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Sample records for heading discrimination task

  1. Task-irrelevant emotion facilitates face discrimination learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzino, Martina; Caudek, Corrado

    2015-03-01

    We understand poorly how the ability to discriminate faces from one another is shaped by visual experience. The purpose of the present study is to determine whether face discrimination learning can be facilitated by facial emotions. To answer this question, we used a task-irrelevant perceptual learning paradigm because it closely mimics the learning processes that, in daily life, occur without a conscious intention to learn and without an attentional focus on specific facial features. We measured face discrimination thresholds before and after training. During the training phase (4 days), participants performed a contrast discrimination task on face images. They were not informed that we introduced (task-irrelevant) subtle variations in the face images from trial to trial. For the Identity group, the task-irrelevant features were variations along a morphing continuum of facial identity. For the Emotion group, the task-irrelevant features were variations along an emotional expression morphing continuum. The Control group did not undergo contrast discrimination learning and only performed the pre-training and post-training tests, with the same temporal gap between them as the other two groups. Results indicate that face discrimination improved, but only for the Emotion group. Participants in the Emotion group, moreover, showed face discrimination improvements also for stimulus variations along the facial identity dimension, even if these (task-irrelevant) stimulus features had not been presented during training. The present results highlight the importance of emotions for face discrimination learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Less head motion during MRI under task than resting-state conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huijbers, Willem; Van Dijk, Koene R A; Boenniger, Meta M; Stirnberg, Rüdiger; Breteler, Monique M B

    2017-02-15

    Head motion reduces data quality of neuroimaging data. In three functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments we demonstrate that people make less head movements under task than resting-state conditions. In Experiment 1, we observed less head motion during a memory encoding task than during the resting-state condition. In Experiment 2, using publicly shared data from the UCLA Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phenomics LA5c Study, we again found less head motion during several active task conditions than during a resting-state condition, although some task conditions also showed comparable motion. In the healthy controls, we found more head motion in men than in women and more motion with increasing age. When comparing clinical groups, we found that patients with a clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, move more compared to healthy controls or patients with ADHD. Both these experiments had a fixed acquisition order across participants, and we could not rule out that a first or last scan during a session might be particularly prone to more head motion. Therefore, we conducted Experiment 3, in which we collected several task and resting-state fMRI runs with an acquisition order counter-balanced. The results of Experiment 3 show again less head motion during several task conditions than during rest. Together these experiments demonstrate that small head motions occur during MRI even with careful instruction to remain still and fixation with foam pillows, but that head motion is lower when participants are engaged in a cognitive task. These finding may inform the choice of functional runs when studying difficult-to-scan populations, such as children or certain patient populations. Our findings also indicate that differences in head motion complicate direct comparisons of measures of functional neuronal networks between task and resting-state fMRI because of potential differences in data quality. In practice, a task to reduce head motion

  3. Administrative Task Performance by Heads of Senior High Schools ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study aimed at examining the administrative task performance of heads of senior high schools (SHS) in Ghana from the organising perspective. The study hypothesized that there is no statistically significant difference in the compliance level of organising as an administrative task performance by heads in the rural and ...

  4. Action recognition and movement direction discrimination tasks are associated with different adaptation patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan eDe La Rosa

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The ability to discriminate between different actions is essential for action recognition and social interaction. Surprisingly previous research has often probed action recognition mechanisms with tasks that did not require participants to discriminate between actions, e.g. left-right direction discrimination tasks. It is not known to what degree visual processes in direction discrimination tasks are also involved in the discrimination of actions, e.g. when telling apart a handshake from a high-five. Here, we examined whether action discrimination is influenced by movement direction and whether direction discrimination depends on the type of action. We used an action adaptation paradigm to target action and direction discrimination specific visual processes. In separate conditions participants visually adapted to forward and backward moving handshake and high-five actions. Participants subsequently either categorized the action or the movement direction of an ambiguous action. The results showed that direction discrimination adaptation effects were modulated by the type of action but action discrimination adaptation effects were unaffected by movement direction. These results suggest that action discrimination and direction categorization rely on partly different visual information. We propose that action discrimination tasks should be considered for the exploration of visual action recognition mechanisms.

  5. Subcortical plasticity following perceptual learning in a pitch discrimination task

    OpenAIRE

    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

    Practice can lead to dramatic improvements in the discrimination of auditory stimuli. In this study, we investigated changes of the frequency-following response (FFR), a subcortical component of the auditory evoked potentials, after a period of pitch discrimination training. Twenty-seven adult listeners were trained for 10 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of three different complex tone stimuli. One had a static pitch contour, one had a rising pitch contour, and one had a falling pi...

  6. Activations of human auditory cortex to phonemic and nonphonemic vowels during discrimination and memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harinen, Kirsi; Rinne, Teemu

    2013-08-15

    We used fMRI to investigate activations within human auditory cortex (AC) to vowels during vowel discrimination, vowel (categorical n-back) memory, and visual tasks. Based on our previous studies, we hypothesized that the vowel discrimination task would be associated with increased activations in the anterior superior temporal gyrus (STG), while the vowel memory task would enhance activations in the posterior STG and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). In particular, we tested the hypothesis that activations in the IPL during vowel memory tasks are associated with categorical processing. Namely, activations due to categorical processing should be higher during tasks performed on nonphonemic (hard to categorize) than on phonemic (easy to categorize) vowels. As expected, we found distinct activation patterns during vowel discrimination and vowel memory tasks. Further, these task-dependent activations were different during tasks performed on phonemic or nonphonemic vowels. However, activations in the IPL associated with the vowel memory task were not stronger during nonphonemic than phonemic vowel blocks. Together these results demonstrate that activations in human AC to vowels depend on both the requirements of the behavioral task and the phonemic status of the vowels. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Muscle Fatigue Analysis of the Deltoid during Three Head-Related Static Isometric Contraction Tasks

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    Wenxiang Cui

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate the fatiguing characteristics of muscle-tendon units (MTUs within skeletal muscles during static isometric contraction tasks. The deltoid was selected as the target muscle and three head-related static isometric contraction tasks were designed to activate three heads of the deltoid in different modes. Nine male subjects participated in this study. Surface electromyography (SEMG signals were collected synchronously from the three heads of the deltoid. The performances of five SEMG parameters, including root mean square (RMS, mean power frequency (MPF, the first coefficient of autoregressive model (ARC1, sample entropy (SE and Higuchi’s fractal dimension (HFD, in quantification of fatigue, were evaluated in terms of sensitivity to variability ratio (SVR and consistency firstly. Then, the HFD parameter was selected as the fatigue index for further muscle fatigue analysis. The experimental results demonstrated that the three deltoid heads presented different activation modes during three head-related fatiguing contractions. The fatiguing characteristics of the three heads were found to be task-dependent, and the heads kept in a relatively high activation level were more prone to fatigue. In addition, the differences in fatiguing rate between heads increased with the increase in load. The findings of this study can be helpful in better understanding the underlying neuromuscular control strategies of the central nervous system (CNS. Based on the results of this study, the CNS was thought to control the contraction of the deltoid by taking the three heads as functional units, but a certain synergy among heads might also exist to accomplish a contraction task.

  8. Modulation of radial blood flow during Braille character discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, Jun; Matsukawa, K; Komine, H; Tsuchimochi, H

    2012-03-01

    Human hands are excellent in performing sensory and motor function. We have hypothesized that blood flow of the hand is dynamically regulated by sympathetic outflow during concentrated finger perception. To identify this hypothesis, we measured radial blood flow (RBF), radial vascular conductance (RVC), heart rate (HR), and arterial blood pressure (AP) during Braille reading performed under the blind condition in nine healthy subjects. The subjects were instructed to read a flat plate with raised letters (Braille reading) for 30 s by the forefinger, and to touch a blank plate as control for the Braille discrimination procedure. HR and AP slightly increased during Braille reading but remained unchanged during the touching of the blank plate. RBF and RVC were reduced during the Braille character discrimination task (decreased by -46% and -49%, respectively). Furthermore, the changes in RBF and RVC were much greater during the Braille character discrimination task than during the touching of the blank plate (decreased by -20% and -20%, respectively). These results have suggested that the distribution of blood flow to the hand is modulated via sympathetic nerve activity during concentrated finger perception.

  9. Investigating the time course of tactile reflexive attention using a non-spatial discrimination task.

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    Miles, Eleanor; Poliakoff, Ellen; Brown, Richard J

    2008-06-01

    Peripheral cues are thought to facilitate responses to stimuli presented at the same location because they lead to exogenous attention shifts. Facilitation has been observed in numerous studies of visual and auditory attention, but there have been only four demonstrations of tactile facilitation, all in studies with potential confounds. Three studies used a spatial (finger versus thumb) discrimination task, where the cue could have provided a spatial framework that might have assisted the discrimination of subsequent targets presented on the same side as the cue. The final study circumvented this problem by using a non-spatial discrimination; however, the cues were informative and interspersed with visual cues which may have affected the attentional effects observed. In the current study, therefore, we used a non-spatial tactile frequency discrimination task following a non-informative tactile white noise cue. When the target was presented 150 ms after the cue, we observed faster discrimination responses to targets presented on the same side compared to the opposite side as the cue; by 1000 ms, responses were significantly faster to targets presented on the opposite side to the cue. Thus, we demonstrated that tactile attentional facilitation can be observed in a non-spatial discrimination task, under unimodal conditions and with entirely non-predictive cues. Furthermore, we provide the first demonstration of significant tactile facilitation and tactile inhibition of return within a single experiment.

  10. The influence of short-term memory on standard discrimination and cued identification olfactory tasks.

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    Zucco, Gesualdo M; Hummel, Thomas; Tomaiuolo, Francesco; Stevenson, Richard J

    2014-01-30

    Amongst the techniques to assess olfactory functions, discrimination and cued identification are those most prone to the influence of odour short-term memory (STM). Discrimination task requires participants to detect the odd one out of three presented odourants. As re-smelling is not permitted, an un-intended STM load may generate, even though the task purports to assess discrimination ability. Analogously, cued identification task requires participants to smell an odour, and then select a label from three or four alternatives. As the interval between smelling and reading each label increases this too imposes a STM load, even though the task aims to measure identification ability. We tested whether modifying task design to reduce STM load improve performance on these tests. We examined five age-groups of participants (Adolescents, Young adults, Middle-aged, Elderly, very Elderly), some of whom should be more prone to the effects of STM load than others, on standard and modified tests of discrimination and identification. We found that using a technique to reduce STM load improved performance, especially for the very Elderly and Adolescent groups. Sources of error are now prevented. Findings indicate that STM load can adversely affect performance in groups vulnerable from memory impairment (i.e., very Elderly) and in those who may still be acquiring memory-based representations of familiar odours (i.e., Adolescents). It may be that adults in general would be even more sensitive to the effects of olfactory STM load reduction, if the odour-related task was more difficult. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Discriminating talent-identified junior Australian football players using a video decision-making task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Carl T; Raynor, Annette J; Bruce, Lyndell; McDonald, Zane

    2016-01-01

    This study examined if a video decision-making task could discriminate talent-identified junior Australian football players from their non-talent-identified counterparts. Participants were recruited from the 2013 under 18 (U18) West Australian Football League competition and classified into two groups: talent-identified (State U18 Academy representatives; n = 25; 17.8 ± 0.5 years) and non-talent-identified (non-State U18 Academy selection; n = 25; 17.3 ± 0.6 years). Participants completed a video decision-making task consisting of 26 clips sourced from the Australian Football League game-day footage, recording responses on a sheet provided. A score of "1" was given for correct and "0" for incorrect responses, with the participants total score used as the criterion value. One-way analysis of variance tested the main effect of "status" on the task criterion, whilst a bootstrapped receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve assessed the discriminant ability of the task. An area under the curve (AUC) of 1 (100%) represented perfect discrimination. Between-group differences were evident (P talent-identified and non-talent-identified participants, respectively. Future research should investigate the mechanisms leading to the superior decision-making observed in the talent-identified group.

  12. The time-course of activation in the dorsal and ventral visual streams during landmark cueing and perceptual discrimination tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Anthony J; Wootton, Adrienne

    2017-08-01

    Different patterns of high density EEG activity were elicited by the same peripheral stimuli, in the context of Landmark Cueing and Perceptual Discrimination tasks. The C1 component of the visual event-related potential (ERP) at parietal - occipital electrode sites was larger in the Landmark Cueing task, and source localisation suggested greater activation in the superior parietal lobule (SPL) in this task, compared to the Perceptual Discrimination task, indicating stronger early recruitment of the dorsal visual stream. In the Perceptual Discrimination task, source localisation suggested widespread activation of the inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) and fusiform gyrus (FFG), structures associated with the ventral visual stream, during the early phase of the P1 ERP component. Moreover, during a later epoch (171-270ms after stimulus onset) increased temporal-occipital negativity, and stronger recruitment of ITG and FFG were observed in the Perceptual Discrimination task. These findings illuminate the contrasting functions of the dorsal and ventral visual streams, to support rapid shifts of attention in response to contextual landmarks, and conscious discrimination, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The neural network involved in a bimanual tactile-tactile matching discrimination task: a functional imaging study at 3 T

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    Habas, Christophe; Cabanis, Emmanuel A. [UPMC Paris 6, Service de NeuroImagerie, Hopital des Quinze-Vingts, Paris (France)

    2007-08-15

    The cerebral and cerebellar network involved in a bimanual object recognition was studied in blood oxygenation dependent level functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Nine healthy right-handed volunteers were scanned (1) while performing bilateral finger movements (nondiscrimination motor task), and (2) while performing a bimanual tactile-tactile matching discrimination task using small chess pieces (tactile discrimination task). Extensive activations were specifically observed in the parietal (SII, superior lateral lobule), insular, prefrontal, cingulate and neocerebellar cortices (HVIII), with a left predominance in motor areas, during the tactile discrimination task in contrast to the findings during the nondiscrimination motor task. Bimanual tactile-tactile matching discrimination recruits multiple sensorimotor and associative cerebral and neocerebellar networks (including the cerebellar second homunculus, HVIII), comparable to the neural circuits involved in unimanual tactile object recognition. (orig.)

  14. Valence of Facial Cues Influences Sheep Learning in a Visual Discrimination Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucille G. A. Bellegarde

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Sheep are one of the most studied farm species in terms of their ability to process information from faces, but little is known about their face-based emotion recognition abilities. We investigated (a whether sheep could use images of sheep faces taken in situation of varying valence as cues in a simultaneous discrimination task and (b whether the valence of the situation affects their learning performance. To accomplish this, we photographed faces of sheep in three situations inducing emotional states of neutral (ruminating in the home pen or negative valence (social isolation or aggressive interaction. Sheep (n = 35 first had to learn a discrimination task with colored cards. Animals that reached the learning criterion (n = 16 were then presented with pairs of images of the face of a single individual taken in the neutral situation and in one of the negative situations. Finally, sheep had to generalize what they had learned to new pairs of images of faces taken in the same situation, but of a different conspecific. All sheep that learned the discrimination task with colored cards reached the learning criterion with images of faces. Sheep that had to associate a negative image with a food reward learned faster than sheep that had to associate a neutral image with a reward. With the exception of sheep from the aggression-rewarded group, sheep generalized this discrimination to images of faces of different individuals. Our results suggest that sheep can perceive the emotional valence displayed on faces of conspecifics and that this valence affects learning processes.

  15. A novel perceptual discrimination training task: Reducing fear overgeneralization in the context of fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginat-Frolich, Rivkah; Klein, Zohar; Katz, Omer; Shechner, Tomer

    2017-06-01

    Generalization is an adaptive learning mechanism, but it can be maladaptive when it occurs in excess. A novel perceptual discrimination training task was therefore designed to moderate fear overgeneralization. We hypothesized that improvement in basic perceptual discrimination would translate into lower fear overgeneralization in affective cues. Seventy adults completed a fear-conditioning task prior to being allocated into training or placebo groups. Predesignated geometric shape pairs were constructed for the training task. A target shape from each pair was presented. Thereafter, participants in the training group were shown both shapes and asked to identify the image that differed from the target. Placebo task participants only indicated the location of each shape on the screen. All participants then viewed new geometric pairs and indicated whether they were identical or different. Finally, participants completed a fear generalization test consisting of perceptual morphs ranging from the CS + to the CS-. Fear-conditioning was observed through physiological and behavioural measures. Furthermore, the training group performed better than the placebo group on the assessment task and exhibited decreased fear generalization in response to threat/safety cues. The findings offer evidence for the effectiveness of the novel discrimination training task, setting the stage for future research with clinical populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Steam Generator Group Project. Task 6. Channel head decontamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, R.P.; Clark, R.L.; Reece, W.D.

    1984-08-01

    The Steam Generator Group Project utilizes a retired-from-service pressurized-water-reactor steam generator as a test bed and source of specimens for research. An important preparatory step to primary side research activities was reduction of the radiation field in the steam generator channel head. This task report describes the channel head decontamination activities. Though not a programmatic research objective it was judged beneficial to explore the use of dilute reagent chemical decontamination techniques. These techniques presented potential for reduced personnel exposure and reduced secondary radwaste generation, over currently used abrasive blasting techniques. Two techniques with extensive laboratory research and vendors prepared to offer commercial application were tested, one on either side of the channel head. As indicated in the report, both techniques accomplished similar decontamination objectives. Neither technique damaged the generator channel head or tubing materials, as applied. This report provides details of the decontamination operations. Application system and operating conditions are described

  17. Songbirds and humans apply different strategies in a sound sequence discrimination task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshimasa eSeki

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The abilities of animals and humans to extract rules from sound sequences have previously been compared using observation of spontaneous responses and conditioning techniques. However, the results were inconsistently interpreted across studies possibly due to methodological and/or species differences. Therefore, we examined the strategies for discrimination of sound sequences in Bengalese finches and humans using the same protocol. Birds were trained on a GO/NOGO task to discriminate between two categories of sound stimulus generated based on an AAB or ABB rule. The sound elements used were taken from a variety of male (M and female (F calls, such that the sequences could be represented as MMF and MFF. In test sessions, FFM and FMM sequences, which were never presented in the training sessions but conformed to the rule, were presented as probe stimuli. The results suggested two discriminative strategies were being applied: 1 memorizing sound patterns of either GO or NOGO stimuli and generating the appropriate responses for only those sounds; and 2 using the repeated element as a cue. There was no evidence that the birds successfully extracted the abstract rule (i.e. AAB and ABB; MMF-GO subjects did not produce a GO response for FFM and vice versa. Next we examined whether those strategies were also applicable for human participants on the same task. The results and questionnaires revealed that participants extracted the abstract rule, and most of them employed it to discriminate the sequences. This strategy was never observed in bird subjects, although some participants used strategies similar to the birds when responding to the probe stimuli. Our results showed that the human participants applied the abstract rule in the task even without instruction but Bengalese finches did not, thereby reconfirming that humans have to extract abstract rules from sound sequences that is distinct from non-human animals.

  18. Songbirds and humans apply different strategies in a sound sequence discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Yoshimasa; Suzuki, Kenta; Osawa, Ayumi M; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    The abilities of animals and humans to extract rules from sound sequences have previously been compared using observation of spontaneous responses and conditioning techniques. However, the results were inconsistently interpreted across studies possibly due to methodological and/or species differences. Therefore, we examined the strategies for discrimination of sound sequences in Bengalese finches and humans using the same protocol. Birds were trained on a GO/NOGO task to discriminate between two categories of sound stimulus generated based on an "AAB" or "ABB" rule. The sound elements used were taken from a variety of male (M) and female (F) calls, such that the sequences could be represented as MMF and MFF. In test sessions, FFM and FMM sequences, which were never presented in the training sessions but conformed to the rule, were presented as probe stimuli. The results suggested two discriminative strategies were being applied: (1) memorizing sound patterns of either GO or NOGO stimuli and generating the appropriate responses for only those sounds; and (2) using the repeated element as a cue. There was no evidence that the birds successfully extracted the abstract rule (i.e., AAB and ABB); MMF-GO subjects did not produce a GO response for FFM and vice versa. Next we examined whether those strategies were also applicable for human participants on the same task. The results and questionnaires revealed that participants extracted the abstract rule, and most of them employed it to discriminate the sequences. This strategy was never observed in bird subjects, although some participants used strategies similar to the birds when responding to the probe stimuli. Our results showed that the human participants applied the abstract rule in the task even without instruction but Bengalese finches did not, thereby reconfirming that humans have to extract abstract rules from sound sequences that is distinct from non-human animals.

  19. Infant speech-sound discrimination testing: effects of stimulus intensity and procedural model on measures of performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozza, R J

    1987-06-01

    Performance of infants in a speech-sound discrimination task (/ba/ vs /da/) was measured at three stimulus intensity levels (50, 60, and 70 dB SPL) using the operant head-turn procedure. The procedure was modified so that data could be treated as though from a single-interval (yes-no) procedure, as is commonly done, as well as if from a sustained attention (vigilance) task. Discrimination performance changed significantly with increase in intensity, suggesting caution in the interpretation of results from infant discrimination studies in which only single stimulus intensity levels within this range are used. The assumptions made about the underlying methodological model did not change the performance-intensity relationships. However, infants demonstrated response decrement, typical of vigilance tasks, which supports the notion that the head-turn procedure is represented best by the vigilance model. Analysis then was done according to a method designed for tasks with undefined observation intervals [C. S. Watson and T. L. Nichols, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 59, 655-668 (1976)]. Results reveal that, while group data are reasonably well represented across levels of difficulty by the fixed-interval model, there is a variation in performance as a function of time following trial onset that could lead to underestimation of performance in some cases.

  20. Psychometric Assessment of Stereoscopic Head-Mounted Displays

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-29

    Journal Article 3. DATES COVERED (From – To) Jan 2015 - Dec 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENT OF STEREOSCOPIC HEAD- MOUNTED DISPLAYS...to render an immersive three-dimensional constructive environment. The purpose of this effort was to quantify the impact of aircrew vision on an...simulated tasks requiring precise depth discrimination. This work will provide an example validation method for future stereoscopic virtual immersive

  1. Subcortical plasticity following perceptual learning in a pitch discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J

    2011-02-01

    Practice can lead to dramatic improvements in the discrimination of auditory stimuli. In this study, we investigated changes of the frequency-following response (FFR), a subcortical component of the auditory evoked potentials, after a period of pitch discrimination training. Twenty-seven adult listeners were trained for 10 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of three different complex tone stimuli. One had a static pitch contour, one had a rising pitch contour, and one had a falling pitch contour. Behavioral measures of pitch discrimination and FFRs for all the stimuli were measured before and after the training phase for these participants, as well as for an untrained control group (n = 12). Trained participants showed significant improvements in pitch discrimination compared to the control group for all three trained stimuli. These improvements were partly specific for stimuli with the same pitch modulation (dynamic vs. static) and with the same pitch trajectory (rising vs. falling) as the trained stimulus. Also, the robustness of FFR neural phase locking to the sound envelope increased significantly more in trained participants compared to the control group for the static and rising contour, but not for the falling contour. Changes in FFR strength were partly specific for stimuli with the same pitch modulation (dynamic vs. static) of the trained stimulus. Changes in FFR strength, however, were not specific for stimuli with the same pitch trajectory (rising vs. falling) as the trained stimulus. These findings indicate that even relatively low-level processes in the mature auditory system are subject to experience-related change.

  2. Discrimination task reveals differences in neural bases of tinnitus and hearing impairment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatima T Husain

    Full Text Available We investigated auditory perception and cognitive processing in individuals with chronic tinnitus or hearing loss using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Our participants belonged to one of three groups: bilateral hearing loss and tinnitus (TIN, bilateral hearing loss without tinnitus (HL, and normal hearing without tinnitus (NH. We employed pure tones and frequency-modulated sweeps as stimuli in two tasks: passive listening and active discrimination. All subjects had normal hearing through 2 kHz and all stimuli were low-pass filtered at 2 kHz so that all participants could hear them equally well. Performance was similar among all three groups for the discrimination task. In all participants, a distributed set of brain regions including the primary and non-primary auditory cortices showed greater response for both tasks compared to rest. Comparing the groups directly, we found decreased activation in the parietal and frontal lobes in the participants with tinnitus compared to the HL group and decreased response in the frontal lobes relative to the NH group. Additionally, the HL subjects exhibited increased response in the anterior cingulate relative to the NH group. Our results suggest that a differential engagement of a putative auditory attention and short-term memory network, comprising regions in the frontal, parietal and temporal cortices and the anterior cingulate, may represent a key difference in the neural bases of chronic tinnitus accompanied by hearing loss relative to hearing loss alone.

  3. Eye Contact and Fear of Being Laughed at in a Gaze Discrimination Task

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    Jorge Torres-Marín

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Current approaches conceptualize gelotophobia as a personality trait characterized by a disproportionate fear of being laughed at by others. Consistently with this perspective, gelotophobes are also described as neurotic and introverted and as having a paranoid tendency to anticipate derision and mockery situations. Although research on gelotophobia has significantly progressed over the past two decades, no evidence exists concerning the potential effects of gelotophobia in reaction to eye contact. Previous research has pointed to difficulties in discriminating gaze direction as the basis of possible misinterpretations of others’ intentions or mental states. The aim of the present research was to examine whether gelotophobia predisposition modulates the effects of eye contact (i.e., gaze discrimination when processing faces portraying several emotional expressions. In two different experiments, participants performed an experimental gaze discrimination task in which they responded, as quickly and accurately as possible, to the eyes’ directions on faces displaying either a happy, angry, fear, neutral, or sad emotional expression. In particular, we expected trait-gelotophobia to modulate the eye contact effect, showing specific group differences in the happiness condition. The results of Study 1 (N = 40 indicated that gelotophobes made more errors than non-gelotophobes did in the gaze discrimination task. In contrast to our initial hypothesis, the happiness expression did not have any special role in the observed differences between individuals with high vs. low trait-gelotophobia. In Study 2 (N = 40, we replicated the pattern of data concerning gaze discrimination ability, even after controlling for individuals’ scores on social anxiety. Furthermore, in our second experiment, we found that gelotophobes did not exhibit any problem with identifying others’ emotions, or a general incorrect attribution of affective features, such as valence

  4. Face adaptation does not improve performance on search or discrimination tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Minna; Boynton, Geoffrey M; Fine, Ione

    2008-01-04

    The face adaptation effect, as described by M. A. Webster and O. H. MacLin (1999), is a robust perceptual shift in the appearance of faces after a brief adaptation period. For example, prolonged exposure to Asian faces causes a Eurasian face to appear distinctly Caucasian. This adaptation effect has been documented for general configural effects, as well as for the facial properties of gender, ethnicity, expression, and identity. We began by replicating the finding that adaptation to ethnicity, gender, and a combination of both features induces selective shifts in category appearance. We then investigated whether this adaptation has perceptual consequences beyond a shift in the perceived category boundary by measuring the effects of adaptation on RSVP, spatial search, and discrimination tasks. Adaptation had no discernable effect on performance for any of these tasks.

  5. Neuronal thresholds and choice-related activity of otolith afferent fibers during heading perception.

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    Yu, Xiong-jie; Dickman, J David; DeAngelis, Gregory C; Angelaki, Dora E

    2015-05-19

    How activity of sensory neurons leads to perceptual decisions remains a challenge to understand. Correlations between choices and single neuron firing rates have been found early in vestibular processing, in the brainstem and cerebellum. To investigate the origins of choice-related activity, we have recorded from otolith afferent fibers while animals performed a fine heading discrimination task. We find that afferent fibers have similar discrimination thresholds as central cells, and the most sensitive fibers have thresholds that are only twofold or threefold greater than perceptual thresholds. Unlike brainstem and cerebellar nuclei neurons, spike counts from afferent fibers do not exhibit trial-by-trial correlations with perceptual decisions. This finding may reflect the fact that otolith afferent responses are poorly suited for driving heading perception because they fail to discriminate self-motion from changes in orientation relative to gravity. Alternatively, if choice probabilities reflect top-down inference signals, they are not relayed to the vestibular periphery.

  6. Brain activity during auditory and visual phonological, spatial and simple discrimination tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2013-02-16

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure human brain activity during tasks demanding selective attention to auditory or visual stimuli delivered in concurrent streams. Auditory stimuli were syllables spoken by different voices and occurring in central or peripheral space. Visual stimuli were centrally or more peripherally presented letters in darker or lighter fonts. The participants performed a phonological, spatial or "simple" (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task in either modality. Within each modality, we expected a clear distinction between brain activations related to nonspatial and spatial processing, as reported in previous studies. However, within each modality, different tasks activated largely overlapping areas in modality-specific (auditory and visual) cortices, as well as in the parietal and frontal brain regions. These overlaps may be due to effects of attention common for all three tasks within each modality or interaction of processing task-relevant features and varying task-irrelevant features in the attended-modality stimuli. Nevertheless, brain activations caused by auditory and visual phonological tasks overlapped in the left mid-lateral prefrontal cortex, while those caused by the auditory and visual spatial tasks overlapped in the inferior parietal cortex. These overlapping activations reveal areas of multimodal phonological and spatial processing. There was also some evidence for intermodal attention-related interaction. Most importantly, activity in the superior temporal sulcus elicited by unattended speech sounds was attenuated during the visual phonological task in comparison with the other visual tasks. This effect might be related to suppression of processing irrelevant speech presumably distracting the phonological task involving the letters. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Valence of facial cues influences sheep learning in a visual discrimination task

    OpenAIRE

    Bellegarde, Lucille; Erhard, Hans; Weiss, A.; Boissy, Alain; Haskell, M.J.

    2017-01-01

    Sheep are one of the most studied farm species in terms of their ability to process information from faces, but little is known about their face-based emotion recognition abilities. We investigated (a) whether sheep could use images of sheep faces taken in situation of varying valence as cues in a simultaneous discrimination task and (b) whether the valence of the situation affects their learning performance. To accomplish this, we photographed faces of sheep in three situations inducing emot...

  8. Valence of Facial Cues Influences Sheep Learning in a Visual Discrimination Task

    OpenAIRE

    Lucille G. A. Bellegarde; Lucille G. A. Bellegarde; Lucille G. A. Bellegarde; Hans W. Erhard; Alexander Weiss; Alain Boissy; Marie J. Haskell

    2017-01-01

    Sheep are one of the most studied farm species in terms of their ability to process information from faces, but little is known about their face-based emotion recognition abilities. We investigated (a) whether sheep could use images of sheep faces taken in situation of varying valence as cues in a simultaneous discrimination task and (b) whether the valence of the situation affects their learning performance. To accomplish this, we photographed faces of sheep in three situations inducing emot...

  9. Voluntary Exercise Improves Performance of a Discrimination Task through Effects on the Striatal Dopamine System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddy, Meghan C.; Stansfield, Katherine J.; Green, John T.

    2014-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated that voluntary exercise facilitates discrimination learning in a modified T-maze. There is evidence implicating the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) as the substrate for this task. The present experiments examined whether changes in DLS dopamine receptors might underlie the exercise-associated facilitation. Infusing a…

  10. A Report on Applying EEGnet to Discriminate Human State Effects on Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    indicate that EEGNet could discriminate sleep history of a user. This could be used in future adaptive technologies to detect user fatigue and likely...is unlimited. 1. Introduction As the amount of battlefield technology continues to increase, Soldiers are faced with a daunting task of trying to...integrate diverse information across numerous devices. The growing information burden across devices has spawned a strong in- terest in “smart technology

  11. Priming in implicit memory tasks: prior study causes enhanced discriminability, not only bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeelenberg, René; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan M; Raaijmakers, Jeroen G W

    2002-03-01

    R. Ratcliff and G. McKoon (1995, 1996, 1997; R. Ratcliff, D. Allbritton, & G. McKoon, 1997) have argued that repetition priming effects are solely due to bias. They showed that prior study of the target resulted in a benefit in a later implicit memory task. However, prior study of a stimulus similar to the target resulted in a cost. The present study, using a 2-alternative forced-choice procedure, investigated the effect of prior study in an unbiased condition: Both alternatives were studied prior to their presentation in an implicit memory task. Contrary to a pure bias interpretation of priming, consistent evidence was obtained in 3 implicit memory tasks (word fragment completion, auditory word identification, and picture identification) that performance was better when both alternatives were studied than when neither alternative was studied. These results show that prior study results in enhanced discriminability, not only bias.

  12. Comparison of model and human observer performance for detection and discrimination tasks using dual-energy x-ray images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richard, Samuel; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.

    2008-01-01

    Model observer performance, computed theoretically using cascaded systems analysis (CSA), was compared to the performance of human observers in detection and discrimination tasks. Dual-energy (DE) imaging provided a wide range of acquisition and decomposition parameters for which observer performance could be predicted and measured. This work combined previously derived observer models (e.g., Fisher-Hotelling and non-prewhitening) with CSA modeling of the DE image noise-equivalent quanta (NEQ) and imaging task (e.g., sphere detection, shape discrimination, and texture discrimination) to yield theoretical predictions of detectability index (d ' ) and area under the receiver operating characteristic (A Z ). Theoretical predictions were compared to human observer performance assessed using 9-alternative forced-choice tests to yield measurement of A Z as a function of DE image acquisition parameters (viz., allocation of dose between the low- and high-energy images) and decomposition technique [viz., three DE image decomposition algorithms: standard log subtraction (SLS), simple-smoothing of the high-energy image (SSH), and anti-correlated noise reduction (ACNR)]. Results showed good agreement between theory and measurements over a broad range of imaging conditions. The incorporation of an eye filter and internal noise in the observer models demonstrated improved correspondence with human observer performance. Optimal acquisition and decomposition parameters were shown to depend on the imaging task; for example, ACNR and SSH yielded the greatest performance in the detection of soft-tissue and bony lesions, respectively. This study provides encouraging evidence that Fourier-based modeling of NEQ computed via CSA and imaging task provides a good approximation to human observer performance for simple imaging tasks, helping to bridge the gap between Fourier metrics of detector performance (e.g., NEQ) and human observer performance.

  13. Temporal discrimination thresholds in adult-onset primary torsion dystonia: an analysis by task type and by dystonia phenotype.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bradley, D

    2012-01-01

    Adult-onset primary torsion dystonia (AOPTD) is an autosomal dominant disorder with markedly reduced penetrance. Sensory abnormalities are present in AOPTD and also in unaffected relatives, possibly indicating non-manifesting gene carriage (acting as an endophenotype). The temporal discrimination threshold (TDT) is the shortest time interval at which two stimuli are detected to be asynchronous. We aimed to compare the sensitivity and specificity of three different TDT tasks (visual, tactile and mixed\\/visual-tactile). We also aimed to examine the sensitivity of TDTs in different AOPTD phenotypes. To examine tasks, we tested TDT in 41 patients and 51 controls using visual (2 lights), tactile (non-painful electrical stimulation) and mixed (1 light, 1 electrical) stimuli. To investigate phenotypes, we examined 71 AOPTD patients (37 cervical dystonia, 14 writer\\'s cramp, 9 blepharospasm, 11 spasmodic dysphonia) and 8 musician\\'s dystonia patients. The upper limit of normal was defined as control mean +2.5 SD. In dystonia patients, the visual task detected abnormalities in 35\\/41 (85%), the tactile task in 35\\/41 (85%) and the mixed task in 26\\/41 (63%); the mixed task was less sensitive than the other two (p = 0.04). Specificity was 100% for the visual and tactile tasks. Abnormal TDTs were found in 36 of 37 (97.3%) cervical dystonia, 12 of 14 (85.7%) writer\\'s cramp, 8 of 9 (88.8%) blepharospasm, 10 of 11 (90.1%) spasmodic dysphonia patients and 5 of 8 (62.5%) musicians. The visual and tactile tasks were found to be more sensitive than the mixed task. Temporal discrimination threshold results were comparable across common adult-onset primary torsion dystonia phenotypes, with lower sensitivity in the musicians.

  14. A discrimination task used as a novel method of testing decision-making behavior following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martens, Kris M; Vonder Haar, Cole; Hutsell, Blake A; Hoane, Michael R

    2012-10-10

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in a multitude of deficits following injury. Some of the most pervasive in humans are the changes that affect frontally-mediated cognitive functioning, such as decision making. The assessment of decision-making behavior in rodents has been extensively tested in the field of the experimental analysis of behavior. However, due to the narrow therapeutic window following TBI, time-intensive operant paradigms are rarely incorporated into the battery of tests traditionally used, the majority of which assess motor and sensory functioning. The cognitive measures that are used are frequently limited to memory and do not account for changes in decision-making behavior. The purpose of the present study was to develop a simplified discrimination task that can assess deficits in decision-making behavior in rodents. For the task, rats were required to dig in cocoa-scented sand (versus unscented sand) for a reinforcer. Rats were given 12 sessions per day until a criterion level of 80% accuracy for 3 days straight was reached. Once the criterion was achieved, cortical contusion injuries were induced (frontal, parietal, or sham). Following a recovery period, the rats were re-tested on cocoa versus unscented sand. Upon reaching criterion, a reversal discrimination was evaluated in which the reinforcer was placed in unscented sand. Finally, a novel scent discrimination (basil versus coffee with basil reinforced), and a reversal (coffee) were evaluated. The results indicated that the Dig task is a simple experimental preparation that can be used to assess deficits in decision-making behavior following TBI.

  15. Discrimination and streaming of speech sounds based on differences in interaural and spectral cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Marion; Lavandier, Mathieu; Grimault, Nicolas; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2017-09-01

    Differences in spatial cues, including interaural time differences (ITDs), interaural level differences (ILDs) and spectral cues, can lead to stream segregation of alternating noise bursts. It is unknown how effective such cues are for streaming sounds with realistic spectro-temporal variations. In particular, it is not known whether the high-frequency spectral cues associated with elevation remain sufficiently robust under such conditions. To answer these questions, sequences of consonant-vowel tokens were generated and filtered by non-individualized head-related transfer functions to simulate the cues associated with different positions in the horizontal and median planes. A discrimination task showed that listeners could discriminate changes in interaural cues both when the stimulus remained constant and when it varied between presentations. However, discrimination of changes in spectral cues was much poorer in the presence of stimulus variability. A streaming task, based on the detection of repeated syllables in the presence of interfering syllables, revealed that listeners can use both interaural and spectral cues to segregate alternating syllable sequences, despite the large spectro-temporal differences between stimuli. However, only the full complement of spatial cues (ILDs, ITDs, and spectral cues) resulted in obligatory streaming in a task that encouraged listeners to integrate the tokens into a single stream.

  16. Muscle Fatigue in the Three Heads of the Triceps Brachii During a Controlled Forceful Hand Grip Task with Full Elbow Extension Using Surface Electromyography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Asraf; Sundaraj, Kenneth; Badlishah Ahmad, R; Ahamed, Nizam Uddin; Islam, Anamul; Sundaraj, Sebastian

    2015-06-27

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the time to fatigue and compare the fatiguing condition among the three heads of the triceps brachii muscle using surface electromyography during an isometric contraction of a controlled forceful hand grip task with full elbow extension. Eighteen healthy subjects concurrently performed a single 90 s isometric contraction of a controlled forceful hand grip task and full elbow extension. Surface electromyographic signals from the lateral, long and medial heads of the triceps brachii muscle were recorded during the task for each subject. The changes in muscle activity among the three heads of triceps brachii were measured by the root mean square values for every 5 s period throughout the total contraction period. The root mean square values were then analysed to determine the fatiguing condition for the heads of triceps brachii muscle. Muscle fatigue in the long, lateral, and medial heads of the triceps brachii started at 40 s, 50 s, and 65 s during the prolonged contraction, respectively. The highest fatiguing rate was observed in the long head (slope = -2.863), followed by the medial head (slope = -2.412) and the lateral head (slope = -1.877) of the triceps brachii muscle. The results of the present study concurs with previous findings that the three heads of the triceps brachii muscle do not work as a single unit, and the fiber type/composition is different among the three heads.

  17. Assessment of forward head posture in females: observational and photogrammetry methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salahzadeh, Zahra; Maroufi, Nader; Ahmadi, Amir; Behtash, Hamid; Razmjoo, Arash; Gohari, Mahmoud; Parnianpour, Mohamad

    2014-01-01

    There are different methods to assess forward head posture (FHP) but the accuracy and discrimination ability of these methods are not clear. Here, we want to compare three postural angles for FHP assessment and also study the discrimination accuracy of three photogrammetric methods to differentiate groups categorized based on observational method. All Seventy-eight healthy female participants (23 ± 2.63 years), were classified into three groups: moderate-severe FHP, slight FHP and non FHP based on observational postural assessment rules. Applying three photogrammetric methods - craniovertebral angle, head title angle and head position angle - to measure FHP objectively. One - way ANOVA test showed a significant difference in three categorized group's craniovertebral angle (P< 0.05, F=83.07). There was no dramatic difference in head tilt angle and head position angle methods in three groups. According to Linear Discriminate Analysis (LDA) results, the canonical discriminant function (Wilks'Lambda) was 0.311 for craniovertebral angle with 79.5% of cross-validated grouped cases correctly classified. Our results showed that, craniovertebral angle method may discriminate the females with moderate-severe and non FHP more accurate than head position angle and head tilt angle. The photogrammetric method had excellent inter and intra rater reliability to assess the head and cervical posture.

  18. Aging Effect on Audiovisual Integrative Processing in Spatial Discrimination Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi Zou

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Multisensory integration is an essential process that people employ daily, from conversing in social gatherings to navigating the nearby environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of aging on modulating multisensory integrative processes using event-related potential (ERP, and the validity of the study was improved by including “noise” in the contrast conditions. Older and younger participants were involved in perceiving visual and/or auditory stimuli that contained spatial information. The participants responded by indicating the spatial direction (far vs. near and left vs. right conveyed in the stimuli using different wrist movements. electroencephalograms (EEGs were captured in each task trial, along with the accuracy and reaction time of the participants’ motor responses. Older participants showed a greater extent of behavioral improvements in the multisensory (as opposed to unisensory condition compared to their younger counterparts. Older participants were found to have fronto-centrally distributed super-additive P2, which was not the case for the younger participants. The P2 amplitude difference between the multisensory condition and the sum of the unisensory conditions was found to correlate significantly with performance on spatial discrimination. The results indicated that the age-related effect modulated the integrative process in the perceptual and feedback stages, particularly the evaluation of auditory stimuli. Audiovisual (AV integration may also serve a functional role during spatial-discrimination processes to compensate for the compromised attention function caused by aging.

  19. Face-gender discrimination is possible in the near-absence of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Leila; Wilken, Patrick; Koch, Christof

    2004-03-02

    The attentional cost associated with the visual discrimination of the gender of a face was investigated. Participants performed a face-gender discrimination task either alone (single-task) or concurrently (dual-task) with a known attentional demanding task (5-letter T/L discrimination). Overall performance on face-gender discrimination suffered remarkably little under the dual-task condition compared to the single-task condition. Similar results were obtained in experiments that controlled for potential training effects or the use of low-level cues in this discrimination task. Our results provide further evidence against the notion that only low-level representations can be accessed outside the focus of attention.

  20. Intelligence and P3 Components of the Event-Related Potential Elicited during an Auditory Discrimination Task with Masking

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Pascalis, V.; Varriale, V.; Matteoli, A.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between fluid intelligence (indexed by scores on Raven Progressive Matrices) and auditory discrimination ability was examined by recording event-related potentials from 48 women during the performance of an auditory oddball task with backward masking. High ability (HA) subjects exhibited shorter response times, greater response…

  1. Analysis of time resolution in a dual head LSO+PSPMT PET system using low pass filter interpolation and digital constant fraction discriminator techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monzo, Jose M.; Lerche, Christoph W.; Martinez, Jorge D.; Esteve, Raul; Toledo, Jose; Gadea, Rafael; Colom, Ricardo J.; Herrero, Vicente; Ferrando, Nestor; Aliaga, Ramon J.; Mateo, Fernando; Sanchez, Filomeno; Mora, Francisco J.; Benlloch, Jose M.; Sebastia, Angel

    2009-01-01

    PET systems need good time resolution to improve the true event rate, random event rejection, and pile-up rejection. In this study we propose a digital procedure for this task using a low pass filter interpolation plus a Digital Constant Fraction Discriminator (DCFD). We analyzed the best way to implement this algorithm on our dual head PET system and how varying the quality of the acquired signal and electronic noise analytically affects timing resolution. Our detector uses two continuous LSO crystals with a position sensitive PMT. Six signals per detector are acquired using an analog electronics front-end and these signals are processed using an in-house digital acquisition board. The test bench developed simulates the electronics and digital algorithms using Matlab. Results show that electronic noise and other undesired effects have a significant effect on the timing resolution of the system. Interpolated DCFD gives better results than non-interpolated DCFD. In high noise environments, differences are reduced. An optimum delay selection, based on the environment noise, improves time resolution.

  2. Analysis of time resolution in a dual head LSO+PSPMT PET system using low pass filter interpolation and digital constant fraction discriminator techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monzo, Jose M. [Digital Systems Design (DSD) Group, ITACA Institute, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia (Spain)], E-mail: jmonfer@aaa.upv.es; Lerche, Christoph W.; Martinez, Jorge D.; Esteve, Raul; Toledo, Jose; Gadea, Rafael; Colom, Ricardo J.; Herrero, Vicente; Ferrando, Nestor; Aliaga, Ramon J.; Mateo, Fernando [Digital Systems Design (DSD) Group, ITACA Institute, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia (Spain); Sanchez, Filomeno [Nuclear Medical Physics Group, IFIC Institute, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), 46980 Paterna (Spain); Mora, Francisco J. [Digital Systems Design (DSD) Group, ITACA Institute, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia (Spain); Benlloch, Jose M. [Nuclear Medical Physics Group, IFIC Institute, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), 46980 Paterna (Spain); Sebastia, Angel [Digital Systems Design (DSD) Group, ITACA Institute, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia (Spain)

    2009-06-01

    PET systems need good time resolution to improve the true event rate, random event rejection, and pile-up rejection. In this study we propose a digital procedure for this task using a low pass filter interpolation plus a Digital Constant Fraction Discriminator (DCFD). We analyzed the best way to implement this algorithm on our dual head PET system and how varying the quality of the acquired signal and electronic noise analytically affects timing resolution. Our detector uses two continuous LSO crystals with a position sensitive PMT. Six signals per detector are acquired using an analog electronics front-end and these signals are processed using an in-house digital acquisition board. The test bench developed simulates the electronics and digital algorithms using Matlab. Results show that electronic noise and other undesired effects have a significant effect on the timing resolution of the system. Interpolated DCFD gives better results than non-interpolated DCFD. In high noise environments, differences are reduced. An optimum delay selection, based on the environment noise, improves time resolution.

  3. Isolating Discriminant Neural Activity in the Presence of Eye Movements and Concurrent Task Demands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Touryan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A growing number of studies use the combination of eye-tracking and electroencephalographic (EEG measures to explore the neural processes that underlie visual perception. In these studies, fixation-related potentials (FRPs are commonly used to quantify early and late stages of visual processing that follow the onset of each fixation. However, FRPs reflect a mixture of bottom-up (sensory-driven and top-down (goal-directed processes, in addition to eye movement artifacts and unrelated neural activity. At present there is little consensus on how to separate this evoked response into its constituent elements. In this study we sought to isolate the neural sources of target detection in the presence of eye movements and over a range of concurrent task demands. Here, participants were asked to identify visual targets (Ts amongst a grid of distractor stimuli (Ls, while simultaneously performing an auditory N-back task. To identify the discriminant activity, we used independent components analysis (ICA for the separation of EEG into neural and non-neural sources. We then further separated the neural sources, using a modified measure-projection approach, into six regions of interest (ROIs: occipital, fusiform, temporal, parietal, cingulate, and frontal cortices. Using activity from these ROIs, we identified target from non-target fixations in all participants at a level similar to other state-of-the-art classification techniques. Importantly, we isolated the time course and spectral features of this discriminant activity in each ROI. In addition, we were able to quantify the effect of cognitive load on both fixation-locked potential and classification performance across regions. Together, our results show the utility of a measure-projection approach for separating task-relevant neural activity into meaningful ROIs within more complex contexts that include eye movements.

  4. Paintings discrimination by mice: Different strategies for different paintings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Shigeru

    2017-09-01

    C57BL/6 mice were trained on simultaneous discrimination of paintings with multiple exemplars, using an operant chamber with a touch screen. The number of exemplars was successively increased up to six. Those mice trained in Kandinsky/Mondrian discrimination showed improved learning and generalization, whereas those trained in Picasso/Renoir discrimination showed no improvements in learning or generalization. These results suggest category-like discrimination in the Kandinsky/Mondrian task, but item-to-item discrimination in the Picasso/Renoir task. Mice maintained their discriminative behavior in a pixelization test with various paintings; however, mice in the Picasso/Renoir task showed poor performance in a test that employed scrambling processing. These results do not indicate that discrimination strategy for any Kandinsky/Mondrian combinations differed from that for any Picasso/Monet combinations but suggest the mice employed different strategies of discrimination tasks depending upon stimuli. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of X-ray radiation on complex visual discrimination learning and social recognition memory in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine M Davis

    Full Text Available The present report describes an animal model for examining the effects of radiation on a range of neurocognitive functions in rodents that are similar to a number of basic human cognitive functions. Fourteen male Long-Evans rats were trained to perform an automated intra-dimensional set shifting task that consisted of their learning a basic discrimination between two stimulus shapes followed by more complex discrimination stages (e.g., a discrimination reversal, a compound discrimination, a compound reversal, a new shape discrimination, and an intra-dimensional stimulus discrimination reversal. One group of rats was exposed to head-only X-ray radiation (2.3 Gy at a dose rate of 1.9 Gy/min, while a second group received a sham-radiation exposure using the same anesthesia protocol. The irradiated group responded less, had elevated numbers of omitted trials, increased errors, and greater response latencies compared to the sham-irradiated control group. Additionally, social odor recognition memory was tested after radiation exposure by assessing the degree to which rats explored wooden beads impregnated with either their own odors or with the odors of novel, unfamiliar rats; however, no significant effects of radiation on social odor recognition memory were observed. These data suggest that rodent tasks assessing higher-level human cognitive domains are useful in examining the effects of radiation on the CNS, and may be applicable in approximating CNS risks from radiation exposure in clinical populations receiving whole brain irradiation.

  6. Effects of X-ray radiation on complex visual discrimination learning and social recognition memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Catherine M; Roma, Peter G; Armour, Elwood; Gooden, Virginia L; Brady, Joseph V; Weed, Michael R; Hienz, Robert D

    2014-01-01

    The present report describes an animal model for examining the effects of radiation on a range of neurocognitive functions in rodents that are similar to a number of basic human cognitive functions. Fourteen male Long-Evans rats were trained to perform an automated intra-dimensional set shifting task that consisted of their learning a basic discrimination between two stimulus shapes followed by more complex discrimination stages (e.g., a discrimination reversal, a compound discrimination, a compound reversal, a new shape discrimination, and an intra-dimensional stimulus discrimination reversal). One group of rats was exposed to head-only X-ray radiation (2.3 Gy at a dose rate of 1.9 Gy/min), while a second group received a sham-radiation exposure using the same anesthesia protocol. The irradiated group responded less, had elevated numbers of omitted trials, increased errors, and greater response latencies compared to the sham-irradiated control group. Additionally, social odor recognition memory was tested after radiation exposure by assessing the degree to which rats explored wooden beads impregnated with either their own odors or with the odors of novel, unfamiliar rats; however, no significant effects of radiation on social odor recognition memory were observed. These data suggest that rodent tasks assessing higher-level human cognitive domains are useful in examining the effects of radiation on the CNS, and may be applicable in approximating CNS risks from radiation exposure in clinical populations receiving whole brain irradiation.

  7. Effects of X-Ray Radiation on Complex Visual Discrimination Learning and Social Recognition Memory in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Catherine M.; Roma, Peter G.; Armour, Elwood; Gooden, Virginia L.; Brady, Joseph V.; Weed, Michael R.; Hienz, Robert D.

    2014-01-01

    The present report describes an animal model for examining the effects of radiation on a range of neurocognitive functions in rodents that are similar to a number of basic human cognitive functions. Fourteen male Long-Evans rats were trained to perform an automated intra-dimensional set shifting task that consisted of their learning a basic discrimination between two stimulus shapes followed by more complex discrimination stages (e.g., a discrimination reversal, a compound discrimination, a compound reversal, a new shape discrimination, and an intra-dimensional stimulus discrimination reversal). One group of rats was exposed to head-only X-ray radiation (2.3 Gy at a dose rate of 1.9 Gy/min), while a second group received a sham-radiation exposure using the same anesthesia protocol. The irradiated group responded less, had elevated numbers of omitted trials, increased errors, and greater response latencies compared to the sham-irradiated control group. Additionally, social odor recognition memory was tested after radiation exposure by assessing the degree to which rats explored wooden beads impregnated with either their own odors or with the odors of novel, unfamiliar rats; however, no significant effects of radiation on social odor recognition memory were observed. These data suggest that rodent tasks assessing higher-level human cognitive domains are useful in examining the effects of radiation on the CNS, and may be applicable in approximating CNS risks from radiation exposure in clinical populations receiving whole brain irradiation. PMID:25099152

  8. Texture-Based Analysis of 100 MR Examinations of Head and Neck Tumors - Is It Possible to Discriminate Between Benign and Malignant Masses in a Multicenter Trial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fruehwald-Pallamar, J; Hesselink, J R; Mafee, M F; Holzer-Fruehwald, L; Czerny, C; Mayerhoefer, M E

    2016-02-01

    To evaluate whether texture-based analysis of standard MRI sequences can help in the discrimination between benign and malignant head and neck tumors. The MR images of 100 patients with a histologically clarified head or neck mass, from two different institutions, were analyzed. Texture-based analysis was performed using texture analysis software, with region of interest measurements for 2 D and 3 D evaluation independently for all axial sequences. COC, RUN, GRA, ARM, and WAV features were calculated for all ROIs. 10 texture feature subsets were used for a linear discriminant analysis, in combination with k-nearest-neighbor classification. Benign and malignant tumors were compared with regard to texture-based values. There were differences in the images from different field-strength scanners, as well as from different vendors. For the differentiation of benign and malignant tumors, we found differences on STIR and T2-weighted images for 2 D, and on contrast-enhanced T1-TSE with fat saturation for 3 D evaluation. In a separate analysis of the subgroups 1.5 and 3 Tesla, more discriminating features were found. Texture-based analysis is a useful tool in the discrimination of benign and malignant tumors when performed on one scanner with the same protocol. We cannot recommend this technique for the use of multicenter studies with clinical data. 2 D/3 D texture-based analysis can be performed in head and neck tumors. Texture-based analysis can differentiate between benign and malignant masses. Analyzed MR images should originate from one scanner with an identical protocol. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  9. Multi-task linear programming discriminant analysis for the identification of progressive MCI individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Guan; Liu, Yufeng; Thung, Kim-Han; Shen, Dinggang

    2014-01-01

    Accurately identifying mild cognitive impairment (MCI) individuals who will progress to Alzheimer's disease (AD) is very important for making early interventions. Many classification methods focus on integrating multiple imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). However, the main challenge for MCI classification using multiple imaging modalities is the existence of a lot of missing data in many subjects. For example, in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study, almost half of the subjects do not have PET images. In this paper, we propose a new and flexible binary classification method, namely Multi-task Linear Programming Discriminant (MLPD) analysis, for the incomplete multi-source feature learning. Specifically, we decompose the classification problem into different classification tasks, i.e., one for each combination of available data sources. To solve all different classification tasks jointly, our proposed MLPD method links them together by constraining them to achieve the similar estimated mean difference between the two classes (under classification) for those shared features. Compared with the state-of-the-art incomplete Multi-Source Feature (iMSF) learning method, instead of constraining different classification tasks to choose a common feature subset for those shared features, MLPD can flexibly and adaptively choose different feature subsets for different classification tasks. Furthermore, our proposed MLPD method can be efficiently implemented by linear programming. To validate our MLPD method, we perform experiments on the ADNI baseline dataset with the incomplete MRI and PET images from 167 progressive MCI (pMCI) subjects and 226 stable MCI (sMCI) subjects. We further compared our method with the iMSF method (using incomplete MRI and PET images) and also the single-task classification method (using only MRI or only subjects with both MRI and PET images

  10. Multi-task linear programming discriminant analysis for the identification of progressive MCI individuals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan Yu

    Full Text Available Accurately identifying mild cognitive impairment (MCI individuals who will progress to Alzheimer's disease (AD is very important for making early interventions. Many classification methods focus on integrating multiple imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET. However, the main challenge for MCI classification using multiple imaging modalities is the existence of a lot of missing data in many subjects. For example, in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI study, almost half of the subjects do not have PET images. In this paper, we propose a new and flexible binary classification method, namely Multi-task Linear Programming Discriminant (MLPD analysis, for the incomplete multi-source feature learning. Specifically, we decompose the classification problem into different classification tasks, i.e., one for each combination of available data sources. To solve all different classification tasks jointly, our proposed MLPD method links them together by constraining them to achieve the similar estimated mean difference between the two classes (under classification for those shared features. Compared with the state-of-the-art incomplete Multi-Source Feature (iMSF learning method, instead of constraining different classification tasks to choose a common feature subset for those shared features, MLPD can flexibly and adaptively choose different feature subsets for different classification tasks. Furthermore, our proposed MLPD method can be efficiently implemented by linear programming. To validate our MLPD method, we perform experiments on the ADNI baseline dataset with the incomplete MRI and PET images from 167 progressive MCI (pMCI subjects and 226 stable MCI (sMCI subjects. We further compared our method with the iMSF method (using incomplete MRI and PET images and also the single-task classification method (using only MRI or only subjects with both MRI and

  11. Pitch discrimination associated with phonological awareness: Evidence from congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yanan; Lu, Xuejing; Ho, Hao Tam; Thompson, William Forde

    2017-03-13

    Research suggests that musical skills are associated with phonological abilities. To further investigate this association, we examined whether phonological impairments are evident in individuals with poor music abilities. Twenty individuals with congenital amusia and 20 matched controls were assessed on a pure-tone pitch discrimination task, a rhythm discrimination task, and four phonological tests. Amusic participants showed deficits in discriminating pitch and discriminating rhythmic patterns that involve a regular beat. At a group level, these individuals performed similarly to controls on all phonological tests. However, eight amusics with severe pitch impairment, as identified by the pitch discrimination task, exhibited significantly worse performance than all other participants in phonological awareness. A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that pitch discrimination thresholds predicted phonological awareness beyond that predicted by phonological short-term memory and rhythm discrimination. In contrast, our rhythm discrimination task did not predict phonological awareness beyond that predicted by pitch discrimination thresholds. These findings suggest that accurate pitch discrimination is critical for phonological processing. We propose that deficits in early-stage pitch discrimination may be associated with impaired phonological awareness and we discuss the shared role of pitch discrimination for processing music and speech.

  12. Discriminative Transfer Learning for General Image Restoration

    KAUST Repository

    Xiao, Lei; Heide, Felix; Heidrich, Wolfgang; Schö lkopf, Bernhard; Hirsch, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Recently, several discriminative learning approaches have been proposed for effective image restoration, achieving convincing trade-off between image quality and computational efficiency. However, these methods require separate training for each restoration task (e.g., denoising, deblurring, demosaicing) and problem condition (e.g., noise level of input images). This makes it time-consuming and difficult to encompass all tasks and conditions during training. In this paper, we propose a discriminative transfer learning method that incorporates formal proximal optimization and discriminative learning for general image restoration. The method requires a single-pass discriminative training and allows for reuse across various problems and conditions while achieving an efficiency comparable to previous discriminative approaches. Furthermore, after being trained, our model can be easily transferred to new likelihood terms to solve untrained tasks, or be combined with existing priors to further improve image restoration quality.

  13. Discriminative Transfer Learning for General Image Restoration

    KAUST Repository

    Xiao, Lei

    2018-04-30

    Recently, several discriminative learning approaches have been proposed for effective image restoration, achieving convincing trade-off between image quality and computational efficiency. However, these methods require separate training for each restoration task (e.g., denoising, deblurring, demosaicing) and problem condition (e.g., noise level of input images). This makes it time-consuming and difficult to encompass all tasks and conditions during training. In this paper, we propose a discriminative transfer learning method that incorporates formal proximal optimization and discriminative learning for general image restoration. The method requires a single-pass discriminative training and allows for reuse across various problems and conditions while achieving an efficiency comparable to previous discriminative approaches. Furthermore, after being trained, our model can be easily transferred to new likelihood terms to solve untrained tasks, or be combined with existing priors to further improve image restoration quality.

  14. Comparison of learning ability and memory retention in altricial (Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata var. domestica) and precocial (blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis) birds using a color discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Aki; Suzuki, Kaoru

    2014-02-01

    The present study sought to assess the potential application of avian models with different developmental modes to studies on cognition and neuroscience. Six altricial Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica), and eight precocial blue-breasted quails (Coturnix chinensis) were presented with color discrimination tasks to compare their respective faculties for learning and memory retention within the context of the two developmental modes. Tasks consisted of presenting birds with discriminative cues in the form of colored feeder lids, and birds were considered to have learned a task when 80% of their attempts at selecting the correctly colored lid in two consecutive blocks of 10 trials were successful. All of the finches successfully performed the required experimental tasks, whereas only half of the quails were able to execute the same tasks. In the learning test, finches required significantly fewer trials than quails to learn the task (finches: 13.5 ± 9.14 trials, quails: 45.8 ± 4.35 trials, P memory retention tests, which were conducted 45 days after the learning test, finches retained the ability to discriminate between colors correctly (95.0 ± 4.47%), whereas quails did not retain any memory of the experimental procedure and so could not be tested. These results suggested that altricial and precocial birds both possess the faculty for learning and retaining discrimination-type tasks, but that altricial birds perform better than precocial birds in both faculties. The present findings imply that developmental mode is an important consideration for assessing the suitability of bird species for particular experiments. © 2013 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  15. Texture-based analysis of 100 MR examinations of head and neck tumors. Is it possible to discriminate between benign and malignant masses in a multicenter trial?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fruehwald-Pallamar, J.; Czerny, C.; Hesselink, J.R.; Mafee, M.F.; Holzer-Fruehwald, L.; Mayerhoefer, M.E.

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate whether texture-based analysis of standard MRI sequences can help in the discrimination between benign and malignant head and neck tumors. The MR images of 100 patients with a histologically clarified head or neck mass, from two different institutions, were analyzed. Texture-based analysis was performed using texture analysis software, with region of interest measurements for 2D and 3D evaluation independently for all axial sequences. COC, RUN, GRA, ARM, and WAV features were calculated for all ROIs. 10 texture feature subsets were used for a linear discriminant analysis, in combination with k-nearest-neighbor classification. Benign and malignant tumors were compared with regard to texture-based values. There were differences in the images from different field-strength scanners, as well as from different vendors. For the differentiation of benign and malignant tumors, we found differences on STIR and T2-weighted images for 2D, and on contrast-enhanced T1-TSE with fat saturation for 3D evaluation. In a separate analysis of the subgroups 1.5 and 3 Tesla, more discriminating features were found. Texture-based analysis is a useful tool in the discrimination of benign and malignant tumors when performed on one scanner with the same protocol. We cannot recommend this technique for the use of multicenter studies with clinical data.

  16. Texture-based analysis of 100 MR examinations of head and neck tumors. Is it possible to discriminate between benign and malignant masses in a multicenter trial?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fruehwald-Pallamar, J.; Czerny, C. [Medical University of Vienna (Austria). Subdiv. of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology; Hesselink, J.R.; Mafee, M.F. [UCSD Medical Center, San Diego, CA (United States). Dept. of Radiology; Holzer-Fruehwald, L.; Mayerhoefer, M.E. [Medical University of Vienna (Austria). Dept. of Biomedical Imaging and Image-Guided Therapy

    2016-02-15

    To evaluate whether texture-based analysis of standard MRI sequences can help in the discrimination between benign and malignant head and neck tumors. The MR images of 100 patients with a histologically clarified head or neck mass, from two different institutions, were analyzed. Texture-based analysis was performed using texture analysis software, with region of interest measurements for 2D and 3D evaluation independently for all axial sequences. COC, RUN, GRA, ARM, and WAV features were calculated for all ROIs. 10 texture feature subsets were used for a linear discriminant analysis, in combination with k-nearest-neighbor classification. Benign and malignant tumors were compared with regard to texture-based values. There were differences in the images from different field-strength scanners, as well as from different vendors. For the differentiation of benign and malignant tumors, we found differences on STIR and T2-weighted images for 2D, and on contrast-enhanced T1-TSE with fat saturation for 3D evaluation. In a separate analysis of the subgroups 1.5 and 3 Tesla, more discriminating features were found. Texture-based analysis is a useful tool in the discrimination of benign and malignant tumors when performed on one scanner with the same protocol. We cannot recommend this technique for the use of multicenter studies with clinical data.

  17. Sex Differences in Spatial Memory in Brown-Headed Cowbirds: Males Outperform Females on a Touchscreen Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie F Guigueno

    Full Text Available Spatial cognition in females and males can differ in species in which there are sex-specific patterns in the use of space. Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites that show a reversal of sex-typical space use often seen in mammals. Female cowbirds, search for, revisit and parasitize hosts nests, have a larger hippocampus than males and have better memory than males for a rewarded location in an open spatial environment. In the current study, we tested female and male cowbirds in breeding and non-breeding conditions on a touchscreen delayed-match-to-sample task using both spatial and colour stimuli. Our goal was to determine whether sex differences in spatial memory in cowbirds generalizes to all spatial tasks or is task-dependant. Both sexes performed better on the spatial than on the colour touchscreen task. On the spatial task, breeding males outperformed breeding females. On the colour task, females and males did not differ, but females performed better in breeding condition than in non-breeding condition. Although female cowbirds were observed to outperform males on a previous larger-scale spatial task, males performed better than females on a task testing spatial memory in the cowbirds' immediate visual field. Spatial abilities in cowbirds can favour males or females depending on the type of spatial task, as has been observed in mammals, including humans.

  18. Sex Differences in Spatial Memory in Brown-Headed Cowbirds: Males Outperform Females on a Touchscreen Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guigueno, Mélanie F.; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A.; Sherry, David F.

    2015-01-01

    Spatial cognition in females and males can differ in species in which there are sex-specific patterns in the use of space. Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites that show a reversal of sex-typical space use often seen in mammals. Female cowbirds, search for, revisit and parasitize hosts nests, have a larger hippocampus than males and have better memory than males for a rewarded location in an open spatial environment. In the current study, we tested female and male cowbirds in breeding and non-breeding conditions on a touchscreen delayed-match-to-sample task using both spatial and colour stimuli. Our goal was to determine whether sex differences in spatial memory in cowbirds generalizes to all spatial tasks or is task-dependant. Both sexes performed better on the spatial than on the colour touchscreen task. On the spatial task, breeding males outperformed breeding females. On the colour task, females and males did not differ, but females performed better in breeding condition than in non-breeding condition. Although female cowbirds were observed to outperform males on a previous larger-scale spatial task, males performed better than females on a task testing spatial memory in the cowbirds’ immediate visual field. Spatial abilities in cowbirds can favour males or females depending on the type of spatial task, as has been observed in mammals, including humans. PMID:26083573

  19. Headteachers' managerial behaviour and teachers' task ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The result of the study revealed that head teachers' decision-making strategy and head teachers' leadership style have significant influence on teachers' task performance in the sampled schools. And that head teachers' communication skills significantly relates to teachers' task performance in the area. Based on this result, ...

  20. Children’s head motion during fMRI tasks is heritable and stable over time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura E. Engelhardt

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Head motion during fMRI scans negatively impacts data quality, and as post-acquisition techniques for addressing motion become increasingly stringent, data retention decreases. Studies conducted with adult participants suggest that movement acts as a relatively stable, heritable phenotype that serves as a marker for other genetically influenced phenotypes. Whether these patterns extend downward to childhood has critical implications for the interpretation and generalizability of fMRI data acquired from children. We examined factors affecting scanner motion in two samples: a population-based twin sample of 73 participants (ages 7–12 years and a case-control sample of 32 non-struggling and 78 struggling readers (ages 8–11 years, 30 of whom were scanned multiple times. Age, but not ADHD symptoms, was significantly related to scanner movement. Movement also varied as a function of task type, run length, and session length. Twin pair concordance for head motion was high for monozygotic twins and moderate for dizygotic twins. Cross-session test-retest reliability was high. Together, these findings suggest that children’s head motion is a genetically influenced trait that has the potential to systematically affect individual differences in BOLD changes within and across groups. We discuss recommendations for future work and best practices for pediatric neuroimaging.

  1. Hippocampal-dependent memory in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task: The role of spatial cues and CA1 activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leão, Anderson H F F; Medeiros, André M; Apolinário, Gênedy K S; Cabral, Alícia; Ribeiro, Alessandra M; Barbosa, Flávio F; Silva, Regina H

    2016-05-01

    The plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (PMDAT) has been used to investigate interactions between aversive memory and an anxiety-like response in rodents. Suitable performance in this task depends on the activity of the basolateral amygdala, similar to other aversive-based memory tasks. However, the role of spatial cues and hippocampal-dependent learning in the performance of PMDAT remains unknown. Here, we investigated the role of proximal and distal cues in the retrieval of this task. Animals tested under misplaced proximal cues had diminished performance, and animals tested under both misplaced proximal cues and absent distal cues could not discriminate the aversive arm. We also assessed the role of the dorsal hippocampus (CA1) in this aversive memory task. Temporary bilateral inactivation of dorsal CA1 was conducted with muscimol (0.05 μg, 0.1 μg, and 0.2 μg) prior to the training session. While the acquisition of the task was not altered, muscimol impaired the performance in the test session and reduced the anxiety-like response in the training session. We also performed a spreading analysis of a fluorophore-conjugated muscimol to confirm selective inhibition of CA1. In conclusion, both distal and proximal cues are required to retrieve the task, with the latter being more relevant to spatial orientation. Dorsal CA1 activity is also required for aversive memory formation in this task, and interfered with the anxiety-like response as well. Importantly, both effects were detected by different parameters in the same paradigm, endorsing the previous findings of independent assessment of aversive memory and anxiety-like behavior in the PMDAT. Taken together, these findings suggest that the PMDAT probably requires an integration of multiple systems for memory formation, resembling an episodic-like memory rather than a pure conditioning behavior. Furthermore, the concomitant and independent assessment of emotionality and memory in rodents is relevant to

  2. Corrective response times in a coordinated eye-head-arm countermanding task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Gordon; Khan, Aarlenne Z; Blohm, Gunnar

    2018-06-01

    Inhibition of motor responses has been described as a race between two competing decision processes of motor initiation and inhibition, which manifest as the reaction time (RT) and the stop signal reaction time (SSRT); in the case where motor initiation wins out over inhibition, an erroneous movement occurs that usually needs to be corrected, leading to corrective response times (CRTs). Here we used a combined eye-head-arm movement countermanding task to investigate the mechanisms governing multiple effector coordination and the timing of corrective responses. We found a high degree of correlation between effector response times for RT, SSRT, and CRT, suggesting that decision processes are strongly dependent across effectors. To gain further insight into the mechanisms underlying CRTs, we tested multiple models to describe the distribution of RTs, SSRTs, and CRTs. The best-ranked model (according to 3 information criteria) extends the LATER race model governing RTs and SSRTs, whereby a second motor initiation process triggers the corrective response (CRT) only after the inhibition process completes in an expedited fashion. Our model suggests that the neural processing underpinning a failed decision has a residual effect on subsequent actions. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Failure to inhibit erroneous movements typically results in corrective movements. For coordinated eye-head-hand movements we show that corrective movements are only initiated after the erroneous movement cancellation signal has reached a decision threshold in an accelerated fashion.

  3. COMMUNICATION: On variability and use of rat primary motor cortex responses in behavioral task discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Winnie; Rousche, Patrick J.

    2006-03-01

    The success of a cortical motor neuroprosthetic system will rely on the system's ability to effectively execute complex motor tasks in a changing environment. Invasive, intra-cortical electrodes have been successfully used to predict joint movement and grip force of a robotic arm/hand with a non-human primate (Chapin J K, Moxon K A, Markowitz R S and Nicolelis M A L 1999 Real-time control of a robotic arm using simultaneously recorded neurons in the motor cortex Nat. Neurosci. 2 664-70). It is well known that cortical encoding occurs with a high degree of cortical plasticity and depends on both the functional and behavioral context. Questions on the expected robustness of future motor prosthesis systems therefore still remain. The objective of the present work was to study the effect of minor changes in functional movement strategies on the M1 encoding. We compared the M1 encoding in freely moving, non-constrained animals that performed two similar behavioral tasks with the same end-goal, and investigated if these behavioral tasks could be discriminated based on the M1 recordings. The rats depressed a response paddle either with a set of restrictive bars ('WB') or without the bars ('WOB') placed in front of the paddle. The WB task required changes in the motor strategy to complete the paddle press and resulted in highly stereotyped movements, whereas in the WOB task the movement strategy was not restricted. Neural population activity was recorded from 16-channel micro-wire arrays and data up to 200 ms before a paddle hit were analyzed off-line. The analysis showed a significant neural firing difference between the two similar WB and WOB tasks, and using principal component analysis it was possible to distinguish between the two tasks with a best classification at 76.6%. While the results are dependent upon a small, randomly sampled neural population, they indicate that information about similar behavioral tasks may be extracted from M1 based on relatively few

  4. Eye movements discriminate fatigue due to chronotypical factors and time spent on task--a double dissociation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Cazzoli

    Full Text Available Systematic differences in circadian rhythmicity are thought to be a substantial factor determining inter-individual differences in fatigue and cognitive performance. The synchronicity effect (when time of testing coincides with the respective circadian peak period seems to play an important role. Eye movements have been shown to be a reliable indicator of fatigue due to sleep deprivation or time spent on cognitive tasks. However, eye movements have not been used so far to investigate the circadian synchronicity effect and the resulting differences in fatigue. The aim of the present study was to assess how different oculomotor parameters in a free visual exploration task are influenced by: a fatigue due to chronotypical factors (being a 'morning type' or an 'evening type'; b fatigue due to the time spent on task. Eighteen healthy participants performed a free visual exploration task of naturalistic pictures while their eye movements were recorded. The task was performed twice, once at their optimal and once at their non-optimal time of the day. Moreover, participants rated their subjective fatigue. The non-optimal time of the day triggered a significant and stable increase in the mean visual fixation duration during the free visual exploration task for both chronotypes. The increase in the mean visual fixation duration correlated with the difference in subjectively perceived fatigue at optimal and non-optimal times of the day. Conversely, the mean saccadic speed significantly and progressively decreased throughout the duration of the task, but was not influenced by the optimal or non-optimal time of the day for both chronotypes. The results suggest that different oculomotor parameters are discriminative for fatigue due to different sources. A decrease in saccadic speed seems to reflect fatigue due to time spent on task, whereas an increase in mean fixation duration a lack of synchronicity between chronotype and time of the day.

  5. The dark side of ambiguous discrimination: how state self-esteem moderates emotional and behavioural responses to ambiguous and unambiguous discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cihangir, Sezgin; Barreto, Manuela; Ellemers, Naomi

    2010-03-01

    Two experiments examine how experimentally induced differences in state self-esteem moderate emotional and behavioural responses to ambiguous and unambiguous discrimination. Study 1 (N=108) showed that participants who were exposed to ambiguous discrimination report more negative self-directed emotions when they have low compared to high self-esteem. These differences did not emerge when participants were exposed to unambiguous discrimination. Study 2 (N=118) additionally revealed that self-esteem moderated the effect of ambiguous discrimination on self-concern, task performance, and self-stereotyping. Results show that ambiguous discrimination caused participants with low self-esteem to report more negative self-directed emotions, more self-concern, an inferior task performance, and more self-stereotyping, compared to participants in the high self-esteem condition. Emotional and behavioural responses to unambiguous discrimination did not depend on the induced level of self-esteem in these studies.

  6. Genetic pleiotropy explains associations between musical auditory discrimination and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosing, Miriam A; Pedersen, Nancy L; Madison, Guy; Ullén, Fredrik

    2014-01-01

    Musical aptitude is commonly measured using tasks that involve discrimination of different types of musical auditory stimuli. Performance on such different discrimination tasks correlates positively with each other and with intelligence. However, no study to date has explored these associations using a genetically informative sample to estimate underlying genetic and environmental influences. In the present study, a large sample of Swedish twins (N = 10,500) was used to investigate the genetic architecture of the associations between intelligence and performance on three musical auditory discrimination tasks (rhythm, melody and pitch). Phenotypic correlations between the tasks ranged between 0.23 and 0.42 (Pearson r values). Genetic modelling showed that the covariation between the variables could be explained by shared genetic influences. Neither shared, nor non-shared environment had a significant effect on the associations. Good fit was obtained with a two-factor model where one underlying shared genetic factor explained all the covariation between the musical discrimination tasks and IQ, and a second genetic factor explained variance exclusively shared among the discrimination tasks. The results suggest that positive correlations among musical aptitudes result from both genes with broad effects on cognition, and genes with potentially more specific influences on auditory functions.

  7. Different Neuroplasticity for Task Targets and Distractors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spingath, Elsie Y.; Kang, Hyun Sug; Plummer, Thane; Blake, David T.

    2011-01-01

    Adult learning-induced sensory cortex plasticity results in enhanced action potential rates in neurons that have the most relevant information for the task, or those that respond strongly to one sensory stimulus but weakly to its comparison stimulus. Current theories suggest this plasticity is caused when target stimulus evoked activity is enhanced by reward signals from neuromodulatory nuclei. Prior work has found evidence suggestive of nonselective enhancement of neural responses, and suppression of responses to task distractors, but the differences in these effects between detection and discrimination have not been directly tested. Using cortical implants, we defined physiological responses in macaque somatosensory cortex during serial, matched, detection and discrimination tasks. Nonselective increases in neural responsiveness were observed during detection learning. Suppression of responses to task distractors was observed during discrimination learning, and this suppression was specific to cortical locations that sampled responses to the task distractor before learning. Changes in receptive field size were measured as the area of skin that had a significant response to a constant magnitude stimulus, and these areal changes paralleled changes in responsiveness. From before detection learning until after discrimination learning, the enduring changes were selective suppression of cortical locations responsive to task distractors, and nonselective enhancement of responsiveness at cortical locations selective for target and control skin sites. A comparison of observations in prior studies with the observed plasticity effects suggests that the non-selective response enhancement and selective suppression suffice to explain known plasticity phenomena in simple spatial tasks. This work suggests that differential responsiveness to task targets and distractors in primary sensory cortex for a simple spatial detection and discrimination task arise from nonselective

  8. Different neuroplasticity for task targets and distractors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsie Y Spingath

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Adult learning-induced sensory cortex plasticity results in enhanced action potential rates in neurons that have the most relevant information for the task, or those that respond strongly to one sensory stimulus but weakly to its comparison stimulus. Current theories suggest this plasticity is caused when target stimulus evoked activity is enhanced by reward signals from neuromodulatory nuclei. Prior work has found evidence suggestive of nonselective enhancement of neural responses, and suppression of responses to task distractors, but the differences in these effects between detection and discrimination have not been directly tested. Using cortical implants, we defined physiological responses in macaque somatosensory cortex during serial, matched, detection and discrimination tasks. Nonselective increases in neural responsiveness were observed during detection learning. Suppression of responses to task distractors was observed during discrimination learning, and this suppression was specific to cortical locations that sampled responses to the task distractor before learning. Changes in receptive field size were measured as the area of skin that had a significant response to a constant magnitude stimulus, and these areal changes paralleled changes in responsiveness. From before detection learning until after discrimination learning, the enduring changes were selective suppression of cortical locations responsive to task distractors, and nonselective enhancement of responsiveness at cortical locations selective for target and control skin sites. A comparison of observations in prior studies with the observed plasticity effects suggests that the non-selective response enhancement and selective suppression suffice to explain known plasticity phenomena in simple spatial tasks. This work suggests that differential responsiveness to task targets and distractors in primary sensory cortex for a simple spatial detection and discrimination task arise from

  9. Social cognition and African American men: The roles of perceived discrimination and experimenter race on task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendra, Arundati; Twery, Benjamin L; Neblett, Enrique W; Mustafic, Hasan; Jones, Tevin S; Gatewood, D'Angelo; Penn, David L

    2018-01-01

    The Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study consists of a battery of eight tasks selected to measure social-cognitive deficits in individuals with schizophrenia. The battery is currently in a multisite validation process. While the SCOPE study collects basic demographic data, more nuanced race-related factors might artificially inflate cross-cultural differences in social cognition. As an initial step, we investigated whether race, independent of mental illness status, affects performance on the SCOPE battery. Thus, we examined the effects of perceived discrimination and experimenter race on the performance of 51 non-clinical African American men on the SCOPE battery. Results revealed that these factors impacted social cognitive task performance. Specifically, participants performed better on a skills-based task factor in the presence of Black experimenters, and frequency of perceived racism predicted increased perception of hostility in negative interpersonal situations with accidental causes. Thus, race-related factors are important to identify and explore in the measurement of social cognition in African Americans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Pattern recognition in bees : orientation discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hateren, J.H. van; Srinivasan, M.V.; Wait, P.B.

    1990-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera, worker) were trained to discriminate between two random gratings oriented perpendicularly to each other. This task was quickly learned with vertical, horizontal, and oblique gratings. After being trained on perpendicularly-oriented random gratings, bees could discriminate

  11. The location discrimination reversal task in mice is sensitive to deficits in performance caused by aging, pharmacological and other challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf, Radka; Longo, Jami L; Hughes, Zoë A

    2018-06-01

    Deficits in hippocampal-mediated pattern separation are one aspect of cognitive function affected in schizophrenia (SZ) or Alzheimer's disease (AD). To develop novel therapies, it is beneficial to explore this specific aspect of cognition preclinically. The location discrimination reversal (LDR) task is a hippocampal-dependent operant paradigm that evaluates spatial learning and cognitive flexibility using touchscreens. Here we assessed baseline performance as well as multimodal disease-relevant manipulations in mice. Mice were trained to discriminate between the locations of two images where the degree of separation impacted performance. Administration of putative pro-cognitive agents was unable to improve performance at narrow separation. Furthermore, a range of disease-relevant manipulations were characterized to assess whether performance could be impaired and restored. Pertinent to the cholinergic loss in AD, scopolamine (0.1 mg/kg) produced a disruption in LDR, which was attenuated by donepezil (1 mg/kg). Consistent with NMDA hypofunction in cognitive impairment associated with SZ, MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) also disrupted performance; however, this deficit was not modified by rolipram. Microdeletion of genes associated with SZ (22q11) resulted in impaired performance, which was restored by rolipram (0.032 mg/kg). Since aging and inflammation affect cognition and are risk factors for AD, these aspects were also evaluated. Aged mice were slower to acquire the task than young mice and did not reach the same level of performance. A systemic inflammatory challenge (lipopolysaccharide (LPS), 1 mg/kg) produced prolonged (7 days) deficits in the LDR task. These data suggest that LDR task is a valuable platform for evaluating disease-relevant deficits in pattern separation and offers potential for identifying novel therapies.

  12. Speech Discrimination in Preschool Children: A Comparison of Two Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menary, Susan; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Eleven four-year-old children were tested for discrimination of the following word pairs: rope/robe, seat/seed, pick/pig, ice/eyes, and mouse/mouth. All word pairs were found to be discriminable, but performance on seat/seed and mouse/mouth was inferior to that of the other word pairs. (Author)

  13. Meta-analytic review of the development of face discrimination in infancy: Face race, face gender, infant age, and methodology moderate face discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, Nicole A; Marquis, Alexandra R

    2017-11-01

    Infants show facility for discriminating between individual faces within hours of birth. Over the first year of life, infants' face discrimination shows continued improvement with familiar face types, such as own-race faces, but not with unfamiliar face types, like other-race faces. The goal of this meta-analytic review is to provide an effect size for infants' face discrimination ability overall, with own-race faces, and with other-race faces within the first year of life, how this differs with age, and how it is influenced by task methodology. Inclusion criteria were (a) infant participants aged 0 to 12 months, (b) completing a human own- or other-race face discrimination task, (c) with discrimination being determined by infant looking. Our analysis included 30 works (165 samples, 1,926 participants participated in 2,623 tasks). The effect size for infants' face discrimination was small, 6.53% greater than chance (i.e., equal looking to the novel and familiar). There was a significant difference in discrimination by race, overall (own-race, 8.18%; other-race, 3.18%) and between ages (own-race: 0- to 4.5-month-olds, 7.32%; 5- to 7.5-month-olds, 9.17%; and 8- to 12-month-olds, 7.68%; other-race: 0- to 4.5-month-olds, 6.12%; 5- to 7.5-month-olds, 3.70%; and 8- to 12-month-olds, 2.79%). Multilevel linear (mixed-effects) models were used to predict face discrimination; infants' capacity to discriminate faces is sensitive to face characteristics including race, gender, and emotion as well as the methods used, including task timing, coding method, and visual angle. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Anti-discrimination Analysis Using Privacy Attack Strategies

    KAUST Repository

    Ruggieri, Salvatore; Hajian, Sara; Kamiran, Faisal; Zhang, Xiangliang

    2014-01-01

    Social discrimination discovery from data is an important task to identify illegal and unethical discriminatory patterns towards protected-by-law groups, e.g., ethnic minorities. We deploy privacy attack strategies as tools for discrimination

  15. Early postnatal x-irradiation of the hippocampus and discrimination learning in adult rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gazzara, R.A.; Altman, J.

    1981-01-01

    Rats with X-irradiation-produced degranulation of the hippocampal dentate gyrus were trained in the acquisition and reversal of simultaneous visual and tactile discriminations in a T-maze. These experiments employed the same treatment, apparatus, and procedure but varied in task difficulty. In the brightness and roughness discriminations, the irradiated rats were not handicapped in acquiring or reversing discriminations of low or low-moderate task difficulty. However, these rats were handicapped in acquiring and reversing discriminations of moderate and high task difficulty. In a Black/White discrimination, in which the stimuli were restricted to the goal-arm walls, the irradiated rats were handicapped in the acquisition (low task difficulty) and reversal (moderate task difficulty) phases of the task. These results suggest that the irradiated rats were not handicapped when the noticeability of the stimuli was high, irrespective of modality used, but were handicapped when the noticeability of the stimuli was low. In addition, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that rats with hippocampal damage are inattentive due to hyperactivity

  16. Individual differences in attention strategies during detection, fine discrimination, and coarse discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecker, Elizabeth A.; Serences, John T.; Srinivasan, Ramesh

    2013-01-01

    Interacting with the environment requires the ability to flexibly direct attention to relevant features. We examined the degree to which individuals attend to visual features within and across Detection, Fine Discrimination, and Coarse Discrimination tasks. Electroencephalographic (EEG) responses were measured to an unattended peripheral flickering (4 or 6 Hz) grating while individuals (n = 33) attended to orientations that were offset by 0°, 10°, 20°, 30°, 40°, and 90° from the orientation of the unattended flicker. These unattended responses may be sensitive to attentional gain at the attended spatial location, since attention to features enhances early visual responses throughout the visual field. We found no significant differences in tuning curves across the three tasks in part due to individual differences in strategies. We sought to characterize individual attention strategies using hierarchical Bayesian modeling, which grouped individuals into families of curves that reflect attention to the physical target orientation (“on-channel”) or away from the target orientation (“off-channel”) or a uniform distribution of attention. The different curves were related to behavioral performance; individuals with “on-channel” curves had lower thresholds than individuals with uniform curves. Individuals with “off-channel” curves during Fine Discrimination additionally had lower thresholds than those assigned to uniform curves, highlighting the perceptual benefits of attending away from the physical target orientation during fine discriminations. Finally, we showed that a subset of individuals with optimal curves (“on-channel”) during Detection also demonstrated optimal curves (“off-channel”) during Fine Discrimination, indicating that a subset of individuals can modulate tuning optimally for detection and discrimination. PMID:23678013

  17. Different levels of food restriction reveal genotype-specific differences in learning a visual discrimination task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalina Makowiecki

    Full Text Available In behavioural experiments, motivation to learn can be achieved using food rewards as positive reinforcement in food-restricted animals. Previous studies reduce animal weights to 80-90% of free-feeding body weight as the criterion for food restriction. However, effects of different degrees of food restriction on task performance have not been assessed. We compared learning task performance in mice food-restricted to 80 or 90% body weight (BW. We used adult wildtype (WT; C57Bl/6j and knockout (ephrin-A2⁻/⁻ mice, previously shown to have a reverse learning deficit. Mice were trained in a two-choice visual discrimination task with food reward as positive reinforcement. When mice reached criterion for one visual stimulus (80% correct in three consecutive 10 trial sets they began the reverse learning phase, where the rewarded stimulus was switched to the previously incorrect stimulus. For the initial learning and reverse phase of the task, mice at 90%BW took almost twice as many trials to reach criterion as mice at 80%BW. Furthermore, WT 80 and 90%BW groups significantly differed in percentage correct responses and learning strategy in the reverse learning phase, whereas no differences between weight restriction groups were observed in ephrin-A2⁻/⁻ mice. Most importantly, genotype-specific differences in reverse learning strategy were only detected in the 80%BW groups. Our results indicate that increased food restriction not only results in better performance and a shorter training period, but may also be necessary for revealing behavioural differences between experimental groups. This has important ethical and animal welfare implications when deciding extent of diet restriction in behavioural studies.

  18. A possible structural correlate of learning performance on a colour discrimination task in the brain of the bumblebee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; MaBouDi, HaDi; Egertová, Michaela; Elphick, Maurice R.

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is considered to be a basis for learning and memory. However, the relationship between synaptic arrangements and individual differences in learning and memory is poorly understood. Here, we explored how the density of microglomeruli (synaptic complexes) within specific regions of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) brain relates to both visual learning and inter-individual differences in learning and memory performance on a visual discrimination task. Using whole-brain immunolabelling, we measured the density of microglomeruli in the collar region (visual association areas) of the mushroom bodies of the bumblebee brain. We found that bumblebees which made fewer errors during training in a visual discrimination task had higher microglomerular density. Similarly, bumblebees that had better retention of the learned colour-reward associations two days after training had higher microglomerular density. Further experiments indicated experience-dependent changes in neural circuitry: learning a colour-reward contingency with 10 colours (but not two colours) does result, and exposure to many different colours may result, in changes to microglomerular density in the collar region of the mushroom bodies. These results reveal the varying roles that visual experience, visual learning and foraging activity have on neural structure. Although our study does not provide a causal link between microglomerular density and performance, the observed positive correlations provide new insights for future studies into how neural structure may relate to inter-individual differences in learning and memory. PMID:28978727

  19. A possible structural correlate of learning performance on a colour discrimination task in the brain of the bumblebee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; MaBouDi, HaDi; Egertová, Michaela; Elphick, Maurice R; Chittka, Lars; Perry, Clint J

    2017-10-11

    Synaptic plasticity is considered to be a basis for learning and memory. However, the relationship between synaptic arrangements and individual differences in learning and memory is poorly understood. Here, we explored how the density of microglomeruli (synaptic complexes) within specific regions of the bumblebee ( Bombus terrestris ) brain relates to both visual learning and inter-individual differences in learning and memory performance on a visual discrimination task. Using whole-brain immunolabelling, we measured the density of microglomeruli in the collar region (visual association areas) of the mushroom bodies of the bumblebee brain. We found that bumblebees which made fewer errors during training in a visual discrimination task had higher microglomerular density. Similarly, bumblebees that had better retention of the learned colour-reward associations two days after training had higher microglomerular density. Further experiments indicated experience-dependent changes in neural circuitry: learning a colour-reward contingency with 10 colours (but not two colours) does result, and exposure to many different colours may result, in changes to microglomerular density in the collar region of the mushroom bodies. These results reveal the varying roles that visual experience, visual learning and foraging activity have on neural structure. Although our study does not provide a causal link between microglomerular density and performance, the observed positive correlations provide new insights for future studies into how neural structure may relate to inter-individual differences in learning and memory. © 2017 The Authors.

  20. Mind the gap: temporal discrimination and dystonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadnicka, A; Daum, C; Cordivari, C; Bhatia, K P; Rothwell, J C; Manohar, S; Edwards, M J

    2017-06-01

    One of the most widely studied perceptual measures of sensory dysfunction in dystonia is the temporal discrimination threshold (TDT) (the shortest interval at which subjects can perceive that there are two stimuli rather than one). However the elevated thresholds described may be due to a number of potential mechanisms as current paradigms test not only temporal discrimination but also extraneous sensory and decision-making parameters. In this study two paradigms designed to better quantify temporal processing are presented and a decision-making model is used to assess the influence of decision strategy. 22 patients with cervical dystonia and 22 age-matched controls completed two tasks (i) temporal resolution (a randomized, automated version of existing TDT paradigms) and (ii) interval discrimination (rating the length of two consecutive intervals). In the temporal resolution task patients had delayed (P = 0.021) and more variable (P = 0.013) response times but equivalent discrimination thresholds. Modelling these effects suggested this was due to an increased perceptual decision boundary in dystonia with patients requiring greater evidence before committing to decisions (P = 0.020). Patient performance on the interval discrimination task was normal. Our work suggests that previously observed abnormalities in TDT may not be due to a selective sensory deficit of temporal processing as decision-making itself is abnormal in cervical dystonia. © 2017 EAN.

  1. Data preprocessing techniques for classification without discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamiran, F.; Calders, T.G.K.

    2012-01-01

    Recently, the following Discrimination-Aware Classification Problem was introduced: Suppose we are given training data that exhibit unlawful discrimination; e.g., toward sensitive attributes such as gender or ethnicity. The task is to learn a classifier that optimizes accuracy, but does not have

  2. Sleep deprivation effects on object discrimination task in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro-da-Silva, Jaquelinne; Silva, Priscila Fernandes; Nogueira, Marcelo Borges; Luchiari, Ana Carolina

    2017-03-01

    The zebrafish is an ideal vertebrate model for neurobehavioral studies with translational relevance to humans. Many aspects of sleep have been studied, but we still do not understand how and why sleep deprivation alters behavioral and physiological processes. A number of hypotheses suggest its role in memory consolidation. In this respect, the aim of this study was to analyze the effects of sleep deprivation on memory in zebrafish (Danio rerio), using an object discrimination paradigm. Four treatments were tested: control, partial sleep deprivation, total sleep deprivation by light pulses, and total sleep deprivation by extended light. The control group explored the new object more than the known object, indicating clear discrimination. The partially sleep-deprived group explored the new object more than the other object in the discrimination phase, suggesting a certain degree of discriminative performance. By contrast, both total sleep deprivation groups equally explored all objects, regardless of their novelty. It seems that only one night of sleep deprivation is enough to affect discriminative response in zebrafish, indicating its negative impact on cognitive processes. We suggest that this study could be a useful screening tool for cognitive dysfunction and a better understanding of the effect of sleep-wake cycles on cognition.

  3. How Muslim Women in the Netherlands Negotiate Discrimination During Leisure Activities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kloek, M.E.; Peters, K.B.M.; Sijtsma, M.

    2013-01-01

    Qualitative research about discrimination encountered by Muslim women in The Netherlands who are participating in leisure activities in public spaces shows that perceived discrimination is part of everyday life. This is especially true for women who wear the veil because their visible head covering

  4. Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winawer, Jonathan; Witthoft, Nathan; Frank, Michael C; Wu, Lisa; Wade, Alex R; Boroditsky, Lera

    2007-05-08

    English and Russian color terms divide the color spectrum differently. Unlike English, Russian makes an obligatory distinction between lighter blues ("goluboy") and darker blues ("siniy"). We investigated whether this linguistic difference leads to differences in color discrimination. We tested English and Russian speakers in a speeded color discrimination task using blue stimuli that spanned the siniy/goluboy border. We found that Russian speakers were faster to discriminate two colors when they fell into different linguistic categories in Russian (one siniy and the other goluboy) than when they were from the same linguistic category (both siniy or both goluboy). Moreover, this category advantage was eliminated by a verbal, but not a spatial, dual task. These effects were stronger for difficult discriminations (i.e., when the colors were perceptually close) than for easy discriminations (i.e., when the colors were further apart). English speakers tested on the identical stimuli did not show a category advantage in any of the conditions. These results demonstrate that (i) categories in language affect performance on simple perceptual color tasks and (ii) the effect of language is online (and can be disrupted by verbal interference).

  5. Head flexion angle while using a smartphone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sojeong; Kang, Hwayeong; Shin, Gwanseob

    2015-01-01

    Repetitive or prolonged head flexion posture while using a smartphone is known as one of risk factors for pain symptoms in the neck. To quantitatively assess the amount and range of head flexion of smartphone users, head forward flexion angle was measured from 18 participants when they were conducing three common smartphone tasks (text messaging, web browsing, video watching) while sitting and standing in a laboratory setting. It was found that participants maintained head flexion of 33-45° (50th percentile angle) from vertical when using the smartphone. The head flexion angle was significantly larger (p smartphone, could be a main contributing factor to the occurrence of neck pain of heavy smartphone users. Practitioner Summary: In this laboratory study, the severity of head flexion of smartphone users was quantitatively evaluated when conducting text messaging, web browsing and video watching while sitting and standing. Study results indicate that text messaging while sitting caused the largest head flexion than that of other task conditions.

  6. Fos Protein Expression in Olfactory-Related Brain Areas after Learning and after Reactivation of a Slowly Acquired Olfactory Discrimination Task in the Rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roullet, Florence; Lienard, Fabienne; Datiche, Frederique; Cattarelli, Martine

    2005-01-01

    Fos protein immunodetection was used to investigate the neuronal activation elicited in some olfactory-related areas after either learning of an olfactory discrimination task or its reactivation 10 d later. Trained rats (T) progressively acquired the association between one odor of a pair and water-reward in a four-arm maze. Two groups of…

  7. Discriminative Shape Alignment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loog, M.; de Bruijne, M.

    2009-01-01

    , not taking into account that eventually the shapes are to be assigned to two or more different classes. This work introduces a discriminative variation to well-known Procrustes alignment and demonstrates its benefit over this classical method in shape classification tasks. The focus is on two...

  8. Speed and accuracy of visual image discrimination by rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela eReinagel

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The trade-off between speed and accuracy of sensory discrimination has most often been studying using sensory stimuli that evolve over time, such as random dot motion discrimination tasks. We previously reported that when rats perform motion discrimination, correct trials have longer reaction times than errors, accuracy increases with reaction time, and reaction time increases with stimulus ambiguity. In such experiments, new sensory information is continually presented, which could partly explain interactions between reaction time and accuracy. The present study shows that a changing physical stimulus is not essential to those findings. Freely behaving rats were trained to discriminate between two static visual images in a self-paced, 2-alternative forced-choice (2AFC reaction time task. Each trial was initiated by the rat, and the two images were presented simultaneously and persisted until the rat responded, with no time limit. Reaction times were longer in correct trials than in error trials, and accuracy increased with reaction time, comparable to results previously reported for rats performing motion discrimination. In the motion task, coherence has been used to vary discrimination difficulty. Here morphs between the previously learned images were used to parametrically vary the image similarity. In randomly interleaved trials, rats took more time on average to respond in trials in which they had to discriminate more similar stimuli. For both the motion and image tasks, the dependence of reaction time on ambiguity is weak, as if rats prioritized speed over accuracy. Therefore we asked whether rats can change the priority of speed and accuracy adaptively in response to a change in reward contingencies. For two rats, the penalty delay was increased from two to six seconds. When the penalty was longer, reaction times increased, and accuracy improved. This demonstrates that rats can flexibly adjust their behavioral strategy in response to the

  9. Context-Dependent Modulation of Functional Connectivity: Secondary Somatosensory Cortex to Prefrontal Cortex Connections in Two-Stimulus-Interval Discrimination Tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Chow, Stephanie S.; Romo, Ranulfo; Brody, Carlos D.

    2009-01-01

    In a complex world, a sensory cue may prompt different actions in different contexts. A laboratory example of context-dependent sensory processing is the two-stimulus-interval discrimination task. In each trial, a first stimulus (f1) must be stored in short-term memory and later compared with a second stimulus (f2), for the animal to come to a binary decision. Prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons need to interpret the f1 information in one way (perhaps with a positive weight) and the f2 informatio...

  10. The Influence of Eye Closure on Somatosensory Discrimination: A Trade-off Between Simple Perception and Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götz, Theresa; Hanke, David; Huonker, Ralph; Weiss, Thomas; Klingner, Carsten; Brodoehl, Stefan; Baumbach, Philipp; Witte, Otto W

    2017-06-01

    We often close our eyes to improve perception. Recent results have shown a decrease of perception thresholds accompanied by an increase in somatosensory activity after eye closure. However, does somatosensory spatial discrimination also benefit from eye closure? We previously showed that spatial discrimination is accompanied by a reduction of somatosensory activity. Using magnetoencephalography, we analyzed the magnitude of primary somatosensory (somatosensory P50m) and primary auditory activity (auditory P50m) during a one-back discrimination task in 21 healthy volunteers. In complete darkness, participants were requested to pay attention to either the somatosensory or auditory stimulation and asked to open or close their eyes every 6.5 min. Somatosensory P50m was reduced during a task requiring the distinguishing of stimulus location changes at the distal phalanges of different fingers. The somatosensory P50m was further reduced and detection performance was higher during eyes open. A similar reduction was found for the auditory P50m during a task requiring the distinguishing of changing tones. The function of eye closure is more than controlling visual input. It might be advantageous for perception because it is an effective way to reduce interference from other modalities, but disadvantageous for spatial discrimination because it requires at least one top-down processing stage. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Effects of early postnatal X-irradiation of the hippocampus on discrimination learning in adult rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gazzara, R.A.

    1980-01-01

    Rats with x-irradiation-produced degranulation of the hippocampal dentate gyrus were trained in the acquisition and reversal of simultaneous visual and tactile discriminations in a T-maze. These experiments employed the same treatment, apparatus, and procedure, but varied in task difficulty. In the brightness and roughness discriminations, the irradiated rats were not handicapped in acquiring or reversing discriminations of low or low-moderate task-difficulty. However, these rats were handicapped in acquiring and reversing discriminations of moderate and high task-difficulty. In a Black/White discrimination, in which the stimuli were restricted to the goal-arm walls, the irradiated rats were handicapped in the acquisition (low task-difficulty) and reversal (moderate task-difficulty) phases of the task. These results suggest that the irradiated rats were not handicapped when the noticeability of the stimuli was high, irrespective of modality used, but were handicapped when the noticeability of the stimuli was low. In addition, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that hippocampal-damaged rats are inattentive due to hyperactivity

  12. Response competition and response inhibition during different choice-discrimination tasks: evidence from ERP measured inside MRI scanner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier J; Inuggi, Alberto; Blasi, Valeria; Cursi, Marco; Annovazzi, Pietro; Comi, Giancarlo; Falini, Andrea; Leocani, Letizia

    2013-07-01

    We investigated the neural correlates underlying response inhibition and conflict detection processes using ERPs and source localization analyses simultaneously acquired during fMRI scanning. ERPs were elicited by a simple reaction time task (SRT), a Go/NoGo task, and a Stroop-like task (CST). The cognitive conflict was thus manipulated in order to probe the degree to which information processing is shared across cognitive systems. We proposed to dissociate inhibition and interference conflict effects on brain activity by using identical Stroop-like congruent/incongruent stimuli in all three task contexts and while varying the response required. NoGo-incongruent trials showed a larger N2 and enhanced activations of rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and pre-supplementary motor area, whereas Go-congruent trials showed a larger P3 and increased parietal activations. Congruent and incongruent conditions of the CST task also elicited similar N2, P3 and late negativity (LN) ERPs, though CST-incongruent trials revealed a larger LN and enhanced prefrontal and ACC activations. Considering the stimulus probability and experimental manipulation of our study, current findings suggest that NoGo N2 and frontal NoGo P3 appear to be more associated to response inhibition rather than a specific conflict monitoring, whereas occipito-parietal P3 of Go and CST conditions may be more linked to a planned response competition between the prepared and required response. LN, however, appears to be related to higher level conflict monitoring associated with response choice-discrimination but not when the presence of cognitive conflict is associated with response inhibition. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Dual Frequency Head Maps: A New Method for Indexing Mental Workload Continuously during Execution of Cognitive Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thea Radüntz

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available One goal of advanced information and communication technology is to simplify work. However, there is growing consensus regarding the negative consequences of inappropriate workload on employee's health and the safety of persons. In order to develop a method for continuous mental workload monitoring, we implemented a task battery consisting of cognitive tasks with diverse levels of complexity and difficulty. We conducted experiments and registered the electroencephalogram (EEG, performance data, and the NASA-TLX questionnaire from 54 people. Analysis of the EEG spectra demonstrates an increase of the frontal theta band power and a decrease of the parietal alpha band power, both under increasing task difficulty level. Based on these findings we implemented a new method for monitoring mental workload, the so-called Dual Frequency Head Maps (DFHM that are classified by support vectors machines (SVMs in three different workload levels. The results are in accordance with the expected difficulty levels arising from the requirements of the tasks on the executive functions. Furthermore, this article includes an empirical validation of the new method on a secondary subset with new subjects and one additional new task without any adjustment of the classifiers. Hence, the main advantage of the proposed method compared with the existing solutions is that it provides an automatic, continuous classification of the mental workload state without any need for retraining the classifier—neither for new subjects nor for new tasks. The continuous workload monitoring can help ensure good working conditions, maintain a good level of performance, and simultaneously preserve a good state of health.

  14. Quantum-state comparison and discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, A.; Hashimoto, T.; Horibe, M.

    2018-05-01

    We investigate the performance of discrimination strategy in the comparison task of known quantum states. In the discrimination strategy, one infers whether or not two quantum systems are in the same state on the basis of the outcomes of separate discrimination measurements on each system. In some cases with more than two possible states, the optimal strategy in minimum-error comparison is that one should infer the two systems are in different states without any measurement, implying that the discrimination strategy performs worse than the trivial "no-measurement" strategy. We present a sufficient condition for this phenomenon to happen. For two pure states with equal prior probabilities, we determine the optimal comparison success probability with an error margin, which interpolates the minimum-error and unambiguous comparison. We find that the discrimination strategy is not optimal except for the minimum-error case.

  15. High-Throughput Automatic Training System for Odor-Based Learned Behaviors in Head-Fixed Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhe Han

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Understanding neuronal mechanisms of learned behaviors requires efficient behavioral assays. We designed a high-throughput automatic training system (HATS for olfactory behaviors in head-fixed mice. The hardware and software were constructed to enable automatic training with minimal human intervention. The integrated system was composed of customized 3D-printing supporting components, an odor-delivery unit with fast response, Arduino based hardware-controlling and data-acquisition unit. Furthermore, the customized software was designed to enable automatic training in all training phases, including lick-teaching, shaping and learning. Using HATS, we trained mice to perform delayed non-match to sample (DNMS, delayed paired association (DPA, Go/No-go (GNG, and GNG reversal tasks. These tasks probed cognitive functions including sensory discrimination, working memory, decision making and cognitive flexibility. Mice reached stable levels of performance within several days in the tasks. HATS enabled an experimenter to train eight mice simultaneously, therefore greatly enhanced the experimental efficiency. Combined with causal perturbation and activity recording techniques, HATS can greatly facilitate our understanding of the neural-circuitry mechanisms underlying learned behaviors.

  16. Anti-discrimination Analysis Using Privacy Attack Strategies

    KAUST Repository

    Ruggieri, Salvatore

    2014-09-15

    Social discrimination discovery from data is an important task to identify illegal and unethical discriminatory patterns towards protected-by-law groups, e.g., ethnic minorities. We deploy privacy attack strategies as tools for discrimination discovery under hard assumptions which have rarely tackled in the literature: indirect discrimination discovery, privacy-aware discrimination discovery, and discrimination data recovery. The intuition comes from the intriguing parallel between the role of the anti-discrimination authority in the three scenarios above and the role of an attacker in private data publishing. We design strategies and algorithms inspired/based on Frèchet bounds attacks, attribute inference attacks, and minimality attacks to the purpose of unveiling hidden discriminatory practices. Experimental results show that they can be effective tools in the hands of anti-discrimination authorities.

  17. Universal programmable devices for unambiguous discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Chi; Ying Mingsheng; Qiao, Bo

    2006-01-01

    We discuss the problem of designing unambiguous programmable discriminators for any n unknown quantum states in an m-dimensional Hilbert space. The discriminator is a fixed measurement that has two kinds of input registers: the program registers and the data register. The quantum state in the data register is what users want to identify, which is confirmed to be among the n states in program registers. The task of the discriminator is to tell the users which state stored in the program registers is equivalent to that in the data register. First, we give a necessary and sufficient condition for judging an unambiguous programmable discriminator. Then, if m=n, we present an optimal unambiguous programmable discriminator for them, in the sense of maximizing the worst-case probability of success. Finally, we propose a universal unambiguous programmable discriminator for arbitrary n quantum states

  18. Using postmeasurement information in state discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gopal, Deepthi; Wehner, Stephanie

    2010-01-01

    We consider a special form of state discrimination in which after the measurement we are given additional information that may help us identify the state. This task plays a central role in the analysis of quantum cryptographic protocols in the noisy-storage model, where the identity of the state corresponds to a certain bit string, and the additional information is typically a choice of encoding that is initially unknown to the cheating party. We first provide simple optimality conditions for measurements for any such problem and show upper and lower bounds on the success probability. For a certain class of problems, we furthermore provide tight bounds on how useful postmeasurement information can be. In particular, we show that for this class finding the optimal measurement for the task of state discrimination with postmeasurement information does in fact reduce to solving a different problem of state discrimination without such information. However, we show that for the corresponding classical state discrimination problems with postmeasurement information such a reduction is impossible, by relating the success probability to the violation of Bell inequalities. This suggests the usefulness of postmeasurement information as another feature that distinguishes the classical from a quantum world.

  19. Auditory phase and frequency discrimination: a comparison of nine procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creelman, C D; Macmillan, N A

    1979-02-01

    Two auditory discrimination tasks were thoroughly investigated: discrimination of frequency differences from a sinusoidal signal of 200 Hz and discrimination of differences in relative phase of mixed sinusoids of 200 Hz and 400 Hz. For each task psychometric functions were constructed for three observers, using nine different psychophysical measurement procedures. These procedures included yes-no, two-interval forced-choice, and various fixed- and variable-standard designs that investigators have used in recent years. The data showed wide ranges of apparent sensitivity. For frequency discrimination, models derived from signal detection theory for each psychophysical procedure seem to account for the performance differences. For phase discrimination the models do not account for the data. We conclude that for some discriminative continua the assumptions of signal detection theory are appropriate, and underlying sensitivity may be derived from raw data by appropriate transformations. For other continua the models of signal detection theory are probably inappropriate; we speculate that phase might be discriminable only on the basis of comparison or change and suggest some tests of our hypothesis.

  20. Discrimination Learning in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochocki, Thomas E.; And Others

    1975-01-01

    Examined the learning performance of 192 fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade children on either a two or four choice simultaneous color discrimination task. Compared the use of verbal reinforcement and/or punishment, under conditions of either complete or incomplete instructions. (Author/SDH)

  1. Temporal Resolution and Active Auditory Discrimination Skill in Vocal Musicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar, Prawin

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Enhanced auditory perception in musicians is likely to result from auditory perceptual learning during several years of training and practice. Many studies have focused on biological processing of auditory stimuli among musicians. However, there is a lack of literature on temporal resolution and active auditory discrimination skills in vocal musicians. Objective The aim of the present study is to assess temporal resolution and active auditory discrimination skill in vocal musicians. Method The study participants included 15 vocal musicians with a minimum professional experience of 5 years of music exposure, within the age range of 20 to 30 years old, as the experimental group, while 15 age-matched non-musicians served as the control group. We used duration discrimination using pure-tones, pulse-train duration discrimination, and gap detection threshold tasks to assess temporal processing skills in both groups. Similarly, we assessed active auditory discrimination skill in both groups using Differential Limen of Frequency (DLF. All tasks were done using MATLab software installed in a personal computer at 40dBSL with maximum likelihood procedure. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS (version 17.0. Result Descriptive statistics showed better threshold for vocal musicians compared with non-musicians for all tasks. Further, independent t-test showed that vocal musicians performed significantly better compared with non-musicians on duration discrimination using pure tone, pulse train duration discrimination, gap detection threshold, and differential limen of frequency. Conclusion The present study showed enhanced temporal resolution ability and better (lower active discrimination threshold in vocal musicians in comparison to non-musicians.

  2. Real-Time Head Pose Estimation on Mobile Platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianfeng Ren

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Many computer vision applications such as augmented reality require head pose estimation. As far as the real-time implementation of head pose estimation on relatively resource limited mobile platforms is concerned, it is required to satisfy real-time constraints while maintaining reasonable head pose estimation accuracy. The introduced head pose estimation approach in this paper is an attempt to meet this objective. The approach consists of the following components: Viola-Jones face detection, color-based face tracking using an online calibration procedure, and head pose estimation using Hu moment features and Fisher linear discriminant. Experimental results running on an actual mobile device are reported exhibiting both the real- time and accuracy aspects of the developed approach.

  3. Context effects in a temporal discrimination task" further tests of the Scalar Expectancy Theory and Learning-to-Time models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arantes, Joana; Machado, Armando

    2008-07-01

    Pigeons were trained on two temporal bisection tasks, which alternated every two sessions. In the first task, they learned to choose a red key after a 1-s signal and a green key after a 4-s signal; in the second task, they learned to choose a blue key after a 4-s signal and a yellow key after a 16-s signal. Then the pigeons were exposed to a series of test trials in order to contrast two timing models, Learning-to-Time (LeT) and Scalar Expectancy Theory (SET). The models made substantially different predictions particularly for the test trials in which the sample duration ranged from 1 s to 16 s and the choice keys were Green and Blue, the keys associated with the same 4-s samples: LeT predicted that preference for Green should increase with sample duration, a context effect, but SET predicted that preference for Green should not vary with sample duration. The results were consistent with LeT. The present study adds to the literature the finding that the context effect occurs even when the two basic discriminations are never combined in the same session.

  4. Active listening: task-dependent plasticity of spectrotemporal receptive fields in primary auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, Jonathan; Elhilali, Mounya; Shamma, Shihab

    2005-08-01

    Listening is an active process in which attentive focus on salient acoustic features in auditory tasks can influence receptive field properties of cortical neurons. Recent studies showing rapid task-related changes in neuronal spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) in primary auditory cortex of the behaving ferret are reviewed in the context of current research on cortical plasticity. Ferrets were trained on spectral tasks, including tone detection and two-tone discrimination, and on temporal tasks, including gap detection and click-rate discrimination. STRF changes could be measured on-line during task performance and occurred within minutes of task onset. During spectral tasks, there were specific spectral changes (enhanced response to tonal target frequency in tone detection and discrimination, suppressed response to tonal reference frequency in tone discrimination). However, only in the temporal tasks, the STRF was changed along the temporal dimension by sharpening temporal dynamics. In ferrets trained on multiple tasks, distinctive and task-specific STRF changes could be observed in the same cortical neurons in successive behavioral sessions. These results suggest that rapid task-related plasticity is an ongoing process that occurs at a network and single unit level as the animal switches between different tasks and dynamically adapts cortical STRFs in response to changing acoustic demands.

  5. A quantitative method for determining spatial discriminative capacity

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    Dennis Robert G

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The traditional two-point discrimination (TPD test, a widely used tactile spatial acuity measure, has been criticized as being imprecise because it is based on subjective criteria and involves a number of non-spatial cues. The results of a recent study showed that as two stimuli were delivered simultaneously, vibrotactile amplitude discrimination became worse when the two stimuli were positioned relatively close together and was significantly degraded when the probes were within a subject's two-point limen. The impairment of amplitude discrimination with decreasing inter-probe distance suggested that the metric of amplitude discrimination could possibly provide a means of objective and quantitative measurement of spatial discrimination capacity. Methods A two alternative forced-choice (2AFC tracking procedure was used to assess a subject's ability to discriminate the amplitude difference between two stimuli positioned at near-adjacent skin sites. Two 25 Hz flutter stimuli, identical except for a constant difference in amplitude, were delivered simultaneously to the hand dorsum. The stimuli were initially spaced 30 mm apart, and the inter-stimulus distance was modified on a trial-by-trial basis based on the subject's performance of discriminating the stimulus with higher intensity. The experiment was repeated via sequential, rather than simultaneous, delivery of the same vibrotactile stimuli. Results Results obtained from this study showed that the performance of the amplitude discrimination task was significantly degraded when the stimuli were delivered simultaneously and were near a subject's two-point limen. In contrast, subjects were able to correctly discriminate between the amplitudes of the two stimuli when they were sequentially delivered at all inter-probe distances (including those within the two-point limen, and improved when an adapting stimulus was delivered prior to simultaneously delivered stimuli. Conclusion

  6. Validation of the Mnemonic Similarity Task – Context Version

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    Giulia A. Aldi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Pattern separation (PS is the ability to represent similar experiences as separate, non-overlapping representations. It is usually assessed via the Mnemonic Similarity Task – Object Version (MST-O which, however, assesses PS performance without taking behavioral context discrimination into account, since it is based on pictures of everyday simple objects on a white background. We here present a validation study for a new task, the Mnemonic Similarity Task – Context Version (MST-C, which is designed to measure PS while taking behavioral context discrimination into account by using real-life context photographs. Methods: Fifty healthy subjects underwent the two MST tasks to assess convergent evidence. Instruments assessing memory and attention were also administered to study discriminant evidence. The test-retest reliability of MST-C was analyzed. Results: Weak evidence supports convergent validity between the MST-C task and the MST-O as measures of PS (rs = 0.464; p < 0.01; PS performance assessed via the MST-C did not correlate with memory or attention; a moderate test-retest reliability was found (rs = 0.595; p < 0.01. Conclusion: The MST-C seems useful for assessing PS performance conceptualized as the ability to discriminate complex and realistic spatial contexts. Future studies are welcome to evaluate the validity of the MST-C task as a measure of PS in clinical populations.

  7. Purposeful Goal-Directed Movements Give Rise to Higher Tactile Discrimination Performance

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    Georgiana Juravle

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Tactile perception is inhibited during goal-directed reaching movements (sensory suppression. Here, participants performed simple reaching or exploratory movements (where contact with the table surface was maintained. We measured tactile discrimination thresholds for vibratory stimuli delivered to participants' wrists while executing the movement, and while at rest. Moreover, we measured discrimination performance (in a same vs. different task for the materials covering the table surface, during the execution of the different movements. The threshold and discrimination tasks could be performed either singly or together, both under active movement and passive conditions (ie, no movement required, but with tactile stimulation. Thresholds measured at rest were significantly lower than thresholds measured during both active movements and passive touches. This provides a clear indication of sensory suppression during movement execution. Moreover, the discrimination data revealed main effects of task (single vs. dual, movement execution type (passive vs. active, and movement type (reach vs. exploration: Discrimination performance was significantly higher under conditions of single-tasking, active movements, as well as exploratory movements. Therefore, active movement of the hand with the purpose of gaining tactual information about the surface of the table gives rise to enhanced performance, thus suggesting that we feel more when we need to; It would appear that tactual information is prioritized when relevant for the movement being executed.

  8. Don't demotivate, discriminate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.J.A. Kamphorst (Jurjen); O.H. Swank (Otto)

    2013-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ This paper offers a new theory of discrimination in the workplace. We consider a manager who has to assign two tasks to two employees. The manager has superior information about the employees' abilities. We show that besides an equilibrium where the manager does not

  9. Adults with dyslexia demonstrate large effects of crowding and detrimental effects of distractors in a visual tilt discrimination task.

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    Rizan Cassim

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that adults with dyslexia (AwD are disproportionately impacted by close spacing of stimuli and increased numbers of distractors in a visual search task compared to controls [1]. Using an orientation discrimination task, the present study extended these findings to show that even in conditions where target search was not required: (i AwD had detrimental effects of both crowding and increased numbers of distractors; (ii AwD had more pronounced difficulty with distractor exclusion in the left visual field and (iii measures of crowding and distractor exclusion correlated significantly with literacy measures. Furthermore, such difficulties were not accounted for by the presence of covarying symptoms of ADHD in the participant groups. These findings provide further evidence to suggest that the ability to exclude distracting stimuli likely contributes to the reported visual attention difficulties in AwD and to the aetiology of literacy difficulties. The pattern of results is consistent with weaker and asymmetric attention in AwD.

  10. Gender Discrimination in the Allocation of Migrant Household Resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antman, Francisca M

    2015-07-01

    This paper considers the relationship between international migration and gender discrimination through the lens of decision-making power over intrahousehold resource allocation. The endogeneity of migration is addressed with a difference-in-differences style identification strategy and a model with household fixed effects. The results suggest that while a migrant household head is away, a greater share of resources is spent on girls relative to boys and his spouse commands greater decision-making power. Once the head returns home, however, a greater share of resources goes to boys and there is suggestive evidence of greater authority for the head of household.

  11. Gender Discrimination in the Allocation of Migrant Household Resources*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antman, Francisca M.

    2016-01-01

    This paper considers the relationship between international migration and gender discrimination through the lens of decision-making power over intrahousehold resource allocation. The endogeneity of migration is addressed with a difference-in-differences style identification strategy and a model with household fixed effects. The results suggest that while a migrant household head is away, a greater share of resources is spent on girls relative to boys and his spouse commands greater decision-making power. Once the head returns home, however, a greater share of resources goes to boys and there is suggestive evidence of greater authority for the head of household. PMID:27546986

  12. Response properties of neurons in the cat's putamen during auditory discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhenling; Sato, Yu; Qin, Ling

    2015-10-01

    The striatum integrates diverse convergent input and plays a critical role in the goal-directed behaviors. To date, the auditory functions of striatum are less studied. Recently, it was demonstrated that auditory cortico-striatal projections influence behavioral performance during a frequency discrimination task. To reveal the functions of striatal neurons in auditory discrimination, we recorded the single-unit spike activities in the putamen (dorsal striatum) of free-moving cats while performing a Go/No-go task to discriminate the sounds with different modulation rates (12.5 Hz vs. 50 Hz) or envelopes (damped vs. ramped). We found that the putamen neurons can be broadly divided into four groups according to their contributions to sound discrimination. First, 40% of neurons showed vigorous responses synchronized to the sound envelope, and could precisely discriminate different sounds. Second, 18% of neurons showed a high preference of ramped to damped sounds, but no preference for modulation rate. They could only discriminate the change of sound envelope. Third, 27% of neurons rapidly adapted to the sound stimuli, had no ability of sound discrimination. Fourth, 15% of neurons discriminated the sounds dependent on the reward-prediction. Comparing to passively listening condition, the activities of putamen neurons were significantly enhanced by the engagement of the auditory tasks, but not modulated by the cat's behavioral choice. The coexistence of multiple types of neurons suggests that the putamen is involved in the transformation from auditory representation to stimulus-reward association. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Heading Frequency Is More Strongly Related to Cognitive Performance Than Unintentional Head Impacts in Amateur Soccer Players

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    Walter F. Stewart

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available ObjectiveCompared to heading, unintentional head impacts (e.g., elbow to head, head to head, head to goalpost in soccer are more strongly related to risk of moderate to very severe Central Nervous System (CNS symptoms. But, most head impacts associated with CNS symptoms that occur in soccer are mild and are more strongly related to heading. We tested for a differential relation of heading and unintentional head impacts with neuropsychological (NP test performance.MethodActive adult amateur soccer players were recruited in New York City and the surrounding areas for this repeated measures longitudinal study of individuals who were enrolled if they had 5+ years of soccer play and were active playing soccer 6+ months/year. All participants completed a baseline validated questionnaire (“HeadCount-2w”, reporting 2-week recall of soccer activity, heading and unintentional head impacts. In addition, participants also completed NP tests of verbal learning, verbal memory, psychomotor speed, attention, and working memory. Most participants also completed one or more identical follow-up protocols (i.e., HeadCount-2w and NP tests at 3- to 6-month intervals over a 2-year period. Repeated measures General Estimating Equations (GEE linear models were used to determine if variation in NP tests at each visit was related to variation in either heading or unintentional head impacts in the 2-week period before testing.Results308 players (78% male completed 741 HeadCount-2w. Mean (median heading/2-weeks was 50 (17 for men and 26 (7 for women. Heading was significantly associated with poorer performance on psychomotor speed (p < 0.001 and attention (p = 0.02 tasks and was borderline significant with poorer performance on the working memory (p = 0.06 task. Unintentional head impacts were not significantly associated with any NP test. Results did not differ after excluding 22 HeadCount-2w with reported concussive or borderline concussive symptoms

  14. Infant eye and head movements toward the side opposite the cue in the anti-saccade paradigm

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    Sukigara Masune

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The anti-saccade task, when people must respond in the direction opposite to a visual stimulus, has been used as a marker of operation of the frontal cortical oculomotor area. However, early development of oculomotor control has been little studied with the infant anti-saccade paradigm, and a few studies did not recognize anti-saccades in infants in light of the results of adult anti-saccade. Since the characteristics of infant eye movements are little known, applying the criteria used in adult study is by no means the best way to study infant anti-saccade. As it is indicated that coordinated eye and head movements often enable infants to control the direction of their gaze, head movements should be examined as an infant orienting response. The aim of this study was to address how infants used eye and head movements during the anti-saccade paradigm. To distinguish infants' responses, we also investigated eye and head movements during a task for an inhibition of return. Inhibition of return, in which delayed responses occur in the direction to which attention had previously been oriented, has been thought to mark activity of the superior colliculus. Since the superior colliculus is thought to develop much earlier in life than the frontal lobes, we thought it useful to compare these task performances during infancy. Methods Infants were divided into three groups according to age. Anti-saccade and inhibition-of-return tasks were given. Their eye and head movements during tasks were independently recorded by the corneal reflection method in the head-free condition. Results Younger infants tended to initiate eye movement less than older ones in both tasks. In the anti-saccade task, responses opposite to the cue tended to show longer latency than responses to the cue. Infants made faster responses toward the side opposite the cue when it was to the right than when it was left of fixation. Regarding the comparison of responses

  15. The Effects of Visual Discriminability and Rotation Angle on 30-Month-Olds' Search Performance in Spatial Rotation Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebersbach, Mirjam; Nawroth, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Tracking objects that are hidden and then moved is a crucial ability related to object permanence, which develops across several stages in early childhood. In spatial rotation tasks, children observe a target object that is hidden in one of two or more containers before the containers are rotated around a fixed axis. Usually, 30-month-olds fail to find the hidden object after it was rotated by 180°. We examined whether visual discriminability of the containers improves 30-month-olds' success in this task and whether children perform better after 90° than after 180° rotations. Two potential hiding containers with same or different colors were placed on a board that was rotated by 90° or 180° in a within-subjects design. Children ( N = 29) performed above chance level in all four conditions. Their overall success in finding the object did not improve by differently colored containers. However, different colors prevented children from showing an inhibition bias in 90° rotations, that is, choosing the empty container more often when it was located close to them than when it was farther away: This bias emerged in the same colors condition but not in the different colors condition. Results are discussed in view of particular challenges that might facilitate or deteriorate spatial rotation tasks for young children.

  16. The effects of visual discriminability and rotation angle on 30-month-olds’ search performance in spatial rotation tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjam Ebersbach

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Tracking objects that are hidden and then moved is a crucial ability related to object permanence, which develops across several stages in early childhood. In spatial rotation tasks, children observe a target object that is hidden in one of two or more containers before the containers are rotated around a fixed axis. Usually, 30-month-olds fail to find the hidden object after it was rotated by 180°. We examined whether visual discriminability of the containers improves 30-month-olds’ success in this task and whether children perform better after 90° than after 180° rotations. Two potential hiding containers with same or different colors were placed on a board that was rotated by 90° or 180° in a within-subjects design. Children (N = 29 performed above chance level in all four conditions. Their overall success in finding the object did not improve by differently colored containers. However, different colors prevented children from showing an inhibition bias in 90° rotations, that is, choosing the empty container more often when it was located close to them than when it was farther away: This bias emerged in the same colors condition but not in the different colors condition. Results are discussed in view of particular challenges that might facilitate or deteriorate spatial rotation tasks for young children.

  17. The Effects of Visual Discriminability and Rotation Angle on 30-Month-Olds’ Search Performance in Spatial Rotation Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebersbach, Mirjam; Nawroth, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Tracking objects that are hidden and then moved is a crucial ability related to object permanence, which develops across several stages in early childhood. In spatial rotation tasks, children observe a target object that is hidden in one of two or more containers before the containers are rotated around a fixed axis. Usually, 30-month-olds fail to find the hidden object after it was rotated by 180°. We examined whether visual discriminability of the containers improves 30-month-olds’ success in this task and whether children perform better after 90° than after 180° rotations. Two potential hiding containers with same or different colors were placed on a board that was rotated by 90° or 180° in a within-subjects design. Children (N = 29) performed above chance level in all four conditions. Their overall success in finding the object did not improve by differently colored containers. However, different colors prevented children from showing an inhibition bias in 90° rotations, that is, choosing the empty container more often when it was located close to them than when it was farther away: This bias emerged in the same colors condition but not in the different colors condition. Results are discussed in view of particular challenges that might facilitate or deteriorate spatial rotation tasks for young children. PMID:27812346

  18. Transfer to Intermediate Forms Following Concept Discrimination by Pigeons: Chimeras and Morphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Natasha; Lea, S. E. G.; Noury, Malia

    2004-01-01

    Two experiments examined pigeons' generalization to intermediate forms following training of concept discriminations. In Experiment 1, the training stimuli were sets of images of dogs and cats, and the transfer stimuli were head/body chimeras, which humans tend to categorize more readily in terms of the head part rather than the body part. In…

  19. Numerosity but not texture-density discrimination correlates with math ability in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anobile, Giovanni; Castaldi, Elisa; Turi, Marco; Tinelli, Francesca; Burr, David C

    2016-08-01

    Considerable recent work suggests that mathematical abilities in children correlate with the ability to estimate numerosity. Does math correlate only with numerosity estimation, or also with other similar tasks? We measured discrimination thresholds of school-age (6- to 12.5-years-old) children in 3 tasks: numerosity of patterns of relatively sparse, segregatable items (24 dots); numerosity of very dense textured patterns (250 dots); and discrimination of direction of motion. Thresholds in all tasks improved with age, but at different rates, implying the action of different mechanisms: In particular, in young children, thresholds were lower for sparse than textured patterns (the opposite of adults), suggesting earlier maturation of numerosity mechanisms. Importantly, numerosity thresholds for sparse stimuli correlated strongly with math skills, even after controlling for the influence of age, gender and nonverbal IQ. However, neither motion-direction discrimination nor numerosity discrimination of texture patterns showed a significant correlation with math abilities. These results provide further evidence that numerosity and texture-density are perceived by independent neural mechanisms, which develop at different rates; and importantly, only numerosity mechanisms are related to math. As developmental dyscalculia is characterized by a profound deficit in discriminating numerosity, it is fundamental to understand the mechanism behind the discrimination. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. 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.

  1. Dynamic functional brain networks involved in simple visual discrimination learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fidalgo, Camino; Conejo, Nélida María; González-Pardo, Héctor; Arias, Jorge Luis

    2014-10-01

    Visual discrimination tasks have been widely used to evaluate many types of learning and memory processes. However, little is known about the brain regions involved at different stages of visual discrimination learning. We used cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry to evaluate changes in regional brain oxidative metabolism during visual discrimination learning in a water-T maze at different time points during training. As compared with control groups, the results of the present study reveal the gradual activation of cortical (prefrontal and temporal cortices) and subcortical brain regions (including the striatum and the hippocampus) associated to the mastery of a simple visual discrimination task. On the other hand, the brain regions involved and their functional interactions changed progressively over days of training. Regions associated with novelty, emotion, visuo-spatial orientation and motor aspects of the behavioral task seem to be relevant during the earlier phase of training, whereas a brain network comprising the prefrontal cortex was found along the whole learning process. This study highlights the relevance of functional interactions among brain regions to investigate learning and memory processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  3. Deficits in discrimination after experimental frontal brain injury are mediated by motivation and can be improved by nicotinamide administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonder Haar, Cole; Maass, William R; Jacobs, Eric A; Hoane, Michael R

    2014-10-15

    One of the largest challenges in experimental neurotrauma work is the development of models relevant to the human condition. This includes both creating similar pathophysiology as well as the generation of relevant behavioral deficits. Recent studies have shown that there is a large potential for the use of discrimination tasks in rats to detect injury-induced deficits. The literature on discrimination and TBI is still limited, however. The current study investigated motivational and motor factors that could potentially contribute to deficits in discrimination. In addition, the efficacy of a neuroprotective agent, nicotinamide, was assessed. Rats were trained on a discrimination task and motivation task, given a bilateral frontal controlled cortical impact TBI (+3.0 AP, 0.0 ML from bregma), and then reassessed. They were also assessed on motor ability and Morris water maze (MWM) performance. Experiment 1 showed that TBI resulted in large deficits in discrimination and motivation. No deficits were observed on gross motor measures; however, the vehicle group showed impairments in fine motor control. Both injured groups were impaired on the reference memory MWM, but only nicotinamide-treated rats were impaired on the working memory MWM. Nicotinamide administration improved performance on discrimination and motivation measures. Experiment 2 evaluated retraining on the discrimination task and suggested that motivation may be a large factor underlying discrimination deficits. Retrained rats improved considerably on the discrimination task. The tasks evaluated in this study demonstrate robust deficits and may improve the detection of pharmaceutical effects by being very sensitive to pervasive cognitive deficits that occur after frontal TBI.

  4. Learning for pitch and melody discrimination in congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteford, Kelly L; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2018-03-23

    Congenital amusia is currently thought to be a life-long neurogenetic disorder in music perception, impervious to training in pitch or melody discrimination. This study provides an explicit test of whether amusic deficits can be reduced with training. Twenty amusics and 20 matched controls participated in four sessions of psychophysical training involving either pure-tone (500 Hz) pitch discrimination or a control task of lateralization (interaural level differences for bandpass white noise). Pure-tone pitch discrimination at low, medium, and high frequencies (500, 2000, and 8000 Hz) was measured before and after training (pretest and posttest) to determine the specificity of learning. Melody discrimination was also assessed before and after training using the full Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia, the most widely used standardized test to diagnose amusia. Amusics performed more poorly than controls in pitch but not localization discrimination, but both groups improved with practice on the trained stimuli. Learning was broad, occurring across all three frequencies and melody discrimination for all groups, including those who trained on the non-pitch control task. Following training, 11 of 20 amusics no longer met the global diagnostic criteria for amusia. A separate group of untrained controls (n = 20), who also completed melody discrimination and pretest, improved by an equal amount as trained controls on all measures, suggesting that the bulk of learning for the control group occurred very rapidly from the pretest. Thirty-one trained participants (13 amusics) returned one year later to assess long-term maintenance of pitch and melody discrimination. On average, there was no change in performance between posttest and one-year follow-up, demonstrating that improvements on pitch- and melody-related tasks in amusics and controls can be maintained. The findings indicate that amusia is not always a life-long deficit when using the current standard

  5. Perceptual learning of basic visual features remains task specific with Training-Plus-Exposure (TPE) training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Lin-Juan; Wang, Ru-Jie; Yu, Cong; Zhang, Jun-Yun

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning is known to be specific to the trained retinal location, feature, and task. However, location and feature specificity can be eliminated by double-training or TPE training protocols, in which observers receive additional exposure to the transfer location or feature dimension via an irrelevant task besides the primary learning task Here we tested whether these new training protocols could even make learning transfer across different tasks involving discrimination of basic visual features (e.g., orientation and contrast). Observers practiced a near-threshold orientation (or contrast) discrimination task. Following a TPE training protocol, they also received exposure to the transfer task via performing suprathreshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination in alternating blocks of trials in the same sessions. The results showed no evidence for significant learning transfer to the untrained near-threshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination task after discounting the pretest effects and the suprathreshold practice effects. These results thus do not support a hypothetical task-independent component in perceptual learning of basic visual features. They also set the boundary of the new training protocols in their capability to enable learning transfer.

  6. Dynamic, continuous multitasking training leads to task-specific improvements but does not transfer across action selection tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Angela D.; Filmer, Hannah L.; Naughtin, Claire K.; Dux, Paul E.

    2017-12-01

    The ability to perform multiple tasks concurrently is an ever-increasing requirement in our information-rich world. Despite this, multitasking typically compromises performance due to the processing limitations associated with cognitive control and decision-making. While intensive dual-task training is known to improve multitasking performance, only limited evidence suggests that training-related performance benefits can transfer to untrained tasks that share overlapping processes. In the real world, however, coordinating and selecting several responses within close temporal proximity will often occur in high-interference environments. Over the last decade, there have been notable reports that training on video action games that require dynamic multitasking in a demanding environment can lead to transfer effects on aspects of cognition such as attention and working memory. Here, we asked whether continuous and dynamic multitasking training extends benefits to tasks that are theoretically related to the trained tasks. To examine this issue, we asked a group of participants to train on a combined continuous visuomotor tracking task and a perceptual discrimination task for six sessions, while an active control group practiced the component tasks in isolation. A battery of tests measuring response selection, response inhibition, and spatial attention was administered before and immediately after training to investigate transfer. Multitasking training resulted in substantial, task-specific gains in dual-task ability, but there was no evidence that these benefits generalized to other action control tasks. The findings suggest that training on a combined visuomotor tracking and discrimination task results in task-specific benefits but provides no additional value for untrained action selection tasks.

  7. Social and nonsocial category discriminations in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jennifer; Johnson-Ulrich, Zoe

    2014-09-01

    One captive adult chimpanzee and 3 adult American black bears were presented with a series of natural category discrimination tasks on a touch-screen computer. This is the first explicit comparison of bear and primate abilities using identical tasks, and the first test of a social concept in a carnivore. The discriminations involved a social relationship category (mother/offspring) and a nonsocial category involving food items. The social category discrimination could be made using knowledge of the overarching mother/offspring concept, whereas the nonsocial category discriminations could be made only by using perceptual rules, such as "choose images that show larger and smaller items of the same type." The bears failed to show above-chance transfer on either the social or nonsocial discriminations, indicating that they did not use either the perceptual rule or knowledge of the overarching concept of mother/offspring to guide their choices in these tasks. However, at least 1 bear remembered previously reinforced stimuli when these stimuli were recombined, later. The chimpanzee showed transfer on a control task and did not consistently apply a perceptual rule to solve the nonsocial task, so it is possible that he eventually acquired the social concept. Further comparisons between species on identical tasks assessing social knowledge will help illuminate the selective pressures responsible for a range of social cognitive skills.

  8. Remediation of attention deficits in head injury.

    OpenAIRE

    Nag S; Rao S

    1999-01-01

    Head injury is associated with psychological sequelae which impair the patient′s psychosocial functioning. Information processing, attention and memory deficits are seen in head injuries of all severity. We attempted to improve deficits of focused, sustained and divided attention. The principle of overlapping sources of attention resource pools was utilised in devising the remediation programme. Tasks used simple inexpensive materials. Four head injured young adult males with post conc...

  9. Hand proximity facilitates spatial discrimination of auditory tones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip eTseng

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The effect of hand proximity on vision and visual attention has been well documented. In this study we tested whether such effect(s would also be present in the auditory modality. With hands placed either near or away from the audio sources, participants performed an auditory-spatial discrimination (Exp 1: left or right side, pitch discrimination (Exp 2: high, med, or low tone, and spatial-plus-pitch (Exp 3: left or right; high, med, or low discrimination task. In Exp 1, when hands were away from the audio source, participants consistently responded faster with their right hand regardless of stimulus location. This right hand advantage, however, disappeared in the hands-near condition because of a significant improvement in left hand’s reaction time. No effect of hand proximity was found in Exp 2 or 3, where a choice reaction time task requiring pitch discrimination was used. Together, these results suggest that the effect of hand proximity is not exclusive to vision alone, but is also present in audition, though in a much weaker form. Most important, these findings provide evidence from auditory attention that supports the multimodal account originally raised by Reed et al. in 2006.

  10. Analysis of the Condition of the Boss or Head of Family From the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

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    Marcelo Eduardo Rossitto Bassetto

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the workpaper is to verify, from the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the possibility of expulsion of rules that required the condition of boss or head the family, for granting of retirement by rural old age, as well as the requirement of invalidity of husband for the perception of pension due to death of the insured rural worker, provided for in the “Lei Complementar 11/71” and “Decreto 80.080 /79”. It is concluded that, performed the supralegalidade control, you must move the discriminatory rules from the validity of the Convention, in 1984.

  11. Pitch Discrimination Learning: Specificity for Pitch and Harmonic Resolvability, and Electrophysiological Correlates

    OpenAIRE

    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

    Multiple-hour training on a pitch discrimination task dramatically decreases the threshold for detecting a pitch difference between two harmonic complexes. Here, we investigated the specificity of this perceptual learning with respect to the pitch and the resolvability of the trained harmonic complex, as well as its cortical electrophysiological correlates. We trained 24 participants for 12 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of four different harmonic complexes. The complexes differed...

  12. View-invariant object recognition ability develops after discrimination, not mere exposure, at several viewing angles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Wakayo; Wang, Gang; Tanaka, Keiji

    2010-01-01

    One usually fails to recognize an unfamiliar object across changes in viewing angle when it has to be discriminated from similar distractor objects. Previous work has demonstrated that after long-term experience in discriminating among a set of objects seen from the same viewing angle, immediate recognition of the objects across 30-60 degrees changes in viewing angle becomes possible. The capability for view-invariant object recognition should develop during the within-viewing-angle discrimination, which includes two kinds of experience: seeing individual views and discriminating among the objects. The aim of the present study was to determine the relative contribution of each factor to the development of view-invariant object recognition capability. Monkeys were first extensively trained in a task that required view-invariant object recognition (Object task) with several sets of objects. The animals were then exposed to a new set of objects over 26 days in one of two preparatory tasks: one in which each object view was seen individually, and a second that required discrimination among the objects at each of four viewing angles. After the preparatory period, we measured the monkeys' ability to recognize the objects across changes in viewing angle, by introducing the object set to the Object task. Results indicated significant view-invariant recognition after the second but not first preparatory task. These results suggest that discrimination of objects from distractors at each of several viewing angles is required for the development of view-invariant recognition of the objects when the distractors are similar to the objects.

  13. Egocentric and allocentric alignment tasks are affected by otolith input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarnutzer, Alexander A; Bockisch, Christopher J; Olasagasti, Itsaso; Straumann, Dominik

    2012-06-01

    Gravicentric visual alignments become less precise when the head is roll-tilted relative to gravity, which is most likely due to decreasing otolith sensitivity. To align a luminous line with the perceived gravity vector (gravicentric task) or the perceived body-longitudinal axis (egocentric task), the roll orientation of the line on the retina and the torsional position of the eyes relative to the head must be integrated to obtain the line orientation relative to the head. Whether otolith input contributes to egocentric tasks and whether the modulation of variability is restricted to vision-dependent paradigms is unknown. In nine subjects we compared precision and accuracy of gravicentric and egocentric alignments in various roll positions (upright, 45°, and 75° right-ear down) using a luminous line (visual paradigm) in darkness. Trial-to-trial variability doubled for both egocentric and gravicentric alignments when roll-tilted. Two mechanisms might explain the roll-angle-dependent modulation in egocentric tasks: 1) Modulating variability in estimated ocular torsion, which reflects the roll-dependent precision of otolith signals, affects the precision of estimating the line orientation relative to the head; this hypothesis predicts that variability modulation is restricted to vision-dependent alignments. 2) Estimated body-longitudinal reflects the roll-dependent variability of perceived earth-vertical. Gravicentric cues are thereby integrated regardless of the task's reference frame. To test the two hypotheses the visual paradigm was repeated using a rod instead (haptic paradigm). As with the visual paradigm, precision significantly decreased with increasing head roll for both tasks. These findings propose that the CNS integrates input coded in a gravicentric frame to solve egocentric tasks. In analogy to gravicentric tasks, where trial-to-trial variability is mainly influenced by the properties of the otolith afferents, egocentric tasks may also integrate

  14. The task-relevant attribute representation can mediate the Simon effect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Tang

    Full Text Available Researchers have previously suggested a working memory (WM account of spatial codes, and based on this suggestion, the present study carries out three experiments to investigate how the task-relevant attribute representation (verbal or visual in the typical Simon task affects the Simon effect. Experiment 1 compared the Simon effect between the between- and within-category color conditions, which required subjects to discriminate between red and blue stimuli (presumed to be represented by verbal WM codes because it was easy and fast to name the colors verbally and to discriminate between two similar green stimuli (presumed to be represented by visual WM codes because it was hard and time-consuming to name the colors verbally, respectively. The results revealed a reliable Simon effect that only occurs in the between-category condition. Experiment 2 assessed the Simon effect by requiring subjects to discriminate between two different isosceles trapezoids (within-category shapes and to discriminate isosceles trapezoid from rectangle (between-category shapes, and the results replicated and expanded the findings of Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, subjects were required to perform both tasks from Experiment 1. Wherein, in Experiment 3A, the between-category task preceded the within-category task; in Experiment 3B, the task order was opposite. The results showed the reliable Simon effect when subjects represented the task-relevant stimulus attributes by verbal WM encoding. In addition, the response times (RTs distribution analysis for both the between- and within-category conditions of Experiments 3A and 3B showed decreased Simon effect with the RTs lengthened. Altogether, although the present results are consistent with the temporal coding account, we put forth that the Simon effect also depends on the verbal WM representation of task-relevant stimulus attribute.

  15. Intonation processing in congenital amusia: discrimination, identification and imitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fang; Patel, Aniruddh D; Fourcin, Adrian; Stewart, Lauren

    2010-06-01

    This study investigated whether congenital amusia, a neuro-developmental disorder of musical perception, also has implications for speech intonation processing. In total, 16 British amusics and 16 matched controls completed five intonation perception tasks and two pitch threshold tasks. Compared with controls, amusics showed impaired performance on discrimination, identification and imitation of statements and questions that were characterized primarily by pitch direction differences in the final word. This intonation-processing deficit in amusia was largely associated with a psychophysical pitch direction discrimination deficit. These findings suggest that amusia impacts upon one's language abilities in subtle ways, and support previous evidence that pitch processing in language and music involves shared mechanisms.

  16. Integrated magnetic, geometric and discriminating sensor for instrumented Pigs; Sensor geometrico magnetico e discriminador integrado para pigs instrumentados

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lima, Vinicius de C. [Pontificia Univ. Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Von der Weid, Jean Pierre [Pontificia Univ. Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Centro de Estudos em Telecomunicacoes; Silva, Jose A.P. da [PipeWay Engenharia, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Camerini, Claudio Soligo; Oliveira, Carlos H.F. de [PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Centro de Pesquisas

    2003-07-01

    In this work it is presented a result of a research partnership between PUC-Rio, PETROBRAS, Pipeway. The development of an innovative sensor head for high resolution MFL Pigs, the GMD sensor, Geometric Magnetic and Discriminator. This head make the magnetic pipeline reading, in high resolution using the MFL - Magnetic Flux Leakage technique, adding to it the geometric reading as well as the discrimination of the defects, as being external or internal. This technique makes possible the inspection of geometry, magnetism and discrimination with only one crown of GMD sensors. In this paper technical aspects of the development, eg: the constructive details of the sensor, evaluation tests and laboratory results are presented. (author)

  17. Spatial Frequency Discrimination: Effects of Age, Reward, and Practice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlijn van den Boomen

    Full Text Available Social interaction starts with perception of the world around you. This study investigated two fundamental issues regarding the development of discrimination of higher spatial frequencies, which are important building blocks of perception. Firstly, it mapped the typical developmental trajectory of higher spatial frequency discrimination. Secondly, it developed and validated a novel design that could be applied to improve atypically developed vision. Specifically, this study examined the effect of age and reward on task performance, practice effects, and motivation (i.e., number of trials completed in a higher spatial frequency (reference frequency: 6 cycles per degree discrimination task. We measured discrimination thresholds in children aged between 7 to 12 years and adults (N = 135. Reward was manipulated by presenting either positive reinforcement or punishment. Results showed a decrease in discrimination thresholds with age, thus revealing that higher spatial frequency discrimination continues to develop after 12 years of age. This development continues longer than previously shown for discrimination of lower spatial frequencies. Moreover, thresholds decreased during the run, indicating that discrimination abilities improved. Reward did not affect performance or improvement. However, in an additional group of 5-6 year-olds (N = 28 punishments resulted in the completion of fewer trials compared to reinforcements. In both reward conditions children aged 5-6 years completed only a fourth or half of the run (64 to 128 out of 254 trials and were not motivated to continue. The design thus needs further adaptation before it can be applied to this age group. Children aged 7-12 years and adults completed the run, suggesting that the design is successful and motivating for children aged 7-12 years. This study thus presents developmental differences in higher spatial frequency discrimination thresholds. Furthermore, it presents a design that can be

  18. Spatial Frequency Discrimination: Effects of Age, Reward, and Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Boomen, Carlijn; Peters, Judith Carolien

    2017-01-01

    Social interaction starts with perception of the world around you. This study investigated two fundamental issues regarding the development of discrimination of higher spatial frequencies, which are important building blocks of perception. Firstly, it mapped the typical developmental trajectory of higher spatial frequency discrimination. Secondly, it developed and validated a novel design that could be applied to improve atypically developed vision. Specifically, this study examined the effect of age and reward on task performance, practice effects, and motivation (i.e., number of trials completed) in a higher spatial frequency (reference frequency: 6 cycles per degree) discrimination task. We measured discrimination thresholds in children aged between 7 to 12 years and adults (N = 135). Reward was manipulated by presenting either positive reinforcement or punishment. Results showed a decrease in discrimination thresholds with age, thus revealing that higher spatial frequency discrimination continues to develop after 12 years of age. This development continues longer than previously shown for discrimination of lower spatial frequencies. Moreover, thresholds decreased during the run, indicating that discrimination abilities improved. Reward did not affect performance or improvement. However, in an additional group of 5-6 year-olds (N = 28) punishments resulted in the completion of fewer trials compared to reinforcements. In both reward conditions children aged 5-6 years completed only a fourth or half of the run (64 to 128 out of 254 trials) and were not motivated to continue. The design thus needs further adaptation before it can be applied to this age group. Children aged 7-12 years and adults completed the run, suggesting that the design is successful and motivating for children aged 7-12 years. This study thus presents developmental differences in higher spatial frequency discrimination thresholds. Furthermore, it presents a design that can be used in future

  19. Visual discrimination following partial telencephalic ablations in nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graeber, R C; Schroeder, D M; Jane, J A; Ebbesson, S O

    1978-07-15

    An instrumental conditioning task was used to examine the role of the nurse shark telencephalon in black-white (BW) and horizontal-vertical stripes (HV) discrimination performance. In the first experiment, subjects initially received either bilateral anterior telencephalic control lesions or bilateral posterior telencephalic lesions aimed at destroying the central telencephalic nuclei (CN), which are known to receive direct input from the thalamic visual area. Postoperatively, the sharks were trained first on BW and then on HV. Those with anterior lesions learned both tasks as rapidly as unoperated subjects. Those with posterior lesions exhibited visual discrimination deficits related to the amount of damage to the CN and its connecting pathways. Severe damage resulted in an inability to learn either task but caused no impairments in motivation or general learning ability. In the second experiment, the sharks were first trained on BW and HV and then operated. Suction ablations were used to remove various portions of the CN. Sharks with 10% or less damage to the CN retained the preoperatively acquired discriminations almost perfectly. Those with 11-50% damage had to be retrained on both tasks. Almost total removal of the CN produced behavioral indications of blindness along with an inability to perform above the chance level on BW despite excellent retention of both discriminations over a 28-day period before surgery. It appears, however, that such sharks can still detect light. These results implicate the central telencephalic nuclei in the control of visually guided behavior in sharks.

  20. Left occipitotemporal cortex contributes to the discrimination of tool-associated hand actions: fMRI and TMS evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perini, Francesca; Caramazza, Alfonso; Peelen, Marius V

    2014-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies have implicated the left lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC) in both tool and hand perception but the functional role of this region is not fully known. Here, by using a task manipulation, we tested whether tool-/hand-selective LOTC contributes to the discrimination of tool-associated hand actions. Participants viewed briefly presented pictures of kitchen and garage tools while they performed one of two tasks: in the action task, they judged whether the tool is associated with a hand rotation action (e.g., screwdriver) or a hand squeeze action (e.g., garlic press), while in the location task they judged whether the tool is typically found in the kitchen (e.g., garlic press) or in the garage (e.g., screwdriver). Both tasks were performed on the same stimulus set and were matched for difficulty. Contrasting fMRI responses between these tasks showed stronger activity during the action task than the location task in both tool- and hand-selective LOTC regions, which closely overlapped. No differences were found in nearby object- and motion-selective control regions. Importantly, these findings were confirmed by a TMS study, which showed that effective TMS over the tool-/hand-selective LOTC region significantly slowed responses for tool action discriminations relative to tool location discriminations, with no such difference during sham TMS. We conclude that left LOTC contributes to the discrimination of tool-associated hand actions.

  1. Recurrence of task set-related MEG signal patterns during auditory working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph; Rieder, Maria; Kaiser, Jochen

    2016-06-01

    Processing of auditory spatial and non-spatial information in working memory has been shown to rely on separate cortical systems. While previous studies have demonstrated differences in spatial versus non-spatial processing from the encoding of to-be-remembered stimuli onwards, here we investigated whether such differences would be detectable already prior to presentation of the sample stimulus. We analyzed broad-band magnetoencephalography data from 15 healthy adults during an auditory working memory paradigm starting with a visual cue indicating the task-relevant stimulus feature for a given trial (lateralization or pitch) and a subsequent 1.5-s pre-encoding phase. This was followed by a sample sound (0.2s), the delay phase (0.8s) and a test stimulus (0.2s) after which participants made a match/non-match decision. Linear discriminant functions were trained to decode task-specific signal patterns throughout the task, and temporal generalization was used to assess whether the neural codes discriminating between the tasks during the pre-encoding phase would recur during later task periods. The spatial versus non-spatial tasks could indeed be discriminated after the onset of the cue onwards, and decoders trained during the pre-encoding phase successfully discriminated the tasks during both sample stimulus encoding and during the delay phase. This demonstrates that task-specific neural codes are established already before the memorandum is presented and that the same patterns are reestablished during stimulus encoding and maintenance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Contextual Advantage for State Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, David; Spekkens, Robert W.

    2018-02-01

    Finding quantitative aspects of quantum phenomena which cannot be explained by any classical model has foundational importance for understanding the boundary between classical and quantum theory. It also has practical significance for identifying information processing tasks for which those phenomena provide a quantum advantage. Using the framework of generalized noncontextuality as our notion of classicality, we find one such nonclassical feature within the phenomenology of quantum minimum-error state discrimination. Namely, we identify quantitative limits on the success probability for minimum-error state discrimination in any experiment described by a noncontextual ontological model. These constraints constitute noncontextuality inequalities that are violated by quantum theory, and this violation implies a quantum advantage for state discrimination relative to noncontextual models. Furthermore, our noncontextuality inequalities are robust to noise and are operationally formulated, so that any experimental violation of the inequalities is a witness of contextuality, independently of the validity of quantum theory. Along the way, we introduce new methods for analyzing noncontextuality scenarios and demonstrate a tight connection between our minimum-error state discrimination scenario and a Bell scenario.

  3. Contextual Advantage for State Discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Schmid

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Finding quantitative aspects of quantum phenomena which cannot be explained by any classical model has foundational importance for understanding the boundary between classical and quantum theory. It also has practical significance for identifying information processing tasks for which those phenomena provide a quantum advantage. Using the framework of generalized noncontextuality as our notion of classicality, we find one such nonclassical feature within the phenomenology of quantum minimum-error state discrimination. Namely, we identify quantitative limits on the success probability for minimum-error state discrimination in any experiment described by a noncontextual ontological model. These constraints constitute noncontextuality inequalities that are violated by quantum theory, and this violation implies a quantum advantage for state discrimination relative to noncontextual models. Furthermore, our noncontextuality inequalities are robust to noise and are operationally formulated, so that any experimental violation of the inequalities is a witness of contextuality, independently of the validity of quantum theory. Along the way, we introduce new methods for analyzing noncontextuality scenarios and demonstrate a tight connection between our minimum-error state discrimination scenario and a Bell scenario.

  4. Discrimination of optical coherent states using a photon number resolving detector

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wittmann, C.; Andersen, Ulrik Lund; Leuchs, G.

    2010-01-01

    The discrimination of non-orthogonal quantum states with reduced or without errors is a fundamental task in quantum measurement theory. In this work, we investigate a quantum measurement strategy capable of discriminating two coherent states probabilistically with significantly smaller error...... probabilities than can be obtained using non-probabilistic state discrimination. We find that appropriate postselection of the measurement data of a photon number resolving detector can be used to discriminate two coherent states with small error probability. We compare our new receiver to an optimal...

  5. Pitch discrimination learning: specificity for pitch and harmonic resolvability, and electrophysiological correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J

    2011-08-01

    Multiple-hour training on a pitch discrimination task dramatically decreases the threshold for detecting a pitch difference between two harmonic complexes. Here, we investigated the specificity of this perceptual learning with respect to the pitch and the resolvability of the trained harmonic complex, as well as its cortical electrophysiological correlates. We trained 24 participants for 12 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of four different harmonic complexes. The complexes differed in pitch and/or spectral resolvability of their components by the cochlea, but were filtered into the same spectral region. Cortical-evoked potentials and a behavioral measure of pitch discrimination were assessed before and after training for all the four complexes. The change in these measures was compared to that of two control groups: one trained on a level discrimination task and one without any training. The behavioral results showed that learning was partly specific to both pitch and resolvability. Training with a resolved-harmonic complex improved pitch discrimination for resolved complexes more than training with an unresolved complex. However, we did not find evidence that training with an unresolved complex leads to specific learning for unresolved complexes. Training affected the P2 component of the cortical-evoked potentials, as well as a later component (250-400 ms). No significant changes were found on the mismatch negativity (MMN) component, although a separate experiment showed that this measure was sensitive to pitch changes equivalent to the pitch discriminability changes induced by training. This result suggests that pitch discrimination training affects processes not measured by the MMN, for example, processes higher in level or parallel to those involved in MMN generation.

  6. Braille character discrimination in blindfolded human subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, Thomas; Théoret, Hugo; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2002-04-16

    Visual deprivation may lead to enhanced performance in other sensory modalities. Whether this is the case in the tactile modality is controversial and may depend upon specific training and experience. We compared the performance of sighted subjects on a Braille character discrimination task to that of normal individuals blindfolded for a period of five days. Some participants in each group (blindfolded and sighted) received intensive Braille training to offset the effects of experience. Blindfolded subjects performed better than sighted subjects in the Braille discrimination task, irrespective of tactile training. For the left index finger, which had not been used in the formal Braille classes, blindfolding had no effect on performance while subjects who underwent tactile training outperformed non-stimulated participants. These results suggest that visual deprivation speeds up Braille learning and may be associated with behaviorally relevant neuroplastic changes.

  7. A dual-task investigation of automaticity in visual word processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, R. S.; Remington, R. W.; Van Selst, M.

    2000-01-01

    An analysis of activation models of visual word processing suggests that frequency-sensitive forms of lexical processing should proceed normally while unattended. This hypothesis was tested by having participants perform a speeded pitch discrimination task followed by lexical decisions or word naming. As the stimulus onset asynchrony between the tasks was reduced, lexical-decision and naming latencies increased dramatically. Word-frequency effects were additive with the increase, indicating that frequency-sensitive processing was subject to postponement while attention was devoted to the other task. Either (a) the same neural hardware shares responsibility for lexical processing and central stages of choice reaction time task processing and cannot perform both computations simultaneously, or (b) lexical processing is blocked in order to optimize performance on the pitch discrimination task. Either way, word processing is not as automatic as activation models suggest.

  8. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination

    OpenAIRE

    Zhe Charles Zhou; Chunxiu Yu; Kristin K. Sellers; Flavio Fröhlich

    2016-01-01

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contr...

  9. Binocular contrast discrimination needs monocular multiplicative noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jian; Levi, Dennis M.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of signal and noise on contrast discrimination are difficult to separate because of a singularity in the signal-detection-theory model of two-alternative forced-choice contrast discrimination (Katkov, Tsodyks, & Sagi, 2006). In this article, we show that it is possible to eliminate the singularity by combining that model with a binocular combination model to fit monocular, dichoptic, and binocular contrast discrimination. We performed three experiments using identical stimuli to measure the perceived phase, perceived contrast, and contrast discrimination of a cyclopean sine wave. In the absence of a fixation point, we found a binocular advantage in contrast discrimination both at low contrasts (discrimination mechanisms: a nonlinear contrast transducer and multiplicative noise (MN). A binocular combination model (the DSKL model; Ding, Klein, & Levi, 2013b) was first fitted to both the perceived-phase and the perceived-contrast data sets, then combined with either the nonlinear contrast transducer or the MN mechanism to fit the contrast-discrimination data. We found that the best model combined the DSKL model with early MN. Model simulations showed that, after going through interocular suppression, the uncorrelated noise in the two eyes became anticorrelated, resulting in less binocular noise and therefore a binocular advantage in the discrimination task. Combining a nonlinear contrast transducer or MN with a binocular combination model (DSKL) provides a powerful method for evaluating the two putative contrast-discrimination mechanisms. PMID:26982370

  10. Fixation to features and neural processing of facial expressions in a gender discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neath, Karly N; Itier, Roxane J

    2015-10-01

    Early face encoding, as reflected by the N170 ERP component, is sensitive to fixation to the eyes. Whether this sensitivity varies with facial expressions of emotion and can also be seen on other ERP components such as P1 and EPN, was investigated. Using eye-tracking to manipulate fixation on facial features, we found the N170 to be the only eye-sensitive component and this was true for fearful, happy and neutral faces. A different effect of fixation to features was seen for the earlier P1 that likely reflected general sensitivity to face position. An early effect of emotion (∼120 ms) for happy faces was seen at occipital sites and was sustained until ∼350 ms post-stimulus. For fearful faces, an early effect was seen around 80 ms followed by a later effect appearing at ∼150 ms until ∼300 ms at lateral posterior sites. Results suggests that in this emotion-irrelevant gender discrimination task, processing of fearful and happy expressions occurred early and largely independently of the eye-sensitivity indexed by the N170. Processing of the two emotions involved different underlying brain networks active at different times. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Left occipitotemporal cortex contributes to the discrimination of tool-associated hand actions: fMRI and TMS evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca ePerini

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging studies have implicated the left lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC in both tool and hand perception but the functional role of this region is not fully known. Here, by using a task manipulation, we tested whether tool-/hand-selective LOTC contributes to the discrimination of tool-associated hand actions. Participants viewed briefly presented pictures of kitchen and garage tools while they performed one of two tasks: in the action task, they judged whether the tool is associated with a hand rotation action (e.g., screwdriver or a hand squeeze action (e.g., garlic press, while in the location task they judged whether the tool is typically found in the kitchen (e.g., garlic press or in the garage (e.g., screwdriver. Both tasks were performed on the same stimulus set and were matched for difficulty. Contrasting fMRI responses between these tasks showed stronger activity during the action task than the location task in both tool- and hand-selective LOTC regions, which closely overlapped. No differences were found in nearby object- and motion-selective control regions. Importantly, these findings were confirmed by a TMS study, which showed that effective TMS over the tool-/hand-selective LOTC region significantly slowed responses for tool action discriminations relative to tool location discriminations, with no such difference during sham TMS. We conclude that left LOTC contributes to the discrimination of tool-associated hand actions.

  12. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of visual object construction and shape discrimination : relations among task, hemispheric lateralization, and gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgopoulos, A P; Whang, K; Georgopoulos, M A; Tagaris, G A; Amirikian, B; Richter, W; Kim, S G; Uğurbil, K

    2001-01-01

    , the FIT distribution was, overall, more anterior and inferior than that of the SAME task. A detailed analysis of the counts and spatial distributions of activated pixels was carried out for 15 brain areas (all in the cerebral cortex) in which a consistent activation (in > or = 3 subjects) was observed (n = 323 activated pixels). We found the following. Except for the inferior temporal gyrus, which was activated exclusively in the FIT task, all other areas showed activation in both tasks but to different extents. Based on the extent of activation, areas fell within two distinct groups (FIT or SAME) depending on which pixel count (i.e., FIT or SAME) was greater. The FIT group consisted of the following areas, in decreasing FIT/SAME order (brackets indicate ties): GTi, GTs, GC, GFi, GFd, [GTm, GF], GO. The SAME group consisted of the following areas, in decreasing SAME/FIT order : GOi, LPs, Sca, GPrC, GPoC, [GFs, GFm]. These results indicate that there are distributed, graded, and partially overlapping patterns of activation during performance of the two tasks. We attribute these overlapping patterns of activation to the engagement of partially shared processes. Activated pixels clustered to three types of clusters : FIT-only (111 pixels), SAME-only (97 pixels), and FIT + SAME (115 pixels). Pixels contained in FIT-only and SAME-only clusters were distributed approximately equally between the left and right hemispheres, whereas pixels in the SAME + FIT clusters were located mostly in the left hemisphere. With respect to gender, the left-right distribution of activated pixels was very similar in women and men for the SAME-only and FIT + SAME clusters but differed for the FIT-only case in which there was a prominent left side preponderance for women, in contrast to a right side preponderance for men. We conclude that (a) cortical mechanisms common for processing visual object construction and discrimination involve mostly the left hemisphere, (b) cortical mechanisms

  13. Genotyping of human lice suggests multiple emergencies of body lice from local head louse populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjun Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Genetic analyses of human lice have shown that the current taxonomic classification of head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis and body lice (Pediculus humanus humanus does not reflect their phylogenetic organization. Three phylotypes of head lice A, B and C exist but body lice have been observed only in phylotype A. Head and body lice have different behaviours and only the latter have been involved in outbreaks of infectious diseases including epidemic typhus, trench fever and louse borne recurrent fever. Recent studies suggest that body lice arose several times from head louse populations. METHODS AND FINDINGS: By introducing a new genotyping technique, sequencing variable intergenic spacers which were selected from louse genomic sequence, we were able to evaluate the genotypic distribution of 207 human lice. Sequence variation of two intergenic spacers, S2 and S5, discriminated the 207 lice into 148 genotypes and sequence variation of another two intergenic spacers, PM1 and PM2, discriminated 174 lice into 77 genotypes. Concatenation of the four intergenic spacers discriminated a panel of 97 lice into 96 genotypes. These intergenic spacer sequence types were relatively specific geographically, and enabled us to identify two clusters in France, one cluster in Central Africa (where a large body louse outbreak has been observed and one cluster in Russia. Interestingly, head and body lice were not genetically differentiated. CONCLUSIONS: We propose a hypothesis for the emergence of body lice, and suggest that humans with both low hygiene and head louse infestations provide an opportunity for head louse variants, able to ingest a larger blood meal (a required characteristic of body lice, to colonize clothing. If this hypothesis is ultimately supported, it would help to explain why poor human hygiene often coincides with outbreaks of body lice. Additionally, if head lice act as a reservoir for body lice, and that any social degradation in

  14. Development of a Head and Neck Regional Anesthesia Task Trainer for Emergency Medicine Learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane L Gorgas

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Audience: This innovation is designed for medical students through senior residents. Introduction: Regional anesthesia increases the EM physician’s ability to provide effective pain relief and to complete procedures within the Emergency Department (ED. Studies consistently demonstrate that emergency physicians undertreat pain when performing basic procedures such as suturing lacerations.1,2 Regional anesthesia allows for effective pain relief, while avoiding the risks associated with systemic analgesia/anesthesia or the tissue distortion of local anesthesia.3 Knowledge of the anatomy involved in various nerve blocks is crucial to the development of proper technique and successful performance of this skill. Three dimensional (3-D model simulation-based mastery of procedural skills has been demonstrated to decrease resident anxiety, improve success rates, and decrease complications during the resident’s transition into the clinical setting.5,6 Similarly, use of a 3-D head and neck model to practice application of facial regional anesthesia is hypothesized to improve provider confidence and competence which will in turn provide an improved patient experience. Objectives: In participating in the educational session associated with this task trainer, the learner will: 1 Identify landmarks for the following nerve blocks: Infraorbital, Supraorbital (V1, Mental, Periauricular 2 Demonstrate the appropriate technique for anesthetic injection for each of these nerve blocks 3 Map the distribution of regional anesthesia expected from each nerve block 4 Apply the indications and contraindications for each regional nerve block Method: This low-fidelity task trainer allows residents and medical students to practice various nerve blocks on the face in order to improve learner confidence and proficiency in performing facial regional anesthesia.

  15. Quantum state discrimination and its applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bae, Joonwoo; Kwek, Leong-Chuan

    2015-01-01

    Quantum state discrimination underlies various applications in quantum information processing tasks. It essentially describes the distinguishability of quantum systems in different states, and the general process of extracting classical information from quantum systems. It is also useful in quantum information applications, such as the characterization of mutual information in cryptographic protocols, or as a technique for deriving fundamental theorems on quantum foundations. It has deep connections to physical principles such as relativistic causality. Quantum state discrimination traces a long history of several decades, starting with the early attempts to formalize information processing of physical systems such as optical communication with photons. Nevertheless, in most cases, the problems of finding optimal strategies of quantum state discrimination remain unsolved, and related applications are valid in some limited cases only. The present review aims to provide an overview on quantum state discrimination, covering some recent progress, and addressing applications in some selected areas. This review serves to strengthen the link between results in quantum state discrimination and quantum information applications, by showing the ways in which the fundamental results are exploited in applications and vice versa. (topical review)

  16. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1984-01-01

    Research on dual-task performance has been concerned with delineating the antecedent conditions which lead to dual-task decrements. Capacity models of attention, which propose that a hypothetical resource structure underlies performance, have been employed as predictive devices. These models predict that tasks which require different processing resources can be more successfully time shared than tasks which require common resources. The conditions under which such dual-task integrality can be fostered were assessed in a study in which three factors likely to influence the integrality between tasks were manipulated: inter-task redundancy, the physical proximity of tasks and the task relevant objects. Twelve subjects participated in three experimental sessions in which they performed both single and dual-tasks. The primary task was a pursuit step tracking task. The secondary tasks required the discrimination between different intensities or different spatial positions of a stimulus. The results are discussed in terms of a model of dual-task integrality.

  17. [The family. The poorest households with female heads].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta Diaz, F

    1992-01-01

    Data from the household questionnaire of the 1987 Mexican Fertility and Health Survey were the basis for an analysis of the characteristics of households headed by women. 14.1% of households were headed by women in 1987, of which 14% were in rural and 86% in urban areas. 41.9% of the households headed by women contained only a woman and her children. Child care responsibilities are the main determinant of discrimination in the labor market for these women and oblige them to accept jobs that are not adequately paid. The social disadvantage of households headed by women is also related to their age and marital and educational status. Among male and female household heads respectively, 16.3% and 36.5% were over age 60, 16.4% and 27.5% were illiterate, and 92.7% and 8.4% were married or in union. 15.5% of the female heads were single, 24.7% were divorced or separated, and 51.4% were widows. Among employed female household heads, 49.2% were salaried, 36.5% were self-employed, and 10.1% were domestic workers. 63.8% of female and 46.3% of male household heads earned one minimum salary or less per month. The average size of households headed by women was 3.9 members, compared to 5.4 for households headed by men.

  18. Tactile-dependant corticomotor facilitation is influenced by discrimination performance in seniors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tremblay François

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Active contraction leads to facilitation of motor responses evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. In small hand muscles, motor facilitation is known to be also influenced by the nature of the task. Recently, we showed that corticomotor facilitation was selectively enhanced when young participants actively discriminated tactile symbols with the tip of their index or little finger. This tactile-dependant motor facilitation reflected, for the large part, attentional influences associated with performing tactile discrimination, since execution of a concomitant distraction task abolished facilitation. In the present report, we extend these observations to examine the influence of age on the ability to produce extra motor facilitation when the hand is used for sensory exploration. Methods Corticomotor excitability was tested in 16 healthy seniors (58-83 years while they actively moved their right index finger over a surface under two task conditions. In the tactile discrimination (TD condition, participants attended to the spatial location of two tactile symbols on the explored surface, while in the non discrimination (ND condition, participants simply moved their finger over a blank surface. Changes in amplitude, in latency and in the silent period (SP duration were measured from recordings of motor evoked potentials (MEP in the right first dorsal interosseous muscle in response to TMS of the left motor cortex. Results Healthy seniors exhibited widely varying levels of performance with the TD task, older age being associated with lower accuracy and vice-versa. Large inter-individual variations were also observed in terms of tactile-specific corticomotor facilitation. Regrouping seniors into higher (n = 6 and lower performance groups (n = 10 revealed a significant task by performance interaction. This latter interaction reflected differences between higher and lower performance groups; tactile-related facilitation being

  19. Conditioning procedure and color discrimination in the honeybee Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giurfa, Martin

    We studied the influence of the conditioning procedure on color discrimination by free-flying honeybees. We asked whether absolute and differential conditioning result in different discrimination capabilities for the same pairs of colored targets. In absolute conditioning, bees were rewarded on a single color; in differential conditioning, bees were rewarded on the same color but an alternative, non-rewarding, similar color was also visible. In both conditioning procedures, bees learned their respective task and could also discriminate the training stimulus from a novel stimulus that was perceptually different from the trained one. Discrimination between perceptually closer stimuli was possible after differential conditioning but not after absolute conditioning. Differences in attention inculcated by these training procedures may underlie the different discrimination performances of the bees.

  20. Concentrated pitch discrimination modulates auditory brainstem responses during contralateral noise exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Kazunari; Sekiguchi, Takahiro; Hayashi, Akiko

    2010-03-31

    This study examined a notion that auditory discrimination is a requisite for attention-related modulation of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) during contralateral noise exposure. Given that the right ear was exposed continuously with white noise at an intensity of 60-80 dB sound pressure level, tone pips at 80 dB sound pressure level were delivered to the left ear through either single-stimulus or oddball procedures. Participants conducted reading (ignoring task) and counting target tones (attentive task) during stimulation. The oddball but not the single-stimulus procedures elicited task-related modulations in both early (ABR) and late (processing negativity) event-related potentials simultaneously. The elicitation of the attention-related ABR modulation during contralateral noise exposure is thus considered to require auditory discrimination and have the corticofugal nature evidently.

  1. Activation in the Right Inferior Parietal Lobule Reflects the Representation of Musical Structure beyond Simple Pitch Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royal, Isabelle; Vuvan, Dominique T.; Zendel, Benjamin Rich; Robitaille, Nicolas; Schönwiesner, Marc; Peretz, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Pitch discrimination tasks typically engage the superior temporal gyrus and the right inferior frontal gyrus. It is currently unclear whether these regions are equally involved in the processing of incongruous notes in melodies, which requires the representation of musical structure (tonality) in addition to pitch discrimination. To this aim, 14 participants completed two tasks while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging, one in which they had to identify a pitch change in a series of non-melodic repeating tones and a second in which they had to identify an incongruous note in a tonal melody. In both tasks, the deviants activated the right superior temporal gyrus. A contrast between deviants in the melodic task and deviants in the non-melodic task (melodic > non-melodic) revealed additional activity in the right inferior parietal lobule. Activation in the inferior parietal lobule likely represents processes related to the maintenance of tonal pitch structure in working memory during pitch discrimination. PMID:27195523

  2. Impaired somatosensory discrimination of shape in Parkinson's disease : Association with caudate nucleus dopaminergic function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weder, BJ; Leenders, KL; Vontobel, P; Nienhusmeier, M; Keel, A; Zaunbauer, W; Vonesch, T; Ludin, HP

    1999-01-01

    Tactile discrimination of macrogeometric objects in a two-alternative forced-choice procedure represents a demanding task involving somatosensory pathways and higher cognitive processing. The objects for somatosensory discrimination, i.e., rectangular parallelepipeds differing only in oblongness,

  3. Discrimination of complex human behavior by pigeons (Columba livia and humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A J Qadri

    Full Text Available The cognitive and neural mechanisms for recognizing and categorizing behavior are not well understood in non-human animals. In the current experiments, pigeons and humans learned to categorize two non-repeating, complex human behaviors ("martial arts" vs. "Indian dance". Using multiple video exemplars of a digital human model, pigeons discriminated these behaviors in a go/no-go task and humans in a choice task. Experiment 1 found that pigeons already experienced with discriminating the locomotive actions of digital animals acquired the discrimination more rapidly when action information was available than when only pose information was available. Experiments 2 and 3 found this same dynamic superiority effect with naïve pigeons and human participants. Both species used the same combination of immediately available static pose information and more slowly perceived dynamic action cues to discriminate the behavioral categories. Theories based on generalized visual mechanisms, as opposed to embodied, species-specific action networks, offer a parsimonious account of how these different animals recognize behavior across and within species.

  4. The pigeon's discrimination of visual entropy: a logarithmic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Michael E; Wasserman, Edward A

    2002-11-01

    We taught 8 pigeons to discriminate 16-icon arrays that differed in their visual variability or "entropy" to see whether the relationship between entropy and discriminative behavior is linear (in which equivalent differences in entropy should produce equivalent changes in behavior) or logarithmic (in which higher entropy values should be less discriminable from one another than lower entropy values). Pigeons received a go/no-go task in which the lower entropy arrays were reinforced for one group and the higher entropy arrays were reinforced for a second group. The superior discrimination of the second group was predicted by a theoretical analysis in which excitatory and inhibitory stimulus generalization gradients fall along a logarithmic, but not a linear scale. Reanalysis of previously published data also yielded results consistent with a logarithmic relationship between entropy and discriminative behavior.

  5. Perception of musical timbre in congenital amusia: categorization, discrimination and short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Manuela M; Gingras, Bruno; Stewart, Lauren

    2012-02-01

    Congenital amusia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized primarily by difficulties in the pitch domain. The aim of the present study was to investigate the perception of musical timbre in a group of individuals with congenital amusia by probing discrimination and short-term memory for real-world timbral stimuli as well as examining the ability of these individuals to sort instrumental tones according to their timbral similarity. Thirteen amusic individuals were matched with thirteen non-amusic controls on a range of background variables. The discrimination task included stimuli of two different durations and pairings of instrumental tones that reflected varying distances in a perceptual timbre space. Performance in the discrimination task was at ceiling for both groups. In contrast, amusic individuals scored lower than controls on the short-term timbral memory task. Amusic individuals also performed worse than controls on the sorting task, suggesting differences in the higher-order representation of musical timbre. These findings add to the emerging picture of amusia as a disorder that has consequences for the perception and memory of musical timbre, as well as pitch. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. HD-MTL: Hierarchical Deep Multi-Task Learning for Large-Scale Visual Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jianping; Zhao, Tianyi; Kuang, Zhenzhong; Zheng, Yu; Zhang, Ji; Yu, Jun; Peng, Jinye

    2017-02-09

    In this paper, a hierarchical deep multi-task learning (HD-MTL) algorithm is developed to support large-scale visual recognition (e.g., recognizing thousands or even tens of thousands of atomic object classes automatically). First, multiple sets of multi-level deep features are extracted from different layers of deep convolutional neural networks (deep CNNs), and they are used to achieve more effective accomplishment of the coarseto- fine tasks for hierarchical visual recognition. A visual tree is then learned by assigning the visually-similar atomic object classes with similar learning complexities into the same group, which can provide a good environment for determining the interrelated learning tasks automatically. By leveraging the inter-task relatedness (inter-class similarities) to learn more discriminative group-specific deep representations, our deep multi-task learning algorithm can train more discriminative node classifiers for distinguishing the visually-similar atomic object classes effectively. Our hierarchical deep multi-task learning (HD-MTL) algorithm can integrate two discriminative regularization terms to control the inter-level error propagation effectively, and it can provide an end-to-end approach for jointly learning more representative deep CNNs (for image representation) and more discriminative tree classifier (for large-scale visual recognition) and updating them simultaneously. Our incremental deep learning algorithms can effectively adapt both the deep CNNs and the tree classifier to the new training images and the new object classes. Our experimental results have demonstrated that our HD-MTL algorithm can achieve very competitive results on improving the accuracy rates for large-scale visual recognition.

  7. When Less Is More: Poor Discrimination but Good Colour Memory in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, Pamela; Ludlow, Amanda; Roberson, Debi

    2008-01-01

    In two experiments children with autism and two groups of controls matched for either chronological or non-verbal mental age were tested on tasks of colour discrimination and memory. The results from experiment 1 showed significantly poorer colour discrimination in children with autism in comparison to typically developing chronological age…

  8. Age-related emotional bias in processing two emotionally valenced tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Philip A; Lien, Mei-Ching; Jardin, Elliott

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that older adults process positive emotions more efficiently than negative emotions, whereas younger adults show the reverse effect. We examined whether this age-related difference in emotional bias still occurs when attention is engaged in two emotional tasks. We used a psychological refractory period paradigm and varied the emotional valence of Task 1 and Task 2. In both experiments, Task 1 was emotional face discrimination (happy vs. angry faces) and Task 2 was sound discrimination (laugh, punch, vs. cork pop in Experiment 1 and laugh vs. scream in Experiment 2). The backward emotional correspondence effect for positively and negatively valenced Task 2 on Task 1 was measured. In both experiments, younger adults showed a backward correspondence effect from a negatively valenced Task 2, suggesting parallel processing of negatively valenced stimuli. Older adults showed similar negativity bias in Experiment 2 with a more salient negative sound ("scream" relative to "punch"). These results are consistent with an arousal-bias competition model [Mather and Sutherland (Perspectives in Psychological Sciences 6:114-133, 2011)], suggesting that emotional arousal modulates top-down attentional control settings (emotional regulation) with age.

  9. Colour discrimination and categorisation in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farran, Emily K; Cranwell, Matthew B; Alvarez, James; Franklin, Anna

    2013-10-01

    Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) present with impaired functioning of the dorsal visual stream relative to the ventral visual stream. As such, little attention has been given to ventral stream functions in WS. We investigated colour processing, a predominantly ventral stream function, for the first time in nineteen individuals with Williams syndrome. Colour discrimination was assessed using the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test. Colour categorisation was assessed using a match-to-sample test and a colour naming task. A visual search task was also included as a measure of sensitivity to the size of perceptual colour difference. Results showed that individuals with WS have reduced colour discrimination relative to typically developing participants matched for chronological age; performance was commensurate with a typically developing group matched for non-verbal ability. In contrast, categorisation was typical in WS, although there was some evidence that sensitivity to the size of perceptual colour differences was reduced in this group. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Temporal discrimination, a cervical dystonia endophenotype: penetrance and functional correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmich, Okka; Molloy, Anna; Whelan, Robert; Williams, Laura; Bradley, David; Balsters, Joshua; Molloy, Fiona; Lynch, Tim; Healy, Daniel G; Walsh, Cathal; O'Riordan, Seán; Reilly, Richard B; Hutchinson, Michael

    2014-05-01

    The pathogenesis of adult-onset primary dystonia remains poorly understood. There is variable age-related and gender-related expression of the phenotype, the commonest of which is cervical dystonia. Endophenotypes may provide insight into underlying genetic and pathophysiological mechanisms of dystonia. The temporal discrimination threshold (TDT)-the shortest time interval at which two separate stimuli can be detected as being asynchronous-is abnormal both in patients with cervical dystonia and in their unaffected first-degree relatives. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that putaminal activation positively correlates with the ease of temporal discrimination between two stimuli in healthy individuals. We hypothesized that abnormal temporal discrimination would exhibit similar age-related and gender-related penetrance as cervical dystonia and that unaffected relatives with an abnormal TDT would have reduced putaminal activation during a temporal discrimination task. TDTs were examined in a group of 192 healthy controls and in 158 unaffected first-degree relatives of 84 patients with cervical dystonia. In 24 unaffected first-degree relatives, fMRI scanning was performed during a temporal discrimination task. The prevalence of abnormal TDTs in unaffected female relatives reached 50% after age 48 years; whereas, in male relatives, penetrance of the endophenotype was reduced. By fMRI, relatives who had abnormal TDTs, compared with relatives who had normal TDTs, had significantly less activation in the putamina and in the middle frontal and precentral gyri. Only the degree of reduction of putaminal activity correlated significantly with worsening of temporal discrimination. These findings further support abnormal temporal discrimination as an endophenotype of cervical dystonia involving disordered basal ganglia circuits. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  11. Pigeons' Discrimination of Michotte's Launching Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Michael E.; Beckmann, Joshua S.; Wasserman, Edward A.

    2006-01-01

    We trained four pigeons to discriminate a Michotte launching animation from three other animations using a go/no-go task. The pigeons received food for pecking at one of the animations, but not for pecking at the others. The four animations featured two types of interactions among objects: causal (direct launching) and noncausal (delayed, distal,…

  12. School-Based Training for Deputy Heads and Its Relationship to the Task of Primary School Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerkin, Ciaran

    1985-01-01

    A survey of 40 newly appointed head teachers in Great Britain, supplemented by interviews with four head teachers, provided data establishing the extent to which head teachers were prepared for eight specific administrative roles by the experiences as deputy heads. Widely diverse, unsystematized approaches to administrator preparation were…

  13. Demonstration of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen steering with enhanced subchannel discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Kai; Ye, Xiang-Jun; Xiao, Ya; Xu, Xiao-Ye; Wu, Yu-Chun; Xu, Jin-Shi; Chen, Jing-Ling; Li, Chuan-Feng; Guo, Guang-Can

    2018-03-01

    Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) steering describes a quantum nonlocal phenomenon in which one party can nonlocally affect the other's state through local measurements. It reveals an additional concept of quantum non-locality, which stands between quantum entanglement and Bell nonlocality. Recently, a quantum information task named as subchannel discrimination (SD) provides a necessary and sufficient characterization of EPR steering. The success probability of SD using steerable states is higher than using any unsteerable states, even when they are entangled. However, the detailed construction of such subchannels and the experimental realization of the corresponding task are still technologically challenging. In this work, we designed a feasible collection of subchannels for a quantum channel and experimentally demonstrated the corresponding SD task where the probabilities of correct discrimination are clearly enhanced by exploiting steerable states. Our results provide a concrete example to operationally demonstrate EPR steering and shine a new light on the potential application of EPR steering.

  14. Psychophysical Estimates of Frequency Discrimination: More than Just Limitations of Auditory Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beate Sabisch

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Efficient auditory processing is hypothesized to support language and literacy development. However, behavioral tasks used to assess this hypothesis need to be robust to non-auditory specific individual differences. This study compared frequency discrimination abilities in a heterogeneous sample of adults using two different psychoacoustic task designs, referred to here as: 2I_6A_X and 3I_2AFC designs. The role of individual differences in nonverbal IQ (NVIQ, socioeconomic status (SES and musical experience in predicting frequency discrimination thresholds on each task were assessed using multiple regression analyses. The 2I_6A_X task was more cognitively demanding and hence more susceptible to differences specifically in SES and musical training. Performance on this task did not, however, relate to nonword repetition ability (a measure of language learning capacity. The 3I_2AFC task, by contrast, was only susceptible to musical training. Moreover, thresholds measured using it predicted some variance in nonword repetition performance. This design thus seems suitable for use in studies addressing questions regarding the role of auditory processing in supporting language and literacy development.

  15. The Effect of Task Duration on Event-Based Prospective Memory: A Multinomial Modeling Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongxia Zhang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Remembering to perform an action when a specific event occurs is referred to as Event-Based Prospective Memory (EBPM. This study investigated how EBPM performance is affected by task duration by having university students (n = 223 perform an EBPM task that was embedded within an ongoing computer-based color-matching task. For this experiment, we separated the overall task’s duration into the filler task duration and the ongoing task duration. The filler task duration is the length of time between the intention and the beginning of the ongoing task, and the ongoing task duration is the length of time between the beginning of the ongoing task and the appearance of the first Prospective Memory (PM cue. The filler task duration and ongoing task duration were further divided into three levels: 3, 6, and 9 min. Two factors were then orthogonally manipulated between-subjects using a multinomial processing tree model to separate the effects of different task durations on the two EBPM components. A mediation model was then created to verify whether task duration influences EBPM via self-reminding or discrimination. The results reveal three points. (1 Lengthening the duration of ongoing tasks had a negative effect on EBPM performance while lengthening the duration of the filler task had no significant effect on it. (2 As the filler task was lengthened, both the prospective and retrospective components show a decreasing and then increasing trend. Also, when the ongoing task duration was lengthened, the prospective component decreased while the retrospective component significantly increased. (3 The mediating effect of discrimination between the task duration and EBPM performance was significant. We concluded that different task durations influence EBPM performance through different components with discrimination being the mediator between task duration and EBPM performance.

  16. Effects of task demands on the early neural processing of fearful and happy facial expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itier, Roxane J; Neath-Tavares, Karly N

    2017-05-15

    Task demands shape how we process environmental stimuli but their impact on the early neural processing of facial expressions remains unclear. In a within-subject design, ERPs were recorded to the same fearful, happy and neutral facial expressions presented during a gender discrimination, an explicit emotion discrimination and an oddball detection tasks, the most studied tasks in the field. Using an eye tracker, fixation on the face nose was enforced using a gaze-contingent presentation. Task demands modulated amplitudes from 200 to 350ms at occipito-temporal sites spanning the EPN component. Amplitudes were more negative for fearful than neutral expressions starting on N170 from 150 to 350ms, with a temporo-occipital distribution, whereas no clear effect of happy expressions was seen. Task and emotion effects never interacted in any time window or for the ERP components analyzed (P1, N170, EPN). Thus, whether emotion is explicitly discriminated or irrelevant for the task at hand, neural correlates of fearful and happy facial expressions seem immune to these task demands during the first 350ms of visual processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Training haptic stiffness discrimination: time course of learning with or without visual information and knowledge of results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodorescu, Kinneret; Bouchigny, Sylvain; Korman, Maria

    2013-08-01

    In this study, we explored the time course of haptic stiffness discrimination learning and how it was affected by two experimental factors, the addition of visual information and/or knowledge of results (KR) during training. Stiffness perception may integrate both haptic and visual modalities. However, in many tasks, the visual field is typically occluded, forcing stiffness perception to be dependent exclusively on haptic information. No studies to date addressed the time course of haptic stiffness perceptual learning. Using a virtual environment (VE) haptic interface and a two-alternative forced-choice discrimination task, the haptic stiffness discrimination ability of 48 participants was tested across 2 days. Each day included two haptic test blocks separated by a training block Additional visual information and/or KR were manipulated between participants during training blocks. Practice repetitions alone induced significant improvement in haptic stiffness discrimination. Between days, accuracy was slightly improved, but decision time performance was deteriorated. The addition of visual information and/or KR had only temporary effects on decision time, without affecting the time course of haptic discrimination learning. Learning in haptic stiffness discrimination appears to evolve through at least two distinctive phases: A single training session resulted in both immediate and latent learning. This learning was not affected by the training manipulations inspected. Training skills in VE in spaced sessions can be beneficial for tasks in which haptic perception is critical, such as surgery procedures, when the visual field is occluded. However, training protocols for such tasks should account for low impact of multisensory information and KR.

  18. Discriminant analysis of functional optical topography for schizophrenia diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Ching-Cheng; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Pu, Shenghong; Lan, Tsuo-Hung; Lee, Chia-Yen; Sun, Chia-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Abnormal prefrontal function plays a central role in the cognition deficits of schizophrenic patients; however, the character of the relationship between discriminant analysis and prefrontal activation remains undetermined. Recently, evidence of low prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation in individuals with schizophrenia has also been found during verbal fluency tests (VFT) and other cognitive tests with several neuroimaging methods. The purpose of this study is to assess the hemodynamic changes of the PFC and discriminant analysis between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls during VFT task by utilizing functional optical topography. A total of 99 subjects including 53 schizophrenic patients and 46 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were studied. The results showed that the healthy group had larger activation in the right and left PFC than in the middle PFC. Besides, the schizophrenic group showed weaker task performance and lower activation in the whole PFC than the healthy group. The result of the discriminant analysis showed a significant difference with P value <0.001 in six channels (CH 23, 29, 31, 40, 42, 52) between the schizophrenic and healthy groups. Finally, 68.69% and 71.72% of subjects are correctly classified as being schizophrenic or healthy with all 52 channels and six significantly different channels, respectively. Our findings suggest that the left PFC can be a feature region for discriminant analysis of schizophrenic diagnosis.

  19. Ethnicity- and sex-based discrimination and the maintenance of self-esteem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik; Hennig-Schmidt, Heike; Walkowitz, Gari

    2015-01-01

    The psychological underpinnings of labor market discrimination were investigated by having participants from Israel, the West Bank and Germany (N = 205) act as employers in a stylized employment task in which they ranked, set wages, and imposed a minimum effort level on applicants. State self-esteem was measured before and after the employment task, in which applicant ethnicity and sex were salient. The applicants were real people and all behavior was monetarily incentivized. Supporting the full self-esteem hypothesis of the social identity approach, low self-esteem in women was associated with assigning higher wages to women than to men, and such behavior was related to the maintenance of self-esteem. The narrower hypothesis that successful intergroup discrimination serves to protect self-esteem received broader support. Across all participants, both ethnicity- and sex-based discrimination of out-groups were associated with the maintenance of self-esteem, with the former showing a stronger association than the latter.

  20. Ethnicity- and Sex-Based Discrimination and the Maintenance of Self-Esteem

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    The psychological underpinnings of labor market discrimination were investigated by having participants from Israel, the West Bank and Germany (N = 205) act as employers in a stylized employment task in which they ranked, set wages, and imposed a minimum effort level on applicants. State self-esteem was measured before and after the employment task, in which applicant ethnicity and sex were salient. The applicants were real people and all behavior was monetarily incentivized. Supporting the full self-esteem hypothesis of the social identity approach, low self-esteem in women was associated with assigning higher wages to women than to men, and such behavior was related to the maintenance of self-esteem. The narrower hypothesis that successful intergroup discrimination serves to protect self-esteem received broader support. Across all participants, both ethnicity- and sex-based discrimination of out-groups were associated with the maintenance of self-esteem, with the former showing a stronger association than the latter. PMID:25978646

  1. Gender and the right to non-discrimination in international human rights law

    OpenAIRE

    Netkova, Bistra

    2016-01-01

    Discrimination against women based on the fact that they are women is a deeply rooted practice in all societies. However, the level of discrimination varies greatly with the level of development of the given society and strongly influences and vice versa it is influenced by the status of women in a given society. Addressing this gender-based discrimination is a difficult task because it is closely linked to the concept of equality, and state’s action and inactions. The article establishes tha...

  2. Abilities in tactile discrimination of textures in adult rats exposed to enriched or impoverished environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeon, Stéphanie; Xerri, Christian; Coq, Jacques-Olivier

    2004-08-12

    In previous studies, we have shown that housing in enriched environment for about 3 months after weaning improved the topographic organization and decreased the size of the receptive fields (RFs) located on the glabrous skin surfaces in the forepaw maps of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in rats [Exp. Brain Res. 121 (1998) 191]. In contrast, housing in impoverished environment induced a degradation of the SI forepaw representation, characterized by topographic disruptions, a reduction of the cutaneous forepaw area and an enlargement of the glabrous RFs [Exp. Brain Res. 129 (1999) 518]. Based on these two studies, we postulated that these representational alterations could underlie changes in haptic perception. Therefore, the present study was aimed at determining the influence of housing conditions on the rat's abilities in tactile texture discrimination. After a 2-month exposure to enriched or impoverished environments, rats were trained to perform a discrimination task during locomotion on floorboards of different roughness. At the end of every daily behavioral session, rats were replaced in their respective housing environment. Rats had to discriminate homogeneous (low roughness) from heterogeneous floorboards (combination of two different roughness levels). To determine the maximum performance in texture discrimination, the roughness contrast of the heterogeneous texture was gradually reduced, so that homogeneous and heterogeneous floorboards became harder to differentiate. We found that the enriched rats learned the first steps of the behavioral task faster than the impoverished rats, whereas both groups exhibited similar performances in texture discrimination. An individual "predilection" for either homogeneous or heterogeneous floorboards, presumably reflecting a behavioral strategy, seemed to account for the absence of differences in haptic discrimination between groups. The sensory experience depending on the rewarded texture discrimination task

  3. Abstract numerical discrimination learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniuchi, Tohru; Sugihara, Junko; Wakashima, Mariko; Kamijo, Makiko

    2016-06-01

    In this study, we examined rats' discrimination learning of the numerical ordering positions of objects. In Experiments 1 and 2, five out of seven rats successfully learned to respond to the third of six identical objects in a row and showed reliable transfer of this discrimination to novel stimuli after being trained with three different training stimuli. In Experiment 3, the three rats from Experiment 2 continued to be trained to respond to the third object in an object array, which included an odd object that needed to be excluded when identifying the target third object. All three rats acquired this selective-counting task of specific stimuli, and two rats showed reliable transfer of this selective-counting performance to test sets of novel stimuli. In Experiment 4, the three rats from Experiment 3 quickly learned to respond to the third stimulus in object rows consisting of either six identical or six different objects. These results offer strong evidence for abstract numerical discrimination learning in rats.

  4. Context Modulates Congruency Effects in Selective Attention to Social Cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Ravagli

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Head and gaze directions are used during social interactions as essential cues to infer where someone attends. When head and gaze are oriented toward opposite directions, we need to extract socially meaningful information despite stimulus conflict. Recently, a cognitive and neural mechanism for filtering-out conflicting stimuli has been identified while performing non-social attention tasks. This mechanism is engaged proactively when conflict is anticipated in a high proportion of trials and reactively when conflict occurs infrequently. Here, we investigated whether a similar mechanism is at play for limiting distraction from conflicting social cues during gaze or head direction discrimination tasks in contexts with different probabilities of conflict. Results showed that, for the gaze direction task only (Experiment 1, inverse efficiency (IE scores for distractor-absent trials (i.e., faces with averted gaze and centrally oriented head were larger (indicating worse performance when these trials were intermixed with congruent/incongruent distractor-present trials (i.e., faces with averted gaze and tilted head in the same/opposite direction relative to when the same distractor-absent trials were shown in isolation. Moreover, on distractor-present trials, IE scores for congruent (vs. incongruent head-gaze pairs in blocks with rare conflict were larger than in blocks with frequent conflict, suggesting that adaptation to conflict was more efficient than adaptation to infrequent events. However, when the task required discrimination of head orientation while ignoring gaze direction, performance was not impacted by both block-level and current trial congruency (Experiment 2, unless the cognitive load of the task was increased by adding a concurrent task (Experiment 3. Overall, our study demonstrates that during attention to social cues proactive cognitive control mechanisms are modulated by the expectation of conflicting stimulus information at both

  5. A new semantic vigilance task: vigilance decrement, workload, and sensitivity to dual-task costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epling, Samantha L; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive resource theory is a common explanation for both the performance decline in vigilance tasks, known as the vigilance decrement, and the limited ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. The limited supply of cognitive resources may be utilized faster than they are replenished resulting in a performance decrement, or may need to be allocated among multiple tasks with some performance cost. Researchers have proposed both domain-specific, for example spatial versus verbal processing resources, and domain general cognitive resources. One challenge in testing the domain specificity of cognitive resources in vigilance is the current lack of difficult semantic vigilance tasks which reliably produce a decrement. In the present research, we investigated whether the vigilance decrement was found in a new abbreviated semantic discrimination vigilance task, and whether there was a performance decrement in said vigilance task when paired with a word recall task, as opposed to performed individually. As hypothesized, a vigilance decrement in the semantic vigilance task was found in both the single-task and dual-task conditions, along with reduced vigilance performance in the dual-task condition and reduced word recall in the dual-task condition. This is consistent with cognitive resource theory. The abbreviated semantic vigilance task will be a useful tool for researchers interested in determining the specificity of cognitive resources utilized in vigilance tasks.

  6. Demands on attention and the role of response priming in visual discrimination of feature conjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Lisa R; Herbert, Rhonda J; Farris, Carrie

    2004-10-01

    This study examined how response mapping of features within single- and multiple-feature targets affects decision-based processing and attentional capacity demands. Observers judged the presence or absence of 1 or 2 target features within an object either presented alone or with distractors. Judging the presence of 2 features relative to the less discriminable of these features alone was faster (conjunction benefits) when the task-relevant features differed in discriminability and were consistently mapped to responses. Conjunction benefits were attributed to asynchronous decision priming across attended, task-relevant dimensions. A failure to find conjunction benefits for disjunctive conjunctions was attributed to increased memory demands and variable feature-response mapping for 2- versus single-feature targets. Further, attentional demands were similar between single- and 2-feature targets when response mapping, memory demands, and discriminability of the task-relevant features were equated between targets. Implications of the findings for recent attention models are discussed. (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved

  7. Clinical utility of MR FLAIR imaging for head injuries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashikaga, Ryuichiro [Kinki Univ., Osaka-Sayama, Osaka (Japan). School of Medicine

    1996-12-01

    To study the utility of fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MR images in the evaluation of traumatic head injury, 56 patients with traumatic head injuries were examined with long TR/TE spin-echo (SE) sequences and FLAIR sequences. In 40 of them, long TR/short TE images were added to those sequences. Careful readings of MR images were done by two well-trained neuroradiologists. The chi-square test was used for statistical evaluation of our results. The relative sensitivities of FLAIR images were significantly better than those of long TR/TE, long TR/short TE images for the detection of diffuse axonal injury (p<0.01), cortical contusion (p<0.01), and subdural hematoma (p<0.01 for long TR/TE, p<0.05 for long TR/short TE). The number of cases of epidural hematoma and brainstem injury was too small for statistical significance to be determined. In 9 patients with corpus callosum injuries. FLAIR images demonstrated the lesions as abnormally high signal intensity in the septum pellucidum and fornix. Only sagittal FLAIR images could definitely discriminate the traumatic lesions of the fornix from the surrounding CSF. In addition, FLAIR images could easily discriminate DAI of the corpus callosum from CSF of the cavum velli interpositi. MR FLAIR images were found to be useful for detecting traumatic head injuries. (author)

  8. Bilateral lesions of nucleus subpretectalis/interstitio-pretecto-subpretectalis (SP/IPS) selectively impair figure-ground discrimination in pigeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scully, Erin N; Acerbo, Martin J; Lazareva, Olga F

    2014-01-01

    Earlier, we reported that nucleus rotundus (Rt) together with its inhibitory complex, nucleus subpretectalis/interstitio-pretecto-subpretectalis (SP/IPS), had significantly higher activity in pigeons performing figure-ground discrimination than in the control group that did not perform any visual discriminations. In contrast, color discrimination produced significantly higher activity than control in the Rt but not in the SP/IPS. Finally, shape discrimination produced significantly lower activity than control in both the Rt and the SP/IPS. In this study, we trained pigeons to simultaneously perform three visual discriminations (figure-ground, color, and shape) using the same stimulus displays. When birds learned to perform all three tasks concurrently at high levels of accuracy, we conducted bilateral chemical lesions of the SP/IPS. After a period of recovery, the birds were retrained on the same tasks to evaluate the effect of lesions on maintenance of these discriminations. We found that the lesions of the SP/IPS had no effect on color or shape discrimination and that they significantly impaired figure-ground discrimination. Together with our earlier data, these results suggest that the nucleus Rt and the SP/IPS are the key structures involved in figure-ground discrimination. These results also imply that thalamic processing is critical for figure-ground segregation in avian brain.

  9. Optogenetic conditioning of paradigm and pattern discrimination in the rat somatosensory system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenta Abe

    Full Text Available The rodent whisker-barrel cortical system is a model for studying somatosensory discrimination at high spatiotemporal precision. Here, we applied optogenetics to produce somatosensory inputs in the whisker area using one of transgenic rat lines, W-TChR2V4, which expresses channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 in the mechanoreceptive nerve endings around whisker follicles. An awake W-TChR2V4 rat was head-fixed and irradiated by blue LED light on the whisker area with a paradigm conditioned with a reward. The Go task was designed so the rat is allowed to receive a reward, when it licked the nozzle within 5 s after photostimulation. The No-go task was designed so as the rat has to withhold licking for at least 5 s to obtain a reward after photostimulation. The Go-task conditioning was established within 1 hr of training with a reduction in the reaction time and increase of the success rate. To investigate the relationship between the spatiotemporal pattern of sensory inputs and the behavioral output, we designed a multi-optical fiber system that irradiates the whisker area at 9 spots in a 3×3 matrix. Although the Go-task conditioning was established using synchronous irradiation of 9 spots, the success rate was decreased with an increase of the reaction time for the asynchronous irradiation. After conditioning to the Go task, the rat responded to the blue LED flash irradiated on the barrel cortex, where many neurons also express ChR2, or photostimulation of the contralateral whisker area with a similar reaction time and success rate. Synchronous activation of the peripheral mechanoreceptive nerves is suggested to drive a neural circuit in the somatosensory cortex that efficiently couples with the decision. Our optogenetic system would enable the precise evaluation of the psychophysical values, such as the reaction time and success rate, to gain some insight into the brain mechanisms underlying conditioned behaviors.

  10. Quantitative evaluation of muscle synergy models: a single-trial task decoding approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delis, Ioannis; Berret, Bastien; Pozzo, Thierry; Panzeri, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Muscle synergies, i.e., invariant coordinated activations of groups of muscles, have been proposed as building blocks that the central nervous system (CNS) uses to construct the patterns of muscle activity utilized for executing movements. Several efficient dimensionality reduction algorithms that extract putative synergies from electromyographic (EMG) signals have been developed. Typically, the quality of synergy decompositions is assessed by computing the Variance Accounted For (VAF). Yet, little is known about the extent to which the combination of those synergies encodes task-discriminating variations of muscle activity in individual trials. To address this question, here we conceive and develop a novel computational framework to evaluate muscle synergy decompositions in task space. Unlike previous methods considering the total variance of muscle patterns (VAF based metrics), our approach focuses on variance discriminating execution of different tasks. The procedure is based on single-trial task decoding from muscle synergy activation features. The task decoding based metric evaluates quantitatively the mapping between synergy recruitment and task identification and automatically determines the minimal number of synergies that captures all the task-discriminating variability in the synergy activations. In this paper, we first validate the method on plausibly simulated EMG datasets. We then show that it can be applied to different types of muscle synergy decomposition and illustrate its applicability to real data by using it for the analysis of EMG recordings during an arm pointing task. We find that time-varying and synchronous synergies with similar number of parameters are equally efficient in task decoding, suggesting that in this experimental paradigm they are equally valid representations of muscle synergies. Overall, these findings stress the effectiveness of the decoding metric in systematically assessing muscle synergy decompositions in task space.

  11. Discriminative Nonlinear Analysis Operator Learning: When Cosparse Model Meets Image Classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Zaidao; Hou, Biao; Jiao, Licheng

    2017-05-03

    Linear synthesis model based dictionary learning framework has achieved remarkable performances in image classification in the last decade. Behaved as a generative feature model, it however suffers from some intrinsic deficiencies. In this paper, we propose a novel parametric nonlinear analysis cosparse model (NACM) with which a unique feature vector will be much more efficiently extracted. Additionally, we derive a deep insight to demonstrate that NACM is capable of simultaneously learning the task adapted feature transformation and regularization to encode our preferences, domain prior knowledge and task oriented supervised information into the features. The proposed NACM is devoted to the classification task as a discriminative feature model and yield a novel discriminative nonlinear analysis operator learning framework (DNAOL). The theoretical analysis and experimental performances clearly demonstrate that DNAOL will not only achieve the better or at least competitive classification accuracies than the state-of-the-art algorithms but it can also dramatically reduce the time complexities in both training and testing phases.

  12. Motion perception tasks as potential correlates to driving difficulty in the elderly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghuram, A.; Lakshminarayanan, V.

    2006-09-01

    Changes in the demographics indicates that the population older than 65 is on the rise because of the aging of the ‘baby boom’ generation. This aging trend and driving related accident statistics reveal the need for procedures and tests that would assess the driving ability of older adults and predict whether they would be safe or unsafe drivers. Literature shows that an attention based test called the useful field of view (UFOV) was a significant predictor of accident rates compared to any other visual function tests. The present study evaluates a qualitative trend on using motion perception tasks as a potential visual perceptual correlates in screening elderly drivers who might have difficulty in driving. Data was collected from 15 older subjects with a mean age of 71. Motion perception tasks included—speed discrimination with radial and lamellar motion, time to collision using prediction motion and estimating direction of heading. A motion index score was calculated which was indicative of performance on all of the above-mentioned motion tasks. Scores on visual attention was assessed using UFOV. A driving habit questionnaire was also administered for a self report on the driving difficulties and accident rates. A qualitative trend based on frequency distributions show that thresholds on the motion perception tasks are successful in identifying subjects who reported to have had difficulty in certain aspects of driving and had accidents. Correlation between UFOV and motion index scores was not significant indicating that probably different aspects of visual information processing that are crucial to driving behaviour are being tapped by these two paradigms. UFOV and motion perception tasks together can be a better predictor for identifying at risk or safe drivers than just using either one of them.

  13. A scheme of quantum state discrimination over specified states via weak-value measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Dai, Hong-Yi; Liu, Bo-Yang; Zhang, Ming

    2018-04-01

    The commonly adopted projective measurements are invalid in the specified task of quantum state discrimination when the discriminated states are superposition of planar-position basis states whose complex-number probability amplitudes have the same magnitude but different phases. Therefore we propose a corresponding scheme via weak-value measurement and examine the feasibility of this scheme. Furthermore, the role of the weak-value measurement in quantum state discrimination is analyzed and compared with one in quantum state tomography in this Letter.

  14. Methamphetamine functions as a positive and negative drug feature in a Pavlovian appetitive discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichel, Carmela M; Wilkinson, Jamie L; Bevins, Rick A

    2007-12-01

    This research determined the ability of methamphetamine to serve as a positive or negative feature, and assessed the ability of bupropion, cocaine, and naloxone to substitute for the methamphetamine features. Rats received methamphetamine (0.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or saline 15 min before a conditioning session. For the feature positive (FP) group, offset of 15-s cue lights was followed by access to sucrose on methamphetamine sessions; sucrose was withheld during saline sessions. For the feature negative (FN) group, the light offset was followed by sucrose on saline sessions; sucrose was withheld during methamphetamine sessions. During acquisition, the FP group had higher responding on methamphetamine sessions than on saline sessions. For the FN group, responding was higher on saline sessions than on methamphetamine sessions. Conditioned responding was sensitive to methamphetamine dose. For the FP group, bupropion and cocaine fully and partially substituted for methamphetamine, respectively. In contrast, both drugs fully substituted for methamphetamine in the FN group. Naloxone did not substitute in either set of rats. FP-trained rats were more sensitive to the locomotor stimulating effects of the test drugs than FN-trained rats. This research demonstrates that the pharmacological effects of methamphetamine function as a FP or FN in this Pavlovian discrimination task and that training history can affect conditioned responding and locomotor effects evoked by a drug.

  15. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eSalo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or simple (speaker-gender or font-shade discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley’s model modality atypical, that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks.

  16. Earlier saccades to task-relevant targets irrespective of relative gain between peripheral and foveal information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christian; Schütz, Alexander C

    2017-06-01

    Saccades bring objects of interest onto the fovea for high-acuity processing. Saccades to rewarded targets show shorter latencies that correlate negatively with expected motivational value. Shorter latencies are also observed when the saccade target is relevant for a perceptual discrimination task. Here we tested whether saccade preparation is equally influenced by informational value as it is by motivational value. We defined informational value as the probability that information is task-relevant times the ratio between postsaccadic foveal and presaccadic peripheral discriminability. Using a gaze-contingent display, we independently manipulated peripheral and foveal discriminability of the saccade target. Latencies of saccades with perceptual task were reduced by 36 ms in general, but they were not modulated by the information saccades provide (Experiments 1 and 2). However, latencies showed a clear negative linear correlation with the probability that the target is task-relevant (Experiment 3). We replicated that the facilitation by a perceptual task is spatially specific and not due to generally heightened arousal (Experiment 4). Finally, the facilitation only emerged when the perceptual task is in the visual but not in the auditory modality (Experiment 5). Taken together, these results suggest that saccade latencies are not equally modulated by informational value as by motivational value. The facilitation by a perceptual task only arises when task-relevant visual information is foveated, irrespective of whether the foveation is useful or not.

  17. Head position in the MEG helmet affects the sensitivity to anterior sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinkovic, K; Cox, B; Reid, K; Halgren, E

    2004-11-30

    Current MEG instruments derive the whole-head coverage by utilizing a helmet-shaped opening at the bottom of the dewar. These helmets, however, are quite a bit larger than most people's heads so subjects commonly lean against the back wall of the helmet in order to maintain a steady position. In such cases the anterior brain sources may be too distant to be picked up by the sensors reliably. Potential "invisibility" of the frontal and anterior temporal sources may be particularly troublesome for the studies of cognition and language, as they are subserved significantly by these areas. We examined the sensitivity of the distributed anatomically-constrained MEG (aMEG) approach to the head position ("front" vs. "back") secured within a helmet with custom-tailored bite-bars during a lexical decision task. The anterior head position indeed resulted in much greater sensitivity to language-related activity in frontal and anterior temporal locations. These results emphasize the need to adjust the head position in the helmet in order to maximize the "visibility" of the sources in the anterior brain regions in cognitive and language tasks.

  18. Psilocybin modulates functional connectivity of the amygdala during emotional face discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, O; Kraehenmann, R; Preller, K H; Seifritz, E; Vollenweider, F X

    2018-04-24

    Recent studies suggest that the antidepressant effects of the psychedelic 5-HT2A receptor agonist psilocybin are mediated through its modulatory properties on prefrontal and limbic brain regions including the amygdala. To further investigate the effects of psilocybin on emotion processing networks, we studied for the first-time psilocybin's acute effects on amygdala seed-to-voxel connectivity in an event-related face discrimination task in 18 healthy volunteers who received psilocybin and placebo in a double-blind balanced cross-over design. The amygdala has been implicated as a salience detector especially involved in the immediate response to emotional face content. We used beta-series amygdala seed-to-voxel connectivity during an emotional face discrimination task to elucidate the connectivity pattern of the amygdala over the entire brain. When we compared psilocybin to placebo, an increase in reaction time for all three categories of affective stimuli was found. Psilocybin decreased the connectivity between amygdala and the striatum during angry face discrimination. During happy face discrimination, the connectivity between the amygdala and the frontal pole was decreased. No effect was seen during discrimination of fearful faces. Thus, we show psilocybin's effect as a modulator of major connectivity hubs of the amygdala. Psilocybin decreases the connectivity between important nodes linked to emotion processing like the frontal pole or the striatum. Future studies are needed to clarify whether connectivity changes predict therapeutic effects in psychiatric patients. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  19. The Diagnostic and Prognostic Value of a Dual-Tasking Paradigm in a Memory Clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Malene Schjnning; Simonsen, Anja Hviid; Siersma, Volkert; Hasselbalch, Steen Gregers; Hoegh, Peter

    2018-01-01

    Daily living requires the ability to perform dual-tasking. As cognitive skills decrease in dementia, performing a cognitive and motor task simultaneously become increasingly challenging and subtle gait abnormalities may even be present in pre-dementia stages. Therefore, a dual-tasking paradigm, such as the Timed Up and Go-Dual Task (TUG-DT), may be useful in the diagnostic assessment of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). To investigate the diagnostic and prognostic ability of a dual-tasking paradigm in patients with MCI or mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to evaluate the association between the dual-tasking paradigm and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers. The study is a prospective cohort study conducted in a clinical setting in two memory clinics. Eighty-six patients were included (28 MCI, 17 AD, 41 healthy controls (HC)). The ability to perform dual-tasking was evaluated by the TUG-DT. Patients underwent a standardized diagnostic assessment and were evaluated to determine progression yearly. ROC curve analysis illustrated a high discriminative ability of the dual-tasking paradigm in separating MCI patients from HC (AUC: 0.78, AUC: 0.82) and a moderate discriminative ability in separating MCI from AD (AUC: 0.73, AUC: 0.55). Performance discriminated clearly between all groups (p paradigm for progression and rate of cognitive decline. A moderately strong correlation between the dual-tasking paradigm and CSF AD biomarkers was observed. In our study, we found that patients with MCI and mild AD have increasing difficulties in dual-tasking compared to healthy elderly. Hence, the dual-tasking paradigm may be a potential complement in the diagnostic assessment in a typical clinical setting.

  20. Time pressure management as a compensatory strategy training after closed head injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fasotti, L; Kovacs, F; Eling, PATM; Brouwer, WH

    Following severe closed head injury, deficits in speed of information processing are common. As a result, many head-injured patients experience a feeling of "information overload" in daily tasks that once were relatively easy. Many remedial programmes have been designed that treat different aspects

  1. Single-trial effective brain connectivity patterns enhance discriminability of mental imagery tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathee, Dheeraj; Cecotti, Hubert; Prasad, Girijesh

    2017-10-01

    Objective. The majority of the current approaches of connectivity based brain-computer interface (BCI) systems focus on distinguishing between different motor imagery (MI) tasks. Brain regions associated with MI are anatomically close to each other, hence these BCI systems suffer from low performances. Our objective is to introduce single-trial connectivity feature based BCI system for cognition imagery (CI) based tasks wherein the associated brain regions are located relatively far away as compared to those for MI. Approach. We implemented time-domain partial Granger causality (PGC) for the estimation of the connectivity features in a BCI setting. The proposed hypothesis has been verified with two publically available datasets involving MI and CI tasks. Main results. The results support the conclusion that connectivity based features can provide a better performance than a classical signal processing framework based on bandpass features coupled with spatial filtering for CI tasks, including word generation, subtraction, and spatial navigation. These results show for the first time that connectivity features can provide a reliable performance for imagery-based BCI system. Significance. We show that single-trial connectivity features for mixed imagery tasks (i.e. combination of CI and MI) can outperform the features obtained by current state-of-the-art method and hence can be successfully applied for BCI applications.

  2. A shared system of representation governing quantity discrimination in canids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M Baker

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available One way to investigate the evolution of cognition is to compare the abilities of phylogenetically related species. The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris, for example, still shares cognitive abilities with the coyote (C. latrans. Both of these canids possess the ability to make psychophysical less/more discriminations of food based on quantity. Like many other species including humans, this ability is mediated by Weber’s Law: discrimination of continuous quantities is dependent on the ratio between the two quantities. As two simultaneously presented quantities of food become more similar, choice of the large or small option becomes random in both dogs and coyotes. It remains unknown, however, whether these closely related species within the same family—one domesticated, and one wild—make such quantitative comparisons with comparable accuracy. Has domestication honed or diminished this quantitative ability? Might different selective and ecological pressures facing coyotes drive them to be more or less able to accurately represent and discriminate food quantity than domesticated dogs? This study is an effort to elucidate this question concerning the evolution of non-verbal quantitative cognition.Here, we tested the quantitative discrimination ability of 16 domesticated dogs. Each animal was given 9 trials in which two different quantities of food were simultaneously displayed to them. The domesticated dogs’ performance on this task was then compared directly to the data from 16 coyotes’ performance on this same task reported by Baker and colleagues (2011.The quantitative discrimination abilities between the two species were strikingly similar. Domesticated dogs demonstrated similar quantitative sensitivity as coyotes, suggesting that domestication may not have significantly altered the psychophysical discrimination abilities of canids. Instead, this study provides further evidence for similar nonverbal quantitative abilities across

  3. Driving with head-slaved camera system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oving, A.B.; Erp, J.B.F. van

    2001-01-01

    In a field experiment, we tested the effectiveness of a head-slaved camera system for driving an armoured vehicle under armour. This system consists of a helmet-mounted display (HMD), a headtracker, and a motion platform with two cameras. Subjects performed several driving tasks on paved and in

  4. Simultaneous and Sequential Feature Negative Discriminations: Elemental Learning and Occasion Setting in Human Pavlovian Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeyens, Frank; Vervliet, Bram; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Beckers, Tom; Hermans, Dirk; Eelen, Paul

    2004-01-01

    Using a conditioned suppression task, we investigated simultaneous (XA-/A+) vs. sequential (X [right arrow] A-/A+) Feature Negative (FN) discrimination learning in humans. We expected the simultaneous discrimination to result in X (or alternatively the XA configuration) becoming an inhibitor acting directly on the US, and the sequential…

  5. Theta oscillation and neuronal activity in rat hippocampus areinvolved in temporal discrimination of time in seconds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoaki eNakazono

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of time cells revealed that the rodent hippocampus has information of time.Previous studies have suggested that a role of hippocampal time cells is to integratetemporally segregated events into a sequence using working memory with time perception.However, it is unclear that hippocampal cells contribute to time perception itself becausemost previous studies employed delayed matching-to-sample tasks that did not evaluatetime perception separately from working memory processes. Here, we investigated thefunction of the rat hippocampus in time perception using a temporal discrimination task. Inthe task, rats had to discriminate between durations of 1 and 3 sec to get a reward, andmaintaining task-related information as working memory was not required. We found thatsome hippocampal neurons showed firing rate modulation similar to that of time cells.Moreover, theta oscillation of local field potentials (LFPs showed a transient enhancementof power during time discrimination periods. However, there were little relationshipsbetween the neuronal activities and theta oscillations. These results suggest that both theindividual neuronal activities and theta oscillations of LFPs in the hippocampus have a possibility to be engaged in seconds order time perception; however, they participate in different ways.

  6. Effects of harmonic roving on pitch discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; de Kérangal, Mathilde le Gal; Joshi, Suyash Narendra

    2015-01-01

    Performance in pitch discrimination tasks is limited by variability intrinsic to listeners which may arise from peripheral auditory coding limitations or more central noise sources. The present study aimed at quantifying such “internal noise” by estimating the amount of harmonic roving required...... to impair pitch discrimination performance. Fundamental-frequency difference limens (F0DLs) were obtained in normal-hearing listeners with and without musical training for complex tones filtered between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz with F0s of 300 Hz (resolved harmonics) and 75 Hz (unresolved harmonics). The harmonicity...... that could be used to quantify the internal noise and provide strong constraints for physiologically inspired models of pitch perception....

  7. Vicarious trial-and-error behavior and hippocampal cytochrome oxidase activity during Y-maze discrimination learning in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Dan; Xu, Xiaojuan; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco

    2006-03-01

    The present study investigated whether more vicarious trial-and-error (VTE) behavior, defined by head movement from one stimulus to another at a choice point during simultaneous discriminations, led to better visual discrimination learning in a Y-maze, and whether VTE behavior was a function of the hippocampus by measuring regional brain cytochrome oxidase (C.O.) activity, an index of neuronal metabolic activity. The results showed that the more VTEs a rat made, the better the rat learned the visual discrimination. Furthermore, both learning and VTE behavior during learning were correlated to C.O. activity in the hippocampus, suggesting that the hippocampus plays a role in VTE behavior during discrimination learning.

  8. Single-trial multisensory memories affect later auditory and visual object discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thelen, Antonia; Talsma, Durk; Murray, Micah M

    2015-05-01

    Multisensory memory traces established via single-trial exposures can impact subsequent visual object recognition. This impact appears to depend on the meaningfulness of the initial multisensory pairing, implying that multisensory exposures establish distinct object representations that are accessible during later unisensory processing. Multisensory contexts may be particularly effective in influencing auditory discrimination, given the purportedly inferior recognition memory in this sensory modality. The possibility of this generalization and the equivalence of effects when memory discrimination was being performed in the visual vs. auditory modality were at the focus of this study. First, we demonstrate that visual object discrimination is affected by the context of prior multisensory encounters, replicating and extending previous findings by controlling for the probability of multisensory contexts during initial as well as repeated object presentations. Second, we provide the first evidence that single-trial multisensory memories impact subsequent auditory object discrimination. Auditory object discrimination was enhanced when initial presentations entailed semantically congruent multisensory pairs and was impaired after semantically incongruent multisensory encounters, compared to sounds that had been encountered only in a unisensory manner. Third, the impact of single-trial multisensory memories upon unisensory object discrimination was greater when the task was performed in the auditory vs. visual modality. Fourth, there was no evidence for correlation between effects of past multisensory experiences on visual and auditory processing, suggestive of largely independent object processing mechanisms between modalities. We discuss these findings in terms of the conceptual short term memory (CSTM) model and predictive coding. Our results suggest differential recruitment and modulation of conceptual memory networks according to the sensory task at hand. Copyright

  9. Matching cue size and task properties in exogenous attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Katherine E; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet

    2013-01-01

    Exogenous attention is an involuntary, reflexive orienting response that results in enhanced processing at the attended location. The standard view is that this enhancement generalizes across visual properties of a stimulus. We test whether the size of an exogenous cue sets the attentional field and whether this leads to different effects on stimuli with different visual properties. In a dual task with a random-dot kinematogram (RDK) in each quadrant of the screen, participants discriminated the direction of moving dots in one RDK and localized one red dot. Precues were uninformative and consisted of either a large or a small luminance-change frame. The motion discrimination task showed attentional effects following both large and small exogenous cues. The red dot probe localization task showed attentional effects following a small cue, but not a large cue. Two additional experiments showed that the different effects on localization were not due to reduced spatial uncertainty or suppression of RDK dots in the surround. These results indicate that the effects of exogenous attention depend on the size of the cue and the properties of the task, suggesting the involvement of receptive fields with different sizes in different tasks. These attentional effects are likely to be driven by bottom-up mechanisms in early visual areas.

  10. Individual personality differences in goats predict their performance in visual learning and non-associative cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawroth, Christian; Prentice, Pamela M; McElligott, Alan G

    2017-01-01

    Variation in common personality traits, such as boldness or exploration, is often associated with risk-reward trade-offs and behavioural flexibility. To date, only a few studies have examined the effects of consistent behavioural traits on both learning and cognition. We investigated whether certain personality traits ('exploration' and 'sociability') of individuals were related to cognitive performance, learning flexibility and learning style in a social ungulate species, the goat (Capra hircus). We also investigated whether a preference for feature cues rather than impaired learning abilities can explain performance variation in a visual discrimination task. We found that personality scores were consistent across time and context. Less explorative goats performed better in a non-associative cognitive task, in which subjects had to follow the trajectory of a hidden object (i.e. testing their ability for object permanence). We also found that less sociable subjects performed better compared to more sociable goats in a visual discrimination task. Good visual learning performance was associated with a preference for feature cues, indicating personality-dependent learning strategies in goats. Our results suggest that personality traits predict the outcome in visual discrimination and non-associative cognitive tasks in goats and that impaired performance in a visual discrimination tasks does not necessarily imply impaired learning capacities, but rather can be explained by a varying preference for feature cues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The influence of spatial congruency and movement preparation time on saccade curvature in simultaneous and sequential dual-tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehler, Tobias; Fiehler, Katja

    2015-11-01

    Saccade curvature represents a sensitive measure of oculomotor inhibition with saccades curving away from covertly attended locations. Here we investigated whether and how saccade curvature depends on movement preparation time when a perceptual task is performed during or before saccade preparation. Participants performed a dual-task including a visual discrimination task at a cued location and a saccade task to the same location (congruent) or to a different location (incongruent). Additionally, we varied saccade preparation time (time between saccade cue and Go-signal) and the occurrence of the discrimination task (during saccade preparation=simultaneous vs. before saccade preparation=sequential). We found deteriorated perceptual performance in incongruent trials during simultaneous task performance while perceptual performance was unaffected during sequential task performance. Saccade accuracy and precision were deteriorated in incongruent trials during simultaneous and, to a lesser extent, also during sequential task performance. Saccades consistently curved away from covertly attended non-saccade locations. Saccade curvature was unaffected by movement preparation time during simultaneous task performance but decreased and finally vanished with increasing movement preparation time during sequential task performance. Our results indicate that the competing saccade plan to the covertly attended non-saccade location is maintained during simultaneous task performance until the perceptual task is solved while in the sequential condition, in which the discrimination task is solved prior to the saccade task, oculomotor inhibition decays gradually with movement preparation time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Simple and conditional visual discrimination with wheel running as reinforcement in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, I H

    1998-09-01

    Three experiments explored whether access to wheel running is sufficient as reinforcement to establish and maintain simple and conditional visual discriminations in nondeprived rats. In Experiment 1, 2 rats learned to press a lit key to produce access to running; responding was virtually absent when the key was dark, but latencies to respond were longer than for customary food and water reinforcers. Increases in the intertrial interval did not improve the discrimination performance. In Experiment 2, 3 rats acquired a go-left/go-right discrimination with a trial-initiating response and reached an accuracy that exceeded 80%; when two keys showed a steady light, pressing the left key produced access to running whereas pressing the right key produced access to running when both keys showed blinking light. Latencies to respond to the lights shortened when the trial-initiation response was introduced and became much shorter than in Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, 1 rat acquired a conditional discrimination task (matching to sample) with steady versus blinking lights at an accuracy exceeding 80%. A trial-initiation response allowed self-paced trials as in Experiment 2. When the rat was exposed to the task for 19 successive 24-hr periods with access to food and water, the discrimination performance settled in a typical circadian pattern and peak accuracy exceeded 90%. When the trial-initiation response was under extinction, without access to running, the circadian activity pattern determined the time of spontaneous recovery. The experiments demonstrate that wheel-running reinforcement can be used to establish and maintain simple and conditional visual discriminations in nondeprived rats.

  13. Aging effects on ERP correlates of emotional word discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molnar, M.; Toth, B.; Boha, R.; Gaal, Z.A.; Kardos, Z.; File, B.; Stam, C.J.

    2013-01-01

    ObjectiveTo explore age-, and valence specific ERP-characteristics of word-discrimination processes. Methods: A group of young (mean age: 21.26. yrs) and elderly (mean age: 65.73. yrs) individuals participated. The task was to respond to a word (target) with valence (neutral, negative, positive) and

  14. Hippocampal-cortical contributions to strategic exploration during perceptual discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Joel L; Cohen, Neal J

    2017-06-01

    The hippocampus is crucial for long-term memory; its involvement in short-term or immediate expressions of memory is more controversial. Rodent hippocampus has been implicated in an expression of memory that occurs on-line during exploration termed "vicarious trial-and-error" (VTE) behavior. VTE occurs when rodents iteratively explore options during perceptual discrimination or at choice points. It is strategic in that it accelerates learning and improves later memory. VTE has been associated with activity of rodent hippocampal neurons, and lesions of hippocampus disrupt VTE and associated learning and memory advantages. Analogous findings of VTE in humans would support the role of hippocampus in active use of short-term memory to guide strategic behavior. We therefore measured VTE using eye-movement tracking during perceptual discrimination and identified relevant neural correlates with functional magnetic resonance imaging. A difficult perceptual-discrimination task was used that required visual information to be maintained during a several second trial, but with no long-term memory component. VTE accelerated discrimination. Neural correlates of VTE included robust activity of hippocampus and activity of a network of medial prefrontal and lateral parietal regions involved in memory-guided behavior. This VTE-related activity was distinct from activity associated with simply viewing visual stimuli and making eye movements during the discrimination task, which occurred in regions frequently associated with visual processing and eye-movement control. Subjects were mostly unaware of performing VTE, thus further distancing VTE from explicit long-term memory processing. These findings bridge the rodent and human literatures on neural substrates of memory-guided behavior, and provide further support for the role of hippocampus and a hippocampal-centered network of cortical regions in the immediate use of memory in on-line processing and the guidance of behavior. © 2017

  15. How discriminating are discriminative instruments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hankins, Matthew

    2008-05-27

    The McMaster framework introduced by Kirshner & Guyatt is the dominant paradigm for the development of measures of health status and health-related quality of life (HRQL). The framework defines the functions of such instruments as evaluative, predictive or discriminative. Evaluative instruments are required to be sensitive to change (responsiveness), but there is no corresponding index of the degree to which discriminative instruments are sensitive to cross-sectional differences. This paper argues that indices of validity and reliability are not sufficient to demonstrate that a discriminative instrument performs its function of discriminating between individuals, and that the McMaster framework would be augmented by the addition of a separate index of discrimination. The coefficient proposed by Ferguson (Delta) is easily adapted to HRQL instruments and is a direct, non-parametric index of the degree to which an instrument distinguishes between individuals. While Delta should prove useful in the development and evaluation of discriminative instruments, further research is required to elucidate the relationship between the measurement properties of discrimination, reliability and responsiveness.

  16. How discriminating are discriminative instruments?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hankins Matthew

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The McMaster framework introduced by Kirshner & Guyatt is the dominant paradigm for the development of measures of health status and health-related quality of life (HRQL. The framework defines the functions of such instruments as evaluative, predictive or discriminative. Evaluative instruments are required to be sensitive to change (responsiveness, but there is no corresponding index of the degree to which discriminative instruments are sensitive to cross-sectional differences. This paper argues that indices of validity and reliability are not sufficient to demonstrate that a discriminative instrument performs its function of discriminating between individuals, and that the McMaster framework would be augmented by the addition of a separate index of discrimination. The coefficient proposed by Ferguson (Delta is easily adapted to HRQL instruments and is a direct, non-parametric index of the degree to which an instrument distinguishes between individuals. While Delta should prove useful in the development and evaluation of discriminative instruments, further research is required to elucidate the relationship between the measurement properties of discrimination, reliability and responsiveness.

  17. Speech discrimination difficulties in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder are likely independent of auditory hypersensitivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Andrew Dunlop

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, characterised by impaired communication skills and repetitive behaviours, can also result in differences in sensory perception. Individuals with ASD often perform normally in simple auditory tasks but poorly compared to typically developed (TD individuals on complex auditory tasks like discriminating speech from complex background noise. A common trait of individuals with ASD is hypersensitivity to auditory stimulation. No studies to our knowledge consider whether hypersensitivity to sounds is related to differences in speech-in-noise discrimination. We provide novel evidence that individuals with high-functioning ASD show poor performance compared to TD individuals in a speech-in-noise discrimination task with an attentionally demanding background noise, but not in a purely energetic noise. Further, we demonstrate in our small sample that speech-hypersensitivity does not appear to predict performance in the speech-in-noise task. The findings support the argument that an attentional deficit, rather than a perceptual deficit, affects the ability of individuals with ASD to discriminate speech from background noise. Finally, we piloted a novel questionnaire that measures difficulty hearing in noisy environments, and sensitivity to non-verbal and verbal sounds. Psychometric analysis using 128 TD participants provided novel evidence for a difference in sensitivity to non-verbal and verbal sounds, and these findings were reinforced by participants with ASD who also completed the questionnaire. The study was limited by a small and high-functioning sample of participants with ASD. Future work could test larger sample sizes and include lower-functioning ASD participants.

  18. Development of Gender Discrimination: Effect of Sex-Typical and Sex-Atypical Toys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etaugh, Claire; Duits, Terri L.

    Toddlers (41 girls and 35 boys) between 18 and 37 months of age were given four gender discrimination tasks each consisting of 6 pairs of color drawings. Three of the tasks employed color drawings of preschool girls and boys holding either a sex-typical toy, a sex-atypical toy, or no toy. The fourth employed pictures of sex-typical masculine and…

  19. Food's visually perceived fat content affects discrimination speed in an orthogonal spatial task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrar, Vanessa; Toepel, Ulrike; Murray, Micah M; Spence, Charles

    2011-10-01

    Choosing what to eat is a complex activity for humans. Determining a food's pleasantness requires us to combine information about what is available at a given time with knowledge of the food's palatability, texture, fat content, and other nutritional information. It has been suggested that humans may have an implicit knowledge of a food's fat content based on its appearance; Toepel et al. (Neuroimage 44:967-974, 2009) reported visual-evoked potential modulations after participants viewed images of high-energy, high-fat food (HF), as compared to viewing low-fat food (LF). In the present study, we investigated whether there are any immediate behavioural consequences of these modulations for human performance. HF, LF, or non-food (NF) images were used to exogenously direct participants' attention to either the left or the right. Next, participants made speeded elevation discrimination responses (up vs. down) to visual targets presented either above or below the midline (and at one of three stimulus onset asynchronies: 150, 300, or 450 ms). Participants responded significantly more rapidly following the presentation of a HF image than following the presentation of either LF or NF images, despite the fact that the identity of the images was entirely task-irrelevant. Similar results were found when comparing response speeds following images of high-carbohydrate (HC) food items to low-carbohydrate (LC) food items. These results support the view that people rapidly process (i.e. within a few hundred milliseconds) the fat/carbohydrate/energy value or, perhaps more generally, the pleasantness of food. Potentially as a result of HF/HC food items being more pleasant and thus having a higher incentive value, it seems as though seeing these foods results in a response readiness, or an overall alerting effect, in the human brain.

  20. Cross-Cultural Influences on Rhythm Processing: Reproduction, Discrimination, and Beat Tapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Cameron

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The structures of musical rhythm differ between cultures, despite the fact that the ability to synchronize one’s movements to musical rhythms appears to be universal. To measure the influence of culture on rhythm processing, we tested East African and North American adults on the perception, production, and beat tapping of rhythms derived from East African and Western music. To assess rhythm perception, participants identified whether pairs of rhythms were same or different. To assess rhythm production, participants reproduced rhythms after hearing them. To assess beat tapping, participants tapped the beat along with repeated rhythms. We expected that performance in all three tasks would be influenced both by the culture of the participant and by the culture of the rhythm. Specifically, we predicted that a participant’s ability to discriminate, reproduce, and accurately tap the beat would be better for rhythms from their own culture than for rhythms from another culture. In the rhythm discrimination task, there were no differences in discriminating culturally familiar and unfamiliar rhythms. In the rhythm reproduction task, both groups reproduced East African rhythms more accurately than Western rhythms, but East African participants also showed an effect of cultural familiarity, leading to a significant interaction. In the beat tapping task, participants in both groups tapped the beat more accurately for culturally familiar than unfamiliar rhythms. The results demonstrate that culture does influence the processing of musical rhythm. In terms of the function of musical rhythm, our results are consistent with theories that musical rhythm enables synchronization. Musical rhythm may foster musical cultural identity by enabling within-group synchronization to music, perhaps supporting social cohesion.

  1. A novel variable delay Go/No-Go task to study attention, motivation and working memory in the head-fixed rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolzani, Samuel D; Nakamura, Shinya; Cooper, Donald C

    2013-01-01

    In order to parse the causal elements underlying complex behaviors and decision-making processes, appropriate behavioral methods must be developed and used in concurrence with molecular, pharmacological, and electrophysiological approaches. Presented is a protocol for a novel Go/No-Go behavioral paradigm to study the brain attention and motivation/reward circuitry in awake, head-restrained rodents. This experimental setup allows: (1) Pharmacological and viral manipulation of various brain regions via targeted guide cannula; (2) Optogenetic cell-type specific activation and silencing with simultaneous electrophysiological recording and; (3) Repeated electrophysiological single and multiple unit recordings during ongoing behavior. The task consists of three components. The subject first makes an observing response by initiating a trial by lever pressing in response to distinctive Go or No-Go tones.  Then, after a variable delay period, the subject is presented with a challenge period cued by white noise during which they must respond with a lever press for the Go condition or withhold from lever pressing for the duration of the cue in the No-Go condition. After correctly responding during the challenge period (Challenge) and a brief delay, a final reward tone of the same frequency as the initiation tone is presented and sucrose reward delivery is available and contingent upon lever pressing. Here, we provide a novel procedure and validating data set that allows researchers to study and manipulate components of behavior such as attention, motivation, impulsivity, and reward-related working memory during an ongoing operant behavioral task while limiting interference from non task-related behaviors.

  2. Performance and strategy comparisons of human listeners and logistic regression in discriminating underwater targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lixue; Chen, Kean

    2015-11-01

    To improve the design of underwater target recognition systems based on auditory perception, this study compared human listeners with automatic classifiers. Performances measures and strategies in three discrimination experiments, including discriminations between man-made and natural targets, between ships and submarines, and among three types of ships, were used. In the experiments, the subjects were asked to assign a score to each sound based on how confident they were about the category to which it belonged, and logistic regression, which represents linear discriminative models, also completed three similar tasks by utilizing many auditory features. The results indicated that the performances of logistic regression improved as the ratio between inter- and intra-class differences became larger, whereas the performances of the human subjects were limited by their unfamiliarity with the targets. Logistic regression performed better than the human subjects in all tasks but the discrimination between man-made and natural targets, and the strategies employed by excellent human subjects were similar to that of logistic regression. Logistic regression and several human subjects demonstrated similar performances when discriminating man-made and natural targets, but in this case, their strategies were not similar. An appropriate fusion of their strategies led to further improvement in recognition accuracy.

  3. Pitch ranking, electrode discrimination, and physiological spread-of-excitation using Cochlear's dual-electrode mode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goehring, Jenny L; Neff, Donna L; Baudhuin, Jacquelyn L; Hughes, Michelle L

    2014-08-01

    This study compared pitch ranking, electrode discrimination, and electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP) spatial excitation patterns for adjacent physical electrodes (PEs) and the corresponding dual electrodes (DEs) for newer-generation Cochlear devices (Cochlear Ltd., Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia). The first goal was to determine whether pitch ranking and electrode discrimination yield similar outcomes for PEs and DEs. The second goal was to determine if the amount of spatial separation among ECAP excitation patterns (separation index, Σ) between adjacent PEs and the PE-DE pairs can predict performance on the psychophysical tasks. Using non-adaptive procedures, 13 subjects completed pitch ranking and electrode discrimination for adjacent PEs and the corresponding PE-DE pairs (DE versus each flanking PE) from the basal, middle, and apical electrode regions. Analysis of d' scores indicated that pitch-ranking and electrode-discrimination scores were not significantly different, but rather produced similar levels of performance. As expected, accuracy was significantly better for the PE-PE comparison than either PE-DE comparison. Correlations of the psychophysical versus ECAP Σ measures were positive; however, not all test/region correlations were significant across the array. Thus, the ECAP separation index is not sensitive enough to predict performance on behavioral tasks of pitch ranking or electrode discrimination for adjacent PEs or corresponding DEs.

  4. Multi-level discriminative dictionary learning with application to large scale image classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Li; Sun, Gang; Huang, Qingming; Wang, Shuhui; Lin, Zhouchen; Wu, Enhua

    2015-10-01

    The sparse coding technique has shown flexibility and capability in image representation and analysis. It is a powerful tool in many visual applications. Some recent work has shown that incorporating the properties of task (such as discrimination for classification task) into dictionary learning is effective for improving the accuracy. However, the traditional supervised dictionary learning methods suffer from high computation complexity when dealing with large number of categories, making them less satisfactory in large scale applications. In this paper, we propose a novel multi-level discriminative dictionary learning method and apply it to large scale image classification. Our method takes advantage of hierarchical category correlation to encode multi-level discriminative information. Each internal node of the category hierarchy is associated with a discriminative dictionary and a classification model. The dictionaries at different layers are learnt to capture the information of different scales. Moreover, each node at lower layers also inherits the dictionary of its parent, so that the categories at lower layers can be described with multi-scale information. The learning of dictionaries and associated classification models is jointly conducted by minimizing an overall tree loss. The experimental results on challenging data sets demonstrate that our approach achieves excellent accuracy and competitive computation cost compared with other sparse coding methods for large scale image classification.

  5. Brand discrimination: an implicit measure of the strength of mental brand representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Mike; Leclercq, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    While mental associations between a brand and its marketing elements are an important part of brand equity, previous research has yet to provide a sound methodology to measure the strength of these links. The following studies present the development and validation of an implicit measure to assess the strength of mental representations of brand elements in the mind of the consumer. The measure described in this paper, which we call the Brand Discrimination task, requires participants to identify whether images of brand elements (e.g. color, logo, packaging) belong to a target brand or not. Signal detection theory (SDT) is used to calculate a Brand Discrimination index which gives a measure of overall recognition accuracy for a brand's elements in the context of its competitors. A series of five studies shows that the Brand Discrimination task can discriminate between strong and weak brands, increases when mental representations of brands are experimentally strengthened, is relatively stable across time, and can predict brand choice, independently and while controlling for other explicit and implicit brand evaluation measures. Together, these studies provide unique evidence for the importance of mental brand representations in marketing and consumer behavior, along with a research methodology to measure this important consumer-based brand attribute.

  6. Brand discrimination: an implicit measure of the strength of mental brand representations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike Friedman

    Full Text Available While mental associations between a brand and its marketing elements are an important part of brand equity, previous research has yet to provide a sound methodology to measure the strength of these links. The following studies present the development and validation of an implicit measure to assess the strength of mental representations of brand elements in the mind of the consumer. The measure described in this paper, which we call the Brand Discrimination task, requires participants to identify whether images of brand elements (e.g. color, logo, packaging belong to a target brand or not. Signal detection theory (SDT is used to calculate a Brand Discrimination index which gives a measure of overall recognition accuracy for a brand's elements in the context of its competitors. A series of five studies shows that the Brand Discrimination task can discriminate between strong and weak brands, increases when mental representations of brands are experimentally strengthened, is relatively stable across time, and can predict brand choice, independently and while controlling for other explicit and implicit brand evaluation measures. Together, these studies provide unique evidence for the importance of mental brand representations in marketing and consumer behavior, along with a research methodology to measure this important consumer-based brand attribute.

  7. Brand Discrimination: An Implicit Measure of the Strength of Mental Brand Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Mike; Leclercq, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    While mental associations between a brand and its marketing elements are an important part of brand equity, previous research has yet to provide a sound methodology to measure the strength of these links. The following studies present the development and validation of an implicit measure to assess the strength of mental representations of brand elements in the mind of the consumer. The measure described in this paper, which we call the Brand Discrimination task, requires participants to identify whether images of brand elements (e.g. color, logo, packaging) belong to a target brand or not. Signal detection theory (SDT) is used to calculate a Brand Discrimination index which gives a measure of overall recognition accuracy for a brand’s elements in the context of its competitors. A series of five studies shows that the Brand Discrimination task can discriminate between strong and weak brands, increases when mental representations of brands are experimentally strengthened, is relatively stable across time, and can predict brand choice, independently and while controlling for other explicit and implicit brand evaluation measures. Together, these studies provide unique evidence for the importance of mental brand representations in marketing and consumer behavior, along with a research methodology to measure this important consumer-based brand attribute. PMID:25803845

  8. Influence of Task Difficulty and Background Music on Working Memory Activity: Developmental Considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniel, Shlomo; Aram, Dorit

    1998-01-01

    A study of 300 children in kindergarten, grade 2, and grade 6 found that background music improved visual discrimination task performance at the youngest and middle ages and had no effect on the oldest participants. On a square identification task, background music had no influence on easy and difficult tasks but lowered performance on…

  9. Effects of zolpidem on sedation, anxiety, and memory in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanin, Karina A; Patti, Camilla L; Sanday, Leandro; Fernandes-Santos, Luciano; Oliveira, Larissa C; Poyares, Dalva; Tufik, Sergio; Frussa-Filho, Roberto

    2013-04-01

    Zolpidem (Zolp), a hypnotic drug prescribed to treat insomnia, may have negative effects on memory, but reports are inconsistent. We examined the effects of acute doses of Zolp (2, 5, or 10 mg/kg, i.p.) on memory formation (learning, consolidation, and retrieval) using the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task. Mice were acutely treated with Zolp 30 min before training or testing. In addition, the effects of Zolp and midazolam (Mid; a classic benzodiazepine) on consolidation at different time points were examined. The possible role of state dependency was investigated using combined pre-training and pre-test treatments. Zolp produced a dose-dependent sedative effect, without modifying anxiety-like behavior. The pre-training administration of 5 or 10 mg/kg resulted in retention deficits. When administered immediately after training or before testing, memory was preserved. Zolp post-training administration (2 or 3 h) impaired subsequent memory. There was no participation of state dependency phenomenon in the amnestic effects of Zolp. Similar to Zolp, Mid impaired memory consolidation when administered 1 h after training. Amnestic effects occurred when Zolp was administered either before or 2-3 h after training. These memory deficits are not related to state dependency. Moreover, Zolp did not impair memory retrieval. Notably, the memory-impairing effects of Zolp are similar to those of Mid, with the exception of the time point at which the drug can modify consolidation. Finally, the memory effects were unrelated to sedation or anxiolysis.

  10. 77 FR 74341 - Establishing the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-14

    ..., local, and tribal communities to improve the region's resilience, health, and prosperity by building for... Urban Development (Chair). (a) In addition to the Chair, the Task Force shall consist of the head of... offices related to the functions of the Task Force; and (iii) specifying the form and subject matter of...

  11. Discrimination of cortical laminae using MEG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troebinger, Luzia; López, José David; Lutti, Antoine; Bestmann, Sven; Barnes, Gareth

    2014-11-15

    Typically MEG source reconstruction is used to estimate the distribution of current flow on a single anatomically derived cortical surface model. In this study we use two such models representing superficial and deep cortical laminae. We establish how well we can discriminate between these two different cortical layer models based on the same MEG data in the presence of different levels of co-registration noise, Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and cortical patch size. We demonstrate that it is possible to make a distinction between superficial and deep cortical laminae for levels of co-registration noise of less than 2mm translation and 2° rotation at SNR > 11 dB. We also show that an incorrect estimate of cortical patch size will tend to bias layer estimates. We then use a 3D printed head-cast (Troebinger et al., 2014) to achieve comparable levels of co-registration noise, in an auditory evoked response paradigm, and show that it is possible to discriminate between these cortical layer models in real data. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Executive function deficits in team sport athletes with a history of concussion revealed by a visual-auditory dual task paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapper, Anthony; Gonzalez, Dave; Roy, Eric; Niechwiej-Szwedo, Ewa

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine executive functions in team sport athletes with and without a history of concussion. Executive functions comprise many cognitive processes including, working memory, attention and multi-tasking. Past research has shown that concussions cause difficulties in vestibular-visual and vestibular-auditory dual-tasking, however, visual-auditory tasks have been examined rarely. Twenty-nine intercollegiate varsity ice hockey athletes (age = 19.13, SD = 1.56; 15 females) performed an experimental dual-task paradigm that required simultaneously processing visual and auditory information. A brief interview, event description and self-report questionnaires were used to assign participants to each group (concussion, no-concussion). Eighteen athletes had a history of concussion and 11 had no concussion history. The two tests involved visuospatial working memory (i.e., Corsi block test) and auditory tone discrimination. Participants completed both tasks individually, then simultaneously. Two outcome variables were measured, Corsi block memory span and auditory tone discrimination accuracy. No differences were shown when each task was performed alone; however, athletes with a history of concussion had a significantly worse performance on the tone discrimination task in the dual-task condition. In conclusion, long-term deficits in executive functions were associated with a prior history of concussion when cognitive resources were stressed. Evaluations of executive functions and divided attention appear to be helpful in discriminating participants with and without a history concussion.

  13. Differential effects of visual context on pattern discrimination by pigeons (Columba livia) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Debbie M; Cook, Robert G

    2003-06-01

    Three experiment examined the role of contextual information during line orientation and line position discriminations by pigeons (Columba livia) and humans (Homo sapiens). Experiment 1 tested pigeons' performance with these stimuli in a target localization task using texture displays. Experiments 2 and 3 tested pigeons and humans, respectively, with small and large variations of these stimuli in a same-different task. Humans showed a configural superiority effect when tested with displays constructed from large elements but not when tested with the smaller, more densely packed texture displays. The pigeons, in contrast, exhibited a configural inferiority effect when required to discriminate line orientation, regardless of stimulus size. These contrasting results suggest a species difference in the perceptionand use of features and contextual information in the discrimination of line information.

  14. Post-stimulus endogenous and exogenous oscillations are differentially modulated by task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yun; Lou, Bin; Gao, Xiaorong; Sajda, Paul

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the modulation of post-stimulus endogenous and exogenous oscillations when a visual discrimination is made more difficult. We use exogenous frequency tagging to induce steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) while subjects perform a face-car discrimination task, the difficulty of which varies on a trial-to-trial basis by varying the noise (phase coherence) in the image. We simultaneously analyze amplitude modulations of the SSVEP and endogenous alpha activity as a function of task difficulty. SSVEP modulation can be viewed as a neural marker of attention toward/away from the primary task, while modulation of post-stimulus alpha is closely related to cortical information processing. We find that as the task becomes more difficult, the amplitude of SSVEP decreases significantly, approximately 250-450 ms post-stimulus. Significant changes in endogenous alpha amplitude follow SSVEP modulation, occurring at approximately 400-700 ms post-stimulus and, unlike the SSVEP, the alpha amplitude is increasingly suppressed as the task becomes less difficult. Our results demonstrate simultaneous measurement of endogenous and exogenous oscillations that are modulated by task difficulty, and that the specific timing of these modulations likely reflects underlying information processing flow during perceptual decision-making.

  15. Pharmacological inactivation does not support a unique causal role for intraparietal sulcus in the discrimination of visual number.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas K DeWind

    Full Text Available The "number sense" describes the intuitive ability to quantify without counting. Single neuron recordings in non-human primates and functional imaging in humans suggest the intraparietal sulcus is an important neuroanatomical locus of numerical estimation. Other lines of inquiry implicate the IPS in numerous other functions, including attention and decision making. Here we provide a direct test of whether IPS has functional specificity for numerosity judgments. We used muscimol to reversibly and independently inactivate the ventral and lateral intraparietal areas in two monkeys performing a numerical discrimination task and a color discrimination task, roughly equilibrated for difficulty. Inactivation of either area caused parallel impairments in both tasks and no evidence of a selective deficit in numerical processing. These findings do not support a causal role for the IPS in numerical discrimination, except insofar as it also has a role in the discrimination of color. We discuss our findings in light of several alternative hypotheses of IPS function, including a role in orienting responses, a general cognitive role in attention and decision making processes and a more specific role in ordinal comparison that encompasses both number and color judgments.

  16. Reduced Chromatic Discrimination in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Anna; Sowden, Paul; Notman, Leslie; Gonzalez-Dixon, Melissa; West, Dorotea; Alexander, Iona; Loveday, Stephen; White, Alex

    2010-01-01

    Atypical perception in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is well documented (Dakin & Frith, 2005). However, relatively little is known about colour perception in ASD. Less accurate performance on certain colour tasks has led some to argue that chromatic discrimination is reduced in ASD relative to typical development (Franklin, Sowden, Burley,…

  17. BrainK for Structural Image Processing: Creating Electrical Models of the Human Head

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available BrainK is a set of automated procedures for characterizing the tissues of the human head from MRI, CT, and photogrammetry images. The tissue segmentation and cortical surface extraction support the primary goal of modeling the propagation of electrical currents through head tissues with a finite difference model (FDM or finite element model (FEM created from the BrainK geometries. The electrical head model is necessary for accurate source localization of dense array electroencephalographic (dEEG measures from head surface electrodes. It is also necessary for accurate targeting of cerebral structures with transcranial current injection from those surface electrodes. BrainK must achieve five major tasks: image segmentation, registration of the MRI, CT, and sensor photogrammetry images, cortical surface reconstruction, dipole tessellation of the cortical surface, and Talairach transformation. We describe the approach to each task, and we compare the accuracies for the key tasks of tissue segmentation and cortical surface extraction in relation to existing research tools (FreeSurfer, FSL, SPM, and BrainVisa. BrainK achieves good accuracy with minimal or no user intervention, it deals well with poor quality MR images and tissue abnormalities, and it provides improved computational efficiency over existing research packages.

  18. Evaluation of a novel high-fidelity epistaxis task trainer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Grace M; Roth, Kathryn; Rotenberg, Brian; Sommer, Doron D; Sowerby, Leigh; Fung, Kevin

    2016-07-01

    To assess the efficacy of a novel high-fidelity epistaxis simulator in teaching epistaxis management to junior otolaryngology head and neck surgery residents. Prospective cohort study. A novel high-fidelity epistaxis task trainer was developed using a cadaver head, intravenous tubing, and a food coloring-filled saline bag to emulate blood. Learners were instructed on two techniques of nasal packing (formal nasal pack and nasal tampon) for the management of epistaxis using the task trainer. Learners were videotaped attempting to pack the nose of the task trainer pre- and postintervention (verbal instruction, and practice time with task trainer). Five board-certified otolaryngologists (blinded to pre- and postintervention status) evaluated the packing technique using standardized subjective outcome measures. There were 13 junior otolaryngology residents enrolled in the study. This cohort showed a statistically significant increase in global rating scores (P epistaxis simulator has been successful in teaching and the practical application of various skills in epistaxis management. This task trainer appears to confer an educational benefit in technical skills acquisition in novice learners. Further studies are needed to determine long-term skill retention. Simulation is a promising educational adjunct that effectively enhances epistaxis management skills acquisition while maximizing patient safety. NA. Laryngoscope, 126:1501-1503, 2016. © 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  19. Long term effects of aversive reinforcement on colour discrimination learning in free-flying bumblebees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A Rodríguez-Gironés

    Full Text Available The results of behavioural experiments provide important information about the structure and information-processing abilities of the visual system. Nevertheless, if we want to infer from behavioural data how the visual system operates, it is important to know how different learning protocols affect performance and to devise protocols that minimise noise in the response of experimental subjects. The purpose of this work was to investigate how reinforcement schedule and individual variability affect the learning process in a colour discrimination task. Free-flying bumblebees were trained to discriminate between two perceptually similar colours. The target colour was associated with sucrose solution, and the distractor could be associated with water or quinine solution throughout the experiment, or with one substance during the first half of the experiment and the other during the second half. Both acquisition and final performance of the discrimination task (measured as proportion of correct choices were determined by the choice of reinforcer during the first half of the experiment: regardless of whether bees were trained with water or quinine during the second half of the experiment, bees trained with quinine during the first half learned the task faster and performed better during the whole experiment. Our results confirm that the choice of stimuli used during training affects the rate at which colour discrimination tasks are acquired and show that early contact with a strongly aversive stimulus can be sufficient to maintain high levels of attention during several hours. On the other hand, bees which took more time to decide on which flower to alight were more likely to make correct choices than bees which made fast decisions. This result supports the existence of a trade-off between foraging speed and accuracy, and highlights the importance of measuring choice latencies during behavioural experiments focusing on cognitive abilities.

  20. Adolescent fluoxetine exposure produces enduring, sex-specific alterations of visual discrimination and attention in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaRoche, Ronee B; Morgan, Russell E

    2007-01-01

    Over the past two decades the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat behavioral disorders in children has grown rapidly, despite little evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of these drugs for use in children. Utilizing a rat model, this study investigated whether post-weaning exposure to a prototype SSRI, fluoxetine (FLX), influenced performance on visual tasks designed to measure discrimination learning, sustained attention, inhibitory control, and reaction time. Additionally, sex differences in response to varying doses of fluoxetine were examined. In Experiment 1, female rats were administered (P.O.) fluoxetine (10 mg/kg ) or vehicle (apple juice) from PND 25 thru PND 49. After a 14 day washout period, subjects were trained to perform a simultaneous visual discrimination task. Subjects were then tested for 20 sessions on a visual attention task that consisted of varied stimulus delays (0, 3, 6, or 9 s) and cue durations (200, 400, or 700 ms). In Experiment 2, both male and female Long-Evans rats (24 F, 24 M) were administered fluoxetine (0, 5, 10, or 15 mg/kg) then tested in the same visual tasks used in Experiment 1, with the addition of open-field and elevated plus-maze testing. Few FLX-related differences were seen in the visual discrimination, open field, or plus-maze tasks. However, results from the visual attention task indicated a dose-dependent reduction in the performance of fluoxetine-treated males, whereas fluoxetine-treated females tended to improve over baseline. These findings indicate that enduring, behaviorally-relevant alterations of the CNS can occur following pharmacological manipulation of the serotonin system during postnatal development.

  1. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2016-03-30

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition.

  2. Relation between functional connectivity and rhythm discrimination in children who do and do not stutter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soo-Eun Chang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to perceive and produce rhythmic patterns in the environment supports fundamental human capacities ranging from music and language processing to the coordination of action. This article considers whether spontaneous correlated brain activity within a basal ganglia-thalamocortical (rhythm network is associated with individual differences in auditory rhythm discrimination. Moreover, do children who stutter with demonstrated deficits in rhythm perception have weaker links between rhythm network functional connectivity and rhythm discrimination? All children in the study underwent a resting-state fMRI session, from which functional connectivity measures within the rhythm network were extracted from spontaneous brain activity. In a separate session, the same children completed an auditory rhythm-discrimination task, where behavioral performance was assessed using signal detection analysis. We hypothesized that in typically developing children, rhythm network functional connectivity would be associated with behavioral performance on the rhythm discrimination task, but that this relationship would be attenuated in children who stutter. Results supported our hypotheses, lending strong support for the view that (1 children who stutter have weaker rhythm network connectivity and (2 the lack of a relation between rhythm network connectivity and rhythm discrimination in children who stutter may be an important contributing factor to the etiology of stuttering.

  3. Cross-cultural influences on rhythm processing: reproduction, discrimination, and beat tapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Daniel J; Bentley, Jocelyn; Grahn, Jessica A

    2015-01-01

    The structures of musical rhythm differ between cultures, despite the fact that the ability to entrain movement to musical rhythm occurs in virtually all individuals across cultures. To measure the influence of culture on rhythm processing, we tested East African and North American adults on perception, production, and beat tapping for rhythms derived from East African and Western music. To assess rhythm perception, participants identified whether pairs of rhythms were the same or different. To assess rhythm production, participants reproduced rhythms after hearing them. To assess beat tapping, participants tapped the beat along with repeated rhythms. We expected that performance in all three tasks would be influenced by the culture of the participant and the culture of the rhythm. Specifically, we predicted that a participant's ability to discriminate, reproduce, and accurately tap the beat would be better for rhythms from their own culture than for rhythms from another culture. In the rhythm discrimination task, there were no differences in discriminating culturally familiar and unfamiliar rhythms. In the rhythm reproduction task, both groups reproduced East African rhythms more accurately than Western rhythms, but East African participants also showed an effect of cultural familiarity, leading to a significant interaction. In the beat tapping task, participants in both groups tapped the beat more accurately for culturally familiar than for unfamiliar rhythms. Moreover, there were differences between the two participant groups, and between the two types of rhythms, in the metrical level selected for beat tapping. The results demonstrate that culture does influence the processing of musical rhythm. In terms of the function of musical rhythm, our results are consistent with theories that musical rhythm enables synchronization. Musical rhythm may foster musical cultural identity by enabling within-group synchronization to music, perhaps supporting social cohesion.

  4. Environmental Enrichment Expedites Acquisition and Improves Flexibility on a Temporal Sequencing Task in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darius Rountree-Harrison

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment (EE via increased opportunities for voluntary exercise, sensory stimulation and social interaction, can enhance the function of and behaviours regulated by cognitive circuits. Little is known, however, as to how this intervention affects performance on complex tasks that engage multiple, definable learning and memory systems. Accordingly, we utilised the Olfactory Temporal Order Discrimination (OTOD task which requires animals to recall and report sequence information about a series of recently encountered olfactory stimuli. This approach allowed us to compare animals raised in either enriched or standard laboratory housing conditions on a number of measures, including the acquisition of a complex discrimination task, temporal sequence recall accuracy (i.e., the ability to accurately recall a sequences of events and acuity (i.e., the ability to resolve past events that occurred in close temporal proximity, as well as cognitive flexibility tested in the style of a rule reversal and an Intra-Dimensional Shift (IDS. We found that enrichment accelerated the acquisition of the temporal order discrimination task, although neither accuracy nor acuity was affected at asymptotic performance levels. Further, while a subtle enhancement of overall performance was detected for both rule reversal and IDS versions of the task, accelerated performance recovery could only be attributed to the shift-like contingency change. These findings suggest that EE can affect specific elements of complex, multi-faceted cognitive processes.

  5. Spatial discrimination and visual discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haagensen, Annika M. J.; Grand, Nanna; Klastrup, Signe

    2013-01-01

    Two methods investigating learning and memory in juvenile Gottingen minipigs were evaluated for potential use in preclinical toxicity testing. Twelve minipigs were tested using a spatial hole-board discrimination test including a learning phase and two memory phases. Five minipigs were tested...... in a visual discrimination test. The juvenile minipigs were able to learn the spatial hole-board discrimination test and showed improved working and reference memory during the learning phase. Performance in the memory phases was affected by the retention intervals, but the minipigs were able to remember...... the concept of the test in both memory phases. Working memory and reference memory were significantly improved in the last trials of the memory phases. In the visual discrimination test, the minipigs learned to discriminate between the three figures presented to them within 9-14 sessions. For the memory test...

  6. Short-term visual deprivation reduces interference effects of task-irrelevant facial expressions on affective prosody judgments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ineke eFengler

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Several studies have suggested that neuroplasticity can be triggered by short-term visual deprivation in healthy adults. Specifically, these studies have provided evidence that visual deprivation reversibly affects basic perceptual abilities. The present study investigated the long-lasting effects of short-term visual deprivation on emotion perception. To this aim, we visually deprived a group of young healthy adults, age-matched with a group of non-deprived controls, for 3 hours and tested them before and after visual deprivation (i.e., after 8 h on average and at 4 week follow-up on an audio-visual (i.e., faces and voices emotion discrimination task. To observe changes at the level of basic perceptual skills, we additionally employed a simple audio-visual (i.e., tone bursts and light flashes discrimination task and two unimodal (one auditory and one visual perceptual threshold measures. During the 3 h period, both groups performed a series of auditory tasks. To exclude the possibility that changes in emotion discrimination may emerge as a consequence of the exposure to auditory stimulation during the 3 h stay in the dark, we visually deprived an additional group of age-matched participants who concurrently performed unrelated (i.e., tactile tasks to the later tested abilities. The two visually deprived groups showed enhanced affective prosodic discrimination abilities in the context of incongruent facial expressions following the period of visual deprivation; this effect was partially maintained until follow-up. By contrast, no changes were observed in affective facial expression discrimination and in the basic perception tasks in any group. These findings suggest that short-term visual deprivation per se triggers a reweighting of visual and auditory emotional cues, which seem to possibly prevail for longer durations.

  7. Tactile Acuity in the Blind: A Closer Look Reveals Superiority over the Sighted in Some but Not All Cutaneous Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alary, Flamine; Duquette, Marco; Goldstein, Rachel; Chapman, C. Elaine; Voss, Patrice; La Buissonniere-Ariza, Valerie; Lepore, Franco

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that blind subjects may outperform the sighted on certain tactile discrimination tasks. We recently showed that blind subjects outperformed the sighted in a haptic 2D-angle discrimination task. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of the same blind (n = 16) and sighted (n = 17, G1) subjects in three…

  8. Task-driven orbit design and implementation on a robotic C-arm system for cone-beam CT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouadah, S.; Jacobson, M.; Stayman, J. W.; Ehtiati, T.; Weiss, C.; Siewerdsen, J. H.

    2017-03-01

    Purpose: This work applies task-driven optimization to the design of non-circular orbits that maximize imaging performance for a particular imaging task. First implementation of task-driven imaging on a clinical robotic C-arm system is demonstrated, and a framework for orbit calculation is described and evaluated. Methods: We implemented a task-driven imaging framework to optimize orbit parameters that maximize detectability index d'. This framework utilizes a specified Fourier domain task function and an analytical model for system spatial resolution and noise. Two experiments were conducted to test the framework. First, a simple task was considered consisting of frequencies lying entirely on the fz-axis (e.g., discrimination of structures oriented parallel to the central axial plane), and a "circle + arc" orbit was incorporated into the framework as a means to improve sampling of these frequencies, and thereby increase task-based detectability. The orbit was implemented on a robotic C-arm (Artis Zeego, Siemens Healthcare). A second task considered visualization of a cochlear implant simulated within a head phantom, with spatial frequency response emphasizing high-frequency content in the (fy, fz) plane of the cochlea. An optimal orbit was computed using the task-driven framework, and the resulting image was compared to that for a circular orbit. Results: For the fz-axis task, the circle + arc orbit was shown to increase d' by a factor of 1.20, with an improvement of 0.71 mm in a 3D edge-spread measurement for edges located far from the central plane and a decrease in streak artifacts compared to a circular orbit. For the cochlear implant task, the resulting orbit favored complementary views of high tilt angles in a 360° orbit, and d' was increased by a factor of 1.83. Conclusions: This work shows that a prospective definition of imaging task can be used to optimize source-detector orbit and improve imaging performance. The method was implemented for execution of

  9. Temporal and spectral contributions to musical instrument identification and discrimination among cochlear implant users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prentiss, Sandra M; Friedland, David R; Fullmer, Tanner; Crane, Alison; Stoddard, Timothy; Runge, Christina L

    2016-09-01

    To investigate the contributions of envelope and fine-structure to the perception of timbre by cochlear implant (CI) users as compared to normal hearing (NH) listeners. This was a prospective cohort comparison study. Normal hearing and cochlear implant patients were tested. Three experiments were performed in sound field using musical notes altered to affect the characteristic pitch of an instrument and the acoustic envelope. Experiment 1 assessed the ability to identify the instrument playing each note, while experiments 2 and 3 assessed the ability to discriminate the different stimuli. Normal hearing subjects performed better than CI subjects in all instrument identification tasks, reaching statistical significance for 4 of 5 stimulus conditions. Within the CI population, acoustic envelope modifications did not significantly affect instrument identification or discrimination. With envelope and pitch cues removed, fine structure discrimination performance was similar between normal hearing and CI users for the majority of conditions, but some specific instrument comparisons were significantly more challenging for CI users. Cochlear implant users perform significantly worse than normal hearing listeners on tasks of instrument identification. However, cochlear implant listeners can discriminate differences in envelope and some fine structure components of musical instrument sounds as well as normal hearing listeners. The results indicated that certain fine structure cues are important for cochlear implant users to make discrimination judgments, and therefore may affect interpretation toward associating with a specific instrument for identification.

  10. Efficiency of observer brightness discrimination in original and subracted images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swensson, R.G.; Kazda, I.; Nawfel, R.; Judy, P.F.

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports that, for an optimal image calculation, discriminating pairs of objects that differ only in brightness is equivalent to discriminating polarity differences in their subtraction images. This experiment measured and compared how efficiently human observers could perform the two different discriminations posed by such original and subtracted images. Disks of equal size, separated by their diameter, were superimposed on incorrelated, Gaussian noise backgrounds at different contrasts that made the two disks readily visible on the displayed radiographs. The digitally subtracted image-regions containing the two disks of each pair (shifted to registration) produced subtraction images with low-contrast disks that were either brighter or darker than the background. Observer performances in each task (measured by receiver operating characteristic [ROC] analysis) was compared with that of an optimal calculation (cross- correlator)

  11. Turning semicircular canal function on its head: dinosaurs and a novel vestibular analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgi, Justin A; Sipla, Justin S; Forster, Catherine A

    2013-01-01

    Previous investigations have correlated vestibular function to locomotion in vertebrates by scaling semicircular duct radius of curvature to body mass. However, this method fails to discriminate bipedal from quadrupedal non-avian dinosaurs. Because they exhibit a broad range of relative head sizes, we use dinosaurs to test the hypothesis that semicircular ducts scale more closely with head size. Comparing the area enclosed by each semicircular canal to estimated body mass and to two different measures of head size, skull length and estimated head mass, reveals significant patterns that corroborate a connection between physical parameters of the head and semicircular canal morphology. Head mass more strongly correlates with anterior semicircular canal size than does body mass and statistically separates bipedal from quadrupedal taxa, with bipeds exhibiting relatively larger canals. This morphologic dichotomy likely reflects adaptations of the vestibular system to stability demands associated with terrestrial locomotion on two, versus four, feet. This new method has implications for reinterpreting previous studies and informing future studies on the connection between locomotion type and vestibular function.

  12. Turning semicircular canal function on its head: dinosaurs and a novel vestibular analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin A Georgi

    Full Text Available Previous investigations have correlated vestibular function to locomotion in vertebrates by scaling semicircular duct radius of curvature to body mass. However, this method fails to discriminate bipedal from quadrupedal non-avian dinosaurs. Because they exhibit a broad range of relative head sizes, we use dinosaurs to test the hypothesis that semicircular ducts scale more closely with head size. Comparing the area enclosed by each semicircular canal to estimated body mass and to two different measures of head size, skull length and estimated head mass, reveals significant patterns that corroborate a connection between physical parameters of the head and semicircular canal morphology. Head mass more strongly correlates with anterior semicircular canal size than does body mass and statistically separates bipedal from quadrupedal taxa, with bipeds exhibiting relatively larger canals. This morphologic dichotomy likely reflects adaptations of the vestibular system to stability demands associated with terrestrial locomotion on two, versus four, feet. This new method has implications for reinterpreting previous studies and informing future studies on the connection between locomotion type and vestibular function.

  13. Functional Laterality of Task-Evoked Activation in Sensorimotor Cortex of Preterm Infants: An Optimized 3 T fMRI Study Employing a Customized Neonatal Head Coil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheef, Lukas; Nordmeyer-Massner, Jurek A; Smith-Collins, Adam Pr; Müller, Nicole; Stegmann-Woessner, Gaby; Jankowski, Jacob; Gieseke, Jürgen; Born, Mark; Seitz, Hermann; Bartmann, Peter; Schild, Hans H; Pruessmann, Klaas P; Heep, Axel; Boecker, Henning

    2017-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in neonates has been introduced as a non-invasive method for studying sensorimotor processing in the developing brain. However, previous neonatal studies have delivered conflicting results regarding localization, lateralization, and directionality of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses in sensorimotor cortex (SMC). Amongst the confounding factors in interpreting neonatal fMRI studies include the use of standard adult MR-coils providing insufficient signal to noise, and liberal statistical thresholds, compromising clinical interpretation at the single subject level. Here, we employed a custom-designed neonatal MR-coil adapted and optimized to the head size of a newborn in order to improve robustness, reliability and validity of neonatal sensorimotor fMRI. Thirteen preterm infants with a median gestational age of 26 weeks were scanned at term-corrected age using a prototype 8-channel neonatal head coil at 3T (Achieva, Philips, Best, NL). Sensorimotor stimulation was elicited by passive extension/flexion of the elbow at 1 Hz in a block design. Analysis of temporal signal to noise ratio (tSNR) was performed on the whole brain and the SMC, and was compared to data acquired with an 'adult' 8 channel head coil published previously. Task-evoked activation was determined by single-subject SPM8 analyses, thresholded at p lateralization of SMC activation, as found in children and adults, is already present in the newborn period.

  14. Mental workload while driving: effects on visual search, discrimination, and decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recarte, Miguel A; Nunes, Luis M

    2003-06-01

    The effects of mental workload on visual search and decision making were studied in real traffic conditions with 12 participants who drove an instrumented car. Mental workload was manipulated by having participants perform several mental tasks while driving. A simultaneous visual-detection and discrimination test was used as performance criteria. Mental tasks produced spatial gaze concentration and visual-detection impairment, although no tunnel vision occurred. According to ocular behavior analysis, this impairment was due to late detection and poor identification more than to response selection. Verbal acquisition tasks were innocuous compared with production tasks, and complex conversations, whether by phone or with a passenger, are dangerous for road safety.

  15. Challenges in discriminating profanity from hate speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmasi, Shervin; Zampieri, Marcos

    2018-03-01

    In this study, we approach the problem of distinguishing general profanity from hate speech in social media, something which has not been widely considered. Using a new dataset annotated specifically for this task, we employ supervised classification along with a set of features that includes ?-grams, skip-grams and clustering-based word representations. We apply approaches based on single classifiers as well as more advanced ensemble classifiers and stacked generalisation, achieving the best result of ? accuracy for this 3-class classification task. Analysis of the results reveals that discriminating hate speech and profanity is not a simple task, which may require features that capture a deeper understanding of the text not always possible with surface ?-grams. The variability of gold labels in the annotated data, due to differences in the subjective adjudications of the annotators, is also an issue. Other directions for future work are discussed.

  16. Pharmacological evidence that both cognitive memory and habit formation contribute to within-session learning of concurrent visual discriminations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchi, Janita; Devan, Bryan; Yin, Pingbo; Sigrist, Emmalynn; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2010-07-01

    The monkey's ability to learn a set of visual discriminations presented concurrently just once a day on successive days (24-h ITI task) is based on habit formation, which is known to rely on a visuo-striatal circuit and to be independent of visuo-rhinal circuits that support one-trial memory. Consistent with this dissociation, we recently reported that performance on the 24-h ITI task is impaired by a striatal-function blocking agent, the dopaminergic antagonist haloperidol, and not by a rhinal-function blocking agent, the muscarinic cholinergic antagonist scopolamine. In the present study, monkeys were trained on a short-ITI form of concurrent visual discrimination learning, one in which a set of stimulus pairs is repeated not only across daily sessions but also several times within each session (in this case, at about 4-min ITIs). Asymptotic discrimination learning rates in the non-drug condition were reduced by half, from approximately 11 trials/pair on the 24-h ITI task to approximately 5 trials/pair on the 4-min ITI task, and this faster learning was impaired by systemic injections of either haloperidol or scopolamine. The results suggest that in the version of concurrent discrimination learning used here, the short ITIs within a session recruit both visuo-rhinal and visuo-striatal circuits, and that the final performance level is driven by both cognitive memory and habit formation working in concert.

  17. Human listeners provide insights into echo features used by dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to discriminate among objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delong, Caroline M; Au, Whitlow W L; Harley, Heidi E; Roitblat, Herbert L; Pytka, Lisa

    2007-08-01

    Echolocating bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) discriminate between objects on the basis of the echoes reflected by the objects. However, it is not clear which echo features are important for object discrimination. To gain insight into the salient features, the authors had a dolphin perform a match-to-sample task and then presented human listeners with echoes from the same objects used in the dolphin's task. In 2 experiments, human listeners performed as well or better than the dolphin at discriminating objects, and they reported the salient acoustic cues. The error patterns of the humans and the dolphin were compared to determine which acoustic features were likely to have been used by the dolphin. The results indicate that the dolphin did not appear to use overall echo amplitude, but that it attended to the pattern of changes in the echoes across different object orientations. Human listeners can quickly identify salient combinations of echo features that permit object discrimination, which can be used to generate hypotheses that can be tested using dolphins as subjects.

  18. The anterior thalamus is critical for overcoming interference in a context-dependent odor discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, L Matthew; Smith, David M

    2012-10-01

    The anterior thalamus (AT) is anatomically interconnected with the hippocampus and other structures known to be involved in memory, and the AT is involved in many of the same learning and memory functions as the hippocampus. For example, like the hippocampus, the AT is involved in spatial cognition and episodic memory. The hippocampus also has a well-documented role in contextual memory processes, but it is not known whether the AT is similarly involved in contextual memory. In the present study, we assessed the role of the AT in contextual memory processes by temporarily inactivating the AT and training rats on a recently developed context-based olfactory list learning task, which was designed to assess the use of contextual information to resolve interference. Rats were trained on one list of odor discrimination problems, followed by training on a second list in either the same context or a different context. In order to induce interference, some of the odors appeared on both lists with their predictive value reversed. Control rats that learned the two lists in different contexts performed significantly better than rats that learned the two lists in the same context. However, AT lesions completely abolished this contextual learning advantage, a result that is very similar to the effects of hippocampal inactivation. These findings demonstrate that the AT, like the hippocampus, is involved in contextual memory and suggest that the hippocampus and AT are part of a functional circuit involved in contextual memory. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  19. The use of cognitive cues for anticipatory strategies in a dynamic postural control task - validation of a novel approach to dual-task testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Læssøe, Uffe; Grarup, Bo; Bangshaab, Jette

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Dual-task testing is relevant in the assessment of postural control. A combination of a primary (motor) and a secondary (distracting cognitive) tasks is most often used. It remains a challenge however, to standardize and monitor the cognitive task. In this study a new dual......-task testing approach with a facilitating, rather than distracting, cognitive component was evaluated. Methods: Thirty-one community-dwelling elderly and fifteen young people were tested with respect to their ability to use anticipatory postural control strategies. The motor task consisted of twenty...... two sessions. Conclusion: The dual-task test was sensitive enough to discriminate between elderly and young people. It revealed that the elderly did not utilize cognitive cues for their anticipatory postural control strategies as well as the young were able to. The test procedure was feasible...

  20. Social Interaction and Conditional Self-Discrimination under a Paradigm of Avoidance and Positive Reinforcement in Wistar Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penagos-Corzo, Julio C.; Pérez-Acosta, Andrés M.; Hernández, Ingrid

    2015-01-01

    The experiment reported here uses a conditional self-discrimination task to examine the influence of social interaction on the facilitation of self-discrimination in rats. The study is based on a previous report (Penagos- Corzo et al., 2011) showing positive evidence of such facilitation, but extending the exposition to social interaction…

  1. Discrimination and Anti-discrimination in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Tore Vincents

    The purpose of this report is to describe and analyse Danish anti-discrimination legislation and the debate about discrimination in Denmark in order to identify present and future legal challenges. The main focus is the implementation of the EU anti-discrimination directives in Danish law...

  2. The Attentional Dependence of Emotion Cognition is Variable with the Competing Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Chen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between emotion and attention has fascinated researchers for decades. Many previous studies have used eye-tracking, ERP, MEG and fMRI to explore this issue but have reached different conclusions: some researchers hold that emotion cognition is an automatic process and independent of attention, while some others believed that emotion cognition is modulated by attentional resources and is a type of controlled processing. The present research aimed to investigate this controversy, and we hypothesized that the attentional dependence of emotion cognition is variable with the competing task. Eye-tracking technology and a dual-task paradigm were adopted, and subjects’ attention was manipulated to fixate at the central task to investigate whether subjects could detect the emotional faces presented in the peripheral area with a decrease or near-absence of attention. The results revealed that when the peripheral task was emotional face discrimination but the central attention-demanding task was different, subjects performed well in the peripheral task, which means that emotional information can be processed in parallel with other stimuli, and there may be a specific channel in the human brain for processing emotional information. However, when the central and peripheral tasks were both emotional face discrimination, subjects could not perform well in the peripheral task, indicating that the processing of emotional information required attentional resources and that it is a type of controlled processing. Therefore, we concluded that the attentional dependence of emotion cognition varied with the competing task.

  3. Interpersonal Coordination of Head Motion in Distressed Couples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammal, Zakia; Cohn, Jeffrey F.; George, David T.

    2015-01-01

    In automatic emotional expression analysis, head motion has been considered mostly a nuisance variable, something to control when extracting features for action unit or expression detection. As an initial step toward understanding the contribution of head motion to emotion communication, we investigated the interpersonal coordination of rigid head motion in intimate couples with a history of interpersonal violence. Episodes of conflict and non-conflict were elicited in dyadic interaction tasks and validated using linguistic criteria. Head motion parameters were analyzed using Student’s paired t-tests; actor-partner analyses to model mutual influence within couples; and windowed cross-correlation to reveal dynamics of change in direction of influence over time. Partners’ RMS angular displacement for yaw and RMS angular velocity for pitch and yaw each demonstrated strong mutual influence between partners. Partners’ RMS angular displacement for pitch was higher during conflict. In both conflict and non-conflict, head angular displacement and angular velocity for pitch and yaw were strongly correlated, with frequent shifts in lead-lag relationships. The overall amount of coordination between partners’ head movement was more highly correlated during non-conflict compared with conflict interaction. While conflict increased head motion, it served to attenuate interpersonal coordination. PMID:26167256

  4. Adversarial Advantage Actor-Critic Model for Task-Completion Dialogue Policy Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Peng, Baolin; Li, Xiujun; Gao, Jianfeng; Liu, Jingjing; Chen, Yun-Nung; Wong, Kam-Fai

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a new method --- adversarial advantage actor-critic (Adversarial A2C), which significantly improves the efficiency of dialogue policy learning in task-completion dialogue systems. Inspired by generative adversarial networks (GAN), we train a discriminator to differentiate responses/actions generated by dialogue agents from responses/actions by experts. Then, we incorporate the discriminator as another critic into the advantage actor-critic (A2C) framework, to encourage the...

  5. Task-specific modulation of human auditory evoked responses in a delayed-match-to-sample task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng eRong

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we focus our investigation on task-specific cognitive modulation of early cortical auditory processing in human cerebral cortex. During the experiments, we acquired whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG data while participants were performing an auditory delayed-match-to-sample (DMS task and associated control tasks. Using a spatial filtering beamformer technique to simultaneously estimate multiple source activities inside the human brain, we observed a significant DMS-specific suppression of the auditory evoked response to the second stimulus in a sound pair, with the center of the effect being located in the vicinity of the left auditory cortex. For the right auditory cortex, a non-invariant suppression effect was observed in both DMS and control tasks. Furthermore, analysis of coherence revealed a beta band (12 ~ 20 Hz DMS-specific enhanced functional interaction between the sources in left auditory cortex and those in left inferior frontal gyrus, which has been shown to involve in short-term memory processing during the delay period of DMS task. Our findings support the view that early evoked cortical responses to incoming acoustic stimuli can be modulated by task-specific cognitive functions by means of frontal-temporal functional interactions.

  6. Head movements encode emotions during speech and song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, Steven R; Palmer, Caroline

    2016-04-01

    When speaking or singing, vocalists often move their heads in an expressive fashion, yet the influence of emotion on vocalists' head motion is unknown. Using a comparative speech/song task, we examined whether vocalists' intended emotions influence head movements and whether those movements influence the perceived emotion. In Experiment 1, vocalists were recorded with motion capture while speaking and singing each statement with different emotional intentions (very happy, happy, neutral, sad, very sad). Functional data analyses showed that head movements differed in translational and rotational displacement across emotional intentions, yet were similar across speech and song, transcending differences in F0 (varied freely in speech, fixed in song) and lexical variability. Head motion specific to emotional state occurred before and after vocalizations, as well as during sound production, confirming that some aspects of movement were not simply a by-product of sound production. In Experiment 2, observers accurately identified vocalists' intended emotion on the basis of silent, face-occluded videos of head movements during speech and song. These results provide the first evidence that head movements encode a vocalist's emotional intent and that observers decode emotional information from these movements. We discuss implications for models of head motion during vocalizations and applied outcomes in social robotics and automated emotion recognition. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Pitch ranking, electrode discrimination, and physiological spread of excitation using current steering in cochlear implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goehring, Jenny L.; Neff, Donna L.; Baudhuin, Jacquelyn L.; Hughes, Michelle L.

    2014-01-01

    The first objective of this study was to determine whether adaptive pitch-ranking and electrode-discrimination tasks with cochlear-implant (CI) recipients produce similar results for perceiving intermediate “virtual-channel” pitch percepts using current steering. Previous studies have not examined both behavioral tasks in the same subjects with current steering. A second objective was to determine whether a physiological metric of spatial separation using the electrically evoked compound action potential spread-of-excitation (ECAP SOE) function could predict performance in the behavioral tasks. The metric was the separation index (Σ), defined as the difference in normalized amplitudes between two adjacent ECAP SOE functions, summed across all masker electrodes. Eleven CII or 90 K Advanced Bionics (Valencia, CA) recipients were tested using pairs of electrodes from the basal, middle, and apical portions of the electrode array. The behavioral results, expressed as d′, showed no significant differences across tasks. There was also no significant effect of electrode region for either task. ECAP Σ was not significantly correlated with pitch ranking or electrode discrimination for any of the electrode regions. Therefore, the ECAP separation index is not sensitive enough to predict perceptual resolution of virtual channels. PMID:25480063

  8. Practice makes perfect: the neural substrates of tactile discrimination by Mah-Jong experts include the primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honda Manabu

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has yet to be determined whether visual-tactile cross-modal plasticity due to visual deprivation, particularly in the primary visual cortex (V1, is solely due to visual deprivation or if it is a result of long-term tactile training. Here we conducted an fMRI study with normally-sighted participants who had undergone long-term training on the tactile shape discrimination of the two dimensional (2D shapes on Mah-Jong tiles (Mah-Jong experts. Eight Mah-Jong experts and twelve healthy volunteers who were naïve to Mah-Jong performed a tactile shape matching task using Mah-Jong tiles with no visual input. Furthermore, seven out of eight experts performed a tactile shape matching task with unfamiliar 2D Braille characters. Results When participants performed tactile discrimination of Mah-Jong tiles, the left lateral occipital cortex (LO and V1 were activated in the well-trained subjects. In the naïve subjects, the LO was activated but V1 was not activated. Both the LO and V1 of the well-trained subjects were activated during Braille tactile discrimination tasks. Conclusion The activation of V1 in subjects trained in tactile discrimination may represent altered cross-modal responses as a result of long-term training.

  9. Discriminability of Single and Multichannel Intracortical Microstimulation within Somatosensory Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Kay Overstreet

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS of somatosensory cortex is a promising method of delivering this sensory feedback. To date, the main focus of somatosensory ICMS studies has been to deliver discriminable signals, corresponding to varying intensity, to a single location in cortex. However, multiple independent and simultaneous streams of sensory information will need to be encoded by ICMS to provide functionally relevant feedback for a neuroprosthetic limb (e.g. encoding contact events and pressure on multiple digits.In this study, we evaluated the ability of an awake, behaving non-human primate (Macaca mulatta to discriminate ICMS stimuli delivered on multiple electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex. We delivered serial stimulation on single electrodes to evaluate the discriminability of sensations corresponding to ICMS of distinct cortical locations. Additionally, we delivered trains of multichannel stimulation, derived from a tactile sensor, synchronously across multiple electrodes. Our results indicate that discrimination of multiple ICMS stimuli is a challenging task, but that discriminable sensory percepts can be elicited by both single and multichannel ICMS on electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex.

  10. Assessment of brain damage in a geriatric population through use of a visual-searching task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turbiner, M; Derman, R M

    1980-04-01

    This study was designed to assess the discriminative capacity of a visual-searching task for brain damage, as described by Goldstein and Kyc (1978), for 10 hospitalized male, brain-damaged patients, 10 hospitalized male schizophrenic patients, and 10 normal subjects in a control group, all of whom were approximately 65 yr. old. The derived data indicated, at a statistically significant level, that the visual-searching task was effective in successfully classifying 80% of the brain-damaged sample when compared to the schizophrenic patients and discriminating 90% of the brain-damaged patients from normal subjects.

  11. Lexical exposure to native language dialects can improve non-native phonetic discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmstead, Annie J; Viswanathan, Navin

    2018-04-01

    Nonnative phonetic learning is an area of great interest for language researchers, learners, and educators alike. In two studies, we examined whether nonnative phonetic discrimination of Hindi dental and retroflex stops can be improved by exposure to lexical items bearing the critical nonnative stops. We extend the lexical retuning paradigm of Norris, McQueen, and Cutler (Cognitive Psychology, 47, 204-238, 2003) by having naive American English (AE)-speaking participants perform a pretest-training-posttest procedure. They performed an AXB discrimination task with the Hindi retroflex and dental stops before and after transcribing naturally produced words from an Indian English speaker that either contained these tokens or not. Only those participants who heard words with the critical nonnative phones improved in their posttest discrimination. This finding suggests that exposure to nonnative phones in native lexical contexts supports learning of difficult nonnative phonetic discrimination.

  12. Lateral head turning affects temporal memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicario, Carmelo Mario; Martino, Davide; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Fuggetta, Giorgio

    2011-08-01

    Spatial attention is a key factor in the exploration and processing of the surrounding environment, and plays a role in linking magnitudes such as space, time, and numbers. The present work evaluates whether shifting the coordinates of spatial attention through rotational head movements may affect the ability to estimate the duration of different time intervals. A computer-based implicit timing task was employed, in which participants were asked to concentrate and report verbally on colour changes of sequential stimuli displayed on a computer screen; subsequently, they were required to reproduce the temporal duration (ranging between 5 and 80 sec.) of the perceived stimuli using the computer keyboard. There was statistically significant overestimation of the 80-sec. intervals exclusively on the rightward rotation head posture, whereas head posture did not affect timing performances on shorter intervals. These findings support the hypothesis that the coordinates of spatial attention influence the ability to process time, consistent with the existence of common cortical metrics of space and time in healthy humans.

  13. Pigeons can discriminate "good" and "bad" paintings by children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Shigeru

    2010-01-01

    Humans have the unique ability to create art, but non-human animals may be able to discriminate "good" art from "bad" art. In this study, I investigated whether pigeons could be trained to discriminate between paintings that had been judged by humans as either "bad" or "good". To do this, adult human observers first classified several children's paintings as either "good" (beautiful) or "bad" (ugly). Using operant conditioning procedures, pigeons were then reinforced for pecking at "good" paintings. After the pigeons learned the discrimination task, they were presented with novel pictures of both "good" and "bad" children's paintings to test whether they had successfully learned to discriminate between these two stimulus categories. The results showed that pigeons could discriminate novel "good" and "bad" paintings. Then, to determine which cues the subjects used for the discrimination, I conducted tests of the stimuli when the paintings were of reduced size or grayscale. In addition, I tested their ability to discriminate when the painting stimuli were mosaic and partial occluded. The pigeons maintained discrimination performance when the paintings were reduced in size. However, discrimination performance decreased when stimuli were presented as grayscale images or when a mosaic effect was applied to the original stimuli in order to disrupt spatial frequency. Thus, the pigeons used both color and pattern cues for their discrimination. The partial occlusion did not disrupt the discriminative behavior suggesting that the pigeons did not attend to particular parts, namely upper, lower, left or right half, of the paintings. These results suggest that the pigeons are capable of learning the concept of a stimulus class that humans name "good" pictures. The second experiment showed that pigeons learned to discriminate watercolor paintings from pastel paintings. The subjects showed generalization to novel paintings. Then, as the first experiment, size reduction test

  14. Age- and sex-related disturbance in a battery of sensorimotor and cognitive tasks in Kunming mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Gui-Hai; Wang, Yue-Ju; Zhang, Li-Qun; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2004-12-15

    A battery of tasks, i.e. beam walking, open field, tightrope, radial six-arm water maze (RAWM), novel-object recognition and olfactory discrimination, was used to determine whether there was age- and sex-related memory deterioration in Kunming (KM) mice, and whether these tasks are independent or correlated with each other. Two age groups of KM mice were used: a younger group (7-8 months old, 12 males and 11 females) and an older group (17-18 months old, 12 males and 12 females). The results showed that the spatial learning ability and memory in the RAWM were lower in older female KM mice relative to younger female mice and older male mice. Consistent with this, in the novel-object recognition task, a non-spatial cognitive task, older female mice but not older male mice had impairment of short-term memory. In olfactory discrimination, another non-spatial task, the older mice retained this ability. Interestingly, female mice performed better than males, especially in the younger group. The older females exhibited sensorimotor impairment in the tightrope task and low locomotor activity in the open-field task. Moreover, older mice spent a longer time in the peripheral squares of the open-field than younger ones. The non-spatial cognitive performance in the novel-object recognition and olfactory discrimination tasks was related to performance in the open-field, whereas the spatial cognitive performance in the RAWM was not related to performance in any of the three sensorimotor tasks. These results suggest that disturbance of spatial learning and memory, as well as selective impairment of non-spatial learning and memory, existed in older female KM mice.

  15. Intraindividual variability as an indicator of malingering in head injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Esther; Slick, Daniel J; Levy-Bencheton, Judi; Hunter, Michael; MacDonald, Stuart W S; Hultsch, David F

    2002-07-01

    The utility of various measures of malingering was evaluated using an analog design in which half the participants (composed of three groups: naive healthy people, professionals working with head-injured people, individuals who suffered a head injury but not currently in litigation) were asked to try their best and the remainder was asked to feign believable injury. Participants were assessed with the Reliable Digit Span (RDS) task, the Victoria Symptom Validity Test (VSVT), and the Computerized Dot Counting Test (CDCT) on three separate occasions in order to determine whether repeat administration of tests improves prediction. The results indicated that regardless of an individual's experience, consideration of both level of performance (particularly on forced-choice symptom validity tasks) and intraindividual variability holds considerable promise for the detection of malingering.

  16. The third-stimulus temporal discrimination threshold: focusing on the temporal processing of sensory input within primary somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leodori, Giorgio; Formica, Alessandra; Zhu, Xiaoying; Conte, Antonella; Belvisi, Daniele; Cruccu, Giorgio; Hallett, Mark; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2017-10-01

    The somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) has been used in recent years to investigate time processing of sensory information, but little is known about the physiological correlates of somatosensory temporal discrimination. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the time interval required to discriminate between two stimuli varies according to the number of stimuli in the task. We used the third-stimulus temporal discrimination threshold (ThirdDT), defined as the shortest time interval at which an individual distinguishes a third stimulus following a pair of stimuli delivered at the STDT. The STDT and ThirdDT were assessed in 31 healthy subjects. In a subgroup of 10 subjects, we evaluated the effects of the stimuli intensity on the ThirdDT. In a subgroup of 16 subjects, we evaluated the effects of S1 continuous theta-burst stimulation (S1-cTBS) on the STDT and ThirdDT. Results show that ThirdDT is shorter than STDT. We found a positive correlation between STDT and ThirdDT values. As long as the stimulus intensity was within the perceivable and painless range, it did not affect ThirdDT values. S1-cTBS significantly affected both STDT and ThirdDT, although the latter was affected to a greater extent and for a longer period of time. We conclude that the interval needed to discriminate between time-separated tactile stimuli is related to the number of stimuli used in the task. STDT and ThirdDT are encoded in S1, probably by a shared tactile temporal encoding mechanism whose performance rapidly changes during the perception process. ThirdDT is a new method to measure somatosensory temporal discrimination. NEW & NOTEWORTHY To investigate whether the time interval required to discriminate between stimuli varies according to changes in the stimulation pattern, we used the third-stimulus temporal discrimination threshold (ThirdDT). We found that the somatosensory temporal discrimination acuity varies according to the number of stimuli in the

  17. Memory-Based Quantity Discrimination in Coyotes (Canis latrans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salif Mahamane

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that the ratio between competing quantities of food significantly mediates coyotes‘ (Canis latrans ability to choose the larger of two food options. These previous findings are consistent with predictions made by Weber‘s Law and indicate that coyotes possess quantity discrimination abilities that are similar to other species. Importantly, coyotes‘ discrimination abilities are similar to domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris, indicating that quantitative discrimination may remain stable throughout certain species‘ evolution. However, while previously shown in two domestic dogs, it is unknown whether coyotes possess the ability to discriminate visual quantities from memory. Here, we address this question by displaying different ratios of food quantities to 14 coyotes before placing the choices out of sight. The coyotes were then allowed to select one of either non-visible food quantities. Coyotes‘ discrimination of quantity from memory does not follow Weber‘s Law in this particular task. These results suggest that working memory in coyotes may not be adapted to maintain information regarding quantity as well as in domestic dogs. The likelihood of a coyote‘s choosing the large option increased when it was presented with difficult ratios of food options first, before it was later presented with trials using more easily discriminable ratios, and when the large option was placed on one particular side. This suggests that learning or motivation increased across trials when coyotes experienced difficult ratios first, and that location of food may have been more salient in working memory than quantity of food.

  18. Learning-induced uncertainty reduction in perceptual decisions is task-dependent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feitong eYang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual decision making in which decisions are reached primarily from extracting and evaluating sensory information requires close interactions between the sensory system and decision-related networks in the brain. Uncertainty pervades every aspect of this process and can be considered related to either the stimulus signal or decision criterion. Here, we investigated the learning-induced reduction of both the signal and criterion uncertainty in two perceptual decision tasks based on two Glass pattern stimulus sets. This was achieved by manipulating spiral angle and signal level of radial and concentric Glass patterns. The behavioral results showed that the participants trained with a task based on criterion comparison improved their categorization accuracy for both tasks, whereas the participants who were trained on a task based on signal detection improved their categorization accuracy only on their trained task. We fitted the behavioral data with a computational model that can dissociate the contribution of the signal and criterion uncertainties. The modeling results indicated that the participants trained on the criterion comparison task reduced both the criterion and signal uncertainty. By contrast, the participants who were trained on the signal detection task only reduced their signal uncertainty after training. Our results suggest that the signal uncertainty can be resolved by training participants to extract signals from noisy environments and to discriminate between clear signals, which are evidenced by reduced perception variance after both training procedures. Conversely, the criterion uncertainty can only be resolved by the training of fine discrimination. These findings demonstrate that uncertainty in perceptual decision-making can be reduced with training but that the reduction of different types of uncertainty is task-dependent.

  19. Perirhinal Cortex Resolves Feature Ambiguity in Configural Object Recognition and Perceptual Oddity Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartko, Susan J.; Winters, Boyer D.; Cowell, Rosemary A.; Saksida, Lisa M.; Bussey, Timothy J.

    2007-01-01

    The perirhinal cortex (PRh) has a well-established role in object recognition memory. More recent studies suggest that PRh is also important for two-choice visual discrimination tasks. Specifically, it has been suggested that PRh contains conjunctive representations that help resolve feature ambiguity, which occurs when a task cannot easily be…

  20. Short-term and long-term effects of diazepam on the memory for discrimination and generalization of scopolamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casasola-Castro, C; Weissmann-Sánchez, L; Calixto-González, E; Aguayo-Del Castillo, A; Velázquez-Martínez, D N

    2017-10-01

    Benzodiazepines are among the most widely prescribed and misused psychopharmaceutical drugs. Although they are well-tolerated, they are also capable of producing amnestic effects similar to those observed after pharmacological or organic cholinergic dysfunction. To date, the effect of benzodiazepine diazepam on the memory for discrimination of anticholinergic drugs has not been reported. The aim of the present study was to analyze the immediate and long-term effects of diazepam on a drug discrimination task with scopolamine. Male Wistar rats were trained to discriminate between scopolamine and saline administration using a two-lever discrimination task. Once discrimination was acquired, the subjects were divided into three independent groups, (1) control, (2) diazepam, and (3) diazepam chronic administration (10 days). Subsequently, generalization curves for scopolamine were obtained. Additionally, the diazepam and control groups were revaluated after 90 days without having been given any other treatment. The results showed that diazepam produced a significant reduction in the generalization gradient for scopolamine, indicating an impairment of discrimination. The negative effect of diazepam persisted even 90 days after drug had been administered. Meanwhile, the previous administration of diazepam for 10 days totally abated the generalization curve and the general performance of the subjects. The results suggest that diazepam affects memory for the stimulus discrimination of anticholinergic drugs and does so persistently, which could be an important consideration during the treatment of amnesic patients with benzodiazepines.

  1. GRace: a MATLAB-based application for fitting the discrimination-association model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanutti, Luca; Vianello, Michelangelo; Anselmi, Pasquale; Robusto, Egidio

    2014-10-28

    The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a computerized two-choice discrimination task in which stimuli have to be categorized as belonging to target categories or attribute categories by pressing, as quickly and accurately as possible, one of two response keys. The discrimination association model has been recently proposed for the analysis of reaction time and accuracy of an individual respondent to the IAT. The model disentangles the influences of three qualitatively different components on the responses to the IAT: stimuli discrimination, automatic association, and termination criterion. The article presents General Race (GRace), a MATLAB-based application for fitting the discrimination association model to IAT data. GRace has been developed for Windows as a standalone application. It is user-friendly and does not require any programming experience. The use of GRace is illustrated on the data of a Coca Cola-Pepsi Cola IAT, and the results of the analysis are interpreted and discussed.

  2. MIDAS: Regionally linear multivariate discriminative statistical mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varol, Erdem; Sotiras, Aristeidis; Davatzikos, Christos

    2018-07-01

    Statistical parametric maps formed via voxel-wise mass-univariate tests, such as the general linear model, are commonly used to test hypotheses about regionally specific effects in neuroimaging cross-sectional studies where each subject is represented by a single image. Despite being informative, these techniques remain limited as they ignore multivariate relationships in the data. Most importantly, the commonly employed local Gaussian smoothing, which is important for accounting for registration errors and making the data follow Gaussian distributions, is usually chosen in an ad hoc fashion. Thus, it is often suboptimal for the task of detecting group differences and correlations with non-imaging variables. Information mapping techniques, such as searchlight, which use pattern classifiers to exploit multivariate information and obtain more powerful statistical maps, have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, existing methods may lead to important interpretation errors in practice (i.e., misidentifying a cluster as informative, or failing to detect truly informative voxels), while often being computationally expensive. To address these issues, we introduce a novel efficient multivariate statistical framework for cross-sectional studies, termed MIDAS, seeking highly sensitive and specific voxel-wise brain maps, while leveraging the power of regional discriminant analysis. In MIDAS, locally linear discriminative learning is applied to estimate the pattern that best discriminates between two groups, or predicts a variable of interest. This pattern is equivalent to local filtering by an optimal kernel whose coefficients are the weights of the linear discriminant. By composing information from all neighborhoods that contain a given voxel, MIDAS produces a statistic that collectively reflects the contribution of the voxel to the regional classifiers as well as the discriminative power of the classifiers. Critically, MIDAS efficiently assesses the

  3. Gap junctions and memory: an investigation using a single trial discrimination avoidance task for the neonate chick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verwey, L J; Edwards, T M

    2010-02-01

    Gap junctions are important to how the brain functions but are relatively under-investigated with respect to their contribution towards behaviour. In the present study a single trial discrimination avoidance task was used to investigate the effect of the gap junction inhibitor 18-alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid (alphaGA) on retention. Past studies within our research group have implied a potential role for gap junctions during the short-term memory (STM) stage which decays by 15 min post-training. A retention function study comparing 10 microM alphaGA and vehicle given immediately post-training demonstrated a significant main effect for drug with retention loss at all times of test (10-180 min post-training). Given that the most common gap junction in the brain is that forming the astrocytic network it is reasonable to conclude that alphaGA was acting upon these. To confirm this finding and interpretation two additional investigations were undertaken using endothelin-1 (ET-1) and ET-1+tolbutamide. Importantly, a retention function study using 10nM ET-1 replicated the retention loss observed for alphaGA. In order to confirm that ET-1 was acting on astrocytic gap junctions the amnestic action of ET-1 was effectively challenged with increasing concentrations of tolbutamide. The present findings suggest that astrocytic gap junctions are important for memory processing. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Endogenous visuospatial attention increases visual awareness independent of visual discrimination sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernet, Marine; Japee, Shruti; Lokey, Savannah; Ahmed, Sara; Zachariou, Valentinos; Ungerleider, Leslie G

    2017-08-12

    Visuospatial attention often improves task performance by increasing signal gain at attended locations and decreasing noise at unattended locations. Attention is also believed to be the mechanism that allows information to enter awareness. In this experiment, we assessed whether orienting endogenous visuospatial attention with cues differentially affects visual discrimination sensitivity (an objective task performance) and visual awareness (the subjective feeling of perceiving) during the same discrimination task. Gabor patch targets were presented laterally, either at low contrast (contrast stimuli) or at high contrast embedded in noise (noise stimuli). Participants reported their orientation either in a 3-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise, unknown) that allowed for both objective and subjective reports, or in a 2-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise) that provided a control for objective reports. Signal detection theory models were fit to the experimental data: estimated perceptual sensitivity reflected objective performance; decision criteria, or subjective biases, were a proxy for visual awareness. Attention increased sensitivity (i.e., improved objective performance) for the contrast, but not for the noise stimuli. Indeed, with the latter, attention did not further enhance the already high target signal or reduce the already low uncertainty on its position. Interestingly, for both contrast and noise stimuli, attention resulted in more liberal criteria, i.e., awareness increased. The noise condition is thus an experimental configuration where people think they see the targets they attend to better, even if they do not. This could be explained by an internal representation of their attentional state, which influences awareness independent of objective visual signals. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Temporal and spectral contributions to musical instrument identification and discrimination among cochlear implant users

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sandra M. Prentiss; David R. Friedland; Tanner Fullmer; Alison Crane; Timothy Stoddard; Christina L. Runge

    2016-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the contributions of envelope and fine-structure to the perception of timbre by cochlear implant (CI) users as compared to normal hearing (NH) lis-teners. Methods: This was a prospective cohort comparison study. Normal hearing and cochlear implant patients were tested. Three experiments were performed in sound field using musical notes altered to affect the characteristic pitch of an instrument and the acoustic envelope. Experiment 1 assessed the ability to identify the instrument playing each note, while experi-ments 2 and 3 assessed the ability to discriminate the different stimuli. Results:Normal hearing subjects performed better than CI subjects in all instrument identifi-cation tasks, reaching statistical significance for 4 of 5 stimulus conditions. Within the CI pop-ulation, acoustic envelope modifications did not significantly affect instrument identification or discrimination. With envelope and pitch cues removed, fine structure discrimination perfor-mance was similar between normal hearing and CI users for the majority of conditions, but some specific instrument comparisons were significantly more challenging for CI users. Conclusions:Cochlear implant users perform significantly worse than normal hearing listeners on tasks of instrument identification. However, cochlear implant listeners can discriminate differences in envelope and some fine structure components of musical instrument sounds as well as normal hearing listeners. The results indicated that certain fine structure cues are important for cochlear implant users to make discrimination judgments, and therefore may affect interpretation toward associating with a specific instrument for identification.

  6. The time course of shape discrimination in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ales, Justin M; Appelbaum, L Gregory; Cottereau, Benoit R; Norcia, Anthony M

    2013-02-15

    The lateral occipital cortex (LOC) activates selectively to images of intact objects versus scrambled controls, is selective for the figure-ground relationship of a scene, and exhibits at least some degree of invariance for size and position. Because of these attributes, it is considered to be a crucial part of the object recognition pathway. Here we show that human LOC is critically involved in perceptual decisions about object shape. High-density EEG was recorded while subjects performed a threshold-level shape discrimination task on texture-defined figures segmented by either phase or orientation cues. The appearance or disappearance of a figure region from a uniform background generated robust visual evoked potentials throughout retinotopic cortex as determined by inverse modeling of the scalp voltage distribution. Contrasting responses from trials containing shape changes that were correctly detected (hits) with trials in which no change occurred (correct rejects) revealed stimulus-locked, target-selective activity in the occipital visual areas LOC and V4 preceding the subject's response. Activity that was locked to the subjects' reaction time was present in the LOC. Response-locked activity in the LOC was determined to be related to shape discrimination for several reasons: shape-selective responses were silenced when subjects viewed identical stimuli but their attention was directed away from the shapes to a demanding letter discrimination task; shape-selectivity was present across four different stimulus configurations used to define the figure; LOC responses correlated with participants' reaction times. These results indicate that decision-related activity is present in the LOC when subjects are engaged in threshold-level shape discriminations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Gait characteristics and their discriminative power in geriatric patients with and without cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikkert, Lisette H J; Vuillerme, Nicolas; van Campen, Jos P; Appels, Bregje A; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Lamoth, Claudine J C

    2017-08-15

    A detailed gait analysis (e.g., measures related to speed, self-affinity, stability, and variability) can help to unravel the underlying causes of gait dysfunction, and identify cognitive impairment. However, because geriatric patients present with multiple conditions that also affect gait, results from healthy old adults cannot easily be extrapolated to geriatric patients. Hence, we (1) quantified gait outcomes based on dynamical systems theory, and (2) determined their discriminative power in three groups: healthy old adults, geriatric patients with- and geriatric patients without cognitive impairment. For the present cross-sectional study, 25 healthy old adults recruited from community (65 ± 5.5 years), and 70 geriatric patients with (n = 39) and without (n = 31) cognitive impairment from the geriatric dayclinic of the MC Slotervaart hospital in Amsterdam (80 ± 6.6 years) were included. Participants walked for 3 min during single- and dual-tasking at self-selected speed while 3D trunk accelerations were registered with an IPod touch G4. We quantified 23 gait outcomes that reflect multiple gait aspects. A multivariate model was built using Partial Least Square- Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) that best modelled participant group from gait outcomes. For single-task walking, the PLS-DA model consisted of 4 Latent Variables that explained 63 and 41% of the variance in gait outcomes and group, respectively. Outcomes related to speed, regularity, predictability, and stability of trunk accelerations revealed with the highest discriminative power (VIP > 1). A high proportion of healthy old adults (96 and 93% for single- and dual-task, respectively) was correctly classified based on the gait outcomes. The discrimination of geriatric patients with and without cognitive impairment was poor, with 57% (single-task) and 64% (dual-task) of the patients misclassified. While geriatric patients vs. healthy old adults walked slower, and less regular, predictable, and

  8. Construct Validity in TOEFL iBT Speaking Tasks: Insights from Natural Language Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle, Kristopher; Crossley, Scott A.; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2016-01-01

    This study explores the construct validity of speaking tasks included in the TOEFL iBT (e.g., integrated and independent speaking tasks). Specifically, advanced natural language processing (NLP) tools, MANOVA difference statistics, and discriminant function analyses (DFA) are used to assess the degree to which and in what ways responses to these…

  9. Spermiogram and sperm head morphometry assessed by multivariate cluster analysis results during adolescence (12-18 years and the effect of varicocele

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Vásquez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This work evaluates sperm head morphometric characteristics in adolescents from 12 to 18 years of age, and the effect of varicocele. Volunteers between 150 and 224 months of age (mean 191, n = 87, who had reached oigarche by 12 years old, were recruited in the area of Barranquilla, Colombia. Morphometric analysis of sperm heads was performed with principal component (PC and discriminant analysis. Combining seminal fluid and sperm parameters provided five PCs: two related to sperm morphometry, one to sperm motility, and two to seminal fluid components. Discriminant analysis on the morphometric results of varicocele and nonvaricocele groups did not provide a useful classification matrix. Of the semen-related PCs, the most explanatory (40% was related to sperm motility. Two PCs, including sperm head elongation and size, were sufficient to evaluate sperm morphometric characteristics. Most of the morphometric variables were correlated with age, with an increase in size and decrease in the elongation of the sperm head. For head size, the entire sperm population could be divided into two morphometric subpopulations, SP1 and SP2, which did not change during adolescence. In general, for varicocele individuals, SP1 had larger and more elongated sperm heads than SP2, which had smaller and more elongated heads than in nonvaricocele men. In summary, sperm head morphometry assessed by CASA-Morph and multivariate cluster analysis provides a better comprehension of the ejaculate structure and possibly sperm function. Morphometric analysis provides much more information than data obtained from conventional semen analysis.

  10. The role of social cues in the deployment of spatial attention: Head-body relationships automatically activate directional spatial codes in a Simon task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iwona ePomianowska

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The role of body orientation in the orienting and allocation of social attention was examined using an adapted Simon paradigm. Participants categorized the facial expression of forward facing, computer-generated human figures by pressing one of two response keys, each located left or right of the observers’ body midline, while the orientation of the stimulus figure’s body (trunk, arms, and legs, which was the task-irrelevant feature of interest, was manipulated (oriented towards the left or right visual hemifield with respect to the spatial location of the required response. We found that when the orientation of the body was compatible with the required response location, responses were slower relative to when body orientation was incompatible with the response location. This reverse compatibility effect suggests that body orientation is automatically processed into a directional spatial code, but that this code is based on an integration of head and body orientation within an allocentric-based frame of reference. Moreover, we argue that this code may be derived from the motion information implied in the image of a figure when head and body orientation are incongruent. Our results have implications for understanding the nature of the information that affects the allocation of attention for social orienting.

  11. Measuring pilot workload in a motion base simulator. III - Synchronous secondary task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantowitz, Barry H.; Bortolussi, Michael R.; Hart, Sandra G.

    1987-01-01

    This experiment continues earlier research of Kantowitz et al. (1983) conducted in a GAT-1 motion-base trainer to evaluate choice-reaction secondary tasks as measures of pilot work load. The earlier work used an asynchronous secondary task presented every 22 sec regardless of flying performance. The present experiment uses a synchronous task presented only when a critical event occurred on the flying task. Both two- and four-choice visual secondary tasks were investigated. Analysis of primary flying-task results showed no decrement in error for altitude, indicating that the key assumption necessary for using a choice secondary task was satisfied. Reaction times showed significant differences between 'easy' and 'hard' flight scenarios as well as the ability to discriminate among flight tasks.

  12. Neural correlates of face gender discrimination learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Junzhu; Tan, Qingleng; Fang, Fang

    2013-04-01

    Using combined psychophysics and event-related potentials (ERPs), we investigated the effect of perceptual learning on face gender discrimination and probe the neural correlates of the learning effect. Human subjects were trained to perform a gender discrimination task with male or female faces. Before and after training, they were tested with the trained faces and other faces with the same and opposite genders. ERPs responding to these faces were recorded. Psychophysical results showed that training significantly improved subjects' discrimination performance and the improvement was specific to the trained gender, as well as to the trained identities. The training effect indicates that learning occurs at two levels-the category level (gender) and the exemplar level (identity). ERP analyses showed that the gender and identity learning was associated with the N170 latency reduction at the left occipital-temporal area and the N170 amplitude reduction at the right occipital-temporal area, respectively. These findings provide evidence for the facilitation model and the sharpening model on neuronal plasticity from visual experience, suggesting a faster processing speed and a sparser representation of face induced by perceptual learning.

  13. Cognitive flexibility modulates maturation and music-training-related changes in neural sound discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saarikivi, Katri; Putkinen, Vesa; Tervaniemi, Mari; Huotilainen, Minna

    2016-07-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that musicians show superior neural sound discrimination when compared to non-musicians, and that these changes emerge with accumulation of training. Our aim was to investigate whether individual differences in executive functions predict training-related changes in neural sound discrimination. We measured event-related potentials induced by sound changes coupled with tests for executive functions in musically trained and non-trained children aged 9-11 years and 13-15 years. High performance in a set-shifting task, indexing cognitive flexibility, was linked to enhanced maturation of neural sound discrimination in both musically trained and non-trained children. Specifically, well-performing musically trained children already showed large mismatch negativity (MMN) responses at a young age as well as at an older age, indicating accurate sound discrimination. In contrast, the musically trained low-performing children still showed an increase in MMN amplitude with age, suggesting that they were behind their high-performing peers in the development of sound discrimination. In the non-trained group, in turn, only the high-performing children showed evidence of an age-related increase in MMN amplitude, and the low-performing children showed a small MMN with no age-related change. These latter results suggest an advantage in MMN development also for high-performing non-trained individuals. For the P3a amplitude, there was an age-related increase only in the children who performed well in the set-shifting task, irrespective of music training, indicating enhanced attention-related processes in these children. Thus, the current study provides the first evidence that, in children, cognitive flexibility may influence age-related and training-related plasticity of neural sound discrimination. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Selective attention to task-irrelevant emotional distractors is unaffected by the perceptual load associated with a foreground task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindi Attar, Catherine; Müller, Matthias M

    2012-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that emotionally arousing stimuli are preferentially processed in the human brain. Whether or not this preference persists under increased perceptual load associated with a task at hand remains an open question. Here we manipulated two possible determinants of the attentional selection process, perceptual load associated with a foreground task and the emotional valence of concurrently presented task-irrelevant distractors. As a direct measure of sustained attentional resource allocation in early visual cortex we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by distinct flicker frequencies of task and distractor stimuli. Subjects either performed a detection (low load) or discrimination (high load) task at a centrally presented symbol stream that flickered at 8.6 Hz while task-irrelevant neutral or unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) flickered at a frequency of 12 Hz in the background of the stream. As reflected in target detection rates and SSVEP amplitudes to both task and distractor stimuli, unpleasant relative to neutral background pictures more strongly withdrew processing resources from the foreground task. Importantly, this finding was unaffected by the factor 'load' which turned out to be a weak modulator of attentional processing in human visual cortex.

  15. Selective attention to task-irrelevant emotional distractors is unaffected by the perceptual load associated with a foreground task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Hindi Attar

    Full Text Available A number of studies have shown that emotionally arousing stimuli are preferentially processed in the human brain. Whether or not this preference persists under increased perceptual load associated with a task at hand remains an open question. Here we manipulated two possible determinants of the attentional selection process, perceptual load associated with a foreground task and the emotional valence of concurrently presented task-irrelevant distractors. As a direct measure of sustained attentional resource allocation in early visual cortex we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs elicited by distinct flicker frequencies of task and distractor stimuli. Subjects either performed a detection (low load or discrimination (high load task at a centrally presented symbol stream that flickered at 8.6 Hz while task-irrelevant neutral or unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS flickered at a frequency of 12 Hz in the background of the stream. As reflected in target detection rates and SSVEP amplitudes to both task and distractor stimuli, unpleasant relative to neutral background pictures more strongly withdrew processing resources from the foreground task. Importantly, this finding was unaffected by the factor 'load' which turned out to be a weak modulator of attentional processing in human visual cortex.

  16. Development of novel tasks for studying view-invariant object recognition in rodents: Sensitivity to scopolamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchnick, Krista A; Wideman, Cassidy E; Huff, Andrew E; Palmer, Daniel; McNaughton, Bruce L; Winters, Boyer D

    2018-05-15

    The capacity to recognize objects from different view-points or angles, referred to as view-invariance, is an essential process that humans engage in daily. Currently, the ability to investigate the neurobiological underpinnings of this phenomenon is limited, as few ethologically valid view-invariant object recognition tasks exist for rodents. Here, we report two complementary, novel view-invariant object recognition tasks in which rodents physically interact with three-dimensional objects. Prior to experimentation, rats and mice were given extensive experience with a set of 'pre-exposure' objects. In a variant of the spontaneous object recognition task, novelty preference for pre-exposed or new objects was assessed at various angles of rotation (45°, 90° or 180°); unlike control rodents, for whom the objects were novel, rats and mice tested with pre-exposed objects did not discriminate between rotated and un-rotated objects in the choice phase, indicating substantial view-invariant object recognition. Secondly, using automated operant touchscreen chambers, rats were tested on pre-exposed or novel objects in a pairwise discrimination task, where the rewarded stimulus (S+) was rotated (180°) once rats had reached acquisition criterion; rats tested with pre-exposed objects re-acquired the pairwise discrimination following S+ rotation more effectively than those tested with new objects. Systemic scopolamine impaired performance on both tasks, suggesting involvement of acetylcholine at muscarinic receptors in view-invariant object processing. These tasks present novel means of studying the behavioral and neural bases of view-invariant object recognition in rodents. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Selective increase of auditory cortico-striatal coherence during auditory-cued Go/NoGo discrimination learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas L. Schulz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Goal directed behavior and associated learning processes are tightly linked to neuronal activity in the ventral striatum. Mechanisms that integrate task relevant sensory information into striatal processing during decision making and learning are implicitly assumed in current reinforcementmodels, yet they are still weakly understood. To identify the functional activation of cortico-striatal subpopulations of connections during auditory discrimination learning, we trained Mongolian gerbils in a two-way active avoidance task in a shuttlebox to discriminate between falling and rising frequency modulated tones with identical spectral properties. We assessed functional coupling by analyzing the field-field coherence between the auditory cortex and the ventral striatum of animals performing the task. During the course of training, we observed a selective increase of functionalcoupling during Go-stimulus presentations. These results suggest that the auditory cortex functionally interacts with the ventral striatum during auditory learning and that the strengthening of these functional connections is selectively goal-directed.

  18. Orienting of attention via observed eye gaze is head-centred.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayliss, Andrew P; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Tipper, Steven P

    2004-11-01

    Observing averted eye gaze results in the automatic allocation of attention to the gazed-at location. The role of the orientation of the face that produces the gaze cue was investigated. The eyes in the face could look left or right in a head-centred frame, but the face itself could be oriented 90 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise such that the eyes were gazing up or down. Significant cueing effects to targets presented to the left or right of the screen were found in these head orientation conditions. This suggests that attention was directed to the side to which the eyes would have been looking towards, had the face been presented upright. This finding provides evidence that head orientation can affect gaze following, even when the head orientation alone is not a social cue. It also shows that the mechanism responsible for the allocation of attention following a gaze cue can be influenced by intrinsic object-based (i.e. head-centred) properties of the task-irrelevant cue.

  19. Sentence comprehension following moderate closed head injury in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leikin, Mark; Ibrahim, Raphiq; Aharon-Peretz, Judith

    2012-09-01

    The current study explores sentence comprehension impairments among adults following moderate closed head injury. It was hypothesized that if the factor of syntactic complexity significantly affects sentence comprehension in these patients, it would testify to the existence of syntactic processing deficit along with working-memory problems. Thirty-six adults (18 closed head injury patients and 18 healthy controls matched in age, gender, and IQ) participated in the study. A picture-sentence matching task together with various tests for memory, language, and reading abilities were used to explore whether sentence comprehension impairments exist as a result of a deficit in syntactic processing or of working-memory dysfunction. Results indicate significant impairment in sentence comprehension among adults with closed head injury compared with their non-head-injured peers. Results also reveal that closed head injury patients demonstrate considerable decline in working memory, short-term memory, and semantic knowledge. Analysis of the results shows that memory impairment and syntactic complexity contribute significantly to sentence comprehension difficulties in closed head injury patients. At the same time, the presentation mode (spoken or written language) was found to have no effect on comprehension among adults with closed head injury, and their reading abilities appear to be relatively intact.

  20. Phoneme categorization and discrimination in younger and older adults: a comparative analysis of perceptual, lexical, and attentional factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattys, Sven L; Scharenborg, Odette

    2014-03-01

    This study investigates the extent to which age-related language processing difficulties are due to a decline in sensory processes or to a deterioration of cognitive factors, specifically, attentional control. Two facets of attentional control were examined: inhibition of irrelevant information and divided attention. Younger and older adults were asked to categorize the initial phoneme of spoken syllables ("Was it m or n?"), trying to ignore the lexical status of the syllables. The phonemes were manipulated to range in eight steps from m to n. Participants also did a discrimination task on syllable pairs ("Were the initial sounds the same or different?"). Categorization and discrimination were performed under either divided attention (concurrent visual-search task) or focused attention (no visual task). The results showed that even when the younger and older adults were matched on their discrimination scores: (1) the older adults had more difficulty inhibiting lexical knowledge than did younger adults, (2) divided attention weakened lexical inhibition in both younger and older adults, and (3) divided attention impaired sound discrimination more in older than younger listeners. The results confirm the independent and combined contribution of sensory decline and deficit in attentional control to language processing difficulties associated with aging. The relative weight of these variables and their mechanisms of action are discussed in the context of theories of aging and language. (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  1. Influence of musical and psychoacoustical training on pitch discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micheyl, Christophe; Delhommeau, Karine; Perrot, Xavier; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2006-09-01

    This study compared the influence of musical and psychoacoustical training on auditory pitch discrimination abilities. In a first experiment, pitch discrimination thresholds for pure and complex tones were measured in 30 classical musicians and 30 non-musicians, none of whom had prior psychoacoustical training. The non-musicians' mean thresholds were more than six times larger than those of the classical musicians initially, and still about four times larger after 2h of training using an adaptive two-interval forced-choice procedure; this difference is two to three times larger than suggested by previous studies. The musicians' thresholds were close to those measured in earlier psychoacoustical studies using highly trained listeners, and showed little improvement with training; this suggests that classical musical training can lead to optimal or nearly optimal pitch discrimination performance. A second experiment was performed to determine how much additional training was required for the non-musicians to obtain thresholds as low as those of the classical musicians from experiment 1. Eight new non-musicians with no prior training practiced the frequency discrimination task for a total of 14 h. It took between 4 and 8h of training for their thresholds to become as small as those measured in the classical musicians from experiment 1. These findings supplement and qualify earlier data in the literature regarding the respective influence of musical and psychoacoustical training on pitch discrimination performance.

  2. Feature extraction with deep neural networks by a generalized discriminant analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuhlsatz, André; Lippel, Jens; Zielke, Thomas

    2012-04-01

    We present an approach to feature extraction that is a generalization of the classical linear discriminant analysis (LDA) on the basis of deep neural networks (DNNs). As for LDA, discriminative features generated from independent Gaussian class conditionals are assumed. This modeling has the advantages that the intrinsic dimensionality of the feature space is bounded by the number of classes and that the optimal discriminant function is linear. Unfortunately, linear transformations are insufficient to extract optimal discriminative features from arbitrarily distributed raw measurements. The generalized discriminant analysis (GerDA) proposed in this paper uses nonlinear transformations that are learnt by DNNs in a semisupervised fashion. We show that the feature extraction based on our approach displays excellent performance on real-world recognition and detection tasks, such as handwritten digit recognition and face detection. In a series of experiments, we evaluate GerDA features with respect to dimensionality reduction, visualization, classification, and detection. Moreover, we show that GerDA DNNs can preprocess truly high-dimensional input data to low-dimensional representations that facilitate accurate predictions even if simple linear predictors or measures of similarity are used.

  3. Theoretical vs. empirical discriminability: the application of ROC methods to eyewitness identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wixted, John T; Mickes, Laura

    2018-01-01

    Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was introduced to the field of eyewitness identification 5 years ago. Since that time, it has been both influential and controversial, and the debate has raised an issue about measuring discriminability that is rarely considered. The issue concerns the distinction between empirical discriminability (measured by area under the ROC curve) vs. underlying/theoretical discriminability (measured by d' or variants of it). Under most circumstances, the two measures will agree about a difference between two conditions in terms of discriminability. However, it is possible for them to disagree, and that fact can lead to confusion about which condition actually yields higher discriminability. For example, if the two conditions have implications for real-world practice (e.g., a comparison of competing lineup formats), should a policymaker rely on the area-under-the-curve measure or the theory-based measure? Here, we illustrate the fact that a given empirical ROC yields as many underlying discriminability measures as there are theories that one is willing to take seriously. No matter which theory is correct, for practical purposes, the singular area-under-the-curve measure best identifies the diagnostically superior procedure. For that reason, area under the ROC curve informs policy in a way that underlying theoretical discriminability never can. At the same time, theoretical measures of discriminability are equally important, but for a different reason. Without an adequate theoretical understanding of the relevant task, the field will be in no position to enhance empirical discriminability.

  4. Functional discrimination of membrane proteins using machine learning techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yabuki Yukimitsu

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Discriminating membrane proteins based on their functions is an important task in genome annotation. In this work, we have analyzed the characteristic features of amino acid residues in membrane proteins that perform major functions, such as channels/pores, electrochemical potential-driven transporters and primary active transporters. Results We observed that the residues Asp, Asn and Tyr are dominant in channels/pores whereas the composition of hydrophobic residues, Phe, Gly, Ile, Leu and Val is high in electrochemical potential-driven transporters. The composition of all the amino acids in primary active transporters lies in between other two classes of proteins. We have utilized different machine learning algorithms, such as, Bayes rule, Logistic function, Neural network, Support vector machine, Decision tree etc. for discriminating these classes of proteins. We observed that most of the algorithms have discriminated them with similar accuracy. The neural network method discriminated the channels/pores, electrochemical potential-driven transporters and active transporters with the 5-fold cross validation accuracy of 64% in a data set of 1718 membrane proteins. The application of amino acid occurrence improved the overall accuracy to 68%. In addition, we have discriminated transporters from other α-helical and β-barrel membrane proteins with the accuracy of 85% using k-nearest neighbor method. The classification of transporters and all other proteins (globular and membrane showed the accuracy of 82%. Conclusion The performance of discrimination with amino acid occurrence is better than that with amino acid composition. We suggest that this method could be effectively used to discriminate transporters from all other globular and membrane proteins, and classify them into channels/pores, electrochemical and active transporters.

  5. Differential discriminator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dukhanov, V.I.; Mazurov, I.B.

    1981-01-01

    A principal flowsheet of a differential discriminator intended for operation in a spectrometric circuit with statistical time distribution of pulses is described. The differential discriminator includes four integrated discriminators and a channel of piled-up signal rejection. The presence of the rejection channel enables the discriminator to operate effectively at loads of 14x10 3 pulse/s. The temperature instability of the discrimination thresholds equals 250 μV/ 0 C. The discrimination level changes within 0.1-5 V, the level shift constitutes 0.5% for the filling ratio of 1:10. The rejection coefficient is not less than 90%. Alpha spectrum of the 228 Th source is presented to evaluate the discriminator operation with the rejector. The rejector provides 50 ns time resolution

  6. Structural Discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorsen, Mira Skadegård

    discrimination as two ways of articulating particular, opaque forms of racial discrimination that occur in everyday Danish (and other) contexts, and have therefore become normalized. I present and discuss discrimination as it surfaces in data from my empirical studies of discrimination in Danish contexts...

  7. Effects of Perceived Discrimination on the School Satisfaction of Brazilian High School Graduates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubia R. Valente

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyzes the consequences of peer victimization for the satisfaction with schooling (“happiness” of college-bound high school graduates in Brazil.  Several types of victimization are explored including discrimination due to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and disability. We compare the satisfaction with their schooling of students planning to head to college straight from high school and older students applying for college later in life (“nontraditional students”. We conclude that students who perceived that they had been discriminated against were more dissatisfied with their school experience than those who did not, ceteris paribus, and we relate level of dissatisfaction to type of discrimination. The older student evidence reveals that this dissatisfaction wanes with time and age, however. Our conclusions are based upon ordered logistic analyses of data for 2.4 million current high school seniors and 78.7 thousand older students drawn from the Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio questionnaire (ENEM.

  8. Attention improves encoding of task-relevant features in the human visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehee, Janneke F.M.; Brady, Devin K.; Tong, Frank

    2011-01-01

    When spatial attention is directed towards a particular stimulus, increased activity is commonly observed in corresponding locations of the visual cortex. Does this attentional increase in activity indicate improved processing of all features contained within the attended stimulus, or might spatial attention selectively enhance the features relevant to the observer’s task? We used fMRI decoding methods to measure the strength of orientation-selective activity patterns in the human visual cortex while subjects performed either an orientation or contrast discrimination task, involving one of two laterally presented gratings. Greater overall BOLD activation with spatial attention was observed in areas V1-V4 for both tasks. However, multivariate pattern analysis revealed that orientation-selective responses were enhanced by attention only when orientation was the task-relevant feature, and not when the grating’s contrast had to be attended. In a second experiment, observers discriminated the orientation or color of a specific lateral grating. Here, orientation-selective responses were enhanced in both tasks but color-selective responses were enhanced only when color was task-relevant. In both experiments, task-specific enhancement of feature-selective activity was not confined to the attended stimulus location, but instead spread to other locations in the visual field, suggesting the concurrent involvement of a global feature-based attentional mechanism. These results suggest that attention can be remarkably selective in its ability to enhance particular task-relevant features, and further reveal that increases in overall BOLD amplitude are not necessarily accompanied by improved processing of stimulus information. PMID:21632942

  9. Visual discrimination in the pigeon (Columba livia): effects of selective lesions of the nucleus rotundus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laverghetta, A. V.; Shimizu, T.

    1999-01-01

    The nucleus rotundus is a large thalamic nucleus in birds and plays a critical role in many visual discrimination tasks. In order to test the hypothesis that there are functionally distinct subdivisions in the nucleus rotundus, effects of selective lesions of the nucleus were studied in pigeons. The birds were trained to discriminate between different types of stationary objects and between different directions of moving objects. Multiple regression analyses revealed that lesions in the anterior, but not posterior, division caused deficits in discrimination of small stationary stimuli. Lesions in neither the anterior nor posterior divisions predicted effects in discrimination of moving stimuli. These results are consistent with a prediction led from the hypothesis that the nucleus is composed of functional subdivisions.

  10. TRISTAR I: Evaluation Methods for Testing Head-Up Display (HUD) Flight Symbology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Newman, R

    1995-01-01

    A piloted head up display (HUD) flight symbology study (TRISTAR) measuring pilot task performance was conducted at the NASA Ames Research Center by the Tri-Service Flight Symbology Working Group (FSWO...

  11. Role of Head Teachers in Ensuring Sound Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kor, Jacob; Opare, James K.

    2017-01-01

    The school climate is outlined in literature as one of the most important within school factors required for effective teaching in learning. As leaders in any organisations are assigned the role of ensuring sound climates for work, head teachers also have the task of creating and maintaining an environment conducive for effective academic work…

  12. An FMRI-compatible Symbol Search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebel, Spencer W; Clark, Uraina S; Xu, Xiaomeng; Riskin-Jones, Hannah H; Hawkshead, Brittany E; Schwarz, Nicolette F; Labbe, Donald; Jerskey, Beth A; Sweet, Lawrence H

    2015-03-01

    Our objective was to determine whether a Symbol Search paradigm developed for functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is a reliable and valid measure of cognitive processing speed (CPS) in healthy older adults. As all older adults are expected to experience cognitive declines due to aging, and CPS is one of the domains most affected by age, establishing a reliable and valid measure of CPS that can be administered inside an MR scanner may prove invaluable in future clinical and research settings. We evaluated the reliability and construct validity of a newly developed FMRI Symbol Search task by comparing participants' performance in and outside of the scanner and to the widely used and standardized Symbol Search subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). A brief battery of neuropsychological measures was also administered to assess the convergent and discriminant validity of the FMRI Symbol Search task. The FMRI Symbol Search task demonstrated high test-retest reliability when compared to performance on the same task administered out of the scanner (r=.791; pSymbol Search (r=.717; pSymbol Search task were also observed. The FMRI Symbol Search task is a reliable and valid measure of CPS in healthy older adults and exhibits expected sensitivity to the effects of age on CPS performance.

  13. Hippocampus, Perirhinal Cortex, and Complex Visual Discriminations in Rats and Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hales, Jena B.; Broadbent, Nicola J.; Velu, Priya D.; Squire, Larry R.; Clark, Robert E.

    2015-01-01

    Structures in the medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex, are known to be essential for the formation of long-term memory. Recent animal and human studies have investigated whether perirhinal cortex might also be important for visual perception. In our study, using a simultaneous oddity discrimination task, rats with…

  14. Pharmacological manipulation of GABA activity in nucleus subpretectalis/interstitio-pretecto-subpretectalis (SP/IPS) impairs figure-ground discrimination in pigeons: Running head: SP/IPS in figure-ground segregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acerbo, Martin J; Lazareva, Olga F

    2018-05-15

    Figure-ground segregation is a fundamental visual ability that allows an organism to separate an object from its background. Our earlier research has shown that nucleus rotundus (Rt), a thalamic nucleus processing visual information in pigeons, together with its inhibitory complex, nucleus subpretectalis/interstitio-pretecto-subpretectalis (SP/IPS), are critically involved in figure-ground discrimination (Acerbo et al., 2012; Scully et al., 2014). Here, we further investigated the role of SP/IPS by conducting bilateral microinjections of GABAergic receptor antagonist and agonists (bicuculline and muscimol, respectively) and non-NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist (CNQX) after the pigeons mastered figure-ground discrimination task. We used two doses of each drug (bicuculline: 0.1 mM and 0.05 mM; muscimol: 4.4 mM and 8.8 mM; CNQX: 2.15 mM and 4.6 mM) in a within-subject design, and alternated drug injections with baseline (ACSF). The order of injections was randomized across birds to reduce potential carryover effects. We found that a low dose of bicuculline produced a decrement on figure trials but not on background trials, whereas a high dose impaired performance on background trials but not on figure trials. Muscimol produced an equivalent, dose-dependent impairment on both types of trials. Finally, CNQX had no consistent effect at either dose. Together, these results further confirm our earlier hypothesis that inhibitory projections from SP to Rt modulate figure-ground discrimination, and suggest that the Rt and the SP/IPS provide a plausible substrate that could perform figure-ground segregation in avian brain. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Eendebak, P.T.; Schropp, G.Y.R.; Hermes, H.V.; Elzendoorn, B.S.Q.; Magielsen, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not

  16. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M., E-mail: c.heemskerk@heemskerk-innovative.nl [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Eendebak, P.T. [TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (Netherlands); Schropp, G.Y.R. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Hermes, H.V. [TU Eindhoven (Netherlands); Elzendoorn, B.S.Q. [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, P.O. Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Magielsen, A.J. [NRG, P.O. Box 25, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not.

  17. Prior and present evidence: how prior experience interacts with present information in a perceptual decision making task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhsin Karim

    Full Text Available Vibrotactile discrimination tasks have been used to examine decision making processes in the presence of perceptual uncertainty, induced by barely discernible frequency differences between paired stimuli or by the presence of embedded noise. One lesser known property of such tasks is that decisions made on a single trial may be biased by information from prior trials. An example is the time-order effect whereby the presentation order of paired stimuli may introduce differences in accuracy. Subjects perform better when the first stimulus lies between the second stimulus and the global mean of all stimuli on the judged dimension ("preferred" time-orders compared to the alternative presentation order ("nonpreferred" time-orders. This has been conceptualised as a "drift" of the first stimulus representation towards the global mean of the stimulus-set (an internal standard. We describe the influence of prior information in relation to the more traditionally studied factors of interest in a classic discrimination task.Sixty subjects performed a vibrotactile discrimination task with different levels of uncertainty parametrically induced by increasing task difficulty, aperiodic stimulus noise, and changing the task instructions whilst maintaining identical stimulus properties (the "context".The time-order effect had a greater influence on task performance than two of the explicit factors-task difficulty and noise-but not context. The influence of prior information increased with the distance of the first stimulus from the global mean, suggesting that the "drift" velocity of the first stimulus towards the global mean representation was greater for these trials.Awareness of the time-order effect and prior information in general is essential when studying perceptual decision making tasks. Implicit mechanisms may have a greater influence than the explicit factors under study. It also affords valuable insights into basic mechanisms of information

  18. Pitch discrimination and melodic memory in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanutz, Sandy; Wapnick, Joel; Burack, Jacob A

    2014-02-01

    Pitch perception is enhanced among persons with autism. We extended this finding to memory for pitch and melody among school-aged children. The purpose of this study was to investigate pitch memory in musically untrained children with autism spectrum disorders, aged 7-13 years, and to compare it to that of age- and IQ-matched typically developing children. The children were required to discriminate isolated tones in two differing contexts as well to remember melodies after a period of 1 week. The tasks were designed to employ both short- and long-term memory for music. For the pitch discrimination task, the children first had to indicate whether two isolated tones were the same or different when the second was the same or had been altered to be 25, 35, or 45 cents sharp or flat. Second, the children discriminated the tones within the context of melody. They were asked whether two melodies were the same or different when the leading tone of the second melody was the same or had been altered to be 25, 35, or 45 cents sharp or flat. Long-term memory for melody was also investigated, as the children attempted to recall four different two-bar melodies after 1 week. The children with autism spectrum disorders demonstrated elevated pitch discrimination ability in the single-tone and melodic context as well as superior long-term memory for melody. Pitch memory correlated positively with scores on measures of nonverbal fluid reasoning ability. Superior short- and long-term pitch memory was found among children with autism spectrum disorders. The results indicate an aspect to cognitive functioning that may predict both enhanced nonverbal reasoning ability and atypical language development.

  19. Additional helmet and pack loading reduce situational awareness during the establishment of marksmanship posture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Jongil; Palmer, Christopher J; Busa, Michael A; Amado, Avelino; Rosado, Luis D; Ducharme, Scott W; Simon, Darnell; Van Emmerik, Richard E A

    2017-06-01

    The pickup of visual information is critical for controlling movement and maintaining situational awareness in dangerous situations. Altered coordination while wearing protective equipment may impact the likelihood of injury or death. This investigation examined the consequences of load magnitude and distribution on situational awareness, segmental coordination and head gaze in several protective equipment ensembles. Twelve soldiers stepped down onto force plates and were instructed to quickly and accurately identify visual information while establishing marksmanship posture in protective equipment. Time to discriminate visual information was extended when additional pack and helmet loads were added, with the small increase in helmet load having the largest effect. Greater head-leading and in-phase trunk-head coordination were found with lighter pack loads, while trunk-leading coordination increased and head gaze dynamics were more disrupted in heavier pack loads. Additional armour load in the vest had no consequences for Time to discriminate, coordination or head dynamics. This suggests that the addition of head borne load be carefully considered when integrating new technology and that up-armouring does not necessarily have negative consequences for marksmanship performance. Practitioner Summary: Understanding the trade-space between protection and reductions in task performance continue to challenge those developing personal protective equipment. These methods provide an approach that can help optimise equipment design and loading techniques by quantifying changes in task performance and the emergent coordination dynamics that underlie that performance.

  20. Driving While Interacting With Google Glass: Investigating the Combined Effect of Head-Up Display and Hands-Free Input on Driving Safety and Multitask Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippey, Kathryn G; Sivaraj, Elayaraj; Ferris, Thomas K

    2017-06-01

    This study evaluated the individual and combined effects of voice (vs. manual) input and head-up (vs. head-down) display in a driving and device interaction task. Advances in wearable technology offer new possibilities for in-vehicle interaction but also present new challenges for managing driver attention and regulating device usage in vehicles. This research investigated how driving performance is affected by interface characteristics of devices used for concurrent secondary tasks. A positive impact on driving performance was expected when devices included voice-to-text functionality (reducing demand for visual and manual resources) and a head-up display (HUD) (supporting greater visibility of the driving environment). Driver behavior and performance was compared in a texting-while-driving task set during a driving simulation. The texting task was completed with and without voice-to-text using a smartphone and with voice-to-text using Google Glass's HUD. Driving task performance degraded with the addition of the secondary texting task. However, voice-to-text input supported relatively better performance in both driving and texting tasks compared to using manual entry. HUD functionality further improved driving performance compared to conditions using a smartphone and often was not significantly worse than performance without the texting task. This study suggests that despite the performance costs of texting-while-driving, voice input methods improve performance over manual entry, and head-up displays may further extend those performance benefits. This study can inform designers and potential users of wearable technologies as well as policymakers tasked with regulating the use of these technologies while driving.

  1. The dual rod system of amphibians supports colour discrimination at the absolute visual threshold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yovanovich, Carola A M; Koskela, Sanna M; Nevala, Noora; Kondrashev, Sergei L; Kelber, Almut; Donner, Kristian

    2017-04-05

    The presence of two spectrally different kinds of rod photoreceptors in amphibians has been hypothesized to enable purely rod-based colour vision at very low light levels. The hypothesis has never been properly tested, so we performed three behavioural experiments at different light intensities with toads ( Bufo ) and frogs ( Rana ) to determine the thresholds for colour discrimination. The thresholds of toads were different in mate choice and prey-catching tasks, suggesting that the differential sensitivities of different spectral cone types as well as task-specific factors set limits for the use of colour in these behavioural contexts. In neither task was there any indication of rod-based colour discrimination. By contrast, frogs performing phototactic jumping were able to distinguish blue from green light down to the absolute visual threshold, where vision relies only on rod signals. The remarkable sensitivity of this mechanism comparing signals from the two spectrally different rod types approaches theoretical limits set by photon fluctuations and intrinsic noise. Together, the results indicate that different pathways are involved in processing colour cues depending on the ecological relevance of this information for each task.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in dim light'. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. Heading and head injuries in soccer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkendall, D T; Jordan, S E; Garrett, W E

    2001-01-01

    In the world of sports, soccer is unique because of the purposeful use of the unprotected head for controlling and advancing the ball. This skill obviously places the player at risk of head injury and the game does carry some risk. Head injury can be a result of contact of the head with another head (or other body parts), ground, goal post, other unknown objects or even the ball. Such impacts can lead to contusions, fractures, eye injuries, concussions or even, in rare cases, death. Coaches, players, parents and physicians are rightly concerned about the risk of head injury in soccer. Current research shows that selected soccer players have some degree of cognitive dysfunction. It is important to determine the reasons behind such deficits. Purposeful heading has been blamed, but a closer look at the studies that focus on heading has revealed methodological concerns that question the validity of blaming purposeful heading of the ball. The player's history and age (did they play when the ball was leather and could absorb significant amounts of water), alcohol intake, drug intake, learning disabilities, concussion definition and control group use/composition are all factors that cloud the ability to blame purposeful heading. What does seem clear is that a player's history of concussive episodes is a more likely explanation for cognitive deficits. While it is likely that the subconcussive impact of purposeful heading is a doubtful factor in the noted deficits, it is unknown whether multiple subconcussive impacts might have some lingering effects. In addition, it is unknown whether the noted deficits have any affect on daily life. Proper instruction in the technique is critical because if the ball contacts an unprepared head (as in accidental head-ball contacts), the potential for serious injury is possible. To further our understanding of the relationship of heading, head injury and cognitive deficits, we need to: learn more about the actual impact of a ball on the

  3. Examining Workplace Discrimination in a Discrimination-Free Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Braxton, Shawn Lamont

    2010-01-01

    Examining Workplace Discrimination in a Discrimination-Free Environment Shawn L. Braxton Abstract The purpose of this study is to explore how racial and gender discrimination is reproduced in concrete workplace settings even when anti-discrimination policies are present, and to understand the various reactions utilized by those who commonly experience it. I have selected a particular medical center, henceforth referred to by a pseudonym, â The Bliley Medical Centerâ as my case ...

  4. Reward Motivation Enhances Task Coding in Frontoparietal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etzel, Joset A; Cole, Michael W; Zacks, Jeffrey M; Kay, Kendrick N; Braver, Todd S

    2016-04-01

    Reward motivation often enhances task performance, but the neural mechanisms underlying such cognitive enhancement remain unclear. Here, we used a multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) approach to test the hypothesis that motivation-related enhancement of cognitive control results from improved encoding and representation of task set information. Participants underwent two fMRI sessions of cued task switching, the first under baseline conditions, and the second with randomly intermixed reward incentive and no-incentive trials. Information about the upcoming task could be successfully decoded from cue-related activation patterns in a set of frontoparietal regions typically associated with task control. More critically, MVPA classifiers trained on the baseline session had significantly higher decoding accuracy on incentive than non-incentive trials, with decoding improvement mediating reward-related enhancement of behavioral performance. These results strongly support the hypothesis that reward motivation enhances cognitive control, by improving the discriminability of task-relevant information coded and maintained in frontoparietal brain regions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Dopamine modulates memory consolidation of discrimination learning in the auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schicknick, Horst; Reichenbach, Nicole; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Scheich, Henning; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang

    2012-03-01

    In Mongolian gerbils, the auditory cortex is critical for discriminating rising vs. falling frequency-modulated tones. Based on our previous studies, we hypothesized that dopaminergic inputs to the auditory cortex during and shortly after acquisition of the discrimination strategy control long-term memory formation. To test this hypothesis, we studied frequency-modulated tone discrimination learning of gerbils in a shuttle box GO/NO-GO procedure following differential treatments. (i) Pre-exposure of gerbils to the frequency-modulated tones at 1 day before the first discrimination training session severely impaired the accuracy of the discrimination acquired in that session during the initial trials of a second training session, performed 1 day later. (ii) Local injection of the D1/D5 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH-23390 into the auditory cortex after task acquisition caused a discrimination deficit of similar extent and time course as with pre-exposure. This effect was dependent on the dose and time point of injection. (iii) Injection of the D1/D5 dopamine receptor agonist SKF-38393 into the auditory cortex after retraining caused a further discrimination improvement at the beginning of subsequent sessions. All three treatments, which supposedly interfered with dopamine signalling during conditioning and/or retraining, had a substantial impact on the dynamics of the discrimination performance particularly at the beginning of subsequent training sessions. These findings suggest that auditory-cortical dopamine activity after acquisition of a discrimination of complex sounds and after retrieval of weak frequency-modulated tone discrimination memory further improves memory consolidation, i.e. the correct association of two sounds with their respective GO/NO-GO meaning, in support of future memory recall. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Optimization of MR imaging for extracranial head and neck lesions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dalley, R.W.; Maravilla, K.R.; Cohen, W.

    1989-01-01

    The authors have used a 1.5T MR imager to study 28 pathologically proven extracranial head and neck lesions. Multiple pulse sequences were performed pre-and/or post-gadolinium, including T1-weighted, short TI inversion-recovery (STIR), spin-density, and T2-weighted sequences. T1-weighted images provided excellent anatomic detail but relatively poor muscle/lesion contrast. Gadolinium often improved lesion visibility; however, discrimination from surrounding fat was impaired. Postcontrast T2-weighted images seemed to provide better lesion conspicuity than did pre-gadolinium images. STIR imaging provided the highest lesion conspicuity in fatty areas. No single sequence was optimal for all head and neck imaging. The authors analyze the advantages and limitations of each sequence and formulate rational imaging protocols based on the primary region of interest

  7. Development of vicarious trial-and-error behavior in odor discrimination learning in the rat: relation to hippocampal function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, D; Griesbach, G; Amsel, A

    1997-06-01

    Previous work from our laboratory has suggested that hippocampal electrolytic lesions result in a deficit in simultaneous, black-white discrimination learning and reduce the frequency of vicarious trial-and-error (VTE) at a choice-point. VTE is a term Tolman used to describe the rat's conflict-like behavior, moving its head from one stimulus to the other at a choice point, and has been proposed as a major nonspatial feature of hippocampal function in both visual and olfactory discrimination learning. Simultaneous odor discrimination and VTE behavior were examined at three different ages. The results were that 16-day-old pups made fewer VTEs and learned much more slowly than 30- and 60-day-olds, a finding in accord with levels of hippocampal maturity in the rat.

  8. Neural cascade of conflict processing: not just time-on-task

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Cameron C.; van den Berg, Berry; Woldorff, Marty G.

    2017-01-01

    In visual conflict tasks (e.g., Stroop or flanker), response times (RTs) are generally longer on incongruent trials relative to congruent ones. Two event-related-potential (ERP) components classically associated with the processing of stimulus conflict are the fronto-central, incongruency-related negativity (Ninc) and the posterior late-positive complex (LPC), which are derived from the ERP difference waves for incongruent minus congruent trials. It has been questioned, however, whether these effects, or other neural measures of incongruency (e.g., fMRI responses in the anterior cingulate), reflect true conflict processing, or whether such effects derive mainly from differential time-on-task. To address this question, we leveraged high-temporal-resolution ERP measures of brain activity during two behavioral tasks. The first task, a modified Erikson flanker paradigm (with congruent and incongruent trials), was used to evoke the classic RT and ERP effects associated with conflict. In the second, a non-conflict comparison condition, participants visually discriminated a single stimulus (with easy and hard discrimination conditions). Behaviorally, the parameters were titrated to yield similar RT effects of conflict and difficulty (27 ms). Neurally, both within-task contrasts showed an initial fronto-central negative-polarity wave (N2-latency effect), but they then diverged. In the difficulty difference wave, the initial negativity led directly into the posterior LPC, whereas in the incongruency contrast the initial negativity was followed a by a second fronto-central negative peak (Ninc), which was then followed by a considerably longer-latency LPC. These results provide clear evidence that the longer processing for incongruent stimulus inputs do not just reflect time-on-task or difficulty, but include a true conflict-processing component. PMID:28017818

  9. Large number discrimination in newborn fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Piffer

    Full Text Available Quantitative abilities have been reported in a wide range of species, including fish. Recent studies have shown that adult guppies (Poecilia reticulata can spontaneously select the larger number of conspecifics. In particular the evidence collected in literature suggest the existence of two distinct systems of number representation: a precise system up to 4 units, and an approximate system for larger numbers. Spontaneous numerical abilities, however, seem to be limited to 4 units at birth and it is currently unclear whether or not the large number system is absent during the first days of life. In the present study, we investigated whether newborn guppies can be trained to discriminate between large quantities. Subjects were required to discriminate between groups of dots with a 0.50 ratio (e.g., 7 vs. 14 in order to obtain a food reward. To dissociate the roles of number and continuous quantities that co-vary with numerical information (such as cumulative surface area, space and density, three different experiments were set up: in Exp. 1 number and continuous quantities were simultaneously available. In Exp. 2 we controlled for continuous quantities and only numerical information was available; in Exp. 3 numerical information was made irrelevant and only continuous quantities were available. Subjects successfully solved the tasks in Exp. 1 and 2, providing the first evidence of large number discrimination in newborn fish. No discrimination was found in experiment 3, meaning that number acuity is better than spatial acuity. A comparison with the onset of numerical abilities observed in shoal-choice tests suggests that training procedures can promote the development of numerical abilities in guppies.

  10. Light Field Rendering for Head Mounted Displays using Pixel Reprojection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Anne Juhler; Klein, Jákup; Kraus, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Light field displays have advantages over traditional stereoscopic head mounted displays, for example, because they can overcome the vergence-accommodation conflict. However, rendering light fields can be a heavy task for computers due to the number of images that have to be rendered. Since much ...

  11. The multi-task barge: a floating deep-sea production, storage and unloading unit, with surface production heads and drilling installations; La barge multifonctions: une unite flottante de production, de stockage et dechargement en eau profonde, avec tetes de production en surface et installations de forage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valenchon, C; Rossig, J H [Bouygues Offshore (France); Pouget, G [Sedco-Forex (France); Biolley, F [Institut Francais du Petrole, 92 - Rueil-Malmaison (France)

    1998-05-01

    The multi-task barge is devoted to the exploitation of deep-sea fields in rather good conditions. It has been designed to bring together within a single installation, a production, storage and unloading unit and the necessary means for the drilling, the connecting and the work-over of wells. Thus submarine well-heads and well-head platforms are no longer needed. When the field configuration or the use of oriented drillings allows to group several wells together, the multi-task platform allows to use more economical surface production heads installed on steel rigid risers. This concept requires less investments thanks to less expensive drilling operations and restricted submarine installations, and to easier well operations and lower exploitation costs. Crude oil storage is ensured to up to about 2 millions of barrels. This paper presents the design aspects and the dynamical analysis of risers with the methods used. The tensioning and mooring system is examined and the advantages of the cylindrical float system is underlined and compared to the classical hydro-pneumatic systems. (J.S.) 11 refs.

  12. A Reward-Based Behavioral Platform to Measure Neural Activity during Head-Fixed Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H. Micallef

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the neural computations that contribute to behavior requires recording from neurons while an animal is behaving. This is not an easy task as most subcellular recording techniques require absolute head stability. The Go/No-Go sensory task is a powerful decision-driven task that enables an animal to report a binary decision during head-fixation. Here we discuss how to set up an Ardunio and Python based platform system to control a Go/No-Go sensory behavior paradigm. Using an Arduino micro-controller and Python-based custom written program, a reward can be delivered to the animal depending on the decision reported. We discuss the various components required to build the behavioral apparatus that can control and report such a sensory stimulus paradigm. This system enables the end user to control the behavioral testing in real-time and therefore it provides a strong custom-made platform for probing the neural basis of behavior.

  13. Dogs can discriminate human smiling faces from blank expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagasawa, Miho; Murai, Kensuke; Mogi, Kazutaka; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2011-07-01

    Dogs have a unique ability to understand visual cues from humans. We investigated whether dogs can discriminate between human facial expressions. Photographs of human faces were used to test nine pet dogs in two-choice discrimination tasks. The training phases involved each dog learning to discriminate between a set of photographs of their owner's smiling and blank face. Of the nine dogs, five fulfilled these criteria and were selected for test sessions. In the test phase, 10 sets of photographs of the owner's smiling and blank face, which had previously not been seen by the dog, were presented. The dogs selected the owner's smiling face significantly more often than expected by chance. In subsequent tests, 10 sets of smiling and blank face photographs of 20 persons unfamiliar to the dogs were presented (10 males and 10 females). There was no statistical difference between the accuracy in the case of the owners and that in the case of unfamiliar persons with the same gender as the owner. However, the accuracy was significantly lower in the case of unfamiliar persons of the opposite gender to that of the owner, than with the owners themselves. These results suggest that dogs can learn to discriminate human smiling faces from blank faces by looking at photographs. Although it remains unclear whether dogs have human-like systems for visual processing of human facial expressions, the ability to learn to discriminate human facial expressions may have helped dogs adapt to human society.

  14. Recent and Long-Term Soccer Heading Exposure Is Differentially Associated With Neuropsychological Function in Amateur Players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitch, Cara F; Zimmerman, Molly E; Lubin, Naomi; Kim, Namhee; Lipton, Richard B; Stewart, Walter F; Kim, Mimi; Lipton, Michael L

    2018-02-01

    The present study examined the relative contribution of recent or long-term heading to neuropsychological function in amateur adult soccer players. Soccer players completed a baseline questionnaire (HeadCount-12m) to ascertain heading during the prior 12 months (long-term heading, LTH) and an online questionnaire (HeadCount-2w) every 3 months to ascertain heading during the prior 2 weeks (recent heading, RH). Cogstate, a battery of six neuropsychological tests, was administered to assess neuropsychological function. Generalized estimating equations were used to test if LTH or RH was associated with neuropsychological function while accounting for the role of recognized concussion. A total of 311 soccer players completed 630 HeadCount-2w. Participants had an average age of 26 years. Participants headed the ball a median of 611 times/year (mean=1,384.03) and 9.50 times/2 weeks (mean=34.17). High levels of RH were significantly associated with reduced performance on a task of psychomotor speed (p=.02), while high levels of LTH were significantly associated with poorer performance on tasks of verbal learning (p=.03) and verbal memory (p=.04). Significantly better attention (p=.02) was detectable at moderately high levels of RH, but not at the highest level of RH. One hundred and seven (34.4%) participants reported a lifetime history of concussion, but this was not related to neuropsychological function and did not modify the association of RH or LTH with neuropsychological function. High levels of both RH and LTH were associated with poorer neuropsychological function, but on different domains. The clinical manifestations following repetitive exposure to heading could change with chronicity of exposure. (JINS, 2018, 24, 147-155).

  15. Optimization of perceptual learning: effects of task difficulty and external noise in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLoss, Denton J; Watanabe, Takeo; Andersen, George J

    2014-06-01

    Previous research has shown a wide array of age-related declines in vision. The current study examined the effects of perceptual learning (PL), external noise, and task difficulty in fine orientation discrimination with older individuals (mean age 71.73, range 65-91). Thirty-two older subjects participated in seven 1.5-h sessions conducted on separate days over a three-week period. A two-alternative forced choice procedure was used in discriminating the orientation of Gabor patches. Four training groups were examined in which the standard orientations for training were either easy or difficult and included either external noise (additive Gaussian noise) or no external noise. In addition, the transfer to an untrained orientation and noise levels were examined. An analysis of the four groups prior to training indicated no significant differences between the groups. An analysis of the change in performance post-training indicated that the degree of learning was related to task difficulty and the presence of external noise during training. In addition, measurements of pupil diameter indicated that changes in orientation discrimination were not associated with changes in retinal illuminance. These results suggest that task difficulty and training in noise are factors important for optimizing the effects of training among older individuals. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Effect of head-only sub-chronic GSM exposure on spatial memory of rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ammari, Mohamed; Brillaud, Elsa; Lecomte, Anthony; Sakly, Mohsen; Abdelmelek, Hafedh; Seze, Rene de; Faculte des Sciences de Bizerte, Jarzouna

    2008-01-01

    Full text: Introduction: Low power electromagnetic fields (EMF) are suspected to produce deficit memory in rats. The study of Dubreuil et al (2003) showed that a short-term (10-15 days) exposure 'head-only' to GSM 900 MHz radio frequencies does not produce a deficit memory in adult rats. The aim of our experiment was to determine if head-only sub-chronic exposure (2 months) of rats to GSM signal for 45 min at a SAR = 1.5 W/Kg and for 15 min at 6 W/Kg induce deficit in spatial memory of rats in radial maze test. Materials and methods: Exposure system: Animals were placed in Plexiglas rockets with an individual loop antenna placed above the rat's head. Four animals were exposed at the time. Loop antennas were connected to a generator and emitted a GSM signal (900 MHz, pulsed at 217 Hz, 1/8 duty factor) 5 days / week for 8 weeks. Experimental group: 30 Sprague-Dawley male rats were randomly assigned to 5 different groups: a) 6 rats exposed 15 min at SAR = 6 W/Kg; b) 6 rats exposed 45 min at SAR = 1.5 W/g; c) 6 rats sham controls (3 for 5 min and 3 for 45 min, SAR = 0 W/Kg); d) 6 rats without any treatment and manipulation (cage control); e) 6 rats were injected (i.p) S.B.H 0.1 mg/Kg (Sigma Aldrich) as positive control group. Behavioural procedure: The radial maze protocol consists of two consecutive phases: the training task (10 days) and the test task (8 days). In the first phase, rats were trained to visit the 8 arms of the maze without returning to an arm already visited. In the second phase (8 days), a 45-min intra-trial delay was introduced after four visited arms. After the intra-delay, the rat was placed in the maze to finish the test task, which is visiting four other arms he had not visited. During the training task, exposure took place before the behavioural task. During the test task, exposure or sham-exposure took place during the intra-delay. Results and discussion: In all experiments, performance of exposed rats (1.5 and 6 W/Kg) was compared with that of

  17. Head and neck position sense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Bridget; McNair, Peter; Taylor, Denise

    2008-01-01

    fails to be appropriately integrated in the CNS, errors in head position may occur, resulting in an inaccurate reference for HNPS, and conversely if neck proprioceptive information is inaccurate, then control of head position may be affected. The cerebellum and cortex also play a role in control of head position, providing feed-forward and modulatory influences depending on the task requirements. Position-matching tasks have been the most popular means of testing position sense in the cervical spine. These allow the appreciation of absolute, constant and variable errors in positioning and have been shown to be reliable. The results of such tests indicate that errors are relatively low (2-5 degrees). It is apparent that error is not consistently affected by age, a finding similar to studies undertaken in peripheral joints. Furthermore, the range of motion in which subjects are tested does not consistently affect accuracy in a predictable manner. However, it is evident that impairments in position sense are observed in individuals who have experienced whiplash-type injuries and individuals with chronic head and neck pain of non-traumatic origin (e.g. cervical spondylosis). While researchers advocate comprehensive retraining protocols, which include eye and neck motion targeting tasks and coordination exercises, as well as co-contraction exercises to reduce such impairments, some studies show that more general exercises and manipulation may be of benefit. Overall, there is limited information concerning the efficacy of treatment programmes.

  18. PROBABILISTIC PROGRAMMING FOR ADVANCED MACHINE LEARNING (PPAML) DISCRIMINATIVE LEARNING FOR GENERATIVE TASKS (DILIGENT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-11-29

    follows, to see the performance of the SVM Standard algorithm: python mamiStd.py --nJobs 2 --trainSize 80 where nJobs tell the computer to use ...follows: python mamiLupi.py --nJobs 2 --trainSize 80 where nJobs tell the computer to use 2 processors and trainSize tells it to run the...in the course of DARPA PPAML program. 2 INTRODUCTION As explained in Introduction , the focus of our project is to enable the use of discriminative

  19. Roles of Approval Motivation and Generalized Expectancy for Reinforcement in Children's Conceptual Discrimination Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyce, Peggy A.; And Others

    1977-01-01

    Forty-four third graders were given a two-choice conceptual discrimination learning task. The two major factors were (1) four treatment groups varying at the extremes on two personality measures, approval motivation and locus of control and (2) sex. (MS)

  20. The Caledonian face test: A new test of face discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, Andrew J; Wilkinson, Frances; Wilson, Hugh R; Gordon, Gael E; Loffler, Gunter

    2016-02-01

    This study aimed to develop a clinical test of face perception which is applicable to a wide range of patients and can capture normal variability. The Caledonian face test utilises synthetic faces which combine simplicity with sufficient realism to permit individual identification. Face discrimination thresholds (i.e. minimum difference between faces required for accurate discrimination) were determined in an "odd-one-out" task. The difference between faces was controlled by an adaptive QUEST procedure. A broad range of face discrimination sensitivity was determined from a group (N=52) of young adults (mean 5.75%; SD 1.18; range 3.33-8.84%). The test is fast (3-4 min), repeatable (test-re-test r(2)=0.795) and demonstrates a significant inversion effect. The potential to identify impairments of face discrimination was evaluated by testing LM who reported a lifelong difficulty with face perception. While LM's impairment for two established face tests was close to the criterion for significance (Z-scores of -2.20 and -2.27) for the Caledonian face test, her Z-score was -7.26, implying a more than threefold higher sensitivity. The new face test provides a quantifiable and repeatable assessment of face discrimination ability. The enhanced sensitivity suggests that the Caledonian face test may be capable of detecting more subtle impairments of face perception than available tests. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Quantity discrimination in wolves (Canis lupus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewelina eUtrata

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Quantity discrimination has been studied extensively in different non-human animal species. In the current study, we tested eleven hand-raised wolves (Canis lupus in a two-way choice task. We placed a number of food items (one to four sequentially into two opaque cans and asked the wolves to choose the larger amount. Moreover, we conducted two additional control conditions to rule out non-numerical properties of the presentation that the animals might have used to make the correct choice. Our results showed that wolves are able to make quantitative judgments at the group, but also at the individual level even when alternative strategies such as paying attention to the surface area or time and total amount are ruled out. In contrast to previous canine studies on dogs (Canis familiaris and coyotes (Canis latrans, our wolves’ performance did not improve with decreasing ratio, referred to as Weber’s law. However, further studies using larger quantities than we used in the current setup are still needed to determine whether and when wolves’ quantity discrimination conforms to Weber’s law.

  2. Assessment of Spectral and Temporal Resolution in Cochlear Implant Users Using Psychoacoustic Discrimination and Speech Cue Categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winn, Matthew B; Won, Jong Ho; Moon, Il Joon

    This study was conducted to measure auditory perception by cochlear implant users in the spectral and temporal domains, using tests of either categorization (using speech-based cues) or discrimination (using conventional psychoacoustic tests). The authors hypothesized that traditional nonlinguistic tests assessing spectral and temporal auditory resolution would correspond to speech-based measures assessing specific aspects of phonetic categorization assumed to depend on spectral and temporal auditory resolution. The authors further hypothesized that speech-based categorization performance would ultimately be a superior predictor of speech recognition performance, because of the fundamental nature of speech recognition as categorization. Nineteen cochlear implant listeners and 10 listeners with normal hearing participated in a suite of tasks that included spectral ripple discrimination, temporal modulation detection, and syllable categorization, which was split into a spectral cue-based task (targeting the /ba/-/da/ contrast) and a timing cue-based task (targeting the /b/-/p/ and /d/-/t/ contrasts). Speech sounds were manipulated to contain specific spectral or temporal modulations (formant transitions or voice onset time, respectively) that could be categorized. Categorization responses were quantified using logistic regression to assess perceptual sensitivity to acoustic phonetic cues. Word recognition testing was also conducted for cochlear implant listeners. Cochlear implant users were generally less successful at utilizing both spectral and temporal cues for categorization compared with listeners with normal hearing. For the cochlear implant listener group, spectral ripple discrimination was significantly correlated with the categorization of formant transitions; both were correlated with better word recognition. Temporal modulation detection using 100- and 10-Hz-modulated noise was not correlated either with the cochlear implant subjects' categorization of

  3. Functional Activation during the Rapid Visual Information Processing Task in a Middle Aged Cohort: An fMRI Study

    OpenAIRE

    Neale, Chris; Johnston, Patrick; Hughes, Matthew; Scholey, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task, a serial discrimination task where task performance believed to reflect sustained attention capabilities, is widely used in behavioural research and increasingly in neuroimaging studies. To date, functional neuroimaging research into the RVIP has been undertaken using block analyses, reflecting the sustained processing involved in the task, but not necessarily the transient processes associated with individual trial performance. Furthermore...

  4. How gender and task difficulty affect a sport-protective response in young adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipps, David B.; Eckner, James T.; Richardson, James K.; Ashton-Miller, James A.

    2013-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that gender and task difficulty affect the reaction, movement, and total response times associated with performing a head protective response. Twenty-four healthy young adults (13 females) performed a protective response of raising their hands from waist level to block a foam ball fired at their head from an air cannon. Participants initially stood 8.25 m away from the cannon (‘low difficulty’), and were moved successively closer in 60 cm increments until they failed to block at least 5 of 8 balls (‘high difficulty’). Limb motion was quantified using optoelectronic markers on the participants’ left wrist. Males had significantly faster total response times (p = 0.042), a trend towards faster movement times (p = 0.054), and faster peak wrist velocity (p softball pitchers and fielders should have sufficient time to protect their head from a batted ball under optimal conditions if they are adequately prepared for the task. PMID:23234296

  5. α-Oscillations in the monkey sensorimotor network influence discrimination performance by rhythmical inhibition of neuronal spiking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haegens, Saskia; Nácher, Verónica; Luna, Rogelio; Romo, Ranulfo; Jensen, Ole

    2011-11-29

    Extensive work in humans using magneto- and electroencephalography strongly suggests that decreased oscillatory α-activity (8-14 Hz) facilitates processing in a given region, whereas increased α-activity serves to actively suppress irrelevant or interfering processing. However, little work has been done to understand how α-activity is linked to neuronal firing. Here, we simultaneously recorded local field potentials and spikes from somatosensory, premotor, and motor regions while a trained monkey performed a vibrotactile discrimination task. In the local field potentials we observed strong activity in the α-band, which decreased in the sensorimotor regions during the discrimination task. This α-power decrease predicted better discrimination performance. Furthermore, the α-oscillations demonstrated a rhythmic relation with the spiking, such that firing was highest at the trough of the α-cycle. Firing rates increased with a decrease in α-power. These findings suggest that α-oscillations exercise a strong inhibitory influence on both spike timing and firing rate. Thus, the pulsed inhibition by α-oscillations plays an important functional role in the extended sensorimotor system.

  6. Effects of stimulus order on discrimination processes in comparative and equality judgements: data and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyjas, Oliver; Ulrich, Rolf

    2014-01-01

    In typical discrimination experiments, participants are presented with a constant standard and a variable comparison stimulus and their task is to judge which of these two stimuli is larger (comparative judgement). In these experiments, discrimination sensitivity depends on the temporal order of these stimuli (Type B effect) and is usually higher when the standard precedes rather than follows the comparison. Here, we outline how two models of stimulus discrimination can account for the Type B effect, namely the weighted difference model (or basic Sensation Weighting model) and the Internal Reference Model. For both models, the predicted psychometric functions for comparative judgements as well as for equality judgements, in which participants indicate whether they perceived the two stimuli to be equal or not equal, are derived and it is shown that the models also predict a Type B effect for equality judgements. In the empirical part, the models' predictions are evaluated. To this end, participants performed a duration discrimination task with comparative judgements and with equality judgements. In line with the models' predictions, a Type B effect was observed for both judgement types. In addition, a time-order error, as indicated by shifts of the psychometric functions, and differences in response times were observed only for the equality judgement. Since both models entail distinct additional predictions, it seems worthwhile for future research to unite the two models into one conceptual framework.

  7. Menstrual cycle phase affects discrimination of infant cuteness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobmaier, Janek S; Probst, Fabian; Perrett, David I; Heinrichs, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies have shown that women are more sensitive than men to subtle cuteness differences in infant faces. It has been suggested that raised levels in estradiol and progesterone may be responsible for this advantage. We compared young women's sensitivity to computer-manipulated baby faces varying in cuteness. Thirty-six women were tested once during ovulation and once during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. In a two alternative forced-choice experiment, participants chose the baby which they thought was cuter (Task 1), younger (Task 2), or the baby that they would prefer to babysit (Task 3). Saliva samples to assess levels of estradiol, progesterone and testosterone were collected at each test session. During ovulation, women were more likely to choose the cuter baby than during the luteal phase, in all three tasks. These results suggest that cuteness discrimination may be driven by cyclic hormonal shifts. However none of the measured hormones were related to increased cuteness sensitivity. We speculate that other hormones than the ones measured here might be responsible for the increased sensitivity to subtle cuteness differences during ovulation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Assessment of Joystick control during the performance of powered wheelchair driving tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Routhier François

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Powered wheelchairs are essential for many individuals who have mobility impairments. Nevertheless, if operated improperly, the powered wheelchair poses dangers to both the user and to those in its vicinity. Thus, operating a powered wheelchair with some degree of proficiency is important for safety, and measuring driving skills becomes an important issue to address. The objective of this study was to explore the discriminate validity of outcome measures of driving skills based on joystick control strategies and performance recorded using a data logging system. Methods We compared joystick control strategies and performance during standardized driving tasks between a group of 10 expert and 13 novice powered wheelchair users. Driving tasks were drawn from the Wheelchair Skills Test (v. 4.1. Data from the joystick controller were collected on a data logging system. Joystick control strategies and performance outcome measures included the mean number of joystick movements, time required to complete tasks, as well as variability of joystick direction. Results In simpler tasks, the expert group's driving skills were comparable to those of the novice group. Yet, in more difficult and spatially confined tasks, the expert group required fewer joystick movements for task completion. In some cases, experts also completed tasks in approximately half the time with respect to the novice group. Conclusions The analysis of joystick control made it possible to discriminate between novice and expert powered wheelchair users in a variety of driving tasks. These results imply that in spatially confined areas, a greater powered wheelchair driving skill level is required to complete tasks efficiently. Based on these findings, it would appear that the use of joystick signal analysis constitutes an objective tool for the measurement of powered wheelchair driving skills. This tool may be useful for the clinical assessment and training of powered

  9. Biceps brachii long head overactivity associated with elbow flexion contracture in brachial plexus birth palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffler, Lindsey C; Lattanza, Lisa; Sison-Williamson, Mitell; James, Michelle A

    2012-02-15

    The etiology of elbow flexion contracture in children with brachial plexus birth palsy remains unclear. We hypothesized that the long head of the biceps brachii muscle assists with shoulder stabilization in children with brachial plexus birth palsy and that overactivity of the long head during elbow and shoulder activity is associated with an elbow flexion contracture. Twenty-one patients with brachial plexus birth palsy-associated elbow flexion contracture underwent testing with surface electromyography. Twelve patients underwent repeat testing with fine-wire electromyography. Surface electrodes were placed on the muscle belly, and fine-wire electrodes were inserted bilaterally into the long and short heads of the biceps brachii. Patients were asked to perform four upper extremity tasks: elbow flexion-extension, hand to head, high reach, and overhead ball throw. The mean duration of muscle activity in the affected limb was compared with that in the contralateral, unaffected limb, which was used as a control. Three-dimensional motion analysis, surface dynamometry, and validated function measures were used to evaluate upper extremity kinematics, elbow flexor-extensor muscle imbalance, and function. The mean activity duration of the long head of the biceps brachii muscle was significantly higher in the affected limb as compared with the contralateral, unaffected limb during hand-to-head tasks (p = 0.02) and high-reach tasks (p = 0.03). No significant differences in mean activity duration were observed for the short head of the biceps brachii muscle between the affected and unaffected limbs. Isometric strength of elbow flexion was not significantly higher than that of elbow extension in the affected limb (p = 0.11). Overactivity of the long head of the biceps brachii muscle is associated with and may contribute to the development of elbow flexion contracture in children with brachial plexus birth palsy. Elbow flexion contracture may not be associated with an elbow

  10. Pitch Discrimination in Musicians and Non-Musicians: Effects of Harmonic Resolvability and Processing Effort

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Santurette, Sébastien; Wendt, Dorothea

    2016-01-01

    -musicians, suggesting similar peripheral frequency selectivity in the two groups of listeners. In a follow-up experiment, listeners’ pupil dilations were measured as an indicator of the required effort in performing the same pitch discrimination task for conditions of varying resolvability and task difficulty...... abilities in musicians are unlikely to be related to higher peripheral frequency selectivity and may suggest an enhanced pitch representation at more central stages of the auditory system in musically trained listeners....

  11. Deletion of the forebrain mineralocorticoid receptor impairs social discrimination and decision-making in male, but not in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Horst, Judith P; van der Mark, Maaike; Kentrop, Jiska; Arp, Marit; van der Veen, Rixt; de Kloet, E Ronald; Oitzl, Melly S

    2014-01-01

    Social interaction with unknown individuals requires fast processing of information to decide whether it is friend or foe. This process of discrimination and decision-making is stressful and triggers secretion of corticosterone activating mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR). The MR is involved in appraisal of novel experiences and risk assessment. Recently, we have demonstrated in a dual-solution memory task that MR plays a role in the early stage of information processing and decision-making. Here we examined social approach and social discrimination in male and female mice lacking MR from hippocampal-amygdala-prefrontal circuitry and controls. The social approach task allows the assessment of time spent with an unfamiliar mouse and the ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics. The male and female test mice were both more interested in the social than the non-social experience and deletion of their limbic MR increased the time spent with an unfamiliar mouse. Unlike controls, the male MR(CaMKCre) mice were not able to discriminate between an unfamiliar and the familiar mouse. However, the female MR mutant had retained the discriminative ability between unfamiliar and familiar mice. Administration of the MR antagonist RU28318 to male mice supported the role of the MR in the discrimination between an unfamiliar mouse and a non-social stimulus. No effect was found with a GR antagonist. Our findings suggest that MR is involved in sociability and social discrimination in a sex-specific manner through inhibitory control exerted putatively via limbic-hippocampal efferents. The ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics is of uttermost importance for territorial defense and depends on a role of MR in decision-making.

  12. Post-training depletions of basolateral amygdala serotonin fail to disrupt discrimination, retention, or reversal learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Jesus eOchoa

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In goal-directed pursuits, the basolateral amygdala (BLA is critical in learning about changes in the value of rewards. BLA-lesioned rats show enhanced reversal learning, a task employed to measure the flexibility of response to changes in reward. Similarly, there is a trend for enhanced discrimination learning, suggesting that BLA may modulate formation of stimulus-reward associations. There is a parallel literature on the importance of serotonin (5HT in new stimulus-reward and reversal learning. Recent postulations implicate 5HT in learning from punishment. Whereas dopaminergic involvement is critical in behavioral activation and reinforcement, 5HT may be most critical for aversive processing and behavioral inhibition, complementary cognitive processes. Given these findings, a 5HT-mediated mechanism in BLA may mediate the facilitated learning observed previously. The present study investigated the effects of selective 5HT lesions in BLA using 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT versus infusions of saline (Sham on discrimination, retention, and deterministic reversal learning. Rats were required to reach an 85% correct pairwise discrimination and single reversal criterion prior to surgery. Postoperatively, rats were then tested on the 1 retention of the pretreatment discrimination pair 2 discrimination of a novel pair and 3 reversal learning performance. We found statistically comparable preoperative learning rates between groups, intact postoperative retention, and unaltered novel discrimination and reversal learning in 5,7-DHT rats. These findings suggest that 5HT in BLA is not required for formation and flexible adjustment of new stimulus-reward associations when the strategy to efficiently solve the task has already been learned. Given the complementary role of orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning and its interconnectivity with BLA, these findings add to the list of dissociable mechanisms for BLA and orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning.

  13. Time and Number Discrimination in a Bisection Task with a Sequence of Stimuli: A Developmental Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droit-Volet, Sylvie; Clement, Angelique; Fayol, Michel

    2003-01-01

    This study tested 5- and 8-year-olds and adults in a bisection task with a sequence of stimuli in which time and number co-varied. Findings indicated that the number of stimuli interfered with 5-year-olds' performance on the temporal bisection task. Number interference decreased both with age and counting strategy. In the numerical bisection task,…

  14. Deficits in recognition, identification, and discrimination of facial emotions in patients with bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benito, Adolfo; Lahera, Guillermo; Herrera, Sara; Muncharaz, Ramón; Benito, Guillermo; Fernández-Liria, Alberto; Montes, José Manuel

    2013-01-01

    To analyze the recognition, identification, and discrimination of facial emotions in a sample of outpatients with bipolar disorder (BD). Forty-four outpatients with diagnosis of BD and 48 matched control subjects were selected. Both groups were assessed with tests for recognition (Emotion Recognition-40 - ER40), identification (Facial Emotion Identification Test - FEIT), and discrimination (Facial Emotion Discrimination Test - FEDT) of facial emotions, as well as a theory of mind (ToM) verbal test (Hinting Task). Differences between groups were analyzed, controlling the influence of mild depressive and manic symptoms. Patients with BD scored significantly lower than controls on recognition (ER40), identification (FEIT), and discrimination (FEDT) of emotions. Regarding the verbal measure of ToM, a lower score was also observed in patients compared to controls. Patients with mild syndromal depressive symptoms obtained outcomes similar to patients in euthymia. A significant correlation between FEDT scores and global functioning (measured by the Functioning Assessment Short Test, FAST) was found. These results suggest that, even in euthymia, patients with BD experience deficits in recognition, identification, and discrimination of facial emotions, with potential functional implications.

  15. Aphasic Patients Exhibit a Reversal of Hemispheric Asymmetries in Categorical Color Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paluy, Yulia; Gilbert, Aubrey L.; Baldo, Juliana V.; Dronkers, Nina F.; Ivry, Richard B.

    2011-01-01

    Patients with left hemisphere (LH) or right hemisphere (RH) brain injury due to stroke were tested on a speeded, color discrimination task in which two factors were manipulated: (1) the categorical relationship between the target and the distracters and (2) the visual field in which the target was presented. Similar to controls, the RH patients…

  16. The influence of passionate love on self-other discrimination during joint action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintard, Virginie; Jouffre, Stéphane; Croizet, Jean-Claude; Bouquet, Cedric A

    2018-01-16

    Prior research on romantic relationships suggests that being in love involves a blurring of self-other cognitive boundaries. However, this research has focused so far on conceptual self-representation, related to the individual's traits or interests. The present study tested the hypothesis that passionate love involves a reduced discrimination between the self and the romantic partner at a bodily level, as indexed by an increased Joint Simon effect (JSE), and we further examined whether this self-other discrimination correlated with the passion felt for the partner. As predicted, we found an increased JSE when participants performed the Joint Simon Task with their romantic partner compared with a friend of the opposite sex. Providing support for the self-expansion model of love (Aron and Aron in Pers Relatsh 3(1):45-58, 1996), this result indicates that romantic relationships blur the boundaries between the self and the romantic partner at a bodily level. Furthermore, the strength of romantic feelings was positively correlated with the magnitude of the JSE when sharing the task with the romantic partner.

  17. Distraction or cognitive overload? Using modulations of the autonomic nervous system to discriminate the possible negative effects of advanced assistance system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruscio, D; Bos, A J; Ciceri, M R

    2017-06-01

    The interaction with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems has several positive implications for road safety, but also some potential downsides such as mental workload and automation complacency. Malleable attentional resources allocation theory describes two possible processes that can generate workload in interaction with advanced assisting devices. The purpose of the present study is to determine if specific analysis of the different modalities of autonomic control of nervous system can be used to discriminate different potential workload processes generated during assisted-driving tasks and automation complacency situations. Thirty-five drivers were tested in a virtual scenario while using head-up advanced warning assistance system. Repeated MANOVA were used to examine changes in autonomic activity across a combination of different user interactions generated by the advanced assistance system: (1) expected take-over request without anticipatory warning; (2) expected take-over request with two-second anticipatory warning; (3) unexpected take-over request with misleading warning; (4) unexpected take-over request without warning. Results shows that analysis of autonomic modulations can discriminate two different resources allocation processes, related to different behavioral performances. The user's interaction that required divided attention under expected situations produced performance enhancement and reciprocally-coupled parasympathetic inhibition with sympathetic activity. At the same time, supervising interactions that generated automation complacency were described specifically by uncoupled sympathetic activation. Safety implications for automated assistance systems developments are considered. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Preference Bias of Head Orientation in Choosing between Two Non-durables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki eFunaya

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this study is to investigate how customers’ gaze, head and body orientations reflect their choices. Although the relationship between human choice and gaze behavior has been well studied, other behaviors such as head and body are unknown. We conducted a two-alternatives-forced-choice task to examine (1 whether preference bias, i.e. a positional bias in gaze, head and body toward the item that was later chosen, exists in choice, (2 when preference bias is observed and when prediction of the resulting choice becomes possible (3 whether human choice is affected when the body orientations are manipulated. We used real non-durable products (cheap snacks and clothing on a shopping shelf. The results showed that there was a significant preference bias in head orientation at the beginning one second when the subjects stood straight toward the shelf, and that the head orientation was more biased toward the selected item than the gaze and the center of pressure at the ending one second. Manipulating body orientation did not affect the result of choice. The preference bias detected by observing the head orientation would be useful in marketing science for predicting customers’ choice.

  19. Preference bias of head orientation in choosing between two non-durables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funaya, Hiroyuki; Shibata, Tomohiro

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study is to investigate how customers' gaze, head and body orientations reflect their choices. Although the relationship between human choice and gaze behavior has been well-studied, other behaviors such as head and body are unknown. We conducted a two-alternatives-forced-choice task to examine (1) whether preference bias, i.e., a positional bias in gaze, head and body toward the item that was later chosen, exists in choice, (2) when preference bias is observed and when prediction of the resulting choice becomes possible (3) whether human choice is affected when the body orientations are manipulated. We used real non-durable products (cheap snacks and clothing) on a shopping shelf. The results showed that there was a significant preference bias in head orientation at the beginning 1 s when the subjects stood straight toward the shelf, and that the head orientation was more biased toward the selected item than the gaze and the center of pressure at the ending 1 s. Manipulating body orientation did not affect the result of choice. The preference bias detected by observing the head orientation would be useful in marketing science for predicting customers' choice.

  20. Something worth remembering: visual discrimination in sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuss, Theodora; Schluessel, Vera

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated memory retention capabilities of juvenile gray bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium griseum) using two-alternative forced-choice experiments. The sharks had previously been trained in a range of visual discrimination tasks, such as distinguishing between squares, triangles and lines, and their corresponding optical illusions (i.e., the Kanizsa figures or Müller-Lyer illusions), and in the present study, we tested them for memory retention. Despite the absence of reinforcement, sharks remembered the learned information for a period of up to 50 weeks, after which testing was terminated. In fish, as in other vertebrates, memory windows vary in duration depending on species and task; while it may seem beneficial to retain some information for a long time or even indefinitely, other information may be forgotten more easily to retain flexibility and save energy. The results of this study indicate that sharks are capable of long-term memory within the framework of selected cognitive skills. These could aid sharks in activities such as food retrieval, predator avoidance, mate choice or habitat selection and therefore be worth being remembered for extended periods of time. As in other cognitive tasks, intraspecific differences reflected the behavioral breadth of the species.

  1. Comparison of simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging for discrimination tasks in assessment of cardiac defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trott, C M; Ouyang, J; El Fakhri, G

    2010-11-21

    Simultaneous rest perfusion/fatty-acid metabolism studies have the potential to replace sequential rest/stress perfusion studies for the assessment of cardiac function. Simultaneous acquisition has the benefits of increased signal and lack of need for patient stress, but is complicated by cross-talk between the two radionuclide signals. We consider a simultaneous rest (99m)Tc-sestamibi/(123)I-BMIPP imaging protocol in place of the commonly used sequential rest/stress (99m)Tc-sestamibi protocol. The theoretical precision with which the severity of a cardiac defect and the transmural extent of infarct can be measured is computed for simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging, and their performance is compared for discriminating (1) degrees of defect severity and (2) sub-endocardial from transmural defects. We consider cardiac infarcts for which reduced perfusion and metabolism are observed. From an information perspective, simultaneous imaging is found to yield comparable or improved performance compared with sequential imaging for discriminating both severity of defect and transmural extent of infarct, for three defects of differing location and size.

  2. Comparison of simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging for discrimination tasks in assessment of cardiac defects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trott, C M; Ouyang, J; El Fakhri, G

    2010-01-01

    Simultaneous rest perfusion/fatty-acid metabolism studies have the potential to replace sequential rest/stress perfusion studies for the assessment of cardiac function. Simultaneous acquisition has the benefits of increased signal and lack of need for patient stress, but is complicated by cross-talk between the two radionuclide signals. We consider a simultaneous rest 99m Tc-sestamibi/ 123 I-BMIPP imaging protocol in place of the commonly used sequential rest/stress 99m Tc-sestamibi protocol. The theoretical precision with which the severity of a cardiac defect and the transmural extent of infarct can be measured is computed for simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging, and their performance is compared for discriminating (1) degrees of defect severity and (2) sub-endocardial from transmural defects. We consider cardiac infarcts for which reduced perfusion and metabolism are observed. From an information perspective, simultaneous imaging is found to yield comparable or improved performance compared with sequential imaging for discriminating both severity of defect and transmural extent of infarct, for three defects of differing location and size.

  3. Rewiring the gustatory system: specificity between nerve and taste bud field is critical for normal salt discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spector, Alan C; Blonde, Ginger; Garcea, Mircea; Jiang, Enshe

    2010-01-15

    Forty years have passed since it was demonstrated that a cross-regenerated gustatory nerve in the rat tongue adopts the stimulus-response properties of the taste receptor field it cross-reinnervates. Nevertheless, the functional consequences of channeling peripheral taste signals through inappropriate central circuits remain relatively unexplored. Here we tested whether histologically confirmed cross-regeneration of the chorda tympani nerve (CT) into the posterior tongue in the absence of the glossopharyngeal nerve (GL) (CT-PostTongue) or cross-regeneration of the GL into the anterior tongue in the absence of the CT (GL-AntTongue) would maintain presurgically trained performance in an operant NaCl vs. KCl taste discrimination task in rats. Before surgery all groups were averaging over 90% accuracy. Oral amiloride treatment dropped performance to virtually chance levels. During the first week after surgery, sham-operated rats, GL-transected rats, and rats with regenerated CTs displayed highly competent discrimination performance. In contrast, CT-transected rats were severely impaired (59% accuracy). Both the CT-PostTongue and the GL-AntTongue groups were impaired to a similar degree as CT-transected rats. These initially impaired groups improved their performance over the weeks of postsurgical testing, suggesting that the rats were capable of relearning the task with discriminable signals in the remaining taste nerves. This relearned performance was dependent on input from amiloride-sensitive receptors likely in the palate. Overall, these results suggest that normal competence in a salt discrimination task is dependent on the taste receptor field origin of the input as well as the specific nerve transmitting the signals to its associated circuits in the brain. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Head movements and postures as pain behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hamadi, Ayoub; Limbrecht-Ecklundt, Kerstin; Walter, Steffen; Traue, Harald C.

    2018-01-01

    Pain assessment can benefit from observation of pain behaviors, such as guarding or facial expression, and observational pain scales are widely used in clinical practice with nonverbal patients. However, little is known about head movements and postures in the context of pain. In this regard, we analyze videos of three publically available datasets. The BioVid dataset was recorded with healthy participants subjected to painful heat stimuli. In the BP4D dataset, healthy participants performed a cold-pressor test and several other tasks (meant to elicit emotion). The UNBC dataset videos show shoulder pain patients during range-of-motion tests to their affected and unaffected limbs. In all videos, participants were sitting in an upright position. We studied head movements and postures that occurred during the painful and control trials by measuring head orientation from video over time, followed by analyzing posture and movement summary statistics and occurrence frequencies of typical postures and movements. We found significant differences between pain and control trials with analyses of variance and binomial tests. In BioVid and BP4D, pain was accompanied by head movements and postures that tend to be oriented downwards or towards the pain site. We also found differences in movement range and speed in all three datasets. The results suggest that head movements and postures should be considered for pain assessment and research. As additional pain indicators, they possibly might improve pain management whenever behavior is assessed, especially in nonverbal individuals such as infants or patients with dementia. However, in advance more research is needed to identify specific head movements and postures in pain patients. PMID:29444153

  5. An Information Analysis of 2-, 3-, and 4-Word Verbal Discrimination Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arima, James K.; Gray, Francis D.

    Information theory was used to qualify the difficulty of verbal discrimination (VD) learning tasks and to measure VD performance. Words for VD items were selected with high background frequency and equal a priori probabilities of being selected as a first response. Three VD lists containing only 2-, 3-, or 4-word items were created and equated for…

  6. Early processing variations in selective attention to the color and direction of moving stimuli during 30 days head-down bed rest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lin-Jie; He, Si-Yang; Niu, Dong-Bin; Guo, Jian-Ping; Xu, Yun-Long; Wang, De-Sheng; Cao, Yi; Zhao, Qi; Tan, Cheng; Li, Zhi-Li; Tang, Guo-Hua; Li, Yin-Hui; Bai, Yan-Qiang

    2013-11-01

    Dynamic variations in early selective attention to the color and direction of moving stimuli were explored during a 30 days period of head-down bed rest. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded at F5, F6, P5, P6 scalp locations in seven male subjects who attended to pairs of bicolored light emitting diodes that flashed sequentially to produce a perception of movement. Subjects were required to attend selectively to a critical feature of the moving target, e.g., color or direction. The tasks included: a no response task, a color selective response task, a moving direction selective response task, and a combined color-direction selective response task. Subjects were asked to perform these four tasks on: the 3rd day before bed rest; the 3rd, 15th and 30th day during the bed rest; and the 5th day after bed rest. Subjects responded quickly to the color than moving direction and combined color-direction response. And they had a longer reaction time during bed rest on the 15th and 30th day during bed rest after a relatively quicker response on the 3rd day. Using brain event-related potentials technique, we found that in the color selective response task, the mean amplitudes of P1 and N1 for target ERPs decreased in the 3rd day during bed rest and 5th day after bed rest in comparison with pre-bed rest, 15th day and 30th day during bed rest. In the combined color-direction selective response task, the P1 latencies for target ERPs on the 3rd and 30th day during bed rest were longer than on the 15th day during bed rest. As 3rd day during bed rest was in the acute adaptation period and 30th day during bed rest was in the relatively adaptation stage of head-down bed rest, the results help to clarify the effects of bed rest on different task loads and patterns of attention. It was suggested that subjects expended more time to give correct decision in the head-down tilt bed rest state. A difficulty in the recruitment of brain resources was found in feature selection task

  7. Trunk- and head-centred spatial coordinates do not affect free-viewing perceptual asymmetries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, Michael E R; Mattingley, Jason B; Bradshaw, John L; Krins, Phillip W

    2003-11-01

    Turning the trunk or head to the left can reduce the severity of leftward neglect. This study sought to determine whether turning the trunk or head to the right would reduce pseudoneglect: A phenomenon where normal participants underestimate the rightward features of a stimulus. Participants made luminance judgements of two mirror-reversed greyscales stimuli. A preference for selecting the stimulus dark on the left was found. The effect of trunk-centred coordinates was examined in Expt. 1 by facing the head toward the display and turning the trunk to the left, right or toward the display. Head-centred coordinates were examined in Expt. 2 by directing the eyes toward the display and then turning the head and trunk. No effect of rotation was observed. It was concluded that the leftward bias for the greyscales task could be based on an object-centred attentional bias or left-to-right eye scanning habits.

  8. Pulse duration discriminator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kosakovskij, L.F.

    1980-01-01

    Basic circuits of a discriminator for discrimination of pulses with the duration greater than the preset one, and of a multifunctional discriminator allowing to discriminate pulses with the duration greater (tsub(p)>tsub(s)) and lesser (tsub(p) tsub(s) and with the duration tsub(p) [ru

  9. 75 FR 7197 - Establishing a Task Force on Childhood Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-18

    ... of February 9, 2010 Establishing a Task Force on Childhood Obesity Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies Across our country, childhood obesity has reached epidemic rates and, as... is committed to redoubling our efforts to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation...

  10. Altered attentional and perceptual processes as indexed by N170 during gaze perception in schizophrenia: Relationship with perceived threat and paranoid delusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tso, Ivy F; Calwas, Anita M; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Deldin, Patricia J

    2015-08-01

    Using gaze information to orient attention and guide behavior is critical to social adaptation. Previous studies have suggested that abnormal gaze perception in schizophrenia (SCZ) may originate in abnormal early attentional and perceptual processes and may be related to paranoid symptoms. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), this study investigated altered early attentional and perceptual processes during gaze perception and their relationship to paranoid delusions in SCZ. Twenty-eight individuals with SCZ or schizoaffective disorder and 32 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) completed a gaze-discrimination task with face stimuli varying in gaze direction (direct, averted), head orientation (forward, deviated), and emotion (neutral, fearful). ERPs were recorded during the task. Participants rated experienced threat from each face after the task. Participants with SCZ were as accurate as, though slower than, HCs on the task. Participants with SCZ displayed enlarged N170 responses over the left hemisphere to averted gaze presented in fearful relative to neutral faces, indicating a heightened encoding sensitivity to faces signaling external threat. This abnormality was correlated with increased perceived threat and paranoid delusions. Participants with SCZ also showed a reduction of N170 modulation by head orientation (normally increased amplitude to deviated faces relative to forward faces), suggesting less integration of contextual cues of head orientation in gaze perception. The psychophysiological deviations observed during gaze discrimination in SCZ underscore the role of early attentional and perceptual abnormalities in social information processing and paranoid symptoms of SCZ. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Deletion of the forebrain mineralocorticoid receptor impairs social discrimination and decision-making in male, but not in female mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith P Ter Horst

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Social interaction with unknown individuals requires fast processing of information to decide whether it is friend or foe. This process of discrimination and decision-making is stressful and triggers secretion of corticosterone activating mineralocorticoid receptors (MR and glucocorticoid receptors (GR. The MR is involved in appraisal of novel experiences and risk assessment. Recently, we have demonstrated in a dual-solution memory task that MR plays a role in the early stage of information processing and decision-making. Here we examined social approach and social discrimination in male and female mice lacking MR from hippocampal-amygdala-prefrontal circuitry and controls. The social approach task allows the assessment of time spent with an unfamiliar mouse and the ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics. The male and female test mice were both more interested in the social than the non-social experience and deletion of their limbic MR increased the time spent with an unfamiliar mouse. Unlike controls, the male MRCaMKCre mice were not able to discriminate between an unfamiliar and the familiar mouse. However, the female MR mutant had retained the discriminative ability between unfamiliar and familiar mice. Administration of the MR antagonist RU28318 to male mice supported the role of the MR in the discrimination between an unfamiliar mouse and a non-social stimulus. No effect was found with a GR antagonist. Our findings suggest that MR is involved in sociability and social discrimination in a sex-specific manner through inhibitory control exerted putatively via limbic-hippocampal efferents. The ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics is of uttermost importance for territorial defense and depends on a role of MR in decision-making.

  12. Whole-brain vascular reactivity measured by fMRI using hyperventilation and breath-holding tasks: efficacy of 3D prospective acquisition correction (3D-PACE) for head motion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naganawa, Shinji; Koshikawa, Tokiko; Fukatsu, Hiroshi; Ishigaki, Takeo; Maruyama, Katsuya; Takizawa, Osamu

    2004-01-01

    Functional MR imaging (fMRI) study using hyperventilation and breath-holding task has been reported to be one of the non-invasive methods to examine whole-brain vascular reactivity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a method for 3D prospective detection and correction of head motion (3D-PACE) in a study of whole-brain vascular reactivity using hyperventilation and breath-holding tasks. Eight healthy volunteers were scanned using an fMRI protocol of hyperventilation and breath-holding task blocks at 3 T in separate runs with and without 3D-PACE. In two subjects, two more runs with and without 3D-PACE were repeated. The mean total number of activated voxels ± standard deviation was 26,405.3±1,822.2 in the run with 3D-PACE and 17,329.9±2,766.3 in the run without 3D-PACE (P<0.05), although there is some intersubject variation regarding the effect of 3D-PACE. In the two subjects whose performed two more runs, the number of activated voxels were smaller in the run without 3D-PACE than even in the run with 3D-PACE performed later. We conclude that 3D-PACE is beneficial for fMRI studies of whole-brain vascular reactivity induced by hyperventilation and breath-holding. (orig.)

  13. A PET/CT-based strategy is a stronger predictor of survival than a standard imaging strategy in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Max; Nielsen, Anne L; Pareek, Manan

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: To examine whether tumor staging by upfront (18)F-fluoro-deoxy-glucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) leads to improved discrimination of survival, when compared with traditionally used imaging strategies based on chest X-ray + head and neck magnetic resonance...... imaging (CXR/MRI) or chest computed tomography + head and neck MRI (CCT/MRI) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Methods: Blinded prospective cohort study based on paired data. Consecutive patients with histologically verified primary HNSCC were recruited at Odense University...

  14. Food approach conditioning and discrimination learning using sound cues in benthic sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vila Pouca, Catarina; Brown, Culum

    2018-07-01

    The marine environment is filled with biotic and abiotic sounds. Some of these sounds predict important events that influence fitness while others are unimportant. Individuals can learn specific sound cues and 'soundscapes' and use them for vital activities such as foraging, predator avoidance, communication and orientation. Most research with sounds in elasmobranchs has focused on hearing thresholds and attractiveness to sound sources, but very little is known about their abilities to learn about sounds, especially in benthic species. Here we investigated if juvenile Port Jackson sharks could learn to associate a musical stimulus with a food reward, discriminate between two distinct musical stimuli, and whether individual personality traits were linked to cognitive performance. Five out of eight sharks were successfully conditioned to associate a jazz song with a food reward delivered in a specific corner of the tank. We observed repeatable individual differences in activity and boldness in all eight sharks, but these personality traits were not linked to the learning performance assays we examined. These sharks were later trained in a discrimination task, where they had to distinguish between the same jazz and a novel classical music song, and swim to opposite corners of the tank according to the stimulus played. The sharks' performance to the jazz stimulus declined to chance levels in the discrimination task. Interestingly, some sharks developed a strong side bias to the right, which in some cases was not the correct side for the jazz stimulus.

  15. Melody Track Selection Using Discriminative Language Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao; Li, Ming; Suo, Hongbin; Yan, Yonghong

    In this letter we focus on the task of selecting the melody track from a polyphonic MIDI file. Based on the intuition that music and language are similar in many aspects, we solve the selection problem by introducing an n-gram language model to learn the melody co-occurrence patterns in a statistical manner and determine the melodic degree of a given MIDI track. Furthermore, we propose the idea of using background model and posterior probability criteria to make modeling more discriminative. In the evaluation, the achieved 81.6% correct rate indicates the feasibility of our approach.

  16. An experimental study of the correlates and consequences of perceiving oneself to be the target of gender discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Christia Spears; Bigler, Rebecca S; Chu, Hui

    2010-10-01

    An experimental methodology was used to test hypotheses concerning the effects of contextual, cognitive-developmental, and individual difference factors on children's views of whether they have been the target of gender discrimination and the possible consequent effect of such views on two forms of state self-esteem: performance and social acceptance. Children (N=108, 5-11 years of age) completed theory of mind and gender attitude measures and a drawing task. Next, children received feedback that was designed to appear either gender biased (discrimination condition) or nonbiased (control condition). Children's attributions for the feedback and state self-esteem were assessed. As expected, children reported having been the target of gender discrimination more often in the discrimination condition than in the control condition. Older and more cognitively advanced children made fewer attributions to discrimination than their peers. Perceptions of discrimination were associated with higher performance state self-esteem and, among egalitarian children, lower social state self-esteem. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Visually induced gains in pitch discrimination: Linking audio-visual processing with auditory abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Cecilie; Højlund, Andreas; Bærentsen, Klaus B; Hansen, Niels Chr; Skewes, Joshua C; Vuust, Peter

    2018-05-01

    Perception is fundamentally a multisensory experience. The principle of inverse effectiveness (PoIE) states how the multisensory gain is maximal when responses to the unisensory constituents of the stimuli are weak. It is one of the basic principles underlying multisensory processing of spatiotemporally corresponding crossmodal stimuli that are well established at behavioral as well as neural levels. It is not yet clear, however, how modality-specific stimulus features influence discrimination of subtle changes in a crossmodally corresponding feature belonging to another modality. Here, we tested the hypothesis that reliance on visual cues to pitch discrimination follow the PoIE at the interindividual level (i.e., varies with varying levels of auditory-only pitch discrimination abilities). Using an oddball pitch discrimination task, we measured the effect of varying visually perceived vertical position in participants exhibiting a wide range of pitch discrimination abilities (i.e., musicians and nonmusicians). Visual cues significantly enhanced pitch discrimination as measured by the sensitivity index d', and more so in the crossmodally congruent than incongruent condition. The magnitude of gain caused by compatible visual cues was associated with individual pitch discrimination thresholds, as predicted by the PoIE. This was not the case for the magnitude of the congruence effect, which was unrelated to individual pitch discrimination thresholds, indicating that the pitch-height association is robust to variations in auditory skills. Our findings shed light on individual differences in multisensory processing by suggesting that relevant multisensory information that crucially aids some perceivers' performance may be of less importance to others, depending on their unisensory abilities.

  18. Passive directional discrimination in laser-Doppler anemometry by the two-wavelength quadrature homodyne technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büttner, Lars; Czarske, Jürgen

    2003-07-01

    We report a method for passive optical directional discrimination in laser-Doppler anemometers. For this purpose frequency-shift elements such as acousto-optic modulators, which are bulky and difficult to align during assembly, have traditionally been employed. We propose to use a quadrature homodyne technique to achieve directional discrimination of the fluid flow without any frequency-shift elements. It is based on the employment of two laser wavelengths, which generate two interference fringe systems with a phase shift of a quarter of the common fringe spacing. Measurement signal pairs with a direction-dependent phase shift of +/- pi/2 are generated. As a robust signal-processing technique, the cross-correlation technique is used. The principles of quadrature homodyne laser-Doppler anemometry are investigated. A setup that provides a constant phase shift of pi/2 throughout the entire measurement volume was achieved with both single-mode and multimode radiation. The directional discrimination was successfully verified with wind tunnel measurements. The complete passive technique offers the potential of building miniaturized measurement heads that can be integrated, e.g., into wind tunnel models.

  19. Multi-task feature selection in microarray data by binary integer programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Liang; Vucetic, Slobodan

    2013-12-20

    A major challenge in microarray classification is that the number of features is typically orders of magnitude larger than the number of examples. In this paper, we propose a novel feature filter algorithm to select the feature subset with maximal discriminative power and minimal redundancy by solving a quadratic objective function with binary integer constraints. To improve the computational efficiency, the binary integer constraints are relaxed and a low-rank approximation to the quadratic term is applied. The proposed feature selection algorithm was extended to solve multi-task microarray classification problems. We compared the single-task version of the proposed feature selection algorithm with 9 existing feature selection methods on 4 benchmark microarray data sets. The empirical results show that the proposed method achieved the most accurate predictions overall. We also evaluated the multi-task version of the proposed algorithm on 8 multi-task microarray datasets. The multi-task feature selection algorithm resulted in significantly higher accuracy than when using the single-task feature selection methods.

  20. Head-mounted eye tracking of a chimpanzee under naturalistic conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumihiro Kano

    Full Text Available This study offers a new method for examining the bodily, manual, and eye movements of a chimpanzee at the micro-level. A female chimpanzee wore a lightweight head-mounted eye tracker (60 Hz on her head while engaging in daily interactions with the human experimenter. The eye tracker recorded her eye movements accurately while the chimpanzee freely moved her head, hands, and body. Three video cameras recorded the bodily and manual movements of the chimpanzee from multiple angles. We examined how the chimpanzee viewed the experimenter in this interactive setting and how the eye movements were related to the ongoing interactive contexts and actions. We prepared two experimentally defined contexts in each session: a face-to-face greeting phase upon the appearance of the experimenter in the experimental room, and a subsequent face-to-face task phase that included manual gestures and fruit rewards. Overall, the general viewing pattern of the chimpanzee, measured in terms of duration of individual fixations, length of individual saccades, and total viewing duration of the experimenter's face/body, was very similar to that observed in previous eye-tracking studies that used non-interactive situations, despite the differences in the experimental settings. However, the chimpanzee viewed the experimenter and the scene objects differently depending on the ongoing context and actions. The chimpanzee viewed the experimenter's face and body during the greeting phase, but viewed the experimenter's face and hands as well as the fruit reward during the task phase. These differences can be explained by the differential bodily/manual actions produced by the chimpanzee and the experimenter during each experimental phase (i.e., greeting gestures, task cueing. Additionally, the chimpanzee's viewing pattern varied depending on the identity of the experimenter (i.e., the chimpanzee's prior experience with the experimenter. These methods and results offer new

  1. Discrimination performance in aging is vulnerable to interference and dissociable from spatial memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Sarah A.; Sacks, Patricia K.; Turner, Sean M.; Gaynor, Leslie S.; Ormerod, Brandi K.; Maurer, Andrew P.; Bizon, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Hippocampal-dependent episodic memory and stimulus discrimination abilities are both compromised in the elderly. The reduced capacity to discriminate between similar stimuli likely contributes to multiple aspects of age-related cognitive impairment; however, the association of these behaviors within individuals has never been examined in an animal model. In the present study, young and aged F344×BN F1 hybrid rats were cross-characterized on the Morris water maze test of spatial memory and a dentate gyrus-dependent match-to-position test of spatial discrimination ability. Aged rats showed overall impairments relative to young in spatial learning and memory on the water maze task. Although young and aged learned to apply a match-to-position response strategy in performing easy spatial discriminations within a similar number of trials, a majority of aged rats were impaired relative to young in performing difficult spatial discriminations on subsequent tests. Moreover, all aged rats were susceptible to cumulative interference during spatial discrimination tests, such that error rate increased on later trials of test sessions. These data suggest that when faced with difficult discriminations, the aged rats were less able to distinguish current goal locations from those of previous trials. Increasing acetylcholine levels with donepezil did not improve aged rats’ abilities to accurately perform difficult spatial discriminations or reduce their susceptibility to interference. Interestingly, better spatial memory abilities were not significantly associated with higher performance on difficult spatial discriminations. This observation, along with the finding that aged rats made more errors under conditions in which interference was high, suggests that match-to-position spatial discrimination performance may rely on extra-hippocampal structures such as the prefrontal cortex, in addition to the dentate gyrus. PMID:27317194

  2. Usefulness of MRI detection of cervical spine and brain injuries in the evaluation of abusive head trauma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadom, Nadja [Children' s National Medical Center, Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology, Washington, DC (United States); Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA (United States); Khademian, Zarir; Vezina, Gilbert; Shalaby-Rana, Eglal [Children' s National Medical Center, Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology, Washington, DC (United States); Rice, Amy [Independent Consultant (Biostatistics), Chevy Chase, MD (United States); Hinds, Tanya [Children' s National Medical Center, Child and Adolescent Protection Center, Washington, DC (United States)

    2014-07-15

    statistically significant relationship with a study outcome of abusive head trauma or help discriminate between accidental and abusive head trauma. Of the 30 children with supratentorial brain injury, 16 (53%) had a bilateral hypoxic-ischemic pattern. There was a statistically significant relationship between bilateral hypoxic-ischemic brain injury pattern and abusive head trauma (P < 0.05). In addition, the majority (81%) of children with bilateral hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries had cervical injuries. Although detection of cervical spine injuries by MRI does not discriminate between accidental and abusive head trauma, it can help to distinguish a traumatic from non-traumatic intracranial subdural hemorrhage. Cervical MRI should be considered in children with acute intracranial bleeds and otherwise non-contributory history, physical examination and ophthalmological findings. There is a statistically significant relationship between diffuse hypoxic-ischemic brain injury patterns and abusive head trauma. The high incidence of cervical injuries in children with hypoxic-ischemic injuries suggests a causal relationship. Overall, increased utilization of brain and spine MRI in children being evaluated for abusive head trauma can be helpful. (orig.)

  3. Usefulness of MRI detection of cervical spine and brain injuries in the evaluation of abusive head trauma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kadom, Nadja; Khademian, Zarir; Vezina, Gilbert; Shalaby-Rana, Eglal; Rice, Amy; Hinds, Tanya

    2014-01-01

    statistically significant relationship with a study outcome of abusive head trauma or help discriminate between accidental and abusive head trauma. Of the 30 children with supratentorial brain injury, 16 (53%) had a bilateral hypoxic-ischemic pattern. There was a statistically significant relationship between bilateral hypoxic-ischemic brain injury pattern and abusive head trauma (P < 0.05). In addition, the majority (81%) of children with bilateral hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries had cervical injuries. Although detection of cervical spine injuries by MRI does not discriminate between accidental and abusive head trauma, it can help to distinguish a traumatic from non-traumatic intracranial subdural hemorrhage. Cervical MRI should be considered in children with acute intracranial bleeds and otherwise non-contributory history, physical examination and ophthalmological findings. There is a statistically significant relationship between diffuse hypoxic-ischemic brain injury patterns and abusive head trauma. The high incidence of cervical injuries in children with hypoxic-ischemic injuries suggests a causal relationship. Overall, increased utilization of brain and spine MRI in children being evaluated for abusive head trauma can be helpful. (orig.)

  4. Object recognition with hierarchical discriminant saliency networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Sunhyoung; Vasconcelos, Nuno

    2014-01-01

    The benefits of integrating attention and object recognition are investigated. While attention is frequently modeled as a pre-processor for recognition, we investigate the hypothesis that attention is an intrinsic component of recognition and vice-versa. This hypothesis is tested with a recognition model, the hierarchical discriminant saliency network (HDSN), whose layers are top-down saliency detectors, tuned for a visual class according to the principles of discriminant saliency. As a model of neural computation, the HDSN has two possible implementations. In a biologically plausible implementation, all layers comply with the standard neurophysiological model of visual cortex, with sub-layers of simple and complex units that implement a combination of filtering, divisive normalization, pooling, and non-linearities. In a convolutional neural network implementation, all layers are convolutional and implement a combination of filtering, rectification, and pooling. The rectification is performed with a parametric extension of the now popular rectified linear units (ReLUs), whose parameters can be tuned for the detection of target object classes. This enables a number of functional enhancements over neural network models that lack a connection to saliency, including optimal feature denoising mechanisms for recognition, modulation of saliency responses by the discriminant power of the underlying features, and the ability to detect both feature presence and absence. In either implementation, each layer has a precise statistical interpretation, and all parameters are tuned by statistical learning. Each saliency detection layer learns more discriminant saliency templates than its predecessors and higher layers have larger pooling fields. This enables the HDSN to simultaneously achieve high selectivity to target object classes and invariance. The performance of the network in saliency and object recognition tasks is compared to those of models from the biological and

  5. Pavlovian conditioning enhances resistance to disruption of dogs performing an odor discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Nathaniel J; Smith, David W; Wynne, Clive D L

    2015-05-01

    Domestic dogs are used to aid in the detection of a variety of substances such as narcotics and explosives. Under real-world detection situations there are many variables that may disrupt the dog's performance. Prior research on behavioral momentum theory suggests that higher rates of reinforcement produce greater resistance to disruption, and that this is heavily influenced by the stimulus-reinforcer relationship. The present study tests the Pavlovian interpretation of resistance to change using dogs engaged in an odor discrimination task. Dogs were trained on two odor discriminations that alternated every six trials akin to a multiple schedule in which the reinforcement probability for a correct response was always 1. Dogs then received several sessions of either odor Pavlovian conditioning to the S+ of one odor discrimination (Pavlovian group) or explicitly unpaired exposure to the S+ of one odor discrimination (Unpaired group). The remaining odor discrimination pair for each dog always remained an unexposed control. Resistance to disruption was assessed under presession feeding, a food-odor disruptor condition, and extinction, with baseline sessions intervening between disruption conditions. Equivalent baseline detection rates were observed across experimental groups and odorant pairs. Under disruption conditions, Pavlovian conditioning led to enhanced resistance to disruption of detection performance compared to the unexposed control odor discrimination. Unpaired odor conditioning did not influence resistance to disruption. These results suggest that changes in Pavlovian contingencies are sufficient to influence resistance to change. © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  6. Combat Readiness Check (CRC): Development of a Dual Task Assessment Protocol to Assist with Return-to-Duty Decision-Making After Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    Performance Test, Wisconsin Card Sort. Functional Testing Bouncing on large gym ball--> trampoline (moving head different planes) -simulates drop to...visual acuity Dynamic visual acuity and gaze stabilization Dynavision: may add cognitive task Endurance testing Head Thrust test Hearing screen...simulations including tandem stance, sharpened Romberg, head thrust ( head impulse test). She is looking for pre-post changes in functioning. Jepson

  7. Task-based statistical image reconstruction for high-quality cone-beam CT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Hao; Webster Stayman, J.; Xu, Jennifer; Zbijewski, Wojciech; Sisniega, Alejandro; Mow, Michael; Wang, Xiaohui; Foos, David H.; Aygun, Nafi; Koliatsos, Vassilis E.; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.

    2017-11-01

    Task-based analysis of medical imaging performance underlies many ongoing efforts in the development of new imaging systems. In statistical image reconstruction, regularization is often formulated in terms to encourage smoothness and/or sharpness (e.g. a linear, quadratic, or Huber penalty) but without explicit formulation of the task. We propose an alternative regularization approach in which a spatially varying penalty is determined that maximizes task-based imaging performance at every location in a 3D image. We apply the method to model-based image reconstruction (MBIR—viz., penalized weighted least-squares, PWLS) in cone-beam CT (CBCT) of the head, focusing on the task of detecting a small, low-contrast intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), and we test the performance of the algorithm in the context of a recently developed CBCT prototype for point-of-care imaging of brain injury. Theoretical predictions of local spatial resolution and noise are computed via an optimization by which regularization (specifically, the quadratic penalty strength) is allowed to vary throughout the image to maximize local task-based detectability index ({{d}\\prime} ). Simulation studies and test-bench experiments were performed using an anthropomorphic head phantom. Three PWLS implementations were tested: conventional (constant) penalty; a certainty-based penalty derived to enforce constant point-spread function, PSF; and the task-based penalty derived to maximize local detectability at each location. Conventional (constant) regularization exhibited a fairly strong degree of spatial variation in {{d}\\prime} , and the certainty-based method achieved uniform PSF, but each exhibited a reduction in detectability compared to the task-based method, which improved detectability up to ~15%. The improvement was strongest in areas of high attenuation (skull base), where the conventional and certainty-based methods tended to over-smooth the data. The task-driven reconstruction method presents a

  8. Improvement of Head-Up Display Standards. Volume 5. Head Up Display ILS (Instrument Landing System) Accuracy Flight Tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-09-01

    amber system. The front canopy of the NT-33A is cov- ered with an amber plastic sheet; when the front seat pilot low- ers his blue visor, the...tigation of the effect of head-up display symbol dynamic response caracteristics on flying qualities; Task B was an investigation of symbol accuracy...An amber vinyl plastic sheet covered the in- side front half of the NT-33 canopy. Blue snap-on visors were pi ovided to the evaluation pilots. The

  9. Investigating the correspondence between driver head position and glance location

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joonbum Lee

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between a driver’s glance orientation and corresponding head rotation is highly complex due to its nonlinear dependence on the individual, task, and driving context. This paper presents expanded analytic detail and findings from an effort that explored the ability of head pose to serve as an estimator for driver gaze by connecting head rotation data with manually coded gaze region data using both a statistical analysis approach and a predictive (i.e., machine learning approach. For the latter, classification accuracy increased as visual angles between two glance locations increased. In other words, the greater the shift in gaze, the higher the accuracy of classification. This is an intuitive but important concept that we make explicit through our analysis. The highest accuracy achieved was 83% using the method of Hidden Markov Models (HMM for the binary gaze classification problem of (a glances to the forward roadway versus (b glances to the center stack. Results suggest that although there are individual differences in head-glance correspondence while driving, classifier models based on head-rotation data may be robust to these differences and therefore can serve as reasonable estimators for glance location. The results suggest that driver head pose can be used as a surrogate for eye gaze in several key conditions including the identification of high-eccentricity glances. Inexpensive driver head pose tracking may be a key element in detection systems developed to mitigate driver distraction and inattention.

  10. Quantifying explainable discrimination and removing illegal discrimination in automated decision making

    KAUST Repository

    Kamiran, Faisal

    2012-11-18

    Recently, the following discrimination-aware classification problem was introduced. Historical data used for supervised learning may contain discrimination, for instance, with respect to gender. The question addressed by discrimination-aware techniques is, given sensitive attribute, how to train discrimination-free classifiers on such historical data that are discriminative, with respect to the given sensitive attribute. Existing techniques that deal with this problem aim at removing all discrimination and do not take into account that part of the discrimination may be explainable by other attributes. For example, in a job application, the education level of a job candidate could be such an explainable attribute. If the data contain many highly educated male candidates and only few highly educated women, a difference in acceptance rates between woman and man does not necessarily reflect gender discrimination, as it could be explained by the different levels of education. Even though selecting on education level would result in more males being accepted, a difference with respect to such a criterion would not be considered to be undesirable, nor illegal. Current state-of-the-art techniques, however, do not take such gender-neutral explanations into account and tend to overreact and actually start reverse discriminating, as we will show in this paper. Therefore, we introduce and analyze the refined notion of conditional non-discrimination in classifier design. We show that some of the differences in decisions across the sensitive groups can be explainable and are hence tolerable. Therefore, we develop methodology for quantifying the explainable discrimination and algorithmic techniques for removing the illegal discrimination when one or more attributes are considered as explanatory. Experimental evaluation on synthetic and real-world classification datasets demonstrates that the new techniques are superior to the old ones in this new context, as they succeed in

  11. Does image quality matter? Impact of resolution and noise on mammographic task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saunders, Robert S. Jr.; Baker, Jay A.; Delong, David M.; Johnson, Jeff P.; Samei, Ehsan

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of different resolution and noise levels on task performance in digital mammography. This study created an image set with images at three different resolution levels, corresponding to three digital display devices, and three different noise levels, with noise magnitudes similar to full clinical dose, half clinical dose, and quarter clinical dose. The images were read by five experienced breast imaging radiologists. The data were then analyzed to compute two accuracy statistics (overall classification accuracy and lesion detection accuracy) and performance at four diagnostic tasks (detection of microcalcifications, benign masses, malignant masses, and discrimination of benign and malignant masses). Human observer results showed decreasing display resolution had little effect on overall classification accuracy and individual diagnostic task performance, but increasing noise caused overall classification accuracy to decrease by a statistically significant 21% as the breast dose went to one quarter of its normal clinical value. The noise effects were most prominent for the tasks of microcalcification detection and mass discrimination. When the noise changed from full clinical dose to quarter clinical dose, the microcalcification detection performance fell from 89% to 67% and the mass discrimination performance decreased from 93% to 79%, while malignant mass detection performance remained relatively constant with values of 88% and 84%, respectively. As a secondary aim, the image set was also analyzed by two observer models to examine whether their performance was similar to humans. Observer models differed from human observers and each other in their sensitivity to resolution degradation and noise. The primary conclusions of this study suggest that quantum noise appears to be the dominant image quality factor in digital mammography, affecting radiologist performance much more profoundly than display resolution

  12. Use your head! Perception of action possibilities by means of an object attached to the head.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagman, Jeffrey B; Hajnal, Alen

    2016-03-01

    Perceiving any environmental property requires spontaneously assembling a smart perceptual instrument-a task-specific measurement device assembled across potentially independent anatomical units. Previous research has shown that to a large degree, perception of a given environmental property is anatomically independent. We attempted to provide stronger evidence for this proposal by investigating perception by an organization of anatomical and inert components that likely requires the spontaneous assembly of a novel smart perceptual instrument-a rod attached to the head. Specifically, we compared cephalic and manual perception of whether an inclined surface affords standing on. In both conditions, perception reflected the action capabilities of the perceiver and not the appendage used to wield the rod. Such results provide stronger evidence for anatomical independence of perception within a given perceptual system and highlight that flexible task-specific detection units can be assembled across units that span the body and inert objects.

  13. Perceived Discrimination in LGBTIQ Discourse: A Typology of Verbal Discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sol Rojas Lizana

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available New within the field of Discourse Analysis, Perceived Discrimination (PD is the study of discourse that focuses on the perspective of the victims of discrimination. This article explores the experiences of verbal discrimination as reported by eighteen LGBTIQ participants during semi-structured, co-constructed interviews. Data were classified in order to develop a taxonomy of discrimination based on Mellor’s (2003, 2004. This taxonomy foregrounds two types of discrimination: verbal and behavioural. In this paper, I exemplify the forms of verbal discrimination encountered and offer an analysis of the discourse used in the construction of the experiences and of the effects reported. The results show that verbal discrimination is an overt phenomenon and that participants are stressed by the ever present possibility of facing it. Verbal discrimination is mainly triggered by a perceived transgression to the normalised standards of people’s behaviour, movements and look in a heterosexist society. It presents three subtypes: name calling, abuse and remarks. These subtypes are described through the analysis of keywords, effects and expressions (such as faggot, gay, dyke, queer, the pronoun ‘it’, religious comments and other remarks. The type of discrimination used was associated with the level of acquaintance perpetrators have with the experiencers; that is, name calling was used by people unknown to the victims while abuse and remarks by acquaintances and family members. Participants resorted to several discursive strategies to convey their intentions. They used mitigation strategies when wanting to minimize the experience, hedging and repetition were used for emphasis, and to convey urgency and pervasiveness. Metaphorical expressions related to internal or external injuries were also used to express the powerful effect of verbal discrimination on people.

  14. CHANGE@CERN:Task Force 1: finding the least painful cuts

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    This week sees the first in our series of reports on the work of the Task Forces By 2004, COMPASS will be the main experiment at the SPS, but the LHC experiments will also be calibrating detectors. 'It was a painful task, with which we had to proceed in the least damaging way', says Dieter Schlatter, Head of the EP Division, when describing his experience as Convenor of Task Force 1. This Task Force was charged with responsibility for advising on how money could be saved within CERN's research programme, in order to help deal with the increased cost to completion of the LHC project. Their role, as with the other Task Forces, was to suggest where savings could be made, and in most cases their suggestions have been incorporated in the Management's draft Long Term Plan. The pain of the task was to some extent alleviated by developments within the LHC project itself. Delays in the delivery of superconducting cable meant that the start up of the LHC would be delayed by a year, to 2007, and this gave Task Force ...

  15. Imitation and "Theory of Mind" Competencies in Discrimination of Autism from Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perra, Oliver; Williams, Justin H. G.; Whiten, Andrew; Fraser, Lesley; Benzie, Helen; Perrett, David I.

    2008-01-01

    Several studies have reported imitative deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, it is still debated if imitative deficits are specific to ASD or shared with clinical groups with similar mental impairment and motor difficulties. We investigated whether imitative tasks can be used to discriminate ASD children from typically developing…

  16. LOGICAL-ORIENTED TASKS AS A FORM OF ORGANIZATION OF THE EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL CONTENT IN TEACHING MATHEMATICS TO STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana Smirnova

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The article substantiates the need to improve the logical preparation of students. The authors regard the logical-oriented tasks as a form of organization of the content of educational material in teaching Mathematics and discriminate the types of tasks aimed at the formation of logical methods and operations.

  17. Heads Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Connect with Us HEADS UP Apps Reshaping the Culture Around Concussion in Sports Get HEADS UP on Your Web Site Concussion ... HEADS UP on your web site! Create a culture of safety for young athletes Officials, learn how you can ... UP to Providers HEADS UP to Youth Sports HEADS UP to School Sports HEADS UP to ...

  18. The influence of tongue strength on oral viscosity discrimination acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Catriona M

    2018-06-01

    The ability to generate tongue pressures is widely considered to be critical for liquid bolus propulsion in swallowing. It has been proposed that the application of tongue pressure may also serve the function of collecting sensory information regarding bolus viscosity (resistance to flow). In this study, we explored the impact of age-related reductions in tongue strength on oral viscosity discrimination acuity. The experiment employed a triangle test discrimination protocol with an array of xanthan-gum thickened liquids in the mildly to moderately thick consistency range. A sample of 346 healthy volunteers was recruited, with age ranging from 12 to 86 (164 men, 182 women). On average, participants were able to detect a 0.29-fold increase in xanthan-gum concentration, corresponding to a 0.5-fold increase in viscosity at 50/s. Despite having significantly reduced tongue strength on maximum isometric tongue-palate pressure tasks, and regardless of sex, older participants in this study showed no reductions in viscosity discrimination acuity. In this article, the relationship between tongue strength and the ability to discriminate small differences in liquid viscosity during oral processing is explored. Given that tongue strength declines with age in healthy adults and is also reduced in individuals with dysphagia, it is interesting to determine whether reduced tongue strength might contribute to difficulties in evaluating liquid viscosity during the oral stage of swallowing. Using an array of mildly to moderately thick xanthan-gum thickened liquids, this experiment failed to find any evidence that reductions in tongue strength influence oral viscosity discrimination acuity. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Attenuated audiovisual integration in middle-aged adults in a discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Weiping; Ren, Yanna

    2018-02-01

    Numerous studies have focused on the diversity of audiovisual integration between younger and older adults. However, consecutive trends in audiovisual integration throughout life are still unclear. In the present study, to clarify audiovisual integration characteristics in middle-aged adults, we instructed younger and middle-aged adults to conduct an auditory/visual stimuli discrimination experiment. Randomized streams of unimodal auditory (A), unimodal visual (V) or audiovisual stimuli were presented on the left or right hemispace of the central fixation point, and subjects were instructed to respond to the target stimuli rapidly and accurately. Our results demonstrated that the responses of middle-aged adults to all unimodal and bimodal stimuli were significantly slower than those of younger adults (p Audiovisual integration was markedly delayed (onset time 360 ms) and weaker (peak 3.97%) in middle-aged adults than in younger adults (onset time 260 ms, peak 11.86%). The results suggested that audiovisual integration was attenuated in middle-aged adults and further confirmed age-related decline in information processing.

  20. Neuropsychological development in preschool children born with asymmetrical intrauterine growth restriction and impact of postnatal head growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaric, Andrea Simić; Galić, Slavka; Kolundzić, Zdravko; Bosnjak, Vlatka Mejaski

    2013-07-01

    Neuropsychological development and the impact of postnatal head growth were studied in preschool children with asymmetrical intrauterine growth restriction. Examinees born at term with a birth weight below the 10th percentile were matched to the control group according to chronological and gestational age, gender, and maternal education. Fifty children were in each group, with a mean age of 6 years, 4 months. The Touwen neurological examination, the Čuturić developmental test, an imitative hand positions test, and a visual attention test were performed. There were significant differences (Pmotor variables, the developmental quotient, and the imitative hand positions test. Fine motor skills had the most discriminative power. Relative growth of the head in relation to weight gain was positively correlated to neurocognitive outcome. Intrauterine growth-restricted children with a current head circumference ≤10th percentile had poorer outcomes. Conclusively, intrauterine growth restriction has a negative impact on neurocognitive development. Slow postnatal head growth is correlated with a poorer neuropsychological outcome.

  1. Pulse-width discriminators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Budyashov, Yu.G.; Grebenyuk, V.M.; Zinov, V.G.

    1978-01-01

    A pulse duration discriminator is described which is intended for processing signals from multilayer scintillators. The basic elements of the scintillator are: an input gate, a current generator, an integrating capacitor, a Schmidt trigger and an anticoincidence circuit. The basic circuit of the discriminator and its time diagrams explaining its operating are given. The discriminator is based on microcircuits. Pulse duration discrimination threshold changes continuously from 20 to 100 ns, while its amplitude threshold changes within 20 to 100 mV. The temperature instability of discrimination thresholds (both in pulse width and in amplitude) is better than 0.1 per cent/deg C

  2. Development of Head Injury Assessment Reference Values Based on NASA Injury Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somers, Jeffrey T.; Melvin, John W.; Tabiei, Ala; Lawrence, Charles; Ploutz-Snyder, Robert; Granderson, Bradley; Feiveson, Alan; Gernhardt, Michael; Patalak, John

    2011-01-01

    NASA is developing a new capsule-based, crewed vehicle that will land in the ocean, and the space agency desires to reduce the risk of injury from impact during these landings. Because landing impact occurs for each flight and the crew might need to perform egress tasks, current injury assessment reference values (IARV) were deemed insufficient. Because NASCAR occupant restraint systems are more effective than the systems used to determine the current IARVs and are similar to NASA s proposed restraint system, an analysis of NASCAR impacts was performed to develop new IARVs that may be more relevant to NASA s context of vehicle landing operations. Head IARVs associated with race car impacts were investigated by completing a detailed analysis of all of the 2002-2008 NASCAR impact data. Specific inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to select 4071 impacts from the 4015 recorder files provided (each file could contain multiple impact events). Of the 4071 accepted impacts, 274 were selected for numerical simulation using a custom NASCAR restraint system and Humanetics Hybrid-III 50th percentile numerical dummy model in LS-DYNA. Injury had occurred in 32 of the 274 selected impacts, and 27 of those injuries involved the head. A majority of the head injuries were mild concussions with or without brief loss of consciousness. The 242 non-injury impacts were randomly selected and representative of the range of crash dynamics present in the total set of 4071 impacts. Head dynamics data (head translational acceleration, translational change in velocity, rotational acceleration, rotational velocity, HIC-15, HIC-36, and the Head 3ms clip) were filtered according to SAE J211 specifications and then transformed to a log scale. The probability of head injury was estimated using a separate logistic regression analysis for each log-transformed predictor candidate. Using the log transformation constrains the estimated probability of injury to become negligible as IARVs approach

  3. Prestimulus alpha-band power biases visual discrimination confidence, but not accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samaha, Jason; Iemi, Luca; Postle, Bradley R

    2017-09-01

    The magnitude of power in the alpha-band (8-13Hz) of the electroencephalogram (EEG) prior to the onset of a near threshold visual stimulus predicts performance. Together with other findings, this has been interpreted as evidence that alpha-band dynamics reflect cortical excitability. We reasoned, however, that non-specific changes in excitability would be expected to influence signal and noise in the same way, leaving actual discriminability unchanged. Indeed, using a two-choice orientation discrimination task, we found that discrimination accuracy was unaffected by fluctuations in prestimulus alpha power. Decision confidence, on the other hand, was strongly negatively correlated with prestimulus alpha power. This finding constitutes a clear dissociation between objective and subjective measures of visual perception as a function of prestimulus cortical excitability. This dissociation is predicted by a model where the balance of evidence supporting each choice drives objective performance but only the magnitude of evidence supporting the selected choice drives subjective reports, suggesting that human perceptual confidence can be suboptimal with respect to tracking objective accuracy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Range dependent characteristics in the head-related transfer functions of a bat-head cast: part 2. Binaural characteristics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, S; Allen, R; Rowan, D

    2012-01-01

    Further innovations in bio-inspired engineering based on biosonar systems, such as bats, may arise from more detailed understanding of the underlying acoustic processes. This includes the range-dependent properties of bat heads and ears, particularly at the higher frequencies of bat vocalizations. In a companion paper Kim et al (2012 Bioinspir. Biomim.), range-dependent head-related transfer functions of a bat head cast were investigated up to 100 kHz at either ear (i.e. monaural features). The current paper extends this to consider range-dependent spectral and temporal disparities between the two ears (i.e. binaural features), using experimental data and a spherical model of a bat head to provide insights into the physical basis for these features. It was found that binaural temporal and high-frequency binaural spectral features are approximately independent of distance, having the effect of decreasing their angular resolution at close range. In contrast, low-frequency binaural spectral features are strongly distance-dependent, such that angular sensitivity can be maintained by lowering the frequency of the echolocation emission at close range. Together with the companion paper Kim et al, we speculate that distance-dependent low-frequency monaural and binaural features at short range might help explain why some species of bats that drop the frequency of their calls on target approach while approaching a target. This also provides an impetus for the design of effective emissions in sonar engineering applied to similar tasks. (paper)

  5. The function of visual search and memory in sequential looking tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Epelboim (Julie); R.M. Steinman (Robert); E. Kowler (Eileen); M. Edwards (Mark); Z. Pizlo (Zygmunt); D.W. Erkelens (Dirk Willem); H. Collewijn (Han)

    1995-01-01

    textabstractEye and head movements were recorded as unrestrained subjects tapped or only looked at nearby targets. Scanning patterns were the same in both tasks: subjects looked at each target before tapping it; visual search had similar speeds and gaze-shift accuracies. Looking however, took longer

  6. Estimation of Symptom Severity Scores for Patients with Schizophrenia Using ERP Source Activations during a Facial Affect Discrimination Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Do-Won; Lee, Seung-Hwan; Shim, Miseon; Im, Chang-Hwan

    2017-01-01

    Precise diagnosis of psychiatric diseases and a comprehensive assessment of a patient's symptom severity are important in order to establish a successful treatment strategy for each patient. Although great efforts have been devoted to searching for diagnostic biomarkers of schizophrenia over the past several decades, no study has yet investigated how accurately these biomarkers are able to estimate an individual patient's symptom severity. In this study, we applied electrophysiological biomarkers obtained from electroencephalography (EEG) analyses to an estimation of symptom severity scores of patients with schizophrenia. EEG signals were recorded from 23 patients while they performed a facial affect discrimination task. Based on the source current density analysis results, we extracted voxels that showed a strong correlation between source activity and symptom scores. We then built a prediction model to estimate the symptom severity scores of each patient using the source activations of the selected voxels. The symptom scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) were estimated using the linear prediction model. The results of leave-one-out cross validation (LOOCV) showed that the mean errors of the estimated symptom scores were 3.34 ± 2.40 and 3.90 ± 3.01 for the Positive and Negative PANSS scores, respectively. The current pilot study is the first attempt to estimate symptom severity scores in schizophrenia using quantitative EEG features. It is expected that the present method can be extended to other cognitive paradigms or other psychological illnesses.

  7. Estimation of Symptom Severity Scores for Patients with Schizophrenia Using ERP Source Activations during a Facial Affect Discrimination Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Do-Won Kim

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Precise diagnosis of psychiatric diseases and a comprehensive assessment of a patient's symptom severity are important in order to establish a successful treatment strategy for each patient. Although great efforts have been devoted to searching for diagnostic biomarkers of schizophrenia over the past several decades, no study has yet investigated how accurately these biomarkers are able to estimate an individual patient's symptom severity. In this study, we applied electrophysiological biomarkers obtained from electroencephalography (EEG analyses to an estimation of symptom severity scores of patients with schizophrenia. EEG signals were recorded from 23 patients while they performed a facial affect discrimination task. Based on the source current density analysis results, we extracted voxels that showed a strong correlation between source activity and symptom scores. We then built a prediction model to estimate the symptom severity scores of each patient using the source activations of the selected voxels. The symptom scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS were estimated using the linear prediction model. The results of leave-one-out cross validation (LOOCV showed that the mean errors of the estimated symptom scores were 3.34 ± 2.40 and 3.90 ± 3.01 for the Positive and Negative PANSS scores, respectively. The current pilot study is the first attempt to estimate symptom severity scores in schizophrenia using quantitative EEG features. It is expected that the present method can be extended to other cognitive paradigms or other psychological illnesses.

  8. A dictionary learning approach for human sperm heads classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaker, Fariba; Monadjemi, S Amirhassan; Alirezaie, Javad; Naghsh-Nilchi, Ahmad Reza

    2017-12-01

    To diagnose infertility in men, semen analysis is conducted in which sperm morphology is one of the factors that are evaluated. Since manual assessment of sperm morphology is time-consuming and subjective, automatic classification methods are being developed. Automatic classification of sperm heads is a complicated task due to the intra-class differences and inter-class similarities of class objects. In this research, a Dictionary Learning (DL) technique is utilized to construct a dictionary of sperm head shapes. This dictionary is used to classify the sperm heads into four different classes. Square patches are extracted from the sperm head images. Columnized patches from each class of sperm are used to learn class-specific dictionaries. The patches from a test image are reconstructed using each class-specific dictionary and the overall reconstruction error for each class is used to select the best matching class. Average accuracy, precision, recall, and F-score are used to evaluate the classification method. The method is evaluated using two publicly available datasets of human sperm head shapes. The proposed DL based method achieved an average accuracy of 92.2% on the HuSHeM dataset, and an average recall of 62% on the SCIAN-MorphoSpermGS dataset. The results show a significant improvement compared to a previously published shape-feature-based method. We have achieved high-performance results. In addition, our proposed approach offers a more balanced classifier in which all four classes are recognized with high precision and recall. In this paper, we use a Dictionary Learning approach in classifying human sperm heads. It is shown that the Dictionary Learning method is far more effective in classifying human sperm heads than classifiers using shape-based features. Also, a dataset of human sperm head shapes is introduced to facilitate future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Acute neuroinflammation impairs context discrimination memory and disrupts pattern separation processes in hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czerniawski, Jennifer; Guzowski, John F

    2014-09-10

    Although it is known that immune system activation can impair cognition, no study to date has linked cognitive deficits during acute neuroinflammation to dysregulation of task-relevant neuronal ensemble activity. Here, we assessed both neural circuit activity and context discrimination memory retrieval, in a within-subjects design, of male rats given systemic administration of saline or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Rats were exposed over several days to two similar contexts: one of which was paired with weak foot shock and the other was not. After reaching criteria for discriminative freezing, rats were given systemic LPS or saline injection and tested for retrieval of context discrimination 6 h later. Importantly, LPS administration produced an acute neuroinflammatory response in dorsal hippocampus at this time (as assessed by elevation of proinflammatory cytokine mRNA levels) and abolished retrieval of the previously acquired discrimination. The impact of neuroinflammation on hippocampal CA3 and CA1 neural circuit activity was assessed using the Arc/Homer1a cellular analysis of temporal activity by fluorescence in situ hybridization imaging method. Whereas the saline-treated subjects discriminated and had low overlap of hippocampal ensembles activated in the two contexts, LPS-treated subjects did not discriminate and had greater ensemble overlap (i.e., reduced orthogonalization). Additionally, retrieval of standard contextual fear conditioning, which does not require context discrimination, was not affected by pretesting LPS administration. Together, the behavioral and circuit analyses data provide compelling evidence that LPS administration impairs context discrimination memory by disrupting cellular pattern separation processes within the hippocampus, thus linking acute neuroinflammation to disruption of specific neural circuit functions and cognitive impairment. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3412470-11$15.00/0.

  10. Advances and Challenges in Public Policies and Programs to Prevent Discrimination in the Governmental Sphere. The Paped's Case, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Treviño Ronzón

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses some of the challenges implied in the task of implementing and evaluating actions to prevent and eradicate discrimination in the government sector. It is to recognize that in Mexico the task is in the making and follows patterns of unequal development, although it is widely legislated. For this discussion, we introduce contextual references about the implementation of reforms in favor of human rights in Mexico, and we articulate them with the notion of public policies. Then, we take as reference the case of the “Program to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination” in the Mexico City (PAPED. We argue that, in contexts such as the Mexican, marked by multidimensional violence, corruption, and a poor performance of public institutions, it is necessary to increase the reflexivity of the instances that must implement actions of non-discrimination, as well as to increase this reflexivity in the transparency and visibility of evaluation exercises of their anti-discrimination actions, so as to reach more people and produce progressive movements of appropriation.

  11. Vestibular-Somatosensory Convergence in Head Movement Control During Locomotion after Long-Duration Space Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Ruttley, Tara; Cohen, Helen; Peters, Brian; Miller, Chris; Brady, Rachel; Merkle, Lauren; Bloomberg, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to the microgravity conditions of space flight induces adaptive modification in the control of vestibular-mediated reflexive head movement during locomotion after space flight. Space flight causes astronauts to be exposed to somatosensory adaptation in both the vestibular and body load-sensing (BLS) systems. The goal of these studies was to examine the contributions of vestibular and BLS-mediated somatosensory influences on head movement control during locomotion after long-duration space flight. Subjects were asked to walk on a treadmill driven at 1.8 m/s while performing a visual acuity task. Data were collected using the same testing protocol from three independent subject groups; 1) normal subjects before and after exposure to 30 minutes of 40% bodyweight unloaded treadmill walking, 2) bilateral labyrinthine deficient (LD) patients and 3) astronauts who performed the protocol before and after long duration space flight. Motion data from head and trunk segmental motion data were obtained to calculate the angular head pitch (HP) movements during walking trials while subjects performed the visual task, to estimate the contributions of vestibular reflexive mechanisms in HP movements. Results showed that exposure to unloaded locomotion caused a significant increase in HP movements, whereas in the LD patients the HP movements were significantly decreased. Astronaut subjects results showed a heterogeneous response of both increases and decreases in the amplitude of HP movement. We infer that BLS-mediated somatosensory input centrally modulates vestibular input and can adaptively modify head-movement control during locomotion. Thus, space flight may cause a central adaptation mediated by the converging vestibular and body load-sensing somatosensory systems.

  12. Combined discriminative global and generative local models for visual tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Liujun; Zhao, Qingjie; Chen, Yanming; Lv, Peng

    2016-03-01

    It is a challenging task to develop an effective visual tracking algorithm due to factors such as pose variation, rotation, and so on. Combined discriminative global and generative local appearance models are proposed to address this problem. Specifically, we develop a compact global object representation by extracting the low-frequency coefficients of the color and texture of the object based on two-dimensional discrete cosine transform. Then, with the global appearance representation, we learn a discriminative metric classifier in an online fashion to differentiate the target object from its background, which is very important to robustly indicate the changes in appearance. Second, we develop a new generative local model that exploits the scale invariant feature transform and its spatial geometric information. To make use of the advantages of the global discriminative model and the generative local model, we incorporate them into Bayesian inference framework. In this framework, the complementary models help the tracker locate the target more accurately. Furthermore, we use different mechanisms to update global and local templates to capture appearance changes. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach performs favorably against state-of-the-art methods in terms of accuracy.

  13. Combining features from ERP components in single-trial EEG for discriminating four-category visual objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changming; Xiong, Shi; Hu, Xiaoping; Yao, Li; Zhang, Jiacai

    2012-10-01

    Categorization of images containing visual objects can be successfully recognized using single-trial electroencephalograph (EEG) measured when subjects view images. Previous studies have shown that task-related information contained in event-related potential (ERP) components could discriminate two or three categories of object images. In this study, we investigated whether four categories of objects (human faces, buildings, cats and cars) could be mutually discriminated using single-trial EEG data. Here, the EEG waveforms acquired while subjects were viewing four categories of object images were segmented into several ERP components (P1, N1, P2a and P2b), and then Fisher linear discriminant analysis (Fisher-LDA) was used to classify EEG features extracted from ERP components. Firstly, we compared the classification results using features from single ERP components, and identified that the N1 component achieved the highest classification accuracies. Secondly, we discriminated four categories of objects using combining features from multiple ERP components, and showed that combination of ERP components improved four-category classification accuracies by utilizing the complementarity of discriminative information in ERP components. These findings confirmed that four categories of object images could be discriminated with single-trial EEG and could direct us to select effective EEG features for classifying visual objects.

  14. Task relevance modulates successful retrieval effects during explicit and implicit memory tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elman, Jeremy A; Shimamura, Arthur P

    2011-05-01

    The successful retrieval effect refers to greater activation for items identified as old compared to those identified as new. This effect is particularly apparent in the ventral posterior parietal cortex (vPPC), though its functional properties remain unclear. In two experiments, we assessed the activation for old and new items during explicit and implicit tests of memory. In Experiment 1, significant effects were observed during explicit recognition performance and during an implicit lexical decision task. In both tasks, determining mnemonic status provides relevant information to task goals. Experiment 2 included a second implicit task in which determining mnemonic status was not relevant (color discrimination task). In this case, vPPC activation did not distinguish between old and new items. These findings suggest that automatic or implicit processes can drive retrieval-related activation in the vPPC, though such processes are gated by stimulus relevancy and task goals. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Hard and soft age discrimination: the dual nature of workplace discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stypinska, Justyna; Turek, Konrad

    2017-03-01

    The paper concentrates on the problem of age discrimination in the labour market and the way it can be conceptualised and measured in a multi-disciplinary way. The approach proposed here combines two understandings of age discrimination-a sociological and legal one, what allows for a fuller and expanded understanding of ageism in the workplace. At the heart of the study is a survey carried out in Poland with a sample of 1000 men and women aged 45-65 years. The study takes a deeper and innovative look into the issue of age discrimination in employment. Confirmatory factor analysis with WLSMV estimation and logistic regressions were used to test the hypotheses. The study shows that age discrimination in labour market can take on different forms: hard and soft, where the hard type of age discrimination mirrors the legally prohibited types of behaviours and those which relate to the actual decisions of employers which can impact on the employee's career development. The soft discrimination corresponds with those occurrences, which are not inscribed in the legal system per se, are occurring predominantly in the interpersonal sphere, but can nevertheless have negative consequences. Soft discrimination was experienced more often (28.6% of respondents) than hard discrimination (15.7%) with higher occurrences among women, persons in precarious job situation or residents of urban areas. The role of education was not confirmed to influence the levels of perceived age discrimination.

  16. Performance of Pugs, German Shepherds, and Greyhounds (Canis lupus familiaris) on an odor-discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Nathaniel J; Glenn, Kelsey; Smith, David W; Wynne, Clive D L

    2015-08-01

    Public opinion and the scientific literature alike reflect a widespread assumption that there are differences in behavior between dog breeds. Direct empirical behavioral assessments of such differences, however, are rare and have produced mixed results. One area where breed differences are often assumed is olfaction, where German Shepherds, hounds, and Labradors are commonly used for odor-detection work, whereas toy breeds and brachycephalic dogs, such as Pugs, are not. Choice of breed for scent detection work, however, may be driven more by historical choices than data. In this article we directly assessed the ability of German Shepherds, Pugs, and Greyhounds to acquire a simple olfactory discrimination, and their ability to maintain performance when the target odorant was diluted. Our results show that contrary to expectations, Pugs significantly outperformed the German Shepherds in acquiring the odor discrimination and maintaining performance when the odorant concentration was decreased. Nine of 10 Greyhounds did not complete acquisition training because they failed a motivation criterion. These results indicate that Pugs outperformed German Shepherds in the dimensions of olfaction assessed. Greyhounds showed a general failure to participate. Overall, our results highlight the importance of direct behavioral measurement of assumed behavioral breed differences. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Quantifying explainable discrimination and removing illegal discrimination in automated decision making

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamiran, F.; Zliobaite, I.; Calders, T.G.K.

    2013-01-01

    Recently, the following discrimination-aware classification problem was introduced. Historical data used for supervised learning may contain discrimination, for instance, with respect to gender. The question addressed by discrimination-aware techniques is, given sensitive attribute, how to train

  18. CHANGE@CERN:Task Force 4: Matching personnel to activities

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    Our series on the work of the Task Forces moves on to Human Ressources at CERN. Staff mobility and topics related to contract policy were the main personnel issues to be considered by Task Force 4, led by John Ferguson, head of AS Division. The aim, as with the other Task Forces, was to find ways to focus resources on the LHC, and once again the recommendations recognise the opportunity to make constructive changes, in this case in Human Resources policy at CERN. Movement of staff between divisions at CERN has generally not been easy, with 'staff complements' (total numbers) set for each sector (research, accelerator, technical and administration). However, the restructuring of the accelerator sector (proposed by Task Force 5 and already agreed in principle) should allow some staff to move to LHC activities. More generally, Task Force 4 recommends that the Laboratory carries out a review of all activities, at a relatively detailed level, so as to identify the resources required to achieve specific goals (t...

  19. Exploring the Performance Differences on the Flicker Task and the Conners' Continuous Performance Test in Adults with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Andrew L.; Shapiro, Steven K.

    2007-01-01

    Objective: To examine the ability of the flicker task to demonstrate greater utility in discriminating performance in young adults with and without ADHD compared to the Conners' CPT (CCPT). Method: Flicker task and CCPT performance were compared between an ADHD (n = 28) and control (n = 30) group of college students. Results: This study replicated…

  20. Social Status Correlates of Reporting Racial Discrimination and Gender Discrimination among Racially Diverse Women

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ro, Annie E.; Choi, Kyung-Hee

    2009-01-01

    The growing body of research on discrimination and health indicates a deleterious effect of discrimination on various health outcomes. However, less is known about the sociodemographic correlates of reporting racial discrimination and gender discrimination among racially diverse women. We examined the associations of social status characteristics with lifetime experiences of racial discrimination and gender discrimination using a racially-diverse sample of 754 women attending family planning clinics in Northern California (11.4% African American, 16.8% Latina, 10.1% Asian and 61.7% Caucasian). A multivariate analysis revealed that race, financial difficulty and marital status were significantly correlated with higher reports of racial discrimination, while race, education, financial difficulty and nativity were significantly correlated with gender discrimination scores. Our findings suggest that the social patterning of perceiving racial discrimination is somewhat different from that of gender discrimination. This has implications in the realm of discrimination research and applied interventions, as different forms of discrimination may have unique covariates that should be accounted for in research analysis or program design. PMID:19485231

  1. Social status correlates of reporting gender discrimination and racial discrimination among racially diverse women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ro, Annie E; Choi, Kyung-Hee

    2009-01-01

    The growing body of research on discrimination and health indicates a deleterious effect of discrimination on various health outcomes. However, less is known about the sociodemographic correlates of reporting racial discrimination and gender discrimination among racially diverse women. We examined the associations of social status characteristics with lifetime experiences of racial discrimination and gender discrimination using a racially-diverse sample of 754 women attending family planning clinics in North California (11.4% African American, 16.8% Latina, 10.1% Asian and 61.7% Caucasian). A multivariate analysis revealed that race, financial difficulty and marital status were significantly correlated with higher reports of racial discrimination, while race, education, financial difficulty and nativity were significantly correlated with gender discrimination scores. Our findings suggest that the social patterning of perceiving racial discrimination is somewhat different from that of gender discrimination. This has implications in the realm of discrimination research and applied interventions, as different forms of discrimination may have unique covariates that should be accounted for in research analysis or program design.

  2. Isolating spectral cues in amplitude and quasi-frequency modulation discrimination by reducing stimulus duration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, Ewa; Berg, Bruce G

    2017-05-01

    This study investigated the psychophysical effects of distortion products in a listening task traditionally used to estimate the bandwidth of phase sensitivity. For a 2000 Hz carrier, estimates of modulation depth necessary to discriminate amplitude modulated (AM) tones and quasi-frequency modulated (QFM) were measured in a two interval forced choice task as a function modulation frequency. Temporal modulation transfer functions were often non-monotonic at modulation frequencies above 300 Hz. This was likely to be due to a spectral cue arising from the interaction of auditory distortion products and the lower sideband of the stimulus complex. When the stimulus duration was decreased from 200 ms to 20 ms, thresholds for low-frequency modulators rose to near-chance levels, whereas thresholds in the region of non-monotonicities were less affected. The decrease in stimulus duration appears to hinder the listener's ability to use temporal cues in order to discriminate between AM and QFM, whereas spectral information derived from distortion product cues appears more resilient. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. A common signal detection model accounts for both perception and discrimination of the watercolor effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devinck, Frédéric; Knoblauch, Kenneth

    2012-03-21

    Establishing the relation between perception and discrimination is a fundamental objective in psychophysics, with the goal of characterizing the neural mechanisms mediating perception. Here, we show that a procedure for estimating a perceptual scale based on a signal detection model also predicts discrimination performance. We use a recently developed procedure, Maximum Likelihood Difference Scaling (MLDS), to measure the perceptual strength of a long-range, color, filling-in phenomenon, the Watercolor Effect (WCE), as a function of the luminance ratio between the two components of its generating contour. MLDS is based on an equal-variance, gaussian, signal detection model and yields a perceptual scale with interval properties. The strength of the fill-in percept increased 10-15 times the estimate of the internal noise level for a 3-fold increase in the luminance ratio. Each observer's estimated scale predicted discrimination performance in a subsequent paired-comparison task. A common signal detection model accounts for both the appearance and discrimination data. Since signal detection theory provides a common metric for relating discrimination performance and neural response, the results have implications for comparing perceptual and neural response functions.

  4. Discriminative illumination: per-pixel classification of raw materials based on optimal projections of spectral BRDF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chao; Gu, Jinwei

    2014-01-01

    Classifying raw, unpainted materials--metal, plastic, ceramic, fabric, and so on--is an important yet challenging task for computer vision. Previous works measure subsets of surface spectral reflectance as features for classification. However, acquiring the full spectral reflectance is time consuming and error-prone. In this paper, we propose to use coded illumination to directly measure discriminative features for material classification. Optimal illumination patterns--which we call "discriminative illumination"--are learned from training samples, after projecting to which the spectral reflectance of different materials are maximally separated. This projection is automatically realized by the integration of incident light for surface reflection. While a single discriminative illumination is capable of linear, two-class classification, we show that multiple discriminative illuminations can be used for nonlinear and multiclass classification. We also show theoretically that the proposed method has higher signal-to-noise ratio than previous methods due to light multiplexing. Finally, we construct an LED-based multispectral dome and use the discriminative illumination method for classifying a variety of raw materials, including metal (aluminum, alloy, steel, stainless steel, brass, and copper), plastic, ceramic, fabric, and wood. Experimental results demonstrate its effectiveness.

  5. Analysis of head impacts during sub-elite hurling practice sessions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, D; Roe, M; Blake, C

    2018-06-01

    The reported incidence of head and neck injuries in hurling is 0.12 per 1000 hours, but no previous research has quantified head impact characteristics in this sport. Here, a wireless accelerometer and gyroscope captured head impacts, in 20 senior club level hurling players. Peak linear and rotational acceleration and impact location were recorded during three hurling training sessions, each player participating once. A mean of 27.9 impacts (linear acceleration >10g) per player, per session were recorded; 1314 impacts during a total exposure time of 247 minutes. Only 2.6% impacts had peak linear acceleration of >70g and 6.2% had peak rotational acceleration >7900 rad/s 2 . There were significant differences in the number and magnitude of impacts, quantified by the accelerometer, between three training sessions of differing intensity (ŋ2 0.03-0.09, p impacts during hurling, demonstrating the feasibility of this technology in the field. The sensors were able to discriminate between sessions of varying intensity. These data can be used to develop athlete monitoring protocols and may be useful in developing innovative helmet-testing standards for hurling. The potential for this technology to provide feedback has clinical utility for team medical personnel.

  6. Sex differences in audiovisual discrimination learning by Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Yoshimasa; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2008-02-01

    Both visual and auditory information are important for songbirds, especially in developmental and sexual contexts. To investigate bimodal cognition in songbirds, the authors conducted audiovisual discrimination training in Bengalese finches. The authors used two types of stimulus: an "artificial stimulus," which is a combination of simple figures and sound, and a "biological stimulus," consisting of video images of singing males along with their songs. The authors found that while both sexes predominantly used visual cues in the discrimination tasks, males tended to be more dependent on auditory information for the biological stimulus. Female responses were always dependent on the visual stimulus for both stimulus types. Only males changed their discrimination strategy according to stimulus type. Although males used both visual and auditory cues for the biological stimulus, they responded to the artificial stimulus depending only on visual information, as the females did. These findings suggest a sex difference in innate auditory sensitivity. (c) 2008 APA.

  7. Cumulating the Supplements to the Seventh Edition of LC Subject Headings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy B. Torkington

    1973-12-01

    Full Text Available A description is presented of the project of the University of California Library Automation Program to cumulate the 1966 through 1971 supplements to the Library of Congress Subject Headings. The University of California Institute of Library Research MARC processing software, BIBCON, was used, with specially written programs. The resulting cumulation was edited, printed in book form, and made available to libraries. The final task involved merging six MARC files into one file of over 125,000 records and then printing that file in a format similar to that of LC Subject Headings. The project was a cooperative effort with participation by people from several UC campuses.

  8. Handling conditional discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zliobaite, I.; Kamiran, F.; Calders, T.G.K.

    2011-01-01

    Historical data used for supervised learning may contain discrimination. We study how to train classifiers on such data, so that they are discrimination free with respect to a given sensitive attribute, e.g., gender. Existing techniques that deal with this problem aim at removing all discrimination

  9. Are you positive? Electric dipole polarity discrimination in the yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siciliano, Avery M; Kajiura, Stephen M; Long, John H; Porter, Marianne E

    2013-10-01

    It is well established that elasmobranchs can detect dipole electric fields. However, it is unclear whether they can discriminate between the anode and cathode. To investigate this subject, we employed a behavioral assay to determine the discriminatory ability of the yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis. We conditioned stingrays with food rewards to bite either the anode (n=5) or the cathode (n=6) of a direct-current dipole located on the floor of an experimental tank. All individuals successfully performed the task after 18 to 22 days. Stingrays were then tested in experimental sessions when they were rewarded only after they identified the correct pole. Stingrays successfully discriminated between the poles at a rate greater than chance, ranging among individuals from a mean of 66% to 93% correct. During experimental sessions, stingrays conditioned to distinguish the anode performed similarly to those conditioned to distinguish the cathode. We hypothesize that the ability to discriminate anode from cathode is physiologically encoded, but its utility in providing spatial information under natural conditions remains to be demonstrated. The ability to discriminate polarity may eliminate ambiguity in induction-based magnetoreception and facilitate navigation with respect to the geomagnetic field.

  10. Stress reactions to cognitively demanding tasks and open-plan office noise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Jesper; Mathiesen, Line; Nielsen, Pernille Kofoed

    2009-01-01

    measured. RESULTS: Cognitively demanding work tasks were associated with changes in HRV, systolic blood pressure and EMG that reflects increased sympathetic activity in the autonomic nervous system. No effect of noise was observed, except for a higher rating of perceived exertion in the head and, contrary......OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of cognitively demanding work tasks and office noise on heart rate variability (HRV), cardiovascular responses and electromyography (EMG) activity in the trapezius muscles. METHODS: Ten female volunteers were exposed to simulated open-plan office noise for 35...

  11. Social Status Correlates of Reporting Racial Discrimination and Gender Discrimination among Racially Diverse Women

    OpenAIRE

    Ro, Annie E.; Choi, Kyung-Hee

    2009-01-01

    The growing body of research on discrimination and health indicates a deleterious effect of discrimination on various health outcomes. However, less is known about the sociodemographic correlates of reporting racial discrimination and gender discrimination among racially diverse women. We examined the associations of social status characteristics with lifetime experiences of racial discrimination and gender discrimination using a racially-diverse sample of 754 women attending family planning ...

  12. Racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and substance abuse among Latina/os nationwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otiniano Verissimo, Angie Denisse; Gee, Gilbert C; Ford, Chandra L; Iguchi, Martin Y

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between discrimination and substance abuse among Latina/os, and further examines whether this relationship differs by gender and type of discrimination. Analyses focus on the Latina/o respondents (n = 1,039 men; n = 1,273 women) from the National Latino and Asian American Study carried out from 2002-2003. Outcomes were alcohol abuse and drug abuse measured using DSM-IV definitions and criteria. Additional covariates included immigrant characteristics and demographics. Analyses were completed using gender-stratified multinomial logistic regression. Men reported more discrimination (39.6% vs. 30.3%) and had higher prevalence of alcohol abuse (16.5% vs. 4.5%) and drug abuse (9.5% vs. 2.3%) than women. Discrimination was significantly associated with increased risk of alcohol abuse for women and increased risk of drug abuse for men. Men and women also varied in the types of discrimination (e.g., racial vs. gender) reported, and in the associations between these types of discrimination and substance abuse. These data indicate that discrimination is associated with different substance abuse outcomes between genders. Future research should consider the mechanisms that explain these differences.

  13. Tailoring a psychophysical discrimination experiment upon assessment of the psychometric function: Predictions and results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilardi, Andrea; Tabarelli, Davide; Ricci, Leonardo

    2015-02-01

    Decision making is a widespread research topic and plays a crucial role in neuroscience as well as in other research and application fields of, for example, biology, medicine and economics. The most basic implementation of decision making, namely binary discrimination, is successfully interpreted by means of signal detection theory (SDT), a statistical model that is deeply linked to physics. An additional, widespread tool to investigate discrimination ability is the psychometric function, which measures the probability of a given response as a function of the magnitude of a physical quantity underlying the stimulus. However, the link between psychometric functions and binary discrimination experiments is often neglected or misinterpreted. Aim of the present paper is to provide a detailed description of an experimental investigation on a prototypical discrimination task and to discuss the results in terms of SDT. To this purpose, we provide an outline of the theory and describe the implementation of two behavioural experiments in the visual modality: upon the assessment of the so-called psychometric function, we show how to tailor a binary discrimination experiment on performance and decisional bias, and to measure these quantities on a statistical base. Attention is devoted to the evaluation of uncertainties, an aspect which is also often overlooked in the scientific literature.

  14. Obesity discrimination: the role of physical appearance, personal ideology, and anti-fat prejudice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, K S; Latner, J D; Ebneter, D; Hunter, J A

    2013-03-01

    Self-report measures of anti-fat prejudice are regularly used by the field, however, there is no research showing a relationship between explicit measures of anti-fat prejudice and the behavioral manifestation of them; obesity discrimination. The present study examined whether a recently developed measure of anti-fat prejudice, the universal measure of bias (UMB), along with other correlates of prejudicial attitudes and beliefs (that is, authoritarianism, social dominance orientation; SDO, physical appearance investment) predict obesity discrimination. Under the guise of a personnel selection task, participants (n=102) gave assessments of obese and non-obese females applying for a managerial position across a number of selection criteria (for example, starting salary, likelihood of selecting). Participants viewed resumes that had attached either a photo of a pre-bariatric surgery obese female (body mass index (BMI)=38-41) or a photo of the same female post-bariatric surgery (BMI=22-24). Participants also completed measures of anti-fat prejudice (UMB) authoritarianism, SDO, physical appearance evaluation and orientation. Obesity discrimination was displayed across all selection criteria. Higher UMB subscale scores (distance and negative judgement), authoritarianism, physical appearance evaluation and orientation were associated with greater obesity discrimination. In regression models, UMB 'distance' was a predictor of obesity discrimination for perceived leadership potential, starting salary, and overall employability. UMB 'negative judgement' predicted discrimination for starting salary; and authoritarianism predicted likelihood of selecting an obese applicant and candidate ranking. Finally, physical appearance evaluation and appearance orientation predicted obesity discrimination for predicted career success and leadership potential, respectively. Self-report measures of prejudice act as surrogates for discrimination, but there has been no empirical support for

  15. The Effects of Static and Dynamic Visual Representations as Aids for Primary School Children in Tasks of Auditory Discrimination of Sound Patterns. An Intervention-based Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus Tejada

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that non-conventional presentations of visual information could be very useful as a scaffolding strategy in the learning of Western music notation. As a result, this study has attempted to determine if there is any effect of static and dynamic presentation modes of visual information in the recognition of sound patterns. An intervention-based quasi-experimental design was adopted with two groups of fifth-grade students in a Spanish city. Students did tasks involving discrimination, auditory recognition and symbolic association of the sound patterns with non-musical representations, either static images (S group, or dynamic images (D group. The results showed neither statistically significant differences in the scores of D and S, nor influence of the covariates on the dependent variable, although statistically significant intra-group differences were found for both groups. This suggests that both types of graphic formats could be effective as digital learning mediators in the learning of Western musical notation.

  16. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy combined with chemometrics for discrimination of Curcuma longa, Curcuma xanthorrhiza and Zingiber cassumunar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohaeti, Eti; Rafi, Mohamad; Syafitri, Utami Dyah; Heryanto, Rudi

    2015-02-01

    Turmeric (Curcuma longa), java turmeric (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) and cassumunar ginger (Zingiber cassumunar) are widely used in traditional Indonesian medicines (jamu). They have similar color for their rhizome and possess some similar uses, so it is possible to substitute one for the other. The identification and discrimination of these closely-related plants is a crucial task to ensure the quality of the raw materials. Therefore, an analytical method which is rapid, simple and accurate for discriminating these species using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) combined with some chemometrics methods was developed. FTIR spectra were acquired in the mid-IR region (4000-400 cm-1). Standard normal variate, first and second order derivative spectra were compared for the spectral data. Principal component analysis (PCA) and canonical variate analysis (CVA) were used for the classification of the three species. Samples could be discriminated by visual analysis of the FTIR spectra by using their marker bands. Discrimination of the three species was also possible through the combination of the pre-processed FTIR spectra with PCA and CVA, in which CVA gave clearer discrimination. Subsequently, the developed method could be used for the identification and discrimination of the three closely-related plant species.

  17. Sleep restriction and cognitive load affect performance on a simulated marksmanship task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Carl D; Cooper, Adam D; Merullo, Donna J; Cohen, Bruce S; Heaton, Kristin J; Claro, Pedro J; Smith, Tracey

    2017-11-24

    Sleep restriction degrades cognitive and motor performance, which can adversely impact job performance and increase the risk of accidents. Military personnel are prone to operating under sleep restriction, and previous work suggests that military marksmanship may be negatively affected under such conditions. Results of these studies, however, are mixed and have often incorporated additional stressors (e.g. energy restriction) beyond sleep restriction. Moreover, few studies have investigated how the degree of difficulty of a marksmanship task impacts performance following sleep restriction. The purpose of the current experiment was to study the effects of sleep restriction on marksmanship while minimizing the potential influence of other forms of stress. A friend-foe discrimination challenge with greater or lesser degrees of complexity (high versus low load) was used as the primary marksmanship task. Active duty Soldiers were recruited, and allowed 2 h of sleep every 24 h over a 72-h testing period. Marksmanship tasks, cognitive assessment metrics and the NASA-Task Load Index were administered daily. Results indicated that reaction times to shoot foe targets and signal friendly targets slowed over time. In addition, the ability to correctly discriminate between friend and foe targets significantly decreased in the high-cognitive-load condition over time despite shot accuracy remaining stable. The NASA-Task Load Index revealed that, although marksmanship performance degraded, participants believed their performance did not change over time. These results further characterize the consequences of sleep restriction on marksmanship performance and the perception of performance, and reinforce the importance of adequate sleep among service members when feasible. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  18. Individuals with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Are Impaired at Explicit, but Not Implicit, Discrimination of Local Forms Embedded in Global Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giersch, Anne; Glaser, Bronwyn; Pasca, Catherine; Chabloz, Mélanie; Debbané, Martin; Eliez, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) are impaired at exploring visual information in space; however, not much is known about visual form discrimination in the syndrome. Thirty-five individuals with 22q11.2DS and 41 controls completed a form discrimination task with global forms made up of local elements. Affected individuals…

  19. Probabilistic Mapping of Human Visual Attention from Head Pose Estimation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Veronese

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Effective interaction between a human and a robot requires the bidirectional perception and interpretation of actions and behavior. While actions can be identified as a directly observable activity, this might not be sufficient to deduce actions in a scene. For example, orienting our face toward a book might suggest the action toward “reading.” For a human observer, this deduction requires the direction of gaze, the object identified as a book and the intersection between gaze and book. With this in mind, we aim to estimate and map human visual attention as directed to a scene, and assess how this relates to the detection of objects and their related actions. In particular, we consider human head pose as measurement to infer the attention of a human engaged in a task and study which prior knowledge should be included in such a detection system. In a user study, we show the successful detection of attention to objects in a typical office task scenario (i.e., reading, working with a computer, studying an object. Our system requires a single external RGB camera for head pose measurements and a pre-recorded 3D point cloud of the environment.

  20. LABOR DISCRIMINATION IN BULGARIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vyara Slavyanska

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Labor discrimination is a phenomenon with very serious social and economic consequences, which has increased actuality and importance in Bulgaria nowadays. Because of the high price of discrimination, building effective anti-discrimination legislation occupies a special place in the policy of the European Union. Despite the European directives, the presence of anti-discrimination legislation and the broadly declared anti-discrimination inclinations in our country, these are absolutely not enough for providing environment of equality, with a climate of respect and tolerance to the differences. It turns out that certain groups are definitely victims of labor discrimination. In this connection the present article consecutively identifies these groups, as well as the reasons for their discrimination, underlining the necessity and benefits of the integration of the different.

  1. Response-Retrieval in Identity Negative Priming is Modulated by Temporal Discriminability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias eMittner

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Reaction times to previously ignored information are often delayed, a phenomenon referred to as negative priming (NP. Rothermund, Wentura & De Houwer (2005 proposed that negative priming is caused by the retrieval of incidental stimulus-response associations when consecutive displays share visual features but require different responses. In two experiments we examined whether the features (color, shape that reappear in consecutive displays, or their level of processing (early-perceptual, late-semantic moderate the likelihood that stimulus-response associations are retrieved. Using a perceptual matching task (experiment 1, negative priming occurred independently of whether responses were repeated or switched. Only when implementing a semantic-matching task (experiment 2, negative priming was determined by response-repetition as predicted by response-retrieval theory. The results can be explained in terms of a task-dependent temporal discrimination process (Milliken et al., 1998: Response-relevant features are encoded more strongly and/or are more likely to be retrieved than irrelevant features.

  2. Blocking muscarinic receptors in the olfactory bulb impairs performance on an olfactory short term memory task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasha eDevore

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Cholinergic inputs to cortical processing networks have long been associated with attentional and top-down processing. Experimental and theoretical studies suggest that cholinergic inputs to the main olfactory bulb (OB can modulate both neural and behavioral odor discrimination. Previous experiments from our laboratory and others demonstrate that blockade of nicotinic receptors directly impairs olfactory discrimination, whereas blockade of muscarinic receptors only measurably impairs olfactory perception when task demands are made more challenging, such as when very low-concentration odors are used or rats are required to maintain sensory memory over long durations. To further investigate the role of muscarinic signaling in the OB, we developed an olfactory delayed match-to-sample task using a digging-based behavioral paradigm. We find that rats are able to maintain robust short-term odor memory for tens to hundreds of seconds. To investigate the role of muscarinic signaling in task performance, we bilaterally infused scopolamine into the OB. We find that high dosages of scopolamine (38 mM impair performance on the task across all delays tested, including the baseline condition with no delay, whereas lower dosages (7.6 mM and 22.8 mM had no measureable effects. These results indicate that general execution of the match-to-sample task, even with no delay, is at least partially dependent on muscarinic signaling in the OB.

  3. Blocking muscarinic receptors in the olfactory bulb impairs performance on an olfactory short-term memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devore, Sasha; Manella, Laura C; Linster, Christiane

    2012-01-01

    Cholinergic inputs to cortical processing networks have long been associated with attentional and top-down processing. Experimental and theoretical studies suggest that cholinergic inputs to the main olfactory bulb (OB) can modulate both neural and behavioral odor discrimination. Previous experiments from our laboratory and others demonstrate that blockade of nicotinic receptors directly impairs olfactory discrimination, whereas blockade of muscarinic receptors only measurably impairs olfactory perception when task demands are made more challenging, such as when very low-concentration odors are used or rats are required to maintain sensory memory over long durations. To further investigate the role of muscarinic signaling in the OB, we developed an olfactory delayed match-to-sample task using a digging-based behavioral paradigm. We find that rats are able to maintain robust short-term odor memory for 10-100 s. To investigate the role of muscarinic signaling in task performance, we bilaterally infused scopolamine into the OB. We find that high dosages of scopolamine (38 mM) impair performance on the task across all delays tested, including the baseline condition with no delay, whereas lower dosages (7.6 mM and 22.8 mM) had no measureable effects. These results indicate that general execution of the match-to-sample task, even with no delay, is at least partially dependent on muscarinic signaling in the OB.

  4. Set discrimination of quantum states

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Shengyu; Ying Mingsheng

    2002-01-01

    We introduce a notion of set discrimination, which is an interesting extension of quantum state discrimination. A state is secretly chosen from a number of quantum states, which are partitioned into some disjoint sets. A set discrimination is required to identify which set the given state belongs to. Several essential problems are addressed in this paper, including the condition of perfect set discrimination, unambiguous set discrimination, and in the latter case, the efficiency of the discrimination. This generalizes some important results on quantum state discrimination in the literature. A combination of state and set discrimination and the efficiency are also studied

  5. Figure-ground discrimination in the avian brain: the nucleus rotundus and its inhibitory complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acerbo, Martin J; Lazareva, Olga F; McInnerney, John; Leiker, Emily; Wasserman, Edward A; Poremba, Amy

    2012-10-01

    In primates, neurons sensitive to figure-ground status are located in striate cortex (area V1) and extrastriate cortex (area V2). Although much is known about the anatomical structure and connectivity of the avian visual pathway, the functional organization of the avian brain remains largely unexplored. To pinpoint the areas associated with figure-ground segregation in the avian brain, we used a radioactively labeled glucose analog to compare differences in glucose uptake after figure-ground, color, and shape discriminations. We also included a control group that received food on a variable-interval schedule, but was not required to learn a visual discrimination. Although the discrimination task depended on group assignment, the stimulus displays were identical for all three experimental groups, ensuring that all animals were exposed to the same visual input. Our analysis concentrated on the primary thalamic nucleus associated with visual processing, the nucleus rotundus (Rt), and two nuclei providing regulatory feedback, the pretectum (PT) and the nucleus subpretectalis/interstitio-pretecto-subpretectalis complex (SP/IPS). We found that figure-ground discrimination was associated with strong and nonlateralized activity of Rt and SP/IPS, whereas color discrimination produced strong and lateralized activation in Rt alone. Shape discrimination was associated with lower activity of Rt than in the control group. Taken together, our results suggest that figure-ground discrimination is associated with Rt and that SP/IPS may be a main source of inhibitory control. Thus, figure-ground segregation in the avian brain may occur earlier than in the primate brain. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Olfactory discrimination and generalization of ammonium nitrate and structurally related odorants in Labrador retrievers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarowski, Lucia; Foster, Melanie L; Gruen, Margaret E; Sherman, Barbara L; Fish, Richard E; Milgram, Norton W; Dorman, David C

    2015-11-01

    A critical aspect of canine explosive detection involves the animal's ability respond to novel, untrained odors based on prior experience with training odors. In the current study, adult Labrador retrievers (N = 15) were initially trained to discriminate between a rewarded odor (vanillin) and an unrewarded odor (ethanol) by manipulating scented objects with their nose in order to receive a food reward using a canine-adapted discrimination training apparatus. All dogs successfully learned this olfactory discrimination task (≥80 % correct in a mean of 296 trials). Next, dogs were trained on an ammonium nitrate (AN, NH4NO3) olfactory discrimination task [acquired in 60-240 trials, with a mean (±SEM) number of trials to criterion of 120.0 ± 15.6] and then tested for their ability to respond to untrained ammonium- and/or nitrate-containing chemicals as well as variants of AN compounds. Dogs did not respond to sodium nitrate or ammonium sulfate compounds at rates significantly higher than chance (58.8 ± 4.5 and 57.7 ± 3.3 % correct, respectively). Transfer performance to fertilizer-grade AN, AN mixed in Iraqi soil, and AN and flaked aluminum was significantly higher than chance (66.7 ± 3.2, 73.3 ± 4.0, 68.9 ± 4.0 % correct, respectively); however, substantial individual differences were observed. Only 53, 60, and 64 % of dogs had a correct response rate with fertilizer-grade AN, AN and Iraqi soil, and AN and flaked aluminum, respectively, that were greater than chance. Our results suggest that dogs do not readily generalize from AN to similar AN-based odorants at reliable levels desired for explosive detection dogs and that performance varies significantly within Labrador retrievers selected for an explosive detection program.

  7. Weber's law, the magnitude effect and discrimination of sugar concentrations in nectar-feeding animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachev, Vladislav; Stich, Kai Petra; Winter, York

    2013-01-01

    Weber's law quantifies the perception of difference between stimuli. For instance, it can explain why we are less likely to detect the removal of three nuts from a bowl if the bowl is full than if it is nearly empty. This is an example of the magnitude effect - the phenomenon that the subjective perception of a linear difference between a pair of stimuli progressively diminishes when the average magnitude of the stimuli increases. Although discrimination performances of both human and animal subjects in various sensory modalities exhibit the magnitude effect, results sometimes systematically deviate from the quantitative predictions based on Weber's law. An attempt to reformulate the law to better fit data from acoustic discrimination tasks has been dubbed the "near-miss to Weber's law". Here, we tested the gustatory discrimination performance of nectar-feeding bats (Glossophaga soricina), in order to investigate whether the original version of Weber's law accurately predicts choice behavior in a two-alternative forced choice task. As expected, bats either preferred the sweeter of the two options or showed no preference. In 4 out of 6 bats the near-miss to Weber's law provided a better fit and Weber's law underestimated the magnitude effect. In order to test the generality of this observation in nectar-feeders, we reviewed previously published data on bats, hummingbirds, honeybees, and bumblebees. In all groups of animals the near-miss to Weber's law provided better fits than Weber's law. Furthermore, whereas the magnitude effect was stronger than predicted by Weber's law in vertebrates, it was weaker than predicted in insects. Thus nectar-feeding vertebrates and insects seem to differ in how their choice behavior changes as sugar concentration is increased. We discuss the ecological and evolutionary implications of the observed patterns of sugar concentration discrimination.

  8. Weber's law, the magnitude effect and discrimination of sugar concentrations in nectar-feeding animals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladislav Nachev

    Full Text Available Weber's law quantifies the perception of difference between stimuli. For instance, it can explain why we are less likely to detect the removal of three nuts from a bowl if the bowl is full than if it is nearly empty. This is an example of the magnitude effect - the phenomenon that the subjective perception of a linear difference between a pair of stimuli progressively diminishes when the average magnitude of the stimuli increases. Although discrimination performances of both human and animal subjects in various sensory modalities exhibit the magnitude effect, results sometimes systematically deviate from the quantitative predictions based on Weber's law. An attempt to reformulate the law to better fit data from acoustic discrimination tasks has been dubbed the "near-miss to Weber's law". Here, we tested the gustatory discrimination performance of nectar-feeding bats (Glossophaga soricina, in order to investigate whether the original version of Weber's law accurately predicts choice behavior in a two-alternative forced choice task. As expected, bats either preferred the sweeter of the two options or showed no preference. In 4 out of 6 bats the near-miss to Weber's law provided a better fit and Weber's law underestimated the magnitude effect. In order to test the generality of this observation in nectar-feeders, we reviewed previously published data on bats, hummingbirds, honeybees, and bumblebees. In all groups of animals the near-miss to Weber's law provided better fits than Weber's law. Furthermore, whereas the magnitude effect was stronger than predicted by Weber's law in vertebrates, it was weaker than predicted in insects. Thus nectar-feeding vertebrates and insects seem to differ in how their choice behavior changes as sugar concentration is increased. We discuss the ecological and evolutionary implications of the observed patterns of sugar concentration discrimination.

  9. Altering sensorimotor feedback disrupts visual discrimination of facial expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Adrienne; Lupyan, Gary; Sherrin, Steven; Niedenthal, Paula

    2016-08-01

    Looking at another person's facial expression of emotion can trigger the same neural processes involved in producing the expression, and such responses play a functional role in emotion recognition. Disrupting individuals' facial action, for example, interferes with verbal emotion recognition tasks. We tested the hypothesis that facial responses also play a functional role in the perceptual processing of emotional expressions. We altered the facial action of participants with a gel facemask while they performed a task that involved distinguishing target expressions from highly similar distractors. Relative to control participants, participants in the facemask condition demonstrated inferior perceptual discrimination of facial expressions, but not of nonface stimuli. The findings suggest that somatosensory/motor processes involving the face contribute to the visual perceptual-and not just conceptual-processing of facial expressions. More broadly, our study contributes to growing evidence for the fundamentally interactive nature of the perceptual inputs from different sensory modalities.

  10. A statistical approach for segregating cognitive task stages from multivariate fMRI BOLD time series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charmaine eDemanuele

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Multivariate pattern analysis can reveal new information from neuroimaging data to illuminate human cognition and its disturbances. Here, we develop a methodological approach, based on multivariate statistical/machine learning and time series analysis, to discern cognitive processing stages from fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD time series. We apply this method to data recorded from a group of healthy adults whilst performing a virtual reality version of the delayed win-shift radial arm maze task. This task has been frequently used to study working memory and decision making in rodents. Using linear classifiers and multivariate test statistics in conjunction with time series bootstraps, we show that different cognitive stages of the task, as defined by the experimenter, namely, the encoding/retrieval, choice, reward and delay stages, can be statistically discriminated from the BOLD time series in brain areas relevant for decision making and working memory. Discrimination of these task stages was significantly reduced during poor behavioral performance in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, but not in the primary visual cortex (V1. Experimenter-defined dissection of time series into class labels based on task structure was confirmed by an unsupervised, bottom-up approach based on Hidden Markov Models. Furthermore, we show that different groupings of recorded time points into cognitive event classes can be used to test hypotheses about the specific cognitive role of a given brain region during task execution. We found that whilst the DLPFC strongly differentiated between task stages associated with different memory loads, but not between different visual-spatial aspects, the reverse was true for V1. Our methodology illustrates how different aspects of cognitive information processing during one and the same task can be separated and attributed to specific brain regions based on information contained in multivariate patterns of voxel

  11. Discrimination and delusional ideation.

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    Janssen, I; Hanssen, M; Bak, M; Bijl, R V; de Graaf, R; Vollebergh, W; McKenzie, K; van Os, J

    2003-01-01

    In the UK and The Netherlands, people with high rates of psychosis are chronically exposed to discrimination. To test whether perceived discrimination is associated longitudinally with onset of psychosis. A 3-year prospective study of cohorts with no history of psychosis and differential rates of reported discrimination on the basis of age, gender, disability, appearance, skin colour or ethnicity and sexual orientation was conducted in the Dutch general population (n=4076). The main outcome was onset of psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations). The rate of delusional ideation was 0.5% (n=19) in those who did not report discrimination, 0.9% (n=4) in those who reported discrimination in one domain, and 2.7% (n=3) in those who reported discrimination in more than one domain (exact P=0.027). This association remained after adjustment for possible confounders. No association was found between baseline discrimination and onset of hallucinatory experiences. Perceived discrimination may induce delusional ideation and thus contribute to the high observed rates of psychotic disorder in exposed minority populations.

  12. Perceptions of weight discrimination: prevalence and comparison to race and gender discrimination in America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puhl, R M; Andreyeva, T; Brownell, K D

    2008-06-01

    Limited data are available on the prevalence and patterns of body weight discrimination from representative samples. This study examined experiences of weight/height discrimination in a nationally representative sample of US adults and compared their prevalence and patterns with discrimination experiences based on race and gender. Data were from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, a 1995-1996 community-based survey of English-speaking adults aged 25-74 (N=2290). Reported experiences of weight/height discrimination included a variety of institutional settings and interpersonal relationships. Multivariate regression analyses were used to predict weight/height discrimination controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and body weight status. The prevalence of weight/height discrimination ranged from 5% among men to 10% among women, but these average percentages obscure the much higher risk of weight discrimination among heavier individuals (40% for adults with body mass index (BMI) of 35 and above). Younger individuals with a higher BMI had a particularly high risk of weight/height discrimination regardless of their race, education and weight status. Women were at greater risk for weight/height discrimination than men, especially women with a BMI of 30-35 who were three times more likely to report weight/height discrimination compared to male peers of a similar weight. Weight/height discrimination is prevalent in American society and is relatively close to reported rates of racial discrimination, particularly among women. Both institutional forms of weight/height discrimination (for example, in employment settings) and interpersonal mistreatment due to weight/height (for example, being called names) were common, and in some cases were even more prevalent than discrimination due to gender and race.

  13. Quantitative determination of phenolic compounds by UHPLC-UV-MS and use of partial least-square discriminant analysis to differentiate chemo-types of Chamomile/Chrysanthemum flower heads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avula, Bharathi; Wang, Yan-Hong; Wang, Mei; Avonto, Cristina; Zhao, Jianping; Smillie, Troy J; Rua, Diego; Khan, Ikhlas A

    2014-01-01

    A new rapid UHPLC-UV-QTOF/MS method has been developed for the simultaneous analysis of nine phenolic compounds [(Z)-2-β-d-glucopyranosyloxy-4-methoxycinnamic acid (cis-GMCA), chlorogenic acid, (E)-2-β-d-glucopyranosyloxy-4-methoxycinnamic acid (trans-GMCA), quercetagetin-7-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucoside, apigenin-7-O-β-d-glucoside, chamaemeloside, apigenin 7-O-(6″-O-acetyl-β-d-glucopyranoside), apigenin] and one polyacetylene (tonghaosu) from the flower heads of Chamomile/Chrysanthemum samples. The chromatographic separation was achieved using a reversed phase C18 column with a mobile phase of water and acetonitrile, both containing 0.05% formic acid. The ten compounds were completely separated within 15min at a flow rate of 0.25mL/min with a 2μL injection volume. The different chemo-types of Chamomiles/Chrysanthemum displayed variations in the presence of chemical constituents. German Chamomile samples confirmed the presence of cis-GMCA, trans-GMCA, apigenin-7-O-β-d-glucoside and tonghaosu as major constituents whereas Roman chamomile samples confirmed the presence of chamamaeloside and apigenin as major compounds. The Chrysanthemum morifolium samples showed the presence of luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucose as the major compound. The method was applied for the analysis of various commercial products including capsules, tea bags, body and hair care products. LC-mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization (ESI) interface method is described for the evaluation of ten compounds in plant samples and commercial products. This method involved the detection of [M+Na](+) and [M+H](+) ions in the positive mode. Partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was used to visualize commercial samples quality and may be of value for discriminating between chamomile types and Chrysanthemum with regards to the relative content of individual constituents. The results indicated that the method is suitable as a quality control test for various

  14. Amplified Head Rotation in Virtual Reality and the Effects on 3D Search, Training Transfer, and Spatial Orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragan, Eric D; Scerbo, Siroberto; Bacim, Felipe; Bowman, Doug A

    2017-08-01

    Many types of virtual reality (VR) systems allow users to use natural, physical head movements to view a 3D environment. In some situations, such as when using systems that lack a fully surrounding display or when opting for convenient low-effort interaction, view control can be enabled through a combination of physical and virtual turns to view the environment, but the reduced realism could potentially interfere with the ability to maintain spatial orientation. One solution to this problem is to amplify head rotations such that smaller physical turns are mapped to larger virtual turns, allowing trainees to view the entire surrounding environment with small head movements. This solution is attractive because it allows semi-natural physical view control rather than requiring complete physical rotations or a fully-surrounding display. However, the effects of amplified head rotations on spatial orientation and many practical tasks are not well understood. In this paper, we present an experiment that evaluates the influence of amplified head rotation on 3D search, spatial orientation, and cybersickness. In the study, we varied the amount of amplification and also varied the type of display used (head-mounted display or surround-screen CAVE) for the VR search task. By evaluating participants first with amplification and then without, we were also able to study training transfer effects. The findings demonstrate the feasibility of using amplified head rotation to view 360 degrees of virtual space, but noticeable problems were identified when using high amplification with a head-mounted display. In addition, participants were able to more easily maintain a sense of spatial orientation when using the CAVE version of the application, which suggests that visibility of the user's body and awareness of the CAVE's physical environment may have contributed to the ability to use the amplification technique while keeping track of orientation.

  15. Interaction between the nature of the information and the cognitive requirement of the task in problem solving in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Mathieu; Benhassine, Narimane; Costet, Pierre; Segu, Louis; Buhot, Marie-Christine

    2004-11-01

    The Morris water maze and the radial-arm maze are two of the most frequently employed behavioral tasks used to assess spatial memory in rodents. In this study, we describe two new behavioral tasks in a radial-arm water maze enabling to combine the advantages of the Morris water maze and the radial-arm maze. In both tasks, spatial and nonspatial learning was assessed and the only task parameter that varied was the nature of the information available which was either spatial (various distal extra-maze cues) or nonspatial (visual intra-maze patterns). In experiment 1, 129T2/Sv mice were able to learn three successive pairwise discriminations [(1) A+/B-, (2) B+/C-, (3) C+/A-] with the same efficiency in both modalities (i.e. spatial and nonspatial modalities). Probe-trials at the end of each of these discriminations revealed particular features of this transverse-patterning-like procedure. In experiment 2, another group of 129T2/Sv mice was submitted to a delayed matching-to-sample working memory task. Mice were able to learn the task and were then able to show resistance to temporal interference as long as 60 min in the spatial modality but they failed to acquire the task in the nonspatial modality. The fact that the nonspatial information was exactly the same in both experiments highlights the existence of an interaction between the cognitive requirements of the task and the nature of the information.

  16. Effects of MK-801 on vicarious trial-and-error and reversal of olfactory discrimination learning in weanling rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesbach, G S; Hu, D; Amsel, A

    1998-12-01

    The effects of dizocilpine maleate (MK-801) on vicarious trial-and-error (VTE), and on simultaneous olfactory discrimination learning and its reversal, were observed in weanling rats. The term VTE was used by Tolman (The determiners of behavior at a choice point. Psychol. Rev. 1938;46:318-336), who described it as conflict-like behavior at a choice-point in simultaneous discrimination learning. It takes the form of head movements from one stimulus to the other, and has recently been proposed by Amsel (Hippocampal function in the rat: cognitive mapping or vicarious trial-and-error? Hippocampus, 1993;3:251-256) as related to hippocampal, nonspatial function during this learning. Weanling male rats received systemic MK-801 either 30 min before the onset of olfactory discrimination training and its reversal, or only before its reversal. The MK-801-treated animals needed significantly more sessions to acquire the discrimination and showed significantly fewer VTEs in the acquisition phase of learning. Impaired reversal learning was shown only when MK-801 was administered during the reversal-learning phase, itself, and not when it was administered throughout both phases.

  17. A Systematic Review of the Usefulness of Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein for Predicting Acute Intracranial Lesions following Head Trauma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teemu M. Luoto

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundThe extensive use of computed tomography (CT after acute head injury is costly and carries potential iatrogenic risk. This systematic review examined the usefulness of blood-based glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP for predicting acute trauma-related CT-positive intracranial lesions following head trauma. The main objective was to summarize the current evidence on blood-based GFAP as a potential screening test for acute CT-positive intracranial lesions following head trauma.MethodsWe screened MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychInfo, CINAHL, Web of Science, the Cochrane Database, Scopus, Clinical Trials, OpenGrey, ResearchGate, and the reference lists of eligible publications for original contributions published between January 1980 and January 2017. Eligibility criteria included: (i population: human head and brain injuries of all severities and ages; (ii intervention: blood-based GFAP measurement ≤24 h post-injury; and (iii outcome: acute traumatic lesion on non-contrast head CT ≤24 h post-injury. Three authors completed the publication screening, data extraction, and quality assessment of eligible articles.ResultsThe initial search identified 4,706 articles, with 51 eligible for subsequent full-text assessment. Twenty-seven articles were ultimately included. Twenty-four (89% studies reported a positive association between GFAP level and acute trauma-related intracranial lesions on head CT. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for GFAP prediction of intracranial pathology ranged from 0.74 to 0.98 indicating good to excellent discrimination. GFAP seemed to discriminate mass lesions and diffuse injury, with mass lesions having significantly higher GFAP levels. There was considerable variability between the measured GFAP averages between studies and assays. No well-designed diagnostic studies with specific GFAP cutoff values predictive of acute traumatic intracranial lesions have been published

  18. Separate and combined effects of the GABAA positive allosteric modulator diazepam and Δ⁹-THC in humans discriminating Δ⁹-THC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lile, Joshua A; Kelly, Thomas H; Hays, Lon R

    2014-10-01

    Our previous research suggested the involvement of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), in particular the GABAB receptor subtype, in the interoceptive effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC). The aim of the present study was to determine the potential involvement of the GABAA receptor subtype by assessing the separate and combined effects of the GABAA positive allosteric modulator diazepam and Δ(9)-THC using pharmacologically selective drug-discrimination procedures. Ten cannabis users learned to discriminate 30 mg oral Δ(9)-THC from placebo and then received diazepam (5 and 10mg), Δ(9)-THC (5, 15 and 30 mg) and placebo, alone and in combination. Self-report, task performance and physiological measures were also collected. Δ(9)-THC functioned as a discriminative stimulus, produced subjective effects typically associated with cannabinoids (e.g., High, Stoned, Like Drug) and elevated heart rate. Diazepam alone impaired performance on psychomotor performance tasks and increased ratings on a limited number of self-report questionnaire items (e.g., Any Effect, Sedated), but did not substitute for the Δ(9)-THC discriminative stimulus or alter the Δ(9)-THC discrimination dose-response function. Similarly, diazepam had limited impact on the other behavioral effects of Δ(9)-THC. These results suggest that the GABAA receptor subtype has minimal involvement in the interoceptive effects of Δ(9)-THC, and by extension cannabis, in humans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Sequential lineup presentation promotes less-biased criterion setting but does not improve discriminability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Matthew A; Brewer, Neil

    2012-06-01

    When compared with simultaneous lineup presentation, sequential presentation has been shown to reduce false identifications to a greater extent than it reduces correct identifications. However, there has been much debate about whether this difference in identification performance represents improved discriminability or more conservative responding. In this research, data from 22 experiments that compared sequential and simultaneous lineups were analyzed using a compound signal-detection model, which is specifically designed to describe decision-making performance on tasks such as eyewitness identification tests. Sequential (cf. simultaneous) presentation did not influence discriminability, but produced a conservative shift in response bias that resulted in less-biased choosing for sequential than simultaneous lineups. These results inform understanding of the effects of lineup presentation mode on eyewitness identification decisions.

  20. Place of birth effects on self-reported discrimination: Variations by type of discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brondolo, Elizabeth; Rahim, Reanne; Grimaldi, Stephanie; Ashraf, Amina; Bui, Nini; Schwartz, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    Researchers have suggested that perceptions of discrimination may vary depending on place of birth and the length of time spent living in the U.S., variables related to acculturation. However, the existing literature provides a mixed picture, with data suggesting that the effects of acculturation on perceptions of discrimination vary by race and other sociodemographic factors. This study evaluated the role of place of birth (POB: defined as U.S.-born vs. foreign-born), age at immigration, and length of residence in the U.S. on self-reported discrimination in a sample of urban-dwelling Asian and Black adults (n= 1454). Analyses examined POB effects on different types of discrimination including race-related stigmatization, exclusion, threat, and workplace discrimination. Sociodemographic variables (including age, gender, employment status and education level) were tested as potential moderators of the relationship between POB and discrimination. The results revealed a significant main effect for POB on discrimination, with U.S.-born individuals reporting significantly more discrimination than foreign-born individuals, although the effect was reduced when sociodemographic variables were controlled. Across the sample, POB effects were seen only for race-related stigmatization and exclusion, not for threat and workplace discrimination. With the exception of limited effects for gender, sociodemographic variables did not moderate these effects. Younger age at immigration and greater years of residence in the U.S. were also positively associated with higher levels of perceived discrimination. These findings suggest increasing acculturation may shape the experience and perception of racial and ethnic discrimination.

  1. Place of birth effects on self-reported discrimination: Variations by type of discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brondolo, Elizabeth; Rahim, Reanne; Grimaldi, Stephanie; Ashraf, Amina; Bui, Nini; Schwartz, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have suggested that perceptions of discrimination may vary depending on place of birth and the length of time spent living in the U.S., variables related to acculturation. However, the existing literature provides a mixed picture, with data suggesting that the effects of acculturation on perceptions of discrimination vary by race and other sociodemographic factors. This study evaluated the role of place of birth (POB: defined as U.S.-born vs. foreign-born), age at immigration, and length of residence in the U.S. on self-reported discrimination in a sample of urban-dwelling Asian and Black adults (n= 1454). Analyses examined POB effects on different types of discrimination including race-related stigmatization, exclusion, threat, and workplace discrimination. Sociodemographic variables (including age, gender, employment status and education level) were tested as potential moderators of the relationship between POB and discrimination. The results revealed a significant main effect for POB on discrimination, with U.S.-born individuals reporting significantly more discrimination than foreign-born individuals, although the effect was reduced when sociodemographic variables were controlled. Across the sample, POB effects were seen only for race-related stigmatization and exclusion, not for threat and workplace discrimination. With the exception of limited effects for gender, sociodemographic variables did not moderate these effects. Younger age at immigration and greater years of residence in the U.S. were also positively associated with higher levels of perceived discrimination. These findings suggest increasing acculturation may shape the experience and perception of racial and ethnic discrimination. PMID:27647943

  2. Influence of Spatial and Chromatic Noise on Luminance Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miquilini, Leticia; Walker, Natalie A; Odigie, Erika A; Guimarães, Diego Leite; Salomão, Railson Cruz; Lacerda, Eliza Maria Costa Brito; Cortes, Maria Izabel Tentes; de Lima Silveira, Luiz Carlos; Fitzgerald, Malinda E C; Ventura, Dora Fix; Souza, Givago Silva

    2017-12-05

    Pseudoisochromatic figures are designed to base discrimination of a chromatic target from a background solely on the chromatic differences. This is accomplished by the introduction of luminance and spatial noise thereby eliminating these two dimensions as cues. The inverse rationale could also be applied to luminance discrimination, if spatial and chromatic noise are used to mask those cues. In this current study estimate of luminance contrast thresholds were conducted using a novel stimulus, based on the use of chromatic and spatial noise to mask the use of these cues in a luminance discrimination task. This was accomplished by presenting stimuli composed of a mosaic of circles colored randomly. A Landolt-C target differed from the background only by the luminance. The luminance contrast thresholds were estimated for different chromatic noise saturation conditions and compared to luminance contrast thresholds estimated using the same target in a non-mosaic stimulus. Moreover, the influence of the chromatic content in the noise on the luminance contrast threshold was also investigated. Luminance contrast threshold was dependent on the chromaticity noise strength. It was 10-fold higher than thresholds estimated from non-mosaic stimulus, but they were independent of colour space location in which the noise was modulated. The present study introduces a new method to investigate luminance vision intended for both basic science and clinical applications.

  3. Robust infrared target tracking using discriminative and generative approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asha, C. S.; Narasimhadhan, A. V.

    2017-09-01

    The process of designing an efficient tracker for thermal infrared imagery is one of the most challenging tasks in computer vision. Although a lot of advancement has been achieved in RGB videos over the decades, textureless and colorless properties of objects in thermal imagery pose hard constraints in the design of an efficient tracker. Tracking of an object using a single feature or a technique often fails to achieve greater accuracy. Here, we propose an effective method to track an object in infrared imagery based on a combination of discriminative and generative approaches. The discriminative technique makes use of two complementary methods such as kernelized correlation filter with spatial feature and AdaBoost classifier with pixel intesity features to operate in parallel. After obtain