Tag Archives: research

Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) is actually Trap, Neuter, Re-Abandon an Intro

26 Jul

I feel very passionate that Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) is inhumane/cruel and ineffective. It is very popular where I live in (hot) Arizona, and I just hate it for many reasons. Which I will specify in detail in these posts. I spent a disproportionate time arguing against it with neighbors on the Nextdoor app, but have decided a better use of my time would be to write a research paper on the matter. Using facts and legitimate sources, not just feelings and experiences. In this blog series, I’ll be posting some of my (yet to be edited) findings. I hope you will read with an open mind and really think about this information rationally, as I am attempting to do.

Why is there an Outside Cat Problem:

Cats are either born outside, or they had been owned and that (irresponsible, heartless) person left them outside to fend for themselves.

The cats are living in substandard conditions on the street.

In the elements, all weather (sometimes 120F here in AZ, 140 triple digit days last May-Oct), and natural phenomenon such as hurricanes or drought.

Breeding, fighting, spraying, scratching, digging in plants,

Being preyed upon, getting hit by cars, 

Eating wildlife, exchanging diseases with each other, 

Using the urban setting as a litterbox, which spreads disease and parasites.

A rescuer begins feeding.  This habituates these outdoor cats to people, gathers them in one place at a certain time, and nourishes the cats.

A live trap is set and (hopefully) all the breeding cats are collected and taken to the shelter.  Whether females are included, depends on funding. Being inside a trap is stressful to the cats, as is going in a car, being taken to an unfamilar place, being around loud, unfamilar animals and people, and getting a shot in order to be able to castrate.  It’s all very traumatic and stressful to these outdoor cats, just as it is to ANY cat.  

The toms are neutered, and it takes only minutes of a veterinarian’s time.  They do not even need to be fully anesthetized and put on gas to sustain the unconsciousness.  The sedation is much lighter, and the vet dexterously neuters each cat relatively quickly.

Spaying is a bigger job.  The queen has to go under full anesthesia, sustain unconsciousness with gas inhalant, have supplemental oxygen, and more monitoring equipment for vitals, and usually always (I sincerely hope!) a 2nd person in the room to monitor, help, and in case of emergencies.  Going fully under is a higher risk, longer procedure, and more costly as a result.  TNR programs may have the funds (and motivation) to spay, or they may not.

Honestly, all cats should have an FIV/FeLV test, a rabies, FVRCP, and the optional FIV vaccines since they are outside, and get dewormed.  At least.  These items are highly dependent on funds, and as such are usually neglected for the TNR cats.

After the castration, sometimes cats are allowed to recover in the shelter, sometimes there’s no space or time.  So the cats are dumped back outside, sometimes while still a bit groggy and disoriented.

Then the cats are outside fending for themselves in the elements.

(this repetition is not a mistake, or copy & paste error. As you can see, the cat lives are much the same post-neuter)

Fighting, spraying, scratching, digging in plants,

Being preyed upon, getting hit by cars, 

Eating wildlife, exchanging diseases with each other, 

Using the urban setting as a litterbox, which spreads disease and parasites.

Neutering will not change ingrained behavior patterns.

Cats can still spray, fight each other, and be a nuisance in neighborhoods.

Neutering cats does not change their health outcome living in a high-risk urban outdoor environment.  They can still get preyed upon, hit by cars, and the other bad ends.

Neutering does not change a cat’s diet.  They may still eat birds and wildlife depending on availability of food, food-competition, and hunting drive/instinct.  

Zoonotic disease can be passed on in this way:  A cat hunts a vole or bat.  That vole/bat was carrying rabies.  Or a raccoon is attracted to the cat food, and the territorial cats get in a scuffle with it. The cat shows signs of rabies, but it lives outside so either nobody notices or the cost is prohibitive to seek medical treatment for a cat that isn’t owned.  A dog comes by and the furiously rabid cat aggresses, or a child tries to pet the cat, or a well-meaning person tries to trap the cat to take it to the vet.  The cat bites in any of these scenarios.  You have a dog with rabies, that can spread it to other dogs, cats, and people.  You have a child bitten by a rabid cat.  You get an adult bitten and scratched and having to do lengthy and costly rabies prevention measures.  That’s just three examples.  There are countless diseases and parasites that can travel from cats to other species.

Neutering is not whole-animal health.  The cats will no longer breed, but neutering does not protect from disease or parasites. Or other health concerns.

So what has been accomplished?

An outdoor cat with a high-risk life was neutered, and now is an outdoor cat…With a high-risk life. It doesn’t breed. But people don’t stop dumping pets outside either.  The root cause of the problem has not been resolved.  So even though the TNR cats aren’t reproducing, they can still add more and more to the colony.  Without adoption and death, the colony size either remains the same, or actually grows in size.

This is just a raw outline of the procedure and problem. Stay tuned for more specific details.

UU AuD Research

12 Jun

As a graduate applicant you are supposed to have a research focus.  I don’t.  And I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing.  When did they teach us to come up with research questions, tell us about already having established a focus, and how do I know?

I just want to finish an AuD program so I can get a big-girl job as an audiologist.  I’m trying my best to catch up by looking at the research being done at my potential school.  I understand very little of the jargon, and I’m terrified to contact these professors and speak meaningfully about it.  I know I’ll look like an idiot.

But all the get into grad school books and blogs strongly urge students to make contact with a potential advisor before applying.  Since I don’t have an established research focus, I don’t know who the influential people doing my research might be.  So as usual, I’m doing things backward.

They should really have an undergraduate class on the application and research stuff if we are already supposed to know about it before we ever even apply. . .

CI fish

-Assistant Professor, Communication Sci & Disorders, University of Utah
-Dr. Ferguson’s research is focused on speech understanding in older adults, and how speech acoustic characteristics affect that understanding. She is especially interested in the perception and acoustics of clear speech and foreign-accented speech.
-My research is focused on talker factors that affect everyday speech understanding by older adults with hearing loss. Talkers adopt a speaking style called “clear speech” when talking to listeners with hearing loss, but they vary widely in how helpful that clear speech is. Much of the current activity in my lab is centered on identifying the clear speech acoustic characteristics that make speech easier to understand for different listener populations.

Speech Perception Lab: 

–>Articles I think are most to least interesting/relevant<–

[can’t see abstract/article] LaPierre, T.A., Ferguson, S.H., & Jiregna, M.M. (2012) Hearing loss in late life: How couples cope. Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, XLV, 75-97. (http://www.audrehab.org/jara.htm)

*”Effects of talker experience on perceived clarity and acoustic features of clear versus conversational speech”

* “Acoustic correlates of reported clear speech strategies”

*”Accuracy of speech intelligibility index predictions for noise-masked young listeners with normal hearing and for elderly listeners with hearing impairment”

“Intelligibility of foreign-accented speech for older adults with and without hearing loss”

Perceived sexual orientation and speech style: A perceptual and acoustic analysis of intentionally clear and conversational speech”

“Subjective ratings of sentences in clear and conversational speech”

“Vowel intelligibility in clear and conversational speech for cochlear implant users: A preliminary study”

[implications for rehab] “Talker differences in clear and conversational speech: Vowel intelligibility for listeners with hearing loss”

“Creating a speech corpus with semispontaneous, parallel conversational and clear speech”


-Talker differences, Interest Level: 3
Speech perception, Interest Level: 5
Older adults, Interest Level: 4
Hearing loss, Interest Level: 4
Foreign-accented speech, Interest Level: 3

–on google scholar:

-V intelg in convo speech hearing & HOH

-talker dif in clear & convo speech

-acoustic chara of V (clear speech)


-I study how the healthy auditory system adapts to sound; such as when a person enters a noisy environment. To facilitate listening in noise, the auditory system undergoes a series of adjustments that improve the neural coding of sound. My long term research goal is to understand how adaptation enhances perception in noise in normal hearing listeners and how altered adaptation results in degraded perception in noise in hearing impaired listeners.
-Auditory Perception and Psychoacoustics, Interest Level: 5
Auditory Physiology, Interest Level: 4
Computational Models of the Auditory System, Interest Level: 3
Speech Perception and Processing, Interest Level: 2
Pediatric Auditory Assessment, Interest Level: 1

on Google Scholar:

–>very complicated titles<– I cut part of the description for my own clarity

explore the hypothesis that cochlear gain is reduced, in a frequency-specific manner, over the course of a sound 

Abstract Masked detection threshold for a short tone in noise improves as the tone’s onset is 
delayed from the masker’s onset. 

medial olivocochlear reflex (MOCR) has been hypothesized to provide benefit for listening in noise.

–>  lots of articles about this<–

fundamental question in auditory science relates to how the perceptual dynamic range is coded in the auditory system

aud path 1

Anne Lobdell

Brooke Hammond

infant vs adult larynx

-I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Aural Re/habilitation and graduate level Pediatric Audiology. I specialize clinically in children and adults with hearing loss and using cochlear implants.
-Speech development for children with cochlear implants, Interest Level: 5
Language development for children with cochlear implants, Interest Level: 5
Diagnostic pediatric audiology, Interest Level: 4
Auditory training intervention methodologies for persons with hearing loss, Interest Level: 5
Auditory Processing Disorders , Interest Level: 3

on Google Scholar:

-Benefits of Early Identification and Intervention for Children with Hearing Loss.

-dx Alexander DZ w/MR

Childhood adrenoleukodystrophy

-Rett Syndrome

on CV:

[published prior to 2000]

-“Further support for the benefits of early identification and intervention for children with hearing loss”

-“Methods for learners with hearing or visual impairments. ”

-“Birth to 3: A Curriculum for Parents and Their Hearing –Impaired Children”

-“A comparison of audiometric test methods for two-year old children”

-“Language Assessment of School Age Hearing Impaired Children

Kirsti Raleigh

-early detection of ototoxicity

-tinnitus rates from chemo ototoxic

AuD Research Topics

23 May

I have been looking into the research emphasis for UNC so I can tailor my personal statement.  It’s all about meshing your goals with your dream school’s current projects.  So here’s what I found:

hair cells 1

Central Neurophysiological Markers Underlying Degraded Speech Recognition

Optimization of FSP and HDCIS: Influence on Speech Perception

Vestibulo-ocular Reflex and Functional Balance Correlates of Agingcampus_rec UNC bears

Neurophysiological Indicators of Early-Stage Cognitive Decline

Concentration-Dependent Effects of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins on Atoh1 college what i really doExpression During Avian Hair Cell Regeneration

Mechanisms Underlying Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in the Auditory Brainstem

The Effect of Active Listening on Cochlear Mechanics in Children

Objective Measures of Fatigue in Children with and Without Hearing Loss

Characterizing Effects of Fatigue Following Physical Exertion on Dynamic Visual Acuity Test in Collegiate AthletesMaico MA-25 audm

Tablet Audiometry: Accurate Enough for Clinical Use?

Noise-induced Hearing Loss Alters Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Activity in Rats

Repeatability and Stability of Medial Olivocochlear Reflex Effects on Short- and Long-latency Transient-evoked Otoacoustic Emissions

Musical Experience and Hearing Loss: Perceptual, Cognitive and Neural Benefits 

maculae 1Further Developing the Auditory Nerve Overlapped Waveform (ANOW) as an Objective Measure of Low-Frequency Hearing

Development of a Head Shake Postural Control Protocol for Potential Use in Concussion Assessment

cVEMP Measures in Adolescents

Speech-evoked Envelope Following Responses as an Objective Aided Outcome Measure

Onset-Offset N1-P2 Response Comparisons: A Possible Index for Tinnitus Verificationinner ear 2

Attitudes of Audiologists Toward Individuals with Multiple Disabilities

Proliferation Patterns in Zebrafish Neuromasts Following Cisplatin Toxicity


And a little easier to decipher–here’s what came up when I pasted each name into Google Scholar:

Kathryn Bright = stuff on spontaneous OAE

-**Deanne Meinke = noise-induced hearling loss (shooting range, mp3, classrm); DPOAEs

Tina Stoody = auditory electrophysiology (whatever that is. . .)

Jennifer Weber = (common name) but maybe h-aid gain, possibly some chemistry-sounding compound stuff or genetics, digital noise reduction for better background noise level.

-**Robert Traynor = HL in aging ppl, personal style & h-aid fitting, dx & rehab of elders in facilities, 

-*Daniel Ostergren = case study of classrm acoustics (+handbook acoustic accessability), tag team parenting, 

Gustav Mueller = EZ method to calc AI, digital noise reduction & background noise, affects of amplification on tinnitus, lots of stuff about amplification, AI, and speech-sciency-looking topics

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Birth Control as Cure-All

28 Mar

Before we had sound medical science alcohol was used for a huge number of ailments.  You name it (disease, disorder, mental conditions (including “female hysteria” aka woman’s orgasm), and even surgery– alcohol was used to treat it.  More examples here:


But then, research uncovered FACTS and we moved away from such rudimentary practices.  Or did we?  I would suggest, for as many good, and legit reasons birth control pills are prescribed there are just as many reasons that fall into the cure-all b/c we don’t know and don’t gave a damn about finding out category.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am very happy birth control is so widely available. I’m glad it gives women control over her own body and child-bearing decisions.  (All stats from Planned Parenthood–an organization I SUPPORT).

-majority of women believe birth control allows them to take better care of their families (63%), support themselves financially (56%), complete their education (51%), or keep or get a job (50%). The financial success and emotional well-being of women are undoubtedly tied to contraception, while unintended pregnancies put a financial strain on everyone. The cost of unwanted pregnancies in the U.S. average an estimated $11.3 billion per year

– Oral contraception can cost as much as $1,210 per year for women without insurance

– 40% of births are unplanned. Birth control not only empowers women, but considering only 5% of men around the world even wear condoms. . .

-ugh–what a yucky stat!  I think the world should focus on the condom instead of how to get more and more BCP out there.  Condoms help prevent STDs too (AIDS!!!).  A lot of unintended pregnancy would be averted if men would take responsibility too.  Plus, it isn’t good enough to force women to have children, make it impossible for her to plan her own choices, AND put the whole burden of sexual activities consequences onto her.   This leaves men to enjoy as much sex, with as many people as possible–with no worry of consequences.  Then, if there IS an unintended pregnancy HE has the choice of how much involvement he wants to have.  Finally, at the same time men don’t have to think about sex, or be responsible for it’s aftermath, THEY get to make the laws regulating women’s access to preventative methods and what she does with her own body.  Tell me how everybody doesn’t see reproductive issues as political power issues?!

That was a train (though a very important one) away from my actual point:  The point is, birth control for women’s freedom and family planning is good.  It’s liberating.  It gives women power, and that is excellent BUT I think it can be lazy medicine.  I think it is haphazardly doled out as a band aid fix-all. Cramps?  Get on the pill.  Acne?  The pill.  Irregular periods?  The pill.  PMS?  The pill?  You’re a woman?  It’s too complicated to delve into what the underlying cause of your problem might be.  Besides, all the research is done about MEN’S problems.  The research funding goes to impotence–there’s no $$$ left to study little menstrual cramps–that’s just part of being a woman after all.

That’s dis-empowering to women.

It’s not for everyone. And just like any Monsanto product, we don’t really know what it is doing to us in the long term. And I think now that would be very hard to study, because we’ve run out of control groups. Even in lesbian populations (not your primary birth control user) BCP are being routinely supplied for skin or period pain.

Anatomy 2

How we (Cool and I) got birth control pills:

–>for 1 day of extreme, incapacitating, horribly painful cramps once a month.

-w/o even an exam of the repro system.
-w/o BW
-no R/O
-even with a hx of hypertension
-in a lesbian–or without even asking sexuality

-33% of teens aged 15-19 and nearly 800,000 women who have never had sex, who use oral contraception for non-contraceptive purposes.  most common reasons why women use the pill are reducing cramps and menstrual pain (31%); menstrual regulation, which for some women may help prevent migraines and other painful side effects of menstruation (28%); treatment of acne (14%), and treatment of endometriosis, a condition that can cause pelvic scarring, severe pain, and sometimes infertility (4%). About 14% of all women use birth control exclusively for reasons other than contraception.

So it’s great that birth control can band-aid so many conditions.  But my questions are:  Aren’t there any treatments specific to those actual conditions?  Why?  And do we KNOW long-term affects of birth control use?  Against an equal control group who has not been exposed to birth control.  Do we know this information for the intended use for reproductive issues AND these extraneous conditions as well?

I suspect the answers are still a mystery and here are the reasons for that:

-it’s because the research/interest for women’s health just isn’t there
-a doctor’s (male-dominated profession) mentality “quick fix” “cure all”

And that’s not good for women at all.

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Well, That Backfired

5 Dec

I went to bed later then normal, and of course my neighbors blasted music and shoited from 3:30AM to 4:20AM.  Drugs or just inconsiderate?  Hard to tell.  They were louder then the fan we use to mask noise though.  I can’t wait until I can pay more for a place and weed out some of these losers.  Unfortunately, now I can’t actual-sleep, but have no focus due to tiredness.  I thought maybe if I wrote some study things here it would engage my brain and focus more.

flashcards 002

Educational Audiology:

-still ID, dx, help with amplification & ALD, and refers.  (Clin. AuD dx balance issues as well, mng meds, & aud rehab)

—educationally relevant eval

—describe audiogram to school, parents, P

—refer other med conditions, comm issues, & educational concerns to appropriate prof.

—eval classroom/enviro acoustics & makes rec. for improvements

—ensure fit & funct. device & ALDs

—advocates for P; ensure services

—teach about impact HL & HL prevention

—make sure prof. std met & support staff properly trained

—educational accomodatios

—eval comm

—empower P; ensure daily living needs met

->assist is classroom/program placement

->facilitate programs for device & rehab

->calibrate & maint equip.

->assess CAPD

Cocktail Effect

Psycho-Social Considerations:

-early dx allows parents to go through grief stages (shock, denile, negotiation, depression, acceptance) faster

-children w/disabilities tend to be spoiled/indulged (decreased self worth/entitled)

-parental depression–>more stressed household, worse performance; P @ risk for cognitive, emotional, & comm impairments = lang dev promoted w/parental attention/sensitivity & emotional attachments

-good parental coping–>improved cognitive flaxibility, better prob solving skills, better social adjustment, less impulsive behavior, _______)

-kids w/HL tend to be:  more aggressive, complainy, social issues (isolated, depressed, low social acceptance/teasing); less social confidence to express feelings & present arguments

*peer rejection is associated w/worse academic performance & vice versa

Tinnitus Stats:

-30 to 60 million (10-20) US have it

-15 mil have clin. sig. (5%)

-1.5 mil (less than 1%) have debilitating

-75% of AuDs practice might see P w/some degree

-40% of P w/tinnitus also have hyperacusis

-of patients with hyperacusis, 90% have tinnitus

-10-30% kids have tinnitus

-30-60% HL kids have tinnitus

fractal 218

Causes of Tinnitus:

1]  otologic-noise induced, presbycusis, OM

Meiner’s DZ, cerumen impaction, hair against TM

2]  cardiac (pulsitile)-anything that causes tubulent blood flow (hypertention, shunt,________)

3]  somatic-TMJ, whiplash

—-head trauma, MS, migrane , stapedius/tensor tympani muscle/tendons

4]  chronic = central aud. prob

—-neural plasticity (reduced inhibition unmasks hyper-excited resp)

—-infectious (lymes, syphilis, MENNINGITIS)

—-diabetes, allergies, anemia, T4

5]  ototoxic

Mom's camera 083


-BPPV is the #1 cause for vertigo.  BUT w/in 6 wks the calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) that are causing the disturbance by bumping into cupula w/in the S.C.C. spontaneously resolve.  1]  why do they resolve?  I’m thinking it has everything to do with chemistry here.  2]  do they resolve under specific conditions?  And what are those circumstances.  3]  how do you replicate that condition in people that don’t naturally have it (where labyrinthectomy might be req)?

A]  http://www.library.nhs.uk/booksandjournals/details.aspx?t=Calcium+Carbonate%2Fanalysis&stfo=True&sc=bnj.ovi.amed,bnj.ovi.bnia,bnj.ebs.cinahl,bnj.ovi.emez,bnj.ebs.heh,bnj.ovi.hmic,bnj.pub.MED,bnj.ovi.psyh&p=5&sf=srt.publicationdate&sfld=fld.title&sr=bnj.ebs&did=2002115137&pc=13&id=80

We present a theoretical discussion on the biochemistry of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) based on the knowledge that the otoconia are calcium carbonate crystals and that their migration into the posterior semicircular canal is responsible for BPPV. Our principal focus has been on the factors that could affect the solubility of the calcium carbonate crystals in endolymphatic fluid and hence their dissolution. We suggest two factors that could affect the dissolution of the otoconia: the concentrations of carbon dioxide and calcium ions in the endolymphatic fluid. Calcium carbonate is insoluble in water or in an aqueous medium at pH 7.4, but it can be solubilized by its conversion to calcium bicarbonate in the presence of an excess of carbon dioxide in the form of carbonic acid. The role of carbon dioxide in body metabolism is discussed, including its function in calcium transport and in the primary buffer system controlling blood pH. The second obvious factor influencing dissolution of the otoconia in the endolymphatic fluid is the concentration of calcium ions in the fluid. The role of calcium in body metabolism is discussed briefly including four factors that affect its concentration in the peripheral circulation. First, the parathyroid glands control the level of calcium ions in the peripheral circulation and respond to low levels by causing release of calcium from the bone structure into the circulation. Other factors are diets high in calcium and vitamin D and soluble calcium supplements such as calcium citrate combined with vitamin D. Finally, the effects of diuretics that cause loss of fluid with consequential loss of calcium from the peripheral circulation are mentioned. In view of these considerations, one can speculate that the dissolution of the otoconia debris in the posterior semicircular canal would be favored by a high concentration of carbon dioxide or carbonic acid and a low concentration of calcium ion in the endolymphatic fluid of the posterior semicircular canal. Hypothetically, one also can speculate that if these conditions could be made to prevail, then the occurrence or reoccurrence of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV could be prevented.

B]  http://www.jbc.org/content/285/28/21724.full

Otoconia are subjected to morphological and compositional changes by diverse environmental and genetic factors. Prolonged exposure to medications such as streptomycin results in formation of abnormal giant otoconia (1314). Age-related otoconia degeneration is highly abundant and increases the risk for free floating particles (15). Dislocation of otoconia or their broken particles outside their native position can lead to severe vestibular dysfunction in humans. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) patients suffer from severe dizziness. This clinical condition affects up to 9% of the population older than 65 years of age (16). The phenotype manifests itself when otoconia migrate to one of the cristae (cupulolithiasis) or the semicircular canals (canalithiasis) and hinders its mechanical sensory properties (17). BPPV is one of the major clinical conditions attributed to dislocated otoconia.