Publications by authors named "Emma Shaw"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

From sterile labs to rich VR: Immersive multisensory context critical for odors to induce motivated cleaning behavior.

Behav Res Methods 2020 08;52(4):1657-1670

Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80140, 3508 TC, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Extending traditional research methods for studying the effects of odor on behavior, this study applied virtual reality (VR) to create a real-world, immersive context that was compared with a traditional sterile, non-immersive lab setting. Using precise odor administration with olfactometry, participants were exposed to three odors (cleaning-related pleasant smell, cleaning-unrelated pleasant smell: vanillin, and odorless air). Our aim was to tease apart whether participants' motivation to clean was driven by cleaning associations and/or odor pleasantness, and how context would accentuate these effects. The results indeed showed that, in VR only, the cleaning-related smell elicited faster and more energetic cleaning behavior on a custom-designed cleaning task, and faster and more voluminous olfactory sampling compared with controls (vanillin, air). These effects were not driven by odor valence, given the general absence of significant differences between the pleasant control odor vanillin and odorless air. In sum, combining rigorous experimental control with high ecological validity, this research shows the context dependency of (congruent) odors affecting motivated behavior in an immersive context only.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13428-019-01341-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7406481PMC
August 2020

Recycled electronic plastic and marine litter.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Dec 1;694:133644. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK. Electronic address:

Black consumer plastics are often contaminated with hazardous chemicals because of technological constraints on sorting dark plastic during recycling of municipal waste coupled with the convenience of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) as a secondary source of black plastic. In this study, samples of beached plastic litter (n = 524) from southwest England were categorised according to origin, appearance and colour (black versus non-black) before being analysed by x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry for elements that are characteristic of EEE. The small number of items of WEEE retrieved (n = 36) were largely restricted to wiring insulation and constructed of lead-stabilised polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Among the remaining samples, Br, Cd, Cr and Pb were commonly detected in all categories of black plastics (n = 264) with maximum concentrations of 43,400 mg kg, 2080 mg kg, 662 mg kg and 23,800 mg kg, respectively. Moreover, concentrations of Br were significantly correlated with concentrations of the flame retardant synergist, Sb (n = 22), and 35 samples were potentially non-compliant with regard to limits defined by the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive. For plastics of other colours (n = 224), Br and Pb were detected in fewer samples and Br was co-associated with Sb in only two cases, with occasional high concentrations Cd, Cr and Pb largely attributed to the historical use of cadmium sulphide and lead chromate pigments. An avian physiologically-based extraction test applied to selected samples cut to mm-dimensions revealed bioaccessibilities ranging from <0.1% for Cr in a green fragment to about 2.4% (or about 580 mg kg) for Pb in black PVC. The recycling of WEEE into consumer, industrial and marine (e.g. fishing) plastics that are mainly coloured black appears to be an important vehicle for the introduction of hazardous chemicals into the environment and a source of their exposure to wildlife.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133644DOI Listing
December 2019

The Impact of Time of Day on Energy Expenditure: Implications for Long-Term Energy Balance.

Nutrients 2019 Oct 6;11(10). Epub 2019 Oct 6.

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3168 Australia.

There is evidence to indicate that the central biological clock (i.e., our endogenous circadian system) plays a role in physiological processes in the body that impact energy regulation and metabolism. Cross-sectional data suggest that energy consumption later in the day and during the night is associated with weight gain. These findings have led to speculation that when, as well as what, we eat may be important for maintaining energy balance. Emerging literature suggests that prioritising energy intake to earlier during the day may help with body weight maintenance. Evidence from tightly controlled acute experimental studies indicates a disparity in the body's ability to utilise (expend) energy equally across the day and night. Energy expenditure both at rest (resting metabolic rate) and after eating (thermic effect of food) is typically more efficient earlier during the day. In this review, we discuss the key evidence for a circadian pattern in energy utilisation and balance, which depends on meal timing. Whilst there is limited evidence that simply prioritising energy intake to earlier in the day is an effective strategy for weight loss, we highlight the potential benefits of considering the role of meal timing for improving metabolic health and energy balance. This review demonstrates that to advance our understanding of the contribution of the endogenous circadian system toward energy balance, targeted studies that utilise appropriate methodologies are required that focus on meal timing and frequency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11102383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835928PMC
October 2019

Temporal pattern of eating in night shift workers.

Chronobiol Int 2019 12 9;36(12):1613-1625. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Level 1, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Understanding shift workers dietary intake patterns may inform interventions targeted at lowering chronic disease risk. This study examined the temporal distribution of food intake as shift workers rotate between night shifts, day shift and/or days off to identify differences in energy intake, eating frequency, and adherence to dietary guidelines by shift type (night shift vs. day). Night shift (NS) workers completed a four-day food diary that included a minimum of two night shifts and one-day shift (DS)/day off (DO), recording all food, beverages and time of consumption. Comparisons were between shift types, using ANOVA for continuous data and generalized estimating equations for count data, data reported as mean (SE). When comparing NS and DSDO, there were no differences in energy intake (24 h) (8853 (702) vs. 9041 (605) kJ, n = 22) or adherence to dietary guidelines. There was no difference between the number of eating occasions on NS and DSDO (5.6(0.3) vs 5.1(0.6) occasions) but less energy per eating occasion at night (1661(125) vs 1933(159) kJ). When working NS compared with DSDO there was higher total sugar (%E, 19.1(2.0) vs 15.0(2.4)) and lower saturated fat (%E, 13.8(1.2) vs 15.7(1.3)). Further, DSDO were characterized by a pattern of three main meals and a prolonged fasting period. It is important to determine if reducing eating occasions and providing opportunities for fasting improves metabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2019.1660358DOI Listing
December 2019

A Comparison of Mental Workload in Individuals with Transtibial and Transfemoral Lower Limb Loss during Dual-Task Walking under Varying Demand.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2019 10 29;25(9):985-997. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA.

Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the influence of lower limb loss (LL) on mental workload by assessing neurocognitive measures in individuals with unilateral transtibial (TT) versus those with transfemoral (TF) LL while dual-task walking under varying cognitive demand.

Methods: Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded as participants performed a task of varying cognitive demand while being seated or walking (i.e., varying physical demand).

Results: The findings revealed both groups of participants (TT LL vs. TF LL) exhibited a similar EEG theta synchrony response as either the cognitive or the physical demand increased. Also, while individuals with TT LL maintained similar performance on the cognitive task during seated and walking conditions, those with TF LL exhibited performance decrements (slower response times) on the cognitive task during the walking in comparison to the seated conditions. Furthermore, those with TF LL neither exhibited regional differences in EEG low-alpha power while walking, nor EEG high-alpha desynchrony as a function of cognitive task difficulty while walking. This lack of alpha modulation coincided with no elevation of theta/alpha ratio power as a function of cognitive task difficulty in the TF LL group.

Conclusions: This work suggests that both groups share some common but also different neurocognitive features during dual-task walking. Although all participants were able to recruit neural mechanisms critical for the maintenance of cognitive-motor performance under elevated cognitive or physical demands, the observed differences indicate that walking with a prosthesis, while concurrently performing a cognitive task, imposes additional cognitive demand in individuals with more proximal levels of amputation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617719000602DOI Listing
October 2019

Motor Performance, Mental Workload and Self-Efficacy Dynamics during Learning of Reaching Movements throughout Multiple Practice Sessions.

Neuroscience 2019 12 18;423:232-248. Epub 2019 Jul 18.

Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA; Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Robotics Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Electronic address:

The human capability to learn new motor skills depends on the efficient engagement of cognitive-motor resources, as reflected by mental workload, and psychological mechanisms (e.g., self-efficacy). While numerous investigations have examined the relationship between motor behavior and mental workload or self-efficacy in a performance context, a fairly limited effort focused on the combined examination of these notions during learning. Thus, this study aimed to examine their concomitant dynamics during the learning of a novel reaching skill practiced throughout multiple sessions. Individuals had to learn to control a virtual robotic arm via a human-machine interface by using limited head motion throughout eight practice sessions while motor performance, mental workload, and self-efficacy were assessed. The results revealed that as individuals learned to control the robotic arm, performance improved at the fastest rate, followed by a more gradual reduction of mental workload and finally an increase in self-efficacy. These results suggest that once the performance improved, less cognitive-motor resources were recruited, leading to an attenuated mental workload. Considering that attention is a primary cognitive resource driving mental workload, it is suggested that during early learning, attentional resources are primarily allocated to address task demands and not enough are available to assess self-efficacy. However, as the performance becomes more automatic, a lower level of mental workload is attained driven by decreased recruitment of attentional resources. These available resources allow for a reliable assessment of self-efficacy resulting in a subsequent observable change. These results are also discussed in terms of the application to the training and design of assistive technologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.07.001DOI Listing
December 2019

Cerebral cortical networking for mental workload assessment under various demands during dual-task walking.

Exp Brain Res 2019 Sep 2;237(9):2279-2295. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.

While several studies have examined attentional reserve (via event-related potentials) and mental effort (via EEG spectral content) from various cortical regions during dual-task walking, none have assessed changes in the magnitude of interregional (cortico-cortical) communication as a measure of mental workload. Therefore, by deploying a traditional montage of electrode sites centered over the motor planning region as well as a more comprehensive graph theory-based approach encompassing the entire scalp, this study aimed to systematically examine changes in the magnitude of functional connectivity underlying cortico-cortical communication to assess changes in mental workload under various levels of challenge. Specifically, the Weighted Phase Lag Index (WPLI) was computed to assess the changes in magnitude of functional connectivity as participants performed a cognitive task under two demands (low and high) and two conditions (seated and walking). The results revealed enhanced fronto-centro-temporo-parietal theta connectivity during dual-task walking relative to being seated as well as a reduced inhibition of fronto-centro-temporo-parieto-occipital alpha networking as the demand on the secondary cognitive task increased. Collectively, these findings may reflect greater recruitment of task relevant processes to respond to increased cognitive-motor demands and thus an elevation of mental workload in an effort to maintain performance under varying levels of challenge. This work has the potential to inform future mental workload assessment applications in patient populations, including those who employ prostheses during cognitive-motor performance under various task demands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-019-05550-xDOI Listing
September 2019

Effects of macronutrient manipulation on postprandial metabolic responses in overweight males with high fasting lipids during simulated shift work: A randomized crossover trial.

Clin Nutr 2020 02 15;39(2):369-377. Epub 2019 Feb 15.

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, 3168, Australia. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Meals consumed out of synchronisation with normal circadian rhythms are associated with metabolic dysregulation. Changes in macronutrient composition of meals can improve metabolic responses during the day. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether macronutrient manipulation of meals alters postprandial glucose and lipid responses and the expression of circadian genes during the night.

Methods: In a randomised crossover trial, 16 overweight males with high fasting lipids were fed isocaloric meals (2.7 MJ) at 0000 h. The meals differed primarily in total fat and total sugars content (control (8% total sugar, 5% saturated fat) vs test (16% total sugar, 26% saturated fat)). Postprandial blood samples were collected for glucose, insulin (3 h) and triglycerides (6 h) and analysed as incremental area under the curve (iAUC). RNA was extracted at 0 h, 2 h and 4 h and changes in expressions of the circadian genes clock and Per 1-3 analysed.

Results: Postprandial glucose (p = 0.04) and insulin iAUC (p = 0.02) were significantly higher after consumption of the test meal compared to the control meal. Postprandial triglyceride iAUC was not statistically different between the two meal types (p = 0.72). No change in circadian gene expression was observed after the two meals.

Conclusions: Our results showed that macronutrient composition affects postprandial metabolic response at night. It emphasizes the need to consider the role and effects of night time eating, when developing metabolic disease prevention strategies for shift workers.

Study Id Number: ACTRN12618001115224. WEBSITE OF TRIAL REGISTRY: http://www.anzctr.org.au/. Retrospectively registered after data collection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2019.02.018DOI Listing
February 2020

Biomechanical and neurocognitive performance outcomes of walking with transtibial limb loss while challenged by a concurrent task.

Exp Brain Res 2019 Feb 20;237(2):477-491. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.

Individuals who have sustained loss of a lower limb may require adaptations in sensorimotor and control systems to effectively utilize a prosthesis, and the interaction of these systems during walking is not clearly understood for this patient population. The aim of this study was to concurrently evaluate temporospatial gait mechanics and cortical dynamics in a population with and without unilateral transtibial limb loss (TT). Utilizing motion capture and electroencephalography, these outcomes were simultaneously collected while participants with and without TT completed a concurrent task of varying difficulty (low- and high-demand) while seated and walking. All participants demonstrated a wider base of support and more stable gait pattern when walking and completing the high-demand concurrent task. The cortical dynamics were similarly modulated by the task demand for both groups, to include a decrease in the novelty-P3 component and increase in the frontal theta/parietal alpha ratio power when completing the high-demand task, although specific differences were also observed. These findings confirm and extend prior efforts indicating that dual-task walking can negatively affect walking mechanics and/or neurocognitive performance. However, there may be limited additional cognitive and/or biomechanical impact of utilizing a prosthesis in a stable, protected environment in TT who have acclimated to ambulating with a prosthesis. These results highlight the need for future work to evaluate interactions between these cognitive-motor control systems for individuals with more proximal levels of lower limb loss, and in more challenging (ecologically valid) environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-018-5419-8DOI Listing
February 2019

Combined assessment of attentional reserve and cognitive-motor effort under various levels of challenge with a dry EEG system.

Psychophysiology 2018 06 9;55(6):e13059. Epub 2018 Feb 9.

Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.

A novel ERP approach was proposed to index variations in mental workload, particularly in attentional reserve, which is complementary to EEG spectral content thought to reflect mental effort. To our knowledge, no study has assessed mental effort and attentional reserve simultaneously in EEG gel-based and, importantly, dry systems, which are particularly well suited for real-world settings. Therefore, by systematically considering ERP, EEG spectral, and importantly the combination of both, this study examined if a small set of dry EEG electrodes could detect changes in both spectral and ERP metrics to assess the mental workload under various challenges with a similar fidelity to their gel-based counterparts in a laboratory setting. By employing both EEG gel-based and dry systems, the ERP and spectral markers were computed while participants executed a visuomotor task under three levels of challenge. For both EEG systems, more challenging levels of difficulty were associated with concomitant changes in ERP amplitude, and spectral power reflected a reduction of the attentional reserve and an increase in cognitive-motor effort, respectively. Those variations in attentional reserve and cognitive-motor effort collectively indexed mental workload with nearly identical fidelity for both gel-based and dry EEG systems. These findings promise to assess the mental workload in situations where the use of dry EEG systems could be advantageously employed to examine human cognitive-motor performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13059DOI Listing
June 2018

Measurement of attentional reserve and mental effort for cognitive workload assessment under various task demands during dual-task walking.

Biol Psychol 2018 04 31;134:39-51. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA; Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Robotics Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Previous work focused on cognitive workload assessment suggests EEG spectral content and component amplitudes of the event-related potential (ERP) waveform may index mental effort and attentional reserve, respectively. Although few studies have assessed attentional reserve and mental effort during upper-extremity performance, none have employed a combined approach to measure cognitive workload during locomotion. Therefore, by systematically considering ERPs, spectral content and importantly their combination, this study aimed to examine whether concurrent changes in spectral content and ERPs could collectively serve as an index of cognitive workload during locomotion. Specifically, ERP and EEG biomarkers were assessed as participants performed a cognitive task under two levels of difficulty (easy or hard) and two conditions (seated or walking). Changes in attentional reserve and mental effort appeared to collectively index cognitive workload under varying demands due to changes in task difficulty or performance conditions. This work can inform cognitive workload assessment in patient populations with gait deficiencies for future applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2018.01.009DOI Listing
April 2018

Salinity-induced calcium signaling and root adaptation in Arabidopsis require the calcium regulatory protein annexin1.

Plant Physiol 2013 Sep 25;163(1):253-62. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EA, United Kingdom.

Salinity (NaCl) stress impairs plant growth and inflicts severe crop losses. In roots, increasing extracellular NaCl causes Ca²⁺ influx to elevate cytosolic free Ca²⁺ ([Ca²⁺](cyt)) as a second messenger for adaptive signaling. Amplification of the signal involves plasma membrane reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase activation, with the resultant reactive oxygen species triggering Ca²⁺ influx. The genetic identities of the Ca²⁺-permeable channels involved in generating the [Ca²⁺](cyt) signal are unknown. Potential candidates in the model plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) include annexin1 (AtANN1). Here, luminescent detection of [Ca²⁺](cyt) showed that AtANN1 responds to high extracellular NaCl by mediating reactive oxygen species-activated Ca²⁺ influx across the plasma membrane of root epidermal protoplasts. Electrophysiological analysis revealed that root epidermal plasma membrane Ca²⁺ influx currents activated by NaCl are absent from the Atann1 loss-of-function mutant. Both adaptive signaling and salt-responsive production of secondary roots are impaired in the loss-of-function mutant, thus identifying AtANN1 as a key component of root cell adaptation to salinity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.113.217810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3762646PMC
September 2013

Illness perceptions, adjustment to illness, and depression in a palliative care population.

J Pain Symptom Manage 2012 May 30;43(5):819-32. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Context: Representations of illness have been studied in several populations, but research is limited in palliative care.

Objectives: To describe illness representations in a population with advanced disease receiving palliative care and to examine the relationship between illness perceptions, adaptive coping, and depression.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 301 consecutive eligible patients recruited from a palliative care service in south London, U.K. Measures used included the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Brief IPQ), the Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC) Scale, and the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire-9.

Results: Scores were not normally distributed for most questions on the Brief IPQ. The correlations found between items on the Brief IPQ were understandable in the context of advanced disease. MAC helplessness-hopelessness and fighting spirit were highly correlated with items on the Brief IPQ in opposite directions. The Brief IPQ domains of consequences, identity, concern, personal control, and emotion were associated with depression, a relationship that was not explained by adaptive coping. Seven causal attribution themes were identified: don't know, personal responsibility, exposure, pathological process, intrinsic personal factors, chance, fate or luck, and other. Both lung cancer diagnosis and gender were found to be independently associated with personal responsibility attribution. None of the attribution themes were associated with the presence of depression.

Conclusion: Assessment of illness perceptions in palliative care is likely to yield important information about risk of depression and will help clinicians to personalize management of advanced disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.05.013DOI Listing
May 2012

Exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide affects agrobiont predatory arthropod behaviour and long-term survival.

Ecotoxicology 2010 Oct 15;19(7):1249-57. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

Department of Zoology, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA.

Humans commonly apply chemicals to manage agroecosystems. If those chemicals influence the behaviour or survival of non-target arthropods, the food web could be altered in unintended ways. Glyphosate-based herbicides are among the most ubiquitous pesticides used around the world, yet little is known about if and how they might affect the success of terrestrial predatory arthropods in agroecosystems. In this study, we quantified the effects of a commercial formulation of a glyphosate-based herbicide on the activity of three predatory arthropod species that inhabit agricultural fields in the eastern United States. We also measured the survival of the most common species. We tested the reactions of the wolf spider, Pardosa milvina, to either direct application (topical) or contact with a treated substrate (residual). We quantified the reactions of a larger wolf spider, Hogna helluo, and a ground beetle, Scarites quadriceps, to a compound (topical plus residual) exposure. Pardosa milvina reduced locomotion time and distance under topical herbicide exposure, but increased speed and non-locomotory activity time on exposed substrate. Both H. helluo and S. quadriceps increased non-locomotory activity time under compound herbicide exposure. Over a period of 60 days post-exposure, residually exposed P. milvina exhibited lower survivorship compared to topically exposed and control groups. Thus, exposure of terrestrial arthropods to glyphosate-based herbicides affects their behaviour and long-term survival. These results suggest that herbicides can affect arthropod community dynamics separate from their impact on the plant community and may influence biological control in agroecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10646-010-0509-9DOI Listing
October 2010

Impact of cypermethrin on feeding behaviour and mortality of the spider Pardosa amentata in arenas with artificial 'vegetation'.

Pest Manag Sci 2006 Jan;62(1):64-8

Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK.

Pesticides can modify invertebrate movement and feeding behaviour which could reduce predation in agroecosystems. Previous assays have exposed the spider Pardosa amentata (Clerck) to the synthetic pyrethroid cypermethrin and monitored prey items consumed in small containers (requiring very little movement to capture prey). The current study used larger arenas containing artificial 'vegetation' (a plastic analogue) to encourage spiders to hunt and capture prey. The period 24 h after exposure produced greatest variability in prey item consumption between treatments and was used to examine treatment effects. At this time, cypermethrin reduced prey consumption rates but these effects did not persist. Findings did not suggest that the presence of artificial vegetation in arenas modified prey consumption rates, which was consistent for individuals treated with cypermethrin and a control group. This is despite the majority of pesticide-treated individuals exhibiting both ataxia and paralysis of the hind legs (these effects persisting for a maximum of 3 and 6 days respectively). These findings were consistent for both sexes. Spider longevity under starvation conditions was not significantly reduced by cypermethrin exposure but overall females survived longer than males. The findings are discussed in the context of the arenas used and the ecology of this common predator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ps.1136DOI Listing
January 2006
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