On 29.04.2021, the second project meeting of the AVIKOM project took place as a ZOOM meeting. Thomas Schack, Benjamin Strenge and Alexander Neumann from the working group presented the current development status of the assistance system as well as results from workshops and conducted surveys together with the academic partners from the department of work and organizational psychology and the Institute for System Dynamics and Mechatronics (ISyM) of the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences.
In the presence of Dr. Raymond Djaloeis from the project management organization Karlsruhe (PTKA), the enterprise partners Dreckshage, Euscher, Fischer Panda, MIT and the associated project partner v. Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen Bethel presented their current situation, their expectations and planned next steps. The consortium is now aiming to connect the AVIKOM system to the partners' software systems in preparation for the field tests with the companies planned for the second half of the year.
New publication with collaboration by Elvis Hagan
Assessing sub-regional-specific strengths of healthcare systems associated with COVID-19 prevalence, deaths and recoveries in Africa
New publication in NEUROSCIENCE by Lin Yu
Coordinating Initial and Final Action Goals in Planning Grasp-to-Rotate Movements: An ERP Study
Action goals have often been investigated in previous studies within a single action. However, most of the manual actions (such as prehension) are not restricted to a single action towards the object but can involve multiple follow-up actions to achieve a further purpose. The coordination of the initial (grip posture) and final (task purpose) action goals within such complex actions is still not fully understood. In the present experiment, the neural mechanisms underlying the goal coordination were investigated with the help of event-related potentials (ERP).
New publication by Elvis Hagan
A multi-country cross-sectional study of self-reported sexually transmitted infections among sexually active men in sub-Saharan Africa
Despite the importance of self-reporting health in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) control, studies on self-reported sexually transmitted infections (SR-STIs) are scanty, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study assessed the prevalence and factors associated with SR-STIs among sexually active men (SAM) in SSA.
New publication by Elvis Hagan
Proximate, intermediate, and distal predictors of under-five mortality in Chad: analysis of the 2014?15 Chad demographic and health survey data
Under-five mortality in Chad reached a minimum value of 119 deaths per 1000 live births in 2018, compared with a maximum of 250 in 1972. Despite this decline in the mortality trend, for every six children in Chad, one dies before the age of five. This study, therefore, investigated the proximate, intermediate, and distal determinants of under-five mortality in Chad
New publication by Elvis Hagan
Africa's COVID-19 Situation in Focus and Recent Happenings: A Mini Review
Given that COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has crept into Africa, a major public health crisis or threat continues to linger on the continent. Many local governments and various stakeholders have stepped up efforts for early detection and management of COVID-19. This mini review highlights the current trend in Africa, history and general epidemiological information on the virus. Current ongoing efforts (e.g., improving testing capacity) and some effective ways (e.g., intensified surveillance, quick detection, contact tracing, isolation measures [e.g., quarantine], and social distancing) of preventing and managing COVID-19 in Africa are described.
Alliance of organisations to combat COVID-19 fake health news
International and regional organisations, together with fact-checking groups, have joined forces to form the Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA) in a bid to detect, disrupt, counter and combat the ‘infodemic’ of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and other health emergencies on the continent.
Using Fixation-Related Potentials for Inspecting Natural Interactions, by Dennis Wobrock, Andrea Finke, Thomas Schack, Helge Ritter, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, section Brain-Computer Interfaces.
To view the online publication, please click [here]
Two new articles:
Ahinkorah, B. O., Hagan, J. E., Ameyaw, E. K., Seidu, A. A., Budu, E., Sambah, F., ... & Schack, T. (2020). Socio-economic and demographic determinants of female genital mutilation in sub-Saharan Africa: analysis of data from demographic and health surveys. Reproductive Health, 17(1), 1-14.
Owing to the severe repercussions associated with female genital mutilation (FGM) and its illicit status in many countries, the WHO, human rights organisations and governments of most sub-Saharan African countries have garnered concerted efforts to end the practice. This study examined the socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with FGM among women and their daughters in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Seidu, A. A., Ahinkorah, B. O., Hagan, J. E., Ameyaw, E. K., Abodey, E., Odoi, A., Agbaglo, E., ... & Schack, T. (2020). Mass media exposure and women's household decision-making capacity in 30 sub-Saharan African countries: Analysis of demographic and health surveys. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2926.
Women's household decision-making capacity is an essential component of their empowerment which include decisions related to personal health care, large household purchase and family visitations. Despite research evidence acknowledging mass media's influences on women's empowerment, including their ability to take household decisions, empirical data through multi-country comparison on mass media exposure and women's decision making capacity are sparse. This study sought to assess the association between exposure to mass media (television, radio and newspaper/magazine) and women's household decision-making capacity in 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Kuo-Pin Wang won the "Excellence Paper Award 2020" in sport science, Taiwan. The competition for this award is intense, with many outstanding researchers. This prize is granted for innovative research in the field of sport science.
Wang, K.P., Cheng, M.Y., Chen, T.T., Chang, Y.K., Huang, C.J., Feng, J., Hung, T. M., Ren, J. (2019). Experts' successful psychomotor performance was characterized by effective switch of motor and attentional control. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 43, 374-379.
Thomas Schack is participating at the 2020 Yokohama Sport Conference which is held from the 08.09.-11.09.2020 in Yokohama, Japan and provided digitally too. He will give an invited talk abou: Mental representation, perception and learning - Building blocks for mental training.
Thomas Schack has performed at the 7 th of september as a member of the evaluation committee in Universite Grenoble Alpes / INRIA Grenoble at the defense of the doctoral thesis "Estimating Expertise from Eye Gaze and Emotion" provided by Thomas Guntz.
Thomas Schack provided an invited keynote about "Action Architecture, Mental Simulation and Memory" at the virtual workshop "Action control, awareness, and working memory" organized from University Barcelona at the 14 th of September. Further keynotes have been performed by David Rosenbaum (UC-Riverside), Elisabeth Pacheria (Jean Nicod, France) and Barbara Montero (CUNY Graduate Center, New York).
New article by Elvis Hagan published in PLOS ONE
Consistent condom use among men who pay for sex in sub-Saharan Africa: Empirical evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys
Paying for sex has often been associated with risky sexual behavior among heterosexual men, and men who pay for sex are considered as a bridging population for sexually transmitted infections. Consistent condom use during paid sex is essential for reducing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. In this study, we assessed the prevalence and predictors of consistent condom use among men who pay for sex in sub-Saharan Africa.
Adaptiv virtuelle Rehabilitation bei Verletzungen der oberen Extremität - Eine Pilotstudie
Der Antrag auf Förderung im Anschubfonds Medizinische Forschung: "Adaptiv virtuelle Rehabilitation bei Verletzungen der oberen Extremität - Eine Pilotstudie" von Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Vordemvenne (EvKB), Prof. Dr. Thomas Schack (CITEC, Neurokognition und Bewegung - Biomechanik), Prof. Dr. Christoph Dockweiler (Universität Bielefeld, Centre for ePublic Health Research), PD Dr. Odile Sauzet (Universität Bielefeld, Statistik-Beratungs-Centrum (StatBeCe), Dr. med. Jens Conrad (ZAR Bielefeld), und Dr. med. Andreas Elsner (Orthopädische Gemeinschaftspraxis am Bültmannshof) wurde nach Empfehlung der Auswahlkommission am 15.07.2020 bewilligt.
The application for funding in the medical research start-up fund: "Adaptive virtual rehabilitation for upper limb injuries - A pilot study" by Prof. Dr. Thomas Vordemvenne (EvKB), Prof. Dr. Thomas Schack (CITEC, Neurocognition and Action - Biomechanics) , Prof. Dr. Christoph Dockweiler (Bielefeld University, Center for ePublic Health Research), PD Dr. Odile Sauzet (Bielefeld University, Statistics Consulting Center (StatBeCe), Dr. med.Jens Conrad (ZAR Bielefeld), and Dr. Andreas Elsner (orthopedic group practice at Bültmannshof) was approved on July 15, 2020, following the recommendation of the selection committee.
A new article published in PLOS ONE
Female adolescents' reproductive health decision-making capacity and contraceptive use in sub-Saharan Africa: What does the future hold?
Given the social, economic, and health consequences of early parenthood, unintended pregnancy, and the risks of HIV infection and subsequent transmission, there is an urgent need to understand how adolescents make sexual and reproductive decisions regarding contraceptive use. This study sought to assess the association between female adolescents? reproductive health decision-making capacity and their contraceptive usage.
The role of testing in infectious disease control: A case of COVID-19 in Africa
The dramatic increase in COVID-19 suspected cases in Africa has placed enormous burden on public and private clinical facilities. Till date, the most commonly used method for the identification and confirmation of the virus is the laboratory-based reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Unfortunately, testing capacities have been limited in many parts of Africa because of inadequate test kits which have restricted scaling up beyond the few public health laboratories at designated locations. We present in this mini-review Africa?s preparedness and readiness toward testing, why testing is crucial, the need to immediately strengthen existing facilities and what it involves as combined approaches for managing the COVID-19 crisis. The review highlights the urgent need for speedy expansion and distribution of several laboratory testing platforms to public health facilities and fully accredited private clinical laboratories, including real-time PCR and serological assays.
New article published:
Understanding the linkages between male circumcision and multiple sexual partnership among married Ghanaian men: Analysis of data from the 2014 Ghana demographic and health survey
Available scholarly information indicates that traditional male role orientations (e.g., masculinity and power distance) and male sexual behaviour may heighten the risk of HIV and other STDs infection among sexually active men in Ghana (e.g., Adomako et al., 2009; Anarfi, 2006; Tsikata, 2007). Specifically, cultural orientation allows men to be sexually domineering (i.e., have multiple sexual partners that increase their risk taking) (Anarfi, 2006; World Health Organization, 2007). Given the widespread sociocultural acceptance of men having multiple sexual partners in most sub-Saharan African societies, studies like this would provide a more comprehensive understanding of multifaceted indicators surrounding the circumcision debate toward public reproductive health policy and implementation of practical interventions. The current study prospectively investigates the association between male circumcision status and the choice of multiple sexual partners in Ghana, where there is limited empirical data on the subject.
Tuning of swimming movements through interactive sonification of the flow induced by hand action - from experience to perception to expertise
This ISY Project in SS 2020 in collaboration of Dr. Thomas Hermann, Dr. Bodo E. Ungerechts and Dr. Daniel Cesarini is a continuation of the former Citec-project "Sonification in Swimming". The pressure waves induced by hand actions are sonified in real-time and the swimmer can listen to the effects of the hand action. To free the swimmers from the lab-situation, a new methodical setting (FlowSon) that can be attached to the swimmer is mainly developed by Lukas Klein und Tobias Sandmeier. The following modules belong to FlowSon: i) measuring-head between two fingers for recording the pressure waves, ii) measuring-box with hard- / software of sonification as well as iii) hard- / software of the inertia- sensor, iv) bone-conducted headphones and v) an antenna for data transmission via WLAN to the smartphone on land. The necessary app is also developed, as is a tool for displaying the pressure and inertia data in sync with the swimmer?s motion, who tunes the effectiveness of his actions in the interactional process.
[read more in German]
[read more in English]
A new article
Rising Above Misinformation or Fake News in Africa: Another Strategy to Control COVID-19 Spread
in collaboration with Dr. John Elvis Hagan Jr. and Prof. Thomas Schack was published in Frontiers in Communication.
Misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic is gradually gaining much popularity and amplifying the threat facing humanity about the continuous spread of the virus regardless of one?s location. Although some of the influx of these falsehoods may be harmless, others might pose a serious threat by misleading the general population to depend on unjustified and/unsubstantiated claims for protection and show preference for them against scientifically proven guidelines. The paper provides a clear understanding on some COVID-19 misinformation, the inherent implications this poses to public health in Africa and highlights the potential strategies to curb this trend.
[read the paper]
Vecury - Digital Motor Rehabilitation
The Vecury project investigates how virtual reality in combination with 3D motion tracking can support patients and therapists during physical rehabilitation. The approach focuses on providing patients individualized guidance during exercise routines while allowing therapists to design customizable training plans and to receive objective data on the recovery progress. The Vecury rehabilitation platform has been specifically designed to be used by patients with musculoskeletal disorders of the upper-limbs. The project starts on May 1st, 2020.
>>> The project also offers several master's theses. <<<
[read more (in German)]
Ziel des vom ESF und BMBF geförderten Forschungsprojekts AVIKOM (Audiovisuelle Unterstützung durch ein kognitives und mobiles Assistenzsystem für die moderne Arbeitswelt) ist die Entwicklung eines innovativen, benutzeradaptiven und mobilen Assistenzsystems, das visuelle und akustische Unterstützung für eine Vielzahl von Arbeitsaktivitäten bietet.
[read more (in German)]
On 28th January 2020 Rümeyza Gündüz Can received the dissertation award from the Bielefeld University Society for the best dissertation in the faculty of Psychology and Sport Science in 2019. All doctoral thesis were rated with the highest grade "summa cum laude" . The title of her dissertation is "Neurophysiological investigation of the functional interactions between manual action control and working memory".
[read more (in German)]