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Sample records for potential bronchoconstrictor stimuli

  1. The protective effect of a beta 2 agonist against excessive airway narrowing in response to bronchoconstrictor stimuli in asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bel, E. H.; Zwinderman, A. H.; Timmers, M. C.; Dijkman, J. H.; Sterk, P. J.

    1991-01-01

    Beta 2 agonists reduce airway hypersensitivity to bronchoconstrictor stimuli acutely in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease. To determine whether these drugs also protect against excessive airway narrowing, the effect of inhaled salbutamol on the position and shape of the dose-response curves for histamine or methacholine was investigated in 12 patients with asthma and 11 with chronic obstructive lung disease. After pretreatment with salbutamol (200 or 400 micrograms) or placebo in a double blind manner dose-response curves for inhaled histamine and methacholine were obtained by a standard method on six days in random order. Airway sensitivity was defined as the concentration of histamine or methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20). A maximal response plateau on the log dose-response curve was considered to be present if two or more data points for FEV1 fell within a 5% response range. In the absence of a plateau, the test was continued until a predetermined level of severe bronchoconstriction was reached. Salbutamol caused an acute increase in FEV1 (mean increase 11.5% predicted in asthma, 7.2% in chronic obstructive lung disease), and increase in PC20 (mean 15 fold in asthma, fivefold in chronic obstructive lung disease), and an increase in the slope of the dose-response curves in both groups. In subjects in whom a plateau of FEV1 response could be measured salbutamol did not change the level of the plateau. In subjects without a plateau salbutamol did not lead to the development of a plateau, despite achieving a median FEV1 of 44% predicted in asthma and 39% in chronic obstructive lung disease. These results show that, although beta 2 agonists acutely reduce the airway response to a given strength of bronchoconstrictor stimulus, they do not protect against excessive airflow obstruction if there is exposure to relatively strong stimuli. This, together with the steepening of the dose-response curve, could be a disadvantage of beta 2

  2. Different pressor and bronchoconstrictor properties of human big-endothelin-1, 2 (1-38) and 3 in ketamine/xylazine-anaesthetized guinea-pigs.

    OpenAIRE

    Gratton, J P; Rae, G A; Claing, A; Télémaque, S; D'Orléans-Juste, P

    1995-01-01

    1. In the present study, the precursors of endothelin-1, endothelin-2 and endothelin-3 were tested for their pressor and bronchoconstrictor properties in the anaesthetized guinea-pig. In addition, the effects of big-endothelin-1 and endothelin-1 were assessed under urethane or ketamine/xylazine anaesthesia. 2. When compared to ketamine/xylazine, urethane markedly depressed the pressor and bronchoconstrictor properties of endothelin-1 and big-endothelin-1. 3. Under ketamine/xylazine anaesthesi...

  3. Long-latency auditory evoked potentials with verbal and nonverbal stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppitz, Sheila Jacques; Didoné, Dayane Domeneghini; Silva, Débora Durigon da; Gois, Marjana; Folgearini, Jordana; Ferreira, Geise Corrêa; Garcia, Michele Vargas

    2015-01-01

    Long-latency auditory evoked potentials represent the cortical activity related to attention, memory, and auditory discrimination skills. Acoustic signal processing occurs differently between verbal and nonverbal stimuli, influencing the latency and amplitude patterns. To describe the latencies of the cortical potentials P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3, as well as P3 amplitude, with different speech stimuli and tone bursts, and to classify them in the presence and absence of these data. A total of 30 subjects with normal hearing were assessed, aged 18-32 years old, matched by gender. Nonverbal stimuli were used (tone burst; 1000Hz - frequent and 4000Hz - rare); and verbal (/ba/ - frequent; /ga/, /da/, and /di/ - rare). Considering the component N2 for tone burst, the lowest latency found was 217.45ms for the BA/DI stimulus; the highest latency found was 256.5ms. For the P3 component, the shortest latency with tone burst stimuli was 298.7 with BA/GA stimuli, the highest, was 340ms. For the P3 amplitude, there was no statistically significant difference among the different stimuli. For latencies of components P1, N1, P2, N2, P3, there were no statistical differences among them, regardless of the stimuli used. There was a difference in the latency of potentials N2 and P3 among the stimuli employed but no difference was observed for the P3 amplitude. Copyright © 2015 Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  4. Long-latency auditory evoked potentials with verbal and nonverbal stimuli,

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    Sheila Jacques Oppitz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Long-latency auditory evoked potentials represent the cortical activity related to attention, memory, and auditory discrimination skills. Acoustic signal processing occurs differently between verbal and nonverbal stimuli, influencing the latency and amplitude patterns. OBJECTIVE: To describe the latencies of the cortical potentials P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3, as well as P3 amplitude, with different speech stimuli and tone bursts, and to classify them in the presence and absence of these data. METHODS: A total of 30 subjects with normal hearing were assessed, aged 18-32 years old, matched by gender. Nonverbal stimuli were used (tone burst; 1000 Hz - frequent and 4000 Hz - rare; and verbal (/ba/ - frequent; /ga/, /da/, and /di/ - rare. RESULTS: Considering the component N2 for tone burst, the lowest latency found was 217.45 ms for the BA/DI stimulus; the highest latency found was 256.5 ms. For the P3 component, the shortest latency with tone burst stimuli was 298.7 with BA/GA stimuli, the highest, was 340 ms. For the P3 amplitude, there was no statistically significant difference among the different stimuli. For latencies of components P1, N1, P2, N2, P3, there were no statistical differences among them, regardless of the stimuli used. CONCLUSION: There was a difference in the latency of potentials N2 and P3 among the stimuli employed but no difference was observed for the P3 amplitude.

  5. Pedophilic brain potential responses to adult erotic stimuli.

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

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    Michida, Nanae; Hayashi, Mitsuo; Hori, Tadao

    2005-07-01

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

  7. The Role of Eosinophilic Cationic Proteins, Total IgE and Eosinophilia in Children with Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness

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    Ungureanu Adina

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Bronchial hyperreactivity (HRB, is defined as an excessive bronchial constriction that acts as an exaggerated bronchoconstrictor of the airways. This occurs as a secondary action of a nonspecific stimuli.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Relationship between loss in parenchymal elastic recoil pressure and maximal airway narrowing in subjects with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheung, D.; Schot, R.; Zwinderman, A. H.; Zagers, H.; Dijkman, J. H.; Sterk, P. J.

    1997-01-01

    Airway hyperresponsiveness is characterized by an increase in sensitivity and excessive airway narrowing to inhaled bronchoconstrictor stimuli. There is experimental evidence that maximal airway narrowing is related to lung elasticity in normal and asthmatic subjects. We hypothesized that reduced

  10. Protective effect of inhaled budesonide against unlimited airway narrowing to methacholine in atopic patients with asthma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booms, P.; Cheung, D.; Timmers, M. C.; Zwinderman, A. H.; Sterk, P. J.

    1997-01-01

    Patients with asthma who have moderate to severe airway hyperresponsiveness often demonstrate progressive, unlimited airway narrowing in response to inhaled bronchoconstrictor stimuli, which is likely to be due to inflammatory changes within the airway wall. It is unknown whether regular therapy

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. The processing of infrequently-presented low-intensity stimuli during natural sleep: An event-related potential study

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    Alexandra Muller-Gass

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Event-related potentials (ERPs provide an exquisite means to measure the extent of processing of external stimuli during the sleep period. This study examines ERPs elicited by stimuli with physical characteristics akin to environmental noise encountered during sleep. Brief duration 40, 60 or 80 dB sound pressure level (SPL tones were presented either rapidly (on average every two seconds or slowly (on average every 10 seconds. The rates of presentation and intensity of the stimuli were similar to those observed in environmental studies of noise. ERPs were recorded from nine young adults during sleep and wakefulness. During wakefulness, the amplitude of an early negative ERP, N1, systematically increased as intensity level increased. A later positivity, the P3a, was apparent following the loudest 80 dB stimulus regardless of the rate of stimulus presentation; it was also apparent following the 60 dB stimulus, when stimuli were presented slowly. The appearance of the N1-P3a deflections suggests that operations of the central executive controlling ongoing cognitive activity was interrupted, forcing subjects to become aware of the obtrusive task-irrelevant stimuli. The auditory stimuli elicited very different ERP patterns during sleep. During non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep, the ERP was characterized by an enhanced (relative to wakefulness early positivity, P2, followed by a very prominent negativity, the N350. Both deflections systematically varied in amplitude with stimulus intensity level; in addition, N350 was much larger when stimuli were presented at slow rates. The N350, a sleep-specific ERP, is thought to reflect the inhibition of processing of potentially sleep-disrupting stimulus input. During rapid eye movement (REM sleep, a small amplitude N1 was apparent in the ERP, but only for the loudest, 80 dB stimulus. A small (nonsignificant P3a-like deflection was also visible following the 80 dB stimulus, but only when stimuli were presented

  13. Sex differences in event-related potentials and attentional biases to emotional facial stimuli.

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    Pfabigan, Daniela M; Lamplmayr-Kragl, Elisabeth; Pintzinger, Nina M; Sailer, Uta; Tran, Ulrich S

    2014-01-01

    Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women) performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Using the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.

  14. Sex differences in event-related potentials and attentional biases to emotional facial stimuli

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    Daniela M. Pfabigan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Under the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.

  15. Modulations of 'late' event-related brain potentials in humans by dynamic audiovisual speech stimuli.

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    Lebib, Riadh; Papo, David; Douiri, Abdel; de Bode, Stella; Gillon Dowens, Margaret; Baudonnière, Pierre-Marie

    2004-11-30

    Lipreading reliably improve speech perception during face-to-face conversation. Within the range of good dubbing, however, adults tolerate some audiovisual (AV) discrepancies and lipreading, then, can give rise to confusion. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study the perceptual strategies governing the intermodal processing of dynamic and bimodal speech stimuli, either congruently dubbed or not. Electrophysiological analyses revealed that non-coherent audiovisual dubbings modulated in amplitude an endogenous ERP component, the N300, we compared to a 'N400-like effect' reflecting the difficulty to integrate these conflicting pieces of information. This result adds further support for the existence of a cerebral system underlying 'integrative processes' lato sensu. Further studies should take advantage of this 'N400-like effect' with AV speech stimuli to open new perspectives in the domain of psycholinguistics.

  16. The effects of preferred natural stimuli on humans' affective states, physiological stress and mental health, and the potential implications for well-being in captive animals.

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    Ross, Misha; Mason, Georgia J

    2017-12-01

    Exposure to certain natural stimuli improves people's moods, reduces stress, enhances stress resilience, and promotes mental and physical health. Laboratory studies and real estate prices also reveal that humans prefer environments containing a broad range of natural stimuli. Potential mediators of these outcomes include: 1) therapeutic effects of specific natural products; 2) positive affective responses to stimuli that signalled safety and resources to our evolutionary ancestors; 3) attraction to environments that satisfy innate needs to explore and understand; and 4) ease of sensory processing, due to the stimuli's "evolutionary familiarity" and/or their fractal, self-repeating properties. These processes, and the benefits humans gain from natural stimuli, seem to be largely innate. They thus have strong implications for other species (including laboratory, farm and zoo animals living in environments devoid of natural stimuli), suggesting that they too may have nature-related "sensory needs". By promoting positive affect and stress resilience, preferred natural stimuli (including views, sounds and odours) could therefore potentially provide effective and efficient ways to improve captive animal well-being. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2012-07-16

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

  18. Do event-related potentials to infrequent decrements in duration of auditory stimuli demonstrate a memory trace in man?

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    Näätänen, R; Paavilainen, P; Reinikainen, K

    1989-12-15

    Sequences of identical acoustic stimuli were presented to normal subjects reading a book while event-related brain potentials (ERP) elicited by these stimuli were recorded. Occasional irrelevant decreases and increases in stimulus duration elicited an ERP component called the mismatch negativity (MMN). This component was larger over the right hemisphere irrespective of the ear stimulated. These data implicate memory representations which develop automatically and represent the physical features of the repetitive stimulus accurately. Further, when an input does not match with such a trace the MMN is generated. The memory traces involved appear to be those of the acoustic sensory memory, the 'echoic' memory.

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

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    Masami Hashimoto

    2011-10-01

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

  20. The Potential of Stimuli-Responsive Nanogels in Drug and Active Molecule Delivery for Targeted Therapy

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    Marta Vicario-de-la-Torre

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Nanogels (NGs are currently under extensive investigation due to their unique properties, such as small particle size, high encapsulation efficiency and protection of active agents from degradation, which make them ideal candidates as drug delivery systems (DDS. Stimuli-responsive NGs are cross-linked nanoparticles (NPs, composed of polymers, natural, synthetic, or a combination thereof that can swell by absorption (uptake of large amounts of solvent, but not dissolve due to the constituent structure of the polymeric network. NGs can undergo change from a polymeric solution (swell form to a hard particle (collapsed form in response to (i physical stimuli such as temperature, ionic strength, magnetic or electric fields; (ii chemical stimuli such as pH, ions, specific molecules or (iii biochemical stimuli such as enzymatic substrates or affinity ligands. The interest in NGs comes from their multi-stimuli nature involving reversible phase transitions in response to changes in the external media in a faster way than macroscopic gels or hydrogels due to their nanometric size. NGs have a porous structure able to encapsulate small molecules such as drugs and genes, then releasing them by changing their volume when external stimuli are applied.

  1. Self-esteem modulates automatic attentional responses to self-relevant stimuli: evidence from event-related brain potentials

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Jie; Shui, Qing; Zhong, Yiping

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have widely shown that self-esteem modulates the attention bias towards social rejection or emotion-related information. However, little is known about the influences of self-esteem on attention bias towards self-relevant stimuli. We aimed to investigate neural correlates that underlie the modulation effect of self-esteem on self-relevant processing. Event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded for subjects’ own names and close others’ names (the names of their friends) while...

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

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    Joe Bathelt

    2017-10-01

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

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

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    Benedetto eArnone

    2011-09-01

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

  4. Stimuli-Regulated Smart Polymeric Systems for Gene Therapy

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    Ansuja Pulickal Mathew

    2017-04-01

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

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

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    Richard Junior Manuel Godinez Tello

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

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

    2017-01-01

    time. Manipulation via expectation before the stimuli series was proven to be effective for pain modulation in the entire series of stimuli which lasted around 10min. The results suggest a potential benefit of manipulating expectations to alleviate emerging pain, since the obtained effects are moderate to large. It seems that expectation effect is strong enough to "overcome" even the direct effect of stimulus intensity (at least in the low to moderate intensity range), which suggests potential benefits of verbal instructions even in rather painful stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiajin eYuan

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Natural stimuli improve auditory BCIs with respect to ergonomics and performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höhne, Johannes; Krenzlin, Konrad; Dähne, Sven; Tangermann, Michael

    2012-08-01

    Moving from well-controlled, brisk artificial stimuli to natural and less-controlled stimuli seems counter-intuitive for event-related potential (ERP) studies. As natural stimuli typically contain a richer internal structure, they might introduce higher levels of variance and jitter in the ERP responses. Both characteristics are unfavorable for a good single-trial classification of ERPs in the context of a multi-class brain-computer interface (BCI) system, where the class-discriminant information between target stimuli and non-target stimuli must be maximized. For the application in an auditory BCI system, however, the transition from simple artificial tones to natural syllables can be useful despite the variance introduced. In the presented study, healthy users (N = 9) participated in an offline auditory nine-class BCI experiment with artificial and natural stimuli. It is shown that the use of syllables as natural stimuli does not only improve the users’ ergonomic ratings; also the classification performance is increased. Moreover, natural stimuli obtain a better balance in multi-class decisions, such that the number of systematic confusions between the nine classes is reduced. Hopefully, our findings may contribute to make auditory BCI paradigms more user friendly and applicable for patients.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth J Leehr

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca J Lepping

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. Stimuli-responsive magnetic particles for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-17

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

  17. Perceiving, imaging, and preferring physiognomic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindauer, M S

    1986-01-01

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

  18. Dopamine modulates reward system activity during subconscious processing of sexual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Nicole Y L; Rombouts, Serge Arb; Soeter, Roelof P; van Gerven, Joop M; Both, Stephanie

    2012-06-01

    Dopaminergic medication influences conscious processing of rewarding stimuli, and is associated with impulsive-compulsive behaviors, such as hypersexuality. Previous studies have shown that subconscious subliminal presentation of sexual stimuli activates brain areas known to be part of the 'reward system'. In this study, it was hypothesized that dopamine modulates activation in key areas of the reward system, such as the nucleus accumbens, during subconscious processing of sexual stimuli. Young healthy males (n=53) were randomly assigned to two experimental groups or a control group, and were administered a dopamine antagonist (haloperidol), a dopamine agonist (levodopa), or placebo. Brain activation was assessed during a backward-masking task with subliminally presented sexual stimuli. Results showed that levodopa significantly enhanced the activation in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal anterior cingulate when subliminal sexual stimuli were shown, whereas haloperidol decreased activations in those areas. Dopamine thus enhances activations in regions thought to regulate 'wanting' in response to potentially rewarding sexual stimuli that are not consciously perceived. This running start of the reward system might explain the pull of rewards in individuals with compulsive reward-seeking behaviors such as hypersexuality and patients who receive dopaminergic medication.

  19. Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Kazuya; Sato, Nobuya

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Relevance of the Irrelevant : Using Task-Irrelevant Emotional Stimuli to Test the Load-Hypothesis through ERP’s

    OpenAIRE

    Andersson, Per

    2010-01-01

    The role of attention and perceptual resources were studied in a one-back task and a letter-search task, both using the same stimuli. In the letter task, pictures were used as task-irrelevant and distracting emotional stimuli. The emotional processing of the pictures was measured through the Late Positive Potential (LPP), an event-related potential (ERP) recorded with EEG. LPP activity was significantly greater to emotional than neutral stimuli during the one-back task; this shows that emotio...

  4. 4D bioprinting: the next-generation technology for biofabrication enabled by stimuli-responsive materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi-Chen; Zhang, Yu Shrike; Akpek, Ali; Shin, Su Ryon; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2016-12-02

    Four-dimensional (4D) bioprinting, encompassing a wide range of disciplines including bioengineering, materials science, chemistry, and computer sciences, is emerging as the next-generation biofabrication technology. By utilizing stimuli-responsive materials and advanced three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting strategies, 4D bioprinting aims to create dynamic 3D patterned biological structures that can transform their shapes or behavior under various stimuli. In this review, we highlight the potential use of various stimuli-responsive materials for 4D printing and their extension into biofabrication. We first discuss the state of the art and limitations associated with current 3D printing modalities and their transition into the inclusion of the additional time dimension. We then suggest the potential use of different stimuli-responsive biomaterials as the bioink that may achieve 4D bioprinting where transformation of fabricated biological constructs can be realized. We finally conclude with future perspectives.

  5. Stimuli-responsive Smart Liposomes in Cancer Targeting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Ankit; Jain, Sanjay K

    2018-02-08

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

  6. Potencial evocado miogênico vestibular a baixas frequências de estimulação Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials using low frequency stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Cabral de Oliveira

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Os potenciais evocados miogênicos vestibulares são reflexos vestíbulo-cervicais, decorrentes da estimulação do sáculo com sons de forte intensidade. São necessários parâmetros de normalidade para indivíduos jovens normais, utilizando-se estímulos a baixas frequências, as quais configuram a região de maior sensibilidade desse órgão sensorial. OBJETIVO: Realizar normatização do potencial evocado miogênico vestibular para baixas frequências de estimulação. MATERIAL E MÉTODO: Captou-se o potencial evocado miogênico vestibular em 160 orelhas, no músculo esternocleidomastoideo, de forma ipsilateral, por meio da promediação de 200 tone bursts, frequência de 250 Hz, intensidade de 95 dB NAn. FORMA DE ESTUDO: Estudo de coorte contemporânea com corte transversal. RESULTADOS: Aplicando-se o teste T de Student ou o Teste de Mann-Whitney, não foi constatada diferença significativa para parâmetros do potencial evocado miogênico vestibular entre os gêneros, para p Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials are vestibulocervical reflexes resulting from sacculus stimulation with strong intensity sounds. Normality parameters are necessary for young normal individuals, using low frequency stimuli, which configure the most sensitive region of this sensory organ. AIM: To establish vestibular evoked myogenic potential standards for low frequency stimulation. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Vestibular evoked myogenic potential was captured from 160 ears, in the ipsilateral sternocleidomastoid muscle, using 200 averaged tone-burst stimuli, at 250 Hz, with an intensity of 95 dB NAn. CASE STUDY: Clinical observational cross-sectional. RESULTS: Neither the student's t-test nor the Mann-Whitney test showed a significant difference in latency or vestibular evoked myogenic potential amplitudes, for p <; 0.05. Irrespective of gender, we found latencies of p13-n23 and p13-n23 interpeaks of 13.84 ms (± 1.41, 23.81 ms (±1.99 and 10.62 ms (± 6.56, respectively

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syouya Tanabe

    2011-10-01

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

  8. In Situ Cross-Linking of Stimuli-Responsive Hemicellulose Microgels during Spray Drying

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Chemical cross-linking during spray drying offers the potential for green fabrication of microgels with a rapid stimuli response and good blood compatibility and provides a platform for stimuli-responsive hemicellulose microgels (SRHMGs). The cross-linking reaction occurs rapidly in situ at elevated temperature during spray drying, enabling the production of microgels in a large scale within a few minutes. The SRHMGs with an average size range of ∼1–4 μm contain O-acetyl-galactoglucomannan as a matrix and poly(acrylic acid), aniline pentamer (AP), and iron as functional additives, which are responsive to external changes in pH, electrochemical stimuli, magnetic field, or dual-stimuli. The surface morphologies, chemical compositions, charge, pH, and mechanical properties of these smart microgels were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, IR, zeta potential measurements, pH evaluation, and quantitative nanomechanical mapping, respectively. Different oxidation states were observed when AP was introduced, as confirmed by UV spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. Systematic blood compatibility evaluations revealed that the SRHMGs have good blood compatibility. This bottom-up strategy to synthesize SRHMGs enables a new route to the production of smart microgels for biomedical applications. PMID:25630464

  9. In situ cross-linking of stimuli-responsive hemicellulose microgels during spray drying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Weifeng; Nugroho, Robertus Wahyu N; Odelius, Karin; Edlund, Ulrica; Zhao, Changsheng; Albertsson, Ann-Christine

    2015-02-25

    Chemical cross-linking during spray drying offers the potential for green fabrication of microgels with a rapid stimuli response and good blood compatibility and provides a platform for stimuli-responsive hemicellulose microgels (SRHMGs). The cross-linking reaction occurs rapidly in situ at elevated temperature during spray drying, enabling the production of microgels in a large scale within a few minutes. The SRHMGs with an average size range of ∼ 1-4 μm contain O-acetyl-galactoglucomannan as a matrix and poly(acrylic acid), aniline pentamer (AP), and iron as functional additives, which are responsive to external changes in pH, electrochemical stimuli, magnetic field, or dual-stimuli. The surface morphologies, chemical compositions, charge, pH, and mechanical properties of these smart microgels were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, IR, zeta potential measurements, pH evaluation, and quantitative nanomechanical mapping, respectively. Different oxidation states were observed when AP was introduced, as confirmed by UV spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. Systematic blood compatibility evaluations revealed that the SRHMGs have good blood compatibility. This bottom-up strategy to synthesize SRHMGs enables a new route to the production of smart microgels for biomedical applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganin, I P; Kaplan, A Ia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eLorenzo-López

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Poly(ethyl glyoxylate)-Poly(ethylene oxide) Nanoparticles: Stimuli-Responsive Drug Release via End-to-End Polyglyoxylate Depolymerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Bo; Gillies, Elizabeth R

    2017-08-07

    The ability to disrupt polymer assemblies in response to specific stimuli provides the potential to release drugs selectively at certain sites or conditions in vivo. However, most stimuli-responsive delivery systems require many stimuli-initiated events to release drugs. "Self-immolative polymers" offer the potential to provide amplified responses to stimuli as they undergo complete end-to-end depolymerization following the cleavage of a single end-cap. Herein, linker end-caps were developed to conjugate self-immolative poly(ethyl glyoxylate) (PEtG) with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) to form amphiphilic block copolymers. These copolymers were self-assembled to form nanoparticles in aqueous solution. Cleavage of the linker end-caps were triggered by a thiol reducing agent, UV light, H 2 O 2 , and combinations of these stimuli, resulting in nanoparticle disintegration. Low stimuli concentrations were effective in rapidly disrupting the nanoparticles. Nile red, doxorubin, and curcumin were encapsulated into the nanoparticles and were selectively released upon application of the appropriate stimulus. The ability to tune the stimuli-responsiveness simply by changing the linker end-cap makes this new platform highly attractive for applications in drug delivery.

  13. Fluctuations of estradiol during women's menstrual cycle: Influences on reactivity towards erotic stimuli in the late positive potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munk, Aisha J L; Zoeller, Aaron C; Hennig, Juergen

    2018-05-01

    While several studies examined the reactivity towards negative emotional stimuli across women's menstrual cycle, only few investigated responses to positive emotional cues in association with sexual hormones on a neural level. Therefore, the aim of the current EEG-experiment was to study the differential reactivity towards positive (erotic) words during the menstrual cycle (i.e. with fluctuations in the steroids estradiol and progesterone) in the late positive potential (LPP). Regarding reactivity towards erotic stimuli, the LPP is seen as the most relevant ERP-component, as more positive amplitudes in the LPP reflect larger incentive salience and higher arousal. The LPP towards erotic words was expected to be more pronounced during fertile phases of the menstrual cycle (around ovulation). Furthermore, associations with hormonal concentrations of estradiol and progesterone were investigated. 19 young, free cycling women were tested in an Erotic Stroop paradigm during the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase in a balanced cross-over design, while electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. LPPs in reaction to erotic compared to neutral words were larger in every phase. During the follicular phase and ovulation, higher estradiol-concentrations were associated with more positive LPP-amplitudes towards erotic- than to neutral words. No effects of progesterone, as well as no effects of cycle phase, were evident. Results are being discussed regarding implications for further research. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Emotional stimuli-provoked seizures potentially misdiagnosed as psychogenic non-epileptic attacks: A case of temporal lobe epilepsy with amygdala enlargement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidetaka Tamune

    Full Text Available The association between emotional stimuli and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE is largely unknown. Here, we report the case of a depressed, 50-year-old female complaining of episodes of a “spaced out” experience precipitated by emotional stimuli. Psychogenic non-epileptic attacks were suspected. However, video-EEG coupled with emotional stimuli-provoked procedures and MRI findings of amygdala enlargement, led to the diagnosis of left TLE. Accurate diagnosis and explanation improved her subjective depression and seizure frequency. This case demonstrated that emotional stimuli can provoke seizures in TLE and suggested the involvement of the enlarged amygdala and the modulation of emotion-related neural circuits. Keywords: Video-EEG, Psychogenic non-epileptic attacks, Temporal lobe epilepsy, Amygdala enlargement, Reflex seizure, Provoked seizure

  15. Emotional stimuli and motor conversion disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Gaze-independent ERP-BCIs: augmenting performance through location-congruent bimodal stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurlings, Marieke E.; Brouwer, Anne-Marie; Van Erp, Jan B. F.; Werkhoven, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Gaze-independent event-related potential (ERP) based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) yield relatively low BCI performance and traditionally employ unimodal stimuli. Bimodal ERP-BCIs may increase BCI performance due to multisensory integration or summation in the brain. An additional advantage of bimodal BCIs may be that the user can choose which modality or modalities to attend to. We studied bimodal, visual-tactile, gaze-independent BCIs and investigated whether or not ERP components’ tAUCs and subsequent classification accuracies are increased for (1) bimodal vs. unimodal stimuli; (2) location-congruent vs. location-incongruent bimodal stimuli; and (3) attending to both modalities vs. to either one modality. We observed an enhanced bimodal (compared to unimodal) P300 tAUC, which appeared to be positively affected by location-congruency (p = 0.056) and resulted in higher classification accuracies. Attending either to one or to both modalities of the bimodal location-congruent stimuli resulted in differences between ERP components, but not in classification performance. We conclude that location-congruent bimodal stimuli improve ERP-BCIs, and offer the user the possibility to switch the attended modality without losing performance. PMID:25249947

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  18. Emotional Stimuli and Motor Conversion Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Dynamism of Stimuli-Responsive Nanohybrids: Environmental Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Plazas-Tuttle

    2015-06-01

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

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

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    Yanna Ren

    2018-01-01

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

  1. An online brain-computer interface based on shifting attention to concurrent streams of auditory stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, N. J.; Schölkopf, B.

    2012-04-01

    We report on the development and online testing of an electroencephalogram-based brain-computer interface (BCI) that aims to be usable by completely paralysed users—for whom visual or motor-system-based BCIs may not be suitable, and among whom reports of successful BCI use have so far been very rare. The current approach exploits covert shifts of attention to auditory stimuli in a dichotic-listening stimulus design. To compare the efficacy of event-related potentials (ERPs) and steady-state auditory evoked potentials (SSAEPs), the stimuli were designed such that they elicited both ERPs and SSAEPs simultaneously. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided online, based on subjects' modulation of N1 and P3 ERP components measured during single 5 s stimulation intervals. All 13 healthy subjects were able to use the BCI, with performance in a binary left/right choice task ranging from 75% to 96% correct across subjects (mean 85%). BCI classification was based on the contrast between stimuli in the attended stream and stimuli in the unattended stream, making use of every stimulus, rather than contrasting frequent standard and rare ‘oddball’ stimuli. SSAEPs were assessed offline: for all subjects, spectral components at the two exactly known modulation frequencies allowed discrimination of pre-stimulus from stimulus intervals, and of left-only stimuli from right-only stimuli when one side of the dichotic stimulus pair was muted. However, attention modulation of SSAEPs was not sufficient for single-trial BCI communication, even when the subject's attention was clearly focused well enough to allow classification of the same trials via ERPs. ERPs clearly provided a superior basis for BCI. The ERP results are a promising step towards the development of a simple-to-use, reliable yes/no communication system for users in the most severely paralysed states, as well as potential attention-monitoring and -training applications outside the context of assistive technology.

  2. An online brain-computer interface based on shifting attention to concurrent streams of auditory stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, N J; Schölkopf, B

    2012-01-01

    We report on the development and online testing of an EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI) that aims to be usable by completely paralysed users—for whom visual or motor-system-based BCIs may not be suitable, and among whom reports of successful BCI use have so far been very rare. The current approach exploits covert shifts of attention to auditory stimuli in a dichotic-listening stimulus design. To compare the efficacy of event-related potentials (ERPs) and steady-state auditory evoked potentials (SSAEPs), the stimuli were designed such that they elicited both ERPs and SSAEPs simultaneously. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided online, based on subjects’ modulation of N1 and P3 ERP components measured during single 5-second stimulation intervals. All 13 healthy subjects were able to use the BCI, with performance in a binary left/right choice task ranging from 75% to 96% correct across subjects (mean 85%). BCI classification was based on the contrast between stimuli in the attended stream and stimuli in the unattended stream, making use of every stimulus, rather than contrasting frequent standard and rare “oddball” stimuli. SSAEPs were assessed offline: for all subjects, spectral components at the two exactly-known modulation frequencies allowed discrimination of pre-stimulus from stimulus intervals, and of left-only stimuli from right-only stimuli when one side of the dichotic stimulus pair was muted. However, attention-modulation of SSAEPs was not sufficient for single-trial BCI communication, even when the subject’s attention was clearly focused well enough to allow classification of the same trials via ERPs. ERPs clearly provided a superior basis for BCI. The ERP results are a promising step towards the development of a simple-to-use, reliable yes/no communication system for users in the most severely paralysed states, as well as potential attention-monitoring and -training applications outside the context of assistive technology. PMID:22333135

  3. Binocular Combination of Second-Order Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Preparation of stimuli for timbre perception studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labuschagne, Ilse B; Hanekom, Johan J

    2013-09-01

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

  5. Psychophysiological effects of audiovisual stimuli during cycle exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  6. Heavy cannabis use and attentional avoidance of anxiety-related stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.D.W. Wilcockson

    2016-06-01

    Conclusions: The findings suggest a difference in processing of emotional information in relation to neutral information between groups. It would appear that cannabis users avoid anxiety provoking stimuli. Such behaviour could potentially have motivational properties that could lead to exacerbating anxiety disorder-type behaviour.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Can persons with dementia be engaged with stimuli?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  9. The Feasibility of Gelatin-Based Retronasal Stimuli to Assess Olfactory Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Shepherd

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Links between some psychological disorders and olfactory deficits are well documented, and screening tests have been developed to exploit these associations. Odors can take one of two routes to the olfactory receptors in the nasal epithelium, the orthonasal or retronasal route. This article discusses the potential use of the retronasal route to assess olfaction using gelatin-based stimuli delivered orally. Using a relatively new psychophysical method, the Single-Interval Adjustment Matrix task, we estimated vanillin thresholds for five healthy participants sampling small vanillin flavored gels. Our data demonstrate the feasibility of using solid-state gustatory stimuli to assess retronasal perception.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  11. Emotion regulation during the encoding of emotional stimuli: Effects on subsequent memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leventon, Jacqueline S; Bauer, Patricia J

    2016-02-01

    In the adult literature, emotional arousal is regarded as a source of the enhancing effect of emotion on subsequent memory. Here, we used behavioral and electrophysiological methods to examine the role of emotional arousal on subsequent memory in school-age children. Furthermore, we implemented a reappraisal instruction to manipulate (down-regulate) emotional arousal at encoding to examine the relation between emotional arousal and subsequent memory. Participants (8-year-old girls) viewed emotional scenes as electrophysiological (EEG) data were recorded and participated in a memory task 1 to 5days later where EEG and behavioral responses were recorded; participants provided subjective ratings of the scenes after the memory task. The reappraisal instruction successfully reduced emotional arousal responses to negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. Similarly, recognition performance in both event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavior was impaired for reappraised negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. The findings indicate that ERPs are sensitive to the reappraisal of negative stimuli in children as young as 8years. Furthermore, the findings suggest an interaction of emotion and memory during the school years, implicating the explanatory role of emotional arousal at encoding on subsequent memory performance in female children as young as 8years. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Developing Affective Mental Imagery Stimuli with Multidimensional Scaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Facciani

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-30

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

  14. Usage of drip drops as stimuli in an auditory P300 BCI paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Minqiang; Jin, Jing; Zhang, Yu; Hu, Dewen; Wang, Xingyu

    2018-02-01

    Recently, many auditory BCIs are using beeps as auditory stimuli, while beeps sound unnatural and unpleasant for some people. It is proved that natural sounds make people feel comfortable, decrease fatigue, and improve the performance of auditory BCI systems. Drip drop is a kind of natural sounds that makes humans feel relaxed and comfortable. In this work, three kinds of drip drops were used as stimuli in an auditory-based BCI system to improve the user-friendness of the system. This study explored whether drip drops could be used as stimuli in the auditory BCI system. The auditory BCI paradigm with drip-drop stimuli, which was called the drip-drop paradigm (DP), was compared with the auditory paradigm with beep stimuli, also known as the beep paradigm (BP), in items of event-related potential amplitudes, online accuracies and scores on the likability and difficulty to demonstrate the advantages of DP. DP obtained significantly higher online accuracy and information transfer rate than the BP ( p  < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed test; p  < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed test). Besides, DP obtained higher scores on the likability with no significant difference on the difficulty ( p  < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed test). The results showed that the drip drops were reliable acoustic materials as stimuli in an auditory BCI system.

  15. Fabrication of stimuli-sensitive hydrogel for the removal of cesium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Hee-Man; Bong, Sang Bum; Park, Chan Woo; Lee, Kune Woo; Seo, Bum-Kyoung; Moon, Jei Kwon [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-05-15

    The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011 released a huge quantity of radioactive contaminants into the environment.1 Among these, cesium Cs-137 is the most problematic contaminant due to its long half-life (30.2 years), and high-energy gamma ray (γ-ray) emissions. 2 Various surface including road, roof, house, building were contaminated with Cs-137. These coating materials have some problems and limitation such as toxic component, and lack of reusability of materials related to the cost. Thus, a more cost-effective and environmental friendly coating materials is still desired. 3 In the present study, the stimuli-sensitive hydrogel were fabricated for the removal of radioactive Cs from solid surface. We describe the morphology, structure, and physical property of these stimuli sensitive hydrogel. In addition, their ability to eliminate cesium was also evaluated. The smart hydrogel coating materials showed an excellent morphology change from the liquid to film by addition of Ca ion. Therefore, the stimuli-sensitive hydrogel demonstrated good potential for the treatment of contaminated surface for the removal of radioactive cesium.

  16. Fabrication of stimuli-sensitive hydrogel for the removal of cesium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Hee-Man; Bong, Sang Bum; Park, Chan Woo; Lee, Kune Woo; Seo, Bum-Kyoung; Moon, Jei Kwon

    2015-01-01

    The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011 released a huge quantity of radioactive contaminants into the environment.1 Among these, cesium Cs-137 is the most problematic contaminant due to its long half-life (30.2 years), and high-energy gamma ray (γ-ray) emissions. 2 Various surface including road, roof, house, building were contaminated with Cs-137. These coating materials have some problems and limitation such as toxic component, and lack of reusability of materials related to the cost. Thus, a more cost-effective and environmental friendly coating materials is still desired. 3 In the present study, the stimuli-sensitive hydrogel were fabricated for the removal of radioactive Cs from solid surface. We describe the morphology, structure, and physical property of these stimuli sensitive hydrogel. In addition, their ability to eliminate cesium was also evaluated. The smart hydrogel coating materials showed an excellent morphology change from the liquid to film by addition of Ca ion. Therefore, the stimuli-sensitive hydrogel demonstrated good potential for the treatment of contaminated surface for the removal of radioactive cesium

  17. The presence of a culturally similar or dissimilar social partner affects neural responses to emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate A. Woodcock

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Emotional responding is sensitive to social context; however, little emphasis has been placed on the mechanisms by which social context effects changes in emotional responding. Objective: We aimed to investigate the effects of social context on neural responses to emotional stimuli to inform on the mechanisms underpinning context-linked changes in emotional responding. Design: We measured event-related potential (ERP components known to index specific emotion processes and self-reports of explicit emotion regulation strategies and emotional arousal. Female Chinese university students observed positive, negative, and neutral photographs, whilst alone or accompanied by a culturally similar (Chinese or dissimilar researcher (British. Results: There was a reduction in the positive versus neutral differential N1 amplitude (indexing attentional capture by positive stimuli in the dissimilar relative to alone context. In this context, there was also a corresponding increase in amplitude of a frontal late positive potential (LPP component (indexing engagement of cognitive control resources. In the similar relative to alone context, these effects on differential N1 and frontal LPP amplitudes were less pronounced, but there was an additional decrease in the amplitude of a parietal LPP component (indexing motivational relevance in response to positive stimuli. In response to negative stimuli, the differential N1 component was increased in the similar relative to dissimilar and alone (trend context. Conclusion: These data suggest that neural processes engaged in response to emotional stimuli are modulated by social context. Possible mechanisms for the social-context-linked changes in attentional capture by emotional stimuli include a context-directed modulation of the focus of attention, or an altered interpretation of the emotional stimuli based on additional information proportioned by the context.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Marini

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Virtual reality stimuli for force platform posturography.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xin; Wu, Ching-Chih

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-15

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

  5. Instructed fear stimuli bias visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  6. Attribute amnesia is greatly reduced with novel stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weijia Chen

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-30

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

  9. Audiovisual Capture with Ambiguous Audiovisual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Michel Hupé

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Ideological reactivity: Political conservatism and brain responsivity to emotional and neutral stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tritt, Shona M; Peterson, Jordan B; Page-Gould, Elizabeth; Inzlicht, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Conservatives are often thought to have a negativity bias-responding more intensely to negative than positive information. Yet, recent research has found that greater endorsement of conservative beliefs follows from both positive and negative emotion inductions. This suggests that the role of affect in political thought may not be restricted to negative valence, and more attention should be given to how conservatives and liberals respond to a wider range of stimulation. In this vein, we examined neural responses to a full range of affective stimuli, allowing us to examine how self-reported ideology moderated these responses. Specifically, we explored the relationship between political orientation and 2 event-related potentials (1 late and 1 early) previously shown to covary with the subjective motivational salience of stimuli-in response to photographs with standardized ratings of arousal and valence. At late time points, conservatives exhibited sustained heightened reactivity, compared with liberals, specifically in response to relatively unarousing and neutral stimuli. At early time points, conservatives exhibited somewhat enhanced neural activity in response to all stimulus types compared with liberals. These results may suggest that conservatives experience a wide variety of stimuli in their environment with increased motivational salience, including positive, neutral, and low-arousal stimuli. No effects of valence were found in this investigation. Such findings have implications for the development and refinement of psychological conceptions of political orientation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspelin, Nicholas; Luck, Steven J

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS phase II: 930 new normative photos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu B Brodeur

    Full Text Available Researchers have only recently started to take advantage of the developments in technology and communication for sharing data and documents. However, the exchange of experimental material has not taken advantage of this progress yet. In order to facilitate access to experimental material, the Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS project was created as a free standardized set of visual stimuli accessible to all researchers, through a normative database. The BOSS is currently the largest existing photo bank providing norms for more than 15 dimensions (e.g. familiarity, visual complexity, manipulability, etc., making the BOSS an extremely useful research tool and a mean to homogenize scientific data worldwide. The first phase of the BOSS was completed in 2010, and contained 538 normative photos. The second phase of the BOSS project presented in this article, builds on the previous phase by adding 930 new normative photo stimuli. New categories of concepts were introduced, including animals, building infrastructures, body parts, and vehicles and the number of photos in other categories was increased. All new photos of the BOSS were normalized relative to their name, familiarity, visual complexity, object agreement, viewpoint agreement, and manipulability. The availability of these norms is a precious asset that should be considered for characterizing the stimuli as a function of the requirements of research and for controlling for potential confounding effects.

  15. Recall and recognition hypermnesia for Socratic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazén, Miguel; Solís-Macías, Víctor M

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Common brain activations for painful and non-painful aversive stimuli

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    Hayes Dave J

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Identification of potentially harmful stimuli is necessary for the well-being and self-preservation of all organisms. However, the neural substrates involved in the processing of aversive stimuli are not well understood. For instance, painful and non-painful aversive stimuli are largely thought to activate different neural networks. However, it is presently unclear whether there is a common aversion-related network of brain regions responsible for the basic processing of aversive stimuli. To help clarify this issue, this report used a cross-species translational approach in humans (i.e. meta-analysis and rodents (i.e. systematic review of functional neuroanatomy. Results Animal and human data combined to show a core aversion-related network, consisting of similar cortical (i.e. MCC, PCC, AI, DMPFC, RTG, SMA, VLOFC; see results section or abbreviation section for full names and subcortical (i.e. Amyg, BNST, DS, Hab, Hipp/Parahipp, Hyp, NAc, NTS, PAG, PBN, raphe, septal nuclei, Thal, LC, midbrain regions. In addition, a number of regions appeared to be more involved in pain-related (e.g. sensory cortex or non-pain-related (e.g. amygdala aversive processing. Conclusions This investigation suggests that aversive processing, at the most basic level, relies on similar neural substrates, and that differential responses may be due, in part, to the recruitment of additional structures as well as the spatio-temporal dynamic activity of the network. This network perspective may provide a clearer understanding of why components of this circuit appear dysfunctional in some psychiatric and pain-related disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. Steady-state VEP responses to uncomfortable stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hare, Louise

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanqing Li

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  2. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Diffuse optical tomography activation in the somatosensory cortex: specific activation by painful vs. non-painful thermal stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lino Becerra

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Pain is difficult to assess due to the subjective nature of self-reporting. The lack of objective measures of pain has hampered the development of new treatments as well as the evaluation of current ones. Functional MRI studies of pain have begun to delineate potential brain response signatures that could be used as objective read-outs of pain. Using Diffuse Optical Tomography (DOT, we have shown in the past a distinct DOT signal over the somatosensory cortex to a noxious heat stimulus that could be distinguished from the signal elicited by innocuous mechanical stimuli. Here we further our findings by studying the response to thermal innocuous and noxious stimuli.Innocuous and noxious thermal stimuli were applied to the skin of the face of the first division (ophthalmic of the trigeminal nerve in healthy volunteers (N = 6. Stimuli temperatures were adjusted for each subject to evoke warm (equivalent to a 3/10 and painful hot (7/10 sensations in a verbal rating scale (0/10 = no/max pain. A set of 26 stimuli (5 sec each was applied for each temperature with inter-stimulus intervals varied between 8 and 15 sec using a Peltier thermode. A DOT system was used to capture cortical responses on both sides of the head over the primary somatosensory cortical region (S1. For the innocuous stimuli, group results indicated mainly activation on the contralateral side with a weak ipsilateral response. For the noxious stimuli, bilateral activation was observed with comparable amplitudes on both sides. Furthermore, noxious stimuli produced a temporal biphasic response while innocuous stimuli produced a monophasic response.These results are in accordance with fMRI and our other DOT studies of innocuous mechanical and noxious heat stimuli. The data indicate the differentiation of DOT cortical responses for pain vs. innocuous stimuli that may be useful in assessing objectively acute pain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Nagy

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Molecularly Imprinted Polymers with Stimuli-Responsive Affinity: Progress and Perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Wei Chen; Yue Ma; Jianmin Pan; Zihui Meng; Guoqing Pan; Börje Sellergren

    2015-01-01

    Intelligent stimuli-responsive molecularly imprinted polymers (SR-MIPs) have attracted considerable research interest in recent years due to the potential applications in drug delivery, biotechnology and separation sciences. This review comprehensively summarizes various SR-MIPs, including the design and applications of thermo-responsive MIPs, pH-responsive MIPs, photo-responsive MIPs, biomolecule-responsive MIPs and ion-responsive MIPs. Besides the development of current SR-MIPs, the advanta...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lun; Wei, Jin-he

    2003-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu-Jie Yuan

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

  8. The effect of Ramadan fasting on spatial attention through emotional stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molavi, Maziyar; Yunus, Jasmy; Utama, Nugraha P

    2016-01-01

    Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants tended to react faster and prefer to relay on the type of facial emotions than to gaze direction while doing the task. Because of happy facial expression stimuli, right hemisphere activation was more than that of the left

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-04

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

  10. Thoughts of death modulate psychophysical and cortical responses to threatening stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elia Valentini

    Full Text Available Existential social psychology studies show that awareness of one's eventual death profoundly influences human cognition and behaviour by inducing defensive reactions against end-of-life related anxiety. Much less is known about the impact of reminders of mortality on brain activity. Therefore we explored whether reminders of mortality influence subjective ratings of intensity and threat of auditory and painful thermal stimuli and the associated electroencephalographic activity. Moreover, we explored whether personality and demographics modulate psychophysical and neural changes related to mortality salience (MS. Following MS induction, a specific increase in ratings of intensity and threat was found for both nociceptive and auditory stimuli. While MS did not have any specific effect on nociceptive and auditory evoked potentials, larger amplitude of theta oscillatory activity related to thermal nociceptive activity was found after thoughts of death were induced. MS thus exerted a top-down modulation on theta electroencephalographic oscillatory amplitude, specifically for brain activity triggered by painful thermal stimuli. This effect was higher in participants reporting higher threat perception, suggesting that inducing a death-related mind-set may have an influence on body-defence related somatosensory representations.

  11. Self-reference modulates the processing of emotional stimuli in the absence of explicit self-referential appraisal instructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauli, Paul; Herbert, Beate M.

    2011-01-01

    Self-referential evaluation of emotional stimuli has been shown to modify the way emotional stimuli are processed. This study aimed at a new approach by investigating whether self-reference alters emotion processing in the absence of explicit self-referential appraisal instructions. Event-related potentials were measured while subjects spontaneously viewed a series of emotional and neutral nouns. Nouns were preceded either by personal pronouns (‘my’) indicating self-reference or a definite article (‘the’) without self-reference. The early posterior negativity, a brain potential reflecting rapid attention capture by emotional stimuli was enhanced for unpleasant and pleasant nouns relative to neutral nouns irrespective of whether nouns were preceded by personal pronouns or articles. Later brain potentials such as the late positive potential were enhanced for unpleasant nouns only when preceded by personal pronouns. Unpleasant nouns were better remembered than pleasant or neutral nouns when paired with a personal pronoun. Correlation analysis showed that this bias in favor of self-related unpleasant concepts can be explained by participants’ depression scores. Our results demonstrate that self-reference acts as a first processing filter for emotional material to receive higher order processing after an initial rapid attention capture by emotional content has been completed. Mood-congruent processing may contribute to this effect. PMID:20855295

  12. Recent Advances in Stimuli-Responsive Release Function Drug Delivery Systems for Tumor Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chendi Ding

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Benefiting from the development of nanotechnology, drug delivery systems (DDSs with stimuli-responsive controlled release function show great potential in clinical anti-tumor applications. By using a DDS, the harsh side effects of traditional anti-cancer drug treatments and damage to normal tissues and organs can be avoided to the greatest extent. An ideal DDS must firstly meet bio-safety standards and secondarily the efficiency-related demands of a large drug payload and controlled release function. This review highlights recent research progress on DDSs with stimuli-responsive characteristics. The first section briefly reviews the nanoscale scaffolds of DDSs, including mesoporous nanoparticles, polymers, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs, quantum dots (QDs and carbon nanotubes (CNTs. The second section presents the main types of stimuli-responsive mechanisms and classifies these into two categories: intrinsic (pH, redox state, biomolecules and extrinsic (temperature, light irradiation, magnetic field and ultrasound ones. Clinical applications of DDS, future challenges and perspectives are also mentioned.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulman-Galambos, C; Galambos, R

    1978-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-28

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

  15. Emotion attribution to basic parametric static and dynamic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  17. Effects of Auditory Stimuli on Visual Velocity Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiaki Shibata

    2011-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Perceptual Sensitivity and Response to Strong Stimuli Are Related

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C. Bolders

    2017-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Influência dos contrastes de fala nos potenciais evocados auditivos corticais The influence of speech stimuli contrast in cortical auditory evoked potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kátia de Freitas Alvarenga

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Estudos voltados aos potenciais evocados auditivos com estímulos de fala em indivíduos ouvintes são importantes para compreender como a complexidade do estímulo influencia nas características do potencial cognitivo auditivo gerado. OBJETIVO: Caracterizar o potencial evocado auditivo cortical e o potencial cognitivo auditivo P3 com estímulos de contrastes vocálico e consonantal em indivíduos com audição normal. MÉTODO: Participaram deste estudo 31 indivíduos sem alterações auditivas, neurológicas e de linguagem na faixa etária de 7 a 30 anos. Os potenciais evocados auditivos corticais e cognitivo auditivo P3 foram registrados nos canais ativos Fz e Cz utilizando-se os contrastes de fala consonantal (/ba/-/da/ e vocálico (/i/-/a/. Desenho: Estudo de coorte, transversal e prospectivo. RESULTADOS: Houve diferença entre o contraste de fala utilizado e as latências dos componentes N2 (p = 0,00 e P3 (p = 0,00, assim como entre o canal ativo considerado (Fz/Cz e os valores de latência e amplitude de P3. Estas diferenças não ocorreram para os componentes exógenos N1 e P2. CONCLUSÃO: O contraste do estímulo de fala, vocálico ou consonantal, deve ser considerado na análise do potencial evocado cortical, componente N2, e do potencial cognitivo auditivo P3.Studies about cortical auditory evoked potentials using the speech stimuli in normal hearing individuals are important for understanding how the complexity of the stimulus influences the characteristics of the cortical potential generated. OBJECTIVE: To characterize the cortical auditory evoked potential and the P3 auditory cognitive potential with the vocalic and consonantal contrast stimuli in normally hearing individuals. METHOD: 31 individuals with no risk for hearing, neurologic and language alterations, in the age range between 7 and 30 years, participated in this study. The cortical auditory evoked potentials and the P3 auditory cognitive one were recorded in the Fz and Cz

  2. Stimuli-Adaptable Materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frankær, Sarah Maria Grundahl

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

  3. External-stimuli responsive systems for cancer theranostic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhui Yao

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Kristine Rømer Thomsen

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Merkel cells transduce and encode tactile stimuli to drive Aβ-afferent impulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Ryo; Cha, Myeounghoon; Ling, Jennifer; Jia, Zhanfeng; Coyle, Dennis; Gu, Jianguo G.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Sensory systems for detecting tactile stimuli have evolved from touch-sensing nerves in invertebrates to complicated tactile end-organs in mammals. Merkel discs are tactile end-organs consisting of Merkel cells and Aβ-afferent nerve endings, and are localized in fingertips, whisker hair follicles and other touch-sensitive spots. Merkel discs transduce touch into slowly adapting impulses to enable tactile discrimination, but their transduction and encoding mechanisms remain unknown. Using rat whisker hair follicles, we show that Merkel cells rather than Aβ-afferent nerve endings are primary sites of tactile transduction, and identify the Piezo2 ion channel as the Merkel cell mechanical transducer. Piezo2 transduces tactile stimuli into Ca2+-action potentials in Merkel cells, which drive Aβ-afferent nerve endings to fire slowly adapting impulses. We further demonstrate that Piezo2 and Ca2+-action potentials in Merkel cells are required for behavioral tactile responses. Our findings provide insights into how tactile end-organs function and have clinical implications for tactile dysfunctions. PMID:24746027

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise O'Hare

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

  10. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaramaa, Teija

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-06-15

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

  13. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials for therapeutic protein delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yue; Sun, Wujin; Gu, Zhen

    2014-11-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavropoulos, Katherine K M; Carver, Leslie J

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  16. Stimuli-Responsive Materials for Controlled Release Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice eTomassini

    2011-09-01

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

  18. Self-esteem modulates automatic attentional responses to self-relevant stimuli: Evidence from event-related brain potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie eChen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have widely shown that self-esteem modulates the attention bias towards social rejection or emotion-related information. However, little is known about the influences of self-esteem on attention bias towards self-relevant stimuli. We aimed to investigate neural correlates that underlie the modulation effect of self-esteem on self-relevant processing. Event-related potentials were recorded for subjects’ own names and close others’ names (the names of their friends while subjects performed a three-stimulus oddball task. The results showed larger P2 amplitudes for one’s own name than for close-other’s name in the low self-esteem group, whereas this P2 effect were not observed in the high self-esteem group. In addition, one’s own name elicited equivalent N250 amplitudes and larger P3 amplitudes compared with close-other’s name in both high and low self-esteem groups. However, no interaction effects were observed between self-esteem and self-relevant processing in the N250 and P3 components. Thus, we found that the modulation effects of self-esteem on self-relevant processing occurred at the early P2 stage, but not at the later N250 and P3 stages. These findings reflect that individuals with low self-esteem demonstrate automatic attention towards their own names.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, J; Meeter, M

    2014-05-01

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

  20. The effect of Ramadan fasting on spatial attention through emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molavi M

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Maziyar Molavi, Jasmy Yunus, Nugraha P Utama Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering (FBME, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM, Johor Bahru, Johor, MalaysiaAbstract: Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants

  1. [The Influence of Threatening Stimuli on the Component P200 in Patients with Paranoid Schizophrenia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strelets, V B; Arkhipov, A Yu

    2015-01-01

    We studied schizophrenic patients with the dominance of pseudohallucinations. As is well known, pseudohallucinations are the main syndrome of schizophrenia, the so-called first rank syndrome. Pseudohallucinations are defined as a disorder of sense (affective) perception. This disorder is mainly diagnosed from the clinical picture or by pathopsychologichal observations. We investigated the evoked potentials (EP) of brain after neutral and emotionally meaningful (threatening) visual stimuli in order to specify the neurophysiological disorders of affective perception in schizophrenic patients with severe paranoid-hallucinatory syndrome who did not receive neuroleptic therapy. The analysis of P200 component in healthy subjects showed an increase in the amplitude and shortening of the latency of this wave in response to thretaning stimuli, as compared to neutral stimuli. In the group of patients with schizophrenia, the analysis showed the same increase in the level of excitation in response to emotionally threatening stimuli. However, in schizophrenic patients there were also found certain areas where the amplitude and latency decreased or increased at the same time. The results show that patients with schizophrenia have the pathological effect of having parameters typical of the processes of both excitation and inhibition.

  2. Characterization of Ferrofluid-based Stimuli-responsive Elastomers

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Schlinger, Henry D.

    1993-01-01

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

  4. Affective Stimuli for an Auditory P300 Brain-Computer Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akinari Onishi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Gaze-independent brain computer interfaces (BCIs are a potential communication tool for persons with paralysis. This study applies affective auditory stimuli to investigate their effects using a P300 BCI. Fifteen able-bodied participants operated the P300 BCI, with positive and negative affective sounds (PA: a meowing cat sound, NA: a screaming cat sound. Permuted stimuli of the positive and negative affective sounds (permuted-PA, permuted-NA were also used for comparison. Electroencephalography data was collected, and offline classification accuracies were compared. We used a visual analog scale (VAS to measure positive and negative affective feelings in the participants. The mean classification accuracies were 84.7% for PA and 67.3% for permuted-PA, while the VAS scores were 58.5 for PA and −12.1 for permuted-PA. The positive affective stimulus showed significantly higher accuracy and VAS scores than the negative affective stimulus. In contrast, mean classification accuracies were 77.3% for NA and 76.0% for permuted-NA, while the VAS scores were −50.0 for NA and −39.2 for permuted NA, which are not significantly different. We determined that a positive affective stimulus with accompanying positive affective feelings significantly improved BCI accuracy. Additionally, an ALS patient achieved 90% online classification accuracy. These results suggest that affective stimuli may be useful for preparing a practical auditory BCI system for patients with disabilities.

  5. Models of intracellular mechanisms of plant bioelectrical potentials caused by combined stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Chernetchenko

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with bioelectrical potentials of the plants recorded during different types of stimuli and combined stimulus as well. All registrations were observed on the leaves of the corn. We used different stimuli, such as cold, heat, photo- and electrical stimulation, and certain combination of this stimuli. Hardware and software system for automated recording of bioelectrical potentials has been successfully used in this work. We proposed the universal pattern of bioelectrical potentials’ recording which allowed to detect the response of the biological object to different stimuli and various combinations of these stimuli. This pattern can be used for the deeper understanding of biological mechanisms of electrical potentials’ generation in cells and discovering of processes of accommodation of whole organisms to these stimuli. Integrated system of recording and biometrical processing was used for analysis of corn leaves electrical responses to the thermal stimuli. The dynamics of these potentials was studied, with the quantitative analysis of the potential level stabilization.We calculated the ratio of amplitude of response potentials to the first response amplitude. Mathematical models of the plant cell were used for studying of intracellular mechanisms of biopotentials gereration. As a result of modeling, we revealed that electrical response of the cells was based on selectiveconductivity of cell membrane for Н+ and Ca2+ ions. Therefore, we showed the biophysical relation of plant potentials to underlying intracellular biophysical mechanisms during thermal and combined stimulation.

  6. Individual differences in response to positive and negative stimuli: endocannabinoid-based insight on approach and avoidance behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela eLaricchiuta

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Approach and avoidance behaviors - the primary responses to the environmental stimuli of danger, novelty and reward - are associated with the brain structures that mediate cognitive functionality, reward sensitivity and emotional expression. Individual differences in approach and avoidance behaviors are modulated by the functioning of amygdaloid-hypothalamic-striatal and striatal-cerebellar networks implicated in action and reaction to salient stimuli. The nodes of these networks are strongly interconnected and by acting on them the endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems increase the intensity of appetitive or defensive motivation. This review analyzes the approach and avoidance behaviors in humans and rodents, addresses neurobiological and neurochemical aspects of these behaviors, and proposes a possible synaptic plasticity mechanism, related to endocannabinoid-dependent long-term potentiation and depression that allows responding to salient positive and negative stimuli.

  7. Multi-Functional Stimuli-Responsive Materials

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Beyond pleasure and arousal: appetitive erotic stimuli modulate electrophysiological brain correlates of early attentional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhr, Benjamin; Schomberg, Jessica; Gruber, Thomas; Quirin, Markus

    2013-03-27

    Previous studies investigating affective reactions to pictures that elicit a specific effect have mainly focused on the dimensions valence and arousal. Using an event-related picture-viewing paradigm in electroencephalography, we investigated whether erotica - that is appetitive, evolutionarily relevant stimuli - have effects on early stages of attentional processing that are distinct from those of other positive and arousing stimuli. Seventeen male students viewed arousing photos of erotic, nude women or pictures of extreme sport scenes, as well as control pictures of attractive, dressed women or daily activities. Erotic pictures differed from extreme sport pictures not only in late but also in early attentional processes, as indicated by event-related potentials appearing from 130 ms after stimulus onset (P1). The findings suggest (a) that the dimension of appetence should be considered in addition to valence and arousal when investigating psychophysiological reactions to affective-motivational stimuli and (b) that early attentional processing as mirrored by the P1 can be influenced by motivational systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freijy, Tanya; Mullan, Barbara; Sharpe, Louise

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligeza, Tomasz S; Wyczesany, Miroslaw

    2017-10-01

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

  11. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. Converging prefrontal pathways support associative and perceptual features of conditioned stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, James D; Kahnt, Thorsten; Gottfried, Jay A

    2016-05-04

    Perceptually similar stimuli often predict vastly different outcomes, requiring the brain to maintain specific associations in the face of potential ambiguity. This could be achieved either through local changes in stimulus representations, or through modulation of functional connections between stimulus-coding and outcome-coding regions. Here we test these competing hypotheses using classical conditioning of perceptually similar odours in the context of human fMRI. Pattern-based analyses of odour-evoked fMRI activity reveal that odour category, identity and value are coded in piriform (PC), orbitofrontal (OFC) and ventromedial prefrontal (vmPFC) cortices, respectively. However, we observe no learning-related reorganization of category or identity representations. Instead, changes in connectivity between vmPFC and OFC are correlated with learning-related changes in value, whereas connectivity changes between vmPFC and PC predict changes in perceived odour similarity. These results demonstrate that dissociable neural pathways support associative and perceptual representations of sensory stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. The mere exposure effect with scene stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    八木 , 善彦

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Auditory Time-Frequency Masking for Spectrally and Temporally Maximally-Compact Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Necciari, Thibaud; Laback, Bernhard; Savel, Sophie; Ystad, Sølvi; Balazs, Peter; Meunier, Sabine; Kronland-Martinet, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Many audio applications perform perception-based time-frequency (TF) analysis by decomposing sounds into a set of functions with good TF localization (i.e. with a small essential support in the TF domain) using TF transforms and applying psychoacoustic models of auditory masking to the transform coefficients. To accurately predict masking interactions between coefficients, the TF properties of the model should match those of the transform. This involves having masking data for stimuli with good TF localization. However, little is known about TF masking for mathematically well-localized signals. Most existing masking studies used stimuli that are broad in time and/or frequency and few studies involved TF conditions. Consequently, the present study had two goals. The first was to collect TF masking data for well-localized stimuli in humans. Masker and target were 10-ms Gaussian-shaped sinusoids with a bandwidth of approximately one critical band. The overall pattern of results is qualitatively similar to existing data for long maskers. To facilitate implementation in audio processing algorithms, a dataset provides the measured TF masking function. The second goal was to assess the potential effect of auditory efferents on TF masking using a modeling approach. The temporal window model of masking was used to predict present and existing data in two configurations: (1) with standard model parameters (i.e. without efferents), (2) with cochlear gain reduction to simulate the activation of efferents. The ability of the model to predict the present data was quite good with the standard configuration but highly degraded with gain reduction. Conversely, the ability of the model to predict existing data for long maskers was better with than without gain reduction. Overall, the model predictions suggest that TF masking can be affected by efferent (or other) effects that reduce cochlear gain. Such effects were avoided in the experiment of this study by using maximally

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Masaki; Seno, Takeharu

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Polymer-Block-Polypeptides and Polymer-Conjugated Hybrid Materials as Stimuli-Responsive Nanocarriers for Biomedical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Johnson V; Johnson, Renjith P; Heo, Min Seon; Moon, Byeong Kyu; Byeon, Seong Jin; Kim, Il

    2015-01-01

    Stimuli-responsive nanocarriers are a class of soft materials that includes natural polymers, synthetic polymers, and polypeptides. Recently, modern synthesis tools such as atom transfer radical polymerization, reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization, nitroxide-mediated radical polymerization, ring-opening polymerization of α-amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides, and various "click" chemistry strategies were simultaneously employed for the design and synthesis of nanosized drug delivery vehicles. Importantly, the research focused on the improvement of the nanocarrier targetability and the site-specific, triggered release of therapeutics with high drug loading efficiency and minimal drug leakage during the delivery to specific targets. In this context, nanocarriers responsive to common stimuli such as pH, temperature, redox potential, light, etc. have been widely used for the controlled delivery of therapeutics to pathological sites. Currently, different synthesis and self-assembly strategies improved the drug loading efficacy and targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to the desired site. In particular, polypeptide-containing hybrid materials have been developed for the controlled delivery of therapeutic agents. Therefore, stimuli-sensitive synthetic polypeptide-based materials have been extensively investigated in recent years. This review focuses on recent advances in the development of polymer-block-polypeptides and polymer-conjugated hybrid materials that have been designed and evaluated for various stimuli-responsive drug and gene delivery applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gori, Simone; Giora, Enrico; Pedersini, Riccardo

    2008-11-01

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

  1. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirce, Jonathan W

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Effects of nicotine and nicotine expectancy on attentional bias for emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Sally; Attwood, Angela S; Munafò, Marcus R

    2015-06-01

    Nicotine's effects on mood are thought to enhance its addictive potential. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of nicotine on affect regulation have not been reliably demonstrated in human laboratory studies. We investigated the effects of nicotine abstinence (Experiment 1), and nicotine challenge and expectancy (Experiment 2) on attentional bias towards facial emotional stimuli differing in emotional valence. In Experiment 1, 46 nicotine-deprived smokers were randomized to either continue to abstain from smoking or to smoke immediately before testing. In Experiment 2, 96 nicotine-deprived smokers were randomized to smoke a nicotinized or denicotinized cigarette and to be told that the cigarette did or did not contain nicotine. In both experiments participants completed a visual probe task, where positively valenced (happy) and negatively valenced (sad) facial expressions were presented, together with neutral facial expressions. In Experiment 1, there was evidence of an interaction between probe location and abstinence on reaction time, indicating that abstinent smokers showed an attentional bias for neutral stimuli. In Experiment 2, there was evidence of an interaction between probe location, nicotine challenge and expectation on reaction time, indicating that smokers receiving nicotine, but told that they did not receive nicotine, showed an attentional bias for emotional stimuli. Our data suggest that nicotine abstinence appears to disrupt attentional bias towards emotional facial stimuli. These data provide support for nicotine's modulation of attentional bias as a central mechanism for maintaining affect regulation in cigarette smoking. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Synthesis of stimuli-responsive chitosan-based hydrogels by Diels-Alder cross-linking `click´ reaction as potential carriers for drug administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guaresti, O; García-Astrain, C; Aguirresarobe, R H; Eceiza, A; Gabilondo, N

    2018-03-01

    Stimuli-responsive chitosan-based hydrogels for biomedical applications using the Diels-Alder reaction were prepared. Furan modified chitosan (Cs-Fu) was cross-linked with polyetheramine derived bismaleimide at different equivalent ratios in order to determine the effect in the swelling and release properties on the final CsFu:BMI hydrogels. The Diels Alder cross-linking reaction was monitored by UV-vis spectroscopy and rheological measurements. Both the sol-gel transition value and the final storage modulus for the different formulations were similar and close to 40 min and 400 Pa, respectively. On the contrary, the swelling degree was found to be strongly dependent on the amount of bismaleimide, mainly in acidic medium, where the increased cross-linking reduced the swelling value in 25%, but maintaining the sustained drug release in the simulated gastrointestinal environment. Our study suggested that these DA-cross-linked chitosan hydrogels could be potential carriers for targeted drug administration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-28

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

  5. Potentiation of latent inhibition by haloperidol and clozapine is attenuated in Dopamine D2 receptor (Drd-2)-deficient mice: Do antipsychotics influence learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli via both Drd-2 and non-Drd-2 mechanisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Callaghan, Matthew J; Bay-Richter, Cecilie; O’Tuathaigh, Colm MP; Heery, David M; Waddington, John L; Moran, Paula M

    2014-01-01

    Whether the dopamine Drd-2 receptor is necessary for the behavioural action of antipsychotic drugs is an important question, as Drd-2 antagonism is responsible for their debilitating motor side effects. Using Drd-2 null mice (Drd2 -/-) it has previously been shown that Drd-2 is not necessary for antipsychotic drugs to reverse D-amphetamine disruption of latent inhibition (LI), a behavioural measure of learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli. Weiner’s ‘two-headed’ model indicates that antipsychotics not only reverse LI disruption, ‘disrupted LI’, but also potentiate LI when low/absent in controls, ‘persistent’ LI. We investigated whether antipsychotic drugs haloperidol or clozapine potentiated LI in wild-type controls or Drd2 -/-. Both drugs potentiated LI in wild-type but not in Drd2-/- mice, suggesting moderation of this effect of antipsychotics in the absence of Drd-2. Haloperidol potentiated LI similarly in both Drd1-/- and wild-type mice, indicating no such moderation in Drd1-/-. These data suggest that antipsychotic drugs can have either Drd-2 or non-Drd-2 effects on learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli, depending on how the abnormality is produced. Identification of the non-Drd-2 mechanism may help to identify novel non-Drd2 based therapeutic strategies for psychosis. PMID:25122042

  6. Generating stimuli for neuroscience using PsychoPy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan W Peirce

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Exploring combinations of different color and facial expression stimuli for gaze-independent BCIs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long eChen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available AbstractBackground: Some studies have proven that a conventional visual brain computer interface (BCI based on overt attention cannot be used effectively when eye movement control is not possible. To solve this problem, a novel visual-based BCI system based on covert attention and feature attention had been proposed and was called the gaze-independent BCI. Color and shape difference between stimuli and backgrounds have generally been used in examples of gaze-independent BCIs. Recently, a new paradigm based on facial expression change had been presented, and obtained high performance. However, some facial expressions were so similar that users couldn’t tell them apart. Especially they were presented at the same position in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP paradigm. Consequently, the performance of BCIs is reduced.New Method: In this paper, we combined facial expressions and colors to optimize the stimuli presentation in the gaze-independent BCI. This optimized paradigm was called the colored dummy face pattern. It is suggested that different colors and facial expressions could help subjects to locate the target and evoke larger event-related potentials (ERPs. In order to evaluate the performance of this new paradigm, two other paradigms were presented, called the grey dummy face pattern and the colored ball pattern. Comparison with Existing Method(s: The key point that determined the value of the colored dummy faces stimuli in BCI systems were whether dummy face stimuli could obtain higher performance than grey faces or colored balls stimuli. Ten healthy subjects (7 male, aged 21-26 years, mean 24.5±1.25 participated in our experiment. Online and offline results of four different paradigms were obtained and comparatively analyzed.Results: The results showed that the colored dummy face pattern could evoke higher P300 and N400 ERP amplitudes, compared with the grey dummy face pattern and the colored ball pattern. Online results showed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy

    1999-01-01

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

  10. Positive mood broadens visual attention to positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M

    2006-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gondan, Matthias

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Stimuli-responsive PEGylated prodrugs for targeted doxorubicin delivery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  13. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy

    OpenAIRE

    Peirce, Jonathan W.

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Intracerebral Event-related Potentials to Subthreshold Target Stimuli

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brázdil, M.; Rektor, I.; Daniel, P.; Dufek, M.; Jurák, Pavel

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 112, č. 4 (2001), s. 650-661 ISSN 1388-2457 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA309/98/0490 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z2065902 Keywords : event-related potentials * intracerebral recordings * oddball paradigm Subject RIV: FA - Cardiovascular Diseases incl. Cardiotharic Surgery Impact factor: 1.922, year: 2001

  15. Stimuli-responsive protamine-based biodegradable nanocapsules for enhanced bioavailability and intracellular delivery of anticancer agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radhakrishnan, Krishna; Thomas, Midhun B.; Pulakkat, Sreeranjini [Indian Institute of Science, Department of Materials Engineering (India); Gnanadhas, Divya P.; Chakravortty, Dipshikha [Indian Institute of Science, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology (India); Raichur, Ashok M., E-mail: amr@materials.iisc.ernet.in [Indian Institute of Science, Department of Materials Engineering (India)

    2015-08-15

    Enzyme- and pH-responsive polyelectrolyte nanocapsules having diameters in the range of 200 ± 20 nm were fabricated by means of Layer-by-Layer assembly of biopolymers, protamine, and heparin, and then loaded with anticancer drug doxorubicin. The incorporation of the FDA-approved peptide drug protamine as a wall component rendered the capsules responsive to enzyme stimuli. The stimuli-responsive drug release from these nanocapsules was evaluated, and further modulation of capsule permeability to avoid premature release was demonstrated by crosslinking the wall components. The interaction of the nanocapsules with cancer cells was studied using MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These capsules were readily internalized and disintegrated inside the cells, culminating in the release of the loaded doxorubicin and subsequent cell death as observed by confocal microscopy and MTT Assay. The bioavailability studies performed using BALB/c mice revealed that the encapsulated doxorubicin exhibited enhanced bioavailability compared to free doxorubicin. Our results indicate that this stimuli-responsive system fabricated from clinically used FDA-approved molecules and exhibiting minimal premature release has great potential for drug-delivery applications.

  16. Stimuli-responsive liquid crystalline materials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Effects of Blood-Flow Restriction Combined With Postactivation Potentiation Stimuli on Jump Performance in Recreationally Active Men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Ryan M; Keeter, Victoria M; Freitas, Eduardo D S; Heishman, Aaron D; Knehans, Allen W; Bemben, Debra A; Bemben, Michael G

    2018-07-01

    Miller, RM, Keeter, VM, Freitas, EDS, Heishman, AD, Knehans, AW, Bemben, DA, and Bemben, MG. Effects of blood-flow restriction combined with postactivation potentiation stimuli on jump performance in recreationally active men. J Strength Cond Res 32(7): 1869-1874, 2018-Whole-body vibration (WBV) and maximum voluntary contractions (MVCs) combined with blood-flow restriction (BFR) to augment postactivation potentiation have yet to be examined. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to examine the augmented effects of postactivation potentiation when WBV and MVC are combined with BFR. Twenty men (21.8 ± 2.6 years, 180.5 ± 6.2 cm and 84.5 ± 12.1 kg) completed the study. Participants completed 3 testing sessions in a randomized design that included one of the following: (a) control (CON), (b) WBV and WBV combined with BFR (WBV + BFR), or (c) MVC and MVC combined with BFR (MVC + BFR). Jump height and power were recorded for 3 trials, PRE and POST jump height (cm) mean ± SD for each were as follows: CON 58.9 ± 8.6 and 57.9 ± 8.6, WBV 58.2 ± 8.1 and 59.9 ± 8.1, WBV + BFR 58.7 ± 7.6 and 60.2 ± 8.1, MVC 59.7 ± 7.4 and 60.2 ± 8.6, and MVC + BFR 57.7 ± 7.9 and 59.4 ± 8.1. PRE and POST jump power (W) mean ± SD for each were as follows: CON 1,224.3 ± 221.5 and 1,234.3 ± 189.2, WBV 1,251.1 ± 230.4 and 1,266.1 ± 215.7, WBV + BFR 1,265.8 ± 207.9 and 1,259 ± 223.3, MVC 1,264.7 ± 211.9 and 1,263.5 ± 236.5, and MVC + BFR 1,252.3 ± 222.0 and 1,294.6 ± 256.6. Significant differences were revealed in jump height between the 5 interventions (p jump power. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that WBV, WBV + BFR, and MVC + BFR significantly improve jump height and time in air but not jump power.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Gray

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-15

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

  20. Responses to amplitude modulated infrared stimuli in the guinea pig inferior colliculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Claus-Peter; Young, Hunter

    2013-03-01

    Responses of units in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus of the guinea pig were recorded with tungsten electrodes. The set of data presented here is limited to high stimulus levels. The effect of changing the modulation frequency and the modulation depth was explored for acoustic and laser stimuli. The selected units responded to sinusoidal amplitude modulated (AM) tones, AM trains of clicks, and AM trains of laser pulses with a modulation of their spike discharge. At modulation frequencies of 20 Hz, some units tended to respond with 40 Hz to the acoustic stimuli, but only at 20 Hz for the trains of laser pulses. For all modes of stimulation the responses revealed a dominant response to the first cycle of the modulation, with decreasing number of action potential during successive cycles. While amplitude modulated tone bursts and amplitude modulated trains of acoustic clicks showed similar patterns, the response to trains of laser pulses was different.

  1. Mechanical stimuli on C2C12 myoblasts affect myoblast differentiation, focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation and galectin-1 expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grossi, Alberto Blak; Lametsch, Rene; Karlsson, Anders H

    2011-01-01

    Mechanical forces are crucial in the regulation of cell morphology and function. At the cellular level, these forces influence myoblast differentiation and fusion. In this study we applied mechanical stimuli to embryonic muscle cells using magnetic microbeads, a method shown to apply stress...... by mechanical stimulation including Galectin-1, Annexin III, and RhoGDI. In this study we demonstrate how the combination of this method of mechanical stimuli and proteomic analysis can be a powerful tool to detect proteins that are potentially interacting in biochemical pathways or complex cellular mechanisms...... during the process of myoblast differentiation. We determined an increase in expression and changes in cellular localization of Galectin-1, in mechanically stimulated myoblasts. A potential involvement of Galectin-1 in myoblast differentiation is presented....

  2. Analyzing the user behavior towards Electronic Commerce stimuli

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Dual and multi-stimuli responsive polymeric nanoparticles for programmed site-specific drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Ru; Meng, Fenghua; Deng, Chao; Klok, Harm-Anton; Zhong, Zhiyuan

    2013-05-01

    In the past decades, polymeric nanoparticles have emerged as a most promising and viable technology platform for targeted and controlled drug delivery. As vehicles, ideal nanoparticles are obliged to possess high drug loading levels, deliver drug to the specific pathological site and/or target cells without drug leakage on the way, while rapidly unload drug at the site of action. To this end, various "intelligent" polymeric nanoparticles that release drugs in response to an internal or external stimulus such as pH, redox, temperature, magnetic and light have been actively pursued. These stimuli-responsive nanoparticles have demonstrated, though to varying degrees, improved in vitro and/or in vivo drug release profiles. In an effort to further improve drug release performances, novel dual and multi-stimuli responsive polymeric nanoparticles that respond to a combination of two or more signals such as pH/temperature, pH/redox, pH/magnetic field, temperature/reduction, double pH, pH and diols, temperature/magnetic field, temperature/enzyme, temperature/pH/redox, temperature/pH/magnetic, pH/redox/magnetic, temperature/redox/guest molecules, and temperature/pH/guest molecules have recently been developed. Notably, these combined responses take place either simultaneously at the pathological site or in a sequential manner from nanoparticle preparation, nanoparticle transporting pathways, to cellular compartments. These dual and multi-stimuli responsive polymeric nanoparticles have shown unprecedented control over drug delivery and release leading to superior in vitro and/or in vivo anti-cancer efficacy. With programmed site-specific drug delivery feature, dual and multi-stimuli responsive nanoparticulate drug formulations have tremendous potential for targeted cancer therapy. In this review paper, we highlight the recent exciting developments in dual and multi-stimuli responsive polymeric nanoparticles for precision drug delivery applications, with a particular focus

  6. Auditory Time-Frequency Masking for Spectrally and Temporally Maximally-Compact Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thibaud Necciari

    Full Text Available Many audio applications perform perception-based time-frequency (TF analysis by decomposing sounds into a set of functions with good TF localization (i.e. with a small essential support in the TF domain using TF transforms and applying psychoacoustic models of auditory masking to the transform coefficients. To accurately predict masking interactions between coefficients, the TF properties of the model should match those of the transform. This involves having masking data for stimuli with good TF localization. However, little is known about TF masking for mathematically well-localized signals. Most existing masking studies used stimuli that are broad in time and/or frequency and few studies involved TF conditions. Consequently, the present study had two goals. The first was to collect TF masking data for well-localized stimuli in humans. Masker and target were 10-ms Gaussian-shaped sinusoids with a bandwidth of approximately one critical band. The overall pattern of results is qualitatively similar to existing data for long maskers. To facilitate implementation in audio processing algorithms, a dataset provides the measured TF masking function. The second goal was to assess the potential effect of auditory efferents on TF masking using a modeling approach. The temporal window model of masking was used to predict present and existing data in two configurations: (1 with standard model parameters (i.e. without efferents, (2 with cochlear gain reduction to simulate the activation of efferents. The ability of the model to predict the present data was quite good with the standard configuration but highly degraded with gain reduction. Conversely, the ability of the model to predict existing data for long maskers was better with than without gain reduction. Overall, the model predictions suggest that TF masking can be affected by efferent (or other effects that reduce cochlear gain. Such effects were avoided in the experiment of this study by using

  7. Advances in Application of Mechanical Stimuli in Bioreactors for Cartilage Tissue Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ke; Zhang, Chunqiu; Qiu, Lulu; Gao, Lilan; Zhang, Xizheng

    2017-08-01

    Articular cartilage (AC) is the weight-bearing tissue in diarthroses. It lacks the capacity for self-healing once there are injuries or diseases due to its avascularity. With the development of tissue engineering, repairing cartilage defects through transplantation of engineered cartilage that closely matches properties of native cartilage has become a new option for curing cartilage diseases. The main hurdle for clinical application of engineered cartilage is how to develop functional cartilage constructs for mass production in a credible way. Recently, impressive hyaline cartilage that may have the potential to provide capabilities for treating large cartilage lesions in the future has been produced in laboratories. The key to functional cartilage construction in vitro is to identify appropriate mechanical stimuli. First, they should ensure the function of metabolism because mechanical stimuli play the role of blood vessels in the metabolism of AC, for example, acquiring nutrition and removing wastes. Second, they should mimic the movement of synovial joints and produce phenotypically correct tissues to achieve the adaptive development between the micro- and macrostructure and function. In this article, we divide mechanical stimuli into three types according to forces transmitted by different media in bioreactors, namely forces transmitted through the liquid medium, solid medium, or other media, then we review and summarize the research status of bioreactors for cartilage tissue engineering (CTE), mainly focusing on the effects of diverse mechanical stimuli on engineered cartilage. Based on current researches, there are several motion patterns in knee joints; but compression, tension, shear, fluid shear, or hydrostatic pressure each only partially reflects the mechanical condition in vivo. In this study, we propose that rolling-sliding-compression load consists of various stimuli that will represent better mechanical environment in CTE. In addition, engineers

  8. Analyzing the User Behavior toward Electronic Commerce Stimuli

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Modeling Behavioral Experiment Interaction and Environmental Stimuli for a Synthetic C. elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andoni Mujika

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper focusses on the simulation of the neural network of the Caenorhabditis elegans living organism, and more specifically in the modeling of the stimuli applied within behavioral experiments and the stimuli that is generated in the interaction of the C. elegans with the environment. To the best of our knowledge, all efforts regarding stimuli modeling for the C. elegansare focused on a single type of stimulus, which is usually tested with a limited subnetwork of the C. elegansneural system. In this paper, we follow a different approach where we model a wide-range of different stimuli, with more flexible neural network configurations and simulations in mind. Moreover, we focus on the stimuli sensation by different types of sensory organs or various sensory principles of the neurons. As part of this work, most common stimuli involved in behavioral assays have been modeled. It includes models for mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical and light stimuli, and for proprioception-related self-sensed information exchange with the neural network. The developed models have been implemented and tested with the hardware-based Si elegans simulation platform.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Wilson

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

  12. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  14. A Dual-Stimuli-Responsive Sodium-Bromine Battery with Ultrahigh Energy Density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Faxing; Yang, Hongliu; Zhang, Jian; Zhang, Panpan; Wang, Gang; Zhuang, Xiaodong; Cuniberti, Gianaurelio; Feng, Xinliang

    2018-06-01

    Stimuli-responsive energy storage devices have emerged for the fast-growing popularity of intelligent electronics. However, all previously reported stimuli-responsive energy storage devices have rather low energy densities (energy density, electrochromic effect, and fast thermal response is demonstrated. Remarkably, the fabricated Na//Br 2 battery exhibits a large operating voltage of 3.3 V and an energy density up to 760 Wh kg -1 , which outperforms those for the state-of-the-art stimuli-responsive electrochemical energy storage devices. This work offers a promising approach for designing multi-stimuli-responsive and high-energy rechargeable batteries without sacrificing the electrochemical performance. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  16. Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Systems for Controlled Protein and Peptide Delivery: Future Implications for Ocular Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahlumba, Pakama; Choonara, Yahya E; Kumar, Pradeep; du Toit, Lisa C; Pillay, Viness

    2016-07-30

    Therapeutic proteins and peptides have become notable in the drug delivery arena for their compatibility with the human body as well as their high potency. However, their biocompatibility and high potency does not negate the existence of challenges resulting from physicochemical properties of proteins and peptides, including large size, short half-life, capability to provoke immune responses and susceptibility to degradation. Various delivery routes and delivery systems have been utilized to improve bioavailability, patient acceptability and reduce biodegradation. The ocular route remains of great interest, particularly for responsive delivery of macromolecules due to the anatomy and physiology of the eye that makes it a sensitive and complex environment. Research in this field is slowly gaining attention as this could be the breakthrough in ocular drug delivery of macromolecules. This work reviews stimuli-responsive polymeric delivery systems, their use in the delivery of therapeutic proteins and peptides as well as examples of proteins and peptides used in the treatment of ocular disorders. Stimuli reviewed include pH, temperature, enzymes, light, ultrasound and magnetic field. In addition, it discusses the current progress in responsive ocular drug delivery. Furthermore, it explores future prospects in the use of stimuli-responsive polymers for ocular delivery of proteins and peptides. Stimuli-responsive polymers offer great potential in improving the delivery of ocular therapeutics, therefore there is a need to consider them in order to guarantee a local, sustained and ideal delivery of ocular proteins and peptides, evading tissue invasion and systemic side-effects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana Tchumatchenko

    2011-10-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Anagrus breviphragma Soyka Short Distance Search Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Chiappini

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Transduction of Repetitive Mechanical Stimuli by Piezo1 and Piezo2 Ion Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda H. Lewis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Several cell types experience repetitive mechanical stimuli, including vein endothelial cells during pulsating blood flow, inner ear hair cells upon sound exposure, and skin cells and their innervating dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons when sweeping across a textured surface or touching a vibrating object. While mechanosensitive Piezo ion channels have been clearly implicated in sensing static touch, their roles in transducing repetitive stimulations are less clear. Here, we perform electrophysiological recordings of heterologously expressed mouse Piezo1 and Piezo2 responding to repetitive mechanical stimulations. We find that both channels function as pronounced frequency filters whose transduction efficiencies vary with stimulus frequency, waveform, and duration. We then use numerical simulations and human disease-related point mutations to demonstrate that channel inactivation is the molecular mechanism underlying frequency filtering and further show that frequency filtering is conserved in rapidly adapting mouse DRG neurons. Our results give insight into the potential contributions of Piezos in transducing repetitive mechanical stimuli.

  4. Objective correlate of subjective pain perception by contact heat-evoked potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granovsky, Yelena; Granot, Michal; Nir, Rony-Reuven; Yarnitsky, David

    2008-01-01

    The method of pain-evoked potentials has gained considerable acceptance over the last 3 decades regarding its objectivity, repeatability, and quantifiability. The present study explored whether the relationship between pain-evoked potentials and pain psychophysics obtained by contact heat stimuli is similar to those observed for the conventionally used laser stimulation. Evoked potentials (EPs) were recorded in response to contact heat stimuli at different body sites in 24 healthy volunteers. Stimuli at various temperatures were applied to the forearm (43 degrees C, 46 degrees C, 49 degrees C, and 52 degrees C) and leg (46 degrees C and 49 degrees C). The amplitudes of both components (N2 and P2) were strongly associated with the intensity of the applied stimuli and with subjective pain perception. Yet, regression analysis revealed pain perception and not stimulus intensity as the major contributing factor. A significant correlation was found between the forearm and the leg for both psychophysics and EPs amplitude. Contact heat can generate readily distinguishable evoked potentials on the scalp, consistent between upper and lower limbs. Although these potentials bear positive correlation with both stimulus intensity and pain magnitude, the latter is the main contributor to the evoked brain response.

  5. Attentional capture by social stimuli in young infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxie eGluckman

    2013-08-01

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

  6. Single-sweep spectral analysis of contact heat evoked potentials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Tine M; Graversen, Carina; Frøkjaer, Jens B

    2015-01-01

    AIMS: The cortical response to nociceptive thermal stimuli recorded as contact heat evoked potentials (CHEPs) may be altered by morphine. However, previous studies have averaged CHEPs over multiple stimuli, which are confounded by jitter between sweeps. Thus, the aim was to assess single-sweep ch......AIMS: The cortical response to nociceptive thermal stimuli recorded as contact heat evoked potentials (CHEPs) may be altered by morphine. However, previous studies have averaged CHEPs over multiple stimuli, which are confounded by jitter between sweeps. Thus, the aim was to assess single...... by 13% (P = 0.04) and 9% (P = 0.007), while the beta and gamma bands were increased by 10% (P = 0.006) and 24% (P = 0.04). CONCLUSION: The decreases in the delta and theta band are suggested to represent a decrease in the pain specific morphology of the CHEPs, which indicates a diminished pain response...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bastian Stippekohl

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

  9. Rule-violations sensitise towards negative and authority-related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Robert; Foerster, Anna; Rendel, Hannah; Kunde, Wilfried; Pfister, Roland

    2018-05-01

    Rule violations have usually been studied from a third-person perspective, identifying situational factors that render violations more or less likely. A first-person perspective of the agent that actively violates the rules, on the other hand, is only just beginning to emerge. Here we show that committing a rule violation sensitises towards subsequent negative stimuli as well as subsequent authority-related stimuli. In a Prime-Probe design, we used an instructed rule-violation task as the Prime and a word categorisation task as the Probe. Also, we employed a control condition that used a rule inversion task as the Prime (instead of rule violations). Probe targets were categorised faster after a violation relative to after a rule-based response if they related to either, negative valence or authority. Inversions, however, primed only negative stimuli and did not accelerate the categorisation of authority-related stimuli. A heightened sensitivity towards authority-related targets thus seems to be specific to rule violations. A control experiment showed that these effects cannot be explained in terms of semantic priming. Therefore, we propose that rule violations necessarily activate authority-related representations that make rule violations qualitatively different from simple rule inversions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-11-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingwei An

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

  14. Human Superior Temporal Gyrus Organization of Spectrotemporal Modulation Tuning Derived from Speech Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hullett, Patrick W; Hamilton, Liberty S; Mesgarani, Nima; Schreiner, Christoph E; Chang, Edward F

    2016-02-10

    The human superior temporal gyrus (STG) is critical for speech perception, yet the organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech within the STG is not well understood. Here, to characterize the spatial organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech across human STG, we use high-density cortical surface field potential recordings while participants listened to natural continuous speech. While synthetic broad-band stimuli did not yield sustained activation of the STG, spectrotemporal receptive fields could be reconstructed from vigorous responses to speech stimuli. We find that the human STG displays a robust anterior-posterior spatial distribution of spectrotemporal tuning in which the posterior STG is tuned for temporally fast varying speech sounds that have relatively constant energy across the frequency axis (low spectral modulation) while the anterior STG is tuned for temporally slow varying speech sounds that have a high degree of spectral variation across the frequency axis (high spectral modulation). This work illustrates organization of spectrotemporal processing in the human STG, and illuminates processing of ethologically relevant speech signals in a region of the brain specialized for speech perception. Considerable evidence has implicated the human superior temporal gyrus (STG) in speech processing. However, the gross organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech within the STG is not well characterized. Here we use natural speech stimuli and advanced receptive field characterization methods to show that spectrotemporal features within speech are well organized along the posterior-to-anterior axis of the human STG. These findings demonstrate robust functional organization based on spectrotemporal modulation content, and illustrate that much of the encoded information in the STG represents the physical acoustic properties of speech stimuli. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362014-13$15.00/0.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Ahmad

    2016-08-01

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

  16. Perceptual and cerebro-spinal responses to graded innocuous and noxious stimuli following aerobic exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micalos, P S; Harris, J; Drinkwater, E J; Cannon, J; Marino, F E

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of aerobic exercise on perceptual and cerebro-spinal responses to graded electrocutaneous stimuli. The design comprised 2 x 30 min of cycling exercise at 30% and 70% of peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) on separate occasions in a counter-balanced order in 10 healthy participants. Assessment of nociceptive withdrawal reflex threshold (NWR-T), pain threshold (PT), and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to graded electrocutaneous stimuli were performed before and after exercise. Perceptual magnitude ratings and SEPs were compared at 30%PT, 60%PT, 100%PT before (Pre), 5 min after (Post1), and 15 min after (Post2) aerobic exercise. There was no difference in the NWR-T and the PT following exercise at 30% and 70% of VO2 peak. ANOVA for the perceptual response within pooled electrocutaneous stimuli show a significant main effect for time (F2,18=5.41, P=0.01) but no difference for exercise intensity (F1,9=0.02, P=0.88). Within-subject contrasts reveal trend differences between 30%PT and 100%PT for Pre-Post1 (P=0.09) and Pre-Post2 (P=0.02). ANOVA for the SEPs peak-to-peak signal amplitude (N1-P1) show significant main effect for time (F2,18=4.04, P=0.04) but no difference for exercise intensity (F1,9=1.83, P=0.21). Pairwise comparisons for time reveal differences between Pre-Post1 (P=0.06) and Pre-Post2 (P=0.01). There was a significant interaction for SEPs N1-P1 between exercise intensity and stimulus intensity (F2,18=3.56, P=0.05). These results indicate that aerobic exercise did not increase the electrocutaneous threshold for pain and the NWR-T. Aerobic exercise attenuated perceptual responses to innocuous stimuli and SEPs N1-P1 response to noxious stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Low self-esteem elicits greater mobilization of attentional resources toward emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haijiang; Yang, Juan

    2013-08-26

    Previous findings are generally consistent with the notion that individuals with low self-esteem tends to easily orient their attention on negative stimuli. The main objective of the present study was to further investigate the time course of attention deployment to positive (happy) and negative (angry) facial expressions in visual probe task using event-related potentials (ERP) technology in 15 high versus 15 low self-esteem participants while they viewed pairs of faces (e.g., happy face paired with neutral face or angry face paired with neutral face) shown for 500 ms and followed by a probe. Behavioral results showed that individuals with low self-esteem simply had faster manual reaction times on the entire task. ERP results showed that individuals with low self-esteem, but not high self-esteem, displayed increased P1 and N1 activity to both happy and angry facial expression. These findings suggest that emotional stimuli (angry faces and happy faces) elicited greater mobilization of attentional resources in individuals with low self-esteem. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couperus, J W

    2010-11-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    Hunger and pain are basic drives that compete for a behavioral response when experienced together. To investigate the cortical processes underlying hunger-pain interactions, we manipulated participants' hunger and presented photographs of appetizing food or inedible objects in combination with painful laser stimuli. Fourteen healthy participants completed two EEG sessions: one after an overnight fast, the other following a large breakfast. Spatio-temporal patterns of cortical activation underlying the hunger-pain competition were explored with 128-channel EEG recordings and source dipole analysis of laser-evoked potentials (LEPs). We found that initial pain ratings were temporarily reduced when participants were hungry compared with fed. Source activity in parahippocampal gyrus was weaker when participants were hungry, and activations of operculo-insular cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and cerebellum were smaller in the context of appetitive food photographs than in that of inedible object photographs. Cortical processing of noxious stimuli in pain-related brain structures is reduced and pain temporarily attenuated when people are hungry or passively viewing food photographs, suggesting a possible interaction between the opposing motivational forces of the eating drive and pain. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Simulation of Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Gruhn

    2013-11-01

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

  2. Anodal sensory nerve action potentials: From physiological understanding to potential clinical applicability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leote, Joao; Pereira, Pedro; Cabib, Christopher; Cipullo, Federica; Valls-Sole, Josep

    2016-06-01

    Low-intensity electrical stimuli of digital nerves may generate a double peak potential (DPp), composed of a cathodal (caAP) and an anodal (anAP) potential in orthodromic recordings. We studied the effects on caAP and anAP of stimuli of variable intensity, duration, and frequency. We also applied a conditioning stimulus to study potential differences in recovery time. The anAP was obtained in 33 of 40 healthy subjects (82.5%) and 4 of 20 patients with various types of sensory neuropathies (20%). Changes in stimulus duration and intensity had reciprocal effects on the amplitude of the anAP and the caAP. There were significant differences in recovery time between caAP and anAP after a conditioning stimulus. The caAP and anAP are 2 interdependent waveforms generated by different effects of the same stimulus over axons at the verge of depolarization. Muscle Nerve 53: 897-905, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozolinsh, Maris; Danilenko, Olga; Zavjalova, Varvara

    2016-10-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bizley, Jennifer; Wood, Katherine; Freeman, Laura

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Cui

    2018-03-01

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

  7. Role of multisensory stimuli in vigilance enhancement- a single trial event related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasi, Nida Itrat; Bodala, Indu Prasad; Bezerianos, Anastasios; Yu Sun; Al-Nashash, Hasan; Thakor, Nitish V

    2017-07-01

    Development of interventions to prevent vigilance decrement has important applications in sensitive areas like transportation and defence. The objective of this work is to use multisensory (visual and haptic) stimuli for cognitive enhancement during mundane tasks. Two different epoch intervals representing sensory perception and motor response were analysed using minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) based single trial ERP estimation to understand the performance dependency on both factors. Bereitschaftspotential (BP) latency L3 (r=0.6 in phase 1 (visual) and r=0.71 in phase 2 (visual and haptic)) was significantly correlated with reaction time as compared to that of sensory ERP latency L2 (r=0.1 in both phase 1 and phase 2). This implies that low performance in monotonous tasks is predominantly dependent on the prolonged neural interaction with the muscles to initiate movement. Further, negative relationship was found between the ERP latencies related to sensory perception and Bereitschaftspotential (BP) and occurrence of epochs when multisensory cues are provided. This means that vigilance decrement is reduced with the help of multisensory stimulus presentation in prolonged monotonous tasks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagerstrom, Asle

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Attention bias towards personally relevant stimuli: the individual emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingenfeld, Katja; Bullig, Renate; Mensebach, Christoph; Hartje, Wolfgang; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas

    2006-12-01

    The emotional Stroop task is a widely used method for investigating attentional bias towards stimuli due to mood or affect. In general, standardized stimuli are used, which might not be appropriate when investigating individual contextual frameworks. It was investigated whether words chosen to be related to individuals' personal life events would produce more pronounced Stroop interference (as an indicator of attentional bias) than stimuli without any personal relevance. Twenty-six nonclinical subjects, 20 female and 6 male, participated in the study. Mean age was 36.1 yr. (SD = 18.1). All were recruited by means of local advertising. Stimulus material consisted of four word types: personal words related to negative life events with and without current personal relevance, and negative and neutral words without any personal relevance. Words were presented in three blocks. Analysis of variance showed main effects for word type and blocks, with slower reactions in the personally relevant conditions than in the negative, or neutral conditions, and in response to the first blocks as opposed to the last. These findings indicate that regardless of the word valence, personally relevant stimuli evoke more pronounced Stroop interference than do stimuli without personal relevance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hemanth N. Shetty

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Testing aggressive behaviour in a feeding context: Importance of ethologically relevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Daniel; Szenczi, Péter; Bánszegi, Oxána; Hudson, Robyn

    2018-05-01

    The choice of stimuli used in tests of animal behaviour can have a critical effect on the outcome. Here we report two experiments showing how different foods influenced aggressive behaviour in competition tests at weaning among littermates of the domestic cat. Whereas in Experiment 1 canned food elicited almost no overt competition, a piece of raw beef rib elicited clearly aggressive behaviour among littermates. In Experiment 2 the food stimuli were chosen to differ from raw beef rib in various combinations of taste/smell, texture and monopolizability. Kittens showed different levels of aggression in response to the five stimuli tested, which suggests that the strong effect of beef rib in eliciting aggressive behaviour was due to a complex combination of features. We suggest that using stimuli approximating the evolved, functional significance to the species concerned is more likely to result in robust, biologically relevant behaviours than more artificial stimuli. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Sex differences in brain activation to emotional stimuli: a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jennifer S; Hamann, Stephan

    2012-06-01

    -analysis findings indicate that the amygdala, a key region for emotion processing, exhibits valence-dependent sex differences in activation to emotional stimuli. The greater left amygdala response to negative emotion for women accords with previous reports that women respond more strongly to negative emotional stimuli, as well as with hypothesized links between increased neurobiological reactivity to negative emotion and increased prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in women. The finding of greater left amygdala activation for positive emotional stimuli in men suggests that greater amygdala responses reported previously for men for specific types of positive stimuli may also extend to positive stimuli more generally. In summary, this study extends efforts to characterize sex differences in brain activation during emotion processing by providing the largest and most comprehensive quantitative meta-analysis to date, and for the first time examining sex differences as a function of positive vs. negative emotional valence. The current findings highlight the importance of considering sex as a potential factor modulating emotional processing and its underlying neural mechanisms, and more broadly, the need to consider individual differences in understanding the neurobiology of emotion. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  19. Mismatched summation mechanisms in older adults for the perception of small moving stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Thomas J; Nguyen, Bao N; McKendrick, Allison M; Badcock, David R

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies have found evidence for reduced cortical inhibition in aging visual cortex. Reduced inhibition could plausibly increase the spatial area of excitation in receptive fields of older observers, as weaker inhibitory processes would allow the excitatory receptive field to dominate and be psychophysically measureable over larger areas. Here, we investigated aging effects on spatial summation of motion direction using the Battenberg summation method, which aims to control the influence of locally generated internal noise changes by holding overall display size constant. This method produces more accurate estimates of summation area than conventional methods that simply increase overall stimulus dimensions. Battenberg stimuli have a checkerboard arrangement, where check size (luminance-modulated drifting gratings alternating with mean luminance areas), but not display size, is varied and compared with performance for a full field stimulus to provide a measure of summation. Motion direction discrimination thresholds, where contrast was the dependent variable, were measured in 14 younger (24-34 years) and 14 older (62-76 years) adults. Older observers were less sensitive for all check sizes, but the relative sensitivity across sizes, also differed between groups. In the older adults, the full field stimulus offered smaller performance improvements compared to that for younger adults, specifically for the small checked Battenberg stimuli. This suggests aging impacts on short-range summation mechanisms, potentially underpinned by larger summation areas for the perception of small moving stimuli. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanuki, Shigeki; Kim, Yeon-Kyu

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterr, Annette; Green, Lisa; Elbert, Thomas

    2003-05-01

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

  2. ERP C250 shows the elderly (cognitively normal, Alzheimer's disease) store more stimuli in short-term memory than Young Adults do.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Robert M; Gardner, Margaret N; Mapstone, Mark; Klorman, Rafael; Porsteinsson, Anton P; Dupree, Haley M; Antonsdottir, Inga M; Kamalyan, Lily

    2016-06-01

    To determine how aging and dementia affect the brain's initial storing of task-relevant and irrelevant information in short-term memory. We used brain Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) to measure short-term memory storage (ERP component C250) in 36 Young Adults, 36 Normal Elderly, and 36 early-stage AD subjects. Participants performed the Number-Letter task, a cognitive paradigm requiring memory storage of a first relevant stimulus to compare it with a second stimulus. In Young Adults, C250 was more positive for the first task-relevant stimulus compared to all other stimuli. C250 in Normal Elderly and AD subjects was roughly the same to relevant and irrelevant stimuli in Intratrial Parts 1-3 but not 4. The AD group had lower C250 to relevant stimuli in part 1. Both normal aging and dementia cause less differentiation of relevant from irrelevant information in initial storage. There was a large aging effect involving differences in the pattern of C250 responses of the Young Adult versus the Normal Elderly/AD groups. Also, a potential dementia effect was obtained. C250 is a candidate tool for measuring short-term memory performance on a biological level, as well as a potential marker for memory changes due to normal aging and dementia. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Produced by Bone-Conducted Stimuli: A Study on its Basics and Clinical Applications in Patients with Conductive and Sensorineural Hearing Loss and a Group with Vestibular Schawannoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdi, Parvane; Amali, Amin; Pourbakht, Akram; Karimi Yazdi, Alireza; Bassam, Ali

    2013-06-01

    Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) has recently been broadly studied in vestibular disorders. As it is evoked by loud sound stimulation, even mild conductive hearing loss may affect VEMP results. Bone-conducted (BC) stimulus is an alternative stimulation for evoking this response. This study aims to assess the characteristics of BC-VEMP in different groups of patients. We performed a cross sectional analysis on 20 healthy volunteers with normal pure-tone audiometry as a control group; and on a group of patients consisted of 20 participants with conductive hearing loss, five with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and four with vestibular schawannoma. AC and BC-VEMP were performed in all participants. In control group the VEMP responses to both kinds of stimuli had an acceptable morphology and consisted of p13 and n23 waves. Latency value of these main components in each type of stimulus was not significantly different (P>0.05). However, the mean amplitude was larger in BC modality than AC stimulation (P=0.025). In the group with conductive hearing loss, the VEMP response was absent in fifteen (46.87%) of the 32 ears using the AC method, whereas all (100%) displayed positive elicitability of VEMP by BC method. Normal VEMP responses in both stimuli were evoked in all patients with sensorineural hearing loss. In patients with unilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS), 2 (50.00%) had neither AC-VEMP nor BC-VEMP. Auditory stimuli delivered by bone conduction can evoke VEMP response. These responses are of vestibular origin and can be used in vestibular evaluation of patients with conductive hearing loss.

  4. Deciphering molecular circuits from genetic variation underlying transcriptional responsiveness to stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gat-Viks, Irit; Chevrier, Nicolas; Wilentzik, Roni; Eisenhaure, Thomas; Raychowdhury, Raktima; Steuerman, Yael; Shalek, Alex K; Hacohen, Nir; Amit, Ido; Regev, Aviv

    2013-04-01

    Individual genetic variation affects gene responsiveness to stimuli, often by influencing complex molecular circuits. Here we combine genomic and intermediate-scale transcriptional profiling with computational methods to identify variants that affect the responsiveness of genes to stimuli (responsiveness quantitative trait loci or reQTLs) and to position these variants in molecular circuit diagrams. We apply this approach to study variation in transcriptional responsiveness to pathogen components in dendritic cells from recombinant inbred mouse strains. We identify reQTLs that correlate with particular stimuli and position them in known pathways. For example, in response to a virus-like stimulus, a trans-acting variant responds as an activator of the antiviral response; using RNA interference, we identify Rgs16 as the likely causal gene. Our approach charts an experimental and analytic path to decipher the mechanisms underlying genetic variation in circuits that control responses to stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  6. Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Produced by Bone-Conducted Stimuli: A Study on its Basics and Clinical Applications in Patients With Conductive and Sensorineural Hearing Loss and a Group With Vestibular Schawannoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parvane Mahdi

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP has recently been broadly studied in vestibular disorders. As it is evoked by loud sound stimulation, even mild conductive hearing loss may affect VEMP results. Bone-conducted (BC stimulus is an alternative stimulation for evoking this response. This study aims to assess the characteristics of BC-VEMP in different groups of patients.   Materials and Methods: We performed a cross sectional analysis on 20 healthy volunteers with normal pure-tone audiometry as a control group; and on a group of patients consisted of 20 participants with conductive hearing loss, five with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and four with vestibular schawannoma. AC and BC-VEMP were performed in all participants.   Results: In control group the VEMP responses to both kinds of stimuli had an acceptable morphology and consisted of p13 and n23 waves. Latency value of these main components in each type of stimulus was not significantly different (P>0.05. However, the mean amplitude was larger in BC modality than AC stimulation (P=0.025. In the group with conductive hearing loss, the VEMP response was absent in fifteen (46.87% of the 32 ears using the AC method, whereas all (100% displayed positive elicitability of VEMP by BC method. Normal VEMP responses in both stimuli were evoked in all patients with sensorineural hearing loss. In patients with unilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS, 2 (50.00% had neither AC-VEMP nor BC-VEMP. Conclusion:  Auditory stimuli delivered by bone conduction can evoke VEMP response. These responses are of vestibular origin and can be used in vestibular evaluation of patients with conductive hearing loss.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-04-24

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

  8. Activation of right parietal cortex during memory retrieval of nonlinguistic auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klostermann, Ellen C; Loui, Psyche; Shimamura, Arthur P

    2009-09-01

    In neuroimaging studies, the left ventral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is particularly active during memory retrieval. However, most studies have used verbal or verbalizable stimuli. We investigated neural activations associated with the retrieval of short, agrammatical music stimuli (Blackwood, 2004), which have been largely associated with right hemisphere processing. At study, participants listened to music stimuli and rated them on pleasantness. At test, participants made old/new recognition judgments with high/low confidence ratings. Right, but not left, ventral PPC activity was observed during the retrieval of these music stimuli. Thus, rather than indicating a special status of left PPC in retrieval, both right and left ventral PPC participate in memory retrieval, depending on the type of information that is to be remembered.

  9. Dual stimuli responsive self-reporting material for chemical reservoir coating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tae Hee; Song, Young Kyu; Park, Sun Hee; Park, Young Il; Noh, Seung Man; Kim, Jin Chul

    2018-03-01

    In this study, we introduce a novel dual stimuli responsive self-reporting thiol-epoxy thermoset (DSRTET) coatings which can detect both crack occurrence and pH variation. For crack detection, microcapsule containing tetraphenylethylene (TPE) which exhibits aggregation induced emission (AIE) effect was prepared via multi-step emulsion polymerization and dispersed in DSRTET coatings. For pH variation detection, commercial thymol blue as a pH indicator was added into the polymer matrix. The effect of microcapsule contents in DSRTET on their curing behavior, material properties, and crack sensitivity was characterized using an oscillatory rheology, rigid body pendulum test (RPT), nano-indentation test (NST), universal test machine (UTM) and scratch tester. It was revealed that crack sensitivity of DSRTET coatings was greatly influenced by material properties as well as microcapsule content. The color transition of DSRTET coatings in response to acid or base solution were quantitatively investigated using a multi-angle spectrophotometer after simple acid and base solution drop tests. The color of DSRTET coatings changed from a pale green to red for acidic solution and to blue for basic solution. Finally, The DSRTET used in this study was applied to laboratory scale chemical reservoirs in order to verify the potential as a dual stimuli response self-reporting coating which can detect both crack in coating material and chemical spill caused by the leakage or breakage of the reservoir part.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jack H; French, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Neural evidence for reduced apprehensiveness of familiarized stimuli in a mere exposure paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebrowitz, Leslie A; Zhang, Yi

    2012-07-01

    Mere familiarization with a stimulus increases liking for it or similar stimuli ("mere exposure" effects) as well as perceptual fluency, indexed by the speed and accuracy of categorizing it or similar stimuli ("priming" effects). Candidate mechanisms proposed to explain mere exposure effects include both increased positive affect associated with greater perceptual fluency, and reduced negative affect associated with diminished apprehensiveness of novel stimuli. Although these two mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, it is difficult for behavioral measures to disentangle them, since increased liking or other indices of greater positive affect toward exposed stimuli could result from increases in positive feelings or decreases in negative feelings or both. The present study sought to clarify this issue by building on research showing a dissociation at the neural level in which the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (LOFC) is activated more by negatively valenced than by neutral or positively valenced stimuli, with the reverse effect for medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC). Supporting the reduced apprehensiveness hypothesis, we found lower LOFC activation to familiarized faces and objects (repetition suppression). We did not find evidence to support the positive affect hypothesis in increased activation to familiarized stimuli in MOFC or in other parts of the reward circuit that respond more to positively valenced stimuli (repetition enhancement), although enhancement effects were shown in some regions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormark, Kjell Morten; Torkildsen, Øivind

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marran, L; Schor, C

    1997-09-01

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

  14. Group behavioural responses of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L. to light, infrasound and sound stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Bui

    Full Text Available Understanding species-specific flight behaviours is essential in developing methods of guiding fish spatially, and requires knowledge on how groups of fish respond to aversive stimuli. By harnessing their natural behaviours, the use of physical manipulation or other potentially harmful procedures can be minimised. We examined the reactions of sea-caged groups of 50 salmon (1331 ± 364 g to short-term exposure to visual or acoustic stimuli. In light experiments, fish were exposed to one of three intensities of blue LED light (high, medium and low or no light (control. Sound experiments included exposure to infrasound (12 Hz, a surface disturbance event, the combination of infrasound and surface disturbance, or no stimuli. Groups that experienced light, infrasound, and the combination of infrasound and surface disturbance treatments, elicited a marked change in vertical distribution, where fish dived to the bottom of the sea-cage for the duration of the stimulus. Light treatments, but not sound, also reduced the total echo-signal strength (indicative of swim bladder volume after exposure to light, compared to pre-stimulus levels. Groups in infrasound and combination treatments showed increased swimming activity during stimulus application, with swimming speeds tripled compared to that of controls. In all light and sound treatments, fish returned to their pre-stimulus swimming depths and speeds once exposure had ceased. This work establishes consistent, short-term avoidance responses to these stimuli, and provides a basis for methods to guide fish for aquaculture applications, or create avoidance barriers for conservation purposes. In doing so, we can achieve the manipulation of group position with minimal welfare impacts, to create more sustainable practices.

  15. Research of photoinduced potentials of pepper leaves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Chernetchenko

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Bioelectrical potentials of the plants during photostimulation with various intensity values and wave lengths are studied. Suchstimulation provides light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis. The universal scheme of registration of bioelectric potentials, which allowsto carry out the experimental study of light stimuli effect on the plant is proposed. All registrations of potentials are observed on the pepper leaves. Photoinduced stimuli are different with intensity changed from 150 to 450 lux and different spectrums of white light and red light with wave length 690 nm. Different parameters of stimuli drive to different types of biopotentials of the plant, quantitative and qualitative relationships of this process are obtained. It is also found that bioelectrical reaction of the leaves is quantitatively different in various spectral ranges of light, but the quality remains the same for all cases, as shown in the study of bioelectric responses during exposure to the light in red spectrum range. The explanation of the additional depolarization phase that occurs during the running of dark reparative process of photosynthesis is given. Light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis are accompanied by significant changes in the electrical potential of chloroplasts’ membrane. Besides, the dependence of bioelectrical reaction of the plant on different spectra of light is found. By this way, biophysical relation of plant potentials to the intracellular biophysical mechanisms during photo stimulation is obtained.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Wu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Newborns' Discrimination of Chromatic from Achromatic Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Russell J.; And Others

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona eCroy

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  3. Evaluating the Influence of Chromatic and Luminance Stimuli on SSVEPs from Behind-the-Ears and Occipital Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Floriano

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a study of chromatic and luminance stimuli in low-, medium-, and high-frequency stimulation to evoke steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP in the behind-the-ears area. Twelve healthy subjects participated in this study. The electroencephalogram (EEG was measured on occipital (Oz and left and right temporal (TP9 and TP10 areas. The SSVEP was evaluated in terms of amplitude, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR, and detection accuracy using power spectral density analysis (PSDA, canonical correlation analysis (CCA, and temporally local multivariate synchronization index (TMSI methods. It was found that stimuli based on suitable color and luminance elicited stronger SSVEP in the behind-the-ears area, and that the response of the SSVEP was related to the flickering frequency and the color of the stimuli. Thus, green-red stimulus elicited the highest SSVEP in medium-frequency range, and green-blue stimulus elicited the highest SSVEP in high-frequency range, reaching detection accuracy rates higher than 80%. These findings will aid in the development of more comfortable, accurate and stable BCIs with electrodes positioned on the behind-the-ears (hairless areas.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo eRomei

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Tsuneto; Tawara, Akihiko; Miyake, Nobuyuki

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Stimuli-Responsive Materials for Controlled Release Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  9. Influence of auditory and audiovisual stimuli on the right-left prevalence effect

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vu, Kim-Phuong L; Minakata, Katsumi; Ngo, Mary Kim

    2014-01-01

    occurs when the two-dimensional stimuli are audiovisual, as well as whether there will be cross-modal facilitation of response selection for the horizontal and vertical dimensions. We also examined whether there is an additional benefit of adding a pitch dimension to the auditory stimulus to facilitate...... vertical coding through use of the spatial-musical association of response codes (SMARC) effect, where pitch is coded in terms of height in space. In Experiment 1, we found a larger right-left prevalence effect for unimodal auditory than visual stimuli. Neutral, non-pitch coded, audiovisual stimuli did...... not result in cross-modal facilitation, but did show evidence of visual dominance. The right-left prevalence effect was eliminated in the presence of SMARC audiovisual stimuli, but the effect influenced horizontal rather than vertical coding. Experiment 2 showed that the influence of the pitch dimension...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karli K Watson

    2015-07-01

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

  11. The motivational salience of cigarette-related stimuli among former, never, and current smokers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Jason D.; Versace, Francesco; Engelmann, Jeffery M.; Cui, Yong; Slapin, Aurelija; Oum, Robert; Cinciripini, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    While smokers are known to find smoking-related stimuli to be motivationally salient, the extent to which former smokers do so is largely unknown. In this study, we collected event-related potential (ERP) data from former and never smokers and compared them to a sample of current smokers interested in quitting who completed the same ERP paradigm prior to smoking cessation treatment. All participants (n = 180) attended one laboratory session where we recorded dense-array ERPs in response to cigarette-related, pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures, and where we collected valence and arousal ratings of the pictures. We identified three spatial and temporal regions of interest, corresponding to the P1 (120-132 ms), early posterior negativity (EPN; 244-316 ms), and late positive potential (LPP; 384-800 ms) ERP components. We found that all participants produced larger P1 responses to cigarette-related pictures compared to the other picture categories. With the EPN component, we found that, similar to pleasant and unpleasant pictures, cigarette-related pictures attracted early attentional resources, regardless of smoking status. Both former and never smokers produced reduced LPP responses to cigarette-related and pleasant pictures compared to current smokers. Current smokers rated the cigarette-related pictures as being more pleasant and arousing than the former and never smokers. The LPP and picture rating results suggest that former smokers, like never smokers, do not find cigarette-related stimuli to be as motivationally salient as current smokers. PMID:25436840

  12. Divided attention enhances the recognition of emotional stimuli: evidence from the attentional boost effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Spataro, Pietro; Costanzi, Marco; Saraulli, Daniele; Cestari, Vincenzo

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined predictions of the early-phase-elevated-attention hypothesis of the attentional boost effect (ABE), which suggests that transient increases in attention at encoding, as instantiated in the ABE paradigm, should enhance the recognition of neutral and positive items (whose encoding is mostly based on controlled processes), while having small or null effects on the recognition of negative items (whose encoding is primarily based on automatic processes). Participants were presented a sequence of negative, neutral and positive stimuli (pictures in Experiment 1, words in Experiment 2) associated to target (red) squares, distractor (green) squares or no squares (baseline condition). They were told to attend to the pictures/words and simultaneously press the spacebar of the computer when a red square appeared. In a later recognition task, stimuli associated to target squares were recognised better than stimuli associated to distractor squares, replicating the standard ABE. More importantly, we also found that: (a) the memory enhancement following target detection occurred with all types of stimuli (neutral, negative and positive) and (b) the advantage of negative stimuli over neutral stimuli was intact in the DA condition. These findings suggest that the encoding of negative stimuli depends on both controlled (attention-dependent) and automatic (attention-independent) processes.

  13. Enhancing interaural-delay-based extents of laterality at high frequencies by using ``transposed stimuli''

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Leslie R.; Trahiotis, Constantine

    2003-06-01

    An acoustic pointing task was used to determine whether interaural temporal disparities (ITDs) conveyed by high-frequency ``transposed'' stimuli would produce larger extents of laterality than ITDs conveyed by bands of high-frequency Gaussian noise. The envelopes of transposed stimuli are designed to provide high-frequency channels with information similar to that conveyed by the waveforms of low-frequency stimuli. Lateralization was measured for low-frequency Gaussian noises, the same noises transposed to 4 kHz, and high-frequency Gaussian bands of noise centered at 4 kHz. Extents of laterality obtained with the transposed stimuli were greater than those obtained with bands of Gaussian noise centered at 4 kHz and, in some cases, were equivalent to those obtained with low-frequency stimuli. In a second experiment, the general effects on lateral position produced by imposed combinations of bandwidth, ITD, and interaural phase disparities (IPDs) on low-frequency stimuli remained when those stimuli were transposed to 4 kHz. Overall, the data were fairly well accounted for by a model that computes the cross-correlation subsequent to known stages of peripheral auditory processing augmented by low-pass filtering of the envelopes within the high-frequency channels of each ear.

  14. Testing food-related inhibitory control to high- and low-calorie food stimuli: Electrophysiological responses to high-calorie food stimuli predict calorie and carbohydrate intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbine, Kaylie A; Christensen, Edward; LeCheminant, James D; Bailey, Bruce W; Tucker, Larry A; Larson, Michael J

    2017-07-01

    Maintaining a healthy diet has important implications for physical and mental health. One factor that may influence diet and food consumption is inhibitory control-the ability to withhold a dominant response in order to correctly respond to environmental demands. We examined how N2 amplitude, an ERP that reflects inhibitory control processes, differed toward high- and low-calorie food stimuli and related to food intake. A total of 159 participants (81 female; M age = 23.5 years; SD = 7.6) completed two food-based go/no-go tasks (one with high-calorie and one with low-calorie food pictures as no-go stimuli) while N2 amplitude was recorded. Participants recorded food intake using the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Dietary Recall system. Inhibiting responses toward high-calorie stimuli elicited a larger (i.e., more negative) no-go N2 amplitude; inhibiting responses toward low-calorie stimuli elicited a smaller no-go N2 amplitude. Participants were more accurate during the high-calorie than low-calorie task, but took longer to respond on go trials toward high-calorie rather than low-calorie stimuli. When controlling for age, gender, and BMI, larger high-calorie N2 difference amplitude predicted lower caloric intake (β = 0.17); low-calorie N2 difference amplitude was not related to caloric intake (β = -0.03). Exploratory analyses revealed larger high-calorie N2 difference amplitude predicted carbohydrate intake (β = 0.22), but not protein (β = 0.08) or fat (β = 0.11) intake. Results suggest that withholding responses from high-calorie foods requires increased recruitment of inhibitory control processes, which may be necessary to regulate food consumption, particularly for foods high in calories and carbohydrates. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich S Tusch

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

  16. EFFECTS OF THREE DIFFERENT STIMULI ON THE CREATIVITY OF CHILDREN'S COMPOSITIONS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MAY, FRANK B.; TABACHNICK, B. ROBERT

    THIS STUDY BEGAN AN ATTEMPT TO DETERMINE THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE MOTIVATING STIMULI FOR USE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WRITING PROGRAMS. IN PARTICULAR, IT DEALT WITH THE EFFECTS OF ORGANIZED AND UNORGANIZED STIMULI ON THE CREATIVE WRITING ABILITY OF THIRD- AND SIXTH-GRADE STUDENTS. THE CHILDREN WERE DIVIDED INTO SIX GROUPS. ONE GROUP OF…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-07

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

  18. Generalized Habituation of Concept Stimuli in Toddlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkender, Patricia J.; And Others

    1974-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Rowena; Bellugi, Ursula; Järvinen, Anna

    2016-12-01

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

  20. Analysis of brain activity and response to colour stimuli during learning tasks: an EEG study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folgieri, Raffaella; Lucchiari, Claudio; Marini, Daniele

    2013-02-01

    The research project intends to demonstrate how EEG detection through BCI device can improve the analysis and the interpretation of colours-driven cognitive processes through the combined approach of cognitive science and information technology methods. To this end, firstly it was decided to design an experiment based on comparing the results of the traditional (qualitative and quantitative) cognitive analysis approach with the EEG signal analysis of the evoked potentials. In our case, the sensorial stimulus is represented by the colours, while the cognitive task consists in remembering the words appearing on the screen, with different combination of foreground (words) and background colours. In this work we analysed data collected from a sample of students involved in a learning process during which they received visual stimuli based on colour variation. The stimuli concerned both the background of the text to learn and the colour of the characters. The experiment indicated some interesting results concerning the use of primary (RGB) and complementary (CMY) colours.

  1. Endogenous sequential cortical activity evoked by visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Development of the Korean Facial Emotion Stimuli: Korea University Facial Expression Collection 2nd Edition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun-Min Kim

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Developing valid emotional facial stimuli for specific ethnicities creates ample opportunities to investigate both the nature of emotional facial information processing in general and clinical populations as well as the underlying mechanisms of facial emotion processing within and across cultures. Given that most entries in emotional facial stimuli databases were developed with western samples, and given that very few of the eastern emotional facial stimuli sets were based strictly on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System, developing valid emotional facial stimuli of eastern samples remains a high priority.Aims: To develop and examine the psychometric properties of six basic emotional facial stimuli recruiting professional Korean actors and actresses based on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System for the Korea University Facial Expression Collection-Second Edition (KUFEC-II.Materials And Methods: Stimulus selection was done in two phases. First, researchers evaluated the clarity and intensity of each stimulus developed based on the Facial Action Coding System. Second, researchers selected a total of 399 stimuli from a total of 57 actors and actresses, which were then rated on accuracy, intensity, valence, and arousal by 75 independent raters.Conclusion: The hit rates between the targeted and rated expressions of the KUFEC-II were all above 80%, except for fear (50% and disgust (63%. The KUFEC-II appears to be a valid emotional facial stimuli database, providing the largest set of emotional facial stimuli. The mean intensity score was 5.63 (out of 7, suggesting that the stimuli delivered the targeted emotions with great intensity. All positive expressions were rated as having a high positive valence, whereas all negative expressions were rated as having a high negative valence. The KUFEC II is expected to be widely used in various psychological studies on emotional facial expression. KUFEC-II stimuli can be obtained through

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Narcissism dimensions differentially moderate selective attention to evaluative stimuli in incarcerated offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Lee, Christopher; Newman, Joseph P

    2015-01-01

    Narcissistic personality disorder is associated with distinguishing traits including self-enhancement, arrogance, and intense reactivity to ego threat. Theoretical accounts of narcissism suggest these heterogeneous behaviors reflect a defensive motivational style that functions to both uphold and protect the self-concept. However, the notion that narcissism can be characterized by grandiose and vulnerable dimensions raises the possibility that these diverse behaviors represent distinct expressions of narcissistic defensiveness. The present study examined whether both dimensions exhibit a general defensive style marked by selective attention to evaluative stimuli or are differentially associated with selective attention to positive and negative information, respectively. Using a dot probe task consisting of valenced and neutral trait adjectives, we evaluated these hypotheses in a group of male offenders. Results indicated that vulnerable narcissism was associated with attention biases for both positive and negative stimuli, though the dimension was further distinguished by disengagement difficulties and a greater recognition memory bias in response to negative words. Conversely, grandiose narcissism was associated with increased accuracy when attending to positive stimuli and directing attention away from negative stimuli. Overall, these findings suggest narcissistic individuals share motivated selective attention in response to evaluative stimuli, while simultaneously highlighting important phenotypic differences between grandiose and vulnerable dimensions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhbandner, Christof; Spitzer, Bernhard; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL) shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL.

  10. Human-caused Disturbance Stimuli as a Form of Predation Risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Frid

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available A growing number of studies quantify the impact of nonlethal human disturbance on the behavior and reproductive success of animals. Athough many are well designed and analytically sophisticated, most lack a theoretical framework for making predictions and for understanding why particular responses occur. Behavioral ecologists have recently begun to fill this theoretical vacuum by applying economic models of antipredator behavior to disturbance studies. In this emerging paradigm, predation and nonlethal disturbance stimuli create similar trade-offs between avoiding perceived risk and other fitness-enhancing activities, such as feeding, parental care, or mating. A vast literature supports the hypothesis that antipredator behavior has a cost to other activities, and that this trade-off is optimized when investment in antipredator behavior tracks short-term changes in predation risk. Prey have evolved antipredator responses to generalized threatening stimuli, such as loud noises and rapidly approaching objects. Thus, when encountering disturbance stimuli ranging from the dramatic, low-flying helicopter to the quiet wildlife photographer, animal responses are likely to follow the same economic principles used by prey encountering predators. Some authors have argued that, similar to predation risk, disturbance stimuli can indirectly affect fitness and population dynamics via the energetic and lost opportunity costs of risk avoidance. We elaborate on this argument by discussing why, from an evolutionary perspective, disturbance stimuli should be analogous to predation risk. We then consider disturbance effects on the behavior of individuals - vigilance, fleeing, habitat selection, mating displays, and parental investment - as well as indirect effects on populations and communities. A wider application of predation risk theory to disturbance studies should increase the generality of predictions and make mitigation more effective without over

  11. Stimuli Responsive Ionogels for Sensing Applications—An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Kavanagh

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Todd D; Garvey, Katherine T

    2013-12-01

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

  14. Investigating Deviance Distraction and the Impact of the Modality of the To-Be-Ignored Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsja, Erik; Neely, Gregory; Ljungberg, Jessica K

    2018-03-01

    It has been suggested that deviance distraction is caused by unexpected sensory events in the to-be-ignored stimuli violating the cognitive system's predictions of incoming stimuli. The majority of research has used methods where the to-be-ignored expected (standards) and the unexpected (deviants) stimuli are presented within the same modality. Less is known about the behavioral impact of deviance distraction when the to-be-ignored stimuli are presented in different modalities (e.g., standard and deviants presented in different modalities). In three experiments using cross-modal oddball tasks with mixed-modality to-be-ignored stimuli, we examined the distractive role of unexpected auditory deviants presented in a continuous stream of expected standard vibrations. The results showed that deviance distraction seems to be dependent upon the to-be-ignored stimuli being presented within the same modality, and that the simplest omission of something expected; in this case, a standard vibration may be enough to capture attention and distract performance.

  15. ERP Responses of Elementary-Age Children to Video Game Simulations of Two Stimuli Types: Study 1 and 2 Comparisons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergen, Doris; Schroer, Joseph E.; Thomas, Robin; Zhang, Xinge; Chou, Michael; Chou, Tricia

    2017-01-01

    The hypothesis that brain activity may differ during varied types of video game play was investigated in two studies of event-related potentials exhibited by children age 7 to 12 when processing game-based stimuli requiring correct/incorrect responses or choices between two imaginative alternative responses. The first study had 22 children of…

  16. Age-related loss in attention-based modulation of tactile stimuli at early stages of somatosensory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, David A E; Staines, W Richard

    2012-06-01

    Normal aging has been linked to impairments in gating of irrelevant sensory information and neural markers of diminished cognitive processing. Whilst much of the research in this area has focussed on visual and auditory modalities it is unclear to what degree these findings apply to somatosensation. Therefore we investigated how age impacts early event-related potentials (ERPs) arising from relevant or irrelevant vibrotactile stimuli to the fingertips. Specifically, we hypothesised that older adults would demonstrate reduced attention-based modulation of tactile ERPs generated at early stages of cortical somatosensory processing. In accord with previous research we also expected to observe diminished P300 responses to attended targets and behavioural deficits. Participants received vibrotactile stimulation to the second and fifth digit on the left hand and reported target stimuli on one digit only (as instructed) with comparisons between two age groups: (1) Young adults (age range 20-39) and (2) Older adults (age range 62-89). ERP amplitudes for the P50, N70, P100, N140 and long latency positivity (LLP) were quantified for attended and non-attended trials at several electrodes (C4, CP4, CP3 and FC4). The P300 in response to attended target stimuli was measured at CPZ. There was no effect of attention on the P50 and N70 however the P100, N140 and LLP were modulated with attention. In both age groups the P100 and LLP were more positive during trials where the stimuli were attended to, whilst the N140 was enhanced for non-attended stimuli. Comparisons between groups revealed a reduction in P100 attention-based modulation for the older adults versus the young adults. This effect was due to a loss of suppression of the non-attended stimuli in older subjects. Moreover, the P300 was both slower and reduced in peak amplitude for older subjects in response to attended targets. Finally, older adults demonstrated impaired performance in terms of both reduced target detection

  17. Pupillary Reactivity to Emotional Stimuli in Children of Depressed and Anxious Mothers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhouse, Katie L.; Siegle, Greg J.; Gibb, Brandon E.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The primary aim of this study was to examine differences in physiological reactivity (measured via pupillometry) to emotional stimuli between children of depressed versus nondepressed mothers. A second goal was to examine differences in pupil dilation to emotional stimuli between children of anxious versus nonanxious mothers. Method:…

  18. Resistance to Change and Frequency of Response-Dependent Stimuli Uncorrelated with Reinforcement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlesnik, Christopher A.; Jimenez-Gomez, Corina; Ward, Ryan D.; Shahan, Timothy A.

    2009-01-01

    Stimuli uncorrelated with reinforcement have been shown to enhance response rates and resistance to disruption; however, the effects of different rates of stimulus presentations have not been assessed. In two experiments, we assessed the effects of adding different rates of response-dependent brief stimuli uncorrelated with primary reinforcement…

  19. Switchable reconfiguration of nucleic acid nanostructures by stimuli-responsive DNA machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoqing; Lu, Chun-Hua; Willner, Itamar

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: The base sequence in DNA dictates structural and reactivity features of the biopolymer. These properties are implemented to use DNA as a unique material for developing the area of DNA nanotechnology. The design of DNA machines represents a rapidly developing research field in the area of DNA nanotechnology. The present Account discusses the switchable reconfiguration of nucleic acid nanostructures by stimuli-responsive DNA machines, and it highlights potential applications and future perspectives of the area. Programmed switchable DNA machines driven by various fuels and antifuels, such as pH, Hg(2+) ions/cysteine, or nucleic acid strands/antistrands, are described. These include the assembly of DNA tweezers, walkers, a rotor, a pendulum, and more. Using a pH-oscillatory system, the oscillatory mechanical operation of a DNA pendulum is presented. Specifically, the synthesis and "mechanical" properties of interlocked DNA rings are described. This is exemplified with the preparation of interlocked DNA catenanes and a DNA rotaxane. The dynamic fuel-driven reconfiguration of the catenane/rotaxane structures is followed by fluorescence spectroscopy. The use of DNA machines as functional scaffolds to reconfigurate Au nanoparticle assemblies and to switch the fluorescence features within fluorophore/Au nanoparticle conjugates between quenching and surface-enhanced fluorescence states are addressed. Specifically, the fluorescence features of the different DNA machines are characterized as a function of the spatial separation between the fluorophore and Au nanoparticles. The experimental results are supported by theoretical calculations. The future development of reconfigurable stimuli-responsive DNA machines involves fundamental challenges, such as the synthesis of molecular devices exhibiting enhanced complexities, the introduction of new fuels and antifuels, and the integration of new payloads being reconfigured by the molecular devices, such as enzymes or

  20. Extinction of Conditioned Responses to Methamphetamine-Associated Stimuli in Healthy Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavallo, Joel S; Ruiz, Nicholas A; de Wit, Harriet

    2016-07-01

    Contextual stimuli present during drug experiences become associated with the drug through Pavlovian conditioning and are thought to sustain drug-seeking behavior. Thus, extinction of conditioned responses is an important target for treatment. To date, acquisition and extinction to drug-paired cues have been studied in animal models or drug-dependent individuals, but rarely in non-drug users. We have recently developed a procedure to study acquisition of conditioned responses after single doses of methamphetamine (MA) in healthy volunteers. Here, we examined extinction of these responses and their persistence after conditioning. Healthy adults (18-35 years; N = 20) received two pairings of audio-visual stimuli with MA (20 mg oral) or placebo. Responses to stimuli were assessed before and after conditioning, using three tasks: behavioral preference, attentional bias, and subjective "liking." Subjects exhibited behavioral preference for the drug-paired stimuli at the first post-conditioning test, but this declined rapidly on subsequent extinction tests. They also exhibited a bias to initially look towards the drug-paired stimuli at the first post-test session, but not thereafter. Subjects who experienced more positive subjective drug effects during conditioning exhibited a smaller decline in preference during the extinction phase. Further, longer inter-session intervals during the extinction phase were associated with less extinction of the behavioral preference measure. Conditioned responses after two pairings with MA extinguish quickly, and are influenced by both subjective drug effects and the extinction interval. Characterizing and refining this conditioning procedure will aid in understanding the acquisition and extinction processes of drug-related conditioned responses in humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pascucci

    Full Text Available Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Exposure is not enough: suppressing stimuli from awareness can abolish the mere exposure effect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel de Zilva

    Full Text Available Passive exposure to neutral stimuli increases subsequent liking of those stimuli--the mere exposure effect. Because of the broad implications for understanding and controlling human preferences, the role of conscious awareness in mere exposure has received much attention. Previous studies have claimed that the mere exposure effect can occur without conscious awareness of the stimuli. In two experiments, we applied a technique new to the mere exposure literature, called continuous flash suppression, to expose stimuli for a controlled duration with and without awareness. To ensure the reliability of the awareness manipulation, awareness was monitored on a trial-by-trial basis. Our results show that under these conditions the mere exposure effect does not occur without conscious awareness. In contrast, only when participants were aware of the stimuli did exposure increase liking and recognition. Together these data are consistent with the idea that the mere exposure effect requires conscious awareness and has important implications for theories of memory and affect.

  7. Exposure is not enough: suppressing stimuli from awareness can abolish the mere exposure effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zilva, Daniel; Vu, Luke; Newell, Ben R; Pearson, Joel

    2013-01-01

    Passive exposure to neutral stimuli increases subsequent liking of those stimuli--the mere exposure effect. Because of the broad implications for understanding and controlling human preferences, the role of conscious awareness in mere exposure has received much attention. Previous studies have claimed that the mere exposure effect can occur without conscious awareness of the stimuli. In two experiments, we applied a technique new to the mere exposure literature, called continuous flash suppression, to expose stimuli for a controlled duration with and without awareness. To ensure the reliability of the awareness manipulation, awareness was monitored on a trial-by-trial basis. Our results show that under these conditions the mere exposure effect does not occur without conscious awareness. In contrast, only when participants were aware of the stimuli did exposure increase liking and recognition. Together these data are consistent with the idea that the mere exposure effect requires conscious awareness and has important implications for theories of memory and affect.

  8. Individual variation in habituation: behaviour over time toward different stimuli in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Alison M.; Peeke, Harman V.S.

    2014-01-01

    Habituation, or the relatively permanent waning of a response as a result of repeated stimulation, is a form of behavioural plasticity that allows animals to filter out irrelevant stimuli and to focus selectively on important stimuli. Individuals that fail to habituate might be at a disadvantage if they continue to respond to irrelevant stimuli; therefore, habituation can have adaptive significance. In this study we compared rates of behaviour over time toward three different ecologically-relevant stimuli (food, a male intruder and a gravid female) in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We detected evidence for habituation to the stimuli, and males in this study were especially aggressive toward both male and female conspecifics. Although there were some clear temporal patterns that could be detected by looking at average behaviour, not all individuals behaved in the same ‘average’ way. We detected substantial inter-individual variation in behaviour toward all three stimuli, inter-individual variation in rates of habituation to both male and female conspecifics, but no evidence for correlations between behaviours across stimuli (behavioural syndromes). These results suggest that individual animals vary in rates of habituation, and prompt hypotheses about the causes and consequences of variation in rates of habituation. PMID:25678715

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asakawa, Tetsuya; Muramatsu, Ayumi; Hayashi, Takuto; Urata, Tatsuya; Taya, Masato; Mizuno-Matsumoto, Yuko

    2014-01-01

    The current study evaluated the effect of different anxiety states on information processing as measured by an electroencephalography (EEG) using emotional stimuli on a smartphone. Twenty-three healthy subjects were assessed for their anxiety states using The State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and divided into two groups: low anxiety (I, II) or high anxiety (III and IV, V). An EEG was performed while the participant was presented with emotionally laden audiovisual stimuli (resting, pleasant, and unpleasant sessions) and emotionally laden sentence stimuli (pleasant sentence, unpleasant sentence sessions) and EEG data was analyzed using propagation speed analysis. The propagation speed of the low anxiety group at the medial coronal for resting stimuli for all time segments was higher than those of high anxiety group. The low anxiety group propagation speeds at the medial sagittal for unpleasant stimuli in the 0–30 and 60–150 s time frames were higher than those of high anxiety group. The propagation speeds at 150 s for all stimuli in the low anxiety group were significantly higher than the correspondent propagation speeds of the high anxiety group. These events suggest that neural information processes concerning emotional stimuli differ based on current anxiety state. PMID:25540618

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Siniscalchi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-30

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

  13. The Effect of Physiological Stimuli on Sarcopenia; Impact of Notch and Wnt Signaling on Impaired Aged Skeletal Muscle Repair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, Susan Tsivitse; Cooley, Ian D.

    2012-01-01

    The age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that is associated with sarcopenia can result in ultimate consequences such as decreased quality of life. The causes of sarcopenia are multifactorial and include environmental and biological factors. The purpose of this review is to synthesize what the literature reveals in regards to the cellular regulation of sarcopenia, including impaired muscle regenerative capacity in the aged, and to discuss if physiological stimuli have the potential to slow the loss of myogenic potential that is associated with sarcopenia. In addition, this review article will discuss the effect of aging on Notch and Wnt signaling, and whether physiological stimuli have the ability to restore Notch and Wnt signaling resulting in rejuvenated aged muscle repair. The intention of this summary is to bring awareness to the benefits of consistent physiological stimulus (exercise) to combating sarcopenia as well as proclaiming the usefulness of contraction-induced injury models to studying the effects of local and systemic influences on aged myogenic capability. PMID:22701343

  14. Novel assessment of cortical response to somatosensory stimuli in children with hemiparetic cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maitre, Nathalie L; Barnett, Zachary P; Key, Alexandra P F

    2012-10-01

    The brain's response to somatosensory stimuli is essential to experience-driven learning in children. It was hypothesized that advances in event-related potential technology could quantify the response to touch in somatosensory cortices and characterize the responses of hemiparetic children. In this prospective study of 8 children (5-8 years old) with hemiparetic cerebral palsy, both event-related potential responses to sham or air puff trials and standard functional assessments were used. Event-related potential technology consistently measured signals reflecting activity in the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices as well as complex cognitive processing of touch. Participants showed typical early responses but less efficient perceptual processes. Significant differences between affected and unaffected extremities correlated with sensorimotor testing, stereognosis, and 2-point discrimination (r > 0.800 and P = .001 for all). For the first time, a novel event-related potential paradigm shows that hemiparetic children have slower and less efficient tactile cortical perception in their affected extremities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, M

    2001-07-01

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

  16. A review of stimuli-responsive polymers for smart textile applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Jinlian; Meng, Harper; Li, Guoqiang; Ibekwe, Samuel I

    2012-01-01

    Stimuli-responsive polymers (SRPs) are smart materials which can show noticeable changes in their properties with environmental stimulus variations. Novel functionalities can be delivered to textiles by integrating smart SRPs into them. SRPs inclusive of thermal-responsive polymers, moisture-responsive polymers, thermal-responsive hydrogels, pH-responsive hydrogels, and light-responsive polymers have been applied in textiles to improve or achieve textile smart functionalities. The functionalities include aesthetic appeal, comfort, textile soft display, smart controlled drug release, fantasy design with color changing, wound monitoring, smart wetting properties and protection against extreme variations in environmental conditions. In this review, the applications of SRPs in the textile and clothing sector are elucidated; the associated constraints in fabrication processes for textiles and their potential applications in the near future are discussed. (topical review)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-12

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

  20. Dissociating Long and Short-term Memory in Three-Month-Old Infants Using the Mismatch Response to Voice Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinke, Katharina; Thöne, Leonie; Bolinger, Elaina M; Born, Jan

    2018-01-01

    Auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) have been successfully used in adults as well as in newborns to discriminate recall of longer-term and shorter-term memories. Specifically the Mismatch Response (MMR) to deviant stimuli of an oddball paradigm is larger if the deviant stimuli are highly familiar (i.e., retrieved from long-term memory) than if they are unfamiliar, representing an immediate change to the standard stimuli kept in short-term memory. Here, we aimed to extend previous findings indicating a differential MMR to familiar and unfamiliar deviants in newborns (Beauchemin et al., 2011), to 3-month-old infants who are starting to interact more with their social surroundings supposedly based on forming more (social) long-term representations. Using a voice discrimination paradigm, each infant was repeatedly presented with the word "baby" (400 ms, interstimulus interval: 600 ms, 10 min overall duration) pronounced by three different female speakers. One voice that was unfamiliar to the infants served as the frequently presented "standard" stimulus, whereas another unfamiliar voice served as the "unfamiliar deviant" stimulus, and the voice of the infant's mother served as the "familiar deviant." Data collection was successful for 31 infants (mean age = 100 days). The MMR was determined by the difference between the ERP to standard stimuli and the ERP to the unfamiliar and familiar deviant, respectively. The MMR to the familiar deviant (mother's voice) was larger, i.e., more positive, than that to the unfamiliar deviant between 100 and 400 ms post-stimulus over the frontal and central cortex. However, a genuine MMR differentiating, as a positive deflection, between ERPs to familiar deviants and standard stimuli was only found in the 300-400 ms interval. On the other hand, a genuine MMR differentiating, as a negative deflection, between ERPs to unfamiliar deviants from ERPs to standard stimuli was revealed for the 200-300 ms post-stimulus interval. Overall

  1. Increasing Working Memory Load Reduces Processing of Cross-Modal Task-Irrelevant Stimuli Even after Controlling for Task Difficulty and Executive Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Sharon S; Tusch, Erich S; Holcomb, Phillip J; Daffner, Kirk R

    2016-01-01

    The classic account of the load theory (LT) of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC) and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM) load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual) and task-irrelevant modality (auditory). Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.

  2. Increasing working memory load reduces processing of cross-modal task-irrelevant stimuli even after controlling for task difficulty and executive capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Sanz Simon

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The classic account of the Load Theory (LT of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual and task-irrelevant modality (auditory. Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.

  3. Perception of non-verbal auditory stimuli in Italian dyslexic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantiani, Chiara; Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Valnegri, Camilla; Molteni, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    Auditory temporal processing deficits have been proposed as the underlying cause of phonological difficulties in Developmental Dyslexia. The hypothesis was tested in a sample of 20 Italian dyslexic children aged 8-14, and 20 matched control children. Three tasks of auditory processing of non-verbal stimuli, involving discrimination and reproduction of sequences of rapidly presented short sounds were expressly created. Dyslexic subjects performed more poorly than control children, suggesting the presence of a deficit only partially influenced by the duration of the stimuli and of inter-stimulus intervals (ISIs).

  4. [Neurophysiological Features of Perception of Emotional Stimuli in Health and in Patients with Paranoid Schizophrenia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkhipov, A Yu; Strelets, V B

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive and emotional disorders, as far as is known, are the main syndromes of schizophrenia. Disorders of these functions are mainly determined by the clinical picture, as well as by psychophysiological correlates. The purpose of our study was to identify some psychophysiological factors which cause perceptual and emotional disturbances in patients with schizophrenia. These disorders of mental functions form the first rank (top) syndrome in patients with schizophrenia [1]. The studied patients had acute psychosis with a predominance of paranoid hallucinatory syndrome and did not receive antipsychotic therapy; i.e., the disturbances of sensory perception were most pronounced. The analysis of early component P100 and intermediate one N170 of event related potentials (ERPs) in the control group showed an increased level of excitation in response to emotionally threatening stimuli; the amplitude increased and the latency decreased in all leads. In contrast the analysis of components P100 and N170 in the group of patients with schizophrenia showed the increased latency and decreased amplitude. The obtained data provide evidence of pathological inhibition in the passive perception of emotionally significant stimuli.

  5. Differing Developmental Trajectories in Heart Rate Responses to Speech Stimuli in Infants at High and Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdue, Katherine L; Edwards, Laura A; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Nelson, Charles A

    2017-08-01

    We investigated heart rate (HR) in infants at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of age, at high (HRA) and low (LRC) familial risk for ASD, to identify potential endophenotypes of ASD risk related to attentional responses. HR was extracted from functional near-infrared spectroscopy recordings while infants listened to speech stimuli. Longitudinal analysis revealed that HRA infants and males generally had lower baseline HR than LRC infants and females. HRA infants showed decreased HR responses to early trials over development, while LRC infants showed increased responses. These findings suggest altered developmental trajectories in physiological responses to speech stimuli over the first year of life, with HRA infants showing less social orienting over time.

  6. Adding stimuli-responsive extensions to antifouling hairy particles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Olfactory Fear Conditioning Induces Field Potential Potentiation in Rat Olfactory Cortex and Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messaoudi, Belkacem; Granjon, Lionel; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sevelinges, Yannick; Gervais, Remi

    2004-01-01

    The widely used Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms used for studying the neurobiology of learning and memory have mainly used auditory cues as conditioned stimuli (CS). The present work assessed the neural network involved in olfactory fear conditioning, using olfactory bulb stimulation-induced field potential signal (EFP) as a marker of…

  9. Background music genre can modulate flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiegel, Alexandra; Meullenet, Jean-François; Harrington, Robert J; Humble, Rachel; Seo, Han-Seok

    2014-05-01

    This study aimed to determine whether background music genre can alter food perception and acceptance, but also to determine how the effect of background music can vary as a function of type of food (emotional versus non-emotional foods) and source of music performer (single versus multiple performers). The music piece was edited into four genres: classical, jazz, hip-hop, and rock, by either a single or multiple performers. Following consumption of emotional (milk chocolate) or non-emotional food (bell peppers) with the four musical stimuli, participants were asked to rate sensory perception and impression of food stimuli. Participants liked food stimuli significantly more while listening to the jazz stimulus than the hip-hop stimulus. Further, the influence of background music on overall impression was present in the emotional food, but not in the non-emotional food. In addition, flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli differed between music genres arranged by a single performer, but not between those by multiple performers. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that music genre can alter flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli. Furthermore, the influence of music genre on food acceptance varies as a function of the type of served food and the source of music performer. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Differences in male and female subjective experience and physiological reactions to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, Alek

    2017-07-01

    Research based on self-reported data often indicates that women are the more emotional sex. The present study examined differences in emotion between the sexes across two components of the emotional process: subjective experience and physiological reactions to emotional stimuli. During the experimental study, participants (N=124; 22.5±2.88; 51 males) subjectively rated their emotional experience (valence and intensity) towards presented positive and negative affective stimuli, while physiological reactions (facial electromyography, heart rate, skin conductance, and finger skin temperature) were measured during expositions. Results from self-reports suggest that women declared more intensive emotional experiences for positive and negative stimuli and rated negative stimuli as more negative in comparison to men. Physiological measurements showed differences between the sexes in the physiological baseline measurements (facial electromyography, skin conductance and finger skin temperature). However, physiological responses towards positive or negative emotional stimuli did not prove to be different between men and women, except for finger skin temperature. Relations between self-reported subjective experiences and physiological changes were weak and insignificant. Collectively, our findings suggest certain emotional differences experienced between men and women. These differences can be found specifically in self-reported subjective experiences, while significant differences were not predominantly present in recorded physiological reactions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Implicit attitudes toward eating stimuli differentiate eating disorder and non-eating disorder groups and predict eating disorder behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, April R; Forrest, Lauren N; Velkoff, Elizabeth A; Ribeiro, Jessica D; Franklin, Joseph

    2018-04-01

    The current study tested whether people with and without eating disorders (EDs) varied in their implicit attitudes toward ED-relevant stimuli. Additionally, the study tested whether implicit evaluations of ED-relevant stimuli predicted ED symptoms and behaviors over a 4-week interval. Participants were people without EDs (N = 85) and people seeking treatment for EDs (N = 92). All participants completed self-report questionnaires and a version of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) at baseline. The AMP indexed implicit evaluations of average body stimuli, eating stimuli, and ED-symptom stimuli. Participants with EDs completed weekly follow-up measures of ED symptoms and behaviors for 4 weeks. Contrary to predictions, the anorexia nervosa (AN) group did not differ from the no ED group on implicit attitudes toward ED-symptom stimuli, and the bulimia nervosa (BN) group had less positive implicit attitudes toward ED-symptom stimuli relative to the no ED group. In line with predictions, people with AN and BN had more negative implicit attitudes toward average body and eating stimuli relative to the no ED group. In addition, among the ED group more negative implicit attitudes toward eating stimuli predicted ED symptoms and behaviors 4 weeks later, over and above baseline ED symptoms and behaviors. Taken together, implicit evaluations of eating stimuli differentiated people with AN and BN from people without EDs and longitudinally predicted ED symptoms and behaviors. Interventions that increase implicit liking of eating-related stimuli may reduce ED behaviors. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Gaming to see: action video gaming is associated with enhanced processing of masked stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Carsten; Kunde, Wilfried; Ganz, Thomas; Conzelmann, Annette; Pauli, Paul; Kiesel, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Recent research revealed that action video game players outperform non-players in a wide range of attentional, perceptual and cognitive tasks. Here we tested if expertise in action video games is related to differences regarding the potential of shortly presented stimuli to bias behavior. In a response priming paradigm, participants classified four animal pictures functioning as targets as being smaller or larger than a reference frame. Before each target, one of the same four animal pictures was presented as a masked prime to influence participants' responses in a congruent or incongruent way. Masked primes induced congruence effects, that is, faster responses for congruent compared to incongruent conditions, indicating processing of hardly visible primes. Results also suggested that action video game players showed a larger congruence effect than non-players for 20 ms primes, whereas there was no group difference for 60 ms primes. In addition, there was a tendency for action video game players to detect masked primes for some prime durations better than non-players. Thus, action video game expertise may be accompanied by faster and more efficient processing of shortly presented visual stimuli.

  13. Gaming to see: Action Video Gaming is associated with enhanced processing of masked stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten ePohl

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent research revealed that action video game players outperform non-players in a wide range of attentional, perceptual and cognitive tasks. Here we tested if expertise in action video games is related to differences regarding the potential of shortly presented stimuli to bias behaviour. In a response priming paradigm, participants classified four animal pictures functioning as targets as being smaller or larger than a reference frame. Before each target, one of the same four animal pictures was presented as a masked prime to influence participants’ responses in a congruent or incongruent way. Masked primes induced congruence effects, that is, faster responses for congruent compared to incongruent conditions, indicating processing of hardly visible primes. Results also suggested that action video game players showed a larger congruence effect than non-players for 20 ms primes, whereas there was no group difference for 60 ms primes. In addition, there was a tendency for action video game players to detect masked primes for some prime durations better than non-players. Thus, action video game expertise may be accompanied by faster and more efficient processing of shortly presented visual stimuli.

  14. Shape Memory Investigation of α-Keratin Fibers as Multi-Coupled Stimuli of Responsive Smart Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueliang Xiao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Like the water responsive shape memory (SM effect of β-keratin bird feathers, α-keratin hairs either existing broadly in nature are found responsive to many types of coupled stimuli in SM behaviors. In this article, α-keratin hairs were investigated for the combined stimuli of thermo-solvent, solvent-solvent, and UV (radiation-reductant sensitive SM abilities. The related netpoints and switches from the hair molecular networks were identified. The experimental results showed that α-keratin hairs manifested a higher ability of shape fixation under thermal stimulus followed with the stimuli of solvent and UV-radiation. Shape recovery from the hair with a temporarily fixed shape showed a higher recovery ability using solvent than the stimuli of heat and UV-radiation. The effects of coupled stimuli on hair’s shape fixation and recovery and on variations of the crystal, disulfide, and hydrogen bonds were studied systematically. A structural network model was thereafter proposed to interpret the multi-coupled stimuli sensitive SM of α-keratin hair. This original study is expected to provide inspiration for exploring other natural fibers to reveal related smart functions and for making more types of remarkable adapted synthetic materials.

  15. A leptin-regulated circuit controls glucose mobilization during noxious stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flak, Jonathan N; Arble, Deanna; Pan, Warren; Patterson, Christa; Lanigan, Thomas; Goforth, Paulette B; Sacksner, Jamie; Joosten, Maja; Morgan, Donald A; Allison, Margaret B; Hayes, John; Feldman, Eva; Seeley, Randy J; Olson, David P; Rahmouni, Kamal; Myers, Martin G

    2017-08-01

    Adipocytes secrete the hormone leptin to signal the sufficiency of energy stores. Reductions in circulating leptin concentrations reflect a negative energy balance, which augments sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation in response to metabolically demanding emergencies. This process ensures adequate glucose mobilization despite low energy stores. We report that leptin receptor-expressing neurons (LepRb neurons) in the periaqueductal gray (PAG), the largest population of LepRb neurons in the brain stem, mediate this process. Application of noxious stimuli, which often signal the need to mobilize glucose to support an appropriate response, activated PAG LepRb neurons, which project to and activate parabrachial nucleus (PBN) neurons that control SNS activation and glucose mobilization. Furthermore, activating PAG LepRb neurons increased SNS activity and blood glucose concentrations, while ablating LepRb in PAG neurons augmented glucose mobilization in response to noxious stimuli. Thus, decreased leptin action on PAG LepRb neurons augments the autonomic response to noxious stimuli, ensuring sufficient glucose mobilization during periods of acute demand in the face of diminished energy stores.

  16. A study on stress stimuli among the students of physical education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.P.VERMA

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study was undertaken to study the stress level of physical education students in auniversity. Level of stress due to different stimuli and level of coping strategy of men and women weremeasured by using the questionnaire. Thirty male and thirty female physical education students were randomlyselected. Stress scores due to 1.Frustration and Inhibition, 2. Overload and 3.Compulsive, Time-urgent andAggression were recorded for each student using the questionnaire. These subjects were also tested for theirlevel of coping strategy. Scores obtained were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. The results showed that thefrustration and inhibition had significant correlation with time-urgent and aggressive stimuli in the PG menwhereas, there was significant correlation between frustration and inhibition v/s overload stimuli among UGmen. Similarly in the UG and PG women there was a significant correlation between frustration and inhibitionv/s overload. Further, in PG women there was a negative relation between coping strategy and stress due totime-urgent and aggressive stimuli.Further, two way analysis of variance resulted that stress due to all the three stimuli i.e. frustration andinhibition (p=.003, overload (p=.049 and time-urgent and aggressive behavior (p=.042 were significantlyhigher among women in comparison to that of men irrespective of their classes. Whereas coping strategy(p=.048 was higher in men in comparison to that of women. In assessing the vulnerability towards stress it wasobserved that among the UG section 86.7% men were vulnerable to stress due to frustration and inhibitionwhereas 100% women were found to be vulnerable to the stress due to overload. In PG section 80% men werevulnerable to stress due to overload whereas 100% women were found to be vulnerable to stress due to timeurgent and aggressive behavior. In the UG section 80% men and 60% women were having adequate or goodcoping strategies whereas in PG section 80% men and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  18. The Commonality of Loss Aversion across Procedures and Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Lee

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

  20. Data Collection and Analysis Techniques for Evaluating the Perceptual Qualities of Auditory Stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonebright, T.L.; Caudell, T.P.; Goldsmith, T.E.; Miner, N.E.

    1998-11-17

    This paper describes a general methodological framework for evaluating the perceptual properties of auditory stimuli. The framework provides analysis techniques that can ensure the effective use of sound for a variety of applications including virtual reality and data sonification systems. Specifically, we discuss data collection techniques for the perceptual qualities of single auditory stimuli including identification tasks, context-based ratings, and attribute ratings. In addition, we present methods for comparing auditory stimuli, such as discrimination tasks, similarity ratings, and sorting tasks. Finally, we discuss statistical techniques that focus on the perceptual relations among stimuli, such as Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) and Pathfinder Analysis. These methods are presented as a starting point for an organized and systematic approach for non-experts in perceptual experimental methods, rather than as a complete manual for performing the statistical techniques and data collection methods. It is our hope that this paper will help foster further interdisciplinary collaboration among perceptual researchers, designers, engineers, and others in the development of effective auditory displays.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiagui Qu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. North-American norms for name disagreement: pictorial stimuli naming discrepancies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary O'Sullivan

    Full Text Available Pictorial stimuli are commonly used by scientists to explore central processes; including memory, attention, and language. Pictures that have been collected and put into sets for these purposes often contain visual ambiguities that lead to name disagreement amongst subjects. In the present work, we propose new norms which reflect these sources of name disagreement, and we apply this method to two sets of pictures: the Snodgrass and Vanderwart (S&V set and the Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS. Naming responses of the presented pictures were classified within response categories based on whether they were correct, incorrect, or equivocal. To characterize the naming strategy where an alternative name was being used, responses were further divided into different sub-categories that reflected various sources of name disagreement. Naming strategies were also compared across the two sets of stimuli. Results showed that the pictures of the S&V set and the BOSS were more likely to elicit alternative specific and equivocal names, respectively. It was also found that the use of incorrect names was not significantly different across stimulus sets but that errors were more likely caused by visual ambiguity in the S&V set and by a misuse of names in the BOSS. Norms for name disagreement presented in this paper are useful for subsequent research for their categorization and elucidation of name disagreement that occurs when choosing visual stimuli from one or both stimulus sets. The sources of disagreement should be examined carefully as they help to provide an explanation of errors and inconsistencies of many concepts during picture naming tasks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-06-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyiler, Ersan

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  9. Alpha-Band Brain Oscillations Shape the Processing of Perceptible as well as Imperceptible Somatosensory Stimuli during Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forschack, Norman; Nierhaus, Till; Müller, Matthias M; Villringer, Arno

    2017-07-19

    Attention filters and weights sensory information according to behavioral demands. Stimulus-related neural responses are increased for the attended stimulus. Does alpha-band activity mediate this effect and is it restricted to conscious sensory events (suprathreshold), or does it also extend to unconscious stimuli (subthreshold)? To address these questions, we recorded EEG in healthy male and female volunteers undergoing subthreshold and suprathreshold somatosensory electrical stimulation to the left or right index finger. The task was to detect stimulation at the randomly alternated cued index finger. Under attention, amplitudes of somatosensory evoked potentials increased 50-60 ms after stimulation (P1) for both suprathreshold and subthreshold events. Prestimulus amplitude of peri-Rolandic alpha, that is mu, showed an inverse relationship to P1 amplitude during attention compared to when the finger was unattended. Interestingly, intermediate and high amplitudes of mu rhythm were associated with the highest P1 amplitudes during attention and smallest P1 during lack of attention, that is, these levels of alpha rhythm seemed to optimally support the behavioral goal ("detect" stimuli at the cued finger while ignoring the other finger). Our results show that attention enhances neural processing for both suprathreshold and subthreshold stimuli and they highlight a rather complex interaction between attention, Rolandic alpha activity, and their effects on stimulus processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Attention is crucial in prioritizing processing of relevant perceptible (suprathreshold) stimuli: it filters and weights sensory input. The present study investigates the controversially discussed question whether this attention effect extends to imperceptible (subthreshold) stimuli as well. We found noninvasive EEG signatures for attentional modulation of neural events following perceptible and imperceptible somatosensory stimulation in human participants. Specifically

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  11. A combined brain-computer interface based on P300 potentials and motion-onset visual evoked potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jing; Allison, Brendan Z; Wang, Xingyu; Neuper, Christa

    2012-04-15

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) allow users to communicate via brain activity alone. Many BCIs rely on the P300 and other event-related potentials (ERPs) that are elicited when target stimuli flash. Although there have been considerable research exploring ways to improve P300 BCIs, surprisingly little work has focused on new ways to change visual stimuli to elicit more recognizable ERPs. In this paper, we introduce a "combined" BCI based on P300 potentials and motion-onset visual evoked potentials (M-VEPs) and compare it with BCIs based on each simple approach (P300 and M-VEP). Offline data suggested that performance would be best in the combined paradigm. Online tests with adaptive BCIs confirmed that our combined approach is practical in an online BCI, and yielded better performance than the other two approaches (P<0.05) without annoying or overburdening the subject. The highest mean classification accuracy (96%) and practical bit rate (26.7bit/s) were obtained from the combined condition. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Depersonalization disorder: disconnection of cognitive evaluation from autonomic responses to emotional stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Michal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Patients with depersonalization disorder (DPD typically complain about emotional detachment. Previous studies found reduced autonomic responsiveness to emotional stimuli for DPD patients as compared to patients with anxiety disorders. We aimed to investigate autonomic responsiveness to emotional auditory stimuli of DPD patients as compared to patient controls. Furthermore, we examined the modulatory effect of mindful breathing on these responses as well as on depersonalization intensity. METHODS: 22 DPD patients and 15 patient controls balanced for severity of depression and anxiety, age, sex and education, were compared regarding 1 electrodermal and heart rate data during a resting period, and 2 autonomic responses and cognitive appraisal of standardized acoustic affective stimuli in two conditions (normal listening and mindful breathing. RESULTS: DPD patients rated the emotional sounds as significantly more neutral as compared to patient controls and standardized norm ratings. At the same time, however, they responded more strongly to acoustic emotional stimuli and their electrodermal response pattern was more modulated by valence and arousal as compared to patient controls. Mindful breathing reduced severity of depersonalization in DPD patients and increased the arousal modulation of electrodermal responses in the whole sample. Finally, DPD patients showed an increased electrodermal lability in the rest period as compared to patient controls. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrated that the cognitive evaluation of emotional sounds in DPD patients is disconnected from their autonomic responses to those emotional stimuli. The increased electrodermal lability in DPD may reflect increased introversion and cognitive control of emotional impulses. The findings have important psychotherapeutic implications.

  13. Check-All-That-Apply (CATA), Sorting, and Polarized Sensory Positioning (PSP) with Astringent Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Erin E.; Ziegler, Gregory R.; Hayes, John E.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple rapid sensory profiling techniques have been developed as more efficient alternatives to traditional sensory descriptive analysis. Here, we compare the results of three rapid sensory profiling techniques – check-all-that-apply (CATA), sorting, and polarized sensory positioning (PSP) – using a diverse range of astringent stimuli. These rapid methods differ in their theoretical basis, implementation, and data analyses, and the relative advantages and limitations are largely unexplored. Additionally, we were interested in using these methods to compare varied astringent stimuli, as these compounds are difficult to characterize using traditional descriptive analysis due to high fatigue and potential carry-over. In the CATA experiment, subjects (n=41) were asked to rate the overall intensity of each stimulus as well as to endorse any relevant terms (from a list of 13) which characterized the sample. In the sorting experiment, subjects (n=30) assigned intensity-matched stimuli into groups 1-on-1 with the experimenter. In the PSP experiment, (n=41) subjects first sampled and took notes on three blind references (‘poles’) before rating each stimulus for its similarity to each of the 3 poles. Two-dimensional perceptual maps from correspondence analysis (CATA), multidimensional scaling (sorting), and multiple factor analysis (PSP) were remarkably similar, with normalized RV coefficients indicating significantly similar plots, regardless of method. Agglomerative hierarchical clustering of all data sets using Ward’s minimum variance as the linkage criteria showed the clusters of astringent stimuli were approximately based on the respective class of astringent agent. Based on the descriptive CATA data, it appears these differences may be due to the presence of side tastes such as bitterness and sourness, rather than astringent sub-qualities per se. Although all three methods are considered ‘rapid,’ our prior experience with sorting suggests it is best

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-20

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

  15. Gene expression analysis in response to osmotic stimuli in the intervertebral disc with DNA microarray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenzhi; Li, Xu; Shang, Xifu; Zhao, Qichun; Hu, Yefeng; Xu, Xiang; He, Rui; Duan, Liqun; Zhang, Feng

    2013-12-27

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) cells experience a broad range of physicochemical stimuli under physiologic conditions, including alterations in their osmotic environment. At present, the molecular mechanisms underlying osmotic regulation in IVD cells are poorly understood. This study aims to screen genes affected by changes in osmotic pressure in cells of subjects aged 29 to 63 years old, with top-scoring pair (TSP) method. Gene expression data set GSE1648 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including four hyper-osmotic stimuli samples, four iso-osmotic stimuli samples, and three hypo-osmotic stimuli samples. A novel, simple method, referred to as the TSP, was used in this study. Through this method, there was no need to perform data normalization and transformation before data analysis. A total of five pairs of genes ((CYP2A6, FNTB), (PRPF8, TARDBP), (RPS5, OAZ1), (SLC25A3, NPM1) and (CBX3, SRSF9)) were selected based on the TSP method. We inferred that all these genes might play important roles in response to osmotic stimuli and age in IVD cells. Additionally, hyper-osmotic and iso-osmotic stimuli conditions were adverse factors for IVD cells. We anticipate that our results will provide new thoughts and methods for the study of IVD disease.

  16. Adaptation to Variance of Stimuli in Drosophila Larva Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolk, Jason; Gepner, Ruben; Gershow, Marc

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

  17. The subliminal mere exposure effect does not generalize to structurally related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newell, Ben R; Bright, James E H

    2003-03-01

    R.F. Bornstein (1994) questioned whether subliminal mere exposure effects might generalize to structurally related stimuli, thereby providing evidence for the existence of implicit learning. Two experiments examined this claim using letter string stimuli constructed according to the rules of an artificial grammar. Experiment 1 demonstrated that brief, masked exposure to grammatical strings impaired recognition but failed to produce a mere exposure effect on novel structurally related strings seen at test. Experiment 2 replicated this result but also demonstrated that a reliable mere exposure effect could be obtained, provided the same grammatical strings were presented at test. The results suggest that the structural relationship between training and test items prevents the mere exposure effect when participants are unaware of the exposure status of stimuli, and therefore provide no evidence for the existence of implicit learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Nicole; Cahill, Larry

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartels, Laura Grand; Feinbloom, Jessica

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

  20. Reward modulates oculomotor competition between differently valued stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Women in the midluteal phase of the menstrual cycle have difficulty suppressing the processing of negative emotional stimuli: An event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusk, Bethany R; Carr, Andrea R; Ranson, Valerie A; Felmingham, Kim L

    2017-08-01

    Emotion regulation deficits have been implicated in anxiety and depressive disorders, and these internalising disorders are more prevalent in women than men. Few electrophysiological studies have investigated sex differences in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation controlling for menstrual phase. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 28 early follicular women, 29 midluteal women, and 27 men who completed an emotion regulation task. A novel finding of increased N2 amplitude during suppression was found for midluteal women compared with men. These findings suggest midluteal women may be significantly less able to suppress cortical processing of negative stimuli compared to men. This ERP finding was complemented by behavioral ratings data which revealed that while both early follicular and midluteal women reported more distress than men, midluteal women also reported greater effort when suppressing their responses than men. P1 and N1 components were increased in midluteal women compared to men regardless of instructional set, suggesting greater early attentional processing. No sex or menstrual phase differences were apparent in P3 or LPP. This study underscores the importance of considering menstrual phase when examining sex differences in the cortical processing of emotion regulation and demonstrates that midluteal women may have deficits in down-regulating their neural and behavioural responses.

  2. Reuse of ideas and concepts for creative stimuli in engineering design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Howard, Thomas J.; Culley, Steve J.; Dekoninck, Elies A.

    2011-01-01

    Creative idea generation is essential to novel concept development and ultimately innovation. The following paper describes an extensive industry-based study investigating the use of creative stimuli during a brainstorming session at the conceptual stages of design.A new approach to retrieving...... real, industrially-based experiment regarding brainstorming. The results and observations suggest that having a guided approach to sourcing creative stimuli is very beneficial. The use of the TRIZ contradiction matrix and inventive principles is also shown to be a good example of a guided approach...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munger Steven D

    2009-03-01

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

  4. Automatic affective appraisal of sexual penetration stimuli in women with vaginismus or dyspareunia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huijding, Jorg; Borg, Charmaine; Weijmar-Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J

    2011-03-01

    Current psychological views are that negative appraisals of sexual stimuli lie at the core of sexual dysfunctions. It is important to differentiate between deliberate appraisals and more automatic appraisals, as research has shown that the former are most relevant to controllable behaviors, and the latter are most relevant to reflexive behaviors. Accordingly, it can be hypothesized that in women with vaginismus, the persistent difficulty to allow vaginal entry is due to global negative automatic affective appraisals that trigger reflexive pelvic floor muscle contraction at the prospect of penetration. To test whether sexual penetration pictures elicited global negative automatic affective appraisals in women with vaginismus or dyspareunia and to examine whether deliberate appraisals and automatic appraisals differed between the two patient groups. Women with persistent vaginismus (N = 24), dyspareunia (N = 23), or no sexual complaints (N = 30) completed a pictorial Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST), and then made a global affective assessment of the EAST stimuli using visual analogue scales (VAS). The EAST assessed global automatic affective appraisals of sexual penetration stimuli, while the VAS assessed global deliberate affective appraisals of these stimuli. Automatic affective appraisals of sexual penetration stimuli tended to be positive, independent of the presence of sexual complaints. Deliberate appraisals of the same stimuli were significantly more negative in the women with vaginismus than in the dyspareunia group and control group, while the latter two groups did not differ in their appraisals. Unexpectedly, deliberate appraisals seemed to be most important in vaginismus, whereas dyspareunia did not seem to implicate negative deliberate or automatic affective appraisals. These findings dispute the view that global automatic affect lies at the core of vaginismus and indicate that a useful element in therapeutic interventions may be the modification of

  5. Impaired endocannabinoid signalling in the rostral ventromedial medulla underpins genotype-dependent hyper-responsivity to noxious stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, Kieran; Olango, Weredeselam M; Okine, Bright N; Madasu, Manish K; McGuire, Iseult C; Coyle, Kathleen; Harhen, Brendan; Roche, Michelle; Finn, David P

    2014-01-01

    Pain is both a sensory and an emotional experience, and is subject to modulation by a number of factors including genetic background modulating stress/affect. The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat exhibits a stress-hyper-responsive and depressive-like phenotype and increased sensitivity to noxious stimuli, compared with other rat strains. Here, we show that this genotype-dependent hyperalgesia is associated with impaired pain-related mobilisation of endocannabinoids and transcription of their synthesising enzymes in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM). Pharmacological blockade of the Cannabinoid1 (CB1) receptor potentiates the hyperalgesia in WKY rats, whereas inhibition of the endocannabinoid catabolising enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase, attenuates the hyperalgesia. The latter effect is mediated by CB1 receptors in the RVM. Together, these behavioural, neurochemical, and molecular data indicate that impaired endocannabinoid signalling in the RVM underpins hyper-responsivity to noxious stimuli in a genetic background prone to heightened stress/affect. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A test of the symbol interdependency hypothesis with both concrete and abstract stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Lori

    2018-01-01

    In Experiment 1, the symbol interdependency hypothesis was tested with both concrete and abstract stimuli. Symbolic (i.e., semantic neighbourhood distance) and embodied (i.e., iconicity) factors were manipulated in two tasks—one that tapped symbolic relations (i.e., semantic relatedness judgment) and another that tapped embodied relations (i.e., iconicity judgment). Results supported the symbol interdependency hypothesis in that the symbolic factor was recruited for the semantic relatedness task and the embodied factor was recruited for the iconicity task. Across tasks, and especially in the iconicity task, abstract stimuli resulted in shorter RTs. This finding was in contrast to the concreteness effect where concrete words result in shorter RTs. Experiment 2 followed up on this finding by replicating the iconicity task from Experiment 1 in an ERP paradigm. Behavioural results continued to show a reverse concreteness effect with shorter RTs for abstract stimuli. However, ERP results paralleled the N400 and anterior N700 concreteness effects found in the literature, with more negative amplitudes for concrete stimuli. PMID:29590121

  7. A test of the symbol interdependency hypothesis with both concrete and abstract stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Simritpal Kaur; Buchanan, Lori

    2018-01-01

    In Experiment 1, the symbol interdependency hypothesis was tested with both concrete and abstract stimuli. Symbolic (i.e., semantic neighbourhood distance) and embodied (i.e., iconicity) factors were manipulated in two tasks-one that tapped symbolic relations (i.e., semantic relatedness judgment) and another that tapped embodied relations (i.e., iconicity judgment). Results supported the symbol interdependency hypothesis in that the symbolic factor was recruited for the semantic relatedness task and the embodied factor was recruited for the iconicity task. Across tasks, and especially in the iconicity task, abstract stimuli resulted in shorter RTs. This finding was in contrast to the concreteness effect where concrete words result in shorter RTs. Experiment 2 followed up on this finding by replicating the iconicity task from Experiment 1 in an ERP paradigm. Behavioural results continued to show a reverse concreteness effect with shorter RTs for abstract stimuli. However, ERP results paralleled the N400 and anterior N700 concreteness effects found in the literature, with more negative amplitudes for concrete stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Reversed stereo depth and motion direction with anti-correlated stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, J C; Eagle, R A

    2000-01-01

    We used anti-correlated stimuli to compare the correspondence problem in stereo and motion. Subjects performed a two-interval forced-choice disparity/motion direction discrimination task for different displacements. For anti-correlated 1d band-pass noise, we found weak reversed depth and motion. With 2d anti-correlated stimuli, stereo performance was impaired, but the perception of reversed motion was enhanced. We can explain the main features of our data in terms of channels tuned to different spatial frequencies and orientation. We suggest that a key difference between the solution of the correspondence problem by the motion and stereo systems concerns the integration of information at different orientations.

  10. Dissociating Long and Short-term Memory in Three-Month-Old Infants Using the Mismatch Response to Voice Stimuli

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    Katharina Zinke

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Auditory event-related potentials (ERPs have been successfully used in adults as well as in newborns to discriminate recall of longer-term and shorter-term memories. Specifically the Mismatch Response (MMR to deviant stimuli of an oddball paradigm is larger if the deviant stimuli are highly familiar (i.e., retrieved from long-term memory than if they are unfamiliar, representing an immediate change to the standard stimuli kept in short-term memory. Here, we aimed to extend previous findings indicating a differential MMR to familiar and unfamiliar deviants in newborns (Beauchemin et al., 2011, to 3-month-old infants who are starting to interact more with their social surroundings supposedly based on forming more (social long-term representations. Using a voice discrimination paradigm, each infant was repeatedly presented with the word “baby” (400 ms, interstimulus interval: 600 ms, 10 min overall duration pronounced by three different female speakers. One voice that was unfamiliar to the infants served as the frequently presented “standard” stimulus, whereas another unfamiliar voice served as the “unfamiliar deviant” stimulus, and the voice of the infant’s mother served as the “familiar deviant.” Data collection was successful for 31 infants (mean age = 100 days. The MMR was determined by the difference between the ERP to standard stimuli and the ERP to the unfamiliar and familiar deviant, respectively. The MMR to the familiar deviant (mother’s voice was larger, i.e., more positive, than that to the unfamiliar deviant between 100 and 400 ms post-stimulus over the frontal and central cortex. However, a genuine MMR differentiating, as a positive deflection, between ERPs to familiar deviants and standard stimuli was only found in the 300–400 ms interval. On the other hand, a genuine MMR differentiating, as a negative deflection, between ERPs to unfamiliar deviants from ERPs to standard stimuli was revealed for the 200–300 ms

  11. Naltrexone alters the processing of social and emotional stimuli in healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardle, Margaret C; Bershad, Anya K; de Wit, Harriet

    2016-12-01

    Endogenous opioids have complex social effects that may depend on specific receptor actions and vary depending on the "stage" of social behavior (e.g., seeking vs. responding to social stimuli). We tested the effects of a nonspecific opioid antagonist, naltrexone (NTX), on social processing in humans. NTX is used to treat alcohol and opiate dependence, and may affect both mu and kappa-opioid systems. We assessed attention ("seeking"), and subjective and psychophysiological responses ("responding") to positive and negative social stimuli. Based on literature suggesting mu-opioid blockade impairs positive social responses, we hypothesized that NTX would decrease responses to positive social stimuli. We also tested responses to negative stimuli, which might be either increased by NTX's mu-opioid effects or decreased by its kappa-opioid effects. Thirty-four healthy volunteers received placebo, 25 mg, or 50 mg NTX across three sessions under double-blind conditions. At each session, participants completed measures of attention, identification, and emotional responses for emotional faces and scenes. NTX increased attention to emotional expressions, slowed identification of sadness and fear, and decreased ratings of arousal for social and nonsocial emotional scenes. These findings are more consistent with anxiolytic kappa-antagonist than mu-blocking effects, suggesting effects on kappa receptors may contribute to the clinical effects of NTX.

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

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    Jun Yin

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Timothy J; Lotto, R Beau

    2004-03-09

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

  14. A SSVEP Stimuli Encoding Method Using Trinary Frequency-Shift Keying Encoded SSVEP (TFSK-SSVEP

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    Xing Zhao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available SSVEP is a kind of BCI technology with advantage of high information transfer rate. However, due to its nature, frequencies could be used as stimuli are scarce. To solve such problem, a stimuli encoding method which encodes SSVEP signal using Frequency Shift–Keying (FSK method is developed. In this method, each stimulus is controlled by a FSK signal which contains three different frequencies that represent “Bit 0,” “Bit 1” and “Bit 2” respectively. Different to common BFSK in digital communication, “Bit 0” and “Bit 1” composited the unique identifier of stimuli in binary bit stream form, while “Bit 2” indicates the ending of a stimuli encoding. EEG signal is acquired on channel Oz, O1, O2, Pz, P3, and P4, using ADS1299 at the sample rate of 250 SPS. Before original EEG signal is quadrature demodulated, it is detrended and then band-pass filtered using FFT-based FIR filtering to remove interference. Valid peak of the processed signal is acquired by calculating its derivative and converted into bit stream using window method. Theoretically, this coding method could implement at least 2n−1 (n is the length of bit command stimulus while keeping the ITR the same. This method is suitable to implement stimuli on a monitor and where the frequency and phase could be used to code stimuli is limited as well as implementing portable BCI devices which is not capable of performing complex calculations.

  15. Non-target adjacent stimuli classification improves performance of classical ERP-based brain computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, G. A.; Hernández, L. F.

    2015-04-01

    Objective. The classical ERP-based speller, or P300 Speller, is one of the most commonly used paradigms in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). Several alterations to the visual stimuli presentation system have been developed to avoid unfavorable effects elicited by adjacent stimuli. However, there has been little, if any, regard to useful information contained in responses to adjacent stimuli about spatial location of target symbols. This paper aims to demonstrate that combining the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli with standard classification (target versus non-target) significantly improves classical ERP-based speller efficiency. Approach. Four SWLDA classifiers were trained and combined with the standard classifier: the lower row, upper row, right column and left column classifiers. This new feature extraction procedure and the classification method were carried out on three open databases: the UAM P300 database (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico), BCI competition II (dataset IIb) and BCI competition III (dataset II). Main results. The inclusion of the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli improves target classification in the classical row/column paradigm. A gain in mean single trial classification of 9.6% and an overall improvement of 25% in simulated spelling speed was achieved. Significance. We have provided further evidence that the ERPs produced by adjacent stimuli present discriminable features, which could provide additional information about the spatial location of intended symbols. This work promotes the searching of information on the peripheral stimulation responses to improve the performance of emerging visual ERP-based spellers.

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

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    Anne E. Ferrey

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Ware

    2015-07-01

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

  19. Brief report: Inhibitory control of socially relevant stimuli in children with high functioning autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Begeer, S.; Stockman, L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study explored whether inhibitory control deficits in high functioning autism (HFA) emerged when socially relevant stimuli were used and whether arousal level affected the performance. A Go/NoGo paradigm, with socially relevant stimuli and varying presentation rates, was applied in 18

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

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    Brian A. Anderson

    2018-04-01

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

  1. Adaptation to Environmental Stimuli within the Host: Two-Component Signal Transduction Systems of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretl, Daniel J.; Demetriadou, Chrystalla; Zahrt, Thomas C.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Pathogenic microorganisms encounter a variety of environmental stresses following infection of their respective hosts. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiological agent of tuberculosis, is an unusual bacterial pathogen in that it is able to establish lifelong infections in individuals within granulomatous lesions that are formed following a productive immune response. Adaptation to this highly dynamic environment is thought to be mediated primarily through transcriptional reprogramming initiated in response to recognition of stimuli, including low-oxygen tension, nutrient depletion, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, altered pH, toxic lipid moieties, cell wall/cell membrane-perturbing agents, and other environmental cues. To survive continued exposure to these potentially adverse factors, M. tuberculosis encodes a variety of regulatory factors, including 11 complete two-component signal transduction systems (TCSSs) and several orphaned response regulators (RRs) and sensor kinases (SKs). This report reviews our current knowledge of the TCSSs present in M. tuberculosis. In particular, we discuss the biochemical and functional characteristics of individual RRs and SKs, the environmental stimuli regulating their activation, the regulons controlled by the various TCSSs, and the known or postulated role(s) of individual TCSSs in the context of M. tuberculosis physiology and/or pathogenesis. PMID:22126994

  2. Noise Enhances Action Potential Generation in Mouse Sensory Neurons via Stochastic Resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onorato, Irene; D'Alessandro, Giuseppina; Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Renzi, Massimiliano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; Musarò, Antonio; Salvetti, Marco; Limatola, Cristina; Crisanti, Andrea; Grassi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Noise can enhance perception of tactile and proprioceptive stimuli by stochastic resonance processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this general phenomenon remain to be characterized. Here we studied how externally applied noise influences action potential firing in mouse primary sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia, modelling a basic process in sensory perception. Since noisy mechanical stimuli may cause stochastic fluctuations in receptor potential, we examined the effects of sub-threshold depolarizing current steps with superimposed random fluctuations. We performed whole cell patch clamp recordings in cultured neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia. Noise was added either before and during the step, or during the depolarizing step only, to focus onto the specific effects of external noise on action potential generation. In both cases, step + noise stimuli triggered significantly more action potentials than steps alone. The normalized power norm had a clear peak at intermediate noise levels, demonstrating that the phenomenon is driven by stochastic resonance. Spikes evoked in step + noise trials occur earlier and show faster rise time as compared to the occasional ones elicited by steps alone. These data suggest that external noise enhances, via stochastic resonance, the recruitment of transient voltage-gated Na channels, responsible for action potential firing in response to rapid step-wise depolarizing currents.

  3. CORTICAL RESPONSES TO SALIENT NOCICEPTIVE AND NOT NOCICEPTIVE STIMULI IN VEGETATIVE AND MINIMAL CONSCIOUS STATE

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    MARINA eDE TOMMASO

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims Questions regarding perception of pain in non-communicating patients and the management of pain continue to raise controversy both at a clinical and ethical level. The aim of this study was to examine the cortical response to salient multimodal visual, acoustic, somatosensory electric non nociceptive and nociceptive laser stimuli and their correlation with the clinical evaluation.Methods: Five Vegetative State (VS, 4 Minimally Conscious State (MCS patients and 11 age- and sex-matched controls were examined. Evoked responses were obtained by 64 scalp electrodes, while delivering auditory, visual, non-noxious electrical and noxious laser stimulation, which were randomly presented every 10 sec. Laser, somatosensory, auditory and visual evoked responses were identified as a negative-positive (N2-P2 vertex complex in the 500 msec post-stimulus time. We used Nociception Coma Scale-Revised (NCS-R and Coma Recovery Scale (CRS-R for clinical evaluation of pain perception and consciousness impairment.Results: The laser evoked potentials (LEPs were recognizable in all cases. Only one MCS patient showed a reliable cortical response to all the employed stimulus modalities. One VS patient did not present cortical responses to any other stimulus modality. In the remaining participants, auditory, visual and electrical related potentials were inconstantly present. Significant N2 and P2 latency prolongation occurred in both VS and MCS patients. The presence of a reliable cortical response to auditory, visual and electric stimuli was able to correctly classify VS and MCS patients with 90% accuracy. Laser P2 and N2 amplitudes were not correlated with the CRS-R and NCS-R scores, while auditory and electric related potentials amplitude were associated with the motor response to pain and consciousness recovery. Discussion: pain arousal may be a primary function also in vegetative state patients while the relevance of other stimulus modalities may indicate the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickey, Clayton; van Zoest, Wieske

    2013-11-01

    Theories of reinforcement learning have proposed that the association of reward to visual stimuli may cause these objects to become fundamentally salient and thus attention-drawing. A number of recent studies have investigated the oculomotor correlates of this reward-priming effect, but there is some ambiguity in this literature regarding the involvement of top-down attentional set. Existing paradigms tend to create a situation where participants are actively looking for a reward-associated stimulus before subsequently showing that this selective bias sustains when it no longer has strategic purpose. This perseveration of attentional set is potentially different in nature than the direct impact of reward proposed by theory. Here we investigate the effect of reward on saccadic selection in a paradigm where strategic attentional set is decoupled from the effect of reward. We find that during search for a uniquely oriented target, the receipt of reward following selection of a target characterized by an irrelevant unique color causes subsequent stimuli characterized by this color to be preferentially selected. Importantly, this occurs regardless of whether the color characterizes the target or distractor. Other analyses demonstrate that only features associated with correct selection of the target prime the target representation, and that the magnitude of this effect can be predicted by variability in saccadic indices of feedback processing. These results add to a growing literature demonstrating that reward guides visual selection, often in spite of our strategic efforts otherwise. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Comparison of Verbal Preference Assessments in the Presence and Absence of the Actual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, David E.; DeLeon, Iser G.; Terlonge, Cindy; Goysovich, Richard

    2006-01-01

    Stimulus preference assessments for individuals with developmental disabilities typically involve offering choices among stimuli and providing immediate access to the chosen stimuli. Several researchers have explored the utility of presenting choices verbally, thereby obviating the need to present the choices in tangible form and deliver access to…

  7. Attentional and Affective Processing of Sexual Stimuli in Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brauer, Marieke; van Leeuwen, Matthijs; Janssen, Erick; Newhouse, Sarah K.; Heiman, Julia R.; Laan, Ellen

    2012-01-01

    Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most common sexual problem in women. From an incentive motivation perspective, HSDD may be the result of a weak association between sexual stimuli and rewarding experiences. As a consequence, these stimuli may either lose or fail to acquire a positive

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  9. Cortical responses to salient nociceptive and not nociceptive stimuli in vegetative and minimal conscious state

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Tommaso, Marina; Navarro, Jorge; Lanzillotti, Crocifissa; Ricci, Katia; Buonocunto, Francesca; Livrea, Paolo; Lancioni, Giulio E.

    2015-01-01

    Aims: Questions regarding perception of pain in non-communicating patients and the management of pain continue to raise controversy both at a clinical and ethical level. The aim of this study was to examine the cortical response to salient visual, acoustic, somatosensory electric non-nociceptive and nociceptive laser stimuli and their correlation with the clinical evaluation. Methods: Five Vegetative State (VS), 4 Minimally Conscious State (MCS) patients and 11 age- and sex-matched controls were examined. Evoked responses were obtained by 64 scalp electrodes, while delivering auditory, visual, non-noxious electrical and noxious laser stimulation, which were randomly presented every 10 s. Laser, somatosensory, auditory and visual evoked responses were identified as a negative-positive (N2-P2) vertex complex in the 500 ms post-stimulus time. We used Nociception Coma Scale-Revised (NCS-R) and Coma Recovery Scale (CRS-R) for clinical evaluation of pain perception and consciousness impairment. Results: The laser evoked potentials (LEPs) were recognizable in all cases. Only one MCS patient showed a reliable cortical response to all the employed stimulus modalities. One VS patient did not present cortical responses to any other stimulus modality. In the remaining participants, auditory, visual and electrical related potentials were inconstantly present. Significant N2 and P2 latency prolongation occurred in both VS and MCS patients. The presence of a reliable cortical response to auditory, visual and electric stimuli was able to correctly classify VS and MCS patients with 90% accuracy. Laser P2 and N2 amplitudes were not correlated with the CRS-R and NCS-R scores, while auditory and electric related potentials amplitude were associated with the motor response to pain and consciousness recovery. Discussion: pain arousal may be a primary function also in vegetative state patients while the relevance of other stimulus modalities may indicate the degree of cognitive and motor

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikkel Wallentin

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The effects of dissociation on information processing for analogue trauma and neutral stimuli: a laboratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Shira A; Beck, J Gayle

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of high and low levels of dissociation on information processing for analogue trauma and neutral stimuli. Fifty-four undergraduate females who reported high and low levels of trait dissociation were presented with two films, one depicting traumatic events, the other containing neutral material. Participants completed a divided attention task (yielding a proxy measure of attention), as well as explicit memory (free-recall) and implicit memory (word-stem completion) tasks for both films. Results indicated that the high DES group showed less attention and had poorer recall for the analogue trauma stimuli, relative to the neutral stimuli and the low DES group. These findings suggest that high levels of trait dissociation are associated with reductions in attention and memory for analogue trauma stimuli, relative to neutral stimuli and relative to low trait dissociation. Implications for the role of cognitive factors in the etiology of negative post-trauma responses are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. A step into the anarchist’s mind: examining political attitudes and ideology through event-related brain potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hiel, Alain; Pattyn, Sven; Onraet, Emma; Severens, Els

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigates patterns of event-related brain potentials following the presentation of attitudinal stimuli among political moderates (N = 12) and anarchists (N = 11). We used a modified oddball paradigm to investigate the evaluative inconsistency effect elicited by stimuli embedded in a sequence of contextual stimuli with an opposite valence. Increased late positive potentials (LPPs) of extreme political attitudes were observed. Moreover, this LPP enhancement was larger among anarchists than among moderates, indicating that an extreme political attitude of a moderate differs from an extreme political attitude of an anarchist. The discussion elaborates on the meaning of attitude extremity for moderates and extremists. PMID:21421734

  14. Sex Attracts: Investigating Individual Differences in Attentional Bias to Sexual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagerer, Sabine; Wehrum, Sina; Klucken, Tim; Walter, Bertram; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the impact of sexual stimuli and the influence of sexual motivation on the performance in a dot-probe task and a line-orientation task in a large sample of males and females. All pictures (neutral, erotic) were rated on the dimensions of valence, arousal, disgust, and sexual arousal. Additionally, questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation were employed. The ratings of the sexual stimuli point to a successful picture selection because sexual arousal did not differ between the sexes. The stimuli were equally arousing for men and women. Higher scores in the employed questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation led to higher sexual arousal ratings of the sex pictures. Attentional bias towards sex pictures was observed in both experimental tasks. The attentional biases measured by the dot-probe and the line-orientation task were moderately intercorrelated suggesting attentional bias as a possible marker for a sex-attention trait. Finally, only the sexual sensation seeking score correlated with the attentional biases of the two tasks. Future research is needed to increase the predictive power of these indirect measures of sexual interest. PMID:25238545

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

    CERN Document Server

    Vecchiato, Giovanni; Trettel, Arianna; Babiloni, Fabio

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  18. A step into the anarchist's mind: examining political attitudes and ideology through event-related brain potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhont, Kristof; Van Hiel, Alain; Pattyn, Sven; Onraet, Emma; Severens, Els

    2012-03-01

    The present study investigates patterns of event-related brain potentials following the presentation of attitudinal stimuli among political moderates (N=12) and anarchists (N=11). We used a modified oddball paradigm to investigate the evaluative inconsistency effect elicited by stimuli embedded in a sequence of contextual stimuli with an opposite valence. Increased late positive potentials (LPPs) of extreme political attitudes were observed. Moreover, this LPP enhancement was larger among anarchists than among moderates, indicating that an extreme political attitude of a moderate differs from an extreme political attitude of an anarchist. The discussion elaborates on the meaning of attitude extremity for moderates and extremists. © The Author (2011). Published by Oxford University Press.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  20. The Hv1 proton channel responds to mechanical stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  1. Cortical Local Field Potential Power Is Associated with Behavioral Detection of Near-threshold Stimuli in the Rat Whisker System: Dissociation between Orbitofrontal and Somatosensory Cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickard, Rachel E; Young, Andrew M J; Gerdjikov, Todor V

    2018-01-01

    There is growing evidence that ongoing brain oscillations may represent a key regulator of attentional processes and as such may contribute to behavioral performance in psychophysical tasks. OFC appears to be involved in the top-down modulation of sensory processing; however, the specific contribution of ongoing OFC oscillations to perception has not been characterized. Here we used the rat whiskers as a model system to further characterize the relationship between cortical state and tactile detection. Head-fixed rats were trained to report the presence of a vibrotactile stimulus (frequency = 60 Hz, duration = 2 sec, deflection amplitude = 0.01-0.5 mm) applied to a single vibrissa. We calculated power spectra of local field potentials preceding the onset of near-threshold stimuli from microelectrodes chronically implanted in OFC and somatosensory cortex. We found a dissociation between slow oscillation power in the two regions in relation to detection probability: Higher OFC but not somatosensory delta power was associated with increased detection probability. Furthermore, coherence between OFC and barrel cortex was reduced preceding successful detection. Consistent with the role of OFC in attention, our results identify a cortical network whose activity is differentially modulated before successful tactile detection.

  2. Effects of chemesthetic stimuli mixtures with barium on swallowing apnea duration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, J Tee; Butler, Susan G; Plonk, Drew P; Grace-Martin, Karen; Pelletier, Cathy A

    2012-10-01

    This study tested the hypotheses that swallowing apnea duration (SAD) will increase given barium versus water, chemesthetic stimuli (i.e., water barium, age (older > younger), and genetic taste differences (supertasters > nontasters). Prospective group design. University Medical Center. Eighty healthy women were identified as nontasters and supertasters, equally comprising two age groups: 18 to 35 years and 60+ years. The KayPentax Swallowing Signals Lab was used to acquire SAD via nasal cannula during individually randomized swallows of 5 mL barium, 2.7% w/v citric acid with barium, carbonation with barium, and 50:50 diluted ethanol with barium. Data were analyzed using path analysis, with the mediator of chemesthetic perception, adjusted for repeated measures. Significant main effects of age (P = .012) and chemesthetic stimuli (P = .014) were found, as well as a significant interaction between chemesthetic stimuli and age (P = .028). Older women had a significantly longer SAD than younger women. Post hoc analyses revealed that barium mixed with ethanol elicited a significantly longer SAD than other bolus conditions, regardless of age group. There were no significant differences in SAD between barium and water conditions, and no significant effect of chemesthetic perception (P > .05). Ethanol added to barium elicited longer SAD compared to plain barium, but not the other chemesthetic conditions. Older women had a longer SAD than younger women in all conditions. These findings may influence design of future studies examining effects of various stimuli on SAD. Copyright © 2012 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora C. Vetter

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Predictive Physiological Anticipation Preceding Seemingly Unpredictable Stimuli:A Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eMossbridge

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010 tests an unusal hypothesis: for stimuli of two or more types that are presented in an order designed to be unpredictable and that produce different post-stimulus physiological activity, the direction of pre-stimulus physiological activity reflects the direction of post-stimulus physiological activity, resulting in an unexplained anticipatory effect. The reports we examined used one of two paradigms: 1 randomly presented arousing vs. neutral stimuli, or 2 guessing tasks with feedback (correct vs. incorrect. Dependent variables included: electrodermal activity, heart rate, blood volume, pupil dilation, electroencephalographic activity (EEG, and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD activity. To avoid including data hand-picked from multiple different analyses, no post-hoc experiments are considered. The results reveal a significant overall effect with a small effect size (random effects: overall [weighted] ES=0.21, 95%CI=0.13-0.29, z=5.3, p<5.7x10-8; fixed effects: overall ES=0.21, 95%CI=0.15-0.27, z=6.9, p<2.7x10-12. Higher quality experiments produce a quantitately larger effect size and a greater level of significance than lower quality studies. The number of contrary unpublished reports that would be necessary to reduce the level of significance to chance (p>0.05 was conservatively calculated to be 87 reports. We explore alternative explanations and examine the potential linkage between this unexplained anticipatory activity and other results demonstrating meaningful pre-stimulus activity preceding behaviourally relevant events. Multiple replications arising from different laboratories using the same methods are necessary to further examine this currently unexplained anticipatory activity. The cause of this anticipatory activity, which undoubtedly lies within the realm of natural physical processes (as opposed to supernatural or paranormal ones, remains to be determined.

  6. Artificial Cochlear Sensory Epithelium with Functions of Outer Hair Cells Mimicked Using Feedback Electrical Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuro Tsuji

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available We report a novel vibration control technique of an artificial auditory cochlear epithelium that mimics the function of outer hair cells in the organ of Corti. The proposed piezoelectric and trapezoidal membrane not only has the acoustic/electric conversion and frequency selectivity of the previous device developed mainly by one of the authors and colleagues, but also has a function to control local vibration according to sound stimuli. Vibration control is achieved by applying local electrical stimuli to patterned electrodes on an epithelium made using micro-electro-mechanical system technology. By choosing appropriate phase differences between sound and electrical stimuli, it is shown that it is possible to both amplify and dampen membrane vibration, realizing better control of the response of the artificial cochlea. To be more specific, amplification and damping are achieved when the phase difference between the membrane vibration by sound stimuli and electrical stimuli is zero and π , respectively. We also demonstrate that the developed control system responds automatically to a change in sound frequency. The proposed technique can be applied to mimic the nonlinear response of the outer hair cells in a cochlea, and to realize a high-quality human auditory system.

  7. Predatory behavior inTupinambis teguixin (Sauria: Teiidae). I. Tongue-flicking responses to chemical food stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanosky, A A; Iriart, D E; Mercolli, C

    1993-02-01

    Black tegu lizards (Tupinambis teguixin) have the ability to detect food odors and discriminate between them and nonfood odors. This was tested by offering chemical stimuli on cotton-tipped applicators to the animals. Stimuli were from two plant and two animal species known to be principal items in these lizards' diets, demineralized water as an odorless control, and eaude-cologne as an odorous control lacking feeding or social importance. Tongueflick attack score, latency to attack, preattack tongue-flicks, and number of attacks were analyzed. The results clearly demonstrated that this species responds to chemical food stimuli, but does not respond to odorless nonfood stimuli. Responses differed among food types. There were no sex differences. These results are in agreement with the prediction that lizards having forked tongues and an active foraging mode rely on chemical cues for feeding.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Fredembach

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

  9. Differential coactivation in a redundant signals task with weak and strong go/no-go stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minakata, Katsumi; Gondan, Matthias

    2018-01-01

    When participants respond to stimuli of two sources, response times (RT) are often faster when both stimuli are presented together relative to the RTs obtained when presented separately (redundant signals effect, RSE). Race models and coactivation models can explain the RSE. In race models......, separate channels process the two stimulus components, and the faster processing time determines the overall RT. In audiovisual experiments, the RSE is often higher than predicted by race models, and coactivation models have been proposed that assume integrated processing of the two stimuli. Where does...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Synthesis and Characterization of Stimuli-Responsive Poly(2-dimethylamino-ethylmethacrylate-Grafted Chitosan Microcapsule for Controlled Pyraclostrobin Release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunli Xu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Controllable pesticide release in response to environmental stimuli is highly desirable for better efficacy and fewer adverse effects. Combining the merits of natural and synthetic polymers, pH and temperature dual-responsive chitosan copolymer (CS-g-PDMAEMA was facilely prepared through free radical graft copolymerization with 2-(dimethylamino ethyl 2-methacrylate (DMAEMA as the vinyl monomer. An emulsion chemical cross-linking method was used to expediently fabricate pyraclostrobin microcapsules in situ entrapping the pesticide. The loading content and encapsulation efficiency were 18.79% and 64.51%, respectively. The pyraclostrobin-loaded microcapsules showed pH-and thermo responsive release. Microcapsulation can address the inherent limitation of pyraclostrobin that is photo unstable and highly toxic on aquatic organisms. Compared to free pyraclostrobin, microcapsulation could dramatically improve its photostability under ultraviolet light irradiation. Lower acute toxicity against zebra fish on the first day and gradually similar toxicity over time with that of pyraclostrobin technical concentrate were in accordance with the release profiles of pyraclostrobin microcapsules. This stimuli-responsive pesticide delivery system may find promising application potential in sustainable plant protection.

  13. Synthesis and Characterization of Stimuli-Responsive Poly(2-dimethylamino-ethylmethacrylate)-Grafted Chitosan Microcapsule for Controlled Pyraclostrobin Release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chunli; Cao, Lidong; Zhao, Pengyue; Zhou, Zhaolu; Cao, Chong; Zhu, Feng; Li, Fengmin; Huang, Qiliang

    2018-03-14

    Controllable pesticide release in response to environmental stimuli is highly desirable for better efficacy and fewer adverse effects. Combining the merits of natural and synthetic polymers, pH and temperature dual-responsive chitosan copolymer (CS- g -PDMAEMA) was facilely prepared through free radical graft copolymerization with 2-(dimethylamino) ethyl 2-methacrylate (DMAEMA) as the vinyl monomer. An emulsion chemical cross-linking method was used to expediently fabricate pyraclostrobin microcapsules in situ entrapping the pesticide. The loading content and encapsulation efficiency were 18.79% and 64.51%, respectively. The pyraclostrobin-loaded microcapsules showed pH-and thermo responsive release. Microcapsulation can address the inherent limitation of pyraclostrobin that is photo unstable and highly toxic on aquatic organisms. Compared to free pyraclostrobin, microcapsulation could dramatically improve its photostability under ultraviolet light irradiation. Lower acute toxicity against zebra fish on the first day and gradually similar toxicity over time with that of pyraclostrobin technical concentrate were in accordance with the release profiles of pyraclostrobin microcapsules. This stimuli-responsive pesticide delivery system may find promising application potential in sustainable plant protection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Epistemic motivation affects the processing of negative emotional stimuli in interpersonal decisions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu eWei

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The present electrophysiological study investigated the role of the need for cognitive closure (NFC in emotional processing. The NFC is conceptualized as an epistemic motive that is related to how and why people seek out information in social environments. Event-related potentials were recorded while individuals with high NFC (i.e., low epistemic motivation or low NFC (i.e., high epistemic motivation performed a modified Ultimatum Game, in which the emotions of happy or angry game agents were employed to predict their most likely offer. High-NFC participants more closely adhered to the decisions rules of the game than low-NFC individuals did. The electrophysiological results showed that the dispositional NFC modified early perceptual components (N170, N200, and P200. The potentials showed that high-NFC subjects had a processing bias to angry faces, whereas low-NFC individuals exhibited no such effects. These findings indicated that high-NFC individuals were more sensitive to negative emotional stimuli than low-NFC individuals in an interpersonal decision-making task.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Kanaka; Marre, Olivier; Tkačik, Gašper

    2013-07-01

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

  17. Vibration and muscle contraction affect somatosensory evoked potentials

    OpenAIRE

    Cohen, LG; Starr, A

    1985-01-01

    We recorded potentials evoked by specific somatosensory stimuli over peripheral nerve, spinal cord, and cerebral cortex. Vibration attenuated spinal and cerebral potentials evoked by mixed nerve and muscle spindle stimulation; in one subject that was tested, there was no effect on cutaneous input. Presynaptic inhibition of Ia input in the spinal cord and muscle spindle receptor occupancy are probably the responsible mechanisms. In contrast, muscle contraction attenuated cerebral potentials to...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Effects of Sound Frequency on Audiovisual Integration: An Event-Related Potential Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Weiping; Yang, Jingjing; Gao, Yulin; Tang, Xiaoyu; Ren, Yanna; Takahashi, Satoshi; Wu, Jinglong

    2015-01-01

    A combination of signals across modalities can facilitate sensory perception. The audiovisual facilitative effect strongly depends on the features of the stimulus. Here, we investigated how sound frequency, which is one of basic features of an auditory signal, modulates audiovisual integration. In this study, the task of the participant was to respond to a visual target stimulus by pressing a key while ignoring auditory stimuli, comprising of tones of different frequencies (0.5, 1, 2.5 and 5 kHz). A significant facilitation of reaction times was obtained following audiovisual stimulation, irrespective of whether the task-irrelevant sounds were low or high frequency. Using event-related potential (ERP), audiovisual integration was found over the occipital area for 0.5 kHz auditory stimuli from 190-210 ms, for 1 kHz stimuli from 170-200 ms, for 2.5 kHz stimuli from 140-200 ms, 5 kHz stimuli from 100-200 ms. These findings suggest that a higher frequency sound signal paired with visual stimuli might be early processed or integrated despite the auditory stimuli being task-irrelevant information. Furthermore, audiovisual integration in late latency (300-340 ms) ERPs with fronto-central topography was found for auditory stimuli of lower frequencies (0.5, 1 and 2.5 kHz). Our results confirmed that audiovisual integration is affected by the frequency of an auditory stimulus. Taken together, the neurophysiological results provide unique insight into how the brain processes a multisensory visual signal and auditory stimuli of different frequencies.

  20. Event-related brain potentials reflect traces of echoic memory in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, I; Reinikainen, K; Näätänen, R

    1993-04-01

    In sequences of identical auditory stimuli, infrequent deviant stimuli elicit an event-related brain potential component called mismatch negativity (MMN). MMN is presumed to reflect the existence of a memory trace of the frequent stimulus at the moment of presentation of the infrequent stimulus. This hypothesis was tested by applying the recognition-masking paradigm of cognitive psychology. In this paradigm, a masking sound presented shortly before or after a test stimulus diminishes the recognition memory of this stimulus, the more so the shorter the interval between the test and masking stimuli. This interval was varied in the present study. It was found that the MMN amplitude strongly correlated with the subject's ability to discriminate between frequent and infrequent stimuli. This result strongly suggests that MMN provides a measure for a trace of sensory memory, and further, that with MMN, this memory can be studied without performance-related distortions.

  1. A Stimuli-Responsive Biosensor of Glucose on Layer-by-Layer Films Assembled through Specific Lectin-Glycoenzyme Recognition

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    Huiqin Yao

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The research on intelligent bioelectrocatalysis based on stimuli-responsive materials or interfaces is of great significance for biosensors and other bioelectronic devices. In the present work, lectin protein concanavalin A (Con A and glycoenzyme glucose oxidase (GOD were assembled into {Con A/GOD}n layer-by-layer (LbL films by taking advantage of the biospecific lectin-glycoenzyme affinity between them. These film electrodes possess stimuli-responsive properties toward electroactive probes such as ferrocenedicarboxylic acid (Fc(COOH2 by modulating the surrounding pH. The CV peak currents of Fc(COOH2 were quite large at pH 4.0 but significantly suppressed at pH 8.0, demonstrating reversible stimuli-responsive on-off behavior. The mechanism of stimuli-responsive property of the films was explored by comparative experiments and attributed to the different electrostatic interaction between the films and the probes at different pH. This stimuli-responsive films could be used to realize active/inactive electrocatalytic oxidation of glucose by GOD in the films and mediated by Fc(COOH2 in solution, which may establish a foundation for fabricating novel stimuli-responsive electrochemical biosensors based on bioelectrocatalysis with immobilized enzymes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masoud, Hassan; Alexeev, Alexander

    2012-11-01

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

  3. The effects of using stimuli from three different dimensions on autoshaping with a complex negative patterning discrimination.

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    Pearce, John M; George, David N

    2002-10-01

    In two experiments pigeons received a complex negative patterning discrimination, using autoshaping, in which food was made available after three stimuli if they were presented alone (A, B, C), or in pairs (AB, AC, BC), but not when they were all presented together (ABC). Subjects also received a positive patterning discrimination in which three additional stimuli were not followed by food when presented alone (D, E, F), or in pairs (DE, DF, EF), but they were followed by food when presented together (DEF). Stimuli A and D belonged to one dimension, B and E to a second dimension, and D and F to a third dimension. For both problems, the discrimination between the individual stimuli and the triple-element compounds developed more readily than that between the pairs of stimuli and the triple-element compound. The results are consistent with predictions that can be derived from a configural theory of conditioning.

  4. Pupil responses and pain ratings to heat stimuli: Reliability and effects of expectations and a conditioning pain stimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenach, James C; Curry, Regina; Aschenbrenner, Carol A; Coghill, Robert C; Houle, Timothy T

    2017-03-01

    The locus coeruleus (LC) signals salience to sensory stimuli and these responses can modulate the experience of pain stimuli. The pupil dilation response (PDR) to noxious stimuli is thought to be a surrogate for LC responses, but PDR response to Peltier-controlled noxious heat stimuli, the most commonly used method in experimental pain research, has not been described. Healthy volunteers were presented with randomly presented heat stimuli of 5 sec duration and provided pain intensity ratings to each stimulus. Pupillometry was performed and a method developed to quantify the PDR relevant to these stimuli. The stimulus response, reliability, and effect of commonly used manipulations on pain experience were explored. A method of artifact removal and adjusting for lag from stimulus initiation to PDR response was developed, resulting in a close correlation between pain intensity rating and PDR across a large range of heat stimuli. A reliable assessment of PDR within an individual was achieved with fewer presentations as heat stimulus intensity increased. The correlation between pain rating and PDR was disrupted when cognitive load is increased by manipulating expectations or presenting a second pain stimulus. The PDR began later after skin heating than electrical stimuli and this is the first examination of the PDR using standard nociceptive testing and manipulations of expectations and competing noxious stimulation. A method is described applying PDR to standard heat nociceptive testing, demonstrating stimulus response, reliability, and disruption by cognitive manipulation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Spatial and Semantic Processing between Audition and Vision: An Event-Related Potential Study

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    Xiaoxi Chen

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Using a crossmodal priming paradigm, this study investigated how the brain bound the spatial and semantic features in multisensory processing. The visual stimuli (pictures of animals were presented after the auditory stimuli (sounds of animals, and the stimuli from different modalities may match spatially (or semantically or not. Participants were required to detect the head orientation of the visual target (an oddball paradigm. The event-related potentials (ERPs to the visual stimuli was enhanced by spatial attention (150–170 ms irrespectively of semantic information. The early crossmodal attention effect for the visual stimuli was more negative in the spatial-congruent condition than in the spatial-incongruent condition. By contrast, the later effects of spatial ERPs were significant only for the semantic- congruent condition (250–300 ms. These findings indicated that spatial attention modulated early visual processing, and semantic and spatial features were simultaneously used to orient attention and modulate later processing stages.

  6. Comparative assessment of intrinsic mechanical stimuli on knee cartilage and compressed agarose constructs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Completo, A; Bandeiras, C; Fonseca, F

    2017-06-01

    A well-established cue for improving the properties of tissue-engineered cartilage is mechanical stimulation. However, the explicit ranges of mechanical stimuli that correspond to favorable metabolic outcomes are elusive. Usually, these outcomes have only been associated with the applied strain and frequency, an oversimplification that can hide the fundamental relationship between the intrinsic mechanical stimuli and the metabolic outcomes. This highlights two important key issues: the firstly is related to the evaluation of the intrinsic mechanical stimuli of native cartilage; the second, assuming that the intrinsic mechanical stimuli will be important, deals with the ability to replicate them on the tissue-engineered constructs. This study quantifies and compares the volume of cartilage and agarose subjected to a given magnitude range of each intrinsic mechanical stimulus, through a numerical simulation of a patient-specific knee model coupled with experimental data of contact during the stance phase of gait, and agarose constructs under direct-dynamic compression. The results suggest that direct compression loading needs to be parameterized with time-dependence during the initial culture period in order to better reproduce each one of the intrinsic mechanical stimuli developed in the patient-specific cartilage. A loading regime which combines time periods of low compressive strain (5%) and frequency (0.5Hz), in order to approach the maximal principal strain and fluid velocity stimulus of the patient-specific cartilage, with time periods of high compressive strain (20%) and frequency (3Hz), in order to approach the pore pressure values, may be advantageous relatively to a single loading regime throughout the full culture period. Copyright © 2017 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, Kazuhisa; Mather, Mara

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Sex attracts: investigating individual differences in attentional bias to sexual stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Kagerer

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of sexual stimuli and the influence of sexual motivation on the performance in a dot-probe task and a line-orientation task in a large sample of males and females. All pictures (neutral, erotic were rated on the dimensions of valence, arousal, disgust, and sexual arousal. Additionally, questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation were employed. The ratings of the sexual stimuli point to a successful picture selection because sexual arousal did not differ between the sexes. The stimuli were equally arousing for men and women. Higher scores in the employed questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation led to higher sexual arousal ratings of the sex pictures. Attentional bias towards sex pictures was observed in both experimental tasks. The attentional biases measured by the dot-probe and the line-orientation task were moderately intercorrelated suggesting attentional bias as a possible marker for a sex-attention trait. Finally, only the sexual sensation seeking score correlated with the attentional biases of the two tasks. Future research is needed to increase the predictive power of these indirect measures of sexual interest.

  10. Appetitive Pavlovian conditioned stimuli increase CREB phosphorylation in the nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiflett, Michael W; Mauna, Jocelyn C; Chipman, Amanda M; Peet, Eloise; Thiels, Edda

    2009-10-01

    The transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been shown to regulate an animal's behavioral responsiveness to emotionally salient stimuli, and an increase in CREB phosphorylation in the NAc has been observed during exposure to rewarding stimuli, such as drugs of abuse. Here we show that CREB phosphorylation increases in the NAc also during exposure to cues that an animal has associated with delivery of natural rewards. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (rattus norvegicus) were trained to associate an auditory stimulus with delivery of food pellets, and CREB phosphorylation was examined in the striatum following training. We found that repeated tone-food pairings resulted in an increase in CREB phosphorylation in the NAc but not in the adjacent dorsal striatum or in the NAc 3h after the final training session. We further found that the cue itself, as opposed to the food pellets, the training context, or tone-food pairings, was sufficient to increase CREB phosphorylation in the NAc. These results suggest that the processing of primary rewarding stimuli and of environmental cues that predict them triggers similar accumbal signaling mechanisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestage, David Jackson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charmaine Borg

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Salomão Schwartzman

    2015-05-01

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

  17. Music influences ratings of the affect of visual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. A direct examination of the effect of intranasal administration of oxytocin on approach-avoidance motor responses to emotional stimuli.

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    Angeliki Theodoridou

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been shown to promote a host of social behaviors in humans but the exact mechanisms by which it exerts its effects are unspecified. One prominent theory suggests that oxytocin increases approach and decreases avoidance to social stimuli. Another dominant theory posits that oxytocin increases the salience of social stimuli. Herein, we report a direct test of these hypotheses. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined approach-avoidance motor responses to social and non-social emotional stimuli. One hundred and twenty participants self-administered either 24 IU oxytocin or placebo and moved a lever toward or away from pictures of faces depicting emotional expressions or from natural scenes appearing before them on a computer screen. Lever movements toward stimuli decreased and movements away increased stimuli size producing the illusion that stimuli moved away from or approached participants. Reaction time data were recorded. The task produced the effects that were anticipated on the basis of the approach-avoidance literature in relation to emotional stimuli, yet the anticipated speeded approach and slowed avoidance responses to emotional faces by the oxytocin group were not observed. Interestingly, the oxytocin treatment group was faster to approach and avoid faces depicting disgust relative to the placebo group, suggesting a salience of disgust for the former group. Results also showed that within the oxytocin group women's reaction times to all emotional faces were faster than those of men, suggesting sex specific effects of oxytocin. The present findings provide the first direct evidence that intranasal oxytocin administration does not enhance approach/avoidance to social stimuli and does not exert a stronger effect on social vs. non-social stimuli in the context of processing of emotional expressions and scenes. Instead, our data suggest that oxytocin administration increases the salience of certain social stimuli

  20. Suppression of bulboreticular unit responses to noxious stimuli by analgesic mesencephalic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, T J; Casey, K L

    1983-01-01

    The responses of 302 neurons in the medial medullary reticular formation (MRF) to a variety of noxious and innocuous somatic stimuli were studied in anesthetized and awake rats. In addition, the effects of analgesic electrical stimulation in the mesencephalon (MES) on unit responses were examined. Tail shock was the most effective stimulus, exciting more than 80% of all units recorded. This stimulus was considered separately during data analysis, since it could not be classified as noxious or innocuous. Noxious somatic stimuli (including pinch, firm pressure, pin prick, and radiant heating of the tail above 45 degrees C were especially effective in eliciting discharge in a significant fraction of all cells in both awake (123/205) and anesthetized (45/97) animals. Nociceptive neurons could be classified as nociceptive specific (NS) or wide dynamic range (WDR) depending on their responses to all somatic stimuli tested. Nociceptive neurons showed no preferential anatomical distribution. Most neurons, including those responsive to noxious inputs, exhibited large, often bilateral receptive fields which frequently covered the tail, one or more limbs, and extensive areas of the body or head. Electrical stimulation within or adjacent to the mesencephalic periaqueductal gray matter depressed the spontaneous and evoked discharge of MRF neurons in both acute and chronic preparations. This inhibition showed a significant preference (p less than 0.001, chi-square statistic) for units that were excited by somatic and especially noxious stimuli. No units were facilitated by MES stimulation. In the awake rat, unit suppression closely followed the time course and level of MES-induced analgesia. Excitability data from the acute experiments suggest that this response inhibition may be the result of a direct action on MRF neurons. Anesthesia severely depressed the spontaneous discharge of MRF neurons as well as the activity evoked by innocuous somatic stimulation. Our data suggest

  1. Force sensor in simulated skin and neural model mimic tactile SAI afferent spiking response to ramp and hold stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Elmer K; Wellnitz, Scott A; Bourdon, Sarah M; Lumpkin, Ellen A; Gerling, Gregory J

    2012-07-23

    The next generation of prosthetic limbs will restore sensory feedback to the nervous system by mimicking how skin mechanoreceptors, innervated by afferents, produce trains of action potentials in response to compressive stimuli. Prior work has addressed building sensors within skin substitutes for robotics, modeling skin mechanics and neural dynamics of mechanotransduction, and predicting response timing of action potentials for vibration. The effort here is unique because it accounts for skin elasticity by measuring force within simulated skin, utilizes few free model parameters for parsimony, and separates parameter fitting and model validation. Additionally, the ramp-and-hold, sustained stimuli used in this work capture the essential features of the everyday task of contacting and holding an object. This systems integration effort computationally replicates the neural firing behavior for a slowly adapting type I (SAI) afferent in its temporally varying response to both intensity and rate of indentation force by combining a physical force sensor, housed in a skin-like substrate, with a mathematical model of neuronal spiking, the leaky integrate-and-fire. Comparison experiments were then conducted using ramp-and-hold stimuli on both the spiking-sensor model and mouse SAI afferents. The model parameters were iteratively fit against recorded SAI interspike intervals (ISI) before validating the model to assess its performance. Model-predicted spike firing compares favorably with that observed for single SAI afferents. As indentation magnitude increases (1.2, 1.3, to 1.4 mm), mean ISI decreases from 98.81 ± 24.73, 54.52 ± 6.94, to 41.11 ± 6.11 ms. Moreover, as rate of ramp-up increases, ISI during ramp-up decreases from 21.85 ± 5.33, 19.98 ± 3.10, to 15.42 ± 2.41 ms. Considering first spikes, the predicted latencies exhibited a decreasing trend as stimulus rate increased, as is observed in afferent recordings. Finally, the SAI afferent's characteristic response

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ashley E; O'Sullivan, Lucia F

    2012-08-01

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

  3. Gustatory stimuli representing different perceptual qualities elicit distinct patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geraedts, Maartje C P; Munger, Steven D

    2013-04-24

    Taste stimuli that evoke different perceptual qualities (e.g., sweet, umami, bitter, sour, salty) are detected by dedicated subpopulations of taste bud cells that use distinct combinations of sensory receptors and transduction molecules. Here, we report that taste stimuli also elicit unique patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds that are correlated with those perceptual qualities. We measured tastant-dependent secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucagon, and neuropeptide Y (NPY) from circumvallate papillae of Tas1r3(+/+), Tas1r3(+/-) and Tas1r3 (-/-) mice. Isolated tongue epithelia were mounted in modified Ussing chambers, permitting apical stimulation of taste buds; secreted peptides were collected from the basal side and measured by specific ELISAs. Appetitive stimuli (sweet: glucose, sucralose; umami: monosodium glutamate; polysaccharide: Polycose) elicited GLP-1 and NPY secretion and inhibited basal glucagon secretion. Sweet and umami stimuli were ineffective in Tas1r3(-/-) mice, indicating an obligatory role for the T1R3 subunit common to the sweet and umami taste receptors. Polycose responses were unaffected by T1R3 deletion, consistent with the presence of a distinct polysaccharide taste receptor. The effects of sweet stimuli on peptide secretion also required the closing of ATP-sensitive K(+) (KATP) channels, as the KATP channel activator diazoxide inhibited the effects of glucose and sucralose on both GLP-1 and glucagon release. Both sour citric acid and salty NaCl increased NPY secretion but had no effects on GLP-1 or glucagon. Bitter denatonium showed no effects on these peptides. Together, these results suggest that taste stimuli of different perceptual qualities elicit unique patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds.

  4. Investigating the Predictive Value of Functional MRI to Appetitive and Aversive Stimuli: A Pattern Classification Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciara McCabe

    Full Text Available Dysfunctional neural responses to appetitive and aversive stimuli have been investigated as possible biomarkers for psychiatric disorders. However it is not clear to what degree these are separate processes across the brain or in fact overlapping systems. To help clarify this issue we used Gaussian process classifier (GPC analysis to examine appetitive and aversive processing in the brain.25 healthy controls underwent functional MRI whilst seeing pictures and receiving tastes of pleasant and unpleasant food. We applied GPCs to discriminate between the appetitive and aversive sights and tastes using functional activity patterns.The diagnostic accuracy of the GPC for the accuracy to discriminate appetitive taste from neutral condition was 86.5% (specificity = 81%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001. If a participant experienced neutral taste stimuli the probability of correct classification was 92. The accuracy to discriminate aversive from neutral taste stimuli was 82.5% (specificity = 73%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001 and appetitive from aversive taste stimuli was 73% (specificity = 77%, sensitivity = 69%, p = 0.001. In the sight modality, the accuracy to discriminate appetitive from neutral condition was 88.5% (specificity = 85%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001, to discriminate aversive from neutral sight stimuli was 92% (specificity = 92%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001, and to discriminate aversive from appetitive sight stimuli was 63.5% (specificity = 73%, sensitivity = 54%, p = 0.009.Our results demonstrate the predictive value of neurofunctional data in discriminating emotional and neutral networks of activity in the healthy human brain. It would be of interest to use pattern recognition techniques and fMRI to examine network dysfunction in the processing of appetitive, aversive and neutral stimuli in psychiatric disorders. Especially where problems with reward and punishment processing have been implicated in the pathophysiology of the disorder.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoqiang; Meng, Harper; Hu, Jinlian

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Human event-related brain potentials to auditory periodic noise stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaernbach, C; Schröger, E; Gunter, T C

    1998-02-06

    Periodic noise is perceived as different from ordinary non-repeating noise due to the involvement of echoic memory. Since this stimulus does not contain simple physical cues (such as onsets or spectral shape) that might obscure sensory memory interpretations, it is a valuable tool to study sensory memory functions. We demonstrated for the first time that the processing of periodic noise can be tapped by event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Human subjects received repeating segments of noise embedded in non-repeating noise. They were instructed to detect the periodicity inherent to the stimulation. We observed a central negativity time-locked on the periodic segment that correlated to the subjects behavioral performance in periodicity detection. It is argued that the ERP result indicates an enhancement of sensory-specific processing.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Cristina Soares

    2012-04-01

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

  9. Do infants find snakes aversive? Infants' physiological responses to "fear-relevant" stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Cat; LoBue, Vanessa

    2016-02-01

    In the current research, we sought to measure infants' physiological responses to snakes-one of the world's most widely feared stimuli-to examine whether they find snakes aversive or merely attention grabbing. Using a similar method to DeLoache and LoBue (Developmental Science, 2009, Vol. 12, pp. 201-207), 6- to 9-month-olds watched a series of multimodal (both auditory and visual) stimuli: a video of a snake (fear-relevant) or an elephant (non-fear-relevant) paired with either a fearful or happy auditory track. We measured physiological responses to the pairs of stimuli, including startle magnitude, latency to startle, and heart rate. Results suggest that snakes capture infants' attention; infants showed the fastest startle responses and lowest average heart rate to the snakes, especially when paired with a fearful voice. Unexpectedly, they also showed significantly reduced startle magnitude during this same snake video plus fearful voice combination. The results are discussed with respect to theoretical perspectives on fear acquisition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Event-related potentials elicited by social commerce and electronic-commerce reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yan; Yao, Zhong; Cong, Fengyu; Zhang, Linlin

    2015-12-01

    There is an increasing interest regarding the use of electroencephalography (EEG) in social commerce and electronic commerce (e-commerce) research. There are several reviews in the field of social commerce or e-commerce; these have great potential value and mining them is fundamental and significant. To our knowledge, EEG is rarely applied to study these. In this study, we examined the neural correlates of social commerce reviews (SCRs) and e-commerce reviews (ECRs) by using them as stimuli to evoke event-related potentials. All SCRs were from friends through a social media platform, whereas ECRs were from strangers through an e-commerce platform. The experimental design was similar to that of a priming paradigm, and included 40 pairs of stimuli consisting of product information (prime stimulus) and reviews (target stimulus). The results showed that the P300 component was successfully evoked by SCR and ECR stimuli. Moreover, the P300 components elicited by SCRs had higher amplitudes than those elicited by ECRs. These findings indicate that participants paid more attention to SCRs than to ECRs. In addition, the associations between neural responses and reviews in social commerce have the potential to assist companies in studying consumer behaviors, thus permitting them to enhance their social commerce strategies.

  11. The dynamic allocation of attention to emotion: simultaneous and independent evidence from the late positive potential and steady state visual evoked potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajcak, Greg; MacNamara, Annmarie; Foti, Dan; Ferri, Jamie; Keil, Andreas

    2013-03-01

    Emotional stimuli capture and hold attention without explicit instruction. The late positive potential (LPP) component of the event related potential can be used to track motivated attention toward emotional stimuli, and is larger for emotional compared to neutral pictures. In the frequency domain, the steady state visual evoked potential (ssVEP) has also been used to track attention to stimuli flickering at a particular frequency. Like the LPP, the ssVEP is also larger for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Prior work suggests that both the LPP and ssVEP are sensitive to "top-down" manipulations of attention, however the LPP and ssVEP have not previously been examined using the same attentional manipulation in the same participants. In the present study, LPP and ssVEP amplitudes were simultaneously elicited by unpleasant and neutral pictures. Partway through picture presentation, participants' attention was directed toward an arousing or non-arousing region of unpleasant pictures. In line with prior work, the LPP was reduced when attention was directed toward non-arousing compared to arousing regions of unpleasant pictures; similar results were observed for the ssVEP. Thus, both electrocortical measures index affective salience and are sensitive to directed (here: spatial) attention. Variation in the LPP and ssVEP was unrelated, suggesting that these measures are not redundant with each other and may capture different neurophysiological aspects of affective stimulus processing and attention. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Color vision in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a pilot visual evoked potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soyeon; Banaschewski, Tobias; Tannock, Rosemary

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are reported to manifest visual problems (including ophthalmological and color perception, particularly for blue-yellow stimuli), but findings are inconsistent. Accordingly, this study investigated visual function and color perception in adolescents with ADHD using color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which provides an objective measure of color perception. Thirty-one adolescents (aged 13-18), 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, and 15 healthy peers, matched for age, gender, and IQ participated in the study. All underwent an ophthalmological exam, as well as electrophysiological testing color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which measured the latency and amplitude of the neural P1 response to chromatic (blue-yellow, red-green) and achromatic stimuli. No intergroup differences were found in the ophthalmological exam. However, significantly larger P1 amplitude was found for blue and yellow stimuli, but not red/green or achromatic stimuli, in the ADHD group (particularly in the medicated group) compared to controls. Larger amplitude in the P1 component for blue-yellow in the ADHD group compared to controls may account for the lack of difference in color perception tasks. We speculate that the larger amplitude for blue-yellow stimuli in early sensory processing (P1) might reflect a compensatory strategy for underlying problems including compromised retinal input of s-cones due to hypo-dopaminergic tone. Copyright © 2014 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  13. Potentiating antibiotics in drug-resistant clinical isolates via stimuli-activated superoxide generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney, Colleen M; Goodman, Samuel M; Nagy, Toni A; Levy, Max; Bhusal, Pallavi; Madinger, Nancy E; Detweiler, Corrella S; Nagpal, Prashant; Chatterjee, Anushree

    2017-10-01

    The rise of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria is a growing concern to global health and is exacerbated by the lack of new antibiotics. To treat already pervasive MDR infections, new classes of antibiotics or antibiotic adjuvants are needed. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to play a role during antibacterial action; however, it is not yet understood whether ROS contribute directly to or are an outcome of bacterial lethality caused by antibiotics. We show that a light-activated nanoparticle, designed to produce tunable flux of specific ROS, superoxide, potentiates the activity of antibiotics in clinical MDR isolates of Escherichia coli , Salmonella enterica , and Klebsiella pneumoniae . Despite the high degree of antibiotic resistance in these isolates, we observed a synergistic interaction between both bactericidal and bacteriostatic antibiotics with varied mechanisms of action and our superoxide-producing nanoparticles in more than 75% of combinations. As a result of this potentiation, the effective antibiotic concentration of the clinical isolates was reduced up to 1000-fold below their respective sensitive/resistant breakpoint. Further, superoxide-generating nanoparticles in combination with ciprofloxacin reduced bacterial load in epithelial cells infected with S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and increased Caenorhabditis elegans survival upon infection with S. enterica serovar Enteriditis, compared to antibiotic alone. This demonstration highlights the ability to engineer superoxide generation to potentiate antibiotic activity and combat highly drug-resistant bacterial pathogens.

  14. Automatic detection of lexical change: an auditory event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller-Gass, Alexandra; Roye, Anja; Kirmse, Ursula; Saupe, Katja; Jacobsen, Thomas; Schröger, Erich

    2007-10-29

    We investigated the detection of rare task-irrelevant changes in the lexical status of speech stimuli. Participants performed a nonlinguistic task on word and pseudoword stimuli that occurred, in separate conditions, rarely or frequently. Task performance for pseudowords was deteriorated relative to words, suggesting unintentional lexical analysis. Furthermore, rare word and pseudoword changes had a similar effect on the event-related potentials, starting as early as 165 ms. This is the first demonstration of the automatic detection of change in lexical status that is not based on a co-occurring acoustic change. We propose that, following lexical analysis of the incoming stimuli, a mental representation of the lexical regularity is formed and used as a template against which lexical change can be detected.

  15. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie eWard

    2013-10-01

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

  17. Frontal brain activity and behavioral indicators of affective states are weakly affected by thermal stimuli in sheep living in different housing conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine eVögeli

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Many stimuli evoke short-term emotional reactions. These reactions may play an important role in assessing how a subject perceives a stimulus. Additionally, long-term mood may modulate the emotional reactions but it is still unclear in what way. The question seems to be important in terms of animal welfare, as a negative mood may taint emotional reactions. In the present study with sheep, we investigated the effects of thermal stimuli on emotional reactions and the potential modulating effect of mood induced by manipulations of the housing conditions. We assume that unpredictable, stimulus-poor conditions lead to a negative and predictable, stimulus-rich conditions to a positive mood state. The thermal stimuli were applied to the upper breast during warm ambient temperatures: hot (as presumably negative, intermediate, and cold (as presumably positive. We recorded cortical activity by functional near-infrared spectroscopy, restlessness behavior (e.g. locomotor activity, aversive behaviors and ear postures as indicators of emotional reactions. The strongest hemodynamic reaction was found during a stimulus of intermediate valence independent of the animal’s housing conditions, whereas locomotor activity, ear movements and aversive behaviors were seen most in sheep from the unpredictable, stimulus-poor housing conditions, independent of stimulus valence. We conclude that, sheep perceived the thermal stimuli and differentiated between some of them. An adequate interpretation of the neuronal activity pattern remains difficult, though. The effects of housing conditions were small indicating that the induction of mood was only modestly efficacious. Therefore, a modulating effect of mood on the emotional reaction was not found.

  18. Sensing the Worst: Neurophenomenological Perspectives on Neutral Stimuli Misperception in Schizophrenia Spectrum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariateresa Sestito

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available While investigating social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia, prominent evidence has been found that patients with schizophrenia show a tendency to misclassify neutral stimuli as negatively valenced. Within this population, patients presenting delusions are more prone to this phenomenon. In a previous study, Schizophrenia spectrum (SzSp patients rated positive, negative and neutral stimuli that were multimodally presented, while assessed with a checklist exploring anomalous subjective experiences and evaluated for positive and negative symptomatology. In the present work, we aimed to further explore the relationship between neutral stimuli misperception, anomalous experiences and positive/negative symptoms in SzSp patients. To this end, we adopted a dimensional approach by reconstructing from available data: (1 four a priori scales representing essential dimensions of SzSp experiential pathology following Parnas et al. (2005; and (2 five clinically meaningful factors to describe illness severity derived by Toomey et al. (1997. Results showed that although overall patients correctly recognized the target emotions, those who misinterpreted neutral auditory cues as negatively valenced also presented higher scores in Perplexity (PY, Bizarre Delusions (BD and Disorganization (Di dimensions. Moreover, a positive association between BD and both PY and Self-Disorder (SD dimensions emerged, suggesting that psychotic symptoms may be directly linked to patients’ subjectivity. In an attempt to comprehensively capture the multilayered neutral stimuli misperception phenomenon in SzSp, we aimed at bridging phenomenology and neurobiology by connecting the levels of molecular neurochemistry (i.e., altered dopaminergic neurotransmission, system neuroscience (aberrant salience of perceptual details and psychopathology (the chain involving hyper-reflexivity, self-disorders and the emergence of delusions.

  19. Stimuli-Responsive NO Release for On-Demand Gas-Sensitized Synergistic Cancer Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Wenpei; Yung, Bryant C; Chen, Xiaoyuan

    2018-03-08

    Featuring high biocompatibility, the emerging field of gas therapy has attracted extensive attention in the medical and scientific communities. Currently, considerable research has focused on the gasotransmitter nitric oxide (NO) owing to its unparalleled dual roles in directly killing cancer cells at high concentrations and cooperatively sensitizing cancer cells to other treatments for synergistic therapy. Of particular note, recent state-of-the-art studies have turned our attention to the chemical design of various endogenous/exogenous stimuli-responsive NO-releasing nanomedicines and their biomedical applications for on-demand NO-sensitized synergistic cancer therapy, which are discussed in this Minireview. Moreover, the potential challenges regarding NO gas therapy are also described, aiming to advance the development of NO nanomedicines as well as usher in new frontiers in this fertile research area. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Do Tonic Itch and Pain Stimuli Draw Attention towards Their Location?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoinette I. M. van Laarhoven

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Although itch and pain are distinct experiences, both are unpleasant, may demand attention, and interfere with daily activities. Research investigating the role of attention in tonic itch and pain stimuli, particularly whether attention is drawn to the stimulus location, is scarce. Methods. In the somatosensory attention task, fifty-three healthy participants were exposed to 35-second electrical itch or pain stimuli on either the left or right wrist. Participants responded as quickly as possible to visual targets appearing at the stimulated location (ipsilateral trials or the arm without stimulation (contralateral trials. During control blocks, participants performed the visual task without stimulation. Attention allocation at the itch and pain location is inferred when responses are faster ipsilaterally than contralaterally. Results. Results did not indicate that attention was directed towards or away from the itch and pain location. Notwithstanding, participants were slower during itch and pain than during control blocks. Conclusions. In contrast with our hypotheses, no indications were found for spatial attention allocation towards the somatosensory stimuli. This may relate to dynamic shifts in attention over the time course of the tonic sensations. Our secondary finding that itch and pain interfere with task performance is in-line with attention theories of bodily perception.

  2. Stimuli-Responsive Nanodiamond-Based Biosensor for Enhanced Metastatic Tumor Site Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Gu, Mengjie; Toh, Tan Boon; Abdullah, Nurrul Lissa Binti; Chow, Edward Kai-Hua

    2018-02-01

    Metastasis is often critical to cancer progression and linked to poor survival and drug resistance. Early detection of metastasis, as well as identification of metastatic tumor sites, can improve cancer patient survival. Thus, developing technology to improve the detection of cancer metastasis biomarkers can improve both diagnosis and treatment. In this study, we investigated the use of nanodiamonds to develop a stimuli-responsive metastasis detection complex that utilizes matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) as a metastasis biomarker, as MMP9 increased expression has been shown to be indicative of metastasis. The nanodiamond-MMP9 biosensor complex consists of nanodiamonds functionalized with MMP9-specific fluorescent-labeled substrate peptides. Using this design, protease activity of MMP9 can be accurately measured and correlated to MMP9 expression. The nanodiamond-MMP9 biosensor also demonstrated an enhanced ability to protect the base sensor peptide from nonspecific serum protease cleavage. This enhanced peptide stability, combined with a quantitative stimuli-responsive output function, provides strong evidence for the further development of a nanodiamond-MMP9 biosensor for metastasis site detection. More importantly, this work provides the foundation for use of nanodiamonds as a platform for stimuli-responsive biosensors and theranostic complexes that can be implemented across a wide range of biomedical applications.

  3. Cognitive appraisal of environmental stimuli induces emotion-like states in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerqueira, M; Millot, S; Castanheira, M F; Félix, A S; Silva, T; Oliveira, G A; Oliveira, C C; Martins, C I M; Oliveira, R F

    2017-10-13

    The occurrence of emotions in non-human animals has been the focus of debate over the years. Recently, an interest in expanding this debate to non-tetrapod vertebrates and to invertebrates has emerged. Within vertebrates, the study of emotion in teleosts is particularly interesting since they represent a divergent evolutionary radiation from that of tetrapods, and thus they provide an insight into the evolution of the biological mechanisms of emotion. We report that Sea Bream exposed to stimuli that vary according to valence (positive, negative) and salience (predictable, unpredictable) exhibit different behavioural, physiological and neuromolecular states. Since according to the dimensional theory of emotion valence and salience define a two-dimensional affective space, our data can be interpreted as evidence for the occurrence of distinctive affective states in fish corresponding to each the four quadrants of the core affective space. Moreover, the fact that the same stimuli presented in a predictable vs. unpredictable way elicited different behavioural, physiological and neuromolecular states, suggests that stimulus appraisal by the individual, rather than an intrinsic characteristic of the stimulus, has triggered the observed responses. Therefore, our data supports the occurrence of emotion-like states in fish that are regulated by the individual's perception of environmental stimuli.

  4. Statistical modeling of the response characteristics of mechanosensitive stimuli in the human esophagus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drewes, A.M.; Reddy, H.; Staahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    by using a statistical model based on correlation analysis. The esophagus was distended with a bag in 32 healthy subjects by using an inflation rate of 25 mL/min. The luminal cross-sectional areas and sensory ratings were determined during the distentions. The stimuli were repeated after relaxation...... of mechanical gut stimuli in human beings. This might increase our understanding of visceral pain in health and disease and guide the statistical analysis of experimental data obtained in the gastrointestinal tract....

  5. A stimuli-responsive smart lanthanide nanocomposite for multidimensional optical recording and encryption

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Xiang; Xie, Yujie; Zhang, Hao-Li; Chen, Hao; Cai, Huijuan; Liu, Weisheng; Tang, Yu [State Key Lab. of Applied Organic Chemistry, Key Lab. of Nonferrous Metal Chemistry and Resources Utilization of Gansu Province, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou Univ. (China); Song, Bo [State Key Lab. of Fine Chemicals, School of Chemistry, Dalian Univ. of Technology, Dalian (China)

    2017-03-01

    A stimuli-responsive lanthanide-based smart nanocomposite has been fabricated by supramolecular assembly and applied as an active material in multidimensional memory materials. Conjugation of the lanthanide complexes with carbon dots provides a stimuli response that is based on the modulation of the energy level of the ligand and affords microsecond-to-nanosecond fluorescence lifetimes, giving rise to intriguing memory performance in the spatial and temporal dimension. The present study points to a new direction for the future development of multidimensional memory materials based on inorganic-organic hybrid nanosystems. (copyright 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  6. Predictability of painful stimulation modulates the somatosensory-evoked potential in the rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaap, M.W.H.; van Oostrom, H.; Doornenbal, A.; Baars, A.M.; Arndt, S.S.; Hellebrekers, L.J.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) are used in humans and animals to increase knowledge about nociception and pain. Since the SEP in humans increases when noxious stimuli are administered unpredictably, predictability potentially influences the SEP in animals as well. To assess the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-07

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

  8. Behavioral determination of stimulus pair discrimination of auditory acoustic and electrical stimuli using a classical conditioning and heart-rate approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Simeon J; Paolini, Antonio G

    2012-06-06

    Acute animal preparations have been used in research prospectively investigating electrode designs and stimulation techniques for integration into neural auditory prostheses, such as auditory brainstem implants and auditory midbrain implants. While acute experiments can give initial insight to the effectiveness of the implant, testing the chronically implanted and awake animals provides the advantage of examining the psychophysical properties of the sensations induced using implanted devices. Several techniques such as reward-based operant conditioning, conditioned avoidance, or classical fear conditioning have been used to provide behavioral confirmation of detection of a relevant stimulus attribute. Selection of a technique involves balancing aspects including time efficiency (often poor in reward-based approaches), the ability to test a plurality of stimulus attributes simultaneously (limited in conditioned avoidance), and measure reliability of repeated stimuli (a potential constraint when physiological measures are employed). Here, a classical fear conditioning behavioral method is presented which may be used to simultaneously test both detection of a stimulus, and discrimination between two stimuli. Heart-rate is used as a measure of fear response, which reduces or eliminates the requirement for time-consuming video coding for freeze behaviour or other such measures (although such measures could be included to provide convergent evidence). Animals were conditioned using these techniques in three 2-hour conditioning sessions, each providing 48 stimulus trials. Subsequent 48-trial testing sessions were then used to test for detection of each stimulus in presented pairs, and test discrimination between the member stimuli of each pair. This behavioral method is presented in the context of its utilisation in auditory prosthetic research. The implantation of electrocardiogram telemetry devices is shown. Subsequent implantation of brain electrodes into the Cochlear

  9. Effects of cigarette smoke on methacholine- and AMP-induced air trapping in asthmatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Luis; Palop, Julio; Llusar, Ruth; Herrera, Susana; Perez-Frances, Carmen; Lanuza, Amparo; Aguilar, Daniela

    2015-02-01

    Abstract Objective: No information is available on the effect of cigarette smoke on bronchoconstrictor-induced air trapping in asthma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the additional influence of smoking on methacholine- and adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP)-induced air trapping in subjects with asthma. Airway responsiveness to methacholine and AMP, bronchial (J'awNO) and alveolar (CANO) nitric oxide (NO) and exhaled breath condensate pH were measured in 68 adults (23 current smokers with asthma, 23 non-smokers with asthma and 22 current or former smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; COPD). The degree of air trapping induced by each bronchoconstrictor agent was expressed by the percent fall in forced vital capacity (FVC) at a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s relative to FVC after saline inhalation (ΔFVC%). The ΔFVC% for AMP was higher in both smokers with asthma and patients with COPD than in non-smokers with asthma (p<0.001). By contrast, ΔFVC% for methacholine was similar in the three groups of subjects (p=0.69). In smokers with asthma, but not in the other two groups, there was a correlation between the residual volume/total lung capacity at baseline and the ΔFVC% induced by each bronchoconstrictor agent. Mean values for J'awNO were higher in non-smokers with asthma than in the other two groups (p<0.05). The results of this study suggest that factors underlying bronchoconstriction induced by indirect agonists are different in smokers and non-smokers with asthma. These observations might be clinically relevant, because triggers that frequently induce bronchial obstruction in the real world act by an indirect mechanism.

  10. Threat/reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality modulate cognitive-control and attentional neural processes to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Hu, Xiaoqing; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-11-01

    Temperamental-traits (e.g. threat/reward-sensitivity) are found to modulate cognitive-control and attentional-processes. Yet, it is unclear exactly how these traits interact with emotional-stimuli in the modulation of cognitive-control, as reflected by the N2 event-related potential (ERP), and attentional-processes, as reflected by the P2 and P3 ERPs. Here in an ERP emotional-Go/NoGo task, 36 participants were instructed to inhibit their response to Fearful- and Happy-faces. Individual-differences in threat-sensitivity, reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality were assessed through self-report. Hypomanic-personality was assessed, given its relationship with reward-sensitivity and relevance to mood-disorder symptoms. Concerning cognitive-control, individuals with elevated threat-sensitivity displayed more-negative N2s to Happy-NoGo (relative to Fearful-NoGo) faces, whereas both individuals with elevated reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality displayed more-negative N2s to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. Accordingly, when cognitive-control is required (during Go/NoGo), a mismatch between one's temperament and the valence of the NoGo-stimulus elevates detection of the need for cognitive-control. Conversely, the modulation of attentional-processing was specific to threat-sensitivity, as there was no relationship between either reward-sensitivity or hypomanic-personality and attentional-processing. Elevated threat-sensitivity was associated with enhanced early (P2s) and later (P3s) attentional-processing to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. These latter findings support the negative attentional-bias model relating elevated threat-sensitivity with attentional-biases toward negative-stimuli and away from positive-stimuli. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Incidental encoding of emotional pictures: affective bias studied through event related brain potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, Manuel; Carretié, Luis; Sierra, Benjamín; Mercado, Francisco

    2008-06-01

    Emotional stimuli are better remembered than neutral stimuli. Most of the studies taking into account this emotional bias refer to explicit memory, use behavioral measures of the recall and predict better recall of negative stimuli. The few studies taking into account implicit memory and the valence emotional dimension are inconclusive on the effect of the stimulus' emotional valence. In the present study, 120 pictures (30 positive, 30 negative, 30 relaxing and 30 neutral) were shown to, and assessed by, 28 participants (study phase). Subsequently, event related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded during the presentation of 120 new (shown for the first time) and 120 old (already shown in the study phase) pictures (test phase). No explicit instructions or clues related to recovery were given to participants, and a distractor task was employed, in order to maintain implicit the memory assessment. As expected from other studies' data, our results showed that old stimuli elicited an enhanced late positive component 450 ms after stimulus onset (repetition effect). Moreover, this effect was modulated by the stimuli's emotional valence, since the most positively valenced stimuli were associated with a decreased repetition effect with respect to the most negatively valenced stimuli. This effect was located at ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These results suggest the existence of a valence-mediated bias in implicit memory.

  12. Emotion and Attention Interaction: a trade-off between stimuli relevance, motivation and individual differences

    OpenAIRE

    Leticia eOliveira; Izabela eMocaiber; Isabel A David; Fatima eErthal; Eliane eVolchan; Mirtes ePereira

    2013-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that the neural processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized. However, whether the processing of emotional stimuli is dependent on attention remains debatable. Several studies have investigated this issue by testing the capacity of emotional distracters to divert processing resources from an attentional main task. The attentional load theory postulates that the perceptual load of the main task determines the selective processing of the distracter. Although we agre...

  13. 3D graphics, virtual reality, and motion-onset visual evoked potentials in neurogaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beveridge, R; Wilson, S; Coyle, D

    2016-01-01

    A brain-computer interface (BCI) offers movement-free control of a computer application and is achieved by reading and translating the cortical activity of the brain into semantic control signals. Motion-onset visual evoked potentials (mVEP) are neural potentials employed in BCIs and occur when motion-related stimuli are attended visually. mVEP dynamics are correlated with the position and timing of the moving stimuli. To investigate the feasibility of utilizing the mVEP paradigm with video games of various graphical complexities including those of commercial quality, we conducted three studies over four separate sessions comparing the performance of classifying five mVEP responses with variations in graphical complexity and style, in-game distractions, and display parameters surrounding mVEP stimuli. To investigate the feasibility of utilizing contemporary presentation modalities in neurogaming, one of the studies compared mVEP classification performance when stimuli were presented using the oculus rift virtual reality headset. Results from 31 independent subjects were analyzed offline. The results show classification performances ranging up to 90% with variations in conditions in graphical complexity having limited effect on mVEP performance; thus, demonstrating the feasibility of using the mVEP paradigm within BCI-based neurogaming. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Affective states leak into movement execution: Automatic avoidance of threatening stimuli in fear of spider is visible in reach trajectories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buetti, S.; Juan, E.; Rinck, M.; Kerzel, D.

    2012-01-01

    Approach-like actions are initiated faster with stimuli of positive valence. Conversely, avoidance-like actions are initiated faster with threatening stimuli of negative valence. We went beyond reaction time measures and investigated whether threatening stimuli also affect the way in which an action

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Anecdotal reports and a few scientific publications suggest that flyovers of helicopters at low altitude may elicit fear- or anxiety-related behavioral reactions in grazing feral and farm animals. We investigated the behavioral and physiological stress reactions of five individually housed dairy goats to different acoustic and visual stimuli from helicopters and to combinations of these stimuli under controlled environmental (indoor) conditions. The visual stimuli were helicopter animations projected on a large screen in front of the enclosures of the goats. Acoustic and visual stimuli of a tractor were also presented. On the final day of the study the goats were exposed to two flyovers (altitude 50 m and 75 m) of a Chinook helicopter while grazing in a pasture. Salivary cortisol, behavior, and heart rate of the goats were registered before, during and after stimulus presentations. Results The goats reacted alert to the visual and/or acoustic stimuli that were presented in their room. They raised their heads and turned their ears forward in the direction of the stimuli. There was no statistically reliable rise of the average velocity of moving of the goats in their enclosure and no increase of the duration of moving during presentation of the stimuli. Also there was no increase in heart rate or salivary cortisol concentration during the indoor test sessions. Surprisingly, no physiological and behavioral stress responses were observed during the flyover of a Chinook at 50 m, which produced a peak noise of 110 dB. Conclusions We conclude that the behavior and physiology of goats are unaffected by brief episodes of intense, adverse visual and acoustic stimulation such as the sight and noise of overflying helicopters. The absence of a physiological stress response and of elevated emotional reactivity of goats subjected to helicopter stimuli is discussed in relation to the design and testing schedule of this study. PMID:21496239

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  17. Exposure to Virtual Social Stimuli Modulates Subjective Pain Reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob M Vigil

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Cognitive behavioural therapy attenuates the enhanced early facial stimuli processing in social anxiety disorders: an ERP investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jianqin; Liu, Quanying; Li, Yang; Yang, Jun; Gu, Ruolei; Liang, Jin; Qi, Yanyan; Wu, Haiyan; Liu, Xun

    2017-07-28

    Previous studies of patients with social anxiety have demonstrated abnormal early processing of facial stimuli in social contexts. In other words, patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) tend to exhibit enhanced early facial processing when compared to healthy controls. Few studies have examined the temporal electrophysiological event-related potential (ERP)-indexed profiles when an individual with SAD compares faces to objects in SAD. Systematic comparisons of ERPs to facial/object stimuli before and after therapy are also lacking. We used a passive visual detection paradigm with upright and inverted faces/objects, which are known to elicit early P1 and N170 components, to study abnormal early face processing and subsequent improvements in this measure in patients with SAD. Seventeen patients with SAD and 17 matched control participants performed a passive visual detection paradigm task while undergoing EEG. The healthy controls were compared to patients with SAD pre-therapy to test the hypothesis that patients with SAD have early hypervigilance to facial cues. We compared patients with SAD before and after therapy to test the hypothesis that the early hypervigilance to facial cues in patients with SAD can be alleviated. Compared to healthy control (HC) participants, patients with SAD had more robust P1-N170 slope but no amplitude effects in response to both upright and inverted faces and objects. Interestingly, we found that patients with SAD had reduced P1 responses to all objects and faces after therapy, but had selectively reduced N170 responses to faces, and especially inverted faces. Interestingly, the slope from P1 to N170 in patients with SAD was flatter post-therapy than pre-therapy. Furthermore, the amplitude of N170 evoked by the facial stimuli was correlated with scores on the interaction anxiousness scale (IAS) after therapy. Our results did not provide electrophysiological support for the early hypervigilance hypothesis in SAD to faces, but

  20. Promoting the use of personally relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Fabien; Castro, Maïté; Tillmann, Barbara; Luauté, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC) following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally relevant stimuli (i.e., with emotional, autobiographical, or self-related characteristics) are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music's capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness.