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Better diet could alleviate symptoms of depression finds study

first_imgThe study from Western Sydney University, looked at 16 clinical trials that analyzed 45,826 people who had modified their diets to alleviate their symptoms of depression and anxiety. The clinical trials were from a more than one nation including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy and the UK. Lead researcher Dr Joseph Firth from Western Sydney University said that the major change that their diets involved was reducing “junk food intake” and replacing high fat and high sugar foods with foods that are rich in nutrients and fibres such as fruits and vegetables. Dr Firth said, “We took a bit of a close look at the data and interestingly found there was no significant differences in the types of diets used… Weight loss diets were just as effective as nutrient boosting diets.” This means that no “extreme diets” are necessary for depression, he explained. What is needed is a change in the basics he said. Dr. Firth added that the study did not find a beneficial effect of diets on anxiety disorders and women with depression were found to benefit more with an altered diet than men.Related StoriesSome children are at greater risk of ongoing depression long after being bulliedNew structured approach to managing patients with depression in primary careStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskDr. Firth said that there have been studies showing that regular exercise can have a protective effect against depression. This is the first study to prove that a healthy diet can also play a role in reducing the symptoms of depression. He explained that an average Australian individual consumes around 19 servings of junk food per week and much less amount of the recommended fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are rich in nutrients and fibre.The authors emphasize that diet is not a replacement to tested and accepted treatments of depressive illness including medications and psychotherapy. However diets can be an additional remedy they said. They call for public health campaigns to emphasize upon healthy diet and its effects on the mental health. “Public health schemes are trying to improve people’s diets and looking at the physical health outcomes… and focusing on combating things like obesity… They should also pay attention to actual positive mental health outcomes that could occur and improve people’s diets on a large scale to fix people’s psychological well being,” Dr. Firth said.“Thus, depressive disorders incur considerable burden not only for individuals, but also for society due to the high economic cost from lost productivity and demand on healthcare services,” The authors write. Authors add that dietary interventions could be a “novel” approach to depression and conclude, “Future research is required to determine the specific components of dietary interventions that improve mental health, explore underlying mechanisms, and establish effective schemes for delivering these interventions in clinical and public health settings.”In 2017 and 2018, there has been a rise in depressive illness with at least one in five Australian experiencing a mental illness (13.1 per cent had anxiety and 10.4 per cent felt depressed). Women were more vulnerable than men, say reports. A healthy balanced diet. Image Credit: Syda Productions / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDFeb 5 2019It has been speculated earlier that a healthy diet can raise the mood and reduce symptoms of mild depression. A new study proves the cause and effect of healthy diet and improved symptoms of depression.The results of the new study titled, “The effects of dietary improvement on symptoms of depression and anxiety: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” was published this week in the latest issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.center_img Source:https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00006842-900000000-98656last_img read more

Videoondemand and the myth of endless choice

first_img Film industry eyes Internet future at Venice fest If you like independent, art-house films or other specialised movies, you may have heard of the Romanian comedy-drama Sieranevada, which was released in 2016. The film was formally premiered as part of the main competition programme of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently shown at other international film festivals, including Toronto, New York and London. Due to its success on the festival circuit, Sieranevada was reviewed by 48 international film critics, and received a positive rating from 92% of them. Among these were UK-based trade journals, such as Sight and Sound and Screen International as well as mainstream newspapers The Guardian and The Telegraph. But while this publicity generated audience interest in the film, it has yet to secure distribution that would allow UK audiences to actually watch the film – it’s not in cinemas, on DVD/Blu-ray, nor on online video-on-demand platforms (VOD).The development of VOD has provided new opportunities for films to reach audiences. In particular, specialised films with traditionally limited distribution opportunities have taken advantage of this development. But are online audiences presented with an endless choice? Not really. So why is this?The digital film revolutionIn the mid-2000s, digital utopians such as Chris Anderson were already arguing that an endless choice of specialised and niche content would become available to online audiences. And more than a decade later, it’s true that distribution opportunities have increased for such content in the online market. Film audiences are able to browse through catalogues on transactional VOD platforms such as Amazon Video, Microsoft and iTunes where they can find tens of thousands of films. Provided by The Conversation Why can’t we get everything?In the film business, sales companies have an important role to play in the process of enabling access for films because they negotiate distribution deals with a range of distributors in international markets. But if sales companies are unable to sell distribution rights, they retain control over the distribution and release of those films.The development of the online market, in this respect, has opened up opportunities for them to work directly with VOD platforms or with content aggregators, who work as intermediaries between rights holders and VOD platforms. Examples of such content aggregators include The Movie Partnership, Juice Worldwide and Gunpowder & Sky.For instance, the comedy-drama Dreamland (2016), directed by Robert Schwartzman, premiered in the US Narrative Competition of the Tribeca Film Festival. The US sales company FilmBuff (now named Gunpowder & Sky) acquired worldwide distribution rights. In the UK market, the film was not released in cinemas or on DVD or Blu-ray, but FilmBuff made it available in the online market through direct connections with Microsoft and iTunes rather than via a UK distributor.Despite such opportunities, sales companies do not always work with content aggregators or directly with VOD platforms to make specialised films available if they are not picked up by distributors. Making films available online requires organisational effort and a low-cost investment in digital formatting, but returns on investment can be very modest. That explains why some films remain inaccessible to audiences – as demonstrated for the UK market in the table below. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A selection of films released by distributors in the UK market. BFI weekend box office figures, IMDb, Amazon, Microsoft, iTunes, Author provided Endless choiceThe politics behind the process of providing access to specialised films ultimately affects producers and audiences. In the new digital economy of attention, producers demand wider distribution for their films, while audiences demand endless choice.This issue needs to be resolved. First, it needs to be addressed in film industry discussions between film producers and sales companies. In particular, sales companies should make a stronger commitment to making films available on transactional VOD platforms.Second, policymakers can intervene in the process of making specialised films available online. Public funding agencies, such as the British Film Institute (BFI) in the UK, provide substantial financial support for the production of specialised films. They can provide more distribution incentives to support cultural diversity in the online market for films in the UK. This would help to support greater cultural diversity, democratisation of access to films and enhancement of consumer choice. While cinema goers have always had limited options when it comes to the number of screens they can see their favourite art house movie on, the internet era was supposed to bring with it an endless choice. But what is becoming clear is that this utopian dream is still far from being realised. But there is still a significant proportion of films that remain inaccessible for audiences, even if – like Sieranevada – they have been selected for prestigious international film festivals.center_img This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Explore further Number of specialised films released in the UK market. BFI weekend box office figures, Amazon, Microsoft, iTunes, Author provided What is available?In an effort to identify the proportion of well-regarded specialised films that reach audiences in the UK market, I analysed a sample of 119 such films shown at prestigious European and US film festivals in 2016. My analysis in the graphic below confirms that the online market creates distribution opportunities for a greater number of films than the theatrical cinema and DVD/Blu-ray markets:88 specialised films (74%) were given an online release on Amazon, Microsoft or iTunes71 specialised films (60%) were given a DVD/Blu-ray release61 specialised films (51%) were given a theatrical cinema releaseBut while access to specialised films has increased, 26% of specialised films remain inaccessible for audiences on any format. That is a remarkably high percentage – given that it is relatively easy to secure online access for films. My analysis includes a sample of specialised films selected for some of the most prestigious festival programmes, but it is likely that online availability is more limited among specialised films selected for less prestigious competitions. So why can’t online audiences see any film they want? It’s to do with the way the industry works. Credit: Shutterstock Citation: Video-on-demand and the myth of ‘endless choice’ (2018, August 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-video-on-demand-myth-endless-choice.html Example of Amazon’s transactional VOD platform as of July 6, 2018 (Amazon’s catalogue includes 50,000 films). Credit: Amazon.co.uk, Author providedlast_img read more

Researchers use deep learning to build automatic speech recognition system to help

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A new research project at Rochester Institute of Technology will help ensure the endangered language of the Seneca Indian Nation will be preserved. Using deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence, RIT researchers are building an automatic speech recognition application to document and transcribe the traditional language of the Seneca people. The work is also intended to be a technological resource to preserve other rare or vanishing languages. “The motivation for this is personal. The first step in the preservation and revitalization of our language is documentation of it,” said Robert Jimerson (Seneca), a computing and information sciences doctoral student at RIT and member of the research team. He brought together tribal elders and close friends, all speakers of Seneca, to help produce audio and textual documentation of this Native American language spoken fluently by fewer than 50 individuals.Like all languages, Seneca has different dialects. It also presents unique challenges because of its complex system for building new words, in which a whole sentence can be expressed in a single word.Jimerson is able to bridge both the technology and the language.”Under the hood, it is data. With many Native languages, you don’t have that volume of data,” he said, explaining that some languages, while spoken, may not have as many formal linguistical tools—dictionaries, grammatical materials or extensive classes for non-native speakers, similar to those for Spanish or Chinese. “One of the most expensive and time-consuming processes of documenting language is collecting and transcribing it. We are looking at taking deep networks and maybe changing the architecture, making some synthetic data to create more data, but how do you make this work in deep learning? How do you augment data you already have?”That process of attaining data is being coordinated by a wide-ranging team that includes Jimerson; the project principal investigator Emily Prud’hommeaux, assistant professor of computer science at Boston College and research faculty in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts; Ray Ptucha, assistant professor of computer engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering and an expert in deep learning systems and technologies; and Karen Michaelson, professor of linguistics, the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research team was awarded $181, 682 in funding over four years from the National Science Foundation for “Collaborative Research: Deep learning speech recognition for document Seneca and other acutely under-resourced languages.” “This is an exciting project because it brings together people from so many disciplines and backgrounds, from engineering and computer science to linguistics and language pedagogy,” said Prud’hommeaux. “In addition to enabling us to develop cutting edge technology, this project supports undergraduate and graduate students and engages members of an indigenous community that few people know is right here in western New York.”The researchers started the project in late June, bringing together the community members and linguists for data collection—acquiring and translating current and new, original recordings of Seneca conversations then converting data into textual output using deep learning models.”What you are really trying to do is find that line between the new data you can get and the changing of the architecture of a network,” Jimerson explained.Since the summer, the team has just over 50 hours of recorded material with people working full time on the translations that include breaking down the language into individual phonetic symbols and using this information to begin training the models.”We use a process called transfer learning which starts with a model trained with readily available English speech to get the basic, initial training for the system, then we’ll re-train the neural networks and fine tune it toward the Seneca language. We’re getting very good results,” said Ptucha, who is an expert in deep learning systems and technologies. Deep learning technology consists of multiple layers of artificial neurons, organized in an increasingly abstract hierarchy. These architectures have produced state-of-the-art results on all types of pattern recognition problems including image and speech recognition applications.”No one has really tried this before, training an automated speech recognition model on something as resource-constrained as Seneca. Robbie is the expert in transcribing Seneca and training the others on how to do this. He’s a pretty rare guy, ” said Ptucha,This current project is a continuation of Jimerson’s work to expand the language resources available to his community. In 2013, while he was a graduate student in RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, he developed an online Seneca language translation dictionary for the Seneca Language Revitalization Program. The project was funded by the Seneca Nation and awarded to RIT’s Future Steward’s Program. Left to right, Ray Ptucha, computer engineering assistant professor, Robbie Jimerson, computer science doctoral student, both from RIT, and Emily Prud’hommeaux, assistant professor of computer science, are leading the NSF project to use artificial intelligence technology to preserve the Seneca language. Credit: A. Sue Weisler/RIT Using multi-task learning for low-latency speech translation Explore further Citation: Researchers use deep learning to build automatic speech recognition system to help preserve the Seneca language (2018, October 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-deep-automatic-speech-recognition-seneca.html Provided by Rochester Institute of Technologylast_img read more