Projects 2010 - Summaries - Social Sciences & Humanities
Coordinator: Kontis Dimitrios, Institution: Psychiatric Hospital of Attica
Cognitive dysfunction is a core symptom of schizophrenia which is associated with patients’ functioning. The aim of the study is to investigate the clinical, biochemical and genetic correlates of this dysfunction in a sample of 92 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 61 healthy controls.
Both groups were assessed in terms of their performance οn tasks of intelligence, memory and executive functioning. Patients demonstrated a worse performance compared with controls in all tasks. In the group of patients, spatial working memory impairments correlated positively with illness duration, independently of age. The relationship of symptoms and cognitive functioning was small, a finding that supports the hypothesis on the independence of cognitive dysfunction from clinical symptomatology in schizophrenia. Patients had more cognitive complaints than controls, although these complaints related to their psychopathology rather than their actual cognitive performance.
The association of plasma homocysteine concentrations with cognitive functioning was not significant in both groups, after adjusting for the effect of age. An interaction of COMT and MTHFR polymorphisms on cognitive functioning was revealed which has important implications with respect to the pathophysiology and treatment of the disease.
Coordinator: Palivos Theodoros, Institution: University of Macedonia
The study comprises two scientific articles. The aim of the first article is to examine the relation between various forms of corruption and public education as well as to interpret how various social groups interact with each other. The aim of the second study is to examine how corruption affects spending and the quality of public education, especially in the presence of private education.
In the first article, we construct an overlapping generations model comprising two distinct groups of agents; citizens and politicians. Naturally, there are strategic complementarities between the decisions of the two groups. If citizens expect that politicians will embezzle a large share of the budget, then they will tax evade a high percentage of their income. Similarly, if politicians expect a high tax evasion rate on behalf of the private citizens, then they will embezzle a large share of the public revenue. Next we analyse the effectiveness of various measures against corruption, which an economy that is stuck at a bad equilibrium can follow in order to approach a good equilibrium. We conclude that, in order for any policy against corruption to be successful, it must be applied in such a way so as to stigmatise the offenders.
The second article focuses on the interaction between public and private education. The issue is whether the presence of private education has a positive or negative effect on public education. The results of this study are highly interesting because they point out to a non-monotonic relation between private and public education. Instead it is highlighted that the institutional framework of a society and the level of tax evasion determine whether this relation will be positive or negative. An increase in economic inequality often leads to an increase in spending for private education.
Coordinator: Papathanasiou Ioanna, Institution: Scientific Society «Contemporary Social History Archives»
This project constitutes the first systematic attempt to record and catalogue the diverse and distinctive types of expressions and manifestations of the Press, which, despite the extraordinary conditions and the political view of each newspaper, managed to overcome the prohibitions and the censorship that were imposed during WWII, the Civil War and the two dictatorships (1936-1941, 1967-1974). Although it is not exhaustive, the database includes 1,912 different newspapers that were published and distributed illegally or semi-legally, making it unique of its kind.
It includes the digitization and uploading on the internet of approximately 12,500 front pages of underground and semi-underground newspapers that were published during 1936-1974 and are located in the printed and digital collections of ASKI, one of the most important and extensive collections available. The statistical data and the relevant charts included in this study bring to the surface the contours and profile of the underground Press, its publishers and its geographic diffusion in Greece and abroad. The study focuses on two different historical periods: a) the German Occupation and the Resistance (1941-1944), and b) the seven-year military dictatorship (1967-1974).
This project is also available at http://18.104.22.168/paranomos/index.html
Coordinator: Skopeteas Stavros, Institutions: University of Potsdam / National & Kapodistrian University of Athens / University of Bremen
Urum is a language spoken at the Caucasus by a Christian population of Greek ethnic identity. The Urum people originate from Greeks of Anatolia who moved to the Caucasus at the beginning of the 19th century. The language community is decreasing in the last years (from approximately 30,000 in the 1980s to approximately 1,500 today) due to recent migrations. Thus, there is an urgent need to document this language which is threatened by extinction.
For this purpose, the project undertook the responsibility to collect linguistic material of Urum. In particular, the project included:
(a) the compilation of a basic lexicon with words of several semantic categories,
(b) the collection of a selected set of sentences for the study of the grammar of this language,
(c) the creation of a collection of narrative texts from sixteen different native speakers,
(d) the gathering of sociolinguistic information regarding the use of the language and the attitude of the speakers towards the language.
The collected data (8,968 audio files and the corresponding transcriptions) were archived in a data base that allows for queries in this type of annotated data. All the data will be made available through the internet, so that the scientific community will have access to this scarce linguistic material and a scientific discussion concerning the study of this language and the understanding of its grammar will be motivated.
Coordinator: Skoula Melpomeni, Institutions: Park for the Protection of the Flora and Fauna, Technical University of Crete/Natural History Museum of Crete, University of Crete
Intangible cultural heritage includes knowledge developed by human societies interacting with the natural environment. The area of Kissamos lies at the northwestern edge of Crete and hosts more than 1/3 of the Cretan flora (720 species), ca. 300 birds, and almost all terrestrial mammals, reptiles and amphibians of Crete.
Information on 163 native plant species, consisting of 22% of the local flora, and 42 cultivated plant species, was reported. This included 95 native edible species, 60 medicinal plants, several dye plants, plants for weaving baskets, chairs and stuffing mattresses, pest repellent plants, glues and toys. Additionally, information on spiders, scorpions, insects, reptiles, birds and mammals was recorded. With the exception of food use, all the information is based solely on memory, which, however, erodes and becomes confused. Therefore, several cross references are needed to obtain complete information.
Regarding old varieties of cultivated plants, a rare legume was found, the species that Santorini fava is made of, the Lathyrus clymenum, which has been systematically cultivated since 2000 BC. Most people that possess traditional knowledge have low appreciation for it, which justifies the fact that younger generations are now completely indifferent about it. The present study indicated how close the interaction between people and nature was in the past, which obliged them to find ways to manage the resources in order to maintain them for themselves and their descendants.
Coordinator: Girgilaki Helen, Institution: Network Nomadic Architecture
The project focuses on the analysis of the co-existence and co-evolution of immigrants’ communities that reside in the historical centre of Athens, with the cultural and tourist development of the area.
The central question is whether the architecture and the Arts, in general, can contribute to the upgrading of this historical centre, while respecting the needs of the sensitive populations that live there. The adopted methodology was based on analysing data collected via field work (i.e. mapping different land uses, surveys of stakeholders involved), in order to suggest a socially equitable and environmentfriendly restructuring of this area through cultural and architectural interventions.
By examining the transformation of the centre of Athens through its contradictions, it was concluded that institutions were dysfunctional. The research focused on the role of art and its potential for contributing to co-existence and multiple belongings by means of innovative practices.
Coordinator: Hristopoulou Helen, Institution: Ionian University
Collective city memory is a form of collective memory that is created through the interaction among individual memories attached to the city landscape. Personal memories pass on from generation to generation via narrations on significant events that occurred in the past and usually remain within a narrow audience, like the members of a family or a small social group. As a result, valuable memories remain in isolation, they do not interact to form collective memories and perish with time.
This study created an environment within which personal memories can be collected and preserved forming a collective city memory. This environment has been applied to the city of Corfu allowing the team to perform a number of learning activities. The collected memories have been semantically annotated regarding the time, space and theme they refer to. A context-aware system has been developed, on top of which a number of applications present to the user memories relevant to the space or era they select. The user can access memories via web maps or insitu using mobile devices. For both, web and mobile access, the user’s context as expressed by their profile, preferences and location is exploited, in order to present the right memory to the right user.