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390 Research products, page 1 of 39

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  • Open Access French
    Authors: 
    Sylvestre, Nicolas;
    Publisher: Université de Montréal
    Country: Canada

    L’Écosse du XVIIIe siècle connaît de grands changements qui seront à l’aune des transformations socio-économiques sous-tendant sa Révolution industrielle. L’historiographie sur le sujet est divisée entre deux visions du développement – nommées pour le bienfait de cette étude traditionnelle et révisionniste – à savoir si ces transformations valident la notion d’une « révolution agraire ». Cette étude propose une recension de ces deux courants et propose d’appliquer leur analyse sur une région circonscrite, l’Aberdeenshire. À l’aide de l’Old Statistical Account, source majeure pour l’étude de l’histoire moderne écossaise, nous tenterons de démontrer que le caractère particulier du développement des régions ne correspond pas à l’application des conclusions nationales. Nous accorderons une attention spéciale à la propriété foncière, à l’impact des enclosures et à la temporalité des changements. De par ses spécificités, et son retard de modernisation agraire et agricole, nous croyons que la région suit le schéma dressé par les historiens révisionnistes, c.-à-d. des changements structurels s’étendant sur un temps long et ne s’inscrivant pas directement dans la période 1755-1815, traditionnellement désignée comme « révolution agraire ». Il s’agirait plutôt d’une adaptation partielle et originale des nouvelles idées mises de l’avant par les protagonistes de la modernisation. During the eighteenth century, Scotland underwent numerous structural changes that ultimately led to its entry into the Industrial Revolution. Concerning its historiography, there is an ongoing debate between two factions – named for the purpose of this study traditionalists and revisionists – in order to determine the validity of the “Agricultural revolution” notion of development. This study aims to explore both visions and to apply their conclusions to a particular region, in this case Aberdeenshire. Using the Old Statistical Account, one of the major documentary resources concerning Scottish modern history, we will try to demonstrate that the regional experience of development differs from the general assertions applied to Scotland. We will focus on land property, the impact of enclosures and the timeframe of the changes. Owing to its specific characteristics, we believe that the entry of Aberdeenshire into agricultural modernity followed the path of long-term structural changes, as favoured by the writers of the revisionist persuasion. In other words, this region did not experience but more or less adapted the new ideas and techniques to its own particular characteristics.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Miller, Brian;
    Country: Canada

    The SMAPVEX12 (Soil Moisture Active/Passive Validation Experiment 2012) was carried out over the summer of 2012 in Manitoba, Canada. The goal of the project was to improve the accuracy of satellite-based remote sensing of soil moisture. Data were gathered during a 42-day field campaign with surface measurements on 55 different agricultural fields in south-central Manitoba. The extended duration of the campaign, contrast in soil textures, and variety of crop types over the study region provided an excellent range of soil moisture and vegetation conditions. The study fields ranged from bare to fully vegetated, with volumetric soil moisture levels spanning a range of almost 50%. Remotely sensed data were collected on 17 days by aircraft at 1.4 Ghz with a microwave radiometer at two different resolutions. Observed brightness temperatures from the radiometer showed a typical inverse relationship to the near simultaneous soil moisture measurements from the field. Field-by-field relationships using all sampling dates with both soil and emissivity data were all shown to be significant with the exception of two of the pasture fields and a soybean field. Linear regressions across multiple fields and by flight lines also had statistically significant slopes. The significance of all these relationships improved with the removal of pasture fields from the analysis. On most fields, the sensitivity (slope) of the relationship and correlation coefficient (R2) between emissivity and observed soil moisture increased when vegetation and roughness effects were taken into account. The b parameter that relates vegetation water content to optical depth in the tau-omega model was optimized using the collective slope and R2 values of the individual fields. A b parameter value of 0.06 for horizontal polarization and 0.13 for vertical polarization were found to be optimal across the range of all fields in this analysis.

  • Closed Access
    Authors: 
    Midwood, Jonathan D.;
    Country: Canada
  • Closed Access
    Authors: 
    Attis, David;
    Country: Canada
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Liliana ALVAREZ;
    Country: Canada
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Bihun, Hannah;
    Country: Canada

    On the Canadian prairies, farmland is more than just an investment or a resource; access and control over farmland is deeply embedded in the history, culture, and identity of Canadian farmers. Land grabbing, the large-scale purchase of farmland by domestic or foreign investors, is a phenomenon on the rise worldwide and is best understood within the framework of financialization. Despite a lack of quantitative research on the topic, some of the effects of financialization in the agri-food sector are visible in Manitoba, including rising farmland prices and increasing farmland concentration, resulting in fewer and larger farms. My research investigates the dynamics of farmland ownership in four rural municipalities with high valued farmland in Manitoba. Although reliable information about farmland investment in Manitoba is limited, 39 semi-structured interviews with farmers, rural municipal officials and staff, and others involved in the agriculture industry, provide a baseline understanding of the current dimensions of farmland sales, farmer-landlord relationships, and the social and environmental implications of increasing farmland concentration. I draw on participants’ perceptions of investors to better understand how these kinds of purchases might impact rural landscapes. Furthermore, I find that farmers themselves have adopted financial logics as they make land purchases that are less rooted in the productive value of the land and increasingly motivated by the speculative value of the land. Thus, my research reveals the ways that the ‘good farmer’ framework is at work in Manitoba and is pushing farmers to make “non-economically rational” (as cited in Burton et al., 2020, p.2) decisions that are ultimately contributing to the deterioration of rural communities and environments. The thesis concludes by discussing two pathways for the future of agriculture in Manitoba: the first is that these trends will deepen and access to land and control over food production will be further extracted from the hands of local people. The second is a more hopeful possibility that farmers, civil society, and government might co-construct a different future in agriculture by redefining what it means to be a ‘good farmer’ and prioritizing community, collaboration, and profitable/viable farm businesses.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Setoodeh, Peyman;
    Country: Canada

    Cooperative teleoperation combines two traditional areas of robotics, i.e. teleoperation and collaborative manipulation. Cooperative telerobotic systems consist of multiple pairs of master I slave robotic manipulators operating in a shared environment. Due to dynamic interaction among slave manipulators as well as communication latency, control of such systems is particularly challenging and the application of standard teleoperation controller may result in instability. In this thesis a multilateral control framework is proposed for cooperative teleoperation systems that allows for transmission of position and force information between all master and slave robots rather than merely between corresponding units. Two different control approaches are introduced that establish kinematic correspondence among masters and slaves. The operators are presented with a virtual intervening tool in order to collaboratively interact with the environment. Models of operators, master and slave robots, tool, and environment are incorporated in the design. A multilateral adaptive nonlinear control architecture is proposed. Performance and stability of cooperative teleoperation systems are addressed under dynamic interactions between slave robots in the presence of model uncertainty. The robustness of the controller with respect to communication latency is also analyzed. Simulation and experimental studies demonstrate that the proposed approach is highly effective in all phases of a teleoperation task, i.e. in free motion and in contact with both flexible and rigid environments. The second approach involves finite-dimensional state-space models that incorporate the delay for free motion/ soft contact as well as rigid contact modes of operation. Local dynamic linearization control laws are employed to linearize robotic manipulators' dynamics. Model-based discrete-time Linear Quadratic Gaussian (LQG) controllers are proposed that can deliver a stable transparent response for each phase of operation. The robustness of these controllers with respect to parameter uncertainty is examined via the Nyquist analysis. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Thesis Master of Applied Science (MASc)

  • Open Access French
    Authors: 
    Poliquin, Étienne;
    Publisher: Université de Montréal
    Country: Canada

    Encore une fois, il semble que la question des subventions agricoles ait refait surface comme l'élément clé du présent cycle de négociations commerciales multilatérales à l'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC). Pourtant, le cycle d'Uruguay, qui s'est achevé en 1994, avait tenté de rétablir l'agriculture comme un secteur «normal» de négociations à l'OMC. Or, il semble que plutôt que d'en faire un secteur comme les autres en ce qui a trait aux subventions, le cycle d'Uruguay ait surtout contribué à établir un régime de disciplines pour l'agriculture qui se distingue à plusieurs égards du régime général établi par l'Accord sur les subventions et les mesures compensatoires (SMC). Une analyse des disciplines en place lors du système GATT (1947-1994) démontre que ce double régime n'avait pas formellement été mis en place avant la conclusion, en 1994, de l'Accord SMC et de l'Accord sur l'agriculture. En fait, malgré quelques distinctions qui sont apparues graduellement, ce clivage ne s'est véritablement effectué qu'à partir du cycle d'Uruguay. Tant sur le plan des subventions à l'exportation que du soutien interne, il apparaît que le système actuel impose des règles beaucoup moins contraignantes pour les subventions de produits agricoles que pour tout autre produit. Cette situation s'explique, en partie, par le haut degré de sensibilité politique de l'agriculture, de même que par certaines particularités économiques intrinsèques à cette industrie. L'avenir de ce double régime demeure encore incertain. Il semble cependant qu'aucun changement en profondeur ne peut être anticipé pour le présent cycle de Doha. Once again, it seems that the issue of agricultural subsidies has emerged has the key concern of the current round of WTO multilateral trade negotiations - even as the Uruguay Round, which was completed in 1994, had tried to bring agriculture back into a "normal" negotiating sector at the WTO. Rather, it seems that instead of making it a sector like any other concerning subsidies, the Uruguay Round has above al1 contributed to establish a regime of disciplines for agriculture that distinguished itself in many respect from the general regime established by the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). An examination of disciplines in place during the GATT system (1947-1994) shows that this double regime was not formally instituted before the conclusion, in 1994, of the SCM Agreement and of the Agreement on Agriculture. In fact, despite a few distinctions that evolved gradual1y, this division only real1y established itself from the Uruguay Round onwards. With regard to export subsidies as wel1 as to domestic support, it appears that the current system subjects subsidies in the field of agriculture to rules are substantially less restricting than subsidies in other fields. This situation can be explained in part by the high degree of political sensitivity in agriculture, as wel1 as by some of the intrinsic economic characteristics of this sector. The future of this double regime remains uncertain. However, it seems that no major change can be expected during the current Doha Round. "Mémoire présenté à la Faculté des études supérieures en vue de l'obtention du grade de maîtrise en droit (LL.M) option recherche"

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Williams, Loriann;
    Country: Canada

    Maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can induce a range of behavioral and cognitive deficits in offspring, which are collectively termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). There are significant delays in motor development and sensory-motor skills in children with FASD, but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of these deficits are poorly understood. The goal of this research project is to test the hypothesis that the Kinesiological Instrument for Normal and Altered Reaching Movements (KINARM) will serve as an effective tool for identifying and measuring specific, neurologically-based motor deficits in children with FASD. These deficits were revealed through investigation of multi-joint upper limb movements during the performance of sensory-motor tasks. Children (31 FASD; 83 controls, aged 5 to 18 years, male and female) performed: (1) a visually-guided reaching task with fingertip feedback only; and children (31 FASD; 49 controls, aged 5 to 18 years, male and female) performed: (2) an arm position-matching task in the absence of visual feedback. Children with FASD differed significantly from controls in many reaching task outcome measures, specifically those related to the initial motor response and corrective responses. In particular, large effect sizes were observed for outcome measures related to the first (initial) movement (corresponding to feedforward control; e.g., direction error; distance error), as well as for those measures related to corrective responses (corresponding to feedback control; e.g., difference between minimum and maximum hand speeds; number of speed peaks during movement). In the position-matching task, children with FASD constricted the spatial workspace of the subject-controlled arm relative to the robot-controlled arm, in the horizontal axis. There was also observed a systematic shift between the subject- and robot-controlled arms in the XY end position, resulting in significant error. Additionally, children with FASD exhibited significantly increased trial-to-trial variability for final hand position of the subject-controlled arm, over all targets, and for which large effect sizes were observed. The results suggest that children with FASD have difficulty integrating sensory information into planned motor movements. The KINARM is a promising research tool that may be used to assess motor control deficits in children affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    McMillan, Michelle;
    Country: Canada

    Background: The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among farmers is greater than non-farming populations. The burden on Canadian farmers is unknown, however. Research is required to determine the occurrence of these conditions and the work-related tasks that contribute to musculoskeletal pain in prevalent anatomical sites. Objectives: The objectives of the two studies comprising this thesis were to 1) describe the sample population of Saskatchewan farmers and the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, and, 2) explore the strength of associations between biomechanical exposures and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Methods: Objective 1. Participants received a mail-out survey for the Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort. Study outcomes were self-reports of musculoskeletal disorders characterized by presence and severity of musculoskeletal pain in nine anatomical regions. Objective 2. A cross-sectional analysis of the experience of musculoskeletal pain in relation to four main biomechanical work exposures was performed. Relationships were determined by modeling the exposures separately using modified Poisson regression. Results: Objective 1. A strong majority of participants (82.2%) reported having musculoskeletal pain in at least one body part over the past year. The lower back was the anatomical site most frequently affected (57.7%), followed by the shoulders (44.0%). Objective 2. Results suggest that all biomechanical exposures had a dose-response effect on musculoskeletal outcomes. Shovel or pitchfork use was strongest for lower back pain, while working with arms above head was the greatest risk factor for shoulder pain. Conclusions: Objective 1. Our study suggests that Canadian farmers also experience musculoskeletal pain most frequently in the lower back and shoulders, similar to those in other regions and commodity types. It also found that all farm people are at risk for musculoskeletal disorders, highlighting the need to target all subgroups and commodity types equally. Objective 2. Strong associations between increased biomechanical exposures and pain in the lower back and shoulders support the evidence that these regions are susceptible to the physical exposures of farm work.

search
Include:
The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
390 Research products, page 1 of 39
  • Open Access French
    Authors: 
    Sylvestre, Nicolas;
    Publisher: Université de Montréal
    Country: Canada

    L’Écosse du XVIIIe siècle connaît de grands changements qui seront à l’aune des transformations socio-économiques sous-tendant sa Révolution industrielle. L’historiographie sur le sujet est divisée entre deux visions du développement – nommées pour le bienfait de cette étude traditionnelle et révisionniste – à savoir si ces transformations valident la notion d’une « révolution agraire ». Cette étude propose une recension de ces deux courants et propose d’appliquer leur analyse sur une région circonscrite, l’Aberdeenshire. À l’aide de l’Old Statistical Account, source majeure pour l’étude de l’histoire moderne écossaise, nous tenterons de démontrer que le caractère particulier du développement des régions ne correspond pas à l’application des conclusions nationales. Nous accorderons une attention spéciale à la propriété foncière, à l’impact des enclosures et à la temporalité des changements. De par ses spécificités, et son retard de modernisation agraire et agricole, nous croyons que la région suit le schéma dressé par les historiens révisionnistes, c.-à-d. des changements structurels s’étendant sur un temps long et ne s’inscrivant pas directement dans la période 1755-1815, traditionnellement désignée comme « révolution agraire ». Il s’agirait plutôt d’une adaptation partielle et originale des nouvelles idées mises de l’avant par les protagonistes de la modernisation. During the eighteenth century, Scotland underwent numerous structural changes that ultimately led to its entry into the Industrial Revolution. Concerning its historiography, there is an ongoing debate between two factions – named for the purpose of this study traditionalists and revisionists – in order to determine the validity of the “Agricultural revolution” notion of development. This study aims to explore both visions and to apply their conclusions to a particular region, in this case Aberdeenshire. Using the Old Statistical Account, one of the major documentary resources concerning Scottish modern history, we will try to demonstrate that the regional experience of development differs from the general assertions applied to Scotland. We will focus on land property, the impact of enclosures and the timeframe of the changes. Owing to its specific characteristics, we believe that the entry of Aberdeenshire into agricultural modernity followed the path of long-term structural changes, as favoured by the writers of the revisionist persuasion. In other words, this region did not experience but more or less adapted the new ideas and techniques to its own particular characteristics.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Miller, Brian;
    Country: Canada

    The SMAPVEX12 (Soil Moisture Active/Passive Validation Experiment 2012) was carried out over the summer of 2012 in Manitoba, Canada. The goal of the project was to improve the accuracy of satellite-based remote sensing of soil moisture. Data were gathered during a 42-day field campaign with surface measurements on 55 different agricultural fields in south-central Manitoba. The extended duration of the campaign, contrast in soil textures, and variety of crop types over the study region provided an excellent range of soil moisture and vegetation conditions. The study fields ranged from bare to fully vegetated, with volumetric soil moisture levels spanning a range of almost 50%. Remotely sensed data were collected on 17 days by aircraft at 1.4 Ghz with a microwave radiometer at two different resolutions. Observed brightness temperatures from the radiometer showed a typical inverse relationship to the near simultaneous soil moisture measurements from the field. Field-by-field relationships using all sampling dates with both soil and emissivity data were all shown to be significant with the exception of two of the pasture fields and a soybean field. Linear regressions across multiple fields and by flight lines also had statistically significant slopes. The significance of all these relationships improved with the removal of pasture fields from the analysis. On most fields, the sensitivity (slope) of the relationship and correlation coefficient (R2) between emissivity and observed soil moisture increased when vegetation and roughness effects were taken into account. The b parameter that relates vegetation water content to optical depth in the tau-omega model was optimized using the collective slope and R2 values of the individual fields. A b parameter value of 0.06 for horizontal polarization and 0.13 for vertical polarization were found to be optimal across the range of all fields in this analysis.

  • Closed Access
    Authors: 
    Midwood, Jonathan D.;
    Country: Canada
  • Closed Access
    Authors: 
    Attis, David;
    Country: Canada
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Liliana ALVAREZ;
    Country: Canada
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Bihun, Hannah;
    Country: Canada

    On the Canadian prairies, farmland is more than just an investment or a resource; access and control over farmland is deeply embedded in the history, culture, and identity of Canadian farmers. Land grabbing, the large-scale purchase of farmland by domestic or foreign investors, is a phenomenon on the rise worldwide and is best understood within the framework of financialization. Despite a lack of quantitative research on the topic, some of the effects of financialization in the agri-food sector are visible in Manitoba, including rising farmland prices and increasing farmland concentration, resulting in fewer and larger farms. My research investigates the dynamics of farmland ownership in four rural municipalities with high valued farmland in Manitoba. Although reliable information about farmland investment in Manitoba is limited, 39 semi-structured interviews with farmers, rural municipal officials and staff, and others involved in the agriculture industry, provide a baseline understanding of the current dimensions of farmland sales, farmer-landlord relationships, and the social and environmental implications of increasing farmland concentration. I draw on participants’ perceptions of investors to better understand how these kinds of purchases might impact rural landscapes. Furthermore, I find that farmers themselves have adopted financial logics as they make land purchases that are less rooted in the productive value of the land and increasingly motivated by the speculative value of the land. Thus, my research reveals the ways that the ‘good farmer’ framework is at work in Manitoba and is pushing farmers to make “non-economically rational” (as cited in Burton et al., 2020, p.2) decisions that are ultimately contributing to the deterioration of rural communities and environments. The thesis concludes by discussing two pathways for the future of agriculture in Manitoba: the first is that these trends will deepen and access to land and control over food production will be further extracted from the hands of local people. The second is a more hopeful possibility that farmers, civil society, and government might co-construct a different future in agriculture by redefining what it means to be a ‘good farmer’ and prioritizing community, collaboration, and profitable/viable farm businesses.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Setoodeh, Peyman;
    Country: Canada

    Cooperative teleoperation combines two traditional areas of robotics, i.e. teleoperation and collaborative manipulation. Cooperative telerobotic systems consist of multiple pairs of master I slave robotic manipulators operating in a shared environment. Due to dynamic interaction among slave manipulators as well as communication latency, control of such systems is particularly challenging and the application of standard teleoperation controller may result in instability. In this thesis a multilateral control framework is proposed for cooperative teleoperation systems that allows for transmission of position and force information between all master and slave robots rather than merely between corresponding units. Two different control approaches are introduced that establish kinematic correspondence among masters and slaves. The operators are presented with a virtual intervening tool in order to collaboratively interact with the environment. Models of operators, master and slave robots, tool, and environment are incorporated in the design. A multilateral adaptive nonlinear control architecture is proposed. Performance and stability of cooperative teleoperation systems are addressed under dynamic interactions between slave robots in the presence of model uncertainty. The robustness of the controller with respect to communication latency is also analyzed. Simulation and experimental studies demonstrate that the proposed approach is highly effective in all phases of a teleoperation task, i.e. in free motion and in contact with both flexible and rigid environments. The second approach involves finite-dimensional state-space models that incorporate the delay for free motion/ soft contact as well as rigid contact modes of operation. Local dynamic linearization control laws are employed to linearize robotic manipulators' dynamics. Model-based discrete-time Linear Quadratic Gaussian (LQG) controllers are proposed that can deliver a stable transparent response for each phase of operation. The robustness of these controllers with respect to parameter uncertainty is examined via the Nyquist analysis. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Thesis Master of Applied Science (MASc)

  • Open Access French
    Authors: 
    Poliquin, Étienne;
    Publisher: Université de Montréal
    Country: Canada

    Encore une fois, il semble que la question des subventions agricoles ait refait surface comme l'élément clé du présent cycle de négociations commerciales multilatérales à l'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC). Pourtant, le cycle d'Uruguay, qui s'est achevé en 1994, avait tenté de rétablir l'agriculture comme un secteur «normal» de négociations à l'OMC. Or, il semble que plutôt que d'en faire un secteur comme les autres en ce qui a trait aux subventions, le cycle d'Uruguay ait surtout contribué à établir un régime de disciplines pour l'agriculture qui se distingue à plusieurs égards du régime général établi par l'Accord sur les subventions et les mesures compensatoires (SMC). Une analyse des disciplines en place lors du système GATT (1947-1994) démontre que ce double régime n'avait pas formellement été mis en place avant la conclusion, en 1994, de l'Accord SMC et de l'Accord sur l'agriculture. En fait, malgré quelques distinctions qui sont apparues graduellement, ce clivage ne s'est véritablement effectué qu'à partir du cycle d'Uruguay. Tant sur le plan des subventions à l'exportation que du soutien interne, il apparaît que le système actuel impose des règles beaucoup moins contraignantes pour les subventions de produits agricoles que pour tout autre produit. Cette situation s'explique, en partie, par le haut degré de sensibilité politique de l'agriculture, de même que par certaines particularités économiques intrinsèques à cette industrie. L'avenir de ce double régime demeure encore incertain. Il semble cependant qu'aucun changement en profondeur ne peut être anticipé pour le présent cycle de Doha. Once again, it seems that the issue of agricultural subsidies has emerged has the key concern of the current round of WTO multilateral trade negotiations - even as the Uruguay Round, which was completed in 1994, had tried to bring agriculture back into a "normal" negotiating sector at the WTO. Rather, it seems that instead of making it a sector like any other concerning subsidies, the Uruguay Round has above al1 contributed to establish a regime of disciplines for agriculture that distinguished itself in many respect from the general regime established by the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). An examination of disciplines in place during the GATT system (1947-1994) shows that this double regime was not formally instituted before the conclusion, in 1994, of the SCM Agreement and of the Agreement on Agriculture. In fact, despite a few distinctions that evolved gradual1y, this division only real1y established itself from the Uruguay Round onwards. With regard to export subsidies as wel1 as to domestic support, it appears that the current system subjects subsidies in the field of agriculture to rules are substantially less restricting than subsidies in other fields. This situation can be explained in part by the high degree of political sensitivity in agriculture, as wel1 as by some of the intrinsic economic characteristics of this sector. The future of this double regime remains uncertain. However, it seems that no major change can be expected during the current Doha Round. "Mémoire présenté à la Faculté des études supérieures en vue de l'obtention du grade de maîtrise en droit (LL.M) option recherche"

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Williams, Loriann;
    Country: Canada

    Maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can induce a range of behavioral and cognitive deficits in offspring, which are collectively termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). There are significant delays in motor development and sensory-motor skills in children with FASD, but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of these deficits are poorly understood. The goal of this research project is to test the hypothesis that the Kinesiological Instrument for Normal and Altered Reaching Movements (KINARM) will serve as an effective tool for identifying and measuring specific, neurologically-based motor deficits in children with FASD. These deficits were revealed through investigation of multi-joint upper limb movements during the performance of sensory-motor tasks. Children (31 FASD; 83 controls, aged 5 to 18 years, male and female) performed: (1) a visually-guided reaching task with fingertip feedback only; and children (31 FASD; 49 controls, aged 5 to 18 years, male and female) performed: (2) an arm position-matching task in the absence of visual feedback. Children with FASD differed significantly from controls in many reaching task outcome measures, specifically those related to the initial motor response and corrective responses. In particular, large effect sizes were observed for outcome measures related to the first (initial) movement (corresponding to feedforward control; e.g., direction error; distance error), as well as for those measures related to corrective responses (corresponding to feedback control; e.g., difference between minimum and maximum hand speeds; number of speed peaks during movement). In the position-matching task, children with FASD constricted the spatial workspace of the subject-controlled arm relative to the robot-controlled arm, in the horizontal axis. There was also observed a systematic shift between the subject- and robot-controlled arms in the XY end position, resulting in significant error. Additionally, children with FASD exhibited significantly increased trial-to-trial variability for final hand position of the subject-controlled arm, over all targets, and for which large effect sizes were observed. The results suggest that children with FASD have difficulty integrating sensory information into planned motor movements. The KINARM is a promising research tool that may be used to assess motor control deficits in children affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    McMillan, Michelle;
    Country: Canada

    Background: The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among farmers is greater than non-farming populations. The burden on Canadian farmers is unknown, however. Research is required to determine the occurrence of these conditions and the work-related tasks that contribute to musculoskeletal pain in prevalent anatomical sites. Objectives: The objectives of the two studies comprising this thesis were to 1) describe the sample population of Saskatchewan farmers and the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, and, 2) explore the strength of associations between biomechanical exposures and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Methods: Objective 1. Participants received a mail-out survey for the Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort. Study outcomes were self-reports of musculoskeletal disorders characterized by presence and severity of musculoskeletal pain in nine anatomical regions. Objective 2. A cross-sectional analysis of the experience of musculoskeletal pain in relation to four main biomechanical work exposures was performed. Relationships were determined by modeling the exposures separately using modified Poisson regression. Results: Objective 1. A strong majority of participants (82.2%) reported having musculoskeletal pain in at least one body part over the past year. The lower back was the anatomical site most frequently affected (57.7%), followed by the shoulders (44.0%). Objective 2. Results suggest that all biomechanical exposures had a dose-response effect on musculoskeletal outcomes. Shovel or pitchfork use was strongest for lower back pain, while working with arms above head was the greatest risk factor for shoulder pain. Conclusions: Objective 1. Our study suggests that Canadian farmers also experience musculoskeletal pain most frequently in the lower back and shoulders, similar to those in other regions and commodity types. It also found that all farm people are at risk for musculoskeletal disorders, highlighting the need to target all subgroups and commodity types equally. Objective 2. Strong associations between increased biomechanical exposures and pain in the lower back and shoulders support the evidence that these regions are susceptible to the physical exposures of farm work.