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Sample records for external visual stimuli

  1. Cardiorespiratory interactions to external stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, L; Porta, C; Spicuzza, L; Sleight, P

    2005-09-01

    Respiration is a powerful modulator of heart rate variability, and of baro- or chemo-reflex sensitivity. This occurs via a mechanical effect of breathing that synchronizes all cardiovascular variables at the respiratory rhythm, particularly when this occurs at a particular slow rate coincident with the Mayer waves in arterial pressure (approximately 6 cycles/min). Recitation of the rosary prayer (or of most mantras), induces a marked enhancement of these slow rhythms, whereas random verbalization or random breathing does not. This phenomenon in turn increases baroreflex sensitivity and reduces chemoreflex sensitivity, leading to increases in parasympathetic and reductions in sympathetic activity. The opposite can be seen during either verbalization or mental stress tests. Qualitatively similar effects can be obtained even by passive listening to more or less rhythmic auditory stimuli, such as music, and the speed of the rhythm (rather than the style) appears to be one of the main determinants of the cardiovascular and respiratory responses. These findings have clinical relevance. Appropriate modulation of breathing, can improve/restore autonomic control of cardiovascular and respiratory systems in relevant diseases such as hypertension and heart failure, and might therefore help improving exercise tolerance, quality of life, and ultimately, survival.

  2. Photonic water dynamically responsive to external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sano, Koki; Kim, Youn Soo; Ishida, Yasuhiro; Ebina, Yasuo; Sasaki, Takayoshi; Hikima, Takaaki; Aida, Takuzo

    2016-08-01

    Fluids that contain ordered nanostructures with periodic distances in the visible-wavelength range, anomalously exhibit structural colours that can be rapidly modulated by external stimuli. Indeed, some fish can dynamically change colour by modulating the periodic distance of crystalline guanine sheets cofacially oriented in their fluid cytoplasm. Here we report that a dilute aqueous colloidal dispersion of negatively charged titanate nanosheets exhibits structural colours. In this `photonic water', the nanosheets spontaneously adopt a cofacial geometry with an ultralong periodic distance of up to 675 nm due to a strong electrostatic repulsion. Consequently, the photonic water can even reflect near-infrared light up to 1,750 nm. The structural colour becomes more vivid in a magnetic flux that induces monodomain structural ordering of the colloidal dispersion. The reflective colour of the photonic water can be modulated over the entire visible region in response to appropriate physical or chemical stimuli.

  3. External-stimuli responsive systems for cancer theranostic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhui Yao

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The upsurge of novel nanomaterials and nanotechnologies has inspired the researchers who are striving for designing safer and more efficient drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. Stimuli responsive nanomaterial offered an alternative to design controllable drug delivery system on account of its spatiotemporally controllable properties. Additionally, external stimuli (light, magnetic field and ultrasound could develop into theranostic applications for personalized medicine use because of their unique characteristics. In this review, we give a brief overview about the significant progresses and challenges of certain external-stimuli responsive systems that have been extensively investigated in drug delivery and theranostics within the last few years.

  4. Computer programming for generating visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukhari, Farhan; Kurylo, Daniel D

    2008-02-01

    Critical to vision research is the generation of visual displays with precise control over stimulus metrics. Generating stimuli often requires adapting commercial software or developing specialized software for specific research applications. In order to facilitate this process, we give here an overview that allows nonexpert users to generate and customize stimuli for vision research. We first give a review of relevant hardware and software considerations, to allow the selection of display hardware, operating system, programming language, and graphics packages most appropriate for specific research applications. We then describe the framework of a generic computer program that can be adapted for use with a broad range of experimental applications. Stimuli are generated in the context of trial events, allowing the display of text messages, the monitoring of subject responses and reaction times, and the inclusion of contingency algorithms. This approach allows direct control and management of computer-generated visual stimuli while utilizing the full capabilities of modern hardware and software systems. The flowchart and source code for the stimulus-generating program may be downloaded from www.psychonomic.org/archive.

  5. Diffusion Based Modeling of Human Brain Response to External Stimuli

    CERN Document Server

    Namazi, Hamidreza

    2012-01-01

    Human brain response is the overall ability of the brain in analyzing internal and external stimuli in the form of transferred energy to the mind/brain phase-space and thus, making the proper decisions. During the last decade scientists discovered about this phenomenon and proposed some models based on computational, biological, or neuropsychological methods. Despite some advances in studies related to this area of the brain research there was less effort which have been done on the mathematical modeling of the human brain response to external stimuli. This research is devoted to the modeling of human EEG signal, as an alert state of overall human brain activity monitoring, due to receiving external stimuli, based on fractional diffusion equation. The results of this modeling show very good agreement with the real human EEG signal and thus, this model can be used as a strong representative of the human brain activity.

  6. The Visual Mismatch Negativity Elicited with Visual Speech Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin T. Files

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The visual mismatch negativity (vMMN, deriving from the brain’s response to stimulus deviance, is thought to be generated by the cortex that represents the stimulus. The vMMN response to visual speech stimuli was used in a study of the lateralization of visual speech processing. Previous research suggested that the right posterior temporal cortex has specialization for processing simple non-speech face gestures, and the left posterior temporal cortex has specialization for processing visual speech gestures. Here, visual speech consonant-vowel (CV stimuli with controlled perceptual dissimilarities were presented in an electroencephalography (EEG vMMN paradigm. The vMMNs were obtained using the comparison of event-related potentials (ERPs for separate CVs in their roles as deviant versus their roles as standard. Four separate vMMN contrasts were tested, two with the perceptually far deviants (i.e., zha or fa and two with the near deviants (i.e., zha or ta. Only far deviants evoked the vMMN response over the left posterior temporal cortex. All four deviants evoked vMMNs over the right posterior temporal cortex. The results are interpreted as evidence that the left posterior temporal cortex represents speech stimuli that are perceived as different consonants, and the right posterior temporal cortex represents face gestures that may not be discriminable as different CVs.

  7. Anchoring in Numeric Judgments of Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeborg, Linda; Eriksson, Mårten

    2016-01-01

    This article investigates effects of anchoring in age estimation and estimation of quantities, two tasks which to different extents are based on visual stimuli. The results are compared to anchoring in answers to classic general knowledge questions that rely on semantic knowledge. Cognitive load was manipulated to explore possible differences between domains. Effects of source credibility, manipulated by differing instructions regarding the selection of anchor values (no information regarding anchor selection, information that the anchors are randomly generated or information that the anchors are answers from an expert) on anchoring were also investigated. Effects of anchoring were large for all types of judgments but were not affected by cognitive load or by source credibility in either one of the researched domains. A main effect of cognitive load on quantity estimations and main effects of source credibility in the two visually based domains indicate that the manipulations were efficient. Implications for theoretical explanations of anchoring are discussed. In particular, because anchoring did not interact with cognitive load, the results imply that the process behind anchoring in visual tasks is predominantly automatic and unconscious.

  8. Ribozymes that can be regulated by external stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frommer, Jennifer; Appel, Bettina; Müller, Sabine

    2015-02-01

    Ribozymes have been known for about 30 years, and nowadays are understood well enough to be turned into useful tools for a number of applications in vitro and in vivo. Allosteric ribozymes switch on and off their activity in response to a specific chemical (ligand) or physical (temperature, light) signal. The possibility of controlling ribozyme activity by external stimuli is of particular relevance for applications in different fields, such as environmental and medicinal diagnostics, molecular computing, control of gene expression and others. Herein, we review recent advances and describe selected examples of addressable ribozymes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Gender differences in identifying emotions from auditory and visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaramaa, Teija

    2017-12-01

    The present study focused on gender differences in emotion identification from auditory and visual stimuli produced by two male and two female actors. Differences in emotion identification from nonsense samples, language samples and prolonged vowels were investigated. It was also studied whether auditory stimuli can convey the emotional content of speech without visual stimuli, and whether visual stimuli can convey the emotional content of speech without auditory stimuli. The aim was to get a better knowledge of vocal attributes and a more holistic understanding of the nonverbal communication of emotion. Females tended to be more accurate in emotion identification than males. Voice quality parameters played a role in emotion identification in both genders. The emotional content of the samples was best conveyed by nonsense sentences, better than by prolonged vowels or shared native language of the speakers and participants. Thus, vocal non-verbal communication tends to affect the interpretation of emotion even in the absence of language. The emotional stimuli were better recognized from visual stimuli than auditory stimuli by both genders. Visual information about speech may not be connected to the language; instead, it may be based on the human ability to understand the kinetic movements in speech production more readily than the characteristics of the acoustic cues.

  10. The use of visual stimuli during auditory assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearlman, R C; Cunningham, D R; Williamson, D G; Amerman, J D

    1975-01-01

    Two groups of male subjects beyond 50 years of age were given audiometric tasks with and without visual stimulation to determine if visual stimuli changed auditory perception. The first group consisted of 10 subjects with normal auditory acuity; the second, 10 with sensorineural hearing losses greater than 30 decibels. The rate of presentation of the visual stimuli, consisting of photographic slides of various subjects, was determined in experiment I of the study. The subjects, while viewing the slides at their own rate, took an audiotry speech discrimination test. Advisedly they changed the slides at a speed which they felt facilitated attention while performing the auditory task. The mean rate of slide-changing behavior was used as the "optimum" visual stimulation rate in experiment II, which was designed to explore the interaction of the bisensory presentation of stimuli. Bekesy tracings and Rush Hughes recordings were administered without and with visual stimuli, the latter presented at the mean rate of slide changes found in experiment I. Analysis of data indicated that (1) no statistically significant difference exists between visual and nonvisual conditions during speech discrimination and Bekesy testing; and (2) subjects did not believe that visual stimuli as presented in this study helped them to listen more effectively. The experimenter concluded that the various auditory stimuli encountered in the auditory test situation may actually be a deterrent to boredom because of the variety of tasks required in a testing situation.

  11. Characterization of functional biopolymers under various external stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maleki, Atoosa

    2008-07-01

    Polymers are large molecules composed of repeating structural units connected by covalent chemical bonds. Biopolymers are a class of polymers produced by living organisms, which exhibit both biocompatible and biodegradable properties. The behavior of a biopolymer in solution is strongly dependent on the chemical and physical structure of the polymer chain, as well as external environmental conditions. To improve biopolymers in the direction of higher performance and better functionality, understanding of their physicochemical behavior and their response to external stimuli are of great importance. Rheology, rheo-small angle light scattering, dynamic light scattering, small angle neutron scattering, and asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation were utilized in this thesis to investigate the properties of hydroxyethyl cellulose and its hydrophobically modified analogue, as well as dextran, hyaluronan, and mucin under different conditions such as temperature, solvent, mechanical stress and strain, and radiation. Different novel hydrogels were prepared by using various chemical cross-linking agents. Specific features of these macromolecules provide them to be used as 'functional' materials, e.g., sensors, actuators, personal care products, enhanced oil recovery, and controlled drug delivery systems (author)

  12. External stimuli mediate collective rhythms: artificial control strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianshou Zhou

    Full Text Available The artificial intervention of biological rhythms remains an exciting challenge. Here, we proposed artificial control strategies that were developed to mediate the collective rhythms emerging in multicellular structures. Based on noisy repressilators and by injecting a periodic control amount to the extracellular medium, we introduced two typical kinds of control models. In one, there are information exchanges among cells, where signaling molecules receive the injected stimulus that freely diffuses toward/from the intercellular medium. In the other, there is no information exchange among cells, but signaling molecules also receive the stimulus that directionally diffuses into each cell from the common environment. We uncovered physical mechanisms for how the stimulus induces, enhances or ruins collective rhythms. We found that only when the extrinsic period is close to an integer multiplicity of the averaged intrinsic period can the collective behaviors be induced/enhanced; otherwise, the stimulus possibly ruins the achieved collective behaviors. Such entrainment properties of these oscillators to external signals would be exploited by realistic living cells to sense external signals. Our results not only provide a new perspective to the understanding of the interplays between extrinsic stimuli and intrinsic physiological rhythms, but also would lead to the development of medical therapies or devices.

  13. Precuneus-prefrontal activity during awareness of visual verbal stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, T W; Nowak, M; Kjær, Klaus Wilbrandt

    2001-01-01

    Awareness is a personal experience, which is only accessible to the rest of world through interpretation. We set out to identify a neural correlate of visual awareness, using brief subliminal and supraliminal verbal stimuli while measuring cerebral blood flow distribution with H(2)(15)O PET....... Awareness of visual verbal stimuli differentially activated medial parietal association cortex (precuneus), which is a polymodal sensory cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is thought to be primarily executive. Our results suggest participation of these higher order perceptual and executive...... cortical structures in visual verbal awareness....

  14. The influence of visual stimuli on posture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holten, V.

    2015-01-01

    Humans move through the environment without loosing balance or bumping into other objects or organisms. In order to achieve this ability, the brain uses incoming information from several senses. If stationary observers receive information from the visual system signaling self-motion through the envi

  15. Pattern transformations in periodic cellular solids under external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, K.; Zhao, X. W.; Duan, H. L.; Karihaloo, B. L.; Wang, J.

    2011-04-01

    The structural patterns of periodic cellular materials play an important role in their properties. Here, we investigate how these patterns transform dramatically under external stimuli in simple periodic cellular structures that include a nanotube bundle and a millimeter-size plastic straw bundle. Under gradual hydrostatic straining up to 20%, the cross-section of the single walled carbon nanotube bundle undergoes several pattern transformations, while an amazing new hexagram pattern is triggered from the circular shape when the strain of 20% is applied suddenly in one step. Similar to the nanotube bundle, the circular plastic straw bundle is transformed into a hexagonal pattern on heating by conduction through a baseplate but into a hexagram pattern when heated by convection. Besides the well-known elastic buckling, we find other mechanisms of pattern transformation at different scales; these include the minimization of the surface energy at the macroscale or of the van der Waals energy at the nanoscale and the competition between the elastic energy of deformation and either the surface energy at the macroscale or the van der Waals energy at the nanoscale. The studies of the pattern transformations of periodic porous materials offer new insights into the fabrication of novel materials and devices with tailored properties.

  16. Parallel Processing of Affective Visual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyk, Peter; Schupp, Harald T.; Keil, Andreas; Elbert, Thomas; Junghöfer, Markus

    2009-01-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) studies of affective picture processing have demonstrated an early posterior negativity (EPN) for emotionally arousing pictures that are embedded in a rapid visual stream. The present study examined the selective processing of emotional pictures while systematically varying picture presentation rates between 1 and 16 Hz. Previous results with presentation rates up to 5 Hz were replicated in that emotional compared to neutral pictures were associated with a greater EPN. Discrimination among emotional and neutral contents was maintained up to 12 Hz. To explore the notion of parallel processing, convolution analysis was used: EPNs generated by linear superposition of slow rate ERPs explained 70-93% of the variance of measured EPNs, giving evidence for an impressive capacity of parallel affective discrimination in rapid serial picture presentation. PMID:19055507

  17. Submillisecond unmasked subliminal visual stimuli evoke electrical brain responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperdin, Holger F; Spierer, Lucas; Becker, Robert; Michel, Christoph M; Landis, Theodor

    2015-04-01

    Subliminal perception is strongly associated to the processing of meaningful or emotional information and has mostly been studied using visual masking. In this study, we used high density 256-channel EEG coupled with an liquid crystal display (LCD) tachistoscope to characterize the spatio-temporal dynamics of the brain response to visual checkerboard stimuli (Experiment 1) or blank stimuli (Experiment 2) presented without a mask for 1 ms (visible), 500 µs (partially visible), and 250 µs (subliminal) by applying time-wise, assumption-free nonparametric randomization statistics on the strength and on the topography of high-density scalp-recorded electric field. Stimulus visibility was assessed in a third separate behavioral experiment. Results revealed that unmasked checkerboards presented subliminally for 250 µs evoked weak but detectable visual evoked potential (VEP) responses. When the checkerboards were replaced by blank stimuli, there was no evidence for the presence of an evoked response anymore. Furthermore, the checkerboard VEPs were modulated topographically between 243 and 296 ms post-stimulus onset as a function of stimulus duration, indicative of the engagement of distinct configuration of active brain networks. A distributed electrical source analysis localized this modulation within the right superior parietal lobule near the precuneus. These results show the presence of a brain response to submillisecond unmasked subliminal visual stimuli independently of their emotional saliency or meaningfulness and opens an avenue for new investigations of subliminal stimulation without using visual masking. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Vestibular rehabilitation with visual stimuli in peripheral vestibular disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Manso

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Visual stimuli can induce vestibular adaptation and recovery of body balance. OBJECTIVE: To verify the effect of visual stimuli by digital images on vestibular and body balance rehabilitation of peripheral vestibular disorders. METHODS: Clinical, randomized, prospective study. Forty patients aged between 23 and 63 years with chronic peripheral vestibular disorders underwent 12 sessions of rehabilitation with visual stimuli using digital video disk (DVD (experimental group or Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises (control group. The Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI, dizziness analog scale, and the sensitized Romberg static balance and one-leg stance tests were applied before and after the intervention. RESULTS: Before and after the intervention, there was no difference between the experimental and control groups (p > 0.005 regarding the findings of DHI, dizziness analog scale, and static balance tests. After the intervention, the experimental and control groups showed lower values (p < 0.05 in the DHI and the dizziness analog scale, and higher values (p < 0.05 in the static balance tests in some of the assessed conditions. CONCLUSION: The inclusion of visual stimuli by digital images on vestibular and body balance rehabilitation is effective in reducing dizziness and improving quality of life and postural control in individuals with peripheral vestibular disorders.

  19. Differences in Sensorimotor Processing of Visual and Proprioceptive Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamen, Gary and Morris, Harold H.

    1988-01-01

    A paradox in studying sensory perception is that people often attend to a stimulus which provides the least optimal information. Usually, this is a visual stimulus. The study sought to lessen this reliance on vision by training subjects to respond to proprioceptive stimuli. Results are discussed. (Author/JL)

  20. Distinct acute zones for visual stimuli in different visual tasks in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing Yang

    Full Text Available The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has a sophisticated visual system and exhibits complex visual behaviors. Visual responses, vision processing and higher cognitive processes in Drosophila have been studied extensively. However, little is known about whether the retinal location of visual stimuli can affect fruit fly performance in various visual tasks. We tested the response of wild-type Berlin flies to visual stimuli at several vertical locations. Three paradigms were used in our study: visual operant conditioning, visual object fixation and optomotor response. We observed an acute zone for visual feature memorization in the upper visual field when visual patterns were presented with a black background. However, when a white background was used, the acute zone was in the lower visual field. Similar to visual feature memorization, the best locations for visual object fixation and optomotor response to a single moving stripe were in the lower visual field with a white background and the upper visual field with a black background. The preferred location for the optomotor response to moving gratings was around the equator of the visual field. Our results suggest that different visual processing pathways are involved in different visual tasks and that there is a certain degree of overlap between the pathways for visual feature memorization, visual object fixation and optomotor response.

  1. Impact prediction by looming visual stimuli enhances tactile detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cléry, Justine; Guipponi, Olivier; Odouard, Soline; Wardak, Claire; Ben Hamed, Suliann

    2015-03-11

    From an ecological point of view, approaching objects are potentially more harmful than receding objects. A predator, a dominant conspecific, or a mere branch coming up at high speed can all be dangerous if one does not detect them and produce the appropriate escape behavior fast enough. And indeed, looming stimuli trigger stereotyped defensive responses in both monkeys and human infants. However, while the heteromodal somatosensory consequences of visual looming stimuli can be fully predicted by their spatiotemporal dynamics, few studies if any have explored whether visual stimuli looming toward the face predictively enhance heteromodal tactile sensitivity around the expected time of impact and at its expected location on the body. In the present study, we report that, in addition to triggering a defensive motor repertoire, looming stimuli toward the face provide the nervous system with predictive cues that enhance tactile sensitivity on the face. Specifically, we describe an enhancement of tactile processes at the expected time and location of impact of the stimulus on the face. We additionally show that a looming stimulus that brushes past the face also enhances tactile sensitivity on the nearby cheek, suggesting that the space close to the face is incorporated into the subjects' body schema. We propose that this cross-modal predictive facilitation involves multisensory convergence areas subserving the representation of a peripersonal space and a safety boundary of self.

  2. Temporal sensitivity. [time dependent human perception of visual stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Andrew B.

    1986-01-01

    Human visual temporal sensitivity is examined. The stimuli used to measure temporal sensitivity are described and the linear systems theory is reviewed in terms of temporal sensitivity. A working model which represents temporal sensitivity is proposed. The visibility of a number of temporal wave forms, sinusoids, rectangular pulses, and pulse pairs, is analyzed. The relation between spatial and temporal effects is studied. Temporal variations induced by image motion and the effects of light adaptation on temporal sensitivity are considered.

  3. United we sense, divided we fail: context-driven perception of ambiguous visual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klink, P. C; van Wezel, Richard Jack Anton; van Ee, R.

    2012-01-01

    Ambiguous visual stimuli provide the brain with sensory information that contains conflicting evidence for multiple mutually exclusive interpretations. Two distinct aspects of the phenomenological experience associated with viewing ambiguous visual stimuli are the apparent stability of perception

  4. Threat modulates neural responses to looming visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vagnoni, Eleonora; Lourenco, Stella F; Longo, Matthew R

    2015-09-01

    Objects on a collision course with an observer produce a specific pattern of optical expansion on the retina known as looming, which in theory exactly specifies the time-to-collision (TTC) of approaching objects. It was recently demonstrated that the affective content of looming stimuli influences perceived TTC, with threatening objects judged as approaching sooner than non-threatening objects. Here, the neural mechanisms by which perceived threat modulates spatiotemporal perception were investigated. Participants judged the TTC of threatening (snakes, spiders) or non-threatening (butterflies, rabbits) stimuli, which expanded in size at a rate indicating one of five TTCs. Visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) and oscillatory neural responses measured with electroencephalography were analysed. The arrival time of threatening stimuli was underestimated compared with non-threatening stimuli, though an interaction suggested that this underestimation was not constant across TTCs. Further, both speed of approach and threat modulated both VEPs and oscillatory responses. Speed of approach modulated the N1 parietal and oscillations in the beta band. Threat modulated several VEP components (P1, N1 frontal, N1 occipital, early posterior negativity and late positive potential) and oscillations in the alpha and high gamma band. The results for the high gamma band suggest an interaction between these two factors. Previous evidence suggests that looming stimuli activate sensorimotor areas, even in the absence of an intended action. The current results show that threat disrupts the synchronization over the sensorimotor areas that are likely activated by the presentation of a looming stimulus. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Cortical responses from adults and infants to complex visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulman-Galambos, C; Galambos, R

    1978-10-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) time-locked to the onset of visual stimuli were extracted from the EEG of normal adult (N = 16) and infant (N = 23) subjects. Subjects were not required to make any response. Stimuli delivered to the adults were 150 msec exposures of 2 sets of colored slides projected in 4 blocks, 2 in focus and 2 out of focus. Infants received 2-sec exposures of slides showing people, colored drawings or scenes from Disneyland, as well as 2-sec illuminations of the experimenter as she played a game or of a TV screen the baby was watching. The adult ERPs showed 6 waves (N1 through P4) in the 140--600-msec range; this included a positive wave at around 350 msec that was large when the stimuli were focused and smaller when they were not. The waves in the 150--200-msec range, by contrast, steadily dropped in amplitude as the experiment progressed. The infant ERPs differed greatly from the adult ones in morphology, usually showing a positive (latency about 200 msec)--negative(5--600msec)--positive(1000msec) sequence. This ERP appeared in all the stimulus conditions; its presence or absence, furthermore, was correlated with whether or not the baby seemed interested in the stimuli. Four infants failed to produce these ERPs; an independent measure of attention to the stimuli, heart rate deceleration, was demonstrated in two of them. An electrode placed beneath the eye to monitor eye movements yielded ERPs closely resembling those derived from the scalp in most subjects; reasons are given for assigning this response to activity in the brain, probably at the frontal pole. This study appears to be one of the first to search for cognitive 'late waves' in a no-task situation. The results suggest that further work with such task-free paradigms may yield additional useful techniques for studying the ERP.

  6. Explaining researchers' readiness to incorporate external stimuli in their research agendas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olmos Penuela, Julia; Benneworth, Paul; Castro-Martinez, Elena

    2014-01-01

    This paper seeks to provide a better understanding of how researchers incorporate external (non-academic) influences in their research process. Firstly we advance the notion of ‘openness’ as a researcher characteristic that describes researchers’ readiness to let external stimuli modify the differen

  7. Multisensory training can promote or impede visual perceptual learning of speech stimuli: visual-tactile vs. visual-auditory training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhardt, Silvio P; Auer, Edward T; Bernstein, Lynne E

    2014-01-01

    In a series of studies we have been investigating how multisensory training affects unisensory perceptual learning with speech stimuli. Previously, we reported that audiovisual (AV) training with speech stimuli can promote auditory-only (AO) perceptual learning in normal-hearing adults but can impede learning in congenitally deaf adults with late-acquired cochlear implants. Here, impeder and promoter effects were sought in normal-hearing adults who participated in lipreading training. In Experiment 1, visual-only (VO) training on paired associations between CVCVC nonsense word videos and nonsense pictures demonstrated that VO words could be learned to a high level of accuracy even by poor lipreaders. In Experiment 2, visual-auditory (VA) training in the same paradigm but with the addition of synchronous vocoded acoustic speech impeded VO learning of the stimuli in the paired-associates paradigm. In Experiment 3, the vocoded AO stimuli were shown to be less informative than the VO speech. Experiment 4 combined vibrotactile speech stimuli with the visual stimuli during training. Vibrotactile stimuli were shown to promote visual perceptual learning. In Experiment 5, no-training controls were used to show that training with visual speech carried over to consonant identification of untrained CVCVC stimuli but not to lipreading words in sentences. Across this and previous studies, multisensory training effects depended on the functional relationship between pathways engaged during training. Two principles are proposed to account for stimulus effects: (1) Stimuli presented to the trainee's primary perceptual pathway will impede learning by a lower-rank pathway. (2) Stimuli presented to the trainee's lower rank perceptual pathway will promote learning by a higher-rank pathway. The mechanisms supporting these principles are discussed in light of multisensory reverse hierarchy theory (RHT).

  8. Multisensory Training can Promote or Impede Visual Perceptual Learning of Speech Stimuli: Visual-Tactile versus Visual-Auditory Training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvio P Eberhardt

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In a series of studies we have been investigating how multisensory training affects unisensory perceptual learning with speech stimuli. Previously, we reported that Aaudiovisual training with speech stimuli can promote auditory-only perceptual learning in normal-hearing adults but can impede learning in congenitally deaf adults with late-acquired cochlear implants. Here, impeder and promoter effects were sought in normal-hearing adults who participated in lipreading training. In Experiment 1, visual-only (VO training on paired associations between CVCVC nonsense word videos and nonsense pictures demonstrated that VO words could be learned to a high level of accuracy even by poor lipreaders. In Experiment 2, visual-auditory (VA training in the same paradigm but with the addition of synchronous vocoded acoustic speech impeded VO learning of the stimuli in the paired-associates paradigm. In Experiment 3, the vocoded auditory-only (AO stimuli were shown to be less informative than the VO speech. Experiment 4 combined vibrotactile speech stimuli with the visual stimuli during training. Vibrotactile stimuli were shown to promote visual perceptual learning in participants whose training scores were similar. In Experiment 5, no-training controls were used to show that training with visual speech carried over to consonant identification of untrained CVCVC stimuli but not to lipreading words in sentences. Across this and previous studies, multisensory training effects depended on the functional relationship between pathways engaged during training. Two principles are proposed to account for stimulus effects: (1 Stimuli presented to the trainee’s primary perceptual pathway will impede learning by a lower-rank pathway. (2 Stimuli presented to the trainee’s lower rank perceptual pathway will promote learning by a higher-rank pathway. The mechanisms supporting these principles are discussed in light of multisensory reverse hierarchy theory.

  9. Fractional Diffusion Based Modelling and Prediction of Human Brain Response to External Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamidreza Namazi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Human brain response is the result of the overall ability of the brain in analyzing different internal and external stimuli and thus making the proper decisions. During the last decades scientists have discovered more about this phenomenon and proposed some models based on computational, biological, or neuropsychological methods. Despite some advances in studies related to this area of the brain research, there were fewer efforts which have been done on the mathematical modeling of the human brain response to external stimuli. This research is devoted to the modeling and prediction of the human EEG signal, as an alert state of overall human brain activity monitoring, upon receiving external stimuli, based on fractional diffusion equations. The results of this modeling show very good agreement with the real human EEG signal and thus this model can be used for many types of applications such as prediction of seizure onset in patient with epilepsy.

  10. Specificity of brain reactions to second-order visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babenko, Vitaly V; Ermakov, Pavel N

    2015-01-01

    The second-order visual mechanisms perform the operation of integrating the spatially distributed local visual information. Their organization is traditionally considered within the framework of the filter-rectify-filter model. These are the second-order filters that provide the ability to detect texture gradients. However, the question of the mechanisms' selectivity to the modulation dimension remains open. The aim of this investigation is to answer the above question by using visual evoked potentials (VEPs). Stimuli were textures consisting of staggered Gabor patches. The base texture was nonmodulated (NM). Three other textures represented the base texture which was sinusoidally modulated in different dimensions: contrast, orientation, or spatial frequency. EEG was recorded with 20 electrodes. VEPs of 500 ms duration were obtained for each of the four textures. After that, VEP to the NM texture was subtracted from VEP to each modulated texture. As a result, three different waves (d-waves) were obtained for each electrode site. Each d-wave was then averaged across all the 48 observers. The revealed d-waves have a latency of about 200 ms and, in our opinion, reflect the second-order filters reactivation through the feedback connection. The d-waves for different modulation dimensions were compared with each other in time, amplitude, topography, and localization of the sources of activity that causes the d-wave (with sLORETA). We proceeded from the assumption that the d-wave (its first component) represents functioning of the second-order visual mechanisms and activity changes at the following processing stages. It was found that the d-waves for different modulation dimensions significantly differ in all parameters. The obtained results indicate that the spatial modulations of different texture parameters caused specific changes in the brain activity, which could be evidence supporting the specificity of the second-order visual mechanisms to modulation dimension.

  11. Neuronal Representation of Ultraviolet Visual Stimuli in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhongchao; Sun, Wenzhi; Chen, Tsai-Wen; Kim, Douglas; Ji, Na

    2015-01-01

    The mouse has become an important model for understanding the neural basis of visual perception. Although it has long been known that mouse lens transmits ultraviolet (UV) light and mouse opsins have absorption in the UV band, little is known about how UV visual information is processed in the mouse brain. Using a custom UV stimulation system and in vivo calcium imaging, we characterized the feature selectivity of layer 2/3 neurons in mouse primary visual cortex (V1). In adult mice, a comparable percentage of the neuronal population responds to UV and visible stimuli, with similar pattern selectivity and receptive field properties. In young mice, the orientation selectivity for UV stimuli increased steadily during development, but not direction selectivity. Our results suggest that, by expanding the spectral window through which the mouse can acquire visual information, UV sensitivity provides an important component for mouse vision. PMID:26219604

  12. Response time to colored stimuli in the full visual field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, R. F.; Dawson, L. M.; Galvan, T.; Reid, L. M.

    1975-01-01

    Peripheral visual response time was measured in seven dark adapted subjects to the onset of small (45' arc diam), brief (50 msec), colored (blue, yellow, green, red) and white stimuli imaged at 72 locations within their binocular field of view. The blue, yellow, and green stimuli were matched for brightness at about 2.6 sub log 10 units above their absolute light threshold, and they appeared at an unexpected time and location. These data were obtained to provide response time and no-response data for use in various design disciplines involving instrument panel layout. The results indicated that the retina possesses relatively concentric regions within each of which mean response time can be expected to be of approximately the same duration. These regions are centered near the fovea and extend farther horizontally than vertically. Mean foveal response time was fastest for yellow and slowest for blue. Three and one-half percent of the total 56,410 trials presented resulted in no-responses. Regardless of stimulus color, the lowest percentage of no-responses occurred within 30 deg arc from the fovea and the highest within 40 deg to 80 deg arc below the fovea.

  13. [The Contribution of the Orbitofrontal Cortex to the Preference for Visual Stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2015-06-01

    Both humans and animals like to watch neutral and biologically insignificant visual stimuli. Behavioral studies have revealed that animals more frequently select stimuli with symmetrical and regular patterns and short movies compared to stimuli with unsymmetrical and irregular patterns and photographs. Preferred visual stimuli can serve as rewards for animals performing behavioral tasks. Preferences for visual stimuli are determined by the magnitude of the pleasant feelings that are experienced when the stimuli are seen. The orbitofrontal cortex is known to participate in the detection and prediction of reward, the estimation of the value of the stimuli as a reward, and positive emotion. Human neuroimaging studies and animal neurophysiological studies have shown that the magnitude of orbitofrontal responses to the presentation of neutral visual stimuli correlates with the strength of the preference for the stimuli in the behavioral studies. These results suggest that the magnitude of orbitofrontal responses to the visual stimuli correlates with the strength of the pleasant feelings that are produced by the stimuli and that the orbitofrontal cortex plays an important role in the judgment of the preference for visual stimuli.

  14. Effects of Background Color on Detecting Spot Stimuli in the Upper and Lower Visual Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maehara, Goro; Okubo, Matia; Michimata, Chikashi

    2004-01-01

    Participants were required to detect spot stimuli briefly presented to the upper, central, or lower visual fields. The stimuli were presented either on a green or a red background. Results showed that reaction time (RT) was shorter for the lower visual field (LVF) compared to the upper visual field (UVF). Furthermore, this LVF advantage was…

  15. Visual anticipatory information modulates multisensory interactions of artificial audiovisual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vroomen, Jean; Stekelenburg, Jeroen J

    2010-07-01

    The neural activity of speech sound processing (the N1 component of the auditory ERP) can be suppressed if a speech sound is accompanied by concordant lip movements. Here we demonstrate that this audiovisual interaction is neither speech specific nor linked to humanlike actions but can be observed with artificial stimuli if their timing is made predictable. In Experiment 1, a pure tone synchronized with a deformation of a rectangle induced a smaller auditory N1 than auditory-only presentations if the temporal occurrence of this audiovisual event was made predictable by two moving disks that touched the rectangle. Local autoregressive average source estimation indicated that this audiovisual interaction may be related to integrative processing in auditory areas. When the moving disks did not precede the audiovisual stimulus--making the onset unpredictable--there was no N1 reduction. In Experiment 2, the predictability of the leading visual signal was manipulated by introducing a temporal asynchrony between the audiovisual event and the collision of moving disks. Audiovisual events occurred either at the moment, before (too "early"), or after (too "late") the disks collided on the rectangle. When asynchronies varied from trial to trial--rendering the moving disks unreliable temporal predictors of the audiovisual event--the N1 reduction was abolished. These results demonstrate that the N1 suppression is induced by visual information that both precedes and reliably predicts audiovisual onset, without a necessary link to human action-related neural mechanisms.

  16. Weld pool visual sensing without external illumination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Jinchao; Fan, Zhun; Olsen, Soren Ingvor

    2011-01-01

    Visual sensing in arc welding has become more and more important, but still remains challenging because of the harsh environment with extremely strong illumination from the arc. This paper presents a low-cost camera-based sensor system, without using external Illumination, but nevertheless able...... to sense and model the weld pool. Central is a carefully selected optical filtering as well as an active contour-based tracking of the weld pool boundary. The system is able to extract the 2D shape of the weld pool in real time. The reported experiments show the feasibility of this approach....

  17. The Occurrence Rate of the Fission Illusion Differs Depending on the Complexity of Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuhiro Takeshima

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available A fission illusion (also named a double—flash illusion is a famous phenomenon of audio-visual interaction, in which a single brief flash is perceived as two flashes when presented simultaneously with two brief beeps (Shames, Kamitani, & Shimojo, 2000; 2002. The fission illusion has been investigated using relatively simple visual stimuli like single circle. Thus the illusion has not been examined by using complex visual stimuli. Markovic & Gvozdenovic (2001 reported that the processing of complex visual stimuli tends to be delayed. Therefore, the complexity of visual stimuli may affect the occurrence rate of the fission illusion, since this illusion is generated in the process that copes with visual and auditory stimuli in a short time. The present study examined the differences in illusory occurrence rates by manipulating the complexity of visual stimuli. We used the patterns proposed by Garner & Clement (1963 to control the complexity. The results indicated that it was more difficult to induce the fission illusion by using complex visual stimuli than it was by using simple stimuli. Thus, the present study suggested that the occurrence rate of the fission illusion differed depending on the perceptual efficiency in the coding process of visual stimuli. This study was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Specifically Promoted Research (No. 19001004.

  18. Measuring software timing errors in the presentation of visual stimuli in cognitive neuroscience experiments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Garaizar

    Full Text Available Because of the features provided by an abundance of specialized experimental software packages, personal computers have become prominent and powerful tools in cognitive research. Most of these programs have mechanisms to control the precision and accuracy with which visual stimuli are presented as well as the response times. However, external factors, often related to the technology used to display the visual information, can have a noticeable impact on the actual performance and may be easily overlooked by researchers. The aim of this study is to measure the precision and accuracy of the timing mechanisms of some of the most popular software packages used in a typical laboratory scenario in order to assess whether presentation times configured by researchers do not differ from measured times more than what is expected due to the hardware limitations. Despite the apparent precision and accuracy of the results, important issues related to timing setups in the presentation of visual stimuli were found, and they should be taken into account by researchers in their experiments.

  19. Measuring software timing errors in the presentation of visual stimuli in cognitive neuroscience experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garaizar, Pablo; Vadillo, Miguel A; López-de-Ipiña, Diego; Matute, Helena

    2014-01-01

    Because of the features provided by an abundance of specialized experimental software packages, personal computers have become prominent and powerful tools in cognitive research. Most of these programs have mechanisms to control the precision and accuracy with which visual stimuli are presented as well as the response times. However, external factors, often related to the technology used to display the visual information, can have a noticeable impact on the actual performance and may be easily overlooked by researchers. The aim of this study is to measure the precision and accuracy of the timing mechanisms of some of the most popular software packages used in a typical laboratory scenario in order to assess whether presentation times configured by researchers do not differ from measured times more than what is expected due to the hardware limitations. Despite the apparent precision and accuracy of the results, important issues related to timing setups in the presentation of visual stimuli were found, and they should be taken into account by researchers in their experiments.

  20. Migraine increases centre-surround suppression for drifting visual stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josephine Battista

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The pathophysiology of migraine is incompletely understood, but evidence points to hyper-responsivity of cortical neurons being a key feature. The basis of hyper-responsiveness is not clear, with an excitability imbalance potentially arising from either reduced inhibition or increased excitation. In this study, we measure centre-surround contrast suppression in people with migraine as a perceptual analogue of the interplay between inhibition and excitation in cortical areas responsible for vision. We predicted that reduced inhibitory function in migraine would reduce perceptual surround suppression. Recent models of neuronal surround suppression incorporate excitatory feedback that drives surround inhibition. Consequently, an increase in excitation predicts an increase in perceptual surround suppression. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Twenty-six people with migraine and twenty approximately age- and gender-matched non-headache controls participated. The perceived contrast of a central sinusoidal grating patch (4 c/deg stationary grating, or 2 c/deg drifting at 2 deg/sec, 40% contrast was measured in the presence and absence of a 95% contrast annular grating (same orientation, spatial frequency, and drift rate. For the static grating, similar surround suppression strength was present in control and migraine groups with the presence of the surround resulting in the central patch appearing to be 72% and 65% of its true contrast for control and migraine groups respectively (t(44 = 0.81, p = 0.42. For the drifting stimulus, the migraine group showed significantly increased surround suppression (t(44 = 2.86, p<0.01, with perceived contrast being on average 53% of actual contrast for the migraine group and 68% for non-headache controls. CONCLUSIONS: In between migraines, when asymptomatic, visual surround suppression for drifting stimuli is greater in individuals with migraine than in controls. The data provides evidence for a

  1. Visual arts training is linked to flexible attention to local and global levels of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan

    2015-10-01

    Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts.

  2. Exploring Strategies for Classification of External Stimuli Using Statistical Features of the Plant Electrical Response

    CERN Document Server

    Chatterjee, Shre Kumar; Maharatna, Koushik; Masi, Elisa; Santopolo, Luisa; Mancuso, Stefano; Vitaletti, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Plants sense their environment by producing electrical signals which in essence represent changes in underlying physiological processes. These electrical signals, when monitored, show both stochastic and deterministic dynamics. In this paper, we compute 11 statistical features from the raw non-stationary plant electrical signal time series to classify the stimulus applied (causing the electrical signal). By using different discriminant analysis based classification techniques, we successfully establish that there is enough information in the raw electrical signal to classify the stimuli. In the process, we also propose two standard features which consistently give good classification results for three types of stimuli - Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4) and Ozone (O3). This may facilitate reduction in the complexity involved in computing all the features for online classification of similar external stimuli in future.

  3. Temporal response properties to second-order visual stimuli in the LGN of cats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU PengJing; YE Xiang; ZHOU Yifeng

    2007-01-01

    Visual stimuli occurring naturally are rich in instances of objects delineated from the backgrounds only by differences in luminance, which is called first-order stimuli, as well as those defined by differences of contrast or texture, referred to as second-order stimuli.The neuronal mechanism for processing second-order stimuli is still unclear.In this study, we compared the responses of cat LGN (lateral geniculate nucleus) cells to second-order stimuli at five temporal frequencies to their responses to first-order stimuli.Our results showed that most LGN cells can be evoked by second-order stimuli, and their firing rates to second-order stimuli decreased relative to first-order stimuli as temporal frequency increased from 0.5 to 8 Hz; moreover the ratio of a nonlinear to linear factor had a higher value in the responses to second-order stimuli than to first-order stimuli.We also found that the responses of Y-cells to second-order stimuli were significantly higher than the responses of X-cells, suggesting the Y-cells have a more important role in the processing of second-order stimuli.All these results reveal that first-order and second-order signals might be processed in separate 'streams' of the visual system.

  4. Involuntary Eye Movement during Fixation is Influenced by Spatio-Temporal Frequency of Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masae Yokota

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Involuntary eye movement during fixation is essential for visual information acquisition. Previous studies have suggested that such eye movement depends on the attributes of visual stimuli (e.g. Yokota, APCV2010. In this study, we focus on spatio-temporal frequency, as an attribute of visual stimuli in order to understand spatio-temporal frequency property in the pathway of human vision. We measured eye movement during fixation for three subjects when 16 random-dot dynamic textures that have various frequency bands in spatially and temporally, are presented to the subjects as visual stimuli. The result shows that eye movement depends on the spatio-temporal frequency of visual stimuli. The eye movement includes higher frequency components, in other words, higher velocity components, when visual stimulus has higher spatial frequency and/or higher temporal frequency. Future detailed experiments will show that involuntary eye movement during fixation might be influenced by spatio-temporal frequency sensitivity in vision.

  5. Klinefelter syndrome has increased brain responses to auditory stimuli and motor output, but not to visual stimuli or Stroop adaptation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Skakkebæk, Anne; Bojesen, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY) (KS) is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS r....... No effects of testosterone level or brain volume were found. In sum, the present findings suggest that auditory and motor systems in KS are selectively affected, perhaps as a compensatory strategy, and that this is not a systemic effect as it is not seen in the visual system.......Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY) (KS) is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS...... response to motor output in primary motor cortex and an increased response to auditory stimuli in auditory cortices, but no difference in primary visual cortices. KS displayed a diminished response to written visual stimuli in secondary visual regions near the Visual Word Form Area, consistent...

  6. Predictive coding for motion stimuli in human early visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, Wouter; van Wezel, Richard J A; Petridou, Natalia; Ramsey, Nick F.; Raemaekers, Mathijs

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates if early visual cortical areas, V1, V2 and V3, use predictive coding to process motion information. Previous studies have reported biased visual motion responses at locations where novel visual information was presented (i.e., the motion trailing edge), which is plausi

  7. Predictive coding for motion stimuli in human early visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, Wouter; Wezel, van Richard J.A.; Petridou, Natalia; Ramsey, Nick F.; Raemeakers, Mathijs; Zaborszky, L.; Zilles, K.

    2014-01-01

    The current study investigates if early visual cortical areas, V1, V2 and V3, use predictive coding to process motion information. Previous studies have reported biased visual motion responses at locations where novel visual information was presented (i.e., the motion trailing edge), which is plausi

  8. The Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS, a new set of 480 normative photos of objects to be used as visual stimuli in cognitive research.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu B Brodeur

    Full Text Available There are currently stimuli with published norms available to study several psychological aspects of language and visual cognitions. Norms represent valuable information that can be used as experimental variables or systematically controlled to limit their potential influence on another experimental manipulation. The present work proposes 480 photo stimuli that have been normalized for name, category, familiarity, visual complexity, object agreement, viewpoint agreement, and manipulability. Stimuli are also available in grayscale, blurred, scrambled, and line-drawn version. This set of objects, the Bank Of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS, was created specifically to meet the needs of scientists in cognition, vision and psycholinguistics who work with photo stimuli.

  9. Klinefelter syndrome has increased brain responses to auditory stimuli and motor output, but not to visual stimuli or Stroop adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Skakkebæk, Anne; Bojesen, Anders; Fedder, Jens; Laurberg, Peter; Østergaard, John R; Hertz, Jens Michael; Pedersen, Anders Degn; Gravholt, Claus Højbjerg

    2016-01-01

    Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY) (KS) is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS relative to a group of Controls to basic motor, perceptual, executive and adaptation tasks. Participants (N: KS = 49; Controls = 49) responded to whether the words "GREEN" or "RED" were displayed in green or red (incongruent versus congruent colors). One of the colors was presented three times as often as the other, making it possible to study both congruency and adaptation effects independently. Auditory stimuli saying "GREEN" or "RED" had the same distribution, making it possible to study effects of perceptual modality as well as Frequency effects across modalities. We found that KS had an increased response to motor output in primary motor cortex and an increased response to auditory stimuli in auditory cortices, but no difference in primary visual cortices. KS displayed a diminished response to written visual stimuli in secondary visual regions near the Visual Word Form Area, consistent with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop) or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain's motor network with no difference between groups. No effects of testosterone level or brain volume were found. In sum, the present findings suggest that auditory and motor systems in KS are selectively affected, perhaps as a compensatory strategy, and that this is not a systemic effect as it is not seen in the visual system.

  10. Klinefelter syndrome has increased brain responses to auditory stimuli and motor output, but not to visual stimuli or Stroop adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikkel Wallentin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY (KS is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS relative to a group of Controls to basic motor, perceptual, executive and adaptation tasks. Participants (N: KS = 49; Controls = 49 responded to whether the words “GREEN” or “RED” were displayed in green or red (incongruent versus congruent colors. One of the colors was presented three times as often as the other, making it possible to study both congruency and adaptation effects independently. Auditory stimuli saying “GREEN” or “RED” had the same distribution, making it possible to study effects of perceptual modality as well as Frequency effects across modalities. We found that KS had an increased response to motor output in primary motor cortex and an increased response to auditory stimuli in auditory cortices, but no difference in primary visual cortices. KS displayed a diminished response to written visual stimuli in secondary visual regions near the Visual Word Form Area, consistent with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain's motor network with no difference between groups. No effects of testosterone level or brain volume were found. In sum, the present findings suggest that auditory and motor systems in KS are selectively affected, perhaps as a compensatory strategy, and that this is not a systemic effect as it is not seen in the visual system.

  11. Chemosensory responses to chemical and visual stimuli in five species of colubrid snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J. Saviola

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Snakes utilize chemical and visual stimuli during predation, however the emphasis on these cues and which cues are used to initiate predation varies among species. For example, rattlesnakes using the ambush strategy rely on chemical cues to locate an ambush station, then visual and thermal cues to initiate envenomating strikes, then chemical cues again to track prey. By contrast, many natricine snakes use chemical cues to initiate predation, increasing the rate of tongue flicking regardless of whether visual cues are present. The present study examined the individual and interactive effects of chemical and visual stimuli of prey on the predatory behavior of five snake taxa representing three feeding guilds. Bull snakes (Pituophis catenifer, Eastern Corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus, and Midland Rat snakes (Scotophis spiloides have a diet primarily consisting of mammals; Western Fox snakes (Mintonius vulpina prey primarily on bird eggs; and Common Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula prey equally on mammals and reptiles. Three patterns of response to chemical and visual stimuli of the test prey (Mus musculus were observed. Mammal specialists responded to chemical cues. Fox snakes responded to visual cues, but not to chemical cues. Kingsnakes exhibited increased rates of tongue flicking in response to both chemical and visual stimuli. This study suggests correlations between the evolution of prey preference, foraging ecology and the utilization of chemical or visual stimuli by snakes.

  12. Attention bias for paranoia-relevant visual stimuli in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Steffen; Laudan, Anna

    2007-09-01

    A number of studies indicate that patients with schizophrenia share a bias for paranoia-relevant material. The presence of an attentional bias for such stimuli would be of utter importance for our pathogenetic understanding of the disorder in view of ample evidence that patients with schizophrenia gather little information before arriving at strong conclusions: A both scarce and affectively biased data selection of available information may heavily distort its inner representation and thus prompt the formation of false beliefs. To date, the profile of this putative attentional bias in schizophrenia (e.g., automatic vs. controlled; hypervigilance towards vs. problems to disengage from such stimuli) is not fully uncovered. To shed light on this aspect of information processing in schizophrenia, we administered a novel task based on the inhibition of return paradigm (IOR). Twenty-four schizophrenia patients and thirty-four healthy controls were presented neutral (e.g., cup), anxiety-relevant (e.g., shark), and paranoia-relevant cue pictures (e.g., gun) at either of two possible locations. Subsequent to either a short or long interval, a target appeared at the same or opposite location. Participants were requested to press a spatially corresponding button. Both currently paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenia patients responded faster to all kinds of targets following paranoia-relevant pictures, that is, such stimuli speeded reaction times irrespective of the cue-target interval and spatial correspondence. This indicates that paranoia-relevant information generally alerts patients more than other stimuli and facilitates processing of subsequent information. Possible implications of this finding for our understanding of delusion formation and maintenance are outlined.

  13. Music Influences Ratings of the Affect of Visual Stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Waldie E Hanser; Mark, Ruth E

    2013-01-01

    This review provides an overview of recent studies that have examined how music influences the judgment of emotional stimuli, including affective pictures and film clips. The relevant findings are incorporated within a broader theory of music and emotion, and suggestions for future research are offered.Music is important in our daily lives, and one of its primary uses by listeners is the active regulation of one's mood. Despite this widespread use as a regulator of mood and its general pervas...

  14. External stimuli response on a novel chitosan hydrogel crosslinked with formaldehyde

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A Singh; S S Narvi; P K Dutta; N D Pandey

    2006-06-01

    Keeping in mind the significance of hydrogels as an external stimuli sensitive super absorbing material, some transparent covalent hydrogels of chitosan were prepared by crosslinking with varying amounts of formaldehyde solution used as crosslinking agent. The characteristics of hydrogels were investigated by Fourier transform infrared (FT–IR) spectroscopy and swelling experiments. The effect of crosslinking agent on water absorbency has been investigated. The hydrogels exhibited a relatively higher swelling ratio in the range of 2066–3306% and equilibrium water content (EWC) in the range of 95.38–97.06% at pH 7 and 35°C temperature. The influence of external stimuli such as pH, temperature, and ionic strength of the swelling media on equilibrium swelling properties has been observed. Hydrogels showed a typical pH and temperature responsive behaviour such as low pH and high temperature has maximum swelling while high pH and low temperature show minimum swelling. An increase in the ionic strength of swelling media caused a continuous decrease in the swelling of hydrogels at both acidic and basic pH.

  15. Attentional load modulates responses of human primary visual cortex to invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

    Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention [3], competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye [4]. Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.

  16. Auditory stimulus timing influences perceived duration of co-occurring visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo eRomei

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing interest in multisensory influences upon sensory-specific judgements, such as when auditory stimuli affect visual perception. Here we studied whether the duration of an auditory event can objectively affect the perceived duration of a co-occurring visual event. On each trial, participants were presented with a pair of successive flashes and had to judge whether the first or second was longer. Two beeps were presented with the flashes. The order of short and long stimuli could be the same across audition and vision (audiovisual congruent or reversed, so that the longer flash was accompanied by the shorter beep and vice versa (audiovisual incongruent; or the two beeps could have the same duration as each other. Beeps and flashes could onset synchronously or asynchronously. In a further control experiment, the beep durations were much longer (tripled than the flashes. Results showed that visual duration-discrimination sensitivity (d' was significantly higher for congruent (and significantly lower for incongruent audiovisual synchronous combinations, relative to the visual only presentation. This effect was abolished when auditory and visual stimuli were presented asynchronously, or when sound durations tripled those of flashes. We conclude that the temporal properties of co-occurring auditory stimuli influence the perceived duration of visual stimuli and that this can reflect genuine changes in visual sensitivity rather than mere response bias.

  17. Improved discrimination of visual stimuli following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Waterston

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS at certain frequencies increases thresholds for motor-evoked potentials and phosphenes following stimulation of cortex. Consequently rTMS is often assumed to introduce a "virtual lesion" in stimulated brain regions, with correspondingly diminished behavioral performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we investigated the effects of rTMS to visual cortex on subjects' ability to perform visual psychophysical tasks. Contrary to expectations of a visual deficit, we find that rTMS often improves the discrimination of visual features. For coarse orientation tasks, discrimination of a static stimulus improved consistently following theta-burst stimulation of the occipital lobe. Using a reaction-time task, we found that these improvements occurred throughout the visual field and lasted beyond one hour post-rTMS. Low-frequency (1 Hz stimulation yielded similar improvements. In contrast, we did not find consistent effects of rTMS on performance in a fine orientation discrimination task. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall our results suggest that rTMS generally improves or has no effect on visual acuity, with the nature of the effect depending on the type of stimulation and the task. We interpret our results in the context of an ideal-observer model of visual perception.

  18. Improved Discrimination of Visual Stimuli Following Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Waterston, Michael L.; Pack, Christopher C.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) at certain frequencies increases thresholds for motor-evoked potentials and phosphenes following stimulation of cortex. Consequently rTMS is often assumed to introduce a "virtual lesion" in stimulated brain regions, with correspondingly diminished behavioral performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we investigated the effects of rTMS to visual cortex on subjects' ability to perform visual psychophysical tasks. Contrary t...

  19. Attentional gain and processing capacity limits predict the propensity to neglect unexpected visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papera, Massimiliano; Richards, Anne

    2016-05-01

    Exogenous allocation of attentional resources allows the visual system to encode and maintain representations of stimuli in visual working memory (VWM). However, limits in the processing capacity to allocate resources can prevent unexpected visual stimuli from gaining access to VWM and thereby to consciousness. Using a novel approach to create unbiased stimuli of increasing saliency, we investigated visual processing during a visual search task in individuals who show a high or low propensity to neglect unexpected stimuli. When propensity to inattention is high, ERP recordings show a diminished amplification concomitantly with a decrease in theta band power during the N1 latency, followed by a poor target enhancement during the N2 latency. Furthermore, a later modulation in the P3 latency was also found in individuals showing propensity to visual neglect, suggesting that more effort is required for conscious maintenance of visual information in VWM. Effects during early stages of processing (N80 and P1) were also observed suggesting that sensitivity to contrasts and medium-to-high spatial frequencies may be modulated by low-level saliency (albeit no statistical group differences were found). In accordance with the Global Workplace Model, our data indicate that a lack of resources in low-level processors and visual attention may be responsible for the failure to "ignite" a state of high-level activity spread across several brain areas that is necessary for stimuli to access awareness. These findings may aid in the development of diagnostic tests and intervention to detect/reduce inattention propensity to visual neglect of unexpected stimuli.

  20. Music Influences Ratings of the Affect of Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waldie E Hanser

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This review provides an overview of recent studies that have examined how music influences the judgment of emotional stimuli, including affective pictures and film clips. The relevant findings are incorporated within a broader theory of music and emotion, and suggestions for future research are offered.Music is important in our daily lives, and one of its primary uses by listeners is the active regulation of one's mood. Despite this widespread use as a regulator of mood and its general pervasiveness in our society, the number of studies investigating the issue of whether, and how, music affects mood and emotional behaviour is limited however. Experiments investigating the effects of music have generally focused on how the emotional valence of background music impacts how affective pictures and/or film clips are evaluated. These studies have demonstrated strong effects of music on the emotional judgment of such stimuli. Most studies have reported concurrent background music to enhance the emotional valence when music and pictures are emotionally congruent. On the other hand, when music and pictures are emotionally incongruent, the ratings of the affect of the pictures will in- or decrease depending on the emotional valence of the background music. These results appear to be consistent in studies investigating the effects of (background music.

  1. Visual and auditory stimuli associated with swallowing activate mirror neurons: a magnetoencephalography study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushioda, Takashi; Watanabe, Yutaka; Sanjo, Yusuke; Yamane, Gen-Yuki; Abe, Shinichi; Tsuji, Yusuke; Ishiyama, Atushi

    2012-12-01

    In the present study, we evaluated activated areas of the cerebral cortex with regard to the mirror neuron system during swallowing. To identify the activated areas, we used magnetoencephalography. Subjects were ten consenting volunteers. Swallowing-related stimuli comprised an animated image of the left profile of a person swallowing water with laryngeal elevation as a visual swallowing trigger stimulus and a swallowing sound as an auditory swallowing trigger stimulus. As control stimuli, a still frame image of the left profile without an additional trigger was shown, and an artificial sound as a false auditory trigger was provided. Triggers were presented at 3,000 ms after the start of image presentation. The stimuli were combined and presented and the areas activated were identified for each stimulus. With animation and still-frame stimuli, the visual association area (Brodmann area (BA) 18) was activated at the start of image presentation, while with the swallowing sound and artificial sound stimuli, the auditory areas BA 41 and BA 42 were activated at the time of trigger presentation. However, with animation stimuli (animation stimulus, animation + swallowing sound stimuli, and animation + artificial sound stimuli), activation in BA 6 and BA 40, corresponding to mirror neurons, was observed between 620 and 720 ms before the trigger. Besides, there were also significant differences in latency time and peak intensity between animation stimulus and animation + swallowing sound stimuli. Our results suggest that mirror neurons are activated by swallowing-related visual and auditory stimuli.

  2. Auditory-visual aversive stimuli modulate the conscious experience of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taffou, Marine; Guerchouche, Rachid; Drettakis, George; Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    In a natural environment, affective information is perceived via multiple senses, mostly audition and vision. However, the impact of multisensory information on affect remains relatively undiscovered. In this study, we investigated whether the auditory-visual presentation of aversive stimuli influences the experience of fear. We used the advantages of virtual reality to manipulate multisensory presentation and to display potentially fearful dog stimuli embedded in a natural context. We manipulated the affective reactions evoked by the dog stimuli by recruiting two groups of participants: dog-fearful and non-fearful participants. The sensitivity to dog fear was assessed psychometrically by a questionnaire and also at behavioral and subjective levels using a Behavioral Avoidance Test (BAT). Participants navigated in virtual environments, in which they encountered virtual dog stimuli presented through the auditory channel, the visual channel or both. They were asked to report their fear using Subjective Units of Distress. We compared the fear for unimodal (visual or auditory) and bimodal (auditory-visual) dog stimuli. Dog-fearful participants as well as non-fearful participants reported more fear in response to bimodal audiovisual compared to unimodal presentation of dog stimuli. These results suggest that fear is more intense when the affective information is processed via multiple sensory pathways, which might be due to a cross-modal potentiation. Our findings have implications for the field of virtual reality-based therapy of phobias. Therapies could be refined and improved by implicating and manipulating the multisensory presentation of the feared situations.

  3. Phase lagging model of brain response to external stimuli - modeling of single action potential

    CERN Document Server

    Seetharaman, Karthik; Kulish, Vladimir V

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we detail a phase lagging model of brain response to external stimuli. The model is derived using the basic laws of physics like conservation of energy law. This model eliminates the paradox of instantaneous propagation of the action potential in the brain. The solution of this model is then presented. The model is further applied in the case of a single neuron and is verified by simulating a single action potential. The results of this modeling are useful not only for the fundamental understanding of single action potential generation, but also they can be applied in case of neuronal interactions where the results can be verified against the real EEG signal.

  4. Gestalt perceptual organization of visual stimuli captures attention automatically: Electrophysiological evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Francesco Marini; Carlo Alberto Marzi

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...

  5. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...

  6. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.

  7. Facilitated processing of visual stimuli associated with the body

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whiteley, Louise Emma; Kennett, Steffan; Taylor-Clarke, Marisa

    2004-01-01

    Recent work on tactile perception has revealed enhanced tactile acuity and speeded spatial-choice reaction times (RTs) when viewing the stimulated body site as opposed to viewing a neutral object. Here we examine whether this body-view enhancement effect extends to visual targets. Participants...... performed a speeded spatial discrimination between two lights attached either to their own left index finger or to a wooden finger-shaped object, making a simple distal--proximal decision. We filmed either the finger-mounted or the object-mounted lights in separate experimental blocks and the live scene...

  8. Visual mismatch negativity to masked stimuli presented at very brief presentation rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Maria; Liasis, Alki; Gardner, Mark; Towell, Tony

    2017-02-01

    Mismatch negativity (MMN) has been characterised as a 'pre-attentive' component of an event-related potential (ERP) that is related to discrimination and error prediction processes. The aim of the current experiment was to establish whether visual MMN could be recorded to briefly presented, backward and forward masked visual stimuli, given both below and above levels of subjective experience. Evidence of visual MMN elicitation in the absence of the ability to consciously report stimuli would provide strong evidence for the automaticity of the visual MMN mechanism. Using an oddball paradigm, two stimuli that differed in orientation from each other, a + and an ×, were presented on a computer screen. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded from nine participants (six females), mean age 21.4 years. Results showed that for stimuli that were effectively masked at 7 ms presentation, there was little variation in the ERPs evoked to standard and deviant stimuli or in the subtraction waveform employed to delineate the visual MMN. At 14 ms stimulus presentation, when participants were able to report stimulus presence, an enhanced negativity at around 175 and 305 ms was observed to the deviant and was evident in the subtraction waveform. However, some of the difference observed in the ERPs can be attributed to stimulus characteristics, as the use of a 'lonely' deviant protocol revealed attenuated visual MMN components at 14 ms stimulus presentation. Overall, results suggest that some degree of conscious attention is required before visual MMN components emerge, suggesting visual MMN is not an entirely pre-attentive process.

  9. The effects of external stimuli on molecular organization in organic thin films by infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hietpas, Geoffrey David

    The study of organic thin films has been an active field of research for nearly 100 years. Two general types of organic thin film systems have received considerable attention. The first of these is the field of self-assembled monolayers (SAM's), where a reactive adsorbate is spontaneously organized at a substrate through ionic or covalent bonding. The second area is comprised of thin films of polymeric materials which may also be ordered and chemically attached like SAM's, but also includes disordered systems pinned by random attachment, and purely physisorbed films held by Van der Waals forces. The incentive for research on these systems has focused on potential improvements in applications such as biocompatable implants, lithographic masks or resists, chromatographic coatings, biosensors, and providing corrosion protection for the underlying substrate. For virtually any application, an organic thin film must remain stable such that its structure is either unaltered or reversibly changed in a manner that does not affect performance. In this thesis, the technique of infrared spectroscopy is applied to the study of thin film stability in response to external stimuli. Both polymer thin films (thickness < 0.5 mum) and SAM systems are studied, and chemical as well as mechanical methods of structural perturbation are explored. Taken together, the studies in this thesis demonstrate that organic thin films are fragile systems, often more susceptible to external perturbation than the bulk material. For any thin film system the substrate/film and film/air interfaces as well as the extremely small quantities of film material, all affect the adsorbate material in a manner not present to a significant extent in the bulk state. All of these variables are also potential sources of failure in the film. Therefore, any organic thin film system is sensitive to its immediate surroundings, and an externally applied chemical and mechanical stimuli may 'attack' this structure on several

  10. Modulation of temporal precision in thalamic population responses to natural visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaelle eDesbordes

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Natural visual stimuli have highly structured spatial and temporal properties which influence the way visual information is encoded in the visual pathway. In response to natural scene stimuli, neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN are temporally precise—on a time scale of 10-25 ms—both within single cells and across cells within a population. This time scale, established by non stimulus-driven elements of neuronal firing, is significantly shorter than that of natural scenes, yet is critical for the neural representation of the spatial and temporal structure of the scene. Here, a generalized linear model (GLM that combines stimulus-driven elements with spike-history dependence associated with intrinsic cellular dynamics is shown to predict the fine timing precision of LGN responses to natural scene stimuli, the corresponding correlation structure across nearby neurons in the population, and the continuous modulation of spike timing precision and latency across neurons. A single model captured the experimentally observed neural response, across different levels of contrasts and different classes of visual stimuli, through interactions between the stimulus correlation structure and the nonlinearity in spike generation and spike history dependence. Given the sensitivity of the thalamocortical synapse to closely timed spikes and the importance of fine timing precision for the faithful representation of natural scenes, the modulation of thalamic population timing over these time scales is likely important for cortical representations of the dynamic natural visual environment.

  11. How Does Temporal Frequency Affect Impression Formation for Audio-Visual Stimuli?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miharu Yamada

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we examined the effects of the temporal frequency of the audio–visual stimuli on the impression formation and perception of the temporal congruency. In our previous study (2010 with two temporal frequency conditions (108, and 216bpm, we found that both the processing which underlies the impression formation of the temporal congruency and the processing which underlies the perceptual judgment depend not only upon the time lag between the audio and visual stimuli but also upon the temporal frequency of the stimuli. As visual stimulus, we used repetitive luminance change of the computer graphic image with a constant temporal frequency (87, 108, 146, or 216bpm. As audio stimulus, we used periodic drum sounds consisting of a low tam and three cymbals. There were nine conditions for asynchrony between the visual and audio stimuli (±0, 96, 192, 288, and 384ms. We found that the range of the audio-visual asynchrony for the temporal congruent impression is much narrower than the range for the temporal congruent perception. These results suggest that the perception of the temporal congruency does not determine the impression formation for the temporal congruency.

  12. Spontaneously Emerging Patterns in Human Visual Cortex Reflect Responses to Naturalistic Sensory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilf, Meytal; Strappini, Francesca; Golan, Tal; Hahamy, Avital; Harel, Michal; Malach, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    In the absence of stimulus or task, the cortex spontaneously generates rich and consistent functional connectivity patterns (termed resting state networks) which are evident even within individual cortical areas. We and others have previously hypothesized that habitual cortical network activations during daily life contribute to the shaping of these connectivity patterns. Here we tested this hypothesis by comparing, using blood oxygen level-dependent-functional magnetic resonance imaging, the connectivity patterns that spontaneously emerge during rest in retinotopic visual areas to the patterns generated by naturalistic visual stimuli (repeated movie segments). These were then compared with connectivity patterns produced by more standard retinotopic mapping stimuli (polar and eccentricity mapping). Our results reveal that the movie-driven patterns were significantly more similar to the spontaneously emerging patterns, compared with the connectivity patterns of either eccentricity or polar mapping stimuli. Intentional visual imagery of naturalistic stimuli was unlikely to underlie these results, since they were duplicated when participants were engaged in an auditory task. Our results suggest that the connectivity patterns that appear during rest better reflect naturalistic activations rather than controlled, artificially designed stimuli. The results are compatible with the hypothesis that the spontaneous connectivity patterns in human retinotopic areas reflect the statistics of cortical coactivations during natural vision. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Amplitude-modulated stimuli reveal auditory-visual interactions in brain activity and brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laing, Mark; Rees, Adrian; Vuong, Quoc C

    2015-01-01

    The temporal congruence between auditory and visual signals coming from the same source can be a powerful means by which the brain integrates information from different senses. To investigate how the brain uses temporal information to integrate auditory and visual information from continuous yet unfamiliar stimuli, we used amplitude-modulated tones and size-modulated shapes with which we could manipulate the temporal congruence between the sensory signals. These signals were independently modulated at a slow or a fast rate. Participants were presented with auditory-only, visual-only, or auditory-visual (AV) trials in the fMRI scanner. On AV trials, the auditory and visual signal could have the same (AV congruent) or different modulation rates (AV incongruent). Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, we found that auditory regions showed increased functional connectivity predominantly with frontal regions for AV incongruent relative to AV congruent stimuli. We further found that superior temporal regions, shown previously to integrate auditory and visual signals, showed increased connectivity with frontal and parietal regions for the same contrast. Our findings provide evidence that both activity in a network of brain regions and their connectivity are important for AV integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies.

  14. Directional locomotion of C. elegans in the absence of external stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margherita Peliti

    Full Text Available Many organisms respond to food deprivation by altering their pattern of movement, often in ways that appear to facilitate dispersal. While the behavior of the nematode C. elegans in the presence of attractants has been characterized, long-range movement in the absence of external stimuli has not been examined in this animal. Here we investigate the movement pattern of individual C. elegans over times of ∼1 hour after removal from food, using two custom imaging set-ups that allow us to track animals on large agar surfaces of 22 cm×22 cm. We find that a sizeable fraction of the observed trajectories display directed motion over tens of minutes. Remarkably, this directional persistence is achieved despite a local orientation memory that decays on the scale of about one minute. Furthermore, we find that such trajectories cannot be accounted for by simple random, isotropic models of animal locomotion. This directional behavior requires sensory neurons, but appears to be independent of known sensory signal-transduction pathways. Our results suggest that long-range directional behavior of C. elegans may not be driven by sensory cues.

  15. The Influence of Visual Cues on Sound Externalization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carvajal, Juan Camilo Gil; Santurette, Sébastien; Cubick, Jens;

    Background: The externalization of virtual sounds reproduced via binaural headphone-based auralization systems has been reported to be less robust when the listening environment differs from the room in which binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) were recorded. It has been debated whether...... this is due to incongruent auditory cues between the recording and playback room during sound reproduction or to an expectation effect from the visual impression of the room. This study investigated the influence of a priori acoustic and visual knowledge of the playback room on sound externalization...... the more reverberant the listening environment was. While the visual impression of the playback room did not affect perceived distance, visual cues helped resolve localization ambiguities and improved compactness perception....

  16. Dynamical Responses to External Stimuli for Both Cases of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synchronization in A Complex Neuronal Network

    CERN Document Server

    Kim, Sang-Yoon

    2016-01-01

    For studying how dynamical responses to external stimuli depend on the synaptic-coupling type, we consider two types of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization (i.e., synchronization via synaptic excitation and inhibition) in complex small-world networks of excitatory regular spiking (RS) pyramidal neurons and inhibitory fast spiking (FS) interneurons. For both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization, effects of synaptic couplings on dynamical responses to external time-periodic stimuli $S(t)$ (applied to a fraction of neurons) are investigated by varying the driving amplitude $A$ of $S(t)$. Stimulated neurons are phase-locked to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory couplings. On the other hand, the stimulation effect on non-stimulated neurons depends on the type of synaptic coupling. The external stimulus $S(t)$ makes a constructive effect on excitatory non-stimulated RS neurons (i.e., it causes external phase lockings in the non-stimulated sub-population), while $S(t)$ m...

  17. Preserved Suppression of Salient Irrelevant Stimuli During Visual Search in Age-Associated Memory Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-López, Laura; Maseda, Ana; Buján, Ana; de Labra, Carmen; Amenedo, Elena; Millán-Calenti, José C

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that older adults with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) may show a significant decline in attentional resource capacity and inhibitory processes in addition to memory impairment. In the present paper, the potential attentional capture by task-irrelevant stimuli was examined in older adults with AAMI compared to healthy older adults using scalp-recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs). ERPs were recorded during the execution of a visual search task, in which the participants had to detect the presence of a target stimulus that differed from distractors by orientation. To explore the automatic attentional capture phenomenon, an irrelevant distractor stimulus defined by a different feature (color) was also presented without previous knowledge of the participants. A consistent N2pc, an electrophysiological indicator of attentional deployment, was present for target stimuli but not for task-irrelevant color stimuli, suggesting that these irrelevant distractors did not attract attention in AAMI older adults. Furthermore, the N2pc for targets was significantly delayed in AAMI patients compared to healthy older controls. Together, these findings suggest a specific impairment of the attentional selection process of relevant target stimuli in these individuals and indicate that the mechanism of top-down suppression of entirely task-irrelevant stimuli is preserved, at least when the target and the irrelevant stimuli are perceptually very different.

  18. Preserved suppression of salient irrelevant stimuli during visual search in Age-Associated Memory Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eLorenzo-López

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that older adults with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI may show a significant decline in attentional resource capacity and inhibitory processes in addition to memory impairment. In the present paper, the potential attentional capture by task-irrelevant stimuli was examined in older adults with AAMI compared to healthy older adults using scalp-recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs. ERPs were recorded during the execution of a visual search task, in which the participants had to detect the presence of a target stimulus that differed from distractors by orientation. To explore the automatic attentional capture phenomenon, an irrelevant distractor stimulus defined by a different feature (color was also presented without previous knowledge of the participants. A consistent N2pc, an electrophysiological indicator of attentional deployment, was present for target stimuli but not for task-irrelevant color stimuli, suggesting that these irrelevant distractors did not attract attention in AAMI older adults. Furthermore, the N2pc for targets was significantly delayed in AAMI patients compared to healthy older controls. Together, these findings suggest a specific impairment of the attentional selection process of relevant target stimuli in these individuals and indicate that the mechanism of top-down suppression of entirely task-irrelevant stimuli is preserved, at least when the target and the irrelevant stimuli are perceptually very different.

  19. Enhanced Recognition Memory in Grapheme-Colour Synaesthesia for Different Categories of Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie eWard

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Memory has been shown to be enhanced in grapheme-colour synaesthesia, and this enhancement extends to certain visual stimuli (that don’t induce synaesthesia as well as stimuli comprised of graphemes (which do. Previous studies have used a variety of testing procedures to assess memory in synaesthesia (e.g. free recall, recognition, associative learning making it hard to know the extent to which memory benefits are attributable to the stimulus properties themselves, the testing method, participant strategies, or some combination of these factors. In the first experiment, we use the same testing procedure (recognition memory for a variety of stimuli (written words, nonwords, scenes, and fractals and also check which memorisation strategies were used. We demonstrate that grapheme-colour synaesthetes show enhanced memory across all these stimuli, but this is not found for a non-visual type of synaesthesia (lexical-gustatory. In the second experiment, the memory advantage for scenes is explored further by manipulating the properties of the old and new images (changing colour, orientation, or object presence. Again, grapheme-colour synaesthetes show a memory advantage for scenes across all manipulations. Although recognition memory is generally enhanced in this study, the largest effects were found for abstract visual images (fractals and scenes for which colour can be used to discriminate old/new status.

  20. Enhanced recognition memory in grapheme-color synaesthesia for different categories of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jamie; Hovard, Peter; Jones, Alicia; Rothen, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Memory has been shown to be enhanced in grapheme-color synaesthesia, and this enhancement extends to certain visual stimuli (that don't induce synaesthesia) as well as stimuli comprised of graphemes (which do). Previous studies have used a variety of testing procedures to assess memory in synaesthesia (e.g., free recall, recognition, associative learning) making it hard to know the extent to which memory benefits are attributable to the stimulus properties themselves, the testing method, participant strategies, or some combination of these factors. In the first experiment, we use the same testing procedure (recognition memory) for a variety of stimuli (written words, non-words, scenes, and fractals) and also check which memorization strategies were used. We demonstrate that grapheme-color synaesthetes show enhanced memory across all these stimuli, but this is not found for a non-visual type of synaesthesia (lexical-gustatory). In the second experiment, the memory advantage for scenes is explored further by manipulating the properties of the old and new images (changing color, orientation, or object presence). Again, grapheme-color synaesthetes show a memory advantage for scenes across all manipulations. Although recognition memory is generally enhanced in this study, the largest effects were found for abstract visual images (fractals) and scenes for which color can be used to discriminate old/new status.

  1. The Lurking Snake in the Grass: Interference of Snake Stimuli in Visually Taxing Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Cristina Soares

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Based on evolutionary considerations, it was hypothesized that humans have been shaped to easily spot snakes in visually cluttered scenes that might otherwise hide camouflaged snakes. This hypothesis was tested in a visual search experiment in which I assessed automatic attention capture to evolutionarily-relevant distractor stimuli (snakes, in comparison with another animal which is also feared but where this fear has a disputed evolutionary origin (spiders, and neutral stimuli (mushrooms. Sixty participants were engaged in a task that involved the detection of a target (a bird among pictures of fruits. Unexpectedly, on some trials, a snake, a spider, or a mushroom replaced one of the fruits. The question of interest was whether the distracting stimuli slowed the reaction times for finding the target (the bird to different degrees. Perceptual load of the task was manipulated by increments in the set size (6 or 12 items on different trials. The findings showed that snake stimuli were processed preferentially, particularly under conditions where attentional resources were depleted, which reinforced the role of this evolutionarily-relevant stimulus in accessing the visual system (Isbell, 2009.

  2. Localization of MEG human brain responses to retinotopic visual stimuli with contrasting source reconstruction approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nela eCicmil

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Magnetoencephalography (MEG allows the physiological recording of human brain activity at high temporal resolution. However, spatial localization of the source of the MEG signal is an ill-posed problem as the signal alone cannot constrain a unique solution and additional prior assumptions must be enforced. An adequate source reconstruction method for investigating the human visual system should place the sources of early visual activity in known locations in the occipital cortex. We localized sources of retinotopic MEG signals from the human brain with contrasting reconstruction approaches (minimum norm, multiple sparse priors, and beamformer and compared these to the visual retinotopic map obtained with fMRI in the same individuals. When reconstructing brain responses to visual stimuli that differed by angular position, we found reliable localization to the appropriate retinotopic visual field quadrant by a minimum norm approach and by beamforming. Retinotopic map eccentricity in accordance with the fMRI map could not consistently be localized using an annular stimulus with any reconstruction method, but confining eccentricity stimuli to one visual field quadrant resulted in significant improvement with the minimum norm. These results inform the application of source analysis approaches for future MEG studies of the visual system, and indicate some current limits on localization accuracy of MEG signals.

  3. Localization of MEG human brain responses to retinotopic visual stimuli with contrasting source reconstruction approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicmil, Nela; Bridge, Holly; Parker, Andrew J.; Woolrich, Mark W.; Krug, Kristine

    2014-01-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) allows the physiological recording of human brain activity at high temporal resolution. However, spatial localization of the source of the MEG signal is an ill-posed problem as the signal alone cannot constrain a unique solution and additional prior assumptions must be enforced. An adequate source reconstruction method for investigating the human visual system should place the sources of early visual activity in known locations in the occipital cortex. We localized sources of retinotopic MEG signals from the human brain with contrasting reconstruction approaches (minimum norm, multiple sparse priors, and beamformer) and compared these to the visual retinotopic map obtained with fMRI in the same individuals. When reconstructing brain responses to visual stimuli that differed by angular position, we found reliable localization to the appropriate retinotopic visual field quadrant by a minimum norm approach and by beamforming. Retinotopic map eccentricity in accordance with the fMRI map could not consistently be localized using an annular stimulus with any reconstruction method, but confining eccentricity stimuli to one visual field quadrant resulted in significant improvement with the minimum norm. These results inform the application of source analysis approaches for future MEG studies of the visual system, and indicate some current limits on localization accuracy of MEG signals. PMID:24904268

  4. Learning of arbitrary association between visual and auditory novel stimuli in adults: the "bond effect" of haptic exploration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Fredembach

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is well-known that human beings are able to associate stimuli (novel or not perceived in their environment. For example, this ability is used by children in reading acquisition when arbitrary associations between visual and auditory stimuli must be learned. The studies tend to consider it as an "implicit" process triggered by the learning of letter/sound correspondences. The study described in this paper examined whether the addition of the visuo-haptic exploration would help adults to learn more effectively the arbitrary association between visual and auditory novel stimuli. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Adults were asked to learn 15 new arbitrary associations between visual stimuli and their corresponding sounds using two learning methods which differed according to the perceptual modalities involved in the exploration of the visual stimuli. Adults used their visual modality in the "classic" learning method and both their visual and haptic modalities in the "multisensory" learning one. After both learning methods, participants showed a similar above-chance ability to recognize the visual and auditory stimuli and the audio-visual associations. However, the ability to recognize the visual-auditory associations was better after the multisensory method than after the classic one. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: This study revealed that adults learned more efficiently the arbitrary association between visual and auditory novel stimuli when the visual stimuli were explored with both vision and touch. The results are discussed from the perspective of how they relate to the functional differences of the manual haptic modality and the hypothesis of a "haptic bond" between visual and auditory stimuli.

  5. Shape and color conjunction stimuli are represented as bound objects in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luria, Roy; Vogel, Edward K

    2011-05-01

    The integrated object view of visual working memory (WM) argues that objects (rather than features) are the building block of visual WM, so that adding an extra feature to an object does not result in any extra cost to WM capacity. Alternative views have shown that complex objects consume additional WM storage capacity so that it may not be represented as bound objects. Additionally, it was argued that two features from the same dimension (i.e., color-color) do not form an integrated object in visual WM. This led some to argue for a "weak" object view of visual WM. We used the contralateral delay activity (the CDA) as an electrophysiological marker of WM capacity, to test those alternative hypotheses to the integrated object account. In two experiments we presented complex stimuli and color-color conjunction stimuli, and compared performance in displays that had one object but varying degrees of feature complexity. The results supported the integrated object account by showing that the CDA amplitude corresponded to the number of objects regardless of the number of features within each object, even for complex objects or color-color conjunction stimuli. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Brain activity from stimuli that are not perceived: Visual mismatch negativity during binocular rivalry suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack, Bradley N; Widmann, Andreas; O'Shea, Robert P; Schröger, Erich; Roeber, Urte

    2017-05-01

    Predictive coding explains visual perception as the result of an interaction between bottom-up sensory input and top-down generative models at each level of the visual hierarchy. Evidence for this comes from the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN): a more negative ERP for rare, unpredictable visual stimuli-deviants, than for frequent, predictable visual stimuli-standards. Here, we show that the vMMN does not require conscious experience. We measured the vMMN from monocular luminance-decrement deviants that were either perceived or not during binocular rivalry dominance or suppression, respectively. We found that both sorts of deviants elicited the vMMN at about 250 ms after stimulus onset, with perceived deviants eliciting a bigger vMMN than not-perceived deviants. These results show that vMMN occurs in the absence of consciousness, and that consciousness enhances the processing underlying vMMN. We conclude that generative models of visual perception are tested, even when sensory input for those models is not perceived. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  7. Intense pain influences the cortical processing of visual stimuli projected onto the sensitized skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torta, DM; Van Den Broeke, EN; Filbrich, L; Jacob, B; Lambert, J; Mouraux, A

    2017-01-01

    Sensitization is a form of implicit learning produced by the exposure to a harmful stimulus. In humans and other mammals, sensitization following skin injury increases the responsiveness of peripheral nociceptors, and enhances the synaptic transmission of nociceptive input in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that sensitization-related changes in the CNS are not restricted to nociceptive pathways and, instead, also affect other sensory modalities, especially if that modality conveys information relevant for the sensitized body part. Specifically, we show that after sensitizing the forearm using high-frequency electrical stimulation of the skin (HFS), visual stimuli projected onto the sensitized forearm elicit significantly enhanced brain responses. Whereas mechanical hyperalgesia was present both 20 and 45 minutes after HFS, the enhanced responsiveness to visual stimuli was present only 20 minutes after HFS. Taken together, our results indicate that sensitization involves both nociceptive-specific and multimodal mechanisms, having distinct time courses. PMID:28030473

  8. Correlation between MEG and BOLD fMRI signals induced by visual flicker stimuli

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chu Renxin; Holroyd Tom; Duyn Jeff

    2007-01-01

    The goal of this work was to investigate how the MEG signal amplitude correlates with that of BOLD fMRI.To investigate the correlation between fMRI and macroscopic electrical activity, BOLD fMRI and MEG was performed on the same subjects (n =5). A visual flicker stimulus of varying temporal frequency was used to elicit neural responses in early visual areas. A strong similarity was observed in frequency tuning curves between both modalities.Although, averaged over subjects, the BOLD tuning curve was somewhat broader than MEG, both BOLD and MEG had maxima at a flicker frequency of 10 Hz. Also, we measured the first and second harmonic components as the stimuli frequency by MEG. In the low stimuli frequency (less than 6 Hz), the second harmonic has comparable amplitude with the first harmonic, which implies that neural frequency response is nonlinear and has more nonlinear components in low frequency than in high frequency.

  9. Effects of spatial separation between stimuli in whole report from brief visual displays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Valla, Christian; Vanrie, Jan

    2007-01-01

    Direct measurements of effects of spatial separation between stimuli in whole report from brief visual displays are reported. The stimuli were presented on the periphery of an imaginary circle centered on fixation. In Experiment 1, each display showed 2 capital letters (letter height = 1.3°, width...... = 0.9°, eccentricity = 5.5°). The proportion of correctly reported letters was a strictly increasing, decelerating function of the spatial separation between the letters for center-to-center separations ranging from less than 2° to more than 10° of visual angle. Experiment 2 yielded similar results...... with triples of letters. Experiment 3 showed that accuracy increased with spatial separation for report of 2 short words, and Experiment 4 showed the same result for words presented upside-down. The results are explained by a model of lateral masking (crowding) based on competitive interactions within...

  10. The effects of visual stimuli on EEG mu rhythms in healthy adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, JiYoung; Kim, SeongYoel

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] Several action observation/imagery training studies have been conducted in patients with limited physical activity showing improvements in motor function. However, most studies compared effects of action observation and imagery, so little is known about the changes caused by subsequent observation of target objects. Moreover, few studies analyzed brain wave changes in the EEG mu rhythm. [Subjects and Methods] Eighteen healthy female adults participated in this study, and were divided into two groups: ‘Visual Stimuli’ and ‘Non-Visual Stimuli’. EEG amplitude in the 8–13 Hz frequency band over the sensorimotor cortex was evaluated. [Results] Significant mu suppression was obtained in the action observation trials. Mu power showed a main effect of visual stimuli, with decreased power during action observation, and increased power post-observation in both conditions. Comparing the ‘Visual Stimuli’ and ‘Non-Visual Stimuli’ conditions during the post-observation period, mu power demonstrated a greater increase in the ‘Non-Visual Stimuli’ condition. Furthermore, mu power was lower post-observation than pre-observation. [Conclusion] These results show the effects of visual input between maintaining target objects and no visual input, and their relevance to modulations of the mirror neuron system. It also suggests that greater visual input may be more effective for cognitive rehabilitation. PMID:27390408

  11. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc R. Kamke

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color. In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  12. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality. PMID:24920945

  13. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  14. Brain activation by visual erotic stimuli in healthy middle aged males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, S W; Sohn, D W; Cho, Y-H; Yang, W S; Lee, K-U; Juh, R; Ahn, K-J; Chung, Y-A; Han, S-I; Lee, K H; Lee, C U; Chae, J-H

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to identify brain centers, whose activity changes are related to erotic visual stimuli in healthy, heterosexual, middle aged males. Ten heterosexual, right-handed males with normal sexual function were entered into the present study (mean age 52 years, range 46-55). All potential subjects were screened over 1 h interview, and were encouraged to fill out questionnaires including the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory. All subjects with a history of sexual arousal disorder or erectile dysfunction were excluded. We performed functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in male volunteers when an alternatively combined erotic and nonerotic film was played for 14 min and 9 s. The major areas of activation associated with sexual arousal to visual stimuli were occipitotemporal area, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, caudate nucleus. However, hypothalamus and thalamus were not activated. We suggest that the nonactivation of hypothalamus and thalamus in middle aged males may be responsible for the lesser physiological arousal in response to the erotic visual stimuli.

  15. The Influence of Visual Cues on Sound Externalization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carvajal, Juan Camilo Gil; Santurette, Sébastien; Cubick, Jens

    Background: The externalization of virtual sounds reproduced via binaural headphone-based auralization systems has been reported to be less robust when the listening environment differs from the room in which binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) were recorded. It has been debated whether...... this is due to incongruent auditory cues between the recording and playback room during sound reproduction or to an expectation effect from the visual impression of the room. This study investigated the influence of a priori acoustic and visual knowledge of the playback room on sound externalization...... to the listener in rooms 2 and 3 than in room 1, with a larger effect in the reverberant than in the dry environment. In room 2, the perceived distance of the virtual sounds was more accurate in condition V than in conditions A and AV, where it was reduced. In room 3, differences in distance judgments between A...

  16. Exploring combinations of auditory and visual stimuli for gaze-independent brain-computer interfaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingwei An

    Full Text Available For Brain-Computer Interface (BCI systems that are designed for users with severe impairments of the oculomotor system, an appropriate mode of presenting stimuli to the user is crucial. To investigate whether multi-sensory integration can be exploited in the gaze-independent event-related potentials (ERP speller and to enhance BCI performance, we designed a visual-auditory speller. We investigate the possibility to enhance stimulus presentation by combining visual and auditory stimuli within gaze-independent spellers. In this study with N = 15 healthy users, two different ways of combining the two sensory modalities are proposed: simultaneous redundant streams (Combined-Speller and interleaved independent streams (Parallel-Speller. Unimodal stimuli were applied as control conditions. The workload, ERP components, classification accuracy and resulting spelling speed were analyzed for each condition. The Combined-speller showed a lower workload than uni-modal paradigms, without the sacrifice of spelling performance. Besides, shorter latencies, lower amplitudes, as well as a shift of the temporal and spatial distribution of discriminative information were observed for Combined-speller. These results are important and are inspirations for future studies to search the reason for these differences. For the more innovative and demanding Parallel-Speller, where the auditory and visual domains are independent from each other, a proof of concept was obtained: fifteen users could spell online with a mean accuracy of 87.7% (chance level <3% showing a competitive average speed of 1.65 symbols per minute. The fact that it requires only one selection period per symbol makes it a good candidate for a fast communication channel. It brings a new insight into the true multisensory stimuli paradigms. Novel approaches for combining two sensory modalities were designed here, which are valuable for the development of ERP-based BCI paradigms.

  17. Differences between visual hemifields in identifying rapidly presented target stimuli: Letters and digits, faces, and shapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dariusz eAsanowicz

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The right hemisphere has been shown to play a dominant role in processing of visuo-spatial information. Recently, this role has been studied in the two-stream rapid serial visual presentation task. In this task, two alphanumerical targets are embedded in left and right simultaneous streams of rapidly changing letters. The second target (T2 is identified better in the left than in the right visual field. This difference has been interpreted as advantage of the right hemisphere (RH. However, a disadvantage of the left hemisphere (LH could not be excluded so far. The LH, specialized for processing of verbal stimuli, might be overloaded due to constant input of letters from both visual fields. In the present study, this overload hypothesis was tested by reducing demands on verbal processing (Experiments 1, and by overloading the RH with nonverbal stimuli: faces (Experiment 2 and irregular shapes (Experiment 3. The left visual field advantage proved to be largely independent from the level of verbal load and from stimulus type. Therefore, although not entirely disproving the overload hypothesis, these results suggest as the most parsimonious explanation this asymmetry reflects a RH advantage, presumably in perceptual and attentional processing, rather than a LH disadvantage caused by verbal overload.

  18. Bumblebees require visual pollen stimuli to initiate and multimodal stimuli to complete a full behavioral sequence in close-range flower orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmsen, Saskia; Gottlieb, Robin; Junker, Robert R; Lunau, Klaus

    2017-03-01

    Flower visits are complex encounters, in which animals are attracted by floral signals, guided toward the site of the first physical contact with a flower, land, and finally take up floral rewards. At close range, signals of stamens and pollen play an important role to facilitate flower handling in bees, yet the pollen stimuli eliciting behavioral responses are poorly known. In this study, we test the response of flower-naive bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) toward single and multimodal pollen stimuli as compared to natural dandelion pollen. As artificial pollen stimuli, we used the yellow flavonoid pigment quercetin, the scent compound eugenol, the amino acid proline, the monosaccharide glucose, and the texture of pollen-grain-sized glass pellets as a tactile stimulus. Three test stimuli, dandelion pollen, one out of various uni- and multimodal stimulus combinations, and a solvent control were presented simultaneously to individual bumblebees, whose response was recorded. The results indicate that bumblebees respond in an irreversible sequence of behavioral reactions. Bumblebees approached the visual stimulus quercetin as often as natural dandelion pollen. An additional olfactory stimulus resulted in slightly more frequent landings. The multimodal stimulus combinations including visual, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile stimuli elicited approaches, antennal contacts, and landings as often as natural pollen. Subsequent reactions like proboscis extension, mandible biting, and buzzing were more often but not regularly observed at dandelion pollen. Our study shows that visual signals of pollen are sufficient to trigger initial responses of bumblebees, whereas multimodal pollen stimuli elicit full behavioral response as compared to natural pollen. Our results suggest a major role of pollen cues for the attraction of bees toward flowers and also explain, why many floral guides mimic the visual signals of pollen and anthers, that is, the yellow and UV-absorbing color, to

  19. High-intensity Erotic Visual Stimuli De-activate the Primary Visual Cortex in Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynh, Hieu K.; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Schultz, Willibrord Weijmar; Holstege, Gert

    2012-01-01

    Introduction. The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the pict

  20. High-intensity Erotic Visual Stimuli De-activate the Primary Visual Cortex in Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynh, Hieu K.; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Schultz, Willibrord Weijmar; Holstege, Gert

    Introduction. The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the

  1. Audiovisual Integration Delayed by Stimulus Onset Asynchrony Between Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yanna; Yang, Weiping; Nakahashi, Kohei; Takahashi, Satoshi; Wu, Jinglong

    2017-02-01

    Although neuronal studies have shown that audiovisual integration is regulated by temporal factors, there is still little knowledge about the impact of temporal factors on audiovisual integration in older adults. To clarify how stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between auditory and visual stimuli modulates age-related audiovisual integration, 20 younger adults (21-24 years) and 20 older adults (61-80 years) were instructed to perform an auditory or visual stimuli discrimination experiment. The results showed that in younger adults, audiovisual integration was altered from an enhancement (AV, A ± 50 V) to a depression (A ± 150 V). In older adults, the alterative pattern was similar to that for younger adults with the expansion of SOA; however, older adults showed significantly delayed onset for the time-window-of-integration and peak latency in all conditions, which further demonstrated that audiovisual integration was delayed more severely with the expansion of SOA, especially in the peak latency for V-preceded-A conditions in older adults. Our study suggested that audiovisual facilitative integration occurs only within a certain SOA range (e.g., -50 to 50 ms) in both younger and older adults. Moreover, our results confirm that the response for older adults was slowed and provided empirical evidence that integration ability is much more sensitive to the temporal alignment of audiovisual stimuli in older adults.

  2. Retinal image quality and visual stimuli processing by simulation of partial eye cataract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozolinsh, Maris; Danilenko, Olga; Zavjalova, Varvara

    2016-10-01

    Visual stimuli were demonstrated on a 4.3'' mobile phone screen inside a "Virtual Reality" adapter that allowed separation of the left and right eye visual fields. Contrast of the retina image thus can be controlled by the image on the phone screen and parallel to that at appropriate geometry by the AC voltage applied to scattering PDLC cell inside the adapter. Such optical pathway separation allows to demonstrate to both eyes spatially variant images, that after visual binocular fusion acquire their characteristic indications. As visual stimuli we used grey and different color (two opponent components to vision - red-green in L*a*b* color space) spatially periodical stimuli for left and right eyes; and with spatial content that by addition or subtraction resulted as clockwise or counter clockwise slanted Gabor gratings. We performed computer modeling with numerical addition or subtraction of signals similar to processing in brain via stimuli input decomposition in luminance and color opponency components. It revealed the dependence of the perception psychophysical equilibrium point between clockwise or counter clockwise perception of summation on one eye image contrast and color saturation, and on the strength of the retinal aftereffects. Existence of a psychophysical equilibrium point in perception of summation is only in the presence of a prior adaptation to a slanted periodical grating and at the appropriate slant orientation of adaptation grating and/or at appropriate spatial grating pattern phase according to grating nods. Actual observer perception experiments when one eye images were deteriorated by simulated cataract approved the shift of mentioned psychophysical equilibrium point on the degree of artificial cataract. We analyzed also the mobile devices stimuli emission spectra paying attention to areas sensitive to macula pigments absorption spectral maxima and blue areas where the intense irradiation can cause in abnormalities in periodic melatonin

  3. High-intensity erotic visual stimuli de-activate the primary visual cortex in women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, Hieu K; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; Holstege, Gert

    2012-06-01

    The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the pictures or movies. However, in case the volunteers perform demanding non-visual tasks, the primary visual cortex becomes de-activated, although the amount of incoming visual sensory information is the same. Do low- and high-intensity erotic movies, compared to neutral movies, produce similar de-activation of the primary visual cortex? Brain activation/de-activation was studied by Positron Emission Tomography scanning of the brains of 12 healthy heterosexual premenopausal women, aged 18-47, who watched neutral, low- and high-intensity erotic film segments. We measured differences in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the primary visual cortex during watching neutral, low-intensity erotic, and high-intensity erotic film segments. Watching high-intensity erotic, but not low-intensity erotic movies, compared to neutral movies resulted in strong de-activation of the primary (BA 17) and adjoining parts of the secondary visual cortex. The strong de-activation during watching high-intensity erotic film might represent compensation for the increased blood supply in the brain regions involved in sexual arousal, also because high-intensity erotic movies do not require precise scanning of the visual field, because the impact is clear to the observer. © 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  4. Neuronal Representation of Ultraviolet Visual Stimuli in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Zhongchao Tan; Wenzhi Sun; Tsai-Wen Chen; Douglas Kim; Na Ji

    2015-01-01

    The mouse has become an important model for understanding the neural basis of visual perception. Although it has long been known that mouse lens transmits ultraviolet (UV) light and mouse opsins have absorption in the UV band, little is known about how UV visual information is processed in the mouse brain. Using a custom UV stimulation system and in vivo calcium imaging, we characterized the feature selectivity of layer 2/3 neurons in mouse primary visual cortex (V1). In adult mice, a compara...

  5. The Influences of Static and Interactive Dynamic Facial Stimuli on Visual Strategies in Persons with Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkmer, Marita; Bjallmark, Anna; Larsson, Matilda; Falkmer, Torbjorn

    2011-01-01

    Several studies, using eye tracking methodology, suggest that different visual strategies in persons with autism spectrum conditions, compared with controls, are applied when viewing facial stimuli. Most eye tracking studies are, however, made in laboratory settings with either static (photos) or non-interactive dynamic stimuli, such as video…

  6. High-performance execution of psychophysical tasks with complex visual stimuli in MATLAB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asaad, Wael F.; Santhanam, Navaneethan; McClellan, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral, psychological, and physiological experiments often require the ability to present sensory stimuli, monitor and record subjects' responses, interface with a wide range of devices, and precisely control the timing of events within a behavioral task. Here, we describe our recent progress developing an accessible and full-featured software system for controlling such studies using the MATLAB environment. Compared with earlier reports on this software, key new features have been implemented to allow the presentation of more complex visual stimuli, increase temporal precision, and enhance user interaction. These features greatly improve the performance of the system and broaden its applicability to a wider range of possible experiments. This report describes these new features and improvements, current limitations, and quantifies the performance of the system in a real-world experimental setting. PMID:23034363

  7. Normal Threshold Size of Stimuli in Children Using a Game-Based Visual Field Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanfang; Ali, Zaria; Subramani, Siddharth; Biswas, Susmito; Fenerty, Cecilia; Henson, David B; Aslam, Tariq

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate and explore the ability of novel game-based perimetry to establish normal visual field thresholds in children. One hundred and eighteen children (aged 8.0 ± 2.8 years old) with no history of visual field loss or significant medical history were recruited. Each child had one eye tested using a game-based visual field test 'Caspar's Castle' at four retinal locations 12.7° (N = 118) from fixation. Thresholds were established repeatedly using up/down staircase algorithms with stimuli of varying diameter (luminance 20 cd/m(2), duration 200 ms, background luminance 10 cd/m(2)). Relationships between threshold and age were determined along with measures of intra- and intersubject variability. The Game-based visual field test was able to establish threshold estimates in the full range of children tested. Threshold size reduced with increasing age in children. Intrasubject variability and intersubject variability were inversely related to age in children. Normal visual field thresholds were established for specific locations in children using a novel game-based visual field test. These could be used as a foundation for developing a game-based perimetry screening test for children.

  8. Spatial choices of macaque monkeys based on the visual representation of the response space: rotation of the stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedvidek, Jan; Nekovarova, Tereza; Bures, Jan

    2008-11-21

    In earlier experiments we have demonstrated that macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are able to use abstract visual stimuli presented on a computer screen to make spatial choices in the real environment. In those experiments a touch board ("response space") was directly connected to the computer screen ("virtual space"). The goal of the present experiment was to find out whether macaque monkeys are able: (1) To make spatial choices in a response space which is completely separated from the screen where the stimuli (designed as representation of the response space) are presented. (2) To make spatial choices based on visual stimuli representing the configuration of the response space which are rotated with respect to this response space. The monkeys were trained to choose one of the nine "touch holes" on a transparent touch panel situated beside a computer monitor on which the visual stimuli were presented. The visual stimuli were designed as an abstract representation of the response space: the rewarded position was shown as a bright circle situated at a certain position in the rectangle representing the contours of the touch panel. At first, the monkeys were trained with non-rotated spatial stimuli. After this initial training, the visual stimuli were gradually rotated by 20 degrees in each step. In the last phase, the stimulus was suddenly rotated in the opposite direction by 60 degrees in one step. The results of the experiment suggest that the monkeys are able to use successfully abstract stimuli from one spatial frame for spatial choices in another frame. Effective use of the stimuli after their rotation suggested that the monkeys perceived the stimuli as a representation of the configuration of the touch holes in the real space, not only as different geometrical patterns without configuration information.

  9. Conformation and structural changes of diblock copolymers with octopus-like micelle formation in the presence of external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dammertz, K.; Saier, A. M.; Marti, O.; Amirkhani, M.

    2014-04-01

    External stimuli such as vapours and electric fields can be used to manipulate the formation of AB-diblock copolymers on surfaces. We study the conformational variation of PS-b-PMMA (polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate)), PS and PMMA adsorbed on mica and their response to saturated water or chloroform atmospheres. Using specimens with only partial polymer coverage, new unanticipated effects were observed. Water vapour, a non-solvent for all three polymers, was found to cause high surface mobility. In contrast, chloroform vapour (a solvent for all three polymers) proved to be less efficient. Furthermore, the influence of an additional applied electric field was investigated. A dc field oriented parallel to the sample surface induces the formation of polymer islands which assemble into wormlike chains. Moreover, PS-b-PMMA forms octopus-like micelles (OLMs) on mica. Under the external stimuli mentioned above, the wormlike formations of OLMs are able to align in the direction of the external electric field. In the absence of an electric field, the OLMs disaggregate and exhibit phase separated structures under chloroform vapour.

  10. Determination of hemispheric language dominance using functional MRI : comparison of visual and auditory stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Ic Ryung; Ahn, Kook Jin; Lee, Jae Mun [The Catholic Univ. of Korea, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Tae [The Catholic Magnetic Resonance Research Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1999-12-01

    To assess the difference between auditory and visual stimuli when determining hemispheric language dominance by using functional MRI. In ten healthy adult volunteers (8 right-handed, 1 left-handed, 1 ambidextrous), motor language activation in axial slices of frontal lobe was mapped on a Simens 1.5T Vision Plus system using single-shot EPI. Series of 120 consecutive images per section were acquired during three cycles of task activation and rest. During each activation, a series of four syllables was delivered by means of both a visual and auditory method, and the volunteers were asked to mentally generate words starting with each syllable. In both in ferior frontal gyri and whole frontal lobes, lateralization indices were calculated from the activated pixels. We determined the language dominant hemisphere, and compared the results of the visual method and the auditory method. Seven right-handed persons were left-hemisphere dominant, and one left-handed and one ambidex-trous person were right-hemisphere dominant. Five of nine persons demonstrated larger lateralization indices with the auditory method than the visual method, while the remaining four showed larger lateralization indices with the visual method. No statistically significant difference was noted when comparing the results of the two methods(p>0.05). When determining hemispheric language dominance using functional MRI, the two methods are equally appropriate.

  11. Cross-modal plasticity in the deaf enhances processing of masked stimuli in the visual modality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Seema; Patil, Gouri Shanker; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2017-08-15

    Compensatory changes as a result of auditory deprivation in the deaf lead to higher visual processing skills. In two experiments, we explored if such brain plasticity in the deaf modulates processing of masked stimuli in the visual modality. Deaf and normal-hearing participants responded to targets either voluntarily or by instruction. Masked primes related to the response were presented briefly before the targets at the center and the periphery. In Experiment 1, targets appeared only at the foveal region whereas, in Experiment 2, they appeared both at the fovea and the periphery. The deaf showed higher sensitivity to masked primes in both the experiments. They chose the primed response more often and also were faster during congruent responses compared to the normal hearing. These results suggest that neuroplasticity in the deaf modulates how they perceive and use information with reduced visibility for action selection and execution.

  12. Visual Literacy and Biochemistry Learning: The role of external representations

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    V.J.S.V. Santos

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Visual Literacy can bedefined as people’s ability to understand, use, think, learn and express themselves through external representations (ER in a given subject. This research aims to investigate the development of abilities of ERs reading and interpretation by students from a Biochemistry graduate course of theFederal University of São João Del-Rei. In this way, Visual Literacy level was  assessed using a questionnaire validatedin a previous educational research. This diagnosis questionnaire was elaborated according to six visual abilitiesidentified as essential for the study of the metabolic pathways. The initial statistical analysis of data collectedin this study was carried out using ANOVA method. Results obtained showed that the questionnaire used is adequate for the research and indicated that the level of Visual Literacy related to the metabolic processes increased significantly with the progress of the students in the graduation course. There was also an indication of a possible interference in the student’s performancedetermined by the cutoff punctuation in the university selection process.

  13. Prenatal and acute cocaine exposure affects neural responses and habituation to visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Elizabeth; Kopotiyenko, Konstantin; Zhdanova, Irina

    2015-01-01

    Psychostimulants have many effects on visual function, from adverse following acute and prenatal exposure to therapeutic on attention deficit. To determine the impact of prenatal and acute cocaine exposure on visual processing, we studied neuronal responses to visual stimuli in two brain regions of a transgenic larval zebrafish expressing the calcium indicator GCaMP-HS. We found that both red light (LF) and dark (DF) flashes elicited similar responses in the optic tectum neuropil (TOn), while the dorsal telencephalon (dTe) responded only to LF. Acute cocaine (0.5 μM) reduced neuronal responses to LF in both brain regions but did not affect responses to DF. Repeated stimulus presentation (RSP) led to habituation of dTe neurons to LF. Acute cocaine prevented habituation. TOn habituated to DF, but not LF, and DF habituation was not modified by cocaine. Remarkably, prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) prevented the effects of acute cocaine on LF response amplitude and habituation later in development in both brain regions, but did not affect DF responses. We discovered that, in spite of similar neural responses to LF and DF in the TO (superior colliculus in mammals), responses to LF are more complex, involving dTe (homologous to the cerebral cortex), and are more vulnerable to cocaine. Our results demonstrate that acute cocaine exposure affects visual processing differentially by brain region, and that PCE modifies zebrafish visual processing in multiple structures in a stimulus-dependent manner. These findings are in accordance with the major role that the optic tectum and cerebral cortex play in sustaining visual attention, and support the hypothesis that modification of these areas by PCE may be responsible for visual deficits noted in humans. This model offers new methodological approaches for studying the adverse and therapeutic effects of psychostimulants on attention, and for the development of new pharmacological interventions.

  14. Prenatal and acute cocaine exposure affects neural responses and habituation to visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Brooke Riley

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Psychostimulants have many effects on visual function, from adverse, following acute and prenatal exposure to therapeutic, on attention deficit. To determine the impact of prenatal and acute cocaine exposure on visual processing, we studied neuronal responses to visual stimuli in two brain regions of a transgenic larval zebrafish expressing the calcium indicator GCaMP-HS. We found that both red light (LF and dark (DF flashes elicited similar responses in the optic tectum neuropil (TOn, while the dorsal telencephalon (dTe responded only to LF. Acute cocaine (0.5 μM reduced neuronal responses to LF in both brain regions but did not affect responses to DF. Repeated stimulus presentation led to habituation of dTe neurons to LF. Acute cocaine prevented habituation. TOn habituated to DF, but not LF, and DF habituation was not modified by cocaine. Remarkably, prenatal cocaine exposure prevented the effects of acute cocaine on LF response amplitude and habituation later in development in both brain regions, but did not affect DF responses. We discovered that, in spite of similar neural responses to LF and DF in the TO (superior colliculus in mammals, responses to LF are more complex, involving dTe (homologous to the cerebral cortex, and are more vulnerable to cocaine. Our results demonstrate that acute cocaine exposure affects visual processing differentially by brain region, and that prenatal cocaine exposure modifies zebrafish visual processing in multiple structures in a stimulus-dependent manner. These findings are in accordance with the major role that the optic tectum and cerebral cortex play in sustaining visual attention, and support the hypothesis that modification of these areas by prenatal cocaine exposure may be responsible for visual deficits noted in humans. This model offers new methodological approaches for studying the adverse and therapeutic effects of psychostimulants on attention, and for the development of new pharmacological

  15. Differential activation of the dorsal striatum by high-calorie visual food stimuli in obese individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothemund, Yvonne; Preuschhof, Claudia; Bohner, Georg; Bauknecht, Hans-Christian; Klingebiel, Randolf; Flor, Herta; Klapp, Burghard F

    2007-08-15

    The neural systems regulating food intake in obese individuals remain poorly understood. Previous studies applied positron emission tomography and manipulated hunger and satiety to investigate differences in appetitive processing between obese and normal-weight individuals. However, it is not known whether manipulation of stimulus value may yield different neural activity in obese as compared to control subjects when intrinsic physiological states are kept constant. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate 13 obese and 13 normal-weight subjects and manipulated food motivation by presenting visual food stimuli differing in their caloric content and energy density. In contrast to controls, obese women selectively activated the dorsal striatum while viewing high-caloric foods. Moreover, in the high-calorie condition body mass index (BMI) predicted activation in the dorsal striatum, anterior insula, claustrum, posterior cingulate, postcentral and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. The results indicate that in obese individuals simple visual stimulation with food stimuli activates regions related to reward anticipation and habit learning (dorsal striatum). Additionally, high-calorie food images yielded BMI-dependent activations in regions associated with taste information processing (anterior insula and lateral orbitofrontal cortex), motivation (orbitofrontal cortex), emotion as well as memory functions (posterior cingulate). Collectively, the results suggest that the observed activation is independent of the physiological states of hunger and satiation, and thus may contribute to pathological overeating and obesity. Some of the observed activations (dorsal striatum, orbitofrontal cortex) are likely to be dopamine-mediated.

  16. Timescales of multineuronal activity patterns reflect temporal structure of visual stimuli.

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    Ovidiu F Jurjuţ

    Full Text Available The investigation of distributed coding across multiple neurons in the cortex remains to this date a challenge. Our current understanding of collective encoding of information and the relevant timescales is still limited. Most results are restricted to disparate timescales, focused on either very fast, e.g., spike-synchrony, or slow timescales, e.g., firing rate. Here, we investigated systematically multineuronal activity patterns evolving on different timescales, spanning the whole range from spike-synchrony to mean firing rate. Using multi-electrode recordings from cat visual cortex, we show that cortical responses can be described as trajectories in a high-dimensional pattern space. Patterns evolve on a continuum of coexisting timescales that strongly relate to the temporal properties of stimuli. Timescales consistent with the time constants of neuronal membranes and fast synaptic transmission (5-20 ms play a particularly salient role in encoding a large amount of stimulus-related information. Thus, to faithfully encode the properties of visual stimuli the brain engages multiple neurons into activity patterns evolving on multiple timescales.

  17. The relationship between age and brain response to visual erotic stimuli in healthy heterosexual males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Y; Jeong, B; Kim, J-W; Choi, J

    2010-01-01

    The various changes of sexuality, including decreased sexual desire and erectile dysfunction, are also accompanied with aging. To understand the effect of aging on sexuality, we explored the relationship between age and the visual erotic stimulation-related brain response in sexually active male subjects. Twelve healthy, heterosexual male subjects (age 22-47 years) were recorded the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals of their brain activation elicited by passive viewing erotic (ERO), happy-faced (HA) couple, food and nature pictures. Mixed effect analysis and correlation analysis were performed to investigate the relationship between the age and the change of brain activity elicited by erotic stimuli. Our results showed age was positively correlated with the activation of right occipital fusiform gyrus and amygdala, and negatively correlated with the activation of right insula and inferior frontal gyrus. These findings suggest age might be related with functional decline in brain regions being involved in both interoceptive sensation and prefrontal modulation while it is related with the incremental activity of the brain region for early processing of visual emotional stimuli in sexually healthy men.

  18. The selective processing of emotional visual stimuli while detecting auditory targets: an ERP analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schupp, Harald T; Stockburger, Jessica; Bublatzky, Florian; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2008-09-16

    Event-related potential studies revealed an early posterior negativity (EPN) for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Exploring the emotion-attention relationship, a previous study observed that a primary visual discrimination task interfered with the emotional modulation of the EPN component. To specify the locus of interference, the present study assessed the fate of selective visual emotion processing while attention is directed towards the auditory modality. While simply viewing a rapid and continuous stream of pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures in one experimental condition, processing demands of a concurrent auditory target discrimination task were systematically varied in three further experimental conditions. Participants successfully performed the auditory task as revealed by behavioral performance and selected event-related potential components. Replicating previous results, emotional pictures were associated with a larger posterior negativity compared to neutral pictures. Of main interest, increasing demands of the auditory task did not modulate the selective processing of emotional visual stimuli. With regard to the locus of interference, selective emotion processing as indexed by the EPN does not seem to reflect shared processing resources of visual and auditory modality.

  19. Early modality-specific somatosensory cortical regions are modulated by attended visual stimuli: interaction of vision, touch and behavioral intent.

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    W. Richard Staines

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bimodal interactions between relevant visual and tactile inputs can facilitate attentional modulation at early stages in somatosensory cortices to achieve goal-oriented behaviors. However, the specific contribution of each sensory system during attentional processing and, importantly, how these interact with the required behavioural motor goals remains unclear. Here we used EEG and event-related potentials (ERPs to test the hypothesis that activity from modality-specific somatosensory cortical regions would be enhanced with task-relevant bimodal (visual-tactile stimuli and that the degree of modulation would depend on the difficulty of the associated sensory-motor task demands. Tactile stimuli were discrete vibrations to the index finger and visual stimuli were horizontal bars on a computer screen, both with random amplitudes. Streams of unimodal (tactile and crossmodal (visual and tactile stimuli were randomly presented and participants were instructed to attend to one type of stimulus (unimodal or crossmodal and responses involved either an indication of the presence of an attended stimulus (detect, or the integration and summation of 2 stimulus amplitudes using a pressure-sensitive ball (grade. Force-amplitude associations were learned in a training session, and no feedback was provided during the task. ERPs were time-locked to tactile stimuli and extracted for early modality-specific components (P50, P100, N140. The P50 was enhanced with bimodal (visual-tactile stimuli that were attended to. This was maximal when the motor requirements involved integration of the 2 stimuli in the grade task and when the visual stimulus occurred before (100 ms the tactile stimulus. These results suggest that visual information relevant for movement modulates early somatosensory processing and that the motor behavioral context influences this likely through interaction of top-down attentional and motor preparatory systems with more bottom-up crossmodal

  20. Internal reliability of the alcohol-related visual probe task is increased by utilising personalised stimuli and eye-tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Paul; Mansfield, Rosie; Duckworth, Jay; Field, Matt; Jones, Andrew

    2015-10-01

    In the current study, we investigated whether the internal reliability of the visual probe task measure of attentional bias for substance-related cues could be improved by incorporating eye-tracking methods and personalised stimuli. Sixty social drinkers completed two visual probe tasks: one with a broad range of different alcohol pictures, the other containing only images of the participants' preferred drink. Attentional bias was inferred from manual reaction times to probes replacing the pictures, and from the duration of eye movement fixations towards the pictures (gaze dwell time). Internal reliability was highest for personalised (versus general) alcohol stimuli, and for eye-tracking (versus manual reaction time) measures of attentional bias. The internal reliability of both reaction time (α=.73) and gaze dwell time measures (α=.76) of attentional bias for personalised alcohol stimuli was acceptable. Internal reliability of indices of attentional bias for general alcohol stimuli was inferior, although better for the gaze dwell time (α=.51) compared to the reaction time measure (α=.19). Attentional bias towards personalised stimuli was larger than bias to general stimuli, but only for the reaction time measure. There were no statistically significant associations between measures of attentional bias and alcohol consumption or craving. Adopting personalised stimuli and eye movement monitoring significantly improves the internal reliability of the alcohol-related visual probe task. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Physiological and behavioral reactions elicited by simulated and real-life visual and acoustic helicopter stimuli in dairy goats

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    Joosse Martin

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anecdotal reports and a few scientific publications suggest that flyovers of helicopters at low altitude may elicit fear- or anxiety-related behavioral reactions in grazing feral and farm animals. We investigated the behavioral and physiological stress reactions of five individually housed dairy goats to different acoustic and visual stimuli from helicopters and to combinations of these stimuli under controlled environmental (indoor conditions. The visual stimuli were helicopter animations projected on a large screen in front of the enclosures of the goats. Acoustic and visual stimuli of a tractor were also presented. On the final day of the study the goats were exposed to two flyovers (altitude 50 m and 75 m of a Chinook helicopter while grazing in a pasture. Salivary cortisol, behavior, and heart rate of the goats were registered before, during and after stimulus presentations. Results The goats reacted alert to the visual and/or acoustic stimuli that were presented in their room. They raised their heads and turned their ears forward in the direction of the stimuli. There was no statistically reliable rise of the average velocity of moving of the goats in their enclosure and no increase of the duration of moving during presentation of the stimuli. Also there was no increase in heart rate or salivary cortisol concentration during the indoor test sessions. Surprisingly, no physiological and behavioral stress responses were observed during the flyover of a Chinook at 50 m, which produced a peak noise of 110 dB. Conclusions We conclude that the behavior and physiology of goats are unaffected by brief episodes of intense, adverse visual and acoustic stimulation such as the sight and noise of overflying helicopters. The absence of a physiological stress response and of elevated emotional reactivity of goats subjected to helicopter stimuli is discussed in relation to the design and testing schedule of this study.

  2. Non-target stimuli in the visual field influence movement preparation in upper-limb reaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neely, Kristina A; Morris, Laura J

    2015-09-14

    The present work provides an empirical test of the Dynamic Field Theory of visuospatial cognition. The Dynamic Field Theory is a bi-stable neural network model applied to explain how visual information is integrated during the preparation of reaching responses (Erlhagen and Schöner). The dynamic field theory posits that motor cortices develop peaks of activation for each possible target in the visual field. Targets that are close in space produce neural peaks with overlapping distributions, whereas targets that are far apart produce distinct peaks with non-overlapping distributions. As such, the Dynamic Field Theory predicts reaction times to potential targets that are close in space will be faster than those to targets that are far apart. The present work examined how proximal and distal distractors impact reaction time in an upper-limb reaching task. The results demonstrated that distal distractors result in prolonged reaction times compared to proximal distractors. We suggest that reaction time represents the time required to inhibit neural activity representing the location of the distractor. Thus, prolonged reaction times observed for distal distractors reflect the temporal demands associated with the competition of two non-overlapping distributions of activity in the brain. These findings support the tenets of the Dynamic Field Theory and demonstrate that non-target stimuli in the visual field can influence movement preparation.

  3. Olfactory cues are subordinate to visual stimuli in a neotropical generalist weevil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Otálora-Luna

    Full Text Available The tropical root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus is a major pest of multiple crops in the Caribbean Islands and has become a serious constraint to citrus production in the United States. Recent work has identified host and conspecific volatiles that mediate host- and mate-finding by D. abbreviatus. The interaction of light, color, and odors has not been studied in this species. The responses of male and female D. abbreviatus to narrow bandwidths of visible light emitted by LEDs offered alone and in combination with olfactory stimuli were studied in a specially-designed multiple choice arena combined with a locomotion compensator. Weevils were more attracted to wavelengths close to green and yellow compared with blue or ultraviolet, but preferred red and darkness over green. Additionally, dim green light was preferred over brighter green. Adult weevils were also attracted to the odor of its citrus host + conspecifics. However, the attractiveness of citrus + conspecific odors disappeared in the presence of a green light. Photic stimulation induced males but not females to increase their speed. In the presence of light emitted by LEDs, turning speed decreased and path straightness increased, indicating that weevils tended to walk less tortuously. Diaprepes abbreviatus showed a hierarchy between chemo- and photo-taxis in the series of experiments presented herein, where the presence of the green light abolished upwind anemotaxis elicited by the pheromone + host plant odor. Insight into the strong responses to visual stimuli of chemically stimulated insects may be provided when the amount of information supplied by vision and olfaction is compared, as the information transmission capacity of compound eyes is estimated to be several orders of magnitude higher compared with the olfactory system. Subordination of olfactory responses by photic stimuli should be considered in the design of strategies aimed at management of such insects.

  4. Freezing Behavior as a Response to Sexual Visual Stimuli as Demonstrated by Posturography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouras, Harold; Lelard, Thierry; Ahmaidi, Said; Godefroy, Olivier; Krystkowiak, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Posturographic changes in motivational conditions remain largely unexplored in the context of embodied cognition. Over the last decade, sexual motivation has been used as a good canonical working model to study motivated social interactions. The objective of this study was to explore posturographic variations in response to visual sexual videos as compared to neutral videos. Our results support demonstration of a freezing-type response in response to sexually explicit stimuli compared to other conditions, as demonstrated by significantly decreased standard deviations for (i) the center of pressure displacement along the mediolateral and anteroposterior axes and (ii) center of pressure’s displacement surface. These results support the complexity of the motor correlates of sexual motivation considered to be a canonical functional context to study the motor correlates of motivated social interactions. PMID:25992571

  5. Intermodal transfer in temporal discrimination. [of visual and acoustic stimuli duration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warm, J. S.; Stutz, R. M.; Vassolo, P. A.

    1975-01-01

    This study determined if training for accuracy in temporal discrimination would transfer across sensory modalities. A fractionation method was used in which subjects bisected the durations of acoustic and visual signals at three standard intervals (6, 12, and 18 sec). Absolute error was the performance index. Half of the subjects were trained with acoustic stimuli and then tested in vision; the remainder were trained in vision and tested in audition. Similar negatively accelerated acquisition functions were noted for both modalities. Positive intermodal transfer, characterized by symmetry across modalities, was obtained at all standard durations. The results were considered to provide support for the notion that a common mechanism underlies temporal discriminations in different sensory systems.

  6. Comparison of the influence of stimuli color on Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials

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    Richard Junior Manuel Godinez Tello

    Full Text Available IntroductionThe main idea of a traditional Steady State Visually Evoked Potentials (SSVEP-BCI is the activation of commands through gaze control. For this purpose, the retina of the eye is excited by a stimulus at a certain frequency. Several studies have shown effects related to different kind of stimuli, frequencies, window lengths, techniques of feature extraction and even classification. So far, none of the previous studies has performed a comparison of performance of stimuli colors through LED technology. This study addresses precisely this important aspect and would be a great contribution to the topic of SSVEP-BCIs. Additionally, the performance of different colors at different frequencies and the visual comfort were evaluated in each case.MethodsLEDs of four different colors (red, green, blue and yellow flickering at four distinct frequencies (8, 11, 13 and 15 Hz were used. Twenty subjects were distributed in two groups performing different protocols. Multivariate Synchronization Index (MSI was the technique adopted as feature extractor.ResultsThe accuracy was gradually enhanced with the increase of the time window. From our observations, the red color provides, in most frequencies, both highest rates of accuracy and Information Transfer Rate (ITR for detection of SSVEP.ConclusionAlthough the red color has presented higher ITR, this color was turned in the less comfortable one and can even elicit epileptic responses according to the literature. For this reason, the green color is suggested as the best choice according to the proposed rules. In addition, this color has shown to be safe and accurate for an SSVEP-BCI.

  7. A solution for measuring accurate reaction time to visual stimuli realized with a programmable microcontroller.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohyanagi, Toshio; Sengoku, Yasuhito

    2010-02-01

    This article presents a new solution for measuring accurate reaction time (SMART) to visual stimuli. The SMART is a USB device realized with a Cypress Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) mixed-signal array programmable microcontroller. A brief overview of the hardware and firmware of the PSoC is provided, together with the results of three experiments. In Experiment 1, we investigated the timing accuracy of the SMART in measuring reaction time (RT) under different conditions of operating systems (OSs; Windows XP or Vista) and monitor displays (a CRT or an LCD). The results indicated that the timing error in measuring RT by the SMART was less than 2 msec, on average, under all combinations of OS and display and that the SMART was tolerant to jitter and noise. In Experiment 2, we tested the SMART with 8 participants. The results indicated that there was no significant difference among RTs obtained with the SMART under the different conditions of OS and display. In Experiment 3, we used Microsoft (MS) PowerPoint to present visual stimuli on the display. We found no significant difference in RTs obtained using MS DirectX technology versus using the PowerPoint file with the SMART. We are certain that the SMART is a simple and practical solution for measuring RTs accurately. Although there are some restrictions in using the SMART with RT paradigms, the SMART is capable of providing both researchers and health professionals working in clinical settings with new ways of using RT paradigms in their work.

  8. Head position signals used by parietal neurons to encode locations of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brotchie, P R; Andersen, R A; Snyder, L H; Goodman, S J

    1995-05-18

    The mechanism for object location in the environment, and the perception of the external world as stable when eyes, head and body are moved, have long been thought to be centred on the posterior parietal cortex. However, head position signals, and their integration with visual and eye position signals to form a representation of space referenced to the body, have never been examined in any area of the cortex. Here we show that the visual and saccadic activities of parietal neurons are strongly affected by head position. The eye and head position effects are equivalent for individual neurons, indicating that the modulation is a function of gaze direction, regardless of whether the eyes or head are used to direct gaze. These data are consistent with the idea that the posterior parietal cortex contains a distributed representation of space in body-centred coordinates.

  9. Sex differences in interactions between nucleus accumbens and visual cortex by explicit visual erotic stimuli: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S W; Jeong, B S; Choi, J; Kim, J-W

    2015-01-01

    Men tend to have greater positive responses than women to explicit visual erotic stimuli (EVES). However, it remains unclear, which brain network makes men more sensitive to EVES and which factors contribute to the brain network activity. In this study, we aimed to assess the effect of sex difference on brain connectivity patterns by EVES. We also investigated the association of testosterone with brain connection that showed the effects of sex difference. During functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, 14 males and 14 females were asked to see alternating blocks of pictures that were either erotic or non-erotic. Psychophysiological interaction analysis was performed to investigate the functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens (NA) as it related to EVES. Men showed significantly greater EVES-specific functional connection between the right NA and the right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). In addition, the right NA and the right LOC network activity was positively correlated with the plasma testosterone level in men. Our results suggest that the reason men are sensitive to EVES is the increased interaction in the visual reward networks, which is modulated by their plasma testosterone level.

  10. Serial order learning of subliminal visual stimuli: evidence of multistage learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kido, Kaede; Makioka, Shogo

    2015-01-01

    It is widely known that statistical learning of visual symbol sequences occurs implicitly (Kim et al., 2009). In this study, we examined whether people can learn the serial order of visual symbols when they cannot detect them. During the familiarization phase, triplets or quadruplets of novel symbols were presented to one eye under continuous flash suppression (CFS). Perception of the symbols was completely suppressed by the flash patterns presented to the other eye [binocular rivalry (BR)]. During the test phase, the detection latency was faster for symbols located later in the triplets or quadruplets. These results indicate that serial order learning occurs even when the participants cannot detect the stimuli. We also found that detection became slower for the last item of the triplets or quadruplets. This phenomenon occurred only when the participants were familiarized with the symbols under CFS, suggesting that the subsequent symbols interfered with the processing of the target symbol when conscious perception was suppressed. We further examined the nature of the interference and found that it occurred only when the subsequent symbol was not fixed. This result suggests that serial order learning under BR is restricted to fixed order sequences. Statistical learning of the symbols’ transition probability might not occur when the participants cannot detect the symbols. We confirmed this hypothesis by conducting another experiment wherein the transition probability of the symbol sequence was manipulated. PMID:25762947

  11. Visual cortex and auditory cortex activation in early binocularly blind macaques: A BOLD-fMRI study using auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rong; Wu, Lingjie; Tang, Zuohua; Sun, Xinghuai; Feng, Xiaoyuan; Tang, Weijun; Qian, Wen; Wang, Jie; Jin, Lixin; Zhong, Yufeng; Xiao, Zebin

    2017-04-15

    Cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices of early binocularly blind macaques is not well studied. In this study, four healthy neonatal macaques were assigned to group A (control group) or group B (binocularly blind group). Sixteen months later, blood oxygenation level-dependent functional imaging (BOLD-fMRI) was conducted to examine the activation in the visual and auditory cortices of each macaque while being tested using pure tones as auditory stimuli. The changes in the BOLD response in the visual and auditory cortices of all macaques were compared with immunofluorescence staining findings. Compared with group A, greater BOLD activity was observed in the bilateral visual cortices of group B, and this effect was particularly obvious in the right visual cortex. In addition, more activated volumes were found in the bilateral auditory cortices of group B than of group A, especially in the right auditory cortex. These findings were consistent with the fact that there were more c-Fos-positive cells in the bilateral visual and auditory cortices of group B compared with group A (p visual cortices of binocularly blind macaques can be reorganized to process auditory stimuli after visual deprivation, and this effect is more obvious in the right than the left visual cortex. These results indicate the establishment of cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices.

  12. Interictal neurocognitive processing of visual stimuli in migraine: evidence from event-related potentials.

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    Marla J S Mickleborough

    Full Text Available Research has established decreased sensory habituation as a defining feature in migraine, while decreased cognitive habituation has only been found with regard to cognitive assessment of the relative probability of the occurrence of a stimulus event. Our study extended the investigation of interictal habituation in migraine to include cognitive processing when viewing of a series of visually-complex images, similar to those we encounter on the internet everyday. We examined interictal neurocognitive function in migraine from a habituation perspective, using a novel paradigm designed to assess how the response to a series of images changes over time. Two groups of participants--migraineurs (N = 25 and non-migraine controls (N = 25--were asked to view a set of 232 unfamiliar logos in the context of a target identification task as their brain electrical responses were recorded via event-related potentials (ERPs. The set of logos was viewed serially in each of 10 separate trial blocks, with data analysis focusing on how the ERP responses to the logos in frontal electrodes from 200-600 ms changed across time within each group. For the controls, we found that the amplitude of the late positive potential (LPP ERP component elicited by the logos had no significant change across trial blocks. In contrast, in migraineurs we found that the LPP significantly increased in amplitude across trial blocks, an effect consistent with a lack of habituation to visual stimuli seen in previous research. Our findings provide empirical support abnormal cognitive processing of complex visual images across time in migraineurs that goes beyond the sensory-level habituation found in previous research.

  13. Loss of variation of state detected in soybean metabolic and human myelomonocytic leukaemia cell transcriptional networks under external stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, Katsumi; Saito, Toshiyuki; Ohyanagi, Hajime; Okumura, Jun; Ishige, Kentaro; Suzuki, Harukazu; Nakamura, Takuji; Komatsu, Setsuko

    2016-10-24

    Soybean (Glycine max) is sensitive to flooding stress, and flood damage at the seedling stage is a barrier to growth. We constructed two mathematical models of the soybean metabolic network, a control model and a flooded model, from metabolic profiles in soybean plants. We simulated the metabolic profiles with perturbations before and after the flooding stimulus using the two models. We measured the variation of state that the system could maintain from a state-space description of the simulated profiles. The results showed a loss of variation of state during the flooding response in the soybean plants. Loss of variation of state was also observed in a human myelomonocytic leukaemia cell transcriptional network in response to a phorbol-ester stimulus. Thus, we detected a loss of variation of state under external stimuli in two biological systems, regardless of the regulation and stimulus types. Our results suggest that a loss of robustness may occur concurrently with the loss of variation of state in biological systems. We describe the possible applications of the quantity of variation of state in plant genetic engineering and cell biology. Finally, we present a hypothetical "external stimulus-induced information loss" model of biological systems.

  14. Loss of variation of state detected in soybean metabolic and human myelomonocytic leukaemia cell transcriptional networks under external stimuli

    KAUST Repository

    Sakata, Katsumi

    2016-10-24

    Soybean (Glycine max) is sensitive to flooding stress, and flood damage at the seedling stage is a barrier to growth. We constructed two mathematical models of the soybean metabolic network, a control model and a flooded model, from metabolic profiles in soybean plants. We simulated the metabolic profiles with perturbations before and after the flooding stimulus using the two models. We measured the variation of state that the system could maintain from a state–space description of the simulated profiles. The results showed a loss of variation of state during the flooding response in the soybean plants. Loss of variation of state was also observed in a human myelomonocytic leukaemia cell transcriptional network in response to a phorbol-ester stimulus. Thus, we detected a loss of variation of state under external stimuli in two biological systems, regardless of the regulation and stimulus types. Our results suggest that a loss of robustness may occur concurrently with the loss of variation of state in biological systems. We describe the possible applications of the quantity of variation of state in plant genetic engineering and cell biology. Finally, we present a hypothetical “external stimulus-induced information loss” model of biological systems.

  15. Use of a Remote Eye-Tracker for the Analysis of Gaze during Treadmill Walking and Visual Stimuli Exposition

    OpenAIRE

    Serchi, V.; Peruzzi, A; A. Cereatti; Della Croce, U.

    2016-01-01

    The knowledge of the visual strategies adopted while walking in cognitively engaging environments is extremely valuable. Analyzing gaze when a treadmill and a virtual reality environment are used as motor rehabilitation tools is therefore critical. Being completely unobtrusive, remote eye-trackers are the most appropriate way to measure the point of gaze. Still, the point of gaze measurements are affected by experimental conditions such as head range of motion and visual stimuli. This study a...

  16. A case report of an autistic boy. Selective responding to components of bidimensional visual and auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, J L; Shigley, R H; Edwards, R P

    1976-06-01

    A case study was reported in which a 9-year-old male autistic boy was initially trained to discriminate between two auditory stimuli and two visual stimuli. He was then tested for overselective responding to bidimensional combinations of the four stimuli. It was hypothesized that the overselectivity results reported in previous studies were partially a function of a procedure in which autistic children were reinforced for responding in the presence of a multidimensional stimulus complex and then tested with individual stimuli. The child in the present investigation, with the alternative procedure, did not demonstrate overselective responding. Two interpretations of the results were presented, neither of which was consistent with an overselectivity theory. Future research should delineate the specific conditions which produce overselective responding, and suggest methods to facilitate more adaptive responding of autistic children.

  17. Real time unsupervised learning of visual stimuli in neuromorphic VLSI systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giulioni, Massimiliano; Corradi, Federico; Dante, Vittorio; Del Giudice, Paolo

    2015-10-01

    Neuromorphic chips embody computational principles operating in the nervous system, into microelectronic devices. In this domain it is important to identify computational primitives that theory and experiments suggest as generic and reusable cognitive elements. One such element is provided by attractor dynamics in recurrent networks. Point attractors are equilibrium states of the dynamics (up to fluctuations), determined by the synaptic structure of the network; a ‘basin’ of attraction comprises all initial states leading to a given attractor upon relaxation, hence making attractor dynamics suitable to implement robust associative memory. The initial network state is dictated by the stimulus, and relaxation to the attractor state implements the retrieval of the corresponding memorized prototypical pattern. In a previous work we demonstrated that a neuromorphic recurrent network of spiking neurons and suitably chosen, fixed synapses supports attractor dynamics. Here we focus on learning: activating on-chip synaptic plasticity and using a theory-driven strategy for choosing network parameters, we show that autonomous learning, following repeated presentation of simple visual stimuli, shapes a synaptic connectivity supporting stimulus-selective attractors. Associative memory develops on chip as the result of the coupled stimulus-driven neural activity and ensuing synaptic dynamics, with no artificial separation between learning and retrieval phases.

  18. Observer's Mood Manipulates Level of Visual Processing: Evidence from Face and Nonface Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Setareh Mokhtari

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available For investigating the effect of observer's mood on level of processing of visual stimuli, happy or sad mood was induced in two groups of participants through asking them to deliberate one of their sad or happy memories while listening to a congruent piece of music. This was followed by a computer-based task that required counting some features (arcs or lines of emotional schematic faces (with either sad or happy expressions for group 1, and counting same features of meaningless combined shapes for group 2. Reaction time analysis indicated there is a significant difference in RTs after listening to the sad music compared with happy music for group 1; participants with sad moods were significantly slower when they worked on local levels of schematic faces with sad expressions. Happy moods did not show any specific effect on reaction time of participants who were working on local details of emotionally expressive faces. Sad moods or happy moods had no significant effect on reaction time of working on parts of meaningless shapes. It seems that sad moods as a contextual factor elevate the ability of sad expression to grab the attention and block fast access to the local parts of the holistic meaningful shapes.

  19. Active suppression of salient-but-irrelevant stimuli does not underlie resistance to visual interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barras, Caroline; Kerzel, Dirk

    2016-12-01

    In visual search for a shape target, interference from salient-but-irrelevant color singletons can be resisted in feature search mode, but not in singleton detection mode. In singleton detection mode, we observed a contralateral positivity (PD) after 260-340ms, suggesting that the salient distractor was suppressed. Because RTs in singleton detection mode increased when a distractor was present, we conclude that active suppression of distractors takes time. In feature search mode, no increase in RTs and no PD to the distractor was observed, showing that resistance to interference was not accomplished by suppression. Rather, the smaller N2pc to the target in feature search than in singleton detection mode suggests that enhancement of target features avoided interference. Thus, the strong top-down set in feature search mode eliminated the need to suppress the early attend-to-me signal (corresponding to the Ppc, from 160 to 210ms) that was generated by salient stimuli independently of search mode.

  20. P1-32: Response of Human Visual System to Paranormal Stimuli Appearing in Three-Dimensional Display

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jisoo Hong

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional (3D display became one of indispensable features of commercial TVs in recent years. However, the 3D content displayed by 3D display may contain the abrupt change of depth when the scene changes, which might be considered as a paranormal stimulus. Because the human visual system is not accustomed to such paranormal stimuli in natural conditions, they can cause unexpected responses which usually induce discomfort. Following the change of depth expressed by 3D display, the eyeballs rotate to match the convergence to the new 3D image position. The amount of rotation varies according to the initial longitudinal location and depth displacement of 3D image. Because the change of depth is abrupt, there is delay in human visual system following the change and such delay can be a source of discomfort. To guarantee the safety in watching 3D TV, the acceptable level of displacement in the longitudinal direction should be revealed quantitatively. Additionally, the artificially generated scenes also can provide paranormal stimuli such as periodic depth variations. In the presentation, we investigate the response of human visual system to such paranormal stimuli given by 3D display system. Using the result of investigation, we can give guideline to creating the 3D content to minimize the discomfort coming from the paranormal stimuli.

  1. Illusory movement of stationary stimuli in the visual periphery: evidence for a strong centrifugal prior in motion processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ruyuan; Kwon, Oh-Sang; Tadin, Duje

    2013-03-01

    Visual input is remarkably diverse. Certain sensory inputs are more probable than others, mirroring statistical regularities of the visual environment. The visual system exploits many of these regularities, resulting, on average, in better inferences about visual stimuli. However, by incorporating prior knowledge into perceptual decisions, visual processing can also result in perceptions that do not match sensory inputs. Such perceptual biases can often reveal unique insights into underlying mechanisms and computations. For example, a prior assumption that objects move slowly can explain a wide range of motion phenomena. The prior on slow speed is usually rationalized by its match with visual input, which typically includes stationary or slow moving objects. However, this only holds for foveal and parafoveal stimulation. The visual periphery tends to be exposed to faster motions, which are biased toward centrifugal directions. Thus, if prior assumptions derive from experience, peripheral motion processing should be biased toward centrifugal speeds. Here, in experiments with human participants, we support this hypothesis and report a novel visual illusion where stationary objects in the visual periphery are perceived as moving centrifugally, while objects moving as fast as 7°/s toward fovea are perceived as stationary. These behavioral results were quantitatively explained by a Bayesian observer that has a strong centrifugal prior. This prior is consistent with both the prevalence of centrifugal motions in the visual periphery and a centrifugal bias of direction tuning in cortical area MT, supporting the notion that visual processing mirrors its input statistics.

  2. The sensory channel of presentation alters subjective ratings and autonomic responses toward disgusting stimuli – Blood pressure, heart rate and skin conductance in response to visual, auditory, haptic and olfactory presented disgusting stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Croy, Ilona; Laqua, Kerstin; Süß, Frank; Joraschky, Peter; Ziemssen, Tjalf; Hummel, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Disgust causes specific reaction patterns, observable in mimic responses and body reactions. Most research on disgust deals with visual stimuli. However, pictures may cause another disgust experience than sounds, odors, or tactile stimuli. Therefore, disgust experience evoked by four different sensory channels was compared. A total of 119 participants received 3 different disgusting and one control stimulus, each presented through the visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory channel. Ratings ...

  3. Visual lateralization in wild striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba in response to stimuli with different degrees of familiarity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Siniscalchi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Apart from findings on both functional and motor asymmetries in captive aquatic mammals, only few studies have focused on lateralized behaviour of these species in the wild. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we focused on lateralized visual behaviour by presenting wild striped dolphins with objects of different degrees of familiarity (fish, ball, toy. Surveys were conducted in the Gulf of Taranto, the northern Ionian Sea portion delimited by the Italian regions of Calabria, Basilicata and Apulia. After sighting striped dolphins from a research vessel, different stimuli were presented in a random order by a telescopic bar connected to the prow of the boat. The preferential use of the right/left monocular viewing during inspection of the stimuli was analysed. CONCLUSION: Results clearly showed a monocular viewing preference with respect to the type of the stimulus employed. Due to the complete decussation of the optical nerves in dolphin brain our results reflected a different specialization of brain hemispheres for visual scanning processes confirming that in this species different stimuli evoked different patterns of eye use. A preferential use of the right eye (left hemisphere during visual inspection of unfamiliar targets was observed supporting the hypothesis that, in dolphins, the organization of the functional neural structures which reflected cerebral asymmetries for visual object recognition could have been subjected to a deviation from the evolutionary line of most terrestrial vertebrates.

  4. Rescuing Stimuli from Invisibility: Inducing a Momentary Release from Visual Masking with Pre-Target Entrainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathewson, Kyle E.; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele; Beck, Diane M.; Lleras, Alejandro

    2010-01-01

    At near-threshold levels of stimulation, identical stimulus parameters can result in very different phenomenal experiences. Can we manipulate which stimuli reach consciousness? Here we show that consciousness of otherwise masked stimuli can be experimentally induced by sensory entrainment. We preceded a backward-masked stimulus with a series of…

  5. The sensory channel of presentation alters subjective ratings and autonomic responses towards disgusting stimuli -Blood pressure, heart rate and skin conductance in response to visual, auditory, haptic and olfactory presented disgusting stimuli-

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona eCroy

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Disgust causes specific reaction patterns, observable in mimic responses and body reactions. Most research on disgust deals with visual stimuli. However, pictures may cause another disgust experience than sounds, odors or tactile stimuli. Therefore disgust experience evoked by four different sensory channels was compared.A total of 119 participants received 3 different disgusting and one control stimulus, each presented through the visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory channel. Ratings of evoked disgust as well as responses of the autonomic nervous system (heart rate, skin conductance level, systolic blood pressure were recorded and the effect of stimulus labeling and of repeated presentation was analyzed. Ratings suggested that disgust could be evoked through all senses; they were highest for visual stimuli. However, autonomic reaction towards disgusting stimuli differed according to the channel of presentation. In contrast to the other, olfactory disgust stimuli provoked a strong decrease of systolic blood pressure. Additionally, labeling enhanced disgust ratings and autonomic reaction for olfactory and tactile, but not for visual and auditory stimuli. Repeated presentation indicated that participant’s disgust rating diminishes to all but olfactory disgust stimuli. Taken together we argue that the sensory channel through which a disgust reaction is evoked matters.

  6. A low-cost and versatile system for projecting wide-field visual stimuli within fMRI scanners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, V; Frijia, F; Mikellidou, K; Montanaro, D; Farini, A; D'Uva, M; Poggi, P; Pucci, M; Sordini, A; Morrone, M C; Burr, D C

    2016-06-01

    We have constructed and tested a custom-made magnetic-imaging-compatible visual projection system designed to project on a very wide visual field (~80°). A standard projector was modified with a coupling lens, projecting images into the termination of an image fiber. The other termination of the fiber was placed in the 3-T scanner room with a projection lens, which projected the images relayed by the fiber onto a screen over the head coil, viewed by a participant wearing magnifying goggles. To validate the system, wide-field stimuli were presented in order to identify retinotopic visual areas. The results showed that this low-cost and versatile optical system may be a valuable tool to map visual areas in the brain that process peripheral receptive fields.

  7. Multisensory interactions elicited by audiovisual stimuli presented peripherally in a visual attention task: a behavioral and event-related potential study in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jinglong; Li, Qi; Bai, Ou; Touge, Tetsuo

    2009-12-01

    We applied behavioral and event-related potential measurements to study human multisensory interactions induced by audiovisual (AV) stimuli presented peripherally in a visual attention task in which an irrelevant auditory stimulus occasionally accompanied the visual stimulus. A stream of visual, auditory, and AV stimuli was randomly presented to the left or right side of the subjects; subjects covertly attended to the visual stimuli on either the left or right side and promptly responded to visual targets on that side. Behavioral results showed that responses to AV stimuli were faster and more accurate than those to visual stimuli only. Three event-related potential components related to AV interactions were identified: (1) over the right temporal area, approximately 200 to 220 milliseconds; (2) over the centromedial area, approximately 290 to 310 milliseconds; and (3) over the left and right ventral temporal area, approximately 290 to 310 milliseconds. We found that these interaction effects occurred slightly later than those reported in previously published AV interaction studies in which AV stimuli were presented centrally. Our results suggest that the retinotopic location of stimuli affects AV interactions occurring at later stages of cognitive processing in response to a visual attention task.

  8. Economic valuation of the visual externalities of off-shore wind farms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ladenburg, Jacob; Dubgaard, Alex; Martinsen, Louise;

    The primary focus of the study presented in this report is visual externalities of off-shore wind farms and the Danish population’s willingness to pay for having these ex-ternalities reduced. The investigation is part of the Danish monitoring programme for off-shore wind farms, comprising several...

  9. How stimuli presentation format affects visual attention and choice outcomes in choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund

    information table, a table with visual attributes levels and a realistic product mock-up presentation. Presentation format was found to exert a significant bottom-up effect on visual attention and subsequent choice. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments were found to be strongly...

  10. Comparison of Gated Audiovisual Speech Identification in Elderly Hearing Aid Users and Elderly Normal-Hearing Individuals: Effects of Adding Visual Cues to Auditory Speech Stimuli

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Moradi, Shahram; Lidestam, Björn; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2016-01-01

    ...) presented in silence. In addition, we compared the IPs of audiovisual speech stimuli from the present study with auditory ones extracted from a previous study, to determine the impact of the addition of visual cues...

  11. Developmental changes in visual scanning of dynamic faces and abstract stimuli in infants : A longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hunnius, S.; Geuze, R.H.

    2004-01-01

    The characteristics of scanning patterns between the ages of 6 and 26 weeks were investigated through repeated assessments of 10 infants. Eye movements were recorded using a corneal-reflection system while the infants looked at 2 dynamic stimuli: the naturally moving face of their mother and an abst

  12. Differential Effects of Active Attention and Age on Event-related Potentials to Visual and Olfactory Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Charlie D.; Murphy, Claire

    2011-01-01

    Normal aging impairs olfactory functioning both centrally and peripherally. The P3 peak of the event related potential (ERP), evoked by active response to a target stimulus, is considered a reflection of central cognitive processing. It can also be evoked in a passive task to both auditory and visual stimuli. Our goal was to investigate whether age influences amplitude and latency of the ERP differentially in active and passive tasks to olfactory stimuli. Olfactory and visual event-related potentials were elicited with a single-stimulus paradigm in separate active and passive task response conditions. Participants included 30 healthy individuals from three age groups, young, middle age, and older adults. Results indicated that P3 ERP latency increased with age in both sensory modalities. P3 latencies for active versus passive tasks were similar across age groups for visual ERPs, but in the olfactory modality, older adults demonstrated significantly longer latencies in the passive task compared to the active task. Future directions should include research on specific clinical populations utilizing active versus passive task conditions. PMID:20688110

  13. Use of a Remote Eye-Tracker for the Analysis of Gaze during Treadmill Walking and Visual Stimuli Exposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Serchi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of the visual strategies adopted while walking in cognitively engaging environments is extremely valuable. Analyzing gaze when a treadmill and a virtual reality environment are used as motor rehabilitation tools is therefore critical. Being completely unobtrusive, remote eye-trackers are the most appropriate way to measure the point of gaze. Still, the point of gaze measurements are affected by experimental conditions such as head range of motion and visual stimuli. This study assesses the usability limits and measurement reliability of a remote eye-tracker during treadmill walking while visual stimuli are projected. During treadmill walking, the head remained within the remote eye-tracker workspace. Generally, the quality of the point of gaze measurements declined as the distance from the remote eye-tracker increased and data loss occurred for large gaze angles. The stimulus location (a dot-target did not influence the point of gaze accuracy, precision, and trackability during both standing and walking. Similar results were obtained when the dot-target was replaced by a static or moving 2D target and “region of interest” analysis was applied. These findings foster the feasibility of the use of a remote eye-tracker for the analysis of gaze during treadmill walking in virtual reality environments.

  14. Use of a Remote Eye-Tracker for the Analysis of Gaze during Treadmill Walking and Visual Stimuli Exposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serchi, V; Peruzzi, A; Cereatti, A; Della Croce, U

    2016-01-01

    The knowledge of the visual strategies adopted while walking in cognitively engaging environments is extremely valuable. Analyzing gaze when a treadmill and a virtual reality environment are used as motor rehabilitation tools is therefore critical. Being completely unobtrusive, remote eye-trackers are the most appropriate way to measure the point of gaze. Still, the point of gaze measurements are affected by experimental conditions such as head range of motion and visual stimuli. This study assesses the usability limits and measurement reliability of a remote eye-tracker during treadmill walking while visual stimuli are projected. During treadmill walking, the head remained within the remote eye-tracker workspace. Generally, the quality of the point of gaze measurements declined as the distance from the remote eye-tracker increased and data loss occurred for large gaze angles. The stimulus location (a dot-target) did not influence the point of gaze accuracy, precision, and trackability during both standing and walking. Similar results were obtained when the dot-target was replaced by a static or moving 2D target and "region of interest" analysis was applied. These findings foster the feasibility of the use of a remote eye-tracker for the analysis of gaze during treadmill walking in virtual reality environments.

  15. Effect of olfactory and visual stimuli on the orientation of the 4th instar larvae of the stem borer Chilo partellus swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokro, P G; Saxena, K N

    1991-01-01

    The orientational responses of 4th instar larvae of Chilo partellus to different sources of stimuli being artificial diet, leaves and stems of maize and sorghum were tested, under free choice and no-choice situations. Larvae were attracted to maize and sorghum in a moderate to high degree dependent on what choice they were given. The orientational preference of the larvae, offered a choice between the visual and the odour sources, depended upon their stimulating capacities which were represented by the percentages of individuals responding to the sources of stimuli. Odour played a greater role than visual stimuli in this close range attraction when the two competed with each other.

  16. The Role of Imaginal Processing in the Retention of Visually-Presented Sequential Motoric Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Housner, Lynn Dale

    1984-01-01

    This study investigated the role of imagery in the short-term retention of complex, visually presented movement sequences. Findings suggest that visual imagery may play a functional role in the free recall of modeled movements; however, there was no indication that imagery was involved in the retention of serial information. (JMK)

  17. Regional differences of repeatability on visual analogue scale with experimental mechanical pain stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Kazuhiro; Ikemoto, Tatsunori; Ueno, Takefumi; Arai, Young-Chang P; Shimo, Kazuhiro; Nishihara, Makoto; Suzuki, Shigeyuki; Ushida, Takahiro

    2015-01-12

    Pain-VAS is quite subjective as a scale, but has a tendency to assume differences in repeatability in accordance with perceived pain intensity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the repeatability of regional differences with ratings of pain-VAS. Three experimental mechanical stimuli were applied to twenty seven healthy volunteers across four sessions over four weeks within individuals. The same stimuli were also simultaneously measured in the same manner with an electric balance. The magnitude of mechanical stimuli was determined by 100 g, 300 g, and 600 g monofilaments. Standard deviations (SDs) across measurements with an electric balance showed a regular increase with stimulus magnitude, while coefficient variations (CVs) were constant in each stimulus. On the other hand, although SDs across pain-VAS measurements were significantly greater with the 300 g filament than with the 100 g and 600 g filaments, CVs showed a regular decrease in magnitude of stimulus. These results showed that the CVs of repeated measurement with electric balance were consistent regardless of stimulus intensity, in contrast, CVs of pain-VAS decreased with greater pain rating averaged by repeated measurement. These results suggest that a low rating in pain-VAS is inherently less objective, indicating poor repeatability. In contrast, a high rating in pain-VAS is more objective with better repeatability for experimental pain perception.

  18. Coupling of cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism is conserved for chromatic and luminance stimuli in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leontiev, Oleg; Buracas, Giedrius T; Liang, Christine; Ances, Beau M; Perthen, Joanna E; Shmuel, Amir; Buxton, Richard B

    2013-03-01

    The ratio of the changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)) during brain activation is a critical determinant of the magnitude of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Cytochrome oxidase (CO), a key component of oxidative metabolism in the mitochondria, is non-uniformly distributed in visual area V1 in distinct blob and interblob regions, suggesting significant spatial variation in the capacity for oxygen metabolism. The goal of this study was to test whether CBF/CMRO(2) coupling differed when these subpopulations of neurons were preferentially stimulated, using chromatic and luminance stimuli to preferentially stimulate either the blob or interblob regions. A dual-echo spiral arterial spin labeling (ASL) technique was used to measure CBF and BOLD responses simultaneously in 7 healthy human subjects. When the stimulus contrast levels were adjusted to evoke similar CBF responses (mean 65.4% ± 19.0% and 64.6% ± 19.9%, respectively for chromatic and luminance contrast), the BOLD responses were remarkably similar (1.57% ± 0.39% and 1.59% ± 0.35%) for both types of stimuli. We conclude that CBF-CMRO(2) coupling is conserved for the chromatic and luminance stimuli used, suggesting a consistent coupling for blob and inter-blob neuronal populations despite the difference in CO concentration.

  19. Who is afraid of the invisible snake? Subjective visual awareness modulates posterior brain activity for evolutionarily threatening stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassini, Simone; Holm, Suvi K; Railo, Henry; Koivisto, Mika

    2016-12-01

    Snakes were probably one of the earliest predators of primates, and snake images produce specific behavioral and electrophysiological reactions in humans. Pictures of snakes evoke enhanced activity over the occipital cortex, indexed by the "early posterior negativity" (EPN), as compared with pictures of other dangerous or non-dangerous animals. The present study investigated the possibility that the response to snake images is independent from visual awareness. The observers watched images of threatening and non-threatening animals presented in random order during rapid serial visual presentation. Four different masking conditions were used to manipulate awareness of the images. Electrophysiological results showed that the EPN was larger for snake images than for the other images employed in the unmasked condition. However, the difference disappeared when awareness of the stimuli decreased. Behavioral results on the effects of awareness did not show any advantage for snake images. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Influence of visual stimuli in the sound quality evaluation of loudspeaker systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karandreas, Theodoros-Alexandros; Christensen, Flemming

    2006-01-01

    and evaluates the overall impression in relation to hearing and vision.In order to quantify the bias that the image of a loudspeaker has on the sound quality evaluation done by a naive listening panel, loudspeaker sounds of varied degradation are coupled with positively or negatively biasing visual input...... perception of a loudspeaker can be biased from visual input and study how the two modalities interact. Results from the experiments are presented....... of real loudspeakers, and in a separate experiment by pictures of the same loudspeakers. In order to choose loudspeakers that provide a sufficient range of visual bias a preliminary visual-only experiment has been conducted. From the ongoing experiments it is possible to evaluate how much the auditory...

  1. Semantic congruence effects across olfactory and visual stimuli on product perception : an implicit and explicit approach

    OpenAIRE

    Nibbe, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    The thesis focused on advancing the cross-modal research, in particular on the usage of scent in product packages,using implicit and explicit approaches. The implicit approach using an IAT is new in sensory marketing and has never been used before. It proved to be a good method to measure semantic congruence of cross-modal stimuli. Study 2 and 3 use an explicit approach. The results show that the usage of a semantic congruent scent on a product package can enhance purchase intention in co...

  2. Heightened eating drive and visual food stimuli attenuate central nociceptive processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Hazel; Li, Xiaoyun; Fallon, Nicholas B; Giesbrecht, Timo; Thomas, Anna; Harrold, Joanne A; Halford, Jason C G; Stancak, Andrej

    2015-03-01

    Hunger and pain are basic drives that compete for a behavioral response when experienced together. To investigate the cortical processes underlying hunger-pain interactions, we manipulated participants' hunger and presented photographs of appetizing food or inedible objects in combination with painful laser stimuli. Fourteen healthy participants completed two EEG sessions: one after an overnight fast, the other following a large breakfast. Spatio-temporal patterns of cortical activation underlying the hunger-pain competition were explored with 128-channel EEG recordings and source dipole analysis of laser-evoked potentials (LEPs). We found that initial pain ratings were temporarily reduced when participants were hungry compared with fed. Source activity in parahippocampal gyrus was weaker when participants were hungry, and activations of operculo-insular cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and cerebellum were smaller in the context of appetitive food photographs than in that of inedible object photographs. Cortical processing of noxious stimuli in pain-related brain structures is reduced and pain temporarily attenuated when people are hungry or passively viewing food photographs, suggesting a possible interaction between the opposing motivational forces of the eating drive and pain.

  3. Visualizing phase transition behavior of dilute stimuli responsive polymer solutions via Mueller matrix polarimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, Amal; Chandel, Shubham; Ghosh, Nirmalya; De, Priyadarsi

    2015-09-15

    Probing volume phase transition behavior of superdiluted polymer solutions both micro- and macroscopically still persists as an outstanding challenge. In this regard, we have explored 4 × 4 spectral Mueller matrix measurement and its inverse analysis for excavating the microarchitectural facts about stimuli responsiveness of "smart" polymers. Phase separation behavior of thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and pH responsive poly(N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) and their copolymers were analyzed in terms of Mueller matrix derived polarization parameters, namely, depolarization (Δ), diattenuation (d), and linear retardance (δ). The Δ, d, and δ parameters provided useful information on both macro- and microstructural alterations during the phase separation. Additionally, the two step action ((i) breakage of polymer-water hydrogen bonding and (ii) polymer-polymer aggregation) at the molecular microenvironment during the cloud point generation was successfully probed via these parameters. It is demonstrated that, in comparison to the present techniques available for assessing the hydrophobic-hydrophilic switch over of simple stimuli-responsive polymers, Mueller matrix polarimetry offers an important advantage requiring a few hundred times dilute polymer solution (0.01 mg/mL, 1.1-1.4 μM) at a low-volume format.

  4. 基于C8051F320的大鼠视觉图形刺激系统设计及实现%Design and Implementation of Rat Visual Graphics Stimuli System based on C8051 F320

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    师黎; 贾帅锋; 罗勇; 杨科峰; 朱民杰

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, a new visual graphics stimuli system was designed and implemented to solve the problems of less flexibility, poor extensibility and high which exist in the present visual graphics stimuli systems. VB programming language was applied to develop many kinds of stimulating graphics in the host, while a synchronous pulse to external equipment was produced by the lower controller when the stimulating graphics was altered or shifted. With the advantages of strong extensibility and low cost, the system can adequately satisfy the requirements of visual stimuli.%针对目前已有大鼠视觉图形刺激系统存在的灵活性差、扩展性弱和成本高等问题,设计并实现了一种新型的视觉图形刺激系统.系统上位机采用VB软件编程产生刺激图形,下位机在刺激图形改变或移动时,向外界输出一个同步脉冲到采集设备.测试结果表明:该系统能很好满足视觉刺激的要求,具有易扩展、成本低等优势,能产生良好的经济社会效益.

  5. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex increases attention to visual target stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vierheilig, Nina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Polak, Thomas; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-10-01

    Both functional imaging or EEG studies and studies including neurological patients found the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC) to be an important brain area for the processing of emotion and attention. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether emotion and attention can be modulated through bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the dLPFC. Therefore, we measured electroencephalographic occipital (early posterior negativity, EPN) and parietal ERPs (late positive potential, LPP) during an emotional picture viewing paradigm with an additional attentional instruction while applying bilateral anodal and cathodal tDC-stimulation to the left and right dLPFC. Beyond the well-known emotion and attention effects for both EPN and LPP, we found that left cathodal/right anodal tDCS leads to increased LPP amplitudes to target stimuli. In contrast to our hypothesis bilateral tDCS over the dLPFC did not influence emotional processing.

  6. Assessment of sexual orientation using the hemodynamic brain response to visual sexual stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponseti, Jorge; Granert, Oliver; Jansen, Olav

    2009-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The assessment of sexual orientation is of importance to the diagnosis and treatment of sex offenders and paraphilic disorders. Phallometry is considered gold standard in objectifying sexual orientation, yet this measurement has been criticized because of its intrusiveness and limited...... in a nonclinical sample of 12 heterosexual men and 14 homosexual men. During fMRI, participants were briefly exposed to pictures of same-sex and opposite-sex genitals. Data analysis involved four steps: (i) differences in the BOLD response to female and male sexual stimuli were calculated for each subject; (ii......) these contrast images were entered into a group analysis to calculate whole-brain difference maps between homosexual and heterosexual participants; (iii) a single expression value was computed for each subject expressing its correspondence to the group result; and (iv) based on these expression values, Fisher...

  7. Brain network involved in visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robotic training: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocchi, Federico; Gazzellini, Simone; Grisolia, Carmela; Petrarca, Maurizio; Cannatà, Vittorio; Cappa, Paolo; D'Alessio, Tommaso; Castelli, Enrico

    2012-07-24

    The potential of robot-mediated therapy and virtual reality in neurorehabilitation is becoming of increasing importance. However, there is limited information, using neuroimaging, on the neural networks involved in training with these technologies. This study was intended to detect the brain network involved in the visual processing of movement during robotic training. The main aim was to investigate the existence of a common cerebral network able to assimilate biological (human upper limb) and non-biological (abstract object) movements, hence testing the suitability of the visual non-biological feedback provided by the InMotion2 Robot. A visual functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) task was administered to 22 healthy subjects. The task required observation and retrieval of motor gestures and of the visual feedback used in robotic training. Functional activations of both biological and non-biological movements were examined to identify areas activated in both conditions, along with differential activity in upper limb vs. abstract object trials. Control of response was also tested by administering trials with congruent and incongruent reaching movements. The observation of upper limb and abstract object movements elicited similar patterns of activations according to a caudo-rostral pathway for the visual processing of movements (including specific areas of the occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes). Similarly, overlapping activations were found for the subsequent retrieval of the observed movement. Furthermore, activations of frontal cortical areas were associated with congruent trials more than with the incongruent ones. This study identified the neural pathway associated with visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robot-mediated training and investigated the brain's ability to assimilate abstract object movements with human motor gestures. In both conditions, activations were elicited in cerebral areas involved in visual

  8. Brain network involved in visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robotic training: an fMRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nocchi Federico

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The potential of robot-mediated therapy and virtual reality in neurorehabilitation is becoming of increasing importance. However, there is limited information, using neuroimaging, on the neural networks involved in training with these technologies. This study was intended to detect the brain network involved in the visual processing of movement during robotic training. The main aim was to investigate the existence of a common cerebral network able to assimilate biological (human upper limb and non-biological (abstract object movements, hence testing the suitability of the visual non-biological feedback provided by the InMotion2 Robot. Methods A visual functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI task was administered to 22 healthy subjects. The task required observation and retrieval of motor gestures and of the visual feedback used in robotic training. Functional activations of both biological and non-biological movements were examined to identify areas activated in both conditions, along with differential activity in upper limb vs. abstract object trials. Control of response was also tested by administering trials with congruent and incongruent reaching movements. Results The observation of upper limb and abstract object movements elicited similar patterns of activations according to a caudo-rostral pathway for the visual processing of movements (including specific areas of the occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes. Similarly, overlapping activations were found for the subsequent retrieval of the observed movement. Furthermore, activations of frontal cortical areas were associated with congruent trials more than with the incongruent ones. Conclusions This study identified the neural pathway associated with visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robot-mediated training and investigated the brain’s ability to assimilate abstract object movements with human motor gestures. In both conditions

  9. Influence of visual stimuli on the sound quality evaluation of loudspeaker systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karandreas, Theodoros-Alexandros; Christensen, Flemming

    to quantify the bias that the image of a loudspeaker has on the sound quality evaluation of a naive listening panel, loudspeaker sounds of varied degradation are coupled with positively or negatively biasing visual input of actual loudspeakers, and in a separate experiment by pictures of the same loudspeakers....

  10. Wingbeat frequency-sweep and visual stimuli for trapping male Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combinations of female wingbeat acoustic cues and visual cues were evaluated to determine their potential for use in male Aedes aegypti (L.) traps in peridomestic environments. A modified Centers for Disease control (CDC) light trap using a 350-500 Hz frequency-sweep broadcast from a speaker as an a...

  11. Chills in Different Sensory Domains: Frisson Elicited by Acoustical, Visual, Tactile and Gustatory Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grewe, Oliver; Katzur, Bjorn; Kopiez, Reinhard; Altenmuller, Eckart

    2011-01-01

    "Chills" (frisson manifested as goose bumps or shivers) have been used in an increasing number of studies as indicators of emotions in response to music (e.g., Craig, 2005; Guhn, Hamm, & Zentner, 2007; McCrae, 2007; Panksepp, 1995; Sloboda, 1991). In this study we present evidence that chills can be induced through aural, visual, tactile, and…

  12. Sex differences in visual attention to erotic and non-erotic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lykins, Amy D; Meana, Marta; Strauss, Gregory P

    2008-04-01

    It has been suggested that sex differences in the processing of erotic material (e.g., memory, genital arousal, brain activation patterns) may also be reflected by differential attention to visual cues in erotic material. To test this hypothesis, we presented 20 heterosexual men and 20 heterosexual women with erotic and non-erotic images of heterosexual couples and tracked their eye movements during scene presentation. Results supported previous findings that erotic and non-erotic information was visually processed in a different manner by both men and women. Men looked at opposite sex figures significantly longer than did women, and women looked at same sex figures significantly longer than did men. Within-sex analyses suggested that men had a strong visual attention preference for opposite sex figures as compared to same sex figures, whereas women appeared to disperse their attention evenly between opposite and same sex figures. These differences, however, were not limited to erotic images but evidenced in non-erotic images as well. No significant sex differences were found for attention to the contextual region of the scenes. Results were interpreted as potentially supportive of recent studies showing a greater non-specificity of sexual arousal in women. This interpretation assumes there is an erotic valence to images of the sex to which one orients, even when the image is not explicitly erotic. It also assumes a relationship between visual attention and erotic valence.

  13. Chills in Different Sensory Domains: Frisson Elicited by Acoustical, Visual, Tactile and Gustatory Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grewe, Oliver; Katzur, Bjorn; Kopiez, Reinhard; Altenmuller, Eckart

    2011-01-01

    "Chills" (frisson manifested as goose bumps or shivers) have been used in an increasing number of studies as indicators of emotions in response to music (e.g., Craig, 2005; Guhn, Hamm, & Zentner, 2007; McCrae, 2007; Panksepp, 1995; Sloboda, 1991). In this study we present evidence that chills can be induced through aural, visual, tactile, and…

  14. Neural mechanisms of intermodal sustained selective attention with concurrently presented auditory and visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Saupe

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available We investigated intermodal attention effects on the auditory steady-state response (ASSR and the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP. For this purpose, 40 Hz amplitude modulated tones and a stream of flickering (7.5 Hz random letters were presented concurrently. By means of an auditory or visual target detection task, participants’ attention was directed to the respective modality for several seconds. Attention to the auditory stream led to a significant enhancement of the ASSR compared to when the visual stream was attended. This attentional modulation was located mainly in the right superior temporal gyrus. Vice versa, attention to the visual stream especially increased the second harmonic response of the SSVEP. This modulation was focused in the inferior occipital and lateral occipitotemporal gyrus of both hemispheres. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of amplitude modulation of the ASSR and the SSVEP by intermodal sustained attention. Our results open a new avenue of research to understand the basic neural mechanisms of intermodal attention in the human brain.

  15. Observers' Judgments of the Effects of Glare on Their Visual Acuity for High and Low Contrast Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewall, Ashley A Stafford; Borzendowski, Stephanie A Whetsel; Tyrrell, Richard A; Stephens, Benjamin R; Rosopa, Patrick J

    2016-07-01

    Disability glare refers to a reduction in the ability to discern a stimulus that is positioned near another stimulus that has a much higher luminance. While it is common for drivers to report that they have been "blinded" by oncoming headlights, it is unclear whether observers can accurately judge when they are visually disabled by glare. This experiment sought to quantify the accuracy with which observers can judge when a glare source reduces their visual acuity. Seventeen observers estimated their disability glare threshold (DGT)-the luminance of a glare source that would be just sufficient to impair their ability to discern the orientation of a Landolt C that was surrounded by the glare source. These estimated DGTs were compared to the participant's actual DGTs. Participants consistently underestimated the intensity of glare that was required to impair their acuity. On average, estimates of glare threshold were 88% lower than actual glare threshold intensities. Participants' judgments were affected by stimulus size but not stimulus contrast. These results suggest that observers can exaggerate the debilitating effects of glare and that they can fail to appreciate that high contrast stimuli are more robust to glare. A driver who believes that even the lowest intensities of headlight glare can visually impair an oncoming driver may be reluctant to use high beam headlamps, despite their significant visibility advantages.

  16. Pupillometric evidence for the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline system facilitating attentional processing of action-triggered visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kihara, Ken; Takeuchi, Tatsuto; Yoshimoto, Sanae; Kondo, Hirohito M; Kawahara, Jun I

    2015-01-01

    It has been argued that attentional processing of visual stimuli is facilitated by a voluntary action that triggers the stimulus onset. However, the relationship between action-induced facilitation of attention and the neural substrates has not been well established. The present study investigated whether the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA) system is involved in this facilitation effect. A rapid serial visual presentation paradigm was used to assess the dynamics of transient attention in humans. Participants were instructed to change a digit stream to a letter stream by pressing a button and specifying successive targets of four letters. Pupil dilation was measured as an index of LC-NA function. Accuracy of target identification was better when the temporal delay between participants' key press and target onset was 800 ms than when targets appeared just after the key press or when targets appeared without key press. Accuracy of target identification was positively correlated with both the peak amplitude of pupil dilation and the pupil size at the time of the key press. These results indicate that target identification in the visual task is closely linked to pupil dilation. We conclude that the LC-NA system plays an important role in the facilitation of transient attention driven by voluntary action.

  17. Pupillometric evidence for the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline system facilitating attentional processing of action-triggered visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken eKihara

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that attentional processing of visual stimuli is facilitated by a voluntary action that triggers the stimulus onset. However, the relationship between action-induced facilitation of attention and the neural substrates has not been well established. The present study investigated whether the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA system is involved in this facilitation effect. A rapid serial visual presentation paradigm was used to assess the dynamics of transient attention in humans. Participants were instructed to change a digit stream to a letter stream by pressing a button and specifying successive targets of four letters. Pupil dilation was measured as an index of LC-NA function. Accuracy of target identification was better when the temporal delay between participants' key press and target onset was 800 ms than when targets appeared just after the key press or when targets appeared without key press. Accuracy of target identification was positively correlated with both the peak amplitude of pupil dilation and the pupil size at the time of the key press. These results indicate that target identification in the visual task is closely linked to pupil dilation. We conclude that the LC-NA system plays an important role in the facilitation of transient attention driven by voluntary action.

  18. Spatial contexts can inhibit a mislocalization of visual stimuli during smooth pursuit

    OpenAIRE

    Noguchi, Yasuki; Shimojo, Shinsuke; Kakigi, Ryusuke; Hoshiyama, Minoru

    2007-01-01

    The position of a flash presented during pursuit is mislocalized in the direction of the pursuit. Although this has been explained by a temporal mismatch between the slow visual processing of flash and fast efferent signals on eye positions, here we show that spatial contexts also play an important role in determining the flash position. We put various continuously lit objects (walls) between veridical and to-be-mislocalized positions of flash. Consequently, these walls significantly reduced ...

  19. Decreasing predictability of visual motion enhances feed-forward processing in visual cortex when stimuli are behaviorally relevant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, Thilo; Scholle, Ruben; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute

    2017-03-01

    Recent views of information processing in the (human) brain emphasize the hierarchical structure of the central nervous system, which is assumed to form the basis of a functional hierarchy. Hierarchical predictive processing refers to the notion that higher levels try to predict activity in lower areas, while lower levels transmit a prediction error up the hierarchy whenever the predictions fail. The present study aims at testing hypothetical modulatory effects of unpredictable visual motion on forward connectivities within the visual cortex. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was acquired from 35 healthy volunteers while viewing a moving ball under three different levels of predictability. In two different runs subjects were asked to attend to direction changes in the ball's motion, where a button-press was required in one of these runs only. Dynamic causal modeling was applied to a network comprising V1, V5 and posterior parietal cortex in the right hemisphere. The winning model of a Bayesian model selection indicated an enhanced strength in the forward connection from V1 to V5 with decreasing predictability for the run requiring motor response. These results support the notion of hierarchical predictive processing in the sense of an augmented bottom-up transmission of prediction error with increasing uncertainty about motion direction. This finding may be of importance for promoting our understanding of trait characteristics in psychiatric disorders, as an increased forward propagation of prediction error is assumed to underlie schizophrenia and may be observable at early stages of the disease.

  20. Memory of opponents is more potent than visual sign stimuli after social hierarchy has been established

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korzan, W.J.; Höglund, Erik; Watt, M.J.;

    2007-01-01

    was designed to examine the effect of eyespot manipulation on behavior and social rank during a second interaction between opponents that had previously established a natural dyadic social hierarchy. Prior to a second interaction, eyespots of familiar size-matched combatants were manipulated to reverse...... when animals were re-introduced, regardless of visual signal reversal or length of separation between interactions. However in males with "normal" eyespot color, dominant males had reduced serotonergic activity in CA3 and raphe, while subordinate males exhibited elevated CA3 dopaminergic activity...

  1. Blaming the victims of your own mistakes: How visual search accuracy influences evaluation of stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chetverikov, Andrey; Jóhannesson, Ómar I; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2015-01-01

    Even without explicit positive or negative reinforcement, experiences may influence preferences. According to the affective feedback in hypotheses testing account preferences are determined by the accuracy of hypotheses: correct hypotheses evoke positive affect, while incorrect ones evoke negative affect facilitating changes of hypotheses. Applying this to visual search, we suggest that accurate search should lead to more positive ratings of targets than distractors, while for errors targets should be rated more negatively. We test this in two experiments using time-limited search for a conjunction of gender and tint of faces. Accurate search led to more positive ratings for targets as compared to distractors or targets following errors. Errors led to more negative ratings for targets than for distractors. Critically, eye tracking revealed that the longer the fixation dwell times in target regions, the higher the target ratings for correct responses, and the lower the ratings for errors. The longer observers look at targets, the more positive their ratings if they answer correctly, and less positive, following errors. The findings support the affective feedback account and provide the first demonstration of negative effects on liking ratings following errors in visual search.

  2. Decoding of responses to mixed frequency and phase coded visual stimuli using multiset canonical correlation analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suefusa, Kaori; Tanaka, Toshihisa

    2016-08-01

    Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) based on steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) is one of the most practical BCIs because of its high recognition accuracies and little training of a user. Mixed frequency and phase coding which can implement a number of commands and achieve a high information transfer rate (ITR) has recently been gaining much attention. In order to implement mixed-coded SSVEP-BCI as a reliable interface, it is important to detect commands fast and accurately. This paper presents a novel method to recognize mixed-coded SSVEPs which achieves high performance. The method employs multiset canonical correlation analysis to obtain spatial filters which enhance SSVEP components. An experiment with a mixed-coded SSVEP-BCI was conducted to evaluate performance of the proposed method compared with the previous work. The experimental results showed that the proposed method achieved significantly higher command recognition accuracy and ITR than the state-of-the-art.

  3. Using visual stimuli to explore the social perceptions of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    López-Santiago, César A.; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Martín-López, Berta

    2014-01-01

    perceptions of 16 ecosystem services supplied by these two landscapes. These 16 services were divided into 3 types: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. We also identified...... ecosystem services tended to be related to forests. All three types of ecosystem services were more perceived by respondents when a drove road was present in each landscape. However, differences in the visual perception of ecosystem services supply and preference for transhumance landscapes emerged......The ecosystem services approach has been proposed as a powerful tool for the analysis of coupled social-ecological systems. This approach is particularly useful for the evaluation of cultural landscapes, which represent the joint evolution of humans and nature across an extended time span...

  4. Exploring Visual Selective Attention towards Novel Stimuli in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A. Chau

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD is associated with selective attention impairments, which could contribute to cognitive and functional deficits. Selective attention can be explored through examination of novelty preference. Aims: In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. Methods: Mild-to-moderate AD patients and elderly controls viewed slides containing novel and repeated images simultaneously. The outcome measure was time spent on specific images, with novelty preference defined by greater relative fixation time (RFT on novel versus repeated images. Cognitive status (Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination, SMMSE and attention (Digit Span, DS were also measured. Results: AD patients (age 79.2 ± 6.7 years, SMMSE 22.2 ± 4.0, n = 41 and controls (age 76.2 ± 6.4 years, SMMSE 28.1 ± 2.0, n = 24 were similar in age, education and sex. Compared with controls, AD patients had lower RFT on novel than on repeated images (F1,63 = 11.18, p = 0.001. Further, reduced RFT was associated with lower scores on SMMSE (r63 = 0.288, p = 0.020 and DS (r63 = 0.269, p = 0.030. Within individuals, novelty preference was detected in 92.3% of patients and in 100% of controls. Conclusion: These findings suggest that novelty preference, measured by visual scanning behaviour, can differentiate cognitively healthy and impaired people and may offer a nonverbal, less cognitively demanding method of assessing selective attention.

  5. The intralaminar thalamus – an expressway linking visual stimuli to circuits determining agency and action selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon eFisher

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Anatomical investigations have revealed connections between the intralaminar thalamic nuclei and areas such as the superior colliculus that receive short latency input from visual and auditory primary sensory areas. The intralaminar nuclei in turn project to the major input nucleus of the basal ganglia, the striatum, providing this nucleus with a source of subcortical excitatory input. Together with a converging input from the cerebral cortex, and a neuromodulatory dopaminergic input from the midbrain, the components previously found necessary for reinforcement learning in the basal ganglia are present. With this intralaminar sensory input, the basal ganglia are thought to play a primary role in determining what aspect of an organism’s own behavior has caused salient environmental changes. Additionally, subcortical loops through thalamic and basal ganglia nuclei are proposed to play a critical role in action selection. In this mini review we will consider the anatomical and physiological evidence underlying the existence of these circuits. We will propose how the circuits interact to modulate basal ganglia output and solve common behavioral learning problems of agency determination and action selection.

  6. Reactivity of dogs' brain oscillations to visual stimuli measured with non-invasive electroencephalography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miiamaaria V Kujala

    Full Text Available Studying cognition of domestic dogs has gone through a renaissance within the last decades. However, although the behavioral studies of dogs are beginning to be common in the field of animal cognition, the neural events underlying cognition remain unknown. Here, we employed a non-invasive electroencephalography, with adhesive electrodes attached to the top of the skin, to measure brain activity of from 8 domestic dogs (Canis familiaris while they stayed still to observe photos of dog and human faces. Spontaneous oscillatory activity of the dogs, peaking in the sensors over the parieto-occipital cortex, was suppressed statistically significantly during visual task compared with resting activity at the frequency of 15-30 Hz. Moreover, a stimulus-induced low-frequency (~2-6 Hz suppression locked to the stimulus onset was evident at the frontal sensors, possibly reflecting a motor rhythm guiding the exploratory eye movements. The results suggest task-related reactivity of the macroscopic oscillatory activity in the dog brain. To our knowledge, the study is the first to reveal non-invasively measured reactivity of brain electrophysiological oscillations in healthy dogs, and it has been based purely on positive operant conditional training, without the need for movement restriction or medication.

  7. Previously seen and expected stimuli elicit surprise in the context of visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retell, James D; Becker, Stefanie I; Remington, Roger W

    2016-04-01

    In the context of visual search, surprise is the phenomenon by which a previously unseen and unexpected stimulus exogenously attracts spatial attention. Capture by such a stimulus occurs, by definition, independent of task goals and is thought to be dependent on the extent to which the stimulus deviates from expectations. However, the relative contributions of prior-exposure and explicit knowledge of an unexpected event to the surprise response have not yet been systematically investigated. Here observers searched for a specific color while ignoring irrelevant cues of different colors presented prior to the target display. After a brief familiarization period, we presented an irrelevant motion cue to elicit surprise. Across conditions we varied prior exposure to the motion stimulus - seen versus unseen - and top-down expectations of occurrence - expected versus unexpected - to assess the extent to which each of these factors contributes to surprise. We found no attenuation of the surprise response when observers were pre-exposed to the motion cue and or had explicit knowledge of its occurrence. Our results show that it is neither sufficient nor necessary that a stimulus be new and unannounced to elicit surprise and suggest that the expectations that determine the surprise response are highly context specific.

  8. Spatial contexts can inhibit a mislocalization of visual stimuli during smooth pursuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Yasuki; Shimojo, Shinsuke; Kakigi, Ryusuke; Hoshiyama, Minoru

    2007-10-30

    The position of a flash presented during pursuit is mislocalized in the direction of the pursuit. Although this has been explained by a temporal mismatch between the slow visual processing of flash and fast efferent signals on eye positions, here we show that spatial contexts also play an important role in determining the flash position. We put various continuously lit objects (walls) between veridical and to-be-mislocalized positions of flash. Consequently, these walls significantly reduced the mislocalization of flash, preventing the flash from being mislocalized beyond the wall (Experiment 1). When the wall was shortened or had a hole in its center, the shape of the mislocalized flash was vertically shortened as if cutoff or funneled by the wall (Experiment 2). The wall also induced color interactions; a red wall made a green flash appear yellowish if it was in the path of mislocalization (Experiment 3). Finally, those flash-wall interactions could be induced even when the walls were presented after the disappearance of flash (Experiment 4). These results indicate that various features (position, shape, and color) of flash during pursuit are determined with an integration window that is spatially and temporally broad, providing a new insight for generating mechanisms of eye-movement mislocalizations.

  9. Learning to Associate Auditory and Visual Stimuli: Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altieri, Nicholas; Stevenson, Ryan; Wallace, Mark T.; Wenger, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to effectively combine sensory inputs across modalities is vital for acquiring a unified percept of events. For example, watching a hammer hit a nail while simultaneously identifying the sound as originating from the event requires the ability to identify spatio-temporal congruencies and statistical regularities. In this study, we applied a reaction time (RT) and hazard function measure known as capacity (e.g., Townsend and Ashby, 1978) to quantify the extent to which observers learn paired associations between simple auditory and visual patterns in a model theoretic manner. As expected, results showed that learning was associated with an increase in accuracy, but more significantly, an increase in capacity. The aim of this study was to associate capacity measures of multisensory learning, with neural based measures, namely mean Global Field Power (GFP). We observed a co-variation between an increase in capacity, and a decrease in GFP amplitude as learning occurred. This suggests that capacity constitutes a reliable behavioral index of efficient energy expenditure in the neural domain. PMID:24276220

  10. Bumblebees require visual pollen stimuli to initiate and multimodal stimuli to complete a full behavioral sequence in close?range flower orientation

    OpenAIRE

    Wilmsen, Saskia; Gottlieb, Robin; Robert R Junker; Lunau, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Flower visits are complex encounters, in which animals are attracted by floral signals, guided toward the site of the first physical contact with a flower, land, and finally take up floral rewards. At close range, signals of stamens and pollen play an important role to facilitate flower handling in bees, yet the pollen stimuli eliciting behavioral responses are poorly known. In this study, we test the response of flower?naive bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) toward single and multimoda...

  11. Dynamic Modulation of Myelination in Response to Visual Stimuli Alters Optic Nerve Conduction Velocity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etxeberria, Ainhoa; Hokanson, Kenton C.; Dao, Dang Q.; Mayoral, Sonia R.; Mei, Feng; Redmond, Stephanie A.; Ullian, Erik M.

    2016-01-01

    Myelin controls the time required for an action potential to travel from the neuronal soma to the axon terminal, defining the temporal manner in which information is processed within the CNS. The presence of myelin, the internodal length, and the thickness of the myelin sheath are powerful structural factors that control the velocity and fidelity of action potential transmission. Emerging evidence indicates that myelination is sensitive to environmental experience and neuronal activity. Activity-dependent modulation of myelination can dynamically alter action potential conduction properties but direct functional in vivo evidence and characterization of the underlying myelin changes is lacking. We demonstrate that in mice long-term monocular deprivation increases oligodendrogenesis in the retinogeniculate pathway but shortens myelin internode lengths without affecting other structural properties of myelinated fibers. We also demonstrate that genetically attenuating synaptic glutamate neurotransmission from retinal ganglion cells phenocopies the changes observed after monocular deprivation, suggesting that glutamate may constitute a signal for myelin length regulation. Importantly, we demonstrate that visual deprivation and shortened internodes are associated with a significant reduction in nerve conduction velocity in the optic nerve. Our results reveal the importance of sensory input in the building of myelinated fibers and suggest that this activity-dependent alteration of myelination is important for modifying the conductive properties of brain circuits in response to environmental experience. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Oligodendrocyte precursor cells differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes and are capable of ensheathing axons with myelin without molecular cues from neurons. However, this default myelination process can be modulated by changes in neuronal activity. Here, we show, for the first time, that experience-dependent activity modifies the length of myelin

  12. Tuning the photoluminescence of condensed-phase cyclic trinuclear Au(I) complexes through control of their aggregated structures by external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisawa, Kaori; Yamada, Shigeyuki; Yanagi, Yukihiro; Yoshioka, Yasunori; Kiyohara, Ayumi; Tsutsumi, Osamu

    2015-01-01

    A series of new cyclic trinuclear Au(I) complexes with alkoxy side chains of various lengths were synthesized as photoluminescence materials. None of the complexes emitted luminescence in solution; however, some showed photoluminescence in the crystalline phase. Single crystal X-ray structural analyses revealed that an intermolecular interaction between two Au atoms (aurophilic interaction) existed only in the emissive complexes, which formed molecular aggregates in the crystal. Because isolated molecules show no luminescence in the present system, we conclude that only molecules aggregated via aurophilic interactions can luminesce. We demonstrated that luminescence properties, such as colour and intensity, were very sensitive to the aggregated structure of the molecules. We also found that such luminescence properties can be controlled by a change in the aggregated structure induced by external stimuli, such as heat, solvent, and mechanical stress. PMID:25879782

  13. Tuning the photoluminescence of condensed-phase cyclic trinuclear Au(I) complexes through control of their aggregated structures by external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisawa, Kaori; Yamada, Shigeyuki; Yanagi, Yukihiro; Yoshioka, Yasunori; Kiyohara, Ayumi; Tsutsumi, Osamu

    2015-03-01

    A series of new cyclic trinuclear Au(I) complexes with alkoxy side chains of various lengths were synthesized as photoluminescence materials. None of the complexes emitted luminescence in solution; however, some showed photoluminescence in the crystalline phase. Single crystal X-ray structural analyses revealed that an intermolecular interaction between two Au atoms (aurophilic interaction) existed only in the emissive complexes, which formed molecular aggregates in the crystal. Because isolated molecules show no luminescence in the present system, we conclude that only molecules aggregated via aurophilic interactions can luminesce. We demonstrated that luminescence properties, such as colour and intensity, were very sensitive to the aggregated structure of the molecules. We also found that such luminescence properties can be controlled by a change in the aggregated structure induced by external stimuli, such as heat, solvent, and mechanical stress.

  14. Visual Servoing of a Conventional CNC Machine Using an External Axis Controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Hanafi

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the implementation of an external axis control system on a conventional CNC machine so that the machine can be actively controlled in response to sensors such as vision and force. The controller that runs on an external computer has direct access to the CNC controller for machine position sensing. The control signals to the machine are sent through purpose built circuitry via the machine's manual pulse generator (MPG inputs. To demonstrate the accuracy and performance of the control system, it was used to visually track the profile of a mandrel used for shear spinning. The implemented system eliminates the parallax error and the need to use an accurate pixel resolution. The raw tracking data is processed by a curvature detection algorithm that detects linear and circular segments and segment transitions. The results show that the visual tracking system provides accurate tracking results that are well within the tolerances used in the industry.

  15. Age-Related Differences in Sensitivity to Emotional Facial Stimuli but Age-Independent Association between Arousal Ratings and Visual Search Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Lundqvist

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The latter part of the lifespan is commonly associated with a decline of cognitive functions, but also with changes in emotional responding. To explore the effect of age on processing of emotional stimuli, we used a two-task design. In a stimulus-rating task, we investigated the emotional responses to 15 different schematic facial emotional stimuli (one neutral, seven positive, seven negative on Arousal, Valence and Potency measures in 20 younger (21-32 yrs, M=26, SD=3.7 and 20 older (65-81 yrs, M=72, SD=4.9 participants. In a visual attention task, we used the same 15 stimuli in a visual search paradigm to investigate differences between younger and older participants in how the emotional properties of these emotional stimuli influence visual attention.The results from the stimulus-rating task showed significantly reduced range in responses to emotional stimuli in the older compared to the younger group. This difference was found on both emotional Arousal and Potency measures, but not on emotional Valence measures; indicating an age-related flattening of affect on two of the three emotional key dimensions. The results from the visual search task showed – apart from the general extension of response latencies in older – no general emotion-related differences between how emotional stimuli influences attention in the younger and older groups.Analysis of the relationships between attention and emotion measures showed that higher ratings on Arousal and Potency were associated with both shorter reaction times and fewer errors in the attention task. This correlation was age-independent, indicating a similar influence from emotional Arousal on detection of angry faces in younger and older adults.

  16. Visual stimuli induced by self-motion and object-motion modify odour-guided flight of male moths (Manduca sexta L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verspui, Remko; Gray, John R

    2009-10-01

    Animals rely on multimodal sensory integration for proper orientation within their environment. For example, odour-guided behaviours often require appropriate integration of concurrent visual cues. To gain a further understanding of mechanisms underlying sensory integration in odour-guided behaviour, our study examined the effects of visual stimuli induced by self-motion and object-motion on odour-guided flight in male M. sexta. By placing stationary objects (pillars) on either side of a female pheromone plume, moths produced self-induced visual motion during odour-guided flight. These flights showed a reduction in both ground and flight speeds and inter-turn interval when compared with flight tracks without stationary objects. Presentation of an approaching 20 cm disc, to simulate object-motion, resulted in interrupted odour-guided flight and changes in flight direction away from the pheromone source. Modifications of odour-guided flight behaviour in the presence of stationary objects suggest that visual information, in conjunction with olfactory cues, can be used to control the rate of counter-turning. We suggest that the behavioural responses to visual stimuli induced by object-motion indicate the presence of a neural circuit that relays visual information to initiate escape responses. These behavioural responses also suggest the presence of a sensory conflict requiring a trade-off between olfactory and visually driven behaviours. The mechanisms underlying olfactory and visual integration are discussed in the context of these behavioural responses.

  17. The effect of spatio-temporal distance between visual stimuli on information processing in children with Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dispaldro, Marco; Corradi, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) have a deficit in processing a sequence of two visual stimuli (S1 and S2) presented at different inter-stimulus intervals and in different spatial locations. In particular, the core of this study is to investigate whether S1 identification is disrupted due to a retroactive interference of S2. To this aim, two experiments were planned in which children with SLI and children with typical development (TD), matched by age and non-verbal IQ, were compared (Experiment 1: SLI n=19; TD n=19; Experiment 2: SLI n=16; TD n=16). Results show group differences in the ability to identify a single stimulus surrounded by flankers (Baseline level). Moreover, children with SLI show a stronger negative interference of S2, both for temporal and spatial modulation. These results are discussed in the light of an attentional processing limitation in children with SLI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Gender-Specificity of Initial and Controlled Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Androphilic Women and Gynephilic Men.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha J Dawson

    Full Text Available Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women's gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men's attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men's initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women's were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.

  19. Sexual and affective responses to same- and opposite-sex stimuli in heterosexual and homosexual men: assessment and manipulation of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, Lelia; Janssen, Erick

    2014-07-01

    Affective and cognitive factors play an important role in the activation and regulation of men's sexual arousal. Barlow (1986) argued that initial affective reactions determine the allocation of attention to sexual stimuli. We applied Barlow's model to our understanding of the role of sexual arousal in sexual orientation, where sexual arousal patterns have consistently been found to be congruent with self-reported orientation in men, but not in women. Visual attention of 28 heterosexual and 22 homosexual men to same- and opposite-sex erotic stimuli was assessed and experimentally-directed by means of a newly developed software application, while genital (penile rigidity) and affective responses (self-reported and physiological) were measured. In line with previous research, we found "category specificity" in men's sexual arousal, in that sexual responses were strongest to orientation-congruent stimuli. Also, both homosexual and heterosexual men experienced stronger sexual responses to conditions in which their attention was directed to sexual versus nonsexual content of orientation-congruent stimuli. Only homosexual men manifested higher sexual responses when their visual attention was directed towards the sexual content of orientation-incongruent stimuli. Heterosexual men experienced weaker positive and stronger negative affective responses to orientation-incongruent content, suggestive of potential avoidance or inhibitory mechanisms.

  20. Imagery perspective among young athletes:Differentiation between external and internal visual imagery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qiu-Hua Yu; Amy S.N. Fu; Adeline Kho; Jie Li; Xiao-Hua Sun; Chetwyn C.H. Chan

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the construct of external visual imagery (EVI) vs. internal visual imagery (IVI) by comparing the athletes’ imagery ability with their levels of skill and types of sports. Methods: Seventy-two young athletes in open (n=45) or closed (n=27) sports and with different skill levels completed 2 custom-designed tasks. The EVI task involved the subject generating and visualizing the rotated images of different body parts, whereas the IVI task involved the subject visualizing himself or herself performing specific movements. Results: The significant Skill-Level × Sport Type interactions for the EVI task revealed that participants who specialized in open sports and had higher skill-levels had a higher accuracy rate as compared to the other subgroups. For the IVI task, the differences between the groups were less clear:those with higher skill-levels or open sports had a higher accuracy rate than those with lower skill-levels or closed sports. Conclusion: EVI involves the visualization of others and the environment, and would be relevant to higher skill-level athletes who engage in open sports. IVI, in contrast, tends to be more self-oriented and would be relevant for utilization by higher skill-level athletes regardless of sport type.

  1. ADHD subjects fail to suppress eye blinks and microsaccades while anticipating visual stimuli but recover with medication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Moshe; Tsitsiashvili, Eteri; Bonneh, Yoram S; Sterkin, Anna; Wygnanski-Jaffe, Tamara; Epstein, Tamir; Polat, Uri

    2014-08-01

    Oculomotor behavior and parameters are known to be affected by the allocation of attention and could potentially be used to investigate attention disorders. We explored the oculomotor markers of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that are involuntary and quantitative and that could be used to reveal the core-affected mechanisms, as well as be used for differential diagnosis. We recorded eye movements in a group of 22 ADHD-diagnosed patients with and without medication (methylphenidate) and in 22 control observers while performing the test of variables of attention (t.o.v.a.). We found that the average microsaccade and blink rates were higher in the ADHD group, especially in the time interval around stimulus onset. These rates increased monotonically over session time for both groups, but with significantly faster increments in the unmedicated ADHD group. With medication, the level and time course of the microsaccade rate were fully normalized to the control level, regardless of the time interval within trials. In contrast, the pupil diameter decreased over time within sessions and significantly increased above the control level with medication. We interpreted the suppression of microsaccades and eye blinks around the stimulus onset as reflecting a temporal anticipation mechanism for the transient allocation of attention, and their overall rates as inversely reflecting the level of arousal. We suggest that ADHD subjects fail to maintain sufficient levels of arousal during a simple and prolonged task, which limits their ability to dynamically allocate attention while anticipating visual stimuli. This impairment normalizes with medication and its oculomotor quantification could potentially be used for differential diagnosis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Comparison of Gated Audiovisual Speech Identification in Elderly Hearing Aid Users and Elderly Normal-Hearing Individuals: Effects of Adding Visual Cues to Auditory Speech Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradi, Shahram; Lidestam, Björn; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2016-06-17

    The present study compared elderly hearing aid (EHA) users (n = 20) with elderly normal-hearing (ENH) listeners (n = 20) in terms of isolation points (IPs, the shortest time required for correct identification of a speech stimulus) and accuracy of audiovisual gated speech stimuli (consonants, words, and final words in highly and less predictable sentences) presented in silence. In addition, we compared the IPs of audiovisual speech stimuli from the present study with auditory ones extracted from a previous study, to determine the impact of the addition of visual cues. Both participant groups achieved ceiling levels in terms of accuracy in the audiovisual identification of gated speech stimuli; however, the EHA group needed longer IPs for the audiovisual identification of consonants and words. The benefit of adding visual cues to auditory speech stimuli was more evident in the EHA group, as audiovisual presentation significantly shortened the IPs for consonants, words, and final words in less predictable sentences; in the ENH group, audiovisual presentation only shortened the IPs for consonants and words. In conclusion, although the audiovisual benefit was greater for EHA group, this group had inferior performance compared with the ENH group in terms of IPs when supportive semantic context was lacking. Consequently, EHA users needed the initial part of the audiovisual speech signal to be longer than did their counterparts with normal hearing to reach the same level of accuracy in the absence of a semantic context. © The Author(s) 2016.

  3. Event-related potential response to auditory social stimuli, parent-reported social communicative deficits and autism risk in school-aged children with congenital visual impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bathelt, Joe; Dale, Naomi; de Haan, Michelle

    2017-07-19

    Communication with visual signals, like facial expression, is important in early social development, but the question if these signals are necessary for typical social development remains to be addressed. The potential impact on social development of being born with no or very low levels of vision is therefore of high theoretical and clinical interest. The current study investigated event-related potential responses to basic social stimuli in a rare group of school-aged children with congenital visual disorders of the anterior visual system (globe of the eye, retina, anterior optic nerve). Early-latency event-related potential responses showed no difference between the VI and control group, suggesting similar initial auditory processing. However, the mean amplitude over central and right frontal channels between 280 and 320ms was reduced in response to own-name stimuli, but not control stimuli, in children with VI suggesting differences in social processing. Children with VI also showed an increased rate of autistic-related behaviours, pragmatic language deficits, as well as peer relationship and emotional problems on standard parent questionnaires. These findings suggest that vision may be necessary for the typical development of social processing across modalities. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Interhemispheric differences of fMRI responses to visual stimuli in patients with side-fixed migraine aura

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Hoffmann, Michael B

    2014-01-01

    Migraine sufferers with aura often report photosensitivity and visual discomfort outside of attacks and many consider bright or flickering light an attack-precipitating factor. The nature of this visual hypersensitivity and its relation to the underlying pathophysiology of the migraine aura...... is unknown. Using fMRI measurements during visual stimulation we examined the visual cortical responsiveness of patients with migraine with aura. We applied a within-patient design by assessing functional interhemispheric differences in patients consistently experiencing visual aura in the same visual...... hemifield. We recruited 20 patients with frequent side-fixed visual aura attacks (≥90% of auras occurring in the same visual hemifield) and 20 age and sex matched healthy controls and compared the fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses to visual stimulation between symptomatic...

  5. Interhemispheric differences of fMRI responses to visual stimuli in patients with side-fixed migraine aura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Hoffmann, Michael B; Rostrup, Egill; Larsson, Henrik B W; Asghar, Mohammad Sohail; Larsen, Vibeke Andrée; Olesen, Jes; Ashina, Messoud

    2014-06-01

    Migraine sufferers with aura often report photosensitivity and visual discomfort outside of attacks and many consider bright or flickering light an attack-precipitating factor. The nature of this visual hypersensitivity and its relation to the underlying pathophysiology of the migraine aura is unknown. Using fMRI measurements during visual stimulation we examined the visual cortical responsiveness of patients with migraine with aura. We applied a within-patient design by assessing functional interhemispheric differences in patients consistently experiencing visual aura in the same visual hemifield. We recruited 20 patients with frequent side-fixed visual aura attacks (≥90% of auras occurring in the same visual hemifield) and 20 age and sex matched healthy controls and compared the fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses to visual stimulation between symptomatic and asymptomatic hemispheres during the interictal phase and between migraine patients and controls. BOLD responses were selectively increased in the symptomatic hemispheres. This was found in the inferior parietal lobule (P = 0.002), the inferior frontal gyrus (P = 0.003), and the superior parietal lobule (P = 0.017). The affected cortical areas comprise a visually driven functional network involved in oculomotor control, guidance of movement, motion perception, visual attention, and visual spatial memory. The patients also had significantly increased response in the same cortical areas when compared to controls (P aura. These findings suggest a hyperexcitability of the visual system in the interictal phase of migraine with visual aura.

  6. From the Heart to the Mind: Cardiac Vagal Tone Modulates Top-down and Bottom-up Visual Perception and Attention to Emotional Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gewnhi ePark

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The neurovisceral integration model (Thayer & Lane, 2000 posits that cardiac vagal tone, indexed by heart rate variability (HRV, can indicate the functional integrity of the neural networks implicated in emotion-cognition interactions. Our recent findings begin to disentangle how HRV is associated with both top-down and bottom-up cognitive processing of emotional stimuli. Higher resting HRV is associated with more adaptive and functional top-down and bottom-up cognitive modulation of emotional stimuli, which may facilitate effective emotion regulation. Conversely, lower resting HRV is associated with hyper-vigilant and maladaptive cognitive responses to emotional stimuli, which may impede emotion regulation. In the present paper, we recapitulate the neurovisceral integration model and review recent findings that shed light on the relationship between HRV and top-down and bottom-up visual perception and attention to emotional stimuli, which may play an important role in emotion regulation. Further implications of HRV on individual well-being and mental health are discussed.

  7. Emotional memory enhancement in respect of positive visual stimuli in Alzheimer's disease emerges after rich and deep encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sava, Alina-Alexandra; Paquet, Claire; Krolak-Salmon, Pierre; Dumurgier, Julien; Hugon, Jacques; Chainay, Hanna

    2015-04-01

    Healthy participants remember emotional stimuli better than neutral stimuli. In normal, older adults this emotional enhancement of memory (EEM) was mostly seen in respect of positive stimuli (positivity bias) after rich and deep encoding. The results relating to this effect in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients are fairly inconsistent. The goal of the present study was to ascertain whether EEM in AD patients depends on the depth and the richness of encoding. Twenty-one patients with mild-to-moderate AD and 23 age-and-education-matched controls completed two study phases, each followed by a retrieval phase. The first study phase consisted of a natural/man-made categorization task followed by a recognition task, whereas the second, which involved the stimuli used in the recognition task, allowed for richer and deeper encoding as a result of repetition and naming of the stimuli and presentation of the same semantic cues at encoding and retrieval. The second study phase was followed by free and cued recall tasks and a recognition task. After the first study phase we observed EEM in respect of negative and positive stimuli in controls, but not in AD patients. After the second study phase, the positivity bias was observed in the free recall task in controls but not in AD patients. In the cued recall and recognition tasks, however, both groups showed the positivity bias. Based on our results, AD patients present a positivity memory bias when encoding is sufficiently rich and deep, and when support is provided at the time of retrieval (cued recall or recognition tasks).

  8. Different visual preference patterns in response to simple and complex dynamic social stimuli in preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan Shi

    Full Text Available Eye-tracking studies in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD have shown a visual attention preference for geometric patterns when viewing paired dynamic social images (DSIs and dynamic geometric images (DGIs. In the present study, eye-tracking of two different paired presentations of DSIs and DGIs was monitored in a group of 13 children aged 4 to 6 years with ASD and 20 chronologically age-matched typically developing children (TDC. The results indicated that compared with the control group, children with ASD attended significantly less to DSIs showing two or more children playing than to similar DSIs showing a single child. Visual attention preference in 4- to 6-year-old children with ASDs, therefore, appears to be modulated by the type of visual stimuli.

  9. The Effects of Visual Stimuli on the Spoken Narrative Performance of School-Age African American Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Monique T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the fictional narrative performance of school-age African American children across 3 elicitation contexts that differed in the type of visual stimulus presented. Method: A total of 54 children in Grades 2 through 5 produced narratives across 3 different visual conditions: no visual, picture sequence, and single…

  10. What's the meaning of this? A behavioral and neurophysiological investigation into the principles behind the classification of visual emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czekóová, Kristína; Shaw, Daniel J; Urbánek, Tomáš; Chládek, Jan; Lamoš, Martin; Roman, Robert; Brázdil, Milan

    2016-08-01

    Two experiments were performed to investigate the principles by which emotional stimuli are classified on the dimensions of valence and arousal. In Experiment 1, a large sample of healthy participants rated emotional stimuli according to both broad dimensions. Hierarchical cluster analyses performed on these ratings revealed that stimuli were clustered according to their semantic content at the beginning of the agglomerative process. Example semantic themes include food, violence, nudes, death, and objects. Importantly, this pattern occurred in a parallel fashion for ratings on both dimensions. In Experiment 2, we investigated if the same semantic clusters were differentiated at the neurophysiological level. Intracerebral EEG was recorded from 18 patients with intractable epilepsy who viewed the same set of stimuli. Not only did electrocortical responses differentiate between these data-defined semantic clusters, they converged with the behavioral measurements to highlight the importance of categories associated with survival and reproduction. These findings provide strong evidence that the semantic content of affective material influences their classification along the broad dimensions of valence and arousal, and this principle of categorization exerts an effect on the evoked emotional response. Future studies should consider data-driven techniques rather than normative ratings to identify more specific, semantically related emotional images.

  11. The coupling of cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism with brain activation is similar for simple and complex stimuli in human primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffeth, Valerie E M; Simon, Aaron B; Buxton, Richard B

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative functional MRI (fMRI) experiments to measure blood flow and oxygen metabolism coupling in the brain typically rely on simple repetitive stimuli. Here we compared such stimuli with a more naturalistic stimulus. Previous work on the primary visual cortex showed that direct attentional modulation evokes a blood flow (CBF) response with a relatively large oxygen metabolism (CMRO2) response in comparison to an unattended stimulus, which evokes a much smaller metabolic response relative to the flow response. We hypothesized that a similar effect would be associated with a more engaging stimulus, and tested this by measuring the primary human visual cortex response to two contrast levels of a radial flickering checkerboard in comparison to the response to free viewing of brief movie clips. We did not find a significant difference in the blood flow-metabolism coupling (n=%ΔCBF/%ΔCMRO2) between the movie stimulus and the flickering checkerboards employing two different analysis methods: a standard analysis using the Davis model and a new analysis using a heuristic model dependent only on measured quantities. This finding suggests that in the primary visual cortex a naturalistic stimulus (in comparison to a simple repetitive stimulus) is either not sufficient to provoke a change in flow-metabolism coupling by attentional modulation as hypothesized, that the experimental design disrupted the cognitive processes underlying the response to a more natural stimulus, or that the technique used is not sensitive enough to detect a small difference. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Brain processing of visual stimuli representing sexual penetration versus core and animal-reminder disgust in women with lifelong vaginismus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charmaine Borg

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity for contamination and may thus set the stage for eliciting pathogen disgust. Building on this, it has been argued that the involuntary muscle contraction characteristic of vaginismus (i.e., inability to have vaginal penetration may be elicited by the prospect of penetration by potential contaminants. To further investigate this disgust-based interpretation of vaginismus (in DSM-5 classified as a Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, GPPPD we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to examine if women with vaginismus (n = 21 show relatively strong convergence in their brain responses towards sexual penetration- and disgust-related pictures compared to sexually asymptomatic women (n = 21 and women suffering from vulvar pain (dyspareunia/also classified as GPPPD in the DSM-5, n = 21. At the subjective level, both clinical groups rated penetration stimuli as more disgusting than asymptomatic women. However, the brain responses to penetration stimuli did not differ between groups. In addition, there was considerable conjoint brain activity in response to penetration and disgust pictures, which yield for both animal-reminder (e.g., mutilation and core (e.g., rotten food disgust domains. However, this overlap in brain activation was similar for all groups. A possible explanation for the lack of vaginismus-specific brain responses lies in the alleged female ambiguity (procreation/pleasure vs. contamination/disgust toward penetration: generally in women a (default disgust response tendency may prevail in the absence of sexual readiness. Accordingly, a critical next step would be to examine the processing of penetration stimuli following

  13. Temporal-order judgment of visual and auditory stimuli: Modulations in situations with and without stimulus discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth eHendrich

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Temporal-order judgment (TOJ tasks are an important paradigm to investigate processing times of information in different modalities. There are a lot of studies on how temporal order decisions can be influenced by stimuli characteristics. However, so far it has not been investigated whether the addition of a choice reaction time task has an influence on temporal-order judgment. Moreover, it is not known when during processing the decision about the temporal order of two stimuli is made. We investigated the first of these two questions by comparing a regular TOJ task with a dual task. In both tasks, we manipulated different processing stages to investigate whether the manipulations have an influence on temporal-order judgment and to determine thereby the time of processing at which the decision about temporal order is made. The results show that the addition of a choice reaction time task does have an influence on the temporal-order judgment, but the influence seems to be linked to the kind of manipulation of the processing stages that is used. The results of the manipulations indicate that the temporal order decision in the dual task paradigm is made after perceptual processing of the stimuli.

  14. Intuitively detecting what is hidden within a visual mask: familiar-novel discrimination and threat detection for unidentified stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleary, Anne M; Ryals, Anthony J; Nomi, Jason S

    2013-10-01

    Recognition without identification is the finding that, among recognition test items that go unidentified (as when a word is unidentified from a fragment), participants can discriminate those that were studied from those that were unstudied. In the present study, we extended this phenomenon to the more life-like situation of discriminating known from novel stimuli. Pictures of famous and nonfamous faces (Exp. 1), famous and nonfamous scenes (Exp. 2), and threatening and nonthreatening images (Exp. 3) were filtered in order to impede identification. As in list-learning recognition-without-identification paradigms, participants attempted to identify each image (e.g., whose face it was, what scene it was, or what was in the picture) and rated how familiar the image seemed on a scale of 0 (very unfamiliar) to 10 (very familiar). Among the unidentified stimuli, higher familiarity ratings were given to famous than to nonfamous faces (Exp. 1) and scenes (Exp. 2), and to threatening than to nonthreatening living/animate (but not to nonliving/nonanimate) images (Exp. 3). These findings suggest that even when a stimulus is too occluded to allow for conscious identification, enough information can be processed to allow a sense of familiarity or novelty with it, which appears also to be related to the sense of whether or not a living creature is a threat. That the sense of familiarity for unidentified stimuli may be related to threat detection for living or animate things suggests that it may be an adaptive aspect of human memory.

  15. Attentional and anatomical considerations for the representation of simple stimuli in visual short-term memory: evidence from human electrophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Rosalie; Lefebvre, Christine; Robitaille, Nicolas; Brisson, Benoit; Gosselin, Frédéric; Arguin, Martin; Jolicoeur, Pierre

    2009-03-01

    Observers encoded the spatial arrangement of two or three horizontal line segments relative to a square frame presented for 150 ms either in left or right visual field and either above or below the horizontal midline. The target pattern was selected on the basis of colour (red vs. green) from an equivalent distractor pattern in the opposite left-right visual hemifield. After a retention interval of 450 or 650 ms a test pattern was presented at fixation. The task was to decide whether the test was the same as the encoded pattern or different. Selection of the to-be-memorized pattern produced an N2pc response that was not influenced by the number of line segments nor by the length of the retention interval, but that was smaller in amplitude for patterns presented in the upper visual field compared with patterns presented in the lower visual field. A sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN) followed the N2pc. The SPCN was larger for patterns with three line segments than for two, was larger for patterns encoded from lower visual field than from upper visual field, and returned to baseline sooner for the shorter retention interval than for the longer interval. These results, and others, provide an interesting and complex pattern of similarities and differences between the N2pc and SPCN, consistent with the view that N2pc reflects mechanisms of attentional selection whereas the SPCN reflects maintenance in visual short-term memory.

  16. No evidence for early modulation of evoked responses in primary visual cortex to irrelevant probe stimuli presented during the attentional blink.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Jacoby

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: During rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP, observers often miss the second of two targets if it appears within 500 ms of the first. This phenomenon, called the attentional blink (AB, is widely held to reflect a bottleneck in the processing of rapidly sequential stimuli that arises after initial sensory registration is complete (i.e., at a relatively late, post-perceptual stage of processing. Contrary to this view, recent fMRI studies have found that activity in the primary visual area (V1, which represents the earliest cortical stage of visual processing, is attenuated during the AB. Here we asked whether such changes in V1 activity during the AB arise in the initial feedforward sweep of stimulus input, or instead reflect the influence of feedback signals from higher cortical areas. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: EEG signals were recorded while participants monitored a sequential stream of distractor letters for two target digits (T1 and T2. Neural responses associated with an irrelevant probe stimulus presented simultaneously with T2 were measured using an ERP marker--the C1 component--that reflects initial perceptual processing of visual information in V1. As expected, T2 accuracy was compromised when the inter-target interval was brief, reflecting an AB deficit. Critically, however, the magnitude of the early C1 component evoked by the probe was not reduced during the AB. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our finding that early sensory processing of irrelevant probe stimuli is not suppressed during the AB is consistent with theoretical models that assume that the bottleneck underlying the AB arises at a post-perceptual stage of processing. This suggests that reduced neural activity in V1 during the AB is driven by re-entrant signals from extrastriate areas that regulate early cortical activity via feedback connections with V1.

  17. The Effects of Visual Cues and Learners' Field Dependence in Multiple External Representations Environment for Novice Program Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Liew Tze; Sazilah, Salam

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of visual cues in multiple external representations (MER) environment on the learning performance of novices' program comprehension. Program codes and flowchart diagrams were used as dual representations in multimedia environment to deliver lessons on C-Programming. 17 field independent participants and 16 field…

  18. The oscillatory activities and its synchronization in auditory-visual integration as revealed by event-related potentials to bimodal stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jia; Xu, Peng; Yao, Li; Shu, Hua; Zhao, Xiaojie

    2012-03-01

    Neural mechanism of auditory-visual speech integration is always a hot study of multi-modal perception. The articulation conveys speech information that helps detect and disambiguate the auditory speech. As important characteristic of EEG, oscillations and its synchronization have been applied to cognition research more and more. This study analyzed the EEG data acquired by unimodal and bimodal stimuli using time frequency and phase synchrony approach, investigated the oscillatory activities and its synchrony modes behind evoked potential during auditory-visual integration, in order to reveal the inherent neural integration mechanism under these modes. It was found that beta activity and its synchronization differences had relationship with gesture N1-P2, which happened in the earlier stage of speech coding to pronouncing action. Alpha oscillation and its synchronization related with auditory N1-P2 might be mainly responsible for auditory speech process caused by anticipation from gesture to sound feature. The visual gesture changing enhanced the interaction of auditory brain regions. These results provided explanations to the power and connectivity change of event-evoked oscillatory activities which matched ERPs during auditory-visual speech integration.

  19. Representations of modality-specific affective processing for visual and auditory stimuli derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinkareva, Svetlana V; Wang, Jing; Kim, Jongwan; Facciani, Matthew J; Baucom, Laura B; Wedell, Douglas H

    2014-07-01

    There is converging evidence that people rapidly and automatically encode affective dimensions of objects, events, and environments that they encounter in the normal course of their daily routines. An important research question is whether affective representations differ with sensory modality. This research examined the nature of the dependency of affect and sensory modality at a whole-brain level of analysis in an incidental affective processing paradigm. Participants were presented with picture and sound stimuli that differed in positive or negative valence in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment. Global statistical tests, applied at a level of the individual, demonstrated significant sensitivity to valence within modality, but not valence across modalities. Modality-general and modality-specific valence hypotheses predict distinctly different multidimensional patterns of the stimulus conditions. Examination of lower dimensional representation of the data demonstrated separable dimensions for valence processing within each modality. These results provide support for modality-specific valence processing in an incidental affective processing paradigm at a whole-brain level of analysis. Future research should further investigate how stimulus-specific emotional decoding may be mediated by the physical properties of the stimuli.

  20. Effects of Unilateral Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Left Prefrontal Cortex on Processing and Memory of Emotional Visual Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Balzarotti

    Full Text Available The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC is generally thought to be involved in affect and emotional processing; however, the specific contribution of each hemisphere continues to be debated. In the present study, we employed unilateral tDCS to test the unique contribution of left DLPFC in the encoding and retrieval of emotional stimuli in healthy subjects. Forty-two right handed undergraduate students received either anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation of left DLPFC while viewing neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures. After completing a filler task, participants were asked to remember as many pictures as possible. Results showed that participants were able to remember a larger amount of emotional (both pleasant and unpleasant pictures than of neutral ones, regardless of the type of tDCS condition. Participants who received anodal stimulation recalled a significantly higher number of pleasant images than participants in the sham and cathodal conditions, while no differences emerged in the recall of neutral and unpleasant pictures. We conclude that our results provide some support to the role of left prefrontal cortex in the encoding and retrieval of pleasant stimuli.

  1. Auditory scene analysis and sonified visual images. Does consonance negatively impact on object formation when using complex sonified stimuli?

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    Brown, David J; Simpson, Andrew J R; Proulx, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    A critical task for the brain is the sensory representation and identification of perceptual objects in the world. When the visual sense is impaired, hearing and touch must take primary roles and in recent times compensatory techniques have been developed that employ the tactile or auditory system as a substitute for the visual system. Visual-to-auditory sonifications provide a complex, feature-based auditory representation that must be decoded and integrated into an object-based representation by the listener. However, we don't yet know what role the auditory system plays in the object integration stage and whether the principles of auditory scene analysis apply. Here we used coarse sonified images in a two-tone discrimination task to test whether auditory feature-based representations of visual objects would be confounded when their features conflicted with the principles of auditory consonance. We found that listeners (N = 36) performed worse in an object recognition task when the auditory feature-based representation was harmonically consonant. We also found that this conflict was not negated with the provision of congruent audio-visual information. The findings suggest that early auditory processes of harmonic grouping dominate the object formation process and that the complexity of the signal, and additional sensory information have limited effect on this.

  2. Auditory Scene Analysis and sonified visual images. Does consonance negatively impact on object formation when using complex sonified stimuli?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Brown

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available A critical task for the brain is the sensory representation and identification of perceptual objects in the world. When the visual sense is impaired, hearing and touch must take primary roles and in recent times compensatory techniques have been developed that employ the tactile or auditory system as a substitute for the visual system. Visual-to-auditory sonifications provide a complex, feature-based auditory representation that must be decoded and integrated into an object-based representation by the listener. However, we don’t yet know what role the auditory system plays in the object integration stage and whether the principles of auditory scene analysis apply. Here we used coarse sonified images in a two-tone discrimination task to test whether auditory feature-based representations of visual objects would be confounded when their features conflicted with the principles of auditory consonance. We found that listeners (N = 36 performed worse in an object recognition task when the auditory feature-based representation was harmonically consonant. We also found that this conflict was not negated with the provision of congruent audio-visual information. The findings suggest that early auditory processes of harmonic grouping dominate the object formation process and that the complexity of the signal, and additional sensory information have limited effect on this.

  3. Schizophrenia spectrum participants have reduced visual contrast sensitivity to chromatic (red/green and luminance (light/dark stimuli: new insights into information processing, visual channel function and antipsychotic effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Suzanne Cadenhead

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Individuals with schizophrenia spectrum diagnoses have deficient visual information processing as assessed by a variety of paradigms including visual backward masking, motion perception and visual contrast sensitivity (VCS. In the present study, the VCS paradigm was used to investigate potential differences in magnocellular (M versus parvocellular (P channel function that might account for the observed information processing deficits of schizophrenia spectrum patients. Specifically, VCS for near threshold luminance (black/white stimuli is known to be governed primarily by the M channel, while VCS for near threshold chromatic (red/green stimuli is governed by the P channel. Methods: VCS for luminance and chromatic stimuli (counterphase-reversing sinusoidal gratings, 1.22 c/deg, 8.3 Hz was assessed in 53 patients with schizophrenia (including 5 off antipsychotic medication, 22 individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder and 53 healthy comparison subjects. Results: Schizophrenia spectrum groups demonstrated reduced VCS in both conditions relative to normals, and there was no significant group by condition interaction effect. Post-hoc analyses suggest that it was the patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic medication as well as SPD participants who accounted for the deficits in the luminance condition. Conclusions: These results demonstrate visual information processing deficits in schizophrenia spectrum populations but do not support the notion of selective abnormalities in the function of subcortical channels as suggested by previous studies. Further work is needed in a longitudinal design to further assess VCS as a vulnerability marker for psychosis as well as the effect of antipsychotic agents on performance in schizophrenia spectrum populations.

  4. [Visual evoked potentials produced by monocular flash stimuli in the cerebral cortex of the rabbit. I. Typography].

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    Pérez-Cobo, J C; Ruiz-Beramendi, M; Pérez-Arroyo, M

    1990-12-01

    The visually evoked potentials in the hemisphere contralateral to the stimulated eye in rabbit, can be described topographically as follows. While a positive wave (P1) begins forming in the anterior zones and in the V I binocular zone, the N0 wave, at times very large, is produced in a more occipital zone, which corresponds to the visual streak. Immediately afterwards, the positivity, P1, practically invades the whole of the hemisphere. After this, the N1 wave which is produced in the most posterior parts of the V I, begins forming. The whole phenomenon comes to an end when the P2 wave is generated in the most occipital zones.

  5. Visual Field x Response Hand Interactions and Level Priming in the Processing of Laterally Presented Hierarchical Stimuli

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    Wendt, Mike; Vietze, Ina; Kluwe, Rainer H.

    2007-01-01

    Hemisphere-specific processing of laterally presented global and local stimulus levels was investigated by (a) examining interactions between the visual field of stimulus presentation and the response hand and (b) comparing intra- with inter-hemispheric effects of level priming (i.e. faster and more accurate performance when the target level…

  6. Seleção e análise de estímulos na tarefa de busca visual Stimuli selection and analysis in the visual search task

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    Joaquim Carlos Rossini

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available A capacidade de processar simultaneamente vários estágios cognitivos ainda é motivo de discordância entre os modelos que tentam compreender o processamento da informação visual. Muitos resultados experimentais apontam basicamente duas maneiras possíveis de fluxo da informação entre estágios de processamento: uma discreta e outra contínua. No presente estudo, dois experimentos foram delineados para investigar se a informação inicialmente descartada, em um estágio pré-atentivo, pode influenciar o processamento atentivo da informação selecionada em uma tarefa de busca visual. De maneira geral, os resultados observados nestes experimentos mostram que os estímulos inicialmente descartados em um processo automático de seleção não interferem no processamento atentivo dos estímulos na tarefa de busca visual. Este resultado apóia os modelos que predizem uma seleção precoce dos elementos relevantes para o processamento atentivo e uma transmissão discreta da informação entre os estágios cognitivos de processamento.The capacity of processing several cognitive stages simultaneously still generates a considerable disagreement among models that try to understand the processing of visual information. Many experimental results suggest two main possibilities for the information flow between information processing stages: a discrete or a continuous flow. Two experiments have in the present study to investigate were designed attentional processing whether the information at first discarded in a pre-attentive state can influence the of selected information in a visual search task. The results show that the stimuli initially discarded in an automatic process of selection do not interfere in the attention all processing of stimuli in a visual search. The results support the models that predict an early selection of the relevant stimuli and a discrete transmission of the information between the cognitive processing stages.

  7. Generating stimuli for neuroscience using PsychoPy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan W Peirce

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available PsychoPy is a software library written in Python, using OpenGL to generate very precise visual stimuli on standard personal computers. It is designed to allow the construction of as wide a variety of neuroscience experiments as possible, with the least effort. By writing scripts in standard Python syntax users can generate an enormous variety of visual and auditory stimuli and can interact with a wide range of external hardware (enabling its use in fMRI, EEG, MEG etc.. The structure of scripts is simple and intuitive. As a result, new experiments can be written very quickly, and trying to understand a previously written script is easy, even with minimal code comments. PsychoPy can also generate movies and image sequences to be used in demos or simulated neuroscience experiments. This paper describes the range of tools and stimuli that it provides and the environment in which experiments are conducted.

  8. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirce, Jonathan W

    2008-01-01

    PsychoPy is a software library written in Python, using OpenGL to generate very precise visual stimuli on standard personal computers. It is designed to allow the construction of as wide a variety of neuroscience experiments as possible, with the least effort. By writing scripts in standard Python syntax users can generate an enormous variety of visual and auditory stimuli and can interact with a wide range of external hardware (enabling its use in fMRI, EEG, MEG etc.). The structure of scripts is simple and intuitive. As a result, new experiments can be written very quickly, and trying to understand a previously written script is easy, even with minimal code comments. PsychoPy can also generate movies and image sequences to be used in demos or simulated neuroscience experiments. This paper describes the range of tools and stimuli that it provides and the environment in which experiments are conducted.

  9. Neural reactivity to visual food stimuli is reduced in some areas of the brain during evening hours compared to morning hours: an fMRI study in women.

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    Masterson, Travis D; Kirwan, C Brock; Davidson, Lance E; LeCheminant, James D

    2016-03-01

    The extent that neural responsiveness to visual food stimuli is influenced by time of day is not well examined. Using a crossover design, 15 healthy women were scanned using fMRI while presented with low- and high-energy pictures of food, once in the morning (6:30-8:30 am) and once in the evening (5:00-7:00 pm). Diets were identical on both days of the fMRI scans and were verified using weighed food records. Visual analog scales were used to record subjective perception of hunger and preoccupation with food prior to each fMRI scan. Six areas of the brain showed lower activation in the evening to both high- and low-energy foods, including structures in reward pathways (P brain regions showed significantly higher activation for high-energy foods compared to low-energy foods (P brain, regardless of time of day. However, evening scans showed a lower response to both low- and high-energy food pictures in some areas of the brain. Subjectively, participants reported no difference in hunger by time of day (F = 1.84, P = 0.19), but reported they could eat more (F = 4.83, P = 0.04) and were more preoccupied with thoughts of food (F = 5.51, P = 0.03) in the evening compared to the morning. These data underscore the role that time of day may have on neural responses to food stimuli. These results may also have clinical implications for fMRI measurement in order to prevent a time of day bias.

  10. [Producing a sequence of movements in response to a sequence of visual stimuli. Inter-individual differences in early phase of sequence learning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurganskiĭ, A V; Grigal, P P

    2009-01-01

    In this work, we studied the inter-individual variants at the early stage of serial learning in the sequence reproduction task where subjects were asked to produce a sequence of movements whose serial order was given by the sequence of visual stimuli. A total of 20 adults participated in the experiment where, besides the sequence reproduction task, each subject also performed the simple visuomotor reaction time task, the choice reaction time task and the serial reaction time task. It was found that individual latencies vs. trial number plots (learning curves) were characterized by one distinctive feature: the latency reduction, if any, took a form of either an abrupt decline down to a stationary level (fast phase) or a gradual approximately linear leveling off over the entire block of 60 trials (slow phase). The diversity of the individual learning curves were limited to the following four types: a flat curve, a curve with the fast phase only, a curve with the slow phase only, and a curve that combined both phases with the leading fast phase followed by the slow phase. All the subjects were subdivided into four groups according to the subject's type of learning curve. We analyzed the correlation pattern between temporal indices (latencies and inter-response intervals) and compared these indices to simple visuomotor reaction time, choice reaction time and the amount of learning in the serial reaction time task. The significant between-group differences found in this analysis suggest that there are some essential functional differences related to the group break up. It was suggested that inter-individual variants in the character of the early stage of sequence learning are determined mainly by the functional and structural complexity of the internal representation of the sequence and by the way the working memory operates in order to recognize the driving sequence of visual stimuli and to translate the internal representation of a sequence into motor commands.

  11. Perception of Visual-Tactile Colocation in the First Year of Life

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    Freier, Livia; Mason, Luke; Bremner, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    An ability to perceive tactile and visual stimuli in a common spatial frame of reference is a crucial ingredient in forming a representation of one's own body and the interface between bodily and external space. In this study, the authors investigated young infants' abilities to perceive colocation between tactile and visual stimuli presented on…

  12. Thermal and Photolytic Transformation of NHC-B,N-Heterocycles: Controlled Generation of Blue Fluorescent 1,3-Azaborinine Derivatives and 1H-Imidazo[1,2-a]indoles by External Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Sean M; Mellerup, Soren K; Peng, Jinbao; Yang, Dengtao; Li, Quan-Song; Wang, Suning

    2015-09-28

    NHC-B,N-heterocyclic compounds have been found to act as convenient precursors for obtaining either 1,3-azaborinine or 1H-imidazo[1,2-a]indole derivatives, which are two different and rare classes of compounds. The formation of these two classes of compounds from the NHC-B,N-heterocycles is highly selective depending on the external stimuli employed, and the resulting products have been studied for their interesting chemical and photophysical properties. The mechanism and possible reaction pathways of the unusual transformation are established by computational studies.

  13. Forget Me if You Can: Attentional capture by to-Be-remembered and to-Be-forgotten visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasin, Edyta; Morey, Candice C; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    2017-01-10

    Previous studies on directed forgetting in visual working memory (VWM) have shown that, if people are cued to remember only a subset of the items currently held in VWM, they will completely forget the uncued, no longer relevant items. While this finding is indicative of selective remembering, it remains unclear whether directed forgetting can also occur in the absence of any concurrent to-be-remembered information. In the current study, we addressed this matter by asking participants to memorize a single object that could be followed by a cue to forget or remember this object. Following the cue, we assessed the object's activation in VWM by determining whether a matching distractor would capture attention in a visual search task. The results showed that, compared to a cue to remember, a cue to forget led to a reduced likelihood of attentional capture by a matching distractor. In addition, we found that capture effects by to-be-remembered and to-be-forgotten distractors remained stable as the interval between the onset of the cue and the search task increased from 700 ms to 3900 ms. We conclude that, in the absence of any to-be-remembered objects, an instruction to forget an object held in WM leads to a rapid but incomplete deactivation of the representation of that object, thus allowing it to continue to produce a weak biasing effect on attentional selection for several seconds after the instruction to forget.

  14. Relationship of the BOLD signal with VEP for ultrashort duration visual stimuli (0.1 to 5 ms) in humans.

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    Yeşilyurt, Bariş; Whittingstall, Kevin; Uğurbil, Kâmil; Logothetis, Nikos K; Uludağ, Kâmil

    2010-02-01

    There is currently a great interest to combine electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain function. Earlier studies have shown different EEG components to correlate well with the fMRI signal arguing for a complex relationship between both measurements. In this study, using separate EEG and fMRI measurements, we show that (1) 0.1 ms visual stimulation evokes detectable hemodynamic and visual-evoked potential (VEP) responses, (2) the negative VEP deflection at approximately 80 ms (N2) co-varies with stimulus duration/intensity such as with blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response; the positive deflection at approximately 120 ms (P2) does not, and (3) although the N2 VEP-BOLD relationship is approximately linear, deviation is evident at the limit of zero N2 VEP. The latter finding argues that, although EEG and fMRI measurements can co-vary, they reflect partially independent processes in the brain tissue. Finally, it is shown that the stimulus-induced impulse response function (IRF) at 0.1 ms and the intrinsic IRF during rest have different temporal dynamics, possibly due to predominance of neuromodulation during rest as compared with neurotransmission during stimulation. These results extend earlier findings regarding VEP-BOLD coupling and highlight the component- and context-dependency of the relationship between evoked potentials and hemodynamic responses.

  15. Manual responses to visual stimuli: early and late facilitatory effects due to the offset of a peripheral cue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Machado-Pinheiro

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Manual and saccadic reaction times (MRTs and SRTs are reduced when a warning signal precedes the onset of a target. The decreasing on SRTs observed after the offset of a fixation point has been called the gap effect. Different theories have been proposed to explain it. According to some authors, the offset also allows the saccadic system to generate a separate population of SRTs, the express saccades. Nevertheless there is no agreement about the influence of the offset of a peripheral stimulus on MRT. In two experiments we tested the effects of a peripheral visual offset used as preparatory signal on MRTs to a target after variable intervals. We found a reduction on MRT at short (200-300 ms and long (1300-2000 ms intervals after the peripheral offset. MRT distribution shifted toward short latencies, which sometimes formed a separate population. Since MRTs obtained at long intervals were affected by the introduction of catch trials, while MRTs at short intervals were not, we propose that two different mechanisms are involved in the decreasing of MRTs: warning and temporal expectancy. Our data support the hypothesis that the temporal component involved with the preparatory stages for motor responses can be shared by saccadic movements and key press responses, allowing the reduction on motor latencies after the visual offset in the gap paradigm. Our data corroborate the three components model for the gap effect. In our view, the question of the existence or not of a gap effect for manual responses is essentially conceptual.

  16. Cerebral processing of food-related stimuli: effects of fasting and gender.

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    Uher, Rudolf; Treasure, Janet; Heining, Maike; Brammer, Michael J; Campbell, Iain C

    2006-04-25

    To maintain nutritional homeostasis, external food-related stimuli have to be evaluated in relation to the internal states of hunger or satiety. To examine the neural circuitry responsible for integration of internal and external determinants of human eating behaviour, brain responses to visual and complex gustatory food-related stimuli were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 18 healthy non-smokers (10 women, 8 men). Each individual was studied on two occasions, the order of which was counterbalanced; after eating as usual and after 24 h fasting. Raised plasma free fatty acids and lower insulin and leptin concentrations confirmed that participants fasted as requested. When fasted, participants reported more hunger, nervousness and worse mood and rated the visual (but not gustatory) food-related stimuli as more pleasant. The effect of fasting on hunger was stronger in women than in men. No circuitry was identified as differentially responsive in fasting compared to satiety to both visual and gustatory food-related stimuli. The left insula response to the gustatory stimuli was stronger during fasting. The inferior occipito-temporal response to visual food-related stimuli also tended to be stronger during fasting. The responses in the occipito-temporal cortex to visual and in the insula to gustatory stimuli were stronger in women than in men. There was no interaction between gender and fasting. In conclusion, food reactivity in modality-specific sensory cortical areas is modulated by internal motivational states. The stronger reactivity to external food-related stimuli in women may be explored as a marker of gender-related susceptibility to eating disorders.

  17. An on-line calibration algorithm for external parameters of visual system based on binocular stereo cameras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liqiang; Liu, Zhen; Zhang, Zhonghua

    2014-11-01

    Stereo vision is the key in the visual measurement, robot vision, and autonomous navigation. Before performing the system of stereo vision, it needs to calibrate the intrinsic parameters for each camera and the external parameters of the system. In engineering, the intrinsic parameters remain unchanged after calibrating cameras, and the positional relationship between the cameras could be changed because of vibration, knocks and pressures in the vicinity of the railway or motor workshops. Especially for large baselines, even minute changes in translation or rotation can affect the epipolar geometry and scene triangulation to such a degree that visual system becomes disabled. A technology including both real-time examination and on-line recalibration for the external parameters of stereo system becomes particularly important. This paper presents an on-line method for checking and recalibrating the positional relationship between stereo cameras. In epipolar geometry, the external parameters of cameras can be obtained by factorization of the fundamental matrix. Thus, it offers a method to calculate the external camera parameters without any special targets. If the intrinsic camera parameters are known, the external parameters of system can be calculated via a number of random matched points. The process is: (i) estimating the fundamental matrix via the feature point correspondences; (ii) computing the essential matrix from the fundamental matrix; (iii) obtaining the external parameters by decomposition of the essential matrix. In the step of computing the fundamental matrix, the traditional methods are sensitive to noise and cannot ensure the estimation accuracy. We consider the feature distribution situation in the actual scene images and introduce a regional weighted normalization algorithm to improve accuracy of the fundamental matrix estimation. In contrast to traditional algorithms, experiments on simulated data prove that the method improves estimation

  18. PLDAPS: A Hardware Architecture and Software Toolbox for Neurophysiology Requiring Complex Visual Stimuli and Online Behavioral Control.

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    Eastman, Kyler M; Huk, Alexander C

    2012-01-01

    Neurophysiological studies in awake, behaving primates (both human and non-human) have focused with increasing scrutiny on the temporal relationship between neural signals and behaviors. Consequently, laboratories are often faced with the problem of developing experimental equipment that can support data recording with high temporal precision and also be flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of experimental paradigms. To this end, we have developed a MATLAB toolbox that integrates several modern pieces of equipment, but still grants experimenters the flexibility of a high-level programming language. Our toolbox takes advantage of three popular and powerful technologies: the Plexon apparatus for neurophysiological recordings (Plexon, Inc., Dallas, TX, USA), a Datapixx peripheral (Vpixx Technologies, Saint-Bruno, QC, Canada) for control of analog, digital, and video input-output signals, and the Psychtoolbox MATLAB toolbox for stimulus generation (Brainard, 1997; Pelli, 1997; Kleiner et al., 2007). The PLDAPS ("Platypus") system is designed to support the study of the visual systems of awake, behaving primates during multi-electrode neurophysiological recordings, but can be easily applied to other related domains. Despite its wide range of capabilities and support for cutting-edge video displays and neural recording systems, the PLDAPS system is simple enough for someone with basic MATLAB programming skills to design their own experiments.

  19. The multifocal visual evoked potential and cone-isolating stimuli: implications for L- to M-cone ratios and normalization.

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    Hood, Donald C; Yu, Alice L; Zhang, Xian; Albrecht, Johannes; Jägle, Herbert; Sharpe, Lindsay T

    2002-01-01

    Multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEP) were recorded with a pattern-reversing display that modulated only the long wavelength-sensitive (L) cones or only the middle wavelength-sensitive (M) cones. Outside the central 5.8 degrees (radius), the ratio of the amplitudes of the mfVEP responses to L- and M-cone modulation varied across the six subjects, ranging from 1.1 to 1.7. The responses from the central 1 degrees (radius) showed a substantially lower ratio, ranging from 0.8 to 1.1 (average of 0.9). The variation among individuals outside the central fovea is probably due to differences in the ratio of the L/M cone input to both magno- and parvocellular pathways. The substantially lower ratios for the central responses is consistent with an L/M cone ratio closer to 1.0 in the central 1 degrees and/or an adjustment in the gain of the L- versus M-cone contributions to the central parvocellular pathways. Taking into consideration evidence from other techniques, we believe it is unlikely that most individuals have a L/M cone ratio of 1.0 in the fovea. Instead, it appears that there is a change in gain before the mfVEP is generated in area 17.

  20. Visual stimuli evoke rapid activation (120 ms) of sensorimotor cortex for overt but not for covert movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hohlefeld, Friederike U; Nikulin, Vadim V; Curio, Gabriel

    2011-01-12

    Overt and covert movements (e.g., motor imagery) have been frequently demonstrated to engage common neuronal substrates in the motor system. However, it is an open question whether this similarity is also present during early stages of stimulus-processing. We utilized the high temporal resolution of multi-channel electroencephalography (EEG) in order to test whether the prior action intention (overt vs. covert movements) differentially modulates early stimulus-processing stages in the cortical sensorimotor system. The subjects performed overt or covert movements contingent upon an instructive visual stimulus (indicating left or right hand performance). We introduced a novel measure, LRPrect, calculated as Lateralized Readiness Potentials from rectified EEG signals. This measure overcomes a problem related to the EEG signal variability due to polarity differences in the spatial distribution of neuronal sources. The LRPrect showed an activation already at 120 ms after stimulus onset (latN120) focally over sensorimotor cortices contralateral to the upcoming hand movement, yet only for overt but not covert movements. Thus the prior action intention differentially routes early stimulus-processing into the sensorimotor system, which might contribute to significantly different behavioral outcomes, i.e., movement generation or inhibition. The present results have implications for studies of motor inhibition and action intention.

  1. Plasma Concentration of Prolactin, Testosterone Might Be Associated with Brain Response to Visual Erotic Stimuli in Healthy Heterosexual Males

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Younghee; Kim, Ji-Woong; Choi, Jeewook

    2009-01-01

    Objective Many studies have showed that excess or lack of sexual hormones, such as prolactin and testosterone, induced the sexual dysfunction in humans. Little, however, is known about the role of sexual hormones showing normal range in, especially, the basal state unexposed to any sexual stimulation. We hypothesized sexual hormones in the basal state may affect sexual behavior. Methods We investigated the association of the sexual hormones level in the basal hormonal state before visual sexual stimulation with the sexual response-related brain activity during the stimulation. Twelve heterosexual men were recorded the functional MRI signals of their brain activation elicited by passive viewing erotic (ERO), happy-faced (HA) couple, food and nature pictures. Both plasma prolacitn and testosterone concentrations were measured before functional MR scanning. A voxel wise regression analyses were performed to investigate the relationship between the concentration of sexual hormones in basal state and brain activity elicited by ERO minus HA, not food minus nature, contrast. Results The plasma concentration of prolactin in basal state showed positive association with the activity of the brain involving cognitive component of sexual behavior including the left middle frontal gyrus, paracingulate/superior frontal/anterior cingulate gyri, bilateral parietal lobule, right angular, bilateral precuneus and right cerebellum. Testosterone in basal state was positively associated with the brain activity of the bilateral supplementary motor area which related with motivational component of sexual behavior. Conclusion Our results suggested sexual hormones in basal state may have their specific target regions or network associated with sexual response. PMID:20046395

  2. Deficits in narrative discourse elicited by visual stimuli are already present in patients with mild cognitive impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Cláudia; Coutinho, Gabriel; Fonseca, Rochele Paz; Assunção, Naima; Teldeschi, Alina; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Moll, Jorge; Tovar-Moll, Fernanda; Mattos, Paulo

    2015-01-01

    Language batteries used to assess the skills of elderly individuals, such as naming and semantic verbal fluency, present some limitations in differentiating healthy controls from patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). Deficits in narrative discourse occur early in dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the narrative discourse abilities of a-MCI patients are poorly documented. The present study sought to propose and evaluate parameters for investigating narrative discourse in these populations. After a pilot study of 30 healthy subjects who served as a preliminary investigation of macro- and micro-linguistic aspects, 77 individuals (patients with AD and a-MCI and a control group) were evaluated. The experimental task required the participants to narrate a story based on a sequence of actions visually presented. The Control and AD groups differed in all parameters except narrative time and the total number of words recalled. The a-MCI group displayed mild discursive difficulties that were characterized as an intermediate stage between the Control and AD groups' performances. The a-MCI and Control groups differed from the AD group with respect to global coherence, discourse type and referential cohesion. The a-MCI and AD groups were similar to one another but differed from the Control group with respect to the type of words recalled, the repetition of words in the same sentence, the narrative structure and the inclusion of irrelevant propositions in the narrative. The narrative parameter that best distinguished the three groups was the speech effectiveness index. The proposed task was able to reveal differences between healthy controls and groups with cognitive decline. According to our findings, patients with a-MCI already present narrative deficits that are characterized by mild discursive difficulties that are less severe than those found in patients with AD. PMID:26074814

  3. Deficits in narrative discourse elicited by visual stimuli are already present in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudia eDrummond

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Language batteries used to assess the skills of elderly individuals, such as naming and semantic verbal fluency, present some limitations in differentiating healthy controls from patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI. Deficits in narrative discourse occur early in dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease (AD, and the narrative discourse abilities of a-MCI patients are poorly documented. The present study sought to propose and evaluate parameters for investigating narrative discourse in these populations. After a pilot study of 30 healthy subjects who served as a preliminary investigation of macro- and microlinguistic aspects, 77 individuals (patients with AD and a-MCI and a control group were evaluated. The experimental task required the participants to narrate a story based on a sequence of actions visually presented. The Control and AD groups differed in all parameters except narrative time and the total number of words recalled. The a-MCI group displayed mild discursive difficulties that were characterized as an intermediate stage between the Control and AD groups’ performances. The a-MCI and Control groups differed from the AD group with respect to global coherence, discourse type and referential cohesion. The a-MCI and AD groups were similar to one another but differed from the Control group with respect to the type of words recalled, the repetition of words in the same sentence, the narrative structure and the inclusion of irrelevant propositions in the narrative. The narrative parameter that best distinguished the three groups was the speech effectiveness index. The proposed task was able to reveal differences between healthy controls and groups with cognitive decline. According to our findings, patients with a-MCI already present narrative deficits that are characterized by mild discursive difficulties that are less severe than those found in patients with AD.

  4. "Testing a Poisson counter model for visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks": Correction to Kyllingsbæk, Markussen, and Bundesen (2012)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Carsten Søren; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Markussen, Bo

    2015-01-01

    The article “Testing a Poisson Counter Model for Visual Identification of Briefly Presented, Mutually Confusable Single Stimuli in Pure Accuracy Tasks” by Søren Kyllingsbæk, Bo Markussen and Claus Bundesen (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2012, Vol. 38, No. 3...

  5. Treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and mirtapazine results in differential brain activation by visual erotic stimuli in patients with major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Won; Jin, Bo-Ra; Yang, Wan-Seok; Lee, Kyuong-Uk; Juh, Ra-Hyung; Ahn, Kook-Jin; Chung, Yong-An; Chae, Jeong-Ho

    2009-06-01

    The objective of this study was to identify patterns of brain activation elicited by erotic visual stimuli in patients treated with either Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or mirtazipine. Nine middle-aged men with major depressive disorder treated with an SSRI and ten middle-aged men with major depressive disorder treated with mirtazapine completed the trial. Ten subjects with no psychiatric illness were included as a control group. We conducted functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while a film alternatively played erotic and non-erotic contents for 14 minutes and 9 seconds. The control group showed activation in the occipitotemporal area, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, and caudate nucleus. For subjects treated with SSRIs, the intensity of activity in these regions was much lower compared to the control group. Intensity of activation in the group treated with mirtazapine was less than the control group but grea-ter than those treated with SSRIs. Using subtraction analysis, the SSRI group showed significantly lower activation than the mirtazapine group in the anterior cingulate gyrus and the caudate nucleus. Our study suggests that the different rates of sexual side effects between the patients in the SSRI-treated group and the mirtazapine-treated group may be due to different effects on brain activation.

  6. Water used to visualize and remove hidden foreign bodies from the external ear canal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltola, T J; Saarento, R

    1992-02-01

    Small foreign bodies lodged anteriorly in the tympanic sulcus are usually not visible, due to the curve of the external ear canal. Such objects can be seen with the aid of an otomicroscope and micromirror or with an endoscope, and removed by irrigation. If irrigation fails, epithelial migration on the tympanic membrane may remove lodged foreign bodies, although this may take months. Our new method, which uses water to locate small objects lodged in the tympanic sulcus, includes irrigation of the ear, adjustment of the water level to the middle curve of the external ear canal, and use of the water surface as a concave lens, making the tympanic sulcus visible. With otomicroscopy a curved ear probe can then be used to remove lodged foreign bodies from behind the curve.

  7. Signaled two-way avoidance learning using electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus as negative reinforcement: effects of visual and auditory cues as warning stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.C. Troncoso

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available The inferior colliculus is a primary relay for the processing of auditory information in the brainstem. The inferior colliculus is also part of the so-called brain aversion system as animals learn to switch off the electrical stimulation of this structure. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether associative learning occurs between aversion induced by electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus and visual and auditory warning stimuli. Rats implanted with electrodes into the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus were placed inside an open-field and thresholds for the escape response to electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus were determined. The rats were then placed inside a shuttle-box and submitted to a two-way avoidance paradigm. Electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus at the escape threshold (98.12 ± 6.15 (A, peak-to-peak was used as negative reinforcement and light or tone as the warning stimulus. Each session consisted of 50 trials and was divided into two segments of 25 trials in order to determine the learning rate of the animals during the sessions. The rats learned to avoid the inferior colliculus stimulation when light was used as the warning stimulus (13.25 ± 0.60 s and 8.63 ± 0.93 s for latencies and 12.5 ± 2.04 and 19.62 ± 1.65 for frequencies in the first and second halves of the sessions, respectively, P0.05 in both cases. Taken together, the present results suggest that rats learn to avoid the inferior colliculus stimulation when light is used as the warning stimulus. However, this learning process does not occur when the neutral stimulus used is an acoustic one. Electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus may disturb the signal transmission of the stimulus to be conditioned from the inferior colliculus to higher brain structures such as amygdala

  8. Longitudinal stability and predictive utility of the visual P3 response in adults with externalizing psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Henry H; Malone, Stephen M; Iacono, William G

    2015-12-01

    We determined whether time-domain P3 amplitude and time-frequency principal component (TF-PC) reductions could serve as stable and predictive developmental endophenotypes of externalizing psychopathology. Participants from the Minnesota Twin Family Study were assessed at age 17 and again at age 29 for lifetime externalizing (EXT) disorders. Comparisons of P3 amplitude and TF-PCs at delta and theta frequencies were made between EXT and unaffected comparison subjects. P3 amplitude and all five extracted TF-PCs were significantly reduced in those presenting lifetime EXT disorders at both ages 17 and 29 and showed substantial 12-year rank-order stability. P3 amplitude and delta TF-PCs measured at age 17 also predicted subsequent development of EXT by age 29, with every 1-microvolt decrease in age 17 amplitude associated with an approximately 5% increase in risk for an EXT diagnosis by age 29. Overall, results from this study further confirm that these P3-derived brain measures maintain their potential as putative EXT endophenotypes through the third decade of life.

  9. Visualization of magnetic microcapsules in liquid by optical coherent tomography and control of their arrangement via external magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolesnikova, T. A.; Akchurin, Ga G.; Portnov, S. A.; Khomutov, G. B.; Akchurin, Ge G.; Naumova, O. G.; Sukhorukov, G. B.; Gorin, D. A.

    2012-09-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a new, non-invasive, noncontact in vivo imaging technology. We demonstrated that the OCT can be used as a sufficient technique for nanocomposite microcapsule visualization in a liquid medium. As a model system we choose a water/glycerol mixture with viscosity in a variable range from 1.01 to 1.41×103 mPa s, including viscosity of a blood plasma. We have found that tomography spatial resolution is enough to visualize capsules and their aggregates in liquids and to estimate their concentration via two-dimensional (2D) tomography scan analysis. In our experimental conditions microcapsule concentration measured by OCT was 3.9×107 cm-3 and this value correlated well with the concentration measured in a counting chamber (1.9×107 cm-3). We also demonstrated the possibility to control capsule spatial distribution in glycerol solutions by external magnetic field and determined the dependence of capsule sedimentation time on the liquid medium viscosity.

  10. Stimuli, Reinforcers, and Private Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevin, John A.

    2008-01-01

    Radical behaviorism considers private events to be a part of ongoing observable behavior and to share the properties of public events. Although private events cannot be measured directly, their roles in overt action can be inferred from mathematical models that relate private responses to external stimuli and reinforcers according to the same…

  11. Stimuli, Reinforcers, and Private Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevin, John A.

    2008-01-01

    Radical behaviorism considers private events to be a part of ongoing observable behavior and to share the properties of public events. Although private events cannot be measured directly, their roles in overt action can be inferred from mathematical models that relate private responses to external stimuli and reinforcers according to the same…

  12. Response of biomembrane domains to external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbancic, Iztok

    To enrich our knowledge about membrane domains, new measurement techniques with extended spatial and temporal windows are being vigorously developed by combining various approaches. Following such efforts of the scientific community, we set up fluorescence microspectroscopy (FMS), bridging two well established methods: fluorescence microscopy, which enables imaging of the samples with spatial resolution down to 200 nm, and fluorescence spectroscopy that provides molecular information of the environment at nanometer and nanosecond scale. The combined method therefore allows us to localize this type of information with the precision suitable for studying various cellular structures. Faced with weak available fluorescence signals, we have put considerable efforts into optimization of measurement processes and analysis of the data. By introducing a novel acquisition scheme and by fitting the data with a mathematical model, we preserved the spectral resolution, characteristic for spectroscopic measurements of bulk samples, also at microscopic level. We have at the same time overcome the effects of photobleaching, which had previously considerably distorted the measured spectral lineshape of photosensitive dyes and consequently hindered the reliability of FMS. Our new approach has therefore greatly extended the range of applicable environmentally sensitive probes, which can now be designed to better accommodate the needs of each particular experiment. Moreover, photobleaching of fluorescence signal can now even be exploited to obtain new valuable information about molecular environment of the probes, as bleaching rates of certain probes also depend on physical and chemical properties of the local surroundings. In this manner we increased the number of available spatially localized spectral parameters, which becomes invaluable when investigating complex biological systems that can only be adequately characterized by several independent variables. Applying the developed method FMS to several model membrane systems as well as to living cells, we showed that we can reliably detect the differences in lipid phases and membrane domains upon changes of temperature or biochemical composition. A 1--3 nm spectral shift of probes NBD and Laurdan due to different local polarity was sufficient to clearly distinguish individual vesicles in gel, liquid ordered, or liquid disordered lipid phase that had been prepared from different lipid mixtures. The results were corroborated by observations of phase transition of individual liposomes from gel to liquid disordered phase upon controlled heating of the sample by a heating slide or by a focused infrared laser beam of optical tweezers. The spectral and spatial resolution of FMS were preserved also when observing more complex biological samples, such as mixtures of liposomes and cells, showing that our results were not affected by signals of autofluorescence and growth medium, which often obstruct other fluorescence measurements. The robustness of the method allowed us to identify the delivery mechanism of a cancerostatic drug into human breast cancer cells by lipid nanoparticles. Small spectral shifts of an environment-sensitive dye revealed that the membranes of drug-carrying liposomes fuse with the membranes of cancer cells, delivering the therapeutic substance into the target. Our findings pave the way towards new biomedical approaches for more efficient treatment of the gravest maladies of our time. Furthermore, we upgraded FMS by analyzing the polarization of emitted fluorescence, which is related to the orientational order of dyes' dipoles in the membrane and therefore also to molecular conformations of the probes. The combination of spectral and polarized detection enabled us to provide the first direct experimental evidence that some of the most widely used environment-sensitive membrane probes -- NBD-labelled phospholipids -- undertake various conformations that coexist at distances below optical spatial resolution. Developing a mathematical model, we additionally characterized these conformations and determined their relative portions. We found that they are greatly affected by high concentration of cholesterol, which forces the probes into a different conformation due to its rigid planar chemical structure that favors tight packing of neighboring molecules. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  13. Conscious perception of emotional stimuli: brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Derek G V; Greening, Steven G

    2012-08-01

    Emotional stimuli are thought to gain rapid and privileged access to processing resources in the brain. The structures involved in this enhanced access are thought to support subconscious, reflexive processes. Whether these pathways contribute to the phenomenological experience of emotional visual awareness (i.e., conscious perception) is unclear. In this review, it is argued that subcortical networks associated with the rapid detection of emotionally salient stimuli also play a key role in shaping awareness. This proposal is based on the idea that awareness of visual stimuli should be considered along a continuum, having intermediate levels, rather than as an all-or-none construct. It is also argued that awareness of emotional stimuli requires less input from frontoparietal structures that are often considered crucial for visual awareness. Evidence is also presented that implicates a region of the medial prefrontal cortex, involved in emotion regulation, in modulating amygdala output to determine awareness of emotional visual stimuli; when emotional stimuli are present, the conscious perception of alternative stimuli requires greater regulatory influences from cortical structures. Thus, emotional stimuli are privileged not only for neuronal representation and impact on subconscious processes, but also for awareness, allowing humans to deal flexibly rather than merely reflexively to biologically significant stimuli.

  14. Metacognitive Performances of Hearing Students and of Students Who Are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing on Two Types of Measures: Visual-Voiced and Visual-Visual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hilawani, Yasser A.

    2008-01-01

    A small sample of 20 hearing students and 20 students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing participated in this study, which compared their performances on two measures of metacognition. The first measure required participants to visually analyse real-life pictures and then to choose a response from four options (voiced or signed) indicating which was…

  15. Emotion attribution to basic parametric static and dynamic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visch, V.; Goudbeek, M.B.; Cohn, J.; Nijholt, A.; Pantic, P.

    2009-01-01

    The following research investigates the effect of basic visual stimuli on the attribution of basic emotions by the viewer. In an empirical study (N = 33) we used two groups of visually minimal expressive stimuli: dynamic and static. The dynamic stimuli consisted of an animated circle moving

  16. Emotion attribution to basic parametric static and dynamic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visch, V.; Goudbeek, M.B.; Cohn, J.; Nijholt, A.; Pantic, P.

    2009-01-01

    The following research investigates the effect of basic visual stimuli on the attribution of basic emotions by the viewer. In an empirical study (N = 33) we used two groups of visually minimal expressive stimuli: dynamic and static. The dynamic stimuli consisted of an animated circle moving accordin

  17. Why we haven't died out yet: changes in women's mimic reactions to visual erotic stimuli during their menstrual cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, Reinhard; Hölldorfer, Marion; Moll, Bettina; Bauer, Renate; Wolf, Karsten

    2009-02-01

    From an evolutionary point of view, female sexual desire contributes greatly to the success of reproduction by coordinating sexual behavior. It is known that female sexual desire fluctuates with the menstrual cycle. However, little is known about the role of basic emotions during menstrual cycle. We designed a facial EMG study to investigate facial expressions of joy during the menstrual cycle. 35 healthy women underwent 2 EMG sessions (T1 and T2). T1 took place in the follicular phase, T2 in the luteal phase. IAPS pictures of nude men (erotic stimuli) or of animals (control stimuli) were presented at both sessions. The activity of musculus zygomaticus major (responsible for expressing joy) was measured. We tested the hypothesis that zygomaticus activity is more pronounced in the follicular phase than in the luteal phase. The main result was that during the follicular phase, significantly more zygomaticus reactions were observed than during the luteal phase. This effect was restricted only to erotic stimuli. We concluded that an increased positive emotional responsiveness to erotic stimuli during the follicular phase is an important precondition for the probability of sexual activity during the conceptive days and thus for the success of reproduction.

  18. Can Teachers Learn to Cope with Our Visual Society?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oxford, Jacqulinn; Moore, David M.

    1979-01-01

    Outlines a concentrated in-service visual training program which incorporates (1) perceptual effects of visual stimuli, (2) synthetic and natural stimuli, (3) non-verbal stimuli, (4) pictorial communication, (5) visual persuasion, and (6) creative visualization. (Author/CMV)

  19. Visualization

    OpenAIRE

    Balon, Andreja

    1990-01-01

    The present thesis entails the field of visualization which is divided into visualization along traditional lines and visualization in computer science. As the psychological aspect of image is of vital importance for visualization, it is shortly described in the beginning. Visualization in computer science is divided into three main fields: scientific visualization, program visualization and visual programming. An explanation and examples of approach to applications are given for each field....

  20. Top-Down and Bottom-Up Visual Information Processing of Non-Social Stimuli in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maekawa, Toshihiko; Tobimatsu, Shozo; Inada, Naoko; Oribe, Naoya; Onitsuka, Toshiaki; Kanba, Shigenobu; Kamio, Yoko

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) often show superior performance in simple visual tasks, despite difficulties in the perception of socially important information such as facial expression. The neural basis of visual perception abnormalities associated with HF-ASD is currently unclear. We sought to elucidate the…

  1. Changed processing of visual sexual stimuli under GnRH-therapy – a single case study in pedophilia using eye tracking and fMRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Antiandrogen therapy (ADT) has been used for 30 years to treat pedophilic patients. The aim of the treatment is a reduction in sexual drive and, in consequence, a reduced risk of recidivism. Yet the therapeutic success of antiandrogens is uncertain especially regarding recidivism. Meta-analyses and reviews report only moderate and often mutually inconsistent effects. Case presentation Based on the case of a 47 year old exclusively pedophilic forensic inpatient, we examined the effectiveness of a new eye tracking method and a new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-design in regard to the evaluation of ADT in pedophiles. We analyzed the potential of these methods in exploring the impact of ADT on automatic and controlled attentional processes in pedophiles. Eye tracking and fMRI measures were conducted before the initial ADT as well as four months after the onset of ADT. The patient simultaneously viewed an image of a child and an image of an adult while eye movements were measured. During the fMRI-measure the same stimuli were presented subliminally. Eye movements demonstrated that controlled attentional processes change under ADT, whereas automatic processes remained mostly unchanged. We assume that these results reflect either the increased ability of the patient to control his eye movements while viewing prepubertal stimuli or his better ability to manipulate his answer in a socially desirable manner. Unchanged automatic attentional processes could reflect the stable pedophilic preference of the patient. Using fMRI, the subliminal presentation of sexually relevant stimuli led to changed activation patterns under the influence of ADT in occipital and parietal brain regions, the hippocampus, and also in the orbitofrontal cortex. We suggest that even at an unconscious level ADT can lead to changed processing of sexually relevant stimuli, reflecting changes of cognitive and perceptive automatic processes. Conclusion We are convinced that our

  2. Specific cerebral activation due to visual erotic stimuli in male-to-female transsexuals compared with male and female controls: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gizewski, Elke R; Krause, Eva; Schlamann, Marc; Happich, Friederike; Ladd, Mark E; Forsting, Michael; Senf, Wolfgang

    2009-02-01

    Transsexuals harbor the strong feeling of having been born to the wrong sex. There is a continuing controversial discussion of whether or not transsexualism has a biological representation. Differences between males and females in terms of functional imaging during erotic stimuli have been previously described, revealing gender-specific results. Therefore, we postulated that male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals may show specific cerebral activation differing from their biological gender. Cerebral activation patterns during viewing of erotic film excerpts in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twelve male and 12 female heterosexual volunteers and 12 MTF transsexuals before any treatment viewed erotic film excerpts during fMRI. Additionally, subjective rating of sexual arousal was assessed. Statistics were performed using the Statistical Parametric Mapping software. Significantly enhanced activation for men compared with women was revealed in brain areas involved in erotic processing, i.e., the thalamus, the amygdala, and the orbitofrontal and insular cortex, whereas no specific activation for women was found. When comparing MTF transsexuals with male volunteers, activation patterns similar to female volunteers being compared with male volunteers were revealed. Sexual arousal was assessed using standard rating scales and did not differ significantly for the three groups. We revealed a cerebral activation pattern in MTF transsexuals compared with male controls similar to female controls compared with male controls during viewing of erotic stimuli, indicating a tendency of female-like cerebral processing in transsexualism.

  3. Stronger Discounting of External Cause by Action in Human Adults: Evidence for an Action-Based Hypothesis of Visual Collision Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitsumatsu, Hidemichi

    2013-01-01

    When an actor performs an action on an external object, the actor feels that he or she is exerting a force on that object. By extension, when an observer views a collision between 2 objects, he or she is able to perceive the force that is exerted on the objects during the collision. The latter case is puzzling, as force is not a visual feature per…

  4. Consistency of Border-Ownership Cells across Artificial Stimuli, Natural Stimuli, and Stimuli with Ambiguous Contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Janis K; Tsao, Doris Y

    2016-11-02

    Segmentation and recognition of objects in a visual scene are two problems that are hard to solve separately from each other. When segmenting an ambiguous scene, it is helpful to already know the present objects and their shapes. However, for recognizing an object in clutter, one would like to consider its isolated segment alone to avoid confounds from features of other objects. Border-ownership cells (Zhou et al., 2000) appear to play an important role in segmentation, as they signal the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli. The present work explores the role of border-ownership cells in dorsal macaque visual areas V2 and V3 in the segmentation of natural object stimuli and locally ambiguous stimuli. We report two major results. First, compared with previous estimates, we found a smaller percentage of cells that were consistent across artificial stimuli used previously. Second, we found that the average response of those neurons that did respond consistently to the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli also consistently signaled, as a population, the side-of-figure for borders of single faces, occluding faces and, with higher latencies, even stimuli with illusory contours, such as Mooney faces and natural faces completely missing local edge information. In contrast, the local edge or the outlines of the face alone could not always evoke a significant border-ownership signal. Our results underscore that border ownership is coded by a population of cells, and indicate that these cells integrate a variety of cues, including low-level features and global object context, to compute the segmentation of the scene.

  5. Effects of degradation of visual stimuli on components of the event-related potential (ERP) in go/nogo reaction tasks.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A. Kok

    1986-01-01

    Investigated the effects of perceptual difficulty on ERP components in visual go/no-go discrimination tasks in 2 experiments with 19 dextral males (aged 17-28 yrs). ERPs were measured to randomly presented letters, requiring either a right-hand button-press response (go), or requiring no response (n

  6. 3D documentation and visualization of external injury findings by integration of simple photography in CT/MRI data sets (IprojeCT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campana, Lorenzo; Breitbeck, Robert; Bauer-Kreuz, Regula; Buck, Ursula

    2016-05-01

    This study evaluated the feasibility of documenting patterned injury using three dimensions and true colour photography without complex 3D surface documentation methods. This method is based on a generated 3D surface model using radiologic slice images (CT) while the colour information is derived from photographs taken with commercially available cameras. The external patterned injuries were documented in 16 cases using digital photography as well as highly precise photogrammetry-supported 3D structured light scanning. The internal findings of these deceased were recorded using CT and MRI. For registration of the internal with the external data, two different types of radiographic markers were used and compared. The 3D surface model generated from CT slice images was linked with the photographs, and thereby digital true-colour 3D models of the patterned injuries could be created (Image projection onto CT/IprojeCT). In addition, these external models were merged with the models of the somatic interior. We demonstrated that 3D documentation and visualization of external injury findings by integration of digital photography in CT/MRI data sets is suitable for the 3D documentation of individual patterned injuries to a body. Nevertheless, this documentation method is not a substitution for photogrammetry and surface scanning, especially when the entire bodily surface is to be recorded in three dimensions including all external findings, and when precise data is required for comparing highly detailed injury features with the injury-inflicting tool.

  7. P1-16: The Effect of Visual Stimuli of LED Lighting by Color Temperature and Illuminance Control on Attention and Meditation Level of Mind

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan-Su Lee

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Recently LED (Lighting Emitting Diode lighting sources are applied not only for displays like LED BLU (back light unit TV but also for general lighting like LED lamps for home and office. The color temperature, or chromaticity, and brightness of LED lighting can be easily controlled. Preferred combinations between illuminance and color temperature of lighting depend on daily living activities (Oi et al., 2007 Symposium on Design of Artificial Environments 214–215. Changes in intensity can be more easily detected than color changes (Almeida et al., 2009 Perception 38 1109–1117. We investigated whether the illumination stimuli of LED lighting can enhance attention and relaxation level by controlling color temperature and illuminance according to activities. EEG signals are used to estimate attention and relaxation levels of human subjects under different lighting conditions. Nine participants with normal eye sight and color vision participated in the experiments with four different activities under different illumination conditions. LED lighting with color temperature 3600 K in 240 lux is used for relaxation activities, and LED lighting with 6600 K in 794 lux is used for the task which requires attention. These lighting conditions are compared with conventional lighting condition with 4600 K in 530 lux. Preliminary experiment results show that low color temperature with low illumination intensity of LED lighting enhances relaxation level and high color temperature with high illuminance improves attention level compared with conventional lighting environment without illuminance and color temperature changes.

  8. Using visual stimuli to explore the social perceptions of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes: the case of transhumance in Mediterranean Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César A. López-Santiago

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The ecosystem services approach has been proposed as a powerful tool for the analysis of coupled social-ecological systems. This approach is particularly useful for the evaluation of cultural landscapes, which represent the joint evolution of humans and nature across an extended time span. Transhumance is a customary practice of mobile pastoralism, involving the regular seasonal migration of livestock herds between summer and winter pasturelands. This practice maintains unique cultural landscapes in Mediterranean Spain, which have been shaped over many centuries of pastoral activity. Drove roads, which are used for herd migration, represent the most outstanding feature of these landscapes. We used visually based landscape interpretation to evaluate social perceptions of ecosystem services provided by the Conquense Drove Road transhumance landscape in Spain. Face-to-face questionnaires (N = 314 were given to a sample of local inhabitants, visitors, and urban inhabitants. The questionnaires contained two pairs of photographs depicting images of croplands and pine forests associated with the transhumance landscape, with one photograph in each pair containing a drove road. We compared the social perceptions of 16 ecosystem services supplied by these two landscapes. These 16 services were divided into 3 types: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. We also identified differences between landscapes with and without a drove road. Overall, respondents recognized the higher capacity of forests to deliver a wider range of ecosystem services to society compared with croplands. Provisioning services were mostly associated with cropland, whereas regulating services and cultural ecosystem services tended to be related to forests. All three types of ecosystem services were more perceived by respondents when a drove road was

  9. Modeling Stimuli-Responsive Nanoparticle Monolayer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Xin

    2015-03-01

    Using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), we model a monolayer formed at the water-oil interface, which comprises stimuli-responsive nanoparticles. The solid core of the nanoparticle encompasses beads arranged in an fcc lattice structure and its surface is uniformly grafted with stimuli-responsive polymer chains. The surface-active nanoparticles adsorb to the interface from the suspension to minimize total energy of the system and create a monolayer covering the interface. We investigate the monolayer formation by characterizing the detailed adsorption kinetics. We explore the microstructure of the monolayer at different surface coverage, including the particle crowding and ordering, and elucidate the response of monolayer to external stimuli. The collective behavior of the particles within the monolayer is demonstrated quantitatively by vector-vector autocorrelation functions. This study provides a fundamental understanding of the interfacial behavior of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles.

  10. Alexithymia and automatic processing of emotional stimuli: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donges, Uta-Susan; Suslow, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by difficulties in recognizing and verbalizing emotions and the utilization of a cognitive style that is oriented toward external events, rather than intrapsychic experiences. Alexithymia is considered a vulnerability factor influencing onset and course of many psychiatric disorders. Even though emotions are, in general, elicited involuntarily and emerge without conscious effort, it is surprising that little attention in etiological considerations concerning alexithymia has been given to deficits in automatic emotion processing and their neurobiological bases. In this article, results from studies using behavioral or neurobiological research methods were systematically reviewed in which automatic processing of external emotional information was investigated as a function of alexithymia in healthy individuals. Twenty-two studies were identified through a literature search of Psycinfo, PubMed, and Web of Science databases from 1990 to 2016. The review reveals deficits in the automatic processing of emotional stimuli in alexithymia at a behavioral and neurobiological level. The vast majority of the reviewed studies examined visual processing. The alexithymia facets externally oriented thinking and difficulties identifying feelings were found to be related to impairments in the automatic processing of threat-related facial expressions. Alexithymic individuals manifest low reactivity to barely visible negative emotional stimuli in brain regions responsible for appraisal, encoding, and affective response, e.g. amygdala, occipitotemporal areas, and insula. Against this background, it appears plausible to assume that deficits in automatic emotion processing could be factors contributing to alexithymic personality characteristics. Directions for future research on alexithymia and automatic emotion perception are suggested.

  11. Avaliação da ansiedade e do viés de atenção no canal visual para estímulos emocionais em uma amostra não clínica Assessment of anxiety and attentional bias in the visual channel toward emotional stimuli in a non-clinical sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson Vieira Melo

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available A ansiedade vem sendo estudada como fator capaz de influenciar a atenção visual seletiva em experimentos como a Visual Probe Detection Task (VPDT. Este estudo objetivou comparar o viés de atenção para imagens emocionais em pessoas com diferentes níveis de ansiedade de traço e estado usando a VPDT. Oitenta e dois estudantes universitários responderam ao IDATE. Na VPDT, utilizaram-se 12 pares de imagens com alto nível de ativação e valência negativa, pareadas com imagens controles neutras, do International Affective Picture System (IAPS. Os estímulos eram apresentados durante 200 m. O viés de atenção não foi diferente entre os participantes com baixos e altos níveis de ansiedade de traço e estado. Tais resultados indicaram que elas não são importantes para o viés de atenção para estímulos negativos com altos níveis de ativação. Além disso, é possível que o viés de atenção para estímulos ansiogênicos seja observado apenas em populações clínicas.Anxiety has been observed as a factor capable to influence the visual selective attention in experiments such as the Visual Probe Detection Task (VPDT. This study aimed to compare the attentional bias to emotional images in people with different levels of trait and state anxiety using a VPDT. Eighty-two undergraduate students performed VPDT and answered the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory. In VPDT, 12 pairs of images from International Affective Picture System (emotional image with high arousal level and negative valence/and one control, neutral were presented during 200 m. There was no attentional bias difference between the participants neither with low nor high levels of trait or state of anxiety. These results indicated that trait or state anxiety might not be important to attentional bias to negative and arousing visual stimuli. It is possible that just clinical populations with anxiety disorders often show attentional bias to anxiogenic stimuli.

  12. Visual Attention in Flies-Dopamine in the Mushroom Bodies Mediates the After-Effect of Cueing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Sebastian; Wolf, Reinhard; Heisenberg, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Visual environments may simultaneously comprise stimuli of different significance. Often such stimuli require incompatible responses. Selective visual attention allows an animal to respond exclusively to the stimuli at a certain location in the visual field. In the process of establishing its focus of attention the animal can be influenced by external cues. Here we characterize the behavioral properties and neural mechanism of cueing in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. A cue can be attractive, repulsive or ineffective depending upon (e.g.) its visual properties and location in the visual field. Dopamine signaling in the brain is required to maintain the effect of cueing once the cue has disappeared. Raising or lowering dopamine at the synapse abolishes this after-effect. Specifically, dopamine is necessary and sufficient in the αβ-lobes of the mushroom bodies. Evidence is provided for an involvement of the αβposterior Kenyon cells.

  13. Visual Attention in Flies—Dopamine in the Mushroom Bodies Mediates the After-Effect of Cueing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Sebastian; Wolf, Reinhard; Heisenberg, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Visual environments may simultaneously comprise stimuli of different significance. Often such stimuli require incompatible responses. Selective visual attention allows an animal to respond exclusively to the stimuli at a certain location in the visual field. In the process of establishing its focus of attention the animal can be influenced by external cues. Here we characterize the behavioral properties and neural mechanism of cueing in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. A cue can be attractive, repulsive or ineffective depending upon (e.g.) its visual properties and location in the visual field. Dopamine signaling in the brain is required to maintain the effect of cueing once the cue has disappeared. Raising or lowering dopamine at the synapse abolishes this after-effect. Specifically, dopamine is necessary and sufficient in the αβ-lobes of the mushroom bodies. Evidence is provided for an involvement of the αβposterior Kenyon cells. PMID:27571359

  14. Chirp Stimuli Visual Evoked Potential Based Brain-Computer Interface by Chirplet Transform Algorithm%基于Chirplet变换的变频视觉诱发电位脑-机接口研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张力新; 贾义红; 许敏鹏; 綦宏志; 赵欣; 何峰; 万柏坤; 焦学军; 明东

    2014-01-01

    脑-机接口(brain-computer interface,BCI)是在大脑与外部设备间建立一个直接的信息交流通路,它无须依赖外周神经肌肉系统而仅通过脑电信号特征提取与模式识别来实现思维表达或指令操作.变频视觉诱发电位(chirp stimuli visual evoked potential,Chirp-VEP)是最近提出的一种脑电诱发新模式,可作为BCI控制信号,极富应用潜力.然而Chirp-VEP的诱发条件、信号处理、特征提取方法等都缺乏充分研究.本文采用不同起始频率和chirp 调频率进行了Chirp-VEP诱发实验,利用Chirplet变换(chirplet transform,CT)等4种时频分析方法提取了ChirpVEP信号特征.研究结果表明,相较于其他时频分析方法,CT可获得更高的VEP信噪比与正确识别率.在8名受试者参加的在线BCI测试中,Chirp-VEP的总平均正确识别率高达97.8%,进一步验证了Chirp-VEP应用于BCI控制的潜力.

  15. Inverse Target- and Cue-Priming Effects of Masked Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattler, Uwe

    2007-01-01

    The processing of a visual target that follows a briefly presented prime stimulus can be facilitated if prime and target stimuli are similar. In contrast to these positive priming effects, inverse priming effects (or negative compatibility effects) have been found when a mask follows prime stimuli before the target stimulus is presented: Responses…

  16. [Visual attention and its control mechanisms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Hirokazu

    2014-04-01

    Given the vast amount of visual information in visual scenes, the capacity of our brain to processes such scenes is severely limited. The core mechanism of selection is referred to as visual attention, and it has been the topic of intense investigation for over 25 years in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Visual attention is not a single, unitary mechanism, but consists of multiple subcomponents. Attention can be directed to various aspects of visual information, such as spatial location, features, or objects. Additionally, attention is guided by external factors such as the salience of stimuli, or whether we are able to move our attention volitionally. The purpose of this article is to review the status of these components of attentional guidance and how they interact with each other, with an emphasis on psychophysical studies.

  17. Movement Induces the Use of External Spatial Coordinates for Tactile Localization in Congenitally Blind Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heed, Tobias; Möller, Johanna; Röder, Brigitte

    2015-01-01

    To localize touch, the brain integrates spatial information coded in anatomically based and external spatial reference frames. Sighted humans, by default, use both reference frames in tactile localization. In contrast, congenitally blind individuals have been reported to rely exclusively on anatomical coordinates, suggesting a crucial role of the visual system for tactile spatial processing. We tested whether the use of external spatial information in touch can, alternatively, be induced by a movement context. Sighted and congenitally blind humans performed a tactile temporal order judgment task that indexes the use of external coordinates for tactile localization, while they executed bimanual arm movements with uncrossed and crossed start and end postures. In the sighted, start posture and planned end posture of the arm movement modulated tactile localization for stimuli presented before and during movement, indicating automatic, external recoding of touch. Contrary to previous findings, tactile localization of congenitally blind participants, too, was affected by external coordinates, though only for stimuli presented before movement start. Furthermore, only the movement's start posture, but not the planned end posture affected blind individuals' tactile performance. Thus, integration of external coordinates in touch is established without vision, though more selectively than when vision has developed normally, and possibly restricted to movement contexts. The lack of modulation by the planned posture in congenitally blind participants suggests that external coordinates in this group are not mediated by motor efference copy. Instead the task-related frequent posture changes, that is, movement consequences rather than planning, appear to have induced their use of external coordinates.

  18. Spatiotopic coding of BOLD signal in human visual cortex depends on spatial attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Crespi

    Full Text Available The neural substrate of the phenomenological experience of a stable visual world remains obscure. One possible mechanism would be to construct spatiotopic neural maps where the response is selective to the position of the stimulus in external space, rather than to retinal eccentricities, but evidence for these maps has been inconsistent. Here we show, with fMRI, that when human subjects perform concomitantly a demanding attentive task on stimuli displayed at the fovea, BOLD responses evoked by moving stimuli irrelevant to the task were mostly tuned in retinotopic coordinates. However, under more unconstrained conditions, where subjects could attend easily to the motion stimuli, BOLD responses were tuned not in retinal but in external coordinates (spatiotopic selectivity in many visual areas, including MT, MST, LO and V6, agreeing with our previous fMRI study. These results indicate that spatial attention may play an important role in mediating spatiotopic selectivity.

  19. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise O'Hare

    Full Text Available Several types of striped patterns have been reported to cause adverse sensations described as visual discomfort. Previous research using op-art-based stimuli has demonstrated that spurious eye movement signals can cause the experience of illusory motion, or shimmering effects, which might be perceived as uncomfortable. Whilst the shimmering effects are one cause of discomfort, another possible contributor to discomfort is excessive neural responses: As striped patterns do not have the statistical redundancy typical of natural images, they are perhaps unable to be encoded efficiently. If this is the case, then this should be seen in the amplitude of the EEG response. This study found that stimuli that were judged to be most comfortable were also those with the lowest EEG amplitude. This provides some support for the idea that excessive neural responses might also contribute to discomfort judgements in normal populations, in stimuli controlled for perceived contrast.

  20. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hare, Louise; Clarke, Alasdair D F; Pollux, Petra M J

    2015-01-01

    Several types of striped patterns have been reported to cause adverse sensations described as visual discomfort. Previous research using op-art-based stimuli has demonstrated that spurious eye movement signals can cause the experience of illusory motion, or shimmering effects, which might be perceived as uncomfortable. Whilst the shimmering effects are one cause of discomfort, another possible contributor to discomfort is excessive neural responses: As striped patterns do not have the statistical redundancy typical of natural images, they are perhaps unable to be encoded efficiently. If this is the case, then this should be seen in the amplitude of the EEG response. This study found that stimuli that were judged to be most comfortable were also those with the lowest EEG amplitude. This provides some support for the idea that excessive neural responses might also contribute to discomfort judgements in normal populations, in stimuli controlled for perceived contrast.

  1. Response properties of cat AMLS neurons to optic flow stimuli

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI; Baowang(李宝旺); LI; Bing(李兵); CHEN; Hui(陈辉); XU; Ying(徐颖); DIAO; Yuncheng(刁云程)

    2002-01-01

    Spiral and translation stimuli were used to investigate the response properties of cat AMLS (anteromedial lateral suprasylvian area) neurons to optic flow. The overwhelming majority of cells could be significantly excited by the two modes of stimuli and most responsive cells displayed obvious direction selectivity. It is the first time to find a visual area in mammalian brain preferring rotation stimuli. Two representative hypotheses are discussed here on the neural mechanism of optic flow analysis in visual cortex, and some new viewpoints are proposed to explain the experimental results.

  2. Ingestão de ração e comportamento de larvas de pacu em resposta a estímulos químicos e visuais Diet ingestion rate and pacu larvae behavior in response to chemical and visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Borges Tesser

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Este estudo foi realizado com o objetivo de comparar a influência dos estímulos visual e/ou químico de náuplios de Artemia e de dieta microencapsulada sobre a taxa de ingestão da dieta microencapusulada por larvas de pacu Piaractus mesopotamicus. Utilizou-se um esquema fatorial 7 x 4 (estímulos e idades com duas repetições. Verificou-se efeito da idade das larvas e dos estímulos, mas não houve efeito para a interação idade ´ estímulos. O estímulo químico da Artemia e ambos os estímulos da Artemia resultaram em maior taxa de ingestão de dieta inerte. Resultado intermediário foi obtido com o estímulo visual da dieta microencapsulada. O estímulo químico, em comparação ao estímulo visual da Artemia, resultou em maiores taxas de ingestão da dieta. Com o aumento da idade, houve incremento na taxa de ingestão. Os estímulos visual e químico dos náuplios e o estímulo visual da ração aumentaram a ingestão de dieta inerte por larvas de pacu. Náuplios de Artemia devem ser oferecidos antes do fornecimento da dieta inerte, pois podem auxiliar no processo de transição alimentar. Os resultados deste trabalho apontaram novas possibilidades de estudos com larvas de peixes neotropicais visando a substituição precoce do alimento vivo para o inerte.The effect of visual, chemical and the combination of both stimuli from Artemia nauplii and from microencapsulated diet on dry diet ingestion by pacu Piaractus mesopotamicus larvae was evaluated in this research. The experiment was analyzed as a 7 x 4 factorial arrangement (seven stimuli and four ages with two replicates. It was observed effect of larvae age and stimuli, but no interaction (age ´ stimuli was observed. The chemical effect from Artemia and both effects from Artemia resulted in higher ingestion rates. An intermediary result was obtained with visual effect from microencapsulated diet. The chemical stimulus from Artemia resulted in higher ingestion rates than that

  3. The ventriloquist in periphery: impact of eccentricity-related reliability on audio-visual localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, Geneviève; Véronneau, Marie; Boudrias-Fournier, Colin; Lepore, Franco; Collignon, Olivier

    2013-10-28

    The relative reliability of separate sensory estimates influences the way they are merged into a unified percept. We investigated how eccentricity-related changes in reliability of auditory and visual stimuli influence their integration across the entire frontal space. First, we surprisingly found that despite a strong decrease in auditory and visual unisensory localization abilities in periphery, the redundancy gain resulting from the congruent presentation of audio-visual targets was not affected by stimuli eccentricity. This result therefore contrasts with the common prediction that a reduction in sensory reliability necessarily induces an enhanced integrative gain. Second, we demonstrate that the visual capture of sounds observed with spatially incongruent audio-visual targets (ventriloquist effect) steadily decreases with eccentricity, paralleling a lowering of the relative reliability of unimodal visual over unimodal auditory stimuli in periphery. Moreover, at all eccentricities, the ventriloquist effect positively correlated with a weighted combination of the spatial resolution obtained in unisensory conditions. These findings support and extend the view that the localization of audio-visual stimuli relies on an optimal combination of auditory and visual information according to their respective spatial reliability. All together, these results evidence that the external spatial coordinates of multisensory events relative to an observer's body (e.g., eyes' or head's position) influence how this information is merged, and therefore determine the perceptual outcome.

  4. Brain Electrical Source Analysis of the Response to Visual Target and Distractor Stimuli%视觉靶刺激和干扰子刺激响应过程中的脑电流源模型分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李岳峙; 胡勇; 任力杰; 孙正启

    2012-01-01

    involved parietal lobe, inferior temporal cortex and left insula engaged in stimulus-driven attention process, goal-directed attention process, categorization of visual stimuli and memory retrieval, while distractor processing involved right insula and cingulate gyrus engaged in attention switching and reengagement of attention resource.

  5. Stimuli-Regulated Smart Polymeric Systems for Gene Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ansuja Pulickal Mathew

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The physiological condition of the human body is a composite of different environments, each with its own parameters that may differ under normal, as well as diseased conditions. These environmental conditions include factors, such as pH, temperature and enzymes that are specific to a type of cell, tissue or organ or a pathological state, such as inflammation, cancer or infection. These conditions can act as specific triggers or stimuli for the efficient release of therapeutics at their destination by overcoming many physiological and biological barriers. The efficacy of conventional treatment modalities can be enhanced, side effects decreased and patient compliance improved by using stimuli-responsive material that respond to these triggers at the target site. These stimuli or triggers can be physical, chemical or biological and can be internal or external in nature. Many smart/intelligent stimuli-responsive therapeutic gene carriers have been developed that can respond to either internal stimuli, which may be normally present, overexpressed or present in decreased levels, owing to a disease, or to stimuli that are applied externally, such as magnetic fields. This review focuses on the effects of various internal stimuli, such as temperature, pH, redox potential, enzymes, osmotic activity and other biomolecules that are present in the body, on modulating gene expression by using stimuli-regulated smart polymeric carriers.

  6. 威胁刺激对特质焦虑跆拳道运动员视觉搜索效率的影响%Effect of threatening stimuli on the efficiency of visual search of taekwondo athletes with trait anxiety

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘尚礼

    2015-01-01

    In order to discuss the visual search efficiency of taekwondo athletes with different levels of trait anxiety under threatening stimuli,this article has selected 30 taekwondo athletes with high trait anxieties and another 30 ones with low trait anxieties as the testees and threatening pictures as stimulus materials so as to conduct respective investigations on their visual search reaction time and accuracy. The results show that 1 ) the reaction time of individuals with high trait anxieties is significantly longer than that of the individuals with low trait anxieties;the reaction time under threatening stimuli is significantly longer than that under no conditions of threatening stimuli;but there is no significant gender difference in the reaction time of male and female athletes. 2 )The reaction accuracy rate of visual search reaction of taekwondo athletes under threatening stimuli is significantly lower than that under no threatening stimuli;and the reaction accuracy rate of female taekwondo athletes under threatening stimuli is significantly higher than that of male taekwondo athletes.%探讨威胁刺激下不同特质焦虑水平跆拳道运动员的视觉搜索效率。筛选高、低特质焦虑跆拳道运动员各30名作为被试,以威胁性图片为刺激材料,分别对其视觉搜索反应时和反应正确率进行考察。结果发现:1)反应时:高特质焦虑个体反应时显著长于低特质焦虑个体;在有威胁刺激条件下的反应时显著长与无威胁刺激条件下的反应时;男、女性别在反应时上无显著差异。2)反应正确率:特质焦虑跆拳道运动员在有威胁刺激条件下的反应正确率要显著低于无威胁刺激条件的反应正确率;女性跆拳道运动员在有威胁刺激条件下的反应正确率显著高于男性跆拳道运动员。

  7. Effect of sensory stimuli on restless legs syndrome: a randomized crossover study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozeman, Anouk D; Ottolini, Truus; Grootendorst, Diana C; Vogels, Oscar J M; Rijsman, Roselyne M

    2014-08-15

    A variety of sensory stimuli relieve restless legs syndrome symptoms. Because systematic evaluations of sensory stimulation in restless legs syndrome are largely lacking, we performed a randomized crossover study to evaluate the effect of external sensory stimulation on restless legs syndrome symptoms. Eighteen patients underwent 3 consecutive suggestive immobilization tests with the order of the following 3 conditions randomly assigned: no electrical stimulation (condition 1), tactile and proprioceptive sensory stimulation (condition 2), and tactile sensory stimulation only (condition 3). Restless legs syndrome symptoms were quantified by visual analog scales, and periodic leg movements during wake were measured. Baseline visual analogue scale score was 4.5 (range 0-60) in condition 1, 10.5 (range 0-96) in condition 2, and 8.5 in condition 3 (p = 0.21). There was a tendency towards a higher maximum visual analogue scale score and visual analogue scale score at the end of the suggested immobilization test in the conditions with tactile sensory stimulation, though not significant (p = 0.74 and p = 0.29, respectively). Fifteen patients suffered from periodic leg movements during wake. Median indices were 18 (range 0-145) in condition 1, 26 (range 0-190) in condition 2, and 49 (range 0-228) in condition 3 (p = 0.76). We found a tendency towards less leg discomfort in the conditions in which an external sensory input was applied. This potential benefit of sensory stimuli on restless legs syndrome severity merits further investigation as this could open new ways towards a better pathophysiological understanding and non-pharmacological treatments.

  8. Phase reset affects auditory-visual simultaneity judgment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kambe, Jun; Kakimoto, Yuta; Araki, Osamu

    2015-10-01

    We continuously receive the external information from multiple sensors simultaneously. The brain must judge a source event of these sensory informations and integrate them. It is thought that judging the simultaneity of such multisensory stimuli is an important cue when we discriminate whether the stimuli are derived from one event or not. Although previous studies have investigated the correspondence between an auditory-visual (AV) simultaneity perceptions and the neural responses, there are still few studies of this. Electrophysiological studies have reported that ongoing oscillations in human cortex affect perception. Especially, the phase resetting of ongoing oscillations has been examined as it plays an important role in multisensory integration. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of phase resetting for the judgment of AV simultaneity judgement tasks. The subjects were successively presented with auditory and visual stimuli with intervals that were controlled as [Formula: see text] and they were asked to report whether they perceived them simultaneously or not. We investigated the effects of the phase of ongoing oscillations on simultaneity judgments with AV stimuli with SOAs in which the detection rate of asynchrony was 50 %. It was found that phase resetting at the beta frequency band in the brain area that related to the modality of the following stimulus occurred after preceding stimulus onset only when the subjects perceived AV stimuli as simultaneous. This result suggested that beta phase resetting occurred in areas that are related to the subsequent stimulus, supporting perception multisensory stimuli as simultaneous.

  9. Design of a Novel Servo-motorized Laser Device for Visual Pathways Diseases Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Ignacio Sarmiento

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We discuss a novel servo-motorized laser device and a research protocol for visual pathways diseases therapies. The proposed servo-mechanized laser device can be used for potential rehabilitation of patients with hemianopia, quadrantanopia, scotoma, and some types of cortical damages. The device uses a semi spherical structure where the visual stimulus will be shown inside, according to a previous stimuli therapy designed by an ophthalmologist or neurologist. The device uses a pair of servomotors (with torque=1.5kg, which controls the laser stimuli position for the internal therapy and another pair for external therapy. Using electronic tools such as microcontrollers along with miscellaneous electronic materials, combined with LabVIEW based interface, a control mechanism is developed for the new device. The proposed device is well suited to run various visual stimuli therapies. We outline the major design principles including the physical dimensions, laser device’s kinematical analysis and the corresponding software development.

  10. Design of a Novel Servo-motorized Laser Device for Visual Pathways Diseases Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Ignacio Sarmiento

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We discuss a novel servo-motorized laser device and a research protocol for visual pathways diseases therapies. The proposed servo-mechanized laser device can be used for potential rehabilitation of patients with hemianopia, quadrantanopia, scotoma, and some types of cortical damages. The device uses a semi spherical structure where the visual stimulus will be shown inside, according to a previous stimuli therapy designed by an ophthalmologist or neurologist. The device uses a pair of servomotors (with torque=1.5kg, which controls the laser stimuli position for the internal therapy and another pair for external therapy. Using electronic tools such as microcontrollers along with miscellaneous electronic materials, combined with LabVIEW based interface, a control mechanism is developed for the new device. The proposed device is well suited to run various visual stimuli therapies. We outline the major design principles including the physical dimensions, laser device’s kinematical analysis and the corresponding software development.

  11. Bayesian-based integration of multisensory naturalistic perithreshold stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regenbogen, Christina; Johansson, Emilia; Andersson, Patrik; Olsson, Mats J; Lundström, Johan N

    2016-07-29

    Most studies exploring multisensory integration have used clearly perceivable stimuli. According to the principle of inverse effectiveness, the added neural and behavioral benefit of integrating clear stimuli is reduced in comparison to stimuli with degraded and less salient unisensory information. Traditionally, speed and accuracy measures have been analyzed separately with few studies merging these to gain an understanding of speed-accuracy trade-offs in multisensory integration. In two separate experiments, we assessed multisensory integration of naturalistic audio-visual objects consisting of individually-tailored perithreshold dynamic visual and auditory stimuli, presented within a multiple-choice task, using a Bayesian Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Model that combines response time and accuracy. For both experiments, unisensory stimuli were degraded to reach a 75% identification accuracy level for all individuals and stimuli to promote multisensory binding. In Experiment 1, we subsequently presented uni- and their respective bimodal stimuli followed by a 5-alternative-forced-choice task. In Experiment 2, we controlled for low-level integration and attentional differences. Both experiments demonstrated significant superadditive multisensory integration of bimodal perithreshold dynamic information. We present evidence that the use of degraded sensory stimuli may provide a link between previous findings of inverse effectiveness on a single neuron level and overt behavior. We further suggest that a combined measure of accuracy and reaction time may be a more valid and holistic approach of studying multisensory integration and propose the application of drift diffusion models for studying behavioral correlates as well as brain-behavior relationships of multisensory integration.

  12. Role of white-matter pathways in coordinating alpha oscillations in resting visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindriks, R; Woolrich, M; Luckhoo, H; Joensson, M; Mohseni, H; Kringelbach, M L; Deco, G

    2015-02-01

    In the absence of cognitive tasks and external stimuli, strong rhythmic fluctuations with a frequency ≈ 10 Hz emerge from posterior regions of human neocortex. These posterior α-oscillations can be recorded throughout the visual cortex and are particularly strong in the calcarine sulcus, where the primary visual cortex is located. The mechanisms and anatomical pathways through which local \\alpha-oscillations are coordinated however, are not fully understood. In this study, we used a combination of magnetoencephalography (MEG), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and biophysical modeling to assess the role of white-matter pathways in coordinating cortical α-oscillations. Our findings suggest that primary visual cortex plays a special role in coordinating α-oscillations in higher-order visual regions. Specifically, the amplitudes of α-sources throughout visual cortex could be explained by propagation of α-oscillations from primary visual cortex through white-matter pathways. In particular, α-amplitudes within visual cortex correlated with both the anatomical and functional connection strengths to primary visual cortex. These findings reinforce the notion of posterior α-oscillations as intrinsic oscillations of the visual system. We speculate that they might reflect a default-mode of the visual system during which higher-order visual regions are rhythmically primed for expected visual stimuli by α-oscillations in primary visual cortex.

  13. The effect of listening to techno music on reaction times to visual stimuli Účinky poslechu techno hudby na dobu reakce na vizuální podněty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damir Karpljuk

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the research was to establish the influence of techno music on the reaction times of participants in the research. Our hypothesis was that stimulating music, such as techno, would shorten the participants' reaction time to visual stimuli while, without music, the reaction time would be longer. To define the reaction time to expected light stimuli we used a special apparatus for measuring the angle of elbow extension, an electric goniometer and a red colour LED diode attached to it. We also used a computer programme as well. The athletes, 10 students at the Faculty of Sports, aged between 20 and 45, participated in the research, representing the control group as well as the experimental group. In our research we established that listening to techno music does affect the shortening of participants' reaction time. Their reaction time shortens significantly according to a measurement taken after 30 minute of listening to techno music, nevertheless it is not shortened during the listening. The control group established that 35 minutes of waiting between the measurements does not significantly affect the reaction time. Moreover, it was established that 30 minutes of listening to techno music affected the shortening of the reaction time 45 seconds after the music was turned off. For further research, it would be necessary to engage more participants. However, the research results are useful data and may serve as a starting point for further research. Cílem výzkumu bylo stanovit míru vlivu techno hudby na reakční časy účastníků výzkumu. Naše hypotéza byla ta, že stimulující hudba, například techno, zkracuje dobu reakce účastníků na vizuální podněty, zatímco bez hudby je reakční čas delší. K určení doby reakce na očekávané světelné podněty jsme použili speciální zařízení na měření úhlu extenze lokte, elektrický goniometr a k němu připevněnou červenou LED diodu. Také jsme používali po

  14. Secondary hyperalgesia to heat stimuli after burn injury in man

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

    was not significantly different between the two zones of hyperalgesia. In conclusion, secondary hyperalgesia in man is not restricted to mechanical stimuli, as significant hyperalgesia to heat developed within the zone of secondary hyperalgesia to punctate mechanical stimuli. The data, combined with other evidence......The aim of the study was to examine the presence of hyperalgesia to heat stimuli within the zone of secondary hyperalgesia to punctate mechanical stimuli. A burn was produced on the medial part of the non-dominant crus in 15 healthy volunteers with a 50 x 25 mm thermode (47 degrees C, 7 min......), and assessments were made 70 min and 40 min before, and 0, 1, and 2 h after the burn injury. Hyperalgesia to mechanical and heat stimuli were examined by von Frey hairs and contact thermodes (3.75 and 12.5 cm2), and pain responses were rated with a visual analog scale (0-100). The area of secondary hyperalgesia...

  15. Secondary hyperalgesia to heat stimuli after burn injury in man

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

    area). The burns decreased pain thresholds and increased pain responses to both thermal and mechanical stimuli within the burn (P hyperalgesia (mean 89 cm2) to punctate mechanical stimuli (P ...The aim of the study was to examine the presence of hyperalgesia to heat stimuli within the zone of secondary hyperalgesia to punctate mechanical stimuli. A burn was produced on the medial part of the non-dominant crus in 15 healthy volunteers with a 50 x 25 mm thermode (47 degrees C, 7 min......), and assessments were made 70 min and 40 min before, and 0, 1, and 2 h after the burn injury. Hyperalgesia to mechanical and heat stimuli were examined by von Frey hairs and contact thermodes (3.75 and 12.5 cm2), and pain responses were rated with a visual analog scale (0-100). The area of secondary hyperalgesia...

  16. Personality dimensions of people who suffer from visual stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollis, J; Allen, P M; Fleischmann, D; Aulak, R

    2007-11-01

    Personality dimensions of participants who suffer from visual stress were compared with those of normal participants using the Eysenck Personality Inventory. Extraversion-Introversion scores showed no significant differences between the participants who suffered visual stress and those who were classified as normal. By contrast, significant differences were found between the normal participants and those with visual stress in respect of Neuroticism-Stability. These differences accord with Eysenck's personality theory which states that those who score highly on the neuroticism scale do so because they have a neurological system with a low threshold such that their neurological system is easily activated by external stimuli. The findings also relate directly to the theory of visual stress proposed by Wilkins which postulates that visual stress results from an excess of neural activity. The data may indicate that the excess activity is likely to be localised at particular neurological regions or neural processes.

  17. Modulation of visually evoked postural responses by contextual visual, haptic and auditory information: a 'virtual reality check'.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg F Meyer

    Full Text Available Externally generated visual motion signals can cause the illusion of self-motion in space (vection and corresponding visually evoked postural responses (VEPR. These VEPRs are not simple responses to optokinetic stimulation, but are modulated by the configuration of the environment. The aim of this paper is to explore what factors modulate VEPRs in a high quality virtual reality (VR environment where real and virtual foreground objects served as static visual, auditory and haptic reference points. Data from four experiments on visually evoked postural responses show that: 1 visually evoked postural sway in the lateral direction is modulated by the presence of static anchor points that can be haptic, visual and auditory reference signals; 2 real objects and their matching virtual reality representations as visual anchors have different effects on postural sway; 3 visual motion in the anterior-posterior plane induces robust postural responses that are not modulated by the presence of reference signals or the reality of objects that can serve as visual anchors in the scene. We conclude that automatic postural responses for laterally moving visual stimuli are strongly influenced by the configuration and interpretation of the environment and draw on multisensory representations. Different postural responses were observed for real and virtual visual reference objects. On the basis that automatic visually evoked postural responses in high fidelity virtual environments should mimic those seen in real situations we propose to use the observed effect as a robust objective test for presence and fidelity in VR.

  18. Modulation of Visually Evoked Postural Responses by Contextual Visual, Haptic and Auditory Information: A ‘Virtual Reality Check’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Georg F.; Shao, Fei; White, Mark D.; Hopkins, Carl; Robotham, Antony J.

    2013-01-01

    Externally generated visual motion signals can cause the illusion of self-motion in space (vection) and corresponding visually evoked postural responses (VEPR). These VEPRs are not simple responses to optokinetic stimulation, but are modulated by the configuration of the environment. The aim of this paper is to explore what factors modulate VEPRs in a high quality virtual reality (VR) environment where real and virtual foreground objects served as static visual, auditory and haptic reference points. Data from four experiments on visually evoked postural responses show that: 1) visually evoked postural sway in the lateral direction is modulated by the presence of static anchor points that can be haptic, visual and auditory reference signals; 2) real objects and their matching virtual reality representations as visual anchors have different effects on postural sway; 3) visual motion in the anterior-posterior plane induces robust postural responses that are not modulated by the presence of reference signals or the reality of objects that can serve as visual anchors in the scene. We conclude that automatic postural responses for laterally moving visual stimuli are strongly influenced by the configuration and interpretation of the environment and draw on multisensory representations. Different postural responses were observed for real and virtual visual reference objects. On the basis that automatic visually evoked postural responses in high fidelity virtual environments should mimic those seen in real situations we propose to use the observed effect as a robust objective test for presence and fidelity in VR. PMID:23840760

  19. Auditory Motion Elicits a Visual Motion Aftereffect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher C. Berger

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The visual motion aftereffect is a visual illusion in which exposure to continuous motion in one direction leads to a subsequent illusion of visual motion in the opposite direction. Previous findings have been mixed with regard to whether this visual illusion can be induced cross-modally by auditory stimuli. Based on research on multisensory perception demonstrating the profound influence auditory perception can have on the interpretation and perceived motion of visual stimuli, we hypothesized that exposure to auditory stimuli with strong directional motion cues should induce a visual motion aftereffect. Here, we demonstrate that horizontally moving auditory stimuli induced a significant visual motion aftereffect—an effect that was driven primarily by a change in visual motion perception following exposure to leftward moving auditory stimuli. This finding is consistent with the notion that visual and auditory motion perception rely on at least partially overlapping neural substrates.

  20. Localization of monocular stimuli in different depth planes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimono, Koichi; Tam, Wa James; Asakura, Nobuhiko; Ohmi, Masao

    2005-09-01

    We examined the phenomenon in which two physically aligned monocular stimuli appear to be non-collinear when each of them is located in binocular regions that are at different depth planes. Using monocular bars embedded in binocular random-dot areas that are at different depths, we manipulated properties of the binocular areas and examined their effect on the perceived direction and depth of the monocular stimuli. Results showed that (1) the relative visual direction and perceived depth of the monocular bars depended on the binocular disparity and the dot density of the binocular areas, and (2) the visual direction, but not the depth, depended on the width of the binocular regions. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that monocular stimuli are treated by the visual system as binocular stimuli that have acquired the properties of their binocular surrounds. Moreover, partial correlation analysis suggests that the visual system utilizes both the disparity information of the binocular areas and the perceived depth of the monocular bars in determining the relative visual direction of the bars.

  1. Effects of auditory stimuli in the horizontal plane on audiovisual integration: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Weiping; Li, Qi; Ochi, Tatsuya; Yang, Jingjing; Gao, Yulin; Tang, Xiaoyu; Takahashi, Satoshi; Wu, Jinglong

    2013-01-01

    This article aims to investigate whether auditory stimuli in the horizontal plane, particularly originating from behind the participant, affect audiovisual integration by using behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measurements. In this study, visual stimuli were presented directly in front of the participants, auditory stimuli were presented at one location in an equidistant horizontal plane at the front (0°, the fixation point), right (90°), back (180°), or left (270°) of the participants, and audiovisual stimuli that include both visual stimuli and auditory stimuli originating from one of the four locations were simultaneously presented. These stimuli were presented randomly with equal probability; during this time, participants were asked to attend to the visual stimulus and respond promptly only to visual target stimuli (a unimodal visual target stimulus and the visual target of the audiovisual stimulus). A significant facilitation of reaction times and hit rates was obtained following audiovisual stimulation, irrespective of whether the auditory stimuli were presented in the front or back of the participant. However, no significant interactions were found between visual stimuli and auditory stimuli from the right or left. Two main ERP components related to audiovisual integration were found: first, auditory stimuli from the front location produced an ERP reaction over the right temporal area and right occipital area at approximately 160-200 milliseconds; second, auditory stimuli from the back produced a reaction over the parietal and occipital areas at approximately 360-400 milliseconds. Our results confirmed that audiovisual integration was also elicited, even though auditory stimuli were presented behind the participant, but no integration occurred when auditory stimuli were presented in the right or left spaces, suggesting that the human brain might be particularly sensitive to information received from behind than both sides.

  2. How Does the Hippocampal Formation Mediate Memory for Stimuli Processed by the Magnocellular and Parvocellular Visual Pathways? Evidence from the Comparison of Schizophrenia and Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keri, Szabolcs; Szamosi, Andras; Benedek, Gyorgy; Kelemen, Oguz

    2012-01-01

    Paired associates learning is impaired in both schizophrenia and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which may reflect hippocampal pathology. In addition, schizophrenia is characterized by the dysfunction of the retino-geniculo-striatal magnocellular (M) visual pathway. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction between…

  3. Visual experience and blindsight

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, Morten

    2011-01-01

    Blindsight is classically defined as residual visual capacity, e.g., to detect and identify visual stimuli, in the total absence of perceptual awareness following lesions to V1. However, whereas most experiments have investigated what blindsight patients can and cannot do, the literature contains...... several, often contradictory, remarks about remaining visual experience. This review examines closer these remarks as well as experiments that directly approach the nature of possibly spared visual experiences in blindsight....

  4. Visual field asymmetries in visual evoked responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, Donald J

    2014-12-19

    Behavioral responses to visual stimuli exhibit visual field asymmetries, but cortical folding and the close proximity of visual cortical areas make electrophysiological comparisons between different stimulus locations problematic. Retinotopy-constrained source estimation (RCSE) uses distributed dipole models simultaneously constrained by multiple stimulus locations to provide separation between individual visual areas that is not possible with conventional source estimation methods. Magnetoencephalography and RCSE were used to estimate time courses of activity in V1, V2, V3, and V3A. Responses to left and right hemifield stimuli were not significantly different. Peak latencies for peripheral stimuli were significantly shorter than those for perifoveal stimuli in V1, V2, and V3A, likely related to the greater proportion of magnocellular input to V1 in the periphery. Consistent with previous results, sensor magnitudes for lower field stimuli were about twice as large as for upper field, which is only partially explained by the proximity to sensors for lower field cortical sources in V1, V2, and V3. V3A exhibited both latency and amplitude differences for upper and lower field responses. There were no differences for V3, consistent with previous suggestions that dorsal and ventral V3 are two halves of a single visual area, rather than distinct areas V3 and VP.

  5. Emotional stimuli and motor conversion disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voon, V.; Brezing, C.; Gallea, C.; Ameli, R.; Roelofs, K.; LaFrance, W.C.; Hallett, M.

    2010-01-01

    Conversion disorder is characterized by neurological signs and symptoms related to an underlying psychological issue. Amygdala activity to affective stimuli is well characterized in healthy volunteers with greater amygdala activity to both negative and positive stimuli relative to neutral stimuli,

  6. Infant Attention to Dynamic Audiovisual Stimuli: Look Duration from 3 to 9 Months of Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Greg D.; Zhang, Dantong; Guy, Maggie W.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine developmental change in visual attention to dynamic visual and audiovisual stimuli in 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old infants. Infant look duration was measured during exposure to dynamic geometric patterns and Sesame Street video clips under three different stimulus modality conditions: unimodal visual, synchronous…

  7. Emotionally negative stimuli can overcome attentional deficits in patients with visuo-spatial hemineglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowska, A; Marchewka, A; Seniów, J; Polanowska, K; Jednoróg, K; Królicki, L; Kossut, M; Członkowska, A

    2011-10-01

    Left unilateral spatial neglect resulting from right brain damage is characterized by loss of awareness for stimuli in the contralesional side of space, despite intact visual pathways. We examined using fMRI whether patients with neglect are more likely to consciously detect in the neglected hemifield, emotionally negative complex scenes rather than visually similar neutral pictures and if so, what neural mechanisms mediate this effect. Photographs of emotional and neutral scenes taken from the IAPS were presented in a divided visual field paradigm. As expected, the detection rate for emotional stimuli presented in the neglected field was higher than for neutral ones. Successful detection of emotional scenes as opposed to neutral stimuli in the left visual field (LVF) produced activations in the parahippocampal and anterior cingulate areas in the right hemisphere. Detection of emotional stimuli presented in the intact right visual field (RVF) activated a distributed network of structures in the left hemisphere, including anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, insula, as well as visual striate and extrastriate areas. LVF-RVF contrasts for emotional stimuli revealed activations in right and left attention related prefrontal areas whereas RVF-LVF comparison showed activations in the posterior cingulate and extrastriate visual cortex in the left hemisphere. An additional analysis contrasting detected vs. undetected emotional LVF stimuli showed involvement of left anterior cingulate, right frontal and extrastriate areas. We hypothesize that beneficial role of emotion in overcoming neglect is achieved by activation of frontal and limbic lobe networks, which provide a privileged access of emotional stimuli to attention by top-down modulation of processing in the higher-order extrastriate visual areas. Our results point to the importance of top-down regulatory role of the frontal attentional systems, which might enhance visual activations and lead to greater salience of

  8. Spatial decisions and cognitive strategies of monkeys and humans based on abstract spatial stimuli in rotation test

    OpenAIRE

    Nekovarova, Tereza; Nedvidek, Jan; Klement, Daniel; Bures, Jan

    2009-01-01

    We showed previously that macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) could orient in real space using abstract visual stimuli presented on a computer screen. They made correct choices according to both spatial stimuli (designed as an abstract representation of a real space) and nonspatial stimuli (pictures lacking any inner configuration information). However, we suggested that there were differences in processing spatial and nonspatial stimuli. In the present experiment we show that monkeys could also...

  9. The Impact of Semantic Relevance and Heterogeneity of Pictorial Stimuli on Individual Brainstorming: An Extension of the SIAM Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jing; McLeod, Poppy Lauretta

    2014-01-01

    Drawing upon the Search for Ideas in Associative Memory (SIAM) model as the theoretical framework, the impact of heterogeneity and topic relevance of visual stimuli on ideation performance was examined. Results from a laboratory experiment showed that visual stimuli increased productivity and diversity of idea generation, that relevance to the…

  10. An Information-Processing Analysis of Children's Accuracy in Predicting the Appearance of Rotated Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosser, Rosemary A.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    The ability of 40 children four and five years of age to discriminate reflections and rotations of visual stimuli was examined in a kinetic imagery task. Results revealed that prediction accuracy was associated with the existence of orientation markers on the stimuli, as well as age, sex, type of discrimination, and several interactions among the…

  11. Nonretinotopic visual processing in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melcher, David; Morrone, Maria Concetta

    2015-01-01

    A basic principle in visual neuroscience is the retinotopic organization of neural receptive fields. Here, we review behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging evidence for nonretinotopic processing of visual stimuli. A number of behavioral studies have shown perception depending on object or external-space coordinate systems, in addition to retinal coordinates. Both single-cell neurophysiology and neuroimaging have provided evidence for the modulation of neural firing by gaze position and processing of visual information based on craniotopic or spatiotopic coordinates. Transient remapping of the spatial and temporal properties of neurons contingent on saccadic eye movements has been demonstrated in visual cortex, as well as frontal and parietal areas involved in saliency/priority maps, and is a good candidate to mediate some of the spatial invariance demonstrated by perception. Recent studies suggest that spatiotopic selectivity depends on a low spatial resolution system of maps that operates over a longer time frame than retinotopic processing and is strongly modulated by high-level cognitive factors such as attention. The interaction of an initial and rapid retinotopic processing stage, tied to new fixations, and a longer lasting but less precise nonretinotopic level of visual representation could underlie the perception of both a detailed and a stable visual world across saccadic eye movements.

  12. Influência de estímulos visuais na produção escrita de surdos sinalizadores com queixas de alterações na escrita Influence of visual stimuli in the written production of deaf signers with complaints of writing impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natali da Silva Lustre

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Verificar a influência de dois tipos de estímulos visuais na produção escrita de surdos sinalizadores com queixas de alterações na escrita. MÉTODOS: Participaram 13 estudantes surdos sinalizadores com queixas de alterações na escrita, sendo sete do gênero masculino e seis do feminino. A média de idade foi de 13 anos, e os sujeitos apresentavam perda auditiva neurossensorial de grau severo ou profundo (pior que 71 dBNA na média das frequências de 500 Hz, 1 e 2 kHz. A escolaridade dos participantes variou de 3ª à 8ª séries do Ensino Fundamental de escolas pública e particular. Os surdos foram avaliados quanto ao desempenho em LIBRAS e realizaram produções escritas com base em estímulos visuais de uma figura de ação e de figuras em sequência, as quais foram analisadas segundo critérios adaptados de acordo com a Teoria das Competências Comunicativas (Genérica, Enciclopédica e Línguística. Os dados foram analisados estatisticamente. RESULTADOS: Em relação à Competência Genérica, a tipologia do discurso predominante foi a Narração. Quanto às competências Enciclopédica e Linguística, ambas se mostraram prejudicadas independente dos estímulos apresentados. CONCLUSÃO: Os dois tipos de estímulos visuais estudados não propiciaram produções escritas diferenciadas nos surdos sinalizadores com queixas de alterações na escrita.PURPOSE: To investigate the influence of two types of visual stimuli in the written production of deaf signers with complaints of reading and writing alterations. METHODS: Participants were 13 deaf students who were users of sign language and had complaints of reading and writing alterations (seven male and six female. Subjects' mean age was 13 years, and they presented severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss (average threshold lower than 71 dBHL in the frequencies of 500 Hz, 1 and 2 kHz. The educational level of participants ranged from 3rd to 8th grades of public and

  13. Comparison of EEG propagation speeds under emotional stimuli on smartphone between the different anxiety states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuya eAsakawa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The current study was evaluated difference anxiety states at information processing in the electroencephalography (EEG under emotional stimuli for smartphone. Twenty-three healthy subjects were assessed for their anxiety states using The State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI and divided to two groups: low anxiety (I, II or high anxiety (III and IV, V group. EEG was measured under emotionally audio-visual stimuli (resting and pleasant, unpleasant sessions and emotionally sentence stimuli (pleasant sentence, unpleasant sentence sessions using emotionally audio-visual stimuli and emotionally sentence stimuli and analyzed using propagation speed analysis. The propagation speed of the low anxiety group at medial coronal in resting stimuli for all time was higher than those of high anxiety group, and that of the low anxiety group at medial sagittal in unpleasant stimuli for 60-150 seconds and those in unpleasant stimuli for 0-30, 60-150 seconds was higher than those of high anxiety group. The propagation speed for 150 seconds of all stimuli in the low anxiety group had a significantly higher than propagation speed for that in the high anxiety group. These events suggest that information processes concerning the emotional stimuli in the brain is differ based on the anxiety state of the subject.

  14. Joint attention for stimuli on the hands: Ownership matters

    OpenAIRE

    Eric eTaylor; Jay ePratt; Jessica eWitt

    2015-01-01

    The visual system treats the space near the hands with unique, action-related priorities. For example, attention orients slowly to stimuli on the hands (Taylor and Witt, 2014). In this article, we asked whether jointly attended hands are attended in the same way. Specifically, we examined whether ownership over the hand mattered: do we attend to our hands and the hands of others in the same way? Pairs of participants performed a spatial cueing task with stimuli that could be projected onto on...

  15. Investigating developmental changes in sensory processing: visual mismatch response in healthy children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine McLaurin Cleary

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The ability to detect small changes in one’s visual environment is important for effective adaptation to and interaction with a wide variety of external stimuli. Much research has studied the auditory mismatch negativity (MMN, or the brain’s automatic response to rare changes in a series of repetitive auditory stimuli. But recent studies indicate that a visual homologue to this component of the event-related potential (ERP can also be measured. While most visual mismatch response studies have focused on adult populations, few studies have investigated this response in healthy children, and little is known about the developmental nature of this phenomenon. We recorded EEG data in 22 healthy children (ages 8-12 and 20 healthy adults (ages 18-42. Participants were presented with two types of task irrelevant background images of black and gray gratings while performing a visual target detection task. Spatial frequency of the background gratings was varied with 85% of the gratings being of high spatial frequency (i.e. standard background stimulus and 15% of the images being of low spatial frequency (i.e. deviant background stimulus. Results in the adult group showed a robust mismatch response to deviant (nontarget background stimuli at around 150ms post-stimulus at occipital electrode locations. In the children, two negativities around 150ms and 230ms post-stimulus at occipital electrode locations and a positivity around 250ms poststimulus at frontocentral electrode locations were observed. In addition, larger amplitudes of P1 and longer latencies of P1 and N1 to deviant background stimuli were observed in children versus adults. These results suggest that processing of deviant stimuli presented outside the focus of attention in 8-12-year-old children differs from those in adults, and are in agreement with previous research. They also suggest that the visual mismatch response may change across the lifespan in accordance with other components of

  16. Behavioral detection of passive whisker stimuli requires somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Toshio; Feldman, Daniel E

    2013-07-01

    Rodent whisker sensation occurs both actively, as whiskers move rhythmically across objects, and in a passive mode in which externally applied deflections are sensed by static, non-moving whiskers. Passive whisker stimuli are robustly encoded in the somatosensory (S1) cortex, and provide a potentially powerful means of studying cortical processing. However, whether S1 contributes to passive sensation is debated. We developed 2 new behavioral tasks to assay passive whisker sensation in freely moving rats: Detection of unilateral whisker deflections and discrimination of right versus left whisker deflections. Stimuli were simple, simultaneous multi-whisker deflections. Local muscimol inactivation of S1 reversibly and robustly abolished sensory performance on these tasks. Thus, S1 is required for the detection and discrimination of simple stimuli by passive whiskers, in addition to its known role in active whisker sensation.

  17. Response to various periods of mechanical stimuli in Physarum plasmodium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umedachi, Takuya; Ito, Kentaro; Kobayashi, Ryo; Ishiguro, Akio; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki

    2017-06-01

    Response to mechanical stimuli is a fundamental and critical ability for living cells to survive in hazardous conditions or to form adaptive and functional structures against force(s) from the environment. Although this ability has been extensively studied by molecular biology strategies, it is also important to investigate the ability from the viewpoint of biological rhythm phenomena so as to reveal the mechanisms that underlie these phenomena. Here, we use the plasmodium of the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum as the experimental system for investigating this ability. The plasmodium was repetitively stretched for various periods during which its locomotion speed was observed. Since the plasmodium has inherent oscillation cycles of protoplasmic streaming and thickness variation, how the plasmodium responds to various periods of external stretching stimuli can shed light on the other biological rhythm phenomena. The experimental results show that the plasmodium exhibits response to periodic mechanical stimulation and changes its locomotion speed depending on the period of the stretching stimuli.

  18. Early auditory change detection implicitly facilitated by ignored concurrent visual change during a Braille reading task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoyama, Atsushi; Haruyama, Tomohiro; Kuriki, Shinya

    2013-09-01

    Unconscious monitoring of multimodal stimulus changes enables humans to effectively sense the external environment. Such automatic change detection is thought to be reflected in auditory and visual mismatch negativity (MMN) and mismatch negativity fields (MMFs). These are event-related potentials and magnetic fields, respectively, evoked by deviant stimuli within a sequence of standard stimuli, and both are typically studied during irrelevant visual tasks that cause the stimuli to be ignored. Due to the sensitivity of MMN/MMF to potential effects of explicit attention to vision, however, it is unclear whether multisensory co-occurring changes can purely facilitate early sensory change detection reciprocally across modalities. We adopted a tactile task involving the reading of Braille patterns as a neutral ignore condition, while measuring magnetoencephalographic responses to concurrent audiovisual stimuli that were infrequently deviated either in auditory, visual, or audiovisual dimensions; 1000-Hz standard tones were switched to 1050-Hz deviant tones and/or two-by-two standard check patterns displayed on both sides of visual fields were switched to deviant reversed patterns. The check patterns were set to be faint enough so that the reversals could be easily ignored even during Braille reading. While visual MMFs were virtually undetectable even for visual and audiovisual deviants, significant auditory MMFs were observed for auditory and audiovisual deviants, originating from bilateral supratemporal auditory areas. Notably, auditory MMFs were significantly enhanced for audiovisual deviants from about 100 ms post-stimulus, as compared with the summation responses for auditory and visual deviants or for each of the unisensory deviants recorded in separate sessions. Evidenced by high tactile task performance with unawareness of visual changes, we conclude that Braille reading can successfully suppress explicit attention and that simultaneous multisensory changes can

  19. Balancing Attended and Global Stimuli in Perceived Video Quality Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    The visual attention mechanism plays a key role in the human perception system and it has a significant impact on our assessment of perceived video quality. In spite of receiving less attention from the viewers, unattended stimuli can still contribute to the understanding of the visual content....... This paper proposes a quality model based on the late attention selection theory, assuming that the video quality is perceived via two mechanisms: global and local quality assessment. First we model several visual features influencing the visual attention in quality assessment scenarios to derive...... an attention map using appropriate fusion techniques. The global quality assessment as based on the assumption that viewers allocate their attention equally to the entire visual scene, is modeled by four carefully designed quality features. By employing these same quality features, the local quality model...

  20. Stimuli responsive smart-gels realized via modular protein design

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Smart-gels have a variety of applications including tissue engineering and controlled drug delivery. Here we present a modular, bottom-up approach that permits the creation of protein-based smart-gels with encoded morphology, functionality, and responsiveness to external stimuli. The properties of these gels are encoded by the proteins from which they are synthesized. In particular, the strength and density of the network of intermolecular cross-links are specified by the interactions of the ...

  1. Attentional capture by social stimuli in young infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxie eGluckman

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the possibility that a range of social stimuli capture the attention of 6-month-old infants when in competition with other non-face objects. Infants viewed a series of six-item arrays in which one target item was a face, body part, or animal as their eye movements were recorded. Stimulus arrays were also processed for relative salience of each item in terms of color, luminance, and amount of contour. Targets were rarely the most visually salient items in the arrays, yet infants’ first looks toward all three target types were above chance, and dwell times for targets exceeded other stimulus types. Girls looked longer at faces than did boys, but there were no sex differences for other stimuli. These results are interpreted in a context of learning to discriminate between different classes of animate stimuli, perhaps in line with affordances for social interaction, and origins of sex differences in social attention.

  2. A computational model as neurodecoder based on synchronous oscillation in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Songnian, Zhao; Xiaoyun, Xiong; Guozheng, Yao; Zhi, Fu

    2003-10-01

    Based on synchronized responses of neuronal populations in the visual cortex to external stimuli, we proposed a computational model consisting primarily of a neuronal phase-locked loop (NPLL) and multiscaled operator. The former reveals the function of synchronous oscillations in the visual cortex. Regardless of which of these patterns of the spike trains may be an average firing-rate code, a spike-timing code, or a rate-time code, the NPLL can decode original visual information from neuronal spike trains modulated with patterns of external stimuli, because a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), which is included in the NPLL, can precisely track neuronal spike trains and instantaneous variations, that is, VCO can make a copy of an external stimulus pattern. The latter, however, describes multi-scaled properties of visual information processing, but not merely edge and contour detection. In this study, in which we combined NPLL with a multiscaled operator and maximum likelihood estimation, we proved that the model, as a neurodecoder, implements optimum algorithm decoding visual information from neuronal spike trains at the system level. At the same time, the model also obtains increasingly important supports, which come from a series of experimental results of neurobiology on stimulus-specific neuronal oscillations or synchronized responses of the neuronal population in the visual cortex. In addition, the problem of how to describe visual acuity and multiresolution of vision by wavelet transform is also discussed. The results indicate that the model provides a deeper understanding of the role of synchronized responses in decoding visual information.

  3. Investigating vision in schizophrenia through responses to humorous stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Tschacher

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The visual environment of humans contains abundant ambiguity and fragmentary information. Therefore, an early step of vision must disambiguate the incessant stream of information. Humorous stimuli produce a situation that is strikingly analogous to this process: Funniness is associated with the incongruity contained in a joke, pun, or cartoon. Like in vision in general, appreciating a visual pun as funny necessitates disambiguation of incongruous information. Therefore, perceived funniness of visual puns was implemented to study visual perception in a sample of 36 schizophrenia patients and 56 healthy control participants. We found that both visual incongruity and Theory of Mind (ToM content of the puns were associated with increased experienced funniness. This was significantly less so in participants with schizophrenia, consistent with the gestalt hypothesis of schizophrenia, which would predict compromised perceptual organization in patients. The association of incongruity with funniness was not mediated by known predictors of humor appreciation, such as affective state, depression, or extraversion. Patients with higher excitement symptoms and, at a trend level, reduced cognitive symptoms, reported lower funniness experiences. An open question remained whether patients showed this deficiency of visual incongruity detection independent of their ToM deficiency. Humorous stimuli may be viewed as a convenient method to study perceptual processes, but also fundamental questions of higher-level cognition.

  4. Multisensory aversive stimuli differentially modulate negative feelings in near and far space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taffou, Marine; Ondřej, Jan; O'Sullivan, Carol; Warusfel, Olivier; Dubal, Stéphanie; Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle

    2016-05-05

    Affect, space, and multisensory integration are processes that are closely linked. However, it is unclear whether the spatial location of emotional stimuli interacts with multisensory presentation to influence the emotional experience they induce in the perceiver. In this study, we used the unique advantages of virtual reality techniques to present potentially aversive crowd stimuli embedded in a natural context and to control their display in terms of sensory and spatial presentation. Individuals high in crowdphobic fear navigated in an auditory-visual virtual environment, in which they encountered virtual crowds presented through the visual channel, the auditory channel, or both. They reported the intensity of their negative emotional experience at a far distance and at a close distance from the crowd stimuli. Whereas auditory-visual presentation of close feared stimuli amplified negative feelings, auditory-visual presentation of distant feared stimuli did not amplify negative feelings. This suggests that spatial closeness allows multisensory processes to modulate the intensity of the emotional experience induced by aversive stimuli. Nevertheless, the specific role of auditory stimulation must be investigated to better understand this interaction between multisensory, affective, and spatial representation processes. This phenomenon may serve the implementation of defensive behaviors in response to aversive stimuli that are in position to threaten an individual's feeling of security.

  5. Projectors, associators, visual imagery, and the time course of visual processing in grapheme-color synesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsel, Ben D; Kutas, Marta; Coulson, Seana

    2017-10-01

    In grapheme-color synesthesia, seeing particular letters or numbers evokes the experience of specific colors. We investigate the brain's real-time processing of words in this population by recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs) from 15 grapheme-color synesthetes and 15 controls as they judged the validity of word pairs ('yellow banana' vs. 'blue banana') presented under high and low visual contrast. Low contrast words elicited delayed P1/N170 visual ERP components in both groups, relative to high contrast. When color concepts were conveyed to synesthetes by individually tailored achromatic grapheme strings ('55555 banana'), visual contrast effects were like those in color words: P1/N170 components were delayed but unchanged in amplitude. When controls saw equivalent colored grapheme strings, visual contrast modulated P1/N170 amplitude but not latency. Color induction in synesthetes thus differs from color perception in controls. Independent from experimental effects, all orthographic stimuli elicited larger N170 and P2 in synesthetes than controls. While P2 (150-250ms) enhancement was similar in all synesthetes, N170 (130-210ms) amplitude varied with individual differences in synesthesia and visual imagery. Results suggest immediate cross-activation in visual areas processing color and shape is most pronounced in so-called projector synesthetes whose concurrent colors are experienced as originating in external space.

  6. The eye-tracking of social stimuli in patients with Rett syndrome and autism spectrum disorders: a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Salomão Schwartzman

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare visual fixation at social stimuli in Rett syndrome (RT and autism spectrum disorders (ASD patients. Method Visual fixation at social stimuli was analyzed in 14 RS female patients (age range 4-30 years, 11 ASD male patients (age range 4-20 years, and 17 children with typical development (TD. Patients were exposed to three different pictures (two of human faces and one with social and non-social stimuli presented for 8 seconds each on the screen of a computer attached to an eye-tracker equipment. Results Percentage of visual fixation at social stimuli was significantly higher in the RS group compared to ASD and even to TD groups. Conclusion Visual fixation at social stimuli seems to be one more endophenotype making RS to be very different from ASD.

  7. The eye-tracking of social stimuli in patients with Rett syndrome and autism spectrum disorders: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartzman, José Salomão; Velloso, Renata de Lima; D'Antino, Maria Eloísa Famá; Santos, Silvana

    2015-05-01

    To compare visual fixation at social stimuli in Rett syndrome (RT) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) patients. Visual fixation at social stimuli was analyzed in 14 RS female patients (age range 4-30 years), 11 ASD male patients (age range 4-20 years), and 17 children with typical development (TD). Patients were exposed to three different pictures (two of human faces and one with social and non-social stimuli) presented for 8 seconds each on the screen of a computer attached to an eye-tracker equipment. Percentage of visual fixation at social stimuli was significantly higher in the RS group compared to ASD and even to TD groups. Visual fixation at social stimuli seems to be one more endophenotype making RS to be very different from ASD.

  8. Happiness increases distraction by auditory deviant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco-Unguetti, Antonia Pilar; Parmentier, Fabrice B R

    2016-08-01

    Rare and unexpected changes (deviants) in an otherwise repeated stream of task-irrelevant auditory distractors (standards) capture attention and impair behavioural performance in an ongoing visual task. Recent evidence indicates that this effect is increased by sadness in a task involving neutral stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that such effect may not be limited to negative emotions but reflect a general depletion of attentional resources by examining whether a positive emotion (happiness) would increase deviance distraction too. Prior to performing an auditory-visual oddball task, happiness or a neutral mood was induced in participants by means of the exposure to music and the recollection of an autobiographical event. Results from the oddball task showed significantly larger deviance distraction following the induction of happiness. Interestingly, the small amount of distraction typically observed on the standard trial following a deviant trial (post-deviance distraction) was not increased by happiness. We speculate that happiness might interfere with the disengagement of attention from the deviant sound back towards the target stimulus (through the depletion of cognitive resources and/or mind wandering) but help subsequent cognitive control to recover from distraction. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  9. A sex difference in visual influence on heard speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Julia R; Whalen, D H; Fowler, Carol A

    2006-05-01

    Reports of sex differences in language processing are inconsistent and are thought to vary by task type and difficulty. In two experiments, we investigated a sex difference in visual influence onheard speech (the McGurk effect). First, incongruent consonant-vowel stimuli were presented where the visual portion of the signal was brief (100 msec) or full (temporally equivalent to the auditory). Second, to determine whether men and women differed in their ability to extract visual speech information from these brief stimuli, the same stimuli were presented to new participants with an additional visual-only (lipread) condition. In both experiments, women showed a significantly greater visual influence on heard speech than did men for the brief visual stimuli. No sex differences for the full stimuli or in the ability to lipread were found. These findings indicate that the more challenging brief visual stimuli elicit sex differences in the processing of audiovisual speech.

  10. A Neurodynamical Model for Selective Visual Attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QU Jing-Yi; WANG Ru-Bin; ZHANG Yuan; DU Ying

    2011-01-01

    A neurodynamical model for selective visual attention considering orientation preference is proposed. Since orientation preference is one of the most important properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex, it should be fully considered besides external stimuli intensity. By tuning the parameter of orientation preference, the regimes of synchronous dynamics associated with the development of the attention focus are studied. The attention focus is represented by those peripheral neurons that generate spikes synchronously with the central neuron while the activity of other peripheral neurons is suppressed. Such dynamics correspond to the partial synchronization mode. Simulation results show that the model can sequentially select objects with different orientation preferences and has a reliable shift of attention from one object to another, which are consistent with the experimental results that neurons with different orientation preferences are laid out in pinwheel patterns.%A neurodynamical model for selective visual attention considering orientation preference is proposed.Since orientation preference is one of the most important properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex,it should be fully considered besides external stimuli intensity.By tuning the parameter of orientation preference,the regimes of synchronous dynamics associated with the development of the attention focus are studied.The attention focus is represented by those peripheral neurons that generate spikes synchronously with the central neuron while the activity of other peripheral neurons is suppressed.Such dynamics correspond to the partial synchronization mode.Simulation results show that the model can sequentially select objects with different orientation preferences and has a reliable shift of attention from one object to another,which are consistent with the experimental results that neurons with different orientation preferences are laid out in pinwheel patterns.Selective visual

  11. Interferências de estímulos visuais na produção escrita de escolares ouvintes sem queixas de alterações na escrita Interference of visual stimuli on the written production of students with no complaints of reading and writing difficulties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Ramos Casemiro

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Verificar a influência de estímulos visuais na produção escrita de escolares do ensino fundamental sem queixas de alterações de leitura e escrita. MÉTODOS: Participaram 25 crianças sem queixa de leitura e escrita, que cursavam a 3ª e 4ª série (4º e 5º ano atuais do ensino fundamental de uma escola pública. Adotaram-se como critérios de inclusão: respostas a 20 dBNA nas frequências de 500 Hz a 4 kHz na triagem auditiva; frequentar a referida escola por dois anos e possuir nível alfabético ou ortográfico de escrita. Os participantes foram separados em grupos pequenos e em dois dias realizaram as produções escritas que foram analisadas segundo critérios adaptados com base em um estudo sobre as competências comunicativas (genérica, enciclopédica e linguística. Os dados receberam análise estatística. RESULTADOS: Não houve diferença quanto ao tempo de elaboração da escrita, independente do estimulo visual. Quanto à competência genérica o tipo de discurso predominante foi o narrativo. Em relação à competência enciclopédica houve indícios de maior intertextualidade para a figura de ação. No que concerne à competência linguística, os textos foram longos, com pontuação inadequada, erros ortográficos e coesão global parcial. CONCLUSÃO: Os estímulos visuais apresentados não interferiram na produção escrita dos escolares do ensino fundamental em relação às competências comunicativas.PURPOSE: To investigate the influence of visual stimuli on the written production of Elementary School students with no complaints of reading and writing difficulties. METHODS: Participants were 25 Elementary School children without reading and writing complaints who were enrolled in 3rd and 4th grades of a public school. The following inclusion criteria were adopted: responses at 20 dBHL for frequencies from 500 Hz to 4 kHz on hearing screening; to be enrolled in school for at least two years; and to present

  12. The company they keep: background similarity influences transfer of aftereffects from second- to first-order stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Ning; Dayan, Peter

    2013-07-19

    A wealth of studies has found that adapting to second-order visual stimuli has little effect on the perception of first-order stimuli. This is physiologically and psychologically troubling, since many cells show similar tuning to both classes of stimuli, and since adapting to first-order stimuli leads to aftereffects that do generalize to second-order stimuli. Focusing on high-level visual stimuli, we recently proposed the novel explanation that the lack of transfer arises partially from the characteristically different backgrounds of the two stimulus classes. Here, we consider the effect of stimulus backgrounds in the far more prevalent, lower-level, case of the orientation tilt aftereffect. Using a variety of first- and second-order oriented stimuli, we show that we could increase or decrease both within- and cross-class adaptation aftereffects by increasing or decreasing the similarity of the otherwise apparently uninteresting or irrelevant backgrounds of adapting and test patterns. Our results suggest that similarity between background statistics of the adapting and test stimuli contributes to low-level visual adaptation, and that these backgrounds are thus not discarded by visual processing but provide contextual modulation of adaptation. Null cross-adaptation aftereffects must also be interpreted cautiously. These findings reduce the apparent inconsistency between psychophysical and neurophysiological data about first- and second-order stimuli. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. In the Eyes of the Beholder: How Experts and Novices Interpret Dynamic Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarodzka, Halszka; Scheiter, Katharina; Gerjets, Peter; van Gog, Tamara

    2010-01-01

    Tasks with a complex, dynamic visual component require not only the acquisition of conceptual/procedural but also of perceptual/attentional skills. This study examined expertise differences in perceiving and interpreting complex, dynamic visual stimuli on a performance and on a process level, including perceptual and conceptual strategies.…

  14. Objective perimetry in glaucoma: recent advances with multifocal stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, S L; Klistorner, A; Grigg, J R; Billson, F A

    1999-06-01

    The introduction of multifocal stimulus recording has enhanced our ability to examine the human visual field with electrophysiologic techniques. We have adapted the multifocal pattern visual evoked potential (PVEP) to detect visual field loss. In glaucoma patients we sought to determine the extent to which the PVEP amplitudes correlate with perimetric thresholds. Multifocal pseudorandomly alternated pattern stimuli, which were cortically scaled in size, were presented with use of the VERIS-Scientific system. Bipolar occipital straddle electrode positions were used. The visual field up to 25 degrees of eccentricity was investigated. Forty-three glaucoma patients with reproducible visual field defects were tested. The bipolar PVEP corresponded well with Humphrey visual field defects, showing loss of signal in the scotoma area. For Humphrey quadrant threshold totals and PVEP quadrant amplitudes, the correlation coefficient was strong (r = 0.49, P < 0.0001). The multifocal PVEP demonstrates good correspondence with the topography of the visual field. This technique represents the first practical application of the multifocal PVEP to objective detection of visual field defects in glaucoma.

  15. Type 2 blindsight and the nature of visual experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brogaard, Berit

    2015-03-01

    Blindsight is a kind of residual vision found in people with lesions to V1. Subjects with blindsight typically report no visual awareness, but they are nonetheless able to make above-chance guesses about the shape, location, color and movement of visual stimuli presented to them in their blind field. A different kind of blindsight, sometimes called type 2 blindsight, is a kind of residual vision found in patients with V1 lesions in the presence of some residual awareness. Type 2 blindsight differs from ordinary visual experience in lacking the particularity, transparency and fine-grainedness often taken to be essential to visual experience, at least in veridical cases. I argue that the case of type 2 blindsight provides a counterexample to the view that these characteristics are essential to veridical visual experience and that this gives us reason to resist the view that visual experience is essentially a perceptual relation to external objects. In the second part of the paper I argue that the case of type 2 blindsight yields important insights into the effects of attentional modulation on perceptual content and that cases of attentional modulation of appearance are not at odds with the view that the phenomenology of visual experience flows from its content.

  16. Emotional Stimuli and Motor Conversion Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voon, Valerie; Brezing, Christina; Gallea, Cecile; Ameli, Rezvan; Roelofs, Karin; LaFrance, W. Curt, Jr.; Hallett, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Conversion disorder is characterized by neurological signs and symptoms related to an underlying psychological issue. Amygdala activity to affective stimuli is well characterized in healthy volunteers with greater amygdala activity to both negative and positive stimuli relative to neutral stimuli, and greater activity to negative relative to…

  17. Subconscious Subliminal Stimuli And rrrsssssshhhppp!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lewis Brooks, Anthony

    2003-01-01

    in a ‘remarkable reductive retraction’ from ‘fixation centers’ such that a more human intuitive interaction to the ‘New World’ becomes apparent in design scenarios. Ubiquitous ‘Virtual Interactive Space’ (Brooks, 1999) will become a more utilized and higher resolution capture resource integrative to design...... of such issues as outlined in my opening statement. I suggest that successful design of the future will take much more into account the neural stimuli & potential subliminal synesthesia design aspects as an integrated element of the envisioned Virtual Interactive Space. Keywords: remarkable reductive retraction...

  18. Internal and external spatial attention examined with lateralized EEG power spectra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Lubbe, Rob H J; Bundt, Carsten; Abrahamse, Elger L

    2014-10-02

    Several authors argued that retrieval of an item from visual short term memory (internal spatial attention) and focusing attention on an externally presented item (external spatial attention) are similar. Part of the neuroimaging support for this view may be due to the employed experimental procedures. Furthermore, as internal spatial attention may have a more induced than evoked nature some effects may not have been visible in event related analyses of the electroencephalogram (EEG), which limits the possibility to demonstrate differences. In the current study, a colored frame cued which stimulus, one out of four presented in separate quadrants, required a response, which depended on the form of the cued stimulus (circle or square). Importantly, the frame occurred either before (precue), simultaneously with (simultaneous cue), or after the stimuli (postcue). The precue and simultaneous cue condition both concern external attention, while the postcue condition implies the involvement of internal spatial attention. Event-related lateralizations (ERLs), reflecting evoked effects, and lateralized power spectra (LPS), reflecting both evoked and induced effects, were determined. ERLs revealed a posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) only in the precue condition. LPS analyses on the raw EEG showed early increased contralateral theta power at posterior sites and later increased ipsilateral alpha power at occipito-temporal sites in all cue conditions. Responses were faster when the internally or externally attended location corresponded with the required response side than when not. These findings provide further support for the view that internal and external spatial attention share their underlying mechanism.

  19. Discrimination training with multimodal stimuli changes activity in the mushroom body of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Balkenius

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mushroom bodies of the insect brain play an important role in olfactory processing, associative learning and memory. The mushroom bodies show odor-specific spatial patterns of activity and are also influenced by visual stimuli. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Functional imaging was used to investigate changes in the in vivo responses of the mushroom body of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta during multimodal discrimination training. A visual and an odour stimulus were presented either together or individually. Initially, mushroom body activation patterns were identical to the odour stimulus and the multimodal stimulus. After training, however, the mushroom body response to the rewarded multimodal stimulus was significantly lower than the response to the unrewarded unimodal odour stimulus, indicating that the coding of the stimuli had changed as a result of training. The opposite pattern was seen when only the unimodal odour stimulus was rewarded. In this case, the mushroom body was more strongly activated by the multimodal stimuli after training. When no stimuli were rewarded, the mushroom body activity decreased for both the multimodal and unimodal odour stimuli. There was no measurable response to the unimodal visual stimulus in any of the experiments. These results can be explained using a connectionist model where the mushroom body is assumed to be excited by olfactory stimulus components, and suppressed by multimodal configurations. CONCLUSIONS: Discrimination training with multimodal stimuli consisting of visual and odour cues leads to stimulus specific changes in the in vivo responses of the mushroom body of the hawkmoth.

  20. Early somatosensory event-related potentials reveal attentional bias for internal stimuli in social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanai, Yoshihiro; Nittono, Hiroshi; Kubo, Kenta; Sasaki-Aoki, Shoko; Iwanaga, Makoto

    2012-03-01

    The present study used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to investigate allocation of attentional resources to internal and external stimuli in individuals with social anxiety. High and low socially anxious individuals were presented with depictions of various facial expressions or household objects, followed by an internal (vibration presented to the finger) or external probe (the letter "E"). Participants were told that the vibration signals physiological changes and were asked to detect both probes. High socially anxious individuals showed larger front-central N140 amplitudes in response to vibratory internal probes as compared to non-anxious controls. ERPs elicited by picture stimuli and external probes and reaction times in response to both probe types did not differ between high and low social anxiety individuals. Early somatosensory ERPs reveal an attentional bias for internal stimuli that does not appear in overt behavior.

  1. Polymer-based stimuli-responsive recyclable catalytic systems for organic synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jingli; Zhang, Mingxi; Tang, Kangjian; Verpoort, Francis; Sun, Taolei

    2014-01-15

    The introduction of stimuli-responsive polymers into the study of organic catalysis leads to the generation of a new kind of polymer-based stimuli-responsive recyclable catalytic system. Owing to their reversible switching properties in response to external stimuli, these systems are capable of improving the mass transports of reactants/products in aqueous solution, modulating the chemical reaction rates, and switching the catalytic process on and off. Furthermore, their stimuli-responsive properties facilitate the separation and recovery of the active catalysts from the reaction mixtures. As a fascinating approach of the controllable catalysis, these stimuli-responsive catalytic systems including thermoresponsive, pH-responsive, chemo-mechano-chemical, ionic strength-responsive, and dual-responsive, are reviewed in terms of their nanoreactors and mechanisms.

  2. Processing of unconventional stimuli requires the recruitment of the non-specialized hemisphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoed Nissan Kenett

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we investigate hemispheric processing of conventional and unconventional visual stimuli in the context of visual and verbal creative ability. In Experiment 1, we studied two unconventional visual recognition tasks – Mooney face and objects' silhouette recognition – and found a significant relationship between measures of verbal creativity and unconventional face recognition. In Experiment 2 we used the split visual field paradigm to investigate hemispheric processing of conventional and unconventional faces and its relation to verbal and visual characteristics of creativity. Results showed that while conventional faces were better processed by the specialized right hemisphere, unconventional faces were better processed by the non-specialized left hemisphere. In addition, only unconventional face processing by the non-specialized left hemisphere was related to verbal and visual measures of creative ability. Our findings demonstrate the role of the non-specialized hemisphere in processing unconventional stimuli and how it relates to creativity.

  3. Processing of unconventional stimuli requires the recruitment of the non-specialized hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenett, Yoed N; Anaki, David; Faust, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    In the present study we investigate hemispheric processing of conventional and unconventional visual stimuli in the context of visual and verbal creative ability. In Experiment 1, we studied two unconventional visual recognition tasks-Mooney face and objects' silhouette recognition-and found a significant relationship between measures of verbal creativity and unconventional face recognition. In Experiment 2 we used the split visual field (SVF) paradigm to investigate hemispheric processing of conventional and unconventional faces and its relation to verbal and visual characteristics of creativity. Results showed that while conventional faces were better processed by the specialized right hemisphere (RH), unconventional faces were better processed by the non-specialized left hemisphere (LH). In addition, only unconventional face processing by the non-specialized LH was related to verbal and visual measures of creative ability. Our findings demonstrate the role of the non-specialized hemisphere in processing unconventional stimuli and how it relates to creativity.

  4. Changes in the distribution of sustained attention alter the perceived structure of visual space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Robertson, Lynn C; Esterman, Michael

    2017-02-01

    Visual spatial attention is a critical process that allows for the selection and enhanced processing of relevant objects and locations. While studies have shown attentional modulations of perceived location and the representation of distance information across multiple objects, there remains disagreement regarding what influence spatial attention has on the underlying structure of visual space. The present study utilized a method of magnitude estimation in which participants must judge the location of briefly presented targets within the boundaries of their individual visual fields in the absence of any other objects or boundaries. Spatial uncertainty of target locations was used to assess perceived locations across distributed and focused attention conditions without the use of external stimuli, such as visual cues. Across two experiments we tested locations along the cardinal and 45° oblique axes. We demonstrate that focusing attention within a region of space can expand the perceived size of visual space; even in cases where doing so makes performance less accurate. Moreover, the results of the present studies show that when fixation is actively maintained, focusing attention along a visual axis leads to an asymmetrical stretching of visual space that is predominantly focused across the central half of the visual field, consistent with an expansive gradient along the focus of voluntary attention. These results demonstrate that focusing sustained attention peripherally during active fixation leads to an asymmetrical expansion of visual space within the central visual field.

  5. A method for closed-loop presentation of sensory stimuli conditional on the internal brain-state of awake animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutishauser, Ueli; Kotowicz, Andreas; Laurent, Gilles

    2013-04-30

    Brain activity often consists of interactions between internal-or on-going-and external-or sensory-activity streams, resulting in complex, distributed patterns of neural activity. Investigation of such interactions could benefit from closed-loop experimental protocols in which one stream can be controlled depending on the state of the other. We describe here methods to present rapid and precisely timed visual stimuli to awake animals, conditional on features of the animal's on-going brain state; those features are the presence, power and phase of oscillations in local field potentials (LFP). The system can process up to 64 channels in real time. We quantified its performance using simulations, synthetic data and animal experiments (chronic recordings in the dorsal cortex of awake turtles). The delay from detection of an oscillation to the onset of a visual stimulus on an LCD screen was 47.5ms and visual-stimulus onset could be locked to the phase of ongoing oscillations at any frequency ≤40Hz. Our software's architecture is flexible, allowing on-the-fly modifications by experimenters and the addition of new closed-loop control and analysis components through plugins. The source code of our system "StimOMatic" is available freely as open-source.

  6. Cortical activation elicited by unrecognized stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Badgaiyan Rajendra D

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is unclear whether a stimulus that cannot be recognized consciously, could elicit a well-processed cognitive response. Methods We used functional imaging to examine the pattern of cortical activation elicited by unrecognized stimuli during memory processing. Subjects were given a recognition task using recognizable and non-recognizable subliminal stimuli. Results Unrecognized stimuli activated the cortical areas that are associated with retrieval attempt (left prefrontal, and novelty detection (left hippocampus. This indicates that the stimuli that were not consciously recognized, activated neural network associated with aspects of explicit memory processing. Conclusion Results suggest that conscious recognition of stimuli is not necessary for activation of cognitive processing.

  7. Emotion Telepresence: Emotion Augmentation through Affective Haptics and Visual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsetserukou, D.; Neviarouskaya, A.

    2012-03-01

    The paper focuses on a novel concept of emotional telepresence. The iFeel_IM! system which is in the vanguard of this technology integrates 3D virtual world Second Life, intelligent component for automatic emotion recognition from text messages, and innovative affective haptic interfaces providing additional nonverbal communication channels through simulation of emotional feedback and social touch (physical co-presence). Users can not only exchange messages but also emotionally and physically feel the presence of the communication partner (e.g., family member, friend, or beloved person). The next prototype of the system will include the tablet computer. The user can realize haptic interaction with avatar, and thus influence its mood and emotion of the partner. The finger gesture language will be designed for communication with avatar. This will bring new level of immersion of on-line communication.

  8. Temporal response and attraction of Diaphorina citri to visual stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the vector of the global disease of citrus greening or huanglongbing, Asian citrus pysllids, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera; Liviidae) are the greatest threat to the worldwide citrus industry. Critical to management of D. citri and huanglongbing, is optimization of surveillance methodologie...

  9. Oscillations in the Visual Response to Pulsed Stimuli,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-06-01

    B). 105:60-92. MacLeod, D. I. A. 1972. Rods cancel cones in flicker. Nature. 235: 173-174. Motokawa, K. and Mita, T. 1942. Uber eine einfachere... Mexico 88002 (1) Commander Chief 10th Medical Laboratory Benet Weapons Laboratory ATTN: DEHE (Audiologist) LCWSL, USA ARRADCOM APO New York 09180 (1

  10. Moving stimuli facilitate synchronization but not temporal perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Silva

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that a moving visual stimulus (e.g., a bouncing ball facilitates synchronization compared to a static stimulus (e.g., a flashing light, and that it can even be as effective as an auditory beep. We asked a group of participants to perform different tasks with four stimulus types: beeps, siren-like sounds, visual flashes (static and bouncing balls. First, participants performed synchronization with isochronous sequences (stimulus-guided synchronization, followed by a continuation phase in which the stimulus was internally generated (imagery-guided synchronization. Then they performed a perception task, in which they judged whether the final part of a temporal sequence was compatible with the previous beat structure (stimulus-guided perception. Similar to synchronization, an imagery-guided variant was added, in which sequences contained a gap in between (imagery-guided perception. Balls outperformed flashes and matched beeps (powerful ball effect in stimulus-guided synchronization but not in perception (stimulus- or imagery-guided. In imagery-guided synchronization, performance accuracy decreased for beeps and balls, but not for flashes and sirens. Our findings suggest that the advantages of moving visual stimuli over static ones are grounded in action rather than perception, and they support the hypothesis that the sensorimotor coupling mechanisms for auditory (beeps and moving visual stimuli (bouncing balls overlap.

  11. A brain-derived metric for preferred kinetic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeki, Semir; Stutters, Jonathan

    2012-02-01

    We here address the question of whether there is any correlation between subjective preference for simple configurations within a specific visual domain such as motion and strength of activity in visual areas in which that domain is emphasized. We prepared several distinctive patterns of dots in motion with various characteristics and asked humans to rate them according to their preference, before and while scanning the activity in their brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging. For simplicity, we restricted ourselves to motion in the fronto-parallel plane. Moving patterns produced activity in areas V1, V2, the V3 complex (V3, V3A, V3B) and V5, but only in areas V5, V3A/B and parietal cortex did the preferred kinetic patterns produce stronger activity when compared with the non-preferred ones. In addition, preferred patterns produced activity within field A1 of medial orbito-frontal cortex (mOFC), which is not otherwise activated by kinetic stimuli. Hence, for these areas, stronger neural activity correlated with subjective preference. We conclude that configurations of kinetic stimuli that are subjectively preferred correlate with stronger activity within early visual areas and within mOFC. This opens up the possibility of more detailed studies to relate subjective preferences to strength of activity in early visual areas and to relate activity in them to areas whose activity correlates with the subjective experience of beauty.

  12. Stress improves selective attention towards emotionally neutral left ear stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R

    2014-09-01

    Research concerning the impact of psychological stress on visual selective attention has produced mixed results. The current paper describes two experiments which utilise a novel auditory oddball paradigm to test the impact of psychological stress on auditory selective attention. Participants had to report the location of emotionally-neutral auditory stimuli, while ignoring task-irrelevant changes in their content. The results of the first experiment, in which speech stimuli were presented, suggested that stress improves the ability to selectively attend to left, but not right ear stimuli. When this experiment was repeated using tonal stimuli the same result was evident, but only for female participants. Females were also found to experience greater levels of distraction in general across the two experiments. These findings support the goal-shielding theory which suggests that stress improves selective attention by reducing the attentional resources available to process task-irrelevant information. The study also demonstrates, for the first time, that this goal-shielding effect extends to auditory perception.

  13. Cognitive control modulates preferential sensory processing of affective stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinhauser, Marco; Flaisch, Tobias; Meinzer, Marcus; Schupp, Harald T

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive human behavior crucially relies on the ability of the brain to allocate resources automatically to emotionally significant stimuli. This ability has consistently been demonstrated by studies showing preferential processing of affective stimuli in sensory cortical areas. It is still unclear, however, whether this putatively automatic mechanism can be modulated by cognitive control processes. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether preferential processing of an affective face distractor is suppressed when an affective distractor has previously elicited a response conflict in a word-face Stroop task. We analyzed this for three consecutive stages in the ventral stream of visual processing for which preferential processing of affective stimuli has previously been demonstrated: the striate area (BA 17), category-unspecific extrastriate areas (BA 18/19), and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that response conflict led to a selective suppression of affective face processing in category-unspecific extrastriate areas and the FFA, and this effect was accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between these areas and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, preferential processing of affective face distractors was unaffected in the striate area. Our results indicate that cognitive control processes adaptively suppress preferential processing of affective stimuli under conditions where affective processing is detrimental because it elicits response conflict.

  14. Influence of auditory and audiovisual stimuli on the right-left prevalence effect

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vu, Kim-Phuong L; Minakata, Katsumi; Ngo, Mary Kim

    2014-01-01

    vertical coding through use of the spatial-musical association of response codes (SMARC) effect, where pitch is coded in terms of height in space. In Experiment 1, we found a larger right-left prevalence effect for unimodal auditory than visual stimuli. Neutral, non-pitch coded, audiovisual stimuli did...... not result in cross-modal facilitation, but did show evidence of visual dominance. The right-left prevalence effect was eliminated in the presence of SMARC audiovisual stimuli, but the effect influenced horizontal rather than vertical coding. Experiment 2 showed that the influence of the pitch dimension...... was not in terms of influencing response selection on a trial-to-trial basis, but in terms of altering the salience of the task environment. Taken together, these findings indicate that in the absence of salient vertical cues, auditory and audiovisual stimuli tend to be coded along the horizontal dimension...

  15. Agnosia for Mirror Stimuli: A New Case Report with a Small Parietal Lesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinaud, Olivier; Mirlink, Nicolas; Bioux, Sandrine; Bliaux, Evangéline; Lebas, Axel; Gerardin, Emmanuel; Hannequin, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Only seven cases of agnosia for mirror stimuli have been reported, always with an extensive lesion. We report a new case of an agnosia for mirror stimuli due to a circumscribed lesion. An extensive battery of neuropsychological tests and a new experimental procedure to assess visual object mirror and orientation discrimination were assessed 10 days after the onset of clinical symptoms, and 5 years later. The performances of our patient were compared with those of four healthy control subjects matched for age. This test revealed an agnosia for mirror stimuli. Brain imaging showed a small right occipitoparietal hematoma, encompassing the extrastriate cortex adjoining the inferior parietal lobe. This new case suggests that: (i) agnosia for mirror stimuli can persist for 5 years after onset and (ii) the posterior part of the right intraparietal sulcus could be critical in the cognitive process of mirror stimuli discrimination. PMID:25037846

  16. VR-MDS: multidimensional scaling for classification tasks of virtual and real stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, S

    2014-04-01

    Evaluating the perceptual similarity between virtual and real sensory stimuli has been a serious problem for virtual reality interface researchers for a long time. One of the most commonly used evaluation methods is a classification task where assessors classify randomly presented stimuli into multiple candidate types. The results of this method are summarized using two types of confusion matrices, which have different stimulus sets. The present study developed a method that computes the locations of simulated and real stimuli in a perceptual space on the basis of the two confusion matrices. The spatial distribution of the stimuli allows us to visually interpret the perceptual relationships between stimuli and their perceptual dimensionality. This method is recommended when the guidance index based on the answer ratios of the confusion matrices is fairly high.

  17. Impact of visual repetition rate on intrinsic properties of low frequency fluctuations in the visual network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi-Chia Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Visual processing network is one of the functional networks which have been reliably identified to consistently exist in human resting brains. In our work, we focused on this network and investigated the intrinsic properties of low frequency (0.01-0.08 Hz fluctuations (LFFs during changes of visual stimuli. There were two main questions to be discussed in this study: intrinsic properties of LFFs regarding (1 interactions between visual stimuli and resting-state; (2 impact of repetition rate of visual stimuli. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed scanning sessions that contained rest and visual stimuli in various repetition rates with a novel method. The method included three numerical approaches involving ICA (Independent Component Analyses, fALFF (fractional Amplitude of Low Frequency Fluctuation, and Coherence, to respectively investigate the modulations of visual network pattern, low frequency fluctuation power, and interregional functional connectivity during changes of visual stimuli. We discovered when resting-state was replaced by visual stimuli, more areas were involved in visual processing, and both stronger low frequency fluctuations and higher interregional functional connectivity occurred in visual network. With changes of visual repetition rate, the number of areas which were involved in visual processing, low frequency fluctuation power, and interregional functional connectivity in this network were also modulated. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: To combine the results of prior literatures and our discoveries, intrinsic properties of LFFs in visual network are altered not only by modulations of endogenous factors (eye-open or eye-closed condition; alcohol administration and disordered behaviors (early blind, but also exogenous sensory stimuli (visual stimuli with various repetition rates. It demonstrates that the intrinsic properties of LFFs are valuable to represent physiological states of human brains.

  18. Neural correlates of visual aesthetics--beauty as the coalescence of stimulus and internal state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Richard H A H; Renken, Remco; Cornelissen, Frans W

    2012-01-01

    How do external stimuli and our internal state coalesce to create the distinctive aesthetic pleasures that give vibrance to human experience? Neuroaesthetics has so far focused on the neural correlates of observing beautiful stimuli compared to neutral or ugly stimuli, or on neural correlates of judging for beauty as opposed to other judgments. Our group questioned whether this approach is sufficient. In our view, a brain region that assesses beauty should show beauty-level-dependent activation during the beauty judgment task, but not during other, unrelated tasks. We therefore performed an fMRI experiment in which subjects judged visual textures for beauty, naturalness and roughness. Our focus was on finding brain activation related to the rated beauty level of the stimuli, which would take place exclusively during the beauty judgment. An initial whole-brain analysis did not reveal such interactions, yet a number of the regions showing main effects of the judgment task or the beauty level of stimuli were selectively sensitive to beauty level during the beauty task. Of the regions that were more active during beauty judgments than roughness judgments, the frontomedian cortex and the amygdala demonstrated the hypothesized interaction effect, while the posterior cingulate cortex did not. The latter region, which only showed a task effect, may play a supporting role in beauty assessments, such as attending to one's internal state rather than the external world. Most of the regions showing interaction effects of judgment and beauty level correspond to regions that have previously been implicated in aesthetics using different stimulus classes, but based on either task or beauty effects alone. The fact that we have now shown that task-stimulus interactions are also present during the aesthetic judgment of visual textures implies that these areas form a network that is specifically devoted to aesthetic assessment, irrespective of the stimulus type.

  19. The Analysis of Sensory Stimuli of Terror in A Rose for Emily

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    尚慧敏

    2015-01-01

    William Faulkner drew impressive pictures of terror in A Rose for Emily by visual descriptions, auditory descriptions, tactile descriptions, and olfactory descriptions. Through the biological analysis, people can figure out what kinds of stimuli in this work can produce terror, how the sensory organs respond to the terror stimuli and why readers fear them. It is proved that Faulkner’s description of terror is based on the system of men’s receiving information and the production mechanism of terror.

  20. External Otitis (Swimmer's Ear)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to Pneumococcal Vaccine Additional Content Medical News External Otitis (Swimmer's Ear) By Bradley W. Kesser, MD, Associate ... the Outer Ear Ear Blockages Ear Tumors External Otitis (Swimmer's Ear) Malignant External Otitis Perichondritis External otitis ...

  1. Brain responses to disorder-related visual threat in panic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldker, Katharina; Heitmann, Carina Yvonne; Neumeister, Paula; Bruchmann, Maximilian; Vibrans, Laura; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Straube, Thomas

    2016-12-01

    Panic disorder (PD) patients show aberrant neural responses to threatening stimuli in an extended fear network, but results are only partially comparable, and studies implementing disorder-related visual scenes are lacking as stimuli. The neural responses and functional connectivity to a newly developed set of disorder-related, ecologically valid scenes as compared with matched neutral visual scenes, using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 26 PD patients and 26 healthy controls (HC) were investigated. PD patients versus HC showed hyperactivation in an extended fear network comprising brainstem, insula, thalamus, anterior, and mid-cingulate cortex and (dorso-)medial prefrontal cortex for disorder-related versus neutral scenes. Amygdala differences between groups failed significance. Subjective levels of anxiety significantly correlated with brainstem activation in PD patients. Analysis of functional connectivity by means of beta series correlation revealed no emotion-specific alterations in connectivity in PD patients versus HC. The results suggest that subjective anxiety evoked by external stimuli is directly related to altered activation in the homeostatic alarm system in PD. With novel disorder-related stimuli, the study sheds new light on the neural underpinnings of pathological threat processing in PD. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4439-4453, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Visual marking of old objects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Atchley, P.

    1998-01-01

    Watson and Humphreys (1997) presented evidence that selection of new elements can be prioritized by on-line top-down attentional inhibition of old stimuli already in the visual field (visual marking). The experiments on which this evidence was based always presented old elements in green and new ele

  3. Joint attention for stimuli on the hands: Ownership matters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric eTaylor

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The visual system treats the space near the hands with unique, action-related priorities. For example, attention orients slowly to stimuli on the hands (Taylor & Witt, 2014. In this article, we asked whether jointly attended hands are attended in the same way. Specifically, we examined whether ownership over the hand mattered: Do we attend to our hands and the hands of others in the same way? Pairs of participants performed a spatial cueing task with stimuli that could be projected onto one partner’s hands or on a control surface. Results show delayed orienting of attention to targets appearing on the hands, but only for the owner of the hands. For an observer, others’ hands are like any other surface. This result emphasizes the importance of ownership for hand-based effects on vision, and in doing so, is inconsistent with some expectations of the joint action literature.

  4. Joint attention for stimuli on the hands: ownership matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, J. E. T.; Pratt, Jay; Witt, Jessica K.

    2015-01-01

    The visual system treats the space near the hands with unique, action-related priorities. For example, attention orients slowly to stimuli on the hands (Taylor and Witt, 2014). In this article, we asked whether jointly attended hands are attended in the same way. Specifically, we examined whether ownership over the hand mattered: do we attend to our hands and the hands of others in the same way? Pairs of participants performed a spatial cueing task with stimuli that could be projected onto one partner’s hands or on a control surface. Results show delayed orienting of attention to targets appearing on the hands, but only for the owner of the hands. For an observer, others’ hands are like any other surface. This result emphasizes the importance of ownership for hand-based effects on vision, and in doing so, is inconsistent with some expectations of the joint action literature. PMID:25983713

  5. Intercepting the first pass: rapid categorization is suppressed for unseen stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisandro Nicolas Kaunitz

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The operations and processes that the human brain employs to achieve fast visual categorizationremain a matter of debate. A first issue concerns the timing and place of rapid visual categorizationand to what extent it can be performed with an early feed-forward pass of information throughthe visual system. A second issue involves the categorization of stimuli that do not reach visualawareness. There is disagreement over the degree to which these stimuli activate the same earlymechanisms as stimuli that are consciously perceived. We employed continuous flash suppression,EEG recordings and machine learning techniques to study visual categorization of seen and unseenstimuli. Our classifiers were able to predict from the EEG recordings the category of stimuli onseen trials but not on unseen trials. Rapid categorization of conscious images could be detectedaround 100 ms on the occipital electrodes, consistent with a fast, feed-forward mechanism of targetdetection. For the invisible stimuli, however, continuous flash suppression eliminated all traces ofearly processing. Our results support the idea of a fast mechanism of categorization and suggestthat this early categorization process plays an important role in later, more subtle categorizationsand perceptual processes.

  6. Startle auditory stimuli enhance the performance of fast dynamic contractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Del-Olmo, Miguel; Río-Rodríguez, Dan; Iglesias-Soler, Eliseo; Acero, Rafael M

    2014-01-01

    Fast reaction times and the ability to develop a high rate of force development (RFD) are crucial for sports performance. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of auditory stimuli of different intensities on the performance of a concentric bench-press exercise. Concentric bench-presses were performed by thirteen trained subjects in response to three different conditions: a visual stimulus (VS); a visual stimulus accompanied by a non-startle auditory stimulus (AS); and a visual stimulus accompanied by a startle auditory stimulus (SS). Peak RFD, peak velocity, onset movement, movement duration and electromyography from pectoralis and tricep muscles were recorded. The SS condition induced an increase in the RFD and peak velocity and a reduction in the movement onset and duration, in comparison with the VS and AS condition. The onset activation of the pectoralis and tricep muscles was shorter for the SS than for the VS and AS conditions. These findings point out to specific enhancement effects of loud auditory stimulation on the rate of force development. This is of relevance since startle stimuli could be used to explore neural adaptations to resistance training.

  7. The processing of food stimuli in abnormal eating: a systematic review of electrophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolz, Ines; Fagundo, Ana B; Treasure, Janet; Fernández-Aranda, Fernando

    2015-07-01

    To update the knowledge about attentional processing of food stimuli, a systematic review of electrophysiological studies was conducted using PubMed, PsychInfo and Web of Knowledge (2000-2014). Twenty-one studies were included into a qualitative synthesis. Presentation of food and control pictures was used to analyze event-related potentials related to sensory processing and motivated attention. Results show consistent attentional bias towards food pictures compared with neutral pictures for patient and control groups. Group comparisons between individuals with abnormal-eating and healthy-eating participants were more inconsistent. Results suggest that temporal differences in the millisecond range are essential for the understanding of visual food processing. In obesity, early attention engagement to food is followed by relatice disengagement. Loss of control eating, as well as external and emotional eating, are associated with a sustained maintenance of attention towards high-caloric food. There is a lack of studies in anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

  8. The Magnitude of Perceptual Learning is Equated when Stimuli are Scaled According to Cortical Magnification Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Astle

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Practice helps improve performance on a variety of visual tasks. Previous studies have shown that the magnitude of these improvements is inversely proportional to initial levels of performance, with subjects who perform more poorly at the start tending to improve most during perceptual training. If initial performance levels determine the absolute magnitude of learning, it follows that equating performance at the start of training should lead to equivalent amounts of learning. Here we test this prediction by comparing learning on an abutting Vernier alignment task with stimuli presented at two retinal eccentricities (5 and 15 deg equated in terms of either retinal size (unscaled stimuli or cortical size (scaled stimuli. Prior to learning, unscaled stimuli produced larger alignment thresholds at the more peripheral eccentricity, whereas scaled stimuli produced equivalent alignment thresholds. Consistent with previous work, we found that the magnitude of learning for participants who trained over eight daily sessions with the unscaled stimuli (n=11 was significantly larger at 15 than 5 degrees eccentricity. However, when stimuli were spatially scaled (n=11, we found equivalent amounts of learning at each location. These data suggest differences in the magnitude of learning can be accounted for by differences in the cortical representation of stimuli. Cortical scale may set not only the initial performance level but also the upper limit for the magnitude of performance improvements following training.

  9. The Potential of Stimuli-Responsive Nanogels in Drug and Active Molecule Delivery for Targeted Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Vicario-de-la-Torre

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Nanogels (NGs are currently under extensive investigation due to their unique properties, such as small particle size, high encapsulation efficiency and protection of active agents from degradation, which make them ideal candidates as drug delivery systems (DDS. Stimuli-responsive NGs are cross-linked nanoparticles (NPs, composed of polymers, natural, synthetic, or a combination thereof that can swell by absorption (uptake of large amounts of solvent, but not dissolve due to the constituent structure of the polymeric network. NGs can undergo change from a polymeric solution (swell form to a hard particle (collapsed form in response to (i physical stimuli such as temperature, ionic strength, magnetic or electric fields; (ii chemical stimuli such as pH, ions, specific molecules or (iii biochemical stimuli such as enzymatic substrates or affinity ligands. The interest in NGs comes from their multi-stimuli nature involving reversible phase transitions in response to changes in the external media in a faster way than macroscopic gels or hydrogels due to their nanometric size. NGs have a porous structure able to encapsulate small molecules such as drugs and genes, then releasing them by changing their volume when external stimuli are applied.

  10. Prestimulus neural oscillations inhibit visual perception via modulation of response gain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaumon, Maximilien; Busch, Niko A

    2014-11-01

    The ongoing state of the brain radically affects how it processes sensory information. How does this ongoing brain activity interact with the processing of external stimuli? Spontaneous oscillations in the alpha range are thought to inhibit sensory processing, but little is known about the psychophysical mechanisms of this inhibition. We recorded ongoing brain activity with EEG while human observers performed a visual detection task with stimuli of different contrast intensities. To move beyond qualitative description, we formally compared psychometric functions obtained under different levels of ongoing alpha power and evaluated the inhibitory effect of ongoing alpha oscillations in terms of contrast or response gain models. This procedure opens the way to understanding the actual functional mechanisms by which ongoing brain activity affects visual performance. We found that strong prestimulus occipital alpha oscillations-but not more anterior mu oscillations-reduce performance most strongly for stimuli of the highest intensities tested. This inhibitory effect is best explained by a divisive reduction of response gain. Ongoing occipital alpha oscillations thus reflect changes in the visual system's input/output transformation that are independent of the sensory input to the system. They selectively scale the system's response, rather than change its sensitivity to sensory information.

  11. Evaluation of Visual Space Perception and Enhanced External Counterpulsation in Patients with Stroke%脑栓塞患者的视空间能力测评和体外反搏治疗

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李小敏; 骆荣江; 赵连旭; 马翠萍; 刘韶瑞; 谢强

    2011-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of the comprehensive rehabilitation approach such as the visual space perception evaluation and enhanced external counterpulsation(EECP) in patients with stroke.Methods Seventy eight patients with acute stroke were randomly divided into two groups: Group A and group B.Both groups received the general rehabilitation therapy including motor relearning program, acupuncture and neuromuscular electrical stimulation;while group B was also treated with EECP( the balloon pumping pressure was 0.35 -0.40 mPa.cm2 ,once time a day,one hour at a time,a course of treatment was 14 days,total 4 courses).Visual space capability evaluating and training software(VETS) score and modified Barthel index(BI) were used to assess the cognitive function and activities of daily living(ADL) before the treatment and two months after the treatment, respectively.Results Two months after the treatment, both groups showed significant improvement in the clinical symptom score( P < 0.01 ).The evaluation on BI, quality of life, energy ,family and social role, activity, emotion, self-care ability and upper limb function in group B were better than group A(P < 0.01 ).Conclusion The visual space perception evaluation can actually show the curative effects on stoke;the comprehensive rehabilitation approach combined with EECP can obviously improve the clinical symptoms of patients with stroke.%目的 观察视空间能力障碍测评和增强型体外反搏等综合康复方法对评价和治疗脑栓塞患者的效果.方法 脑栓塞患者78例,随机分为A、B两组.A组进行常规康复训练,B组除此之外,还使用增强型体外反搏器(气囊压力0-35~0.40 mPa.cm2)进行治疗,1次/d,每次1 h,14次为1个疗程,规律治疗4个疗程.采用改良Barthel指数、生存质量量化表和临床症状综合计分法等进行疗效评定.结果 治疗后2月后,两组患者临床症状综合计分与治疗前比较均有明显提高(P<0.01);B组的改

  12. Auditory stimuli mimicking ambient sounds drive temporal "delta-brushes" in premature infants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathilde Chipaux

    Full Text Available In the premature infant, somatosensory and visual stimuli trigger an immature electroencephalographic (EEG pattern, "delta-brushes," in the corresponding sensory cortical areas. Whether auditory stimuli evoke delta-brushes in the premature auditory cortex has not been reported. Here, responses to auditory stimuli were studied in 46 premature infants without neurologic risk aged 31 to 38 postmenstrual weeks (PMW during routine EEG recording. Stimuli consisted of either low-volume technogenic "clicks" near the background noise level of the neonatal care unit, or a human voice at conversational sound level. Stimuli were administrated pseudo-randomly during quiet and active sleep. In another protocol, the cortical response to a composite stimulus ("click" and voice was manually triggered during EEG hypoactive periods of quiet sleep. Cortical responses were analyzed by event detection, power frequency analysis and stimulus locked averaging. Before 34 PMW, both voice and "click" stimuli evoked cortical responses with similar frequency-power topographic characteristics, namely a temporal negative slow-wave and rapid oscillations similar to spontaneous delta-brushes. Responses to composite stimuli also showed a maximal frequency-power increase in temporal areas before 35 PMW. From 34 PMW the topography of responses in quiet sleep was different for "click" and voice stimuli: responses to "clicks" became diffuse but responses to voice remained limited to temporal areas. After the age of 35 PMW auditory evoked delta-brushes progressively disappeared and were replaced by a low amplitude response in the same location. Our data show that auditory stimuli mimicking ambient sounds efficiently evoke delta-brushes in temporal areas in the premature infant before 35 PMW. Along with findings in other sensory modalities (visual and somatosensory, these findings suggest that sensory driven delta-brushes represent a ubiquitous feature of the human sensory cortex

  13. Visual discomfort and depth-of-field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O'Hare, L.; Zhang, T.; Nefs, H.T.; Hibbard, P.B.

    2013-01-01

    Visual discomfort has been reported for certain visual stimuli and under particular viewing conditions, such as stereoscopic viewing. In stereoscopic viewing, visual discomfort can be caused by a conflict between accommodation and convergence cues that may specify different distances in depth. Earli

  14. Visual discomfort and depth-of-field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O'Hare, L.; Zhang, T.; Nefs, H.T.; Hibbard, P.B.

    2013-01-01

    Visual discomfort has been reported for certain visual stimuli and under particular viewing conditions, such as stereoscopic viewing. In stereoscopic viewing, visual discomfort can be caused by a conflict between accommodation and convergence cues that may specify different distances in depth.

  15. Crosslinked ionic polysaccharides for stimuli-sensitive drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Lorenzo, Carmen; Blanco-Fernandez, Barbara; Puga, Ana M; Concheiro, Angel

    2013-08-01

    Polysaccharides are gaining increasing attention as components of stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems, particularly since they can be obtained in a well characterized and reproducible way from the natural sources. Ionic polysaccharides can be readily crosslinked to render hydrogel networks sensitive to a variety of internal and external variables, and thus suitable for switching drug release on-off through diverse mechanisms. Hybrids, composites and grafted polymers can reinforce the responsiveness and widen the range of stimuli to which polysaccharide-based systems can respond. This review analyzes the state of the art of crosslinked ionic polysaccharides as components of delivery systems that can regulate drug release as a function of changes in pH, ion nature and concentration, electric and magnetic field intensity, light wavelength, temperature, redox potential, and certain molecules (enzymes, illness markers, and so on). Examples of specific applications are provided. The information compiled demonstrates that crosslinked networks of ionic polysaccharides are suitable building blocks for developing advanced externally activated and feed-back modulated drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. In situ gelling stimuli-sensitive block copolymer hydrogels for drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chaoliang; Kim, Sung Wan; Lee, Doo Sung

    2008-05-08

    Stimuli-sensitive block copolymer hydrogels, which are reversible polymer networks formed by physical interactions and exhibit a sol-gel phase-transition in response to external stimuli, have great potential in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, especially in site-specific controlled drug-delivery systems. The drug may be mixed with a polymer solution in vitro and the drug-loaded hydrogel can form in situ after the in vivo administration, such as injection; therefore, stimuli-sensitive block copolymer hydrogels have many advantages, such as simple drug formulation and administration procedures, no organic solvent, site-specificity, a sustained drug release behavior, less systemic toxicity and ability to deliver both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs. Among the stimuli in the biomedical applications, temperature and pH are the most popular physical and chemical stimuli, respectively. The temperature- and/or pH-sensitive block copolymer hydrogels for biomedical applications have been extensively developed in the past decade. This review focuses on recent development of the preparation and application for drug delivery of the block copolymer hydrogels that respond to temperature, pH or both stimuli, including poly(N-substituted acrylamide)-based block copolymers, poloxamers and their derivatives, poly(ethylene glycol)-polyester block copolymers, polyelectrolyte-based block copolymers and the polyelectrolyte-modified thermo-sensitive block copolymers. In addition, the hydrogels based on other stimuli-sensitive block copolymers are discussed.

  17. A Wider Look at Visual Discomfort

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L O'Hare

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual discomfort is the adverse effects reported by some on viewing certain stimuli, such as stripes and certain filtered noise patterns. Stimuli that deviate from natural image statistics might be encoded inefficiently, which could cause discomfort (Juricevic, Land, Wilkins and Webster, 2010, Perception, 39(7, 884–899, possibly through excessive cortical responses (Wilkins, 1995, Visual Stress, Oxford, Oxford University Press. A less efficient visual system might exacerbate the effects of difficult stimuli. Extreme examples are seen in epilepsy and migraines (Wilkins, Bonnanni, Prociatti, Guerrini, 2004, Epilepsia, 45, 1–7; Aurora and Wilkinson, 2007, Cephalalgia, 27(12, 1422–1435. However, similar stimuli are also seen as uncomfortable by non-clinical populations, eg, striped patterns (Wilkins et al, 1984, Brain, 107(4. We propose that oversensitivity of clinical populations may represent extreme examples of visual discomfort in the general population. To study the prevalence and impact of visual discomfort in a wider context than typically studied, an Internet-based survey was conducted, including standardised questionnaires measuring visual discomfort susceptibility (Conlon, Lovegrove, Chekaluk and Pattison, 1999, Visual Cognition, 6(6, 637–663; Evans and Stevenson, 2008, Ophthal Physiol Opt 28(4 295–309 and judgments of visual stimuli, such as striped patterns (Wilkins et al, 1984 and filtered noise patterns (Fernandez and Wilkins, 2008, Perception, 37(7 1098–1013. Results show few individuals reporting high visual discomfort, contrary to other researchers (eg, Conlon et al, 1999.

  18. Non-target adjacent stimuli classification improves performance of classical ERP-based brain computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, G. A.; Hernández, L. F.

    2015-04-01

    Objective. The classical ERP-based speller, or P300 Speller, is one of the most commonly used paradigms in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). Several alterations to the visual stimuli presentation system have been developed to avoid unfavorable effects elicited by adjacent stimuli. However, there has been little, if any, regard to useful information contained in responses to adjacent stimuli about spatial location of target symbols. This paper aims to demonstrate that combining the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli with standard classification (target versus non-target) significantly improves classical ERP-based speller efficiency. Approach. Four SWLDA classifiers were trained and combined with the standard classifier: the lower row, upper row, right column and left column classifiers. This new feature extraction procedure and the classification method were carried out on three open databases: the UAM P300 database (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico), BCI competition II (dataset IIb) and BCI competition III (dataset II). Main results. The inclusion of the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli improves target classification in the classical row/column paradigm. A gain in mean single trial classification of 9.6% and an overall improvement of 25% in simulated spelling speed was achieved. Significance. We have provided further evidence that the ERPs produced by adjacent stimuli present discriminable features, which could provide additional information about the spatial location of intended symbols. This work promotes the searching of information on the peripheral stimulation responses to improve the performance of emerging visual ERP-based spellers.

  19. Effects of Visual Experience on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression during the Postnatal Development of the Rat Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argandoña, Enrike G.; Lafuente, José V.

    2008-01-01

    The development of the cortical vascular network depends on functional maturation. External inputs are an essential requirement in the modeling of the visual cortex, mainly during the critical period, when the functional and structural properties of visual cortical neurons are particularly susceptible to alterations. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the major angiogenic factor, a key signal in the induction of vessel growth. Our study focused on the role of visual stimuli on the development of the vascular pattern correlated with VEGF levels. Vascular density and the expression of VEGF were examined in the primary visual cortex of rats reared under different visual environments (dark rearing, dark-rearing in conditions of enriched environment, enriched environment, and laboratory standard conditions) during postnatal development (before, during, and after the critical period). Our results show a restricted VEGF cellular expression to astroglial cells. Quantitative differences appeared during the critical period: higher vascular density and VEGF protein levels were found in the enriched environment group; both dark-reared groups showed lower vascular density and VEGF levels, which means that enriched environment without the physical exercise component does not exert effects in dark-reared rats. PMID:17986606

  20. Migraine and attention to visual events during mind wandering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kam, Julia W Y; Mickleborough, Marla J S; Eades, Chelsea; Handy, Todd C

    2015-05-01

    Although migraine is traditionally categorized as a primary headache disorder, the condition is also associated with abnormalities in visual attentional function in between headache events. Namely, relative to controls, migraineurs show both a heightened sensitivity to nominally unattended visual events, as well as decreased habituation responses at sensory and post-sensory (cognitive) levels. Here we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine whether cortical hypersensitivities in migraineurs extend to mind wandering, or periods of time wherein we transiently attenuate the processing of external stimulus inputs as our thoughts drift away from the on-going task at hand. Participants performed a sustained attention to response task while they were occasionally queried as to their attentional state-either "on-task" or "mind wandering." We then analyzed the ERP responses to task-relevant stimuli as a function of whether they immediately preceded an on-task versus mind wandering report. We found that despite the commonly reported heightened visual sensitivities in our migraine group, they nevertheless manifest a reduced cognitive response during periods of mind wandering relative to on-task attentional states, as measured via amplitude changes in the P3 ERP component. This suggests that our capacity to attenuate the processing of external stimulus inputs during mind wandering is not necessarily impaired by the class of cortical hypersensitivities characteristic of the interictal migraine brain.

  1. Effective stimuli for constructing reliable neuron models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaul Druckmann

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The rich dynamical nature of neurons poses major conceptual and technical challenges for unraveling their nonlinear membrane properties. Traditionally, various current waveforms have been injected at the soma to probe neuron dynamics, but the rationale for selecting specific stimuli has never been rigorously justified. The present experimental and theoretical study proposes a novel framework, inspired by learning theory, for objectively selecting the stimuli that best unravel the neuron's dynamics. The efficacy of stimuli is assessed in terms of their ability to constrain the parameter space of biophysically detailed conductance-based models that faithfully replicate the neuron's dynamics as attested by their ability to generalize well to the neuron's response to novel experimental stimuli. We used this framework to evaluate a variety of stimuli in different types of cortical neurons, ages and animals. Despite their simplicity, a set of stimuli consisting of step and ramp current pulses outperforms synaptic-like noisy stimuli in revealing the dynamics of these neurons. The general framework that we propose paves a new way for defining, evaluating and standardizing effective electrical probing of neurons and will thus lay the foundation for a much deeper understanding of the electrical nature of these highly sophisticated and non-linear devices and of the neuronal networks that they compose.

  2. Higher visual functions in the upper and lower visual fields: A pilot study in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zito, Giuseppe A; Muri, Rene; Mosimann, Urs P; Nyffeler, Thomas; Nef, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Visual perception is not identical in the upper and lower visual hemifields. The mechanisms behind this difference can be found at the retinal, cortical, or higher attentional level. In this study, a new visual test battery, that involves real-time comparisons of complex visual stimuli, such as shape of objects, and speed of moving dot patterns, in the upper and lower visual hemifields, is presented. This study represents, to our knowledge, the first to implement such a visual test battery in an immersive environment composed of a hemisphere, in order to present visual stimuli in precise regions of the visual field. Ten healthy volunteers were tested in this pilot study. The results showed a higher accuracy in the image matching when the visual test was performed in the lower visual hemifield.

  3. Perceptual memory drives learning of retinotopic biases for bistable stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aidan Peter Murphy

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The visual system exploits past experience at multiple timescales to resolve perceptual ambiguity in the retinal image. For example, perception of a bistable stimulus can be biased towards one interpretation over another when preceded by a brief presentation of a disambiguated version of the stimulus (positive priming or through intermittent presentations of the ambiguous stimulus (stabilization. Similarly, prior presentations of unambiguous stimuli can be used to explicitly train a long-lasting association between a percept and a retinal location (perceptual association. These phenonema have typically been regarded as independent processes, with short-term biases attributed to perceptual memory and longer-term biases described as associative learning. Here we tested for interactions between these two forms of experience-dependent perceptual bias and demonstrate that short-term processes strongly influence long-term outcomes. We first demonstrate that the establishment of long-term perceptual contingencies does not require explicit training by unambiguous stimuli, but can arise spontaneously during the periodic presentation of brief, ambiguous stimuli. Using rotating Necker cube stimuli, we observed enduring, retinotopically specific perceptual biases that were expressed from the outset and remained stable for up to forty minutes, consistent with the known phenomenon of perceptual stabilization. Further, bias was undiminished after a break period of five minutes, but was readily reset by interposed periods of continuous, as opposed to periodic, ambiguous presentation. Taken together, the results demonstrate that perceptual biases can arise naturally and may principally reflect the brain’s tendency to favor recent perceptual interpretation at a given retinal location. Further, they suggest that an association between retinal location and perceptual state, rather than a physical stimulus, is sufficient to generate long-term biases in perceptual

  4. Neural activation toward erotic stimuli in homosexual and heterosexual males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagerer, Sabine; Klucken, Tim; Wehrum, Sina; Zimmermann, Mark; Schienle, Anne; Walter, Bertram; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2011-11-01

    Studies investigating sexual arousal exist, yet there are diverging findings on the underlying neural mechanisms with regard to sexual orientation. Moreover, sexual arousal effects have often been confounded with general arousal effects. Hence, it is still unclear which structures underlie the sexual arousal response in homosexual and heterosexual men. Neural activity and subjective responses were investigated in order to disentangle sexual from general arousal. Considering sexual orientation, differential and conjoint neural activations were of interest. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study focused on the neural networks involved in the processing of sexual stimuli in 21 male participants (11 homosexual, 10 heterosexual). Both groups viewed pictures with erotic content as well as aversive and neutral stimuli. The erotic pictures were subdivided into three categories (most sexually arousing, least sexually arousing, and rest) based on the individual subjective ratings of each participant. Blood oxygen level-dependent responses measured by fMRI and subjective ratings. A conjunction analysis revealed conjoint neural activation related to sexual arousal in thalamus, hypothalamus, occipital cortex, and nucleus accumbens. Increased insula, amygdala, and anterior cingulate gyrus activation could be linked to general arousal. Group differences emerged neither when viewing the most sexually arousing pictures compared with highly arousing aversive pictures nor compared with neutral pictures. Results suggest that a widespread neural network is activated by highly sexually arousing visual stimuli. A partly distinct network of structures underlies sexual and general arousal effects. The processing of preferred, highly sexually arousing stimuli recruited similar structures in homosexual and heterosexual males. © 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  5. Neural response to emotional stimuli during experimental human endotoxemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullmann, Jennifer S; Grigoleit, Jan-Sebastian; Lichte, Philipp; Kobbe, Philipp; Rosenberger, Christina; Banner, Christina; Wolf, Oliver T; Engler, Harald; Oberbeck, Reiner; Elsenbruch, Sigrid; Bingel, Ulrike; Forsting, Michael; Gizewski, Elke R; Schedlowski, Manfred

    2013-09-01

    Increases in peripheral cytokines during acute inflammation may affect various neuropsychological functions. The aim of this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to investigate the effects of acute endotoxemia on mood and the neural response to emotionally aversive visual stimuli in healthy human subjects. In a double-blind, randomized crossover study, 18 healthy males received a bolus injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 0.4 ng/kg) or saline. Plasma levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and cortisol as well as mood ratings were analyzed together with the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) response during the presentation of aversive versus neutral pictures. Endotoxin administration induced pronounced transient increases in plasma levels of TNF-α, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-10, and cortisol. Positive mood was decreased and state anxiety increased. In addition, activation of right inferior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in response to emotional visual stimuli was significantly increased in the LPS condition. Increased prefrontal activation during the presentation of emotional material may reflect enhanced cognitive regulation of emotions as an adaptive response during an acute inflammation. These findings may have implications for the putative role of inflammatory processes in the pathophysiology of depression.

  6. Task-irrelevant blindsight and the impact of invisible stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra eStoerig

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite their subjective invisibility, stimuli presented within regions of absolute cortical blindness can both guide forced-choice behaviour when they are task-relevant and modulate responses to visible targets when they are task-irrelevant. We here tested three hemianopic patients to learn whether their performance in an attention-demanding rapid serial visual presentation task would be affected by task-irrelevant stimuli. Per trial, nine black letters and one white target-letter appeared briefly at fixation; the white letter was to be named at the end of each trial. On 50% of trials, a task-irrelevant disk (-.6 log contrast was presented to the blind field; in separate blocks, the same or a very low negative contrast distractor was presented to the sighted field. Mean error rates were high and independent of distractor condition, although the high contrast sighted-field disk impaired performance significantly in one participant. However, when trials with and without distractors were considered separately, performance was most impaired by the high contrast disk in the blind field, whereas the same disk in the sighted field had no effect. As this disk was least visible in the blind and most visible in the sighted field, attentional suppression was inversely related to visibility. We suggest that visual awareness, or the processes that generate it and are compromised in the blind hemisphere, enhances or enables effective attentional suppression.

  7. Task-irrelevant blindsight and the impact of invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoerig, Petra

    2011-01-01

    Despite their subjective invisibility, stimuli presented within regions of absolute cortical blindness can both guide forced-choice behavior when they are task-relevant and modulate responses to visible targets when they are task-irrelevant. We here tested three hemianopic patients to learn whether their performance in an attention-demanding rapid serial visual presentation task would be affected by task-irrelevant stimuli. Per trial, nine black letters and one white target letter appeared briefly at fixation; the white letter was to be named at the end of each trial. On 50% of trials, a task-irrelevant disk (-0.6 log contrast) was presented to the blind field; in separate blocks, the same or a very low negative contrast distractor was presented to the sighted field. Mean error rates were high and independent of distractor condition, although the high-contrast sighted-field disk impaired performance significantly in one participant. However, when trials with and without distractors were considered separately, performance was most impaired by the high-contrast disk in the blind field, whereas the same disk in the sighted field had no effect. As this disk was least visible in the blind and most visible in the sighted field, attentional suppression was inversely related to visibility. We suggest that visual awareness, or the processes that generate it and are compromised in the blind hemisphere, enhances or enables effective attentional suppression.

  8. Fear conditioning to subliminal fear relevant and non fear relevant stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ottmar V Lipp

    Full Text Available A growing body of evidence suggests that conscious visual awareness is not a prerequisite for human fear learning. For instance, humans can learn to be fearful of subliminal fear relevant images--images depicting stimuli thought to have been fear relevant in our evolutionary context, such as snakes, spiders, and angry human faces. Such stimuli could have a privileged status in relation to manipulations used to suppress usually salient images from awareness, possibly due to the existence of a designated sub-cortical 'fear module'. Here we assess this proposition, and find it wanting. We use binocular masking to suppress awareness of images of snakes and wallabies (particularly cute, non-threatening marsupials. We find that subliminal presentations of both classes of image can induce differential fear conditioning. These data show that learning, as indexed by fear conditioning, is neither contingent on conscious visual awareness nor on subliminal conditional stimuli being fear relevant.

  9. TypingSuite: Integrated Software for Presenting Stimuli, and Collecting and Analyzing Typing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazerolle, Erin L.; Marchand, Yannick

    2015-01-01

    Research into typing patterns has broad applications in both psycholinguistics and biometrics (i.e., improving security of computer access via each user's unique typing patterns). We present a new software package, TypingSuite, which can be used for presenting visual and auditory stimuli, collecting typing data, and summarizing and analyzing the…

  10. Neutral versus Emotional Human Stimuli Processing in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders not Otherwise Specified

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannetzel, Leonard; Chaby, Laurence; Cautru, Fabienne; Cohen, David; Plaza, Monique

    2011-01-01

    Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) represents up to two-thirds of autism spectrum disorders; however, it is usually described in terms of the symptoms not shared by autism. The study explores processing of neutral and emotional human stimuli (by auditory, visual and multimodal channels) in children with PDD-NOS (n =…

  11. Auditory and visual spatial impression: Recent studies of three auditoria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Andy; Cabrera, Densil

    2004-10-01

    Auditory spatial impression is widely studied for its contribution to auditorium acoustical quality. By contrast, visual spatial impression in auditoria has received relatively little attention in formal studies. This paper reports results from a series of experiments investigating the auditory and visual spatial impression of concert auditoria. For auditory stimuli, a fragment of an anechoic recording of orchestral music was convolved with calibrated binaural impulse responses, which had been made with the dummy head microphone at a wide range of positions in three auditoria and the sound source on the stage. For visual stimuli, greyscale photographs were used, taken at the same positions in the three auditoria, with a visual target on the stage. Subjective experiments were conducted with auditory stimuli alone, visual stimuli alone, and visual and auditory stimuli combined. In these experiments, subjects rated apparent source width, listener envelopment, intimacy and source distance (auditory stimuli), and spaciousness, envelopment, stage dominance, intimacy and target distance (visual stimuli). Results show target distance to be of primary importance in auditory and visual spatial impression-thereby providing a basis for covariance between some attributes of auditory and visual spatial impression. Nevertheless, some attributes of spatial impression diverge between the senses.

  12. Modeling auditory evoked potentials to complex stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønne, Filip Munch

    The auditory evoked potential (AEP) is an electrical signal that can be recorded from electrodes attached to the scalp of a human subject when a sound is presented. The signal is considered to reflect neural activity in response to the acoustic stimulation and is a well established clinical...... clinically and in research towards using realistic and complex stimuli, such as speech, to electrophysiologically assess the human hearing. However, to interpret the AEP generation to complex sounds, the potential patterns in response to simple stimuli needs to be understood. Therefore, the model was used...... to simulate auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) evoked by classic stimuli like clicks, tone bursts and chirps. The ABRs to these simple stimuli were compared to literature data and the model was shown to predict the frequency dependence of tone-burst ABR wave-V latency and the level-dependence of ABR wave...

  13. Visual dependence and BPPV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, K; Bronstein, A M; Faldon, M E; Mandalà, M; Murray, K; Silove, Y

    2012-06-01

    The increased visual dependence noted in some vestibular patients may be secondary to their vertigo. We examine whether a single, brief vertigo attack, such as in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), modifies visual dependency. Visual dependency was measured before and after the Hallpike manoeuvre with (a) the Rod and Frame and the Rod and Disc techniques whilst seated and (b) the postural sway induced by visual roll-motion stimulation. Three subject groups were studied: 20 patients with BPPV (history and positive Hallpike manoeuvre; PosH group), 20 control patients (history of BPPV but negative Hallpike manoeuvre; NegH group) and 20 normal controls. Our findings show that while both patient groups showed enhanced visual dependency, the PosH and the normal control group decreased visual dependency on repetition of the visual tasks after the Hallpike manoeuvre. NegH patients differed from PosH patients in that their high visual dependency did not diminish on repetition of the visual stimuli; they scored higher on the situational characteristic questionnaire ('visual vertigo' symptoms) and showed higher incidence of migraine. We conclude that long term vestibular symptoms increase visual dependence but a single BPPV attack does not increase it further. Repetitive visual motion stimulation induces adaptation in visual dependence in peripheral vestibular disorders such as BPPV. A positional form of vestibular migraine may underlie the symptoms of some patients with a history of BPPV but negative Hallpike manoeuvre. The finding that they have non adaptable increased visual dependency may explain visuo-vestibular symptoms in this group and, perhaps more widely, in patients with migraine.

  14. Influence of Visual Echo and Visual Reverberation on Speech Fluency in Stutterers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolka, Elzbieta; Adamczyk, Bogdan

    1992-01-01

    The influence of visual signals (echo and reverberation) on speech fluency in 60 stutterers and nonstutterers was examined. Visual signals were found to exert a corrective influence on the speech of stutterers but less than the influence of acoustic stimuli. Use of visual signals in combination with acoustic and tactile signals is recommended. (DB)

  15. The External Degree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houle, Cyril O.

    This book examines the external degree in relation to the extremes of attitudes, myths, and data. Emphasis is placed on the emergence of the American external degree, foreign external-degree programs, the purpose of the external degree, the current scene, institutional issues, and problems of general policy. (MJM)

  16. Preparing to grasp emotionally laden stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Alice Santos de Oliveira

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Contemporary theories of motor control propose that motor planning involves the prediction of the consequences of actions. These predictions include the associated costs as well as the rewarding nature of movements' outcomes. Within the estimation of these costs and rewards would lie the valence, that is, the pleasantness or unpleasantness of a given stimulus with which one is about to interact. The aim of this study was to test if motor preparation encompasses valence. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The readiness potential, an electrophysiological marker of motor preparation, was recorded before the grasping of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant stimuli. Items used were balanced in weight and placed inside transparent cylinders to prompt a similar grip among trials. Compared with neutral stimuli, the grasping of pleasant stimuli was preceded by a readiness potential of lower amplitude, whereas that of unpleasant stimuli was associated with a readiness potential of higher amplitude. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We show for the first time that the sensorimotor cortex activity preceding the grasping of a stimulus is affected by its valence. Smaller readiness potential amplitudes found for pleasant stimuli could imply in the recruitment of pre-set motor repertoires, whereas higher amplitudes found for unpleasant stimuli would emerge from a discrepancy between the required action and their aversiveness. Our results indicate that the prediction of action outcomes encompasses an estimate of the valence of a stimulus with which one is about to interact.

  17. Preparing to Grasp Emotionally Laden Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Laura Alice Santos; Imbiriba, Luís Aureliano; Russo, Maitê Mello; Nogueira-Campos, Anaelli A.; Rodrigues, Erika de C.; Pereira, Mirtes G.; Volchan, Eliane; Vargas, Cláudia Domingues

    2012-01-01

    Background Contemporary theories of motor control propose that motor planning involves the prediction of the consequences of actions. These predictions include the associated costs as well as the rewarding nature of movements’ outcomes. Within the estimation of these costs and rewards would lie the valence, that is, the pleasantness or unpleasantness of a given stimulus with which one is about to interact. The aim of this study was to test if motor preparation encompasses valence. Methodology/Principal Findings The readiness potential, an electrophysiological marker of motor preparation, was recorded before the grasping of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant stimuli. Items used were balanced in weight and placed inside transparent cylinders to prompt a similar grip among trials. Compared with neutral stimuli, the grasping of pleasant stimuli was preceded by a readiness potential of lower amplitude, whereas that of unpleasant stimuli was associated with a readiness potential of higher amplitude. Conclusions/Significance We show for the first time that the sensorimotor cortex activity preceding the grasping of a stimulus is affected by its valence. Smaller readiness potential amplitudes found for pleasant stimuli could imply in the recruitment of pre-set motor repertoires, whereas higher amplitudes found for unpleasant stimuli would emerge from a discrepancy between the required action and their aversiveness. Our results indicate that the prediction of action outcomes encompasses an estimate of the valence of a stimulus with which one is about to interact. PMID:23024811

  18. Visual Awareness Is Limited by the Representational Architecture of the Visual System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Michael A; Nakayama, Ken; Konkle, Talia; Stantić, Mirta; Alvarez, George A

    2015-11-01

    Visual perception and awareness have strict limitations. We suggest that one source of these limitations is the representational architecture of the visual system. Under this view, the extent to which items activate the same neural channels constrains the amount of information that can be processed by the visual system and ultimately reach awareness. Here, we measured how well stimuli from different categories (e.g., faces and cars) blocked one another from reaching awareness using two distinct paradigms that render stimuli invisible: visual masking and continuous flash suppression. Next, we used fMRI to measure the similarity of the neural responses elicited by these categories across the entire visual hierarchy. Overall, we found strong brain-behavior correlations within the ventral pathway, weaker correlations in the dorsal pathway, and no correlations in early visual cortex (V1-V3). These results suggest that the organization of higher level visual cortex constrains visual awareness and the overall processing capacity of visual cognition.

  19. Perceptual training for visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, David; Rivera, Javier; Sellers, Brittany C; Fiore, Stephen M; Jentsch, Florian

    2013-01-01

    People are better at visual search than the best fully automated methods. Despite this, visual search remains a difficult perceptual task. The goal of this investigation was to experimentally test the ways in which visual search performance could be improved through two categories of training interventions: perceptual training and conceptual training. To determine the effects of each training on a later performance task, the two types of trainings were manipulated using a between-subjects design (conceptual vs. perceptual × training present vs. training absent). Perceptual training led to speed and accuracy improvements in visual search. Issues with the design and administration of the conceptual training limited conclusions on its effectiveness but provided useful lessons for conceptual training design. The results suggest that when the visual search task involves detecting heterogeneous or otherwise unpredictable stimuli, perceptual training can improve visual search performance. Similarly, careful consideration of the performance task and training design is required to evaluate the effectiveness of conceptual training. Visual search is a difficult, yet critical, task in industries such as baggage screening and radiology. This study investigated the effectiveness of perceptual training for visual search. The results suggest that when visual search involves detecting heterogeneous or otherwise unpredictable stimuli, perceptual training may improve the speed and accuracy of visual search.

  20. Classification of stimuli-responsive polymers as anticancer drug delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghizadeh, Bita; Taranejoo, Shahrouz; Monemian, Seyed Ali; Salehi Moghaddam, Zoha; Daliri, Karim; Derakhshankhah, Hossein; Derakhshani, Zaynab

    2015-02-01

    Although several anticancer drugs have been introduced as chemotherapeutic agents, the effective treatment of cancer remains a challenge. Major limitations in the application of anticancer drugs include their nonspecificity, wide biodistribution, short half-life, low concentration in tumor tissue and systemic toxicity. Drug delivery to the tumor site has become feasible in recent years, and recent advances in the development of new drug delivery systems for controlled drug release in tumor tissues with reduced side effects show great promise. In this field, the use of biodegradable polymers as drug carriers has attracted the most attention. However, drug release is still difficult to control even when a polymeric drug carrier is used. The design of pharmaceutical polymers that respond to external stimuli (known as stimuli-responsive polymers) such as temperature, pH, electric or magnetic field, enzymes, ultrasound waves, etc. appears to be a successful approach. In these systems, drug release is triggered by different stimuli. The purpose of this review is to summarize different types of polymeric drug carriers and stimuli, in addition to the combination use of stimuli in order to achieve a better controlled drug release, and it discusses their potential strengths and applications. A survey of the recent literature on various stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems is also provided and perspectives on possible future developments in controlled drug release at tumor site have been discussed.

  1. Generalization of the disruptive effects of alternative stimuli when combined with target stimuli in extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlesnik, Christopher A; Miranda-Dukoski, Ludmila; Jonas Chan, C K; Bland, Vikki J; Bai, John Y H

    2017-09-01

    Differential-reinforcement treatments reduce target problem behavior in the short term but at the expense of making it more persistent long term. Basic and translational research based on behavioral momentum theory suggests that combining features of stimuli governing an alternative response with the stimuli governing target responding could make target responding less persistent. However, changes to the alternative stimulus context when combining alternative and target stimuli could diminish the effectiveness of the alternative stimulus in reducing target responding. In an animal model with pigeons, the present study reinforced responding in the presence of target and alternative stimuli. When combining the alternative and target stimuli during extinction, we altered the alternative stimulus through changes in line orientation. We found that (1) combining alternative and target stimuli in extinction more effectively decreased target responding than presenting the target stimulus on its own; (2) combining these stimuli was more effective in decreasing target responding trained with lower reinforcement rates; and (3) changing the alternative stimulus reduced its effectiveness when it was combined with the target stimulus. Therefore, changing alternative stimuli (e.g., therapist, clinical setting) during behavioral treatments that combine alternative and target stimuli could reduce the effectiveness of those treatments in disrupting problem behavior. © 2017 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  2. Stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhuang; Wang, Wei; Xie, Rui; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Chu, Liang-Yin

    2016-02-07

    Membranes are playing paramount roles in the sustainable development of myriad fields such as energy, environmental and resource management, and human health. However, the unalterable pore size and surface properties of traditional porous membranes restrict their efficient applications. The performances of traditional membranes will be weakened upon unavoidable membrane fouling, and they cannot be applied to cases where self-regulated permeability and selectivity are required. Inspired by natural cell membranes with stimuli-responsive channels, artificial stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes are developed by chemically/physically incorporating stimuli-responsive materials as functional gates into traditional porous membranes, to provide advanced functions and enhanced performances for breaking the bottlenecks of traditional membrane technologies. Smart gating membranes, integrating the advantages of traditional porous membrane substrates and smart functional gates, can self-regulate their permeability and selectivity via the flexible adjustment of pore sizes and surface properties based on the "open/close" switch of the smart gates in response to environmental stimuli. This tutorial review summarizes the recent developments in stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes, including the design strategies and the fabrication strategies that are based on the introduction of the stimuli-responsive gates after or during membrane formation, and the positively and negatively responsive gating models of versatile stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes, as well as the advanced applications of smart gating membranes for regulating substance concentration in reactors, controlling the release rate of drugs, separating active molecules based on size or affinity, and the self-cleaning of membrane surfaces. With self-regulated membrane performances, smart gating membranes show great power for use in global sustainable development.

  3. Encoding of naturalistic stimuli by local field potential spectra in networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Mazzoni

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Recordings of local field potentials (LFPs reveal that the sensory cortex displays rhythmic activity and fluctuations over a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes. Yet, the role of this kind of activity in encoding sensory information remains largely unknown. To understand the rules of translation between the structure of sensory stimuli and the fluctuations of cortical responses, we simulated a sparsely connected network of excitatory and inhibitory neurons modeling a local cortical population, and we determined how the LFPs generated by the network encode information about input stimuli. We first considered simple static and periodic stimuli and then naturalistic input stimuli based on electrophysiological recordings from the thalamus of anesthetized monkeys watching natural movie scenes. We found that the simulated network produced stimulus-related LFP changes that were in striking agreement with the LFPs obtained from the primary visual cortex. Moreover, our results demonstrate that the network encoded static input spike rates into gamma-range oscillations generated by inhibitory-excitatory neural interactions and encoded slow dynamic features of the input into slow LFP fluctuations mediated by stimulus-neural interactions. The model cortical network processed dynamic stimuli with naturalistic temporal structure by using low and high response frequencies as independent communication channels, again in agreement with recent reports from visual cortex responses to naturalistic movies. One potential function of this frequency decomposition into independent information channels operated by the cortical network may be that of enhancing the capacity of the cortical column to encode our complex sensory environment.

  4. Multisensory stimuli elicit altered oscillatory brain responses at gamma frequencies in patients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Stone

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in auditory and visual unisensory responses are well documented in patients with schizophrenia; however, potential abnormalities elicited from multisensory audio-visual stimuli are less understood. Further, schizophrenia patients have shown abnormal patterns in task-related and task-independent oscillatory brain activity, particularly in the gamma frequency band. We examined oscillatory responses to basic unisensory and multisensory stimuli in schizophrenia patients (N = 46 and healthy controls (N = 57 using magnetoencephalography (MEG. Time-frequency decomposition was performed to determine regions of significant changes in gamma band power by group in response to unisensory and multisensory stimuli relative to baseline levels. Results showed significant behavioral differences between groups in response to unisensory and multisensory stimuli. In addition, time-frequency analysis revealed significant decreases and increases in gamma-band power in schizophrenia patients relative to healthy controls, which emerged both early and late over both sensory and frontal regions in response to unisensory and multisensory stimuli. Unisensory gamma-band power predicted multisensory gamma-band power differently by group. Furthermore, gamma-band power in these regions predicted performance in select measures of the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS test battery differently by group. These results reveal a unique pattern of task-related gamma-band power in schizophrenia patients relative to controls that may indicate reduced inhibition in combination with impaired oscillatory mechanisms in patients with schizophrenia.

  5. Stimuli-Directed Helical Chirality Inversion and Bio-Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziyu Lv

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Helical structure is a sophisticated ubiquitous motif found in nature, in artificial polymers, and in supramolecular assemblies from microscopic to macroscopic points of view. Significant progress has been made in the synthesis and structural elucidation of helical polymers, nevertheless, a new direction for helical polymeric materials, is how to design smart systems with controllable helical chirality, and further use them to develop chiral functional materials and promote their applications in biology, biochemistry, medicine, and nanotechnology fields. This review summarizes the recent progress in the development of high-performance systems with tunable helical chirality on receiving external stimuli and discusses advances in their applications as drug delivery vesicles, sensors, molecular switches, and liquid crystals. Challenges and opportunities in this emerging area are also presented in the conclusion.

  6. Regulating multiple externalities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Waldo, Staffan; Jensen, Frank; Nielsen, Max

    2016-01-01

    Open access is a well-known externality problem in fisheries causing excess capacity and overfishing. Due to global warming, externality problems from CO2 emissions have gained increased interest. With two externality problems, a first-best optimum can be achieved by using two regulatory instrume......Open access is a well-known externality problem in fisheries causing excess capacity and overfishing. Due to global warming, externality problems from CO2 emissions have gained increased interest. With two externality problems, a first-best optimum can be achieved by using two regulatory...

  7. Polymer-based stimuli-responsive nanosystems for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joglekar, Madhura; Trewyn, Brian G

    2013-08-01

    The application of organic polymers and inorganic/organic hybrid systems in numerous fields of biotechnology has seen a considerable growth in recent years. Typically, organic polymers with diverse structures, compositional variations and differing molecular weights have been utilized to assemble polymeric nanosystems such as polymeric micelles, polymersomes, and nanohydrogels with unique features and structural properties. The architecture of these polymeric nanosystems involves the use of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic polymeric blocks, making them suitable as vehicles for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Recently, "smart" or "intelligent" polymers have attracted significant attention in the biomedical field wherein careful introduction of specific polymeric modalities changes a banal polymeric nanosystem to an advanced stimuli-responsive nanosystem capable of performing extraordinary functions in response to an internal or external trigger such as pH, temperature, redox, enzymes, light, magnetic, or ultrasound. Further, incorporation of inorganic nanoparticles such as gold, silica, or iron oxide with surface-bound stimuli-responsive polymers offers additional advantages and multifunctionality in the field of nanomedicine. This review covers the physical properties and applications of both organic and organic/inorganic hybrid nanosystems with specific recent breakthroughs in drug delivery, imaging, tissue engineering, and separations and provides a brief discussion on the future direction.

  8. Analyzing visual signals as visual scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, William L; Higham, James P

    2013-07-01

    The study of visual signal design is gaining momentum as techniques for studying signals become more sophisticated and more freely available. In this paper we discuss methods for analyzing the color and form of visual signals, for integrating signal components into visual scenes, and for producing visual signal stimuli for use in psychophysical experiments. Our recommended methods aim to be rigorous, detailed, quantitative, objective, and where possible based on the perceptual representation of the intended signal receiver(s). As methods for analyzing signal color and luminance have been outlined in previous publications we focus on analyzing form information by discussing how statistical shape analysis (SSA) methods can be used to analyze signal shape, and spatial filtering to analyze repetitive patterns. We also suggest the use of vector-based approaches for integrating multiple signal components. In our opinion elliptical Fourier analysis (EFA) is the most promising technique for shape quantification but we await the results of empirical comparison of techniques and the development of new shape analysis methods based on the cognitive and perceptual representations of receivers. Our manuscript should serve as an introductory guide to those interested in measuring visual signals, and while our examples focus on primate signals, the methods are applicable to quantifying visual signals in most taxa.

  9. ExternE National Implementation Finland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pingoud, K.; Maelkki, H.; Wihersaari, M.; Pirilae, P. [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland); Hongisto, M. [Imatran Voima Oy, Vantaa (Finland); Siitonen, S. [Ekono Energy Ltd, Espoo (Finland); Johansson, M. [Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki (Finland)

    1999-07-01

    ExternE National Implementation is a continuation of the ExternE Project, funded in part by the European Commission's Joule III Programme. This study is the result of the ExternE National Implementation Project for Finland. Three fuel cycles were selected for the Finnish study: coal, peat and wood-derived biomass, which together are responsible for about 40% of total electricity generation in Finland and about 75% of the non-nuclear fuel based generation. The estimated external costs or damages were dominated by the global warming (GW) impacts in the coal and peat fuel cycles, but knowledge of the true GW impacts is still uncertain. From among other impacts that were valued in monetary terms the human health damages due to airborne emissions dominated in all the three fuel cycles. Monetary valuation for ecosystem impacts is not possible using the ExternE methodology at present. The Meri-Pori power station representing the coal fuel cycle is one of the world's cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power plants with a condensing turbine. The coal is imported mainly from Poland. The estimated health damages were about 4 mECU/kWh, crop damages an order of magnitude lower and damages caused to building materials two orders of magnitude lower. The power stations of the peat and biomass fuel cycles are of CHP type, generating electricity and heat for the district heating systems of two cities. Their fuels are of domestic origin. The estimated health damages allocated to electricity generation were about 5 and 6 mECU/kWh, respectively. The estimates were case-specific and thus an generalisation of the results to the whole electricity generation in Finland is unrealistic. Despite the uncertainties and limitations of the methodology, it is a promising tool in the comparison of similar kinds of fuel cycles, new power plants and pollution abatement technologies and different plant locations with each other. (orig.)

  10. Reproducibility and discriminability of brain patterns of semantic categories enhanced by congruent audiovisual stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanqing Li

    Full Text Available One of the central questions in cognitive neuroscience is the precise neural representation, or brain pattern, associated with a semantic category. In this study, we explored the influence of audiovisual stimuli on the brain patterns of concepts or semantic categories through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiment. We used a pattern search method to extract brain patterns corresponding to two semantic categories: "old people" and "young people." These brain patterns were elicited by semantically congruent audiovisual, semantically incongruent audiovisual, unimodal visual, and unimodal auditory stimuli belonging to the two semantic categories. We calculated the reproducibility index, which measures the similarity of the patterns within the same category. We also decoded the semantic categories from these brain patterns. The decoding accuracy reflects the discriminability of the brain patterns between two categories. The results showed that both the reproducibility index of brain patterns and the decoding accuracy were significantly higher for semantically congruent audiovisual stimuli than for unimodal visual and unimodal auditory stimuli, while the semantically incongruent stimuli did not elicit brain patterns with significantly higher reproducibility index or decoding accuracy. Thus, the semantically congruent audiovisual stimuli enhanced the within-class reproducibility of brain patterns and the between-class discriminability of brain patterns, and facilitate neural representations of semantic categories or concepts. Furthermore, we analyzed the brain activity in superior temporal sulcus and middle temporal gyrus (STS/MTG. The strength of the fMRI signal and the reproducibility index were enhanced by the semantically congruent audiovisual stimuli. Our results support the use of the reproducibility index as a potential tool to supplement the fMRI signal amplitude for evaluating multimodal integration.

  11. Illusory Centrifugal Motion Direction Observed in Brief Stimuli: Psychophysics and Energy Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruyuan Zhang

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available All stationary stimuli of fixed duration have motion energy and the amount of motion energy increases with decreasing duration. Consequently, perception of motion direction could be biased if the readout mechanisms are unbalanced. Previous physiological study showed prefered direction of MT neurons in peripheral tend to be oriented away from fovea(Albright, 1989. Given the broadening of motion energy in brief stimuli, such effect should increase as the stimulus duration decreases. Here, we tested this hypothesis by presenting vertical gratings (0.5c/deg, raised cosine spatial envelope, radius = 5deg, 98% contrast with different speeds(2,4,8 16deg/sec and direction(moving towards fovea or moving away from fovea. And Stimuli were presented in a temporal Gaussian envelope with durations ranging between 5 and 500ms. Observers' task was to identify perceived motion direction (guessing when unsure. Results showed that as predicted, the observers were biased to perceive these stimuli as moving away from fovea. In summary, briefly presented stationary stimuli are perceived as moving in centrifugal direction when presented in visual periphery. One possible explanation for this illusion is that these stimuli, by virtue of their broad temporal frequency spectrum, stimulate centrifugally biased motion mechanisms in area MT.

  12. Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS phase II: 930 new normative photos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu B Brodeur

    Full Text Available Researchers have only recently started to take advantage of the developments in technology and communication for sharing data and documents. However, the exchange of experimental material has not taken advantage of this progress yet. In order to facilitate access to experimental material, the Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS project was created as a free standardized set of visual stimuli accessible to all researchers, through a normative database. The BOSS is currently the largest existing photo bank providing norms for more than 15 dimensions (e.g. familiarity, visual complexity, manipulability, etc., making the BOSS an extremely useful research tool and a mean to homogenize scientific data worldwide. The first phase of the BOSS was completed in 2010, and contained 538 normative photos. The second phase of the BOSS project presented in this article, builds on the previous phase by adding 930 new normative photo stimuli. New categories of concepts were introduced, including animals, building infrastructures, body parts, and vehicles and the number of photos in other categories was increased. All new photos of the BOSS were normalized relative to their name, familiarity, visual complexity, object agreement, viewpoint agreement, and manipulability. The availability of these norms is a precious asset that should be considered for characterizing the stimuli as a function of the requirements of research and for controlling for potential confounding effects.

  13. Auditory and visual memory in musicians and nonmusicians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Karla K.; Horowitz, Todd S.; Wolfe, Jeremy M.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that musicians outperform nonmusicians on a variety of tasks. Here we provide the first evidence that musicians have superior auditory recognition memory for both musical and nonmusical stimuli, compared to nonmusicians. However, this advantage did not generalize to the visual domain. Previously, we showed that auditory recognition memory is inferior to visual recognition memory. Would this be true even for trained musicians? We compared auditory and visual memory in musicians and nonmusicians using familiar music, spoken English, and visual objects. For both groups, memory for the auditory stimuli was inferior to memory for the visual objects. Thus, although considerable musical training is associated with better musical and nonmusical auditory memory, it does not increase the ability to remember sounds to the levels found with visual stimuli. This suggests a fundamental capacity difference between auditory and visual recognition memory, with a persistent advantage for the visual domain. PMID:21374094

  14. Beyond blindsight: properties of visual relearning in cortically blind fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Anasuya; Tadin, Duje; Huxlin, Krystel R

    2014-08-27

    Damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) or its immediate afferents results in a dense scotoma, termed cortical blindness (CB). CB subjects have residual visual abilities, or blindsight, which allow them to detect and sometimes discriminate stimuli with high temporal and low spatial frequency content. Recent work showed that with training, discriminations in the blind field can become more reliable, and even reach consciousness. However, the narrow spatiotemporal bandwidth of blindsight limits its functional usefulness in everyday vision. Here, we asked whether visual training can induce recovery outside the spatiotemporal bandwidth of blindsight. Specifically, could human CB subjects learn to discriminate static, nonflickering stimuli? Can such learning transfer to untrained stimuli and tasks, and does double training with moving and static stimuli provide additional advantages relative to static training alone? We found CB subjects capable of relearning static orientation discriminations following single as well as double training. However, double training with complex, moving stimuli in a separate location was necessary to recover complex motion thresholds at locations trained with static stimuli. Subjects trained on static stimuli alone could only discriminate simple motion. Finally, both groups had approximately equivalent, incomplete recovery of fine orientation and direction discrimination thresholds, as well as contrast sensitivity. These results support two conclusions: (1) from a practical perspective, complex moving stimuli and double training may be superior training tools for inducing visual recovery in CB, and (2) the cortically blind visual system can relearn to perform a wider range of visual discriminations than predicted by blindsight alone.

  15. Neural Correlates of Visual Aesthetics - Beauty as the Coalescence of Stimulus and Internal State

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, Richard H. A. H.; Renken, Remco; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2012-01-01

    How do external stimuli and our internal state coalesce to create the distinctive aesthetic pleasures that give vibrance to human experience? Neuroaesthetics has so far focused on the neural correlates of observing beautiful stimuli compared to neutral or ugly stimuli, or on neural correlates of jud

  16. ASH External Web Portal (External Portal) -

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Transportation — The ASH External Web Portal is a web-based portal that provides single sign-on functionality, making the web portal a single location from which to be authenticated...

  17. Recruitment of the intracellular Ca2+ by ultrashort electric stimuli: the impact of pulse duration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenov, Iurii; Xiao, Shu; Pakhomova, Olga N; Pakhomov, Andrei G

    2013-09-01

    Nanosecond-duration electric stimuli are distinguished by the ability to permeabilize intracellular membranes and recruit Ca2+ from intracellular stores. We quantified this effect in non-excitable cells (CHO) using ratiometric Ca2+ imaging with Fura-2. In a Ca(2+)-free medium, 10-, 60-, and 300-ns stimuli evoked Ca2+ transients by mobilization of Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum. With 2 mM external Ca2+, the transients included both extra- and intracellular components. The recruitment of intracellular Ca2+ increased as the stimulus duration decreased. At the threshold of 200-300 nM, the transients were amplified by calcium-induced calcium release. We conclude that nanosecond stimuli mimic Ca2+ signaling while bypassing the usual receptor- and channels-mediated cascades. The recruitment of the intracellular Ca2+ can be controlled by the duration of the stimulus.

  18. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2012-01-01

    The controlled release of therapeutics has been one of the major challenges for scientists and engineers during the past three decades. Coupled with excellent biocompatibility profiles, various nanomaterials have showed great promise for biomedical applications. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials guarantee the controlled release of cargo to a given location, at a specific time, and with an accurate amount. In this review, we have combined the major stimuli that are currently used to achieve the ultimate goal of controlled and targeted release by "smart" nanomaterials. The most heavily explored strategies include (1) pH, (2) enzymes, (3) redox, (4) magnetic, and (5) light-triggered release.

  19. FMRI orientation decoding in V1 does not require global maps or globally coherent orientation stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjen eAlink

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The orientation of a large grating can be decoded from V1 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data, even at low resolution (3-mm isotropic voxels. This finding has suggested that columnar-level neuronal information might be accessible to fMRI at 3T. However, orientation decodability might alternatively arise from global orientation-bias maps. Such global maps across V1 could result from bottom-up processing, if the preferences of V1 neurons were biased toward particular orientations (e.g. radial from fixation, or cardinal, i.e. vertical or horizontal. Global maps could also arise from local recurrent or top-down processing, reflecting pre-attentive perceptual grouping, attention spreading, or predictive coding of global form. Here we investigate whether fMRI orientation decoding with 2-mm voxels requires (a globally coherent orientation stimuli and/or (b global-scale patterns of V1 activity. We used opposite-orientation gratings (balanced about the cardinal orientations and spirals (balanced about the radial orientation, along with novel patch-swapped variants of these stimuli. The two stimuli of a patch-swapped pair have opposite orientations everywhere (like their globally coherent parent stimuli. However, the two stimuli appear globally similar, a patchwork of opposite orientations. We find that all stimulus pairs are robustly decodable, demonstrating that fMRI orientation decoding does not require globally coherent orientation stimuli. Furthermore, decoding remained robust after spatial high-pass filtering for all stimuli, showing that fine-grained components of the fMRI patterns reflect visual orientations. Consistent with previous studies, we found evidence for global radial and vertical bias maps in V1. However, these were weak or absent for patch-swapped stimuli, suggesting that global bias maps depend on globally coherent orientations and might arise through recurrent or top-down processes related to the perception of global

  20. Bimodal Stimuli Do Not Always Facilitate Infants' Rule Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sin Mei Tsui

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Seven-month-old infants possess the ability to extract and generalize abstract rules from unimodal sequences of auditory syllables such as ABA and ABB whereas five-month-old infants are facilitated in their learning of these rules by bimodal sequences. In the current study, we investigated whether bimodal stimuli could also help infants acquire what we consider a more difficult abstract rule: AAB. Nineteen 8- to 9-month-old infants were habituated to the AAB rule with simultaneous visual shapes and speech sounds. They were later tested on their ability to discriminate this sequence from ABA and ABB with their looking times measured after each stimulus presentation at test periods. There was no significant difference in looking times amongst the different sequences, suggesting infants were not able to formulate an AAB rule different from those for ABA and ABB. Older infants' inability to utilize extra sensory information to acquire an abstract rule in which younger ones were ready to learn from unimodal stimulus (speech was unexpected. It is unclear what leads to the failure of rule learning from bimodal stimuli, but possible explanations including perceptual narrowing in the inter-sensory integration and the difference in sensory representation of abstract rules with different difficulties are discussed.

  1. Feature modulation search: a novel memory search model that extends the perceptual interference effect to musical stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulkind, Matthew D

    2002-03-01

    Although most research in the perceptual interference literature has used visual stimuli, recent experiments have replicated this effect using musical stimuli. Two experiments investigated whether musical and visual demonstrations of the effect are produced by a common mechanism by examining whether the provision of incorrect cues would impair melodic object identification in the perceptual interference paradigm. Whereas incorrect cues typically do not affect visual object identification, they reduced melody identification both when the subjects generated the cues and when the experimenter provided them. A novel model (feature modulation search) is presented to account for perceptual interference in musical stimuli. The model has potential applications for the larger perceptual interference literature and for related phenomena in which target-related information impairs cognition.

  2. Adaptive Design of Visual Perception Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    the same treatment type, and the image stimuli within the cells are presented in random order. 2c. Calibrated perception laboratory The...Adaptive design of visual perception experiments John D. O’Connor, Jonathon Hixson US ARMY RDECOM CERDEC NVESD Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060...ABSTRACT Meticulous experimental design may not always prevent confounds from affecting experimental data acquired during visual perception

  3. Impaired visual competition in patients with homonymous visual field defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geuzebroek, A C; van den Berg, A V

    2017-03-01

    Intense visual training can lead to partial recovery of visual field defects caused by lesions of the primary visual cortex. However, the standard visual detection and discrimination tasks, used to assess this recovery process tend to ignore the complexity of the natural visual environment, where multiple stimuli continuously interact. Visual competition is an essential component for natural search tasks and detecting unexpected events. Our study focused on visual decision-making and to what extent the recovered visual field can compete for attention with the 'intact' visual field. Nine patients with visual field defects who had previously received visual discrimination training, were compared to healthy age-matched controls using a saccade target-selection paradigm, in which participants actively make a saccade towards the brighter of two flashed targets. To further investigate the nature of competition (feed-forward or feedback inhibition), we presented two flashes that reversed their intensity difference during the flash. Both competition between recovered visual field and intact visual field, as well as competition within the intact visual field, were assessed. Healthy controls showed the expected primacy effect; they preferred the initially brighter target. Surprisingly, choice behaviour, even in the patients' supposedly 'intact' visual field, was significantly different from the control group for all but one. In the latter patient, competition was comparable to the controls. All other patients showed a significantly reduced preference to the brighter target, but still showed a small hint of primacy in the reversal conditions. The present results indicate that patients and controls have similar decision-making mechanisms but patients' choices are affected by a strong tendency to guess, even in the intact visual field. This tendency likely reveals slower integration of information, paired with a lower threshold. Current rehabilitation should therefore also

  4. Dopamine, paranormal belief, and the detection of meaningful stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krummenacher, Peter; Mohr, Christine; Haker, Helene; Brugger, Peter

    2010-08-01

    Dopamine (DA) is suggested to improve perceptual and cognitive decisions by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio. Somewhat paradoxically, a hyperdopaminergia (arguably more accentuated in the right hemisphere) has also been implied in the genesis of unusual experiences such as hallucinations and paranormal thought. To test these opposing assumptions, we used two lateralized decision tasks, one with lexical (tapping left-hemisphere functions), the other with facial stimuli (tapping right-hemisphere functions). Participants were 40 healthy right-handed men, of whom 20 reported unusual, "paranormal" experiences and beliefs ("believers"), whereas the remaining participants were unexperienced and critical ("skeptics"). In a between-subject design, levodopa (200 mg) or placebo administration was balanced between belief groups (double-blind procedure). For each task and visual field, we calculated sensitivity (d') and response tendency (criterion) derived from signal detection theory. Results showed the typical right visual field advantage for the lexical decision task and a higher d' for verbal than facial stimuli. For the skeptics, d' was lower in the levodopa than in the placebo group. Criterion analyses revealed that believers favored false alarms over misses, whereas skeptics displayed the opposite preference. Unexpectedly, under levodopa, these decision preferences were lower in both groups. We thus infer that levodopa (1) decreases sensitivity in perceptual-cognitive decisions, but only in skeptics, and (2) makes skeptics less and believers slightly more conservative. These results stand at odd to the common view that DA generally improves signal-to-noise ratios. Paranormal ideation seems an important personality dimension and should be assessed in investigations on the detection of signals in noise.

  5. Comparison of binaural microphones for externalization of sounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cubick, Jens; Sánchez Rodríguez, C.; Song, Wookeun

    2015-01-01

    or with microphones placed inside the ear canals of a person. In this study, binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) were measured with several commercially available binaural microphones, both placed inside the listeners’ ears (individual BRIR) and on a head and torso simulator (generic BRIR). The degree...... of externalization of speech and noise stimuli was tested in a listening experiment with a multi-stimulus test. No influence was found for the stimulus signal, but the externalization scores were found to be lower for 0◦ incidence. With all microphones, relatively high externalization scores were achieved...

  6. Distractor devaluation requires visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goolsby, Brian A; Shapiro, Kimron L; Raymond, Jane E

    2009-02-01

    Visual stimuli seen previously as distractors in a visual search task are subsequently evaluated more negatively than those seen as targets. An attentional inhibition account for this distractor-devaluation effect posits that associative links between attentional inhibition and to-be-ignored stimuli are established during search, stored, and then later reinstantiated, implying that distractor devaluation may require visual working memory (WM) resources. To assess this, we measured distractor devaluation with and without a concurrent visual WM load. Participants viewed a memory array, performed a simple search task, evaluated one of the search items (or a novel item), and then viewed a memory test array. Although distractor devaluation was observed with low (and no) WM load, it was absent when WM load was increased. This result supports the notions that active association of current attentional states with stimuli requires WM and that memory for these associations plays a role in affective response.

  7. The effects of overfeeding on the neuronal response to visual food cues in thin and reduced-obese individuals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc-Andre Cornier

    Full Text Available The regulation of energy intake is a complex process involving the integration of homeostatic signals and both internal and external sensory inputs. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of short-term overfeeding on the neuronal response to food-related visual stimuli in individuals prone and resistant to weight gain.22 thin and 19 reduced-obese (RO individuals were studied. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI was performed in the fasted state after two days of eucaloric energy intake and after two days of 30% overfeeding in a counterbalanced design. fMRI was performed while subjects viewed images of foods of high hedonic value and neutral non-food objects. In the eucaloric state, food as compared to non-food images elicited significantly greater activation of insula and inferior visual cortex in thin as compared to RO individuals. Two days of overfeeding led to significant attenuation of not only insula and visual cortex responses but also of hypothalamus response in thin as compared to RO individuals.These findings emphasize the important role of food-related visual cues in ingestive behavior and suggest that there are important phenotypic differences in the interactions between external visual sensory inputs, energy balance status, and brain regions involved in the regulation of energy intake. Furthermore, alterations in the neuronal response to food cues may relate to the propensity to gain weight.

  8. An Evolutionarily Conserved Mechanism for Activity-dependent Visual Circuit Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara Geo Pratt

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuit development is an activity-dependent process. This activity can be spontaneous, such as the retinal waves that course across the mammalian embryonic retina, or it can be sensory-driven, such as the activation of retinal ganglion cells by visual stimuli. Whichever the source, neural activity provides essential instruction to the developing circuit. Indeed, experimentally altering activity has been shown to impact circuit development and function in many different ways and in many different model systems. In this review we contemplate the idea that retinal waves in amniotes, the animals that develop either in ovo or utero (namely reptiles, birds, mammals could be an evolutionary adaptation to life on land, and that the anamniotes, animals whose development is entirely external (namely the aquatic amphibians and fish, do not display retinal waves, most likely because they simply don’t need them. We then review what is known about the function of both retinal waves and visual stimuli on their respective downstream targets, and predict that the experience-dependent development of the tadpole visual system is a blueprint of what will be found in future studies of the effects of spontaneous retinal waves on instructing development of retinorecipient targets such as the superior colliculus and the lateral geniculate nucleus.

  9. Conditioning with compound stimuli in Drosophila melanogaster in the flight simulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brembs, B; Heisenberg, M

    2001-08-01

    Short-term memory in Drosophila melanogaster operant visual learning in the flight simulator is explored using patterns and colours as a compound stimulus. Presented together during training, the two stimuli accrue the same associative strength whether or not a prior training phase rendered one of the two stimuli a stronger predictor for the reinforcer than the other (no blocking). This result adds Drosophila to the list of other invertebrates that do not exhibit the robust vertebrate blocking phenomenon. Other forms of higher-order learning, however, were detected: a solid sensory preconditioning and a small second-order conditioning effect imply that associations between the two stimuli can be formed, even if the compound is not reinforced.

  10. Monetary reward modulates task-irrelevant perceptual learning for invisible stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pascucci

    Full Text Available Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL.

  11. Influence of prolonged optic flow stimuli on spontaneous activities of cat PMLS neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Changes in neuronal spontaneous activities after prolonged optic flow stimulation (using the three basic flow modes: translation, radiation and rotation) were investigated by extracellular single-unit recording in cortical area PMLS of the cat. The results showed that the evoked responses decreased with the prolongation of visual stimuli, and the spontaneous activities usually dropped to a lower level after the stimuli were withdrawn. Generally, the reduction in spontaneous activities was larger after adaptation in the preferred direction than in the non-preferred direction. This difference was much pronounced to translation stimuli, but relatively insignificant to radiation and rotation. These points suggest that non-specific fatigue may act as the key factor in adaptation to simple translation, while some kinds of more complicated, direction-specific mechanism may be involved in adaptation to the complex optic flow patterns. In addition, PMLS may play an important role in perception and adaptation to complex motion and the relevant motion after-effects.

  12. Experimental and theoretical investigations in stimuli responsive dendrimer-based assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molla, Mijanur Rahaman; Rangadurai, Poornima; Pavan, Giovanni M.; Thayumanavan, S.

    2015-02-01

    Stimuli-responsive macromolecular assemblies are of great interest in drug delivery applications, as it holds the promise to keep the drug molecules sequestered under one set of conditions and release them under another. The former set of conditions could represent circulation, while the latter could represent a disease location. Over the past two decades, sizeable contributions to this field have come from dendrimers, which along with their monodispersity, provide great scope for structural modifications at the molecular level. In this paper, we briefly discuss the various synthetic strategies that have been developed so far to obtain a range of functional dendrimers. We then discuss the design strategies utilized to introduce stimuli responsive elements within the dendritic architecture. The stimuli itself are broadly classified into two categories, viz. extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stimuli are externally induced such as temperature and light variations, while intrinsic stimuli involve physiological aberrations such as variations in pH, redox conditions, proteins and enzyme concentrations in pathological tissues. Furthermore, the unique support from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations has been highlighted. MD simulations have helped back many of the observations made from assembly formation properties to rationalized the mechanism of drug release and this has been illustrated with discussions on G4 PPI (Poly propylene imine) dendrimers and biaryl facially amphiphilic dendrimers. The synergy that exists between experimental and theoretical studies open new avenues for the use of dendrimers as versatile drug delivery systems.

  13. Visual Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Surgery? Choosing the Right Sport for You Shyness Visual Impairment KidsHealth > For Teens > Visual Impairment Print A A ... with the brain, making vision impossible. What Is Visual Impairment? Many people have some type of visual problem ...

  14. Visual field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perimetry; Tangent screen exam; Automated perimetry exam; Goldmann visual field exam; Humphrey visual field exam ... Confrontation visual field exam : This is a quick and basic check of the visual field. The health care provider ...

  15. Spatial frequency training modulates neural face processing : learning transfers from low- to high-level visual features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, Judith C; van den Boomen, Carlijn; Kemner, Chantal

    2017-01-01

    Perception of visual stimuli improves with training, but improvements are specific for trained stimuli rendering the development of generic training programs challenging. It remains unknown to which extent training of low-level visual features transfers to high-level visual perception, and whether t

  16. Spatial Frequency Training Modulates Neural Face Processing : Learning Transfers from Low- to High-Level Visual Features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, Judith C; van den Boomen, Carlijn; Kemner, Chantal

    2017-01-01

    Perception of visual stimuli improves with training, but improvements are specific for trained stimuli rendering the development of generic training programs challenging. It remains unknown to which extent training of low-level visual features transfers to high-level visual perception, and whether t

  17. Spatial Frequency Training Modulates Neural Face Processing : Learning Transfers from Low- to High-Level Visual Features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, Judith C; van den Boomen, Carlijn; Kemner, Chantal

    2017-01-01

    Perception of visual stimuli improves with training, but improvements are specific for trained stimuli rendering the development of generic training programs challenging. It remains unknown to which extent training of low-level visual features transfers to high-level visual perception, and whether

  18. Spatial frequency training modulates neural face processing : Learning transfers from low- to high-level visual features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, Judith C.; van den Boomen, Carlijn; Kemner, Chantal

    2017-01-01

    Perception of visual stimuli improves with training, but improvements are specific for trained stimuli rendering the development of generic training programs challenging. It remains unknown to which extent training of low-level visual features transfers to high-level visual perception, and whether

  19. Externality, environment, and obesity in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stager, S F

    1981-07-01

    On the assumption that external responsiveness and environmental characteristics jointly determine whether a child will achieve an excessive weight gain, perpetuating and maintaining obesity, probability hierarchy was hypothesized and tested. Ss of the study were 24 obese and 24 average-weight, white boys, mean age 9 years, 5 months. An auditory distraction task and Kagan's Matching Familiar Figures Test were used to measure auditory and visual responsivity to external cues, respectively. Socioeconomic status was used as an indicator of the childhood environment. As predicted, the greatest percentages of obese children were observed in the lower-socioeconomic, external group, followed by the lower-socioeconomic, internal group and middle-socioeconomic, external group. The smallest percentage of obese children was observed in the middle-socioeconomic, internal group.

  20. Prefrontal Function Engaging in External-Focused Attention in 5- to 6-Month-Old Infants: A Suggestion for Default Mode Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mingdi; Hoshino, Eiichi; Yatabe, Kiyomi; Matsuda, Soichiro; Sato, Hiroki; Maki, Atsushi; Yoshimura, Mina; Minagawa, Yasuyo

    2016-01-01

    The present study used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure 5- to 6-month-old infants' hemodynamic response in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to visual stimuli differing in saliency and social value. Nineteen Japanese 5- to 6-month-old infants watched video clips of Peek-a-Boo (social signal) performed by an anime character (AC) or a human, and hand movements without social signal performed by an AC. The PFC activity of infants was measured by 22-channel fNIRS, while behaviors including looking time were recorded simultaneously. NIRS data showed that infants' hemodynamic responses in the PFC generally decreased due to these stimuli, and the decrease was most prominent in the frontopolar (FP), covering medial PFC (MPFC), when infants were viewing Peek-a-Boo performed by an AC. Moreover, the decrease was more pronounced in the dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) when infants were viewing Peek-a-Boo performed by an AC than by a human. Accordingly, behavioral data revealed significantly longer looking times when Peek-a-Boo was performed by an AC than by a human. No significant difference between Peek-a-Boo and non-Peek-a-Boo conditions was observed in either measure. These findings indicate that infants at this age may prefer stimuli with more salient features, which may be more effective in attracting their attentions. In conjunction with our previous findings on responses to self-name calling in infants of similar age, we hypothesize that the dynamic function of the MPFC and its vicinity (as part of default mode network (DMN): enhanced by self-focused stimuli, attenuated by externally focused stimuli), which is consistently observed in adults, may have already emerged in 5- to 6-month-old infants.

  1. Prefrontal Function Engaging in External-Focused Attention in 5- to 6-Month-Old Infants: A Suggestion for Default Mode Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mingdi; Hoshino, Eiichi; Yatabe, Kiyomi; Matsuda, Soichiro; Sato, Hiroki; Maki, Atsushi; Yoshimura, Mina; Minagawa, Yasuyo

    2017-01-01

    The present study used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure 5- to 6-month-old infants’ hemodynamic response in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to visual stimuli differing in saliency and social value. Nineteen Japanese 5- to 6-month-old infants watched video clips of Peek-a-Boo (social signal) performed by an anime character (AC) or a human, and hand movements without social signal performed by an AC. The PFC activity of infants was measured by 22-channel fNIRS, while behaviors including looking time were recorded simultaneously. NIRS data showed that infants’ hemodynamic responses in the PFC generally decreased due to these stimuli, and the decrease was most prominent in the frontopolar (FP), covering medial PFC (MPFC), when infants were viewing Peek-a-Boo performed by an AC. Moreover, the decrease was more pronounced in the dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) when infants were viewing Peek-a-Boo performed by an AC than by a human. Accordingly, behavioral data revealed significantly longer looking times when Peek-a-Boo was performed by an AC than by a human. No significant difference between Peek-a-Boo and non-Peek-a-Boo conditions was observed in either measure. These findings indicate that infants at this age may prefer stimuli with more salient features, which may be more effective in attracting their attentions. In conjunction with our previous findings on responses to self-name calling in infants of similar age, we hypothesize that the dynamic function of the MPFC and its vicinity (as part of default mode network (DMN): enhanced by self-focused stimuli, attenuated by externally focused stimuli), which is consistently observed in adults, may have already emerged in 5- to 6-month-old infants. PMID:28119586

  2. Consistent phosphenes generated by electrical microstimulation of the visual thalamus. An experimental approach for thalamic visual neuroprostheses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fivos ePanetsos

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Most work on visual prostheses has centred on developing retinal or cortical devices. However, when retinal implants are not feasible, neuroprostheses could be implanted in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus (LGN, the intermediate relay station of visual information from the retina to the visual cortex (V1. The objective of the present study was to determine the types of artificial stimuli that when delivered to the visual thalamus can generate reliable responses of the cortical neurons similar to those obtained when the eye perceives a visual image. Visual stimuli {Si} were presented to one eye of an experimental animal and both, the thalamic {RThi} and cortical responses {RV1i} to such stimuli were recorded. Electrical patterns {RThi*} resembling {RThi} were then injected into the visual thalamus to obtain cortical responses {RV1i*} similar to {RV1i}. Visually- and electrically-generated V1 responses were compared.Results: During the course of this work we: (i characterised the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli according to response magnitude, duration, spiking rate and the distribution of interspike intervals; (ii experimentally tested the dependence of V1 responses on stimulation parameters such as intensity, frequency, duration, etc. and determined the ranges of these parameters generating the desired cortical activity; (iii identified similarities between responses of V1 useful to compare the naturally and artificially generated neuronal activity of V1; and (iv by modifying the stimulation parameters, we generated artificial V1 responses similar to those elicited by visual stimuli.Generation of predictable and consistent phosphenes by means of artificial stimulation of the LGN is important for the feasibility of visual prostheses. Here we proved that electrical stimuli to the LGN can generate V1 neural responses that resemble those elicited by natural visual stimuli.

  3. Development of Bio-Machine Based on the Plant Response to External Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Aditya

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the area of biorobotics, intense research work is being done based on plant intelligence. Any living cell continuously receives information from the environment. In this paper, research is conducted on the plant named descoingsii x haworthioides (Pepe obtaining the action potential signals and its responses to stimulations of different light modes. The plant electrical signal is the reaction of plant’s stimulation owing to various environmental conditions. Action potentials are responsible for signaling between plant cells and communication from the plants can be achieved through modulation of various parameters of the electrical signal in the plant tissue. The modulated signals are used for providing information to the microcontroller’s algorithm for working of the bio-machine. The changes of frequency of action potentials in plant are studied. Electromyography (EMG electrodes and needle-type conductive electrodes along with electronic modules are used to collect and transform the information from the plant. Inverse fast Fourier transform (IFFT is used to convert signal in frequency domain into voltage signal for real-time analysis. The changes in frequency of the plant action potentials to different light modes are used for the control of the bio-machine. This work has paved the way for an extensive research towards plant intelligence.

  4. SINGLE-CELL LEVEL INVESTIGATION OF CYTOSKELETAL/CELLULAR RESPONSE TO EXTERNAL STIMULI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hiddessen, A L

    2007-02-26

    A detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which chemical signals control cell behavior is needed if the complex biological processes of embryogenesis, development, health and disease are to be completely understood. Yet, if we are to fully understand the molecular mechanisms controlling cell behavior, measurements at the single cell level are needed to supplement information gained from population level studies. One of the major challenges to accomplishing studies at the single cell level has been a lack of physical tools to complement the powerful molecular biological assays which have provided much of what we currently know about cell behavior. The goal of this exploratory project is the development of an experimental platform that facilitates integrated observation, tracking and analysis of the responses of many individual cells to controlled environmental factors (e.g. extracellular signals). Toward this goal, we developed chemically-patterned microarrays of both adherent and suspension mammalian cell types. A novel chemical patterning methodology, based on photocatalytic lithography, was developed to construct biomolecule and cell arrays that facilitate analysis of biological function. Our patterning techniques rely on inexpensive stamp materials and visible light, and do not necessitate mass transport or specified substrates. Patterned silicon and glass substrates are modified such that there is a non-biofouling polymer matrix surrounding the adhesive regions that target biomolecules and cells. Fluorescence and reflectance microscopy reveal successful patterning of proteins and single to small clusters of mammalian cells. In vitro assays conducted upon cells on the patterned arrays demonstrate the viability of cells interfacing with this synthetic system. Hence, we have successfully established a versatile cell measurement platform which can be used to characterize the molecular regulators of cellular behavior in a variety of important biological processes. The achievements realized in this project have enabled presentations and publication within the international scientific community, new collaborations with researchers at the University of California, and successful competition for three additional, separate research grants on studies of stem cell fate commitment and pathogen-host cell interactions.

  5. Effect of biocompatible polymers on the structural integrity of lipid bilayers under external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jia-Yu; Kausik, Ravinath; Chen, Chi-Yuan; Han, Song-I.; Marks, Jeremy; Lee, Ka Yee

    2010-03-01

    Cell membrane dysfunction due to loss of structural integrity is the pathology of tissue death in trauma and common diseases. It is now established that certain biocompatible polymers, such as Poloxamer 188, Poloxamine 1107 and polyethylene glycol (PEG), are effective in sealing of injured cell membranes, and able to prevent acute necrosis. Despite these broad applications of these polymers for human health, the fundamental mechanisms by which these polymers interact with cell membranes are still under debate. Here, the effects of a group of biocompatible polymers on phospholipid membrane integrity under osmotic and oxidative stress were explored using giant unilamellar vesicles as model cell membranes. Our results suggest that the adsorption of the polymers on the membrane surface is responsible for the cell membrane resealing process due to its capability of slowing down the surface hydration dynamics.

  6. Myocardial hypertrophy in the absence of external stimuli is induced by angiogenesis in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Tirziu, Daniela; Chorianopoulos, Emmanuel; Moodie, Karen L.; Palac, Robert T.; Zhuang, Zhen W; Tjwa, Marc; Roncal, Carmen; Eriksson, Ulf; Fu, Qiangwei; Elfenbein, Arye; Hall, Amy E.; Carmeliet, Peter; Moons, Lieve; Simons, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Although studies have suggested a role for angiogenesis in determining heart size during conditions demanding enhanced cardiac performance, the role of EC mass in determining the normal organ size is poorly understood. To explore the relationship between cardiac vasculature and normal heart size, we generated a transgenic mouse with a regulatable expression of the secreted angiogenic growth factor PR39 in cardiomyocytes. A significant change in adult mouse EC mass was apparent by 3 weeks foll...

  7. The functional foetal brain: A systematic preview of methodological factors in reporting foetal visual and auditory capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsty Dunn

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to technological advancements in functional brain imaging, foetal brain responses to visual and auditory stimuli is a growing area of research despite being relatively small with much variation between research laboratories. A number of inconsistencies between studies are, nonetheless, present in the literature. This article aims to explore the potential contribution of methodological factors to variation in reports of foetal neural responses to external stimuli. Some of the variation in reports can be explained by methodological differences in aspects of study design, such as brightness and wavelength of light source. In contrast to visual foetal processing, auditory foetal processing has been more frequently investigated and findings are more consistent between different studies. This is an early preview of an emerging field with many articles reporting small sample sizes with techniques that are yet to be replicated. We suggest areas for improvement for the field as a whole, such as the standardisation of stimulus delivery and a more detailed reporting of methods and results. This will improve our understanding of foetal functional response to light and sound. We suggest that enhanced technology will allow for a more reliable description of the developmental trajectory of foetal processing of light stimuli.

  8. Posturographic destabilization in eating disorders in female patients exposed to body image related phobic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forghieri, M; Monzani, D; Mackinnon, A; Ferrari, S; Gherpelli, C; Galeazzi, G M

    2016-08-26

    Human postural control is dependent on the central integration of vestibular, visual and proprioceptive inputs. Psychological states can affect balance control: anxiety, in particular, has been shown to influence balance mediated by visual stimuli. We hypothesized that patients with eating disorders would show postural destabilization when exposed to their image in a mirror and to the image of a fashion model representing their body ideal in comparison to body neutral stimuli. Seventeen females patients attending a day centre for the treatment of eating disorders were administered psychometric measures of body dissatisfaction, anxiety, depression and underwent posturographic measures with their eyes closed, open, watching a neutral stimulus, while exposed to a full length mirror and to an image of a fashion model corresponding to their body image. Results were compared to those obtained by eighteen healthy subjects. Eating disordered patients showed higher levels of body dissatisfaction and higher postural destabilization than controls, but this was limited to the conditions in which they were exposed to their mirror image or a fashion model image. Postural destabilization under these conditions correlated with measures of body dissatisfaction. In eating disordered patients, body related stimuli seem to act as phobic stimuli in the posturographic paradigm used. If confirmed, this has the potential to be developed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Perceived shifts of flashed stimuli by visible and invisible object motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Katsumi; Sato, Takashi R; Shimojo, Shinsuke

    2003-01-01

    Perceived positions of flashed stimuli can be altered by motion signals in the visual field-position capture (Whitney and Cavanagh, 2000 Nature Neuroscience 3 954-959). We examined whether position capture of flashed stimuli depends on the spatial relationship between moving and flashed stimuli, and whether the phenomenal permanence of a moving object behind an occluding surface (tunnel effect; Michotte 1950 Acta Psychologica 7 293-322) can produce position capture. Observers saw two objects (circles) moving vertically in opposite directions, one in each visual hemifield. Two horizontal bars were simultaneously flashed at horizontally collinear positions with the fixation point at various timings. When the movement of the object was fully visible, the flashed bar appeared shifted in the motion direction of the circle. But this position-capture effect occurred only when the bar was presented ahead of or on the moving circle. Even when the motion trajectory was covered by an opaque surface and the bar was flashed after complete occlusion of the circle, the position-capture effect was still observed, though the positional asymmetry was less clear. These results show that movements of both visible and 'hidden' objects can modulate the perception of positions of flashed stimuli and suggest that a high-level representation of 'objects in motion' plays an important role in the position-capture effect.

  10. The Influence of Stimulus Material on Attention and Performance in the Visual Expectation Paradigm: A Longitudinal Study with 3- And 6-Month-Old Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teubert, Manuel; Lohaus, Arnold; Fassbender, Ina; Vierhaus, Marc; Spangler, Sibylle; Borchert, Sonja; Freitag, Claudia; Goertz, Claudia; Graf, Frauke; Gudi, Helene; Kolling, Thorsten; Lamm, Bettina; Keller, Heidi; Knopf, Monika; Schwarzer, Gudrun

    2012-01-01

    This longitudinal study examined the influence of stimulus material on attention and expectation learning in the visual expectation paradigm. Female faces were used as attention-attracting stimuli, and non-meaningful visual stimuli of comparable complexity (Greebles) were used as low attention-attracting stimuli. Expectation learning performance…

  11. External radiation surveillance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antonio, E.J.

    1995-06-01

    This section of the 1994 Hanford Site Environmental Report describes how external radiation was measured, how surveys were performed, and the results of these measurements and surveys. External radiation exposure rates were measured at locations on and off the Hanford Site using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD). External radiation and contamination surveys were also performed with portable radiation survey instruments at locations on and around the Hanford Site.

  12. Mapping An Internal-External (I-E) Matrix Using Traditional And Extended Matrix Concepts

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Christopher M. Cassidy; Michael D. Glissmeyer; Charles J. Capps III

    2013-01-01

      Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE) and External Factor Evaluation (EFE) matrices allow an organization to visualize their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats while a Competitive Profile Matrix (CPM...

  13. The Effect of Visual Threat on Spatial Attention to Touch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poliakoff, Ellen; Miles, Eleanor; Li, Xinying; Blanchette, Isabelle

    2007-01-01

    Viewing a threatening stimulus can bias visual attention toward that location. Such effects have typically been investigated only in the visual modality, despite the fact that many threatening stimuli are most dangerous when close to or in contact with the body. Recent multisensory research indicates that a neutral visual stimulus, such as a light…

  14. An online brain-computer interface based on shifting attention to concurrent streams of auditory stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, N. J.; Schölkopf, B.

    2012-04-01

    We report on the development and online testing of an electroencephalogram-based brain-computer interface (BCI) that aims to be usable by completely paralysed users—for whom visual or motor-system-based BCIs may not be suitable, and among whom reports of successful BCI use have so far been very rare. The current approach exploits covert shifts of attention to auditory stimuli in a dichotic-listening stimulus design. To compare the efficacy of event-related potentials (ERPs) and steady-state auditory evoked potentials (SSAEPs), the stimuli were designed such that they elicited both ERPs and SSAEPs simultaneously. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided online, based on subjects' modulation of N1 and P3 ERP components measured during single 5 s stimulation intervals. All 13 healthy subjects were able to use the BCI, with performance in a binary left/right choice task ranging from 75% to 96% correct across subjects (mean 85%). BCI classification was based on the contrast between stimuli in the attended stream and stimuli in the unattended stream, making use of every stimulus, rather than contrasting frequent standard and rare ‘oddball’ stimuli. SSAEPs were assessed offline: for all subjects, spectral components at the two exactly known modulation frequencies allowed discrimination of pre-stimulus from stimulus intervals, and of left-only stimuli from right-only stimuli when one side of the dichotic stimulus pair was muted. However, attention modulation of SSAEPs was not sufficient for single-trial BCI communication, even when the subject's attention was clearly focused well enough to allow classification of the same trials via ERPs. ERPs clearly provided a superior basis for BCI. The ERP results are a promising step towards the development of a simple-to-use, reliable yes/no communication system for users in the most severely paralysed states, as well as potential attention-monitoring and -training applications outside the context of assistive technology.

  15. Gaze-independent ERP-BCIs: augmenting performance through location-congruent bimodal stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke Elise Thurlings

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Gaze-independent event-related potential (ERP based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs yield relatively low BCI performance and traditionally employ unimodal stimuli. Bimodal ERP-BCIs may increase BCI performance due to multisensory integration or summation in the brain. An additional advantage of bimodal BCIs may be that the user can choose which modality or modalities to attend to. We studied bimodal, visual-tactile, gaze-independent BCIs and investigated whether or not ERP components’ tAUCs and subsequent classification accuracies are increased for (1 bimodal versus unimodal stimuli, (2 location-congruent versus location-incongruent bimodal stimuli, and (3 attending to both modalities versus to either one modality. We observed an enhanced bimodal (compared to unimodal P300 tAUC, which appeared to be positively affected by location-congruency (p=.056 and resulted in higher classification accuracies. Attending either to one or to both modalities of the bimodal location-congruent stimuli resulted in differences between ERP components, but not in classification performance. We conclude that location-congruent bimodal stimuli improve ERP-BCIs, and offer the user the possibility to switch the attended modality without losing performance.

  16. Biased towards food: Electrophysiological evidence for biased attention to food stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sanjay; Higgs, Suzanne; Rutters, Femke; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2016-12-01

    We investigated the neural mechanisms involved in bias for food stimuli in our visual environment using event related lateralized (ERL) responses. The participants were presented with a cue (food or non-food item) to either identify or hold in working memory. Subsequently, they had to search for a target in a 2-item display where target and distractor stimuli were each flanked by a picture of a food or a non-food item. The behavioural data showed that performance was strongly affected by food cues, especially when food was held in WM compared to when the cues were merely identified. The temporal dynamics of electrophysiological measures of attention (the N1pc and N2pc) showed that the orienting of attention towards food stimuli was associated with two different mechanisms; an early stage of attentional suppression followed by a later stage of attentional orienting towards food stimuli. In contrast, non-food cues were associated only with the guidance of attention to or away from cued stimuli on valid and invalid trials. The results demonstrate that food items, perhaps due to their motivational significance modulate the early orienting of attention, including an initial suppressive response to food items. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Gaze-independent ERP-BCIs: augmenting performance through location-congruent bimodal stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurlings, Marieke E.; Brouwer, Anne-Marie; Van Erp, Jan B. F.; Werkhoven, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Gaze-independent event-related potential (ERP) based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) yield relatively low BCI performance and traditionally employ unimodal stimuli. Bimodal ERP-BCIs may increase BCI performance due to multisensory integration or summation in the brain. An additional advantage of bimodal BCIs may be that the user can choose which modality or modalities to attend to. We studied bimodal, visual-tactile, gaze-independent BCIs and investigated whether or not ERP components’ tAUCs and subsequent classification accuracies are increased for (1) bimodal vs. unimodal stimuli; (2) location-congruent vs. location-incongruent bimodal stimuli; and (3) attending to both modalities vs. to either one modality. We observed an enhanced bimodal (compared to unimodal) P300 tAUC, which appeared to be positively affected by location-congruency (p = 0.056) and resulted in higher classification accuracies. Attending either to one or to both modalities of the bimodal location-congruent stimuli resulted in differences between ERP components, but not in classification performance. We conclude that location-congruent bimodal stimuli improve ERP-BCIs, and offer the user the possibility to switch the attended modality without losing performance. PMID:25249947

  18. Agnosia for mirror stimuli: a new case report with a small parietal lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinaud, Olivier; Mirlink, Nicolas; Bioux, Sandrine; Bliaux, Evangéline; Lebas, Axel; Gerardin, Emmanuel; Hannequin, Didier

    2014-11-01

    Only seven cases of agnosia for mirror stimuli have been reported, always with an extensive lesion. We report a new case of an agnosia for mirror stimuli due to a circumscribed lesion. An extensive battery of neuropsychological tests and a new experimental procedure to assess visual object mirror and orientation discrimination were assessed 10 days after the onset of clinical symptoms, and 5 years later. The performances of our patient were compared with those of four healthy control subjects matched for age. This test revealed an agnosia for mirror stimuli. Brain imaging showed a small right occipitoparietal hematoma, encompassing the extrastriate cortex adjoining the inferior parietal lobe. This new case suggests that: (i) agnosia for mirror stimuli can persist for 5 years after onset and (ii) the posterior part of the right intraparietal sulcus could be critical in the cognitive process of mirror stimuli discrimination. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Gaze-independent ERP-BCIs: augmenting performance through location-congruent bimodal stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurlings, Marieke E; Brouwer, Anne-Marie; Van Erp, Jan B F; Werkhoven, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Gaze-independent event-related potential (ERP) based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) yield relatively low BCI performance and traditionally employ unimodal stimuli. Bimodal ERP-BCIs may increase BCI performance due to multisensory integration or summation in the brain. An additional advantage of bimodal BCIs may be that the user can choose which modality or modalities to attend to. We studied bimodal, visual-tactile, gaze-independent BCIs and investigated whether or not ERP components' tAUCs and subsequent classification accuracies are increased for (1) bimodal vs. unimodal stimuli; (2) location-congruent vs. location-incongruent bimodal stimuli; and (3) attending to both modalities vs. to either one modality. We observed an enhanced bimodal (compared to unimodal) P300 tAUC, which appeared to be positively affected by location-congruency (p = 0.056) and resulted in higher classification accuracies. Attending either to one or to both modalities of the bimodal location-congruent stimuli resulted in differences between ERP components, but not in classification performance. We conclude that location-congruent bimodal stimuli improve ERP-BCIs, and offer the user the possibility to switch the attended modality without losing performance.

  20. Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterr, Annette; Green, Lisa; Elbert, Thomas

    2003-05-01

    In a previous experiment, we observed that blind Braille readers produce errors when asked to identify on which finger of one hand a light tactile stimulus had occurred. With the present study, we aimed to specify the characteristics of this perceptual error in blind and sighted participants. The experiment confirmed that blind Braille readers mislocalised tactile stimuli more often than sighted controls, and that the localisation errors occurred significantly more often at the right reading hand than at the non-reading hand. Most importantly, we discovered that the reading fingers showed the smallest error frequency, but the highest rate of stimulus attribution. The dissociation of perceiving and locating tactile stimuli in the blind suggests altered tactile information processing. Neuroplasticity, changes in tactile attention mechanisms as well as the idea that blind persons may employ different strategies for tactile exploration and object localisation are discussed as possible explanations for the results obtained.

  1. Contingent stimuli signal subsequent reinforcer ratios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutros, Nathalie; Davison, Michael; Elliffe, Douglas

    2011-07-01

    Conditioned reinforcer effects may be due to the stimulus' discriminative rather than its strengthening properties. While this was demonstrated in a frequently-changing choice procedure, a single attempt to replicate in a relatively static choice environment failed. We contend that this was because the information provided by the stimuli was nonredundant in the frequently-changing preparation, and redundant in the steady-state arrangement. In the present experiments, 6 pigeons worked in a steady-state concurrent schedule procedure with nonredundant informative stimuli (red keylight illuminations). When a response-contingent red keylight signaled that the next food delivery was more likely on one of the two alternatives, postkeylight choice responding was reliably for that alternative. This effect was enhanced after a history of extended informative red keylight presentation (Experiment 2). These results lend support to recent characterizations of conditioned reinforcer effects as reflective of a discriminative, rather than a reinforcing, property of the stimulus.

  2. Discrimination of auditory stimuli during isoflurane anesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, Manuel J; Navas, Jinna A; Greene, Stephen A; Rector, David M

    2008-10-01

    Deep isoflurane anesthesia initiates a burst suppression pattern in which high-amplitude bursts are preceded by periods of nearly silent electroencephalogram. The burst suppression ratio (BSR) is the percentage of suppression (silent electroencephalogram) during the burst suppression pattern and is one parameter used to assess anesthesia depth. We investigated cortical burst activity in rats in response to different auditory stimuli presented during the burst suppression state. We noted a rapid appearance of bursts and a significant decrease in the BSR during stimulation. The BSR changes were distinctive for the different stimuli applied, and the BSR decreased significantly more when stimulated with a voice familiar to the rat as compared with an unfamiliar voice. These results show that the cortex can show differential sensory responses during deep isoflurane anesthesia.

  3. Preparation of stimuli for timbre perception studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labuschagne, Ilse B; Hanekom, Johan J

    2013-09-01

    Stimuli used in timbre perception studies must be controlled carefully in order to yield meaningful results. During psychoacoustic testing of individual timbre properties, (1) it must be ensured that timbre properties do not co-vary, as timbre properties are often not independent from one another, and (2) the potential influence of loudness, pitch, and perceived duration must be eliminated. A mathematical additive synthesis method is proposed which allows complete control over two spectral parameters, the spectral centroid (corresponding to brightness) and irregularity, and two temporal parameters, log rise-time (LRT) and a parameter characterizing the sustain/decay segment, while controlling for covariation in the spectral centroid and irregularity. Thirteen musical instrument sounds were synthesized. Perceptual data from six listeners indicate that variation in the four timbre properties mainly influences loudness and that perceived duration and pitch are not influenced significantly for the stimuli of longer duration (2 s) used here. Trends across instruments were found to be similar.

  4. Physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanuki, Shigeki; Kim, Yeon-Kyu

    2005-01-01

    The specific physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli were investigated in this study. Various physiological responses of the brain (encephaloelectrogram; EEG), autonomic nervous system (ANS), immune system and endocrine system were monitored when pleasant stimuli such as odors, emotional pictures and rakugo, a typical Japanese comical story-telling, were presented to subjects. The results revealed that (i) EEG activities of the left frontal brain region were enhanced by a pleasant odor; (ii) emotional pictures related to primitive element such as nudes and erotic couples elevated vasomotor sympathetic nervous activity; and (iii) an increase in secretory immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) and a decrease in salivary cortisol (s-cortisol) were induced by rakugo-derived linguistic pleasant emotion. Pleasant emotion is complicated state. However, by considering the evolutionary history of human being, it is possible to assess and evaluate pleasant emotion from certain physiological responses by appropriately summating various physiological parameters.

  5. Redundant visual signals boost saccade execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turatto, Massimo; Betta, Elena

    2006-10-01

    The redundant signal effect (RSE) refers to the fact that human beings react more quickly to a pair of stimuli than to only one stimulus. In previous studies of the RSE in the oculomotor system, bimodal signals have been used as the goal of the saccade. In consistency with studies using manual response times (RTs), saccadic RTs have been shown to be shorter for redundant multimodal stimuli than for single unimodal stimuli. In the present experiments, we extended these findings by demonstrating an RSE in the saccadic system elicited only by unimodal visual stimuli. In addition, we found that shorter saccadic RTs were accompanied by an increased saccadic peak velocity. The present results are of relevance for neurophysiological models of saccade execution, since the boost of saccades was elicited by two visual transients (acting as a "go" signal) that were presented not at the goal of the saccade but at various other locations.

  6. Simulation of Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Gruhn

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The structure and material properties of polymer networks can depend sensitively on changes in the environment. There is a great deal of progress in the development of stimuli-responsive hydrogels for applications like sensors, self-repairing materials or actuators. Biocompatible, smart hydrogels can be used for applications, such as controlled drug delivery and release, or for artificial muscles. Numerical studies have been performed on different length scales and levels of details. Macroscopic theories that describe the network systems with the help of continuous fields are suited to study effects like the stimuli-induced deformation of hydrogels on large scales. In this article, we discuss various macroscopic approaches and describe, in more detail, our phase field model, which allows the calculation of the hydrogel dynamics with the help of a free energy that considers physical and chemical impacts. On a mesoscopic level, polymer systems can be modeled with the help of the self-consistent field theory, which includes the interactions, connectivity, and the entropy of the polymer chains, and does not depend on constitutive equations. We present our recent extension of the method that allows the study of the formation of nano domains in reversibly crosslinked block copolymer networks. Molecular simulations of polymer networks allow the investigation of the behavior of specific systems on a microscopic scale. As an example for microscopic modeling of stimuli sensitive polymer networks, we present our Monte Carlo simulations of a filament network system with crosslinkers.

  7. Anagrus breviphragma Soyka Short Distance Search Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Chiappini

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Anagrus breviphragma Soyka (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae successfully parasitises eggs of Cicadella viridis (L. (Homoptera: Cicadellidae, embedded in vegetal tissues, suggesting the idea of possible chemical and physical cues, revealing the eggs presence. In this research, three treatments were considered in order to establish which types of cue are involved: eggs extracted from leaf, used as a control, eggs extracted from leaf and cleaned in water and ethanol, used to evaluate the presence of chemicals soluble in polar solvents, and eggs extracted from leaf and covered with Parafilm (M, used to avoid physical stimuli due to the bump on the leaf surface. The results show that eggs covered with Parafilm present a higher number of parasitised eggs and a lower probing starting time with respect to eggs washed with polar solvents or eggs extracted and untreated, both when the treatments were singly tested or when offered in sequence, independently of the treatment position. These results suggest that the exploited stimuli are not physical due to the bump but chemicals that can spread in the Parafilm, circulating the signal on the whole surface, and that the stimuli that elicit probing and oviposition are not subjected to learning.

  8. Personalized visual aesthetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vessel, Edward A.; Stahl, Jonathan; Maurer, Natalia; Denker, Alexander; Starr, G. G.

    2014-02-01

    How is visual information linked to aesthetic experience, and what factors determine whether an individual finds a particular visual experience pleasing? We have previously shown that individuals' aesthetic responses are not determined by objective image features but are instead a function of internal, subjective factors that are shaped by a viewers' personal experience. Yet for many classes of stimuli, culturally shared semantic associations give rise to similar aesthetic taste across people. In this paper, we investigated factors that govern whether a set of observers will agree in which images are preferred, or will instead exhibit more "personalized" aesthetic preferences. In a series of experiments, observers were asked to make aesthetic judgments for different categories of visual stimuli that are commonly evaluated in an aesthetic manner (faces, natural landscapes, architecture or artwork). By measuring agreement across observers, this method was able to reveal instances of highly individualistic preferences. We found that observers showed high agreement on their preferences for images of faces and landscapes, but much lower agreement for images of artwork and architecture. In addition, we found higher agreement for heterosexual males making judgments of beautiful female faces than of beautiful male faces. These results suggest that preferences for stimulus categories that carry evolutionary significance (landscapes and faces) come to rely on similar information across individuals, whereas preferences for artifacts of human culture such as architecture and artwork, which have fewer basic-level category distinctions and reduced behavioral relevance, rely on a more personalized set of attributes.

  9. Automatic facial mimicry in response to dynamic emotional stimuli in five-month-old infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Tomoko; Nakano, Tamami

    2016-12-14

    Human adults automatically mimic others' emotional expressions, which is believed to contribute to sharing emotions with others. Although this behaviour appears fundamental to social reciprocity, little is known about its developmental process. Therefore, we examined whether infants show automatic facial mimicry in response to others' emotional expressions. Facial electromyographic activity over the corrugator supercilii (brow) and zygomaticus major (cheek) of four- to five-month-old infants was measured while they viewed dynamic clips presenting audiovisual, visual and auditory emotions. The audiovisual bimodal emotion stimuli were a display of a laughing/crying facial expression with an emotionally congruent vocalization, whereas the visual/auditory unimodal emotion stimuli displayed those emotional faces/vocalizations paired with a neutral vocalization/face, respectively. Increased activation of the corrugator supercilii muscle in response to audiovisual cries and the zygomaticus major in response to audiovisual laughter were observed between 500 and 1000 ms after stimulus onset, which clearly suggests rapid facial mimicry. By contrast, both visual and auditory unimodal emotion stimuli did not activate the infants' corresponding muscles. These results revealed that automatic facial mimicry is present as early as five months of age, when multimodal emotional information is present. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Muscle group dependent responses to stimuli in a grasshopper model for tonic immobility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashwin Miriyala

    2013-09-01

    Tonic Immobility (TI is a prolonged immobile condition exhibited by a variety of animals when exposed to certain stimuli, and is thought to be associated with a specific state of arousal. In our study, we characterize this state by using the reliably inducible TI state of the grasshopper (Hieroglyphus banian and by monitoring abdominal pulsations and body movements in response to visual and auditory stimuli. These pulsations are present during the TI and ‘awake’, standing states, but not in the CO2 anesthetized state. In response to the stimuli, animals exhibited a suppression in pulsation and a startle response. The suppression of pulsation lasted longer than the duration of stimulus application. During TI, the suppression of pulsation does not habituate over time, whereas the startle response does. In response to the translating visual stimulus, the pulsations are suppressed at a certain phase independent of the time of stimulus application. Thus, we describe TI in Hieroglyphus banian as a state more similar to an ‘awake’ state than to an anesthetized state. During TI, the circuitry to the muscle outputs controlling the abdomen pulsation and the startle response are, at least in some part, different. The central pattern generators that maintain the abdomen pulsation receive inputs from visual and auditory pathways.

  11. Klinefelter syndrome has increased brain responses to auditory stimuli and motor output, but not to visual stimuli or Stroop adaptation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Skakkebæk, Anne; Bojesen, Anders

    2016-01-01

    with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop) or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain’s motor network with no difference between groups...

  12. Klinefelter syndrome has increased brain responses to auditory stimuli and motor output, but not to visual stimuli or Stroop adaptation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Skakkebæk, Anne; Bojesen, Anders

    2016-01-01

    with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop) or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain's motor network with no difference between groups...

  13. The role of the retino-colliculo-extrastriate pathway in visual awareness and visual field recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertini, Caterina; Grasso, Paolo A; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2016-09-01

    Patients with visual field defects resulting from post-chiasmatic lesions experience loss of visual function in up to one half of their visual field, with consequent impairments in their daily life activities. Therefore, effective strategies for compensating for the visual field loss are of great clinical relevance. After lesions to the primary visual pathway -which conveys visual information from the retina to the lateral geniculate nucleus, the optic radiations and, then, to the striate cortex-an alternative visual pathway, which projects from the superior colliculus to the extrastriate cortex, is usually spared in patients with visual field defects. In the present review, evidence for spared functioning of this alternative pathway in patients with visual field defects will be presented, both in terms of residual visual abilities, without awareness, for stimuli presented in the blind field, and the ability to integrate unseen visual signals presented in the blind field with concurrent auditory stimuli. Crucially, this review will discuss how the spared retino-colliculo-extrastriate pathway might be a useful tool for compensating for the loss of visual perception. Accordingly, evidence for the compensatory effects of systematic multisensory audio-visual stimulation in patients with visual field defects will be reviewed.

  14. Visual memory errors in Parkinson's disease patient with visual hallucinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J; Boubert, L

    2011-03-01

    The occurrences of visual hallucinations seem to be more prevalent in low light and hallucinators tend to be more prone to false positive type errors in memory tasks. Here we investigated whether the richness of stimuli does indeed affect recognition differently in hallucinating and nonhallucinating participants, and if so whether this difference extends to identifying spatial context. We compared 36 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with visual hallucinations, 32 Parkinson's patients without hallucinations, and 36 age-matched controls, on a visual memory task where color and black and white pictures were presented at different locations. Participants had to recognize the pictures among distracters along with the location of the stimulus. Findings revealed clear differences in performance between the groups. Both PD groups had impaired recognition compared to the controls, but those with hallucinations were significantly more impaired on black and white than on color stimuli. In addition, the group with hallucinations was significantly impaired compared to the other two groups on spatial memory. We suggest that not only do PD patients have poorer recognition of pictorial stimuli than controls, those who present with visual hallucinations appear to be more heavily reliant on bottom up sensory input and impaired on spatial ability.

  15. Attentional stimulus selection through selective synchronization between monkey visual areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosman, C.A.; Schoffelen, J.M.; Brunet, N.; Oostenveld, R.; Bastos, A.M.; Womelsdorf, T.; Rubehn, B.; Stieglitz, T.; de Weerd, P.; Fries, P.

    2012-01-01

    A central motif in neuronal networks is convergence, linking several input neurons to one target neuron. In visual cortex, convergence renders target neurons responsive to complex stimuli. Yet, convergence typically sends multiple stimuli to a target, and the behaviorally relevant stimulus must be s

  16. Miniature Brain Decision Making in Complex Visual Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-07-18

    release; distribution unlimited. 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT The grantee investigated, using the honeybee (Apis mellifera ) as a model...successful for understanding face processing in both human adults and infants. Individual honeybees (Apis mellifera ) were trained with...for 30 bees (group 3) of the target stimuli. Bernard J, Stach S, Giurfa M (2007) Categorization of visual stimuli in the honeybee Apis mellifera

  17. Transient rheology of stimuli responsive hydrogels: Integrating microrheology and microfluidics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Jun

    Stimuli-responsive hydrogels have diverse potential applications in the field of drug delivery, tissue engineering, agriculture, cosmetics, gene therapy, and as sensors and actuators due to their unique responsiveness to external signals, such as pH, temperature, and ionic strength. Understanding the responsiveness of hydrogel structure and rheology to these stimuli is essential for designing materials with desirable performance. However, no instrumentation and well-defined methodology are available to characterize the structural and rheological responses to rapid solvent changes. In this thesis, a new microrheology set-up is described, which allows us to quantitatively measure the transient rheological properties and microstructure of a variety of solvent-responsive complex fluids. The device was constructed by integrating particle tracking microrheology and microfluidics and offers unique experimental capabilities for performing solvent-reponse measurements on soft fragile materials without applying external shear forces. Transient analysis methods to quantitatively obtain rheological properties were also constructed, and guidelines for the trade-off between statistical validity and temporal resolution were developed to accurately capture physical transitions. Employing the new device and methodology, we successfully quantified the transient rheological and microstructural responses during gel formation and break-up, and viscosity changes of solvent-responsive complex fluids. The analysis method was expanded for heterogeneous samples, incorporating methods to quantify the microrheology of samples with broad distributions of individual particle dynamics. Transient microrheology measurements of fragile, heterogeneous, self-assembled block copolypeptide hydrogels revealed that solvent exchange via convective mixing and dialysis can lead to significantly different gel properties and that commonly applied sample preparation protocols for the characterization of soft

  18. Bimodal audio-visual training enhances auditory adaptation process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawase, Tetsuaki; Sakamoto, Shuichi; Hori, Yoko; Maki, Atsuko; Suzuki, Yôiti; Kobayashi, Toshimitsu

    2009-09-23

    Effects of auditory training with bimodal audio-visual stimuli on monomodal aural speech intelligibility were examined in individuals with normal hearing using highly degraded noise-vocoded speech sound. Visual cue simultaneously presented with auditory stimuli during the training session significantly improved auditory speech intelligibility not only for words used in the training session, but also untrained words, when compared with the auditory training using only auditory stimuli. Visual information is generally considered to complement insufficient speech information conveyed by the auditory system during audio-visual speech perception. However, the present results showed another beneficial effect of audio-visual training that the visual cue enhances the auditory adaptation process to the degraded new speech sound, which is different from those given during bimodal training.

  19. Spatial decisions and cognitive strategies of monkeys and humans based on abstract spatial stimuli in rotation test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nekovarova, Tereza; Nedvidek, Jan; Klement, Daniel; Bures, Jan

    2009-09-08

    We showed previously that macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) could orient in real space using abstract visual stimuli presented on a computer screen. They made correct choices according to both spatial stimuli (designed as an abstract representation of a real space) and nonspatial stimuli (pictures lacking any inner configuration information). However, we suggested that there were differences in processing spatial and nonspatial stimuli. In the present experiment we show that monkeys could also use as a cue abstract spatial stimuli rotated with respect to the real response space. We studied the ability of monkeys to decode abstract spatial information provided in one spatial frame (computer screen) and to perform spatial choices in another spatial frame (touch panel separated from the screen). We analyzed how the monkeys were affected by the type of training, whether they perceived the stimuli as "spatial" or "nonspatial," and which cues they used to decode them. We compared humans to monkeys in a similar test to find out which cognitive strategy they used and whether they perceive spatial stimuli in the same way. We demonstrated that there were two possible strategies to solve the task, simple "fitting" ignoring rotations and "remapping," when the stimulus was represented as an "abstract space" per se.

  20. Aurally and visually guided visual search in a virtual environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, P; McAnally, K I; Martin, R L; Meehan, J W; Oldfield, S R

    1998-09-01

    We investigated the time participants took to perform a visual search task for targets outside the visual field of view using a helmet-mounted display. We also measured the effectiveness of visual and auditory cues to target location. The auditory stimuli used to cue location were noise bursts previously recorded from the ear canals of the participants and were either presented briefly at the beginning of a trial or continually updated to compensate for head movements. The visual cue was a dynamic arrow that indicated the direction and angular distance from the instantaneous head position to the target. Both visual and auditory spatial cues reduced search time dramatically, compared with unaided search. The updating audio cue was more effective than the transient audio cue and was as effective as the visual cue in reducing search time. These data show that both spatial auditory and visual cues can markedly improve visual search performance. Potential applications for this research include highly visual environments, such as aviation, where there is risk of overloading the visual modality with information.

  1. The Content of Imagined Sounds Changes Visual Motion Perception in the Cross-Bounce Illusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Christopher C.; Ehrsson, H. Henrik

    2017-01-01

    Can what we imagine hearing change what we see? Whether imagined sensory stimuli are integrated with external sensory stimuli to shape our perception of the world has only recently begun to come under scrutiny. Here, we made use of the cross-bounce illusion in which an auditory stimulus presented at the moment two passing objects meet promotes the perception that the objects bounce off rather than cross by one another to examine whether the content of imagined sound changes visual motion perception in a manner that is consistent with multisensory integration. The results from this study revealed that auditory imagery of a sound with acoustic properties typical of a collision (i.e., damped sound) promoted the bounce-percept, but auditory imagery of the same sound played backwards (i.e., ramped sound) did not. Moreover, the vividness of the participants’ auditory imagery predicted the strength of this imagery-induced illusion. In a separate experiment, we ruled out the possibility that changes in attention (i.e., sensitivity index d′) or response bias (response bias index c) were sufficient to explain this effect. Together, these findings suggest that this imagery-induced multisensory illusion reflects the successful integration of real and imagined cross-modal sensory stimuli, and more generally, that what we imagine hearing can change what we see. PMID:28071707

  2. Altered visual information processing systems in bipolar disorder: evidence from visual MMN and P3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshihiko eMaekawa

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Mismatch negativity (MMN and P3 are unique ERP components that provide objective indices of human cognitive functions such as short-term memory and prediction. Bipolar disorder (BD is an endogenous psychiatric disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and ability to function socially. BD patients usually show cognitive dysfunction, and the goal of this study was to access their altered visual information processing via visual MMN (vMMN and P3 using windmill pattern stimuli.Methods: Twenty patients with BD and 20 healthy controls matched for age, gender, and handedness participated in this study. Subjects were seated in front of a monitor and listened to a story via earphones. Two types of windmill patterns (standard and deviant and white circle (target stimuli were randomly presented on the monitor. All stimuli were presented in random order at 200-ms durations with an 800-ms inter-stimulus interval. Stimuli were presented at 80% (standard, 10% (deviant, and 10% (target probabilities. The participants were instructed to attend to the story and press a button as soon as possible when the target stimuli were presented. Event-related potentials were recorded throughout the experiment using 128-channel EEG equipment. vMMN was obtained by subtracting standard from deviant stimuli responses, and P3 was evoked from the target stimulus.Results: Mean reaction times for target stimuli in the BD group were significantly higher than those in the control group. Additionally, mean vMMN-amplitudes and peak P3-amplitudes were significantly lower in the BD group than in controls.Conclusions: Abnormal vMMN and P3 in patients indicate a deficit of visual information processing in bipolar disorder, which is consistent with their increased reaction time to visual target stimuli.Significance: Both bottom-up and top-down visual information processing are likely altered in BD.

  3. Novel mathematical neural models for visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Kang

    Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response...... for the visual attention theories and spiking neuron models for single spike trains. Statistical inference and model selection are performed and various numerical methods are explored. The designed methods also give a framework for neural coding under visual attention theories. We conduct both analysis on real...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations....

  4. Novel mathematical neural models for visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Kang

    Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response...... for the visual attention theories and spiking neuron models for single spike trains. Statistical inference and model selection are performed and various numerical methods are explored. The designed methods also give a framework for neural coding under visual attention theories. We conduct both analysis on real...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations....

  5. Visual Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Armstrong

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a common disorder of middle-aged and elderly people in which degeneration of the extrapyramidal motor system causes significant movement problems. In some patients, however, there are additional disturbances in sensory systems including loss of the sense of smell and auditory and/or visual problems. This paper is a general overview of the visual problems likely to be encountered in PD. Changes in vision in PD may result from alterations in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, colour discrimination, pupil reactivity, eye movements, motion perception, visual field sensitivity, and visual processing speeds. Slower visual processing speeds can also lead to a decline in visual perception especially for rapidly changing visual stimuli. In addition, there may be disturbances of visuospatial orientation, facial recognition problems, and chronic visual hallucinations. Some of the treatments used in PD may also have adverse ocular reactions. The pattern electroretinogram (PERG is useful in evaluating retinal dopamine mechanisms and in monitoring dopamine therapies in PD. If visual problems are present, they can have an important effect on the quality of life of the patient, which can be improved by accurate diagnosis and where possible, correction of such defects.

  6. Visual Analytics for Mobile Eye Tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurzhals, Kuno; Hlawatsch, Marcel; Seeger, Christof; Weiskopf, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    The analysis of eye tracking data often requires the annotation of areas of interest (AOIs) to derive semantic interpretations of human viewing behavior during experiments. This annotation is typically the most time-consuming step of the analysis process. Especially for data from wearable eye tracking glasses, every independently recorded video has to be annotated individually and corresponding AOIs between videos have to be identified. We provide a novel visual analytics approach to ease this annotation process by image-based, automatic clustering of eye tracking data integrated in an interactive labeling and analysis system. The annotation and analysis are tightly coupled by multiple linked views that allow for a direct interpretation of the labeled data in the context of the recorded video stimuli. The components of our analytics environment were developed with a user-centered design approach in close cooperation with an eye tracking expert. We demonstrate our approach with eye tracking data from a real experiment and compare it to an analysis of the data by manual annotation of dynamic AOIs. Furthermore, we conducted an expert user study with 6 external eye tracking researchers to collect feedback and identify analysis strategies they used while working with our application.

  7. Stimuli-Responsive Block Copolymer-Based Assemblies for Cargo Delivery and Theranostic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Yin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Although a number of tactics towards the fabrication and biomedical exploration of stimuli-responsive polymeric assemblies being responsive and adaptive to various factors have appeared, the controlled preparation of assemblies with well-defined physicochemical properties and tailor-made functions are still challenges. These responsive polymeric assemblies, which are triggered by stimuli, always exhibited reversible or irreversible changes in chemical structures and physical properties. However, simple drug/polymer nanocomplexes cannot deliver or release drugs into the diseased sites and cells on-demand due to the inevitable biological barriers. Hence, utilizing therapeutic or imaging agents-loaded stimuli-responsive block copolymer assemblies that are responsive to tumor internal microenvironments (pH, redox, enzyme, and temperature, etc. or external stimuli (light and electromagnetic field, etc. have emerged to be an important solution to improve therapeutic efficacy and imaging sensitivity through rationally designing as well as self-assembling approaches. In this review, we summarize a portion of recent progress in tumor and intracellular microenvironment responsive block copolymer assemblies and their applications in anticancer drug delivery and triggered release and enhanced imaging sensitivity. The outlook on future developments is also discussed. We hope that this review can stimulate more revolutionary ideas and novel concepts and meet the significant interest to diverse readers.

  8. Promoting the use of personally relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Fabien; Castro, Maïté; Tillmann, Barbara; Luauté, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC) following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally relevant stimuli (i.e., with emotional, autobiographical, or self-related characteristics) are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music’s capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness. PMID:26284020

  9. Bacillus spores as building blocks for stimuli-responsive materials and nanogenerators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahin, Ozgur; Chen, Xi

    2014-03-01

    Materials that mechanically respond to external chemical stimuli have applications in a wide range of fields. Inspired by biological systems, stimuli-responsive materials that can oscillate, transport fluid, mimic homeostasis, and undergo complex changes in shape have been previously demonstrated. However, the effectiveness of synthetic stimuli-responsive materials in generating work is limited when compared to mechanical actuators. During studies of bacterial sporulation, we have found that the mechanical response of Bacillus spores to water gradients exhibits an energy density of more than 10 MJ/m3, which is two orders of magnitude higher than synthetic water-responsive materials. We also identified mutations that can approximately double the energy density of the spores, and found that spores can self-assemble into dense, submicron-thick monolayers on substrates such as silicon microcantilevers and elastomer sheets, creating self-assembled actuators that can remotely generate electrical power from an evaporating body of water. The energy conversion mechanism of Bacillus spores may facilitate synthetic stimuli-responsive materials with significantly higher energy densities. We acknowledge support from the U.S. Dept. of Energy Early Career Research Program, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the Rowland Institute at Harvard.

  10. In situ cross-linking of stimuli-responsive hemicellulose microgels during spray drying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Weifeng; Nugroho, Robertus Wahyu N; Odelius, Karin; Edlund, Ulrica; Zhao, Changsheng; Albertsson, Ann-Christine

    2015-02-25

    Chemical cross-linking during spray drying offers the potential for green fabrication of microgels with a rapid stimuli response and good blood compatibility and provides a platform for stimuli-responsive hemicellulose microgels (SRHMGs). The cross-linking reaction occurs rapidly in situ at elevated temperature during spray drying, enabling the production of microgels in a large scale within a few minutes. The SRHMGs with an average size range of ∼ 1-4 μm contain O-acetyl-galactoglucomannan as a matrix and poly(acrylic acid), aniline pentamer (AP), and iron as functional additives, which are responsive to external changes in pH, electrochemical stimuli, magnetic field, or dual-stimuli. The surface morphologies, chemical compositions, charge, pH, and mechanical properties of these smart microgels were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, IR, zeta potential measurements, pH evaluation, and quantitative nanomechanical mapping, respectively. Different oxidation states were observed when AP was introduced, as confirmed by UV spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. Systematic blood compatibility evaluations revealed that the SRHMGs have good blood compatibility. This bottom-up strategy to synthesize SRHMGs enables a new route to the production of smart microgels for biomedical applications.

  11. Hierarchical photonic structured stimuli-responsive materials as high-performance colorimetric sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Tao; Zhu, Shenmin; Chen, Zhixin; Wang, Wanlin; Zhang, Wang; Zhang, Di

    2016-05-21

    Hierarchical photonic structures in nature are of special interest because they can be used as templates for fabrication of stimuli-responsive photonic crystals (PCs) with unique structures beyond man-made synthesis. The current stimuli-responsive PCs templated directly from natural PCs showed a very weak external stimuli response and poor durability due to the limitations of natural templates. Herein, we tackle this problem by chemically coating functional polymers, polyacrylamide, on butterfly wing scales which have hierarchical photonic structures. As a result of the combination of the strong water absorption properties of the polyacrylamide and the PC structures of the butterfly wing scales, the designed materials demonstrated excellent humidity responsive properties and a tremendous colour change. The colour change is induced by the refractive index change which is in turn due to the swollen nature of the polymer when the relative humidity changes. The butterfly wing scales also showed an excellent durability which is due to the chemical bonds formed between the polymer and wing scales. The synthesis strategy provides an avenue for the promising applications of stimuli-responsive PCs with hierarchical structures.