Now showing items 2500-2519 of 4336

• #### NICOTINE WITHDRAWAL AND DEFICITS IN COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY: POSSIBLE TIES TO ABERRATIONS IN FRONTOSTRIATAL BDNF SIGNALING

Nicotine addiction continues to be a leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Despite the plethora of available treatments for smoking cessation, smoking relapse after attempts to quit remains high. It is possible that impairments in cognitive flexibility and underlying neurochemical circuits in nicotine addicts may foster maladaptive behaviors that affect individuals’ ability to refrain from taking drugs. Here we characterized the effects of spontaneous nicotine withdrawal on cognitive flexibility in mice using an operant strategy set-shifting task. Because frontostriatal circuits are critical for cognitive flexibility and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates glutamate plasticity, we also explored the effects of nicotine withdrawal on these neurochemical substrates. Adult male C57BL/6J mice were trained in an operant task that required the animals to switch from using a spatial response-driven strategy to a visual cue-based strategy to achieve rewards. Mice were exp
• #### Nietzsche on Suffering, Affirmation, and Modern Tragedy

As an artform, tragedy is deeply perplexing. On the one hand, it depicts events that are painful, depressing, and difficult to watch. On the other hand, it is a genre that has been continually replicated, revered, and enjoyed throughout history. I examine Nietzsche’s response to this problem. Nietzsche, I argue, develops a clear response to the paradox of tragedy: Tragedy is valuable because, even though (or precisely because) it is painful to watch, it allows us to affirm life. Interestingly, Nietzsche’s discussion of tragedy is filled with numerous mentions of Shakespeare. I argue that Nietzsche’s comments on Shakespeare emphasize the historically sensitive nature of Nietzsche’s theory of life affirmation. While Nietzsche might seem to be delivering a universal, trans-historical account of life affirmation, his comments on Shakespeare make it clear that life affirmation functions differently in different times and cultures.
• #### Nishida's Philosophical Resistance to the Secular-Religion Binary

It has been common in scholarship to frame Nishida Kitarō’s philosophy (西田哲学) as an attempt at overcoming the dualities of Western modernity. But what has been downplayed in this reading is how Nishida re-interprets the concept of religion in a way that challenges modernist theories of religion, with implications that speak to the problematics of the secular-religion binary today. Nishida’s view of religion, as an existential form of awareness, and a structuring logic of historical reality, with its own epistemological criteria, contrast with the theoretical accounts that assume religion is opposite to the real—or that religion is subordinate to the secular. By designating religion as a logical category that coincides with the real, Nishida’s philosophical standpoint offers a means to not only re-think the relationship between the secular and the religious, but to re-think the relationship between the West and the rest of the world, because if rationality is not a superior category over religion, then the races, cultures, and ethnicities that have been historically subordinated are placed on an equal epistemological footing with Western philosophy and science. In this sense, Nishida’s philosophy of religion allows us to think critically about the “problem of religion” and presents a discussion that can also be used to address some of the issues raised within post-colonial studies.
• #### NITROGEN-LIGATED (POLY)CATIONIC IODINE(III) REAGENTS: PLATFORMS FOR REAGENT DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSE HETEROCYCLIC SYNTHESES

Hypervalent iodine (HVI) reagents are easily accessed, highly tunable, mild, selective oxidants that are less toxic and more environmentally benign compared to their heavy metal counterparts. λ3-Iodanes, which possess an iodine center bound to one aryl substituent and two heteroatom ligands, have been the subject of recent interest due to their electrophilicity and hypernucleofugality. A central focus of the Wengryniuk laboratory has been the further development and application of a class of electrostatically activated (bis)cationic nitrogen-ligated HVI (N-HVI) reagents. N-HVIs feature datively bound heterocyclic ligands which results in dramatically enhanced electrophilicity and redox potentials. Despite being a highly tunable platform for reagent development, N-HVIs remain a relatively underexplored class of λ3-iodanes. This dissertation focuses on demonstrating N-HVI’s synthetic potential and developing novel variants to enhance their synthetic utility. Chapter 1 of this dissertation serves as a general background and introduction to nitrogen-ligated HVI reagents. Chapter 2 outlines our efforts in N-HVI library expansion, novel syntheses, and characterization. With a library of 33 novel N-HVIs in hand, ligand effects on N-HVI reactivity were analyzed via qualitative and quantitative methods. Chapter 3 describes our first synthetic application of N-HVIs in the development of novel oxidative rearrangements of simple and complex cyclic alcohols. This chapter describes the chemoselective ring expansion of 2° and 3° cyclic alcohols accessing medium-sized cyclic acetal products in good to excellent yields with applicability to Complexity-to-Diversity (CTD) efforts. Chapter 4 demonstrates our initial efforts toward the development of another synthetic method where the functionalized N-heterocyclic ligands of the N-HVIs can be regioselectivity incorporated into a molecule following N-HVI activation of an olefin. The pyridinium lactone salts formed from olefinic acids were isolated in excellent yields via simple trituration, supplying a synthetically useful functional handle that was easily derivatized via known methods. These four chapters summarize the current state of the research with nitrogen-ligated HVI salts, expand upon our initial publications to highlight the development of novel heterocyclic syntheses, and provide a useful guide to further explore the reactivity of these tunable reagents.
• #### No Child is an Island: A Study of the Effect on Student Sense of Belonging Through Their Participation in a Formal Program of Character Education

As more schools consider ways to help students to develop not only academically but also socially and emotionally, school personnel look to formal programs of character education to help address the needs of the whole child. Of these programs of character education, Berkowitz and Bier (2005) posit that effective programs begin by promoting positive social relationships within the school. One measure of the quality of the social relationships in schools is reflected in the level of belonging or connectedness that students feel toward their school and members of the school community. Consequently, the purpose of the present study was to further the investigation of the construct of sense of school belonging and its relationship to formal programs of character education. Eighth-grade students (732) from five middle schools – three character program schools and two non-character program schools – were surveyed measuring sense of school belonging by their responses on the total score of the Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) scale developed by Goodenow (1993) and on the four sub-scores of the PSSM demonstrated by Ye and Wallace (2013). No significant differences were found for student sense of belonging between character program schools and non-character program schools. However, the study also investigated the effect of structural and perceptual elements of character education programs that were found to positively relate to student sense of school belonging. Students who identified themselves as being part of a character education group in their school reported significantly higher levels of sense of belonging (on the total score of the PSSM and on the PSSM factors of Identification and Participation in School, Perception of Fitting in Among Peers, and Generalized Connection to Teachers) than those students who did not identify as being part of a character education group. In addition, students reported statistically significant higher levels of sense of belonging a) the more they felt accepted by other students in their group, b) the more they felt accepted by their adult group advisor, c) the more they felt able to express opinions in their group, d) the more they felt their group was like a family, and e) the more they felt character education groups made their school a better place. Sense of belonging was also positively related to more frequent opportunities for character education group meetings and to a common school language that emphasized moral character more than performance character.
• #### No Child Left Behind: The Answer to Preparing Students for Careers, or the Demise of Career and Technical Education?

This qualitative case study is designed to document the impact of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on career and technical education (CTE) in Pennsylvania. The research was conducted utilizing a qualitative case study protocol on two specific CTE Centers in the suburban Philadelphia area. The study centered on the following question. Has compliance to the accountability components of NCLB impacted the delivery of secondary education in CTE centers in the Pennsylvania? The study identified the changes that have occurred to selected CTE centers in the NCLB era. The assessment mandates of federal policy NCLB are narrowly focused in academic curriculum. The data used to answer the questions was accumulated through interviews with facility staff and the examination of archival records at the two specific centers to be researched. This study determined the impacts of NCLB on the facilities. The impacts included; decreased enrollment, increased academic and testing focus, reduction in technical budgets, increase in academic budgets, increase of special education students, staff changes for the increase of academic areas, morale issues, program changes, shifts in staff development, facility changes, negative publicity and public image due to academic reporting in the media. Questions for future study. What are the costs, financial and opportunity related to the reduction in CTE for increased academics? How many students have been denied the opportunity of attending or completing CTE programs? Why there isn't an alignment of NCLB and IDEA goals? What is the emotional impact to our students who keep getting told they are below basic? The conclusion from this study suggests that the public education system in this country needs to be more centered on actual student outcomes and preparing students with marketable skills and not based on the narrow focus of academic test scores.
• #### NO LONGER GREEN WITH ENVY: HOW TURNING EMOTIONS INTO OBJECTS ENABLES CONSUMERS TO PHYSICALLY DESTROY THEM

Envy, as a result of upward social comparisons, is an unpleasant emotion that occurs when a consumer sees others as being more advantaged than him- or herself, in terms of achievements and/or possessions. Envy may drive the envious consumer to 'compete' with the envied-target through purchase of similar or better products; for that reason, envy is frequently used in advertising to motivate consumers to buy better products. While envy may be good for businesses as it may promote economic growth through the &ldquo;keeping up with the Joneses&rdquo; mechanism, envy tends to bring destructive behavior to consumers, especially in the long run. Departing from the view to maintain consumer welfare, we argue that envy should be reduced or perhaps, temporarily deactivated. Through a series of studies, we attempt to see if envy, as an emotion, can be transformed into an object upon which physical actions can be performed to destroy it, which thus reduces or temporarily deactivates envy. Furthermore, we want to see if any of these actions, assuming that envy is reduced or temporarily deactivated as a result, would lead consumers to adopt more pro-social behavior, as opposed to typical destructive behavior of envy.

• #### No Uncertain Trumpet: Carl McIntire and the Politicization of Fundamentalism

Cold War era preacher Carl McIntire played a significant role in the politicization of fundamentalism during the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. His libertarian political philosophy was shaped by the denominational politics in the Presbyterian Church of America during the fundamentalist - modernist controversy.
• #### NOETHERIAN SKEW POWER SERIES RINGS

This dissertation is concerned with noncommutative analogues of formal power series rings in multiple variables. Our motivating examples arises from quantized coordinate rings; the completions of these quantized coordinate rings are iterated noetherian skew power series rings. Our first focus is on $q$-commutative power series rings, having the following form: $R = k_q[[x_1,\ldots,x_n]]$, where $q = (q_{ij})_{n\times n}$ with $q_{ii}=1$ and $q_{ij} = q^{-1}_{ji} \in \k^{\times}$ and where $x_jx_i = q_{ji} x_i x_j$. The corresponding skew Laurent series ring is $L=k_q[[x_1^{\pm 1},\ldots,x_n^{\pm 1}]]$. We first study the ideal structure of $L$. We prove that extension and contraction of ideals produces a bijection between the set of ideals of $L$ and the set of ideals of the center $Z$ of $L$. This bijection further produces a homeomorphism between $\spec L$ and $\spec Z$. Applying the analysis of $L$ to $R$, we prove that the prime spectrum $\spec R$ can be partitioned into finitely many strata each homeomorphic to the prime spectrum of a commutative noetherian ring. The rings $R$ and $L$ are completions, respectively, of the quantum coordinate ring of $n$-space and of the $n$-torus. Our second focus is on power series completions of iterated skew polynomial rings with nonzero derivations. Given an iterated skew polynomial ring $C[y_1;\t_1,\d_1]\ldots [y_n;\t_n,\d_n]$ over a complete local ring $C$ with maximal ideal $\m$, we prove, under suitable assumptions, that the completion at the ideal $\m + \left\langle y_1,y_2,\ldots,y_n\right\rangle$ is an iterated skew power series ring. Under further conditions, this completion is a local, noetherian, Auslander regular domain. Applicable examples include the following quantized coordinate rings: quantum matrices, quantum symplectic spaces, and quantum Euclidean spaces. Results in this dissertation are included in the following two preprints: 1. Prime ideals of $q$-commutative power series rings (joint with E. S. Letzter), submitted for publication. 2. Completions of quantum coordinate rings, to appear in Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society.
• #### NOISE SPECTRUM OF A QUANTUM POINT CONTACT COUPLED TO A NANO-MECHANICAL OSCILLATOR

With the advance in nanotechnology, we are more interested in the "smaller worlds". One of the practical applications of this is to measure a very small displacement or the mass of a nano-mechanical object. To measure such properties, one needs a very sensitive detector. A quantum point contact (QPC) is one of the most sensitive detectors. In a QPC, electrons tunnel one by one through a tunnel junction (a "hole"). The tunnel junction in a QPC consists of a narrow constriction (nm-wide) between two conductors. To measure the properties of a nano-mechanical object (which acts as a harmonic oscillator), we couple it to a QPC. This coupling effects the electrons tunneling through the QPC junction. By measuring the transport properties of the tunneling electrons, we can infer the properties of the oscillator (i.e. the nano-mechanical object). However, this coupling introduces noise, which reduces the measurement precision. Thus, it is very important to understand this source of noise and to study how it effects the measurement process. We theoretically study the transport properties of electrons through a QPC junction, weakly coupled to a vibration mode of a nano-mechanical oscillator via both the position and the momentum of the oscillator. %We study both the position and momentum based coupling. The transport properties that we study consist of the average flow of current through the junction, given by the one-time correlation of the electron tunneling event, and the current noise given by the two-time correlation of the average current, i.e, the variance. The first comprehensive experimental study of the noise spectrum of a detector coupled to a QPC was performed by the group of Stettenheim et al. Their observed spectral features had two pronounced peaks which depict the noise produced due to the coupling of the QPC with the oscillator and in turn provide evidence of the induced feedback loop (back-action). Benatov and Blencowe theoretically studied these spectral features using the Born approximation and the Markovian approximation. In this case the Born approximation refers to second order perturbation of the interaction Hamiltonian. In this approximation, the electrons tunnel independently, i.e., one by one only, and co-tunneling is disregarded. The Markovian approximation does not take into account the past behavior of the system under time evolution. These two approximations also enable one to study the system analytically, and the noise is calculated using the MacDonald formula. Our main aim for this thesis is to find a suitable theoretical model that would replicate the experimental plots from the work of Stettenheim et al. Our work does not use the Markovian approximation. However, we do use the Born approximation. This is justified as long as the coupling between the oscillator and QPC is weak. We first obtain the non-Markovian unconditional master equation for the reduced density matrix of the system. Non-Markovian dynamics enables us to study, in principle, the full memory effects of the system. From the master equation, we then derive analytical results for the current and the current noise. Due to the non-Markovian nature of our system, the electron tunneling parameters are time-dependent. Therefore, we cannot study the system analytically. We thus numerically solve the current noise expression to obtain the noise spectrum. We then compare our noise spectrum with the experimental noise spectrum. We show that our spectral noise results agree better with the experimental evidence compared to the results obtained using the Markovian approximation. We thus conclude that one needs non-Markovian dynamics to understand the experimental noise spectrum of a QPC coupled to a nano-mechanical oscillator.
• #### NON-CREDIT COMMUNITY ARTS PROGRAMS: A COMPARATIVE CASE STUDY OF THREE PROGRAMS WITHIN RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES

The purpose of Non-credit community arts programs: A comparative case study of three programs within research universities is to examine the perceptions of the various stakeholders of non-credit community arts programs to determine the perceived benefits received by all stakeholders from the non-credit program, the university, and its surrounding community, the variables of a successful program, and the sustainability of these programs within their parent institution. The research methods used included a preliminary 41-question survey distributed to 76 non-credit community arts programs embedded within colleges or universities to determine the specific programs within research universities. These 76 collegiate divisional community schools of the arts belong to the 400 members of community arts schools in the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. The results of the survey were used to determine the three non-credit community arts programs that were selected for the case study. The case study of each of the three non-credit community arts programs was used to learn the perceptions of the various stakeholders of each of the programs and their respective parent institution. The stakeholders included research university administrators, the non-credit program's executive administrators, the program's faculty, staff, students, and parents of students that participate in the non-credit community arts programs. Site visits, interviews, either in person or via phone conversation, and review of printed materials were employed to obtain from the various stakeholders the perceived benefits of these non-credit community arts programs, the variables that contribute to a successful program and their sustainability within the research university. The diversity of the stakeholders interviewed provided a thorough observation of these programs from varying perspectives to discover their impact on the individual students as well as the university, its internal community and the community-at-large.
• #### Non-Equilibrium Dynamics of Second Order Traffic Models

Even though first order LWR models have many limitations, they are still widely used in many engineering applications. Second-order models, on the other hand, address many of those limitations. Among second-order models, the inhomogeneous Aw-Rascle-Zhang (ARZ) model is well-received as its structure generates characteristic waves that make physical sense. The ARZ model --- and other $2\times 2$ hyperbolic systems with a relaxation term --- possess a critical phase transition: whenever the sub-characteristic condition (SCC) is violated, uniform traffic flow is unstable, and small perturbations grow into nonlinear traveling waves, called jamitons. The case where the SCC is satisfied has been studied extensively. However, what is essentially unstudied is the question: which jamiton solutions are dynamically stable? To understand which stop-and-go traffic waves can arise through the dynamics of the model, this question is critical. This dissertation first outlines the mathematical foundations of the ARZ model and its solutions, then presents a computational study demonstrating which types of jamitons are dynamically stable, and which are not. After that, a procedure is presented that characterizes the stability of jamitons. The study reveals that a critical component of this analysis is the proper treatment of the perturbations to the shocks, and of the neighborhood of the sonic points. The insight gained from answering the question regarding the dynamical stability of jamitons has many applications. One particular application presented here is deriving an averaged model for the ARZ model. Such a model is as simple to solve (analytically and numerically) as the LWR model, but nevertheless captures the cumulative effects of jamitons regarding fuel consumption, total flow, and braking events.
• #### Non-Parasitic Warlords and Geographical Distance

This dissertation presents an extension of the warlord competition models found in Skaperdas (2002) and Konrad and Skaperdas (2012). I consider two non-parasitic warlords located on a line. Each warlord allocates resources for the extraction of natural resources, the production of goods and services, and conflict with the opposing warlord. Within the symmetric rates of seizure model, I use three different forms of the contest success function, a primary tool in the conflict theory literature, in my analysis. I show that the warlord closer to the point of conflict will invest less into the hiring of warriors and more into the production of goods and services, yet wins a larger proportion of total goods and services produced within the economy. Under certain conditions, the placement of the point of conflict at the midpoint between the two warlords maximizes the total resources toward war and minimizes total production. Under the asymmetric rates of seizure model, I find that the warlord closer to the point of conflict invests more in warfare and less in production; that is, results that counter what is found in the symmetric model.

• #### NONCANONICAL PYROPTOSIS PROMOTES NONALCOHOLIC STEATOHEPATITIS VIA LIPID PEROXIDATION AND TRAINED IMMUNITY

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently the most common cause of abnormal liver function in countries with western-style high fat, high cholesterol diets. Liver damage associated with NAFLD may lead to liver cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Additionally, recent data suggest that nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the inflammatory phase of NAFLD, is linked to increased cardiovascular risk independent of the broad spectrum of risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Therefore, novel therapies are needed to inhibit the inflammatory liver damage that drives NAFLD. Hepatic macrophages (HMΦ’s), which include resident Kupffer cells and monocyte-derived macrophages, are the primary drivers of liver inflammation in both human and mouse models. In macrophages, chronic lipid exposure promotes pro-inflammatory polarization and the activation of pyroptosis via the NLRP3 inflammasome. While the role of the canonical pyroptosis pathway has been studied in NAFLD, the role of the newly discovered noncanonical (caspase-11/-Gasdermin-Ddependent) pathway has not been defined. Diet-induced NAFLD promoted hepatic steatosis and lobular inflammation in male WT mice. Caspase-11 deficiency decreases macrovesicular steatosis and total NAFLD Activity Score (NAS). High fat feeding promoted recruitment and activation of HMΦ in both Caspase-11 deficient (Casp11KO) and WT male mice, however, noncanonical pyroptosis (caspase-11 activity, surface Gasdermin-D, expression, liver IL-1β secretion) was ablated in HMΦs from Casp11KO mice. Bone marrow transplantation restored capacity for noncanonical pyroptosis in Casp11KO mice. RNAseq and microarray analysis revealed that lipid peroxidation and trained immunity mediate noncanonical pyroptosis in diet induced NALFD.