International Science Index

1040
10011548
Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Reputation: A Bibliometric Analysis
Abstract:

Nowadays, Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) is becoming a buzz word, and more and more academics are putting efforts on CSR studies. It is believed that CSR could influence Corporate Reputation (CR), and they hold a favourable view that CSR leads to a positive CR. To be specific, the CSR related activities in the reputational context have been regarded as ways that associate to excellent financial performance, value creation, etc. Also, it is argued that CSR and CR are two sides of one coin; hence, to some extent, doing CSR is equal to establishing a good reputation. Still, there is no consensus of the CSR-CR relationship in the literature; thus, a systematic literature review is highly in need. This research conducts a systematic literature review with both bibliometric and content analysis. Data are selected from English language sources, and academic journal articles only, then, keyword combinations are applied to identify relevant sources. Data from Scopus and WoS are gathered for bibliometric analysis. Scopus search results were saved in RIS and CSV formats, and Web of Science (WoS) data were saved in TXT format and CSV formats in order to process data in the Bibexcel software for further analysis which later will be visualised by the software VOSviewer. Also, content analysis was applied to analyse the data clusters and the key articles. In terms of the topic of CSR-CR, this literature review with bibliometric analysis has made four achievements. First, this paper has developed a systematic study which quantitatively depicts the knowledge structure of CSR and CR by identifying terms closely related to CSR-CR (such as ‘corporate governance’) and clustering subtopics emerged in co-citation analysis. Second, content analysis is performed to acquire insight on the findings of bibliometric analysis in the discussion section. And it highlights some insightful implications for the future research agenda, for example, a psychological link between CSR-CR is identified from the result; also, emerging economies and qualitative research methods are new elements emerged in the CSR-CR big picture. Third, a multidisciplinary perspective presents through the whole bibliometric analysis mapping and co-word and co-citation analysis; hence, this work builds a structure of interdisciplinary perspective which potentially leads to an integrated conceptual framework in the future. Finally, Scopus and WoS are compared and contrasted in this paper; as a result, Scopus which has more depth and comprehensive data is suggested as a tool for future bibliometric analysis studies. Overall, this paper has fulfilled its initial purposes and contributed to the literature. To the author’s best knowledge, this paper conducted the first literature review of CSR-CR researches that applied both bibliometric analysis and content analysis; therefore, this paper achieves its methodological originality. And this dual approach brings advantages of carrying out a comprehensive and semantic exploration in the area of CSR-CR in a scientific and realistic method. Admittedly, its work might exist subjective bias in terms of search terms selection and paper selection; hence triangulation could reduce the subjective bias to some degree.

Paper Detail
65
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1039
10011492
The Greek Version of the Southampton Nostalgia Scale: Psychometric Properties in Young Adults and Associations with Life Satisfaction, Positive and Negative Emotions, Time Perspective and Wellbeing
Abstract:

Nostalgia is characterized as a mental state of human’s emotional longing for the past that activates both positive and negative emotions. The bittersweet emotions that are activated by nostalgia aid psychological functions to humans and are depended on the type of stimuli that evoke nostalgia but also on the nostalgia activation context. In general, despite that nostalgia can be activated and experienced by all people; however, it differs both in terms of nostalgia experience but also nostalgia frequency. As a matter of fact, nostalgia experience along with nostalgia frequency differs according to the level of the nostalgia proneness. People with high nostalgia proneness tend to experience nostalgia more intensely and frequently than people with low nostalgia proneness. Nostalgia proneness is considered as a basic individual difference that affects the experience of nostalgia, and it can be measured by the Southampton Nostalgia Scale (SNS); a psychometric instrument that measures human’s nostalgia proneness consisting of seven questions that assess a person’s attitude towards nostalgia, the degree of experience or tendency to nostalgic feelings and the nostalgia frequency. In the current study, we translated, validated and calibrated the SNS in Greek population (N = 267). For the calibration process, we used several scales relevant to positive dimensions, such as life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, time perspective and wellbeing. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed the factors that provide a good Southampton Nostalgia Proneness model fit for young adult Greek population.

Paper Detail
51
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1038
10011523
Automatic Product Identification Based on Deep-Learning Theory in an Assembly Line
Abstract:
Automated object recognition and identification systems are widely used throughout the world, particularly in assembly lines, where they perform quality control and automatic part selection tasks. This article presents the design and implementation of an object recognition system in an assembly line. The proposed shapes-color recognition system is based on deep learning theory in a specially designed convolutional network architecture. The used methodology involve stages such as: image capturing, color filtering, location of object mass centers, horizontal and vertical object boundaries, and object clipping. Once the objects are cut out, they are sent to a convolutional neural network, which automatically identifies the type of figure. The identification system works in real-time. The implementation was done on a Raspberry Pi 3 system and on a Jetson-Nano device. The proposal is used in an assembly course of bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. The results presented include studying the efficiency of the recognition and processing time.
Paper Detail
58
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1037
10011529
Reconsidering the Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction of the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka: A Zooarchaeological Perspective
Abstract:
Bones, teeth, and shells have been acknowledged over the last two centuries as evidence of chronology, Palaeo-environment, and human activity. Faunal traces are valid evidence of past situations because they have properties that have not changed over long periods. Sri Lanka has been known as an Island, which has a diverse variety of prehistoric occupation among ecological zones. Defining the Paleoecology of the past societies has been an archaeological thought developed in the 1960s. It is mainly concerned with the reconstruction from available geological and biological evidence of past biota, populations, communities, landscapes, environments, and ecosystems. This early and persistent human fossil, technical, and cultural florescence, as well as a collection of well-preserved tropical-forest rock shelters with associated 'on-site ' Palaeoenvironmental records, makes Sri Lanka a central and unusual case study to determine the extent and strength of early human tropical forest encounters. Excavations carried out in prehistoric caves in the low country wet zone has shown that in the last 50,000 years, the temperature in the lowland rainforests has not exceeded 5 degrees. Based on Semnopithecus Priam (Gray Langur) remains unearthed from wet zone prehistoric caves, it has been argued periods of momentous climate changes during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene boundary, with a recognizable preference for semi-open ‘Intermediate’ rainforest or edges. Continuous genus Acavus and Oligospira occupation along with uninterrupted horizontal pervasive of Canarium sp. (‘kekuna’ nut) have proven that temperatures in the lowland rain forests have not changed by at least 5 °C over the last 50,000 years. Site catchment or territorial analysis cannot be any longer defensible, due to time-distance based factors as well as optimal foraging theory failed as a consequence of prehistoric people were aware of the decrease in cost-benefit ratio and located sites, and generally played out a settlement strategy that minimized the ratio of energy expended to energy produced.
Paper Detail
60
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1036
10011428
Leveraging Hyperledger Iroha for the Issuance and Verification of Higher-Education Certificates
Abstract:

Higher Education is resisting the pull of technology, especially as this concerns the issuance and verification of degrees and certificates. It is widely known that education certificates are largely produced in paper form making them vulnerable to damage while holders of such certificates are dependent on the universities and other issuing organisations. QualiChain is an EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) research project aiming to transform and revolutionise the domain of public education and its ties with the job market by leveraging blockchain, analytics and decision support to develop a platform for the verification and sharing of education certificates. Blockchain plays an integral part in the QualiChain solution in providing a trustworthy environment to store, share and manage such accreditations. Under the context of this paper, three prominent blockchain platforms (Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha) were considered as a means of experimentation for creating a system with the basic functionalities that will be needed for trustworthy degree verification. The methodology and respective system developed and presented in this paper used Hyperledger Iroha and proved that this specific platform can be used to easily develop decentralize applications. Future papers will attempt to further experiment with other blockchain platforms and assess which has the best potential.

Paper Detail
74
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1035
10011451
Effect of Wavy Leading-Edges on Wings in Different Planetary Atmospheres
Abstract:

Today we are unmarking the secrets of the universe by exploring different stars and planets and most of the space exploration is done by unmanned space robots. In addition to our planet Earth, there are pieces of evidence that show other astronomical objects in our solar system such as Venus, Mars, Saturn’s moon Titan and Uranus support the flight of fixed wing air vehicles. In this paper, we take forward the concept of presence of large rounded tubercles along the leading edge of a wing and use it as a passive flow control device that will help in improving its aerodynamic performance and maneuverability. Furthermore, in this research, aerodynamic measurements and performance analysis of wavy leading tubercles on the fixed wings at 5-degree angle of attack are carried out after determination of the flow conditions on the selected planetary bodies. Wavelength and amplitude for the sinusoidal modifications on the leading edge are analyzed and simulations are carried out for three-dimensional NACA 0012 airfoil maintaining unity AR (Aspect Ratio). Tubercles have consistently demonstrated the ability to delay and decrease the severity of stall as per the studies were done in the Earth’s atmosphere. Implementing the same design on the leading edges of Micro-Air Vehicles (MAVs) and UAVs could make these aircrafts more stable over a greater range of angles of attack in different planetary environments of our solar system.

Paper Detail
77
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1034
10011467
Mapping the Digital Landscape: An Analysis of Party Differences between Conventional and Digital Policy Positions
Abstract:

Although digitization is a buzzword in almost every election campaign, the political parties leave voters largely in the dark about their specific positions on digital issues. In the run-up to the 2019 elections in Switzerland, the ‘Digitization Monitor’ project (DMP) was launched in order to change this situation. Within the framework of the DMP, all 4,736 candidates were surveyed about their digital policy positions and values. The DMP is designed as a digital policy supplement to the existing ‘smartvote’ voting advice application. This enabled a direct comparison of the digital policy attitudes according to the DMP with the topics of the ‘smartvote’ questionnaire which are comprehensive in content but mainly related to conventional policy areas. This paper’s main research goal is to analyze and visualize possible differences between conventional and digital policy areas in terms of response patterns between and within political parties. The analysis is based on dimensionality reduction methods (multidimensional scaling and principal component analysis) for the visualization of inter-party differences, and on standard deviation as a measure of variation for the evaluation of intra-party unity. The results reveal that digital issues show a lower degree of inter-party polarization compared to conventional policy areas. Thus, the parties have more common ground in issues on digitization than in conventional policy areas. In contrast, the study reveals a mixed picture regarding intra-party unity. Homogeneous parties show a lower degree of unity in digitization issues whereas parties with heterogeneous positions in conventional areas have more united positions in digital areas. All things considered, the findings are encouraging as less polarized conditions apply to the debate on digital development compared to conventional politics. For the future, it would be desirable if in further countries similar projects to the DMP could emerge to broaden the basis for conclusions.

Paper Detail
74
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1033
10011302
A Literature Review on the Effect of Industrial Clusters and the Absorptive Capacity on Innovation
Abstract:

In recent decades, the analysis of the effects of clustering as an essential factor for the development of innovations and the competitiveness of enterprises has raised great interest in different areas. Nowadays, companies have access to almost all tangible and intangible resources located and/or developed in any country in the world. However, despite the obvious advantages that this situation entails for companies, their geographical location has shown itself, increasingly clearly, to be a fundamental factor that positively influences their innovative performance and competitiveness. Industrial clusters could represent a unique level of analysis, positioned between the individual company and the industry, which makes them an ideal unit of analysis to determine the effects derived from company membership of a cluster. Also, the absorptive capacity (hereinafter 'AC') can mediate the process of innovation development by companies located in a cluster. The transformation and exploitation of knowledge could have a mediating effect between knowledge acquisition and innovative performance. The main objective of this work is to determine the key factors that affect the degree of generation and use of knowledge from the environment by companies and, consequently, their innovative performance and competitiveness. The elements analyzed are the companies' membership of a cluster and the AC. To this end, 30 most relevant papers published on this subject in the "Web of Science" database have been reviewed. Our findings show that, within a cluster, the knowledge coming from the companies' environment can significantly influence their innovative performance and competitiveness, although in this relationship, the degree of access and exploitation of the companies to this knowledge plays a fundamental role, which depends on a series of elements both internal and external to the company.

Paper Detail
158
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1032
10011306
Intercultural Competence among Jewish and Arab Students Studying Together in an Academic Institution in Israel
Authors:
Abstract:

Since the establishment of the state of Israel, and as a result of various events that led to it, Jewish citizens and Arab citizens of the state have been in constant conflict, which finds its expression in most levels of life. Therefore, the attitude of one group member to the other group members is mostly tense, loaded, and saturated with mutual suspicion. Within this reality, in many higher education institutions in Israel, Jews and Arabs meet with each other intensively and for several years. For some students, this is their first opportunity for a meaningful cross-cultural encounter. These intercultural encounters, which allow positive interactions between members of different cultural groups, may contribute to the formation of "intercultural competence" which means long-term change in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior towards 'the other culture'. The current study examined the concept of the ‘other’ among Jewish and Arab students studying together and their "intercultural competence". The study also examined whether there is a difference in the perception of the ‘other’ between students studying in different academic programs, and between students taking academic courses on multiculturalism. This quantitative study was conducted among 274 Arab and Jewish students studying together, for bachelors or master's degree, in various academic programs at the Israel Academic College of Ramat-Gan. The background data of the participants are varied, in terms of religion, origin, religiosity, employment status, living area, and marital status. The main hypothesis is that academic, social, and intercultural encounters between Jewish and Arab students, who attend college together, will be a significant factor in building "intercultural competence". Additionally, the existence of "intercultural competence" has been linked to demographic characteristics of the students, as well as the nature of intercultural encounters between Jews and Arabs in a higher education institution. The dependent variables were measured by a self-report questionnaire, using the components of '"intercultural competence"' among students, which are: 1. Cognitive knowledge of the ‘others’, 2. Feelings towards the ‘others’, 3. Change in attitudes towards the 'others', and 4. Change in behavior towards the ‘others’. The findings indicate a higher "intercultural competence" among Arab students than Jews; it was also found higher level of "intercultural competence" among Educational Counseling students than the other respondents. The importance of this research lies in finding the means to develop "intercultural competence" among Jewish and Arab students, which may reduce prejudice and stereotypes towards the other culture and may even prevent occurrences of alienation and violence in cross-cultural encounters in Israel.

Paper Detail
84
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1031
10011333
Assessing the Impact of Underground Cavities on Buildings with Stepped Foundations on Sloping Lands
Abstract:

The use of sloping lands is increasing due to the reduction of suitable lands for the construction of buildings. In the design and construction of buildings on sloping lands, the foundation has special loading conditions that require the designer and executor to use the slopped foundation. The creation of underground cavities, including urban and subway tunnels, sewers, urban facilities, etc., inside the ground, causes the behavior of the foundation to be unknown. In the present study, using Abacus software, a 45-degree stepped foundation on the ground is designed. The foundations are placed on the ground in a cohesive (no-hole) manner with circular cavities that show the effect of increasing the cross-sectional area of ​​the underground cavities on the foundation's performance. The Kobe earthquake struck the foundation and ground for two seconds. The underground cavities have a circular cross-sectional area with a radius of 5 m, which is located at a depth of 22.54 m above the ground. The results showed that as the number of underground cavities increased, von Mises stress (in the vertical direction) increased. With the increase in the number of underground cavities, the plastic strain on the ground has increased. Also, with the increase in the number of underground cavities, the change in location and speed in the foundation has increased.

Paper Detail
93
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1030
10011339
Thermal Securing of Electrical Contacts inside Oil Power Transformers
Authors:
Abstract:

In the operation of power transformers of 110 kV/MV from substations, these are traveled by fault current resulting from MV line damage. Defect electrical contacts are heated when they are travelled from fault currents. In the case of high temperatures when 135 °C is reached, the electrical insulating oil in the vicinity of the electrical faults comes into contact with these contacts releases gases, and activates the electrical protection. To avoid auto-flammability of electro-insulating oil, we designed a security system thermal of electrical contact defects by pouring fire-resistant polyurethane foam, mastic or mortar fire inside a cardboard electro-insulating cylinder. From practical experience, in the exploitation of power transformers of 110 kV/MT in oil electro-insulating were recorded some passing disconnecting commanded by the gas protection at internal defects. In normal operation and in the optimal load, nominal currents do not require thermal secure contacts inside electrical transformers, contacts are made at the fabrication according to the projects or to repair by solder. In the case of external short circuits close to the substation, the contacts inside electrical transformers, even if they are well made in sizes of Rcontact = 10‑6 Ω, are subjected to short-circuit currents of the order of 10 kA-20 kA which lead to the dissipation of some significant second-order electric powers, 100 W-400 W, on contact. At some internal or external factors which action on electrical contacts, including electrodynamic efforts at short-circuits, these factors could be degraded over time to values in the range of 10-4 Ω to 10-5 Ω and if the action time of protection is great, on the order of seconds, power dissipation on electrical contacts achieve high values of 1,0 kW to 40,0 kW. This power leads to strong local heating, hundreds of degrees Celsius and can initiate self-ignition and burning oil in the vicinity of electro-insulating contacts with action the gas relay. Degradation of electrical contacts inside power transformers may not be limited for the duration of their operation. In order to avoid oil burn with gas release near electrical contacts, at short-circuit currents 10 kA-20 kA, we have outlined the following solutions: covering electrical contacts in fireproof materials that would avoid direct burn oil at short circuit and transmission of heat from electrical contact along the conductors with heat dissipation gradually over time, in a large volume of cooling. Flame retardant materials are: polyurethane foam, mastic, cement (concrete). In the normal condition of operation of transformer, insulating of conductors coils is with paper and insulating oil. Ignition points of its two components respectively are approximated: 135 °C heat for oil and 200 0C for paper. In the case of a faulty electrical contact, about 10-3 Ω, at short-circuit; the temperature can reach for a short time, a value of 300 °C-400 °C, which ignite the paper and also the oil. By burning oil, there are local gases that disconnect the power transformer. Securing thermal electrical contacts inside the transformer, in cardboard tube with polyurethane foams, mastik or cement, ensures avoiding gas release and also gas protection working.

Paper Detail
138
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1029
10011257
Eco-Design of Multifunctional System Based on a Shape Memory Polymer and ZnO Nanoparticles for Sportswear
Abstract:

Since the beginning of the 20th century, sportswear has a major contribution to the impact of fashion on our lives. Nowadays, the embracing of sportswear fashion/looks is undoubtedly noticeable, as the modern consumer searches for high comfort and linear aesthetics for its clothes. This compromise lead to the arise of the athleisure trend. Athleisure surges as a new style area that combines both wearability and fashion sense, differentiated from the archetypal sportswear, usually associated to “gym clothes”. Additionally, the possibility to functionalize and implement new technologies have shifted and progressively empowers the connection between the concepts of physical activities practice and well-being, allowing clothing to be more interactive and responsive with its surroundings. In this study, a design inspired in retro and urban lifestyle was envisioned, engineering textile structures that can respond to external stimuli. These structures are enhanced to be responsive to heat, water vapor and humidity, integrating shape memory polymers (SMP) to improve the breathability and heat-responsive behavior of the textiles and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) to heighten the surface hydrophobic properties. The best results for hydrophobic exhibited superhydrophobic behavior with water contact angle (WAC) of more than 150 degrees. For the breathability and heat-response properties, SMP-coated samples showed an increase in water vapour permeability values of about 50% when compared with non SMP-coated samples. These innovative technological approaches were endorsed to design innovative clothing, in line with circular economy and eco-design principles, by assigning a substantial degree of mutability and versatility to the clothing. The development of a coat and shirt, in which different parts can be purchased separately to create multiple products, aims to combine the technicality of both the fabrics used and the making of the garments. This concept translates itself into a real constructive mechanism through the symbiosis of high-tech functionalities and the timeless design that follows the athleisure aesthetics.

Paper Detail
193
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1028
10011092
The Evaluation of Complete Blood Cell Count-Based Inflammatory Markers in Pediatric Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity is defined as a severe chronic disease characterized by a low-grade inflammatory state. Therefore, inflammatory markers gained utmost importance during the evaluation of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS), a disease characterized by central obesity, elevated blood pressure, increased fasting blood glucose and elevated triglycerides or reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) values. Some inflammatory markers based upon complete blood cell count (CBC) are available. In this study, it was questioned which inflammatory marker was the best to evaluate the differences between various obesity groups. 514 pediatric individuals were recruited. 132 children with MetS, 155 morbid obese (MO), 90 obese (OB), 38 overweight (OW) and 99 children with normal BMI (N-BMI) were included into the scope of this study. Obesity groups were constituted using age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization. MetS components were determined to be able to specify children with MetS. CBC were determined using automated hematology analyzer. HDL-C analysis was performed. Using CBC parameters and HDL-C values, ratio markers of inflammation, which cover neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (dNLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), monocyte-to-HDL-C ratio (MHR) were calculated. Statistical analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was considered as p < 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference among the groups in terms of platelet count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, monocyte count, and NLR. PLR differed significantly between OW and N-BMI as well as MetS. Monocyte-to HDL-C value exhibited statistical significance between MetS and N-BMI, OB, and MO groups. HDL-C value differed between MetS and N-BMI, OW, OB, MO groups. MHR was the ratio, which exhibits the best performance among the other CBC-based inflammatory markers. On the other hand, when MHR was compared to HDL-C only, it was suggested that HDL-C has given much more valuable information. Therefore, this parameter still keeps its value from the diagnostic point of view. Our results suggest that MHR can be an inflammatory marker during the evaluation of pediatric MetS, but the predictive value of this parameter was not superior to HDL-C during the evaluation of obesity.

Paper Detail
216
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1027
10011134
Cultural Effects on the Performance of Non- Profit and For-Profit Microfinance Institutions
Abstract:
Using a large dataset of more than 2,400 individual microfinance institutions (MFIs) from 120 countries from 1999 to 2016, this study finds that nearly half of the international MFIs operate as for-profit institutions. Formal institutions (business regulatory environment, property rights, social protection, and a developed financial sector) impact the likelihood of MFIs being for-profit across countries. Cultural differences across countries (power distance, individualism, masculinity, and indulgence) seem to be a factor in the legal status of the MFI (non-profit or for-profit). MFIs in countries with stronger formal institutions, a greater degree of power distance, and a higher degree of collectivism experience better financial and social performance.
Paper Detail
282
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1026
10011040
The Effect of Symmetry on the Perception of Happiness and Boredom in Design Products
Abstract:

The present research investigates the effect of symmetry on the perception of happiness and boredom in design products. Three experiments were carried out in order to verify the degree of the visual expressive value on different models of bookcases, wall clocks, and chairs. 60 participants directly indicated the degree of happiness and boredom using 7-point rating scales. The findings show that the participants acknowledged a different value of expressive quality in the different product models. Results show also that symmetry is not a significant constraint for an emotional design project.

Paper Detail
260
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1025
10011049
Establishment of Kinetic Zone Diagrams via Simulated Linear Sweep Voltammograms for Soluble-Insoluble Systems
Abstract:

Due to the need for a rigorous mathematical model that can help to estimate kinetic properties for soluble-insoluble systems, through voltammetric experiments, a Nicholson Semi Analytical Approach was used in this work for modeling and prediction of theoretical linear sweep voltammetry responses for reversible, quasi reversible or irreversible electron transfer reactions. The redox system of interest is a one-step metal electrodeposition process. A rigorous analysis of simulated linear scan voltammetric responses following variation of dimensionless factors, the rate constant and charge transfer coefficients in a broad range was studied and presented in the form of the so called kinetic zones diagrams. These kinetic diagrams were divided into three kinetics zones. Interpreting these zones leads to empirical mathematical models which can allow the experimenter to determine electrodeposition reactions kinetics whatever the degree of reversibility. The validity of the obtained results was tested and an excellent experiment–theory agreement has been showed.

Paper Detail
227
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1024
10011050
Effective Charge Coupling in Low Dimensional Doped Quantum Antiferromagnets
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The interaction between the charge degrees of freedom for itinerant antiferromagnets is investigated in terms of generalized charge stiffness constant corresponding to nearest neighbour t-J model and t1-t2-t3-J model. The low dimensional hole doped antiferromagnets are the well known systems that can be described by the t-J-like models. Accordingly, we have used these models to investigate the fermionic pairing possibilities and the coupling between the itinerant charge degrees of freedom. A detailed comparison between spin and charge couplings highlights that the charge and spin couplings show very similar behaviour in the over-doped region, whereas, they show completely different trends in the lower doping regimes. Moreover, a qualitative equivalence between generalized charge stiffness and effective Coulomb interaction is also established based on the comparisons with other theoretical and experimental results. Thus it is obvious that the enhanced possibility of fermionic pairing is inherent in the reduction of Coulomb repulsion with increase in doping concentration. However, the increased possibility can not give rise to pairing without the presence of any other pair producing mechanism outside the t-J model. Therefore, one can conclude that the t-J-like models themselves solely are not capable of producing conventional momentum-based superconducting pairing on their own.
Paper Detail
188
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1023
10011057
Kinetic Parameter Estimation from Thermogravimetry and Microscale Combustion Calorimetry
Abstract:

Flammability analysis of extruded polystyrene (XPS) has become crucial due to its utilization as insulation material for energy efficient buildings. Using the Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa methods, the degradation kinetics of two pure XPS from the local market, red and grey ones, were obtained from the results of thermogravity analysis (TG) and microscale combustion calorimetry (MCC) experiments performed under the same heating rates. From the experiments, it was discovered that red XPS released more heat than grey XPS and both materials showed two mass loss stages. Consequently, the kinetic parameters for red XPS were higher than grey XPS. A comparative evaluation of activation energies from MCC and TG showed an insignificant degree of deviation signifying an equivalent apparent activation energy from both methods. However, different activation energy profiles as a result of the different chemical pathways were presented when the dependencies of the activation energies on extent of conversion for TG and MCC were compared.

Paper Detail
248
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1022
10011060
Association of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor with Iron as well as Vitamin D, Folate and Cobalamin in Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

The impact of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on cognition and functions of the brain is being investigated. Iron deficiency and deficiencies of B9 (folate) as well as B12 (cobalamin) vitamins are best-known nutritional anemias. They are associated with cognitive disorders and learning difficulties. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D are known and the deficiency state affects mental functions negatively. The aim of this study is to investigate possible correlations of MetS with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), iron, folate, cobalamin and vitamin D in pediatric patients. 30 children, whose age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles vary between 85 and 15, 60 morbid obese children with above 99th percentiles constituted the study population. Anthropometric measurements were taken. BMI values were calculated. Age- and sex-dependent BMI percentile values were obtained using the appropriate tables prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity classification was performed according to WHO criteria. Those with MetS were evaluated according to MetS criteria. Serum BDNF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum folate was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Serum cobalamin concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin D status was determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high performance liquid chromatography. Statistical evaluations were performed using SPSS for Windows, version 16. The p values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Although statistically insignificant, lower folate and cobalamin values were found in MO children compared to those observed for children with normal BMI. For iron and BDNF values, no alterations were detected among the groups. Significantly decreased vitamin D concentrations were noted in MO children with MetS in comparison with those in children with normal BMI (p ≤ 0.05). The positive correlation observed between iron and BDNF in normal-BMI group was not found in two MO groups. In THE MetS group, the partial correlation among iron, BDNF, folate, cobalamin, vitamin D controlling for waist circumference and BMI was r = -0.501; p ≤ 0.05. None was calculated in MO and normal BMI groups. In conclusion, vitamin D should also be considered during the assessment of pediatric MetS. Waist circumference and BMI should collectively be evaluated during the evaluation of MetS in children. Within this context, BDNF appears to be a key biochemical parameter during the examination of obesity degree in terms of mental functions, cognition and learning capacity. The association observed between iron and BDNF in children with normal BMI was not detected in MO groups possibly due to development of inflammation and other obesity-related pathologies. It was suggested that this finding may contribute to mental function impairments commonly observed among obese children.

Paper Detail
240
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1021
10011061
Associations between Surrogate Insulin Resistance Indices and the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Children
Abstract:

A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.

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237
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10011064
Assessment of Obesity Parameters in Terms of Metabolic Age above and below Chronological Age in Adults
Abstract:

Chronologic age (CA) of individuals is closely related to obesity and generally affects the magnitude of obesity parameters. On the other hand, close association between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic age (MA) is also a matter of concern. It is suggested that MA higher than CA is the indicator of the need to improve the metabolic rate. In this study, the aim was to assess some commonly used obesity parameters, such as obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR, BMR-to-weight ratio, in several groups with varying differences between MA and CA values. The study comprises adults, whose ages vary between 18 and 79 years. Four groups were constituted. Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were composed of 55, 33, 76 and 47 adults, respectively. The individuals exhibiting -1, 0 and +1 for their MA-CA values were involved in Group 1, which was considered as the control group. Those, whose MA-CA values varying between -5 and -10 participated in Group 2. Those, whose MAs above their real ages were divided into two groups [Group 3 (MA-CA; from +5 to + 10) and Group 4 (MA-CA; from +11 to + 12)]. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to obtain values for obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR and BMR-to-weight ratio. The compiled data were evaluated statistically using a statistical package program; SPSS. Mean ± SD values were determined. Correlation analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The increase in BMR was positively correlated with obesity degree. MAs and CAs of the groups were 39.9 ± 16.8 vs 39.9 ± 16.7 years for Group 1, 45.0 ± 15.3 vs 51.4 ± 15.7 years for Group 2, 47.2 ± 12.7 vs 40.0 ± 12.7 years for Group 3, and 53.6 ± 14.8 vs 42 ± 14.8 years for Group 4. BMI values of the groups were 24.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2, 23.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 30.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2, and 40.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2 for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Values obtained for BMR were 1599 ± 328 kcal in Group 1, 1463 ± 198 kcal in Group 2, 1652 ± 350 kcal in Group 3, and 1890 ± 360 kcal in Group 4. A correlation was observed between BMR and MA-CA values in Group 1. No correlation was detected in other groups. On the other hand, statistically significant correlations between MA-CA values and obesity degree, BMI as well as BMR/weight were found in Group 3 and in Group 4. It was concluded that upon consideration of these findings in terms of MA-CA values, BMR-to-weight ratio was found to be much more useful indicator of the severe increase in obesity development than BMR. Also, the lack of associations between MA and BMR as well as BMR-to-weight ratio emphasize the importance of consideration of MA-CA values rather than MA.

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301
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10010978
An Evaluation of a Psychotherapeutic Service for Engineering Students: The Role of Race, Gender and Language
Authors:
Abstract:
Mental health in higher education has received increasing attention over the past few decades. The high academic demands of the engineering degree, coupled with students’ mental health challenges, have led to higher education institutions offering psychotherapeutic services to students. This paper discusses an evaluation of the psychotherapy service at the University of Cape Town. The aim was to determine (i) the efficacy of the service; and (ii) the impact of race, gender, and language of the therapist on the students’ therapeutic process. An online survey was sent to 109 students who attended psychotherapy. The majority expressed favorable experiences of psychotherapy, with reports of increased capacity to engage with their academic work. Most students did not experience the gender, race, or language of the psychologists to be barriers to their therapy. The findings point to a need for ongoing psychological support for students.
Paper Detail
373
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10010999
Impact of Welding Wire Nickel Plating Process Parameters on Ni Layer Thickness
Abstract:

The article presents part of research on the development of nickel plated welding wire production technology, whose application will enable the elimination of the flaws of currently manufactured welding wires. The nickel plated welding wire will be distinguished by high quality, because the Ni layer which is deposited electrochemically onto it from acid baths is characterized by very good adhesion to the steel wire surface, while the ductile nickel well deforms plastically in the drawing process and the adhesion of the Ni layer increases in the drawing process due to the occurring process of diffusion between the Ni and the steel. The Ni layer obtained in the proposed technology, despite a smaller thickness than when the wire is coated with copper, is continuous and tight, thus ensuring high corrosion resistance, as well as unsusceptible to scaling, which should provide a product that meets requirements imposed by the market. The product will also reduce, to some extent, the amount of copper brought in to steel through recycling, while the wire coating nickel introduced to the weld in the welding process is expected, to a degree, to favorably influence its mechanical properties. The paper describes the tests of the process of nickel plating of f1.96 mm-diameter wires using various nickel plating baths with different process parameters.

Paper Detail
196
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10010957
Identification of Training Topics for the Improvement of the Relevant Cognitive Skills of Technical Operators in the Railway Domain
Abstract:

Technical operators in the railway domain are experts responsible for the supervisory control of the railway power grid as well as of the railway tunnels. The technical systems used to master these demanding tasks are constantly increasing in their degree of automation. It becomes therefore difficult for technical operators to maintain the control over the technical systems and the processes of their job. In particular, the operators must have the necessary experience and knowledge in dealing with a malfunction situation or unexpected event. For this reason, it is of growing importance that the skills relevant for the execution of the job are maintained and further developed beyond the basic training they receive, where they are educated in respect of technical knowledge and the work with guidelines. Training methods aimed at improving the cognitive skills needed by technical operators are still missing and must be developed. Goals of the present study were to identify which are the relevant cognitive skills of technical operators in the railway domain and to define which topics should be addressed by the training of these skills. Observational interviews were conducted in order to identify the main tasks and the organization of the work of technical operators as well as the technical systems used for the execution of their job. Based on this analysis, the most demanding tasks of technical operators could be identified and described. The cognitive skills involved in the execution of these tasks are those, which need to be trained. In order to identify and analyze these cognitive skills a cognitive task analysis (CTA) was developed. CTA specifically aims at identifying the cognitive skills that employees implement when performing their own tasks. The identified cognitive skills of technical operators were summarized and grouped in training topics. For every training topic, specific goals were defined. The goals regard the three main categories; knowledge, skills and attitude to be trained in every training topic. Based on the results of this study, it is possible to develop specific training methods to train the relevant cognitive skills of the technical operators.

Paper Detail
198
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10010962
Several Spectrally Non-Arbitrary Ray Patterns of Order 4
Abstract:

A matrix is called a ray pattern matrix if its entries are either 0 or a ray in complex plane which originates from 0. A ray pattern A of order n is called spectrally arbitrary if the complex matrices in the ray pattern class of A give rise to all possible nth degree complex polynomial. Otherwise, it is said to be spectrally non-arbitrary ray pattern. We call that a spectrally arbitrary ray pattern A of order n is minimally spectrally arbitrary if any nonzero entry of A is replaced, then A is not spectrally arbitrary. In this paper, we find that is not spectrally arbitrary when n equals to 4 for any θ which is greater than or equal to 0 and less than or equal to n. In this article, we give several ray patterns A(θ) of order n that are not spectrally arbitrary for some θ which is greater than or equal to 0 and less than or equal to n. by using the nilpotent-Jacobi method. One example is given in our paper.

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161
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A Study to Assess the Employment Ambitions of Graduating Students from College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Abstract:

Introduction: Students make plans for their career and are keen in exploring options of employment in those carriers. They make their employment choice based on their desires and preferences. This study aims to identify if students of King Saud Bin Abdulaziz for Health Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences after obtaining appropriate education prefer to work as clinicians, university faculty, or full-time researchers. There are limited studies in Saudi Arabia exploring the university student’s employment choices and preferences. This study would help employers to build the required job positions and prevent misleading employers from opening undesired positions in the job market. Methodology: The study included 394 students from third and fourth years both male and female among the eighth programs of college of applied medical sciences, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), Riyadh campus. A prospective quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted; data were collected by distributing a seven item questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS. Results: Among the participants, 358 (90.9%) of them chose one of the three listed career choices, 263 (66.8%) decided to work as hospital staff after their education, 75 students (19.0%) chose to work as a faculty member in a university after obtaining appropriate degree, 20 students (5.1%) preferred to work as full-time researcher after obtaining appropriate degree, the remaining 36 students (9.1%) had different career goals, such as obtaining a master degree after graduating, to obtain a bachelor of medicine and bachelor in surgery degree, and working in the private sector. The most recurrent reason behind the participants' choice was "career goal", where 276 (70.1%) chose it as a reason. Conclusion: The findings of the study showed that most student’s preferred to work in hospitals as clinicians, followed by choice of working as a faculty in a university, the least choice was to be working as full-time researchers.

Paper Detail
279
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10010857
A Design of Anisotropic Wet Etching System to Reduce Hillocks on Etched Surface of Silicon Substrate
Abstract:

This research aims to design and build a wet etching system, which is suitable for anisotropic wet etching, in order to reduce etching time, to reduce hillocks on the etched surface (to reduce roughness), and to create a 45-degree wall angle (micro-mirror). This study would start by designing a wet etching system. There are four main components in this system: an ultrasonic cleaning, a condenser, a motor and a substrate holder. After that, an ultrasonic machine was modified by applying a condenser to maintain the consistency of the solution concentration during the etching process and installing a motor for improving the roughness. This effect on the etch rate and the roughness showed that the etch rate increased and the roughness was reduced.

Paper Detail
186
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10010859
The Role of Satisfaction on Performance among Afe Babalola University Team Sports
Authors:
Abstract:

Viability and competency during competition is the dream of every team sports so as to have a good result. But it seems factors abound which deter the performance of even a good sports team. Different individuals with different state of mind all come together to perform in team sports with different degree of satisfaction. This study investigated the role of satisfaction on performance among Afe Babalola University team sports. Descriptive survey research design was used and the population consists of all male and female athletes in the team sports that participated in the last 2019 Ekiti State Higher Institution games (ESHIGA). Total enumeration technique was used for the three team sports; football (44), basketball (24) and volleyball (24). A total of 92 participants were involved in the research. The instrument used for the study was a modified Athlete Satisfaction Scale (ASS). The questionnaire was divided into two sections. The Cronbach’s Alpha reliability coefficient of 0.71 was obtained. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 significant levels. The completed questionnaire was collated, coded, and analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentage and inferential statistics of chi-square (X2). Findings of this study revealed that satisfaction significantly influences team sports performance among Athletes of Afe Babalola University. The responsibility of satisfying athlete lies on the coaches, fans, sports administrators as well as organizers of such event, as it is not only financial reward that gives satisfaction. The performance of a team sports is quiet important and its being determined by the degree of satisfaction of each individual that make up the team. All effort must be made to satisfy athlete in order to guarantee optimum performance.

Paper Detail
207
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10010872
Demographic and Socio-Economic Study of the Elderly Population in Kolkata, India
Abstract:

Kolkata, the City of Joy, is a greying metropolis not only in respect of its concrete jungle but also because of the largest population of 60-plus residents that it shelters among all other cities in India. Declining birth and death rates and a negative growth of population indicate that the city has reached the last stage of demographic transition. Thus, the obvious consequence has been the ageing of its population. With this background, the present paper attempts to study the demographic and socio-economic status of the elderly population in Kolkata. Analysis and findings have been based on secondary data obtained from Census of India of various years, Sample Registration System Reports and reports by HelpAge India. Findings show that the elderly population is increasing continuously. With respect to gender, the male elderly outnumbers the female elderly population. The percentage of households having one elderly member is more in the city due to the emergence of the nuclear families and erosion of joint family system. With respect to socio-economic status, those elderly who are the heads of the family are lower in percentages than those in the other age groups. Also, male elderly as head of the family are greater in percentage than female elderly. Elderly in the category of currently married records the highest percentage followed by widowed, never married and lastly, separated or divorced. Male elderly outnumber the female elderly as currently married, while female elderly outnumbers the male elderly in the category of widowed. In terms of living status, the percentage of elderly who are living alone is highest in Kolkata and the reason for staying alone as no support from children also happens to be highest in this city. The literacy rate and higher level of education is higher among the male than female elderly. Higher percentages of female elderly have been found to be with disability. Disability in movement and multiple disabilities have been found to be more common among the elderly population in Kolkata. Percentages of male literate pensioners are highest than other categories. Also, in terms of levels of education male elderly who are graduate and above other than technical degree are the highest receivers of pension. Also, in terms of working status, elderly as non-workers are higher in percentages with the population of elderly females outnumbering the males. The old age dependency ratio in the city is increasing continuously and the ratio is higher among females than male. Thus, it can be stated that Kolkata is witnessing continuous and rapid ageing of its population. Increasing dependency ratio is likely to create pressure on the working population, available civic, social and health amenities. This requires intervention in the form of planning, formulation and implementation of laws, policies, programs and measures to safeguard and improve the conditions of the elderly in Kolkata.

Paper Detail
208
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10010908
Development of Moving Multifocal Electroretinogram with a Precise Perimetry Apparatus
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Abstract:

A decline in visual sensitivity at arbitrary points on the retina can be measured using a precise perimetry apparatus along with a fundus camera. However, the retinal layer associated with this decline cannot be identified accurately with current medical technology. To investigate cryptogenic diseases, such as macular dystrophy, acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR), and multiple evanescent white dot syndrome (MEWDS), we evaluated an electroretinogram (ERG) function that allows moving the center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array to a chosen position. Macular dystrophy is a generalized term used for a variety of functional disorders of the macula lutea, and the ERG shows a diminution of the b-wave in these disorders. AZOOR causes an acute functional disorder to an outer layer of the retina, and the ERG shows a-wave and b-wave amplitude reduction as well as delayed 30 Hz flicker responses. MEWDS causes acute visual loss and the ERG shows a decrease in a-wave amplitude. We combined an electroretinographic optical system and a perimetric optical system into an experimental apparatus that has the same optical system as that of a fundus camera. We also deployed an EO-50231 Edmund infrared camera, a 45-degree cold mirror, a lens with a 25-mm focal length, a halogen lamp, and an 8-inch monitor. Then, we also employed a differential amplifier with gain 10, a 50 Hz notch filter, a high-pass filter with a 21.2 Hz cut-off frequency, and two non-inverting amplifiers with gains 1001 and 11. In addition, we used a USB-6216 National Instruments I/O device, a NE-113A Nihon Kohden plate electrode, a SCB-68A shielded connector block, and LabVIEW 2017 software for data retrieval. The software was used to generate the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array on the computer monitor with C++Builder 10.2 and to move the center of the array toward the left and right and up and down. Cone and bright flash ERG results were observed using the moving ERG function. The a-wave, b-wave, c-wave, and the photopic negative response were identified with cone ERG. The moving ERG function allowed the identification of the retinal layer causing visual alterations.

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177
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