• Do Neuro-Muscular Adaptations Occur in Endurance-Trained Boys and Men?

      Cohen, Rotem; Mitchell, Cam; Dotan, Raffy; Gabriel, David; Klentrou, Panagiota; Falk, Bareket (2010)
      Most research on the effects of endurance training has focused on endurance training's health-related benefits and metabolic effects in both children and adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the neuromuscular effects of endurance training and to investigate whether they differ in children (9.0-12.9 years) and adults (18.4-35.6 years). Maximal isometric torque, rate of torque development (RTD), rate of muscle activation (Q30), electromechanical delay (EMD), and time to peak torque and peak RTD were determined by isokinetic dynamometry and surface electromyography (EMG) in elbow and knee flexion and extension. The subjects were 12 endurance-trained and 16 untrained boys, and 15 endurance-trained and 20 untrained men. The adults displayed consistently higher peak torque, RTD, and Q30, in both absolute and normalized values, whereas the boys had longer EMD (64.7+/-17.1 vs. 56.6+/-15.4 ms) and time to peak RTD (98.5+/-32.1 vs. 80.4+/-15.0 ms for boys and men, respectively). Q30, normalized for peak EMG amplitude, was the only observed training effect (1.95+/-1.16 vs. 1.10+/-0.67 ms for trained and untrained men, respectively). This effect could not be shown in the boys. The findings show normalized muscle strength and rate of activation to be lower in children compared with adults, regardless of training status. Because the observed higher Q30 values were not matched by corresponding higher performance measures in the trained men, the functional and discriminatory significance of Q30 remains unclear. Endurance training does not appear to affect muscle strength or rate of force development in either men or boys.
    • Do verbal reminders improve preschoolers’ prospective memory performance? It depends on age and individual differences

      Mahy, Caitlin; Mazachowsky, Tessa R.; Pagobo, Jacqueline R. (Elsevier, 2018)
      We examined the effect of verbal reminders on 4- to 6-year-olds’ prospective memory (PM). Reminder type interacted with age to affect PM performance. Children with better retrospective memory had better PM in the retrospective reminder condition. Children with better executive control had better PM in the executive reminder condition. Prospective memory (PM) involves both a retrospective memory component (i.e., remembering the content of a future intention) and a prospective component (i.e., detecting the appropriate cue and carrying out that intention). The current study was the first to test the effect of a single verbal reminder on 4- to 6-year-olds’ PM performance. Children were randomly assigned to: (1) a reminder about the content of an intention (retrospective memory reminder), (2) a reminder to pay attention (executive reminder), or (3) no reminder to test the predictions of the Executive Framework of PM Development (Mahy et al., 2014b) that posit a key role for executive function in PM development once retrospective memory reaches a sufficient level. Children also completed independent measures of retrospective memory and executive control. We predicted that an executive reminder should help children’s PM by increasing cue detection, whereas a retrospective memory reminder should not affect PM because by 4 children should be able to encode and store simple future intentions. Results showed that: (1) PM performance improved with age, (2) age interacted with the reminder condition, and (3) children with better executive functioning had better PM after receiving an executive reminder. These results suggest that age and individual differences play an important role in the impact reminders have on children’s PM performance.
    • Do weight perception and bullying victimization account for links between weight status and mental health among adolescents?

      Patte, Karen A.; Livermore, Maram; Qian, Wei; Leatherdale, Scott T. (BMC, 2021)
      Background: The purpose of this study was to explore whether the way youth perceive their weight and their experiences of bullying victimization account for the increased risk of depression and anxiety symptoms, and poor psychosocial well-being, associated with overweight/obesity in a large sample of Canadian secondary school students. We also explored if associations differed by gender. Methods: We used cross-sectional survey data from year 7 (2018–19) of the COMPASS study. The sample included 57,059 students in grades 9–12 (Secondary III-V in Quebec) at 134 Canadian secondary schools (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec). First, multiple regression models tested associations between body mass index (BMI) classification and mental health outcomes (anxiety [GAD-7] and depression [CESD-10] symptoms, and psychosocial well-being [Diener’s Flourishing Scale]). Second, weight perception and bullying victimization were added to the models. Models were stratified by gender and controlled for sociodemographic covariates and school clustering. Results: When weight perception and bullying victimization were added to the models, obesity BMI status no longer predicted internalizing symptoms and flourishing scores relative to normal-weight BMIs. Students with ‘overweight’ or ‘underweight’ perceptions, and experiences of bullying victimization in the past month, reported higher anxiety and depressive symptomatology, and lower flourishing levels, in comparison to students with ‘about right’ weight perceptions and without experiences of bullying victimization, respectively, controlling for BMI status. Results were largely consistent across boys and girls. Conclusions: Results suggest perceptions of weight and experiences of bullying independently contribute to differences in mental health outcomes by weight status among youth. Continued efforts targeting weight-based bullying and weight bias, and the promotion of body size acceptance and positive body image, may help reduce the risk of mental illness and poor mental health among adolescents.
    • Does bracing affect bone health in women with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis?

      Akseer, Nasreen; Kish, Kimberly; Rigby, W Alan; Greenway, Matthew; Klentrou, Panagiota; Wilson, Philip M; Falk, Bareket (BioMed Central, 2015)
      Purpose: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is often associated with low bone mineral content and density (BMC, BMD). Bracing, used to manage spine curvature, may interfere with the growth-related BMC accrual, resulting in reduced bone strength into adulthood. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of brace treatment on BMC in adult women, diagnosed with AIS and braced in early adolescence. Methods: Participants included women with AIS who: (i) underwent brace treatment (AIS-B, n = 15, 25.6 ± 5.8 yrs), (ii) underwent no treatment (AIS, n = 15, 24.0 ± 4.0 yrs), and (iii) a healthy comparison group (CON, n = 19, 23.5 ± 3.8 yrs). BMC and body composition were assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Differences between groups were examined using a oneway ANOVA or ANCOVA, as appropriate. Results: AIS-B underwent brace treatment 27.9 ± 21.6 months, for 18.0 ± 5.4 h/d. Femoral neck BMC was lower (p = 0.06) in AIS-B (4.54 ± 0.10 g) compared with AIS (4.89 ± 0.61 g) and CON (5.07 ± 0.58 g). Controlling for lean body mass, calcium and vitamin D daily intake, and strenuous physical activity, femoral neck BMC was statistically different (p = 0.02) between groups. A similar pattern was observed at other lower extremity sites (p < 0.05), but not in the spine or upper extremities. BMC and BMD did not correlate with duration of brace treatment, duration of daily brace wear, or overall physical activity. Conclusion: Young women with AIS, especially those who were treated with a brace, have significantly lower BMC in their lower limbs compared to women without AIS. However, the lack of a relationship between brace treatment duration during adolescence and BMC during young adulthood, suggests that the brace treatment is not the likely mechanism of the low BMC.
    • Domains of spirituality and their importance to the health of 75 533 adolescents in 12 countries

      Michaelson, V; Smigelskas, K.; King, N; Inchley, J.; Malinowaska-Cieslki, M; Pickett, W (Ocford University Press, 2021)
      Spirituality is considered by many to be an important domain of health. It is sometimes measured in four domains of connections: to oneself, to others, to nature and to the transcendent. While the importance of such connections is recognized as a fundamental human right for children, few interna- tional studies have studied their impacts on the health and well-being of young people. In this study of young people conducted over 4 years in 12 countries, we examined the perceived importance of each of four spiritual health domains and how they each related to positive mental health status in >75 000 adolescents. ‘Connections to self’ were consistently viewed as most important among boys and girls in all 12 countries. Fostering of strong connections to self, which involves cultivating a sense of meaning, purpose and joy in the lives of adolescents, appears most fundamental to achieving men- tal health and well-being. This may be achieved directly through a focus on connections to self, or in- directly by focusing on the indirect effects of the other three domains on mental health. This opens up many opportunities for health promotion in child populations, internationally.
    • Doping for sex: bad for mitochondrial performances? Case of testosterone supplemented Hyla arborea during the courtship period

      Desprat, Julia L; Teulier, Loïc; Puijalon, Sara; Dumet, Adeline; Romestaing, Caroline; Tattersall, Glenn J; Lengagne, Thierry; Mondy, Nathalie (Springer, 2017-05-03)
      Sexual selection has been widely explored from numerous perspectives, including behavior, ecology, and to a lesser extent, energetics. Hormones, and specifically androgens such as testosterone, are known to trigger sexual behaviors. Their effects are therefore of interest during the breeding period. Our work investigates the effect of testosterone on the relationship between cellular bioenergetics and contractile properties of two skeletal muscles involved in sexual selection in tree frogs. Calling and locomotor abilities are considered evidence of good condition in Hyla males, and thus server as proxies for male quality and attractiveness. Therefore, how these behaviors are powered efficiently remains of both physiological and behavioral interest. Most previous research, however, has focused primarily on biomechanics, contractile properties or mitochondrial enzyme activities. Some have tried to establish a relationship between those parameters but to our knowledge, there is no study examining muscle fiber bioenergetics in Hyla arborea. Using chronic testosterone supplementation and through an integrative study combining fiber bioenergetics and contractile properties, we compared sexually dimorphic trunk muscles directly linked to chronic sound production to a hindlimb muscle (i.e. gastrocnemius) that is particularly adapted for explosive movement. As expected, trunk muscle bioenergetics were more affected by testosterone than gastrocnemius muscle. Our study also underlines contrasted energetic capacities between muscles, in line with contractile properties of these two different muscle phenotypes. The discrepancy of both substrate utilization and contractile properties is consistent with the specific role of each muscle and our results are elucidating another integrative example of a muscle force-endurance trade-off.
    • Drop-In Clinics for Environmental Studies Students

      Jacklin, Marcie; Bordonaro, Karen (2008)
      The delivery of library instruction to students in those areas of the sciences and the social sciences dealing with biology and the environment has a long history (Bowden & Di Benedetto 2001; Kutner 2000; Kutner & Danks 2007; Sapp 2006; Sinn 1998). Often these instruction sessions take the form of a one hour lecture or workshop at the start of a semester before the students have begun their projects or papers. This "one-shot" approach, though popular, has its limitations. It may not be offered at a time when the students will actually start making use of library resources, it may not be tied very specifically to a particular assignment, or it may be too general in nature to be of much use to students later on when they need to look at particular topics in much more depth than can be addressed in one such session. The following article describes another approach: the strategic use of drop-in clinics as a method of instruction in which the students themselves determine how the instruction proceeds.
    • Drosophila development, physiology, behaviour, and lifespan are influenced by altered dietary composition

      Ormerod, Kiel G.; LePine, Olivia K.; Abbineni, Prabhodh S.; Bridgeman, Justin M.; Coorssen, Jens R.; Mercier, A. Joffre; Tattersall, Glenn J. (Taylor & Francis, 2017-03)
      Diet profoundly influences the behaviour of animals across many phyla. Despite this, most laboratories employing model organisms, such as Drosophila, use multiple, different, commercial or custom-made media for rearing their animals. In addition to measuring growth, fecundity and longevity, we employed several behavioural and physiological assays to determine if and how altering food media influence wild-type (Canton S) Drosophila melanogaster, at larval, pupal, and adult stages. Comparing two commonly used commercial food media we observed several key developmental and morphological differences. Third-instar larvae and pupae developmental timing, body weight and size, and even lifespan significantly differed between the two diets, and some of these differences persisted into adulthood. Diet was also found to produce significantly different thermal preference, locomotory capacity for geotaxis, feeding rates, and lower muscle response to hormonal stimulation. There were no differences, however, in adult thermal preferences, in the number or viability of eggs laid, or in olfactory learning and memory between the diets. We characterized the composition of the two diets and found particularly significant differences in cholesterol and (phospho)lipids between them. Notably, diacylglycerol (DAG) concentrations vary substantially between the two diets, and may contribute to key phenotypic differences, including lifespan. Overall, the data confirm that two different diets can profoundly influence the behaviour, physiology, morphology and development of wild-type Drosophila, with greater behavioural and physiological differences occurring during the larval stages.
    • Dynamic functional brain network connectivity during pseudoword processing relates to children’s reading skill

      Panda, Erin J.; Kember, Jonah; Emami, Zahra; Nayman, Candace; Valiante, Taufik A.; Pang, Elizabeth W. (Elsevier, 2022)
      Learning to read requires children to link print (orthography) with its corresponding speech sounds (phonology). Yet, most EEG studies of reading development focus on emerging functional specialization (e.g., developing increasingly refined orthographic representations), rather than directly measuring the functional connectivity that links orthography and phonology in real time. In this proof-of-concept study we relate children's reading skill to both orthographic specialization for print (via the N170, also called the N1, event related potential, ERP) and orthographic-phonological integration (via dynamic/event-related EEG phase synchronization – an index of functional brain network connectivity). Typically developing English speaking children (n = 24; 4–14 years) and control adults (n = 20; 18–35 years) viewed pseudowords, consonants and unfamiliar false fonts during a 1-back memory task while 64-channel EEG was recorded. Orthographic specialization (larger N170 for pseudowords vs. false fonts) became more left-lateralized with age, but not with reading skill. Conversely, children's reading skill correlated with functional brain network connectivity during pseudoword processing that requires orthography-phonology linking. This was seen during two periods of simultaneous low frequency synchronization/high frequency desynchronization of posterior-occipital brain network activity. Specifically, in stronger readers, left posterior-occipital activity showed more delta (1–3Hz) synchronization around 300–500 ms (simultaneous with gamma 30–80 Hz desynchronization) and more gamma desynchronization around 600–1000 ms (simultaneous with theta 3–7Hz synchronization) during pseudoword vs. false font processing. These effects were significant even when controlling for age (moderate – large effect sizes). Dynamic functional brain network connectivity measures the brain's real-time sound-print linking. It may offer an under-explored, yet sensitive, index of the neural plasticity associated with reading development. Reading requires us to link visual print with speech sound processing. Yet, most EEG reading research explores functional specialization not integration. While children's age relates to ERPs (N170) associated with print specialization. Children's reading skill relates to real-time functional brain network connectivity. EEG phase synchrony = sensitive index of functional integration during reading.
    • EARLY LIFE EXPOSURE TO GENISTEIN AND DAIDZEIN DISRUPTS STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS IN FEMALE MICE

      Kaludjerovic, Jovana; Chen, Jianmin; Ward, Wendy E. (Taylor & Francis, 2012-04-04)
      In mice, exposure to isoflavones (ISO), abundant in soy infant formula, during the first 5 d of life alters structural and functional development of reproductive organs. Effects of longer exposures are unknown. The study objective was to evaluate whether exposure to a combination of daidzein and genistein in the first 10 compared to 5 d of life results in greater adverse effects on ovarian and uterine structure in adult mice. Thirteen litters of 8–12 pups were cross-fostered and randomized to corn oil or ISO (2 mg daidzein + 5 mg genistein/kg body weight/d) for the first 5 or 10 d of life. The 10-d protocol mimicked the period when infants are fed soy protein formula (SPF) but avoids the time when suckling pups can consume the mother’s diet. Body and organ weights and histology of ovaries and uteri were analyzed. There were no differences in the ovary or uterus weight, number of ovarian follicles, number of multiple oocyte follicles, or percent of ovarian cysts with 5 or 10 d of ISO intervention compared to respective controls. The 10-d ISO group had higher body weights from 6 d to 4 mo. of age and a higher percent of hyperplasia in the oviduct than the respective control. Lower numbers of ovarian corpus lutea and a higher incidence of abnormal changes were reported in the uteri of both ISO groups compared to their respective controls. Five- and 10-d exposure to ISO had similar long-lasting adverse effects on the structures of ovaries and uterus in adult mice. Only the 10-d ISO exposure resulted in greater body weight gain at adulthood.
    • Early teen-work assemblages and embedded dependence

      Raby, Rebecca; Lehmann, Wolfgang (Brill, 2021)
      This chapter aims to trouble the common linkage often made between work, independence and adulthood by emphasizing how young workers are embedded in human and non-human collectivities of interwoven dependences. We focus on two 16-year-old participants from conventional interview and photo elicitation interview data with 32 Canadian young people discussing their first part-time jobs, to we recognize how our participants, and indeed all of us, are embedded ‘in the midst of an open-ended swirl of extensions and supplementations’ (Lee 2001, 115). These entangled dependences can activate privilege; they also bolster the illusion of individual independence and autonomy. The intent of this chapter is to work with ideas from Actor Network Theorist Nick Lee and from Deleuze and Guattari to reveal this illusion, for we are all enmeshed in dependency. We particularly focus on four components of teen-work assemblages: family; time, space and bodies; tools/machinery, practices and roles; and capitals/money.
    • Ecological Risk Assessment of Soil Heavy Metals and Pesticide Residues in Tea Plantations

      He, Haifang; Shi, Longqing; Yang, Guang; You, Minsheng; Vasseur, Liette (MDPI, 2020)
      Tea plantations have used many synthetic chemicals to ensure performance and control of pests. This has led to increased contamination of soils and reduced tea growth. We assessed the levels of heavy metals, including Cd, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni, Zn, Hg, As, and pesticide residues, such as HCHs, biphenyl chrysanthemum ester, methamidophos, imidacloprid, permethrin, in the soil of tea plantations of Taiwan, Tibet, Guangdong, and Fujian. The Potential Ecological Risk Index and the Nemerow comprehensive pollution index were used to analyze the data. The results showed that risk indices in Tibet, Guangdong and Fuzhou were considered as moderate ecological harm level. Ecological risk assessment index of Anxi organic and Anxi conventional tea gardens suggested a "low" risk level. The Nemerow comprehensive pollution indices for soil pesticide residues in the tea plantations of Taiwan, Tibet, Anxi organic and Anxi conventional were considered mild. Guangdong and Fuzhou had values suggesting "slight pollution” levels. According to National Soil Environmental Quality Standard (GB15618-1995), soil in tea plantations in Taiwan, Tibet, and Anxi conventional matched the national first grade of soil quality and those from Guangdong, Fuzhou, and Anxi organic tea garden matched the national second grade.
    • Economic Analysis of Source Water Protection

      Adamowicz, Vic; Boxall, Peter; Lloyd-Smith, Pat; Appiah, Alfred; Silins, Uldis (2016)
    • Economic Analysis of Source Water Protection

      Adamowicz, Vic (2016)
      There is considerable interest, worldwide, in the evaluation of ecosystem services arising from management strategies such as source water protection (ecosystem management) as an alternative to infrastructure investments (capital, operating costs). However, there are relatively few detailed investigations of such systems. This project develops a conceptual framework and begins to construct the empirical analysis of the economic benefits and costs of source water protection. Project partners are interested in the extent to which landscape management can reduce water treatment costs and/or the risks of water supply interruptions, as well as how ecosystem service management interacts with capital investment requirements for water treatment. This project helps inform this process by assessing the costs and benefits of ecosystem services associated with water quality and quantity.
    • Ecosystem services for human well-being in the Credit River Watershed: A comparison of monetary valuation, multi-criteria non-monetary valuation and multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism

      Bunch, Martin; Dupont, Diane (2015)
      Human health and well-being is fundamentally dependent on services provided by ecosystems. However, the importance of ecosystem services (ES) to human well-being, and of managing ecosystem and watershed resources to maintain such services, is not commonly understood by the public, and not well-enough articulated by environmental management and governance organizations. Beneficiaries of such services are often unaware of the nature of their dependence upon supporting ecosystems. This is particularly true in urbanized watersheds. Watershed management organizations are aware of such benefits to watershed residents, but they very rarely track and report measures of human well-being to demonstrate the efficacy of their work. Relationships among environmental determinants of health and well-being are multiple, diffuse and interact in complex non-linear ways that are difficult to parse and isolate. This presents a problem for normal science, which reduces problems to smaller components in attempts to understand them. Without a way to demonstrate and communicate these relationships, the ES that underpin our health and well-being will continue to be ignored and undermined.
    • Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Protect Avian Species in Coastal Communities in the Greater Niagara Region, Canada

      Gauthier, Samantha; May, Bradley; Vasseur, Liette (MDPI AG, 2021-06-04)
      Coastal communities are increasingly vulnerable to climate change and its effects may push coastal ecosystems to undergo irreversible changes. This is especially true for shorebirds with the loss of biodiversity and resource-rich habitats to rest, refuel, and breed. To protect these species, it is critical to conduct research related to nature-based Solutions (NbS). Through a scoping review of scientific literature, this paper initially identified 85 articles with various ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) strategies that could help conserve shorebird populations and promote ecotourism. Of these 85 articles, 28 articles had EbA strategies that were examined, with some like coral reefs and mangroves eliminated as they were inappropriate for this region. The scoping review identified four major EbA strategies for the Greater Niagara Region with living shorelines and beach nourishment being the most suitable, especially when combined. These strategies were then evaluated against the eight core principles of nature-based solutions protecting shorebird as well as human wellbeing. Living shoreline strategy was the only one that met all eight NbS principles. As the coastline of the region greatly varies in substrate and development, further research will be needed to decide which EbA strategies would be appropriate for each specific area to ensure their efficacy.
    • The Effect of Actions of Islamic Radicals on the Self-conceptualization of North American Muslims

      Ahmed, Ahmed (2018-03-17)
      This paper examines the experiences of Canadian and American Muslims in the post 9/11 period in relation to the effect of the actions of Islamic radicals on the self-conceptualization of North American Muslims’ identity and social inclusion. The paper analyzes data collected from semi-structured interviews with Muslim clerics on both sides of the Canadian-American border, as well as data collected from questionnaires distributed to Muslim students at Brock University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. The paper examines the ways in which the actions of Islamic radical groups abroad shape the identity and social inclusion of Canadian Muslims in the Niagara region in comparison to American Muslims in Buffalo, New York. The paper utilizes a cross-border analysis approach while employing symbolic interactionism and the mosaic and melting pot theories as theoretical frameworks in analysing the data collected during the study. This paper demonstrates that although both Canada and the United States responded to the events of 9/11 similarly, Muslims in the two nations maintain different reactions to similar events.
    • The Effect of Different Phases of Synchrony on Pain Threshold in a Drumming Task

      Sullivan, Philip; Blacker, Mishka (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2017-06-22)
      Behavioral synchrony has been linked to endorphin activity (Cohen et al., 2010; Sullivan and Rickers, 2013; Sullivan et al., 2014; Tarr et al., 2015, 2016; Weinstein et al., 2016). This has been called the synchrony effect. Synchrony has two dominant phases of movement; in-phase and anti-phase. The majority of research investigating synchrony’s effect on endorphin activity has focused on in-phase synchrony following vigorous activities. The only research to investigate the effects of anti-phase synchrony on endorphin activity found that anti-phase synchronized rowing did not produce the synchrony effect (Sullivan et al., 2014). Anti-phase synchrony, however, is counterintuitive to the sport of rowing and may have interfered with the synchrony effect. This study investigated the effect of anti-phase synchrony on endorphin activity in a different task (i.e., drumming). University students (n D 30) were asked to drum solo and in in-phase and anti-phase pairs for 3 min. Pain threshold was assessed as an indirect indicator of endorphin activity prior to and following the task. Although the in-phase synchrony effect was not found, a repeated measures ANOVA found that there was a significant difference in pain threshold change among the three conditions [F(2,24) D 4.10, ! N2 D 0.255, p < 0.05). Post hoc t-tests showed that the anti-phase condition had a significantly greater pain threshold change than both the solo and in-phase conditions at p < 0.05. This is the first time that anti-phase synchrony has been shown to produce the synchrony effect. Because anti-phase drumming may have required more attention between partners than in-phase synchrony, it may have affected self-other merging (Tarr et al., 2014). These results support Tarr et al.’s (2014) model that multiple mechanisms account for the effect of synchrony on pain threshold, and suggest that different characteristics of the activity may influence the synchrony effect.
    • The effect of episodic future simulation and motivation on young children’s induced-state episodic foresight

      Mahy, Caitlin; Masson, Chelsey; Krause, Amanda M.; Mazachowsky, Tessa (Elsevier, 2020)
      Examined the impact of episodic simulation and motivation on children’s episodic foresight. Thirst was induced and children were asked to make future choices. 3- to 5-year-olds completed the pretzel task under 4 different experimental conditions. Children’s future predictions were most accurate in the motivation condition. A novel and motivating food item, a cupcake, helped children overcome their current state of thirst. Future simulation and motivation are two strategies that might help children improve their induced-state episodic foresight. In Study 1, 3- to 5-year-old children (N = 96) consumed pretzels (to induce thirst) and were asked what they would prefer the next day, pretzels or water. Children were randomly assigned to an experimental condition: (1) a standard thirsty condition, (2) an episodic simulation condition where they imagined being hungry the next day, (3) a motivation condition where children chose between a cupcake and water, or (4) a control condition (thirst was not induced). Future preferences did not differ by age and children were less likely to choose water (vs. a cupcake) in the motivation condition compared to the standard thirsty condition. Study 2 found that 3- to 5-year-old children (N = 22) were also less likely to choose water for right now versus a cupcake when thirst was induced.
    • The effect of psychological distance on young children's future predictions

      Mazachowsky, Tessa R.; Koktavy, Christine; Mahy, Caitlin (John Wiley and Sons, 2019)
      The current study examined the impact of psychological distance on children's performance on the pretzel task. In this task, children eat pretzels (inducing thirst) and then are asked to reason about future preferences (pretzels or water). Children typically perform poorly on this task, indicating a future preference for water over pretzels, potentially due to conflicting current and future states. Given past work showing that children's future reasoning is more accurate for another person, we asked 90 thirsty 3‐ to 7‐year‐olds to reason about their own and an experimenter's future preference. Results showed that thirsty children had more difficulty predicting their own future preference compared with the experimenter's. Thirstier children were more likely to predict a future preference for water. Thirst interacted with age when making a future choice for the experimenter. How psychological distance might boost episodic foresight and possible reasons for children's poor pretzel task performance are discussed. Does psychological distancing improve children's ability to make accurate future predictions when current and future states conflict? Using the Pretzel task, thirsty children were less accurate when predicting their own future preferences compared with the future preferences of another person. Psychological distancing may help children overcome their current state to reason more accurately about the future.