WorldWideScience

Sample records for non-mirror image stimuli

  1. Perceiving, imaging, and preferring physiognomic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindauer, M S

    1986-01-01

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

  2. Body image concern and selective attention to disgusting and non-self appearance-related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onden-Lim, Melissa; Wu, Ray; Grisham, Jessica R

    2012-09-01

    Although selective attention to one's own appearance has been widely documented in studies of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), little is known about attentional bias toward non-self appearance-related stimuli in BDD. Furthermore, despite reports of heightened experience of disgust in BDD, it is unknown whether these individuals differentially attend to disgusting stimuli and whether disgust is important in processing of unattractive stimuli. We used a dot probe procedure to investigate the relationship between dysmorphic concern, a defining feature of BDD, and selective attention to faces, attractive, unattractive and disgusting images in a female heterosexual student population (N=92). At the long stimulus presentation (1000 ms), dysmorphic concern was positively associated with attention to faces in general and attractive appearance-related images. In contrast, at the short stimulus presentation (200 ms), there was a positive association between dysmorphic concern and disgusting images. Implications for theoretical models of BDD are discussed. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. A delivery device for presentation of tactile stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykes, Robert W; Miqueé, Aline; Xerri, Christian; Zennou-Azogui, Yoh'i; Rainville, Constant; Dumoulin, André; Marineau, Daniel

    2007-01-30

    We describe a novel stimulus delivery system designed to present tactile stimuli to a subject in the tunnel of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. Using energy from an air-driven piston to turn a wheel, the device advances a conveyor belt with a pre-determined sequence of stimuli that differ in their spatial features into the tunnel of the MRI. The positioning of one or several stimulus objects in a window near the subject's hand is controlled by a photoelectric device that detects periodic openings in the conveyor belt. Using this electric signal to position each presentation avoids cumulative positioning errors and provides a signal related to the progression of the experiment. We used a series of shapes that differed in their spatial features but the device could carry stimuli with a diversity of shapes and textures. This flexibility allows the experimenter to design a wide variety of psychophysical experiments in the haptic world and possibly to compare and contrast these stimuli with the cognitive treatment of similar stimuli delivered to the other senses. Appropriate experimental design allows separation of motor, sensory and memory storage phases of mental processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozolinsh, Maris; Danilenko, Olga; Zavjalova, Varvara

    2016-10-01

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

  5. Smart stimuli sensitive nanogels in cancer drug delivery and imaging: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maya, S; Sarmento, Bruno; Nair, Amrita; Rejinold, N Sanoj; Nair, Shantikumar V; Jayakumar, R

    2013-01-01

    Nanogels are nanosized hydrogel particles formed by physical or chemical cross-linked polymer networks. The advantageous properties of nanogels related to the ability of retaining considerable amount of water, the biocompatibility of the polymers used, the ability to encapsulate and protect a large quantity of payload drugs within the nanogel matrix, the high stability in aqueous media, their stimuli responsively behavior potential, and the versatility in release drugs in a controlled manner make them very attractive for use in the area of drug delivery. The materials used for the preparation of nanogels ranged from natural polymers like ovalbumin, pullulan, hyaluronic acid, methacrylated chondroitin sulfate and chitosan, to synthetic polymers like poly (N-isopropylacrylamide), poly (Nisopropylacrylamide- co-acrylic acid) and poly (ethylene glycol)-b-poly (methacrylic acid). The porous nanogels have been finding application as anti-cancer drug and imaging agent reservoirs. Smart nanogels responding to external stimuli such as temperature, pH etc can be designed for diverse therapeutic and diagnostic applications. The nanogels have also been surface functionalized with specific ligands aiding in targeted drug delivery. This review focus on stimuli-sensitive, multi-responsive, magnetic and targeted nanogels providing a brief insight on the application of nanogels in cancer drug delivery and imaging in detail.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Qiulei; Wang, Hong; Hu, Zhanyi

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-10-01

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

  8. High-Caloric and Chocolate Stimuli Processing in Healthy Humans: An Integration of Functional Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmaro, Deyar; Liotti, Mario

    2014-01-01

    There has been a great deal of interest in understanding how the human brain processes appetitive food cues, and knowing how such cues elicit craving responses is particularly relevant when current eating behavior trends within Westernized societies are considered. One substance that holds a special place with regard to food preference is chocolate, and studies that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potentials (ERPs) have identified neural regions and electrical signatures that are elicited by chocolate cue presentations. This review will examine fMRI and ERP findings from studies that used high-caloric food and chocolate cues as stimuli, with a focus on responses observed in samples of healthy participants, as opposed to those with eating-related pathology. The utility of using high-caloric and chocolate stimuli as a means of understanding the human reward system will also be highlighted, as these findings may be particularly important for understanding processes related to pathological overeating and addiction to illicit substances. Finally, research from our own lab that focused on chocolate stimulus processing in chocolate cravers and non-cravers will be discussed, as the approach used may help bridge fMRI and ERP findings so that a more complete understanding of appetitive stimulus processing in the temporal and spatial domains may be established. PMID:24434747

  9. High-Caloric and Chocolate Stimuli Processing in Healthy Humans: An Integration of Functional Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deyar Asmaro

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been a great deal of interest in understanding how the human brain processes appetitive food cues, and knowing how such cues elicit craving responses is particularly relevant when current eating behavior trends within Westernized societies are considered. One substance that holds a special place with regard to food preference is chocolate, and studies that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI and event-related potentials (ERPs have identified neural regions and electrical signatures that are elicited by chocolate cue presentations. This review will examine fMRI and ERP findings from studies that used high-caloric food and chocolate cues as stimuli, with a focus on responses observed in samples of healthy participants, as opposed to those with eating-related pathology. The utility of using high-caloric and chocolate stimuli as a means of understanding the human reward system will also be highlighted, as these findings may be particularly important for understanding processes related to pathological overeating and addiction to illicit substances. Finally, research from our own lab that focused on chocolate stimulus processing in chocolate cravers and non-cravers will be discussed, as the approach used may help bridge fMRI and ERP findings so that a more complete understanding of appetitive stimulus processing in the temporal and spatial domains may be established.

  10. Superparamagnetic hollow hybrid nanogels as a potential guidable vehicle system of stimuli-mediated MR imaging and multiple cancer therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Wen-Hsuan; Ho, Viet Thang; Chen, Hsin-Hung; Huang, Wen-Chia; Huang, Yi-Fong; Lin, Sung-Chyr; Chern, Chorng-Shyan; Chiu, Hsin-Cheng

    2013-05-28

    Hollow hybrid nanogels were prepared first by the coassembly of the citric acid-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs, 44 wt %) with the graft copolymer (56 wt %) comprising acrylic acid and 2-methacryloylethyl acrylate units as the backbone and poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) as the grafts in the aqueous phase of pH 3.0 in the hybrid vesicle structure, followed by in situ covalent stabilization via the photoinitiated polymerization of MEA residues within vesicles. The resultant hollow nanogels, though slightly swollen, satisfactorily retain their structural integrity while the medium pH is adjusted to 7.4. Confining SPION clusters to such a high level (44 wt %) within the pH-responsive thin gel layer remarkably enhances the transverse relaxivity (r2) and renders the MR imaging highly pH-tunable. For example, with the pH being adjusted from 4.0 to 7.4, the r2 value can be dramatically increased from 138.5 to 265.5 mM(-1) s(-1). The DOX-loaded hybrid nanogels also exhibit accelerated drug release in response to both pH reduction and temperature increase as a result of the substantial disruption of the interactions between drug molecules and copolymer components. With magnetic transport guidance toward the target and subsequent exposure to an alternating magnetic field, this DOX-loaded nanogel system possessing combined capabilities of hyperthermia and stimuli-triggered drug release showed superior in vitro cytotoxicity against HeLa cells as compared to the case with only free drug or hyperthermia alone. This work demonstrates that the hollow inorganic/organic hybrid nanogels hold great potential to serve as a multimodal theranostic vehicle functionalized with such desirable features as the guidable delivery of stimuli-mediated diagnostic imaging and hyperthermia/chemotherapies.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Processing of food, body and emotional stimuli in anorexia nervosa: a systematic review and meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yikang; Hu, Xiaochen; Wang, Jijun; Chen, Jue; Guo, Qian; Li, Chunbo; Enck, Paul

    2012-11-01

    The characteristics of the cognitive processing of food, body and emotional information in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) are debatable. We reviewed functional magnetic resonance imaging studies to assess whether there were consistent neural basis and networks in the studies to date. Searching PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library and Google Scholar between January 1980 and May 2012, we identified 17 relevant studies. Activation likelihood estimation was used to perform a quantitative meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. For both food stimuli and body stimuli, AN patients showed increased hemodynamic response in the emotion-related regions (frontal, caudate, uncus, insula and temporal) and decreased activation in the parietal region. Although no robust brain activation has been found in response to emotional stimuli, emotion-related neural networks are involved in the processing of food and body stimuli among AN. It suggests that negative emotional arousal is related to cognitive processing bias of food and body stimuli in AN. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Gola

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Functional Alterations of Postcentral Gyrus Modulated by Angry Facial Expressions during Intraoral Tactile Stimuli in Patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshino, Atsuo; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Doi, Mitsuru; Okada, Go; Takamura, Masahiro; Ichikawa, Naho; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2017-01-01

    Previous findings suggest that negative emotions could influence abnormal sensory perception in burning mouth syndrome (BMS). However, few studies have investigated the underlying neural mechanisms associated with BMS. We examined activation of brain regions in response to intraoral tactile stimuli when modulated by angry facial expressions. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging on a group of 27 BMS patients and 21 age-matched healthy controls. Tactile stimuli were presented during different emotional contexts, which were induced via the continuous presentation of angry or neutral pictures of human faces. BMS patients exhibited higher tactile ratings and greater activation in the postcentral gyrus during the presentation of tactile stimuli involving angry faces relative to controls. Significant positive correlations between changes in brain activation elicited by angry facial images in the postcentral gyrus and changes in tactile rating scores by angry facial images were found for both groups. For BMS patients, there was a significant positive correlation between changes in tactile-related activation of the postcentral gyrus elicited by angry facial expressions and pain intensity in daily life. Findings suggest that neural responses in the postcentral gyrus are more strongly affected by angry facial expressions in BMS patients, which may reflect one possible mechanism underlying impaired somatosensory system function in this disorder. PMID:29163243

  16. Functional Alterations of Postcentral Gyrus Modulated by Angry Facial Expressions during Intraoral Tactile Stimuli in Patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsuo Yoshino

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Previous findings suggest that negative emotions could influence abnormal sensory perception in burning mouth syndrome (BMS. However, few studies have investigated the underlying neural mechanisms associated with BMS. We examined activation of brain regions in response to intraoral tactile stimuli when modulated by angry facial expressions. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging on a group of 27 BMS patients and 21 age-matched healthy controls. Tactile stimuli were presented during different emotional contexts, which were induced via the continuous presentation of angry or neutral pictures of human faces. BMS patients exhibited higher tactile ratings and greater activation in the postcentral gyrus during the presentation of tactile stimuli involving angry faces relative to controls. Significant positive correlations between changes in brain activation elicited by angry facial images in the postcentral gyrus and changes in tactile rating scores by angry facial images were found for both groups. For BMS patients, there was a significant positive correlation between changes in tactile-related activation of the postcentral gyrus elicited by angry facial expressions and pain intensity in daily life. Findings suggest that neural responses in the postcentral gyrus are more strongly affected by angry facial expressions in BMS patients, which may reflect one possible mechanism underlying impaired somatosensory system function in this disorder.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, H; Sinclair, R J

    2000-11-01

    Clinical and neuroimaging observations of the cortical network implicated in tactile attention have identified foci in parietal somatosensory, posterior parietal, and superior frontal locations. Tasks involving intentional hand-arm movements activate similar or nearby parietal and frontal foci. Visual spatial attention tasks and deliberate visuomotor behavior also activate overlapping posterior parietal and frontal foci. Studies in the visual and somatosensory systems thus support a proposal that attention to the spatial location of an object engages cortical regions responsible for the same coordinate referents used for guiding purposeful motor behavior. Tactile attention also biases processing in the somatosensory cortex through amplification of responses to relevant features of selected stimuli. Psychophysical studies demonstrate retention gradients for tactile stimuli like those reported for visual and auditory stimuli, and suggest analogous neural mechanisms for working memory across modalities. Neuroimaging studies in humans using memory tasks, and anatomic studies in monkeys support the idea that tactile information relayed from the somatosensory cortex is directed ventrally through the insula to the frontal cortex for short-term retention and to structures of the medial temporal lobe for long-term encoding. At the level of single neurons, tactile (such as visual and auditory) short-term memory appears as a persistent response during delay intervals between sampled stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Neuroelectrical brain imaging tools for the study of the efficacy of TV advertising stimuli and their application to neuromarketing

    CERN Document Server

    Vecchiato, Giovanni; Trettel, Arianna; Babiloni, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    In this book the authors describe their original research on the potential of both standard and high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG) for analyzing brain activity in response to TV advertising. When engineering techniques, neuroscience concepts and marketing stimuli converge in one research field, known as neuromarketing, various theoretical and practical aspects need to be considered. The book introduces and discusses those aspects in detail, while showing several experiments performed by the authors during their attempts to measure both the cognitive activity and emotional involvement of the test subjects. In these experiments, the authors apply simultaneous EEG, galvanic skin response and heart rate monitoring, and show how significant variations of these variables can be associated with attention to, memorization or enjoyment of the presented stimuli. In particular, this book shows the central role of statistical analysis in recovering significant information on the scalp and cortical areas involve...

  1. pH-stimuli-responsive near-infrared optical imaging nanoprobe based on poly(γ-glutamic acid)/poly(β-amino ester) nanoparticles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Hye Sun; Lee, Jung Eun; Cho, Mi Young; Noh, Young-Woock; Lim, Yong Taik; Sung, Moon Hee; Poo, Haryoung; Hong, Kwan Soo

    2011-01-01

    pH-stimuli-responsive near-infrared optical imaging nanoprobes are designed and synthesized in this study in a facile one-step synthesis process based on the use of the biocompatible and biodegradable polymer poly(γ-glutamic acid) (γ-PGA)/poly(β-amino ester) (PBAE). PBAE has good transfection efficiency and promotes degradation properties under acidic conditions. This pH-responsive degradability can be used for the effective release of encapsulating materials after cellular uptake. As an optical imaging probe, indocyanine green (ICG) is an FDA-approved near-infrared fluorescent dye with a quenching property at a high concentration. In this regard, we focus here on the rapid degradation of PBAE in an acidic environment, in which the nanoparticles are disassembled. This allows the ICG dyes to show enhanced fluorescence signals after being releasing from the particles. We demonstrated this principle in cellular uptake experiments. We expect that the developed pH-stimuli-responsive smart nanoprobes can be applied in intracellular delivery signaling applications.

  2. Characterizing acupuncture stimuli using brain imaging with FMRI--a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjing Huang

    Full Text Available The mechanisms of action underlying acupuncture, including acupuncture point specificity, are not well understood. In the previous decade, an increasing number of studies have applied fMRI to investigate brain response to acupuncture stimulation. Our aim was to provide a systematic overview of acupuncture fMRI research considering the following aspects: 1 differences between verum and sham acupuncture, 2 differences due to various methods of acupuncture manipulation, 3 differences between patients and healthy volunteers, 4 differences between different acupuncture points.We systematically searched English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese databases for literature published from the earliest available up until September 2009, without any language restrictions. We included all studies using fMRI to investigate the effect of acupuncture on the human brain (at least one group that received needle-based acupuncture. 779 papers were identified, 149 met the inclusion criteria for the descriptive analysis, and 34 were eligible for the meta-analyses. From a descriptive perspective, multiple studies reported that acupuncture modulates activity within specific brain areas, including somatosensory cortices, limbic system, basal ganglia, brain stem, and cerebellum. Meta-analyses for verum acupuncture stimuli confirmed brain activity within many of the regions mentioned above. Differences between verum and sham acupuncture were noted in brain response in middle cingulate, while some heterogeneity was noted for other regions depending on how such meta-analyses were performed, such as sensorimotor cortices, limbic regions, and cerebellum.Brain response to acupuncture stimuli encompasses a broad network of regions consistent with not just somatosensory, but also affective and cognitive processing. While the results were heterogeneous, from a descriptive perspective most studies suggest that acupuncture can modulate the activity within specific brain areas, and the

  3. Imaging oxytocin x dopamine interactions: An epistasis effect of CD38 and COMT gene variants influences the impact of oxytocin on amygdala activation to social stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina eSauer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Although oxytocin (OT has become a major target for the investigation of positive social processes, it can be assumed that it exerts its effects in concert with other neurotransmitters. One candidate for such an interaction is dopamine (DA. For both systems, genetic variants have been identified that influence the availability of the particular substance. A variant of the gene coding for the transmembrane protein CD38 (rs3796863, which is engaged in OT secretion, has been associated with OT plasma level. The common catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT val158met polymorphism is known to influence COMT activity and therefore the degradation of DA. The present study aimed to investigate OTxDA interactions in the context of an OT challenge study. Hence, we tested the influence of the above mentioned genetic variants and their interaction on the activation of different brain regions (amygdala, VTA, ventral striatum and fusiform gyrus during the presentation of social stimuli. In a pharmacological cross-over design 55 participants were investigated under OT and placebo (PLA by means of fMRI.Brain imaging results revealed no significant effects for VTA or ventral striatum. Regarding the fusiform gyrus, we could not find any effects apart from those already described in (Sauer et al., 2012. Analyses of amygdala activation resulted in no gene main effect, no gene x substance interaction but a significant gene x gene x substance interaction. While under PLA the effect of CD38 on bilateral amygdala activation to social stimuli was modulated by the COMT genotype, no such epistasis effect was found under OT. Our results provide evidence for an OTxDA interaction during responses to social stimuli. We postulate that the effect of central OT secretion on amygdala response is modulated by the availability of DA. Therefore, for an understanding of the effect of social hormones on social behavior, interactions of OT with other transmitter systems have to be taken

  4. Gender differences in brain activity generated by unpleasant word stimuli concerning body image: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirao, Naoko; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Mantani, Tomoyuki; Okamoto, Yuri; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2005-01-01

    We have previously reported that the temporomesial area, including the amygdala, is activated in women when processing unpleasant words concerning body image. To detect gender differences in brain activation during processing of these words. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate 13 men and 13 women during an emotional decision task consisting of unpleasant words concerning body image and neutral words. The left medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were activated only among men, and the left amygdala was activated only among women during the task; activation in the apical prefrontal region was significantly greater in men than in women. Our data suggest that the prefrontal region is responsible for the gender differences in the processing of words concerning body image, and may also be responsible for gender differences in susceptibility to eating disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Brown

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Electrical field imaging as a means to predict the loudness of monopolar and tripolar stimuli in cochlear implant patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenstein, Carlo K; Vanpoucke, Filiep J; Mulder, Jef J S; Mens, Lucas H M

    2010-12-01

    Tripolar and other electrode configurations that use simultaneous stimulation inside the cochlea have been tested to reduce channel interactions compared to the monopolar stimulation conventionally used in cochlear implant systems. However, these "focused" configurations require increased current levels to achieve sufficient loudness. In this study, we investigate whether highly accurate recordings of the intracochlear electrical field set up by monopolar and tripolar configurations correlate to their effect on loudness. We related the intra-scalar potential distribution to behavioral loudness, by introducing a free parameter (α) which parameterizes the degree to which the potential field peak set up inside the scala tympani is still present at the location of the targeted neural tissue. Loudness balancing was performed on four levels between behavioral threshold and the most comfortable loudness level in a group of 10 experienced Advanced Bionics cochlear implant users. The effect of the amount of focusing on loudness was well explained by α per subject location along the basilar membrane. We found that α was unaffected by presentation level. Moreover, the ratios between the monopolar and tripolar currents, balanced for equal loudness, were approximately the same for all presentation levels. This suggests a linear loudness growth with increasing current level and that the equal peak hypothesis may predict the loudness of threshold as well as at supra-threshold levels. These results suggest that advanced electrical field imaging, complemented with limited psychophysical testing, more specifically at only one presentation level, enables estimation of the loudness growth of complex electrode configurations. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syouya Tanabe

    2011-10-01

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

  8. Stimuli-Adaptable Materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frankær, Sarah Maria Grundahl

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

  9. Ball-in-ball ZrO2 nanostructure for simultaneous CT imaging and highly efficient synergic microwave ablation and tri-stimuli-responsive chemotherapy of tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Dan; Niu, Meng; Tan, Longfei; Fu, Changhui; Ren, Xiangling; Xu, Ke; Zhong, Hongshan; Wang, Jingzhuo; Li, Laifeng; Meng, Xianwei

    2017-06-29

    Combined thermo-chemotherapy displays outstanding synergically therapeutic efficiency when compared with standalone thermotherapy and chemotherapy. Herein, we developed a smart tri-stimuli-responsive drug delivery system involving X@BB-ZrO 2 NPs (X represents loaded IL, DOX, keratin and tetradecanol) based on novel ball-in-ball-structured ZrO 2 nanoparticles (BB-ZrO 2 NPs). The microwave energy conversion efficiency of BB-ZrO 2 NPs was 41.2% higher than that of traditional single-layer NPs due to the cooperative action of self-reflection and spatial confinement effect of the special two-layer hollow nanostructure. The tri-stimuli-responsive controlled release strategy indicate that integrated pH, redox and microwaves in single NPs based on keratin and tetradecanol could effectively enhance the specific controlled release of DOX. The release of DOX was only 8.1% in PBS with pH = 7.2 and GSH = 20 μM. However, the release could reach about 50% at the tumor site (pH = 5.5, GSH = 13 mM) under microwave ablation. The as-made X@BB-ZrO 2 NPs exhibited perfect synergic therapy effect of chemotherapy and microwave ablation both in subcutaneous tumors (H22 tumor-bearing mice) and deep tumors (liver transplantation VX2 tumor-bearing rabbit model). There was no recurrence and death in the X@BB-ZrO 2 + MW group during the therapy of subcutaneous tumors even on the 42 nd day. The growth rates in the deep tumor of the control, MW and X@BB-ZrO 2 + MW groups were 290.1%, 14.1% and -42% 6 days after ablation, respectively. Dual-source CT was used to monitor the metabolism behavior of the as-made BB-ZrO 2 NPs and traditional CT was utilized to monitor the tumor growth in rabbits. Frozen section examination and ICP results indicated the precise control of drug delivery and enhanced cytotoxicity by the tri-stimuli-responsive controlled release strategy. The ball-in-ball ZrO 2 NPs with high microwave energy conversion efficiency were first developed for synergic microwave ablation and

  10. Clinical characteristics of mirror syndrome: a comparison of 10 cases of mirror syndrome with non-mirror syndrome fetal hydrops cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Go; Aoki, Shigeru; Sakamaki, Kentaro; Takahashi, Tsuneo; Hirahara, Fumiki; Ishikawa, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    To investigate clinical features of mirror syndrome. We retrospectively reviewed 71 cases of fetal hydrops with or without mirror syndrome, and compared with respect to maternal age, the body mass index, the primipara rate, the gestational age at delivery, the timing of fetal hydrops onset, the severity of fetal edema, placental swelling, the laboratory data and the fetal mortality. The data are expressed as the medians. Mirror syndrome developed in 29% (10/35) of the cases with fetal hydrops. In mirror group, the onset time of fetal hydrops was significantly earlier (29 weeks versus 31 weeks, p = 0.011), and the severity of fetal hydrops (fetal edema/biparietal diameter) was significantly higher than non-mirror group (0.23 versus 0.16, p < 0.001). There was significantly higher serum human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) (453,000 IU/L versus 80,000 IU/L, p < 0.001) and lower hemoglobin (8.9 g/dL versus 10.1 g/dL, p =0.002), hypoalbuminemia (2.3 mg/dL versus 2.7 mg/dL, p = 0.007), hyperuricemia (6.4 mg/dL versus 5.0 mg/dL, p = 0.043) in mirror group. Mirror syndrome is occurred frequently in early and severe fetal hydrops and cause hemodilution and elevation of serum hCG.

  11. Attribute amnesia is greatly reduced with novel stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weijia Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Attribute amnesia is the counterintuitive phenomenon where observers are unable to report a salient aspect of a stimulus (e.g., its colour or its identity immediately after the stimulus was presented, despite both attending to and processing the stimulus. Almost all previous attribute amnesia studies used highly familiar stimuli. Our study investigated whether attribute amnesia would also occur for unfamiliar stimuli. We conducted four experiments using stimuli that were highly familiar (colours or repeated animal images or that were unfamiliar to the observers (unique animal images. Our results revealed that attribute amnesia was present for both sets of familiar stimuli, colour (p < .001 and repeated animals (p = .001; but was greatly attenuated, and possibly eliminated, when the stimuli were unique animals (p = .02. Our data shows that attribute amnesia is greatly reduced for novel stimuli.

  12. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise O'Hare

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

  13. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marran, L; Schor, C

    1997-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, J; Meeter, M

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Perceptual multistability in figure-ground segregation using motion stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gori, Simone; Giora, Enrico; Pedersini, Riccardo

    2008-11-01

    In a series of experiments using ambiguous stimuli, we investigate the effects of displaying ordered, discrete series of images on the dynamics of figure-ground segregation. For low frame presentation speeds, the series were perceived as a sequence of discontinuous, static images, while for high speeds they were perceived as continuous. We conclude that using stimuli varying continuously along one parameter results in stronger hysteresis and reduces spontaneous switching compared to matched static stimuli with discontinuous parameter changes. The additional evidence that the size of the hysteresis effects depended on trial duration is consistent with the stochastic nature of the dynamics governing figure-ground segregation. The results showed that for continuously changing stimuli, alternative figure-ground organizations are resolved via low-level, dynamical competition. A second series of experiments confirmed these results with an ambiguous stimulus based on Petter's effect.

  17. Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  18. Emotional stimuli and motor conversion disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, N.; Mather, M.

    2012-01-01

    The present study addressed the hypothesis that emotional stimuli relevant to survival or reproduction (biologically emotional stimuli) automatically affect cognitive processing (e.g., attention, memory), while those relevant to social life (socially emotional stimuli) require elaborative processing to modulate attention and memory. Results of our behavioral studies showed that (1) biologically emotional images hold attention more strongly than do socially emotional images, (2) memory for bio...

  20. Emotion Recognition in Animated Compared to Human Stimuli in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosnan, Mark; Johnson, Hilary; Grawmeyer, Beate; Chapman, Emma; Benton, Laura

    2015-01-01

    There is equivocal evidence as to whether there is a deficit in recognising emotional expressions in Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study compared emotion recognition in ASD in three types of emotion expression media (still image, dynamic image, auditory) across human stimuli (e.g. photo of a human face) and animated stimuli (e.g. cartoon…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganin, I P; Kaplan, A Ia

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Emotional Stimuli and Motor Conversion Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirce, Jonathan W

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Generating stimuli for neuroscience using PsychoPy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan W Peirce

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Positive mood broadens visual attention to positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M

    2006-03-01

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

  8. Emotional stimuli exert parallel effects on attention and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmi, Deborah; Ziegler, Marilyne; Hawksworth, Jade; Lalani, Safina; Herman, C Peter; Moscovitch, Morris

    2013-01-01

    Because emotional and neutral stimuli typically differ on non-emotional dimensions, it has been difficult to determine conclusively which factors underlie the ability of emotional stimuli to enhance immediate long-term memory. Here we induced arousal by varying participants' goals, a method that removes many potential confounds between emotional and non-emotional items. Hungry and sated participants encoded food and clothing images under divided attention conditions. Sated participants attended to and recalled food and clothing images equivalently. Hungry participants performed worse on the concurrent tone-discrimination task when they viewed food relative to clothing images, suggesting enhanced attention to food images, and they recalled more food than clothing images. A follow-up regression analysis of the factors predicting memory for individual pictures revealed that food images had parallel effects on attention and memory in hungry participants, so that enhanced attention to food images did not predict their enhanced memory. We suggest that immediate long-term memory for food is enhanced in the hungry state because hunger leads to more distinctive processing of food images rendering them more accessible during retrieval.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, Kazuhisa; Mather, Mara

    2012-03-01

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

  10. Virtual reality stimuli for force platform posturography.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Cardiorespiratory interactions to external stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp

    2015-09-01

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

  13. Increased reward value of nonsocial stimuli in children and adolescents with autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karli K Watson

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available We used an econometric choice task to estimate the implicit reward value of social and nonsocial stimuli related to restricted interests in children and adolescents with (n=12 and without (n=22 ASD. Mixed effects logistic regression analyses revealed that children and adolescents with ASD were willing to receive less cash payout to view restricted interest stimuli, whereas children and adolescents without ASD were indifferent to cash payouts to view these images. Groups did not differ in valuation of social images or nonsocial images unrelated to restricted interests. Our findings reveal that individuals with ASD assign enhanced reward value of nonsocial stimuli related to restricted interests in ASD. These results suggest that motivational accounts of ASD should also consider the reward value of restricted interests in addition to that of social stimuli (Dichter & Adolphs, 2012.

  14. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

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

    2012-01-01

    applications. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials guarantee the controlled release of cargo to a given location, at a specific time, and with an accurate amount. In this review, we have combined the major stimuli that are currently used to achieve the ultimate

  15. Instructed fear stimuli bias visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  16. Psychophysiological effects of audiovisual stimuli during cycle exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreto-Silva, Vinícius; Bigliassi, Marcelo; Chierotti, Priscila; Altimari, Leandro R

    2018-05-01

    Immersive environments induced by audiovisual stimuli are hypothesised to facilitate the control of movements and ameliorate fatigue-related symptoms during exercise. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of pleasant and unpleasant audiovisual stimuli on perceptual and psychophysiological responses during moderate-intensity exercises performed on an electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer. Twenty young adults were administered three experimental conditions in a randomised and counterbalanced order: unpleasant stimulus (US; e.g. images depicting laboured breathing); pleasant stimulus (PS; e.g. images depicting pleasant emotions); and neutral stimulus (NS; e.g. neutral facial expressions). The exercise had 10 min of duration (2 min of warm-up + 6 min of exercise + 2 min of warm-down). During all conditions, the rate of perceived exertion and heart rate variability were monitored to further understanding of the moderating influence of audiovisual stimuli on perceptual and psychophysiological responses, respectively. The results of the present study indicate that PS ameliorated fatigue-related symptoms and reduced the physiological stress imposed by the exercise bout. Conversely, US increased the global activity of the autonomic nervous system and increased exertional responses to a greater degree when compared to PS. Accordingly, audiovisual stimuli appear to induce a psychophysiological response in which individuals visualise themselves within the story presented in the video. In such instances, individuals appear to copy the behaviour observed in the videos as if the situation was real. This mirroring mechanism has the potential to up-/down-regulate the cardiac work as if in fact the exercise intensities were different in each condition.

  17. Multi-Functional Stimuli-Responsive Materials

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Newborns' Discrimination of Chromatic from Achromatic Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Russell J.; And Others

    1986-01-01

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

  19. Generalized Habituation of Concept Stimuli in Toddlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkender, Patricia J.; And Others

    1974-01-01

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

  20. The mere exposure effect with scene stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    八木 , 善彦

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Binocular Combination of Second-Order Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. The N170 component is sensitive to face-like stimuli: a study of Chinese Peking opera makeup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tiantian; Mu, Shoukuan; He, Huamin; Zhang, Lingcong; Fan, Cong; Ren, Jie; Zhang, Mingming; He, Weiqi; Luo, Wenbo

    2016-12-01

    The N170 component is considered a neural marker of face-sensitive processing. In the present study, the face-sensitive N170 component of event-related potentials (ERPs) was investigated with a modified oddball paradigm using a natural face (the standard stimulus), human- and animal-like makeup stimuli, scrambled control images that mixed human- and animal-like makeup pieces, and a grey control image. Nineteen participants were instructed to respond within 1000 ms by pressing the ' F ' or ' J ' key in response to the standard or deviant stimuli, respectively. We simultaneously recorded ERPs, response accuracy, and reaction times. The behavioral results showed that the main effect of stimulus type was significant for reaction time, whereas there were no significant differences in response accuracies among stimulus types. In relation to the ERPs, N170 amplitudes elicited by human-like makeup stimuli, animal-like makeup stimuli, scrambled control images, and a grey control image progressively decreased. A right hemisphere advantage was observed in the N170 amplitudes for human-like makeup stimuli, animal-like makeup stimuli, and scrambled control images but not for grey control image. These results indicate that the N170 component is sensitive to face-like stimuli and reflect configural processing in face recognition.

  3. Neural processing of food and emotional stimuli in adolescent and adult anorexia nervosa patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Clemens; Dörfler, Arnd; Lindsiepe, Silja; Heinrich, Hartmut; Graap, Holmer; Moll, Gunther H.; Kratz, Oliver

    2018-01-01

    Background A constant preoccupation with food and restrictive eating are main symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN). Imaging studies revealed aberrant neural activation patterns in brain regions processing hedonic and reward reactions as well as–potentially aversive–emotions. An imbalance between so called “bottom-up” and “top-down” control areas is discussed. The present study is focusing on neural processing of disease-specific food stimuli and emotional stimuli and its developmental course in adolescent and adult AN patients and could offer new insight into differential mechanisms underlying shorter or more chronic disease. Methods 33 adolescents aged 12–18 years (15 AN patients, 18 control participants) and 32 adult women (16 AN patients, 16 control participants) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, 3T high-field scanner) while watching pictures of high and low-calorie food and affective stimuli. Afterwards, they rated subjective valence of each picture. FMRI data analysis was performed using a region of interest based approach. Results Pictures of high-calorie food items were rated more negatively by AN patients. Differences in activation between patients and controls were found in “bottom up” and “top down” control areas for food stimuli and in several emotion processing regions for affective stimuli which were more pronounced in adolescents than in adults. Conclusion A differential pattern was seen for food stimuli compared to generally emotion eliciting stimuli. Adolescents with AN show reduced processing of affective stimuli and enhanced activation of regions involved in “bottom up” reward processing and “top down” control as well as the insula with regard to food stimuli with a focus on brain regions which underlie changes during adolescent development. In adults less clear and less specific activation differences were present, pointing towards a high impact that regions undergoing maturation might have on AN

  4. Neural processing of food and emotional stimuli in adolescent and adult anorexia nervosa patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horndasch, Stefanie; Roesch, Julie; Forster, Clemens; Dörfler, Arnd; Lindsiepe, Silja; Heinrich, Hartmut; Graap, Holmer; Moll, Gunther H; Kratz, Oliver

    2018-01-01

    A constant preoccupation with food and restrictive eating are main symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN). Imaging studies revealed aberrant neural activation patterns in brain regions processing hedonic and reward reactions as well as-potentially aversive-emotions. An imbalance between so called "bottom-up" and "top-down" control areas is discussed. The present study is focusing on neural processing of disease-specific food stimuli and emotional stimuli and its developmental course in adolescent and adult AN patients and could offer new insight into differential mechanisms underlying shorter or more chronic disease. 33 adolescents aged 12-18 years (15 AN patients, 18 control participants) and 32 adult women (16 AN patients, 16 control participants) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, 3T high-field scanner) while watching pictures of high and low-calorie food and affective stimuli. Afterwards, they rated subjective valence of each picture. FMRI data analysis was performed using a region of interest based approach. Pictures of high-calorie food items were rated more negatively by AN patients. Differences in activation between patients and controls were found in "bottom up" and "top down" control areas for food stimuli and in several emotion processing regions for affective stimuli which were more pronounced in adolescents than in adults. A differential pattern was seen for food stimuli compared to generally emotion eliciting stimuli. Adolescents with AN show reduced processing of affective stimuli and enhanced activation of regions involved in "bottom up" reward processing and "top down" control as well as the insula with regard to food stimuli with a focus on brain regions which underlie changes during adolescent development. In adults less clear and less specific activation differences were present, pointing towards a high impact that regions undergoing maturation might have on AN symptoms.

  5. Endogenous sequential cortical activity evoked by visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-10

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

  6. Neural Conflict–Control Mechanisms Improve Memory for Target Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, Ruth M.; Boehler, Carsten N.; De Belder, Maya; Egner, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    According to conflict-monitoring models, conflict serves as an internal signal for reinforcing top-down attention to task-relevant information. While evidence based on measures of ongoing task performance supports this idea, implications for long-term consequences, that is, memory, have not been tested yet. Here, we evaluated the prediction that conflict-triggered attentional enhancement of target-stimulus processing should be associated with superior subsequent memory for those stimuli. By combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a novel variant of a face-word Stroop task that employed trial-unique face stimuli as targets, we were able to assess subsequent (incidental) memory for target faces as a function of whether a given face had previously been accompanied by congruent, neutral, or incongruent (conflicting) distracters. In line with our predictions, incongruent distracters not only induced behavioral conflict, but also gave rise to enhanced memory for target faces. Moreover, conflict-triggered neural activity in prefrontal and parietal regions was predictive of subsequent retrieval success, and displayed conflict-enhanced functional coupling with medial-temporal lobe regions. These data provide support for the proposal that conflict evokes enhanced top-down attention to task-relevant stimuli, thereby promoting their encoding into long-term memory. Our findings thus delineate the neural mechanisms of a novel link between cognitive control and memory. PMID:24108799

  7. Attention modulates the dorsal striatum response to love stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van der Veen, Frederik M; Röder, Christian H

    2014-02-01

    In previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies concerning romantic love, several brain regions including the caudate and putamen have consistently been found to be more responsive to beloved-related than control stimuli. In those studies, infatuated individuals were typically instructed to passively view the stimuli or to think of the viewed person. In the current study, we examined how the instruction to attend to, or ignore the beloved modulates the response of these brain areas. Infatuated individuals performed an oddball task in which pictures of their beloved and friend served as targets and distractors. The dorsal striatum showed greater activation for the beloved than friend, but only when they were targets. The dorsal striatum actually tended to show less activation for the beloved than the friend when they were distractors. The longer the love and relationship duration, the smaller the response of the dorsal striatum to beloved-distractor stimuli was. We interpret our findings in terms of reinforcement learning. By virtue of using a cognitive task with a full factorial design, we show that the dorsal striatum is not activated by beloved-related information per se, but only by beloved-related information that is attended. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Neural conflict-control mechanisms improve memory for target stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, Ruth M; Boehler, Carsten N; De Belder, Maya; Egner, Tobias

    2015-03-01

    According to conflict-monitoring models, conflict serves as an internal signal for reinforcing top-down attention to task-relevant information. While evidence based on measures of ongoing task performance supports this idea, implications for long-term consequences, that is, memory, have not been tested yet. Here, we evaluated the prediction that conflict-triggered attentional enhancement of target-stimulus processing should be associated with superior subsequent memory for those stimuli. By combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a novel variant of a face-word Stroop task that employed trial-unique face stimuli as targets, we were able to assess subsequent (incidental) memory for target faces as a function of whether a given face had previously been accompanied by congruent, neutral, or incongruent (conflicting) distracters. In line with our predictions, incongruent distracters not only induced behavioral conflict, but also gave rise to enhanced memory for target faces. Moreover, conflict-triggered neural activity in prefrontal and parietal regions was predictive of subsequent retrieval success, and displayed conflict-enhanced functional coupling with medial-temporal lobe regions. These data provide support for the proposal that conflict evokes enhanced top-down attention to task-relevant stimuli, thereby promoting their encoding into long-term memory. Our findings thus delineate the neural mechanisms of a novel link between cognitive control and memory. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Stimuli-responsive magnetic particles for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, S F; Santos, A M; Fessi, H; Elaissari, A

    2011-01-17

    In recent years, magnetic nanoparticles have been studied due to their potential applications as magnetic carriers in biomedical area. These materials have been increasingly exploited as efficient delivery vectors, leading to opportunities of use as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents, mediators of hyperthermia cancer treatment and in targeted therapies. Much attention has been also focused on "smart" polymers, which are able to respond to environmental changes, such as changes in the temperature and pH. In this context, this article reviews the state-of-the art in stimuli-responsive magnetic systems for biomedical applications. The paper describes different types of stimuli-sensitive systems, mainly temperature- and pH sensitive polymers, the combination of this characteristic with magnetic properties and, finally, it gives an account of their preparation methods. The article also discusses the main in vivo biomedical applications of such materials. A survey of the recent literature on various stimuli-responsive magnetic gels in biomedical applications is also included. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Generalization of the disruptive effects of alternative stimuli when combined with target stimuli in extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlesnik, Christopher A; Miranda-Dukoski, Ludmila; Jonas Chan, C K; Bland, Vikki J; Bai, John Y H

    2017-09-01

    Differential-reinforcement treatments reduce target problem behavior in the short term but at the expense of making it more persistent long term. Basic and translational research based on behavioral momentum theory suggests that combining features of stimuli governing an alternative response with the stimuli governing target responding could make target responding less persistent. However, changes to the alternative stimulus context when combining alternative and target stimuli could diminish the effectiveness of the alternative stimulus in reducing target responding. In an animal model with pigeons, the present study reinforced responding in the presence of target and alternative stimuli. When combining the alternative and target stimuli during extinction, we altered the alternative stimulus through changes in line orientation. We found that (1) combining alternative and target stimuli in extinction more effectively decreased target responding than presenting the target stimulus on its own; (2) combining these stimuli was more effective in decreasing target responding trained with lower reinforcement rates; and (3) changing the alternative stimulus reduced its effectiveness when it was combined with the target stimulus. Therefore, changing alternative stimuli (e.g., therapist, clinical setting) during behavioral treatments that combine alternative and target stimuli could reduce the effectiveness of those treatments in disrupting problem behavior. © 2017 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  11. Dynamic Stimuli And Active Processing In Human Visual Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haber, Ralph N.

    1990-03-01

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

  12. Neural activation toward erotic stimuli in homosexual and heterosexual males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagerer, Sabine; Klucken, Tim; Wehrum, Sina; Zimmermann, Mark; Schienle, Anne; Walter, Bertram; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2011-11-01

    Studies investigating sexual arousal exist, yet there are diverging findings on the underlying neural mechanisms with regard to sexual orientation. Moreover, sexual arousal effects have often been confounded with general arousal effects. Hence, it is still unclear which structures underlie the sexual arousal response in homosexual and heterosexual men. Neural activity and subjective responses were investigated in order to disentangle sexual from general arousal. Considering sexual orientation, differential and conjoint neural activations were of interest. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study focused on the neural networks involved in the processing of sexual stimuli in 21 male participants (11 homosexual, 10 heterosexual). Both groups viewed pictures with erotic content as well as aversive and neutral stimuli. The erotic pictures were subdivided into three categories (most sexually arousing, least sexually arousing, and rest) based on the individual subjective ratings of each participant. Blood oxygen level-dependent responses measured by fMRI and subjective ratings. A conjunction analysis revealed conjoint neural activation related to sexual arousal in thalamus, hypothalamus, occipital cortex, and nucleus accumbens. Increased insula, amygdala, and anterior cingulate gyrus activation could be linked to general arousal. Group differences emerged neither when viewing the most sexually arousing pictures compared with highly arousing aversive pictures nor compared with neutral pictures. Results suggest that a widespread neural network is activated by highly sexually arousing visual stimuli. A partly distinct network of structures underlies sexual and general arousal effects. The processing of preferred, highly sexually arousing stimuli recruited similar structures in homosexual and heterosexual males. © 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Recall and recognition hypermnesia for Socratic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazén, Miguel; Solís-Macías, Víctor M

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  17. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2012-01-01

    The controlled release of therapeutics has been one of the major challenges for scientists and engineers during the past three decades. Coupled with excellent biocompatibility profiles, various nanomaterials have showed great promise for biomedical applications. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials guarantee the controlled release of cargo to a given location, at a specific time, and with an accurate amount. In this review, we have combined the major stimuli that are currently used to achieve the ultimate goal of controlled and targeted release by "smart" nanomaterials. The most heavily explored strategies include (1) pH, (2) enzymes, (3) redox, (4) magnetic, and (5) light-triggered release.

  18. Stimuli-responsive liquid crystalline materials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  20. PENILAIAN PEDOFILIA MENGGUNAKAN RESPON HEMODINAMIK OTAK TERHADAP STIMULI SEKSUAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuhelan Mahendran

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRAK Menilai secara akurat orientasi seksual seseorang sangat penting dalam melakukan penanganan terhadap pelaku kekerasan seksual pada anak. Phallometry adalah metode standar untuk mengidentifikasi orientasi seksual; tetapi, metode ini telah banyak dikritik oleh karena bersifat intrusif dan reliabilitasnya terbatas. Tujuan:Untuk mengevaluasi apakah pola respon spasial terhadap stimuli seksual yang ditandai oleh adanya perubahan blood oxygen level-dependent signal (BOLDmemfasilitasi proses identifikasi pedofilia. Desain:Selama dilakukan pemeriksaan magnetic resonance imaging fungsional (fMRI, ditampilkan gambar anak-anak dan dewasa tanpa busana dengan jenis kelamin sama atau berbeda terhadap sampel penelitian (kelompok pedofil dan kontrol. Kami mengkalkulasi perbedaan BOLDterhadap stimuli sexual anak-anak dan dewasa pada setiap sampel. Hasil foto dengan kontras kemudian dimasukkan sesuai dengan kelompoknya untuk dianalisis perbedaan pemetaan otak antara kelompok pedofil dan kontrol. Kami mengkalkulasi nilai ekspresi yang sesuai dengan hasil kelompok bagi setiap sampel. Nilai ekspresi tersebut dibedakan menjadi 2 algoritma klasifikasi: analisis Fisher linear discriminant dan analisis -nearest neighbor. Prosedur klasifikasi tersebut telah divalidasi silang menggunakan metode leave-one-out. Lokasi:Bagian Kedokteran Seksual, Fakultas Kedokteran Universitas Christian Albrechts di Kiel, Jerman. Sampel:Kami merekrut 24 sampel dengan pedofil yang memiliki ketertarikan seksual terhadap anak perempuan (n=11 atau laki-laki (n=13 pre pubertas dan 32 kontrol laki-laki sehat yang memiliki ketertarikan seksual terhadap wanita (n=18 atau pria (n=14 dewasa. Pengukuran luaran utama:Angka sensitivitasdan spesifisitas dari kedua algoritme klasifikasi. Hasil:Akurasi klasifikasi tertinggi dicapai dengan analisis diskriminan linear Fisher, yang menunjukkan akurasi rata-rata 95% (100% spesifisitas, 88% sensitivitas. Simpulan:Pola respon otak fungsional terhadap

  1. Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterr, Annette; Green, Lisa; Elbert, Thomas

    2003-05-01

    In a previous experiment, we observed that blind Braille readers produce errors when asked to identify on which finger of one hand a light tactile stimulus had occurred. With the present study, we aimed to specify the characteristics of this perceptual error in blind and sighted participants. The experiment confirmed that blind Braille readers mislocalised tactile stimuli more often than sighted controls, and that the localisation errors occurred significantly more often at the right reading hand than at the non-reading hand. Most importantly, we discovered that the reading fingers showed the smallest error frequency, but the highest rate of stimulus attribution. The dissociation of perceiving and locating tactile stimuli in the blind suggests altered tactile information processing. Neuroplasticity, changes in tactile attention mechanisms as well as the idea that blind persons may employ different strategies for tactile exploration and object localisation are discussed as possible explanations for the results obtained.

  2. Physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanuki, Shigeki; Kim, Yeon-Kyu

    2005-01-01

    The specific physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli were investigated in this study. Various physiological responses of the brain (encephaloelectrogram; EEG), autonomic nervous system (ANS), immune system and endocrine system were monitored when pleasant stimuli such as odors, emotional pictures and rakugo, a typical Japanese comical story-telling, were presented to subjects. The results revealed that (i) EEG activities of the left frontal brain region were enhanced by a pleasant odor; (ii) emotional pictures related to primitive element such as nudes and erotic couples elevated vasomotor sympathetic nervous activity; and (iii) an increase in secretory immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) and a decrease in salivary cortisol (s-cortisol) were induced by rakugo-derived linguistic pleasant emotion. Pleasant emotion is complicated state. However, by considering the evolutionary history of human being, it is possible to assess and evaluate pleasant emotion from certain physiological responses by appropriately summating various physiological parameters.

  3. Preparation of stimuli for timbre perception studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labuschagne, Ilse B; Hanekom, Johan J

    2013-09-01

    Stimuli used in timbre perception studies must be controlled carefully in order to yield meaningful results. During psychoacoustic testing of individual timbre properties, (1) it must be ensured that timbre properties do not co-vary, as timbre properties are often not independent from one another, and (2) the potential influence of loudness, pitch, and perceived duration must be eliminated. A mathematical additive synthesis method is proposed which allows complete control over two spectral parameters, the spectral centroid (corresponding to brightness) and irregularity, and two temporal parameters, log rise-time (LRT) and a parameter characterizing the sustain/decay segment, while controlling for covariation in the spectral centroid and irregularity. Thirteen musical instrument sounds were synthesized. Perceptual data from six listeners indicate that variation in the four timbre properties mainly influences loudness and that perceived duration and pitch are not influenced significantly for the stimuli of longer duration (2 s) used here. Trends across instruments were found to be similar.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-12

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

  5. Sex Differences in How Erotic and Painful Stimuli Impair Inhibitory Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jiaxin; Hung, Daisy L.; Tseng, Philip; Tzeng, Ovid J. L.; Muggleton, Neil G.; Juan, Chi-Hung

    2012-01-01

    Witnessing emotional events such as arousal or pain may impair ongoing cognitive processes such as inhibitory control. We found that this may be true only half of the time. Erotic images and painful video clips were shown to men and women shortly before a stop signal task, which measures cognitive inhibitory control. These stimuli impaired…

  6. Hot or Not: Response Inhibition Reduces the Hedonic Value and Motivational Incentive of Sexual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrey, Anne E.; Frischen, Alexandra; Fenske, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    The motivational incentive of reward-related stimuli can become so salient that it drives behavior at the cost of other needs. Here we show that response inhibition applied during a Go/No-go task not only impacts hedonic evaluations but also reduces the behavioral incentive of motivationally relevant stimuli. We first examined the impact of response inhibition on the hedonic value of sex stimuli associated with strong behavioral-approach responses (Experiment 1). Sexually appealing and non-appealing images were both rated as less attractive when previously encountered as No-go (inhibited) than as Go (non-inhibited) items. We then discovered that inhibition reduces the motivational incentive of sexual appealing stimuli (Experiment 2). Prior Go/No-go status affected the number of key-presses by heterosexual males to view erotic-female (sexually appealing) but not erotic-male or scrambled-control (non-appealing) images. These findings may provide a foundation for developing inhibition-based interventions to reduce the hedonic value and motivational incentive of stimuli associated with disorders of self-control. PMID:23272002

  7. Hot or not: Response inhibition reduces the hedonic value and motivational incentive of sexual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne E. Ferrey

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The motivational incentive of reward-related stimuli can become so salient that it drives behavior at the cost of other needs. Here we show that response inhibition applied during a Go/No-go task not only impacts hedonic evaluations but also reduces the behavioral incentive of motivationally-relevant stimuli. We first examined the impact of response inhibition on the hedonic value of sex stimuli associated with strong behavioral-approach responses (Experiment 1. Sexually-appealing and non-appealing images were both rated as less attractive when previously encountered as No-go (inhibited than as Go (non-inhibited items. We then discovered that inhibition reduces the motivational incentive of sexual appealing stimuli (Experiment 2. Prior Go/No-go status affected the number of key-presses by heterosexual males to view erotic-female (sexually-appealing but not erotic-male or scrambled-control (non-appealing images. These findings may provide an important foundation for developing inhibition-based interventions to reduce the hedonic value and motivational incentive of stimuli associated with disorders of self-control.

  8. Simulation of Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Networks

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    Thomas Gruhn

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The structure and material properties of polymer networks can depend sensitively on changes in the environment. There is a great deal of progress in the development of stimuli-responsive hydrogels for applications like sensors, self-repairing materials or actuators. Biocompatible, smart hydrogels can be used for applications, such as controlled drug delivery and release, or for artificial muscles. Numerical studies have been performed on different length scales and levels of details. Macroscopic theories that describe the network systems with the help of continuous fields are suited to study effects like the stimuli-induced deformation of hydrogels on large scales. In this article, we discuss various macroscopic approaches and describe, in more detail, our phase field model, which allows the calculation of the hydrogel dynamics with the help of a free energy that considers physical and chemical impacts. On a mesoscopic level, polymer systems can be modeled with the help of the self-consistent field theory, which includes the interactions, connectivity, and the entropy of the polymer chains, and does not depend on constitutive equations. We present our recent extension of the method that allows the study of the formation of nano domains in reversibly crosslinked block copolymer networks. Molecular simulations of polymer networks allow the investigation of the behavior of specific systems on a microscopic scale. As an example for microscopic modeling of stimuli sensitive polymer networks, we present our Monte Carlo simulations of a filament network system with crosslinkers.

  9. Anagrus breviphragma Soyka Short Distance Search Stimuli

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    Elisabetta Chiappini

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Anagrus breviphragma Soyka (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae successfully parasitises eggs of Cicadella viridis (L. (Homoptera: Cicadellidae, embedded in vegetal tissues, suggesting the idea of possible chemical and physical cues, revealing the eggs presence. In this research, three treatments were considered in order to establish which types of cue are involved: eggs extracted from leaf, used as a control, eggs extracted from leaf and cleaned in water and ethanol, used to evaluate the presence of chemicals soluble in polar solvents, and eggs extracted from leaf and covered with Parafilm (M, used to avoid physical stimuli due to the bump on the leaf surface. The results show that eggs covered with Parafilm present a higher number of parasitised eggs and a lower probing starting time with respect to eggs washed with polar solvents or eggs extracted and untreated, both when the treatments were singly tested or when offered in sequence, independently of the treatment position. These results suggest that the exploited stimuli are not physical due to the bump but chemicals that can spread in the Parafilm, circulating the signal on the whole surface, and that the stimuli that elicit probing and oviposition are not subjected to learning.

  10. Analyzing the User Behavior toward Electronic Commerce Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-Romero, Carlota; Alarcón-Del-Amo, María-Del-Carmen; Gómez-Borja, Miguel-Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response paradigm this research analyzes the main differences between the effects of two types of web technologies: Verbal web technology (i.e., navigational structure as utilitarian stimulus) versus non-verbal web technology (music and presentation of products as hedonic stimuli). Specific webmosphere stimuli have not been examined yet as separate variables and their impact on internal and behavioral responses seems unknown. Therefore, the objective of this research consists in analyzing the impact of these web technologies -which constitute the web atmosphere or webmosphere of a website- on shopping human behavior (i.e., users' internal states -affective, cognitive, and satisfaction- and behavioral responses - approach responses, and real shopping outcomes-) within the retail online store created by computer, taking into account some mediator variables (i.e., involvement, atmospheric responsiveness, and perceived risk). A 2 ("free" versus "hierarchical" navigational structure) × 2 ("on" versus "off" music) × 2 ("moving" versus "static" images) between-subjects computer experimental design is used to test empirically this research. In addition, an integrated methodology was developed allowing the simulation, tracking and recording of virtual user behavior within an online shopping environment. As main conclusion, this study suggests that the positive responses of online consumers might increase when they are allowed to freely navigate the online stores and their experience is enriched by animate gifts and music background. The effect caused by mediator variables modifies relatively the final shopping human behavior.

  11. Analyzing the user behavior towards Electronic Commerce stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlota Lorenzo-Romero

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response paradigm this research analyzes the main differences between the effects of two types of web technologies: Verbal web technology (i.e. navigational structure as utilitarian stimulus versus nonverbal web technology (music and presentation of products as hedonic stimuli. Specific webmosphere stimuli have not been examined yet as separate variables and their impact on internal and behavioral responses seems unknown. Therefore, the objective of this research consists in analyzing the impact of these web technologies –which constitute the web atmosphere or webmosphere of a website– on shopping human bebaviour (i.e. users’ internal states -affective, cognitive, and satisfaction- and behavioral responses - approach responses, and real shopping outcomes- within the retail online store created by computer, taking into account some mediator variables (i.e. involvement, atmospheric responsiveness, and perceived risk. A 2(free versus hierarchical navigational structure x2(on versus off music x2(moving versus static images between-subjects computer experimental design is used to test empirically this research. In addition, an integrated methodology was developed allowing the simulation, tracking and recording of virtual user behavior within an online shopping environment. As main conclusion, this study suggests that the positive responses of online consumers might increase when they are allowed to freely navigate the online stores and their experience is enriched by animate gifts and music background. The effect caused by mediator variables modifies relatively the final shopping human behavior.

  12. The influence of various distracting stimuli on spatial working memory

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    Martina Starc

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Protecting information from distraction is essential for optimal performance of working memory. We examined how the presence of distracting stimuli influences spatial working memory and compared the effect of both task-similar and negatively emotionally salient distractors. We checked the effect of distractors on the accuracy of high-resolution representations, as well as the maintenance of spatial categories, and more precisely defined not only the existence but also the direction of the distracting influences (towards or away from the position of the distractor. Participants (n = 25, 8 men, 19–31 years old were asked to remember the exact position of a target scrambled image and recall it with a joystick after a delay. In some trials an additional distracting image (scrambled, neutral or negative was shown during the delay. We measured the spread of responses (standard deviation of angular error and shifts of the average response towards the prototype angles (45° or towards the position of distractors. Distracting stimuli did not affect the spread of responses and decreased the tendency of participants to move the responses towards the prototype angle. Different types of distractors did not differ in this effect. Contrary to expectations, the participants moved their responses away from the position of distractors; this effect was more pronounced for negative distractors. In addition to memorizing the exact position and maintaining attention on the position of the stimulus, participants are likely to strategically use information about spatial category membership (quadrants and information about the position of the distractor. The repulsive effect of the distractor likely results from inhibition of its position and indicates the need to supplement computational models of spatial working memory and to take into account different strategies of working memory use.

  13. Stimuli-Responsive Block Copolymer-Based Assemblies for Cargo Delivery and Theranostic Applications

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    Jun Yin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Although a number of tactics towards the fabrication and biomedical exploration of stimuli-responsive polymeric assemblies being responsive and adaptive to various factors have appeared, the controlled preparation of assemblies with well-defined physicochemical properties and tailor-made functions are still challenges. These responsive polymeric assemblies, which are triggered by stimuli, always exhibited reversible or irreversible changes in chemical structures and physical properties. However, simple drug/polymer nanocomplexes cannot deliver or release drugs into the diseased sites and cells on-demand due to the inevitable biological barriers. Hence, utilizing therapeutic or imaging agents-loaded stimuli-responsive block copolymer assemblies that are responsive to tumor internal microenvironments (pH, redox, enzyme, and temperature, etc. or external stimuli (light and electromagnetic field, etc. have emerged to be an important solution to improve therapeutic efficacy and imaging sensitivity through rationally designing as well as self-assembling approaches. In this review, we summarize a portion of recent progress in tumor and intracellular microenvironment responsive block copolymer assemblies and their applications in anticancer drug delivery and triggered release and enhanced imaging sensitivity. The outlook on future developments is also discussed. We hope that this review can stimulate more revolutionary ideas and novel concepts and meet the significant interest to diverse readers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Timothy J; Lotto, R Beau

    2004-03-09

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

  15. Emotion attribution to basic parametric static and dynamic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli is influenced by oral contraceptive use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Nicole; Cahill, Larry

    2015-09-01

    The amygdala is a highly interconnected region of the brain that is critically important to emotional processing and affective networks. Previous studies have shown that the response of the amygdala to emotionally arousing stimuli can be modulated by sex hormones. Because oral contraceptive pills dramatically lower circulating sex hormone levels with potent analogs of those hormones, we performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment to measure amygdala reactivity in response to emotional stimuli in women using oral contraceptives, and compared their amygdala reactivity with that of naturally cycling women. Here, we show that women who use oral contraceptive pills have significantly decreased bilateral amygdala reactivity in response to negatively valenced, emotionally arousing stimuli compared with naturally cycling women. We suggest that by modulating amygdala reactivity, oral contraceptive pills may influence behaviors that have previously been shown to be amygdala dependent-in particular, emotional memory. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Reproducibility and discriminability of brain patterns of semantic categories enhanced by congruent audiovisual stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanqing Li

    Full Text Available One of the central questions in cognitive neuroscience is the precise neural representation, or brain pattern, associated with a semantic category. In this study, we explored the influence of audiovisual stimuli on the brain patterns of concepts or semantic categories through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiment. We used a pattern search method to extract brain patterns corresponding to two semantic categories: "old people" and "young people." These brain patterns were elicited by semantically congruent audiovisual, semantically incongruent audiovisual, unimodal visual, and unimodal auditory stimuli belonging to the two semantic categories. We calculated the reproducibility index, which measures the similarity of the patterns within the same category. We also decoded the semantic categories from these brain patterns. The decoding accuracy reflects the discriminability of the brain patterns between two categories. The results showed that both the reproducibility index of brain patterns and the decoding accuracy were significantly higher for semantically congruent audiovisual stimuli than for unimodal visual and unimodal auditory stimuli, while the semantically incongruent stimuli did not elicit brain patterns with significantly higher reproducibility index or decoding accuracy. Thus, the semantically congruent audiovisual stimuli enhanced the within-class reproducibility of brain patterns and the between-class discriminability of brain patterns, and facilitate neural representations of semantic categories or concepts. Furthermore, we analyzed the brain activity in superior temporal sulcus and middle temporal gyrus (STS/MTG. The strength of the fMRI signal and the reproducibility index were enhanced by the semantically congruent audiovisual stimuli. Our results support the use of the reproducibility index as a potential tool to supplement the fMRI signal amplitude for evaluating multimodal integration.

  20. Audiovisual Capture with Ambiguous Audiovisual Stimuli

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    Jean-Michel Hupé

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-15

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

  2. Agnosia for mirror stimuli: a new case report with a small parietal lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinaud, Olivier; Mirlink, Nicolas; Bioux, Sandrine; Bliaux, Evangéline; Lebas, Axel; Gerardin, Emmanuel; Hannequin, Didier

    2014-11-01

    Only seven cases of agnosia for mirror stimuli have been reported, always with an extensive lesion. We report a new case of an agnosia for mirror stimuli due to a circumscribed lesion. An extensive battery of neuropsychological tests and a new experimental procedure to assess visual object mirror and orientation discrimination were assessed 10 days after the onset of clinical symptoms, and 5 years later. The performances of our patient were compared with those of four healthy control subjects matched for age. This test revealed an agnosia for mirror stimuli. Brain imaging showed a small right occipitoparietal hematoma, encompassing the extrastriate cortex adjoining the inferior parietal lobe. This new case suggests that: (i) agnosia for mirror stimuli can persist for 5 years after onset and (ii) the posterior part of the right intraparietal sulcus could be critical in the cognitive process of mirror stimuli discrimination. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Tsuneto; Tawara, Akihiko; Miyake, Nobuyuki

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Can persons with dementia be engaged with stimuli?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen-Mansfield, Jiska; Marx, Marcia S; Dakheel-Ali, Maha; Regier, Natalie G; Thein, Khin

    2010-04-01

    To determine which stimuli are 1) most engaging 2) most often refused by nursing home residents with dementia, and 3) most appropriate for persons who are more difficult to engage with stimuli. Participants were 193 residents of seven Maryland nursing homes. All participants had a diagnosis of dementia. Stimulus engagement was assessed by the Observational Measure of Engagement. The most engaging stimuli were one-on-one socializing with a research assistant, a real baby, personalized stimuli based on the person's self-identity, a lifelike doll, a respite video, and envelopes to stamp. Refusal of stimuli was higher among those with higher levels of cognitive function and related to the stimulus' social appropriateness. Women showed more attention and had more positive attitudes for live social stimuli, simulated social stimuli, and artistic tasks than did men. Persons with comparatively higher levels of cognitive functioning were more likely to be engaged in manipulative and work tasks, whereas those with low levels of cognitive functioning spent relatively more time responding to social stimuli. The most effective stimuli did not differ for those most likely to be engaged and those least likely to be engaged. Nursing homes should consider both having engagement stimuli readily available to residents with dementia, and implementing a socialization schedule so that residents receive one-on-one interaction. Understanding the relationship among type of stimulus, cognitive function, and acceptance, attention, and attitude toward the stimuli can enable caregivers to maximize the desired benefit for persons with dementia.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie eWard

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Mirrored and rotated stimuli are not the same: A neuropsychological and lesion mapping study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinaud, Olivier; Mirlink, Nicolas; Bioux, Sandrine; Bliaux, Evangéline; Champmartin, Cécile; Pouliquen, Dorothée; Cruypeninck, Yohann; Hannequin, Didier; Gérardin, Emmanuel

    2016-05-01

    Agnosia for mirrored stimuli is a rare clinical deficit. Only eight patients have been reported in the literature so far and little is known about the neural substrates of this agnosia. Using a previously developed experimental test designed to assess this agnosia, namely the Mirror and Orientation Agnosia Test (MOAT), as well as voxel-lesion symptom mapping (VLSM), we tested the hypothesis that focal brain-injured patients with right parietal damage would be impaired in the discrimination between the canonical view of a visual object and its mirrored and rotated images. Thirty-four consecutively recruited patients with a stroke involving the right or left parietal lobe have been included: twenty patients (59%) had a deficit on at least one of the six conditions of the MOAT, fourteen patients (41%) had a deficit on the mirror condition, twelve patients (35%) had a deficit on at least one the four rotated conditions and one had a truly selective agnosia for mirrored stimuli. A lesion analysis showed that discrimination of mirrored stimuli was correlated to the mesial part of the posterior superior temporal gyrus and the lateral part of the inferior parietal lobule, while discrimination of rotated stimuli was correlated to the lateral part of the posterior superior temporal gyrus and the mesial part of the inferior parietal lobule, with only a small overlap between the two. These data suggest that the right visual 'dorsal' pathway is essential for accurate perception of mirrored and rotated stimuli, with a selective cognitive process and anatomical network underlying our ability to discriminate between mirrored images, different from the process of discriminating between rotated images. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Analyzing the User Behavior toward Electronic Commerce Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-Romero, Carlota; Alarcón-del-Amo, María-del-Carmen; Gómez-Borja, Miguel-Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response paradigm this research analyzes the main differences between the effects of two types of web technologies: Verbal web technology (i.e., navigational structure as utilitarian stimulus) versus non-verbal web technology (music and presentation of products as hedonic stimuli). Specific webmosphere stimuli have not been examined yet as separate variables and their impact on internal and behavioral responses seems unknown. Therefore, the objective of this research consists in analyzing the impact of these web technologies –which constitute the web atmosphere or webmosphere of a website– on shopping human behavior (i.e., users’ internal states -affective, cognitive, and satisfaction- and behavioral responses – approach responses, and real shopping outcomes-) within the retail online store created by computer, taking into account some mediator variables (i.e., involvement, atmospheric responsiveness, and perceived risk). A 2 (“free” versus “hierarchical” navigational structure) × 2 (“on” versus “off” music) × 2 (“moving” versus “static” images) between-subjects computer experimental design is used to test empirically this research. In addition, an integrated methodology was developed allowing the simulation, tracking and recording of virtual user behavior within an online shopping environment. As main conclusion, this study suggests that the positive responses of online consumers might increase when they are allowed to freely navigate the online stores and their experience is enriched by animate gifts and music background. The effect caused by mediator variables modifies relatively the final shopping human behavior. PMID:27965549

  10. Unconscious neural processing differs with method used to render stimuli invisible

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey Victor Fogelson

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Visual stimuli can be kept from awareness using various methods. The extent of processing that a given stimulus receives in the absence of awareness is typically used to make claims about the role of consciousness more generally. The neural processing elicited by a stimulus, however, may also depend on the method used to keep it from awareness, and not only on whether the stimulus reaches awareness. Here we report that the method used to render an image invisible has a dramatic effect on how category information about the unseen stimulus is encoded across the human brain. We collected fMRI data while subjects viewed images of faces and tools, that were rendered invisible using either continuous flash suppression (CFS or chromatic flicker fusion (CFF. In a third condition, we presented the same images under normal fully visible viewing conditions. We found that category information about visible images could be extracted from patterns of fMRI responses throughout areas of neocortex known to be involved in face or tool processing. However, category information about stimuli kept from awareness using CFS could be recovered exclusively within occipital cortex, whereas information about stimuli kept from awareness using CFF was also decodable within temporal and frontal regions. We conclude that unconsciously presented objects are processed differently depending on how they are rendered subjectively invisible. Caution should therefore be used in making generalizations on the basis of any one method about the neural basis of consciousness or the extent of information processing without consciousness.

  11. Unconscious neural processing differs with method used to render stimuli invisible.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogelson, Sergey V; Kohler, Peter J; Miller, Kevin J; Granger, Richard; Tse, Peter U

    2014-01-01

    Visual stimuli can be kept from awareness using various methods. The extent of processing that a given stimulus receives in the absence of awareness is typically used to make claims about the role of consciousness more generally. The neural processing elicited by a stimulus, however, may also depend on the method used to keep it from awareness, and not only on whether the stimulus reaches awareness. Here we report that the method used to render an image invisible has a dramatic effect on how category information about the unseen stimulus is encoded across the human brain. We collected fMRI data while subjects viewed images of faces and tools, that were rendered invisible using either continuous flash suppression (CFS) or chromatic flicker fusion (CFF). In a third condition, we presented the same images under normal fully visible viewing conditions. We found that category information about visible images could be extracted from patterns of fMRI responses throughout areas of neocortex known to be involved in face or tool processing. However, category information about stimuli kept from awareness using CFS could be recovered exclusively within occipital cortex, whereas information about stimuli kept from awareness using CFF was also decodable within temporal and frontal regions. We conclude that unconsciously presented objects are processed differently depending on how they are rendered subjectively invisible. Caution should therefore be used in making generalizations on the basis of any one method about the neural basis of consciousness or the extent of information processing without consciousness.

  12. The use of preferred social stimuli as rewards for rhesus macaques in behavioural neuroscience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Gray

    Full Text Available Macaques are often motivated to perform in neuroscientific experiments by implementing fluid restriction protocols. Daily access to water is controlled and the monkeys are rewarded with droplets of fluid for performing correct trials in the laboratory. Although these protocols are widely used and highly effective, it is important from a 3Rs perspective to investigate refinements that may help to lessen the severity of the fluid restriction applied. We assessed the use of social stimuli (images of conspecifics as rewards for four rhesus macaques performing simple cognitive tasks. We found that individual preferences for images of male faces, female perinea and control stimuli could be identified in each monkey. However, using preferred images did not translate into effective motivators on a trial-by-trial basis: animals preferred fluid rewards, even when fluid restriction was relaxed. There was no difference in the monkeys' performance of a task when using greyscale versus colour images. Based on our findings, we cannot recommend the use of social stimuli, in this form, as a refinement to current fluid restriction protocols. We discuss the potential alternatives and possibilities for future research.

  13. Gender differences in associations of sexual and romantic stimuli: do young men really prefer sex over romance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ashley E; O'Sullivan, Lucia F

    2012-08-01

    Theory and research emphasize differences in men's and women's sexual and romantic attitudes, concluding that men have stronger preferences for sexual than romantic stimuli as compared to women. However, most of the research on gender differences have relied on self-reports, which are plagued by problems of social desirability bias. The current study assessed young men's and women's implicit attitudes toward sexual and romantic stimuli to test whether, in fact, men have a stronger preference for sexual over romantic stimuli compared to women. We also assessed associations between implicit and explicit attitudes, as well as sex role ideology and personality. College students (68 men and 114 women) completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) that assessed strengths of associations of sexual and romantic stimuli to both pleasant and unpleasant conditions. Results revealed that both men and women more strongly associated romantic images to the pleasant condition than they associated the sexual images to the pleasant condition. However, as predicted, women had a stronger preference toward romantic versus sexual stimuli compared to men. Our study challenges a common assumption that men prefer sexual over romantic stimuli. The findings indicate that measures of implicit attitudes may tap preferences that are not apparent in studies relying on self-reported (explicit) attitudes.

  14. Perceptual load modifies processing of unattended stimuli both in the presence and absence of attended stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couperus, J W

    2010-11-26

    This study explored effects of perceptual load on stimulus processing in the presence and absence of an attended stimulus. Participants were presented with a bilateral or unilateral display and asked to perform a discrimination task at either low or high perceptual load. Electrophysiological responses to stimuli were then compared at the P100 and N100. As in previous studies, perceptual load modified processing of attended and unattended stimuli seen at occipital scalp sites. Moreover, perceptual load modulated attention effects when the attended stimulus was presented at high perceptual load for unilateral displays. However, this was not true when the attended and unattended stimulus appeared simultaneously in bilateral displays. Instead, only a main effect of perceptual load was found. Reductions in processing contralateral to the unattended stimulus at the N100 provide support for Lavie's (1995) theory of selective attention. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Approach motivation and cognitive resources combine to influence memory for positive emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Adrienne; Schmeichel, Brandon J

    2016-01-01

    Inspired by the elaborated intrusion theory of desire, the current research tested the hypothesis that persons higher in trait approach motivation process positive stimuli deeply, which enhances memory for them. Ninety-four undergraduates completed a measure of trait approach motivation, viewed positive or negative image slideshows in the presence or absence of a cognitive load, and one week later completed an image memory test. Higher trait approach motivation predicted better memory for the positive slideshow, but this memory boost disappeared under cognitive load. Approach motivation did not influence memory for the negative slideshow. The current findings support the idea that individuals higher in approach motivation spontaneously devote limited resources to processing positive stimuli.

  16. A microfluidic device to study neuronal and motor responses to acute chemical stimuli in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candelier, Raphaël; Murmu, Meena Sriti; Romano, Sebastián Alejo; Jouary, Adrien; Debrégeas, Georges; Sumbre, Germán

    2015-07-21

    Zebrafish larva is a unique model for whole-brain functional imaging and to study sensory-motor integration in the vertebrate brain. To take full advantage of this system, one needs to design sensory environments that can mimic the complex spatiotemporal stimulus patterns experienced by the animal in natural conditions. We report on a novel open-ended microfluidic device that delivers pulses of chemical stimuli to agarose-restrained larvae with near-millisecond switching rate and unprecedented spatial and concentration accuracy and reproducibility. In combination with two-photon calcium imaging and recordings of tail movements, we found that stimuli of opposite hedonic values induced different circuit activity patterns. Moreover, by precisely controlling the duration of the stimulus (50-500 ms), we found that the probability of generating a gustatory-induced behavior is encoded by the number of neurons activated. This device may open new ways to dissect the neural-circuit principles underlying chemosensory perception.

  17. Separating discriminative and function-altering effects of verbal stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Schlinger, Henry D.

    1993-01-01

    Ever since Skinner's first discussion of rule-governed behavior, behavior analysts have continued to define rules, either explicitly or implicitly, as verbal discriminative stimuli. Consequently, it is not difficult to find, in the literature on rule-governed behavior, references to stimulus control, antecedent control, or to rules occasioning behavior. However, some verbal stimuli have effects on behavior that are not easily described as discriminative. Such stimuli don't evoke behavior as d...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bizley, Jennifer; Wood, Katherine; Freeman, Laura

    2018-01-01

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

  19. Valuation of Go Stimuli or Devaluation of No-Go Stimuli? Evidence of an Increased Preference for Attended Go Stimuli Following a Go/No-Go Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Kazuya; Sato, Nobuya

    2017-01-01

    Attentional inhibition that occurs during discrimination tasks leads to the negative evaluation of distractor stimuli. This phenomenon, known as the distractor devaluation effect also occurs when go/no-go tasks require response inhibition. However, it remains unclear whether there are interactions between attention and response controls when the distractor devaluation effect occurs. The aims of this study were to investigate whether attention to stimuli in the go/no-go task plays a facilitative role in distractor devaluation through response inhibition, and to clarify whether this effect reflects a decreased preference for no-go stimuli. Participants evaluated the preference for pictures before and after a go/no-go task. In Experiments 1 and 2, they made a go or no-go response depending on the category of pictures displayed (gummy candies or rice crackers), whereas in Experiment 3 they did on the basis digit category, even or odd numbers, superimposed on such pictures. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated that the pictures presented as no-go stimuli in the preceding go/no-go task were evaluated as less positive than the pictures presented as go stimuli. This devaluation effect reflected an increased preference for the go stimuli but not a decreased preference for the no-go stimuli. Experiment 3 indicated that response inhibition did not affect the preference for the pictures that had not received attention in a preceding go/no-go task. These results suggest that although attention plays an important role in differential ratings for go and no-go stimuli, such differences, in fact, reflect the valuation of go stimuli.

  20. Developing Affective Mental Imagery Stimuli with Multidimensional Scaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Facciani

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this paper is to provide an example of how multidimensional scaling (MDS can be used for stimuli development. The study described in this paper illustrates this process by developing affective mental imagery stimuli using the circumplex model of affect as a guide. The circumplex model of affect argues that all emotions can be described in terms of two underlying primary dimensions: valence and arousal (Russel, 1980. We used MDS to determine if affective mental imagery stimuli obtained from verbal prompts could be separated by arousal and valence to create four distinct categories (high –positive, low-positive, high-negative, and low-negative as seen in other stimuli. 60 students from the University of South Carolina participated in the first experiment to evaluate three sets of stimuli. After being analyzed using MDS, selected stimuli were then assessed again in a second experiment to validate their robust valence and arousal distinctions. The second experiment was conducted with 34 subjects to validate 40 of the best stimuli from experiment 1. It was found that mental imagery stimuli can produce a reliable affective response for the dimensions of valence and arousal and that MDS can be an effective tool for stimuli development.

  1. Amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli is influenced by oral contraceptive use

    OpenAIRE

    Petersen, Nicole; Cahill, Larry

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala is a highly interconnected region of the brain that is critically important to emotional processing and affective networks. Previous studies have shown that the response of the amygdala to emotionally arousing stimuli can be modulated by sex hormones. Because oral contraceptive pills dramatically lower circulating sex hormone levels with potent analogs of those hormones, we performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment to measure amygdala reactivity in response to ...

  2. Complexities of Emotional Responses to Social and Nonsocial Affective Stimuli in Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel S. Peterman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adaptive emotional responses are important in interpersonal relationships. We investigated self-reported emotional experience, physiological reactivity, and micro-facial expressivity in relation to the social nature of stimuli in individuals with schizophrenia.METHOD: Galvanic skin response (GSR and facial electromyography (fEMG were recorded in medicated outpatients with schizophrenia (SZ and demograph-ically-matched healthy controls (CO while they viewed social and non-social im-ages from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS. Participants rated the valence and arousal, and selected a label for experienced emotions. Symp-tom severity in the SZ, and schizotypy in CO were assessed.RESULTS: The two groups did not differ in their labeling of the emotions evoked by the stimuli, but individuals with schizophrenia were more positive in their va-lence ratings. Although self-reported arousal was similar in both groups, GSR was greater in schizophrenia, suggesting differential awareness or calibration of internal states. Both groups reported social images to be more arousing than non-social images but their physiological responses to nonsocial vs. social imag-es were different. Self-reported arousal to neutral social images was correlated with positive symptoms in schizophrenia. Negative symptoms in SZ and disor-ganized schizotypy in CO were associated with reduced fEMG. Greater corruga-tor fEMG activity for positive images in SZ indicates valence-incongruent facial expressions.CONCLUSIONS: The patterns of emotional responses differed between the two groups. While both groups were in broad agreement in self-reported arousal and emotion labels, their GSR and fEMG correlates of emotion diverged in relation to the social nature of the stimuli and clinical measures. Importantly, these results suggest disrupted self awareness of internal states in schizophrenia and under-score the complexities of emotion processing in health and

  3. Chicks prefer to peck at insect-like elongated stimuli moving in a direction orthogonal to their longer axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clara, Elena; Regolin, Lucia; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Rogers, Lesley J

    2009-11-01

    Spontaneous preferences towards possible prey have been little investigated using targets in motion. Preferences of domestic chicks (Gallus gallus) to peck at video-images of stimuli representing live insects moving along their longer body axis (i.e. "forwards") or along the shorter body axis (i.e. "sideways") were investigated. Chicks presented with both types of stimulus displayed a significant preference for pecking at stimuli moving sideways. This preference was already present on day 1 post-hatching, and it strengthened on day 6 for those chicks that had experienced pecking at live insects. Head angles used to fixate the stimuli prior to pecking were also analysed and were consistent (i.e. 30 degrees -35 degrees and 60 degrees -65 degrees ) with those reported for fixation of non-edible targets (larger stimuli at a distance). In a first control experiment the same video-presented stimuli were used but the insect's legs were removed to reduce flickering. In a second control experiment, paper-printed images of the whole insect were used. In both cases, the sideways direction of movement was clearly preferred. Overall, our data show that chicks have a spontaneous preference to peck at video-images resembling live insects moving along their shorter body axis. Sideways movement may constitute a crucial signal attracting chicks' attention and enhancing predatory responses possibly because of stronger stimulation of motion detectors.

  4. Stimuli-responsive cement-reinforced rubber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musso, Simone; Robisson, Agathe; Maheshwar, Sudeep; Ulm, Franz-Josef

    2014-05-14

    In this work, we report the successful development of a cement-rubber reactive composite with reversible mechanical properties. Initially, the composite behaves like rubber containing inert filler, but when exposed to water, it increases in volume and reaches a stiffness that is intermediate between that of hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) and hydrated cement, while maintaining a relatively large ductility characteristic of rubber. After drying, the modulus increases even further up to 400 MPa. Wet/drying cycles prove that the elastic modulus can reversibly change between 150 and 400 MPa. Utilizing attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy), we demonstrate that the high pH produced by the hydration of cement triggers the hydrolysis of the rubber nitrile groups into carboxylate anions. Thus, the salt bridges, generated between the carboxylate anions of the elastomer and the cations of the filler, are responsible for the reversible variations in volume and elastic modulus of the composite as a consequence of environmental moisture exposure. These results reveal that cement nanoparticles can successfully be used to accomplish a twofold task: (a) achieve an original postpolymerization modification that allows one to work with carboxylate HNBR (HXNBR) not obtained by direct copolymerization of carboxylate monomers with butadiene, and (b) synthesize a stimuli-responsive polymeric composite. This new type of material, having an ideal behavior for sealing application, could be used as an alternative to cement for oil field zonal isolation applications.

  5. Happiness increases distraction by auditory deviant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and prefrontal reactivity during anticipation of emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingnell, Malin; Bannbers, Elin; Wikström, Johan; Fredrikson, Mats; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger

    2013-11-01

    Premenstrual disorder (PMDD) affects around 5% of women in childbearing ages. An increased sensitivity in emotion processing areas of the brain to variations in ovarian steroid levels has been suggested as part of the pathophysiology in PMDD, but prior neuroimaging studies of emotion processing are yet inconclusive. Previous behavioral studies of women with PMDD have, however, reported enhanced luteal phase startle responsivity during emotional anticipation. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate central neural circuitry activity during anticipation of, and exposure to, emotional stimuli across the menstrual cycle in women with and without PMDD. As compared to healthy controls, women with PMDD displayed significantly enhanced reactivity in the prefrontal cortex during anticipation of, but not exposure to, negative emotional stimuli during the luteal phase. In PMDD patients, BOLD reactivity during anticipation or viewing of negative emotional stimuli was not dependent on absolute levels of estradiol or progesterone. However, progesterone levels were positively correlated with emotion-induced reactivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to positive emotional stimuli. These findings suggest that cortical emotional circuitry reactivity during anticipation is altered in PMDD during the luteal phase, which might be part of the pathophysiology behind the emotional symptoms or lack of emotional control reported by women with PMDD. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  8. Product perception from sensory stimuli: the case of vacuum cleaner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida e Silva, Caio Márcio; Okimoto, Maria Lúciar R L; Tanure, Raffaela Leane Zenni

    2012-01-01

    This paper discusses the importance of consideration of different sensory stimuli in the perception of the product. So we conducted an experiment that examined whether there is a difference between the perception of sensory stimuli from artificially isolated. The result is an analysis of the different sensory modalities, relating them to product an between them.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  10. Exploring Visuomotor Priming Following Biological and Non-Biological Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowen, E.; Bradshaw, C.; Galpin, A.; Lawrence, A.; Poliakoff, E.

    2010-01-01

    Observation of human actions influences the observer's own motor system, termed visuomotor priming, and is believed to be caused by automatic activation of mirror neurons. Evidence suggests that priming effects are larger for biological (human) as opposed to non-biological (object) stimuli and enhanced when viewing stimuli in mirror compared to…

  11. Processing of natural temporal stimuli by macaque retinal ganglion cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hateren, J.H. van; Rüttiger, L.; Lee, B.B.

    2002-01-01

    This study quantifies the performance of primate retinal ganglion cells in response to natural stimuli. Stimuli were confined to the temporal and chromatic domains and were derived from two contrasting environments, one typically northern European and the other a flower show. The performance of the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Stimuli-Regulated Smart Polymeric Systems for Gene Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ansuja Pulickal Mathew

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaramaa, Teija

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Stimuli-Responsive Liposomes for Controlled Drug Delivery

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Wengang

    2014-09-01

    Liposomes are promising drug delivery vesicles due to their biodegradibility, large volume and biocompatibility towards both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs. They suffer, however, from poor stability which limits their use in controlled delivery applications. Herein, a novel method was devised for modification of liposomes with small molecules, polymers or nanoparticles to afford stimuli responsive systems that release on demand and stay relatively stable in the absence of the trigger.. This dissertation discusses thermosensitive, pH sensitive, light sensitive and magnetically triggered liposomes that have been prepared for controlled drug delivery application. RAFT polymerization was utilized for the preparation of thermosensitive liposomes (Cholesterol-PNIPAm) and acid-labile liposomes (DOPE-PAA). With low Mw Cholesterol-PNIPAm, the thermosensitive liposomes proved to be effective for controlled release and decreased the cytotoxicity of PNIPAm by eliciting the polymer doses. By crosslinking the DOPE-PAA on liposome surface with acid-labile diamine linkers, DOPE-PAA liposomes were verified to be sensitive at low pH. The effects of polymer structures (linear or hyperbranched) have also been studied for the stability and release properties of liposomes. Finally, a dual-responsive Au@SPIO embedded liposome hybrid (ALHs) was prepared with light-induced “on-and-off” function by photo-thermal process (visible light) and instant release properties triggered by alternating magnetic field, respectively. The ALH system would be further applied into the cellular imaging field as MRI contrast agent.

  17. Neural markers of a greater female responsiveness to social stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zani Alberto

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is fMRI evidence that women are neurally predisposed to process infant laughter and crying. Other findings show that women might be more empathic and sensitive than men to emotional facial expressions. However, no gender difference in the brain responses to persons and unanimated scenes has hitherto been demonstrated. Results Twenty-four men and women viewed 220 images portraying persons or landscapes and ERPs were recorded from 128 sites. In women, but not in men, the N2 component (210–270 was much larger to persons than to scenes. swLORETA showed significant bilateral activation of FG (BA19/37 in both genders when viewing persons as opposed to scenes. Only women showed a source of activity in the STG and in the right MOG (extra-striate body area, EBA, and only men in the left parahippocampal area (PPA. Conclusion A significant gender difference was found in activation of the left and right STG (BA22 and the cingulate cortex for the subtractive condition women minus men, thus indicating that women might have a greater preference or interest for social stimuli (faces and persons.

  18. Effects of propofol anesthesia on the processing of noxious stimuli in the spinal cord and the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtner, Gregor; Auksztulewicz, Ryszard; Kirilina, Evgeniya; Velten, Helena; Mavrodis, Dionysios; Scheel, Michael; Blankenburg, Felix; von Dincklage, Falk

    2018-05-15

    Drug-induced unconsciousness is an essential component of general anesthesia, commonly attributed to attenuation of higher-order processing of external stimuli and a resulting loss of information integration capabilities of the brain. In this study, we investigated how the hypnotic drug propofol at doses comparable to those in clinical practice influences the processing of somatosensory stimuli in the spinal cord and in primary and higher-order cortices. Using nociceptive reflexes, somatosensory evoked potentials and functional magnet resonance imaging (fMRI), we found that propofol abolishes the processing of innocuous and moderate noxious stimuli at low to medium concentration levels, but that intense noxious stimuli evoked spinal and cerebral responses even during deep propofol anesthesia that caused profound electroencephalogram (EEG) burst suppression. While nociceptive reflexes and somatosensory potentials were affected only in a minor way by further increasing doses of propofol after the loss of consciousness, fMRI showed that increasing propofol concentration abolished processing of intense noxious stimuli in the insula and secondary somatosensory cortex and vastly increased processing in the frontal cortex. As the fMRI functional connectivity showed congruent changes with increasing doses of propofol - namely the temporal brain areas decreasing their connectivity with the bilateral pre-/postcentral gyri and the supplementary motor area, while connectivity of the latter with frontal areas is increased - we conclude that the changes in processing of noxious stimuli during propofol anesthesia might be related to changes in functional connectivity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Emotional attention for erotic stimuli: Cognitive and brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sennwald, Vanessa; Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco; Sander, David

    2016-06-01

    It has long been posited that among emotional stimuli, only negative threatening information modulates early shifts of attention. However, in the last few decades there has been an increase in research showing that attention is also involuntarily oriented toward positive rewarding stimuli such as babies, food, and erotic information. Because reproduction-related stimuli have some of the largest effects among positive stimuli on emotional attention, the present work reviews recent literature and proposes that the cognitive and cerebral mechanisms underlying the involuntarily attentional orientation toward threat-related information are also sensitive to erotic information. More specifically, the recent research suggests that both types of information involuntarily orient attention due to their concern relevance and that the amygdala plays an important role in detecting concern-relevant stimuli, thereby enhancing perceptual processing and influencing emotional attentional processes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. fMRI orientation decoding in V1 does not require global maps or globally coherent orientation stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alink, Arjen; Krugliak, Alexandra; Walther, Alexander; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus

    2013-01-01

    The orientation of a large grating can be decoded from V1 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, even at low resolution (3-mm isotropic voxels). This finding has suggested that columnar-level neuronal information might be accessible to fMRI at 3T. However, orientation decodability might alternatively arise from global orientation-preference maps. Such global maps across V1 could result from bottom-up processing, if the preferences of V1 neurons were biased toward particular orientations (e.g., radial from fixation, or cardinal, i.e., vertical or horizontal). Global maps could also arise from local recurrent or top-down processing, reflecting pre-attentive perceptual grouping, attention spreading, or predictive coding of global form. Here we investigate whether fMRI orientation decoding with 2-mm voxels requires (a) globally coherent orientation stimuli and/or (b) global-scale patterns of V1 activity. We used opposite-orientation gratings (balanced about the cardinal orientations) and spirals (balanced about the radial orientation), along with novel patch-swapped variants of these stimuli. The two stimuli of a patch-swapped pair have opposite orientations everywhere (like their globally coherent parent stimuli). However, the two stimuli appear globally similar, a patchwork of opposite orientations. We find that all stimulus pairs are robustly decodable, demonstrating that fMRI orientation decoding does not require globally coherent orientation stimuli. Furthermore, decoding remained robust after spatial high-pass filtering for all stimuli, showing that fine-grained components of the fMRI patterns reflect visual orientations. Consistent with previous studies, we found evidence for global radial and vertical preference maps in V1. However, these were weak or absent for patch-swapped stimuli, suggesting that global preference maps depend on globally coherent orientations and might arise through recurrent or top-down processes related to the perception of

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Neurocognitive correlates of processing food-related stimuli in a Go/No-go paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Todd D; Garvey, Katherine T

    2013-12-01

    We examined the neurocognitive correlates of processing food-related stimuli in healthy young adults. Event-related potential (ERP) data were collected while 48 participants completed a computerized Go/No-go task consisting of food and nonfood images. Separately, we assessed participants' self-reported levels of external, restrained, and emotional eating behaviors as well as trait impulsivity, behavioral activation/inhibition, and performance on the Stroop Color-Word Test. We found that across participants, food images elicited significantly enhanced P3(00) and slow-wave ERP components. The difference in slow-wave components elicited by food and nonfood images was correlated with Stroop interference scores. Food images also elicited significantly enhanced N2(00) components, but only in female participants. The difference between N2 components elicited by food and nonfood images was related to body mass index and scores of external eating in females. Overall, these data suggest that processing food-related stimuli recruits distinct patterns of cortical activity, that the magnitude of these effects is related to behavioral and cognitive variables, and that the neurocognitive correlates of processing food-cues may be at least partly dissociable between males and females. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Dynamic bioactive stimuli-responsive polymeric surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Heather Marie

    This dissertation focuses on the design, synthesis, and development of antimicrobial and anticoagulant surfaces of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) polymers. Aliphatic polymeric surfaces of PE and PP polymers functionalized using click chemistry reactions by the attachment of --COOH groups via microwave plasma reactions followed by functionalization with alkyne moieties. Azide containing ampicillin (AMP) was synthesized and subsequently clicked into the alkyne prepared PE and PP surfaces. Compared to non-functionalized PP and PE surfaces, the AMP clicked surfaces exhibited substantially enhanced antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. To expand the biocompatibility of polymeric surface anticoagulant attributes, PE and PTFE surfaces were functionalized with pH-responsive poly(2-vinyl pyridine) (P2VP) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) polyelectrolyte tethers terminated with NH2 and COOH groups. The goal of these studies was to develop switchable stimuli-responsive polymeric surfaces that interact with biological environments and display simultaneous antimicrobial and anticoagulant properties. Antimicrobial AMP was covalently attached to --COOH terminal ends of protected PAA, while anticoagulant heparin (HEP) was attached to terminal --NH2 groups of P2VP. When pH 5.5, they collapse while the PAA segments extend. Such surfaces, when exposed to Staphylococcus aureus, inhibit bacterial growth due to the presence of AMP, as well as are effective anticoagulants due to the presence of covalently attached HEP. Comparison of these "dynamic" pH responsive surfaces with "static" surfaces terminated with AMP entities show significant enhancement of longevity and surface activity against microbial film formation. The last portion of this dissertation focuses on the covalent attachment of living T1 and Φ11 bacteriophages (phages) on PE and PTFE surface. This was accomplished by carbodiimide coupling between --COOH

  5. Symmetric Electrode Spanning Narrows the Excitation Patterns of Partial Tripolar Stimuli in Cochlear Implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xin; Wu, Ching-Chih

    2016-12-01

    In cochlear implants (CIs), standard partial tripolar (pTP) mode reduces current spread by returning a fraction of the current to two adjacent flanking electrodes within the cochlea. Symmetric electrode spanning (i.e., separating both the apical and basal return electrodes from the main electrode by one electrode) has been shown to increase the pitch of pTP stimuli, when the ratio of intracochlear return current was fixed. To explain the pitch increase caused by symmetric spanning in pTP mode, this study measured the electrical potentials of both standard and symmetrically spanned pTP stimuli on a main electrode EL8 in five CI ears using electrical field imaging (EFI). In addition, the spatial profiles of evoked compound action potentials (ECAP) and the psychophysical forward masking (PFM) patterns were also measured for both stimuli. The EFI, ECAP, and PFM patterns of a given stimulus differed in shape details, reflecting the different levels of auditory processing and different ratios of intracochlear return current across the measurement methods. Compared to the standard pTP stimuli, the symmetrically spanned pTP stimuli significantly reduced the areas under the curves of the normalized EFI and PFM patterns, without shifting the pattern peaks and centroids (both around EL8). The more focused excitation patterns with symmetric spanning may have caused the previously reported pitch increase, due to an interaction between pitch and timbre perception. Being able to reduce the spread of excitation, pTP mode symmetric spanning is a promising stimulation strategy that may further increase spectral resolution and frequency selectivity with CIs.

  6. Parsing cognitive and emotional empathy deficits for negative and positive stimuli in frontotemporal dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Lindsay D; Mitchell, Derek G V; Dziobek, Isabel; MacKinley, Julia; Coleman, Kristy; Rankin, Katherine P; Finger, Elizabeth C

    2015-01-01

    Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by frontal and temporal lobe atrophy primarily affecting social cognition and emotion, including loss of empathy. Many consider empathy to be a multidimensional construct, including cognitive empathy (the ability to adopt and understand another's perspective) and emotional empathy (the capacity to share another's emotional experience). Cognitive and emotional empathy deficits have been associated with bvFTD; however, little is known regarding the performance of patients with bvFTD on behavioural measures of emotional empathy, and whether empathic responses differ for negative versus positive stimuli. 24 patients with bvFTD and 24 healthy controls completed the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET; Dziobek et al., 2008), a performance-based task that taps both cognitive and emotional facets of empathy, and allows for the discrimination of responses to negative versus positive realistic images. MET scores were also compared with caregiver ratings of patient behaviour on the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, which assesses patients' everyday demonstrations of perspective taking and empathic concern. Patients with bvFTD were less accurate than controls at inferring mental states for negative and positive stimuli. They also demonstrated lower levels of shared emotional experience, more positive emotional reactions, and diminished arousal to negative social stimuli relative to controls. Patients showed reduced emotional reactions to negative non-social stimuli as well. Lastly, the MET and IRI measures of emotional empathy were found to be significantly correlated within the bvFTD group. The results suggest that patients with bvFTD show a global deficit in cognitive empathy, and deficient emotional empathy for negative, but not positive, experiences. Further, a generalized emotional processing impairment for negative stimuli was observed, which could contribute to the

  7. Behavioral and neural indices of affective coloring for neutral social stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Stacey M; Lapate, Regina C; Schoen, Andrew J; Gresham, Lauren K; Mumford, Jeanette A; Davidson, Richard J

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Emotional processing often continues beyond the presentation of emotionally evocative stimuli, which can result in affective biasing or coloring of subsequently encountered events. Here, we describe neural correlates of affective coloring and examine how individual differences in affective style impact the magnitude of affective coloring. We conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging in 117 adults who passively viewed negative, neutral and positive pictures presented 2 s prior to neutral faces. Brain responses to neutral faces were modulated by the valence of preceding pictures, with greater activation for faces following negative (vs positive) pictures in the amygdala, dorsomedial and lateral prefrontal cortex, ventral visual cortices, posterior superior temporal sulcus, and angular gyrus. Three days after the magnetic resonance imaging scan, participants rated their memory and liking of previously encountered neutral faces. Individuals higher in trait positive affect and emotional reappraisal rated faces as more likable when preceded by emotionally arousing (negative or positive) pictures. In addition, greater amygdala responses to neutral faces preceded by positively valenced pictures were associated with greater memory for these faces 3 days later. Collectively, these results reveal individual differences in how emotions spill over onto the processing of unrelated social stimuli, resulting in persistent and affectively biased evaluations of such stimuli. PMID:29447377

  8. Neural Processing of Emotional Musical and Nonmusical Stimuli in Depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca J Lepping

    Full Text Available Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC and striatum are part of the emotional neural circuitry implicated in major depressive disorder (MDD. Music is often used for emotion regulation, and pleasurable music listening activates the dopaminergic system in the brain, including the ACC. The present study uses functional MRI (fMRI and an emotional nonmusical and musical stimuli paradigm to examine how neural processing of emotionally provocative auditory stimuli is altered within the ACC and striatum in depression.Nineteen MDD and 20 never-depressed (ND control participants listened to standardized positive and negative emotional musical and nonmusical stimuli during fMRI scanning and gave subjective ratings of valence and arousal following scanning.ND participants exhibited greater activation to positive versus negative stimuli in ventral ACC. When compared with ND participants, MDD participants showed a different pattern of activation in ACC. In the rostral part of the ACC, ND participants showed greater activation for positive information, while MDD participants showed greater activation to negative information. In dorsal ACC, the pattern of activation distinguished between the types of stimuli, with ND participants showing greater activation to music compared to nonmusical stimuli, while MDD participants showed greater activation to nonmusical stimuli, with the greatest response to negative nonmusical stimuli. No group differences were found in striatum.These results suggest that people with depression may process emotional auditory stimuli differently based on both the type of stimulation and the emotional content of that stimulation. This raises the possibility that music may be useful in retraining ACC function, potentially leading to more effective and targeted treatments.

  9. Perceptual Sensitivity and Response to Strong Stimuli Are Related

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C. Bolders

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available To shed new light on the long-standing debate about the (independence of sensitivity to weak stimuli and overreactivity to strong stimuli, we examined the relation between these tendencies within the neurobehavioral framework of the Predictive and Reactive Control Systems (PARCS theory (Tops et al., 2010, 2014. Whereas previous studies only considered overreactivity in terms of the individual tendency to experience unpleasant affect (punishment reactivity resulting from strong sensory stimulation, we also took the individual tendency to experience pleasant affect (reward reactivity resulting from strong sensory stimulation into account. According to PARCS theory, these temperamental tendencies overlap in terms of high reactivity toward stimulation, but oppose each other in terms of the response orientation (approach or avoid. PARCS theory predicts that both types of reactivity to strong stimuli relate to sensitivity to weak stimuli, but that these relationships are suppressed due to the opposing relationship between reward and punishment reactivity. We measured punishment and reward reactivity to strong stimuli and sensitivity to weak stimuli using scales from the Adult Temperament Questionnaire (Evans and Rothbart, 2007. Sensitivity was also measured more objectively using the masked auditory threshold. We found that sensitivity to weak stimuli (both self-reported and objectively assessed was positively associated with self-reported punishment and reward reactivity to strong stimuli, but only when these reactivity measures were controlled for each other, implicating a mutual suppression effect. These results are in line with PARCS theory and suggest that sensitivity to weak stimuli and overreactivity are dependent, but this dependency is likely to be obscured if punishment and reward reactivity are not both taken into account.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponseti, Jorge; Granert, Oliver; Jansen, Olav

    2009-01-01

    in a nonclinical sample of 12 heterosexual men and 14 homosexual men. During fMRI, participants were briefly exposed to pictures of same-sex and opposite-sex genitals. Data analysis involved four steps: (i) differences in the BOLD response to female and male sexual stimuli were calculated for each subject; (ii......) these contrast images were entered into a group analysis to calculate whole-brain difference maps between homosexual and heterosexual participants; (iii) a single expression value was computed for each subject expressing its correspondence to the group result; and (iv) based on these expression values, Fisher...... response patterns of the brain to sexual stimuli contained sufficient information to predict individual sexual orientation with high accuracy. These results suggest that fMRI-based classification methods hold promise for the diagnosis of paraphilic disorders (e.g., pedophilia)....

  11. External-stimuli responsive systems for cancer theranostic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhui Yao

    2016-10-01

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

  12. Novel stimuli are negative stimuli: evidence that negative affect is reduced in the mere exposure effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Brent M; Elias, Lorin J

    2005-04-01

    Repeated exposure of a nonreinforced stimulus results in an increased preference for that stimulus, the mere exposure effect. The present study repeatedly presented positive, negative, and neutrally affective faces to 48 participants while they made judgments about the emotional expression. Participants then rated the likeability of novel neutrally expressive faces and some of these previously presented faces, this time in their neutral expression. Faces originally presented as happy were rated as the most likeable, followed by faces originally presented as neutral. Negative and novel faces were not rated significantly differently from each other. These findings support the notion that the increase in preference towards repeatedly presented stimuli is the result of the reduction in negative affect, consistent with the modified two-factor uncertainty-reduction model and classical conditioning model of the mere exposure effect.

  13. Imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kellum, C.D.; Fisher, L.M.; Tegtmeyer, C.J.

    1987-01-01

    This paper examines the advantages of the use of excretory urography for diagnosis. According to the authors, excretory urography remains the basic radiologic examination of the urinary tract and is the foundation for the evaluation of suspected urologic disease. Despite development of the newer diagnostic modalities such as isotope scanning, ultrasonography, CT, and magnetic resonsance imaging (MRI), excretory urography has maintained a prominent role in ruorradiology. Some indications have been altered and will continue to change with the newer imaging modalities, but the initial evaluation of suspected urinary tract structural abnormalities; hematuria, pyuria, and calculus disease is best performed with excretory urography. The examination is relatively inexpensive and simple to perform, with few contraindictions. Excretory urography, when properly performed, can provide valuable information about the renal parenchyma, pelvicalyceal system, ureters, and urinary bladder

  14. Stimuli-Responsive Materials for Controlled Release Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2015-01-01

    The controlled release of therapeutics has been one of the major challenges for scientists and engineers during the past three decades. To address this outstanding problem, the design and fabrication of stimuli-responsive materials are pursued

  15. Adding stimuli-responsive extensions to antifouling hairy particles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Munoz Bonilla, Sandra; Herk, van A.M.; Heuts, J.P.A.

    2010-01-01

    The use of living block copolymers as stabilisers in emulsion polymerisation allowed preparation of multilayer functional hairy particles via surface-initiated ATRP. Polymer films prepared from the obtained particles present antifouling properties along with stimuli-responsive behaviour.

  16. Characterization of Ferrofluid-based Stimuli-responsive Elastomers

    OpenAIRE

    Sandra dePedro; Xavier Munoz-Berbel; Rosalia Rodríguez-Rodríguez; Jordi Sort; Jose Antonio Plaza; Juergen Brugger; Andreu Llobera; Victor J Cadarso

    2016-01-01

    Stimuli-responsive materials undergo physicochemical and/or structural changes when a specific actuation is applied. They are heterogeneous composites, consisting of a non-responsive matrix where functionality is provided by the filler. Surprisingly, the synthesis of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based stimuli-responsive elastomers (SRE) has seldomly been presented. Here, we present the structural, biological, optical, magnetic, and mechanical properties of several magnetic SRE (M-SRE) obtained...

  17. Analyzing the User Behavior toward Electronic Commerce Stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Lorenzo-Romero, Carlota; Alarcón-del-Amo, María-del-Carmen; Gómez-Borja, Miguel-Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response paradigm this research analyzes the main differences between the effects of two types of web technologies: Verbal web technology (i.e., navigational structure as utilitarian stimulus) versus non-verbal web technology (music and presentation of products as hedonic stimuli). Specific webmosphere stimuli have not been examined yet as separate variables and their impact on internal and behavioral responses seems unknown. Therefore, the objective of this res...

  18. Analyzing the user behavior towards Electronic Commerce stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Carlota Lorenzo-Romero; María-del-Carmen Alarcón-del-Amo

    2016-01-01

    Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response paradigm this research analyzes the main differences between the effects of two types of web technologies: Verbal web technology (i.e. navigational structure as utilitarian stimulus) versus nonverbal web technology (music and presentation of products as hedonic stimuli). Specific webmosphere stimuli have not been examined yet as separate variables and their impact on internal and behavioral responses seems unknown. Therefore, the objective of this resea...

  19. Intersubject information mapping: revealing canonical representations of complex natural stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolaus Kriegeskorte

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Real-world time-continuous stimuli such as video promise greater naturalism for studies of brain function. However, modeling the stimulus variation is challenging and introduces a bias in favor of particular descriptive dimensions. Alternatively, we can look for brain regions whose signal is correlated between subjects, essentially using one subject to model another. Intersubject correlation mapping (ICM allows us to find brain regions driven in a canonical manner across subjects by a complex natural stimulus. However, it requires a direct voxel-to-voxel match between the spatiotemporal activity patterns and is thus only sensitive to common activations sufficiently extended to match up in Talairach space (or in an alternative, e.g. cortical-surface-based, common brain space. Here we introduce the more general approach of intersubject information mapping (IIM. For each brain region, IIM determines how much information is shared between the subjects' local spatiotemporal activity patterns. We estimate the intersubject mutual information using canonical correlation analysis applied to voxels within a spherical searchlight centered on each voxel in turn. The intersubject information estimate is invariant to linear transforms including spatial rearrangement of the voxels within the searchlight. This invariance to local encoding will be crucial in exploring fine-grained brain representations, which cannot be matched up in a common space and, more fundamentally, might be unique to each individual – like fingerprints. IIM yields a continuous brain map, which reflects intersubject information in fine-grained patterns. Performed on data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI of subjects viewing the same television show, IIM and ICM both highlighted sensory representations, including primary visual and auditory cortices. However, IIM revealed additional regions in higher association cortices, namely temporal pole and orbitofrontal cortex. These

  20. Effects of Auditory Stimuli on Visual Velocity Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiaki Shibata

    2011-10-01

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

  1. Bitter taste stimuli induce differential neural codes in mouse brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Wilson

    Full Text Available A growing literature suggests taste stimuli commonly classified as "bitter" induce heterogeneous neural and perceptual responses. Here, the central processing of bitter stimuli was studied in mice with genetically controlled bitter taste profiles. Using these mice removed genetic heterogeneity as a factor influencing gustatory neural codes for bitter stimuli. Electrophysiological activity (spikes was recorded from single neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius during oral delivery of taste solutions (26 total, including concentration series of the bitter tastants quinine, denatonium benzoate, cycloheximide, and sucrose octaacetate (SOA, presented to the whole mouth for 5 s. Seventy-nine neurons were sampled; in many cases multiple cells (2 to 5 were recorded from a mouse. Results showed bitter stimuli induced variable gustatory activity. For example, although some neurons responded robustly to quinine and cycloheximide, others displayed concentration-dependent activity (p<0.05 to quinine but not cycloheximide. Differential activity to bitter stimuli was observed across multiple neurons recorded from one animal in several mice. Across all cells, quinine and denatonium induced correlated spatial responses that differed (p<0.05 from those to cycloheximide and SOA. Modeling spatiotemporal neural ensemble activity revealed responses to quinine/denatonium and cycloheximide/SOA diverged during only an early, at least 1 s wide period of the taste response. Our findings highlight how temporal features of sensory processing contribute differences among bitter taste codes and build on data suggesting heterogeneity among "bitter" stimuli, data that challenge a strict monoguesia model for the bitter quality.

  2. Ratio of dopamine synthesis capacity to D2 receptor availability in ventral striatum correlates with central processing of affective stimuli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kienast, Thorsten; Rapp, Michael; Siessmeier, Thomas; Buchholz, Hans G.; Schreckenberger, Mathias; Wrase, Jana; Heinz, Andreas; Braus, Dieter F.; Smolka, Michael N.; Mann, Karl; Roesch, Frank; Cumming, Paul; Gruender, Gerhard; Bartenstein, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurotransmission in the ventral striatum may interact with limbic processing of affective stimuli, whereas dorsal striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission can affect habitual processing of emotionally salient stimuli in the pre-frontal cortex. We investigated the dopaminergic neurotransmission in the ventral and dorsal striatum with respect to central processing of affective stimuli in healthy subjects. Subjects were investigated with positron emission tomography and [ 18 F]DOPA for measurements of dopamine synthesis capacity and [ 18 F]DMFP for estimation of dopamine D2 receptor binding potential. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response to affective pictures, which was correlated with the ratio of [ 18 F]DOPA net influx constant K in app /[ 18 F]DMFP-binding potential (BP N D) in the ventral and dorsal striatum. The magnitude of the ratio in the ventral striatum was positively correlated with BOLD signal increases elicited by negative versus neutral pictures in the right medial frontal gyrus (BA10), right inferior parietal lobe and left post-central gyrus. In the dorsal striatum, the ratio was positively correlated with BOLD signal activation elicited by negative versus neutral stimuli in the left post-central gyrus. The BOLD signal elicited by positive versus neutral stimuli in the superior parietal gyrus was positively correlated with the dorsal and ventral striatal ratio. The correlations of the ratio in the ventral and dorsal striatum with processing of affective stimuli in the named cortical regions support the hypothesis that dopamine transmission in functional divisions of the striatum modulates processing of affective stimuli in specific cortical areas. (orig.)

  3. Ratio of dopamine synthesis capacity to D2 receptor availability in ventral striatum correlates with central processing of affective stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kienast, Thorsten; Rapp, Michael [Charite Campus Mitte, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Charite University Medical Center, Berlin (Germany); Siessmeier, Thomas; Buchholz, Hans G.; Schreckenberger, Mathias [University of Mainz, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Mainz (Germany); Wrase, Jana; Heinz, Andreas [Charite Campus Mitte, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Charite University Medical Center, Berlin (Germany); Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim (Germany); Braus, Dieter F. [University of Hamburg, Neuroimage Nord, Department of Psychiatry, Hamburg (Germany); Smolka, Michael N.; Mann, Karl [Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim (Germany); Roesch, Frank [University of Mainz, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry, Mainz (Germany); Cumming, Paul [PET Center and Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus (Denmark); Gruender, Gerhard [Aachen University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry of the RWTH, Mainz (Germany); Bartenstein, Peter [Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Munich (Germany)

    2008-06-15

    Dopaminergic neurotransmission in the ventral striatum may interact with limbic processing of affective stimuli, whereas dorsal striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission can affect habitual processing of emotionally salient stimuli in the pre-frontal cortex. We investigated the dopaminergic neurotransmission in the ventral and dorsal striatum with respect to central processing of affective stimuli in healthy subjects. Subjects were investigated with positron emission tomography and [{sup 18}F]DOPA for measurements of dopamine synthesis capacity and [{sup 18}F]DMFP for estimation of dopamine D2 receptor binding potential. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response to affective pictures, which was correlated with the ratio of [{sup 18}F]DOPA net influx constant K{sub in}{sup app} /[{sup 18}F]DMFP-binding potential (BP{sub N}D) in the ventral and dorsal striatum. The magnitude of the ratio in the ventral striatum was positively correlated with BOLD signal increases elicited by negative versus neutral pictures in the right medial frontal gyrus (BA10), right inferior parietal lobe and left post-central gyrus. In the dorsal striatum, the ratio was positively correlated with BOLD signal activation elicited by negative versus neutral stimuli in the left post-central gyrus. The BOLD signal elicited by positive versus neutral stimuli in the superior parietal gyrus was positively correlated with the dorsal and ventral striatal ratio. The correlations of the ratio in the ventral and dorsal striatum with processing of affective stimuli in the named cortical regions support the hypothesis that dopamine transmission in functional divisions of the striatum modulates processing of affective stimuli in specific cortical areas. (orig.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Evaluating a simple blending approach to prepare magnetic and stimuli-responsive composite hydrogel particles for application in biomedical field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Ahmad

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The inclusion of super paramagnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4 nanoparticles in stimuli-responsive hydrogel is expected to enhance the application potential for cellular therapy in cell labeling, separation and purification, protein immobilization, contrasting enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, localized therapeutic hyperthermia, biosensors etc. in biomedical field. In this investigation two different magnetic and stimuli-responsive composite hydrogel particles with variable surface property were prepared by simply blending Fe3O4/SiO2 nanocomposite particles with stimuli-responsive hydrogel particles. Of the hydrogel particles prepared by free-radical precipitation polymerization poly(styrene-N-isopropylacrylamide-methyl methacrylate-polyethylene glycol methacrylate or P(S-NIPAM-MMA-PEGMA was temperature-sensitive and poly(S-NIPAM-methacrylic acid-PEGMA or P(S-NIPAM-MAA-PEGMA was both temperature- and pH-responsive. The morphological structure, size distributions and volume phase transitions of magnetic and stimuli-responsive composite hydrogel particles were analyzed. Temperature-responsive absorptions of biomolecules were observed on both magnetic and stimuli-responsive Fe3O4/SiO2/P(S-NIPAM-MMA-PEGMA and Fe3O4/SiO2/P(S-NIPAM-MAA-PEGMA composite hydrogel particles and separation of particles from the dispersion media could be achieved by applying magnetic field without time consuming centrifugation or decantation method.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  7. Design, synthesis, and film formation of stimuli-responsive colloidal dispersions containing phospholipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestage, David Jackson

    These studies were undertaken to further understand the design of colloidal dispersions containing bio-active phospholipids (PL) as stabilizing agents and their stimuli-responsive behaviors during film formation. Methyl methacrylate (MMA) and n-butyl acrylate (nBA) dispersions were synthesized using anionic surfactants and PL, and the surface-responsiveness of coalesced films was monitored at the film-air (F-A) and film-substrate (F-S) interfaces after exposure to temperature, UV, pH, ionic strength, and enzymatic stimuli. Using spectroscopic molecular-level probes such as attenuated total reflectance (ATR) and internal reflection IR imaging (IRIRI), these studies show that structural features of PL and surfactants significantly affect stimuli-responsiveness of polymeric films. MMA/nBA homopolymer, blend, copolymer, and core-shell particle coalescence studies indicated that controlled permeability is influenced by particle composition and sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate (SDOSS) mobility to the F-A interface is enhanced in response to temperature. Utilization of hydrogenated soybean phosphocholine (HSPC) as a co-surfactant with SDOSS resulted in bimodal p-MMA/nBA colloidal particles, and experiments showed that ionic interactions with HSPC inhibit SDOSS mobility. However, the controlled release of individual species is detected in the presence of Ca2+ ionic strength stimuli. Utilizing 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)- sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DCPC), cocklebur-shape particle morphologies were obtained and using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), self-assembled tubules were detected at particle interfaces, but not in the presence of Ca 2+. At altered concentration levels of DCPC, surface localized ionic clusters (SLICs) composed of SDOSS and DCPC form at the F-A and F-S interfaces in response to temperature and ionic strength stimuli. Micelle formation of 1-myristoyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-phosphocholine (MHPC) stabilizes unimodal p-MMA/nBA colloidal particles

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Mid-adolescent neurocognitive development of ignoring and attending emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora C. Vetter

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Appropriate reactions toward emotional stimuli depend on the distribution of prefrontal attentional resources. In mid-adolescence, prefrontal top-down control systems are less engaged, while subcortical bottom-up emotional systems are more engaged. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to follow the neural development of attentional distribution, i.e. attending versus ignoring emotional stimuli, in adolescence. 144 healthy adolescents were studied longitudinally at age 14 and 16 while performing a perceptual discrimination task. Participants viewed two pairs of stimuli – one emotional, one abstract – and reported on one pair whether the items were the same or different, while ignoring the other pair. Hence, two experimental conditions were created: “attending emotion/ignoring abstract” and “ignoring emotion/attending abstract”. Emotional valence varied between negative, positive, and neutral. Across conditions, reaction times and error rates decreased and activation in the anterior cingulate and inferior frontal gyrus increased from age 14 to 16. In contrast, subcortical regions showed no developmental effect. Activation of the anterior insula increased across ages for attending positive and ignoring negative emotions. Results suggest an ongoing development of prefrontal top-down resources elicited by emotional attention from age 14 to 16 while activity of subcortical regions representing bottom-up processing remains stable.

  10. Gaming Increases Craving to Gaming-Related Stimuli in Individuals With Internet Gaming Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Guangheng; Wang, Lingxiao; Du, Xiaoxia; Potenza, Marc N

    2017-07-01

    Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has been proposed as a behavioral addiction warranting additional investigation. Craving is considered a core component of addictions. However, few studies to date have investigated craving in IGD. In the current study, we investigated how gaming was associated with changes in response to gaming-related stimuli in subjects with IGD and those with recreational game use (RGU). Behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 27 individuals with IGD and 43 individuals with RGU. Subjects' craving responses to gaming-related stimuli were measured before and after 30 minutes of gaming. The comparison between post- and pregaming measures showed that for IGD, gaming was associated with increased craving and increased brain activation of the lateral and prefrontal cortex, the striatum, and the precuneus when exposed to gaming-related stimuli. In individuals with RGU, no enhanced brain activity was observed. These results suggest that gaming behavior enhances craving responses in subjects with IGD but not in subjects with RGU, provide insight into potential mechanisms underlying IGD, and suggest behavioral and neurobiological targets for IGD-related interventions. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Viewing socio-affective stimuli increases connectivity within an extended default mode network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göttlich, Martin; Ye, Zheng; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F; Krämer, Ulrike M

    2017-03-01

    Empathy is an essential ability for prosocial behavior. Previous imaging studies identified a number of brain regions implicated in affective and cognitive aspects of empathy. In this study, we investigated the neural correlates of empathy from a network perspective using graph theory and beta-series correlations. Two independent data sets were acquired using the same paradigm that elicited empathic responses to socio-affective stimuli. One data set was used to define the network nodes and modular structure, the other data set was used to investigate the effects of emotional versus neutral stimuli on network connectivity. Emotional relative to neutral stimuli increased connectivity between 74 nodes belonging to different networks. Most of these nodes belonged to an extended default mode network (eDMN). The other nodes belonged to a cognitive control network or visual networks. Within the eDMN, posterior STG/TPJ regions were identified as provincial hubs. The eDMN also showed stronger connectivity to the cognitive control network encompassing lateral PFC regions. Connector hubs between the two networks were posterior cingulate cortex and ventrolateral PFC. This stresses the advantage of a network approach as regions similarly modulated by task conditions can be dissociated into distinct networks and regions crucial for network integration can be identified. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Stimuli-disassembling gold nanoclusters for diagnosis of early stage oral cancer by optical coherence tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chang Soo; Ingato, Dominique; Wilder-Smith, Petra; Chen, Zhongping; Kwon, Young Jik

    2018-01-01

    A key design consideration in developing contrast agents is obtaining distinct, multiple signal changes in diseased tissue. Plasmonic gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) have been developed as contrast agents due to their strong surface plasmon resonance (SPR). This study aims to demonstrate that stimuli-responsive plasmonic Au nanoclusters (Au NCs) can be used as a contrast agent for optical coherence tomography (OCT) in detecting early-stage cancer. Au NPs were clustered via acid-cleavable linkers to synthesize Au NCs that disassemble under mildly acidic conditions into individual Au NPs, simultaneously diminishing SPR effect (quantified by scattering intensity) and increasing Brownian motion (quantified by Doppler variance). The acid-triggered morphological and accompanying optico-physical property changes of the acid-disassembling Au NCs were confirmed by TEM, DLS, UV/Vis, and OCT. Stimuli-responsive Au NCs were applied in a hamster check pouch model carrying early-stage squamous carcinoma tissue. The tissue was visualized by OCT imaging, which showed reduced scattering intensity and increased Doppler variance in the dysplastic tissue. This study demonstrates the promise of diagnosing early-stage cancer using molecularly programmable, inorganic nanomaterial-based contrast agents that are capable of generating multiple, stimuli-triggered diagnostic signals in early-stage cancer.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  14. Sex-related memory recall and talkativeness for emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedetto eArnone

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have evidenced an increasing interest in sex-related brain mechanisms and cerebral lateralization subserving emotional memory, language processing, and conversational behavior. We used event related potentials (ERP to examine the influence of sex and hemisphere on brain responses to emotional stimuli. Given that the P300 component of ERP is considered a cognitive neuroelectric phenomenon, we compared left and right hemisphere P300 responses to emotional stimuli in men and women. As indexed by both amplitude and latency measures, emotional stimuli elicited more robust P300 effects in the left hemisphere in women than in men, while a stronger P300 component was elicited in the right hemisphere in men compared to women. Our findings show that the variables of sex and hemisphere interacted significantly to influence the strength of the P300 component to the emotional stimuli. Emotional stimuli were also best recalled when given a long-term, incidental memory test, a fact potentially related to the differential P300 waves at encoding. Moreover, taking into account the sex-related differences in language processing and conversational behaviour, in the present study we evaluated possible talkativeness differences between the two genders in the recollection of emotional stimuli. Our data showed that women used a higher number of words, compared to men, to describe both arousal and neutral stories. Moreover, the present results support the view that sex differences in lateralization may not be a general feature of language processing but may be related to the specific condition, such as the emotional content of stimuli.

  15. Enhanced brain susceptibility to negative stimuli in adolescents: ERP evidences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiajin eYuan

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: previous studies investigated neural substrates of emotional face processing in adolescents and its comparison with adults. As emotional faces elicit more of emotional expression recognition rather than direct emotional responding, it remains undetermined how adolescents are different from adults in brain susceptibility to emotionally stressful stimuli. Methods: Event-Related Potentials were recorded for highly negative (HN, moderately negative (MN and Neutral pictures in 20 adolescents and 20 adults while subjects performed a standard/deviant distinction task by pressing different keys, irrespective of the emotionality of deviant stimuli. Results: Adolescents exhibited more negative amplitudes for HN versus neutral pictures in N1 (100-150ms, P2 (130-190ms, N2 (210-290ms and P3 (360-440ms components. In addition, adolescents showed more negative amplitudes for MN compared to neutral pictures in N1, P2 and N2 components. By contrast, adults exhibited significant emotion effects for HN stimuli in N2 and P3 amplitudes but not in N1 and P2 amplitudes, and they did not exhibit a significant emotion effect for MN stimuli at all these components. In the 210-290ms time interval, the emotion effect for HN stimuli was significant across frontal and central regions in adolescents, while this emotion effect was noticeable only in the central region for adults. Conclusions: Adolescents are more emotionally sensitive to negative stimuli compared to adults, regardless of the emotional intensity of the stimuli, possibly due to the immature prefrontal control system over the limbic emotional inputs during adolescence. Keywords: Event-Related Potentials (ERPs; Adolescence; Emotion intensity; Negative pictures; Emotional Susceptibility

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  17. Diminished Neural Processing of Aversive and Rewarding Stimuli During Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, Ciara; Mishor, Zevic; Cowen, Philip J.; Harmer, Catherine J.

    2010-01-01

    Background Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are popular medications for anxiety and depression, but their effectiveness, particularly in patients with prominent symptoms of loss of motivation and pleasure, has been questioned. There are few studies of the effect of SSRIs on neural reward mechanisms in humans. Methods We studied 45 healthy participants who were randomly allocated to receive the SSRI citalopram, the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor reboxetine, or placebo for 7 days in a double-blind, parallel group design. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the neural response to rewarding (sight and/or flavor of chocolate) and aversive stimuli (sight of moldy strawberries and/or an unpleasant strawberry taste) on the final day of drug treatment. Results Citalopram reduced activation to the chocolate stimuli in the ventral striatum and the ventral medial/orbitofrontal cortex. In contrast, reboxetine did not suppress ventral striatal activity and in fact increased neural responses within medial orbitofrontal cortex to reward. Citalopram also decreased neural responses to the aversive stimuli conditions in key “punishment” areas such as the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Reboxetine produced a similar, although weaker effect. Conclusions Our findings are the first to show that treatment with SSRIs can diminish the neural processing of both rewarding and aversive stimuli. The ability of SSRIs to decrease neural responses to reward might underlie the questioned efficacy of SSRIs in depressive conditions characterized by decreased motivation and anhedonia and could also account for the experience of emotional blunting described by some patients during SSRI treatment. PMID:20034615

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jisoo Hong

    2012-10-01

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

  19. Stimuli-Responsive Materials for Controlled Release Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2015-04-01

    The controlled release of therapeutics has been one of the major challenges for scientists and engineers during the past three decades. To address this outstanding problem, the design and fabrication of stimuli-responsive materials are pursued to guarantee the controlled release of cargo at a specific time and with an accurate amount. Upon applying different stimuli such as light, magnetic field, heat, pH change, enzymes or redox, functional materials change their physicochemical properties through physical transformation or chemical reactions, allowing the release of payload agents on demand. This dissertation studied three stimuli-responsive membrane systems for controlled release from films of macro sizes to microcapsules of nano sizes. The first membrane system is a polymeric composite film which can decrease and sustain diffusion upon light irradiation. The photo-response of membranes is based on the photoreaction of cinnamic derivatives. The second one is composite membrane which can improve diffusion upon heating. The thermo-response of membranes comes from the volume phase transition ability of hydrogels. The third one is microcapsule which can release encapsulated agents upon light irradiation. The photo-response of capsules results from the photoreaction of nitrobenzyl derivatives. The study on these membrane systems reveals that stimuli-responsive release can be achieved by utilizing different functional materials on either macro or micro level. Based on the abundant family of smart materials, designing and fabricating stimuli-responsive systems shall lead to various advanced release processes on demand for biomedical applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-28

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

  1. Steady-state VEP responses to uncomfortable stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hare, Louise

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Protein-surface interactions on stimuli-responsive polymeric biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Michael C; Toomey, Ryan G; Gallant, Nathan D

    2016-03-04

    Responsive surfaces: a review of the dependence of protein adsorption on the reversible volume phase transition in stimuli-responsive polymers. Specifically addressed are a widely studied subset: thermoresponsive polymers. Findings are also generalizable to other materials which undergo a similarly reversible volume phase transition. As of 2015, over 100,000 articles have been published on stimuli-responsive polymers and many more on protein-biomaterial interactions. Significantly, fewer than 100 of these have focused specifically on protein interactions with stimuli-responsive polymers. These report a clear trend of increased protein adsorption in the collapsed state compared to the swollen state. This control over protein interactions makes stimuli-responsive polymers highly useful in biomedical applications such as wound repair scaffolds, on-demand drug delivery, and antifouling surfaces. Outstanding questions are whether the protein adsorption is reversible with the volume phase transition and whether there is a time-dependence. A clear understanding of protein interactions with stimuli-responsive polymers will advance theoretical models, experimental results, and biomedical applications.

  4. Response of biomembrane domains to external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbancic, Iztok

    To enrich our knowledge about membrane domains, new measurement techniques with extended spatial and temporal windows are being vigorously developed by combining various approaches. Following such efforts of the scientific community, we set up fluorescence microspectroscopy (FMS), bridging two well established methods: fluorescence microscopy, which enables imaging of the samples with spatial resolution down to 200 nm, and fluorescence spectroscopy that provides molecular information of the environment at nanometer and nanosecond scale. The combined method therefore allows us to localize this type of information with the precision suitable for studying various cellular structures. Faced with weak available fluorescence signals, we have put considerable efforts into optimization of measurement processes and analysis of the data. By introducing a novel acquisition scheme and by fitting the data with a mathematical model, we preserved the spectral resolution, characteristic for spectroscopic measurements of bulk samples, also at microscopic level. We have at the same time overcome the effects of photobleaching, which had previously considerably distorted the measured spectral lineshape of photosensitive dyes and consequently hindered the reliability of FMS. Our new approach has therefore greatly extended the range of applicable environmentally sensitive probes, which can now be designed to better accommodate the needs of each particular experiment. Moreover, photobleaching of fluorescence signal can now even be exploited to obtain new valuable information about molecular environment of the probes, as bleaching rates of certain probes also depend on physical and chemical properties of the local surroundings. In this manner we increased the number of available spatially localized spectral parameters, which becomes invaluable when investigating complex biological systems that can only be adequately characterized by several independent variables. Applying the developed

  5. Pedophilic brain potential responses to adult erotic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, Verner; Impey, Danielle; Fisher, Derek; Delpero, Emily; Fedoroff, Paul

    2016-02-01

    Cognitive mechanisms associated with the relative lack of sexual interest in adults by pedophiles are poorly understood and may benefit from investigations examining how the brain processes adult erotic stimuli. The current study used event-related brain potentials (ERP) to investigate the time course of the explicit processing of erotic, emotional, and neutral pictures in 22 pedophilic patients and 22 healthy controls. Consistent with previous studies, early latency anterior ERP components were highly selective for erotic pictures. Although the ERPs elicited by emotional stimuli were similar in patients and controls, an early frontal positive (P2) component starting as early as 185 ms was significantly attenuated and slow to onset in pedophilia, and correlated with a clinical measure of cognitive distortions. Failure of rapid attentional capture by erotic stimuli suggests a relative reduction in early processing in pedophilic patients which may be associated with relatively diminished sexual interest in adults. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  8. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials for therapeutic protein delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yue; Sun, Wujin; Gu, Zhen

    2014-11-28

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

  9. Attentional capture by social stimuli in young infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxie eGluckman

    2013-08-01

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

  10. Effect of stimuli, transducers and gender on acoustic change complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hemanth N. Shetty

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of stimuli, transducers and gender on the latency and amplitude of acoustic change complex (ACC. ACC is a multiple overlapping P1-N1-P2 complex reflecting acoustic changes across the entire stimulus. Fifteen males and 15 females, in the age range of 18 to 25 (mean=21.67 years, having normal hearing participated in the study. The ACC was recorded using the vertical montage. The naturally produced stimuli /sa/ and /si/ were presented through the insert earphone/loud speaker to record the ACC. The ACC obtained from different stimuli presented through different transducers from male/female participants were analyzed using mixed analysis of variance. Dependent t-test and independent t-test were performed when indicated. There was a significant difference in latency of 2N1 at the transition, with latency for /sa/ being earlier; but not at the onset portions of ACC. There was no significant difference in amplitude of ACC between the stimuli. Among the transducers, there was no significant difference in latency and amplitude of ACC, for both /sa/ and /si/ stimuli. Female participants showed earlier latency for 2N1 and larger amplitude of N1 and 2P2 than male participants, which was significant. ACC provides important insight in detecting the subtle spectral changes in each stimulus. Among the transducers, no difference in ACC was noted as the spectra of stimuli delivered were within the frequency response of the transducers. The earlier 2N1 latency and larger N1 and 2P2 amplitudes noticed in female participants could be due to smaller head circumference. The findings of this study will be useful in determining the capacity of the auditory pathway in detecting subtle spectral changes in the stimulus at the level of the auditory cortex.

  11. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy

    OpenAIRE

    Peirce, Jonathan W.

    2009-01-01

    PsychoPy is a software library written in Python, using OpenGL to generate very precise visual stimuli on standard personal computers. It is designed to allow the construction of as wide a variety of neuroscience experiments as possible, with the least effort. By writing scripts in standard Python syntax users can generate an enormous variety of visual and auditory stimuli and can interact with a wide range of external hardware (enabling its use in fMRI, EEG, MEG etc.). The structure of scrip...

  12. The influence of motion quality on responses towards video playback stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Ware

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual motion, a critical cue in communication, can be manipulated and studied using video playback methods. A primary concern for the video playback researcher is the degree to which objects presented on video appear natural to the non-human subject. Here we argue that the quality of motion cues on video, as determined by the video's image presentation rate (IPR, are of particular importance in determining a subject's social response behaviour. We present an experiment testing the effect of variations in IPR on pigeon (Columbia livia response behaviour towards video images of courting opposite sex partners. Male and female pigeons were presented with three video playback stimuli, each containing a different social partner. Each stimulus was then modified to appear at one of three IPRs: 15, 30 or 60 progressive (p frames per second. The results showed that courtship behaviour became significantly longer in duration as IPR increased. This finding implies that the IPR significantly affects the perceived quality of motion cues impacting social behaviour. In males we found that the duration of courtship also depended on the social partner viewed and that this effect interacted with the effects of IPR on behaviour. Specifically, the effect of social partner reached statistical significance only when the stimuli were displayed at 60 p, demonstrating the potential for erroneous results when insufficient IPRs are used. In addition to demonstrating the importance of IPR in video playback experiments, these findings help to highlight and describe the role of visual motion processing in communication behaviour.

  13. Positive erotic picture stimuli for emotion research in heterosexual females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Gitta Anne; Arntz, Arnoud; Domes, Gregor; Reiss, Neele; Siep, Nicolette

    2011-12-30

    In most experimental studies, emotional pictures are widely used as stimulus material. However, there is still a lack of standardization of picture stimuli displaying erotic relationships, despite the association between a number of psychological problems and severe impairments and problems in intimate relationships. The aim of the study was to test a set of erotic stimuli, with the potential to be used in experimental studies, with heterosexual female subjects. Twenty International Affective Picture System (IAPS) pictures and an additional 100 pictures showing romantic but not explicitly sexual scenes and/or attractive single males were selected. All pictures were rated with respect to valence, arousal, and dominance by 41 heterosexual women and compared to pictures with negative, positive, and neutral emotional valence. Erotic IAPS pictures and our additional erotic pictures did not differ in any of the evaluation dimensions. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) for valence, arousal, and dominance comparing different picture valence categories showed strong effects for category. However, valence was not significantly different between erotic and positive pictures, while arousal and control were not significantly different between positive and neutral pictures. The pictures of our new set are as positive for heterosexual women as highly positive IAPS pictures, but higher in arousal and dominance. The picture set can be used in experimental psychiatric studies requiring high numbers of stimuli per category. Limitations are the restriction of stimuli application to heterosexual females only and to self-report data. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  15. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The influence of external stimuli such as pH, temperature, and ionic strength of the swelling media on equilibrium swelling properties has been observed. Hydrogels showed a typical pH and temperature responsive behaviour such as low pH and high temperature has maximum swelling while high pH and low temperature ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

    The aim of the study was to examine the presence of hyperalgesia to heat stimuli within the zone of secondary hyperalgesia to punctate mechanical stimuli. A burn was produced on the medial part of the non-dominant crus in 15 healthy volunteers with a 50 x 25 mm thermode (47 degrees C, 7 min......), and assessments were made 70 min and 40 min before, and 0, 1, and 2 h after the burn injury. Hyperalgesia to mechanical and heat stimuli were examined by von Frey hairs and contact thermodes (3.75 and 12.5 cm2), and pain responses were rated with a visual analog scale (0-100). The area of secondary hyperalgesia...... to punctate stimuli was assessed with a rigid von Frey hair (462 mN). The heat pain responses to 45 degrees C in 5 s (3.75 cm2) were tested in the area just outside the burn, where the subjects developed secondary hyperalgesia, and on the lateral crus where no subject developed secondary hyperalgesia (control...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

    Awareness is a personal experience, which is only accessible to the rest of world through interpretation. We set out to identify a neural correlate of visual awareness, using brief subliminal and supraliminal verbal stimuli while measuring cerebral blood flow distribution with H(2)(15)O PET. Awar...

  19. Stress improves selective attention towards emotionally neutral left ear stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R

    2014-09-01

    Research concerning the impact of psychological stress on visual selective attention has produced mixed results. The current paper describes two experiments which utilise a novel auditory oddball paradigm to test the impact of psychological stress on auditory selective attention. Participants had to report the location of emotionally-neutral auditory stimuli, while ignoring task-irrelevant changes in their content. The results of the first experiment, in which speech stimuli were presented, suggested that stress improves the ability to selectively attend to left, but not right ear stimuli. When this experiment was repeated using tonal stimuli the same result was evident, but only for female participants. Females were also found to experience greater levels of distraction in general across the two experiments. These findings support the goal-shielding theory which suggests that stress improves selective attention by reducing the attentional resources available to process task-irrelevant information. The study also demonstrates, for the first time, that this goal-shielding effect extends to auditory perception. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Stimulus intensity and the psychological refractory period II auditive stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koster, W.G.; Schuur, van R.

    1970-01-01

    In experiments in which stimuli are presented closely spaced in time, subjects exhibit a limitation in the transmission of the signals. The result is either a delayed response or a less accurate response. This phenomenon has been called the psychological refractory phase (Telford, 1931). It is

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Exposure to Virtual Social Stimuli Modulates Subjective Pain Reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob M Vigil

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Music influences ratings of the affect of visual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hanser, W.E.; Mark, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    This review provides an overview of recent studies that have examined how music influences the judgment of emotional stimuli, including affective pictures and film clips. The relevant findings are incorporated within a broader theory of music and emotion, and suggestions for future research are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-11-30

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

  5. Functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles for stimuli-responsive and targeted

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knezevic, Nikola [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2009-12-15

    Construction of functional supramolecular nanoassemblies has attracted great deal of attention in recent years for their wide spectrum of practical applications. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) in particular were shown to be effective scaffolds for the construction of drug carriers, sensors and catalysts. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of stimuli-responsive, controlled release MSN-based assemblies for drug delivery.

  6. Detection of differential viewing patterns to erotic and non-erotic stimuli using eye-tracking methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lykins, Amy D; Meana, Marta; Kambe, Gretchen

    2006-10-01

    As a first step in the investigation of the role of visual attention in the processing of erotic stimuli, eye-tracking methodology was employed to measure eye movements during erotic scene presentation. Because eye-tracking is a novel methodology in sexuality research, we attempted to determine whether the eye-tracker could detect differences (should they exist) in visual attention to erotic and non-erotic scenes. A total of 20 men and 20 women were presented with a series of erotic and non-erotic images and tracked their eye movements during image presentation. Comparisons between erotic and non-erotic image groups showed significant differences on two of three dependent measures of visual attention (number of fixations and total time) in both men and women. As hypothesized, there was a significant Stimulus x Scene Region interaction, indicating that participants visually attended to the body more in the erotic stimuli than in the non-erotic stimuli, as evidenced by a greater number of fixations and longer total time devoted to that region. These findings provide support for the application of eye-tracking methodology as a measure of visual attentional capture in sexuality research. Future applications of this methodology to expand our knowledge of the role of cognition in sexuality are suggested.

  7. Subliminal presentation of emotionally negative vs positive primes increases the perceived beauty of target stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Era, Vanessa; Candidi, Matteo; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2015-11-01

    Emotions have a profound influence on aesthetic experiences. Studies using affective priming procedures demonstrate, for example, that inducing a conscious negative emotional state biases the perception of abstract stimuli towards the sublime (Eskine et al. Emotion 12:1071-1074, 2012. doi: 10.1037/a0027200). Moreover, subliminal happy facial expressions have a positive impact on the aesthetic evaluation of abstract art (Flexas et al. PLoS ONE 8:e80154, 2013). Little is known about how emotion influences aesthetic perception of non-abstract, representational stimuli, especially those that are particularly relevant for social behaviour, like human bodies. Here, we explore whether the subliminal presentation of emotionally charged visual primes modulates the explicit subjective aesthetic judgment of body images. Using a forward/backward masking procedure, we presented subliminally positive and negative, arousal-matched, emotional or neutral primes and measured their effect on the explicit evaluation of perceived beauty (high vs low) and emotion (positive vs negative) evoked by abstract and body images. We found that negative primes increased subjective aesthetic evaluations of target bodies or abstract images in comparison with positive primes. No influence of primes on the emotional dimension of the targets was found, thus ruling out an unspecific arousal effect and strengthening the link between emotional valence and aesthetic appreciation. More specifically, that subliminal negative primes increase beauty ratings compared to subliminal positive primes indicates a clear link between negative emotions and positive aesthetic evaluations and vice versa, suggesting a possible link between negative emotion and the experience of sublime in art. The study expands previous research by showing the effect of subliminal negative emotions on the subjective aesthetic evaluation not only of abstract but also of body images.

  8. Relationship of extinction to perceptual thresholds for single stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meador, K J; Ray, P G; Day, L J; Loring, D W

    2001-04-24

    To demonstrate the effects of target stimulus intensity on extinction to double simultaneous stimuli. Attentional deficits contribute to extinction in patients with brain lesions, but extinction (i.e., masking) can also be produced in healthy subjects. The relationship of extinction to perceptual thresholds for single stimuli remains uncertain. Brief electrical pulses were applied simultaneously to the left and right index fingers of 16 healthy volunteers (8 young and 8 elderly adults) and 4 patients with right brain stroke (RBS). The stimulus to be perceived (i.e., target stimulus) was given at the lowest perceptual threshold to perceive any single stimulus (i.e., Minimal) and at the threshold to perceive 100% of single stimuli. The mask stimulus (i.e., stimulus given to block the target) was applied to the contralateral hand at intensities just below discomfort. Extinction was less for target stimuli at 100% than Minimal threshold for healthy subjects. Extinction of left targets was greater in patients with RBS than elderly control subjects. Left targets were extinguished less than right in healthy subjects. In contrast, the majority of left targets were extinguished in patients with RBS even when right mask intensity was reduced below right 100% threshold for single stimuli. RBS patients had less extinction for right targets despite having greater left mask - threshold difference than control subjects. In patients with RBS, right "targets" at 100% threshold extinguished left "masks" (20%) almost as frequently as left masks extinguished right targets (32%). Subtle changes in target intensity affect extinction in healthy adults. Asymmetries in mask and target intensities (relative to single-stimulus perceptual thresholds) affect extinction in RBS patients less for left targets but more for right targets as compared with control subjects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulman-Galambos, C; Galambos, R

    1978-10-01

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

  10. How Does Adult Attachment Affect Human Recognition of Love-related and Sex-related Stimuli: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Juan; Chen, Xin; Liu, Jinqun; Yao, Fangshu; Huang, Jiani; Ndasauka, Yamikani; Ma, Ru; Zhang, Yuting; Lan, Jing; Liu, Lu; Fang, Xiaoyi

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the relationship among three emotion-motivation systems (adult attachment, romantic love, and sex). We recorded event-related potentials in 37 healthy volunteers who had experienced romantic love while they viewed SEX, LOVE, FRIEND, SPORT, and NEUTRAL images. We also measured adult attachment styles, level of passionate love and sexual attitudes. As expected, results showed that, firstly, response to love-related image-stimuli and sex-related image-stimuli on the electrophysiological data significantly different on N1, N2, and positive slow wave (PSW) components. Secondly, the different adult attachment styles affected individuals’ recognition processing in response to love-related and sex-related images, especially, to sex-related images. Further analysis showed that voltages elicited by fearful attachment style individuals were significantly lower than voltages elicited by secure and dismissing attachment style individuals on sex-related images at frontal sites, on N1 and N2 components. Thirdly, from behavior data, we found that adult attachment styles were not significantly related to any dimension of sexual attitudes but were significantly related to passionate love scale (PLS) total points. Thus, the behavior results were not in line with the electrophysiological results. The present study proved that adult attachment styles might mediate individuals’ lust and attraction systems. PMID:27199830

  11. Gender differences in brain activity toward unpleasant linguistic stimuli concerning interpersonal relationships: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirao, Naoko; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Okada, Go; Ueda, Kazutaka; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2005-10-01

    Women are more vulnerable to psychosocial stressors such as interpersonal conflicts than men, and are more susceptible to some psychiatric disorders. We hypothesized that there are differences in the brain activity of men and women while perceiving unpleasant linguistic stimuli concerning interpersonal relationships, and that they underlie the different sensitivity toward these stressful stimuli. We carried out a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study on 13 young female adults and 13 young male adults who performed an emotional decision task including sets of unpleasant words concerning interpersonal relationships and sets of neutral words. In the women, the unpleasant words more significantly activated the bilateral caudate nuclei and left putamen than the neutral words. However, among the men, there was no difference in the level of activation of any brain area induced by the unpleasant or neutral word stimuli. Upon performing the task, there was a significant gender difference in brain activation. Moreover, among the female subjects, the activation in the bilateral caudate nuclei and left thalamus was negatively correlated with the average rating of pleasantness of the words concerning interpersonal conflicts by the subject. These results demonstrate gender differences in brain activity in processing unpleasant linguistic stimuli related to interpersonal conflicts. Our data suggest that the bilateral caudate nuclei and left putamen play an important role in the perception of words concerning interpersonal conflicts in women. The bilateral caudate nuclei and left thalamus may regulate a woman's sensitivity to unpleasant information about interpersonal difficulties.

  12. Neuron's eye view: Inferring features of complex stimuli from neural responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Experiments that study neural encoding of stimuli at the level of individual neurons typically choose a small set of features present in the world-contrast and luminance for vision, pitch and intensity for sound-and assemble a stimulus set that systematically varies along these dimensions. Subsequent analysis of neural responses to these stimuli typically focuses on regression models, with experimenter-controlled features as predictors and spike counts or firing rates as responses. Unfortunately, this approach requires knowledge in advance about the relevant features coded by a given population of neurons. For domains as complex as social interaction or natural movement, however, the relevant feature space is poorly understood, and an arbitrary a priori choice of features may give rise to confirmation bias. Here, we present a Bayesian model for exploratory data analysis that is capable of automatically identifying the features present in unstructured stimuli based solely on neuronal responses. Our approach is unique within the class of latent state space models of neural activity in that it assumes that firing rates of neurons are sensitive to multiple discrete time-varying features tied to the stimulus, each of which has Markov (or semi-Markov dynamics. That is, we are modeling neural activity as driven by multiple simultaneous stimulus features rather than intrinsic neural dynamics. We derive a fast variational Bayesian inference algorithm and show that it correctly recovers hidden features in synthetic data, as well as ground-truth stimulus features in a prototypical neural dataset. To demonstrate the utility of the algorithm, we also apply it to cluster neural responses and demonstrate successful recovery of features corresponding to monkeys and faces in the image set.

  13. Behavioural evidence of a dissociation between voice gender categorization and phoneme categorization using auditory morphed stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril R Pernet

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Both voice gender and speech perception rely on neuronal populations located in the peri-sylvian areas. However, whilst functional imaging studies suggest a left versus right hemisphere and anterior versus posterior dissociation between voice and speech categorization, psycholinguistic studies on talker variability suggest that these two processes (voice and speech categorization share common mechanisms. In this study, we investigated the categorical perception of voice gender (male vs. female and phonemes (/pa/ vs. /ta/ using the same stimulus continua generated by morphing. This allowed the investigation of behavioural differences while controlling acoustic characteristics, since the same stimuli were used in both tasks. Despite a higher acoustic dissimilarity between items during the phoneme categorization task (a male and female voice producing the same phonemes than the gender task (the same person producing 2 phonemes, results showed that speech information is being processed much faster than voice information. In addition, f0 or timbre equalization did not affect RT, which disagrees with the classical psycholinguistic models in which voice information is stripped away or normalized to access phonetic content. Also, despite similar response (percentages and perceptual (d’ curves, a reverse correlation analysis on acoustic features revealed, as expected, that the formant frequencies of the consonant distinguished stimuli in the phoneme task, but that only the vowel formant frequencies distinguish stimuli in the gender task. The 2nd set of results thus also disagrees with models postulating that the same acoustic information is used for voice and speech. Altogether these results suggest that voice gender categorization and phoneme categorization are dissociated at an early stage on the basis of different enhanced acoustic features that are diagnostic to the task at hand.

  14. Reduced modulation of thalamocortical connectivity during exposure to sensory stimuli in ASD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Shulamite A; Hernandez, Leanna; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Dapretto, Mirella

    2017-05-01

    Recent evidence for abnormal thalamic connectivity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sensory processing disorders suggests the thalamus may play a role in sensory over-responsivity (SOR), an extreme negative response to sensory stimuli, which is common in ASD. However, there is yet little understanding of changes in thalamic connectivity during exposure to aversive sensory inputs in individuals with ASD. In particular, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus is implicated in atypical sensory processing given its role in selective attention, regulation, and sensory integration. This study aimed to examine the role of pulvinar connectivity in ASD during mildly aversive sensory input. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine connectivity with the pulvinar during exposure to mildly aversive auditory and tactile stimuli in 38 youth (age 9-17; 19 ASD, 19 IQ-matched typically developing (TD)). Parents rated children's SOR severity on two standard scales. Compared to TD, ASD participants displayed aberrant modulation of connectivity between pulvinar and cortex (including sensory-motor and prefrontal regions) during sensory stimulation. In ASD participants, pulvinar-amygdala connectivity was correlated with severity of SOR symptoms. Deficits in modulation of thalamocortical connectivity in youth with ASD may reflect reduced thalamo-cortical inhibition in response to sensory stimulation, which could lead to difficulty filtering out and/or integrating sensory information. An increase in amygdala connectivity with the pulvinar might be partially responsible for deficits in selective attention as the amygdala signals the brain to attend to distracting sensory stimuli. Autism Res 2017, 10: 801-809. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Adaptation to Variance of Stimuli in Drosophila Larva Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolk, Jason; Gepner, Ruben; Gershow, Marc

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspelin, Nicholas; Luck, Steven J

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Stimuli-responsive hydrogels in drug delivery and tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sood, Nikhil; Bhardwaj, Ankur; Mehta, Shuchi; Mehta, Abhinav

    2016-01-01

    Hydrogels are the three-dimensional network structures obtained from a class of synthetic or natural polymers which can absorb and retain a significant amount of water. Hydrogels are one of the most studied classes of polymer-based controlled drug release. These have attracted considerable attention in biochemical and biomedical fields because of their characteristics, such as swelling in aqueous medium, biocompatibility, pH and temperature sensitivity or sensitivity towards other stimuli, which can be utilized for their controlled zero-order release. The hydrogels are expected to explore new generation of self-regulated delivery system having a wide array of desirable properties. This review highlights the exciting opportunities and challenges in the area of hydrogels. Here, we review different literatures on stimuli-sensitive hydrogels, such as role of temperature, electric potential, pH and ionic strength to control the release of drug from hydrogels.

  18. Poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly(vinyl alcohol) anchored maghemite nanoparticles designed for multi-stimuli triggered drug release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ji; Detrembleur, Christophe; Debuigne, Antoine; de Pauw-Gillet, Marie-Claire; Mornet, Stéphane; Vander Elst, Luce; Laurent, Sophie; Labrugère, Christine; Duguet, Etienne; Jérôme, Christine

    2013-11-01

    Original core/corona nanoparticles composed of a maghemite core and a stimuli-responsive polymer coating made of poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly(vinyl alcohol) macromolecules were fabricated for drug delivery system (DDS) application. This kind of DDS aims to combine the advantage of stimuli-responsive polymer coating, in order to regulate the drug release behaviours under different conditions and furthermore, improve the biocompatibility and in vivo circulation half-time of the maghemite nanoparticles. Drug loading capacity was evaluated with methylene blue (MB), a cationic model drug. The triggered release of MB was studied under various stimuli such as pH, ionic strength and temperature. Local heating generated under alternating magnetic field (AMF) application was studied, and remotely AMF-triggered release was also confirmed, while a mild heating-up of the release medium was observed. Furthermore, their potential application as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents was explored via relaxivity measurements and acquisition of T2-weighted images. Preliminary studies on the cytotoxicity against mouse fibroblast-like L929 cell line and also their cellular uptake within human melanoma MEL-5 cell line were carried out. In conclusion, this kind of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles appears to be promising carriers for delivering drugs to some tumour sites or into cellular compartments with an acidic environment.Original core/corona nanoparticles composed of a maghemite core and a stimuli-responsive polymer coating made of poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly(vinyl alcohol) macromolecules were fabricated for drug delivery system (DDS) application. This kind of DDS aims to combine the advantage of stimuli-responsive polymer coating, in order to regulate the drug release behaviours under different conditions and furthermore, improve the biocompatibility and in vivo circulation half-time of the maghemite nanoparticles. Drug loading capacity was evaluated with methylene

  19. Feedback and feedforward control of frequency tuning to naturalistic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chacron, Maurice J; Maler, Leonard; Bastian, Joseph

    2005-06-08

    Sensory neurons must respond to a wide variety of natural stimuli that can have very different spatiotemporal characteristics. Optimal responsiveness to subsets of these stimuli can be achieved by devoting specialized neural circuitry to different stimulus categories, or, alternatively, this circuitry can be modulated or tuned to optimize responsiveness to current stimulus conditions. This study explores the mechanisms that enable neurons within the initial processing station of the electrosensory system of weakly electric fish to shift their tuning properties based on the spatial extent of the stimulus. These neurons are tuned to low frequencies when the stimulus is restricted to a small region within the receptive field center but are tuned to higher frequencies when the stimulus impinges on large regions of the sensory epithelium. Through a combination of modeling and in vivo electrophysiology, we reveal the respective contributions of the filtering characteristics of extended dendritic structures and feedback circuitry to this shift in tuning. Our results show that low-frequency tuning can result from the cable properties of an extended dendrite that conveys receptor-afferent information to the cell body. The shift from low- to high-frequency tuning, seen in response to spatially extensive stimuli, results from increased wide-band input attributable to activation of larger populations of receptor afferents, as well as the activation of parallel fiber feedback from the cerebellum. This feedback provides a cancellation signal with low-pass characteristics that selectively attenuates low-frequency responsiveness. Thus, with spatially extensive stimuli, these cells preferentially respond to the higher-frequency components of the receptor-afferent input.

  20. Autobiographical memories of young adults elicited by positive musical stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Gonçalves, Ana Margarida Silva

    2015-01-01

    Dissertação de mestrado integrado em Psicologia Studies on autobiographical memories have shown the presence of three main components: childhood amnesia, recency effect and reminiscence bump (Rubin, 1986). Previous research suggests that autobiographical memories elicited by positive stimuli are associated with highly, specific and generally pleasant episodes (Krumhansl & Zupnick, 2013). Music has an important and highly emotional and social role in individual’s lives. The p...

  1. Exogenous (automatic) attention to emotional stimuli: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Current knowledge on the architecture of exogenous attention (also called automatic, bottom-up, or stimulus-driven attention, among other terms) has been mainly obtained from studies employing neutral, anodyne stimuli. Since, from an evolutionary perspective, exogenous attention can be understood as an adaptive tool for rapidly detecting salient events, reorienting processing resources to them, and enhancing processing mechanisms, emotional events (which are, by definition, salient for the in...

  2. Neural correlates of quality during perception of audiovisual stimuli

    CERN Document Server

    Arndt, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    This book presents a new approach to examining perceived quality of audiovisual sequences. It uses electroencephalography to understand how exactly user quality judgments are formed within a test participant, and what might be the physiologically-based implications when being exposed to lower quality media. The book redefines experimental paradigms of using EEG in the area of quality assessment so that they better suit the requirements of standard subjective quality testings. Therefore, experimental protocols and stimuli are adjusted accordingly. .

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munger Steven D

    2009-03-01

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

  4. Dynamism of Stimuli-Responsive Nanohybrids: Environmental Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Plazas-Tuttle

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Nanomaterial science and design have shifted from generating single passive nanoparticles to more complex and adaptive multi-component nanohybrids. These adaptive nanohybrids (ANHs are designed to simultaneously perform multiple functions, while actively responding to the surrounding environment. ANHs are engineered for use as drug delivery carriers, in tissue-engineered templates and scaffolds, adaptive clothing, smart surface coatings, electrical switches and in platforms for diversified functional applications. Such ANHs are composed of carbonaceous, metallic or polymeric materials with stimuli-responsive soft-layer coatings that enable them to perform such switchable functions. Since ANHs are engineered to dynamically transform under different exposure environments, evaluating their environmental behavior will likely require new approaches. Literature on polymer science has established a knowledge core on stimuli-responsive materials. However, translation of such knowledge to environmental health and safety (EHS of these ANHs has not yet been realized. It is critical to investigate and categorize the potential hazards of ANHs, because exposure in an unintended or shifting environment could present uncertainty in EHS. This article presents a perspective on EHS evaluation of ANHs, proposes a principle to facilitate their identification for environmental evaluation, outlines a stimuli-based classification for ANHs and discusses emerging properties and dynamic aspects for systematic EHS evaluation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Siniscalchi

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

  6. Reward modulates oculomotor competition between differently valued stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucker, Berno; Silvis, Jeroen D; Donk, Mieke; Theeuwes, Jan

    2015-03-01

    The present work explored the effects of reward in the well-known global effect paradigm in which two objects appear simultaneously in close spatial proximity. The experiment consisted of three phases (i) a pre-training phase that served as a baseline, (ii) a reward-training phase to associate differently colored stimuli with high, low and no reward value, and (iii) a post-training phase in which rewards were no longer delivered, to examine whether objects previously associated with higher reward value attracted the eyes more strongly than those associated with low or no reward value. Unlike previous reward studies, the differently valued objects directly competed with each other on the same trial. The results showed that initially eye movements were not biased towards any particular stimulus, while in the reward-training phase, eye movements started to land progressively closer towards stimuli that were associated with a high reward value. Even though rewards were no longer delivered, this bias remained robustly present in the post-training phase. A time course analysis showed that the effect of reward was present for the fastest saccades (around 170 ms) and increased with increasing latency. Although strategic effects for slower saccades cannot be ruled out, we suggest that fast oculomotor responses became habituated and were no longer under strategic attentional control. Together the results imply that reward affects oculomotor competition in favor of stimuli previously associated high reward, when multiple reward associated objects compete for selection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Differences in Swallowing between High and Low Concentration Taste Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Nagy

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Taste is a property that is thought to potentially modulate swallowing behavior. Whether such effects depend on taste, intensity remains unclear. This study explored differences in the amplitudes of tongue-palate pressures in swallowing as a function of taste stimulus concentration. Tongue-palate pressures were collected in 80 healthy women, in two age groups (under 40, over 60, stratified by genetic taste status (nontasters, supertasters. Liquids with different taste qualities (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter were presented in high and low concentrations. General labeled magnitude scale ratings captured perceived taste intensity and liking/disliking of the test liquids. Path analysis explored whether factors of taste, concentration, age group, and/or genetic taste status impacted: (1 perceived intensity; (2 palatability; and (3 swallowing pressures. Higher ratings of perceived intensity were found in supertasters and with higher concentrations, which were more liked/disliked than lower concentrations. Sweet stimuli were more palatable than sour, salty, or bitter stimuli. Higher concentrations elicited stronger tongue-palate pressures independently and in association with intensity ratings. The perceived intensity of a taste stimulus varies as a function of stimulus concentration, taste quality, participant age, and genetic taste status and influences swallowing pressure amplitudes. High-concentration salty and sour stimuli elicit the greatest tongue-palate pressures.

  8. The Commonality of Loss Aversion across Procedures and Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Byoung W.; Gilman, Jodi M.; Kuster, John K.; Blood, Anne J.; Kuhnen, Camelia M.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals tend to give losses approximately 2-fold the weight that they give gains. Such approximations of loss aversion (LA) are almost always measured in the stimulus domain of money, rather than objects or pictures. Recent work on preference-based decision-making with a schedule-less keypress task (relative preference theory, RPT) has provided a mathematical formulation for LA similar to that in prospect theory (PT), but makes no parametric assumptions in the computation of LA, uses a variable tied to communication theory (i.e., the Shannon entropy or information), and works readily with non-monetary stimuli. We evaluated if these distinct frameworks described similar LA in healthy subjects, and found that LA during the anticipation phase of the PT-based task correlated significantly with LA related to the RPT-based task. Given the ease with which non-monetary stimuli can be used on the Internet, or in animal studies, these findings open an extensive range of applications for the study of loss aversion. Furthermore, the emergence of methodology that can be used to measure preference for both social stimuli and money brings a common framework to the evaluation of preference in both social psychology and behavioral economics. PMID:26394306

  9. The Commonality of Loss Aversion across Procedures and Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Lee

    Full Text Available Individuals tend to give losses approximately 2-fold the weight that they give gains. Such approximations of loss aversion (LA are almost always measured in the stimulus domain of money, rather than objects or pictures. Recent work on preference-based decision-making with a schedule-less keypress task (relative preference theory, RPT has provided a mathematical formulation for LA similar to that in prospect theory (PT, but makes no parametric assumptions in the computation of LA, uses a variable tied to communication theory (i.e., the Shannon entropy or information, and works readily with non-monetary stimuli. We evaluated if these distinct frameworks described similar LA in healthy subjects, and found that LA during the anticipation phase of the PT-based task correlated significantly with LA related to the RPT-based task. Given the ease with which non-monetary stimuli can be used on the Internet, or in animal studies, these findings open an extensive range of applications for the study of loss aversion. Furthermore, the emergence of methodology that can be used to measure preference for both social stimuli and money brings a common framework to the evaluation of preference in both social psychology and behavioral economics.

  10. The Commonality of Loss Aversion across Procedures and Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sang; Lee, Myung J; Kim, Byoung W; Gilman, Jodi M; Kuster, John K; Blood, Anne J; Kuhnen, Camelia M; Breiter, Hans C

    2015-01-01

    Individuals tend to give losses approximately 2-fold the weight that they give gains. Such approximations of loss aversion (LA) are almost always measured in the stimulus domain of money, rather than objects or pictures. Recent work on preference-based decision-making with a schedule-less keypress task (relative preference theory, RPT) has provided a mathematical formulation for LA similar to that in prospect theory (PT), but makes no parametric assumptions in the computation of LA, uses a variable tied to communication theory (i.e., the Shannon entropy or information), and works readily with non-monetary stimuli. We evaluated if these distinct frameworks described similar LA in healthy subjects, and found that LA during the anticipation phase of the PT-based task correlated significantly with LA related to the RPT-based task. Given the ease with which non-monetary stimuli can be used on the Internet, or in animal studies, these findings open an extensive range of applications for the study of loss aversion. Furthermore, the emergence of methodology that can be used to measure preference for both social stimuli and money brings a common framework to the evaluation of preference in both social psychology and behavioral economics.

  11. Vection is modulated by the semantic meaning of stimuli and experimental instructions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Masaki; Seno, Takeharu

    2014-01-01

    Vection strength is modulated by the semantic meanings of stimuli. In experiment 1--even though vection stimuli were of uniform size, color, and luminance--when they also had semantic meaning as falling objects, vection was inhibited. Specifically, stimuli perceived as feathers, petals, and leaves did not effectively induce vection. In experiment 2 we used the downward motion of identical dots to induce vection. Participants observed stimuli while holding either an umbrella or a wooden sword. Results showed that vection was inhibited when participants held the umbrella and the stimuli was perceived as rain or snow falling. The two experiments suggest that vection is modulated by the semantic meaning of stimuli.

  12. Perceived Sexual Orientation Based on Vocal and Facial Stimuli Is Linked to Self-Rated Sexual Orientation in Czech Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentova, Jaroslava Varella; Havlíček, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has shown that lay people can accurately assess male sexual orientation based on limited information, such as face, voice, or behavioral display. Gender-atypical traits are thought to serve as cues to sexual orientation. We investigated the presumed mechanisms of sexual orientation attribution using a standardized set of facial and vocal stimuli of Czech men. Both types of stimuli were rated for sexual orientation and masculinity-femininity by non-student heterosexual women and homosexual men. Our data showed that by evaluating vocal stimuli both women and homosexual men can judge sexual orientation of the target men in agreement with their self-reported sexual orientation. Nevertheless, only homosexual men accurately attributed sexual orientation of the two groups from facial images. Interestingly, facial images of homosexual targets were rated as more masculine than heterosexual targets. This indicates that attributions of sexual orientation are affected by stereotyped association between femininity and male homosexuality; however, reliance on such cues can lead to frequent misjudgments as was the case with the female raters. Although our study is based on a community sample recruited in a non-English speaking country, the results are generally consistent with the previous research and thus corroborate the validity of sexual orientation attributions. PMID:24358180

  13. Perceived sexual orientation based on vocal and facial stimuli is linked to self-rated sexual orientation in Czech men.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslava Varella Valentova

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that lay people can accurately assess male sexual orientation based on limited information, such as face, voice, or behavioral display. Gender-atypical traits are thought to serve as cues to sexual orientation. We investigated the presumed mechanisms of sexual orientation attribution using a standardized set of facial and vocal stimuli of Czech men. Both types of stimuli were rated for sexual orientation and masculinity-femininity by non-student heterosexual women and homosexual men. Our data showed that by evaluating vocal stimuli both women and homosexual men can judge sexual orientation of the target men in agreement with their self-reported sexual orientation. Nevertheless, only homosexual men accurately attributed sexual orientation of the two groups from facial images. Interestingly, facial images of homosexual targets were rated as more masculine than heterosexual targets. This indicates that attributions of sexual orientation are affected by stereotyped association between femininity and male homosexuality; however, reliance on such cues can lead to frequent misjudgments as was the case with the female raters. Although our study is based on a community sample recruited in a non-English speaking country, the results are generally consistent with the previous research and thus corroborate the validity of sexual orientation attributions.

  14. Thermal facial reactivity patterns predict social categorization bias triggered by unconscious and conscious emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponsi, Giorgia; Panasiti, Maria Serena; Rizza, Giulia; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2017-08-30

    Members of highly social species decode, interpret, and react to the emotion of a conspecific depending on whether the other belongs to the same (ingroup) or different (outgroup) social group. While studies indicate that consciously perceived emotional stimuli drive social categorization, information about how implicit emotional stimuli and specific physiological signatures affect social categorization is lacking. We addressed this issue by exploring whether subliminal and supraliminal affective priming can influence the categorization of neutral faces as ingroup versus outgroup. Functional infrared thermal imaging was used to investigate whether the effect of affective priming on the categorization decision was moderated by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). During the subliminal condition, we found that stronger SNS activation after positive or negative affective primes induced ingroup and outgroup face categorization, respectively. The exact opposite pattern (i.e. outgroup after positive and ingroup after negative primes) was observed in the supraliminal condition. We also found that misattribution effects were stronger in people with low emotional awareness, suggesting that this trait moderates how one recognizes SNS signals and employs them for unrelated decisions. Our results allow the remarkable implication that low-level affective reactions coupled with sympathetic activation may bias social categorization. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-19

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

  17. Identifying attentional bias and emotional response after appearance-related stimuli exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Ara; Kwak, Soo-Min; Lee, Jang-Han

    2013-01-01

    The effect of media images has been regarded as a significant variable in the construction or in the activation of body images. Individuals who have a negative body image use avoidance coping strategies to minimize damage to their body image. We identified attentional biases and negative emotional responses following exposure to body stimuli. Female university students were divided into two groups based on their use of avoidance coping strategies (high-level group: high avoidance [HA]; low-group: low avoidance [LA]), and were assigned to two different conditions (exposure to thin body pictures, ET, and exposure to oversized body pictures, EO). Results showed that the HA group paid more attention to slim bodies and reported more negative emotions than the LA group, and that the EO had more negative effects than the ET. We suggest that HAs may attend more to slim bodies as a way of avoiding overweight bodies, influenced by social pressure, and in the search for a compensation of a positive emotional balance. However, attentional bias toward slim bodies can cause an upward comparison process, leading to increased body dissatisfaction, which is the main factor in the development of eating disorders (EDs). Therefore, altering avoidance coping strategies should be considered for people at risk of EDs.

  18. Development of degradable renewable polymers and stimuli-responsive nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyiler, Ersan

    The overall goal of this research was to explore new living radical polymerization methods and the blending of renewable polymers. Towards this latter goal, polylactic acid (PLA) was blended with a new renewable polymer, poly(trimethylene-malonate) (PTM), with the aim of improving mechanical properties, imparting faster degradation, and examining the relationship between degradation and mechanical properties. Blend films of PLA and PTM with various ratios (5, 10, and 20 wt %) were cast from chloroform. Partially miscible blends exhibited Young's modulus and elongation-to-break values that significantly extend PLA's usefulness. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) data showed that incorporation of 10 wt% PTM into PLA matrix exhibited a Young's modulus of 4.61 GPa, which is significantly higher than that of neat PLA (1.69 GPa). The second part of the bioplastics study involved a one-week hydrolytic degradation study of PTM and another new bioplastic, poly(trimethylene itaconate) (PTI) using DI water (pH 5.4) at room temperature, and the effects of degradation on crystallinity and mechanical properties of these films were examined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and AFM. PTI showed an increase in crystallinity with degradation, which was attributed to predominately degradation of free amorphous regions. Depending on the crystallinity, the elastic modulus increased at first, and decreased slightly. Both bulk and surface-tethered stimuli-responsive polymers were studied on amine functionalized magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles. Stimuli-responsive polymers studied, including poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA), and poly(itaconic acid) (PIA), were grafted via surface-initiated aqueous atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). Both Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectroscopies showed the progression of the grafting. The change in particle size as a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Do emotional stimuli enhance or impede recall relative to neutral stimuli? An investigation of two "false memory" tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monds, Lauren A; Paterson, Helen M; Kemp, Richard I

    2017-09-01

    Many eyewitness memory situations involve negative and distressing events; however, many studies investigating "false memory" phenomena use neutral stimuli only. The aim of the present study was to determine how both the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) procedure and the Misinformation Effect Paradigm tasks were related to each other using distressing and neutral stimuli. Participants completed the DRM (with negative and neutral word lists) and viewed a distressing or neutral film. Misinformation for the film was introduced and memory was assessed. Film accuracy and misinformation susceptibility were found to be greater for those who viewed the distressing film relative to the neutral film. Accuracy responses on both tasks were related, however, susceptibility to the DRM illusion and Misinformation Effect were not. The misinformation findings support the Paradoxical Negative Emotion (PNE) hypothesis that negative stimuli will lead to remembering more accurate details but also greater likelihood of memory distortion. However, the PNE hypothesis was not supported for the DRM results. The findings also suggest that the DRM and Misinformation tasks are not equivalent and may have differences in underlying mechanisms. Future research should focus on more ecologically valid methods of assessing false memory.

  1. Perseverative instrumental and Pavlovian responding to conditioned stimuli in serotonin transporter knockout rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nonkes, L.J.P.; Homberg, J.R.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental stimuli can influence behavior via the process of Pavlovian conditioning. Recent genetic research suggests that some individuals are more sensitive to environmental stimuli for behavioral guidance than others. One important mediator of this effect is serotonin transporter (5-HTT)

  2. Intimate stimuli result in fronto-parietal activation changes in anorexia nervosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zutphen, L; Maier, S; Siep, N; Jacob, G A; Tüscher, O; van Elst, L Tebartz; Zeeck, A; Arntz, A; O'Connor, M-F; Stamm, H; Hudek, M; Joos, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Intimacy is a key psychological problem in anorexia nervosa (AN). Empirical evidence, including neurobiological underpinnings, is however, scarce. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we evaluated various emotional stimuli including intimate stimuli experienced in patients with AN and non-patients,

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. The impact of positive, negative and neutral stimuli in a virtual reality cognitive-motor rehabilitation task: a pilot study with stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameirão, Mónica S; Faria, Ana Lúcia; Paulino, Teresa; Alves, Júlio; Bermúdez I Badia, Sergi

    2016-08-09

    Virtual Reality (VR) based methods for stroke rehabilitation have mainly focused on motor rehabilitation, but there is increasing interest in integrating motor and cognitive training to increase similarity to real-world settings. Unfortunately, more research is needed for the definition of which type of content should be used in the design of these tools. One possibility is the use of emotional stimuli, which are known to enhance attentional processes. According to the Socioemotional Selectivity Theory, as people age, the emotional salience arises for positive and neutral, but not for negative stimuli. For this study we developed a cognitive-motor VR task involving attention and short-term memory, and we investigated the impact of using emotional images of varying valence. The task consisted of finding a target image, shown for only two seconds, among fourteen neutral distractors, and selecting it through arm movements. After performing the VR task, a recall task took place and the patients had to identify the target images among a valence-matched number of distractors. Ten stroke patients participated in a within-subjects experiment with three conditions based on the valence of the images: positive, negative and neutral. Eye movements were recorded during VR task performance with an eye tracking system. Our results show decreased attention for negative stimuli in the VR task performance when compared to neutral stimuli. The recall task shows significantly more wrongly identified images (false memories) for negative stimuli than for neutral. Regression and correlation analyses with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and the Geriatric Depression Scale revealed differential effects of cognitive function and depressive symptomatology in the encoding and recall of positive, negative and neutral images. Further, eye movement data shows reduced search patterns for wrongly selected stimuli containing emotional content. The results of this study suggest that it is feasible

  6. Relationships between sensory stimuli and autonomic nervous regulation during real and virtual exercises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iijima Atsuhiko

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Application of virtual environment (VE technology to motor rehabilitation increases the number of possible rehabilitation tasks and/or exercises. However, enhancing a specific sensory stimulus sometimes causes unpleasant sensations or fatigue, which would in turn decrease motivation for continuous rehabilitation. To select appropriate tasks and/or exercises for individuals, evaluation of physical activity during recovery is necessary, particularly the changes in the relationship between autonomic nervous activity (ANA and sensory stimuli. Methods We estimated the ANA from the R-R interval time series of electrocardiogram and incoming sensory stimuli that would activate the ANA. For experiments in real exercise, we measured vehicle data and electromyogram signals during cycling exercise. For experiments in virtual exercise, we measured eye movement in relation to image motion vectors while the subject was viewing a mountain-bike video image from a first-person viewpoint. Results For the real cycling exercise, the results were categorized into four groups by evaluating muscle fatigue in relation to the ANA. They suggested that fatigue should be evaluated on the basis of not only muscle activity but also autonomic nervous regulation after exercise. For the virtual exercise, the ANA-related conditions revealed a remarkable time distribution of trigger points that would change eye movement and evoke unpleasant sensations. Conclusion For expanding the options of motor rehabilitation using VE technology, approaches need to be developed for simultaneously monitoring and separately evaluating the activation of autonomic nervous regulation in relation to neuromuscular and sensory systems with different time scales.

  7. A dual-stimuli-responsive fluorescent switch ultrathin film

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhixiong; Liang, Ruizheng; Liu, Wendi; Yan, Dongpeng; Wei, Min

    2015-10-01

    Stimuli-responsive fluorescent switches have shown broad applications in optical devices, biological materials and intelligent responses. Herein, we describe the design and fabrication of a dual-stimuli-responsive fluorescent switch ultrathin film (UTF) via a three-step layer-by-layer (LBL) technique: (i) encapsulation of spiropyran (SP) within an amphiphilic block copolymer (PTBEM) to give the (SP@PTBEM) micelle; (ii) the mixture of riboflavin (Rf) and poly(styrene 4-sulfonate) (PSS) to enhance the adhesion ability of small molecules; (iii) assembly of negatively charged SP@PTBEM and Rf-PSS with cationic layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanoplatelets to obtain the (Rf-PSS/LDH/SP@PTBEM)n UTFs (n: bilayer number). The assembly process of the UTFs and their luminescence properties, as monitored by fluorescence spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), present a uniform and ordered layered structure with stepwise growth. The resulting Rf-PSS/LDH/SP@PTBEM UTF serves as a three-state switchable multicolor (green, yellow, and red) luminescent system based on stimulation from UV/Vis light and pH, with an acceptable reversibility. Therefore, this work provides a facile way to fabricate stimuli-responsive solid-state film switches with tunable-color luminescence, which have potential applications in the areas of displays, sensors, and rewritable optical memory and fluorescent logic devices.Stimuli-responsive fluorescent switches have shown broad applications in optical devices, biological materials and intelligent responses. Herein, we describe the design and fabrication of a dual-stimuli-responsive fluorescent switch ultrathin film (UTF) via a three-step layer-by-layer (LBL) technique: (i) encapsulation of spiropyran (SP) within an amphiphilic block copolymer (PTBEM) to give the (SP@PTBEM) micelle; (ii) the mixture of riboflavin (Rf) and poly(styrene 4-sulfonate) (PSS) to enhance the adhesion ability of small molecules; (iii) assembly of negatively charged SP

  8. Do Live versus Audio-Recorded Narrative Stimuli Influence Young Children's Narrative Comprehension and Retell Quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The primary aim of the present study was to examine whether different ways of presenting narrative stimuli (i.e., live narrative stimuli versus audio-recorded narrative stimuli) influence children's performances on narrative comprehension and oral-retell quality. Method: Children in kindergarten (n = 54), second grade (n = 74), and fourth…

  9. Cognitive conflict increases processing of negative, task-irrelevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligeza, Tomasz S; Wyczesany, Miroslaw

    2017-10-01

    The detection of cognitive conflict is thought to trigger adjustments in executive control. It has been recently shown that cognitive conflict increases processing of stimuli that are relevant to the ongoing task and that these modulations are exerted by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). However, it is still unclear whether such control influences are unspecific and might also affect the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. The aim of the study was to examine if cognitive conflict affects processing of neutral and negative, task-irrelevant pictures. Participants responded to congruent (non-conflict) or to incongruent (conflict-eliciting) trials of a modified flanker task. Each response was followed by a presentation of a neutral or negative picture. The late positive potential (LPP) in response to picture presentation was used to assess the level of picture processing after conflict vs non-conflict trials. Connectivity between the DLPFC and attentional and perceptual areas during picture presentation was analysed to check if the DLPFC might be a source of these modulations. ERP results showed an effect of cognitive conflict only on processing of negative pictures: LPP in response to negative pictures was increased after conflict trials, whereas LPP in response to neutral pictures remained unchanged. Cortical connectivity analysis showed that conflict trials intensified information flow from the DLPFC towards attentional and perceptual regions. Results suggest that cognitive conflict increases processing of task-irrelevant stimuli; however, they must display high biological salience. Increase in cognitive control exerted by the DLPFC over attentional and perceptual regions is a probable mechanism of the effect. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Impact of emotion on consciousness: positive stimuli enhance conscious reportability.

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    Kristine Rømer Thomsen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Emotion and reward have been proposed to be closely linked to conscious experience, but empirical data are lacking. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC plays a central role in the hedonic dimension of conscious experience; thus potentially a key region in interactions between emotion and consciousness. Here we tested the impact of emotion on conscious experience, and directly investigated the role of the ACC. We used a masked paradigm that measures conscious reportability in terms of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in identifying the briefly presented stimulus in a forced-choice test. By manipulating the emotional valence (positive, neutral, negative and the presentation time (16 ms, 32 ms, 80 ms we measured the impact of these variables on conscious and subliminal (i.e. below threshold processing. First, we tested normal participants using face and word stimuli. Results showed that participants were more confident and accurate when consciously seeing happy versus sad/neutral faces and words. When stimuli were presented subliminally, we found no effect of emotion. To investigate the neural basis of this impact of emotion, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs directly in the ACC in a chronic pain patient. Behavioural findings were replicated: the patient was more confident and accurate when (consciously seeing happy versus sad faces, while no effect was seen in subliminal trials. Mirroring behavioural findings, we found significant differences in the LFPs after around 500 ms (lasting 30 ms in conscious trials between happy and sad faces, while no effect was found in subliminal trials. We thus demonstrate a striking impact of emotion on conscious experience, with positive emotional stimuli enhancing conscious reportability. In line with previous studies, the data indicate a key role of the ACC, but goes beyond earlier work by providing the first direct evidence of interaction between emotion and conscious experience in the human

  11. Neurophysiological responses to music and vibroacoustic stimuli in Rett syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergström-Isacsson, Märith; Lagerkvist, Bengt; Holck, Ulla; Gold, Christian

    2014-06-01

    People with Rett syndrome (RTT) have severe communicative difficulties. They have as well an immature brainstem that implies dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Music plays an important role in their life, is often used as a motivating tool in a variety of situations and activities, and caregivers are often clear about people with RTTs favourites. The aim of this study was to investigate physiological and emotional responses related to six different musical stimuli in people with RTT. The study included 29 participants with RTT who were referred to the Swedish Rett Center for medical brainstem assessment during the period 2006-2007. 11 children with a typical developmental pattern were used as comparison. A repeated measures design was used, and physiological data were collected from a neurophysiological brainstem assessment. The continuous dependent variables measured were Cardiac Vagal Tone (CVT), Cardiac Sensitivity to Baroreflex (CSB), Mean Arterial Blood Pressure (MAP) and the Coefficient of Variation of Mean Arterial Blood Pressure (MAP-CV). These parameters were used to categorise brainstem responses as parasympathetic (calming) response, sympathetic (activating) response, arousal (alerting) response and unclear response. The results showed that all participants responded to the musical stimuli, but not always in the expected way. It was noticeable that both people with and without RTT responded with an arousal to all musical stimuli to begin with. Even though the initial expressions sometimes changed after some time due to poor control functions of their brainstem, the present results are consistent with the possibility that the RTT participants' normal responses to music are intact. These findings may explain why music is so important for individuals with RTT throughout life. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. [Responses of bat cochlear nucleus neurons to ultrasonic stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'ev, A G; Grigor'eva, T I

    1977-01-01

    The responses of cochlear nuclei single units in Vespertilionidae and Rhinolophidae were studied by means of ultrasound stimuli of different frequencies. Most neurons were found to have one or two complementary response areas with best frequencies equal to 1/2 and 1/3 of the highest one (which we regard as the basic best frequency). In Vespertilionidae which emit frequency-modulated signals some neurons have complementary areas with upper thresholds. The latency of responses do not correlate with the stimulus frequency. This suggests that there is no correlative reception of echosignals at this level of auditory system in bats.

  13. Stimuli-Responsive Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites under Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piao, Shang Hao; Kwon, Seung Hyuk; Choi, Hyoung Jin

    2016-01-01

    This short Feature Article reviews electric stimuli-responsive polymer/clay nanocomposites with respect to their fabrication, physical characteristics and electrorheological (ER) behaviors under applied electric fields when dispersed in oil. Their structural characteristics, morphological features and thermal degradation behavior were examined by X-ray diffraction pattern, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis, respectively. Particular focus is given to the electro-responsive ER characteristics of the polymer/clay nanocomposites in terms of the yield stress and viscoelastic properties along with their applications. PMID:28787852

  14. Neurophysiological responses to music and vibroacoustic stimuli in Rett syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergström-Isacsson, Märith; Lagerkvist, Bengt; Holck, Ulla

    2014-01-01

    People with Rett syndrome (RTT) have severe communicative difficulties. They have as well an immature brainstem that implies dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Music plays an important role in their life, is often used as a motivating tool in a variety of situations and activities......, and caregivers are often clear about people with RTTs favourites. The aim of this study was to investigate physiological and emotional responses related to six different musical stimuli in people with RTT. The study included 29 participants with RTT who were referred to the Swedish Rett Center for medical...

  15. Encoding of natural and artificial stimuli in the auditory midbrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyzwa, Dominika

    How complex acoustic stimuli are encoded in the main center of convergence in the auditory midbrain is not clear. Here, the representation of neural spiking responses to natural and artificial sounds across this subcortical structure is investigated based on neurophysiological recordings from the mammalian midbrain. Neural and stimulus correlations of neuronal pairs are analyzed with respect to the neurons' distance, and responses to different natural communication sounds are discriminated. A model which includes linear and nonlinear neural response properties of this nucleus is presented and employed to predict temporal spiking responses to new sounds. Supported by BMBF Grant 01GQ0811.

  16. Attentional capture by social stimuli in young infants

    OpenAIRE

    Gluckman, Maxie; Johnson, Scott P.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the possibility that a range of social stimuli capture the attention of 6-month-old infants when in competition with other non-face objects. Infants viewed a series of six-item arrays in which one target item was a face, body part, or animal as their eye movements were recorded. Stimulus arrays were also processed for relative salience of each item in terms of color, luminance, and amount of contour. Targets were rarely the most visually salient items in the arrays, yet inf...

  17. Neural responses to smoking stimuli are influenced by smokers' attitudes towards their own smoking behaviour.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bastian Stippekohl

    Full Text Available An important feature of addiction is the high drug craving that may promote the continuation of consumption. Environmental stimuli classically conditioned to drug-intake have a strong motivational power for addicts and can elicit craving. However, addicts differ in the attitudes towards their own consumption behavior: some are content with drug taking (consonant users whereas others are discontent (dissonant users. Such differences may be important for clinical practice because the experience of dissonance might enhance the likelihood to consider treatment. This fMRI study investigated in smokers whether these different attitudes influence subjective and neural responses to smoking stimuli. Based on self-characterization, smokers were divided into consonant and dissonant smokers. These two groups were presented smoking stimuli and neutral stimuli. Former studies have suggested differences in the impact of smoking stimuli depending on the temporal stage of the smoking ritual they are associated with. Therefore, we used stimuli associated with the beginning (BEGIN-smoking-stimuli and stimuli associated with the terminal stage (END-smoking-stimuli of the smoking ritual as distinct stimulus categories. Stimulus ratings did not differ between both groups. Brain data showed that BEGIN-smoking-stimuli led to enhanced mesolimbic responses (amygdala, hippocampus, insula in dissonant compared to consonant smokers. In response to END-smoking-stimuli, dissonant smokers showed reduced mesocortical responses (orbitofrontal cortex, subcallosal cortex compared to consonant smokers. These results suggest that smoking stimuli with a high incentive value (BEGIN-smoking-stimuli are more appetitive for dissonant than consonant smokers at least on the neural level. To the contrary, smoking stimuli with low incentive value (END-smoking-stimuli seem to be less appetitive for dissonant smokers than consonant smokers. These differences might be one reason why dissonant

  18. Neural responses to smoking stimuli are influenced by smokers' attitudes towards their own smoking behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stippekohl, Bastian; Winkler, Markus H; Walter, Bertram; Kagerer, Sabine; Mucha, Ronald F; Pauli, Paul; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2012-01-01

    An important feature of addiction is the high drug craving that may promote the continuation of consumption. Environmental stimuli classically conditioned to drug-intake have a strong motivational power for addicts and can elicit craving. However, addicts differ in the attitudes towards their own consumption behavior: some are content with drug taking (consonant users) whereas others are discontent (dissonant users). Such differences may be important for clinical practice because the experience of dissonance might enhance the likelihood to consider treatment. This fMRI study investigated in smokers whether these different attitudes influence subjective and neural responses to smoking stimuli. Based on self-characterization, smokers were divided into consonant and dissonant smokers. These two groups were presented smoking stimuli and neutral stimuli. Former studies have suggested differences in the impact of smoking stimuli depending on the temporal stage of the smoking ritual they are associated with. Therefore, we used stimuli associated with the beginning (BEGIN-smoking-stimuli) and stimuli associated with the terminal stage (END-smoking-stimuli) of the smoking ritual as distinct stimulus categories. Stimulus ratings did not differ between both groups. Brain data showed that BEGIN-smoking-stimuli led to enhanced mesolimbic responses (amygdala, hippocampus, insula) in dissonant compared to consonant smokers. In response to END-smoking-stimuli, dissonant smokers showed reduced mesocortical responses (orbitofrontal cortex, subcallosal cortex) compared to consonant smokers. These results suggest that smoking stimuli with a high incentive value (BEGIN-smoking-stimuli) are more appetitive for dissonant than consonant smokers at least on the neural level. To the contrary, smoking stimuli with low incentive value (END-smoking-stimuli) seem to be less appetitive for dissonant smokers than consonant smokers. These differences might be one reason why dissonant smokers

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikkel Wallentin

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Misremembering emotion: Inductive category effects for complex emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbin, Jonathan C; Crawford, L Elizabeth; Vavra, Dylan T

    2017-07-01

    Memories of objects are biased toward what is typical of the category to which they belong. Prior research on memory for emotional facial expressions has demonstrated a bias towards an emotional expression prototype (e.g., slightly happy faces are remembered as happier). We investigate an alternate source of bias in memory for emotional expressions - the central tendency bias. The central tendency bias skews reconstruction of a memory trace towards the center of the distribution for a particular attribute. This bias has been attributed to a Bayesian combination of an imprecise memory for a particular object with prior information about its category. Until now, studies examining the central tendency bias have focused on simple stimuli. We extend this work to socially relevant, complex, emotional facial expressions. We morphed facial expressions on a continuum from sad to happy. Different ranges of emotion were used in four experiments in which participants viewed individual expressions and, after a variable delay, reproduced each face by adjusting a morph to match it. Estimates were biased toward the center of the presented stimulus range, and the bias increased at longer memory delays, consistent with the Bayesian prediction that as trace memory loses precision, category knowledge is given more weight. The central tendency effect persisted within and across emotion categories (sad, neutral, and happy). This article expands the scope of work on inductive category effects to memory for complex, emotional stimuli.

  2. Music Influences Ratings of the Affect of Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waldie E Hanser

    2013-09-01

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

  3. Investigating vision in schizophrenia through responses to humorous stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Tschacher

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  5. Medial temporal lobe damage impairs representation of simple stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Warren

    2010-05-01

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

  6. Representation of dynamical stimuli in populations of threshold neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana Tchumatchenko

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Many sensory or cognitive events are associated with dynamic current modulations in cortical neurons. This raises an urgent demand for tractable model approaches addressing the merits and limits of potential encoding strategies. Yet, current theoretical approaches addressing the response to mean- and variance-encoded stimuli rarely provide complete response functions for both modes of encoding in the presence of correlated noise. Here, we investigate the neuronal population response to dynamical modifications of the mean or variance of the synaptic bombardment using an alternative threshold model framework. In the variance and mean channel, we provide explicit expressions for the linear and non-linear frequency response functions in the presence of correlated noise and use them to derive population rate response to step-like stimuli. For mean-encoded signals, we find that the complete response function depends only on the temporal width of the input correlation function, but not on other functional specifics. Furthermore, we show that both mean- and variance-encoded signals can relay high-frequency inputs, and in both schemes step-like changes can be detected instantaneously. Finally, we obtain the pairwise spike correlation function and the spike triggered average from the linear mean-evoked response function. These results provide a maximally tractable limiting case that complements and extends previous results obtained in the integrate and fire framework.

  7. Auditory stimuli elicit hippocampal neuronal responses during sleep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina eVinnik

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available To investigate how hippocampal neurons code behaviorally salient stimuli, we recorded from neurons in the CA1 region of hippocampus in rats while they learned to associate the presence of sound with water reward. Rats learned to alternate between two reward ports at which, in 50 percent of the trials, sound stimuli were presented followed by water reward after a 3-second delay. Sound at the water port predicted subsequent reward delivery in 100 percent of the trials and the absence of sound predicted reward omission. During this task, 40% of recorded neurons fired differently according to which of the 2 reward ports the rat was visiting. A smaller fraction of neurons demonstrated onset response to sound/nosepoke (19% and reward delivery (24%. When the sounds were played during passive wakefulness, 8% of neurons responded with short latency onset responses; 25% of neurons responded to sounds when they were played during sleep. Based on the current findings and the results of previous experiments we propose the existence of two types of hippocampal neuronal responses to sounds: sound-onset responses with very short latency and longer-lasting sound-specific responses that are likely to be present when the animal is actively engaged in the task. During sleep the short-latency responses in hippocampus are intermingled with sustained activity which in the current experiment was detected for 1-2 seconds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babbitt, B C

    1982-01-01

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

  9. Crosslinked ionic polysaccharides for stimuli-sensitive drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Lorenzo, Carmen; Blanco-Fernandez, Barbara; Puga, Ana M; Concheiro, Angel

    2013-08-01

    Polysaccharides are gaining increasing attention as components of stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems, particularly since they can be obtained in a well characterized and reproducible way from the natural sources. Ionic polysaccharides can be readily crosslinked to render hydrogel networks sensitive to a variety of internal and external variables, and thus suitable for switching drug release on-off through diverse mechanisms. Hybrids, composites and grafted polymers can reinforce the responsiveness and widen the range of stimuli to which polysaccharide-based systems can respond. This review analyzes the state of the art of crosslinked ionic polysaccharides as components of delivery systems that can regulate drug release as a function of changes in pH, ion nature and concentration, electric and magnetic field intensity, light wavelength, temperature, redox potential, and certain molecules (enzymes, illness markers, and so on). Examples of specific applications are provided. The information compiled demonstrates that crosslinked networks of ionic polysaccharides are suitable building blocks for developing advanced externally activated and feed-back modulated drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Healable thermoset polymer composite embedded with stimuli-responsive fibres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoqiang; Meng, Harper; Hu, Jinlian

    2012-01-01

    Severe wounds in biological systems such as human skin cannot heal themselves, unless they are first stitched together. Healing of macroscopic damage in thermoset polymer composites faces a similar challenge. Stimuli-responsive shape-changing polymeric fibres with outstanding mechanical properties embedded in polymers may be able to close macro-cracks automatically upon stimulation such as heating. Here, a stimuli-responsive fibre (SRF) with outstanding mechanical properties and supercontraction capability was fabricated for the purpose of healing macroscopic damage. The SRFs and thermoplastic particles (TPs) were incorporated into regular thermosetting epoxy for repeatedly healing macroscopic damages. The system works by mimicking self-healing of biological systems such as human skin, close (stitch) then heal, i.e. close the macroscopic crack through the thermal-induced supercontraction of the SRFs, and bond the closed crack through melting and diffusing of TPs at the crack interface. The healing efficiency determined using tapered double-cantilever beam specimens was 94 per cent. The self-healing process was reasonably repeatable. PMID:22896563

  11. Stimuli-responsive Smart Liposomes in Cancer Targeting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Ankit; Jain, Sanjay K

    2018-02-08

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

  12. Startle Auditory Stimuli Enhance the Performance of Fast Dynamic Contractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Del-Olmo, Miguel; Río-Rodríguez, Dan; Iglesias-Soler, Eliseo; Acero, Rafael M.

    2014-01-01

    Fast reaction times and the ability to develop a high rate of force development (RFD) are crucial for sports performance. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of auditory stimuli of different intensities on the performance of a concentric bench-press exercise. Concentric bench-presses were performed by thirteen trained subjects in response to three different conditions: a visual stimulus (VS); a visual stimulus accompanied by a non-startle auditory stimulus (AS); and a visual stimulus accompanied by a startle auditory stimulus (SS). Peak RFD, peak velocity, onset movement, movement duration and electromyography from pectoralis and tricep muscles were recorded. The SS condition induced an increase in the RFD and peak velocity and a reduction in the movement onset and duration, in comparison with the VS and AS condition. The onset activation of the pectoralis and tricep muscles was shorter for the SS than for the VS and AS conditions. These findings point out to specific enhancement effects of loud auditory stimulation on the rate of force development. This is of relevance since startle stimuli could be used to explore neural adaptations to resistance training. PMID:24489967

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Fernandez-Del-Olmo

    Full Text Available Fast reaction times and the ability to develop a high rate of force development (RFD are crucial for sports performance. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of auditory stimuli of different intensities on the performance of a concentric bench-press exercise. Concentric bench-presses were performed by thirteen trained subjects in response to three different conditions: a visual stimulus (VS; a visual stimulus accompanied by a non-startle auditory stimulus (AS; and a visual stimulus accompanied by a startle auditory stimulus (SS. Peak RFD, peak velocity, onset movement, movement duration and electromyography from pectoralis and tricep muscles were recorded. The SS condition induced an increase in the RFD and peak velocity and a reduction in the movement onset and duration, in comparison with the VS and AS condition. The onset activation of the pectoralis and tricep muscles was shorter for the SS than for the VS and AS conditions. These findings point out to specific enhancement effects of loud auditory stimulation on the rate of force development. This is of relevance since startle stimuli could be used to explore neural adaptations to resistance training.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masoud, Hassan; Alexeev, Alexander

    2012-11-01

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

  15. Moving Stimuli Facilitate Synchronization But Not Temporal Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Susana; Castro, São Luís

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that a moving visual stimulus (e.g., a bouncing ball) facilitates synchronization compared to a static stimulus (e.g., a flashing light), and that it can even be as effective as an auditory beep. We asked a group of participants to perform different tasks with four stimulus types: beeps, siren-like sounds, visual flashes (static) and bouncing balls. First, participants performed synchronization with isochronous sequences (stimulus-guided synchronization), followed by a continuation phase in which the stimulus was internally generated (imagery-guided synchronization). Then they performed a perception task, in which they judged whether the final part of a temporal sequence was compatible with the previous beat structure (stimulus-guided perception). Similar to synchronization, an imagery-guided variant was added, in which sequences contained a gap in between (imagery-guided perception). Balls outperformed flashes and matched beeps (powerful ball effect) in stimulus-guided synchronization but not in perception (stimulus- or imagery-guided). In imagery-guided synchronization, performance accuracy decreased for beeps and balls, but not for flashes and sirens. Our findings suggest that the advantages of moving visual stimuli over static ones are grounded in action rather than perception, and they support the hypothesis that the sensorimotor coupling mechanisms for auditory (beeps) and moving visual stimuli (bouncing balls) overlap.

  16. Physiological responses to social and nonsocial stimuli in neurotypical adults with high and low levels of autistic traits: implications for understanding nonsocial drive in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, Clarence J; Ashwin, Chris; Brosnan, Mark

    2014-12-01

    Researchers have suggested that the two primary cognitive features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a drive toward nonsocial processing and a reduced drive toward social processing, may be unrelated to each other in the neurotypical (NT) population and may therefore require separate explanations. Drive toward types of processing may be related to physiological arousal to categories of stimuli, such as social (e.g., faces) or nonsocial (e.g., trains). This study investigated how autistic traits in an NT population might relate to differences in physiological responses to nonsocial compared with social stimuli. NT participants were recruited to examine these differences in those with high vs. low degrees of ASD traits. Forty-six participants (21 male, 25 female) completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) to measure ASD traits before viewing a series of 24 images while skin conductance response (SCR) was recorded. Images included six nonsocial, six social, six face-like cartoons, and six nonsocial (relating to participants' personal interests). Analysis revealed that those with a higher AQ had significantly greater SCR arousal to nonsocial stimuli than those with a low AQ, and the higher the AQ, the greater the difference between SCR arousal to nonsocial and social stimuli. This is the first study to identify the relationship between AQ and physiological response to nonsocial stimuli, and a relationship between physiological response to both social and nonsocial stimuli, suggesting that physiological response may underlie the atypical drive toward nonsocial processing seen in ASD, and that at the physiological level at least the social and nonsocial in ASD may be related to one another. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Smiling faces and cash bonuses: Exploring common affective coding across positive and negative emotional and motivational stimuli using fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Haeme R P; Kostandyan, Mariam; Boehler, C Nico; Krebs, Ruth M

    2018-06-01

    Although it is clear that emotional and motivational manipulations yield a strong influence on cognition and behaviour, these domains have mostly been investigated in independent research lines. Therefore, it remains poorly understood how far these affective manipulations overlap in terms of their underlying neural activations, especially in light of previous findings that suggest a shared valence mechanism across multiple affective processing domains (e.g., monetary incentives, primary rewards, emotional events). This is particularly interesting considering the commonality between emotional and motivational constructs in terms of their basic affective nature (positive vs. negative), but dissociations in terms of instrumentality, in that only reward-related stimuli are typically associated with performance-contingent outcomes. Here, we aimed to examine potential common neural processes triggered by emotional and motivational stimuli in matched tasks within participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Across tasks, we found shared valence effects in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus (part of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), with increased activity for positive and negative stimuli, respectively. Despite this commonality, emotion and reward tasks featured differential behavioural patterns in that negative valence effects (performance costs) were exclusive to emotional stimuli, while positive valence effects (performance benefits) were only observed for reward-related stimuli. Overall, our data suggest a common affective coding mechanism across different task domains and support the idea that monetary incentives entail signed basic valence signals, above and beyond the instruction to perform both gain and loss trials as accurately as possible to maximise the outcome.

  18. The Motivating Effect of Antecedent Stimuli on the Web Shop: A Conjoint Analysis of the Impact of Antecedent Stimuli at the Point of Online Purchase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagerstrom, Asle

    2010-01-01

    This article introduces the concept of motivating operation (MO) to the field of online consumer research. A conjoint analysis was conducted to assess the motivating impact of antecedent stimuli on online purchasing. Stimuli tested were in-stock status, price, other customers' reviews, order confirmation procedures, and donation to charity. The…

  19. The analysis of the influence of fractal structure of stimuli on fractal dynamics in fixational eye movements and EEG signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namazi, Hamidreza; Kulish, Vladimir V.; Akrami, Amin

    2016-05-01

    One of the major challenges in vision research is to analyze the effect of visual stimuli on human vision. However, no relationship has been yet discovered between the structure of the visual stimulus, and the structure of fixational eye movements. This study reveals the plasticity of human fixational eye movements in relation to the ‘complex’ visual stimulus. We demonstrated that the fractal temporal structure of visual dynamics shifts towards the fractal dynamics of the visual stimulus (image). The results showed that images with higher complexity (higher fractality) cause fixational eye movements with lower fractality. Considering the brain, as the main part of nervous system that is engaged in eye movements, we analyzed the governed Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal during fixation. We have found out that there is a coupling between fractality of image, EEG and fixational eye movements. The capability observed in this research can be further investigated and applied for treatment of different vision disorders.

  20. Effect of expectation on pain assessment of lower- and higher-intensity stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ružić, Valentina; Ivanec, Dragutin; Modić Stanke, Koraljka

    2017-01-01

    Pain modulation via expectation is a well-documented phenomenon. So far it has been shown that expectations about effectiveness of a certain treatment enhance the effectiveness of different analgesics and of drug-free pain treatments. Also, studies demonstrate that people assess same-intensity stimuli differently, depending on the experimentally induced expectations regarding the characteristics of the stimuli. Prolonged effect of expectation on pain perception and possible symmetry in conditions of lower- and higher-intensity stimuli is yet to be studied. Aim of this study is to determine the effect of expectation on the perception of pain experimentally induced by the series of higher- and lower-intensity stimuli. 192 healthy participants were assigned to four experimental groups differing by expectations regarding the intensity of painful stimuli series. Expectations of two groups were congruent with actual stimuli; one group expected and received lower-intensity stimuli and the other expected and received higher-intensity stimuli. Expectations of the remaining two groups were not congruent with actual stimuli; one group expected higher-intensity stimuli, but actually received lower-intensity stimuli while the other group expected lower-intensity stimuli, but in fact received higher-intensity ones. Each group received a series of 24 varied-intensity electrical stimuli rated by the participants on a 30° intensity scale. Expectation manipulation had statistically significant effect on pain intensity assessment. When expecting lower-intensity stimuli, the participants underestimated pain intensity and when expecting higher-intensity stimuli, they overestimated pain intensity. The effect size of expectations upon pain intensity assessment was equal for both lower- and higher-intensity stimuli. The obtained results imply that expectation manipulation can achieve the desired effect of decreasing or increasing both slight and more severe pain for a longer period of

  1. Stimuli-responsive PEGylated prodrugs for targeted doxorubicin delivery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Minghui; Qian, Junmin, E-mail: jmqian@mail.xjtu.edu.cn; Liu, Xuefeng; Liu, Ting; Wang, Hongjie

    2015-05-01

    In recent years, stimuli-sensitive prodrugs have been extensively studied for the rapid “burst” release of antitumor drugs to enhance chemotherapeutic efficiency. In this study, a novel stimuli-sensitive prodrug containing galactosamine as a targeting moiety, poly(ethylene glycol)–doxorubicin (PEG–DOX) conjugate, was developed for targeting HepG2 human liver cancer cells. To obtain the PEG–DOX conjugate, both galactosamine-decorated poly(ethylene glycol) aldehyde (Gal-PEG-CHO) and methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) aldehyde (mPEG-CHO) were firstly synthesized and functionalized with dithiodipropionate dihydrazide (TPH) through direct reductive amination via Schiff's base formation, and then DOX molecules were chemically conjugated to the hydrazide end groups of TPH-functionalized Gal-/m-PEG chains via pH-sensitive hydrazone linkages. The chemical structures of TPH-functionalized PEG and PEG–DOX prodrug were confirmed by {sup 1}H NMR analysis. The PEG–DOX conjugate could self-assemble into spherical nanomicelles with a mean diameter of 140 nm, as indicated by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The drug loading content and loading efficiency in the prodrug nanomicelles were as high as 20 wt.% and 75 wt.%, respectively. In vitro drug release studies showed that DOX was released rapidly from the prodrug nanomicelles at the intracellular levels of pH and reducing agent. Cellular uptake and MTT experiments demonstrated that the galactosamine-decorated prodrug nanomicelles were more efficiently internalized into HepG2 cells via a receptor-mediated endocytosis process and exhibited a higher toxicity, compared with pristine prodrug nanomicelles. These results suggest that the novel Gal-PEG–DOX prodrug nanomicelles have tremendous potential for targeted liver cancer therapy. - Highlights: • A novel stimuli-responsive PEGylated prodrugs is synthesized. • PEGylated prodrugs can self-assemble into spherical nanoparticles (140 nm

  2. Distress intolerance moderation of motivated attention to cannabis and negative stimuli after induced stress among cannabis users: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macatee, Richard J; Okey, Sarah A; Albanese, Brian J; Schmidt, Norman B; Cougle, Jesse R

    2018-05-07

    Prevalence of cannabis use is increasing, but many regular users do not develop cannabis use disorder (CUD); thus, CUD risk identification among current users is vital for targeted intervention development. Existing data suggest that high distress intolerance (DI), an individual difference reflective of the ability to tolerate negative affect, may be linked to CUD, but no studies have tested possible neurophysiological mechanisms. Increased motivated attentional processing of cannabis and negative emotional stimuli as indexed by neurophysiology [i.e. the late positive potential (LPP)], particularly during acute stress, may contribute to CUD among high DI users. Frequent cannabis users with high (n = 61) and low DI (n = 44) viewed cannabis, negative, and matched neutral images during electroencephalography (EEG) recording before and after a laboratory stressor. Cannabis cue-elicited modulation of the 1000- to 3000-milliseconds LPP was larger in high DI users at post-stressor only, although the effect was only robust in the 1000- to 2000-milliseconds window. Further, modulation magnitude in the high DI group covaried with stress-relief craving and some CUD indices in the 400- to 1000-milliseconds and 1000- to 3000-milliseconds windows, respectively. No significant effects of DI on negative stimuli-elicited LPP modulation were found, although inverse associations with some CUD indices were observed. Finally, exploratory analyses revealed some evidence for DI moderation of the relation between subjective stressor reactivity and negative stimuli-elicited LPP modulation such that greater stressor reactivity was associated with blunted versus enhanced modulation in the high and low DI groups, respectively. Negative and cannabis stimuli-elicited LPP modulation appear to index distinct, CUD-relevant neural processes in high DI cannabis users. © 2018 Society for the Study of Addiction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charmaine Borg

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. PREFACE: Stimuli Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queisser, Hans J.

    2011-01-01

    Tributes are paid to Zhores Alferov by presenting personal anecdotes from the fields, where Alferov performed his pioneering research: masers, lasers, solar cells and heterojunctions. What a pleasure and honor to pay tribute to Zhores Alferov in this Festschrift. Member of a remarkable laboratory and originator of imaginative and useful ideas for semiconductor physics and technology; a happy birthday! I would like to use this opportunity to ramble a little about the physics of masers, lasers, heterojunctions, solar cells— all themes of such vital importance in Alferov's career—and also tangible in my own endeavors. I start out with an anecdote of a colloquium presentation in my youthful days at Göttingen. The Physics Colloquium at Göttingen University presented a serious weekly meeting. Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker attended, often Wolfgang Pauli visited from Zurich; Otto Hahn always sat in the first row, on the left corner— and he smoked his cigar. I had just obtained my doctorate [1]— it was 1958, and my boss Rudolf Hilsch ordered me to contribute a colloquium talk. He hoped that I would report on color centers in alkali halides or review experiments on quenched amorphous bismuth, a surprising superconductor [2], or on my own dissertation [1], all recent results of our team. I, however, being an avid reader of the latest American physics literature, begged to differ. The English language gave me no problems because I had in 1951/52 spent a year at the University of Kansas. This experience in the friendly American Midwest provided me with a definite linguistic advantage over most of my German fellow students. I was fascinated by those very first reports on the maser, this molecular amplifier using ammonia for stimulated emission, and therefore decided, quite to the chagrin of my boss Hilsch, to choose this particular topic for a report at the Colloquium. So I went to the rostrum in the small auditorium 'Hörsaal II' and delivered a well-rehearsed talk. The audience was intrigued by this new principle of stimulated coherent microwave radiation [3]. Friedrich Hund, famous for his 'rule' was then our theory professor, he sat in the second row. He was very surprised, and asked me in the discussion if he had understood correctly. If it were true what I had just suggested, then the maser coherence length would go from the Earth to the Moon. I paused a little, pondered and observed my microwave-conscious friends in the audience nodding encouragingly. 'Yes, sir; I think so!' 'I don't believe it', Hund retorted. How could a youngster react? I remained silent and obediently, quite imperceptibly shrugged my shoulders. After the talk, Professor Lamla, an editor of a science journal came to congratulate me and asked for a manuscript. I delivered [4]. This item on my early publication list may have contributed to the fact that I was hired in 1959 by William Shockley to join his fledgling company Shockley Transistor in this old apricot barn on 391 South San Antonio Road in Mountain View, California [5]. I knew that it would be extremely difficult to extend the frequency into the optical regime, you have to fight against the square of the frequency. Nevertheless, I refrained from making the statement in my paper that reaching an optical maser might be hopeless [4]. 'Never say never' is an appropriate adage, not only for seniors. A young colleague, who had also written a review paper, dared to support a more pessimistic view [6]. He anticipated in his very last sentence that stimulated emission would probably prevail merely in the microwave regime. This defeatist attitude seemed to have ruled throughout Germany, as already preached in the famous textbooks by Pohl [7], and also assumed by physics Professor Hellwege at Darmstadt, who was the leading expert regarding luminescence of materials such as ruby crystals; yet Maiman and others surpassed him [8]. Silicon came next for me, working, for example, with Shockley on the theory of maximal efficiency for solar cells, not really a topic regarding coherent radiation [9]. Once, however, a discussion evolved during one of those nearly dreaded hamburger lunches with Shockley at Kirk's charcoal restaurant on El Camino Real in Mountain View. Those frugal lunches ended with a demanding one-on-one interrogation, stricter and tougher than any doctoral oral examination. 'What, you do not know of Einstein's A and B coefficients?' Next afternoon I dutifully looked them up in the Stanford physics library. My first, rather indirect contacts with semiconductor heterojunctions occurred in this former apricot barn of Shockley's. Improving junction transistors required a maximum of the emitter efficiency. The emitter-to-base junction should carry only a forward current, no particles should flow from base to emitter [10]. This requirement can be met with a heterojunction: some other semiconductor material covering the silicon. Shockley had already contemplated this possibility while still at Bell Laboratories [11]. One day, a physicist by the name of Herbert Krömer visited us. This young man had also studied at Göttingen, especially with the memorable theoretician Richard Becker, whom we all admired. Krömer had in Princeton contributed to the theoretical understanding [12] of such wide-gap emitter/base junctions, and Shockley urgently wanted to hire him. But Herb preferred to join Varian Associates, just up the road in Palo Alto. Later, it was my great pleasure to attend the Nobel Festivities for Herb and Zhores Alferov in Stockholm. In the early sixties, I became a Member of Technical Staff at the Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Now, compound semiconductors, such as gallium arsenide, had to attract my interest. By the time of the mid-sixties, helium/neon-lasers were quite the vogue; Bell Labs actually established a little workshop with a production line to fabricate them and spread them throughout the departments. 'The solution in search of a problem', as sceptics joked about this new light source, was of vital interest to us because of the high frequencies to carry plenty of information channels. Transmission of laser light straight through the air, from Building 1 to Building 2 at Murray Hill, however, showed that the atmosphere was by far too unstable. We discussed silver-plated tubes and glass fibers, which eventually became so unbelievably pure that nowadays they provide a wealth of inexpensive communication channels. A gas laser did not appear to emerge into a viable, convenient engineering solution, nor did the ruby. A diode laser source had to be developed. I used laser-induced photoluminescence to search for more efficient GaAs materials, which resulted in detecting crystals with amphoteric silicon doping of very high output in the near-infrared [13]. This invention was patented in 37 countries and provided millions of diodes, such as for TV remote control devices. I had to sign off my inventor's reward for one US dollar, which I actually did not even receive. (In earlier years, patentors obtained one silver dollar; but not anymore!) Yet my little diodes, however efficient, could not be stimulated to emit coherent light, alas! Together with my colleagues and friends Morton Panish and Craig Casey, later famous textbook authors on diode lasers [14], we searched for solutions, although colleagues at the famed RCA Laboratories in Princeton had predicted that a laser diode was impossible [15]. I remember one morning when Mort told us of a talk he had just heard at a meeting in New York City, where our friendly competitors at the IBM Labs in Yorktown Heights, NY had suggested that heterojunctions could nicely confine and concentrate carriers, maybe also photons. Such heterojunctions were then tried in Panish's lab to be grown via liquid-phase epitaxy, Stan Sumski being the expert technician. At that time, the Leningraders, under leadership of Zhores Alferov were working hard and highly successfully with this crystal growth technique. We were very much impressed by the success in Leningrad. Liquid-phase epitaxy yields, in principle, exceedingly pure crystals, but we were unhappy about the principal lack of direct monitoring during this growth process, which we deemed absolutely necessary for obtaining reproducible heterojunctions with tightly controlled small dimensions. Ultrahigh-vacuum epitaxy seemed to be the inescapable solution. Delicate molecular beams had to be gently used and monitored! What a costly proposition! I clearly remember the day when Mort and I went to the Laboratory director John Galt. A little bit fearful and subdued, we explained our project. No, not expensive, rather a very expensive idea! We anxiously watched John with his usual stern demeanour; he paused and contemplated: 'All right, we do it—go ahead!' Construction for equipment needed for the Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) began, and in Al Cho, an excellent new employee was hired for this task. A little later I left Bell Labs, this fabulous 'Mecca of Solid State' for a physics professorship at the Goethe University in Frankfurt-on-the-Main in Germany. Meanwhile, successful work on semiconductor lasers bore ample fruit worldwide. In Frankfurt, I used gas laser sources for photoluminescence diagnostics of elemental and compound semiconductors. With my astute doctoral student 'Teddy' Güttler, for example, we observed impurity photoluminescence in Au-doped silicon and concluded that doping of solar cells with deep impurities would not be beneficial for cell efficiency; just the opposite would happen because of increased carrier recombination [16]. In 1968, Western Germany experienced an ultra-left-wing student rebellion. Frankfurt students violently attacked me and accused me of war research since I used lasers, obviously a deadly weapon of mass destruction. Dieter Bimberg, our co-editor of this Festschrift, will undoubtedly remember those happenings when he was a doctoral candidate. In 1968, we all assembled in Moscow for the International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors; what a unique opportunity to meet so many Russian colleagues, including this intellectual elite from the most remarkable Joffe Institute, with Zhores Alferov a major player. In 1970, I became a founding director of the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research at Stuttgart, in the Southwest of Germany. There I eventually succeeded—against massive opposition—to establish a group for MBE, which became truly successful under the very capable leadership of Klaus Ploog [17], to whom was bestowed a prize of the Seibold-Foundation for Japan-Germany Science Cooperation. Klaus von Klitzing's group in our Max-Planck-Institute in Stuttgart relies on MBE to the present day for research on the quantum Hall effect [18]. Equally, my former doctoral student Horst Stormer had to utilize excellent MBE for his Nobel-Prize winning research on the fractional quantum Hall effect [18]. We fondly remember one congenial dinner party at our Stuttgart house, with Zhores Alferov and Helmut Lotsch as our valued guests; it must have been in the mid-seventies. My wife Inge had prepared a dessert in the shape of the title page of the Springer journal Applied Physics, with chocolate and orange cream. Herr Lotsch had won Alferov to become part of our board of editors, a most valuable connection to the excellence of Soviet semiconductor research! Many Japanese colleagues, especially from industrial electronics labs came to learn the tricks of MBE from us in Stuttgart; the German electronics industry, however, was reluctant and remained completely disinterested—but the French equipment maker RIBER was our staunch ally, and this company grew with the international acceptance of MBE for small, high-frequency devices. One diligent young visitor at my Stuttgart laboratories, Ozamu Kumagai from the SONY Corporation, did especially well. Back at home, he most cleverly devised novel technologies for efficient and low-cost production of laser diodes and thus earned a promotion to Vice Presidency. One of the most recent, gratifying encounters with Zhores Alferov happened to me in a cozy retreat in the forests near Madrid, with Antonio Luque being our gracious host for a solar cell symposium. We Stuttgarters had hoped to use multi-pair generation in perfected silicon solar cells [19], but a better chance to capture more photons from the solar spectrum exists most likely in multi-junction cells [20], with fancy tunnel-contacts interconnecting between heterojunctions. We shall see if this approach might eventually lead to more efficient, yet still economical solar energy conversion. Semiconductor heterojunctions for communications and consumers! Many of Alferov's present activities in St Petersburg and Berlin are governed by this magic modern prefix nano, which might one day also provide some applications in solar cells; but we have yet to carefully investigate [21]! References [1] Queisser H J 1958 Z.Physik 152 507 and 495 [2] Buckel W and Hilsch R 1956 Z. Physik 146 27 [3] Wittke J P 1957 Proc. IRE 45 291 with references to earlier work [4] Queisser H J 1959 Naturwiss. 46 394 [5] Queisser H J 1988 The Conquest of the Microchip (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press) [6] Wolf H C and Agnew Z 1958 Physik 10 480 [7] Pohl R W Optik (Heidelberg: Springer) [8] Yariv A 1968 Quantum Electronics (New York: Wiley) [9] Shockley W and Queisser H J 1961 J. Appl. Phys. 32 510 [10] For details, see Sze S M and Ng K K 2007 Physics of Semiconductor Devices 3rd edn (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley) [11] Shockley W 1951 US Patent Specification 2.569.347 [12] Krömer H 1957 Proc. IRE 45 1535 [13] Queisser H J 1966 J. Appl. Phys. 37 2909 (this paper was withheld internally for some time due to the patent application: US Pat.3.387.163) [14] Panish M B and Casey C H 1978 Heterostructure Lasers (New York: Academic) [15] Kressel H Private communications [16] Güttler G and Queisser H J 1996 J. Appl. Phys. 40 4994 [17] Ploog K and Graf K 1984 MBE of III-V Compounds (Berlin: Springer) [18] For recent coverage, see Chakraborty T and Pietiläinen P 1995 The Quantum Hall Effect (Berlin: Springer) [19] Werner J H, Kolodinski S and Queisser H J 1993 Phys. Rev. Lett. 72 3851 [20] Yamaguchi M 2002 Physica E 14 84 [21] Queisser H J 2002 Physica E 14 1 and many other contributions in this issue

  7. Stimuli-Directed Helical Chirality Inversion and Bio-Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziyu Lv

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Helical structure is a sophisticated ubiquitous motif found in nature, in artificial polymers, and in supramolecular assemblies from microscopic to macroscopic points of view. Significant progress has been made in the synthesis and structural elucidation of helical polymers, nevertheless, a new direction for helical polymeric materials, is how to design smart systems with controllable helical chirality, and further use them to develop chiral functional materials and promote their applications in biology, biochemistry, medicine, and nanotechnology fields. This review summarizes the recent progress in the development of high-performance systems with tunable helical chirality on receiving external stimuli and discusses advances in their applications as drug delivery vesicles, sensors, molecular switches, and liquid crystals. Challenges and opportunities in this emerging area are also presented in the conclusion.

  8. Perceiving imitatible stimuli: consequences of isomorphism between input and output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, M

    2001-07-01

    For more than a century, psychologists have been intrigued by the idea that mental representations of perceived human actions are closely connected with mental representations of performing those same actions. In this article, connections between input and output representations are considered in terms of the potential for imitation. A broad range of evidence suggests that, for imitatible stimuli, input and output representations are isomorphic to one another, allowing mutual influence between perception and motoric planning that is rapid, effortless, and possibly obligatory. Thus, the cognitive consequences of imitatibility may underlie such diverse phenomena as phoneme perception; imitation in neonates; echoic memory; stimulus-response compatibility; conduction aphasia; maintenance rehearsal; and a variety of developmental and social activities such as language acquisition, social learning, empathy, and monitoring one's own behavior.

  9. Preattentive processing, poststimulus elaboration, and memory for emotionally arousing stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migita, Mai; Otani, Hajime; Libkuman, Terry M; Sheffert, Sonya M

    2011-01-01

    Christianson (1992) proposed two mechanisms to explain emotionally enhanced memory: preattentive processing and poststimulus elaboration. Experiment 1 examined these processes by instructing participants to perform (1) a concurrent distractor task, (2) a continuous distractor task, or (3) both while viewing the negatively arousing, positively arousing, and neutral pictures. Recall of negatively arousing pictures showed a small decline in one of the distractor conditions, indicating that elaboration plays a minor role in remembering these pictures. Experiment 2 partially replicated Experiment 1 with an intentional learning instruction to investigate whether participants in Experiment 1 were anticipating a recall test. For all three picture types, recall declined in the continuous distractor task condition, indicating that elaboration played a role, even when the pictures were negatively arousing. Overall, these results were consistent with the notion that remembering negatively valenced stimuli is largely based on preattentive processing with a minor role played by poststimulus elaboration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, D J; Cacace, A T

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Stimuli Responsive Ionogels for Sensing Applications—An Overview

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    Andrew Kavanagh

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This overview aims to summarize the existing potential of “Ionogels” as a platform to develop stimuli responsive materials. Ionogels are a class of materials that contain an Ionic Liquid (IL confined within a polymer matrix. Recently defined as “a solid interconnected network spreading throughout a liquid phase”, the ionogel therefore combines the properties of both its solid and liquid components. ILs are low melting salts that exist as liquids composed entirely of cations and anions at or around 100 °C. Important physical properties of these liquids such as viscosity, density, melting point and conductivity can be altered to suit a purpose by choice of the cation/anion. Here we provide an overview to highlight the literature thus far, detailing the encapsulation of IL and responsive materials within these polymeric structures. Exciting applications in the areas of optical and electrochemical sensing, solid state electrolytes and actuating materials shall be discussed.

  13. Plasma catecholamine responses to physiologic stimuli in normal human pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, W M; Mujais, S K; Zinaman, M; Bravo, E L; Lindheimer, M D

    1986-01-01

    The dynamic response of the sympathoadrenal system was evaluated during and after pregnancy in 13 healthy women with a protocol that compared cardiovascular parameters and plasma catecholamine levels during the basal state, after postural maneuvers, and following isometric exercise. Plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine levels were similar during and after gestation when the women rested on their sides, but heart rate was greater in pregnancy. Ten minutes of supine recumbency produced minimal changes, but attenuation of the anticipated increases in heart rate and plasma norepinephrine levels during standing and isometric exercise were observed during pregnancy. In contrast, alterations in plasma epinephrine appeared unaffected by gestation. Plasma renin activity and aldosterone levels were, as expected, greater during pregnancy; however, increments in response to upright posture were similar in pregnant and postpartum women. To the extent that circulating catecholamines may be considered indices of sympathoadrenal function, these data suggest that normal pregnancy alters cardiovascular and sympathetic nervous system responses to physiologic stimuli.

  14. Processing of Binaural Pitch Stimuli in Hearing-Impaired Listeners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2009-01-01

    Binaural pitch is a tonal sensation produced by introducing a frequency-dependent interaural phase shift in binaurally presented white noise. As no spectral cues are present in the physical stimulus, binaural pitch perception is assumed to rely on accurate temporal fine structure coding and intact...... binaural integration mechanisms. This study investigated to what extent basic auditory measures of binaural processing as well as cognitive abilities are correlated with the ability of hearing-impaired listeners to perceive binaural pitch. Subjects from three groups (1: normal-hearing; 2: cochlear...... hearingloss; 3: retro-cochlear impairment) were asked to identify the pitch contour of series of five notes of equal duration, ranging from 523 to 784 Hz, played either with Huggins’ binaural pitch stimuli (BP) or perceptually similar, but monaurally detectable, pitches (MP). All subjects from groups 1 and 2...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Olfactory stimuli as context cues in human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cann, A; Ross, D A

    1989-01-01

    Olfactory stimuli were used as context cues in a recognition memory paradigm. Male college students were exposed to 50 slides of the faces of college females while in the presence of a pleasant or an unpleasant odor. During the acquisition phase, ratings of physical attractiveness of the slides were collected. After a 48-hr delay, a recognition test was given using the original 50 slides and 50 new slides. The recognition test was conducted with either the original odor or the alternative odor present. A no-odor control group did not receive olfactory cues. The attractiveness ratings indicated that the odor variations had no effect on these social judgments. Analyses of d' scores, hits, and false alarms for the recognition performance indicated support for the predicted interaction in which presence of the same odor at both sessions led to better overall performance.

  18. Pupillary response to direct and consensual chromatic light stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Traustason, Sindri; Brondsted, Adam Elias; Sander, Birgit

    2016-01-01

    Medical, Copenhagen), which is capable of both direct and consensual pupillometry measurements. The device uses a pair of dual monochromatic narrow bandwidth LED light sources, red (660 nm) and blue (470 nm). Pupil light responses were recorded with infrared video cameras and analysed using custom-made circuitry...... and software. Subjects were randomized to receive light stimuli at either the right or left eye after 5 min of dark adaptation. Pupil light responses were recorded in both eyes for 10 seconds before illumination, during illumination and 50 seconds after illumination with red and blue light. Three variables...... were defined for the recorded pupil responses: the maximal constriction amplitude (CAmax ), the pupil response during illumination and postillumination pupil response (PIPR). RESULTS: No difference was found in the pupil response to blue light. With red light, the pupil response during illumination...

  19. Sleep deprivation affects reactivity to positive but not negative stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilcher, June J; Callan, Christina; Posey, J Laura

    2015-12-01

    The current study examined the effects of partial and total sleep deprivation on emotional reactivity. Twenty-eight partially sleep-deprived participants and 31 totally sleep-deprived participants rated their valence and arousal responses to positive and negative pictures across four testing sessions during the day following partial sleep deprivation or during the night under total sleep deprivation. The results suggest that valence and arousal ratings decreased under both sleep deprivation conditions. In addition, partial and total sleep deprivation had a greater negative effect on positive events than negative events. These results suggest that sleep-deprived persons are more likely to respond less to positive events than negative events. One explanation for the current findings is that negative events could elicit more attentive behavior and thus stable responding under sleep deprivation conditions. As such, sleep deprivation could impact reactivity to emotional stimuli through automated attentional and self-regulatory processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. What boxing-related stimuli reveal about response behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottoboni, Giovanni; Russo, Gabriele; Tessari, Alessia

    2015-01-01

    When two athletes meet inside the ropes of the boxing ring to fight, their cognitive systems have to respond as quickly as possible to a manifold of stimuli to assure victory. In the present work, we studied the pre-attentive mechanisms, which form the basis of an athlete's ability in reacting to an opponent's punches. Expert boxers, beginner boxers and people with no experience of boxing performed a Simon-like task where they judged the colour of the boxing gloves worn by athletes in attack postures by pressing two lateralised keys. Although participants were not instructed to pay attention to the direction of the punches, beginner boxers' responses resembled a defence-related pattern, expert boxers' resembled counterattacks, whereas non-athletes' responses were not influenced by the unrelated task information. Results are discussed in the light of an expertise-related action simulation account.

  1. Encoding of emotion-paired spatial stimuli in the rodent hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca eNalloor

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Rats can acquire the cognitive component of CS-US associations between sensory and aversive stimuli without a functional basolateral amygdala. Thus, other brain regions should support such associations. Some septal/dorsal CA1 (dCA1 neurons respond to both spatial stimuli and footshock, suggesting that dCA1 could be one such region. We report that, in both dorsal and ventral hippocampus, different neuronal ensembles express immediate-early genes when a place is experienced alone vs. when it is associated with foot shock. We assessed changes in the size and overlap of hippocampal neuronal ensembles activated by two behavioral events using a cellular imaging method, Arc/Homer1a catFISH. The control group (A-A experienced the same place twice, while the experimental group (A-CFC received the same training plus two foot shocks during the second event. During fear conditioning, A-CFC, compared to A-A, rats had a smaller ensemble size in dCA3, dCA1 and vCA3, but not vCA1. Additionally, A-CFC rats had a lower overlap score in dCA1 and vCA3. Locomotion did not correlate with ensemble size. Importantly, foot shocks delivered in a training paradigm that prevents establishing shock-context associations, did not induce significant Arc expression, rejecting the possibility that the observed changes in ensemble size and composition simply reflect experiencing a foot shock. Combined with data that Arc is necessary for lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory, the data suggests that Arc/H1a+ hippocampal neuronal ensembles encode aspects of fear conditioning beyond space and time. Rats, like humans, may use the hippocampus to create integrated episodic-like memory during fear conditioning.

  2. Stimuli-sensitive hydrogels: A novel ophthalmic drug delivery system

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    Singh Vinod

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Stimuli-sensitive hydrogels are three-dimensional, hydrophilic, polymeric networks capable of imbibing large amounts of water or biological fluids on stimulation, such as pH, temperature and ionic change. Aim: To develop hydrogels that are sensitive to stimuli, i.e. pH, in the cul-de-sac of the eye for providing a prolonged effect and increased bioavailability with reduction in frequency of administration. Materials and Methods: Hydrogels were formulated by using timolol maleate as the model drug, polyacrylic acid as the gelling agents, hydroxyl ethyl cellulose as the viscolizer and sodium chloride as the isotonic agent. Stirring of ingredients in pH 4 phosphate buffer at high speed was carried out. The dynamic dialysis technique was used for drug release studies. In vivo study for reduction in intraocular pressure was carried out by using albino rabbits. Statistical Analysis: Drug release studies data were used for statistical analysis in first-order plots, Higuchi plots and Peppas exponential plots. Student t-test was performed for in vivo study. Results: Viscosity of the hydrogel increases from 3.84 cps to 9.54 cps due to change in pH 4 to pH 7.4. The slope value of the Peppas equation was found to be 0.3081, 0.3743 and 0.2964. Up to 80% of drug was released in an 8 h drug release study. Sterile hydrogels with no ocular irritation were obtained. Conclusions: Hydrogels show increase in viscosity due to change in pH. Hydrogels were therapeutically effacious, stable, non-irritant and showed Fickian diffusion. In vivo results clearly show a prolonged reduction in intraocular pressure, which was helpful for reduction in the frequency of administration.

  3. Dopamine, paranormal belief, and the detection of meaningful stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krummenacher, Peter; Mohr, Christine; Haker, Helene; Brugger, Peter

    2010-08-01

    Dopamine (DA) is suggested to improve perceptual and cognitive decisions by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio. Somewhat paradoxically, a hyperdopaminergia (arguably more accentuated in the right hemisphere) has also been implied in the genesis of unusual experiences such as hallucinations and paranormal thought. To test these opposing assumptions, we used two lateralized decision tasks, one with lexical (tapping left-hemisphere functions), the other with facial stimuli (tapping right-hemisphere functions). Participants were 40 healthy right-handed men, of whom 20 reported unusual, "paranormal" experiences and beliefs ("believers"), whereas the remaining participants were unexperienced and critical ("skeptics"). In a between-subject design, levodopa (200 mg) or placebo administration was balanced between belief groups (double-blind procedure). For each task and visual field, we calculated sensitivity (d') and response tendency (criterion) derived from signal detection theory. Results showed the typical right visual field advantage for the lexical decision task and a higher d' for verbal than facial stimuli. For the skeptics, d' was lower in the levodopa than in the placebo group. Criterion analyses revealed that believers favored false alarms over misses, whereas skeptics displayed the opposite preference. Unexpectedly, under levodopa, these decision preferences were lower in both groups. We thus infer that levodopa (1) decreases sensitivity in perceptual-cognitive decisions, but only in skeptics, and (2) makes skeptics less and believers slightly more conservative. These results stand at odd to the common view that DA generally improves signal-to-noise ratios. Paranormal ideation seems an important personality dimension and should be assessed in investigations on the detection of signals in noise.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Pupillary response to direct and consensual chromatic light stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traustason, Sindri; Brondsted, Adam Elias; Sander, Birgit; Lund-Andersen, Henrik

    2016-02-01

    To assess whether the direct and consensual postillumination (ipRGC-driven) pupil light responses to chromatic light stimuli are equal in healthy subjects. Pupil responses in healthy volunteers were recorded using a prototype binocular chromatic pupillometer (IdeaMedical, Copenhagen), which is capable of both direct and consensual pupillometry measurements. The device uses a pair of dual monochromatic narrow bandwidth LED light sources, red (660 nm) and blue (470 nm). Pupil light responses were recorded with infrared video cameras and analysed using custom-made circuitry and software. Subjects were randomized to receive light stimuli at either the right or left eye after 5 min of dark adaptation. Pupil light responses were recorded in both eyes for 10 seconds before illumination, during illumination and 50 seconds after illumination with red and blue light. Three variables were defined for the recorded pupil responses: the maximal constriction amplitude (CAmax ), the pupil response during illumination and postillumination pupil response (PIPR). No difference was found in the pupil response to blue light. With red light, the pupil response during illumination was slightly larger during consensual illumination compared to direct illumination (0.54 and 0.52, respectively, p = 0.027, paired Wilcoxon's test, n = 12), while no differences were found for CAmax or the PIPR. No difference was found between direct and consensual pupil response to either red or blue light in the postillumination period. Direct and consensual responses can readily be compared when examining the postillumination pupil response to blue light as estimation of photosensitive retinal ganglion cell activation. © 2015 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Pointing Hand Stimuli Induce Spatial Compatibility Effects and Effector Priming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akio eNishimura

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigated the automatic influence of perceiving a picture that indicates other’s action on one’s own task performance in terms of spatial compatibility and effector priming. Participants pressed left and right buttons with their left and right hands respectively, depending on the color of a central dot target. Preceding the target, a left or right hand stimulus (pointing either to the left or right with the index or little finger was presented. In Experiment 1, with brief presentation of the pointing hand, a spatial compatibility effect was observed: Responses were faster when the direction of the pointed finger and the response position were spatially congruent than when incongruent. The spatial compatibility effect was larger for the pointing index finger stimulus compared to the pointing little finger stimulus. Experiment 2 employed longer duration of the pointing hand stimuli. In addition to the spatial compatibility effect for the pointing index finger, the effector priming effect was observed: Responses were faster when the anatomical left/right identity of the pointing and response hands matched than when the pointing and response hands differed in left/right identity. The results indicate that with sufficient processing time, both spatial/symbolic and anatomical features of a static body part implying another’s action simultaneously influence different aspects of the perceiver’s own action. Hierarchical coding, according to which an anatomical code is used only when a spatial code is unavailable, may not be applicable if stimuli as well as responses contain anatomical features.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blois-Heulin Catherine

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Does the amygdala response correlate with the personality trait 'harm avoidance' while evaluating emotional stimuli explicitly?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Schuerbeek, Peter; Baeken, Chris; Luypaert, Robert; De Raedt, Rudi; De Mey, Johan

    2014-05-07

    The affective personality trait 'harm avoidance' (HA) from Cloninger's psychobiological personality model determines how an individual deals with emotional stimuli. Emotional stimuli are processed by a neural network that include the left and right amygdalae as important key nodes. Explicit, implicit and passive processing of affective stimuli are known to activate the amygdalae differently reflecting differences in attention, level of detailed analysis of the stimuli and the cognitive control needed to perform the required task. Previous studies revealed that implicit processing or passive viewing of affective stimuli, induce a left amygdala response that correlates with HA. In this new study we have tried to extend these findings to the situation in which the subjects were required to explicitly process emotional stimuli. A group of healthy female participants was asked to rate the valence of positive and negative stimuli while undergoing fMRI. Afterwards the neural responses of the participants to the positive and to the negative stimuli were separately correlated to their HA scores and compared between the low and high HA participants. Both analyses revealed increased neural activity in the left laterobasal (LB) amygdala of the high HA participants while they were rating the positive and the negative stimuli. Our results indicate that the left amygdala response to explicit processing of affective stimuli does correlate with HA.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice eTomassini

    2011-09-01

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

  10. Examining potential iatrogenic effects of viewing suicide and self-injury stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Christine B; Glenn, Jeffrey J; Deming, Charlene A; D'Angelo, Eugene J; Hooley, Jill M; Teachman, Bethany A; Nock, Matthew K

    2016-11-01

    The high-stakes nature of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) raises ethical questions and concerns. The authors examined the iatrogenic risk of recently developed behavioral measures such as the suicide or self-injury Implicit Association Tests (IATs), which include repeated and rapid presentation of SITB-related images (e.g., of cut skin) and words (e.g., death, suicide). The impact of these IATs was investigated across a series of 3 studies involving: adult web-based respondents (n = 3,304), undergraduate students (n = 100), and adolescent psychiatric inpatients (n = 89). There was minimal change in self-injurious or suicidal urges detected across all IAT studies. A slight mood decline was detected across the 3 samples, but was isolated to female research participants and 1 type of IAT that presented SITB-related images (vs. words only). Given the increasing use of novel SITB-relevant stimuli in behavioral and neurobiological studies, these findings may help researchers balance clinical sensitivity and clinical science. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. P1 and N170 components distinguish human-like and animal-like makeup stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Shuwei; Luo, Wenbo; He, Weiqi; Chen, Xu; Luo, Yuejia

    2013-06-19

    This study used event-related potentials to investigate the sensitivity of P1 and N170 components to human-like and animal-like makeup stimuli, which were derived from pictures of Peking opera characters. As predicted, human-like makeup stimuli elicited larger P1 and N170 amplitudes than did animal-like makeup stimuli. Interestingly, a right hemisphere advantage was observed for human-like but not for animal-like makeup stimuli. Dipole source analyses of 130-200-ms window showed that the bilateral fusiform face area may contribute to the differential sensitivity of the N170 component in response to human-like and animal-like makeup stimuli. The present study suggests that the amplitudes of both the P1 and the N170 are sensitive for the mouth component of face-like stimuli.

  12. Opposing Subjective Temporal Experiences in Response to Unpredictable and Predictable Fear-Relevant Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Cui

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have found that the durations of fear-relevant stimuli were overestimated compared to those of neutral stimuli, even when the fear-relevant stimuli were only anticipated. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of the predictability of fear-relevant stimuli on sub-second temporal estimations. In Experiments 1a and 1b, a randomized design was employed to render the emotional valence of each trial unpredictable. In Experiments 2a and 2b, we incorporated a block design and a cueing paradigm, respectively, to render the emotional stimuli predictable. Compared with the neutral condition, the estimated blank interval was judged as being shorter under the unpredictable fear-relevant condition, while it was judged as being longer under the predictable fear-relevant condition. In other words, the unpredictable and predictable fear-relevant stimuli led to opposing temporal distortions. These results demonstrated that emotions modulate interval perception during different time processing stages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  14. Testing the race model inequality in redundant stimuli with variable onset asynchrony

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gondan, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    distributions of response times for the single-modality stimuli. It has been derived for synchronous stimuli and for stimuli with stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). In most experiments with asynchronous stimuli, discrete SOA values are chosen and the race model inequality is separately tested for each SOA. Due...... to SOAs at which the violation of the race model prediction is expected to be large. In addition, the method enables data analysis for experiments in which stimuli are presented with SOA from a continuous distribution rather than in discrete steps.......In speeded response tasks with redundant signals, parallel processing of the signals is tested by the race model inequality. This inequality states that given a race of two signals, the cumulative distribution of response times for redundant stimuli never exceeds the sum of the cumulative...

  15. Immediate effect of subliminal priming with positive reward stimuli on standing balance in healthy individuals

    OpenAIRE

    Aoyama, Yasuhiro; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Sugi, Yasuyuki; Kawakami, Akinobu; Fujii, Miki; Kiso, Kanae; Kono, Ryota; Takebayashi, Takashi; Hirao, Kazuki

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background: Information received subconsciously can influence exercise performance; however, it remains unclear whether subliminal or supraliminal reward is more effective in improving standing balance ability when priming stimuli are subconsciously delivered. The present study aimed to compare the effects of subliminal priming-plus-subliminal reward stimuli (experimental) with subliminal priming-plus-supraliminal reward stimuli (control) on standing balance ability. Methods: This wa...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Image, Image, Image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert T.

    2004-01-01

    With all the talk today about accountability, budget cuts, and the closing of programs in public education, teachers cannot overlook the importance of image in the field of industrial technology. It is very easy for administrators to cut ITE (industrial technology education) programs to save school money--money they might shift to teaching the…

  19. Ocular-following responses to white noise stimuli in humans reveal a novel nonlinearity that results from temporal sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheliga, Boris M; Quaia, Christian; FitzGibbon, Edmond J; Cumming, Bruce G

    2016-01-01

    White noise stimuli are frequently used to study the visual processing of broadband images in the laboratory. A common goal is to describe how responses are derived from Fourier components in the image. We investigated this issue by recording the ocular-following responses (OFRs) to white noise stimuli in human subjects. For a given speed we compared OFRs to unfiltered white noise with those to noise filtered with band-pass filters and notch filters. Removing components with low spatial frequency (SF) reduced OFR magnitudes, and the SF associated with the greatest reduction matched the SF that produced the maximal response when presented alone. This reduction declined rapidly with SF, compatible with a winner-take-all operation. Removing higher SF components increased OFR magnitudes. For higher speeds this effect became larger and propagated toward lower SFs. All of these effects were quantitatively well described by a model that combined two factors: (a) an excitatory drive that reflected the OFRs to individual Fourier components and (b) a suppression by higher SF channels where the temporal sampling of the display led to flicker. This nonlinear interaction has an important practical implication: Even with high refresh rates (150 Hz), the temporal sampling introduced by visual displays has a significant impact on visual processing. For instance, we show that this distorts speed tuning curves, shifting the peak to lower speeds. Careful attention to spectral content, in the light of this nonlinearity, is necessary to minimize the resulting artifact when using white noise patterns undergoing apparent motion.

  20. The use of faces as stimuli in neuroimaging and psychological experiments: a procedure to standardize stimulus features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronenschild, Ed H B M; Smeets, Floortje; Vuurman, Eric F P M; van Boxtel, Martin P J; Jolles, Jelle

    2009-11-01

    In psychological experiments involving facial stimuli, it is of great importance that the basic perceptual or psychological characteristics that are investigated are not confounded by factors such as brightness and contrast, head size, hair cut and color, skin color, and the presence of glasses and earrings. Standardization of facial stimulus materials reduces the effect of these confounding factors. We therefore employed a set of basic image processing techniques to deal with this issue. The processed images depict the faces in grayscale, all at the same size, brightness, and contrast, and confined to an oval mask revealing only the basic features such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. The standardization was successfully applied to four different face databases, consisting of male and female faces and including neutral as well as happy facial expressions. An important advantage of the proposed standardization is that featural as well as configurational information is retained. We also consider the procedure to be a major contribution to the development of a de facto standard for the use of facial stimuli in psychological experiments. Such methodological standardization would allow a better comparison of the results of these studies.

  1. Transient rheology of stimuli responsive hydrogels: Integrating microrheology and microfluidics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Jun

    Stimuli-responsive hydrogels have diverse potential applications in the field of drug delivery, tissue engineering, agriculture, cosmetics, gene therapy, and as sensors and actuators due to their unique responsiveness to external signals, such as pH, temperature, and ionic strength. Understanding the responsiveness of hydrogel structure and rheology to these stimuli is essential for designing materials with desirable performance. However, no instrumentation and well-defined methodology are available to characterize the structural and rheological responses to rapid solvent changes. In this thesis, a new microrheology set-up is described, which allows us to quantitatively measure the transient rheological properties and microstructure of a variety of solvent-responsive complex fluids. The device was constructed by integrating particle tracking microrheology and microfluidics and offers unique experimental capabilities for performing solvent-reponse measurements on soft fragile materials without applying external shear forces. Transient analysis methods to quantitatively obtain rheological properties were also constructed, and guidelines for the trade-off between statistical validity and temporal resolution were developed to accurately capture physical transitions. Employing the new device and methodology, we successfully quantified the transient rheological and microstructural responses during gel formation and break-up, and viscosity changes of solvent-responsive complex fluids. The analysis method was expanded for heterogeneous samples, incorporating methods to quantify the microrheology of samples with broad distributions of individual particle dynamics. Transient microrheology measurements of fragile, heterogeneous, self-assembled block copolypeptide hydrogels revealed that solvent exchange via convective mixing and dialysis can lead to significantly different gel properties and that commonly applied sample preparation protocols for the characterization of soft

  2. Parallel search for conjunctions with stimuli in apparent motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casco, C; Ganis, G

    1999-01-01

    A series of experiments was conducted to determine whether apparent motion tends to follow the similarity rule (i.e. is attribute-specific) and to investigate the underlying mechanism. Stimulus duration thresholds were measured during a two-alternative forced-choice task in which observers detected either the location or the motion direction of target groups defined by the conjunction of size and orientation. Target element positions were randomly chosen within a nominally defined rectangular subregion of the display (target region). The target region was presented either statically (followed by a 250 ms duration mask) or dynamically, displaced by a small distance (18 min of arc) from frame to frame. In the motion display, the position of both target and background elements was changed randomly from frame to frame within the respective areas to abolish spatial correspondence over time. Stimulus duration thresholds were lower in the motion than in the static task, indicating that target detection in the dynamic condition does not rely on the explicit identification of target elements in each static frame. Increasing the distractor-to-target ratio was found to reduce detectability in the static, but not in the motion task. This indicates that the perceptual segregation of the target is effortless and parallel with motion but not with static displays. The pattern of results holds regardless of the task or search paradigm employed. The detectability in the motion condition can be improved by increasing the number of frames and/or by reducing the width of the target area. Furthermore, parallel search in the dynamic condition can be conducted with both short-range and long-range motion stimuli. Finally, apparent motion of conjunctions is insufficient on its own to support location decision and is disrupted by random visual noise. Overall, these findings show that (i) the mechanism underlying apparent motion is attribute-specific; (ii) the motion system mediates temporal

  3. Selective processing of linguistic and pictorial food stimuli in females with anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormark, Kjell Morten; Torkildsen, Øivind

    2004-01-01

    This study investigated subjects with eating disorders' selective attention to linguistic and pictorial representations of food stimuli in a version of the Stroop color-naming task. If subjects with eating disorders' attention really are biased by food stimuli, one would expect equally delayed color-naming latencies to food pictures as previous studies have found to food words. Twenty females with eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or a combination of both) and 24 female controls identified the color of Stroop versions of linguistic and pictorial representations of color, food, emotional, and neutral stimuli. The eating disorder group was slower than the controls in identifying the color of all words (including the food words) and the pictures depicting food stimuli (but not any of the other pictures). The eating disorder group was also slower in identifying the color of both food and emotional than neutral stimuli, both for the linguistic and pictorial stimuli. These findings indicate that females with bulimia and anorexia nervosa's biased attention to food stimuli are not restricted to linguistic representations. The delayed responses to the emotional words and pictures suggest that processing of negative emotional stimuli, in addition to dysfunctional concerns about stimuli related to food and eating, is important in the maintenance of eating disorders.

  4. Alleged Approach-Avoidance Conflict for Food Stimuli in Binge Eating Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth J Leehr

    Full Text Available Food stimuli are omnipresent and naturally primary reinforcing stimuli. One explanation for the intake of high amounts of food in binge eating disorder (BED is a deviant valuation process. Valuation of food stimuli is supposed to influence approach or avoidance behaviour towards food. Focusing on self-reported and indirect (facial electromyography valuation process, motivational aspects in the processing of food stimuli were investigated.We compared an overweight sample with BED (BED+ with an overweight sample without BED (BED- and with normal weight controls (NWC regarding their self-reported and indirect (via facial electromyography valuation of food versus non-food stimuli.Regarding the self-reported valuation, the BED+ sample showed a significantly stronger food-bias compared to the BED- sample, as food stimuli were rated as significantly more positive than the non-food stimuli in the BED+ sample. This self-reported valuation pattern could not be displayed in the indirect valuation. Food stimuli evoked negative indirect valuation in all groups. The BED+ sample showed the plainest approach-avoidance conflict marked by a diverging self-reported (positive and indirect (negative valuation of food stimuli.BED+ showed a deviant self-reported valuation of food as compared to BED-. The valuation process of the BED+ sample seems to be characterized by a motivational ambivalence. This ambivalence should be subject of further studies and may be of potential use for therapeutic interventions.

  5. Recognition of face and non-face stimuli in autistic spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkush, Leo; Smith-Collins, Adam P R; Fiorentini, Chiara; Skuse, David H

    2013-12-01

    The ability to remember faces is critical for the development of social competence. From childhood to adulthood, we acquire a high level of expertise in the recognition of facial images, and neural processes become dedicated to sustaining competence. Many people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have poor face recognition memory; changes in hairstyle or other non-facial features in an otherwise familiar person affect their recollection skills. The observation implies that they may not use the configuration of the inner face to achieve memory competence, but bolster performance in other ways. We aimed to test this hypothesis by comparing the performance of a group of high-functioning unmedicated adolescents with ASD and a matched control group on a "surprise" face recognition memory task. We compared their memory for unfamiliar faces with their memory for images of houses. To evaluate the role that is played by peripheral cues in assisting recognition memory, we cropped both sets of pictures, retaining only the most salient central features. ASD adolescents had poorer recognition memory for faces than typical controls, but their recognition memory for houses was unimpaired. Cropping images of faces did not disproportionately influence their recall accuracy, relative to controls. House recognition skills (cropped and uncropped) were similar in both groups. In the ASD group only, performance on both sets of task was closely correlated, implying that memory for faces and other complex pictorial stimuli is achieved by domain-general (non-dedicated) cognitive mechanisms. Adolescents with ASD apparently do not use domain-specialized processing of inner facial cues to support face recognition memory. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. The effect of repeated laser stimuli to ink-marked skin on skin temperature—recommendations for a safe experimental protocol in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria J. Madden

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Nd:YAP laser is widely used to investigate the nociceptive and pain systems, generating perpetual and laser-evoked neurophysiological responses. A major procedural concern for the use of Nd:YAP laser stimuli in experimental research is the risk of skin damage. The absorption of Nd:YAP laser stimuli is greater in darker skin, or in pale skin that has been darkened with ink, prompting some ethics boards to refuse approval to experimenters wishing to track stimulus location by marking the skin with ink. Some research questions, however, require laser stimuli to be delivered at particular locations or within particular zones, a requirement that is very difficult to achieve if marking the skin is not possible. We thoroughly searched the literature for experimental evidence and protocol recommendations for safe delivery of Nd:YAP laser stimuli over marked skin, but found nothing.Methods. We designed an experimental protocol to define safe parameters for the use of Nd:YAP laser stimuli over skin that has been marked with black dots, and used thermal imaging to assess the safety of the procedure at the forearm and the back.Results. Using thermal imaging and repeated laser stimulation to ink-marked skin, we demonstrated that skin temperature did not increase progressively across the course of the experiment, and that the small change in temperature seen at the forearm was reversed during the rest periods between blocks. Furthermore, no participant experienced skin damage due to the procedure.Conclusion. This protocol offers parameters for safe, confident and effective experimentation using repeated Nd:YAP laser on skin marked with ink, thus paving the way for investigations that depend on it.

  7. Characterization of functional biopolymers under various external stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maleki, Atoosa

    2008-07-01

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

  8. Impaired Working Memory Updating for Emotional Stimuli in Depressed Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dandan; Xie, Hui; He, Zhenhong; Wei, Zhaoguo; Gu, Ruolei

    2018-01-01

    Although two previous studies have demonstrated that depressed individuals showed deficits in working memory (WM) updating of both negative and positive contents, the effects were confounded by shifting dysfunctions and the detailed neural mechanism associated with the failure in N-back task is not clear. Using a 2-back task, the current study examined the WM updating of positive, negative and neutral contents in depressed patients. It is found that depressed patients performed poorer than healthy controls only when updating positive material. Using event-related potential (ERP) technique, the current study also investigated the neural correlates of updating deficits in depression. According to previous studies, the n-back task was divided into three sub-processes, i.e., encoding, matching and maintaining. Our ERP results showed that depressed patients had smaller occipital P1 for positive material compared to healthy controls, indicating their insensitivity to positive items on early encoding stage. Besides, depressed patients had larger frontal P2 and parietal late positive potential (LPP) than healthy controls irrespective of the valence of the words, reflecting that patients are inefficient during matching (P2) and maintaining (LPP) processes. These two mechanisms (insufficient attention to positive stimuli and low efficiency in matching and maintaining) together lead to the deficits of WM updating in depression.

  9. The effects of anxiety upon attention allocation to affective stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Allison M; Nitz, Ashley B; Craske, Michelle G; Johnson, Chris

    2007-04-01

    Pictures of emotionally aversive, neutral, and pleasant scenes were presented for 500 ms, followed by a probe presented in the same location (valid trials) or an alternate location (invalid trials) as the picture. Response-times to the probes were recorded in low (N=20) and high (N=27) trait anxious participants. Results revealed an overall negative cue validity effect of shorter reaction times (RTs) on invalid than valid trials, suggestive of an inhibition of return effect. Moreover, high trait anxious females showed a reduced negative cue validity effect for aversive pictures in comparison with neutral and pleasant pictures, suggestive of selective interference by the unpleasant material. By contrast, low trait anxious females showed an enhanced negative cue validity effect for aversive pictures relative to neutral and pleasant pictures, suggestive of attentional avoidance of the aversive content. The emotional content of picture cues did not significantly affect RTs in males, regardless of anxiety status. The results suggest that biased attention processes for aversive stimuli may contribute to the greater female propensity for anxiety disorders.

  10. Time of day affects implicit memory for unattended stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothen, Nicolas; Meier, Beat

    2016-11-01

    We investigated whether circadian arousal affects perceptual priming as a function of whether stimuli were attended or ignored during learning. We tested 160 participants on- and off-peak with regards to their circadian arousal. In the study phase, they were presented with two superimposed pictures in different colours. They had to name the pictures of one colour while ignoring the others. In the test phase, they were presented with the same and randomly intermixed new pictures. Each picture was presented in black colour in a fragment completion task. Priming was measured as the difference in fragmentation level at which the pictures from the study phase were named compared to the new pictures. Priming was stronger for attended than ignored pictures. Time of day affected priming only for ignored pictures, with stronger priming effects off-peak than on-peak. Thus, circadian arousal seems to favour the encoding of unattended materials specifically at off-peak. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The neural response to maternal stimuli: an ERP study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Wu

    Full Text Available Mothers are important to all humans. Research has established that maternal information affects individuals' cognition, emotion, and behavior. We measured event-related potentials (ERPs to examine attentional and evaluative processing of maternal stimuli while participants completed a Go/No-go Association Task that paired mother or others words with good or bad evaluative words. Behavioral data showed that participants responded faster to mother words paired with good than the mother words paired with bad but showed no difference in response to these others across conditions, reflecting a positive evaluation of mother. ERPs showed larger P200 and N200 in response to mother than in response to others, suggesting that mother attracted more attention than others. In the subsequent time window, mother in the mother + bad condition elicited a later and larger late positive potential (LPP than it did in the mother + good condition, but this was not true for others, also suggesting a positive evaluation of mother. These results suggest that people differentiate mother from others during initial attentional stage, and evaluative mother positively during later stage.

  12. Sensory sensitivity and identification and hedonic assessment ofolfactory stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borys Ruszpel

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Conducted research had an exploratory character. It was focused on connections between temperament and olfactory functioning – in particular, identification and affective assessment of olfactory stimuli. Main research question dealt with potential correlations between sensory sensitivity (dimension of temperamental questionnaire FCZ‑KT with declarative and objective ability to identify presented odours and their assessment. Fifty four schoolgirls from one of the Warsaw sec‑ ondary schools participated in the research and they were asked for filling in the FCZ‑KT questionnaire and evaluating each of 16 smell samples. Analyses revealed a significant positive correlation between declared familiarity and accurate odours’ identification (odours that were subjectively known were recognized more accurately than unknown and a posi‑ tive correlation between declared familiarity and affective assessment (odours that were known were assessed as more pleasant than unknown. Sensory sensitivity was not correlated neither with declarative nor real ability to identify smells, however sensory sensitivity was positively correlated with affective assessment (the higher scores on sensory sensitivity dimension, the more pleasantly assessed odours in general. Analyses revealed a number of connections between other dimensions of FCZ‑KT questionnaire (perseverance, liveliness, stamina and the ability (both objective and subjective to correctly identify odours which were most difficult to recognize. Completed project might be perceived as a starting point for further research concerning relationships between temperament, olfactory functioning, and food preferences among patients diagnosed with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and obesity.

  13. Infectious Agents as Stimuli of Trained Innate Immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulina Rusek

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The discoveries made over the past few years have modified the current immunological paradigm. It turns out that innate immunity cells can mount some kind of immunological memory, similar to that observed in the acquired immunity and corresponding to the defense mechanisms of lower organisms, which increases their resistance to reinfection. This phenomenon is termed trained innate immunity. It is based on epigenetic changes in innate immune cells (monocytes/macrophages, NK cells after their stimulation with various infectious or non-infectious agents. Many infectious stimuli, including bacterial or fungal cells and their components (LPS, β-glucan, chitin as well as viruses or even parasites are considered potent inducers of innate immune memory. Epigenetic cell reprogramming occurring at the heart of the phenomenon may provide a useful basis for designing novel prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to prevent and protect against multiple diseases. In this article, we present the current state of art on trained innate immunity occurring as a result of infectious agent induction. Additionally, we discuss the mechanisms of cell reprogramming and the implications for immune response stimulation/manipulation.

  14. Pressurized transient otoacoustic emissions measured using click and chirp stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, Douglas H; Patrick Feeney, M; Hunter, Lisa L; Fitzpatrick, Denis F; Sanford, Chris A

    2018-01-01

    Transient-evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) responses were measured in normal-hearing adult ears over frequencies from 0.7 to 8 kHz, and analyzed with reflectance/admittance data to measure absorbed sound power and the tympanometric peak pressure (TPP). The mean TPP was close to ambient. TEOAEs were measured in the ear canal at ambient pressure, TPP, and fixed air pressures from 150 to -200 daPa. Both click and chirp stimuli were used to elicit TEOAEs, in which the incident sound pressure level was constant across frequency. TEOAE levels were similar at ambient and TPP, and for frequencies from 0.7 to 2.8 kHz decreased with increasing positive and negative pressures. At 4-8 kHz, TEOAE levels were larger at positive pressures. This asymmetry is possibly related to changes in mechanical transmission through the ossicular chain. The mean TEOAE group delay did not change with pressure, although small changes were observed in the mean instantaneous frequency and group spread. Chirp TEOAEs measured in an adult ear with Eustachian tube dysfunction and TPP of -165 daPa were more robust at TPP than at ambient. Overall, results demonstrate the feasibility and clinical potential of measuring TEOAEs at fixed pressures in the ear canal, which provide additional information relative to TEOAEs measured at ambient pressure.

  15. Pattern transformations in periodic cellular solids under external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  16. Investigating the influence of haemodynamic stimuli on intracranial aneurysm inception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Haoyu; Selimovic, Alisa; Thompson, Harry; Chiarini, Alessandro; Penrose, Justin; Ventikos, Yiannis; Watton, Paul N

    2013-07-01

    We propose a novel method to reconstruct the hypothetical geometry of the healthy vasculature prior to intracranial aneurysm (IA) formation: a Frenet frame is calculated along the skeletonization of the arterial geometry; upstream and downstream boundaries of the aneurysmal segment are expressed in terms of the local Frenet frame basis vectors; the hypothetical healthy geometry is then reconstructed by propagating a closed curve along the skeleton using the local Frenet frames so that the upstream boundary is smoothly morphed into the downstream boundary. This methodology takes into account the tortuosity of the arterial vasculature and requires minimal user subjectivity. The method is applied to 22 clinical cases depicting IAs. Computational fluid dynamic simulations of the vasculature without IA are performed and the haemodynamic stimuli in the location of IA formation are examined. We observe that locally elevated wall shear stress (WSS) and gradient oscillatory number (GON) are highly correlated (20/22 for WSS and 19/22 for GON) with regions susceptible to sidewall IA formation whilst haemodynamic indices associated with the oscillation of the WSS vectors have much lower correlations.

  17. The Hv1 proton channel responds to mechanical stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Medha M; Tran, Truc; Hong, Liang; Joós, Béla; Morris, Catherine E; Tombola, Francesco

    2016-11-01

    The voltage-gated proton channel, Hv1, is expressed in tissues throughout the body and plays important roles in pH homeostasis and regulation of NADPH oxidase. Hv1 operates in membrane compartments that experience strong mechanical forces under physiological or pathological conditions. In microglia, for example, Hv1 activity is potentiated by cell swelling and causes an increase in brain damage after stroke. The channel complex consists of two proton-permeable voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) linked by a cytoplasmic coiled-coil domain. Here, we report that these VSDs directly respond to mechanical stimuli. We find that membrane stretch facilitates Hv1 channel opening by increasing the rate of activation and shifting the steady-state activation curve to less depolarized potentials. In the presence of a transmembrane pH gradient, membrane stretch alone opens the channel without the need for strong depolarizations. The effect of membrane stretch persists for several minutes after the mechanical stimulus is turned off, suggesting that the channel switches to a "facilitated" mode in which opening occurs more readily and then slowly reverts to the normal mode observed in the absence of membrane stretch. Conductance simulations with a six-state model recapitulate all the features of the channel's response to mechanical stimulation. Hv1 mechanosensitivity thus provides a mechanistic link between channel activation in microglia and brain damage after stroke. © 2016 Pathak et al.

  18. Impaired autonomic responses to emotional stimuli in autoimmune limbic encephalitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga eSchröder

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Limbic encephalitis (LE is an autoimmune-mediated disorder that affects structures of the limbic system, in particular the amygdala. The amygdala constitutes a brain area substantial for processing of emotional, especially fear-related signals. The amygdala is also involved in neuroendocrine and autonomic functions, including skin conductance responses (SCRs to emotionally arousing stimuli. This study investigates behavioral and autonomic responses to discrete emotion-evoking and neutral film clips in a patient suffering from LE associated with contactin-associated protein-2 (CASPR2-antibodies as compared to a healthy control group. Results show a lack of SCRs in the patient while watching the film clips, with significant differences compared to healthy controls in the case of fear-inducing videos. There was no comparable impairment in behavioral data (emotion report, valence and arousal ratings. The results point to a defective modulation of sympathetic responses during emotional stimulation in patients with LE, probably due to impaired functioning of the amygdala.

  19. Exogenous (automatic) attention to emotional stimuli: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-12-01

    Current knowledge on the architecture of exogenous attention (also called automatic, bottom-up, or stimulus-driven attention, among other terms) has been mainly obtained from studies employing neutral, anodyne stimuli. Since, from an evolutionary perspective, exogenous attention can be understood as an adaptive tool for rapidly detecting salient events, reorienting processing resources to them, and enhancing processing mechanisms, emotional events (which are, by definition, salient for the individual) would seem crucial to a comprehensive understanding of this process. This review, focusing on the visual modality, describes 55 experiments in which both emotional and neutral irrelevant distractors are presented at the same time as ongoing task targets. Qualitative and, when possible, meta-analytic descriptions of results are provided. The most conspicuous result is that, as confirmed by behavioral and/or neural indices, emotional distractors capture exogenous attention to a significantly greater extent than do neutral distractors. The modulatory effects of the nature of distractors capturing attention, of the ongoing task characteristics, and of individual differences, previously proposed as mediating factors, are also described. Additionally, studies reviewed here provide temporal and spatial information-partially absent in traditional cognitive models-on the neural basis of preattention/evaluation, reorienting, and sensory amplification, the main subprocesses involved in exogenous attention. A model integrating these different levels of information is proposed. The present review, which reveals that there are several key issues for which experimental data are surprisingly scarce, confirms the relevance of including emotional distractors in studies on exogenous attention.

  20. Vascular Adaptation to Exercise in Humans: Role of Hemodynamic Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Daniel J.; Hopman, Maria T. E.; Padilla, Jaume; Laughlin, M. Harold; Thijssen, Dick H. J.

    2017-01-01

    On the 400th anniversary of Harvey's Lumleian lectures, this review focuses on “hemodynamic” forces associated with the movement of blood through arteries in humans and the functional and structural adaptations that result from repeated episodic exposure to such stimuli. The late 20th century discovery that endothelial cells modify arterial tone via paracrine transduction provoked studies exploring the direct mechanical effects of blood flow and pressure on vascular function and adaptation in vivo. In this review, we address the impact of distinct hemodynamic signals that occur in response to exercise, the interrelationships between these signals, the nature of the adaptive responses that manifest under different physiological conditions, and the implications for human health. Exercise modifies blood flow, luminal shear stress, arterial pressure, and tangential wall stress, all of which can transduce changes in arterial function, diameter, and wall thickness. There are important clinical implications of the adaptation that occurs as a consequence of repeated hemodynamic stimulation associated with exercise training in humans, including impacts on atherosclerotic risk in conduit arteries, the control of blood pressure in resistance vessels, oxygen delivery and diffusion, and microvascular health. Exercise training studies have demonstrated that direct hemodynamic impacts on the health of the artery wall contribute to the well-established decrease in cardiovascular risk attributed to physical activity. PMID:28151424

  1. Differences in cortical response to acupressure and electroacupuncture stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vangel Mark G

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background FMRI studies focus on sub-cortical effects of acupuncture stimuli. The purpose of this study was to assess changes in primary somatosensory (S1 activity over the course of different types of acupuncture stimulation. We used whole head magnetoencephalography (MEG to map S1 brain response during 15 minutes of electroacupuncture (EA and acupressure (AP. We further assessed how brain response changed during the course of stimulation. Results Evoked brain response to EA differed from AP in its temporal dynamics by showing clear contralateral M20/M30 peaks while the latter demonstrated temporal dispersion. Both EA and AP demonstrated significantly decreased response amplitudes following five minutes of stimulation. However, the latency of these decreases were earlier in EA (~30 ms post-stimulus than AP (> 100 ms. Time-frequency responses demonstrated early onset, event related synchronization (ERS, within the gamma band at ~70-130 ms and the theta band at ~50-200 ms post-stimulus. A prolonged event related desynchronization (ERD of alpha and beta power occurred at ~100-300 ms post-stimulus. There was decreased beta ERD at ~100-300 ms over the course of EA, but not AP. Conclusion Both EA and AP demonstrated conditioning of SI response. In conjunction with their subcortical effects on endogenous pain regulation, these therapies show potential for affecting S1 processing and possibly altering maladaptive neuroplasticity. Thus, further investigation in neuropathic populations is needed.

  2. Aboveground mechanical stimuli affect belowground plant-plant communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elhakeem, Ali; Markovic, Dimitrije; Broberg, Anders; Anten, Niels P R; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2018-01-01

    Plants can detect the presence of their neighbours and modify their growth behaviour accordingly. But the extent to which this neighbour detection is mediated by abiotic stressors is not well known. In this study we tested the acclimation response of Zea mays L. seedlings through belowground interactions to the presence of their siblings exposed to brief mechano stimuli. Maize seedling simultaneously shared the growth solution of touched plants or they were transferred to the growth solution of previously touched plants. We tested the growth preferences of newly germinated seedlings toward the growth solution of touched (T_solution) or untouched plants (C_solution). The primary root of the newly germinated seedlings grew significantly less towards T_solution than to C_solution. Plants transferred to T_solution allocated more biomass to shoots and less to roots. While plants that simultaneously shared their growth solution with the touched plants produced more biomass. Results show that plant responses to neighbours can be modified by aboveground abiotic stress to those neighbours and suggest that these modifications are mediated by belowground interactions.

  3. Aboveground mechanical stimuli affect belowground plant-plant communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Elhakeem

    Full Text Available Plants can detect the presence of their neighbours and modify their growth behaviour accordingly. But the extent to which this neighbour detection is mediated by abiotic stressors is not well known. In this study we tested the acclimation response of Zea mays L. seedlings through belowground interactions to the presence of their siblings exposed to brief mechano stimuli. Maize seedling simultaneously shared the growth solution of touched plants or they were transferred to the growth solution of previously touched plants. We tested the growth preferences of newly germinated seedlings toward the growth solution of touched (T_solution or untouched plants (C_solution. The primary root of the newly germinated seedlings grew significantly less towards T_solution than to C_solution. Plants transferred to T_solution allocated more biomass to shoots and less to roots. While plants that simultaneously shared their growth solution with the touched plants produced more biomass. Results show that plant responses to neighbours can be modified by aboveground abiotic stress to those neighbours and suggest that these modifications are mediated by belowground interactions.

  4. Brief Emotion Regulation Training Facilitates Arousal Control During Sexual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overveld, Mark; Borg, Charmaine

    2015-01-01

    Disgust, a negative emotion which evokes strong behavioral avoidance tendencies, has been associated with sexual dysfunction. Recently, it was postulated that healthy sexual functioning requires a balance between excitatory (increased sexual arousal) and inhibitory processes (lowered disgust levels). This suggests that amplification of excitatory processes (like sexual arousal) could be a valuable addition to treatments for affect-based sexual dysfunctions. The major aim of the present study was to establish whether up-regulation could effectively enhance arousal levels during sexual stimuli, and whether such a training would simultaneously reduce disgust. Students (N = 163, mean age = 20.73 years, SD = 2.35) were trained in up-regulation of affect using either a sexual arousal film (i.e., female-friendly erotic movie) or a threat arousal film clip (i.e., horror movie), while control groups viewed the films without training instructions. Following this, participants viewed and rated state emotions during a series of pictures (sexual, disgusting, or neutral). Up-regulation of mood successfully enhanced general arousal in both groups, yet these arousal levels were not paralleled by reductions in disgust. Overall, the findings indicate that emotion regulation training by maximizing positive affect and general arousal could be an effective instrument to facilitate affect-related disturbances in sexual dysfunctions.

  5. Learning quadratic receptive fields from neural responses to natural stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Kanaka; Marre, Olivier; Tkačik, Gašper

    2013-07-01

    Models of neural responses to stimuli with complex spatiotemporal correlation structure often assume that neurons are selective for only a small number of linear projections of a potentially high-dimensional input. In this review, we explore recent modeling approaches where the neural response depends on the quadratic form of the input rather than on its linear projection, that is, the neuron is sensitive to the local covariance structure of the signal preceding the spike. To infer this quadratic dependence in the presence of arbitrary (e.g., naturalistic) stimulus distribution, we review several inference methods, focusing in particular on two information theory-based approaches (maximization of stimulus energy and of noise entropy) and two likelihood-based approaches (Bayesian spike-triggered covariance and extensions of generalized linear models). We analyze the formal relationship between the likelihood-based and information-based approaches to demonstrate how they lead to consistent inference. We demonstrate the practical feasibility of these procedures by using model neurons responding to a flickering variance stimulus.

  6. Effects of testosterone on attention and memory for emotional stimuli in male rhesus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Hanna M; Kurdziel, Laura B; Meyer, Jerrold S; Lacreuse, Agnès

    2012-03-01

    Increasing evidence in humans and other animals suggests that testosterone (T) plays an important role in modulating emotion. We previously reported that T treatment in rhesus monkeys undergoing chemically induced hypogonadism results in increased watching time of videos depicting fights between unfamiliar conspecifics (Lacreuse et al., 2010). In the current study, we aimed to further investigate the effect of T manipulations on attention and memory for emotional stimuli in male rhesus monkeys. Six males (7 years old) were administered Depot Lupron to suppress endogenous T levels and treated with either testosterone enanthate (TE, 5 mg/kg) or oil, before crossing over to the alternate treatment. Animals were tested for 16 weeks on two computerized touchscreen tasks with both social and nonsocial emotional and neutral stimuli. The Dot-Probe task was used to measure attention, and the Delayed-Non-Matching-to-Sample task with a 1s delay (DNMS) was used to measure recognition memory for these stimuli. Performance on the two tasks was examined during each of four month-long phases: Baseline, Lupron alone, Lupron+TE and Lupron+oil. It was predicted that T administration would lead to increased attention to negative social stimuli (i.e., negative facial expressions of unfamiliar conspecifics) and would improve memory for such stimuli. We found no evidence to support these predictions. In the Dot-Probe task, an attentional bias towards negative social stimuli was observed at baseline, but T treatment did not enhance this bias. Instead, monkeys had faster response times when treated with T compared to oil, independently of the emotional valence or social relevance of stimuli, perhaps reflecting an enhancing effect of T on reward sensitivity or general arousal. In the DNMS, animals had better memory for nonsocial compared to social stimuli and showed the poorest performance in the recognition of positive facial expressions. However, T did not affect performance on the task

  7. Presentation of Aural Stimuli to Newborns and Premature Infants: An Audiological Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine extant research in the field of music with premature and full term infants in order to identify protocols being used in the presentation of musical stimuli to neonates and (b) to use knowledge gleaned from audiology as a basis for suggesting a standardized protocol for use of musical stimuli with infants. Articles considered appropriate for inclusion in the analysis met the following criteria: (a) presented data for the effects of music on a dependent measure, (b) had subjects who were identified as either premature or term newborns receiving treatment after birth and prior to discharge from the hospital, and (c) used music for some or all of the aural stimuli. Articles (N = 20) were categorized by demographic information, types of aural stimuli, independent variables, dependent measures, and protocol used to present the musical stimuli. Of primary importance to this study was the protocol used in each study to present musical stimuli. Data regarding total duration of stimuli per day, longest duration of stimuli per day, method of stimuli presentation, placement of speakers, decibel level of stimuli, and where;he decibel level was measured reveal that there is no standard protocol being followed with regard to the presentation of aural stimuli. Recommendations include future research on (a) determining a minimum gestational age where music therapy may be appropriate, (b) determining the frequency spectrum perceived by a premature infant, (c) determining the decibel levels reaching the ear drum and assessing appropriate levels for minimum stimulation with maximum results, and (d) carefully considering the method of stimulus presentation as it will have an impact on the decibel level reaching the ear drum of these infants.

  8. How does the adult attachment affect human’s recognition to love-related and sex-related stimuli: an ERP study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan eHou

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, we investigated the relationship among three emotion-motivation systems (adult attachment, romantic love and sex. We recorded Event-related potentials (ERPs in 37 healthy volunteers who had experienced romantic love while they viewed SEX, LOVE, FRIEND, SPORT and NEUTRAL images. We also measured adult attachment styles, level of passionate love and sexual attitudes. As expected, results showed that, firstly, response to love-related image-stimuli and sex-related image-stimuli on the electrophysiological data significantly different on N1, N2 and PSW components. Secondly, the different adult attachment styles affected individuals’ recognition processing in response to love-related and sex-related images, especially, to sex-related images. Further analysis showed that voltages elicited by fearful attachment style individuals were significantly lower than voltages elicited by secure and dismissing attachment style individuals on sex-related images at frontal sites, on N1 and N2 components. Thirdly, from behavior data, we found that adult attachment styles were not significantly related to any dimension of sexual attitudes but were significantly related to passionate love scale total points. Thus, the behavior results were not in line with the electrophysiological results. The present study proved that adult attachment styles might mediate individuals’ lust and attraction systems.

  9. Altered processing of rewarding and aversive basic taste stimuli in symptomatic women with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: An fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteleone, Alessio Maria; Monteleone, Palmiero; Esposito, Fabrizio; Prinster, Anna; Volpe, Umberto; Cantone, Elena; Pellegrino, Francesca; Canna, Antonietta; Milano, Walter; Aiello, Marco; Di Salle, Francesco; Maj, Mario

    2017-07-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have displayed a dysregulation in the way in which the brain processes pleasant taste stimuli in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). However, exactly how the brain processes disgusting basic taste stimuli has never been investigated, even though disgust plays a role in food intake modulation and AN and BN patients exhibit high disgust sensitivity. Therefore, we investigated the activation of brain areas following the administration of pleasant and aversive basic taste stimuli in symptomatic AN and BN patients compared to healthy subjects. Twenty underweight AN women, 20 symptomatic BN women and 20 healthy women underwent fMRI while tasting 0.292 M sucrose solution (sweet taste), 0.5 mM quinine hydrochloride solution (bitter taste) and water as a reference taste. In symptomatic AN and BN patients the pleasant sweet stimulus induced a higher activation in several brain areas than that induced by the aversive bitter taste. The opposite occurred in healthy controls. Moreover, compared to healthy controls, AN patients showed a decreased response to the bitter stimulus in the right amygdala and left anterior cingulate cortex, while BN patients showed a decreased response to the bitter stimulus in the right amygdala and left insula. These results show an altered processing of rewarding and aversive taste stimuli in ED patients, which may be relevant for understanding the pathophysiology of AN and BN. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Orientation-Cue Invariant Population Responses to Contrast-Modulated and Phase-Reversed Contour Stimuli in Macaque V1 and V2

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Xu; Gong, Hongliang; Yin, Jiapeng; Wang, Xiaochun; Pan, Yanxia; Zhang, Xian; Lu, Yiliang; Yang, Yupeng; Toth, Zoltan; Schiessl, Ingo; McLoughlin, Niall; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Visual scenes can be readily decomposed into a variety of oriented components, the processing of which is vital for object segregation and recognition. In primate V1 and V2, most neurons have small spatio-temporal receptive fields responding selectively to oriented luminance contours (first order), while only a subgroup of neurons signal non-luminance defined contours (second order). So how is the orientation of second-order contours represented at the population level in macaque V1 and V2? Here we compared the population responses in macaque V1 and V2 to two types of second-order contour stimuli generated either by modulation of contrast or phase reversal with those to first-order contour stimuli. Using intrinsic signal optical imaging, we found that the orientation of second-order contour stimuli was represented invariantly in the orientation columns of both macaque V1 and V2. A physiologically constrained spatio-temporal energy model of V1 and V2 neuronal populations could reproduce all the recorded population responses. These findings suggest that, at the population level, the primate early visual system processes the orientation of second-order contours initially through a linear spatio-temporal filter mechanism. Our results of population responses to different second-order contour stimuli support the idea that the orientation maps in primate V1 and V2 can be described as a spatial-temporal energy map. PMID:25188576

  11. Emotional reactivity to social stimuli in patients with eating disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapajóz P de Sampaio, Fernanda; Soneira, Sebastian; Aulicino, Alfredo; Harris, Paula; Allegri, Ricardo Francisco

    2015-10-30

    Patients with eating disorders often display a wide range of difficulties in psychosocial functioning. Most of the studies on this subject have focused on theory of mind; however, little is known about the subjective emotional reactivity of patients to social situations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the patients' perceptions of their own emotions when viewing pictures with social content. Emotional reactivity was assessed in 85 women (29 with anorexia nervosa, 28 with bulimia nervosa, and 28 healthy controls) by using 30 images from the International Affective Picture System. Images were divided into categories based on its social content and its emotional valence. The emotional response was evaluated through the Self-Assessment Manikin. Patients with bulimia nervosa presented higher arousal and lower control when viewing images with social content of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral valence. Patients with anorexia nervosa reported higher arousal and lower control only for social images with neutral valence. There were no differences between groups for the control images. The finding of specific differences in emotional reactivity to pictures with social content contributes to a more accurate understanding of the difficulties of patients in social situations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Differential Memory of Picture and Word Stimuli in a Paired-Associate Learning Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartels, Laura Grand; Feinbloom, Jessica

    Ten concrete nouns represented in either a pictorial or a linguistic mode and accompanied by ten nonsense syllables were shown to 77 college students in a study of how pictorial stimuli varied in recall and recognition tasks. The group receiving pictorial stimuli recalled and recognized significantly more nonsense syllables than did the group…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

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

  15. Brief report: Inhibitory control of socially relevant stimuli in children with high functioning autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Begeer, S.; Stockman, L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study explored whether inhibitory control deficits in high functioning autism (HFA) emerged when socially relevant stimuli were used and whether arousal level affected the performance. A Go/NoGo paradigm, with socially relevant stimuli and varying presentation rates, was applied in 18

  16. EFFECTS OF THREE DIFFERENT STIMULI ON THE CREATIVITY OF CHILDREN'S COMPOSITIONS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MAY, FRANK B.; TABACHNICK, B. ROBERT

    THIS STUDY BEGAN AN ATTEMPT TO DETERMINE THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE MOTIVATING STIMULI FOR USE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WRITING PROGRAMS. IN PARTICULAR, IT DEALT WITH THE EFFECTS OF ORGANIZED AND UNORGANIZED STIMULI ON THE CREATIVE WRITING ABILITY OF THIRD- AND SIXTH-GRADE STUDENTS. THE CHILDREN WERE DIVIDED INTO SIX GROUPS. ONE GROUP OF…

  17. Attentional and Affective Processing of Sexual Stimuli in Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brauer, Marieke; van Leeuwen, Matthijs; Janssen, Erick; Newhouse, Sarah K.; Heiman, Julia R.; Laan, Ellen

    2012-01-01

    Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most common sexual problem in women. From an incentive motivation perspective, HSDD may be the result of a weak association between sexual stimuli and rewarding experiences. As a consequence, these stimuli may either lose or fail to acquire a positive

  18. Natural stimuli improve auditory BCIs with respect to ergonomics and performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höhne, Johannes; Krenzlin, Konrad; Dähne, Sven; Tangermann, Michael

    2012-08-01

    Moving from well-controlled, brisk artificial stimuli to natural and less-controlled stimuli seems counter-intuitive for event-related potential (ERP) studies. As natural stimuli typically contain a richer internal structure, they might introduce higher levels of variance and jitter in the ERP responses. Both characteristics are unfavorable for a good single-trial classification of ERPs in the context of a multi-class brain-computer interface (BCI) system, where the class-discriminant information between target stimuli and non-target stimuli must be maximized. For the application in an auditory BCI system, however, the transition from simple artificial tones to natural syllables can be useful despite the variance introduced. In the presented study, healthy users (N = 9) participated in an offline auditory nine-class BCI experiment with artificial and natural stimuli. It is shown that the use of syllables as natural stimuli does not only improve the users’ ergonomic ratings; also the classification performance is increased. Moreover, natural stimuli obtain a better balance in multi-class decisions, such that the number of systematic confusions between the nine classes is reduced. Hopefully, our findings may contribute to make auditory BCI paradigms more user friendly and applicable for patients.

  19. Comparison of Verbal Preference Assessments in the Presence and Absence of the Actual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, David E.; DeLeon, Iser G.; Terlonge, Cindy; Goysovich, Richard

    2006-01-01

    Stimulus preference assessments for individuals with developmental disabilities typically involve offering choices among stimuli and providing immediate access to the chosen stimuli. Several researchers have explored the utility of presenting choices verbally, thereby obviating the need to present the choices in tangible form and deliver access to…

  20. 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,…

  1. Pupillary Reactivity to Emotional Stimuli in Children of Depressed and Anxious Mothers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhouse, Katie L.; Siegle, Greg J.; Gibb, Brandon E.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The primary aim of this study was to examine differences in physiological reactivity (measured via pupillometry) to emotional stimuli between children of depressed versus nondepressed mothers. A second goal was to examine differences in pupil dilation to emotional stimuli between children of anxious versus nonanxious mothers. Method:…

  2. Long-latency auditory evoked potentials with verbal and nonverbal stimuli,

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila Jacques Oppitz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Long-latency auditory evoked potentials represent the cortical activity related to attention, memory, and auditory discrimination skills. Acoustic signal processing occurs differently between verbal and nonverbal stimuli, influencing the latency and amplitude patterns. OBJECTIVE: To describe the latencies of the cortical potentials P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3, as well as P3 amplitude, with different speech stimuli and tone bursts, and to classify them in the presence and absence of these data. METHODS: A total of 30 subjects with normal hearing were assessed, aged 18-32 years old, matched by gender. Nonverbal stimuli were used (tone burst; 1000 Hz - frequent and 4000 Hz - rare; and verbal (/ba/ - frequent; /ga/, /da/, and /di/ - rare. RESULTS: Considering the component N2 for tone burst, the lowest latency found was 217.45 ms for the BA/DI stimulus; the highest latency found was 256.5 ms. For the P3 component, the shortest latency with tone burst stimuli was 298.7 with BA/GA stimuli, the highest, was 340 ms. For the P3 amplitude, there was no statistically significant difference among the different stimuli. For latencies of components P1, N1, P2, N2, P3, there were no statistical differences among them, regardless of the stimuli used. CONCLUSION: There was a difference in the latency of potentials N2 and P3 among the stimuli employed but no difference was observed for the P3 amplitude.

  3. Resistance to Change and Frequency of Response-Dependent Stimuli Uncorrelated with Reinforcement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlesnik, Christopher A.; Jimenez-Gomez, Corina; Ward, Ryan D.; Shahan, Timothy A.

    2009-01-01

    Stimuli uncorrelated with reinforcement have been shown to enhance response rates and resistance to disruption; however, the effects of different rates of stimulus presentations have not been assessed. In two experiments, we assessed the effects of adding different rates of response-dependent brief stimuli uncorrelated with primary reinforcement…

  4. Chromatic induction from surrounding stimuli under perceptual suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiuchi, Koji; Kuriki, Ichiro; Tokunaga, Rumi; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Shioiri, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    The appearance of colors can be affected by their spatiotemporal context. The shift in color appearance according to the surrounding colors is called color induction or chromatic induction; in particular, the shift in opponent color of the surround is called chromatic contrast. To investigate whether chromatic induction occurs even when the chromatic surround is imperceptible, we measured chromatic induction during interocular suppression. A multicolor or uniform color field was presented as the surround stimulus, and a colored continuous flash suppression (CFS) stimulus was presented to the dominant eye of each subject. The subjects were asked to report the appearance of the test field only when the stationary surround stimulus is invisible by interocular suppression with CFS. The resulting shifts in color appearance due to chromatic induction were significant even under the conditions of interocular suppression for all surround stimuli. The magnitude of chromatic induction differed with the surround conditions, and this difference was preserved regardless of the viewing conditions. The chromatic induction effect was reduced by CFS, in proportion to the magnitude of chromatic induction under natural (i.e., no-CFS) viewing conditions. According to an analysis with linear model fitting, we revealed the presence of at least two kinds of subprocesses for chromatic induction that reside at higher and lower levels than the site of interocular suppression. One mechanism yields different degrees of chromatic induction based on the complexity of the surround, which is unaffected by interocular suppression, while the other mechanism changes its output with interocular suppression acting as a gain control. Our results imply that the total chromatic induction effect is achieved via a linear summation of outputs from mechanisms that reside at different levels of visual processing.

  5. Alcoholics' selective attention to alcohol stimuli: automated processing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormark, K M; Laberg, J C; Nordby, H; Hugdahl, K

    2000-01-01

    This study investigated alcoholics' selective attention to alcohol words in a version of the Stroop color-naming task. Alcoholic subjects (n = 23) and nonalcoholic control subjects (n = 23) identified the color of Stroop versions of alcohol, emotional, neutral and color words. Manual reaction times (RTs), skin conductance responses (SCRs) and heart rate (HR) were recorded. Alcoholics showed overall longer RTs than controls while both groups were slower in responding to the incongruent color words than to the other words. Alcoholics showed longer RTs to both alcohol (1522.7 milliseconds [ms]) and emotional words (1523.7 ms) than to neutral words (1450.8 ms) which suggests that the content of these words interfered with the ability to attend to the color of the words. There was also a negative correlation (r = -.41) between RT and response accuracy to alcohol words for the alcoholics, reflecting that the longer time the alcoholics used to respond to the color of the alcohol words, the more incorrect their responses were. The alcoholics also showed significantly greater SCRs to alcohol words (0.16 microSiemens) than to any of the other words (ranging from 0.04-0.08 microSiemens), probably reflecting the emotional significance of the alcohol words. Finally, the alcoholics evidenced smaller HR acceleration to alcohol (1.9 delta bpm) compared to neutral (2.8 delta bpm), which could be related to difficulties alcoholics experience in terminating their attention to the alcohol words. These findings indicate that it is difficult for alcoholics to regulate their attention to alcohol stimuli, suggesting that alcoholics' processing of alcohol information is automated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  7. Multiple distinct stimuli increase measured nucleosome occupancy around human promoters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuong D Pham

    Full Text Available Nucleosomes can block access to transcription factors. Thus the precise localization of nucleosomes relative to transcription start sites and other factor binding sites is expected to be a critical component of transcriptional regulation. Recently developed microarray approaches have allowed the rapid mapping of nucleosome positions over hundreds of kilobases (kb of human genomic DNA, although these approaches have not yet been widely used to measure chromatin changes associated with changes in transcription. Here, we use custom tiling microarrays to reveal changes in nucleosome positions and abundance that occur when hormone-bound glucocorticoid receptor (GR binds to sites near target gene promoters in human osteosarcoma cells. The most striking change is an increase in measured nucleosome occupancy at sites spanning ∼1 kb upstream and downstream of transcription start sites, which occurs one hour after addition of hormone, but is lost at 4 hours. Unexpectedly, this increase was seen both on GR-regulated and GR-non-regulated genes. In addition, the human SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling factor (a GR co-activator was found to be important for increased occupancy upon hormone treatment and also for low nucleosome occupancy without hormone. Most surprisingly, similar increases in nucleosome occupancy were also seen on both regulated and non-regulated promoters during differentiation of human myeloid leukemia cells and upon activation of human CD4+ T-cells. These results indicate that dramatic changes in chromatin structure over ∼2 kb of human promoters may occur genomewide and in response to a variety of stimuli, and suggest novel models for transcriptional regulation.

  8. Design, challenge, and promise of stimuli-responsive nanoantibiotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edson, Julius A.; Kwon, Young Jik

    2016-10-01

    Over the past few years, there have been calls for novel antimicrobials to combat the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. While some promising new discoveries have met this call, it is not nearly enough. The major problem is that although these new promising antimicrobials serve as a short-term solution, they lack the potential to provide a long-term solution. The conventional method of creating new antibiotics relies heavily on the discovery of an antimicrobial compound from another microbe. This paradigm of development is flawed due to the fact that microbes can easily transfer a resistant mechanism if faced with an environmental pressure. Furthermore, there has been some evidence to indicate that the environment of the microbe can provide a hint as to their virulence. Because of this, the use of materials with antimicrobial properties has been garnering interest. Nanoantibiotics, (nAbts), provide a new way to circumvent the current paradigm of antimicrobial discovery and presents a novel mechanism of attack not found in microbes yet; which may lead to a longer-term solution against drug-resistance formation. This allows for environment-specific activation and efficacy of the nAbts but may also open up and create new design methods for various applications. These nAbts provide promise, but there is still ample work to be done in their development. This review looks at possible ways of improving and optimizing nAbts by making them stimuli-responsive, then consider the challenges ahead, and industrial applications.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  9. A flexible multi-stimuli in situ (S)TEM: Concept, optical performance, and outlook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Börrnert, Felix; Müller, Heiko; Riedel, Thomas; Linck, Martin; Kirkland, Angus I.; Haider, Max.; Büchner, Bernd; Lichte, Hannes

    2015-01-01

    The progress in (scanning) transmission electron microscopy development had led to an unprecedented knowledge of the microscopic structure of functional materials at the atomic level. Additionally, although not widely used yet, electron holography is capable to map the electric and magnetic potential distributions at the sub-nanometer scale. Nevertheless, in situ studies inside a (scanning) transmission electron microscope ((S)TEM) are extremely challenging because of the much restricted size and accessibility of the sample space. Here, we introduce a concept for a dedicated in situ (S)TEM with a large sample chamber for flexible multi-stimuli experimental setups and report about the electron optical performance of the instrument. We demonstrate a maximum resolving power of about 1 nm in conventional imaging mode and substantially better than 5 nm in scanning mode while providing an effectively usable “pole piece gap” of 70 mm. - Highlights: • A concept for a (S)TEM with a large sample chamber is outlined. • An actual microscope is modified and has now a 70 mm high sample space. • The resolving power is about 1 nm in TEM and better than 5 nm in STEM mode. • Possible dedicated in situ microscopes with present technology are discussed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. A flexible multi-stimuli in situ (S)TEM: Concept, optical performance, and outlook

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Börrnert, Felix, E-mail: felix.boerrnert@triebenberg.de [Speziallabor Triebenberg, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden (Germany); IFW Dresden, PF 27 01 16, 01171 Dresden (Germany); Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PH (United Kingdom); Müller, Heiko; Riedel, Thomas; Linck, Martin [CEOS GmbH, Englerstraße 28, 69126 Heidelberg (Germany); Kirkland, Angus I. [Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PH (United Kingdom); Haider, Max. [CEOS GmbH, Englerstraße 28, 69126 Heidelberg (Germany); Büchner, Bernd [IFW Dresden, PF 27 01 16, 01171 Dresden (Germany); Lichte, Hannes [Speziallabor Triebenberg, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden (Germany)

    2015-04-15

    The progress in (scanning) transmission electron microscopy development had led to an unprecedented knowledge of the microscopic structure of functional materials at the atomic level. Additionally, although not widely used yet, electron holography is capable to map the electric and magnetic potential distributions at the sub-nanometer scale. Nevertheless, in situ studies inside a (scanning) transmission electron microscope ((S)TEM) are extremely challenging because of the much restricted size and accessibility of the sample space. Here, we introduce a concept for a dedicated in situ (S)TEM with a large sample chamber for flexible multi-stimuli experimental setups and report about the electron optical performance of the instrument. We demonstrate a maximum resolving power of about 1 nm in conventional imaging mode and substantially better than 5 nm in scanning mode while providing an effectively usable “pole piece gap” of 70 mm. - Highlights: • A concept for a (S)TEM with a large sample chamber is outlined. • An actual microscope is modified and has now a 70 mm high sample space. • The resolving power is about 1 nm in TEM and better than 5 nm in STEM mode. • Possible dedicated in situ microscopes with present technology are discussed.

  12. Acute effects of LSD on amygdala activity during processing of fearful stimuli in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, F; Lenz, C; Dolder, P C; Harder, S; Schmid, Y; Lang, U E; Liechti, M E; Borgwardt, S

    2017-04-04

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) induces profound changes in various mental domains, including perception, self-awareness and emotions. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the acute effects of LSD on the neural substrate of emotional processing in humans. Using a double-blind, randomised, cross-over study design, placebo or 100 μg LSD were orally administered to 20 healthy subjects before the fMRI scan, taking into account the subjective and pharmacological peak effects of LSD. The plasma levels of LSD were determined immediately before and after the scan. The study (including the a priori-defined study end point) was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov before study start (NCT02308969). The administration of LSD reduced reactivity of the left amygdala and the right medial prefrontal cortex relative to placebo during the presentation of fearful faces (PLSD-induced amygdala response to fearful stimuli and the LSD-induced subjective drug effects (PLSD modulates the engagement of brain regions that mediate emotional processing.

  13. Hurricane Sandy Exposure Alters the Development of Neural Reactivity to Negative Stimuli in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessel, Ellen M; Nelson, Brady D; Kujawa, Autumn; Hajcak, Greg; Kotov, Roman; Bromet, Evelyn J; Carlson, Gabrielle A; Klein, Daniel N

    2018-03-01

    This study examined whether exposure to Hurricane Sandy-related stressors altered children's brain response to emotional information. An average of 8 months (M age  = 9.19) before and 9 months after (M age  = 10.95) Hurricane Sandy, 77 children experiencing high (n = 37) and low (n = 40) levels of hurricane-related stress exposure completed a task in which the late positive potential, a neural index of emotional reactivity, was measured in response to pleasant and unpleasant, compared to neutral, images. From pre- to post-Hurricane Sandy, children with high stress exposure failed to show the same decrease in emotional reactivity to unpleasant versus neutral stimuli as those with low stress exposure. Results provide compelling evidence that exposure to natural disaster-related stressors alters neural emotional reactivity to negatively valenced information. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  14. Selective attention to affective value alters how the brain processes olfactory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolls, Edmund T; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Margot, Christian; da Silva, Maria A A P; Velazco, Maria Ines

    2008-10-01

    How does selective attention to affect influence sensory processing? In a functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation, when subjects were instructed to remember and rate the pleasantness of a jasmine odor, activations were greater in the medial orbito-frontal and pregenual cingulate cortex than when subjects were instructed to remember and rate the intensity of the odor. When the subjects were instructed to remember and rate the intensity, activations were greater in the inferior frontal gyrus. These top-down effects occurred not only during odor delivery but started in a preparation period after the instruction before odor delivery, and continued after termination of the odor in a short-term memory period. Thus, depending on the context in which odors are presented and whether affect is relevant, the brain prepares itself, responds to, and remembers an odor differently. These findings show that when attention is paid to affective value, the brain systems engaged to prepare for, represent, and remember a sensory stimulus are different from those engaged when attention is directed to the physical properties of a stimulus such as its intensity. This differential biasing of brain regions engaged in processing a sensory stimulus depending on whether the cognitive demand is for affect-related versus more sensory-related processing may be an important aspect of cognition and attention. This has many implications for understanding the effects not only of olfactory but also of other sensory stimuli.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  17. Evolutionizing Grief: Viewing Photographs of the Deceased Predicts the Misattribution of Ambiguous Stimuli by the Bereaved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire White

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available We propose a cognitive-evolutionary model of grief where the function of grief is to reunite a person with an absent partner where this is possible, and where it is not, to disengage and reorientate the individual from the lost agent. The present study investigates the potential factors that affect reunion-promoting symptoms by focusing on the misattribution of external stimuli to the deceased by the bereaved - which we term ‘false recognitions’. We propose three factors that relate to false recognitions: First, we propose that strong attachment to the deceased predisposes one to false recognitions; second, we predict that viewing photographs of the deceased (that were taken when the individual was alive perpetuates false recognitions; and third, we propose that time elapsing since the death diminishes the frequency of false recognitions. In a survey of 164 recently bereaved (<25 months pet owners in the U.S. and U.K., predictions concerning the association of the predictor and outcome variables were confirmed. The strongest predictor was the frequency of viewing photographic images of the deceased, a pattern consonant with our premise that, being evolutionarily novel, realistic photographs are treated as reliable cues that the agent remains a viable relationship partner. This research demonstrates the potential of evolutionary theory to inform mainstream bereavement research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  19. Altered sensitization patterns to sweet food stimuli in patients recovered from anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Angela; Simmons, Alan N; Oberndorfer, Tyson A; Frank, Guido K W; McCurdy-McKinnon, Danyale; Fudge, Julie L; Yang, Tony T; Paulus, Martin P; Kaye, Walter H

    2015-12-30

    Recent studies show that higher-order appetitive neural circuitry may contribute to restricted eating in anorexia nervosa (AN) and overeating in bulimia nervosa (BN). The purpose of this study was to determine whether sensitization effects might underlie pathologic eating behavior when a taste stimulus is administered repeatedly. Recovered AN (RAN, n=14) and BN (RBN, n=15) subjects were studied in order to avoid the confounding effects of altered nutritional state. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measured higher-order brain response to repeated tastes of sucrose (caloric) and sucralose (non-caloric). To test sensitization, the neuronal response to the first and second administration was compared. RAN patients demonstrated a decreased sensitization to sucrose in contrast to RBN patients who displayed the opposite pattern, increased sensitization to sucrose. However, the latter was not as pronounced as in healthy control women (n=13). While both eating disorder subgroups showed increased sensitization to sucralose, the healthy controls revealed decreased sensitization. These findings could reflect on a neuronal level the high caloric intake of RBN during binges and the low energy intake for RAN. RAN seem to distinguish between high energy and low energy sweet stimuli while RBN do not. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Contributions of the cerebellum to disturbed central processing of visceral stimuli in irritable bowel syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberger, Christina; Thürling, Markus; Forsting, Michael; Elsenbruch, Sigrid; Timmann, Dagmar; Gizewski, Elke R

    2013-04-01

    There is evidence to support that the cerebellum contributes to the neural processing of both emotions and painful stimuli. This could be particularly relevant in conditions associated with chronic abdominal pain, such as the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which are often also characterized by affective disturbances. We aimed to test the hypothesis that in IBS, symptoms of anxiety and depression modulate brain activation during visceral stimulation within the cerebellum. We reanalyzed a previous data set from N = 15 female IBS patients and N = 12 healthy women with a specific focus on the cerebellum using advanced normalization methods. Rectal distension-induced brain activation was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging using non-painful and painful rectal distensions. Symptoms of anxiety and depression, assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, were correlated with cerebellar activation within IBS patients. Within IBS, depression scores were associated with non-painful distension-induced activation in the right cerebellum primarily in Crus II and lobule VIIIb, and additionally in Crus I. Depression scores were also associated with painful distension-induced activation predominantly in vermal lobule V with some extension to the intermediate cerebellum. Anxiety scores correlated significantly with non-painful induced activation in Crus II. Symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are frequently found in chronic pain conditions like IBS, modulate activation during visceral sensory signals not only in cortical and subcortical brain areas but also in the cerebellum.

  1. Testing aggressive behaviour in a feeding context: Importance of ethologically relevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Daniel; Szenczi, Péter; Bánszegi, Oxána; Hudson, Robyn

    2018-05-01

    The choice of stimuli used in tests of animal behaviour can have a critical effect on the outcome. Here we report two experiments showing how different foods influenced aggressive behaviour in competition tests at weaning among littermates of the domestic cat. Whereas in Experiment 1 canned food elicited almost no overt competition, a piece of raw beef rib elicited clearly aggressive behaviour among littermates. In Experiment 2 the food stimuli were chosen to differ from raw beef rib in various combinations of taste/smell, texture and monopolizability. Kittens showed different levels of aggression in response to the five stimuli tested, which suggests that the strong effect of beef rib in eliciting aggressive behaviour was due to a complex combination of features. We suggest that using stimuli approximating the evolved, functional significance to the species concerned is more likely to result in robust, biologically relevant behaviours than more artificial stimuli. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Exposure is not enough: suppressing stimuli from awareness can abolish the mere exposure effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zilva, Daniel; Vu, Luke; Newell, Ben R; Pearson, Joel

    2013-01-01

    Passive exposure to neutral stimuli increases subsequent liking of those stimuli--the mere exposure effect. Because of the broad implications for understanding and controlling human preferences, the role of conscious awareness in mere exposure has received much attention. Previous studies have claimed that the mere exposure effect can occur without conscious awareness of the stimuli. In two experiments, we applied a technique new to the mere exposure literature, called continuous flash suppression, to expose stimuli for a controlled duration with and without awareness. To ensure the reliability of the awareness manipulation, awareness was monitored on a trial-by-trial basis. Our results show that under these conditions the mere exposure effect does not occur without conscious awareness. In contrast, only when participants were aware of the stimuli did exposure increase liking and recognition. Together these data are consistent with the idea that the mere exposure effect requires conscious awareness and has important implications for theories of memory and affect.

  3. Development of the Korean Facial Emotion Stimuli: Korea University Facial Expression Collection 2nd Edition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun-Min Kim

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Developing valid emotional facial stimuli for specific ethnicities creates ample opportunities to investigate both the nature of emotional facial information processing in general and clinical populations as well as the underlying mechanisms of facial emotion processing within and across cultures. Given that most entries in emotional facial stimuli databases were developed with western samples, and given that very few of the eastern emotional facial stimuli sets were based strictly on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System, developing valid emotional facial stimuli of eastern samples remains a high priority.Aims: To develop and examine the psychometric properties of six basic emotional facial stimuli recruiting professional Korean actors and actresses based on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System for the Korea University Facial Expression Collection-Second Edition (KUFEC-II.Materials And Methods: Stimulus selection was done in two phases. First, researchers evaluated the clarity and intensity of each stimulus developed based on the Facial Action Coding System. Second, researchers selected a total of 399 stimuli from a total of 57 actors and actresses, which were then rated on accuracy, intensity, valence, and arousal by 75 independent raters.Conclusion: The hit rates between the targeted and rated expressions of the KUFEC-II were all above 80%, except for fear (50% and disgust (63%. The KUFEC-II appears to be a valid emotional facial stimuli database, providing the largest set of emotional facial stimuli. The mean intensity score was 5.63 (out of 7, suggesting that the stimuli delivered the targeted emotions with great intensity. All positive expressions were rated as having a high positive valence, whereas all negative expressions were rated as having a high negative valence. The KUFEC II is expected to be widely used in various psychological studies on emotional facial expression. KUFEC-II stimuli can be obtained through

  4. Stimuli-responsive biodegradable polymeric micelles for targeted cancer therapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talelli, M.A.

    2011-01-01

    Thermosensitive and biodegradable polymeric micelles based on mPEG-b-pHPMAmLacn have shown very promising results during the past years. The results presented in this thesis illustrate the high potential of these micelles for anticancer therapy and imaging and fully justify further pharmaceutical

  5. Morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide at air–water interface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shin, Sungchul; Ahn, Sungmin; Cheng, Jie; Chang, Hyejin; Jung, Dae-Hong; Hyun, Jinho

    2016-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • It is the first report on the interfacial properties of ELP monolayers formed at the air–water interface. • ELP monolayers could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. • The compressive behavior of thermo-sensitive ELP monolayers was imaged. • The SERS spectra showed a change in the ELP secondary structure at different preparation conditions. - Abstract: The morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide molecules at the air–water interface as a function of temperature and compression was described. The surface pressure–area (π–A) isotherms of an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) monolayer were obtained under variable external conditions, and Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) monolayers were deposited onto a mica substrate for characterization. As the compression of the ELP monolayer increased, the surface pressure increased gradually, indicating that the ELP monolayer could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. The temperature in the subphase of the ELP monolayer was critical in the preparation of LB monolayers. The change in temperature induced a shift in the π–A isotherms as well as a change in ELP secondary structures. Surprisingly, the compression of the ELP monolayer influenced the ELP secondary structure due to the reduction in the phase transition temperature with decreasing temperature. The change in the ELP secondary structure formed at the air–water interface was investigated by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Moreover, the morphology of the ELP monolayer was subsequently imaged using atomic force microscopy. The temperature responsive behavior resulted in changes in surface morphology from relatively flat structures to rugged labyrinth structures, which suggested conformational changes in the ELP monolayers.

  6. Morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide at air–water interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, Sungchul; Ahn, Sungmin; Cheng, Jie [Department of Biosystems and Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Chang, Hyejin; Jung, Dae-Hong [Department of Chemical Education, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-741 (Korea, Republic of); Hyun, Jinho, E-mail: jhyun@snu.ac.kr [Department of Biosystems and Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Center for Food and Bioconvergence, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Republic of Korea. (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-12-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • It is the first report on the interfacial properties of ELP monolayers formed at the air–water interface. • ELP monolayers could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. • The compressive behavior of thermo-sensitive ELP monolayers was imaged. • The SERS spectra showed a change in the ELP secondary structure at different preparation conditions. - Abstract: The morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide molecules at the air–water interface as a function of temperature and compression was described. The surface pressure–area (π–A) isotherms of an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) monolayer were obtained under variable external conditions, and Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) monolayers were deposited onto a mica substrate for characterization. As the compression of the ELP monolayer increased, the surface pressure increased gradually, indicating that the ELP monolayer could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. The temperature in the subphase of the ELP monolayer was critical in the preparation of LB monolayers. The change in temperature induced a shift in the π–A isotherms as well as a change in ELP secondary structures. Surprisingly, the compression of the ELP monolayer influenced the ELP secondary structure due to the reduction in the phase transition temperature with decreasing temperature. The change in the ELP secondary structure formed at the air–water interface was investigated by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Moreover, the morphology of the ELP monolayer was subsequently imaged using atomic force microscopy. The temperature responsive behavior resulted in changes in surface morphology from relatively flat structures to rugged labyrinth structures, which suggested conformational changes in the ELP monolayers.

  7. Acute stress-induced cortisol elevations mediate reward system activity during subconscious processing of sexual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Nicole Y L; Both, Stephanie; van Heemst, Diana; van der Grond, Jeroen

    2014-01-01

    Stress is thought to alter motivational processes by increasing dopamine (DA) secretion in the brain's "reward system", and its key region, the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). However, stress studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), mainly found evidence for stress-induced decreases in NAcc responsiveness toward reward cues. Results from both animal and human PET studies indicate that the stress hormone cortisol may be crucial in the interaction between stress and dopaminergic actions. In the present study we therefore investigated whether cortisol mediated the effect of stress on DA-related responses to -subliminal-presentation of reward cues using the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), which is known to reliably enhance cortisol levels. Young healthy males (n = 37) were randomly assigned to the TSST or control condition. After stress induction, brain activation was assessed using fMRI during a backward-masking paradigm in which potentially rewarding (sexual), emotionally negative and neutral stimuli were presented subliminally, masked by pictures of inanimate objects. A region of interest analysis showed that stress decreased activation in the NAcc in response to masked sexual cues (voxel-corrected, pcortisol levels were related to stronger NAcc activation, showing that cortisol acted as a suppressor variable in the negative relation between stress and NAcc activation. The present findings indicate that cortisol is crucially involved in the relation between stress and the responsiveness of the reward system. Although generally stress decreases activation in the NAcc in response to rewarding stimuli, high stress-induced cortisol levels suppress this relation, and are associated with stronger NAcc activation. Individuals with a high cortisol response to stress might on one hand be protected against reductions in reward sensitivity, which has been linked to anhedonia and depression, but they may ultimately be more vulnerable to increased reward

  8. Dysfunctional freezing responses to approaching stimuli in persons with a looming cognitive style for physical threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John H. Riskind

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Immobilizing freezing responses are associated with anxiety and may be etiologically related to several anxiety disorders. Although recent studies have sought to investigate the underlying mechanisms in freezing responses that are so problematic in many forms of anxiety, cognitive factors related to anxiety have not been investigated. This study was designed to investigate the potential moderating role of a well-documented cognitive vulnerability to anxiety, the Looming Cognitive Style (i.e., LCS; Riskind et al., 2000, which assesses the extent to which individuals tend to routinely interpret ambiguous threats (e.g., physical or social threats in a biased manner as approaching. We assessed participants’ Reaction Times (RTs when they made judgments about images of animals that differed in threat valence (threat or neutral and motion direction (approach or recede. As expected, LCS for concerns about the approach of physical dangers appeared to moderate freeze reactions. Individuals who were high on this LCS factor tended to generally exhibit a freeze-response (slower RTs and this was independent of the threat valence or motion direction of the animals. These general freezing reactions were in stark contrast to those of individuals who were low on the LCS factor for concerns about the approach of physical dangers. These participants tended to exhibit more selective and functional freezing responses that occurred only to threatening animals with approach motion; they did not exhibit freezing to neutral stimuli or any stimuli with receding motion. These findings did not appear to be explicable by a general slowing of RTs for the participants with high LCS. Moreover, the LCS factor for concerns about social threats (such as rejection or embarrassment was not related to differences in freezing; there was also no additional relationship of freezing to behavioral inhibition scores on the Behavioral Inhibition System and the Behavioral Activation System

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freijy, Tanya; Mullan, Barbara; Sharpe, Louise

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Analysis of sharpness increase by image noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurihara, Takehito; Aoki, Naokazu; Kobayashi, Hiroyuki

    2009-02-01

    Motivated by the reported increase in sharpness by image noise, we investigated how noise affects sharpness perception. We first used natural images of tree bark with different amounts of noise to see whether noise enhances sharpness. Although the result showed sharpness decreased as noise amount increased, some observers seemed to perceive more sharpness with increasing noise, while the others did not. We next used 1D and 2D uni-frequency patterns as stimuli in an attempt to reduce such variability in the judgment. The result showed, for higher frequency stimuli, sharpness decreased as the noise amount increased, while sharpness of the lower frequency stimuli increased at a certain noise level. From this result, we thought image noise might reduce sharpness at edges, but be able to improve sharpness of lower frequency component or texture in image. To prove this prediction, we experimented again with the natural image used in the first experiment. Stimuli were made by applying noise separately to edge or to texture part of the image. The result showed noise, when added to edge region, only decreased sharpness, whereas when added to texture, could improve sharpness. We think it is the interaction between noise and texture that sharpens image.

  11. Stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles for multiple anti-HIV microbicides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giri, Namita; Oh, Byeongtaek; Lee, Chi H., E-mail: leech@umkc.edu [University of Missouri at Kansas City, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences (United States)

    2016-05-15

    This study is aimed to develop and evaluate an advanced intravaginal formulation for the delivery of multiple anti-HIV microbicides. Novel stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles (NPs) which protected the encapsulated drugs from being degraded in acidic pH conditions were made of Eudragit S-100{sup ®} (ES100{sup ®}), a pH-sensitive polymer. ES100{sup ®} NPs were prepared using the quasi-emulsion solvent diffusion technique and loaded with two microbicides namely Tenofovir (TNF) and Etravirine (ETV). The effects of various fabrication parameters on the formulation properties were evaluated for the optimization of ES100{sup ®} NPs. The morphology of the ES100{sup ®} NPs was examined by scanning electron microscopy. The cytotoxicity of NPs containing microbicides individually or in a combination was assessed using cell viability and trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements. The cellular uptake rates of the model microbicides by human vaginal epithelial cells, VK2 E6/E7 cells, were evaluated using confocal microscopy and florescence-assisted cell sorting technique. ES100{sup ®} NPs had a spherical shape, smooth surface, and uniform texture with a little aggregation. The average particle size for NPs loaded with TNF ranged from 125 to 230 nm, whereas those for ETV-loaded NPs ranged from 160 to 280 nm. ES100{sup ®} NPs had zeta potential in the range of −5 to −10 mV. In-vitro release studies displayed the potential benefits of ES100{sup ®} NPs in retaining and protecting the loaded microbicides at vaginal pH (acidic), but immediately releasing them as the pH changes to neutral or 7.4 (physiological pH). Cell viability studies demonstrated that ES100{sup ®} NPs did not exert any cytotoxicity individually or in a combination of both microbicides. TEER measurements confirmed that ES100{sup ®} NPs loaded with TNF and ETV did not cause any changes in the barrier integrity of VK2 E6/E7 cell monolayer. The cellular uptake study revealed that ES100{sup

  12. Shape-Morphing Materials from Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogel Hybrids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Seog-Jin; Hauser, Adam W; Hayward, Ryan C

    2017-02-21

    The formation of well-defined and functional three-dimensional (3D) structures by buckling of thin sheets subjected to spatially nonuniform stresses is common in biological morphogenesis and has become a subject of great interest in synthetic systems, as such programmable shape-morphing materials hold promise in areas including drug delivery, biomedical devices, soft robotics, and biomimetic systems. Given their ability to undergo large changes in swelling in response to a wide variety of stimuli, hydrogels have naturally emerged as a key type of material in this field. Of particular interest are hybrid systems containing rigid inclusions that can define both the anisotropy and spatial nonuniformity of swelling as well as nanoparticulate additives that can enhance the responsiveness and functionality of the material. In this Account, we discuss recent progress in approaches to achieve well-defined shape morphing in hydrogel hybrids. First, we provide an overview of materials and methods that facilitate fabrication of such systems and outline the geometry and mechanics behind shape morphing of thin sheets. We then discuss how patterning of stiff inclusions within soft responsive hydrogels can be used to program both bending and swelling, thereby providing access to a wide array of complex 3D forms. The use of discretely patterned stiff regions to provide an effective composite response offers distinct advantages in terms of scalability and ease of fabrication compared with approaches based on smooth gradients within a single layer of responsive material. We discuss a number of recent advances wherein control of the mechanical properties and geometric characteristics of patterned stiff elements enables the formation of 3D shapes, including origami-inspired structures, concatenated helical frameworks, and surfaces with nonzero Gaussian curvature. Next, we outline how the inclusion of functional elements such as nanoparticles can enable unique pathways to programmable

  13. Stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles for multiple anti-HIV microbicides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giri, Namita; Oh, Byeongtaek; Lee, Chi H.

    2016-01-01

    This study is aimed to develop and evaluate an advanced intravaginal formulation for the delivery of multiple anti-HIV microbicides. Novel stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles (NPs) which protected the encapsulated drugs from being degraded in acidic pH conditions were made of Eudragit S-100"® (ES100"®), a pH-sensitive polymer. ES100"® NPs were prepared using the quasi-emulsion solvent diffusion technique and loaded with two microbicides namely Tenofovir (TNF) and Etravirine (ETV). The effects of various fabrication parameters on the formulation properties were evaluated for the optimization of ES100"® NPs. The morphology of the ES100"® NPs was examined by scanning electron microscopy. The cytotoxicity of NPs containing microbicides individually or in a combination was assessed using cell viability and trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements. The cellular uptake rates of the model microbicides by human vaginal epithelial cells, VK2 E6/E7 cells, were evaluated using confocal microscopy and florescence-assisted cell sorting technique. ES100"® NPs had a spherical shape, smooth surface, and uniform texture with a little aggregation. The average particle size for NPs loaded with TNF ranged from 125 to 230 nm, whereas those for ETV-loaded NPs ranged from 160 to 280 nm. ES100"® NPs had zeta potential in the range of −5 to −10 mV. In-vitro release studies displayed the potential benefits of ES100"® NPs in retaining and protecting the loaded microbicides at vaginal pH (acidic), but immediately releasing them as the pH changes to neutral or 7.4 (physiological pH). Cell viability studies demonstrated that ES100"® NPs did not exert any cytotoxicity individually or in a combination of both microbicides. TEER measurements confirmed that ES100"® NPs loaded with TNF and ETV did not cause any changes in the barrier integrity of VK2 E6/E7 cell monolayer. The cellular uptake study revealed that ES100"® NPs were taken by vaginal epithelial cells through

  14. Heterogeneity reduces sensitivity of cell death for TNF-Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schliemann Monica

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death essential for the maintenance of homeostasis and the removal of potentially damaged cells in multicellular organisms. By binding its cognate membrane receptor, TNF receptor type 1 (TNF-R1, the proinflammatory cytokine Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF activates pro-apoptotic signaling via caspase activation, but at the same time also stimulates nuclear factor κB (NF-κB-mediated survival pathways. Differential dose-response relationships of these two major TNF signaling pathways have been described experimentally and using mathematical modeling. However, the quantitative analysis of the complex interplay between pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways is an open question as it is challenging for several reasons: the overall signaling network is complex, various time scales are present, and cells respond quantitatively and qualitatively in a heterogeneous manner. Results This study analyzes the complex interplay of the crosstalk of TNF-R1 induced pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways based on an experimentally validated mathematical model. The mathematical model describes the temporal responses on both the single cell level as well as the level of a heterogeneous cell population, as observed in the respective quantitative experiments using TNF-R1 stimuli of different strengths and durations. Global sensitivity of the heterogeneous population was quantified by measuring the average gradient of time of death versus each population parameter. This global sensitivity analysis uncovers the concentrations of Caspase-8 and Caspase-3, and their respective inhibitors BAR and XIAP, as key elements for deciding the cell's fate. A simulated knockout of the NF-κB-mediated anti-apoptotic signaling reveals the importance of this pathway for delaying the time of death, reducing the death rate in the case of pulse stimulation and significantly increasing cell-to-cell variability. Conclusions Cell

  15. There are differences in cerebral activation between females in distinct menstrual phases during viewing of erotic stimuli: A fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gizewski, Elke R; Krause, Eva; Karama, Sherif; Baars, Anneke; Senf, Wolfgang; Forsting, Michael

    2006-09-01

    There is evidence that men experience more sexual arousal than women but also that women in mid-luteal phase experience more sexual arousal than women outside this phase. Recently, a few functional brain imaging studies have tackled the issue of gender differences as pertaining to reactions to erotica. The question of whether or not gender differences in reactions to erotica are maintained with women in different phases has not yet been answered from a functional brain imaging perspective. In order to examine this issue, functional MRI was performed in 22 male and 22 female volunteers. Subjects viewed erotic film excerpts alternating with emotionally neutral excerpts in a standard block-design paradigm. Arousal to erotic stimuli was evaluated using standard rating scales after scanning. Two-sample t-test with uncorrected P erotic stimuli and with corrected P erotic stimuli. Furthermore, gender differences with women in mid-luteal phases are similar to those in females outside the mid-luteal phase.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-27

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

  17. Effects of emotional stimuli on working memory processes in male criminal offenders with borderline and antisocial personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prehn, Kristin; Schulze, Lars; Rossmann, Sabine; Berger, Christoph; Vohs, Knut; Fleischer, Monika; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Keiper, Peter; Domes, Gregor; Herpertz, Sabine C

    2013-02-01

    OBJECTIVE. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of concurrently presented emotional stimuli on cognitive task processing in violent criminal offenders primarily characterized by affective instability. METHODS. Fifteen male criminal offenders with antisocial and borderline personality disorder (ASPD and BPD) and 17 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a working memory task with low and high working memory load. In a second experimental run, to investigate the interaction of emotion and cognition, we presented emotionally neutral, low, or high salient social scenes in the background of the task. RESULTS. During the memory task without pictures, both groups did not differ in general task performance and neural representation of working memory processes. During the memory task with emotional background pictures, however, ASPD-BPD subjects compared to healthy controls showed delayed responses and enhanced activation of the left amygdala in the presence of emotionally high salient pictures independent of working memory load. CONCLUSIONS. These results illustrate an interaction of emotion and cognition in affective instable individuals with enhanced reactivity to emotionally salient stimuli which might be an important factor regarding the understanding of aggressive and violent behaviour in these individuals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-15

    Cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices of early binocularly blind macaques is not well studied. In this study, four healthy neonatal macaques were assigned to group A (control group) or group B (binocularly blind group). Sixteen months later, blood oxygenation level-dependent functional imaging (BOLD-fMRI) was conducted to examine the activation in the visual and auditory cortices of each macaque while being tested using pure tones as auditory stimuli. The changes in the BOLD response in the visual and auditory cortices of all macaques were compared with immunofluorescence staining findings. Compared with group A, greater BOLD activity was observed in the bilateral visual cortices of group B, and this effect was particularly obvious in the right visual cortex. In addition, more activated volumes were found in the bilateral auditory cortices of group B than of group A, especially in the right auditory cortex. These findings were consistent with the fact that there were more c-Fos-positive cells in the bilateral visual and auditory cortices of group B compared with group A (p visual cortices of binocularly blind macaques can be reorganized to process auditory stimuli after visual deprivation, and this effect is more obvious in the right than the left visual cortex. These results indicate the establishment of cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Balzarotti

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzarotti, Stefania; Colombo, Barbara

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Travis H

    2005-03-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Modeling Behavioral Experiment Interaction and Environmental Stimuli for a Synthetic C. elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andoni Mujika

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper focusses on the simulation of the neural network of the Caenorhabditis elegans living organism, and more specifically in the modeling of the stimuli applied within behavioral experiments and the stimuli that is generated in the interaction of the C. elegans with the environment. To the best of our knowledge, all efforts regarding stimuli modeling for the C. elegansare focused on a single type of stimulus, which is usually tested with a limited subnetwork of the C. elegansneural system. In this paper, we follow a different approach where we model a wide-range of different stimuli, with more flexible neural network configurations and simulations in mind. Moreover, we focus on the stimuli sensation by different types of sensory organs or various sensory principles of the neurons. As part of this work, most common stimuli involved in behavioral assays have been modeled. It includes models for mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical and light stimuli, and for proprioception-related self-sensed information exchange with the neural network. The developed models have been implemented and tested with the hardware-based Si elegans simulation platform.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. Enhancing interaural-delay-based extents of laterality at high frequencies by using ``transposed stimuli''

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Leslie R.; Trahiotis, Constantine

    2003-06-01

    An acoustic pointing task was used to determine whether interaural temporal disparities (ITDs) conveyed by high-frequency ``transposed'' stimuli would produce larger extents of laterality than ITDs conveyed by bands of high-frequency Gaussian noise. The envelopes of transposed stimuli are designed to provide high-frequency channels with information similar to that conveyed by the waveforms of low-frequency stimuli. Lateralization was measured for low-frequency Gaussian noises, the same noises transposed to 4 kHz, and high-frequency Gaussian bands of noise centered at 4 kHz. Extents of laterality obtained with the transposed stimuli were greater than those obtained with bands of Gaussian noise centered at 4 kHz and, in some cases, were equivalent to those obtained with low-frequency stimuli. In a second experiment, the general effects on lateral position produced by imposed combinations of bandwidth, ITD, and interaural phase disparities (IPDs) on low-frequency stimuli remained when those stimuli were transposed to 4 kHz. Overall, the data were fairly well accounted for by a model that computes the cross-correlation subsequent to known stages of peripheral auditory processing augmented by low-pass filtering of the envelopes within the high-frequency channels of each ear.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asakawa, Tetsuya; Muramatsu, Ayumi; Hayashi, Takuto; Urata, Tatsuya; Taya, Masato; Mizuno-Matsumoto, Yuko

    2014-01-01

    The current study evaluated the effect of different anxiety states on information processing as measured by an electroencephalography (EEG) using emotional stimuli on a smartphone. Twenty-three healthy subjects were assessed for their anxiety states using The State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and divided into two groups: low anxiety (I, II) or high anxiety (III and IV, V). An EEG was performed while the participant was presented with emotionally laden audiovisual stimuli (resting, pleasant, and unpleasant sessions) and emotionally laden sentence stimuli (pleasant sentence, unpleasant sentence sessions) and EEG data was analyzed using propagation speed analysis. The propagation speed of the low anxiety group at the medial coronal for resting stimuli for all time segments was higher than those of high anxiety group. The low anxiety group propagation speeds at the medial sagittal for unpleasant stimuli in the 0–30 and 60–150 s time frames were higher than those of high anxiety group. The propagation speeds at 150 s for all stimuli in the low anxiety group were significantly higher than the correspondent propagation speeds of the high anxiety group. These events suggest that neural information processes concerning emotional stimuli differ based on current anxiety state. PMID:25540618

  8. Divided attention enhances the recognition of emotional stimuli: evidence from the attentional boost effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Spataro, Pietro; Costanzi, Marco; Saraulli, Daniele; Cestari, Vincenzo

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined predictions of the early-phase-elevated-attention hypothesis of the attentional boost effect (ABE), which suggests that transient increases in attention at encoding, as instantiated in the ABE paradigm, should enhance the recognition of neutral and positive items (whose encoding is mostly based on controlled processes), while having small or null effects on the recognition of negative items (whose encoding is primarily based on automatic processes). Participants were presented a sequence of negative, neutral and positive stimuli (pictures in Experiment 1, words in Experiment 2) associated to target (red) squares, distractor (green) squares or no squares (baseline condition). They were told to attend to the pictures/words and simultaneously press the spacebar of the computer when a red square appeared. In a later recognition task, stimuli associated to target squares were recognised better than stimuli associated to distractor squares, replicating the standard ABE. More importantly, we also found that: (a) the memory enhancement following target detection occurred with all types of stimuli (neutral, negative and positive) and (b) the advantage of negative stimuli over neutral stimuli was intact in the DA condition. These findings suggest that the encoding of negative stimuli depends on both controlled (attention-dependent) and automatic (attention-independent) processes.

  9. Individual variation in habituation: behaviour over time toward different stimuli in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Alison M.; Peeke, Harman V.S.

    2014-01-01

    Habituation, or the relatively permanent waning of a response as a result of repeated stimulation, is a form of behavioural plasticity that allows animals to filter out irrelevant stimuli and to focus selectively on important stimuli. Individuals that fail to habituate might be at a disadvantage if they continue to respond to irrelevant stimuli; therefore, habituation can have adaptive significance. In this study we compared rates of behaviour over time toward three different ecologically-relevant stimuli (food, a male intruder and a gravid female) in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We detected evidence for habituation to the stimuli, and males in this study were especially aggressive toward both male and female conspecifics. Although there were some clear temporal patterns that could be detected by looking at average behaviour, not all individuals behaved in the same ‘average’ way. We detected substantial inter-individual variation in behaviour toward all three stimuli, inter-individual variation in rates of habituation to both male and female conspecifics, but no evidence for correlations between behaviours across stimuli (behavioural syndromes). These results suggest that individual animals vary in rates of habituation, and prompt hypotheses about the causes and consequences of variation in rates of habituation. PMID:25678715

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

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

  11. Neural evidence for reduced apprehensiveness of familiarized stimuli in a mere exposure paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebrowitz, Leslie A; Zhang, Yi

    2012-07-01

    Mere familiarization with a stimulus increases liking for it or similar stimuli ("mere exposure" effects) as well as perceptual fluency, indexed by the speed and accuracy of categorizing it or similar stimuli ("priming" effects). Candidate mechanisms proposed to explain mere exposure effects include both increased positive affect associated with greater perceptual fluency, and reduced negative affect associated with diminished apprehensiveness of novel stimuli. Although these two mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, it is difficult for behavioral measures to disentangle them, since increased liking or other indices of greater positive affect toward exposed stimuli could result from increases in positive feelings or decreases in negative feelings or both. The present study sought to clarify this issue by building on research showing a dissociation at the neural level in which the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (LOFC) is activated more by negatively valenced than by neutral or positively valenced stimuli, with the reverse effect for medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC). Supporting the reduced apprehensiveness hypothesis, we found lower LOFC activation to familiarized faces and objects (repetition suppression). We did not find evidence to support the positive affect hypothesis in increased activation to familiarized stimuli in MOFC or in other parts of the reward circuit that respond more to positively valenced stimuli (repetition enhancement), although enhancement effects were shown in some regions.

  12. Image Ambiguity and Fluency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakesch, Martina; Leder, Helmut; Forster, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Ambiguity is often associated with negative affective responses, and enjoying ambiguity seems restricted to only a few situations, such as experiencing art. Nevertheless, theories of judgment formation, especially the “processing fluency account”, suggest that easy-to-process (non-ambiguous) stimuli are processed faster and are therefore preferred to (ambiguous) stimuli, which are hard to process. In a series of six experiments, we investigated these contrasting approaches by manipulating fluency (presentation duration: 10ms, 50ms, 100ms, 500ms, 1000ms) and testing effects of ambiguity (ambiguous versus non-ambiguous pictures of paintings) on classification performance (Part A; speed and accuracy) and aesthetic appreciation (Part B; liking and interest). As indicated by signal detection analyses, classification accuracy increased with presentation duration (Exp. 1a), but we found no effects of ambiguity on classification speed (Exp. 1b). Fifty percent of the participants were able to successfully classify ambiguous content at a presentation duration of 100 ms, and at 500ms even 75% performed above chance level. Ambiguous artworks were found more interesting (in conditions 50ms to 1000ms) and were preferred over non-ambiguous stimuli at 500ms and 1000ms (Exp. 2a - 2c, 3). Importantly, ambiguous images were nonetheless rated significantly harder to process as non-ambiguous images. These results suggest that ambiguity is an essential ingredient in art appreciation even though or maybe because it is harder to process. PMID:24040172

  13. Differential coactivation in a redundant signals task with weak and strong go/no-go stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minakata, Katsumi; Gondan, Matthias

    2018-01-01

    When participants respond to stimuli of two sources, response times (RT) are often faster when both stimuli are presented together relative to the RTs obtained when presented separately (redundant signals effect, RSE). Race models and coactivation models can explain the RSE. In race models......, separate channels process the two stimulus components, and the faster processing time determines the overall RT. In audiovisual experiments, the RSE is often higher than predicted by race models, and coactivation models have been proposed that assume integrated processing of the two stimuli. Where does...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-03-01

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

  15. Effects of acoustical stimuli delivered through hearing aids on tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweetow, Robert W; Sabes, Jennifer Henderson

    2010-01-01

    range of preferences observed for fractal settings, with most participants preferring fractals with a slow or medium tempo and restricted dynamic range. The majority (86%) indicated that it was easier to relax while listening to fractal signals. Participants had preferences for certain programs and fractal characteristics. Although seven participants rated the noise-only condition as providing the least tinnitus annoyance, only two opted to have noise only as a program during the field trial, and none selected the noise-only condition as the preferred setting. Furthermore, while all four of the experienced hearing aid users selected noise as producing the least annoying tinnitus in the laboratory, only one selected it for field wear. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire scores were improved over the course of the 6 mo trial, with clinically significant improvements occurring for over half of the participants on at least one of the measures. The results suggest that use of acoustic stimuli, particularly fractal tones, delivered though hearing aids can provide amplification while allowing for relief for some tinnitus sufferers. It is important to recognize, however, that tinnitus management procedures need to be supplemented with appropriate counseling. American Academy of Audiology.

  16. Aversive stimuli exacerbate defensive motor behaviour in motor conversion disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakemore, Rebekah L; Sinanaj, Indrit; Galli, Silvio; Aybek, Selma; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2016-12-01

    Conversion disorder or functional neurological symptom disorder (FND) can affect the voluntary motor system, without an organic cause. Functional symptoms are thought to be generated unconsciously, arising from underlying psychological stressors. However, attempts to demonstrate a direct relationship between the limbic system and disrupted motor function in FND are lacking. We tested whether negative affect would exacerbate alterations of motor control and corresponding brain activations in individuals with FND. Ten patients and ten healthy controls produced an isometric precision-grip contraction at 10% of maximum force while either viewing visual feedback of their force output, or unpleasant or pleasant emotional images (without feedback). Force magnitude was continuously recorded together with change in brain activity using fMRI. For controls, force output decayed from the target level while viewing pleasant and unpleasant images. Patients however, maintained force at the target level without decay while viewing unpleasant images, indicating a pronounced effect of negative affect on force output in FND. This emotional modulation of force control was associated with different brain activation patterns between groups. Contrasting the unpleasant with the pleasant condition, controls showed increased activity in the inferior frontal cortex and pre-supplementary motor area, whereas patients had greater activity in the cerebellum (vermis), posterior cingulate cortex, and hippocampus. Engagement of a cerebellar-limbic network in patients is consistent with heightened processing of emotional salience, and supports the role of the cerebellum in freezing responses in the presence of aversive events. These data highlight a possible neural circuit through which psychological stressors elicit defensive behaviour and modulate motor function in FND. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Deciphering molecular circuits from genetic variation underlying transcriptional responsiveness to stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gat-Viks, Irit; Chevrier, Nicolas; Wilentzik, Roni; Eisenhaure, Thomas; Raychowdhury, Raktima; Steuerman, Yael; Shalek, Alex K; Hacohen, Nir; Amit, Ido; Regev, Aviv

    2013-04-01

    Individual genetic variation affects gene responsiveness to stimuli, often by influencing complex molecular circuits. Here we combine genomic and intermediate-scale transcriptional profiling with computational methods to identify variants that affect the responsiveness of genes to stimuli (responsiveness quantitative trait loci or reQTLs) and to position these variants in molecular circuit diagrams. We apply this approach to study variation in transcriptional responsiveness to pathogen components in dendritic cells from recombinant inbred mouse strains. We identify reQTLs that correlate with particular stimuli and position them in known pathways. For example, in response to a virus-like stimulus, a trans-acting variant responds as an activator of the antiviral response; using RNA interference, we identify Rgs16 as the likely causal gene. Our approach charts an experimental and analytic path to decipher the mechanisms underlying genetic variation in circuits that control responses to stimuli.

  18. A Dual-Stimuli-Responsive Sodium-Bromine Battery with Ultrahigh Energy Density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Faxing; Yang, Hongliu; Zhang, Jian; Zhang, Panpan; Wang, Gang; Zhuang, Xiaodong; Cuniberti, Gianaurelio; Feng, Xinliang

    2018-06-01

    Stimuli-responsive energy storage devices have emerged for the fast-growing popularity of intelligent electronics. However, all previously reported stimuli-responsive energy storage devices have rather low energy densities (energy density, electrochromic effect, and fast thermal response is demonstrated. Remarkably, the fabricated Na//Br 2 battery exhibits a large operating voltage of 3.3 V and an energy density up to 760 Wh kg -1 , which outperforms those for the state-of-the-art stimuli-responsive electrochemical energy storage devices. This work offers a promising approach for designing multi-stimuli-responsive and high-energy rechargeable batteries without sacrificing the electrochemical performance. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. 4D bioprinting: the next-generation technology for biofabrication enabled by stimuli-responsive materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi-Chen; Zhang, Yu Shrike; Akpek, Ali; Shin, Su Ryon; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2016-12-02

    Four-dimensional (4D) bioprinting, encompassing a wide range of disciplines including bioengineering, materials science, chemistry, and computer sciences, is emerging as the next-generation biofabrication technology. By utilizing stimuli-responsive materials and advanced three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting strategies, 4D bioprinting aims to create dynamic 3D patterned biological structures that can transform their shapes or behavior under various stimuli. In this review, we highlight the potential use of various stimuli-responsive materials for 4D printing and their extension into biofabrication. We first discuss the state of the art and limitations associated with current 3D printing modalities and their transition into the inclusion of the additional time dimension. We then suggest the potential use of different stimuli-responsive biomaterials as the bioink that may achieve 4D bioprinting where transformation of fabricated biological constructs can be realized. We finally conclude with future perspectives.

  20. Activation of right parietal cortex during memory retrieval of nonlinguistic auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klostermann, Ellen C; Loui, Psyche; Shimamura, Arthur P

    2009-09-01

    In neuroimaging studies, the left ventral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is particularly active during memory retrieval. However, most studies have used verbal or verbalizable stimuli. We investigated neural activations associated with the retrieval of short, agrammatical music stimuli (Blackwood, 2004), which have been largely associated with right hemisphere processing. At study, participants listened to music stimuli and rated them on pleasantness. At test, participants made old/new recognition judgments with high/low confidence ratings. Right, but not left, ventral PPC activity was observed during the retrieval of these music stimuli. Thus, rather than indicating a special status of left PPC in retrieval, both right and left ventral PPC participate in memory retrieval, depending on the type of information that is to be remembered.

  1. Influence of auditory and audiovisual stimuli on the right-left prevalence effect

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vu, Kim-Phuong L; Minakata, Katsumi; Ngo, Mary Kim

    2014-01-01

    occurs when the two-dimensional stimuli are audiovisual, as well as whether there will be cross-modal facilitation of response selection for the horizontal and vertical dimensions. We also examined whether there is an additional benefit of adding a pitch dimension to the auditory stimulus to facilitate...... vertical coding through use of the spatial-musical association of response codes (SMARC) effect, where pitch is coded in terms of height in space. In Experiment 1, we found a larger right-left prevalence effect for unimodal auditory than visual stimuli. Neutral, non-pitch coded, audiovisual stimuli did...... not result in cross-modal facilitation, but did show evidence of visual dominance. The right-left prevalence effect was eliminated in the presence of SMARC audiovisual stimuli, but the effect influenced horizontal rather than vertical coding. Experiment 2 showed that the influence of the pitch dimension...

  2. Changes in Plasma Copeptin Levels during Hemodialysis : Are the Physiological Stimuli Active in Hemodialysis Patients?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ettema, Esmee M.; Kuipers, Johanna; Assa, Solmaz; Bakker, Stephan J. L.; Groen, Henk; Westerhuis, Ralf; Gaillard, Carlo A. J. M.; Gansevoort, Ron T.; Franssen, Casper F. M.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Plasma levels of copeptin, a surrogate marker for the vasoconstrictor hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP), are increased in hemodialysis patients. Presently, it is unknown what drives copeptin levels in hemodialysis patients. We investigated whether the established physiological stimuli

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornstein, Henry A.; Mosley, James L.

    1979-01-01

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

  5. Affective states leak into movement execution: Automatic avoidance of threatening stimuli in fear of spider is visible in reach trajectories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buetti, S.; Juan, E.; Rinck, M.; Kerzel, D.

    2012-01-01

    Approach-like actions are initiated faster with stimuli of positive valence. Conversely, avoidance-like actions are initiated faster with threatening stimuli of negative valence. We went beyond reaction time measures and investigated whether threatening stimuli also affect the way in which an action

  6. Do Live versus Audio-Recorded Narrative Stimuli Influence Young Children's Narrative Comprehension and Retell Quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The primary aim of the present study was to examine whether different ways of presenting narrative stimuli (i.e., live narrative stimuli versus audio-recorded narrative stimuli) influence children's performances on narrative comprehension and oral-retell quality. Method: Children in kindergarten (n = 54), second grade (n = 74), and fourth…

  7. Long-latency auditory evoked potentials with verbal and nonverbal stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppitz, Sheila Jacques; Didoné, Dayane Domeneghini; Silva, Débora Durigon da; Gois, Marjana; Folgearini, Jordana; Ferreira, Geise Corrêa; Garcia, Michele Vargas

    2015-01-01

    Long-latency auditory evoked potentials represent the cortical activity related to attention, memory, and auditory discrimination skills. Acoustic signal processing occurs differently between verbal and nonverbal stimuli, influencing the latency and amplitude patterns. To describe the latencies of the cortical potentials P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3, as well as P3 amplitude, with different speech stimuli and tone bursts, and to classify them in the presence and absence of these data. A total of 30 subjects with normal hearing were assessed, aged 18-32 years old, matched by gender. Nonverbal stimuli were used (tone burst; 1000Hz - frequent and 4000Hz - rare); and verbal (/ba/ - frequent; /ga/, /da/, and /di/ - rare). Considering the component N2 for tone burst, the lowest latency found was 217.45ms for the BA/DI stimulus; the highest latency found was 256.5ms. For the P3 component, the shortest latency with tone burst stimuli was 298.7 with BA/GA stimuli, the highest, was 340ms. For the P3 amplitude, there was no statistically significant difference among the different stimuli. For latencies of components P1, N1, P2, N2, P3, there were no statistical differences among them, regardless of the stimuli used. There was a difference in the latency of potentials N2 and P3 among the stimuli employed but no difference was observed for the P3 amplitude. Copyright © 2015 Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  8. Statistical modeling of the response characteristics of mechanosensitive stimuli in the human esophagus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drewes, A.M.; Reddy, H.; Staahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    by using a statistical model based on correlation analysis. The esophagus was distended with a bag in 32 healthy subjects by using an inflation rate of 25 mL/min. The luminal cross-sectional areas and sensory ratings were determined during the distentions. The stimuli were repeated after relaxation...... of mechanical gut stimuli in human beings. This might increase our understanding of visceral pain in health and disease and guide the statistical analysis of experimental data obtained in the gastrointestinal tract....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Emotion and Attention Interaction: a trade-off between stimuli relevance, motivation and individual differences

    OpenAIRE

    Leticia eOliveira; Izabela eMocaiber; Isabel A David; Fatima eErthal; Eliane eVolchan; Mirtes ePereira

    2013-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that the neural processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized. However, whether the processing of emotional stimuli is dependent on attention remains debatable. Several studies have investigated this issue by testing the capacity of emotional distracters to divert processing resources from an attentional main task. The attentional load theory postulates that the perceptual load of the main task determines the selective processing of the distracter. Although we agre...

  12. Excitation Patterns of Standard and Steered Partial Tripolar Stimuli in Cochlear Implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ching-Chih; Luo, Xin

    2016-04-01

    Current steering in partial tripolar (pTP) mode has been shown to improve pitch perception and spectral resolution with cochlear implants (CIs). In this mode, a fraction (σ) of the main electrode current is returned within the cochlea and steered between the basal and apical flanking electrodes (with a proportion of α and 1 - α, respectively). Pitch generally decreases when α increases from 0 to 1, although the salience of pitch change varies across CI users. This study aimed to identify the mechanism of pitch changes with pTP-mode current steering and the factors contributing to the intersubject variability in pitch-ranking sensitivity. The electrical fields were measured for steered pTP stimuli on the same main electrode with α = 0, 0.5, and 1 in five implanted ears using electrical field imaging (EFI). The related excitation patterns were also measured physiologically using evoked compound action potential (ECAP) and psychophysically using psychophysical forward masking (PFM). Consistent with the pitch-ranking results in this study, the EFI, ECAP, and PFM centroids shifted apically with increasing α. An apical shift was also observed for the PFM peak but not for the EFI or ECAP peak. The pattern width was similar with different α values within a given measure (e.g., EFI, ECAP, or PFM), but the ECAP patterns were broader than the EFI and PFM patterns, possibly because ECAP was measured with smaller σ values than EFI and PFM. The amount of pattern shift with α depended on σ (i.e., the total amount of current used for steering) but was not correlated with the pitch-ranking sensitivity across subjects. The results revealed that the pitch changes elicited by pTP-mode current steering were not only driven by the shifts of excitation centroid.

  13. Luminance cues constrain chromatic blur discrimination in natural scene stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharman, Rebecca J; McGraw, Paul V; Peirce, Jonathan W

    2013-03-22

    Introducing blur into the color components of a natural scene has very little effect on its percept, whereas blur introduced into the luminance component is very noticeable. Here we quantify the dominance of luminance information in blur detection and examine a number of potential causes. We show that the interaction between chromatic and luminance information is not explained by reduced acuity or spatial resolution limitations for chromatic cues, the effective contrast of the luminance cue, or chromatic and achromatic statistical regularities in the images. Regardless of the quality of chromatic information, the visual system gives primacy to luminance signals when determining edge location. In natural viewing, luminance information appears to be specialized for detecting object boundaries while chromatic information may be used to determine surface properties.

  14. Dopamine modulates reward system activity during subconscious processing of sexual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Nicole Y L; Rombouts, Serge Arb; Soeter, Roelof P; van Gerven, Joop M; Both, Stephanie

    2012-06-01

    Dopaminergic medication influences conscious processing of rewarding stimuli, and is associated with impulsive-compulsive behaviors, such as hypersexuality. Previous studies have shown that subconscious subliminal presentation of sexual stimuli activates brain areas known to be part of the 'reward system'. In this study, it was hypothesized that dopamine modulates activation in key areas of the reward system, such as the nucleus accumbens, during subconscious processing of sexual stimuli. Young healthy males (n=53) were randomly assigned to two experimental groups or a control group, and were administered a dopamine antagonist (haloperidol), a dopamine agonist (levodopa), or placebo. Brain activation was assessed during a backward-masking task with subliminally presented sexual stimuli. Results showed that levodopa significantly enhanced the activation in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal anterior cingulate when subliminal sexual stimuli were shown, whereas haloperidol decreased activations in those areas. Dopamine thus enhances activations in regions thought to regulate 'wanting' in response to potentially rewarding sexual stimuli that are not consciously perceived. This running start of the reward system might explain the pull of rewards in individuals with compulsive reward-seeking behaviors such as hypersexuality and patients who receive dopaminergic medication.

  15. The Potential of Stimuli-Responsive Nanogels in Drug and Active Molecule Delivery for Targeted Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Vicario-de-la-Torre

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Nanogels (NGs are currently under extensive investigation due to their unique properties, such as small particle size, high encapsulation efficiency and protection of active agents from degradation, which make them ideal candidates as drug delivery systems (DDS. Stimuli-responsive NGs are cross-linked nanoparticles (NPs, composed of polymers, natural, synthetic, or a combination thereof that can swell by absorption (uptake of large amounts of solvent, but not dissolve due to the constituent structure of the polymeric network. NGs can undergo change from a polymeric solution (swell form to a hard particle (collapsed form in response to (i physical stimuli such as temperature, ionic strength, magnetic or electric fields; (ii chemical stimuli such as pH, ions, specific molecules or (iii biochemical stimuli such as enzymatic substrates or affinity ligands. The interest in NGs comes from their multi-stimuli nature involving reversible phase transitions in response to changes in the external media in a faster way than macroscopic gels or hydrogels due to their nanometric size. NGs have a porous structure able to encapsulate small molecules such as drugs and genes, then releasing them by changing their volume when external stimuli are applied.

  16. Usage of drip drops as stimuli in an auditory P300 BCI paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Minqiang; Jin, Jing; Zhang, Yu; Hu, Dewen; Wang, Xingyu

    2018-02-01

    Recently, many auditory BCIs are using beeps as auditory stimuli, while beeps sound unnatural and unpleasant for some people. It is proved that natural sounds make people feel comfortable, decrease fatigue, and improve the performance of auditory BCI systems. Drip drop is a kind of natural sounds that makes humans feel relaxed and comfortable. In this work, three kinds of drip drops were used as stimuli in an auditory-based BCI system to improve the user-friendness of the system. This study explored whether drip drops could be used as stimuli in the auditory BCI system. The auditory BCI paradigm with drip-drop stimuli, which was called the drip-drop paradigm (DP), was compared with the auditory paradigm with beep stimuli, also known as the beep paradigm (BP), in items of event-related potential amplitudes, online accuracies and scores on the likability and difficulty to demonstrate the advantages of DP. DP obtained significantly higher online accuracy and information transfer rate than the BP ( p  < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed test; p  < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed test). Besides, DP obtained higher scores on the likability with no significant difference on the difficulty ( p  < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed test). The results showed that the drip drops were reliable acoustic materials as stimuli in an auditory BCI system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Investigating Deviance Distraction and the Impact of the Modality of the To-Be-Ignored Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsja, Erik; Neely, Gregory; Ljungberg, Jessica K

    2018-03-01

    It has been suggested that deviance distraction is caused by unexpected sensory events in the to-be-ignored stimuli violating the cognitive system's predictions of incoming stimuli. The majority of research has used methods where the to-be-ignored expected (standards) and the unexpected (deviants) stimuli are presented within the same modality. Less is known about the behavioral impact of deviance distraction when the to-be-ignored stimuli are presented in different modalities (e.g., standard and deviants presented in different modalities). In three experiments using cross-modal oddball tasks with mixed-modality to-be-ignored stimuli, we examined the distractive role of unexpected auditory deviants presented in a continuous stream of expected standard vibrations. The results showed that deviance distraction seems to be dependent upon the to-be-ignored stimuli being presented within the same modality, and that the simplest omission of something expected; in this case, a standard vibration may be enough to capture attention and distract performance.

  20. Non-target adjacent stimuli classification improves performance of classical ERP-based brain computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, G. A.; Hernández, L. F.

    2015-04-01

    Objective. The classical ERP-based speller, or P300 Speller, is one of the most commonly used paradigms in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). Several alterations to the visual stimuli presentation system have been developed to avoid unfavorable effects elicited by adjacent stimuli. However, there has been little, if any, regard to useful information contained in responses to adjacent stimuli about spatial location of target symbols. This paper aims to demonstrate that combining the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli with standard classification (target versus non-target) significantly improves classical ERP-based speller efficiency. Approach. Four SWLDA classifiers were trained and combined with the standard classifier: the lower row, upper row, right column and left column classifiers. This new feature extraction procedure and the classification method were carried out on three open databases: the UAM P300 database (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico), BCI competition II (dataset IIb) and BCI competition III (dataset II). Main results. The inclusion of the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli improves target classification in the classical row/column paradigm. A gain in mean single trial classification of 9.6% and an overall improvement of 25% in simulated spelling speed was achieved. Significance. We have provided further evidence that the ERPs produced by adjacent stimuli present discriminable features, which could provide additional information about the spatial location of intended symbols. This work promotes the searching of information on the peripheral stimulation responses to improve the performance of emerging visual ERP-based spellers.

  1. Gene expression analysis in response to osmotic stimuli in the intervertebral disc with DNA microarray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenzhi; Li, Xu; Shang, Xifu; Zhao, Qichun; Hu, Yefeng; Xu, Xiang; He, Rui; Duan, Liqun; Zhang, Feng

    2013-12-27

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) cells experience a broad range of physicochemical stimuli under physiologic conditions, including alterations in their osmotic environment. At present, the molecular mechanisms underlying osmotic regulation in IVD cells are poorly understood. This study aims to screen genes affected by changes in osmotic pressure in cells of subjects aged 29 to 63 years old, with top-scoring pair (TSP) method. Gene expression data set GSE1648 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including four hyper-osmotic stimuli samples, four iso-osmotic stimuli samples, and three hypo-osmotic stimuli samples. A novel, simple method, referred to as the TSP, was used in this study. Through this method, there was no need to perform data normalization and transformation before data analysis. A total of five pairs of genes ((CYP2A6, FNTB), (PRPF8, TARDBP), (RPS5, OAZ1), (SLC25A3, NPM1) and (CBX3, SRSF9)) were selected based on the TSP method. We inferred that all these genes might play important roles in response to osmotic stimuli and age in IVD cells. Additionally, hyper-osmotic and iso-osmotic stimuli conditions were adverse factors for IVD cells. We anticipate that our results will provide new thoughts and methods for the study of IVD disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Rowena; Bellugi, Ursula; Järvinen, Anna

    2016-12-01

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

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

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    Laura eLorenzo-López

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Automatic Direction of Spatial Attention to Male Versus Female Stimuli: A Comparison of Heterosexual Men and Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snowden, Robert J; Curl, Catriona; Jobbins, Katherine; Lavington, Chloe; Gray, Nicola S

    2016-05-01

    Abundant research has shown that men's sexual attractions are more category-specific in relation to gender than women's are. We tested whether the early automatic allocation of spatial attention reflects these sexual attractions. The dot-probe task was used to assess whether spatial attention was attracted to images of either male or female models that were naked or partially clothed. In Experiment 1, men were faster if the target appeared after the female stimulus, whereas women were equally quick to respond to targets after male or female stimuli. In Experiment 2, neutral cues were introduced. Men were again faster to female images in comparison to male or neutral images, but showed no bias on the male versus neutral test. Women were faster to both male and female pictures in comparison to neutral pictures. However, in this experiment they were also faster to female pictures than to male pictures. The results suggest that early attentional processes reveal category-specific interest to the preferred sexual category for heterosexual men, and suggest that heterosexual women do not have category-specific guidance of attentional mechanisms. The technique may have promise in measuring sexual interest in other situations where participants may not be able, or may not be willing, to report upon their sexual interests (e.g., assessment of paedophilic interest).

  7. Testing food-related inhibitory control to high- and low-calorie food stimuli: Electrophysiological responses to high-calorie food stimuli predict calorie and carbohydrate intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbine, Kaylie A; Christensen, Edward; LeCheminant, James D; Bailey, Bruce W; Tucker, Larry A; Larson, Michael J

    2017-07-01

    Maintaining a healthy diet has important implications for physical and mental health. One factor that may influence diet and food consumption is inhibitory control-the ability to withhold a dominant response in order to correctly respond to environmental demands. We examined how N2 amplitude, an ERP that reflects inhibitory control processes, differed toward high- and low-calorie food stimuli and related to food intake. A total of 159 participants (81 female; M age = 23.5 years; SD = 7.6) completed two food-based go/no-go tasks (one with high-calorie and one with low-calorie food pictures as no-go stimuli) while N2 amplitude was recorded. Participants recorded food intake using the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Dietary Recall system. Inhibiting responses toward high-calorie stimuli elicited a larger (i.e., more negative) no-go N2 amplitude; inhibiting responses toward low-calorie stimuli elicited a smaller no-go N2 amplitude. Participants were more accurate during the high-calorie than low-calorie task, but took longer to respond on go trials toward high-calorie rather than low-calorie stimuli. When controlling for age, gender, and BMI, larger high-calorie N2 difference amplitude predicted lower caloric intake (β = 0.17); low-calorie N2 difference amplitude was not related to caloric intake (β = -0.03). Exploratory analyses revealed larger high-calorie N2 difference amplitude predicted carbohydrate intake (β = 0.22), but not protein (β = 0.08) or fat (β = 0.11) intake. Results suggest that withholding responses from high-calorie foods requires increased recruitment of inhibitory control processes, which may be necessary to regulate food consumption, particularly for foods high in calories and carbohydrates. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. The impact of verbal framing on brain activity evoked by emotional images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisley, Michael A; Campbell, Alana M; Larson, Jenna M; Naftz, Andrea E; Regnier, Jesse T; Davalos, Deana B

    2011-12-01

    Emotional stimuli generally command more brain processing resources than non-emotional stimuli, but the magnitude of this effect is subject to voluntary control. Cognitive reappraisal represents one type of emotion regulation that can be voluntarily employed to modulate responses to emotional stimuli. Here, the late positive potential (LPP), a specific event-related brain potential (ERP) component, was measured in response to neutral, positive and negative images while participants performed an evaluative categorization task. One experimental group adopted a "negative frame" in which images were categorized as negative or not. The other adopted a "positive frame" in which the exact same images were categorized as positive or not. Behavioral performance confirmed compliance with random group assignment, and peak LPP amplitude to negative images was affected by group membership: brain responses to negative images were significantly reduced in the "positive frame" group. This suggests that adopting a more positive appraisal frame can modulate brain activity elicited by negative stimuli in the environment.

  10. The fMRI analysis of brain activation in response to face image affected by background images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimada, Takamasa; Fukami, Tadanori; Saito, Yoichi

    2011-01-01

    The stimuli of a face images expressing fear induce the activation in the medial temporal lobe was reported in previous studies. In particular, it was reported that face image expressing fear activated the amygdala and hippo-campus area of brain. In these studies, no background images were used with facial stimuli. However, normal day-to-day images always have a background. We investigated the effect of combining face images expressing fear and different background images. As a result, strong activation was detected in the amygdala and hippocampus area when the lightning background image was used. But strong activation was not detected when the fire background image was used. From the results of questionnaire rating the impression of possibility of experiencing the situation of shown images, it is thought that this difference of impression of possibility made the difference of empathy and caused the difference of brain activation. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-07-01

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

  12. Implicit attitudes toward eating stimuli differentiate eating disorder and non-eating disorder groups and predict eating disorder behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, April R; Forrest, Lauren N; Velkoff, Elizabeth A; Ribeiro, Jessica D; Franklin, Joseph

    2018-04-01

    The current study tested whether people with and without eating disorders (EDs) varied in their implicit attitudes toward ED-relevant stimuli. Additionally, the study tested whether implicit evaluations of ED-relevant stimuli predicted ED symptoms and behaviors over a 4-week interval. Participants were people without EDs (N = 85) and people seeking treatment for EDs (N = 92). All participants completed self-report questionnaires and a version of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) at baseline. The AMP indexed implicit evaluations of average body stimuli, eating stimuli, and ED-symptom stimuli. Participants with EDs completed weekly follow-up measures of ED symptoms and behaviors for 4 weeks. Contrary to predictions, the anorexia nervosa (AN) group did not differ from the no ED group on implicit attitudes toward ED-symptom stimuli, and the bulimia nervosa (BN) group had less positive implicit attitudes toward ED-symptom stimuli relative to the no ED group. In line with predictions, people with AN and BN had more negative implicit attitudes toward average body and eating stimuli relative to the no ED group. In addition, among the ED group more negative implicit attitudes toward eating stimuli predicted ED symptoms and behaviors 4 weeks later, over and above baseline ED symptoms and behaviors. Taken together, implicit evaluations of eating stimuli differentiated people with AN and BN from people without EDs and longitudinally predicted ED symptoms and behaviors. Interventions that increase implicit liking of eating-related stimuli may reduce ED behaviors. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. "A cigarette a day keeps the goodies away": smokers show automatic approach tendencies for smoking--but not for food-related stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alla Machulska

    Full Text Available Smoking leads to the development of automatic tendencies that promote approach behavior toward smoking-related stimuli which in turn may maintain addictive behavior. The present study examined whether automatic approach tendencies toward smoking-related stimuli can be measured by using an adapted version of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT. Given that progression of addictive behavior has been associated with a decreased reactivity of the brain reward system for stimuli signaling natural rewards, we also used the AAT to measure approach behavior toward natural rewarding stimuli in smokers. During the AAT, 92 smokers and 51 non-smokers viewed smoking-related vs. non-smoking-related pictures and pictures of natural rewards (i.e. highly palatable food vs. neutral pictures. They were instructed to ignore image content and to respond to picture orientation by either pulling or pushing a joystick. Within-group comparisons revealed that smokers showed an automatic approach bias exclusively for smoking-related pictures. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in smokers' and non-smokers' approach bias for nicotine-related stimuli, indicating that non-smokers also showed approach tendencies for this picture category. Yet, in contrast to non-smokers, smokers did not show an approach bias for food-related pictures. Moreover, self-reported smoking attitude could not predict approach-avoidance behavior toward nicotine-related pictures in smokers or non-smokers. Our findings indicate that the AAT is suited for measuring smoking-related approach tendencies in smokers. Furthermore, we provide evidence for a diminished approach tendency toward food-related stimuli in smokers, suggesting a decreased sensitivity to natural rewards in the course of nicotine addiction. Our results indicate that in contrast to similar studies conducted in alcohol, cannabis and heroin users, the AAT might only be partially suited for measuring smoking-related approach

  14. "A cigarette a day keeps the goodies away": smokers show automatic approach tendencies for smoking--but not for food-related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machulska, Alla; Zlomuzica, Armin; Adolph, Dirk; Rinck, Mike; Margraf, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Smoking leads to the development of automatic tendencies that promote approach behavior toward smoking-related stimuli which in turn may maintain addictive behavior. The present study examined whether automatic approach tendencies toward smoking-related stimuli can be measured by using an adapted version of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT). Given that progression of addictive behavior has been associated with a decreased reactivity of the brain reward system for stimuli signaling natural rewards, we also used the AAT to measure approach behavior toward natural rewarding stimuli in smokers. During the AAT, 92 smokers and 51 non-smokers viewed smoking-related vs. non-smoking-related pictures and pictures of natural rewards (i.e. highly palatable food) vs. neutral pictures. They were instructed to ignore image content and to respond to picture orientation by either pulling or pushing a joystick. Within-group comparisons revealed that smokers showed an automatic approach bias exclusively for smoking-related pictures. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in smokers' and non-smokers' approach bias for nicotine-related stimuli, indicating that non-smokers also showed approach tendencies for this picture category. Yet, in contrast to non-smokers, smokers did not show an approach bias for food-related pictures. Moreover, self-reported smoking attitude could not predict approach-avoidance behavior toward nicotine-related pictures in smokers or non-smokers. Our findings indicate that the AAT is suited for measuring smoking-related approach tendencies in smokers. Furthermore, we provide evidence for a diminished approach tendency toward food-related stimuli in smokers, suggesting a decreased sensitivity to natural rewards in the course of nicotine addiction. Our results indicate that in contrast to similar studies conducted in alcohol, cannabis and heroin users, the AAT might only be partially suited for measuring smoking-related approach tendencies in

  15. “A Cigarette a Day Keeps the Goodies Away”: Smokers Show Automatic Approach Tendencies for Smoking—But Not for Food-Related Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adolph, Dirk; Rinck, Mike; Margraf, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Smoking leads to the development of automatic tendencies that promote approach behavior toward smoking-related stimuli which in turn may maintain addictive behavior. The present study examined whether automatic approach tendencies toward smoking-related stimuli can be measured by using an adapted version of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT). Given that progression of addictive behavior has been associated with a decreased reactivity of the brain reward system for stimuli signaling natural rewards, we also used the AAT to measure approach behavior toward natural rewarding stimuli in smokers. During the AAT, 92 smokers and 51 non-smokers viewed smoking-related vs. non-smoking-related pictures and pictures of natural rewards (i.e. highly palatable food) vs. neutral pictures. They were instructed to ignore image content and to respond to picture orientation by either pulling or pushing a joystick. Within-group comparisons revealed that smokers showed an automatic approach bias exclusively for smoking-related pictures. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in smokers’ and non-smokers’ approach bias for nicotine-related stimuli, indicating that non-smokers also showed approach tendencies for this picture category. Yet, in contrast to non-smokers, smokers did not show an approach bias for food-related pictures. Moreover, self-reported smoking attitude could not predict approach-avoidance behavior toward nicotine-related pictures in smokers or non-smokers. Our findings indicate that the AAT is suited for measuring smoking-related approach tendencies in smokers. Furthermore, we provide evidence for a diminished approach tendency toward food-related stimuli in smokers, suggesting a decreased sensitivity to natural rewards in the course of nicotine addiction. Our results indicate that in contrast to similar studies conducted in alcohol, cannabis and heroin users, the AAT might only be partially suited for measuring smoking-related approach tendencies in

  16. Dual stimuli polysaccharide nanovesicles for conjugated and physically loaded doxorubicin delivery in breast cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pramod, P. S.; Shah, Ruchira; Jayakannan, Manickam

    2015-04-01

    The present work reports the development of pH and enzyme dual responsive polysaccharide vesicular nano-scaffolds for the administration of doxorubicin via physical loading and polymer-drug conjugation to breast cancer cells. Dextran was suitably modified with a renewable resource 3-pentadecyl phenol unit through imine and aliphatic ester chemical linkages that acted as pH and esterase enzyme stimuli, respectively. These dual responsive polysaccharide derivatives self-organized into 200 +/- 10 nm diameter nano-vesicles in water. The water soluble anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX.HCl) was encapsulated in the hydrophilic pocket to produce core-loaded polysaccharide vesicles whereas chemical conjugation produced DOX anchored at the hydrophobic layer of the dextran nano-vesicles. In vitro studies revealed that about 70-80% of the drug was retained under circulatory conditions at pH = 7.4 and 37 °C. At a low pH of 6.0 to 5.0 and in the presence of esterase; both imine and ester linkages were cleaved instantaneously to release 100% of the loaded drugs. Cytotoxicity assays on Wild Type Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts (WTMEFs) confirmed the non-toxicity of the newly developed dextran derivatives at up to 500 μg mL-1 in PBS. MTT assays on fibroblast cells revealed that DOX.HCl loaded nano-vesicles exhibited better killing abilities than DOX conjugated polymer nano-vesicles. Both DOX loaded and DOX conjugated nano-vesicles were found to show significant killing in breast cancer cells (MCF 7). Confocal microscopy images confirmed the uptake of DOX loaded (or conjugated) nano-vesicles by cells compared to free DOX. Thus, the newly developed pH and enzyme dual responsive polysaccharide vesicular assemblies are potential drug vectors for the administration of DOX in both loaded and chemically conjugated forms for the efficient killing of breast cancer cells.The present work reports the development of pH and enzyme dual responsive polysaccharide vesicular nano-scaffolds for the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lun; Wei, Jin-he

    2003-10-01

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

  18. An online brain-computer interface based on shifting attention to concurrent streams of auditory stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, N. J.; Schölkopf, B.

    2012-04-01

    We report on the development and online testing of an electroencephalogram-based brain-computer interface (BCI) that aims to be usable by completely paralysed users—for whom visual or motor-system-based BCIs may not be suitable, and among whom reports of successful BCI use have so far been very rare. The current approach exploits covert shifts of attention to auditory stimuli in a dichotic-listening stimulus design. To compare the efficacy of event-related potentials (ERPs) and steady-state auditory evoked potentials (SSAEPs), the stimuli were designed such that they elicited both ERPs and SSAEPs simultaneously. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided online, based on subjects' modulation of N1 and P3 ERP components measured during single 5 s stimulation intervals. All 13 healthy subjects were able to use the BCI, with performance in a binary left/right choice task ranging from 75% to 96% correct across subjects (mean 85%). BCI classification was based on the contrast between stimuli in the attended stream and stimuli in the unattended stream, making use of every stimulus, rather than contrasting frequent standard and rare ‘oddball’ stimuli. SSAEPs were assessed offline: for all subjects, spectral components at the two exactly known modulation frequencies allowed discrimination of pre-stimulus from stimulus intervals, and of left-only stimuli from right-only stimuli when one side of the dichotic stimulus pair was muted. However, attention modulation of SSAEPs was not sufficient for single-trial BCI communication, even when the subject's attention was clearly focused well enough to allow classification of the same trials via ERPs. ERPs clearly provided a superior basis for BCI. The ERP results are a promising step towards the development of a simple-to-use, reliable yes/no communication system for users in the most severely paralysed states, as well as potential attention-monitoring and -training applications outside the context of assistive technology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michida, Nanae; Hayashi, Mitsuo; Hori, Tadao

    2005-07-01

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

  20. Investigating the Predictive Value of Functional MRI to Appetitive and Aversive Stimuli: A Pattern Classification Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciara McCabe

    Full Text Available Dysfunctional neural responses to appetitive and aversive stimuli have been investigated as possible biomarkers for psychiatric disorders. However it is not clear to what degree these are separate processes across the brain or in fact overlapping systems. To help clarify this issue we used Gaussian process classifier (GPC analysis to examine appetitive and aversive processing in the brain.25 healthy controls underwent functional MRI whilst seeing pictures and receiving tastes of pleasant and unpleasant food. We applied GPCs to discriminate between the appetitive and aversive sights and tastes using functional activity patterns.The diagnostic accuracy of the GPC for the accuracy to discriminate appetitive taste from neutral condition was 86.5% (specificity = 81%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001. If a participant experienced neutral taste stimuli the probability of correct classification was 92. The accuracy to discriminate aversive from neutral taste stimuli was 82.5% (specificity = 73%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001 and appetitive from aversive taste stimuli was 73% (specificity = 77%, sensitivity = 69%, p = 0.001. In the sight modality, the accuracy to discriminate appetitive from neutral condition was 88.5% (specificity = 85%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001, to discriminate aversive from neutral sight stimuli was 92% (specificity = 92%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001, and to discriminate aversive from appetitive sight stimuli was 63.5% (specificity = 73%, sensitivity = 54%, p = 0.009.Our results demonstrate the predictive value of neurofunctional data in discriminating emotional and neutral networks of activity in the healthy human brain. It would be of interest to use pattern recognition techniques and fMRI to examine network dysfunction in the processing of appetitive, aversive and neutral stimuli in psychiatric disorders. Especially where problems with reward and punishment processing have been implicated in the pathophysiology of the disorder.

  1. The presence of a culturally similar or dissimilar social partner affects neural responses to emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate A. Woodcock

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Emotional responding is sensitive to social context; however, little emphasis has been placed on the mechanisms by which social context effects changes in emotional responding. Objective: We aimed to investigate the effects of social context on neural responses to emotional stimuli to inform on the mechanisms underpinning context-linked changes in emotional responding. Design: We measured event-related potential (ERP components known to index specific emotion processes and self-reports of explicit emotion regulation strategies and emotional arousal. Female Chinese university students observed positive, negative, and neutral photographs, whilst alone or accompanied by a culturally similar (Chinese or dissimilar researcher (British. Results: There was a reduction in the positive versus neutral differential N1 amplitude (indexing attentional capture by positive stimuli in the dissimilar relative to alone context. In this context, there was also a corresponding increase in amplitude of a frontal late positive potential (LPP component (indexing engagement of cognitive control resources. In the similar relative to alone context, these effects on differential N1 and frontal LPP amplitudes were less pronounced, but there was an additional decrease in the amplitude of a parietal LPP component (indexing motivational relevance in response to positive stimuli. In response to negative stimuli, the differential N1 component was increased in the similar relative to dissimilar and alone (trend context. Conclusion: These data suggest that neural processes engaged in response to emotional stimuli are modulated by social context. Possible mechanisms for the social-context-linked changes in attentional capture by emotional stimuli include a context-directed modulation of the focus of attention, or an altered interpretation of the emotional stimuli based on additional information proportioned by the context.

  2. Natural variation in stomatal response to closing stimuli among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions after exposure to low VPD as a tool to recognize the mechanism of disturbed stomatal functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aliniaeifard, Sasan; van Meeteren, Uulke

    2014-12-01

    Stomatal responses to closing stimuli are disturbed after long-term exposure of plants to low vapour pressure deficit (VPD). The mechanism behind this disturbance is not fully understood. Genetic variation between naturally occurring ecotypes can be helpful to elucidate the mechanism controlling stomatal movements in different environments. We characterized the stomatal responses of 41 natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana to closing stimuli (ABA and desiccation) after they had been exposed for 4 days to moderate VPD (1.17 kPa) or low VPD (0.23 kPa). A fast screening system was used to test stomatal response to ABA using chlorophyll fluorescence imaging under low O2 concentrations of leaf discs floating on ABA solutions. In all accessions stomatal conductance (gs) was increased after prior exposure to low VPD. After exposure to low VPD, stomata of 39 out of 41 of the accessions showed a diminished ABA closing response; only stomata of low VPD-exposed Map-42 and C24 were as responsive to ABA as moderate VPD-exposed plants. In response to desiccation, most of the accessions showed a normal stomata closing response following low VPD exposure. Only low VPD-exposed Cvi-0 and Rrs-7 showed significantly less stomatal closure compared with moderate VPD-exposed plants. Using principle component analysis (PCA), accessions could be categorized to very sensitive, moderately sensitive, and less sensitive to closing stimuli. In conclusion, we present evidence for different stomatal responses to closing stimuli after long-term exposure to low VPD across Arabidopsis accessions. The variation can be a useful tool for finding the mechanism of stomatal malfunctioning. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

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

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

    2018-02-20

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

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

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    Vincenzo eRomei

    2011-09-01

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

  5. Narcissism dimensions differentially moderate selective attention to evaluative stimuli in incarcerated offenders.

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    Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Lee, Christopher; Newman, Joseph P

    2015-01-01

    Narcissistic personality disorder is associated with distinguishing traits including self-enhancement, arrogance, and intense reactivity to ego threat. Theoretical accounts of narcissism suggest these heterogeneous behaviors reflect a defensive motivational style that functions to both uphold and protect the self-concept. However, the notion that narcissism can be characterized by grandiose and vulnerable dimensions raises the possibility that these diverse behaviors represent distinct expressions of narcissistic defensiveness. The present study examined whether both dimensions exhibit a general defensive style marked by selective attention to evaluative stimuli or are differentially associated with selective attention to positive and negative information, respectively. Using a dot probe task consisting of valenced and neutral trait adjectives, we evaluated these hypotheses in a group of male offenders. Results indicated that vulnerable narcissism was associated with attention biases for both positive and negative stimuli, though the dimension was further distinguished by disengagement difficulties and a greater recognition memory bias in response to negative words. Conversely, grandiose narcissism was associated with increased accuracy when attending to positive stimuli and directing attention away from negative stimuli. Overall, these findings suggest narcissistic individuals share motivated selective attention in response to evaluative stimuli, while simultaneously highlighting important phenotypic differences between grandiose and vulnerable dimensions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Attention bias towards personally relevant stimuli: the individual emotional Stroop task.

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    Wingenfeld, Katja; Bullig, Renate; Mensebach, Christoph; Hartje, Wolfgang; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas

    2006-12-01

    The emotional Stroop task is a widely used method for investigating attentional bias towards stimuli due to mood or affect. In general, standardized stimuli are used, which might not be appropriate when investigating individual contextual frameworks. It was investigated whether words chosen to be related to individuals' personal life events would produce more pronounced Stroop interference (as an indicator of attentional bias) than stimuli without any personal relevance. Twenty-six nonclinical subjects, 20 female and 6 male, participated in the study. Mean age was 36.1 yr. (SD = 18.1). All were recruited by means of local advertising. Stimulus material consisted of four word types: personal words related to negative life events with and without current personal relevance, and negative and neutral words without any personal relevance. Words were presented in three blocks. Analysis of variance showed main effects for word type and blocks, with slower reactions in the personally relevant conditions than in the negative, or neutral conditions, and in response to the first blocks as opposed to the last. These findings indicate that regardless of the word valence, personally relevant stimuli evoke more pronounced Stroop interference than do stimuli without personal relevance.

  7. Ideological reactivity: Political conservatism and brain responsivity to emotional and neutral stimuli.

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    Tritt, Shona M; Peterson, Jordan B; Page-Gould, Elizabeth; Inzlicht, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Conservatives are often thought to have a negativity bias-responding more intensely to negative than positive information. Yet, recent research has found that greater endorsement of conservative beliefs follows from both positive and negative emotion inductions. This suggests that the role of affect in political thought may not be restricted to negative valence, and more attention should be given to how conservatives and liberals respond to a wider range of stimulation. In this vein, we examined neural responses to a full range of affective stimuli, allowing us to examine how self-reported ideology moderated these responses. Specifically, we explored the relationship between political orientation and 2 event-related potentials (1 late and 1 early) previously shown to covary with the subjective motivational salience of stimuli-in response to photographs with standardized ratings of arousal and valence. At late time points, conservatives exhibited sustained heightened reactivity, compared with liberals, specifically in response to relatively unarousing and neutral stimuli. At early time points, conservatives exhibited somewhat enhanced neural activity in response to all stimulus types compared with liberals. These results may suggest that conservatives experience a wide variety of stimuli in their environment with increased motivational salience, including positive, neutral, and low-arousal stimuli. No effects of valence were found in this investigation. Such findings have implications for the development and refinement of psychological conceptions of political orientation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. The componential processing of fractions in adults and children: effects of stimuli variability and contextual interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Fang, Qiaochu; Gabriel, Florence C; Szücs, Dénes

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that people have a strong tendency to compare fractions based on constituent numerators or denominators. This is called componential processing. This study explored whether componential processing was preferred in tasks involving high stimuli variability and high contextual interference, when fractions could be compared based either on the holistic values of fractions or on their denominators. Here, stimuli variability referred to the fact that fractions were not monotonous but diversiform. Contextual interference referred to the fact that the processing of fractions was interfered by other stimuli. To our ends, three tasks were used. In Task 1, participants compared a standard fraction 1/5 to unit fractions. This task was used as a low stimuli variability and low contextual interference task. In Task 2 stimuli variability was increased by mixing unit and non-unit fractions. In Task 3, high contextual interference was created by incorporating decimals into fractions. The RT results showed that the processing patterns of fractions were very similar for adults and children. In task 1 and task 3, only componential processing was utilzied. In contrast, both holistic processing and componential processing were utilized in task 2. These results suggest that, if individuals are presented with the opportunity to perform componential processing, both adults and children will tend to do so, even if they are faced with high variability of fractions or high contextual interference.

  10. Artificial Cochlear Sensory Epithelium with Functions of Outer Hair Cells Mimicked Using Feedback Electrical Stimuli

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    Tetsuro Tsuji

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available We report a novel vibration control technique of an artificial auditory cochlear epithelium that mimics the function of outer hair cells in the organ of Corti. The proposed piezoelectric and trapezoidal membrane not only has the acoustic/electric conversion and frequency selectivity of the previous device developed mainly by one of the authors and colleagues, but also has a function to control local vibration according to sound stimuli. Vibration control is achieved by applying local electrical stimuli to patterned electrodes on an epithelium made using micro-electro-mechanical system technology. By choosing appropriate phase differences between sound and electrical stimuli, it is shown that it is possible to both amplify and dampen membrane vibration, realizing better control of the response of the artificial cochlea. To be more specific, amplification and damping are achieved when the phase difference between the membrane vibration by sound stimuli and electrical stimuli is zero and π , respectively. We also demonstrate that the developed control system responds automatically to a change in sound frequency. The proposed technique can be applied to mimic the nonlinear response of the outer hair cells in a cochlea, and to realize a high-quality human auditory system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  12. Gaze-independent ERP-BCIs: augmenting performance through location-congruent bimodal stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurlings, Marieke E.; Brouwer, Anne-Marie; Van Erp, Jan B. F.; Werkhoven, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Gaze-independent event-related potential (ERP) based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) yield relatively low BCI performance and traditionally employ unimodal stimuli. Bimodal ERP-BCIs may increase BCI performance due to multisensory integration or summation in the brain. An additional advantage of bimodal BCIs may be that the user can choose which modality or modalities to attend to. We studied bimodal, visual-tactile, gaze-independent BCIs and investigated whether or not ERP components’ tAUCs and subsequent classification accuracies are increased for (1) bimodal vs. unimodal stimuli; (2) location-congruent vs. location-incongruent bimodal stimuli; and (3) attending to both modalities vs. to either one modality. We observed an enhanced bimodal (compared to unimodal) P300 tAUC, which appeared to be positively affected by location-congruency (p = 0.056) and resulted in higher classification accuracies. Attending either to one or to both modalities of the bimodal location-congruent stimuli resulted in differences between ERP components, but not in classification performance. We conclude that location-congruent bimodal stimuli improve ERP-BCIs, and offer the user the possibility to switch the attended modality without losing performance. PMID:25249947

  13. Emotion regulation during the encoding of emotional stimuli: Effects on subsequent memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leventon, Jacqueline S; Bauer, Patricia J

    2016-02-01

    In the adult literature, emotional arousal is regarded as a source of the enhancing effect of emotion on subsequent memory. Here, we used behavioral and electrophysiological methods to examine the role of emotional arousal on subsequent memory in school-age children. Furthermore, we implemented a reappraisal instruction to manipulate (down-regulate) emotional arousal at encoding to examine the relation between emotional arousal and subsequent memory. Participants (8-year-old girls) viewed emotional scenes as electrophysiological (EEG) data were recorded and participated in a memory task 1 to 5days later where EEG and behavioral responses were recorded; participants provided subjective ratings of the scenes after the memory task. The reappraisal instruction successfully reduced emotional arousal responses to negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. Similarly, recognition performance in both event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavior was impaired for reappraised negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. The findings indicate that ERPs are sensitive to the reappraisal of negative stimuli in children as young as 8years. Furthermore, the findings suggest an interaction of emotion and memory during the school years, implicating the explanatory role of emotional arousal at encoding on subsequent memory performance in female children as young as 8years. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  15. Background music genre can modulate flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiegel, Alexandra; Meullenet, Jean-François; Harrington, Robert J; Humble, Rachel; Seo, Han-Seok

    2014-05-01

    This study aimed to determine whether background music genre can alter food perception and acceptance, but also to determine how the effect of background music can vary as a function of type of food (emotional versus non-emotional foods) and source of music performer (single versus multiple performers). The music piece was edited into four genres: classical, jazz, hip-hop, and rock, by either a single or multiple performers. Following consumption of emotional (milk chocolate) or non-emotional food (bell peppers) with the four musical stimuli, participants were asked to rate sensory perception and impression of food stimuli. Participants liked food stimuli significantly more while listening to the jazz stimulus than the hip-hop stimulus. Further, the influence of background music on overall impression was present in the emotional food, but not in the non-emotional food. In addition, flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli differed between music genres arranged by a single performer, but not between those by multiple performers. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that music genre can alter flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli. Furthermore, the influence of music genre on food acceptance varies as a function of the type of served food and the source of music performer. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Depersonalization disorder: disconnection of cognitive evaluation from autonomic responses to emotional stimuli.

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    Matthias Michal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Patients with depersonalization disorder (DPD typically complain about emotional detachment. Previous studies found reduced autonomic responsiveness to emotional stimuli for DPD patients as compared to patients with anxiety disorders. We aimed to investigate autonomic responsiveness to emotional auditory stimuli of DPD patients as compared to patient controls. Furthermore, we examined the modulatory effect of mindful breathing on these responses as well as on depersonalization intensity. METHODS: 22 DPD patients and 15 patient controls balanced for severity of depression and anxiety, age, sex and education, were compared regarding 1 electrodermal and heart rate data during a resting period, and 2 autonomic responses and cognitive appraisal of standardized acoustic affective stimuli in two conditions (normal listening and mindful breathing. RESULTS: DPD patients rated the emotional sounds as significantly more neutral as compared to patient controls and standardized norm ratings. At the same time, however, they responded more strongly to acoustic emotional stimuli and their electrodermal response pattern was more modulated by valence and arousal as compared to patient controls. Mindful breathing reduced severity of depersonalization in DPD patients and increased the arousal modulation of electrodermal responses in the whole sample. Finally, DPD patients showed an increased electrodermal lability in the rest period as compared to patient controls. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrated that the cognitive evaluation of emotional sounds in DPD patients is disconnected from their autonomic responses to those emotional stimuli. The increased electrodermal lability in DPD may reflect increased introversion and cognitive control of emotional impulses. The findings have important psychotherapeutic implications.

  17. The effects of dissociation on information processing for analogue trauma and neutral stimuli: a laboratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Shira A; Beck, J Gayle

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of high and low levels of dissociation on information processing for analogue trauma and neutral stimuli. Fifty-four undergraduate females who reported high and low levels of trait dissociation were presented with two films, one depicting traumatic events, the other containing neutral material. Participants completed a divided attention task (yielding a proxy measure of attention), as well as explicit memory (free-recall) and implicit memory (word-stem completion) tasks for both films. Results indicated that the high DES group showed less attention and had poorer recall for the analogue trauma stimuli, relative to the neutral stimuli and the low DES group. These findings suggest that high levels of trait dissociation are associated with reductions in attention and memory for analogue trauma stimuli, relative to neutral stimuli and relative to low trait dissociation. Implications for the role of cognitive factors in the etiology of negative post-trauma responses are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jack H; French, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Exposure is not enough: suppressing stimuli from awareness can abolish the mere exposure effect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel de Zilva

    Full Text Available Passive exposure to neutral stimuli increases subsequent liking of those stimuli--the mere exposure effect. Because of the broad implications for understanding and controlling human preferences, the role of conscious awareness in mere exposure has received much attention. Previous studies have claimed that the mere exposure effect can occur without conscious awareness of the stimuli. In two experiments, we applied a technique new to the mere exposure literature, called continuous flash suppression, to expose stimuli for a controlled duration with and without awareness. To ensure the reliability of the awareness manipulation, awareness was monitored on a trial-by-trial basis. Our results show that under these conditions the mere exposure effect does not occur without conscious awareness. In contrast, only when participants were aware of the stimuli did exposure increase liking and recognition. Together these data are consistent with the idea that the mere exposure effect requires conscious awareness and has important implications for theories of memory and affect.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhbandner, Christof; Spitzer, Bernhard; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2011-05-01

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