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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. Instructed fear stimuli bias visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deltomme, Berre; Mertens, G.; Tibboel, Helen; Braem, Senne

    We investigated whether stimuli merely instructed to be fear-relevant can bias visual attention, even when the fear relation was never experienced before. Participants performed a dot-probe task with pictures of naturally fear-relevant (snake or spider) or -irrelevant (bird or butterfly) 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. External stimuli response on a novel chitosan hydrogel crosslinked ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  5. Afferent activity to necklace glomeruli is dependent on external stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munger Steven D

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The main olfactory epithelium (MOE is a complex organ containing several functionally distinct subpopulations of sensory neurons. One such subpopulation is distinguished by its expression of the guanylyl cyclase GC-D. The axons of GC-D-expressing (GC-D+ neurons innervate 9–15 "necklace" glomeruli encircling the caudal main olfactory bulb (MOB. Chemosensory stimuli for GC-D+ neurons include two natriuretic peptides, uroguanylin and guanylin, and CO2. However, the biologically-relevant source of these chemostimuli is unclear: uroguanylin is both excreted in urine, a rich source of olfactory stimuli for rodents, and expressed in human nasal epithelium; CO2 is present in both inspired and expired air. Findings To determine whether the principal source of chemostimuli for GC-D+ neurons is external or internal to the nose, we assessed the consequences of removing external chemostimuli for afferent activity to the necklace glomeruli. To do so, we performed unilateral naris occlusions in Gucy2d-Mapt-lacZ +/- mice [which express a β-galactosidase (β-gal reporter specifically in GC-D+ neurons] followed by immunohistochemistry for β-gal and a glomerular marker of afferent activity, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH. We observed a dramatic decrease in TH immunostaining, consistent with reduced or absent afferent activity, in both necklace and non-necklace glomeruli ipsilateral to the occluded naris. Conclusion Like other MOB glomeruli, necklace glomeruli exhibit a large decrease in afferent activity upon removal of external stimuli. Thus, we conclude that activity in GC-D+ neurons, which specifically innervate necklace glomeruli, is not dependent on internal stimuli. Instead, GC-D+ neurons, like other OSNs in the MOE, primarily sense the external world.

  6. Haptic and Audio-visual Stimuli: Enhancing Experiences and Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijholt, Antinus; Dijk, Esko O.; Lemmens, Paul M.C.; Luitjens, S.B.

    2010-01-01

    The intention of the symposium on Haptic and Audio-visual stimuli at the EuroHaptics 2010 conference is to deepen the understanding of the effect of combined Haptic and Audio-visual stimuli. The knowledge gained will be used to enhance experiences and interactions in daily life. To this end, a

  7. 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.

  8. Multisensory stimuli improve relative localisation judgments compared to unisensory auditory or visual stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Bizley, Jennifer; Wood, Katherine; Freeman, Laura

    2018-01-01

    Observers performed a relative localisation task in which they reported whether the second of two sequentially presented signals occurred to the left or right of the first. Stimuli were detectability-matched auditory, visual, or auditory-visual signals and the goal was to compare changes in performance with eccentricity across modalities. Visual performance was superior to auditory at the midline, but inferior in the periphery, while auditory-visual performance exceeded both at all locations....

  9. Heightened attentional capture by visual food stimuli in Anorexia Nervosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neimeijer, Renate A.M.; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J.

    The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent

  10. Effects of Auditory Stimuli on Visual Velocity Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiaki Shibata

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the effects of auditory stimuli on the perceived velocity of a moving visual stimulus. Previous studies have reported that the duration of visual events is perceived as being longer for events filled with auditory stimuli than for events not filled with auditory stimuli, ie, the so-called “filled-duration illusion.” In this study, we have shown that auditory stimuli also affect the perceived velocity of a moving visual stimulus. In Experiment 1, a moving comparison stimulus (4.2∼5.8 deg/s was presented together with filled (or unfilled white-noise bursts or with no sound. The standard stimulus was a moving visual stimulus (5 deg/s presented before or after the comparison stimulus. The participants had to judge which stimulus was moving faster. The results showed that the perceived velocity in the auditory-filled condition was lower than that in the auditory-unfilled and no-sound conditions. In Experiment 2, we investigated the effects of auditory stimuli on velocity adaptation. The results showed that the effects of velocity adaptation in the auditory-filled condition were weaker than those in the no-sound condition. These results indicate that auditory stimuli tend to decrease the perceived velocity of a moving visual stimulus.

  11. Effect of Size Change and Brightness Change of Visual Stimuli on Loudness Perception and Pitch Perception of Auditory Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syouya Tanabe

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available People obtain a lot of information from visual and auditory sensation on daily life. Regarding the effect of visual stimuli on perception of auditory stimuli, studies of phonological perception and sound localization have been made in great numbers. This study examined the effect of visual stimuli on perception in loudness and pitch of auditory stimuli. We used the image of figures whose size or brightness was changed as visual stimuli, and the sound of pure tone whose loudness or pitch was changed as auditory stimuli. Those visual and auditory stimuli were combined independently to make four types of audio-visual multisensory stimuli for psychophysical experiments. In the experiments, participants judged change in loudness or pitch of auditory stimuli, while they judged the direction of size change or the kind of a presented figure in visual stimuli. Therefore they cannot neglect visual stimuli while they judged auditory stimuli. As a result, perception in loudness and pitch were promoted significantly around their difference limen, when the image was getting bigger or brighter, compared with the case in which the image had no changes. This indicates that perception in loudness and pitch were affected by change in size and brightness of visual stimuli.

  12. 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)

  13. Visual and cross-modal cues increase the identification of overlapping visual stimuli in Balint's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Imperio, Daniela; Scandola, Michele; Gobbetto, Valeria; Bulgarelli, Cristina; Salgarello, Matteo; Avesani, Renato; Moro, Valentina

    2017-10-01

    Cross-modal interactions improve the processing of external stimuli, particularly when an isolated sensory modality is impaired. When information from different modalities is integrated, object recognition is facilitated probably as a result of bottom-up and top-down processes. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential effects of cross-modal stimulation in a case of simultanagnosia. We report a detailed analysis of clinical symptoms and an 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) brain positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) study of a patient affected by Balint's syndrome, a rare and invasive visual-spatial disorder following bilateral parieto-occipital lesions. An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of visual and nonvisual cues on performance in tasks involving the recognition of overlapping pictures. Four modalities of sensory cues were used: visual, tactile, olfactory, and auditory. Data from neuropsychological tests showed the presence of ocular apraxia, optic ataxia, and simultanagnosia. The results of the experiment indicate a positive effect of the cues on the recognition of overlapping pictures, not only in the identification of the congruent valid-cued stimulus (target) but also in the identification of the other, noncued stimuli. All the sensory modalities analyzed (except the auditory stimulus) were efficacious in terms of increasing visual recognition. Cross-modal integration improved the patient's ability to recognize overlapping figures. However, while in the visual unimodal modality both bottom-up (priming, familiarity effect, disengagement of attention) and top-down processes (mental representation and short-term memory, the endogenous orientation of attention) are involved, in the cross-modal integration it is semantic representations that mainly activate visual recognition processes. These results are potentially useful for the design of rehabilitation training for attentional and visual-perceptual deficits.

  14. Endogenous sequential cortical activity evoked by visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Reid, Luis; Miller, Jae-Eun Kang; Hamm, Jordan P; Jackson, Jesse; Yuste, Rafael

    2015-06-10

    Although the functional properties of individual neurons in primary visual cortex have been studied intensely, little is known about how neuronal groups could encode changing visual stimuli using temporal activity patterns. To explore this, we used in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of neuronal populations in primary visual cortex of awake mice in the presence and absence of visual stimulation. Multidimensional analysis of the network activity allowed us to identify neuronal ensembles defined as groups of cells firing in synchrony. These synchronous groups of neurons were themselves activated in sequential temporal patterns, which repeated at much higher proportions than chance and were triggered by specific visual stimuli such as natural visual scenes. Interestingly, sequential patterns were also present in recordings of spontaneous activity without any sensory stimulation and were accompanied by precise firing sequences at the single-cell level. Moreover, intrinsic dynamics could be used to predict the occurrence of future neuronal ensembles. Our data demonstrate that visual stimuli recruit similar sequential patterns to the ones observed spontaneously, consistent with the hypothesis that already existing Hebbian cell assemblies firing in predefined temporal sequences could be the microcircuit substrate that encodes visual percepts changing in time. Copyright © 2015 Carrillo-Reid et al.

  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. 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. Awar...

  17. Effects of Temporal Congruity Between Auditory and Visual Stimuli Using Rapid Audio-Visual Serial Presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Xingwei; Tang, Jiabei; Liu, Shuang; He, Feng; Qi, Hongzhi; Wan, Baikun; Ming, Dong

    2016-10-01

    Combining visual and auditory stimuli in event-related potential (ERP)-based spellers gained more attention in recent years. Few of these studies notice the difference of ERP components and system efficiency caused by the shifting of visual and auditory onset. Here, we aim to study the effect of temporal congruity of auditory and visual stimuli onset on bimodal brain-computer interface (BCI) speller. We designed five visual and auditory combined paradigms with different visual-to-auditory delays (-33 to +100 ms). Eleven participants attended in this study. ERPs were acquired and aligned according to visual and auditory stimuli onset, respectively. ERPs of Fz, Cz, and PO7 channels were studied through the statistical analysis of different conditions both from visual-aligned ERPs and audio-aligned ERPs. Based on the visual-aligned ERPs, classification accuracy was also analyzed to seek the effects of visual-to-auditory delays. The latencies of ERP components depended mainly on the visual stimuli onset. Auditory stimuli onsets influenced mainly on early component accuracies, whereas visual stimuli onset determined later component accuracies. The latter, however, played a dominate role in overall classification. This study is important for further studies to achieve better explanations and ultimately determine the way to optimize the bimodal BCI application.

  18. Heightened attentional capture by visual food stimuli in anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neimeijer, Renate A M; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J

    2017-08-01

    The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent generation of craving, which might enable AN patients to maintain their strict diet. Participants were 66 restrictive AN spectrum patients and 55 healthy controls. A single-target rapid serial visual presentation task was used with food and disorder-neutral cues as critical distracter stimuli and disorder-neutral pictures as target stimuli. AN spectrum patients showed diminished task performance when visual food cues were presented in close temporal proximity of the to-be-identified target. In contrast to our hypothesis, results indicate that food cues automatically capture AN spectrum patients' attention. One explanation could be that the enhanced attentional capture of food cues in AN is driven by the relatively high threat value of food items in AN. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Positive mood broadens visual attention to positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M

    2006-03-01

    In an attempt to investigate the impact of positive emotions on visual attention within the context of Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build model, eye tracking was used in two studies to measure visual attentional preferences of college students (n=58, n=26) to emotional pictures. Half of each sample experienced induced positive mood immediately before viewing slides of three similarly-valenced images, in varying central-peripheral arrays. Attentional breadth was determined by measuring the percentage viewing time to peripheral images as well as by the number of visual saccades participants made per slide. Consistent with Fredrickson's theory, the first study showed that individuals induced into positive mood fixated more on peripheral stimuli than did control participants; however, this only held true for highly-valenced positive stimuli. Participants under induced positive mood also made more frequent saccades for slides of neutral and positive valence. A second study showed that these effects were not simply due to differences in emotional arousal between stimuli. Selective attentional broadening to positive stimuli may act both to facilitate later building of resources as well as to maintain current positive affective states.

  20. Comparisons of memory for nonverbal auditory and visual sequential stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, D J; Cacace, A T

    1995-01-01

    Properties of auditory and visual sensory memory were compared by examining subjects' recognition performance of randomly generated binary auditory sequential frequency patterns and binary visual sequential color patterns within a forced-choice paradigm. Experiment 1 demonstrated serial-position effects in auditory and visual modalities consisting of both primacy and recency effects. Experiment 2 found that retention of auditory and visual information was remarkably similar when assessed across a 10s interval. Experiments 3 and 4, taken together, showed that the recency effect in sensory memory is affected more by the type of response required (recognition vs. reproduction) than by the sensory modality employed. These studies suggest that auditory and visual sensory memory stores for nonverbal stimuli share similar properties with respect to serial-position effects and persistence over time.

  1. Dynamic Stimuli And Active Processing In Human Visual Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haber, Ralph N.

    1990-03-01

    Theories of visual perception traditionally have considered a static retinal image to be the starting point for processing; and has considered processing both to be passive and a literal translation of that frozen, two dimensional, pictorial image. This paper considers five problem areas in the analysis of human visually guided locomotion, in which the traditional approach is contrasted to newer ones that utilize dynamic definitions of stimulation, and an active perceiver: (1) differentiation between object motion and self motion, and among the various kinds of self motion (e.g., eyes only, head only, whole body, and their combinations); (2) the sources and contents of visual information that guide movement; (3) the acquisition and performance of perceptual motor skills; (4) the nature of spatial representations, percepts, and the perceived layout of space; and (5) and why the retinal image is a poor starting point for perceptual processing. These newer approaches argue that stimuli must be considered as dynamic: humans process the systematic changes in patterned light when objects move and when they themselves move. Furthermore, the processing of visual stimuli must be active and interactive, so that perceivers can construct panoramic and stable percepts from an interaction of stimulus information and expectancies of what is contained in the visual environment. These developments all suggest a very different approach to the computational analyses of object location and identification, and of the visual guidance of locomotion.

  2. Brain response to visual sexual stimuli in homosexual pedophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, Boris; Krueger, Tillmann; Paul, Thomas; de Greiff, Armin; Forsting, Michael; Leygraf, Norbert; Schedlowski, Manfred; Gizewski, Elke

    2008-01-01

    The neurobiological mechanisms of deviant sexual preferences such as pedophilia are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to analyze whether brain activation patterns of homosexual pedophiles differed from those of a nonpedophile homosexual control group during visual sexual stimulation. A consecutive sample of 11 pedophile forensic inpatients exclusively attracted to boys and 12 age-matched homosexual control participants from a comparable socioeconomic stratum underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a visual sexual stimulation procedure that used sexually stimulating and emotionally neutral photographs. Sexual arousal was assessed according to a subjective rating scale. In contrast to sexually neutral pictures, in both groups sexually arousing pictures having both homosexual and pedophile content activated brain areas known to be involved in processing visual stimuli containing emotional content, including the occipitotemporal and prefrontal cortices. However, during presentation of the respective sexual stimuli, the thalamus, globus pallidus and striatum, which correspond to the key areas of the brain involved in sexual arousal and behaviour, showed significant activation in pedophiles, but not in control subjects. Central processing of visual sexual stimuli in homosexual pedophiles seems to be comparable to that in nonpedophile control subjects. However, compared with homosexual control subjects, activation patterns in pedophiles refer more strongly to subcortical regions, which have previously been discussed in the context of processing reward signals and also play an important role in addictive and stimulus-controlled behaviour. Thus future studies should further elucidate the specificity of these brain regions for the processing of sexual stimuli in pedophilia and should address the generally weaker activation pattern in homosexual men.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klink, P.C.; van Wezel, R.J.A.; 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. 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

  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. Visual laterality in dolphins: importance of the familiarity of stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. Results We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously) to familiar objects (known but never manipulated) to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously). At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Conclusion Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their fission-fusion social system

  7. Visual laterality in dolphins: importance of the familiarity of stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blois-Heulin Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. Results We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously to familiar objects (known but never manipulated to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously. At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Conclusion Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their

  8. 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).

  9. 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...

  10. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neimeijer, Renate A M; de Jong, Peter J; Roefs, Anne

    2013-05-01

    Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require less attentional resources to enter awareness. Once a food stimulus has captured attention, it may be preferentially processed and granted prioritized access to limited cognitive resources. This might help explain why restrained eaters often fail in their attempts to restrict their food intake. A Rapid Serial Visual Presentation task consisting of dual and single target trials with food and neutral pictures as targets and/or distractors was administered to restrained (n=40) and unrestrained (n=40) eaters to study temporal attentional bias. Results indicated that (1) food cues did not diminish the attentional blink in restrained eaters when presented as second target; (2) specifically restrained eaters showed an interference effect of identifying food targets on the identification of preceding neutral targets; (3) for both restrained and unrestrained eaters, food cues enhanced the attentional blink; (4) specifically in restrained eaters, food distractors elicited an attention blink in the single target trials. In restrained eaters, food cues get prioritized access to limited cognitive resources, even if this processing priority interferes with their current goals. This temporal attentional bias for food stimuli might help explain why restrained eaters typically have difficulties maintaining their diet rules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of hypnagogic imagery on the event-related potential to external tone stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michida, Nanae; Hayashi, Mitsuo; Hori, Tadao

    2005-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of hypnagogic imagery on the information processes of external tone stimuli during the sleep onset period with the use of event-related potentials. Event-related potentials to tone stimuli were compared between conditions with and without the experience of hypnagogic imagery. To control the arousal level when the tone was presented, a certain criterion named the electroencephalogram stage was used. Stimuli were presented at electroencephalogram stage 4, which was characterized by the appearance of a vertex sharp wave. Data were collected in the sleep laboratory at Hiroshima University. Eleven healthy university and graduate school students participated in the study. N/A. Experiments were performed at night. Reaction times to tone stimuli were measured, and only trials with shorter reaction times than 5000 milliseconds were analyzed. Electroencephalograms were recorded from Fz, Cz, Pz, Oz, T5 and T6. There were no differences in reaction times and electroencephalogram spectra between the conditions of with and without hypnagogic imagery. These results indicated that the arousal levels were not different between the 2 conditions. On the other hand, the N550 amplitude of the event-related potentials in the imagery condition was lower than in the no-imagery condition. The decrease in the N550 amplitude in the imagery condition showed that experiences of hypnagogic imagery exert some influence on the information processes of external tone stimuli. It is possible that the processing of hypnagogic imagery interferes with the processing of external stimuli, lowering the sensitivity to external stimuli.

  12. Perceived duration of visual and tactile stimuli depends on perceived speed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice eTomassini

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available It is known that the perceived duration of visual stimuli is strongly influenced by speed: faster moving stimuli appear to last longer. To test whether this is a general property of sensory systems we asked participants to reproduce the duration of visual and tactile gratings, and visuo-tactile gratings moving at a variable speed (3.5 – 15 cm/s for three different durations (400, 600 and 800 ms. For both modalities, the apparent duration of the stimulus increased strongly with stimulus speed, more so for tactile than for visual stimuli. In addition, visual stimuli were perceived to last approximately 200 ms longer than tactile stimuli. The apparent duration of visuo-tactile stimuli lay between the unimodal estimates, as the Bayesian account predicts, but the bimodal precision of the reproduction did not show the theoretical improvement. A cross-modal speed-matching task revealed that visual stimuli were perceived to move faster than tactile stimuli. To test whether the large difference in the perceived duration of visual and tactile stimuli resulted from the difference in their perceived speed, we repeated the time reproduction task with visual and tactile stimuli matched in apparent speed. This reduced, but did not completely eliminate the difference in apparent duration. These results show that for both vision and touch, perceived duration depends on speed, pointing to common strategies of time perception.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    This study analyses visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice experiments across three different choice stimuli presentation formats. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments are found to be strongly affected by stimuli presentation format. These results...

  14. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Brain reactivity to visual food stimuli after moderate-intensity exercise in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, Travis D; Kirwan, C Brock; Davidson, Lance E; Larson, Michael J; Keller, Kathleen L; Fearnbach, S Nicole; Evans, Alyssa; LeCheminant, James D

    2017-09-19

    Exercise may play a role in moderating eating behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an acute bout of exercise on neural responses to visual food stimuli in children ages 8-11 years. We hypothesized that acute exercise would result in reduced activity in reward areas of the brain. Using a randomized cross-over design, 26 healthy weight children completed two separate laboratory conditions (exercise; sedentary). During the exercise condition, each participant completed a 30-min bout of exercise at moderate-intensity (~ 67% HR maximum) on a motor-driven treadmill. During the sedentary session, participants sat continuously for 30 min. Neural responses to high- and low-calorie pictures of food were determined immediately following each condition using functional magnetic resonance imaging. There was a significant exercise condition*stimulus-type (high- vs. low-calorie pictures) interaction in the left hippocampus and right medial temporal lobe (p visual food stimuli differently following an acute bout of exercise compared to a non-exercise sedentary session in 8-11 year-old children. Specifically, an acute bout of exercise results in greater activation to high-calorie and reduced activation to low-calorie pictures of food in both the left hippocampus and right medial temporal lobe. This study shows that response to external food cues can be altered by exercise and understanding this mechanism will inform the development of future interventions aimed at altering energy intake in children.

  16. The Effects of Task Demand and External Stimuli on Learner's Stress Perception and Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Lim, Yee Mei; Ayesh, Aladdin, 1972-; Stacey, Martin; Tan, Li Peng

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, research in e-learning has begun to take emotions into account, which is also known as affective learning. It advocates an education system that is sentient of learner's cognitive and affective states, as learners' performance could be affected by emotional factors. This exploratory research examines the impacts of task demand and external stimuli on learner's stress perception and job performance. Experiments are conducted on 160 undergraduate students from a higher le...

  17. Visual and auditory stimuli associated with swallowing. An fMRI study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawai, Takeshi; Watanabe, Yutaka; Tonogi, Morio; Yamane, Gen-yuki; Abe, Shinichi; Yamada, Yoshiaki; Callan, Akiko

    2009-01-01

    We focused on brain areas activated by audiovisual stimuli related to swallowing motions. In this study, three kinds of stimuli related to human swallowing movement (auditory stimuli alone, visual stimuli alone, or audiovisual stimuli) were presented to the subjects, and activated brain areas were measured using functional MRI (fMRI) and analyzed. When auditory stimuli alone were presented, the supplementary motor area was activated. When visual stimuli alone were presented, the premotor and primary motor areas of the left and right hemispheres and prefrontal area of the left hemisphere were activated. When audiovisual stimuli were presented, the prefrontal and premotor areas of the left and right hemispheres were activated. Activation of Broca's area, which would have been characteristic of mirror neuron system activation on presentation of motion images, was not observed; however, activation of brain areas related to swallowing motion programming and performance was verified for auditory, visual and audiovisual stimuli related to swallowing motion. These results suggest that audiovisual stimuli related to swallowing motion could be applied to the treatment of patients with dysphagia. (author)

  18. Effects of inter- and intramodal selective attention to non-spatial visual stimuli: An event-related potential analysis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Ruiter, M.B.; Kok, A.; van der Schoot, M.

    1998-01-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded to trains of rapidly presented auditory and visual stimuli. ERPs in conditions in which Ss attended to different features of visual stimuli were compared with ERPs to the same type of stimuli when Ss attended to different features of auditory stimuli,

  19. Suppressed visual looming stimuli are not integrated with auditory looming signals: Evidence from continuous flash suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moors, Pieter; Huygelier, Hanne; Wagemans, Johan; de-Wit, Lee; van Ee, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies using binocular rivalry have shown that signals in a modality other than the visual can bias dominance durations depending on their congruency with the rivaling stimuli. More recently, studies using continuous flash suppression (CFS) have reported that multisensory integration influences how long visual stimuli remain suppressed. In this study, using CFS, we examined whether the contrast thresholds for detecting visual looming stimuli are influenced by a congruent auditory stimulus. In Experiment 1, we show that a looming visual stimulus can result in lower detection thresholds compared to a static concentric grating, but that auditory tone pips congruent with the looming stimulus did not lower suppression thresholds any further. In Experiments 2, 3, and 4, we again observed no advantage for congruent multisensory stimuli. These results add to our understanding of the conditions under which multisensory integration is possible, and suggest that certain forms of multisensory integration are not evident when the visual stimulus is suppressed from awareness using CFS.

  20. Distraction by deviance: comparing the effects of auditory and visual deviant stimuli on auditory and visual target processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiva, Alicia; Parmentier, Fabrice B R; Andrés, Pilar

    2015-01-01

    We report the results of oddball experiments in which an irrelevant stimulus (standard, deviant) was presented before a target stimulus and the modality of these stimuli was manipulated orthogonally (visual/auditory). Experiment 1 showed that auditory deviants yielded distraction irrespective of the target's modality while visual deviants did not impact on performance. When participants were forced to attend the distractors in order to detect a rare target ("target-distractor"), auditory deviants yielded distraction irrespective of the target's modality and visual deviants yielded a small distraction effect when targets were auditory (Experiments 2 & 3). Visual deviants only produced distraction for visual targets when deviant stimuli were not visually distinct from the other distractors (Experiment 4). Our results indicate that while auditory deviants yield distraction irrespective of the targets' modality, visual deviants only do so when attended and under selective conditions, at least when irrelevant and target stimuli are temporally and perceptually decoupled.

  1. Visual fatigue while watching 3D stimuli from different positions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Antonio Aznar-Casanova

    2017-07-01

    Conclusion: This results support a mixed model, combining a model based on the visual angle (related to viewing distance and another based on the oculomotor imbalance (related to visual direction. This mixed model could help to predict the distribution of seats in the cinema room ranging from those that produce greater visual comfort to those that produce more visual discomfort. Also could be a first step to pre-diagnosis of binocular vision disorders.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neimeijer, Renate A. M.; de Jong, Peter J.; Roefs, Anne

    2013-01-01

    Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require

  5. Music influences ratings of the affect of visual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hanser, W.E.; Mark, R.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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Spatiotemporal Relationships among Audiovisual Stimuli Modulate Auditory Facilitation of Visual Target Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Yang, Huamin; Sun, Fang; Wu, Jinglong

    2015-03-01

    Sensory information is multimodal; through audiovisual interaction, task-irrelevant auditory stimuli tend to speed response times and increase visual perception accuracy. However, mechanisms underlying these performance enhancements have remained unclear. We hypothesize that task-irrelevant auditory stimuli might provide reliable temporal and spatial cues for visual target discrimination and behavioral response enhancement. Using signal detection theory, the present study investigated the effects of spatiotemporal relationships on auditory facilitation of visual target discrimination. Three experiments were conducted where an auditory stimulus maintained reliable temporal and/or spatial relationships with visual target stimuli. Results showed that perception sensitivity (d') to visual target stimuli was enhanced only when a task-irrelevant auditory stimulus maintained reliable spatiotemporal relationships with a visual target stimulus. When only reliable spatial or temporal information was contained, perception sensitivity was not enhanced. These results suggest that reliable spatiotemporal relationships between visual and auditory signals are required for audiovisual integration during a visual discrimination task, most likely due to a spread of attention. These results also indicate that auditory facilitation of visual target discrimination follows from late-stage cognitive processes rather than early stage sensory processes. © 2015 SAGE Publications.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Visual Stimuli Induce Waves of Electrical Activity in Turtle Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prechtl, J. C.; Cohen, L. B.; Pesaran, B.; Mitra, P. P.; Kleinfeld, D.

    1997-07-01

    The computations involved in the processing of a visual scene invariably involve the interactions among neurons throughout all of visual cortex. One hypothesis is that the timing of neuronal activity, as well as the amplitude of activity, provides a means to encode features of objects. The experimental data from studies on cat [Gray, C. M., Konig, P., Engel, A. K. & Singer, W. (1989) Nature (London) 338, 334-337] support a view in which only synchronous (no phase lags) activity carries information about the visual scene. In contrast, theoretical studies suggest, on the one hand, the utility of multiple phases within a population of neurons as a means to encode independent visual features and, on the other hand, the likely existence of timing differences solely on the basis of network dynamics. Here we use widefield imaging in conjunction with voltage-sensitive dyes to record electrical activity from the virtually intact, unanesthetized turtle brain. Our data consist of single-trial measurements. We analyze our data in the frequency domain to isolate coherent events that lie in different frequency bands. Low frequency oscillations (scale differences in neuronal timing are present and persistent during visual processing.

  12. 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.

  13. Modification of sudden onset auditory ERP by involuntary attention to visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oray, Serkan; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dawson, Michael E

    2002-03-01

    To investigate the cross-modal nature of the exogenous attention system, we studied how involuntary attention in the visual modality affects ERPs elicited by sudden onset of events in the auditory modality. Relatively loud auditory white noise bursts were presented to subjects with random and long inter-trial intervals. The noise bursts were either presented alone, or paired with a visual stimulus with a visual to auditory onset asynchrony of 120 ms. In a third condition, the visual stimuli were shown alone. All three conditions, auditory alone, visual alone, and paired visual/auditory, were randomly inter-mixed and presented with equal probabilities. Subjects were instructed to fixate on a point in front of them without task instructions concerning either the auditory or visual stimuli. ERPs were recorded from 28 scalp sites throughout every experimental session. Compared to ERPs in the auditory alone condition, pairing the auditory noise bursts with the visual stimulus reduced the amplitude of the auditory N100 component at Cz by 40% and the auditory P200/P300 component at Cz by 25%. No significant topographical change was observed in the scalp distributions of the N100 and P200/P300. Our results suggest that involuntary attention to visual stimuli suppresses early sensory (N100) as well as late cognitive (P200/P300) processing of sudden auditory events. The activation of the exogenous attention system by sudden auditory onset can be modified by involuntary visual attention in a cross-model, passive prepulse inhibition paradigm.

  14. Opposite Distortions in Interval Timing Perception for Visual and Auditory Stimuli with Temporal Modulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuasa, Kenichi; Yotsumoto, Yuko

    2015-01-01

    When an object is presented visually and moves or flickers, the perception of its duration tends to be overestimated. Such an overestimation is called time dilation. Perceived time can also be distorted when a stimulus is presented aurally as an auditory flutter, but the mechanisms and their relationship to visual processing remains unclear. In the present study, we measured interval timing perception while modulating the temporal characteristics of visual and auditory stimuli, and investigated whether the interval times of visually and aurally presented objects shared a common mechanism. In these experiments, participants compared the durations of flickering or fluttering stimuli to standard stimuli, which were presented continuously. Perceived durations for auditory flutters were underestimated, while perceived durations of visual flickers were overestimated. When auditory flutters and visual flickers were presented simultaneously, these distortion effects were cancelled out. When auditory flutters were presented with a constantly presented visual stimulus, the interval timing perception of the visual stimulus was affected by the auditory flutters. These results indicate that interval timing perception is governed by independent mechanisms for visual and auditory processing, and that there are some interactions between the two processing systems.

  15. Gender differences in pre-attentive change detection for visual but not auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiuxian; Yu, Yunmiao; Chen, Lu; Sun, Hailian; Qiao, Zhengxue; Qiu, Xiaohui; Zhang, Congpei; Wang, Lin; Zhu, Xiongzhao; He, Jincai; Zhao, Lun; Yang, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Despite ongoing debate about gender differences in pre-attention processes, little is known about gender effects on change detection for auditory and visual stimuli. We explored gender differences in change detection while processing duration information in auditory and visual modalities. We investigated pre-attentive processing of duration information using a deviant-standard reverse oddball paradigm (50 ms/150 ms) for auditory and visual mismatch negativity (aMMN and vMMN) in males and females (n=21/group). In the auditory modality, decrement and increment aMMN were observed at 150-250 ms after the stimulus onset, and there was no significant gender effect on MMN amplitudes in temporal or fronto-central areas. In contrast, in the visual modality, only increment vMMN was observed at 180-260 ms after the onset of stimulus, and it was higher in males than in females. No gender effect was found in change detection for auditory stimuli, but change detection was facilitated for visual stimuli in males. Gender effects should be considered in clinical studies of pre-attention for visual stimuli. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark eLaing

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 use 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 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 auditory-visual integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies.

  17. Flory-type theories of polymer chains under different external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budkov, Yu A.; Kiselev, M. G.

    2018-01-01

    In this Review, we present a critical analysis of various applications of the Flory-type theories to a theoretical description of the conformational behavior of single polymer chains in dilute polymer solutions under a few external stimuli. Different theoretical models of flexible polymer chains in the supercritical fluid are discussed and analysed. Different points of view on the conformational behavior of the polymer chain near the liquid-gas transition critical point of the solvent are presented. A theoretical description of the co-solvent-induced coil-globule transitions within the implicit-solvent-explicit-co-solvent models is discussed. Several explicit-solvent-explicit-co-solvent theoretical models of the coil-to-globule-to-coil transition of the polymer chain in a mixture of good solvents (co-nonsolvency) are analysed and compared with each other. Finally, a new theoretical model of the conformational behavior of the dielectric polymer chain under the external constant electric field in the dilute polymer solution with an explicit account for the many-body dipole correlations is discussed. The polymer chain collapse induced by many-body dipole correlations of monomers in the context of statistical thermodynamics of dielectric polymers is analysed.

  18. Sensory Symptoms and Processing of Nonverbal Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Claire R.; Sanchez, Sandra S.; Grenesko, Emily L.; Brown, Christine M.; Chen, Colleen P.; Keehn, Brandon; Velasquez, Francisco; Lincoln, Alan J.; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2016-01-01

    Atypical sensory responses are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While evidence suggests impaired auditory-visual integration for verbal information, findings for nonverbal stimuli are inconsistent. We tested for sensory symptoms in children with ASD (using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile) and examined unisensory and bisensory…

  19. Fusion and rivalry are dependent on the perceptual meaning of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Timothy J; Lotto, R Beau

    2004-03-09

    We view the world with two eyes and yet are typically only aware of a single, coherent image. Arguably the simplest explanation for this is that the visual system unites the two monocular stimuli into a common stream that eventually leads to a single coherent sensation. However, this notion is inconsistent with the well-known phenomenon of rivalry; when physically different stimuli project to the same retinal location, the ensuing perception alternates between the two monocular views in space and time. Although fundamental for understanding the principles of binocular vision and visual awareness, the mechanisms under-lying binocular rivalry remain controversial. Specifically, there is uncertainty about what determines whether monocular images undergo fusion or rivalry. By taking advantage of the perceptual phenomenon of color contrast, we show that physically identical monocular stimuli tend to rival-not fuse-when they signify different objects at the same location in visual space. Conversely, when physically different monocular stimuli are likely to represent the same object at the same location in space, fusion is more likely to result. The data suggest that what competes for visual awareness in the two eyes is not the physical similarity between images but the similarity in their perceptual/empirical meaning.

  20. Motivationally Significant Stimuli Show Visual Prior Entry: Evidence for Attentional Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Greg L.; Anderson, Adam A. K.; Pratt, Jay

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies that have found attentional capture effects for stimuli of motivational significance do not directly measure initial attentional deployment, leaving it unclear to what extent these items produce attentional capture. Visual prior entry, as measured by temporal order judgments (TOJs), rests on the premise that allocated attention…

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of External Stimuli on Microstructure-Property Relationship at the Nanoscale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Baoming

    The technical contribution of this research is a unique nanofabricated experimental setup that integrates nanoscale specimens with tools for interrogating mechanical (stress-strain, fracture, and fatigue), thermal and electrical (conductivity) properties as function of external stimuli such as strain, temperature, electrical field and radiation. It addresses the shortcomings of the state of the art characterization techniques, which are yet to perform such simultaneous and multi-domain measurements. Our technique has virtually no restriction on specimen material type and thickness, which makes the setup versatile. It is demonstrated with 100 nm thick nickel, aluminum, zirconium; 25 nm thick molybdenum di-sulphide (MoS2), 10 nm hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) specimens and 100nm carbon nanofiber, all in freestanding thin film form. The technique is compatible with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In-situ TEM captures microstructural features, (defects, phases, precipitates and interfaces), diffraction patterns and chemical microanalysis in real time. 'Seeing the microstructure while measuring properties' is our unique capability. It helps identifying fundamental mechanisms behind thermo-electro-mechanical coupling and degradation, so that these mechanisms can be used to (i) explain the results obtained for mesoscale specimens of the same materials and experimental conditions and (ii) develop computational models to explain and predict properties at both nano and meso scales. The uniqueness of this contribution is therefore simultaneously quantitative and qualitative probing of length-scale dependent external stimuli effects on microstructures and physical properties of nanoscale materials. The scientific contribution of this research is the experimental validation of the fundamental hypothesis that, if the nanoscale size can cause significant deviation in a certain domain, e.g., mechanical, it can also make that domain more sensitive to external stimuli when

  3. Toward a reliable gaze-independent hybrid BCI combining visual and natural auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Sara; Pires, Gabriel; Nunes, Urbano

    2016-03-01

    Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) are one of the last communication options for patients in the locked-in state (LIS). For complete LIS patients, interfaces must be gaze-independent due to their eye impairment. However, unimodal gaze-independent approaches typically present levels of performance substantially lower than gaze-dependent approaches. The combination of multimodal stimuli has been pointed as a viable way to increase users' performance. A hybrid visual and auditory (HVA) P300-based BCI combining simultaneously visual and auditory stimulation is proposed. Auditory stimuli are based on natural meaningful spoken words, increasing stimuli discrimination and decreasing user's mental effort in associating stimuli to the symbols. The visual part of the interface is covertly controlled ensuring gaze-independency. Four conditions were experimentally tested by 10 healthy participants: visual overt (VO), visual covert (VC), auditory (AU) and covert HVA. Average online accuracy for the hybrid approach was 85.3%, which is more than 32% over VC and AU approaches. Questionnaires' results indicate that the HVA approach was the less demanding gaze-independent interface. Interestingly, the P300 grand average for HVA approach coincides with an almost perfect sum of P300 evoked separately by VC and AU tasks. The proposed HVA-BCI is the first solution simultaneously embedding natural spoken words and visual words to provide a communication lexicon. Online accuracy and task demand of the approach compare favorably with state-of-the-art. The proposed approach shows that the simultaneous combination of visual covert control and auditory modalities can effectively improve the performance of gaze-independent BCIs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. [WMN: a negative ERPs component related to working memory during non-target visual stimuli processing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lun; Wei, Jin-he

    2003-10-01

    To study non-target stimuli processing in the brain. Features of the event-related potentials (ERPs) from non-target stimuli during selective response task (SR) was compared with that during visual selective discrimination (DR) task in 26 normal subjects. The stimuli consisted of two color LED flashes (red and green) appeared randomly in left (LVF) or right (RVF) visual field with same probability. ERPs were derived at 9 electrode sites on the scalp under 2 task conditions: a) SR, making switch response to the target (NT) stimuli from LVF or RVF in one direction and making no response to the non-target (NT) ones; b) DR, making switching response to T stimuli differentially, i.e., to the left for T from LVF and to the right for T from RVF. 1) the non-target stimuli in DR conditions, compared with that in SR condition, elicited smaller P2 and P3 components and larger N2 component at the frontal brain areas; 2) a significant negative component, named as WMN (working memory negativity), appeared in the non-target ERPs during DR in the period of 100 to 700 ms post stimulation which was predominant at the frontal brain areas. According to the major difference between brain activities for non-target stimuli during SR and DR, the predominant appearance of WMN at the frontal brain areas demonstrated that the non-target stimulus processing was an active process and was related to working memory, i.e., the temporary elimination and the retrieval of the response mode which was stored in working memory.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Marini

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 150ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages.

  11. Seeing music: The perception of melodic 'ups and downs' modulates the spatial processing of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Rivas, Carlos; Vera-Constán, Fátima; Rodríguez-Cuadrado, Sara; Puigcerver, Laura; Fernández-Prieto, Irune; Navarra, Jordi

    2018-05-10

    Musical melodies have "peaks" and "valleys". Although the vertical component of pitch and music is well-known, the mechanisms underlying its mental representation still remain elusive. We show evidence regarding the importance of previous experience with melodies for crossmodal interactions to emerge. The impact of these crossmodal interactions on other perceptual and attentional processes was also studied. Melodies including two tones with different frequency (e.g., E4 and D3) were repeatedly presented during the study. These melodies could either generate strong predictions (e.g., E4-D3-E4-D3-E4-[D3]) or not (e.g., E4-D3-E4-E4-D3-[?]). After the presentation of each melody, the participants had to judge the colour of a visual stimulus that appeared in a position that was, according to the traditional vertical connotations of pitch, either congruent (e.g., high-low-high-low-[up]), incongruent (high-low-high-low-[down]) or unpredicted with respect to the melody. Behavioural and electroencephalographic responses to the visual stimuli were obtained. Congruent visual stimuli elicited faster responses at the end of the experiment than at the beginning. Additionally, incongruent visual stimuli that broke the spatial prediction generated by the melody elicited larger P3b amplitudes (reflecting 'surprise' responses). Our results suggest that the passive (but repeated) exposure to melodies elicits spatial predictions that modulate the processing of other sensory events. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Metabolic response to optic centers to visual stimuli in the albino rat: anatomical and physiological considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toga, A.W.; Collins, R.C.

    1981-01-01

    The functional organization of the visual system was studied in the albino rat. Metabolic differences were measured using the 14 C-2-deoxyglucose (DG) autoradiographic technique during visual stimulation of one entire retina in unrestrained animals. All optic centers responded to changes in light intensity but to different degrees. The greatest change occurred in the superior colliculus, less in the lateral geniculate, and considerably less in second-order sites such as layer IV of visual cortex. These optic centers responded in particular to on/off stimuli, but showed no incremental change during pattern reversal or movement of orientation stimuli. Both the superior colliculus and lateral geniculate increased their metabolic rate as the frequency of stimulation increased, but the magnitude was twice as great in the colliculus. The histological pattern of metabolic change in the visual system was not homogenous. In the superior colliculus glucose utilization increased only in stratum griseum superficiale and was greatest in visuotopic regions representing the peripheral portions of the visual field. Similarly, in the lateral geniculate, only the dorsal nucleus showed an increased response to greater stimulus frequencies. Second-order regions of the visual system showed changes in metabolism in response to visual stimulation, but no incremental response specific for type or frequency of stimuli. To label proteins of axoplasmic transport to study the terminal fields of retinal projections 14 C-amino acids were used. This was done to study how the differences in the magnitude of the metabolic response among optic centers were related to the relative quantity of retinofugal projections to these centers

  13. Learning efficient visual search for stimuli containing diagnostic spatial configurations and color-shape conjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reavis, Eric A; Frank, Sebastian M; Tse, Peter U

    2018-04-12

    Visual search is often slow and difficult for complex stimuli such as feature conjunctions. Search efficiency, however, can improve with training. Search for stimuli that can be identified by the spatial configuration of two elements (e.g., the relative position of two colored shapes) improves dramatically within a few hundred trials of practice. Several recent imaging studies have identified neural correlates of this learning, but it remains unclear what stimulus properties participants learn to use to search efficiently. Influential models, such as reverse hierarchy theory, propose two major possibilities: learning to use information contained in low-level image statistics (e.g., single features at particular retinotopic locations) or in high-level characteristics (e.g., feature conjunctions) of the task-relevant stimuli. In a series of experiments, we tested these two hypotheses, which make different predictions about the effect of various stimulus manipulations after training. We find relatively small effects of manipulating low-level properties of the stimuli (e.g., changing their retinotopic location) and some conjunctive properties (e.g., color-position), whereas the effects of manipulating other conjunctive properties (e.g., color-shape) are larger. Overall, the findings suggest conjunction learning involving such stimuli might be an emergent phenomenon that reflects multiple different learning processes, each of which capitalizes on different types of information contained in the stimuli. We also show that both targets and distractors are learned, and that reversing learned target and distractor identities impairs performance. This suggests that participants do not merely learn to discriminate target and distractor stimuli, they also learn stimulus identity mappings that contribute to performance improvements.

  14. An fMRI investigation into the effect of preceding stimuli during visual oddball tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajkus, Jiří; Mikl, Michal; Shaw, Daniel Joel; Brázdil, Milan

    2015-08-15

    This study investigates the modulatory effect of stimulus sequence on neural responses to novel stimuli. A group of 34 healthy volunteers underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a three-stimulus visual oddball task, involving randomly presented frequent stimuli and two types of infrequent stimuli - targets and distractors. We developed a modified categorization of rare stimuli that incorporated the type of preceding rare stimulus, and analyzed the event-related functional data according to this sequence categorization; specifically, we explored hemodynamic response modulation associated with increasing rare-to-rare stimulus interval. For two consecutive targets, a modulation of brain function was evident throughout posterior midline and lateral temporal cortex, while responses to targets preceded by distractors were modulated in a widely distributed fronto-parietal system. As for distractors that follow targets, brain function was modulated throughout a set of posterior brain structures. For two successive distractors, however, no significant modulation was observed, which is consistent with previous studies and our primary hypothesis. The addition of the aforementioned technique extends the possibilities of conventional oddball task analysis, enabling researchers to explore the effects of the whole range of rare stimuli intervals. This methodology can be applied to study a wide range of associated cognitive mechanisms, such as decision making, expectancy and attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Neurochemical responses to chromatic and achromatic stimuli in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednařík, Petr; Tkáč, Ivan; Giove, Federico; Eberly, Lynn E; Deelchand, Dinesh K; Barreto, Felipe R; Mangia, Silvia

    2018-02-01

    In the present study, we aimed at determining the metabolic responses of the human visual cortex during the presentation of chromatic and achromatic stimuli, known to preferentially activate two separate clusters of neuronal populations (called "blobs" and "interblobs") with distinct sensitivity to color or luminance features. Since blobs and interblobs have different cytochrome-oxidase (COX) content and micro-vascularization level (i.e., different capacities for glucose oxidation), different functional metabolic responses during chromatic vs. achromatic stimuli may be expected. The stimuli were optimized to evoke a similar load of neuronal activation as measured by the bold oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast. Metabolic responses were assessed using functional 1 H MRS at 7 T in 12 subjects. During both chromatic and achromatic stimuli, we observed the typical increases in glutamate and lactate concentration, and decreases in aspartate and glucose concentration, that are indicative of increased glucose oxidation. However, within the detection sensitivity limits, we did not observe any difference between metabolic responses elicited by chromatic and achromatic stimuli. We conclude that the higher energy demands of activated blobs and interblobs are supported by similar increases in oxidative metabolism despite the different capacities of these neuronal populations.

  16. 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.

  17. Association of Concurrent fNIRS and EEG Signatures in Response to Auditory and Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ling-Chia; Sandmann, Pascale; Thorne, Jeremy D; Herrmann, Christoph S; Debener, Stefan

    2015-09-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been proven reliable for investigation of low-level visual processing in both infants and adults. Similar investigation of fundamental auditory processes with fNIRS, however, remains only partially complete. Here we employed a systematic three-level validation approach to investigate whether fNIRS could capture fundamental aspects of bottom-up acoustic processing. We performed a simultaneous fNIRS-EEG experiment with visual and auditory stimulation in 24 participants, which allowed the relationship between changes in neural activity and hemoglobin concentrations to be studied. In the first level, the fNIRS results showed a clear distinction between visual and auditory sensory modalities. Specifically, the results demonstrated area specificity, that is, maximal fNIRS responses in visual and auditory areas for the visual and auditory stimuli respectively, and stimulus selectivity, whereby the visual and auditory areas responded mainly toward their respective stimuli. In the second level, a stimulus-dependent modulation of the fNIRS signal was observed in the visual area, as well as a loudness modulation in the auditory area. Finally in the last level, we observed significant correlations between simultaneously-recorded visual evoked potentials and deoxygenated hemoglobin (DeoxyHb) concentration, and between late auditory evoked potentials and oxygenated hemoglobin (OxyHb) concentration. In sum, these results suggest good sensitivity of fNIRS to low-level sensory processing in both the visual and the auditory domain, and provide further evidence of the neurovascular coupling between hemoglobin concentration changes and non-invasive brain electrical activity.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Stress Induction and Visual Working Memory Performance: The Effects of Emotional and Non-Emotional Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Khayyer

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Some studies have shown working memory impairment following stressful situations. Also, researchers have found that working memory performance depends on many different factors such as emotional load of stimuli and gender. Objectives The present study aimed to determine the effects of stress induction on visual working memory (VWM performance among female and male university students. Methods This quasi-experimental research employed a posttest with only control group design (within-group study. A total of 62 university students (32 males and 30 females were randomly selected and allocated to experimental and control groups (mean age of 23.73. Using cold presser test (CPT, stress was induced and then, an n-back task was implemented to evaluate visual working memory function (such as the number of true items, time reactions, and the number of wrong items through emotional and non-emotional pictures. 100 pictures were selected from the international affective picture system (IASP with different valences. Results Results showed that stress impaired different visual working memory functions (P < 0.002 for true scores, P < 0.001 for reaction time, and P < 0.002 for wrong items. Conclusions In general, stress significantly decreases the VWM performances. On the one hand, females were strongly impressed by stress more than males and on the other hand, the VWM performance was better for emotional stimuli than non-emotional stimuli.

  3. 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.

  4. Prey capture behaviour evoked by simple visual stimuli in larval zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaac Henry Bianco

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how the nervous system recognises salient stimuli in the environ- ment and selects and executes the appropriate behavioural responses is a fundamen- tal question in systems neuroscience. To facilitate the neuroethological study of visually-guided behaviour in larval zebrafish, we developed virtual reality assays in which precisely controlled visual cues can be presented to larvae whilst their behaviour is automatically monitored using machine-vision algorithms. Freely swimming larvae responded to moving stimuli in a size-dependent manner: they directed multiple low amplitude orienting turns (∼ 20◦ towards small moving spots (1◦ but reacted to larger spots (10◦ with high-amplitude aversive turns (∼ 60◦. The tracking of small spots led us to examine how larvae respond to prey during hunting routines. By analysing movie sequences of larvae hunting parame- cia, we discovered that all prey capture routines commence with eye convergence and larvae maintain their eyes in a highly converged position for the duration of the prey-tracking and capture swim phases. We adapted our virtual reality assay to deliver artificial visual cues to partially restrained larvae and found that small moving spots evoked convergent eye movements and J-turns of the tail, which are defining features of natural hunting. We propose that eye convergence represents the engagement of a predatory mode of behaviour in larval fish and serves to increase the region of binocular visual space to enable stereoscopic targeting of prey.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; 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

  8. 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

  9. Colour and luminance contrasts predict the human detection of natural stimuli in complex visual environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas E; Rojas, Bibiana; Mappes, Johanna; Rautiala, Petri; Kemp, Darrell J

    2017-09-01

    Much of what we know about human colour perception has come from psychophysical studies conducted in tightly-controlled laboratory settings. An enduring challenge, however, lies in extrapolating this knowledge to the noisy conditions that characterize our actual visual experience. Here we combine statistical models of visual perception with empirical data to explore how chromatic (hue/saturation) and achromatic (luminant) information underpins the detection and classification of stimuli in a complex forest environment. The data best support a simple linear model of stimulus detection as an additive function of both luminance and saturation contrast. The strength of each predictor is modest yet consistent across gross variation in viewing conditions, which accords with expectation based upon general primate psychophysics. Our findings implicate simple visual cues in the guidance of perception amidst natural noise, and highlight the potential for informing human vision via a fusion between psychophysical modelling and real-world behaviour. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. The Influence of Visual Cues on Sound Externalization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    while listeners wore both earplugs and blindfolds. Half of the listeners were then blindfolded during testing but were provided auditory awareness of the room via a controlled noise source (condition A). The other half could see the room but were shielded from room-related acoustic input and tested......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.......Methods: Eighteen naïve listeners rated the externalization of virtual stimuli in terms of perceived distance, azimuthal localization, and compactness in three rooms: 1) a standard IEC listening room, 2) a small reverberant room, and 3) a large dry room. Before testing, individual BRIRs were recorded in room 1...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Dynamical responses to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization in a complex neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2017-10-01

    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 ) makes a destructive effect on inhibitory non-stimulated FS interneurons (i.e., it breaks up original inhibitory synchronization in the non-stimulated sub-population). As results of these different effects of S ( t ), the type and degree of dynamical response (e.g., synchronization enhancement or suppression), characterized by the dynamical response factor [Formula: see text] (given by the ratio of synchronization degree in the presence and absence of stimulus), are found to vary in a distinctly different way, depending on the synaptic-coupling type. Furthermore, we also measure the matching degree between the dynamics of the two sub-populations of stimulated and non-stimulated neurons in terms of a "cross-correlation" measure [Formula: see text]. With increasing A , based on [Formula: see text], we discuss the cross-correlations between the two sub-populations, affecting the dynamical responses to S ( t ).

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoo, Ic Ryung; Ahn, Kook Jin; Lee, Jae Mun; Kim, Tae

    1999-01-01

    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

  17. Visual attention and emotional reactions to negative stimuli: The role of age and cognitive reappraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Maria; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Kunzmann, Ute

    2017-09-01

    Prominent life span theories of emotion propose that older adults attend less to negative emotional information and report less negative emotional reactions to the same information than younger adults do. Although parallel age differences in affective information processing and age differences in emotional reactivity have been proposed, they have rarely been investigated within the same study. In this eye-tracking study, we tested age differences in visual attention and emotional reactivity, using standardized emotionally negative stimuli. Additionally, we investigated age differences in the association between visual attention and emotional reactivity, and whether these are moderated by cognitive reappraisal. Older as compared with younger adults showed fixation patterns away from negative image content, while they reacted with greater negative emotions. The association between visual attention and emotional reactivity differed by age group and positive reappraisal. Younger adults felt better when they attended more to negative content rather than less, but this relationship only held for younger adults who did not attach a positive meaning to the negative situation. For older adults, overall, there was no significant association between visual attention and emotional reactivity. However, for older adults who did not use positive reappraisal, decreases in attention to negative information were associated with less negative emotions. The present findings point to a complex relationship between younger and older adults' visual attention and emotional reactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Recognition of visual stimuli and memory for spatial context in schizophrenic patients and healthy volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brébion, Gildas; David, Anthony S; Pilowsky, Lyn S; Jones, Hugh

    2004-11-01

    Verbal and visual recognition tasks were administered to 40 patients with schizophrenia and 40 healthy comparison subjects. The verbal recognition task consisted of discriminating between 16 target words and 16 new words. The visual recognition task consisted of discriminating between 16 target pictures (8 black-and-white and 8 color) and 16 new pictures (8 black-and-white and 8 color). Visual recognition was followed by a spatial context discrimination task in which subjects were required to remember the spatial location of the target pictures at encoding. Results showed that recognition deficit in patients was similar for verbal and visual material. In both schizophrenic and healthy groups, men, but not women, obtained better recognition scores for the colored than for the black-and-white pictures. However, men and women similarly benefited from color to reduce spatial context discrimination errors. Patients showed a significant deficit in remembering the spatial location of the pictures, independently of accuracy in remembering the pictures themselves. These data suggest that patients are impaired in the amount of visual information that they can encode. With regards to the perceptual attributes of the stimuli, memory for spatial information appears to be affected, but not processing of color information.

  19. Resting-state functional connectivity remains unaffected by preceding exposure to aversive visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geissmann, Léonie; Gschwind, Leo; Schicktanz, Nathalie; Deuring, Gunnar; Rosburg, Timm; Schwegler, Kyrill; Gerhards, Christiane; Milnik, Annette; Pflueger, Marlon O; Mager, Ralph; de Quervain, Dominique J F; Coynel, David

    2018-02-15

    While much is known about immediate brain activity changes induced by the confrontation with emotional stimuli, the subsequent temporal unfolding of emotions has yet to be explored. To investigate whether exposure to emotionally aversive pictures affects subsequent resting-state networks differently from exposure to neutral pictures, a resting-state fMRI study implementing a two-group repeated-measures design in healthy young adults (N = 34) was conducted. We focused on investigating (i) patterns of amygdala whole-brain and hippocampus connectivity in both a seed-to-voxel and seed-to-seed approach, (ii) whole-brain resting-state networks with an independent component analysis coupled with dual regression, and (iii) the amygdala's fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations, all while EEG recording potential fluctuations in vigilance. In spite of the successful emotion induction, as demonstrated by stimuli rating and a memory-facilitating effect of negative emotionality, none of the resting-state measures was differentially affected by picture valence. In conclusion, resting-state networks connectivity as well as the amygdala's low frequency oscillations appear to be unaffected by preceding exposure to widely used emotionally aversive visual stimuli in healthy young adults. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Heart rate reactivity associated to positive and negative food and non-food visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuoppa, Pekka; Tarvainen, Mika P; Karhunen, Leila; Narvainen, Johanna

    2016-08-01

    Using food as a stimuli is known to cause multiple psychophysiological reactions. Heart rate variability (HRV) is common tool for assessing physiological reactions in autonomic nervous system. However, the findings in HRV related to food stimuli have not been consistent. In this paper the quick changes in HRV related to positive and negative food and non-food visual stimuli are investigated. Electrocardiogram (ECG) was measured from 18 healthy females while being stimulated with the pictures. Subjects also filled Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire to determine their eating behavior. The inter-beat-interval time series and the HRV parameters were extracted from the ECG. The quick change in HRV parameters were studied by calculating the change from baseline value (10 s window before stimulus) to value after the onset of the stimulus (10 s window during stimulus). The paired t-test showed significant difference between positive and negative food pictures but not between positive and negative non-food pictures. All the HRV parameters decreased for positive food pictures while they stayed the same or increased a little for negative food pictures. The eating behavior characteristic cognitive restraint was negatively correlated with HRV parameters that describe decreasing of heart rate.

  1. 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.

  2. Numerosity estimation in visual stimuli in the absence of luminance-based cues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kramer

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Numerosity estimation is a basic preverbal ability that humans share with many animal species and that is believed to be foundational of numeracy skills. It is notoriously difficult, however, to establish whether numerosity estimation is based on numerosity itself, or on one or more non-numerical cues like-in visual stimuli-spatial extent and density. Frequently, different non-numerical cues are held constant on different trials. This strategy, however, still allows numerosity estimation to be based on a combination of non-numerical cues rather than on any particular one by itself.Here we introduce a novel method, based on second-order (contrast-based visual motion, to create stimuli that exclude all first-order (luminance-based cues to numerosity. We show that numerosities can be estimated almost as well in second-order motion as in first-order motion.The results show that numerosity estimation need not be based on first-order spatial filtering, first-order density perception, or any other processing of luminance-based cues to numerosity. Our method can be used as an effective tool to control non-numerical variables in studies of numerosity estimation.

  3. Brain processing of visual sexual stimuli in healthy men: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouras, Harold; Stoléru, Serge; Bittoun, Jacques; Glutron, Dominique; Pélégrini-Issac, Mélanie; Paradis, Anne-Lise; Burnod, Yves

    2003-10-01

    The brain plays a central role in sexual motivation. To identify cerebral areas whose activation was correlated with sexual desire, eight healthy male volunteers were studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Visual stimuli were sexually stimulating photographs (S condition) and emotionally neutral photographs (N condition). Subjective responses pertaining to sexual desire were recorded after each condition. To image the entire brain, separate runs focused on the upper and the lower parts of the brain. Statistical Parametric Mapping was used for data analysis. Subjective ratings confirmed that sexual pictures effectively induced sexual arousal. In the S condition compared to the N condition, a group analysis conducted on the upper part of the brain demonstrated an increased signal in the parietal lobes (superior parietal lobules, left intraparietal sulcus, left inferior parietal lobule, and right postcentral gyrus), the right parietooccipital sulcus, the left superior occipital gyrus, and the precentral gyri. In addition, a decreased signal was recorded in the right posterior cingulate gyrus and the left precuneus. In individual analyses conducted on the lower part of the brain, an increased signal was found in the right and/or left middle occipital gyrus in seven subjects, and in the right and/or left fusiform gyrus in six subjects. In conclusion, fMRI allows to identify brain responses to visual sexual stimuli. Among activated regions in the S condition, parietal areas are known to be involved in attentional processes directed toward motivationally relevant stimuli, while frontal premotor areas have been implicated in motor preparation and motor imagery. Further work is needed to identify those specific features of the neural responses that distinguish sexual desire from other emotional and motivational states.

  4. Repetition Enhancement of Amygdala and Visual Cortex Functional Connectivity Reflects Nonconscious Memory for Negative Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kark, Sarah M; Slotnick, Scott D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2016-12-01

    Most studies using a recognition memory paradigm examine the neural processes that support the ability to consciously recognize past events. However, there can also be nonconscious influences from the prior study episode that reflect repetition suppression effects-a reduction in the magnitude of activity for repeated presentations of stimuli-that are revealed by comparing neural activity associated with forgotten items to correctly rejected novel items. The present fMRI study examined the effect of emotional valence (positive vs. negative) on repetition suppression effects. Using a standard recognition memory task, 24 participants viewed line drawings of previously studied negative, positive, and neutral photos intermixed with novel line drawings. For each item, participants made an old-new recognition judgment and a sure-unsure confidence rating. Collapsed across valence, repetition suppression effects were found in ventral occipital-temporal cortex and frontal regions. Activity levels in the majority of these regions were not modulated by valence. However, repetition enhancement of the amygdala and ventral occipital-temporal cortex functional connectivity reflected nonconscious memory for negative items. In this study, valence had little effect on activation patterns but had a larger effect on functional connectivity patterns that were markers of nonconscious memory. Beyond memory and emotion, these findings are relevant to other cognitive and social neuroscientists that utilize fMRI repetition effects to investigate perception, attention, social cognition, and other forms of learning and memory.

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. (paper)

  7. 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.

  8. Visual sensitivity for luminance and chromatic stimuli during the execution of smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements.

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    Braun, Doris I; Schütz, Alexander C; Gegenfurtner, Karl R

    2017-07-01

    Visual sensitivity is dynamically modulated by eye movements. During saccadic eye movements, sensitivity is reduced selectively for low-spatial frequency luminance stimuli and largely unaffected for high-spatial frequency luminance and chromatic stimuli (Nature 371 (1994), 511-513). During smooth pursuit eye movements, sensitivity for low-spatial frequency luminance stimuli is moderately reduced while sensitivity for chromatic and high-spatial frequency luminance stimuli is even increased (Nature Neuroscience, 11 (2008), 1211-1216). Since these effects are at least partly of different polarity, we investigated the combined effects of saccades and smooth pursuit on visual sensitivity. For the time course of chromatic sensitivity, we found that detection rates increased slightly around pursuit onset. During saccades to static and moving targets, detection rates dropped briefly before the saccade and reached a minimum at saccade onset. This reduction of chromatic sensitivity was present whenever a saccade was executed and it was not modified by subsequent pursuit. We also measured contrast sensitivity for flashed high- and low-spatial frequency luminance and chromatic stimuli during saccades and pursuit. During saccades, the reduction of contrast sensitivity was strongest for low-spatial frequency luminance stimuli (about 90%). However, a significant reduction was also present for chromatic stimuli (about 58%). Chromatic sensitivity was increased during smooth pursuit (about 12%). These results suggest that the modulation of visual sensitivity during saccades and smooth pursuit is more complex than previously assumed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The Effect of Visual Stimuli on Stability and Complexity of Postural Control

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    Haizhen Luo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Visual input could benefit balance control or increase postural sway, and it is far from fully understanding the effect of visual stimuli on postural stability and its underlying mechanism. In this study, the effect of different visual inputs on stability and complexity of postural control was examined by analyzing the mean velocity (MV, SD, and fuzzy approximate entropy (fApEn of the center of pressure (COP signal during quiet upright standing. We designed five visual exposure conditions: eyes-closed, eyes-open (EO, and three virtual reality (VR scenes (VR1–VR3. The VR scenes were a limited field view of an optokinetic drum rotating around yaw (VR1, pitch (VR2, and roll (VR3 axes, respectively. Sixteen healthy subjects were involved in the experiment, and their COP trajectories were assessed from the force plate data. MV, SD, and fApEn of the COP in anterior–posterior (AP, medial–lateral (ML directions were calculated. Two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures was conducted to test the statistical significance. We found that all the three parameters obtained the lowest values in the EO condition, and highest in the VR3 condition. We also found that the active neuromuscular intervention, indicated by fApEn, in response to changing the visual exposure conditions were more adaptive in AP direction, and the stability, indicated by SD, in ML direction reflected the changes of visual scenes. MV was found to capture both instability and active neuromuscular control dynamics. It seemed that the three parameters provided compensatory information about the postural control in the immersive virtual environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21496239

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

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    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.

  12. The processing of auditory and visual recognition of self-stimuli.

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    Hughes, Susan M; Nicholson, Shevon E

    2010-12-01

    This study examined self-recognition processing in both the auditory and visual modalities by determining how comparable hearing a recording of one's own voice was to seeing photograph of one's own face. We also investigated whether the simultaneous presentation of auditory and visual self-stimuli would either facilitate or inhibit self-identification. Ninety-one participants completed reaction-time tasks of self-recognition when presented with their own faces, own voices, and combinations of the two. Reaction time and errors made when responding with both the right and left hand were recorded to determine if there were lateralization effects on these tasks. Our findings showed that visual self-recognition for facial photographs appears to be superior to auditory self-recognition for voice recordings. Furthermore, a combined presentation of one's own face and voice appeared to inhibit rather than facilitate self-recognition and there was a left-hand advantage for reaction time on the combined-presentation tasks. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Cortical response tracking the conscious experience of threshold duration visual stimuli indicates visual perception is all or none

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    Sekar, Krithiga; Findley, William M.; Poeppel, David; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2013-01-01

    At perceptual threshold, some stimuli are available for conscious access whereas others are not. Such threshold inputs are useful tools for investigating the events that separate conscious awareness from unconscious stimulus processing. Here, viewing unmasked, threshold-duration images was combined with recording magnetoencephalography to quantify differences among perceptual states, ranging from no awareness to ambiguity to robust perception. A four-choice scale was used to assess awareness: “didn’t see” (no awareness), “couldn’t identify” (awareness without identification), “unsure” (awareness with low certainty identification), and “sure” (awareness with high certainty identification). Stimulus-evoked neuromagnetic signals were grouped according to behavioral response choices. Three main cortical responses were elicited. The earliest response, peaking at ∼100 ms after stimulus presentation, showed no significant correlation with stimulus perception. A late response (∼290 ms) showed moderate correlation with stimulus awareness but could not adequately differentiate conscious access from its absence. By contrast, an intermediate response peaking at ∼240 ms was observed only for trials in which stimuli were consciously detected. That this signal was similar for all conditions in which awareness was reported is consistent with the hypothesis that conscious visual access is relatively sharply demarcated. PMID:23509248

  14. Effects of visual working memory on brain information processing of irrelevant auditory stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiagui Qu

    Full Text Available Selective attention has traditionally been viewed as a sensory processing modulator that promotes cognitive processing efficiency by favoring relevant stimuli while inhibiting irrelevant stimuli. However, the cross-modal processing of irrelevant information during working memory (WM has been rarely investigated. In this study, the modulation of irrelevant auditory information by the brain during a visual WM task was investigated. The N100 auditory evoked potential (N100-AEP following an auditory click was used to evaluate the selective attention to auditory stimulus during WM processing and at rest. N100-AEP amplitudes were found to be significantly affected in the left-prefrontal, mid-prefrontal, right-prefrontal, left-frontal, and mid-frontal regions while performing a high WM load task. In contrast, no significant differences were found between N100-AEP amplitudes in WM states and rest states under a low WM load task in all recorded brain regions. Furthermore, no differences were found between the time latencies of N100-AEP troughs in WM states and rest states while performing either the high or low WM load task. These findings suggested that the prefrontal cortex (PFC may integrate information from different sensory channels to protect perceptual integrity during cognitive processing.

  15. Effects of visual working memory on brain information processing of irrelevant auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Jiagui; Rizak, Joshua D; Zhao, Lun; Li, Minghong; Ma, Yuanye

    2014-01-01

    Selective attention has traditionally been viewed as a sensory processing modulator that promotes cognitive processing efficiency by favoring relevant stimuli while inhibiting irrelevant stimuli. However, the cross-modal processing of irrelevant information during working memory (WM) has been rarely investigated. In this study, the modulation of irrelevant auditory information by the brain during a visual WM task was investigated. The N100 auditory evoked potential (N100-AEP) following an auditory click was used to evaluate the selective attention to auditory stimulus during WM processing and at rest. N100-AEP amplitudes were found to be significantly affected in the left-prefrontal, mid-prefrontal, right-prefrontal, left-frontal, and mid-frontal regions while performing a high WM load task. In contrast, no significant differences were found between N100-AEP amplitudes in WM states and rest states under a low WM load task in all recorded brain regions. Furthermore, no differences were found between the time latencies of N100-AEP troughs in WM states and rest states while performing either the high or low WM load task. These findings suggested that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) may integrate information from different sensory channels to protect perceptual integrity during cognitive processing.

  16. A crossmodal crossover: opposite effects of visual and auditory perceptual load on steady-state evoked potentials to irrelevant visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacoby, Oscar; Hall, Sarah E; Mattingley, Jason B

    2012-07-16

    Mechanisms of attention are required to prioritise goal-relevant sensory events under conditions of stimulus competition. According to the perceptual load model of attention, the extent to which task-irrelevant inputs are processed is determined by the relative demands of discriminating the target: the more perceptually demanding the target task, the less unattended stimuli will be processed. Although much evidence supports the perceptual load model for competing stimuli within a single sensory modality, the effects of perceptual load in one modality on distractor processing in another is less clear. Here we used steady-state evoked potentials (SSEPs) to measure neural responses to irrelevant visual checkerboard stimuli while participants performed either a visual or auditory task that varied in perceptual load. Consistent with perceptual load theory, increasing visual task load suppressed SSEPs to the ignored visual checkerboards. In contrast, increasing auditory task load enhanced SSEPs to the ignored visual checkerboards. This enhanced neural response to irrelevant visual stimuli under auditory load suggests that exhausting capacity within one modality selectively compromises inhibitory processes required for filtering stimuli in another. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of emotional valence and three-dimensionality of visual stimuli on brain activation: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dores, A R; Almeida, I; Barbosa, F; Castelo-Branco, M; Monteiro, L; Reis, M; de Sousa, L; Caldas, A Castro

    2013-01-01

    Examining changes in brain activation linked with emotion-inducing stimuli is essential to the study of emotions. Due to the ecological potential of techniques such as virtual reality (VR), inspection of whether brain activation in response to emotional stimuli can be modulated by the three-dimensional (3D) properties of the images is important. The current study sought to test whether the activation of brain areas involved in the emotional processing of scenarios of different valences can be modulated by 3D. Therefore, the focus was made on the interaction effect between emotion-inducing stimuli of different emotional valences (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral valences) and visualization types (2D, 3D). However, main effects were also analyzed. The effect of emotional valence and visualization types and their interaction were analyzed through a 3 × 2 repeated measures ANOVA. Post-hoc t-tests were performed under a ROI-analysis approach. The results show increased brain activation for the 3D affective-inducing stimuli in comparison with the same stimuli in 2D scenarios, mostly in cortical and subcortical regions that are related to emotional processing, in addition to visual processing regions. This study has the potential of clarify brain mechanisms involved in the processing of emotional stimuli (scenarios' valence) and their interaction with three-dimensionality.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. The working memory stroop effect: when internal representations clash with external stimuli.

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    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2014-08-01

    Working memory (WM) has recently been described as internally directed attention, which implies that WM content should affect behavior exactly like an externally perceived and attended stimulus. We tested whether holding a color word in WM, rather than attending to it in the external environment, can produce interference in a color-discrimination task, which would mimic the classic Stroop effect. Over three experiments, the WM Stroop effect recapitulated core properties of the classic attentional Stroop effect, displaying equivalent congruency effects, additive contributions from stimulus- and response-level congruency, and susceptibility to modulation by the percentage of congruent and incongruent trials. Moreover, WM maintenance was inversely related to attentional demands during the WM delay between stimulus presentation and recall, with poorer memory performance following incongruent than congruent trials. Together, these results suggest that WM and attention rely on the same resources and operate over the same representations. © The Author(s) 2014.

  3. 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.

  4. Reproducibility assessment of brain responses to visual food stimuli in adults with overweight and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew Sayer, R; Tamer, Gregory G; Chen, Ningning; Tregellas, Jason R; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Kareken, David A; Talavage, Thomas M; McCrory, Megan A; Campbell, Wayne W

    2016-10-01

    The brain's reward system influences ingestive behavior and subsequently obesity risk. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a common method for investigating brain reward function. This study sought to assess the reproducibility of fasting-state brain responses to visual food stimuli using BOLD fMRI. A priori brain regions of interest included bilateral insula, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, caudate, and putamen. Fasting-state fMRI and appetite assessments were completed by 28 women (n = 16) and men (n = 12) with overweight or obesity on 2 days. Reproducibility was assessed by comparing mean fasting-state brain responses and measuring test-retest reliability of these responses on the two testing days. Mean fasting-state brain responses on day 2 were reduced compared with day 1 in the left insula and right amygdala, but mean day 1 and day 2 responses were not different in the other regions of interest. With the exception of the left orbitofrontal cortex response (fair reliability), test-retest reliabilities of brain responses were poor or unreliable. fMRI-measured responses to visual food cues in adults with overweight or obesity show relatively good mean-level reproducibility but considerable within-subject variability. Poor test-retest reliability reduces the likelihood of observing true correlations and increases the necessary sample sizes for studies. © 2016 The Obesity Society.

  5. Effects of facial emotion recognition remediation on visual scanning of novel face stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Pamela J; Luckett, Gemma; Russell, Tamara; Coltheart, Max; Green, Melissa J

    2012-11-01

    Previous research shows that emotion recognition in schizophrenia can be improved with targeted remediation that draws attention to important facial features (eyes, nose, mouth). Moreover, the effects of training have been shown to last for up to one month after training. The aim of this study was to investigate whether improved emotion recognition of novel faces is associated with concomitant changes in visual scanning of these same novel facial expressions. Thirty-nine participants with schizophrenia received emotion recognition training using Ekman's Micro-Expression Training Tool (METT), with emotion recognition and visual scanpath (VSP) recordings to face stimuli collected simultaneously. Baseline ratings of interpersonal and cognitive functioning were also collected from all participants. Post-METT training, participants showed changes in foveal attention to the features of facial expressions of emotion not used in METT training, which were generally consistent with the information about important features from the METT. In particular, there were changes in how participants looked at the features of facial expressions of emotion surprise, disgust, fear, happiness, and neutral, demonstrating that improved emotion recognition is paralleled by changes in the way participants with schizophrenia viewed novel facial expressions of emotion. However, there were overall decreases in foveal attention to sad and neutral faces that indicate more intensive instruction might be needed for these faces during training. Most importantly, the evidence shows that participant gender may affect training outcomes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Testing a Poisson Counter Model for Visual Identification of Briefly Presented, Mutually Confusable Single Stimuli in Pure Accuracy Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyllingsbaek, Soren; Markussen, Bo; Bundesen, Claus

    2012-01-01

    The authors propose and test a simple model of the time course of visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks. The model implies that during stimulus analysis, tentative categorizations that stimulus i belongs to category j are made at a constant Poisson rate, v(i, j). The analysis is…

  8. Auditory Preferences of Young Children with and without Hearing Loss for Meaningful Auditory-Visual Compound Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zupan, Barbra; Sussman, Joan E.

    2009-01-01

    Experiment 1 examined modality preferences in children and adults with normal hearing to combined auditory-visual stimuli. Experiment 2 compared modality preferences in children using cochlear implants participating in an auditory emphasized therapy approach to the children with normal hearing from Experiment 1. A second objective in both…

  9. Visual Sexual Stimuli-Cue or Reward? A Perspective for Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings on Human Sexual Behaviors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gola, M.; Wordecha, M.; Marchewka, A.; Sescousse, G.T.

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS), especially within the emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB). A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as excessive pornography consumption share common brain

  10. Time- and Space-Order Effects in Timed Discrimination of Brightness and Size of Paired Visual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patching, Geoffrey R.; Englund, Mats P.; Hellstrom, Ake

    2012-01-01

    Despite the importance of both response probability and response time for testing models of choice, there is a dearth of chronometric studies examining systematic asymmetries that occur over time- and space-orders in the method of paired comparisons. In this study, systematic asymmetries in discriminating the magnitude of paired visual stimuli are…

  11. Brain Activation by Visual Food-Related Stimuli and Correlations with Metabolic and Hormonal Parameters: A fMRI Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jakobsdottir, S.; de Ruiter, M.B.; Deijen, J.B.; Veltman, D.J.; Drent, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Regional brain activity in 15 healthy, normal weight males during processing of visual food stimuli in a satiated and a hungry state was examined and correlated with neuroendocrine factors known to be involved in hunger and satiated states. Two functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) sessions

  12. Enhancement of conductance of GaAs sub-microwires under external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Xianlin; Deng, Qingsong; Zheng, Kun

    2018-03-01

    Semiconductors with one dimension on the micro-nanometer scale have many unique physical properties that are remarkably different from those of their bulk counterparts. Moreover, changes in the external field will further modulate the properties of the semiconductor micro-nanomaterials. In this study, we used focused ion beam technology to prepare freestanding ⟨111⟩-oriented GaAs sub-microwires from a GaAs substrate. The effects of laser irradiation and bending or buckling deformation induced by compression on the electrical transport properties of an individual GaAs sub-microwire were studied. The experimental results indicate that both laser irradiation and bending deformation can enhance their electrical transport properties, the laser irradiation resulted in a conductance enhancement of ˜30% compared to the result with no irradiation, and in addition, bending deformation changed the conductance by as much as ˜180% when the average strain was approximately 1%. The corresponding mechanisms are also discussed. This study provides beneficial insight into the fabrication of electronic and optoelectronic devices based on GaAs micro/nano-wires.

  13. Altered processing of visual emotional stimuli in posttraumatic stress disorder: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saar-Ashkenazy, Rotem; Shalev, Hadar; Kanthak, Magdalena K; Guez, Jonathan; Friedman, Alon; Cohen, Jonathan E

    2015-08-30

    Patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) display abnormal emotional processing and bias towards emotional content. Most neurophysiological studies in PTSD found higher amplitudes of event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to trauma-related visual content. Here we aimed to characterize brain electrical activity in PTSD subjects in response to non-trauma-related emotion-laden pictures (positive, neutral and negative). A combined behavioral-ERP study was conducted in 14 severe PTSD patients and 14 controls. Response time in PTSD patients was slower compared with that in controls, irrespective to emotional valence. In both PTSD and controls, response time to negative pictures was slower compared with that to neutral or positive pictures. Upon ranking, both control and PTSD subjects similarly discriminated between pictures with different emotional valences. ERP analysis revealed three distinctive components (at ~300, ~600 and ~1000 ms post-stimulus onset) for emotional valence in control subjects. In contrast, PTSD patients displayed a similar brain response across all emotional categories, resembling the response of controls to negative stimuli. We interpret these findings as a brain-circuit response tendency towards negative overgeneralization in PTSD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Intraindividual variability in vigilance performance: does degrading visual stimuli mimic age-related "neural noise"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Stuart W S; Hultsch, David F; Bunce, David

    2006-07-01

    Intraindividual performance variability, or inconsistency, has been shown to predict neurological status, physiological functioning, and age differences and declines in cognition. However, potential moderating factors of inconsistency are not well understood. The present investigation examined whether inconsistency in vigilance response latencies varied as a function of time-on-task and task demands by degrading visual stimuli in three separate conditions (10%, 20%, and 30%). Participants were 24 younger women aged 21 to 30 years (M = 24.04, SD = 2.51) and 23 older women aged 61 to 83 years (M = 68.70, SD = 6.38). A measure of within-person inconsistency, the intraindividual standard deviation (ISD), was computed for each individual across reaction time (RT) trials (3 blocks of 45 event trials) for each condition of the vigilance task. Greater inconsistency was observed with increasing stimulus degradation and age, even after controlling for group differences in mean RTs and physical condition. Further, older adults were more inconsistent than younger adults for similar degradation conditions, with ISD scores for younger adults in the 30% condition approximating estimates observed for older adults in the 10% condition. Finally, a measure of perceptual sensitivity shared increasing negative associations with ISDs, with this association further modulated as a function of age but to a lesser degree by degradation condition. Results support current hypotheses suggesting that inconsistency serves as a marker of neurological integrity and are discussed in terms of potential underlying mechanisms.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Enhanced ERPs to visual stimuli in unaffected male siblings of ASD children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzures, Gizelle; Goyet, Louise; Ganea, Natasa; Johnson, Mark H

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by deficits in social and communication abilities. While unaffected relatives lack severe deficits, milder impairments have been reported in some first-degree relatives. The present study sought to verify whether mild deficits in face perception are evident among the unaffected younger siblings of children with ASD. Children between 6-9 years of age completed a face-recognition task and a passive viewing ERP task with face and house stimuli. Sixteen children were typically developing with no family history of ASD, and 17 were unaffected children with an older sibling with ASD. Findings indicate that, while unaffected siblings are comparable to controls in their face-recognition abilities, unaffected male siblings in particular show relatively enhanced P100 and P100-N170 peak-to-peak amplitude responses to faces and houses. Enhanced ERPs among unaffected male siblings is discussed in relation to potential differences in neural network recruitment during visual and face processing.

  18. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. Musical Brains. A study of evoked musical sensations without external auditory stimuli. Preliminary report of three cases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goycoolea, Marcos V; Mena, Ismael; Neubauer, Sonia G; Levy, Raquel G.; Fernandez Grez, Margarita; Berger, Claudia G

    2006-01-01

    Background: There are individuals, usually musicians, who are seemingly able to evoke musical sensations without external auditory stimuli. However, to date there is no available evidence to determine if it is feasible to have musical sensations without using external sensory receptors nor if there is a biological substrate to these sensations. Study design: Two single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) evaluations with [99mTc]-HMPAO were conducted in each of three female musicians. One was done under basal conditions (without evoking) and the other one while evoking these sensations. Results: In the NeuroSPECT studies of the musicians who were tested while evoking a musical composition, there was a significant increase in perfusion above the normal mean in the right and left hemispheres in Brodmann's areas 9 and 8 (frontal executive area) and in areas 40 on the left side (auditory center). However, under basal conditions there was no hyper perfusion of areas 9, 8, 39 and 40. In one case hyper perfusion was found under basal conditions in area 45, however it was less than when she was evoking. Conclusions: These findings are suggestive of a biological substrate to the process of evoking musical sensations (au)

  1. Visual sexual stimuli – cue or reward? A key for interpreting brain imaging studies on human sexual behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Gola

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS for human sexuality studies, including emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors. A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as extensive pornography consumption share common brain mechanisms with widely studied substance and behavioral addictions. Depending on how VSS are conceptualized, different predictions can be formulated within the frameworks of Reinforcement Learning or Incentive Salience Theory, where a crucial distinction is made between conditioned (cue and unconditioned (reward stimuli (related to reward anticipation vs reward consumption, respectively. Surveying 40 recent human neuroimaging studies we show existing ambiguity about the conceptualization of VSS. Therefore, we feel that it is important to address the question of whether VSS should be considered as cues (conditioned stimuli or rewards (unconditioned stimuli. Here we present our own perspective, which is that in most laboratory settings VSS play a role of reward (unconditioned stimuli, as evidenced by: 1. experience of pleasure while watching VSS, possibly accompanied by genital reaction 2. reward-related brain activity correlated with these pleasurable feelings in response to VSS, 3. a willingness to exert effort to view VSS similarly as for other rewarding stimuli such as money, and/or 4. conditioning for cues (CS predictive for. We hope that this perspective paper will initiate a scientific discussion on this important and overlooked topic and increase attention for appropriate interpretations of results of human neuroimaging studies using VSS.

  2. 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.

  3. Visual attention to spatial and non-spatial visual stimuli is affected differentially by age: effects on event-related brain potentials and performance data.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talsma, D.; Kok, A.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.

    2006-01-01

    To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies

  4. Switching between internally and externally focused attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Abnormal visual cortex activation and connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Emily R; Muratore, Alexandra F; Taylor, Stephan F; Abelson, James L; Hof, Patrick R; Goodman, Wayne K

    2017-07-30

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by excessive absorption with internally-generated distressing thoughts and urges, with difficulty incorporating external information running counter to their fears and concerns. In the present study, we experimentally probed this core feature of OCD through the use of a novel attention switching task that investigates transitions between internally focused (IF) and externally focused (EF) attentional states. Eighteen OCD patients and 18 controls imagined positive and negative personal event scenarios (IF state) or performed a color-word Stroop task (EF state). The IF/EF states were followed by a target detection (TD) task requiring responses to external stimuli. Compared to controls, OCD patients made significantly more errors and showed reduced activation of superior and inferior occipital cortex, thalamus, and putamen during TD following negative IF, with the inferior occipital hypoactivation being significantly greater for TD following negative IF compared to TD following the other conditions. Patients showed stronger functional connectivity between the inferior occipital region and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. These findings point to an OCD-related impairment in the visual processing of external stimuli specifically when they follow a period of negative internal focus, and suggest that future treatments may wish to target the transition between attentional states. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Visual attention to meaningful stimuli by 1- to 3-year olds: implications for the measurement of memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayne, Harlene; Jaeger, Katja; Sonne, Trine; Gross, Julien

    2016-11-01

    The visual recognition memory (VRM) paradigm has been widely used to measure memory during infancy and early childhood; it has also been used to study memory in human and nonhuman adults. Typically, participants are familiarized with stimuli that have no special significance to them. Under these conditions, greater attention to the novel stimulus during the test (i.e., novelty preference) is used as the primary index of memory. Here, we took a novel approach to the VRM paradigm and tested 1-, 2-, and 3-year olds using photos of meaningful stimuli that were drawn from the participants' own environment (e.g., photos of their mother, father, siblings, house). We also compared their performance to that of participants of the same age who were tested in an explicit pointing version of the VRM task. Two- and 3-year olds exhibited a strong familiarity preference for some, but not all, of the meaningful stimuli; 1-year olds did not. At no age did participants exhibit the kind of novelty preference that is commonly used to define memory in the VRM task. Furthermore, when compared to pointing, looking measures provided a rough approximation of recognition memory, but in some instances, the looking measure underestimated retention. The use of meaningful stimuli raise important questions about the way in which visual attention is interpreted in the VRM paradigm, and may provide new opportunities to measure memory during infancy and early childhood. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Visual Sexual Stimuli-Cue or Reward? A Perspective for Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings on Human Sexual Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gola, Mateusz; Wordecha, Małgorzata; Marchewka, Artur; Sescousse, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS), especially within the emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB). A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as excessive pornography consumption share common brain mechanisms with widely studied substance and behavioral addictions. Depending on how VSS are conceptualized, different predictions can be formulated within the frameworks of Reinforcement Learning or Incentive Salience Theory, where a crucial distinction is made between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli (related to reward anticipation vs. reward consumption, respectively). Surveying 40 recent human neuroimaging studies we show existing ambiguity about the conceptualization of VSS. Therefore, we feel that it is important to address the question of whether VSS should be considered as conditioned stimuli (cue) or unconditioned stimuli (reward). Here we present our own perspective, which is that in most laboratory settings VSS play a role of reward, as evidenced by: (1) experience of pleasure while watching VSS, possibly accompanied by genital reaction; (2) reward-related brain activity correlated with these pleasurable feelings in response to VSS; (3) a willingness to exert effort to view VSS similarly as for other rewarding stimuli such as money; and (4) conditioning for cues predictive of VSS. We hope that this perspective article will initiate a scientific discussion on this important and overlooked topic and increase attention for appropriate interpretations of results of human neuroimaging studies using VSS.

  8. System to induce and measure embodiment of an artificial hand with programmable convergent visual and tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benz, Heather L; Sieff, Talia R; Alborz, Mahsa; Kontson, Kimberly; Kilpatrick, Elizabeth; Civillico, Eugene F

    2016-08-01

    The sense of prosthesis embodiment, or the feeling that the device has been incorporated into a user's body image, may be enhanced by emerging technology such as invasive electrical stimulation for sensory feedback. In turn, prosthesis embodiment may be linked to increased prosthesis use and improved functional outcomes. We describe the development of a tool to assay artificial hand embodiment in a quantitative way in people with intact limbs, and characterize its operation. The system delivers temporally coordinated visual and tactile stimuli at a programmable latency while recording limb temperature. When programmed to deliver visual and tactile stimuli synchronously, recorded latency between the two was 33 ± 24 ms in the final pilot subject. This system enables standardized assays of the conditions necessary for prosthesis embodiment.

  9. Auditory preferences of young children with and without hearing loss for meaningful auditory-visual compound stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zupan, Barbra; Sussman, Joan E

    2009-01-01

    Experiment 1 examined modality preferences in children and adults with normal hearing to combined auditory-visual stimuli. Experiment 2 compared modality preferences in children using cochlear implants participating in an auditory emphasized therapy approach to the children with normal hearing from Experiment 1. A second objective in both experiments was to evaluate the role of familiarity in these preferences. Participants were exposed to randomized blocks of photographs and sounds of ten familiar and ten unfamiliar animals in auditory-only, visual-only and auditory-visual trials. Results indicated an overall auditory preference in children, regardless of hearing status, and a visual preference in adults. Familiarity only affected modality preferences in adults who showed a strong visual preference to unfamiliar stimuli only. The similar degree of auditory responses in children with hearing loss to those from children with normal hearing is an original finding and lends support to an auditory emphasis for habilitation. Readers will be able to (1) Describe the pattern of modality preferences reported in young children without hearing loss; (2) Recognize that differences in communication mode may affect modality preferences in young children with hearing loss; and (3) Understand the role of familiarity in modality preferences in children with and without hearing loss.

  10. Lack of multisensory integration in hemianopia: no influence of visual stimuli on aurally guided saccades to the blind hemifield.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia F Ten Brink

    Full Text Available In patients with visual hemifield defects residual visual functions may be present, a phenomenon called blindsight. The superior colliculus (SC is part of the spared pathway that is considered to be responsible for this phenomenon. Given that the SC processes input from different modalities and is involved in the programming of saccadic eye movements, the aim of the present study was to examine whether multimodal integration can modulate oculomotor competition in the damaged hemifield. We conducted two experiments with eight patients who had visual field defects due to lesions that affected the retinogeniculate pathway but spared the retinotectal direct SC pathway. They had to make saccades to an auditory target that was presented alone or in combination with a visual stimulus. The visual stimulus could either be spatially coincident with the auditory target (possibly enhancing the auditory target signal, or spatially disparate to the auditory target (possibly competing with the auditory tar-get signal. For each patient we compared the saccade endpoint deviation in these two bi-modal conditions with the endpoint deviation in the unimodal condition (auditory target alone. In all seven hemianopic patients, saccade accuracy was affected only by visual stimuli in the intact, but not in the blind visual field. In one patient with a more limited quadrantano-pia, a facilitation effect of the spatially coincident visual stimulus was observed. We conclude that our results show that multisensory integration is infrequent in the blind field of patients with hemianopia.

  11. Lack of Multisensory Integration in Hemianopia: No Influence of Visual Stimuli on Aurally Guided Saccades to the Blind Hemifield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ten Brink, Antonia F.; Nijboer, Tanja C. W.; Bergsma, Douwe P.; Barton, Jason J. S.; Van der Stigchel, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    In patients with visual hemifield defects residual visual functions may be present, a phenomenon called blindsight. The superior colliculus (SC) is part of the spared pathway that is considered to be responsible for this phenomenon. Given that the SC processes input from different modalities and is involved in the programming of saccadic eye movements, the aim of the present study was to examine whether multimodal integration can modulate oculomotor competition in the damaged hemifield. We conducted two experiments with eight patients who had visual field defects due to lesions that affected the retinogeniculate pathway but spared the retinotectal direct SC pathway. They had to make saccades to an auditory target that was presented alone or in combination with a visual stimulus. The visual stimulus could either be spatially coincident with the auditory target (possibly enhancing the auditory target signal), or spatially disparate to the auditory target (possibly competing with the auditory tar-get signal). For each patient we compared the saccade endpoint deviation in these two bi-modal conditions with the endpoint deviation in the unimodal condition (auditory target alone). In all seven hemianopic patients, saccade accuracy was affected only by visual stimuli in the intact, but not in the blind visual field. In one patient with a more limited quadrantano-pia, a facilitation effect of the spatially coincident visual stimulus was observed. We conclude that our results show that multisensory integration is infrequent in the blind field of patients with hemianopia. PMID:25835952

  12. Effective visualization assay for alcohol content sensing and methanol differentiation with solvent stimuli-responsive supramolecular ionic materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Qi, Hetong; Wang, Yuexiang; Yang, Lifen; Yu, Ping; Mao, Lanqun

    2014-08-05

    This study demonstrates a rapid visualization assay for on-spot sensing of alcohol content as well as for discriminating methanol-containing beverages with solvent stimuli-responsive supramolecular ionic material (SIM). The SIM is synthesized by ionic self-assembling of imidazolium-based dication C10(mim)2 and dianionic 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) in water and shows water stability, a solvent stimuli-responsive property, and adaptive encapsulation capability. The rationale for the visualization assay demonstrated here is based on the combined utilization of the unique properties of SIM, including its water stability, ethanol stimuli-responsive feature, and adaptive encapsulation capability toward optically active rhodamine 6G (Rh6G); the addition of ethanol into a stable aqueous dispersion of Rh6G-encapsulated SIM (Rh6G-SIM) destructs the Rh6G-SIM structure, resulting in the release of Rh6G from SIM into the solvent. Alcohol content can thus be visualized with the naked eyes through the color change of the dispersion caused by the addition of ethanol. Alcohol content can also be quantified by measuring the fluorescence line of Rh6G released from Rh6G-SIM on a thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plate in response to alcoholic beverages. By fixing the diffusion distance of the mobile phase, the fluorescence line of Rh6G shows a linear relationship with alcohol content (vol %) within a concentration range from 15% to 40%. We utilized this visualization assay for on-spot visualizing of the alcohol contents of three Chinese commercial spirits and discriminating methanol-containing counterfeit beverages. We found that addition of a trace amount of methanol leads to a large increase of the length of Rh6G on TLC plates, which provides a method to identify methanol adulterated beverages with labeled ethanol content. This study provides a simple yet effective assay for alcohol content sensing and methanol differentiation.

  13. [Effects of visual optical stimuli for accommodation-convergence system on asthenopia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Tsuneto; Tawara, Akihiko; Miyake, Nobuyuki

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the effect on eyestrain of optical stimuli that we designed for accommodation and convergence systems. Eight female students were given optical stimuli for accommodation and convergence systems for 1.5 min immediately after 20 min of a sustained task on a 3-D display. Before and after the trial, their ocular functions were measured and their symptoms were assessed. The optical stimuli were applied by moving targets of scenery images far and near around the far point position of both eyes on a horizonal place, which induced divergence in the direction of the eye position of rest. In a control group, subjects rested with closed eyes for 1.5 min instead of applying the optical stimuli. There were significant changes in the accommodative contraction time (from far to near) and the accommodative relaxation time (from near to far) and the lag of accommodation at near target, from 1.26 s to 1.62 s and from 1.49 s to 1.63 s and from 0.5 D to 0.65 D, respectively, and in the symptoms in the control group after the duration of closed-eye rest. In the stimulus group, however, the changes of those functions were smaller than in the control group. From these results, we suggest that our designed optical stimuli for accommodation and convergence systems are effective on asthenopia following accommodative dysfunction.

  14. [Recognition of visual objects under forward masking. Effects of cathegorial similarity of test and masking stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimenko, N Iu; Slavutskaia, A V; Kalinin, S A; Kulikov, M A; Mikhaĭlova, E S

    2013-01-01

    In 38 healthy subjects accuracy and response time were examined during recognition of two categories of images--animals andnonliving objects--under forward masking. We revealed new data that masking effects depended of categorical similarity of target and masking stimuli. The recognition accuracy was the lowest and the response time was the most slow, when the target and masking stimuli belongs to the same category, that was combined with high dispersion of response times. The revealed effects were more clear in the task of animal recognition in comparison with the recognition of nonliving objects. We supposed that the revealed effects connected with interference between cortical representations of the target and masking stimuli and discussed our results in context of cortical interference and negative priming.

  15. The Role of Visual and Auditory Stimuli in Continuous Performance Tests: Differential Effects on Children With ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, Eunice N; Carvalho, Ana L Novais; Schmidt, Sergio L

    2018-04-01

    Continuous performance tests (CPTs) usually utilize visual stimuli. A previous investigation showed that inattention is partially independent of modality, but response inhibition is modality-specific. Here we aimed to compare performance on visual and auditory CPTs in ADHD and in healthy controls. The sample consisted of 160 elementary and high school students (43 ADHD, 117 controls). For each sensory modality, five variables were extracted: commission errors (CEs) and omission errors (OEs), reaction time (RT), variability of reaction time (VRT), and coefficient of variability (CofV = VRT / RT). The ADHD group exhibited higher rates for all test variables. The discriminant analysis indicated that auditory OE was the most reliable variable for discriminating between groups, followed by visual CE, auditory CE, and auditory CofV. Discriminant equation classified ADHD with 76.3% accuracy. Auditory parameters in the inattention domain (OE and VRT) can discriminate ADHD from controls. For the hyperactive/impulsive domain (CE), the two modalities are equally important.

  16. Stress Sensitive Healthy Females Show Less Left Amygdala Activation in Response to Withdrawal-Related Visual Stimuli under Passive Viewing Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeken, Chris; Van Schuerbeek, Peter; De Raedt, Rudi; Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; De Mey, Johan; Bossuyt, Axel; Luypaert, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The amygdalae are key players in the processing of a variety of emotional stimuli. Especially aversive visual stimuli have been reported to attract attention and activate the amygdalae. However, as it has been argued that passively viewing withdrawal-related images could attenuate instead of activate amygdalae neuronal responses, its role under…

  17. Effect of a combination of flip and zooming stimuli on the performance of a visual brain-computer interface for spelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jiao; Jin, Jing; Daly, Ian; Zhang, Yu; Wang, Bei; Wang, Xingyu; Cichocki, Andrzej

    2018-02-13

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems can allow their users to communicate with the external world by recognizing intention directly from their brain activity without the assistance of the peripheral motor nervous system. The P300-speller is one of the most widely used visual BCI applications. In previous studies, a flip stimulus (rotating the background area of the character) that was based on apparent motion, suffered from less refractory effects. However, its performance was not improved significantly. In addition, a presentation paradigm that used a "zooming" action (changing the size of the symbol) has been shown to evoke relatively higher P300 amplitudes and obtain a better BCI performance. To extend this method of stimuli presentation within a BCI and, consequently, to improve BCI performance, we present a new paradigm combining both the flip stimulus with a zooming action. This new presentation modality allowed BCI users to focus their attention more easily. We investigated whether such an action could combine the advantages of both types of stimuli presentation to bring a significant improvement in performance compared to the conventional flip stimulus. The experimental results showed that the proposed paradigm could obtain significantly higher classification accuracies and bit rates than the conventional flip paradigm (p<0.01).

  18. Affective Overload: The Effect of Emotive Visual Stimuli on Target Vocabulary Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çetin, Yakup; Griffiths, Carol; Özel, Zeynep Ebrar Yetkiner; Kinay, Hüseyin

    2016-01-01

    There has been considerable interest in cognitive load in recent years, but the effect of affective load and its relationship to mental functioning has not received as much attention. In order to investigate the effects of affective stimuli on cognitive function as manifest in the ability to remember foreign language vocabulary, two groups of…

  19. Enhanced early visual processing in response to snake and trypophobic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.W. van Strien (Jan); Van der Peijl, M.K. (Manja K.)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Trypophobia refers to aversion to clusters of holes. We investigated whether trypophobic stimuli evoke augmented early posterior negativity (EPN). Methods: Twenty-four participants filled out a trypophobia questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 450

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    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...... response patterns of the brain to sexual stimuli contained sufficient information to predict individual sexual orientation with high accuracy. These results suggest that fMRI-based classification methods hold promise for the diagnosis of paraphilic disorders (e.g., pedophilia)....

  2. Do episodic migraineurs selectively attend to headache-related visual stimuli?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Michael J; Peck, Kelly R; Walters, A Brooke; Smitherman, Todd A

    2013-02-01

    To assess pain-related attentional biases among individuals with episodic migraine. Prior studies have examined whether chronic pain patients selectively attend to pain-related stimuli in the environment, but these studies have produced largely mixed findings and focused primarily on patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Limited research has implicated attentional biases among chronic headache patients, but no studies have been conducted among episodic migraineurs, who comprise the overwhelming majority of the migraine population. This was a case-control, experimental study. Three hundred and eight participants (mean age = 19.2 years [standard deviation = 3.3]; 69.5% female; 36.4% minority), consisting of 84 episodic migraineurs, diagnosed in accordance with International Classification of Headache Disorders (2(nd) edition) criteria using a structured diagnostic interview, and 224 non-migraine controls completed a computerized dot probe task to assess attentional bias toward headache-related pictorial stimuli. The task consisted of 192 trials and utilized 2 emotional-neutral stimulus pairing conditions (headache-neutral and happy-neutral). No within-group differences for reaction time latencies to headache vs happy conditions were found among those with episodic migraine or among the non-migraine controls. Migraine status was unrelated to attentional bias indices for both headache (F [1,306] = 0.56, P = .45) and happy facial stimuli (F [1,306] = 0.37, P = .54), indicating a lack of between-group differences. Lack of within- and between-group differences was confirmed with repeated measures analysis of variance. In light of the large sample size and prior pilot testing of presented images, results suggest that episodic migraineurs do not differentially attend to headache-related facial stimuli. Given modest evidence of attentional biases among chronic headache samples, these findings suggest potential differences in attentional

  3. Enhanced early visual processing in response to snake and trypophobic stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Strien, Jan; Van der Peijl, M.K. (Manja K.)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Trypophobia refers to aversion to clusters of holes. We investigated whether trypophobic stimuli evoke augmented early posterior negativity (EPN). Methods: Twenty-four participants filled out a trypophobia questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 450 trypophobic pictures, 450 pictures of poisonous animals, 450 pictures of snakes, and 450 pictures of small birds (1800 pictures in total, at a rate of 3 pictures/s). The EPN was scored as the mean ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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 under...

  5. Action video game players' visual search advantage extends to biologically relevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-07-01

    Research investigating the effects of action video game experience on cognition has demonstrated a host of performance improvements on a variety of basic tasks. Given the prevailing evidence that these benefits result from efficient control of attentional processes, there has been growing interest in using action video games as a general tool to enhance everyday attentional control. However, to date, there is little evidence indicating that the benefits of action video game playing scale up to complex settings with socially meaningful stimuli - one of the fundamental components of our natural environment. The present experiment compared action video game player (AVGP) and non-video game player (NVGP) performance on an oculomotor capture task that presented participants with face stimuli. In addition, the expression of a distractor face was manipulated to assess if action video game experience modulated the effect of emotion. Results indicate that AVGPs experience less oculomotor capture than NVGPs; an effect that was not influenced by the emotional content depicted by distractor faces. It is noteworthy that this AVGP advantage emerged despite participants being unaware that the investigation had to do with video game playing, and participants being equivalent in their motivation and treatment of the task as a game. The results align with the notion that action video game experience is associated with superior attentional and oculomotor control, and provides evidence that these benefits can generalize to more complex and biologically relevant stimuli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A Basic Study on P300 Event-Related Potentials Evoked by Simultaneous Presentation of Visual and Auditory Stimuli for the Communication Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masami Hashimoto

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We have been engaged in the development of a brain-computer interface (BCI based on the cognitive P300 event-related potentials (ERPs evoked by simultaneous presentation of visual and auditory stimuli in order to assist with the communication in severe physical limitation persons. The purpose of the simultaneous presentation of these stimuli is to give the user more choices as commands. First, we extracted P300 ERPs by either visual oddball paradigm or auditory oddball paradigm. Then amplitude and latency of the P300 ERPs were measured. Second, visual and auditory stimuli were presented simultaneously, we measured the P300 ERPs varying the condition of combinations of these stimuli. In this report, we used 3 colors as visual stimuli and 3 types of MIDI sounds as auditory stimuli. Two types of simultaneous presentations were examined. The one was conducted with random combination. The other was called group stimulation, combining one color, such as red, and one MIDI sound, such as piano, in order to make a group; three groups were made. Each group was presented to users randomly. We evaluated the possibility of BCI using these stimuli from the amplitudes and the latencies of P300 ERPs.

  7. Activation of extrastriate and frontal cortical areas by visual words and word-like stimuli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petersen, S.E.; Fox, P.T.; Snyder, A.Z.; Raichle, M.E.

    1990-01-01

    Visual presentation of words activates extrastriate regions of the occipital lobes of the brain. When analyzed by positron emission tomography (PET), certain areas in the left, medial extrastriate visual cortex were activated by visually presented pseudowords that obey English spelling rules, as well as by actual words. These areas were not activated by nonsense strings of letters or letter-like forms. Thus visual word form computations are based on learned distinctions between words and nonwords. In addition, during passive presentation of words, but not pseudowords, activation occurred in a left frontal area that is related to semantic processing. These findings support distinctions made in cognitive psychology and computational modeling between high-level visual and semantic computations on single words and describe the anatomy that may underlie these distinctions

  8. Consuming Almonds vs. Isoenergetic Baked Food Does Not Differentially Influence Postprandial Appetite or Neural Reward Responses to Visual Food Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, R Drew; Dhillon, Jaapna; Tamer, Gregory G; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Chen, Ningning; Wright, Amy J; Campbell, Wayne W; Mattes, Richard D

    2017-07-27

    Nuts have high energy and fat contents, but nut intake does not promote weight gain or obesity, which may be partially explained by their proposed high satiety value. The primary aim of this study was to assess the effects of consuming almonds versus a baked food on postprandial appetite and neural responses to visual food stimuli. Twenty-two adults (19 women and 3 men) with a BMI between 25 and 40 kg/m² completed the current study during a 12-week behavioral weight loss intervention. Participants consumed either 28 g of whole, lightly salted roasted almonds or a serving of a baked food with equivalent energy and macronutrient contents in random order on two testing days prior to and at the end of the intervention. Pre- and postprandial appetite ratings and functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were completed on all four testing days. Postprandial hunger, desire to eat, fullness, and neural responses to visual food stimuli were not different following consumption of almonds and the baked food, nor were they influenced by weight loss. These results support energy and macronutrient contents as principal determinants of postprandial appetite and do not support a unique satiety effect of almonds independent of these variables.

  9. Enhanced pain and autonomic responses to ambiguous visual stimuli in chronic Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) type I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, H E; Hall, J; Harris, N; McCabe, C S; Blake, D R; Jänig, W

    2012-02-01

    Cortical reorganisation of sensory, motor and autonomic systems can lead to dysfunctional central integrative control. This may contribute to signs and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), including pain. It has been hypothesised that central neuroplastic changes may cause afferent sensory feedback conflicts and produce pain. We investigated autonomic responses produced by ambiguous visual stimuli (AVS) in CRPS, and their relationship to pain. Thirty CRPS patients with upper limb involvement and 30 age and sex matched healthy controls had sympathetic autonomic function assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry of the finger pulp at baseline and while viewing a control figure or AVS. Compared to controls, there were diminished vasoconstrictor responses and a significant difference in the ratio of response between affected and unaffected limbs (symmetry ratio) to a deep breath and viewing AVS. While viewing visual stimuli, 33.5% of patients had asymmetric vasomotor responses and all healthy controls had a homologous symmetric pattern of response. Nineteen (61%) CRPS patients had enhanced pain within seconds of viewing the AVS. All the asymmetric vasomotor responses were in this group, and were not predictable from baseline autonomic function. Ten patients had accompanying dystonic reactions in their affected limb: 50% were in the asymmetric sub-group. In conclusion, there is a group of CRPS patients that demonstrate abnormal pain networks interacting with central somatomotor and autonomic integrational pathways. © 2011 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters.

  10. Gender differences in the processing of standard emotional visual stimuli: integrating ERP and fMRI results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lei; Tian, Jie; Wang, Xiaoxiang; Hu, Jin

    2005-04-01

    The comprehensive understanding of human emotion processing needs consideration both in the spatial distribution and the temporal sequencing of neural activity. The aim of our work is to identify brain regions involved in emotional recognition as well as to follow the time sequence in the millisecond-range resolution. The effect of activation upon visual stimuli in different gender by International Affective Picture System (IAPS) has been examined. Hemodynamic and electrophysiological responses were measured in the same subjects. Both fMRI and ERP study were employed in an event-related study. fMRI have been obtained with 3.0 T Siemens Magnetom whole-body MRI scanner. 128-channel ERP data were recorded using an EGI system. ERP is sensitive to millisecond changes in mental activity, but the source localization and timing is limited by the ill-posed 'inversed' problem. We try to investigate the ERP source reconstruction problem in this study using fMRI constraint. We chose ICA as a pre-processing step of ERP source reconstruction to exclude the artifacts and provide a prior estimate of the number of dipoles. The results indicate that male and female show differences in neural mechanism during emotion visual stimuli.

  11. 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...

  12. The selective processing of emotional visual stimuli while detecting auditory targets : An ERP analysis

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    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 rapi...

  13. 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.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Selective Attention to Visual Stimuli Using Auditory Distractors Is Altered in Alpha-9 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Knock-Out Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terreros, Gonzalo; Jorratt, Pascal; Aedo, Cristian; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Delano, Paul H

    2016-07-06

    During selective attention, subjects voluntarily focus their cognitive resources on a specific stimulus while ignoring others. Top-down filtering of peripheral sensory responses by higher structures of the brain has been proposed as one of the mechanisms responsible for selective attention. A prerequisite to accomplish top-down modulation of the activity of peripheral structures is the presence of corticofugal pathways. The mammalian auditory efferent system is a unique neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear bundle, and it has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear neurons in selective attention paradigms. Here, we trained wild-type and α-9 nicotinic receptor subunit knock-out (KO) mice, which lack cholinergic transmission between medial olivocochlear neurons and outer hair cells, in a two-choice visual discrimination task and studied the behavioral consequences of adding different types of auditory distractors. In addition, we evaluated the effects of contralateral noise on auditory nerve responses as a measure of the individual strength of the olivocochlear reflex. We demonstrate that KO mice have a reduced olivocochlear reflex strength and perform poorly in a visual selective attention paradigm. These results confirm that an intact medial olivocochlear transmission aids in ignoring auditory distraction during selective attention to visual stimuli. The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear system. It has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear

  16. Statistics of Visual Responses to Image Object Stimuli from Primate AIT Neurons to DNN Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Qiulei; Wang, Hong; Hu, Zhanyi

    2018-02-01

    Under the goal-driven paradigm, Yamins et al. ( 2014 ; Yamins & DiCarlo, 2016 ) have shown that by optimizing only the final eight-way categorization performance of a four-layer hierarchical network, not only can its top output layer quantitatively predict IT neuron responses but its penultimate layer can also automatically predict V4 neuron responses. Currently, deep neural networks (DNNs) in the field of computer vision have reached image object categorization performance comparable to that of human beings on ImageNet, a data set that contains 1.3 million training images of 1000 categories. We explore whether the DNN neurons (units in DNNs) possess image object representational statistics similar to monkey IT neurons, particularly when the network becomes deeper and the number of image categories becomes larger, using VGG19, a typical and widely used deep network of 19 layers in the computer vision field. Following Lehky, Kiani, Esteky, and Tanaka ( 2011 , 2014 ), where the response statistics of 674 IT neurons to 806 image stimuli are analyzed using three measures (kurtosis, Pareto tail index, and intrinsic dimensionality), we investigate the three issues in this letter using the same three measures: (1) the similarities and differences of the neural response statistics between VGG19 and primate IT cortex, (2) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons at different layers from low to high, and (3) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons when the numbers of stimuli and neurons increase. We find that the response statistics on both single-neuron selectivity and population sparseness of VGG19 neurons are fundamentally different from those of IT neurons in most cases; by increasing the number of neurons in different layers and the number of stimuli, the response statistics of neurons at different layers from low to high do not substantially change; and the estimated intrinsic dimensionality values at the low

  17. 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.

  18. Visual Processing of Verbal and Nonverbal Stimuli in Adolescents with Reading Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boden, Catherine; Brodeur, Darlene A.

    1999-01-01

    A study investigated whether 32 adolescents with reading disabilities (RD) were slower at processing visual information compared to children of comparable age and reading level, or whether their deficit was specific to the written word. Adolescents with RD demonstrated difficulties in processing rapidly presented verbal and nonverbal visual…

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Pain and other symptoms of CRPS can be increased by ambiguous visual stimuli--an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Jane; Harrison, Simon; Cohen, Helen; McCabe, Candida S; Harris, N; Blake, David R

    2011-01-01

    Visual disturbance, visuo-spatial difficulties, and exacerbations of pain associated with these, have been reported by some patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). We investigated the hypothesis that some visual stimuli (i.e. those which produce ambiguous perceptions) can induce pain and other somatic sensations in people with CRPS. Thirty patients with CRPS, 33 with rheumatology conditions and 45 healthy controls viewed two images: a bistable spatial image and a control image. For each image participants recorded the frequency of percept change in 1 min and reported any changes in somatosensation. 73% of patients with CRPS reported increases in pain and/or sensory disturbances including changes in perception of the affected limb, temperature and weight changes and feelings of disorientation after viewing the bistable image. Additionally, 13% of the CRPS group responded with striking worsening of their symptoms which necessitated task cessation. Subjects in the control groups did not report pain increases or somatic sensations. It is possible to worsen the pain suffered in CRPS, and to produce other somatic sensations, by means of a visual stimulus alone. This is a newly described finding. As a clinical and research tool, the experimental method provides a means to generate and exacerbate somaesthetic disturbances, including pain, without moving the affected limb and causing nociceptive interference. This may be particularly useful for brain imaging studies. Copyright © 2010 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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

    , 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...... 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah A. Chau; Nathan Herrmann; Moshe Eizenman; Jonathan Chung; Krista L. Lanctôt

    2015-01-01

    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. Th...

  5. Visual event-related potentials to biological motion stimuli in autism spectrum disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletsch, Anke; Krick, Christoph; Siniatchkin, Michael; Jarczok, Tomasz A.; Freitag, Christine M.; Bender, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Atypical visual processing of biological motion contributes to social impairments in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the exact temporal sequence of deficits of cortical biological motion processing in ASD has not been studied to date. We used 64-channel electroencephalography to study event-related potentials associated with human motion perception in 17 children and adolescents with ASD and 21 typical controls. A spatio-temporal source analysis was performed to assess the brain structures involved in these processes. We expected altered activity already during early stimulus processing and reduced activity during subsequent biological motion specific processes in ASD. In response to both, random and biological motion, the P100 amplitude was decreased suggesting unspecific deficits in visual processing, and the occipito-temporal N200 showed atypical lateralization in ASD suggesting altered hemispheric specialization. A slow positive deflection after 400 ms, reflecting top-down processes, and human motion-specific dipole activation differed slightly between groups, with reduced and more diffuse activation in the ASD-group. The latter could be an indicator of a disrupted neuronal network for biological motion processing in ADS. Furthermore, early visual processing (P100) seems to be correlated to biological motion-specific activation. This emphasizes the relevance of early sensory processing for higher order processing deficits in ASD. PMID:23887808

  6. 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

    During agonistic interactions between male Anolis carolinensis, perception of a visual sign stimulus (darkened eyespots) not only inhibits aggression and promotes initial attainment of dominant social status, but also evokes distinct neuroendocrine responses in each opponent. This study was desig......During agonistic interactions between male Anolis carolinensis, perception of a visual sign stimulus (darkened eyespots) not only inhibits aggression and promotes initial attainment of dominant social status, but also evokes distinct neuroendocrine responses in each opponent. This study...... 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...... information conveyed by this visual signal. Eyespots on the previously dominant male were masked with green paint to indicate low aggression and social status. Previously subordinate males had their eyespots permanently marked with black paint to convey high aggression and status. Opponents were then re...

  7. Visual Attention to Pictorial Food Stimuli in Individuals With Night Eating Syndrome: An Eye-Tracking Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldofski, Sabrina; Lüthold, Patrick; Sperling, Ingmar; Hilbert, Anja

    2018-03-01

    Night eating syndrome (NES) is characterized by excessive evening and/or nocturnal eating episodes. Studies indicate an attentional bias towards food in other eating disorders. For NES, however, evidence of attentional food processing is lacking. Attention towards food and non-food stimuli was compared using eye-tracking in 19 participants with NES and 19 matched controls without eating disorders during a free exploration paradigm and a visual search task. In the free exploration paradigm, groups did not differ in initial fixation position or gaze duration. However, a significant orienting bias to food compared to non-food was found within the NES group, but not in controls. A significant attentional maintenance bias to non-food compared to food was found in both groups. Detection times did not differ between groups in the search task. Only in NES, attention to and faster detection of non-food stimuli were related to higher BMI and more evening eating episodes. The results might indicate an attentional approach-avoidance pattern towards food in NES. However, further studies should clarify the implications of attentional mechanisms for the etiology and maintenance of NES. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. The pointillism method for creating stimuli suitable for use in computer-based visual contrast sensitivity testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Travis H

    2005-03-30

    An increasingly large corpus of clinical and experimental neuropsychological research has demonstrated the utility of measuring visual contrast sensitivity. Unfortunately, existing means of measuring contrast sensitivity can be prohibitively expensive, difficult to standardize, or lack reliability. Additionally, most existing tests do not allow full control over important characteristics, such as off-angle rotations, waveform, contrast, and spatial frequency. Ideally, researchers could manipulate characteristics and display stimuli in a computerized task designed to meet experimental needs. Thus far, 256-bit color limitation in standard cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors has been preclusive. To this end, the pointillism method (PM) was developed. Using MATLAB software, stimuli are created based on both mathematical and stochastic components, such that differences in regional luminance values of the gradient field closely approximate the desired contrast. This paper describes the method and examines its performance in sine and square-wave image sets from a range of contrast values. Results suggest the utility of the method for most experimental applications. Weaknesses in the current version, the need for validation and reliability studies, and considerations regarding applications are discussed. Syntax for the program is provided in an appendix, and a version of the program independent of MATLAB is available from the author.

  9. A case of epilepsy induced by eating or by visual stimuli of food made of minced meat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimura, Naoya; Inoue, Takeshi; Shimotake, Akihiro; Matsumoto, Riki; Ikeda, Akio; Takahashi, Ryosuke

    2017-08-31

    We report a 34-year-old woman with eating epilepsy induced not only by eating but also seeing foods made of minced meat. In her early 20s of age, she started having simple partial seizures (SPS) as flashback and epigastric discomfort induced by particular foods. When she was 33 years old, she developed SPS, followed by secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizure (sGTCS) provoked by eating a hot dog, and 6 months later, only seeing the video of dumpling. We performed video electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring while she was seeing the video of soup dumpling, which most likely caused sGTCS. Ictal EEG showed rhythmic theta activity in the left frontal to mid-temporal area, followed by generalized seizure pattern. In this patient, seizures were provoked not only by eating particular foods but also by seeing these. This suggests a form of epilepsy involving visual stimuli.

  10. Testing a Poisson counter model for visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Markussen, Bo; Bundesen, Claus

    2012-06-01

    The authors propose and test a simple model of the time course of visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks. The model implies that during stimulus analysis, tentative categorizations that stimulus i belongs to category j are made at a constant Poisson rate, v(i, j). The analysis is continued until the stimulus disappears, and the overt response is based on the categorization made the greatest number of times. The model was evaluated by Monte Carlo tests of goodness of fit against observed probability distributions of responses in two extensive experiments and also by quantifications of the information loss of the model compared with the observed data by use of information theoretic measures. The model provided a close fit to individual data on identification of digits and an apparently perfect fit to data on identification of Landolt rings.

  11. Perceptual Discrimination of Basic Object Features Is Not Facilitated When Priming Stimuli Are Prevented From Reaching Awareness by Means of Visual Masking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Hayden J.; Sperandio, Irene; Laycock, Robin; Chouinard, Philippe A.

    2018-01-01

    Our understanding of how form, orientation and size are processed within and outside of awareness is limited and requires further investigation. Therefore, we investigated whether or not the visual discrimination of basic object features can be influenced by subliminal processing of stimuli presented beforehand. Visual masking was used to render stimuli perceptually invisible. Three experiments examined if visible and invisible primes could facilitate the subsequent feature discrimination of visible targets. The experiments differed in the kind of perceptual discrimination that participants had to make. Namely, participants were asked to discriminate visual stimuli on the basis of their form, orientation, or size. In all three experiments, we demonstrated reliable priming effects when the primes were visible but not when the primes were made invisible. Our findings underscore the importance of conscious awareness in facilitating the perceptual discrimination of basic object features. PMID:29725292

  12. Perceptual Discrimination of Basic Object Features Is Not Facilitated When Priming Stimuli Are Prevented From Reaching Awareness by Means of Visual Masking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Hayden J; Sperandio, Irene; Laycock, Robin; Chouinard, Philippe A

    2018-01-01

    Our understanding of how form, orientation and size are processed within and outside of awareness is limited and requires further investigation. Therefore, we investigated whether or not the visual discrimination of basic object features can be influenced by subliminal processing of stimuli presented beforehand. Visual masking was used to render stimuli perceptually invisible. Three experiments examined if visible and invisible primes could facilitate the subsequent feature discrimination of visible targets. The experiments differed in the kind of perceptual discrimination that participants had to make. Namely, participants were asked to discriminate visual stimuli on the basis of their form, orientation, or size. In all three experiments, we demonstrated reliable priming effects when the primes were visible but not when the primes were made invisible. Our findings underscore the importance of conscious awareness in facilitating the perceptual discrimination of basic object features.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karandreas, Theodoros-Alexandros; Christensen, Flemming

    2006-01-01

    There is currently an increasing demand to evaluate sound quality attributes of products and understand to what extend they influence a user's overall impression, since there is usually more than one modality stimulating this evaluation. The present study uses the loudspeakers as an example...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karandreas, Theodoros-Alexandros; Christensen, Flemming

    Product sound quality evaluation aims to identify relevant attributes and assess their influence on the overall auditory impression. Extending this sound specific rationale, the present study evaluates overall impression in relation to hearing and vision, specifically for loudspeakers. In order...... 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....

  15. The magnetic source imaging of pattern reversal stimuli of various visual fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Shuqian; Ye Yufang; Sun Jilin; Wu Jie; Jia Xiuchuan; Li Sumin; Wu Jing; Zhao Huadong; Liu Lianxiang; Wu Yujin

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To have acknowledgement of characteristics of normal volunteers visual evoked fields about full field, vertical half field and quadrant field and their dipole location by magnetoencephalography. Methods: The visual evoked fields of full field, vertical half field and quadrant field were detected with 13 subjects. The latency, dipole strength and dipoles' location on x, y and z axis were analyzed. The exact locations of the dipoles were detected by overlapping on MR images. Results: The isocontour map of M100 of full field stimulation demonstrated two separate sources. The two M100 dipoles had same peak latency and different strength. And for vertical half field and quadrant field stimulation, evoked magnetic fields of M100 distributed contralateral to the stimulated side. The M100 dipoles on the z-axis to the lower quadrant field stimulation were located significantly higher than those to the upper quadrant field stimulation. The Z value median of left upper quadrant was 49.6 (35.1-72.8) mm. The Z value median of left lower quadrant was 53.5 (44.8-76.3) mm. The different of two left quadrant medians, 3.9 mm, was significant (P<0.05). The Z value median of right upper quadrant was 40.0 (34.8-44.6) mm. The Z value median of right lower quadrant was 53.8 (40.6-61.3) mm. The different of two right quadrant medians, 13.8 mm, was also significant (P<0.05). Although each of the visual evoked fields waveforms and dipole locations demonstrated large intra- and inter-individual variations, the dipole of M100 was mainly located at area Brodmann 17, which includes superior lingual gyrus, posterior cuneus-lingual gyrus and inferior cuneus gyms. Conclusion: The M100 of visual evoked fields of pattern reversal stimulation is mainly generated by the neurons of striate cortex of contralateral to the stimulated side, which is at the lateral bottom of the calcarine fissure. (authors)

  16. Modification of response functions of cat visual cortical cells by spatially congruent perturbing stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabara, J F; Bonds, A B

    2001-12-01

    Responses of cat striate cortical cells to a drifting sinusoidal grating were modified by the superimposition of a second, perturbing grating (PG) that did not excite the cell when presented alone. One consequence of the presence of a PG was a shift in the tuning curves. The orientation tuning of all 41 cells exposed to a PG and the spatial frequency tuning of 83% of the 23 cells exposed to a PG showed statistically significant dislocations of both the response function peak and center of mass from their single grating values. As found in earlier reports, the presence of PGs suppressed responsiveness. However, reductions measured at the single grating optimum orientation or spatial frequency were on average 1.3 times greater than the suppression found at the peak of the response function modified by the presence of the PG. Much of the loss in response seen at the single grating optimum is thus a result of a shift in the tuning function rather than outright suppression. On average orientation shifts were repulsive and proportional (approximately 0.10 deg/deg) to the angle between the perturbing stimulus and the optimum single grating orientation. Shifts in the spatial frequency response function were both attractive and repulsive, resulting in an overall average of zero. For both simple and complex cells, PGs generally broadened orientation response function bandwidths. Similarly, complex cell spatial frequency response function bandwidths broadened. Simple cell spatial frequency response functions usually did not change, and those that did broadened only 4% on average. These data support the hypothesis that additional sinusoidal components in compound stimuli retune cells' response functions for orientation and spatial frequency.

  17. Mapping visual stimuli to perceptual decisions via sparse decoding of mesoscopic neural activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajda, Paul

    2010-01-01

    In this talk I will describe our work investigating sparse decoding of neural activity, given a realistic mapping of the visual scene to neuronal spike trains generated by a model of primary visual cortex (V1). We use a linear decoder which imposes sparsity via an L1 norm. The decoder can be viewed as a decoding neuron (linear summation followed by a sigmoidal nonlinearity) in which there are relatively few non-zero synaptic weights. We find: (1) the best decoding performance is for a representation that is sparse in both space and time, (2) decoding of a temporal code results in better performance than a rate code and is also a better fit to the psychophysical data, (3) the number of neurons required for decoding increases monotonically as signal-to-noise in the stimulus decreases, with as little as 1% of the neurons required for decoding at the highest signal-to-noise levels, and (4) sparse decoding results in a more accurate decoding of the stimulus and is a better fit to psychophysical performance than a distributed decoding, for example one imposed by an L2 norm. We conclude that sparse coding is well-justified from a decoding perspective in that it results in a minimum number of neurons and maximum accuracy when sparse representations can be decoded from the neural dynamics.

  18. Monitoring external beam radiotherapy using real-time beam visualization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenkins, Cesare H. [Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305 (United States); Naczynski, Dominik J.; Yu, Shu-Jung S.; Xing, Lei, E-mail: lei@stanford.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305 (United States)

    2015-01-15

    Purpose: To characterize the performance of a novel radiation therapy monitoring technique that utilizes a flexible scintillating film, common optical detectors, and image processing algorithms for real-time beam visualization (RT-BV). Methods: Scintillating films were formed by mixing Gd{sub 2}O{sub 2}S:Tb (GOS) with silicone and casting the mixture at room temperature. The films were placed in the path of therapeutic beams generated by medical linear accelerators (LINAC). The emitted light was subsequently captured using a CMOS digital camera. Image processing algorithms were used to extract the intensity, shape, and location of the radiation field at various beam energies, dose rates, and collimator locations. The measurement results were compared with known collimator settings to validate the performance of the imaging system. Results: The RT-BV system achieved a sufficient contrast-to-noise ratio to enable real-time monitoring of the LINAC beam at 20 fps with normal ambient lighting in the LINAC room. The RT-BV system successfully identified collimator movements with sub-millimeter resolution. Conclusions: The RT-BV system is capable of localizing radiation therapy beams with sub-millimeter precision and tracking beam movement at video-rate exposure.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Sarah A; Herrmann, Nathan; Eizenman, Moshe; Chung, Jonathan; Lanctôt, Krista L

    2015-01-01

    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. In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. 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. 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. 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.

  1. State of expectancy modulates the neural response to visual food stimuli in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Saima; McGlone, Francis; Dagher, Alain

    2011-04-01

    Human brain imaging studies demonstrate distributed activation of limbic, paralimbic and sensory systems to food and food-associated cues. Activity in this circuit may be modulated by internal factors, such as hunger, and cognitive factors. Anticipation to eat is one such factor, which likely impacts consummatory behavior. Here, the neural substrates of food expectancy were identified in 10 healthy male participants who underwent two whole-brain functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans on separate days. Fasted subjects viewed images of food and scenery, in two counterbalanced states. During one condition, subjects were 'expecting' to eat right after the scan and during the other they were 'not expecting' to eat for 1 h after the scan. Food pictures compared with scenery yielded bilateral activation in visual areas as well as in the left insula and amygdala in both conditions. The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and putamen were additionally activated in the 'not expecting' condition while right orbitofrontal cortex activity was enhanced in the 'expecting' condition. These data suggest that cognitive manipulations affect the response to food cues in the prefrontal cortex, in areas involved in the planning and control of motivated behaviors, while the amygdala and insula responded equally in both conditions, consistent with a more basic role in homeostatically driven appetitive behavior. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Flexible responses to visual and olfactory stimuli by foraging Manduca sexta: larval nutrition affects adult behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyret, Joaquín; Kelber, Almut; Pfaff, Michael; Raguso, Robert A

    2009-08-07

    Here, we show that the consequences of deficient micronutrient (beta-carotene) intake during larval stages of Manduca sexta are carried across metamorphosis, affecting adult behaviour. Our manipulation of larval diet allowed us to examine how developmental plasticity impacts the interplay between visual and olfactory inputs on adult foraging behaviour. Larvae of M. sexta were reared on natural (Nicotiana tabacum) and artificial laboratory diets containing different concentrations of beta-carotene (standard diet, low beta-carotene, high beta-carotene and cornmeal). This vitamin-A precursor has been shown to be crucial for photoreception sensitivity in the retina of M. sexta. After completing development, post-metamorphosis, starved adults were presented with artificial feeders that could be either scented or unscented. Regardless of their larval diet, adult moths fed with relatively high probabilities on scented feeders. When feeders were unscented, moths reared on tobacco were more responsive than moths reared on beta-carotene-deficient artificial diets. Strikingly, moths reared on artificial diets supplemented with increasing amounts of beta-carotene (low beta and high beta) showed increasing probabilities of response to scentless feeders. We discuss these results in relationship to the use of complex, multi-modal sensory information by foraging animals.

  3. Visual stimuli in intervention approaches for pre-schoolers diagnosed with phonological delay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedro, Cassandra Ferreira; Lousada, Marisa; Hall, Andreia; Jesus, Luis M T

    2018-04-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and content validate specific speech and language intervention picture cards: The Letter-Sound (L&S) cards. The present study was also focused on assessing the influence of these cards on letter-sound correspondences and speech sound production. An expert panel of six speech and language therapists analysed and discussed the L&S cards based on several criteria previously established. A Speech and Language Therapist carried out a 6-week therapeutic intervention with a group of seven Portuguese phonologically delayed pre-schoolers aged 5;3 to 6;5. The modified Bland-Altman method revealed good agreement among evaluators, that is the majority of the values was between the agreement limits. Additional outcome measures were collected before and after the therapeutic intervention process. Results indicate that the L&S cards facilitate the acquisition of letter-sound correspondences. Regarding speech sound production, some improvements were also observed at word level. The L&S cards are therefore likely to give phonetic cues, which are crucial for the correct production of therapeutic targets. These visual cues seemed to have helped children with phonological delay develop the above-mentioned skills.

  4. 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.

  5. Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. II: Visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis

    2014-01-01

    Human subjects performed in several behavioral conditions requiring, or not requiring, selective attention to visual stimuli. Specifically, the attentional task was to recognize strings of digits that had been presented visually. A nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was collected during the visual presentation of the digits. The segment of the physiological response discussed here occurred during brief silent periods immediately following the SFOAE-evoking stimuli. For all subjects tested, the physiological-noise magnitudes were substantially weaker (less noisy) during the tasks requiring the most visual attention. Effect sizes for the differences were >2.0. Our interpretation is that cortico-olivo influences adjusted the magnitude of efferent activation during the SFOAE-evoking stimulation depending upon the attention task in effect, and then that magnitude of efferent activation persisted throughout the silent period where it also modulated the physiological noise present. Because the results were highly similar to those obtained when the behavioral conditions involved auditory attention, similar mechanisms appear to operate both across modalities and within modalities. Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention. PMID:24732070

  6. The effect of internal and external fields of view on visually induced motion sickness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, J.E.; Vries, S.C. de; Emmerik, M.L. van; Groen, E.L.

    2010-01-01

    Field of view (FOV) is said to affect visually induced motion sickness. FOV, however, is characterized by an internal setting used by the graphics generator (iFOV) and an external factor determined by screen size and viewing distance (eFOV). We hypothesized that especially the incongruence between

  7. Selective attention to spatial and non-spatial visual stimuli is affected differentially by age: Effects on event-related brain potentials and performance data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talsma, D.; Kok, Albert; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard

    2006-01-01

    To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies

  8. Attending and Inhibiting Stimuli That Match the Contents of Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Eye Movements and Pupillometry (2015 GDR Vision meeting)

    OpenAIRE

    Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Heusden, Elle van; Stigchel, Stefan Van der

    2015-01-01

    Slides for: Mathôt, S., & Van Heusden, E., & Van der Stigchel, S. (2015, Dec). Attending and Inhibiting Stimuli That Match the Contents of Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Eye Movements and Pupillometry. Talk presented at the GDR Vision Meething, Grenoble, France.

  9. Activations in temporal areas using visual and auditory naming stimuli: A language fMRI study in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzálvez, Gloria G; Trimmel, Karin; Haag, Anja; van Graan, Louis A; Koepp, Matthias J; Thompson, Pamela J; Duncan, John S

    2016-12-01

    Verbal fluency functional MRI (fMRI) is used for predicting language deficits after anterior temporal lobe resection (ATLR) for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), but primarily engages frontal lobe areas. In this observational study we investigated fMRI paradigms using visual and auditory stimuli, which predominately involve language areas resected during ATLR. Twenty-three controls and 33 patients (20 left (LTLE), 13 right (RTLE)) were assessed using three fMRI paradigms: verbal fluency, auditory naming with a contrast of auditory reversed speech; picture naming with a contrast of scrambled pictures and blurred faces. Group analysis showed bilateral temporal activations for auditory naming and picture naming. Correcting for auditory and visual input (by subtracting activations resulting from auditory reversed speech and blurred pictures/scrambled faces respectively) resulted in left-lateralised activations for patients and controls, which was more pronounced for LTLE compared to RTLE patients. Individual subject activations at a threshold of T>2.5, extent >10 voxels, showed that verbal fluency activated predominantly the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in 90% of LTLE, 92% of RTLE, and 65% of controls, compared to right IFG activations in only 15% of LTLE and RTLE and 26% of controls. Middle temporal (MTG) or superior temporal gyrus (STG) activations were seen on the left in 30% of LTLE, 23% of RTLE, and 52% of controls, and on the right in 15% of LTLE, 15% of RTLE, and 35% of controls. Auditory naming activated temporal areas more frequently than did verbal fluency (LTLE: 93%/73%; RTLE: 92%/58%; controls: 82%/70% (left/right)). Controlling for auditory input resulted in predominantly left-sided temporal activations. Picture naming resulted in temporal lobe activations less frequently than did auditory naming (LTLE 65%/55%; RTLE 53%/46%; controls 52%/35% (left/right)). Controlling for visual input had left-lateralising effects. Auditory and picture naming activated

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Samantha J.; Chivers, Meredith L.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27088358

  12. 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.

  13. Use of Sine Shaped High-Frequency Rhythmic Visual Stimuli Patterns for SSVEP Response Analysis and Fatigue Rate Evaluation in Normal Subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmadreza Keihani

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recent EEG-SSVEP signal based BCI studies have used high frequency square pulse visual stimuli to reduce subjective fatigue. However, the effect of total harmonic distortion (THD has not been considered. Compared to CRT and LCD monitors, LED screen displays high-frequency wave with better refresh rate. In this study, we present high frequency sine wave simple and rhythmic patterns with low THD rate by LED to analyze SSVEP responses and evaluate subjective fatigue in normal subjects.Materials and Methods: We used patterns of 3-sequence high-frequency sine waves (25, 30, and 35 Hz to design our visual stimuli. Nine stimuli patterns, 3 simple (repetition of each of above 3 frequencies e.g., P25-25-25 and 6 rhythmic (all of the frequencies in 6 different sequences e.g., P25-30-35 were chosen. A hardware setup with low THD rate (<0.1% was designed to present these patterns on LED. Twenty two normal subjects (aged 23–30 (25 ± 2.1 yrs were enrolled. Visual analog scale (VAS was used for subjective fatigue evaluation after presentation of each stimulus pattern. PSD, CCA, and LASSO methods were employed to analyze SSVEP responses. The data including SSVEP features and fatigue rate for different visual stimuli patterns were statistically evaluated.Results: All 9 visual stimuli patterns elicited SSVEP responses. Overall, obtained accuracy rates were 88.35% for PSD and > 90% for CCA and LASSO (for TWs > 1 s. High frequency rhythmic patterns group with low THD rate showed higher accuracy rate (99.24% than simple patterns group (98.48%. Repeated measure ANOVA showed significant difference between rhythmic pattern features (P < 0.0005. Overall, there was no significant difference between the VAS of rhythmic [3.85 ± 2.13] compared to the simple patterns group [3.96 ± 2.21], (P = 0.63. Rhythmic group had lower within group VAS variation (min = P25-30-35 [2.90 ± 2.45], max = P35-25-30 [4.81 ± 2.65] as well as least individual pattern VAS (P25

  14. Bingo! Externally-Supported Performance Intervention for Deficient Visual Search in Normal Aging, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laudate, Thomas M.; Neargarder, Sandy; Dunne, Tracy E.; Sullivan, Karen D.; Joshi, Pallavi; Gilmore, Grover C.; Riedel, Tatiana M.; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2011-01-01

    External support may improve task performance regardless of an individual’s ability to compensate for cognitive deficits through internally-generated mechanisms. We investigated if performance of a complex, familiar visual search task (the game of bingo) could be enhanced in groups with suboptimal vision by providing external support through manipulation of task stimuli. Participants were 19 younger adults, 14 individuals with probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD), 13 AD-matched healthy adults, 17 non-demented individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and 20 PD-matched healthy adults. We varied stimulus contrast, size, and visual complexity during game play. The externally-supported performance interventions of increased stimulus size and decreased complexity resulted in improvements in performance by all groups. Performance improvement through increased stimulus size and decreased complexity was demonstrated by all groups. AD also obtained benefit from increasing contrast, presumably by compensating for their contrast sensitivity deficit. The general finding of improved performance across healthy and afflicted groups suggests the value of visual support as an easy-to-apply intervention to enhance cognitive performance. PMID:22066941

  15. Chewing Stimulation Reduces Appetite Ratings and Attentional Bias toward Visual Food Stimuli in Healthy-Weight Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji

    2018-01-01

    Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain's reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias, gaze

  16. Chewing Stimulation Reduces Appetite Ratings and Attentional Bias toward Visual Food Stimuli in Healthy-Weight Individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J.; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji

    2018-01-01

    Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain’s reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias

  17. Emergence of ultrafast sparsely synchronized rhythms and their responses to external stimuli in an inhomogeneous small-world complex neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2017-09-01

    We consider an inhomogeneous small-world network (SWN) composed of inhibitory short-range (SR) and long-range (LR) interneurons, and investigate the effect of network architecture on emergence of synchronized brain rhythms by varying the fraction of LR interneurons p long . The betweenness centralities of the LR and SR interneurons (characterizing the potentiality in controlling communication between other interneurons) are distinctly different. Hence, in view of the betweenness, SWNs we consider are inhomogeneous, unlike the "canonical" Watts-Strogatz SWN with nearly the same betweenness centralities. For small p long , the load of communication traffic is much concentrated on a few LR interneurons. However, as p long is increased, the number of LR connections (coming from LR interneurons) increases, and then the load of communication traffic is less concentrated on LR interneurons, which leads to better efficiency of global communication between interneurons. Sparsely synchronized rhythms are thus found to emerge when passing a small critical value p long (c) (≃0.16). The population frequency of the sparsely synchronized rhythm is ultrafast (higher than 100 Hz), while the mean firing rate of individual interneurons is much lower (∼30 Hz) due to stochastic and intermittent neural discharges. These dynamical behaviors in the inhomogeneous SWN are also compared with those in the homogeneous Watts-Strogatz SWN, in connection with their network topologies. Particularly, we note that the main difference between the two types of SWNs lies in the distribution of betweenness centralities. Unlike the case of the Watts-Strogatz SWN, dynamical responses to external stimuli vary depending on the type of stimulated interneurons in the inhomogeneous SWN. We consider two cases of external time-periodic stimuli applied to sub-populations of the LR and SR interneurons, respectively. Dynamical responses (such as synchronization suppression and enhancement) to these two cases of

  18. Visual Monte Carlo and its application to internal and external dosimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, J.G.; Silva, F.C. da; Souza-Santos, D. de; Dantas, B.M.; Azeredo, A.; Malatova, I.; Foltanova, S.; Isakson, M.

    2001-01-01

    The program visual Monte Carlo (VMC), combined with voxel phantoms, and its application to three areas of radiation protection: calibration of in vivo measurement systems, dose calculations due to external sources of radiation, and the calculation of Specific Effective Energies is described in this paper. The simulation of photon transport through a voxel phantom requires a Monte Carlo program adapted to voxel geometries. VMC is written in Visual Basic trademark, a Microsoft Windows based program, which is easy to use and has an extensive graphic output. (orig.)

  19. Food recognition and recipe analysis: integrating visual content, context and external knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Herranz, Luis; Min, Weiqing; Jiang, Shuqiang

    2018-01-01

    The central role of food in our individual and social life, combined with recent technological advances, has motivated a growing interest in applications that help to better monitor dietary habits as well as the exploration and retrieval of food-related information. We review how visual content, context and external knowledge can be integrated effectively into food-oriented applications, with special focus on recipe analysis and retrieval, food recommendation, and the restaurant context as em...

  20. Visual Experience Shapes the Neural Networks Remapping Touch into External Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crollen, Virginie; Lazzouni, Latifa; Rezk, Mohamed; Bellemare, Antoine; Lepore, Franco; Collignon, Olivier

    2017-10-18

    Localizing touch relies on the activation of skin-based and externally defined spatial frames of reference. Psychophysical studies have demonstrated that early visual deprivation prevents the automatic remapping of touch into external space. We used fMRI to characterize how visual experience impacts the brain circuits dedicated to the spatial processing of touch. Sighted and congenitally blind humans performed a tactile temporal order judgment (TOJ) task, either with the hands uncrossed or crossed over the body midline. Behavioral data confirmed that crossing the hands has a detrimental effect on TOJ judgments in sighted but not in early blind people. Crucially, the crossed hand posture elicited enhanced activity, when compared with the uncrossed posture, in a frontoparietal network in the sighted group only. Psychophysiological interaction analysis revealed, however, that the congenitally blind showed enhanced functional connectivity between parietal and frontal regions in the crossed versus uncrossed hand postures. Our results demonstrate that visual experience scaffolds the neural implementation of the location of touch in space. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In daily life, we seamlessly localize touch in external space for action planning toward a stimulus making contact with the body. For efficient sensorimotor integration, the brain has therefore to compute the current position of our limbs in the external world. In the present study, we demonstrate that early visual deprivation alters the brain activity in a dorsal parietofrontal network typically supporting touch localization in the sighted. Our results therefore conclusively demonstrate the intrinsic role that developmental vision plays in scaffolding the neural implementation of touch perception. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3710097-07$15.00/0.

  1. Use of Sine Shaped High-Frequency Rhythmic Visual Stimuli Patterns for SSVEP Response Analysis and Fatigue Rate Evaluation in Normal Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keihani, Ahmadreza; Shirzhiyan, Zahra; Farahi, Morteza; Shamsi, Elham; Mahnam, Amin; Makkiabadi, Bahador; Haidari, Mohsen R; Jafari, Amir H

    2018-01-01

    Background: Recent EEG-SSVEP signal based BCI studies have used high frequency square pulse visual stimuli to reduce subjective fatigue. However, the effect of total harmonic distortion (THD) has not been considered. Compared to CRT and LCD monitors, LED screen displays high-frequency wave with better refresh rate. In this study, we present high frequency sine wave simple and rhythmic patterns with low THD rate by LED to analyze SSVEP responses and evaluate subjective fatigue in normal subjects. Materials and Methods: We used patterns of 3-sequence high-frequency sine waves (25, 30, and 35 Hz) to design our visual stimuli. Nine stimuli patterns, 3 simple (repetition of each of above 3 frequencies e.g., P25-25-25) and 6 rhythmic (all of the frequencies in 6 different sequences e.g., P25-30-35) were chosen. A hardware setup with low THD rate ( 90% for CCA and LASSO (for TWs > 1 s). High frequency rhythmic patterns group with low THD rate showed higher accuracy rate (99.24%) than simple patterns group (98.48%). Repeated measure ANOVA showed significant difference between rhythmic pattern features ( P rhythmic [3.85 ± 2.13] compared to the simple patterns group [3.96 ± 2.21], ( P = 0.63). Rhythmic group had lower within group VAS variation (min = P25-30-35 [2.90 ± 2.45], max = P35-25-30 [4.81 ± 2.65]) as well as least individual pattern VAS (P25-30-35). Discussion and Conclusion: Overall, rhythmic and simple pattern groups had higher and similar accuracy rates. Rhythmic stimuli patterns showed insignificantly lower fatigue rate than simple patterns. We conclude that both rhythmic and simple visual high frequency sine wave stimuli require further research for human subject SSVEP-BCI studies.

  2. The Interplay Among Children's Negative Family Representations, Visual Processing of Negative Emotions, and Externalizing Symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Patrick T; Coe, Jesse L; Hentges, Rochelle F; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L; van der Kloet, Erika

    2018-03-01

    This study examined the transactional interplay among children's negative family representations, visual processing of negative emotions, and externalizing symptoms in a sample of 243 preschool children (M age  = 4.60 years). Children participated in three annual measurement occasions. Cross-lagged autoregressive models were conducted with multimethod, multi-informant data to identify mediational pathways. Consistent with schema-based top-down models, negative family representations were associated with attention to negative faces in an eye-tracking task and their externalizing symptoms. Children's negative representations of family relationships specifically predicted decreases in their attention to negative emotions, which, in turn, was associated with subsequent increases in their externalizing symptoms. Follow-up analyses indicated that the mediational role of diminished attention to negative emotions was particularly pronounced for angry faces. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. A comparative analysis of global and local processing of hierarchical visual stimuli in young children (Homo sapiens) and monkeys (Cebus apella).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lillo, Carlo; Spinozzi, Giovanna; Truppa, Valentina; Naylor, Donna M

    2005-05-01

    Results obtained with preschool children (Homo sapiens) were compared with results previously obtained from capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) in matching-to-sample tasks featuring hierarchical visual stimuli. In Experiment 1, monkeys, in contrast with children, showed an advantage in matching the stimuli on the basis of their local features. These results were replicated in a 2nd experiment in which control trials enabled the authors to rule out that children used spurious cues to solve the matching task. In a 3rd experiment featuring conditions in which the density of the stimuli was manipulated, monkeys' accuracy in the processing of the global shape of the stimuli was negatively affected by the separation of the local elements, whereas children's performance was robust across testing conditions. Children's response latencies revealed a global precedence in the 2nd and 3rd experiments. These results show differences in the processing of hierarchical stimuli by humans and monkeys that emerge early during childhood. 2005 APA, all rights reserved

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Bathelt

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 320 ms 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.

  6. 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

    2017-10-01

    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.

  7. l-Theanine and caffeine improve target-specific attention to visual stimuli by decreasing mind wandering: a human functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahathuduwa, Chanaka N; Dhanasekara, Chathurika S; Chin, Shao-Hua; Davis, Tyler; Weerasinghe, Vajira S; Dassanayake, Tharaka L; Binks, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Oral intake of l-theanine and caffeine supplements is known to be associated with faster stimulus discrimination, possibly via improving attention to stimuli. We hypothesized that l-theanine and caffeine may be bringing about this beneficial effect by increasing attention-related neural resource allocation to target stimuli and decreasing deviation of neural resources to distractors. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test this hypothesis. Solutions of 200mg of l-theanine, 160mg of caffeine, their combination, or the vehicle (distilled water; placebo) were administered in a randomized 4-way crossover design to 9 healthy adult men. Sixty minutes after administration, a 20-minute fMRI scan was performed while the subjects performed a visual color stimulus discrimination task. l-Theanine and l-theanine-caffeine combination resulted in faster responses to targets compared with placebo (∆=27.8milliseconds, P=.018 and ∆=26.7milliseconds, P=.037, respectively). l-Theanine was associated with decreased fMRI responses to distractor stimuli in brain regions that regulate visual attention, suggesting that l-theanine may be decreasing neural resource allocation to process distractors, thus allowing to attend to targets more efficiently. l-Theanine-caffeine combination was associated with decreased fMRI responses to target stimuli as compared with distractors in several brain regions that typically show increased activation during mind wandering. Factorial analysis suggested that l-theanine and caffeine seem to have a synergistic action in decreasing mind wandering. Therefore, our hypothesis is that l-theanine and caffeine may be decreasing deviation of attention to distractors (including mind wandering); thus, enhancing attention to target stimuli was confirmed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Performance improvements from imagery:evidence that internal visual imagery is superior to external visual imagery for slalom performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nichola eCallow

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We report three experiments investigating the hypothesis that use of internal visual imagery (IVI would be superior to external visual imagery (EVI for the performance of different slalom-based motor tasks. In Experiment 1, three groups of participants (IVI, EVI, and a control group performed a driving-simulation slalom task. The IVI group achieved significantly quicker lap times than EVI and the control group. In Experiment 2, participants performed a downhill running slalom task under both IVI and EVI conditions. Performance was again quickest in the IVI compared to EVI condition, with no differences in accuracy. Experiment 3 used the same group design as Experiment 1, but with participants performing a downhill ski-slalom task. Results revealed the IVI group to be significantly more accurate than the control group, with no significant differences in time taken to complete the task. These results support the beneficial effects of IVI for slalom-based tasks, and significantly advances our knowledge related to the differential effects of visual imagery perspectives on motor performance.

  9. Different Stimuli, Different Spatial Codes: A Visual Map and an Auditory Rate Code for Oculomotor Space in the Primate Superior Colliculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jungah; Groh, Jennifer M.

    2014-01-01

    Maps are a mainstay of visual, somatosensory, and motor coding in many species. However, auditory maps of space have not been reported in the primate brain. Instead, recent studies have suggested that sound location may be encoded via broadly responsive neurons whose firing rates vary roughly proportionately with sound azimuth. Within frontal space, maps and such rate codes involve different response patterns at the level of individual neurons. Maps consist of neurons exhibiting circumscribed receptive fields, whereas rate codes involve open-ended response patterns that peak in the periphery. This coding format discrepancy therefore poses a potential problem for brain regions responsible for representing both visual and auditory information. Here, we investigated the coding of auditory space in the primate superior colliculus(SC), a structure known to contain visual and oculomotor maps for guiding saccades. We report that, for visual stimuli, neurons showed circumscribed receptive fields consistent with a map, but for auditory stimuli, they had open-ended response patterns consistent with a rate or level-of-activity code for location. The discrepant response patterns were not segregated into different neural populations but occurred in the same neurons. We show that a read-out algorithm in which the site and level of SC activity both contribute to the computation of stimulus location is successful at evaluating the discrepant visual and auditory codes, and can account for subtle but systematic differences in the accuracy of auditory compared to visual saccades. This suggests that a given population of neurons can use different codes to support appropriate multimodal behavior. PMID:24454779

  10. Brain Processing of Visual Stimuli Representing Sexual Penetration versus Core and Animal-Reminder Disgust in Women with Lifelong Vaginismus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Renken, Remco J.; Spoelstra, Symen K.; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrordus; de Jong, Peter

    2014-01-01

    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

  11. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 foods compared to low-energy foods (P food stimuli tended to produce greater fMRI responses than low-energy food stimuli in specific areas of the 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.

  12. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy

    OpenAIRE

    Peirce, Jonathan W.

    2009-01-01

    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 scrip...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    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

  15. Functional Role of Internal and External Visual Imagery: Preliminary Evidences from Pilates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Montuori

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigates whether a functional difference between the visualization of a sequence of movements in the perspective of the first- (internal VMI-I or third- (external VMI-E person exists, which might be relevant to promote learning. By using a mental chronometry experimental paradigm, we have compared the time or execution, imagination in the VMI-I perspective, and imagination in the VMI-E perspective of two kinds of Pilates exercises. The analysis was carried out in individuals with different levels of competence (expert, novice, and no-practice individuals. Our results showed that in the Expert group, in the VMI-I perspective, the imagination time was similar to the execution time, while in the VMI-E perspective, the imagination time was significantly lower than the execution time. An opposite pattern was found in the Novice group, in which the time of imagination was similar to that of execution only in the VMI-E perspective, while in the VMI-I perspective, the time of imagination was significantly lower than the time of execution. In the control group, the times of both modalities of imagination were significantly lower than the execution time for each exercise. The present data suggest that, while the VMI-I serves to train an already internalised gesture, the VMI-E perspective could be useful to learn, and then improve, the recently acquired sequence of movements. Moreover, visual imagery is not useful for individuals that lack a specific motor experience. The present data offer new insights in the application of mental training techniques, especially in field of sports. However, further investigations are needed to better understand the functional role of internal and external visual imagery.

  16. Functional Role of Internal and External Visual Imagery: Preliminary Evidences from Pilates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montuori, Simone; Sorrentino, Pierpaolo; Belloni, Lidia; Sorrentino, Giuseppe

    2018-01-01

    The present study investigates whether a functional difference between the visualization of a sequence of movements in the perspective of the first- (internal VMI-I) or third- (external VMI-E) person exists, which might be relevant to promote learning. By using a mental chronometry experimental paradigm, we have compared the time or execution, imagination in the VMI-I perspective, and imagination in the VMI-E perspective of two kinds of Pilates exercises. The analysis was carried out in individuals with different levels of competence (expert, novice, and no-practice individuals). Our results showed that in the Expert group, in the VMI-I perspective, the imagination time was similar to the execution time, while in the VMI-E perspective, the imagination time was significantly lower than the execution time. An opposite pattern was found in the Novice group, in which the time of imagination was similar to that of execution only in the VMI-E perspective, while in the VMI-I perspective, the time of imagination was significantly lower than the time of execution. In the control group, the times of both modalities of imagination were significantly lower than the execution time for each exercise. The present data suggest that, while the VMI-I serves to train an already internalised gesture, the VMI-E perspective could be useful to learn, and then improve, the recently acquired sequence of movements. Moreover, visual imagery is not useful for individuals that lack a specific motor experience. The present data offer new insights in the application of mental training techniques, especially in field of sports. However, further investigations are needed to better understand the functional role of internal and external visual imagery. PMID:29849565

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R; Renken, Remco J; Spoelstra, Symen K; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J

    2014-01-01

    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 the

  18. 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

  19. Brain Processing of Visual Stimuli Representing Sexual Penetration versus Core and Animal-Reminder Disgust in Women with Lifelong Vaginismus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Renken, Remco J.; Spoelstra, Symen K.; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    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 the

  20. Brain Processing of Visual Stimuli Representing Sexual Penetration versus Core and Animal-Reminder Disgust in Women with Lifelong Vaginismus

    OpenAIRE

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Renken, Remco J.; Spoelstra, Symen K.; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    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...

  1. 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.

  2. External noise distinguishes attention mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Z L; Dosher, B A

    1998-05-01

    We developed and tested a powerful method for identifying and characterizing the effect of attention on performance in visual tasks as due to signal enhancement, distractor exclusion, or internal noise suppression. Based on a noisy Perceptual Template Model (PTM) of a human observer, the method adds increasing amounts of external noise (white gaussian random noise) to the visual stimulus and observes the effect on performance of a perceptual task for attended and unattended stimuli. The three mechanisms of attention yield three "signature" patterns of performance. The general framework for characterizing the mechanisms of attention is used here to investigate the attentional mechanisms in a concurrent location-cued orientation discrimination task. Test stimuli--Gabor patches tilted slightly to the right or left--always appeared on both the left and the right of fixation, and varied independently. Observers were cued on each trial to attend to the left, the right, or evenly to both stimuli, and decide the direction of tilt of both test stimuli. For eight levels of added external noise and three attention conditions (attended, unattended, and equal), subjects' contrast threshold levels were determined. At low levels of external noise, attention affected threshold contrast: threshold contrasts for non-attended stimuli were systematically higher than for equal attention stimuli, which were, in turn, higher than for attended stimuli. Specifically, when the rms contrast of the external noise is below 10%, there is a consistent 17% elevation of contrast threshold from attended to unattended condition across all three subjects. For higher levels of external noise, attention conditions did not affect threshold contrast values at all. These strong results are characteristic of a signal enhancement, or equivalently, an internal additive noise reduction mechanism of attention.

  3. Visual stimuli for the P300 brain-computer interface: a comparison of white/gray and green/blue flicker matrices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takano, Kouji; Komatsu, Tomoaki; Hata, Naoki; Nakajima, Yasoichi; Kansaku, Kenji

    2009-08-01

    The white/gray flicker matrix has been used as a visual stimulus for the so-called P300 brain-computer interface (BCI), but the white/gray flash stimuli might induce discomfort. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of green/blue flicker matrices as visual stimuli. Ten able-bodied, non-trained subjects performed Alphabet Spelling (Japanese Alphabet: Hiragana) using an 8 x 10 matrix with three types of intensification/rest flicker combinations (L, luminance; C, chromatic; LC, luminance and chromatic); both online and offline performances were evaluated. The accuracy rate under the online LC condition was 80.6%. Offline analysis showed that the LC condition was associated with significantly higher accuracy than was the L or C condition (Tukey-Kramer, p < 0.05). No significant difference was observed between L and C conditions. The LC condition, which used the green/blue flicker matrix was associated with better performances in the P300 BCI. The green/blue chromatic flicker matrix can be an efficient tool for practical BCI application.

  4. The effect of internal and external fields of view on visually induced motion sickness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Jelte E; de Vries, Sjoerd C; van Emmerik, Martijn L; Groen, Eric L

    2010-07-01

    Field of view (FOV) is said to affect visually induced motion sickness. FOV, however, is characterized by an internal setting used by the graphics generator (iFOV) and an external factor determined by screen size and viewing distance (eFOV). We hypothesized that especially the incongruence between iFOV and eFOV would lead to sickness. To that end we used a computer game environment with different iFOV and eFOV settings, and found the opposite effect. We speculate that the relative large differences between iFOV and eFOV used in this experiment caused the discrepancy, as may be explained by assuming an observer model controlling body motion. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of incongruent auditory and visual room-related cues on sound externalization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Sounds presented via headphones are typically perceived inside the head. However, the illusion of a sound source located out in space away from the listener’s head can be generated with binaural headphone-based auralization systems by convolving anechoic sound signals with a binaural room impulse...... response (BRIR) measured with miniature microphones placed in the listener’s ear canals. Sound externalization of such virtual sounds can be very convincing and robust but there have been reports that the illusion might break down when the listening environment differs from the room in which the BRIRs were...... recorded [1,2,3]. This may be due to incongruent auditory cues between the recording and playback room during sound reproduction [2]. Alternatively, an expectation effect caused by the visual impression of the room may affect the position of the perceived auditory image [3]. Here, we systematically...

  6. Summation in autoshaping is affected by the similarity of the visual stimuli to the stimulation they replace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, John M; Redhead, Edward S; George, David N

    2002-04-01

    Pigeons received autoshaping with 2 stimuli, A and B, presented in adjacent regions on a television screen. Conditioning with each stimulus was therefore accompanied by stimulation that was displaced from the screen whenever the other stimulus was presented. Test trials with AB revealed stronger responding if this displaced stimulation was similar to, rather than different from, A and B. For a further experiment the training just described included trials with A and B accompanied by an additional, similar, stimulus. Responding during test trials with AB was stronger if the additional trials signaled the presence rather than the absence of food. The results are explained with a configural theory of conditioning.

  7. Is It Me or My Hormones? Neuroendocrine Activation Profiles to Visual Food Stimuli Across the Menstrual Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnoni-Bauer, Yardena; Bick, Atira; Raz, Noa; Imbar, Tal; Amos, Shoshana; Agmon, Orly; Marko, Limor; Levin, Netta; Weiss, Ram

    2017-09-01

    Homeostatic energy balance is controlled via the hypothalamus, whereas regions controlling reward and cognitive decision-making are critical for hedonic eating. Eating varies across the menstrual cycle peaking at the midluteal phase. To test responses of females with regular cycles during midfollicular and midluteal phase and of users of monophasic oral contraception pills (OCPs) to visual food cues. Participants performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging while exposed to visual food cues in four time points: fasting and fed conditions in midfollicular and midluteal phases. Twenty females with regular cycles and 12 on monophasic OCP, aged 18 to 35 years. Activity in homeostatic (hypothalamus), reward (amygdala, putamen and insula), frontal (anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and visual regions (calcarine and lateral occipital cortex). Tertiary hospital. In females with regular cycles, brain regions associated with homeostasis but also the reward system, executive frontal areas, and afferent visual areas were activated to a greater degree during the luteal compared with the follicular phase. Within the visual areas, a dual effect of hormonal and prandial state was seen. In females on monophasic OCPs, characterized by a permanently elevated progesterone concentration, activity reminiscent of the luteal phase was found. Androgen, cortisol, testosterone, and insulin levels were significantly correlated with reward and visual region activation. Hormonal mechanisms affect the responses of women's homeostatic, emotional, and attentional brain regions to food cues. The relation of these findings to eating behavior throughout the cycle needs further investigation. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzarotti, Stefania; Colombo, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Seo, Younghee; Jeong, Bumseok; 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 sexu...

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. You Don't See What I See: Individual Differences in the Perception of Meaning from Visual Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timea R Partos

    Full Text Available Everyone has their own unique version of the visual world and there has been growing interest in understanding the way that personality shapes one's perception. Here, we investigated meaningful visual experiences in relation to the personality dimension of schizotypy. In a novel approach to this issue, a non-clinical sample of subjects (total n = 197 were presented with calibrated images of scenes, cartoons and faces of varying visibility embedded in noise; the spatial properties of the images were constructed to mimic the natural statistics of the environment. In two experiments, subjects were required to indicate what they saw in a large number of unique images, both with and without actual meaningful structure. The first experiment employed an open-ended response paradigm and used a variety of different images in noise; the second experiment only presented a series of faces embedded in noise, and required a forced-choice response from the subjects. The results in all conditions indicated that a high positive schizotypy score was associated with an increased tendency to perceive complex meaning in images comprised purely of random visual noise. Individuals high in positive schizotypy seemed to be employing a looser criterion (response bias to determine what constituted a 'meaningful' image, while also being significantly less sensitive at the task than those low in positive schizotypy. Our results suggest that differences in perceptual performance for individuals high in positive schizotypy are not related to increased suggestibility or susceptibility to instruction, as had previously been suggested. Instead, the observed reductions in sensitivity along with increased response bias toward seeing something that is not there, indirectly implicated subtle neurophysiological differences associated with the personality dimension of schizotypy, that are theoretically pertinent to the continuum of schizophrenia and hallucination-proneness.

  18. When goals conflict with values: counterproductive attentional and oculomotor capture by reward-related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Pelley, Mike E; Pearson, Daniel; Griffiths, Oren; Beesley, Tom

    2015-02-01

    Attention provides the gateway to cognition, by selecting certain stimuli for further analysis. Recent research demonstrates that whether a stimulus captures attention is not determined solely by its physical properties, but is malleable, being influenced by our previous experience of rewards obtained by attending to that stimulus. Here we show that this influence of reward learning on attention extends to task-irrelevant stimuli. In a visual search task, certain stimuli signaled the magnitude of available reward, but reward delivery was not contingent on responding to those stimuli. Indeed, any attentional capture by these critical distractor stimuli led to a reduction in the reward obtained. Nevertheless, distractors signaling large reward produced greater attentional and oculomotor capture than those signaling small reward. This counterproductive capture by task-irrelevant stimuli is important because it demonstrates how external reward structures can produce patterns of behavior that conflict with task demands, and similar processes may underlie problematic behavior directed toward real-world rewards.

  19. Disturbed holistic processing in autism spectrum disorders verified by two cognitive tasks requiring perception of complex visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakahachi, Takayuki; Yamashita, Ko; Iwase, Masao; Ishigami, Wataru; Tanaka, Chitaru; Toyonaga, Koji; Maeda, Shizuyo; Hirotsune, Hideto; Tei, Yosyo; Yokoi, Koichi; Okajima, Shoji; Shimizu, Akira; Takeda, Masatoshi

    2008-06-30

    Central coherence is a key concept in research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It refers to the process in which diverse information is integrated and higher meaning is constructed in context. A malfunction in this process could result in abnormal attention to partial information in preference to the whole. To verify this hypothesis, we studied the performance of two visual tasks by 10 patients with autistic disorder or Asperger's disorder and by 26 (experiment 1) or 25 (experiment 2) normal subjects. In experiment 1, the subjects memorized pictures, some pictures with a change related to the main theme (D1) and others with a change not related to the main theme (D2); then the same pictures were randomly presented to the subjects who were asked to find the change. In experiment 2, the subjects were presented pictures of a normal (N) or a Thatcherized (T) face arranged side by side inversely (I) or uprightly (U) and to judge them as the same or different. In experiment 1, ASD subjects exhibited significantly lower rates of correct responses in D1 but not in D2. In experiment 2, ASD subjects exhibited significantly longer response times in NT-U but not in TN-I. These results showed a deficit in holistic processing, which is consistent with weak central coherence in ASD.

  20. Effect of instructive visual stimuli on neurofeedback training for motor imagery-based brain-computer interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Toshiyuki; Saeki, Midori; Hayashi, Yoshikatsu; Nakayashiki, Kosei; Takata, Yohei

    2015-10-01

    Event-related desynchronization (ERD) of the electroencephalogram (EEG) from the motor cortex is associated with execution, observation, and mental imagery of motor tasks. Generation of ERD by motor imagery (MI) has been widely used for brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) linked to neuroprosthetics and other motor assistance devices. Control of MI-based BCIs can be acquired by neurofeedback training to reliably induce MI-associated ERD. To develop more effective training conditions, we investigated the effect of static and dynamic visual representations of target movements (a picture of forearms or a video clip of hand grasping movements) during the BCI neurofeedback training. After 4 consecutive training days, the group that performed MI while viewing the video showed significant improvement in generating MI-associated ERD compared with the group that viewed the static image. This result suggests that passively observing the target movement during MI would improve the associated mental imagery and enhance MI-based BCIs skills. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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; Jeong, Bumseok; Kim, Ji-Woong; Choi, Jeewook

    2009-09-01

    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. 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. 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. Our results suggested sexual hormones in basal state may have their specific target regions or network associated with sexual response.

  2. PL-DA-PS: A hardware architecture and software toolbox for neurophysiology requiring complex visual stimuli and online behavioral control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyler M. Eastman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurophysiological studies in awake, behaving primates (both human and nonhuman primates 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 an architecture that integrates several modern pieces of equipment, but still grants experimenters a high degree of flexibility. Our hardware architecture and software tools take advantage of three popular and powerful technologies: the PLexon apparatus for neurophysiological recordings (Plexon, Inc., Dallas TX, a DAtapixx box (Vpixx Technologies, Saint-Bruno, QC, Canada for analog, digital, and video signal input-output control, and the PSychtoolbox MATLAB toolbox for stimulus generation (Brainard, 1997. The PL-DA-PS (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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. 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

  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. Effects of Dietary Protein and Fiber at Breakfast on Appetite, ad Libitum Energy Intake at Lunch, and Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli in Overweight Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, R Drew; Amankwaah, Akua F; Tamer, Gregory G; Chen, Ningning; Wright, Amy J; Tregellas, Jason R; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Kareken, David A; Talavage, Thomas M; McCrory, Megan A; Campbell, Wayne W

    2016-01-05

    Increasing either protein or fiber at mealtimes has relatively modest effects on ingestive behavior. Whether protein and fiber have additive or interactive effects on ingestive behavior is not known. Fifteen overweight adults (5 female, 10 male; BMI: 27.1 ± 0.2 kg/m²; aged 26 ± 1 year) consumed four breakfast meals in a randomized crossover manner (normal protein (12 g) + normal fiber (2 g), normal protein (12 g) + high fiber (8 g), high protein (25 g) + normal fiber (2 g), high protein (25 g) + high fiber (8 g)). The amount of protein and fiber consumed at breakfast did not influence postprandial appetite or ad libitum energy intake at lunch. In the fasting-state, visual food stimuli elicited significant responses in the bilateral insula and amygdala and left orbitofrontal cortex. Contrary to our hypotheses, postprandial right insula responses were lower after consuming normal protein vs. high protein breakfasts. Postprandial responses in other a priori brain regions were not significantly influenced by protein or fiber intake at breakfast. In conclusion, these data do not support increasing dietary protein and fiber at breakfast as effective strategies for modulating neural reward processing and acute ingestive behavior in overweight adults.

  7. Putative inhibitory training of a stimulus makes it a facilitator: a within-subject comparison of visual and auditory stimuli in autoshaping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, S

    2000-03-14

    Pigeons were trained with the A+, AB-, ABC+, AD- and ADE+ task where each of stimulus A and stimulus compounds ABC and ADE signalled food (positive trials), and each of stimulus compounds AB and AD signalled no food (negative trials). Stimuli A, B, C and E were small visual figures localised on a response key, and stimulus D was a white noise. Stimulus B was more effective than D as an inhibitor of responding to A during the training. After the birds learned to respond exclusively on the positive trials, effects of B and D on responding to C and E, respectively, were tested by comparing C, BC, E and DE trials. Stimulus B continuously facilitated responding to C on the BC test trials, but D's facilitative effect was observed only on the first DE test trial. Stimulus B also facilitated responding to E on BE test trials. Implications for the Rescorla-Wagner elemental model and the Pearce configural model of Pavlovian conditioning were discussed.

  8. Analysis of internal and external validity criteria for a computerized visual search task: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard's, María M; Introzzi, Isabel; Zamora, Eliana; Vernucci, Santiago

    2017-01-01

    Inhibition is one of the main executive functions, because of its fundamental role in cognitive and social development. Given the importance of reliable and computerized measurements to assessment inhibitory performance, this research intends to analyze the internal and external criteria of validity of a computerized conjunction search task, to evaluate the role of perceptual inhibition. A sample of 41 children (21 females and 20 males), aged between 6 and 11 years old (M = 8.49, SD = 1.47), intentionally selected from a private management school of Mar del Plata (Argentina), middle socio-economic level were assessed. The Conjunction Search Task from the TAC Battery, Coding and Symbol Search tasks from Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children were used. Overall, results allow us to confirm that the perceptual inhibition task form TAC presents solid rates of internal and external validity that make a valid measurement instrument of this process.

  9. Virtual reality stimuli for force platform posturography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tossavainen, Timo; Juhola, Martti; Ilmari, Pyykö; Aalto, Heikki; Toppila, Esko

    2002-01-01

    People relying much on vision in the control of posture are known to have an elevated risk of falling. Dependence on visual control is an important parameter in the diagnosis of balance disorders. We have previously shown that virtual reality methods can be used to produce visual stimuli that affect balance, but suitable stimuli need to be found. In this study the effect of six different virtual reality stimuli on the balance of 22 healthy test subjects was evaluated using force platform posturography. According to the tests two of the stimuli have a significant effect on balance.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Fuel-coolant interaction visualization test for in-vessel corium retention external reactor vessel cooling (IVR-ERVC) condition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Na, Young Su; Hong, Seong Ho; Song, Jin Ho; Hong, Seong Wan [Severe Accident and PHWR Safety Research Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-12-15

    A visualization test of the fuel-coolant interaction in the Test for Real cOrium Interaction with water (TROI) test facility was carried out. To experimentally simulate the In-Vessel corium Retention (IVR)- External Reactor Vessel Cooling (ERVC) conditions, prototypic corium was released directly into the coolant water without a free fall in a gas phase before making contact with the coolant. Corium (34.39 kg) consisting of uranium oxide and zirconium oxide with a weight ratio of 8:2 was superheated, and 22.54 kg of the 34.39 kg corium was passed through water contained in a transparent interaction vessel. An image of the corium jet behavior in the coolant was taken by a high-speed camera every millisecond. Thermocouple junctions installed in the vertical direction of the coolant were cut sequentially by the falling corium jet. It was clearly observed that the visualization image of the corium jet taken during the fuel-coolant interaction corresponded with the temperature variations in the direction of the falling melt. The corium penetrated through the coolant, and the jet leading edge velocity was 2.0 m/s. Debris smaller than 1 mm was 15% of the total weight of the debris collected after a fuel-coolant interaction test, and the mass median diameter was 2.9 mm.

  13. 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.)

  14. Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaolin; Yang, Ying; Urban, Marek W

    2017-07-01

    There is increasing evidence that stimuli-responsive nanomaterials have become significantly critical components of modern materials design and technological developments. Recent advances in synthesis and fabrication of stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles with built-in stimuli-responsive components (Part A) and surface modifications of functional nanoparticles that facilitate responsiveness (Part B) are outlined here. The synthesis and construction of stimuli-responsive spherical, core-shell, concentric, hollow, Janus, gibbous/inverse gibbous, and cocklebur morphologies are discussed in Part A, with the focus on shape, color, or size changes resulting from external stimuli. Although inorganic/metallic nanoparticles exhibit many useful properties, including thermal or electrical conductivity, catalytic activity, or magnetic properties, their assemblies and formation of higher order constructs are often enhanced by surface modifications. Section B focuses on selected surface reactions that lead to responsiveness achieved by decorating nanoparticles with stimuli-responsive polymers. Although grafting-to and grafting-from dominate these synthetic efforts, there are opportunities for developing novel synthetic approaches facilitating controllable recognition, signaling, or sequential responses. Many nanotechnologies utilize a combination of organic and inorganic phases to produce ceramic or metallic nanoparticles. One can envision the development of new properties by combining inorganic (metals, metal oxides) and organic (polymer) phases into one nanoparticle designated as "ceramers" (inorganics) and "metamers" (metallic). © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Under pressure: adolescent substance users show exaggerated neural processing of aversive interoceptive stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berk, L.; Stewart, J.L.; May, A.C.; Wiers, R.W.; Davenport, P.W.; Paulus, M.P.; Tapert, S.F.

    2015-01-01

    Aims: Adolescents with substance use disorders (SUD) exhibit hyposensitivity to pleasant internally generated (interoceptive) stimuli and hypersensitivity to external rewarding stimuli. It is unclear whether similar patterns exist for aversive interoceptive stimuli. We compared activation in the

  16. 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…

  17. Roll motion stimuli : sensory conflict, perceptual weighting and motion sickness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graaf, B. de; Bles, W.; Bos, J.E.

    1998-01-01

    In an experiment with seventeen subjects interactions of visual roll motion stimuli and vestibular body tilt stimuli were examined in determining the subjective vertical. Interindi-vidual differences in weighting the visual information were observed, but in general visual and vestibular responses

  18. 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

  19. Extraocular surgery for implantation of an active subretinal visual prosthesis with external connections: feasibility and outcome in seven patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besch, D; Sachs, H; Szurman, P; Gülicher, D; Wilke, R; Reinert, S; Zrenner, E; Bartz-Schmidt, K U; Gekeler, F

    2008-10-01

    Due to low energy levels in microphotodiode-based subretinal visual prostheses, an external power supply is mandatory. We report on the surgical feasibility and the functional outcome of the extraocular part of an approach to connect a subretinal prosthesis to an extracorporeal connector in the retro-auricular space via a trans-scleral, transchoroidal cable. Seven volunteers with retinitis pigmentosa received an active subretinal implant; energy was supplied by gold wires on a trans-sclerally, transchoroidally implanted polyimide foil leading to the lateral orbital rim where it was fixated and connected to a silicone cable. The cable was implanted subperiostally beneath the temporal muscle using a trocar to the retro-auricular space where it penetrated the skin for connection to a stimulator. To avoid subretinal movement of the implant, three tension relief points have been introduced. All implantations were performed as planned without complications, and no serious adverse events occurred in the postoperative period. Fixation of the implants was stable throughout the entire study duration of 4 weeks; permanent skin penetration proved to be uncomplicated. Motility was minimally restricted in downgaze and ab-/adduction. Explantation was uneventful. The above-described procedure provides a method for stable fixation of a subretinal device with a trans-scleral, transchoroidal cable connection to an extracorporeal connector.

  20. 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.

  1. The Concreteness Effect and the Bilingual Lexicon: The Impact of Visual Stimuli Attachment on Meaning Recall of Abstract L2 Words

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Andrew P.; Ramonda, Kris; Liu, Xun

    2012-01-01

    According to the Dual-Coding Theory (Paivio & Desrochers, 1980), words that are associated with rich visual imagery are more easily learned than abstract words due to what is termed the concreteness effect (Altarriba & Bauer, 2004; de Groot, 1992, de Groot et al., 1994; ter Doest & Semin, 2005). The present study examined the effects of attaching…

  2. 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.

  3. "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......, pp. 628–642. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024751) used a computational shortcut (Equation A5) that strongly reduced the time needed to fit the Poisson counter model to experimental data. Unfortunately, the computational shortcut built on an approximation that was not well-founded in the Poisson...... counter model. To measure the actual deviation, the authors refitted both the computational shortcut and the Poisson counter model (Equations A1-A4) to the experimental data reported in the article. The Poisson counter model fits did, fortunately, not deviate noticeably from those produced...

  4. Inhibition in movement plan competition: reach trajectories curve away from remembered and task-irrelevant present but not from task-irrelevant past visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehler, Tobias; Fiehler, Katja

    2017-11-01

    The current study investigated the role of automatic encoding and maintenance of remembered, past, and present visual distractors for reach movement planning. The previous research on eye movements showed that saccades curve away from locations actively kept in working memory and also from task-irrelevant perceptually present visual distractors, but not from task-irrelevant past distractors. Curvature away has been associated with an inhibitory mechanism resolving the competition between multiple active movement plans. Here, we examined whether reach movements underlie a similar inhibitory mechanism and thus show systematic modulation of reach trajectories when the location of a previously presented distractor has to be (a) maintained in working memory or (b) ignored, or (c) when the distractor is perceptually present. Participants performed vertical reach movements on a computer monitor from a home to a target location. Distractors appeared laterally and near or far from the target (equidistant from central fixation). We found that reaches curved away from the distractors located close to the target when the distractor location had to be memorized and when it was perceptually present, but not when the past distractor had to be ignored. Our findings suggest that automatically encoding present distractors and actively maintaining the location of past distractors in working memory evoke a similar response competition resolved by inhibition, as has been previously shown for saccadic eye movements.

  5. External and Internal Representations in the Acquisition and Use of Knowledge: Visualization Effects on Mental Model Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnotz, Wolfgang; Kurschner, Christian

    2008-01-01

    This article investigates whether different formats of visualizing information result in different mental models constructed in learning from pictures, whether the different mental models lead to different patterns of performance in subsequently presented tasks, and how these visualization effects can be modified by further external…

  6. Dynamic accommodative response to different visual stimuli (2D vs 3D) while watching television and while playing Nintendo 3DS console.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Sílvia; Jorge, Jorge; González-Méijome, José M

    2012-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to compare the accommodative response to the same visual content presented in two dimensions (2D) and stereoscopically in three dimensions (3D) while participants were either watching a television (TV) or Nintendo 3DS console. Twenty-two university students, with a mean age of 20.3 ± 2.0 years (mean ± S.D.), were recruited to participate in the TV experiment and fifteen, with a mean age of 20.1 ± 1.5 years took part in the Nintendo 3DS console study. The accommodative response was measured using a Grand Seiko WAM 5500 autorefractor. In the TV experiment, three conditions were used initially: the film was viewed in 2D mode (TV2D without glasses), the same sequence was watched in 2D whilst shutter-glasses were worn (TV2D with glasses) and the sequence was viewed in 3D mode (TV3D). Measurements were taken for 5 min in each condition, and these sections were sub-divided into ten 30-s segments to examine changes within the film. In addition, the accommodative response to three points of different disparity of one 3D frame was assessed for 30 s. In the Nintendo experiment, two conditions were employed - 2D viewing and stereoscopic 3D viewing. In the TV experiment no statistically significant differences were found between the accommodative response with TV2D without glasses (-0.38 ± 0.32D, mean ± S.D.) and TV3D (-0.37 ± 0.34D). Also, no differences were found between the various segments of the film, or between the accommodative response to different points of one frame (p > 0.05). A significant difference (p = 0.015) was found, however, between the TV2D with (-0.32 ± 0.32D) and without glasses (-0.38 ± 0.32D). In the Nintendo experiment the accommodative responses obtained in modes 2D (-2.57 ± 0.30D) and 3D (-2.49 ± 0.28D) were significantly different (paired t-test p = 0.03). The need to use shutter-glasses may affect the accommodative response during the viewing of displays, and the accommodative response when playing

  7. Self-initiated actions result in suppressed auditory but amplified visual evoked components in healthy participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mifsud, Nathan G; Oestreich, Lena K L; Jack, Bradley N; Ford, Judith M; Roach, Brian J; Mathalon, Daniel H; Whitford, Thomas J

    2016-05-01

    Self-suppression refers to the phenomenon that sensations initiated by our own movements are typically less salient, and elicit an attenuated neural response, compared to sensations resulting from changes in the external world. Evidence for self-suppression is provided by previous ERP studies in the auditory modality, which have found that healthy participants typically exhibit a reduced auditory N1 component when auditory stimuli are self-initiated as opposed to externally initiated. However, the literature investigating self-suppression in the visual modality is sparse, with mixed findings and experimental protocols. An EEG study was conducted to expand our understanding of self-suppression across different sensory modalities. Healthy participants experienced either an auditory (tone) or visual (pattern-reversal) stimulus following a willed button press (self-initiated), a random interval (externally initiated, unpredictable onset), or a visual countdown (externally initiated, predictable onset-to match the intrinsic predictability of self-initiated stimuli), while EEG was continuously recorded. Reduced N1 amplitudes for self- versus externally initiated tones indicated that self-suppression occurred in the auditory domain. In contrast, the visual N145 component was amplified for self- versus externally initiated pattern reversals. Externally initiated conditions did not differ as a function of their predictability. These findings highlight a difference in sensory processing of self-initiated stimuli across modalities, and may have implications for clinical disorders that are ostensibly associated with abnormal self-suppression. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  8. XD Metrics on Demand Value Analytics: Visualizing the Impact of Internal Information Technology Investments on External Funding, Publications, and Collaboration Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Scrivner

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Many universities invest substantial resources in the design, deployment, and maintenance of campus-based cyberinfrastructure (CI. To justify the expense, it is important that university administrators and others understand and communicate the value of these internal investments in terms of scholarly impact. This paper introduces two visualizations and their usage in the Value Analytics (VA module for Open XD metrics on demand (XDMoD, which enable analysis of external grant funding income, scholarly publications, and collaboration networks. The VA module was developed by Indiana University’s (IU Research Technologies division, Pervasive Technology Institute, and the CI for Network Science Center (CNS, in conjunction with the University at Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research. It provides diverse visualizations of measures of information technology (IT usage, external funding, and publications in support of IT strategic decision-making. This paper details the data, analysis workflows, and visual mappings used in two VA visualizations that aim to communicate the value of different IT usage in terms of NSF and NIH funding, resulting publications, and associated research collaborations. To illustrate the feasibility of measuring IT values on research, we measured its financial and academic impact from the period between 2012 and 2017 for IU. The financial return on investment (ROI is measured in terms of IU funding, totaling $339,013,365 for 885 NIH and NSF projects associated with IT usage, and the academic ROI constitutes 968 publications associated with 83 of these NSF and NIH awards. In addition, the results show that Medical Specialties, Brain Research, and Infectious Diseases are the top three scientific disciplines ranked by the number of publications during the given time period.

  9. 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.

  10. Visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evans, K.K.; Horowitz, T.S.; Howe, P.; Pedersini, R.; Reijnen, E.; Pinto, Y.; Wolfe, J.M.

    2011-01-01

    A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, ‘visual attention’ describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act

  11. Attentional Capture by Emotional Stimuli Is Modulated by Semantic Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W.

    2008-01-01

    The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink…

  12. Binocular Combination of Second-Order Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jiawei; Liu, Rong; Zhou, Yifeng; Hess, Robert F.

    2014-01-01

    Phase information is a fundamental aspect of visual stimuli. However, the nature of the binocular combination of stimuli defined by modulations in contrast, so-called second-order stimuli, is presently not clear. To address this issue, we measured binocular combination for first- (luminance modulated) and second-order (contrast modulated) stimuli using a binocular phase combination paradigm in seven normal adults. We found that the binocular perceived phase of second-order gratings depends on the interocular signal ratio as has been previously shown for their first order counterparts; the interocular signal ratios when the two eyes were balanced was close to 1 in both first- and second-order phase combinations. However, second-order combination is more linear than previously found for first-order combination. Furthermore, binocular combination of second-order stimuli was similar regardless of whether the carriers in the two eyes were correlated, anti-correlated, or uncorrelated. This suggests that, in normal adults, the binocular phase combination of second-order stimuli occurs after the monocular extracting of the second-order modulations. The sensory balance associated with this second-order combination can be obtained from binocular phase combination measurements. PMID:24404180

  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.

  14. Stimuli-Adaptable Materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frankær, Sarah Maria Grundahl

    The work presented in this Thesis deals with the development of a stimuli-adaptable polymer material based on the UV-induced dimerisation of cinnamic acid and its derivatives. It is in the nature of an adhesive to adhere very well to its substrate and therefore problems can arise upon removal...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses of energy and visual performances of office building with external venetian blind shading in hot-dry climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, Ramkishore; Lazarus, I.J.; Kishore, V.V.N.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Various alternatives of glazing and venetian blind were simulated for office space. • Daylighting and energy performances were assessed for each alternative. • Large uncertainties were estimated in the energy consumptions and UDI values. • Glazing design parameters were prioritised by performing sensitivity analysis. • WWR, glazing type, blind orientation and slat angle were identified top in priority. - Abstract: Fenestration has become an integral part of the buildings and has a significant impact on the energy and indoor visual performances. Inappropriate design of the fenestration component may lead to low energy efficiency and visual discomfort as a result of high solar and thermal heat gains, excessive daylight and direct sunlight. External venetian blind has been identified as one of the effective shading devices for controlling the heat gains and daylight through fenestration. This study explores uncertainty and sensitivity analyses to identify and prioritize the most influencing parameters for designing glazed components that include external shading devices for office buildings. The study was performed for hot-dry climate of Jodhpur (Latitude 26° 180′N, longitude 73° 010′E) using EnergyPlus, a whole building energy simulation tool providing a large number of inputs for eight façade orientations. A total 150 and 845 data points (for each orientation) for input variables were generated using Hyper Cubic Sampling and extended FAST methods for uncertainty and sensitivity analyses respectively. Results indicated a large uncertainty in the lighting, HVAC, source energy consumptions and useful daylight illuminance (UDI). The estimated coefficients of variation were highest (up to 106%) for UDI, followed by lighting energy (up to 45%) and HVAC energy use (around 33%). The sensitivity analysis identified window to wall ratio, glazing type, blind type (orientation of slats) and slat angle as highly influencing factors for energy and

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Facilitation of responses by task-irrelevant complex deviant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, J; Meeter, M

    2014-05-01

    Novel stimuli reliably attract attention, suggesting that novelty may disrupt performance when it is task-irrelevant. However, under certain circumstances novel stimuli can also elicit a general alerting response having beneficial effects on performance. In a series of experiments we investigated whether different aspects of novelty--stimulus novelty, contextual novelty, surprise, deviance, and relative complexity--lead to distraction or facilitation. We used a version of the visual oddball paradigm in which participants responded to an occasional auditory target. Participants responded faster to this auditory target when it occurred during the presentation of novel visual stimuli than of standard stimuli, especially at SOAs of 0 and 200 ms (Experiment 1). Facilitation was absent for both infrequent simple deviants and frequent complex images (Experiment 2). However, repeated complex deviant images did facilitate responses to the auditory target at the 200 ms SOA (Experiment 3). These findings suggest that task-irrelevant deviant visual stimuli can facilitate responses to an unrelated auditory target in a short 0-200 millisecond time-window after presentation. This only occurs when the deviant stimuli are complex relative to standard stimuli. We link our findings to the novelty P3, which is generated under the same circumstances, and to the adaptive gain theory of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system (Aston-Jones and Cohen, 2005), which may explain the timing of the effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Visual Memories Bypass Normalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloem, Ilona M; Watanabe, Yurika L; Kibbe, Melissa M; Ling, Sam

    2018-05-01

    How distinct are visual memory representations from visual perception? Although evidence suggests that briefly remembered stimuli are represented within early visual cortices, the degree to which these memory traces resemble true visual representations remains something of a mystery. Here, we tested whether both visual memory and perception succumb to a seemingly ubiquitous neural computation: normalization. Observers were asked to remember the contrast of visual stimuli, which were pitted against each other to promote normalization either in perception or in visual memory. Our results revealed robust normalization between visual representations in perception, yet no signature of normalization occurring between working memory stores-neither between representations in memory nor between memory representations and visual inputs. These results provide unique insight into the nature of visual memory representations, illustrating that visual memory representations follow a different set of computational rules, bypassing normalization, a canonical visual computation.

  4. 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.

  5. Iconic-Memory Processing of Unfamiliar Stimuli by Retarded and Nonretarded Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornstein, Henry A.; Mosley, James L.

    1979-01-01

    The iconic-memory processing of unfamiliar stimuli by 11 mentally retarded males (mean age 22 years) was undertaken employing a visually cued partial-report procedure and a visual masking procedure. (Author/CL)

  6. Partial recovery of visual-spatial remapping of touch after restoring vision in a congenitally blind man.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley, Pia; Bottari, Davide; Shenoy, Bhamy H; Kekunnaya, Ramesh; Röder, Brigitte

    2013-05-01

    In an initial processing step, sensory events are encoded in modality specific representations in the brain but seem to be automatically remapped into a supra-modal, presumably visual-external frame of reference. To test whether there is a sensitive phase in the first years of life during which visual input is crucial for the acquisition of this remapping process, we tested a single case of a congenitally blind man whose sight was restored after the age of two years. HS performed a tactile temporal order judgment task (TOJ) which required judging the temporal order of two tactile stimuli, one presented to each index finger. In addition, a visual-tactile cross-modal congruency task was run, in which spatially congruent and spatially incongruent visual distractor stimuli were presented together with tactile stimuli. The tactile stimuli had to be localized. Both tasks were performed with an uncrossed and a crossed hand posture. Similar to congenitally blind individuals HS did not show a crossing effect in the tactile TOJ task suggesting an anatomical rather than visual-external coding of touch. In the visual-tactile task, however, external remapping of touch was observed though incomplete compared to sighted controls. These data support the hypothesis of a sensitive phase for the acquisition of an automatic use of visual-spatial representations for coding tactile input. Nonetheless, these representations seem to be acquired to some extent after the end of congenital blindness but seem to be recruited only in the context of visual stimuli and are used with a reduced efficiency. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Regional Externalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijman, W.J.M.

    2007-01-01

    The book offers practical and theoretical insights in regional externalities. Regional externalities are a specific subset of externalities that can be defined as externalities where space plays a dominant role. This class of externalities can be divided into three categories: (1) externalities

  8. Externalizing proneness and brain response during pre-cuing and viewing of emotional pictures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foell, Jens; Brislin, Sarah J; Strickland, Casey M; Seo, Dongju; Sabatinelli, Dean; Patrick, Christopher J

    2016-07-01

    Externalizing proneness, or trait disinhibition, is a concept relevant to multiple high-impact disorders involving impulsive-aggressive behavior. Its mechanisms remain disputed: major models posit hyperresponsive reward circuitry or heightened threat-system reactivity as sources of disinhibitory tendencies. This study evaluated alternative possibilities by examining relations between trait disinhibition and brain reactivity during preparation for and processing of visual affective stimuli. Forty females participated in a functional neuroimaging procedure with stimuli presented in blocks containing either pleasurable or aversive pictures interspersed with neutral, with each picture preceded by a preparation signal. Preparing to view elicited activation in regions including nucleus accumbens, whereas visual regions and bilateral amygdala were activated during viewing of emotional pictures. High disinhibition predicted reduced nucleus accumbens activation during preparation within pleasant/neutral picture blocks, along with enhanced amygdala reactivity during viewing of pleasant and aversive pictures. Follow-up analyses revealed that the augmented amygdala response was related to reduced preparatory activation. Findings indicate that participants high in disinhibition are less able to process implicit cues and mentally prepare for upcoming stimuli, leading to limbic hyperreactivity during processing of actual stimuli. This outcome is helpful for integrating findings from studies suggesting reward-system hyperreactivity and others suggesting threat-system hyperreactivity as mechanisms for externalizing proneness. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Abolishment of Spontaneous Flight Turns in Visually Responsive Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, Bennett Drew; Green, Jonathan; Maimon, Gaby

    2018-01-22

    Animals react rapidly to external stimuli, such as an approaching predator, but in other circumstances, they seem to act spontaneously, without any obvious external trigger. How do the neural processes mediating the execution of reflexive and spontaneous actions differ? We studied this question in tethered, flying Drosophila. We found that silencing a large but genetically defined set of non-motor neurons virtually eliminates spontaneous flight turns while preserving the tethered flies' ability to perform two types of visually evoked turns, demonstrating that, at least in flies, these two modes of action are almost completely dissociable. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. External stimuli response on a novel chitosan hydrogel crosslinked ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    ceutics, tissue engineering, chromatography, metal chela- tion etc. This has prompted ... lower limit) up to thousands of time of water or biological fluid than their dry ... 2000), and other industrial as well as biomedical applica- tions. A number of ...

  11. 基于视听交互刺激的认知机理与脑机接口范式研究进展%Research on cognitive mechanism and brain-computer interface application in visual-auditory crossmodal stimuli

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    安兴伟; 曹勇; 焦学军; 明东

    2017-01-01

    与人类视听觉感知密切相关的图像、语音和文本(语言)信息在社会经济发展与国家安全保障等领域中扮演着重要角色,脑机接口(BCI)是无需外围神经肌肉便可操控外部设备、使"思想"直接变成"行动"的创新技术,基于视、听觉刺激的BCI系统具有极其广阔应用前景.目前认知心理学研究普遍认为视听交互刺激模式可产生比视或听单模态刺激更强的事件相关电位信号,因而可使识别大脑思维模式的正确率更高和响应速度更快,然而BCI研究至今尚难有充分验证其优势的成果.分别从认知心理机制和BCI实验范式两方面综述了视听交互刺激的信息整合机制、视听刺激之间的协同与竞争关系、匹配度对刺激效果的影响及相关BCI实验范式的研究现状;深入分析了视听交互刺激范式未在现有BCI系统中体现其优越性的原因;最后从BCI实验范式选择、系统硬件性能改进、脑电信号处理等方面提出了改进思路并展望了基于视听交互刺激BCI范式研究未来动向.%The information of image, voice, and text (language), which is closely related to the human perception of visual and auditory, plays an important role in socioeconomic development and country security assurance.Brain-computer interface (BCI) is an innovative technology that directly controls peripheral equipment and makes ''thought'' into ''action'' with non-muscular methods.Visual and auditory stimuli based BCI system has extremely broad application prospects.It is commonly believed that brain has stronger event-related potential, higher reaction accuracy and faster reaction speed on visual-auditory crossmodal stimuli (VACS) than single modal stimuli (visual or auditory) in current cognitive psychology researches, while BCI researches have difficulty on the verification of the VACS superiority.In this paper, the VACS researches in cognitive psychology and BCI paradigms were reviewed

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Multiaccommodative stimuli in VR systems: problems & solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marran, L; Schor, C

    1997-09-01

    Virtual reality environments can introduce multiple and sometimes conflicting accommodative stimuli. For instance, with the high-powered lenses commonly used in head-mounted displays, small discrepancies in screen lens placement, caused by manufacturer error or user adjustment focus error, can change the focal depths of the image by a couple of diopters. This can introduce a binocular accommodative stimulus or, if the displacement between the two screens is unequal, an unequal (anisometropic) accommodative stimulus for the two eyes. Systems that allow simultaneous viewing of virtual and real images can also introduce a conflict in accommodative stimuli: When real and virtual images are at different focal planes, both cannot be in focus at the same time, though they may appear to be in similar locations in space. In this paper four unique designs are described that minimize the range of accommodative stimuli and maximize the visual system's ability to cope efficiently with the focus conflicts that remain: pinhole optics, monocular lens addition combined with aniso-accommodation, chromatic bifocal, and bifocal lens system. The advantages and disadvantages of each design are described and recommendation for design choice is given after consideration of the end use of the virtual reality system (e.g., low or high end, entertainment, technical, or medical use). The appropriate design modifications should allow greater user comfort and better performance.

  17. 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.

  18. Auditory Motion Elicits a Visual Motion Aftereffect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Christopher C; Ehrsson, H Henrik

    2016-01-01

    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.

  19. Visual perception and imagery: a new molecular hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bókkon, I

    2009-05-01

    Here, we put forward a redox molecular hypothesis about the natural biophysical substrate of visual perception and visual imagery. This hypothesis is based on the redox and bioluminescent processes of neuronal cells in retinotopically organized cytochrome oxidase-rich visual areas. Our hypothesis is in line with the functional roles of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in living cells that are not part of haphazard process, but rather a very strict mechanism used in signaling pathways. We point out that there is a direct relationship between neuronal activity and the biophoton emission process in the brain. Electrical and biochemical processes in the brain represent sensory information from the external world. During encoding or retrieval of information, electrical signals of neurons can be converted into synchronized biophoton signals by bioluminescent radical and non-radical processes. Therefore, information in the brain appears not only as an electrical (chemical) signal but also as a regulated biophoton (weak optical) signal inside neurons. During visual perception, the topological distribution of photon stimuli on the retina is represented by electrical neuronal activity in retinotopically organized visual areas. These retinotopic electrical signals in visual neurons can be converted into synchronized biophoton signals by radical and non-radical processes in retinotopically organized mitochondria-rich areas. As a result, regulated bioluminescent biophotons can create intrinsic pictures (depictive representation) in retinotopically organized cytochrome oxidase-rich visual areas during visual imagery and visual perception. The long-term visual memory is interpreted as epigenetic information regulated by free radicals and redox processes. This hypothesis does not claim to solve the secret of consciousness, but proposes that the evolution of higher levels of complexity made the intrinsic picture representation of the external visual world possible by regulated

  20. Reversal Negativity and Bistable Stimuli: Attention, Awareness, or Something Else?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intaite, Monika; Koivisto, Mika; Ruksenas, Osvaldas; Revonsuo, Antti

    2010-01-01

    Ambiguous (or bistable) figures are visual stimuli that have two mutually exclusive perceptual interpretations that spontaneously alternate with each other. Perceptual reversals, as compared with non-reversals, typically elicit a negative difference called reversal negativity (RN), peaking around 250 ms from stimulus onset. The cognitive…

  1. Exposure to Virtual Social Stimuli Modulates Subjective Pain Reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob M Vigil

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Contextual factors, including the gender of researchers, influence experimental and patient pain reports. It is currently not known how social stimuli influence pain percepts, nor which types of sensory modalities of communication, such as auditory, visual or olfactory cues associated with person perception and gender processing, produce these effects.

  2. 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,

  3. Negative emotional stimuli reduce contextual cueing but not response times in inefficient search

    OpenAIRE

    Kunar, Melina A.; Watson, Derrick G.; Cole, Louise (Researcher in Psychology); Cox, Angeline

    2014-01-01

    In visual search, previous work has shown that negative stimuli narrow the focus of attention and speed reaction times (RTs). This paper investigates these two effects by first asking whether negative emotional stimuli narrow the focus of attention to reduce the learning of a display context in a contextual cueing task and, second, whether exposure to negative stimuli also reduces RTs in inefficient search tasks. In Experiment 1, participants viewed either negative or neutral images (faces or...

  4. 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…

  5. Steady-state VEP responses to uncomfortable stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hare, Louise

    2017-02-01

    Periodic stimuli, such as op-art, can evoke a range of aversive sensations included in the term visual discomfort. Illusory motion effects are elicited by fixational eye movements, but the cortex might also contribute to effects of discomfort. To investigate this possibility, steady-state visually evoked responses (SSVEPs) to contrast-matched op-art-based stimuli were measured at the same time as discomfort judgements. On average, discomfort reduced with increasing spatial frequency of the pattern. In contrast, the peak amplitude of the SSVEP response was around the midrange spatial frequencies. Like the discomfort judgements, SSVEP responses to the highest spatial frequencies were lowest amplitude, but the relationship breaks down between discomfort and SSVEP for the lower spatial frequency stimuli. This was not explicable by gross eye movements as measured using the facial electrodes. There was a weak relationship between the peak SSVEP responses and discomfort judgements for some stimuli, suggesting that discomfort can be explained in part by electrophysiological responses measured at the level of the cortex. However, there is a breakdown of this relationship in the case of lower spatial frequency stimuli, which remains unexplained. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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

  7. [The P300-based brain-computer interface: presentation of the complex "flash + movement" stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganin, I P; Kaplan, A Ia

    2014-01-01

    The P300 based brain-computer interface requires the detection of P300 wave of brain event-related potentials. Most of its users learn the BCI control in several minutes and after the short classifier training they can type a text on the computer screen or assemble an image of separate fragments in simple BCI-based video games. Nevertheless, insufficient attractiveness for users and conservative stimuli organization in this BCI may restrict its integration into real information processes control. At the same time initial movement of object (motion-onset stimuli) may be an independent factor that induces P300 wave. In current work we checked the hypothesis that complex "flash + movement" stimuli together with drastic and compact stimuli organization on the computer screen may be much more attractive for user while operating in P300 BCI. In 20 subjects research we showed the effectiveness of our interface. Both accuracy and P300 amplitude were higher for flashing stimuli and complex "flash + movement" stimuli compared to motion-onset stimuli. N200 amplitude was maximal for flashing stimuli, while for "flash + movement" stimuli and motion-onset stimuli it was only a half of it. Similar BCI with complex stimuli may be embedded into compact control systems requiring high level of user attention under impact of negative external effects obstructing the BCI control.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

    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. (paper)

  9. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials for therapeutic protein delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yue; Sun, Wujin; Gu, Zhen

    2014-11-28

    Protein therapeutics have emerged as a significant role in treatment of a broad spectrum of diseases, including cancer, metabolic disorders and autoimmune diseases. The efficacy of protein therapeutics, however, is limited by their instability, immunogenicity and short half-life. In order to overcome these barriers, tremendous efforts have recently been made in developing controlled protein delivery systems. Stimuli-triggered release is an appealing and promising approach for protein delivery and has made protein delivery with both spatiotemporal- and dosage-controlled manners possible. This review surveys recent advances in controlled protein delivery of proteins or peptides using stimuli-responsive nanomaterials. Strategies utilizing both physiological and external stimuli are introduced and discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Audiovisual Capture with Ambiguous Audiovisual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Michel Hupé

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Audiovisual capture happens when information across modalities get fused into a coherent percept. Ambiguous multi-modal stimuli have the potential to be powerful tools to observe such effects. We used such stimuli made of temporally synchronized and spatially co-localized visual flashes and auditory tones. The flashes produced bistable apparent motion and the tones produced ambiguous streaming. We measured strong interferences between perceptual decisions in each modality, a case of audiovisual capture. However, does this mean that audiovisual capture occurs before bistable decision? We argue that this is not the case, as the interference had a slow temporal dynamics and was modulated by audiovisual congruence, suggestive of high-level factors such as attention or intention. We propose a framework to integrate bistability and audiovisual capture, which distinguishes between “what” competes and “how” it competes (Hupé et al., 2008. The audiovisual interactions may be the result of contextual influences on neural representations (“what” competes, quite independent from the causal mechanisms of perceptual switches (“how” it competes. This framework predicts that audiovisual capture can bias bistability especially if modalities are congruent (Sato et al., 2007, but that is fundamentally distinct in nature from the bistable competition mechanism.

  11. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    . 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......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...... 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...

  13. Emotional conditioning to masked stimuli and modulation of visuospatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaver, John D; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P

    2005-03-01

    Two studies investigated the effects of conditioning to masked stimuli on visuospatial attention. During the conditioning phase, masked snakes and spiders were paired with a burst of white noise, or paired with an innocuous tone, in the conditioned stimulus (CS)+ and CS- conditions, respectively. Attentional allocation to the CSs was then assessed with a visual probe task, in which the CSs were presented unmasked (Experiment 1) or both unmasked and masked (Experiment 2), together with fear-irrelevant control stimuli (flowers and mushrooms). In Experiment 1, participants preferentially allocated attention to CS+ relative to control stimuli. Experiment 2 suggested that this attentional bias depended on the perceived aversiveness of the unconditioned stimulus and did not require conscious recognition of the CSs during both acquisition and expression. Copyright 2005 APA, all rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. ExternE: Externalities of energy Vol. 2. Methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berry, J.; Holland, M.; Watkiss, P.

    1995-01-01

    This report describes the methodology used by the ExternE Project of the European Commission (DGXII) JOULE Programme for assessment of the external costs of energy. It is one of a series of reports describing analysis of nuclear, fossil and renewable fuel cycles for assessment of the externalities associated with electricity generation. Part I of the report deals with analysis of impacts, and Part II with the economic valuation of those impacts. Analysis is conducted on a marginal basis, to allow the effect of an incremental investment in a given technology to be quantified. Attention has been paid to the specificity of results with respect to the location of fuel cycle activities, the precise technologies used, and the type and source of fuel. The main advantages of this detailed approach are as follows: It takes full and proper account of the variability of impacts that might result from different power projects; It is more transparent than analysis based on hypothetically 'representative' cases for each of the different fuel cycles; It provides a framework for consistent comparison between fuel cycles. A wide variety of impacts have been considered. These include the effects of air pollution on the natural and human environment, consequences of accidents in the workplace, impacts of noise and visual intrusion on amenity, and the effects of climate change arising from the release of greenhouse gases. Wherever possible we have used the 'impact pathway' or 'damage function' approach to follow the analysis from identification of burdens (e.g. emissions) through to impact assessment and then valuation in monetary terms. This has required a detailed knowledge of the technologies involved, pollutant dispersion, analysis of effects on human and environmental health, and economics. In view of this the project brought together a multi-disciplinary team with experts from many European countries and the USA. The spatial and temporal ranges considered in the analysis are

  17. Teaching children with autism spectrum disorder to tact olfactory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dass, Tina K; Kisamore, April N; Vladescu, Jason C; Reeve, Kenneth F; Reeve, Sharon A; Taylor-Santa, Catherine

    2018-05-28

    Research on tact acquisition by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has often focused on teaching participants to tact visual stimuli. It is important to evaluate procedures for teaching tacts of nonvisual stimuli (e.g., olfactory, tactile). The purpose of the current study was to extend the literature on secondary target instruction and tact training by evaluating the effects of a discrete-trial instruction procedure involving (a) echoic prompts, a constant prompt delay, and error correction for primary targets; (b) inclusion of secondary target stimuli in the consequent portion of learning trials; and (c) multiple exemplar training on the acquisition of item tacts of olfactory stimuli, emergence of category tacts of olfactory stimuli, generalization of category tacts, and emergence of category matching, with three children diagnosed with ASD. Results showed that all participants learned the item and category tacts following teaching, participants demonstrated generalization across category tacts, and category matching emerged for all participants. © 2018 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  18. Absent Audiovisual Integration Elicited by Peripheral Stimuli in Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yanna; Suzuki, Keisuke; Yang, Weiping; Ren, Yanling; Wu, Fengxia; Yang, Jiajia; Takahashi, Satoshi; Ejima, Yoshimichi; Wu, Jinglong; Hirata, Koichi

    2018-01-01

    The basal ganglia, which have been shown to be a significant multisensory hub, are disordered in Parkinson's disease (PD). This study was to investigate the audiovisual integration of peripheral stimuli in PD patients with/without sleep disturbances. Thirty-six age-matched normal controls (NC) and 30 PD patients were recruited for an auditory/visual discrimination experiment. The mean response times for each participant were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and race model. The results showed that the response to all stimuli was significantly delayed for PD compared to NC (all p audiovisual stimuli was significantly faster than that to unimodal stimuli in both NC and PD ( p audiovisual integration was absent in PD; however, it did occur in NC. Further analysis showed that there was no significant audiovisual integration in PD with/without cognitive impairment or in PD with/without sleep disturbances. Furthermore, audiovisual facilitation was not associated with Hoehn and Yahr stage, disease duration, or the presence of sleep disturbances (all p > 0.05). The current results showed that audiovisual multisensory integration for peripheral stimuli is absent in PD regardless of sleep disturbances and further suggested the abnormal audiovisual integration might be a potential early manifestation of PD.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Auditory Emotional Cues Enhance Visual Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeelenberg, Rene; Bocanegra, Bruno R.

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies show that emotional stimuli impair performance to subsequently presented neutral stimuli. Here we show a cross-modal perceptual enhancement caused by emotional cues. Auditory cue words were followed by a visually presented neutral target word. Two-alternative forced-choice identification of the visual target was improved by…

  2. 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

  3. Perceiving, imaging, and preferring physiognomic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindauer, M S

    1986-01-01

    Physiognomic color responses in perception, imagery, and affect were investigated. Maluma and taketa, nonsense stimuli defined by many investigators as physiognomic, were utilized as prototypical physiognomic stimuli, along with eight other stimuli of various sorts. In Experiment 1, 22 subjects matched the colors of the stimuli; in Experiment 2, 27 subjects reported their imagery to the stimuli; and in Experiment 3, 16 subjects gave their color preferences for the stimuli. The Munsell sets of colors were employed throughout. Significant differences between the physiognomic and other stimuli were found on the brightness and saturation of color matches, images, and preferences. Other differences (e.g., the latency of color images) were also present. Distinctions were also noted between the two physiognomic stimuli. These results support the priority of innate and perceptual processes in physiognomy over those of learning and memory, although some ambiguities still remain.

  4. 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…

  5. Auditory and visual interactions between the superior and inferior colliculi in the ferret.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stitt, Iain; Galindo-Leon, Edgar; Pieper, Florian; Hollensteiner, Karl J; Engler, Gerhard; Engel, Andreas K

    2015-05-01

    The integration of visual and auditory spatial information is important for building an accurate perception of the external world, but the fundamental mechanisms governing such audiovisual interaction have only partially been resolved. The earliest interface between auditory and visual processing pathways is in the midbrain, where the superior (SC) and inferior colliculi (IC) are reciprocally connected in an audiovisual loop. Here, we investigate the mechanisms of audiovisual interaction in the midbrain by recording neural signals from the SC and IC simultaneously in anesthetized ferrets. Visual stimuli reliably produced band-limited phase locking of IC local field potentials (LFPs) in two distinct frequency bands: 6-10 and 15-30 Hz. These visual LFP responses co-localized with robust auditory responses that were characteristic of the IC. Imaginary coherence analysis confirmed that visual responses in the IC were not volume-conducted signals from the neighboring SC. Visual responses in the IC occurred later than retinally driven superficial SC layers and earlier than deep SC layers that receive indirect visual inputs, suggesting that retinal inputs do not drive visually evoked responses in the IC. In addition, SC and IC recording sites with overlapping visual spatial receptive fields displayed stronger functional connectivity than sites with separate receptive fields, indicating that visual spatial maps are aligned across both midbrain structures. Reciprocal coupling between the IC and SC therefore probably serves the dynamic integration of visual and auditory representations of space. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Integration of visual and non-visual self-motion cues during voluntary head movements in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Andreas; Bartels, Andreas

    2018-05-15

    Our phenomenological experience of the stable world is maintained by continuous integration of visual self-motion with extra-retinal signals. However, due to conventional constraints of fMRI acquisition in humans, neural responses to visuo-vestibular integration have only been studied using artificial stimuli, in the absence of voluntary head-motion. We here circumvented these limitations and let participants to move their heads during scanning. The slow dynamics of the BOLD signal allowed us to acquire neural signal related to head motion after the observer's head was stabilized by inflatable aircushions. Visual stimuli were presented on head-fixed display goggles and updated in real time as a function of head-motion that was tracked using an external camera. Two conditions simulated forward translation of the participant. During physical head rotation, the congruent condition simulated a stable world, whereas the incongruent condition added arbitrary lateral motion. Importantly, both conditions were precisely matched in visual properties and head-rotation. By comparing congruent with incongruent conditions we found evidence consistent with the multi-modal integration of visual cues with head motion into a coherent "stable world" percept in the parietal operculum and in an anterior part of parieto-insular cortex (aPIC). In the visual motion network, human regions MST, a dorsal part of VIP, the cingulate sulcus visual area (CSv) and a region in precuneus (Pc) showed differential responses to the same contrast. The results demonstrate for the first time neural multimodal interactions between precisely matched congruent versus incongruent visual and non-visual cues during physical head-movement in the human brain. The methodological approach opens the path to a new class of fMRI studies with unprecedented temporal and spatial control over visuo-vestibular stimulation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Interpretative bias in spider phobia: Perception and information processing of ambiguous schematic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp

    2015-09-01

    This study investigates the interpretative bias in spider phobia with respect to rapid visuomotor processing. We compared perception, evaluation, and visuomotor processing of ambiguous schematic stimuli between spider-fearful and control participants. Stimuli were produced by gradually morphing schematic flowers into spiders. Participants rated these stimuli related to their perceptual appearance and to their feelings of valence, disgust, and arousal. Also, they responded to the same stimuli within a response priming paradigm that measures rapid motor activation. Spider-fearful individuals showed an interpretative bias (i.e., ambiguous stimuli were perceived as more similar to spiders) and rated spider-like stimuli as more unpleasant, disgusting, and arousing. However, we observed no differences between spider-fearful and control participants in priming effects for ambiguous stimuli. For non-ambiguous stimuli, we observed a similar enhancement for phobic pictures as has been reported previously for natural images. We discuss our findings with respect to the visual representation of morphed stimuli and to perceptual learning processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Predicting Eye Fixations on Complex Visual Stimuli Using Local Symmetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kootstra, Gert; de Boer, Bart; Schomaker, Lambert R B

    2011-03-01

    Most bottom-up models that predict human eye fixations are based on contrast features. The saliency model of Itti, Koch and Niebur is an example of such contrast-saliency models. Although the model has been successfully compared to human eye fixations, we show that it lacks preciseness in the prediction of fixations on mirror-symmetrical forms. The contrast model gives high response at the borders, whereas human observers consistently look at the symmetrical center of these forms. We propose a saliency model that predicts eye fixations using local mirror symmetry. To test the model, we performed an eye-tracking experiment with participants viewing complex photographic images and compared the data with our symmetry model and the contrast model. The results show that our symmetry model predicts human eye fixations significantly better on a wide variety of images including many that are not selected for their symmetrical content. Moreover, our results show that especially early fixations are on highly symmetrical areas of the images. We conclude that symmetry is a strong predictor of human eye fixations and that it can be used as a predictor of the order of fixation.

  10. Predicting Eye Fixations on Complex Visual Stimuli Using Local Symmetry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kootstra, Geert; de Boer, Bart; Schomaker, Lambertus

    Most bottom-up models that predict human eye fixations are based on contrast features. The saliency model of Itti, Koch and Niebur is an example of such contrast-saliency models. Although the model has been successfully compared to human eye fixations, we show that it lacks preciseness in the

  11. Predicting eye fixations on complex visual stimuli using local symmetry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kootstra, G.; de Boer, B.; Schomaker, L.R.B.

    2011-01-01

    Most bottom-up models that predict human eye fixations are based on contrast features. The saliency model of Itti, Koch and Niebur is an example of such contrast-saliency models. Although the model has been successfully compared to human eye fixations, we show that it lacks preciseness in the

  12. Facilitated processing of visual stimuli associated with the body

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    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...

  13. Oscillations in the Visual Response to Pulsed Stimuli,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-06-01

    0 0 4j 4 10~ 4U 0 0 M 0 0 ig 0 US-CO C 5-.)G GOC 4.) mfle e--r ’E % &C JU *A %C c 𔃺 UO .O. 4) 0 .0 to () GD LD = .- En I’l 4J 0 C4 . ~ w~ C4 = W4.0...dichromatic obser- vers. Science. 168:775-776. Le Grand, Y. 1937. Sur le rhythme apparent du papillotement . Acadmy of Science Paris Comptee Rendus

  14. Moving Stimuli Facilitate Synchronization But Not Temporal Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Susana; Castro, São Luís

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

    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...... to punctate stimuli was assessed with a rigid von Frey hair (462 mN). The heat pain responses to 45 degrees C in 5 s (3.75 cm2) were tested in the area just outside the burn, where the subjects developed secondary hyperalgesia, and on the lateral crus where no subject developed secondary hyperalgesia (control...

  16. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Cortical oscillations modulated by congruent and incongruent audiovisual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herdman, A T; Fujioka, T; Chau, W; Ross, B; Pantev, C; Picton, T W

    2004-11-30

    Congruent or incongruent grapheme-phoneme stimuli are easily perceived as one or two linguistic objects. The main objective of this study was to investigate the changes in cortical oscillations that reflect the processing of congruent and incongruent audiovisual stimuli. Graphemes were Japanese Hiragana characters for four different vowels (/a/, /o/, /u/, and /i/). They were presented simultaneously with their corresponding phonemes (congruent) or non-corresponding phonemes (incongruent) to native-speaking Japanese participants. Participants' reaction times to the congruent audiovisual stimuli were significantly faster by 57 ms as compared to reaction times to incongruent stimuli. We recorded the brain responses for each condition using a whole-head magnetoencephalograph (MEG). A novel approach to analysing MEG data, called synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM), was used to identify event-related changes in cortical oscillations involved in audiovisual processing. The SAM contrast between congruent and incongruent responses revealed greater event-related desynchonization (8-16 Hz) bilaterally in the occipital lobes and greater event-related synchronization (4-8 Hz) in the left transverse temporal gyrus. Results from this study further support the concept of interactions between the auditory and visual sensory cortices in multi-sensory processing of audiovisual objects.

  18. Affective and physiological correlates of the perception of unimodal and bimodal emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Pedro J; Oliveira, Jorge; Alghazzawi, Daniyal; Fardoun, Habib; Gamito, Pedro

    2017-08-01

    Despite the multisensory nature of perception, previous research on emotions has been focused on unimodal emotional cues with visual stimuli. To the best of our knowledge, there is no evidence on the extent to which incongruent emotional cues from visual and auditory sensory channels affect pupil size. To investigate the effects of audiovisual emotional information perception on the physiological and affective response, but also to determine the impact of mismatched cues in emotional perception on these physiological indexes. Pupil size, electrodermal activity and affective subjective responses were recorded while 30 participants were exposed to visual and auditory stimuli with varied emotional content in three different experimental conditions: pictures and sounds presented alone (unimodal), emotionally matched audio-visual stimuli (bimodal congruent) and emotionally mismatched audio-visual stimuli (bimodal incongruent). The data revealed no effect of emotional incongruence on physiological and affective responses. On the other hand, pupil size covaried with skin conductance response (SCR), but the subjective experience was partially dissociated from autonomic responses. Emotional stimuli are able to trigger physiological responses regardless of valence, sensory modality or level of emotional congruence.

  19. 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

    occurs when the two-dimensional stimuli are audiovisual, as well as whether there will be cross-modal facilitation of response selection for the horizontal and vertical dimensions. We also examined whether there is an additional benefit of adding a pitch dimension to the auditory stimulus to facilitate...... 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...

  20. Swimming micro-robot powered by stimuli-sensitive gel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masoud, Hassan; Alexeev, Alexander

    2012-11-01

    Using three-dimensional computer simulations, we design a simple maneuverable micro-swimmer that can self-propel and navigate in highly viscous (low Reynolds-number) environments. Our simple swimmer consists of a cubic gel body which periodically changes volume in response to external stimuli, two rigid rectangular flaps attached to the opposite sides of the gel body, and a flexible steering flap at the front end of the swimmer. The stimuli-sensitive body undergoes periodic expansions (swelling) and contractions (deswelling) leading to a time-irreversible beating motion of the propulsive flaps that propel the micro-swimmer. Thus, the responsive gel body acts as an ``engine'' actuating the motion of the swimmer. We examine how the swimming speed depends on the gel and flap properties. We also probe how the swimmer trajectory can be changed using a responsive steering flap whose curvature is controlled by an external stimulus. We show that the turning occurs due to steering flap bending and periodic beating. Furthermore, our simulations reveal that the turning direction can be regulated by changing the intensity of external stimulus.

  1. Visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Howe, Piers; Pedersini, Roccardo; Reijnen, Ester; Pinto, Yair; Kuzmova, Yoana; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2011-09-01

    A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, 'visual attention' describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. Selection can be determined both by the 'bottom-up' saliency of information from the environment and by the 'top-down' state and goals of the perceiver. Attentional effects can take the form of modulating or enhancing the selected information. A central role for selective attention is to enable the 'binding' of selected information into unified and coherent representations of objects in the outside world. In the overview on visual attention presented here we review the mechanisms and consequences of selection and inhibition over space and time. We examine theoretical, behavioral and neurophysiologic work done on visual attention. We also discuss the relations between attention and other cognitive processes such as automaticity and awareness. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 503-514 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.127 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. The influence of response competition on cerebral asymmetries for processing hierarchical stimuli revealed by ERP recordings

    OpenAIRE

    Malinowski, Peter; Hübner, Ronald; Keil, Andreas; Gruber, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the left and right hemispheres differ with respect to the processing of global and local aspects of visual stimuli. Recently, behavioural experiments have shown that this processing asymmetry strongly depends on the response competition between the global and local levels of a stimulus. Here we report electrophysiological data that underline this observation. Hemispheric differences for global/local processing were mainly observed for responseincompatible stimuli an...

  3. Amygdala activity related to enhanced memory for pleasant and aversive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, S B; Ely, T D; Grafton, S T; Kilts, C D

    1999-03-01

    Pleasant or aversive events are better remembered than neutral events. Emotional enhancement of episodic memory has been linked to the amygdala in animal and neuropsychological studies. Using positron emission tomography, we show that bilateral amygdala activity during memory encoding is correlated with enhanced episodic recognition memory for both pleasant and aversive visual stimuli relative to neutral stimuli, and that this relationship is specific to emotional stimuli. Furthermore, data suggest that the amygdala enhances episodic memory in part through modulation of hippocampal activity. The human amygdala seems to modulate the strength of conscious memory for events according to emotional importance, regardless of whether the emotion is pleasant or aversive.

  4. Network evolution induced by asynchronous stimuli through spike-timing-dependent plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu-Jie Yuan

    Full Text Available In sensory neural system, external asynchronous stimuli play an important role in perceptual learning, associative memory and map development. However, the organization of structure and dynamics of neural networks induced by external asynchronous stimuli are not well understood. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP is a typical synaptic plasticity that has been extensively found in the sensory systems and that has received much theoretical attention. This synaptic plasticity is highly sensitive to correlations between pre- and postsynaptic firings. Thus, STDP is expected to play an important role in response to external asynchronous stimuli, which can induce segregative pre- and postsynaptic firings. In this paper, we study the impact of external asynchronous stimuli on the organization of structure and dynamics of neural networks through STDP. We construct a two-dimensional spatial neural network model with local connectivity and sparseness, and use external currents to stimulate alternately on different spatial layers. The adopted external currents imposed alternately on spatial layers can be here regarded as external asynchronous stimuli. Through extensive numerical simulations, we focus on the effects of stimulus number and inter-stimulus timing on synaptic connecting weights and the property of propagation dynamics in the resulting network structure. Interestingly, the resulting feedforward structure induced by stimulus-dependent asynchronous firings and its propagation dynamics reflect both the underlying property of STDP. The results imply a possible important role of STDP in generating feedforward structure and collective propagation activity required for experience-dependent map plasticity in developing in vivo sensory pathways and cortices. The relevance of the results to cue-triggered recall of learned temporal sequences, an important cognitive function, is briefly discussed as well. Furthermore, this finding suggests a potential

  5. Adaptation to Variance of Stimuli in Drosophila Larva Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolk, Jason; Gepner, Ruben; Gershow, Marc

    In order to respond to stimuli that vary over orders of magnitude while also being capable of sensing very small changes, neural systems must be capable of rapidly adapting to the variance of stimuli. We study this adaptation in Drosophila larvae responding to varying visual signals and optogenetically induced fictitious odors using an infrared illuminated arena and custom computer vision software. Larval navigational decisions (when to turn) are modeled as the output a linear-nonlinear Poisson process. The development of the nonlinear turn rate in response to changes in variance is tracked using an adaptive point process filter determining the rate of adaptation to different stimulus profiles. Supported by NIH Grant 1DP2EB022359 and NSF Grant PHY-1455015.

  6. The Role of Inhibition in Avoiding Distraction by Salient Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspelin, Nicholas; Luck, Steven J

    2018-01-01

    Researchers have long debated whether salient stimuli can involuntarily 'capture' visual attention. We review here evidence for a recently discovered inhibitory mechanism that may help to resolve this debate. This evidence suggests that salient stimuli naturally attempt to capture attention, but capture can be avoided if the salient stimulus is suppressed before it captures attention. Importantly, the suppression process can be more or less effective as a result of changing task demands or lapses in cognitive control. Converging evidence for the existence of this suppression mechanism comes from multiple sources, including psychophysics, eye-tracking, and event-related potentials (ERPs). We conclude that the evidence for suppression is strong, but future research will need to explore the nature and limits of this mechanism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Happiness takes you right: the effect of emotional stimuli on line bisection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Lega, Carlotta; Boehringer, Jana; Gallucci, Marcello; Girelli, Luisa; Carbon, Claus-Christian

    2014-01-01

    Emotion recognition is mediated by a complex network of cortical and subcortical areas, with the two hemispheres likely being differently involved in processing positive and negative emotions. As results on valence-dependent hemispheric specialisation are quite inconsistent, we carried out three experiments with emotional stimuli with a task being sensitive to measure specific hemispheric processing. Participants were required to bisect visual lines that were delimited by emotional face flankers, or to haptically bisect rods while concurrently listening to emotional vocal expressions. We found that prolonged (but not transient) exposition to concurrent happy stimuli significantly shifted the bisection bias to the right compared to both sad and neutral stimuli, indexing a greater involvement of the left hemisphere in processing of positively connoted stimuli. No differences between sad and neutral stimuli were observed across the experiments. In sum, our data provide consistent evidence in favour of a greater involvement of the left hemisphere in processing positive emotions and suggest that (prolonged) exposure to stimuli expressing happiness significantly affects allocation of (spatial) attentional resources, regardless of the sensory (visual/auditory) modality in which the emotion is perceived and space is explored (visual/haptic).

  9. 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. PMID:22384006

  10. 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.

  11. Functional connections between activated and deactivated brain regions mediate emotional interference during externally directed cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Plinio, Simone; Ferri, Francesca; Marzetti, Laura; Romani, Gian Luca; Northoff, Georg; Pizzella, Vittorio

    2018-04-24

    Recent evidence shows that task-deactivations are functionally relevant for cognitive performance. Indeed, higher cognitive engagement has been associated with higher suppression of activity in task-deactivated brain regions - usually ascribed to the Default Mode Network (DMN). Moreover, a negative correlation between these regions and areas actively engaged by the task is associated with better performance. DMN regions show positive modulation during autobiographical, social, and emotional tasks. However, it is not clear how processing of emotional stimuli affects the interplay between the DMN and executive brain regions. We studied this interplay in an fMRI experiment using emotional negative stimuli as distractors. Activity modulations induced by the emotional interference of negative stimuli were found in frontal, parietal, and visual areas, and were associated with modulations of functional connectivity between these task-activated areas and DMN regions. A worse performance was predicted both by lower activity in the superior parietal cortex and higher connectivity between visual areas and frontal DMN regions. Connectivity between right inferior frontal gyrus and several DMN regions in the left hemisphere was related to the behavioral performance. This relation was weaker in the negative than in the neutral condition, likely suggesting less functional inhibitions of DMN regions during emotional processing. These results show that both executive and DMN regions are crucial for the emotional interference process and suggest that DMN connections are related to the interplay between externally-directed and internally-focused processes. Among DMN regions, superior frontal gyrus may be a key node in regulating the interference triggered by emotional stimuli. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Attentional bias for positive emotional stimuli: A meta-analytic investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Sander, David

    2016-01-01

    Despite an initial focus on negative threatening stimuli, researchers have more recently expanded the investigation of attentional biases toward positive rewarding stimuli. The present meta-analysis systematically compared attentional bias for positive compared with neutral visual stimuli across 243 studies (N = 9,120 healthy participants) that used different types of attentional paradigms and positive stimuli. Factors were tested that, as postulated by several attentional models derived from theories of emotion, might modulate this bias. Overall, results showed a significant, albeit modest (Hedges' g = .258), attentional bias for positive as compared with neutral stimuli. Moderator analyses revealed that the magnitude of this attentional bias varied as a function of arousal and that this bias was significantly larger when the emotional stimulus was relevant to specific concerns (e.g., hunger) of the participants compared with other positive stimuli that were less relevant to the participants' concerns. Moreover, the moderator analyses showed that attentional bias for positive stimuli was larger in paradigms that measure early, rather than late, attentional processing, suggesting that attentional bias for positive stimuli occurs rapidly and involuntarily. Implications for theories of emotion and attention are discussed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. 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. PMID:24489967

  14. Startle auditory stimuli enhance the performance of fast dynamic contractions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Fernandez-Del-Olmo

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Food-related attentional bias. Word versus pictorial stimuli and the importance of stimuli calorific value in the dot probe task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freijy, Tanya; Mullan, Barbara; Sharpe, Louise

    2014-12-01

    The primary aim of this study was to extend previous research on food-related attentional biases by examining biases towards pictorial versus word stimuli, and foods of high versus low calorific value. It was expected that participants would demonstrate greater biases to pictures over words, and to high-calorie over low-calorie foods. A secondary aim was to examine associations between BMI, dietary restraint, external eating and attentional biases. It was expected that high scores on these individual difference variables would be associated with a bias towards high-calorie stimuli. Undergraduates (N = 99) completed a dot probe task including matched word and pictorial food stimuli in a controlled setting. Questionnaires assessing eating behaviour were administered, and height and weight were measured. Contrary to predictions, there were no main effects for stimuli type (pictures vs words) or calorific value (high vs low). There was, however, a significant interaction effect suggesting a bias towards high-calorie pictures, but away from high-calorie words; and a bias towards low-calorie words, but away from low-calorie pictures. No associations between attentional bias and any of the individual difference variables were found. The presence of a stimulus type by calorific value interaction demonstrates the importance of stimuli type in the dot probe task, and may help to explain inconsistencies in prior research. Further research is needed to clarify associations between attentional bias and BMI, restraint, and external eating. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. External stimulation strength controls actin response dynamics in Dictyostelium cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Hsin-Fang; Westendorf, Christian; Tarantola, Marco; Zykov, Vladimir; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Beta, Carsten

    2015-03-01

    Self-sustained oscillation and the resonance frequency of the cytoskeletal actin polymerization/depolymerization have recently been observed in Dictyostelium, a model system for studying chemotaxis. Here we report that the resonance frequency is not constant but rather varies with the strength of external stimuli. To understand the underlying mechanism, we analyzed the polymerization and depolymerization time at different levels of external stimulation. We found that polymerization time is independent of external stimuli but the depolymerization time is prolonged as the stimulation increases. These observations can be successfully reproduced in the frame work of our time delayed differential equation model.

  18. Attentional capture by social stimuli in young infants

    OpenAIRE

    Gluckman, Maxie; Johnson, Scott P.

    2013-01-01

    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 inf...

  19. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song; Li, Wengang; Khashab, Niveen M.

    2012-01-01

    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

  20. Preschool-Age Children and Adults Flexibly Shift Their Preferences for Auditory versus Visual Modalities but Do Not Exhibit Auditory Dominance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noles, Nicholaus S.; Gelman, Susan A.

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate the claim that young children display preferences for auditory stimuli over visual stimuli. This study was motivated by concerns that the visual stimuli employed in prior studies were considerably more complex and less distinctive than the competing auditory stimuli, resulting in an illusory preference for…

  1. 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.

  2. Working memory as internal attention: toward an integrative account of internal and external selection processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2013-04-01

    Working memory (WM) and attention have been studied as separate cognitive constructs, although it has long been acknowledged that attention plays an important role in controlling the activation, maintenance, and manipulation of representations in WM. WM has, conversely, been thought of as a means of maintaining representations to voluntarily guide perceptual selective attention. It has more recently been observed, however, that the contents of WM can capture visual attention, even when such internally maintained representations are irrelevant, and often disruptive, to the immediate external task. Thus, the precise relationship between WM and attention remains unclear, but it appears that they may bidirectionally impact one another, whether or not internal representations are consistent with the external perceptual goals. This reciprocal relationship seems, further, to be constrained by limited cognitive resources to handle demands in either maintenance or selection. We propose here that the close relationship between WM and attention may be best described as a give-and-take interdependence between attention directed toward either actively maintained internal representations (traditionally considered WM) or external perceptual stimuli (traditionally considered selective attention), underpinned by their shared reliance on a common cognitive resource. Put simply, we argue that WM and attention should no longer be considered as separate systems or concepts, but as competing and influencing one another because they rely on the same limited resource. This framework can offer an explanation for the capture of visual attention by irrelevant WM contents, as well as a straightforward account of the underspecified relationship between WM and attention.

  3. Working Memory as Internal Attention: Toward an Integrative Account of Internal and External Selection Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) and attention have been studied as separate cognitive constructs, although it has long been acknowledged that attention plays an important role in controlling the activation, maintenance, and manipulation of representations in WM. WM has, conversely, been thought of as a means of maintaining representations to voluntarily guide perceptual selective attention. It has more recently been observed, however, that the contents of WM can capture visual attention, even when such internally maintained representations are irrelevant, and often disruptive, to the immediate external task. Thus the precise relationship between WM and attention remains unclear, but it appears that they may bi-directionally impact one another, whether or not internal representations are consistent with external perceptual goals. This reciprocal relationship seems, further, to be constrained by limited cognitive resources to handle demands in either maintenance or selection. We propose here that the close relationship between WM and attention may be best described as a give-and-take interdependence between attention directed toward actively maintained internal representations (traditionally considered WM) versus external perceptual stimuli (traditionally considered selective attention), underpinned by their shared reliance on a common cognitive resource. Put simply, we argue that WM and attention should no longer be considered as separate systems or concepts, but as competing and impacting one another because they rely on the same limited resource. This framework can offer an explanation for the capture of visual attention by irrelevant WM contents, as well as a straightforward account of the underspecified relationship between WM and attention. PMID:23233157

  4. 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.

  5. Hemispheric specialization in dogs for processing different acoustic stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Siniscalchi

    Full Text Available Considerable experimental evidence shows that functional cerebral asymmetries are widespread in animals. Activity of the right cerebral hemisphere has been associated with responses to novel stimuli and the expression of intense emotions, such as aggression, escape behaviour and fear. The left hemisphere uses learned patterns and responds to familiar stimuli. Although such lateralization has been studied mainly for visual responses, there is evidence in primates that auditory perception is lateralized and that vocal communication depends on differential processing by the hemispheres. The aim of the present work was to investigate whether dogs use different hemispheres to process different acoustic stimuli by presenting them with playbacks of a thunderstorm and their species-typical vocalizations. The results revealed that dogs usually process their species-typical vocalizations using the left hemisphere and the thunderstorm sounds using the right hemisphere. Nevertheless, conspecific vocalizations are not always processed by the left hemisphere, since the right hemisphere is used for processing vocalizations when they elicit intense emotion, including fear. These findings suggest that the specialisation of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication is more ancient that previously thought, and so is specialisation of the right hemisphere for intense emotions.

  6. 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.

  7. Negative emotional stimuli reduce contextual cueing but not response times in inefficient search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunar, Melina A; Watson, Derrick G; Cole, Louise; Cox, Angeline

    2014-02-01

    In visual search, previous work has shown that negative stimuli narrow the focus of attention and speed reaction times (RTs). This paper investigates these two effects by first asking whether negative emotional stimuli narrow the focus of attention to reduce the learning of a display context in a contextual cueing task and, second, whether exposure to negative stimuli also reduces RTs in inefficient search tasks. In Experiment 1, participants viewed either negative or neutral images (faces or scenes) prior to a contextual cueing task. In a typical contextual cueing experiment, RTs are reduced if displays are repeated across the experiment compared with novel displays that are not repeated. The results showed that a smaller contextual cueing effect was obtained after participants viewed negative stimuli than when they viewed neutral stimuli. However, in contrast to previous work, overall search RTs were not faster after viewing negative stimuli (Experiments 2 to 4). The findings are discussed in terms of the impact of emotional content on visual processing and the ability to use scene context to help facilitate search.

  8. 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.

  9. Are females more responsive to emotional stimuli? A neurophysiological study across arousal and valence dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lithari, C; Frantzidis, C A; Papadelis, C; Vivas, Ana B; Klados, M A; Kourtidou-Papadeli, C; Pappas, C; Ioannides, A A; Bamidis, P D

    2010-03-01

    Men and women seem to process emotions and react to them differently. Yet, few neurophysiological studies have systematically investigated gender differences in emotional processing. Here, we studied gender differences using Event Related Potentials (ERPs) and Skin Conductance Responses (SCR) recorded from participants who passively viewed emotional pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). The arousal and valence dimension of the stimuli were manipulated orthogonally. The peak amplitude and peak latency of ERP components and SCR were analyzed separately, and the scalp topographies of significant ERP differences were documented. Females responded with enhanced negative components (N100 and N200), in comparison to males, especially to the unpleasant visual stimuli, whereas both genders responded faster to high arousing or unpleasant stimuli. Scalp topographies revealed more pronounced gender differences on central and left hemisphere areas. Our results suggest a difference in the way emotional stimuli are processed by genders: unpleasant and high arousing stimuli evoke greater ERP amplitudes in women relatively to men. It also seems that unpleasant or high arousing stimuli are temporally prioritized during visual processing by both genders.

  10. Retrospective Attention Gates Discrete Conscious Access to Past Sensory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Louis; van den Berg, Ronald; Cavanagh, Patrick; Sergent, Claire

    2016-01-01

    Cueing attention after the disappearance of visual stimuli biases which items will be remembered best. This observation has historically been attributed to the influence of attention on memory as opposed to subjective visual experience. We recently challenged this view by showing that cueing attention after the stimulus can improve the perception of a single Gabor patch at threshold levels of contrast. Here, we test whether this retro-perception actually increases the frequency of consciously perceiving the stimulus, or simply allows for a more precise recall of its features. We used retro-cues in an orientation-matching task and performed mixture-model analysis to independently estimate the proportion of guesses and the precision of non-guess responses. We find that the improvements in performance conferred by retrospective attention are overwhelmingly determined by a reduction in the proportion of guesses, providing strong evidence that attracting attention to the target's location after its disappearance increases the likelihood of perceiving it consciously.

  11. Beyond arousal and valence: the importance of the biological versus social relevance of emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, Kazuhisa; Mather, Mara

    2012-03-01

    The present study addressed the hypothesis that emotional stimuli relevant to survival or reproduction (biologically emotional stimuli) automatically affect cognitive processing (e.g., attention, memory), while those relevant to social life (socially emotional stimuli) require elaborative processing to modulate attention and memory. Results of our behavioral studies showed that (1) biologically emotional images hold attention more strongly than do socially emotional images, (2) memory for biologically emotional images was enhanced even with limited cognitive resources, but (3) memory for socially emotional images was enhanced only when people had sufficient cognitive resources at encoding. Neither images' subjective arousal nor their valence modulated these patterns. A subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging study revealed that biologically emotional images induced stronger activity in the visual cortex and greater functional connectivity between the amygdala and visual cortex than did socially emotional images. These results suggest that the interconnection between the amygdala and visual cortex supports enhanced attention allocation to biological stimuli. In contrast, socially emotional images evoked greater activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and yielded stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC than did biological images. Thus, it appears that emotional processing of social stimuli involves elaborative processing requiring frontal lobe activity.

  12. 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.

  13. Learning temporal context shapes prestimulus alpha oscillations and improves visual discrimination performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toosi, Tahereh; K Tousi, Ehsan; Esteky, Hossein

    2017-08-01

    Time is an inseparable component of every physical event that we perceive, yet it is not clear how the brain processes time or how the neuronal representation of time affects our perception of events. Here we asked subjects to perform a visual discrimination task while we changed the temporal context in which the stimuli were presented. We collected electroencephalography (EEG) signals in two temporal contexts. In predictable blocks stimuli were presented after a constant delay relative to a visual cue, and in unpredictable blocks stimuli were presented after variable delays relative to the visual cue. Four subsecond delays of 83, 150, 400, and 800 ms were used in the predictable and unpredictable blocks. We observed that predictability modulated the power of prestimulus alpha oscillations in the parieto-occipital sites: alpha power increased in the 300-ms window before stimulus onset in the predictable blocks compared with the unpredictable blocks. This modulation only occurred in the longest delay period, 800 ms, in which predictability also improved the behavioral performance of the subjects. Moreover, learning the temporal context shaped the prestimulus alpha power: modulation of prestimulus alpha power grew during the predictable block and correlated with performance enhancement. These results suggest that the brain is able to learn the subsecond temporal context of stimuli and use this to enhance sensory processing. Furthermore, the neural correlate of this temporal prediction is reflected in the alpha oscillations. NEW & NOTEWORTHY It is not well understood how the uncertainty in the timing of an external event affects its processing, particularly at subsecond scales. Here we demonstrate how a predictable timing scheme improves visual processing. We found that learning the predictable scheme gradually shaped the prestimulus alpha power. These findings indicate that the human brain is able to extract implicit subsecond patterns in the temporal context of

  14. 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.

  15. Dissociating object-based from egocentric transformations in mental body rotation: effect of stimuli size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habacha, Hamdi; Moreau, David; Jarraya, Mohamed; Lejeune-Poutrain, Laure; Molinaro, Corinne

    2018-01-01

    The effect of stimuli size on the mental rotation of abstract objects has been extensively investigated, yet its effect on the mental rotation of bodily stimuli remains largely unexplored. Depending on the experimental design, mentally rotating bodily stimuli can elicit object-based transformations, relying mainly on visual processes, or egocentric transformations, which typically involve embodied motor processes. The present study included two mental body rotation tasks requiring either a same-different or a laterality judgment, designed to elicit object-based or egocentric transformations, respectively. Our findings revealed shorter response times for large-sized stimuli than for small-sized stimuli only for greater angular disparities, suggesting that the more unfamiliar the orientations of the bodily stimuli, the more stimuli size affected mental processing. Importantly, when comparing size transformation times, results revealed different patterns of size transformation times as a function of angular disparity between object-based and egocentric transformations. This indicates that mental size transformation and mental rotation proceed differently depending on the mental rotation strategy used. These findings are discussed with respect to the different spatial manipulations involved during object-based and egocentric transformations.

  16. Effects of Binaural Sensory Aids on the Development of Visual Perceptual Abilities in Visually Handicapped Infants. Final Report, April 15, 1982-November 15, 1982.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Verna; Ferrell, Kay

    Twenty-four congenitally visually handicapped infants, aged 6-24 months, participated in a study to determine (1) those stimuli best able to elicit visual attention, (2) the stability of visual acuity over time, and (3) the effects of binaural sensory aids on both visual attention and visual acuity. Ss were dichotomized into visually handicapped…

  17. Working Memory Enhances Visual Perception: Evidence from Signal Detection Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, David; Wriglesworth, Alice; Bahrami-Balani, Alex; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2010-01-01

    We show that perceptual sensitivity to visual stimuli can be modulated by matches between the contents of working memory (WM) and stimuli in the visual field. Observers were presented with an object cue (to hold in WM or to merely attend) and subsequently had to identify a brief target presented within a colored shape. The cue could be…

  18. Medial temporal lobe damage impairs representation of simple stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Warren

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Medial temporal lobe damage in humans is typically thought to produce a circumscribed impairment in the acquisition of new enduring memories, but recent reports have documented deficits even in short-term maintenance. We examined possible maintenance deficits in a population of medial temporal lobe amnesics, with the goal of characterizing their impairments as either representational drift or outright loss of representation over time. Patients and healthy comparisons performed a visual search task in which the similarity of various lures to a target was varied parametrically. Stimuli were simple shapes varying along one of several visual dimensions. The task was performed in two conditions, one presenting a sample target simultaneously with the search array and the other imposing a delay between sample and array. Eye-movement data collected during search revealed that the duration of fixations to items varied with lure-target similarity for all participants, i.e., fixations were longer for items more similar to the target. In the simultaneous condition, patients and comparisons exhibited an equivalent effect of similarity on fixation durations. However, imposing a delay modulated the effect differently for the two groups: in comparisons, fixation duration to similar items was exaggerated; in patients, the original effect was diminished. These findings indicate that medial temporal lobe lesions subtly impair short-term maintenance of even simple stimuli, with performance reflecting not the complete loss of the maintained representation but rather a degradation or progressive drift of the representation over time.

  19. Early visual deprivation prompts the use of body-centered frames of reference for auditory localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vercillo, Tiziana; Tonelli, Alessia; Gori, Monica

    2018-01-01

    The effects of early visual deprivation on auditory spatial processing are controversial. Results from recent psychophysical studies show that people who were born blind have a spatial impairment in localizing sound sources within specific auditory settings, while previous psychophysical studies revealed enhanced auditory spatial abilities in early blind compared to sighted individuals. An explanation of why an auditory spatial deficit is sometimes observed within blind populations and its task-dependency remains to be clarified. We investigated auditory spatial perception in early blind adults and demonstrated that the deficit derives from blind individual's reduced ability to remap sound locations using an external frame of reference. We found that performance in blind population was severely impaired when they were required to localize brief auditory stimuli with respect to external acoustic landmarks (external reference frame) or when they had to reproduce the spatial distance between two sounds. However, they performed similarly to sighted controls when had to localize sounds with respect to their own hand (body-centered reference frame), or to judge the distances of sounds from their finger. These results suggest that early visual deprivation and the lack of visual contextual cues during the critical period induce a preference for body-centered over external spatial auditory representations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Electrophysiological evidence of altered visual processing in adults who experienced visual deprivation during infancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segalowitz, Sidney J; Sternin, Avital; Lewis, Terri L; Dywan, Jane; Maurer, Daphne

    2017-04-01

    We examined the role of early visual input in visual system development by testing adults who had been born with dense bilateral cataracts that blocked all patterned visual input during infancy until the cataractous lenses were removed surgically and the eyes fitted with compensatory contact lenses. Patients viewed checkerboards and textures to explore early processing regions (V1, V2), Glass patterns to examine global form processing (V4), and moving stimuli to explore global motion processing (V5). Patients' ERPs differed from those of controls in that (1) the V1 component was much smaller for all but the simplest stimuli and (2) extrastriate components did not differentiate amongst texture stimuli, Glass patterns, or motion stimuli. The results indicate that early visual deprivation contributes to permanent abnormalities at early and mid levels of visual processing, consistent with enduring behavioral deficits in the ability to process complex textures, global form, and global motion. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Prevailing theories of consciousness are challenged by novel cross-modal associations acquired between subliminal stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Ryan B; Samaha, Jason; Chrisley, Ron; Dienes, Zoltan

    2018-06-01

    While theories of consciousness differ substantially, the 'conscious access hypothesis', which aligns consciousness with the global accessibility of information across cortical regions, is present in many of the prevailing frameworks. This account holds that consciousness is necessary to integrate information arising from independent functions such as the specialist processing required by different senses. We directly tested this account by evaluating the potential for associative learning between novel pairs of subliminal stimuli presented in different sensory modalities. First, pairs of subliminal stimuli were presented and then their association assessed by examining the ability of the first stimulus to prime classification of the second. In Experiments 1-4 the stimuli were word-pairs consisting of a male name preceding either a creative or uncreative profession. Participants were subliminally exposed to two name-profession pairs where one name was paired with a creative profession and the other an uncreative profession. A supraliminal task followed requiring the timed classification of one of those two professions. The target profession was preceded by either the name with which it had been subliminally paired (concordant) or the alternate name (discordant). Experiment 1 presented stimuli auditorily, Experiment 2 visually, and Experiment 3 presented names auditorily and professions visually. All three experiments revealed the same inverse priming effect with concordant test pairs associated with significantly slower classification judgements. Experiment 4 sought to establish if learning would be more efficient with supraliminal stimuli and found evidence that a different strategy is adopted when stimuli are consciously perceived. Finally, Experiment 5 replicated the unconscious cross-modal association achieved in Experiment 3 utilising non-linguistic stimuli. The results demonstrate the acquisition of novel cross-modal associations between stimuli which are not

  2. An Artificial Flexible Visual Memory System Based on an UV-Motivated Memristor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuai; Lou, Zheng; Chen, Di; Shen, Guozhen

    2018-02-01

    For the mimicry of human visual memory, a prominent challenge is how to detect and store the image information by electronic devices, which demands a multifunctional integration to sense light like eyes and to memorize image information like the brain by transforming optical signals to electrical signals that can be recognized by electronic devices. Although current image sensors can perceive simple images in real time, the image information fades away when the external image stimuli are removed. The deficiency between the state-of-the-art image sensors and visual memory system inspires the logical integration of image sensors and memory devices to realize the sensing and memory process toward light information for the bionic design of human visual memory. Hence, a facile architecture is designed to construct artificial flexible visual memory system by employing an UV-motivated memristor. The visual memory arrays can realize the detection and memory process of UV light distribution with a patterned image for a long-term retention and the stored image information can be reset by a negative voltage sweep and reprogrammed to the same or an other image distribution, which proves the effective reusability. These results provide new opportunities for the mimicry of human visual memory and enable the flexible visual memory device to be applied in future wearable electronics, electronic eyes, multifunctional robotics, and auxiliary equipment for visual handicapped. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Rhythmic synchronization tapping to an audio–visual metronome in budgerigars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Ai; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Seki, Yoshimasa

    2011-01-01

    In all ages and countries, music and dance have constituted a central part in human culture and communication. Recently, vocal-learning animals such as parrots and elephants have been found to share rhythmic ability with humans. Thus, we investigated the rhythmic synchronization of budgerigars, a vocal-mimicking parrot species, under controlled conditions and a systematically designed experimental paradigm as a first step in understanding the evolution of musical entrainment. We trained eight budgerigars to perform isochronous tapping tasks in which they pecked a key to the rhythm of audio–visual metronome-like stimuli. The budgerigars showed evidence of entrainment to external stimuli over a wide range of tempos. They seemed to be inherently inclined to tap at fast tempos, which have a similar time scale to the rhythm of budgerigars' natural vocalizations. We suggest that vocal learning might have contributed to their performance, which resembled that of humans. PMID:22355637

  4. Rhythmic synchronization tapping to an audio-visual metronome in budgerigars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Ai; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Seki, Yoshimasa

    2011-01-01

    In all ages and countries, music and dance have constituted a central part in human culture and communication. Recently, vocal-learning animals such as parrots and elephants have been found to share rhythmic ability with humans. Thus, we investigated the rhythmic synchronization of budgerigars, a vocal-mimicking parrot species, under controlled conditions and a systematically designed experimental paradigm as a first step in understanding the evolution of musical entrainment. We trained eight budgerigars to perform isochronous tapping tasks in which they pecked a key to the rhythm of audio-visual metronome-like stimuli. The budgerigars showed evidence of entrainment to external stimuli over a wide range of tempos. They seemed to be inherently inclined to tap at fast tempos, which have a similar time scale to the rhythm of budgerigars' natural vocalizations. We suggest that vocal learning might have contributed to their performance, which resembled that of humans.

  5. Spatial Hearing with Incongruent Visual or Auditory Room Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Carvajal, Juan C.; Cubick, Jens; Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2016-11-01

    In day-to-day life, humans usually perceive the location of sound sources as outside their heads. This externalized auditory spatial perception can be reproduced through headphones by recreating the sound pressure generated by the source at the listener’s eardrums. This requires the acoustical features of the recording environment and listener’s anatomy to be recorded at the listener’s ear canals. Although the resulting auditory images can be indistinguishable from real-world sources, their externalization may be less robust when the playback and recording environments differ. Here we tested whether a mismatch between playback and recording room reduces perceived distance, azimuthal direction, and compactness of the auditory image, and whether this is mostly due to incongruent auditory cues or to expectations generated from the visual impression of the room. Perceived distance ratings decreased significantly when collected in a more reverberant environment than the recording room, whereas azimuthal direction and compactness remained room independent. Moreover, modifying visual room-related cues had no effect on these three attributes, while incongruent auditory room-related cues between the recording and playback room did affect distance perception. Consequently, the external perception of virtual sounds depends on the degree of congruency between the acoustical features of the environment and the stimuli.

  6. Multi-Functional Stimuli-Responsive Materials

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Supramolecular polymers based on non-covalent interactions can display a wide array of stimuli-responsive attributes. They can be tailored to change shape, actuate...

  7. Newborns' Discrimination of Chromatic from Achromatic Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Russell J.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Two experiments assessed the extent of newborns' ability to discriminate color. Results imply that newborns have some, albeit limited, capacity to discriminate chromatic from achromatic stimuli, and hence, are at least dichromats. (Author/DR)

  8. Generalized Habituation of Concept Stimuli in Toddlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkender, Patricia J.; And Others

    1974-01-01

    An evaluation of selective generalization of habituation on the basis of meaningful categories of stimuli. Also explored are the sex differences in conceptual generalization of habituation. Subjects were 36 toddlers with a mean age of 40 months. (SDH)

  9. Attentional Bias for Emotional Stimuli in Borderline Personality Disorder : A Meta-Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaiser, D.; Jacob, G.A.; Domes, G.; Arntz, A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: In borderline personality disorder (BPD), attentional bias (AB) to emotional stimuli may be a core component in disorder pathogenesis and maintenance. Sampling: 11 emotional Stroop task (EST) studies with 244 BPD patients, 255 nonpatients (NPs) and 95 clinical controls and 4 visual

  10. 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…

  11. Reward-associated stimuli capture the eyes in spite of strategic attentional set

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hickey, C.M.; van Zoest, W.

    2013-01-01

    Theories of reinforcement learning have proposed that the association of reward to visual stimuli may cause these objects to become fundamentally salient and thus attention-drawing. A number of recent studies have investigated the oculomotor correlates of this reward-priming effect, but there is

  12. The mere exposure effect with scene stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    八木 , 善彦

    2016-01-01

     The mere exposure effect refers to the phenomenon where previous exposures to stimuli increasesubsequent affective preference for those stimuli. It has been indicated that with specific stimulus-category(i.e., paintings, matrices, and photographs of scene), repeated exposure has little or oppositeeffect on affective ratings. In this study, two experiments were conducted in order to explore theeffect of stimulus-category on the mere exposure effects. Photographs of young woman’s(Experiment1)a...

  13. Benefits of stimulus congruency for multisensory facilitation of visual learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robyn S Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Studies of perceptual learning have largely focused on unisensory stimuli. However, multisensory interactions are ubiquitous in perception, even at early processing stages, and thus can potentially play a role in learning. Here, we examine the effect of auditory-visual congruency on visual learning. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: Subjects were trained over five days on a visual motion coherence detection task with either congruent audiovisual, or incongruent audiovisual stimuli. Comparing performance on visual-only trials, we find that training with congruent audiovisual stimuli produces significantly better learning than training with incongruent audiovisual stimuli or with only visual stimuli. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This advantage from stimulus congruency during training suggests that the benefits of multisensory training may result from audiovisual interactions at a perceptual rather than cognitive level.

  14. 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.

  15. Alpha oscillations correlate with the successful inhibition of unattended stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Händel, Barbara F; Haarmeier, Thomas; Jensen, Ole

    2011-09-01

    Because the human visual system is continually being bombarded with inputs, it is necessary to have effective mechanisms for filtering out irrelevant information. This is partly achieved by the allocation of attention, allowing the visual system to process relevant input while blocking out irrelevant input. What is the physiological substrate of attentional allocation? It has been proposed that alpha activity reflects functional inhibition. Here we asked if inhibition by alpha oscillations has behavioral consequences for suppressing the perception of unattended input. To this end, we investigated the influence of alpha activity on motion processing in two attentional conditions using magneto-encephalography. The visual stimuli used consisted of two random-dot kinematograms presented simultaneously to the left and right visual hemifields. Subjects were cued to covertly attend the left or right kinematogram. After 1.5 sec, a second cue tested whether subjects could report the direction of coherent motion in the attended (80%) or unattended hemifield (20%). Occipital alpha power was higher contralateral to the unattended side than to the attended side, thus suggesting inhibition of the unattended hemifield. Our key finding is that this alpha lateralization in the 20% invalidly cued trials did correlate with the perception of motion direction: Subjects with pronounced alpha lateralization were worse at detecting motion direction in the unattended hemifield. In contrast, lateralization did not correlate with visual discrimination in the attended visual hemifield. Our findings emphasize the suppressive nature of alpha oscillations and suggest that processing of inputs outside the field of attention is weakened by means of increased alpha activity.

  16. 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.

  17. Relative contributions of visual and auditory spatial representations to tactile localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noel, Jean-Paul; Wallace, Mark

    2016-02-01

    Spatial localization of touch is critically dependent upon coordinate transformation between different reference frames, which must ultimately allow for alignment between somatotopic and external representations of space. Although prior work has shown an important role for cues such as body posture in influencing the spatial localization of touch, the relative contributions of the different sensory systems to this process are unknown. In the current study, we had participants perform a tactile temporal order judgment (TOJ) under different body postures and conditions of sensory deprivation. Specifically, participants performed non-speeded judgments about the order of two tactile stimuli presented in rapid succession on their ankles during conditions in which their legs were either uncrossed or crossed (and thus bringing somatotopic and external reference frames into conflict). These judgments were made in the absence of 1) visual, 2) auditory, or 3) combined audio-visual spatial information by blindfolding and/or placing participants in an anechoic chamber. As expected, results revealed that tactile temporal acuity was poorer under crossed than uncrossed leg postures. Intriguingly, results also revealed that auditory and audio-visual deprivation exacerbated the difference in tactile temporal acuity between uncrossed to crossed leg postures, an effect not seen for visual-only deprivation. Furthermore, the effects under combined audio-visual deprivation were greater than those seen for auditory deprivation. Collectively, these results indicate that mechanisms governing the alignment between somatotopic and external reference frames extend beyond those imposed by body posture to include spatial features conveyed by the auditory and visual modalities - with a heavier weighting of auditory than visual spatial information. Thus, sensory modalities conveying exteroceptive spatial information contribute to judgments regarding the localization of touch. Copyright © 2016

  18. Subliminal and supraliminal processing of reward-related stimuli in anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehm, I; King, J A; Bernardoni, F; Geisler, D; Seidel, M; Ritschel, F; Goschke, T; Haynes, J-D; Roessner, V; Ehrlich, S

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies have highlighted the role of the brain reward and cognitive control systems in the etiology of anorexia nervosa (AN). In an attempt to disentangle the relative contribution of these systems to the disorder, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate hemodynamic responses to reward-related stimuli presented both subliminally and supraliminally in acutely underweight AN patients and age-matched healthy controls (HC). fMRI data were collected from a total of 35 AN patients and 35 HC, while they passively viewed subliminally and supraliminally presented streams of food, positive social, and neutral stimuli. Activation patterns of the group × stimulation condition × stimulus type interaction were interrogated to investigate potential group differences in processing different stimulus types under the two stimulation conditions. Moreover, changes in functional connectivity were investigated using generalized psychophysiological interaction analysis. AN patients showed a generally increased response to supraliminally presented stimuli in the inferior frontal junction (IFJ), but no alterations within the reward system. Increased activation during supraliminal stimulation with food stimuli was observed in the AN group in visual regions including superior occipital gyrus and the fusiform gyrus/parahippocampal gyrus. No group difference was found with respect to the subliminal stimulation condition and functional connectivity. Increased IFJ activation in AN during supraliminal stimulation may indicate hyperactive cognitive control, which resonates with clinical presentation of excessive self-control in AN patients. Increased activation to food stimuli in visual regions may be interpreted in light of an attentional food bias in AN.

  19. Read-out of emotional information from iconic memory: the longevity of threatening stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhbandner, Christof; Spitzer, Bernhard; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2011-05-01

    Previous research has shown that emotional stimuli are more likely than neutral stimuli to be selected by attention, indicating that the processing of emotional information is prioritized. In this study, we examined whether the emotional significance of stimuli influences visual processing already at the level of transient storage of incoming information in iconic memory, before attentional selection takes place. We used a typical iconic memory task in which the delay of a poststimulus cue, indicating which of several visual stimuli has to be reported, was varied. Performance decreased rapidly with increasing cue delay, reflecting the fast decay of information stored in iconic memory. However, although neutral stimulus information and emotional stimulus information were initially equally likely to enter iconic memory, the subsequent decay of the initially stored information was slowed for threatening stimuli, a result indicating that fear-relevant information has prolonged availability for read-out from iconic memory. This finding provides the first evidence that emotional significance already facilitates stimulus processing at the stage of iconic memory.

  20. Evolutionary relevance facilitates visual information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Russell E; Calvillo, Dusti P

    2013-11-03

    Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

  1. Evolutionary Relevance Facilitates Visual Information Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell E. Jackson

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

  2. Auditory motion capturing ambiguous visual motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjen eAlink

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, it is demonstrated that moving sounds have an effect on the direction in which one sees visual stimuli move. During the main experiment sounds were presented consecutively at four speaker locations inducing left- or rightwards auditory apparent motion. On the path of auditory apparent motion, visual apparent motion stimuli were presented with a high degree of directional ambiguity. The main outcome of this experiment is that our participants perceived visual apparent motion stimuli that were ambiguous (equally likely to be perceived as moving left- or rightwards more often as moving in the same direction than in the opposite direction of auditory apparent motion. During the control experiment we replicated this finding and found no effect of sound motion direction on eye movements. This indicates that auditory motion can capture our visual motion percept when visual motion direction is insufficiently determinate without affecting eye movements.

  3. Recall and recognition hypermnesia for Socratic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazén, Miguel; Solís-Macías, Víctor M

    2016-01-01

    In two experiments, we investigate hypermnesia, net memory improvements with repeated testing of the same material after a single study trial. In the first experiment, we found hypermnesia across three trials for the recall of word solutions to Socratic stimuli (dictionary-like definitions of concepts) replicating Erdelyi, Buschke, and Finkelstein and, for the first time using these materials, for their recognition. In the second experiment, we had two "yes/no" recognition groups, a Socratic stimuli group presented with concrete and abstract verbal materials and a word-only control group. Using signal detection measures, we found hypermnesia for concrete Socratic stimuli-and stable performance for abstract stimuli across three recognition tests. The control group showed memory decrements across tests. We interpret these findings with the alternative retrieval pathways (ARP) hypothesis, contrasting it with alternative theories of hypermnesia, such as depth of processing, generation and retrieve-recognise. We conclude that recognition hypermnesia for concrete Socratic stimuli is a reliable phenomenon, which we found in two experiments involving both forced-choice and yes/no recognition procedures.

  4. 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.

  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. Stimuli-responsive Smart Liposomes in Cancer Targeting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Ankit; Jain, Sanjay K

    2018-02-08

    Liposomes are vesicular carriers which possess aqueous core entrapped within the lipid bilayer. These are carriers of choice because of biocompatible and biodegradable features in addition to flexibility of surface modifications at surface and lipid compositions of lipid bilayers. Liposomes have been reported well for cancer treatment using both passive and active targeting approaches however tumor microenvironment is still the biggest hurdle for safe and effective delivery of anticancer agents. To overcome this problem, stimuli-responsive smart liposomes have emerged as promising cargoes pioneered to anomalous tumor milieu in response to pH, temperature, and enzymes etc. as internal triggers, and magnetic field, ultrasound, and redox potential as external guides for enhancement of drug delivery to tumors. This review focuses on all such stimuli-responsive approaches using fabrication potentiality of liposomes in combination to various ligands, linkers, and PEGylation etc. Scientists engaged in cancer targeting approaches can get benefited greatly with this knowledgeable assemblage of advances in liposomal nanovectors. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  7. Anxiety and autonomic response to social-affective stimuli in individuals with Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Rowena; Bellugi, Ursula; Järvinen, Anna

    2016-12-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition characterized by an unusual "hypersocial" personality juxtaposed by high anxiety. Recent evidence suggests that autonomic reactivity to affective face stimuli is disorganised in WS, which may contribute to emotion dysregulation and/or social disinhibition. Electrodermal activity (EDA) and mean interbeat interval (IBI) of 25 participants with WS (19 - 57 years old) and 16 typically developing (TD; 17-43 years old) adults were measured during a passive presentation of affective face and voice stimuli. The Beck Anxiety Inventory was administered to examine associations between autonomic reactivity to social-affective stimuli and anxiety symptomatology. The WS group was characterized by higher overall anxiety symptomatology, and poorer anger recognition in social visual and aural stimuli relative to the TD group. No between-group differences emerged in autonomic response patterns. Notably, for participants with WS, increased anxiety was uniquely associated with diminished arousal to angry faces and voices. In contrast, for the TD group, no associations emerged between anxiety and physiological responsivity to social-emotional stimuli. The anxiety associated with WS appears to be intimately related to reduced autonomic arousal to angry social stimuli, which may also be linked to the characteristic social disinhibition. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Increased Early Processing of Task-Irrelevant Auditory Stimuli in Older Adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich S Tusch

    Full Text Available The inhibitory deficit hypothesis of cognitive aging posits that older adults' inability to adequately suppress processing of irrelevant information is a major source of cognitive decline. Prior research has demonstrated that in response to task-irrelevant auditory stimuli there is an age-associated increase in the amplitude of the N1 wave, an ERP marker of early perceptual processing. Here, we tested predictions derived from the inhibitory deficit hypothesis that the age-related increase in N1 would be 1 observed under an auditory-ignore, but not auditory-attend condition, 2 attenuated in individuals with high executive capacity (EC, and 3 augmented by increasing cognitive load of the primary visual task. ERPs were measured in 114 well-matched young, middle-aged, young-old, and old-old adults, designated as having high or average EC based on neuropsychological testing. Under the auditory-ignore (visual-attend task, participants ignored auditory stimuli and responded to rare target letters under low and high load. Under the auditory-attend task, participants ignored visual stimuli and responded to rare target tones. Results confirmed an age-associated increase in N1 amplitude to auditory stimuli under the auditory-ignore but not auditory-attend task. Contrary to predictions, EC did not modulate the N1 response. The load effect was the opposite of expectation: the N1 to task-irrelevant auditory events was smaller under high load. Finally, older adults did not simply fail to suppress the N1 to auditory stimuli in the task-irrelevant modality; they generated a larger response than to identical stimuli in the task-relevant modality. In summary, several of the study's findings do not fit the inhibitory-deficit hypothesis of cognitive aging, which may need to be refined or supplemented by alternative accounts.

  9. 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.

  10. Computer-animated stimuli to measure motion sensitivity: constraints on signal design in the Jacky dragon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Kevin L; Rieucau, Guillaume; Burke, Darren

    2017-02-01

    Identifying perceptual thresholds is critical for understanding the mechanisms that underlie signal evolution. Using computer-animated stimuli, we examined visual speed sensitivity in the Jacky dragon Amphibolurus muricatus , a species that makes extensive use of rapid motor patterns in social communication. First, focal lizards were tested in discrimination trials using random-dot kinematograms displaying combinations of speed, coherence, and direction. Second, we measured subject lizards' ability to predict the appearance of a secondary reinforcer (1 of 3 different computer-generated animations of invertebrates: cricket, spider, and mite) based on the direction of movement of a field of drifting dots by following a set of behavioural responses (e.g., orienting response, latency to respond) to our virtual stimuli. We found an effect of both speed and coherence, as well as an interaction between these 2 factors on the perception of moving stimuli. Overall, our results showed that Jacky dragons have acute sensitivity to high speeds. We then employed an optic flow analysis to match the performance to ecologically relevant motion. Our results suggest that the Jacky dragon visual system may have been shaped to detect fast motion. This pre-existing sensitivity may have constrained the evolution of conspecific displays. In contrast, Jacky dragons may have difficulty in detecting the movement of ambush predators, such as snakes and of some invertebrate prey. Our study also demonstrates the potential of the computer-animated stimuli technique for conducting nonintrusive tests to explore motion range and sensitivity in a visually mediated species.

  11. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Stephanie C.Y.; Applegate, Marissa C.; Morton, Neal W; Polyn, Sean M.; Norman, Kenneth A.

    2017-01-01

    Several prominent theories posit that information about recent experiences lingers in the brain and organizes memories for current experiences, by forming a temporal context that is linked to those memories at encoding. According to these theories, if the thoughts preceding an experience X resemble the thoughts preceding an experience Y, then X and Y should show an elevated probability of being recalled together. We tested this prediction by using multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) of fMRI data to measure neural evidence for lingering processing of preceding stimuli. As predicted, memories encoded with similar lingering thoughts about the category of preceding stimuli were more likely to be recalled together. Our results demonstrate that the “fading embers” of previous stimuli help to organize recall, confirming a key prediction of computational models of episodic memory. PMID:28132858

  12. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Stephanie C Y; Applegate, Marissa C; Morton, Neal W; Polyn, Sean M; Norman, Kenneth A

    2017-03-01

    Several prominent theories posit that information about recent experiences lingers in the brain and organizes memories for current experiences, by forming a temporal context that is linked to those memories at encoding. According to these theories, if the thoughts preceding an experience X resemble the thoughts preceding an experience Y, then X and Y should show an elevated probability of being recalled together. We tested this prediction by using multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) of fMRI data to measure neural evidence for lingering processing of preceding stimuli. As predicted, memories encoded with similar lingering thoughts about the category of preceding stimuli were more likely to be recalled together. Our results demonstrate that the "fading embers" of previous stimuli help to organize recall, confirming a key prediction of computational models of episodic memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Peripheral visual response time and visual display layout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, R. F.

    1974-01-01

    Experiments were performed on a group of 42 subjects in a study of their peripheral visual response time to visual signals under positive acceleration, during prolonged bedrest, at passive 70 deg headup body lift, under exposures to high air temperatures and high luminance levels, and under normal stress-free laboratory conditions. Diagrams are plotted for mean response times to white, red, yellow, green, and blue stimuli under different conditions.

  14. Age-related positivity enhancement is not universal: older Chinese look away from positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Helene H; Lu, Alice Y; Goren, Deborah; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Wadlinger, Heather A; Wilson, Hugh R

    2008-06-01

    Socioemotional selectivity theory postulates that with age, people are motivated to derive emotional meaning from life, leading them to pay more attention to positive relative to negative/neutral stimuli. The authors argue that cultures that differ in what they consider to be emotionally meaningful may show this preference to different extents. Using eye-tracking techniques, the authors compared visual attention toward emotional (happy, fearful, sad, and angry) and neutral facial expressions among 46 younger and 57 older Hong Kong Chinese. In contrast to prior Western findings, older but not younger Chinese looked away from happy facial expressions, suggesting that they do not show attentional preferences toward positive stimuli.

  15. 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.

  16. The threshold for conscious report: Signal loss and response bias in visual and frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Vugt, Bram; Dagnino, Bruno; Vartak, Devavrat; Safaai, Houman; Panzeri, Stefano; Dehaene, Stanislas; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2018-05-04

    Why are some visual stimuli consciously detected, whereas others remain subliminal? We investigated the fate of weak visual stimuli in the visual and frontal cortex of awake monkeys trained to report stimulus presence. Reported stimuli were associated with strong sustained activity in the frontal cortex, and frontal activity was weaker and quickly decayed for unreported stimuli. Information about weak stimuli could be lost at successive stages en route from the visual to the frontal cortex, and these propagation failures were confirmed through microstimulation of area V1. Fluctuations in response bias and sensitivity during perception of identical stimuli were traced back to prestimulus brain-state markers. A model in which stimuli become consciously reportable when they elicit a nonlinear ignition process in higher cortical areas explained our results. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  17. 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

  18. Auditory and visual memory in musicians and nonmusicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Michael A; Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2011-06-01

    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.

  19. Effect of task demands on dual coding of pictorial stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babbitt, B C

    1982-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that verbal labeling of a picture does not occur automatically. Although several experiments using paired-associate tasks produced little evidence indicating the use of a verbal code with picture stimuli, the tasks were probably not sensitive to whether the codes were activated initially. It is possible that verbal labels were activated at input, but not used later in performing the tasks. The present experiment used a color-naming interference task in order to assess, with a more sensitive measure, the amount of verbal coding occurring in response to word or picture input. Subjects named the color of ink in which words were printed following either word or picture input. If verbal labeling of the input occurs, then latency of color naming should increase when the input item and color-naming word are related. The results provided substantial evidence of such verbal activation when the input items were words. However, the presence of verbal activation with picture input was a function of task demands. Activation occurred when a recall memory test was used, but not when a recognition memory test was used. The results support the conclusion that name information (labels) need not be activated during presentation of visual stimuli.

  20. Disentangling the role of floral sensory stimuli in pollination networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kantsa, Aphrodite; Raguso, Robert A.; Dyer, Adrian G.

    2018-01-01

    Despite progress in understanding pollination network structure, the functional roles of floral sensory stimuli (visual, olfactory) have never been addressed comprehensively in a community context, even though such traits are known to mediate plant-pollinator interactions. Here, we use...... a comprehensive dataset of floral traits and a novel dynamic data-pooling methodology to explore the impacts of floral sensory diversity on the structure of a pollination network in a Mediterranean scrubland. Our approach tracks transitions in the network behaviour of each plant species throughout its flowering...... period and, despite dynamism in visitor composition, reveals significant links to floral scent, and/or colour as perceived by pollinators. Having accounted for floral phenology, abundance and phylogeny, the persistent association between floral sensory traits and visitor guilds supports a deeper role...

  1. Event-related potentials to visual, auditory, and bimodal (combined auditory-visual) stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isoğlu-Alkaç, Ummühan; Kedzior, Karina; Keskindemirci, Gonca; Ermutlu, Numan; Karamursel, Sacit

    2007-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the response properties of event related potentials to unimodal and bimodal stimulations. The amplitudes of N1 and P2 were larger during bimodal evoked potentials (BEPs) than auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) in the anterior sites and the amplitudes of P1 were larger during BEPs than VEPs especially at the parieto-occipital locations. Responses to bimodal stimulation had longer latencies than responses to unimodal stimulation. The N1 and P2 components were larger in amplitude and longer in latency during the bimodal paradigm and predominantly occurred at the anterior sites. Therefore, the current bimodal paradigm can be used to investigate the involvement and location of specific neural generators that contribute to higher processing of sensory information. Moreover, this paradigm may be a useful tool to investigate the level of sensory dysfunctions in clinical samples.

  2. Stimuli-responsive liquid crystalline materials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debije, M.G.; Schenning, A.P.H.J.; Hashmi, Saleem

    2016-01-01

    Stimuli-responsive materials which respond to triggers from the environment by changing their properties are one of the focal points in materials science. For precise functional properties, well-defined hierarchically ordered supramolecular materials are crucial. The self-assembly of liquid crystals

  3. 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.

  4. Visual experience and blindsight: A methodological review

    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...

  5. Collinearity Impairs Local Element Visual Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jingling, Li; Tseng, Chia-Huei

    2013-01-01

    In visual searches, stimuli following the law of good continuity attract attention to the global structure and receive attentional priority. Also, targets that have unique features are of high feature contrast and capture attention in visual search. We report on a salient global structure combined with a high orientation contrast to the…

  6. Audiovisual semantic interactions between linguistic and nonlinguistic stimuli: The time-courses and categorical specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-Chuan; Spence, Charles

    2018-04-30

    We examined the time-courses and categorical specificity of the crossmodal semantic congruency effects elicited by naturalistic sounds and spoken words on the processing of visual pictures (Experiment 1) and printed words (Experiment 2). Auditory cues were presented at 7 different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) with respect to the visual targets, and participants made speeded categorization judgments (living vs. nonliving). Three common effects were observed across 2 experiments: Both naturalistic sounds and spoken words induced a slowly emerging congruency effect when leading by 250 ms or more in the congruent compared with the incongruent condition, and a rapidly emerging inhibitory effect when leading by 250 ms or less in the incongruent condition as opposed to the noise condition. Only spoken words that did not match the visual targets elicited an additional inhibitory effect when leading by 100 ms or when presented simultaneously. Compared with nonlinguistic stimuli, the crossmodal congruency effects associated with linguistic stimuli occurred over a wider range of SOAs and occurred at a more specific level of the category hierarchy (i.e., the basic level) than was required by the task. A comprehensive framework is proposed to provide a dynamic view regarding how meaning is extracted during the processing of visual or auditory linguistic and nonlinguistic stimuli, therefore contributing to our understanding of multisensory semantic processing in humans. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. 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.

  8. Monetary reward modulates task-irrelevant perceptual learning for invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    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.

  9. Absent Audiovisual Integration Elicited by Peripheral Stimuli in Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanna Ren

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The basal ganglia, which have been shown to be a significant multisensory hub, are disordered in Parkinson’s disease (PD. This study was to investigate the audiovisual integration of peripheral stimuli in PD patients with/without sleep disturbances. Thirty-six age-matched normal controls (NC and 30 PD patients were recruited for an auditory/visual discrimination experiment. The mean response times for each participant were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and race model. The results showed that the response to all stimuli was significantly delayed for PD compared to NC (all p0.05. The current results showed that audiovisual multisensory integration for peripheral stimuli is absent in PD regardless of sleep disturbances and further suggested the abnormal audiovisual integration might be a potential early manifestation of PD.

  10. Bio-inspired fabrication of stimuli-responsive photonic crystals with hierarchical structures and their applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Tao; Peng, Wenhong; Zhu, Shenmin; Zhang, Di

    2016-01-01

    When the constitutive materials of photonic crystals (PCs) are stimuli-responsive, the resultant PCs exhibit optical properties that can be tuned by the stimuli. This can be exploited for promising applications in colour displays, biological and chemical sensors, inks and paints, and many optically active components. However, the preparation of the required photonic structures is the first issue to be solved. In the past two decades, approaches such as microfabrication and self-assembly have been developed to incorporate stimuli-responsive materials into existing periodic structures for the fabrication of PCs, either as the initial building blocks or as the surrounding matrix. Generally, the materials that respond to thermal, pH, chemical, optical, electrical, or magnetic stimuli are either soft or aggregate, which is why the manufacture of three-dimensional hierarchical photonic structures with responsive properties is a great challenge. Recently, inspired by biological PCs in nature which exhibit both flexible and responsive properties, researchers have developed various methods to synthesize metals and metal oxides with hierarchical structures by using a biological PC as the template. This review will focus on the recent developments in this field. In particular, PCs with biological hierarchical structures that can be tuned by external stimuli have recently been successfully fabricated. These findings offer innovative insights into the design of responsive PCs and should be of great importance for future applications of these materials. (topical review)

  11. Attentional Bias for Emotional Stimuli in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Deborah; Jacob, Gitta A; Domes, Gregor; Arntz, Arnoud

    2016-01-01

    In borderline personality disorder (BPD), attentional bias (AB) to emotional stimuli may be a core component in disorder pathogenesis and maintenance. 11 emotional Stroop task (EST) studies with 244 BPD patients, 255 nonpatients (NPs) and 95 clinical controls and 4 visual dot-probe task (VDPT) studies with 151 BPD patients or subjects with BPD features and 62 NPs were included. We conducted two separate meta-analyses for AB in BPD. One meta-analysis focused on the EST for generally negative and BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words. The other meta-analysis concentrated on the VDPT for negative and positive facial stimuli. There is evidence for an AB towards generally negative emotional words compared to NPs (standardized mean difference, SMD = 0.311) and to other psychiatric disorders (SMD = 0.374) in the EST studies. Regarding BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words, BPD patients reveal an even stronger AB than NPs (SMD = 0.454). The VDPT studies indicate a tendency towards an AB to positive facial stimuli but not negative stimuli in BPD patients compared to NPs. The findings rather reflect an AB in BPD to generally negative and BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words rather than an AB in BPD towards facial stimuli, and/or a biased allocation of covert attentional resources to negative emotional stimuli in BPD and not a bias in focus of visual attention. Further research regarding the role of childhood traumatization and comorbid anxiety disorders may improve the understanding of these underlying processes. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Cortical Integration of Audio-Visual Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Wyk, Brent C.; Ramsay, Gordon J.; Hudac, Caitlin M.; Jones, Warren; Lin, David; Klin, Ami; Lee, Su Mei; Pelphrey, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the neural basis of audio-visual processing in speech and non-speech stimuli. Physically identical auditory stimuli (speech and sinusoidal tones) and visual stimuli (animated circles and ellipses) were used in this fMRI experiment. Relative to unimodal stimuli, each of the multimodal conjunctions showed increased activation in largely non-overlapping areas. The conjunction of Ellipse and Speech, which most resembles naturalistic audiovisual speech, showed higher activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus, fusiform gyri, left posterior superior temporal sulcus, and lateral occipital cortex. The conjunction of Circle and Tone, an arbitrary audio-visual pairing with no speech association, activated middle temporal gyri and lateral occipital cortex. The conjunction of Circle and Speech showed activation in lateral occipital cortex, and the conjunction of Ellipse and Tone did not show increased activation relative to unimodal stimuli. Further analysis revealed that middle temporal regions, although identified as multimodal only in the Circle-Tone condition, were more strongly active to Ellipse-Speech or Circle-Speech, but regions that were identified as multimodal for Ellipse-Speech were always strongest for Ellipse-Speech. Our results suggest that combinations of auditory and visual stimuli may together be processed by different cortical networks, depending on the extent to which speech or non-speech percepts are evoked. PMID:20709442

  13. 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.

  14. Increasing Valid Profiles in Phallometric Assessment of Sex Offenders with Child Victims: Combining the Strengths of Audio Stimuli and Synthetic Characters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschall-Lévesque, Shawn; Rouleau, Joanne-Lucine; Renaud, Patrice

    2018-02-01

    Penile plethysmography (PPG) is a measure of sexual interests that relies heavily on the stimuli it uses to generate valid results. Ethical considerations surrounding the use of real images in PPG have further limited the content admissible for these stimuli. To palliate this limitation, the current study aimed to combine audio and visual stimuli by incorporating computer-generated characters to create new stimuli capable of accurately classifying sex offenders with child victims, while also increasing the number of valid profiles. Three modalities (audio, visual, and audiovisual) were compared using two groups (15 sex offenders with child victims and 15 non-offenders). Both the new visual and audiovisual stimuli resulted in a 13% increase in the number of valid profiles at 2.5 mm, when compared to the standard audio stimuli. Furthermore, the new audiovisual stimuli generated a 34% increase in penile responses. All three modalities were able to discriminate between the two groups by their responses to the adult and child stimuli. Lastly, sexual interest indices for all three modalities could accurately classify participants in their appropriate groups, as demonstrated by ROC curve analysis (i.e., audio AUC = .81, 95% CI [.60, 1.00]; visual AUC = .84, 95% CI [.66, 1.00], and audiovisual AUC = .83, 95% CI [.63, 1.00]). Results suggest that computer-generated characters allow accurate discrimination of sex offenders with child victims and can be added to already validated stimuli to increase the number of valid profiles. The implications of audiovisual stimuli using computer-generated characters and their possible use in PPG evaluations are also discussed.

  15. 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

    2009-07-01

    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.

  16. Implicit and Explicit Associations with Erotic Stimuli in Women with and Without Sexual Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lankveld, Jacques J D M; Bandell, Myrthe; Bastin-Hurek, Eva; van Beurden, Myra; Araz, Suzan

    2018-02-20

    Conceptual models of sexual functioning have suggested a major role for implicit cognitive processing in sexual functioning. The present study aimed to investigate implicit and explicit cognition in sexual functioning in women. Gynecological patients with (N = 38) and without self-reported sexual problems (N = 41) were compared. Participants performed two Single-Target Implicit Association Tests (ST-IAT), measuring the implicit association of visual erotic stimuli with attributes representing, respectively, valence and motivation. Participants also rated the erotic pictures that were shown in the ST-IATs on the dimensions of valence, attractiveness, and sexual excitement, to assess their explicit associations with these erotic stimuli. Participants completed the Female Sexual Functioning Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale for continuous measures of sexual functioning, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale to assess depressive symptoms. Compared to nonsymptomatic women, women with sexual problems were found to show more negative implicit associations of erotic stimuli with wanting (implicit sexual motivation). Across both groups, stronger implicit associations of erotic stimuli with wanting predicted higher level of sexual functioning. More positive explicit ratings of erotic stimuli predicted lower level of sexual distress across both groups.

  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. Oxytocin and vasopressin enhance responsiveness to infant stimuli in adult marmosets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jack H; French, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

    The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) have been implicated in modulating sex-specific responses to offspring in a variety of uniparental and biparental rodent species. Despite the large body of research in rodents, the effects of these hormones in biparental primates are less understood. Marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) belong to a clade of primates with a high incidence of biparental care and also synthesize a structurally distinct variant of OT (proline instead of leucine at the 8th amino acid position; Pro(8)-OT). We examined the roles of the OT and AVP systems in the control of responses to infant stimuli in marmoset monkeys. We administered neuropeptide receptor agonists and antagonists to male and female marmosets, and then exposed them to visual and auditory infant-related and control stimuli. Intranasal Pro(8)-OT decreased latencies to respond to infant stimuli in males, and intranasal AVP decreased latencies to respond to infant stimuli in females. Our study is the first to demonstrate that Pro(8)-OT and AVP alter responsiveness to infant stimuli in a biparental New World monkey. Across species, the effects of OT and AVP on parental behavior appear to vary by species-typical caregiving responsibilities in males and females. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Relating Attentional Biases for Stimuli Associated with Social Reward and Punishment to Autistic Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian A. Anderson

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for impaired attention to social stimuli in autism has been mixed. The role of social feedback in shaping attention to other, non-social stimuli that are predictive of such feedback has not been examined in the context of autism. In the present study, participants searched for a color-defined target during a training phase, with the color of the target predicting the emotional reaction of a face that appeared after each trial. Then, participants performed visual search for a shape-defined target while trying to ignore the color of stimuli. On a subset of trials, one of the non-targets was rendered in the color of a former target from training. Autistic traits were measured for each participant using the Autism Quotient (AQ. Our findings replicate robust attentional capture by stimuli learned to predict valenced social feedback. There was no evidence that autistic traits are associated with blunted attention to predictors of social outcomes. Consistent with an emerging body of literature, our findings cast doubt on strong versions of the claim that autistic traits can be explained by a blunted influence of social information on the attention system. We extend these findings to non-social stimuli that predict socially relevant information.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.)

  9. ExternE National Implementation Finland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pingoud, K.; Maelkki, H.; Wihersaari, M.; Pirilae, P.; Hongisto, M.; Siitonen, S.; Johansson, M.

    1999-01-01

    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. 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.)

  11. A Bilateral Advantage for Storage in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemoto, Akina; Drew, Trafton; Ester, Edward F.; Awh, Edward

    2010-01-01

    Various studies have demonstrated enhanced visual processing when information is presented across both visual hemifields rather than in a single hemifield (the "bilateral advantage"). For example, Alvarez and Cavanagh (2005) reported that observers were able to track twice as many moving visual stimuli when the tracked items were presented…

  12. A Neural Theory of Visual Attention: Bridging Cognition and Neurophysiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbaek, Soren

    2005-01-01

    A neural theory of visual attention (NTVA) is presented. NTVA is a neural interpretation of C. Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). In NTVA, visual processing capacity is distributed across stimuli by dynamic remapping of receptive fields of cortical cells such that more processing resources (cells) are devoted to behaviorally…

  13. Intersensory Function in Newborns: Effect of Sound on Visual Preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Katharine Rieke; Turkewitz, Gerald

    1980-01-01

    Newborn infants' fixation of a graduated series of visual stimuli significantly differed in the absence and presence of white-noise bursts. Relative to the no-sound condition, sound resulted in the infants' tendency to look more at the low-intensity visual stimulus and less at the high- intensity visual stimulus. (Author/DB)

  14. A working memory bias for alcohol-related stimuli depends on drinking score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Klaus; Pajak, Katarzyna Malgorzata; Harkin, Ben; Jones, Barry

    2013-03-01

    We tested 44 participants with respect to their working memory (WM) performance on alcohol-related versus neutral visual stimuli. Previously an alcohol attentional bias (AAB) had been reported using these stimuli, where the attention of frequent drinkers was automatically drawn toward alcohol-related items (e.g., beer bottle). The present study set out to provide evidence for an alcohol memory bias (AMB) that would persist over longer time-scales than the AAB. The WM task we used required memorizing 4 stimuli in their correct locations and a visual interference task was administered during a 4-sec delay interval. A subsequent probe required participants to indicate whether a stimulus was shown in the correct or incorrect location. For each participant we calculated a drinking score based on 3 items derived from the Alcohol Use Questionnaire, and we observed that higher scorers better remembered alcohol-related images compared with lower scorers, particularly when these were presented in their correct locations upon recall. This provides first evidence for an AMB. It is important to highlight that this effect persisted over a 4-sec delay period including a visual interference task that erased iconic memories and diverted attention away from the encoded items, thus the AMB cannot be reduced to the previously reported AAB. Our finding calls for further investigation of alcohol-related cognitive biases in WM, and we propose a preliminary model that may guide future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Reward anticipation and processing of social versus nonsocial stimuli in children with and without autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavropoulos, Katherine K M; Carver, Leslie J

    2014-12-01

    How children respond to social and nonsocial rewards has important implications for both typical and atypical social-cognitive development. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are thought to process rewards differently than typically developing (TD) individuals. However, there is little direct evidence to support this claim. Two event-related potentials were measured. The stimulus preceding negativity (SPN) was utilized to measure reward anticipation, and the feedback related negativity (FRN) was utilized to measure reward processing. Participants were 6- to 8-year-olds with (N = 20) and without (N = 23) ASD. Children were presented with rewards accompanied by incidental face or nonface stimuli. Nonface stimuli were composed of scrambled face elements in the shape of arrows, controlling for low-level visual properties. Children with ASD showed smaller responses while anticipating and processing rewards accompanied by social stimuli than TD children. Anticipation and processing of rewards accompanied by nonsocial stimuli was intact in children with ASD. This is the first study to measure both reward anticipation and processing in ASD while controlling for reward properties. The findings provide evidence that children with autism have reward anticipation and processing deficits for social stimuli only. Our results suggest that while typically developing children find social stimuli more salient than nonsocial stimuli, children with ASD may have the opposite preference. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  16. External Otitis (Swimmer's Ear)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... otitis. Fungal external otitis (otomycosis), typically caused by Aspergillus niger or Candida albicans, is less common. Boils are ... in the ear. Fungal external otitis caused by Aspergillus niger usually causes grayish black or yellow dots (called ...

  17. Subliminal influence on preferences? A test of evaluative conditioning for brief visual conditioned stimuli using auditory unconditioned stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heycke, Tobias; Aust, Frederik; Stahl, Christoph

    2017-09-01

    In the field of evaluative conditioning (EC), two opposing theories-propositional single-process theory versus dual-process theory-are currently being discussed in the literature. The present set of experiments test a crucial prediction to adjudicate between these two theories: Dual-process theory postulates that evaluative conditioning can occur without awareness of the contingency between conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US); in contrast, single-process propositional theory postulates that EC requires CS-US contingency awareness. In a set of three studies, we experimentally manipulate contingency awareness by presenting the CSs very briefly, thereby rendering it unlikely to be processed consciously. We address potential issues with previous studies on EC with subliminal or near-threshold CSs that limited their interpretation. Across two experiments, we consistently found an EC effect for CSs presented for 1000 ms and consistently failed to find an EC effect for briefly presented CSs. In a third pre-registered experiment, we again found evidence for an EC effect with CSs presented for 1000 ms, and we found some indication for an EC effect for CSs presented for 20 ms.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Visual plasticity : Blindsight bridges anatomy and function in the visual system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tamietto, M.; Morrone, M.C.

    2016-01-01

    Some people who are blind due to damage to their primary visual cortex, V1, can discriminate stimuli presented within their blind visual field. This residual function has been recently linked to a pathway that bypasses V1, and connects the thalamic lateral geniculate nucleus directly with the

  1. 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...

  2. Phenotypic variations in chondrocyte subpopulations and their response to in vitro culture and external stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Emily E; Fisher, John P

    2010-11-01

    Articular cartilage defects have limited capacity to self-repair, and cost society up to 60 billion dollars annually in both medical treatments and loss of working days. Recent developments in cartilage tissue engineering have resulted in many new products coming to market or entering clinical trials. However, there is a distinct lack of treatments which aim to recreate the complex zonal organization of articular cartilage. Cartilage tissue withstands repetitive strains throughout an individual's lifetime and provides frictionless movement between joints. The structure and composition of its intricately organized extracellular matrix varies with tissue depth to provide optimal resistance to loading, ensure ease of movement, and integrate with the subchondral bone. Each tissue zone is specially designed to resist the load it experiences, and maximize the tissue properties needed for its location. It is unlikely that a homogenous solution to tissue repair will be able to optimally restore the function of such a heterogeneous tissue. For zonal engineering of articular cartilage to become practical, maintenance of phenotypically stable zonal cell populations must be achieved. The chondrocyte phenotype varies considerably by zone, and it is the activity of these cells that help achieve the structural organization of the tissue. This review provides an examination of literature which has studied variations in cellular phenotype between cartilage zones. By doing so, we have identified critical differences between cell populations and highlighted areas of research which show potential in the field. Current research has made the morphological and metabolic variations between these cell populations clear, but an ideal way of maintaining these differences in vitro culture is yet to be established. Combinations of delivered growth factors, mechanical loading, and layered three-dimensional culture systems all show potential for achieving this goal. Furthermore, differentiation of progenitor cell populations into chondrocyte subpopulations may also hold promise for achieving large numbers of zonal chondrocytes. Success of the field lies in establishing methods of retaining phenotypically stable cell populations for in vitro culture.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Visual Categorization of Natural Movies by Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinken, Kasper; Vermaercke, Ben

    2014-01-01

    Visual categorization of complex, natural stimuli has been studied for some time in human and nonhuman primates. Recent interest in the rodent as a model for visual perception, including higher-level functional specialization, leads to the question of how rodents would perform on a categorization task using natural stimuli. To answer this question, rats were trained in a two-alternative forced choice task to discriminate movies containing rats from movies containing other objects and from scrambled movies (ordinate-level categorization). Subsequently, transfer to novel, previously unseen stimuli was tested, followed by a series of control probes. The results show that the animals are capable of acquiring a decision rule by abstracting common features from natural movies to generalize categorization to new stimuli. Control probes demonstrate that they did not use single low-level features, such as motion energy or (local) luminance. Significant generalization was even present with stationary snapshots from untrained movies. The variability within and between training and test stimuli, the complexity of natural movies, and the control experiments and analyses all suggest that a more high-level rule based on more complex stimulus features than local luminance-based cues was used to classify the novel stimuli. In conclusion, natural stimuli can be used to probe ordinate-level categorization in rats. PMID:25100598

  6. Visual categorization of natural movies by rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinken, Kasper; Vermaercke, Ben; Op de Beeck, Hans P

    2014-08-06

    Visual categorization of complex, natural stimuli has been studied for some time in human and nonhuman primates. Recent interest in the rodent as a model for visual perception, including higher-level functional specialization, leads to the question of how rodents would perform on a categorization task using natural stimuli. To answer this question, rats were trained in a two-alternative forced choice task to discriminate movies containing rats from movies containing other objects and from scrambled movies (ordinate-level categorization). Subsequently, transfer to novel, previously unseen stimuli was tested, followed by a series of control probes. The results show that the animals are capable of acquiring a decision rule by abstracting common features from natural movies to generalize categorization to new stimuli. Control probes demonstrate that they did not use single low-level features, such as motion energy or (local) luminance. Significant generalization was even present with stationary snapshots from untrained movies. The variability within and between training and test stimuli, the complexity of natural movies, and the control experiments and analyses all suggest that a more high-level rule based on more complex stimulus features than local luminance-based cues was used to classify the novel stimuli. In conclusion, natural stimuli can be used to probe ordinate-level categorization in rats. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3410645-14$15.00/0.

  7. 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.

  8. Pattern visual evoked potentials in dyslexic versus normal children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javad Heravian

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion: The sensitivity of PVEP has high validity to detect visual deficits in children with dyslexic problem. However, no significant difference was found between dyslexia and normal children using high contrast stimuli.

  9. Attending to and remembering tactile stimuli: a review of brain imaging data and single-neuron responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, H; Sinclair, R J

    2000-11-01

    Clinical and neuroimaging observations of the cortical network implicated in tactile attention have identified foci in parietal somatosensory, posterior parietal, and superior frontal locations. Tasks involving intentional hand-arm movements activate similar or nearby parietal and frontal foci. Visual spatial attention tasks and deliberate visuomotor behavior also activate overlapping posterior parietal and frontal foci. Studies in the visual and somatosensory systems thus support a proposal that attention to the spatial location of an object engages cortical regions responsible for the same coordinate referents used for guiding purposeful motor behavior. Tactile attention also biases processing in the somatosensory cortex through amplification of responses to relevant features of selected