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Sample records for attention improves performance

  1. Methylphenidate significantly improves driving performance of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized crossover trial.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verster, J.C.; Bekker, E.M.; Roos, M.; Minova, A.; Eijken, E.J.; Kooij, J.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Kenemans, J.L.; Verbaten, M.N.; Olivier, B.; Volkerts, E.R.

    2008-01-01

    Although patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have reported improved driving performance on methylphenidate, limited evidence exists to support an effect of treatment on driving performance and some regions prohibit driving on methylphenidate. A randomized, crossover trial e

  2. Task-Irrelevant Novel Sounds Improve Attentional Performance in Children With and Without ADHD

    OpenAIRE

    Tegelbeckers, Jana; Schares, Laura; Lederer, Annette; Bonath, Bjoern; Flechtner, Hans-Henning; Krauel, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    Task-irrelevant salient stimuli involuntarily capture attention and can lead to distraction from an ongoing task, especially in children with ADHD. However, there has been tentative evidence that the presentation of novel sounds can have beneficial effects on cognitive performance. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of novel sounds compared to no sound and a repeatedly presented standard sound on attentional performance in children and adolescents with and without ADH...

  3. Mindfulness Training Improves Attentional Task Performance in Incarcerated Youth: A Group Randomized Controlled Intervention Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noelle R Leonard

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness training (CBT/MT on attentional task performance in incarcerated adolescents. Attention is a cognitive system necessary for managing cognitive demands and regulating emotions. Yet persistent and intensive demands, such as those experienced during high-stress intervals like incarceration and the events leading to incarceration, may deplete attention resulting in cognitive failures, emotional disturbances, and impulsive behavior. We hypothesized that CBT/MT may mitigate these deleterious effects of high stress and protect against degradation in attention over the high-stress interval of incarceration. Using a group randomized controlled trial design, we randomly assigned dormitories of incarcerated youth, ages 16 to 18, to a CBT/MT intervention (youth n = 147 or an active control intervention (youth n = 117. Both arms received approximately 750 minutes of intervention in a small-group setting over a 3-5 week period. Youth in the CBT/MT arm also logged the amount of out-of-session time spent practicing MT exercises. The Attention Network Test was used to index attentional task performance at baseline and 4 months post-baseline. Overall, task performance degraded over time in all participants. The magnitude of performance degradation was significantly less in the CBT/MT vs. control arm. Further, within the CBT/MT arm, performance degraded over time in those with no outside-of-class practice time, but remained stable over time in those who practiced mindfulness exercises outside of the session meetings. Thus, these findings suggest that sufficient CBT/MT practice may protect against functional attentional impairments associated with high-stress intervals. Keywords: adolescent development, incarcerated adolescents, detained adolescents, stress, attention, mindfulness meditation.

  4. Task-Irrelevant Novel Sounds Improve Attentional Performance in Children With and Without ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tegelbeckers, Jana; Schares, Laura; Lederer, Annette; Bonath, Bjoern; Flechtner, Hans-Henning; Krauel, Kerstin

    2015-01-01

    Task-irrelevant salient stimuli involuntarily capture attention and can lead to distraction from an ongoing task, especially in children with ADHD. However, there has been tentative evidence that the presentation of novel sounds can have beneficial effects on cognitive performance. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of novel sounds compared to no sound and a repeatedly presented standard sound on attentional performance in children and adolescents with and without ADHD. We therefore had 32 patients with ADHD and 32 typically developing children and adolescents (8 to 13 years) execute a flanker task in which each trial was preceded either by a repeatedly presented standard sound (33%), an unrepeated novel sound (33%) or no auditory stimulation (33%). Task-irrelevant novel sounds facilitated attentional performance similarly in children with and without ADHD, as indicated by reduced omission error rates, reaction times, and reaction time variability without compromising performance accuracy. By contrast, standard sounds, while also reducing omission error rates and reaction times, led to increased commission error rates. Therefore, the beneficial effect of novel sounds exceeds cueing of the target display by potentially increased alerting and/or enhanced behavioral control. PMID:26779082

  5. Manipulating Attention via Mindfulness Induction Improves P300-based Brain-Computer Interface Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Lakey, Chad E.; Berry, Daniel R.; Sellers, Eric W.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we examined the effects of a short mindfulness meditation induction (MMI) on the performance of a P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI) task. We expected that MMI would harness present moment attentional resources, resulting in two positive consequences for P300-based BCI use. Specifically, we believed MMI would facilitate increases in task accuracy and promote the production of robust P300 amplitudes. Sixteen-channel electroencephalographic data were recorded from 18 subje...

  6. Manipulating attention via mindfulness induction improves P300-based brain-computer interface performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakey, Chad E.; Berry, Daniel R.; Sellers, Eric W.

    2011-04-01

    In this study, we examined the effects of a short mindfulness meditation induction (MMI) on the performance of a P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI) task. We expected that MMI would harness present-moment attentional resources, resulting in two positive consequences for P300-based BCI use. Specifically, we believed that MMI would facilitate increases in task accuracy and promote the production of robust P300 amplitudes. Sixteen-channel electroencephalographic data were recorded from 18 subjects using a row/column speller task paradigm. Nine subjects participated in a 6 min MMI and an additional nine subjects served as a control group. Subjects were presented with a 6 × 6 matrix of alphanumeric characters on a computer monitor. Stimuli were flashed at a stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of 125 ms. Calibration data were collected on 21 items without providing feedback. These data were used to derive a stepwise linear discriminate analysis classifier that was applied to an additional 14 items to evaluate accuracy. Offline performance analyses revealed that MMI subjects were significantly more accurate than control subjects. Likewise, MMI subjects produced significantly larger P300 amplitudes than control subjects at Cz and PO7. The discussion focuses on the potential attentional benefits of MMI for P300-based BCI performance.

  7. CLONIDINE IMPROVES ATTENTIONAL AND MEMORY COMPONENTS OF DELAYED RESPONSE PERFORMANCE IN A MODEL OF EARLY PARKINSONISM

    OpenAIRE

    Schneider, J S; Tinker, J.P.; Decamp, E.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive deficits, including attention and working memory deficits, are often described in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients even during the early stages of the disease. However, cognitive deficits associated with PD have proven difficult to treat and often do not respond well to the dopaminergic therapies used to treat the motor symptoms of the disease. Chronic administration of low doses of the neurotoxin 1-methy, 4-phenyl, 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) can induce cognitive dysfunction...

  8. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis Is Associated with Improved Attention Performance in Children: The Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids (ARCO-Kids)

    OpenAIRE

    Dong-Kyu Kim; Chae Seo Rhee; Doo Hee Han; Tae-Bin Won; Dong-Young Kim; Jeong-Whun Kim

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: It has been well known that pediatric allergic rhinitis was associated with poor performance at school due to attention deficit. However, there were no cohort studies for the effect of treatment of allergic rhinitis on attention performance in pediatric population. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether attention performance was improved after treatment in children with allergic rhinitis. METHODS: In this ARCO-Kids (Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids), consecu...

  9. Treatment of allergic rhinitis is associated with improved attention performance in children: the Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids (ARCO-Kids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Kyu Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been well known that pediatric allergic rhinitis was associated with poor performance at school due to attention deficit. However, there were no cohort studies for the effect of treatment of allergic rhinitis on attention performance in pediatric population. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether attention performance was improved after treatment in children with allergic rhinitis. METHODS: In this ARCO-Kids (Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids, consecutive pediatric patients with rhinitis symptoms underwent a skin prick test and computerized comprehensive attention test. According to the skin prick test results, the children were diagnosed as allergic rhinitis or non- allergic rhinitis. All of the patients were regularly followed up and treated with oral medication or intranasal corticosteroid sprays. The comprehensive attention tests consisted of sustained and divided attention tasks. Each of the tasks was assessed by the attention score which was calculated by the number of omission and commission errors. The comprehension attention test was repeated after 1 year. RESULTS: A total of 797 children with allergic rhinitis and 239 children with non-allergic rhinitis were included. Initially, the attention scores of omission and commission errors on divided attention task were significantly lower in children with allergic rhinitis than in children with non-allergic rhinitis. After 1 year of treatment, children with allergic rhinitis showed improvement in attention: commission error of sustained (95.6±17.0 vs 97.0±16.6 and divided attention task (99.1±15.8 vs 91.8±23.5. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference of attention scores in children with non-allergic rhinitis. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that management of allergic rhinitis might be associated with improvement of attention.

  10. A racket-sport intervention improves behavioral and cognitive performance in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Chien-Yu; Chu, Chia-Hua; Tsai, Chia-Liang; Lo, Shen-Yu; Cheng, Yun-Wen; Liu, Yu-Jen

    2016-10-01

    The present study assessed the effects of a 12-week table tennis exercise on motor skills, social behaviors, and executive functions in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the first 12-week phase, 16 children (group I) received the intervention, whereas 16 children (group II) did not. A second 12-week phase immediately followed with the treatments reversed. Improvements were observed in executive functions in both groups after the intervention. After the first 12-week phase, some motor and behavioral functions improved in group I. After the second 12-week phase, similar improvements were noted for group II, and the intervention effects achieved in the first phase were persisted in group I. The racket-sport intervention is valuable in promoting motor skills, social behaviors, and executive functions and should be included within the standard-of-care treatment for children with ADHD. PMID:27344348

  11. Mindfulness Meditation Improves Mood, Quality of Life, and Attention in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Viviane Freire Bueno; Elisa H. Kozasa; Maria Aparecida da Silva; Tânia Maria Alves; Mario Rodrigues Louzã; Sabine Pompéia

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) display affective problems and impaired attention. Mood in ADHD can be improved by mindful awareness practices (MAP), but results are mixed regarding the enhancement of attentional performance. Here we evaluated MAP-induced changes in quality of life (QoL), mood, and attention in adult ADHD patients and controls using more measures of attention than prior studies. Methods. Twenty-one ADHD patients and 8 healthy controls un...

  12. D-amphetamine improves attention performance in adolescent Wistar, but not in SHR rats, in a two-choice visual discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizot, Jean-Charles; Cogrel, Nicolas; Massé, Fabienne; Chauvin, Virgile; Brault, Léa; David, Sabrina; Trovero, Fabrice

    2015-09-01

    The validity of spontaneous hypertensive rat (SHR) as a model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been explored by comparing SHR with Wistar rats in a test of attention, the two-choice visual discrimination task (2-CVDT). Animals were 4-5 weeks old during the training phase of the experiment and 6-7 weeks old during the testing phase in which they were tested with D-amphetamine, a stimulant drug used for the treatment of ADHD. As compared to Wistar, SHR showed a slightly better attention performance, a slightly lower impulsivity level, and a lower general activity during the training phase, but these differences disappeared or lessened thereafter, during the testing phase. D-amphetamine (0.5, 1 mg/kg) improved attention performance in Wistar, but not in SHR, and did not modify impulsivity and activity in the two strains. In conclusion, the present study did not demonstrate that SHR represents a valid model of ADHD, since it did not show face validity regarding the behavioral symptoms of ADHD and predictive validity regarding the effect of a compound used for the treatment of ADHD. On the other hand, this study showed that the 2-CVDT may represent a suitable tool for evaluating in adolescent Wistar rats the effect on attention of compounds intended for the treatment of ADHD. PMID:26037943

  13. Does mindfulness meditation improve attention in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modesto-Lowe, Vania; Farahmand, Pantea; Chaplin, Margaret; Sarro, Lauren

    2015-12-22

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manifests by high levels of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. ADHD starts in childhood and results in impairments that continue into adulthood. While hyperactivity declines over time, inattention and executive function difficulties persist, leading to functional deficits. Adolescents and adults with ADHD have pervasive impairment in interpersonal and family relationships. They may develop addiction, delinquent behavior and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, persistent residual symptoms are common, highlighting the need for novel treatment strategies. Mindfulness training, derived from Eastern meditation practices, may improve self-regulation of attention. It may also be a useful strategy to augment standard ADHD treatments and may be used as a potential tool to reduce impairments in patients with residual symptoms of ADHD. Clinically, this would manifest by an increased ability to suppress task-unrelated thoughts and distractions resulting in improved attention, completion of tasks and potential improvement in occupational and social function. PMID:26740931

  14. The M1 Muscarinic Positive Allosteric Modulator PQCA Improves Performance on Translatable Tests of Memory and Attention in Rhesus Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Henry S; Cannon, Christopher E; Drott, Jason T; Kuduk, Scott D; Uslaner, Jason M

    2015-12-01

    Improved treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) is a significant unmet medical need that is becoming even more critical given the rise in the number of patients and the substantial economic burden. The current standards of care, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), are hindered by gastrointestinal side effects owing to their nonselective activation of muscarinic and nicotinic receptors. Recently, the highly selective M1 positive allosteric modulator PQCA (1-((4-cyano-4-(pyridine-2-yl)piperidin-1-yl)methyl-4-oxo-4 H-quinolizine-3-carboxylic acid) has been demonstrated to improve cognition in a variety of rodent and nonhuman primate cognition models without producing significant gastrointestinal side effects. Here we describe the effect of PQCA and the AChEI donepezil on two clinically relevant and highly translatable touchscreen cognition tasks in nonhuman primates: paired-associates learning (PAL) and the continuous-performance task (CPT). Blockade of muscarinic signaling by scopolamine produced significant impairments in both PAL and CPT. PQCA and donepezil attenuated the scopolamine deficits in both tasks, and the action of these two compounds was similar in magnitude. In addition, the combination of subeffective doses of PQCA and donepezil enhanced PAL performance. These results further suggest that M1-positive allosteric modulators, either as monotherapy or as an add-on to current standards of care, have potential to reduce the cognitive deficits associated with AD. PMID:26446308

  15. Mindfulness Meditation Improves Mood, Quality of Life, and Attention in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane Freire Bueno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD display affective problems and impaired attention. Mood in ADHD can be improved by mindful awareness practices (MAP, but results are mixed regarding the enhancement of attentional performance. Here we evaluated MAP-induced changes in quality of life (QoL, mood, and attention in adult ADHD patients and controls using more measures of attention than prior studies. Methods. Twenty-one ADHD patients and 8 healthy controls underwent 8 weekly MAP sessions; 22 similar patients and 9 controls did not undergo the intervention. Mood and QoL were assessed using validated questionnaires, and attention was evaluated using the Attentional Network Test (ANT and the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT II, before and after intervention. Results. MAP enhanced sustained attention (ANT and detectability (CPT II and improved mood and QoL of patients and controls. Conclusion. MAP is a complementary intervention that improves affect and attention of adults with ADHD and controls.

  16. EEG biofeedback improves attentional bias in high trait anxiety individuals

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Sheng; Zhao, Yan; Chen, Sijuan; Lin, Guiping; Sun, Peng; Wang, Tinghuai

    2013-01-01

    Background Emotion-related attentional bias is implicated in the aetiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. Electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback can obviously improve the anxiety disorders and reduce stress level, and can also enhance attention performance in healthy subjects. The present study examined the effects and mechanisms of EEG biofeedback training on the attentional bias of high trait anxiety (HTA) individuals toward negative stimuli. Results Event-related potentials were rec...

  17. Can Robotic Interaction Improve Joint Attention Skills?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Zachary E; Zheng, Zhi; Swanson, Amy R; Bekele, Esubalew; Zhang, Lian; Crittendon, Julie A; Weitlauf, Amy F; Sarkar, Nilanjan

    2015-11-01

    Although it has often been argued that clinical applications of advanced technology may hold promise for addressing impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), relatively few investigations have indexed the impact of intervention and feedback approaches. This pilot study investigated the application of a novel robotic interaction system capable of administering and adjusting joint attention prompts to a small group (n = 6) of children with ASD. Across a series of four sessions, children improved in their ability to orient to prompts administered by the robotic system and continued to display strong attention toward the humanoid robot over time. The results highlight both potential benefits of robotic systems for directed intervention approaches as well as potent limitations of existing humanoid robotic platforms. PMID:24014194

  18. Improved control of exogenous attention in action video game players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew S Cain

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Action video game players have demonstrated a number of attentional advantages over non-players. Here, we propose that many of those benefits might be underpinned by improved control over exogenous (i.e., stimulus-driven attention. To test this we used an anti-cuing task, in which a sudden-onset cue indicated that the target would likely appear in a separate location on the opposite side of the fixation point. When the time between the cue onset and the target onset was short (40 ms, non-players (nVGPs showed a typical exogenous attention effect. Their response times were faster to targets presented at the cued (but less probable location compared with the opposite (more probable location. Video game players (VGPs, however, were less likely to have their attention drawn to the location of the cue. When the onset asynchrony was long (600 ms, VGPs and nVGPs were equally able to endogenously shift their attention to the likely (opposite target location. In order to rule out processing-speed differences as an explanation for this result, we also tested VGPs and nVGPs on an attentional blink task. In a version of the attentional blink task that minimized demands on task switching and iconic memory, VGPs and nVGPs did not differ in second target identification performance (i.e., VGPs had the same magnitude of attentional blink as nVGPs, suggesting that the anti-cuing results were due to flexible control over exogenous attention rather than to more general speed-of-processing differences.

  19. ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC BIOFEEDBACK IMPROVES FOCUSED ATTENTION IN ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Sokhadze

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available EEG biofeedback (so called neurofeedback is considered as an efficacious treatment for ADHD. We propose that operant conditioning of EEG in neurofeedback training mode, aimed to mitigate inattention and low arousal in ADHD, will be accompanied by changes in EEG bands' relative power. Patients were 18 children diagnosed with ADHD. The neurofeedback protocol (“Focus/Alertness” by Peak Achievement Trainer, Neurotek, KY used to train patients has focused attention training procedure, which according to specifications, represents wide band EEG amplitude suppression training. Quantitative EEG analysis was completed on each of 25 min long twelve sessions to determine the relative power of each of the EEG bands of interest throughout each session, and from the first session to the last session. Additional statistical analysis was performed to determine significant changes in relative power within sessions (from minute 1 to minute 25, and between sessions (from session 1 to session 12 for an individual patient. We performed analysis of relative power of Theta, Alpha, Low and High Beta, Theta/Alpha, Theta/Beta, and Theta/Low Beta and Theta/High Beta ratios. We performed also analysis between the “Focus”measure and changes in relative power of above EEG rhythms and their ratios. Additional secondary measures of patients’ post-neurofeedback outcomes were assessed using an audio-visual selective attention test (IVA + Plus and behavioral evaluation scores from Aberrant Behavior Checklist. We found that, as expected, Theta/Low Beta and Theta/Alpha ratios decreased significantly from Session 1 to Session 12 and from minute 1 to minute 25 within sessions. The ‘Focus” measure of protocol showed high negative correlation with both Theta/Alpha and Theta/Beta ratios. The findings regarding EEG changes resulting from self-regulation training along with behavioral evaluations will help in elucidation of neural mechanisms of neurofeedback aimed to improve

  20. An Interactive Attention Board: Improving the Attention of Individuals with Autism and Mental Retardation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahin, Yasar Guneri; Cimen, Fatih Mehmet

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a tool named "Interactive Attention Board" (IAB) and an associated software named "Interactive Attention Boards Software" (IABS) for individuals with Mental Retardation and Autism. The proposed system is based on several theories such as perception and learning theories, and it is intended to improve hand-eye coordination and…

  1. Adolescents with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Adhere Poorly to Positive Airway Pressure (PAP), but PAP Users Show Improved Attention and School Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Beebe, Dean W; Byars, Kelly C.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is associated with medical and neurobehavioral morbidity across the lifespan. Positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment has demonstrated efficacy in treating OSA and has been shown to improve daytime functioning in adults, but treatment adherence can be problematic. There are nearly no published studies examining functional outcomes such as academic functioning in adolescents treated with PAP. This study was conducted as an initial step towards determi...

  2. Feature-based attention enhances performance by increasing response gain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Katrin; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-12-01

    Covert spatial attention can increase contrast sensitivity either by changes in contrast gain or by changes in response gain, depending on the size of the attention field and the size of the stimulus (Herrmann et al., 2010), as predicted by the normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). For feature-based attention, unlike spatial attention, the model predicts only changes in response gain, regardless of whether the featural extent of the attention field is small or large. To test this prediction, we measured the contrast dependence of feature-based attention. Observers performed an orientation-discrimination task on a spatial array of grating patches. The spatial locations of the gratings were varied randomly so that observers could not attend to specific locations. Feature-based attention was manipulated with a 75% valid and 25% invalid pre-cue, and the featural extent of the attention field was manipulated by introducing uncertainty about the upcoming grating orientation. Performance accuracy was better for valid than for invalid pre-cues, consistent with a change in response gain, when the featural extent of the attention field was small (low uncertainty) or when it was large (high uncertainty) relative to the featural extent of the stimulus. These results for feature-based attention clearly differ from results of analogous experiments with spatial attention, yet both support key predictions of the normalization model of attention. PMID:22580017

  3. Embarking on performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Bobbi; Falk, Leslie Hough

    2014-06-01

    Healthcare organizations should approach performance improvement as a program, not a project. The program should be led by a guidance team that identifies goals, prioritizes work, and removes barriers to enable clinical improvement teams and work groups to realize performance improvements. A healthcare enterprise data warehouse can provide the initial foundation for the program analytics. Evidence-based best practices can help achieve improved outcomes and reduced costs. PMID:24968632

  4. An Improved Attention Parameter Setting Algorithm Based on Award Learning Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fang Xiuduan; Liu Binhan; Wang Weizhi

    2002-01-01

    The setting of attention parameters plays a role in the performance of synergetic neural network based on PFAP model. This paper first analyzes the attention parameter setting algorithm based on award-penalty learning mechanism. Then, it presents an improved algorithm to overcome its drawbacks. The experimental results demonstrate that the novel algorithm is better than the original one under the same circumstances.

  5. Diabetes severely affects attentional performance after coronary artery bypass grafting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krannich Jens-Holger

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diabetes is a risk factor for (micro vascular damage of the brain, too. Therefore cognitive performance after coronary artery bypass grafting may be hypothesized worse in diabetics. To avoid observational errors a reliable tool for testing attentional performance was used. We evaluated whether diabetes mellitus disposes to distinct cognitive dysfunction after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG. Methods Three aspects in attentional performance were prospectively tested with three different tests (alertness: composed of un-cued and cued reaction, divided attention, and selective attention by a computerized tool one day before and seven days after CABG in a highly selected cohort of 30 males, 10 of whom had diabetes. Statistical comparisons were done with analysis of variance for repeated measurements and Fisher's LSD. Results Prior to CABG there was no statistically meaningful difference between diabetics and non-diabetics. Postoperatively, diabetic patients performed significantly worse than non-diabetics in tests for un-cued (p=0.01 and cued alertness (p=0.03. Test performance in divided attention was worse after CABG but independent of diabetes status. Selective attention was neither affected by diabetes status nor by CABG itself. Conclusions Diabetes may have an impact on cognitive performance after CABG. More severe deficits in alertness may point to underlying microvascular disease.

  6. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Forrest B. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Bull, Jeffrey S. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Rising, Michael Evan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-04-14

    Twenty-eight slides give information about the work of the US DOE/NNSA Nuclear Criticality Safety Program on MCNP6 under the following headings: MCNP6.1.1 Release, with ENDF/B-VII.1; Verification/Validation; User Support & Training; Performance Improvements; and Work in Progress. Whisper methodology will be incorporated into the code, and run speed should be increased.

  7. Improving SQL Server Perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolae MERCIOIU

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available With the development of client server technology and multilayer architectures the systems ef-ficiency issue has been increasingly discussed. Lacking knowledge in optimization methods and tools offered by DBMS's, database administrators and developers of applications based on Microsoft technologies cannot optimally design and service performing systems. In this article we review the objectives that should be considered (in order to improve performance of SQL Server instances and we describe the techniques used to optimize queries. Also, we explain and illustrate the new optimization features offered by SQL Server 2008.

  8. Attention and blood lactate levels in equestrians performing show jumping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perciavalle, Valentina; Di Corrado, Donatella; Scuto, Claudia; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Coco, Marinella

    2014-06-01

    In equestrian show jumping, attention is particularly important to ensure maximum accuracy. Due to the anaerobic nature of the jumping and its requirement for precision coordination between human and horse, there may be a relation between the onset of lactic threshold and decrease in attention. In 12 healthy and injury-free equestrians (6 men, 6 women), the effects (blood lactate and glucose) of a show jumping course (250 m long with eight vertical obstacles with a height of 1.15 m height) on capacity and selectivity of attention was assessed. A typical reaction time paradigm and test of divided attention were administered. At the end of the course a significant increase of blood lactate was observed, whereas blood glucose did not significantly change. A deterioration of attention (intensity and selectivity) and a worsening of performance with increasing of blood lactate were observed. The present results led to the conclusion that the increase in blood lactate that occurs in riders executing a show jumping course is associated with worsening of both attentive capabilities and performance. PMID:25068743

  9. Choking under pressure : attention and motor control in performance situations

    OpenAIRE

    Ehrlenspiel, Felix

    2007-01-01

    When top sports performers fail or “choke” under pressure, everyone asks: why? Research has identified a number of conditions (e.g. an audience) that elicit choking and that moderate (e.g. trait-anxiety) pressure – performance relation. Furthermore, mediating processes have been investigated. For example, explicit monitoring theories link performance failure under psychological stress to an increase in attention paid to a skill and its step-by-step execution (Beilock & Carr, 2001). Many studi...

  10. MMPI-2 Variables in Attention and Memory Test Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gass, Carlton S.

    1996-01-01

    Attention span, verbal list learning, and memory test performance were examined in relation to Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) measures of depression, anxiety, and psychotic thinking in 128 male head-injury and psychiatric patients. Results support the view that MMPI-2 scores are relevant to neuropsychological test…

  11. Attention in aviation. [to aircraft design and pilot performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher D.

    1987-01-01

    The relevance of four principles or mechanisms of human attention to the design of aviation systems and the performance of pilots in multitask environments, including workload prediction and measurement, control-display integration, and the use of voice and head-up displays is discussed. The principles are: the mental energy that supplies task performance (resources), the resulting cross-talk between tasks as they are made more similar (confusion), the combination of different task elements (integration), and the way in which one task is processed and another is ignored (selection or tunneling). The introduction of greater levels of complexity into the validation of attentional theories in order to approach the demands of the cockpit or ATC console is proposed.

  12. 重视钢琴基本功的学习提高师范生的演奏能力%Paying attention to basic piano learning to improve students’performance ability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王静

    2001-01-01

    本文从钢琴演奏的特殊要求出发,提出了音乐师范生必须重视钢琴基本功的学习,并简明扼要地分析了钢琴基本功的各个要点。%Regarding special requirements on piano performance, it brings students on music attention to basic piano learning with abstraction and analysis on the key points of such learning.

  13. Yoga improves attention and self-esteem in underprivileged girl student

    OpenAIRE

    Sethi, Jaspal Kaur; Nagendra, H.R.; Sham Ganpat, Tikhe

    2013-01-01

    Background: A student under optimal stress does bring out his or her best; however, extreme stress can result in mental health problems and deteriorates their academic performance. Students who esteem themselves low are most likely to engage in destructive and self-destructive behaviors. Moreover, excessive stress is harmful to academic performance and may lead to dropping out in student. Can Yoga be of benefit in students for improving their attention and self-esteem (SE)? Objective: To asse...

  14. Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam W Moore

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Mindfulness based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control.A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1, 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. 28 participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after 8 weeks (T2 and after 16 weeks (T3, all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for ten minutes.Event-related potential (ERP analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160 – 240 ms post stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310 – 380 ms post stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (VARETA indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect.The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources, leading to improved self regulation of

  15. Action video games and improved attentional control: Disentangling selection- and response-based processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-10-01

    Research has demonstrated that experience with action video games is associated with improvements in a host of cognitive tasks. Evidence from paradigms that assess aspects of attention has suggested that action video game players (AVGPs) possess greater control over the allocation of attentional resources than do non-video-game players (NVGPs). Using a compound search task that teased apart selection- and response-based processes (Duncan, 1985), we required participants to perform an oculomotor capture task in which they made saccades to a uniquely colored target (selection-based process) and then produced a manual directional response based on information within the target (response-based process). We replicated the finding that AVGPs are less susceptible to attentional distraction and, critically, revealed that AVGPs outperform NVGPs on both selection-based and response-based processes. These results not only are consistent with the improved-attentional-control account of AVGP benefits, but they suggest that the benefit of action video game playing extends across the full breadth of attention-mediated stimulus-response processes that impact human performance. PMID:25772554

  16. Feature-based attention enhances performance by increasing response gain

    OpenAIRE

    Herrmann, Katrin; Heeger, David J.; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    Covert spatial attention can increase contrast sensitivity either by changes in contrast gain or by changes in response gain, depending on the size of the attention field and the size of the stimulus (Herrmann, Montaser-Kouhsari, Carrasco, & Heeger, 2010), as predicted by the normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). For feature-based attention, unlike spatial attention, the model predicts only changes in response gain, regardless of whether the featural extent of the attent...

  17. Job Performance: Improvement Needed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Jacob

    1974-01-01

    Personnel directors of 38 business firms responded to a questionnaire rating 24 employee traits related to competencies, attitudes, skills, and personality which needed improvement. Five traits were common among the rank order one to five to both retailer and commercial and service organization respondents: oral communication, initiative,…

  18. Helping Others Improve Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durfee, Arthur E.

    1970-01-01

    Because individuals are motivated by work which they regard as challenging and worthwhile, their motivation is increased as they are given clear-cut responsibility. A performance appraisal system based on these new insights is available and may be used by supervisors. (NL)

  19. Video game training to improve selective visual attention in older adults

    OpenAIRE

    Belchior, Patrícia; Marsiske, Michael; Sisco, Shannon M.; Yam, Anna; Bavelier, Daphne; Ball, Karlene; Mann, William C

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the effect of video game training on older adult’s useful field of view performance (the UFOV® test). Fifty-eight older adult participants were randomized to receive practice with the target action game (Medal of Honor), a placebo control arcade game (Tetris), a clinically validated UFOV training program, or into a no contact control group. Examining pretest–posttest change in selective visual attention, the UFOV improved significantly more than the game groups;...

  20. Attentive Turkers: MTurk participants perform better on online attention checks than do subject pool participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, David J; Schwarz, Norbert

    2016-03-01

    Participant attentiveness is a concern for many researchers using Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Although studies comparing the attentiveness of participants on MTurk versus traditional subject pool samples have provided mixed support for this concern, attention check questions and other methods of ensuring participant attention have become prolific in MTurk studies. Because MTurk is a population that learns, we hypothesized that MTurkers would be more attentive to instructions than are traditional subject pool samples. In three online studies, participants from MTurk and collegiate populations participated in a task that included a measure of attentiveness to instructions (an instructional manipulation check: IMC). In all studies, MTurkers were more attentive to the instructions than were college students, even on novel IMCs (Studies 2 and 3), and MTurkers showed larger effects in response to a minute text manipulation. These results have implications for the sustainable use of MTurk samples for social science research and for the conclusions drawn from research with MTurk and college subject pool samples. PMID:25761395

  1. Improved CANDU fuel performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The fuel defect rate in CANDU power reactors has been very low (0.06 percent) since 1972. Most defects were caused by power ramping. The two measures taken to reduce the defect rate, by about an order of magnitude, were changes in the fuelling schemes and the introduction of thin coatings of graphite on the inside surface of the Zircaloy fuel cladding. Power ramping tests have demonstrated that graphite layers, and also baked poly-dimethyl-siloxane layers, between the UO2 pellets and Zircaloy cladding increase the tolerance of fuel to power ramps. These designs are termed graphite CANLUB and siloxane CANLUB; fuel performance depends on coating parameters such as thickness and wear resistance and on environmental and thermal conditions during the curing of coatings. (author)

  2. Brief Report: Longitudinal Improvements in the Quality of Joint Attention in Preschool Children with Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Lawton, Kathy; Kasari, Connie

    2012-01-01

    Children with autism exhibit deficits in their quantity and quality of joint attention. Early autism intervention studies rarely document improvement in joint attention quality. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a change in joint attention quality for preschoolers with autism who were randomized to a joint attention intervention, symbolic play intervention, or a control group. Quality was defined as shared positive affect during joint attention as well as shared pos...

  3. Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control

    OpenAIRE

    Moore, Adam; Gruber, Thomas; Derose, Jennifer; Malinowski, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Mindfulness-based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self-regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional con...

  4. Shaping prestimulus neural activity with auditory rhythmic stimulation improves the temporal allocation of attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincham, Hannah L.; Cristoforetti, Giulia; Facoetti, Andrea; Szűcs, Dénes

    2016-01-01

    Human attention fluctuates across time, and even when stimuli have identical physical characteristics and the task demands are the same, relevant information is sometimes consciously perceived and at other times not. A typical example of this phenomenon is the attentional blink, where participants show a robust deficit in reporting the second of two targets (T2) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. Previous electroencephalographical (EEG) studies showed that neural correlates of correct T2 report are not limited to the RSVP period, but extend before visual stimulation begins. In particular, reduced oscillatory neural activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) before the onset of the RSVP has been linked to lower T2 accuracy. We therefore examined whether auditory rhythmic stimuli presented at a rate of 10 Hz (within the alpha band) could increase oscillatory alpha-band activity and improve T2 performance in the attentional blink time window. Behaviourally, the auditory rhythmic stimulation worked to enhance T2 accuracy. This enhanced perception was associated with increases in the posterior T2-evoked N2 component of the event-related potentials and this effect was observed selectively at lag 3. Frontal and posterior oscillatory alpha-band activity was also enhanced during auditory stimulation in the pre-RSVP period and positively correlated with T2 accuracy. These findings suggest that ongoing fluctuations can be shaped by sensorial events to improve the allocation of attention in time. PMID:26986506

  5. Shaping prestimulus neural activity with auditory rhythmic stimulation improves the temporal allocation of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronconi, Luca; Pincham, Hannah L; Cristoforetti, Giulia; Facoetti, Andrea; Szűcs, Dénes

    2016-05-01

    Human attention fluctuates across time, and even when stimuli have identical physical characteristics and the task demands are the same, relevant information is sometimes consciously perceived and at other times not. A typical example of this phenomenon is the attentional blink, where participants show a robust deficit in reporting the second of two targets (T2) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. Previous electroencephalographical (EEG) studies showed that neural correlates of correct T2 report are not limited to the RSVP period, but extend before visual stimulation begins. In particular, reduced oscillatory neural activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) before the onset of the RSVP has been linked to lower T2 accuracy. We therefore examined whether auditory rhythmic stimuli presented at a rate of 10 Hz (within the alpha band) could increase oscillatory alpha-band activity and improve T2 performance in the attentional blink time window. Behaviourally, the auditory rhythmic stimulation worked to enhance T2 accuracy. This enhanced perception was associated with increases in the posterior T2-evoked N2 component of the event-related potentials and this effect was observed selectively at lag 3. Frontal and posterior oscillatory alpha-band activity was also enhanced during auditory stimulation in the pre-RSVP period and positively correlated with T2 accuracy. These findings suggest that ongoing fluctuations can be shaped by sensorial events to improve the allocation of attention in time. PMID:26986506

  6. Performance improvement in multinational corporations

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Yang

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this thesis work is to develop a performance improvement model template which supports multinational corporations in their daily operations. This has been achieved through literature review and four case studies. With analysis and synthesis, a complete performance improvement model template is carried out based on balanced score card which can be considered as an instruction or reference for improvement work in multinational corporations. After experienced the transformation from i...

  7. Consumption of a mid-morning snack improves memory but not attention in school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthayya, Sumithra; Thomas, Tinku; Srinivasan, Krishnamachari; Rao, Kirthi; Kurpad, Anura V; van Klinken, Jan-Willem; Owen, Gail; de Bruin, Eveline A

    2007-01-30

    Muthayya, S., T. Thomas, K. Srinivasan, K. Rao, A. V. Kurpad, J.-W. Van Klinken, G. Owen and E.A. de Bruin: Consumption of a mid-morning snack improves memory but not attention in school children. Physiol Behav 00(0) 000-000, 2006.--This study aimed to determine whether consumption of a mid-morning snack with appropriate energy compensation through a smaller breakfast or lunch, resulted in improved cognitive performance of 7-9 year old children with a low and high socioeconomic status (LSES and HSES, n=35 and 34 respectively). The children were each randomly assigned to three iso-caloric dietary interventions: control (standard breakfast, no snack and standard lunch), intervention A (small breakfast, snack, and standard lunch) and intervention B (standard breakfast, snack, and small lunch), using a cross-over design. The children were tested on three different days, each one week apart. Computerised tests of cognitive performance, consisting of memory, sustained attention and psychomotor speed, were performed during four sessions, i.e., prior to breakfast, after breakfast, after a mid-morning snack and after lunch. Having a mid-morning snack resulted in a smaller decline in immediate and delayed memory in LSES but not in HSES children. Having a snack did not influence sustained attention and psychomotor speed in either LSES or HSES children. This study shows that a more evenly distributed energy intake throughout the morning by consuming a mid-morning snack improves memory performance in school-age LSES children even when the total amount of energy consumed during the morning is not altered. PMID:17081574

  8. Caffeine improves attention deficit in neonatal 6-OHDA lesioned rats, an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, Miguel; Núñez, Fabiana; Ahern, Siobhán; Cuffí, Maria L; Carbonell, Lourdes; Sánchez, Silvia; Fernández-Dueñas, Víctor; Ciruela, Francisco

    2011-04-20

    Nowadays the pharmacological treatment of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is based on amphetamine derivatives (i.e. methylphenidate). However, these drugs induce a large array of adverse side effects, thus less aggressive psychostimulant drugs (i.e. caffeine) are being proposed in the management of ADHD. Following this tendency, we decided to study the possible therapeutic use of caffeine in an animal model of ADHD, namely the neonatal 6-hydroxy-dopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rat. Therefore, at postnatal day 7 rats were lesioned at the left striatum with 6-OHDA or with saline. Thereafter, at postnatal day 25 their activity and attention were measured with the Olton maze before caffeine was administered ad libitum in the drinking water. Next, after 14 days of caffeine treatment, we repeated these measurements to assess the effect of caffeine on motor activity and attention deficit. Interestingly, while no changes in the motor activity measurements were observed before and after caffeine administration, a significant improvement in the attention deficit of the 6-OHDA lesioned rats was achieved after caffeine treatment. Thus, our results led us to hypothesize that caffeine might be useful to manage the attention deficit during the prepubertal period of ADHD. PMID:21362462

  9. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This presentation discusses Performance Improvement which is defined as 'the process of identifying and analyzing important organizational and individual performance gaps, planning for future performance improvement, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable intervention to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions and evaluating the financial and non-financial results', i.e. making things better. Specifically, it discusses the refurbishment outage at the Point Lepreau Power Plant that began at the end of March 2008. The business risks identified in 2008 were leadership, demographics and management system.

  10. Brooding deficits in memory: focusing attention improves subsequent recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertel, Paula T; Benbow, Amanda A; Geraerts, Elke

    2012-01-01

    Ruminative habits of thought about one's problems and the resulting consequences are correlated with symptoms of depression and cognitive biases (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco, & Lyubomirsky, 2008). In our orienting task, brooders and non-brooders concentrated on self-focusing phrases while they were also exposed to neutral target words. On each trial in the unfocused condition, participants saw and then reported the target before concentrating on the phrase; in the focused condition, the target was reported after phrase concentration. A brooding-related deficit on a subsequent unexpected test of free and forced recall was obtained in the unfocused condition only. Brooders recalled more successfully in the focused than in the unfocused condition. Thus, impaired recall of material unrelated to self-concerns may be corrected in situations that constrain attention. PMID:22671938

  11. Attentional Control Buffers the Effect of Public Speaking Anxiety on Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Christopher R. Jones; Fazio, Russell H.; Vasey, Michael W.

    2011-01-01

    We explored dispositional differences in the ability to self-regulate attentional processes in the domain of public speaking. Participants first completed measures of speech anxiety and attentional control. In a second session, participants prepared and performed a short speech. Fear of public speaking negatively impacted performance only for those low in attentional control. Thus, attentional control appears to act as a buffer that facilitates successful self-regulation despite performance a...

  12. Attentional Control Buffers the Effect of Public Speaking Anxiety on Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christopher R; Fazio, Russell H; Vasey, Michael W

    2012-09-01

    We explored dispositional differences in the ability to self-regulate attentional processes in the domain of public speaking. Participants first completed measures of speech anxiety and attentional control. In a second session, participants prepared and performed a short speech. Fear of public speaking negatively impacted performance only for those low in attentional control. Thus, attentional control appears to act as a buffer that facilitates successful self-regulation despite performance anxiety. PMID:22924093

  13. Improving Performance Appraisal in Libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincelette, Joyce P.; Pfister, Fred C.

    1984-01-01

    This article identifies problems with current practice in evaluating employee performance and presents currently accepted performance appraisal methods (behaviorally anchored rating scales, management by objectives). A research project designed to improve appraisals for school media specialists which was field-tested in four Florida school…

  14. Improving Reading Performance through Hypnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Describes a study investigating the effects of group hypnosis on the reading performance of university students in a reading and writing center. Discusses study procedures and presents data on pretest scores and gains in vocabulary and comprehension scores. Concludes that regular use of self-hypnosis significantly improved performance. (DMM)

  15. Divided attention improves delayed, but not immediate retrieval of a consolidated memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoav Kessler

    Full Text Available A well-documented dissociation between memory encoding and retrieval concerns the role of attention in the two processes. The typical finding is that divided attention (DA during encoding impairs future memory, but retrieval is relatively robust to attentional manipulations. However, memory research in the past 20 years had demonstrated that retrieval is a memory-changing process, in which the strength and availability of information are modified by various characteristics of the retrieval process. Based on this logic, several studies examined the effects of DA during retrieval (Test 1 on a future memory test (Test 2. These studies yielded inconsistent results. The present study examined the role of memory consolidation in accounting for the after-effect of DA during retrieval. Initial learning required a classification of visual stimuli, and hence involved incidental learning. Test 1 was administered 24 hours after initial learning, and therefore required retrieval of consolidated information. Test 2 was administered either immediately following Test 1 or after a 24-hour delay. Our results show that the effect of DA on Test 2 depended on this delay. DA during Test 1 did not affect performance on Test 2 when it was administered immediately, but improved performance when Test 2 was given 24-hours later. The results are consistent with other findings showing long-term benefits of retrieval difficulty. Implications for theories of reconsolidation in human episodic memory are discussed.

  16. Divided attention improves delayed, but not immediate retrieval of a consolidated memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Yoav; Vandermorris, Susan; Gopie, Nigel; Daros, Alexander; Winocur, Gordon; Moscovitch, Morris

    2014-01-01

    A well-documented dissociation between memory encoding and retrieval concerns the role of attention in the two processes. The typical finding is that divided attention (DA) during encoding impairs future memory, but retrieval is relatively robust to attentional manipulations. However, memory research in the past 20 years had demonstrated that retrieval is a memory-changing process, in which the strength and availability of information are modified by various characteristics of the retrieval process. Based on this logic, several studies examined the effects of DA during retrieval (Test 1) on a future memory test (Test 2). These studies yielded inconsistent results. The present study examined the role of memory consolidation in accounting for the after-effect of DA during retrieval. Initial learning required a classification of visual stimuli, and hence involved incidental learning. Test 1 was administered 24 hours after initial learning, and therefore required retrieval of consolidated information. Test 2 was administered either immediately following Test 1 or after a 24-hour delay. Our results show that the effect of DA on Test 2 depended on this delay. DA during Test 1 did not affect performance on Test 2 when it was administered immediately, but improved performance when Test 2 was given 24-hours later. The results are consistent with other findings showing long-term benefits of retrieval difficulty. Implications for theories of reconsolidation in human episodic memory are discussed. PMID:24608365

  17. Spatial attention increases performance but not subjective confidence in a discrimination task

    OpenAIRE

    Wilimzig, Claudia; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; Fahle, Manfred; Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Koch, Christof

    2008-01-01

    Selective attention to a target yields faster and more accurate responses. Faster response times, in turn, are usually associated with increased subjective confidence. Could the decrease in reaction time in the presence of attention therefore simply reflect a shift toward more confident responses? We here addressed the extent to which attention modulates accuracy, processing speed, and confidence independently. To probe the effect of spatial attention on performance, we used two attentional m...

  18. A 30-Minute Physical Education Program Improves Students' Executive Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubesch, Sabine; Walk, Laura; Spitzer, Manfred; Kammer, Thomas; Lainburg, Alyona; Heim, Rudiger; Hille, Katrin

    2009-01-01

    Physical activity is not only beneficial to physical health but also to cognitive functions. In particular, executive functions that are closely related to learning achievement can be improved by acute and recurring physical activity. We examined the effects of a single 30-min physical education program in contrast to a 5-min movement break on…

  19. Surviving Performance Improvement "Solutions": Aligning Performance Improvement Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardez, Mariano L.

    2009-01-01

    How can organizations avoid the negative, sometimes chaotic, effects of multiple, poorly coordinated performance improvement interventions? How can we avoid punishing our external clients or staff with the side effects of solutions that might benefit our bottom line or internal efficiency at the expense of the value received or perceived by…

  20. Selective Attention, Anxiety, Depressive Symptomatology and Academic Performance in Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Castillo, Antonio; Gutierrez-Rojas, Maria Esperanza

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: In this cross-sectional, descriptive research we studied the relation between three psychological variables (anxiety, depression and attention) in order to analyze their possible association with and predictive power for academic achievement (as expressed in school grades) in a sample of secondary students. Method: For this purpose…

  1. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

    with respect to the overall energy performance of windows. By selecting some of the best solutions a new low energy window has been developed for high latitude climates and a prototype manufactured. Simple and realistic improvements such as reducing the frame width and using glass with low iron content......Heat loss through windows represents a considerable part of the total heat loss from houses. However, apart from providing daylight access and view, windows offer a unique potential for solar gain to be exploited during the heating season. Until now valuation of the energy performance of windows...... has primary focused on the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However, as the U-value, especially for the glazing part, has improved considerably during the last years, the total solar energy transmittance, g-value, has become equally important to the total energy performance of windows. Improved energy...

  2. Influence of Methylphenidate on Motor Performance and Attention in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Orit; Daniel, Liron; Dan, Orrie; Bar-Haim, Yair

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) often have coexisting developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The positive therapeutic effect of methylphenidate on ADHD symptoms is well documented, but its effects on motor coordination are less studied. We assessed the influence of methylphenidate on motor performance in children…

  3. Attention Diversion Improves Response Inhibition of Immediate Reward, But Only When it Is Beneficial: An fMRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalzo, Franco; O’Connor, David A.; Orr, Catherine; Murphy, Kevin; Hester, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Deficits of self-control are associated with a number of mental state disorders. The ability to direct attention away from an alluring stimulus appears to aid inhibition of an impulsive response. However, further functional imaging research is required to assess the impact of shifts in attention on self-regulating processes. We varied the level of attentional disengagement in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based Go/No-go task to probe whether diversion of attention away from alluring stimuli facilitates response inhibition. We used the attention-grabbing characteristic of faces to exogenously direct attention away from stimuli and investigated the relative importance of attention and response inhibition mechanisms under different delayed reward scenarios [i.e., where forgoing an immediate reward ($1) led to a higher ($10) or no payoff in the future]. We found that diverting attention improved response inhibition performance, but only when resistance to an alluring stimulus led to delayed reward. Region of interest analyses indicated significant increased activity in posterior right inferior frontal gyrus during successful No-go trials for delayed reward trials compared to no delayed reward trials, and significant reduction in activity in the superior temporal gyri and left caudate in contexts of high attentional diversion. Our findings imply that strategies that increase the perceived benefits of response inhibition might assist individuals in abstaining from problematic impulsive behaviors.

  4. Impact of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on School Performance: What are the Effects of Medication?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baweja, Raman; Mattison, Richard E; Waxmonsky, James G

    2015-12-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 5-7 % of schoolchildren worldwide. School functioning and academic achievement are frequently impaired by ADHD and represent one of the main reasons children start ADHD medication. Multiple potential causal pathways exist between ADHD and impaired school performance. In this review, we decompose school performance into three components and assess the impact of ADHD and its treatments on academic performance (assessed by grade point average [GPA], time on-task, percentage of work completed as well as percent completed correctly), academic skills (as measured by achievement tests and cognitive measures), and academic enablers (such as study skills, motivation, engagement, classroom behavior and interpersonal skills). Most studies examined only the short-term effects of medication on school performance. In these, ADHD medications have been observed to improve some aspects of school performance, with the largest impact on measures of academic performance such as seatwork productivity and on-task performance. In a subset of children, these benefits may translate into detectable improvements in GPA and achievement testing. However, limited data exists to support whether these changes are sustained over years. Optimizing medication effects requires periodic reassessment of school performance, necessitating a collaborative effort involving patients, parents, school staff and prescribers. Even with systematic reassessment, behavioral-based treatments and additional school-based services may be needed to maximize academic performance for the many youth with ADHD and prominent impairments in school performance. PMID:26259966

  5. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrońska, Natalia; Garcia-Zapirain, Begonya; Mendez-Zorrilla, Amaia

    2015-06-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%-7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games for Health, whose aim is not only to improve comprehension, but also hold the user's attention. This tool is geared towards assessing reading quality and is intended for iPad devices. Preliminary results obtained from the experiment performed to evaluate the game are included in this report. A group of six typically developing children from Colegio Vizcaya aged between 8 and 12 took part in the evaluation of motivation, satisfaction and usability of the same therapy in the new media. Results obtained by participants playing the game were analysed together with questionnaires concerning the usability of the system. Game evaluation resulted in relatively good statistics-average score was 3 points out of 4 and average time for completing the exercise was 59 seconds. A SUS questionnaire with an average score of 92.75 out of 100 indicates that the game presented is user-friendly and an effective tool. Moreover, based on the feedback obtained from participants, the game had been improved and additional functionality introduced. Older participants completed the first game faster than the younger ones, but age was not influential in subsequent games. PMID:26042366

  6. Attentional-Shaping as a Means to Improve Emotion Perception Deficits in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Combs, Dennis R.; Tosheva, Aneta; Penn, David L.; Basso, Michael R.; Wanner, Jill L.; Laib, Kristen

    2008-01-01

    Inability to recognize emotional expressions of others (emotion perception) is one of the most common impairments observed among individuals with schizophrenia. Such deficits presumably contribute much to the social dysfunction characteristic of schizophrenia. This study examined the efficacy of a novel attentional-shaping intervention to improve emotion perception abilities. Sixty participants with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to one of three intervention conditions: 1) attentional-s...

  7. No age deficits in the ability to use attention to improve visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S

    2016-08-01

    Maintenance of information in mind to the moment-to-moment cognition is accomplished by working memory (WM). WM capacity is reduced in old age, but the nature of this decline is yet not clear. The current study examined the hypothesis that the decline in visual WM performance with age is related to a reduced ability to use attention to control the contents of WM. Young (M = 26 years) and old (M = 71 years) adults performed a color reproduction task in which the precise color of a set of dots had to be maintained in mind over a brief interval and later reproduced using a continuous color wheel. Attention was manipulated by presenting a spatial cue before the onset of the memory array (a precue) or during the maintenance phase (retro-cue). The cue indicated with 100% certainty the item to be tested at the end of the trial. A precue allows the selective encoding of only the relevant item to WM, whereas a retro-cue allows WM contents to be updated by refreshing the relevant (cued) item and removing nonrelevant (noncued) items. Aging was associated with a lower capacity in the baseline (no-cue) condition. Precues and (to a smaller extent) retro-cues improved WM performance (in terms of probability of recall and memory precision). Critically, the benefits of cueing were of similar magnitude in young and older adults showing that the ability to use attention to selectively encode and update the contents of WM is preserved with aging. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27253868

  8. The Attention Skills and Academic Performance of Aggressive/Rejected and Low Aggressive/Popular Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Beverly J.; Petaja, Holly; Mancil, Larissa

    2011-01-01

    Research Findings: Aggressive/rejected children are at risk for continuing conduct and school problems. Some limited research indicates that these children have attention problems. Previous research has linked attention problems with academic performance. The current study investigated group differences in attention skills and the role of these…

  9. College Students' Attention Behaviors during Independent Study and Course Level Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Linda G.

    2012-01-01

    Students in college make daily choices about how to use their independent study time, including choices about allocation of attention. Based on theoretical considerations and clinical studies, attention and the dividing of attention through multitasking is thought to have a relationship to performance levels. Research is only beginning to explore,…

  10. FREQUENCY CONVERTERS WITH IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grigorash O. V.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the autonomous power supply systems there are widely used frequency converters that are able to simultaneously increase or decrease the frequency of the current and voltage stabilizing power supply. These positive properties of frequency converters can improve the operational and technical characteristics of the autonomous power supply system in the complex. The article suggests a functional diagram of a frequency converter performed on reversible rectifiers. We have presented timing diagrams illustrating the principle of its operation. The article also deals with two functional scheme of direct frequency converters executed on single-phase, threephase transformer with a rotating magnetic field. The principle of operation of these schemes has been also discussed in the timing diagrams. The proposed technical solutions for frequency converters contain a smaller amount of power electronic devices that make it possible, thereby reducing the level of electromagnetic interference, increase the efficiency and reliability of performance inverters. The considered scheme of frequency converters, can improve the technical characteristics of the autonomous power supply systems in the complex. We can significantly improve the performance of power systems through the use of modular aggregating principle of the basic functional units of an autonomous system

  11. Bupropion improves attention but does not affect impulsive behavior in healthy young adults

    OpenAIRE

    Acheson, Ashley; de Wit, Harriet

    2008-01-01

    Bupropion is an effective abstinence aid for cessation of smoking and possibly other drug use as well. There is evidence that bupropion improves attention and impulse control in certain patient populations, and improvements in these processes could mediate its efficacy as an abstinence aid. In the present study, we tested the effects of acute bupropion on measures of attention and impulsivity in healthy adults with d-amphetamine included as a positive control. Twenty-two nonsmokers (11 women)...

  12. Goals, Attention, and Video Game Performance among Gifted Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, Fran C.; Hollander, Brocha; Genovese, Julia I.

    2001-01-01

    Before playing a video game, 47 gifted second graders and 47 gifted fifth graders were instructed to adopt an evaluative, process, outcome, or no specific goal focus while playing. Older children showed better performance overall and their best performance when instructed to adopt an evaluative goal. Younger children showed their worst performance…

  13. Attention, Visual Perception and their Relationship to Sport Performance in Fencing

    OpenAIRE

    Hijazi, Mona Mohamed Kamal

    2013-01-01

    Attention and visual perception are important in fencing, as they affect the levels of performance and achievement in fencers. This study identifies the levels of attention and visual perception among male and female fencers and the relationship between attention and visual perception dimensions and the sport performance in fencing. The researcher employed a descriptive method in a sample of 16 fencers during the 2010/2011 season. The sample was comprised of eight males and eight females who ...

  14. Malleable attentional resources theory: A new explanation for the effects of mental underload on performance

    OpenAIRE

    Young, MS; Stanton, NA

    2002-01-01

    This paper proposes a new theory to account for the effects of underload on performance. Malleable attentional resources theory posits that attentional capacity can change size in response to changes in task demands. As such, the performance decrements associated with mental underload can be explained by a lack of appropriate attentional resources. These proposals were explored in a driving simulator experiment. Vehicle automation was manipulated at four levels, and mental workload was as...

  15. Windows with improved energy performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Noyé, Peter Anders; Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2002-01-01

    According to the Danish energy protocol, Energy 21, one of the goals with highest priority is to reduce the CO2-emission. Energy consumption for domestic heating is a major contributor to the CO2-emission; hence one of the primary efforts to reach the goal is by saving energy in the households....... Heat loss through windows represents a considerably part of the total heat loss from houses. However windows provide a unique potential of solar energy gain to the building besides from providing daylight access and view. This results in a need for development of windows with improved energy...... decreased the total solar energy transmittance, g-value, has become much more important since the solar gain through windows contributes to the heating of houses. This paper describes potential improvements of the window elements with respect to the overall energy performance of the window. Most importantly...

  16. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frandsen, S.; Antoniou, I.; Dahlberg, J.A. [and others

    1999-03-01

    The uncertainty of presently-used methods for retrospective assessment of the productive capacity of wind farms is unacceptably large. The possibilities of improving the accuracy have been investigated and are reported. A method is presented that includes an extended power curve and site calibration. In addition, blockage effects with respect to reference wind speed measurements are analysed. It is found that significant accuracy improvements are possible by the introduction of more input variables such as turbulence and wind shear, in addition to mean wind speed and air density. Also, the testing of several or all machines in the wind farm - instead of only one or two - may provide a better estimate of the average performance. (au)

  17. Performance improvement through management audits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We should go back to the basics of what a quality assurance program is designed to accomplish and then use that program to provide confidence to the public that actions are correct. The quality assurance management audit, if done responsible with trained people, is the best tool we have to monitor the goal of conducting business safely and correctly. Audit report should be used to project future performance and should not be used as a forum for recommendations. They should be presented in such a manner as to allow the managers involved to continually improve the work activity

  18. Attention, Exposure Duration, and Gaze Shifting in Naming Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelofs, Ardi

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments are reported in which the role of attribute exposure duration in naming performance was examined by tracking eye movements. Participants were presented with color-word Stroop stimuli and left- or right-pointing arrows on different sides of a computer screen. They named the color attribute and shifted their gaze to the arrow to…

  19. Attention, Exposure Duration, and Gaze Shifting in Naming Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments are reported in which the role of attribute exposure duration in naming performance was examined by tracking eye movements. Participants were presented with color-word Stroop stimuli and left- or right-pointing arrows on different sides of a computer screen. They named the color attr

  20. Memantine Improves Attentional Processes in Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome: Electrophysiological Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jin-Chen; Rodriguez, Annette; Royston, Ashley; Niu, Yu-Qiong; Avar, Merve; Brill, Ryan; Simon, Christa; Grigsby, Jim; Hagerman, Randi J; Olichney, John M

    2016-01-01

    Progressive cognitive deficits are common in patients with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), with no targeted treatment yet established. In this substudy of the first randomized controlled trial for FXTAS, we examined the effects of NMDA antagonist memantine on attention and working memory. Data were analyzed for patients (24 in each arm) who completed both the primary memantine trial and two EEG recordings (at baseline and follow-up) using an auditory "oddball" task. Results demonstrated significantly improved attention/working memory performance after one year only for the memantine group. The event-related potential P2 amplitude elicited by non-targets was significantly enhanced in the treated group, indicating memantine-associated improvement in attentional processes at the stimulus identification/discrimination level. P2 amplitude increase was positively correlated with improvement on the behavioral measure of attention/working memory during target detection. Analysis also revealed that memantine treatment normalized the P2 habituation effect at the follow-up visit. These findings indicate that memantine may benefit attentional processes that represent fundamental components of executive function/dysfunction, thought to comprise the core cognitive deficit in FXTAS. The results provide evidence of target engagement of memantine, as well as therapeutically relevant information that could further the development of specific cognitive or disease-modifying therapies for FXTAS. PMID:26898832

  1. Computer-Detected Attention Affects Foreign Language Listening but Not Reading Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Shu-Ping

    2016-08-01

    No quantitative study has explored the influence of attention on learning English as a foreign language (EFL). This study investigated whether computer-detected attention is associated with EFL reading and listening and reading and listening anxiety. Traditional paper-based English tests used as entrance examinations and tests of general trait anxiety, reading, listening, reading test state anxiety, and listening test state anxiety were administered in 252 Taiwan EFL college students who were divided into High Attention (Conners' Continuous Performance Test, CPT students with computer-detected low attention tendency was elevated and their EFL listening performance was affected, but those differences were not found in reading. PMID:27371638

  2. Attention to sound improves auditory reliability in audio-tactile spatial optimal integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziana eVercillo

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The role of attention on multisensory processing is still poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear whether directing attention toward a sensory cue dynamically reweights cue reliability during integration of multiple sensory signals. In this study, we investigated the impact of attention in combining audio-tactile signals in an optimal fashion. We used the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE model to predict audio-tactile spatial localization on the body surface. We developed a new audio-tactile device composed by several small units, each one consisting of a speaker and a tactile vibrator independently controllable by external software. We tested subjects in an attentional and a non-attentional condition. In the attention experiment participants performed a dual task paradigm: they were required to evaluate the duration of a sound while performing an audio-tactile spatial task. Three unisensory or multisensory stimuli (conflictual or not conflictual sounds and vibrations arranged along the horizontal axis were presented sequentially. In the primary task subjects had to evaluate the position of the second stimulus (the probe with respect to the others (in a space bisection task. In the secondary task they had to report occasionally changes in duration of the second auditory stimulus. In the non-attentional task participants had only to perform the primary task (space bisection. Our results showed enhanced auditory precision (and auditory weights in the auditory attentional condition with respect to the control non-attentional condition. Interestingly in both conditions the multisensory results are well predicted by the MLE model. The results of this study support the idea that modality-specific attention modulates multisensory integration.

  3. Attentional Performance is Correlated with the Local Regional Efficiency of Intrinsic Brain Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junhai eXu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Attention is a crucial brain function for human beings. Using neuropsychological paradigms and task-based functional brain imaging, previous studies have indicated that widely distributed brain regions are engaged in three distinct attention subsystems: alerting, orienting and executive control (EC. Here, we explored the potential contribution of spontaneous brain activity to attention by examining whether resting-state activity could account for individual differences of the attentional performance in normal individuals. The resting-state functional images and behavioral data from attention network test (ANT task were collected in 59 healthy subjects. Graph analysis was conducted to obtain the characteristics of functional brain networks and linear regression analyses were used to explore their relationships with behavioral performances of the three attentional components. We found that there was no significant relationship between the attentional performance and the global measures, while the attentional performance was associated with specific local regional efficiency. These regions related to the scores of alerting, orienting and EC largely overlapped with the regions activated in previous task-related functional imaging studies, and were consistent with the intrinsic dorsal and ventral attention networks (DAN/VAN. In addition, the strong associations between the attentional performance and specific regional efficiency suggested that there was a possible relationship between the DAN/VAN and task performances in the ANT. We concluded that the intrinsic activity of the human brain could reflect the processing efficiency of the attention system. Our findings revealed a robust evidence for the functional significance of the efficiently organized intrinsic brain network for highly productive cognitions and the hypothesized role of the DAN/ VAN at rest.

  4. Using implementation intentions to overcome the effects of social anxiety on attention and appraisals of performance

    OpenAIRE

    Webb, T. L.; Ononaiye, M. S. P.; Sheeran, P.; Reidy, J. G.; Lavda, A.

    2010-01-01

    The present research examines whether forming implementation intentions can help people with social anxiety to control their attention and make more realistic appraisals of their performance. In Experiment 1, socially anxious participants (relative to less anxious participants) exhibited an attentional bias toward social threat words in a Visual Dot Probe task. However, socially anxious participants who formed implementation intentions designed to control attention did not exhibit this bias. ...

  5. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: Does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    OpenAIRE

    Oosterman, Joukje M; Derksen, Laura C; van Wijck, Albert JM; Kessels, Roy PC; Veldhuijzen, Dieuwke S

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Diminished executive function and attentional control has been reported in chronic pain patients. However, the precise pattern of impairment in these aspects of cognition in chronic pain remains unclear. Moreover, a decline in psychomotor speed could potentially influence executive and attentional control performance in pain patients.OBJECTIVE: To examine different aspects of executive and attentional control in chronic pain together with the confounding role of psychomotor slowin...

  6. Performance improvement in public organizations: How to enlarge ICT investments

    OpenAIRE

    Martikainen, Olli; Autere, Jussi; Nurmela, Markku

    2006-01-01

    The research analyses effective ways and means of improving the performance of public sector organizations. Etlatieto and TietoEnator have organized the study on the basis of interviews of key public sector managers in four Nordic countries. Special attention was paid to methods employing information and communications technologies (ICT). The first main result is contained in the conclusion, that performance objectives and methods of improving the public sector productivity are not similar to...

  7. Performance Improvement in Public Organizations, How to Leverage ICT Investments

    OpenAIRE

    Martikainen, Olli; Autere, Jussi; Nurmela, Markku

    2006-01-01

    The research analyses effective ways and means of improving the performance of public sector organizations. Etlatieto and TietoEnator have organized the study on the basis of interviews of key public sector managers in four Nordic countries. Special attention was paid to methods employing information and communications technologies (ICT). The first main result is contained in the conclusion, that performance objectives and methods of improving the public sector productivity are not similar to...

  8. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Natalia Wrońska; Begonya Garcia-Zapirain; Amaia Mendez-Zorrilla

    2015-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%–7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games...

  9. Sustained Attention to Local and Global Target Features Is Different: Performance and Tympanic Membrane Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helton, William S.; Hayrynen, Lauren; Schaeffer, David

    2009-01-01

    Vision researchers have investigated the differences between global and local feature perception. No one has, however, examined the role of global and local feature discrimination in sustained attention tasks. In this experiment participants performed a sustained attention task requiring either global or local letter target discriminations or…

  10. Executive and Attentional Functions in Chronic Pain: Does Performance Decrease with Increasing Task Load?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joukje M Oosterman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diminished executive function and attentional control has been reported in chronic pain patients. However, the precise pattern of impairment in these aspects of cognition in chronic pain remains unclear. Moreover, a decline in psychomotor speed could potentially influence executive and attentional control performance in pain patients.

  11. Can the attention training technique turn one marshmallow into two? Improving children's ability to delay gratification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Joanne; Theakston, Anna; Wells, Adrian

    2016-02-01

    The seminal Marshmallow Test (Mischel & Ebbesen, 1970) has reliably demonstrated that children who can delay gratification are more likely to be emotionally stable and successful later in life. However, this is not good news for those children who can't delay. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether a metacognitive therapy technique, Attention Training (ATT: Wells, 1990) can improve young children's ability to delay gratification. One hundred children participated. Classes of 5-6 year olds were randomly allocated to either the ATT or a no-intervention condition and were tested pre and post-intervention on ability to delay gratification, verbal inhibition (executive control), and measures of mood. The ATT intervention significantly increased (2.64 times) delay of gratification compared to the no-intervention condition. After controlling for age and months in school, the ATT intervention and verbal inhibition task performance were significant independent predictors of delay of gratification. These results provide evidence that ATT can improve children's self-regulatory abilities with the implication that this might reduce psychological vulnerability later in life. The findings highlight the potential contribution that the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model could make to designing techniques to enhance children's self-regulatory processes. PMID:26708331

  12. Noise improves cognitive performance in children with dysfunctional neurotransmission

    OpenAIRE

    Söderlund, Göran

    2007-01-01

    Research on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has shown that they are extremely sensitive to distraction from external stimuli that lead to poor cognitive performance. This thesis shows that cognitive performance can be improved if this external stimulus is smooth and continuous (e.g. auditory white noise). Control children attenuate their performance under such conditions. The first Study proposes the moderate brain arousal model (MBA). This neurocomputational mod...

  13. Four minutes of in-class high-intensity interval activity improves selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jasmin K; Le Mare, Lucy; Gurd, Brendon J

    2015-03-01

    The amount of time allocated to physical activity in schools is declining. Time-efficient physical activity solutions that demonstrate their impact on academic achievement-related outcomes are needed to prioritize physical activity within the school curricula. "FUNtervals" are 4-min, high-intensity interval activities that use whole-body actions to complement a storyline. The purpose of this study was to (i) explore whether FUNtervals can improve selective attention, an executive function posited to be essential for learning and academic success; and (ii) examine whether this relationship is predicted by students' classroom off-task behaviour. Seven grade 3-5 classes (n = 88) were exposed to a single-group, repeated cross-over design where each student's selective attention was compared between no-activity and FUNtervals days. In week 1, students were familiarized with the d2 test of attention and FUNterval activities, and baseline off-task behaviour was observed. In both weeks 2 and 3 students completed the d2 test of attention following either a FUNterval break or a no-activity break. The order of these breaks was randomized and counterbalanced between weeks. Neither motor nor passive off-task behaviour predicted changes in selective attention following FUNtervals; however, a weak relationship was observed for verbal off-task behaviour and improvements in d2 test performance. More importantly, students made fewer errors during the d2 test following FUNtervals. In supporting the priority of physical activity inclusion within schools, FUNtervals, a time efficient and easily implemented physical activity break, can improve selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds. PMID:25675352

  14. Opportunities for Recognition Can Improve Learning and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Ron; Henderson, Hester L.; Lavay, Barry; Silliman-French, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Physical educators need to make an effort to catch students being good and recognize them for their positive accomplishments. Unfortunately, it is usually the students who act inappropriately who receive the majority of the teachers' attention. In order to help increase learning and improve performance and behavior, the physical educator must…

  15. l-Amphetamine improves poor sustained attention while d-amphetamine reduces overactivity and impulsiveness as well as improves sustained attention in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Tong

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background ADHD is currently defined as a cognitive/behavioral developmental disorder where all clinical criteria are behavioral. Overactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness are presently regarded as the main clinical symptoms. There is no biological marker, but there is considerable evidence to suggest that ADHD behavior is associated with poor dopaminergic and noradrenergic modulation of neuronal circuits that involve the frontal lobes. The best validated animal model of ADHD, the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR, shows pronounced overactivity, impulsiveness, and deficient sustained attention. While dopamine release is decreased in SHR, norepinephrine concentrations are elevated. The primary objective of the present research was to test effects of a range of doses of the catecholamine agonists d- and l-amphetamine on ADHD-like symptoms in SHR. Methods The present study tested behavioral effects of 0.64 to 1.91 mg/kg d-amphetamine; and 1.27 to 3.81 mg/kg l-amphetamine base/kg i.p. in male SHRs and their controls, the Wistar Kyoto rat (WKY. ADHD-like behavior was tested with a visual discrimination task measuring overactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness. Results The striking impulsiveness, overactivity, and poorer sustained attention during baseline conditions in the SHR were improved by treatment with the amphetamine isomers. The dose-response curves were, however, different for the different behaviors. Most significantly, d-amphetamine reduced overactivity and impulsiveness more efficiently than comparable doses of l-amphetamine. The lowest dose of d-amphetamine and low-to-medium doses of l-amphetamine improved sustained attention. The highest dose of d-amphetamine used interfered with SHR behavior. A second study showed that the impaired sustained attention (percent correct lever choice in the SHR was not due to impaired visual functions or poorer working memory. Discussion The present results indicate that

  16. Strategic Planning Improves Manufacturing Performance

    OpenAIRE

    JS Armstrong

    2004-01-01

    A quantitative critique of 28 studies concludes that formal planning is valuable for firms. The results were particularly favorable for manufacturing firms: nine studies found formal planning to be associated with better performance and none found detrimental performance.

  17. Improving visual attention : the effect of Warning signs with different formats

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Zheng; SUTO, Hidetsugu

    2015-01-01

    Designed warning signs were applied in this study to describe the performance of visual attention with different formats of stimulation. The dependent variables had be obtained from an eye movement experiment. A new proposal about how to sort experimental materials will be proposed.

  18. Improving Performance in a Nuclear Cardiology Department

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFleur, Doug; Smalley, Karolyn; Austin, John

    2005-01-01

    Improving performance in the medical industry is an area that is ideally suited for the tools advocated by the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI). This paper describes an application of the tools that have been developed by Dale Brethower and Geary Rummler, two pillars of the performance improvement industry. It allows the…

  19. Video game players show higher performance but no difference in speed of attention shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, David J; Wiesmann, Helene; Ilg, Uwe J

    2016-09-01

    Video games have become both a widespread leisure activity and a substantial field of research. In a variety of tasks, video game players (VGPs) perform better than non-video game players (NVGPs). This difference is most likely explained by an alteration of the basic mechanisms underlying visuospatial attention. More specifically, the present study hypothesizes that VGPs are able to shift attention faster than NVGPs. Such alterations in attention cannot be disentangled from changes in stimulus-response mappings in reaction time based measurements. Therefore, we used a spatial cueing task with varying cue lead times (CLTs) to investigate the speed of covert attention shifts of 98 male participants divided into 36 NVGPs and 62 VGPs based on their weekly gaming time. VGPs exhibited higher peak and mean performance than NVGPs. However, we did not find any differences in the speed of covert attention shifts as measured by the CLT needed to achieve peak performance. Thus, our results clearly rule out faster stimulus-response mappings as an explanation for the higher performance of VGPs in line with previous studies. More importantly, our data do not support the notion of faster attention shifts in VGPs as another possible explanation. PMID:27203594

  20. Attention and P300-based BCI performance in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Riccio, Angela; Simione, Luca; Schettini, Francesca; Pizzimenti, Alessia; Inghilleri, Maurizio; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Mattia, Donatella; Cincotti, Febo

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the support of attentional and memory processes in controlling a P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI) in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Eight people with ALS performed two behavioral tasks: (i) a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task, screening the temporal filtering capacity and the speed of the update of the attentive filter, and (ii) a change detection task, screening the memory capacity and the spatial filtering ca...

  1. Attention performance among Brazilian truck drivers and its association with amphetamine use: pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucio Garcia de Oliveira

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article was to describe the attention functioning of twenty-two truck drivers and its relationship with amphetamine use. Those drivers who reported using amphetamines in the twelve months previous to the interview had the best performance in a test evaluating sustained attention functioning. Although amphetamine use may initially seem advantageous to the drivers, it may actually impair safe driving. The findings suggest the importance of monitoring the laws regarding amphetamine use in this country.

  2. Effects of Attentional Focus and Age on Suprapostural Task Performance and Postural Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNevin, Nancy; Weir, Patricia; Quinn, Tiffany

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Suprapostural task performance (manual tracking) and postural control (sway and frequency) were examined as a function of attentional focus, age, and tracking difficulty. Given the performance benefits often found under external focus conditions, it was hypothesized that external focus instructions would promote superior tracking and…

  3. Adjunctive raloxifene treatment improves attention and memory in men and women with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weickert, T W; Weinberg, D; Lenroot, R; Catts, S V; Wells, R; Vercammen, A; O'Donnell, M; Galletly, C; Liu, D; Balzan, R; Short, B; Pellen, D; Curtis, J; Carr, V J; Kulkarni, J; Schofield, P R; Weickert, C S

    2015-06-01

    There is increasing clinical and molecular evidence for the role of hormones and specifically estrogen and its receptor in schizophrenia. A selective estrogen receptor modulator, raloxifene, stimulates estrogen-like activity in brain and can improve cognition in older adults. The present study tested the extent to which adjunctive raloxifene treatment improved cognition and reduced symptoms in young to middle-age men and women with schizophrenia. Ninety-eight patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were recruited into a dual-site, thirteen-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of adjunctive raloxifene treatment in addition to their usual antipsychotic medications. Symptom severity and cognition in the domains of working memory, attention/processing speed, language and verbal memory were assessed at baseline, 6 and 13 weeks. Analyses of the initial 6-week phase of the study using a parallel groups design (with 39 patients receiving placebo and 40 receiving raloxifene) revealed that participants receiving adjunctive raloxifene treatment showed significant improvement relative to placebo in memory and attention/processing speed. There was no reduction in symptom severity with treatment compared with placebo. There were significant carryover effects, suggesting some cognitive benefits are sustained even after raloxifene withdrawal. Analysis of the 13-week crossover data revealed significant improvement with raloxifene only in attention/processing speed. This is the first study to show that daily, oral adjunctive raloxifene treatment at 120 mg per day has beneficial effects on attention/processing speed and memory for both men and women with schizophrenia. Thus, raloxifene may be useful as an adjunctive treatment for cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. PMID:25980345

  4. Methods to improve joint attention in young children with autism: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Paparella T; Freeman SF

    2015-01-01

    Tanya Paparella, Stephanny F N Freeman Department of Child Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA Abstract: We provide an overview of studies in the past 10 years (2004–2014) that have aimed to improve joint attention (JA) in young children at risk for, or with, autism spectrum disorder. Thirteen randomized controlled trial (RCT) interventions were found, which received particular focus. Three studies used intervention methods ...

  5. Methods to improve joint attention in young children with autism: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Paparella, Tanya

    2015-01-01

    Tanya Paparella, Stephanny F N Freeman Department of Child Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA Abstract: We provide an overview of studies in the past 10 years (2004–2014) that have aimed to improve joint attention (JA) in young children at risk for, or with, autism spectrum disorder. Thirteen randomized controlled trial (RCT) interventions were found, which received particular focus. Three studies used intervention meth...

  6. Using implementation intentions to overcome the effects of social anxiety on attention and appraisals of performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Thomas L; Ononaiye, Margarita S P; Sheeran, Paschal; Reidy, John G; Lavda, Anastasia

    2010-05-01

    The present research examines whether forming implementation intentions can help people with social anxiety to control their attention and make more realistic appraisals of their performance. In Experiment 1, socially anxious participants (relative to less anxious participants) exhibited an attentional bias toward social threat words in a Visual Dot Probe task. However, socially anxious participants who formed implementation intentions designed to control attention did not exhibit this bias. Using a spatial cuing task, Experiment 2 showed that forming implementation intentions also promoted rapid disengagement from threatening stimuli. Experiment 3 ruled out the possibility that implementation intentions were effective merely because they provided additional goal-relevant information. In Experiment 4, participants gave a speech and subsequently rated their performance. Forming implementation intentions prevented the underestimation of performance that characterizes socially anxious individuals. Together, the findings suggest that forming implementation intentions may provide an effective means of handling self-regulatory problems in social anxiety. PMID:20371796

  7. Large-Scale Organizational Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilotto, Rudy; Young, Jonathan O'Donnell

    1999-01-01

    Describes the steps involved in a performance improvement program in the context of a large multinational corporation. Highlights include a training program for managers that explained performance improvement; performance matrices; divisionwide implementation, including strategic planning; organizationwide training of all personnel; and the…

  8. Beneficial effects of spatial sharing of visual attention on player's performance in a video game

    OpenAIRE

    Caroux, Loïc; Vibert, Nicolas; Le Bigot, Ludovic

    2009-01-01

    In user interface design, spatial proximity between areas of interest is considered beneficial for user's performance. This study aimed at investigating the impact of split visual attention on players' performance in a video game. The first experiment showed that closer proximity of an important element of a video game user interface, namely the score, with the most watched area of the game screen did not lead to significantly better performance. The second experiment showed that the players'...

  9. Improving Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: The Separate and Combined Effects of Incentives and Stimulant Medication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strand, Michael T.; Hawk, Larry W., Jr.; Bubnik, Michelle; Shiels, Keri; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Waxmonsky, James G.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is considered a core deficit in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with numerous studies demonstrating impaired WM among children with ADHD. We tested the degree to which WM in children with ADHD was improved by performance-based incentives, an analog of behavioral intervention. In two studies, WM performance was…

  10. Attention and response control in ADHD. Evaluation through integrated visual and auditory continuous performance test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-García, Inmaculada; Delgado-Pardo, Gracia; Roldán-Blasco, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    This study assesses attention and response control through visual and auditory stimuli in a primary care pediatric sample. The sample consisted of 191 participants aged between 7 and 13 years old. It was divided into 2 groups: (a) 90 children with ADHD, according to diagnostic (DSM-IV-TR) (APA, 2002) and clinical (ADHD Rating Scale-IV) (DuPaul, Power, Anastopoulos, & Reid, 1998) criteria, and (b) 101 children without a history of ADHD. The aims were: (a) to determine and compare the performance of both groups in attention and response control, (b) to identify attention and response control deficits in the ADHD group. Assessments were carried out using the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (IVA/CPT, Sandford & Turner, 2002). Results showed that the ADHD group had visual and auditory attention deficits, F(3, 170) = 14.38; p ADHD showed inattention, mental processing speed deficits, and loss of concentration with visual stimuli. Both groups yielded a better performance in attention with auditory stimuli. PMID:25734571

  11. Rest improves performance, nature improves happiness: Assessment of break periods on the abbreviated vigilance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-05-01

    The abbreviated vigilance task can quickly generate vigilance decrements, which has been argued is due to depletion of cognitive resources needed to sustain performance. Researchers suggest inclusion of rest breaks within vigilance tasks improve overall performance (Helton & Russell, 2015; Ross, Russell, & Helton, 2014), while different types of breaks demonstrate different effects. Some literature suggests exposure to natural movements/stimuli helps restore attention (Herzog, Black, Fountaine, & Knotts, 1997; Kaplan, 1995). Participants were randomly assigned to one experimental condition: dog video breaks, robot video breaks, countdown breaks or continuous vigilance. We assessed task performance and subjective reports of stress/workload. The continuous group displayed worst performance, suggesting breaks help restore attention. The dog videos did not affect performance, however, decreased reports of distress. These results support the importance of rest breaks and acknowledge the benefit of natural stimuli for promoting wellbeing/stress relief, overall suggesting performance and wellbeing may be independent, which warrants future studies. PMID:27089530

  12. Stereotype threat engenders neural attentional bias toward negative feedback to undermine performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Chad E; Leitner, Jordan B

    2014-10-01

    Stereotype threat, a situational pressure individuals experience when they fear confirming a negative group stereotype, engenders a cascade of physiological stress responses, negative appraisals, and performance monitoring processes that tax working memory resources necessary for optimal performance. Less is known, however, about how stereotype threat biases attentional processing in response to performance feedback, and how such attentional biases may undermine performance. Women received feedback on math problems in stereotype threatening compared to stereotype-neutral contexts while continuous EEG activity was recorded. Findings revealed that stereotype threatened women elicited larger midline P100 ERPs, increased phase locking between anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (two regions integral for attentional processes), and increased power in left fusiform gyrus in response to negative feedback compared to positive feedback and women in stereotype-neutral contexts. Increased power in left fusiform gyrus in response to negative feedback predicted underperformance on the math task among stereotype threatened women only. Women in stereotype-neutral contexts exhibited the opposite trend. Findings suggest that in stereotype threatening contexts, neural networks integral for attention and working memory are biased toward negative, stereotype confirming feedback at very early speeds of information processing. This bias, in turn, plays a role in undermining performance. PMID:25063472

  13. Beneficial outcome from EEG-neurofeedback on creative music performance, attention and well-being in school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruzelier, J H; Foks, M; Steffert, T; Chen, M J-L; Ros, T

    2014-01-01

    We earlier reported benefits for creativity in rehearsed music performance from alpha/theta (A/T) neurofeedback in conservatoire studies (Egner & Gruzelier, 2003) which were not found with SMR, Beta1, mental skills, aerobics or Alexander training, or in standby controls. Here the focus was the impact on novice music performance. A/T and SMR training were compared in 11-year old school children along with non-intervention controls with outcome measures not only of rehearsed music performance but also of creative improvisation, as well as sustained attention and phenomenology. Evidence of effective learning in the school setting was obtained for A/T and SMR/beta2 ratios. Preferential benefits from A/T for rehearsed music performance were replicated in children for technique and communication ratings. Benefits extended to creativity and communication ratings for creative improvisation which were shared with SMR training, disclosing an influence of SMR on unrehearsed music performance at a novice level with its greater cognitive demands. In a first application of A/T for improving sustained attention (TOVA), it was found to be more successful than SMR training, with a notable reduction in commission errors in the children, 15/33 of whom had attention indices in the ADHD range. Phenomenological reports were in favour of neurofeedback and well-being benefits. Implementing neurofeedback in the daily school setting proved feasible and holds pedagogic promise. PMID:23623825

  14. Sustained attention in intellectually gifted children assessed using a continuous performance test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jiannong; Tao, Ting; Chen, Wei; Cheng, Li; Wang, Long; Zhang, Xingli

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate two aspects of sustained attention in intellectually gifted children: first, the differences to intellectually average children; second, the differences between receiving standard education and enrichment education. Study 1 compared sustained attention between 24 intellectually gifted and 26 intellectually average children. The results showed that intellectually gifted children had better performance than their average peers, not only for the whole task but also on all indices. Study 2 compared sustained attention between 24 intellectually gifted children who received standard education and 24 intellectually gifted children who received enrichment education. The results showed that intellectually gifted children who received enrichment education performed better than those who received standard education. These findings are consistent with previous work and provide support for the implementation of enrichment education for intellectually gifted children. PMID:23451224

  15. Performance-based interpretation bias in clinically anxious youths: relationships with attention, anxiety, and negative cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozenman, Michelle; Amir, Nader; Weersing, V Robin

    2014-09-01

    This preliminary investigation sought to examine basic interpretive biases, as assessed via performance-based means, in the context of anxious symptomatology, attention, and negative cognition in children and adolescents. At a single assessment, 26 youths diagnosed with primary separation anxiety, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder completed performance-based assessments of interpretation and attention. Youths and parents also completed diagnostic interviews and youths completed a measure of negative self-statements. Components of interpretation (threat-valence judgments and speed of responding) were examined, and interpretation was explored as a correlate of youth anxiety, attention bias, and negative self-statements. Results found percentage of negative interpretations endorsed as the strongest predictor of anxiety symptoms; this index was also correlated with attention bias. Slower rejection of benign interpretations was also associated with youth-reported negative self-statements.This initial investigation provides support for a relationship between interpretation bias and anxiety and preliminary evidence for a relationship between attention and interpretation biases. Continued research dismantling the stages of basic cognition within the chain of information processing may provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying anxiety disorders in youths and lead to continued development and refinement of cognitive interventions. PMID:25022771

  16. Drawing students' attention to relevant assessment criteria: effects on self-assessment skills and performance

    OpenAIRE

    Fastré, Greet; van der Klink, Marcel; Sluijsmans, Dominique; Van Merriënboer, Jeroen

    2012-01-01

    Fastré, G. M. J., Van der Klink, M. R., Sluijsmans, D., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (2012). Drawing students’ attention to relevant assessment criteria: effects on self-assessment skills and performance. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 64(2), 185-198. doi:10.1080/13636820.2011.630537

  17. Internal versus External: Oral-Motor Performance as a Function of Attentional Focus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedman, Skott E.; Maas, Edwin; Caligiuri, Michael P.; Wulf, Gabriele; Robin, Donald A.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: Previous studies (e.g., G. Wulf, M. HoB, & W. Prinz, 1998; G. Wulf, B. Lauterbach, & T. Toole, 1999; for a review, see G. Wulf & W. Prinz, 2001) have reported that limb motor performance is enhanced when individuals adopt an external focus (focusing on the effect of the movement) versus an internal focus of attention (focusing on body…

  18. The Effects of Continuous and Intermittent Distractors on Cognitive Performance and Attention in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannass, Kathleen N.; Colombo, John

    2007-01-01

    We investigated the effects of different amounts of distraction on preschoolers' task performance and attention. Children 3.5 and 4 years of age completed problem-solving tasks in one of three conditions: no distraction, intermittent (periodic) distraction, or continuous distraction. The results revealed differential effects of the distractors at…

  19. Focused attention improves working memory: implications for flexible-resource and discrete-capacity models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Rerko, Laura; Lin, Hsuan-Yu; Oberauer, Klaus

    2014-10-01

    Performance in working memory (WM) tasks depends on the capacity for storing objects and on the allocation of attention to these objects. Here, we explored how capacity models need to be augmented to account for the benefit of focusing attention on the target of recall. Participants encoded six colored disks (Experiment 1) or a set of one to eight colored disks (Experiment 2) and were cued to recall the color of a target on a color wheel. In the no-delay condition, the recall-cue was presented after a 1,000-ms retention interval, and participants could report the retrieved color immediately. In the delay condition, the recall-cue was presented at the same time as in the no-delay condition, but the opportunity to report the color was delayed. During this delay, participants could focus attention exclusively on the target. Responses deviated less from the target's color in the delay than in the no-delay condition. Mixture modeling assigned this benefit to a reduction in guessing (Experiments 1 and 2) and transposition errors (Experiment 2). We tested several computational models implementing flexible or discrete capacity allocation, aiming to explain both the effect of set size, reflecting the limited capacity of WM, and the effect of delay, reflecting the role of attention to WM representations. Both models fit the data better when a spatially graded source of transposition error is added to its assumptions. The benefits of focusing attention could be explained by allocating to this object a higher proportion of the capacity to represent color. PMID:24874258

  20. Improvement of engine performance using an optimization procedure

    OpenAIRE

    Kegl, Breda; Pehan, Stanislav; Kegl, Marko

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a simple and effective approach to improve engine performance of a racing car with special requirements. Attention is focused onoptimal design of the intake system, using a gradient-based approximation method of mathematical programming. Since optimization relies on accurate numerical analysis of engine processes, the sub-models and parameters needed in the analysis software are carefully determined by experiment. Subsequently,the influence of different design parameters o...

  1. Improvising musicians' looking behaviours:Duration constants in the attention patterns of duo performers

    OpenAIRE

    Moran, Nikki

    2010-01-01

    The study focuses on the communication processes in improvised music performance by duos, exploring the relationship of musical communication to movement in spontaneous, everyday human social interaction. The study presented here examined improvising instrumentalist musicians’ looking behaviours (their ostensive direction of attention as presented by the face). Original video recordings of North Indian classical instrumental duo performances, and video material of oral music traditions harves...

  2. Combined effects of attention and motivation on visual task performance: transient and sustained motivational effects

    OpenAIRE

    Engelmann, Jan B.; Damaraju, Eswar; Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz

    2009-01-01

    We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increas...

  3. Attention in Williams Syndrome and Down's Syndrome: Performance on the New Early Childhood Attention Battery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breckenridge, Kate; Braddick, Oliver; Anker, Shirley; Woodhouse, Margaret; Atkinson, Janette

    2013-01-01

    Attentional problems are commonly reported as a feature of the behavioural profile in both Williams syndrome (WS) and Down's syndrome (DS). Recent studies have begun to investigate these impairments empirically, acknowledging the need for an approach that considers cross-syndrome comparisons and developmental changes across the different…

  4. Key Competencies Required of Performance Improvement Professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Ingrid J.

    2003-01-01

    Describes a study that identified competencies required of competent performance improvement professionals and determined how often performance improvement practitioners believed they should be, and are, currently applying each of the identified competencies. Reports on correlations between what they believe they should apply and what they are…

  5. Inducing attention not to blink: auditory entrainment improves conscious visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronconi, Luca; Pincham, Hannah L; Szűcs, Dénes; Facoetti, Andrea

    2016-09-01

    Our ability to allocate attention at different moments in time can sometimes fail to select stimuli occurring in close succession, preventing visual information from reaching awareness. This so-called attentional blink (AB) occurs when the second of two targets (T2) is presented closely after the first (T1) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). We hypothesized that entrainment to a rhythmic stream of stimuli-before visual targets appear-would reduce the AB. Experiment 1 tested the effect of auditory entrainment by presenting sounds with a regular or irregular interstimulus interval prior to a RSVP where T1 and T2 were separated by three possible lags (1, 3 and 8). Experiment 2 examined visual entrainment by presenting visual stimuli in place of auditory stimuli. Results revealed that irrespective of sensory modality, arrhythmic stimuli preceding the RSVP triggered an alerting effect that improved the T2 identification at lag 1, but impaired the recovery from the AB at lag 8. Importantly, only auditory rhythmic entrainment was effective in reducing the AB at lag 3. Our findings demonstrate that manipulating the pre-stimulus condition can reduce deficits in temporal attention characterizing the human cognitive architecture, suggesting innovative trainings for acquired and neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26215434

  6. An Adaptive Middleware for Improved Computational Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Lars Frydendal

    The performance improvements in computer systems over the past 60 years have been fueled by an exponential increase in energy efficiency. In recent years, the phenomenon known as the end of Dennard’s scaling has slowed energy efficiency improvements — but improving computer energy efficiency is m...... which we hope to simplify by analyzing the realities of modern computers, and providing guidelines explaining how to get the most performance out of them....

  7. Central Exams Improve Educational Performance: International Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Wößmann, Ludger

    2002-01-01

    International comparative studies of student performance have initiated political discussions in countries all over the world on how to improve the educational achievement of students. The empirical evidence suggests that central exams help to achieve higher student performance. Central exams direct the incentives of all educational actors towards furthering students’ knowledge. By providing the education system with performance information they improve the monitoring of students, teachers, s...

  8. Association between Urine Phthalate Levels and Poor Attentional Performance in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Evidence of Dopamine Gene-Phthalate Interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Subin Park; Bung-Nyun Kim; Soo-Churl Cho; Yeni Kim; Jae-Won Kim; Ju-Young Lee; Soon-Beom Hong; Min-Sup Shin; Hee Jeong Yoo; Hosub Im; Jae Hoon Cheong; Doug Hyun Han

    2014-01-01

    Although there is some evidence supporting the existence of an association between prenatal maternal or postnatal child’s urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances, the interaction between urine phthalate metabolite levels and genetic variation for neuropsychological deficit of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has not been examined. The aim of this study was to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine are associated with poor neuropsych...

  9. Human performance improvement for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The IAEA assists NPP operating organizations to improve plant performance through a focus on human performance improvement in areas like organizational and leadership development, senior management decision making, organization and management of HPI programmes including tools needed for effective HPI implementation, safety culture enhancement, knowledge management, personnel selection and staffing, career development, training and development, work design, scheduling and conditions, procedure and other job-aid development and use, effective communications, human performance monitoring, motivation. Many NPP operating organizations in Member States, are not yet achieving the full potential of their NPP technology/equipment regarding safety, operational or economic performance due to human performance weaknesses. The IAEA's HPI (Human Performance Improvement) services provide a means for these organizations to efficiently and effectively learn from international experts and the experiences of others in improving plant performance through human performance improvements. NPP operating organizations can benefit from these services in a number of ways, including requesting a national project, participating in a regional project, or requesting an assist visit. The types of activities provided through these services include assistance in benchmarking practices of successful organizations, providing information exchange and reviews of current practices through assist missions, conducting workshops on focused human performance topics, evaluating current human performance methods, including assistance in implementing self assessment programmes and providing support to safety culture enhancement programmes based on self-assessment

  10. Attention Cueing and Activity Equally Reduce False Alarm Rate in Visual-Auditory Associative Learning through Improving Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghgoo, Hojjat Allah; Azizi, Solmaz; Nili Ahmadabadi, Majid

    2016-01-01

    In our daily life, we continually exploit already learned multisensory associations and form new ones when facing novel situations. Improving our associative learning results in higher cognitive capabilities. We experimentally and computationally studied the learning performance of healthy subjects in a visual-auditory sensory associative learning task across active learning, attention cueing learning, and passive learning modes. According to our results, the learning mode had no significant effect on learning association of congruent pairs. In addition, subjects’ performance in learning congruent samples was not correlated with their vigilance score. Nevertheless, vigilance score was significantly correlated with the learning performance of the non-congruent pairs. Moreover, in the last block of the passive learning mode, subjects significantly made more mistakes in taking non-congruent pairs as associated and consciously reported lower confidence. These results indicate that attention and activity equally enhanced visual-auditory associative learning for non-congruent pairs, while false alarm rate in the passive learning mode did not decrease after the second block. We investigated the cause of higher false alarm rate in the passive learning mode by using a computational model, composed of a reinforcement learning module and a memory-decay module. The results suggest that the higher rate of memory decay is the source of making more mistakes and reporting lower confidence in non-congruent pairs in the passive learning mode. PMID:27314235

  11. Effects of Diurnal Variation and Caffeine Consumption on Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) Performance in Healthy Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Melissa G.; Momjian, Ani J.; Wong, Keri K.

    2011-01-01

    The Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) is a continuous performance test (CPT) that assesses attention, impulsivity, and processing speed. CPTs are used in the assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, but more young adults are being assessed for ADHD as well. The TOVA norms are based on a standardization sample…

  12. Policy advocacy in hard times: the impact of economic performance on gendering executive attention

    OpenAIRE

    Annesley, Claire; Engeli, Isabelle; Gains, Francesca; Resodihardjo, Sandra L

    2014-01-01

    Securing executive attention for new policy demands is notoriously difficult as governmental agendas are crowded by established or ‘core’ policy issues. This article investigates whether it is harder for new and costly policy issues to reach the government agenda when the economy is performing badly. We examine whether, and the extent to which, costly gender equality issues regarding women’s access to the labour market, equal treatment at work and care activities, are more likely to achieve e...

  13. The Relationship between Positive and Negative Personality Traits and Cognitive Performance: Memory and Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Sandra Blöndal 1991

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that certain personality traits have an effect on cognitive performance. The aim of this study was to examine if positive and negative personality traits affects our memory and attention. Participants in the study (N=40) were divided into high and low positive groups and high and low negative groups using median split. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule questionnaire (PANAS) was used to measure positive and negative personality traits. Two cognitive tasks were...

  14. Improving Dorsal Stream Function in Dyslexics by Training Figure/Ground Motion Discrimination Improves Attention, Reading Fluency, and Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2016-01-01

    There is an ongoing debate about whether the cause of dyslexia is based on linguistic, auditory, or visual timing deficits. To investigate this issue three interventions were compared in 58 dyslexics in second grade (7 years on average), two targeting the temporal dynamics (timing) of either the auditory or visual pathways with a third reading intervention (control group) targeting linguistic word building. Visual pathway training in dyslexics to improve direction-discrimination of moving test patterns relative to a stationary background (figure/ground discrimination) significantly improved attention, reading fluency, both speed and comprehension, phonological processing, and both auditory and visual working memory relative to controls, whereas auditory training to improve phonological processing did not improve these academic skills significantly more than found for controls. This study supports the hypothesis that faulty timing in synchronizing the activity of magnocellular with parvocellular visual pathways is a fundamental cause of dyslexia, and argues against the assumption that reading deficiencies in dyslexia are caused by phonological deficits. This study demonstrates that visual movement direction-discrimination can be used to not only detect dyslexia early, but also for its successful treatment, so that reading problems do not prevent children from readily learning. PMID:27551263

  15. Improving Process Heating System Performance v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-04-11

    Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry is a development of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). The AMO and IHEA undertook this project as part of an series of sourcebook publications developed by AMO on energy-consuming industrial systems, and opportunities to improve performance. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives

  16. Performance improvement plan in customer technical services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This presentation centred around the philosophy, goals, and initiatives associated with Gaz Metropolitain's performance improvement plan. Various aspects of the plan including customer surveys, new customer service policies, the creation of small working units, the decentralization of the Montreal service department, and customer-harmonized shift schedules were explored. Implementation of new service plans and contracts, the formation of improvement groups related to human resources, human resource and productivity management, leadership training, and the use of performance indicators were also explained

  17. Signal Processing for Improved Wireless Receiver Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Lars P.B.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with signal processing for improving the performance of wireless communication receivers for well-established cellular networks such as the GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA systems. The goal of doing so, is to improve the end-user experience and/or provide a higher system capacity...

  18. Strategic plan for improved economic performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As generation costs for nuclear power plants have risen, more and more nuclear utilities have initiated efforts to improve cost effectiveness. The Strategic Plan For Improved Economic Performance has been developed to facilitate these utility efforts, and integrate the needed support activities of other nuclear industry organizations, to enhance the cost competitiveness of nuclear power plants

  19. Methods to Improve Meat Performance on Yak

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan P.; Xu B.Z.; Yang B,H.

    2005-01-01

    To compare the quality of yak meat with that of other livestock, the growth and development of yak from birth to 48-month old were measured, slaughter tests of 6-, 24-, 48-month old were made. It can improve meat performance on yak to crossbreed with beef cattle or wild yak, to improve traditional feeding and management, etc.

  20. The professional development culture and performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The decline in performance of Canadian nuclear power plants has been widely analyzed and discussed at industry meetings. Many excellent performance improvement programs have been put in place to restore performance to an international standard of excellence. Most of these improvement programs focus on the management of processes and people. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of professional conduct and professional development in strengthening and supporting performance improvement programs. The nuclear industry has accepted global performance standards. 'World class' no longer means exceptional achievement - it is the expected industry norm. To build and maintain professional qualifications to international standards, requires a long-term commitment from employees, employers and the supporting institutions. Atlantic Nuclear's programs to address this challenge are discussed. (author)

  1. Complex living conditions impair behavioral inhibition but improve attention in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rixt evan der Veen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Rapid adaptation to changes, while maintaining a certain level of behavioral inhibition is an important feature in every day functioning. How environmental context and challenges in life can impact on the development of this quality is still unknown. In the present study, we examined the effect of a complex rearing environment during adolescence on attention and behavioral inhibition in adult male rats. We also tested whether these effects were affected by an adverse early life challenge, maternal deprivation. We found that animals that were raised in large, two floor MarlauTM cages, together with 10 conspecifics, showed improved attention, but impaired behavioral inhibition in the 5-choice serial reaction time task. The early life challenge of 24h maternal deprivation on postnatal day 3 led to a decline in bodyweight during adolescence, but did not by itself influence responses in the 5-choice task in adulthood, nor did it moderate the effects of complex housing. Our data suggest that a complex rearing environment leads to a faster adaptation to changes in the environment, but at the cost of lower behavioral inhibition.

  2. Improvement in Attention and Executive Functions During Isotretinoin Treatment in Patients With Acne

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erdem Deveci

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Background and Design: We assessed attention, memory, verbal-linguistic ability, and executive functions in acne vulgaris patients before and during isotretinoin treatment.Materials and Methods: Fifty-two treatment-naive acne patients at baseline and 24 at the second visit were evaluated. A neurocognitive battery including the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning and Memory Test, Auditory Consonant Trigram Test, Controlled Word Association Test, Digit Span Test, Trail Making Test A and B and the Stroop Test was used. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS were also applied.Results: We found improvements in attention and executive functions at the second visit in comparison with the baseline evaluations. No alteration was found in verbal episodic memory, learning, working memory, and phonemic verbal fluency (Digit Span Forwards Test p=0.003, Trial Making-A Test p=0.002, Trial Making –B Test p=0.000, Stroop test p=0.028.Discussion: The positive effects of isotretinoin on cognitive functions may be related to the decline in acne lesions and less mental occupation with the social impacts of acne.

  3. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  4. Improved Performance via the Inverted Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, Randy D.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined student performance in an inverted thermodynamics course (lectures provided by video outside of class) compared to a traditional lecture class. Students in the inverted class performed better on their exams. Students in the bottom third of the inverted course showed the greatest improvement. These bottom third students had a C…

  5. Improving the Dictation in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Using Computer Based Interventions: A Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdi Tehranidoost

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of the current study was to assess the impact of computer games and computer-assisted type instruction on dictation scores of elementary school children with attention deficit – hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Method: In this single-blind clinical trial, 37 elementary school children with ADHD, selected by convenience sampling and divided into group I (n=17 and group II (n=20, underwent eight one-hour sessions (3 sessions per week of intervention by computer games versus computer-assisted type instruction, respectively. 12 school dictation scores were considered: 4 scores preintervention, 4 scores during interventions, and 4 scores post-intervention. Dictation test was taken during each session. Data was analyzed using repeated measure ANOVA. Results: Two groups were matched for age, gender, school grade, medication, IQ, parent’s and teacher’s Conners’ scale scores, having computer at home, history of working with computer, and mean dictation scores. There was no significant difference in dictation scores before and after interventions and also between the study groups. The improvement in school dictation scores had no significant correlation with age, gender, Ritalin use, owning a computer at home and past history of computer work, baseline dictation scores, Ritalin dose, educational status, IQ, and the total score of parent’s and teacher’s Conners’ rating scale. Conclusion: Absence of significant improvement in dictation scores in study groups may be due to the confounding effect of other variables with known impact on dictation scores. Further studies in this field should also assess the change of attention and memory.

  6. Performance of mice in discrimination of liquor odors: behavioral evidence for olfactory attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takiguchi, Noboru; Okuhara, Keisuke; Kuroda, Akio; Kato, Junichi; Ohtake, Hisao

    2008-03-01

    We examined performance of mice in discrimination of liquor odors by Y-maze behavioral assays. Thirsty mice were initially trained to choose the odor of a red wine in the Y-maze. After successful training (>70% concordance for each trained mouse), the individual mice were able to discriminate the learned red wine from other liquors, including white wine, rosé wine, sake, and plum liqueur. However, when the mice were tested to distinguish fine differences between 2 brands of red wine, their performance significantly varied among the individual trained mice. Among 10 mice tested, 2 mice were able to discriminate between the red wines (>75% concordance) whereas 6 mice failed to distinguish between them (50-67% concordance, where chance could be assumed to be 50%). More importantly, 2 other mice exhibited lower than 30% concordance, indicating that they were more attracted to the nonrewarded red wine compared with the learned one. This result suggested that the individual mice directed attention to different subsets of volatile components emanating from the rewarded red wine, when they were trained to choose the liquor odor in the Y-maze. Selective attention of mice was also observed in Y-maze behavioral assays using the mixtures of 3 or less pure odorants. Additionally, we also observed that the olfactory attention of mice could be modified through their learning experiences. PMID:18178544

  7. Quiet eye training expedites motor learning and aids performance under heightened anxiety: the roles of response programming and external attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Lee J; Vine, Samuel J; Cooke, Andrew; Ring, Christopher; Wilson, Mark R

    2012-07-01

    Quiet eye training expedites skill learning and facilitates anxiety-resistant performance. Changes in response programming and external focus of attention may explain such benefits. We examined the effects of quiet eye training on golf-putting performance, quiet eye duration, kinematics (clubhead acceleration), and physiological (heart rate, muscle activity) responses. Forty participants were assigned to a quiet eye or technical trained group and completed 420 baseline, training, retention, and pressure putts. The quiet eye group performed more accurately and displayed more effective gaze control, lower clubhead acceleration, greater heart rate deceleration, and reduced muscle activity than the technical trained group during retention and pressure tests. Thus, quiet eye training was linked to indirect measures of improved response programming and an external focus. Mediation analyses partially endorsed a response programming explanation. PMID:22564009

  8. Under which conditions does T1 difficulty affect T2 performance in the attentional blink?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias Søren

    When two visual targets (T1 & T2) are presented in rapid succession, performance of T2 suffers up to 900 ms. One theory of this attentional blink (Raymond, Shapiro, & Arnell, 1992) propose that T1 and T2 compete for limited processing resources (Chun & Potter, 1995), and predict that prolonging...... processing time for T1 by increasing its perceptual difficulty will induce a larger blink. Several studies have tested this prediction without reaching a consistent answer. McLaughlin, Shore, & Klein (2001) found no effect of the exposure duration of T1 on the attentional blink. Christmann & Leuthold (2004...... duration. In the hard condition, T1 exposure duration was 10 ms while T1 contrast was adjusted individually to reach 50% correct T1 identification. In the long duration condition, T1 exposure duration was increased to reach approximately 90% correct T1 identification. In the high contrast condition, T1...

  9. One Method for Improving RAID5 Performance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    As a kind of parallel storage system, RAID5 has been becoming a popular solution for providing better performance at low cost and without sacrificing much redundant data, its main disadvantage is poor performance. It is a general method to improve RAID5 performance by using cache. However, it often happens that the data is not hit in cache, in this case, the RAID5 performance also will be very poor. The method based on combination of disk I/O operations has been proposed for improving the I/O response time through reducing the number of low-level operations. According to theoretic analysis and experimental test, we find that RAID5 access time and data transfer rate could be largely improved than conventional method.

  10. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    OpenAIRE

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-01-01

    Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such a...

  11. When a Thousand Words Are (Not Enough: An Empirical Study of the Relationship between Firm Performance and Attention to Shareholders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to concurrently test the explanatory power of the attention-based view (ABV of the firm and of the resource dependence theory (RDT. We propose a conceptual model of attention to shareholders based on assumptions of both ABV and RDT. We test these hypotheses using a unique dataset, consisting of contentanalyzed data on attention allocation for 313 firms from 24 different countries. Our research findings highlight the complementary nature of the RDT and ABV and add to the literature about attention, providing empirical evidence and theoretical explanation for the scarcely explored relationship between firm performance and organizational attention.

  12. Yizhining elixation improves sustained attention deficit and impulsiveness of spontaneous hypertensive rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaogang Chen; Hui Tian; Donglan Lai; Yan Tang; Honglan Jiang; Hualun Zeng; Yirui Li

    2007-01-01

    detection, rats in each group were daily drenched with Yizhining elixation once for 14 days successively. Rats in the Yizhining high-dose and low-dose groups were drenched with 12.6 mL/kg and 6.3 mL/kg Yizhining elixation (diluted to 25 mL/kg) respectively, and those in the blank control group were drenched with 12.5 mL/kg normal saline. On the 14th day after administration, the ratios of correct and immature response of rats were re-detected for 3 days successively by formal detection method for later analysis. The sustained attention of rats was evaluated with ratio of correct response: Ratio of correct response=[times of correct response/(times of correct response + times of incorrect response)]; impulsiveness was evaluated with the ratio of immature response: ratio of immature response=[times of immature response/ (times of correct response+times of incorrect response+times of omission+times of immature response) ].MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The effects of different doses of Yizhining elixation on the sustained attention (ratio of correct response) and impulsiveness (ratio of immature response) of spontaneous hypertensive rats.RESULTS: Thirty-six spontaneous hypertensive rats were involved in the final analysis. The ratio of correct response of rats in the Yizhining high dose and low dose groups after administration was (98.9 ± 2.30 )% and (96.6± 4.00) %, respectively, which was significantly higher than that before administration [ ( 80.4 ±11.5 ) %, (83.9±8.90) %, P< 0.01] and that in the blank control group[ (83.3±6.30) %, P < 0.01]. The ratio of immature response of rats in the Yizhining high dose and low dose groups after administration was (5.04 ± 1.04 ) %, (7.23 ± 1.22) %, respectively, which was lower than that before administration [ (9.85±2.50) %, (9.40±1.73 ) %, P < 0.05] and that in the blank control group [ (9.42 ± 1.64) %, P < 0.01 ].CONCLUSION: Yizhining elixation can improve the sustained attention and impulsiveness of spontaneous

  13. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The continuous evolution and improvement of safety-related processes has included the analysis, design and development of training plans for the qualification of maintenance nuclear power plant personnel. In this respect, the international references in this area recommend the establishment of systematic qualification programmes for personnel performing functions or carrying out safety related tasks. Maintenance personnel qualification processes have improved significantly, and training plans have been designed and developed based on Systematic Approach to Training methodology to each job position. These improvements have been clearly reflected in recent training programmes with new training material and training facilities focused not only on developing technical knowledge and skills but also on improving attitudes and safety culture. The objectives of maintenance training facilities such as laboratories, mock-ups real an virtual, hydraulic loops, field simulators and other training material to be used in the maintenance training centre are to cover training necessities for initial and continuous qualification. Evidently, all these improvements made in the qualification of plant personnel should be extended to include supplemental personnel (external or contracted) performing safety-related tasks. The supplemental personnel constitute a very spread group, covering the performance of multiple activities entailing different levels of responsibility. Some of these activities are performed permanently at the plant, while others are occasional or sporadic. In order to establish qualification requirements for these supplemental workers, it is recommended to establish a rigorous analysis of job positions and tasks. The objective will be to identify the qualification requirements to assure competence and safety. (authors)

  14. Effects of Thermal Stress on Dual Task Performance and Attention Allocation

    OpenAIRE

    Chase, Bradley; Karwowski, Waldemar; Benedict, Michael E.; Queseda, Peter M.

    2005-01-01

    A visual-visual dual task was designed to test the effect of the thermal environment on dual task performance and attention allocation. The temperatures selected for testing were 20 and 35°C Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) in experiment 1 and 25, 30 and 35°C Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) in experiment 2. In experiment 1, 34 volunteers were randomly assigned to one of the two temperature conditions. A variable representing accuracy on both tasks was coded such that a correct response was...

  15. The Attentional Boost Effect: Transient Increases in Attention to One Task Enhance Performance in a Second Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M.; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2010-01-01

    Recent work on event perception suggests that perceptual processing increases when events change. An important question is how such changes influence the way other information is processed, particularly during dual-task performance. In this study, participants monitored a long series of distractor items for an occasional target as they…

  16. The impact of real-time performance measurement on operations improvement / V. Maharajh

    OpenAIRE

    Maharajh, Veeran

    2012-01-01

    The Industrial Revolution triggered the need for performance measurement and improvement initiatives and since then efforts to measure performance and improve manufacturing operations has gained considerable attention. The current globalised marketplace has placed increasing pressure on businesses to improve performance to gain a competitive advantage. The advances in information technology has now made the collection and transformation of raw data into usable information a simple automated p...

  17. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF AN IMPROVED STREET SWEEPER

    Science.gov (United States)

    The report gives results of an extensive evaluation of the Improved Street Sweeper (ISS) in Bellevue, WA, and in San Diego, CA. The cleaning performance of the ISS was compared with that of broom sweepers and a vacuum sweeper. The ISS cleaned streets better than the other sweeper...

  18. Improving engineering performance by utilizing process indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of the work discussed in this paper was to develop engineering performance indicators used to facilitate improvement to the technical quality, cost-effectiveness, and delivery of engineering products and service. This work was specifically tailored for engineering support products and service associated with operating Florida Power and Light Company (FP and L) nuclear plants. The engineering process for the development of plant change packages was reviewed to identify critical in-process activities. Because each engineering project usually deals with a specific component or plant system, the different tasks are usually technically unique and of varying magnitudes. Although each engineering product may employ different analytical techniques or industry code requirements, several activities in documenting the engineering design process are generic. The quality of performance in these activities can be monitored analogously to the steps in a manufacturing process. This concept builds quality concepts into the package in lieu of inspecting package quality at the end of the process. The work has resulted in a valuable self-assessment tool that serves as a basis for engineering process improvements. The indicators are published in a semi-yearly performance report for FP and L contractors as well as FP and L in-house engineering work. Contracts have been set up to base fees on meeting targets established for the performance report. The ability to meet performance targets continues to improve

  19. The Effect of Chronic Alprazolam Intake on Memory, Attention, and Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Male Volunteers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahid Sadek Chowdhury

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Alprazolam is used as an anxiolytic drug for generalized anxiety disorder and it has been reported to produce sedation and anterograde amnesia. In the current study, we randomly divided 26 healthy male volunteers into two groups: one group taking alprazolam 0.5 mg and the other taking placebo daily for two weeks. We utilized the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB software to assess the chronic effect of alprazolam. We selected Paired Associates Learning (PAL and Delayed Matching to Sample (DMS tests for memory, Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP for attention, and Choice Reaction Time (CRT for psychomotor performance twice: before starting the treatment and after the completion of the treatment. We found statistically significant impairment of visual memory in one parameter of PAL and three parameters of DMS in alprazolam group. The PAL mean trial to success and total correct matching in 0-second delay, 4-second delay, and all delay situation of DMS were impaired in alprazolam group. RVP total hits after two weeks of alprazolam treatment were improved in alprazolam group. But such differences were not observed in placebo group. In our study, we found that chronic administration of alprazolam affects memory but attentive and psychomotor performance remained unaffected.

  20. Transcranial direct current stimulation improves short-term memory in an animal model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leffa, Douglas Teixeira; de Souza, Andressa; Scarabelot, Vanessa Leal; Medeiros, Liciane Fernandes; de Oliveira, Carla; Grevet, Eugenio Horacio; Caumo, Wolnei; de Souza, Diogo Onofre; Rohde, Luis Augusto Paim; Torres, Iraci L S

    2016-02-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by impairing levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. However, different meta-analyses have reported disruptions in short and long-term memory in ADHD patients. Previous studies indicate that mnemonic dysfunctions might be the result of deficits in attentional circuits, probably due to ineffective dopaminergic modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In this study we aimed to evaluate the potential therapeutic effects of a neuromodulatory technique, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), in short-term memory (STM) deficits presented by the spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR), the most widely used animal model of ADHD. Adult male SHR and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) were subjected to a constant electrical current of 0.5 mA intensity applied on the frontal cortex for 20 min/day during 8 days. STM was evaluated with an object recognition test conducted in an open field. Exploration time and locomotion were recorded, and brain regions were dissected to determine dopamine and BDNF levels. SHR spent less time exploring the new object when compared to WKY, and tDCS improved object recognition deficits in SHR without affecting WKY performance. Locomotor activity was higher in SHR and it was not affected by tDCS. After stimulation, dopamine levels were increased in the hippocampus and striatum of both strains, while BDNF levels were increased only in the striatum of WKY. These findings suggest that tDCS on the frontal cortex might be able to improve STM deficits present in SHR, which is potentially related to dopaminergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus and striatum of those animals. PMID:26792443

  1. Nicotine increases impulsivity and decreases willingness to exert cognitive effort despite improving attention in "slacker" rats: insights into cholinergic regulation of cost/benefit decision making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay G Hosking

    Full Text Available Successful decision making in our daily lives requires weighing an option's costs against its associated benefits. The neuromodulator acetylcholine underlies both the etiology and treatment of a number of illnesses in which decision making is perturbed, including Alzheimer's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. Nicotine acts on the cholinergic system and has been touted as a cognitive enhancer by both smokers and some researchers for its attention-boosting effects; however, it is unclear whether treatments that have a beneficial effect on attention would also have a beneficial effect on decision making. Here we utilize the rodent Cognitive Effort Task (rCET, wherein animals can choose to allocate greater visuospatial attention for a greater reward, to examine cholinergic contributions to both attentional performance and choice based on attentional demand. Following the establishment of baseline behavior, four drug challenges were administered: nicotine, mecamylamine, scopolamine, and oxotremorine (saline plus three doses for each. As per previous rCET studies, animals were divided by their baseline preferences, with "worker" rats choosing high-effort/high-reward options more than their "slacker" counterparts. Nicotine caused slackers to choose even fewer high-effort trials than at baseline, but had no effect on workers' choice. Despite slackers' decreased willingness to expend effort, nicotine improved their attentional performance on the task. Nicotine also increased measures of motor impulsivity in all animals. In contrast, scopolamine decreased animals' choice of high-effort trials, especially for workers, while oxotremorine decreased motor impulsivity for all animals. In sum, the cholinergic system appears to contribute to decision making, and in part these contributions can be understood as a function of individual differences. While nicotine has been considered as a cognitive enhancer, these data suggest

  2. Patterns of Performance on the Stroop Color and Word Test in Children with Learning, Attentional, and Psychiatric Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, Zarabeth L.; Golden, Charles J.

    2002-01-01

    Investigates the performance of children with learning, psychiatric, and attentional disabilities on the Stroop Color and Word Test. Results indicated clear differences between groups, with the learning disabled (LD) and the psychiatric/attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) groups generating unique profiles. Children with LD showed…

  3. Improving performance via mini-applications.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crozier, Paul Stewart; Thornquist, Heidi K.; Numrich, Robert W. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN); Williams, Alan B.; Edwards, Harold Carter; Keiter, Eric Richard; Rajan, Mahesh; Willenbring, James M.; Doerfler, Douglas W.; Heroux, Michael Allen

    2009-09-01

    Application performance is determined by a combination of many choices: hardware platform, runtime environment, languages and compilers used, algorithm choice and implementation, and more. In this complicated environment, we find that the use of mini-applications - small self-contained proxies for real applications - is an excellent approach for rapidly exploring the parameter space of all these choices. Furthermore, use of mini-applications enriches the interaction between application, library and computer system developers by providing explicit functioning software and concrete performance results that lead to detailed, focused discussions of design trade-offs, algorithm choices and runtime performance issues. In this paper we discuss a collection of mini-applications and demonstrate how we use them to analyze and improve application performance on new and future computer platforms.

  4. Attentional bias in normal subjects performing visual and tactile radial line bisections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chewning, J; Adair, J C; Heilman, E B; Heilman, K M

    1998-11-01

    Misbisection of lines is thought to represent an attentional bias. When radial lines (intersection of the midsagittal and transverse planes) are presented below eye level, normal subjects are biased toward far peripersonal space in the visual modality and to near peripersonal space in the tactile modality. These errors may be related to a body centered, a retinotopic, or an object centered attentional bias. The purpose of this study was to contrast the body centered and retinotopic-objective centered hypotheses by having 12 normal subjects perform visual and tactile bisections of radial lines that are above and below eye level. The top of the page, which may be defined by retinotopic or object centered coordinates, contains the portion of the line that is most distant from our bodies when the page is below eye level. However, above eye level, the top of a radial line would be the portion of the page that is most proximal to our bodies. We observed that when stimuli are presented below eye level, normal subjects have a visual bias toward far peripersonal space or the top of the page or both, and have a tactile bias in the opposite direction. In the above eye position we found no overall bias in either modality. Because above eye level the body centered bias should have remained the same but the retinotopic or object centered bias should have reversed, our results suggest that the body and object centered or retinotopic biases, which are oriented in opposite directions, nullified each other. PMID:9842756

  5. Measurement of mental attention: Assessing a cognitive component underlying performance on standardized intelligence tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J. Howard

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite the widespread use of standardized IQ tests to measure human intelligence, problems with such measures have led some to suggest that better indices may derive from measurement of cognitive processes underlying performance on IQ tests (e.g., working memory capacity. However, measures from both approaches may exhibit performance biases in favour of majority groups, due to the influence of prior learning and experience. Mental attentional (M- capacity is proposed to be a causal factor underlying developmental growth in working memory. Measures of M-capacity index important cognitive variance underlying performance on standardized intelligence tests. These measures appear to be reasonably culture-fair and invariant across content domains. The current study tested theoretical predictions regarding the content-invariance of M-measures and the development of M-capacity for groups of children differing in performance on standardized IQ tests. Ninety-one participants differentiated on the basis of academic stream (intellectually gifted vs. mainstream and age (grade 4 vs. grade 8 received measures of M-capacity in the verbal and visuo-spatial domains. Children identified as gifted scored about one stage higher on both measures. Results suggest that measures of M-capacity may be useful adjuncts to standardized intelligence measures.

  6. Performance patterns in Conners' CPT among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Carolina Miranda

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the performance of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and dyslexia using Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT. The clinical groups were composed of 52 children with ADHD and 32 children with dyslexia. Performance in the CCPT was evaluated using ANCOVA to compare the clinical groups with the normative Brazilian sample. The ADHD group performed worse than the normative sample in almost all of the measurements, except for reaction time and response style. The dyslexia group scored higher on commissions, variability, perseverations and inconsistency in the reaction time over the six time blocks (Hit SE Block Change than the children in the normative Brazilian sample. The ADHD and dyslexia groups differed in omission measurements, Hit RT SE, variability, perseverations, Hit RT Interstimulus Intervals (ISI Change and Hit SE ISI Change. We thus found that the dyslexia group had specific deficit patterns, with greater response to non-target stimuli, greater perseveration and response variability, and difficulties in hit reaction time as the test progressed.

  7. Performance of gymnastics skill benefits from an external focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdollahipour, Reza; Wulf, Gabriele; Psotta, Rudolf; Palomo Nieto, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    The present study was designed to fill a gap in the literature on attentional focus and sports performance. Specifically, in contrast to most previous studies in which an external focus was directed at an implement, we used a gymnastics skill that did not involve the use of an implement. Furthermore, while most studies used only outcome measures of performance, we also assessed movement quality. Twelve-year-old gymnasts performed a maximum vertical jump with a 180-degree turn while airborne, with their hands crossing in front of their chest during the turn under three different focus conditions. Under the external focus condition, participants were asked to focus on the direction in which a tape marker, which was attached to their chest, was pointing after the turn. Under the internal focus condition, they were asked to focus on the direction in which their hands were pointing after the turn. Under the control condition, no focus instructions were given. The external focus condition resulted in both superior movement form and greater jump height than did the other two conditions, which produced comparable results. The present findings show that, similar to other tasks, the performance of form-based skills can be enhanced relatively easily by appropriate external focus instructions. PMID:25774536

  8. Virtual environment to quantify the influence of colour stimuli on the performance of tasks requiring attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frère Annie F

    2011-08-01

    where tasks, that require attention, were most affected. Conclusions The game proved to be a user-friendly tool capable to detect and quantify the influence of color on the performance of people executing tasks that require attention and showed to be attractive for people with ADHD.

  9. An Improved Model of Producing Saliency Map for Visual Attention System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jingang; Kong, Bin; Cheng, Erkang; Zheng, Fei

    The iLab Neuromorphic Vision Toolkit (iINVT), steadily kept up to date by the group around Laurent Itti, is one of the currently best known attention systems. Their model of bottom up or saliency-based visual attention as well as their implementation serves as a basis for many research groups. How to combine the feature maps finally into the saliency map is a key point for this kind of visual attention system. We modified the original model of Laurent Itti to make it more corresponding with our perception.

  10. Strategy changes after errors improve performance

    OpenAIRE

    Van der Borght, Liesbet; Desmet, Charlotte; Notebaert, Wim

    2016-01-01

    The observation that performance does not improve following errors contradicts the traditional view on error monitoring (Fiehler et al., 2005; Núñez Castellar et al., 2010; Notebaert and Verguts, 2011). However, recent findings suggest that typical laboratory tasks provided us with a narrow window on error monitoring (Jentzsch and Dudschig, 2009; Desmet et al., 2012). In this study we investigated strategy-use after errors in a mental arithmetic task. In line with our hypothesis, this more co...

  11. Does Corporate Performance Improve After Mergers?

    OpenAIRE

    Paul M. Healy; Krishna G. Palepu; Richard C. Rubak

    1990-01-01

    We examine the post-acquisition operating performance of merged firms using a sample of the 50 largest mergers between U.S. public industrial firms completed in the period 1979 to 1983. The results indicate that merged firms have significant improvement in asset productivity relative to their industries after the merger, leading to higher post-merger operating cash flow returns. Sample firms maintain their capital expenditure and R&D rates relative to their industries after the merger, indica...

  12. Social capital, proximity and team performance improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Wojnar, Jakub

    2011-01-01

    Social capital, proximity and team performance improvement Jakub Wojnar Ph.D. student of the Systems Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences ul. Newelska 6, 01-447 Warsaw, Poland email: The purpose of this paper is twofold. The first part translates some theoretical concepts of social capital into business terms and explains its daily usage in international corporations. The second and main objective of the paper is a description of a method of recruiting new me...

  13. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Van Klaveren, C.; Witte, K.

    2012-01-01

    Schools frequently increase instructional time to improve students' numeric and reading performance, but there is little evidence on the effectiveness of such an increase. This study evaluates 'Playing for Success', an extended day program for underachieving pupils that uses the football environment as a motivating force. Primary school pupils with low motivation and self-esteem are offered practical and sports related teaching content for 30 additional hours. The program is evaluated using a...

  14. BICM Performance Improvement via Online LLR Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Jinhong; El-Khamy, Mostafa; Lee, Jungwon; Kang, Inyup

    2013-01-01

    We consider bit interleaved coded modulation (BICM) receiver performance improvement based on the concept of generalized mutual information (GMI). Increasing achievable rates of BICM receiver with GMI maximization by proper scaling of the log likelihood ratio (LLR) is investigated. While it has been shown in the literature that look-up table based LLR scaling functions matched to each specific transmission scenario may provide close to optimal solutions, this method is difficult to adapt to t...

  15. Modernization of steam turbines for improved performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Irwin, A.S. [GEC ALSTHOM, Rugby (United Kingdom)

    1997-12-31

    The high degree of competition in today`s electricity markets has led to increasing interest in cost-effective methods of improving the performance of existing generating plant. For steam turbines, such improvements can lead to a reduction in fuel consumption and/or an increase in generated output. In an industry that is becoming ever more ecologically aware, these benefits can result in reduced emissions. Retrofitting or replanting steam turbines (replacing parts of old turbines with their modern equivalent) has the added attraction of rejuvenating older plant, thereby extending the life of a machine and reducing the need for costly outages to inspect components towards the end of their design life. Increased turbine efficiency through retrofitting is possible in a wide variety of ways, from small modifications to complete cylinder replacement. GEC ALSTHOM has extensive involvement in turbine retrofits, both of their own and competitors` plant. This has led to a wide experience of implementing such schemes and accurately assessing and achieving the potential performance improvements. This paper examines the ways in which turbine design has recently developed and describes several examples of how new technology is being applied to improve the efficiency of older machines. 2 refs., 12 figs., 1 tab.

  16. Treadmill exercise improves spatial learning ability by enhancing brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder rats

    OpenAIRE

    Jeong, Hye Im; Ji, Eun-Sang; Kim, Su-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Wook; BAEK, SANG-BIN; Choi, Seung Wook

    2014-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients show learning difficulty and impulsiveness. Exercise is known to improve learning ability and memory function. In the present study, we investigated the duration-dependence of the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial learning ability in relation with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in ADHD rats. For this study, radial 8-arm maze test and western blot for BDNF and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) were performed. Spontaneou...

  17. The effects of virtual reality displays on visual attention and detection of signals performance for main control room training

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The nuclear power plant (NPP) mainly serve the purpose to provide low-cost and stable electricity for the people, but this purpose must be dependent upon the premise of 'safety first.' The reason for this is that the occurrence of nuclear power plant accidents could cause catastrophic damage to the people, property, society, and the environment. Therefore, training in superior and high reliability system is very important in accident prevention. In recent years, the Virtual Reality (VR) technology advances very fast as well as the technology for e-learning environment. VR systems have been applied for education, safety training of NPP and flying simulators. In particular, VR is an interactive and reactive technology; it allows users to interact and navigate with objects in the virtual environment. Development of VR and simulation techniques contributes to an accurate and immersive training environment for NPP operators. Main Control Room (MCR) training simulator based on VR is a more cost effective and efficient alternative to traditional simulator based training methods. The VR simulation for MCR training is a complex task. Since VR not only reinforces the visual presentation of the training materials but also provides ways to interact with the training system, it becomes more flexible and possibly more powerful in the training system. In the VR training system, the MCR operators may use just one display to view the wide range of the real world displays. The field of view (FOV) will be different from the real MCR environment in which many displays exist for the operators to view. Thus operator's immersion and visual attention will be reduced. This is the problem of MCR virtual training compared with the traditional simulator based training systems. Therefore, improving the operator's visual attention and the detection of signals in VR training system is a very important issue. This investigation intends to contribute in assessing benefits of visual attention and

  18. Spatial-Attention and Emotional Evocation: Line Bisection Performance and Visual Art Emotional Evocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drago, Valeria; Finney, Glen R.; Foster, Paul S.; Amengual, Alejandra; Jeong, Yong; Mizuno, Tomoiuki; Crucian, Gregory P.; Heilman, Kenneth M.

    2008-01-01

    Lesion studies demonstrate that the right temporal-parietal region (RTP) is important for mediating spatial attention. The RTP is also involved in emotional experiences that can be evoked by art. Normal people vary in their ability to allocate spatial attention, thus, people who can better allocate attention might also be more influenced by the…

  19. Improving nuclear plant performance and reliability through use of integrated performance improvement programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Over the past twenty years, performance at nuclear power stations in the United States has made steady and ongoing improvement. Reliability has been significantly improved; safety has been improved, white reducing production costs and improving the public acceptance of Nuclear Energy as an alternative to fossil fueled energy supplies. More recently, several early site permits and combined construction and operating license applications have been made, with announcements for the construction of several new units of various designs. Performance improvement programs present an opportunity to improve nuclear plant performance and are an essential element in sustaining high levels of operational performance. Use of an integrated approach to implementation of these programs further increases the effectiveness of the programs, and present economic efficiencies to utilities and operators. Such programs can be and have been effectively implemented in asian work places to improve performance and gain competitive advantage. Use of these methods will bring improved sustainable and transparent performance to nuclear plants in throughout the Asian world, increasing operational safety, reliability, and public acceptance

  20. Association between Urine Phthalate Levels and Poor Attentional Performance in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Evidence of Dopamine Gene-Phthalate Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Subin; Kim, Bung-Nyun; Cho, Soo-Churl; Kim, Yeni; Kim, Jae-Won; Lee, Ju-Young; Hong, Soon-Beom; Shin, Min-Sup; Yoo, Hee Jeong; Im, Hosub; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Han, Doug Hyun

    2014-01-01

    Although there is some evidence supporting the existence of an association between prenatal maternal or postnatal child’s urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances, the interaction between urine phthalate metabolite levels and genetic variation for neuropsychological deficit of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has not been examined. The aim of this study was to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine are associated with poor neuropsychological performance in children with ADHD, and whether such association is affected by genotype-phthalate interaction. A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the continuous performance test (CPT) were performed in 179 Korean children with ADHD recruited from department of psychiatry of university hospital. Correlations between urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the CPT scores were investigated, and the interaction of phthalate metabolite levels with the selected polymorphisms at major candidate genes for ADHD, namely dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4), dopamine transporter, α-2A-adrenergic receptor, and norepinephrine transporter genes. For the subjects with the DRD4 4/4 genotype, there were significant associations of the urine phthalate metabolite concentrations with the number of omission errors, the number of commission errors, and the response time variability scores on the CPT. However, for the subjects without the DRD4 4/4 genotype, no significant associations were found. The results of this study suggest a possible association between phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances of ADHD as well as a genetic influence on this association. Further prospective and epigenetic studies are needed to investigate causality and pathophysiological mechanisms. PMID:24978879

  1. Association between Urine Phthalate Levels and Poor Attentional Performance in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Evidence of Dopamine Gene-Phthalate Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subin Park

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Although there is some evidence supporting the existence of an association between prenatal maternal or postnatal child’s urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances, the interaction between urine phthalate metabolite levels and genetic variation for neuropsychological deficit of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD has not been examined. The aim of this study was to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine are associated with poor neuropsychological performance in children with ADHD, and whether such association is affected by genotype-phthalate interaction. A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the continuous performance test (CPT were performed in 179 Korean children with ADHD recruited from department of psychiatry of university hospital. Correlations between urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the CPT scores were investigated, and the interaction of phthalate metabolite levels with the selected polymorphisms at major candidate genes for ADHD, namely dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4, dopamine transporter, α-2A-adrenergic receptor, and norepinephrine transporter genes. For the subjects with the DRD4 4/4 genotype, there were significant associations of the urine phthalate metabolite concentrations with the number of omission errors, the number of commission errors, and the response time variability scores on the CPT. However, for the subjects without the DRD4 4/4 genotype, no significant associations were found. The results of this study suggest a possible association between phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances of ADHD as well as a genetic influence on this association. Further prospective and epigenetic studies are needed to investigate causality and pathophysiological mechanisms.

  2. Measuring performance: a strategy to improve programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoltzfus, Rebecca J; Pillai, Gita

    2002-04-01

    This article stresses the importance of evaluation as a tool for improving the design and implementation of effective programs to reduce iron deficiency anemia and to advocate for their continued and increased support. Current concepts in program evaluation are applied to the specific issues relevant to iron programs. Evaluations should be designed to meet the needs of specific audiences (e.g., community members, program implementers, policymakers, donors and researchers) and to answer specific questions. Evaluations might answer questions about provision, coverage or impact. The choice of indicators for evaluating impact of iron programs is discussed and illustrated with recent examples. Evaluation design can be broadly categorized as monitoring, plausibility evaluations and probability evaluations. These designs differ in cost and also in the strength of evidence that they provide; however, each has appropriate uses. It is important to document program costs in the evaluation process as policymakers and donors weight impact against costs. To be useful, evaluation findings must be disseminated, usually to multiple audiences. This requires allocation of time and resources and attention to the needs of various stakeholders. PMID:11925494

  3. Improving Fatigue Performance of AHSS Welds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Zhili [ORNL; Yu, Xinghua [ORNL; ERDMAN III, DONALD L [ORNL; Wang, Yanli [ORNL; Kelly, Steve [ArcelorMittal USA; Hou, Wenkao [ArcelorMittal USA; Yan, Benda [ArcelorMittal USA; Wang, Zhifeng [Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Yu, Zhenzhen [Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Liu, Stephen [Colorado School of Mines, Golden

    2015-03-01

    Reported herein is technical progress on a U.S. Department of Energy CRADA project with industry cost-share aimed at developing the technical basis and demonstrate the viability of innovative in-situ weld residual stresses mitigation technology that can substantially improve the weld fatigue performance and durability of auto-body structures. The developed technology would be costeffective and practical in high-volume vehicle production environment. Enhancing weld fatigue performance would address a critical technology gap that impedes the widespread use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and other lightweight materials for auto body structure light-weighting. This means that the automotive industry can take full advantage of the AHSS in strength, durability and crashworthiness without the concern of the relatively weak weld fatigue performance. The project comprises both technological innovations in weld residual stress mitigation and due-diligence residual stress measurement and fatigue performance evaluation. Two approaches were investigated. The first one was the use of low temperature phase transformation (LTPT) weld filler wire, and the second focused on novel thermo-mechanical stress management technique. Both technical approaches have resulted in considerable improvement in fatigue lives of welded joints made of high-strength steels. Synchrotron diffraction measurement confirmed the reduction of high tensile weld residual stresses by the two weld residual stress mitigation techniques.

  4. Aging, exercise, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, H L; Kramer, A F; Capaldi, D

    1992-12-01

    The authors investigated the relationship among aging, attentional processes, and exercise in 2 experiments. First they examined age differences on 2 attentional tasks, a time-sharing task and an attentional flexibility task. Young adults alternated attention between 2 sequenced tasks more rapidly and time-shared the processing of 2 tasks more efficiently than older adults. They then investigated the effects of aerobic exercise on the same 2 attentional tasks in older adults. Following the 10-week exercise program, older exercisers showed substantially more improvement in alternation speed and time-sharing efficiency than older controls. Interestingly, this exercise effect was specific to dual-task processing. Both groups of subjects showed equivalent effects on single-task performance. These results indicate that aerobic exercise can exert a beneficial influence on the efficiency of at least 2 different attentional processes in older adults. PMID:1466833

  5. Improving Access to Foundational Energy Performance Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Studer, D.; Livingood, W.; Torcellini, P.

    2014-08-01

    Access to foundational energy performance data is key to improving the efficiency of the built environment. However, stakeholders often lack access to what they perceive as credible energy performance data. Therefore, even if a stakeholder determines that a product would increase efficiency, they often have difficulty convincing their management to move forward. Even when credible data do exist, such data are not always sufficient to support detailed energy performance analyses, or the development of robust business cases. One reason for this is that the data parameters that are provided are generally based on the respective industry norms. Thus, for mature industries with extensive testing standards, the data made available are often quite detailed. But for emerging technologies, or for industries with less well-developed testing standards, available data are generally insufficient to support robust analysis. However, even for mature technologies, there is no guarantee that the data being supplied are the same data needed to accurately evaluate a product?s energy performance. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy funded development of a free, publically accessible Web-based portal, the Technology Performance Exchange(TM), to facilitate the transparent identification, storage, and sharing of foundational energy performance data. The Technology Performance Exchange identifies the intrinsic, technology-specific parameters necessary for a user to perform a credible energy analysis and includes a robust database to store these data. End users can leverage stored data to evaluate the site-specific performance of various technologies, support financial analyses with greater confidence, and make better informed procurement decisions.

  6. Improving Contract Performance by Corrective Actions Plans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) are required to be developed, submitted, and reported upon by the prime contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Management and Operations (M and O) contracts. The best known CAP ''type,'' and there are many, is for Price-Anderson Amendments Act (PAAA) ''potential noncompliances.'' The M and O contractor fines for PAAA problems have increased from approximately $100,000 in 1996 to almost $2,000,000 in 2000. In order to improve CAP performance at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) site at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the contractor chose to centralize the company-wide processes of problem identification and reporting with the PAAA (and other) CAP processes. This directly integrates these functional reports to the contractor General Manager. The functions contained in the M and O contractor central organization, called ''Performance Assurance,'' are: PAAA; Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Liaison; Contract Requirements Management; Issues Management (including the CAP processes); Lessons Learned; Independent and Management Assessments; Internal Audits; and Ethics. By centrally locating and managing these problem identification and problem correction functions, the contractor, BWXT Y-12, L.L.C., has improved PAAA (and other) CAP performance more than 200 percent in the first year of the contract. Much of this improvement (see Table 1 for examples) has been achieved by increasing the knowledge and experience of management and workers in the specific contract and company requirements for CAPs. The remainder of this paper will describe some of the many CAP processes at Y-12 to show the reader the non-trivial scope of the CAP process. Improvements in CAP management will be discussed. In addition, a specific recommendation for CAP management, in a major capital construction project, will be presented

  7. Factor analysis of attentional set-shifting performance in young and aged mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geyer Mark A

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Executive dysfunction may play a major role in cognitive decline with aging because frontal lobe structures are particularly vulnerable to advancing age. Lesion studies in rats and mice have suggested that intradimensional shifts (IDSs, extradimensional shifts (EDSs, and reversal learning are mediated by the anterior cingulate cortex, the medial prefrontal cortex, and the orbitofrontal cortex, respectively. We hypothesized that the latent structure of cognitive performance would reflect functional localization in the brain and would be altered by aging. Methods Young (4 months, n = 16 and aged (23 months, n = 18 C57BL/6N mice performed an attentional set-shifting task (ASST that evaluates simple discrimination (SD, compound discrimination (CD, IDS, EDS, and reversal learning. The performance data were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to extract the latent structures of ASST performance in young and aged mice. Results The factor analysis extracted two- and three-factor models. In the two-factor model, the factor associated with SD and CD was clearly separated from the factor associated with the rest of the ASST stages in the young mice only. In the three-factor model, the SD and CD loaded on distinct factors. The three-factor model also showed a separation of factors associated with IDS, EDS, and CD reversal. However, the other reversal learning variables, ID reversal and ED reversal, had somewhat inconsistent factor loadings. Conclusions The separation of performance factors in aged mice was less clear than in young mice, which suggests that aged mice utilize neuronal networks more broadly for specific cognitive functions. The result that the factors associated with SD and CD were separated in the three-factor model may suggest that the introduction of an irrelevant or distracting dimension results in the use of a new/orthogonal strategy for better discrimination.

  8. Improving Vaginal Examinations Performed by Midwives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhoda S. Muliira

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available A vaginal examination (VE is an essential part of midwifery care, and is routinely performed when assessing the progress of labour. As evidence shows that during labour women may find VEs unpleasant,embarrassing and sometimes painful, the aim of this article is to review literature on the use of VEs during labour and to synthesise information from the available literature on how to provide an effective VE. The studies considered were retrieved from three databases (the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature [CINAHL], SCOPUS and MEDLINE using the following search terms: “VEs in labour”, “midwives and use of VEs” and “women experiences of VEs in labour”. The literature reviewed suggests that midwives are not careful about VEs. Therefore, a concerted effort is needed to pay attention to the frequency of VEs, the management ofpain and distress, information-giving and the preferences of the patient, so that the patient can feel in control during a VE.

  9. A conceptual model for manufacturing performance improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.A. Karim

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Important performance objectives manufacturers sought can be achieved through adopting the appropriate manufacturing practices. This paper presents a conceptual model proposing relationship between advanced quality practices, perceived manufacturing difficulties and manufacturing performances.Design/methodology/approach: A survey-based approach was adopted to test the hypotheses proposed in this study. The selection of research instruments for inclusion in this survey was based on literature review, the pilot case studies and relevant industrial experience of the author. A sample of 1000 manufacturers across Australia was randomly selected. Quality managers were requested to complete the questionnaire, as the task of dealing with the quality and reliability issues is a quality manager’s major responsibility.Findings: Evidence indicates that product quality and reliability is the main competitive factor for manufacturers. Design and manufacturing capability and on time delivery came second. Price is considered as the least important factor for the Australian manufacturers. Results show that collectively the advanced quality practices proposed in this study neutralize the difficulties manufacturers face and contribute to the most performance objectives of the manufacturers. The companies who have put more emphasize on the advanced quality practices have less problem in manufacturing and better performance in most manufacturing performance indices. The results validate the proposed conceptual model and lend credence to hypothesis that proposed relationship between quality practices, manufacturing difficulties and manufacturing performances.Practical implications: The model shown in this paper provides a simple yet highly effective approach to achieving significant improvements in product quality and manufacturing performance. This study introduces a relationship based ‘proactive’ quality management approach and provides great

  10. Integrating Mindfulness Practices into the Elementary Curriculum to Improve Attention-to-Task Behaviors and Social Relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanagy-Borofka, Lori

    2013-01-01

    This study examined effects of integrating mindfulness practices into the 5th grade curriculum to improve attention-to-task, including inattention and executive functioning, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and social relations. As academic requirements become more rigorous, students have been expected to demonstrate increased skills in…

  11. Cleanliness criteria to improve steam generator performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    High steam generator performance is a prerequisite for high plant availability and possible life time extension. The major opponent to that is corrosion and fouling of the heating tubes. Such steam generator degradation problems arise from the continuous ingress of non-volatile contaminants, i.e. corrosion products and salt impurities may accumulate in the steam generators. These impurities have their origin in the secondary side systems. The corrosion products generally accumulate in the steam generators and form deposits not only in the flow restricted areas, such as on top of tube sheet and tube support structure, but also build scales on the steam generator heating tubes. In addition, the tube scales in general affect the steam generator thermal performance, which ultimately causes a reduction of power output. The most effective ways of counteracting all these degradation problems, and thus of improving the steam generator performance is to keep them in clean conditions or, if judged necessary, to plan cleaning measures such as mechanical tube sheet lancing or chemical cleaning. This paper presents a methodology how to assess the cleanliness condition of a steam generator by bringing together all available operational and inspection data such as thermal performance and water chemistry data. By means of this all-inclusive approach the cleanliness condition is quantified in terms of a fouling index. The fouling index allows to monitor the condition of a specific steam generator, compare it to other plants and, finally, to serve as criterion for cleaning measures such as chemical cleaning. The application of the cleanliness criteria and the achieved field results with respect to improvements of steam generator performance will be presented. (author)

  12. Technetium Getters to Improve Cast Stone Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neeway, James J.; Lawter, Amanda R.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Asmussen, Robert M.; Qafoku, Nikolla

    2015-10-15

    The cementitious material known as Cast Stone has been selected as the preferred waste form for solidification of aqueous secondary liquid effluents from the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) process condensates and low-activity waste (LAW) melter off-gas caustic scrubber effluents. Cast Stone is also being evaluated as a supplemental immobilization technology to provide the necessary LAW treatment capacity to complete the Hanford tank waste cleanup mission in a timely and cost effective manner. Two radionuclides of particular concern in these waste streams are technetium-99 (99Tc) and iodine-129 (129I). These radioactive tank waste components contribute the most to the environmental impacts associated with the cleanup of the Hanford site. A recent environmental assessment of Cast Stone performance, which assumes a diffusion controlled release of contaminants from the waste form, calculates groundwater in excess of the allowable maximum permissible concentrations for both contaminants. There is, therefore, a need and an opportunity to improve the retention of both 99Tc and 129I in Cast Stone. One method to improve the performance of Cast Stone is through the addition of “getters” that selectively sequester Tc and I, therefore reducing their diffusion out of Cast Stone. In this paper, we present results of Tc and I removal from solution with various getters with batch sorption experiments conducted in deionized water (DIW) and a highly caustic 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. In general, the data show that the selected getters are effective in DIW but their performance is comprised when experiments are performed with the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. Reasons for the mitigated performance in the LAW simulant may be due to competition with Cr present in the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant and to a pH effect.

  13. Clinical symptoms and performance on the continuous performance test in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder between subtypes: a natural follow-up study for 6 months

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiang Yuan-Lin

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aims of this study were to determine the time course of improvements in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD clinical symptoms and neurocognitive function in a realistic clinical setting, and the differences in ADHD symptom improvement using different classifications of ADHD subtypes. Methods The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL was completed by parents of ADHD children at the initial visit. The computerized Continuous Performance Test (CPT, Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham, and Version IV Scale for ADHD (SNAP-IV, and ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS were performed at baseline, one month, three months, and six months later, respectively. Patient care including drug therapy was performed at the discretion of the psychiatrist. The ADHD patients were divided into DSM-IV subtypes (Inattentive, Hyperactive-impulsive and Combined type, and were additionally categorized into aggressive and non-aggressive subtypes by aggression scale in CBCL for comparisons. Results There were 50 ADHD patients with a mean age of 7.84 ± 1.64 years; 15 of them were inattentive type, 11 were hyperactive-impulsive type, and 24 were combined type. In addition, 28 of the ADHD patients were grouped into aggressive and 22 into non-aggressive subtypes. There were significant improvements in clinical symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention, and impulsivity performance in CPT during the 6-month treatment. The clinical hyperactive symptoms were significantly different between ADHD patients sub-grouping both by DSM-IV and aggression. Non-aggressive patients had significantly greater changes in distraction and impulsivity performances in CPT from baseline to month 6 than aggressive patients. Conclusions We found that ADHD symptoms, which included impulsive performances in CPT and clinical inattention and hyperactivity dimensions, had improved significantly over 6 months under pragmatic treatments. The non-aggressive ADHD patients might have a higher potential

  14. Improving construction performance through supply chain management

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王要武; 薛小龙

    2004-01-01

    A typical model of construction supply chain (CSC) is presented firstly. Then the characteristics and problems of CSC are identified. The authors also describe the progress towards adoption of supply chain management (SCM) in the construction industry. Traditional construction management approaches (CMAs) are compared with new SCM-based CMAs. The authors suggest that integrated SCM based on cooperating competition is crucial to improve construction performance. Based on relevant results from related research, a framework for integrated construction supply chain management (CSCM) is developed to guide the effective implementation of SCM in construction.

  15. Performance Improvements for Nuclear Reaction Network Integration

    CERN Document Server

    Longland, Richard; José, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    Aims: The aim of this work is to compare the performance of three reaction network integration methods used in stellar nucleosynthesis calculations. These are the Gear's backward differentiation method, Wagoner's method (a 2nd-order Runge-Kutta method), and the Bader-Deuflehard semi-implicit multi-step method. Methods: To investigate the efficiency of each of the integration methods considered here, a test suite of temperature and density versus time profiles is used. This suite provides a range of situations ranging from constant temperature and density to the dramatically varying conditions present in white dwarf mergers, novae, and x-ray bursts. Some of these profiles are obtained separately from full hydrodynamic calculations. The integration efficiencies are investigated with respect to input parameters that constrain the desired accuracy and precision. Results: Gear's backward differentiation method is found to improve accuracy, performance, and stability in integrating nuclear reaction networks. For te...

  16. Improvement of Automotive Part Supplier Performance Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kongmunee, Chalermkwan; Chutima, Parames

    2016-05-01

    This research investigates the problem of the part supplier performance evaluation in a major Japanese automotive plant in Thailand. Its current evaluation scheme is based on experiences and self-opinion of the evaluators. As a result, many poor performance suppliers are still considered as good suppliers and allow to supply parts to the plant without further improvement obligation. To alleviate this problem, the brainstorming session among stakeholders and evaluators are formally conducted. The result of which is the appropriate evaluation criteria and sub-criteria. The analytical hierarchy process is also used to find suitable weights for each criteria and sub-criteria. The results show that a newly developed evaluation method is significantly better than the previous one in segregating between good and poor suppliers.

  17. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  18. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

    Full Text Available Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  19. The Implementation of Collaborative Learning Using AfL through Giving Feedback Strategy for Improving Students’ Attention to Mathematics Lesson

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurniasih, R.; Sujadi, I.; Pramesti, G.

    2016-02-01

    This research aims to describe the process of implementation collaborative learning with AfL through giving feedback strategy for improving students’ attention to mathematics lesson. Data which is collected in this research are students’ attention towards learning and students’ achievement. The result of this research showed that the learning steps by using collaborative learning with AfL through giving feedback strategy which can improve students’ attention are: 1) pre activity: the teacher delivers the purpose of the learning, successful criteria, apperception, and motivation. 2) main activity: the teacher gives the background of learning activity, explains learning materials at a glance, divides students discuss, the teacher observes and guides students to the problem solving, present their discussion result, gives feedback, the students do AfL problem and the answer is collected and result will be given before next meeting. 3) post activity: the teacher with students concludes the material. Test result, the percentage of students who complete the examination in the second cycle is 77.27%. Based on those results can be concluded that the implementation of collaborative learning using AfL through giving feedback can improve students’ attention towards learning and students’ achievement of XI IPA Students MA Al-Islam Jamsaren Surakarta academic year 2013/2014.

  20. Attentional Focus Effects in Standing Long Jump Performance: Influence of a Broad and Narrow Internal Focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Kevin A; Smith, Peter J K

    2015-07-01

    The content of instructions that strength coaches give can have a significant impact on how an athlete or client performs. Research on motor learning has shown an advantage of instructions focusing on the effects of movements (external focus) over those focusing on the movements themselves (internal focus) in the performance of motor skills. Internally focused cues are abundant in coaching, therefore the purpose of this study was to test whether some internally focused cues might be more helpful than others. Participants (68) were randomly assigned to either an external focus (EX), broad internal focus (B-IN), narrow internal focus (N-IN), or a control group (CON), and performed 5 standing long jumps. All groups were instructed that the goal was to jump as far as possible. In addition, the EX group was told to "jump as far past the start line as possible." The B-IN group was told to "use your legs." The N-IN group was told to "extend your knees as rapidly as possible," and the CON group received no additional instruction. An analysis of covariance showed that the EX group (198.09 ± 31.89 cm) jumped significantly farther than both the B-IN group (173.74 ± 35.36 cm), p = 0.010 and the N-IN group (178.53 ± 31.17 cm), p = 0.049, with no group different from the CON group. The results suggest that a broad internal focus is no more effective than a narrow internal focus, and that an external focus leads to the greatest jump distance. Strength and conditioning professionals should carefully word their instructions to induce an external focus of attention whenever possible. PMID:26102255

  1. CDH13 is associated with working memory performance in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias-Vásquez, A; Altink, M E; Rommelse, N N J; Slaats-Willemse, D I E; Buschgens, C J M; Fliers, E A; Faraone, S V; Sergeant, J A; Oosterlaan, J; Franke, B; Buitelaar, J K

    2011-11-01

    Different analytic strategies, including linkage, association and meta-analysis support a role of CDH13 in the susceptibility to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). CDH13 codes for cadherin 13 (or H-cadherin), which is a member of a family of calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion proteins and a regulator of neural cell growth. We tested the association between CDH13 on three executive functioning tasks that are promising endophenotypes of ADHD. An adjusted linear regression analysis was performed in 190 ADHD-affected Dutch probands of the IMAGE project. Three executive functions were examined: inhibition, verbal and visuo-spatial working memory (WM). We tested 2632 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within CDH13 and 20 kb up- and downstream of the gene (capturing regulatory sequences). To adjust for multiple testing within the gene, we applied stringent permutation steps. Intronic SNP rs11150556 is associated with performance on the Verbal WM task. No other SNP showed gene-wide significance with any of the analyzed traits, but a 72-kb SNP block located 446 kb upstream of SNP rs111500556 showed suggestive evidence for association (P-value range 1.20E-03 to 1.73E-04) with performance in the same Verbal WM task. This study is the first to examine CDH13 and neurocognitive functioning. The mechanisms underlying the associations between CDH13 and the clinical phenotype of ADHD and verbal WM are still unknown. As such, our study may be viewed as exploratory, with the results presented providing interesting hypotheses for further testing. PMID:21815997

  2. Using Virtual Reality Environment to Improve Joint Attention Associated with Pervasive Developmental Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yufang; Huang, Ruowen

    2012-01-01

    The focus of this study is using data glove to practice Joint attention skill in virtual reality environment for people with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). The virtual reality environment provides a safe environment for PDD people. Especially, when they made errors during practice in virtual reality environment, there is no suffering or…

  3. The Efficacy of Notetaking to Improve Behavior and Comprehension of Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Steven W.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Two studies evaluated a notetaking intervention targeting the passive learning style and disruptive behaviors exhibited by adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Thirty teens in a summer program were able to learn notetaking strategies using a modification of the Directed Notetaking Activity training method and showed…

  4. Attention Therapy Improves Reading Comprehension in Adjudicated Teens in a Residential Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelley-Tremblay, John; Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Jennifer; Eyer, Joshua

    2012-01-01

    This study quantified the influence of visual Attention Therapy (AT) on reading skills and Coherent Motion Threshold (CMT) in adjudicated teens with moderate reading disabilities (RD) residing in a residential alternative sentencing program. Forty-two students with below-average reading scores were identified using standardized reading…

  5. Is There a Relationship between the Play Attention Program and Improved Student Achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webber, Jenny Ann

    2011-01-01

    Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its effects on student academic achievement have been researched for many years. There have been many interventions that have been used in treating ADHD that have been found successful when implemented consistently. Some of the interventions that have been researched in the past are behavior…

  6. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such as the underutilisation of available skills, tolerance for individual preferences, and dynamically, and informally refining a role objective while an employee is occupying a certain role. The important professional skills required by individuals to cope with these real life factors are also explored in the skills gaps management context. Moreover, these industries need a profile they refer to as Special Forces, which denotes a high calibre of worker that possesses well-developed professional skills whilst having advanced technical expertise and sufficient experience. This resource profile is required largely due to the poor management of human resource processes in practice and the current reported lack of adequate skills. Furthermore, this study refers to the recent lack of a working definition for these Special Forces leading to the omitted active development of these profiles in industry today, which appears to become a key human performance inhibiting factor.

  7. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, Sara; Singer, Wolf; Melloni, Lucia

    2012-01-01

    During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2, and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2, and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that meditation modulates

  8. Attentional Performance in Children and Adolescents with Tic Disorder and Co-Occurring Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: New Insights from a 2 × 2 Factorial Design Study

    OpenAIRE

    Greimel, Ellen; Wanderer, Sina; Rothenberger, Aribert; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Konrad, Kerstin; Roessner, Veit

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of both tic disorder (TD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on attentional functions. N = 96 children and adolescents participated in the study, including n = 21 subjects with TD, n = 23 subjects with ADHD, n = 25 subjects with TD+ADHD, and n = 27 controls. Attentional performance was tested based on four computerized attention tasks (sustained attention, divided attention, go/nogo and set shifting). The effect of TD...

  9. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara evan Leeuwen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2 and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2 and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that

  10. Subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists can improve cognitive flexibility in an attentional set shifting task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Christopher; Kohli, Shivali; Malcolm, Emma; Allison, Claire; Shoaib, Mohammed

    2016-06-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are considered to be viable targets to enhance cognition in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Activation of nAChRs with selective nicotinic receptor agonists may provide effective means to pharmacologically treat cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. Cognitive flexibility is one aspect of cognition, which can be assessed in a rodent model of the attentional set-shifting task (ASST). The aim of the present study was two-fold, firstly, to evaluate the efficacy of a series of subtype selective nAChR agonists, such as those that target α7 and α4β2 nAChR subtypes in non-compromised rodents. Secondly, nicotine as a prototypic agonist was evaluated for its effects to restore attentional deficits produced by sub-chronic ketamine exposure in the ASST. Male hooded Lister rats underwent habituation, consisting of a simple odour and medium discrimination with subsequent assessment 24 h later. In experimentally naïve rats, α7 subtype selective agonists, compound-A and SSR180711 along with PNU-120596, an α7 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), were compared against the β2* selective agonist, 5IA-85380. All compounds except for PNU-120596 were observed to significantly improve extra-dimensional (ED) shift performance, nicotine, 5IA-85380 and SSR180711 further enhanced the final reversal (REV3) stage of the task. In another experiment, sub-chronic ketamine treatment produced robust deficits during the ED and the REV3 stages of the discriminations; rodents required significantly more trials to reach criterion during these discriminations. These deficits were attenuated in rodents treated acutely with nicotine (0.1 mg/kg SC) 10 min prior to the ED shift. These results highlight the potential utility of targeting nAChRs to enhance cognitive flexibility, particularly the α7 and β2* receptor subtypes. The improvement with nicotine was much greater in rodents that were impaired following the sub-chronic ketamine

  11. PIMM: A Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-05-15

    This report presents a Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology (PIMM) for measuring and reporting the mission performance for organizational elements of the U.S. Department of Energy to comply with the Chief Financial Officer`s Act (CFOA) of 1990 and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. The PIMM is illustrated by application to the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC), a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) field center of the Office of Fossil Energy, along with limited applications to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Office and the Office of Fossil Energy. METC is now implementing the first year of a pilot project under GPRA using the PIMM. The PIMM process is applicable to all elements of the Department; organizations may customize measurements to their specific missions. The PIMM has four aspects: (1) an achievement measurement that applies to any organizational element, (2) key indicators that apply to institutional elements, (3) a risk reduction measurement that applies to all RD&D elements and to elements with long-term activities leading to risk-associated outcomes, and (4) a cost performance evaluation. Key Indicators show how close the institution is to attaining long range goals. Risk reduction analysis is especially relevant to RD&D. Product risk is defined as the chance that the product of new technology will not meet the requirements of the customer. RD&D is conducted to reduce technology risks to acceptable levels. The PIMM provides a profile to track risk reduction as RD&D proceeds. Cost performance evaluations provide a measurement of the expected costs of outcomes relative to their actual costs.

  12. The role of time on task performance in modifying the effects of gum chewing on attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

    2011-01-01

    Recent research examined the effects of chewing gum on attention and reported a significant interaction of gum chewing with time. Using a crossover within-subject design, the present study examined the effect of gum chewing on sustained attention in healthy adults over a period of 30 min. The result

  13. Effects of Noninformational Color on the Reading Test Performance of Students with and without Attentional Deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zentall, Sydney S.; Grskovic, Janice A.; Javorsky, James; Hall, Arlene M.

    2000-01-01

    A study involving 25 students (grades 3-5) with and without attentional deficits assessed generality to a standardized reading test when noninformational color was added to one of two alternate forms. Students with attentional deficits read as accurately as their classmates with color added and read worse in the black-white condition. (Contains…

  14. Written Composition Performance of Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Ana Miranda; Ferrer, Manuel Soriano; Fortea, Inmaculada Baixauli

    2013-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with learning disabilities. The present study examined the written composition of children with ADHD, which depends to a large degree on continuous self-regulation and attentional control skills for organizing information and maintaining the level of effort. Fifty children…

  15. Improving Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: The Separate and Combined Effects of Incentives and Stimulant Medication

    OpenAIRE

    Strand, Michael T.; Hawk, Larry W.; Bubnik, Michelle; Shiels, Keri; Pelham, William E.; Waxmonsky, James G.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is considered a core deficit in Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with numerous studies demonstrating impaired WM among children with ADHD. We tested the degree to which WM in children with ADHD was improved by performance-based incentives, an analog of behavioral intervention. In two studies, WM performance was assessed using a visuo-spatial n-back task. Study 1 compared children (ages 9-12 years) with ADHD–Combined type (n=24) to a group of typically deve...

  16. Brain polarization of parietal cortex augments training-induced improvement of visual exploratory and attentional skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolognini, Nadia; Fregni, Felipe; Casati, Carlotta; Olgiati, Elena; Vallar, Giuseppe

    2010-08-19

    Recent evidence suggests that behavioural gains induced by behavioural training are maximized when combined with techniques of cortical neuromodulation, such as transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Here we address the validity of this appealing approach by investigating the effect of coupling a multisensory visual field exploration training with tDCS of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). The multisensory visual field exploration training consisted in the practice of visual search through the systematic audio-visual stimulation of the visual field. Neurologically unimpaired participants performed a bimodal exploration training for 30 min, while simultaneously receiving anodal-excitatory PPC tDCS or sham tDCS. In two different experiments, the left and the right hemisphere were stimulated. Outcome measures included visual exploration speed at different time intervals during the training, and the post-training effects on tests assessing visual scanning and visuo-spatial orienting. Results show that PPC tDCS applied to the right, but not to the left, hemisphere increases the training-induced behavioural improvement of visual exploration, as compared to sham tDCS. In addition, right PPC tDCS brings about an improvement of covert visual orienting, in a task different from the visual search practice. In an additional experiment, we confirm that right parietal tDCS by itself, even without the associated training, can lead to enhancement of visual search. Overall, anodal PPC tDCS is a promising technique to enhance visuo-spatial abilities, when combined to a visual field exploration training task. PMID:20599813

  17. An improved theory for regenerative pump performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meakhail, T.; Park, S.O.

    2005-03-15

    Owing to their low specific speed, regenerative pumps allow high heads with small flow rates and have performance curves with very stable features. This kind of pump is also smaller and simpler to construct than the other equivalent volumetric pumps, although it has fairly low efficiency. Over the past few years, regenerative pumps have been subject to more interest in various industrial applications. Previous mathematical models do not describe the flow characteristics very well as they are based on simplified assumptions. An improved model is proposed in this paper for the pump performance. The model can handle one inlet angle and two exit angles for the impeller blades and it can be used for the design of twisted blades that would increase the pump head and efficiency. A new feature of the pump characteristics based on the proposed model is discussed. It is shown that the proposed model yield results that are in good agreements with the experimental results. The new model also shows that the side-blade exit angle has a major effect on the performance of regenerative pump, which has not been accounted for in the previous theory. (Author)

  18. The benefit of hippotherapy for improvement of attention and memory in children with cerebral palsy: A pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Krejčí

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: The research is based on an assumption that the hypokinesia induced by cerebral palsy (CP leads to inhibition of some mental functions. The method we used to treat patients with CP, hippotherapy (HT, is a treatment using horses and belongs to proprioceptive-neuromuscular-facilitative methods. Objective: The aim of the research was to determine the benefit of HT on attention and memory of patients with CP. Methods: There were two groups of patients: short-term HT (n = 11; 8 females and 3 males, age 15.4 ± 5.3 years and long-term HT (n = 9; 7 females and 2 males, age 10.8 ± 2.7 years. The short-term HT group participated in daily 30 minute-long HT sessions for duration of a week-long summer therapy camp; while with the long-term HT group, HT sessions of the same length were used weekly for 5-6 weeks. Attention and memory skills were assessed with "Numeric square test" and "Verbal learning test", respectively. Both tests were undertaken before starting and after concluding the camp or the 5-6 week long HT period. Results: Attention improvement demonstrated in a significant decrease of an average time of "Numeric square test". The improvement was seen in both long-term HT (15.7 seconds overall average time reduction after HT, p < .01 and short-term HT (20.8 seconds reduction, p < .01 groups. Short-term memory improvement was found in the long-term HT group, demonstrated by a higher number of memorized words (more than half of the patients memorized on average 10.5 more words after HT (p < .05. While the short-term HT group did not show significant improvement of attention or short-term memory, the average number of memorized words after a diversion of attention and a 30 minute delay increased by 4.1, showing an improvement (p < .05 of long-term memory. Conclusions: Our results suggest that hippotherapy as a part of comprehensive therapy in patients with CP leads to improvement of memory and

  19. Response Switching Process in Children with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder on the Novel Continuous Performance Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Yuki; Inagaki, Masumi; Gunji, Atsuko; Furushima, Wakana; Kaga, Makiko

    2008-01-01

    We examined the effects of previous trials on subsequent trials on performance in the continuous performance test (CPT) in children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Thirty-five non-medicated children with ADHD (31 males, four females; mean age 9y 10mo [SD 2y 4mo]) and 33 comparison children (20 males, 13 females; mean age 10y…

  20. Training improves reading speed in peripheral vision: Is it due to attention?

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Hye-Won; Kwon, MiYoung; Legge, Gordon E.; Gefroh, Joshua J.

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has shown that perceptual training in peripheral vision, using a letter-recognition task, increases reading speed and letter recognition (Chung, Legge, & Cheung, 2004). We tested the hypothesis that enhanced deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision explains this training effect. Subjects were pre- and post-tested with 3 tasks at 10° above and below fixation—RSVP reading speed, trigram letter recognition (used to construct visual-span profiles), and deployment of ...

  1. Improving the Dictation in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Using Computer Based Interventions: A Clinical Trial

    OpenAIRE

    Mahdi Tehranidoost; Anahita Basirnia; Shervin Assari; Mohammad Reza Mohammadi; Mostafa Najafi; Javad Alaghband-rad

    2006-01-01

    Objective: The aim of the current study was to assess the impact of computer games and computer-assisted type instruction on dictation scores of elementary school children with attention deficit – hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: In this single-blind clinical trial, 37 elementary school children with ADHD, selected by convenience sampling and divided into group I (n=17) and group II (n=20), underwent eight one-hour sessions (3 sessions per week) of intervention by computer games versus ...

  2. Allium sativum L. Improves Visual Memory and Attention in Healthy Human Volunteers

    OpenAIRE

    Sara Tasnim; Parsa Sanjana Haque; Md. Sazzadul Bari; Md Monir Hossain; Sardar Mohd. Ashraful Islam; Mohammad Shahriar; Mohiuddin Ahmed Bhuiyan; Muhammad Shahdaat Bin Sayeed

    2015-01-01

    Studies have shown that Allium sativum L. (AS) protects amyloid-beta peptide-induced apoptosis, prevents oxidative insults to neurons and synapses, and thus prevent Alzheimer's disease progression in experimental animals. However, there is no experimental evidence in human regarding its putative role in memory and cognition. We have studied the effect of AS consumption by healthy human volunteers on visual memory, verbal memory, attention, and executive function in comparison to control subje...

  3. Greatly improving consensus performance via predictive mechanism

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Hai-Tao; Chen, Michael ZhiQiang; Zhou, Tao

    2007-01-01

    An important natural phenomenon surfaces that ultrafast consensus can be achieved by introducing the predictive mechanism. By predicting the dynamics of the network several steps ahead and using this information in the design of the consensus protocol of each agent, it is shown that drastic improvement can be achieved in terms of the speed of convergence towards consensus without changing the topology of the network. Moreover, with the predictive mechanism, the range of sampling rates leading to consensus convergence is broadly expanded compared to the routine consensus protocol. In natural science, this study provides support for the idea that some predictive mechanisms exist in widely-spread biological swarms, flocks, and schools. From the industrial engineering point of view, inclusion of an efficient predictive mechanism allows for not only a significant increase in the speed of convergence toward consensus but also a reduction of the communication energy required to achieve a predefined consensus perform...

  4. Indus-2: machine performance and improvement studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The commissioning of Indus-2 started in August'05. Initial beam accumulation was achieved with an injected beam of 450 MeV. The injection energy was subsequently increased to 550 MeV to achieve higher accumulation rates. After achieving beam accumulation at the injection energy, the beam energy was ramped to 2 GeV. So far, 26 mA beam current has been stored at the injection energy and 10 mA at 2 GeV. Horizontal and vertical betatron tunes, closed orbit distortion have been measured. In this paper, we present some results of the commissioning experiments carried out so far and a brief summary of the studies to be carried out to improve its performance. (author)

  5. Improving the performance of photomultiplier tubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Photomultipliers are ubiquitous detectors of low level light signals, but their performance is limited by the complexity of photocathode technology. Two contributory problems are that light is lost both by surface reflection and by transmission through the photocathode layer. Knowledge of the dielectric constants has allowed predictive modelling of the reflectivity and absorption of the light as a function of angle of incidence, cathode thickness and polarization. The predictions have stimulated designs of extremely simple and very low cost retrofit approaches to improve the overall effectiveness of photomultipliers. One simple design presented here exploits signal that is normally lost by the surface reflection. A simple external conical torch reflector is clipped over the photomultiplier end face. The reflector raised the efficiency of an S20 multialkali photocathode by between 20% and 10% across the blue to red spectral range. An alternative semi-cylindrical glass coupler has improved the absorption efficiency by allowing the input signal to arrive at 600 incidence to the photocathode surface, rather than normal incidence as in the standard head-on geometry. Enhancements are from 30% to 500% across the spectral range. The greater gains are at long wavelengths, and so are particularly valuable as this is the region of lowest quantum efficiency. The latter high-incidence angle approach, when applied to a low-efficiency C grade tube, has raised the performance to greater than the best of the A grade tubes, as used in the normal head-on operation. Both methods are equally applicable to other cathode compositions.

  6. Genetic improvement of dairy cow reproductive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berglund, B

    2008-07-01

    The welfare of cow along with profitability in production are important issues in sustainable animal breeding programmes. Along with an intense/intensive selection for increased milk yield, reproductive performance has declined in many countries, in part due to an unfavourable genetic relationship. The largely unchanged genetic trend in female fertility and calving traits for Scandinavian Red breeds shows that it is possible to avoid deterioration in these traits if they are properly considered in the breeding programme. Today's breeding is international with a global selection and extensive use of the best bulls. The Nordic countries have traditionally recorded and performed genetic evaluation for a broad range of functional traits including reproduction. In recent years many other countries have also implemented genetic evaluation for these traits. Thus, the relative emphasis of dairy cattle breeding objectives has gradually shifted from production to functional traits such as reproduction. Improved ways of recording traits, e.g. physiological measures, early indicator traits, assisted reproductive techniques and increased knowledge of genes and their regulation may improve the genetic selection strategies and have large impact on present and future genetic evaluation programmes. Extensive data bases with phenotypic recordings of traits for individuals and their pedigree are a prerequisite. Quantitative trait loci have been associated to the reproductive complex. Most important traits, including reproduction traits are regulated by a multitude of genes and environmental factors in a complex relationship, however. Genomic selection might therefore be important in future breeding programmes. Information on single nucleotide polymorphism has already been introduced in the selection programmes of some countries. PMID:18638109

  7. Improved microstructures for better fuel performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The microstructure of fuel pellet is very important since it is deeply related to the irradiation behaviour. It acts as the link between nuclear engineering and materials science of nuclear fuel for understanding thermal transport, swelling, fission-gas release, mechanical behavior. The microstructure of the fuel is intimately related to the behavior of the fission gases. The basic factors that have greatest influence on microstructure are crystal structure, defects concentration and phase stability. The improvement in plasticity and fission gas release can be attained by modifying the microstructures during fabrication. The role of microstructure and crystal defects in determining the engineering properties are always acknowledged. Conventional nuclear ceramic fabrication process consists of a number of stages including calcination, milling, incorporating additives, pressing, drying and densification. Since each of these steps affects the microstructure of fuel pellets they must all be understood. Moreover, the defect structures in the crystal lattice are very important for in-pile behaviour in classical UO2 and MOX fuels. Defect structures, such as defect clusters or grain boundaries, play a crucial role in the stability of the matrices and the underlying mechanisms to defect stability are at least partly related to the nature of the 5f electrons. It is possible to obtain a wide range of microstructures by incorporating innovation in the fabrication procedure. This paper deals with the development fuels for improved performance by modifying the microstructures. (author)

  8. Environmental performance of ceramic tiles: Improvement proposals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ceramic tile is one of the most widely used materials in construction. Due to the increased demand for environmentally responsible construction and the ever more restrictive environmental requirements derived from the legislation, there is a need for a tool to enable the environmental behaviour of such material to be evaluated. By the application of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, this study is focused on calculating indicators capable of measuring the environmental behaviour of ceramic tiles. Taking the production of 1 m2 of ceramic as a functional unit, the aim was to perform a life cycle inventory that covers all the stages from mining the red clay and atomising it to glaze manufacture and the production of the ceramic tiles and their delivery to customers. Next, the stages/materials/processes that have the greatest impact were identified, and a series of improvements were proposed with a view to enhancing the energetic efficiency of the firing process and minimising the emissions into the atmosphere, while at the same time reducing the noise pollution resulting from the pressing process. The environmental and economic feasibility of such a improvements was also studied.

  9. Can quantization improve error performance in CDMA?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A K-user direct-sequence spread-spectrum code-division multiple-access (CDMA) system with (q 2K)-bit baseband signal quantization at the demodulator is considered. It is shown that additionally quantizing the K + 1 level output signal of the CDMA modulator into q bits improves significantly the average bit-error performance in a non-negligible regime of noise variance, σ2, and user load, β, under various system settings, like additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN), Rayleigh fading, single-user detection, multi-user detection, random and orthogonal spreading codes. For the case of single-user detection in random spreading AWGN-CDMA, this regime is identified explicitly as σ<γ(q)√β, where γ(q) is a certain pre-factor depending on q, and the associated BER improvement is derived analytically for q = 1, 2. For the other examined system settings, computer simulations are provided, corroborating this interesting behavior

  10. Can quantization improve error performance in CDMA?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Efraim, Hadar; Yacov, Nadav; Kanter, Ido [Minerva Center and Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900 (Israel); Shental, Ori [Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States)], E-mail: hadar.efraim@mail.biu.ac.il, E-mail: oshental@ucsd.edu, E-mail: nadav.yacov@mail.biu.ac.il, E-mail: kanter@mail.biu.ac.il

    2008-09-12

    A K-user direct-sequence spread-spectrum code-division multiple-access (CDMA) system with (q << log{sub 2}K)-bit baseband signal quantization at the demodulator is considered. It is shown that additionally quantizing the K + 1 level output signal of the CDMA modulator into q bits improves significantly the average bit-error performance in a non-negligible regime of noise variance, {sigma}{sup 2}, and user load, {beta}, under various system settings, like additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN), Rayleigh fading, single-user detection, multi-user detection, random and orthogonal spreading codes. For the case of single-user detection in random spreading AWGN-CDMA, this regime is identified explicitly as {sigma}<{gamma}(q){radical}{beta}, where {gamma}(q) is a certain pre-factor depending on q, and the associated BER improvement is derived analytically for q = 1, 2. For the other examined system settings, computer simulations are provided, corroborating this interesting behavior.

  11. Improving performance of probabilistic programmable quantum processors

    CERN Document Server

    Hillery, M; Buzek, V; Hillery, Mark; Ziman, Mario; Buzek, Vladimir

    2003-01-01

    We present a systematic analysis how one can improve performance of probabilistic programmable quantum processors. We generalize a simple Vidal-Masanes-Cirac processor that realizes U(1) rotations on a qubit with the phase of the rotation encoded in a state of the program register. We show how the probability of success of the probabilistic processor can be enhanced by using the processor in loops. In addition we show that the same strategy can be utilized for a probabilistic implementation of non-unitary transformations on qubits. In addtion, we show that an arbitrary SU(2) transformations of qubits can be encoded in program state of a universal programmable probabilistic quantum processor. The probability of success of this processor can be enhanced by a systematic correction of errors via conditional loops. Finally, we show that all our results can be generalized also for qudits. In particular, we show how to implement SU (N) rotations of qudits via programmable quantum processor and how the performance of...

  12. A comparison of social skills training and contingent attention to improve behavioural deficits of chronic psychiatric patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, J L; Zeiss, A M; Zeiss, R A; Bowman, W

    1980-02-01

    Twelve chronic psychiatric patients were treated with either social skills training or contingent attention to improve behavioural assets or deficits noted on the ward by independently trained raters blind to experimental conditions. Treatment was applied across groups using a multiple-baseline format. Inspection of the data revealed that clinically significant improvements in socially appropriate assets and deficits observed on the ward resulted with social skills training but no substantiative change accrued due to the contingent attention. The behaviours selected for treatment were those which staff were most willing to reinforce. This variable may account, in part at least, for the generalization of treatment effects to the natural environment with persons who received social skills training. PMID:7357230

  13. The relationship between poor performance on attention tasks and increased suicidal ideation in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seog Ju; Kang, Seung-Gul; Cho, In Hee; Lee, Yu-Jin G; Hong, Jin Pyo; Park, Juhyun; Lee, Yu Jin

    2015-11-01

    Our goal was to examine the relationship between attention and suicidal ideation in a school-based adolescent population. This cross-sectional study involved 2,462 students from eight high schools in South Korea (1,021 males and 1,441 females, mean age 17.3 ± 0.6 years). The participants completed the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and took part in computerized attention tasks. Participants with high SSI scores (16 or higher) exhibited a higher mean number of omission errors (OEs) and commission errors (CEs) on the visual sustained attention tasks than did participants with low SSI scores (p suicidal ideation in adolescents after controlling for depressed mood. The current results suggest a direct link between attention deficits and increased suicidality independent of depressive symptoms in adolescents. PMID:25663429

  14. Performance monitoring and executive control of attention in euthymic bipolar disorder: employing the CPT-AX paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Lucy J; Thompson, Jill M; Gallagher, Peter; Gray, John M; Young, Allan H; Ferrier, I Nicol

    2013-12-15

    Reduced cognitive test performance has been demonstrated in patients with bipolar disorder (BD), even when euthymic. Several studies have explored aspects of attention, including sustained attention, and reported patients show lower accuracy compared to controls. It is necessary to modify existing attentional paradigms to fully characterise such deficits. The present study sought to examine if there are changes in the profile of performance and error-types during a sustained attention task in BD. Twenty-two euthymic patients with DSM-IV diagnosed BD and 21 healthy controls were recruited. Participants completed a modified CPT-AX paradigm with a high proportion of target trials (70%) with cues and probes presented at continuous intervals. This modification increases the demands on response inhibition and permits the deconstruction of attentional/executive deficits previously described. Overall, BD patients showed significantly poorer target discriminability compared to controls. In block one (first quarter) of the task, patients showed no significant differences to controls, but by the final fourth block (last quarter) they made significantly fewer hits and more errors (both 'AX' misses and 'BX' false alarms). BD patients completed initial stages of the task similarly to controls, but as demands on the attentional system continued difficulties emerged, consistent with problems in context-maintenance. PMID:23880481

  15. Investigation of microwave antennas with improved performances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Rongguo

    This dissertation presents the investigation of antennas with improved performances at microwave frequencies. It covers the following three topics: the study of the metamaterial with near-zero index of refraction and its application in directive antenna design, the design technique of a wideband circularly polarized patch antenna for 60GHz wireless application and the investigation of a novel direction of arrival (DOA) estimation technique inspired by human auditory system. First, the metamaterial composed of two-dimensional (2-D) metallic wire arrays is investigated as an effective medium with an effective index of refraction less than unity (neff effective medium parameters (permittivity epsilon eff, permeability mueff and neff ) of a wire array are extracted from the finite-element simulated scattering parameters and verified through a 2-D electromagnetic band gap (EBG) structure case study. A simple design methodology for directive monopole antennas is introduced by embedding a monopole within a metallic wire array with neff effect of the monopole antenna is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment at X-band (8 -- 12 GHz). The measured antenna properties including return loss and radiation patterns are in good agreement with simulation results. Parametric studies of the antenna system are performed. The physical principles and interpretations of the directive monopole antenna embedded in the wire array medium are also discussed. Second, a fully packaged wideband circularly polarized patch antenna is designed for 60GHz wireless communication. The patch antenna incorporates a diagonal slot at the center and features a superstrate and an air cavity backing to achieve desired performances including wide bandwidth, high efficiency and low axial ratio. The detailed design procedure of the circularly polarized antenna, including the design of the microstrip-fed patch antenna and the comparison of the performances of the antenna with different feeding interfaces

  16. Will Working Memory Training Generalize to Improve Off-Task Behavior in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

    OpenAIRE

    Green, Chloe T.; Long, Debra L.; Green,David; Iosif, Ana-Maria; Dixon, J. Faye; Miller, Meghan R.; Fassbender, Catherine; Schweitzer, Julie B.

    2012-01-01

    Computerized working memory and executive function training programs designed to target specific impairments in executive functioning are becoming increasingly available, yet how well these programs generalize to improve functional deficits in disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), beyond the training context is not well-established. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which working memory (WM) training in children with ADHD would diminish a core dy...

  17. Improved quality of life among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is mediated by protective factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schei, Jorun; Nøvik, Torunn Stene; Thomsen, Per Hove; Indredavik, Marit S; Jozefiak, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the role of protective factors as mediators and/or moderators of the relationship between coexisting emotional and conduct problems and quality of life (QoL) among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: The sample...... family cohesion may identify potential treatment goals for adolescents with ADHD and coexisting problems, and may contribute to improvements in QoL....

  18. A Selective Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor Improves Prefrontal Cortex-Dependent Cognitive Function: Potential Relevance to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Schmeichel, Brooke E.; Zemlan, Frank P.; Berridge, Craig W

    2012-01-01

    Drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent cognitive function. The majority of ADHD-related treatments act either as dual norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) reuptake inhibitors (psychostimulants) or selective NE reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Certain benztropine analogs act as highly selective DA reuptake inhibitors while lacking the reinforcing actions, and thus abuse potential, of psychostimulants. To assess the potential u...

  19. Attention deficit associated with early life interictal spikes in a rat model is improved with ACTH.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E Hernan

    Full Text Available Children with epilepsy often present with pervasive cognitive and behavioral comorbidities including working memory impairments, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. These non-seizure characteristics are severely detrimental to overall quality of life. Some of these children, particularly those with epilepsies classified as Landau-Kleffner Syndrome or continuous spike and wave during sleep, have infrequent seizure activity but frequent focal epileptiform activity. This frequent epileptiform activity is thought to be detrimental to cognitive development; however, it is also possible that these IIS events initiate pathophysiological pathways in the developing brain that may be independently associated with cognitive deficits. These hypotheses are difficult to address due to the previous lack of an appropriate animal model. To this end, we have recently developed a rat model to test the role of frequent focal epileptiform activity in the prefrontal cortex. Using microinjections of a GABA(A antagonist (bicuculline methiodine delivered multiple times per day from postnatal day (p 21 to p25, we showed that rat pups experiencing frequent, focal, recurrent epileptiform activity in the form of interictal spikes during neurodevelopment have significant long-term deficits in attention and sociability that persist into adulthood. To determine if treatment with ACTH, a drug widely used to treat early-life seizures, altered outcome we administered ACTH once per day subcutaneously during the time of the induced interictal spike activity. We show a modest amelioration of the attention deficit seen in animals with a history of early life interictal spikes with ACTH, in the absence of alteration of interictal spike activity. These results suggest that pharmacological intervention that is not targeted to the interictal spike activity is worthy of future study as it may be beneficial for preventing or ameliorating adverse

  20. Central as well as peripheral attentional bottlenecks in dual-task performance activate lateral prefrontal cortices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre J Szameitat

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Human information processing suffers from severe limitations in parallel processing. In particular, when required to respond to two stimuli in rapid succession, processing bottlenecks may appear at central and peripheral stages of task processing. Importantly, it has been suggested that executive functions are needed to resolve the interference arising at such bottlenecks. The aims of the present study were to test whether central attentional limitations (i.e., bottleneck at the decisional response selection stage as well as peripheral limitations (i.e., bottleneck at response initiation both demand executive functions located in the lateral prefrontal cortex. For this, we re-analysed two previous studies, in which a total of 33 participants performed a dual-task according to the paradigm of the psychological refractory period (PRP during fMRI. In one study (N=17, the PRP task consisted of two two-choice response tasks known to suffer from a central bottleneck (CB group. In the other study (N=16, the PRP task consisted of two simple-response tasks known to suffer from a peripheral bottleneck (PB group. Both groups showed considerable dual-task costs in form of slowing of the second response in the dual-task (PRP effect. Imaging results are based on the subtraction of both single-tasks from the dual-task within each group. In the CB group, the bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri were activated. Higher activation in these areas was associated with lower dual-task costs. In the PB group, the right middle frontal and inferior frontal gyrus were activated. Here, higher activation was associated with higher dual-task costs. In conclusion we suggest that central and peripheral bottlenecks both demand executive functions located in lateral prefrontal cortices. Differences between the CB and PB groups with respect to the exact prefrontal areas activated and the correlational patterns suggest that the executive functions resolving

  1. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Yoshiyuki Hirano; Minoru Onozuka

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We ...

  2. Neurophysiological signals of ignoring and attending are separable and related to performance during sustained intersensory attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenartowicz, Agatha; Simpson, Gregory V; Haber, Catherine M; Cohen, Mark S

    2014-09-01

    The ability to attend to an input selectively while ignoring distracting sensations is thought to depend on the coordination of two processes: enhancement of target signals and attenuation of distractor signals. This implies that attending and ignoring may be dissociable neural processes and that they make separable contributions to behavioral outcomes of attention. In this study, we tested these hypotheses in the context of sustained attention by measuring neurophysiological responses to attended and ignored stimuli in a noncued, continuous, audiovisual selective attention task. We compared these against responses during a passive control to quantify effects of attending and ignoring separately. In both sensory modalities, responses to ignored stimuli were attenuated relative to a passive control, whereas responses to attended stimuli were enhanced. The scalp topographies and brain activations of these modulatory effects were consistent with the sensory regions that process each modality. They also included parietal and prefrontal activations that suggest these effects arise from interactions between top-down and sensory cortices. Most importantly, we found that both attending and ignoring processes contributed to task accuracy and that these effects were not correlated--suggesting unique neural trajectories. This conclusion was supported by the novel observation that attending and ignoring differed in timing and in active cortical regions. The data provide direct evidence for the separable contributions of attending and ignoring to behavioral outcomes of attention control during sustained intersensory attention. PMID:24666167

  3. Learning to improve path planning performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In robotics, path planning refers to finding a short. collision-free path from an initial robot configuration to a desired configuratioin. It has to be fast to support real-time task-level robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To remedy this situation, we present and analyze a learning algorithm that uses past experience to increase future performance. The algorithm relies on an existing path planner to provide solutions to difficult tasks. From these solutions, an evolving sparse network of useful robot configurations is learned to support faster planning. More generally, the algorithm provides a speedup-learning framework in which a slow but capable planner may be improved both cost-wise and capability-wise by a faster but less capable planner coupled with experience. The basic algorithm is suitable for stationary environments, and can be extended to accommodate changing environments with on-demand experience repair and object-attached experience abstraction. To analyze the algorithm, we characterize the situations in which the adaptive planner is useful, provide quantitative bounds to predict its behavior, and confirm our theoretical results with experiments in path planning of manipulators. Our algorithm and analysis are sufficiently, general that they may also be applied to other planning domains in which experience is useful

  4. PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT OF INTELLIGENT WEATHER SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amruta Chavan*

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Prediction of channel characteristics can be of immense value in improving the quality of signals in high frequency satellite systems. Atmospheric properties like rain, snow, gaseous, cloud, fog, scintillation can have a distorting effect on signal fidelity of Ku and Ka bands, thus resulting in excessive digital transmission error. This loss of signal is commonly referred to as signal attenuation. Signal attenuation impacts the QoS in wireless and satellite networks. Accurately predicting channel attenuation due to atmospheric conditions can enable mitigation planning by adaptively selecting appropriate modulation, coding, transmitted power level, transmission rate and configured frame size. The aim of this paper is to estimate different attenuations using predicted signal-weather correlated database in collaboration with ITU-R propagation models combined with interpolation methods, gateway, and ground terminal characteristics. An intelligent decision support system is used for accurately calculating the attenuations. In this project we are calculating rain attenuation. The fuzzy logic is added into the system. The fuzzy system will determine the ambiguous signal during the attenuation performed.

  5. Learning to improve path planning performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

    In robotics, path planning refers to finding a short. collision-free path from an initial robot configuration to a desired configuratioin. It has to be fast to support real-time task-level robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To remedy this situation, we present and analyze a learning algorithm that uses past experience to increase future performance. The algorithm relies on an existing path planner to provide solutions to difficult tasks. From these solutions, an evolving sparse network of useful robot configurations is learned to support faster planning. More generally, the algorithm provides a speedup-learning framework in which a slow but capable planner may be improved both cost-wise and capability-wise by a faster but less capable planner coupled with experience. The basic algorithm is suitable for stationary environments, and can be extended to accommodate changing environments with on-demand experience repair and object-attached experience abstraction. To analyze the algorithm, we characterize the situations in which the adaptive planner is useful, provide quantitative bounds to predict its behavior, and confirm our theoretical results with experiments in path planning of manipulators. Our algorithm and analysis are sufficiently, general that they may also be applied to other planning domains in which experience is useful.

  6. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia, CAIA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available According to Gartner estimates, due to increased variety, speed and data volume, by 2015 there will be a global demand of 4.4 million professionals for real-time analysis of data from sources with different structures, but only one third of the demand will be met. The purpose of this research is to identify possible solutions for improved academic results in the IT domain, considering the time management policies, the content and the student motivations, as well as the business strategy tendencies. These proposals are targeted toward meeting the IT specialists demand. The research is composed of two parts: the first explores the Romanian IT labour market characteristics, while the second investigates the academic education policies that can help mitigate deficiencies and attain higher performance. The deficiencies are identified through a series of statistical research and analysis based on national level databases, adopting a quantitative approach. The policies proposed are supported by a flow model developed considering the students' activity, motivation, traits and results, measured and analysed quantitatively.

  7. Effect of Caraway Extract on the Performance of Selective Attention and Cognitive Flexibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziba Barghi-Irani

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: This trial study is conducted in the field of psychopharmacology aiming to examine psychological effects of caraway. Materials and Methods: The sample under study consists of two groups including experimental (N=22 and control (N=28; both groups were identical in terms of demographic characteristics. The subjects participated voluntarily in the study; they were placed into experimental and control groups by random selection. The evaluation of attention function test was carried out by computerized Stroop effect test. Results: The results from analysis of covariance statistical test (ANCOVA showed that taking caraway with an effective dose may increase functions of selective attention, response inhibition ability as well as cognitive flexibility and change (p<0.005. Conclusion: Taking advantage of positive effects of caraway extract, it may be used as one of the herbal medicine in treating stress and increasing different attention functions

  8. Effects of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) on Auditory Performance in Children with Attention and Auditory Processing Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillery, Kim L.; Katz, Jack; Keller, Warren D.

    2000-01-01

    A double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on auditory processing in 32 children with both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and central auditory processing (CAP) disorder. Analyses revealed that Ritalin did not have a significant effect on any of the central auditory processing measures, although…

  9. Oculomotor Performance Identifies Underlying Cognitive Deficits in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loe, Irene M.; Feldman, Heidi M.; Yasui, Enami; Luna, Beatriz

    2009-01-01

    The evaluation of the cognitive control in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder through the use of oculomotor tests reveal that this group showed susceptibility to peripheral distractors and deficits in response inhibition. All subjects were found to have intact sensorimotor function and working memory.

  10. Attention as a Cueing Function during Kindergarten Children's Dimensional Change Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coldren, Jeffrey T.; Colombo, John

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment is to test whether shift flexibility in kindergarten children is a joint function of rule-usage and inhibition of attention. Sixty-six children were given either a distraction or facilitation condition in a computerized version of the dimensional change card sort task. In the distraction condition, the background of…

  11. Independent oscillatory patterns determine performance fluctuations in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Yordanova, Juliana; Albrecht, Björn; Uebel, Henrik; Kirov, Roumen; Banaschewski, Tobias; Rothenberger, Aribert; Kolev, Vasil

    2011-01-01

    The maintenance of stable goal-directed behaviour is a hallmark of conscious executive control in humans. Notably, both correct and error human actions may have a subconscious activation-based determination. One possible source of subconscious interference may be the default mode network that, in contrast to attentional network, manifests intrinsic oscillations at very low (

  12. Influence of the Visual Attention Span on Child Reading Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosse, Marie-Line; Valdois, Sylviane

    2009-01-01

    The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis was found successfully to account for variability in developmental dyslexia (Bosse, Tainturier & Valdois, 2007). We conducted a cross-sectional study on 417 typically developing children from first, third and fifth grades examining the role of VA span on the development of reading skills. A battery…

  13. Musical experience shapes top-down auditory mechanisms: evidence from masking and auditory attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strait, Dana L; Kraus, Nina; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Ashley, Richard

    2010-03-01

    A growing body of research suggests that cognitive functions, such as attention and memory, drive perception by tuning sensory mechanisms to relevant acoustic features. Long-term musical experience also modulates lower-level auditory function, although the mechanisms by which this occurs remain uncertain. In order to tease apart the mechanisms that drive perceptual enhancements in musicians, we posed the question: do well-developed cognitive abilities fine-tune auditory perception in a top-down fashion? We administered a standardized battery of perceptual and cognitive tests to adult musicians and non-musicians, including tasks either more or less susceptible to cognitive control (e.g., backward versus simultaneous masking) and more or less dependent on auditory or visual processing (e.g., auditory versus visual attention). Outcomes indicate lower perceptual thresholds in musicians specifically for auditory tasks that relate with cognitive abilities, such as backward masking and auditory attention. These enhancements were observed in the absence of group differences for the simultaneous masking and visual attention tasks. Our results suggest that long-term musical practice strengthens cognitive functions and that these functions benefit auditory skills. Musical training bolsters higher-level mechanisms that, when impaired, relate to language and literacy deficits. Thus, musical training may serve to lessen the impact of these deficits by strengthening the corticofugal system for hearing. PMID:20018234

  14. Independent Oscillatory Patterns Determine Performance Fluctuations in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yordanova, Juliana; Albrecht, Bjorn; Uebel, Henrik; Kirov, Roumen; Banaschewski, Tobias; Rothenberger, Aribert; Kolev, Vasil

    2011-01-01

    The maintenance of stable goal-directed behaviour is a hallmark of conscious executive control in humans. Notably, both correct and error human actions may have a subconscious activation-based determination. One possible source of subconscious interference may be the default mode network that, in contrast to attentional network, manifests…

  15. Oculomotor and Pupillometric Indices of Pro- and Antisaccade Performance in Youth-Onset Psychosis and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Karatekin, Canan; Bingham, Christopher; White, Tonya

    2009-01-01

    The goals of the study were to examine inhibitory deficits on the antisaccade task in 8- to 20-year olds with youth-onset psychosis or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and healthy controls and to examine if age-related changes in performance differed across groups. In addition to the conventional measures of performance, pupillary dilations were used to obtain estimates of phasic and tonic level of arousal. Results showed that the psychosis, but not the ADHD, group had elevated...

  16. Allocation of Attentional Resources toward a Secondary Cognitive Task Leads to Compromised Ankle Proprioceptive Performance in Healthy Young Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Kazuhiro Yasuda; Yuki Sato; Naoyuki Iimura; Hiroyasu Iwata

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine whether increased attentional demands influence the assessment of ankle joint proprioceptive ability in young adults. We used a dual-task condition, in which participants performed an ankle ipsilateral position-matching task with and without a secondary serial auditory subtraction task during target angle encoding. Two experiments were performed with two different cohorts: one in which the auditory subtraction task was easy (experiment 1a) a...

  17. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiyuki Hirano

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64% showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5% showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23% showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9% showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function.

  18. Performance Feedback to Improve Classroom Management Practices

    OpenAIRE

    Garcia, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Performance feedback has been beneficial at enhancing the treatment integrity of behavioral intervention outcomes. However, few researchers have attempted to use performance feedback to increase teachers' use of classroom management practices. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a functional relationship between performance feedback and treatment integrity of targeted classroom management practices. In addition, the extent to which performance feedback can enhance student b...

  19. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J

    2013-07-30

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  20. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  1. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates "Playing for Success" (PfS), an extended school day program for underachieving…

  2. The movement kinematics and learning strategies associated with adopting different foci of attention during both acquisition and anxious performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GavinPeterLawrence

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research suggests that implicit strategies adopted during learning help prevent breakdown of automatic processes and subsequent performance decrements associated with the presence of pressure. According to the Constrained Action Hypothesis, automaticity of movement is promoted when adopting an external focus of attention. The purpose of the current experiment was to investigate if learning with an external focus of attention can enhance performance under subsequent pressure situations through promoting implicit learning and automaticity. Since previous research has generally used outcome measures of performance, the current study adopted measures of movement production. Specifically, we calculated within subject variability in trajectory velocity and distance travelled every 10% of movement time. This detailed kinematic analysis allowed investigation into some of the previously unexplored mechanisms responsible for the benefits of adopting an external focus of attention. Novice participants performed a 2.5m golf putt. Following a pre-test, participants were randomly assigned to one of three focus groups (internal, external, control. Participants then completed 400 acquisition trials over two consecutive days before being subjected to both a low-anxiety and high-anxiety transfer test. Dependent variables included variability, number of successful putts and mean radial error. Results revealed that variability was greater in the internal compared to the external and control groups. Putting performance revealed that all groups increased performance following acquisition. However, only the control group demonstrated a decrement in performance in the high-anxiety transfer test. These findings suggest that adopting an appropriate focus of attention during learning can prevent choking; with an external focus inhibiting the breakdown of automatic processes and an internal focus acting as a self-focus learning strategy and thus desensitizing individuals

  3. The Movement Kinematics and Learning Strategies Associated with Adopting Different Foci of Attention during Both Acquisition and Anxious Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Gavin P; Gottwald, Victoria M; Khan, Michael A; Kramer, Robin S S

    2012-01-01

    Research suggests that implicit strategies adopted during learning help prevent breakdown of automatic processes and subsequent performance decrements associated with the presence of pressure. According to the Constrained Action Hypothesis, automaticity of movement is promoted when adopting an external focus of attention. The purpose of the current experiment was to investigate if learning with an external focus of attention can enhance performance under subsequent pressure situations through promoting implicit learning and automaticity. Since previous research has generally used outcome measures of performance, the current study adopted measures of movement production. Specifically, we calculated within-subject variability in trajectory velocity and distance traveled every 10% of movement time. This detailed kinematic analysis allowed investigation into some of the previously unexplored mechanisms responsible for the benefits of adopting an external focus of attention. Novice participants performed a 2.5 m golf putt. Following a pre-test, participants were randomly assigned to one of three focus groups (internal, external, control). Participants then completed 400 acquisition trials over two consecutive days before being subjected to both a low anxiety and high anxiety (HA) transfer test. Dependent variables included variability, number of successful putts and mean radial error. Results revealed that variability was greater in the internal compared to the external and control groups. Putting performance revealed that all groups increased performance following acquisition. However, only the control group demonstrated a decrement in performance in the HA transfer test. These findings suggest that adopting an appropriate focus of attention during learning can prevent choking; with an external focus inhibiting the breakdown of automatic processes and an internal focus acting as a self-focus learning strategy and thus desensitizing individuals to anxiety effects

  4. Improvement in the thermal performance of polypropylene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the framework of the CRP our contribution consists of the two directions of investigation on the stabilization of polypropylene: one way follows the compatibilization of the blends of polypropylene with ethylene-propylene terpolymer in the presence of divinylbenzene, and the second way is represented by the nanocomposites polypropylene/calcium carbonate. The irradiation of ethylene-propylene diene terpolymer/polypropylene blends in the presence of divinylbenzene is an alternative procedure, which improves material lifetime and may be applied to material recycling. The selection of these systems is justified on the basis of their capacity on the providing free radicals. The two polymer components, EPDM and PP, can be degraded with various rates because of the different contents of methyl groups. The polymer samples consisted of both materials under various ratios (20:80, 40:60, 60:40 and 80:20); individual materials were also subjected to the action of (137Cs) γ-rays. Divinylbenzene, a hydrocarbon which plays the role of radical source was added iat the level of 5% (w/w). The stabilization effect was tested by two methods: oxygen uptake and IR spectroscopy at the characteristic bands (1720 cm-1 and 3350 cm-1) for carbonyl and hydroxyl groups, respectively. The γ-exposure induced a slower oxidative degradation in the presence of DVB. The carbonyl and hydroxyl indexes were calculated for all formulations. From oxidability investigation the kinetic parameters for thermal oxidation of irradiated samples were calculated. Their modification depicts the radiochemical stability, which is an important feature in the long term applications. The ability of divinylbenzene in the radiation stabilization of studied polyolefin blends is discussed in relation with the modification of exposure dose and sample composition. The irradiation performed in air represents a proper test for the qualification of this polymeric system. Thermal and γ radiation stability of iPP containing

  5. Strategies to improve anaerobic digestion of wastes with especial attention to lignocellulosic substrates

    OpenAIRE

    Fonoll Almansa, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    The energy demand increase and the generation of wastes is being the major problem regarding the next generation sustainability. Both problems can be corrected through the implementation of anaerobic digestion, a waste treatment technology able to produce electricity, heat and a fertilizer. The anaerobic co-digestion between two wastes with complementary characteristics has been widely studied to improve the methane production in anaerobic digesters. However, to increase the methane productio...

  6. Measurement of attention during movement: acquisition of ambulatory EEG and cognitive performance from healthy young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killane, Isabelle; Browett, Glen; Reilly, Richard B

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive methods of recording human electro-cortical brain dynamics during normal daily activities would have far-reaching clinical benefits. The literature suggests a strong link between gait and cognition, where attention is seen to play a central role. This study investigated if clinically useful electrophysiological measures of attention can be collected using an auditory oddball task in ecological/non-clinic environments through analysis of the amplitude and latency of auditory P3 event related potentials (ERPs). Electrophysiological (EEG, EOG, EMG) recordings were taken for 7 healthy subjects while presented with an auditory oddball task. Data was recorded in control, static (seated) and dynamic (fixed cycling) experimental conditions. Recordings were also taken for two subjects during treadmill walking. P3 ERPs were calculated and data analysis showed that peak amplitude and component latency remained stable across all experimental conditions. For the Cz electrode position there were 0.2-2% P3 amplitude and 3-9% P3 latency differences. P3 amplitude and latency also remained stable between experimental conditions for all electrode locations. This result opens up the possibility to quantitatively investigate the interaction between gait and attention during the ageing process but also in movement disorders such as freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease. PMID:24111205

  7. Improving Pharmacy Dispensing Performance Through Time Management

    OpenAIRE

    Shaat, Mohamed

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this project was to carry out a change model in one of Family Medicine Clinic’s Pharmacy in Abu Dhabi. While, the objectives of the project were to improve patient satisfaction through improving patient waiting time for medications collection, improving patient’s knowledge about the pharmacy services and then generalize the implemented change in all other six clinic’s pharmacies. The change was happened because of current system of dispensing patient’s prescription ‘in turn’, which...

  8. Attentional Performance in Children and Adolescents with Tic Disorder and Co-Occurring Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder: New Insights from a 2 x 2 Factorial Design Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greimel, Ellen; Wanderer, Sina; Rothenberger, Aribert; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Konrad, Kerstin; Roessner, Veit

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of both tic disorder (TD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on attentional functions. N = 96 children and adolescents participated in the study, including n = 21 subjects with TD, n = 23 subjects with ADHD, n = 25 subjects with TD+ADHD, and n = 27 controls. Attentional…

  9. Improvement of irradiation facilities performance in JMTR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Various kinds of irradiation facilities are installed in the JMTR for the purpose of irradiation tests on fuels and materials and of producing radioisotopes. The irradiation facilities have been improved so far at every opportunity of new irradiation requirements and of renewing them which reached the design lifetime. Of these irradiation facilities, improvements of the power ramping test facility (BOCA/OSF-1 facility) and the hydraulic rabbit No.2 (HR-2 facility) are described here. (author)

  10. Improving Performance Of Industrial Enterprises With CGT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolgih, I. N.; Bannova, К A.; Kuzmina, N. A.; Zdanova, A. B.

    2016-04-01

    At the present day, a falling in the overall level of efficiency production activities, especially in the machine-building companies makes it necessary to development various actions in the State support, including through the creation consolidated taxation system. Such support will help improve efficiency of activity not only the industrial companies, but also will allow improve economic and social situation in regions where often large engineering factories is city-forming.

  11. Using a NIATx Based Local Learning Collaborative for Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosa, Mathew; Scripa, Joseph S.; Zastowny, Thomas R.; Ford, James H., II

    2011-01-01

    Local governments play an important role in improving substance abuse and mental health services. The structure of the local learning collaborative requires careful attention to old relationships and challenges local governmental leaders to help move participants from a competitive to collaborative environment. This study describes one county's…

  12. Improving Student Performance Using Nudge Analytics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feild, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    Providing students with continuous and personalized feedback on their performance is an important part of encouraging self regulated learning. As part of our higher education platform, we built a set of data visualizations to provide feedback to students on their assignment performance. These visualizations give students information about how they…

  13. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  14. How Six Sigma Methodology Improved Doctors' Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafiropoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Six Sigma methodology was used in a District General Hospital to assess the effect of the introduction of an educational programme to limit unnecessary admissions. The performance of the doctors involved in the programme was assessed. Ishikawa Fishbone and 5 S's were initially used and Pareto analysis of their findings was performed. The results…

  15. Improving the Academic Performance of Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Rosemary

    1986-01-01

    The new higher standards required of entering collegiate athletes will not immediately create change in the performance and attitudes of student athletes. Academic performance of student athletes can be enhanced through the development of a comprehensive program fusing the relationship between athletics and academics. (MD)

  16. Are Performance Improvement Professionals Measurably Improving Performance? What "PIJ" and "PIQ" Have to Say about the Current Use of Evaluation and Measurement in the Field of Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra-Lopez, Ingrid; Leigh, Hillary N.

    2009-01-01

    Measurement and evaluation are at the core of reliably improving performance. It is through these central mechanisms that performance improvement professionals are able to demonstrate the true worth of their efforts. However, the true value of the contributions they make is inconclusive. This article presents a content analysis of 10 years' worth…

  17. Performance Improvement/HPT Model: Guiding the Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dessinger, Joan Conway; Moseley, James L.; Van Tiem, Darlene M.

    2012-01-01

    This commentary is part of an ongoing dialogue that began in the October 2011 special issue of "Performance Improvement"--Exploring a Universal Performance Model for HPT: Notes From the Field. The performance improvement/HPT (human performance technology) model represents a unifying process that helps accomplish successful change, create…

  18. Industry activities to improve valve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaway, C.

    1996-12-01

    Motor-operated valve issues refuse to go away. For over a decade the industry and the NRC have been focusing extraordinary resources on assuring these special components operate when called upon. Now that industry has fixed the design deficiencies, it is focusing on assuring that they perform their safety function within the current licensing basis for the remainder of plant life. NEI supported the efforts by ASME to develop OMN-1 and was encouraged that the industry and the NRC worked together to develop risk and performance based approaches to maintain MOV performance.

  19. Does Advertising Spending Improve Sales Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Assaf, A. George; Josiassen, Alexander; Mattila, Anna S.;

    2015-01-01

    Hotel managers and investors commonly analyze the impact of advertising spending on firm performance. This paper investigates such an impact using a comprehensive framework incorporating the moderating effects of hotel size and star ratings. We estimated sales performance via dynamic, stochastic...... frontier modelling. Using longitudinal data from a sample of Slovenian and Croatian hotels, we demonstrate that advertising spending has a positive impact on hotel sales performance, and that the relationship strengthens for larger hotels and hotels with higher star ratings. Theoretical and managerial...

  20. Self-Monitoring of Attention versus Self-Monitoring of Academic Performance: Effects among Students with ADHD in the General Education Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Karen R.; Friedlander, Barbara Danoff; Saddler, Bruce; Frizzelle, Remedios; Graham, Steve

    2005-01-01

    A counterbalanced, multiple-baseline, across-subjects design was used to determine if attention and performance monitoring had differential effects on the on-task and spelling study behavior of 6 elementary students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the general education classroom. Both self-monitoring of attention and…

  1. Sleep improves the variability of motor performance

    OpenAIRE

    Hill, Sean; Tononi, Giulio; Ghilardi, M. Felice

    2008-01-01

    Sleep after learning often enhances task performance, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Using a well-characterized rotation learning paradigm implemented both behaviorally and in computer simulations, we compared two main hypotheses: the first, that off-line replay during sleep leads to further potentiation of synaptic circuits involved in learning; the second, that sleep enhances performance by uniformly downscaling synaptic strength. A simple computer model implemented synaptic ...

  2. A conceptual model for manufacturing performance improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Karim, M. A.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: Important performance objectives manufacturers sought can be achieved through adopting the appropriate manufacturing practices. This paper presents a conceptual model proposing relationship between advanced quality practices, perceived manufacturing difficulties and manufacturing performances.Design/methodology/approach: A survey-based approach was adopted to test the hypotheses proposed in this study. The selection of research instruments for inclusion in this survey was based on li...

  3. Loneliness and implicit attention to social threat: A high-performance electrical neuroimaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacioppo, Stephanie; Bangee, Munirah; Balogh, Stephen; Cardenas-Iniguez, Carlos; Qualter, Pamela; Cacioppo, John T

    2016-01-01

    Prior research has suggested that loneliness is associated with an implicit hypervigilance to social threats-an assumption in line with the evolutionary model of loneliness that indicates feeling socially isolated (or on the social perimeter) leads to increased attention and surveillance of the social world and an unwitting focus on self-preservation. Little is known, however, about the temporal dynamics for social threat (vs. nonsocial threat) in the lonely brains. We used high-density electrical neuroimaging and a behavioral task including social and nonsocial threat (and neutral) pictures to investigate the brain dynamics of implicit processing for social threat vs. nonsocial threat stimuli in lonely participants (N = 10), compared to nonlonely individuals (N = 9). The present study provides evidence that social threat images are differentiated from nonsocial threat stimuli more quickly in the lonely (~116 ms after stimulus onset) than nonlonely (~252 ms after stimulus onset) brains. That speed of threat processing in lonely individuals is in accord with the evolutionary model of loneliness. Brain source estimates expanded these results by suggesting that lonely (but not nonlonely) individuals showed early recruitment of brain areas involved in attention and self-representation. PMID:26274315

  4. Non-predictive cueing improves accuracy judgments for voluntary and involuntary spatial and feature/shape attention independent of backward masking.

    OpenAIRE

    Pack, Weston David

    2013-01-01

    Many psychophysics investigations have implemented pre-cues to direct an observer's attention to a specific location or feature. There is controversy over the mechanisms of involuntary attention and whether perceptual or decision processes can enhance target detection and identification as measured by accuracy judgments. Through four main experiments, this dissertation research has indicated that both involuntary and voluntary attention improve target identification and localization accuracy ...

  5. Performance improvement in the management of sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorr, Christa

    2011-03-01

    Sepsis guidelines, although creating a base to allow change in health care practitioner behavior, do not, in and of themselves, effect change. Change only comes with institution of a PI program, converting a core of key goals of guideline recommendations to quality indicators, and giving feedback on performance. These quality indicators are tracked before or during (recommended approach) initiation of hospital-wide education to evaluate baseline performance. When combining multispecialty and multidisciplinary champions in the ED, hospital wards, ICU, and hospital administrative leadership with timely performance feedback, case failure analysis, and re-education, an opportunity to succeed in decreasing mortality in severe sepsis can be achieved. Sepsis bundle indicators require updating as new evidence emerges and new guidelines are published.(30,31) PMID:21316576

  6. Reactor coolant pump seals: improving their performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Large CANDU plants are benefitting from transient-resistant four-year reliable reactor coolant pump seal lifetimes, a direct result of AECL's 20-year comprehensive seal improvement program involving R and D staff, manufacturers, and plant designers and operators. An overview of this program is presented, which covers seal modification design, testing, post-service examination, specialized maintenance and quality control. The relevancy of this technology to Light Water Reactor Coolant Pump Seals is also discussed

  7. Directed evolution strategies for improved enzymatic performance

    OpenAIRE

    Dalby Paul A; Hibbert Edward G

    2005-01-01

    Abstract The engineering of enzymes with altered activity, specificity and stability, using directed evolution techniques that mimic evolution on a laboratory timescale, is now well established. However, the general acceptance of these methods as a route to new biocatalysts for organic synthesis requires further improvement of the methods for both ease-of-use and also for obtaining more significant changes in enzyme properties than is currently possible. Recent advances in library design, and...

  8. Improving Student's Lab Practices: the Performance Grade

    CERN Document Server

    Lippi, G L

    2015-01-01

    Instilling good laboratory working attitudes in students is a difficult but very important task, especially in the first level courses. The introduction of a grade, based on the observation of work practices during laboratory sessions, can be strongly beneficial towards the acquisition of positive skills covering not only the technical aspects, but also the acquisition of both independence and team work. Explicit suggestions are given for basing the grade on specific observations and a quantitative analysis is performed to guarantee that the higher intrinsic volatility of the Performance Grade does not affect the final laboratory grade.

  9. On the interaction of attentional focus and gaze: the quiet eye inhibits focus-related performance decrements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klostermann, André; Kredel, Ralf; Hossner, Ernst Joachim

    2014-08-01

    To date, despite a large body of evidence in favor of the advantage of an effect-related focus of attention compared with a movement-related focus of attention in motor control and learning, the role of vision in this context remains unclear. Therefore, in a golf-putting study, the relation between attentional focus and gaze behavior (in particular, quiet eye, or QE) was investigated. First, the advantage of an effect-related focus, as well as of a long QE duration, could be replicated. Furthermore, in the online-demanding task of golf putting, high performance was associated with later QE offsets. Most decisively, an interaction between attentional focus and gaze behavior was revealed in such a way that the efficiency of the QE selectively manifested under movement-related focus instructions. As these findings suggest neither additive effects nor a causal chain, an alternative hypothesis is introduced explaining positive QE effects by the inhibition of not-to-be parameterized movement variants. PMID:25226608

  10. Using Collateral Material To Improve Writing Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Monica E.

    2003-01-01

    Examines the extent to which the provision of selected collateral material can enhance students' enjoyment of their writing tasks, and their performance in a context where although English is the official language, it is little used and much resisted by students for whom the language of choice for social interaction is the local Creole.…

  11. Improving Student Performance through Parent Involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steventon, Candace E.

    A personalized parenting program was implemented to address poor academic performance and low self-esteem of high school students. Student records, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, the Behavior Evaluation Scale, and teacher surveys were employed to identify and measure academic and/or self-perception growth. Parents participated in an 8-week…

  12. Improving spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cordewener, K.A.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Bosman, A.M.T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of sp

  13. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  14. Does Musical Training Improve School Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetter, Olive Emil; Koerner, Fritz; Schwaninger, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    In a retrospective study, we compared school performance of 53 children practicing music (group 1) with 67 controls not practicing music (group 2). Overall average marks as well as average marks of all school subjects except sports were significantly higher in children who do (group 1) than in those who do not practice music (group 2). In a…

  15. The persistent influence of pediatric concussion on attention and cognitive control during flanker performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Robert D; Pindus, Dominika M; Drolette, Eric S; Scudder, Mark R; Raine, Lauren B; Hillman, Charles H

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated the influence of concussion history on children's neurocognitive processing. Thirty-two children ages 8-10 years (16 with a concussion history, 16 controls) completed compatible and incompatible conditions of a flanker task while behavioral and neuroelectric data were collected. Relative to controls, children with a concussion history exhibited alterations in the sequential congruency effect, committed more omission errors, and exhibited decreased post-error accuracy. Children with a concussion history exhibited longer N2 latency across task conditions, increased N2 amplitude during the incompatible condition of the task, and decreased P3b amplitude across task conditions. Children with a history of concussion also exhibited decreased ERN and Pe amplitudes, with group difference increasing for the incompatible condition of the task. The current results indicate that pediatric concussion may lead to subtle, but pervasive deficits in attention and cognitive control. These results serve to inform a poorly understood but significant public health concern. PMID:25951782

  16. Cognitive performance in visual memory and attention are influenced by many factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon

    perceptual encoding/decoding speed (processing speed) of visual short-term memory based on an assessment of 94 healthy subjects aged 60-75. The estimates are presented at total sample level as well as at gender level. The estimates were modelled from input from a whole-report assessment based on A Theory of......Visual perception serves as the basis for much of the higher level cognitive processing as well as human activity in general. Here we present normative estimates for the following components of visual perception: the visual perceptual threshold, the visual short-term memory capacity and the visual...... speed of Visual Short-term Memory (VTSM) but not the capacity of VSTM nor the visual threshold. The estimates will be useful for future studies into the effects of various types of intervention and training on cognition in general and visual attention in particular. (...

  17. Performance improvement options for the supercritical carbon dioxide brayton cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton cycle is under development at Argonne National Laboratory as an advanced power conversion technology for Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors (SFRs) as well as other Generation IV advanced reactors as an alternative to the traditional Rankine steam cycle. For SFRs, the S-CO2 Brayton cycle eliminates the need to consider sodium-water reactions in the licensing and safety evaluation, reduces the capital cost of the SFR plant, and increases the SFR plant efficiency. Even though the S-CO2 cycle has been under development for some time and optimal sets of operating parameters have been determined, those earlier development and optimization studies have largely been directed at applications to other systems such as gas-cooled reactors which have higher operating temperatures than SFRs. In addition, little analysis has been carried out to investigate cycle configurations deviating from the selected 'recompression' S-CO2 cycle configuration. In this work, several possible ways to improve S-CO2 cycle performance for SFR applications have been identified and analyzed. One set of options incorporates optimization approaches investigated previously, such as variations in the maximum and minimum cycle pressure and minimum cycle temperature, as well as a tradeoff between the component sizes and the cycle performance. In addition, the present investigation also covers options which have received little or no attention in the previous studies. Specific options include a 'multiple-recompression' cycle configuration, intercooling and reheating, as well as liquid-phase CO2 compression (pumping) either by CO2 condensation or by a direct transition from the supercritical to the liquid phase. Some of the options considered did not improve the cycle efficiency as could be anticipated beforehand. Those options include: a double recompression cycle, intercooling between the compressor stages, and reheating between the turbine stages. Analyses carried

  18. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, Second Edition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-23

    This sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The sourcebook is divided into three main sections: steam system basics, performance improvement opportunities, and where to find help.

  19. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winiar L.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Rail transport development offers economic and ecological interests. Nevertheless, it requires heavy investments in rolling material and infrastructure. To be competitive, this transportation means must rely on safe and reliable infrastructure, which requires optimization of all implemented techniques and structure. Rail thermite (or aluminothermic welding is widely used within the railway industry for in-track welding during re-rail and defect replacement. The process provides numerous advantages against other welding technology commonly used. Obviously, future demands on train traffic are heavier axle loads, higher train speeds and increased traffic density. Thus, a new enhanced weld should be developed to prevent accidents due to fracture of welds and to lower maintenance costs. In order to improve such assembly process, a detailed metallurgical study coupled to a thermomechanical modelling of the phenomena involved in the thermite welding process is carried out. Obtained data enables us to develop a new improved thermite weld (type A. This joint is made by modifying the routinely specified procedure (type B used in a railway rail by a standard gap alumino-thermic weld. Joints of type A and B are tested and compared. Based on experimental temperature measurements, a finite element analysis is used to calculate the thermal residual stresses induced. In the vicinity of the weld, the residual stress patterns depend on the thermal conditions during welding as it also shown by litterature [1, 2]. In parallel, X-Ray diffraction has been used to map the residual stress field that is generated in welded rail of types A and B. Their effect on fatigue crack growth in rail welds is studied. An experimental study based on fatigue tests of rails welded by conventional and improved processes adjudicates on the new advances and results will be shown.

  20. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezzini-Aouad, M.; Flahaut, P.; Hariri, S.; Winiar, L.

    2010-06-01

    Rail transport development offers economic and ecological interests. Nevertheless, it requires heavy investments in rolling material and infrastructure. To be competitive, this transportation means must rely on safe and reliable infrastructure, which requires optimization of all implemented techniques and structure. Rail thermite (or aluminothermic) welding is widely used within the railway industry for in-track welding during re-rail and defect replacement. The process provides numerous advantages against other welding technology commonly used. Obviously, future demands on train traffic are heavier axle loads, higher train speeds and increased traffic density. Thus, a new enhanced weld should be developed to prevent accidents due to fracture of welds and to lower maintenance costs. In order to improve such assembly process, a detailed metallurgical study coupled to a thermomechanical modelling of the phenomena involved in the thermite welding process is carried out. Obtained data enables us to develop a new improved thermite weld (type A). This joint is made by modifying the routinely specified procedure (type B) used in a railway rail by a standard gap alumino-thermic weld. Joints of type A and B are tested and compared. Based on experimental temperature measurements, a finite element analysis is used to calculate the thermal residual stresses induced. In the vicinity of the weld, the residual stress patterns depend on the thermal conditions during welding as it also shown by litterature [1, 2]. In parallel, X-Ray diffraction has been used to map the residual stress field that is generated in welded rail of types A and B. Their effect on fatigue crack growth in rail welds is studied. An experimental study based on fatigue tests of rails welded by conventional and improved processes adjudicates on the new advances and results will be shown.

  1. Improvement of Adaptive Cruise Control Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakagami Takashi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the Adaptive Cruise Control system (ACC, a system which reduces the driving burden on the driver. The ACC system primarily supports four driving modes on the road and controls the acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle in order to maintain a set speed or to avoid a crash. This paper proposes more accurate methods of detecting the preceding vehicle by radar while cornering, with consideration for the vehicle sideslip angle, and also of controlling the distance between vehicles. By making full use of the proposed identification logic for preceding vehicles and path estimation logic, an improvement in driving stability was achieved.

  2. An acoustical study of trombone performance, with special attention to auditory feedback deprivation

    OpenAIRE

    Kristensen, Eirik

    2014-01-01

    When discussing how instruments work and how performers play them, the matter can be viewed from the standpoint of the musician or the scientist. In an attempt to bridge the gap between what science and musical experience know, acoustical methods are used to analyze trombone performance. The results provide a visual description of musical factors in trombone performance. Glissandi, sustained notes, transients, crescendos and decrescendos are studied through measurements of envelopes, spectra ...

  3. Improving the Load Balancing Performance of Vlasiator

    CERN Document Server

    Turk, Ata; Demirci, G Vehbi; von Alfthan, Sebastian; Honkonen, Ilja

    2011-01-01

    This whitepaper describes the load-balancing performance issues that are observed and tackled during the petascaling of the Vlasiator codes. Vlasiator is a Vlasov-hybrid simulation code developed in Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). Vlasiator models the communications associated with the spatial grid operated on as a hypergraph and partitions the grid using the parallel hypergraph partitioning scheme (PHG) of the Zoltan partitioning framework. The result of partitioning determines the distribution of grid cells to processors. It is observed that the partitioning phase takes a substantial percentage of the overall computation time. Alternative (graph-partitioning-based) schemes that perform almost as well as the hypergraph partitioning scheme and that require less preprocessing overhead and better balance are proposed and investigated. A comparison in terms of effect on running time, preprocessing overhead and load-balancing quality of Zoltan's PHG, ParMeTiS, and PT-SCOTCH are presented. Test results on ...

  4. Diversity improves performance in excitable networks

    CERN Document Server

    Gollo, Leonardo L; Roberts, James A

    2016-01-01

    As few real systems comprise indistinguishable units, diversity is a hallmark of nature. Diversity among interacting units shapes properties of collective behavior such as synchronization and information transmission. However, the benefits of diversity on information processing at the edge of a phase transition, ordinarily assumed to emerge from identical elements, remain largely unexplored. Analyzing a general model of excitable systems with heterogeneous excitability, we find that diversity can greatly enhance optimal performance (by two orders of magnitude) when distinguishing incoming inputs. Heterogeneous systems possess a subset of specialized elements whose capability greatly exceeds that of the nonspecialized elements. Nonetheless, the behavior of the whole network can outperform all subgroups. We also find that diversity can yield multiple percolation, with performance optimized at tricriticality. Our results are robust in specific and more realistic neuronal systems comprising a combination of excit...

  5. Does School Choice Improve Student Performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Kaja Høiseth Brugård

    2013-01-01

    This paper studies the relationship between school choice and student performance for high school students in Norway. The analysis exploits both the fact that the degree of school choice formally differs between counties, and detailed information on travelling distances to high schools, which more closely reflects the students' actual school choice possibilities. Information on students' residence, high school location, and the degree of formal school choice is used to estimate the effect on ...

  6. Does Mergers and Acquisition Improve Performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Zhong, Zhuqiang

    2013-01-01

    Merger and acquisition is an important way for companies to expand market share, obtain greater market power and set up new disciplines. Generally, people believe that merger and acquisition would bring benefit from the acquirer as the managers of acquirers are assumed make rational decisions. However, previous studies have shown that acquirers may not benefit from merger. Researchers conduct studies on merger performance from various prospective in order to explain the post merger performanc...

  7. Improving Vaginal Examinations Performed by Midwives

    OpenAIRE

    Rhoda S. Muliira; Vidya Seshan; Shanthi Ramasubramaniam

    2013-01-01

    A vaginal examination (VE) is an essential part of midwifery care, and is routinely performed when assessing the progress of labour. As evidence shows that during labour women may find VEs unpleasant, embarrassing and sometimes painful, the aim of this article is to review literature on the use of VEs during labour and to synthesise information from the available literature on how to provide an effective VE. The studies considered were retrieved from three databases (the Cumulative Index to N...

  8. Directed evolution strategies for improved enzymatic performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalby Paul A

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The engineering of enzymes with altered activity, specificity and stability, using directed evolution techniques that mimic evolution on a laboratory timescale, is now well established. However, the general acceptance of these methods as a route to new biocatalysts for organic synthesis requires further improvement of the methods for both ease-of-use and also for obtaining more significant changes in enzyme properties than is currently possible. Recent advances in library design, and methods of random mutagenesis, combined with new screening and selection tools, continue to push forward the potential of directed evolution. For example, protein engineers are now beginning to apply the vast body of knowledge and understanding of protein structure and function, to the design of focussed directed evolution libraries, with striking results compared to the previously favoured random mutagenesis and recombination of entire genes. Significant progress in computational design techniques which mimic the experimental process of library screening is also now enabling searches of much greater regions of sequence-space for those catalytic reactions that are broadly understood and, therefore, possible to model. Biocatalysis for organic synthesis frequently makes use of whole-cells, in addition to isolated enzymes, either for a single reaction or for transformations via entire metabolic pathways. As many new whole-cell biocatalysts are being developed by metabolic engineering, the potential of directed evolution to improve these initial designs is also beginning to be realised.

  9. Algorithms for improved performance in cryptographic protocols.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroeppel, Richard Crabtree; Beaver, Cheryl Lynn

    2003-11-01

    Public key cryptographic algorithms provide data authentication and non-repudiation for electronic transmissions. The mathematical nature of the algorithms, however, means they require a significant amount of computation, and encrypted messages and digital signatures possess high bandwidth. Accordingly, there are many environments (e.g. wireless, ad-hoc, remote sensing networks) where public-key requirements are prohibitive and cannot be used. The use of elliptic curves in public-key computations has provided a means by which computations and bandwidth can be somewhat reduced. We report here on the research conducted in an LDRD aimed to find even more efficient algorithms and to make public-key cryptography available to a wider range of computing environments. We improved upon several algorithms, including one for which a patent has been applied. Further we discovered some new problems and relations on which future cryptographic algorithms may be based.

  10. Improving Robotic Operator Performance Using Augmented Reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maida, James C.; Bowen, Charles K.; Pace, John W.

    2007-01-01

    The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) is a two-armed robot that functions as an extension to the end effector of the Space Station Robotics Manipulator System (SSRMS), currently in use on the International Space Station (ISS). Crew training for the SPDM is accomplished using a robotic hardware simulator, which performs most of SPDM functions under normal static Earth gravitational forces. Both the simulator and SPDM are controlled from a standard robotic workstation using a laptop for the user interface and three monitors for camera views. Most operations anticipated for the SPDM involve the manipulation, insertion, and removal of any of several types of Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU), modules which control various ISS functions. Alignment tolerances for insertion of the ORU into its receptacle are 0.25 inch and 0.5 degree from nominal values. The pre-insertion alignment task must be performed within these tolerances by using available video camera views of the intrinsic features of the ORU and receptacle, without special registration markings. Since optimum camera views may not be available, and dynamic orbital lighting conditions may limit periods of viewing, a successful ORU insertion operation may require an extended period of time. This study explored the feasibility of using augmented reality (AR) to assist SPDM operations. Geometric graphical symbols were overlaid on one of the workstation monitors to afford cues to assist the operator in attaining adequate pre-insertion ORU alignment. Twelve skilled subjects performed eight ORU insertion tasks using the simulator with and without the AR symbols in a repeated measures experimental design. Results indicated that using the AR symbols reduced pre-insertion alignment error for all subjects and reduced the time to complete pre-insertion alignment for most subjects.

  11. How Belgium improves NPP operating performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belgian nuclear power plants's excellent performance is due to pursuit of high availability in all phases of design, construction, commissioning and operation of the units, as well as to dedicated programs for assistance to the operating plants, and to the availability of highly qualified suppliers and labour in the country. The efficient communication and close contact between the utilities and Belgatom, together with the 'Open Window Approach' to worldwide information, lead to a minimum of paperwork and accelerate the problem-solving process. (author)

  12. Oculomotor and pupillometric indices of pro- and antisaccade performance in youth-onset psychosis and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karatekin, Canan; Bingham, Christopher; White, Tonya

    2010-11-01

    The goals of the study were to examine inhibitory deficits on the antisaccade task in 8- to 20-year olds with youth-onset psychosis or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and healthy controls and to examine if age-related changes in performance differed across groups. In addition to the conventional measures of performance, pupillary dilations were used to obtain estimates of phasic and tonic level of arousal. Results showed that the psychosis, but not the ADHD, group had elevated antisaccade error rates; however, variability of error rates was high in all groups. These inhibitory failures were accompanied by a lower level of momentary cognitive effort (as indexed by pupillary dilations). The largest differences between the control and clinical groups were found not in the expected indices of inhibition but in the probability of correcting inhibitory errors and in variability of antisaccade response times, which were correlated with each other. These findings did not appear to be attributable to a deficit in maintaining task instructions in mind in either disorder or lack of motivation in ADHD. Instead, results point to impairments in both clinical groups in sustaining attention on a trial-by-trial basis, resulting in deficits in self-monitoring. Thus, results show inhibitory deficits in the context of more general attentional impairments in both disorders. PMID:19429843

  13. Improvement of SACLA electron beam performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In March 2012, SACLA is open as a public user facility. While the first lasing was achieved at 10 keV after several months of machine commissioning, the pulse energy was about 30 μJ, which is lower than the design value. In the autumn of 2011, we intensively worked on the reduction of a projected emittance, then 120 μJ was finally obtained at 10 keV. After the cathode replacement in the winter shutdown, we re-tuned the accelerator and further increased the pulse energy to 250 μJ by increasing the beam energy and the undulator K-value. Currently the pulse energy more than 100 μJ are routinely available to user experiments at photon energies ranging from 5 to 15 keV. During the user time, the user can freely change the undulator gap to finely adjust the photon energy. Since the floor of the SACLA undulator hall still moves by 50 μm in 2 months, the beam orbit at the undulator section is re-aligned every 2 weeks to maintain the FEL performance. In this presentation, we will report the recent progress of the SACLA laser performance and operation. (author)

  14. Attentional control adjustments in Eriksen and Stroop task performance can be independent of response conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, Martijn J M; Roelofs, Ardi

    2011-06-01

    In the Eriksen flanker and colour-word Stroop tasks, the response time (RT) difference between incongruent and congruent trials is smaller following incongruent trials than following congruent trials: the "Gratton effect" (Gratton, Coles, & Donchin, 1992). According to the prevailing conflict-monitoring theory (Botvinick, Braver, Barch, Carter, & Cohen, 2001), the Gratton effect reflects attentional control adjustment following response conflict on incongruent trials. However, because previous studies compared incongruent and congruent trials, it remains unclear to what extent the Gratton effect is driven by incongruent rather than congruent trials. To resolve this issue, we included neutral trials in addition to incongruent and congruent trials in the Eriksen (Experiment 1) and Stroop (Experiment 2) tasks. Participants responded manually and vocally in both tasks. Moreover, we assessed responding to Stroop stimuli that were preceded by neutral cues or by incongruent- or congruent-predicting cues (Experiment 3). In all three experiments, the RT difference between incongruent and congruent trials was larger for postcongruent trials than for postincongruent and postneutral trials. These findings suggest that control adjustments can be independent of response conflict, challenging conflict-monitoring theory. PMID:21113864

  15. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Status and Baseline Neurocognitive Performance in High School Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinas, Christine M; Dean, Preston; LoGalbo, Anthony; Dougherty, Michael; Field, Melvin; Webbe, Frank M

    2016-01-01

    Approximately 136,000 concussions occur annually in American high school sports. Neuropsychological data indicate that children with preexisting cognitive difficulties, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may have protracted recovery from concussion. ADHD, with an estimated prevalence of 11% in youth, may increase an athlete's vulnerability to sustaining sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI). The preponderance of evidence focusing on TBI and ADHD has derived from motor vehicle accidents rather than sports-related incidents. Thus, it is paramount to explore how ADHD may relate to injury in the sports concussion context, as well as to assess how ADHD may affect baseline neurocognitive testing. Adolescent athletes with ADHD (n = 256) demonstrated significantly reduced Verbal Memory, Visual Motor, and Impulse Control index scores compared with their peers without ADHD (n = 256). Athletes with ADHD were nearly twice as likely to have sustained a prior concussion (ADHD, 14.1%; non-ADHD, 7.8%). Knowledge regarding the unique neurocognitive profile of athletes with ADHD may enhance clinical management decisions. PMID:26980407

  16. A trial-by-trial analysis reveals more intense physical activity is associated with better cognitive control performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartanto, T A; Krafft, C E; Iosif, A M; Schweitzer, J B

    2016-01-01

    Hyperactivity is a key symptom and the most observable manifestation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The over-activity associated with ADHD can cause specific challenges in academic settings, extracurricular activities and social relationships. Cognitive control challenges are also well established in ADHD. The current study included 44 children between the ages of 10 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD or who were typically developing (TD), all of whom had no psychiatric co-morbidity or significant learning disorders. Participants wore an actometer on their ankle while performing a flanker paradigm in order to objectively measure their rates of activity in association with cognitive control. Analyses assessed the relationship between frequency and intensity of activity to task accuracy on a trial-by-trial basis. A significant interaction effect between group and performance revealed that more intense movement was associated with better performance in the ADHD group but not in the TD group. The ADHD group demonstrated more intense activity than the TD group during correct (but not error) trials. Within-group, children with ADHD generated higher intensity movements in their correct trials compared to their error trials, whereas the TD group did not demonstrate any within-group differences. These findings suggest that excessive motoric activity associated with clinically significant ADHD symptoms may reflect compensatory efforts to modulate attention and alertness. Future research should systematically explore the relationship between motion in ADHD and how it might be used to improve cognitive performance. PMID:26059476

  17. Improving iris recognition performance via multi-instance fusion at the score level

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fenghua Wang; Xianghua Yao; Jiuqiang Han

    2008-01-01

    Fusion of multiple instances within a modality for biometric verification performance improvement has received considerable attention. In this letter, we present an iris recognition method based on multi-instance fusion, which combines the left and right irises of an individual at the matching score level. When fusing, a novel fusion strategy using minimax probability machine (MPM) is applied to generate a fused score for the final decision. The experimental results on CASIA and UBIRIS databases show that the proposed method can bring obvious performance improvement compared with the single-instance method.The comparison among different fusion strategies demonstrates the superiority of the fusion strategy based on MPM.

  18. Improving Handover Performance in Wireless Mobile Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinos Lizos

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose an enhanced packet scheduling scheme to favour UEs that experienced handover (HO in wireless mobile networks. The main idea of the proposed scheme is not only prioritized the HO connections at the CAC level but also prioritized the HO connections at the scheduler level. At the CAC level, a guard code scheme favours HO calls over new calls. At the scheduler level, a Packet Scheduler based-HandOver Class (PS-HOC scheme makes use of the elapsed time of HO connections to classify the HO requests into prioritized HO and non-prioritized HO calls. Further, PS-HOC sorts the connections based on their delay sensitivity and their channel quality. The performance of the proposed scheme is compared with delay driven scheduler (DDS scheme in terms of average packet delay, average queue size and average packet dropping rate. The simulation results show the effectiveness of our proposed scheme.

  19. Pivot Routing Improves Wireless Sensor Networks Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy El Rachkidy

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, wireless sensor networks (WSNs are used in several applications such as environmental monitoring. When network size and data rate increase, congestion becomes as an important issue, especially when an emergency situation generates alarm messages in a specific area of the network. In this paper, we describe the pivot routing protocol named PiRAT, which avoids congested paths by using intermediate pivot nodes. Simulations show that PiRAT has better performance than previous protocols in terms of packet loss, end-to-end delay, congestion and node overload. Moreover, we show that the load-balancing ability of PiRAT allows it to benefit from nodes having independent low duty cycles.

  20. Improving the Gas Instantaneous Water Heaters Performances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasir Kloub

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available This study presents a study of a theoretical and practical investigation of the gas Instantaneous (Tankless water Heaters performance. The results allow us to obtain realistic values of the control system in the various capacities gaseous flowing water heaters. The objective of this work is to study the operation of the plans in the field of controlling and checking low capacity gaseous flowing water in order to choose the proper plan of the logical values and measures for these equipments that may be used in industrial conditions. Also results of the work proved to be accurate. A design of the control system was made. The results of the practical experiment of the control system were similar to the arithmetic results.

  1. Improving the Performance of Urban Road Intersection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fareed M.A.Karim

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Road intersection is responsible for an important proportion of air pollution especially in urban areas, due to long queues of vehicles waiting for discharge. Therefore, it is necessary to quantify their emissions as accurately as possible. In this study an attempt was made to research on reducing the traffic air pollution such as CO, CO2, HC and NOx, fuel consumption and vehicle operating cost along with improving the traffic flow and delay at a road intersection. One major uncontrolled (un signalized intersection in capital city Sana'a (Yemen was chosen for the study. The traffic air pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating cost as well as vehicle delay was calculated for the base year 2012 using aaSIDRA 2.0 software developed in Australia. For the horizon year 2022, three scenarios were considered for investigation viz. (1 do nothing, (2 signalizing the intersection and (3 construction of flyover. The analysis shows that for the above mentioned parameters scenario (3 will be the best scenario followed by scenario (2, while worst case scenario will be do nothing.

  2. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    a psychic prerequisite for the social interaction between pupils and teachers. New kinds of “split attention” arise and new kinds of social mediation (regulation and “use”) of psychic attention become necessary if teaching in the new digital medium milieu shall be beneficial. In this paper we...... against Facebook, online games etc. neither unconcern and ignorance of the new media and their consequences for attention) - we argue - can generate adequate social norms regulating psychic awareness in the new digital learning environment....

  3. Improved decoding of attentional selection in a cocktail party environment with EEG via automatic selection of relevant independent components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, James A; Reilly, Richard B; Lalor, Edmund C

    2015-08-01

    Recently it has been shown to be possible to ascertain which speaker a subject is attending to in a cocktail party environment from single-trial (~60s) electroencephalography (EEG) data. The attentional selection of most of subjects could be decoded with a very high accuracy (>90%). However, the performance of many subjects fell below what would be required for a potential brain computer interface (BCI). One potential reason for this is that activity related to the stimuli may have a lower signal-to-noise ratio on the scalp for some subjects than others. Independent component analysis (ICA) is a commonly used method for denoising EEG data. However, its effective use often requires the subjective choice of the experimenter to determine which independent components (ICs) to retain and which to reject. Algorithms do exist to automatically determine the reliability of ICs, however they provide no information as to their relevance for the task at hand. Here we introduce a novel method for automatically selecting ICs which are relevant for decoding attentional selection. In doing so, we show a significant increase in classification accuracy at all test data durations from 60s to 10s. These findings have implications for the future development of naturalistic and user-friendly BCIs, as well as for smart hearing aids. PMID:26737596

  4. Spelling performance of students with developmental dyslexia and with developmental dyslexia associated to attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Débora Cristina; Casella, Erasmo Barbante; Ferraro, Alexandre Arcanjo

    2016-04-01

    Purpose to analyze and classify the spelling performance according to the semiology of spelling error of children with developmental dyslexia (DD) and with developmental dyslexia associated to attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity(DD and ADHD) comparing them to a group of children without learning process complaints. Methods Seventy students, from the third to fifth grade, participated in this study divided as follows: 32 children without complaints of learning difficulties (GI), mean age 9.5 years; 22 students with developmental dyslexia (GII), mean age 10 years; 16 scholars with developmental dyslexia associated to attention deficit disorders and hyperactivity (GIII), mean age 9.9. Spelling skills were assessed through a standardized word dictation task. Results Data indicated that GII and GIII children presented lower performance when compared with typically developed children. There was no statistical difference between the performance of GII and GIII children regarding the score reached in spelling, although GIII children presented the lowest performance. We observed differences between GII and GIII only in the type of misspelling. Conclusion Data from this research contribute to develop better programs for intervention in the studied population. PMID:27191875

  5. Improved human performance through appropriate work scheduling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has had a policy, Generic Letter 82-12, on hours of work since 1982. The policy states that licensees should establish controls to prevent situations where fatigue could reduce the ability of operating personnel to perform their duties safely (USNRC 1982). While that policy does give guidance on hours of work and overtime, it does not address periods of longer than 7 days or work schedules other than the routine 8-hour day, 40-hour week. Recognizing that NRC policy could provide broader guidance for shift schedules and hours of overtime work, the Division of Human Factors Safety conducted a project with Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNL) to help the NRC better understand the human factors principles and issues concerning hours of work so that the NRC could consider updating their policy as necessary. The results of this project are recommendations for guidelines and limits for periods of 14 days, 28 days, and 1 year to take into account the cumulative effects of fatigue. In addition, routine 12-hour shifts are addressed. This latter type of shift schedule has been widely adopted in the petroleum and chemical industries and several utilities operating nuclear power plants have adopted it as well. Since this is the case, it is important to consider including guidelines for implementing this type of schedule. This paper discusses the bases for the PNL recommendations which are currently being studied by the NRC

  6. Attentional switching in intellectually gifted and average children: effects on performance and ERP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Xiaoju; Shi, Jiannong

    2014-04-01

    The study compared the performance and brain activity of children who were intellectually gifted or of average intelligence. 13 intellectually gifted (4 girls, 9 boys; M age = 12.0 yr., SD = 0.2) and 13 average children (5 girls, 8 boys; M age = 11.9 yr., SD = 0.3) participated in a task-switching experiment. The children performed a task repeatedly (single-trial blocks) or switched between two different tasks (mixed-trial blocks). Intellectually gifted children performed quicker than the average group for both mixed and single-trial blocks. The electroencephalography P300 amplitude was larger in the mixed compared to the single-trial condition, but this effect was observed only in the gifted children. The results support the notion that gifted children are characterized by a faster maturation that leads to an 'adult-like' brain activity. PMID:24897910

  7. PEM fuel cells performance improvements by CFD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    , efficiency and accuracy will become one of the most cost effective ways of assisting in the development of new fuel cell technologies. Fuel cell technology presents huge economical and environmental potential in the next generation of power systems, from small portable fuel cells to large residential power plants. In the development of this new technology, detailed and accurate CFD modeling can effectively guide the improvements in fuel cell design so that optimal flow and energy management within fuel cells may be achieved. A comprehensive fuel cell modeling capability, which accounts for the detailed processes of the chemistry, electrochemistry, electric transport, heat generation and material stresses in the fuel cell, as well as the validated fuel cell modeling methodology, has not yet been fully established, so more work is required. (authors)

  8. Mindfulness training affects attention--or is it attentional effort?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Christian Gaden; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Frokjaer, Vibe;

    2012-01-01

    Improvements in attentional performance are at the core of proposed mechanisms for stress reduction in mindfulness meditation practices. However, this claim can be questioned because no previous studies have actively manipulated test effort in control groups and controlled for effects of stress...... reduction per se. In a blinded design, 48 young, healthy meditation novices were randomly assigned to a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), nonmindfulness stress reduction (NMSR), or inactive control group. At posttest, inactive controls were randomly split into nonincentive and incentive controls......, the latter receiving a financial reward to improve attentional performance. Pre- and postintervention, 5 validated attention paradigms were employed along with self-report scales on mindfulness and perceived stress and saliva cortisol samples to measure physiological stress. Attentional effects of...

  9. Performance improvements for VOx microbolometer FPAs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Daniel F.; Ray, Michael; Wyles, Jessica; Asbrock, James F.; Hewitt, C.; Wyles, Richard; Gordon, Eli; Sessler, T.; Kennedy, Adam; Baur, Stefan T.; Van Lue, David; Anderson, Steven; Chin, Richard; Gonzales, H.; Le Pere, C.; Ton, S.; Kostrzewa, Thomas

    2004-08-01

    Raytheon is producing high-quality 320 x 240 microbolometer FPAs with 25 μm pitch pixels. The 320 x 240 FPAs have a sensitivity that is comparable to microbolometer FPAs with 50 μm pixels. Typical NETD values for these FPAs are <50mK with an f/1 aperture and operating at 30 Hz frame rates. Pixel operability is greater than 99.9% on most FPAs, and uncorrected responsivity nonuniformity is less than 4% (sigma/mean). These 25 μm microbolometer detectors also have a relatively fast thermal time constant of approximately 10 msec. These arrays have produced excellent image quality, and are currently fielded in a variety of demonstration systems. The pixel size reduction facilitates a significant FPA cost reduction since the number of die printed on a wafer can be increased, and also has enabled the development of a large-format 640 x 480 FPA array. Raytheon is producing these arrays with excellent sensitivity and typical NETD values of <50mK with an f/1 aperture and operating at 30 Hz frame rates. These arrays have excellent operability and image quality. Several dual FOV prototype 640 x 480 systems have been delivered under the LCMS and UAV programs. RVS has developed a flexible uncooled front end (UFE) electronics that will serve as the basis for the camera engine systems using 320 x 240 arrays. RVS has developed a 640 x 480 Common Uncooled Engine (CUE) which is intended for small pixel, high performance applications. The CUE is the ideal cornerstone for ground and airborne systems, multi-mode sensor, weapon sight or seeker architectures, and commercial surveillance.

  10. Overview of human performance improvement initiatives in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs )

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are very complex systems. Diverse, multiple and redundant technological systems are used for effective control and safety of the NPPs. The increased numbers of such systems require increased operator attention. Additionally, the control stations (man-machine interfaces) are to be kept manageable in size. This sometimes reduces the scope for truly ergonomic design. These limitations, coupled with the shortcomings of human nature, led to unintended human performance problems and errors resulting into poor plant performance worldwide. Some organisational weaknesses, managerial decisions and latent errors also aided and abetted human errors. In view of this, a need was felt for development of performance culture at all levels in NPP organisations. Towards this end, ready-to-use performance improvement tools were developed and used for individual performers, supervisors and managers in the NPPs. This paper describes the experiences of the global nuclear electricity generating industry towards human performance improvement and error reduction. (author)

  11. Neurofeedback as an Intervention to Improve Reading Achievement in Students with Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Subtype

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Marca, Jeffry P.; O'Connor, Rollanda E.

    2016-01-01

    Research consistently demonstrates that attention deficits have a deleterious effect on academic achievement. Impairments in attention, and not hyperactivity/impulsivity, are associated with learning difficulties and academic problems in students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To date, most studies have focused on symptoms…

  12. QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AS A TOOL FOR IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE COMPANIES RAILWAYS

    OpenAIRE

    Grishko, O.

    2014-01-01

    Increasing globalization, railway reforms and growing competition on the transport market require attention towards quality management in railway enterprises. Apart from external competitive advantages, modern quality management system can be useful for railway enterprises to focus on cutting services’ primecost without reducing reliability and quality. Therefore, a quality management system can become a real tool for improving the performance of domestic railway enterprises, a source of econ...

  13. Visuo-attentional and sensorimotor alpha rhythms are related to visuo-motor performance in athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Percio, Claudio; Babiloni, Claudio; Bertollo, Maurizio; Marzano, Nicola; Iacoboni, Marco; Infarinato, Francesco; Lizio, Roberta; Stocchi, Massimiliano; Robazza, Claudio; Cibelli, Giuseppe; Comani, Silvia; Eusebi, Fabrizio

    2009-11-01

    This study tested the two following hypotheses: (i) compared with non-athletes, elite athletes are characterized by a reduced cortical activation during the preparation of precise visuo-motor performance; (ii) in elite athletes, an optimal visuo-motor performance is related to a low cortical activation. To this aim, electroencephalographic (EEG; 56 channels; Be Plus EB-Neuro) data were recorded in 18 right-handed elite air pistol shooters and 10 right-handed non-athletes. All subjects performed 120 shots. The EEG data were spatially enhanced by surface Laplacian estimation. With reference to a baseline period, power decrease/increase of alpha rhythms during the preshot period indexed the cortical activation/deactivation (event-related desynchronization/synchronization, ERD/ERS). Regarding the hypothesis (i), low- (about 8-10 Hz) and high-frequency (about 10-12 Hz) alpha ERD was lower in amplitude in the elite athletes than in the non-athletes over the whole scalp. Regarding the hypothesis (ii), the elite athletes showed high-frequency alpha ERS (about 10-12 Hz) larger in amplitude for high score shots (50%) than for low score shots; this was true in right parietal and left central areas. A control analysis confirmed these results with another indicator of cortical activation (beta ERD, about 20 Hz). The control analysis also showed that the amplitude reduction of alpha ERD for the high compared with low score shots was not observed in the non-athletes. The present findings globally suggest that in elite athletes (experts), visuo-motor performance is related to a global decrease of cortical activity, as a possible index of spatially selective cortical processes ("neural efficiency"). PMID:19350556

  14. Static and dynamic posterior cingulate cortex nodal topology of default mode network predicts attention task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Pan; Yang, Yong; Jovicich, Jorge; De Pisapia, Nicola; Wang, Xiang; Zuo, Chun S; Levitt, James Jonathan

    2016-03-01

    Characterization of the default mode network (DMN) as a complex network of functionally interacting dynamic systems has received great interest for the study of DMN neural mechanisms. In particular, understanding the relationship of intrinsic resting-state DMN brain network with cognitive behaviors is an important issue in healthy cognition and mental disorders. However, it is still unclear how DMN functional connectivity links to cognitive behaviors during resting-state. In this study, we hypothesize that static and dynamic DMN nodal topology is associated with upcoming cognitive task performance. We used graph theory analysis in order to understand better the relationship between the DMN functional connectivity and cognitive behavior during resting-state and task performance. Nodal degree of the DMN was calculated as a metric of network topology. We found that the static and dynamic posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) nodal degree within the DMN was associated with task performance (Reaction Time). Our results show that the core node PCC nodal degree within the DMN was significantly correlated with reaction time, which suggests that the PCC plays a key role in supporting cognitive function. PMID:25904156

  15. Improving Student Naval Aviator Aircraft Carrier Landing Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheppard, Thomas H.; Foster, T. Chris

    2008-01-01

    This article discusses the use of human performance technology (HPT) to improve qualification rates for learning to land onboard aircraft carriers. This project started as a request for a business case analysis and evolved into a full-fledged performance improvement project, from mission analysis through evaluation. The result was a significant…

  16. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casuso, Rafael A; Melskens, Lars; Bruhn, Thomas; Secher, Niels H.; Nordsborg, Nikolai Baastrup

    2014-01-01

    It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise.......It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise....

  17. Experience of safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this study is to provide experience of safety and performance improvement of fuel handling equipment for nuclear power plants in Korea. The fuel handling equipment, which is used as an important part of critical processes during the refueling outage, has been improved to enhance safety and to optimize fuel handling procedures. Results of data measured during the fuel reloading are incorporated into design changes. The safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment could be achieved by simply modifying the components and improving the interlock system. The experience provided in this study can be useful lessons for further improvement of the fuel handling equipment. (authors)

  18. Uncertain behaviours of integrated circuits improve computational performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Chihiro; Yamaoka, Masanao; Hayashi, Masato; Okuyama, Takuya; Aoki, Hidetaka; Kawarabayashi, Ken-ichi; Mizuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Improvements to the performance of conventional computers have mainly been achieved through semiconductor scaling; however, scaling is reaching its limitations. Natural phenomena, such as quantum superposition and stochastic resonance, have been introduced into new computing paradigms to improve performance beyond these limitations. Here, we explain that the uncertain behaviours of devices due to semiconductor scaling can improve the performance of computers. We prototyped an integrated circuit by performing a ground-state search of the Ising model. The bit errors of memory cell devices holding the current state of search occur probabilistically by inserting fluctuations into dynamic device characteristics, which will be actualised in the future to the chip. As a result, we observed more improvements in solution accuracy than that without fluctuations. Although the uncertain behaviours of devices had been intended to be eliminated in conventional devices, we demonstrate that uncertain behaviours has become the key to improving computational performance. PMID:26586362

  19. Psychosocial Interventions to Improve the School Performance of Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tresco, Katy E; Lefler, Elizabeth K; Power, Thomas J

    2010-08-01

    Children with ADHD typically show impairments throughout the school day. A number of interventions have been demonstrated to address both the academic and behavioral impairments associated with this disorder. Although the focus of research has been on classroom-based strategies of intervention for children with ADHD, school-based interventions applicable for non-classroom environments such as lunchrooms and playgrounds are beginning to emerge. This paper provides a brief description of the guiding principles of behavioral intervention, identifies selected strategies to address behavioral and academic concerns, discusses how school contextual factors have an effect on intervention selection and implementation, and considers the effects of using psychosocial interventions in combination with medication. PMID:21152355

  20. Psychosocial Interventions to Improve the School Performance of Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Tresco, Katy E.; Lefler, Elizabeth K.; Power, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    Children with ADHD typically show impairments throughout the school day. A number of interventions have been demonstrated to address both the academic and behavioral impairments associated with this disorder. Although the focus of research has been on classroom-based strategies of intervention for children with ADHD, school-based interventions applicable for non-classroom environments such as lunchrooms and playgrounds are beginning to emerge. This paper provides a brief description of the gu...

  1. Impeller inlet geometry effect on performance improvement for centrifugal pumps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This research treats the effect of impeller inlet geometry on performance improvement for a boiler feed pump, who is a centrifugal pump having specific speed of 183 m.m3min-1.min-1 and close type impeller with exit diameter of 450 mm. The hydraulic performance and cavitation performance of the pump have been tested experimentally. In order to improve the pump, five impellers have been considered by extending the blade leading edge or applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet compared with the original impeller. The 3-D turbulent flow inside those pumps has been analyzed basing on RNG k-ε turbulence model and VOF cavitation model. It is noted that the numerical results are fairly good compared with the experiments. Based on the experimental test and numerical simulation, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Impeller inlet geometry has important influence on performance improvement in the case of centrifugal pump. Favorite effects on performance improvement have been achieved by both extending the blade leading edge and applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet: (2) It is suspected that the extended leading edge have favorite effect for improving hydraulic performance, and the much larger blade angle at impeller inlet have favorite effect for improving cavitation performance for the test pump: (3) Uniform flow upstream of impeller inlet is helpful for improving cavitation performance of the pump

  2. Comparing the Effectiveness of Paroxetine, Attention Modification Program and Combination of both on Improving Social Anxiety Symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliasghar Asgharnejad Farid

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Although the effectiveness of paroxetine and Attention Modification Program has been studied separately in treating social anxiety disorder, there has been no research comparing them according to the literature. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of paroxetine, Attention Modification Program (AMP and combination of both on improving the Social Anxiety Symptoms.Methods:33 patients meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for social anxiety disorder were randomly assigned in 3 groups: 11 in paroxetine group, 11 in AMP group and 11 in combined group. Treatment intervention was done during 8 weeks period. Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS were administered before and after treatment intervention. One-way Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA was used to determine the differences and efficacy of treatment interventions between groups. Data analysis was done by SPSS-16 software.Results:28 participants completed the treatment period. One-way ANCOVA results showed statistically significant differences in post-treatment scores of social phobia (p=0/007, depressive symptoms (p=0.007 and daily life functioning (p=0.011 between three groups. Bonferroni correction showed that combined treatment is significantly more effective than AMP in reducing social phobia symptoms (p=0.007, depressive symptoms (p=0.022 and enhancing daily life functioning (0.019. Yet, there were no significant differences between Paroxetine and combined treatment in all post-treatment scores (p=0.890, p=1.000, p=1.000 for social phobia, depressive symptoms and daily life functioning respectively. Paroxetine showed more significant improvement of depressive symptoms (p=0.016 and enhancing daily life functioning (p=0.045 than AMP. Also, there were no significant differences between paroxetine and AMP in reducing social anxiety symptoms.Discussion:It seems that paroxetine has wider effect in reducing social

  3. Benchmarking and performance improvement at Rocky Flats Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes

  4. Distracting the mind improves performance: an ERP Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan M Wierda

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: When a second target (T2 is presented in close succession of a first target (T1, people often fail to identify T2, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB. However, the AB can be reduced substantially when participants are distracted during the task, for instance by a concurrent task, without a cost for T1 performance. The goal of the current study was to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of this paradoxical effect. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants successively performed three tasks, while EEG was recorded. The first task (standard AB consisted of identifying two target letters in a sequential stream of distractor digits. The second task (grey dots task was similar to the first task with the addition of an irrelevant grey dot moving in the periphery, concurrent with the central stimulus stream. The third task (red dot task was similar to the second task, except that detection of an occasional brief color change in the moving grey dot was required. AB magnitude in the latter task was significantly smaller, whereas behavioral performance in the standard and grey dots tasks did not differ. Using mixed effects models, electrophysiological activity was compared during trials in the grey dots and red dot tasks that differed in task instruction but not in perceptual input. In the red dot task, both target-related parietal brain activity associated with working memory updating (P3 as well as distractor-related occipital activity was significantly reduced. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results support the idea that the AB might (at least partly arise from an overinvestment of attentional resources or an overexertion of attentional control, which is reduced when a distracting secondary task is carried out. The present findings bring us a step closer in understanding why and how an AB occurs, and how these temporal restrictions in selective attention can be overcome.

  5. Connectivity supporting attention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita D. Barber

    2015-01-01

    While CON–DMN anti-correlation is associated with improved attention in ADHD, other circuitry supports improved attention in TD children. Greater CON–DMN anti-correlation supported better attentional control in children with ADHD, but worse attentional control in TD children. On the other hand, greater DMN–occipital anti-correlation supported better attentional control in TD children.

  6. Flashing characters with famous faces improves ERP-based brain-computer interface performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, T.; Schulz, S. M.; Grünzinger, C.; Kübler, A.

    2011-10-01

    Currently, the event-related potential (ERP)-based spelling device, often referred to as P300-Speller, is the most commonly used brain-computer interface (BCI) for enhancing communication of patients with impaired speech or motor function. Among numerous improvements, a most central feature has received little attention, namely optimizing the stimulus used for eliciting ERPs. Therefore we compared P300-Speller performance with the standard stimulus (flashing characters) against performance with stimuli known for eliciting particularly strong ERPs due to their psychological salience, i.e. flashing familiar faces transparently superimposed on characters. Our results not only indicate remarkably increased ERPs in response to familiar faces but also improved P300-Speller performance due to a significant reduction of stimulus sequences needed for correct character classification. These findings demonstrate a promising new approach for improving the speed and thus fluency of BCI-enhanced communication with the widely used P300-Speller.

  7. Environmental heat stress enhances mental fatigue during sustained attention task performing: evidence from an ASL perfusion study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Shaowen; Li, Min; Li, Guoying; Liu, Kai; Li, Bo; Jiang, Qingjun; Li, Li; Yang, Zhen; Sun, Gang

    2015-03-01

    This study was to investigate the potential enhancing effect of heat stress on mental fatigue progression during sustained attention task using arterial spin labeling (ASL) imaging. Twenty participants underwent two thermal exposures in an environmental chamber: normothermic (NT) condition (25°C, 1h) and hyperthermic (HT) condition (50°C, 1h). After thermal exposure, they performed a twenty-minute psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) in the scanner. Behavioral analysis revealed progressively increasing subjective fatigue ratings and reaction time as PVT progressed. Moreover, heat stress caused worse performance. Perfusion imaging analyses showed significant resting-state cerebral blood flow (CBF) alterations after heat exposure. Specifically, increased CBF mainly gathered in thalamic-brainstem area while decreased CBF predominantly located in fronto-parietal areas, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and medial frontal cortex. More importantly, diverse CBF distributions and trend of changes between both conditions were observed as the fatigue level progressed during subsequent PVT task. Specifically, higher CBF and enhanced rising trend were presented in superior parietal lobe, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, while lower CBF or inhibited rising trend was found in dorsolateral frontal cortex, medial frontal cortex, inferior parietal lobe and thalamic-brainstem areas. Furthermore, the decrease of post-heat resting-state CBF in fronto-parietal cortex was correlated with subsequent slower reaction time, suggesting prior disturbed resting-state CBF might be indicator of performance potential and fatigue level in following task. These findings may provide proof for such a view: heat stress has a potential fatigue-enhancing effect when individual is performing highly cognition-demanding attention task. PMID:25435315

  8. Effects of Process and Human Performance Improvement Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasson, Joseph R.; Alvero, Alicia M.; Austin, John

    2006-01-01

    Organizational performance is a function of many variables, two of which are work process factors and human performance factors. Our study compared the effects of changing a work process versus human performance improvement techniques and the combined effects of combing both techniques. A 2 (manual vs electronic process) x 2 (with vs without…

  9. Seasonal variation in attention and spatial performance in a wild population of the African striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maille, Audrey; Pillay, Neville; Schradin, Carsten

    2015-11-01

    Cognitive flexibility describes the reversible changes of cognition in response to environmental changes. Although various environmental factors such as temperature, photoperiod and rainfall change seasonally, seasonal variation in cognitive performance has been reported in merely a few birds and mammals. We assessed whether cognitive performance in a wild population of African striped mice Rhabdomys pumilio, from the Succulent Karoo semidesert of South Africa, differed between summer and winter. In order to measure cognitive performance, striped mice were trapped in the field, tested under laboratory conditions at our research station and returned to the field within 5 h. We measured attention and spatial memory using the standardized orientation response test and the Barnes maze test. Males tested during summer oriented faster toward a predator-stimulus but made more errors and took longer to locate a shelter than males tested during winter. In contrast, females' performance did not differ between the two seasons. We discuss how the faster orientation in males during winter might be the consequence of lower temperatures and/or prolonged food restriction. We suggest that the enhancement of spatial performance during winter might be due to a greater motivation for future dispersal in male striped mice, as spring represents the breeding season. PMID:26139344

  10. Structural and functional correlates of motor imagery BCI performance: Insights from the patterns of fronto-parietal attention network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Liu, Tiejun; Li, Fali; Li, Mengchen; Liu, Dongbo; Zhang, Rui; He, Hui; Li, Peiyang; Gong, Jinnan; Luo, Cheng; Yao, Dezhong; Xu, Peng

    2016-07-01

    Motor imagery (MI)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have been widely used for rehabilitation of motor abilities and prosthesis control for patients with motor impairments. However, MI-BCI performance exhibits a wide variability across subjects, and the underlying neural mechanism remains unclear. Several studies have demonstrated that both the fronto-parietal attention network (FPAN) and MI are involved in high-level cognitive processes that are crucial for the control of BCIs. Therefore, we hypothesized that the FPAN may play an important role in MI-BCI performance. In our study, we recorded multi-modal datasets consisting of MI electroencephalography (EEG) signals, T1-weighted structural and resting-state functional MRI data for each subject. MI-BCI performance was evaluated using the common spatial pattern to extract the MI features from EEG signals. One cortical structural feature (cortical thickness (CT)) and two measurements (degree centrality (DC) and eigenvector centrality (EC)) of node centrality were derived from the structural and functional MRI data, respectively. Based on the information extracted from the EEG and MRI, a correlation analysis was used to elucidate the relationships between the FPAN and MI-BCI performance. Our results show that the DC of the right ventral intraparietal sulcus, the EC and CT of the left inferior parietal lobe, and the CT of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were significantly associated with MI-BCI performance. Moreover, the receiver operating characteristic analysis and machine learning classification revealed that the EC and CT of the left IPL could effectively predict the low-aptitude BCI users from the high-aptitude BCI users with 83.3% accuracy. Those findings consistently reveal that the individuals who have efficient FPAN would perform better on MI-BCI. Our findings may deepen the understanding of individual variability in MI-BCI performance, and also may provide a new biomarker to predict individual

  11. Improving the efficacy of ERP-based BCIs using different modalities of covert visuospatial attention and a genetic algorithm-based classifier.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Marchetti

    Full Text Available We investigated whether the covert orienting of visuospatial attention can be effectively used in a brain-computer interface guided by event-related potentials. Three visual interfaces were tested: one interface that activated voluntary orienting of visuospatial attention and two interfaces that elicited automatic orienting of visuospatial attention. We used two epoch classification procedures. The online epoch classification was performed via Independent Component Analysis, and then it was followed by fixed features extraction and support vector machines classification. The offline epoch classification was performed by means of a genetic algorithm that permitted us to retrieve the relevant features of the signal, and then to categorise the features with a logistic classifier. The offline classification, but not the online one, allowed us to differentiate between the performances of the interface that required voluntary orienting of visuospatial attention and those that required automatic orienting of visuospatial attention. The offline classification revealed an advantage of the participants in using the "voluntary" interface. This advantage was further supported, for the first time, by neurophysiological data. Moreover, epoch analysis was performed better with the "genetic algorithm classifier" than with the "independent component analysis classifier". We suggest that the combined use of voluntary orienting of visuospatial attention and of a classifier that permits feature extraction ad personam (i.e., genetic algorithm classifier can lead to a more efficient control of visual BCIs.

  12. Neurofeedback as an Intervention to Improve Reading Achievement in Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Subtype

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Marca, Jeffry Peter

    2014-01-01

    Attention deficit disorders are among the most prevalent and widely studied of all psychiatric disorders. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 9.0% of children (12.3% of boys and 5.5% of girls) between ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Research consistently demonstrates that attention deficits have a deleterious effect…

  13. Data Mining: A prediction for performance improvement using classification

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Now-a-days the amount of data stored in educational database increasing rapidly. These databases contain hidden information for improvement of students' performance. The performance in higher education in India is a turning point in the academics for all students. This academic performance is influenced by many factors, therefore it is essential to develop predictive data mining model for students' performance so as to identify the difference between high learners and slow learners student. I...

  14. Performance Capabilities and Competencies at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels for Performance Improvement Professionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giberson, Tomas R.

    2010-01-01

    This quantitative study sought to identify the performance capabilities and competencies that organizations in the northern midwestern United States expect of future performance improvement professionals at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Eighty-nine performance improvement professionals representing 89 organizations completed an online…

  15. Improvement of Wind Farm Performance by Means of Spinner Anemometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis Pedersen, Troels; Demurtas, Giorgio; Gottschall, Julia; Højstrup, Jørgen; Degn Nielsen, Jesper; Christiansen, Wolfgang; Weich, Günther; Sommer, Anders; Kristoffersen, Jesper Runge

    powerful microprocessor and heating was added to the sonic sensor arms plus a range of smaller redesigns. Software was revised with an improved internal calibration procedure. The improved system was tested on a 2MW wind turbine at Tjæreborg wind farm. Measurements on this turbine includes calibration of K......This report is a project report on the EUDP research project SpinnerFarm. The objectives of the project were to improve software and hardware on the spinner anemometer concept and to demonstrate improvement of wind farm performance by opitmized yaw control. The hardware was improved by a more...

  16. Improving the performance of wireless LANs a practical guide

    CERN Document Server

    Sarkar, Nurul

    2013-01-01

    While there are countless books on wireless networks, few actually quantify the key performance-limiting factors of wireless local area networks (WLANs) and describe various methods for improving WLAN performance. Fulfilling these needs, Improving the Performance of Wireless LANs: A Practical Guide provides both theoretical background and empirical results for the optimum planning and deployment of high performance WLAN systems in different residential and commercial buildings. Useful to students, faculties, researchers, engineers, and network developers, this must-have book not only explains

  17. Development of an improved high performance artery heat pipe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraehling, H.

    1981-05-01

    An existing space-qualified arterial high performance heat pipe was improved. Attempts to cut grooves with a self made single point threading tool were not successful. The grooves were not deep enough, so that a sufficient liquid supply over the entire circumference in the heating zone could not be obtained. Employment of commercially available thread taps showed an improvement in the groove depth but the groove profile itself was still poor. A further improvement of the profile shape was attained with a special set of threading tools consisting of an entering tap and a plug tap. Performance measurements with respective artery heat pipes confirmed that the heat pipe performance became better with the improvement of the circumferential groove profile. However, all investigated circumferential groove designs revealed a definitely poorer performance than the standard design with a screenwick as a secondary capillary structure.

  18. Improving Fan System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2003-04-01

    This is one of a series of sourcebooks on motor-driven equipment produced by the Industrial Technologies Program. It provides a reference for industrial fan systems users, outlining opportunities to improve fan system performance.

  19. Improving the Student’s Performance Using Educational Data Mining

    OpenAIRE

    K.Shanmuga Priya; A.V.Senthil Kumar

    2013-01-01

    The main goal of educational data mining is to improve the student performance. The usage of data mining techniques which achieves the goal in an efficient manner. The discovery of knowledge that extract from the end semester [1] is one of the method for improving the quality of higher education. In the higher education, the analysis on enrolment of student’s performance in a particular course, the student talent, confidence, studies and ethic helps to get more knowledge. In this research,...

  20. Performances and improvement of copper-hydrazine complexation deoxidising resin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Copper-hydrazine complexation deoxidising resin is tested to examine its performances including effluent water quality and capacity of deoxidisation. By the means of changing the resin type and regeneration, the deoxidising capacity of the resin can be improved to 13 times more than before. At the same time, physical performances of the resin are also greatly improved while maintaining its velocity of deoxidisation and effluent quality. (authors)

  1. Improving Industrial Engineering Performance through a Successful Project Management Office

    OpenAIRE

    Spałek, Seweryn

    2013-01-01

    The improvement of industrial engineering performance is currently a key issue. Companies can achieve such an improvement in different ways. One way, especially for companies operating in a multi-project environment, is a successfully operating Project Management Office (PMO). Recent studies have revealed that a successful PMO is a key factor influencing organisational performance. The author of this study conducted a world-wide research with a sample of over four hundred PMO cases to identif...

  2. Improved operational performance through the use of business planning tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Improved operational performance at Point Beach Nuclear Plant is based on a focused business plan. Quantitative goals that compare past performance with the performance of potential competitors are the basis of the business plan. This establishes goals for the nuclear power business unit which support corporate goals. Strategies and objectives are then developed to meet the established goals. To continue support for these strategies and objectives, individual performance plans are developed for all management personnel. These performance management plans identify individual contributor actions to support the goals, and also provide periodic feedback for changes to better prioritize individual actions. Performance criteria are also established to measure progress toward achieving the goals. The author also has a program to provide incentives for improved performance based upon success of the organization in achieving established goals

  3. Performance improvement of silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon coating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhafarov T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper the method is shown to improve the photovoltaic parameters of screen-printed silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon film formation on the frontal surface of the cell using the electrochemical etching. The possible mechanisms responsible for observed improvement of silicon solar cell performance are discussed.

  4. Using Audio Books to Improve Reading and Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Joel R.

    2009-01-01

    This article highlights significant research about what below grade-level reading means in middle school classrooms and suggests a tested approach to improve reading comprehension levels significantly by using audio books. The use of these audio books can improve reading and academic performance for both English language learners (ELLs) and for…

  5. Optical interference coatings for improved luminaire performance. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubins, H.L.

    1981-01-01

    An interior broadbeam HID uplight and an upstream roadway luminaire were developed to demonstrate that optical coated luminaire components can improve the visual effectiveness and energy efficiency of a lighting system. Optical coated reflectors and flat lens covers were very effective in the development of new improved lighting techniques. The coatings reduce reflection and transmission losses, opening the door to new design options for improving lighting performance and saving energy.

  6. Optimal control model predictions of system performance and attention allocation and their experimental validation in a display design study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannsen, G.; Govindaraj, T.

    1980-01-01

    The influence of different types of predictor displays in a longitudinal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hover task is analyzed in a theoretical study. Several cases with differing amounts of predictive and rate information are compared. The optimal control model of the human operator is used to estimate human and system performance in terms of root-mean-square (rms) values and to compute optimized attention allocation. The only part of the model which is varied to predict these data is the observation matrix. Typical cases are selected for a subsequent experimental validation. The rms values as well as eye-movement data are recorded. The results agree favorably with those of the theoretical study in terms of relative differences. Better matching is achieved by revised model input data.

  7. The Improvement of Emotion and Attention Regulation after a 6-Week Training of Focused Meditation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Baptista Menezes

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Self-regulatory trainings can be an effective complementary treatment for mental health disorders. We investigated the effects of a six-week-focused meditation training on emotion and attention regulation in undergraduates randomly allocated to a meditation, a relaxation, or a wait-list control group. Assessment comprised a discrimination task that investigates the relationship between attentional load and emotional processing and self-report measures. For emotion regulation, results showed greater reduction in emotional interference in the low attentional load condition in meditators, particularly compared to relaxation. Only meditators presented a significant association between amount of weekly practice and the reduction in emotion interference in the task and significantly reduced image ratings of negative valence and arousal, perceived anxiety and difficulty during the task, and state and trait-anxiety. For attention regulation, response bias during the task was analyzed through signal detection theory. After training, meditation and relaxation significantly reduced bias in the high attentional load condition. Importantly, there was a dose-response effect on general bias: the lowest in meditation, increasing linearly across relaxation and wait-list. Only meditators reduced omissions in a concentrated attention test. Focused meditation seems to be an effective training for emotion and attention regulation and an alternative for treatments in the mental health context.

  8. Slow oscillating transcranial direct current stimulation during non-rapid eye movement sleep improves behavioral inhibition in attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Tobias Munz

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Behavioral inhibition, which is a later-developing executive function (EF and anatomically located in prefrontal areas, is impaired in attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. While optimal EFs have been shown to depend on efficient sleep in healthy subjects, the impact of sleep problems, frequently reported in ADHD, remains elusive. Findings of macroscopic sleep changes in ADHD are inconsistent, but there is emerging evidence for distinct microscopic changes with a focus on prefrontal cortical regions and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM slow-wave sleep. Recently, slow oscillations (SO during non-REM sleep were found to be less functional and, as such, may be involved in sleep-dependent memory impairments in ADHD. Objective: By augmenting slow-wave power through bilateral, slow oscillating transcranial direct current stimulation (so-tDCS, frequency = 0.75 Hz during non-REM sleep, we aimed to improve daytime behavioral inhibition in children with ADHD. Methods: 14 boys (10-14 yrs diagnosed with ADHD were included. In a randomized, double-blind, cross-over design, patients received so-tDCS either in the first or in the second experimental sleep night. Inhibition control was assessed with a visuomotor go/no-go task. Intrinsic alertness was assessed with a simple stimulus response task. To control for visuomotor performance, motor memory was assessed with a finger sequence tapping task. Results: SO-power was enhanced during early non-REM sleep, accompanied by slowed reaction times and decreased standard deviations of reaction times, in the go/no-go task after so-tDCS. In contrast, intrinsic alertness and motor memory performance were not improved by so-tDCS. Conclusion: Since behavioral inhibition but not intrinsic alertness or motor memory was improved by so-tDCS, our results suggest that lateral prefrontal slow oscillations during sleep might play a specific role for executive functioning in ADHD.

  9. Performance protests’ get the most attention but they are neither radical nor innovative. They may even focus attention away from more important campaigns

    OpenAIRE

    Beckett, Charlie

    2011-01-01

    Student occupations of inner London department stores, barricades at Dale Farm, camps outside the Stock Exchange, and even the summer’s riots show that civil disobedience in the UK is on the rise. But are we witnessing a new kind ‘performance protest’? Charlie Beckett argues that these protests are now more focused on media reaction, such that they are more like performance art, often with little cohesion, programme, or objectives.

  10. LPV Controller Interpolation for Improved Gain-Scheduling Control Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Fen; Kim, SungWan

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, a new gain-scheduling control design approach is proposed by combining LPV (linear parameter-varying) control theory with interpolation techniques. The improvement of gain-scheduled controllers can be achieved from local synthesis of Lyapunov functions and continuous construction of a global Lyapunov function by interpolation. It has been shown that this combined LPV control design scheme is capable of improving closed-loop performance derived from local performance improvement. The gain of the LPV controller will also change continuously across parameter space. The advantages of the newly proposed LPV control is demonstrated through a detailed AMB controller design example.

  11. The design and performance of an improved target for MICE

    CERN Document Server

    Booth, C N; Langlands, J; Overton, E; Robinson, M; Smith, P J; Barber, G; Long, K R; Shepherd, B; Capocci, E; MacWaters, C; Tarrant, J

    2016-01-01

    The linear motor driving the target for the Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment has been redesigned to improve its reliability and performance. A new coil-winding technique is described which produces better magnetic alignment and improves heat transport out of the windings. Improved field-mapping has allowed the more precise construction to be demonstrated, and an enhanced controller exploits the full features of the hardware, enabling increased acceleration and precision. The new user interface is described and analysis of performance data to monitor friction is shown to allow quality control of bearings and a measure of the ageing of targets during use.

  12. Recovery interventions and strategies for improved tennis performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Mark S; Baker, Lindsay B

    2014-01-01

    Improving the recovery capabilities of the tennis athlete is receiving more emphasis in the research communities, and also by practitioners (coaches, physical trainers, tennis performance specialists, physical therapists, etc). The purpose of this article was to review areas of recovery to limit the severity of fatigue and/or speed recovery from fatigue. This review will cover four broad recovery techniques commonly used in tennis with the belief that the interventions may improve athlete recovery and therefore improve adaptation and future performance. The four areas covered are: (1) temperature-based interventions, (2) compressive clothing, (3) electronic interventions and (4) nutritional interventions. PMID:24668374

  13. The design and performance of an improved target for MICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, C. N.; Hodgson, P.; Langlands, J.; Overton, E.; Robinson, M.; Smith, P. J.; Barber, G.; Long, K. R.; Shepherd, B.; Capocci, E.; MacWaters, C.; Tarrant, J.

    2016-05-01

    The linear motor driving the target for the Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment has been redesigned to improve its reliability and performance. A new coil-winding technique is described which produces better magnetic alignment and improves heat transport out of the windings. Improved field-mapping has allowed the more precise construction to be demonstrated, and an enhanced controller exploits the full features of the hardware, enabling increased acceleration and precision. The new user interface is described and analysis of performance data to monitor friction is shown to allow quality control of bearings and a measure of the ageing of targets during use.

  14. Comparison of neuropsychological performances and behavioral patterns of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and severe mood dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uran, Pınar; Kılıç, Birim Günay

    2015-01-01

    We aimed to investigate the similarities and differences in neuropsychological test performance, demographic features and behavioral patterns of children and adolescents with the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder combined type (ADHD-C), and the severe mood dysregulation (SMD). Study includes 112 children: 67 with ADHD-C, 24 with SMD and 21 healthy controls. These groups were identified by using the schedule for affective disorders, and schizophrenia for the school-age children-present and lifetime version (KSADS-PL) and the K-SADS-PL-SMD Module. Conners' Parent and Teacher Rating Scale-revised long form (CPRS-R:L and CTRS-R:L) and neuropsychological tests were administered to the research groups. ADHD-C group's performances in Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Trail Making Test, Stroop Test TBAG form and Controlled Oral Word Association Test were significantly poorer than the control group's performances (p Emotional Lability" and "Conners' Global Index" subscales of CPRS-R:L, the average scores of the SMD group were significantly higher than the ADHD-C and control group's average scores (p < 0.05). ADHD-C group (but not SMD) could be significantly differentiated from healthy controls with the neuropsychological tests used. SMD group could be differentiated from the ADHD-C and healthy control groups with CPRS-R:L; i.e., ADHD-C versus SMD could be differentiated at the behavioral level only. PMID:24619769

  15. Improving golf performance with a warm up conditioning programme

    OpenAIRE

    Fradkin, A; Sherman, C; Finch, C

    2004-01-01

    Objectives: To determine whether a golf specific warm up programme (both immediately prior to play and after performing it five times a week for 5 weeks) improved performance in 10 male golfers compared with 10 controls matched for age, sex, and handicap.

  16. Improving Driver Performance. A Curriculum for Licensed Drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highway Users Federation for Safety and Mobility, Washington, DC.

    Curriculum material presented in this manual is for use in the development of an instructional program for drivers who either want or need to improve their driving performance. Three principal units are included: man and highway transportation, driver performance, and factors influencing driver behavior. Each unit is further divided into episodes…

  17. Linear Motion Systems. A Modular Approach for Improved Straightness Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with straight motion systems. A modular approach has been applied in order to find ways to improve the performance. The main performance parameters that are considered are position accuracy, repeatability and, to a lesser extent, cost. Because of the increasing requirements to pos

  18. Demandas atencionales, capacidad de dirigir la atención y desempeño físico en ancianos Attentional demandas, capacity to direct attention and physical performance in elders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertha Cecilia Salazar-González

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Objetivo: Caracterizar el desempeño cognitivo y físico en torno a las demandas atencionales de un grupo de ancianos pertenecientes a centros de cuidado de día de Monterrey, México. Metodología: El diseño fue descriptivo; se seleccionaron 103 participantes (Media de edad = 70.38 años; DE = 8.45 sin demencia y alcoholismo, verificados por el Mini Mental State Examination (español y CAGE. Se aplicó la encuesta de demandas atencionales, tres pruebas de desempeño cognitivo y dos de desempeño físico. Resultados: A mayor edad más demandas atencionales percibidas y peor desempeño cognitivo y físico. Las mujeres percibieron más demandas atencionales que los hombres y en los ancianos a mayores demandas atencionales percibidas, peor desempeño cognitivo y físico. Conclusión: La percepción de demandas atencionales se asocia inversamente al desempeño cognitivo y físico en los ancianos.Objective. Characterize cognitive and physical performance in relation to attentional demands of elders attending day care centers from Monterrey, Mexico. Methodology: The design was descriptive, 103 participants were selected (Mean age = 70.38 years; SD = 8.45 dementia and alcoholism free verified through the Mini Mental State Examination (Spanish and CAGE. The Attentional Demands Survey, three cognitive tests and two of physical performance were applied. Results: More age was related to more environmental and informational demands and worse cognitive and physical performance. Women perceived more attentional demandas than men and elders who perceived more attentional demands showed worse cognitive function and physical performance. Conclusions: Perception of attentional demands is negatively related to cognitive and physical performance.

  19. Improved performance for hoop-wound composite flywheel rotors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allred, R.E.; Foral, R.F.; Dick, W.E.

    1977-01-01

    Developmental work to date has shown the performance of hoop-wound composite flywheel rotors to be severely limited by composite transverse strength. This problem is addressed in a joint experimental-analytical effort aimed at improving transverse properties and assessing the impact of this improvement on flywheel performance. An improved test fixture designed to test hoop-wound cylinders in axial tension is developed. Test results show this specimen and test fixture produce more consistent data than do flat tensile bars cut from hexagonal cylinders. Initial experimental results from the improved specimen indicate that the transverse strength of Kevlar 49/epoxy composites could be improved by 30% by copolymerizing the epoxide matrix with an elastomer. The impact of these data on flywheel performance is predicted by a computer program which identifies optimum designs for given material properties on an energy-stored-per-swept-volume basis. A substantial improvement in performance is predicted, the attained 30% strength improvement of Kevlar 49/epoxy is shown to produce a 15% increase in energy stored. The analysis also permits multiple-material designs. Hybrid designs appear to have considerable potential for increasing storage capacity compared to single-material designs.

  20. Use of PSA Level 2 analysis for improving containment performance. Report of a technical committee meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In order to discuss and exchange experience on different aspects of methods associated with Level 2 PSA and its applications for improving containment performance, the IAEA held a Technical Committee meeting in Vienna in December 1996. The meeting, which was attended by 26 participants from 20 Member States, provided a broad forum for discussion. The meeting addressed the issues related to the actual performance of Level 2 PSA studies as well as the insights gained from applications to improve containment performance. Particular attention was given to studies and applications for WWER type reactors, for which Level 2 work is still in its early stages, and for channel type reactors where modelling of accident progression is complex and significantly different from vessel type light water reactors. This TECDOC contains the papers presented at the meeting and the results of extensive discussions which were held in specific working groups

  1. Strategies for improving the performance of planning: some empirical research

    OpenAIRE

    1997-01-01

    In this paper we accept the performance problem as given, including the theoretical analysis of it made elsewhere. Here we report empirical research into whether people making strategic plans were aware of this performance problem and, if so, what they did to improve the performance of their plans. Six strategic plans made by provinces and four made by larger municipalities were investigated. The plan-makers wanted their plans to fulfill various functions and chose methods of plan-making, inc...

  2. Implementing a Nurse Manager Profile to Improve Unit Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krugman, Mary E; Sanders, Carolyn L

    2016-06-01

    Nurse managers face significant pressures in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Staying current with multiple sources of data, including reports that detail institutional and unit performance outcomes, is particularly challenging. A Nurse Manager Customized Profile was developed at a western academic hospital to provide a 1-page visual of pertinent data to help managers and director supervisors focus coaching to improve unit performance. Use of the Decisional Involvement Scale provided new insights into measuring manager performance. PMID:27163873

  3. Improving older adults’ memory performance using prior task success

    OpenAIRE

    Geraci, Lisa; Miller, Tyler M.

    2012-01-01

    Holding negative aging stereotypes can lead older adults to perform poorly on memory tests. We attempted to improve older adults’ memory performance by giving them task experience that would counter their negative performance expectations. Before participating in a memory experiment, younger and older adults were given a cognitive task that they could either successfully complete, not successfully complete, or they were given no prior task. For older adults, recall was significantly higher an...

  4. Benchmarking and Performance Improvement at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, C. [Kaiser-Hill Co., LLC, Golden, CO (United States)], Doyle, D. [USDOE Rocky Flats Office, Golden, CO (United States)], Featherman, W.D. [Project Performance Corp., Sterline, VA (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes.

  5. New software for improving performance in wind farm operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Mark [Ekho for Wind (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    The performance of wind farms depends on multiple field and business systems. This makes operational planning difficult because of so many data being in separate systems, duplication of data and the impossibility of gathering all relevant data together in one place. The aim of this paper is to present a new software, Ekho for Wind, which helps improve performance in wind farm operations by providing features such as high level views, performance analysis, downtime tracking, quality data management and forecast generation. This new software provides operational intelligence which offers incentives for continuous improvement. Ekho for Wind can bring such benefits as maximization of generation, increased lifetime of assets, minimization of costs and increased profitability. This presentation introduced a new software for improving the performance of wind farms and the lifetime of assets, resulting in significant payback.

  6. The use of microbial-earthworm ecofilters for wastewater treatment with special attention to influencing factors in performance: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Luhua; Liu, Yunguo; Hu, Xinjiang; Zeng, Guangming; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Lu; Tan, Xiaofei; Huang, Binyan; Liu, Shaobo; Liu, Simian

    2016-01-01

    With the unique advantages of lower operational and maintenance cost, the use of microbial-earthworm ecofilters (MEEs) for the wastewater treatment has been increasing rapidly in the recent years. This paper provided an overview of the research activities on the use of MEEs for removing pollutants from various wastewater throughout the world. However, the long-term effective treatment performance and sustainable operation of this system still remain a challenge since the treatment performance would be affected by design parameters, operational conditions, and environmental factors. In order to promote the treatment performance, therefore, this paper also provided and summarized the influencing factors of pollutants removal in MEEs. The design parameters and operational conditions of MEEs include earthworm species and load, filter media type, hydraulic loading rate, nutrient load, packing bed height, chemical factors and temperature. Lastly, this review highlighted the further research on these issues to improve performance and sustainability of MEEs. PMID:26611806

  7. Improvability of assembly systems I: Problem formulation and performance evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiang S.-Y.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work develops improvability theory for assembly systems. It consists of two parts.Part I includes the problem formulation and the analysis technique. Part II presents the so-called improvability indicators and a case study. Improvability theory addresses the questions of improving performance in production systems with unreliable machines. We consider both constrained and unconstrained improvability. In the constrained case, the problem consists of determining if there exists a re-distribution of resources (inventory and workforce, which leads to an increase in the system's production rate. In the unconstrained case, the problem consists of identifying a machine and a buffer, which impede the system performance in the strongest manner. The investigation of the improvability properties requires an expression for the system performance measures as functions of the machine and buffer parameters. This paper presents a method for evaluating these functions and illustrates their practical utility using a case study at an automotive components plant. Part II uses the method developed here to establish conditions of improvability and to describe additional results of the case study.

  8. Performance Improvement of a Centrifugal Compressor by Passive Means

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Sitaram

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The present experimental investigation deals with performance improvement of a low-speed centrifugal compressor by inexpensive passive means such as turbulence generator placed at different positions and partial shroud near the rotor blade tip. The experiments are carried out at three values of tip clearance, namely 2.2%, 5.1%, and 7.9% of rotor blade height at the exit. Performance tests are carried out for a total of 13 configurations. From these measurements, partial shroud is found to give the best performance. The improvement in the compressor performance may be due to the reduction of tip leakage flows by the small extension of partial shroud (2 mm on the pressure surface side. Although there is nominal change in performance due to turbulence generator (TG, TG has beneficial effect of increased operating range.

  9. Retrospective cues based on object features improve visual working memory performance in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilchrist, Amanda L; Duarte, Audrey; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Research with younger adults has shown that retrospective cues can be used to orient top-down attention toward relevant items in working memory. We examined whether older adults could take advantage of these cues to improve memory performance. Younger and older adults were presented with visual arrays of five colored shapes; during maintenance, participants were presented either with an informative cue based on an object feature (here, object shape or color) that would be probed, or with an uninformative, neutral cue. Although older adults were less accurate overall, both age groups benefited from the presentation of an informative, feature-based cue relative to a neutral cue. Surprisingly, we also observed differences in the effectiveness of shape versus color cues and their effects upon post-cue memory load. These results suggest that older adults can use top-down attention to remove irrelevant items from visual working memory, provided that task-relevant features function as cues. PMID:26208404

  10. Carbohydrate mouth rinse: does it improve endurance exercise performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Painelli Vitor

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract It is well known that carbohydrate (CHO supplementation can improve performance in endurance exercises through several mechanisms such as maintenance of glycemia and sparing endogenous glycogen as well as the possibility of a central nervous-system action. Some studies have emerged in recent years in order to test the hypothesis of ergogenic action via central nervous system. Recent studies have demonstrated that CHO mouth rinse can lead to improved performance of cyclists, and this may be associated with the activation of brain areas linked to motivation and reward. These findings have already been replicated in other endurance modalities, such as running. This alternative seems to be an attractive nutritional tool to improve endurance exercise performance.

  11. LP turbine retrofit modernization: Improvements in performance and operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Westinghouse Electric Corporation retrofitted six low pressure (LP) nuclear turbine rotors and associated blade path components at Ringhals 1, a 1960's vintage English Electric (GEC) unit located near Varobacka, Sweden, and operated by Vattenfall AB. This achieved significant performance improvements and provided improved mechanical features over the original equipment. This paper, discusses design, manufacture, installation, operation and project coordination. The retrofit processes employed for these units can be applied to any potential customers units

  12. A Collaborative Brain-Computer Interface for Improving Human Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Yijun; Jung, Tzyy-Ping

    2011-01-01

    Electroencephalogram (EEG) based brain-computer interfaces (BCI) have been studied since the 1970s. Currently, the main focus of BCI research lies on the clinical use, which aims to provide a new communication channel to patients with motor disabilities to improve their quality of life. However, the BCI technology can also be used to improve human performance for normal healthy users. Although this application has been proposed for a long time, little progress has been made in real-world prac...

  13. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    OpenAIRE

    Pozas, W. J; Marrero, O. S.

    2014-01-01

    The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research). It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytec...

  14. Recovery interventions and strategies for improved tennis performance

    OpenAIRE

    Kovacs, Mark S.; Baker, Lindsay B.

    2014-01-01

    Improving the recovery capabilities of the tennis athlete is receiving more emphasis in the research communities, and also by practitioners (coaches, physical trainers, tennis performance specialists, physical therapists, etc). The purpose of this article was to review areas of recovery to limit the severity of fatigue and/or speed recovery from fatigue. This review will cover four broad recovery techniques commonly used in tennis with the belief that the interventions may improve athlete rec...

  15. Evidence for biomechanics and motor learning research improving golf performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Justin W L; Hume, Patria A

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this review was to determine how the findings of biomechanics and motor control/learning research may be used to improve golf performance. To be eligible, the biomechanics and motor learning studies had to use direct (ball displacement and shot accuracy) or indirect (clubhead velocity and clubface angle) golf performance outcome measures. Biomechanical studies suggested that reducing the radius path of the hands during the downswing, increasing wrist torque and/or range of motion, delaying wrist motion to late in the downswing, increasing downswing amplitude, improving sequential acceleration of body parts, improving weight transfer, and utilising X-factor stretch and physical conditioning programmes can improve clubhead velocity. Motor learning studies suggested that golf performance improved more when golfers focused on swing outcome or clubhead movement rather than specific body movements. A distributed practice approach involving multiple sessions per week of blocked, errorless practice may be best for improving putting accuracy of novice golfers, although variable practice may be better for skilled golfers. Video, verbal, or a combination of video and verbal feedback can increase mid-short iron distance in novice to mid-handicap (hcp) golfers. Coaches should not only continue to critique swing technique but also consider how the focus, structure, and types of feedback for practice may alter learning for different groups of golfers. PMID:22900408

  16. Outage preparation milestones - A tool to improve planned outage performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sustainable development of Nuclear Energy depends heavily on excellent performance of the existing fleet which in turn depend heavily on the performance of planned outages. Nuclear Power Plants who have successfully undertaken outage optimization projects have demonstrated than an effective Outage Preparation Milestone program is a key component of their improvement programs. This paper will provide background into the field of 'Outage Optimization' including the philosophy, general approach, and results obtained in the U. S. industry. The significant safety improvements afforded by properly implementing outage improvement programs will be explained. Some specific examples of outage improvements will be given including the adoption of a strong Outage Preparation Milestone Program. The paper will then describe the attributes of an effective Outage Preparation Milestone Program and list a set of specific key milestones. The key milestones are defined and the reasons for each are explained. Suggested due dates for each key milestone relative to the outage start date are provided. Successful implementation of an Outage Preparation Milestone program depends heavily upon the management tools and methods used to assure that the organization meets the milestones on time and in a quality fashion. These include methods to handle cases where milestones are not met - either partially or fully. KHNP is investigating implementing an improved Outage Preparation Milestone program for its fleet of reactors as part of its overall program to improve its performance of planned outages

  17. Lightning Performance on Overhead Distribution Lines : After Improvement Field Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynaldo Zoro

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Two feeders of 20 kV overhead distribution lines which are located in a high lightning density area are chosen to be observed as a field study due to their good lightning performance after improvement of lightning protection system. These two feeders used the new overhead ground wire and new line arrester equipped with lightning counter on the main lines. The significant reduced of lines outages are reported. Study was carried out to observe these improvements by comparing to the other two feeders line which are not improved and not equipped yet with the ground wire and line arrester. These two feeders located in the nearby area. Two cameras were installed to record the trajectory of the lightning strikes on the improved lines. Lightning peak currents are measured using magnetic tape measurement system installed on the grounding lead of lightning arrester. Lightning overvoltage calculations are carried out by using several scenarios based on observation results and historical lightning data derived from lightning detection network. Lightning overvoltages caused by indirect or direct strikes are analyzed to get the lightning performance of the lines. The best scenario was chosen and performance of the lines were improved significantly by installing overhead ground wire and improvement of lightning arrester installation.

  18. Improvements in operational safety performance of the Magnox power stations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the 43 years since commencement of operation of Calder Hall, the first Magnox power station, there remain eight Magnox stations and 20 reactors still in operation, owned by BNFL Magnox Generation. This paper describes how the operational safety performance of these stations has significantly improved over the last ten years. This has been achieved against a background of commercial competition introduced by privatization and despite the fact that the Magnox base design belongs to the past. Finally, the company's future plans for continued improvements in operational safety performance are discussed. (author)

  19. Improving Network Performance by Ameliorating TCP Congestion Control Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    With the rapid growth of rate-based services and wireless applications,improving Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) congestion control has been becoming more important in the network research field. This paper first briefly introduces the Additive-Increase Multiplicative-Decrease (AIMD) (a,b) algorithm,and then presents an improved TCP congestion control mechanism (D-AIMD) whose principles and simulation results are discussed in detail. This mechanism can be easily implemented with lower additional overheads and can efficiently improve network performance.

  20. Raising the noise to improve performance in optimal processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We formulate, in general terms, the classical theory of optimal detection and optimal estimation of signal in noise. In this framework, we exhibit specific examples of optimal detectors and optimal estimators endowed with a performance which can be improved by injecting more noise. From this proof of feasibility by examples, we suggest a general mechanism by which noise improvement of optimal processing, although seemingly paradoxical, may indeed occur. Beyond specific examples, this leads us to the formulation of open problems concerning the general characterization, including the conditions of formal feasibility and of practical realizability, of such situations of optimal processing improved by noise

  1. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozas, W. J

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research. It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytechnic School “Horacio Cobiellas Domínguez” resulting in teachers’ academic and scientific development and a significant growth of the staff scientific potentials manifested in scientific forum enrolment. The resulting impact should lead to a general use of the proposed strategy in the Polytechnic school web. Key words: professional performance, pedagogic professional performance, didactic professional performance, teachers’ developmental strategy

  2. EVALUATING AND IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF COLD ASPHALT EMULSION MIXES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Nyoman Arya Thanaya

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes investigation on the performances of cold asphalt emulsion mixes (CAEMs. The type of emulsion used was a cationic asphalt emulsion. The investigation was carried out at Leeds University, United Kingdom (UK. The objective of the experiments was to evaluate and to improve the performances of cold mixes and compared with hot mixes. For optimising the performances of the cold mixes, a target porosity of five to ten percent and indirect tensile stiffness modulus (ITSM value of 2000 MPa was selected, suitable for low to medium trafficked roads. A simplified mix design procedure was used for producing the cold mixes. It was found that when properly designed, at full curing conditions, the stiffness (ITSM of CAEMs were found to be very comparable to those of hot mixes. Test results also show that the addition of cement in the amount of one to two percent by mass of aggregates significantly improved the mechanical performance of cold asphalt mixes.

  3. Good practices for improved nuclear power plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report provides an overview of operational principles, practice and improvements which have contributed to good performance of eight selected world nuclear power stations. The IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) was used to identify a population of good performers. It is recognized that there are many other good performing nuclear power stations not included in this report. Specific criteria described in the introduction were used in selecting these eight stations. The information contained in this report was obtained by the staff from IAEA, Division of Nuclear Power. This was accomplished by visits to the stations and visits to a number of utility support groups and three independent organizations which provide support to more than one utility. The information in this report is intended as an aid for operating organizations to identify possible improvement initiatives to enhance plant performance. Figs and tabs

  4. Managing Human Performance to Improve Nuclear Facility Operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One of the IAEA's statutory objectives is to 'seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.' One way this objective is achieved is through the publication of a range of technical series. Two of these are the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series and the IAEA Safety Standards Series. According to Article III.A.6 of the IAEA Statute, the safety standards establish 'standards of safety for protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property'. The safety standards include the Safety Fundamentals, Safety Requirements and Safety Guides. These standards are written primarily in a regulatory style, and are binding on the IAEA for its own programmes. The principal users are the regulatory bodies in Member States and other national authorities. The IAEA Nuclear Energy Series comprises reports designed to encourage and assist R and D on, and application of, nuclear energy for peaceful uses. This includes practical examples to be used by owners and operators of utilities in Member States, implementing organizations, academia, and government officials, among others. This information is presented in guides, reports on technology status and advances, and best practices for peaceful uses of nuclear energy based on inputs from international experts. The IAEA Nuclear Energy Series complements the IAEA Safety Standards Series. IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NG-G-2.1, Managing Human Resources in the Field of Nuclear Energy, was published in 2009. In that publication, four interrelated objectives of the management of human resources were identified and discussed: ensuring that nuclear industry personnel have the necessary competence for their jobs; effectively organizing work activities; anticipating human resource needs; and monitoring and continually improving performance. This publication addresses the fourth objective and, in particular, summarizes good practices in the area of managing human performance

  5. Balanced Scorecard: a Tool for Performance Monitoring and Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Corina GROSU; Alina ALMASAN

    2008-01-01

    To successfully compete with companies from all over the world, any organization must have useful tools to measure, monitor and improve its performance. Such tools must be adapted to the information needs of a company, which is forced to action in a complex environment. Balanced scorecard is considered such an important tool, a system of measures which enables to understand the way in which performance is built, by establishing a balance between four forces, based on a process approach of the...

  6. Performance improvement tool for Thai make–to–order manufacturing

    OpenAIRE

    Apichat Sopadang; Sooksiri Wichaisri; Jirapat Wanitwattanakosol

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a framework to improve a performance of shop floor control for Thai make-to-order (MTO) smalland medium enterprises (SMEs). Integrated definition for function modeling is exploited to explore activities and relate ofcomponents. In-depth interview with experts and practitioners in the case study is provided useful information. The empiricalstudy is evaluated to suit for using the finalized SHEN model as a benchmark. Factor analysis is performed to find simplifiedinformation...

  7. Improving performance through linking IT ant TQM in Vietnamese organizations

    OpenAIRE

    Nguyen, Thuy Quynh Loan; Meier, Andreas; Widmer, Marino

    2006-01-01

    Total quality management (TQM) and information technology (IT) have significantly impacted on most organizations. The objective of this study is to develop a conceptual framework for studying the critical dimensions of TQM and the support of IT application to TQM that can improve the organizational performance. The study then makes managerial recommendations for linking IT and TQM in business strategies aiming at enhancing Vietnamese organizations’ performance. The study surveyed 146 Vietname...

  8. Like milk or wine : does firm performance improve with age?

    OpenAIRE

    Coad, Alex; Segarra Blasco, Agustí; Teruel Carrizosa, Mercedes

    2010-01-01

    Our empirical literature review shows that little is known about how firm performance changes with age, presumably because of the paucity of data on firm age. For Spanish manufacturing firms, we analyse the firm performance related to firm age between 1998 and 2006. We find evidence that firms improve with age, because ageing firms are observed to have steadily increasing levels of productivity, higher profits, larger size, lower debt ratios, and higher equity ratios. Furthermore, older firms...

  9. How to improve organizational performance through learning and knowledge?

    OpenAIRE

    Tsung-Hsien Kuo

    2011-01-01

    Purpose – Through investigating the relationship among human resource management (HRM), organizational learning (OL), organizational innovation (OI), knowledge management capability (KMC), and organizational performance (OP), the aim of this paper was to find a way of improving organizational performance through learning and knowledge. Design/methodology/approach – A survey questionnaire was utilized to collect data. The population of this study included 659 employees from electronic industri...

  10. Performance Improvement of TCP by TCP Reno and SACK Acknowledgement

    OpenAIRE

    Reena Rai; Dr. Maneesh Shreevastava

    2012-01-01

    Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the dominating end-to-end transport layer protocol which provides secure and reliable data transfer together with some other protocols. In this review paper, we contend that existing approaches to improve TCP performance over mobile ad-hoc networks have focused only on a subset of the factors affecting TCP performance by TCP Reno, SACK and Vegas. Effective resource utilization, such as bandwidth utilization, retransmission rate and window size, is compar...

  11. Performance Improvements for the ATLAS Detector Simulation Framework

    OpenAIRE

    Almalioglu Yasin; Salzburger Andreas; Ritsch Elmar

    2013-01-01

    Many physics and performance studies carried out with the ATLAS detector at the Long Hadron Collider (LHC) require very large event samples. A detailed simulation for the detector, however, requires a great amount of CPU resources. In addition to detailed simulation, fast techniques and new setups are developed and extensively used to supply large event samples. In addition to the development of new techniques and setups, it is still possible to find some performance improvements in the exist...

  12. Using Critical Systems thinking to Improve Student Performance in Networking

    OpenAIRE

    Albertus G. Joubert; Roelien Goede

    2012-01-01

    This paper explores how Critical Systems Thinking and Action Research can be used to improve student performance in Networking. When describing a system from a systems thinking perspective, the following aspects can be identified: the total system performance, the systems environment, the resources, the components and the management of the system. Following the history of system thinking we observe three emerged methodologies namely, hard systems, soft systems, and critical systems. This pape...

  13. Linear Motion Systems. A Modular Approach for Improved Straightness Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with straight motion systems. A modular approach has been applied in order to find ways to improve the performance. The main performance parameters that are considered are position accuracy, repeatability and, to a lesser extent, cost. Because of the increasing requirements to positioning systems, concerning accuracy, repeatability and velocity, it becomes more and more difficult to meet these requirements when using merely mechanical means. The errors in position occurring ...

  14. Separation of genetic influences on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and reaction time performance from those on IQ

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wood, A. C.; Asherson, P.; van der Meere, J. J.; Kuntsi, J.

    2010-01-01

    Background. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) shows a strong phenotypic and genetic association with reaction time (RI) variability, considered to reflect lapses in attention. Yet we know little about whether this aetiological pathway is shared with other affected cognitive processes i

  15. Effects of Improvement on Selective Attention: Developing Appropriate Somatosensory Video Game Interventions for Institutional-Dwelling Elderly with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shang-Ti; Chiang, I-Tsun; Liu, Eric Zhi-Feng; Chang, Maiga

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop appropriate somatosensory video game interventions on enhancing selective attention of institutional-dwelling elderly with disabilities. Fifty-eight participants aged 65[approximately]92 were recruited and divided into four groups, 4-week and 8-week experimental and two control groups, for evaluating the…

  16. Improving Compliance with Diabetes Management in Young Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Using Behavior Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Lisa M.; Chronis, Andrea M.; Hunter, Scott J.

    2006-01-01

    Medical adherence to complex diabetes regimens can be challenging, particularly for adolescents, and therefore represents the most common reason for referral to behavioral psychologists among this population. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), when present in children and adolescents with diabetes, presents unique barriers to…

  17. Attentional performance and executive functions in children with learning difficulties Desempenho atencional e funções executivas em crianças com dificuldades de aprendizagem

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Franco de Lima; Cíntia Alves Salgado Azoni; Sylvia Maria Ciasca

    2011-01-01

    Studies have described changes in visual attention and executive function in children with developmental dyslexia. This study intended to compare the performance of children with and without learning difficulties on tasks of visual attention and executive functions. The participants were 23 students, aged between 9 and 14 years old, with a mean age of 10.8 years. They were divided into three groups: (a) with learning difficulties; (b) with dyslexia; and (c) control (without any difficulty). F...

  18. Erythropoietin improves operant conditioning and stability of cognitive performance in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehrenreich Hannelore

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Executive functions, learning and attention are imperative facets of cognitive performance, affected in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently, we have shown that recombinant human erythropoietin improves cognitive functions in patients with chronic schizophrenia, and that it leads in healthy mice to enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation, an electrophysiological correlate of learning and memory. To create an experimental basis for further mechanistic insight into erythropoietin-modulated cognitive processes, we employed the Five Choice Serial Reaction Time Task. This procedure allows the study of the effects of erythropoietin on discrete processes of learning and attention in a sequential fashion. Results Male mice were treated for 3 weeks with erythropoietin (5,000 IU/kg versus placebo intraperitoneally every other day, beginning at postnatal day 28. After termination of treatment, mice were started on the Five Choice Serial Reaction Time Task, with daily training and testing extending to about 3 months. Overall, a significantly higher proportion of erythropoietin-treated mice finished the task, that is, reached the criteria of adequately reacting to a 1.0 sec flash light out of five arbitrarily appearing choices. During acquisition of this capability, that is, over almost all sequential training phases, learning readouts (magazine training, operant and discriminant learning, stability of performance were superior in erythropoietin-treated versus control mice. Conclusion Early erythropoietin treatment leads to lasting improvement of cognitive performance in healthy mice. This finding should be exploited in novel treatment strategies for brain diseases.

  19. Selective Attention and Attention Switching: Towards a Unified Developmental Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

    We review and relate two literatures on the development of attention in children: one concerning flexible attention switching and the other concerning selective attention. The first is a growing literature on preschool children's performances in an attention-switching task indicating that children become more flexible in their attentional control…

  20. Effect of attention control on sustained attention during induced anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grillon, Christian; Robinson, Oliver J; Mathur, Ambika; Ernst, Monique

    2016-06-01

    Anxiety has wide-reaching and complex effects on cognitive performance. Although it can intrude on cognition and interfere with performance, it can also facilitate information processing and behavioural responses. In a previous study, we showed that anxiety induced by threat of shock facilitates performance on the Sustained Attention to Response Task, a vigilance test, which probes response inhibition to infrequent nogo stimuli. The present study sought to identify factors that may have contributed to such improved performance, including on- and off-task thinking (assessed with thought probes) and individual differences in attention control, as measured with the Attention Control Scale. Replicating our prior finding, we showed that shock threat significantly reduced errors of commission on the nogo trials. However, we extended this finding in demonstrating that this effect was driven by subjects with low attention control. We therefore confirm that anxiety increases inhibitory control of prepotent responses-a mechanism which is adaptive under threat-and show that this effect is greater in those who rely more upon such prepotent responding, i.e., those with low attentional control. PMID:25899613

  1. Achieving Improved Performance at Access Point in WLAN Infrastructure Mode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irfan Siddavatam

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In recent years WLAN is projecting itself as alternate solution to carry out enterprise’s network traffic. The basic mode of WLAN is classified as ad-hoc mode and infrastructure mode. Infrastructure mode use wired network as backbone. The enterprise WLAN network design preferred infrastructure mode which assume as extension to wired network. The wireless access point is major component of infrastructure mode. As demand for every type of traffic increases in WLAN, how access point handles this traffic grabs equal attention. Study of access point varies at different layers such as location of access point at physical layer, queuing mechanism of access point at Mac layer. In this paper we discus role of access point in handling WLAN traffic and shortcoming of existing approach. In this paper alternative approach for access point is suggested to approve network performance using learning method.

  2. Research efforts to improve performance of production systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    In order to solve the problem of low efficiency of production systems, a lot of work has been done. The research efforts to improve the performance of production systems are summed up here and future research directions are discussed at last.

  3. Coaching as a Performance Improvement Tool at School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirci, Ramazan; Karakose, Turgut; Kocabas, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the current literature and have an insight about coaching as a performance improvement tool at school. In today's world, schools have to survive and keep their organizational success in the highest level because of the high expectations from school stakeholders. Taking place in such a fierce competitive…

  4. Improving Performance through Knowledge Translation in the Veterans Health Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Joseph; Perlin, Jonathan B.

    2006-01-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VA) provides a case study for linking performance measurement, information technology, and aligned research efforts to facilitate quality improvement in a large, complex health system. Dialogue between clinical researchers and VA leaders occurs through structured activities (e.g., the Quality Enhancement…

  5. Network Performance Improvement under Epidemic Failures in Optical Transport Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fagertun, Anna Manolova; Ruepp, Sarah Renée

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate epidemic failure spreading in large- scale GMPLS-controlled transport networks. By evaluating the effect of the epidemic failure spreading on the network, we design several strategies for cost-effective network performance improvement via differentiated repair times...... model can be used during the network planning process for facilitating cost- effective network survivability design....

  6. Potential improvements in SiGe radioisotope thermoelectric generator performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In accordance with NASA close-quote s slogan: open-quotes Better, Cheaper, Faster,close quotes this paper will address potential improvements to SiGe RTG technology to make them Better. RTGs are doubtless cheaper than 'paper designs' which are better and cheaper until development, performance and safety test costs are considered. RTGs have the advantage of being fully developed and tested in the rigors of space for over twenty years. Further, unless a new system can be accelerated tested, as were the RTGs, they cannot be deployed reliably unless a number of systems have succeeded for test periods exceeding the mission lifetime. Two potential developments are discussed that can improve the basic RTG performance by 10 to 40+% depending on the mission profile. These improvements could be demonstrated in years. Accelerated testing could also be performed in this period to preserve existing RTG reliability. Data from a qualification tested RTG will be displayed, while not definitive, to support the conclusions. Finally, it is anticipated that other investigators will be encouraged to suggest further modifications to the basic RTG design to improve its performance. copyright 1999 American Institute of Physics

  7. 48 CFR 970.5203-2 - Performance improvement and collaboration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... and collaboration. 970.5203-2 Section 970.5203-2 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF... collaboration. As prescribed in 970.0370-2(b), insert the following clause: Performance Improvement and Collaboration (MAY 2006) (a) The Contractor agrees that it shall affirmatively identify, evaluate, and...

  8. Educational Technology Research Journals: Performance Improvement Quarterly, 2001-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Alisha Rasmussen; Francis, Jenifer; Harrison, J. Buckley; McPhillen, Ammon S.; West, Richard E.

    2012-01-01

    This article is an analysis of "Performance Improvement Quarterly" (PIQ) for the years 2001-2010. The intent was to examine the article types used, the authors who contributed the most to the journal, the topics the journal most commonly focused on, and the citation frequency of the journal's articles. The analysis revealed that…

  9. Do Business Communication Courses Improve Student Performance in Introductory Marketing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcal, Leah E.; Hennessey, Judith E.; Curren, Mary T.; Roberts, William W.

    2005-01-01

    In this study, the authors investigated whether completion of a business communications course improved student performance in an introductory marketing management course. Regression analysis indicated that students who completed the communications course received higher grades than the otherwise comparable students. In addition, marketing majors…

  10. Study on Performance Improvement of AC-DC Converter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. H. Deshmukh,Yasoda Rani

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This project is about to develop the power converter with improved performance with low voltage and high current dc output.Supercapacitors require low voltage(12V and high current (150A to be charged.This paper describes the high frequency transformer and resonant inverter intended to obtain better efficiency by maintaining the constant low voltage.

  11. Using Screen Capture Feedback to Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denton, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Feedback is an effective instructional practice for improving achievement. The importance of feedback has been understood by teachers for many years, yet recent research has elevated its status. One characteristic of effective feedback is personalized comments, which assist students in understanding their performance. Most research analyzes the…

  12. Improvement of train transportation performance by convoy signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yingbo; Orlik, Philip; Parsons, Kieran; Kataoka, Kenji; Kalmar-Nagy, Tamas

    2016-02-01

    In this paper, we compare the transportation performance of a given railway for three types of signaling system: fixed-block signaling, moving-block signaling and train-convoy signaling. The transportation performance is evaluated from two aspects: track capacity and robustness to delays. The transportation performance is computed using numerical method and a new cellular automaton model is proposed to simulate the behavior of a train. The simulation results show that train-convoy signaling can improve track capacity and robustness to delays, at the same time, compared to fixed-block signaling and moving-block signaling.

  13. An improved multilevel fuzzy comprehensive evaluation algorithm for security performance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Ling-juan; SHEN Ling-tong

    2006-01-01

    It is of great importance to take various factors into account when evaluating the network security performance.Multilevel fuzzy comprehensive evaluation is a relatively valid method. However, the traditional multilevel fuzzy comprehensive evaluation algorithm relies on the expert's knowledge and experiences excessively, and the result of the evaluation is usually less accurate. In this article, an improved multilevel fuzzy comprehensive evaluation algorithm, based on fuzzy sets core and entropy weight is presented. Furthermore, a multilevel fuzzy comprehensive evaluation model of P2P network security performance has also been designed, and the improved algorithm is used to make an instant computation based on the model. The advantages of the improved algorithm can be embodied in comparison with the traditional evaluation algorithm.

  14. Performance Improvement of CZT Detectors by Line Electrode Geometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lan; Zhang, Wei; Li, Jun; Liu, Yanqing; Li, Yulan; Li, Yuanjing; Liu, Yinong; Fu, Jianqiang; Jiang, Hao; Deng, Zhi; Xue, Tao; Luo, Jie

    2014-02-01

    Due to their high efficiency and high energy resolution, applications of CdZnTe (CZT) detectors have spread into many areas such as room temperature detectors. To improve the performance and decrease the effects of hole trapping and crystal non-uniformity, special contact geometries are applied to the detectors, such as Coplanar, 3D pixel, Frisch grid, Capture and so on. In this paper, we introduce a new line electrode geometry to greatly improve CZT detector performance. A line anode collects electrons, while a planar cathode collects holes. Due to the low electric field close to the cathode and the low hole μτ value, this geometry is also a single charge sensitive structure. The calculated energy resolution of a 20 mm x 20 mm x 15 mm detector could be improved up to 1.51% for 662 keV gamma rays. Both simulations and experimental results are presented here.

  15. PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES USED BY MANAGERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raþiu Patricia

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: There are many situations in professional life when for various reasons we are employed in jobs that do not meet our emotional expectations our professional capabilities, our passions and therefore performance on that job will not be high. Analysis of the causes of under-utilization of human potential and adoption of appropriate strategies according to employee needs help reduce staff turnover costs. The main objective of the present paper consists in identifying managerial strategies which contribute to the improvement of the employees’ performances by stimulating their motivation, and the extent to which they are used in the managerial practice. Based on literature review we realized an integrated model and developed a classification, that present our own vision regarding performance improvement strategies. Our classification divides strategies for improving employees’ performances into four main groups: by employees’ development, by rewarding employees, by modifying the job description, by employee involvement in the organization. Starting from this model, through two types of questionnaires we have made an empirical research among managers as well as among office personnel, in order to capture both perspectives regarding the pursued objectives. For the present paper we will present only research results obtained for performance improvement strategies by employees’ development because support a higher degree of generality and do not depend on the organization characteristics. A quantitative data analize from the two samples show that there are differences between managers and employees perception when it comes to strategies used in their organizations and also manager did not know which determines employees to strive in order to improve their performance and obtain better results. The strategies to improve the employee’s performances, proposed within this article have the role to show the fact that managers cannot

  16. Quantifying quality management system performance in order to improve business performance

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Richard Angus; Bester, Andre; Moll, Mellet

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates current methods of measuring quality management system (QMS) performance. It introduces a methodology to quantify QMS performance in order to provide a reference point for improved QMS performance and, in turn, the business’s performance. By introducing metadata into historical or current QMS internal audit data, the study shows that it is possible, over time, to extract various levels of value-adding data, ranging from high-level, strategic, direction-oriented insight...

  17. Using design performance measurement as a strategy to improve collaborative design performance

    OpenAIRE

    Yin, Yuanyuan; Qin, Shengfeng; Holland, Ray

    2009-01-01

    This research investigates how to improve collaborative design performance by the implementation of performance measurement. A Design Performance Measurement (DPM) framework is developed to measure collaborative design performance and identify strengths and weaknesses of a design team during a design process. Additionally, it has been found that decision making efficiency is the most important DPM criteria for measuring design team member’s collaborative design efficiency; delivering to the d...

  18. A Mathematical Model to Improve the Performance of Logistics Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Izman Herdiansyah

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of logistics nowadays is expanding from just providing transportation and warehousing to offering total integrated logistics. To remain competitive in the global market environment, business enterprises need to improve their logistics operations performance. The improvement will be achieved when we can provide a comprehensive analysis and optimize its network performances. In this paper, a mixed integer linier model for optimizing logistics network performance is developed. It provides a single-product multi-period multi-facilities model, as well as the multi-product concept. The problem is modeled in form of a network flow problem with the main objective to minimize total logistics cost. The problem can be solved using commercial linear programming package like CPLEX or LINDO. Even in small case, the solver in Excel may also be used to solve such model.Keywords: logistics network, integrated model, mathematical programming, network optimization

  19. Improving the astrometric performance of VLTI-PRIMA

    CERN Document Server

    Woillez, J; Andolfato, L; Berger, J P; Bonnet, H; Delplancke, F; Derie, F; Di Lieto, N; Guniat, S; Mérand, A; Duc, T Phan; Schmid, C; Schuhler, N; Henning, T; Launhardt, R; Pepe, F; Queloz, D; Quirrenbach, A; Reffert, S; Sahlmann, S; Segransan, D

    2014-01-01

    In the summer of 2011, the first on-sky astrometric commissioning of PRIMA-Astrometry delivered a performance of 3 m'' for a 10 '' separation on bright objects, orders of magnitude away from its exoplanet requirement of 50 {\\mu}'' ~ 20 {\\mu}'' on objects as faint as 11 mag ~ 13 mag in K band. This contribution focuses on upgrades and characterizations carried out since then. The astrometric metrology was extended from the Coud\\'e focus of the Auxillary Telescopes to their secondary mirror, in order to reduce the baseline instabilities and improve the astrometric performance. While carrying out this extension, it was realized that the polarization retardance of the star separator derotator had a major impact on both the astrometric metrology and the fringe sensors. A local compensation of this retardance and the operation on a symmetric baseline allowed a new astrometric commissioning. In October 2013, an improved astrometric performance of 160 {\\mu}'' was demonstrated, still short of the requirements. Instabi...

  20. Improving Sustainability Performance for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyin Shen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Improving sustainability performance in developing infrastructure projects is an important strategy for pursuing the mission of sustainable development. In recent years, the business model of public-private-partnership (PPP is promoted as an effective approach in developing infrastructure projects. It is considered that the distribution of the contribution on project investment between private and public sectors is one of the key variables affecting sustainability performance of PPP-type projects. This paper examines the impacts of the contribution distribution between public and private sectors on project sustainability performance. A model named the sustainability performance-based evaluation model (SPbEM is developed for assisting the assessment of the level of sustainability performance of PPP projects. The study examines the possibility of achieving better sustainability through proper arrangement of the investment distribution between the two primary sectors in developing PPP-type infrastructure projects.

  1. Attention competition with advertisement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2014-09-01

    In the new digital age, information is available in large quantities. Since information consumes primarily the attention of its recipients, the scarcity of attention is becoming the main limiting factor. In this study, we investigate the impact of advertisement pressure on a cultural market where consumers have a limited attention capacity. A model of competition for attention is developed and investigated analytically and by simulation. Advertisement is found to be much more effective when the attention capacity of agents is extremely scarce. We have observed that the market share of the advertised item improves if dummy items are introduced to the market while the strength of the advertisement is kept constant.

  2. Methylphenidate improves response inhibition but not reflection–impulsivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

    OpenAIRE

    DeVito, Elise E.; Blackwell, Andrew D.; Clark, Luke; Kent, Lindsey; Dezsery, Anna Maria; Turner, Danielle C; Aitken, Michael R.F.; Sahakian, Barbara J

    2008-01-01

    Rationale Impulsivity is a cardinal feature of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is thought to underlie many of the cognitive and behavioural symptoms associated with the disorder. Impairments on some measures of impulsivity have been shown to be responsive to pharmacotherapy. However, impulsivity is a multi-factorial construct and the degree to which different forms of impulsivity contribute to impairments in ADHD or respond to pharmacological treatments remains unclear....

  3. Memantine Improves Attentional Processes in Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome: Electrophysiological Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    OpenAIRE

    Jin-Chen Yang; Annette Rodriguez; Ashley Royston; Yu-Qiong Niu; Merve Avar; Ryan Brill; Christa Simon; Jim Grigsby; HAGERMAN, RANDI J; Olichney, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Progressive cognitive deficits are common in patients with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), with no targeted treatment yet established. In this substudy of the first randomized controlled trial for FXTAS, we examined the effects of NMDA antagonist memantine on attention and working memory. Data were analyzed for patients (24 in each arm) who completed both the primary memantine trial and two EEG recordings (at baseline and follow-up) using an auditory “oddball” task. Resul...

  4. Chemical modification approaches for improved performance of Na-ion battery electrodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byles, Bryan; Clites, Mallory; Pomerantseva, Ekaterina

    2015-08-01

    Na-ion batteries have received considerable attention in recent years but still face performance challenges such as limited cycle lifetime and low capacities at high current rates. In this work, we propose novel combinations of preand post-synthesis treatments to modify known Na-ion battery electrode materials to achieve enhanced electrochemical performance. We work with two model metal oxide materials to demonstrate the effectiveness of the different treatments. First, wet chemical preintercalation is combined with post-synthesis aging, hydrothermal treatment, and annealing of α-V2O5, resulting in enhanced capacity retention in a Na-ion battery system. The hydrothermal treatment resulted in an increased specific capacity of nearly 300 mAh/g. Second, post-synthesis acid leaching is performed on α- MnO2, also resulting in improved electrochemical capacity. The chemical, structural, and morphological changes brought about by the modifications are fully characterized.

  5. Effectively managing nuclear risk through human performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The US commercial nuclear industry has just completed an outstanding decade of plant performance. Safety levels and electric production are at unprecedented high levels and continue to exceed even high industry goals. Nuclear energy continues to keep the highest priority on performance improvement programs and highly trained/qualified people that maintain its record setting safety and reliability of operations. While the industry has maintained a consistently high level of performance, the advent of deregulation and the consolidation of NPP ownership, as well as the current climate of concern about both rising energy costs and availability of power, has raised the standard for nuclear energy's level of competitiveness in today's market place. The resulting challenge is how to more effectively manage risk and improve performance even further in a generally high performing organization. Newer technology and more training by themselves are not the answer. Rather, the answer will lie in the human side of the organization and management's ability to tap into the unused potential of employee commitment and productivity. It is people who offer the greatest potential for organizational success. Given the fact that human performance has been demonstrated to yield higher rates of return than physical capital, it makes good business sense to determine how to encourage the behaviors in the workplace to manage the risk that will accompany efforts to boost the nuclear industry to new heights of excellence. This means effectively developing a performance improvement culture through identifying measurable performance indicators and determining how behaviors can best be influenced to improve those indicators. It also means seeing a culture of performance improvement and risk management as a strategic planning tool rather than a solution to a particular problem. One of the most effective ways to develop this culture of performance improvement and effectively managing risk

  6. Can Rhesus Monkey Learn Executive Attention?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Bramlett-Parker

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A growing body of data indicates that, compared to humans, rhesus monkeys perform poorly on tasks that assess executive attention, or voluntary control over selection for processing, particularly under circumstances in which attention is attracted elsewhere by competing stimulus control. In the human-cognition literature, there are hotly active debates about whether various competencies such as executive attention, working memory capacity, and fluid intelligence can be improved through training. In the current study, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta completed an attention-training intervention including several inhibitory-control tasks (a Simon task, numerical Stroop task, global/local interference task, and a continuous performance task to determine whether generalized improvements would be observed on a version of the Attention Network Test (ANT of controlled attention, which was administered before and after the training intervention. Although the animals demonstrated inhibition of prepotent responses and improved in executive attention with practice, this improvement did not generalize to the ANT at levels consistently better than were observed for control animals. Although these findings fail to encourage the possibility that species differences in cognitive competencies can be ameliorated through training, they do advance our understanding of the competition between stimulus-control and cognitive-control in performance by nonhuman and human primates.

  7. Can Rhesus Monkey Learn Executive Attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramlett-Parker, Jessica; Washburn, David A

    2016-01-01

    A growing body of data indicates that, compared to humans, rhesus monkeys perform poorly on tasks that assess executive attention, or voluntary control over selection for processing, particularly under circumstances in which attention is attracted elsewhere by competing stimulus control. In the human-cognition literature, there are hotly active debates about whether various competencies such as executive attention, working memory capacity, and fluid intelligence can be improved through training. In the current study, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) completed an attention-training intervention including several inhibitory-control tasks (a Simon task, numerical Stroop task, global/local interference task, and a continuous performance task) to determine whether generalized improvements would be observed on a version of the Attention Network Test (ANT) of controlled attention, which was administered before and after the training intervention. Although the animals demonstrated inhibition of prepotent responses and improved in executive attention with practice, this improvement did not generalize to the ANT at levels consistently better than were observed for control animals. Although these findings fail to encourage the possibility that species differences in cognitive competencies can be ameliorated through training, they do advance our understanding of the competition between stimulus-control and cognitive-control in performance by nonhuman and human primates. PMID:27304969

  8. Methylphenidate improves prefrontal cortical cognitive function through α2 adrenoceptor and dopamine D1 receptor actions: Relevance to therapeutic effects in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dudley Anne G

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Methylphenidate (MPH is the classic treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, yet the mechanisms underlying its therapeutic actions remain unclear. Recent studies have identified an oral, MPH dose regimen which when given to rats produces drug plasma levels similar to those measured in humans. The current study examined the effects of these low, orally-administered doses of MPH in rats performing a delayed alternation task dependent on prefrontal cortex (PFC, a brain region that is dysfunctional in ADHD, and is highly sensitive to levels of catecholamines. The receptor mechanisms underlying the enhancing effects of MPH were explored by challenging the MPH response with the noradrenergic α2 adrenoceptor antagonist, idazoxan, and the dopamine D1 antagonist, SCH23390. Results MPH produced an inverted U dose response whereby moderate doses (1.0–2.0 mg/kg, p.o. significantly improved delayed alternation performance, while higher doses (2.0–3.0 mg/kg, p.o. produced perseverative errors in many animals. The enhancing effects of MPH were blocked by co-administration of either the α2 adrenoceptor antagonist, idazoxan, or the dopamine D1 antagonist, SCH23390, in doses that had no effect on their own. Conclusion The administration of low, oral doses of MPH to rats has effects on PFC cognitive function similar to those seen in humans and patients with ADHD. The rat can thus be used as a model for examination of neural mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of MPH on executive functions in humans. The efficacy of idazoxan and SCH23390 in reversing the beneficial effects of MPH indicate that both noradrenergic α2 adrenoceptor and dopamine D1 receptor stimulation contribute to cognitive-enhancing effects of MPH.

  9. Improving the Performance of the Extreme-scale Simulator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engelmann, Christian [ORNL; Naughton III, Thomas J [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale on future high-performance computing (HPC) architectures and the performance impact of different architecture choices is an important component of HPC hardware/software co-design. The Extreme-scale Simulator (xSim) is a simulation-based toolkit for investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale. xSim scales to millions of simulated Message Passing Interface (MPI) processes. The overhead introduced by a simulation tool is an important performance and productivity aspect. This paper documents two improvements to xSim: (1) a new deadlock resolution protocol to reduce the parallel discrete event simulation management overhead and (2) a new simulated MPI message matching algorithm to reduce the oversubscription management overhead. The results clearly show a significant performance improvement, such as by reducing the simulation overhead for running the NAS Parallel Benchmark suite inside the simulator from 1,020\\% to 238% for the conjugate gradient (CG) benchmark and from 102% to 0% for the embarrassingly parallel (EP) and benchmark, as well as, from 37,511% to 13,808% for CG and from 3,332% to 204% for EP with accurate process failure simulation.

  10. Effectively Managing Nuclear Risk Through Human Performance Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. commercial nuclear industry has just completed an outstanding decade of plant performance. Safety levels and electric production are at unprecedented high levels and continue to exceed even high industry goals. Nuclear energy continues to keep the highest priority on performance improvement programs and highly trained and qualified people that maintain its record setting safety and reliability of operations. While the industry has maintained a high level of performance, the advent of deregulation and the consolidation of nuclear power plant ownership, as well as the current climate for concern about both rising energy costs and the availability of power, have raised the standard for nuclear energy's level of competitiveness in today's market place. The resulting challenge is how to more effectively manage risk and to improve performance even further in a generally high-performing industry. One of the most effective ways to develop this culture is to apply the principles of Hum an Performance Technology, or HPT. HPT is a relatively new field. Its principles are derived from the research and practice of behavioral and cognitive psychologists, instructional technologists, training designers, organizational developers, and various human resource specialists. Using the principles of HPT can help the nuclear industry successfully meet ever-changing environmental and business demands

  11. Detailed plant systems response evaluation for improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One avenue for improving plant operating performance and reliability is to identify and address deviations from the intended design response of plant systems. This task is difficult because of the interrelationships between nuclear plant systems, which often mask the root cause of the deviations. In addition, the opportunity for studying systems response to off-normal conditions is very limited, and when plant transient or trips do occur, the appropriate response is to recover the plant to a normal condition as soon as possible. The key to analyzing plant systems response for future study and operating improvements recommendations is to obtain a detailed time history on a large set of variables. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the use of a flexible data acquisition system to assist in performing a detailed nuclear plant system response evaluation to identify areas for plant operating performance and, hopefully, reliability improvements. At Surry Power Station, which consists of two Westinghouse three-loop pressurized water reactors, transient event analysis has historically been based on a review of appropriate strip chart, plant computer (Prodac-250), and sequence of events recorder (SOER) output. The SOER provides a millisecond time resolution but only on a fixed and limited data set. In order to improve the situation, it was determined that an add-on system was needed with a data resolution of hundredths of a second and the flexibility to expand the data base beyond that available from the SOER

  12. Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hibbs, Angela E; Thompson, Kevin G; French, Duncan; Wrigley, Allan; Spears, Iain

    2008-01-01

    Core stability and core strength have been subject to research since the early 1980s. Research has highlighted benefits of training these processes for people with back pain and for carrying out everyday activities. However, less research has been performed on the benefits of core training for elite athletes and how this training should be carried out to optimize sporting performance. Many elite athletes undertake core stability and core strength training as part of their training programme, despite contradictory findings and conclusions as to their efficacy. This is mainly due to the lack of a gold standard method for measuring core stability and strength when performing everyday tasks and sporting movements. A further confounding factor is that because of the differing demands on the core musculature during everyday activities (low load, slow movements) and sporting activities (high load, resisted, dynamic movements), research performed in the rehabilitation sector cannot be applied to the sporting environment and, subsequently, data regarding core training programmes and their effectiveness on sporting performance are lacking. There are many articles in the literature that promote core training programmes and exercises for performance enhancement without providing a strong scientific rationale of their effectiveness, especially in the sporting sector. In the rehabilitation sector, improvements in lower back injuries have been reported by improving core stability. Few studies have observed any performance enhancement in sporting activities despite observing improvements in core stability and core strength following a core training programme. A clearer understanding of the roles that specific muscles have during core stability and core strength exercises would enable more functional training programmes to be implemented, which may result in a more effective transfer of these skills to actual sporting activities. PMID:19026017

  13. Dissociation in performance of children with ADHD and high-functioning autism on a task of sustained attention

    OpenAIRE

    Gallagher, Louise; Gill, Michael; JOHNSON, KATHERINE ANNE; Robertson, Ian

    2007-01-01

    (242) PMID: 17433378 ABSTRACT: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism are two neurodevelopmental disorders associated with prominent executive dysfunction, which may be underpinned by disruption within fronto-striatal and fronto-parietal circuits. We probed executive function in these disorders using a sustained attention task with a validated brain-behaviour basis. Twenty-three children with ADHD, 21 children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 18 control children were...

  14. Policy Decomposition for Evaluation Performance Improvement of PDP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Deng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In conventional centralized authorization models, the evaluation performance of policy decision point (PDP decreases obviously with the growing numbers of rules embodied in a policy. Aiming to improve the evaluation performance of PDP, a distributed policy evaluation engine called XDPEE is presented. In this engine, the unicity of PDP in the centralized authorization model is changed by increasing the number of PDPs. A policy should be decomposed into multiple subpolicies each with fewer rules by using a decomposition method, which can have the advantage of balancing the cost of subpolicies deployed to each PDP. Policy decomposition is the key problem of the evaluation performance improvement of PDPs. A greedy algorithm with O(nlgn time complexity for policy decomposition is constructed. In experiments, the policy of the LMS, VMS, and ASMS in real applications is decomposed separately into multiple subpolicies based on the greedy algorithm. Policy decomposition guarantees that the cost of subpolicies deployed to each PDP is equal or approximately equal. Experimental results show that (1 the method of policy decomposition improves the evaluation performance of PDPs effectively and that (2 the evaluation time of PDPs reduces with the growing numbers of PDPs.

  15. Developing and assessing initiatives designed to improve clinical teaching performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandelwal, Sorabh; Bernard, Aaron W; Wald, David A; Manthey, David E; Fisher, Jonathan; Ankel, Felix; Williams, Sarah R; Szyld, Demian; Riddle, Janet; Anders Ericsson, K

    2012-12-01

    To improve the teaching performance of emergency physicians, it is necessary to understand the attributes of expert teachers and the optimal methods to deliver faculty development. A working group of medical educators was formed to review the literature, summarize what is known on the topic, and provide recommendations for future research. This occurred as a track of the 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) consensus conference "Education Research in Emergency Medicine: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies for Success." The group concluded that the current state of research on these topics is limited. Improvement in understanding will come through research focusing on Kirkpatrick's higher levels of evaluation (behavior and results). PMID:23216823

  16. Early cessation of breastfeeding amongst women in South Africa: an area needing urgent attention to improve child health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doherty Tanya

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breastfeeding is a critical component of interventions to reduce child mortality. Exclusive breastfeeding practice is extremely low in South Africa and there has been no improvement in this over the past ten years largely due to fears of HIV transmission. Early cessation of breastfeeding has been found to have negative effects on child morbidity and survival in several studies in Africa. This paper reports on determinants of early breastfeeding cessation among women in South Africa. Methods This is a sub group analysis of a community-based cluster-randomized trial (PROMISE EBF promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three South African sites (Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal between 2006 and 2008 (ClinicalTrials.gov no: NCT00397150. Infant feeding recall of 22 food and fluid items was collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks postpartum. Women’s experiences of breast health problems were also collected at the same time points. 999 women who ever breastfed were included in the analysis. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusting for site, arm and cluster, was performed to determine predictors of stopping breastfeeding by 12 weeks postpartum. Results By 12 weeks postpartum, 20% of HIV-negative women and 40% of HIV-positive women had stopped all breastfeeding. About a third of women introduced other fluids, most commonly formula milk, within the first 3 days after birth. Antenatal intention not to breastfeed and being undecided about how to feed were most strongly associated with stopping breastfeeding by 12 weeks (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR 5.6, 95% CI 3.4 – 9.5 and AOR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6 – 10.8, respectively. Also important was self-reported breast health problems associated with a 3-fold risk of stopping breastfeeding (AOR 3.1, 95%CI 1.7 – 5.7 and the mother having her own income doubled the risk of stopping breastfeeding (AOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3 – 2

  17. Atenção seletiva: PSI em crianças com distúrbio de aprendizagem Selective attention: psi performance in children with learning disabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Lúcia Garcia

    2007-06-01

    sufficient to differentiate Group I and Group II. Special attention should be given to the performance of Group II on the first tested ear, which may substantiate important signs of improvements in performance and rehabilitation. CONCLUSION: The PSI - MCI of the right ear at speech/noise ratios of 0 and -10 was appropriate to differentiate Groups I and II. There was an association with the group that presented learning disabilities: this group showed problems in selective attention.

  18. Data Mining: A prediction for performance improvement using classification

    CERN Document Server

    Bhardwaj, Brijesh Kumar

    2012-01-01

    Now-a-days the amount of data stored in educational database increasing rapidly. These databases contain hidden information for improvement of students' performance. The performance in higher education in India is a turning point in the academics for all students. This academic performance is influenced by many factors, therefore it is essential to develop predictive data mining model for students' performance so as to identify the difference between high learners and slow learners student. In the present investigation, an experimental methodology was adopted to generate a database. The raw data was preprocessed in terms of filling up missing values, transforming values in one form into another and relevant attribute/ variable selection. As a result, we had 300 student records, which were used for by Byes classification prediction model construction. Keywords- Data Mining, Educational Data Mining, Predictive Model, Classification.

  19. Physical activity intervention (Movi-Kids) on improving academic achievement and adiposity in preschoolers with or without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Sánchez López, Mairena; Pardo Guijarro, María Jesús; Gutiérrez Díaz del Campo, David; Silva, Pedro; Martínez Andrés, María; Gulías González, Roberto; Díez Fernández, Ana; Franquelo Morales, Pablo; Martínez Vizcaíno, Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Background The prevention of obesity and improvement of academic achievement in children are concerns of industrialized societies. Obesity has been associated with psychological disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, whose prevalence has been estimated at 6.8 % in Spanish children and adolescents. It is known that physical activity is positively related to academic achievement and negatively related to the risk of obesity in children. However, studies to test the effec...

  20. The Social Responsibility Performance Outcomes Model: Building Socially Responsible Companies through Performance Improvement Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatcher, Tim

    2000-01-01

    Considers the role of performance improvement professionals and human resources development professionals in helping organizations realize the ethical and financial power of corporate social responsibility. Explains the social responsibility performance outcomes model, which incorporates the concepts of societal needs and outcomes. (LRW)

  1. The experience of liquid radwaste evaporator performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ulchin NPP has only one monobloc evaporation column which treated all radwaste liquid for two units. Since commercial operation in 1988 the evaporator performance is very poor. I think that the bad condition of evaporator is because of the bad quality of liquid radwaste, the large volume of liquid radwaste to treated, the poor skill of operation and some mistake in equipment design. Because of above conditions the average released activity by liquid radwaste is 35.153mCi/year in last eight years(1988∼1995). So it is necessary that we have to improve the evaporator performance and to reduce the liquid radwaste volume to evaporate

  2. Improving Performance for Flash-Based Storage Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Jingpei

    2014-01-01

    With the dramatic advances in electronic device industry, the availability of high speed non-volatile memory (NVRAM) has introduced a new tier into the storage hierarchy, and holds great promise for reduction in latency, power consumption, and improved performance. Among them, flash-memory has become a popular storage medium to replace hard disk as a permanent storage device and DRAM as a temporary storage device. Yet, despite their fast random I/O performance, the design of a flash-based sto...

  3. Performance Improvement of a Centrifugal Compressor by Passive Means

    OpenAIRE

    N. Sitaram; Swamy, S. M.

    2012-01-01

    The present experimental investigation deals with performance improvement of a low-speed centrifugal compressor by inexpensive passive means such as turbulence generator placed at different positions and partial shroud near the rotor blade tip. The experiments are carried out at three values of tip clearance, namely 2.2%, 5.1%, and 7.9% of rotor blade height at the exit. Performance tests are carried out for a total of 13 configurations. From these measurements, partial shroud is found to giv...

  4. Improving the use of evidence-based heart failure therapies in the outpatient setting: the IMPROVE HF performance improvement registry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonarow, Gregg C; Yancy, Clyde W; Albert, Nancy M; Curtis, Anne B; Stough, Wendy Gattis; Gheorghiade, Mihai; Heywood, J Thomas; Mehra, Mandeep; O'Connor, Christopher M; Reynolds, Dwight; Walsh, Mary Norine

    2007-07-01

    Evidence-based consensus treatment guidelines are available to assist physicians with the management of chronic heart failure (HF). Although it has been generally presumed that physicians incorporate these treatment guidelines into clinical practice, the actual assimilation of evidence-based strategies and guidelines has been demonstrated to be less than ideal. Studies of HF care show that treatment guidelines are slowly adopted and inconsistently applied and, thus, often fail to lead to improvements in patient care and outcomes. There are a number of ongoing, large, national quality improvement registries that are following the clinical care and outcomes of inpatient HF treatment. However, to date, there have been no similar quality improvement registries in the outpatient arena. The Registry to Improve the Use of Evidence-Based Heart Failure Therapies in the Outpatient Setting (IMPROVE HF) is the first large, comprehensive performance improvement registry designed to characterize the current outpatient management of systolic HF and assess the effect of practice-specific process improvement interventions consisting of education, specific clinical guidelines, reminder systems, benchmarked quality reports, and structured academic detailing on the use of evidence-based HF therapies. Seven performance measures to quantify the quality of outpatient HF care were explicitly developed by the IMPROVE HF Steering Committee. The primary objective is to observe, over the aggregate of IMPROVE HF practice sites, a relative > or = 20% improvement in at least 2 of the 7 performance measures at 24 months, compared with baseline. Deidentified clinical data from the medical records of a planned 43,000 patients from 160 US cardiology practices will be included in this study. PMID:17584548

  5. Improving performance and economics of the ESBWR design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The overall goal of the ESBWR program is the development and the evaluation of the technology and design of an economically competitive passive plant for utilities in many different countries. The simplified BWR plant design uses natural circulation and passive safety systems to improve overall plant performance and economics. Over the last eight years, several studies have been performed to improve the plant economics and to define an economical, passive plant design concept, that meets the safety and design goals established for the program. These efforts have produced the ESBWR plant design. The use of these simplified systems yields a plant design that is significantly simpler and smaller than traditional BWR designs, while producing approximately 1380 MWe. The current phase includes efforts at major simplification and reduction in the components by optimizing the fuel length. An extensive technology program to support the basic design choices is also ongoing. This paper references the programs and provides the key results. (author)

  6. Does Property Right Transformation Improve Township and Village Enterprises Performance?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhixiong Du; Yoichi Izumida

    2006-01-01

    To date, few observations have been made about the performance improvement that resulted from the property right transformation of the collective-owned township and village enterprises (TVE) in the middle of 1990s. Using data collected from a questionnaire survey on the privatized TVE and their employees, the present paper provides some empirical evidence about this topic, and the analysis suggests that property right transformation has had a positive impact on sample enterprises'performance, including business improvement,employment expansion, incremental investment and contributions to government revenues.The present study concludes that, from a transient viewpoint, the property right transformation has not distorted local governments' intentions to establish TVE in earlier years.

  7. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Huelman, P. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    2016-07-13

    A combined space- and water-heating (combi) system uses a high-efficiency direct-vent burner that eliminates safety issues associated with natural draft appliances. Past research with these systems shows that using condensing water heaters or boilers with hydronic air handling units can provide both space and water heating with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Improved controls have the potential to reduce complexity and improve upon the measured performance. This project demonstrates that controls can significantly benefit these first-generation systems. Laboratory tests and daily load/performance models showed that the set point temperature reset control produced a 2.1%-4.3% (20-40 therms/year) savings for storage and hybrid water heater combi systems operated in moderate-load homes.

  8. Improving the performance of cardiac abnormality detection from PCG signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sujit, N. R.; Kumar, C. Santhosh; Rajesh, C. B.

    2016-03-01

    The Phonocardiogram (PCG) signal contains important information about the condition of heart. Using PCG signal analysis prior recognition of coronary illness can be done. In this work, we developed a biomedical system for the detection of abnormality in heart and methods to enhance the performance of the system using SMOTE and AdaBoost technique have been presented. Time and frequency domain features extracted from the PCG signal is input to the system. The back-end classifier to the system developed is Decision Tree using CART (Classification and Regression Tree), with an overall classification accuracy of 78.33% and sensitivity (alarm accuracy) of 40%. Here sensitivity implies the precision obtained from classifying the abnormal heart sound, which is an essential parameter for a system. We further improve the performance of baseline system using SMOTE and AdaBoost algorithm. The proposed approach outperforms the baseline system by an absolute improvement in overall accuracy of 5% and sensitivity of 44.92%.

  9. Microinjection molding of microsystem components: new aspects in improving performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microinjection molding (µIM) is considered to be one of the most flexible, reliable and cost effective manufacturing routes to form plastic micro-components for microsystems. The molding machine, mold tool fabrication, material selection and process controlling in this specific field have been greatly developed over the past decades. This review aims to present the new trends towards improving micro-component performance by reviewing the latest developments in this area and by considering potential directions. The key concerns in product and mold designing, essential factors in simulation, and micro-morphology and resultant properties are evaluated and discussed. In addition, the applications, variant processes and outlook for µIM are presented. Throughout this review, decisive considerations in seeking improved performance for microsystem components are highlighted. (topical review)

  10. A collaborative brain-computer interface for improving human performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yijun Wang

    Full Text Available Electroencephalogram (EEG based brain-computer interfaces (BCI have been studied since the 1970s. Currently, the main focus of BCI research lies on the clinical use, which aims to provide a new communication channel to patients with motor disabilities to improve their quality of life. However, the BCI technology can also be used to improve human performance for normal healthy users. Although this application has been proposed for a long time, little progress has been made in real-world practices due to technical limits of EEG. To overcome the bottleneck of low single-user BCI performance, this study proposes a collaborative paradigm to improve overall BCI performance by integrating information from multiple users. To test the feasibility of a collaborative BCI, this study quantitatively compares the classification accuracies of collaborative and single-user BCI applied to the EEG data collected from 20 subjects in a movement-planning experiment. This study also explores three different methods for fusing and analyzing EEG data from multiple subjects: (1 Event-related potentials (ERP averaging, (2 Feature concatenating, and (3 Voting. In a demonstration system using the Voting method, the classification accuracy of predicting movement directions (reaching left vs. reaching right was enhanced substantially from 66% to 80%, 88%, 93%, and 95% as the numbers of subjects increased from 1 to 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Furthermore, the decision of reaching direction could be made around 100-250 ms earlier than the subject's actual motor response by decoding the ERP activities arising mainly from the posterior parietal cortex (PPC, which are related to the processing of visuomotor transmission. Taken together, these results suggest that a collaborative BCI can effectively fuse brain activities of a group of people to improve the overall performance of natural human behavior.

  11. Improvement of Interior Ballistic Performance Utilizing Particle Swarm Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    El Sadek, Hazem; Zhang, Xiaobing; Rashad, Mahmoud; Cheng, Cheng

    2014-01-01

    This paper investigates the interior ballistic propelling charge design using the optimization methods to select the optimum charge design and to improve the interior ballistic performance. The propelling charge consists of a mixture propellant of seven-perforated granular propellant and one-hole tubular propellant. The genetic algorithms and some other evolutionary algorithms have complex evolution operators such as crossover, mutation, encoding, and decoding. These evolution operators have ...

  12. Improving silicon probe performance through layer-by-layer coating

    OpenAIRE

    Coelho, Nuno Miguel Teixeira

    2015-01-01

    Fully comprehending brain function, as the scale of neural networks, will only be possi-ble with the development of tools by micro and nanofabrication. Regarding specifically silicon microelectrodes arrays, a significant improvement in long-term performance of these implants is essential. This project aims to create a silicon microelectrode coating that provides high-quality electrical recordings, while limiting the inflammatory response of chronic implants. To this purpose, a combined chi...

  13. A Valve Design Methodology For Improved Reciprocating Compressor Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Bhakta, Aditya; Dhar, Sandeep; Bahadur, Vaibhav; Angadi, Shruti; Dey, Subhrajit

    2012-01-01

    The current work directly relates valve dynamics to the compressor energy efficiency. Majority of the previous studies have focused on reducing pressure losses due to valve geometry, towards improved compressor performance. On a complimentary note, analyzing the valve ‘flutter’ leads to a holistic valve development methodology. Traditionally, pressure actuated reed valves have been used in reciprocating hermetic compressors on the suction and discharge ports. A characteristic of these valve ...

  14. Improved patch antenna performance by using a metamaterial cover

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Fang-ming; HU Jun

    2007-01-01

    A new patch antenna system with a metamaterial cover is presented in this paper. The impedance, radiation pattern, and directivity of such an antenna are studied. A performance comparison between the conventional patch antenna and the new metamaterial patch antenna is given. The results show that the directivity of the metamaterial patch antenna is significantly improved. The effect of the metamaterial cover's layer numbers on the radiation pattern of the patch antenna is also studied.

  15. Modeling and Performance Improvement of TCP over LTE Handover

    OpenAIRE

    Pacifico, Matteo

    2009-01-01

    The Long Term Evolution (LTE) of the UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access and Radio Access Network is a new communication standard aimed for commercial deployment in 2010. Goals for LTE include support for improved system capacity and coverage, high peak data rates, low latency, reduced operating costs, multiantenna support, flexible bandwidth operations and seamless integration with existing systems. The aim of this thesis project is to study the impacts on the end-user and system performance when ...

  16. Sensorimotor Adaptability Training Improves Motor and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, J.J.; Peters, B.T.; Mulavara, A.P.; Brady, R.; Batson, C.; Cohen, H.S.

    2009-01-01

    The overall objective of our project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of functional capabilities when astronauts transition to different gravitational environments. The goal of our current study was to determine if SA training using variation in visual flow and support surface motion produces improved performance in a novel sensory environment and demonstrate the retention characteristics of SA training.

  17. Alpha neurofeedback training improves SSVEP-based BCI performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Feng; Nuno da Cruz, Janir; Nan, Wenya; Wong, Chi Man; Vai, Mang I.; Rosa, Agostinho

    2016-06-01

    Objective. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can provide relatively easy, reliable and high speed communication. However, the performance is still not satisfactory, especially in some users who are not able to generate strong enough SSVEP signals. This work aims to strengthen a user’s SSVEP by alpha down-regulating neurofeedback training (NFT) and consequently improve the performance of the user in using SSVEP-based BCIs. Approach. An experiment with two steps was designed and conducted. The first step was to investigate the relationship between the resting alpha activity and the SSVEP-based BCI performance, in order to determine the training parameter for the NFT. Then in the second step, half of the subjects with ‘low’ performance (i.e. BCI classification accuracy <80%) were randomly assigned to a NFT group to perform a real-time NFT, and the rest half to a non-NFT control group for comparison. Main results. The first step revealed a significant negative correlation between the BCI performance and the individual alpha band (IAB) amplitudes in the eyes-open resting condition in a total of 33 subjects. In the second step, it was found that during the IAB down-regulating NFT, on average the subjects were able to successfully decrease their IAB amplitude over training sessions. More importantly, the NFT group showed an average increase of 16.5% in the SSVEP signal SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and an average increase of 20.3% in the BCI classification accuracy, which was significant compared to the non-NFT control group. Significance. These findings indicate that the alpha down-regulating NFT can be used to improve the SSVEP signal quality and the subjects’ performance in using SSVEP-based BCIs. It could be helpful to the SSVEP related studies and would contribute to more effective SSVEP-based BCI applications.

  18. An Approach to Improve the Performance of PM Forecasters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo S G de Mattos Neto

    Full Text Available The particulate matter (PM concentration has been one of the most relevant environmental concerns in recent decades due to its prejudicial effects on living beings and the earth's atmosphere. High PM concentration affects the human health in several ways leading to short and long term diseases. Thus, forecasting systems have been developed to support decisions of the organizations and governments to alert the population. Forecasting systems based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs have been highlighted in the literature due to their performances. In general, three ANN-based approaches have been found for this task: ANN trained via learning algorithms, hybrid systems that combine search algorithms with ANNs, and hybrid systems that combine ANN with other forecasters. Independent of the approach, it is common to suppose that the residuals (error series, obtained from the difference between actual series and forecasting, have a white noise behavior. However, it is possible that this assumption is infringed due to: misspecification of the forecasting model, complexity of the time series or temporal patterns of the phenomenon not captured by the forecaster. This paper proposes an approach to improve the performance of PM forecasters from residuals modeling. The approach analyzes the remaining residuals recursively in search of temporal patterns. At each iteration, if there are temporal patterns in the residuals, the approach generates the forecasting of the residuals in order to improve the forecasting of the PM time series. The proposed approach can be used with either only one forecaster or by combining two or more forecasting models. In this study, the approach is used to improve the performance of a hybrid system (HS composed by genetic algorithm (GA and ANN from residuals modeling performed by two methods, namely, ANN and own hybrid system. Experiments were performed for PM2.5 and PM10 concentration series in Kallio and Vallila stations in

  19. Improvement of Interior Ballistic Performance Utilizing Particle Swarm Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazem El Sadek

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the interior ballistic propelling charge design using the optimization methods to select the optimum charge design and to improve the interior ballistic performance. The propelling charge consists of a mixture propellant of seven-perforated granular propellant and one-hole tubular propellant. The genetic algorithms and some other evolutionary algorithms have complex evolution operators such as crossover, mutation, encoding, and decoding. These evolution operators have a bad performance represented in convergence speed and accuracy of the solution. Hence, the particle swarm optimization technique is developed. It is carried out in conjunction with interior ballistic lumped-parameter model with the mixture propellant. This technique is applied to both single-objective and multiobjective problems. In the single-objective problem, the optimization results are compared with genetic algorithm and the experimental results. The particle swarm optimization introduces a better performance of solution quality and convergence speed. In the multiobjective problem, the feasible region provides a set of available choices to the charge’s designer. Hence, a linear analysis method is adopted to give an appropriate set of the weight coefficients for the objective functions. The results of particle swarm optimization improved the interior ballistic performance and provided a modern direction for interior ballistic propelling charge design of guided projectile.

  20. Audits and their effectiveness in improving plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For several years, the NRC's performance appraisal teams (PATs) have been assessing the effectiveness of the various audit programs established by operating nuclear power plants. A major focus of the PAT assessments is on the audit programs mandated by 10 CFR, technical specifications, industry codes and standards, and NRC operating license conditions. These audits are typically performed by a plant's quality assurance organization, and program oversight is often provided at the corporate level by a safety review committee. The scope of these audit programs is broad, typically including such functional areas as maintenance, operations, health physics, emergency preparedness, training, procurement, and security. For an audit program to be truly effective in improving plant performance beyond the minimum level established by regulatory requirements, the audits must first be effective in identifying deficiencies that go beyond minimum regulatory requirements. The PAT experience to date is that typical industry audit programs are not designed to identify these types of deficiencies

  1. Available Network Bandwidth Schema to Improve Performance in TCP Protocols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Talau

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The TCP congestion control mechanism in standard implementations presents several problems, for example, large queue lengths in network routers and packet losses, a misleading reduce of the transmission rate when there are link failures, among others. This paper proposes a schema to congestion control in TCP protocols, called NGWA, witch is based on the network bandwidth. The NGWA provides information considering the available bandwidth of the network infrastructure to the endpoints of the TCP connection.Hence, it helps in choosing a better transmission rate for TCP improving its performance. Simulation results show superior performance of the proposed scheme when compared to those obtained by TCP New Reno and standard TCP. A physical implementation in the Linux kernel was performed to prove the correct operation of the proposal.

  2. Improvement of electronic circuit and performance of electronic dosimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, S. Y.; Lee, B. J.; Kim, B. H.; Kim, J. S.; Lee, K. C. [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejeon (Korea)

    2001-03-01

    An electronic personnal dosimeter(EPD) adopting a PIN type Silicon semiconductor as a radiation detector has been designed and manufactured. A hybrid type design of electronic circuit for processing a radiation signal has been adopted not only to improve the EPD response to radiation detection but also to reduce a size as well as a weight. The EPD can be independently used as an individual personal dosimeter for exposure monitoring if necessary after setting some variables by operator. The performance of this EPD has been tested and finally accredited by Korea Testing Laboratory(KTL) through a series of performance test under international criteria given in IEC61526 standard on the mechanical, electronical and radiation performance. The EPD reader which can interface an EPD with entrance door for proper access control has been designed and manufactured. A hangul is supported in this EPD reader in operational display menu for the user convenience. 10 refs., 30 figs., 5 tabs. (Author)

  3. Low-arousal speech noise improves performance in N-back task: an ERP study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Longzhu Han

    Full Text Available The relationship between noise and human performance is a crucial topic in ergonomic research. However, the brain dynamics of the emotional arousal effects of background noises are still unclear. The current study employed meaningless speech noises in the n-back working memory task to explore the changes of event-related potentials (ERPs elicited by the noises with low arousal level vs. high arousal level. We found that the memory performance in low arousal condition were improved compared with the silent and the high arousal conditions; participants responded more quickly and had larger P2 and P3 amplitudes in low arousal condition while the performance and ERP components showed no significant difference between high arousal and silent conditions. These findings suggested that the emotional arousal dimension of background noises had a significant influence on human working memory performance, and that this effect was independent of the acoustic characteristics of noises (e.g., intensity and the meaning of speech materials. The current findings improve our understanding of background noise effects on human performance and lay the ground for the investigation of patients with attention deficits.

  4. Perspectives on containment performance improvement based on the IPEs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehner, J.R.; Lin, C.C.; Pratt, W.T. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)] [and others

    1995-04-01

    Generic Letter 88-20, {open_quotes}Individual Plant Examination (IPE) for Severe Accident Vulnerabilities - 10CFR 50.54(f),{close_quotes} was issued by the NRC on November 23, 1988. In addition to assessing the core damage frequency from severe accidents, licensees were requested to report the results of their analyses regarding containment performance. Supplements to the Generic Letter forwarded technical insights obtained by the NRC staff through its Containment Performance Improvement (CPI) program. At this time, most of the IPEs have been submitted by the licensees. In a follow-on effort to support regulatory activities, the NRC staff with assistance from Brookhaven National Laboratory, has initiated a program involving a global examination of the containment performance results documented in the IPEs. The objective is to identify insights of potential generic safety significance relative to plant design, operation and maintenance, as well as to assess response to the previously forwarded CPI insights. The containment performance results of the IPEs are being categorized for commonalities and differences for different reactor and containment types. Preliminary results show that not only differences in plant design but also the methods, data, boundary conditions, and assumptions used in the different IPEs have a major impact on the containment performance results obtained. This paper presents preliminary results regarding the differences in containment performance observed in the IPEs and discusses some of the underlying reasons for these differences.

  5. The Empirical Relationship among Organisational Learning, Continuous Improvement and Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hongyi; Ho, Kario; Ni, Wenbin

    2008-01-01

    There are still many questions remain unanswered about the relationship between Organisational Learning (OL) and Continuous Improvement (CI). For example, how do OL and CI contribute to business performance? Are OL and CI equal? Do OL and CI support each other? Should OL and CI be implemented separately or together? If together, how to integrate…

  6. Clinical performance feedback and quality improvement opportunities for perioperative physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye AD

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Alan David Kaye,1 Olutoyin J Okanlawon,2 Richard D Urman21Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston MA, USAAbstract: Clinical performance feedback is an important component of the ongoing development and education of health care practitioners. For physicians, feedback about their clinical practice and outcomes is central to developing both confidence and competence at all stages of their medical careers. Cultural and financial infrastructures need to be in place, and the concept of feedback needs to be readily embraced and encouraged by clinical leadership and other stakeholders. The "buy-in" includes the expectation and view that feedback occurs on a routine basis, and those engaged in the process are both encouraged to participate and held accountable. Feedback must be part of an overarching quality improvement and physician education agenda; it is not meant to be an isolated, fragmented initiative that is typically undermined by lack of resources or systemic barriers to gaining improvement within programs. Effective feedback should be an integral part of clinical practice. Anesthesiologists and other perioperative physicians are identifying specialty-specific indicators that can be used when creating a broader quality improvement agenda. Placing a more immediate formal feedback strategy that focuses on goal-oriented behavior is rapidly becoming a mainstay. Physicians may use their individual feedback reports for reflection and designing personal development plans as lifelong learners and leaders in improving patient care.Keywords: physician education, outcomes measurement, performance improvement, anesthesiology

  7. Characteristics of Students at Risk for Mathematics Difficulties Predicting Arithmetic Word Problem Solving Performance: The Role of Attention, Behavior, and Reading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jitendra, Asha K.; Corroy, Kelly Cozine; Dupuis, Danielle N.

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were (a) to evaluate differences in arithmetic word problem solving between high and low at-risk students for mathematics difficulties (MD) and (b) to assess the influence of attention, behavior, reading, and socio-economic status (SES) in predicting the word problem solving performance of third-grade students with MD.…

  8. Shifting Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Jenni

    2014-01-01

    This article examines the shifts in attention and focus as one teacher introduces and explains an image that represents the processes involved in a numeric problem that his students have been working on. This paper takes a micro-analytic approach to examine how the focus of attention shifts through what the teacher and students do and say in the…

  9. "Health system approach" for improving immunization program performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahariya, Chandrakant

    2015-01-01

    Immunization programs are one of the most well-recognized and successful public health programs across the world. The immunization programs have achieved significant successes in a number of countries; however, the coverage with available vaccines remains sub-optimal in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This article, based upon extensive review of literature and using universal immunization program (UIP) in India as a case study, summarizes the latest developments and initiatives in the area of vaccination and immunization in the last few years. The article analyzes initiatives under UIP in India from the "health system approach" and argues that it is possible to increase coverage with available vaccines and overall program performance by focused attention on various functions of health systems. It also discusses the emerging evidence that health systems could be strengthened prior to the introduction of new interventions (vaccines included) and the introduction of new interventions (including vaccines) could be planned in a way to strengthen the health systems. It concludes that immunization programs could be one of the entry points for strengthening health systems in the countries and lessons from vaccine introduction could pave pathway for scaling up other health interventions and therefore, could contribute to advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC). PMID:26985404

  10. Reducing the Effects of Auditory and Visual Distraction on the Math Performances of Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kercood, Suneeta; Grskovic, Janice A.

    2010-01-01

    Two exploratory studies assessed the effects of an intervention on the math problem solving of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In the first study, students were assessed on a visual task in a high stimulation classroom analog setting with and without the use of a fine motor activity. Results showed that the fine…

  11. Neuropsychological Test Performance and the Attention Deficit Disorders: Clinical Utility of the Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery-Children's Revision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaughency, Elizabeth A.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Administered Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery--Children's Revision (LNNB-CR) to 54 clinic-referred children aged 8-12 years. Compared children reliably diagnosed as attention deficit disorder (ADD) with hyperactivity, without hyperactivity, and control group with internalizing disorders. Findings failed to support hypothesis that ADD is…

  12. Effects of General Processing Capacity and Sustained Selective Attention on Temporal Processing Performance of Children with Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Rebecca A.; Montgomery, James W.

    2002-01-01

    Investigated potential influences of general processing capacity and sustained selective attention on the temporal processing of a group of children with specific language impairment and a group of age-matched controls. Results suggest that the SLI children did not evidence a basic temporal processing deficit. (Author/VWL)

  13. Towards Effective Educational Politics through Improving the Performance Measurement System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuuli Reisberg

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Educational field is impelled to increase performance and quality, financial discipline, strategic behaviour and its goals in order to enhance “effectiveness”. As a result the incorporation of private sector management practices into the educational field is taking place. But it is important to notice that a proliferation of private managerial practices into the educational field goes along with a conflict-laden and contradictory process. Education provides an important area of implementation for techniques of performance evaluation aimed at improving the performance of public services. One of the most common conceptual frameworks in measuring organisational performance takes the form of a production function where the educational institution is seen as analogous to a company transforming inputs into outputs and outcomes through a production process. But the problems and the vagueness in determining educational system’s inputs, outputs and outcomes cause difficulties in making political decisions and that is why clear policy prescriptions have been difficult to derive. The purpose of this article is to create a discussion whether performance measurement should be a part of decision-making in educational politics. The authors debate about incorporating private sector management practices into the educational field. The debate is based on the example of evaluating the social impact in the educational field and the performance of teachers’ work in the educational system. The article consists of three parts. Firstly, the theoretical background of the performance measurement in educational field is discussed. Secondly, the important criteria for performance measurement design and political issues are argued. Thirdly, the evaluated shortcomings in Estonian educational organisations, which restrict them to be effective, are brought out. Relieving some of these shortcomings could be in authority of Estonian educational politics.

  14. New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fletcher, James H. [University of North Florida; Campbell, Joseph L. [University of North Florida; Cox, Philip [University of North Florida; Harrington, William J. [University of North Florida

    2013-09-16

    Abstract Project Title: New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost The University of North Florida (UNF)--with project partners the University of Florida, Northeastern University, and Johnson Matthey--has recently completed the Department of Energy (DOE) project entitled “New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost”. The primary objective of the project was to advance portable fuel cell MEA technology towards the commercial targets as laid out in the DOE R&D roadmap by developing a passive water recovery MEA (membrane electrode assembly). Developers at the University of North Florida identified water management components as an insurmountable barrier to achieving the required system size and weight necessary to achieve the energy density requirements of small portable power applications. UNF developed an innovative “passive water recovery” MEA for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) which provides a path to system simplification and optimization. The passive water recovery MEA incorporates a hydrophobic, porous, barrier layer within the cathode electrode, so that capillary pressure forces the water produced at the cathode through holes in the membrane and back to the anode. By directly transferring the water from the cathode to the anode, the balance of plant is very much simplified and the need for heavy, bulky water recovery components is eliminated. At the heart of the passive water recovery MEA is the UNF DM-1 membrane that utilizes a hydrocarbon structure to optimize performance in a DMFC system. The membrane has inherent performance advantages, such as a low methanol crossover (high overall efficiency), while maintaining a high proton conductivity (good electrochemical efficiency) when compared to perfluorinated sulfonic acid membranes such as Nafion. Critically, the membrane provides an extremely low electro-osmotic drag coefficient of approximately one water molecule per proton (versus the 2-3 for

  15. Evaluating and improving nuclear power plant operating performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report aims to provide the basis for improvements in the understanding of nuclear power plants operation and ideas for improving future productivity. The purpose of the project was to identify good practices of operating performance at a few of the world's most productive plants. This report was prepared through a series of consultants meetings, a specialists meeting and an Advisory Group meeting with participation of experts from 23 Member States. The report is based on self-assessment of half a dozen plants that have been chosen as representatives of different reactor types in as many different countries, and the views and assessment of the participants on good practices influencing plant performance. Three main areas that influence nuclear power plant availability and reliability were identified in the discussions: (1) management practices, (2) personnel characteristics, and (3) working practices. These areas cover causes influencing plant performance under plant management control. In each area the report describes factors or good practices that positively influence plant availability. The case studies, presented in annexes, contain the plant self-assessment of areas that influence their availability and reliability. Six plants are represented in the case studies: (1) Dukovany (WWER, 1760 MW) in the Czech Republic; (2) Blayais (PWR, 3640 MW) in France; (3) Paks (WWER, 1840 MW) in Hungary; (4) Wolsong 1 (PHWR, 600 MW) in the Republic of Korea; (5) Trillo 1 (PWR, 1066 MW) in Spain; and (6) Limerick (BWR, 2220 MW) in the United States of America

  16. Terahertz quantum-well photodetectors: Design, performance, and improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theoretical studies and numerical simulations on design, performance, and improvements of terahertz quantum-well photodetector (THz QWP) are presented. In the first part of this paper, we discuss the device band structure resulting from a self-consistent solution and simulation results. First, the temperature dependence of device characteristics is analyzed. Next, we deduce the condition of optimal doping concentration for maximizing dark current limited detectivity Ddet* when QWP is lightly doped. Accordingly, unlike in previously published reports, doping concentration is not fixed and is selected by the above condition. In the second part of this paper, we propose two schemes for improving operation temperature. The first is to incorporate an optical antenna which focuses incident THz wave. Numerical results show that the QWP with peak frequency higher than 5.5 THz is expected to achieve background-noise-limited performance at 77 K or above when employing a 106 times enhancement antenna. The second scheme is to use a laser as the signal source to achieve photon-noise-limited performance (PLIP) at high temperatures. Simulations show that when operating below critical temperature QWPs in the range of 1 ∼ 7 THz can reach PLIP under practical illumination intensities

  17. Combined glucose ingestion and mouth rinsing improves sprint cycling performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Edwin; Guelfi, Kym J; Fournier, Paul A

    2014-12-01

    This study investigated whether combined ingestion and mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate solution could improve maximal sprint cycling performance. Twelve competitive male cyclists ingested 100 ml of one of the following solutions 20 min before exercise in a randomized double-blinded counterbalanced order (a) 10% glucose solution, (b) 0.05% aspartame solution, (c) 9.0% maltodextrin solution, or (d) water as a control. Fifteen min after ingestion, repeated mouth rinsing was carried out with 11 × 15 ml bolus doses of the same solution at 30-s intervals. Each participant then performed a 45-s maximal sprint effort on a cycle ergometer. Peak power output was significantly higher in response to the glucose trial (1188 ± 166 W) compared with the water (1036 ± 177 W), aspartame (1088 ± 128 W) and maltodextrin (1024 ± 202 W) trials by 14.7 ± 10.6, 9.2 ± 4.6 and 16.0 ± 6.0% respectively (p glucose trial compared with maltodextrin (p Glucose and maltodextrin resulted in a similar increase in blood glucose, and the responses of blood lactate and pH to sprinting did not differ significantly between treatments (p > .05). These findings suggest that combining the ingestion of glucose with glucose mouth rinsing improves maximal sprint performance. This ergogenic effect is unlikely to be related to changes in blood glucose, sweetness, or energy sensing mechanisms in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:24668608

  18. Improving Software Performance in the Compute Unified Device Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru PIRJAN

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyzes several aspects regarding the improvement of software performance for applications written in the Compute Unified Device Architecture CUDA. We address an issue of great importance when programming a CUDA application: the Graphics Processing Unit’s (GPU’s memory management through ranspose ernels. We also benchmark and evaluate the performance for progressively optimizing a transposing matrix application in CUDA. One particular interest was to research how well the optimization techniques, applied to software application written in CUDA, scale to the latest generation of general-purpose graphic processors units (GPGPU, like the Fermi architecture implemented in the GTX480 and the previous architecture implemented in GTX280. Lately, there has been a lot of interest in the literature for this type of optimization analysis, but none of the works so far (to our best knowledge tried to validate if the optimizations can apply to a GPU from the latest Fermi architecture and how well does the Fermi architecture scale to these software performance improving techniques.

  19. Infrared Illuminated CdZnTe detectors with improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It was found that IR illumination of a properly chosen wavelength and intensity can significantly improve spectrometric characteristics of CdZnTe quasi-hemispherical detectors [1]. Improving of the spectrometric characteristics is due to improvement of uniformity of charge collection by the detector volume. For operation at room temperature the optimal wavelength of IR illumination is about 940 nm, but for operation at lower temperature of -20 deg. C the optimal wavelengths of IR illumination is about 1050 nm. Infrared illumination can be performed using conventional low-power IR LEDs. Application of SMD LEDs allows produce miniature detection probes with IR illuminated CdZnTe detectors. We have fabricated and tested a variety of detection probes with CdZnTe quasi-hemispherical detectors from the smallest with volumes of 1-5 mm3 to larger with volumes of 1.5 cm3 and 4.0 cm3. The use of IR illumination significantly improves spectrometric characteristics of the probes operating at room temperature, especially probes with detectors of large volumes. The probe with the detector of 4 cm3 without IR illumination had energy resolution of 24.2 keV at 662 keV and of 12.5 keV with IR illumination. (authors)

  20. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Integrating From the Nanoscale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the early decades of the twenty-first century, concentrated efforts can unify science based on the unity of nature, thereby advancing the combination of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and new humane technologies based in cognitive science. Converging technologies integrated from the nanoscale could determine a tremendous improvement in human abilities and societal outcomes. This is a broad, cross cutting, emerging, and timely opportunity of interest to individuals, society, and humanity in the long term.About eighty scientific leaders, industry experts, and policy makers across a range of fields have contributed to develop a vision for the potential to improve human physical, mental, and social capabilities through the convergence of the four technologies. Six major themes have emerged: (a) The broad potential of converging technologies; (b) Expanding human cognition and communication; (c) Improving human health and physical capabilities; (d) Enhancing group and societal outcomes; (e) National security, and (f) Unifying science and education. This article summarizes the observations, conclusions, and recommendations made in the report (Roco and Bainbridge, eds., 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, NSF-DOC Report, June 2002, Arlington VA, USA)