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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. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Stimulation of postsynapse adrenergic α2A receptor improves attention/cognition performance in an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaura, Kazuaki; Karasawa, Jun-ichi; Chaki, Shigeyuki; Hikichi, Hirohiko

    2014-08-15

    A 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test using spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) pups has been used as an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the roles of noradrenergic systems, which are involved in the pathophysiology of ADHD, have not been investigated in this model. In the present study, the effects of adrenergic α2 receptor stimulation, which has been an effective treatment for ADHD, on attention/cognition performance were investigated in this model. Moreover, neuronal mechanisms mediated through adrenergic α2 receptors were investigated. We evaluated the effects of both clonidine, a non-selective adrenergic α2 receptor agonist, and guanfacine, a selective adrenergic α2A receptor agonist, using a 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test with SHR pups. Juvenile SHR exhibited a shorter transfer latency, compared with juvenile Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats. Both clonidine and guanfacine significantly prolonged the transfer latency of juvenile SHR. The effects of clonidine and guanfacine were significantly blocked by pretreatment with an adrenergic α2A receptor antagonist. In contrast, the effect of clonidine was not attenuated by pretreatment with an adrenergic α2B receptor antagonist, or an adrenergic α2C receptor antagonist, while it was attenuated by a non-selective adrenergic α2 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, the effects of neither clonidine nor guanfacine were blocked by pretreatment with a selective noradrenergic neurotoxin. These results suggest that the stimulation of the adrenergic α2A receptor improves the attention/cognition performance of juvenile SHR in the 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test and that postsynaptic, rather than presynaptic, adrenergic α2A receptor is involved in this effect.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Adolescents with obstructive sleep apnea adhere poorly to positive airway pressure (PAP, but PAP users show improved attention and school performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dean W Beebe

    Full Text Available 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 determining whether PAP treatment improves daytime functioning among adolescents with OSA. METHODS: Self-reported academic grades, self- and parent-reported academic quality of life, and objectively-measured attention were assessed before and after PAP was clinically initiated in a sample of 13 obese adolescents with OSA, as well as 15 untreated obese Controls without OSA. Based on adherence data, the treated group was divided into PAP Users (n = 6 and Non-Adherent participants (n = 7. RESULTS: Though demographically similar, the three groups significantly differed in how their academic performance and attention scores changed from baseline to follow-up. Non-Adherent participants showed worsening functioning over time, while PAP Users showed stable or improved functioning, similar to controls. CONCLUSION: Although many adolescents prescribed PAP for OSA are non-adherent to the treatment, those who adhere to treatment can display improved attention and academic functioning.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 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. PMID:26137496

  15. 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...

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

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    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.

  17. Intensive meditation training improves perceptual discrimination and sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Katherine A; Ferrer, Emilio; Aichele, Stephen R; Bridwell, David A; Zanesco, Anthony P; Jacobs, Tonya L; King, Brandon G; Rosenberg, Erika L; Sahdra, Baljinder K; Shaver, Phillip R; Wallace, B Alan; Mangun, George R; Saron, Clifford D

    2010-06-01

    The ability to focus one's attention underlies success in many everyday tasks, but voluntary attention cannot be sustained for extended periods of time. In the laboratory, sustained-attention failure is manifest as a decline in perceptual sensitivity with increasing time on task, known as the vigilance decrement. We investigated improvements in sustained attention with training (approximately 5 hr/day for 3 months), which consisted of meditation practice that involved sustained selective attention on a chosen stimulus (e.g., the participant's breath). Participants were randomly assigned either to receive training first (n = 30) or to serve as waiting-list controls and receive training second (n = 30). Training produced improvements in visual discrimination that were linked to increases in perceptual sensitivity and improved vigilance during sustained visual attention. Consistent with the resource model of vigilance, these results suggest that perceptual improvements can reduce the resource demand imposed by target discrimination and thus make it easier to sustain voluntary attention.

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

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    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

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of a Coactor's Focus of Attention on Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockler, Anne; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Coactors take into account certain aspects of each other's tasks even when this is not required to perform their own task. The present experiments investigated whether the way a coactor allocates attention affects one's own attentional relation to stimuli that are attended jointly (Experiment 1), individually (Experiment 2), or in parallel…

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamic filtering improves attentional state prediction with fNIRS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrivel, Angela R; Weissman, Daniel H; Noll, Douglas C; Huppert, Theodore; Peltier, Scott J

    2016-03-01

    Brain activity can predict a person's level of engagement in an attentional task. However, estimates of brain activity are often confounded by measurement artifacts and systemic physiological noise. The optimal method for filtering this noise - thereby increasing such state prediction accuracy - remains unclear. To investigate this, we asked study participants to perform an attentional task while we monitored their brain activity with functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We observed higher state prediction accuracy when noise in the fNIRS hemoglobin [Hb] signals was filtered with a non-stationary (adaptive) model as compared to static regression (84% ± 6% versus 72% ± 15%). PMID:27231602

  6. Finding Relevant Items: Attentional Guidance Improves Visual Selection Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stork, Sonja; Hild, Isabella; Wiesbeck, Mathey; Zaeh, Michael F.; Schubö, Anna

    In daily life and at work people are confronted with complex information. Especially elderly or disabled users might be overburdened by the amount of information and distracted by irrelevant items. Due to this, they possibly fail to find and select relevant items in visual search. This could be demotivating for the use of media like the internet or could result in an inability to achieve certain job requirements. A method for supporting performance in visual search tasks is the guidance of attention. The present study compares different methods for attentional guidance. Results show a benefit for peripheral exogenous cues realized as luminance changes in comparison to endogenous central cues. Possible applications for the proposed attentional guidance method are discussed.

  7. 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...

  8. Exogenous attention and color perception: performance and appearance of saturation and hue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Stuart; Carrasco, Marisa

    2006-11-01

    Exogenous covert attention is an automatic, transient form of attention that can be triggered by sudden changes in the periphery. Here we test for the effects of attention on color perception. We used the methodology developed by Carrasco, Ling, and Read [Carrasco, M., Ling, S., & Read, S. (2004). Attention alters appearance. Nature Neuroscience, 7 (3) 308-313] to explore the effects of exogenous attention on appearance of saturation (Experiment 1) and of hue (Experiment 2). We also tested orientation discrimination performance for single stimuli defined by saturation or hue (Experiment 3). The results indicate that attention increases apparent saturation, but does not change apparent hue, notwithstanding the fact that it improves orientation discrimination for both saturation and hue stimuli.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. Working-memory performance is related to spatial breadth of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J

    2015-11-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Serotonergic neurotransmission and lapses of attention in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: availability of tryptophan influences attentional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zepf, Florian D; Gaber, Tilman J; Baurmann, David; Bubenzer, Sarah; Konrad, Kerstin; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Stadler, Christina; Poustka, Fritz; Wöckel, Lars

    2010-08-01

    Deficiencies in serotonergic (5-HT) neurotransmission have frequently been linked to altered attention and memory processes. With attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) being associated with impaired attention and working memory, this study investigated the effects of a diminished 5-HT turnover achieved by rapid tryptophan depletion (RTD) on attentional performance in children and adolescents with ADHD. Twenty-two male patients with ADHD (aged 9-15 yr) received the RTD procedure Moja-De and a tryptophan (Trp)-balanced placebo (Pla) in a randomized, double-blind, within-subject crossover design on two separate study days. Lapses of attention (LA) and phasic alertness (PA) were assessed within the test battery for attentional performance under depleted and sham-depleted conditions 120 (T1), 220 (T2) and 300 (T3) min after intake of RTD/Pla. At T1 there was a significant main effect for RTD, indicating more LA under intake of a Trp-balanced Pla compared to diminished 5-HT neurotransmission. For T2/T3 there were no such effects. PA was not affected by the factors RTD/Pla and time. Interactions of 5-HT with other neurotransmitters as possible underlying neurochemical processes could be subject to further investigations involving healthy controls as regards altered attentional performance in children and adolescents.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Age effects on gray matter volume and attentional performance in Zen meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagnoni, Giuseppe; Cekic, Milos

    2007-10-01

    Zen meditation, a Buddhist practice centered on attentional and postural self-regulation, has been speculated to bring about beneficial long-term effects for the individual, ranging from stress reduction to improvement of cognitive function. In this study, we examined how the regular practice of meditation may affect the normal age-related decline of cerebral gray matter volume and attentional performance observed in healthy individuals. Voxel-based morphometry for MRI anatomical brain images and a computerized sustained attention task were employed in 13 regular practitioners of Zen meditation and 13 matched controls. While control subjects displayed the expected negative correlation of both gray matter volume and attentional performance with age, meditators did not show a significant correlation of either measure with age. The effect of meditation on gray matter volume was most prominent in the putamen, a structure strongly implicated in attentional processing. These findings suggest that the regular practice of meditation may have neuroprotective effects and reduce the cognitive decline associated with normal aging.

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

    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...... 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 have...... be improved considerably in a fairly simple way without increasing the cost....

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:27616988

  15. 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. PMID:27616988

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Wrońska

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. 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

  18. Windows with improved energy performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    . 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...... part, for which reason, as far as energy efficiency and total economy are concerned, it has become more interesting to further develop frame structures. Traditionally, the energy performance of windows has primarily been characterised by the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However as the heat loss has...... 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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,…

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. Enhanced jump performance when providing augmented feedback compared to an external or internal focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Martin; Lauber, Benedikt; Gottschalk, Marius; Taube, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Factors such as an external focus of attention (EF) and augmented feedback (AF) have been shown to improve performance. However, the efficacy of providing AF to enhance motor performance has never been compared with the effects of an EF or an internal focus of attention (IF). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify which of the three conditions (AF, EF or IF) leads to the highest performance in a countermovement jump (CMJ). Nineteen volunteers performed 12 series of 8 maximum CMJs. Changes in jump height between conditions and within the series were analysed. Jump heights differed between conditions (P jump heights at the end of the series in AF (+1.60%) and lower jump heights at the end of the series in EF (-1.79%) and IF (-1.68%) were observed. Muscle activity did not differ between conditions. The differences between conditions and within the series provide evidence that AF leads to higher performance and better progression within one series than EF and IF. Consequently, AF seems to outperform EF and IF when maximising jump height.

  4. 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…

  5. Incorporating modern neuroscience findings to improve brain-computer interfaces: tracking auditory attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wronkiewicz, Mark; Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian KC

    2016-10-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology allows users to generate actions based solely on their brain signals. However, current non-invasive BCIs generally classify brain activity recorded from surface electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, which can hinder the application of findings from modern neuroscience research. Approach. In this study, we use source imaging—a neuroimaging technique that projects EEG signals onto the surface of the brain—in a BCI classification framework. This allowed us to incorporate prior research from functional neuroimaging to target activity from a cortical region involved in auditory attention. Main results. Classifiers trained to detect attention switches performed better with source imaging projections than with EEG sensor signals. Within source imaging, including subject-specific anatomical MRI information (instead of using a generic head model) further improved classification performance. This source-based strategy also reduced accuracy variability across three dimensionality reduction techniques—a major design choice in most BCIs. Significance. Our work shows that source imaging provides clear quantitative and qualitative advantages to BCIs and highlights the value of incorporating modern neuroscience knowledge and methods into BCI systems.

  6. 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)

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Adaptive aspirations and performance heterogeneity : Attention allocation among multiple reference points

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blettner, D.P.; He, Z.; Hu, S.; Bettis, R.

    2015-01-01

    Organizations learn and adapt their aspiration levels based on reference points (prior aspiration, prior performance, and prior performance of reference groups). The relative attention that organizations allocate to these reference points impacts organizational search and strategic decisions. Howeve

  11. 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 EFL 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

  12. Improving cardiac myocytes performance by CNTs platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eMartinelli

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The application of nanotechnology to the cardiovascular system has increasingly caught scientists’ attention as a potentially powerful tool for the development of new generation devices able to interface, repair or boost the performance of cardiac tissue. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs are considered as promising materials for nanomedicine applications in general and have been recently tested towards excitable cell growth. CNTs are cylindrically shaped structures made up of rolled-up graphene sheets, with unique electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, able to effectively conducting electrical current in electrochemical interfaces. CNTs-based scaffolds have been recently found to support the in vitro growth of cardiac cells: in particular, their ability to improve cardiomyocytes proliferation, maturation and electrical behavior are making CNTs extremely attractive for the development and exploitation of interfaces able to impact on cardiac cells physiology and function.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 anxieties, general English reading anxiety scales, and general English listening anxiety scales. The Low Attention group had higher test state anxiety and lower listening test scores than the High Attention group, but not in reading. State anxiety during listening tests for EFL students with computer-detected low attention tendency was elevated and their EFL listening performance was affected, but those differences were not found in reading.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Improving classification of posture based attributed attention assessed by ranked crowd-raters

    OpenAIRE

    Patrick Heyer; Jesus Rivas; Luis Sucar; Felipe Orihuela-Espina

    2015-01-01

    Attribution of attention from observable body posture is plausible, providing additional information for affective computing applications. We previously reported a promissory 69. 72 ± 10. 50 (μ ± σ) of F-measure to use posture as a proxy for attributed attentional state with implications for affective computing applications. Here, we aim at improving that classification rate by reweighting votes of raters giving higher confidence to those raters that are representative of the raters populatio...

  19. Interpolated testing influences focused attention and improves integration of information during a video-recorded lecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Helen G; Szpunar, Karl K; Schacter, Daniel L

    2016-09-01

    Although learning through a computer interface has become increasingly common, little is known about how to best structure video-recorded lectures to optimize learning. In 2 experiments, we examine changes in focused attention and the ability for students to integrate knowledge learned during a 40-min video-recorded lecture. In Experiment 1, we demonstrate that interpolating a lecture with memory tests (tested group), compared to studying the lecture material for the same amount of time (restudy group), improves overall learning and boosts integration of related information learned both within individual lecture segments and across the entire lecture. Although mind wandering rates between the tested and restudy groups did not differ, mind wandering was more detrimental for final test performance in the restudy group than in the tested group. In Experiment 2, we replicate the findings of Experiment 1, and additionally show that interpolated tests influence the types of thoughts that participants report during the lecture. While the tested group reported more lecture-related thoughts, the restudy group reported more lecture-unrelated thoughts; furthermore, lecture-related thoughts were positively related to final test performance, whereas lecture-unrelated thoughts were negatively related to final test performance. Implications for the use of interpolated testing in video-recorded lectures are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Learning Behaviours, Attention and Anxiety in Caribbean Children: Beyond the 'Usual Suspects' in Explaining Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durbrow, Eric H.; Schaefer, Barbara A.; Jimerson, Shane R.

    2000-01-01

    Contributions of learning behaviors; anxiety; attention problems; cognitive ability; and home background to academic performance was investigated in Caribbean village children (N=61). It was determined that anxiety, attention, and learning-related behaviors explained 32-35% of variance in academic scores. Results suggest that academic performance…

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder at work: Does it impact job performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Nikos Bozionelos; Giorgos Bozionelos

    2013-01-01

    The article focuses on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which affects a substantial proportion of the adult population and it often remains undiagnosed. Because of its symptoms, which include inability to focus and maintain attention, problems in time management and procrastination, ADHD is suspected as a cause of poor performance in the workplace. A recent contemplation suggests a mechanism for that: employees with ADHD may perform less well because they are unable to focus t...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Performance Pay Path to Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gratz, Donald B.

    2011-01-01

    The primary goal of performance pay for the past decade has been higher test scores, and the most prominent strategy has been to increase teacher performance through financial incentives. If teachers are rewarded for success, according to this logic, they will try harder. If they try harder, more children will achieve higher test scores. The…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Performance improvement. The American way.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Karen

    2007-02-15

    The role of a US-style 'improvement adviser' is to ensure chages are successfully implemented. They use coaching and facilitation to support project teams and are trained to overcome common obstacles. The advisers have advantages over traditional consultants, as they work with full inside knowledge of the organization and are there for the long-term.

  15. Benchmark for Strategic Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohlke, Annette

    1997-01-01

    Explains benchmarking, a total quality management tool used to measure and compare the work processes in a library with those in other libraries to increase library performance. Topics include the main groups of upper management, clients, and staff; critical success factors for each group; and benefits of benchmarking. (Author/LRW)

  16. Room for Improvement: Performance Evaluations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Gisela

    1989-01-01

    Describes a performance management approach to library personnel management that stresses communication, clarification of goals, and reinforcement of new practices and behaviors. Each phase of the evaluation process (preparation, rating, administrative review, appraisal interview, and follow-up) and special evaluations to be used in cases of…

  17. 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…

  18. Toward high performance, weakly invasive brain computer interfaces using selective visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotermund, David; Ernst, Udo A; Mandon, Sunita; Taylor, Katja; Smiyukha, Yulia; Kreiter, Andreas K; Pawelzik, Klaus R

    2013-04-01

    Brain-computer interfaces have been proposed as a solution for paralyzed persons to communicate and interact with their environment. However, the neural signals used for controlling such prostheses are often noisy and unreliable, resulting in a low performance of real-world applications. Here we propose neural signatures of selective visual attention in epidural recordings as a fast, reliable, and high-performance control signal for brain prostheses. We recorded epidural field potentials with chronically implanted electrode arrays from two macaque monkeys engaged in a shape-tracking task. For single trials, we classified the direction of attention to one of two visual stimuli based on spectral amplitude, coherence, and phase difference in time windows fixed relative to stimulus onset. Classification performances reached up to 99.9%, and the information about attentional states could be transferred at rates exceeding 580 bits/min. Good classification can already be achieved in time windows as short as 200 ms. The classification performance changed dynamically over the trial and modulated with the task's varying demands for attention. For all three signal features, the information about the direction of attention was contained in the γ-band. The most informative feature was spectral amplitude. Together, these findings establish a novel paradigm for constructing brain prostheses as, for example, virtual spelling boards, promising a major gain in performance and robustness for human brain-computer interfaces.

  19. Does attentional selectivity in the flanker task improve discretely or gradually?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHübner

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available An important question is whether attentional selectivity improves discretely or continuously during stimulus processing. In a recent study, Hübner, et al. (2010 found that the discrete DSTP model accounted better for flanker-task data than various continuous improvement models. However, in a subsequent study, White, et al. (2011 introduced the continuous SSP model and showed that it was superior to the DSTP model. From this result they concluded that attentional selectivity improves continuously rather than discretely. Because different stimuli and procedures were used in these two studies, though, we questioned that the superiority of the SSP model holds generally. Therefore, we fit the SSP model to Hübner et al.’s data and found that the DSTP model was again superior. A series of four experiments revealed that model superiority depends on the response-stimulus interval (RSI. Together, our results demonstrate that methodological details can be crucial for model selection, and that further comparisons between the models are needed before it can be decided whether attentional selectivity improves continuously or discretely.

  20. Improving classification of posture based attributed attention assessed by ranked crowd-raters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Heyer

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Attribution of attention from observable body posture is plausible, providing additional information for affective computing applications. We previously reported a promissory 69. 72 ± 10. 50 (μ ± σ of F-measure to use posture as a proxy for attributed attentional state with implications for affective computing applications. Here, we aim at improving that classification rate by reweighting votes of raters giving higher confidence to those raters that are representative of the raters population. An increase to 75. 35 ± 11. 66 in F-measure was achieved. The improvement in predictive power by the classifier is welcomed and its impact is still being assessed.

  1. 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

  2. Attentional focus effects on sprint start performance as a function of skill level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ille, Anne; Selin, Ingrid; Do, Manh-Cuong; Thon, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Several researchers have demonstrated that an external focus of attention (about movement's effects) during movement execution allowed better performances and learning of various motor tasks than an internal focus of attention (about movement itself). However, attentional focus effects have not been studied in tasks requiring explosive actions preceded by fast reaction time to a signal, such as a sprint start. We hypothesised that the beneficial effect of external focus of attention would be observed in the different stages of the sprint start (i.e., reaction time, block clearance and running) for both expert and novice sprinters. Novice and expert sprinters performed sprint starts followed by a 10 m sprint under three conditions: external focus instructions; internal focus instructions; and neutral instructions. The reaction time and the running time were significantly shorter in the external focus condition than in the internal focus condition, for both expert and novice participants. These results confirm the beneficial effect of an external focus of attention on the speed of movement execution. Moreover, they revealed that attentional focus influences movement preparation. Several hypotheses are proposed to account for these results, with reference to the processes that could be responsible for the observed effects.

  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. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. A new test of attention in listening (TAIL predicts auditory performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Xuan Zhang

    Full Text Available Attention modulates auditory perception, but there are currently no simple tests that specifically quantify this modulation. To fill the gap, we developed a new, easy-to-use test of attention in listening (TAIL based on reaction time. On each trial, two clearly audible tones were presented sequentially, either at the same or different ears. The frequency of the tones was also either the same or different (by at least two critical bands. When the task required same/different frequency judgments, presentation at the same ear significantly speeded responses and reduced errors. A same/different ear (location judgment was likewise facilitated by keeping tone frequency constant. Perception was thus influenced by involuntary orienting of attention along the task-irrelevant dimension. When information in the two stimulus dimensions were congruent (same-frequency same-ear, or different-frequency different-ear, response was faster and more accurate than when they were incongruent (same-frequency different-ear, or different-frequency same-ear, suggesting the involvement of executive control to resolve conflicts. In total, the TAIL yielded five independent outcome measures: (1 baseline reaction time, indicating information processing efficiency, (2 involuntary orienting of attention to frequency and (3 location, and (4 conflict resolution for frequency and (5 location. Processing efficiency and conflict resolution accounted for up to 45% of individual variances in the low- and high-threshold variants of three psychoacoustic tasks assessing temporal and spectral processing. Involuntary orientation of attention to the irrelevant dimension did not correlate with perceptual performance on these tasks. Given that TAIL measures are unlikely to be limited by perceptual sensitivity, we suggest that the correlations reflect modulation of perceptual performance by attention. The TAIL thus has the power to identify and separate contributions of different components of

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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......) found that increasing the contrast of T1 decreased the attentional blink but Chua (2005) found the opposite effect. In the current study, we varied the perceptual difficulty of T1 in the two-target paradigm (Duncan, Ward, & Shapiro, 1994) both by changing the contrast and by changing the exposure...

  17. 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…

  18. A performance study of the wavelet-phase stability (WPS) in auditory selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Yin Fen; Strauss, Daniel J

    2011-08-10

    Large-scale neural correlates of auditory selective attention reflected in the electroencephalogram (EEG) have been identified by using the complex wavelet-phase stability measure (WPS). In this paper, we study the feasibility of using this amplitude independent measure, the WPS in extracting the correlates of attention by comparing its performance to the widely used linear interdependency measures, i.e., the wavelet coherence and the correlation coefficient. The outcome reveals that the WPS outperforms the other two measures in discriminating both the attended and unattended single sweep auditory late responses (ALRs). It is concluded that the proposed WPS provides a faster (in terms of less sweeps which are required) and robust objective quantification of selective attention.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. A combination cocktail improves spatial attention in a canine model of human aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Elizabeth; Murphey, Heather L; Dowling, Amy L S; McCarty, Katie L; Bethel, Samuel R; Nitz, Jonathan A; Pleiss, Melanie; Vanrooyen, Jenna; Grossheim, Mike; Smiley, Jeffery R; Murphy, M Paul; Beckett, Tina L; Pagani, Dieter; Bresch, Frederick; Hendrix, Curt

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves multiple pathological processes in the brain, including increased inflammation and oxidative damage, as well as the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques. We hypothesized that a combinatorial therapeutic approach to target these multiple pathways may provide cognitive and neuropathological benefits for AD patients. To test this hypothesis, we used a canine model of human aging and AD. Aged dogs naturally develop learning and memory impairments, human-type Aβ deposits, and oxidative damage in the brain. Thus, 9 aged beagles (98-115 months) were treated with a medical food cocktail containing (1) an extract of turmeric containing 95% curcuminoids; (2) an extract of green tea containing 50% epigallocatechingallate; (3) N-acetyl cysteine; (4) R-alpha lipoic acid; and (5) an extract of black pepper containing 95% piperine. Nine similarly aged dogs served as placebo-treated controls. After 3 months of treatment, 13 dogs completed a variable distance landmark task used as a measure of spatial attention. As compared to placebo-treated animals, dogs receiving the medical food cocktail had significantly lower error scores (t11 = 4.3, p = 0.001) and were more accurate across all distances (F(1,9) = 20.7, p = 0.001), suggesting an overall improvement in spatial attention. Measures of visual discrimination learning, executive function and spatial memory, and levels of brain and cerebrospinal fluid Aβ were unaffected by the cocktail. Our results indicate that this medical food cocktail may be beneficial for improving spatial attention and motivation deficits associated with impaired cognition in aging and AD. PMID:22886019

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Differential reinforcement and resistance to change of divided-attention performance

    OpenAIRE

    Podlesnik, Christopher A; Thrailkill, Eric; Shahan, Timothy A

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral momentum theory provides a framework for understanding how conditions of reinforcement influence instrumental response strength under conditions of disruption (i.e., resistance to change). The present experiment examined resistance to change of divided-attention performance when different overall probabilities of reinforcement were arranged across two components of a multiple schedule. Pigeons responded in a delayed-matching-to-sample procedure with compound samples (color + line o...

  10. 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...

  11. Differential reinforcement and resistance to change of divided-attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlesnik, Christopher A; Thrailkill, Eric; Shahan, Timothy A

    2012-06-01

    Behavioral momentum theory provides a framework for understanding how conditions of reinforcement influence instrumental response strength under conditions of disruption (i.e., resistance to change). The present experiment examined resistance to change of divided-attention performance when different overall probabilities of reinforcement were arranged across two components of a multiple schedule. Pigeons responded in a delayed-matching-to-sample procedure with compound samples (color + line orientation) and element comparisons (two colors or two line orientations). Reinforcement ratios of 1:9, 1:1, and 9:1 for accurate matches on the two types of comparison trials were examined across conditions using reinforcement probabilities (color/lines) of .9/.1, .5/.5, and .1/.9 in the rich component and .18/.02, .1/.1, and .02/.18 in the lean component. Relative accuracy with color and line comparisons was an orderly function of relative reinforcement, but this relation did not depend on the overall rate of reinforcement between components. The resistance to change of divided-attention performance was greater for both trial types in the rich component with presession feeding and extinction, but not with decreases in sample duration. These findings suggest promise for the applicability of quantitative models of operant behavior to divided-attention performance, but they highlight the need to further explore conditions impacting the resistance to change of attending. PMID:22038737

  12. AULA virtual reality test as an attention measure: convergent validity with Conners' Continuous Performance Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Orueta, Unai; Garcia-López, Cristina; Crespo-Eguílaz, Nerea; Sánchez-Carpintero, Rocío; Climent, Gema; Narbona, Juan

    2014-01-01

    The majority of neuropsychological tests used to evaluate attention processes in children lack ecological validity. The AULA Nesplora (AULA) is a continuous performance test, developed in a virtual setting, very similar to a school classroom. The aim of the present study is to analyze the convergent validity between the AULA and the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) of Conners. The AULA and CPT were administered correlatively to 57 children, aged 6-16 years (26.3% female) with average cognitive ability (IQ mean = 100.56, SD = 10.38) who had a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) according to DSM-IV-TR criteria. Spearman correlations analyses were conducted among the different variables. Significant correlations were observed between both tests in all the analyzed variables (omissions, commissions, reaction time, and variability of reaction time), including for those measures of the AULA based on different sensorial modalities, presentation of distractors, and task paradigms. Hence, convergent validity between both tests was confirmed. Moreover, the AULA showed differences by gender and correlation to Perceptual Reasoning and Working Memory indexes of the WISC-IV, supporting the relevance of IQ measures in the understanding of cognitive performance in ADHD. In addition, the AULA (but not Conners' CPT) was able to differentiate between ADHD children with and without pharmacological treatment for a wide range of measures related to inattention, impulsivity, processing speed, motor activity, and quality of attention focus. Additional measures and advantages of the AULA versus Conners' CPT are discussed.

  13. Differential reinforcement and resistance to change of divided-attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlesnik, Christopher A; Thrailkill, Eric; Shahan, Timothy A

    2012-06-01

    Behavioral momentum theory provides a framework for understanding how conditions of reinforcement influence instrumental response strength under conditions of disruption (i.e., resistance to change). The present experiment examined resistance to change of divided-attention performance when different overall probabilities of reinforcement were arranged across two components of a multiple schedule. Pigeons responded in a delayed-matching-to-sample procedure with compound samples (color + line orientation) and element comparisons (two colors or two line orientations). Reinforcement ratios of 1:9, 1:1, and 9:1 for accurate matches on the two types of comparison trials were examined across conditions using reinforcement probabilities (color/lines) of .9/.1, .5/.5, and .1/.9 in the rich component and .18/.02, .1/.1, and .02/.18 in the lean component. Relative accuracy with color and line comparisons was an orderly function of relative reinforcement, but this relation did not depend on the overall rate of reinforcement between components. The resistance to change of divided-attention performance was greater for both trial types in the rich component with presession feeding and extinction, but not with decreases in sample duration. These findings suggest promise for the applicability of quantitative models of operant behavior to divided-attention performance, but they highlight the need to further explore conditions impacting the resistance to change of attending.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. The Effectiveness of a Joint Attention Training Program on Improving Communication Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eissa, Mourad Ali

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of a joint attention intervention program on improving joint attention and communication skills in children with autism disorder. Participants were ten children between the ages of five and seven who attended a school for children with developmental disabilities (Tarbya Fekrya ). A pre-post…

  18. 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.

  19. Measuring the Performance of Attention Networks with the Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB): Methodology and Reliability in Healthy Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Stephanie A H; Butler, Beverly C; Kintzel, Franziska; Johnson, Anne; Klein, Raymond M; Eskes, Gail A

    2016-01-01

    Attention is an important, multifaceted cognitive domain that has been linked to three distinct, yet interacting, networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control. The measurement of attention and deficits of attention within these networks is critical to the assessment of many neurological and psychiatric conditions in both research and clinical settings. The Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB) was created to assess attentional functions related to the three attention networks using a range of tasks including: simple reaction time, go/no-go, choice reaction time, dual task, flanker, item and location working memory, and visual search. The current study provides preliminary normative data, test-retest reliability (intraclass correlations) and practice effects in DalCAB performance 24-h after baseline for healthy young adults (n = 96, 18-31 years). Performance on the DalCAB tasks demonstrated Good to Very Good test-retest reliability for mean reaction time, while accuracy and difference measures (e.g., switch costs, interference effects, and working memory load effects) were most reliable for tasks that require more extensive cognitive processing (e.g., choice reaction time, flanker, dual task, and conjunction search). Practice effects were common and pronounced at the 24-h interval. In addition, performance related to specific within-task parameters of the DalCAB sub-tests provides preliminary support for future formal assessment of the convergent validity of our interpretation of the DalCAB as a potential clinical and research assessment tool for measuring aspects of attention related to the alerting, orienting, and executive control networks.

  20. Measuring the Performance of Attention Networks with the Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB): Methodology and Reliability in Healthy Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Stephanie A H; Butler, Beverly C; Kintzel, Franziska; Johnson, Anne; Klein, Raymond M; Eskes, Gail A

    2016-01-01

    Attention is an important, multifaceted cognitive domain that has been linked to three distinct, yet interacting, networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control. The measurement of attention and deficits of attention within these networks is critical to the assessment of many neurological and psychiatric conditions in both research and clinical settings. The Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB) was created to assess attentional functions related to the three attention networks using a range of tasks including: simple reaction time, go/no-go, choice reaction time, dual task, flanker, item and location working memory, and visual search. The current study provides preliminary normative data, test-retest reliability (intraclass correlations) and practice effects in DalCAB performance 24-h after baseline for healthy young adults (n = 96, 18-31 years). Performance on the DalCAB tasks demonstrated Good to Very Good test-retest reliability for mean reaction time, while accuracy and difference measures (e.g., switch costs, interference effects, and working memory load effects) were most reliable for tasks that require more extensive cognitive processing (e.g., choice reaction time, flanker, dual task, and conjunction search). Practice effects were common and pronounced at the 24-h interval. In addition, performance related to specific within-task parameters of the DalCAB sub-tests provides preliminary support for future formal assessment of the convergent validity of our interpretation of the DalCAB as a potential clinical and research assessment tool for measuring aspects of attention related to the alerting, orienting, and executive control networks. PMID:27375517

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paparella T

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 with a developmental orientation and focused on caregiver-mediated methods. Others used combined developmental and behavioral approaches and delivered intervention via trained interventionists, caregivers, and teachers. Interventions ranged widely in density, both with respect to the amount of intervention delivered weekly and the total duration of intervention. Fourteen single-subject research design (SSRD studies and one quasi-experimental pre–post design study were also included. Notably absent in the RCTs were studies using only behavioral methods, while behavioral methods dominated in the SSRDs. The outcomes of the RCTs using combined behavioral and developmental methods generally demonstrate short-term social communication gains. While some studies demonstrated long-term maintenance and positive outcomes in related areas such as language, many did not. The mixed results for language outcomes indicate a need for further investigation. In addition, future studies should further examine participants' developmental readiness and intervention dose in relation to outcome, as well as aim to isolate active ingredients of interventions. Keywords: intervention, joint attention, joint engagement, language, randomized controlled trial

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Performance improvement with patient service partners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, J P

    1998-01-01

    Once the decision is made to use a patient-focused care delivery system, a variety of methods can be used to successfully design the model. The author describes the process used by a multilevel, multidisciplinary team at a community hospital to design and implement a Service Partner role that would meet and exceed customer expectations. Demonstrated performance improvements included increased patient satisfaction, productive labor dollar savings, and improvements in the work environment for staff members. PMID:9451381

  6. 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)

  7. 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...... and execution time. Our middleware consists of a new power manager, synchronization libraries using hardware transactional memory (for locks, barriers, and task synchronization), and two concurrent map data structures, which can be deployed in computer systems with little to no effort. At a fundamental level...... is more important now than ever. Traditionally, most improvements in computer energy efficiency have come from improvements in lithography — the ability to produce smaller transistors — and computer architecture - the ability to apply those transistors efficiently. Since the end of scaling, we have seen...

  8. Improving rehabilitation exercise performance through visual guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Agnes W K; HajYasien, Ahmed; Kulic, Dana

    2014-01-01

    In current physical rehabilitation protocols, patients typically perform exercises without feedback or guidance following the initial demonstrations from the physiotherapist. This paper proposes a system providing continuous visual feedback and guidance to patients to improve quality of motion performance and adherence to instructions. The system consists of body-worn inertial measurement units which continuously measure the patient's pose. The measured pose is overlaid with the instructed motion on a visual display shown to the user during exercise performance. Two user studies were conducted with healthy participants to evaluate the usability of the visual guidance tool. Motion data was collected by the inertial measurement sensors and used to evaluate quality of motion, comparing user performance with and without visual feedback and with or without exercise guidance. The quantitative and qualitative results of the studies confirm that performing the exercises with the visual guidance tool promotes more consistent exercise performance and proper technique. PMID:25570311

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Genomic selection for improved crossbred performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lopes, Marcos Soares

    2016-01-01

    Lopes, M.S. (2016). Genomic selection for improved crossbred performance. PhD thesis, Wageningen University, the Netherlands With the implementation of genomic selection in pig breeding, the genetic progress in purebred populations is expected to increase up to 55% compared to traditional selection

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    , 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 MBSR, NMSR...

  13. Improved sensorimotor performance via stochastic resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez-Balbuena, Ignacio; Manjarrez, Elias; Schulte-Mönting, Jürgen; Huethe, Frank; Tapia, Jesus A; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kristeva, Rumyana

    2012-09-01

    Several studies about noise-enhanced balance control in humans support the hypothesis that stochastic resonance can enhance the detection and transmission in sensorimotor system during a motor task. The purpose of the present study was to extend these findings in a simpler and controlled task. We explored whether a particular level of a mechanical Gaussian noise (0-15 Hz) applied on the index finger can improve the performance during compensation for a static force generated by a manipulandum. The finger position was displayed on a monitor as a small white point in the center of a gray circle. We considered a good performance when the subjects exhibited a low deviation from the center of this circle and when the performance had less variation over time. Several levels of mechanical noise were applied on the manipulandum. We compared the performance between zero noise (ZN), optimal noise (ON), and high noise (HN). In all subjects (8 of 8) the data disclosed an inverted U-like graph between the inverse of the mean variation in position and the input noise level. In other words, the mean variation was significantly smaller during ON than during ZN or HN. The findings suggest that the application of a tactile-proprioceptive noise can improve the stability in sensorimotor performance via stochastic resonance. Possible explanations for this improvement in motor precision are an increase of the peripheral receptors sensitivity and of the internal stochastic resonance, causing a better sensorimotor integration and an increase in corticomuscular synchronization.

  14. Improving DNA vaccine performance through vector design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, James A

    2014-01-01

    DNA vaccines are a rapidly deployed next generation vaccination platform for treatment of human and animal disease. DNA delivery devices, such as electroporation and needle free jet injectors, are used to increase gene transfer. This results in higher antigen expression which correlates with improved humoral and cellular immunity in humans and animals. This review highlights recent vector and transgene design innovations that improve DNA vaccine performance. These new vectors improve antigen expression, increase plasmid manufacturing yield and quality in bioreactors, and eliminate antibiotic selection and other potential safety issues. A flowchart for designing synthetic antigen transgenes, combining antigen targeting, codon-optimization and bioinformatics, is presented. Application of improved vectors, of antibiotic free plasmid production, and cost effective manufacturing technologies will be critical to ensure safety, efficacy, and economically viable manufacturing of DNA vaccines currently under development for infectious disease, cancer, autoimmunity, immunotolerance and allergy indications.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Zahid Sadek; Morshed, Mohammed Monzur; Shahriar, Mohammad; Bhuiyan, Mohiuddin Ahmed; Islam, Sardar Mohd Ashraful; Bin Sayeed, Muhammad Shahdaat

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27462136

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. Compression Techniques for Improved Algorithm Computational Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalameda, Joseph N.; Howell, Patricia A.; Winfree, William P.

    2005-01-01

    Analysis of thermal data requires the processing of large amounts of temporal image data. The processing of the data for quantitative information can be time intensive especially out in the field where large areas are inspected resulting in numerous data sets. By applying a temporal compression technique, improved algorithm performance can be obtained. In this study, analysis techniques are applied to compressed and non-compressed thermal data. A comparison is made based on computational speed and defect signal to noise.

  1. 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...

  2. Real-time performance modelling of a Sustained Attention to Response Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larue, Grégoire S; Rakotonirainy, Andry; Pettitt, Anthony N

    2010-10-01

    Vigilance declines when exposed to highly predictable and uneventful tasks. Monotonous tasks provide little cognitive and motor stimulation and contribute to human errors. This paper aims to model and detect vigilance decline in real time through participants' reaction times during a monotonous task. A laboratory-based experiment adapting the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) is conducted to quantify the effect of monotony on overall performance. Relevant parameters are then used to build a model detecting hypovigilance throughout the experiment. The accuracy of different mathematical models is compared to detect in real time - minute by minute - the lapses in vigilance during the task. It is shown that monotonous tasks can lead to an average decline in performance of 45%. Furthermore, vigilance modelling enables the detection of vigilance decline through reaction times with an accuracy of 72% and a 29% false alarm rate. Bayesian models are identified as a better model to detect lapses in vigilance as compared with neural networks and generalised linear mixed models. This modelling could be used as a framework to detect vigilance decline of any human performing monotonous tasks. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Existing research on monotony is largely entangled with endogenous factors such as sleep deprivation, fatigue and circadian rhythm. This paper uses a Bayesian model to assess the effects of a monotonous task on vigilance in real time. It is shown that the negative effects of monotony on the ability to sustain attention can be mathematically modelled and predicted in real time using surrogate measures, such as reaction times. This allows the modelling of vigilance fluctuations.

  3. 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

  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. Mind-wandering, cognition, and performance: a theory-driven meta-analysis of attention regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, Jason G; Oswald, Frederick L; Beier, Margaret E

    2014-11-01

    The current meta-analysis accumulates empirical findings on the phenomenon of mind-wandering, integrating and interpreting findings in light of psychological theories of cognitive resource allocation. Cognitive resource theory emphasizes both individual differences in attentional resources and task demands together to predict variance in task performance. This theory motivated our conceptual and meta-analysis framework by introducing moderators indicative of task-demand to predict who is more likely to mind-wander under what conditions, and to predict when mind-wandering and task-related thought are more (or less) predictive of task performance. Predictions were tested via a random-effects meta-analysis of correlations obtained from normal adult samples (k = 88) based on measurement of specified episodes of off-task and/or on-task thought frequency and task performance. Results demonstrated that people with fewer cognitive resources tend to engage in more mind-wandering, whereas those with more cognitive resources are more likely to engage in task-related thought. Addressing predictions of resource theory, we found that greater time-on-task-although not greater task complexity-tended to strengthen the negative relation between cognitive resources and mind-wandering. Additionally, increases in mind-wandering were generally associated with decreases in task performance, whereas increases in task-related thought were associated with increased performance. Further supporting resource theory, the negative relation between mind-wandering and performance was more pronounced for more complex tasks, though not longer tasks. Complementarily, the positive association between task-related thought and performance was stronger for more complex tasks and for longer tasks. We conclude by discussing implications and future research directions for mind-wandering as a construct of interest in psychological research.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Attentional inhibition in bilingual naming performance: Evidence from delta-plot analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ardi eRoelofs

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that inhibition is a mechanism of attentional control in bilingual language performance. Evidence suggests that effects of inhibition are largest in the tail of a response time (RT distribution in non-linguistic and monolingual performance domains. We examined this for bilingual performance by conducting delta-plot analyses of naming RTs. Dutch-English bilingual speakers named pictures using English while trying to ignore superimposed neutral Xs or Dutch distractor words that were semantically related, unrelated, or translations. The mean RTs revealed semantic, translation, and lexicality effects. The delta plots leveled off with increasing RT, more so when the mean distractor effect was smaller as compared with larger. This suggests that the influence of inhibition is largest towards the distribution tail, corresponding to what is observed in other performance domains. Moreover, the delta plots suggested that more inhibition was applied by high- than low-proficiency individuals in the unrelated than the other distractor conditions. These results support the view that inhibition is a domain-general mechanism that may be optionally engaged depending on the prevailing circumstances.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. [Improved performance in endurance sports through acupuncture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benner, Stefan; Benner, K

    2010-09-01

    In many years of experience in treating athletes with acupuncture, I often had the impression that athletes in endurance sports showed improved performances after such treatments. In order to scientifically verify these impressions, I performed a field test with three groups of runners of different performance levels preparing for a marathon. The first group was given acupuncture, the second a placebo, with the third being the control group. After their maximum pulse rates were recorded, the runners were asked to run 5000m four times in 4 weeks at 75 % of their maximum pulse rate. Their pulse rates were measured for each runner at the finish of the run, and subsequently, one, two and five minutes after the run. Based on these data, the complexity factor (running time multiplied by the respective pulse rate) was calculated for all four recorded pulse rates for each run and each runner. All groups showed statistically significant enhancements in their running times and their complexity factors, but in the case of the runners treated with acupuncture, the improvements were highly significant. Therefore, the field test proves that acupuncture has a significant impact on the performance of the athletes in endurance sports.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Acute personalized habitual caffeine doses improve attention and have selective effects when considering the fractionation of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanini, Juliana; Galduróz, José Carlos Fernandes; Pompéia, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Caffeine is widely used, often consumed with food, and improves simple and complex/executive attention under fasting conditions. We investigated whether these cognitive effects are observed when personalized habitual doses of caffeine are ingested by caffeine consumers, whether they are influenced by nutriments and if various executive domains are susceptible to improvement. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 60 young, healthy, rested males randomly assigned to one of four treatments: placebo fasting, caffeine fasting, placebo meal and caffeine meal. Caffeine doses were individualized for each participant based on their self-reported caffeine consumption at the time of testing (morning). The test battery included measures of simple and sustained attention, executive domains (inhibiting, updating, shifting, dual tasking, planning and accessing long-term memory), control measures of subjective alterations, glucose and insulin levels, skin conductance, heart rate and pupil dilation. Regardless of meal intake, acute habitual doses of caffeine decreased fatigue, and improved simple and sustained attention and executive updating. This executive effect was not secondary to the habitual weekly dose consumed, changes in simple and sustained attention, mood, meal ingestion and increases in cognitive effort. We conclude that the morning caffeine "fix" has positive attentional effects and selectively improved executive updating whether or not caffeine is consumed with food.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Improved Operating Performance of Mining Machine Picks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokopenko, S.; Li, A.; Kurzina, I.; Sushko, A.

    2016-08-01

    The reasons of low performance of mining machine picks are stated herein. In order to improve the wear resistance and the cutting ability of picks a new design of a cutting carbide tip insert to be fixed on a removable and rotating pick head is developed. Owing to the new design, the tool ensures a twofold increase in the cutting force maintained longer, a twofold reduction in the specific power consumption of the breaking process, and extended service life of picks and the possibility of their multiple use.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Attentional and visual demands for sprint performance in non-fatigued and fatigued conditions : reliability of a repeated sprint test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reininga, Inge H. F.; Lemmink, Koen A. P. M.; Diercks, Ron L.; Buizer, Arina T.; Stevens, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Background: Physical performance measures are widely used to assess physical function, providing information about physiological and biomechanical aspects of motor performance. However they do not provide insight into the attentional and visual demands for motor performance. A figure-of-eight sprint

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Attention during functional tasks is associated with motor performance in children with developmental coordination disorder: A cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Shirley S M; Chung, Joanne W Y; Cheng, Yoyo T Y; Yam, Timothy T T; Chiu, Hsiu-Ching; Fong, Daniel Y T; Cheung, C Y; Yuen, Lily; Yu, Esther Y T; Hung, Yeung Sam; Macfarlane, Duncan J; Ng, Shamay S M

    2016-09-01

    This cross-sectional and exploratory study aimed to compare motor performance and electroencephalographic (EEG) attention levels in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and those with typical development, and determine the relationship between motor performance and the real-time EEG attention level in children with DCD.Eighty-six children with DCD [DCD: n = 57; DCD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): n = 29] and 99 children with typical development were recruited. Their motor performance was assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) and attention during the tasks of the MABC was evaluated by EEG.All children with DCD had higher MABC impairment scores and lower EEG attention scores than their peers (P ADHD (P = 0.009) and 17.5% of the variance in children with both DCD and ADHD (P = 0.007). Children with DCD had poorer motor performance and were less attentive to movements than their peers. Their poor motor performance may be explained by inattention. PMID:27631272

  11. Cost and performance: complements for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouse, Paul; Harrison, Julie; Turner, Nikki

    2011-10-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) share similar views of resource consumption in the production of outputs. While DEA has a high level focus typically using aggregated data in the form of inputs and outputs, ABC is more detailed and oriented around very disaggregated data. We use a case study of immunisation activities in 24 New Zealand primary care practices to illustrate how DEA and ABC can be used in conjunction to improve performance analysis and benchmarking. Results show that practice size, socio-economic environment, parts of the service delivery process as well as regular administrative tasks are major cost and performance drivers for general practices in immunisation activities. It is worth noting that initial analyses of the ABC results, using contextual information and conventional methods of analysis such as regression and correlations, did not result in any patterns of significance. Reorganising this information using the DEA efficiency scores has revealed trends that make sense to practitioners and provide insights into where to place efforts for improvement. PMID:20703677

  12. Is it time to turn our attention towards central mechanisms for post-exertional recovery strategies and performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben eRattray

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-exercise recovery has largely focused on peripheral mechanisms of fatigue, but there is growing acceptance that fatigue is also contributed to through central mechanisms which demands that attention should be paid to optimising recovery of the brain. In this narrative review we assemble evidence for the role that many currently utilised recovery strategies may have on the brain, as well as potential mechanisms for their action. The review provides discussion of how common nutritional strategies as well as physical modalities and methods to reduce mental fatigue are likely to interact with the brain, and offer an opportunity for subsequent improved performance. We aim to highlight the fact that many recovery strategies have been designed with the periphery in mind, and that refinement of current methods are likely to provide improvements in minimising central fatigue. Whilst we offer a number of recommendations, it is evident that there are many opportunities for improving the research, and practical guidelines in this area.

  13. 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.

  14. Improving Robustness against Environmental Sounds for Directing Attention of Social Robots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Nicolai Bæk; Tan, Zheng-Hua; Lindberg, Børge;

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a multi-modal system for finding out where to direct the attention of a social robot in a dialog scenario, which is robust against environmental sounds (door slamming, phone ringing etc.) and short speech segments. The method is based on combining voice activity detection (VAD...

  15. Students Pay Attention! Combating the Vigilance Decrement to Improve Learning during Lectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Mark S.; Robinson, Stephanie; Alberts, Phil

    2009-01-01

    Maintaining student concentration in lectures has long been a challenge for lecturers. Pedagogical research consistently finds a drop in attention between 10 and 30 minutes into the lecture, which has been associated with the passive nature of the standard format, and has consequences for learning approaches and outcomes. A similar phenomenon has…

  16. 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…

  17. Decreasing Internal Focus of Attention Improves Postural Control during Quiet Standing in Young Healthy Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafati, Gilel; Vuillerme, Nicolas

    2011-01-01

    This experiment was designed to investigate whether and how decreasing the amount of attentional focus invested in postural control could affect bipedal postural control. Twelve participants were asked to stand upright as immobile as possible on a force platform in one control condition and one cognitive condition. In the latter condition, they…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Effects of methylphenidate on acute math performance in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grizenko, Natalie; Cai, Emmy; Jolicoeur, Claude; Ter-Stepanian, Mariam; Joober, Ridha

    2013-11-01

    Objectif : Examiner les effets à court terme (aigus) du méthylphénidate (MPH) sur la performance en mathématique chez des enfants souffrant du trouble de déficit de l’attention avec hyperactivité (TDAH), et quels facteurs prédisent une amélioration de la performance en math. Méthode : Cent quatre-vingt-dix-huit enfants souffrant du TDAH ont participé à un essai de MPH croisé, randomisé, à double insu et contrôlé avec placebo. La réponse du MPH en math a été déterminée par l’administration de problèmes de math ajustés à leur niveau scolaire durant la Restricted Academic Situation Scale (RASS). Les tests t de Student ont été menés afin d’évaluer le changement de la performance en math avec les psychostimulants. La corrélation entre le changement à la RASS et le changement de la performance en math a aussi été examinée. Une régression linéaire a été exécutée pour déterminer les variables prédictives. Résultats : Les enfants souffrant du TDAH se sont améliorés significativement en math avec le MPH (P math avec MPH était hautement corrélé. L’âge de l’enfant au départ et les scores normaux au départ au Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) – des opérations numériques représentaient 15 % des variances d’amélioration aiguë en math. Conclusions : Le MPH améliore la performance aiguë en mathématique chez les enfants souffrant du TDAH. Les enfants plus jeunes qui ont de moins bons scores en math (évalué par le WIAT) ont surtout amélioré leurs scores en math lorsqu’ils ont reçu des psychostimulants. Numéro d’enregistrement d’essai clinique : NCT00483106.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Organic photovoltaic cells: from performance improvement to manufacturing processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youn, Hongseok; Park, Hui Joon; Guo, L Jay

    2015-05-20

    Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been pursued as a next generation power source due to their light weight, thin, flexible, and simple fabrication advantages. Improvements in OPV efficiency have attracted great attention in the past decade. Because the functional layers in OPVs can be dissolved in common solvents, they can be manufactured by eco-friendly and scalable printing or coating technologies. In this review article, the focus is on recent efforts to control nanomorphologies of photoactive layer and discussion of various solution-processed charge transport and extraction materials, to maximize the performance of OPV cells. Next, recent works on printing and coating technologies for OPVs to realize solution processing are reviewed. The review concludes with a discussion of recent advances in the development of non-traditional lamination and transfer method towards highly efficient and fully solution-processed OPV.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Nanotechnological inventions considerably improve performance characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLASOV Vladimir Alexeevich

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The invention «The method of production of carbon nanomaterial (RU 2509053» can be used as an additive for concretes and polymers which significantly improves their performance characteristics. The method of production of carbon nanomaterial consists of the following stages: preliminary preparation of sphagnous moss when it is refined from foreign admixtures, dried up to 10% humidity and ground, then ground material is exposed to pyrolysis under the temperature 850–950оC for 1–2 hours and cooled up to the environment temperature. After that amorphous carbon obtained in pyrolysis is treated with mechanical activation in the variable planetary mill for 7–10 hours. The invention makes it possible to provide increased outcome of nanotubes with high cleanliness. The invention «The method of production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them (RU 2509626» relates to the powder metallurgy. Powder metal chloride or powder mixture at least of two metal chlorides is treated in the environment of the water steam which is supplied in reaction space at the rate of 50–100 ml/min at the temperature 400–800оC at the presence of absorbent carbon or introducing carbon oxide (II obtained during dissolution of formic acid HCOOH. The invention provides reliable production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them from 3-d metal range: Ni, Co, Cu, Fe, Zn which can be used in powder metallurgy to improve baking process, in chemical industry as the fillers of polymers and reaction catalysts; as additives to anticorrosive covers, etc.

  18. On the temporal characteristics of performance variability in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd Feige

    Full Text Available Increased intra-subject variability of reaction times (ISV-RT is one of the most consistent findings in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Although the nature of this phenomenon is still unclear, it has been hypothesised to reflect interference from the Default Mode Network (DMN. So far, ISV-RT has been operationally defined either as a frequency spectrum of the underlying RT time series, or as a measure of dispersion of the RT scores distribution. Here, we use a novel RT analysis framework to link these hitherto unconnected facets of ISV-RT by determining the sensitivity of different measures of RT dispersion to the frequency content of the underlying RT time series. N=27 patients with ADHD and N=26 healthy controls performed several visual N-back tasks. Different measures of RT dispersion were repeatedly modelled after individual frequency bands of the underlying RT time series had been either extracted or suppressed using frequency-domain filtering. We found that the intra-subject standard deviation of RT preserves the "1/f noise" characteristic typical of human RT data. Furthermore and most importantly, we found that the ex-Gaussian parameter τ is rather exclusively sensitive to frequencies below 0.025 Hz in the underlying RT time series and that the particularly slow RTs, which nourish τ, occur regularly as part of an quasi-periodic, ultra-slow RT fluctuation. Overall, our results are compatible with the idea that ISV-RT is modulated by an endogenous, slowly fluctuating process that may reflect DMN interference.

  19. 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

  20. Spatial and sustained attention in relation to smoking status: behavioural performance and brain activation patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vossel, Simone; Warbrick, Tracy; Mobascher, Arian; Winterer, Georg; Fink, Gereon R

    2011-11-01

    Nicotine enhances attentional functions. Since chronic nicotine exposure through smoking induces neuroadaptive changes in the brain at a structural and molecular level, the present functional MRI (fMRI) study aimed at investigating the neural mechanisms underlying visuospatial and sustained attention in smokers and non-smokers. Visuospatial attention was assessed with a location-cueing paradigm, while sustained attention was measured by changes in response speed over time. During invalid trials, neural activity within the basal forebrain was selectively enhanced in smokers and higher basal forebrain activity was associated with increased parietal cortex activation. Moreover, higher levels of expired carbon monoxide in smokers before scanning were associated with higher parietal cortex activation and faster responses to invalidly cued targets. Smokers showed a slowing of responses and additionally recruited an area within the right supramarginal gyrus with increasing time on task. Activity decreases over time were observed in visual areas in smokers. The data provide evidence for altered attentional functions in smokers as compared with non-smokers, which were partly modulated by residual nicotine levels and were observed at a behavioural level for sustained and at a neural level for spatial and sustained attention.

  1. Improvement of executive functions in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: an open-label follow-up study with once-daily atomoxetine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Shang, Chi-Yung

    2010-03-01

    Atomoxetine is efficacious in reducing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but its effect on executive functions needs more investigation. We examined the effect of atomoxetine on a wide range of non-verbal executive functions among 30 drug-naive male patients with DSM-IV ADHD, aged 8-16 yr, in an open-label 12-wk atomoxetine treatment trial. Before administration of atomoxetine, the participants were assessed by psychiatric interviews, the WISC-III, and the tasks involving executive functions of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB): Intra-dimensional/Extra-dimensional Shifts (IED), Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP), Spatial Span (SSP), Spatial Working Memory (SWM), and Stockings of Cambridge (SOC); and reassessed at weeks 4 and 12. All the raw scores of the CANTAB were transformed to z scores based on a normative sample of 180 children aged 8-16 yr. Results showed significant improvement in executive functions after treatment with atomoxetine for 4 wk or 12 wk including improved shifting and flexibility of attention in the IED; improved spatial short-term memory in the SSP; improved sustained attention and increased response inhibition in the RVIP; improved spatial working memory in the SWM; and improved spatial planning and problem solving in the SOC. Our findings suggested that atomoxetine was associated with significant improvement in various non-verbal executive functions among boys with ADHD, in addition to its well-known efficacy in ADHD-related symptom reductions. However, owing to lack of a placebo-controlled trial design, the findings should be interpreted with caution that changes in performance may be due to practice effects.

  2. 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

  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. Ideal Strategy to Improve Datawarehouse Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fahad Sultan

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Data warehouse is set up for the benefits of business analysts and executives across all functional areas. The primary goal of data warehouse is to free the information locked up in the operational database so that decision makers and business analyst can make queries, analysis and planning regardless of the data changes inoperational database. Data analysis in a large database requires some innovative techniques; there should be some new methods and procedures to look at the data with different angles. While executing adhoc queries over a large database degrade the query performance atconsiderable level because query will have to go through from large volume of data after making lot of joins. Moreover, as the number of queries is large, therefore, in certain cases there is reasonable probability that same query submitted by the one or multiple users at different times. Each time when query is executed, all the data ofwarehouse is analyzed to generate the result of that query. In this paper we purpose an ideal approach which definitely minimizes esponse time and improves the efficiency of data warehouse overall, articularly when data warehouse is updated at regular interval. Thisapproach has been validated by Formal Method.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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;

    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......, and family cohesion may identify potential treatment goals for adolescents with ADHD and coexisting problems, and may contribute to improvements in QoL....

  10. Using business intelligence to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Tom; Graves, Brian; Glass, Steve; Harrison, A Marc; Donovan, Chris; Proctor, Andrew

    2009-10-01

    Cleveland Clinic's enterprise performance management program offers proof that comparisons of actual performance against strategic objectives can enable healthcare organization to achieve rapid organizational change. Here are four lessons Cleveland Clinic learned from this initiative: Align performance metrics with strategic initiatives. Structure dashboards for the CEO. Link performance to annual reviews. Customize dashboard views to the specific user.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Comparison of Physical Fitness Performance between Elementary-Aged Students with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo-Dougovito, Andrew M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the possible differences of the physical fitness performance of elementary-aged students with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Little research has been produced in the area of youth with ADHD and motor development; this research paper further investigates the effects of…

  13. The Effects of Highlighting on the Math Computation Performance and Off-Task Behavior of Students with Attention Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kercood, Suneeta; Grskovic, Janice A.

    2009-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of color highlighting during a math computation task on performance accuracy and behavior of students with attention problems. Using a multiple baseline across participants design, three students solved math computation problems on worksheets with and without highlighting. Off-task behavior recorded from videotape…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    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......) found that increasing the contrast of T1 decreased the attentional blink but Chua (2005) found the opposite effect. In the current study, we varied the perceptual difficulty of T1 in the two-target paradigm (Duncan, Ward, & Shapiro, 1994) both by changing the contrast and by changing the exposure...

  1. 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...

  2. Improving Performance Of Industrial Enterprises With CGT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolgih, I. N.; Bannova, K. 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.

  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. 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)

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Sociodemographic and Individual Predictors of Performance in an Attentional Task with Alert, Orienting and Control Demands in Preschoolers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colombo, Jorge A.

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This study explores the predictive value of socioeconomic status, maternal mental health and child temperament on the performance in the attentional network test (ANT, which assesses attentional processes of alert, orienting and control, administered to 203 4-to-5 years-old children (M = 4.78; SD = .59 from Unsatisfied and Satisfied Basic Needs homes (UBN and SBN, respectively. Results from the linear regression analysis indicated that gender, age, effortful control, and marginally parental occupation, predicted increments in reaction times of trials corresponding only to the control network. Predictors were not verified when sociodemographic variables (parental education and occupation, dwelling and overcrowding were replaced in the model by the predictor socioeconomic group (UBN, SBN. These results suggest a differential modulation of individual and environmental factors on different attentional processing networks.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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…

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Improve Compressed Air System Performance with AIRMaster+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2005-05-01

    AIRMaster+ provides a systematic apporach for assessing the supply-side performance of compressed air systems. Using plant-specific data, the software effectively evaluates supply-side operational costs for various equipment configurations and system pro

  17. Performance of Spandex Sector Improves Rapidly

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ Zhejiang Huafeng Spandex Co., Ltd.(SZ: 002064) and Sichuan Sofcra Special-Typed Fiber Co., Ltd. (SZ: 000584)as major listed spandex companies in China have recently published their performance statements for the first quarter of 2007.

  18. Compounds and methods for improving plant performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas Joseph

    2016-09-20

    The invention is directed to methods and compositions for increasing a growth characteristic of a plant, increasing nutrient use efficiency of a plant, or improving a plant's ability to overcome stress comprising applying a composition comprising ketosuccinamate, a derivative thereof, or a salt thereof, to the plant or to a propagation material of the plant.

  19. Compounds and methods for improving plant performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas Joseph

    2016-09-20

    The invention is directed to methods and compositions for increasing a growth characteristic of a plant, increasing nutrient use efficiency of a plant, or improving a plant's ability to overcome stress comprising applying a composition comprising ketosuccinamate, a derivative thereof, or a salt thereof, to the plant or to a propagation material of the plant.

  20. 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

  1. Improving performance of catalysts for water electrolysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frydendal, Rasmus

    reports include little information about stability, which is evaluated solely from short term electrochemical testing. The first part of this project was therefore dedicated to designing a meaningful stability protocol. Manganese oxide thin films were prepared with sputter deposition and the stability....... The results indicate that the stability could be improved with more than 40 %, while the activity decreased with 10 %. Finally, for MnO2 to be useful as an OER catalyst in PEM cells, the activity should be improved. Mixtures of manganese oxide and gold have been reported to exhibit activity enhancements and......-ray Absorption Spectroscopy study it was found that Mn oxidises at a more cathodic potential when Au is nearby. This experimental study serves as a starting point for understanding the beneficial interaction between gold and manganese oxides....

  2. Improving Oral Performance through Interactions Flashcards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urquijo, Jasson

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes an action research project that addressed the issue of low oral performance in English among third grade learners at a public girls' school in Bogota, Colombia. The issue was identified via content analysis of ten field logs compiled over the third and fourth quarter of the second semester, 2010. To address the problem of…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Performance improvement in the perioperative system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Kathleen V; Krupka, Dan C

    2012-12-01

    Hospital finance leaders should work with their organizations' perioperative leaders to implement a three-step process for identifying projects with the greatest potential for improving quality while reducing costs and increasing revenue. In essence, this process involves mapping the strategy, developing a list of potential projects, and culling projects that cannot reasonably be accomplished with available resources. The extent to which staff resources are available for such projects can best be measured using a simple spreadsheet designed for tracking special assignments of each staff member.

  11. 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...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. Improving performance by anchoring movement and "nerves".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iso-Ahola, Seppo E; Dotson, Charles O; Jagodinsky, Adam E; Clark, Lily C; Smallwood, Lorraine L; Wilburn, Christopher; Weimar, Wendi H; Miller, Matthew W

    2016-10-01

    Golf's governing bodies' recent decision to ban all putting styles "anchoring one end of the club against the body" bridges an important practical problem with psychological theory. We report the first experiment testing whether anchoring provides technical and/or psychological advantage in competitive performance. Many "greats" of professional golf from Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods have argued against anchoring, believing that it takes "nerves" out of competitive performance and therefore artificially levels the playing field. To shed more light on the issue, we tested participants' performance with anchored and unanchored putters under low and high pressure when controlling for the putter length. We found no statistically significant evidence for a technical advantage due to anchoring but a clear psychological advantage: participants who anchored their putters significantly outperformed unanchored counterparts under high, but not low, pressure. Results provide tentative evidence for the ban's justification from a competitive standpoint. However, before any definite conclusions can be made, more research is needed when using high-level golfers. PMID:27459587

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon

    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...... 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...... 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. (...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. ED performance improvement: process changes hospitals can make now.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiver, John M Jay

    2007-12-01

    ED overcapacity is becoming increasingly common, and physical plant expansion to add capacity is not the only solution. By undertaking a few process changes, healthcare organizations can improve ED performance. Benefits include improved care, reduced costs, and increased patient satisfaction.

  6. Improving neural network performance on SIMD architectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limonova, Elena; Ilin, Dmitry; Nikolaev, Dmitry

    2015-12-01

    Neural network calculations for the image recognition problems can be very time consuming. In this paper we propose three methods of increasing neural network performance on SIMD architectures. The usage of SIMD extensions is a way to speed up neural network processing available for a number of modern CPUs. In our experiments, we use ARM NEON as SIMD architecture example. The first method deals with half float data type for matrix computations. The second method describes fixed-point data type for the same purpose. The third method considers vectorized activation functions implementation. For each method we set up a series of experiments for convolutional and fully connected networks designed for image recognition task.

  7. Nanostructured upconverters for improved solar cell performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacQueen, Rowan W.; Schulze, Tim F.; Khoury, Tony; Cheng, Yuen Yap; Stannowski, Bernd; Lips, Klaus; Crossley, Maxwel J.; Schmidt, Timothy

    2013-09-01

    Triplet-triplet annihilation photon upconversion (TTA-UC) is a promising candidate for mitigating sub-band gap absorption losses in solar cells. In TTA-UC, sensitiser dyes absorb sub-band gap photons, cross to a triplet state, and transfer triplet excitons to emitter dyes. Two triplet-excited emitters can undergo TTA, raising one emitter to a higher-energy bright singlet state. The quadratic efficiency of TTA-UC at device-relevant light intensities motivates a push towards the higher chromophore densities achievable in the solid phase. We have begun this process by tethering tetrakisquinoxalino palladium porphyrin to 20nm silica nanoparticles using peptide chemistry techniques, achieving a total-volume concentration of 1.5mM. The phosphorescence kinetics of the tethered porphyrins was measured to quantify quenching by rubrene emitter. Upconverter performance was measured in a solar cell enhancement experiment.

  8. 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.

  9. Improving video processing performance using temporal reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Mohamed; Karmouch, Ahmed

    1999-10-01

    In this paper, we present a system, called MediABS, for extracting key frames in a video segment. First we will describe the overall architecture of the system and we will show how our system can handle multiple video formats with a single video-processing module. Then we will present a new algorithm, based on color histograms. The algorithm exploits the temporal characteristic of the visual information and provides techniques for avoiding false cuts and eliminating the possibility of missing true cuts. A discussion, along with some results, will be provided to show the merits of our algorithm compared to existing related algorithms. Finally we will discuss the performance (in terms of processing time and accuracy) obtained by our system in extracting the key frames from a video segment. This work is part of the Mobile Agents Alliance project involving University of Ottawa, National Research Council (NRC) and Mitel Corporation.

  10. 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.

  11. Task Performance and Response to Frustration in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scime, Melinda; Norvilitis, Jill M.

    2006-01-01

    The present study examined performance on an arithmetic task of increasing difficulty and a frustrating puzzle task for children with ADHD and comparison children. Emotional competence also was investigated in the two groups. Sixty-four children, 21 previously diagnosed with ADHD, participated. Performance on the arithmetic task was measured in…

  12. 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.

  13. Progenitor cell release plus exercise to improve functional performance in peripheral artery disease: the PROPEL Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domanchuk, Kathryn; Ferrucci, Luigi; Guralnik, Jack M; Criqui, Michael H; Tian, Lu; Liu, Kiang; Losordo, Douglas; Stein, James; Green, David; Kibbe, Melina; Zhao, Lihui; Annex, Brian; Perlman, Harris; Lloyd-Jones, Donald; Pearce, William; Taylor, Doris; McDermott, Mary M

    2013-11-01

    Functional impairment, functional decline, and mobility loss are major public health problems in people with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD). Few medical therapies significantly improve walking performance in PAD. We describe methods for the PROgenitor cell release Plus Exercise to improve functionaL performance in PAD (PROPEL) Study, a randomized controlled clinical trial designed to determine whether granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) combined with supervised treadmill walking exercise improves six-minute walk distance more than GM-CSF alone, more than supervised treadmill exercise alone, and more than placebo plus attention control in participants with PAD, respectively. PROPEL Study participants are randomized to one of four arms in a 2 by 2 factorial design. The four study arms are GM-CSF plus supervised treadmill exercise, GM-CSF plus attention control, placebo plus supervised exercise therapy, or placebo plus attention control. The primary outcome is change in six-minute walk distance at 12-week follow-up. Secondary outcomes include change in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), change in maximal treadmill walking time, and change in circulating CD34+ cells at 12-week follow-up. Outcomes are also measured at six-week and six-month follow-up. Results of the PROPEL Study will have important implications for understanding mechanisms of improving walking performance and preventing mobility loss in the large and growing number of men and women with PAD.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The influence of observers’ sex on attention-demanding performance depends on performers’ sex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijun eWang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Post-error slowing (PES indicates the slower responses after errors than after correct responses. Prior studies mainly focus on how the observation errors influence one own’s performance, there is no study investigating how other’s monitoring influence one own’s performance. Additionally, the issue that whether social context influences the PES effect differently for females and males is still unclear. To address aforementioned issues, we required the participants to interact with a same-sex or opposite-sex partner to complete a color flanker task together (they sat next to each other, Experiment 1. One was the performer (perform the flanker task, and the other was the observer (monitor the error responses of performer. They alternated their roles in two successive blocks. To further verify the role of the interaction context, a control experiment was conducted in the individual context (Experiment 2. The results revealed that (1 larger PES effect was observed in females than in males in the interaction context; (2 the sex difference of PES effect mainly benefited from the opposite-sex interaction; (3 larger PES effect was observed in the interaction context than in the individual context; (4 females’ performances were influenced after an interaction with a same-sex or opposite-sex partner, whereas males’ performances were merely influenced after an interaction with an opposite-sex partner. Taken together, these findings may suggest that (1 interaction context modulates the PES effect differently for females and males; (2 females are more susceptible to social information and hence more effective to adjust the post-error behaviors.

  19. 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

  20. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casuso, Rafael A; Melskens, Lars; Bruhn, Thomas;

    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....

  1. 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…

  2. Improve strategic supplier performance using DMAIC to develop a Quality Improvement Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardim, Kevin P.

    Supplier performance that meets the requirements of the customer has long plagued quality professionals. Despite the vast efforts by organizations to improve supplier performance, little has been done to standardize the plan to improve performance. This project presents a guideline and problem-solving strategy using a Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) structured tool that will assist in the management and improvement of supplier performance. An analysis of benchmarked Quality Improvement Plans indicated that this topic needs more focus on how to accomplish improved supplier performance. This project is part of a growing body of supplier continuous improvement efforts. With the input of Zodiac Aerospace quality professionals this project's results provide a solution to Quality Improvement Plans and show objective evidence of its benefits. This project contributes to the future research on similar topics.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. How planful is routine behavior? A selective-attention model of performance in the Tower of Hanoi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patsenko, Elena G; Altmann, Erik M

    2010-02-01

    Routine human behavior has often been attributed to plans-mental representations of sequences goals and actions-but can also be attributed to more opportunistic interactions of mind and a structured environment. This study asks whether performance on a task traditionally analyzed in terms of plans can be better understood from a "situated" (or "embodied") perspective. A saccade-contingent display-updating paradigm is used to change the environment by adding, deleting, and moving task-relevant objects without participants' direct awareness. Response latencies, action patterns, and eye movements all indicate that performance is guided not by plans stored in memory but by a control routine bound to objects as needed by perception and selective attention. The results have implications for interpreting everyday task performance and particular neuropsychological deficits. PMID:20121314

  7. 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)

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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…

  15. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    , but new expanded possibilities for teaching and learning provided by the new media. Our core postulate is that the teachers and pupils have to develop social reflexion on ‘the practice of attention’ in the class, both on a social and individual level; use the new media to facilitate this reflexion...... and simultaneously (based on the on-going reflexion) learn to cope better with the new attention-demanding medium milieu, which means both to restrict oneself and behave more socially responsible and to develop better awareness skills (e.g. multiplexing skills). Only this (and not prohibition 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....

  16. Monitoring cholinergic activity during attentional performance in mice heterozygous for the choline transporter: a model of cholinergic capacity limits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolone, Giovanna; Mallory, Caitlin S; Koshy Cherian, Ajeesh; Miller, Thomas R; Blakely, Randy D; Sarter, Martin

    2013-12-01

    Reductions in the capacity of the human choline transporter (SLC5A7, CHT) have been hypothesized to diminish cortical cholinergic neurotransmission, leading to risk for cognitive and mood disorders. To determine the acetylcholine (ACh) release capacity of cortical cholinergic projections in a mouse model of cholinergic hypofunction, the CHT+/- mouse, we assessed extracellular ACh levels while mice performed an operant sustained attention task (SAT). We found that whereas SAT-performance-associated increases in extracellular ACh levels of CHT+/- mice were significantly attenuated relative to wildtype littermates, performance on the SAT was normal. Tetrodotoxin-induced blockade of neuronal excitability reduced both dialysate ACh levels and SAT performance similarly in both genotypes. Likewise, lesions of cholinergic neurons abolished SAT performance in both genotypes. However, cholinergic activation remained more vulnerable to the reverse-dialyzed muscarinic antagonist atropine in CHT+/- mice. Additionally, CHT+/- mice displayed greater SAT-disrupting effects of reverse dialysis of the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine. Receptor binding assays revealed a higher density of α4β2* nAChRs in the cortex of CHT+/- mice compared to controls. These findings reveal compensatory mechanisms that, in the context of moderate cognitive challenges, can overcome the performance deficits expected from the significantly reduced ACh capacity of CHT+/- cholinergic terminals. Further analyses of molecular and functional compensations in the CHT+/- model may provide insights into both risk and resiliency factors involved in cognitive and mood disorders.

  17. Oscillatory dynamics track motor performance improvement in human cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dürschmid

    Full Text Available Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go. Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta ([Formula: see text]; 4-8 Hz phase and high gamma (HG; 80-180 Hz amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45 were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the [Formula: see text] and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice.

  18. Oscillatory dynamics track motor performance improvement in human cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürschmid, Stefan; Quandt, Fanny; Krämer, Ulrike M; Hinrichs, Hermann; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schulz, Reinhard; Pannek, Heinz; Chang, Edward F; Knight, Robert T

    2014-01-01

    Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC) in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG) from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go). Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta ([Formula: see text]; 4-8 Hz) phase and high gamma (HG; 80-180 Hz) amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45) were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the [Formula: see text] and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice. PMID:24586885

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Distinguishing and Improving Mouse Behavior with Educational Computer Games in Young Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An Executive Function-Based Interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veenstra, Baukje; van Geert, Paul L. C.; van der Meulen, Bieuwe F.

    2012-01-01

    In this exploratory multiple case study, it is examined how a computer game focused on improving ineffective learning behavior can be used as a tool to assess, improve, and study real-time mouse behavior (MB) in different types of children: 18 children (3.8-6.3 years) with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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,...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. Frontal midline theta rhythm is correlated with cardiac autonomic activities during the performance of an attention demanding meditation procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Y; Sato, W; Toichi, M; Murai, T; Okada, T; Hayashi, A; Sengoku, A

    2001-04-01

    Frontal midline theta rhythm (Fm theta), recognized as distinct theta activity on EEG in the frontal midline area, reflects mental concentration as well as meditative state or relief from anxiety. Attentional network in anterior frontal lobes including anterior cingulate cortex is suspected to be the generator of this activity, and the regulative function of the frontal neural network over autonomic nervous system (ANS) during cognitive process is suggested. However no studies have examined peripheral autonomic activities during Fm theta induction, and interaction of central and peripheral mechanism associated with Fm theta remains unclear. In the present study, a standard procedure of Zen meditation requiring sustained attention and breath control was employed as the task to provoke Fm theta, and simultaneous EEG and ECG recordings were performed. For the subjects in which Fm theta activities were provoked (six men, six women, 48% of the total subjects), peripheral autonomic activities were evaluated during the appearance of Fm theta as well as during control periods. Successive inter-beat intervals were measured from the ECG, and a recently developed method of analysis by Toichi et al. (J. Auton. Nerv. Syst. 62 (1997) 79-84) based on heart rate variability was used to assess cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic functions separately. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic indices were increased during the appearance of Fm theta compared with control periods. Theta band activities in the frontal area were correlated negatively with sympathetic activation. The results suggest a close relationship between cardiac autonomic function and activity of medial frontal neural circuitry.

  11. Differential effects of three 5-HT receptor antagonists on the performance of rats in attentional and working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruotsalainen, S; Sirviö, J; Jäkälä, P; Puumala, T; MacDonald, E; Riekkinen, P

    1997-05-01

    The effects of three different serotonin (5-HT) receptor antagonists (ketanserin, methysegide, methiothepin) in the modulation of attention, working memory and behavioural activity were investigated in this study by assessing the performance of rats in two separate cognitive models; the 5-choice serial reaction time (5-CSRT) task, which measures attention, and the delayed non-matching to position (DNMTP) task, which measures working memory. Methysergide and methiothepin bind at the 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 as well as the 5-HT5-7 receptors, with varying degrees of selectivity, and ketanserin binds at the 5-HT2A receptors rather selectively. None of these agents bind to any significant extent to 5-HT3 or 5-HT4 receptors. In the 5-CSRT task, neither methiothepin (0.15 mg/kg) nor ketanserin (1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg) impaired the choice accuracy of rats, although they induced sedation. The low doses of methysergide (1.5 and 3.0 mg/kg) slightly increased the behavioural activity of rats, whereas the high dose of methysergide (15.0 mg/kg) reduced behavioural activity and slightly reduced choice accuracy of the rats in the attentional task (monitoring of visual stimuli) under the baseline conditions or curtailed stimulus duration. This effect was not augmented at the reduced stimulus intensity. These findings suggest that the high dose of methysergide did not interfere with the visual discrimination of rats. Furthermore, methysergide did not reduce motivation for this task, since it did not increase food collection latencies. In the DNMTP task, methiothepin (0.15 mg/kg) induced a delay non-dependent deficit in choice accuracy. This could be due to an impaired alternation ability or akinesia, which increases an actual delay between sample and choice. Methiothepin (0.15 mg/kg) also interfered with behavioural activity of rats. Interestingly, ketanserin (1.0 mg/kg and 3.0 mg/kg) and methysergide (3.0-15.0 mg/kg) neither impaired the choice accuracy nor reduced the behavioural activity of

  12. 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.

  13. Engine component improvement: JT8D and JT9D performance improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffin, W. O.

    1978-01-01

    A feasibility analysis screening method for predicting the airline acceptance of a proposed engine performance improvement modification was developed. Technical information derived from available test data and analytical models is used along with conceptual/preliminary designs to establish the predicted performance improvement, weight and installation characteristics, the cost for new production and retrofit, maintenance cost and qualitative characteristics of the performance improvement concepts being evaluated. These results are used to arrive at the payback period, which is the time required for an airline to recover the investment cost of concept implementation, and to predict the amount of fuel saved by a performance improvement concept. The assumptions used to calculate the payback period and fuel saved are discussed. A summary of the results when the screening method is applied is presented for several representative JT8D and JT9D performance improvement concepts. An example of the input information used to develop the summary results is shown.

  14. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Christian Gaden; Vangkilde, Signe; Frokjaer, Vibe; Hasselbalch, Steen G

    2012-02-01

    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 MBSR, NMSR, and the financial incentive were comparable or significantly larger in the incentive group on all reaction-time-based measures. However, selective attention in the MBSR group improved significantly more than in any other group. Similarly, only the MBSR intervention improved the threshold for conscious perception and visual working memory capacity. Furthermore, stress-reducing effects of MBSR were supported because those in the MBSR group showed significantly less perceived and physiological stress while increasing their mindfulness levels significantly. We argue that MBSR may contribute uniquely to attentional improvements but that further research focusing on non-reaction-time-based measures and outcomes less confounded by test effort is needed. Critically, our data demonstrate that previously observed improvements of attention after MBSR may be seriously confounded by test effort and nonmindfulness stress reduction.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Single and combined effects of methylphenidate and behavior therapy on the classroom performance of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, C L; Pelham, W E; Milich, R; Dixon, J

    1992-04-01

    Twenty-four boys with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) participating in an intensive summer treatment program each received b.i.d. placebo and two doses of methylphenidate (MPH, 0.3 mg/kg and 0.6 mg/kg) crossed with two classroom settings: a behavior modification classroom including a token economy system, time out and daily home report card, and a "regular" classroom setting not using these procedures. Dependent variables included classroom observations of on-task and disruptive behavior, academic work completion and accuracy, and daily self-ratings of performance. Both MPH and behavior modification alone significantly improved children's classroom behavior, but only MPH improved children's academic productivity and accuracy. Singly, behavior therapy and 0.3 mg/kg PMH produced roughly equivalent improvements in classroom behavior. Further, the combination of behavior therapy and 0.3 mg/kg MPH resulted in maximal behavioral improvements, which were nearly identical to those obtained with 0.6 mg/kg MPH alone. PMID:1593027

  3. Single and combined effects of methylphenidate and behavior therapy on the classroom performance of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, C L; Pelham, W E; Milich, R; Dixon, J

    1992-04-01

    Twenty-four boys with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) participating in an intensive summer treatment program each received b.i.d. placebo and two doses of methylphenidate (MPH, 0.3 mg/kg and 0.6 mg/kg) crossed with two classroom settings: a behavior modification classroom including a token economy system, time out and daily home report card, and a "regular" classroom setting not using these procedures. Dependent variables included classroom observations of on-task and disruptive behavior, academic work completion and accuracy, and daily self-ratings of performance. Both MPH and behavior modification alone significantly improved children's classroom behavior, but only MPH improved children's academic productivity and accuracy. Singly, behavior therapy and 0.3 mg/kg PMH produced roughly equivalent improvements in classroom behavior. Further, the combination of behavior therapy and 0.3 mg/kg MPH resulted in maximal behavioral improvements, which were nearly identical to those obtained with 0.6 mg/kg MPH alone.

  4. Improving Employee Satisfaction Priority through Performance Control Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun-Hsing Chen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The study addresses Performance Control Matrix (PCM to determine service quality items of priority for improvement. Most businesses focus on customer satisfaction when undertaking surveys of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, while generally neglecting employee satisfaction. Therefore, this study develops an integrated model to improve service quality in Taiwanese finance industry employees. A questionnaire is designed to determine the priority of improvement objectives derived from certain questionnaire items that fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. Ten items are found to fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. The present results show that the finance industry employees surveyed in Taiwan were dissatisfied with their job security, salaries, annual bonus, and fair distribution of operational profits. The ten improvement items mostly belong to two dimensions - ‘Pay and Benefits’ and ‘Motivation’. The managers of the financial institutions should seek to improve these quality attributes by devoting more resources to these items, thus promoting employee satisfaction.

  5. Visuospatial selective attention in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Schwarz, Jason S; Knudsen, Eric I

    2014-05-13

    Voluntary control of attention promotes intelligent, adaptive behaviors by enabling the selective processing of information that is most relevant for making decisions. Despite extensive research on attention in primates, the capacity for selective attention in nonprimate species has never been quantified. Here we demonstrate selective attention in chickens by applying protocols that have been used to characterize visual spatial attention in primates. Chickens were trained to localize and report the vertical position of a target in the presence of task-relevant distracters. A spatial cue, the location of which varied across individual trials, indicated the horizontal, but not vertical, position of the upcoming target. Spatial cueing improved localization performance: accuracy (d') increased and reaction times decreased in a space-specific manner. Distracters severely impaired perceptual performance, and this impairment was greatly reduced by spatial cueing. Signal detection analysis with an "indecision" model demonstrated that spatial cueing significantly increased choice certainty in localizing targets. By contrast, error-aversion certainty (certainty of not making an error) remained essentially constant across cueing protocols, target contrasts, and individuals. The results show that chickens shift spatial attention rapidly and dynamically, following principles of stimulus selection that closely parallel those documented in primates. The findings suggest that the mechanisms that control attention have been conserved through evolution, and establish chickens--a highly visual species that is easily trained and amenable to cutting-edge experimental technologies--as an attractive model for linking behavior to neural mechanisms of selective attention.

  6. Improving Retrieval Performance by Region Constraints and Relevance Feedback

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tao Wang; Yong Rui; Jia-Guang Sun

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, region features and relevance feedback are used to improve the performance of CBIR.Unlike existing region-based approaches where either individual regions are used or only simple spatial layout is modeled, the proposed approach simultaneously models both region properties and their spatial relationships in a probabilistic framework. Furthermore, the retrieval performance is improved by an adaptive filter based relevance feedback. To illustrate the performance of the proposed approach, extensive experiments have been carried out on a large heterogeneous image collection with 17,000 images, which render promising results on a wide variety of queries.

  7. Improving Reactive Ad Hoc Routing Performance by Geographic Route Length

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAO Yuan-da; YU Yan-bing; LU Di

    2005-01-01

    In order to help reactive ad hoc routing protocols select better-performance routes, a novel metric named geographic route length (GRL) is proposed. The relationship between GRL metric and routing performance is analyzed in detail. Combined with hop metric, GRL is applied into the original ad hoc on-demand distance vector (AODV) to demonstrate its effectiveness. Simulation experiments have shown that GRL can effectively reduce packet delay and route discovery frequency, thus can improve reactive ad hoc routing performance.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Public sector benchmarking and performance improvement : what is the link and can it be improved?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Benchmarking is often used in the public sector as a way of driving up performance. This article explains why benchmarking does not necessarily lead to better performance and why it can generate unwanted consequences. The article recommends ways of improving the link between benchmarking and perform

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Performance Report and Improvements in CV Machine Areas

    CERN Document Server

    Monsted, A

    2000-01-01

    The performance of cooling and ventilation (CV) equipment is defined as its availability to the PS, SPS and LEP accelerators. Three teams for the accelerators plus a Utilities team, which receives performance information from the physics and technical control room, carry out the operation of this equipment. Collected performance statistics as well as data from the Computer Aided Maintenance Management system (CAMM) and supervision system provide information on the exact state of the CV equipment. This is used to more effectively schedule preventive maintenance which, by reducing system failures, results in improved equipment performance. This paper will present performance data and discuss the prospects for improving it through the use of an updated version of CAMM and a new supervision system.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Relationship between blood manganese levels and children's attention, cognition, behavior, and academic performance--a nationwide cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhang, Soo-Young; Cho, Soo-Churl; Kim, Jae-Won; Hong, Yun-Chul; Shin, Min-Sup; Yoo, Hee Jeong; Cho, In Hee; Kim, Yeni; Kim, Bung-Nyun

    2013-10-01

    Manganese (Mn) is neurotoxic at high concentrations. However, Mn is an essential element that can protect against oxidative damage; thus, extremely low levels of Mn might be harmful. Our aim was to examine whether either high or low environmental Mn exposure is related to academic and attention function development among school-aged children. This cross-sectional study included 1089 children 8-11 years of age living in five representative areas in South Korea. Blood Mn, blood lead, and urine cotinine were measured. We assessed IQ with the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; attention with a computerized continuous performance test called the Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Diagnostic System (ADS), the Korean version of the Stroop Color-Word Test, the Children's Color Trails Test (CCTT), and the ADHD Rating Scale; academic functions with the Learning Disability Evaluation Scale (LDES); and emotional and behavioral problems with the Korean version of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). We further assessed the presence of ADHD using a highly structured diagnostic interview, the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version IV (DISC-IV). The median blood concentration of Mn was 14.14 µg/L. We observed a nonlinear association between the CCTT2 completion time and the CPT commission error (F=3.14, p=0.03 and F=4.05, p=0.01, respectively). We divided the data into three groups: lower (21.453 µg/L) and middle 90th percentile to determine whether a lack or overload of Mn could cause adverse effects. After adjusting for urine cotinine, blood lead, children's IQ, and other potential confounders, the high Mn group showed lower scores in thinking (B=-0.83, p=0.006), reading (B=-0.93, p=0.004), calculations (B=-0.72, p=0.005), and LQ (B=-4.06, p=0.006) in the LDES and a higher commission error in the CPT (B=8.02, p=0.048). The low Mn group showed lower color scores in the Stroop test (B=-3.24, p=0.040). We found that excess Mn in children is

  20. Neuropsychological performance of youth with secondary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 6- and 12-months after traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornstein, Tisha J; Sagar, Sanya; Schachar, Russell J; Ewing-Cobbs, Linda; Chapman, Sandra B; Dennis, Maureen; Saunders, Ann E; Yang, Tony T; Levin, Harvey S; Max, Jeffrey E

    2014-11-01

    The present study compared executive dysfunction among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after traumatic brain injury (TBI), also called secondary ADHD (S-ADHD), pre-injury ADHD and children with TBI only (i.e., no ADHD). Youth aged 6-16 years admitted for TBI to five trauma centers were enrolled (n=177) and evaluated with a semi-structured psychiatric interview scheduled on three occasions (within 2 weeks of TBI, i.e., baseline assessment for pre-injury status; 6-months and 12-months post-TBI). This permitted the determination of 6- and 12-month post-injury classifications of membership in three mutually exclusive groups (S-ADHD; pre-injury ADHD; TBI-only). Several executive control measures were administered. Unremitted S-ADHD was present in 17/141 (12%) children at the 6-month assessment, and in 14/125 (11%) children at 12-months post-injury. The study found that children with S-ADHD exhibited deficient working memory, attention, and psychomotor speed as compared to children with pre-injury ADHD. Furthermore, the children with S-ADHD and the children with TBI-only were impaired compared to the children with pre-injury ADHD with regard to planning. No group differences related to response inhibition emerged. Age, but not injury severity, gender, or adaptive functioning was related to executive function outcome. Neuropsychological sequelae distinguish among children who develop S-ADHD following TBI and those with TBI only. Moreover, there appears to be a different pattern of executive control performance in those who develop S-ADHD than in children with pre-injury ADHD suggesting that differences exist in the underlying neural mechanisms that define each disorder, underscoring the need to identify targeted treatment interventions. PMID:25489810

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.Shanmuga Priya

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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, the data classification and decision tree [1] which helps to improve the student’s performance in a better way. But with the inclusion of extracurricular activities with the above data mining techniques makes quality of education in an easiest way. This type of approach gives high confidence to students in their studies. This method helps to identify the students who need special advising or counseling by the teacher which gives high quality of education.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Improvement on Frequency Performance of SOI SiGe HBT

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DAI Guang-hao; WANG Sheng-rong; LI Wen-jie

    2006-01-01

    Based on the advantages of SOI technology,the frequency performance of SiGe HBT with SOI structure has been simulated. Compared with bulk SiGe HBT,the results show that the buried oxide layer(BOX) can reduce collector-base capacitance CCB with the maximum value 89.3%,substrate-base capacitance CSB with 94.6%,and the maximum oscillation frequency is improved by 2.7. The SOI structure improves the frequency performance of SiGe HBT,which is adaptable to high-speed and high power applications.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Attention alters the appearance of motion coherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Taosheng; Fuller, Stuart; Carrasco, Marisa

    2006-12-01

    Selective attention enhances visual information processing, as measured by behavioral performance and neural activity. However, little is known about its effects on subjective experience. Here, we investigated the effect of transient (exogenous) attention on the appearance of visual motion, using a psychophysical procedure that directly measures appearance and controls for response bias. Observers viewed pairs of moving dot patterns and reported the motion direction of the more coherent pattern. Directing attention (via a peripheral precue) to a stimulus location increased its perceived coherence level and improved performance on a direction discrimination task. In a control experiment, we ruled out response bias by lengthening the time interval between the cue and the stimuli, so that the effect of transient attention could no longer be exerted. Our results are consistent with those of neurophysiological studies showing that attention modulates motion processing and provide evidence of a subjective perceptual correlate of attention, with a concomitant effect on performance.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. JT8D high pressure compressor performance improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaffin, W.O.

    1981-11-01

    An improved performance high pressure compressor with potential application to all models of the JT8D engine was designed. The concept consisted of a trenched abradable rubstrip which mates with the blade tips for each of the even rotor stages. This feature allows tip clearances to be set so blade tips run at or near the optimum radius relative to the flowpath wall, without the danger of damaging the blades during transients and maneuvers. The improved compressor demonstrated thrust-specific fuel consumption and exhaust gas temperature improvements of 1.0% and at least 10/sup 0/C over the takeoff and climb power range at sea level static conditions, compared to a bill-of-material high pressure compressor. Surge margin also improved 4 percentage points over the high power operating range. A thrust-specific fuel consumption improvement of 0.7% at typical cruise conditions was calculated based on the sea level test results.

  16. JT8D high pressure compressor performance improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffin, W. O.

    1981-01-01

    An improved performance high pressure compressor with potential application to all models of the JT8D engine was designed. The concept consisted of a trenched abradable rubstrip which mates with the blade tips for each of the even rotor stages. This feature allows tip clearances to be set so blade tips run at or near the optimum radius relative to the flowpath wall, without the danger of damaging the blades during transients and maneuvers. The improved compressor demonstrated thrust specific fuel consumption and exhaust gas temperature improvements of 1.0 percent and at least 10 C over the takeoff and climb power range at sea level static conditions, compared to a bill-of-material high pressure compressor. Surge margin also improved 4 percentage points over the high power operating range. A thrust specific fuel consumption improvement of 0.7 percent at typical cruise conditions was calculated based on the sea level test results.

  17. 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...

  18. Performance improvement for optical packet switch with shared buffers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Junjie Yang; Qingji Zeng; Jie Li; Tong Ye; Guolong Zhu

    2005-01-01

    @@ In this paper, an inner wavelength method is proposed to enlarge buffering capacity of shared fiber delay line buffers. In addition, an optical packet switch called extended shared buffer type optical packet switch(extended SB-OPS) is proposed to realize the inner wavelength method. In order to further improve performance of extended SB-OPS, a greedy algorithm based on inner wavelength method is introduced.The performance of extended SB-OPS is evaluated by simulation experiments.

  19. Performance of Gannan Yak and Approaches for Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王槐田

    2005-01-01

    At present, the yak population reached to 1.1 million in Gannan prefecture. Yak is dominant livestock in Gannan,and is the main source of herdsman income. In recent years, the population of Gannan yak continuously increased, but the performances such as body weight, dressing percentage and reproductivity are dropping.In order to improve quality, performance and economic benefits of yak production,it is very urgent to strengthen yak selective breeding.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Central 5-HT depletion enhances impulsive responding without affecting the accuracy of attentional performance: interactions with dopaminergic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, A A; Everitt, B J; Robbins, T W

    1997-10-01

    A series of ten experiments examined the effects of profound central 5-HT depletion on attentional performance in the rat in the five-choice serial reaction time task, and also determined the effects of such depletion on responding affected by d-amphetamine and by selective dopamine receptor antagonists. Rats were trained to detect and locate brief visual stimuli randomly presented in one of five spatial locations. When performance had stabilised (> 80% correct, choice serial reaction time task with the same degree of accuracy as the sham-operated controls. However, 5-HT depletion reduced the percentage of omitted trials and increased the number of premature/anticipatory responses. This pattern of behaviour following 5-HT depletion could not be attributed to enhanced primary motivation as demonstrated by measures of food intake and latencies to collect food reinforcement. The lesion attenuated the increase of premature responding induced by high doses of systemically administered d-amphetamine. 5-HT depletion also attenuated the dose-dependent decrease in accuracy induced by (-)-sulpiride, a D2 receptor antagonist, although the effects of this drug on response latencies and premature responding were similar in both groups. However, the systemic administration of the D1 receptor antagonist, SCH 23390, blocked the impulsive responding produced by the lesion as indicated by a lack of lesion effects on the percentage of omitted trials and premature responding. The results suggest that central 5-HT depletion results in impulsive, fast responding, which nevertheless does not impair accuracy of visual discrimination performance. The increased impulsivity may be mediated by altered 5-HT-dopamine interactions, with the lesion removing an inhibitory influence over dopamine neurotransmission. PMID:9372531

  5. 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.

  6. Warning signals for poor performance improve human-robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brule, R. van den; Bijlstra, G.; Dotsch, R.; Haselager, W.F.G.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot's nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the robot

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. Alternative Assessment: A Monthly Portfolio Project Improves Student Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdez, Penelope S.

    2001-01-01

    Describes the use of monthly portfolio projects to track student progress and improve science performance in a 7th grade life science course. Students explain concepts they have learned, produce products to present what they have learned, and use the concepts to critique magazine articles, advertisements, or news stories. Provides an evaluation…

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. Improving the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire using Rasch analysis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Buuren, S. van; Beek, A.J. van der; Vet, H.C.W. de

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) version 0.2 was developed using Rasch analysis. The goal of the current study was to improve targeting of the IWPQ scales by including additional items. The IWPQ 0.2 (original) and 0.3 (including additional items) were examined using Ras

  15. 48 CFR 970.5203-2 - Performance improvement and collaboration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ..., scientific and technical, security, business and administrative, and any other areas of performance in the... be of benefit in resolving common issues, in confronting common problems, or in reducing costs of... in the communication of the success of improvements to other management and operating contractors...

  16. 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…

  17. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Improving the performance of a filling line based on simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek, M.; Bartkowiak, T.

    2016-08-01

    The paper describes the method of improving performance of a filling line based on simulation. This study concerns a production line that is located in a manufacturing centre of a FMCG company. A discrete event simulation model was built using data provided by maintenance data acquisition system. Two types of failures were identified in the system and were approximated using continuous statistical distributions. The model was validated taking into consideration line performance measures. A brief Pareto analysis of line failures was conducted to identify potential areas of improvement. Two improvements scenarios were proposed and tested via simulation. The outcome of the simulations were the bases of financial analysis. NPV and ROI values were calculated taking into account depreciation, profits, losses, current CIT rate and inflation. A validated simulation model can be a useful tool in maintenance decision-making process.

  2. 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.

  3. TCP TRAFFIC PERFORMANCE IMPROVING IN LTE-A NETWORKS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Bo; Wu Weimin; Zhu Guangxi; Yu Hongtao

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a novel way to improve Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) performance of the users at the edge areas of the macro cells in Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) systems.Previous works on improving wireless TCP performance are reviewed and current considerations on TCP in LTE-A are explained.Howev5r,those solutions are neither too complex nor limited to some presuppositions which are too restricting for the deployment of LTE-A networks.In this paper a substituted TCP acknowledgement transmission scheme based on Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ) information in layer 2 is proposed.The simulation result shows that the proposed method can reduce the delay and improve the throughput of the edging users of the cell,as well as reducing radio resources in LTE-A macro cells.

  4. Operational Performance Improvements to BRIght Target Explorer Constellation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Seung Yun

    The BRIght Target Explorer (BRITE)-Constellation is composed of six nano-satellites funded by Austria, Canada, and Poland, and each of them is equipped with an optical telescope that observes stars with visual magnitude +3.5 or brighter. BRITE-Constellation has provided numerous images of bright stars from Low Earth Orbit, which will eventually lead to investigation of origin of the Universe. This thesis presents the contribution of the author to BRITE mission, especially in BRITE Operations. The author performed antenna steering experiments on UniBRITE and BRITE-Toronto, to improve data downlink. To improve scientific data collection from BRITE satellites, the author computed available observation time for multiple targets every orbit, which resulted in collection of twice the amount of scientific data. Also, the author increased the available observation time for each target from 32 minutes to 48 minutes by improving the performance of the star tracker on-board BRITE-Toronto.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. USING CISCO NETWORK COMPONENTS TO IMPROVE NIDPS PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waleed Bul’ajoul

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (NIDPSs are used to detect, prevent and report evidence of attacks and malicious traffic. Our paper presents a study where we used open source NIDPS software. We show that NIDPS detection performance can be weak in the face of high-speed and high-load traffic in terms of missed alerts and missed logs. To counteract this problem, we have proposed and evaluated a solution that utilizes QoS, queues and parallel technologies in a multi-layer Cisco Catalyst Switch to increase NIDPSs detection performance. Our approach designs a novel QoS architecture to organise and improve throughput-forwardplan traffic in a layer 3 switch in order to improve NIDPS performance.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. Voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Jared; Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2010-08-01

    Voluntary covert attention selects relevant sensory information for prioritized processing. The behavioral and neural consequences of such selection have been extensively documented, but its phenomenology has received little empirical investigation. Involuntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency (Gobell & Carrasco, 2005), but involuntary attention can differ from voluntary attention in its effects on performance in tasks mediated by spatial resolution (Yeshurun, Montagna, & Carrasco, 2008). Therefore, we ask whether voluntary attention affects the subjective appearance of spatial frequency--a fundamental dimension of visual perception underlying spatial resolution. We used a demanding rapid serial visual presentation task to direct voluntary attention and measured perceived spatial frequency at the attended and unattended locations. Attention increased the perceived spatial frequency of suprathreshold stimuli and also improved performance on a concurrent orientation discrimination task. In the control experiment, we ruled out response bias as an alternative account by using a lengthened interstimulus interval, which allows observers to disengage attention from the cued location. In contrast to the main experiment, the observers showed neither increased perceived spatial frequency nor improved orientation discrimination at the attended location. Thus, this study establishes that voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency. This phenomenological consequence links behavioral and neurophysiological studies on the effects of attention.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Improving public administration performance demands investment in human resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Klun

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper emphasizes that investments in human resources are one of the important factors for improving public sector performance. In strategic papers of Slovenian government and during the reform process of public administration, government stressed out that human resources are one of the most important factors for improving performance. This is originating point of research. The main hypothesis of presented research is that investments in human resources improve efficiency and effectiveness of public sector. For several reasons explained in the paper, tax administration was chosen to test the hypothesis. We used a number of training participations per employee as an indicator of investments in human resources. For determination of effi ciency and effectiveness, we used selected performance indicators and survey among taxpayers about their satisfaction. The main obstacle of the research is that not long-time series are used for better test of hypothesis since surveys among taxpayers are not regular. The results indicate a positive correlation between training and performance indicators and training and taxpayers’ satisfaction.

  19. A Simple Traffic Aware Algorithm To Improve Firewall Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anirudhan Sudarsan

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Firewalls play an extremely important role in today’s networks. They are present universally in almost every corporate network across the globe and serve to protect such networks from unauthorized access. The firewall is most commonly implemented as a packet filter. The packet filter works by comparing incoming packets against a set of predefined rules called an access control list (ACL. It is vital to improve the performance of packet filtering firewalls as much as possible. Most of the research work in this area barring a few has not focused on utilizing traffic characteristics to improve the performance of packet filters. In this paper, we propose a simple algorithm that exploits traffic behavior by utilizing incoming traffic statistics to dynamically modify rule ordering in access control lists. Hence repeated packets or multiple packets from the same source require lesser number of comparisons before a rule is matched. When testing was performed for the proposed work using both a simulated firewall and simulated traffic the performance of the firewall showed considerable improvement.

  20. 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…

  1. Attention Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Falkinger, Josef

    2003-01-01

    Attracting attention is a basic feature of economic life but no standard economic problem. A new theoretical model is developed which describes the general structure of competition for attention and characterizes equilibria. The exogenous fundamentals of an attention economy are the space of receiving subjects with their attention capacity, and the potential set of competing companies (senders) with their radiation technologies. The endogenous variables explained by the theory are equilibrium...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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....

  5. Baduk (the Game of Go) Improved Cognitive Function and Brain Activity in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Se Hee; Han, Doug Hyun; Lee, Young Sik; Kim, Bung-Nyun; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Han, Sang Ho

    2014-01-01

    Objective Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms are associated with the deficit in executive functions. Playing Go involves many aspect of cognitive function and we hypothesized that it would be effective for children with ADHD. Methods Seventeen drug naïve children with ADHD and seventeen age and sex matched comparison subjects were participated. Participants played Go under the instructor's education for 2 hours/day, 5 days/week. Before and at the end of Go period, clinic...

  6. 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)

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. An improved model for TPV performance predictions and optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, K. L.; Rose, M. F.; Burkhalter, J. E.

    1997-03-01

    Previously a model has been presented for calculating the performance of a TPV system. This model has been revised into a general purpose algorithm, improved in fidelity, and is presented here. The basic model is an energy based formulation and evaluates both the radiant and heat source elements of a combustion based system. Improvements in the radiant calculations include the use of ray tracking formulations and view factors for evaluating various flat plate and cylindrical configurations. Calculation of photocell temperature and performance parameters as a function of position and incident power have also been incorporated. Heat source calculations have been fully integrated into the code by the incorporation of a modified version of the NASA Complex Chemical Equilibrium Compositions and Applications (CEA) code. Additionally, coding has been incorporated to allow optimization of various system parameters and configurations. Several examples cases are presented and compared, and an optimum flat plate emitter/filter/photovoltaic configuration is also described.

  14. An Accurate Link Correlation Estimator for Improving Wireless Protocol Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwei Zhao

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1 achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2 greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation.

  15. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B.; Bohac, D.; Huelman, P.

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Tri-State Current Source Inverter With Improved Dynamic Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blaabjerg, Frede; Loh, Poh Chiang; Wong, Chow Pang;

    2008-01-01

    Traditional dc-ac current source inverter (CSI) has a right-half-plane (RHP) zero in its control-to-output transfer function. This RHP zero causes the inverter output to fall before rising when a step increase in command reference is required (commonly known as non-minimum-phase effect). To achie...... prototype for demonstrating its improved dynamic performance with no commutation difficulties introduced....

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  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. 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

  3. 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 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Using Shadow Page Cache to Improve Isolated Drivers Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Zheng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With the advantage of the reusability property of the virtualization technology, users can reuse various types and versions of existing operating systems and drivers in a virtual machine, so as to customize their application environment. In order to prevent users’ virtualization environments being impacted by driver faults in virtual machine, Chariot examines the correctness of driver’s write operations by the method of combining a driver’s write operation capture and a driver’s private access control table. However, this method needs to keep the write permission of shadow page table as read-only, so as to capture isolated driver’s write operations through page faults, which adversely affect the performance of the driver. Based on delaying setting frequently used shadow pages’ write permissions to read-only, this paper proposes an algorithm using shadow page cache to improve the performance of isolated drivers and carefully study the relationship between the performance of drivers and the size of shadow page cache. Experimental results show that, through the shadow page cache, the performance of isolated drivers can be greatly improved without impacting Chariot’s reliability too much.

  12. Using shadow page cache to improve isolated drivers performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hao; Dong, Xiaoshe; Wang, Endong; Chen, Baoke; Zhu, Zhengdong; Liu, Chengzhe

    2015-01-01

    With the advantage of the reusability property of the virtualization technology, users can reuse various types and versions of existing operating systems and drivers in a virtual machine, so as to customize their application environment. In order to prevent users' virtualization environments being impacted by driver faults in virtual machine, Chariot examines the correctness of driver's write operations by the method of combining a driver's write operation capture and a driver's private access control table. However, this method needs to keep the write permission of shadow page table as read-only, so as to capture isolated driver's write operations through page faults, which adversely affect the performance of the driver. Based on delaying setting frequently used shadow pages' write permissions to read-only, this paper proposes an algorithm using shadow page cache to improve the performance of isolated drivers and carefully study the relationship between the performance of drivers and the size of shadow page cache. Experimental results show that, through the shadow page cache, the performance of isolated drivers can be greatly improved without impacting Chariot's reliability too much. PMID:25815373

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. Multi-focal Vision and Gaze Control Improve Navigation Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolja Kühnlenz

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Multi‐focal vision systems comprise cameras with various fields of view and measurement accuracies. This article presents a multi‐focal approach to localization and mapping of mobile robots with active vision. An implementation of the novel concept is done considering a humanoid robot navigation scenario where the robot is visually guided through a structured environment with several landmarks. Various embodiments of multi‐focal vision systems are investigated and the impact on navigation performance is evaluated in comparison to a conventional mono‐focal stereo set‐up. The comparative studies clearly show the benefits of multi‐focal vision for mobile robot navigation: flexibility to assign the different available sensors optimally in each situation, enhancement of the visible field, higher localization accuracy, and, thus, better task performance, i.e. path following behavior of the mobile robot. It is shown that multi‐focal vision may strongly improve navigation performance.

  16. Multi-focal Vision and Gaze Control Improve Navigation Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolja Kuehnlenz

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Multi-focal vision systems comprise cameras with various fields of view and measurement accuracies. This article presents a multi-focal approach to localization and mapping of mobile robots with active vision. An implementation of the novel concept is done considering a humanoid robot navigation scenario where the robot is visually guided through a structured environment with several landmarks. Various embodiments of multi-focal vision systems are investigated and the impact on navigation performance is evaluated in comparison to a conventional mono-focal stereo set-up. The comparative studies clearly show the benefits of multi-focal vision for mobile robot navigation: flexibility to assign the different available sensors optimally in each situation, enhancement of the visible field, higher localization accuracy, and, thus, better task performance, i.e. path following behavior of the mobile robot. It is shown that multi-focal vision may strongly improve navigation performance.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Criterion-based (proficiency) training to improve surgical performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Marvin P; Kaye, Rachel J; Gibber, Marc J; Jackman, Alexis H; Paskhover, Boris P; Sadoughi, Babak; Schiff, Bradley; Fraioli, Rebecca E; Jacobs, Joseph B

    2012-11-01

    OBJECTIVE To investigate whether training otorhinolaryngology residents to criterion performance levels (proficiency) on the Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Simulator produces individuals whose performance in the operating room is at least equal to those who are trained by performing a fixed number of surgical procedures. DESIGN Prospective cohort. SETTING Two academic medical centers in New York City. PARTICIPANTS Otorhinolaryngology junior residents composed of 8 experimental subjects and 6 control subjects and 6 attending surgeons. INTERVENTION Experimental subjects achieved benchmark proficiency criteria on the Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Simulator; control subjects repeated the surgical procedure twice. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Residents completed validated objective tests to assess baseline abilities. All subjects were videotaped performing an initial standardized surgical procedure. Residents were videotaped performing a final surgery. Videotapes were assessed for metrics by an expert panel. RESULTS Attendings outperformed the residents in most parameters on the initial procedure. Experimental and attending groups outperformed controls in some parameters on the final procedure. There was no difference between resident groups in initial performance, but the experimental subjects outperformed the control subjects in navigation in the final procedure. Most important, there was no difference in final performance between subgroups of the experimental group on the basis of the number of trials needed to attain proficiency. CONCLUSIONS Simulator training can improve resident technical skills so that each individual attains a proficiency level, despite the existence of an intrinsic range of abilities. This proficiency level translates to at least equal, if not superior, operative performance compared with that of current conventional training with finite repetition of live surgical procedures.

  3. 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.

  4. Carbon material optimized biocathode for improving microbial fuel cell performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hairti eTursun

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available To improve the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs, the biocathode electrode material of double-chamber was optimized. Alongside the basic carbon fiber brush, three carbon materials namely graphite granules, activated carbon granules and activated carbon powder, were added to the cathode-chambers to improve power generation. The result shows that the addition of carbon materials increased the amount of available electroactive microbes on the electrode surface and thus promote oxygen reduction rate, which improved the generation performance of the MFCs. The Output current (external resistance = 1000 Ω greatly increased after addition of the three carbon materials and maximum power densities in current stable phase increased by 47.4%, 166.1% and 33.5%, respectively. Additionally, coulombic efficiencies of the MFC increased by 16.3%, 64.3% and 20.1%, respectively. These results show that MFC when optimized with activated carbon granules show better power generation, higher chemical oxygen demands (COD removal rate and coulombic efficiency.

  5. Carbon Material Optimized Biocathode for Improving Microbial Fuel Cell Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tursun, Hairti; Liu, Rui; Li, Jing; Abro, Rashid; Wang, Xiaohui; Gao, Yanmei; Li, Yuan

    2016-01-01

    To improve the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), the biocathode electrode material of double-chamber was optimized. Alongside the basic carbon fiber brush, three carbon materials namely graphite granules, activated carbon granules (ACG) and activated carbon powder, were added to the cathode-chambers to improve power generation. The result shows that the addition of carbon materials increased the amount of available electroactive microbes on the electrode surface and thus promote oxygen reduction rate, which improved the generation performance of the MFCs. The Output current (external resistance = 1000 Ω) greatly increased after addition of the three carbon materials and maximum power densities in current stable phase increased by 47.4, 166.1, and 33.5%, respectively. Additionally, coulombic efficiencies of the MFC increased by 16.3, 64.3, and 20.1%, respectively. These results show that MFC when optimized with ACG show better power generation, higher chemical oxygen demands removal rate and coulombic efficiency. PMID:26858695

  6. 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

  7. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participants interacting with game elements showed higher scores in the working memory training task than participants from a control group who completed the working memory training task without the game elements. Moreover, game elements facilitated the individuals’ performance closer to their maximum working memory capacity. Finally, the perceived flow did not differ between the two groups, which indicates that game elements can induce better performance without changing the perception of being “in the zone”, that is without an increase in anxiety or boredom. This empirical study indicates that certain game elements can improve the performance and efficiency in a working memory task by increasing users’ ability and willingness to train at their optimal performance level. 

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Mitochondria to motion: optimizing oxidative phosphorylation to improve exercise performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conley, Kevin E

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria oxidize substrates to generate the ATP that fuels muscle contraction and locomotion. This review focuses on three steps in oxidative phosphorylation that have independent roles in setting the overall mitochondrial ATP flux and thereby have direct impact on locomotion. The first is the electron transport chain, which sets the pace for oxidation. New studies indicate that the electron transport chain capacity per mitochondria declines with age and disease, but can be revived by both acute and chronic treatments. The resulting higher ATP production is reflected in improved muscle power output and locomotory performance. The second step is the coupling of ATP supply from O2 uptake (mitochondrial coupling efficiency). Treatments that elevate mitochondrial coupling raise both exercise efficiency and the capacity for sustained exercise in both young and old muscle. The final step is ATP synthesis itself, which is under dynamic control at multiple sites to provide the 50-fold range of ATP flux between resting muscle and exercise at the mitochondrial capacity. Thus, malleability at sites in these subsystems of oxidative phosphorylation has an impact on ATP flux, with direct effects on exercise performance. Interventions are emerging that target these three independent subsystems to provide many paths to improve ATP flux and elevate the muscle performance lost to inactivity, age or disease. PMID:26792336

  12. 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

  13. Performance and private speech of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder while taking the Tower of Hanoi test: effects of depth of search, diagnostic subtype, and methylphenidate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopecky, Helena; Chang, H Theresa; Klorman, Rafael; Thatcher, Joan E; Borgstedt, Agneta D

    2005-10-01

    We administered the Tower of Hanoi to demographically comparable samples of control participants (n = 34) and children with the Combined (n = 22) and Inattentive subtypes (n = 19) of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Controls excelled over children with the Inattentive subtype, who outperformed patients with the Combined subtype. These results replicated findings of greater executive deficits in the Combined than in the Inattentive type of ADHD. Double-blind administration of methylphenidate improved task performance only for patients with the Inattentive subtype. In a drug-free Baseline session, children with both subtypes of ADHD made more private verbalizations than controls, particularly when failing puzzles. In later sessions, regardless of drug condition, the inattentive sample exhibited a smaller increase in self-regulatory utterances under failure. In contrast, the combined sample decreased self-regulatory verbalizations under failure only under methylphenidate. The results support some differences between the two subtypes of ADHD in executive functioning and in their response to stimulant therapy. PMID:16195955

  14. Voxel model in BNCT treatment planning: performance analysis and improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Sara J.; Carando, Daniel G.; Santa Cruz, Gustavo A.; Zamenhof, Robert G.

    2005-02-01

    In recent years, many efforts have been made to study the performance of treatment planning systems in deriving an accurate dosimetry of the complex radiation fields involved in boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). The computational model of the patient's anatomy is one of the main factors involved in this subject. This work presents a detailed analysis of the performance of the 1 cm based voxel reconstruction approach. First, a new and improved material assignment algorithm implemented in NCTPlan treatment planning system for BNCT is described. Based on previous works, the performances of the 1 cm based voxel methods used in the MacNCTPlan and NCTPlan treatment planning systems are compared by standard simulation tests. In addition, the NCTPlan voxel model is benchmarked against in-phantom physical dosimetry of the RA-6 reactor of Argentina. This investigation shows the 1 cm resolution to be accurate enough for all reported tests, even in the extreme cases such as a parallelepiped phantom irradiated through one of its sharp edges. This accuracy can be degraded at very shallow depths in which, to improve the estimates, the anatomy images need to be positioned in a suitable way. Rules for this positioning are presented. The skin is considered one of the organs at risk in all BNCT treatments and, in the particular case of cutaneous melanoma of extremities, limits the delivered dose to the patient. Therefore, the performance of the voxel technique is deeply analysed in these shallow regions. A theoretical analysis is carried out to assess the distortion caused by homogenization and material percentage rounding processes. Then, a new strategy for the treatment of surface voxels is proposed and tested using two different irradiation problems. For a parallelepiped phantom perpendicularly irradiated with a 5 keV neutron source, the large thermal neutron fluence deviation present at shallow depths (from 54% at 0 mm depth to 5% at 4 mm depth) is reduced to 2% on average

  15. Development of an improved performance SiGe unicouple

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakahara, Jan F.; Franklin, Brian; DeFillipo, Lawrence E.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes the fabrication of unicouples with improved SiGe alloys. Based on laboratory measurements of the thermoelectric properties the improved materials provide about a 10% improvement in the figure-of-merit between 573 and 1273 K compared to standard coarse grain unicouple materials. The improved materials are p-type Si0.796Ge0.199B0.005 fabricated at Martin Marietta Astro Space by the Vacuum casting/hot pressing method and n-type Si0.784Ge0.196Ga0.005P0.015 fabricated at Ames Laboratory by the mechanical alloying/hot isostatic pressing method. The standard unicouple bonding process was adjusted to accommodate the lower melting temperature of the SiGe/GaP material. A two-step diffusion bonding process was developed such that the p-type material is bonded to the SiMo hot shoe first at 1594 K followed by the lower melting point n-type material between 1518 and 1520 K. Standard procedures were used to silicon nitride coat the thermoelectric pellets and to attach the cold side CTE transition and heat rejection components to produce unicouples. Two unicouples successfully withstood simulated rivet operations as would be experienced in the fabrication of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) converter to verify the integrity of the tungsten cold shoe to thermoelectric material interface. The performance of these unicouples will be further evaluated in an 18-couple test module.

  16. 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)

  17. A Meta-Analytic Study of Event Rate Effects on Go/No-Go Performance in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Metin, Baris; Roeyers, Herbert; Wiersema, Jan R.; van der Meere, Jaap; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund

    2012-01-01

    Background: According to the state regulation deficit model, event rate( ER) is an important determinant of performance of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fast ER is predicted to create over activation and produce errors of commission, whereas slow ER is thought to cre

  18. A conceptual model to improve performance in virtual teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shopee Dube

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: The vast improvement in communication technologies and sophisticated project management tools, methods and techniques has allowed geographically and culturally diverse groups to operate and function in a virtual environment. To succeed in this virtual environment where time and space are becoming increasingly irrelevant, organisations must define new ways of implementing initiatives. This virtual environment phenomenon has brought about the formation of virtual project teams that allow organisations to harness the skills and knowhow of the best resources, irrespective of their location.Objectives: The aim of this article was to investigate performance criteria and develop a conceptual model which can be applied to enhance the success of virtual project teams. There are no clear guidelines of the performance criteria in managing virtual project teams.Method: A qualitative research methodology was used in this article. The purpose of content analysis was to explore the literature to understand the concept of performance in virtual project teams and to summarise the findings of the literature reviewed.Results: The research identified a set of performance criteria for the virtual project teams as follows: leadership, trust, communication, team cooperation, reliability, motivation, comfort and social interaction. These were used to conceptualise the model.Conclusion: The conceptual model can be used in a holistic way to determine the overall performance of the virtual project team, but each factor can be analysed individually to determine the impact on the overall performance. The knowledge of performance criteria for virtual project teams could aid project managers in enhancing the success of these teams and taking a different approach to better manage and coordinate them.

  19. Improving the precision of genotype selection in wheat performance trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovani Benin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to verify whether using the Papadakis method improves model assumptions and experimental accuracy in field trials used to determine grain yield for wheat lineages indifferent Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU regions. Grain yield data from 572 field trials at 31 locations in the VCU Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 in 2007-2011 were used. Each trial was run with and without the use of the Papadakis method. The Papadakis method improved the indices of experimental precision measures and reduced the number of experimental repetitions required to predict grain yield performance among the wheat genotypes. There were differences among the wheat adaptation regions in terms of the efficiency of the Papadakis method, the adjustment coefficient of the genotype averages and the increases in the selective accuracy of grain yield.

  20. Restricted environmental stimulation technique improves human performance: rifle marksmanship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barabasz, A; Barabasz, M; Bauman, J

    1993-06-01

    This study controlled for relaxation and guided imagery confounds noted in much previous research on enhancement of human performance using the restricted environmental stimulation technique (REST). Dry flotation REST was used where subjects lay ("floated") on a salt-water-filled bladder in a sound-attenuated, light-free chamber. 9 men and 3 women in a rifle marksmanship training course, exposed to dry-flotation REST, showed significantly higher rifle marksmanship scores than the university students who as matched controls were exposed to relaxation (9 men and 3 women). Further, only the former showed a significant pre- to posttest improvement in scores, which suggests REST's positive effects on marksmanship go beyond the induction of relaxation by hypnosis. The results support hypotheses summarized in 1982 by Barabasz regarding potentiation by REST of internally generated imagery and subsequent improvement observed in a nonREST posttest environment. PMID:8321601

  1. Improving Dynamic Load and Generator Response PerformanceTools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lesieutre, Bernard C.

    2005-11-01

    This report is a scoping study to examine research opportunities to improve the accuracy of the system dynamic load and generator models, data and performance assessment tools used by CAISO operations engineers and planning engineers, as well as those used by their counterparts at the California utilities, to establish safe operating margins. Model-based simulations are commonly used to assess the impact of credible contingencies in order to determine system operating limits (path ratings, etc.) to ensure compliance with NERC and WECC reliability requirements. Improved models and a better understanding of the impact of uncertainties in these models will increase the reliability of grid operations by allowing operators to more accurately study system voltage problems and the dynamic stability response of the system to disturbances.

  2. Improving AODV Performance using Dynamic Density Driven Route Request Forwarding

    CERN Document Server

    Kanakaris, Venetis; Ovaliadis, Kyriakos

    2011-01-01

    Ad-hoc routing protocols use a number of algorithms for route discovery. Some use flooding in which a route request packet (RREQ) is broadcasted from a source node to other nodes in the network. This often leads to unnecessary retransmissions, causing congestion and packet collisions in the network, a phenomenon called a broadcast storm. This paper presents a RREQ message forwarding scheme for AODV that reduces routing overheads. This has been called AODV_EXT. Its performance is compared to that of AODV, DSDV, DSR and OLSR protocols. Simulation results show that AODV_EXT achieves 3% energy efficiency, 19.5% improvement in data throughput and 69.5% reduction in the number of dropped packets for a network of 50 nodes. Greater efficiency is achieved in high density network and marginal improvement in networks with a small number of nodes.

  3. Medication use evaluation: pharmacist rubric for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanikos, John; Jenkins, Kathryn L; Piazza, Gregory; Connors, Jean; Goldhaber, Samuel Z

    2014-12-01

    Despite rigorous expert review, medications often fall into routine use with unrecognized and unwanted complications. Use of some medications remains controversial because information to support efficacy is conflicting, scant, or nonexistent. Medication use evaluation (MUE) is a performance improvement tool that can be used when there is uncertainty regarding whether a medication will be beneficial. It is particularly useful when limited evidence is available on how best to choose between two or more medications. MUEs can analyze the process of medication prescribing, preparation, dispensing, administration, and monitoring. MUEs can be part of a structured or mandated multidisciplinary quality management program that focuses on evaluating medication effectiveness and improving patient safety. Successful MUE programs have a structure in place to support completion of rapid-cycle data collection, analysis, and intervention that supports practice change. PMID:25521847

  4. Improving productivity and firm performance with enterprise resource planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Hooshang M.; Beheshti, Cyrus M.

    2010-11-01

    Productivity is generally considered to be the efficient utilisation of organisational resources and is measured in terms of the efficiency of a worker, company or nation. Focusing on efficiency alone, however, can be harmful to the organisation's long-term success and competitiveness. The full benefits of productivity improvement measures are realised when productivity is examined from two perspectives: operational efficiency (output/input) of an individual worker or a business unit as well as performance (effectiveness) with regard to end user or customer satisfaction. Over the years, corporations have adopted new technology to integrate business activities in order to achieve both effectiveness and efficiency in their operations. In recent years, many firms have invested in enterprise resource planning (ERP) in order to integrate all business activities into a uniform system. The implementation of ERP enables the firm to reduce the transaction costs of the business and improve its productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability.

  5. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paydos Michael

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This article – number two in the series – describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP, a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool. A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient. An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done. By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM.

  6. Mechanisms to improve the mechanical performance of surgical gloves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Michelle Hoyt

    1997-11-01

    The use of gloves as a barrier to cross infection in the medical industry has increased substantially due to the heightened awareness of viral transmission, especially the human immunodeficiency virus and the hepatitis B virus. The glove must allow for tactile sensation, comfort and long use times, while providing equally critical mechanical performance. The majority of surgical gloves are made of natural rubber latex which do not give a critical level of cut-resistance or puncture-resistance. Natural rubber latex gloves are also known to cause latex allergy with hypersensitivity reactions ranging from mild skin rashes to more severe bronchial asthma, anaphylactic reactions, and even death. It has been postulated natural rubber latex (NRL) proteins cause these allergic reactions. The research that has been conducted comprises two approaches that have been explored for improving the cut-resistance of surgical gloves. The first method involves an integral fiber-latex structure that possesses the combination of high reversible extensibility, barrier performance and retention of tactile sense. Improvement in mechanical properties in excess of 85% has been achieved as well as an improvement in cut-resistance. The second method involves the incorporation of a low concentration of ultra high molecular weight (UHMW) polyacrylamide. Although the initial premise for using a UHMW polymer was that it would bridge the latex compound particulates to improve strength, an entirely different mechanism for the enhancement of strength was explored through a parallel investigation of the release of proteins from cured natural rubber. However, no mechanism was conclusively identified. To address the allergy aspects of NRL, a thorough examination of the release of naturally-occurring latex proteins from cured natural rubber latex glove material was conducted in order to identify mechanisms for eliminating and/or reducing the potential allergens. The initial study examined the release of

  7. 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…

  8. An Effective Concept Extraction Method for Improving Text Classification Performance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yuntao; GONG Ling; WANG Yongcheng; YIN Zhonghang

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents anew way to extract concept that can beused to improve text classification per-formance (precision and recall). Thecomputational measure will be dividedinto two layers. The bottom layercalled document layer is concernedwith extracting the concepts of parti-cular document and the upper layercalled category layer is with findingthe description and subject concepts ofparticular category. The relevant im-plementation algorithm that dramatic-ally decreases the search space is dis-cussed in detail. The experiment basedon real-world data collected from Info-Bank shows that the approach is supe-rior to the traditional ones.

  9. Methylphenidate improves performance on the radial arm maze in periadolescent rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow-Edwards, Diana L; Weedon, Jeremy C; Hellmann, Esther

    2008-01-01

    Methylphenidate (Ritalin; MPD) is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in childhood and adolescence and many clinical studies have documented its efficacy. Due to the limitations of conducting invasive research in humans, animal models can be beneficial for studying drug effects. However, few animal studies have demonstrated the effects of methylphenidate on cognitive processes. The objective of this study was to find a dose of methylphenidate that was effective in improving performance on a spatial working memory cognitive task when administered orally to periadolescent rats. Therefore, we dosed subjects with methylphenidate at 1 or 3 mg/kg/day via gastric intubation from postnatal day 22 to 59 and assessed the effects of the drug on performance on the radial arm maze each day. To enhance performance overall, a second experiment was conducted where the subjects were moderately food restricted (to 90% of the free-feeding weight). Results of Experiment 1 show that during the first week of testing only the 3 mg/kg MPD-treated males showed improved performance (entries prior to repeated entry) when ad lib fed and housed in pairs while the same dose significantly improved performance in both males and females under conditions of food-restriction and individual housing in Experiment 2. MPD also produced a pattern of increased errors and arms entered during the first week, especially in Experiment 2. MPD increased locomotor activity when tested at postnatal day 60 in both experiments. The data suggest that 3 mg/kg oral methylphenidate improves performance on a spatial cognitive task only early in treatment in the rat. While males show improvement under conditions of both high and low motivation, females only show MPD effects when highly motivated. Hypothetically, methylphenidate may improve radial arm maze performance through increased attention and improved spatial working memory and/or alterations in locomotion, reactivity to novelty or anxiety. Regardless, the

  10. On improving linear solver performance: a block variant of GMRES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baker, A H; Dennis, J M; Jessup, E R

    2004-05-10

    The increasing gap between processor performance and memory access time warrants the re-examination of data movement in iterative linear solver algorithms. For this reason, we explore and establish the feasibility of modifying a standard iterative linear solver algorithm in a manner that reduces the movement of data through memory. In particular, we present an alternative to the restarted GMRES algorithm for solving a single right-hand side linear system Ax = b based on solving the block linear system AX = B. Algorithm performance, i.e. time to solution, is improved by using the matrix A in operations on groups of vectors. Experimental results demonstrate the importance of implementation choices on data movement as well as the effectiveness of the new method on a variety of problems from different application areas.

  11. Geoelectrical mapping for improved performance of SUDS in clay tills

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bockhorn, Britta; Møller, Ingelise; Klint, Knud Erik S.;

    2015-01-01

    Many cities of the Northern Hemisphere are covered by low permeable clay tills, posing a challenge for stormwater infiltration practices. However, clay tills range amongst the most heterogeneous types of sediments and infiltration rates can vary by several orders of magnitude. This study evaluate...... in greater depths could be revealed on the 2D geoelectrical profiles. The successful determination of highly permeable zones harbors potential for improved hydraulic performance of infiltration SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems)....... if a 2D geoelectrical system can reveal such heterogeneity at field scale and thus be used to optimize the hydraulic performance of stormwater runoff infiltration systems. The assessment is based on a field study where data from non-invasive geoelectrical data are compared with data from invasive...

  12. Improving The Performance Of 3-D Sensor Array By Rotation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayesha Naaz

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a method is proposed to improve the performance of 3-D array for DOA estimation. Cancellation of ground clutter received at the array (of sensors is an important problem to be considered. The approach being addressed to reduced the clutter is based on rotating the 3-D array (a cubical array by a fixed angle in all the three directions simultaneously. The computer simulations carried out showed that this method was capable of resolving closely spaced sources and also yielded optimum performance in achieving direction of arrivals. Compared to normal cubical array with the same number of elements, the rotated array provides a significant DOA accuracy. Further simulations were also carried out for various angles of rotation.

  13. Reforming Technologies to Improve the Performance of Combustion Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hashim Hassan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A large number of theoretical and experimental studies have shown that the performance of kerosene combustion increases significantly if combustion is being assisted by the addition of hydrogen to the fuel/air mixture during the combustion process. It reduces the amount of CO, CO2 and NOx emissions, while increasing the flame stability limits. It also helps in bruning fuel/air mixtures at much leaner equivalence ratios. The same principle could be applied to gain benefits in gas turbine combustors. Hydrogen for this purpose could be produced by the reforming of hydrocarbon fuels using a reformer module. This paper presents key hydrogen reforming technologies which, by implementation in gas turbine combustors, hold potential for improving both their performance and service life.

  14. Improvement for the steering performance of liquid crystal phased array

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Yan; KONG Ling-jiang; CHEN Jun; ZHU Ying; YANG Jian-yu

    2009-01-01

    Optical phased array technology is introduced and the steering performances of liquid crystal phased array are discussed, several factors affecting the beam steering performances arc analyzed completely, also simple models for some typical factors are developed. Then, a new method based on iterating and modifying the output phase pattern of liquid crystal phase shifters is proposed. Using this method, the modified voltages applied on electrodes of liquid crystal phase shifters can be obtained, after applying the voltages, the influence of factors can be compensated to some extent; the steering angle accu-racy and efficiency with liquid crystal phased array can be improved. Through the simulation for the angle range from 0° to -1°, the error of steering angle can be reduced three orders of magnitude, and the efficiency can be increased almost 30% after several iterations.

  15. Performance Improvement of TCP by TCP Reno and SACK Acknowledgement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mrs. Reena Rai

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 compared. for evaluate these TCP congestion control algorithms from many aspects are present and We also concern fair resource allocation from two main categories, one is fairness between different delay links, and the other is competition between different TCP congestion control algorithms

  16. Performance Improvement of a Measurement Station for Superconducting Cable Test

    CERN Document Server

    Arpaia, P; Montenero, G; Le Naour, S

    2012-01-01

    A fully digital system, improving measurements flexibility, integrator drift, and current control of superconducting transformers for cable test, is proposed. The system is based on a high-performance integration of Rogowski coil signal and a flexible direct control of the current into the secondary windings. This allows state-of-the-art performance to be overcome by means of out-of-the-shelf components: on a full-scale of 32 kA, current measurement resolution of 1 A, stability below 0.25 Amin-1, and controller ripple less than 50 ppm. The system effectiveness has been demonstrated experimentally on the superconducting transformer of the Facility for the Research of Superconducting Cables at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

  17. Performance Improvement of Cache Management In Cluster Based MANET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulaziz Zam

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Caching is one of the most effective techniques used to improve the data access performance in wireless networks. Accessing data from a remote server imposes high latency and power consumption through forwarding nodes that guide the requests to the server and send data back to the clients. In addition, accessing data may be unreliable or even impossible due to erroneous wireless links and frequently disconnections. Due to the nature of MANET and its high frequent topology changes, and also small cache size and constrained power supply in mobile nodes, the management of the cache would be a challenge. To maintain the MANET’s stability and scalability, clustering is considered as an effective approach. In this paper an efficient cache management method is proposed for the Cluster Based Mobile Ad-hoc NETwork (C-B-MANET. The performance of the method is evaluated in terms of packet delivery ratio, latency and overhead metrics.

  18. Performance improvement of software component with partial evaluation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MAO Hong-yan; HUANG Lin-peng; LI Ming-lu

    2008-01-01

    To avoid the complexity and inefficiency for specific applications of the current software architecture, a novel approach using partial evaluation is proposed to improve the running performance of components. The generic program was specialized into domain-specific realization for the known knowledge and environments. The syntax and semantic(adj.) were analyzed based on byte code instruction sequences, and partial evaluation rules depicted how to perform the specialization. The partial evaluation for object-oriented programs was imple-mented. The experimental results show that partial evaluation is effective to speed up the running efficiency. The more generality and scalability can be obtained by the integration of partial evaluation with the favorable de-sign mechanisms and compiler optimization technology.

  19. 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…

  20. Bilateral practice improves dominant leg performance in long jump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Focke, Anne; Spancken, Sina; Stockinger, Christian; Thürer, Benjamin; Stein, Thorsten

    2016-10-01

    Benefits of bilateral practice both for the non-dominant and for the dominant body side have been shown in several studies. Thereby, most of the studies included movement tasks of the upper extremity or investigated sports games in which the ability of acting bilaterally is an essential basis for success and, thus, a bilateral practice is reasonable anyway. Individual unilaterally performed sports including movement tasks of the lower extremity are rarely investigated. Therefore, the aim of our study was to test if contralateral transfer due to bilateral practice can be found in an unilaterally performed sport including the lower extremity. We trained and tested 61 adolescent athletes in long jump to compare the jumping performance of the dominant leg after a 12-week practice period between two groups: a bilateral practice group that practiced specific long jump exercises with both the dominant and non-dominant leg and an unilateral practice group that practiced specific long jump exercises only with the dominant leg. Results showed a superior effect of bilateral practice compared to unilateral practice regarding the jumping performance of the dominant leg. The performance increase at post-test and retention-test for the dominant limb was significantly higher for the bilateral practice group (pre-to-post: 5.2%, pre-to-retention: 7.4%) compared to the unilateral practice group (pre-to-post: 3.4%, pre-to-retention: 4.5%). Thus, bilateral practice should be established in the early practice programmes of track and field athletes to improve the performance of the dominant take-off leg. PMID:26864045