OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this pilot study was to present Ethoshunt as a gamification-based mobile app that can be used in teaching and learning ethics.
METHODS: This study involved a mixed-methods research design. The researchers surveyed 39 undergraduate students who were introduced to Ethoshunt in order to examine the relationships between mobile app usability and positive emotions, ethical competency, and user experience. Affinity diagramming was used as a tool to organize the opinions and experiences of participants using featured gamification elements.
RESULTS: Game dynamics and game mechanics explained the functionality of Ethoshunt. In addition, the learning flow through Ethoshunt was discussed. Overall, the findings were positive, and mobile app usability had the strongest relationship with positive emotions (r=0.744, P
AIMS: In the present study, we investigated the effects of mitragynine on spatial learning and synaptic transmission in the CA1 region of the hippocampus.
METHODS: Male Sprague Dawley rats received daily (for 12 days) training sessions in the Morris water maze, with each session followed by treatment either with mitragynine (1, 5, or 10 mg/kg; intraperitoneally), morphine (5 mg/kg; intraperitoneally) or a vehicle. In the second experiment, we recorded field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the hippocampal CA1 area in anesthetized rats and assessed the effects of mitragynine on baseline synaptic transmission, paired-pulse facilitation, and long-term potentiation. Gene expression of major memory- and addiction-related genes was investigated and the effects of mitragynine on Ca2+ influx was also examined in cultured primary neurons from E16-E18 rats.
RESULTS/OUTCOMES: Escape latency results indicate that animals treated with mitragynine displayed a slower rate of acquisition as compared to their control counterparts. Further, mitragynine treatment significantly reduced the amplitude of baseline (i.e. non-potentiated) field excitatory postsynaptic potentials and resulted in a minor suppression of long-term potentiation in CA1. Bdnf and αCaMKII mRNA expressions in the brain were not affected and Ca2+ influx elicited by glutamate application was inhibited in neurons pre-treated with mitragynine.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: These data suggest that high doses of mitragynine (5 and 10 mg/kg) cause memory deficits, possibly via inhibition of Ca2+ influx and disruption of hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation induction.
METHODS: In this study, the effect of xanthone-enriched fraction of Garcinia mangostana (XEFGM) and α-mangostin (α-MG) were investigated on cognitive functions of the chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) rats.
KEY FINDINGS: HPLC analysis revealed that XEFGM contained 55.84% of α-MG. Acute oral administration of XEFGM (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg) and α-MG (25 and 50 mg/kg) before locomotor activity and Morris water maze (MWM) tests showed no significant difference between the groups for locomotor activity.
CONCLUSIONS: However, α-MG (50 mg/kg) and XEFGM (100 mg/kg) reversed the cognitive impairment induced by CCH in MWM test. α-MG (50 mg/kg) was further tested upon sub-acute 14-day treatment in CCH rats. Cognitive improvement was shown in MWM test but not in long-term potentiation (LTP). BDNF but not CaMKII was found to be down-regulated in CCH rats; however, both parameters were not affected by α-MG. In conclusion, α-MG ameliorated learning and memory deficits in both acute and sub-acute treatments in CCH rats by improving the spatial learning but not hippocampal LTP. Hence, α-MG may be a promising lead compound for CCH-associated neurodegenerative diseases, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.