepared with p-tolyl benzoate (IV-6), N,N-dimethylbenzamide (IV-9) and (1‐phenylethylidene)aniline (IV-13). Addition of pyridine to such species results in [2+2] cycloaddition products analogous to III-6, except for the case of p‐tolyl benzoate when a migration of the alkoxy group from the ester moiety accompanied by hydrogen transfer from pyridine preserves the aromaticity within the latter. Chemoselective couplings between aliphatic ketones and pyridine were exemplified by reactions with non-enolizable (1R)-(‒) fenchone and enolizable yet sterically encumbered isophorone. The reaction with the CH‐acidic ketone (1R) (+) camphor afforded a hydrido alkoxide (IV-11) as the result of enolization. Whereas the reaction of NacNacAl with (1R)‐(−)‐fenchone in the absence of pyridine led to CH activation in the isopropyl group of the NacNac ligand. NacNacAl demonstrated diverse reactivity in reactions with N‐heterocycles. 4 Dimethylaminopyridine induces rearrangement of NacNacAl by deprotonation of backbone methyl group of the ligand. C−H activation of the methyl group of 4‐picoline produced a species with a reactive terminal methylene. Reaction of NacNacAl with 3,5 lutidine led to the cleavage of the sp2 C−H bond (4‐position). Another reactivity mode was observed for quinoline, which undergoes 2,2′‐coupling. Finally, a reaction of NacNacAl with phthalazine produced a product of the N−N bond cleavage. NacNacAl reacted with a series of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons via [4+1] cycloaddition. While a reaction with anthracene was irreversible, with the formation of products of activation of the lateral and central rings, reactions with phenanthrene, triphenylene, and fluoranthene were reversible. Heating reaction mixtures at 90 °C yielded dialuminum hydride VI-6. Mechanistic studies showed that the reaction proceeds via dissociation of polycycles with the release of NacNacAl that undergoes further intermolecular transformations. All novel complexes were characterized by spectroscopic methods and X-ray diffraction analysis for most of them.
    • Recognizing Own- and Other-race Faces: Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying the Other-Race Effect

      Zhou, Xiaomei; Department of Psychology
      Other-race faces are discriminated and recognized less accurately than own-race faces. The other-race effect (ORE) emerges during infancy and is robust across different participant populations and a variety of methodologies (Meissner & Brigham, 2001). Decades of research has been successful in characterizing the roots of the ORE, however certain aspects regarding the nature of own- and other-race face representations remain unspecified. The present dissertation attempts to find the commonalities and differences in the processing of own- vs. other-race faces so as to develop an integrative understanding of the ORE in face recognition. In Study 1, I demonstrated that the ORE is attributable to an impaired ability to recognize other-race faces despite variability in appearance. In Study 2, I further examined whether this ability is influenced by familiarity. The ORE disappears for familiar faces, suggesting a fundamental difference in the familiar and unfamiliar other-race face recognition. Study 3 was designed to directly test whether the ORE is attributable to a less refined representation of other-race faces in face space. Adults are more sensitive to deviations from normality in own- than other-race faces, and between-rater variability in attractiveness rating of individual faces is higher for other- than own-race faces. In Study 4, I investigated whether the ORE is driven by the different use of shape and texture cues. Despite an overall ORE, the transition from idiosyncratic shape to texture cues was comparable for own- and other-race faces, suggesting that the different utilization of shape and texture cues does not contribute to the ORE. In Study 5, applying a novel continuous-response paradigm, I investigated how the representations of own- and other-race face are stored in visual working memory (VWM). Following ample encoding time, the ORE is attributable to differences in the probability of a face being maintained in VWM. Reducing encoding time caused a loss of precision of VWM for other- but not own-race faces. Collectively, the results of this dissertation help elucidate the nature of representations of own- and other-race faces and clarify the role of perceptual experience in shaping our ability to recognize own- and other-race faces.
    • Regulation of Systemic Acquired Resistance through the Interaction of Arabidopsis thaliana Transcription factors TGAI and TGA2 with NPRI

      Rochon, Amanda; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2012-07-31)
      Arabidopsis thaliana is an established model plant system for studying plantpathogen interactions. The knowledge garnered from examining the mechanism of induced disease resistance in this model system can be applied to eliminate the cost and danger associated with current means of crop protection. A specific defense pathway, known as systemic acquired resistance (SAR), involves whole plant protection from a wide variety of bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens and remains induced weeks to months after being triggered. The ability of Arabidopsis to mount SAR depends on the accumulation of salicylic acid (SA), the NPRI (non-expressor of pathogenesis related gene 1) protein and the expression of a subset of pathogenesis related (PR) genes. NPRI exerts its effect in this pathway through interaction with a closely related class of bZIP transcription factors known as TGA factors, which are named for their recognition of the cognate DNA motif TGACG. We have discovered that one of these transcription factors, TGA2, behaves as a repressor in unchallenged Arabidopsis and acts to repress NPRI-dependent activation of PRJ. TGA1, which bears moderate sequence similarity to TGA2, acts as a transcriptional activator in unchallenged Arabidopsis, however the significance of this activity is J unclear. Once SAR has been induced, TGAI and TGA2 interact with NPRI to form complexes that are capable of activating transcription. Curiously, although TGAI is capable of transactivating, the ability of the TGAI-NPRI complex to activate transcription results from a novel transactivation domain in NPRI. This transactivation domain, which depends on the oxidation of cysteines 521 and 529, is also responsible for the transactivation ability of the TGA2-NPRI complex. Although the exact mechanism preventing TGA2-NPRI interaction in unchallenged Arabidopsis is unclear, the regulation of TGAI-NPRI interaction is based on the redox status of cysteines 260 and 266 in TGAl. We determined that a glutaredoxin, which is an enzyme capable of regulating a protein's redox status, interacts with the reduced form of TGAI and this interaction results .in the glutathionylation of TGAI and a loss of interaction with NPRl. Taken together, these results expand our understanding of how TGA transcription factors and NPRI behave to regulate events and gene expression during SAR. Furthermore, the regulation of the behavior of both TGAI and NPRI by their redox status and the involvement of a glutaredoxin in modulating TGAI-NPRI interaction suggests the redox regulation of proteins is a general mechanism implemented in SAR.
    • Relation of temperament and authoritative parenting on subtypes of adolescent behaviour

      Reker, Dana L.; Department of Psychology (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      Over the years, researchers have investigated direct, conditional, and meditational pathways of adolescent aggression in relation to both temperament and parenting behaviours. However, no study to date has considered these relations with respect to a measure of aggression differentiated by form (e.g., overt, relational) and function (e.g., proactive, reactive). The present study examined the differential association of adolescent temperament and authoritative parenting on four subtypes of aggression. Participants included mothers, fathers, and one adolescent (between the ages of 10-19) from 663 families, recruited through random digit dialing. Parents reported on their child's temperament and occurrence of aggressive behaviours in addition to the perception of their own authoritative parenting. Adolescents reported on their own temperament and aggressive behaviours as well as on both their mother and father's authoritative parenting. Multiple regression analyses confirmed predictions that some aspects of temperament and authoritative parenting provide motivation towards the engagement of different aggressive behaviours. For example, higher negative affect was related to reactive types of aggression, whereas a strong desire for novel or risky behaviours related to proactive aggression. However, differences in effortful control altered the trajectory for both relationships. Higher levels of self-regulation reduced the impact of negative affect on reactive-overt aggression. Greater self-regulation also reduced the impact of surgency on proactive-overt aggression when age was a factor. Structural equation modeling was then used to assess the process through which adolescents become more or less susceptible to impulsive behaviours. Although the issue ofbi-directionality cannot be ruled out, temperament characteristics were the proximal correlate for aggression subtypes as opposed to authoritative parenting dimensions. Effortful control was found to partially mediate the relation between parental acceptancelinvolvement and reactive-relational and reactive-overt aggression, suggesting that higher levels of warmth and support as perceived by the child related to increased levels of self-regulation and emotional control, which in tum lead to less reactive-relational and less reactive-overt types of aggression in adolescents. On the other hand, negative affect partially mediated the relation between parental psychological autonomy granting and these two subtypes of aggression, supporting predictions that higher levels of autonomy granting (perceived independence) related to lower levels of frustration, which in tum lead to less reactive-relational and reactive-overt aggression in adolescents. Both findings provide less evidence for the evocative person-environment correlation and more support for temperament being an open system shaped by experience and authoritative parenting dimensions. As one of the first known studies examining the differential association of authoritative parenting and temperament on aggression subtypes, this study demonstrates the role parents can play in shaping and altering their children's temperament and the effects it can have on aggressive behaviour.
    • Relationship Building with Aboriginal Elders in the Publicly Funded Secondary School Classroom: A Study of Ethical Space from an Aboriginal Persepective

      Longboat, Catherine; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2015-01-06)
      This is a current story of ethical space in education that is often neglected in the design of educational experiences for Aboriginal students. This story is told through an Aboriginal lens rooted in the structured Two Row Wampum Belt relational agreement between Aboriginal peoples and Settlers. Through ethnographic narrative based on an extensive literature review, individual in-depth interviews, and a personal journal, this study documents the processes of acceptance, silence, complications, and then rejection to position Aboriginal Elders as inclusive bodies of knowledge in publicly funded secondary school classrooms. Aboriginal Elders are valued as Knowledge Holders, as Aboriginal teachers, guides, and mentors. Yet, the complexities of colonial rights, politics, and policies continue to intrude deeply into the lives of Aboriginal peoples to cause silence, confusion, and struggle rather than an evolution of new knowledge amongst two co-existing solitudes under the original terms of the Two Row Wampum Belt. The study was delayed and then came to an end when the school boards and local schools scrutinized its operating policies and unresolved funding issues. This study demonstrated that despite the Two Row Wampum Belt agreement that promised a co- existent relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Settlers, the strategy of inviting Aboriginal Elders to work alongside teachers in the classroom was viewed as being in conflict with the Settler’s institutional/educational objectivities, and, as such, was denied to Aboriginal students.
    • Rematerializing the Immaterial: A Comparative Study of Vancouver's Conceptual Art and Writing

      Polyck-O'Neill, Julia; Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
      Rematerializing the Immaterial: A Comparative Study of Vancouver’s Conceptual Art and Writing examines the contemporary situation of the Vancouver art world and addresses the twin schools of conceptualism in the city, the Vancouver School of photoconceptualism and the Kootenay School of Writing (KSW). The dissertation, which explores conceptual art’s impact on Vancouver’s cultural reputation broadly, brings visual art into conversation with conceptual writing and examines how specific definitions and ideas of and relating to conceptual art have shaped the discourse of conceptualism in Vancouver. As the title suggests, many of the ideas central to conceptual art and conceptualism implicate questions of materiality – particularly as American curator and art critic Lucy Lippard’s notion of “dematerialization” is concerned – and whether conceptualism is a material or intellectual enterprise. Drawing on the research and theorization of scholars such as Lippard, Leah Modigliani, Peter Osborne, Jeff Derksen, Jason Wiens, Scott Watson, Alexander Alberro, Kenneth Goldsmith, Caroline Bergvall, and Adrian Piper, I argue that Vancouver conceptualism is both materially and critically, intellectually engaged with the social, cultural, political, and economic histories and realities of Vancouver. Examining the creative and critical work of such artists and writers as Derksen, Stan Douglas, Fred Wah, Jeff Wall, and Lisa Robertson, I observe how, as a kind of critical- and often para-linguistic assemblage, these forces form a discernable poetics of Vancouver, incorporating art histories, criticism, formal conventions, ideas of and engagement with the archive, and impactful events in the city’s historical unfolding to shape the way Vancouver conceptualism circulates locally and internationally. By means of a reconsideration of Vancouver’s art world, including key artworks, poems, archives, and events, I seek to demonstrate how conceptualist photography and writing are complex and varied practices that engage at once with theory, art history, and social and cultural histories in the city.
    • Responses to Reflection in Two Invertebrate Species

      May, Holly; Department of Biological Sciences
      The present thesis investigates the responses to reflection in both the crayfish Procambarus clarkii and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Responses to reflection in crayfish depend on social status and the current work suggests that learning and memory consolidation are required for these responses to be altered. Crayfish were treated to either massed or spaced training fights prior to reflection testing. The results show that subordinate crayfish treated to spaced training display a response typical of subordinate crayfish but subordinate crayfish treated to massed training exhibit a response typical of dominant crayfish. Fruit flies are shown to be attracted to reflection and responses to reflection are described here for the first time. Responses in fruit flies are shown to be dependent on social status. The frequency of behaviours were altered in isolated flies but not socialized flies. The addition of pheromones cVA and 7,11-HD were used to investigate how the addition of chemical cues altered responses to reflection in fruit flies. Socialized fruit flies treated with cVA exhibited an increase in the frequency of behaviours on both mirrored and clear glass walls, while isolated flies exhibited a decrease. Socialized flies treated with 7,11-HD spent more time on mirrored walls compared to glass walls, whereas the frequency of all behaviours were decreased in isolated flies treated with 7,11-HD.
    • Resveratrol slows cell growth by targeting the Warburg effect and stimulating mitochondria metabolism

      Fonseca, Joao; Centre for Biotechnology
      Resveratrol (RES) is a plant-derived polyphenol that has been widely studied due to its health promoting effects, which are associated with RES ability to positively impact mitochondria function. Here, I investigated the interaction between RES’s effects on growth and metabolism in PC3 prostate cancer cells and demonstrated that RES-mediated growth inhibition is coincidental with an increase in mitochondrial network fusion, biogenesis and cellular respiration. This indicates that a metabolic reprogramming towards oxidative phosphorylation might be essential for RES antiproliferative effects. Indeed, when RES-induced metabolic reprogramming was prevented either by growing cells in galactose or stabilizing hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression, RES effects on growth and metabolism were attenuated or even abolished. Furthermore, consistent with RES ability to reduce HIF-1α levels, I observed that RES’s cell growth inhibitory effects were enhanced under hypoxia. This denotes the importance of conducting in vitro studies under conditions that better represent the physiological environment. However, , most in vitro studies are performed at supraphysiological levels of oxygen (O2) (18% O2; compared to the usual 1-5% O2 range observed in vivo) and glucose (25mM, which is close to five-times higher than normal plasma (glucose) in a healthy human). This artificial environment can affect a wide variety of cellular activities that may compromise in vitro studies’ reliability. It is therefore important to determine how cell culture conditions might affect RES in vitro effects. This was achieved by growing PC3 human prostate cancer and C2C12 mouse myoblasts cells under different culture conditions: physiological O2 (here considered 5% O2) and glucose levels (5mM); physiological O2 and high glucose (25mM); supraphysiological O2 (18% O2) and high glucose (25mM). Overall, RES effects on cell proliferation and mitochondrial network were less effective when cells were grown at 5% O2 and 5mM glucose (media condition that best resembles the physiological environment). In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the importance of oxygen and glucose levels as key determinants of RES in vitro antiproliferative effects, which may contribute to the discrepancy observed for resveratrol’s effects both in vivo and in vitro.
    • A Rhetorical Model of Autism: a Pop Culture Personification of Masculinity in Crisis

      Matthews, Malcolm; Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
      ABSTRACT In my dissertation, I argue that significant rhetorical mechanisms are at work in the production and consumption of portrayals of autism in literature, TV, and film. My project is driven by a central question: In what ways do portrayals of autism function as a visual rhetorical reconfiguration of masculinity that reimagines and repurposes disability in the service of the promotion of Humanist notions of white male hegemony in a technocentric era? I begin with Hans Asperger’s 1944 claim that autism is “a variant of male intelligence.” I connect that originary declaration with contemporary observations by Stuart Murray that autism is a form of “metaphorized hypermasculinity” and with Simon Baron-Cohen’s controversial insistence that autism represents a version of “The Extreme Male Brain.” Such testimonials, coupled with results from my own analysis and taxonomy of autistic characters throughout emerging popular culture manifestations, has led me to hypothesize that autism in portrayal serves as a survival guide for the white Western male in an era that threatens to be post-racial, post-ableist, post-phallocentric, and even post-anthropocentric. Fictional adolescent autists (e.g.: Christopher Boone, Nathanial Clark, and Colin Fischer), living autists (e.g.: David Paravicini, Daniel Tammet, and Temple Grandin), autistic “techno-savants” (e.g.: Spock, Rain Man, Sheldon Cooper), and speculatively diagnosed historical figures (e.g.: Alan Turing, Andy Warhol, and Bobby Fischer), advance a distinct “autism aesthetic” and function as rhetorical texts whose readings expose an unexplored intersection of disability, masculinity, ethnicity, and digital technology. Such characters illustrate in visual rhetorical terms how certain traits of autism are being romanticized in a digital era to equate ethnic whiteness with intellect and with a re-branded form of techno-masculinity. By providing a Rhetorical Model of autism as a link between autism as a clinical condition and as a cultural construct, I aim to form a more complete picture of autism and of its role in popular consciousness. As an interdisciplinary project, my dissertation draws upon the vocabularies and methodologies of gender, disability, and media studies. Under the unifying umbrella of visual rhetoric, I explore ethnicity, sexuality, and symbol-manipulation on the autism spectrum as they relate to Western man’s hope for a unifying techno-human singularity and his anxiety over the possible obsolescence of conventional constructions of masculinity. At stake are notions of hegemonic masculinity and of autism as a rhetorical artifact with real world implications.
    • Riffing on a Theme: Faculty Experiences With Service-Learning in a Food Security Research Network in Ontario

      Harrison, Barbara; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-04-10)
      While service-learning is often said to be beneficial for all those involved—students, community members, higher education institutions, and faculty members—there are relatively few studies of the attraction to, and effect of, service-learning on faculty members. Existing studies have tended to use a survey design, and to be based in the United States. There is a lack of information on faculty experiences with service-learning in Ontario or Canada. This qualitative case study of faculty experiences with service-learning was framed through an Appreciative Inquiry social constructionist approach. The data were drawn from interviews with 18 faculty members who belong to a Food Security Research Network (FSRN) at a university in northern Ontario, reports submitted by the network, and personal observation of a selection of network-related events. This dissertation study revealed how involvement with service-learning created opportunities for faculty learning and growth. The focus on food security and a commitment to the sustainability of local food production was found to be an ongoing attraction to service-learning and a means to engage in and integrate research and teaching on matters of personal and professional importance to these faculty members. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of the FSRN’s model and the perceived value of a themed, transdisciplinary approach to service-learning. This study highlights promising practices for involving faculty in service-learning and, in keeping with an Appreciative Inquiry approach, depicts a view of faculty work at its best.