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Concept: Trajectory


Building on well-established animal data demonstrating the effects of early maternal support on hippocampal development and adaptive coping, a few longitudinal studies suggest that early caregiver support also impacts human hippocampal development. How caregiving contributes to human hippocampal developmental trajectories, whether there are sensitive periods for these effects, as well as whether related variation in hippocampal development predicts later childhood emotion functioning are of major public health importance. The current study investigated these questions in a longitudinal study of preschoolers assessed annually for behavioral and emotional development, including observed caregiver support. One hundred and twenty-seven children participated in three waves of magnetic resonance brain imaging through school age and early adolescence. Multilevel modeling of the effects of preschool and school-age maternal support on hippocampal volumes across the three waves was conducted. Hippocampal volume increased faster for those with higher levels of preschool maternal support. Subjects with support 1 SD above the mean had a 2.06 times greater increase in total hippocampus volume across the three scans than those with 1 SD below the mean (2.70% vs. 1.31%). No effect of school-age support was found. Individual slopes of hippocampus volume were significantly associated with emotion regulation at scan 3. The findings demonstrate a significant effect of early childhood maternal support on hippocampal volume growth across school age and early adolescence and suggest an early childhood sensitive period for these effects. They also show that this growth trajectory is associated with later emotion functioning.

Concepts: Longitudinal study, Brain, Sociology, Hippocampus, Adolescence, Developmental psychology, Trajectory, Preadolescence


Lipid membranes are extremely stable envelopes allowing cells to survive in various environments and to maintain desired internal composition. Membrane permeation through formation of transversal pores requires substantial external stress. Practically, pores are usually formed by application of lateral tension or transmembrane voltage. Using the same approach as was used for obtaining continuous trajectory of pore formation in the stress-less membrane in the previous article, we now consider the process of pore formation under the external stress. The waiting time to pore formation proved a non-monotonous function of the lateral tension, dropping from infinity at zero tension to a minimum at the tension of several millinewtons per meter. Transmembrane voltage, on the contrary, caused the waiting time to decrease monotonously. Analysis of pore formation trajectories for several lipid species with different spontaneous curvatures and elastic moduli under various external conditions provided instrumental insights into the mechanisms underlying some experimentally observed phenomena.

Concepts: Cell membrane, Force, Membrane protein, Lipid bilayer, Trajectory, Trajectory of a projectile, Projectile, Aquaporin


Lipid membranes serve as effective barriers allowing cells to maintain internal composition differing from that of extracellular medium. Membrane permeation, both natural and artificial, can take place via appearance of transversal pores. The rearrangements of lipids leading to pore formation in the intact membrane are not yet understood in details. We applied continuum elasticity theory to obtain continuous trajectory of pore formation and closure, and analyzed molecular dynamics trajectories of pre-formed pore reseal. We hypothesized that a transversal pore is preceded by a hydrophobic defect: intermediate structure spanning through the membrane, the side walls of which are partially aligned by lipid tails. This prediction was confirmed by our molecular dynamics simulations. Conversion of the hydrophobic defect into the hydrophilic pore required surmounting some energy barrier. A metastable state was found for the hydrophilic pore at the radius of a few nanometers. The dependence of the energy on radius was approximately quadratic for hydrophobic defect and small hydrophilic pore, while for large radii it depended on the radius linearly. The pore energy related to its perimeter, line tension, thus depends of the pore radius. Calculated values of the line tension for large pores were in quantitative agreement with available experimental data.

Concepts: Scientific method, Cell membrane, Chemical properties, Force, Lipid, Lipid bilayer, Trajectory, Trajectory of a projectile


The bony pelvis of adult humans exhibits marked sexual dimorphism, which is traditionally interpreted in the framework of the “obstetrical dilemma” hypothesis: Giving birth to large-brained/large-bodied babies requires a wide pelvis, whereas efficient bipedal locomotion requires a narrow pelvis. This hypothesis has been challenged recently on biomechanical, metabolic, and biocultural grounds, so that it remains unclear which factors are responsible for sex-specific differences in adult pelvic morphology. Here we address this issue from a developmental perspective. We use methods of biomedical imaging and geometric morphometrics to analyze changes in pelvic morphology from late fetal stages to adulthood in a known-age/known-sex forensic/clinical sample. Results show that, until puberty, female and male pelves exhibit only moderate sexual dimorphism and follow largely similar developmental trajectories. With the onset of puberty, however, the female trajectory diverges substantially from the common course, resulting in rapid expansion of obstetrically relevant pelvic dimensions up to the age of 25-30 y. From 40 y onward females resume a mode of pelvic development similar to males, resulting in significant reduction of obstetric dimensions. This complex developmental trajectory is likely linked to the pubertal rise and premenopausal fall of estradiol levels and results in the obstetrically most adequate pelvic morphology during the time of maximum female fertility. The evidence that hormones mediate female pelvic development and morphology supports the view that solutions of the obstetrical dilemma depend not only on selection and adaptation but also on developmental plasticity as a response to ecological/nutritional factors during a female’s lifetime.

Concepts: Childbirth, Male, Female, Gender, Sex, Pelvis, Puberty, Trajectory



Our visual system allows us to rapidly identify and intercept a moving object. When this object is far away, we base the trajectory on the target’s location relative to an external frame of reference [1]. This process forms the basis for the constant bearing angle (CBA) model, a reactive strategy that ensures interception since the bearing angle, formed between the line joining pursuer and target (called the range vector) and an external reference line, is held constant [2-4]. The CBA model may be a fundamental and widespread strategy, as it is also known to explain the interception trajectories of bats and fish [5, 6]. Here, we show that the aerial attack of the tiny robber fly Holcocephala fusca is consistent with the CBA model. In addition, Holcocephala fusca displays a novel proactive strategy, termed “lock-on” phase, embedded with the later part of the flight. We found the object detection threshold for this species to be 0.13°, enabled by an extremely specialized, forward pointing fovea (∼5 ommatidia wide, interommatidial angle Δφ = 0.28°, photoreceptor acceptance angle Δρ = 0.27°). This study furthers our understanding of the accurate performance that a miniature brain can achieve in highly demanding sensorimotor tasks and suggests the presence of equivalent mechanisms for target interception across a wide range of taxa.

Concepts: Photoreceptor cell, Force, Binary operation, Trajectory, Trajectory of a projectile, Range of a projectile, Projectile, Ballistics


Exposure to green space has been associated with better physical and mental health. Although this exposure could also influence cognitive development in children, available epidemiological evidence on such an impact is scarce. This study aimed to assess the association between exposure to green space and measures of cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. This study was based on 2,593 schoolchildren in the second to fourth grades (7-10 y) of 36 primary schools in Barcelona, Spain (2012-2013). Cognitive development was assessed as 12-mo change in developmental trajectory of working memory, superior working memory, and inattentiveness by using four repeated (every 3 mo) computerized cognitive tests for each outcome. We assessed exposure to green space by characterizing outdoor surrounding greenness at home and school and during commuting by using high-resolution (5 m × 5 m) satellite data on greenness (normalized difference vegetation index). Multilevel modeling was used to estimate the associations between green spaces and cognitive development. We observed an enhanced 12-mo progress in working memory and superior working memory and a greater 12-mo reduction in inattentiveness associated with greenness within and surrounding school boundaries and with total surrounding greenness index (including greenness surrounding home, commuting route, and school). Adding a traffic-related air pollutant (elemental carbon) to models explained 20-65% of our estimated associations between school greenness and 12-mo cognitive development. Our study showed a beneficial association between exposure to green space and cognitive development among schoolchildren that was partly mediated by reduction in exposure to air pollution.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Pollution, Primary school, Primary education, School, Trajectory, Air pollution


This study investigates the aerodynamics of the falcon Falco peregrinus while diving. During a dive peregrines can reach velocities of more than 320 km h(-1). Unfortunately, in freely roaming falcons, these high velocities prohibit a precise determination of flight parameters such as velocity and acceleration as well as body shape and wing contour. Therefore, individual F. peregrinus were trained to dive in front of a vertical dam with a height of 60 m. The presence of a well-defined background allowed us to reconstruct the flight path and the body shape of the falcon during certain flight phases. Flight trajectories were obtained with a stereo high-speed camera system. In addition, body images of the falcon were taken from two perspectives with a high-resolution digital camera. The dam allowed us to match the high-resolution images obtained from the digital camera with the corresponding images taken with the high-speed cameras. Using these data we built a life-size model of F. peregrinus and used it to measure the drag and lift forces in a wind-tunnel. We compared these forces acting on the model with the data obtained from the 3-D flight path trajectory of the diving F. peregrinus. Visualizations of the flow in the wind-tunnel uncovered details of the flow structure around the falcon’s body, which suggests local regions with separation of flow. High-resolution pictures of the diving peregrine indicate that feathers pop-up in the equivalent regions, where flow separation in the model falcon occurred.

Concepts: Force, Falconry, Falcon, Trajectory, Projectile, Drag, Peregrine Falcon, Falconidae


Water scarcity is a rapidly growing concern around the globe, but little is known about how it has developed over time. This study provides a first assessment of continuous sub-national trajectories of blue water consumption, renewable freshwater availability, and water scarcity for the entire 20(th) century. Water scarcity is analysed using the fundamental concepts of shortage (impacts due to low availability per capita) and stress (impacts due to high consumption relative to availability) which indicate difficulties in satisfying the needs of a population and overuse of resources respectively. While water consumption increased fourfold within the study period, the population under water scarcity increased from 0.24 billion (14% of global population) in the 1900s to 3.8 billion (58%) in the 2000s. Nearly all sub-national trajectories show an increasing trend in water scarcity. The concept of scarcity trajectory archetypes and shapes is introduced to characterize the historical development of water scarcity and suggest measures for alleviating water scarcity and increasing sustainability. Linking the scarcity trajectories to other datasets may help further deepen understanding of how trajectories relate to historical and future drivers, and hence help tackle these evolving challenges.

Concepts: Force, 20th century, Food security, Trajectory, Scarcity, World population, Famine, Water crisis


The developmental trajectories of maladaptive perfectionism, along with their consequences and origins, were examined in middle childhood.

Concepts: Trajectory