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Sample records for position discrimination task

  1. Task-irrelevant emotion facilitates face discrimination learning.

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    Lorenzino, Martina; Caudek, Corrado

    2015-03-01

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

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

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

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    Stephan eDe La Rosa

    2016-02-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Digital position sensitive discrimination for 2-dimensional scintillation detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engels, R.; Reinartz, R.; Reinhart, P.

    1996-01-01

    The energy sensitivity of a two-dimensional scintillation gamma detector based on position sensitive photomultipliers has been minimized by a digital differential discrimination unit. Since the photomultiplier gain is position-dependent by 50%, a discrimination unit has been developed where digital upper and lower discrimination levels are set due to the position-dependent photomultiplier gain obtained from calibration measurements. Depending on the spatial resolution there can be up to 65.536 position-sensitive discriminator levels defining energy windows. By this method, narrow discriminator windows can be used for reducing the low and high energy quanta without effecting the sensitivity of the detector. The new discrimination method, its performance and test measurements with gamma rays will be described. Furthermore experimental results are presented

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

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    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    Harinen, Kirsi; Rinne, Teemu

    2013-08-15

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

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

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-30

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Lambert, Anthony J; Wootton, Adrienne

    2017-08-01

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

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

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

    2007-08-15

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

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

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    Lucille G. A. Bellegarde

    2017-11-01

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

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

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Yoshimasa eSeki

    2013-07-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J

    2011-02-01

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

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

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    Kalina Makowiecki

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

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

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Separate and combined effects of the GABAA positive allosteric modulator diazepam and Δ⁹-THC in humans discriminating Δ⁹-THC.

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    Lile, Joshua A; Kelly, Thomas H; Hays, Lon R

    2014-10-01

    Our previous research suggested the involvement of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), in particular the GABAB receptor subtype, in the interoceptive effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC). The aim of the present study was to determine the potential involvement of the GABAA receptor subtype by assessing the separate and combined effects of the GABAA positive allosteric modulator diazepam and Δ(9)-THC using pharmacologically selective drug-discrimination procedures. Ten cannabis users learned to discriminate 30 mg oral Δ(9)-THC from placebo and then received diazepam (5 and 10mg), Δ(9)-THC (5, 15 and 30 mg) and placebo, alone and in combination. Self-report, task performance and physiological measures were also collected. Δ(9)-THC functioned as a discriminative stimulus, produced subjective effects typically associated with cannabinoids (e.g., High, Stoned, Like Drug) and elevated heart rate. Diazepam alone impaired performance on psychomotor performance tasks and increased ratings on a limited number of self-report questionnaire items (e.g., Any Effect, Sedated), but did not substitute for the Δ(9)-THC discriminative stimulus or alter the Δ(9)-THC discrimination dose-response function. Similarly, diazepam had limited impact on the other behavioral effects of Δ(9)-THC. These results suggest that the GABAA receptor subtype has minimal involvement in the interoceptive effects of Δ(9)-THC, and by extension cannabis, in humans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Fatima T Husain

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

  4. Hippocampal lesions impair performance on a conditional delayed matching and non-matching to position task in the rat.

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    Sloan, Hazel L; Döbrössy, Màtè; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2006-08-10

    The hippocampus is thought to be involved in a range of cognitive processes, from the ability to acquire new memories, to the ability to learn about spatial relationships. Humans and monkeys with damage to the hippocampus are typically impaired on delayed matching to sample tasks, of which the operant delayed matching to position task (DMTP) is a rat analogue. The reported effects of hippocampal damage on DMTP vary, ranging from delay-dependent deficits to no deficit whatsoever. The present study investigates a novel memory task; the conditional delayed matching/non-matching to position task (CDM/NMTP) in the Skinner box. CDM/NMTP uses the presence of specific stimulus cues to signify whether a particular trial is matching or non-matching in nature. Thus, it incorporates both the task contingencies within one session, and supplements the requirement for remembering the side of the lever in the sample phase with attending to the stimulus and remembering the conditional discrimination for the rule. Rats were trained preoperatively and the effects of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the hippocampus were examined on postoperative retention of the task. Rats with lesions of the hippocampus incurred a significant impairment on the task that was manifest at all delays intervals. Despite a bias towards matching during training, trials of either type were performed with equivalent accuracy and neither rule was affected differentially by the lesion. This task may prove useful in determining the cognitive roles of a range of brain areas.

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

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    Jorge Torres-Marín

    2017-11-01

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

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

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

    2008-01-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-16

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

  8. Parent-Child Positive Touch: Gender, Age, and Task Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aznar, Ana; Tenenbaum, Harriet R

    2016-01-01

    This study examined gender, age, and task differences in positive touch and physical proximity during mother-child and father-child conversations. Sixty-five Spanish mothers and fathers and their 4- ( M  = 53.50 months, SD  = 3.54) and 6-year-old ( M  = 77.07 months, SD  = 3.94) children participated in this study. Positive touch was examined during a play-related storytelling task and a reminiscence task (conversation about past emotions). Fathers touched their children positively more frequently during the play-related storytelling task than did mothers. Both mothers and fathers were in closer proximity to their 6-year-olds than their 4-year-olds. Mothers and fathers touched their children positively more frequently when reminiscing than when playing. Finally, 6-year-olds remained closer to their parents than did 4-year-olds. Implications of these findings for future research on children's socioemotional development are discussed.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-11

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

  14. Word position and stress effects in consonant cluster perception and production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cilibrasi, Luca; Stojanovik, Vesna; Riddell, Patricia

    2015-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the saliency effect for word beginnings reported in children with dyslexia (Marshall & Van der Lely, 2009) can be found also in typically developing children. Thirty-four typically developing Italian children aged 8-10 years completed two specifically designed tasks: a production task and a perception task. Both tasks used nonwords containing clusters consisting of plosive plus liquid (e.g. pl). Clusters could be either in a stressed or in an unstressed syllable and could be either in initial position (first syllable) or in medial position (second syllable). In the production task, children were asked to repeat the nonwords. In the perception task, the children were asked to discriminate between two nonwords differing in one phoneme belonging to a cluster by reporting whether two repetitions were the same or different. Results from the production task showed that children are more accurate in repeating stressed than unstressed syllables, but there was no difference with respect to position of the cluster. Results from the perception task showed that children performed more accurately when discriminating word initial contrasts than when discriminating word medial contrasts, especially if the cluster was unstressed. Implications of this finding for clinical assessments are discussed. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Positive Discrimination in Education: A Comparative Investigation of Its Bases, Forms, and Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bee-Lan Chan

    1983-01-01

    Explores some basic theoretical questions pertaining to positive discrimination in education, drawing from empirical experiences of several countries that have practiced it in one form or another--the United States, India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. Encompasses policies and practices that have variously been called reverse discrimination,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  18. A quantitative method for determining spatial discriminative capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Robert G

    2008-03-01

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

  19. Differential autoshaping to common and distinctive elements of positive and negative discriminative stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasserman, E A; Anderson, P A

    1974-11-01

    The learning by hungry pigeons of a discrimination between two successively presented compound visual stimuli was investigated using a two-key autoshaping procedure. Common and distinctive stimulus elements were simultaneously presented on separate keys and either followed by food delivery, S+, or not, S-. The subjects acquired both between-trial and within-trial discriminations. On S+ trials, pigeons pecked the distinctive stimulus more than the common stimulus; before responding ceased on S- trials, they pecked the common stimulus more than the distinctive one. Mastery of the within-display discrimination during S+ trials preceded mastery of the between-trials discrimination. These findings extend the Jenkins-Sainsbury analysis of discriminations based upon a single distinguishing feature to discriminations in which common and distinctive elements are associated with both the positive and negative discriminative stimuli. The similarity of these findings to other effects found in autoshaping-approach to signals that forecast reinforcement and withdrawal from signals that forecast nonreinforcement-is also discussed.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richard, Samuel; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.

    2008-01-01

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

  1. The equivalent internal orientation and position noise for contour integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Alex S; Fu, Minnie; Farivar, Reza; Hess, Robert F

    2017-10-12

    Contour integration is the joining-up of local responses to parts of a contour into a continuous percept. In typical studies observers detect contours formed of discrete wavelets, presented against a background of random wavelets. This measures performance for detecting contours in the limiting external noise that background provides. Our novel task measures contour integration without requiring any background noise. This allowed us to perform noise-masking experiments using orientation and position noise. From these we measure the equivalent internal noise for contour integration. We found an orientation noise of 6° and position noise of 3 arcmin. Orientation noise was 2.6x higher in contour integration compared to an orientation discrimination control task. Comparing against a position discrimination task found position noise in contours to be 2.4x lower. This suggests contour integration involves intermediate processing that enhances the quality of element position representation at the expense of element orientation. Efficiency relative to the ideal observer was lower for the contour tasks (36% in orientation noise, 21% in position noise) compared to the controls (54% and 57%).

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

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bradley, D

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Are you positive? Electric dipole polarity discrimination in the yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siciliano, Avery M; Kajiura, Stephen M; Long, John H; Porter, Marianne E

    2013-10-01

    It is well established that elasmobranchs can detect dipole electric fields. However, it is unclear whether they can discriminate between the anode and cathode. To investigate this subject, we employed a behavioral assay to determine the discriminatory ability of the yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis. We conditioned stingrays with food rewards to bite either the anode (n=5) or the cathode (n=6) of a direct-current dipole located on the floor of an experimental tank. All individuals successfully performed the task after 18 to 22 days. Stingrays were then tested in experimental sessions when they were rewarded only after they identified the correct pole. Stingrays successfully discriminated between the poles at a rate greater than chance, ranging among individuals from a mean of 66% to 93% correct. During experimental sessions, stingrays conditioned to distinguish the anode performed similarly to those conditioned to distinguish the cathode. We hypothesize that the ability to discriminate anode from cathode is physiologically encoded, but its utility in providing spatial information under natural conditions remains to be demonstrated. The ability to discriminate polarity may eliminate ambiguity in induction-based magnetoreception and facilitate navigation with respect to the geomagnetic field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Experiences of discrimination and positive treatment in people with mental health problems: Findings from an Australian national survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reavley, Nicola J; Jorm, Anthony F

    2015-10-01

    Stigma and discrimination are central concerns for people with mental health problems. The aim of the study was to carry out a national survey in order to assess experiences of avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment in people with mental health problems. In 2014, telephone interviews were carried out with 5220 Australians aged 18+, 1381 of whom reported a mental health problem or scored highly on a symptom screening questionnaire. Questions covered experiences of avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment by friends, spouse, other family, workplace, educational institution and others in the community. In most domains, respondents reported more positive treatment experiences than avoidance or discrimination. Friends and family were more likely to avoid the person than to discriminate. The results can provide input into the design of anti-discrimination interventions and further empower people with mental health problems as they advocate for change in the area of discrimination. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-10

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

  7. Intelligence is differentially related to neural effort in the task-positive and the task-negative brain network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Basten, U.; Stelzel, C.; Fiebach, C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies on individual differences in intelligence and brain activation during cognitive processing focused on brain regions where activation increases with task demands (task-positive network, TPN). Our study additionally considers brain regions where activation decreases with task demands

  8. Differential autoshaping to common and distinctive elements of positive and negative discriminative stimuli1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasserman, Edward A.; Anderson, Patricia A.

    1974-01-01

    The learning by hungry pigeons of a discrimination between two successively presented compound visual stimuli was investigated using a two-key autoshaping procedure. Common and distinctive stimulus elements were simultaneously presented on separate keys and either followed by food delivery, S+, or not, S−. The subjects acquired both between-trial and within-trial discriminations. On S+ trials, pigeons pecked the distinctive stimulus more than the common stimulus; before responding ceased on S− trials, they pecked the common stimulus more than the distinctive one. Mastery of the within-display discrimination during S+ trials preceded mastery of the between-trials discrimination. These findings extend the Jenkins-Sainsbury analysis of discriminations based upon a single distinguishing feature to discriminations in which common and distinctive elements are associated with both the positive and negative discriminative stimuli. The similarity of these findings to other effects found in autoshaping—approach to signals that forecast reinforcement and withdrawal from signals that forecast nonreinforcement—is also discussed. PMID:16811812

  9. A commentary on the positive discrimination policy of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T Deane

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Affirmative action and discriminatory measures are complex and controversial issues. The goal of affirmative action is to speed up the creation of a representative and equitable workforce and to assist those who were historically disadvantaged by unfair discrimination to fulfil their maximum potential. The term invokes emotions that range from fear and rage to satisfaction. Affirmative action has encouraged an ongoing debate regarding the legal, moral and economic questions arising from the preferential treatment of certain groups of people in society. Underlying this debate are various concerns about the notion of reverse discrimination or the unfair disadvantage to individuals who bear no responsibility for past or present discrimination practised by others. This article states the current position with regard to the caste system and the reservation of jobs in the Republic of India in the context of affirmative action and the achievement of equality in the workplace. Its purpose is to highlight the extreme division of opinion about what is socially acceptable, namely, caste. Further, it provides the reader with an understanding of the need for affirmative action in the first place in India, and thereby creates a powerful tool for understanding discrimination and the need for affirmative action measures. Another goal is to provide useful guidelines and information to all persons involved in implementing affirmative action programmes. It serves to show that if affirmative action measures and/or discriminatory measures are not properly thought out then affirmative action becomes burdensome and even more discriminatory, rather than being a means of achieving equality and redressing past wrongs.

  10. Dissociation between spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) andWistar–Kyoto (WKY) rats in baseline performance and methylphenidate response on measures of attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity in a Visual Stimulus Position Discrimination Task

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thanos, P.K.

    2009-10-08

    The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is a widely accepted rodent model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and methylphenidate (MP) is a central nervous systemstimulant that has been shown to have a dose-related positive effect on attention task performance in humans with ADHD. The current study was undertaken to compare SHR to its typical control strain, Wistar-Kyoto(WKY) rats, on the performance of a Visual Stimulus Position Discrimination Task (VSPDT) as well as of the responsiveness of the two rat strains to MP treatment. The rats were initially trained on the VSPDT, in which a light cue was presented randomly at three different cue-light intervals (1 s, 300 ms and 100 ms) over one of two levers, and presses on the lever corresponding to the light cue were reinforced with a food pellet. Once rats reached stable performance, the treatment phase of the study began, during which they received daily intraperitoneal (IP) injections of saline, 2 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg, and 10 mg/kg of MP in a randomized order immediately prior to being tested on the VSPDT. Baseline performance accuracy on the VSPDT did not differ between the groups. Furthermore, a striking strain dissociation was evident in the response of the two strains to treatment; VSPDT performance was substantially disrupted by the 5 and 10 mg/kg dose in the WKY rats but only mildly in the SHR rats. Response omissions were also increased only in WKY rats. Finally, both strains had increased locomotor activity in the operant chamber following MP treatment. These findings point to an important difference in response tendency toMP in the two strains that supports a view that a critical difference between these strains may suggest neurochemical and neuroadaptive differences associated with the behavioral impairments of ADHD.

  11. Predictors of experiences of discrimination and positive treatment in people with mental health problems: findings from an Australian national survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reavley, Nicola J; Morgan, Amy J; Jorm, Anthony F

    2017-03-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the factors predicting experiences of avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment in people with mental health problems. In 2014, telephone interviews were carried out with 5220 Australians aged 18+, 1381 of whom reported a mental health problem or scored highly on a symptom screening questionnaire. Questions covered experiences of avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment by friends, spouse, other family, workplace, educational institution and others in the community; as well as disclosure of mental health problems. Avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment scores were calculated by counting the number of domains in which each occurred. Predictors of avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment were modelled with negative binomial regression analyses. After adjusting for the effects of other predictors in multivariate analyses, symptom severity and a diagnosis of 'any other disorder' (most commonly psychotic disorders or eating disorders) predicted experiences of both avoidance and discrimination but not positive treatment. Disclosing a mental health problem in more settings was also associated with higher rates of avoidance and discrimination, but also with positive treatment. Disclosure of mental health problems to others may increases experiences of discrimination, but may also increase experiences of positive treatment. These findings can help to inform decision making by people with mental health problems about disclosure, particularly in the case of more severe or low-prevalence disorders.

  12. Aging effects on ERP correlates of emotional word discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Educational Evaluators--A Model for Task Oriented Position Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, David; and others

    1970-01-01

    An outline of 44 evaluator tasks is discussed in terms of its usefulness in defining, evaluating, and improving the position of "educational evaluator ; in adapting the position to the needs of particular institutions; and in designing appropriate evaluator training programs. (JES)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi Zou

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Leila; Wilken, Patrick; Koch, Christof

    2004-03-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Infants' Discrimination of Consonants: Interplay between Word Position and Acoustic Saliency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, Stephanie L.; Zamuner, Tania; Engel, Kathleen; Fais, Laurel; Curtin, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Research has shown that young infants use contrasting acoustic information to distinguish consonants. This has been used to argue that by 12 months, infants have homed in on their native language sound categories. However, this ability seems to be positionally constrained, with contrasts at the beginning of words (onsets) discriminated earlier.…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Touryan

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Shigeru

    2017-09-01

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

  1. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  2. Associations between HIV-related stigma, racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and depression among HIV-positive African, Caribbean, and Black women in Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logie, Carmen; James, Llana; Tharao, Wangari; Loutfy, Mona

    2013-02-01

    Abstract African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) women are greatly overrepresented in new HIV infections in comparison with Canada's general population. Social and structural factors such as HIV-related stigma, gender discrimination, and racial discrimination converge to increase vulnerability to HIV infection among ACB women by reducing access to HIV prevention services. Stigma and discrimination also present barriers to treatment, care, and support and may contribute to mental health problems. We administered a cross-sectional survey to HIV-positive ACB women (n=173) across Ontario in order to examine the relationships between HIV-related stigma, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, and depression. One-third of participants reported moderate/severe depression scores using the Beck Depression Inventory Fast-Screen guidelines. Hierarchical block regression, moderation, and mediation analyses were conducted to measure associations between independent (HIV-related stigma, gender discrimination, racial discrimination), moderator/mediator (social support, resilient coping), and dependent (depression) variables. Findings included: (1) HIV-related stigma was associated with increased depression; (2) resilient coping was associated with reduced depression but did not moderate the influence of HIV-related stigma on depression; and (3) the effects of HIV-related stigma on depression were partially mediated through resilient coping. HIV-related stigma, gender discrimination, and racial discrimination were significantly correlated with one another and with depression, highlighting the salience of examining multiple intersecting forms of stigma. Generalizability of findings may be limited due to nonrandom sampling. Findings emphasize the importance of multi-component interventions, including building resilient coping skills, mental health promotion and assessment, and stigma reduction programs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan Yu

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

  5. [Stigma and discrimination: the experiences of HIV-positive women in poor neighborhoods of Maputo, Mozambique].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Rosário Gregório; Iriart, Jorge Alberto Bernstein

    2015-03-01

    The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious public health problem in Mozambique. The country has high prevalence rates, and the epidemic's impact is aggravated by the stigma affecting HIV-positive persons. This study takes a socio-anthropological perspective to analyze the experience of HIV-positive women in poor neighborhoods of Maputo and the ways they cope with stigma and discrimination. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 HIV-positive women. The results show how gender inequalities increase women's vulnerability to HIV and contribute to their stigmatization and discrimination. In dealing with stigma, women try to keep their diagnosis confidential, seeking support in group meetings with others living with HIV. Public policies should focus on women's empowerment and the reduction of HIV/AIDS-related stigma.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-13

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

  7. Discriminative Transfer Learning for General Image Restoration

    KAUST Repository

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Discriminative Transfer Learning for General Image Restoration

    KAUST Repository

    Xiao, Lei

    2018-04-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neath, Karly N; Itier, Roxane J

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Aki; Suzuki, Kaoru

    2014-02-01

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

  11. Discriminant analysis of maintaining a vertical position in the water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bratuša Zoran

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Water polo is the only sports game that takes place in the water. During the outplay, a vertical body position with the two basic mechanisms of the leg work - a breaststroke leg kick and an eggbeater leg kick, prevails. Starting from the significance of a vertical position during the game play, the methods of assessing physical preparedness of the athletes of all the categories also include the evaluation of maintaining a vertical position and consequently the load of the leg muscles. The measurements are performed during the maintenance of a vertical position (swimming in place through one of the specified mechanisms of leg work, i.e. a vertical position technique. The aim of this paper was to determine the application of different mechanisms of the leg kicks in maintaining a vertical position with young water polo players in relation to their position. The study included 29 selected junior water polo players (age_15.8 ± 0.8 years; BH_185.2 ± 5.3cm and BW_81.7 ± 7.7kg. The measurements were performed during the tests of swimming in place at the maximum intensity lasting 10 seconds, by the breaststroke and eggbeater leg kicks. The isometric tensiometry tests were used for the measurements. The results were analysed by the application of descriptive statistics, and the kinetic selection characteristic was defined by the application of discriminant analysis. Higher average values were achieved with the breaststroke leg kick technique Fmax, ImpF and RFD (avgFmaxLEGGBK =157.46±19.93N; avgImpF_LEGGBK =45.43±10.64Ns; avgRFD_LEGGBK=337.85±80.73N/s; avgFmaxLBKICK=227.18±49.17N; avgImpF_LBKICK=55.99±14.59Ns; avgRFD_LBKICK=545.47±159.15N/s. After discriminant analysis, the results have shown that the eggbeater leg kick is a selection technique, whereas the force - Fmax is a kinetic selection variable. Based on the obtained results and the analyses performed it may be concluded that a training factor dominant for maintaining a vertical position by

  12. Position-aware deep multi-task learning for drug-drug interaction extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Deyu; Miao, Lei; He, Yulan

    2018-05-01

    A drug-drug interaction (DDI) is a situation in which a drug affects the activity of another drug synergistically or antagonistically when being administered together. The information of DDIs is crucial for healthcare professionals to prevent adverse drug events. Although some known DDIs can be found in purposely-built databases such as DrugBank, most information is still buried in scientific publications. Therefore, automatically extracting DDIs from biomedical texts is sorely needed. In this paper, we propose a novel position-aware deep multi-task learning approach for extracting DDIs from biomedical texts. In particular, sentences are represented as a sequence of word embeddings and position embeddings. An attention-based bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM) network is used to encode each sentence. The relative position information of words with the target drugs in text is combined with the hidden states of BiLSTM to generate the position-aware attention weights. Moreover, the tasks of predicting whether or not two drugs interact with each other and further distinguishing the types of interactions are learned jointly in multi-task learning framework. The proposed approach has been evaluated on the DDIExtraction challenge 2013 corpus and the results show that with the position-aware attention only, our proposed approach outperforms the state-of-the-art method by 0.99% for binary DDI classification, and with both position-aware attention and multi-task learning, our approach achieves a micro F-score of 72.99% on interaction type identification, outperforming the state-of-the-art approach by 1.51%, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Abstract numerical discrimination learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlijn van den Boomen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Boomen, Carlijn; Peters, Judith Carolien

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Can conflict be energizing? a study of task conflict, positive emotions, and job satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorova, Gergana; Bear, Julia B; Weingart, Laurie R

    2014-05-01

    Scholars have assumed that the presence of negative emotions during task conflict implies the absence of positive emotions. However, emotions researchers have shown that positive and negative emotions are not 2 ends of a bipolar continuum; rather, they represent 2 separate, orthogonal dimensions. Drawing on affective events theory, we develop and test hypotheses about the effects of task conflict on positive emotions and job satisfaction. To this end, we distinguish among the frequency, intensity, and information gained from task conflict. Using field data from 232 employees in a long-term health care organization, we find that more frequent mild task conflict expression engenders more information acquisition, but more frequent intense task conflict expression hinders it. Because of the information gains from mild task conflict expression, employees feel more active, energized, interested, and excited, and these positive active emotions increase job satisfaction. The information gained during task conflict, however, is not always energizing: It depends on the extent to which the behavioral context involves active learning and whether the conflict is cross-functional. We discuss theoretical implications for conflict, emotions, and job satisfaction in organizations. (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  17. Introducing positive discrimination in predictive models (Chapter 14)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calders, T.G.K.; Verwer, S.E.; Custers, B.H.M.; Calders, T.G.K.; Schermer, B.W.; Zarsky, T.Z.

    2013-01-01

    In this chapter we give three solutions for the discrimination-aware classification problem that are based upon Bayesian classifiers. These classifiers model the complete probability distribution by making strong independence assumptions. First we discuss the necessity of having discrimination-free

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Positive and negative affect produce opposing task-irrelevant stimulus preexposure effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazar, Josef; Kaplan, Oren; Sternberg, Terri; Lubow, R E

    2012-06-01

    In three experiments, groups were exposed to either positive or negative affect video clips, after which they were presented with a series of task-irrelevant stimuli. In the subsequent test task, subjects were required to learn an association between the previously irrelevant stimulus and a consequence, and between a new stimulus and a consequence. Induced positive affect produced a latent inhibition effect (poorer evidence of learning with the previously irrelevant stimulus than with the novel stimulus). In opposition to this, induced negative affect resulted in better evidence of learning with a previously irrelevant stimulus than with a novel stimulus. In general, the opposing effects also were present in participants scoring high on self-report questionnaires of depression (Experiments 2 and 3). These unique findings were predicted and accounted for on the basis of two principles: (a) positive affect broadens the attentional field and negative affect contracts it; and (b) task-irrelevant stimuli are processed in two successive stages, the first encodes stimulus properties, and the second encodes stimulus relationships. The opposing influences of negative and positive mood on the processing of irrelevant stimuli have implications for the role of emotion in general theories of cognition, and possibly for resolving some of the inconsistent findings in research with schizophrenia patients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Debbie M; Cook, Robert G

    2003-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Winnie; Rousche, Patrick J.

    2006-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Cazzoli

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

  4. Serial-position effects on a free-recall task in bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Jeewon; Kaushanskaya, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we examined mechanisms that underlie free-recall performance in bilinguals' first language (L1) and second language (L2) through the prism of serial-position effects. On free-recall tasks, a typical pattern of performance follows a U-shaped serial-position curve, where items from the beginning of the list (the primacy effect) and items from the end of the list (the recency effect) are recalled with higher accuracy than items from the middle of the list. The present study contrasted serial-position effects on the free-recall task in Korean-English bilinguals' L1 vs. L2 and examined the relationship between an independent working memory (WM) measure and serial-position effects in bilinguals' two languages. Results revealed stronger pre-recency (primacy and middle) effects in L1 than in L2, but similar recency effects in the two languages. A close association was observed between WM and recall performance in the pre-recency region in the L1 but not in the L2. Together, these findings suggest that linguistic knowledge constrains free-recall performance in bilinguals, but only in the pre-recency region.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cihangir, Sezgin; Barreto, Manuela; Ellemers, Naomi

    2010-03-01

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

  6. Can additive measures add to an intersectional understanding? Experiences of gay and ethnic discrimination among HIV-positive Latino gay men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisen, Carol A; Brooks, Kelly D; Zea, Maria Cecilia; Poppen, Paul J; Bianchi, Fernanda T

    2013-04-01

    The current study investigated a methodological question of whether traditional, additive, quantitative data can be used to address intersectional issues, and illustrated such an approach with a sample of 301 HIV-positive, Latino gay men in the United States. Participants were surveyed using A-CASI. Hierarchical logistic set regression investigated the role of sets of variables reflecting demographic characteristics, gender nonconformity, and gay and ethnic discrimination in relation to depression and gay collective identity. Results showed the discrimination set was related to depression and to gay collective identity, as was gender nonconformity. Follow-up logistic regression showed that both types of discrimination were associated with greater depression, but gender nonconformity was not. Gay discrimination and gender nonconformity were positively associated with gay collective identity, whereas ethnic discrimination was negatively associated. Results are discussed in terms of the use of traditional quantitative data as a potential means of understanding intersectional issues, as well as of contributing to knowledge about individuals facing multiple structural inequalities.

  7. Perceived discrimination and physical health among HIV-positive Black and Latino men who have sex with men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogart, Laura M; Landrine, Hope; Galvan, Frank H; Wagner, Glenn J; Klein, David J

    2013-05-01

    We conducted the first study to examine health correlates of discrimination due to race/ethnicity, HIV-status, and sexual orientation among 348 HIV-positive Black (n = 181) and Latino (n = 167) men who have sex with men. Participants completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews. In multivariate analyses, Black participants who experienced greater racial discrimination were less likely to have a high CD4 cell count [OR = 0.7, 95 % CI = (0.5, 0.9), p = 0.02], and an undetectable viral load [OR = 0.8, 95 % CI = (0.6, 1.0), p = 0.03], and were more likely to visit the emergency department [OR = 1.3, 95 % CI = (1.0, 1.7), p = 0.04]; the combined three types of discrimination predicted greater AIDS symptoms [F (3,176) = 3.8, p discrimination predicted greater medication side effect severity [F (3,163) = 4.6, p discrimination plays a role in health outcomes.

  8. Different Neuroplasticity for Task Targets and Distractors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Different neuroplasticity for task targets and distractors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsie Y Spingath

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Pattern recognition in bees : orientation discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  12. Positive modulation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors reverses subcronic PCP-induced deficits in the novel object recognition task in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Trine Damgaard; Larsen, Dorrit Bjerg; Hansen, Suzanne Lisbet

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive deficits are a major clinical unmet need in schizophrenia. The psychotomimetic drug phencyclicline (PCP) is widely applied in rodents to mimic symptoms of schizophrenia, including cognitive deficits. Precious studies have shown that sub-chronic PCP induces an enduring episodic memory......-cbronic PCP treatment induced a significant decrease in the discrimination index (DI) and both ampakines CX546 and CX516 were able to reverse this diruption of object memory in rats in the novel object recognition task. These data suggest that positive AMPAR modulation may represent a mechanism for treatment...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menary, Susan; And Others

    1982-01-01

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

  15. Discrimination performance in aging is vulnerable to interference and dissociable from spatial memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Sarah A.; Sacks, Patricia K.; Turner, Sean M.; Gaynor, Leslie S.; Ormerod, Brandi K.; Maurer, Andrew P.; Bizon, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Hippocampal-dependent episodic memory and stimulus discrimination abilities are both compromised in the elderly. The reduced capacity to discriminate between similar stimuli likely contributes to multiple aspects of age-related cognitive impairment; however, the association of these behaviors within individuals has never been examined in an animal model. In the present study, young and aged F344×BN F1 hybrid rats were cross-characterized on the Morris water maze test of spatial memory and a dentate gyrus-dependent match-to-position test of spatial discrimination ability. Aged rats showed overall impairments relative to young in spatial learning and memory on the water maze task. Although young and aged learned to apply a match-to-position response strategy in performing easy spatial discriminations within a similar number of trials, a majority of aged rats were impaired relative to young in performing difficult spatial discriminations on subsequent tests. Moreover, all aged rats were susceptible to cumulative interference during spatial discrimination tests, such that error rate increased on later trials of test sessions. These data suggest that when faced with difficult discriminations, the aged rats were less able to distinguish current goal locations from those of previous trials. Increasing acetylcholine levels with donepezil did not improve aged rats’ abilities to accurately perform difficult spatial discriminations or reduce their susceptibility to interference. Interestingly, better spatial memory abilities were not significantly associated with higher performance on difficult spatial discriminations. This observation, along with the finding that aged rats made more errors under conditions in which interference was high, suggests that match-to-position spatial discrimination performance may rely on extra-hippocampal structures such as the prefrontal cortex, in addition to the dentate gyrus. PMID:27317194

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, Nicole A; Marquis, Alexandra R

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  18. Anti-discrimination Analysis Using Privacy Attack Strategies

    KAUST Repository

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gazzara, R.A.; Altman, J.

    1981-01-01

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

  20. Comparative assessment of surgeons' task performance and surgical ergonomics associated with conventional and modified flank positions: a simulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yu; Kong, Gaiqing; Meng, Yisen; Tan, Shutao; Wei, Kunlin; Zhang, Qian; Jin, Jie

    2014-11-01

    Flank position is extensively used in retroperitoneoscopic urological practice. Most surgeons follow the patients' position in open approaches. However, surgical ergonomics of the conventional position in the retroperitoneoscopic surgery is poor. We introduce a modified position and evaluated task performance and surgical ergonomics of both positions with simulated surgical tasks. Twenty-one novice surgeons were recruited to perform four tasks: bead transfer, ring transfer, continuous suturing, and cutting a circle. The conventional position was simulated by setting an endo-surgical simulator parallel to the long axis of a surgical desk. The modified position was simulated by rotating the simulator 30° with respect to the long axis of the desk. The outcome measurements include task performance measures, kinematic measures for body alignment, surface electromyography, relative loading between feet, and subjective ratings of fatigue. We observed significant improvements in both task performance and surgical ergonomics parameters under the modified position. For all four tasks, subjects finished tasks faster with higher accuracy (p ergonomics part: (1) The angle between the upper body and the head was decreased by 7.4 ± 1.7°; (2) The EMG amplitude collected from shoulders and left lumber was significantly lower (p ergonomics. With a simulated surgery, we demonstrated that our modified position could significantly improve task performance and surgical ergonomics. Further studies are still warranted to validate these benefits for both patients and surgeons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  3. Mind the gap: temporal discrimination and dystonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  4. Data preprocessing techniques for classification without discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-05-08

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

  7. A longitudinal examination of perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms in ethnic minority youth: The roles of attributional style, positive ethnic/racial affect, and emotional reactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Gabriela L; Supple, Andrew J; Huq, Nadia; Dunbar, Angel S; Prinstein, Mitchell J

    2016-02-01

    Although perceived ethnic/racial discrimination is well established as a risk factor for depressive symptoms in ethnic minority youth, few studies have examined their longitudinal relationship over time. This study examined whether a negative attributional style, positive ethnic/racial affect, and emotional reactivity moderated the longitudinal relationship of perceived peer or adult discrimination and depressive symptoms in a sample of African American and Latino high school students (n = 155). African American and Latino youth who experienced increases in perceived peer discrimination also reported greater depressive symptoms over time, but positive ethnic/racial affect buffered the longitudinal association. Emotional reactivity also served as a significant moderator but only of the baseline association between perceived peer discrimination and depressive symptoms. Thus, perceived ethnic/racial discrimination appears to play a significant role in the development of depressive symptoms for ethnic minority youth, especially those who start high school with lower levels of positive ethnic/racial affect. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved.

  8. Position dependent mismatch discrimination on DNA microarrays – experiments and model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel Wolfgang

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The propensity of oligonucleotide strands to form stable duplexes with complementary sequences is fundamental to a variety of biological and biotechnological processes as various as microRNA signalling, microarray hybridization and PCR. Yet our understanding of oligonucleotide hybridization, in particular in presence of surfaces, is rather limited. Here we use oligonucleotide microarrays made in-house by optically controlled DNA synthesis to produce probe sets comprising all possible single base mismatches and base bulges for each of 20 sequence motifs under study. Results We observe that mismatch discrimination is mostly determined by the defect position (relative to the duplex ends as well as by the sequence context. We investigate the thermodynamics of the oligonucleotide duplexes on the basis of double-ended molecular zipper. Theoretical predictions of defect positional influence as well as long range sequence influence agree well with the experimental results. Conclusion Molecular zipping at thermodynamic equilibrium explains the binding affinity of mismatched DNA duplexes on microarrays well. The position dependent nearest neighbor model (PDNN can be inferred from it. Quantitative understanding of microarray experiments from first principles is in reach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Estimation of Symptom Severity Scores for Patients with Schizophrenia Using ERP Source Activations during a Facial Affect Discrimination Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Do-Won; Lee, Seung-Hwan; Shim, Miseon; Im, Chang-Hwan

    2017-01-01

    Precise diagnosis of psychiatric diseases and a comprehensive assessment of a patient's symptom severity are important in order to establish a successful treatment strategy for each patient. Although great efforts have been devoted to searching for diagnostic biomarkers of schizophrenia over the past several decades, no study has yet investigated how accurately these biomarkers are able to estimate an individual patient's symptom severity. In this study, we applied electrophysiological biomarkers obtained from electroencephalography (EEG) analyses to an estimation of symptom severity scores of patients with schizophrenia. EEG signals were recorded from 23 patients while they performed a facial affect discrimination task. Based on the source current density analysis results, we extracted voxels that showed a strong correlation between source activity and symptom scores. We then built a prediction model to estimate the symptom severity scores of each patient using the source activations of the selected voxels. The symptom scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) were estimated using the linear prediction model. The results of leave-one-out cross validation (LOOCV) showed that the mean errors of the estimated symptom scores were 3.34 ± 2.40 and 3.90 ± 3.01 for the Positive and Negative PANSS scores, respectively. The current pilot study is the first attempt to estimate symptom severity scores in schizophrenia using quantitative EEG features. It is expected that the present method can be extended to other cognitive paradigms or other psychological illnesses.

  11. Estimation of Symptom Severity Scores for Patients with Schizophrenia Using ERP Source Activations during a Facial Affect Discrimination Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Do-Won Kim

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Precise diagnosis of psychiatric diseases and a comprehensive assessment of a patient's symptom severity are important in order to establish a successful treatment strategy for each patient. Although great efforts have been devoted to searching for diagnostic biomarkers of schizophrenia over the past several decades, no study has yet investigated how accurately these biomarkers are able to estimate an individual patient's symptom severity. In this study, we applied electrophysiological biomarkers obtained from electroencephalography (EEG analyses to an estimation of symptom severity scores of patients with schizophrenia. EEG signals were recorded from 23 patients while they performed a facial affect discrimination task. Based on the source current density analysis results, we extracted voxels that showed a strong correlation between source activity and symptom scores. We then built a prediction model to estimate the symptom severity scores of each patient using the source activations of the selected voxels. The symptom scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS were estimated using the linear prediction model. The results of leave-one-out cross validation (LOOCV showed that the mean errors of the estimated symptom scores were 3.34 ± 2.40 and 3.90 ± 3.01 for the Positive and Negative PANSS scores, respectively. The current pilot study is the first attempt to estimate symptom severity scores in schizophrenia using quantitative EEG features. It is expected that the present method can be extended to other cognitive paradigms or other psychological illnesses.

  12. Discriminative Shape Alignment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loog, M.; de Bruijne, M.

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Speed and accuracy of visual image discrimination by rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela eReinagel

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  15. Bias and discriminability during emotional signal detection in melancholic depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyett, Matthew; Parker, Gordon; Breakspear, Michael

    2014-04-27

    Cognitive disturbances in depression are pernicious and so contribute strongly to the burden of the disorder. Cognitive function has been traditionally studied by challenging subjects with modality-specific psychometric tasks and analysing performance using standard analysis of variance. Whilst informative, such an approach may miss deeper perceptual and inferential mechanisms that potentially unify apparently divergent emotional and cognitive deficits. Here, we sought to elucidate basic psychophysical processes underlying the detection of emotionally salient signals across individuals with melancholic and non-melancholic depression. Sixty participants completed an Affective Go/No-Go (AGN) task across negative, positive and neutral target stimuli blocks. We employed hierarchical Bayesian signal detection theory (SDT) to model psychometric performance across three equal groups of those with melancholic depression, those with a non-melancholic depression and healthy controls. This approach estimated likely response profiles (bias) and perceptual sensitivity (discriminability). Differences in the means of these measures speak to differences in the emotional signal detection between individuals across the groups, while differences in the variance reflect the heterogeneity of the groups themselves. Melancholic participants showed significantly decreased sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli compared to those in the non-melancholic group, and also had a significantly lower discriminability than healthy controls during the detection of neutral signals. The melancholic group also showed significantly higher variability in bias to both positive and negative emotionally salient material. Disturbances of emotional signal detection in melancholic depression appear dependent on emotional context, being biased during the detection of positive stimuli, consistent with a noisier representation of neutral stimuli. The greater heterogeneity of the bias across the melancholic

  16. Automatic discrimination of fine roots in minirhizotron images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Guang; Birchfield, Stanley T; Wells, Christina E

    2008-01-01

    Minirhizotrons provide detailed information on the production, life history and mortality of fine roots. However, manual processing of minirhizotron images is time-consuming, limiting the number and size of experiments that can reasonably be analysed. Previously, an algorithm was developed to automatically detect and measure individual roots in minirhizotron images. Here, species-specific root classifiers were developed to discriminate detected roots from bright background artifacts. Classifiers were developed from training images of peach (Prunus persica), freeman maple (Acer x freemanii) and sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) using the Adaboost algorithm. True- and false-positive rates for classifiers were estimated using receiver operating characteristic curves. Classifiers gave true positive rates of 89-94% and false positive rates of 3-7% when applied to nontraining images of the species for which they were developed. The application of a classifier trained on one species to images from another species resulted in little or no reduction in accuracy. These results suggest that a single root classifier can be used to distinguish roots from background objects across multiple minirhizotron experiments. By incorporating root detection and discrimination algorithms into an open-source minirhizotron image analysis application, many analysis tasks that are currently performed by hand can be automated.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gazzara, R.A.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  19. Experienced and anticipated discrimination against people with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milačić-Vidojević Ivona

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim of this research was to describe the nature, direction and severity of anticipated and experienced discrimination reported by people with schizophrenia. We applied interview to 50 patients with diagnosis of schizophrenia in two psychiatric hospitals in Belgrade. Discrimination was measured with discrimination and stigma scale (DISC which produce 3 subscores, positive experienced discrimination, negative experienced discrimination and anticipated discrimination. The same scale was used in cross-cultural research in 27 european countries. Results have shown that participants from Serbia do not recognize discrimination in all areas of life equally. The discrimination recognized is more frequentlly negative then positive and is associated with existentially important realms of life. Due to anticipated discrimination participants in our study prevent themselves from looking for a close relationship. Anticipated discrimination could not be predicted on the grounds of experienced, positive or negative discrimination.

  20. Emphasizing the 'positive' in positive reinforcement: Using non-binary rewarding for training monkeys on cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Benjamin; Wegener, Detlef

    2018-04-04

    Non-human primates constitute an indispensable model system for studying higher brain func-tions at the neurophysiological level. Studies involving these animals elucidated the neuronal mechanisms of various cognitive and executive functions, such as visual attention, working memory, and decision-making. Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) constitutes the gold standard for training animals on the cognitive tasks employed in these studies. In the laboratory, PRT is usually based on applying a liquid reward as the reinforcer to strengthen the desired be-havior, and absence of the reward if the animal's response was wrong. By trial-and-error, the monkey may adopt its behavior and successfully reduces the number of error trials, and eventu-ally learns even very sophisticated tasks. However, progress and success of the training strongly depend on reasonable error rates. If errors get too frequent, they may cause a drop in the ani-mal's motivation to cooperate, or its adaptation to high error rates and poor overall perfor-mance. We here introduce an alternative training regime to minimize errors and base the critical information for learning on graded rewarding. For every new task rule, the feedback to the ani-mal is provided by different amounts of reward to distinguish the desired, optimal behavior from less optimally behavior. We applied this regime in different situations during training of visual attention tasks, and analyzed behavioral performance and reaction times to evaluate its effec-tiveness. For both simple and complex behaviors, graded rewarding was found to constitute a powerful technique allowing for effective training without trade-off in accessible task difficulty or task performance.

  1. Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Teachers as Positive Role Models for Tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenmenger, Michelle

    2002-01-01

    Discusses Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act in terms of their potential legal remedies for victims of sexual-orientation discrimination. Examines several relevant federal appellate and Supreme Court decisions and the role of homosexual teachers. (PKP)

  2. Quantum-state comparison and discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  3. Anti-discrimination Analysis Using Privacy Attack Strategies

    KAUST Repository

    Ruggieri, Salvatore

    2014-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-12

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

  5. Universal programmable devices for unambiguous discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Chi; Ying Mingsheng; Qiao, Bo

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Using postmeasurement information in state discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gopal, Deepthi; Wehner, Stephanie

    2010-01-01

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

  7. How task and person conflict shape the role of positive interdependence in management teams

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, O.; Van de Vliert, E.; Veenstra, C

    1999-01-01

    A literature-based model defining how task and person conflict modify the relationship between positive goal interdependence and decision-making effectiveness in management teams is presented. The model assumes that positive interdependence fosters effective decision making behaviors only if person

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creelman, C D; Macmillan, N A

    1979-02-01

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

  9. Negativity bias and task motivation: testing the effectiveness of positively versus negatively framed incentives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsmith, Kelly; Dhar, Ravi

    2013-12-01

    People are frequently challenged by goals that demand effort and persistence. As a consequence, philosophers, psychologists, economists, and others have studied the factors that enhance task motivation. Using a sample of undergraduate students and a sample of working adults, we demonstrate that the manner in which an incentive is framed has implications for individuals' task motivation. In both samples we find that individuals are less motivated when an incentive is framed as a means to accrue a gain (positive framing) as compared with when the same incentive is framed as a means to avoid a loss (negative framing). Further, we provide evidence for the role of the negativity bias in this effect, and highlight specific populations for whom positive framing may be least motivating. Interestingly, we find that people's intuitions about when they will be more motivated show the opposite pattern, with people predicting that positively framed incentives will be more motivating than negatively framed incentives. We identify a lay belief in the positive correlation between enjoyment and task motivation as one possible factor contributing to the disparity between predicted and actual motivation as a result of the framing of the incentive. We conclude with a discussion of the managerial implications for these findings. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  10. Discrimination Learning in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochocki, Thomas E.; And Others

    1975-01-01

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

  11. Perceived Discrimination and Physical Health among HIV-Positive Black and Latino Men who have Sex with Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogart, Laura M.; Landrine, Hope; Galvan, Frank H.; Wagner, Glenn J.; Klein, David J.

    2012-01-01

    We conducted the first study to examine health correlates of discrimination due to race/ethnicity, HIV-status, and sexual orientation among 348 HIV-positive Black (n=181) and Latino (n=167) men who have sex with men. Participants completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews. In multivariate analyses, Black participants who experienced greater racial discrimination were less likely to have a high CD4 cell count [OR=0.7, 95%CI=(0.5, 0.9), p=.02], and an undetectable viral load [OR=0.8, 95%CI=(0.6, 1.0), p=.03], and were more likely to visit the emergency department [OR=1.3, 95%CI=(1.0, 1.7), p=.04]; the combined three types of discrimination predicted greater AIDS symptoms [F (3,176)=3.8, pdiscrimination predicted greater medication side effect severity [F (3,163)=4.6, pdiscrimination plays a role in health outcomes. PMID:23297084

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar, Prawin

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wixted, John T; Mickes, Laura

    2018-01-01

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

  14. The facilitating effect of positive emotions during an emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xingyu; Yang, Yisheng; Jiang, Songxiu; Li, Jie

    2018-05-08

    Prior research has shown that negative emotions, even though task irrelevant, are capable of delaying a participant's response to the color in which a negative emotional word is presented, a phenomenon known as the 'emotional Stroop effect'. However, relatively little is known about whether positive emotions have a similar or an opposite effect. The current study sets out to confirm the facilitating effect of positive emotions on color naming, which is predicted by Barbara Fredrickson's 'broaden and build' theory. Our results indicate that positive emotions did facilitate such processing in both of the study's experiments. We also found a significant difference in early posterior negativity amplitudes between positive and neutral stimuli, which was related to the 'fast effect'. Overall, the study's findings suggest that positive emotions can be detected quickly and automatically, and that this kind of prioritizing facilitates the ongoing cognitive processing.

  15. Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Cost of Task Switching: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ling; Wang, Meng; Zhao, Qian-Jing; Fogelson, Noa

    2012-01-01

    Background When switching from one task to a new one, reaction times are prolonged. This phenomenon is called switch cost (SC). Researchers have recently used several kinds of task-switching paradigms to uncover neural mechanisms underlying the SC. Task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set have been reported to contribute to the cost of task switching. Methodology/Principal Findings An unpredictable cued task-switching paradigm was used, during which subjects were instructed to switch between a color and an orientation discrimination task. Electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures were recorded in 14 subjects. Response-stimulus interval (RSI) and cue-stimulus interval (CSI) were manipulated with short and long intervals, respectively. Switch trials delayed reaction times (RTs) and increased error rates compared with repeat trials. The SC of RTs was smaller in the long CSI condition. For cue-locked waveforms, switch trials generated a larger parietal positive event-related potential (ERP), and a larger slow parietal positivity compared with repeat trials in the short and long CSI condition. Neural SC of cue-related ERP positivity was smaller in the long RSI condition. For stimulus-locked waveforms, a larger switch-related central negative ERP component was observed, and the neural SC of the ERP negativity was smaller in the long CSI. Results of standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) for both ERP positivity and negativity showed that switch trials evoked larger activation than repeat trials in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC). Conclusions/Significance The results provide evidence that both RSI and CSI modulate the neural activities in the process of task-switching, but that these have a differential role during task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set. PMID:22860090

  16. Neural mechanisms underlying the cost of task switching: an ERP study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: When switching from one task to a new one, reaction times are prolonged. This phenomenon is called switch cost (SC. Researchers have recently used several kinds of task-switching paradigms to uncover neural mechanisms underlying the SC. Task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set have been reported to contribute to the cost of task switching. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An unpredictable cued task-switching paradigm was used, during which subjects were instructed to switch between a color and an orientation discrimination task. Electroencephalography (EEG and behavioral measures were recorded in 14 subjects. Response-stimulus interval (RSI and cue-stimulus interval (CSI were manipulated with short and long intervals, respectively. Switch trials delayed reaction times (RTs and increased error rates compared with repeat trials. The SC of RTs was smaller in the long CSI condition. For cue-locked waveforms, switch trials generated a larger parietal positive event-related potential (ERP, and a larger slow parietal positivity compared with repeat trials in the short and long CSI condition. Neural SC of cue-related ERP positivity was smaller in the long RSI condition. For stimulus-locked waveforms, a larger switch-related central negative ERP component was observed, and the neural SC of the ERP negativity was smaller in the long CSI. Results of standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA for both ERP positivity and negativity showed that switch trials evoked larger activation than repeat trials in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC and posterior parietal cortex (PPC. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results provide evidence that both RSI and CSI modulate the neural activities in the process of task-switching, but that these have a differential role during task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arantes, Joana; Machado, Armando

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-15

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

  19. Self-generation and positivity effects following transcranial random noise stimulation in medial prefrontal cortex: A reality monitoring task in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammarella, Nicola; Di Domenico, Alberto; Palumbo, Rocco; Fairfield, Beth

    2017-06-01

    Activation of medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC) has been typically found during reality monitoring tasks (i.e., distinguishing between internal self-generated vs external information). No study, however, has yet investigated whether transcranial Random Noise Stimulation (tRNS) over the mPFC leads to a reduction in reality-monitoring misattributions in aging. In particular, stimulating mPFC should increase the number of cognitive operations engaged while encoding and this distinctive information may help older adults to discriminate between internal and external sources better. In addition, given that older adults are more sensitive to positively-charged information compared to younger adults and that mPFC is typically recruited during encoding of positive stimuli with reference to themselves, activation of mPFC should further sustain source retrieval in older adults. In this double-blind, sham-controlled study, we examined whether tRNS over the mPFC of healthy younger and older adults during encoding enhances subsequent reality monitoring for seen versus imagined emotionally-charged words. Our findings show that tRNS enhances reality monitoring for positively-charged imagined words in the older adult group alone, highlighting the role that mPFC plays in their memory for positive information. In line with the control-based account of positivity effects, our results add evidence about the neurocognitive processes involved in reality monitoring when older adults face emotionally-charged events. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, Jonathan; Elhilali, Mounya; Shamma, Shihab

    2005-08-01

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

  1. The influence of passionate love on self-other discrimination during joint action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintard, Virginie; Jouffre, Stéphane; Croizet, Jean-Claude; Bouquet, Cedric A

    2018-01-16

    Prior research on romantic relationships suggests that being in love involves a blurring of self-other cognitive boundaries. However, this research has focused so far on conceptual self-representation, related to the individual's traits or interests. The present study tested the hypothesis that passionate love involves a reduced discrimination between the self and the romantic partner at a bodily level, as indexed by an increased Joint Simon effect (JSE), and we further examined whether this self-other discrimination correlated with the passion felt for the partner. As predicted, we found an increased JSE when participants performed the Joint Simon Task with their romantic partner compared with a friend of the opposite sex. Providing support for the self-expansion model of love (Aron and Aron in Pers Relatsh 3(1):45-58, 1996), this result indicates that romantic relationships blur the boundaries between the self and the romantic partner at a bodily level. Furthermore, the strength of romantic feelings was positively correlated with the magnitude of the JSE when sharing the task with the romantic partner.

  2. 76 FR 61371 - All-Hazard Position Task Books for Type 3 Incident Management Teams

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-04

    ...-Hazard Position Task Books for Type 3 Incident Management Teams AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management... Books for Type 3 Incident Management Teams were developed to assist personnel achieve qualifications in... Management Teams were developed to assist personnel achieve qualifications in the All-Hazard ICS positions...

  3. Validation of the Mnemonic Similarity Task – Context Version

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    Giulia A. Aldi

    2018-02-01

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

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

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    Georgiana Juravle

    2011-10-01

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

  5. Don't demotivate, discriminate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Rizan Cassim

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

  7. Positive post-disaster images: A daydream machine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, Nicola J; de Joux, Neil R; Wingreen, Stephen C; Kemp, Simon; Thomas, Jared; Helton, William S

    2017-08-01

    This study explores the impact of post-earthquake images inserted in a vigilance task, in terms of performance, self-reports of task-focus, and cerebral activity using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Vigilance tasks present a sequence of stimuli in which only a few are pre-designated critical or target stimuli requiring an overt response from the participant. Seventy-one residents participated (51 women, 20 men) by taking part in a vigilance task with task-irrelevant images inserted in the sequence. There were three conditions consisting positive (emotive inducing), negative (emotive inducing), and control (devoid of meaning) images embedded in the vigilance task to assess possible impacts on vigilance performance. The images were obtained through crowdsourcing and represented parts of the city 3-4 years post-earthquake. Task performance was assessed with signal detection theory metrics of sensitivity A' and bias β''. This enables the separation of an individual's ability to accurately discriminate critical signals from non-critical stimuli (sensitivity) and shifts in their willingness to respond to any stimuli whether critical or not (bias). Individuals viewing the positive images, relating to progress, rebuild, or aesthetic aspects within the city, had a more conservative response bias (they responded less to both rare critical and distractor stimuli) than those in the other conditions. These individuals also reported lower task-focus, as would be expected. However, contrary to expectations, indicators of cerebral activity (fNIRS) did not differ significantly between the experimental groups. These results, when combined, suggest that mind wandering events may be being generated when exposed to positive post-earthquake images. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  8. Social identity change in response to discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perozzo, Cristina; de la Sablonnière, Roxane; Auger, Emilie; Caron-Diotte, Mathieu

    2016-09-01

    This study investigated the conditions under which discrimination can lead to social identity changes among members of a minority group. Both positive and negative relations between perceptions of discrimination and social identity have previously been reported. To explain the conflicting results and understand the complex reality of members of stigmatized groups, we argue that group-based emotions (e.g., group-based dissatisfaction) and ambiguity of discrimination cues (i.e., overt vs. ambiguous) need to be considered. We hypothesized that perceptions of discrimination would play a moderating role between group-based dissatisfaction and social identity change in a context of ambiguous, but not of overt, discrimination. The sample was comprised of 151 Arab Muslims living in the province of Quebec. Participants read fictitious newspaper articles portraying either overt (n = 76) or ambiguous (n = 75) discrimination towards in-group members. Results revealed that for participants in the overt discrimination condition, only group-based dissatisfaction was positively associated with social identity change. In contrast, for the participants in the ambiguous discrimination condition, those who perceived little discrimination and felt low group-based dissatisfaction reported a decrease in social identity. However, those who perceived low group discrimination and felt high group-based dissatisfaction reported a positive social identity change. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhenling; Sato, Yu; Qin, Ling

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  11. Following the time course of face gender and expression processing: a task-dependent ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdés-Conroy, Berenice; Aguado, Luis; Fernández-Cahill, María; Romero-Ferreiro, Verónica; Diéguez-Risco, Teresa

    2014-05-01

    The effects of task demands and the interaction between gender and expression in face perception were studied using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants performed three different tasks with male and female faces that were emotionally inexpressive or that showed happy or angry expressions. In two of the tasks (gender and expression categorization) facial properties were task-relevant while in a third task (symbol discrimination) facial information was irrelevant. Effects of expression were observed on the visual P100 component under all task conditions, suggesting the operation of an automatic process that is not influenced by task demands. The earliest interaction between expression and gender was observed later in the face-sensitive N170 component. This component showed differential modulations by specific combinations of gender and expression (e.g., angry male vs. angry female faces). Main effects of expression and task were observed in a later occipito-temporal component peaking around 230 ms post-stimulus onset (EPN or early posterior negativity). Less positive amplitudes in the presence of angry faces and during performance of the gender and expression tasks were observed. Finally, task demands also modulated a positive component peaking around 400 ms (LPC, or late positive complex) that showed enhanced amplitude for the gender task. The pattern of results obtained here adds new evidence about the sequence of operations involved in face processing and the interaction of facial properties (gender and expression) in response to different task demands. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebersbach, Mirjam; Nawroth, Christian

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjam Ebersbach

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebersbach, Mirjam; Nawroth, Christian

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Waterston

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteford, Kelly L; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2018-03-23

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

  3. Discrimination of the wall effect in a thin counter with micro-gap structure for neutron position sensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakae, Takeji; Manabe, Tohru; Kitamura, Yasunori; Nohtomi, Akihiro [Kyushu Univ., Fukuoka (Japan); Sakamoto, Sigeyasu

    1996-07-01

    Simulation by the Monte Carlo method is applied to estimate the wall effect in a thermal neutron counter having a new function for discriminating the effect. The counter is designed to have paralleled electrodes with micro-gap structure. A resistive anode is used for position sensing on the center of a set of the three electrode. The structure can be made by simple arrangement of anode and cathode wires on an insulator plane. The calculation shows discrimination of the wall effect can be achieved by coincident counting of two or three elements included in the counter. By using the coincident counting, the thickness of the neutron counter can be made into 1 mm with the information of the total energy created in the neutron detection. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Discriminant validity of well-being measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, R E; Diener, E; Suh, E

    1996-09-01

    The convergent and discriminant validities of well-being concepts were examined using multitrait-multimethod matrix analyses (D. T. Campbell & D. W. Fiske, 1959) on 3 sets of data. In Study 1, participants completed measures of life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect, self-esteem, and optimism on 2 occasions 4 weeks apart and also obtained 3 informant ratings. In Study 2, participants completed each of the 5 measures on 2 occasions 2 years apart and collected informant reports at Time 2. In Study 3, participants completed 2 different scales for each of the 5 constructs. Analyses showed that (a) life satisfaction is discriminable from positive and negative affect, (b) positive affect is discriminable from negative affect, (c) life satisfaction is discriminable from optimism and self-esteem, and (d) optimism is separable from trait measures of negative affect.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jennifer; Johnson-Ulrich, Zoe

    2014-09-01

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

  8. Two-dimensional neutron scintillation detector with optimal gamma discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanyo, M.; Reinartz, R.; Schelten, J.; Mueller, K.D.

    1993-01-01

    The gamma sensitivity of a two-dimensional scintillation neutron detector based on position sensitive photomultipliers (Hamamatsu R2387 PM) has been minimized by a digital differential discrimination unit. Since the photomultiplier gain is position-dependent by ±25% a discrimination unit was developed where digital upper and lower discrimination levels are set due to the position-dependent photomultiplier gain obtained from calibration measurements. By this method narrow discriminator windows can be used to reduce the gamma background drastically without effecting the neutron sensitivity of the detector. The new discrimination method and its performance tested by neutron measurements will be described. Experimental results concerning spatial resolution and γ-sensitivity are presented

  9. Hand proximity facilitates spatial discrimination of auditory tones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip eTseng

    2014-06-01

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

  10. Inseparability of Go and Stop in Inhibitory Control: Go Stimulus Discriminability Affects Stopping Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ning; Yu, Angela J

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory control, the ability to stop or modify preplanned actions under changing task conditions, is an important component of cognitive functions. Two lines of models of inhibitory control have previously been proposed for human response in the classical stop-signal task, in which subjects must inhibit a default go response upon presentation of an infrequent stop signal: (1) the race model, which posits two independent go and stop processes that race to determine the behavioral outcome, go or stop; and (2) an optimal decision-making model, which posits that observers decides whether and when to go based on continually (Bayesian) updated information about both the go and stop stimuli. In this work, we probe the relationship between go and stop processing by explicitly manipulating the discrimination difficulty of the go stimulus. While the race model assumes the go and stop processes are independent, and therefore go stimulus discriminability should not affect the stop stimulus processing, we simulate the optimal model to show that it predicts harder go discrimination should result in longer go reaction time (RT), lower stop error rate, as well as faster stop-signal RT. We then present novel behavioral data that validate these model predictions. The results thus favor a fundamentally inseparable account of go and stop processing, in a manner consistent with the optimal model, and contradicting the independence assumption of the race model. More broadly, our findings contribute to the growing evidence that the computations underlying inhibitory control are systematically modulated by cognitive influences in a Bayes-optimal manner, thus opening new avenues for interpreting neural responses underlying inhibitory control.

  11. Inseparability of Go and Stop in Inhibitory Control: Go Stimulus Discriminability Affects Stopping Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning eMa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Inhibitory control, the ability to stop or modify preplanned actions under changing task conditions, is an important component of cognitive functions. Two lines of models of inhibitory control have previously been proposed for human response in the classical stop-signal task, in which subjects must inhibit a default go response upon presentation of an infrequent stop signal: (1 the race model, which posits two independent go and stop processes that race to determine the behavioral outcome, go or stop; and (2 an optimal decision-making model, which posits that observers decides whether and when to go based on continually (Bayesian updated information about both the go and stop stimuli. In this work, we probe the relationship between go and stop processing by explicitly manipulating the discrimination difficulty of the go stimulus. While the race model assumes the go and stop processes are independent, and therefore go stimulus discriminability should not affect the stop stimulus processing, we simulate the optimal model to show that it predicts harder go discrimination results in a longer go reaction time (RT, a lower stop error rate, as well as a faster stop-signal RT. We then present novel behavioral data that validate these model predictions. The results thus favor a fundamentally inseparable account of go and stop processing, in a manner consistent with the optimal model, and contradicting the independence assumption of the race model. More broadly, our findings contribute to the growing evidence that the computations underlying inhibitory control are systematically modulated by cognitive influences in a Bayes-optimal manner, thus opening new avenues for interpreting neural responses underlying inhibitory control.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Discriminative motif discovery via simulated evolution and random under-sampling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Song

    Full Text Available Conserved motifs in biological sequences are closely related to their structure and functions. Recently, discriminative motif discovery methods have attracted more and more attention. However, little attention has been devoted to the data imbalance problem, which is one of the main reasons affecting the performance of the discriminative models. In this article, a simulated evolution method is applied to solve the multi-class imbalance problem at the stage of data preprocessing, and at the stage of Hidden Markov Models (HMMs training, a random under-sampling method is introduced for the imbalance between the positive and negative datasets. It is shown that, in the task of discovering targeting motifs of nine subcellular compartments, the motifs found by our method are more conserved than the methods without considering data imbalance problem and recover the most known targeting motifs from Minimotif Miner and InterPro. Meanwhile, we use the found motifs to predict protein subcellular localization and achieve higher prediction precision and recall for the minority classes.

  14. Discriminative motif discovery via simulated evolution and random under-sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Tao; Gu, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Conserved motifs in biological sequences are closely related to their structure and functions. Recently, discriminative motif discovery methods have attracted more and more attention. However, little attention has been devoted to the data imbalance problem, which is one of the main reasons affecting the performance of the discriminative models. In this article, a simulated evolution method is applied to solve the multi-class imbalance problem at the stage of data preprocessing, and at the stage of Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) training, a random under-sampling method is introduced for the imbalance between the positive and negative datasets. It is shown that, in the task of discovering targeting motifs of nine subcellular compartments, the motifs found by our method are more conserved than the methods without considering data imbalance problem and recover the most known targeting motifs from Minimotif Miner and InterPro. Meanwhile, we use the found motifs to predict protein subcellular localization and achieve higher prediction precision and recall for the minority classes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Wakayo; Wang, Gang; Tanaka, Keiji

    2010-01-01

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

  16. POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES IN TASK-BASED LEARNING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Rohani

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at describing how the implementation of Task Based Learning (TBL would shape or change students’ use of oral communication strategies. Students’ problems and strategies to solve the problems during the implementation of TBL were also explored. The study was a mixed method, employing both quantitative and qualitative analysis throughmulti-methods of questionnaire, interviews, focus group discussion, learning journals, and classroom observation. Participants were 26 second year students of the State Polytechnic of Malang. Data collection was conducted for one semester. Findingsshow linguistic and non-linguistic problems encountered by students during one-semester implementation of TBL. Students also performedincreased use of positive strategies but reduced use of negative strategies after the implementation of TBL.

  17. Visually induced gains in pitch discrimination: Linking audio-visual processing with auditory abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Cecilie; Højlund, Andreas; Bærentsen, Klaus B; Hansen, Niels Chr; Skewes, Joshua C; Vuust, Peter

    2018-05-01

    Perception is fundamentally a multisensory experience. The principle of inverse effectiveness (PoIE) states how the multisensory gain is maximal when responses to the unisensory constituents of the stimuli are weak. It is one of the basic principles underlying multisensory processing of spatiotemporally corresponding crossmodal stimuli that are well established at behavioral as well as neural levels. It is not yet clear, however, how modality-specific stimulus features influence discrimination of subtle changes in a crossmodally corresponding feature belonging to another modality. Here, we tested the hypothesis that reliance on visual cues to pitch discrimination follow the PoIE at the interindividual level (i.e., varies with varying levels of auditory-only pitch discrimination abilities). Using an oddball pitch discrimination task, we measured the effect of varying visually perceived vertical position in participants exhibiting a wide range of pitch discrimination abilities (i.e., musicians and nonmusicians). Visual cues significantly enhanced pitch discrimination as measured by the sensitivity index d', and more so in the crossmodally congruent than incongruent condition. The magnitude of gain caused by compatible visual cues was associated with individual pitch discrimination thresholds, as predicted by the PoIE. This was not the case for the magnitude of the congruence effect, which was unrelated to individual pitch discrimination thresholds, indicating that the pitch-height association is robust to variations in auditory skills. Our findings shed light on individual differences in multisensory processing by suggesting that relevant multisensory information that crucially aids some perceivers' performance may be of less importance to others, depending on their unisensory abilities.

  18. Decisions to shoot in a weapon identification task: The influence of cultural stereotypes and perceived threat on false positive errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Kevin K; Bandy, Carole L; Kimble, Matthew O

    2010-01-01

    The decision to shoot a gun engages executive control processes that can be biased by cultural stereotypes and perceived threat. The neural locus of the decision to shoot is likely to be found in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), where cognition and affect converge. Male military cadets at Norwich University (N=37) performed a weapon identification task in which they made rapid decisions to shoot when images of guns appeared briefly on a computer screen. Reaction times, error rates, and electroencephalogram (EEG) activity were recorded. Cadets reacted more quickly and accurately when guns were primed by images of Middle-Eastern males wearing traditional clothing. However, cadets also made more false positive errors when tools were primed by these images. Error-related negativity (ERN) was measured for each response. Deeper ERNs were found in the medial-frontal cortex following false positive responses. Cadets who made fewer errors also produced deeper ERNs, indicating stronger executive control. Pupil size was used to measure autonomic arousal related to perceived threat. Images of Middle-Eastern males in traditional clothing produced larger pupil sizes. An image of Osama bin Laden induced the largest pupil size, as would be predicted for the exemplar of Middle East terrorism. Cadets who showed greater increases in pupil size also made more false positive errors. Regression analyses were performed to evaluate predictions based on current models of perceived threat, stereotype activation, and cognitive control. Measures of pupil size (perceived threat) and ERN (cognitive control) explained significant proportions of the variance in false positive errors to Middle-Eastern males in traditional clothing, while measures of reaction time, signal detection response bias, and stimulus discriminability explained most of the remaining variance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Tang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  1. [Comment on] Statistical discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinn, Douglas

    In the December 8, 1981, issue of Eos, a news item reported the conclusion of a National Research Council study that sexual discrimination against women with Ph.D.'s exists in the field of geophysics. Basically, the item reported that even when allowances are made for motherhood the percentage of female Ph.D.'s holding high university and corporate positions is significantly lower than the percentage of male Ph.D.'s holding the same types of positions. The sexual discrimination conclusion, based only on these statistics, assumes that there are no basic psychological differences between men and women that might cause different populations in the employment group studied. Therefore, the reasoning goes, after taking into account possible effects from differences related to anatomy, such as women stopping their careers in order to bear and raise children, the statistical distributions of positions held by male and female Ph.D.'s ought to be very similar to one another. Any significant differences between the distributions must be caused primarily by sexual discrimination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Neuronal discrimination capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Yingchun; Williams, Peter; Feng Jianfeng; Liu Feng

    2003-01-01

    We explore neuronal mechanisms of discriminating between masked signals. It is found that when the correlation between input signals is zero, the output signals are separable if and only if input signals are separable. With positively (negatively) correlated signals, the output signals are separable (mixed) even when input signals are mixed (separable). Exact values of discrimination capacity are obtained for two most interesting cases: the exactly balanced inhibitory and excitatory input case and the uncorrelated input case. Interestingly, the discrimination capacity obtained in these cases is independent of model parameters, input distribution and is universal. Our results also suggest a functional role of inhibitory inputs and correlated inputs or, more generally, the large variability of efferent spike trains observed in in vivo experiments: the larger the variability of efferent spike trains, the easier it is to discriminate between masked input signals

  6. Neuronal discrimination capacity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deng Yingchun [Department of Mathematics, Hunan Normal University 410081, Changsha (China); COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Williams, Peter; Feng Jianfeng [COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Liu Feng [COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Physics Department, Nanjing University (China)

    2003-12-19

    We explore neuronal mechanisms of discriminating between masked signals. It is found that when the correlation between input signals is zero, the output signals are separable if and only if input signals are separable. With positively (negatively) correlated signals, the output signals are separable (mixed) even when input signals are mixed (separable). Exact values of discrimination capacity are obtained for two most interesting cases: the exactly balanced inhibitory and excitatory input case and the uncorrelated input case. Interestingly, the discrimination capacity obtained in these cases is independent of model parameters, input distribution and is universal. Our results also suggest a functional role of inhibitory inputs and correlated inputs or, more generally, the large variability of efferent spike trains observed in in vivo experiments: the larger the variability of efferent spike trains, the easier it is to discriminate between masked input signals.

  7. Decreased response inhibition to sad faces during explicit and implicit tasks in females with depression: Evidence from an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Fengqiong; Zhou, Xiaoqing; Qing, Wu; Li, Dan; Li, Jing; Chen, Xingui; Ji, Gongjun; Dong, Yi; Luo, Yuejia; Zhu, Chunyan; Wang, Kai

    2017-01-30

    The present study aimed to investigate neural substrates of response inhibition to sad faces across explicit and implicit tasks in depressed female patients. Event-related potentials were obtained while participants performed modified explicit and implicit emotional go/no-go tasks. Compared to controls, depressed patients showed decreased discrimination accuracy and amplitudes of original and nogo-go difference waves at the P3 interval in response inhibition to sad faces during explicit and implicit tasks. P3 difference wave were positively correlated with discrimination accuracy and were independent of clinical assessment. The activation of right dorsal prefrontal cortex was larger for the implicit than for the explicit task in sad condition in health controls, but was similar for the two tasks in depressed patients. The present study indicated that selectively impairment in response inhibition to sad faces in depressed female patients occurred at the behavior inhibition stage across implicit and explicit tasks and may be a trait-like marker of depression. Longitudinal studies are required to determine whether decreased response inhibition to sad faces increases the risk for future depressive episodes so that appropriate treatment can be administered to patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Contextual Advantage for State Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, David; Spekkens, Robert W.

    2018-02-01

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

  9. Contextual Advantage for State Discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Schmid

    2018-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J

    2011-08-01

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

  12. Braille character discrimination in blindfolded human subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-04-16

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

  13. A Paradigm to Assess Implicit Attitudes towards God: The Positive/Negative God Associations Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirutinsky, Steven; Carp, Sean; Rosmarin, David H

    2017-02-01

    Psychological research on the relationship between spirituality/religion and mental health has grown considerably over the past several decades and now constitutes a sizable body of scholarship. Among dimensions of S/R, positive beliefs about God have been significantly related to better mental health outcomes, and conversely negative beliefs about God are generally associated with more distress. However, prior research on this topic has relied heavily upon self-report Likert-type scales, which are vulnerable to self-report biases and measure only explicit cognitive processes. In this study, we developed and validated an implicit social cognition task, the Positive/Negative God Go/No-go Association Task (PNG-GNAT), for use in psychological research on spirituality and religion (S/R). Preliminary evidence in a large sample (N = 381) suggests that the PNG-GNAT demonstrates internal consistency, test-retest and split-half reliability, and concurrent evidence of validity. Further, our results suggest that PNG-GNAT scores represent different underlying dimensions of S/R than explicit self-report measures, and incrementally predict mental health above and beyond self-report assessment. The PNG-GNAT appears to be an effective tool for measuring implicit positive/negative beliefs about God.

  14. Body position-dependent shift in odor percept present only for perithreshold odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundström, Johan N; Boyle, Julie A; Jones-Gotman, Marilyn

    2008-01-01

    We recently demonstrated that a supine position causes a decrease in olfactory sensitivity compared with an upright position. We pursued that initial finding in 3 separate experiments in which we explored the extent of, and mechanism underlying, this phenomenon. In Experiment 1, we replicated the decrease in olfactory sensitivity when in a supine compared with an upright position. In Experiment 2, we measured body position-dependent shifts in physiological variables and sniff measures while smelling suprathreshold odorants and performing a perithreshold odor intensity discrimination task. Olfactory performances were reduced while supine. However, no relationships between the shift in olfactory performances and either the physiological variables or sniff measures were found. In Experiment 3, we determined that there were no position-dependent shifts in ability to discriminate or identify suprathreshold odors or rate them for pleasantness, intensity, or familiarity. However, a drop in scores was observed, and performance was slowed, on a cognitive skill while supine. These results demonstrate a body position-dependent shift in olfactory sensitivity only for perithreshold odors that appears to be mediated by cognitive rather than physiological factors. Implications for olfactory imaging studies are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Binocular contrast discrimination needs monocular multiplicative noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jian; Levi, Dennis M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca ePerini

    2014-08-01

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

  19. Parallel effects of processing fluency and positive affect on familiarity-based recognition decisions for faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devin eDuke

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available According to attribution models of familiarity assessment, people can use a heuristic in recognition-memory decisions, in which they attribute the subjective ease of processing of a memory probe to a prior encounter with the stimulus in question. Research in social cognition suggests that experienced positive affect may be the proximal cue that signals fluency in various experimental contexts. In the present study, we compared the effects of positive affect and fluency on recognition-memory judgments for faces with neutral emotional expression. We predicted that if positive affect is indeed the critical cue that signals processing fluency at retrieval, then its manipulation should produce effects that closely mirror those produced by manipulations of processing fluency. In two experiments, we employed a masked-priming procedure in combination with a Remember-Know paradigm that aimed to separate familiarity- from recollection-based memory decisions. In addition, participants performed a prime-discrimination task that allowed us to take inter-individual differences in prime awareness into account. We found highly similar effects of our priming manipulations of processing fluency and of positive affect. In both cases, the critical effect was specific to familiarity-based recognition responses. Moreover, in both experiments it was reflected in a shift towards a more liberal response bias, rather than in changed discrimination. Finally, in both experiments, the effect was found to be related to prime awareness; it was present only in participants who reported a lack of such awareness on the prime-discrimination task. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that points not only to a role of fluency, but also of positive affect in familiarity assessment. As such they are consistent with the idea that fluency itself may be hedonically marked.

  20. Parallel effects of processing fluency and positive affect on familiarity-based recognition decisions for faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Devin; Fiacconi, Chris M; Köhler, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    According to attribution models of familiarity assessment, people can use a heuristic in recognition-memory decisions, in which they attribute the subjective ease of processing of a memory probe to a prior encounter with the stimulus in question. Research in social cognition suggests that experienced positive affect may be the proximal cue that signals fluency in various experimental contexts. In the present study, we compared the effects of positive affect and fluency on recognition-memory judgments for faces with neutral emotional expression. We predicted that if positive affect is indeed the critical cue that signals processing fluency at retrieval, then its manipulation should produce effects that closely mirror those produced by manipulations of processing fluency. In two experiments, we employed a masked-priming procedure in combination with a Remember-Know (RK) paradigm that aimed to separate familiarity- from recollection-based memory decisions. In addition, participants performed a prime-discrimination task that allowed us to take inter-individual differences in prime awareness into account. We found highly similar effects of our priming manipulations of processing fluency and of positive affect. In both cases, the critical effect was specific to familiarity-based recognition responses. Moreover, in both experiments it was reflected in a shift toward a more liberal response bias, rather than in changed discrimination. Finally, in both experiments, the effect was found to be related to prime awareness; it was present only in participants who reported a lack of such awareness on the prime-discrimination task. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that points not only to a role of fluency, but also of positive affect in familiarity assessment. As such they are consistent with the idea that fluency itself may be hedonically marked.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  2. The effect of emotional content on brain activation and the late positive potential in a word n-back task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Kopf

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: There is mounting evidence for the influence of emotional content on working memory performance. This is particularly important in light of the emotion processing that needs to take place when emotional content interferes with executive functions. In this study, we used emotional words of different valence but with similar arousal levels in an n-back task. METHODS: We examined the effects on activation in the prefrontal cortex by means of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS and on the late positive potential (LPP. FNIRS and LPP data were examined in 30 healthy subjects. RESULTS: BEHAVIORAL RESULTS SHOW AN INFLUENCE OF VALENCE ON THE ERROR RATE DEPENDING ON THE DIFFICULTY OF THE TASK: more errors were made when the valence was negative and the task difficult. Brain activation was dependent both on the difficulty of the task and on the valence: negative valence of a word diminished the increase in activation, whereas positive valence did not influence the increase in activation, while difficulty levels increased. The LPP also differentiated between the different valences, and in addition was influenced by the task difficulty, the more difficult the task, the less differentiation could be observed. CONCLUSIONS: Summarized, this study shows the influence of valence on a verbal working memory task. When a word contained a negative valence, the emotional content seemed to take precedence in contrast to words containing a positive valence. Working memory and emotion processing sites seemed to overlap and compete for resources even when words are carriers of the emotional content.

  3. Serial position learning in honeybees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randolf Menzel

    Full Text Available Learning of stimulus sequences is considered as a characteristic feature of episodic memory since it contains not only a particular item but also the experience of preceding and following events. In sensorimotor tasks resembling navigational performance, the serial order of objects is intimately connected with spatial order. Mammals and birds develop episodic(-like memory in serial spatio-temporal tasks, and the honeybee learns spatio-temporal order when navigating between the nest and a food source. Here I examine the structure of the bees' memory for a combined spatio-temporal task. I ask whether discrimination and generalization are based solely on simple forms of stimulus-reward learning or whether they require sequential configurations. Animals were trained to fly either left or right in a continuous T-maze. The correct choice was signaled by the sequence of colors (blue, yellow at four positions in the access arm. If only one of the possible 4 signals is shown (either blue or yellow, the rank order of position salience is 1, 2 and 3 (numbered from T-junction. No learning is found if the signal appears at position 4. If two signals are shown, differences at positions 1 and 2 are learned best, those at position 3 at a low level, and those at position 4 not at all. If three or more signals are shown these results are corroborated. This salience rank order again appeared in transfer tests, but additional configural phenomena emerged. Most of the results can be explained with a simple model based on the assumption that the four positions are equipped with different salience scores and that these add up independently. However, deviations from the model are interpreted by assuming stimulus configuration of sequential patterns. It is concluded that, under the conditions chosen, bees rely most strongly on memories developed during simple forms of associative reward learning, but memories of configural serial patterns contribute, too.

  4. Quantum state discrimination and its applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bae, Joonwoo; Kwek, Leong-Chuan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tremblay François

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giurfa, Martin

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Kazunari; Sekiguchi, Takahiro; Hayashi, Akiko

    2010-03-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A J Qadri

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Michael E; Wasserman, Edward A

    2002-11-01

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

  12. Place of birth effects on self-reported discrimination: Variations by type of discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brondolo, Elizabeth; Rahim, Reanne; Grimaldi, Stephanie; Ashraf, Amina; Bui, Nini; Schwartz, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    Researchers have suggested that perceptions of discrimination may vary depending on place of birth and the length of time spent living in the U.S., variables related to acculturation. However, the existing literature provides a mixed picture, with data suggesting that the effects of acculturation on perceptions of discrimination vary by race and other sociodemographic factors. This study evaluated the role of place of birth (POB: defined as U.S.-born vs. foreign-born), age at immigration, and length of residence in the U.S. on self-reported discrimination in a sample of urban-dwelling Asian and Black adults (n= 1454). Analyses examined POB effects on different types of discrimination including race-related stigmatization, exclusion, threat, and workplace discrimination. Sociodemographic variables (including age, gender, employment status and education level) were tested as potential moderators of the relationship between POB and discrimination. The results revealed a significant main effect for POB on discrimination, with U.S.-born individuals reporting significantly more discrimination than foreign-born individuals, although the effect was reduced when sociodemographic variables were controlled. Across the sample, POB effects were seen only for race-related stigmatization and exclusion, not for threat and workplace discrimination. With the exception of limited effects for gender, sociodemographic variables did not moderate these effects. Younger age at immigration and greater years of residence in the U.S. were also positively associated with higher levels of perceived discrimination. These findings suggest increasing acculturation may shape the experience and perception of racial and ethnic discrimination.

  13. Place of birth effects on self-reported discrimination: Variations by type of discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brondolo, Elizabeth; Rahim, Reanne; Grimaldi, Stephanie; Ashraf, Amina; Bui, Nini; Schwartz, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have suggested that perceptions of discrimination may vary depending on place of birth and the length of time spent living in the U.S., variables related to acculturation. However, the existing literature provides a mixed picture, with data suggesting that the effects of acculturation on perceptions of discrimination vary by race and other sociodemographic factors. This study evaluated the role of place of birth (POB: defined as U.S.-born vs. foreign-born), age at immigration, and length of residence in the U.S. on self-reported discrimination in a sample of urban-dwelling Asian and Black adults (n= 1454). Analyses examined POB effects on different types of discrimination including race-related stigmatization, exclusion, threat, and workplace discrimination. Sociodemographic variables (including age, gender, employment status and education level) were tested as potential moderators of the relationship between POB and discrimination. The results revealed a significant main effect for POB on discrimination, with U.S.-born individuals reporting significantly more discrimination than foreign-born individuals, although the effect was reduced when sociodemographic variables were controlled. Across the sample, POB effects were seen only for race-related stigmatization and exclusion, not for threat and workplace discrimination. With the exception of limited effects for gender, sociodemographic variables did not moderate these effects. Younger age at immigration and greater years of residence in the U.S. were also positively associated with higher levels of perceived discrimination. These findings suggest increasing acculturation may shape the experience and perception of racial and ethnic discrimination. PMID:27647943

  14. Method and apparatus for sub-hysteresis discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Geronimo, Gianluigi

    2015-12-29

    Embodiments of comparator circuits are disclosed. A comparator circuit may include a differential input circuit, an output circuit, a positive feedback circuit operably coupled between the differential input circuit and the output circuit, and a hysteresis control circuit operably coupled with the positive feedback circuit. The hysteresis control circuit includes a switching device and a transistor. The comparator circuit provides sub-hysteresis discrimination and high speed discrimination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-09

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

  17. Gender Discrimination and Growth: Theory and Evidence from India

    OpenAIRE

    Berta Esteve-Volart

    2004-01-01

    Gender inequality is an acute and persistent problem, especially in developing countries. This paper argues that gender discrimination is an inefficient practice. We model gender discrimination as the complete exclusion of females from the labor market or as the exclusion of females from managerial positions. The distortions in the allocation of talent between managerial and unskilled positions, and in human capital investment, are analyzed. It is found that both types of discrimination lower...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, Pamela; Ludlow, Amanda; Roberson, Debi

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Colour discrimination and categorisation in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  20. Testing for Statistical Discrimination based on Gender

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lesner, Rune Vammen

    . It is shown that the implications of both screening discrimination and stereotyping are consistent with observable wage dynamics. In addition, it is found that the gender wage gap decreases in tenure but increases in job transitions and that the fraction of women in high-ranking positions within a firm does......This paper develops a model which incorporates the two most commonly cited strands of the literature on statistical discrimination, namely screening discrimination and stereotyping. The model is used to provide empirical evidence of statistical discrimination based on gender in the labour market...... not affect the level of statistical discrimination by gender....

  1. Obesity discrimination: the role of physical appearance, personal ideology, and anti-fat prejudice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, K S; Latner, J D; Ebneter, D; Hunter, J A

    2013-03-01

    Self-report measures of anti-fat prejudice are regularly used by the field, however, there is no research showing a relationship between explicit measures of anti-fat prejudice and the behavioral manifestation of them; obesity discrimination. The present study examined whether a recently developed measure of anti-fat prejudice, the universal measure of bias (UMB), along with other correlates of prejudicial attitudes and beliefs (that is, authoritarianism, social dominance orientation; SDO, physical appearance investment) predict obesity discrimination. Under the guise of a personnel selection task, participants (n=102) gave assessments of obese and non-obese females applying for a managerial position across a number of selection criteria (for example, starting salary, likelihood of selecting). Participants viewed resumes that had attached either a photo of a pre-bariatric surgery obese female (body mass index (BMI)=38-41) or a photo of the same female post-bariatric surgery (BMI=22-24). Participants also completed measures of anti-fat prejudice (UMB) authoritarianism, SDO, physical appearance evaluation and orientation. Obesity discrimination was displayed across all selection criteria. Higher UMB subscale scores (distance and negative judgement), authoritarianism, physical appearance evaluation and orientation were associated with greater obesity discrimination. In regression models, UMB 'distance' was a predictor of obesity discrimination for perceived leadership potential, starting salary, and overall employability. UMB 'negative judgement' predicted discrimination for starting salary; and authoritarianism predicted likelihood of selecting an obese applicant and candidate ranking. Finally, physical appearance evaluation and appearance orientation predicted obesity discrimination for predicted career success and leadership potential, respectively. Self-report measures of prejudice act as surrogates for discrimination, but there has been no empirical support for

  2. Hybrid Force and Position Control Strategy of Robonaut Performing Object Transfer Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Gang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a coordinated hybrid force/position control strategy of robonaut performing object transfer operation. Firstly, the constraint relationships between robonaut and object are presented. Base on them, the unified dynamic model of the robonaut and object is established to design the hybrid force/position control method. The movement, the internal force and the external constraint force of the object are considered as the control targets of the control system. Finally, a MATLAB simulation of the robonaut performing object transfer task verifies the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed method. The results show that all the targets can be control accurately by using the method proposed in this paper. The presented control method can control both internal and external forces while maintaining control accuracy, which is a common control strategy.

  3. Education: Woman Chemist Wins Discrimination Case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worthy, Ward

    1980-01-01

    Reports a recent award of compensatory damages to a woman chemistry professor who was denied a tenure-track faculty position in 1971. She filed a complaint with the university's ad hoc committee on discrimination, believing she had been discriminated against because of her sex and possibly her national origin. (CS)

  4. Pigeons' Discrimination of Michotte's Launching Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Position Paper: Moving Task-Based Language Teaching Forward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Rod

    2017-01-01

    The advocacy of task-based language teaching (TBLT) has met with resistance. The critiques of TBLT and the misconceptions that underlie them have already been addressed in Ellis (2009) and Long (2016). The purpose of this article is to move forward by examining a number of real problems that TBLT faces--such as how a "task" should be…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beate Sabisch

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongxia Zhang

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itier, Roxane J; Neath-Tavares, Karly N

    2017-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodorescu, Kinneret; Bouchigny, Sylvain; Korman, Maria

    2013-08-01

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

  11. Discriminant analysis of functional optical topography for schizophrenia diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Narrowing down the conditions for extinction of Pavlovian feature-positive discriminations in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Vooren, Priya R; Franssen, Mathijs; Beckers, Tom; Hermans, Dirk; Baeyens, Frank

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this study was to delineate the minimal conditions for extinction of Pavlovian modulation in humans. Previous experiments at our lab showed that, after X-- A+/A- acquisition training, X- trials did not extinguish differential X-- A+/A- responding, while X-- A- trials did. Additionally, X-- A- extinction training seemed only to extinguish differential X-- A+/A- responding, while leaving differential responding on a concurrently trained Y [Symbol: see text] B+/B- discrimination intact. It thus seemed that the X-- A+/A- discrimination can only be extinguished by X-- A- extinction trials. (Rescorla, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 12, 16-24, 1986), on the other hand, found that the minimal conditions for extinction were broader in pigeons: Namely, he found that an acquired X-- A+/A- discrimination could be extinguished by presenting the original feature X in combination with a different target (B) that was minimally trained as an exciter. We thus wanted to examine whether this was also the case in humans. We found that nonreinforced X-- B- presentations did not abolish discriminative X-- A/A responding when target B was a nonreinforced stimulus. Nonreinforced X-- B- trials did extinguish the X-- A+/A- discrimination when target B had previously been trained as a target for modulation (X-- B+/B- or Y [Symbol: see text] B+/B- training) or as a reinforced exciter (B+). Our results thusf parallel and extend those in nonhuman animals (Rescorla, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 12, 16-24, 1986).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Netkova, Bistra

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Genomic ancestry and the social pathways leading to major depression in adulthood: the mediating effect of socioeconomic position and discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loret de Mola, Christian; Hartwig, Fernando Pires; Gonçalves, Helen; Quevedo, Luciana de Avila; Pinheiro, Ricardo; Gigante, Denise Petrucci; Motta, Janaína Vieira Dos Santos; Pereira, Alexandre C; Barros, Fernando C; Horta, Bernardo Lessa

    2016-09-05

    Evidence suggests that there is an association between ethnicity/skin color and depression; however, many contextual and individual variables, like sense of discrimination and socioeconomic position (SEP), might influence the direction of this association. We assessed the association between African ancestry and major depression among young adults that have been followed-up since birth in a Southern Brazilian city, and the mediating effect of SEP and discrimination. In 1982, all hospital deliveries in Pelotas (Southern Brazil) were identified; liveborns were examined and their mothers interviewed (n = 5914). In 2012-13, at 30 years of age, we used the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) for major depression diagnosis. In addition, DNA samples were genotyped for approximately 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using Illumina (CA, USA) HumanOmni2.5-8v1 array. Genomic ancestry estimation was based on approximately 370 000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mutually available for the Pelotas cohort and selected samples (used as reference panels) of the HapMap and Human Genome Diversity (HGDP). We estimated prevalence ratios (PR) using Poisson regression models and evaluated the association between percentage of African ancestry and major depression. We used G-computation for mediation analysis. At 30 years, 3576 individuals were evaluated for major depression (prevalence = 7.9 %). Only individuals in the highest SEP, who had a percentage of African ancestry between >5-30 % and >30 % had a prevalence of major depression 2.16 (PR = 2.16 95 % CI [1.05-4.45]) and 2.74 (PR = 2.74 95 % CI [1.06-7.06]) times higher, than those with 5 % or less, respectively. Among these subjects, sense of discrimination by skin color, captured 84 % of the association between African ancestry and major depression. SEP is an important effect modifier of the positive association between African ancestry and major depression. In addition

  17. Individualized tracking of self-directed motor learning in group-housed mice performing a skilled lever positioning task in the home cage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silasi, Gergely; Boyd, Jamie D; Bolanos, Federico; LeDue, Jeff M; Scott, Stephen H; Murphy, Timothy H

    2018-01-01

    Skilled forelimb function in mice is traditionally studied through behavioral paradigms that require extensive training by investigators and are limited by the number of trials individual animals are able to perform within a supervised session. We developed a skilled lever positioning task that mice can perform within their home cage. The task requires mice to use their forelimb to precisely hold a lever mounted on a rotary encoder within a rewarded position to dispense a water reward. A Raspberry Pi microcomputer is used to record lever position during trials and to control task parameters, thus making this low-footprint apparatus ideal for use within animal housing facilities. Custom Python software automatically increments task difficulty by requiring a longer hold duration, or a more accurate hold position, to dispense a reward. The performance of individual animals within group-housed mice is tracked through radio-frequency identification implants, and data stored on the microcomputer may be accessed remotely through an active internet connection. Mice continuously engage in the task for over 2.5 mo and perform ~500 trials/24 h. Mice required ~15,000 trials to learn to hold the lever within a 10° range for 1.5 s and were able to further refine movement accuracy by limiting their error to a 5° range within each trial. These results demonstrate the feasibility of autonomously training group-housed mice on a forelimb motor task. This paradigm may be used in the future to assess functional recovery after injury or cortical reorganization induced by self-directed motor learning. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We developed a low-cost system for fully autonomous training of group-housed mice on a forelimb motor task. We demonstrate the feasibility of tracking both end-point, as well as kinematic performance of individual mice, with each performing thousands of trials over 2.5 mo. The task is run and controlled by a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, which allows for cages to be

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-08-12

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

  19. Stimulus properties of nicotine, amphetamine, and chlordiazepoxide as positive features in a pavlovian appetitive discrimination task in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmatier, Matthew I; Wilkinson, Jamie L; Metschke, Dawn M; Bevins, Rick A

    2005-04-01

    Recent experiments from our laboratory have demonstrated that drug states can signal when environmental cues will be followed by rewarding outcomes (ie Pavlovian conditioning). However, little is known about the generality of this approach and whether it can be used for studying the pharmacological properties of drug states. Accordingly, the present experiments tested the pharmacological specificity of nicotine (0.4 mg/kg), amphetamine (1 mg/kg), and chlordiazepoxide (CDP, 5 mg/kg) in this Pavlovian drug discrimination procedure. Following drug administration, presentation of a conditional stimulus (CS) was followed by brief access to sucrose. When saline was administered, the same CS was presented but sucrose was withheld. In substitution tests, rats in each condition received varying doses of all training drugs and caffeine. Anticipatory food seeking developed during the CS on drug sessions but not on saline sessions for all drug features (ie drug state-specific conditional response (CR)). In generalization tests, this CR decreased as a function of decreases in the training dose. Median effective doses (ED50s) were calculated for nicotine (0.054 mg/kg), amphetamine (0.26 mg/kg), and CDP (2.48 mg/kg). No compound tested substituted for the CDP training drug. Partial substitution was evident between nicotine and amphetamine; CDP did not substitute for either of these drug features. Caffeine fully substituted for nicotine (ED50 = 15.45 mg/kg) and amphetamine (ED50 = 3.70 mg/kg), but not for CDP. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that drug states can occasion appetitive Pavlovian CRs in a pharmacologically specific manner.

  20. Group social rank is associated with performance on a spatial learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, Ellis J G; van Horik, Jayden O; Whiteside, Mark A; Madden, Joah R

    2018-02-01

    Dominant individuals differ from subordinates in their performances on cognitive tasks across a suite of taxa. Previous studies often only consider dyadic relationships, rather than the more ecologically relevant social hierarchies or networks, hence failing to account for how dyadic relationships may be adjusted within larger social groups. We used a novel statistical method: randomized Elo-ratings, to infer the social hierarchy of 18 male pheasants, Phasianus colchicus , while in a captive, mixed-sex group with a linear hierarchy. We assayed individual learning performance of these males on a binary spatial discrimination task to investigate whether inter-individual variation in performance is associated with group social rank. Task performance improved with increasing trial number and was positively related to social rank, with higher ranking males showing greater levels of success. Motivation to participate in the task was not related to social rank or task performance, thus indicating that these rank-related differences are not a consequence of differences in motivation to complete the task. Our results provide important information about how variation in cognitive performance relates to an individual's social rank within a group. Whether the social environment causes differences in learning performance or instead, inherent differences in learning ability predetermine rank remains to be tested.

  1. Impact of the "Like Minds, Like Mine" anti-stigma and discrimination campaign in New Zealand on anticipated and experienced discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornicroft, Calum; Wyllie, Allan; Thornicroft, Graham; Mehta, Nisha

    2014-04-01

    The "Like Minds, Like Mine" anti-stigma and discrimination programme has been running in New Zealand since 1997. We aimed to investigate the nature and degree of anticipated and experienced discrimination reported by people with mental illness, and their views on whether the campaign was contributing to reductions in stigma and discrimination. Questionnaires were sent to randomly selected people who were representative of those who had recently used mental health services in New Zealand. The measure used was the modified Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC-12), adding questions on the effect of "Like Minds, Like Mine", and also assessing overall changes in discrimination in the previous 5 years. A total of 1135 participants completed the questionnaire. This included 225 Ma-ori, 196 Pacific, and 152 Asian persons. Over half of all participants reported improvement in discrimination over the previous 5 years, and 48% thought that the "Like Minds Like Mine" programme had assisted in reducing discrimination "moderately" or "a lot". Nevertheless, a clear majority (89%) reported experiencing at least "a little" unfair treatment in the previous 12 months due to their mental health problems. The primary source of both positive and negative discrimination was the family. Many (57%) participants had concealed or hidden their mental health problems from others, and 33% had stopped themselves from applying for work because they anticipated discrimination. Family, friendship, and social life were the most common areas of discrimination reported by the participants; however, many believed the overall level of discrimination had reduced over the previous 5 years. Overall, these results characterize the nature of stigma and discrimination anticipated and experienced by people with mental health problems and indicate modest but clear and positive recent progress in their reduction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Positive is usually good, negative is not always bad: The effects of group affect on social integration and task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Andrew P; Eisenkraft, Noah

    2015-07-01

    Grounded in a social functional perspective, this article examines the conditions under which group affect influences group functioning. Using meta-analysis, the authors leverage heterogeneity across 39 independent studies of 2,799 groups to understand how contextual factors-group affect source (exogenous or endogenous to the group) and group life span (one-shot or ongoing)-moderate the influence of shared feelings on social integration and task performance. As predicted, results indicate that group positive affect has consistent positive effects on social integration and task performance regardless of contextual idiosyncrasies. The effects of group negative affect, on the other hand, are context-dependent. Shared negative feelings promote social integration and task performance when stemming from an exogenous source or experienced in a 1-shot group, but undermine social integration and task performance when stemming from an endogenous source or experienced in an ongoing group. The authors discuss implications of their findings and highlight directions for future theory and research on group affect. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Effect of position feedback during task-oriented upper-limb training after stroke: Five-case pilot study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molier, B.I.; Prange, Grada Berendina; Krabben, T.; Stienen, Arno; van der Kooij, Herman; Buurke, Jaap; Jannink, M.J.A.; Hermens, Hermanus J.

    2011-01-01

    Feedback is an important element in motor learning during rehabilitation therapy following stroke. The objective of this pilot study was to better understand the effect of position feedback during task-oriented reach training of the upper limb in people with chronic stroke. Five subjects

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Zaidao; Hou, Biao; Jiao, Licheng

    2017-05-03

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

  9. D1 and D2 Inhibitions of the Soleus H-Reflex Are Differentially Modulated during Plantarflexion Force and Position Tasks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Henrique Magalhães

    Full Text Available Presynaptic inhibition (PSI has been shown to modulate several neuronal pathways of functional relevance by selectively gating the connections between sensory inputs and spinal motoneurons, thereby regulating the contribution of the stretch reflex circuitry to the ongoing motor activity. In this study, we investigated whether a differential regulation of Ia afferent inflow by PSI may be associated with the performance of two types of plantarflexion sensoriomotor tasks. The subjects (in a seated position controlled either: 1 the force level exerted by the foot against a rigid restraint (force task, FT; or 2 the angular position of the ankle when sustaining inertial loads (position task, PT that required the same level of muscle activation observed in FT. Subjects were instructed to maintain their force/position at target levels set at ~10% of maximum isometric voluntary contraction for FT and 90° for PT, while visual feedback of the corresponding force/position signals were provided. Unconditioned H-reflexes (i.e. control reflexes and H-reflexes conditioned by electrical pulses applied to the common peroneal nerve with conditioning-to-test intervals of 21 ms and 100 ms (corresponding to D1 and D2 inhibitions, respectively were evoked in a random fashion. A significant main effect for the type of the motor task (FT vs PT (p = 0.005, η2p = 0.603 indicated that PTs were undertaken with lower levels of Ia PSI converging onto the soleus motoneuron pool. Additionally, a significant interaction between the type of inhibition (D1 vs D2 and the type of motor task (FT vs PT (p = 0.038, η2p = 0.395 indicated that D1 inhibition was associated with a significant reduction in PSI levels from TF to TP (p = 0.001, η2p = 0.731, whereas no significant difference between the tasks was observed for D2 inhibition (p = 0.078, η2p = 0.305. These results suggest that D1 and D2 inhibitions of the soleus H-reflex are differentially modulated during the performance of

  10. Positive bias is a defining characteristic of aging to the same extent as declining performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simón, Teresa; Suengas, Aurora G; Ruiz-Gallego-Largo, Trinidad; Bandrés, Javier

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze whether one of the supposed gains of aging--positive bias--discriminates between young and older participants to the same extent as some of the losses in cognitive performance--recall and source monitoring--that come with age. Two age groups (N = 120)--young (M = 22.08, SD = 3.30) and older (M = 72.78, SD = 6.57)--carried out three tasks with varying levels of difficulty that included recall, recognition, and source monitoring using pictures, faces, and personal descriptors exchanged in a conversation as stimuli. The results of the discriminant analysis performed on 20 dependent variables indicated that six of them were key in discriminating between young and older participants. Younger participants outperformed older participants in recalling pictures, and in recognizing the descriptors exchanged in a conversation, as well as in monitoring their source. Just as important in discriminating between the two groups were the ability to recognize previously seen pictures, the likability rating they produced, and the recognition of faces with positive expressions--all superior in older participants. Thus, variables related to a positive bias--likability ratings and recognition of positive expressions--characterize the differences as a function of age as well as variables related to cognitive performance, such as recall and source monitoring. In addition, the likability ratings evoked by both pictures and faces were also significantly higher in the older participants with better cognitive performance than in those who performed poorly. This effect was not present in younger participants. The results are interpreted within the framework of socioemotional selectivity theory as evidence for a positive bias in old age. The connection between a positive bias and the maintenance of cognitive performance is also discussed.

  11. The effects of CPAP treatment on task positive and default mode networks in obstructive sleep apnea patients: an fMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Prilipko

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies enable the investigation of neural correlates underlying behavioral performance. We investigate the effect of active and sham Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP treatment on working memory function of patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS considering Task Positive and Default Mode networks (TPN and DMN. METHODS: An experiment with 4 levels of visuospatial n-back task was used to investigate the pattern of cortical activation in 17 men with moderate or severe OSAS before and after 2 months of therapeutic (active or sub-therapeutic (sham CPAP treatment. RESULTS: Patients with untreated OSAS had significantly less deactivation in the temporal regions of the DMN as compared to healthy controls, but activation within TPN regions was comparatively relatively preserved. After 2 months of treatment, active and sham CPAP groups exhibited opposite trends of cerebral activation and deactivation. After treatment, the active CPAP group demonstrated an increase of cerebral activation in the TPN at all task levels and of task-related cerebral deactivation in the anterior midline and medial temporal regions of the DMN at the 3-back level, associated with a significant improvement of behavioral performance, whereas the sham CPAP group exhibited less deactivation in the temporal regions of Default Mode Network and less Task Positive Network activation associated to longer response times at the 3-back. CONCLUSION: OSAS has a significant negative impact primarily on task-related DMN deactivation, particularly in the medial temporal regions, possibly due to nocturnal hypoxemia, as well as TPN activation, particularly in the right ventral fronto-parietal network. After 2 months of active nasal CPAP treatment a positive response was noted in both TPN and DMN but without compete recovery of existing behavioral and neuronal deficits. Initiation of CPAP treatment early in the course of the

  12. Dissociable contributions of the orbitofrontal and infralimbic cortex to pavlovian autoshaping and discrimination reversal learning: further evidence for the functional heterogeneity of the rodent frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudasama, Y; Robbins, Trevor W

    2003-09-24

    To examine possible heterogeneity of function within the ventral regions of the rodent frontal cortex, the present study compared the effects of excitotoxic lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the infralimbic cortex (ILC) on pavlovian autoshaping and discrimination reversal learning. During the pavlovian autoshaping task, in which rats learn to approach a stimulus predictive of reward [conditional stimulus (CS+)], only the OFC group failed to acquire discriminated approach but was unimpaired when preoperatively trained. In the visual discrimination learning and reversal task, rats were initially required to discriminate a stimulus positively associated with reward. There was no effect of either OFC or ILC lesions on discrimination learning. When the stimulus-reward contingencies were reversed, both groups of animals committed more errors, but only the OFC-lesioned animals were unable to suppress the previously rewarded stimulus-reward association, committing more "stimulus perseverative" errors. In contrast, the ILC group showed a pattern of errors that was more attributable to "learning" than perseveration. These findings suggest two types of dissociation between the effects of OFC and ILC lesions: (1) OFC lesions impaired the learning processes implicated in pavlovian autoshaping but not instrumental simultaneous discrimination learning, whereas ILC lesions were unimpaired at autoshaping and their reversal learning deficit did not reflect perseveration, and (2) OFC lesions induced perseverative responding in reversal learning but did not disinhibit responses to pavlovian CS-. In contrast, the ILC lesion had no effect on response inhibitory control in either of these settings. The findings are discussed in the context of dissociable executive functions in ventral sectors of the rat prefrontal cortex.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eSalo

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christian; Schütz, Alexander C

    2017-06-01

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

  15. Identifying at-risk states beyond positive symptoms: a brief task assessing how neurocognitive impairments impact on misrepresentation of the social world through blunted emotional appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdos, Mariana; Simons, Claudia J P; Wichers, Marieke; Fernandez-Rivas, Aranzazu; Martinez-Azumendi, Oscar; Lataster, Tineke; Amer, Guillermo; Myin-Germeys, Inez; Gonzalez-Torres, Miguel Angel; van Os, Jim

    2011-10-01

    Neurocognitive impairments observed in psychotic disorder may impact on emotion recognition and theory of mind, resulting in altered understanding of the social world. Early intervention efforts would be served by further elucidation of this mechanism. Patients with a psychotic disorder (n=30) and a reference control group (n=310) were asked to offer emotional appraisals of images of social situations (EASS task). The degree to which case-control differences in appraisals were mediated by neurocognitive alterations was analyzed. The EASS task displayed convergent and discriminant validity. Compared to controls, patients displayed blunted emotional appraisal of social situations (B=0.52, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.74, Ppsychotic disorder may underlie misrepresentation of the social world, mediated by altered emotion recognition. A task assessing the social impact of cognitive alterations in clinical practice may be useful in detecting key alterations very early in the course of psychotic illness.

  16. Racial Discrimination and Psychological Wellbeing of Pregnant Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giurgescu, Carmen; Zenk, Shannon N; Engeland, Christopher G; Garfield, Lindsey; Templin, Thomas N

    African American women are more likely to be exposed to racial discrimination and to experience psychological distress compared with white women. Although studies have shown that social support is positively related to psychological wellbeing, little is known about the potential buffering effect of social support on the relationship between racial discrimination and psychological wellbeing of pregnant women. The purpose of this study was to determine if social support moderates effects of racial discrimination on psychological wellbeing among pregnant African American women. Using a cross-sectional design, 107 African American women between 15 and 26 weeks gestation from an urban university-based midwifery practice completed questionnaires. Women who reported more experiences of racial discrimination also reported lower levels of social support and psychological wellbeing (p discrimination have negative effects on psychological wellbeing of pregnant African American women regardless of their levels of social support. However, social support can reduce psychological distress and improve wellbeing of pregnant women. Therefore, nurses need to provide pregnant women with positive and supportive experiences that may improve their psychological wellbeing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. Neural correlates supporting sensory discrimination after left hemisphere stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borstad, Alexandra; Schmalbrock, Petra; Choi, Seongjin; Nichols-Larsen, Deborah S.

    2012-01-01

    Background Nearly half of stroke patients have impaired sensory discrimination, however, the neural structures that support post-stroke sensory function have not been described. Objectives 1) To evaluate the role of the primary somatosensory (S1) cortex in post-stroke sensory discrimination and 2) To determine the relationship between post-stroke sensory discrimination and structural integrity of the sensory component of the superior thalamic radiation (sSTR). Methods 10 healthy adults and 10 individuals with left hemisphere stroke participated. Stroke participants completed sensory discrimination testing. An fMRI was conducted during right, impaired hand sensory discrimination. Fractional anisotropy and volume of the sSTR were quantified using diffusion tensor tractography. Results Sensory discrimination was impaired in 60% of participants with left stroke. Peak activation in the left (S1) did not correlate with sensory discrimination ability, rather a more distributed pattern of activation was evident in post-stroke subjects with a positive correlation between peak activation in the parietal cortex and discrimination ability (r=.70, p=.023). The only brain region in which stroke participants had significantly different cortical activation than control participants was the precuneus. Region of interest analysis of the precuneus across stroke participants revealed a positive correlation between peak activation and sensory discrimination ability (r=.77, p=.008). The L/R ratio of sSTR fractional anisotropy also correlated with right hand sensory discrimination (r=.69, p=.027). Conclusions Precuneus cortex, distributed parietal lobe activity, and microstructure of the sSTR support sensory discrimination after left hemisphere stroke. PMID:22592076

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathee, Dheeraj; Cecotti, Hubert; Prasad, Girijesh

    2017-10-01

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

  1. Controlled Social Interaction Tasks to Measure Self-Perceptions: No Evidence of Positive Illusions in Boys with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuanyuan; Johnston, Charlotte

    2017-08-01

    Studies have suggested that children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) possess a Positive Illusory Bias (PIB) where they have higher self-perceptions of competence than more objective measures of their competence. However, recent research calls into question the primary methodology of these studies, that is, difference scores. This study investigated the PIB in boys with ADHD within the social domain using a novel methodology that refrains from using difference scores. Eighty-one 8- to 12-year-old boys with and without ADHD completed social interaction tasks where their actual social performance was made comparable, allowing for tests of between-group differences in self-perceptions that do not rely on difference scores. In addition, to examine whether clarity of social feedback moderates the presence of the PIB, the social tasks presented unclear, clear positive, or clear negative feedback. Boys rated how well they performed in each social interaction task, and these ratings were compared between ADHD and non-ADHD groups. Compared to the non-ADHD group, boys with ADHD did not show a PIB in their ratings of performance on the social tasks. There also was no moderation of boys' ratings by type of feedback received. In contrast, when the PIB was calculated using difference scores based on child and parent ratings of child competence, boys with ADHD showed a PIB compared to boys without ADHD. These findings call attention to the need to re-examine the phenomenon of the PIB using methodologies outside of difference scores.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M Baker

    2012-10-01

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

  3. The influence of discrimination and fairness on collective self-esteem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheepers, Daan; Spears, Russell; Manstead, Antony S R; Doosje, Bertjan

    2009-04-01

    This article examines the influence of discrimination and fairness on collective self-esteem. Whereas social identity theory's self-esteem hypothesis emphasizes that discrimination can enhance self-esteem, the authors contend that this self-esteem advantage will actually reverse when groups are primed with the idea of engaging in a fair intergroup competition. They measured (Study 1) and manipulated (Study 2) discrimination and fairness in real (Study 1) and minimal (Study 2) groups, after which they manipulated the presence of an intergroup competition in both studies. Collective self-esteem served as the main dependent measure. Results indicated that when an intergroup competition was present or impending, previously expressed fairness (or less discrimination) was positively related to self-esteem, whereas discrimination was positively related to collective self-esteem in the absence of an intergroup competition. Results are discussed in terms of social identity theory and the importance of the broader social context for examining the relationship between discrimination and self-esteem.

  4. Design and Implementation of an Ultrasonic Local Positioning System for Robot Guidance in a Heavy Liquid Metal Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De-Cock, Wouter; Kenis, Steven; Van-Roy, Ken; Verachtert, Lieven; Leroux, Paul

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, we describe a preliminary research towards the use of chirp coded spread spectrum techniques to implement a local positioning system to assist robot operators during manipulations and maintenance tasks in the future MYRRHA reactor. Preliminary test results in a simple experimental setup show promising results towards further developments of the system as the developed algorithms are able to discriminate between different transducers. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoaki eNakazono

    2015-06-01

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

  7. Age Discrimination Against Older Workers in the European Union

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth Drury

    1994-01-01

    This paper aims to define the concept of age discrimination, to illustrate examples of age discriminatory practices across the European Union, and to describe some positive public policy measures to combat age discrimination.It draws on the results of the first European-wide study of age discrimination against older workers.1 National experts from 11 Member States of the EU examined various forms of age discrimination in their own country. More detailed information is needed, particularly on ...

  8. Effects of harmonic roving on pitch discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Drug use Discrimination Predicts Formation of High-Risk Social Networks: Examining Social Pathways of Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Natalie D; Ford, Chandra; Rudolph, Abby; Kim, BoRin; Lewis, Crystal M

    2017-09-01

    Experiences of discrimination, or social marginalization and ostracism, may lead to the formation of social networks characterized by inequality. For example, those who experience discrimination may be more likely to develop drug use and sexual partnerships with others who are at increased risk for HIV compared to those without experiences of discrimination. This is critical as engaging in risk behaviors with others who are more likely to be HIV positive can increase one's risk of HIV. We used log-binomial regression models to examine the relationship between drug use, racial and incarceration discrimination with changes in the composition of one's risk network among 502 persons who use drugs. We examined both absolute and proportional changes with respect to sex partners, drug use partners, and injecting partners, after accounting for individual risk behaviors. At baseline, participants were predominately male (70%), black or Latino (91%), un-married (85%), and used crack (64%). Among those followed-up (67%), having experienced discrimination due to drug use was significantly related to increases in the absolute number of sex networks and drug networks over time. No types of discrimination were related to changes in the proportion of high-risk network members. Discrimination may increase one's risk of HIV acquisition by leading them to preferentially form risk relationships with higher-risk individuals, thereby perpetuating racial and ethnic inequities in HIV. Future social network studies and behavioral interventions should consider whether social discrimination plays a role in HIV transmission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehler, Tobias; Fiehler, Katja

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, I H

    1998-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Joel L; Cohen, Neal J

    2017-06-01

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

  16. Characterization and Discrimination of Gram-Positive Bacteria Using Raman Spectroscopy with the Aid of Principal Component Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alia Colniță

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Raman scattering and its particular effect, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS, are whole-organism fingerprinting spectroscopic techniques that gain more and more popularity in bacterial detection. In this work, two relevant Gram-positive bacteria species, Lactobacillus casei (L. casei and Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes were characterized based on their Raman and SERS spectral fingerprints. The SERS spectra were used to identify the biochemical structures of the bacterial cell wall. Two synthesis methods of the SERS-active nanomaterials were used and the recorded spectra were analyzed. L. casei and L. monocytogenes were successfully discriminated by applying Principal Component Analysis (PCA to their specific spectral data.

  17. How discriminating are discriminative instruments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hankins, Matthew

    2008-05-27

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

  18. How discriminating are discriminative instruments?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hankins Matthew

    2008-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Andrew Dunlop

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etaugh, Claire; Duits, Terri L.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  2. 300-MHz optical discriminator-counter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turko, B.; Lo, C.C.

    1981-07-01

    The prediction of future CO 2 content in the atmosphere is not completely credible because the oceanographers and terrestrial ecologists do not agree on the global CO 2 balance. Very precise measurements of O 2 /N 2 ratio using Raman scattering over a few years' period could provide important information and lead to the explanation of the disparity in the atmospheric CO 2 balance. An optical discriminator-counter has been developed to count closely spaced optical events in the few photon level. Simulated optical events as close as 2.5 ns apart had been positively detected by using selected photomultipliers and optimized discriminators. Testing of the optical discriminator-counter was done by using an electrical pulse pair spaced 3 ns apart and also by a similar optical pulse pair generated by fast light-emitting diode. The photomultiplier is capable of counting an average single photoelectron pulse frequency of 50 MHz and has a sensitive detecting area of 50 mm in diameter. The discriminator performance is discussed

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Cameron

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Mood states determine the degree of task shielding in dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwosta, Katharina; Hommel, Bernhard; Goschke, Thomas; Fischer, Rico

    2013-01-01

    Current models of multitasking assume that dual-task performance and the degree of multitasking are affected by cognitive control strategies. In particular, cognitive control is assumed to regulate the amount of shielding of the prioritised task from crosstalk from the secondary task. We investigated whether and how task shielding is influenced by mood states. Participants were exposed to two short film clips, one inducing high and one inducing low arousal, of either negative or positive content. Negative mood led to stronger shielding of the prioritised task (i.e., less crosstalk) than positive mood, irrespective of arousal. These findings support the assumption that emotional states determine the parameters of cognitive control and play an important role in regulating dual-task performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lixue; Chen, Kean

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Mike; Leclercq, Thomas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike Friedman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Mike; Leclercq, Thomas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniel, Shlomo; Aram, Dorit

    1998-01-01

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

  11. Fatigue does not conjointly alter postural and cognitive performance when standing in a shooting position under dual-task conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermejo, José Luis; García-Massó, Xavier; Paillard, Thierry; Noé, Frédéric

    2018-02-01

    This study investigated the effects of fatigue on balance control and cognitive performance in a standing shooting position. Nineteen soldiers were asked to stand while holding a rifle (single task - ST). They also had to perform this postural task while simultaneously completing a cognitive task (dual task - DT). Both the ST and DT were performed in pre- and post-fatigue conditions. In pre-fatigue, participants achieved better balance control in the DT than in the ST, thus suggesting that the increased cognitive activity associated with the DT improves balance control by shifting the attentional focus away from a highly automatised activity. In post-fatigue, balance control was degraded in both the ST and DT, while reaction time was enhanced in the first minutes following the fatiguing exercise without affecting the accuracy of response in the cognitive task, which highlights the relative independent effects of fatigue on balance control and cognitive performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  13. Investigating Antecedents of Task Commitment and Task Attraction in Service Learning Team Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Bryan S.; Manegold, Jennifer G.

    2018-01-01

    The authors investigated the antecedents of team task cohesiveness in service learning classroom environments. Focusing on task commitment and task attraction as key dependent variables representing cohesiveness, and task interdependence as the primary independent variable, the authors position three important task action phase processes as…

  14. Time-order errors and standard-position effects in duration discrimination: An experimental study and an analysis by the sensation-weighting model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellström, Åke; Rammsayer, Thomas H

    2015-10-01

    Studies have shown that the discriminability of successive time intervals depends on the presentation order of the standard (St) and the comparison (Co) stimuli. Also, this order affects the point of subjective equality. The first effect is here called the standard-position effect (SPE); the latter is known as the time-order error. In the present study, we investigated how these two effects vary across interval types and standard durations, using Hellström's sensation-weighting model to describe the results and relate them to stimulus comparison mechanisms. In Experiment 1, four modes of interval presentation were used, factorially combining interval type (filled, empty) and sensory modality (auditory, visual). For each mode, two presentation orders (St-Co, Co-St) and two standard durations (100 ms, 1,000 ms) were used; half of the participants received correctness feedback, and half of them did not. The interstimulus interval was 900 ms. The SPEs were negative (i.e., a smaller difference limen for St-Co than for Co-St), except for the filled-auditory and empty-visual 100-ms standards, for which a positive effect was obtained. In Experiment 2, duration discrimination was investigated for filled auditory intervals with four standards between 100 and 1,000 ms, an interstimulus interval of 900 ms, and no feedback. Standard duration interacted with presentation order, here yielding SPEs that were negative for standards of 100 and 1,000 ms, but positive for 215 and 464 ms. Our findings indicate that the SPE can be positive as well as negative, depending on the interval type and standard duration, reflecting the relative weighting of the stimulus information, as is described by the sensation-weighting model.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas K DeWind

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

  18. Reduced Chromatic Discrimination in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Labour Market Performance Effects of Discrimination and Loss of Skill

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Birthe; Waisman, Gisela

    We examine the impact of discrimination on labour market performance when workers are subject to a risk of losing skills during an unemployment experience. Within a search and matching framework, we show that both natives and immigrants are affected by discrimination. Discrimination in one sector...... has positive spill-overs, inducing employment to increase in the other sector and the effect on labour market performance therefore depends on whether discrimination is present in only one sector or in both sectors. Discrimination may induce workers to train more or less than natives after having lost...... their skills, dependent upon which sector there is discrimination. Net output tends to the be most negatively affected by discrimination among high-skilled workers....

  20. Discrimination, mental problems and social adaptation in young refugees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Montgomery, Edith; Foldspang, Anders

    2008-01-01

    a mean of 1.8 experiences of discrimination, and the prevalence of five indicators of positive social adaptation was 47–92%. Discrimination, mental problems and social adaptation were strongly mutually associated, without gender difference. Discrimination predicted internalizing behaviour. Improved...... but not externalizing behaviour. The direction of other pathways is ambiguous, suggesting a certain amount of recursive interaction between mental health, discrimination and social adaptation.......Background: Mental problems have been hypothesized to impede social adaptation and vice versa, and discrimination is assumed to interact with both. The available empirical documentation is, however, limited. The objective of this study is to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding...

  1. Pleural effusion adenosine deaminase: a candidate biomarker to discriminate between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections of the pleural space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruolin Li

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Delay in the treatment of pleural infection may contribute to its high mortality. In this retrospective study, we aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of pleural adenosine deaminase in discrimination between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections of the pleural space prior to selecting antibiotics. METHODS: A total of 76 patients were enrolled and grouped into subgroups according to Gram staining: 1 patients with Gram-negative bacterial infections, aged 53.2±18.6 years old, of whom 44.7% had empyemas and 2 patients with Gram-positive bacterial infections, aged 53.5±21.5 years old, of whom 63.1% had empyemas. The pleural effusion was sampled by thoracocentesis and then sent for adenosine deaminase testing, biochemical testing and microbiological culture. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the differences in adenosine deaminase levels between the groups. Correlations between adenosine deaminase and specified variables were also quantified using Spearman’s correlation coefficient. Moreover, receiver operator characteristic analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of pleural effusion adenosine deaminase. RESULTS: Mean pleural adenosine deaminase levels differed significantly between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections of the pleural space (191.8±32.1 U/L vs 81.0±16.9 U/L, p<0.01. The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve was 0.689 (95% confidence interval: 0.570, 0.792, p<0.01 at the cutoff value of 86 U/L. Additionally, pleural adenosine deaminase had a sensitivity of 63.2% (46.0-78.2%; a specificity of 73.7% (56.9-86.6%; positive and negative likelihood ratios of 2.18 and 0.50, respectively; and positive and negative predictive values of 70.6% and 66.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Pleural effusion adenosine deaminase is a helpful alternative biomarker for early and quick discrimination of Gram-negative from Gram-positive bacterial infections of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozza, R J

    1987-06-01

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

  3. PBF task and training requirements analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blackman, H.S.; Gertman, D.I.; Petersen, R.J.

    1983-05-01

    Task analyses were used to assist in identifying improvements needed in the training curriculum for selected positions at the Power Burst Facility (PBF). Four positions were examined: Experiment Power Reactor Operator, Experiment (EPRO-Ex); Experiment Power Reactor Operator, Plant (EPRO-P); Experiment Power Reactor Operator, Console (EPRO-Co), and Shift Supervisor (SS). A complete position task listing and core of tasks defined in terms of (a) level of difficulty to perform, (b) severity of consequence if performed improperly, and (c) associated error probability were identified by each position. The systems, academic, and administrative knowledge needed by job incumbents to perform each task was noted. Strategies for teaching the knowledge associated with these tasks are presented

  4. Perceived Discrimination and Mental Health Symptoms among Black Men with HIV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogart, Laura M.; Wagner, Glenn J.; Galvan, Frank H.; Landrine, Hope; Klein, David J.; Sticklor, Laurel A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective People living with HIV (PLWH) exhibit more severe mental health symptoms than do members of the general public (including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder/PTSD symptoms). We examined whether perceived discrimination, which has been associated with poor mental health in prior research, contributes to greater depression and PTSD symptoms among HIV-positive Black men who have sex with men (MSM), who are at high risk for discrimination from multiple stigmatized characteristics (HIV-serostatus, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation). Method A total of 181 Black MSM living with HIV completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews (ACASI) that included measures of mental health symptoms (depression, PTSD) and scales assessing perceived discrimination due to HIV-serostatus, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Results In bivariate tests, all three perceived discrimination scales were significantly associated with greater symptoms of depression and PTSD (i.e., re-experiencing, avoidance, and arousal subscales) (all p-values discrimination types (p discrimination was negatively associated with depression symptoms when considered in isolation from other forms of discrimination, but positively associated when all three types of discrimination were present. In multivariate tests, only perceived HIV-related discrimination was associated with PTSD symptoms (p discrimination contribute to poor mental health among PLWH. Researchers need to take into account intersecting stigmas when developing interventions to improve mental health among PLWH. PMID:21787061

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A Rodríguez-Gironés

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaRoche, Ronee B; Morgan, Russell E

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-30

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soo-Eun Chang

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darius Rountree-Harrison

    2018-03-01

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

  11. Working to Reduce the Effects of Discrimination: Identity Management Strategies in Organizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Margaret; Young, Maia J.; Bucher, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Despite efforts to dispel discrimination, workplace discrimination still occurs. We introduce two classes of identity management strategies individuals use to mitigate the negative consequences of discrimination: identity switching (i.e., deemphasizing target identities and recategorizing to a more positively valued identity) and identity…

  12. Spatial discrimination and visual discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ineke eFengler

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Labor Market Performance Effects of Discrimination and Loss of Skill

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Birthe; Waisman, Gisela

    2016-01-01

    We examine the impact of discrimination on labor market performance when workers are subject to a risk of losing skills during an unemployment experience. Within a search and matching framework, we show that both natives and immigrants are affected by discrimination. Discrimination in one sector...... has positive spillovers, inducing employment to increase in the other sector and the effect on labor market performance therefore depends on whether discrimination is present in only one sector or in both. Discrimination may induce workers to train more or less than natives after having lost...... their skills, dependent upon in which sector there is discrimination. Net output tends to be most negatively affected by discrimination among high-skilled workers. (JEL J15, J31, J61, J64, J71)...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recarte, Miguel A; Nunes, Luis M

    2003-06-01

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

  19. Challenges in discriminating profanity from hate speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmasi, Shervin; Zampieri, Marcos

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) facilitates overall visual search response times but does not interact with visual search task factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Kyongje; Gordon, Barry

    2018-01-01

    Whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) affects mental functions, and how any such effects arise from its neural effects, continue to be debated. We investigated whether tDCS applied over the visual cortex (Oz) with a vertex (Cz) reference might affect response times (RTs) in a visual search task. We also examined whether any significant tDCS effects would interact with task factors (target presence, discrimination difficulty, and stimulus brightness) that are known to selectively influence one or the other of the two information processing stages posited by current models of visual search. Based on additive factor logic, we expected that the pattern of interactions involving a significant tDCS effect could help us colocalize the tDCS effect to one (or both) of the processing stages. In Experiment 1 (n = 12), anodal tDCS improved RTs significantly; cathodal tDCS produced a nonsignificant trend toward improvement. However, there were no interactions between the anodal tDCS effect and target presence or discrimination difficulty. In Experiment 2 (n = 18), we manipulated stimulus brightness along with target presence and discrimination difficulty. Anodal and cathodal tDCS both produced significant improvements in RTs. Again, the tDCS effects did not interact with any of the task factors. In Experiment 3 (n = 16), electrodes were placed at Cz and on the upper arm, to test for a possible effect of incidental stimulation of the motor regions under Cz. No effect of tDCS on RTs was found. These findings strengthen the case for tDCS having real effects on cerebral information processing. However, these effects did not clearly arise from either of the two processing stages of the visual search process. We suggest that this is because tDCS has a DIFFUSE, pervasive action across the task-relevant neuroanatomical region(s), not a discrete effect in terms of information processing stages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, L Matthew; Smith, David M

    2012-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Læssøe, Uffe; Grarup, Bo; Bangshaab, Jette

    2016-01-01

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

  6. "Photographing money" task pricing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Zhongxiang

    2018-05-01

    "Photographing money" [1]is a self-service model under the mobile Internet. The task pricing is reasonable, related to the success of the commodity inspection. First of all, we analyzed the position of the mission and the membership, and introduced the factor of membership density, considering the influence of the number of members around the mission on the pricing. Multivariate regression of task location and membership density using MATLAB to establish the mathematical model of task pricing. At the same time, we can see from the life experience that membership reputation and the intensity of the task will also affect the pricing, and the data of the task success point is more reliable. Therefore, the successful point of the task is selected, and its reputation, task density, membership density and Multiple regression of task positions, according to which a nhew task pricing program. Finally, an objective evaluation is given of the advantages and disadvantages of the established model and solution method, and the improved method is pointed out.

  7. Discrimination and Anti-discrimination in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Tore Vincents

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Chen

    2016-11-01

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

  9. DISCRIMINATIVE MODEL OF CERTAIN MOTOR INDICATORS OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS AS SELECTION CRITERIA FOR TEAM POSITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran Vučković

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Well-designed and implemented selection is one of the important prerequisites for achieving the expected results in the modern competitive sport at all levels. The aim of this work was to determine how the selection was made for Serbian League players, on the basis of their certain motor parameters and the positions in the team. A sample of 25 senior players of a football team competing in the Serbian League is divided into four sub-samples, based on team positions. For assessment of motor characteristics following tests were used: long jump (LJ, Abalac test (AT; 10 seconds push-ups (PU, 30 seconds trunk bends (TB, 20 meter flying start running (20FSR, 20 meter high start running (20HSR, 50 meter high start running (50HSR and Cooper test (CT . Based on the obtained results it can be concluded that there are significant differences for variable 20FSR and variable CT (F = 3754, 9835, p = .027, .000, respectively. Three canonical discriminant functions were singled out, where the first explained even 84.6%, the second 14.5% and the third only 1% of the total variance, or in summary first two functions explained 99.0% of the variance. It can be concluded that the selected players, in terms of the position in the team, distinguished first by performing on the Cooper test, followed by the result of 20 meter flying start running, 20 meter high start running, 50 meter high start running, trunk bends, and finally by Abalac test, push-ups and long jump. Observed as a function of certain motor characteristics, it could be concluded that in the selection of players in terms of the playing position confidence level was 72.0% in general level, with the most reliable for goalkeepers (100%, midfielders (71.4% and defensive players (70.0%, while the smallest was at strikers (50%.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honda Manabu

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Kay Overstreet

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turbiner, M; Derman, R M

    1980-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmstead, Annie J; Viswanathan, Navin

    2018-04-01

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

  16. Discriminative stimuli that control instrumental tobacco-seeking by human smokers also command selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogarth, Lee; Dickinson, Anthony; Duka, Theodora

    2003-08-01

    Incentive salience theory states that acquired bias in selective attention for stimuli associated with tobacco-smoke reinforcement controls the selective performance of tobacco-seeking and tobacco-taking behaviour. To support this theory, we assessed whether a stimulus that had acquired control of a tobacco-seeking response in a discrimination procedure would command the focus of visual attention in a subsequent test phase. Smokers received discrimination training in which an instrumental key-press response was followed by tobacco-smoke reinforcement when one visual discriminative stimulus (S+) was present, but not when another stimulus (S-) was present. The skin conductance response to the S+ and S- assessed whether Pavlovian conditioning to the S+ had taken place. In a subsequent test phase, the S+ and S- were presented in the dot-probe task and the allocation of the focus of visual attention to these stimuli was measured. Participants learned to perform the instrumental tobacco-seeking response selectively in the presence of the S+ relative to the S-, and showed a greater skin conductance response to the S+ than the S-. In the subsequent test phase, participants allocated the focus of visual attention to the S+ in preference to the S-. Correlation analysis revealed that the visual attentional bias for the S+ was positively associated with the number of times the S+ had been paired with tobacco-smoke in training, the skin conductance response to the S+ and with subjective craving to smoke. Furthermore, increased exposure to tobacco-smoke in the natural environment was associated with reduced discrimination learning. These data demonstrate that discriminative stimuli that signal that tobacco-smoke reinforcement is available acquire the capacity to command selective attentional and elicit instrumental tobacco-seeking behaviour.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Shigeru

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-15

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

  19. Accentuate the Positive: Positive Sentiments and Status in Task Groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, Alison J.; Lancianese, Donna A.

    2007-01-01

    We explore the capacity of positive sentiments, those enduring affective states one achieves when one likes another, to impact status structures. Do positive sentiments combine with existing aspects of interaction to create status hierarchies and potentially change the social order, or do they moderate the effects of extant structure by dampening…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salif Mahamane

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feitong eYang

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Age-related Changes in Lateral Entorhinal and CA3 Neuron Allocation Predict Poor Performance on Object Discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P. Maurer

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Age-related memory deficits correlate with dysfunction in the CA3 subregion of the hippocampus, which includes both hyperactivity and overly rigid activity patterns. While changes in intrinsic membrane currents and interneuron alterations are involved in this process, it is not known whether alterations in afferent input to CA3 also contribute. Neurons in layer II of the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC project directly to CA3 through the perforant path, but no data are available regarding the effects of advanced age on LEC activity and whether these activity patterns update in response to environmental change. Furthermore, it is not known the extent to which age-related deficits in sensory discrimination relate to the inability of aged CA3 neurons to update in response to new environments. Young and aged rats were pre-characterized on a LEGO© object discrimination task, comparable to behavioral tests in humans in which CA3 hyperactivity has been linked to impairments. The cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity with fluorescence in situ hybridization for the immediate-early gene Arc was then used to identify the principal cell populations that were active during two distinct epochs of random foraging in different environments. This approach enabled the extent to which rats could discriminate two similar objects to be related to the ability of CA3 neurons to update across different environments. In both young and aged rats, there were animals that performed poorly on the LEGO object discrimination task. In the aged rats only, however, the poor performers had a higher percent of CA3 neurons that were active during random foraging in a novel environment, but this is not related to the ability of CA3 neurons to remap when the environment changed. Afferent neurons to CA3 in LEC, as identified with the retrograde tracer choleratoxin B (CTB, also showed a higher percentage of cells that were positive for Arc mRNA in aged poor performing rats

  3. Amygdala responses to unpleasant pictures are influenced by task demands and positive affect trait.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Tiago A; Mocaiber, Izabela; Erthal, Fatima S; Joffily, Mateus; Volchan, Eliane; Pereira, Mirtes G; de Araujo, Draulio B; Oliveira, Leticia

    2015-01-01

    The role of attention in emotional processing is still the subject of debate. Recent studies have found that high positive affect in approach motivation narrows attention. Furthermore, the positive affect trait has been suggested as an important component for determining human variability in threat reactivity. We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether different states of attention control would modulate amygdala responses to highly unpleasant pictures relative to neutral and whether this modulation would be influenced by the positive affect trait. Participants (n = 22, 12 male) were scanned while viewing neutral (people) or unpleasant pictures (mutilated bodies) flanked by two peripheral bars. They were instructed to (a) judge the picture content as unpleasant or neutral or (b) to judge the difference in orientation between the bars in an easy condition (0 or 90(∘) orientation difference) or (c) in a hard condition (0 or 6(∘) orientation difference). Whole brain analysis revealed a task main effect of brain areas related to the experimental manipulation of attentional control, including the amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and posterior parietal cortex. Region of interest analysis showed an inverse correlation (r = -0.51, p pictures. In conclusion, the current study suggests that positive affect modulates attention effect on unpleasant pictures, therefore attenuating emotional responses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-28

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

  7. MIDAS: Regionally linear multivariate discriminative statistical mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varol, Erdem; Sotiras, Aristeidis; Davatzikos, Christos

    2018-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verwey, L J; Edwards, T M

    2010-02-01

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

  9. Gender discrimination and job characteristics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dubbelt, L.; Rispens, S.; Demerouti, E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between gender discrimination and the perceived job demands and job resources of women and men. This is important because it may provide insight into what factors contribute to women’s disadvantaged position at work.

  10. The Academic Diligence Task (ADT): Assessing Individual Differences in Effort on Tedious but Important Schoolwork.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galla, Brian M; Plummer, Benjamin D; White, Rachel E; Meketon, David; D'Mello, Sidney K; Duckworth, Angela L

    2014-10-01

    The current study reports on the development and validation of the Academic Diligence Task (ADT), designed to assess the tendency to expend effort on academic tasks which are tedious in the moment but valued in the long-term. In this novel online task, students allocate their time between solving simple math problems (framed as beneficial for problem solving skills) and, alternatively, playing Tetris or watching entertaining videos. Using a large sample of high school seniors ( N = 921), the ADT demonstrated convergent validity with self-report ratings of Big Five conscientiousness and its facets, self-control and grit, as well as discriminant validity from theoretically unrelated constructs, such as Big Five extraversion, openness, and emotional stability, test anxiety, life satisfaction, and positive and negative affect. The ADT also demonstrated incremental predictive validity for objectively measured GPA, standardized math and reading achievement test scores, high school graduation, and college enrollment, over and beyond demographics and intelligence. Collectively, findings suggest the feasibility of online behavioral measures to assess noncognitive individual differences that predict academic outcomes.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Employment Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People in Oklahoma

    OpenAIRE

    Mallory, Christy; Herman, Jody L.; Badgett, M.V. Lee

    2011-01-01

    This report analyzes evidence of employment discrimination against LGBT people in Oklahoma, and asses the impact of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s non-discrimination law.  We find that LGBT people in Oklahoma face discrimination in the workplace, including lower wages. Evidence also shows that a sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination law may have a positive impact on businesses in the state, and will not overwhelm state enforcement agencies or ...

  13. A Screen-Peck Task for Investigating Cognitive Bias in Laying Hens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Deakin

    Full Text Available Affect-induced cognitive judgement biases occur in both humans and animals. Animals in a more negative affective state tend to interpret ambiguous cues more negatively than animals in a more positive state and vice versa. Investigating animals' responses to ambiguous cues can therefore be used as a proxy measure of affective state. We investigated laying hens' responses to ambiguous stimuli using a novel cognitive bias task. In the 'screen-peck' task, hens were trained to peck a high/low saturation orange circle presented on a computer screen (positive cue-P to obtain a mealworm reward, and to not peck when the oppositely saturated orange circle was presented (negative cue-N to avoid a one second air puff. Ambiguous cues were orange circles of intermediate saturation between the P and N cue (near-positive-NP; middle-M; near-negative-NN, and were unrewarded. Cue pecking showed a clear generalisation curve from P through NP, M, NN to N suggesting that hens were able to associate colour saturation with reward or punishment, and could discriminate between stimuli that were more or less similar to learnt cues. Across six test sessions, there was no evidence for extinction of pecking responses to ambiguous cues. We manipulated affective state by changing temperature during testing to either ~20°C or ~29°C in a repeated measures cross-over design. Hens have been shown to prefer temperatures in the higher range and hence we assumed that exposure to the higher temperature would induce a relatively positive affective state. Hens tested under warmer conditions were significantly more likely to peck the M probe than those tested at cooler temperatures suggesting that increased temperature in the ranges tested here may have some positive effect on hens, inducing a positive cognitive bias.

  14. Labor Market Discrimination: Vietnamese Immigrants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linus Yamane

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Vietnamese and East European immigrants face similar obstacles in the U.S. labor market. This provides for an interesting test of racial discrimination in the labor market. Does it make any difference if an immigrant is Asian or White? When Vietnamese immigrants are compared to East European immigrants, Vietnamese men earn 7-9% less than comparable East European men, with more discrimination among the less educated, and in the larger Vietnamese population centers like California. Vietnamese women earn as much as comparable East European women. Vietnamese immigrants, male and female, are much less likely to hold managerial and supervisory positions than comparable East European immigrants.

  15. Labor Market Discrimination: Vietnamese Immigrants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linus Yamane

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Vietnamese and East European immigrants face similar obstacles in the US labor market. This provides for an interesting test of racial discrimination in the labor market. Does it make any difference if an immigrant is Asian or White? When Vietnamese immigrants are compared to East European immigrants, Vietnamese men earn 7-9% less than comparable East European men, with more discrimination among the less educated, and in the larger Vietnamese population centers like California. Vietnamese women earn as much as comparable East European women. Vietnamese immigrants, male and female, are much less likely to hold managerial and supervisory positions than comparable East European immigrants.

  16. Unsafe sexual behaviors among HIV-positive men and women in Honduras: the role of discrimination, condom access, and gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Bailey, Gabriela; Isern Fernandez, Virginia; Morales Miranda, Sonia; Jacobson, Jerry O; Mendoza, Suyapa; Paredes, Mayte A; Danaval, Damien C; Mabey, David; Monterroso, Edgar

    2012-01-01

    We conducted a study among HIV-positive men and women in Honduras to describe demographics, HIV risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infection prevalence, and identify correlates of unsafe sex. Participants were recruited from HIV clinics and nongovernmental organizations in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, Honduras in a cross-sectional study in 2006. We used audio-assisted computer interviews on demographics; behaviors in the past 12 months, 6 months, and 30 days; and access to care. Assays performed included herpes (HSV-2 Herpes Select), syphilis (rapid plasma reagin [RPR] and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay [TPPA]) serology, and other sexually transmitted infections by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess variables associated with unprotected sex across all partner types in the past 12 months. Of 810 participants, 400 were from Tegucigalpa and 410 from San Pedro Sula; 367 (45%) were men. Mean age was 37 years (interquartile range: 31-43). Consistent condom use for men and women was below 60% for all partner types. In multivariate analysis, unprotected sex was more likely among women (odds ratio [OR]: 1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2-3.1, P = 0.007), those with HIV diagnoses within the past year (OR: 2.0, 95% CI: 1.1-3.7, P = 0.016), those reporting difficulty accessing condoms (OR: 2.6, 95% CI: 1.4-4.7, P = 0.003), and those reporting discrimination (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-3.0, P = 0.016). Programs targeting HIV-positive patients need to address gender-based disparities, improve condom access and use, and help establish a protective legal and policy environment free of stigma and discrimination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine M Davis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanbonmatsu, David M; Strayer, David L; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants' perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation--high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking--reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control--low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity--tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity.

  3. Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Sanbonmatsu

    Full Text Available The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants' perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation--high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking--reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control--low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity--tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity.

  4. Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanbonmatsu, David M.; Strayer, David L.; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M.

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants’ perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation – high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking – reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control - low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity - tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity. PMID:23372720

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  6. Neural correlates of face gender discrimination learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Junzhu; Tan, Qingleng; Fang, Fang

    2013-04-01

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

  7. [Connection between the evaluation of positive or negative valence and verbal responses to a lexical decision making task].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouillet, Thibaut; Syssau, Arielle

    2005-12-01

    Evaluation of the positive or negative valence of a stimulus is an activity that is part of any emotional experience that has been mostly studied using the affective priming paradigm. When the prime and the target have the same valence (e.g. positive prime and positive target), the target response is facilitated as a function of opposing valence conditions (e.g. negative prime and positive target). These studies show that this evaluation is automatic but depends on the nature of the task's implied response because the priming effects are only observed for positive responses, not for negative responses. This result was explained in automatic judgmental tendency model put forth by Abelson and Rosenberg (1958) and Klauer and Stern (1992). In this model, affective priming assumes there is an overlap between both responses, the first response taking precedence as a function of the prime-target valence, and the second response one that is required by the task. We are assuming that another type of response was not foreseen under this model. In fact, upon activating the valence for each of the prime-target elements, two preliminary responses would be activated before the response on the prime-target valence relationship. These responses are directly linked to the prime and target evaluation independently of the prime-target relationship. This hypothesis can be linked to the larger hypothesis whereby the evaluative process is related to two distinct motivational systems corresponding to approach and avoidance behaviour responses (Lang, Bradley, & Cuthbert, 1990; Neuman & Strack, 2000; Cacciopo, Piester & Bernston, 1993). In this study, we use the hypothesis that when a word leads to a positive valence evaluation, this favours a positive verbal response and inversely, a negative valence word favours a negative response. We are testing this hypothesis outside the affective priming paradigm to study to what extent evaluating a word, even when it is not primed, activates both

  8. Amygdala responses to unpleasant pictures are influenced by task demands and positive affect trait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Arruda Sanchez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The role of attention in emotional processing is still the subject of debate. Recent studies have found that high positive affect in approach motivation narrows attention. Furthermore, the positive affect trait has been suggested as an important component for determining human variability in threat reactivity. We employed fMRI to investigate whether different states of attention control would modulate amygdala responses to highly unpleasant pictures relative to neutral and whether this modulation would be influenced by the positive affect trait. Participants (n=22, 12 male were scanned while viewing neutral (people or unpleasant pictures (mutilated bodies flanked by two peripheral bars. They were instructed to (a judge the picture content as unpleasant or neutral or (b to judge the difference in orientation between the bars in an easy condition (0º or 90º orientation difference or (c in a hard condition (0º or 6º orientation difference. Whole brain analysis revealed a task main effect of brain areas related to the experimental manipulation of attentional control, including the amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex. ROI analysis showed an inverse correlation (r = -0.51, p < 0.01 between left amygdala activation and positive affect level when participants viewed unpleasant stimuli and judged bar orientation in the easy condition. This result suggests that subjects with high positive affect exhibit lower amygdala reactivity to distracting unpleasant pictures. In conclusion, the current study suggests that positive affect modulates attention effect on unpleasant pictures, therefore attenuating emotional responses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindi Attar, Catherine; Müller, Matthias M

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Hindi Attar

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas L. Schulz

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Workplace discrimination and health among Filipinos in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Castro, Arnold B; Gee, Gilbert C; Takeuchi, David T

    2008-03-01

    We examined the association between work discrimination and morbidity among Filipinos in the United States, independent of more-global measures of discrimination. Data were collected from the Filipino American Community Epidemiological Survey. Our analysis focused on 1652 participants who were employed at the time of data collection, and we used negative binomial regression to determine the association between work discrimination and health conditions. The report of workplace discrimination specific to being Filipino was associated with an increased number of health conditions. This association persisted even after we controlled for everyday discrimination, a general assessment of discrimination; job concerns, a general assessment of unpleasant work circumstances; having immigrated for employment reasons; job category; income; education; gender; and other sociodemographic factors. Racial discrimination in the workplace was positively associated with poor health among Filipino Americans after we controlled for reports of everyday discrimination and general concerns about one's job. This finding shows the importance of considering the work setting as a source of discrimination and its effect on morbidity among racial minorities.

  15. Gender Discrimination and the International Division of Labour

    OpenAIRE

    Busse, Matthias; Spielmann, Christian

    2003-01-01

    The paper empirically explores the international economic effects of gender discrimination, namely the linkages of gender inequality with comparative advantage (trade) and foreign direct investment flows. It discusses different forms and the extent of gender discrimination across countries and presents the results of empirical tests of those linkages. The results indicate that gender inequality is positively associated with comparative advantage in unskilled-labour-intensive goods, that is, c...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattys, Sven L; Scharenborg, Odette

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  18. Discrimination, Subjective Wellbeing, and the Role of Gender: A Mediation Model of LGB Minority Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conlin, Sarah E; Douglass, Richard P; Ouch, Staci

    2017-10-26

    The present study examined the link between discrimination and the three components of subjective wellbeing (positive and negative affect and life satisfaction) among a cisgender sample of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults. Specifically, we investigated internalized homonegativity and expectations of rejection as potential mediators of the links between discrimination and subjective wellbeing among a sample of 215 participants. Results from our structural equation model demonstrated a strong, positive direct link between discrimination and negative affect. Discrimination also had small, negative indirect effects on life satisfaction through our two mediators. Interestingly, neither discrimination nor our two mediators were related with positive affect, demonstrating the need for future research to uncover potential buffers of this link. Finally, our model evidenced configural, metric, and scalar invariance, suggesting that our model applies well for both women and men. Practical implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuhlsatz, André; Lippel, Jens; Zielke, Thomas

    2012-04-01

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

  20. Functional discrimination of membrane proteins using machine learning techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yabuki Yukimitsu

    2008-03-01

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

  1. Differential discriminator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  2. Altered visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant information is associated with falls risk in older adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Munkacsy, Michelle; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    Executive cognitive functions play a critical role in falls risk – a pressing health care issue in seniors. In particular, intact attentional processing is integral for safe mobility and navigation. However, the specific contribution of impaired visual-spatial attention in falls remains unclear. In this study, we examined the association between visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant stimuli and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults. Participants completed a visual target discrimination task at fixation while task-irrelevant probes were presented in both visual fields. We assessed attention to left and right peripheral probes using event-related potentials (ERPs). Falls risk was determined using the valid and reliable Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA). We found a significantly positive association between reduced attentional facilitation, as measured by the N1 ERP component, and falls risk. This relationship was specific to probes presented in the left visual field and measured at ipsilateral electrode sites. Our results suggest that fallers exhibit reduced attention to the left side of visual space and provide evidence that impaired right hemispheric function and/or structure may contribute to falls. PMID:24436970

  3. Structural Discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorsen, Mira Skadegård

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

  4. Self-ordered pointing and visual conditional associative learning tasks in drug-free schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galluzzo Alessandro

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is evidence of a link between schizophrenia and a deficit of working memory, but this has been derived from tasks not specifically developed to probe working memory per se. Our aim was to investigate whether working memory deficits may be detected across different paradigms using the self-ordered pointing task (SOPT and the visual conditional associative learning task (VCALT in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and healthy controls. The current literature suggests deficits in schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients versus healthy controls but these studies frequently involved small samples, broad diagnostic criteria, inclusion of patients on antipsychotic medications, and were not controlled for symptom domains, severity of the disorder, etc. To overcome some of these limitations, we investigated the self-monitoring and conditional associative learning abilities of a numerically representative sample of healthy controls and a group of non-deteriorated, drug-free patients hospitalized for a schizophrenia spectrum disorder with florid, mainly positive psychotic symptoms. Methods Eighty-five patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder (DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of schizophrenia (n = 71 or schizophreniform disorder (n = 14 and 80 healthy controls entered the study. The clinical picture was dominated by positive symptoms. The healthy control group had a negative personal and family history of schizophrenia or mood disorder and satisfied all the inclusion and exclusion criteria other than variables related to schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Results Compared to controls, patients had worse performances on SOPT, VCALT and higher SOPT/VCALT ratios, not affected by demographic or clinical variables. ROC curves showed that SOPT, VCALT, and SOPT/VCALT ratio had good accuracy in discriminating patients from controls. The SOPT and VCALT scores were inter-correlated in controls but not in patients. Conclusion The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. HIV Related Stigma and Discrimination: The Attitudes and Behavior ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... on young men and women who constitute the main stay of the workforce. ... HIVrelated stigma and discrimination and their attitudes towards HIV positive ... HIV positive persons were being unfairly treated in the society and almost all of them ...

  7. Wage discrimination against foreign workers in Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Vakulenko

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available We try to determine with the help of the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition technique whether foreign workers are discriminated against in Russia. We use the Russian Ministry of Labor (Rostrud data on migrants’ applications and the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS, provided by the Higher School of Economics for the period 2009–2013. We show that there is significant discrimination against foreign workers. The average salary of Russian workers with the same level of productivity as migrants exceeds migrants’ average salary by 40%. The industries in which the workers are employed have made most substantial contribution to the discrimination gap. Moreover, there is evidence that the lower salaries of foreign workers do not reduce the salaries of Russians employed in similar positions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laverghetta, A. V.; Shimizu, T.

    1999-01-01

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

  9. The role of perceived discrimination on active aging.

    OpenAIRE

    Fernández Ballesteros, Rocío; Olmos, Ricardo; Santacreu, Marta; Bustillos, Antonio; Molina Martínez, Mª Ángeles

    2017-01-01

    Among older adults, perceived age discrimination is highly associated with unhealthy outcomes and dissatisfaction. Active aging is a multidimensional concept described by a set of characteristics, particularly health, positive mood and control; most importantly, active aging is currently at the core of public policies. The aim of the present study was to test to what extent perceived discrimination influences active aging. Methods A total of 2,005 older adults in three represen...

  10. Sexual orientation- and race-based discrimination and sexual HIV risk behavior among urban MSM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frye, Victoria; Nandi, Vijay; Egan, James; Cerda, Magdalena; Greene, Emily; Van Tieu, Hong; Ompad, Danielle C; Hoover, Donald R; Lucy, Debbie; Baez, Eduardo; Koblin, Beryl A

    2015-02-01

    Understanding what social factors are associated with risk of HIV acquisition and transmission among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) is a critical public health goal. Experiencing discrimination may increase risk of HIV infection among MSM. This analysis assessed relations between experiences of sexual orientation- and race-based discrimination and sexual HIV risk behavior among MSM in New York City. 1,369 MSM completed a self-administered computerized assessment of past 3-month sexual behavior, experience of social discrimination and other covariates. Regression models assessed relations between recent experience of discrimination and sexual HIV risk behavior. Mean age was 32 years; 32 % were white; 32 % Latino/Hispanic; 25 % African American/Black. Of MSM who self-reported HIV-positive or unknown status (377), 7 % (N = 27) reported having unprotected insertive anal intercourse with an HIV-negative or unknown status partner ("HIV transmission risk"). Of MSM who self-reported HIV-negative status (992), 11 % (110) reported unprotected receptive anal intercourse with an HIV-positive or unknown status partner ("HIV acquisition risk"). HIV acquisition risk was positively associated with sexual orientation-based discrimination in home or social neighborhoods, but not race-based discrimination. We observed that sexual orientation-based discrimination was associated with sexual HIV risk behavior among urban-dwelling MSM. Addressing environmental sources of this form of discrimination, as well as the psychological distress that may result, should be prioritized in HIV prevention efforts.

  11. Sexual Orientation- and Race-Based Discrimination and Sexual HIV Risk Behavior Among Urban MSM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frye, Victoria; Nandi, Vijay; Egan, James; Cerda, Magdalena; Greene, Emily; Van Tieu, Hong; Ompad, Danielle C.; Hoover, Donald R.; Lucy, Debbie; Baez, Eduardo; Koblin, Beryl A.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding what social factors are associated with risk of HIV acquisition and transmission among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) is a critical public health goal. Experiencing discrimination may increase risk of HIV infection among MSM. This analysis assessed relations between experiences of sexual orientation- and race-based discrimination and sexual HIV risk behavior among MSM in New York City. 1,369 MSM completed a self-administered computerized assessment of past 3-month sexual behavior, experience of social discrimination and other covariates. Regression models assessed relations between recent experience of discrimination and sexual HIV risk behavior. Mean age was 32 years; 32 % were white; 32 % Latino/Hispanic; 25 % African American/Black. Of MSM who self-reported HIV-positive or unknown status (377), 7 % (N = 27) reported having unprotected insertive anal intercourse with an HIV-negative or unknown status partner (“HIV transmission risk”). Of MSM who self-reported HIV-negative status (992), 11 % (110) reported unprotected receptive anal intercourse with an HIV-positive or unknown status partner (“HIV acquisition risk”). HIV acquisition risk was positively associated with sexual orientation-based discrimination in home or social neighborhoods, but not race-based discrimination. We observed that sexual orientation-based discrimination was associated with sexual HIV risk behavior among urban-dwelling MSM. Addressing environmental sources of this form of discrimination, as well as the psychological distress that may result, should be prioritized in HIV prevention efforts. PMID:25381561

  12. An FMRI-compatible Symbol Search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The role of perceived discrimination on active aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Ballesteros, Rocio; Olmos, Ricardo; Santacreu, Marta; Bustillos, Antonio; Molina, Maria Angeles

    2017-07-01

    Among older adults, perceived age discrimination is highly associated with unhealthy outcomes and dissatisfaction. Active aging is a multidimensional concept described by a set of characteristics, particularly health, positive mood and control; most importantly, active aging is currently at the core of public policies. The aim of the present study was to test to what extent perceived discrimination influences active aging. Methods A total of 2005 older adults in three representative samples from regions of Germany, Mexico and Spain participated; they were tested on active aging and perceived discrimination. First, active aging was defined as high reported health, life satisfaction and self-perception of aging. Second, authors introduced the assumption that, in the total sample, structural equation modelling would confirm the hypothesis of a direct negative link between perceived age discrimination and active aging. Finally, multiple group comparison performed through structural equation modelling also provided support for the negative association between perceived discrimination and active aging proposed. In spite of the differences found among the three countries in both active aging variables and age discrimination perception, multiple group comparison indicates that regardless of the culture, perceived discrimination is a negative predictor of active aging. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhsin Karim

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

  16. Focusing light through strongly scattering media using genetic algorithm with SBR discriminant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bin; Zhang, Zhenfeng; Feng, Qi; Liu, Zhipeng; Lin, Chengyou; Ding, Yingchun

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, we have experimentally demonstrated light focusing through strongly scattering media by performing binary amplitude optimization with a genetic algorithm. In the experiments, we control 160 000 mirrors of digital micromirror device to modulate and optimize the light transmission paths in the strongly scattering media. We replace the universal target-position-intensity (TPI) discriminant with signal-to-background ratio (SBR) discriminant in genetic algorithm. With 400 incident segments, a relative enhancement value of 17.5% with a ground glass diffuser is achieved, which is higher than the theoretical value of 1/(2π )≈ 15.9 % for binary amplitude optimization. According to our repetitive experiments, we conclude that, with the same segment number, the enhancement for the SBR discriminant is always higher than that for the TPI discriminant, which results from the background-weakening effect of SBR discriminant. In addition, with the SBR discriminant, the diameters of the focus can be changed ranging from 7 to 70 μm at arbitrary positions. Besides, multiple foci with high enhancement are obtained. Our work provides a meaningful reference for the study of binary amplitude optimization in the wavefront shaping field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-05

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

  18. Examining Workplace Discrimination in a Discrimination-Free Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Braxton, Shawn Lamont

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Reward Motivation Enhances Task Coding in Frontoparietal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  1. Development of LLNA:DAE: a new local lymph node assay that includes the elicitation phase, discriminates borderline-positive chemicals, and is useful for cross-sensitization testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Kunihiko; Shinoda, Shinsuke; Hagiwara, Saori; Itagaki, Hiroshi

    2014-02-01

    We developed a new local lymph node assay (LLNA) that includes the elicitation phase termed LLNA:DAE for discrimination of borderline-positive chemicals as classified by the LLNA modified by Daicel based on ATP content (LLNA:DA) and for cross-sensitization testing. Although the LLNA:DA method could help identify skin sensitizers, some skin irritants classified as non-sensitizers by the LLNA were classified as borderline positive. In addition, the evaluation for the cross-sensitization potential between chemicals was impossible. In the LLNA:DAE procedure, test group of mice received four applications of chemicals on the dorsum of the right ear for induction and one application on the dorsum of the left ear for elicitation. Control group of mice received one chemical application on the dorsum of the left ear. We evaluated the sensitizing potential by comparing the weights of the lymph nodes from the left ears between the two groups. The results of using the LLNA:DAE method to examine 24 chemicals, which contained borderline-positive chemicals, were consistent with those from the LLNA method, except for nickel chloride (NiCl2). Two chemical pairs, 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) with 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) and hydroquinone (HQ) with p-benzoquinone (p-BQ), showed clear cross-sensitization with each other, while another chemical pair, DNFB with hexylcinnamic aldehyde (HCA) did not. Taken together, our results suggest that the LLNA:DAE method is useful for discriminating borderline-positive chemicals and for determining chemical cross-sensitization.

  2. Discriminative facility and its role in the perceived quality of interactional experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, C; Chiu, C Y; Hong, Y Y; Cheung, J S

    2001-10-01

    Discriminative facility refers to an individual's sensitivity to subtle cues about the psychological meaning of a situation. This research aimed at examining (a) the conceptual distinctiveness of discriminative facility, (b) the situation-appropriate aspect of this construct, and (c) the relationship between discriminative facility and interpersonal experiences. Discriminative facility was assessed by a new measure of situation-appropriate behaviors across a variety of novel stressful situations. Results from study 1 showed that discriminative facility had weak positive relationships with cognitive complexity and nonsignificant relationships with self-monitoring and social desirability, indicating that discriminative facility is a unique construct. Results from Study 2 revealed that higher levels of discriminative facility were associated with higher levels of perceived social support and a greater number of pleasant interpersonal events experienced, thus providing support for the theoretical proposition that discriminative facility is an aspect of social intelligence.

  3. Gender Discrimination in Management. Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Felicia Cornelia MACARIE; Octavian MOLDOVAN

    2012-01-01

    This paper reviews the permanently expanding literature on gender discrimination in management, focusing on women in decision making positions from both the public and private sphere. Different psychological mechanisms (such as stereotyping, attribution or equity), that are not necessarily mutually exclusive but rather complementary, determine individual manifestations in the form of discrimination (ranging from formal to informal, covert to overt and so on) against females. As a result, wome...

  4. Large number discrimination in newborn fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Piffer

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-11-29

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

  8. Timing of Pulsed Prompt Gamma Rays for Background Discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hueso-Gonzalez, F.; Golnik, C.; Berthel, M.; Dreyer, A.; Kormoll, T.; Rohling, H.; Pausch, G.; Enghardt, W.; Fiedler, F.; Heidel, K.; Schoene, S.; Schwengner, R.; Wagner, A.

    2013-06-01

    In the context of particle therapy, particle range verification is a major challenge for the quality assurance of the treatment. One approach is the measurement of the prompt gamma rays resulting from the tissue irradiation. A Compton camera based on several planes of position sensitive gamma ray detectors, together with an imaging algorithm, is expected to reconstruct the prompt gamma ray emission density profile, which is correlated with the dose distribution. At Helmholtz- Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and OncoRay, a camera prototype has been developed consisting of two scatter planes (CdZnTe cross strip detectors) and an absorber plane (Lu 2 SiO 5 block detector). The data acquisition is based on VME electronics and handled by software developed on the ROOT platform. The prototype was tested at the linear electron accelerator ELBE at HZDR, which was set up to produce bunched bremsstrahlung photons. Their spectrum has similarities with the one expected from prompt gamma rays in the clinical case, and these are also bunched with the accelerator frequency. The time correlation between the pulsed prompt photons and the measured signals was used for background discrimination, achieving a time resolution of 3 ns (2 ns) FWHM for the CZT (LSO) detector. A time-walk correction was applied for the LSO detector and improved its resolution to 1 ns. In conclusion, the detectors are suitable for time-resolved background discrimination in pulsed clinical particle accelerators. Ongoing tasks are the test of the imaging algorithms and the quantitative comparison with simulations. Further experiments will be performed at proton accelerators. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyce, Peggy A.; And Others

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Interphase FISH for BCR-ABL1 rearrangement on neutrophils: A decisive tool to discriminate a lymphoid blast crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia from a de novo BCR-ABL1 positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balducci, Estelle; Loosveld, Marie; Rahal, Ilhem; Boudjarane, John; Alazard, Emilie; Missirian, Chantal; Lafage-Pochitaloff, Marina; Michel, Gérard; Zattara, Hélène

    2018-02-01

    Discrimination between lymphoid blast crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and de novo BCR-ABL1 positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) represents a diagnostic challenge because this distinction has a major incidence on the management of patients. Here, we report an uncommon pediatric case of ALL with cryptic ins(22;9)(q11;q34q34) and p190-type BCR-ABL1 transcript. We performed interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for BCR-ABL1 rearrangement on blood neutrophils, which was positive consistent with the diagnosis of lymphoid blast crisis of CML. This case illustrates the major interest of interphase FISH for BCR-ABL1 rearrangement on blood neutrophils as a decisive method to discriminate a lymphoid blast crisis of CML from a de novo BCR-ABL1 positive ALL. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Quantity discrimination in wolves (Canis lupus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewelina eUtrata

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  14. Perceived discrimination among men and women with normal weight and obesity. A population-based study from Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansson, Lena M; Näslund, Erik; Rasmussen, Finn

    2010-08-01

    We examined whether men and women with obesity reported different types of discrimination to a greater extent than those with normal weight, and explored whether these associations were modified by socioeconomic position. National representative sample of men and women, with normal weight (n = 2,000), moderate obesity (n = 2,461) and severe obesity (n = 557). Participants were identified in a yearly population-based survey (1996-2006) and data on perceived discrimination and potential confounding factors were measured in 2008. Logistic regression models tested whether obesity was associated with perceived lifetime, workplace, healthcare and interpersonal discrimination. The overall response rate was 56%. For men, moderate obesity was associated with workplace discrimination, while severely obese women were more likely to report this sort of discrimination than normal weight women. Severely obese individuals were twice as likely to report healthcare discrimination than normal weight individuals. Women, regardless of weight status group, were in turn twice as likely to report healthcare discrimination as men. Women with severe obesity were significantly more likely to report interpersonal discrimination compared with normal weight women. Socioeconomic position modified the association between weight status and healthcare discrimination. Highly educated individuals with moderate and severe obesity were more likely to report healthcare discrimination than their normal weight counterparts, whereas low educated individuals with normal weight, moderate and severe obesity were equally likely to report discrimination. In this large, population-based study, discrimination was more likely to be reported by obese individuals compared with those of normal weight. The associations, however, varied according to gender and socioeconomic position.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-29

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

  17. Self-Reported Experiences of Discrimination and Depression in Native Hawaiians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonio, Mapuana Ck; Ahn, Hyeong Jun; Ing, Claire Townsend; Dillard, Adrienne; Cassel, Kevin; Kekauoha, B Puni; Kaholokula, Joseph Keawe'aimoku

    2016-09-01

    Discrimination is an acute and chronic stressor that negatively impacts the health of many ethnic groups in the United States. Individuals who perceive increased levels of discrimination are at risk of experiencing psychological distress and symptoms of depression. No study to date has examined the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health in Native Hawaiians. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between perceived discrimination and depression based on the Homestead Health Survey mailed to Native Hawaiian residents of Hawaiian Home Lands. This study also explores the role of cultural identity and how it may impact experiences of discrimination and symptoms of depression. Based on cross-sectional data obtained from 104 Native Hawaiian residents, a significant positive correlation was found between perceived discrimination and symptoms of depression (r= 0.32, Paccounting for differences in socio-demographics and degree of identification with the Native Hawaiian and American cultures. These findings are consistent with other studies that have focused on the effects of discrimination on psychological wellbeing for other ethnic minority populations.

  18. Discriminating Bacteria with Optical Sensors Based on Functionalized Nanoporous Xerogels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Crunaire

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available An innovative and low-cost method is proposed for the detection and discrimination of indole-positive pathogen bacteria. The method allows the non-invasive detection of gaseous indole, released by bacteria, with nanoporous colorimetric sensors. The innovation comes from the use of nanoporous matrices doped with 4-(dimethylamino-cinnamaldehyde, which act as sponges to trap and concentrate the targeted analyte and turn from transparent to dark green, long before the colonies get visible with naked eyes. With such sensors, it was possible to discriminate E. coli from H. alvei, two indole-positive and negative bacteria after seven hours of incubation.

  19. Daily fluctuations in positive affect positively co-vary with working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Annette; Lövdén, Martin; Schmiedek, Florian

    2014-02-01

    Positive affect is related to cognitive performance in multiple ways. It is associated with motivational aspects of performance, affective states capture attention, and information processing modes are a function of affect. In this study, we examined whether these links are relevant within individuals across time when they experience minor ups and downs of positive affect and work on cognitive tasks in the laboratory on a day-to-day basis. Using a microlongitudinal design, 101 younger adults (20-31 years of age) worked on 3 working memory tasks on about 100 occasions. Every day, they also reported on their momentary affect and their motivation to work on the tasks. In 2 of the 3 tasks, performance was enhanced on days when positive affect was above average. This performance enhancement was also associated with more motivation. Importantly, increases in task performance on days with above-average positive affect were mainly unrelated to variations in negative affect. This study's results are in line with between-person findings suggesting that high levels of well-being are associated with successful outcomes. They imply that success on cognitively demanding tasks is more likely on days when feeling happier. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyjas, Oliver; Ulrich, Rolf

    2014-01-01

    In typical discrimination experiments, participants are presented with a constant standard and a variable comparison stimulus and their task is to judge which of these two stimuli is larger (comparative judgement). In these experiments, discrimination sensitivity depends on the temporal order of these stimuli (Type B effect) and is usually higher when the standard precedes rather than follows the comparison. Here, we outline how two models of stimulus discrimination can account for the Type B effect, namely the weighted difference model (or basic Sensation Weighting model) and the Internal Reference Model. For both models, the predicted psychometric functions for comparative judgements as well as for equality judgements, in which participants indicate whether they perceived the two stimuli to be equal or not equal, are derived and it is shown that the models also predict a Type B effect for equality judgements. In the empirical part, the models' predictions are evaluated. To this end, participants performed a duration discrimination task with comparative judgements and with equality judgements. In line with the models' predictions, a Type B effect was observed for both judgement types. In addition, a time-order error, as indicated by shifts of the psychometric functions, and differences in response times were observed only for the equality judgement. Since both models entail distinct additional predictions, it seems worthwhile for future research to unite the two models into one conceptual framework.

  1. Menstrual cycle phase affects discrimination of infant cuteness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobmaier, Janek S; Probst, Fabian; Perrett, David I; Heinrichs, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies have shown that women are more sensitive than men to subtle cuteness differences in infant faces. It has been suggested that raised levels in estradiol and progesterone may be responsible for this advantage. We compared young women's sensitivity to computer-manipulated baby faces varying in cuteness. Thirty-six women were tested once during ovulation and once during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. In a two alternative forced-choice experiment, participants chose the baby which they thought was cuter (Task 1), younger (Task 2), or the baby that they would prefer to babysit (Task 3). Saliva samples to assess levels of estradiol, progesterone and testosterone were collected at each test session. During ovulation, women were more likely to choose the cuter baby than during the luteal phase, in all three tasks. These results suggest that cuteness discrimination may be driven by cyclic hormonal shifts. However none of the measured hormones were related to increased cuteness sensitivity. We speculate that other hormones than the ones measured here might be responsible for the increased sensitivity to subtle cuteness differences during ovulation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Assessment of Joystick control during the performance of powered wheelchair driving tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Routhier François

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Powered wheelchairs are essential for many individuals who have mobility impairments. Nevertheless, if operated improperly, the powered wheelchair poses dangers to both the user and to those in its vicinity. Thus, operating a powered wheelchair with some degree of proficiency is important for safety, and measuring driving skills becomes an important issue to address. The objective of this study was to explore the discriminate validity of outcome measures of driving skills based on joystick control strategies and performance recorded using a data logging system. Methods We compared joystick control strategies and performance during standardized driving tasks between a group of 10 expert and 13 novice powered wheelchair users. Driving tasks were drawn from the Wheelchair Skills Test (v. 4.1. Data from the joystick controller were collected on a data logging system. Joystick control strategies and performance outcome measures included the mean number of joystick movements, time required to complete tasks, as well as variability of joystick direction. Results In simpler tasks, the expert group's driving skills were comparable to those of the novice group. Yet, in more difficult and spatially confined tasks, the expert group required fewer joystick movements for task completion. In some cases, experts also completed tasks in approximately half the time with respect to the novice group. Conclusions The analysis of joystick control made it possible to discriminate between novice and expert powered wheelchair users in a variety of driving tasks. These results imply that in spatially confined areas, a greater powered wheelchair driving skill level is required to complete tasks efficiently. Based on these findings, it would appear that the use of joystick signal analysis constitutes an objective tool for the measurement of powered wheelchair driving skills. This tool may be useful for the clinical assessment and training of powered

  3. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex in labour-law relations

    OpenAIRE

    Jandová, Darina

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of my thesis is to provide a comprehensive view on the issue of discrimination based on sex in labour-law relations. The aim of my thesis is to investigate why discrimination is still present in society despite all the effort made by the international organisations, legislators and non-governmental organizations. Therefore, the main objective of this work is to analyse the current position of women in society, the causes of why discrimination based on sex is emerging and to find o...

  4. Pitch Discrimination in Musicians and Non-Musicians: Effects of Harmonic Resolvability and Processing Effort

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Santurette, Sébastien; Wendt, Dorothea

    2016-01-01

    -musicians, suggesting similar peripheral frequency selectivity in the two groups of listeners. In a follow-up experiment, listeners’ pupil dilations were measured as an indicator of the required effort in performing the same pitch discrimination task for conditions of varying resolvability and task difficulty...... abilities in musicians are unlikely to be related to higher peripheral frequency selectivity and may suggest an enhanced pitch representation at more central stages of the auditory system in musically trained listeners....

  5. Deletion of the forebrain mineralocorticoid receptor impairs social discrimination and decision-making in male, but not in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Horst, Judith P; van der Mark, Maaike; Kentrop, Jiska; Arp, Marit; van der Veen, Rixt; de Kloet, E Ronald; Oitzl, Melly S

    2014-01-01

    Social interaction with unknown individuals requires fast processing of information to decide whether it is friend or foe. This process of discrimination and decision-making is stressful and triggers secretion of corticosterone activating mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR). The MR is involved in appraisal of novel experiences and risk assessment. Recently, we have demonstrated in a dual-solution memory task that MR plays a role in the early stage of information processing and decision-making. Here we examined social approach and social discrimination in male and female mice lacking MR from hippocampal-amygdala-prefrontal circuitry and controls. The social approach task allows the assessment of time spent with an unfamiliar mouse and the ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics. The male and female test mice were both more interested in the social than the non-social experience and deletion of their limbic MR increased the time spent with an unfamiliar mouse. Unlike controls, the male MR(CaMKCre) mice were not able to discriminate between an unfamiliar and the familiar mouse. However, the female MR mutant had retained the discriminative ability between unfamiliar and familiar mice. Administration of the MR antagonist RU28318 to male mice supported the role of the MR in the discrimination between an unfamiliar mouse and a non-social stimulus. No effect was found with a GR antagonist. Our findings suggest that MR is involved in sociability and social discrimination in a sex-specific manner through inhibitory control exerted putatively via limbic-hippocampal efferents. The ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics is of uttermost importance for territorial defense and depends on a role of MR in decision-making.

  6. Post-training depletions of basolateral amygdala serotonin fail to disrupt discrimination, retention, or reversal learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Jesus eOchoa

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In goal-directed pursuits, the basolateral amygdala (BLA is critical in learning about changes in the value of rewards. BLA-lesioned rats show enhanced reversal learning, a task employed to measure the flexibility of response to changes in reward. Similarly, there is a trend for enhanced discrimination learning, suggesting that BLA may modulate formation of stimulus-reward associations. There is a parallel literature on the importance of serotonin (5HT in new stimulus-reward and reversal learning. Recent postulations implicate 5HT in learning from punishment. Whereas dopaminergic involvement is critical in behavioral activation and reinforcement, 5HT may be most critical for aversive processing and behavioral inhibition, complementary cognitive processes. Given these findings, a 5HT-mediated mechanism in BLA may mediate the facilitated learning observed previously. The present study investigated the effects of selective 5HT lesions in BLA using 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT versus infusions of saline (Sham on discrimination, retention, and deterministic reversal learning. Rats were required to reach an 85% correct pairwise discrimination and single reversal criterion prior to surgery. Postoperatively, rats were then tested on the 1 retention of the pretreatment discrimination pair 2 discrimination of a novel pair and 3 reversal learning performance. We found statistically comparable preoperative learning rates between groups, intact postoperative retention, and unaltered novel discrimination and reversal learning in 5,7-DHT rats. These findings suggest that 5HT in BLA is not required for formation and flexible adjustment of new stimulus-reward associations when the strategy to efficiently solve the task has already been learned. Given the complementary role of orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning and its interconnectivity with BLA, these findings add to the list of dissociable mechanisms for BLA and orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning.

  7. Perceptual discrimination difficulty and familiarity in the Uncanny Valley: more like a "Happy Valley".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheetham, Marcus; Suter, Pascal; Jancke, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    The Uncanny Valley Hypothesis (UVH) predicts that greater difficulty perceptually discriminating between categorically ambiguous human and humanlike characters (e.g., highly realistic robot) evokes negatively valenced (i.e., uncanny) affect. An ABX perceptual discrimination task and signal detection analysis was used to examine the profile of perceptual discrimination (PD) difficulty along the UVH' dimension of human likeness (DHL). This was represented using avatar-to-human morph continua. Rejecting the implicitly assumed profile of PD difficulty underlying the UVH' prediction, Experiment 1 showed that PD difficulty was reduced for categorically ambiguous faces but, notably, enhanced for human faces. Rejecting the UVH' predicted relationship between PD difficulty and negative affect (assessed in terms of the UVH' familiarity dimension), Experiment 2 demonstrated that greater PD difficulty correlates with more positively valenced affect. Critically, this effect was strongest for the ambiguous faces, suggesting a correlative relationship between PD difficulty and feelings of familiarity more consistent with the metaphor happy valley. This relationship is also consistent with a fluency amplification instead of the hitherto proposed hedonic fluency account of affect along the DHL. Experiment 3 found no evidence that the asymmetry in the profile of PD along the DHL is attributable to a differential processing bias (cf. other-race effect), i.e., processing avatars at a category level but human faces at an individual level. In conclusion, the present data for static faces show clear effects that, however, strongly challenge the UVH' implicitly assumed profile of PD difficulty along the DHL and the predicted relationship between this and feelings of familiarity.

  8. Parents' Experiences of Discrimination and Family Relationship Qualities: The Role of Gender

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riina, Elizabeth M.; McHale, Susan M.

    2010-01-01

    Mothers and fathers in 156 African American families reported on racial discrimination experiences, gendered traits, and warmth and conflict in family relationships. Discrimination was linked with relationship quality, but links differed for mothers and fathers. More expressive parents and less instrumental fathers had more positive relationships…

  9. 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,…

  10. Perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among immigrant-origin adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tummala-Narra, Pratyusha; Claudius, Milena

    2013-07-01

    Although discrimination has been found to contribute to psychological distress among immigrant populations, there are few studies that have examined the relationship between racial and ethnic discrimination in the school setting among foreign-born immigrant and U.S.-born immigrant-origin adolescents. This study examined the relationship between perceived discrimination by adults and peers in the school setting and depressive symptoms in a sample (N = 95) of racial minority immigrant-origin adolescents (13 to 19 years of age) attending an urban high school. We examined the relation between perceived discrimination and depressive symptomology across gender and nativity status (foreign born vs. U.S. born), and the potential moderating role of ethnic identity and social support. Consistent with previous research, girls reported higher levels of depressive symptomology than boys, although the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms was significant for both boys and girls. Perceived discrimination by adults and by peers at school was positively related to depressive symptoms for U.S.-born adolescents. For U.S.-born adolescents, ethnic identity mitigated the negative effects of perceived adult discrimination on depressive symptoms. However, ethnic identity did not moderate the relationship between perceived peer discrimination and depressive symptoms. Social support did not moderate the relationship between adult and peer discrimination and depressive symptoms for either foreign-born or U.S.-born adolescents. The findings support previous research concerning the immigrant paradox and highlight the importance of context in the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  11. The relationship between task conflict, task performance and team member satisfaction: the mediating role of relationship conflict

    OpenAIRE

    Hansen, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Task conflict and its potential positive effect on team outcomes has been questioned over the years. The findings have been inconsistent, with different studies indicating that task conflict can be positively related, negatively related or unrelated to measures of team outcomes. This study is a response to the request presented in de Wit, Greer and Jehn s (2012) recent meta-analysis, to further investigate the effect relationship conflict can have on the association between task conflict and...

  12. Deficits in recognition, identification, and discrimination of facial emotions in patients with bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benito, Adolfo; Lahera, Guillermo; Herrera, Sara; Muncharaz, Ramón; Benito, Guillermo; Fernández-Liria, Alberto; Montes, José Manuel

    2013-01-01

    To analyze the recognition, identification, and discrimination of facial emotions in a sample of outpatients with bipolar disorder (BD). Forty-four outpatients with diagnosis of BD and 48 matched control subjects were selected. Both groups were assessed with tests for recognition (Emotion Recognition-40 - ER40), identification (Facial Emotion Identification Test - FEIT), and discrimination (Facial Emotion Discrimination Test - FEDT) of facial emotions, as well as a theory of mind (ToM) verbal test (Hinting Task). Differences between groups were analyzed, controlling the influence of mild depressive and manic symptoms. Patients with BD scored significantly lower than controls on recognition (ER40), identification (FEIT), and discrimination (FEDT) of emotions. Regarding the verbal measure of ToM, a lower score was also observed in patients compared to controls. Patients with mild syndromal depressive symptoms obtained outcomes similar to patients in euthymia. A significant correlation between FEDT scores and global functioning (measured by the Functioning Assessment Short Test, FAST) was found. These results suggest that, even in euthymia, patients with BD experience deficits in recognition, identification, and discrimination of facial emotions, with potential functional implications.

  13. Positive Emotion Facilitates Cognitive Flexibility: An fMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanmei Wang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive flexibility is the ability to switch rapidly between multiple goals. By using a task-switching paradigm, the present study investigated how positive emotion affected cognitive flexibility and the underlying neural mechanisms. After viewing pictures of different emotional valence (positive, negative, or neutral, participants discriminated whether a target digit in a specific color was odd or even. After a series of trials, the color of target stimuli was changed, i.e., the switch condition. Switch costs were measured by the increase of reaction times (RTs in the switch trials compared to those in the repeat trials. Behavior results indicated that switch costs significantly decreased in the positive emotional condition, and increased in the negative emotional condition, compared with those in the neutral condition. Imaging data revealed enhanced activation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC in switch trials than those in repeat trials. Moreover, the interaction between emotion (positive, negative, neutral and trial type (repeat vs. switch was significant. For switch trials, the activation of dACC decreased significantly in the positive condition, while increased significantly in the negative condition compared to neutral condition. By contrast, for repeat trials, no significant difference was observed for the activation of dACC among three emotional conditions. Our results showed that positive emotions could increase the cognitive flexibility and reduce the conflict by decreasing the activation of dACC.

  14. Aphasic Patients Exhibit a Reversal of Hemispheric Asymmetries in Categorical Color Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paluy, Yulia; Gilbert, Aubrey L.; Baldo, Juliana V.; Dronkers, Nina F.; Ivry, Richard B.

    2011-01-01

    Patients with left hemisphere (LH) or right hemisphere (RH) brain injury due to stroke were tested on a speeded, color discrimination task in which two factors were manipulated: (1) the categorical relationship between the target and the distracters and (2) the visual field in which the target was presented. Similar to controls, the RH patients…

  15. Background Paper for the Expert Meeting on the Gender-Related Aspects of Race Discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberlé Crenshaw

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Neither the gender aspects of racial discrimination nor the racial aspects of gender discrimination are fully comprehended within human rights discourses. Building on the growing recognition that race and gender discrimination are not mutually exclusive phenomena, this background paper forwards a provisional framework to identify various forms of subordination that can be said to reflect the interactive effects of race and gender discrimination. It suggests a provisional protocol to be followed to better identify the occasions in which such interactive discrimination may have occurred, and posits further that the responsibility to address the causes and consequences of such discrimination be shared widely among all human rights institutions.

  16. The Effect of "Massed" Task Repetitions on Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency: Does It Transfer to a New Task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadian, Mohammad Javad

    2011-01-01

    To date, research results suggest that task repetition positively affects oral task performance. However, researchers have not yet shown the extension of the benefits of repeating the same task to performance of a new task. This article first provides an overview of the currently available research findings on task repetition and then presents the…

  17. Something worth remembering: visual discrimination in sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuss, Theodora; Schluessel, Vera

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated memory retention capabilities of juvenile gray bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium griseum) using two-alternative forced-choice experiments. The sharks had previously been trained in a range of visual discrimination tasks, such as distinguishing between squares, triangles and lines, and their corresponding optical illusions (i.e., the Kanizsa figures or Müller-Lyer illusions), and in the present study, we tested them for memory retention. Despite the absence of reinforcement, sharks remembered the learned information for a period of up to 50 weeks, after which testing was terminated. In fish, as in other vertebrates, memory windows vary in duration depending on species and task; while it may seem beneficial to retain some information for a long time or even indefinitely, other information may be forgotten more easily to retain flexibility and save energy. The results of this study indicate that sharks are capable of long-term memory within the framework of selected cognitive skills. These could aid sharks in activities such as food retrieval, predator avoidance, mate choice or habitat selection and therefore be worth being remembered for extended periods of time. As in other cognitive tasks, intraspecific differences reflected the behavioral breadth of the species.

  18. Comparison of simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging for discrimination tasks in assessment of cardiac defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trott, C M; Ouyang, J; El Fakhri, G

    2010-11-21

    Simultaneous rest perfusion/fatty-acid metabolism studies have the potential to replace sequential rest/stress perfusion studies for the assessment of cardiac function. Simultaneous acquisition has the benefits of increased signal and lack of need for patient stress, but is complicated by cross-talk between the two radionuclide signals. We consider a simultaneous rest (99m)Tc-sestamibi/(123)I-BMIPP imaging protocol in place of the commonly used sequential rest/stress (99m)Tc-sestamibi protocol. The theoretical precision with which the severity of a cardiac defect and the transmural extent of infarct can be measured is computed for simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging, and their performance is compared for discriminating (1) degrees of defect severity and (2) sub-endocardial from transmural defects. We consider cardiac infarcts for which reduced perfusion and metabolism are observed. From an information perspective, simultaneous imaging is found to yield comparable or improved performance compared with sequential imaging for discriminating both severity of defect and transmural extent of infarct, for three defects of differing location and size.

  19. Comparison of simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging for discrimination tasks in assessment of cardiac defects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trott, C M; Ouyang, J; El Fakhri, G

    2010-01-01

    Simultaneous rest perfusion/fatty-acid metabolism studies have the potential to replace sequential rest/stress perfusion studies for the assessment of cardiac function. Simultaneous acquisition has the benefits of increased signal and lack of need for patient stress, but is complicated by cross-talk between the two radionuclide signals. We consider a simultaneous rest 99m Tc-sestamibi/ 123 I-BMIPP imaging protocol in place of the commonly used sequential rest/stress 99m Tc-sestamibi protocol. The theoretical precision with which the severity of a cardiac defect and the transmural extent of infarct can be measured is computed for simultaneous and sequential SPECT imaging, and their performance is compared for discriminating (1) degrees of defect severity and (2) sub-endocardial from transmural defects. We consider cardiac infarcts for which reduced perfusion and metabolism are observed. From an information perspective, simultaneous imaging is found to yield comparable or improved performance compared with sequential imaging for discriminating both severity of defect and transmural extent of infarct, for three defects of differing location and size.

  20. Rewiring the gustatory system: specificity between nerve and taste bud field is critical for normal salt discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spector, Alan C; Blonde, Ginger; Garcea, Mircea; Jiang, Enshe

    2010-01-15

    Forty years have passed since it was demonstrated that a cross-regenerated gustatory nerve in the rat tongue adopts the stimulus-response properties of the taste receptor field it cross-reinnervates. Nevertheless, the functional consequences of channeling peripheral taste signals through inappropriate central circuits remain relatively unexplored. Here we tested whether histologically confirmed cross-regeneration of the chorda tympani nerve (CT) into the posterior tongue in the absence of the glossopharyngeal nerve (GL) (CT-PostTongue) or cross-regeneration of the GL into the anterior tongue in the absence of the CT (GL-AntTongue) would maintain presurgically trained performance in an operant NaCl vs. KCl taste discrimination task in rats. Before surgery all groups were averaging over 90% accuracy. Oral amiloride treatment dropped performance to virtually chance levels. During the first week after surgery, sham-operated rats, GL-transected rats, and rats with regenerated CTs displayed highly competent discrimination performance. In contrast, CT-transected rats were severely impaired (59% accuracy). Both the CT-PostTongue and the GL-AntTongue groups were impaired to a similar degree as CT-transected rats. These initially impaired groups improved their performance over the weeks of postsurgical testing, suggesting that the rats were capable of relearning the task with discriminable signals in the remaining taste nerves. This relearned performance was dependent on input from amiloride-sensitive receptors likely in the palate. Overall, these results suggest that normal competence in a salt discrimination task is dependent on the taste receptor field origin of the input as well as the specific nerve transmitting the signals to its associated circuits in the brain. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Positive versus Negative Communication Strategies in Task-Based Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohani, Siti

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed at describing how the implementation of Task-Based Learning (TBL) would shape or change students' use of oral communication strategies. Students' problems and strategies to solve the problems during the implementation of TBL were also explored. The study was a mixed method, employing both quantitative and qualitative analysis…

  2. Brain processing of task-relevant and task-irrelevant emotional words: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Villar, Alberto J; Triñanes, Yolanda; Zurrón, Montserrat; Carrillo-de-la-Peña, María T

    2014-09-01

    Although there is evidence for preferential perceptual processing of written emotional information, the effects of attentional manipulations and the time course of affective processing require further clarification. In this study, we attempted to investigate how the emotional content of words modulates cerebral functioning (event-related potentials, ERPs) and behavior (reaction times, RTs) when the content is task-irrelevant (emotional Stroop Task, EST) or task-relevant (emotional categorization task, ECT), in a sample of healthy middle-aged women. In the EST, the RTs were longer for emotional words than for neutral words, and in the ECT, they were longer for neutral and negative words than for positive words. A principal components analysis of the ERPs identified various temporospatial factors that were differentially modified by emotional content. P2 was the first emotion-sensitive component, with enhanced factor scores for negative nouns across tasks. The N2 and late positive complex had enhanced factor scores for emotional relative to neutral information only in the ECT. The results reinforce the idea that written emotional information has a preferential processing route, both when it is task-irrelevant (producing behavioral interference) and when it is task-relevant (facilitating the categorization). After early automatic processing of the emotional content, late ERPs become more emotionally modulated as the level of attention to the valence increases.

  3. An Information Analysis of 2-, 3-, and 4-Word Verbal Discrimination Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arima, James K.; Gray, Francis D.

    Information theory was used to qualify the difficulty of verbal discrimination (VD) learning tasks and to measure VD performance. Words for VD items were selected with high background frequency and equal a priori probabilities of being selected as a first response. Three VD lists containing only 2-, 3-, or 4-word items were created and equated for…

  4. Pulse duration discriminator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kosakovskij, L.F.

    1980-01-01

    Basic circuits of a discriminator for discrimination of pulses with the duration greater than the preset one, and of a multifunctional discriminator allowing to discriminate pulses with the duration greater (tsub(p)>tsub(s)) and lesser (tsub(p) tsub(s) and with the duration tsub(p) [ru

  5. Tribal vs. Public Schools: Perceived Discrimination and School Adjustment among Indigenous Children from Early to Mid-Adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Devan M; Cheadle, Jacob E; Whitbeck, Les B

    2010-04-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the differential effects of perceived discrimination by type of school on positive school adjustment among Indigenous children during late elementary and early middle school years. The analysis utilizes a sample of 654 Indigenous children from four reservations in the Northern Midwest and four Canadian First Nation reserves. Multiple group linear growth modeling within a structural equation framework is employed to investigate the moderating effects of school type on the relationship between discrimination and positive school adjustment. Results show that students in all school types score relatively high on positive school adjustment at time one (ages 10-12). However, in contrast to students in tribal schools for whom positive school adjustment remains stable, those attending public schools and those moving between school types show a decline in school adjustment over time. Furthermore, the negative effects of discrimination on positive school adjustment are greater for those attending public schools and those moving between schools. Possible reasons for this finding and potential explanations for why tribal schools may provide protection from the negative effects of discrimination are discussed.

  6. Determinants of Experience of Discrimination in Minorities in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt Salentin

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examines perceived ethnic discrimination (as opposed to “objective” discrimination. It includes a discussion of definitions of discrimination and attempts to measure it, and a review of findings on the distribution of discrimination experiences among minorities. The aim of the study is to determine the influence of factors that increase the risk of exposure to situations in which discrimination can take place (exposure hypothesis, and those that sensitize perceptions and give rise to different frequencies of subjective feelings of discrimination (sensitization hypothesis. A standardized questionnaire was adminis- tered to a random sample of German-born persons of Turkish and Greek origin and Aussiedler (ethnic Germans born in the former Soviet Union (total N = 301. Minorities of non-German, especially of Turkish origin reported significantly more discrimination than Aussiedler in a set of nineteen everyday situations. A bivari- ate correlation was found between number of incidents reported and employment status with homemakers reporting the fewest incidents. However, multiple regression analysis yielded no significant effect, thus lending no clear support to the exposure hypothesis. Frequency of contacts with German friends has no effect and seems not to entail an increase in exposure opportunities, but may lead to a desensitization to discrimination due to the erosion of the relevance of ethnic categories. On the other hand, an influence through intra-ethnic contacts clearly occurs, as frequency of contact with co-ethnic friends exerts a strong positive effect on experienced discrimination. A similar effect was found for ethnic self-awareness. The latter finding confirms the sensitization hypothesis.

  7. Deletion of the forebrain mineralocorticoid receptor impairs social discrimination and decision-making in male, but not in female mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith P Ter Horst

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Social interaction with unknown individuals requires fast processing of information to decide whether it is friend or foe. This process of discrimination and decision-making is stressful and triggers secretion of corticosterone activating mineralocorticoid receptors (MR and glucocorticoid receptors (GR. The MR is involved in appraisal of novel experiences and risk assessment. Recently, we have demonstrated in a dual-solution memory task that MR plays a role in the early stage of information processing and decision-making. Here we examined social approach and social discrimination in male and female mice lacking MR from hippocampal-amygdala-prefrontal circuitry and controls. The social approach task allows the assessment of time spent with an unfamiliar mouse and the ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics. The male and female test mice were both more interested in the social than the non-social experience and deletion of their limbic MR increased the time spent with an unfamiliar mouse. Unlike controls, the male MRCaMKCre mice were not able to discriminate between an unfamiliar and the familiar mouse. However, the female MR mutant had retained the discriminative ability between unfamiliar and familiar mice. Administration of the MR antagonist RU28318 to male mice supported the role of the MR in the discrimination between an unfamiliar mouse and a non-social stimulus. No effect was found with a GR antagonist. Our findings suggest that MR is involved in sociability and social discrimination in a sex-specific manner through inhibitory control exerted putatively via limbic-hippocampal efferents. The ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics is of uttermost importance for territorial defense and depends on a role of MR in decision-making.

  8. Reinforcing and discriminative stimulus properties of music in goldfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinozuka, Kazutaka; Ono, Haruka; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2013-10-01

    This paper investigated whether music has reinforcing and discriminative stimulus properties in goldfish. Experiment 1 examined the discriminative stimulus properties of music. The subjects were successfully trained to discriminate between two pieces of music--Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565) by J. S. Bach and The Rite of Spring by I. Stravinsky. Experiment 2 examined the reinforcing properties of sounds, including BWV 565 and The Rite of Spring. We developed an apparatus for measuring spontaneous sound preference in goldfish. Music or noise stimuli were presented depending on the subject's position in the aquarium, and the time spent in each area was measured. The results indicated that the goldfish did not show consistent preferences for music, although they showed significant avoidance of noise stimuli. These results suggest that music has discriminative but not reinforcing stimulus properties in goldfish. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Entanglement as a resource for discrimination of classical environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trapani, Jacopo, E-mail: jacopo.trapani@unimi.it [Quantum Technology Lab, Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Milano, I-20133 Milano (Italy); Paris, Matteo G.A., E-mail: matteo.paris@fisica.unimi.it [Quantum Technology Lab, Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Milano, I-20133 Milano (Italy); INFN, Sezione di Milano, I-20133 Milano (Italy)

    2017-01-30

    We address extended systems interacting with classical fluctuating environments and analyze the use of quantum probes to discriminate local noise, described by independent fluctuating fields, from common noise, corresponding to the interaction with a common one. In particular, we consider a bipartite system made of two non-interacting harmonic oscillators and assess discrimination strategies based on homodyne detection, comparing their performances with the ultimate bounds on the error probabilities of quantum-limited measurements. We analyze in details the use of Gaussian probes, with emphasis on experimentally friendly signals. Our results show that a joint measurement of the position-quadrature on the two oscillators outperforms any other homodyne-based scheme for any input Gaussian state. - Highlights: • Strategies to discriminate local or common noise are proposed for CV systems. • Homodyne detection outperforms QC bound for experimentally friendly signals. • Entanglement may be exploited as a resource for discrimination of classical fields.

  10. Work-related discrimination and change in self-stigma among people with mental illness during supported employment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rüsch, Nicolas; Nordt, Carlos; Kawohl, Wolfram; Brantschen, Elisabeth; Bärtsch, Bettina; Müller, Mario; Corrigan, Patrick W; Rössler, Wulf

    2014-12-01

    The relationship of work-related discrimination to the change in self-stigma and stigma stress was assessed among supported employment participants in Switzerland. Self-stigma and the cognitive appraisal of mental illness stigma as a stressor were measured at baseline among supported employment participants (N=116). These variables and work-related discrimination in the past year were assessed one year later (N=96). Compared with participants who did not find employment (N=30), those who worked without experiencing discrimination (N=25) had lower levels of self-stigma and stigma stress at one year. Among those who worked and reported work-related discrimination (N=38), these measures did not decrease significantly. Experiencing discrimination at work may determine whether employment has positive effects in terms of self-stigma and stigma stress among individuals with mental illness. Interventions to reduce discrimination in work settings and to improve coping resources of these individuals could augment the positive effects of supported employment.

  11. Gender-Based Discrimination In Nursing: A Ghanaian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DF Ofori

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose and objectives: The 'glass escalator' phenomenon holds that men in female dominated professions like nursing can rise quickly to the top. However, they can also suffer discrimination. This phenomenon is widely recognised in advanced countries. Trained, mostly female nurses have been leaving Ghana in droves for greener pastures abroad, particularly the US and UK, with serious consequences on the health delivery service in Ghana. Conversely, increasing numbers of males are joining the nursing profession. It examines whether male nurses in Ghana enjoy any hidden advantages, and if so, what makes the men successful (even with their limited numbers in a women-dominated field and what the implications are for both male and female nurses. Problem investigated: The article explores gender-based discrimination and the phenomenon of the glass escalator in a developing country context. It examines the position of male nurses in Ghana; the type, nature and extent of advantages they enjoy and any discrimination they face in a female-dominated field. Methodology: An in-depth cross-sectional questionnaire was employed. A thematic and cluster analysis of findings was executed, with data captured using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS. A combination of descriptive accounts as well as summary statistics using chi-square and correlations was used to examine the findings. Findings and implications: This paper reports the findings of an empirical study that show that male nurses neither suffer gender-based discrimination nor occupy the top positions in the nursing field. It also found that a majority of males do not want to leave the profession even though they feel they are assigned more responsibilities and are sometimes passed over for promotion. Originality: Whilst representing a modest contribution to research in gender-based discrimination in nursing, this paper is a first attempt to investigate the phenomenon in a Ghanaian context, with

  12. Food approach conditioning and discrimination learning using sound cues in benthic sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vila Pouca, Catarina; Brown, Culum

    2018-07-01

    The marine environment is filled with biotic and abiotic sounds. Some of these sounds predict important events that influence fitness while others are unimportant. Individuals can learn specific sound cues and 'soundscapes' and use them for vital activities such as foraging, predator avoidance, communication and orientation. Most research with sounds in elasmobranchs has focused on hearing thresholds and attractiveness to sound sources, but very little is known about their abilities to learn about sounds, especially in benthic species. Here we investigated if juvenile Port Jackson sharks could learn to associate a musical stimulus with a food reward, discriminate between two distinct musical stimuli, and whether individual personality traits were linked to cognitive performance. Five out of eight sharks were successfully conditioned to associate a jazz song with a food reward delivered in a specific corner of the tank. We observed repeatable individual differences in activity and boldness in all eight sharks, but these personality traits were not linked to the learning performance assays we examined. These sharks were later trained in a discrimination task, where they had to distinguish between the same jazz and a novel classical music song, and swim to opposite corners of the tank according to the stimulus played. The sharks' performance to the jazz stimulus declined to chance levels in the discrimination task. Interestingly, some sharks developed a strong side bias to the right, which in some cases was not the correct side for the jazz stimulus.

  13. Melody Track Selection Using Discriminative Language Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao; Li, Ming; Suo, Hongbin; Yan, Yonghong

    In this letter we focus on the task of selecting the melody track from a polyphonic MIDI file. Based on the intuition that music and language are similar in many aspects, we solve the selection problem by introducing an n-gram language model to learn the melody co-occurrence patterns in a statistical manner and determine the melodic degree of a given MIDI track. Furthermore, we propose the idea of using background model and posterior probability criteria to make modeling more discriminative. In the evaluation, the achieved 81.6% correct rate indicates the feasibility of our approach.

  14. An experimental study of the correlates and consequences of perceiving oneself to be the target of gender discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Christia Spears; Bigler, Rebecca S; Chu, Hui

    2010-10-01

    An experimental methodology was used to test hypotheses concerning the effects of contextual, cognitive-developmental, and individual difference factors on children's views of whether they have been the target of gender discrimination and the possible consequent effect of such views on two forms of state self-esteem: performance and social acceptance. Children (N=108, 5-11 years of age) completed theory of mind and gender attitude measures and a drawing task. Next, children received feedback that was designed to appear either gender biased (discrimination condition) or nonbiased (control condition). Children's attributions for the feedback and state self-esteem were assessed. As expected, children reported having been the target of gender discrimination more often in the discrimination condition than in the control condition. Older and more cognitively advanced children made fewer attributions to discrimination than their peers. Perceptions of discrimination were associated with higher performance state self-esteem and, among egalitarian children, lower social state self-esteem. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Does Spontaneous Favorability to Power (vs. Universalism) Values Predict Spontaneous Prejudice and Discrimination?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souchon, Nicolas; Maio, Gregory R; Hanel, Paul H P; Bardin, Brigitte

    2017-10-01

    We conducted five studies testing whether an implicit measure of favorability toward power over universalism values predicts spontaneous prejudice and discrimination. Studies 1 (N = 192) and 2 (N = 86) examined correlations between spontaneous favorability toward power (vs. universalism) values, achievement (vs. benevolence) values, and a spontaneous measure of prejudice toward ethnic minorities. Study 3 (N = 159) tested whether conditioning participants to associate power values with positive adjectives and universalism values with negative adjectives (or inversely) affects spontaneous prejudice. Study 4 (N = 95) tested whether decision bias toward female handball players could be predicted by spontaneous attitude toward power (vs. universalism) values. Study 5 (N = 123) examined correlations between spontaneous attitude toward power (vs. universalism) values, spontaneous importance toward power (vs. universalism) values, and spontaneous prejudice toward Black African people. Spontaneous positivity toward power (vs. universalism) values was associated with spontaneous negativity toward minorities and predicted gender bias in a decision task, whereas the explicit measures did not. These results indicate that the implicit assessment of evaluative responses attached to human values helps to model value-attitude-behavior relations. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Personality Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Preferential processing of task-irrelevant beloved-related information and task performance: Two event-related potential studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van Strien, Jan W

    2017-09-18

    People who are in love have better attention for beloved-related information, but report having trouble focusing on other tasks, such as (home)work. So, romantic love can both improve and hurt cognition. Emotional information is preferentially processed, which improves task performance when the information is task-relevant, but hurts task performance when it is task-irrelevant. Because beloved-related information is highly emotional, the effects of romantic love on cognition may resemble these effects of emotion on cognition. We examined whether beloved-related information is preferentially processed even when it is task-irrelevant and whether this hurts task performance. In two event-related potential studies, participants who had recently fallen in love performed a visuospatial short-term memory task. Task-irrelevant beloved, friend, and stranger faces were presented during maintenance (Study 1), or encoding (Study 2). The Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) reflecting early automatic attentional capturing and the Late Positive Potential (LPP) reflecting sustained motivated attention were largest for beloved pictures. Thus, beloved pictures are preferentially processed even when they are task-irrelevant. Task performance and reaction times did not differ between beloved, friend, and stranger conditions. Nevertheless, self-reported obsessive thinking about the beloved tended to correlate negatively with task performance, and positively with reaction times, across conditions. So, although task-irrelevant beloved-related information does not impact task performance, more obsessive thinking about the beloved might relate to poorer and slower overall task performance. More research is needed to clarify why people experience trouble focusing on beloved-unrelated tasks and how this negative effect of love on cognition could be reduced. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The consequences of perceived discrimination for psychological well-being: a meta-analytic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Michael T; Branscombe, Nyla R; Postmes, Tom; Garcia, Amber

    2014-07-01

    In 2 meta-analyses, we examined the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological well-being and tested a number of moderators of that relationship. In Meta-Analysis 1 (328 independent effect sizes, N = 144,246), we examined correlational data measuring both perceived discrimination and psychological well-being (e.g., self-esteem, depression, anxiety, psychological distress, life satisfaction). Using a random-effects model, the mean weighted effect size was significantly negative, indicating harm (r = -.23). Effect sizes were larger for disadvantaged groups (r = -.24) compared to advantaged groups (r = -.10), larger for children compared to adults, larger for perceptions of personal discrimination compared to group discrimination, and weaker for racism and sexism compared to other stigmas. The negative relationship was significant across different operationalizations of well-being but was somewhat weaker for positive outcomes (e.g., self-esteem, positive affect) than for negative outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety, negative affect). Importantly, the effect size was significantly negative even in longitudinal studies that controlled for prior levels of well-being (r = -.15). In Meta-Analysis 2 (54 independent effect sizes, N = 2,640), we examined experimental data from studies manipulating perceptions of discrimination and measuring well-being. We found that the effect of discrimination on well-being was significantly negative for studies that manipulated general perceptions of discrimination (d = -.25), but effects did not differ from 0 when attributions to discrimination for a specific negative event were compared to personal attributions (d = .06). Overall, results support the idea that the pervasiveness of perceived discrimination is fundamental to its harmful effects on psychological well-being. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. Multi-task feature selection in microarray data by binary integer programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Liang; Vucetic, Slobodan

    2013-12-20

    A major challenge in microarray classification is that the number of features is typically orders of magnitude larger than the number of examples. In this paper, we propose a novel feature filter algorithm to select the feature subset with maximal discriminative power and minimal redundancy by solving a quadratic objective function with binary integer constraints. To improve the computational efficiency, the binary integer constraints are relaxed and a low-rank approximation to the quadratic term is applied. The proposed feature selection algorithm was extended to solve multi-task microarray classification problems. We compared the single-task version of the proposed feature selection algorithm with 9 existing feature selection methods on 4 benchmark microarray data sets. The empirical results show that the proposed method achieved the most accurate predictions overall. We also evaluated the multi-task version of the proposed algorithm on 8 multi-task microarray datasets. The multi-task feature selection algorithm resulted in significantly higher accuracy than when using the single-task feature selection methods.

  19. Overview of job and task analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertman, D.I.

    1984-01-01

    During the past few years the nuclear industry has become concerned with predicting human performance in nuclear power plants. One of the best means available at the present time to make sure that training, procedures, job performance aids and plant hardware match the capabilities and limitations of personnel is by performing a detailed analysis of the tasks required in each job position. The approved method for this type of analysis is referred to as job or task analysis. Job analysis is a broader type of analysis and is usually thought of in terms of establishing overall performance objectives, and in establishing a basis for position descriptions. Task analysis focuses on the building blocks of task performance, task elements, and places them within the context of specific performance requirements including time to perform, feedback required, special tools used, and required systems knowledge. The use of task analysis in the nuclear industry has included training validation, preliminary risk screening, and procedures development

  20. Object recognition with hierarchical discriminant saliency networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Sunhyoung; Vasconcelos, Nuno

    2014-01-01

    The benefits of integrating attention and object recognition are investigated. While attention is frequently modeled as a pre-processor for recognition, we investigate the hypothesis that attention is an intrinsic component of recognition and vice-versa. This hypothesis is tested with a recognition model, the hierarchical discriminant saliency network (HDSN), whose layers are top-down saliency detectors, tuned for a visual class according to the principles of discriminant saliency. As a model of neural computation, the HDSN has two possible implementations. In a biologically plausible implementation, all layers comply with the standard neurophysiological model of visual cortex, with sub-layers of simple and complex units that implement a combination of filtering, divisive normalization, pooling, and non-linearities. In a convolutional neural network implementation, all layers are convolutional and implement a combination of filtering, rectification, and pooling. The rectification is performed with a parametric extension of the now popular rectified linear units (ReLUs), whose parameters can be tuned for the detection of target object classes. This enables a number of functional enhancements over neural network models that lack a connection to saliency, including optimal feature denoising mechanisms for recognition, modulation of saliency responses by the discriminant power of the underlying features, and the ability to detect both feature presence and absence. In either implementation, each layer has a precise statistical interpretation, and all parameters are tuned by statistical learning. Each saliency detection layer learns more discriminant saliency templates than its predecessors and higher layers have larger pooling fields. This enables the HDSN to simultaneously achieve high selectivity to target object classes and invariance. The performance of the network in saliency and object recognition tasks is compared to those of models from the biological and

  1. Pavlovian conditioning enhances resistance to disruption of dogs performing an odor discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Nathaniel J; Smith, David W; Wynne, Clive D L

    2015-05-01

    Domestic dogs are used to aid in the detection of a variety of substances such as narcotics and explosives. Under real-world detection situations there are many variables that may disrupt the dog's performance. Prior research on behavioral momentum theory suggests that higher rates of reinforcement produce greater resistance to disruption, and that this is heavily influenced by the stimulus-reinforcer relationship. The present study tests the Pavlovian interpretation of resistance to change using dogs engaged in an odor discrimination task. Dogs were trained on two odor discriminations that alternated every six trials akin to a multiple schedule in which the reinforcement probability for a correct response was always 1. Dogs then received several sessions of either odor Pavlovian conditioning to the S+ of one odor discrimination (Pavlovian group) or explicitly unpaired exposure to the S+ of one odor discrimination (Unpaired group). The remaining odor discrimination pair for each dog always remained an unexposed control. Resistance to disruption was assessed under presession feeding, a food-odor disruptor condition, and extinction, with baseline sessions intervening between disruption conditions. Equivalent baseline detection rates were observed across experimental groups and odorant pairs. Under disruption conditions, Pavlovian conditioning led to enhanced resistance to disruption of detection performance compared to the unexposed control odor discrimination. Unpaired odor conditioning did not influence resistance to disruption. These results suggest that changes in Pavlovian contingencies are sufficient to influence resistance to change. © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  2. Application of Phase Congruency for Discriminating Some Lung Diseases Using Chest Radiograph

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar Mohd Rijal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel procedure using phase congruency is proposed for discriminating some lung disease using chest radiograph. Phase congruency provides information about transitions between adjacent pixels. Abrupt changes of phase congruency values between pixels may suggest a possible boundary or another feature that may be used for discrimination. This property of phase congruency may have potential for deciding between disease present and disease absent where the regions of infection on the images have no obvious shape, size, or configuration. Five texture measures calculated from phase congruency and Gabor were shown to be normally distributed. This gave good indicators of discrimination errors in the form of the probability of Type I Error (δ and the probability of Type II Error (β. However, since 1 −  δ is the true positive fraction (TPF and β is the false positive fraction (FPF, an ROC analysis was used to decide on the choice of texture measures. Given that features are normally distributed, for the discrimination between disease present and disease absent, energy, contrast, and homogeneity from phase congruency gave better results compared to those using Gabor. Similarly, for the more difficult problem of discriminating lobar pneumonia and lung cancer, entropy and homogeneity from phase congruency gave better results relative to Gabor.

  3. The discrimination of d-tartrate positive and d-tartrate negative S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Paratyphi B isolated in Malaysia by phenotypic and genotypic methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Norazah; Hoon, Shirley Tang Gee; Ghani, Mohamed Kamel Abd; Tee, Koh Yin

    2012-06-01

    Serotyping is not sufficient to differentiate between Salmonella species that cause paratyphoid fever from the strains that cause milder gastroenteritis as these organisms share the same serotype Salmonella Paratyphi B (S. Paratyphi B). Strains causing paratyphoid fever do not ferment d-tartrate and this key feature was used in this study to determine the prevalence of these strains among the collection of S. Paratyphi B strains isolated from patients in Malaysia. A total of 105 isolates of S. Paratyphi B were discriminated into d-tartrate positive (dT+) and d-tartrate negative (dT) variants by two lead acetate test protocols and multiplex PCR. The lead acetate test protocol 1 differed from protocol 2 by a lower inoculum size and different incubation conditions while the multiplex PCR utilized 2 sets of primers targeting the ATG start codon of the gene STM3356. Lead acetate protocol 1 discriminated 97.1% of the isolates as S. Paratyphi B dT+ and 2.9% as dT while test protocol 2 discriminated all the isolates as S. Paratyphi B dT+. The multiplex PCR test identified all 105 isolates as S. Paratyphi B dT+ strains. The concordance of the lead acetate test relative to that of multiplex PCR was 97.7% and 100% for protocol 1 and 2 respectively. This study showed that S. Paratyphi B dT+ is a common causative agent of gastroenteritis in Malaysia while paratyphoid fever appears to be relatively uncommon. Multiplex PCR was shown to be a simpler, more rapid and reliable method to discriminate S. Paratyphi B than the phenotypic lead acetate test.

  4. Role of the middle ear muscle apparatus in mechanisms of speech signal discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, B. S.; Bazarov, V. G.; Sachenko, S. V.

    1980-01-01

    A method of impedance reflexometry was used to examine 101 students with hearing impairment in order to clarify the interrelation between speech discrimination and the state of the middle ear muscles. Ability to discriminate speech signals depends to some extent on the functional state of intraaural muscles. Speech discrimination was greatly impaired in the absence of stapedial muscle acoustic reflex, in the presence of low thresholds of stimulation and in very small values of reflex amplitude increase. Discrimination was not impeded in positive AR, high values of relative thresholds and normal increase of reflex amplitude in response to speech signals with augmenting intensity.

  5. Quantifying explainable discrimination and removing illegal discrimination in automated decision making