WorldWideScience

Sample records for prenatal perceptual learning

  1. Perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitz, Aaron R

    2017-07-10

    Perceptual learning refers to how experience can change the way we perceive sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch. Examples abound: music training improves our ability to discern tones; experience with food and wines can refine our pallet (and unfortunately more quickly empty our wallet), and with years of training radiologists learn to save lives by discerning subtle details of images that escape the notice of untrained viewers. We often take perceptual learning for granted, but it has a profound impact on how we perceive the world. In this Primer, I will explain how perceptual learning is transformative in guiding our perceptual processes, how research into perceptual learning provides insight into fundamental mechanisms of learning and brain processes, and how knowledge of perceptual learning can be used to develop more effective training approaches for those requiring expert perceptual skills or those in need of perceptual rehabilitation (such as individuals with poor vision). I will make a case that perceptual learning is ubiquitous, scientifically interesting, and has substantial practical utility to us all. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Visual Perceptual Learning and Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dosher, Barbara; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2017-09-15

    Visual perceptual learning through practice or training can significantly improve performance on visual tasks. Originally seen as a manifestation of plasticity in the primary visual cortex, perceptual learning is more readily understood as improvements in the function of brain networks that integrate processes, including sensory representations, decision, attention, and reward, and balance plasticity with system stability. This review considers the primary phenomena of perceptual learning, theories of perceptual learning, and perceptual learning's effect on signal and noise in visual processing and decision. Models, especially computational models, play a key role in behavioral and physiological investigations of the mechanisms of perceptual learning and for understanding, predicting, and optimizing human perceptual processes, learning, and performance. Performance improvements resulting from reweighting or readout of sensory inputs to decision provide a strong theoretical framework for interpreting perceptual learning and transfer that may prove useful in optimizing learning in real-world applications.

  3. Varieties of perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackintosh, N J

    2009-05-01

    Although most studies of perceptual learning in human participants have concentrated on the changes in perception assumed to be occurring, studies of nonhuman animals necessarily measure discrimination learning and generalization and remain agnostic on the question of whether changes in behavior reflect changes in perception. On the other hand, animal studies do make it easier to draw a distinction between supervised and unsupervised learning. Differential reinforcement will surely teach animals to attend to some features of a stimulus array rather than to others. But it is an open question as to whether such changes in attention underlie the enhanced discrimination seen after unreinforced exposure to such an array. I argue that most instances of unsupervised perceptual learning observed in animals (and at least some in human animals) are better explained by appeal to well-established principles and phenomena of associative learning theory: excitatory and inhibitory associations between stimulus elements, latent inhibition, and habituation.

  4. Acetylcholine and Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2004-01-01

    Olfactory perceptual learning is a relatively long-term, learned increase in perceptual acuity, and has been described in both humans and animals. Data from recent electrophysiological studies have indicated that olfactory perceptual learning may be correlated with changes in odorant receptive fields of neurons in the olfactory bulb and piriform…

  5. Perceptual learning and human expertise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellman, Philip J; Garrigan, Patrick

    2009-06-01

    We consider perceptual learning: experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information. Often neglected in scientific accounts of learning and in instruction, perceptual learning is a fundamental contributor to human expertise and is crucial in domains where humans show remarkable levels of attainment, such as language, chess, music, and mathematics. In Section 2, we give a brief history and discuss the relation of perceptual learning to other forms of learning. We consider in Section 3 several specific phenomena, illustrating the scope and characteristics of perceptual learning, including both discovery and fluency effects. We describe abstract perceptual learning, in which structural relationships are discovered and recognized in novel instances that do not share constituent elements or basic features. In Section 4, we consider primary concepts that have been used to explain and model perceptual learning, including receptive field change, selection, and relational recoding. In Section 5, we consider the scope of perceptual learning, contrasting recent research, focused on simple sensory discriminations, with earlier work that emphasized extraction of invariance from varied instances in more complex tasks. Contrary to some recent views, we argue that perceptual learning should not be confined to changes in early sensory analyzers. Phenomena at various levels, we suggest, can be unified by models that emphasize discovery and selection of relevant information. In a final section, we consider the potential role of perceptual learning in educational settings. Most instruction emphasizes facts and procedures that can be verbalized, whereas expertise depends heavily on implicit pattern recognition and selective extraction skills acquired through perceptual learning. We consider reasons why perceptual learning has not been systematically addressed in traditional instruction, and we describe recent successful efforts to create a technology of perceptual

  6. Perceptual learning and human expertise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellman, Philip J.; Garrigan, Patrick

    2009-06-01

    We consider perceptual learning: experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information. Often neglected in scientific accounts of learning and in instruction, perceptual learning is a fundamental contributor to human expertise and is crucial in domains where humans show remarkable levels of attainment, such as language, chess, music, and mathematics. In Section 2, we give a brief history and discuss the relation of perceptual learning to other forms of learning. We consider in Section 3 several specific phenomena, illustrating the scope and characteristics of perceptual learning, including both discovery and fluency effects. We describe abstract perceptual learning, in which structural relationships are discovered and recognized in novel instances that do not share constituent elements or basic features. In Section 4, we consider primary concepts that have been used to explain and model perceptual learning, including receptive field change, selection, and relational recoding. In Section 5, we consider the scope of perceptual learning, contrasting recent research, focused on simple sensory discriminations, with earlier work that emphasized extraction of invariance from varied instances in more complex tasks. Contrary to some recent views, we argue that perceptual learning should not be confined to changes in early sensory analyzers. Phenomena at various levels, we suggest, can be unified by models that emphasize discovery and selection of relevant information. In a final section, we consider the potential role of perceptual learning in educational settings. Most instruction emphasizes facts and procedures that can be verbalized, whereas expertise depends heavily on implicit pattern recognition and selective extraction skills acquired through perceptual learning. We consider reasons why perceptual learning has not been systematically addressed in traditional instruction, and we describe recent successful efforts to create a technology of perceptual

  7. Integrated approaches to perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Robert A

    2010-04-01

    New technologies and new ways of thinking have recently led to rapid expansions in the study of perceptual learning. We describe three themes shared by many of the nine articles included in this topic on Integrated Approaches to Perceptual Learning. First, perceptual learning cannot be studied on its own because it is closely linked to other aspects of cognition, such as attention, working memory, decision making, and conceptual knowledge. Second, perceptual learning is sensitive to both the stimulus properties of the environment in which an observer exists and to the properties of the tasks that the observer needs to perform. Moreover, the environmental and task properties can be characterized through their statistical regularities. Finally, the study of perceptual learning has important implications for society, including implications for science education and medical rehabilitation. Contributed articles relevant to each theme are summarized. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  8. Perceptual learning: top to bottom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amitay, Sygal; Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Jones, Pete R; Moore, David R

    2014-06-01

    Perceptual learning has traditionally been portrayed as a bottom-up phenomenon that improves encoding or decoding of the trained stimulus. Cognitive skills such as attention and memory are thought to drive, guide and modulate learning but are, with notable exceptions, not generally considered to undergo changes themselves as a result of training with simple perceptual tasks. Moreover, shifts in threshold are interpreted as shifts in perceptual sensitivity, with no consideration for non-sensory factors (such as response bias) that may contribute to these changes. Accumulating evidence from our own research and others shows that perceptual learning is a conglomeration of effects, with training-induced changes ranging from the lowest (noise reduction in the phase locking of auditory signals) to the highest (working memory capacity) level of processing, and includes contributions from non-sensory factors that affect decision making even on a "simple" auditory task such as frequency discrimination. We discuss our emerging view of learning as a process that increases the signal-to-noise ratio associated with perceptual tasks by tackling noise sources and inefficiencies that cause performance bottlenecks, and present some implications for training populations other than young, smart, attentive and highly-motivated college students. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Iterative perceptual learning for social behavior synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Kok, I.A.; Poppe, Ronald Walter; Heylen, Dirk K.J.

    We introduce Iterative Perceptual Learning (IPL), a novel approach to learn computational models for social behavior synthesis from corpora of human–human interactions. IPL combines perceptual evaluation with iterative model refinement. Human observers rate the appropriateness of synthesized

  10. Iterative Perceptual Learning for Social Behavior Synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Kok, I.A.; Poppe, Ronald Walter; Heylen, Dirk K.J.

    We introduce Iterative Perceptual Learning (IPL), a novel approach for learning computational models for social behavior synthesis from corpora of human-human interactions. The IPL approach combines perceptual evaluation with iterative model refinement. Human observers rate the appropriateness of

  11. Constraints on Perceptual Learning: Objects and Dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedford, Felice L.

    1995-01-01

    Addresses two questions that may be unique to perceptual learning: What are the circumstances that produce learning? and What is the content of learning? Suggests a critical principle for each question. Provides a discussion of perceptual learning theory, how learning occurs, and what gets learned. Includes a 121-item bibliography. (DR)

  12. Perceptual learning modifies untrained pursuit eye movements

    OpenAIRE

    Szpiro, Sarit F. A.; Spering, Miriam; Carrasco, Marisa

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual learning improves detection and discrimination of relevant visual information in mature humans, revealing sensory plasticity. Whether visual perceptual learning affects motor responses is unknown. Here we implemented a protocol that enabled us to address this question. We tested a perceptual response (motion direction estimation, in which observers overestimate motion direction away from a reference) and a motor response (voluntary smooth pursuit eye movements). Perceptual training...

  13. Perceptual learning modifies untrained pursuit eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szpiro, Sarit F A; Spering, Miriam; Carrasco, Marisa

    2014-07-07

    Perceptual learning improves detection and discrimination of relevant visual information in mature humans, revealing sensory plasticity. Whether visual perceptual learning affects motor responses is unknown. Here we implemented a protocol that enabled us to address this question. We tested a perceptual response (motion direction estimation, in which observers overestimate motion direction away from a reference) and a motor response (voluntary smooth pursuit eye movements). Perceptual training led to greater overestimation and, remarkably, it modified untrained smooth pursuit. In contrast, pursuit training did not affect overestimation in either pursuit or perception, even though observers in both training groups were exposed to the same stimuli for the same time period. A second experiment revealed that estimation training also improved discrimination, indicating that overestimation may optimize perceptual sensitivity. Hence, active perceptual training is necessary to alter perceptual responses, and an acquired change in perception suffices to modify pursuit, a motor response. © 2014 ARVO.

  14. Perceptual learning and adult cortical plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Charles D; Li, Wu; Piech, Valentin

    2009-06-15

    The visual cortex retains the capacity for experience-dependent changes, or plasticity, of cortical function and cortical circuitry, throughout life. These changes constitute the mechanism of perceptual learning in normal visual experience and in recovery of function after CNS damage. Such plasticity can be seen at multiple stages in the visual pathway, including primary visual cortex. The manifestation of the functional changes associated with perceptual learning involve both long term modification of cortical circuits during the course of learning, and short term dynamics in the functional properties of cortical neurons. These dynamics are subject to top-down influences of attention, expectation and perceptual task. As a consequence, each cortical area is an adaptive processor, altering its function in accordance to immediate perceptual demands.

  15. Topographic generalization of tactile perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrar, Vanessa; Spence, Charles; Makin, Tamar R

    2014-02-01

    Perceptual learning can improve our sensory abilities. Understanding its underlying mechanisms, in particular, when perceptual learning generalizes, has become a focus of research and controversy. Specifically, there is little consensus regarding the extent to which tactile perceptual learning generalizes across fingers. We measured tactile orientation discrimination abilities on 4 fingers (index and middle fingers of both hands), using psychophysical measures, before and after 4 training sessions on 1 finger. Given the somatotopic organization of the hand representation in the somatosensory cortex, the topography of the cortical areas underlying tactile perceptual learning can be inferred from the pattern of generalization across fingers; only fingers sharing cortical representation with the trained finger ought to improve with it. Following training, performance improved not only for the trained finger but also for its adjacent and homologous fingers. Although these fingers were not exposed to training, they nevertheless demonstrated similar levels of learning as the trained finger. Conversely, the performance of the finger that was neither adjacent nor homologous to the trained finger was unaffected by training, despite the fact that our procedure was designed to enhance generalization, as described in recent visual perceptual learning research. This pattern of improved performance is compatible with previous reports of neuronal receptive fields (RFs) in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) spanning adjacent and homologous digits. We conclude that perceptual learning rooted in low-level cortex can still generalize, and suggest potential applications for the neurorehabilitation of syndromes associated with maladaptive plasticity in SI. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. Resistance to Interference of Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Richard J.; Case, Trevor I.; Tomiczek, Caroline

    2007-01-01

    Olfactory memory is especially persistent. The current study explored whether this applies to a form of perceptual learning, in which experience of an odor mixture results in greater judged similarity between its elements. Experiment 1A contrasted 2 forms of interference procedure, "compound" (mixture AW, followed by presentation of new mixtures…

  17. Lexically guided perceptual learning in Mandarin Chinese

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burchfield, L.A.; Luk, S.H.K.; Antoniou, M.; Cutler, A.

    2017-01-01

    Lexically guided perceptual learni ng refers to the use of lexical knowledge to retune sp eech categories and thereby adapt to a novel talker's pronunciation. This adaptation has been extensively documented, but primarily for segmental-based learning in English and Dutch. In languages with lexical

  18. Crossmodal Perceptual Learning and Sensory Substitution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Proulx

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available A sensory substitution device for blind persons aims to provide the missing visual input by converting images into a form that another modality can perceive, such as sound. Here I will discuss the perceptual learning and attentional mechanisms necessary for interpreting sounds produced by a device (The vOICe in a visuospatial manner. Although some aspects of the conversion, such as relating vertical location to pitch, rely on natural crossmodal mappings, the extensive training required suggests that synthetic mappings are required to generalize perceptual learning to new objects and environments, and ultimately to experience visual qualia. Here I will discuss the effects of the conversion and training on perception and attention that demonstrate the synthetic nature of learning the crossmodal mapping. Sensorimotor experience may be required to facilitate learning, develop expertise, and to develop a form of synthetic synaesthesia.

  19. Nicotine facilitates memory consolidation in perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer, Anton L; Vartak, Devavrat; Greenlee, Mark W

    2013-01-01

    Perceptual learning is a special type of non-declarative learning that involves experience-dependent plasticity in sensory cortices. The cholinergic system is known to modulate declarative learning. In particular, reduced levels or efficacy of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine were found to facilitate declarative memory consolidation. However, little is known about the role of the cholinergic system in memory consolidation of non-declarative learning. Here we compared two groups of non-smoking men who learned a visual texture discrimination task (TDT). One group received chewing tobacco containing nicotine for 1 h directly following the TDT training. The other group received a similar tasting control substance without nicotine. Electroencephalographic recordings during substance consumption showed reduced alpha activity and P300 latencies in the nicotine group compared to the control group. When re-tested on the TDT the following day, both groups responded more accurately and more rapidly than during training. These improvements were specific to the retinal location and orientation of the texture elements of the TDT suggesting that learning involved early visual cortex. A group comparison showed that learning effects were more pronounced in the nicotine group than in the control group. These findings suggest that oral consumption of nicotine enhances the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Our findings further suggest that enhanced efficacy of the cholinergic system facilitates memory consolidation in perceptual learning (and possibly other types of non-declarative learning). In that regard acetylcholine seems to affect consolidation processes in perceptual learning in a different manner than in declarative learning. Alternatively, our findings might reflect dose-dependent cholinergic modulation of memory consolidation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Motivation and intelligence drive auditory perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amitay, Sygal; Halliday, Lorna; Taylor, Jenny; Sohoglu, Ediz; Moore, David R

    2010-03-23

    Although feedback on performance is generally thought to promote perceptual learning, the role and necessity of feedback remain unclear. We investigated the effect of providing varying amounts of positive feedback while listeners attempted to discriminate between three identical tones on learning frequency discrimination. Using this novel procedure, the feedback was meaningless and random in relation to the listeners' responses, but the amount of feedback provided (or lack thereof) affected learning. We found that a group of listeners who received positive feedback on 10% of the trials improved their performance on the task (learned), while other groups provided either with excess (90%) or with no feedback did not learn. Superimposed on these group data, however, individual listeners showed other systematic changes of performance. In particular, those with lower non-verbal IQ who trained in the no feedback condition performed more poorly after training. This pattern of results cannot be accounted for by learning models that ascribe an external teacher role to feedback. We suggest, instead, that feedback is used to monitor performance on the task in relation to its perceived difficulty, and that listeners who learn without the benefit of feedback are adept at self-monitoring of performance, a trait that also supports better performance on non-verbal IQ tests. These results show that 'perceptual' learning is strongly influenced by top-down processes of motivation and intelligence.

  1. Chromatic Perceptual Learning but No Category Effects without Linguistic Input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T; Drivonikou, Vicky G; Notman, Leslie A; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R L

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest.

  2. Ambiguity Tolerance and Perceptual Learning Styles of Chinese EFL Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haishan; He, Qingshun

    2016-01-01

    Ambiguity tolerance and perceptual learning styles are the two influential elements showing individual differences in EFL learning. This research is intended to explore the relationship between Chinese EFL learners' ambiguity tolerance and their preferred perceptual learning styles. The findings include (1) the learners are sensitive to English…

  3. Does perceptual learning require consciousness or attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meuwese, Julia D I; Post, Ruben A G; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2013-10-01

    It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness: Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 12-18, 2003]. Attention and consciousness converge when conscious visual percepts are attended and hence become available for conscious report. In such a view, a lack of reportability can have two causes: the absence of attention or the absence of a conscious percept. This raises an important question in the field of perceptual learning. It is known that learning can occur in the absence of reportability [Gutnisky, D. A., Hansen, B. J., Iliescu, B. F., & Dragoi, V. Attention alters visual plasticity during exposure-based learning. Current Biology, 19, 555-560, 2009; Seitz, A. R., Kim, D., & Watanabe, T. Rewards evoke learning of unconsciously processed visual stimuli in adult humans. Neuron, 61, 700-707, 2009; Seitz, A. R., & Watanabe, T. Is subliminal learning really passive? Nature, 422, 36, 2003; Watanabe, T., Náñez, J. E., & Sasaki, Y. Perceptual learning without perception. Nature, 413, 844-848, 2001], but it is unclear which of the two ingredients-consciousness or attention-is not necessary for learning. We presented textured figure-ground stimuli and manipulated reportability either by masking (which only interferes with consciousness) or with an inattention paradigm (which only interferes with attention). During the second session (24 hr later), learning was assessed neurally and behaviorally, via differences in figure-ground ERPs and via a detection task. Behavioral and neural learning effects were found for stimuli presented in the inattention paradigm and not for masked stimuli. Interestingly, the behavioral learning effect only became apparent when performance feedback was given on the task to measure learning

  4. Perceptual learning during action video game playing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C Shawn; Li, Renjie; Bavelier, Daphne

    2010-04-01

    Action video games have been shown to enhance behavioral performance on a wide variety of perceptual tasks, from those that require effective allocation of attentional resources across the visual scene, to those that demand the successful identification of fleetingly presented stimuli. Importantly, these effects have not only been shown in expert action video game players, but a causative link has been established between action video game play and enhanced processing through training studies. Although an account based solely on attention fails to capture the variety of enhancements observed after action game playing, a number of models of perceptual learning are consistent with the observed results, with behavioral modeling favoring the hypothesis that avid video game players are better able to form templates for, or extract the relevant statistics of, the task at hand. This may suggest that the neural site of learning is in areas where information is integrated and actions are selected; yet changes in low-level sensory areas cannot be ruled out. Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  5. Perceptual learning: toward a comprehensive theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-03

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance increase resulting from visual perceptual experience. Task-relevant VPL of a feature results from training of a task on the feature relevant to the task. Task-irrelevant VPL arises as a result of exposure to the feature irrelevant to the trained task. At least two serious problems exist. First, there is the controversy over which stage of information processing is changed in association with task-relevant VPL. Second, no model has ever explained both task-relevant and task-irrelevant VPL. Here we propose a dual plasticity model in which feature-based plasticity is a change in a representation of the learned feature, and task-based plasticity is a change in processing of the trained task. Although the two types of plasticity underlie task-relevant VPL, only feature-based plasticity underlies task-irrelevant VPL. This model provides a new comprehensive framework in which apparently contradictory results could be explained.

  6. Perceptual Organization of Visual Structure Requires a Flexible Learning Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslin, Richard N.

    2011-01-01

    Bhatt and Quinn (2011) provide a compelling and comprehensive review of empirical evidence that supports the operation of principles of perceptual organization in young infants. They also have provided a comprehensive list of experiences that could serve to trigger the learning of at least some of these principles of perceptual organization, and…

  7. Mode transition and change in variable use in perceptual learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hajnal, A; Grocki, M; Jacobs, DM; Zaal, FTJM; Michaels, CF

    2006-01-01

    Runeson, Justin, and Olsson (2000) proposed (a) that perceptual learning entails a transition from an inferential to a direct-perceptual mode of apprehension, and (b) that relative confidence-the difference between estimated and actual performance-indicates whether apprehension is inferential or

  8. Mode transition and change in variable use in perceptual learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hajnal, A.; Grocki, M.; Jacobs, D.M.; Zaal, F.T.J.M.; Michaels, C.F.

    2006-01-01

    Runeson, Juslin, and Olsson (2000) proposed (a) that perceptual learning entails a transition from an inferential to a direct-perceptual mode of apprehension, and (b) that relative confidence - the difference between estimated and actual performance - indicates whether apprehension is inferential or

  9. Shared mechanisms of perceptual learning and decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I

    2010-04-01

    Perceptual decisions require the brain to weigh noisy evidence from sensory neurons to form categorical judgments that guide behavior. Here we review behavioral and neurophysiological findings suggesting that at least some forms of perceptual learning do not appear to affect the response properties of neurons that represent the sensory evidence. Instead, improved perceptual performance results from changes in how the sensory evidence is selected and weighed to form the decision. We discuss the implications of this idea for possible sites and mechanisms of training-induced improvements in perceptual processing in the brain. Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  10. Prenatal stress changes learning strategies in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwabe, Lars; Bohbot, Veronique D; Wolf, Oliver T

    2012-11-01

    It is well known that stressful experiences may shape hippocampus-dependent learning and memory processes. However, although most studies focused on the impact of stress at the time of learning or memory testing, very little is known about how stress during critical periods of brain development affects learning and memory later in life. In this study, we asked whether prenatal stress exposure may influence the engagement of hippocampus-dependent spatial learning strategies and caudate nucleus-dependent response learning strategies in later life. To this end, we tested healthy participants whose mothers had experienced major negative life events during their pregnancy in a virtual navigation task that can be solved by spatial and response strategies. We found that young adults with prenatal stress used rigid response learning strategies more often than flexible spatial learning strategies compared with participants whose mothers did not experience major negative life events during pregnancy. Individual differences in acute or chronic stress do not account for these findings. Our data suggest that the engagement of hippocampal and nonhippocampal learning strategies may be influenced by stress very early in life. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Effects of regular aerobic exercise on visual perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connell, Charlotte J W; Thompson, Benjamin; Green, Hayden; Sullivan, Rachel K; Gant, Nicholas

    2017-12-02

    This study investigated the influence of five days of moderate intensity aerobic exercise on the acquisition and consolidation of visual perceptual learning using a motion direction discrimination (MDD) task. The timing of exercise relative to learning was manipulated by administering exercise either before or after perceptual training. Within a matched-subjects design, twenty-seven healthy participants (n = 9 per group) completed five consecutive days of perceptual training on a MDD task under one of three interventions: no exercise, exercise before the MDD task, or exercise after the MDD task. MDD task accuracy improved in all groups over the five-day period, but there was a trend for impaired learning when exercise was performed before visual perceptual training. MDD task accuracy (mean ± SD) increased in exercise before by 4.5 ± 6.5%; exercise after by 11.8 ± 6.4%; and no exercise by 11.3 ± 7.2%. All intervention groups displayed similar MDD threshold reductions for the trained and untrained motion axes after training. These findings suggest that moderate daily exercise does not enhance the rate of visual perceptual learning for an MDD task or the transfer of learning to an untrained motion axis. Furthermore, exercise performed immediately prior to a visual perceptual learning task may impair learning. Further research with larger groups is required in order to better understand these effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Is sequence awareness mandatory for perceptual sequence learning: An assessment using a pure perceptual sequence learning design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deroost, Natacha; Coomans, Daphné

    2018-02-01

    We examined the role of sequence awareness in a pure perceptual sequence learning design. Participants had to react to the target's colour that changed according to a perceptual sequence. By varying the mapping of the target's colour onto the response keys, motor responses changed randomly. The effect of sequence awareness on perceptual sequence learning was determined by manipulating the learning instructions (explicit versus implicit) and assessing the amount of sequence awareness after the experiment. In the explicit instruction condition (n = 15), participants were instructed to intentionally search for the colour sequence, whereas in the implicit instruction condition (n = 15), they were left uninformed about the sequenced nature of the task. Sequence awareness after the sequence learning task was tested by means of a questionnaire and the process-dissociation-procedure. The results showed that the instruction manipulation had no effect on the amount of perceptual sequence learning. Based on their report to have actively applied their sequence knowledge during the experiment, participants were subsequently regrouped in a sequence strategy group (n = 14, of which 4 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 10 participants from the explicit instruction condition) and a no-sequence strategy group (n = 16, of which 11 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 5 participants from the explicit instruction condition). Only participants of the sequence strategy group showed reliable perceptual sequence learning and sequence awareness. These results indicate that perceptual sequence learning depends upon the continuous employment of strategic cognitive control processes on sequence knowledge. Sequence awareness is suggested to be a necessary but not sufficient condition for perceptual learning to take place. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Perceptual learning as improved probabilistic inference in early sensory areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Beck, Jeffrey M; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Pouget, Alexandre

    2011-05-01

    Extensive training on simple tasks such as fine orientation discrimination results in large improvements in performance, a form of learning known as perceptual learning. Previous models have argued that perceptual learning is due to either sharpening and amplification of tuning curves in early visual areas or to improved probabilistic inference in later visual areas (at the decision stage). However, early theories are inconsistent with the conclusions of psychophysical experiments manipulating external noise, whereas late theories cannot explain the changes in neural responses that have been reported in cortical areas V1 and V4. Here we show that we can capture both the neurophysiological and behavioral aspects of perceptual learning by altering only the feedforward connectivity in a recurrent network of spiking neurons so as to improve probabilistic inference in early visual areas. The resulting network shows modest changes in tuning curves, in line with neurophysiological reports, along with a marked reduction in the amplitude of pairwise noise correlations.

  14. Adaptive and perceptual learning technologies in medical education and training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellman, Philip J

    2013-10-01

    Recent advances in the learning sciences offer remarkable potential to improve medical education and maximize the benefits of emerging medical technologies. This article describes 2 major innovation areas in the learning sciences that apply to simulation and other aspects of medical learning: Perceptual learning (PL) and adaptive learning technologies. PL technology offers, for the first time, systematic, computer-based methods for teaching pattern recognition, structural intuition, transfer, and fluency. Synergistic with PL are new adaptive learning technologies that optimize learning for each individual, embed objective assessment, and implement mastery criteria. The author describes the Adaptive Response-Time-based Sequencing (ARTS) system, which uses each learner's accuracy and speed in interactive learning to guide spacing, sequencing, and mastery. In recent efforts, these new technologies have been applied in medical learning contexts, including adaptive learning modules for initial medical diagnosis and perceptual/adaptive learning modules (PALMs) in dermatology, histology, and radiology. Results of all these efforts indicate the remarkable potential of perceptual and adaptive learning technologies, individually and in combination, to improve learning in a variety of medical domains. Reprint & Copyright © 2013 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  15. The perceptual effects of learning object categories that predict perceptual goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Gulick, Ana E.; Gauthier, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    In classic category learning studies, subjects typically learn to assign items to one of two categories, with no further distinction between how items on each side of the category boundary should be treated. In real life, however, we often learn categories that dictate further processing goals, for instance with objects in only one category requiring further individuation. Using methods from category learning and perceptual expertise, we studied the perceptual consequences of experience with objects in tasks that rely on attention to different dimensions in different parts of the space. In two experiments, subjects first learned to categorize complex objects from a single morphspace into two categories based on one morph dimension, and then learned to perform a different task, either naming or a local feature judgment, for each of the two categories. A same-different discrimination test before and after each training measured sensitivity to feature dimensions of the space. After initial categorization, sensitivity increased along the category-diagnostic dimension. After task association, sensitivity increased more for the category that was named, especially along the non-diagnostic dimension. The results demonstrate that local attentional weights, associated with individual exemplars as a function of task requirements, can have lasting effects on perceptual representations. PMID:24820671

  16. Perceptual learning modifies the functional specializations of visual cortical areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Nihong; Cai, Peng; Zhou, Tiangang; Thompson, Benjamin; Fang, Fang

    2016-05-17

    Training can improve performance of perceptual tasks. This phenomenon, known as perceptual learning, is strongest for the trained task and stimulus, leading to a widely accepted assumption that the associated neuronal plasticity is restricted to brain circuits that mediate performance of the trained task. Nevertheless, learning does transfer to other tasks and stimuli, implying the presence of more widespread plasticity. Here, we trained human subjects to discriminate the direction of coherent motion stimuli. The behavioral learning effect substantially transferred to noisy motion stimuli. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the transfer of learning. The TMS experiment revealed dissociable, causal contributions of V3A (one of the visual areas in the extrastriate visual cortex) and MT+ (middle temporal/medial superior temporal cortex) to coherent and noisy motion processing. Surprisingly, the contribution of MT+ to noisy motion processing was replaced by V3A after perceptual training. The fMRI experiment complemented and corroborated the TMS finding. Multivariate pattern analysis showed that, before training, among visual cortical areas, coherent and noisy motion was decoded most accurately in V3A and MT+, respectively. After training, both kinds of motion were decoded most accurately in V3A. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of perceptual learning extend far beyond the retuning of specific neural populations for the trained stimuli. Learning could dramatically modify the inherent functional specializations of visual cortical areas and dynamically reweight their contributions to perceptual decisions based on their representational qualities. These neural changes might serve as the neural substrate for the transfer of perceptual learning.

  17. Perceptual learning effect on decision and confidence thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solovey, Guillermo; Shalom, Diego; Pérez-Schuster, Verónica; Sigman, Mariano

    2016-10-01

    Practice can enhance of perceptual sensitivity, a well-known phenomenon called perceptual learning. However, the effect of practice on subjective perception has received little attention. We approach this problem from a visual psychophysics and computational modeling perspective. In a sequence of visual search experiments, subjects significantly increased the ability to detect a "trained target". Before and after training, subjects performed two psychophysical protocols that parametrically vary the visibility of the "trained target": an attentional blink and a visual masking task. We found that confidence increased after learning only in the attentional blink task. Despite large differences in some observables and task settings, we identify common mechanisms for decision-making and confidence. Specifically, our behavioral results and computational model suggest that perceptual ability is independent of processing time, indicating that changes in early cortical representations are effective, and learning changes decision criteria to convey choice and confidence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Perceptual learning of acoustic noise generates memory-evoked potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrillon, Thomas; Kouider, Sid; Agus, Trevor; Pressnitzer, Daniel

    2015-11-02

    Experience continuously imprints on the brain at all stages of life. The traces it leaves behind can produce perceptual learning [1], which drives adaptive behavior to previously encountered stimuli. Recently, it has been shown that even random noise, a type of sound devoid of acoustic structure, can trigger fast and robust perceptual learning after repeated exposure [2]. Here, by combining psychophysics, electroencephalography (EEG), and modeling, we show that the perceptual learning of noise is associated with evoked potentials, without any salient physical discontinuity or obvious acoustic landmark in the sound. Rather, the potentials appeared whenever a memory trace was observed behaviorally. Such memory-evoked potentials were characterized by early latencies and auditory topographies, consistent with a sensory origin. Furthermore, they were generated even on conditions of diverted attention. The EEG waveforms could be modeled as standard evoked responses to auditory events (N1-P2) [3], triggered by idiosyncratic perceptual features acquired through learning. Thus, we argue that the learning of noise is accompanied by the rapid formation of sharp neural selectivity to arbitrary and complex acoustic patterns, within sensory regions. Such a mechanism bridges the gap between the short-term and longer-term plasticity observed in the learning of noise [2, 4-6]. It could also be key to the processing of natural sounds within auditory cortices [7], suggesting that the neural code for sound source identification will be shaped by experience as well as by acoustics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Can theories of animal discrimination explain perceptual learning in humans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Chris; Hall, Geoffrey

    2014-01-01

    We present a review of recent studies of perceptual learning conducted with nonhuman animals. The focus of this research has been to elucidate the mechanisms by which mere exposure to a pair of similar stimuli can increase the ease with which those stimuli are discriminated. These studies establish an important role for 2 mechanisms, one involving inhibitory associations between the unique features of the stimuli, the other involving a long-term habituation process that enhances the relative salience of these features. We then examine recent work investigating equivalent perceptual learning procedures with human participants. Our aim is to determine the extent to which the phenomena exhibited by people are susceptible to explanation in terms of the mechanisms revealed by the animal studies. Although we find no evidence that associative inhibition contributes to the perceptual learning effect in humans, initial detection of unique features (those that allow discrimination between 2 similar stimuli) appears to depend on an habituation process. Once the unique features have been detected, a tendency to attend to those features and to learn about their properties enhances subsequent discrimination. We conclude that the effects obtained with humans engage mechanisms additional to those seen in animals but argue that, for the most part, these have their basis in learning processes that are common to animals and people. In a final section, we discuss some implications of this analysis of perceptual learning for other aspects of experimental psychology and consider some potential applications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Constraints on the Transfer of Perceptual Learning in Accented Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisner, Frank; Melinger, Alissa; Weber, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    The perception of speech sounds can be re-tuned through a mechanism of lexically driven perceptual learning after exposure to instances of atypical speech production. This study asked whether this re-tuning is sensitive to the position of the atypical sound within the word. We investigated perceptual learning using English voiced stop consonants, which are commonly devoiced in word-final position by Dutch learners of English. After exposure to a Dutch learner’s productions of devoiced stops in word-final position (but not in any other positions), British English (BE) listeners showed evidence of perceptual learning in a subsequent cross-modal priming task, where auditory primes with devoiced final stops (e.g., “seed”, pronounced [si:th]), facilitated recognition of visual targets with voiced final stops (e.g., SEED). In Experiment 1, this learning effect generalized to test pairs where the critical contrast was in word-initial position, e.g., auditory primes such as “town” facilitated recognition of visual targets like DOWN. Control listeners, who had not heard any stops by the speaker during exposure, showed no learning effects. The generalization to word-initial position did not occur when participants had also heard correctly voiced, word-initial stops during exposure (Experiment 2), and when the speaker was a native BE speaker who mimicked the word-final devoicing (Experiment 3). The readiness of the perceptual system to generalize a previously learned adjustment to other positions within the word thus appears to be modulated by distributional properties of the speech input, as well as by the perceived sociophonetic characteristics of the speaker. The results suggest that the transfer of pre-lexical perceptual adjustments that occur through lexically driven learning can be affected by a combination of acoustic, phonological, and sociophonetic factors. PMID:23554598

  1. Attentional Modulation in Visual Cortex Is Modified during Perceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.

    2011-01-01

    Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…

  2. Audiovisual Cues and Perceptual Learning of Spectrally Distorted Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilling, Michael; Thomas, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments investigate the effectiveness of audiovisual (AV) speech cues (cues derived from both seeing and hearing a talker speak) in facilitating perceptual learning of spectrally distorted speech. Speech was distorted through an eight channel noise-vocoder which shifted the spectral envelope of the speech signal to simulate the properties…

  3. Multisensory perceptual learning is dependent upon task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Niear, Matthew A; Koo, Bonhwang; Wallace, Mark T

    2016-11-01

    There has been a growing interest in developing behavioral tasks to enhance temporal acuity as recent findings have demonstrated changes in temporal processing in a number of clinical conditions. Prior research has demonstrated that perceptual training can enhance temporal acuity both within and across different sensory modalities. Although certain forms of unisensory perceptual learning have been shown to be dependent upon task difficulty, this relationship has not been explored for multisensory learning. The present study sought to determine the effects of task difficulty on multisensory perceptual learning. Prior to and following a single training session, participants completed a simultaneity judgment (SJ) task, which required them to judge whether a visual stimulus (flash) and auditory stimulus (beep) presented in synchrony or at various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) occurred synchronously or asynchronously. During the training session, participants completed the same SJ task but received feedback regarding the accuracy of their responses. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three levels of difficulty during training: easy, moderate, and hard, which were distinguished based on the SOAs used during training. We report that only the most difficult (i.e., hard) training protocol enhanced temporal acuity. We conclude that perceptual training protocols for enhancing multisensory temporal acuity may be optimized by employing audiovisual stimuli for which it is difficult to discriminate temporal synchrony from asynchrony.

  4. Predicting perceptual learning from higher-order cortical processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fang; Huang, Jing; Lv, Yaping; Ma, Xiaoli; Yang, Bin; Wang, Encong; Du, Boqi; Li, Wu; Song, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning has been shown to be highly specific to the retinotopic location and attributes of the trained stimulus. Recent psychophysical studies suggest that these specificities, which have been associated with early retinotopic visual cortex, may in fact not be inherent in perceptual learning and could be related to higher-order brain functions. Here we provide direct electrophysiological evidence in support of this proposition. In a series of event-related potential (ERP) experiments, we recorded high-density electroencephalography (EEG) from human adults over the course of learning in a texture discrimination task (TDT). The results consistently showed that the earliest C1 component (68-84ms), known to reflect V1 activity driven by feedforward inputs, was not modulated by learning regardless of whether the behavioral improvement is location specific or not. In contrast, two later posterior ERP components (posterior P1 and P160-350) over the occipital cortex and one anterior ERP component (anterior P160-350) over the prefrontal cortex were progressively modified day by day. Moreover, the change of the anterior component was closely correlated with improved behavioral performance on a daily basis. Consistent with recent psychophysical and imaging observations, our results indicate that perceptual learning can mainly involve changes in higher-level visual cortex as well as in the neural networks responsible for cognitive functions such as attention and decision making. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Audiovisual perceptual learning with multiple speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchel, Aaron D; Gerfen, Chip; Weiss, Daniel J

    2016-05-01

    One challenge for speech perception is between-speaker variability in the acoustic parameters of speech. For example, the same phoneme (e.g. the vowel in "cat") may have substantially different acoustic properties when produced by two different speakers and yet the listener must be able to interpret these disparate stimuli as equivalent. Perceptual tuning, the use of contextual information to adjust phonemic representations, may be one mechanism that helps listeners overcome obstacles they face due to this variability during speech perception. Here we test whether visual contextual cues to speaker identity may facilitate the formation and maintenance of distributional representations for individual speakers, allowing listeners to adjust phoneme boundaries in a speaker-specific manner. We familiarized participants to an audiovisual continuum between /aba/ and /ada/. During familiarization, the "b-face" mouthed /aba/ when an ambiguous token was played, while the "D-face" mouthed /ada/. At test, the same ambiguous token was more likely to be identified as /aba/ when paired with a stilled image of the "b-face" than with an image of the "D-face." This was not the case in the control condition when the two faces were paired equally with the ambiguous token. Together, these results suggest that listeners may form speaker-specific phonemic representations using facial identity cues.

  6. When does fading enhance perceptual category learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pashler, Harold; Mozer, Michael C

    2013-07-01

    Training that uses exaggerated versions of a stimulus discrimination (fading) has sometimes been found to enhance category learning, mostly in studies involving animals and impaired populations. However, little is known about whether and when fading facilitates learning for typical individuals. This issue was explored in 7 experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2, observers discriminated stimuli based on a single sensory continuum (time duration and line length, respectively). Adaptive fading dramatically improved performance in training (unsurprisingly) but did not enhance learning as assessed in a final test. The same was true for nonadaptive linear fading (Experiment 3). However, when variation in length (predicting category membership) was embedded among other (category-irrelevant) variation, fading dramatically enhanced not only performance in training but also learning as assessed in a final test (Experiments 4 and 5). Fading also helped learners to acquire a color saturation discrimination amid category-irrelevant variation in hue and brightness, although this learning proved transitory after feedback was withdrawn (Experiment 7). Theoretical implications are discussed, and we argue that fading should have practical utility in naturalistic category learning tasks, which involve extremely high dimensional stimuli and many irrelevant dimensions. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  7. The role of culture in perceptual learning styles

    OpenAIRE

    حسینی فاطمی ، پیشقدم حسینی فاطمی ، پیشقدم

    2009-01-01

    The major aim of this article is to determine the role of culture in perceptual learning style (PLS) preferences of Iranian English learners, in order to minimize teacher-student style conflict in the classroom. To do this, 400 university students from different fields of study were selected from Allameh Tabatabaee University in Tehran, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad and Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. The subjects were asked to answer Reid’s questionnaire (1987) which was designed to...

  8. Perceptual learning is specific to the trained structure of information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Yamit; Daikhin, Luba; Ahissar, Merav

    2013-12-01

    What do we learn when we practice a simple perceptual task? Many studies have suggested that we learn to refine or better select the sensory representations of the task-relevant dimension. Here we show that learning is specific to the trained structural regularities. Specifically, when this structure is modified after training with a fixed temporal structure, performance regresses to pretraining levels, even when the trained stimuli and task are retained. This specificity raises key questions as to the importance of low-level sensory modifications in the learning process. We trained two groups of participants on a two-tone frequency discrimination task for several days. In one group, a fixed reference tone was consistently presented in the first interval (the second tone was higher or lower), and in the other group the same reference tone was consistently presented in the second interval. When following training, these temporal protocols were switched between groups, performance of both groups regressed to pretraining levels, and further training was needed to attain postlearning performance. ERP measures, taken before and after training, indicated that participants implicitly learned the temporal regularity of the protocol and formed an attentional template that matched the trained structure of information. These results are consistent with Reverse Hierarchy Theory, which posits that even the learning of simple perceptual tasks progresses in a top-down manner, hence can benefit from temporal regularities at the trial level, albeit at the potential cost that learning may be specific to these regularities.

  9. Conditions of Practice in Perceptual Skill Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memmert, D.; Hagemann, N.; Althoetmar, R.; Geppert, S.; Seiler, D.

    2009-01-01

    This study uses three experiments with different kinds of training conditions to investigate the "easy-to-hard" principle, context interference conditions, and feedback effects for learning anticipatory skills in badminton. Experiment 1 (N = 60) showed that a training program that gradually increases the difficulty level has no advantage over the…

  10. Magnetic stimulation of visual cortex impairs perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldassarre, Antonello; Capotosto, Paolo; Committeri, Giorgia; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2016-12-01

    The ability to learn and process visual stimuli more efficiently is important for survival. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that perceptual learning on a shape identification task differently modulates activity in both frontal-parietal cortical regions and visual cortex (Sigman et al., 2005;Lewis et al., 2009). Specifically, fronto-parietal regions (i.e. intra parietal sulcus, pIPS) became less activated for trained as compared to untrained stimuli, while visual regions (i.e. V2d/V3 and LO) exhibited higher activation for familiar shape. Here, after the intensive training, we employed transcranial magnetic stimulation over both visual occipital and parietal regions, previously shown to be modulated, to investigate their causal role in learning the shape identification task. We report that interference with V2d/V3 and LO increased reaction times to learned stimuli as compared to pIPS and Sham control condition. Moreover, the impairment observed after stimulation over the two visual regions was positive correlated. These results strongly support the causal role of the visual network in the control of the perceptual learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Age-related declines of stability in visual perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Li-Hung; Shibata, Kazuhisa; Andersen, George J; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo

    2014-12-15

    One of the biggest questions in learning is how a system can resolve the plasticity and stability dilemma. Specifically, the learning system needs to have not only a high capability of learning new items (plasticity) but also a high stability to retain important items or processing in the system by preventing unimportant or irrelevant information from being learned. This dilemma should hold true for visual perceptual learning (VPL), which is defined as a long-term increase in performance on a visual task as a result of visual experience. Although it is well known that aging influences learning, the effect of aging on the stability and plasticity of the visual system is unclear. To address the question, we asked older and younger adults to perform a task while a task-irrelevant feature was merely exposed. We found that older individuals learned the task-irrelevant features that younger individuals did not learn, both the features that were sufficiently strong for younger individuals to suppress and the features that were too weak for younger individuals to learn. At the same time, there was no plasticity reduction in older individuals within the task tested. These results suggest that the older visual system is less stable to unimportant information than the younger visual system. A learning problem with older individuals may be due to a decrease in stability rather than a decrease in plasticity, at least in VPL. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Making perceptual learning practical to improve visual functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polat, Uri

    2009-10-01

    Task-specific improvement in performance after training is well established. The finding that learning is stimulus-specific and does not transfer well between different stimuli, between stimulus locations in the visual field, or between the two eyes has been used to support the notion that neurons or assemblies of neurons are modified at the earliest stage of cortical processing. However, a debate regarding the proposed mechanism underlying perceptual learning is an ongoing issue. Nevertheless, generalization of a trained task to other functions is an important key, for both understanding the neural mechanisms and the practical value of the training. This manuscript describes a structured perceptual learning method that previously used (amblyopia, myopia) and a novel technique and results that were applied for presbyopia. In general, subjects were trained for contrast detection of Gabor targets under lateral masking conditions. Training improved contrast sensitivity and diminished the lateral suppression when it existed (amblyopia). The improvement was transferred to unrelated functions such as visual acuity. The new results of presbyopia show substantial improvement of the spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity, leading to improved processing speed of target detection as well as reaction time. Consequently, the subjects, who were able to eliminate the need for reading glasses, benefited. Thus, here we show that the transfer of functions indicates that the specificity of improvement in the trained task can be generalized by repetitive practice of target detection, covering a sufficient range of spatial frequencies and orientations, leading to an improvement in unrelated visual functions. Thus, perceptual learning can be a practical method to improve visual functions in people with impaired or blurred vision.

  13. Relationship between perceptual learning in speech and statistical learning in younger and older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thordis Marisa Neger

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Within a few sentences, listeners learn to understand severely degraded speech such as noise-vocoded speech. However, individuals vary in the amount of such perceptual learning and it is unclear what underlies these differences. The present study investigates whether perceptual learning in speech relates to statistical learning, as sensitivity to probabilistic information may aid identification of relevant cues in novel speech input. If statistical learning and perceptual learning (partly draw on the same general mechanisms, then statistical learning in a non-auditory modality using non-linguistic sequences should predict adaptation to degraded speech.In the present study, 73 older adults (aged over 60 years and 60 younger adults (aged between 18 and 30 years performed a visual artificial grammar learning task and were presented with sixty meaningful noise-vocoded sentences in an auditory recall task. Within age groups, sentence recognition performance over exposure was analyzed as a function of statistical learning performance, and other variables that may predict learning (i.e., hearing, vocabulary, attention switching control, working memory and processing speed. Younger and older adults showed similar amounts of perceptual learning, but only younger adults showed significant statistical learning. In older adults, improvement in understanding noise-vocoded speech was constrained by age. In younger adults, amount of adaptation was associated with lexical knowledge and with statistical learning ability. Thus, individual differences in general cognitive abilities explain listeners' variability in adapting to noise-vocoded speech. Results suggest that perceptual and statistical learning share mechanisms of implicit regularity detection, but that the ability to detect statistical regularities is impaired in older adults if visual sequences are presented quickly.

  14. Perceptual learning in Williams syndrome: looking beyond averages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Gervan

    Full Text Available Williams Syndrome is a genetically determined neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by an uneven cognitive profile and surprisingly large neurobehavioral differences among individuals. Previous studies have already shown different forms of memory deficiencies and learning difficulties in WS. Here we studied the capacity of WS subjects to improve their performance in a basic visual task. We employed a contour integration paradigm that addresses occipital visual function, and analyzed the initial (i.e. baseline and after-learning performance of WS individuals. Instead of pooling the very inhomogeneous results of WS subjects together, we evaluated individual performance by expressing it in terms of the deviation from the average performance of the group of typically developing subjects of similar age. This approach helped us to reveal information about the possible origins of poor performance of WS subjects in contour integration. Although the majority of WS individuals showed both reduced baseline and reduced learning performance, individual analysis also revealed a dissociation between baseline and learning capacity in several WS subjects. In spite of impaired initial contour integration performance, some WS individuals presented learning capacity comparable to learning in the typically developing population, and vice versa, poor learning was also observed in subjects with high initial performance levels. These data indicate a dissociation between factors determining initial performance and perceptual learning.

  15. Applying perceptual and adaptive learning techniques for teaching introductory histopathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally Krasne

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Medical students are expected to master the ability to interpret histopathologic images, a difficult and time-consuming process. A major problem is the issue of transferring information learned from one example of a particular pathology to a new example. Recent advances in cognitive science have identified new approaches to address this problem. Methods: We adapted a new approach for enhancing pattern recognition of basic pathologic processes in skin histopathology images that utilizes perceptual learning techniques, allowing learners to see relevant structure in novel cases along with adaptive learning algorithms that space and sequence different categories (e.g. diagnoses that appear during a learning session based on each learner′s accuracy and response time (RT. We developed a perceptual and adaptive learning module (PALM that utilized 261 unique images of cell injury, inflammation, neoplasia, or normal histology at low and high magnification. Accuracy and RT were tracked and integrated into a "Score" that reflected students rapid recognition of the pathologies and pre- and post-tests were given to assess the effectiveness. Results: Accuracy, RT and Scores significantly improved from the pre- to post-test with Scores showing much greater improvement than accuracy alone. Delayed post-tests with previously unseen cases, given after 6-7 weeks, showed a decline in accuracy relative to the post-test for 1 st -year students, but not significantly so for 2 nd -year students. However, the delayed post-test scores maintained a significant and large improvement relative to those of the pre-test for both 1 st and 2 nd year students suggesting good retention of pattern recognition. Student evaluations were very favorable. Conclusion: A web-based learning module based on the principles of cognitive science showed an evidence for improved recognition of histopathology patterns by medical students.

  16. Unconscious Attentional Capture Effect Can be Induced by Perceptual Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhe Qu

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Previous ERP studies have shown that N2pc serves as an index for salient stimuli that capture attention, even if they are task irrelevant. This study aims to investigate whether nonsalient stimuli can capture attention automatically and unconsciously after perceptual learning. Adult subjects were trained with a visual search task for eight to ten sessions. The training task was to detect whether the target (triangle with one particular direction was present or not. After training, an ERP session was performed, in which subjects were required to detect the presence of either the trained triangle (i.e., the target triangle in the training sessions or an untrained triangle. Results showed that, while the untrained triangle did not elicit an N2pc effect, the trained triangle elicited a significant N2pc effect regardless of whether it was perceived correctly or not, even when it was task irrelevant. Moreover, the N2pc effect for the trained triangle was completely retained 3 months later. These results suggest that, after perceptual learning, previously unsalient stimuli become more salient and can capture attention automatically and unconsciously. Once the facilitating process of the unsalient stimulus has been built up in the brain, it can last for a long time.

  17. Perceptual learning improves visual performance in juvenile amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Roger W; Young, Karen G; Hoenig, Pia; Levi, Dennis M

    2005-09-01

    To determine whether practicing a position-discrimination task improves visual performance in children with amblyopia and to determine the mechanism(s) of improvement. Five children (age range, 7-10 years) with amblyopia practiced a positional acuity task in which they had to judge which of three pairs of lines was misaligned. Positional noise was produced by distributing the individual patches of each line segment according to a Gaussian probability function. Observers were trained at three noise levels (including 0), with each observer performing between 3000 and 4000 responses in 7 to 10 sessions. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided. Four of the five observers showed significant improvement in positional acuity. In those four observers, on average, positional acuity with no noise improved by approximately 32% and with high noise by approximately 26%. A position-averaging model was used to parse the improvement into an increase in efficiency or a decrease in equivalent input noise. Two observers showed increased efficiency (51% and 117% improvements) with no significant change in equivalent input noise across sessions. The other two observers showed both a decrease in equivalent input noise (18% and 29%) and an increase in efficiency (17% and 71%). All five observers showed substantial improvement in Snellen acuity (approximately 26%) after practice. Perceptual learning can improve visual performance in amblyopic children. The improvement can be parsed into two important factors: decreased equivalent input noise and increased efficiency. Perceptual learning techniques may add an effective new method to the armamentarium of amblyopia treatments.

  18. Olfactory Perceptual Learning Requires Action of Noradrenaline in the Olfactory Bulb: Comparison with Olfactory Associative Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinera, Jennifer; Kermen, Florence; Sacquet, Joëlle; Didier, Anne; Mandairon, Nathalie; Richard, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Noradrenaline contributes to olfactory-guided behaviors but its role in olfactory learning during adulthood is poorly documented. We investigated its implication in olfactory associative and perceptual learning using local infusion of mixed a1-ß adrenergic receptor antagonist (labetalol) in the adult mouse olfactory bulb. We reported that…

  19. The Role of Feedback Contingency in Perceptual Category Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashby, F. Gregory; Vucovich, Lauren E.

    2016-01-01

    Feedback is highly contingent on behavior if it eventually becomes easy to predict, and weakly contingent on behavior if it remains difficult or impossible to predict even after learning is complete. Many studies have demonstrated that humans and nonhuman animals are highly sensitive to feedback contingency, but no known studies have examined how feedback contingency affects category learning, and current theories assign little or no importance to this variable. Two experiments examined the effects of contingency degradation on rule-based and information-integration category learning. In rule-based tasks, optimal accuracy is possible with a simple explicit rule, whereas optimal accuracy in information-integration tasks requires integrating information from two or more incommensurable perceptual dimensions. In both experiments, participants each learned rule-based or information-integration categories under either high or low levels of feedback contingency. The exact same stimuli were used in all four conditions and optimal accuracy was identical in every condition. Learning was good in both high-contingency conditions, but most participants showed little or no evidence of learning in either low-contingency condition. Possible causes of these effects are discussed, as well as their theoretical implications. PMID:27149393

  20. Individual differences in learning to perceive length by dynamic touch : Evidence for variation in perceptual learning capacities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, Rob; van Wermeskerken, Margot

    Recent studies of perceptual learning have explored and commented on variation in learning trajectories. Although several factors have been suggested to account for this variation, thus far the idea that humans vary in their perceptual learning capacities has received scant attention. In the present

  1. The Neural Circuitry of Expertise: Perceptual Learning and Social Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eHarre

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Amongst the most significant questions we are confronted with today include the integration of the brain's micro-circuitry, our ability to build the complex social networks that underpin society and how our society impacts on our ecological environment. In trying to unravel these issues one place to begin is at the level of the individual: to consider how we accumulate information about our environment, how this information leads to decisions and how our individual decisions in turn create our social environment. While this is an enormous task, we may already have at hand many of the tools we need. This article is intended to review some of the recent results in neuro-cognitive research and show how they can be extended to two very specific types of expertise: perceptual expertise and social cognition. These two cognitive skills span a vast range of our genetic heritage. Perceptual expertise developed very early in our evolutionary history and is likely a highly developed part of all mammals' cognitive ability. On the other hand social cognition is most highly developed in humans in that we are able to maintain larger and more stable long term social connections with more behaviourally diverse individuals than any other species. To illustrate these ideas I will discuss board games as a toy model of social interactions as they include many of the relevant concepts: perceptual learning, decision-making, long term planning and understanding the mental states of other people. Using techniques that have been developed in mathematical psychology, I show that we can represent some of the key features of expertise using stochastic differential equations. Such models demonstrate how an expert's long exposure to a particular context influences the information they accumulate in order to make a decision.These processes are not confined to board games, we are all experts in our daily lives through long exposure to the many regularities of daily tasks and

  2. Two-stage perceptual learning to break visual crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ziyun; Fan, Zhenzhi; Fang, Fang

    2016-01-01

    When a target is presented with nearby flankers in the peripheral visual field, it becomes harder to identify, which is referred to as crowding. Crowding sets a fundamental limit of object recognition in peripheral vision, preventing us from fully appreciating cluttered visual scenes. We trained adult human subjects on a crowded orientation discrimination task and investigated whether crowding could be completely eliminated by training. We discovered a two-stage learning process with this training task. In the early stage, when the target and flankers were separated beyond a certain distance, subjects acquired a relatively general ability to break crowding, as evidenced by the fact that the breaking of crowding could transfer to another crowded orientation, even a crowded motion stimulus, although the transfer to the opposite visual hemi-field was weak. In the late stage, like many classical perceptual learning effects, subjects' performance gradually improved and showed specificity to the trained orientation. We also found that, when the target and flankers were spaced too finely, training could only reduce, rather than completely eliminate, the crowding effect. This two-stage learning process illustrates a learning strategy for our brain to deal with the notoriously difficult problem of identifying peripheral objects in clutter. The brain first learned to solve the "easy and general" part of the problem (i.e., improving the processing resolution and segmenting the target and flankers) and then tackle the "difficult and specific" part (i.e., refining the representation of the target).

  3. Perceptual learning in children with visual impairment improves near visual acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huurneman, Bianca; Boonstra, F Nienke; Cox, Ralf F A; van Rens, Ger; Cillessen, Antonius H N

    2013-09-17

    This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four- to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children with visual impairment were divided into three groups: a magnifier group (n = 12), a crowded perceptual learning group (n = 18), and an uncrowded perceptual learning group (n = 15). Children with normal vision also were divided in three groups, but were measured only at baseline. Dependent variables were single near visual acuity (NVA), crowded NVA, LH line 50% crowding NVA, number of trials, accuracy, performance time, amount of small errors, and amount of large errors. Children with visual impairment trained during six weeks, two times per week, for 30 minutes (12 training sessions). After training, children showed significant improvement of NVA in addition to specific improvements on the training task. The crowded perceptual learning group showed the largest acuity improvements (1.7 logMAR lines on the crowded chart, P children in the crowded perceptual learning group showed improvements on all NVA charts. Children with visual impairment benefit from perceptual training. While task-specific improvements were observed in all training groups, transfer to crowded NVA was largest in the crowded perceptual learning group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide evidence for the improvement of NVA by perceptual learning in children with visual impairment. (http://www.trialregister.nl number, NTR2537.).

  4. The relationship between students' perceptual learning style preferences, language learning strategies and English language vocabulary size

    OpenAIRE

    Gorevanova, Anna

    2000-01-01

    Ankara : The Institute of Economic and Social Sciences Bilkent Univ., 2000. Thesis (Master's) -- Bilkent University, 2000. Includes bibliographical references leaves 54-58 This study investigated the relationship between students’ perceptual learning style preferences, language learning strategies and English language vocabulary size. It is very important for teachers to be aware of students’ preferences in learning to help them be more successful and to avoid conflicts when...

  5. Short-term perceptual learning in visual conjunction search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yuling; Lai, Yunpeng; Huang, Wanyi; Tan, Wei; Qu, Zhe; Ding, Yulong

    2014-08-01

    Although some studies showed that training can improve the ability of cross-dimension conjunction search, less is known about the underlying mechanism. Specifically, it remains unclear whether training of visual conjunction search can successfully bind different features of separated dimensions into a new function unit at early stages of visual processing. In the present study, we utilized stimulus specificity and generalization to provide a new approach to investigate the mechanisms underlying perceptual learning (PL) in visual conjunction search. Five experiments consistently showed that after 40 to 50 min of training of color-shape/orientation conjunction search, the ability to search for a certain conjunction target improved significantly and the learning effects did not transfer to a new target that differed from the trained target in both color and shape/orientation features. However, the learning effects were not strictly specific. In color-shape conjunction search, although the learning effect could not transfer to a same-shape different-color target, it almost completely transferred to a same-color different-shape target. In color-orientation conjunction search, the learning effect partly transferred to a new target that shared same color or same orientation with the trained target. Moreover, the sum of transfer effects for the same color target and the same orientation target in color-orientation conjunction search was algebraically equivalent to the learning effect for trained target, showing an additive transfer effect. The different transfer patterns in color-shape and color-orientation conjunction search learning might reflect the different complexity and discriminability between feature dimensions. These results suggested a feature-based attention enhancement mechanism rather than a unitization mechanism underlying the short-term PL of color-shape/orientation conjunction search.

  6. Young Drivers Perceptual Learning Styles Preferences and Traffic Accidents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Čičević

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Young drivers are over-represented in crash and fatality statistics. One way of dealing with this problem is to achieve primary prevention through driver education and training. Factors of traffic accidents related to gender, age, driving experience, and self-assessments of safety and their relationship to perceptual learning styles (LS preferences have been analyzed in this study. The results show that auditory is the most prominent LS. Drivers in general, as well as drivers without traffic accidents favour visual and tactile LS. Both inexperienced and highly experienced drivers show relatively high preference of kinaesthetic style. Yet, taking into account driving experience we could see that the role of kinaesthetic LS is reduced, since individual LS has become more important. Based on the results of this study it can be concluded that a multivariate and multistage approach to driver education, taking into account differences in LS preferences, would be highly beneficial for traffic safety.

  7. Influence of Perceptual Saliency Hierarchy on Learning of Language Structures: An Artificial Language Learning Experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Tao; Lam, Yau W; Shuai, Lan

    2016-01-01

    Psychological experiments have revealed that in normal visual perception of humans, color cues are more salient than shape cues, which are more salient than textural patterns. We carried out an artificial language learning experiment to study whether such perceptual saliency hierarchy (color > shape > texture) influences the learning of orders regulating adjectives of involved visual features in a manner either congruent (expressing a salient feature in a salient part of the form) or incongruent (expressing a salient feature in a less salient part of the form) with that hierarchy. Results showed that within a few rounds of learning participants could learn the compositional segments encoding the visual features and the order between them, generalize the learned knowledge to unseen instances with the same or different orders, and show learning biases for orders that are congruent with the perceptual saliency hierarchy. Although the learning performances for both the biased and unbiased orders became similar given more learning trials, our study confirms that this type of individual perceptual constraint could contribute to the structural configuration of language, and points out that such constraint, as well as other factors, could collectively affect the structural diversity in languages.

  8. Influence of Perceptual Saliency Hierarchy on Learning of Language Structures: An Artificial Language Learning Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Tao; Lam, Yau W.; Shuai, Lan

    2016-01-01

    Psychological experiments have revealed that in normal visual perception of humans, color cues are more salient than shape cues, which are more salient than textural patterns. We carried out an artificial language learning experiment to study whether such perceptual saliency hierarchy (color > shape > texture) influences the learning of orders regulating adjectives of involved visual features in a manner either congruent (expressing a salient feature in a salient part of the form) or incongruent (expressing a salient feature in a less salient part of the form) with that hierarchy. Results showed that within a few rounds of learning participants could learn the compositional segments encoding the visual features and the order between them, generalize the learned knowledge to unseen instances with the same or different orders, and show learning biases for orders that are congruent with the perceptual saliency hierarchy. Although the learning performances for both the biased and unbiased orders became similar given more learning trials, our study confirms that this type of individual perceptual constraint could contribute to the structural configuration of language, and points out that such constraint, as well as other factors, could collectively affect the structural diversity in languages. PMID:28066281

  9. Does Maternal Prenatal Stress Adversely Affect the Child's Learning and Memory at Age Six?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutteling, Barbara M.; de Weerth, Carolina; Zandbelt, Noortje; Mulder, Eduard J. H.; Visser, Gerard H. A.; Buitelaar, Jan K.

    2006-01-01

    Prenatal maternal stress has been shown to affect postnatal development in animals and humans. In animals, the morphology and function of the offspring's hippocampus is negatively affected by prenatal maternal stress. The present study prospectively investigated the influence of prenatal maternal stress on learning and memory of 112 children (50…

  10. Prenatal treatment prevents learning deficit in Down syndrome model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incerti, Maddalena; Horowitz, Kari; Roberson, Robin; Abebe, Daniel; Toso, Laura; Caballero, Madeline; Spong, Catherine Y

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation. Active fragments of neurotrophic factors release by astrocyte under the stimulation of vasoactive intestinal peptide, NAPVSIPQ (NAP) and SALLRSIPA (SAL) respectively, have shown therapeutic potential for developmental delay and learning deficits. Previous work demonstrated that NAP+SAL prevent developmental delay and glial deficit in Ts65Dn that is a well-characterized mouse model for Down syndrome. The objective of this study is to evaluate if prenatal treatment with these peptides prevents the learning deficit in the Ts65Dn mice. Pregnant Ts65Dn female and control pregnant females were randomly treated (intraperitoneal injection) on pregnancy days 8 through 12 with saline (placebo) or peptides (NAP 20 µg +SAL 20 µg) daily. Learning was assessed in the offspring (8-10 months) using the Morris Watermaze, which measures the latency to find the hidden platform (decrease in latency denotes learning). The investigators were blinded to the prenatal treatment and genotype. Pups were genotyped as trisomic (Down syndrome) or euploid (control) after completion of all tests. two-way ANOVA followed by Neuman-Keuls test for multiple comparisons, PDown syndrome-placebo; n = 11) did not demonstrate learning over the five day period. DS mice that were prenatally exposed to peptides (Down syndrome-peptides; n = 10) learned significantly better than Down syndrome-placebo (ptreatment with the neuroprotective peptides (NAP+SAL) prevented learning deficits in a Down syndrome model. These findings highlight a possibility for the prevention of sequelae in Down syndrome and suggest a potential pregnancy intervention that may improve outcome.

  11. A Model for the Transfer of Perceptual-Motor Skill Learning in Human Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosalie, Simon M.; Muller, Sean

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a preliminary model that outlines the mechanisms underlying the transfer of perceptual-motor skill learning in sport and everyday tasks. Perceptual-motor behavior is motivated by performance demands and evolves over time to increase the probability of success through adaptation. Performance demands at the time of an event…

  12. Dual mechanisms governing reward-driven perceptual learning [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongho Kim

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we explore how reward signals shape perceptual learning in animals and humans. Perceptual learning is the well-established phenomenon by which extensive practice elicits selective improvement in one’s perceptual discrimination of basic visual features, such as oriented lines or moving stimuli. While perceptual learning has long been thought to rely on ‘top-down’ processes, such as attention and decision-making, a wave of recent findings suggests that these higher-level processes are, in fact, not necessary.  Rather, these recent findings indicate that reward signals alone, in the absence of the contribution of higher-level cognitive processes, are sufficient to drive the benefits of perceptual learning. Here, we will review the literature tying reward signals to perceptual learning. Based on these findings, we propose dual underlying mechanisms that give rise to perceptual learning: one mechanism that operates ‘automatically’ and is tied directly to reward signals, and another mechanism that involves more ‘top-down’, goal-directed computations.

  13. Auditory temporal perceptual learning and transfer in Chinese-speaking children with developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Manli; Xie, Weiyi; Xu, Yanzhi; Meng, Xiangzhi

    2018-03-01

    Perceptual learning refers to the improvement of perceptual performance as a function of training. Recent studies found that auditory perceptual learning may improve phonological skills in individuals with developmental dyslexia in alphabetic writing system. However, whether auditory perceptual learning could also benefit the reading skills of those learning the Chinese logographic writing system is, as yet, unknown. The current study aimed to investigate the remediation effect of auditory temporal perceptual learning on Mandarin-speaking school children with developmental dyslexia. Thirty children with dyslexia were screened from a large pool of students in 3th-5th grades. They completed a series of pretests and then were assigned to either a non-training control group or a training group. The training group worked on a pure tone duration discrimination task for 7 sessions over 2 weeks with thirty minutes per session. Post-tests immediately after training and a follow-up test 2 months later were conducted. Analyses revealed a significant training effect in the training group relative to non-training group, as well as near transfer to the temporal interval discrimination task and far transfer to phonological awareness, character recognition and reading fluency. Importantly, the training effect and all the transfer effects were stable at the 2-month follow-up session. Further analyses found that a significant correlation between character recognition performance and learning rate mainly existed in the slow learning phase, the consolidation stage of perceptual learning, and this effect was modulated by an individuals' executive function. These findings indicate that adaptive auditory temporal perceptual learning can lead to learning and transfer effects on reading performance, and shed further light on the potential role of basic perceptual learning in the remediation and prevention of developmental dyslexia. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Perceptual learning shapes multisensory causal inference via two distinct mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, David P; Roudaia, Eugenie; Newell, Fiona N; Roach, Neil W

    2016-04-19

    To accurately represent the environment, our brains must integrate sensory signals from a common source while segregating those from independent sources. A reasonable strategy for performing this task is to restrict integration to cues that coincide in space and time. However, because multisensory signals are subject to differential transmission and processing delays, the brain must retain a degree of tolerance for temporal discrepancies. Recent research suggests that the width of this 'temporal binding window' can be reduced through perceptual learning, however, little is known about the mechanisms underlying these experience-dependent effects. Here, in separate experiments, we measure the temporal and spatial binding windows of human participants before and after training on an audiovisual temporal discrimination task. We show that training leads to two distinct effects on multisensory integration in the form of (i) a specific narrowing of the temporal binding window that does not transfer to spatial binding and (ii) a general reduction in the magnitude of crossmodal interactions across all spatiotemporal disparities. These effects arise naturally from a Bayesian model of causal inference in which learning improves the precision of audiovisual timing estimation, whilst concomitantly decreasing the prior expectation that stimuli emanate from a common source.

  15. Supramodal processing optimizes visual perceptual learning and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilber, Nicolas; Ciuciu, Philippe; Gramfort, Alexandre; Azizi, Leila; van Wassenhove, Virginie

    2014-06-01

    Multisensory interactions are ubiquitous in cortex and it has been suggested that sensory cortices may be supramodal i.e. capable of functional selectivity irrespective of the sensory modality of inputs (Pascual-Leone and Hamilton, 2001; Renier et al., 2013; Ricciardi and Pietrini, 2011; Voss and Zatorre, 2012). Here, we asked whether learning to discriminate visual coherence could benefit from supramodal processing. To this end, three groups of participants were briefly trained to discriminate which of a red or green intermixed population of random-dot-kinematograms (RDKs) was most coherent in a visual display while being recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG). During training, participants heard no sound (V), congruent acoustic textures (AV) or auditory noise (AVn); importantly, congruent acoustic textures shared the temporal statistics - i.e. coherence - of visual RDKs. After training, the AV group significantly outperformed participants trained in V and AVn although they were not aware of their progress. In pre- and post-training blocks, all participants were tested without sound and with the same set of RDKs. When contrasting MEG data collected in these experimental blocks, selective differences were observed in the dynamic pattern and the cortical loci responsive to visual RDKs. First and common to all three groups, vlPFC showed selectivity to the learned coherence levels whereas selectivity in visual motion area hMT+ was only seen for the AV group. Second and solely for the AV group, activity in multisensory cortices (mSTS, pSTS) correlated with post-training performances; additionally, the latencies of these effects suggested feedback from vlPFC to hMT+ possibly mediated by temporal cortices in AV and AVn groups. Altogether, we interpret our results in the context of the Reverse Hierarchy Theory of learning (Ahissar and Hochstein, 2004) in which supramodal processing optimizes visual perceptual learning by capitalizing on sensory

  16. The cerebellum and visual perceptual learning: evidence from a motion extrapolation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluca, Cristina; Golzar, Ashkan; Santandrea, Elisa; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Eštočinová, Jana; Moretto, Giuseppe; Fiaschi, Antonio; Panzeri, Marta; Mariotti, Caterina; Tinazzi, Michele; Chelazzi, Leonardo

    2014-09-01

    Visual perceptual learning is widely assumed to reflect plastic changes occurring along the cerebro-cortical visual pathways, including at the earliest stages of processing, though increasing evidence indicates that higher-level brain areas are also involved. Here we addressed the possibility that the cerebellum plays an important role in visual perceptual learning. Within the realm of motor control, the cerebellum supports learning of new skills and recalibration of motor commands when movement execution is consistently perturbed (adaptation). Growing evidence indicates that the cerebellum is also involved in cognition and mediates forms of cognitive learning. Therefore, the obvious question arises whether the cerebellum might play a similar role in learning and adaptation within the perceptual domain. We explored a possible deficit in visual perceptual learning (and adaptation) in patients with cerebellar damage using variants of a novel motion extrapolation, psychophysical paradigm. Compared to their age- and gender-matched controls, patients with focal damage to the posterior (but not the anterior) cerebellum showed strongly diminished learning, in terms of both rate and amount of improvement over time. Consistent with a double-dissociation pattern, patients with focal damage to the anterior cerebellum instead showed more severe clinical motor deficits, indicative of a distinct role of the anterior cerebellum in the motor domain. The collected evidence demonstrates that a pure form of slow-incremental visual perceptual learning is crucially dependent on the intact cerebellum, bearing the notion that the human cerebellum acts as a learning device for motor, cognitive and perceptual functions. We interpret the deficit in terms of an inability to fine-tune predictive models of the incoming flow of visual perceptual input over time. Moreover, our results suggest a strong dissociation between the role of different portions of the cerebellum in motor versus

  17. Perceptual Learning: 12-Month-Olds' Discrimination of Monkey Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Joseph; Flom, Ross; Jones, Jacob; Martin, Justin

    2012-01-01

    Six-month-olds reliably discriminate different monkey and human faces whereas 9-month-olds only discriminate different human faces. It is often falsely assumed that perceptual narrowing reflects a permanent change in perceptual abilities. In 3 experiments, ninety-six 12-month-olds' discrimination of unfamiliar monkey faces was examined. Following…

  18. Gains following perceptual learning are closely linked to the initial visual acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yehezkel, Oren; Sterkin, Anna; Lev, Maria; Levi, Dennis M; Polat, Uri

    2016-04-28

    The goal of the present study was to evaluate the dependence of perceptual learning gains on initial visual acuity (VA), in a large sample of subjects with a wide range of VAs. A large sample of normally sighted and presbyopic subjects (N = 119; aged 40 to 63) with a wide range of uncorrected near visual acuities (VA, -0.12 to 0.8 LogMAR), underwent perceptual learning. Training consisted of detecting briefly presented Gabor stimuli under spatial and temporal masking conditions. Consistent with previous findings, perceptual learning induced a significant improvement in near VA and reading speed under conditions of limited exposure duration. Our results show that the improvements in VA and reading speed observed following perceptual learning are closely linked to the initial VA, with only a minor fraction of the observed improvement that may be attributed to the additional sessions performed by those with the worse VA.

  19. Neuroanatomical and cognitive mediators of age-related differences in perceptual priming and learning

    OpenAIRE

    Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Head, Denise; Gunning-Dixon, Faith; Raz, Naftali

    2009-01-01

    Our objectives were to assess age differences in perceptual repetition priming and perceptual skill learning, and to determine whether they are mediated by cognitive resources and regional cerebral volume differences. Fragmented picture identification paradigm allows the study of both priming and learning within the same task. We presented this task to 169 adults (ages 18–80), assessed working memory and fluid intelligence, and measured brain volumes of regions that were deemed relevant to th...

  20. Multisensory perceptual learning of temporal order: audiovisual learning transfers to vision but not audition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Alais

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available An outstanding question in sensory neuroscience is whether the perceived timing of events is mediated by a central supra-modal timing mechanism, or multiple modality-specific systems. We use a perceptual learning paradigm to address this question.Three groups were trained daily for 10 sessions on an auditory, a visual or a combined audiovisual temporal order judgment (TOJ. Groups were pre-tested on a range TOJ tasks within and between their group modality prior to learning so that transfer of any learning from the trained task could be measured by post-testing other tasks. Robust TOJ learning (reduced temporal order discrimination thresholds occurred for all groups, although auditory learning (dichotic 500/2000 Hz tones was slightly weaker than visual learning (lateralised grating patches. Crossmodal TOJs also displayed robust learning. Post-testing revealed that improvements in temporal resolution acquired during visual learning transferred within modality to other retinotopic locations and orientations, but not to auditory or crossmodal tasks. Auditory learning did not transfer to visual or crossmodal tasks, and neither did it transfer within audition to another frequency pair. In an interesting asymmetry, crossmodal learning transferred to all visual tasks but not to auditory tasks. Finally, in all conditions, learning to make TOJs for stimulus onsets did not transfer at all to discriminating temporal offsets. These data present a complex picture of timing processes.The lack of transfer between unimodal groups indicates no central supramodal timing process for this task; however, the audiovisual-to-visual transfer cannot be explained without some form of sensory interaction. We propose that auditory learning occurred in frequency-tuned processes in the periphery, precluding interactions with more central visual and audiovisual timing processes. Functionally the patterns of featural transfer suggest that perceptual learning of temporal order

  1. Multisensory perceptual learning of temporal order: audiovisual learning transfers to vision but not audition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alais, David; Cass, John

    2010-06-23

    An outstanding question in sensory neuroscience is whether the perceived timing of events is mediated by a central supra-modal timing mechanism, or multiple modality-specific systems. We use a perceptual learning paradigm to address this question. Three groups were trained daily for 10 sessions on an auditory, a visual or a combined audiovisual temporal order judgment (TOJ). Groups were pre-tested on a range TOJ tasks within and between their group modality prior to learning so that transfer of any learning from the trained task could be measured by post-testing other tasks. Robust TOJ learning (reduced temporal order discrimination thresholds) occurred for all groups, although auditory learning (dichotic 500/2000 Hz tones) was slightly weaker than visual learning (lateralised grating patches). Crossmodal TOJs also displayed robust learning. Post-testing revealed that improvements in temporal resolution acquired during visual learning transferred within modality to other retinotopic locations and orientations, but not to auditory or crossmodal tasks. Auditory learning did not transfer to visual or crossmodal tasks, and neither did it transfer within audition to another frequency pair. In an interesting asymmetry, crossmodal learning transferred to all visual tasks but not to auditory tasks. Finally, in all conditions, learning to make TOJs for stimulus onsets did not transfer at all to discriminating temporal offsets. These data present a complex picture of timing processes. The lack of transfer between unimodal groups indicates no central supramodal timing process for this task; however, the audiovisual-to-visual transfer cannot be explained without some form of sensory interaction. We propose that auditory learning occurred in frequency-tuned processes in the periphery, precluding interactions with more central visual and audiovisual timing processes. Functionally the patterns of featural transfer suggest that perceptual learning of temporal order may be

  2. Neural plasticity underlying visual perceptual learning in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Jyoti; Rolle, Camarin; Gazzaley, Adam

    2015-07-01

    Healthy aging is associated with a decline in basic perceptual abilities, as well as higher-level cognitive functions such as working memory. In a recent perceptual training study using moving sweeps of Gabor stimuli, Berry et al. (2010) observed that older adults significantly improved discrimination abilities on the most challenging perceptual tasks that presented paired sweeps at rapid rates of 5 and 10 Hz. Berry et al. further showed that this perceptual training engendered transfer-of-benefit to an untrained working memory task. Here, we investigated the neural underpinnings of the improvements in these perceptual tasks, as assessed by event-related potential (ERP) recordings. Early visual ERP components time-locked to stimulus onset were compared pre- and post-training, as well as relative to a no-contact control group. The visual N1 and N2 components were significantly enhanced after training, and the N1 change correlated with improvements in perceptual discrimination on the task. Further, the change observed for the N1 and N2 was associated with the rapidity of the perceptual challenge; the visual N1 (120-150 ms) was enhanced post-training for 10 Hz sweep pairs, while the N2 (240-280 ms) was enhanced for the 5 Hz sweep pairs. We speculate that these observed post-training neural enhancements reflect improvements by older adults in the allocation of attention that is required to accurately dissociate perceptually overlapping stimuli when presented in rapid sequence. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Memory Å. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Broad-based visual benefits from training with an integrated perceptual-learning video game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deveau, Jenni; Lovcik, Gary; Seitz, Aaron R

    2014-06-01

    Perception is the window through which we understand all information about our environment, and therefore deficits in perception due to disease, injury, stroke or aging can have significant negative impacts on individuals' lives. Research in the field of perceptual learning has demonstrated that vision can be improved in both normally seeing and visually impaired individuals, however, a limitation of most perceptual learning approaches is their emphasis on isolating particular mechanisms. In the current study, we adopted an integrative approach where the goal is not to achieve highly specific learning but instead to achieve general improvements to vision. We combined multiple perceptual learning approaches that have individually contributed to increasing the speed, magnitude and generality of learning into a perceptual-learning based video-game. Our results demonstrate broad-based benefits of vision in a healthy adult population. Transfer from the game includes; improvements in acuity (measured with self-paced standard eye-charts), improvement along the full contrast sensitivity function, and improvements in peripheral acuity and contrast thresholds. The use of this type of this custom video game framework built up from psychophysical approaches takes advantage of the benefits found from video game training while maintaining a tight link to psychophysical designs that enable understanding of mechanisms of perceptual learning and has great potential both as a scientific tool and as therapy to help improve vision. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Prenatal complex rhythmic music sound stimulation facilitates postnatal spatial learning but transiently impairs memory in the domestic chick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauser, H; Roy, S; Pal, A; Sreenivas, V; Mathur, R; Wadhwa, S; Jain, S

    2011-01-01

    Early experience has a profound influence on brain development, and the modulation of prenatal perceptual learning by external environmental stimuli has been shown in birds, rodents and mammals. In the present study, the effect of prenatal complex rhythmic music sound stimulation on postnatal spatial learning, memory and isolation stress was observed. Auditory stimulation with either music or species-specific sounds or no stimulation (control) was provided to separate sets of fertilized eggs from day 10 of incubation. Following hatching, the chicks at age 24, 72 and 120 h were tested on a T-maze for spatial learning and the memory of the learnt task was assessed 24 h after training. In the posthatch chicks at all ages, the plasma corticosterone levels were estimated following 10 min of isolation. The chicks of all ages in the three groups took less (p memory after 24 h of training, only the music-stimulated chicks at posthatch age 24 h took a significantly longer (p music sounds facilitates spatial learning, though the music stimulation transiently impairs postnatal memory. 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Shape-specific perceptual learning in a figure-ground segregation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Do-Joon; Olson, Ingrid R; Chun, Marvin M

    2006-03-01

    What does perceptual experience contribute to figure-ground segregation? To study this question, we trained observers to search for symmetric dot patterns embedded in random dot backgrounds. Training improved shape segmentation, but learning did not completely transfer either to untrained locations or to untrained shapes. Such partial specificity persisted for a month after training. Interestingly, training on shapes in empty backgrounds did not help segmentation of the trained shapes in noisy backgrounds. Our results suggest that perceptual training increases the involvement of early sensory neurons in the segmentation of trained shapes, and that successful segmentation requires perceptual skills beyond shape recognition alone.

  6. Visual Perceptual Learning and its Specificity and Transfer: A New Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cong Yu

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Visual perceptual learning is known to be location and orientation specific, and is thus assumed to reflect the neuronal plasticity in the early visual cortex. However, in recent studies we created “Double training” and “TPE” procedures to demonstrate that these “fundamental” specificities of perceptual learning are in some sense artifacts and that learning can completely transfer to a new location or orientation. We proposed a rule-based learning theory to reinterpret perceptual learning and its specificity and transfer: A high-level decision unit learns the rules of performing a visual task through training. However, the learned rules cannot be applied to a new location or orientation automatically because the decision unit cannot functionally connect to new visual inputs with sufficient strength because these inputs are unattended or even suppressed during training. It is double training and TPE training that reactivate these new inputs, so that the functional connections can be strengthened to enable rule application and learning transfer. Currently we are investigating the properties of perceptual learning free from the bogus specificities, and the results provide some preliminary but very interesting insights into how training reshapes the functional connections between the high-level decision units and sensory inputs in the brain.

  7. Metacognitive Confidence Increases with, but Does Not Determine, Visual Perceptual Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zizlsperger, Leopold; Kümmel, Florian; Haarmeier, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    While perceptual learning increases objective sensitivity, the effects on the constant interaction of the process of perception and its metacognitive evaluation have been rarely investigated. Visual perception has been described as a process of probabilistic inference featuring metacognitive evaluations of choice certainty. For visual motion perception in healthy, naive human subjects here we show that perceptual sensitivity and confidence in it increased with training. The metacognitive sensitivity-estimated from certainty ratings by a bias-free signal detection theoretic approach-in contrast, did not. Concomitant 3Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) was applied in compliance with previous findings on effective high-low cross-frequency coupling subserving signal detection. While perceptual accuracy and confidence in it improved with training, there were no statistically significant tACS effects. Neither metacognitive sensitivity in distinguishing between their own correct and incorrect stimulus classifications, nor decision confidence itself determined the subjects' visual perceptual learning. Improvements of objective performance and the metacognitive confidence in it were rather determined by the perceptual sensitivity at the outset of the experiment. Post-decision certainty in visual perceptual learning was neither independent of objective performance, nor requisite for changes in sensitivity, but rather covaried with objective performance. The exact functional role of metacognitive confidence in human visual perception has yet to be determined.

  8. Exogenous and endogenous attention during perceptual learning differentially affect post-training target thresholds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukai, Ikuko; Bahadur, Kandy; Kesavabhotla, Kartik; Ungerleider, Leslie G.

    2012-01-01

    There is conflicting evidence in the literature regarding the role played by attention in perceptual learning. To further examine this issue, we independently manipulated exogenous and endogenous attention and measured the rate of perceptual learning of oriented Gabor patches presented in different quadrants of the visual field. In this way, we could track learning at attended, divided-attended, and unattended locations. We also measured contrast thresholds of the Gabor patches before and after training. Our results showed that, for both exogenous and endogenous attention, accuracy in performing the orientation discrimination improved to a greater extent at attended than at unattended locations. Importantly, however, only exogenous attention resulted in improved contrast thresholds. These findings suggest that both exogenous and endogenous attention facilitate perceptual learning, but that these two types of attention may be mediated by different neural mechanisms. PMID:21282340

  9. The Birth of Words: Ten-Month-Olds Learn Words through Perceptual Salience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruden, Shannon M.; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hennon, Elizabeth A.

    2006-01-01

    A core task in language acquisition is mapping words onto objects, actions, and events. Two studies investigated how children learn to map novel labels onto novel objects. Study 1 investigated whether 10-month-olds use both perceptual and social cues to learn a word. Study 2, a control study, tested whether infants paired the label with a…

  10. Perceptual Learning in Early Mathematics: Interacting with Problem Structure Improves Mapping, Solving and Fluency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thai, Khanh-Phuong; Son, Ji Y.; Hoffman, Jessica; Devers, Christopher; Kellman, Philip J.

    2014-01-01

    Mathematics is the study of structure but students think of math as solving problems according to rules. Students can learn procedures, but they often have trouble knowing when to apply learned procedures, especially to problems unlike those they trained with. In this study, the authors rely on the psychological mechanism of perceptual learning…

  11. Visual Perceptual Echo Reflects Learning of Regularities in Rapid Luminance Sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Acer Y-C; Schwartzman, David J; VanRullen, Rufin; Kanai, Ryota; Seth, Anil K

    2017-08-30

    A novel neural signature of active visual processing has recently been described in the form of the "perceptual echo", in which the cross-correlation between a sequence of randomly fluctuating luminance values and occipital electrophysiological signals exhibits a long-lasting periodic (∼100 ms cycle) reverberation of the input stimulus (VanRullen and Macdonald, 2012). As yet, however, the mechanisms underlying the perceptual echo and its function remain unknown. Reasoning that natural visual signals often contain temporally predictable, though nonperiodic features, we hypothesized that the perceptual echo may reflect a periodic process associated with regularity learning. To test this hypothesis, we presented subjects with successive repetitions of a rapid nonperiodic luminance sequence, and examined the effects on the perceptual echo, finding that echo amplitude linearly increased with the number of presentations of a given luminance sequence. These data suggest that the perceptual echo reflects a neural signature of regularity learning.Furthermore, when a set of repeated sequences was followed by a sequence with inverted luminance polarities, the echo amplitude decreased to the same level evoked by a novel stimulus sequence. Crucially, when the original stimulus sequence was re-presented, the echo amplitude returned to a level consistent with the number of presentations of this sequence, indicating that the visual system retained sequence-specific information, for many seconds, even in the presence of intervening visual input. Altogether, our results reveal a previously undiscovered regularity learning mechanism within the human visual system, reflected by the perceptual echo. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How the brain encodes and learns fast-changing but nonperiodic visual input remains unknown, even though such visual input characterizes natural scenes. We investigated whether the phenomenon of "perceptual echo" might index such learning. The perceptual echo is a

  12. Prenatal Cigarette Exposure and Infant Learning Stimulation as Predictors of Cognitive Control in Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezzacappa, Enrico; Buckner, John C.; Earls, Felton

    2011-01-01

    Prenatal exposures to neurotoxins and postnatal parenting practices have been shown to independently predict variations in the cognitive development and emotional-behavioral well-being of infants and children. We examined the independent contributions of prenatal cigarette exposure and infant learning stimulation, as well as their…

  13. The role of experience-based perceptual learning in the face inversion effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civile, Ciro; Obhi, Sukhvinder S; McLaren, I P L

    2018-04-03

    Perceptual learning of the type we consider here is a consequence of experience with a class of stimuli. It amounts to an enhanced ability to discriminate between stimuli. We argue that it contributes to the ability to distinguish between faces and recognize individuals, and in particular contributes to the face inversion effect (better recognition performance for upright vs inverted faces). Previously, we have shown that experience with a prototype defined category of checkerboards leads to perceptual learning, that this produces an inversion effect, and that this effect can be disrupted by Anodal tDCS to Fp3 during pre-exposure. If we can demonstrate that the same tDCS manipulation also disrupts the inversion effect for faces, then this will strengthen the claim that perceptual learning contributes to that effect. The important question, then, is whether this tDCS procedure would significantly reduce the inversion effect for faces; stimuli that we have lifelong expertise with and for which perceptual learning has already occurred. Consequently, in the experiment reported here we investigated the effects of anodal tDCS at Fp3 during an old/new recognition task for upright and inverted faces. Our results show that stimulation significantly reduced the face inversion effect compared to controls. The effect was one of reducing recognition performance for upright faces. This result is the first to show that tDCS affects perceptual learning that has already occurred, disrupting individuals' ability to recognize upright faces. It provides further support for our account of perceptual learning and its role as a key factor in face recognition. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning: electrophysiological evidence for a two-stage process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamamé, Carlos M; Cosmelli, Diego; Henriquez, Rodrigo; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2011-04-26

    Humans and other animals change the way they perceive the world due to experience. This process has been labeled as perceptual learning, and implies that adult nervous systems can adaptively modify the way in which they process sensory stimulation. However, the mechanisms by which the brain modifies this capacity have not been sufficiently analyzed. We studied the neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning by combining electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity and the assessment of psychophysical performance during training in a visual search task. All participants improved their perceptual performance as reflected by an increase in sensitivity (d') and a decrease in reaction time. The EEG signal was acquired throughout the entire experiment revealing amplitude increments, specific and unspecific to the trained stimulus, in event-related potential (ERP) components N2pc and P3 respectively. P3 unspecific modification can be related to context or task-based learning, while N2pc may be reflecting a more specific attentional-related boosting of target detection. Moreover, bell and U-shaped profiles of oscillatory brain activity in gamma (30-60 Hz) and alpha (8-14 Hz) frequency bands may suggest the existence of two phases for learning acquisition, which can be understood as distinctive optimization mechanisms in stimulus processing. We conclude that there are reorganizations in several neural processes that contribute differently to perceptual learning in a visual search task. We propose an integrative model of neural activity reorganization, whereby perceptual learning takes place as a two-stage phenomenon including perceptual, attentional and contextual processes.

  15. Generalization of perceptual and motor learning: a causal link with memory encoding and consolidation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Censor, N

    2013-10-10

    In both perceptual and motor learning, numerous studies have shown specificity of learning to the trained eye or hand and to the physical features of the task. However, generalization of learning is possible in both perceptual and motor domains. Here, I review evidence for perceptual and motor learning generalization, suggesting that generalization patterns are affected by the way in which the original memory is encoded and consolidated. Generalization may be facilitated during fast learning, with possible engagement of higher-order brain areas recurrently interacting with the primary visual or motor cortices encoding the stimuli or movements' memories. Such generalization may be supported by sleep, involving functional interactions between low and higher-order brain areas. Repeated exposure to the task may alter generalization patterns of learning and overall offline learning. Development of unifying frameworks across learning modalities and better understanding of the conditions under which learning can generalize may enable to gain insight regarding the neural mechanisms underlying procedural learning and have useful clinical implications. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Pure perceptual-based learning of second-, third-, and fourth-order sequential probabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remillard, Gilbert

    2011-07-01

    There is evidence that sequence learning in the traditional serial reaction time task (SRTT), where target location is the response dimension, and sequence learning in the perceptual SRTT, where target location is not the response dimension, are handled by different mechanisms. The ability of the latter mechanism to learn sequential contingencies that can be learned by the former mechanism was examined. Prior research has established that people can learn second-, third-, and fourth-order probabilities in the traditional SRTT. The present study reveals that people can learn such probabilities in the perceptual SRTT. This suggests that the two mechanisms may have similar architectures. A possible neural basis of the two mechanisms is discussed.

  17. Practice makes it better: A psychophysical study of visual perceptual learning and its transfer effects on aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuan; Allen, Philip A; Lien, Mei-Ching; Yamamoto, Naohide

    2017-02-01

    Previous studies on perceptual learning, acquiring a new skill through practice, appear to stimulate brain plasticity and enhance performance (Fiorentini & Berardi, 1981). The present study aimed to determine (a) whether perceptual learning can be used to compensate for age-related declines in perceptual abilities, and (b) whether the effect of perceptual learning can be transferred to untrained stimuli and subsequently improve capacity of visual working memory (VWM). We tested both healthy younger and older adults in a 3-day training session using an orientation discrimination task. A matching-to-sample psychophysical method was used to measure improvements in orientation discrimination thresholds and reaction times (RTs). Results showed that both younger and older adults improved discrimination thresholds and RTs with similar learning rates and magnitudes. Furthermore, older adults exhibited a generalization of improvements to 3 untrained orientations that were close to the training orientation and benefited more compared with younger adults from the perceptual learning as they transferred learning effects to the VWM performance. We conclude that through perceptual learning, older adults can partially counteract age-related perceptual declines, generalize the learning effect to other stimulus conditions, and further overcome the limitation of using VWM capacity to perform a perceptual task. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Heterogeneity in Perceptual Category Learning by High Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo eMercado

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Previous research suggests that high functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD sometimes have problems learning categories, but often appear to perform normally in categorization tasks. The deficits that individuals with ASD show when learning categories have been attributed to executive dysfunction, general deficits in implicit learning, atypical cognitive strategies, or abnormal perceptual biases and abilities. Several of these psychological explanations for category learning deficits have been associated with neural abnormalities such as cortical underconnectivity. The present study evaluated how well existing neurally-based theories account for atypical perceptual category learning shown by high functioning children with ASD across multiple category learning tasks involving novel, abstract shapes. Consistent with earlier results, children’s performances revealed two distinct patterns of learning and generalization associated with ASD: one was indistinguishable from performance in typically developing children; the other revealed dramatic impairments. These two patterns were evident regardless of training regimen or stimulus set. Surprisingly, some children with ASD showed both patterns. Simulations of perceptual category learning could account for the two observed patterns in terms of differences in neural plasticity. However, no current psychological or neural theory adequately explains why a child with ASD might show such large fluctuations in category learning ability across training conditions or stimulus sets.

  19. Heterogeneity in perceptual category learning by high functioning children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo; Church, Barbara A; Coutinho, Mariana V C; Dovgopoly, Alexander; Lopata, Christopher J; Toomey, Jennifer A; Thomeer, Marcus L

    2015-01-01

    Previous research suggests that high functioning (HF) children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes have problems learning categories, but often appear to perform normally in categorization tasks. The deficits that individuals with ASD show when learning categories have been attributed to executive dysfunction, general deficits in implicit learning, atypical cognitive strategies, or abnormal perceptual biases and abilities. Several of these psychological explanations for category learning deficits have been associated with neural abnormalities such as cortical underconnectivity. The present study evaluated how well existing neurally based theories account for atypical perceptual category learning shown by HF children with ASD across multiple category learning tasks involving novel, abstract shapes. Consistent with earlier results, children's performances revealed two distinct patterns of learning and generalization associated with ASD: one was indistinguishable from performance in typically developing children; the other revealed dramatic impairments. These two patterns were evident regardless of training regimen or stimulus set. Surprisingly, some children with ASD showed both patterns. Simulations of perceptual category learning could account for the two observed patterns in terms of differences in neural plasticity. However, no current psychological or neural theory adequately explains why a child with ASD might show such large fluctuations in category learning ability across training conditions or stimulus sets.

  20. A perceptual learning deficit in Chinese developmental dyslexia as revealed by visual texture discrimination training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengke; Cheng-Lai, Alice; Song, Yan; Cutting, Laurie; Jiang, Yuzheng; Lin, Ou; Meng, Xiangzhi; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2014-08-01

    Learning to read involves discriminating between different written forms and establishing connections with phonology and semantics. This process may be partially built upon visual perceptual learning, during which the ability to process the attributes of visual stimuli progressively improves with practice. The present study investigated to what extent Chinese children with developmental dyslexia have deficits in perceptual learning by using a texture discrimination task, in which participants were asked to discriminate the orientation of target bars. Experiment l demonstrated that, when all of the participants started with the same initial stimulus-to-mask onset asynchrony (SOA) at 300 ms, the threshold SOA, adjusted according to response accuracy for reaching 80% accuracy, did not show a decrement over 5 days of training for children with dyslexia, whereas this threshold SOA steadily decreased over the training for the control group. Experiment 2 used an adaptive procedure to determine the threshold SOA for each participant during training. Results showed that both the group of dyslexia and the control group attained perceptual learning over the sessions in 5 days, although the threshold SOAs were significantly higher for the group of dyslexia than for the control group; moreover, over individual participants, the threshold SOA negatively correlated with their performance in Chinese character recognition. These findings suggest that deficits in visual perceptual processing and learning might, in part, underpin difficulty in reading Chinese. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Perceptual statistical learning over one week in child speech production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richtsmeier, Peter T; Goffman, Lisa

    2017-07-01

    What cognitive mechanisms account for the trajectory of speech sound development, in particular, gradually increasing accuracy during childhood? An intriguing potential contributor is statistical learning, a type of learning that has been studied frequently in infant perception but less often in child speech production. To assess the relevance of statistical learning to developing speech accuracy, we carried out a statistical learning experiment with four- and five-year-olds in which statistical learning was examined over one week. Children were familiarized with and tested on word-medial consonant sequences in novel words. There was only modest evidence for statistical learning, primarily in the first few productions of the first session. This initial learning effect nevertheless aligns with previous statistical learning research. Furthermore, the overall learning effect was similar to an estimate of weekly accuracy growth based on normative studies. The results implicate other important factors in speech sound development, particularly learning via production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Factors of Predicted Learning Disorders and their Interaction with Attentional and Perceptual Training Procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friar, John T.

    Two factors of predicted learning disorders were investigated: (1) inability to maintain appropriate classroom behavior (BEH), (2) perceptual discrimination deficit (PERC). Three groups of first-graders (BEH, PERC, normal control) were administered measures of impulse control, distractability, auditory discrimination, and visual discrimination.…

  5. The Relationship between Perceptual Learning Style Preferences and Multiple Intelligences among Iranian EFL Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baleghizadeh, Sasan; Shayeghi, Rose

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the present study is to investigate the relationships between preferences of Multiple Intelligences and perceptual/social learning styles. Two self-report questionnaires were administered to a total of 207 male and female participants. Pearson correlation results revealed statistically significant positive relations between…

  6. Exploring the Differences of Undergraduate Students' Perceptual Learning Styles in International Business Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ning; Lin, Wei

    2013-01-01

    More than 45,000 international students are now studying for bachelor programs in The Netherlands. The number of Asian students increased dramatically in the past decade. The current research aims at examining the differences between Western European and Asian students' perceptual learning styles, and exploring the relationships between students'…

  7. Exploring the differences of undergraduate students’ perceptual learning styles in international business study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ding, Ning; Lin, Wei

    2013-01-01

    More than 45,000 international students are now studying for bachelor programs in the Netherlands. The number of Asian students increased dramatically in the past decade. The current research aims at examining the differences between Western European and Asian students’ perceptual learning styles,

  8. Semantic Features, Perceptual Expectations, and Frequency as Factors in the Learning of Polar Spatial Adjective Concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunckley, Candida J. Lutes; Radtke, Robert C.

    Two semantic theories of word learning, a perceptual complexity hypothesis (H. Clark, 1970) and a quantitative complexity hypothesis (E. Clark, 1972) were tested by teaching 24 preschoolers and 16 college students CVC labels for five polar spatial adjective concepts having single word representations in English, and for three having no direct…

  9. Learning perceptual aspects of diagnosis in medicine via eye movement modeling examples on patient video cases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jarodzka, Halszka; Balslev, Thomas; Holmqvist, Kenneth; Nyström, Marcus; Scheiter, Katharina; Gerjets, Peter; Eika, Berit

    2010-01-01

    Jarodzka, H., Balslev, T., Holmqvist, K., Nyström, M., Scheiter, K., Gerjets, P., & Eika, B. (2010). Learning perceptual aspects of diagnosis in medicine via eye movement modeling examples on patient video cases. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the

  10. Learning perceptual aspects of diagnosis in medicine via eye movement modeling examples on patient video cases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jarodzka, Halszka; Balslev, Thomas; Holmqvist, Kenneth; Nyström, Marcus; Scheiter, Katharina; Gerjets, Peter; Eika, Berit

    2010-01-01

    Jarodzka, H., Balslev, T., Holmqvist, K., Nyström, M., Scheiter, K., Gerjets, P., & Eika, B. (2010, August). Learning perceptual aspects of diagnosis in medicine via eye movement modeling examples on patient video cases. Poster presented at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science

  11. Perceptual Learning in Children With Visual Impairment Improves Near Visual Acuity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurneman, Bianca; Boonstra, F. Nienke; Cox, Ralf F. A.; van Rens, Ger; Cillessen, Antonius H. N.

    PURPOSE. This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four-to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. METHODS. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children

  12. Perceptual Learning in Children With Visual Impairment Improves Near Visual Acuity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurneman, B.; Boonstra, F.N.; Cox, R.F.A.; van Rens, G.H.M.B.; Cillessen, A.H.N.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four- to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. Methods. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children

  13. Perceptual learning in children with visual impairment improves near visual acuity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurneman, B.; Boonstra, F.N.; Cox, R.F.; Rens, G. van; Cillessen, A.H.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE: This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four- to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. METHODS: Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children

  14. Perceptual Learning in Children With Visual Impairment Improves Near Visual Acuity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurneman, B.; Boonstra, F.N.; Cox, R.F.A.; Rens, G.H.M.B. van; Cillessen, A.H.N.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE. This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four-to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. METHODS. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children

  15. Trial-dependent psychometric functions accounting for perceptual learning in 2-AFC discrimination tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kattner, Florian; Cochrane, Aaron; Green, C Shawn

    2017-09-01

    The majority of theoretical models of learning consider learning to be a continuous function of experience. However, most perceptual learning studies use thresholds estimated by fitting psychometric functions to independent blocks, sometimes then fitting a parametric function to these block-wise estimated thresholds. Critically, such approaches tend to violate the basic principle that learning is continuous through time (e.g., by aggregating trials into large "blocks" for analysis that each assume stationarity, then fitting learning functions to these aggregated blocks). To address this discrepancy between base theory and analysis practice, here we instead propose fitting a parametric function to thresholds from each individual trial. In particular, we implemented a dynamic psychometric function whose parameters were allowed to change continuously with each trial, thus parameterizing nonstationarity. We fit the resulting continuous time parametric model to data from two different perceptual learning tasks. In nearly every case, the quality of the fits derived from the continuous time parametric model outperformed the fits derived from a nonparametric approach wherein separate psychometric functions were fit to blocks of trials. Because such a continuous trial-dependent model of perceptual learning also offers a number of additional advantages (e.g., the ability to extrapolate beyond the observed data; the ability to estimate performance on individual critical trials), we suggest that this technique would be a useful addition to each psychophysicist's analysis toolkit.

  16. Time course influences transfer of visual perceptual learning across spatial location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larcombe, S J; Kennard, C; Bridge, H

    2017-06-01

    Visual perceptual learning describes the improvement of visual perception with repeated practice. Previous research has established that the learning effects of perceptual training may be transferable to untrained stimulus attributes such as spatial location under certain circumstances. However, the mechanisms involved in transfer have not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the effect of altering training time course on the transferability of learning effects. Participants were trained on a motion direction discrimination task or a sinusoidal grating orientation discrimination task in a single visual hemifield. The 4000 training trials were either condensed into one day, or spread evenly across five training days. When participants were trained over a five-day period, there was transfer of learning to both the untrained visual hemifield and the untrained task. In contrast, when the same amount of training was condensed into a single day, participants did not show any transfer of learning. Thus, learning time course may influence the transferability of perceptual learning effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Increase in MST activity correlates with visual motion learning: A functional MRI study of perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larcombe, Stephanie J; Kennard, Chris; Bridge, Holly

    2018-01-01

    Repeated practice of a specific task can improve visual performance, but the neural mechanisms underlying this improvement in performance are not yet well understood. Here we trained healthy participants on a visual motion task daily for 5 days in one visual hemifield. Before and after training, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the change in neural activity. We also imaged a control group of participants on two occasions who did not receive any task training. While in the MRI scanner, all participants completed the motion task in the trained and untrained visual hemifields separately. Following training, participants improved their ability to discriminate motion direction in the trained hemifield and, to a lesser extent, in the untrained hemifield. The amount of task learning correlated positively with the change in activity in the medial superior temporal (MST) area. MST is the anterior portion of the human motion complex (hMT+). MST changes were localized to the hemisphere contralateral to the region of the visual field, where perceptual training was delivered. Visual areas V2 and V3a showed an increase in activity between the first and second scan in the training group, but this was not correlated with performance. The contralateral anterior hippocampus and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and frontal pole showed changes in neural activity that also correlated with the amount of task learning. These findings emphasize the importance of MST in perceptual learning of a visual motion task. Hum Brain Mapp 39:145-156, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Less is more: latent learning is maximized by shorter training sessions in auditory perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molloy, Katharine; Moore, David R; Sohoglu, Ediz; Amitay, Sygal

    2012-01-01

    The time course and outcome of perceptual learning can be affected by the length and distribution of practice, but the training regimen parameters that govern these effects have received little systematic study in the auditory domain. We asked whether there was a minimum requirement on the number of trials within a training session for learning to occur, whether there was a maximum limit beyond which additional trials became ineffective, and whether multiple training sessions provided benefit over a single session. We investigated the efficacy of different regimens that varied in the distribution of practice across training sessions and in the overall amount of practice received on a frequency discrimination task. While learning was relatively robust to variations in regimen, the group with the shortest training sessions (∼8 min) had significantly faster learning in early stages of training than groups with longer sessions. In later stages, the group with the longest training sessions (>1 hr) showed slower learning than the other groups, suggesting overtraining. Between-session improvements were inversely correlated with performance; they were largest at the start of training and reduced as training progressed. In a second experiment we found no additional longer-term improvement in performance, retention, or transfer of learning for a group that trained over 4 sessions (∼4 hr in total) relative to a group that trained for a single session (∼1 hr). However, the mechanisms of learning differed; the single-session group continued to improve in the days following cessation of training, whereas the multi-session group showed no further improvement once training had ceased. Shorter training sessions were advantageous because they allowed for more latent, between-session and post-training learning to emerge. These findings suggest that efficient regimens should use short training sessions, and optimized spacing between sessions.

  19. Perceptual Learning as a potential treatment for amblyopia: a mini-review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi, Dennis M.; Li, Roger W.

    2009-01-01

    Amblyopia is a developmental abnormality that results from physiological alterations in the visual cortex and impairs form vision. It is a consequence of abnormal binocular visual experience during the “sensitive period” early in life. While amblyopia can often be reversed when treated early, conventional treatment is generally not undertaken in older children and adults. A number of studies over the last twelve years or so suggest that Perceptual Learning (PL) may provide an important new method for treating amblyopia. The aim of this mini-review is to provide a critical review and “meta-analysis” of perceptual learning in adults and children with amblyopia, with a view to extracting principles that might make PL more effective and efficient. Specifically we evaluate: What factors influence the outcome of perceptual learning?Specificity and generalization – two sides of the coin.Do the improvements last?How does PL improve visual function?Should PL be part of the treatment armamentarium? A review of the extant studies makes it clear that practicing a visual task results in a long-lasting improvement in performance in an amblyopic eye. The improvement is generally strongest for the trained eye, task, stimulus and orientation, but appears to have a broader spatial frequency bandwidth than in normal vision. Importantly, practicing on a variety of different tasks and stimuli seems to transfer to improved visual acuity. Perceptual learning operates via a reduction of internal neural noise and/or through more efficient use of the stimulus information by retuning the weighting of the information. The success of PL raises the question of whether it should become a standard part of the armamentarium for the clinical treatment of amblyopia, and suggests several important principles for effective perceptual learning in amblyopia. PMID:19250947

  20. Tensor Voting A Perceptual Organization Approach to Computer Vision and Machine Learning

    CERN Document Server

    Mordohai, Philippos

    2006-01-01

    This lecture presents research on a general framework for perceptual organization that was conducted mainly at the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems of the University of Southern California. It is not written as a historical recount of the work, since the sequence of the presentation is not in chronological order. It aims at presenting an approach to a wide range of problems in computer vision and machine learning that is data-driven, local and requires a minimal number of assumptions. The tensor voting framework combines these properties and provides a unified perceptual organiza

  1. Dissociation of rapid response learning and facilitation in perceptual and conceptual networks of person recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valt, Christian; Klein, Christoph; Boehm, Stephan G

    2015-08-01

    Repetition priming is a prominent example of non-declarative memory, and it increases the accuracy and speed of responses to repeatedly processed stimuli. Major long-hold memory theories posit that repetition priming results from facilitation within perceptual and conceptual networks for stimulus recognition and categorization. Stimuli can also be bound to particular responses, and it has recently been suggested that this rapid response learning, not network facilitation, provides a sound theory of priming of object recognition. Here, we addressed the relevance of network facilitation and rapid response learning for priming of person recognition with a view to advance general theories of priming. In four experiments, participants performed conceptual decisions like occupation or nationality judgments for famous faces. The magnitude of rapid response learning varied across experiments, and rapid response learning co-occurred and interacted with facilitation in perceptual and conceptual networks. These findings indicate that rapid response learning and facilitation in perceptual and conceptual networks are complementary rather than competing theories of priming. Thus, future memory theories need to incorporate both rapid response learning and network facilitation as individual facets of priming. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.

  2. Auditory Perceptual Learning for Speech Perception Can be Enhanced by Audiovisual Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Lynne E; Auer, Edward T; Eberhardt, Silvio P; Jiang, Jintao

    2013-01-01

    Speech perception under audiovisual (AV) conditions is well known to confer benefits to perception such as increased speed and accuracy. Here, we investigated how AV training might benefit or impede auditory perceptual learning of speech degraded by vocoding. In Experiments 1 and 3, participants learned paired associations between vocoded spoken nonsense words and nonsense pictures. In Experiment 1, paired-associates (PA) AV training of one group of participants was compared with audio-only (AO) training of another group. When tested under AO conditions, the AV-trained group was significantly more accurate than the AO-trained group. In addition, pre- and post-training AO forced-choice consonant identification with untrained nonsense words showed that AV-trained participants had learned significantly more than AO participants. The pattern of results pointed to their having learned at the level of the auditory phonetic features of the vocoded stimuli. Experiment 2, a no-training control with testing and re-testing on the AO consonant identification, showed that the controls were as accurate as the AO-trained participants in Experiment 1 but less accurate than the AV-trained participants. In Experiment 3, PA training alternated AV and AO conditions on a list-by-list basis within participants, and training was to criterion (92% correct). PA training with AO stimuli was reliably more effective than training with AV stimuli. We explain these discrepant results in terms of the so-called "reverse hierarchy theory" of perceptual learning and in terms of the diverse multisensory and unisensory processing resources available to speech perception. We propose that early AV speech integration can potentially impede auditory perceptual learning; but visual top-down access to relevant auditory features can promote auditory perceptual learning.

  3. Predictive codes of familiarity and context during the perceptual learning of facial identities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apps, Matthew A. J.; Tsakiris, Manos

    2013-11-01

    Face recognition is a key component of successful social behaviour. However, the computational processes that underpin perceptual learning and recognition as faces transition from unfamiliar to familiar are poorly understood. In predictive coding, learning occurs through prediction errors that update stimulus familiarity, but recognition is a function of both stimulus and contextual familiarity. Here we show that behavioural responses on a two-option face recognition task can be predicted by the level of contextual and facial familiarity in a computational model derived from predictive-coding principles. Using fMRI, we show that activity in the superior temporal sulcus varies with the contextual familiarity in the model, whereas activity in the fusiform face area covaries with the prediction error parameter that updated facial familiarity. Our results characterize the key computations underpinning the perceptual learning of faces, highlighting that the functional properties of face-processing areas conform to the principles of predictive coding.

  4. The role of alpha-rhythm states in perceptual learning: insights from experiments and computational models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigala, Rodrigo; Haufe, Sebastian; Roy, Dipanjan; Dinse, Hubert R.; Ritter, Petra

    2014-01-01

    During the past two decades growing evidence indicates that brain oscillations in the alpha band (~10 Hz) not only reflect an “idle” state of cortical activity, but also take a more active role in the generation of complex cognitive functions. A recent study shows that more than 60% of the observed inter-subject variability in perceptual learning can be ascribed to ongoing alpha activity. This evidence indicates a significant role of alpha oscillations for perceptual learning and hence motivates to explore the potential underlying mechanisms. Hence, it is the purpose of this review to highlight existent evidence that ascribes intrinsic alpha oscillations a role in shaping our ability to learn. In the review, we disentangle the alpha rhythm into different neural signatures that control information processing within individual functional building blocks of perceptual learning. We further highlight computational studies that shed light on potential mechanisms regarding how alpha oscillations may modulate information transfer and connectivity changes relevant for learning. To enable testing of those model based hypotheses, we emphasize the need for multidisciplinary approaches combining assessment of behavior and multi-scale neuronal activity, active modulation of ongoing brain states and computational modeling to reveal the mathematical principles of the complex neuronal interactions. In particular we highlight the relevance of multi-scale modeling frameworks such as the one currently being developed by “The Virtual Brain” project. PMID:24772077

  5. The role of alpha-rhythm states in perceptual learning: insights from experiments and computational models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo eSigala

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available During the past two decades growing evidence indicates that brain oscillations in the alpha band (~10 Hz not only reflect an ‘idle’ state of cortical activity, but also take a more active role in the generation of complex cognitive functions. A recent study shows that more than 60% of the observed inter-subject variability in perceptual learning can be ascribed to ongoing alpha activity. This evidence indicates a significant role of alpha oscillations for perceptual learning and hence motivates to explore the potential underlying mechanisms. Hence, it is the purpose of this review to highlight existent evidence that ascribes intrinsic alpha oscillations a role in shaping our ability to learn. In the review, we disentangle the alpha rhythm into different neural signatures that control information processing within individual functional building blocks of perceptual learning. We further highlight computational studies that shed light on potential mechanisms regarding how alpha oscillations may modulate information transfer and connectivity changes relevant for learning. To enable testing of those model based hypotheses, we emphasize the need for multidisciplinary approaches combining assessment of behavior and multi-scale neuronal activity, active modulation of ongoing brain states and computational modeling to reveal the mathematical principles of the complex neuronal interactions. In particular we highlight the relevance of multi-scale modeling frameworks such as the one currently being developed by The Virtual Brain project.

  6. Perceptual-motor skill learning in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Evidence for multiple procedural learning and memory systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Rachel; Alexander, Gerianne M; Packard, Mark G; Zhu, Hongtu; Peterson, Bradley S

    2005-01-01

    Procedural learning and memory systems likely comprise several skills that are differentially affected by various illnesses of the central nervous system, suggesting their relative functional independence and reliance on differing neural circuits. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a movement disorder that involves disturbances in the structure and function of the striatum and related circuitry. Recent studies suggest that patients with GTS are impaired in performance of a probabilistic classification task that putatively involves the acquisition of stimulus-response (S-R)-based habits. Assessing the learning of perceptual-motor skills and probabilistic classification in the same samples of GTS and healthy control subjects may help to determine whether these various forms of procedural (habit) learning rely on the same or differing neuroanatomical substrates and whether those substrates are differentially affected in persons with GTS. Therefore, we assessed perceptual-motor skill learning using the pursuit-rotor and mirror tracing tasks in 50 patients with GTS and 55 control subjects who had previously been compared at learning a task of probabilistic classifications. The GTS subjects did not differ from the control subjects in performance of either the pursuit rotor or mirror-tracing tasks, although they were significantly impaired in the acquisition of a probabilistic classification task. In addition, learning on the perceptual-motor tasks was not correlated with habit learning on the classification task in either the GTS or healthy control subjects. These findings suggest that the differing forms of procedural learning are dissociable both functionally and neuroanatomically. The specific deficits in the probabilistic classification form of habit learning in persons with GTS are likely to be a consequence of disturbances in specific corticostriatal circuits, but not the same circuits that subserve the perceptual-motor form of habit learning.

  7. Perceptual Learning Style Matching and L2 Vocabulary Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tight, Daniel G.

    2010-01-01

    This study explored learning and retention of concrete nouns in second language Spanish by first language English undergraduates (N = 128). Each completed a learning style (visual, auditory, tactile/kinesthetic, mixed) assessment, took a vocabulary pretest, and then studied 12 words each through three conditions (matching, mismatching, mixed…

  8. The Perceptual Basis of the Modality Effect in Multimedia Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummer, Ralf; Schweppe, Judith; Furstenberg, Anne; Scheiter, Katharina; Zindler, Antje

    2011-01-01

    Various studies have demonstrated an advantage of auditory over visual text modality when learning with texts and pictures. To explain this modality effect, two complementary assumptions are proposed by cognitive theories of multimedia learning: first, the visuospatial load hypothesis, which explains the modality effect in terms of visuospatial…

  9. Feedback Valence Affects Auditory Perceptual Learning Independently of Feedback Probability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amitay, Sygal; Moore, David R.; Molloy, Katharine; Halliday, Lorna F.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that negative feedback is more effective in driving learning than positive feedback. We investigated the effect on learning of providing varying amounts of negative and positive feedback while listeners attempted to discriminate between three identical tones; an impossible task that nevertheless produces robust learning. Four feedback conditions were compared during training: 90% positive feedback or 10% negative feedback informed the participants that they were doing equally well, while 10% positive or 90% negative feedback informed them they were doing equally badly. In all conditions the feedback was random in relation to the listeners’ responses (because the task was to discriminate three identical tones), yet both the valence (negative vs. positive) and the probability of feedback (10% vs. 90%) affected learning. Feedback that informed listeners they were doing badly resulted in better post-training performance than feedback that informed them they were doing well, independent of valence. In addition, positive feedback during training resulted in better post-training performance than negative feedback, but only positive feedback indicating listeners were doing badly on the task resulted in learning. As we have previously speculated, feedback that better reflected the difficulty of the task was more effective in driving learning than feedback that suggested performance was better than it should have been given perceived task difficulty. But contrary to expectations, positive feedback was more effective than negative feedback in driving learning. Feedback thus had two separable effects on learning: feedback valence affected motivation on a subjectively difficult task, and learning occurred only when feedback probability reflected the subjective difficulty. To optimize learning, training programs need to take into consideration both feedback valence and probability. PMID:25946173

  10. Interaction between age and perceptual similarity in olfactory discrimination learning in F344 rats: relationships with spatial learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Wendy M.; Gaynor, Leslie S.; Burke, Sara N.; Setlow, Barry; Smith, David W.; Bizon, Jennifer L.

    2017-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that aging is associated with a reduced ability to distinguish perceptually similar stimuli in one’s environment. As the ability to accurately perceive and encode sensory information is foundational for explicit memory, understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of discrimination impairments that emerge with advancing age could help elucidate the mechanisms of mnemonic decline. To this end, there is a need for preclinical approaches that robustly and reliably model age-associated perceptual discrimination deficits. Taking advantage of rodents’ exceptional olfactory abilities, the present study applied rigorous psychophysical techniques to the evaluation of discrimination learning in young and aged F344 rats. Aging did not influence odor detection thresholds or the ability to discriminate between perceptually distinct odorants. In contrast, aged rats were disproportionately impaired relative to young on problems that required discriminations between perceptually similar olfactory stimuli. Importantly, these disproportionate impairments in discrimination learning did not simply reflect a global learning impairment in aged rats, as they performed other types of difficult discriminations on par with young rats. Among aged rats, discrimination deficits were strongly associated with spatial learning deficits. These findings reveal a new, sensitive behavioral approach for elucidating the neural mechanisms of cognitive decline associated with normal aging. PMID:28259065

  11. The impact of memory load and perceptual cues on puzzle learning by 24-month olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Rachel; Moser, Alecia; Rusnak, Sylvia; Zimmermann, Laura; Dickerson, Kelly; Lee, Herietta; Gerhardstein, Peter

    2016-11-01

    Early childhood is characterized by memory capacity limitations and rapid perceptual and motor development [Rovee-Collier (1996). Infant Behavior & Development, 19, 385-400]. The present study examined 2-year olds' reproduction of a sliding action to complete an abstract fish puzzle under different levels of memory load and perceptual feature support. Experimental groups were compared to baseline controls to assess spontaneous rates of production of the target actions; baseline production was low across all experiments. Memory load was manipulated in Exp. 1 by adding pieces to the puzzle, increasing sequence length from 2 to 3 items, and to 3 items plus a distractor. Although memory load did not influence how toddlers learned to manipulate the puzzle pieces, it did influence toddlers' achievement of the goal-constructing the fish. Overall, girls were better at constructing the puzzle than boys. In Exp. 2, the perceptual features of the puzzle were altered by changing shape boundaries to create a two-piece horizontally cut puzzle (displaying bilateral symmetry), and by adding a semantically supportive context to the vertically cut puzzle (iconic). Toddlers were able to achieve the goal of building the fish equally well across the 2-item puzzle types (bilateral symmetry, vertical, iconic), but how they learned to manipulate the puzzle pieces varied as a function of the perceptual features. Here, as in Exp. 1, girls showed a different pattern of performance from the boys. This study demonstrates that changes in memory capacity and perceptual processing influence both goal-directed imitation learning and motoric performance. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Enhanced attentional gain as a mechanism for generalized perceptual learning in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Anna; Serences, John T

    2014-09-01

    Learning to better discriminate a specific visual feature (i.e., a specific orientation in a specific region of space) has been associated with plasticity in early visual areas (sensory modulation) and with improvements in the transmission of sensory information from early visual areas to downstream sensorimotor and decision regions (enhanced readout). However, in many real-world scenarios that require perceptual expertise, observers need to efficiently process numerous exemplars from a broad stimulus class as opposed to just a single stimulus feature. Some previous data suggest that perceptual learning leads to highly specific neural modulations that support the discrimination of specific trained features. However, the extent to which perceptual learning acts to improve the discriminability of a broad class of stimuli via the modulation of sensory responses in human visual cortex remains largely unknown. Here, we used functional MRI and a multivariate analysis method to reconstruct orientation-selective response profiles based on activation patterns in the early visual cortex before and after subjects learned to discriminate small offsets in a set of grating stimuli that were rendered in one of nine possible orientations. Behavioral performance improved across 10 training sessions, and there was a training-related increase in the amplitude of orientation-selective response profiles in V1, V2, and V3 when orientation was task relevant compared with when it was task irrelevant. These results suggest that generalized perceptual learning can lead to modified responses in the early visual cortex in a manner that is suitable for supporting improved discriminability of stimuli drawn from a large set of exemplars. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Pretraining Cortical Thickness Predicts Subsequent Perceptual Learning Rate in a Visual Search Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Sebastian M; Reavis, Eric A; Greenlee, Mark W; Tse, Peter U

    2016-03-01

    We report that preexisting individual differences in the cortical thickness of brain areas involved in a perceptual learning task predict the subsequent perceptual learning rate. Participants trained in a motion-discrimination task involving visual search for a "V"-shaped target motion trajectory among inverted "V"-shaped distractor trajectories. Motion-sensitive area MT+ (V5) was functionally identified as critical to the task: after 3 weeks of training, activity increased in MT+ during task performance, as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. We computed the cortical thickness of MT+ from anatomical magnetic resonance imaging volumes collected before training started, and found that it significantly predicted subsequent perceptual learning rates in the visual search task. Participants with thicker neocortex in MT+ before training learned faster than those with thinner neocortex in that area. A similar association between cortical thickness and training success was also found in posterior parietal cortex (PPC). © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Reduction in the retinotopic early visual cortex with normal aging and magnitude of perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Li-Hung; Yotsumoto, Yuko; Salat, David H; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-01

    Although normal aging is known to reduce cortical structures globally, the effects of aging on local structures and functions of early visual cortex are less understood. Here, using standard retinotopic mapping and magnetic resonance imaging morphologic analyses, we investigated whether aging affects areal size of the early visual cortex, which were retinotopically localized, and whether those morphologic measures were associated with individual performance on visual perceptual learning. First, significant age-associated reduction was found in the areal size of V1, V2, and V3. Second, individual ability of visual perceptual learning was significantly correlated with areal size of V3 in older adults. These results demonstrate that aging changes local structures of the early visual cortex, and the degree of change may be associated with individual visual plasticity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Consequences of comorbidity of developmental coordination disorders and learning disabilities for severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongmans, MJ; Smits-Engelsman, BCM; Schoemaker, MM

    2003-01-01

    Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) have difficulty learning and performing age-appropriate perceptual-motor skills in the absence of diagnosable neurological disorders. Descriptive studies have shown that comorbidity of DCD exists with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  16. Monocular perceptual learning of contrast detection facilitates binocular combination in adults with anisometropic amblyopia

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Zidong; Li, Jinrong; Liu, Jing; Cai, Xiaoxiao; Yuan, Junpeng; Deng, Daming; Yu, Minbin

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning in contrast detection improves monocular visual function in adults with anisometropic amblyopia; however, its effect on binocular combination remains unknown. Given that the amblyopic visual system suffers from pronounced binocular functional loss, it is important to address how the amblyopic visual system responds to such training strategies under binocular viewing conditions. Anisometropic amblyopes (n?=?13) were asked to complete two psychophysical supra-threshold binoc...

  17. Transfer of Perceptual Learning of Depth Discrimination Between Local and Global Stereograms

    OpenAIRE

    Gantz, Liat; Bedell, Harold

    2010-01-01

    Several previous studies reported differences when stereothresholds are assessed with local-contour stereograms vs. complex random-dot stereograms (RDSs). Dissimilar thresholds may be due to differences in the properties of the stereograms (e.g., spatial frequency content, contrast, inter-element separation, area) or to different underlying processing mechanisms. This study examined the transfer of perceptual learning of depth discrimination between local and global RDSs with similar properti...

  18. Perceptual learning rules based on reinforcers and attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R.; van Ooyen, Arjen; Watanabe, Takeo

    2010-01-01

    How does the brain learn those visual features that are relevant for behavior? In this article, we focus on two factors that guide plasticity of visual representations. First, reinforcers cause the global release of diffusive neuromodulatory signals that gate plasticity. Second, attentional feedback

  19. Treatment of amblyopia in the adult: insights from a new rodent model of visual perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaccorsi, Joyce; Berardi, Nicoletta; Sale, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Amblyopia is the most common form of impairment of visual function affecting one eye, with a prevalence of about 1-5% of the total world population. Amblyopia usually derives from conditions of early functional imbalance between the two eyes, owing to anisometropia, strabismus, or congenital cataract, and results in a pronounced reduction of visual acuity and severe deficits in contrast sensitivity and stereopsis. It is widely accepted that, due to a lack of sufficient plasticity in the adult brain, amblyopia becomes untreatable after the closure of the critical period in the primary visual cortex. However, recent results obtained both in animal models and in clinical trials have challenged this view, unmasking a previously unsuspected potential for promoting recovery even in adulthood. In this context, non invasive procedures based on visual perceptual learning, i.e., the improvement in visual performance on a variety of simple visual tasks following practice, emerge as particularly promising to rescue discrimination abilities in adult amblyopic subjects. This review will survey recent work regarding the impact of visual perceptual learning on amblyopia, with a special focus on a new experimental model of perceptual learning in the amblyopic rat.

  20. Treatment of amblyopia in the adult: insights from a new rodent model of visual perceptual learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaccorsi, Joyce; Berardi, Nicoletta; Sale, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Amblyopia is the most common form of impairment of visual function affecting one eye, with a prevalence of about 1–5% of the total world population. Amblyopia usually derives from conditions of early functional imbalance between the two eyes, owing to anisometropia, strabismus, or congenital cataract, and results in a pronounced reduction of visual acuity and severe deficits in contrast sensitivity and stereopsis. It is widely accepted that, due to a lack of sufficient plasticity in the adult brain, amblyopia becomes untreatable after the closure of the critical period in the primary visual cortex. However, recent results obtained both in animal models and in clinical trials have challenged this view, unmasking a previously unsuspected potential for promoting recovery even in adulthood. In this context, non invasive procedures based on visual perceptual learning, i.e., the improvement in visual performance on a variety of simple visual tasks following practice, emerge as particularly promising to rescue discrimination abilities in adult amblyopic subjects. This review will survey recent work regarding the impact of visual perceptual learning on amblyopia, with a special focus on a new experimental model of perceptual learning in the amblyopic rat. PMID:25076874

  1. Perceptual learning eases crowding by reducing recognition errors but not position errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Ying-Zi; Yu, Cong; Zhang, Jun-Yun

    2015-08-01

    When an observer reports a letter flanked by additional letters in the visual periphery, the response errors (the crowding effect) may result from failure to recognize the target letter (recognition errors), from mislocating a correctly recognized target letter at a flanker location (target misplacement errors), or from reporting a flanker as the target letter (flanker substitution errors). Crowding can be reduced through perceptual learning. However, it is not known how perceptual learning operates to reduce crowding. In this study we trained observers with a partial-report task (Experiment 1), in which they reported the central target letter of a three-letter string presented in the visual periphery, or a whole-report task (Experiment 2), in which they reported all three letters in order. We then assessed the impact of training on recognition of both unflanked and flanked targets, with particular attention to how perceptual learning affected the types of errors. Our results show that training improved target recognition but not single-letter recognition, indicating that training indeed affected crowding. However, training did not reduce target misplacement errors or flanker substitution errors. This dissociation between target recognition and flanker substitution errors supports the view that flanker substitution may be more likely a by-product (due to response bias), rather than a cause, of crowding. Moreover, the dissociation is not consistent with hypothesized mechanisms of crowding that would predict reduced positional errors.

  2. Prediction of HDR quality by combining perceptually transformed display measurements with machine learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Anustup; Farrell, Suzanne; Atkins, Robin; Daly, Scott

    2017-09-01

    We present an approach to predict overall HDR display quality as a function of key HDR display parameters. We first performed subjective experiments on a high quality HDR display that explored five key HDR display parameters: maximum luminance, minimum luminance, color gamut, bit-depth and local contrast. Subjects rated overall quality for different combinations of these display parameters. We explored two models | a physical model solely based on physically measured display characteristics and a perceptual model that transforms physical parameters using human vision system models. For the perceptual model, we use a family of metrics based on a recently published color volume model (ICT-CP), which consists of the PQ luminance non-linearity (ST2084) and LMS-based opponent color, as well as an estimate of the display point spread function. To predict overall visual quality, we apply linear regression and machine learning techniques such as Multilayer Perceptron, RBF and SVM networks. We use RMSE and Pearson/Spearman correlation coefficients to quantify performance. We found that the perceptual model is better at predicting subjective quality than the physical model and that SVM is better at prediction than linear regression. The significance and contribution of each display parameter was investigated. In addition, we found that combined parameters such as contrast do not improve prediction. Traditional perceptual models were also evaluated and we found that models based on the PQ non-linearity performed better.

  3. Influence of cue word perceptual information on metamemory accuracy in judgement of learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Liu, Zhaomin; Li, Tongtong; Luo, Liang

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that perceptual information regarding to-be-remembered words in the study phase affects the accuracy of judgement of learning (JOL). However, few have investigated whether the perceptual information in the JOL phase influences JOL accuracy. This study examined the influence of cue word perceptual information in the JOL phase on immediate and delayed JOL accuracy through changes in cue word font size. In Experiment 1, large-cue word pairs had significantly higher mean JOL magnitude than small-cue word pairs in immediate JOLs and higher relative accuracy than small-cue pairs in delayed JOLs, but font size had no influence on recall performance. Experiment 2 increased the JOL time, and mean JOL magnitude did not reliably differ for large-cue compared with small-cue pairs in immediate JOLs. However, the influence on relative accuracy still existed in delayed JOLs. Experiment 3 increased the familiarity of small-cue words in the delayed JOL phase by adding a lexical decision task. The results indicated that cue word font size no longer affected relative accuracy in delayed JOLs. The three experiments in our study indicated that the perceptual information regarding cue words in the JOL phase affects immediate and delayed JOLs in different ways.

  4. The effect of normal aging and age-related macular degeneration on perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astle, Andrew T; Blighe, Alan J; Webb, Ben S; McGraw, Paul V

    2015-01-01

    We investigated whether perceptual learning could be used to improve peripheral word identification speed. The relationship between the magnitude of learning and age was established in normal participants to determine whether perceptual learning effects are age invariant. We then investigated whether training could lead to improvements in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Twenty-eight participants with normal vision and five participants with AMD trained on a word identification task. They were required to identify three-letter words, presented 10° from fixation. To standardize crowding across each of the letters that made up the word, words were flanked laterally by randomly chosen letters. Word identification performance was measured psychophysically using a staircase procedure. Significant improvements in peripheral word identification speed were demonstrated following training (71% ± 18%). Initial task performance was correlated with age, with older participants having poorer performance. However, older adults learned more rapidly such that, following training, they reached the same level of performance as their younger counterparts. As a function of number of trials completed, patients with AMD learned at an equivalent rate as age-matched participants with normal vision. Improvements in word identification speed were maintained at least 6 months after training. We have demonstrated that temporal aspects of word recognition can be improved in peripheral vision with training across a range of ages and these learned improvements are relatively enduring. However, training targeted at other bottlenecks to peripheral reading ability, such as visual crowding, may need to be incorporated to optimize this approach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Perceptual learning to reduce sensory eye dominance beyond the focus of top-down visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jingping P; He, Zijiang J; Ooi, Teng Leng

    2012-05-15

    Perceptual learning is an important means for the brain to maintain its agility in a dynamic environment. Top-down focal attention, which selects task-relevant stimuli against competing ones in the background, is known to control and select what is learned in adults. Still unknown, is whether the adult brain is able to learn highly visible information beyond the focus of top-down attention. If it is, we should be able to reveal a purely stimulus-driven perceptual learning occurring in functions that are largely determined by the early cortical level, where top-down attention modulation is weak. Such an automatic, stimulus-driven learning mechanism is commonly assumed to operate only in the juvenile brain. We performed perceptual training to reduce sensory eye dominance (SED), a function that taps on the eye-of-origin information represented in the early visual cortex. Two retinal locations were simultaneously stimulated with suprathreshold, dichoptic orthogonal gratings. At each location, monocular cueing triggered perception of the grating images of the weak eye and suppression of the strong eye. Observers attended only to one location and performed orientation discrimination of the gratings seen by the weak eye, while ignoring the highly visible gratings at the second, unattended, location. We found SED was not only reduced at the attended location, but also at the unattended location. Furthermore, other untrained visual functions mediated by higher cortical levels improved. An automatic, stimulus-driven learning mechanism causes synaptic alterations in the early cortical level, with a far-reaching impact on the later cortical levels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Perceptual category learning and visual processing: An exercise in computational cognitive neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantwell, George; Riesenhuber, Maximilian; Roeder, Jessica L; Ashby, F Gregory

    2017-05-01

    The field of computational cognitive neuroscience (CCN) builds and tests neurobiologically detailed computational models that account for both behavioral and neuroscience data. This article leverages a key advantage of CCN-namely, that it should be possible to interface different CCN models in a plug-and-play fashion-to produce a new and biologically detailed model of perceptual category learning. The new model was created from two existing CCN models: the HMAX model of visual object processing and the COVIS model of category learning. Using bitmap images as inputs and by adjusting only a couple of learning-rate parameters, the new HMAX/COVIS model provides impressively good fits to human category-learning data from two qualitatively different experiments that used different types of category structures and different types of visual stimuli. Overall, the model provides a comprehensive neural and behavioral account of basal ganglia-mediated learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Learning of perceptual grouping for object segmentation on RGB-D data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richtsfeld, Andreas; Mörwald, Thomas; Prankl, Johann; Zillich, Michael; Vincze, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Object segmentation of unknown objects with arbitrary shape in cluttered scenes is an ambitious goal in computer vision and became a great impulse with the introduction of cheap and powerful RGB-D sensors. We introduce a framework for segmenting RGB-D images where data is processed in a hierarchical fashion. After pre-clustering on pixel level parametric surface patches are estimated. Different relations between patch-pairs are calculated, which we derive from perceptual grouping principles, and support vector machine classification is employed to learn Perceptual Grouping. Finally, we show that object hypotheses generation with Graph-Cut finds a globally optimal solution and prevents wrong grouping. Our framework is able to segment objects, even if they are stacked or jumbled in cluttered scenes. We also tackle the problem of segmenting objects when they are partially occluded. The work is evaluated on publicly available object segmentation databases and also compared with state-of-the-art work of object segmentation.

  9. The application of online transcranial random noise stimulation and perceptual learning in the improvement of visual functions in mild myopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camilleri, Rebecca; Pavan, Andrea; Campana, Gianluca

    2016-08-01

    It has recently been demonstrated how perceptual learning, that is an improvement in a sensory/perceptual task upon practice, can be boosted by concurrent high-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS). It has also been shown that perceptual learning can generalize and produce an improvement of visual functions in participants with mild refractive defects. By using three different groups of participants (single-blind study), we tested the efficacy of a short training (8 sessions) using a single Gabor contrast-detection task with concurrent hf-tRNS in comparison with the same training with sham stimulation or hf-tRNS with no concurrent training, in improving visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity (CS) of individuals with uncorrected mild myopia. A short training with a contrast detection task is able to improve VA and CS only if coupled with hf-tRNS, whereas no effect on VA and marginal effects on CS are seen with the sole administration of hf-tRNS. Our results support the idea that, by boosting the rate of perceptual learning via the modulation of neuronal plasticity, hf-tRNS can be successfully used to reduce the duration of the perceptual training and/or to increase its efficacy in producing perceptual learning and generalization to improved VA and CS in individuals with uncorrected mild myopia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Differences in perceptual learning transfer as a function of training task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C Shawn; Kattner, Florian; Siegel, Max H; Kersten, Daniel; Schrater, Paul R

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of research--including results from behavioral psychology, human structural and functional imaging, single-cell recordings in nonhuman primates, and computational modeling--suggests that perceptual learning effects are best understood as a change in the ability of higher-level integration or association areas to read out sensory information in the service of particular decisions. Work in this vein has argued that, depending on the training experience, the "rules" for this read-out can either be applicable to new contexts (thus engendering learning generalization) or can apply only to the exact training context (thus resulting in learning specificity). Here we contrast learning tasks designed to promote either stimulus-specific or stimulus-general rules. Specifically, we compare learning transfer across visual orientation following training on three different tasks: an orientation categorization task (which permits an orientation-specific learning solution), an orientation estimation task (which requires an orientation-general learning solution), and an orientation categorization task in which the relevant category boundary shifts on every trial (which lies somewhere between the two tasks above). While the simple orientation-categorization training task resulted in orientation-specific learning, the estimation and moving categorization tasks resulted in significant orientation learning generalization. The general framework tested here--that task specificity or generality can be predicted via an examination of the optimal learning solution--may be useful in building future training paradigms with certain desired outcomes.

  11. Object-based implicit learning in visual search: perceptual segmentation constrains contextual cueing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conci, Markus; Müller, Hermann J; von Mühlenen, Adrian

    2013-07-09

    In visual search, detection of a target is faster when it is presented within a spatial layout of repeatedly encountered nontarget items, indicating that contextual invariances can guide selective attention (contextual cueing; Chun & Jiang, 1998). However, perceptual regularities may interfere with contextual learning; for instance, no contextual facilitation occurs when four nontargets form a square-shaped grouping, even though the square location predicts the target location (Conci & von Mühlenen, 2009). Here, we further investigated potential causes for this interference-effect: We show that contextual cueing can reliably occur for targets located within the region of a segmented object, but not for targets presented outside of the object's boundaries. Four experiments demonstrate an object-based facilitation in contextual cueing, with a modulation of context-based learning by relatively subtle grouping cues including closure, symmetry, and spatial regularity. Moreover, the lack of contextual cueing for targets located outside the segmented region was due to an absence of (latent) learning of contextual layouts, rather than due to an attentional bias towards the grouped region. Taken together, these results indicate that perceptual segmentation provides a basic structure within which contextual scene regularities are acquired. This in turn argues that contextual learning is constrained by object-based selection.

  12. The role of training structure in perceptual learning of accented speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzeng, Christina Y; Alexander, Jessica E D; Sidaras, Sabrina K; Nygaard, Lynne C

    2016-11-01

    Foreign-accented speech contains multiple sources of variation that listeners learn to accommodate. Extending previous findings showing that exposure to high-variation training facilitates perceptual learning of accented speech, the current study examines to what extent the structure of training materials affects learning. During training, native adult speakers of American English transcribed sentences spoken in English by native Spanish-speaking adults. In Experiment 1, training stimuli were blocked by speaker, sentence, or randomized with respect to speaker and sentence (Variable training). At test, listeners transcribed novel English sentences produced by unfamiliar Spanish-accented speakers. Listeners' transcription accuracy was highest in the Variable condition, suggesting that varying both speaker identity and sentence across training trials enabled listeners to generalize their learning to novel speakers and linguistic content. Experiment 2 assessed the extent to which ordering of training tokens by a single factor, speaker intelligibility, would facilitate speaker-independent accent learning, finding that listeners' test performance did not reliably differ from that in the no-training control condition. Overall, these results suggest that the structure of training exposure, specifically trial-to-trial variation on both speaker's voice and linguistic content, facilitates learning of the systematic properties of accented speech. The current findings suggest a crucial role of training structure in optimizing perceptual learning. Beyond characterizing the types of variation listeners encode in their representations of spoken utterances, theories of spoken language processing should incorporate the role of training structure in learning lawful variation in speech. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Implicit perceptual-motor skill learning in mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobel, Eric W; Blomeke, Kelsey; Zadikoff, Cindy; Simuni, Tanya; Weintraub, Sandra; Reber, Paul J

    2013-05-01

    Implicit skill learning is hypothesized to depend on nondeclarative memory that operates independent of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system and instead depends on cortico striatal circuits between the basal ganglia and cortical areas supporting motor function and planning. Research with the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task suggests that patients with memory disorders due to MTL damage exhibit normal implicit sequence learning. However, reports of intact learning rely on observations of no group differences, leading to speculation as to whether implicit sequence learning is fully intact in these patients. Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often exhibit impaired sequence learning, but this impairment is not universally observed. Implicit perceptual-motor sequence learning was examined using the Serial Interception Sequence Learning (SISL) task in patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI; n = 11) and patients with PD (n = 15). Sequence learning in SISL is resistant to explicit learning and individually adapted task difficulty controls for baseline performance differences. Patients with MCI exhibited robust sequence learning, equivalent to healthy older adults (n = 20), supporting the hypothesis that the MTL does not contribute to learning in this task. In contrast, the majority of patients with PD exhibited no sequence-specific learning in spite of matched overall task performance. Two patients with PD exhibited performance indicative of an explicit compensatory strategy suggesting that impaired implicit learning may lead to greater reliance on explicit memory in some individuals. The differences in learning between patient groups provides strong evidence in favor of implicit sequence learning depending solely on intact basal ganglia function with no contribution from the MTL memory system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  15. Functional consequences of experience-dependent plasticity on tactile perception following perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S

    2016-09-01

    Continuous training enhances perceptual discrimination and promotes neural changes in areas encoding the experienced stimuli. This type of experience-dependent plasticity has been demonstrated in several sensory and motor systems. Particularly, non-human primates trained to detect consecutive tactile bar indentations across multiple digits showed expanded excitatory receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortex. However, the perceptual implications of these anatomical changes remain undetermined. Here, we trained human participants for 9 days on a tactile task that promoted expansion of multi-digit RFs. Participants were required to detect consecutive indentations of bar stimuli spanning multiple digits. Throughout the training regime we tracked participants' discrimination thresholds on spatial (grating orientation) and temporal tasks on the trained and untrained hands in separate sessions. We hypothesized that training on the multi-digit task would decrease perceptual thresholds on tasks that require stimulus processing across multiple digits, while also increasing thresholds on tasks requiring discrimination on single digits. We observed an increase in orientation thresholds on a single digit. Importantly, this effect was selective for the stimulus orientation and hand used during multi-digit training. We also found that temporal acuity between digits improved across trained digits, suggesting that discriminating the temporal order of multi-digit stimuli can transfer to temporal discrimination of other tactile stimuli. These results suggest that experience-dependent plasticity following perceptual learning improves and interferes with tactile abilities in manners predictive of the task and stimulus features used during training. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Prenatal exposure to gamma/neutron irradiation: Sensorimotor alterations and paradoxical effects on learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Cicco, D.; Antal, S.; Ammassari-Teule, M.

    1991-01-01

    The effects of prenatal exposure on gamma/neutron radiations (0.5 Gy at about the 18th day of fetal life) were studied in a hybrid strain of mice (DBA/Cne males x C57BL/Cne females). During ontogeny, measurements of sensorimotor reflexes revealed in prenatally irradiated mice (1) a delay in sensorial development, (2) deficits in tests involving body motor control, and (3) a reduction of both motility and locomotor activity scores. In adulthood, the behaviour of prenatally irradiated and control mice was examined in the open field test and in reactivity to novelty. Moreover, their learning performance was compared in several situations. The results show that, in the open field test, only rearings were more frequent in irradiated mice. In the presence of a novel object, significant sex x treatment interactions were observed since ambulation and leaning against the novel object increased in irradiated females but decreased in irradiated males. Finally, when submitted to different learning tasks, irradiated mice were impaired in the radial maze, but paradoxically exhibited higher avoidance scores than control mice, possibly because of their low pain thresholds. Taken together, these observations indicate that late prenatal gamma/neutron irradiation induces long lasting alterations at the sensorimotor level which, in turn, can influence learning abilities of adult mice

  17. Effect of tDCS on task relevant and irrelevant perceptual learning of complex objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Meel, Chayenne; Daniels, Nicky; de Beeck, Hans Op; Baeck, Annelies

    2016-01-01

    During perceptual learning the visual representations in the brain are altered, but these changes' causal role has not yet been fully characterized. We used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to investigate the role of higher visual regions in lateral occipital cortex (LO) in perceptual learning with complex objects. We also investigated whether object learning is dependent on the relevance of the objects for the learning task. Participants were trained in two tasks: object recognition using a backward masking paradigm and an orientation judgment task. During both tasks, an object with a red line on top of it were presented in each trial. The crucial difference between both tasks was the relevance of the object: the object was relevant for the object recognition task, but not for the orientation judgment task. During training, half of the participants received anodal tDCS stimulation targeted at the lateral occipital cortex (LO). Afterwards, participants were tested on how well they recognized the trained objects, the irrelevant objects presented during the orientation judgment task and a set of completely new objects. Participants stimulated with tDCS during training showed larger improvements of performance compared to participants in the sham condition. No learning effect was found for the objects presented during the orientation judgment task. To conclude, this study suggests a causal role of LO in relevant object learning, but given the rather low spatial resolution of tDCS, more research on the specificity of this effect is needed. Further, mere exposure is not sufficient to train object recognition in our paradigm.

  18. Perceptual Learning in Children With Infantile Nystagmus: Effects on Visual Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huurneman, Bianca; Boonstra, F Nienke; Goossens, Jeroen

    2016-08-01

    To evaluate whether computerized training with a crowded or uncrowded letter-discrimination task reduces visual impairment (VI) in 6- to 11-year-old children with infantile nystagmus (IN) who suffer from increased foveal crowding, reduced visual acuity, and reduced stereopsis. Thirty-six children with IN were included. Eighteen had idiopathic IN and 18 had oculocutaneous albinism. These children were divided in two training groups matched on age and diagnosis: a crowded training group (n = 18) and an uncrowded training group (n = 18). Training occurred two times per week during 5 weeks (3500 trials per training). Eleven age-matched children with normal vision were included to assess baseline differences in task performance and test-retest learning. Main outcome measures were task-specific performance, distance and near visual acuity (DVA and NVA), intensity and extent of (foveal) crowding at 5 m and 40 cm, and stereopsis. Training resulted in task-specific improvements. Both training groups also showed uncrowded and crowded DVA improvements (0.10 ± 0.02 and 0.11 ± 0.02 logMAR) and improved stereopsis (670 ± 249″). Crowded NVA improved only in the crowded training group (0.15 ± 0.02 logMAR), which was also the only group showing a reduction in near crowding intensity (0.08 ± 0.03 logMAR). Effects were not due to test-retest learning. Perceptual learning with or without distractors reduces the extent of crowding and improves visual acuity in children with IN. Training with distractors improves near vision more than training with single optotypes. Perceptual learning also transfers to DVA and NVA under uncrowded and crowded conditions and even stereopsis. Learning curves indicated that improvements may be larger after longer training.

  19. Alpha-gamma phase amplitude coupling subserves information transfer during perceptual sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzvi, Elinor; Bauhaus, Leon J; Kessler, Till U; Liebrand, Matthias; Wöstmann, Malte; Krämer, Ulrike M

    2018-03-01

    Cross-frequency coupling is suggested to serve transfer of information between wide-spread neuronal assemblies and has been shown to underlie many cognitive functions including learning and memory. In previous work, we found that alpha (8-13 Hz) - gamma (30-48 Hz) phase amplitude coupling (αγPAC) is decreased during sequence learning in bilateral frontal cortex and right parietal cortex. We interpreted this to reflect decreased demands for visuo-motor mapping once the sequence has been encoded. In the present study, we put this hypothesis to the test by adding a "simple" condition to the standard serial reaction time task (SRTT) with minimal needs for visuo-motor mapping. The standard SRTT in our paradigm entailed a perceptual sequence allowing for implicit learning of a sequence of colors with randomly assigned motor responses. Sequence learning in this case was thus not associated with reduced demands for visuo-motor mapping. Analysis of oscillatory power revealed a learning-related alpha decrease pointing to a stronger recruitment of occipito-parietal areas when encoding the perceptual sequence. Replicating our previous findings but in contrast to our hypothesis, αγPAC was decreased in sequence compared to random trials over right frontal and parietal cortex. It also tended to be smaller compared to trials requiring a simple motor sequence. We additionally analyzed αγPAC in resting-state data of a separate cohort. PAC in electrodes over right parietal cortex was significantly stronger compared to sequence trials and tended to be higher compared to simple and random trials of the SRTT data. We suggest that αγPAC in right parietal cortex reflects a "default-mode" brain state, which gets perturbed to allow for encoding of visual regularities into memory. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The Effect of Semantic Mapping as a Vocabulary Instruction Technique on EFL Learners with Different Perceptual Learning Styles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmaeel Abdollahzadeh

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Traditional and modern vocabulary instruction techniques have been introduced in the past few decades to improve the learners’ performance in reading comprehension. Semantic mapping, which entails drawing learners’ attention to the interrelationships among lexical items through graphic organizers, is claimed to enhance vocabulary learning significantly. However, whether this technique suits all types of learners has not been adequately investigated. This study examines the effectiveness of employing semantic mapping versus traditional approaches in vocabulary instruction to EFL learners with different perceptual modalities. A modified version of Reid’s (1987 perceptual learning style questionnaire was used to determine the learners’ modality types. The results indicate that semantic mapping in comparison to the traditional approaches significantly enhances vocabulary learning of EFL learners. However, although visual learners slightly outperformed other types of learners on the post-test, no significant differences were observed among intermediate learners with different perceptual modalities employing semantic mapping for vocabulary practice.

  1. Thalamocortical dynamics of the McCollough effect: boundary-surface alignment through perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossberg, Stephen; Hwang, Seungwoo; Mingolla, Ennio

    2002-05-01

    This article further develops the FACADE neural model of 3-D vision and figure-ground perception to quantitatively explain properties of the McCollough effect (ME). The model proposes that many ME data result from visual system mechanisms whose primary function is to adaptively align, through learning, boundary and surface representations that are positionally shifted due to the process of binocular fusion. For example, binocular boundary representations are shifted by binocular fusion relative to monocular surface representations, yet the boundaries must become positionally aligned with the surfaces to control binocular surface capture and filling-in. The model also includes perceptual reset mechanisms that use habituative transmitters in opponent processing circuits. Thus the model shows how ME data may arise from a combination of mechanisms that have a clear functional role in biological vision. Simulation results with a single set of parameters quantitatively fit data from 13 experiments that probe the nature of achromatic/chromatic and monocular/binocular interactions during induction of the ME. The model proposes how perceptual learning, opponent processing, and habituation at both monocular and binocular surface representations are involved, including early thalamocortical sites. In particular, it explains the anomalous ME utilizing these multiple processing sites. Alternative models of the ME are also summarized and compared with the present model.

  2. Incremental learning of perceptual and conceptual representations and the puzzle of neural repetition suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotts, Stephen J

    2016-08-01

    Incremental learning models of long-term perceptual and conceptual knowledge hold that neural representations are gradually acquired over many individual experiences via Hebbian-like activity-dependent synaptic plasticity across cortical connections of the brain. In such models, variation in task relevance of information, anatomic constraints, and the statistics of sensory inputs and motor outputs lead to qualitative alterations in the nature of representations that are acquired. Here, the proposal that behavioral repetition priming and neural repetition suppression effects are empirical markers of incremental learning in the cortex is discussed, and research results that both support and challenge this position are reviewed. Discussion is focused on a recent fMRI-adaptation study from our laboratory that shows decoupling of experience-dependent changes in neural tuning, priming, and repetition suppression, with representational changes that appear to work counter to the explicit task demands. Finally, critical experiments that may help to clarify and resolve current challenges are outlined.

  3. [Improvement of vision through perceptual learning in the case of refractive errors and presbyopia : A critical valuation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, S P

    2017-02-01

    The idea of compensating or even rectifying refractive errors and presbyopia with the help of vision training is not new. For most approaches, however, scientific evidence is insufficient. A currently promoted method is "perceptual learning", which is assumed to improve stimulus processing in the brain. The basic phenomena of perceptual learning have been demonstrated by a multitude of studies. Some of these specifically address the case of refractive errors and presbyopia. However, many open questions remain, in particular with respect to the transfer of practice effects to every-day vision. At present, the method should therefore be judged with caution.

  4. 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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feitong eYang

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Learning-Based Just-Noticeable-Quantization- Distortion Modeling for Perceptual Video Coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ki, Sehwan; Bae, Sung-Ho; Kim, Munchurl; Ko, Hyunsuk

    2018-07-01

    Conventional predictive video coding-based approaches are reaching the limit of their potential coding efficiency improvements, because of severely increasing computation complexity. As an alternative approach, perceptual video coding (PVC) has attempted to achieve high coding efficiency by eliminating perceptual redundancy, using just-noticeable-distortion (JND) directed PVC. The previous JNDs were modeled by adding white Gaussian noise or specific signal patterns into the original images, which were not appropriate in finding JND thresholds due to distortion with energy reduction. In this paper, we present a novel discrete cosine transform-based energy-reduced JND model, called ERJND, that is more suitable for JND-based PVC schemes. Then, the proposed ERJND model is extended to two learning-based just-noticeable-quantization-distortion (JNQD) models as preprocessing that can be applied for perceptual video coding. The two JNQD models can automatically adjust JND levels based on given quantization step sizes. One of the two JNQD models, called LR-JNQD, is based on linear regression and determines the model parameter for JNQD based on extracted handcraft features. The other JNQD model is based on a convolution neural network (CNN), called CNN-JNQD. To our best knowledge, our paper is the first approach to automatically adjust JND levels according to quantization step sizes for preprocessing the input to video encoders. In experiments, both the LR-JNQD and CNN-JNQD models were applied to high efficiency video coding (HEVC) and yielded maximum (average) bitrate reductions of 38.51% (10.38%) and 67.88% (24.91%), respectively, with little subjective video quality degradation, compared with the input without preprocessing applied.

  7. Analysis of previous perceptual and motor experience in breaststroke kick learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ried Bettina

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the variables that influence motor learning is the learner’s previous experience, which may provide perceptual and motor elements to be transferred to a novel motor skill. For swimming skills, several motor experiences may prove effective. Purpose. The aim was to analyse the influence of previous experience in playing in water, swimming lessons, and music or dance lessons on learning the breaststroke kick. Methods. The study involved 39 Physical Education students possessing basic swimming skills, but not the breaststroke, who performed 400 acquisition trials followed by 50 retention and 50 transfer trials, during which stroke index as well as rhythmic and spatial configuration indices were mapped, and answered a yes/no questionnaire regarding previous experience. Data were analysed by ANOVA (p = 0.05 and the effect size (Cohen’s d ≥0.8 indicating large effect size. Results. The whole sample improved their stroke index and spatial configuration index, but not their rhythmic configuration index. Although differences between groups were not significant, two types of experience showed large practical effects on learning: childhood water playing experience only showed major practically relevant positive effects, and no experience in any of the three fields hampered the learning process. Conclusions. The results point towards diverse impact of previous experience regarding rhythmic activities, swimming lessons, and especially with playing in water during childhood, on learning the breaststroke kick.

  8. Learning Disabilities and Intellectual Functioning in School-Aged Children With Prenatal Cocaine Exposure

    OpenAIRE

    Morrow, Connie E.; Culbertson, Jan L.; Accornero, Veronica H.; Xue, Lihua; Anthony, James C.; Bandstra, Emmalee S.

    2006-01-01

    Risk for developing a learning disability (LD) or impaired intellectual functioning by age 7 was assessed in full-term children with prenatal cocaine exposure drawn from a cohort of 476 children born full term and enrolled prospectively at birth. Intellectual functioning was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Third Edition (Wechsler,1991) shortform, and academic functioning was assessed using the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT; Wechsler,1993) Screener by e...

  9. The benefits of cholinergic enhancement during perceptual learning are long-lasting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel eRokem

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh regulates many aspects of cognition, including attention and memory. Previous research in animal models has shown that plasticity in sensory systems often depends on the behavioral relevance of a stimulus and/or task. However, experimentally increasing ACh release in the cortex can result in experience-dependent plasticity, even in the absence of behavioral relevance. In humans, the pharmacological enhancement of ACh transmission by administration of the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil during performance of a perceptual task increases the magnitude of perceptual learning (PL and its specificity to physical parameters of the stimuli used for training. Behavioral effects of PL have previously been shown to persist for many months. In the present study, we tested whether enhancement of PL by donepezil is also long-lasting. Healthy human subjects were trained on a motion direction discrimination task during cholinergic enhancement, and follow-up testing was performed 5-15 months after the end of training and without additional drug administration. Increases in performance associated with training under donepezil were evident in follow-up retesting, indicating that cholinergic enhancement has beneficial long-term effects on PL. These findings suggest that cholinergic enhancement of training procedures used to treat clinical disorders should improve long-term outcomes of these procedures.

  10. Perceptual learning increases the strength of the earliest signals in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Min; Yang, Lin; Rios, Cristina; He, Bin; Engel, Stephen A

    2010-11-10

    Training improves performance on most visual tasks. Such perceptual learning can modify how information is read out from, and represented in, later visual areas, but effects on early visual cortex are controversial. In particular, it remains unknown whether learning can reshape neural response properties in early visual areas independent from feedback arising in later cortical areas. Here, we tested whether learning can modify feedforward signals in early visual cortex as measured by the human electroencephalogram. Fourteen subjects were trained for >24 d to detect a diagonal grating pattern in one quadrant of the visual field. Training improved performance, reducing the contrast needed for reliable detection, and also reliably increased the amplitude of the earliest component of the visual evoked potential, the C1. Control orientations and locations showed smaller effects of training. Because the C1 arises rapidly and has a source in early visual cortex, our results suggest that learning can increase early visual area response through local receptive field changes without feedback from later areas.

  11. Profiling Perceptual Learning Styles of Chinese as a Second Language Learners in University Settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Peijian Paul; Teng, Lin Sophie

    2017-12-01

    This study revisited Reid's (1987) perceptual learning style preference questionnaire (PLSPQ) in an attempt to answer whether the PLSPQ fits in the Chinese-as-a-second-language (CSL) context. If not, what are CSL learners' learning styles drawing on the PLSPQ? The PLSPQ was first re-examined through reliability analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with 224 CSL learners. The results showed that Reid's six-factor PLSPQ could not satisfactorily explain the CSL learners' learning styles. Exploratory factor analyses were, therefore, performed to explore the dimensionality of the PLSPQ in the CSL context. A four-factor PLSPQ was successfully constructed including auditory/visual, kinaesthetic/tactile, group, and individual styles. Such a measurement model was cross-validated through CFAs with 118 CSL learners. The study not only lends evidence to the literature that Reid's PLSPQ lacks construct validity, but also provides CSL teachers and learners with insightful and practical guidance concerning learning styles. Implications and limitations of the present study are discussed.

  12. Effects of Semantic Context and Feedback on Perceptual Learning of Speech Processed through an Acoustic Simulation of a Cochlear Implant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loebach, Jeremy L.; Pisoni, David B.; Svirsky, Mario A.

    2010-01-01

    The effect of feedback and materials on perceptual learning was examined in listeners with normal hearing who were exposed to cochlear implant simulations. Generalization was most robust when feedback paired the spectrally degraded sentences with their written transcriptions, promoting mapping between the degraded signal and its acoustic-phonetic…

  13. Visual perceptual learning by operant conditioning training follows rules of contingency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dongho; Seitz, Aaron R; Watanabe, Takeo

    2015-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) can occur as a result of a repetitive stimulus-reward pairing in the absence of any task. This suggests that rules that guide Conditioning, such as stimulus-reward contingency (e.g. that stimulus predicts the likelihood of reward), may also guide the formation of VPL. To address this question, we trained subjects with an operant conditioning task in which there were contingencies between the response to one of three orientations and the presence of reward. Results showed that VPL only occurred for positive contingencies, but not for neutral or negative contingencies. These results suggest that the formation of VPL is influenced by similar rules that guide the process of Conditioning. PMID:26028984

  14. Monocular perceptual learning of contrast detection facilitates binocular combination in adults with anisometropic amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zidong; Li, Jinrong; Liu, Jing; Cai, Xiaoxiao; Yuan, Junpeng; Deng, Daming; Yu, Minbin

    2016-02-01

    Perceptual learning in contrast detection improves monocular visual function in adults with anisometropic amblyopia; however, its effect on binocular combination remains unknown. Given that the amblyopic visual system suffers from pronounced binocular functional loss, it is important to address how the amblyopic visual system responds to such training strategies under binocular viewing conditions. Anisometropic amblyopes (n = 13) were asked to complete two psychophysical supra-threshold binocular summation tasks: (1) binocular phase combination and (2) dichoptic global motion coherence before and after monocular training to investigate this question. We showed that these participants benefited from monocular training in terms of binocular combination. More importantly, the improvements observed with the area under log CSF (AULCSF) were found to be correlated with the improvements in binocular phase combination.

  15. A perceptual advantage for onomatopoeia in early word learning: Evidence from eye-tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laing, Catherine E

    2017-09-01

    A perceptual advantage for iconic forms in infant language learning has been widely reported in the literature, termed the "sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis" by Imai and Kita (2014). However, empirical research in this area is limited mainly to sound symbolic forms, which are very common in languages such as Japanese but less so in Indo-European languages such as English. In this study, we extended this body of research to onomatopoeia-words that are thought to be present across most of the world's languages and that are known to be dominant in infants' early lexicons. In a picture-mapping task, 10- and 11-month-old infants showed a processing advantage for onomatopoeia (e.g., woof woof) over their conventional counterparts (e.g., doggie). However, further analysis suggests that the input may play a key role in infants' experience and processing of these forms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Visual perceptual learning by operant conditioning training follows rules of contingency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dongho; Seitz, Aaron R; Watanabe, Takeo

    2015-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) can occur as a result of a repetitive stimulus-reward pairing in the absence of any task. This suggests that rules that guide Conditioning, such as stimulus-reward contingency (e.g. that stimulus predicts the likelihood of reward), may also guide the formation of VPL. To address this question, we trained subjects with an operant conditioning task in which there were contingencies between the response to one of three orientations and the presence of reward. Results showed that VPL only occurred for positive contingencies, but not for neutral or negative contingencies. These results suggest that the formation of VPL is influenced by similar rules that guide the process of Conditioning.

  17. Perceptual learning improves contrast sensitivity, visual acuity, and foveal crowding in amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barollo, Michele; Contemori, Giulio; Battaglini, Luca; Pavan, Andrea; Casco, Clara

    2017-01-01

    Amblyopic observers present abnormal spatial interactions between a low-contrast sinusoidal target and high-contrast collinear flankers. It has been demonstrated that perceptual learning (PL) can modulate these low-level lateral interactions, resulting in improved visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. We measured the extent and duration of generalization effects to various spatial tasks (i.e., visual acuity, Vernier acuity, and foveal crowding) through PL on the target's contrast detection. Amblyopic observers were trained on a contrast-detection task for a central target (i.e., a Gabor patch) flanked above and below by two high-contrast Gabor patches. The pre- and post-learning tasks included lateral interactions at different target-to-flankers separations (i.e., 2, 3, 4, 8λ) and included a range of spatial frequencies and stimulus durations as well as visual acuity, Vernier acuity, contrast-sensitivity function, and foveal crowding. The results showed that perceptual training reduced the target's contrast-detection thresholds more for the longest target-to-flanker separation (i.e., 8λ). We also found generalization of PL to different stimuli and tasks: contrast sensitivity for both trained and untrained spatial frequencies, visual acuity for Sloan letters, and foveal crowding, and partially for Vernier acuity. Follow-ups after 5-7 months showed not only complete maintenance of PL effects on visual acuity and contrast sensitivity function but also further improvement in these tasks. These results suggest that PL improves facilitatory lateral interactions in amblyopic observers, which usually extend over larger separations than in typical foveal vision. The improvement in these basic visual spatial operations leads to a more efficient capability of performing spatial tasks involving high levels of visual processing, possibly due to the refinement of bottom-up and top-down networks of visual areas.

  18. The Effect of Perceptual Learning on L2 Vocabulary Learning and Retention

    OpenAIRE

    BEDİR, Gülay; BEKTAŞ BEDİR, Sevgi

    2018-01-01

    It is thought that learning styles have an effecton learning foreign language. This study aims to determine effects ofperceptual learning styles on L2 vocabulary learning and retention. Learningstyle preferences were assessed in the current study through the section ofCohen et al.’s Learning Style Survey (LSS) corresponding to the perceptualmodalities and achievement tests developed by the researcher was used to assessvocabulary learning and retention. And an open-ended question is tried toan...

  19. Auditory perceptual learning in adults with and without age-related hearing loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanin eKarawani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Speech recognition in adverse listening conditions becomes more difficult as we age, particularly for individuals with age-related hearing loss (ARHL. Whether these difficulties can be eased with training remains debated, because it is not clear whether the outcomes are sufficiently general to be of use outside of the training context. The aim of the current study was to compare training-induced learning and generalization between normal-hearing older adults and those with ARHL.Methods: 56 listeners (60-72 y/o, 35 participants with ARHL and 21 normal hearing adults participated in the study. The study design was a cross over design with three groups (immediate-training, delayed-training and no-training group. Trained participants received 13 sessions of home-based auditory training over the course of 4 weeks. Three adverse listening conditions were targeted: (1 Speech-in-noise (2 time compressed speech and (3 competing speakers, and the outcomes of training were compared between normal and ARHL groups. Pre- and post-test sessions were completed by all participants. Outcome measures included tests on all of the trained conditions as well as on a series of untrained conditions designed to assess the transfer of learning to other speech and non-speech conditions. Results: Significant improvements on all trained conditions were observed in both ARHL and normal-hearing groups over the course of training. Normal hearing participants learned more than participants with ARHL in the speech-in-noise condition, but showed similar patterns of learning in the other conditions. Greater pre- to post-test changes were observed in trained than in untrained listeners on all trained conditions. In addition, the ability of trained listeners from the ARHL group to discriminate minimally different pseudowords in noise also improved with training. Conclusions: ARHL did not preclude auditory perceptual learning but there was little generalization to

  20. Supramodal Enhancement of Auditory Perceptual and Cognitive Learning by Video Game Playing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Tang, Ding-Lan; Moore, David R; Amitay, Sygal

    2017-01-01

    Medical rehabilitation involving behavioral training can produce highly successful outcomes, but those successes are obtained at the cost of long periods of often tedious training, reducing compliance. By contrast, arcade-style video games can be entertaining and highly motivating. We examine here the impact of video game play on contiguous perceptual training. We alternated several periods of auditory pure-tone frequency discrimination (FD) with the popular spatial visual-motor game Tetris played in silence. Tetris play alone did not produce any auditory or cognitive benefits. However, when alternated with FD training it enhanced learning of FD and auditory working memory. The learning-enhancing effects of Tetris play cannot be explained simply by the visual-spatial training involved, as the effects were gone when Tetris play was replaced with another visual-spatial task using Tetris-like stimuli but not incorporated into a game environment. The results indicate that game play enhances learning and transfer of the contiguous auditory experiences, pointing to a promising approach for increasing the efficiency and applicability of rehabilitative training.

  1. Supramodal Enhancement of Auditory Perceptual and Cognitive Learning by Video Game Playing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Xuan Zhang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Medical rehabilitation involving behavioral training can produce highly successful outcomes, but those successes are obtained at the cost of long periods of often tedious training, reducing compliance. By contrast, arcade-style video games can be entertaining and highly motivating. We examine here the impact of video game play on contiguous perceptual training. We alternated several periods of auditory pure-tone frequency discrimination (FD with the popular spatial visual-motor game Tetris played in silence. Tetris play alone did not produce any auditory or cognitive benefits. However, when alternated with FD training it enhanced learning of FD and auditory working memory. The learning-enhancing effects of Tetris play cannot be explained simply by the visual-spatial training involved, as the effects were gone when Tetris play was replaced with another visual-spatial task using Tetris-like stimuli but not incorporated into a game environment. The results indicate that game play enhances learning and transfer of the contiguous auditory experiences, pointing to a promising approach for increasing the efficiency and applicability of rehabilitative training.

  2. Inferior frontal gyrus activation predicts individual differences in perceptual learning of cochlear-implant simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisner, Frank; McGettigan, Carolyn; Faulkner, Andrew; Rosen, Stuart; Scott, Sophie K

    2010-05-26

    This study investigated the neural plasticity associated with perceptual learning of a cochlear implant (CI) simulation. Normal-hearing listeners were trained with vocoded and spectrally shifted speech simulating a CI while cortical responses were measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A condition in which the vocoded speech was spectrally inverted provided a control for learnability and adaptation. Behavioral measures showed considerable individual variability both in the ability to learn to understand the degraded speech, and in phonological working memory capacity. Neurally, left-lateralized regions in superior temporal sulcus and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were sensitive to the learnability of the simulations, but only the activity in prefrontal cortex correlated with interindividual variation in intelligibility scores and phonological working memory. A region in left angular gyrus (AG) showed an activation pattern that reflected learning over the course of the experiment, and covariation of activity in AG and IFG was modulated by the learnability of the stimuli. These results suggest that variation in listeners' ability to adjust to vocoded and spectrally shifted speech is partly reflected in differences in the recruitment of higher-level language processes in prefrontal cortex, and that this variability may further depend on functional links between the left inferior frontal gyrus and angular gyrus. Differences in the engagement of left inferior prefrontal cortex, and its covariation with posterior parietal areas, may thus underlie some of the variation in speech perception skills that have been observed in clinical populations of CI users.

  3. Transfer of tactile perceptual learning to untrained neighboring fingers reflects natural use relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey-Jones, Harriet; Harrar, Vanessa; Oliver, Jonathan; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Spence, Charles; Makin, Tamar R

    2016-03-01

    Tactile learning transfers from trained to untrained fingers in a pattern that reflects overlap between the representations of fingers in the somatosensory system (e.g., neurons with multifinger receptive fields). While physical proximity on the body is known to determine the topography of somatosensory representations, tactile coactivation is also an established organizing principle of somatosensory topography. In this study we investigated whether tactile coactivation, induced by habitual inter-finger cooperative use (use pattern), shapes inter-finger overlap. To this end, we used psychophysics to compare the transfer of tactile learning from the middle finger to its adjacent fingers. This allowed us to compare transfer to two fingers that are both physically and cortically adjacent to the middle finger but have differing use patterns. Specifically, the middle finger is used more frequently with the ring than with the index finger. We predicted this should lead to greater representational overlap between the former than the latter pair. Furthermore, this difference in overlap should be reflected in differential learning transfer from the middle to index vs. ring fingers. Subsequently, we predicted temporary learning-related changes in the middle finger's representation (e.g., cortical magnification) would cause transient interference in perceptual thresholds of the ring, but not the index, finger. Supporting this, longitudinal analysis revealed a divergence where learning transfer was fast to the index finger but relatively delayed to the ring finger. Our results support the theory that tactile coactivation patterns between digits affect their topographic relationships. Our findings emphasize how action shapes perception and somatosensory organization. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  4. Effects of pre-natal X-ray exposure on learning behaviour of mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frank, P.; Faber, U.; Budny, T.

    1983-01-01

    The authors investigated whether prenatal X-raying affects the learning behaviour of mice. For this purpose they irradiated mice of strain C57BL/6Ffm with 130 r at different points of the fetal phase. Unirradiated mice served as controls. The animals underwent two learning test series of 14 days each teaching them optical signs. The results of the test series show a distinctly inferior learning ability in the animals exposed to pre-natal irradiation as compared to unirradiated controls. The extent of the reduction of the learning ability depends on the stage of the pregnancy at the time of X-ray exposure. The greatest difference as compared to non-irradiated mice occurred in the animals irradiated at the earliest stage (13th/14th day of pregnancy). The results of the other test groups (15th/16th and 17th/18th day of pregnancy) exhibited less distinct, but still significant differences to the controls. Exposure at the latest period (17th/18th day) coincided with the smallest difference. (orig./MG) [de

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  6. Methylmercury chloride induces learning deficits in prenatally treated rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muesch, H.R.; Bornhausen, M.; Kriegel, H.; Greim, H.

    1978-01-01

    Methylmercury chloride (MMC) was given to pregnant rats on the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th day after conception in doses of 0.05 and 2.0 mg/kg/day. The female offspring of these animals were tested 90 days after birth for learning ability using operant conditioning procedures. The rats were kept at 90% of their normal body weight and trained in a lever-box to press a bar in order to obtain a food pellet. Significant differences in the acquisition speed became apparent when the ratio of bar presses to reward was increased in a classical contingency of differential reinforcement of high rates even at MMC-doses of 4 x 0.05 mg/kg. These differences were not found in the general motility level nor in motor coordination.

  7. Real-Time Strategy Video Game Experience and Visual Perceptual Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong-Hwan; Kang, Dong-Wha; Kim, Dongho; Kim, Hye-Jin; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo

    2015-07-22

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is defined as long-term improvement in performance on a visual-perception task after visual experiences or training. Early studies have found that VPL is highly specific for the trained feature and location, suggesting that VPL is associated with changes in the early visual cortex. However, the generality of visual skills enhancement attributable to action video-game experience suggests that VPL can result from improvement in higher cognitive skills. If so, experience in real-time strategy (RTS) video-game play, which may heavily involve cognitive skills, may also facilitate VPL. To test this hypothesis, we compared VPL between RTS video-game players (VGPs) and non-VGPs (NVGPs) and elucidated underlying structural and functional neural mechanisms. Healthy young human subjects underwent six training sessions on a texture discrimination task. Diffusion-tensor and functional magnetic resonance imaging were performed before and after training. VGPs performed better than NVGPs in the early phase of training. White-matter connectivity between the right external capsule and visual cortex and neuronal activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were greater in VGPs than NVGPs and were significantly correlated with RTS video-game experience. In both VGPs and NVGPs, there was task-related neuronal activity in the right IFG, ACC, and striatum, which was strengthened after training. These results indicate that RTS video-game experience, associated with changes in higher-order cognitive functions and connectivity between visual and cognitive areas, facilitates VPL in early phases of training. The results support the hypothesis that VPL can occur without involvement of only visual areas. Significance statement: Although early studies found that visual perceptual learning (VPL) is associated with involvement of the visual cortex, generality of visual skills enhancement by action video-game experience

  8. Prenatal Iron Deficiency in Guinea Pigs Increases Locomotor Activity but Does Not Influence Learning and Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Fiset, Catherine; Rioux, France M.; Surette, Marc E.; Fiset, Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    The objective of the current study was to determine whether prenatal iron deficiency induced during gestation in guinea pigs affected locomotor activity and learning and memory processes in the progeny. Dams were fed either iron-deficient anemic or iron-sufficient diets throughout gestation and lactation. After weaning, all pups were fed an iron-sufficient diet. On postnatal day 24 and 40, the pups' locomotor activity was observed within an open-field test, and from postnatal day 25 to 40, th...

  9. Baseline performance and learning rate of conceptual and perceptual skill-learning tasks: the effect of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakil, Eli; Lev-Ran Galon, Carmit

    2014-01-01

    Existing literature presents a complex and inconsistent picture of the specific deficiencies involved in skill learning following traumatic brain injury (TBI). In an attempt to address this difficulty, individuals with moderate to severe TBI (n = 29) and a control group (n = 29) were tested with two different skill-learning tasks: conceptual (i.e., Tower of Hanoi Puzzle, TOHP) and perceptual (i.e., mirror reading, MR). Based on previous studies of the effect of divided attention on these tasks and findings regarding the effect of TBI on conceptual and perceptual priming tasks, it was predicted that the group with TBI would show impaired baseline performance compared to controls in the TOHP task though their learning rate would be maintained, while both baseline performance and learning rate on the MR task would be maintained. Consistent with our predictions, overall baseline performance of the group with TBI was impaired in the TOHP test, while the learning rate was not. The learning rate on the MR task was preserved but, contrary to our prediction, response time of the group with TBI was slower than that of controls. The pattern of results observed in the present study was interpreted to possibly reflect an impairment of both the frontal lobes as well as that of diffuse axonal injury, which is well documented as being affected by TBI. The former impairment affects baseline performance of the conceptual learning skill, while the latter affects the overall slower performance of the perceptual learning skill.

  10. Prenatal exposure to nanosized zinc oxide in rats: neurotoxicity and postnatal impaired learning and memory ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaoli, Feng; Junrong, Wu; Xuan, Lai; Yanli, Zhang; Limin, Wei; Jia, Liu; Longquan, Shao

    2017-04-01

    To examine the neurotoxicity of prenatal exposure to ZnO nanoparticles on rat offspring. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) by gavage. Toxicity was assessed including zinc biodistribution, cerebral histopathology, antioxidant status and learning and memory capability. A significantly elevated concentration of zinc was detected in offspring brains. Transmission electron microscope observations showed abnormal neuron ultrastructures. Histopathologic changes such as decreased proliferation and higher apoptotic death were observed. An obvious imbalanced antioxidant status occurred in brains. Adult experimental offspring exhibited impaired learning and memory behavior in the Morris water maze test compared with control groups. These adverse effects on offspring brain may cause impaired learning and memory capabilities in adulthood, particularly in female rats.

  11. Perceptual Learning Style and Learning Proficiency: A Test of the Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratzig, Gregory P.; Arbuthnott, Katherine D.

    2006-01-01

    Given the potential importance of using modality preference with instruction, the authors tested whether learning style preference correlated with memory performance in each of 3 sensory modalities: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. In Study 1, participants completed objective measures of pictorial, auditory, and tactile learning and learning…

  12. The Relationship Between the Learning Style Perceptual Preferences of Urban Fourth Grade Children and the Acquisition of Selected Physical Science Concepts Through Learning Cycle Instructional Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Kenneth Mark

    The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between the learning style perceptual preferences of fourth grade urban students and the attainment of selected physical science concepts for three simple machines as taught using learning cycle methodology. The sample included all fourth grade children from one urban elementary school (N = 91). The research design followed a quasi-experimental format with a single group, equivalent teacher demonstration and student investigation materials, and identical learning cycle instructional treatment. All subjects completed the Understanding Simple Machines Test (USMT) prior to instructional treatment, and at the conclusion of treatment to measure student concept attainment related to the pendulum, the lever and fulcrum, and the inclined plane. USMT pre and post-test scores, California Achievement Test (CAT-5) percentile scores, and Learning Style Inventory (LSI) standard scores for four perceptual elements for each subject were held in a double blind until completion of the USMT post-test. The hypothesis tested in this study was: Learning style perceptual preferences of fourth grade students as measured by the Dunn, Dunn, and Price Learning Style Inventory (LSI) are significant predictors of success in the acquisition of physical science concepts taught through use of the learning cycle. Analysis of pre and post USMT scores, 18.18 and 30.20 respectively, yielded a significant mean gain of +12.02. A controlled stepwise regression was employed to identify significant predictors of success on the USMT post-test from among USMT pre-test, four CAT-5 percentile scores, and four LSI perceptual standard scores. The CAT -5 Total Math and Total Reading accounted for 64.06% of the variance in the USMT post-test score. The only perceptual element to act as a significant predictor was the Kinesthetic standard score, accounting for 1.72% of the variance. The study revealed that learning cycle instruction does not appear

  13. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and p...

  14. Aesthetic concepts, perceptual learning, and linguistic enculturation: considerations from Wittgenstein, language, and music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croom, Adam M

    2012-03-01

    Aesthetic non-cognitivists deny that aesthetic statements express genuinely aesthetic beliefs and instead hold that they work primarily to express something non-cognitive, such as attitudes of approval or disapproval, or desire. Non-cognitivists deny that aesthetic statements express aesthetic beliefs because they deny that there are aesthetic features in the world for aesthetic beliefs to represent. Their assumption, shared by scientists and theorists of mind alike, was that language-users possess cognitive mechanisms with which to objectively grasp abstract rules fixed independently of human responses, and that cognizers are thereby capable of grasping rules for the correct application of aesthetic concepts without relying on evaluation or enculturation. However, in this article I use Wittgenstein's rule-following considerations to argue that psychological theories grounded upon this so-called objective model of rule-following fail to adequately account for concept acquisition and mastery. I argue that this is because linguistic enculturation, and the perceptual learning that's often involved, influences and enables the mastery of aesthetic concepts. I argue that part of what's involved in speaking aesthetically is to belong to a cultural practice of making sense of things aesthetically, and that it's within a socio-linguistic community, and that community's practices, that such aesthetic sense can be made intelligible.

  15. Learning disabilities and intellectual functioning in school-aged children with prenatal cocaine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Connie E; Culbertson, Jan L; Accornero, Veronica H; Xue, Lihua; Anthony, James C; Bandstra, Emmalee S

    2006-01-01

    Risk for developing a learning disability (LD) or impaired intellectual functioning by age 7 was assessed in full-term children with prenatal cocaine exposure drawn from a cohort of 476 children born full term and enrolled prospectively at birth. Intellectual functioning was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (Wechsler, 1991) short form, and academic functioning was assessed using the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT; Wechsler, 1993) Screener by examiners blind to exposure status. LDs were categorized based on ability-achievement discrepancy scores, using the regression-based predicted achievement method described in the WIAT manual. The sample in this report included 409 children (212 cocaine-exposed, 197 non-cocaine-exposed) from the birth cohort with available data. Cumulative incidence proportions and relative risk values were estimated using STATA software (Statacorp, 2003). No differences were found in the estimate of relative risk for impaired intellectual functioning (IQ below 70) between children with and without prenatal cocaine exposure (estimated relative risk = .95; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.65, 1.39; p = .79). The cocaine-exposed children had 2.8 times greater risk of developing a LD by age 7 than non-cocaine-exposed children (95% CI = 1.05, 7.67; p = .038; IQ >/= 70 cutoff). Results remained stable with adjustment for multiple child and caregiver covariates, suggesting that children with prenatal cocaine exposure are at increased risk for developing a learning disability by age 7 when compared to their non-cocaine-exposed peers.

  16. Auditory-visual stimulus pairing enhances perceptual learning in a songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hultsch; Schleuss; Todt

    1999-07-01

    In many oscine birds, song learning is affected by social variables, for example the behaviour of a tutor. This implies that both auditory and visual perceptual systems should be involved in the acquisition process. To examine whether and how particular visual stimuli can affect song acquisition, we tested the impact of a tutoring design in which the presentation of auditory stimuli (i.e. species-specific master songs) was paired with a well-defined nonauditory stimulus (i.e. stroboscope light flashes: Strobe regime). The subjects were male hand-reared nightingales, Luscinia megarhynchos. For controls, males were exposed to tutoring without a light stimulus (Control regime). The males' singing recorded 9 months later showed that the Strobe regime had enhanced the acquisition of song patterns. During this treatment birds had acquired more songs than during the Control regime; the observed increase in repertoire size was from 20 to 30% in most cases. Furthermore, the copy quality of imitations acquired during the Strobe regime was better than that of imitations developed from the Control regime, and this was due to a significant increase in the number of 'perfect' song copies. We conclude that these effects were mediated by an intrinsic component (e.g. attention or arousal) which specifically responded to the Strobe regime. Our findings also show that mechanisms of song learning are well prepared to process information from cross-modal perception. Thus, more detailed enquiries into stimulus complexes that are usually referred to as social variables are promising. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  17. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF) for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS) and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA). Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1) than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL.

  18. A mouse model of visual perceptual learning reveals alterations in neuronal coding and dendritic spine density in the visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eWang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Visual perceptual learning (VPL can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA. Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1 than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL.

  19. Spatial learning impairment in prepubertal guinea pigs prenatally exposed to the organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos: Toxicological implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamczarz, Jacek; Pescrille, Joseph D.; Gavrushenko, Lisa; Burke, Richard D.; Fawcett, William P.; DeTolla, Louis J.; Chen, Hegang; Pereira, Edna F.R.; Albuquerque, Edson X.

    2017-01-01

    Exposure of the developing brain to chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphorus (OP) pesticide used extensively in agriculture worldwide, has been associated with increased prevalence of cognitive deficits in children, particularly boys. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that cognitive deficits induced by prenatal exposure to sub-acute doses of CPF can be reproduced in precocial small species. To address this hypothesis, pregnant guinea pigs were injected daily with CPF (25 mg/kg, s.c.) or vehicle (peanut oil) for 10 days starting on presumed gestation day (GD) 53–55. Offspring were born around GD 65, weaned on postnatal day (PND) 20, and subjected to behavioral tests starting around PND 30. On the day of birth, butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), an OP bioscavenger used as a biomarker of OP exposures, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a major molecular target of OP compounds, were significantly inhibited in the blood of CPF-exposed offspring. In their brains, BuChE, but not AChE, was significantly inhibited. Prenatal CPF exposure had no significant effect on locomotor activity or on locomotor habituation, a form of non-associative memory assessed in open fields. Spatial navigation in the Morris water maze (MWM) was found to be sexually dimorphic among guinea pigs, with males outperforming females. Prenatal CPF exposure impaired spatial learning more significantly among male than female guinea pigs and, consequently, reduced the sexual dimorphism of the task. The results presented here, which strongly support the test hypothesis, reveal that the guinea pig is a valuable animal model for preclinical assessment of the developmental neurotoxicity of OP pesticides. These findings are far reaching as they lay the groundwork for future studies aimed at identifying therapeutic interventions to treat and/or prevent the neurotoxic effects of CPF in the developing brain. PMID:27296654

  20. Creating Objects and Object Categories for Studying Perception and Perceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauffen, Karin; Bart, Eugene; Brady, Mark; Kersten, Daniel; Hegdé, Jay

    2012-01-01

    In order to quantitatively study object perception, be it perception by biological systems or by machines, one needs to create objects and object categories with precisely definable, preferably naturalistic, properties1. Furthermore, for studies on perceptual learning, it is useful to create novel objects and object categories (or object classes) with such properties2. Many innovative and useful methods currently exist for creating novel objects and object categories3-6 (also see refs. 7,8). However, generally speaking, the existing methods have three broad types of shortcomings. First, shape variations are generally imposed by the experimenter5,9,10, and may therefore be different from the variability in natural categories, and optimized for a particular recognition algorithm. It would be desirable to have the variations arise independently of the externally imposed constraints. Second, the existing methods have difficulty capturing the shape complexity of natural objects11-13. If the goal is to study natural object perception, it is desirable for objects and object categories to be naturalistic, so as to avoid possible confounds and special cases. Third, it is generally hard to quantitatively measure the available information in the stimuli created by conventional methods. It would be desirable to create objects and object categories where the available information can be precisely measured and, where necessary, systematically manipulated (or 'tuned'). This allows one to formulate the underlying object recognition tasks in quantitative terms. Here we describe a set of algorithms, or methods, that meet all three of the above criteria. Virtual morphogenesis (VM) creates novel, naturalistic virtual 3-D objects called 'digital embryos' by simulating the biological process of embryogenesis14. Virtual phylogenesis (VP) creates novel, naturalistic object categories by simulating the evolutionary process of natural selection9,12,13. Objects and object categories created

  1. Effect of E-learning on primigravida women's satisfaction and awareness concerning prenatal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamadirizi, Soheila; Bahadoran, Parvin; Fahami, Fariba

    2014-01-01

    E-learning, in addition to promotion of patients' level of awareness, causes a more efficient way to increase patient-personnel interaction and provision of patients' educational content. In a quasi-experimental study, 100 primigravida women, referring to Navab Safavi health care center affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, were selected through convenient sampling. The subjects received education via E-learning or booklet education methods for four weeks. Questionnaire of satisfaction with the awareness of prenatal care was completed by both groups before and 4-6 weeks after education. Data were analyzed by student t-test and paired t-test through SPSS with a significance level of P E-learning and control groups, respectively (P = 0.034). E-learning can cause an increase in the level of primigravida women's satisfaction and awareness. Therefore, conducting such education, as an efficient learning method, is recommended as it needs less time, has lower costs, and does not need any special equipment.

  2. Low dose prenatal alcohol exposure does not impair spatial learning and memory in two tests in adult and aged rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlie L Cullen

    Full Text Available Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can have detrimental impacts on the developing hippocampus, which can lead to deficits in learning and memory function. Although high levels of alcohol exposure can lead to severe deficits, there is a lack of research examining the effects of low levels of exposure. This study used a rat model to determine if prenatal exposure to chronic low dose ethanol would result in deficits in learning and memory performance and if this was associated with morphological changes within the hippocampus. Sprague Dawley rats were fed a liquid diet containing 6% (vol/vol ethanol (EtOH or an isocaloric control diet throughout gestation. Male and Female offspring underwent behavioural testing at 8 (Adult or 15 months (Aged of age. Brains from these animals were collected for stereological analysis of pyramidal neuron number and dendritic morphology within the CA1 and CA3 regions of the dorsal hippocampus. Prenatal ethanol exposed animals did not differ in spatial learning or memory performance in the Morris water maze or Y maze tasks compared to Control offspring. There was no effect of prenatal ethanol exposure on pyramidal cell number or density within the dorsal hippocampus. Overall, this study indicates that chronic low dose prenatal ethanol exposure in this model does not have long term detrimental effects on pyramidal cells within the dorsal hippocampus or impair spatial learning and memory performance.

  3. Transfer of perceptual learning of depth discrimination between local and global stereograms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantz, Liat; Bedell, Harold E

    2010-08-23

    Several previous studies reported differences when stereothresholds are assessed with local-contour stereograms vs. complex random-dot stereograms (RDSs). Dissimilar thresholds may be due to differences in the properties of the stereograms (e.g. spatial frequency content, contrast, inter-element separation, area) or to different underlying processing mechanisms. This study examined the transfer of perceptual learning of depth discrimination between local and global RDSs with similar properties, and vice versa. If global and local stereograms are processed by separate neural mechanisms, then the magnitude and rate of training for the two types of stimuli are likely to differ, and the transfer of training from one stimulus type to the other should be minimal. Based on previous results, we chose RDSs with element densities of 0.17% and 28.3% to serve as the local and global stereograms, respectively. Fourteen inexperienced subjects with normal binocular vision were randomly assigned to either a local- or global- RDS training group. Stereothresholds for both stimulus types were measured before and after 7700 training trials distributed over 10 sessions. Stereothresholds for the trained condition improve for approximately 3000 trials, by an average of 0.36+/-0.08 for local and 0.29+/-0.10 for global RDSs, and level off thereafter. Neither the rate nor the magnitude of improvement differ statistically between the local- and global-training groups. Further, no significant difference exists in the amount of improvement on the trained vs. the untrained targets for either training group. These results are consistent with the operation of a single mechanism to process both local and global stereograms. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effect of portfolio assessment on student learning in prenatal training for midwives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kariman, Nourossadat; Moafi, Farnoosh

    2011-01-01

    The tendency to use portfolios for evaluation has been developed with the aim of optimizing the culture of assessment. The present study was carried out to determine the effect of using portfolios as an evaluation method on midwifery students' learning and satisfaction in prenatal practical training. In this prospective cohort study, all midwifery students in semester four (n=40), were randomly allocated to portfolio and routine evaluation groups. Based on their educational goals, the portfolio groups prepared packages which consisted of a complete report of the history, physical examinations, and methods of patient management (as evaluated by a checklist) for women who visited a prenatal clinic. During the last day of their course, a posttest, clinical exam, and student satisfaction form were completed. The two groups' mean age, mean pretest scores, and their prerequisite course that they should have taken in the previous semester were similar. The mean difference in the pre and post test scores for the two groups' knowledge and comprehension levels did not differ significantly (P>0.05). The average scores on questions in Bloom's taxonomy 2 and 3 of the portfolio group were significantly greater than those of the routine evaluation group (P=0.002, P=0.03, respectively). The mean of the two groups' clinical exam scores was significantly different. The portfolio group's mean scores on generating diagnostic and therapeutic solutions and the ability to apply theory in practice were higher than those of the routine group. Overall, students' satisfaction scores in the two evaluation methods were relatively similar. Portfolio evaluation provides the opportunity for more learning by increasing the student's participation in the learning process and helping them to apply theory in practice.

  5. The effect of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on implicit memory: skill learning and perceptual priming in patients with major depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakil, E; Grunhaus, L; Nagar, I; Ben-Chaim, E; Dolberg, O T; Dannon, P N; Schreiber, S

    2000-01-01

    While explicit memory in amnesics is impaired, their implicit memory remains preserved. Memory impairment is one of the side effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT patients are expected to show impairment on explicit but not implicit tasks. The present study examined 17 normal controls and 17 patients with severe major depressive disorder who underwent right unilateral ECT. Patients were tested in three sessions: 24-48 hours prior to, 24-48 hours following the first ECT, and 24-48 hours following the eighth ECT. The controls were tested in three sessions, at time intervals that paralleled those of the patients. Implicit memory was tested by the perceptual priming task - Partial Picture-Identification (PPI). The skill learning task used entailed solving the Tower of Hanoi puzzle (TOHP). Explicit memory was tested by picture recall from the PPI task, verbal recall of information regarding the TOHP, and by the Visual Paired Association (VPA) test. Results showed that explicit questions about the implicit tasks were impaired following ECT treatment. Patients' learning ability, as measured by the VPA task, was only impaired in the first testing session, prior to ECT treatment, reflecting the effect of depression. In addition, groups only differed in the first session on the learning rate of the skill learning task. Perceptual priming was preserved in the patients' group in all sessions, indicating that it is resilient to the effect of depression and ECT. The results are interpreted in terms of the differential effect of depression and ECT on explicit and implicit memory.

  6. The role of timing in the induction of neuromodulation in perceptual learning by transcranial electric stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirulli, Cornelia; Fertonani, Anna; Miniussi, Carlo

    2013-07-01

    Transcranial electric stimulation (tES) protocols are able to induce neuromodulation, offering important insights to focus and constrain theories of the relationship between brain and behavior. Previous studies have shown that different types of tES (i.e., direct current stimulation - tDCS, and random noise stimulation - tRNS) induce different facilitatory behavioral effects. However to date is not clear which is the optimal timing to apply tES in relation to the induction of robust facilitatory effects. The goal of this work was to investigate how different types of tES (tDCS and tRNS) can modulate behavioral performance in the healthy adult brain in relation to their timing of application. We applied tES protocols before (offline) or during (online) the execution of a visual perceptual learning (PL) task. PL is a form of implicit memory that is characterized by an improvement in sensory discrimination after repeated exposure to a particular type of stimulus and is considered a manifestation of neural plasticity. Our aim was to understand if the timing of tES is critical for the induction of differential neuromodulatory effects in the primary visual cortex (V1). We applied high-frequency tRNS, anodal tDCS and sham tDCS on V1 before or during the execution of an orientation discrimination task. The experimental design was between subjects and performance was measured in terms of d' values. The ideal timing of application varied depending on the stimulation type. tRNS facilitated task performance only when it was applied during task execution, whereas anodal tDCS induced a larger facilitation if it was applied before task execution. The main result of this study is the finding that the timing of identical tES protocols yields opposite effects on performance. These results provide important guidelines for designing neuromodulation induction protocols and highlight the different optimal timing of the two excitatory techniques. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All

  7. Go/no-go discriminated avoidance learning in prenatally x-irradiated rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamaki, Y.; Inouye, M.

    1988-01-01

    Male Fischer344 rats were exposed to x-irradiation at a dose of 200 rad on Day 17 of gestation. Irradiated and control rats were tested at 10-13 weeks of age with the paradigm of go/no-go (active-passive) discriminated avoidance conditioning for three consecutive daily sessions. During the first conditioning session, they learned only active avoidance responses to two different warning signals. During the second and third sessions, they learned active and passive avoidance responses: in response to one warning signal, rats were required to make an active response to avoid a shock, but not to run in response to the other signal in order to avoid a shock. Prenatally irradiated rats made more active avoidance responses to both warning signals than controls (first session). In the early training phase of the go/no-go task, irradiated rats performed significantly higher active and lower passive avoidance responses than controls. Irradiated rats established a strong tendency to respond actively to the no-go signal, but eventually learned to respond to it

  8. Deficiencies within the education system with regard to perceptual motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myrtle Erasmus

    2011-12-01

    needs within the education environment and that many schools are under-supplied in terms of resources and equipment. It is recommended that these teachers receive inservice training on learners’ perceptual motor development and that the Department of Education should provide schools with resources and equipment to prevent these deficiencies in the education system.

  9. Perceptual learning of motion direction discrimination with suppressed and unsuppressed MT in humans: an fMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Thompson

    Full Text Available The middle temporal area of the extrastriate visual cortex (area MT is integral to motion perception and is thought to play a key role in the perceptual learning of motion tasks. We have previously found, however, that perceptual learning of a motion discrimination task is possible even when the training stimulus contains locally balanced, motion opponent signals that putatively suppress the response of MT. Assuming at least partial suppression of MT, possible explanations for this learning are that 1 training made MT more responsive by reducing motion opponency, 2 MT remained suppressed and alternative visual areas such as V1 enabled learning and/or 3 suppression of MT increased with training, possibly to reduce noise. Here we used fMRI to test these possibilities. We first confirmed that the motion opponent stimulus did indeed suppress the BOLD response within hMT+ compared to an almost identical stimulus without locally balanced motion signals. We then trained participants on motion opponent or non-opponent stimuli. Training with the motion opponent stimulus reduced the BOLD response within hMT+ and greater reductions in BOLD response were correlated with greater amounts of learning. The opposite relationship between BOLD and behaviour was found at V1 for the group trained on the motion-opponent stimulus and at both V1 and hMT+ for the group trained on the non-opponent motion stimulus. As the average response of many cells within MT to motion opponent stimuli is the same as their response to non-directional flickering noise, the reduced activation of hMT+ after training may reflect noise reduction.

  10. One Way or Another: Evidence for Perceptual Asymmetry in Pre-attentive Learning of Non-native Contrasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liquan Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Research investigating listeners’ neural sensitivity to speech sounds has largely focused on segmental features. We examined Australian English listeners’ perception and learning of a supra-segmental feature, pitch direction in a non-native tonal contrast, using a passive oddball paradigm and electroencephalography. The stimuli were two contours generated from naturally produced high-level and high-falling tones in Mandarin Chinese, differing only in pitch direction (Liu and Kager, 2014. While both contours had similar pitch onsets, the pitch offset of the falling contour was lower than that of the level one. The contrast was presented in two orientations (standard and deviant reversed and tested in two blocks with the order of block presentation counterbalanced. Mismatch negativity (MMN responses showed that listeners discriminated the non-native tonal contrast only in the second block, reflecting indications of learning through exposure during the first block. In addition, listeners showed a later MMN peak for their second block of test relative to listeners who did the same block first, suggesting linguistic (as opposed to acoustic processing or a misapplication of perceptual strategies from the first to the second block. The results also showed a perceptual asymmetry for change in pitch direction: listeners who encountered a falling tone deviant in the first block had larger frontal MMN amplitudes than listeners who encountered a level tone deviant in the first block. The implications of our findings for second language speech and the developmental trajectory for tone perception are discussed.

  11. Effects of semantic context and feedback on perceptual learning of speech processed through an acoustic simulation of a cochlear implant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loebach, Jeremy L; Pisoni, David B; Svirsky, Mario A

    2010-02-01

    The effect of feedback and materials on perceptual learning was examined in listeners with normal hearing who were exposed to cochlear implant simulations. Generalization was most robust when feedback paired the spectrally degraded sentences with their written transcriptions, promoting mapping between the degraded signal and its acoustic-phonetic representation. Transfer-appropriate processing theory suggests that such feedback was most successful because the original learning conditions were reinstated at testing: Performance was facilitated when both training and testing contained degraded stimuli. In addition, the effect of semantic context on generalization was assessed by training listeners on meaningful or anomalous sentences. Training with anomalous sentences was as effective as that with meaningful sentences, suggesting that listeners were encouraged to use acoustic-phonetic information to identify speech than to make predictions from semantic context.

  12. Maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced hypomyelination, synaptic alterations, and learning impairment in mouse offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Ayumi; Iinuma, Mitsuo; Hayashi, Sakurako; Sato, Yuichi; Azuma, Kagaku; Kubo, Kin-Ya

    2016-11-15

    Maternal chewing during prenatal stress attenuates both the development of stress-induced learning deficits and decreased cell proliferation in mouse hippocampal dentate gyrus. Hippocampal myelination affects spatial memory and the synaptic structure is a key mediator of neuronal communication. We investigated whether maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced alterations of hippocampal myelin and synapses, and impaired development of spatial memory in adult offspring. Pregnant mice were divided into control, stress, and stress/chewing groups. Stress was induced by placing mice in a ventilated restraint tube, and was initiated on day 12 of pregnancy and continued until delivery. Mice in the stress/chewing group were given a wooden stick to chew during restraint. In 1-month-old pups, spatial memory was assessed in the Morris water maze, and hippocampal oligodendrocytes and synapses in CA1 were assayed by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Prenatal stress led to impaired learning ability, and decreased immunoreactivity of myelin basic protein (MBP) and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) in the hippocampal CA1 in adult offspring. Numerous myelin sheath abnormalities were observed. The G-ratio [axonal diameter to axonal fiber diameter (axon plus myelin sheath)] was increased and postsynaptic density length was decreased in the hippocampal CA1 region. Maternal chewing during stress attenuated the prenatal stress-induced impairment of spatial memory, and the decreased MBP and CNPase immunoreactivity, increased G-ratios, and decreased postsynaptic-density length in the hippocampal CA1 region. These findings suggest that chewing during prenatal stress in dams could be an effective coping strategy to prevent hippocampal behavioral and morphologic impairments in their offspring. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Can perceptual learning be used to treat amblyopia beyond the critical period of visual development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astle, Andrew T; Webb, Ben S; McGraw, Paul V

    2011-11-01

    Amblyopia presents early in childhood and affects approximately 3% of western populations. The monocular visual acuity loss is conventionally treated during the 'critical periods' of visual development by occluding or penalising the fellow eye to encourage use of the amblyopic eye. Despite the measurable success of this approach in many children, substantial numbers of people still suffer with amblyopia later in life because either they were never diagnosed in childhood, did not respond to the original treatment, the amblyopia was only partially remediated, or their acuity loss returned after cessation of treatment. In this review, we consider whether the visual deficits of this largely overlooked amblyopic group are amenable to conventional and innovative therapeutic interventions later in life, well beyond the age at which treatment is thought to be effective. There is a considerable body of evidence that residual plasticity is present in the adult visual brain and this can be harnessed to improve function in adults with amblyopia. Perceptual training protocols have been developed to optimise visual gains in this clinical population. Results thus far are extremely encouraging; marked visual improvements have been demonstrated, the perceptual benefits transfer to new visual tasks and appear to be relatively enduring. The essential ingredients of perceptual training protocols are being incorporated into video game formats, facilitating home-based interventions. Many studies support perceptual training as a tool for improving vision in amblyopes beyond the critical period. Should this novel form of treatment stand up to the scrutiny of a randomised controlled trial, clinicians may need to re-evaluate their therapeutic approach to adults with amblyopia. Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics © 2011 The College of Optometrists.

  14. Can perceptual learning be used to treat amblyopia beyond the critical period of visual development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astle, Andrew T.; Webb, Ben S.; McGraw, Paul V.

    2012-01-01

    Background Amblyopia presents early in childhood and affects approximately 3% of western populations. The monocular visual acuity loss is conventionally treated during the “critical periods” of visual development by occluding or penalising the fellow eye to encourage use of the amblyopic eye. Despite the measurable success of this approach in many children, substantial numbers of people still suffer with amblyopia later in life because either they were never diagnosed in childhood, did not respond to the original treatment, the amblyopia was only partially remediated, or their acuity loss returned after cessation of treatment. Purpose In this review, we consider whether the visual deficits of this largely overlooked amblyopic group are amenable to conventional and innovative therapeutic interventions later in life, well beyond the age at which treatment is thought to be effective. Recent findings There is a considerable body of evidence that residual plasticity is present in the adult visual brain and this can be harnessed to improve function in adults with amblyopia. Perceptual training protocols have been developed to optimise visual gains in this clinical population. Results thus far are extremely encouraging: marked visual improvements have been demonstrated, the perceptual benefits transfer to new visual tasks and appear to be relatively enduring. The essential ingredients of perceptual training protocols are being incorporated into video game formats, facilitating home-based interventions. Summary Many studies support perceptual training as a tool for improving vision in amblyopes beyond the critical period. Should this novel form of treatment stand up to the scrutiny of a randomised controlled trial, clinicians may need to re-evaluate their therapeutic approach to adults with amblyopia. PMID:21981034

  15. Birth of projection neurons in adult avian brain may be related to perceptual or motor learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez-Buylla, A.; Kirn, J.R.; Nottebohm, F.

    1990-01-01

    Projection neurons that form part of the motor pathway for song control continue to be produced and to replace older projection neurons in adult canaries and zebra finches. This is shown by combining [3H]thymidine, a cell birth marker, and fluorogold, a retrogradely transported tracer of neuronal connectivity. Species and seasonal comparisons suggest that this process is related to the acquisition of perceptual or motor memories. The ability of an adult brain to produce and replace projection neurons should influence our thinking on brain repair

  16. Perceptual Learning of Intonation Contour Categories in Adults and 9- to 11-Year-Old Children: Adults Are More Narrow-Minded

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapatsinski, Vsevolod; Olejarczuk, Paul; Redford, Melissa A.

    2017-01-01

    We report on rapid perceptual learning of intonation contour categories in adults and 9- to 11-year-old children. Intonation contours are temporally extended patterns, whose perception requires temporal integration and therefore poses significant working memory challenges. Both children and adults form relatively abstract representations of…

  17. The Effect of Feedback Delay on Perceptual Category Learning and Item Memory: Further Limits of Multiple Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Rachel G; Kalish, Michael L

    2018-02-01

    Delayed feedback during categorization training has been hypothesized to differentially affect 2 systems that underlie learning for rule-based (RB) or information-integration (II) structures. We tested an alternative possibility: that II learning requires more precise item representations than RB learning, and so is harmed more by a delay interval filled with a confusable mask. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the effect of feedback delay on memory for RB and II exemplars, both without and with concurrent categorization training. Without the training, II items were indeed more difficult to recognize than RB items, but there was no detectable effect of delay on item memory. In contrast, with concurrent categorization training, there were effects of both category structure and delayed feedback on item memory, which were related to corresponding changes in category learning. However, we did not observe the critical selective impact of delay on II classification performance that has been shown previously. Our own results were also confirmed in a follow-up study (Experiment 3) involving only categorization training. The selective influence of feedback delay on II learning appears to be contingent on the relative size of subgroups of high-performing participants, and in fact does not support that RB and II category learning are qualitatively different. We conclude that a key part of successfully solving perceptual categorization problems is developing more precise item representations, which can be impaired by delayed feedback during training. More important, the evidence for multiple systems of category learning is even weaker than previously proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Changes in Olfactory Sensory Neuron Physiology and Olfactory Perceptual Learning After Odorant Exposure in Adult Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kass, Marley D; Guang, Stephanie A; Moberly, Andrew H; McGann, John P

    2016-02-01

    The adult olfactory system undergoes experience-dependent plasticity to adapt to the olfactory environment. This plasticity may be accompanied by perceptual changes, including improved olfactory discrimination. Here, we assessed experience-dependent changes in the perception of a homologous aldehyde pair by testing mice in a cross-habituation/dishabituation behavioral paradigm before and after a week-long ester-odorant exposure protocol. In a parallel experiment, we used optical neurophysiology to observe neurotransmitter release from olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) terminals in vivo, and thus compared primary sensory representations of the aldehydes before and after the week-long ester-odorant exposure in individual animals. Mice could not discriminate between the aldehydes during pre-exposure testing, but ester-exposed subjects spontaneously discriminated between the homologous pair after exposure, whereas home cage control mice cross-habituated. Ester exposure did not alter the spatial pattern, peak magnitude, or odorant-selectivity of aldehyde-evoked OSN input to olfactory bulb glomeruli, but did alter the temporal dynamics of that input to make the time course of OSN input more dissimilar between odorants. Together, these findings demonstrate that odor exposure can induce both physiological and perceptual changes in odor processing, and suggest that changes in the temporal patterns of OSN input to olfactory bulb glomeruli could induce differences in odor quality. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Maternal DHA supplementation protects rat offspring against impairment of learning and memory following prenatal exposure to valproic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jingquan; Wu, Hongmei; Cao, Yonggang; Liang, Shuang; Sun, Caihong; Wang, Peng; Wang, Ji; Sun, Hongli; Wu, Lijie

    2016-09-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3; DHA) is known to play a critical role in postnatal brain development. However, there have been no studies investigating the preventive effect of DHA on prenatal valproic acid (VPA)-induced behavioral and molecular alterations in offspring. The present study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effects in offspring using maternal feeding of DHA to rats exposed to VPA in pregnancy. In the present study, rats were exposed to VPA on day 12.5 of pregnancy; DHA was administered at the dosages of 100, 300 and 500 mg/kg/day for 3 weeks from day 1 to 21 of pregnancy. The results showed that maternal feeding of DHA to the prenatal exposed to VPA (1) prevented VPA-induced learning and memory impairment but did not change social-related behavior, (2) increased total DHA content in offspring plasma and hippocampus, (3) rescued VPA-induced neuronal loss and apoptosis of pyramidal cells in hippocampal CA1, (4) influenced the content of malondialdehyde and glutathione and the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione in the hippocampus, (5) altered levels of apoptosis-related proteins (Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3) and inhibited the activity of caspase-3 in offspring hippocampus and (6) enhanced relative levels of p-CaMKII and p-CREB proteins in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that maternal feeding with DHA may prevent prenatal VPA-induced impairment of learning and memory, normalize several different molecules associated with oxidative stress and apoptosis in the hippocampus of offspring, and exert preventive effects on prenatal VPA-induced brain dysfunction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. More Is Generally Better: Higher Working Memory Capacity Does Not Impair Perceptual Category Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalish, Michael L.; Newell, Ben R.; Dunn, John C.

    2017-01-01

    It is sometimes supposed that category learning involves competing explicit and procedural systems, with only the former reliant on working memory capacity (WMC). In 2 experiments participants were trained for 3 blocks on both filtering (often said to be learned explicitly) and condensation (often said to be learned procedurally) category…

  1. Fast learning of simple perceptual discriminations reduces brain activation in working memory and in high-level auditory regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daikhin, Luba; Ahissar, Merav

    2015-07-01

    Introducing simple stimulus regularities facilitates learning of both simple and complex tasks. This facilitation may reflect an implicit change in the strategies used to solve the task when successful predictions regarding incoming stimuli can be formed. We studied the modifications in brain activity associated with fast perceptual learning based on regularity detection. We administered a two-tone frequency discrimination task and measured brain activation (fMRI) under two conditions: with and without a repeated reference tone. Although participants could not explicitly tell the difference between these two conditions, the introduced regularity affected both performance and the pattern of brain activation. The "No-Reference" condition induced a larger activation in frontoparietal areas known to be part of the working memory network. However, only the condition with a reference showed fast learning, which was accompanied by a reduction of activity in two regions: the left intraparietal area, involved in stimulus retention, and the posterior superior-temporal area, involved in representing auditory regularities. We propose that this joint reduction reflects a reduction in the need for online storage of the compared tones. We further suggest that this change reflects an implicit strategic shift "backwards" from reliance mainly on working memory networks in the "No-Reference" condition to increased reliance on detected regularities stored in high-level auditory networks.

  2. Top-down inputs enhance orientation selectivity in neurons of the primary visual cortex during perceptual learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samat Moldakarimov

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been used to probe the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in the adult brain. Feedback projections are ubiquitous in the cortex, but little is known about their role in cortical plasticity. Here we explore the hypothesis that learning visual orientation discrimination involves learning-dependent plasticity of top-down feedback inputs from higher cortical areas, serving a different function from plasticity due to changes in recurrent connections within a cortical area. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-based spiking neural network model of visual cortex, we show that modulation of feedback inputs to V1 from higher cortical areas results in shunting inhibition in V1 neurons, which changes the response properties of V1 neurons. The orientation selectivity of V1 neurons is enhanced without changing orientation preference, preserving the topographic organizations in V1. These results provide new insights to the mechanisms of plasticity in the adult brain, reconciling apparently inconsistent experiments and providing a new hypothesis for a functional role of the feedback connections.

  3. Prenatal Stress Impairs Spatial Learning and Memory Associated with Lower mRNA Level of the CAMKII and CREB in the Adult Female Rat Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hongli; Wu, Haibin; Liu, Jianping; Wen, Jun; Zhu, Zhongliang; Li, Hui

    2017-05-01

    Prenatal stress (PS) results in various behavioral and emotional alterations observed in later life. In particular, PS impairs spatial learning and memory processes but the underlying mechanism involved in this pathogenesis still remains unknown. Here, we reported that PS lowered the body weight in offspring rats, particularly in female rats, and impaired spatial learning and memory of female offspring rats in the Morris water maze. Correspondingly, the decreased CaMKII and CREB mRNA in the hippocampus were detected in prenatally stressed female offspring, which partially explained the effect of PS on the spatial learning and memory. Our findings suggested that CaMKII and CREB may be involved in spatial learning and memory processes in the prenatally stressed adult female offspring.

  4. Age-related changes in consolidation of perceptual and muscle-based learning of motor skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca M. C. Spencer

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Improvements in motor sequence learning come about via goal-based learning of the sequence of visual stimuli and muscle-based learning of the sequence of movement responses. In young adults, consolidation of goal-based learning is observed after intervals of sleep but not following wake, whereas consolidation of muscle-based learning is greater following intervals with wake compared to sleep. While the benefit of sleep on motor sequence learning has been shown to decline with age, how sleep contributes to consolidation of goal-based versus muscle-based learning in older adults has not been disentangled. We trained young (n=62 and older (n=50 adults on a motor sequence learning task and re-tested learning following 12 hr intervals containing overnight sleep or daytime wake. To probe consolidation of goal-based learning of the sequence, half of the participants were re-tested in a configuration in which the stimulus sequence was the same but, due to a shift in stimulus-response mapping, the movement response sequence differed. To probe consolidation of muscle-based learning, the remaining participants were tested in a configuration in which the stimulus sequence was novel, but now the sequence of movements used for responding was unchanged. In young adults, there was a significant condition (goal-based v. muscle-based learning by interval (sleep v. wake interaction, F(1,58=6.58, p=.013: Goal-based learning tended to be greater following sleep compared to wake, t(29=1.47, p=.072. Conversely, muscle-based learning was greater following wake than sleep, t(29=2.11, p=.021. Unlike young adults, this interaction was not significant in older adults, F(1,46=.04, p=.84, nor was there a main effect of interval, F(1,46=1.14, p=.29. Thus, older adults do not preferentially consolidate sequence learning over wake or sleep.

  5. Prenatal alcohol exposure modifies glucocorticoid receptor subcellular distribution in the medial prefrontal cortex and impairs frontal cortex-dependent learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Allan

    Full Text Available Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE has been shown to impair learning, memory and executive functioning in children. Perseveration, or the failure to respond adaptively to changing contingencies, is a hallmark on neurobehavioral assessment tasks for human fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD. Adaptive responding is predominantly a product of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and is regulated by corticosteroids. In our mouse model of PAE we recently reported deficits in hippocampal formation-dependent learning and memory and a dysregulation of hippocampal formation glucocorticoid receptor (GR subcellular distribution. Here, we examined the effect of PAE on frontal cortical-dependent behavior, as well as mPFC GR subcellular distribution and the levels of regulators of intracellular GR transport. PAE mice displayed significantly reduced response flexibility in a Y-maze reversal learning task. While the levels of total nuclear GR were reduced in PAE mPFC, levels of GR phosphorylated at serines 203, 211 and 226 were not significantly changed. Cytosolic, but not nuclear, MR levels were elevated in the PAE mPFC. The levels of critical GR trafficking proteins, FKBP51, Hsp90, cyclophilin 40, dynamitin and dynein intermediate chain, were altered in PAE mice, in favor of the exclusion of GR from the nucleus, indicating dysregulation of GR trafficking. Our findings suggest that there may be a link between a deficit in GR nuclear localization and frontal cortical learning deficits in prenatal alcohol-exposed mice.

  6. Caudate nucleus reactivity predicts perceptual learning rate for visual feature conjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-15

    Useful information in the visual environment is often contained in specific conjunctions of visual features (e.g., color and shape). The ability to quickly and accurately process such conjunctions can be learned. However, the neural mechanisms responsible for such learning remain largely unknown. It has been suggested that some forms of visual learning might involve the dopaminergic neuromodulatory system (Roelfsema et al., 2010; Seitz and Watanabe, 2005), but this hypothesis has not yet been directly tested. Here we test the hypothesis that learning visual feature conjunctions involves the dopaminergic system, using functional neuroimaging, genetic assays, and behavioral testing techniques. We use a correlative approach to evaluate potential associations between individual differences in visual feature conjunction learning rate and individual differences in dopaminergic function as indexed by neuroimaging and genetic markers. We find a significant correlation between activity in the caudate nucleus (a component of the dopaminergic system connected to visual areas of the brain) and visual feature conjunction learning rate. Specifically, individuals who showed a larger difference in activity between positive and negative feedback on an unrelated cognitive task, indicative of a more reactive dopaminergic system, learned visual feature conjunctions more quickly than those who showed a smaller activity difference. This finding supports the hypothesis that the dopaminergic system is involved in visual learning, and suggests that visual feature conjunction learning could be closely related to associative learning. However, no significant, reliable correlations were found between feature conjunction learning and genotype or dopaminergic activity in any other regions of interest. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. When more is less: Feedback effects in perceptual category learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddox, W. Todd; Love, Bradley C.; Glass, Brian D.; Filoteo, J. Vincent

    2008-01-01

    Rule-based and information-integration category learning were compared under minimal and full feedback conditions. Rule-based category structures are those for which the optimal rule is verbalizable. Information-integration category structures are those for which the optimal rule is not verbalizable. With minimal feedback subjects are told whether their response was correct or incorrect, but are not informed of the correct category assignment. With full feedback subjects are informed of the correctness of their response and are also informed of the correct category assignment. An examination of the distinct neural circuits that subserve rule-based and information-integration category learning leads to the counterintuitive prediction that full feedback should facilitate rule-based learning but should also hinder information-integration learning. This prediction was supported in the experiment reported below. The implications of these results for theories of learning are discussed. PMID:18455155

  8. Incremental Learning of Perceptual Categories for Open-Domain Sketch Recognition

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lovett, Andrew; Dehghani, Morteza; Forbus, Kenneth

    2007-01-01

    .... This paper describes an incremental learning technique for opendomain recognition. Our system builds generalizations for categories of objects based upon previous sketches of those objects and uses those generalizations to classify new sketches...

  9. Action Speaks Louder than Words: Young Children Differentially Weight Perceptual, Social, and Linguistic Cues to Learn Verbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandone, Amanda C.; Pence, Khara L.; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy

    2007-01-01

    This paper explores how children use two possible solutions to the verb-mapping problem: attention to perceptually salient actions and attention to social and linguistic information (speaker cues). Twenty-two-month-olds attached a verb to one of two actions when perceptual cues (presence/absence of a result) coincided with speaker cues but not…

  10. Anodal tDCS to V1 blocks visual perceptual learning consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Megan A K; Thompson, Benjamin; Merabet, Lotfi B; Wu, Allan D; Shams, Ladan

    2013-06-01

    This study examined the effects of visual cortex transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on visual processing and learning. Participants performed a contrast detection task on two consecutive days. Each session consisted of a baseline measurement followed by measurements made during active or sham stimulation. On the first day, one group received anodal stimulation to primary visual cortex (V1), while another received cathodal stimulation. Stimulation polarity was reversed for these groups on the second day. The third (control) group of subjects received sham stimulation on both days. No improvements or decrements in contrast sensitivity relative to the same-day baseline were observed during real tDCS, nor was any within-session learning trend observed. However, task performance improved significantly from Day 1 to Day 2 for the participants who received cathodal tDCS on Day 1 and for the sham group. No such improvement was found for the participants who received anodal stimulation on Day 1, indicating that anodal tDCS blocked overnight consolidation of visual learning, perhaps through engagement of inhibitory homeostatic plasticity mechanisms or alteration of the signal-to-noise ratio within stimulated cortex. These results show that applying tDCS to the visual cortex can modify consolidation of visual learning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Explicit Pre-Training Instruction Does Not Improve Implicit Perceptual-Motor Sequence Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Daniel J.; Reber, Paul J.

    2013-01-01

    Memory systems theory argues for separate neural systems supporting implicit and explicit memory in the human brain. Neuropsychological studies support this dissociation, but empirical studies of cognitively healthy participants generally observe that both kinds of memory are acquired to at least some extent, even in implicit learning tasks. A key…

  12. Perceptual Training Strongly Improves Visual Motion Perception in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients exhibit perceptual and cognitive deficits, including in visual motion processing. Given that cognitive systems depend upon perceptual inputs, improving patients' perceptual abilities may be an effective means of cognitive intervention. In healthy people, motion perception can be enhanced through perceptual learning, but it…

  13. Prenatal exposure to alcohol does not affect radial maze learning and hippocampal mossy fiber sizes in three inbred strains of mouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertholet Jean-Yves

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on radial-maze learning and hippocampal neuroanatomy, particularly the sizes of the intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fiber (IIPMF terminal fields, in three inbred strains of mice (C57BL/6J, BALB/cJ, and DBA/2J. Results Although we anticipated a modification of both learning and IIPMF sizes, no such effects were detected. Prenatal alcohol exposure did, however, interfere with reproduction in C57BL/6J animals and decrease body and brain weight (in interaction with the genotype at adult age. Conclusion Prenatal alcohol exposure influenced neither radial maze performance nor the sizes of the IIPMF terminal fields. We believe that future research should be pointed either at different targets when using mouse models for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (e.g. more complicated behavioral paradigms, different hippocampal substructures, or other brain structures or involve different animal models.

  14. Audiovisual spoken word training can promote or impede auditory-only perceptual learning: prelingually deafened adults with late-acquired cochlear implants versus normal hearing adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Lynne E; Eberhardt, Silvio P; Auer, Edward T

    2014-01-01

    Training with audiovisual (AV) speech has been shown to promote auditory perceptual learning of vocoded acoustic speech by adults with normal hearing. In Experiment 1, we investigated whether AV speech promotes auditory-only (AO) perceptual learning in prelingually deafened adults with late-acquired cochlear implants. Participants were assigned to learn associations between spoken disyllabic C(=consonant)V(=vowel)CVC non-sense words and non-sense pictures (fribbles), under AV and then AO (AV-AO; or counter-balanced AO then AV, AO-AV, during Periods 1 then 2) training conditions. After training on each list of paired-associates (PA), testing was carried out AO. Across all training, AO PA test scores improved (7.2 percentage points) as did identification of consonants in new untrained CVCVC stimuli (3.5 percentage points). However, there was evidence that AV training impeded immediate AO perceptual learning: During Period-1, training scores across AV and AO conditions were not different, but AO test scores were dramatically lower in the AV-trained participants. During Period-2 AO training, the AV-AO participants obtained significantly higher AO test scores, demonstrating their ability to learn the auditory speech. Across both orders of training, whenever training was AV, AO test scores were significantly lower than training scores. Experiment 2 repeated the procedures with vocoded speech and 43 normal-hearing adults. Following AV training, their AO test scores were as high as or higher than following AO training. Also, their CVCVC identification scores patterned differently than those of the cochlear implant users. In Experiment 1, initial consonants were most accurate, and in Experiment 2, medial consonants were most accurate. We suggest that our results are consistent with a multisensory reverse hierarchy theory, which predicts that, whenever possible, perceivers carry out perceptual tasks immediately based on the experience and biases they bring to the task. We

  15. Explicit pre-training instruction does not improve implicit perceptual-motor sequence learning

    OpenAIRE

    Sanchez, Daniel J.; Reber, Paul J.

    2012-01-01

    Memory systems theory argues for separate neural systems supporting implicit and explicit memory in the human brain. Neuropsychological studies support this dissociation, but empirical studies of cognitively healthy participants generally observe that both kinds of memory are acquired to at least some extent, even in implicit learning tasks. A key question is whether this observation reflects parallel intact memory systems or an integrated representation of memory in healthy participants. Lea...

  16. Cerebellar tDCS dissociates the timing of perceptual decisions from perceptual change in speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lametti, D.R.; Oostwoud Wijdenes, L.; Bonaiuto, J.; Bestmann, S.; Rothwell, J.C.

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies suggest that the cerebellum might play a role in both speech perception and speech perceptual learning. However, it remains unclear what this role is: does the cerebellum directly contribute to the perceptual decision? Or does it contribute to the timing of perceptual decisions?

  17. The effects of prenatal sound stress on the spatial learning and memory of rat's male offspring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barzegar M

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available "n 800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} Background: Numerous evidences indicate that various environmental stresses during pregnancy affect physiological behavior of the offspring. This experimental study was designed to investigate the effect of noise stress during prenatal period of rats on spatial learning and memory and plasma corticostrone level in postnatal life."n"nMethods: Three groups of pregnant rats were given daily noise stress with durations of two and/ or four hours in last week of pregnancy period. The fourth group was left unstressed. The male offspring from the unstressed and different stressed groups were assigned as controls and stressed groups. The animals were introduced to a spatial task in Morris water maze 4 trials/day for five consecutive days. The probe test was performed on the 5th day of the experiment. The delay in findings and the distance passed to locate the target platform were assessed as the spatial learning. "n"nResults: Our results showed that prenatal exposure to noise stress for two and/ or four hours a day, leads to impaired acquisition of spatial learning in the postnatal animals. The plasma level of corticostrone in the two stressed groups of rats markedly matched with their behavioral function. Prenatal exposure to 1- hour noise stress revealed no effects on the offsprings' behavior and plasma corticostrone level."n"nConclusion: Based on our study results, it seems that applied range of stress which is executed through the noise stress could increase the plasma corticostrone level and

  18. Prenatal Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Careers Archives Health Topics Pregnancy Before or between pregnancies Nutrition, weight & fitness Prenatal care Is it safe? Labor & ... Report Cards Careers Archives Pregnancy Before or between pregnancies Nutrition, weight & fitness Prenatal care Is it safe? Labor & ...

  19. Are there any remarkable effects of prenatal exposure to food colourings on neurobehaviour and learning process in rat offspring?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doguc, Duygu Kumbul; Aylak, Firdevs; Ilhan, Ilter; Kulac, Esin; Gultekin, Fatih

    2015-01-01

    Artificial food colourings and additives (AFCAs) have long been discussed to have adverse effects on cognition and behaviour in children. In this study, our aim was to assess the probable side effects of prenatal exposure to colouring food additives on neurobehaviour and spatial learning process. We administered 'no observable adverse effect levels' (NOAELs) of common used AFCAs as a mixture (erythrosine, Ponceau 4R, Allura Red AC, Sunset yellow FCF, tartrazine, Amaranth, Brilliant Blue, Azorubine and Indigotine) to female rats before and during gestation and tested their effects on spatial working memory and behaviour in their offspring. Effects of AFCAs on spatial working memory were evaluated by Morris water maze, behavioural and locomotor effects by open-field and forced-swim tests. Prenatal exposure to commonly used AFCAs had no adverse effects on spatial working memory; however, assessment of interaction of sex and AFCAs on 'latency to locate the visible platform', which was used as a measure of motivation, showed a significant interaction (P < 0.05) on female rats. In addition, AFCAs caused an increase in anxiolytic like effect in the open-field test (P < 0.05) and an increase in mobility time (P < 0.05) in the forced-swim test. We also detected a significant interaction of sex and AFCAs on forced-swim test parameters (P < 0.05). These findings indicated that prenatal exposure to NOAELs of AFCAs resulted in implicit adverse effects that caused an increase in motility and a decrease in motivation and anxiety in offspring in sex-related manner.

  20. Sustained Cortical and Subcortical Measures of Auditory and Visual Plasticity following Short-Term Perceptual Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Bonnie K; Ruggles, Dorea R; Katyal, Sucharit; Engel, Stephen A; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Short-term training can lead to improvements in behavioral discrimination of auditory and visual stimuli, as well as enhanced EEG responses to those stimuli. In the auditory domain, fluency with tonal languages and musical training has been associated with long-term cortical and subcortical plasticity, but less is known about the effects of shorter-term training. This study combined electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures to investigate short-term learning and neural plasticity in both auditory and visual domains. Forty adult participants were divided into four groups. Three groups trained on one of three tasks, involving discrimination of auditory fundamental frequency (F0), auditory amplitude modulation rate (AM), or visual orientation (VIS). The fourth (control) group received no training. Pre- and post-training tests, as well as retention tests 30 days after training, involved behavioral discrimination thresholds, steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) to the flicker frequencies of visual stimuli, and auditory envelope-following responses simultaneously evoked and measured in response to rapid stimulus F0 (EFR), thought to reflect subcortical generators, and slow amplitude modulation (ASSR), thought to reflect cortical generators. Enhancement of the ASSR was observed in both auditory-trained groups, not specific to the AM-trained group, whereas enhancement of the SSVEP was found only in the visually-trained group. No evidence was found for changes in the EFR. The results suggest that some aspects of neural plasticity can develop rapidly and may generalize across tasks but not across modalities. Behaviorally, the pattern of learning was complex, with significant cross-task and cross-modal learning effects.

  1. A Self-Synthesis Approach to Perceptual Learning for Multisensory Fusion in Robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axenie, Cristian; Richter, Christoph; Conradt, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Biological and technical systems operate in a rich multimodal environment. Due to the diversity of incoming sensory streams a system perceives and the variety of motor capabilities a system exhibits there is no single representation and no singular unambiguous interpretation of such a complex scene. In this work we propose a novel sensory processing architecture, inspired by the distributed macro-architecture of the mammalian cortex. The underlying computation is performed by a network of computational maps, each representing a different sensory quantity. All the different sensory streams enter the system through multiple parallel channels. The system autonomously associates and combines them into a coherent representation, given incoming observations. These processes are adaptive and involve learning. The proposed framework introduces mechanisms for self-creation and learning of the functional relations between the computational maps, encoding sensorimotor streams, directly from the data. Its intrinsic scalability, parallelisation, and automatic adaptation to unforeseen sensory perturbations make our approach a promising candidate for robust multisensory fusion in robotic systems. We demonstrate this by applying our model to a 3D motion estimation on a quadrotor. PMID:27775621

  2. A Self-Synthesis Approach to Perceptual Learning for Multisensory Fusion in Robotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Axenie

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological and technical systems operate in a rich multimodal environment. Due to the diversity of incoming sensory streams a system perceives and the variety of motor capabilities a system exhibits there is no single representation and no singular unambiguous interpretation of such a complex scene. In this work we propose a novel sensory processing architecture, inspired by the distributed macro-architecture of the mammalian cortex. The underlying computation is performed by a network of computational maps, each representing a different sensory quantity. All the different sensory streams enter the system through multiple parallel channels. The system autonomously associates and combines them into a coherent representation, given incoming observations. These processes are adaptive and involve learning. The proposed framework introduces mechanisms for self-creation and learning of the functional relations between the computational maps, encoding sensorimotor streams, directly from the data. Its intrinsic scalability, parallelisation, and automatic adaptation to unforeseen sensory perturbations make our approach a promising candidate for robust multisensory fusion in robotic systems. We demonstrate this by applying our model to a 3D motion estimation on a quadrotor.

  3. Perceptual strategies of pigeons to detect a rotational centre--a hint for star compass learning?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca Alert

    Full Text Available Birds can rely on a variety of cues for orientation during migration and homing. Celestial rotation provides the key information for the development of a functioning star and/or sun compass. This celestial compass seems to be the primary reference for calibrating the other orientation systems including the magnetic compass. Thus, detection of the celestial rotational axis is crucial for bird orientation. Here, we use operant conditioning to demonstrate that homing pigeons can principally learn to detect a rotational centre in a rotating dot pattern and we examine their behavioural response strategies in a series of experiments. Initially, most pigeons applied a strategy based on local stimulus information such as movement characteristics of single dots. One pigeon seemed to immediately ignore eccentric stationary dots. After special training, all pigeons could shift their attention to more global cues, which implies that pigeons can learn the concept of a rotational axis. In our experiments, the ability to precisely locate the rotational centre was strongly dependent on the rotational velocity of the dot pattern and it crashed at velocities that were still much faster than natural celestial rotation. We therefore suggest that the axis of the very slow, natural, celestial rotation could be perceived by birds through the movement itself, but that a time-delayed pattern comparison should also be considered as a very likely alternative strategy.

  4. Improvement of uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA and contrast sensitivity (UCCS with perceptual learning and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS in individuals with mild myopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca eCamilleri

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been shown to produce an improvement of visual acuity (VA and contrast sensitivity (CS both in subjects with amblyopia and refractive defects such as myopia or presbyopia. Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS has proven to be efficacious in accelerating neural plasticity and boosting perceptual learning in healthy participants. In this study we investigated whether a short behavioural training regime using a contrast detection task combined with online tRNS was as effective in improving visual functions in participants with mild myopia compared to a two-month behavioural training regime without tRNS (Camilleri et al., 2014. After two weeks of perceptual training in combination with tRNS, participants showed an improvement of 0.15 LogMAR in uncorrected VA (UCVA that was comparable with that obtained after eight weeks of training with no tRNS, and an improvement in uncorrected CS (UCCS at various spatial frequencies (whereas no UCCS improvement was seen after eight weeks of training with no tRNS. On the other hand, a control group that trained for two weeks without stimulation did not show any significant UCVA or UCCS improvement. These results suggest that the combination of behavioural and neuromodulatory techniques can be fast and efficacious in improving sight in individuals with mild myopia.

  5. Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia eFrank

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite the wealth of research on differences between experts and novices with respect to their perceptual-cognitive background (e.g., mental representations, gaze behavior, little is known about the change of these perceptual-cognitive components over the course of motor learning. In the present study, changes in one’s mental representation, quiet eye behavior, and outcome performance were examined over the course of skill acquisition as it related to physical and mental practice. Novices (N = 45 were assigned to one of three conditions: physical practice, physical practice plus mental practice, and no practice. Participants in the practice groups trained on a golf putting task over the course of three days, either by repeatedly executing the putt, or by both executing and imaging the putt. Findings revealed improvements in putting performance across both practice conditions. Regarding the perceptual-cognitive changes, participants practicing mentally and physically revealed longer quiet eye durations as well as more elaborate representation structures in comparison to the control group, while this was not the case for participants who underwent physical practice only. Thus, in the present study, combined mental and physical practice led to both formation of mental representations in long-term memory and longer quiet eye durations. Interestingly, the length of the quiet eye directly related to the degree of elaborateness of the underlying mental representation, supporting the notion that the quiet eye reflects cognitive processing. This study is the first to show that the quiet eye becomes longer in novices practicing a motor action. Moreover, the findings of the present study suggest that perceptual and cognitive adaptations co-occur over the course of motor learning.

  6. Perceptual inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggelopoulos, Nikolaos C

    2015-08-01

    Perceptual inference refers to the ability to infer sensory stimuli from predictions that result from internal neural representations built through prior experience. Methods of Bayesian statistical inference and decision theory model cognition adequately by using error sensing either in guiding action or in "generative" models that predict the sensory information. In this framework, perception can be seen as a process qualitatively distinct from sensation, a process of information evaluation using previously acquired and stored representations (memories) that is guided by sensory feedback. The stored representations can be utilised as internal models of sensory stimuli enabling long term associations, for example in operant conditioning. Evidence for perceptual inference is contributed by such phenomena as the cortical co-localisation of object perception with object memory, the response invariance in the responses of some neurons to variations in the stimulus, as well as from situations in which perception can be dissociated from sensation. In the context of perceptual inference, sensory areas of the cerebral cortex that have been facilitated by a priming signal may be regarded as comparators in a closed feedback loop, similar to the better known motor reflexes in the sensorimotor system. The adult cerebral cortex can be regarded as similar to a servomechanism, in using sensory feedback to correct internal models, producing predictions of the outside world on the basis of past experience. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Effects of prenatal 60Co irradiation on postnatal neural, learning, and hormonal development of the squirrel monkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ordy, J.M.; Brizzee, K.R.; Dunlap, W.P.; Knight, C.

    1982-01-01

    The goals of this study were to examine the effects of 0, 50, and 100 rad of 60 Co administered prenatally on postnatal development of neuromuscular coordination, visual discrimination learning, spontaneous light-dark stabilimeter activity, plasma cortisol, and somatometric growth rates of diurnal squirrel monkeys from birth to 90 days. In terms of accuracy, completeness, and time required for performance of reflexes and neuromuscular coordination, the performance of 50- and 100-rad offspring was less accurate and poorly coordinated and required more time for completion to that of controls. In visual orientation, discrimination, and reversal learning, the percentage correct responses of the 50- and 100-rad offspring were significantly lower than those of controls. Spontaneous light-dark stabilimeter activity of 50- and 100-rad offspring was significantly higher in the dark session than that of controls. Plasma cortisol was significantly higher in 100-rad infants than in controls. Comparisons of somatometric growth rates indicated that postnatal head circumference, crown-rump length, and to a lesser extent body weight increased at significantly slower rates in 50- and 100-rad offspring. These findings should provide essential information for formulating and carrying out multivariate behavioral, biochemical, and morphometric assessments of low-dose effects on the brain of primate offspring within demonstrable dose-response curves

  8. Prenatal Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozge Ozalp Yuregir

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Prenatal diagnosis is the process of determining the health or disease status of the fetus or embryo before birth. The purpose is early detection of diseases and early intervention when required. Prenatal genetic tests comprise of cytogenetic (chromosome assessment and molecular (DNA mutation analysis tests. Prenatal testing enables the early diagnosis of many diseases in risky pregnancies. Furthermore, in the event of a disease, diagnosing prenatally will facilitate the planning of necessary precautions and treatments, both before and after birth. Upon prenatal diagnosis of some diseases, termination of the pregnancy could be possible according to the family's wishes and within the legal frameworks. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2012; 21(1.000: 80-94

  9. Sharpened cortical tuning and enhanced cortico-cortical communication contribute to the long-term neural mechanisms of visual motion perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Nihong; Bi, Taiyong; Zhou, Tiangang; Li, Sheng; Liu, Zili; Fang, Fang

    2015-07-15

    Much has been debated about whether the neural plasticity mediating perceptual learning takes place at the sensory or decision-making stage in the brain. To investigate this, we trained human subjects in a visual motion direction discrimination task. Behavioral performance and BOLD signals were measured before, immediately after, and two weeks after training. Parallel to subjects' long-lasting behavioral improvement, the neural selectivity in V3A and the effective connectivity from V3A to IPS (intraparietal sulcus, a motion decision-making area) exhibited a persistent increase for the trained direction. Moreover, the improvement was well explained by a linear combination of the selectivity and connectivity increases. These findings suggest that the long-term neural mechanisms of motion perceptual learning are implemented by sharpening cortical tuning to trained stimuli at the sensory processing stage, as well as by optimizing the connections between sensory and decision-making areas in the brain. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. What do we learn from the mental retardation induced by prenatal exposure in Hiroshima and Nagasaki ?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otake, Masanori

    1991-01-01

    Significant effects of exposure to ionizing radiation on the developing brain are seen among those individuals prenatally exposed in the 8th through 25th weeks after fertilization. These effects, particularly in the most sensitive period, 8-15 weeks after fertilization, manifest themselves as an increased frequency of severe mental retardation, a diminution in IQ score and in school performance, and an increase in the occurrence of seizures. Of 30 SMR cases, 18(60%) had small heads. About 10% of the individuals with small head sizes observed among the in utero clinical sample were mentally retarded when we exclude two probable nonradiation-related cases of Down's syndrome from the 19 SMR cases exposed 8-15 weeks after fertilization, the 95% lower bound of the threshold based on the new dosimetry system appears to be in the range of 0.12-0.23 Gy. In the 16-25 weeks period, the 95% lower bound of the threshold is 0.21 Gy both with and without inclusion of two probable nonirradiation retarded cases. In a regression analysis of IQ scores and school performance data, a greater linearity is suggested with the new dosimetry (DS86) than with the old (T65DR), but the changes in the mean IQ scores and school performances in the low dose region are similar to the changes emerging in the control group, particularly so with doses under 0.10Gy. (author)

  11. Association of prenatal phenobarbital and phenytoin exposure with small head size at birth and with learning problems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dessens, A. B.; Cohen-Kettenis, P. T.; Mellenbergh, G. J.; Koppe, J. G.; van de Poll, N. E.; Boer, K.

    2000-01-01

    Small head size has been observed in prenatally anticonvulsant-exposed neonates. In infancy, cognitive impairments were revealed. It is presently unknown whether these impairments are permanent or disappear after puberty. We studied the link between the prenatal influence of anticonvulsants on brain

  12. Prenatal organochlorine and methylmercury exposure and memory and learning in school-age children in communities near the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site, Massachusetts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orenstein, Sara T C; Thurston, Sally W; Bellinger, David C; Schwartz, Joel D; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra J; Altshul, Larisa M; Korrick, Susan A

    2014-11-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, and methylmercury (MeHg) are environmentally persistent with adverse effects on neurodevelopment. However, especially among populations with commonly experienced low levels of exposure, research on neurodevelopmental effects of these toxicants has produced conflicting results. We assessed the association of low-level prenatal exposure to these contaminants with memory and learning. We studied 393 children, born between 1993 and 1998 to mothers residing near a PCB-contaminated harbor in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Cord serum PCB, DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), and maternal peripartum hair mercury (Hg) levels were measured to estimate prenatal exposure. Memory and learning were assessed at 8 years of age (range, 7-11 years) using the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML), age-standardized to a mean ± SD of 100 ± 15. Associations with each WRAML index-Visual Memory, Verbal Memory, and Learning-were examined with multivariable linear regression, controlling for potential confounders. Although cord serum PCB levels were low (sum of four PCBs: mean, 0.3 ng/g serum; range, 0.01-4.4), hair Hg levels were typical of the U.S. fish-eating population (mean, 0.6 μg/g; range, 0.3-5.1). In multivariable models, each microgram per gram increase in hair Hg was associated with, on average, decrements of -2.8 on Visual Memory (95% CI: -5.0, -0.6, p = 0.01), -2.2 on Learning (95% CI: -4.6, 0.2, p = 0.08), and -1.7 on Verbal Memory (95% CI: -3.9, 0.6, p = 0.14). There were no significant adverse associations of PCBs or DDE with WRAML indices. These results support an adverse relationship between low-level prenatal MeHg exposure and childhood memory and learning, particularly visual memory.

  13. Prenatal Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... tests are considered routine — that is, almost all pregnant women receiving prenatal care get them. They include things like checking urine (pee) levels for protein, sugar, or signs of infection. Other non-routine ...

  14. Machine Learning for Social Services: A Study of Prenatal Case Management in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Ian; Nolan, Laura B; Brown, Rashida R; Khan, Romana; van der Boor, Paul; Harris, Daniel G; Ghani, Rayid

    2017-06-01

    To evaluate the positive predictive value of machine learning algorithms for early assessment of adverse birth risk among pregnant women as a means of improving the allocation of social services. We used administrative data for 6457 women collected by the Illinois Department of Human Services from July 2014 to May 2015 to develop a machine learning model for adverse birth prediction and improve upon the existing paper-based risk assessment. We compared different models and determined the strongest predictors of adverse birth outcomes using positive predictive value as the metric for selection. Machine learning algorithms performed similarly, outperforming the current paper-based risk assessment by up to 36%; a refined paper-based assessment outperformed the current assessment by up to 22%. We estimate that these improvements will allow 100 to 170 additional high-risk pregnant women screened for program eligibility each year to receive services that would have otherwise been unobtainable. Our analysis exhibits the potential for machine learning to move government agencies toward a more data-informed approach to evaluating risk and providing social services. Overall, such efforts will improve the efficiency of allocating resource-intensive interventions.

  15. Chronic prenatal ethanol exposure alters hippocampal GABA(A) receptors and impairs spatial learning in the guinea pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, U; Dringenberg, H C; Brien, J F; Reynolds, J N

    2004-04-02

    Chronic prenatal ethanol exposure (CPEE) can injure the developing brain, and may lead to the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Previous studies have demonstrated that CPEE upregulates gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptor expression in the cerebral cortex, and decreases functional synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, in the adult guinea pig. This study tested the hypothesis that CPEE increases GABA(A) receptor expression in the hippocampus of guinea pig offspring that exhibit cognitive deficits in a hippocampal-dependent spatial learning task. Timed, pregnant guinea pigs were treated with ethanol (4 g/kg maternal body weight per day), isocaloric-sucrose/pair-feeding, or water throughout gestation. GABA(A) receptor subunit protein expression in the hippocampus was measured at two development ages: near-term fetus and young adult. In young adult guinea pig offspring, CPEE increased spontaneous locomotor activity in the open-field and impaired task acquisition in the Morris water maze. CPEE did not change GABA(A) receptor subunit protein expression in the near-term fetal hippocampus, but increased expression of the beta2/3-subunit of the GABA(A) receptor in the hippocampus of young adult offspring. CPEE did not change either [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding or GABA potentiation of [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding, but decreased the efficacy of allopregnanolone potentiation of [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding, to hippocampal GABA(A) receptors in adult offspring. Correlational analysis revealed a relationship between increased spontaneous locomotor activity and growth restriction in the hippocampus induced by CPEE. Similarly, an inverse relationship was found between performance in the water maze and the efficacy of allopregnanolone potentiation of [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding in the hippocampus. These data suggest that alterations in hippocampal GABA(A) receptor expression and pharmacological properties contribute to hippocampal-related behavioral and cognitive deficits

  16. Brightness discrimination learning in a Skinner box in prenatally X-irradiated rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamaki, Y.; Inouye, M.

    1976-01-01

    Male MP 1 albino rats were exposed to x-irradiation in utero at a single dose of 200 R on day 17 of gestation. The light-dark discrimination training in a Skinner box was continued until the animals attained a learning criterion of 0.80 correct response ratio for 3 consecutive days. Although during the unreinforced baseline sessions the total number of bar pressings in the irradiated animals was superior to that in the controls, performance between the control and the irradiated animals did not differ significantly in (a) the number of training days required to attain the learning criterion, (b) the total number of days on which the animals produced a correct response ratio more than 0.80, and (c) the number of consecutive days during which the correct response ratio was more than 0.75. The results obtained suggest that the irradiated animals were able to discriminate in brightness cues as well, or nearly as well, as the controls. The cortical-subcortical system mediating brightness discrimination in the irradiated animals is discussed. (author)

  17. Frequent video game players resist perceptual interference.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron V Berard

    Full Text Available Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT, a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.

  18. Frequent video game players resist perceptual interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berard, Aaron V; Cain, Matthew S; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-01

    Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT), a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.

  19. Prenatal Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD. Office for Maternal and Child Health Services.

    This booklet is the first in a series of publications designed to provide parents with useful information about childrearing. Contents are organized into three parts. Part I focuses on the pregnancy, prenatal care, development of the baby, pregnant lifestyles, nutrition, common discomforts, and problems of pregnancy. Part II provides information…

  20. Motivational Gaps and Perceptual Bias of Initial Motivation Additional Indicators of Quality for e-Learning Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cação, Rosário

    2017-01-01

    We describe a study on the motivation of trainees in e-learning-based professional training and on the effect of their motivation upon the perceptions they build about the quality of the courses. We propose the concepts of "perceived motivational gap" and "real motivational gap" as indicators of e-learning quality, which…

  1. Dissociable mechanisms of speed-accuracy tradeoff during visual perceptual learning are revealed by a hierarchical drift diffusion model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiaxiang eZhang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Two phenomena are commonly observed in decision-making. First, there is a speed-accuracy tradeoff such that decisions are slower and more accurate when instructions emphasize accuracy over speed, and vice versa. Second, decision performance improves with practice, as a task is learnt. The speed-accuracy tradeoff and learning effects have been explained under a well-established evidence-accumulation framework for decision-making, which suggests that evidence supporting each choice is accumulated over time, and a decision is committed to when the accumulated evidence reaches a decision boundary. This framework suggests that changing the decision boundary creates the tradeoff between decision speed and accuracy, while increasing the rate of accumulation leads to more accurate and faster decisions after learning. However, recent studies challenged the view that speed-accuracy tradeoff and learning are associated with changes in distinct, single decision parameters. Further, the influence of speed-accuracy instructions over the course of learning remains largely unknown. Here, we used a hierarchical drift-diffusion model to examine the speed-accuracy tradeoff during learning of a coherent motion discrimination task across multiple training sessions, and a transfer test session. The influence of speed-accuracy instructions was robust over training and generalized across untrained stimulus features. Emphasizing decision accuracy rather than speed was associated with increased boundary separation, drift rate and non-decision time at the beginning of training. However, after training, an emphasis on decision accuracy was only associated with increased boundary separation. In addition, faster and more accurate decisions after learning were due to a gradual decrease in boundary separation and an increase in drift rate. The results suggest that speed-accuracy instructions and learning differentially shape decision-making processes at different time scales.

  2. Perceptual Robust Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Søren Nygaard

    The research presented in this PhD thesis has focused on a perceptual approach to robust design. The results of the research and the original contribution to knowledge is a preliminary framework for understanding, positioning, and applying perceptual robust design. Product quality is a topic...... been presented. Therefore, this study set out to contribute to the understanding and application of perceptual robust design. To achieve this, a state-of-the-art and current practice review was performed. From the review two main research problems were identified. Firstly, a lack of tools...... for perceptual robustness was found to overlap with the optimum for functional robustness and at most approximately 2.2% out of the 14.74% could be ascribed solely to the perceptual robustness optimisation. In conclusion, the thesis have offered a new perspective on robust design by merging robust design...

  3. Impact of Combined Prenatal Ethanol and Prenatal Stress Exposures on Markers of Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Dentate Gyrus

    OpenAIRE

    Staples, Miranda C.; Porch, Morgan W.; Savage, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal ethanol exposure and prenatal stress can each cause long-lasting deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and disrupt learning and memory processes. However, the mechanisms underlying these perturbations following a learning event are still poorly understood. We examined the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure and prenatal stress exposure, either alone or in combination, on the cytosolic expression of activity-regulated cytoskeletal (ARC) protein and the synaptosomal expression o...

  4. Perceptual Grouping via Untangling Gestalt Principles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qi, Yonggang; Guo, Jun; Li, Yi

    2013-01-01

    the importance of Gestalt rules by solving a learning to rank problem, and formulate a multi-label graph-cuts algo- rithm to group image primitives while taking into account the learned Gestalt confliction. Our experiment results confirm the existence of Gestalt confliction in perceptual grouping and demonstrate...... confliction, i.e., the relative importance of each rule compared with another, remains unsolved. In this paper, we investigate the problem of perceptual grouping by quantifying the confliction among three commonly used rules: similarity, continuity and proximity. More specifically, we propose to quantify...... an improved performance when such a conflic- tion is accounted for via the proposed grouping algorithm. Finally, a novel cross domain image classification method is proposed by exploiting perceptual grouping as representation....

  5. Prenatal immune challenge in rats: altered responses to dopaminergic and glutamatergic agents, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle, and reduced route-based learning as a function of maternal body weight gain after prenatal exposure to poly IC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorhees, Charles V; Graham, Devon L; Braun, Amanda A; Schaefer, Tori L; Skelton, Matthew R; Richtand, Neil M; Williams, Michael T

    2012-08-01

    Prenatal maternal immune activation has been used to test the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. Most of the data are in mouse models; far less is available for rats. We previously showed that maternal weight change in response to the immune activator polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (Poly IC) in rats differentially affects offspring. Therefore, we treated gravid Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats i.p. on embryonic day 14 with 8 mg/kg of Poly IC or Saline. The Poly IC group was divided into those that lost or gained the least weight, Poly IC (L), versus those that gained the most weight, Poly IC (H), following treatment. The study design controlled for litter size, litter sampling, sex distribution, and test experience. We found no effects of Poly IC on elevated zero maze, open-field activity, object burying, light-dark test, straight channel swimming, Morris water maze spatial acquisition, reversal, or shift navigation or spatial working or reference memory, or conditioned contextual or cued fear or latent inhibition. The Poly IC (H) group showed a significant decrease in the rate of route-based learning when visible cues were unavailable in the Cincinnati water maze and reduced prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle in females, but not males. The Poly IC (L) group exhibited altered responses to acute pharmacological challenges: exaggerated hyperactivity in response to (+)-amphetamine and an attenuated hyperactivity in response to MK-801. This model did not exhibit the cognitive, or latent inhibition deficits reported in Poly IC-treated rats but showed changes in response to drugs acting on neurotransmitter systems implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (dopaminergic hyperfunction and glutamatergic hypofunction). Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Control Prenatal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Susana Aguilera, DRA.

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Los principales objetivos del control prenatal son identificar aquellos pacientes de mayor riesgo, con el fin de realizar intervenciones en forma oportuna que permitan prevenir dichos riesgos y así lograr un buen resultado perinatal. Esto se realiza a través de la historia médica y reproductiva de la mujer, el examen físico, la realización de algunos exámenes de laboratorio y exámenes de ultrasonido. Además es importante promover estilos de vida saludables, la suplementación de ácido fólico, una consejería nutricional y educación al respecto.

  7. Mechanism of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2000-01-01

    .... Attention may affect the perceived clarity of visual displays and improve performance. In this project, a powerful external noise method was developed to identify and characterize the effect of attention on perceptual performance in visual tasks...

  8. Mechanisms of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dosher, Barbara

    2000-01-01

    .... Attention may affect the perceived clarity of visual displays and improve performance. In this project, a powerful external noise method was developed to identify and characterize the effect of attention on perceptual performance in visual tasks...

  9. A systematic review on ‘Foveal Crowding’ in visually impaired children and perceptual learning as a method to reduce Crowding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huurneman Bianca

    2012-07-01

    compare crowding ratios and it shows that charts with 50% interoptotype spacing were most sensitive to capture crowding effects. The groups that showed the largest crowding effects were individuals with CN, VI adults with central scotomas and children with CVI. Perceptual Learning seems to be a promising technique to reduce excessive foveal crowding effects.

  10. Prenatal Care Checkup

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Careers Archives Health Topics Pregnancy Before or between pregnancies Nutrition, weight & fitness Prenatal care Is it safe? Labor & ... Report Cards Careers Archives Pregnancy Before or between pregnancies Nutrition, weight & fitness Prenatal care Is it safe? Labor & ...

  11. Perceptually-Inspired Computing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Lin

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Human sensory systems allow individuals to see, hear, touch, and interact with the surrounding physical environment. Understanding human perception and its limit enables us to better exploit the psychophysics of human perceptual systems to design more efficient, adaptive algorithms and develop perceptually-inspired computational models. In this talk, I will survey some of recent efforts on perceptually-inspired computing with applications to crowd simulation and multimodal interaction. In particular, I will present data-driven personality modeling based on the results of user studies, example-guided physics-based sound synthesis using auditory perception, as well as perceptually-inspired simplification for multimodal interaction. These perceptually guided principles can be used to accelerating multi-modal interaction and visual computing, thereby creating more natural human-computer interaction and providing more immersive experiences. I will also present their use in interactive applications for entertainment, such as video games, computer animation, and shared social experience. I will conclude by discussing possible future research directions.

  12. Perceptual dimensions differentiate emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanaugh, Lisa A; MacInnis, Deborah J; Weiss, Allen M

    2015-08-26

    Individuals often describe objects in their world in terms of perceptual dimensions that span a variety of modalities; the visual (e.g., brightness: dark-bright), the auditory (e.g., loudness: quiet-loud), the gustatory (e.g., taste: sour-sweet), the tactile (e.g., hardness: soft vs. hard) and the kinaesthetic (e.g., speed: slow-fast). We ask whether individuals use perceptual dimensions to differentiate emotions from one another. Participants in two studies (one where respondents reported on abstract emotion concepts and a second where they reported on specific emotion episodes) rated the extent to which features anchoring 29 perceptual dimensions (e.g., temperature, texture and taste) are associated with 8 emotions (anger, fear, sadness, guilt, contentment, gratitude, pride and excitement). Results revealed that in both studies perceptual dimensions differentiate positive from negative emotions and high arousal from low arousal emotions. They also differentiate among emotions that are similar in arousal and valence (e.g., high arousal negative emotions such as anger and fear). Specific features that anchor particular perceptual dimensions (e.g., hot vs. cold) are also differentially associated with emotions.

  13. From Perceptual Categories to Concepts: What Develops?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloutsky, Vladimir M.

    2010-01-01

    People are remarkably smart: they use language, possess complex motor skills, make non-trivial inferences, develop and use scientific theories, make laws, and adapt to complex dynamic environments. Much of this knowledge requires concepts and this paper focuses on how people acquire concepts. It is argued that conceptual development progresses from simple perceptual grouping to highly abstract scientific concepts. This proposal of conceptual development has four parts. First, it is argued that categories in the world have different structure. Second, there might be different learning systems (sub-served by different brain mechanisms) that evolved to learn categories of differing structures. Third, these systems exhibit differential maturational course, which affects how categories of different structures are learned in the course of development. And finally, an interaction of these components may result in the developmental transition from perceptual groupings to more abstract concepts. This paper reviews a large body of empirical evidence supporting this proposal. PMID:21116483

  14. Natural texture retrieval based on perceptual similarity measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ying; Dong, Junyu; Lou, Jianwen; Qi, Lin; Liu, Jun

    2018-04-01

    A typical texture retrieval system performs feature comparison and might not be able to make human-like judgments of image similarity. Meanwhile, it is commonly known that perceptual texture similarity is difficult to be described by traditional image features. In this paper, we propose a new texture retrieval scheme based on texture perceptual similarity. The key of the proposed scheme is that prediction of perceptual similarity is performed by learning a non-linear mapping from image features space to perceptual texture space by using Random Forest. We test the method on natural texture dataset and apply it on a new wallpapers dataset. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed texture retrieval scheme with perceptual similarity improves the retrieval performance over traditional image features.

  15. Perceptual Fluency, Auditory Generation, and Metamemory: Analyzing the Perceptual Fluency Hypothesis in the Auditory Modality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besken, Miri; Mulligan, Neil W.

    2014-01-01

    Judgments of learning (JOLs) are sometimes influenced by factors that do not impact actual memory performance. One recent proposal is that perceptual fluency during encoding affects metamemory and is a basis of metacognitive illusions. In the present experiments, participants identified aurally presented words that contained inter-spliced silences…

  16. Adaptation and perceptual norms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Michael A.; Yasuda, Maiko; Haber, Sara; Leonard, Deanne; Ballardini, Nicole

    2007-02-01

    We used adaptation to examine the relationship between perceptual norms--the stimuli observers describe as psychologically neutral, and response norms--the stimulus levels that leave visual sensitivity in a neutral or balanced state. Adapting to stimuli on opposite sides of a neutral point (e.g. redder or greener than white) biases appearance in opposite ways. Thus the adapting stimulus can be titrated to find the unique adapting level that does not bias appearance. We compared these response norms to subjectively defined neutral points both within the same observer (at different retinal eccentricities) and between observers. These comparisons were made for visual judgments of color, image focus, and human faces, stimuli that are very different and may depend on very different levels of processing, yet which share the property that for each there is a well defined and perceptually salient norm. In each case the adaptation aftereffects were consistent with an underlying sensitivity basis for the perceptual norm. Specifically, response norms were similar to and thus covaried with the perceptual norm, and under common adaptation differences between subjectively defined norms were reduced. These results are consistent with models of norm-based codes and suggest that these codes underlie an important link between visual coding and visual experience.

  17. Perceptual Processing Affects Conceptual Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dantzig, Saskia; Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, Rene; Barsalou, Lawrence W.

    2008-01-01

    According to the Perceptual Symbols Theory of cognition (Barsalou, 1999), modality-specific simulations underlie the representation of concepts. A strong prediction of this view is that perceptual processing affects conceptual processing. In this study, participants performed a perceptual detection task and a conceptual property-verification task…

  18. Effects of low level prenatal beta-irradiation of tritiated water on postnatal behavior, learning and memory ability in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Bing; Zhou Xiangyan

    1993-01-01

    Pregnant adult C57 BL/6J strain mice, randomly assigned to 1 of 4 experimental groups, were irradiated with exponentially decreasing doses of tritium beta-rays but group 1 (used as a control) by single injection of tritiated water (HTO) at their 12.5 th day of gestation. Offsprings of male, received accumulative doses of 0, 0.5, 1.10 or 0.30 Gy in uterus were trained or examined on learning and memory ability or with behavioral tests. Significant dose-response relationships for alternations in those test were found due to exposure to 0.10 Gy or above. These results indicate that exposure to HTO during the fetal period in mice results in dose-dependent alteration in postnatal behavior, learning and memory ability. 0.05-0.10 Gy exposure may represent a threshold for the experimental conditions of this research using these parameters

  19. Implicit Recognition Based on Lateralized Perceptual Fluency

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas, Iliana M.; Voss, Joel L.; Paller, Ken A.

    2012-01-01

    In some circumstances, accurate recognition of repeated images in an explicit memory test is driven by implicit memory. We propose that this “implicit recognition” results from perceptual fluency that influences responding without awareness of memory retrieval. Here we examined whether recognition would vary if images appeared in the same or different visual hemifield during learning and testing. Kaleidoscope images were briefly presented left or right of fixation during divided-attention enc...

  20. Diagnóstico Prenatal

    OpenAIRE

    López, Jaime Octavio; Saldarriaga, Wilmar; Fundación Valle de Lili

    2010-01-01

    Diagnóstico Prenatal/ propósitos del diagnóstico prenatal/ Tamizaje a partir del Control Prenatal/ Pacientes de bajo riesgo/ Tamizaje bioquímico/ Pacientes de alto riesgo/ Pruebas invasivas y no invasivas

  1. Preconception Care and Prenatal Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Twitter Pinterest Email Print About Preconception Care and Prenatal Care What is preconception care? Preconception care is the ... improve the health of your child. What is prenatal care? Prenatal care is the health care a woman ...

  2. Group prenatal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoni, Sara E; Carter, Ebony B

    2017-06-01

    Patients participating in group prenatal care gather together with women of similar gestational ages and 2 providers who cofacilitate an educational session after a brief medical assessment. The model was first described in the 1990s by a midwife for low-risk patients and is now practiced by midwives and physicians for both low-risk patients and some high-risk patients, such as those with diabetes. The majority of literature on group prenatal care uses CenteringPregnancy, the most popular model. The first randomized controlled trial of CenteringPregnancy showed that it reduced the risk of preterm birth in low-risk women. However, recent meta-analyses have shown similar rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, and neonatal intensive care unit admission between women participating in group prenatal care and individual prenatal care. There may be subgroups, such as African Americans, who benefit from this type of prenatal care with significantly lower rates of preterm birth. Group prenatal care seems to result in increased patient satisfaction and knowledge and use of postpartum family planning as well as improved weight gain parameters. The literature is inconclusive regarding breast-feeding, stress, depression, and positive health behaviors, although it is theorized that group prenatal care positively affects these outcomes. It is unclear whether group prenatal care results in cost savings, although it may in large-volume practices if each group consists of approximately 8-10 women. Group prenatal care requires a significant paradigm shift. It can be difficult to implement and sustain. More randomized trials are needed to ascertain the true benefits of the model, best practices for implementation, and subgroups who may benefit most from this innovative way to provide prenatal care. In short, group prenatal care is an innovative and promising model with comparable pregnancy outcomes to individual prenatal care in the general population and improved outcomes in some

  3. Working memory does not dissociate between different perceptual categorization tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Yang, Lee-Xieng; Newell, Ben R; Kalish, Michael L

    2012-07-01

    Working memory is crucial for many higher level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization. This article reports 2 studies that related people's working memory capacity (WMC) to their learning performance on multiple rule-based and information-integration perceptual categorization tasks. In both studies, structural equation modeling revealed a strong relationship between WMC and category learning irrespective of the requirement to integrate information across multiple perceptual dimensions. WMC was also uniformly related to people's ability to focus on the most task-appropriate strategy, regardless of whether or not that strategy involved information integration. Contrary to the predictions of the multiple systems view of categorization, working memory thus appears to underpin performance in both major classes of perceptual category-learning tasks. 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  4. Prenatal immune challenge in rats: Altered responses to dopaminergic and glutamatergic agents, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle, and reduced route-based learning as a function of maternal body weight gain after prenatal exposure to Poly IC

    OpenAIRE

    Vorhees, Charles V.; Graham, Devon L.; Braun, Amanda A.; Schaefer, Tori L.; Skelton, Matthew R.; Richtand, Neil M.; Williams, Michael T.

    2012-01-01

    Prenatal maternal immune activation has been used to test the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. Most of the data are in mouse models; far less is available for rats. We previously showed that maternal weight change in response to the immune activator polyinosinic-polycytidylic (Poly IC) in rats differentially affects offspring. Therefore, we treated gravid Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats i.p. on embryonic day 14 with 8 mg/kg of Poly IC or Saline. The Poly IC group was divided into th...

  5. Training on motor and visual spatial learning tasks in early adulthood produces large changes in dendritic organization of prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in rats given nicotine prenatally.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhammad, A; Mychasiuk, R; Hosain, S; Nakahashi, A; Carroll, C; Gibb, R; Kolb, B

    2013-11-12

    Experience-dependent plasticity is an ongoing process that can be observed and measured at multiple levels. The first goal of this study was to examine the effects of prenatal nicotine on the performance of rats in three behavioral tasks (elevated plus maze (EPM), Morris water task (MWT), and Whishaw tray reaching). The second goal of this experiment sought to examine changes in dendritic organization following exposure to the behavioral training paradigm and/or low doses of prenatal nicotine. Female Long-Evans rats were administered daily injections of nicotine for the duration of pregnancy and their pups underwent a regimen of behavioral training in early adulthood (EPM, MWT, and Whishaw tray reaching). All offspring exposed to nicotine prenatally exhibited substantial increases in anxiety. Male offspring also showed increased efficiency in the Whishaw tray-reaching task and performed differently than the other groups in the probe trial of the MWT. Using Golgi-Cox staining we examined the dendritic organization of the medial and orbital prefrontal cortex as well as the nucleus accumbens. Participation in the behavioral training paradigm was associated with dramatic reorganization of dendritic morphology and spine density in all brain regions examined. Although both treatments (behavior training and prenatal nicotine exposure) markedly altered dendritic organization, the effects of the behavioral experience were much larger than those of the prenatal drug exposure, and in some cases interacted with the drug effects. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. PERCEPTUAL HOLISTIC APPROACH IN TEACHING LEARNING OF ATHLETICS THROUGH GAMES / ENFOQUE HOLÍSTICO PERCEPTUAL EN LA ENSEÑANZA-APRENDIZAJE DEL ATLETISMO A TRAVÉS DEL JUEGO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolando Castro Marcelo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The game as a teaching learning method of athletics in ages ranging from nine to eleven years in Las Tunas province brings about the movement development in school children who can show themselves in a conscious and spontaneous manner. It contributes to their interest and necessities satisfaction through the closed sport in a developing environment which allows to dead with the fundamental dimensions and links with the purpose of reaching the right levels in the formation, education and development of personality in life, here, it is where the talented ones emerge and became high performance athletes. Methodological, epistemological, axiological and critical element in the game declivity; sustained apron theoretical bases are integrated with the intention of permitting the holistic, historic, multifunctional, humanistic and the developing conceptual character. On this point, the unity of theoretical elements and the sport practice is revealed in correspondence with the individual characteristics and peculiarities of catch schoolchild. RESUMEN: El juego como método de enseñanza-aprendizaje del atletismo en las edades de nueve a once años en la provincia de Las Tunas, propicia el desarrollo de los movimientos del escolar, que se pueden manifestar en forma espontánea y consciente, lo que contribuye a la satisfacción por esa vía de sus necesidades e intereses a través del deporte elegido, en un ambiente desarrollador que permite abordar las dimensiones y eslabones fundamentales con el propósito de lograr los niveles deseados de educación, formación y desarrollo de la personalidad, que ha aporte las vías indispensables en su preparación para la vida, de donde emergen los que poseen talento para convertirse en atletas de alto rendimiento. En la actividad del juego se integraron los elementos metodológicos, axiológicos, epistemológicos y críticos, los cuales se sustentan sobre bases teóricas que permiten el carácter holístico, hist

  7. Study on influence of radiation on learning and memory behaviours in prenatally-irradiated rats and its possible mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo Yuefeng; Yang Zhiyuan; Liu Jingwen; Wang Mingming

    1995-01-01

    Pregnent Wistar rats were exposed on day 11 of gestation to 137 Cs γ-rays, the doses absorbed by their offsprings were estimated to be 0.015, 0.15, 0.41, 0.91 or 2.2 Gy. The influence of radiation on their postnatal learning and memory behaviours, and number of pyramidal cells and content of free hydroxyproline in the hippocampus of brain was observed. The results show that for offsprings with doses of 0.15-2.2 Gy, the average daily frequency of conditional drinking response which can meet the assigned criteria was significantly lower than that for controls and the degree of reduction increased with doses, and that for these offsprings, there was a significant decrease in number of pyramidal cells, with a marked increase in content of free hydroxyproline which is in proportion to doses. The relationship of change in either number of pyramidal cells or content of free hydroxypreline in hippocampus with doses can be expressed as equation of Y A + BlgD

  8. Perceptual organization and visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimchi, Ruth

    2009-01-01

    Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.

  9. Perceptual Audio Hashing Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emin Anarım

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual hash functions provide a tool for fast and reliable identification of content. We present new audio hash functions based on summarization of the time-frequency spectral characteristics of an audio document. The proposed hash functions are based on the periodicity series of the fundamental frequency and on singular-value description of the cepstral frequencies. They are found, on one hand, to perform very satisfactorily in identification and verification tests, and on the other hand, to be very resilient to a large variety of attacks. Moreover, we address the issue of security of hashes and propose a keying technique, and thereby a key-dependent hash function.

  10. Perceptual integration without conscious access

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J.; Van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N.L.; Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2017-01-01

    The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is

  11. Reactive agents and perceptual ambiguity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dartel, M. van; Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper, I.G.; Postma, E.O.; Herik, H.J. van den

    2005-01-01

    Reactive agents are generally believed to be incapable of coping with perceptual ambiguity (i.e., identical sensory states that require different responses). However, a recent finding suggests that reactive agents can cope with perceptual ambiguity in a simple model (Nolfi, 2002). This paper

  12. Deficits in spatial learning and memory in adult mice following acute, low or moderate levels of prenatal ethanol exposure during gastrulation or neurulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schambra, Uta B; Lewis, C Nicole; Harrison, Theresa A

    2017-07-01

    Debate continues on the merits of strictly limiting alcohol consumption during all of pregnancy, and whether "safe" consumption levels and/or times exist. Only a relatively few experimental studies have been conducted that limit the timing of exposure to specific events during development and the exposure level to one that might model sporadic, incidental drinking during pregnancy. In the present study, the effects of two acute gavage exposures to low and moderate levels of ethanol (peak blood ethanol concentrations (BEC) of 104 and 177mg/dl, respectively) either during gastrulation on gestational day (GD) 7 (at GD7:0h and GD7:4h) or during neurulation on GD8 (at GD8:6h and GD8:10h) on the spatial learning and memory abilities of adult mice in the radial arm maze (RAM) were examined. Mice were selected from a prenatal ethanol exposure (PAE) cohort that had been tested as neonates for their sensorimotor development (Schambra et al., 2015) and as juveniles and young adults for open field activity levels and emotionality (Schambra et al., 2016). Mice exposed on either of the two gestational days to acute, low or moderate levels of ethanol were deficient in overall performance in the RAM in adulthood. Importantly, mice in ethanol exposed groups took longer to reach criterion in the RAM, and many mice in these groups failed to do so after 48 trials when testing was terminated. Exposure to a low level of ethanol on either GD7 or GD8, or a moderate level on GD7, resulted in significant impairment in spatial reference (long-term) memory, while only mice exposed on GD7 to the low level of ethanol were significantly impaired in spatial working (short-term) memory. Mice exposed to the low ethanol level on either day had significantly shorter response latencies, which may reflect impairment of processes related to response inhibition or executive attention in these mice. For all measures, distributions of individual scores revealed a relatively small subset of mice in each PAE

  13. Prenatal screening and genetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alderson, P; Aro, A R; Dragonas, T

    2001-01-01

    Although the term 'genetic screening' has been used for decades, this paper discusses how, in its most precise meaning, genetic screening has not yet been widely introduced. 'Prenatal screening' is often confused with 'genetic screening'. As we show, these terms have different meanings, and we...... examine definitions of the relevant concepts in order to illustrate this point. The concepts are i) prenatal, ii) genetic screening, iii) screening, scanning and testing, iv) maternal and foetal tests, v) test techniques and vi) genetic conditions. So far, prenatal screening has little connection...... with precisely defined genetics. There are benefits but also disadvantages in overstating current links between them in the term genetic screening. Policy making and professional and public understandings about screening could be clarified if the distinct meanings of prenatal screening and genetic screening were...

  14. Opposite influence of perceptual memory on initial and prolonged perception of sensory ambiguity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, M.C.; Knapen, T.; van Ee, R.

    2012-01-01

    Observers continually make unconscious inferences about the state of the world based on ambiguous sensory information. This process of perceptual decision-making may be optimized by learning from experience. We investigated the influence of previous perceptual experience on the interpretation of

  15. EFFECT OF PERCEPTUAL TRAINING ON INTELLIGENCE AND ACHIEVEMENT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    CHANSKY, NORMAN M.

    THE PERCEPTUAL-MOTOR BEHAVIOR IN LEARNING WAS STUDIED IN RELATIONSHIP TO INTELLIGENCE AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT. THE SAMPLE CONSISTED OF 178 THIRD-GRADE PUPILS, WHO WERE MATCHED ON RACE, SEX, INTELLIGENCE AND ACHIEVEMENT, RESULTING IN FOUR EQUIVALENT GROUPS. TRAINING METHODS INCLUDED BLOCKS, PUZZLES, AND READING. POST-TEST PROCEDURES WERE EMPLOYED…

  16. Making Connections among Multiple Visual Representations: How Do Sense-Making Skills and Perceptual Fluency Relate to Learning of Chemistry Knowledge?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, Martina A.

    2018-01-01

    To learn content knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math domains, students need to make connections among visual representations. This article considers two kinds of connection-making skills: (1) "sense-making skills" that allow students to verbally explain mappings among representations and (2) "perceptual…

  17. Perceptual integration without conscious access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J; van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N L; Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2017-04-04

    The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is required to complete perceptual integration. To investigate this question, we manipulated access to consciousness using the attentional blink. We show that, behaviorally, the attentional blink impairs conscious decisions about the presence of integrated surface structure from fragmented input. However, despite conscious access being impaired, the ability to decode the presence of integrated percepts remains intact, as shown through multivariate classification analyses of electroencephalogram (EEG) data. In contrast, when disrupting perception through masking, decisions about integrated percepts and decoding of integrated percepts are impaired in tandem, while leaving feedforward representations intact. Together, these data show that access consciousness and perceptual integration can be dissociated.

  18. Prenatal Care: Second Trimester Visits

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Pregnancy week by week During the second trimester, prenatal care includes routine lab tests and measurements of your ... too. By Mayo Clinic Staff The goal of prenatal care is to ensure that you and your baby ...

  19. Prenatal Care: Third Trimester Visits

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Pregnancy week by week During the third trimester, prenatal care might include vaginal exams to check the baby's position. By Mayo Clinic Staff Prenatal care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, ...

  20. Prenatal Genetic Counseling (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Videos for Educators Search English Español Prenatal Genetic Counseling KidsHealth / For Parents / Prenatal Genetic Counseling What's in ... can they help your family? What Is Genetic Counseling? Genetic counseling is the process of: evaluating family ...

  1. Where's Waldo? How perceptual, cognitive, and emotional brain processes cooperate during learning to categorize and find desired objects in a cluttered scene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eGrossberg

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Where’s Waldo problem concerns how individuals can rapidly learn to search a scene to detect, attend, recognize, and look at a valued target object in it. This article develops the ARTSCAN Search neural model to clarify how brain mechanisms across the What and Where cortical streams are coordinated to solve the Where's Waldo problem. The What stream learns positionally-invariant object representations, whereas the Where stream controls positionally-selective spatial and action representations. The model overcomes deficiencies of these computationally complementary properties through What and Where stream interactions. Where stream processes of spatial attention and predictive eye movement control modulate What stream processes whereby multiple view- and positionally-specific object categories are learned and associatively linked to view- and positionally-invariant object categories through bottom-up and attentive top-down interactions. Gain fields control the coordinate transformations that enable spatial attention and predictive eye movements to carry out this role. What stream cognitive-emotional learning processes enable the focusing of motivated attention upon the invariant object categories of desired objects. What stream cognitive names or motivational drives can prime a view- and positionally-invariant object category of a desired target object. A volitional signal can convert these primes into top-down activations that can, in turn, prime What stream view- and positionally-specific categories. When it also receives bottom-up activation from a target, such a positionally-specific category can cause an attentional shift in the Where stream to the positional representation of the target, and an eye movement can then be elicited to foveate it. These processes describe interactions among brain regions that include visual cortex, parietal cortex inferotemporal cortex, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, basal ganglia, and superior colliculus.

  2. Perceptual classification in a rapidly-changing environment

    OpenAIRE

    Summerfield, Christopher; Behrens, Timothy E.; Koechlin, Etienne

    2011-01-01

    Humans and monkeys can learn to classify perceptual information in a statistically optimal fashion if the functional groupings remain stable over many hundreds of trials, but little is known about categorisation when the environment changes rapidly. Here, we used a combination of computational modelling and functional neuroimaging to understand how humans classify visual stimuli drawn from categories whose mean and variance jumped unpredictably. Models based on optimal learning (Bayesian mode...

  3. Action video game play facilitates the development of better perceptual templates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejjanki, Vikranth R.; Zhang, Ruyuan; Li, Renjie; Pouget, Alexandre; Green, C. Shawn; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-01-01

    The field of perceptual learning has identified changes in perceptual templates as a powerful mechanism mediating the learning of statistical regularities in our environment. By measuring threshold-vs.-contrast curves using an orientation identification task under varying levels of external noise, the perceptual template model (PTM) allows one to disentangle various sources of signal-to-noise changes that can alter performance. We use the PTM approach to elucidate the mechanism that underlies the wide range of improvements noted after action video game play. We show that action video game players make use of improved perceptual templates compared with nonvideo game players, and we confirm a causal role for action video game play in inducing such improvements through a 50-h training study. Then, by adapting a recent neural model to this task, we demonstrate how such improved perceptual templates can arise from reweighting the connectivity between visual areas. Finally, we establish that action gamers do not enter the perceptual task with improved perceptual templates. Instead, although performance in action gamers is initially indistinguishable from that of nongamers, action gamers more rapidly learn the proper template as they experience the task. Taken together, our results establish for the first time to our knowledge the development of enhanced perceptual templates following action game play. Because such an improvement can facilitate the inference of the proper generative model for the task at hand, unlike perceptual learning that is quite specific, it thus elucidates a general learning mechanism that can account for the various behavioral benefits noted after action game play. PMID:25385590

  4. Action video game play facilitates the development of better perceptual templates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Zhang, Ruyuan; Li, Renjie; Pouget, Alexandre; Green, C Shawn; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-11-25

    The field of perceptual learning has identified changes in perceptual templates as a powerful mechanism mediating the learning of statistical regularities in our environment. By measuring threshold-vs.-contrast curves using an orientation identification task under varying levels of external noise, the perceptual template model (PTM) allows one to disentangle various sources of signal-to-noise changes that can alter performance. We use the PTM approach to elucidate the mechanism that underlies the wide range of improvements noted after action video game play. We show that action video game players make use of improved perceptual templates compared with nonvideo game players, and we confirm a causal role for action video game play in inducing such improvements through a 50-h training study. Then, by adapting a recent neural model to this task, we demonstrate how such improved perceptual templates can arise from reweighting the connectivity between visual areas. Finally, we establish that action gamers do not enter the perceptual task with improved perceptual templates. Instead, although performance in action gamers is initially indistinguishable from that of nongamers, action gamers more rapidly learn the proper template as they experience the task. Taken together, our results establish for the first time to our knowledge the development of enhanced perceptual templates following action game play. Because such an improvement can facilitate the inference of the proper generative model for the task at hand, unlike perceptual learning that is quite specific, it thus elucidates a general learning mechanism that can account for the various behavioral benefits noted after action game play.

  5. Perceptual Biases in Relation to Paranormal and Conspiracy Beliefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Elk, Michiel

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1) or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2). In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.

  6. Perceptual Biases in Relation to Paranormal and Conspiracy Beliefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiel van Elk

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1 or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2. In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying the induction and relief of perceptual curiosity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke eJepma

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Curiosity is one of the most basic biological drives in both animals and humans, and has been identified as a key motive for learning and discovery. Despite the importance of curiosity and related behaviors, the topic has been largely neglected in human neuroscience; hence little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying curiosity. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate what happens in our brain during the induction and subsequent relief of perceptual curiosity. Our core findings were that (i the induction of perceptual curiosity, through the presentation of ambiguous visual input, activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex, brain regions sensitive to conflict and arousal; (ii the relief of perceptual curiosity, through visual disambiguation, activated regions of the striatum that have been related to reward processing; and (iii the relief of perceptual curiosity was associated with hippocampal activation and enhanced incidental memory. These findings provide the first demonstration of the neural basis of human perceptual curiosity. Our results provide neurobiological support for a classic psychological theory of curiosity, which holds that curiosity is an aversive condition of increased arousal whose termination is rewarding and facilitates memory.

  8. Prenatal acoustic stimulation influences neuronal size and the expression of calcium-binding proteins (calbindin D-28K and parvalbumin) in chick hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhury, Sraboni; Nag, Tapas Chandra; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2006-12-01

    Prenatal auditory enrichment by species-specific sounds and sitar music enhances the expression of immediate early genes, synaptic proteins and calcium binding proteins (CaBPs) as well as modifies the structural components of the brainstem auditory nuclei and auditory imprinting area in chicks. There is also facilitation of postnatal auditory preference of the chicks to maternal calls following both types of sound stimulation indicating prenatal perceptual learning. To examine whether the sound enrichment protocol also affects the areas related to learning and memory, we assessed morphological changes in the hippocampus at post-hatch day 1 of control and prenatally sound-stimulated chicks. Additionally, the proportions of neurons containing calbindin D-28K and parvalbumin immunoreactivity as well as their protein levels were determined. Fertilized eggs of domestic chick were incubated under normal conditions of temperature, humidity, forced draft of air as well as light and dark (12:12h) photoperiods. They were exposed to patterned sounds of species-specific and sitar music at 65 dB for 15 min per hour over a day/night cycle from day 10 of incubation till hatching. The hippocampal volume, neuronal nuclear size and total number of neurons showed a significant increase in the music-stimulated group as compared to the species-specific sound-stimulated and control groups. However, in both the auditory-stimulated groups the protein levels of calbindin and parvalbumin as well as the percentage of the immunopositive neurons were increased. The enhanced proportion of CaBPs in the sound-enriched groups suggests greater Ca(2+) influx, which may influence long-term potentiation and short-term memory.

  9. Prenatal stress in pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kranendonk, Godelieve

    2006-01-01

    Studies in many species, including humans, have demonstrated that stress during gestation can have long-term developmental, neuroendocrine, and behavioural effects on the offspring. Because pregnant sows can be subjected to regular stressful situations, it is relevant to study whether prenatal

  10. Auditory perceptual load: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Sandra; Spence, Charles; Dalton, Polly

    2017-09-01

    Selective attention is a crucial mechanism in everyday life, allowing us to focus on a portion of incoming sensory information at the expense of other less relevant stimuli. The circumstances under which irrelevant stimuli are successfully ignored have been a topic of scientific interest for several decades now. Over the last 20 years, the perceptual load theory (e.g. Lavie, 1995) has provided one robust framework for understanding these effects within the visual modality. The suggestion is that successful selection depends on the perceptual demands imposed by the task-relevant information. However, less research has addressed the question of whether the same principles hold in audition and, to date, the existing literature provides a mixed picture. Here, we review the evidence for and against the applicability of perceptual load theory in hearing, concluding that this question still awaits resolution. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The Prenatal Care at School Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griswold, Carol H.; Nasso, Jacqueline T.; Swider, Susan; Ellison, Brenda R.; Griswold, Daniel L.; Brooks, Marilyn

    2013-01-01

    School absenteeism and poor compliance with prenatal appointments are concerns for pregnant teens. The Prenatal Care at School (PAS) program is a new model of prenatal care involving local health care providers and school personnel to reduce the need for students to leave school for prenatal care. The program combines prenatal care and education…

  12. [Prenatal care in Latin America].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buekens, P; Hernández, P; Infante, C

    1990-01-01

    Available data on the coverage of prenatal care in Latin America were reviewed. In recent years, only Bolivia had a coverage of prenatal care of less than 50 per cent. More than 90 per cent of pregnant women received prenatal care in Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Prenatal care increased between the 1970 and 1980 in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. The coverage of prenatal care decreased in Bolivia and Colombia. The mean number of visits increased in Cuba and Puerto Rico. The increase of prenatal care in Guatemala and Honduras is due to increased care by traditional birth attendants, compared to the role of health care institutions. We compared the more recent data on tetanus immunization of pregnant women to the more recent data on prenatal care. The rates of tetanus immunization are always lower than the rates of prenatal care attendance, except in Costa Rica. The rates of tetanus immunization was less than half as compared to the rates of prenatal care in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Peru. To improve the content of prenatal care should be an objective complementary to the increase of the number of attending women.

  13. The development of perceptual grouping biases in infancy: a Japanese-English cross-linguistic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Katherine A; Iversen, John R; Patel, Aniruddh D; Mazuka, Reiko; Nito, Hiromi; Gervain, Judit; Werker, Janet F

    2010-05-01

    Perceptual grouping has traditionally been thought to be governed by innate, universal principles. However, recent work has found differences in Japanese and English speakers' non-linguistic perceptual grouping, implicating language in non-linguistic perceptual processes (Iversen, Patel, & Ohgushi, 2008). Two experiments test Japanese- and English-learning infants of 5-6 and 7-8 months of age to explore the development of grouping preferences. At 5-6 months, neither the Japanese nor the English infants revealed any systematic perceptual biases. However, by 7-8 months, the same age as when linguistic phrasal grouping develops, infants developed non-linguistic grouping preferences consistent with their language's structure (and the grouping biases found in adulthood). These results reveal an early difference in non-linguistic perception between infants growing up in different language environments. The possibility that infants' linguistic phrasal grouping is bootstrapped by abstract perceptual principles is discussed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Implicit Recognition Based on Lateralized Perceptual Fluency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iliana M. Vargas

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available In some circumstances, accurate recognition of repeated images in an explicit memory test is driven by implicit memory. We propose that this “implicit recognition” results from perceptual fluency that influences responding without awareness of memory retrieval. Here we examined whether recognition would vary if images appeared in the same or different visual hemifield during learning and testing. Kaleidoscope images were briefly presented left or right of fixation during divided-attention encoding. Presentation in the same visual hemifield at test produced higher recognition accuracy than presentation in the opposite visual hemifield, but only for guess responses. These correct guesses likely reflect a contribution from implicit recognition, given that when the stimulated visual hemifield was the same at study and test, recognition accuracy was higher for guess responses than for responses with any level of confidence. The dramatic difference in guessing accuracy as a function of lateralized perceptual overlap between study and test suggests that implicit recognition arises from memory storage in visual cortical networks that mediate repetition-induced fluency increments.

  15. Implicit recognition based on lateralized perceptual fluency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Iliana M; Voss, Joel L; Paller, Ken A

    2012-02-06

    In some circumstances, accurate recognition of repeated images in an explicit memory test is driven by implicit memory. We propose that this "implicit recognition" results from perceptual fluency that influences responding without awareness of memory retrieval. Here we examined whether recognition would vary if images appeared in the same or different visual hemifield during learning and testing. Kaleidoscope images were briefly presented left or right of fixation during divided-attention encoding. Presentation in the same visual hemifield at test produced higher recognition accuracy than presentation in the opposite visual hemifield, but only for guess responses. These correct guesses likely reflect a contribution from implicit recognition, given that when the stimulated visual hemifield was the same at study and test, recognition accuracy was higher for guess responses than for responses with any level of confidence. The dramatic difference in guessing accuracy as a function of lateralized perceptual overlap between study and test suggests that implicit recognition arises from memory storage in visual cortical networks that mediate repetition-induced fluency increments.

  16. Perceptual categories enable pattern generalization in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2013-08-01

    Since Chomsky's pioneering work on syntactic structures, comparative psychologists interested in the study of language evolution have targeted pattern complexity, using formal mathematical grammars, as the key to organizing language-relevant cognitive processes across species. This focus on formal syntactic complexity, however, often disregards the close interaction in real-world signals between the structure of a pattern and its constituent elements. Whether such features of natural auditory signals shape pattern generalization is unknown. In the present paper, we train birds to recognize differently patterned strings of natural signals (song motifs). Instead of focusing on the complexity of the overtly reinforced patterns, we ask how the perceptual groupings of pattern elements influence the generalization pattern knowledge. We find that learning and perception of training patterns is agnostic to the perceptual features of underlying elements. Surprisingly, however, these same features constrain the generalization of pattern knowledge, and thus its broader use. Our results demonstrate that the restricted focus of comparative language research on formal models of syntactic complexity is, at best, insufficient to understand pattern use. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Perceptual incongruence influences bistability and cortical activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, G.J.; Tong, F.; Hagoort, P.; van Ee, R.

    2009-01-01

    We employed a parametric psychophysical design in combination with functional imaging to examine the influence of metric changes in perceptual incongruence on perceptual alternation rates and cortical responses. Subjects viewed a bistable stimulus defined by incongruent depth cues; bistability

  18. Prenatal DDT and DDE exposure and child IQ in the CHAMACOS cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspar, Fraser W; Harley, Kim G; Kogut, Katherine; Chevrier, Jonathan; Mora, Ana Maria; Sjödin, Andreas; Eskenazi, Brenda

    2015-12-01

    Although banned in most countries, dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) continues to be used for vector control in some malaria endemic areas. Previous findings from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) cohort study found increased prenatal levels of DDT and its breakdown product dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethylene (DDE) to be associated with altered neurodevelopment in children at 1 and 2years of age. In this study, we combined the measured maternal DDT/E concentrations during pregnancy obtained for the prospective birth cohort with predicted prenatal DDT and DDE levels estimated for a retrospective birth cohort. Using generalized estimating equation (GEE) and linear regression models, we evaluated the relationship of prenatal maternal DDT and DDE serum concentrations with children's cognition at ages 7 and 10.5years as assessed using the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and 4 subtest scores (Working Memory, Perceptual Reasoning, Verbal Comprehension, and Processing Speed) of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). In GEE analyses incorporating both age 7 and 10.5 scores (n=619), we found prenatal DDT and DDE levels were not associated with Full Scale IQ or any of the WISC subscales (p-value>0.05). In linear regression analyses assessing each time point separately, prenatal DDT levels were inversely associated with Processing Speed at age 7years (n=316), but prenatal DDT and DDE levels were not associated with Full Scale IQ or any of the WISC subscales at age 10.5years (n=595). We found evidence for effect modification by sex. In girls, but not boys, prenatal DDE levels were inversely associated with Full Scale IQ and Processing Speed at age 7years. We conclude that prenatal DDT levels may be associated with delayed Processing Speed in children at age 7years and the relationship between prenatal DDE levels and children's cognitive development may be modified by sex, with girls being more adversely

  19. Human prenatal diagnosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filkins, K.; Russo, R.J.

    1985-01-01

    The multiauthor text is written as a ''guide to rationalize and clarify certain aspects of diagnosis, general counseling and intervention'' for ''health professionals who provide care to pregnant women.'' The text is not aimed at the ultrasonographer but rather at the physicians who are clinically responsible for patient management. Chapters of relevance to radiologists include an overview of prenatal screening and counseling, diagnosis of neural tube defects, ultrasonographic (US) scanning of fetal disorders in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, US scanning in the third trimester, multiple gestation and selective termination, fetal echo and Doppler studies, and fetal therapy. Also included are overviews of virtually all currently utilized prenatal diagnostic techniques including amniocentesis, fetal blood sampling, fetoscopy, recombinant DNA detection of hemoglobinopathies, chorionic villus sampling, embryoscopy, legal issues, and diagnosis of Mendelian disorders by DNA analysis

  20. Perceptual transparency from image deformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawabe, Takahiro; Maruya, Kazushi; Nishida, Shin'ya

    2015-08-18

    Human vision has a remarkable ability to perceive two layers at the same retinal locations, a transparent layer in front of a background surface. Critical image cues to perceptual transparency, studied extensively in the past, are changes in luminance or color that could be caused by light absorptions and reflections by the front layer, but such image changes may not be clearly visible when the front layer consists of a pure transparent material such as water. Our daily experiences with transparent materials of this kind suggest that an alternative potential cue of visual transparency is image deformations of a background pattern caused by light refraction. Although previous studies have indicated that these image deformations, at least static ones, play little role in perceptual transparency, here we show that dynamic image deformations of the background pattern, which could be produced by light refraction on a moving liquid's surface, can produce a vivid impression of a transparent liquid layer without the aid of any other visual cues as to the presence of a transparent layer. Furthermore, a transparent liquid layer perceptually emerges even from a randomly generated dynamic image deformation as long as it is similar to real liquid deformations in its spatiotemporal frequency profile. Our findings indicate that the brain can perceptually infer the presence of "invisible" transparent liquids by analyzing the spatiotemporal structure of dynamic image deformation, for which it uses a relatively simple computation that does not require high-level knowledge about the detailed physics of liquid deformation.

  1. Prenatal testosterone and stuttering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montag, Christian; Bleek, Benjamin; Breuer, Svenja; Prüss, Holger; Richardt, Kirsten; Cook, Susanne; Yaruss, J Scott; Reuter, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The prevalence of stuttering is much higher in males compared to females. The biological underpinnings of this skewed sex-ratio is poorly understood, but it has often been speculated that sex hormones could play an important role. The present study investigated a potential link between prenatal testosterone and stuttering. Here, an indirect indicator of prenatal testosterone levels, the Digit Ratio (2D:4D) of the hand, was used. As numerous studies have shown, hands with more "male" characteristics (putatively representing greater prenatal testosterone levels) are characterized by a longer ring finger compared to the index finger (represented as a lower 2D:4D ratio) in the general population. We searched for differences in the 2D:4D ratios between 38 persons who stutter and 36 persons who do not stutter. In a second step, we investigated potential links between the 2D:4D ratio and the multifaceted symptomatology of stuttering, as measured by the Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering (OASES), in a larger sample of 44 adults who stutter. In the first step, no significant differences in the 2D:4D were observed between individuals who stutter and individuals who do not stutter. In the second step, 2D:4D correlated negatively with higher scores of the OASES (representing higher negative experiences due to stuttering), and this effect was more pronounced for female persons who stutter. The findings indicate for the first time that prenatal testosterone may influence individual differences in psychosocial impact of this speech disorder. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Genes Underlying Positive Influence Of Prenatal Environmental ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genes Underlying Positive Influence Of Prenatal Environmental Enrichment And ... Prenatal environmental enrichment (EE) has been proven to positively affect but ... Conclusion: The negative-positive prenatal effect could contribute to altered ...

  3. Learning Disabilities and the School Health Worker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Stephen W.

    1973-01-01

    This article offers three listings of signs and symptoms useful in detection of learning and perceptual deficiencies. The first list presents symptoms of the learning-disabled child; the second gives specific visual perceptual deficits (poor discrimination, figure-ground problems, reversals, etc.); and the third gives auditory perceptual deficits…

  4. Perceptual processing of a complex musical context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quiroga Martinez, David Ricardo; Hansen, Niels Christian; Højlund, Andreas

    play a fundamental role in music perception. The mismatch negativity (MMN) is a brain response that offers a unique insight into these processes. The MMN is elicited by deviants in a series of repetitive sounds and reflects the perception of change in physical and abstract sound regularities. Therefore......, it is regarded as a prediction error signal and a neural correlate of the updating of predictive perceptual models. In music, the MMN has been particularly valuable for the assessment of musical expectations, learning and expertise. However, the MMN paradigm has an important limitation: its ecological validity....... To this aim we will develop a new paradigm using more real-sounding stimuli. Our stimuli will be two-part music excerpts made by adding a melody to a previous design based on the Alberti bass (Vuust et al., 2011). Our second goal is to determine how the complexity of this context affects the predictive...

  5. Perceptual basis of evolving Western musical styles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez Zivic, Pablo H; Shifres, Favio; Cecchi, Guillermo A

    2013-06-11

    The brain processes temporal statistics to predict future events and to categorize perceptual objects. These statistics, called expectancies, are found in music perception, and they span a variety of different features and time scales. Specifically, there is evidence that music perception involves strong expectancies regarding the distribution of a melodic interval, namely, the distance between two consecutive notes within the context of another. The recent availability of a large Western music dataset, consisting of the historical record condensed as melodic interval counts, has opened new possibilities for data-driven analysis of musical perception. In this context, we present an analytical approach that, based on cognitive theories of music expectation and machine learning techniques, recovers a set of factors that accurately identifies historical trends and stylistic transitions between the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Post-Romantic periods. We also offer a plausible musicological and cognitive interpretation of these factors, allowing us to propose them as data-driven principles of melodic expectation.

  6. Referenceless Prediction of Perceptual Fog Density and Perceptual Image Defogging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Lark Kwon; You, Jaehee; Bovik, Alan Conrad

    2015-11-01

    We propose a referenceless perceptual fog density prediction model based on natural scene statistics (NSS) and fog aware statistical features. The proposed model, called Fog Aware Density Evaluator (FADE), predicts the visibility of a foggy scene from a single image without reference to a corresponding fog-free image, without dependence on salient objects in a scene, without side geographical camera information, without estimating a depth-dependent transmission map, and without training on human-rated judgments. FADE only makes use of measurable deviations from statistical regularities observed in natural foggy and fog-free images. Fog aware statistical features that define the perceptual fog density index derive from a space domain NSS model and the observed characteristics of foggy images. FADE not only predicts perceptual fog density for the entire image, but also provides a local fog density index for each patch. The predicted fog density using FADE correlates well with human judgments of fog density taken in a subjective study on a large foggy image database. As applications, FADE not only accurately assesses the performance of defogging algorithms designed to enhance the visibility of foggy images, but also is well suited for image defogging. A new FADE-based referenceless perceptual image defogging, dubbed DEnsity of Fog Assessment-based DEfogger (DEFADE) achieves better results for darker, denser foggy images as well as on standard foggy images than the state of the art defogging methods. A software release of FADE and DEFADE is available online for public use: http://live.ece.utexas.edu/research/fog/index.html.

  7. The roles of perceptual and conceptual information in face recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Linoy; Yovel, Galit

    2016-11-01

    The representation of familiar objects is comprised of perceptual information about their visual properties as well as the conceptual knowledge that we have about them. What is the relative contribution of perceptual and conceptual information to object recognition? Here, we examined this question by designing a face familiarization protocol during which participants were either exposed to rich perceptual information (viewing each face in different angles and illuminations) or with conceptual information (associating each face with a different name). Both conditions were compared with single-view faces presented with no labels. Recognition was tested on new images of the same identities to assess whether learning generated a view-invariant representation. Results showed better recognition of novel images of the learned identities following association of a face with a name label, but no enhancement following exposure to multiple face views. Whereas these findings may be consistent with the role of category learning in object recognition, face recognition was better for labeled faces only when faces were associated with person-related labels (name, occupation), but not with person-unrelated labels (object names or symbols). These findings suggest that association of meaningful conceptual information with an image shifts its representation from an image-based percept to a view-invariant concept. They further indicate that the role of conceptual information should be considered to account for the superior recognition that we have for familiar faces and objects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Visual training improves perceptual grouping based on basic stimulus features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurylo, Daniel D; Waxman, Richard; Kidron, Rachel; Silverstein, Steven M

    2017-10-01

    Training on visual tasks improves performance on basic and higher order visual capacities. Such improvement has been linked to changes in connectivity among mediating neurons. We investigated whether training effects occur for perceptual grouping. It was hypothesized that repeated engagement of integration mechanisms would enhance grouping processes. Thirty-six participants underwent 15 sessions of training on a visual discrimination task that required perceptual grouping. Participants viewed 20 × 20 arrays of dots or Gabor patches and indicated whether the array appeared grouped as vertical or horizontal lines. Across trials stimuli became progressively disorganized, contingent upon successful discrimination. Four visual dimensions were examined, in which grouping was based on similarity in luminance, color, orientation, and motion. Psychophysical thresholds of grouping were assessed before and after training. Results indicate that performance in all four dimensions improved with training. Training on a control condition, which paralleled the discrimination task but without a grouping component, produced no improvement. In addition, training on only the luminance and orientation dimensions improved performance for those conditions as well as for grouping by color, on which training had not occurred. However, improvement from partial training did not generalize to motion. Results demonstrate that a training protocol emphasizing stimulus integration enhanced perceptual grouping. Results suggest that neural mechanisms mediating grouping by common luminance and/or orientation contribute to those mediating grouping by color but do not share resources for grouping by common motion. Results are consistent with theories of perceptual learning emphasizing plasticity in early visual processing regions.

  9. Perceptual and conceptual similarities facilitate the generalization of instructed fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Marc; Vervoort, Ellen; Boddez, Yannick; Hermans, Dirk; Baeyens, Frank

    2015-09-01

    Learned fear can generalize to neutral events due their perceptual and conceptual similarity with threat relevant stimuli. This study simultaneously examined these forms of generalization to model the expansion of fear in anxiety disorders. First, artificial categories involving sounds, nonsense words and animal-like objects were established. Next, the words from one category were paired with threatening information while the words from the other category were paired with safety information. Lastly, we examined if fear generalized to (i) the conceptually related animal-like objects and (ii) other animal like-objects that were perceptually similar. This was measured using behavioral avoidance, US expectancy ratings and self-reported stimulus valence. Animal-like objects conceptually connected to the aversive words evoked heightened fear. Perceptual variants of these animal-like objects also elicit fear. Future research would benefit from the use of online-US expectancy ratings and physiological measures of fear. Investigating the role of both perceptual and conceptual fear generalization is important to better understand the etiology of anxiety disorders symptoms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Mutual information, perceptual independence, and holistic face perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitousi, Daniel

    2013-07-01

    The concept of perceptual independence is ubiquitous in psychology. It addresses the question of whether two (or more) dimensions are perceived independently. Several authors have proposed perceptual independence (or its lack thereof) as a viable measure of holistic face perception (Loftus, Oberg, & Dillon, Psychological Review 111:835-863, 2004; Wenger & Ingvalson, Learning, Memory, and Cognition 28:872-892, 2002). According to this notion, the processing of facial features occurs in an interactive manner. Here, I examine this idea from the perspective of two theories of perceptual independence: the multivariate uncertainty analysis (MUA; Garner & Morton, Definitions, models, and experimental paradigms. Psychological Bulletin 72:233-259, 1969), and the general recognition theory (GRT; Ashby & Townsend, Psychological Review 93:154-179, 1986). The goals of the study were to (1) introduce the MUA, (2) examine various possible relations between MUA and GRT using numerical simulations, and (3) apply the MUA to two consensual markers of holistic face perception(-)recognition of facial features (Farah, Wilson, Drain, & Tanaka, Psychological Review 105:482-498, 1998) and the composite face effect (Young, Hellawell, & Hay, Perception 16:747-759, 1987). The results suggest that facial holism is generated by violations of several types of perceptual independence. They highlight the important theoretical role played by converging operations in the study of holistic face perception.

  11. Does perceptual learning require consciousness or attention?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meuwese, J.D.I.; Post, R.A.G.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2013-01-01

    It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness:Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are

  12. Perceptual consciousness overflows cognitive access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Ned

    2011-12-01

    One of the most important issues concerning the foundations of conscious perception centers on the question of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of 'iconic memory' to argue that perceptual consciousness is richer (i.e., has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argument has been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to the postulation of (i) a peculiar kind of generic conscious representation that has no independent rationale and (ii) an unmotivated form of unconscious representation that in some cases conflicts with what we know about unconscious representation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Perceptual Color Characterization of Cameras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Vazquez-Corral

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Color camera characterization, mapping outputs from the camera sensors to an independent color space, such as \\(XYZ\\, is an important step in the camera processing pipeline. Until now, this procedure has been primarily solved by using a \\(3 \\times 3\\ matrix obtained via a least-squares optimization. In this paper, we propose to use the spherical sampling method, recently published by Finlayson al., to perform a perceptual color characterization. In particular, we search for the \\(3 \\times 3\\ matrix that minimizes three different perceptual errors, one pixel based and two spatially based. For the pixel-based case, we minimize the CIE \\(\\Delta E\\ error, while for the spatial-based case, we minimize both the S-CIELAB error and the CID error measure. Our results demonstrate an improvement of approximately 3for the \\(\\Delta E\\ error, 7& for the S-CIELAB error and 13% for the CID error measures.

  14. Perceptual context and individual differences in the language proficiency of preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banai, Karen; Yifat, Rachel

    2016-02-01

    Although the contribution of perceptual processes to language skills during infancy is well recognized, the role of perception in linguistic processing beyond infancy is not well understood. In the experiments reported here, we asked whether manipulating the perceptual context in which stimuli are presented across trials influences how preschool children perform visual (shape-size identification; Experiment 1) and auditory (syllable identification; Experiment 2) tasks. Another goal was to determine whether the sensitivity to perceptual context can explain part of the variance in oral language skills in typically developing preschool children. Perceptual context was manipulated by changing the relative frequency with which target visual (Experiment 1) and auditory (Experiment 2) stimuli were presented in arrays of fixed size, and identification of the target stimuli was tested. Oral language skills were assessed using vocabulary, word definition, and phonological awareness tasks. Changes in perceptual context influenced the performance of the majority of children on both identification tasks. Sensitivity to perceptual context accounted for 7% to 15% of the variance in language scores. We suggest that context effects are an outcome of a statistical learning process. Therefore, the current findings demonstrate that statistical learning can facilitate both visual and auditory identification processes in preschool children. Furthermore, consistent with previous findings in infants and in older children and adults, individual differences in statistical learning were found to be associated with individual differences in language skills of preschool children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Prenatal Care: First Trimester Visits

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... care provider will discuss the importance of proper nutrition and prenatal vitamins. Your first prenatal visit is a good time to discuss exercise, sex during pregnancy and other lifestyle issues. You might also discuss your work environment and the use of medications during pregnancy. If ...

  16. Minimalist approach to perceptual interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenay, Charles; Stewart, John

    2012-01-01

    WORK AIMED AT STUDYING SOCIAL COGNITION IN AN INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE OFTEN ENCOUNTERS SUBSTANTIAL THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES: identifying the significant behavioral variables; recording them without disturbing the interaction; and distinguishing between: (a) the necessary and sufficient contributions of each individual partner for a collective dynamics to emerge; (b) features which derive from this collective dynamics and escape from the control of the individual partners; and (c) the phenomena arising from this collective dynamics which are subsequently appropriated and used by the partners. We propose a minimalist experimental paradigm as a basis for this conceptual discussion: by reducing the sensory inputs to a strict minimum, we force a spatial and temporal deployment of the perceptual activities, which makes it possible to obtain a complete recording and control of the dynamics of interaction. After presenting the principles of this minimalist approach to perception, we describe a series of experiments on two major questions in social cognition: recognizing the presence of another intentional subject; and phenomena of imitation. In both cases, we propose explanatory schema which render an interactionist approach to social cognition clear and explicit. Starting from our earlier work on perceptual crossing we present a new experiment on the mechanisms of reciprocal recognition of the perceptual intentionality of the other subject: the emergent collective dynamics of the perceptual crossing can be appropriated by each subject. We then present an experimental study of opaque imitation (when the subjects cannot see what they themselves are doing). This study makes it possible to characterize what a properly interactionist approach to imitation might be. In conclusion, we draw on these results, to show how an interactionist approach can contribute to a fully social approach to social cognition.

  17. A look at Behaviourism and Perceptual Control Theory in Interface Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-02-01

    behaviours such as response variability, instinctive drift, autoshaping , etc. Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) postulates that behaviours result from the...internal variables. Behaviourism, on the other hand, can not account for variability in responses, instinctive drift, autoshaping , etc. Researchers... Autoshaping . Animals appear to learn without reinforcement. However, conditioning theory speculates that learning results only when reinforcement

  18. Prenatal vitamins: what is in the bottle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duerbeck, Norman B; Dowling, David D; Duerbeck, Jillinda M

    2014-12-01

    Nearly all obstetricians routinely prescribe prenatal vitamins to their pregnant patients at the time of the first prenatal visit. Many times, patients' understanding of the health benefits of prenatal vitamins differs substantially from that of the prescribing physician. The following is a review of the most common ingredients found in prenatal vitamins and their purported health benefits.

  19. Auditory Perceptual Abilities Are Associated with Specific Auditory Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yael Zaltz

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The extent to which auditory experience can shape general auditory perceptual abilities is still under constant debate. Some studies show that specific auditory expertise may have a general effect on auditory perceptual abilities, while others show a more limited influence, exhibited only in a relatively narrow range associated with the area of expertise. The current study addresses this issue by examining experience-dependent enhancement in perceptual abilities in the auditory domain. Three experiments were performed. In the first experiment, 12 pop and rock musicians and 15 non-musicians were tested in frequency discrimination (DLF, intensity discrimination, spectrum discrimination (DLS, and time discrimination (DLT. Results showed significant superiority of the musician group only for the DLF and DLT tasks, illuminating enhanced perceptual skills in the key features of pop music, in which miniscule changes in amplitude and spectrum are not critical to performance. The next two experiments attempted to differentiate between generalization and specificity in the influence of auditory experience, by comparing subgroups of specialists. First, seven guitar players and eight percussionists were tested in the DLF and DLT tasks that were found superior for musicians. Results showed superior abilities on the DLF task for guitar players, though no difference between the groups in DLT, demonstrating some dependency of auditory learning on the specific area of expertise. Subsequently, a third experiment was conducted, testing a possible influence of vowel density in native language on auditory perceptual abilities. Ten native speakers of German (a language characterized by a dense vowel system of 14 vowels, and 10 native speakers of Hebrew (characterized by a sparse vowel system of five vowels, were tested in a formant discrimination task. This is the linguistic equivalent of a DLS task. Results showed that German speakers had superior formant

  20. Incorporating breastfeeding education into prenatal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts, Adrienne; Faucher, Mary Ann; Spencer, Rebecca

    2015-03-01

    Prenatal breastfeeding education increases breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, and duration. Current research regarding antenatal breastfeeding education suggests that recurrent, individual, and technology-based education programs are effective in providing women with evidence-based breastfeeding information and guidance. This project was implemented at an obstetrical practice in the northeast United States. Pregnant women between 32 weeks of gestation and birth, receiving care from certified nurse-midwives, were the targeted population. Three breastfeeding modules were created and offered to women at the 32-, 34-, and 36-week prenatal visit via computer tablets. Women answered questionnaires at the end of each module, serving as a measure for participation and content learning. Women also completed a questionnaire at the 6-week postpartum visit to assess summative perceptions. Twenty-three women participated, and 21 women completed questionnaires at 6 weeks postpartum. All women answered the content questions at the end of the modules correctly. Sixty-seven percent reported prior breastfeeding experience, 95% initiated breastfeeding, 86% were exclusively breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum, and 71% of the women planned to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. Sixty-seven percent reported the modules promoted or affirmed their decision to breastfeed, whereas 5% would have preferred group-based education. Providers documented breastfeeding education 52% of the time. The results of this project indicate that women successfully learned breastfeeding content via the tablet methodology. The results confirm that prenatal breastfeeding education, in the office setting, is well accepted by women. In order to assess the impact of the program on breastfeeding success, further study is needed.

  1. Prenatal stressors in rodents: Effects on behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Weinstock

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The current review focuses on studies in rodents published since 2008 and explores possible reasons for any differences they report in the effects of gestational stress on various types of behavior in the offspring. An abundance of experimental data shows that different maternal stressors in rodents can replicate some of the abnormalities in offspring behavior observed in humans. These include, anxiety, in juvenile and adult rats and mice, assessed in the elevated plus maze and open field tests and depression, detected in the forced swim and sucrose-preference tests. Deficits were reported in social interaction that is suggestive of pathology associated with schizophrenia, and in spatial learning and memory in adult rats in the Morris water maze test, but in most studies only males were tested. There were too few studies on the novel object recognition test at different inter-trial intervals to enable a conclusion about the effect of prenatal stress and whether any deficits are more prevalent in males. Among hippocampal glutamate receptors, NR2B was the only subtype consistently reduced in association with learning deficits. However, like in humans with schizophrenia and depression, prenatal stress lowered hippocampal levels of BDNF, which were closely correlated with decreases in hippocampal long-term potentiation. In mice, down-regulation of BDNF appeared to occur through the action of gene-methylating enzymes that are already increased above controls in prenatally-stressed neonates. In conclusion, the data obtained so far from experiments in rodents lend support to a physiological basis for the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia and depression.

  2. Perceptual fluency and judgments of vocal aesthetics and stereotypicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babel, Molly; McGuire, Grant

    2015-05-01

    Research has shown that processing dynamics on the perceiver's end determine aesthetic pleasure. Specifically, typical objects, which are processed more fluently, are perceived as more attractive. We extend this notion of perceptual fluency to judgments of vocal aesthetics. Vocal attractiveness has traditionally been examined with respect to sexual dimorphism and the apparent size of a talker, as reconstructed from the acoustic signal, despite evidence that gender-specific speech patterns are learned social behaviors. In this study, we report on a series of three experiments using 60 voices (30 females) to compare the relationship between judgments of vocal attractiveness, stereotypicality, and gender categorization fluency. Our results indicate that attractiveness and stereotypicality are highly correlated for female and male voices. Stereotypicality and categorization fluency were also correlated for male voices, but not female voices. Crucially, stereotypicality and categorization fluency interacted to predict attractiveness, suggesting the role of perceptual fluency is present, but nuanced, in judgments of human voices. © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  3. Early prenatal syphilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santosh Rathod

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Syphilis in pregnancy still remains a challenge despite the availability of adequate diagnostic tests for serological screening and penicillin therapy. We report a case of 2 month old female infant who presented with runny nose, papulosquamous lesions over both palms and soles and perianal erosions since 1 month after birth. Cutaneous examination revealed moist eroded areas in the perianal region and fine scaly lesions over palms and soles. Radiograph of both upper limbs and limbs revealed early periosteal changes in lower end of humerus and lower end of tibia. Diagnosis of early pre-natal syphilis was confirmed by Child′s Serum Rapid Plasma Reagin Antibody test [S.RPR] being positive with 1:64 dilution while that of mother was 1:8.

  4. Associations between Prenatal Exposure to Black Carbon and Memory Domains in Urban Children: Modification by Sex and Prenatal Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowell, Whitney J; Bellinger, David C; Coull, Brent A; Gennings, Chris; Wright, Robert O; Wright, Rosalind J

    2015-01-01

    Whether fetal neurodevelopment is disrupted by traffic-related air pollution is uncertain. Animal studies suggest that chemical and non-chemical stressors interact to impact neurodevelopment, and that this association is further modified by sex. To examine associations between prenatal traffic-related black carbon exposure, prenatal stress, and sex with children's memory and learning. Analyses included N = 258 mother-child dyads enrolled in a Boston, Massachusetts pregnancy cohort. Black carbon exposure was estimated using a validated spatiotemporal land-use regression model. Prenatal stress was measured using the Crisis in Family Systems-Revised survey of negative life events. The Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML2) was administered at age 6 years; outcomes included the General Memory Index and its component indices [Verbal, Visual, and Attention Concentration]. Relationships between black carbon and WRAML2 index scores were examined using multivariable-adjusted linear regression including effect modification by stress and sex. Mothers were primarily minorities (60% Hispanic, 26% Black); 67% had ≤12 years of education. The main effect for black carbon was not significant for any WRAML2 index; however, in stratified analyses, among boys with high exposure to prenatal stress, Attention Concentration Index scores were on average 9.5 points lower for those with high compared to low prenatal black carbon exposure (P3-way interaction = 0.04). The associations between prenatal exposure to black carbon and stress with children's memory scores were stronger in boys than in girls. Studies assessing complex interactions may more fully characterize health risks and, in particular, identify vulnerable subgroups.

  5. Dynamics of individual perceptual decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Torin K.; Lu, Yue M.; Karmali, Faisal

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual decision making is fundamental to a broad range of fields including neurophysiology, economics, medicine, advertising, law, etc. Although recent findings have yielded major advances in our understanding of perceptual decision making, decision making as a function of time and frequency (i.e., decision-making dynamics) is not well understood. To limit the review length, we focus most of this review on human findings. Animal findings, which are extensively reviewed elsewhere, are included when beneficial or necessary. We attempt to put these various findings and data sets, which can appear to be unrelated in the absence of a formal dynamic analysis, into context using published models. Specifically, by adding appropriate dynamic mechanisms (e.g., high-pass filters) to existing models, it appears that a number of otherwise seemingly disparate findings from the literature might be explained. One hypothesis that arises through this dynamic analysis is that decision making includes phasic (high pass) neural mechanisms, an evidence accumulator and/or some sort of midtrial decision-making mechanism (e.g., peak detector and/or decision boundary). PMID:26467513

  6. Building online brand perceptual map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, I-Ping; Lin, Chih-Ying; Wang, Kaisheng M

    2008-10-01

    Many companies have launched their products or services online as a new business focus, but only a few of them have survived the competition and made profits. The most important key to an online business's success is to create "brand value" for the customers. Although the concept of online brand has been discussed in previous studies, there is no empirical study on the measurement of online branding. As Web 2.0 emerges to be critical to online branding, the purpose of this study was to measure Taiwan's major Web sites with a number of personality traits to build a perceptual map for online brands. A pretest identified 10 most representative online brand perceptions. The results of the correspondence analysis showed five groups in the perceptual map. This study provided a practical view of the associations and similarities among online brands for potential alliance or branding strategies. The findings also suggested that brand perceptions can be used with identified consumer needs and behaviors to better position online services. The brand perception map in the study also contributed to a better understanding of the online brands in Taiwan.

  7. Collapse models and perceptual processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghirardi, Gian Carlo; Romano, Raffaele

    2014-01-01

    Theories including a collapse mechanism have been presented various years ago. They are based on a modification of standard quantum mechanics in which nonlinear and stochastic terms are added to the evolution equation. Their principal merits derive from the fact that they are mathematically precise schemes accounting, on the basis of a unique universal dynamical principle, both for the quantum behavior of microscopic systems as well as for the reduction associated to measurement processes and for the classical behavior of macroscopic objects. Since such theories qualify themselves not as new interpretations but as modifications of the standard theory they can be, in principle, tested against quantum mechanics. Recently, various investigations identifying possible crucial test have been discussed. In spite of the extreme difficulty to perform such tests it seems that recent technological developments allow at least to put precise limits on the parameters characterizing the modifications of the evolution equation. Here we will simply mention some of the recent investigations in this direction, while we will mainly concentrate our attention to the way in which collapse theories account for definite perceptual process. The differences between the case of reductions induced by perceptions and those related to measurement procedures by means of standard macroscopic devices will be discussed. On this basis, we suggest a precise experimental test of collapse theories involving conscious observers. We make plausible, by discussing in detail a toy model, that the modified dynamics can give rise to quite small but systematic errors in the visual perceptual process.

  8. Prenatal anxiety effects: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Tiffany

    2017-11-01

    This review is based on literature on prenatal anxiety effects that was found on Pubmed and PsycINFO for the years 2010-2016. Prenatal anxiety is thought to have distinct features, although it has been measured both by specific prenatal anxiety symptoms as well as by standardized anxiety scales. Its prevalence has ranged from 21 to 25% and it has been predicted by a number of pregnancy - related variables such as unintended pregnancy, demographic variables such as low acculturation and income and psychosocial factors including pessimism and partner tension. Prenatal anxiety effects on pregnancy include increased cortisol levels, pro-inflammatory cytokines, obstetric problems and cesarean section. Effects on the neonate include lower gestational age, prematurity, less insulin-like growth factor in cord blood, less exclusive breast-feeding and less self-regulation during the heelstick procedure. Prenatal anxiety effects continue into infancy and childhood both on physiological development and emotional/mental development. Among the physiological effects are lower vagal activity across the first two years, and lower immunity, more illnesses and reduced gray matter in childhood. Prenatal anxiety effects on emotional/mental development include greater negative emotionality and in infants, lower mental development scores and internalizing problems. Anxiety disorders occur during childhood and elevated cortisol and internalizing behaviors occur during adolescence. Interventions for prenatal anxiety are virtually nonexistent, although stroking (massaging) the infant has moderated the pregnancy - specific anxiety effects on internalizing behaviors in the offspring. The limitations of this literature include the homogeneity of samples, the frequent use of anxiety measures that are not specific to pregnancy, and the reliance on self-report. Nonetheless, the literature highlights the negative, long-term effects of prenatal anxiety and the need for screening and early

  9. Prenatal Micronutrient Supplementation Is Not Associated with Intellectual Development of Young School-Aged Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chao; Zeng, Lingxia; Wang, Duolao; Yang, Wenfang; Dang, Shaonong; Zhou, Jing; Yan, Hong

    2015-08-01

    Micronutrient supplementation is often prescribed during pregnancy. The effects of prenatal iron and multimicronutrient supplementation on intellectual development in young school-aged children are less than clear. The aim of this study was to examine the long-term effects of prenatal iron plus folic acid or multiple micronutrient (including iron and folic acid) supplementation vs. folic acid supplementation on the intellectual development of young school-aged children in rural China. Young school-aged children (aged 7-10 y, n = 1744) of women who had participated in a trial of prenatal supplementation with various combinations of micronutrients and remained residents in 2 rural counties in China were followed. We measured their intellectual development by Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). The WISC-IV generated the Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ), Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI), Working Memory Index (WMI), Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI), and Processing Speed Index (PSI). Multilevel analyses were used to assess the effect of prenatal micronutrient supplementation on the intellectual development of children. The mean differences in FSIQ, VCI, WMI, PRI, and PSI, respectively, were not significant between prenatal folic acid supplementation and either iron plus folic acid [-0.34 (P = 0.65), -0.06 (P = 0.95), -0.22 (P = 0.76), -0.01 (P = 0.99), and -1.26 (P = 0.11)] or multimicronutrient [-0.39 (P = 0.60), -0.64 (P = 0.48), 0.11 (P = 0.87), -0.43 (P = 0.59), and -0.34; (P = 0.65)] supplementation after adjusting for confounders. There is no evidence to suggest a different effect on intellectual development between prenatal iron plus folic acid, multimicronutrient supplementation, and prenatal folic acid supplementation in children aged 7-10 y. This trial was registered at www.isrctn.com as ISRCTN08850194. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.

  10. Persistent Associations between Maternal Prenatal Exposure to Phthalates on Child IQ at Age 7 Years.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pam Factor-Litvak

    Full Text Available Prior research reports inverse associations between maternal prenatal urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations and mental and motor development in preschoolers. No study evaluated whether these associations persist into school age.In a follow up of 328 inner-city mothers and their children, we measured prenatal urinary metabolites of di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP, butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP, di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate and diethyl phthalate in late pregnancy. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition was administered at child age 7 years and evaluates four areas of cognitive function associated with overall intelligence quotient (IQ.Child full-scale IQ was inversely associated with prenatal urinary metabolite concentrations of DnBP and DiBP: b = -2.69 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -4.33, -1.05 and b = -2.69 (95% CI = -4.22, -1.16 per log unit increase. Among children of mothers with the highest versus lowest quartile DnBP and DiBP metabolite concentrations, IQ was 6.7 (95% CI = 1.9, 11.4 and 7.6 (95% CI = 3.2, 12.1 points lower, respectively. Associations were unchanged after control for cognition at age 3 years. Significant inverse associations were also seen between maternal prenatal metabolite concentrations of DnBP and DiBP and child processing speed, perceptual reasoning and working memory; DiBP and child verbal comprehension; and BBzP and child perceptual reasoning.Maternal prenatal urinary metabolite concentrations measured in late pregnancy of DnBP and DiBP are associated with deficits in children's intellectual development at age 7 years. Because phthalate exposures are ubiquitous and concentrations seen here within the range previously observed among general populations, results are of public health significance.

  11. Perceptual Fusion in Humans and Machines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.A. Salah (Albert Ali); O. Tanrı dağ

    2008-01-01

    htmlabstractHumans perceive the world through different perceptual modalities, which are processed in the brain by modality-specific areas and structures. However, there also exist multimodal neurons and areas, specialized in integrating perceptual information to enhance or suppress brain response.

  12. Modelling the Perceptual Components of Loudspeaker Distortion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Sune L.; Agerkvist, Finn T.; MacDonald, Ewen

    2016-01-01

    While non-linear distortion in loudspeakers decreases audio quality, the perceptual consequences can vary substantially. This paper investigates the metric Rnonlin [1] which was developed to predict subjective measurements of sound quality in nonlinear systems. The generalisability of the metric...... the perceptual consequences of non-linear distortion....

  13. Semantic Representations in 3D Perceptual Space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suncica Zdravkovic

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Barsalou's (1999 perceptual theory of knowledge echoes the pre-20th century tradition of conceptualizing all knowledge as inherently perceptual. Hence conceptual space has an infinite number of dimensions and heavily relies on perceptual experience. Osgood's (1952 semantic differential technique was developed as a bridge between perception and semantics. We updated Osgood's methodology in order to investigate current issues in visual cognition by: (1 using a 2D rather than a 1D space to place the concepts, (2 having dimensions that were perceptual while the targets were conceptual, (3 coupling visual experience with another two perceptual domains (audition and touch, (4 analyzing the data using MDS (not factor analysis. In three experiments, subjects (N = 57 judged five concrete and five abstract words on seven bipolar scales in three perceptual modalities. The 2D space led to different patterns of response compared to the classic 1D space. MDS revealed that perceptual modalities are not equally informative for mapping word-meaning distances (Mantel min = −.23; Mantel max = .88. There was no reliable differences due to test administration modality (paper vs. computer, nor scale orientation. The present findings are consistent with multidimensionality of conceptual space, a perceptual basis for knowledge, and dynamic characteristics of concepts discussed in contemporary theories.

  14. Adaptable history biases in human perceptual decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrahamyan, Arman; Silva, Laura Luz; Dakin, Steven C; Carandini, Matteo; Gardner, Justin L

    2016-06-21

    When making choices under conditions of perceptual uncertainty, past experience can play a vital role. However, it can also lead to biases that worsen decisions. Consistent with previous observations, we found that human choices are influenced by the success or failure of past choices even in a standard two-alternative detection task, where choice history is irrelevant. The typical bias was one that made the subject switch choices after a failure. These choice history biases led to poorer performance and were similar for observers in different countries. They were well captured by a simple logistic regression model that had been previously applied to describe psychophysical performance in mice. Such irrational biases seem at odds with the principles of reinforcement learning, which would predict exquisite adaptability to choice history. We therefore asked whether subjects could adapt their irrational biases following changes in trial order statistics. Adaptability was strong in the direction that confirmed a subject's default biases, but weaker in the opposite direction, so that existing biases could not be eradicated. We conclude that humans can adapt choice history biases, but cannot easily overcome existing biases even if irrational in the current context: adaptation is more sensitive to confirmatory than contradictory statistics.

  15. Tuned by experience: How orientation probability modulates early perceptual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabar, Syaheed B; Filipowicz, Alex; Anderson, Britt

    2017-09-01

    Probable stimuli are more often and more quickly detected. While stimulus probability is known to affect decision-making, it can also be explained as a perceptual phenomenon. Using spatial gratings, we have previously shown that probable orientations are also more precisely estimated, even while participants remained naive to the manipulation. We conducted an electrophysiological study to investigate the effect that probability has on perception and visual-evoked potentials. In line with previous studies on oddballs and stimulus prevalence, low-probability orientations were associated with a greater late positive 'P300' component which might be related to either surprise or decision-making. However, the early 'C1' component, thought to reflect V1 processing, was dampened for high-probability orientations while later P1 and N1 components were unaffected. Exploratory analyses revealed a participant-level correlation between C1 and P300 amplitudes, suggesting a link between perceptual processing and decision-making. We discuss how these probability effects could be indicative of sharpening of neurons preferring the probable orientations, due either to perceptual learning, or to feature-based attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Gaze-contingent training enhances perceptual skill acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Donghyun; Mann, David L; Abernethy, Bruce; Poolton, Jamie M

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether decision-making skill in perceptual-cognitive tasks could be enhanced using a training technique that impaired selective areas of the visual field. Recreational basketball players performed perceptual training over 3 days while viewing with a gaze-contingent manipulation that displayed either (a) a moving window (clear central and blurred peripheral vision), (b) a moving mask (blurred central and clear peripheral vision), or (c) full (unrestricted) vision. During the training, participants watched video clips of basketball play and at the conclusion of each clip made a decision about to which teammate the player in possession of the ball should pass. A further control group watched unrelated videos with full vision. The effects of training were assessed using separate tests of decision-making skill conducted in a pretest, posttest, and 2-week retention test. The accuracy of decision making was greater in the posttest than in the pretest for all three intervention groups when compared with the control group. Remarkably, training with blurred peripheral vision resulted in a further improvement in performance from posttest to retention test that was not apparent for the other groups. The type of training had no measurable impact on the visual search strategies of the participants, and so the training improvements appear to be grounded in changes in information pickup. The findings show that learning with impaired peripheral vision offers a promising form of training to support improvements in perceptual skill.

  17. Empirical Support for Perceptual Conceptualism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolás Alejandro Serrano

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this paper is to show that perceptual conceptualism can be understood as an empirically meaningful position and, furthermore, that there is some degree of empirical support for its main theses. In order to do this, I will start by offering an empirical reading of the conceptualist position, and making three predictions from it. Then, I will consider recent experimental results from cognitive sciences that seem to point towards those predictions. I will conclude that, while the evidence offered by those experiments is far from decisive, it is enough not only to show that conceptualism is an empirically meaningful position but also that there is empirical support for it.

  18. Relationships between academic performance, SES school type and perceptual-motor skills in first grade South African learners: NW-CHILD study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pienaar, A.E.; Barhorst, R.; Twisk, J.W.R.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Perceptual-motor skills contribute to a variety of basic learning skills associated with normal academic success. This study aimed to determine the relationship between academic performance and perceptual-motor skills in first grade South African learners and whether low SES

  19. Interdisciplinary Adventures in Perceptual Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocast, Christopher S.

    A portfolio dissertation that began as acoustic ecology and matured into perceptual ecology, centered on ecomusicology, bioacoustics, and translational audio-based media works with environmental perspectives. The place of music in Western eco-cosmology through time provides a basis for structuring an environmental history of human sound perception. That history suggests that music may stabilize human mental activity, and that an increased musical practice may be essential for the human project. An overview of recent antecedents preceding the emergence of acoustic ecology reveals structural foundations from 20th century culture that underpin modern sound studies. The contextual role that Aldo Leopold, Jacob von Uexkull, John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, and others played in anticipating the development of acoustic ecology as an interdiscipline is detailed. This interdisciplinary aspect of acoustic ecology is defined and defended, while new developments like soundscape ecology are addressed, though ultimately sound studies will need to embrace a broader concept of full-spectrum "sensory" or "perceptual" ecology. The bioacoustic fieldwork done on spawning sturgeon emphasized this necessity. That study yielded scientific recordings and spectrographic analyses of spawning sounds produced by lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, during reproduction in natural habitats in the Lake Winnebago watershed in Wisconsin. Recordings were made on the Wolf and Embarrass River during the 2011-2013 spawning seasons. Several specimens were dissected to investigate possible sound production mechanisms; no sonic musculature was found. Drumming sounds, ranging from 5 to 7 Hz fundamental frequency, verified the infrasonic nature of previously undocumented "sturgeon thunder". Other characteristic noises of sturgeon spawning including low-frequency rumbles and hydrodynamic sounds were identified. Intriguingly, high-frequency signals resembling electric organ discharges were discovered. These

  20. Attentional capture under high perceptual load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosman, Joshua D; Vecera, Shaun P

    2010-12-01

    Attentional capture by abrupt onsets can be modulated by several factors, including the complexity, or perceptual load, of a scene. We have recently demonstrated that observers are less likely to be captured by abruptly appearing, task-irrelevant stimuli when they perform a search that is high, as opposed to low, in perceptual load (Cosman & Vecera, 2009), consistent with perceptual load theory. However, recent results indicate that onset frequency can influence stimulus-driven capture, with infrequent onsets capturing attention more often than did frequent onsets. Importantly, in our previous task, an abrupt onset was present on every trial, and consequently, attentional capture might have been affected by both onset frequency and perceptual load. In the present experiment, we examined whether onset frequency influences attentional capture under conditions of high perceptual load. When onsets were presented frequently, we replicated our earlier results; attentional capture by onsets was modulated under conditions of high perceptual load. Importantly, however, when onsets were presented infrequently, we observed robust capture effects. These results conflict with a strong form of load theory and, instead, suggest that exposure to the elements of a task (e.g., abrupt onsets) combines with high perceptual load to modulate attentional capture by task-irrelevant information.

  1. Prenatal care in your second trimester

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000557.htm Prenatal care in your second trimester To use the sharing ... Gregory KD, Ramos DE, Jauniaux ERM. Preconception and prenatal care. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et ...

  2. Prenatal care in your third trimester

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000558.htm Prenatal care in your third trimester To use the sharing ... Gregory KD, Ramos DE, Jauniaux ERM. Preconception and prenatal care. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et ...

  3. Prenatal exposure to anticonvulsants and psychosexual development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dessens, A. B.; Cohen-Kettenis, P. T.; Mellenbergh, G. J.; vd Poll, N.; Koppe, J. G.; Boer, K.

    1999-01-01

    Animal studies have shown that prenatal exposure to the anticonvulsant drugs phenobarbital and phenytoin alters steroid hormone levels which consequently leads to disturbed sexual differentiation. In this study, possible sequelae of prenatal exposure to these anticonvulsants on gender development in

  4. Prenatal Testing: MedlinePlus Health Topic

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health Start Here Prenatal Tests (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish Prenatal Tests (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in Spanish ...

  5. Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Prenatal Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Genco Usta

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The influence of prenatal stress on psychopathology has been observed in many animal and human studies. In many studies, stress during prenatal period has been shown to result in negative feedback dysregulation and hyperactivity of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Prenatal stres also may cause increased risk of birth complications, startle or distress in response to novel and surprising stimuli during infancy; lower Full Scale IQs, language abilities and attention deficiency in period of 3-5 years; increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome, anxiety symptoms, depressive disorder and impulsivity during adolescence. Additionally, timing of prenatal stress is also important and 12-22 weeks of gestation seems to be the most vulnerable period. The results underline the need for early prevention and intervention programs for highly anxious women during pregnancy. Administration of prenatal stress monitoring to public health programs or removing pregnant women who have been exposed to life events such as natural disaster, terror attack to secure areas that provide basic needs may be crucial.

  6. Influence of prenatal noise and music on the spatial memory and neurogenesis in the hippocampus of developing rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hong; Lee, Myoung-Hwa; Chang, Hyun-Kyung; Lee, Taeck-Hyun; Lee, Hee-Hyuk; Shin, Min-Chul; Shin, Mal-Soon; Won, Ran; Shin, Hye-Sook; Kim, Chang-Ju

    2006-03-01

    During the prenatal period, the development of individual is influenced by the environmental factors. In the present study, the influence of prenatal noise and music on the spatial memory and neurogenesis in the hippocampus of developing rats was investigated. The exposure to the noise during pregnancy caused growth retardation, decreased neurogenesis in the hippocampus, and impaired spatial learning ability in pups. The exposure to music during pregnancy, on the other hand, caused increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus and enhanced spatial learning ability in pups. The present study has shown the importance of the prenatal environmental conditions for the cognition and brain development.

  7. Prenatal Care: New Hampshire Residents - 1976.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mires, Maynard H.; Sirc, Charles E.

    Data from 1976 New Hampshire birth certificates were used to examine the correlations between the degree (month of pregnancy that prenatal care began) and intensity (number of prenatal visits) of prenatal care and low infant birth weight, illegitimacy, maternal age, maternal education, and complications of pregnancy. The rate of low birth weight…

  8. Congenital lung malformations: correlation between prenatal and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Aim: Congenital lung malformations are a common finding during prenatal ultrasonography (US). Investigations were completed by means of prenatal MRI and postnatal computed tomographic (CT) scan. The purpose of this study was to compare these prenatal findings with postnatal findings and pathological findings after ...

  9. NICeSim: an open-source simulator based on machine learning techniques to support medical research on prenatal and perinatal care decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerqueira, Fabio Ribeiro; Ferreira, Tiago Geraldo; de Paiva Oliveira, Alcione; Augusto, Douglas Adriano; Krempser, Eduardo; Corrêa Barbosa, Helio José; do Carmo Castro Franceschini, Sylvia; de Freitas, Brunnella Alcantara Chagas; Gomes, Andreia Patricia; Siqueira-Batista, Rodrigo

    2014-11-01

    This paper describes NICeSim, an open-source simulator that uses machine learning (ML) techniques to aid health professionals to better understand the treatment and prognosis of premature newborns. The application was developed and tested using data collected in a Brazilian hospital. The available data were used to feed an ML pipeline that was designed to create a simulator capable of predicting the outcome (death probability) for newborns admitted to neonatal intensive care units. However, unlike previous scoring systems, our computational tool is not intended to be used at the patients bedside, although it is possible. Our primary goal is to deliver a computational system to aid medical research in understanding the correlation of key variables with the studied outcome so that new standards can be established for future clinical decisions. In the implemented simulation environment, the values of key attributes can be changed using a user-friendly interface, where the impact of each change on the outcome is immediately reported, allowing a quantitative analysis, in addition to a qualitative investigation, and delivering a totally interactive computational tool that facilitates hypothesis construction and testing. Our statistical experiments showed that the resulting model for death prediction could achieve an accuracy of 86.7% and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.84 for the positive class. Using this model, three physicians and a neonatal nutritionist performed simulations with key variables correlated with chance of death. The results indicated important tendencies for the effect of each variable and the combination of variables on prognosis. We could also observe values of gestational age and birth weight for which a low Apgar score and the occurrence of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) could be less or more severe. For instance, we have noticed that for a newborn with 2000 g or more the occurrence of RDS is far less problematic

  10. Probing the Perceptual and Cognitive Underpinnings of Braille Reading. An Estonian Population Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veispak, Anneli; Boets, Bart; Mannamaa, Mairi; Ghesquiere, Pol

    2012-01-01

    Similar to many sighted children who struggle with learning to read, a proportion of blind children have specific difficulties related to reading braille which cannot be easily explained. A lot of research has been conducted to investigate the perceptual and cognitive processes behind (impairments in) print reading. Very few studies, however, have…

  11. Automatic Priming Effects for New Associations in Lexical Decision and Perceptual Identification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Pecher (Diane); J.G.W. Raaijmakers (Jeroen)

    1999-01-01

    textabstractInformation storage in semantic memory was investigated by looking at automatic priming effects for new associations in two experiments. In the study phase word pairs were presented in a paired-associate learning task. Lexical decision and perceptual identification were used to examine

  12. Structured Activities in Perceptual Training to Aid Retention of Visual and Auditory Images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, James W.; And Others

    The experimental program in structured activities in perceptual training was said to have two main objectives: to train children in retention of visual and auditory images and to increase the children's motivation to learn. Eight boys and girls participated in the program for two hours daily for a 10-week period. The age range was 7.0 to 12.10…

  13. Greater perceptual sensitivity to happy facial expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maher, Stephen; Ekstrom, Tor; Chen, Yue

    2014-01-01

    Perception of subtle facial expressions is essential for social functioning; yet it is unclear if human perceptual sensitivities differ in detecting varying types of facial emotions. Evidence diverges as to whether salient negative versus positive emotions (such as sadness versus happiness) are preferentially processed. Here, we measured perceptual thresholds for the detection of four types of emotion in faces--happiness, fear, anger, and sadness--using psychophysical methods. We also evaluated the association of the perceptual performances with facial morphological changes between neutral and respective emotion types. Human observers were highly sensitive to happiness compared with the other emotional expressions. Further, this heightened perceptual sensitivity to happy expressions can be attributed largely to the emotion-induced morphological change of a particular facial feature (end-lip raise).

  14. Perceptual incongruence influences bistability and cortical activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gijs Joost Brouwer

    Full Text Available We employed a parametric psychophysical design in combination with functional imaging to examine the influence of metric changes in perceptual incongruence on perceptual alternation rates and cortical responses. Subjects viewed a bistable stimulus defined by incongruent depth cues; bistability resulted from incongruence between binocular disparity and monocular perspective cues that specify different slants (slant rivalry. Psychophysical results revealed that perceptual alternation rates were positively correlated with the degree of perceived incongruence. Functional imaging revealed systematic increases in activity that paralleled the psychophysical results within anterior intraparietal sulcus, prior to the onset of perceptual alternations. We suggest that this cortical activity predicts the frequency of subsequent alternations, implying a putative causal role for these areas in initiating bistable perception. In contrast, areas implicated in form and depth processing (LOC and V3A were sensitive to the degree of slant, but failed to show increases in activity when these cues were in conflict.

  15. Studying Real-World Perceptual Expertise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhong eShen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Significant insights into visual cognition have come from studying real-world perceptual expertise. Many have previously reviewed empirical findings and theoretical developments from this work. Here we instead provide a brief perspective on approaches, considerations, and challenges to studying real-world perceptual expertise. We discuss factors like choosing to use real-world versus artificial object domains of expertise, selecting a target domain of real-world perceptual expertise, recruiting experts, evaluating their level of expertise, and experimentally testing experts in the lab and online. Throughout our perspective, we highlight expert birding (also called birdwatching as an example, as it has been used as a target domain for over two decades in the perceptual expertise literature.

  16. Animacy, perceptual load, and inattentional blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvillo, Dustin P; Jackson, Russell E

    2014-06-01

    Inattentional blindness is the failure to notice unexpected objects in a visual scene while engaging in an attention-demanding task. We examined the effects of animacy and perceptual load on inattentional blindness. Participants searched for a category exemplar under low or high perceptual load. On the last trial, the participants were exposed to an unexpected object that was either animate or inanimate. Unexpected objects were detected more frequently when they were animate rather than inanimate, and more frequently with low than with high perceptual loads. We also measured working memory capacity and found that it predicted the detection of unexpected objects, but only with high perceptual loads. The results are consistent with the animate-monitoring hypothesis, which suggests that animate objects capture attention because of the importance of the detection of animate objects in ancestral hunter-gatherer environments.

  17. Can Attention be Divided Between Perceptual Groups?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Previous work using Head-Up Displays (HUDs) suggests that the visual system parses the HUD and the outside world into distinct perceptual groups, with attention deployed sequentially to first one group and then the other. New experiments show that both groups can be processed in parallel in a divided attention search task, even though subjects have just processed a stimulus in one perceptual group or the other. Implications for models of visual attention will be discussed.

  18. Effect of practice on perceptual load

    OpenAIRE

    Mejia-Ramirez, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    Within attention studies, Lavie's load theory (Lavie & Tsal, 1994; Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004) presented an account that could settle the question whether attention selects stimuli to be processed at an early or late stage of cognitive processing. This theory relied on the concepts of "perceptual load" and "attentional capacity", proposing that attentional resources are automatically allocated to stimuli, but when the perceptual load of the stimuli exceeds person's capacity, tas...

  19. A perceptual study of Scottish dialects

    OpenAIRE

    Tichenor, Sydney

    2012-01-01

    Perceptual dialectology is dedicated to the formal study of folk linguistic perceptions. Through an amalgamation of social psychology, ethnography, dialectology, sociolinguistics, cultural geography and myriad other fields, perceptual dialectology provides a methodology to gain insight to overt folk language attitudes, knowledge of regional distribution, and the importance of language variation and change (Preston 1989, 1999a). This study conducts the first investigation of folk percept...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Joel L; Cohen, Neal J

    2017-06-01

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

  1. Evaluative pressure overcomes perceptual load effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normand, Alice; Autin, Frédérique; Croizet, Jean-Claude

    2015-06-01

    Perceptual load has been found to be a powerful bottom-up determinant of distractibility, with high perceptual load preventing distraction by any irrelevant information. However, when under evaluative pressure, individuals exert top-down attentional control by giving greater weight to task-relevant features, making them more distractible from task-relevant distractors. One study tested whether the top-down modulation of attention under evaluative pressure overcomes the beneficial bottom-up effect of high perceptual load on distraction. Using a response-competition task, we replicated previous findings that high levels of perceptual load suppress task-relevant distractor response interference, but only for participants in a control condition. Participants under evaluative pressure (i.e., who believed their intelligence was assessed) showed interference from task-relevant distractor at all levels of perceptual load. This research challenges the assumptions of the perceptual load theory and sheds light on a neglected determinant of distractibility: the self-relevance of the performance situation in which attentional control is solicited.

  2. Exploration and Navigation for Mobile Robots With Perceptual Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Romero

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available To learn a map of an environment a mobile robot has to explore its workspace using its sensors. Sensors are noisy and have perceptual limitations that must be considered while learning a map. This paper considers a mobile robot with sensor perceptual limitations and introduces a new method for exploring and navigating autonomously in indoor environments. To minimize the risk of collisions as well as to not exceed the range of sensors, we introduce the concept of a travel space as a way to associate costs to grid cells of the map, based on distances to obstacles. During exploration the mobile robot minimizes its movements, including rotations, to reach the nearest unexplored region of the environment, using a dynamic programming algorithm. Once the exploration ends, the travel space is used to form a roadmap, a net of safe roads that the mobile robot can use for navigation. These exploration and navigation method are tested using a simulated and a real mobile robot with promising results.

  3. Exploration and Navigation for Mobile Robots With Perceptual Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo F. Morales

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available To learn a map of an environment a mobile robot has to explore its workspace using its sensors. Sensors are noisy and have perceptual limitations that must be considered while learning a map. This paper considers a mobile robot with sensor perceptual limitations and introduces a new method for exploring and navigating autonomously in indoor environments. To minimize the risk of collisions as well as to not exceed the range of sensors, we introduce the concept of a travel space as a way to associate costs to grid cells of the map, based on distances to obstacles. During exploration the mobile robot minimizes its movements, including rotations, to reach the nearest unexplored region of the environment, using a dynamic programming algorithm. Once the exploration ends, the travel space is used to form a roadmap, a net of safe roads that the mobile robot can use for navigation. These exploration and navigation method are tested using a simulated and a real mobile robot with promising results.

  4. Does expert perceptual anticipation transfer to a dissimilar domain?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Sean; McLaren, Michelle; Appleby, Brendyn; Rosalie, Simon M

    2015-06-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to extend theoretical understanding of transfer of learning by investigating whether expert perceptual anticipation skill transfers to a dissimilar domain. The capability of expert and near-expert rugby players as well as novices to anticipate skill type within rugby (learning sport) was first examined using a temporal occlusion paradigm. Participants watched video footage of an opponent performing rugby skill types that were temporally occluded at different points in the opponent's action and then made a written prediction. Thereafter, the capability of participants to transfer their anticipation skill to predict pitch type in baseball (transfer sport) was examined. Participants watched video footage of a pitcher throwing different pitch types that were temporally occluded and made a written prediction. Results indicated that expert and near-expert rugby players anticipated significantly better than novices across all occlusion conditions. However, none of the skill groups were able to transfer anticipation skill to predict pitch type in baseball. The findings of this paper, along with existing literature, support the theoretical prediction that transfer of perceptual anticipation is expertise dependent and restricted to similar domains. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Prenatal meditation influences infant behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Ka Po

    2014-11-01

    Meditation is important in facilitating health. Pregnancy health has been shown to have significant consequences for infant behaviors. In view of limited studies on meditation and infant temperament, this study aims to explore the effects of prenatal meditation on these aspects. The conceptual framework was based on the postulation of positive relationships between prenatal meditation and infant health. A randomized control quantitative study was carried out at Obstetric Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong. 64 pregnant Chinese women were recruited for intervention and 59 were for control. Outcome measures were cord blood cortisol, infant salivary cortisol, and Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire. Cord blood cortisol level of babies was higher in the intervention group (pmeditation can influence fetal health. Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire showed that the infants of intervention group have better temperament (pmeditation in relation to child health. Present study concludes the positive effects of prenatal meditation on infant behaviors and recommends that pregnancy care providers should provide prenatal meditation to pregnant women. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. What Happens during Prenatal Visits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... smoke, drink, or take drugs, and whether you exercise regularly. Ask about your stress level. Perform prenatal blood tests to do the ... increased risk of health problems during pregnancy? Will stress during pregnancy affect my ... minerals linked to problem with ovulation Release: Elevated blood pressure before pregnancy may increase chance ...

  7. Comparing the benefits of Caffeine, Naps and Placebo on Verbal, Motor and Perceptual Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Mednick, Sara C.; Cai, Denise J.; Kanady, Jennifer; Drummond, Sean P.A.

    2008-01-01

    Caffeine, the world’s most common psychoactive substance, is used by approximately 90% of North Americans everyday. Little is known, however, about its benefits for memory. Napping has been shown to increase alertness and promote learning on some memory tasks. We directly compared caffeine (200mg) with napping (60–90 minutes) and placebo on three distinct memory processes: declarative verbal memory, procedural motor skills, and perceptual learning. In the verbal task, recall and recognition f...

  8. Prenatal treatment of Down syndrome: a reality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guedj, Fayçal; Bianchi, Diana W; Delabar, Jean-Maurice

    2014-04-01

    Down syndrome affects more than 5 million people globally. During the last 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the research efforts focused on therapeutic interventions to improve learning and memory in Down syndrome. This review summarizes the different functional abnormalities targeted by researchers in mouse models of Down syndrome. Three main strategies have been used: neural stem cell implantation; environmental enrichment and physical exercise; and pharmacotherapy. Pharmacological targets include the choline pathway, GABA and NMDA receptors, DYRK1A protein, oxidative stress and pathways involved in development and neurogenesis. Many strategies have improved learning and memory as well as electrophysiological and molecular alterations in affected animals. To date, eight molecules have been tested in human adult clinical trials. No studies have yet been performed on infants. However, compelling studies reveal that permanent brain alterations originate during fetal life in Down syndrome. Early prenatal diagnosis offers a 28 weeks window to positively impact brain development and improve postnatal cognitive outcome in affected individuals. Only a few approaches (Epigallocatechine gallate, NAP/SAL, fluoxetine, and apigenin) have been used to treat mice in utero; these showed therapeutic effects that persisted to adulthood. In this article, we discuss the challenges, recent progress, and lessons learned that pave the way for new therapeutic approaches in Down syndrome.

  9. Disruptive colouration and perceptual grouping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, Irene; Cuthill, Innes C

    2014-01-01

    Camouflage is the primary defence of many animals and includes multiple strategies that interfere with figure-ground segmentation and object recognition. While matching background colours and textures is widespread and conceptually straightforward, less well explored are the optical 'tricks', collectively called disruptive colouration, that exploit perceptual grouping mechanisms. Adjacent high contrast colours create false edges, but this is not sufficient for an object's shape to be broken up; some colours must blend with the background. We test the novel hypothesis that this will be particularly effective when the colour patches on the animal appear to belong to, not merely different background colours, but different background objects. We used computer-based experiments where human participants had to find cryptic targets on artificial backgrounds. Creating what appeared to be bi-coloured foreground objects on bi-coloured backgrounds, we generated colour boundaries that had identical local contrast but either lay within or between (illusory) objects. As predicted, error rates for targets matching what appeared to be different background objects were higher than for targets which had otherwise identical local contrast to the background but appeared to belong to single background objects. This provides evidence for disruptive colouration interfering with higher-level feature integration in addition to previously demonstrated low-level effects involving contour detection. In addition, detection was impeded in treatments where targets were on or in close proximity to multiple background colour or tone boundaries. This is consistent with other studies which show a deleterious influence of visual 'clutter' or background complexity on search.

  10. Disruptive colouration and perceptual grouping.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Espinosa

    Full Text Available Camouflage is the primary defence of many animals and includes multiple strategies that interfere with figure-ground segmentation and object recognition. While matching background colours and textures is widespread and conceptually straightforward, less well explored are the optical 'tricks', collectively called disruptive colouration, that exploit perceptual grouping mechanisms. Adjacent high contrast colours create false edges, but this is not sufficient for an object's shape to be broken up; some colours must blend with the background. We test the novel hypothesis that this will be particularly effective when the colour patches on the animal appear to belong to, not merely different background colours, but different background objects. We used computer-based experiments where human participants had to find cryptic targets on artificial backgrounds. Creating what appeared to be bi-coloured foreground objects on bi-coloured backgrounds, we generated colour boundaries that had identical local contrast but either lay within or between (illusory objects. As predicted, error rates for targets matching what appeared to be different background objects were higher than for targets which had otherwise identical local contrast to the background but appeared to belong to single background objects. This provides evidence for disruptive colouration interfering with higher-level feature integration in addition to previously demonstrated low-level effects involving contour detection. In addition, detection was impeded in treatments where targets were on or in close proximity to multiple background colour or tone boundaries. This is consistent with other studies which show a deleterious influence of visual 'clutter' or background complexity on search.

  11. Perceptual Image Compression in Telemedicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Andrew B.; Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Eckstein, Miguel; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    The next era of space exploration, especially the "Mission to Planet Earth" will generate immense quantities of image data. For example, the Earth Observing System (EOS) is expected to generate in excess of one terabyte/day. NASA confronts a major technical challenge in managing this great flow of imagery: in collection, pre-processing, transmission to earth, archiving, and distribution to scientists at remote locations. Expected requirements in most of these areas clearly exceed current technology. Part of the solution to this problem lies in efficient image compression techniques. For much of this imagery, the ultimate consumer is the human eye. In this case image compression should be designed to match the visual capacities of the human observer. We have developed three techniques for optimizing image compression for the human viewer. The first consists of a formula, developed jointly with IBM and based on psychophysical measurements, that computes a DCT quantization matrix for any specified combination of viewing distance, display resolution, and display brightness. This DCT quantization matrix is used in most recent standards for digital image compression (JPEG, MPEG, CCITT H.261). The second technique optimizes the DCT quantization matrix for each individual image, based on the contents of the image. This is accomplished by means of a model of visual sensitivity to compression artifacts. The third technique extends the first two techniques to the realm of wavelet compression. Together these two techniques will allow systematic perceptual optimization of image compression in NASA imaging systems. Many of the image management challenges faced by NASA are mirrored in the field of telemedicine. Here too there are severe demands for transmission and archiving of large image databases, and the imagery is ultimately used primarily by human observers, such as radiologists. In this presentation I will describe some of our preliminary explorations of the applications

  12. Turkish- and English-speaking children display sensitivity to perceptual context in the referring expressions they produce in speech and gesture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demir, Özlem Ece; So, Wing-Chee; Özyürek, Asli; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Speakers choose a particular expression based on many factors, including availability of the referent in the perceptual context. We examined whether, when expressing referents, monolingual English- and Turkish-speaking children: (1) are sensitive to perceptual context, (2) express this sensitivity in language-specific ways, and (3) use co-speech gestures to specify referents that are underspecified. We also explored the mechanisms underlying children’s sensitivity to perceptual context. Children described short vignettes to an experimenter under two conditions: The characters in the vignettes were present in the perceptual context (perceptual context); the characters were absent (no perceptual context). Children routinely used nouns in the no perceptual context condition, but shifted to pronouns (English-speaking children) or omitted arguments (Turkish-speaking children) in the perceptual context condition. Turkish-speaking children used underspecified referents more frequently than English-speaking children in the perceptual context condition; however, they compensated for the difference by using gesture to specify the forms. Gesture thus gives children learning structurally different languages a way to achieve comparable levels of specification while at the same time adhering to the referential expressions dictated by their language. PMID:22904588

  13. Generation and Perceptual Implicit Memory: Different Generation Tasks Produce Different Effects on Perceptual Priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W.; Dew, Ilana T. Z.

    2009-01-01

    The generation manipulation has been critical in delineating differences between implicit and explicit memory. In contrast to past research, the present experiments indicate that generating from a rhyme cue produces as much perceptual priming as does reading. This is demonstrated for 3 visual priming tasks: perceptual identification, word-fragment…

  14. Pupil size tracks perceptual content and surprise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloosterman, Niels A; Meindertsma, Thomas; van Loon, Anouk M; Lamme, Victor A F; Bonneh, Yoram S; Donner, Tobias H

    2015-04-01

    Changes in pupil size at constant light levels reflect the activity of neuromodulatory brainstem centers that control global brain state. These endogenously driven pupil dynamics can be synchronized with cognitive acts. For example, the pupil dilates during the spontaneous switches of perception of a constant sensory input in bistable perceptual illusions. It is unknown whether this pupil dilation only indicates the occurrence of perceptual switches, or also their content. Here, we measured pupil diameter in human subjects reporting the subjective disappearance and re-appearance of a physically constant visual target surrounded by a moving pattern ('motion-induced blindness' illusion). We show that the pupil dilates during the perceptual switches in the illusion and a stimulus-evoked 'replay' of that illusion. Critically, the switch-related pupil dilation encodes perceptual content, with larger amplitude for disappearance than re-appearance. This difference in pupil response amplitude enables prediction of the type of report (disappearance vs. re-appearance) on individual switches (receiver-operating characteristic: 61%). The amplitude difference is independent of the relative durations of target-visible and target-invisible intervals and subjects' overt behavioral report of the perceptual switches. Further, we show that pupil dilation during the replay also scales with the level of surprise about the timing of switches, but there is no evidence for an interaction between the effects of surprise and perceptual content on the pupil response. Taken together, our results suggest that pupil-linked brain systems track both the content of, and surprise about, perceptual events. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Explaining the Timing of Natural Scene Understanding with a Computational Model of Perceptual Categorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofer, Imri; Crouzet, Sébastien M.; Serre, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Observers can rapidly perform a variety of visual tasks such as categorizing a scene as open, as outdoor, or as a beach. Although we know that different tasks are typically associated with systematic differences in behavioral responses, to date, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we implemented a single integrated paradigm that links perceptual processes with categorization processes. Using a large image database of natural scenes, we trained machine-learning classifiers to derive quantitative measures of task-specific perceptual discriminability based on the distance between individual images and different categorization boundaries. We showed that the resulting discriminability measure accurately predicts variations in behavioral responses across categorization tasks and stimulus sets. We further used the model to design an experiment, which challenged previous interpretations of the so-called “superordinate advantage.” Overall, our study suggests that observed differences in behavioral responses across rapid categorization tasks reflect natural variations in perceptual discriminability. PMID:26335683

  16. Prenatal education for congenital toxoplasmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Mario, Simona; Basevi, Vittorio; Gagliotti, Carlo; Spettoli, Daniela; Gori, Gianfranco; D'Amico, Roberto; Magrini, Nicola

    2015-10-23

    Congenital toxoplasmosis is considered a rare but potentially severe infection. Prenatal education about congenital toxoplasmosis could be the most efficient and least harmful intervention, yet its effectiveness is uncertain. To assess the effects of prenatal education for preventing congenital toxoplasmosis. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 May 2015), and reference lists of relevant papers, reviews and websites. Randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of all types of prenatal education on toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy. Cluster-randomized trials were eligible for inclusion. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias, extracted data and checked them for accuracy. Two cluster-randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (involving a total of 5455 women) met the inclusion criteria. The two included trials measured the effectiveness of the intervention in different ways, which meant that meta-analysis of the results was not possible. The overall quality of the two studies, as assessed using the GRADE approach, was low, with high risk of detection and attrition bias in both included trials.One trial (432 women enrolled) conducted in Canada was judged of low methodological quality. This trial did not report on any of the review's pre-specified primary outcomes and the secondary outcomes reported results only as P values. Moreover, losses to follow-up were high (34%, 147 out of 432 women initially enrolled). The authors concluded that prenatal education can effectively change pregnant women's behavior as it increased pet, personal and food hygiene. The second trial conducted in France was also judged of low methodological quality. Losses to follow-up were also high (44.5%, 2233 out of 5023 women initially enrolled) and differential (40% in the intervention group and 52% in the control group). The authors concluded that prenatal education for congenital toxoplasmoses has a

  17. Differentiation of perceptual and semantic subsequent memory effects using an orthographic paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Michael C C; Liu, Karen P Y; Ting, Kin Hung; Chan, Chetwyn C H

    2012-11-27

    This study aimed to differentiate perceptual and semantic encoding processes using subsequent memory effects (SMEs) elicited by the recognition of orthographs of single Chinese characters. Participants studied a series of Chinese characters perceptually (by inspecting orthographic components) or semantically (by determining the object making sounds), and then made studied or unstudied judgments during the recognition phase. Recognition performance in terms of d-prime measure in the semantic condition was higher, though not significant, than that of the perceptual condition. The between perceptual-semantic condition differences in SMEs at P550 and late positive component latencies (700-1000ms) were not significant in the frontal area. An additional analysis identified larger SME in the semantic condition during 600-1000ms in the frontal pole regions. These results indicate that coordination and incorporation of orthographic information into mental representation is essential to both task conditions. The differentiation was also revealed in earlier SMEs (perceptual>semantic) at N3 (240-360ms) latency, which is a novel finding. The left-distributed N3 was interpreted as more efficient processing of meaning with semantically learned characters. Frontal pole SMEs indicated strategic processing by executive functions, which would further enhance memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. ViA: a perceptual visualization assistant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, Chris G.; St. Amant, Robert; Elhaddad, Mahmoud S.

    2000-05-01

    This paper describes an automated visualized assistant called ViA. ViA is designed to help users construct perceptually optical visualizations to represent, explore, and analyze large, complex, multidimensional datasets. We have approached this problem by studying what is known about the control of human visual attention. By harnessing the low-level human visual system, we can support our dual goals of rapid and accurate visualization. Perceptual guidelines that we have built using psychophysical experiments form the basis for ViA. ViA uses modified mixed-initiative planning algorithms from artificial intelligence to search of perceptually optical data attribute to visual feature mappings. Our perceptual guidelines are integrated into evaluation engines that provide evaluation weights for a given data-feature mapping, and hints on how that mapping might be improved. ViA begins by asking users a set of simple questions about their dataset and the analysis tasks they want to perform. Answers to these questions are used in combination with the evaluation engines to identify and intelligently pursue promising data-feature mappings. The result is an automatically-generated set of mappings that are perceptually salient, but that also respect the context of the dataset and users' preferences about how they want to visualize their data.

  19. Comparing perceptual and preferential decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutilh, Gilles; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2016-06-01

    Perceptual and preferential decision making have been studied largely in isolation. Perceptual decisions are considered to be at a non-deliberative cognitive level and have an outside criterion that defines the quality of decisions. Preferential decisions are considered to be at a higher cognitive level and the quality of decisions depend on the decision maker's subjective goals. Besides these crucial differences, both types of decisions also have in common that uncertain information about the choice situation has to be processed before a decision can be made. The present work aims to acknowledge the commonalities of both types of decision making to lay bare the crucial differences. For this aim we examine perceptual and preferential decisions with a novel choice paradigm that uses the identical stimulus material for both types of decisions. This paradigm allows us to model the decisions and response times of both types of decisions with the same sequential sampling model, the drift diffusion model. The results illustrate that the different incentive structure in both types of tasks changes people's behavior so that they process information more efficiently and respond more cautiously in the perceptual as compared to the preferential task. These findings set out a perspective for further integration of perceptual and preferential decision making in a single ramework.

  20. Prenatal dog-keeping practices vary by race: speculations on implications for disparities in childhood health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezell, Jerel M; Cassidy-Bushrow, Andrea E; Havstad, Suzanne; Joseph, Christine L M; Wegienka, Ganesa; Jones, Kyra; Ownby, Dennis R; Johnson, Christine Cole

    2014-01-01

    There is consistent evidence demonstrating that pet-keeping, particularly of dogs, is beneficial to human health. We explored relationships between maternal race and prenatal dog-keeping, accounting for measures of socioeconomic status that could affect the choice of owning a pet, in a demographically diverse, unselected birth cohort. Self-reported data on mothers' race, socioeconomic characteristics and dog-keeping practices were obtained during prenatal interviews and analyzed cross-sectionally. Robust methods of covariate balancing via propensity score analysis were utilized to examine if race (Black vs White), independent of other participant traits, influenced prenatal dog-keeping. A birth cohort study conducted in a health care system in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan between September 2003 and November 2007. 1065 pregnant women (n=775 or 72.8% Black), between ages 21 and 45, receiving prenatal care. Participant's self-report of race/ethnicity and prenatal dog-keeping, which was defined as her owning or caring for > or =1 dog for more than 1 week at her home since learning of her pregnancy, regardless of whether the dog was kept inside or outside of her home. In total, 294 women (27.6%) reported prenatal dog-keeping. Prenatal dog-keeping was significantly lower among Black women as compared to White women (20.9% vs 45.5%, Pdog-keeping not fully explained by measures of socioeconomic status. Racial differences in prenatal dog-keeping may contribute to childhood health disparities.

  1. Corticosterone mediates some but not other behavioural changes induced by prenatal stress in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salomon, S; Bejar, C; Schorer-Apelbaum, D; Weinstock, M

    2011-02-01

    The effect of daily varied stress from days 13-21 of gestation in Wistar rats was investigated by tests of learning and memory and anxiogenic behaviour in the 60-day-old offspring of both sexes. Prenatal stress decreased the anogenital distance in males at 1 day of age. Anxiogenic behaviour in the elevated plus maze was seen in prenatally-stressed rats of both genders. There was no significant gender difference in the rate of spatial learning in the Morris water maze but prenatal stress only slowed that of males. In the object recognition test with an inter-trial interval of 40 min, females but not males, discriminated between a familiar and novel object. Prenatal stress did not affect object discrimination in females but feminised that in males. Maternal adrenalectomy with replacement of basal corticosterone levels in the drinking fluid prevented all of the above effects of prenatal stress in the offspring. To mimic the peak corticosterone levels and time course of elevation in response to stress, corticosterone (3 mg/kg) was injected twice (0 and 30 min) on days 13-16 and once on days 17-20 of gestation to adrenalectomised mothers. This treatment re-instated anxiogenic behaviour similar to that induced by prenatal stress, indicating that it is mediated by exposure of the foetal brain to raised levels of corticosterone. However, steroid administration to adrenalectomised dams did not decrease anogenital distance, feminise object recognition memory or slow spatial learning in their male offspring. The findings indicate that other adrenal hormones are necessary to induce these effects of prenatal stress. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Prenatal drug exposure: infant and toddler outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandstra, Emmalee S; Morrow, Connie E; Mansoor, Elana; Accornero, Veronica H

    2010-04-01

    This manuscript provides an overview of the current scientific literature on the impact of maternal drug use, specifically opioids and cocaine, during pregnancy on the acute and long-term outcomes of infants and toddlers from birth through age 3 years. Emphasis with regard to opioids is placed on heroin and opioid substitutes used to treat opioid addiction, including methadone, which has long been regarded as the standard of care in pregnancy, and buprenorphine, which is increasingly being investigated and prescribed as an alternative to methadone. Controlled studies comparing methadone at high and low doses, as well as those comparing methadone with buprenorphine, are highlighted and the diagnosis and management of neonatal abstinence syndrome is discussed. Over the past two decades, attention of the scientific and lay communities has also been focused on the potential adverse effects of cocaine and crack cocaine, especially during the height of the cocaine epidemic in the United States. Herein, the findings are summarized from prospective studies comparing cocaine-exposed with non-cocaine-exposed infants and toddlers with respect to anthropometric growth, infant neurobehavior, visual and auditory function, and cognitive, motor, and language development. The potentially stigmatizing label of the so-called "crack baby" preceded the evidence now accumulating from well-designed prospective investigations that have revealed less severe sequelae in the majority of prenatally exposed infants than originally anticipated. In contrast to opioids, which may produce neonatal abstinence syndrome and infant neurobehavioral deficits, prenatal cocaine exposure appears to be associated with what has been described as statistically significant but subtle decrements in neurobehavioral, cognitive, and language function, especially when viewed in the context of other exposures and the caregiving environment which may mediate or moderate the effects. Whether these early findings may

  3. Perceptual reasoning predicts handwriting impairments in adolescents with autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Christina T.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Bastian, Amy J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: We have previously shown that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have specific handwriting deficits consisting of poor form, and that these deficits are predicted by their motor abilities. It is not known whether the same handwriting impairments persist into adolescence and whether they remain linked to motor deficits. Methods: A case-control study of handwriting samples from adolescents with and without ASD was performed using the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment. Samples were scored on an individual letter basis in 5 categories: legibility, form, alignment, size, and spacing. Subjects were also administered an intelligence test and the Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle (Motor) Signs (PANESS). Results: We found that adolescents with ASD, like children, show overall worse performance on a handwriting task than do age- and intelligence-matched controls. Also comparable to children, adolescents with ASD showed motor impairments relative to controls. However, adolescents with ASD differ from children in that Perceptual Reasoning Indices were significantly predictive of handwriting performance whereas measures of motor skills were not. Conclusions: Like children with ASD, adolescents with ASD have poor handwriting quality relative to controls. Despite still demonstrating motor impairments, in adolescents perceptual reasoning is the main predictor of handwriting performance, perhaps reflecting subjects' varied abilities to learn strategies to compensate for their motor impairments. GLOSSARY ASD = autism spectrum disorder; DSM-IV = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition; PANESS = Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle (Motor) Signs; PRI = Perceptual Reasoning Index; WASI = Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; WISC = Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV. PMID:21079184

  4. Who can you trust? Behavioral and neural differences between perceptual and memory-based influences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John D Rudoy

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Decisions about whether to trust someone can be influenced by competing sources of information, such as analysis of facial features versus remembering specific information about the person. We hypothesized that such sources can differentially influence trustworthiness judgments depending on the circumstances in which judgments are made. In our experiments, subjects first learned face-word associations. Stimuli were trustworthy and untrustworthy faces selected on the basis of consensus judgments and personality attributes that carried either the same valence (consistent with face or the opposite valence (inconsistent with face. Subsequently, subjects rated the trustworthiness of each face. Both learned and perceptual information influenced ratings, but learned information was less influential under speeded than under non-speeded conditions. EEG data further revealed neural evidence of the processing of these two competing sources. Perceptual influences were apparent earlier than memory influences, substantiating the conclusion that time pressure can selectively disrupt memory retrieval relevant to trustworthiness attributions.

  5. Visible digital watermarking system using perceptual models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Qiang; Huang, Thomas S.

    2001-03-01

    This paper presents a visible watermarking system using perceptual models. %how and why A watermark image is overlaid translucently onto a primary image, for the purposes of immediate claim of copyright, instantaneous recognition of owner or creator, or deterrence to piracy of digital images or video. %perceptual The watermark is modulated by exploiting combined DCT-domain and DWT-domain perceptual models. % so that the watermark is visually uniform. The resulting watermarked image is visually pleasing and unobtrusive. The location, size and strength of the watermark vary randomly with the underlying image. The randomization makes the automatic removal of the watermark difficult even though the algorithm is known publicly but the key to the random sequence generator. The experiments demonstrate that the watermarked images have pleasant visual effect and strong robustness. The watermarking system can be used in copyright notification and protection.

  6. Prenatal Screening Using Maternal Markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard Cuckle

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Maternal markers are widely used to screen for fetal neural tube defects (NTDs, chromosomal abnormalities and cardiac defects. Some are beginning to broaden prenatal screening to include pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia. The methods initially developed for NTDs using a single marker have since been built upon to develop high performance multi-maker tests for chromosomal abnormalities. Although cell-free DNA testing is still too expensive to be considered for routine application in public health settings, it can be cost-effective when used in combination with existing multi-maker marker tests. The established screening methods can be readily applied in the first trimester to identify pregnancies at high risk of pre-eclampsia and offer prevention though aspirin treatment. Prenatal screening for fragile X syndrome might be adopted more widely if the test was to be framed as a form of maternal marker screening.

  7. Prenatal Diagnosis of Osteogenesis Imperfecta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özgür Özyüncü

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Skeletal dysplasias are a group of diseases with a wide spectrum related to bone and cartilage. Some forms are lethal whereas some forms have milder clinical progression. Prenatal diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias may be possible especially when there is an index case in the family. Ultrasonography plays the central role in prenatal diagnosis and most common sonographic features are angulation of long bones, bending of femur or bowing signin the long bones. We present a case whose follow up for fetal short extremities ended with termination of pregnancy. The differential diagnosis is hard and depend especially on the fetal x-ray. Final diagnosis was lethal type osteogenesis imperfecta.

  8. Prenatal diagnosis of arachnoid cyst

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korkut Daglar

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Arachnoid cysts are rare, usually benign, space-occupying central nervous system lesion. They are the results of an accumulation of cerebrospinal-like fluid between the cerebral meninges and diagnosed prenatally as a unilocular, simple, echolucent area within the fetal head. They may be primary (congenital (maldevelopment of the meninges or secondary (acquired (result of infection trauma, or hemorrhage. The primary ones typically dont communicate with the subarachnoid space whereas acquired forms usually communicate. In recent years, with the development of radiological techniques, the clinical detectability of arachnoid cysts seems to have increased. We report a case of primary arachnoid cyst that were diagnosed prenatally by using ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging . [Cukurova Med J 2016; 41(4.000: 792-795

  9. Radioimmunoassays in prenatal genetic diagnosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santavy, J.; Janouskova, M.; Fingerova, H.; Krikal, Z.

    1981-01-01

    Prenatal medicine strives to reveal hereditary disorders and congenital malformations before delivery. The application of RIA significantly widened the spectrum of available diagnostic possibilities. We first focused our attention on determining alpha-1-fetoprotein in the amniotic fluid and the serum. We used the results of 33 examinations of the amniotic fluid and 100 samples of the blood serum to compile a graph of physiological values during pregnancy. The graph is used in assessing clinical samples in suspect congenital disorders of neural tube closure and other malformations. In the last two years we have tested testosterone determination in the amniotic fluid to ascertain prenatally the fetal sex in early pregnancy. The results were satisfactory and agreed in 70.6%. (author)

  10. Reproducibility of somatosensory spatial perceptual maps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenbergen, Peter; Buitenweg, Jan R; Trojan, Jörg; Veltink, Peter H

    2013-02-01

    Various studies have shown subjects to mislocalize cutaneous stimuli in an idiosyncratic manner. Spatial properties of individual localization behavior can be represented in the form of perceptual maps. Individual differences in these maps may reflect properties of internal body representations, and perceptual maps may therefore be a useful method for studying these representations. For this to be the case, individual perceptual maps need to be reproducible, which has not yet been demonstrated. We assessed the reproducibility of localizations measured twice on subsequent days. Ten subjects participated in the experiments. Non-painful electrocutaneous stimuli were applied at seven sites on the lower arm. Subjects localized the stimuli on a photograph of their own arm, which was presented on a tablet screen overlaying the real arm. Reproducibility was assessed by calculating intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for the mean localizations of each electrode site and the slope and offset of regression models of the localizations, which represent scaling and displacement of perceptual maps relative to the stimulated sites. The ICCs of the mean localizations ranged from 0.68 to 0.93; the ICCs of the regression parameters were 0.88 for the intercept and 0.92 for the slope. These results indicate a high degree of reproducibility. We conclude that localization patterns of non-painful electrocutaneous stimuli on the arm are reproducible on subsequent days. Reproducibility is a necessary property of perceptual maps for these to reflect properties of a subject's internal body representations. Perceptual maps are therefore a promising method for studying body representations.

  11. Prenatal diagnosis of boomerang dysplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessels, Marja W; Den Hollander, Nicolette S; De Krijger, Ronald R; Bonifé, Luisa; Superti-Furga, Andrea; Nikkels, Peter G; Willems, Patrick J

    2003-10-01

    Boomerang dysplasia, atelosteogenesis type 1 and Piepkorn dysplasia are bone dysplasias with an overlapping clinical spectrum characterized by deficient formation and ossification of specific elements of the skeleton. Typical symptoms include micromelia with diminished ossification, and a characteristic bowed and boomerang-like aspect of the long tubular bones. We report here a new case of boomerang dysplasia, which was detected prenatally in the 16th week of gestation by ultrasound. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Ovarian cysts on prenatal MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemec, Ursula; Nemec, Stefan F.; Bettelheim, Dieter; Brugger, Peter C.; Horcher, Ernst; Schöpf, Veronika; Graham, John M.; Rimoin, David L.; Weber, Michael; Prayer, Daniela

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Ovarian cysts are the most frequently encountered intra-abdominal masses in females in utero. They may, at times, require perinatal intervention. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an adjunct to ultrasonography (US) in prenatal diagnosis, we sought to demonstrate the ability to visualize ovarian cysts on prenatal MRI. Materials and methods: This retrospective study included 17 fetal MRI scans from 16 female fetuses (23–37 gestational weeks) with an MRI diagnosis of ovarian cysts after suspicious US findings. A multiplanar MRI protocol was applied to image and to characterize the cysts. The US and MRI findings were compared, and the prenatal findings were compared with postnatal imaging findings or histopathology. Results: Simple ovarian cysts were found in 10/16 cases and complex cysts in 7/16 cases, including one case with both. In 11/16 (69%) cases, US and MRI diagnoses were in agreement, and, in 5/16 (31%) cases, MRI specified or expanded the US diagnosis. In 6/16 cases, postnatal US showed that the cysts spontaneously resolved or decreased in size, and in 1/16 cases, postnatal imaging confirmed a hemorrhagic cyst. In 4/16 cases, the prenatal diagnoses were confirmed by surgery/histopathology, and for the rest, postnatal correlation was not available. Conclusion: Our results illustrate the MRI visualization of ovarian cysts in utero. In most cases, MRI will confirm the US diagnosis. In certain cases, MRI may provide further diagnostic information, additional to US, which is the standard technique for diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment planning.

  13. Ovarian cysts on prenatal MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nemec, Ursula [Department of Radiology, Division of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Nemec, Stefan F., E-mail: stefan.nemec@meduniwien.ac.at [Department of Radiology, Division of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Medical Genetics Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, PACT Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (United States); Bettelheim, Dieter [Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Brugger, Peter C. [Center of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Integrative Morphology Group, Medical University Vienna, Waehringerstrasse 13, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Horcher, Ernst [Department of Pediatric Surgery, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Schoepf, Veronika [Department of Radiology, Division of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Graham, John M.; Rimoin, David L. [Medical Genetics Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, PACT Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (United States); Weber, Michael; Prayer, Daniela [Department of Radiology, Division of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna (Austria)

    2012-08-15

    Objective: Ovarian cysts are the most frequently encountered intra-abdominal masses in females in utero. They may, at times, require perinatal intervention. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an adjunct to ultrasonography (US) in prenatal diagnosis, we sought to demonstrate the ability to visualize ovarian cysts on prenatal MRI. Materials and methods: This retrospective study included 17 fetal MRI scans from 16 female fetuses (23-37 gestational weeks) with an MRI diagnosis of ovarian cysts after suspicious US findings. A multiplanar MRI protocol was applied to image and to characterize the cysts. The US and MRI findings were compared, and the prenatal findings were compared with postnatal imaging findings or histopathology. Results: Simple ovarian cysts were found in 10/16 cases and complex cysts in 7/16 cases, including one case with both. In 11/16 (69%) cases, US and MRI diagnoses were in agreement, and, in 5/16 (31%) cases, MRI specified or expanded the US diagnosis. In 6/16 cases, postnatal US showed that the cysts spontaneously resolved or decreased in size, and in 1/16 cases, postnatal imaging confirmed a hemorrhagic cyst. In 4/16 cases, the prenatal diagnoses were confirmed by surgery/histopathology, and for the rest, postnatal correlation was not available. Conclusion: Our results illustrate the MRI visualization of ovarian cysts in utero. In most cases, MRI will confirm the US diagnosis. In certain cases, MRI may provide further diagnostic information, additional to US, which is the standard technique for diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment planning.

  14. Prenatal diagnosis of horseshoe lung and esophageal atresia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldberg, Shlomit; Ringertz, Hans; Barth, Richard A.

    2006-01-01

    We present a case of horseshoe lung (HL) and esophageal atresia suspected prenatally on US imaging and confirmed with fetal MRI. Prenatal diagnosis of HL and esophageal atresia allowed for prenatal counseling and informed parental decisions. (orig.)

  15. Prenatal diagnosis of horseshoe lung and esophageal atresia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldberg, Shlomit; Ringertz, Hans [Stanford University School of Medicine, Radiology Department, Stanford, CA (United States); Barth, Richard A. [Stanford University School of Medicine, Radiology Department, Stanford, CA (United States); Lucile Packard Children' s Hospital, Radiology, Palo Alto, CA (United States)

    2006-09-15

    We present a case of horseshoe lung (HL) and esophageal atresia suspected prenatally on US imaging and confirmed with fetal MRI. Prenatal diagnosis of HL and esophageal atresia allowed for prenatal counseling and informed parental decisions. (orig.)

  16. Prenatal and Postnatal Management of Hydronephrosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Pravin K.; Palmer, Jeffrey S.

    2009-01-01

    The majority of pregnant women in the U.S. undergo prenatal ultrasonography and approximately 0.5% of these examinations will detect fetal malformations. Up to one-half of these abnormalities include the genitourinary system and the most common urological finding is hydronephrosis. Some conditions associated with prenatal hydronephrosis portend a poor prognosis, while others can follow a fairly benign course. This review focuses on the definition and prenatal assessment of hydronephrosis, fetal intervention, and postnatal management. PMID:19618087

  17. Prenatal ultrasound diagnosis of omphalocele

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rio Romero, Luskenia del; Blanco Figueredo, Nadia; Rodriguez Dominguez, Zulay

    2014-01-01

    Omphalocele is an abdominal wall defect at the midline characterized by herniation of abdominal contents and covered by peritoneum and amnion. The aim of this paper is to present a case of omphalocele with gestational age of 23 weeks and prenatal diagnosis by ultrasonography. Using ultrasound diagnosis in a patient inquest made 40 years of age in the second trimester (gestational age 23 weeks) showed a level of the anterior fetal echogenic image that sticks through the abdominal wall and then locate the cord umbilical. Stomach is seen displaced and loss of normal anatomy of the abdominal circumference. Genetic counseling was conducted at the Municipal Center for Genetics of Manzanillo. Pathologically the fetus presented short and wide neck, low-set ears, defect omphalomesenteric of ductal closure, hernia sac occupied by the caudate lobe of the liver and gallbladder bed, wide base heart dissection showing cava-cava absence of interventricular septum was observed pulmonary valve stenosis most dilation of supravalvular pulmonary artery, large defect and aorta intraventricular septum ride, which speaks in favor of a heart rate troncoconal fallop trilogy over the omphalocele. Prenatal diagnosis by ultrasonography is an efficient and reliable method for prenatal diagnosis of omphalocele

  18. [Recent advances in prenatal diagnostics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapaire, O; Holzgreve, W; Miny, P; Hösli, I; Hahn, S; Tercanli, S

    2006-11-01

    During the last years, technical improvements have increased the possibilities in prenatal ultrasound. During the eighties and nineties, fetal malformations were increasingly detected and specified. Since a few years, the measurement of the fetal nuchal translucency between 11 and 14 weeks of gestation has been implemented to calculate the individual risk, in combination with most recent biochemical markers. Today, the sonographic measurement of the nuchal translucency is regarded as a valuable screening tool for chromosomal anomalies in prenatal medicine. Beside standardized examinations, a profound information and counseling of the pregnant women should be emphasized. With the improvement of the specific maternal risk calculation, using the sonographic measurement of the nuchal translucency, the biochemical markers and the maternal age, unnecessary invasive examinations may be prevented and their overall number can significantly be reduced. The same trend is seen in the whole field of prenatal medicine, illustrated by the detection of the fetal rhesus D status from the maternal blood and the use of Doppler ultrasound in the management of fetal anemia.

  19. Effects of prenatal yoga on women's stress and immune function across pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Pao-Ju; Yang, Luke; Chou, Cheng-Chen; Li, Chia-Chi; Chang, Yu-Cune; Liaw, Jen-Jiuan

    2017-04-01

    The effects of prenatal yoga on biological indicators have not been widely studied. Thus, we compared changes in stress and immunity salivary biomarkers from 16 to 36 weeks' gestation between women receiving prenatal yoga and those receiving routine prenatal care. For this longitudinal, prospective, randomized controlled trial, we recruited 94 healthy pregnant women at 16 weeks' gestation through convenience sampling from a prenatal clinic in Taipei. Participants were randomly assigned to intervention (n=48) or control (n=46) groups using Clinstat block randomization. The 20-week intervention comprised two weekly 70-min yoga sessions led by a midwife certified as a yoga instructor; the control group received only routine prenatal care. In both groups, participants' salivary cortisol and immunoglobulin A levels were collected before and after yoga every 4 weeks from 16 to 36 weeks' gestation. The intervention group had lower salivary cortisol (pcontrol group. Specifically, the intervention group had significantly higher long-term salivary immunoglobulin A levels than the control group (p=0.018), and infants born to women in the intervention group weighed more than those born to the control group (pPrenatal yoga significantly reduced pregnant women's stress and enhanced their immune function. Clinicians should learn the mechanisms of yoga and its effects on pregnant women. Our findings can guide clinicians to help pregnant women alleviate their stress and enhance their immune function. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Why Are Half of Women Interested in Participating in Group Prenatal Care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Sarah D; Sword, Wendy; Eryuzlu, Leyla N; Neupane, Binod; Beyene, Joseph; Biringer, Anne B

    2016-01-01

    To determine the likelihood of participating in group prenatal care (GPC) and associated factors among low-risk women receiving traditional prenatal care from obstetricians, family physicians or midwives, and to determine factors associated with likelihood of participating. Prior to completing a self-administered questionnaire, a 2-min compiled video of GPC was shown to pregnant women receiving traditional prenatal care. Data were collected on opinions of current prenatal care, GPC, and demographics. Biologically plausible variables with a p value ≤0.20 were entered in the multivariable logistic regression model and those with a p value care provider (aOR 1.67, 95% CI 1.12-2.44), and valued woman-centeredness ("fairly important" aOR 2.81, 95% CI 1.77-4.49; "very important" aOR 4.10, 95% CI 2.45-6.88). Women placed high importance on learning components of GPC. The majority would prefer to be with similar women, especially in age. About two-thirds would prefer to have support persons attend GPC and over half would be comfortable with male partners. Approximately half of women receiving traditional prenatal care were interested in participating in GPC. Our findings will hopefully assist providers interested in optimizing satisfaction with traditional prenatal care and GPC by identifying important elements of each, and thus help engage women to consider GPC.

  1. Perceptual Experience and Seeing-as

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Enrique Kalpokas

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available According to Rorty, Davidson and Brandom, to have an experience is to be caused by our senses to hold a perceptual belief. This article argues that the phenomenon of seeing-as cannot be explained by such a conception of perceptual experience. First, the notion of experience defended by the aforementioned authors is reconstructed. Second, the main features of what Wittgenstein called “seeing aspects” are briefly presented. Finally, several arguments are developed in order to support the main thesis of the article: seeing-as cannot be explained by the conception of experience defended by Rorty, Davidson and Brandom.

  2. Perceptual and Cognitive Impairments and Driving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korner-Bitensky, Nicol; Coopersmith, Henry; Mayo, Nancy; Leblanc, Ginette; Kaizer, Franceen

    1990-01-01

    Perceptual and cognitive disorders that frequently accompany stroke and head injury influence an individual's ability to drive a motor vehicle. Canadian physicians are legally responsible for identifying patients who are potentially unsafe to drive and, if they fail to do so, may be held liable in a civil action suit. The authors review the guidelines for physicians evaluating a patient's fitness to drive after brain injury. They also examine the actions a physician should take when a patient with perceptual and cognitive problems wants to drive. Ultimately, by taking these actions, physicians will help to prevent driving accidents. PMID:21234047

  3. Perceptually Valid Facial Expressions for Character-Based Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Arya

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses the problem of creating facial expression of mixed emotions in a perceptually valid way. The research has been done in the context of a “game-like” health and education applications aimed at studying social competency and facial expression awareness in autistic children as well as native language learning, but the results can be applied to many other applications such as games with need for dynamic facial expressions or tools for automating the creation of facial animations. Most existing methods for creating facial expressions of mixed emotions use operations like averaging to create the combined effect of two universal emotions. Such methods may be mathematically justifiable but are not necessarily valid from a perceptual point of view. The research reported here starts by user experiments aiming at understanding how people combine facial actions to express mixed emotions, and how the viewers perceive a set of facial actions in terms of underlying emotions. Using the results of these experiments and a three-dimensional emotion model, we associate facial actions to dimensions and regions in the emotion space, and create a facial expression based on the location of the mixed emotion in the three-dimensional space. We call these regionalized facial actions “facial expression units.”

  4. Prenatal Diagnosis of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yau, Mabel; Khattab, Ahmed; New, Maria I

    2016-06-01

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) owing to 21-hydroxylase deficiency is a monogenic disorder of adrenal steroidogenesis. To prevent genital ambiguity, in girls, prenatal dexamethasone treatment is administered early in the first trimester. Prenatal genetic diagnosis of CAH and fetal sex determination identify affected female fetuses at risk for genital virilization. Advancements in prenatal diagnosis are owing to improved understanding of the genetic basis of CAH and improved technology. Cloning of the CYP21A2 gene ushered in molecular genetic analysis as the current standard of care. Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis allows for targeted treatment and avoids unnecessary treatment of males and unaffected females. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Informed Decision-Making in the Context of Prenatal Chromosomal Microarray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Jessica; Shuman, Cheryl; Chitayat, David; Wasim, Syed; Okun, Nan; Keunen, Johannes; Hofstedter, Renee; Silver, Rachel

    2018-03-07

    The introduction of chromosomal microarray (CMA) into the prenatal setting has involved considerable deliberation due to the wide range of possible outcomes (e.g., copy number variants of uncertain clinical significance). Such issues are typically discussed in pre-test counseling for pregnant women to support informed decision-making regarding prenatal testing options. This research study aimed to assess the level of informed decision-making with respect to prenatal CMA and the factor(s) influencing decision-making to accept CMA for the selected prenatal testing procedure (i.e., chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis). We employed a questionnaire that was adapted from a three-dimensional measure previously used to assess informed decision-making with respect to prenatal screening for Down syndrome and neural tube defects. This measure classifies an informed decision as one that is knowledgeable, value-consistent, and deliberated. Our questionnaire also included an optional open-ended question, soliciting factors that may have influenced the participants' decision to accept prenatal CMA; these responses were analyzed qualitatively. Data analysis on 106 participants indicated that 49% made an informed decision (i.e., meeting all three criteria of knowledgeable, deliberated, and value-consistent). Analysis of 59 responses to the open-ended question showed that "the more information the better" emerged as the dominant factor influencing both informed and uninformed participants' decisions to accept prenatal CMA. Despite learning about the key issues in pre-test genetic counseling, our study classified a significant portion of women as making uninformed decisions due to insufficient knowledge, lack of deliberation, value-inconsistency, or a combination of these three measures. Future efforts should focus on developing educational approaches and counseling strategies to effectively increase the rate of informed decision-making among women offered prenatal CMA.

  6. More than a boundary shift: Perceptual adaptation to foreign-accented speech reshapes the internal structure of phonetic categories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Xin; Theodore, Rachel M; Myers, Emily B

    2017-01-01

    The literature on perceptual learning for speech shows that listeners use lexical information to disambiguate phonetically ambiguous speech sounds and that they maintain this new mapping for later recognition of ambiguous sounds for a given talker. Evidence for this kind of perceptual reorganization has focused on phonetic category boundary shifts. Here, we asked whether listeners adjust both category boundaries and internal category structure in rapid adaptation to foreign accents. We investigated the perceptual learning of Mandarin-accented productions of word-final voiced stops in English. After exposure to a Mandarin speaker's productions, native-English listeners' adaptation to the talker was tested in 3 ways: a cross-modal priming task to assess spoken word recognition (Experiment 1), a category identification task to assess shifts in the phonetic boundary (Experiment 2), and a goodness rating task to assess internal category structure (Experiment 3). Following exposure, both category boundary and internal category structure were adjusted; moreover, these prelexical changes facilitated subsequent word recognition. Together, the results demonstrate that listeners' sensitivity to acoustic-phonetic detail in the accented input promoted a dynamic, comprehensive reorganization of their perceptual response as a consequence of exposure to the accented input. We suggest that an examination of internal category structure is important for a complete account of the mechanisms of perceptual learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Infant Memory for Primitive Perceptual Features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Scott A.

    Textons are elongated blobs of specific color, angular orientation, ends of lines, and crossings of line segments that are proposed to be the perceptual building blocks of the visual system. A study was conducted to explore the relative memorability of different types and arrangements of textons, exploring the time course for the discrimination…

  8. Understanding perceptual boundaries in laparoscopic surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamata, Pablo; Gomez, Enrique J; Hernández, Félix Lamata; Oltra Pastor, Alfonso; Sanchez-Margallo, Francisco Miquel; Del Pozo Guerrero, Francisco

    2008-03-01

    Human perceptual capabilities related to the laparoscopic interaction paradigm are not well known. Its study is important for the design of virtual reality simulators, and for the specification of augmented reality applications that overcome current limitations and provide a supersensing to the surgeon. As part of this work, this article addresses the study of laparoscopic pulling forces. Two definitions are proposed to focalize the problem: the perceptual fidelity boundary, limit of human perceptual capabilities, and the Utile fidelity boundary, that encapsulates the perceived aspects actually used by surgeons to guide an operation. The study is then aimed to define the perceptual fidelity boundary of laparoscopic pulling forces. This is approached with an experimental design in which surgeons assess the resistance against pulling of four different tissues, which are characterized with both in vivo interaction forces and ex vivo tissue biomechanical properties. A logarithmic law of tissue consistency perception is found comparing subjective valorizations with objective parameters. A model of this perception is developed identifying what the main parameters are: the grade of fixation of the organ, the tissue stiffness, the amount of tissue bitten, and the organ mass being pulled. These results are a clear requirement analysis for the force feedback algorithm of a virtual reality laparoscopic simulator. Finally, some discussion is raised about the suitability of augmented reality applications around this surgical gesture.

  9. Perceptual processing of a complex auditory context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quiroga Martinez, David Ricardo; Hansen, Niels Christian; Højlund, Andreas

    The mismatch negativity (MMN) is a brain response elicited by deviants in a series of repetitive sounds. It reflects the perception of change in low-level sound features and reliably measures perceptual auditory memory. However, most MMN studies use simple tone patterns as stimuli, failing...

  10. Well-Founded Belief and Perceptual Justification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broncano-Berrocal, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    According to Alan Millar, justified beliefs are well-founded beliefs. Millar cashes out the notion of well-foundedness in terms of having an adequate reason to believe something and believing it for that reason. To make his account of justified belief compatible with perceptual justification he...

  11. Prior expectations facilitate metacognition for perceptual decision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, M T; Seth, A K; Barrett, A B; Kanai, R

    2015-09-01

    The influential framework of 'predictive processing' suggests that prior probabilistic expectations influence, or even constitute, perceptual contents. This notion is evidenced by the facilitation of low-level perceptual processing by expectations. However, whether expectations can facilitate high-level components of perception remains unclear. We addressed this question by considering the influence of expectations on perceptual metacognition. To isolate the effects of expectation from those of attention we used a novel factorial design: expectation was manipulated by changing the probability that a Gabor target would be presented; attention was manipulated by instructing participants to perform or ignore a concurrent visual search task. We found that, independently of attention, metacognition improved when yes/no responses were congruent with expectations of target presence/absence. Results were modeled under a novel Bayesian signal detection theoretic framework which integrates bottom-up signal propagation with top-down influences, to provide a unified description of the mechanisms underlying perceptual decision and metacognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Fusion of perceptions for perceptual robotics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ciftcioglu, O.; Bittermann, M.S.; Sariyildiz, I.S.

    2006-01-01

    Fusion of perception information for perceptual robotics is described. The visual perception is mathematically modelled as a probabilistic process obtaining and interpreting visual data from an environment. The visual data is processed in a multiresolutional form via wavelet transform and optimally

  13. Perceptual Load Influences Selective Attention across Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couperus, Jane W.

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that visual selective attention develops across childhood. However, there is relatively little understanding of the neurological changes that accompany this development, particularly in the context of adult theories of selective attention, such as N. Lavie's (1995) perceptual load theory of attention. This study examined visual…

  14. Comparison and Contrast in Perceptual Categorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton, James A.; Estes, Zachary; Simmons, Claire L.

    2005-01-01

    People categorized pairs of perceptual stimuli that varied in both category membership and pairwise similarity. Experiments 1 and 2 showed categorization of 1 color of a pair to be reliably contrasted from that of the other. This similarity-based contrast effect occurred only when the context stimulus was relevant for the categorization of the…

  15. Perceptual Articulation in Three Middle Eastern Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amir, Yehuda

    1975-01-01

    Noting that one would expect that members of cultural groups whose modes of child rearing foster individual autonomy would achieve more articulated perceptual functioning rather than persons reared in societies where conformity and emotional dependence are stressed, this article discusses a study which compared two Israeli sub-groups and two…

  16. Reliability in perceptual analysis of voice quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bele, Irene Velsvik

    2005-12-01

    This study focuses on speaking voice quality in male teachers (n = 35) and male actors (n = 36), who represent untrained and trained voice users, because we wanted to investigate normal and supranormal voices. In this study, both substantial and methodologic aspects were considered. It includes a method for perceptual voice evaluation, and a basic issue was rater reliability. A listening group of 10 listeners, 7 experienced speech-language therapists, and 3 speech-language therapist students evaluated the voices by 15 vocal characteristics using VA scales. Two sets of voice signals were investigated: text reading (2 loudness levels) and sustained vowel (3 levels). The results indicated a high interrater reliability for most perceptual characteristics. Connected speech was evaluated more reliably, especially at the normal level, but both types of voice signals were evaluated reliably, although the reliability for connected speech was somewhat higher than for vowels. Experienced listeners tended to be more consistent in their ratings than did the student raters. Some vocal characteristics achieved acceptable reliability even with a smaller panel of listeners. The perceptual characteristics grouped in 4 factors reflected perceptual dimensions.

  17. Perceptual evaluation of different image fusion schemes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toet, A.; IJspeert, J.K.

    2001-01-01

    Human perceptual performance was tested with images of nighttime outdoor scenes. The scenes were registered both with a dual band (visual and near infrared) image intensified low-light CCD camera (DII) and with a thermal middle wavelength band (3-5 μm) infrared (IR) camera. Fused imagery was

  18. Grey scale, the 'crispening effect', and perceptual linearization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belaïd, N.; Martens, J.B.

    1998-01-01

    One way of optimizing a display is to maximize the number of distinguishable grey levels, which in turn is equivalent to perceptually linearizing the display. Perceptual linearization implies that equal steps in grey value evoke equal steps in brightness sensation. The key to perceptual

  19. Reinforcement of perceptual inference: reward and punishment alter conscious visual perception during binocular rivalry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor eWilbertz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Perception is an inferential process, which becomes immediately evident when sensory information is conflicting or ambiguous and thus allows for more than one perceptual interpretation. Thinking the idea of perception as inference through to the end results in a blurring of boundaries between perception and action selection, as perceptual inference implies the construction of a percept as an active process. Here we therefore wondered whether perception shares a key characteristic of action selection, namely that it is shaped by reinforcement learning. In two behavioral experiments, we used binocular rivalry to examine whether perceptual inference can be influenced by the association of perceptual outcomes with reward or punishment, respectively, in analogy to instrumental conditioning. Binocular rivalry was evoked by two orthogonal grating stimuli presented to the two eyes, resulting in perceptual alternations between the two gratings. Perception was tracked indirectly and objectively through a target detection task, which allowed us to preclude potential reporting biases. Monetary rewards or punishments were given repeatedly during perception of only one of the two rivalling stimuli. We found an increase in dominance durations for the percept associated with reward, relative to the non-rewarded percept. In contrast, punishment led to an increase of the non-punished compared to a relative decrease of the punished percept. Our results show that perception shares key characteristics with action selection, in that it is influenced by reward and punishment in opposite directions, thus narrowing the gap between the conceptually separated domains of perception and action selection. We conclude that perceptual inference is an adaptive process that is shaped by its consequences.

  20. Effects of Acute Cortisol Administration on Perceptual Priming of Trauma-Related Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streb, Markus; Pfaltz, Monique; Michael, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    Intrusive memories are a hallmark symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They reflect excessive and uncontrolled retrieval of the traumatic memory. Acute elevations of cortisol are known to impair the retrieval of already stored memory information. Thus, continuous cortisol administration might help in reducing intrusive memories in PTSD. Strong perceptual priming for neutral stimuli associated with a “traumatic” context has been shown to be one important learning mechanism that leads to intrusive memories. However, the memory modulating effects of cortisol have only been shown for explicit declarative memory processes. Thus, in our double blind, placebo controlled study we aimed to investigate whether cortisol influences perceptual priming of neutral stimuli that appeared in a “traumatic” context. Two groups of healthy volunteers (N = 160) watched either neutral or “traumatic” picture stories on a computer screen. Neutral objects were presented in between the pictures. Memory for these neutral objects was tested after 24 hours with a perceptual priming task and an explicit memory task. Prior to memory testing half of the participants in each group received 25 mg of cortisol, the other half received placebo. In the placebo group participants in the “traumatic” stories condition showed more perceptual priming for the neutral objects than participants in the neutral stories condition, indicating a strong perceptual priming effect for neutral stimuli presented in a “traumatic” context. In the cortisol group this effect was not present: Participants in the neutral stories and participants in the “traumatic” stories condition in the cortisol group showed comparable priming effects for the neutral objects. Our findings show that cortisol inhibits perceptual priming for neutral stimuli that appeared in a “traumatic” context. These findings indicate that cortisol influences PTSD-relevant memory processes and thus further support

  1. The Effects of Meaning-Based Auditory Training on Behavioral Measures of Perceptual Effort in Individuals with Impaired Hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommers, Mitchell S; Tye-Murray, Nancy; Barcroft, Joe; Spehar, Brent P

    2015-11-01

    There has been considerable interest in measuring the perceptual effort required to understand speech, as well as to identify factors that might reduce such effort. In the current study, we investigated whether, in addition to improving speech intelligibility, auditory training also could reduce perceptual or listening effort. Perceptual effort was assessed using a modified version of the n-back memory task in which participants heard lists of words presented without background noise and were asked to continually update their memory of the three most recently presented words. Perceptual effort was indexed by memory for items in the three-back position immediately before, immediately after, and 3 months after participants completed the Computerized Learning Exercises for Aural Rehabilitation (clEAR), a 12-session computerized auditory training program. Immediate posttraining measures of perceptual effort indicated that participants could remember approximately one additional word compared to pretraining. Moreover, some training gains were retained at the 3-month follow-up, as indicated by significantly greater recall for the three-back item at the 3-month measurement than at pretest. There was a small but significant correlation between gains in intelligibility and gains in perceptual effort. The findings are discussed within the framework of a limited-capacity speech perception system.

  2. Diagnostic test for prenatal identification of Down's syndrome and mental retardation and gene therapy therefor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Desmond J.; Rubin, Edward M.

    2000-01-01

    A a diagnostic test useful for prenatal identification of Down syndrome and mental retardation. A method for gene therapy for correction and treatment of Down syndrome. DYRK gene involved in the ability to learn. A method for diagnosing Down's syndrome and mental retardation and an assay therefor. A pharmaceutical composition for treatment of Down's syndrome mental retardation.

  3. Mapping the perceptual grain of the human retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmening, Wolf M; Tuten, William S; Roorda, Austin; Sincich, Lawrence C

    2014-04-16

    In humans, experimental access to single sensory receptors is difficult to achieve, yet it is crucial for learning how the signals arising from each receptor are transformed into perception. By combining adaptive optics microstimulation with high-speed eye tracking, we show that retinal function can be probed at the level of the individual cone photoreceptor in living eyes. Classical psychometric functions were obtained from cone-sized microstimuli targeted to single photoreceptors. Revealed psychophysically, the cone mosaic also manifests a variable sensitivity to light across its surface that accords with a simple model of cone light capture. Because this microscopic grain of vision could be detected on the perceptual level, it suggests that photoreceptors can act individually to shape perception, if the normally suboptimal relay of light by the eye's optics is corrected. Thus the precise arrangement of cones and the exact placement of stimuli onto those cones create the initial retinal limits on signals mediating spatial vision.

  4. Barriers, motivators and facilitators related to prenatal care utilization among inner-city women in Winnipeg, Canada: a case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaman, Maureen I; Moffatt, Michael; Elliott, Lawrence; Sword, Wendy; Helewa, Michael E; Morris, Heather; Gregory, Patricia; Tjaden, Lynda; Cook, Catherine

    2014-07-15

    The reasons why women do not obtain prenatal care even when it is available and accessible are complex. Despite Canada's universally funded health care system, use of prenatal care varies widely across neighborhoods in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with the highest rates of inadequate prenatal care found in eight inner-city neighborhoods. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers, motivators and facilitators related to use of prenatal care among women living in these inner-city neighborhoods. We conducted a case-control study with 202 cases (inadequate prenatal care) and 406 controls (adequate prenatal care), frequency matched 1:2 by neighborhood. Women were recruited during their postpartum hospital stay, and were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Stratified analyses of barriers and motivators associated with inadequate prenatal care were conducted, and the Mantel-Haenszel common odds ratio (OR) was reported when the results were homogeneous across neighborhoods. Chi square analysis was used to test for differences in proportions of cases and controls reporting facilitators that would have helped them get more prenatal care. Of the 39 barriers assessed, 35 significantly increased the odds of inadequate prenatal care for inner-city women. Psychosocial issues that increased the likelihood of inadequate prenatal care included being under stress, having family problems, feeling depressed, "not thinking straight", and being worried that the baby would be apprehended by the child welfare agency. Structural barriers included not knowing where to get prenatal care, having a long wait to get an appointment, and having problems with child care or transportation. Attitudinal barriers included not planning or knowing about the pregnancy, thinking of having an abortion, and believing they did not need prenatal care. Of the 10 motivators assessed, four had a protective effect, such as the desire to learn how to protect one's health. Receiving incentives and getting

  5. Barriers, motivators and facilitators related to prenatal care utilization among inner-city women in Winnipeg, Canada: a case–control study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background The reasons why women do not obtain prenatal care even when it is available and accessible are complex. Despite Canada’s universally funded health care system, use of prenatal care varies widely across neighborhoods in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with the highest rates of inadequate prenatal care found in eight inner-city neighborhoods. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers, motivators and facilitators related to use of prenatal care among women living in these inner-city neighborhoods. Methods We conducted a case–control study with 202 cases (inadequate prenatal care) and 406 controls (adequate prenatal care), frequency matched 1:2 by neighborhood. Women were recruited during their postpartum hospital stay, and were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Stratified analyses of barriers and motivators associated with inadequate prenatal care were conducted, and the Mantel-Haenszel common odds ratio (OR) was reported when the results were homogeneous across neighborhoods. Chi square analysis was used to test for differences in proportions of cases and controls reporting facilitators that would have helped them get more prenatal care. Results Of the 39 barriers assessed, 35 significantly increased the odds of inadequate prenatal care for inner-city women. Psychosocial issues that increased the likelihood of inadequate prenatal care included being under stress, having family problems, feeling depressed, “not thinking straight”, and being worried that the baby would be apprehended by the child welfare agency. Structural barriers included not knowing where to get prenatal care, having a long wait to get an appointment, and having problems with child care or transportation. Attitudinal barriers included not planning or knowing about the pregnancy, thinking of having an abortion, and believing they did not need prenatal care. Of the 10 motivators assessed, four had a protective effect, such as the desire to learn how to protect one

  6. Prenatal sonographic diagnosis of focal musculoskeletal anomalies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryu, Jung Kyu; Cho, Jeong Yeon; Lee, Young Ho; Kim, Ei Jeong; Chun, Yi Kyeong [Samsung Cheil Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2002-09-15

    Focal musculoskeletal anomalies are various and may be an isolated finding or may be found in conjunction with numerous associations, including genetic syndromes, Karyotype abnormals, central nervous system anomalies and other general musculoskeletal disorders. Early prenatal diagnosis of these focal musculoskeletal anomalies nor only affects prenatal care and postnatal outcome but also helps in approaching other numerous associated anomalies.

  7. Prenatal sonographic diagnosis of focal musculoskeletal anomalies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryu, Jung Kyu; Cho, Jeong Yeon; Lee, Young Ho; Kim, Ei Jeong; Chun, Yi Kyeong

    2002-01-01

    Focal musculoskeletal anomalies are various and may be an isolated finding or may be found in conjunction with numerous associations, including genetic syndromes, Karyotype abnormals, central nervous system anomalies and other general musculoskeletal disorders. Early prenatal diagnosis of these focal musculoskeletal anomalies nor only affects prenatal care and postnatal outcome but also helps in approaching other numerous associated anomalies.

  8. Prenatal Diagnosis Of Tay-Sachs Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özgür Özyüncü

    2010-04-01

    CONCLUSION: Tay-Sachs disease can be diagnosed prenatally by measuring hexosaminidase enzyme activity in fetal tissue samples with an acceptable complication rate. Prenatal diagnosis should be offered to families who have affected siblings with Tay-Sachs disease.

  9. Improved prenatal detection of chromosomal anomalies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frøslev-Friis, Christina; Hjort-Pedersen, Karina; Henriques, Carsten U

    2011-01-01

    Prenatal screening for karyotype anomalies takes place in most European countries. In Denmark, the screening method was changed in 2005. The aim of this study was to study the trends in prevalence and prenatal detection rates of chromosome anomalies and Down syndrome (DS) over a 22-year period....

  10. Prenatal Maternal Stress Programs Infant Stress Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Elysia Poggi; Glynn, Laura M.; Waffarn, Feizal; Sandman, Curt A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Prenatal exposure to inappropriate levels of glucocorticoids (GCs) and maternal stress are putative mechanisms for the fetal programming of later health outcomes. The current investigation examined the influence of prenatal maternal cortisol and maternal psychosocial stress on infant physiological and behavioral responses to stress.…

  11. Pai syndrome: challenging prenatal diagnosis and management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blouet, Marie [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Caen, Department of Radiology, Caen (France); University of Lower Normandie, Caen (France); Belloy, Frederique [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Caen, Department of Radiology, Caen (France); Jeanne-Pasquier, Corinne [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Caen, Department of Pathology, Caen (France); Leporrier, Nathalie [University of Lower Normandie, Caen (France); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Caen, Department of Genetics, Caen (France); Benoist, Guillaume [University of Lower Normandie, Caen (France); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Pole Femmes-Enfants, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Caen (France)

    2014-09-15

    Pai syndrome is a rare disorder that includes midline cleft lip, pericallosal lipoma and cutaneous polyp of the face. We report a case of prenatal diagnosis using sonography and MRI. We emphasize the importance of facial examination with prenatal association of midline cleft lip and pericallosal lipoma in making the diagnosis of Pai syndrome. (orig.)

  12. Audiomotor Perceptual Training Enhances Speech Intelligibility in Background Noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitton, Jonathon P; Hancock, Kenneth E; Shannon, Jeffrey M; Polley, Daniel B

    2017-11-06

    Sensory and motor skills can be improved with training, but learning is often restricted to practice stimuli. As an exception, training on closed-loop (CL) sensorimotor interfaces, such as action video games and musical instruments, can impart a broad spectrum of perceptual benefits. Here we ask whether computerized CL auditory training can enhance speech understanding in levels of background noise that approximate a crowded restaurant. Elderly hearing-impaired subjects trained for 8 weeks on a CL game that, like a musical instrument, challenged them to monitor subtle deviations between predicted and actual auditory feedback as they moved their fingertip through a virtual soundscape. We performed our study as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial by training other subjects in an auditory working-memory (WM) task. Subjects in both groups improved at their respective auditory tasks and reported comparable expectations for improved speech processing, thereby controlling for placebo effects. Whereas speech intelligibility was unchanged after WM training, subjects in the CL training group could correctly identify 25% more words in spoken sentences or digit sequences presented in high levels of background noise. Numerically, CL audiomotor training provided more than three times the benefit of our subjects' hearing aids for speech processing in noisy listening conditions. Gains in speech intelligibility could be predicted from gameplay accuracy and baseline inhibitory control. However, benefits did not persist in the absence of continuing practice. These studies employ stringent clinical standards to demonstrate that perceptual learning on a computerized audio game can transfer to "real-world" communication challenges. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Using perceptual control theory to analyse technology integration in teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D W Govender

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Contrary to the more traditional scenario of instructor-focused presentation, contemporary education allows individuals to embrace modern technological advances such as computers to concur with, conceptualize and substantiate matters presented before them. Transition from instructor-focused to student-centred presentation is prone to dissension and strife, motivating educators to assess elements of learner-centred teaching in conjunction with traditional teaching mechanisms and how individuals perceive and comprehend information (Andersson, 2008; Kiboss, 2010; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2004. Computers can assist when used in the traditional teacher-student interface, but consideration must be given to teaching method variations and the students embracing these learning applications. If learner-centred teaching is to become accepted certain elements need to be introduced: revision of educators’ learning and teaching applications, time to facilitate knowledge and use of applicable contemporary technologies, and methods compatible with various technologies (Kiboss, 2010. Change is often not easy – while acknowledging the need to alter and revise methods they were taught to instil, educators may fail to embrace incorporation of technology into their teaching platform. Why are educators, who are quite knowledgeable and competent in computer applications and their merits, failing to embrace the benefits of technology in the classroom? A critical assessment of this mandates a transdisciplinary disposition in order to come to an amenable resolution. Perception, inhibition, ignorance and goals are just some reasons why educators are reluctant to incorporate technology despite their proficiency. Perceptual control theory (PCT will be implemented to assess these reasons as a means towards achieving change and assessing how to move forward. Issues associated with educators’ short- and long-term goals as

  14. Prenatal exposition on ionizing radiations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    The Sessions on Prenatal Exposition on Ionizing Radiations was organized by the Argentine Radioprotection Society, in Buenos Aires, between 8 and 9, November 2001. In this event, were presented papers on: biological effects of ionizing radiation; the radiation protection and the pregnant woman; embryo fetal development and its relationship with the responsiveness to teratogens; radioinduced delayed mental; neonatal irradiation: neurotoxicity and modulation of pharmacological response; pre implanted mouse embryos as a model of uranium toxicity studies; hereditary effects of the radiation and new advances from the UNSCEAR 2001; doses estimation in embryo

  15. Prenatal radiation doses from radiopharmaceuticals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rojo, A.M.; Gomez Parada, I.M.; Di Trano, J.L.

    1998-01-01

    The radiopharmaceutical administration with diagnostic or therapeutic purpose during pregnancy implies a prenatal radiation dose. The dose assessment and the evaluation of the radiological risks become relevant due to the great radiosensitivity of the fetal tissues in development. This paper is a revision of the available data for estimating fetal doses in the cases of the more frequently used radiopharmaceuticals in nuclear medicine, taking into account recent investigation in placental crossover. The more frequent diagnostic and therapeutic procedures were analyzed according to the radiation doses implied. (author) [es

  16. Linking prenatal experience to the emerging musical mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullal-Gupta, Sangeeta; Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, Christina M; Tichko, Parker; Lahav, Amir; Hannon, Erin E

    2013-09-03

    The musical brain is built over time through experience with a multitude of sounds in the auditory environment. However, learning the melodies, timbres, and rhythms unique to the music and language of one's culture begins already within the mother's womb during the third trimester of human development. We review evidence that the intrauterine auditory environment plays a key role in shaping later auditory development and musical preferences. We describe evidence that externally and internally generated sounds influence the developing fetus, and argue that such prenatal auditory experience may set the trajectory for the development of the musical mind.

  17. From perceptual to lexico-semantic analysis--cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias

    2015-11-01

    Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico-semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico-semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico-semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task-related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Environmental Enrichment during Gestation Improves Behavior Consequences and Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampus of Prenatal-Stressed Offspring Rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Mingbo; Wang, Miao; Ding, Siqing; Li, Changqi; Luo, Xuegang

    2012-01-01

    Prenatal stress can result in various behavior deficits in offspring. Here we tested the effects of environmental enrichment during gestation used as a preventive strategy on the behavior deficits of prenatal-stressed offspring rats as well as the underlying structure basis. We compared the effect size of environmental enrichment during gestation on prenatal-stressed offspring to that of environmental enrichment after weaning. Our results showed that environmental enrichment during gestation partially prevented anxiety and the damage in learning and memory in prenatal-stressed offspring as evaluated by elevated plus-maze test and Morris water maze test. At the same time, environmental enrichment during gestation inhibited the decrease in spine density of CA1 and dentate gyrus neurons and preserved the expression of synaptophysin and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in the hippocampus of prenatal-stressed offspring. There was no significant difference in offspring behavior between 7-day environmental enrichment during gestation and 14-day offspring environmental enrichment after weaning. These data suggest that environmental enrichment during gestation effectively prevented the behavior deficits and the abnormal synapse structures in prenatal-stressed offspring, and that it can be used as an efficient preventive strategy against prenatal stresses

  19. Perceptual uncertainty supports design reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Winger S. W.

    2018-06-01

    The unstructured, ambiguous figures used as design cues in the experiment were classified as being at high, moderate, and low ambiguity. Participants were required to use the ideas suggested by the visual cues to design a novel table. Results showed that different levels of ambiguity within the cues significantly influenced the quantity of idea development of expert designers, but not novice designers, whose idea generation remained relatively low across all levels of ambiguity. For experts, as the level of ambiguity in the cue increased so did the number of design ideas that were generated. Most design interpretations created by both experts and novices were affected by geometric contours within the figures. In addition, when viewing cues of high ambiguity, experts produced more interpretative transformations than when viewing cues of moderate or low ambiguity. Furthermore, experts produced significantly more new functions or meanings than novices. We claim that increased ambiguity within presented visual cues engenders uncertainty in designers that facilitates flexible transformations and interpretations that prevent premature commitment to uncreative solutions. Such results could be applied in design learning and education, focused on differences between experts and novices, to generalize the principles and strategies of interpretations by experts during concept sketching to train novices when face design problems, and the development of CACD tools to support designers.

  20. Towards representation of a perceptual color manifold using associative memory for color constancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seow, Ming-Jung; Asari, Vijayan K

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we propose the concept of a manifold of color perception through empirical observation that the center-surround properties of images in a perceptually similar environment define a manifold in the high dimensional space. Such a manifold representation can be learned using a novel recurrent neural network based learning algorithm. Unlike the conventional recurrent neural network model in which the memory is stored in an attractive fixed point at discrete locations in the state space, the dynamics of the proposed learning algorithm represent memory as a nonlinear line of attraction. The region of convergence around the nonlinear line is defined by the statistical characteristics of the training data. This learned manifold can then be used as a basis for color correction of the images having different color perception to the learned color perception. Experimental results show that the proposed recurrent neural network learning algorithm is capable of color balance the lighting variations in images captured in different environments successfully.

  1. Effects after prenatal radiation exposures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Streffer, C.

    2001-01-01

    The mammalian organism is highly radiosensitive during all prenatal developmental periods. For most effects a dose relationship with a threshold is observed. These threshold doses are generally above the exposures from medical diagnostic procedures. The quality and extent of radiation effects are very much dependent on the developmental stage during which an exposure takes place and on the radiation dose. An exposure during the preimplantation period will cause lethality. Malformations are usually induced after exposures during the major organogenesis. Growth retardation is also possible during the late organogenesis and foetal periods. The lower limits of threshold doses for these effects are in the range of 100 mGy. A radiation exposure during the early foetal period can lead to severe mental retardation and impairment of intelligence. There are very serious effects with radiation doses above 0.3 Gy. Carcinogenesis can apparently occur after radiation exposures during the total prenatal development period. The radiation risk factor up to now has not been clear, but it seems that it is in the range of risk factors for cancer that are observed after exposures during childhood. For radiation doses that are used in radiological diagnostics the risk is zero or very low. A termination of pregnancy after doses below 100 mGy should not be considered. (author)

  2. Action video games do not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2014-10-01

    Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.

  3. Opportunities and challenges in prenatal diagnosis : towards personalized fetal genetics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lichtenbelt, K.D.

    2013-01-01

    In this thesis we studied the efficacy and utilization of prenatal screening and prenatal diagnosis in the Netherlands and the increasing options for prenatal genetic diagnosis in general. In chapter 1 background information on prenatal screening and diagnosis in pregnancies conceived through

  4. Monocular depth effects on perceptual fading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Li-Chuan; Kramer, Peter; Yeh, Su-Ling

    2010-08-06

    After prolonged viewing, a static target among moving non-targets is perceived to repeatedly disappear and reappear. An uncrossed stereoscopic disparity of the target facilitates this Motion-Induced Blindness (MIB). Here we test whether monocular depth cues can affect MIB too, and whether they can also affect perceptual fading in static displays. Experiment 1 reveals an effect of interposition: more MIB when the target appears partially covered by, than when it appears to cover, its surroundings. Experiment 2 shows that the effect is indeed due to interposition and not to the target's contours. Experiment 3 induces depth with the watercolor illusion and replicates Experiment 1. Experiments 4 and 5 replicate Experiments 1 and 3 without the use of motion. Since almost any stimulus contains a monocular depth cue, we conclude that perceived depth affects perceptual fading in almost any stimulus, whether dynamic or static. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A perceptual metric for photo retouching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kee, Eric; Farid, Hany

    2011-12-13

    In recent years, advertisers and magazine editors have been widely criticized for taking digital photo retouching to an extreme. Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers. The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. In response, several countries have considered legislating the labeling of retouched photos. We describe a quantitative and perceptually meaningful metric of photo retouching. Photographs are rated on the degree to which they have been digitally altered by explicitly modeling and estimating geometric and photometric changes. This metric correlates well with perceptual judgments of photo retouching and can be used to objectively judge by how much a retouched photo has strayed from reality.

  6. Behavioural effects of prenatal exposure to carbon disulphide and to aromatol in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehotzky, K; Szeberényi, J M; Ungváry, G; Kiss, A

    1985-01-01

    The neurotoxic effects of prenatal organosolvent inhalation were studied in rats, because of the expectation that a developing organism may be more sensitive than the adult to the induction of functional deficits. The aim was to determine whether prenatal exposure to the new organosolvent mixture, Aromatol, and the well known neurotoxic carbon disulphide, would impair reflex ontogeny or produce neurobehavioural dysfunctions in the offspring. Development of gait, motor coordination, and activity, avoidance learning and swimming were tested in the offspring of CFY rat mothers, exposed to CS2 inhalation (0, less than 10, 700 and 2000 mg/m3) and to Aromatol (0, 600, 1000 and 2000 mg/m3) on days 7-15 gestation. Prenatal CS2 inhalation induced dose related perinatal mortality of pups. Eye opening and the auditory startle were retarded. There were immature gait, motor incoordination, diminished open field activity and altered behavioural patterns on day 21 and 36 but they were nearly age-appropriate on day 90. As signs of disturbed learning ability, there were diminished performance and lengthened latency of the conditioned avoidance response, related to the concentrations administered. Contrary to expectations, prenatal Aromatol inhalation had no effect on maturation of gait, behaviour patterns, or learning ability.

  7. Perceptual digital imaging methods and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Lukac, Rastislav

    2012-01-01

    Visual perception is a complex process requiring interaction between the receptors in the eye that sense the stimulus and the neural system and the brain that are responsible for communicating and interpreting the sensed visual information. This process involves several physical, neural, and cognitive phenomena whose understanding is essential to design effective and computationally efficient imaging solutions. Building on advances in computer vision, image and video processing, neuroscience, and information engineering, perceptual digital imaging greatly enhances the capabilities of tradition

  8. Explaining seeing? Disentangling qualia from perceptual organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, Agustin; Bekinschtein, Tristan

    2010-09-01

    Abstract Visual perception and integration seem to play an essential role in our conscious phenomenology. Relatively local neural processing of reentrant nature may explain several visual integration processes (feature binding or figure-ground segregation, object recognition, inference, competition), even without attention or cognitive control. Based on the above statements, should the neural signatures of visual integration (via reentrant process) be non-reportable phenomenological qualia? We argue that qualia are not required to understand this perceptual organization.

  9. Space and time in perceptual causality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Straube

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Inferring causality is a fundamental feature of human cognition that allows us to theorize about and predict future states of the world. Michotte suggested that humans automatically perceive causality based on certain perceptual features of events. However, individual differences in judgments of perceptual causality cast doubt on Michotte’s view. To gain insights in the neural basis of individual difference in the perception of causality, our participants judged causal relationships in animations of a blue ball colliding with a red ball (a launching event while fMRI-data were acquired. Spatial continuity and temporal contiguity were varied parametrically in these stimuli. We did not find consistent brain activation differences between trials judged as caused and those judged as non-caused, making it unlikely that humans have universal instantiation of perceptual causality in the brain. However, participants were slower to respond to and showed greater neural activity for violations of causality, suggesting that humans are biased to expect causal relationships when moving objects appear to interact. Our participants demonstrated considerable individual differences in their sensitivity to spatial and temporal characteristics in perceiving causality. These qualitative differences in sensitivity to time or space in perceiving causality were instantiated in individual differences in activation of the left basal ganglia or right parietal lobe, respectively. Thus, the perception that the movement of one object causes the movement of another is triggered by elemental spatial and temporal sensitivities, which themselves are instantiated in specific distinct neural networks.

  10. Anguish, Yearning, and Identity: Toward a Better Understanding of the Pregnant Hispanic Woman's Prenatal Care Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Moran; Cronin, Sherill Nones; Boccella, Sarah Hess

    2016-09-01

    The purpose of this phenomenological study was to seek a better understanding of needs and access issues among pregnant, low-income Hispanic women. Hispanic women who attended a community prenatal education program participated in follow-up focus groups to explore their experiences regarding prenatal education, pregnancy resources, access to, and satisfaction with, the care available to them. Focus groups were facilitated by a leader, bilingual in English and Spanish, with knowledge of the Hispanic culture. Sessions were audiotaped, then translated into English for transcription. Data were analyzed according to guidelines by Colaizzi and three themes emerged: pregnant Hispanic women experienced a sense of anguish (la angustia) from questions and unknowns rampant during pregnancy, leading to a yearning (el anhelo) to learn and understand more, but with a desire to do so without sacrificing native identity (la identidad). Implications of these themes for improving prenatal care for this population are explored. © The Author(s) 2015.

  11. Audiovisual speech perception development at varying levels of perceptual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2016-04-01

    This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children.

  12. Acceptability of health information technology aimed at environmental health education in a prenatal clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas, Lisa G; Trujillo, Celina; Camacho, Jose; Madrigal, Daniel; Bradman, Asa; Eskenazi, Brenda

    2014-11-01

    To describe the acceptability of an interactive computer kiosk that provides environmental health education to low-income Latina prenatal patients. A mixed-methods approach was used to assess the acceptability of the Prenatal Environmental Health Kiosk pregnant Latina women in Salinas, CA (n=152). The kiosk is a low literacy, interactive touch-screen computer program with an audio component and includes graphics and an interactive game. The majority had never used a kiosk before. Over 90% of women reported that they learned something new while using the kiosk. Prior to using the kiosk, 22% of women reported their preference of receiving health education from a kiosk over a pamphlet or video compared with 57% after using the kiosk (peducation; and (3) popularity of the interactive game. The Prenatal Environmental Health Kiosk is an innovative patient health education modality that was shown to be acceptable among a population of low-income Latino pregnant women in a prenatal care clinic. This pilot study demonstrated that a health education kiosk was an acceptable strategy for providing Latina prenatal patients with information on pertinent environmental exposures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Competition explains limited attention and perceptual resources: implications for perceptual load and dilution theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paige E. Scalf

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Both perceptual load theory and dilution theory purport to explain when and why task-irrelevant information, or so-called distractors are processed. Central to both explanations is the notion of limited resources, although the theories differ in the precise way in which those limitations affect distractor processing. We have recently proposed a neurally plausible explanation of limited resources in which neural competition among stimuli hinders their representation in the brain. This view of limited capacity can also explain distractor processing, whereby the competitive interactions and bias imposed to resolve the competition determine the extent to which a distractor is processed. This idea is compatible with aspects of both perceptual load and dilution models of distractor processing, but also serves to highlight their differences. Here we review the evidence in favor of a biased competition view of limited resources and relate these ideas to both classic perceptual load theory and dilution theory.

  14. Competition explains limited attention and perceptual resources: implications for perceptual load and dilution theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalf, Paige E; Torralbo, Ana; Tapia, Evelina; Beck, Diane M

    2013-01-01

    Both perceptual load theory and dilution theory purport to explain when and why task-irrelevant information, or so-called distractors are processed. Central to both explanations is the notion of limited resources, although the theories differ in the precise way in which those limitations affect distractor processing. We have recently proposed a neurally plausible explanation of limited resources in which neural competition among stimuli hinders their representation in the brain. This view of limited capacity can also explain distractor processing, whereby the competitive interactions and bias imposed to resolve the competition determine the extent to which a distractor is processed. This idea is compatible with aspects of both perceptual load and dilution models of distractor processing, but also serves to highlight their differences. Here we review the evidence in favor of a biased competition view of limited resources and relate these ideas to both classic perceptual load theory and dilution theory.

  15. Perceptual impairment and psychomotor control in virtual laparoscopic surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Mark R; McGrath, John S; Vine, Samuel J; Brewer, James; Defriend, David; Masters, Richard S W

    2011-07-01

    It is recognised that one of the major difficulties in performing laparoscopic surgery is the translation of two-dimensional video image information to a three-dimensional working area. However, research has tended to ignore the gaze and eye-hand coordination strategies employed by laparoscopic surgeons as they attempt to overcome these perceptual constraints. This study sought to examine if measures related to tool movements, gaze strategy, and eye-hand coordination (the quiet eye) differentiate between experienced and novice operators performing a two-handed manoeuvres task on a virtual reality laparoscopic surgical simulator (LAP Mentor™). Twenty-five right-handed surgeons were categorised as being either experienced (having led more than 60 laparoscopic procedures) or novice (having performed fewer than 10 procedures) operators. The 10 experienced and 15 novice surgeons completed the "two-hand manoeuvres" task from the LAP Mentor basic skills learning environment while wearing a gaze registration system. Performance, movement, gaze, and eye-hand coordination parameters were recorded and compared between groups. The experienced surgeons completed the task significantly more quickly than the novices, used significantly fewer movements, and displayed shorter tool paths. Gaze analyses revealed that experienced surgeons spent significantly more time fixating the target locations than novices, who split their time between focusing on the targets and tracking the tools. A more detailed analysis of a difficult subcomponent of the task revealed that experienced operators used a significantly longer aiming fixation (the quiet eye period) to guide precision grasping movements and hence needed fewer grasp attempts. The findings of the study provide further support for the utility of examining strategic gaze behaviour and eye-hand coordination measures to help further our understanding of how experienced surgeons attempt to overcome the perceptual difficulties inherent in

  16. Differential effect of visual masking in perceptual categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hélie, Sébastien; Cousineau, Denis

    2015-06-01

    This article explores the visual information used to categorize stimuli drawn from a common stimulus space into verbal and nonverbal categories using 2 experiments. Experiment 1 explores the effect of target duration on verbal and nonverbal categorization using backward masking to interrupt visual processing. With categories equated for difficulty for long and short target durations, intermediate target duration shows an advantage for verbal categorization over nonverbal categorization. Experiment 2 tests whether the results of Experiment 1 can be explained by shorter target duration resulting in a smaller signal-to-noise ratio of the categorization stimulus. To test for this possibility, Experiment 2 used integration masking with the same stimuli, categories, and masks as Experiment 1 with a varying level of mask opacity. As predicted, low mask opacity yielded similar results to long target duration while high mask opacity yielded similar results to short target duration. Importantly, intermediate mask opacity produced an advantage for verbal categorization over nonverbal categorization, similar to intermediate target duration. These results suggest that verbal and nonverbal categorization are affected differently by manipulations affecting the signal-to-noise ratio of the stimulus, consistent with multiple-system theories of categorizations. The results further suggest that verbal categorization may be more digital (and more robust to low signal-to-noise ratio) while the information used in nonverbal categorization may be more analog (and less robust to lower signal-to-noise ratio). This article concludes with a discussion of how these new results affect the use of masking in perceptual categorization and multiple-system theories of perceptual category learning. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Perceptual load in sport and the heuristic value of the perceptual load paradigm in examining expertise-related perceptual-cognitive adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Schmid, Simone

    2013-03-01

    In two experiments, we transferred perceptual load theory to the dynamic field of team sports and tested the predictions derived from the theory using a novel task and stimuli. We tested a group of college students (N = 33) and a group of expert team sport players (N = 32) on a general perceptual load task and a complex, soccer-specific perceptual load task in order to extend the understanding of the applicability of perceptual load theory and further investigate whether distractor interference may differ between the groups, as the sport-specific processing task may not exhaust the processing capacity of the expert participants. In both, the general and the specific task, the pattern of results supported perceptual load theory and demonstrates that the predictions of the theory also transfer to more complex, unstructured situations. Further, perceptual load was the only determinant of distractor processing, as we neither found expertise effects in the general perceptual load task nor the sport-specific task. We discuss the heuristic utility of using response-competition paradigms for studying both general and domain-specific perceptual-cognitive adaptations.

  18. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERCEPTION AND LEARNING IN THE MENTALLY RETARDED.

    Science.gov (United States)

    JOHNSON, G. ORVILLE

    SUPPORTIVE EVIDENCE IS GIVEN AGAINST PERCEPTUAL DISORDERS CREATING INTERFERENCE IN LEARNING. THE CONTENTION THAT A PERCEPTUAL FIGURE GROUND DISTURBANCE NECESSARILY INTERFERES WITH THE LEARNING PROCESS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE. THERE ARE INDICATIONS, HOWEVER, THAT BACKGROUND INTERFERENCE SEEMS TO AFFECT SOME CHILDREN MORE THAN OTHERS. TWO…

  19. Situs anomalies on prenatal MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemec, Stefan F.; Brugger, Peter C.; Nemec, Ursula; Bettelheim, Dieter; Kasprian, Gregor; Amann, Gabriele; Rimoin, David L.; Graham, John M.; Prayer, Daniela

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Situs anomalies refer to an abnormal organ arrangement, which may be associated with severe errors of development. Due regard being given to prenatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an adjunct to ultrasonography (US), this study sought to demonstrate the in utero visualization of situs anomalies on MRI, compared to US. Materials and methods: This retrospective study included 12 fetuses with situs anomalies depicted on fetal MRI using prenatal US as a comparison modality. With an MRI standard protocol, the whole fetus was assessed for anomalies, with regard to the position and morphology of the following structures: heart; venous drainage and aorta; stomach and intestines; liver and gallbladder; and the presence and number of spleens. Results: Situs inversus totalis was found in 3/12 fetuses; situs inversus with levocardia in 1/12 fetuses; situs inversus abdominis in 2/12 fetuses; situs ambiguous with polysplenia in 3/12 fetuses, and with asplenia in 2/12 fetuses; and isolated dextrocardia in 1/12 fetuses. Congenital heart defects (CHDs), vascular anomalies, and intestinal malrotations were the most frequent associated malformations. In 5/12 cases, the US and MRI diagnoses were concordant. Compared to US, in 7/12 cases, additional MRI findings specified the situs anomaly, but CHDs were only partially visualized in six cases. Conclusions: Our initial MRI results demonstrate the visualization of situs anomalies and associated malformations in utero, which may provide important information for perinatal management. Using a standard protocol, MRI may identify additional findings, compared to US, which confirm and specify the situs anomaly, but, with limited MRI visualization of fetal CHDs.

  20. Prenatal stress, prematurity and asthma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medsker, Brock; Forno, Erick; Simhan, Hyagriv; Celedón, Juan C.

    2016-01-01

    Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting millions of children in the U.S. and worldwide. Prematurity is a risk factor for asthma, and certain ethnic or racial minorities such as Puerto Ricans and non-Hispanic Blacks are disproportionately affected by both prematurity and asthma. In this review, we examine current evidence to support maternal psychosocial stress as a putative link between prematurity and asthma, while also focusing on disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and immune responses as potential underlying mechanisms for stress-induced “premature asthma”. Prenatal stress may not only cause abnormalities in the HPA axis but also epigenetic changes in the fetal glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1), leading to impaired glucocorticoid metabolism. Moreover, maternal stress can alter fetal cytokine balance, favoring Th2 (allergic) immune responses characteristic of atopic asthma: IL-6, which has been associated with premature labor, can promote Th2 responses by stimulating production of IL-4 and IL-13. Given a link among stress, prematurity, and asthma, future research should include birth cohorts aimed at confirming and better characterizing “premature asthma”. If confirmed, clinical trials of prenatal maternal stress reduction would be warranted to reduce the burden of these common co-morbidities. While awaiting the results of such studies, sound policies to prevent domestic and community violence (e.g. from firearms) are justified, not only by public safety but also by growing evidence of detrimental effects of violence-induced stress on psychiatric and somatic health. PMID:26676148

  1. Profiling & Utilizing Learning Style.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, James W., Ed.

    The purpose of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Learning Style Profile is to provide educators with a well-validated and easy-to-use instrument for diagnosing the cognitive styles, perceptual response tendencies, and study/instructional preferences of middle level and senior high school students. The Learning Style…

  2. Beta oscillations define discrete perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgarten, Thomas J; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2015-09-29

    Whether seeing a movie, listening to a song, or feeling a breeze on the skin, we coherently experience these stimuli as continuous, seamless percepts. However, there are rare perceptual phenomena that argue against continuous perception but, instead, suggest discrete processing of sensory input. Empirical evidence supporting such a discrete mechanism, however, remains scarce and comes entirely from the visual domain. Here, we demonstrate compelling evidence for discrete perceptual sampling in the somatosensory domain. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a tactile temporal discrimination task in humans, we find that oscillatory alpha- and low beta-band (8-20 Hz) cycles in primary somatosensory cortex represent neurophysiological correlates of discrete perceptual cycles. Our results agree with several theoretical concepts of discrete perceptual sampling and empirical evidence of perceptual cycles in the visual domain. Critically, these results show that discrete perceptual cycles are not domain-specific, and thus restricted to the visual domain, but extend to the somatosensory domain.

  3. Anticipated ethical challenges with growing molecular prenatal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Anticipated ethical challenges with growing molecular prenatal diagnosis in Nigeria. ... Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences ... Ethical standards in medical laboratories are derived from medical ethics therefore, the four fundamental ...

  4. Prenatal Inflammation Linked to Autism Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Thursday, January 24, 2013 Prenatal inflammation linked to autism risk Maternal inflammation during early pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of autism in children, according to new findings supported by ...

  5. Eugenesia y diagnóstico prenatal

    OpenAIRE

    González Salvat, Rosa María; González Labrador, Ignacio

    2002-01-01

    El uso del diagnóstico prenatal en la práctica de la genética médica ha hecho que se recuerden teorías eugenésicas. Se realizó una revisión histórica de este término y se relacionó con el uso del diagnóstico prenatal (DPN) y el aborto selectivo a la luz de los conocimientos bioéticos actuales. The use of the prenatal diagnosis in the practice of medical genetics has led us to remember eugenic theories. A historical review of this term was made and it was connected with the use of prenatal ...

  6. Prenatal and pubertal testosterone affect brain lateralization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beking, T; Geuze, R H; van Faassen, M; Kema, I P; Kreukels, B P C; Groothuis, T G G

    After decades of research, the influence of prenatal testosterone on brain lateralization is still elusive, whereas the influence of pubertal testosterone on functional brain lateralization has not been investigated, although there is increasing evidence that testosterone affects the brain in

  7. prenatal ultrasound diagnosis of discordant occipital encephalocele

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    drclement

    PRENATAL ULTRASOUND DIAGNOSIS OF DISCORDANT OCCIPITAL. ENCEPHALOCELE IN MULTIPLE PREGNANCY - A CASE REPORT. *O.U Ogbeide (MBBS, FMCR), *EJ IKUBOR (MBBS). *Department of Radiology University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City, Nigeria. Correspondence: Dr Ogbeide Osesogie ...

  8. 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.

  9. P2-17: Individual Differences in Dynamic Criterion Shifts during Perceptual Decision Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Issac Rhim

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual decision-making involves placing an optimal criterion on the axis of encoded sensory evidence to maximize outcomes for choices. Optimal criterion setting becomes critical particularly when neural representations of sensory inputs are noisy and feedbacks for perceptual choices vary over time in an unpredictable manner. Here we monitored time courses of decision criteria that are adopted by human subjects while abruptly shifting the criterion of stochastic feedback to perceptual choices with certain amounts in an unpredictable direction and at an unpredictable point of time. Subjects viewed a brief (0.3 s, thin (.07 deg annulus around the fixation and were forced to judge whether the annulus was smaller or larger than an unknown boundary. We estimated moment-to-moment criteria by fitting a cumulative Gaussian function to the data within a sliding window of trials that are locked to a shift in feedback criterion. Unpredictable shifts in feedback criterion successfully induced shifts in actual decision criterion towards an optimal criterion for many of subjects, but with time delay and amount of shifts varying across individual subjects. There were disproportionately more numbers of overshooters (reaching and then surpassing the optimal criterion required than undershooters (subpar reach, with a significant anti-correlation with sensory sensitivity. To find a mechanism that generates these individual differences, we developed a dynamic criterion learning model by modifying a reinforcement learning model, which assumes that a criterion is adjusted every trial by a weighted discrepancy between actual and expected rewards.

  10. Presenting the Prenatal Caregiving Experiences Questionnaire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røhder, Katrine; Trier, Christopher Høier; Brennan, Jessica

    to the child´s attachment system. The Prenatal Caregiving Experiences Questionnaire (PCEQ) (Brennan, George, & Solomon, 2013) is the first questionnaire that directly assesses prenatal caregiving representation. This poster presentation brings together different researchers who use the instrument in ongoing...... longitudinal research projects. The poster includes a description of the development of the PCEQ questionnaire, the theoretical background, as well as preliminary data on future mothers and fathers from the WARM study....

  11. Can economics be applied to prenatal screening?

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholas Phin

    1990-01-01

    This paper is a review of the economics of prenatal screening as seen from a medical point of view. The difficulties and controversies over the economic analysis are examined with specific reference to screening for Down syndrome. The aims and principles of prenatal screening are set out and discussed before reviewing the attempts that have been made to assess the costs and benefits of screening for Down syndrome. The major problem identified is the measurement and valuation of benefits. This...

  12. Circuit mechanisms of sensorimotor learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makino, Hiroshi; Hwang, Eun Jung; Hedrick, Nathan G.; Komiyama, Takaki

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The relationship between the brain and the environment is flexible, forming the foundation for our ability to learn. Here we review the current state of our understanding of the modifications in the sensorimotor pathway related to sensorimotor learning. We divide the process in three hierarchical levels with distinct goals: 1) sensory perceptual learning, 2) sensorimotor associative learning, and 3) motor skill learning. Perceptual learning optimizes the representations of important sensory stimuli. Associative learning and the initial phase of motor skill learning are ensured by feedback-based mechanisms that permit trial-and-error learning. The later phase of motor skill learning may primarily involve feedback-independent mechanisms operating under the classic Hebbian rule. With these changes under distinct constraints and mechanisms, sensorimotor learning establishes dedicated circuitry for the reproduction of stereotyped neural activity patterns and behavior. PMID:27883902

  13. Prenatal ultrasonographic findings of cloacal anomaly

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, Mi Jin [Samsung Cheil Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2002-09-15

    To evaluate the ultrasonographic characteristic of a rare malformation comples, Cloacal anomaly on prenatal ultrasonography. From March 1991 to July 2001, eight cases with the persistent cloaca (4 cases in female and 1 case in male) and cloacal exstrophy (3 cases) diagnosed by prenatal ultrasound examination were included, and all of them were pathologically confirmed by autopsy. One radiologist retrospectively analyzed the prenatal sonographic images, including the urinary bladder, kidney, pelvic cyst, abdominal wall defect and amount of amniotic fluid. The ultrasonographic diagnosis was established at 21.8 {+-} 7.8 weeks of gestation. The prenatal ultrasonographic findings of the persistent cloaca were absent bladder (n=2), distended bladder (n=2) and small thick bladder (n=1). Sonography of the kidney showed normal (n=2), hydronephrosis (n=1), dysplasia (n=1) and unilateral hydronephrosis with absent contralateral kidney (n=1). Four fetuses showed septated pelvic cyst; three fetuses, oligohydramnios. The prenatal ultrasonographic findings of cloacal exstrophy included absent bladder (n=3), normal kidney (n=1), hydronephrosis (n=1) and absent kidney (n=1). All fetuses with cloacal exstrophy had abdominal wall defect while two of them had oligohydramnios. A prenatal diagnosis of persistent cloaca can be confidently made when there is septated pelvic cyst combined oligohydramnios, sediments within the cyst and intraluminal calcifications. Cloacal exstrophy should be included in diagnosis if there is a low abdominal wall defect with absent urinary bladder.

  14. Prenatal ultrasonographic findings of cloacal anomaly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Mi Jin

    2002-01-01

    To evaluate the ultrasonographic characteristic of a rare malformation comples, Cloacal anomaly on prenatal ultrasonography. From March 1991 to July 2001, eight cases with the persistent cloaca (4 cases in female and 1 case in male) and cloacal exstrophy (3 cases) diagnosed by prenatal ultrasound examination were included, and all of them were pathologically confirmed by autopsy. One radiologist retrospectively analyzed the prenatal sonographic images, including the urinary bladder, kidney, pelvic cyst, abdominal wall defect and amount of amniotic fluid. The ultrasonographic diagnosis was established at 21.8 ± 7.8 weeks of gestation. The prenatal ultrasonographic findings of the persistent cloaca were absent bladder (n=2), distended bladder (n=2) and small thick bladder (n=1). Sonography of the kidney showed normal (n=2), hydronephrosis (n=1), dysplasia (n=1) and unilateral hydronephrosis with absent contralateral kidney (n=1). Four fetuses showed septated pelvic cyst; three fetuses, oligohydramnios. The prenatal ultrasonographic findings of cloacal exstrophy included absent bladder (n=3), normal kidney (n=1), hydronephrosis (n=1) and absent kidney (n=1). All fetuses with cloacal exstrophy had abdominal wall defect while two of them had oligohydramnios. A prenatal diagnosis of persistent cloaca can be confidently made when there is septated pelvic cyst combined oligohydramnios, sediments within the cyst and intraluminal calcifications. Cloacal exstrophy should be included in diagnosis if there is a low abdominal wall defect with absent urinary bladder.

  15. Family structure and use of prenatal care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabete Alves

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This cross-sectional study intended to assess the use of prenatal care according to the family structure in a population with free universal access to prenatal care. In 2005-2006, the Portuguese birth cohort was assembled by the recruitment of puerperae at public maternity wards in Porto, Portugal. In the current analysis, 7,211 were included. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, obstetric history, and prenatal care were self-reported. Single mothers were considered as those whose household composition did not include a partner at delivery. Approximately 6% of the puerperae were single mothers. These women were more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy (OR = 6.30; 95%CI: 4.94-8.04, an inadequate prenatal care (OR = 2.30; 95%CI: 1.32-4.02, and to miss the ultrasound and the intake of folic acid supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy (OR = 1.71; 95%CI: 1.30-2.27; and OR = 1.67; 95%CI: 1.32-2.13, respectively. The adequacy and use of prenatal care was less frequent in single mothers. Educational interventions should reinforce the use and early initiation of prenatal care.

  16. Learning during Processing: Word Learning Doesn't Wait for Word Recognition to Finish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apfelbaum, Keith S.; McMurray, Bob

    2017-01-01

    Previous research on associative learning has uncovered detailed aspects of the process, including what types of things are learned, how they are learned, and where in the brain such learning occurs. However, perceptual processes, such as stimulus recognition and identification, take time to unfold. Previous studies of learning have not addressed…

  17. Comparing the benefits of caffeine, naps and placebo on verbal, motor and perceptual memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mednick, Sara C; Cai, Denise J; Kanady, Jennifer; Drummond, Sean P A

    2008-11-03

    Caffeine, the world's most common psychoactive substance, is used by approximately 90% of North Americans everyday. Little is known, however, about its benefits for memory. Napping has been shown to increase alertness and promote learning on some memory tasks. We directly compared caffeine (200mg) with napping (60-90min) and placebo on three distinct memory processes: declarative verbal memory, procedural motor skills, and perceptual learning. In the verbal task, recall and recognition for unassociated words were tested after a 7h retention period (with a between-session nap or drug intervention). A second, different, word list was administered post-intervention and memory was tested after a 20min retention period. The non-declarative tasks (finger tapping task (FTT) and texture discrimination task (TDT)) were trained before the intervention and then retested afterwards. Naps enhanced recall of words after a 7h and 20min retention interval relative to both caffeine and placebo. Caffeine significantly impaired motor learning compared to placebo and naps. Napping produced robust perceptual learning compared with placebo; however, naps and caffeine were not significantly different. These findings provide evidence of the limited benefits of caffeine for memory improvement compared with napping. We hypothesize that impairment from caffeine may be restricted to tasks that contain explicit information; whereas strictly implicit learning is less compromised.

  18. Metamemory and memory for a wide range of font sizes: What is the contribution of perceptual fluency?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undorf, Monika; Zimdahl, Malte F

    2018-04-26

    Words printed in a larger 48-point font are judged to be more memorable than words printed in a smaller 18-point font, although font size does not affect actual memory. To clarify the basis of this font size effect on metamemory and memory, 4 experiments investigated how presenting words in 48 (Experiment 1) or 4 (Experiments 2 to 4) font sizes between 6 point and 500 point affected judgments of learning (JOLs) and recall performance. Response times in lexical decision tasks were used to measure perceptual fluency. In all experiments, perceptual fluency was lower for words presented in very small and very large font sizes than for words presented in intermediate font sizes. In contrast, JOLs increased monotonically with font size, even beyond the point where a large font impaired perceptual fluency. Assessments of people's metacognitive beliefs about font size revealed that the monotonic increase in JOLs was not due to beliefs masking perceptual fluency effects (Experiment 3). Also, JOLs still increased across the whole range of font sizes when perceptual fluency was made salient at study (Experiment 4). In all experiments but Experiment 4, recall performance increased with increasing font size, although to a lesser extent than JOLs. Overall, the current study supports the idea that metacognitive beliefs underlie font size effects in metamemory. As important, it reveals that people's font size beliefs have some accuracy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Enhanced association between perceptual stimuli and trauma-related information in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Muyu; Hofmann, Stefan G; Qian, Mingyi; Li, Songwei

    2015-03-01

    Intrusive memories in traumatized individuals are often triggered by stimuli that are perceptually (rather than conceptually) similar to those present just before or during the trauma. The present study examined whether those individuals with high levels of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms show a memory bias recall to perceptual cues and trauma target words compared to those with low levels of PTSD. The sample consisted of 30 adult participants who were involved in motor-vehicle or work-related accidents; 15 of the participants endorsed clinically elevated symptoms of PTSD, while a comparison group of 15 participants reported low levels of symptoms. Participants performed an associative recognition task with conceptual or perceptual cue words and trauma-related or neutral target words. Participants were tested for their recognition accuracy by reporting the corresponding target when a cue was given. Both groups performed better for the perceptual word pairs than for the conceptual word pairs, irrespective of the target word type. However, only the high PTSD symptoms group exhibited an additional enhancement in performance for the perceptual word pairs with trauma-related target words. A nonclinical sample was utilized for this study; although PTSD was assessed, diagnoses were not confirmed. In addition, there was lack of a healthy non-traumatized control group. These results provide partial support for the cognitive model and the notion that intrusive memories are specific to the trauma-related event rather than to a general associative learning bias.

  20. Barriers to adequate prenatal care utilization in American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Nicola L; Brown, Carolyn; Nu’usolia, Ofeira; Ah-Ching, John; Muasau-Howard, Bethel; McGarvey, Stephen T

    2013-01-01

    Objective To describe the utilization of prenatal care in American Samoan women and to identify socio-demographic predictors of inadequate prenatal care utilization. Methods Using data from prenatal clinic records, women (n=692) were categorized according to the Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization Index as having received adequate plus, adequate, intermediate or inadequate prenatal care during their pregnancy. Categorical socio-demographic predictors of the timing of initiation of prenatal care (week of gestation) and the adequacy of received services were identified using one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and independent samples t-tests. Results Between 2001 and 2008 85.4% of women received inadequate prenatal care. Parity (P=0.02), maternal unemployment (P=0.03), and both parents being unemployed (P=0.03) were negatively associated with the timing of prenatal care initation. Giving birth in 2007–2008, after a prenatal care incentive scheme had been introduced in the major hospital, was associated with earlier initiation of prenatal care (20.75 versus 25.12 weeks; Pprenatal care utilization in American Samoa is a major concern. Improving healthcare accessibility will be key in encouraging women to attend prenatal care. The significant improvements in the adequacy of prenatal care seen in 2007–2008 suggest that the prenatal care incentive program implemented in 2006 may be a very positive step toward addressing issues of prenatal care utilization in this population. PMID:24045912