WorldWideScience

Sample records for providing improved visual

  1. Creating visual explanations improves learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobek, Eliza; Tversky, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Many topics in science are notoriously difficult for students to learn. Mechanisms and processes outside student experience present particular challenges. While instruction typically involves visualizations, students usually explain in words. Because visual explanations can show parts and processes of complex systems directly, creating them should have benefits beyond creating verbal explanations. We compared learning from creating visual or verbal explanations for two STEM domains, a mechanical system (bicycle pump) and a chemical system (bonding). Both kinds of explanations were analyzed for content and learning assess by a post-test. For the mechanical system, creating a visual explanation increased understanding particularly for participants of low spatial ability. For the chemical system, creating both visual and verbal explanations improved learning without new teaching. Creating a visual explanation was superior and benefitted participants of both high and low spatial ability. Visual explanations often included crucial yet invisible features. The greater effectiveness of visual explanations appears attributable to the checks they provide for completeness and coherence as well as to their roles as platforms for inference. The benefits should generalize to other domains like the social sciences, history, and archeology where important information can be visualized. Together, the findings provide support for the use of learner-generated visual explanations as a powerful learning tool.

  2. Improving Visual Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Gary

    2018-01-01

    A tool that creates realtime interactive color maps for scientific visualization helped enhance the dynamics of a major research project for the Climate, Ocean, and Sea Ice Modeling team at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  3. Improving visual perception through neurofeedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharnowski, Frank; Hutton, Chloe; Josephs, Oliver; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Rees, Geraint

    2012-01-01

    Perception depends on the interplay of ongoing spontaneous activity and stimulus-evoked activity in sensory cortices. This raises the possibility that training ongoing spontaneous activity alone might be sufficient for enhancing perceptual sensitivity. To test this, we trained human participants to control ongoing spontaneous activity in circumscribed regions of retinotopic visual cortex using real-time functional MRI based neurofeedback. After training, we tested participants using a new and previously untrained visual detection task that was presented at the visual field location corresponding to the trained region of visual cortex. Perceptual sensitivity was significantly enhanced only when participants who had previously learned control over ongoing activity were now exercising control, and only for that region of visual cortex. Our new approach allows us to non-invasively and non-pharmacologically manipulate regionally specific brain activity, and thus provide ‘brain training’ to deliver particular perceptual enhancements. PMID:23223302

  4. Memory reactivation improves visual perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amar-Halpert, Rotem; Laor-Maayany, Rony; Nemni, Shlomi; Rosenblatt, Jonathan D; Censor, Nitzan

    2017-10-01

    Human perception thresholds can improve through learning. Here we report findings challenging the fundamental 'practice makes perfect' basis of procedural learning theory, showing that brief reactivations of encoded visual memories are sufficient to improve perceptual discrimination thresholds. Learning was comparable to standard practice-induced learning and was not due to short training per se, nor to an epiphenomenon of primed retrieval enhancement. The results demonstrate that basic perceptual functions can be substantially improved by memory reactivation, supporting a new account of perceptual learning dynamics.

  5. Improving Design Communication: Advanced Visualization

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Adeoye, Blessing

    2001-01-01

    .... While design professionals may use similar visual modes (lines, text, graphic symbols, etc.) to represent and communicate concepts in complex drawing tasks, similar visual modes may be used ambiguously across disciplines...

  6. Visual memory and visual perception: when memory improves visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riou, Benoit; Lesourd, Mathieu; Brunel, Lionel; Versace, Rémy

    2011-08-01

    This study examined the relationship between memory and perception in order to identify the influence of a memory dimension in perceptual processing. Our aim was to determine whether the variation of typical size between items (i.e., the size in real life) affects visual search. In two experiments, the congruency between typical size difference and perceptual size difference was manipulated in a visual search task. We observed that congruency between the typical and perceptual size differences decreased reaction times in the visual search (Exp. 1), and noncongruency between these two differences increased reaction times in the visual search (Exp. 2). We argue that these results highlight that memory and perception share some resources and reveal the intervention of typical size difference on the computation of the perceptual size difference.

  7. Data visualization unlocks improvement opportunities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Remple, G.A.; Galbraith, M.

    2010-01-01

    The modern uranium mill generates a vast amount of raw data from various sources including control systems, operator logsheets, assay results and environmental monitoring, which is frequently stored in separate databases. Implementation of software at the McClean Lake mill that includes an integrated, web-based view of these multiple and disparate data sources has provided better tools in the effort to manage this 'data load', and extract the information required to enhance process understanding and support the continuous improvement and decision making processes. This paper outlines the opportunities, challenges, and milestones of this software project. (author)

  8. 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.).

  9. Patients Provide Recommendations for Improving Patient Satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Angelo D; Hamilton, Jill B; Krusel, Jessica L; Moore, LeeAntoinette G; Pierre-Louis, Bosny J

    2016-04-01

    National Committee for Quality Assurance recommends patient-centered medical homes incorporate input from patient populations; however, many health care organizations do not. This qualitative study used two open-ended questions from 148 active duty Army Soldiers and their family members to illicit recommendations for primary care providers and clinic leadership that would improve their health care experiences. Content analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses. Participant responses were related to four major themes: Access to Care, Interpersonal Interaction, Satisfaction of Care, and Quality of Care. Participants were overall satisfied with their care; however, spending less time waiting for appointments and to see the provider or specialist were the most frequently requested improvements related to Access to Care. For Interpersonal Interaction, 82% of the responses recommended that providers be more attentive listeners, courteous, patient, caring, and respectful. Decreasing wait times and improving interpersonal skills would improve health care experiences and patient satisfaction. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  10. Engaging service providers in improving industry performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oberth, R.

    2012-01-01

    Effective task leadership is the key to achieving results in the nuclear industry and in most other industries. One of the themes of this conference is to discuss how the nuclear industry can undertake Issue-Identification and Definition as a means of 'identifying what needs attention' and then 'defining what needs to be done to make that happen'. I will explore this theme from the perspective of the 'Service Provider' - which by the definition of this conference includes everyone not within an operating utility - meaning 'those involved in everything from inspection and repair to research and plant architecture' - basically the member companies of my association, OCI. Our members take the definition of the roles and responsibilities of the 'Service Provider' community very seriously. In the context of this discussion a key utility function is the early definition of requirements and expectations of Service Providers in supplying to these requirements. Let's explore for a moment the Service Provider role and perspective. Service Providers are by nature pro-active - they seek ways to engage with utilities (and tier one vendors) to solve problems and achieve good outcomes. They come to industry conferences like this one to learn about upcoming utility programs and supply opportunities and how they can improve performance. Service Providers particularly want to hear senior utility people comment on emerging issues even those at the very early identification stage. Some Clarification of Roles is in Order - as that is the focus of this conference: 'Issue-Identification and Definition'. 'Issue-Identification' is the utility's job - it is the utility's role to identify as early as possible 'what needs attention and what their needs and expectations are'. This takes place before service provider engagement. 'Issue-Definition' is more challenging. It means 'determining and prioritizing what needs to be done to deal with the situation at hand'. This typically involves

  11. Improving the visual realism of virtual surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Wei; Lim, Yi-Je; Xu, Xie George; Singh, Tejinder P; De, Suvranu

    2005-01-01

    In this work we focus our attention on improving the visual realism of virtual surgery. A synthetic solution by innovative use of various image-based rendering methods is presented for realistic rendering of virtual surgery scenes. We have, for the first time, developed a methodology for generating virtual surgery scenes with realistic glistening effects by a combination of various image-based rendering techniques, including image mosaicing and view-dependent texture mapping. Realistic examples are presented to showcase the results.

  12. How to improve the efficient use of functional vision of people with visual impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Mohorko, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Barraga was the first researcher to study the effects of a special program for developing visual efficiency which showed improvements in visual acuity and visual functioning in blind children with remaining vision. Her breakthrough findings helped develop new theories of visual functioning. These theories represent a foundation from which a professional can understand the visual functioning of an individual with low vision. Providing opportunities for individuals to learn how to use their vis...

  13. Learned reward association improves visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Mengyuan; Li, Sheng

    2014-04-01

    Statistical regularities in the natural environment play a central role in adaptive behavior. Among other regularities, reward association is potentially the most prominent factor that influences our daily life. Recent studies have suggested that pre-established reward association yields strong influence on the spatial allocation of attention. Here we show that reward association can also improve visual working memory (VWM) performance when the reward-associated feature is task-irrelevant. We established the reward association during a visual search training session, and investigated the representation of reward-associated features in VWM by the application of a change detection task before and after the training. The results showed that the improvement in VWM was significantly greater for items in the color associated with high reward than for those in low reward-associated or nonrewarded colors. In particular, the results from control experiments demonstrate that the observed reward effect in VWM could not be sufficiently accounted for by attentional capture toward the high reward-associated item. This was further confirmed when the effect of attentional capture was minimized by presenting the items in the sample and test displays of the change detection task with the same color. The results showed significantly larger improvement in VWM performance when the items in a display were in the high reward-associated color than those in the low reward-associated or nonrewarded colors. Our findings suggest that, apart from inducing space-based attentional capture, the learned reward association could also facilitate the perceptual representation of high reward-associated items through feature-based attentional modulation.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Waterston

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

  20. Improving Providers' Role Definitions to Decrease Overcrowding and Improve In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leary, Marion; Schweickert, William; Neefe, Stacie; Tsypenyuk, Boris; Falk, Scott Austin; Holena, Daniel N

    2016-07-01

    How nontechnical factors such as inadequate role definition and overcrowding affect outcomes of in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is unknown. Using a bundled intervention, we sought to improve providers' role definitions and decrease overcrowding during IHCA events. To determine if a bundled intervention consisting of a nurse/physician leadership dyad, visual cues for provider roles, and a "role check" would lead to reductions in crowding and improve perceptions of communication and team leadership. Baseline data on the number and type of IHCA providers were collected. Providers were asked to complete a postevent survey rating communication and leadership. A bundled intervention was then introduced. Data were then obtained for the subsequent IHCA events. Twenty ICHA events were captured before and 34 after the intervention. The number of physicians present at pulse checks 2 (median [interquartile range]: 6 [5-8] before vs 5 [3-6] after, P = .02) and 3 (7 [5-9] vs 4 [4-5], P = .004) decreased significantly after the intervention. The overall number of providers at the third pulse check (18 [14-22] before vs 14 [12-16] after, P = .04) also decreased after the intervention. On a 10-point Likert scale, ratings of communication (8 [7-8]) and physician leadership (8 [7-9]) did not differ significantly from before to after the intervention. Both the physician leads (90%) and patients' primary nurses (97%) were able to identify clear nurse leaders. A bundled intervention targeted at improving IHCA response led to a decrease in overcrowding at ICHA events without substantial changes in the perceptions of communication or physician leadership. ©2016 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

  1. Big data in medical informatics: improving education through visual analytics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2014-01-01

    A continuous effort to improve healthcare education today is currently driven from the need to create competent health professionals able to meet healthcare demands. Limited research reporting how educational data manipulation can help in healthcare education improvement. The emerging research field of visual analytics has the advantage to combine big data analysis and manipulation techniques, information and knowledge representation, and human cognitive strength to perceive and recognise visual patterns. The aim of this study was therefore to explore novel ways of representing curriculum and educational data using visual analytics. Three approaches of visualization and representation of educational data were presented. Five competencies at undergraduate medical program level addressed in courses were identified to inaccurately correspond to higher education board competencies. Different visual representations seem to have a potential in impacting on the ability to perceive entities and connections in the curriculum data.

  2. Can visual arts training improve physician performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts - a subset of medical humanities - into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation.

  3. Can Visual Arts Training Improve Physician Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts — a subset of medical humanities — into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation. PMID:25125749

  4. Patient and provider perspectives on improving the linkage of HIV ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study examined barriers and facilitators to the linkage of HIV-positive pregnant women from antenatal care (ANC) to long-term HIV care from patient and provider perspectives, following the implementation of a collaborative quality improvement project in Eastern Uganda. It also solicited recommendations for improving ...

  5. Cognitive and psychological science insights to improve climate change data visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, Jordan; Lorenzoni, Irene; Shipley, Thomas F.; Coventry, Kenny R.

    2016-12-01

    Visualization of climate data plays an integral role in the communication of climate change findings to both expert and non-expert audiences. The cognitive and psychological sciences can provide valuable insights into how to improve visualization of climate data based on knowledge of how the human brain processes visual and linguistic information. We review four key research areas to demonstrate their potential to make data more accessible to diverse audiences: directing visual attention, visual complexity, making inferences from visuals, and the mapping between visuals and language. We present evidence-informed guidelines to help climate scientists increase the accessibility of graphics to non-experts, and illustrate how the guidelines can work in practice in the context of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change graphics.

  6. An Adaptive Tutor for Improving Visual Diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    ECG educational importance. Some of the sub-themes comprised of; repeated training , enhance technical performance, improve knowledge gap with prompt...solving technical issues 95,000 candidate ECG cases were downloaded; the EPIC collateral data has also been downloaded. We are working to validate the...diagnostic labels as to their importance. The results will guide item selection for the educational intervention. 7 What opportunities for training

  7. 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.

  8. Improving visual skills: II-remote assessment via Internet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Maureen K; Grisham, J David; Wurm, Janice K; Wurm, William C

    2009-02-01

    Even though poor readers often have poor visual skills, such as binocular coordination and oculomotor control, students' visual skills are rarely assessed. Computer assessments have the potential to assist in identifying students whose visual skills are deficient. This study compared assessments made by an Internet-based computer orthoptics program with those of an on-site vision therapist. Students (N = 41) in grades 1 through 8, reading at least 2 levels below grade, were assessed for visual skill dysfunction (including binocular fusion and tracking ability) by a vision therapist at their school in Wisconsin. The therapist determined whether the student had adequate visual skills based on clinical and behavioral observations. A "remote" investigator located in California determined the adequacy of accommodative facility, tracking, and vergence skills in the same students, based on quantitative progress through the modules of an Internet-based computer orthoptics training program during 3 assessment sessions. The on-site therapist made 33 referrals for possible visual skills training (80%). The remote investigator made 25 referrals (61%), all of which were consistent with referrals made by the on-site therapist; thus, no false-positives occurred when using the remote assessment technique. The 8 additional referrals by the therapist were attributed to the ability to observe student behavior during assessment. Remote assessment of visual skills via an Internet orthoptics program may provide a simple means to detect visual skill problems experienced by poor readers.

  9. Visual Aids Improve Diagnostic Inferences and Metacognitive Judgment Calibration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocio eGarcia-Retamero

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual aids can improve comprehension of risks associated with medical treatments, screenings, and lifestyles. Do visual aids also help decision makers accurately assess their risk comprehension? That is, do visual aids help them become well calibrated? To address these questions, we investigated the benefits of visual aids displaying numerical information and measured accuracy of self-assessment of diagnostic inferences (i.e., metacognitive judgment calibration controlling for individual differences in numeracy. Participants included 108 patients who made diagnostic inferences about three medical tests on the basis of information about the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the tests and disease prevalence. Half of the patients received the information in numbers without a visual aid, while the other half received numbers along with a grid representing the numerical information. In the numerical condition, many patients --especially those with low numeracy-- misinterpreted the predictive value of the tests and profoundly overestimated the accuracy of their inferences. Metacognitive judgment calibration mediated the relationship between numeracy and accuracy of diagnostic inferences. In contrast, in the visual aid condition, patients at all levels of numeracy showed high-levels of inferential accuracy and metacognitive judgment calibration. Results indicate that accurate metacognitive assessment may explain the beneficial effects of visual aids and numeracy --a result that accords with theory suggesting that metacognition is an essential part of risk literacy. We conclude that well-designed risk communications can inform patients about health-relevant numerical information while helping them assess the quality of their own risk comprehension.

  10. Improving the User Experience of Finding and Visualizing Oceanographic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, S.; Allison, M. D.; Groman, R. C.; Chandler, C. L.; Galvarino, C.; Gegg, S. R.; Kinkade, D.; Shepherd, A.; Wiebe, P. H.; Glover, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    Searching for and locating data of interest can be a challenge to researchers as increasing volumes of data are made available online through various data centers, repositories, and archives. The Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO) is keenly aware of this challenge and, as a result, has implemented features and technologies aimed at improving data discovery and enhancing the user experience. BCO-DMO was created in 2006 to manage and publish data from research projects funded by the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) Biological and Chemical Oceanography Sections and the Division of Polar Programs (PLR) Antarctic Sciences Organisms and Ecosystems Program (ANT) of the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The BCO-DMO text-based and geospatial-based data access systems provide users with tools to search, filter, and visualize data in order to efficiently find data of interest. The geospatial interface, developed using a suite of open-source software (including MapServer [1], OpenLayers [2], ExtJS [3], and MySQL [4]), allows users to search and filter/subset metadata based on program, project, or deployment, or by using a simple word search. The map responds based on user selections, presents options that allow the user to choose specific data parameters (e.g., a species or an individual drifter), and presents further options for visualizing those data on the map or in "quick-view" plots. The data managed and made available by BCO-DMO are very heterogeneous in nature, from in-situ biogeochemical, ecological, and physical data, to controlled laboratory experiments. Due to the heterogeneity of the data types, a 'one size fits all' approach to visualization cannot be applied. Datasets are visualized in a way that will best allow users to assess fitness for purpose. An advanced geospatial interface, which contains a semantically-enabled faceted search [5], is also available. These search facets are highly interactive and responsive, allowing

  11. In vitro Spatial Compound Scanning for Improved Visualization of Atherosclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Søren Kragh; Wilhjelm, Jens E.; Sillesen, Henrik

    2000-01-01

    A new off-line multiangle ultrasound (US) compound scanner has been built with the purpose of investigating possible improvements in visualization of vascular structure. Images of two formalin-fixed human atherosclerotic plaques removed by carotid endarterectomy were recorded from seven insonific...

  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. 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.

  14. A New Visual Stimulation Program for Improving Visual Acuity in Children with Visual Impairment: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Li-Ting; Hsu, Jung-Lung; Wu, Chien-Te; Chen, Chia-Ching; Su, Yu-Chin

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of visual rehabilitation of a computer-based visual stimulation (VS) program combining checkerboard pattern reversal (passive stimulation) with oddball stimuli (attentional modulation) for improving the visual acuity (VA) of visually impaired (VI) children and children with amblyopia and additional developmental problems. Six children (three females, three males; mean age = 3.9 ± 2.3 years) with impaired VA caused by deficits along the anterior and/or posterior visual pathways were recruited. Participants received eight rounds of VS training (two rounds per week) of at least eight sessions per round. Each session consisted of stimulation with 200 or 300 pattern reversals. Assessments of VA (assessed with the Lea symbol VA test or Teller VA cards), visual evoked potential (VEP), and functional vision (assessed with the Chinese-version Functional Vision Questionnaire, FVQ) were carried out before and after the VS program. Significant gains in VA were found after the VS training [VA = 1.05 logMAR ± 0.80 to 0.61 logMAR ± 0.53, Z = –2.20, asymptotic significance (2-tailed) = 0.028]. No significant changes were observed in the FVQ assessment [92.8 ± 12.6 to 100.8 ±SD = 15.4, Z = –1.46, asymptotic significance (2-tailed) = 0.144]. VEP measurement showed improvement in P100 latency and amplitude or integration of the waveform in two participants. Our results indicate that a computer-based VS program with passive checkerboard stimulation, oddball stimulus design, and interesting auditory feedback could be considered as a potential intervention option to improve the VA of a wide age range of VI children and children with impaired VA combined with other neurological disorders. PMID:27148014

  15. A New Visual Stimulation Program for Improving Visual Acuity in Children with Visual Impairment: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Li-Ting; Hsu, Jung-Lung; Wu, Chien-Te; Chen, Chia-Ching; Su, Yu-Chin

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of visual rehabilitation of a computer-based visual stimulation (VS) program combining checkerboard pattern reversal (passive stimulation) with oddball stimuli (attentional modulation) for improving the visual acuity (VA) of visually impaired (VI) children and children with amblyopia and additional developmental problems. Six children (three females, three males; mean age = 3.9 ± 2.3 years) with impaired VA caused by deficits along the anterior and/or posterior visual pathways were recruited. Participants received eight rounds of VS training (two rounds per week) of at least eight sessions per round. Each session consisted of stimulation with 200 or 300 pattern reversals. Assessments of VA (assessed with the Lea symbol VA test or Teller VA cards), visual evoked potential (VEP), and functional vision (assessed with the Chinese-version Functional Vision Questionnaire, FVQ) were carried out before and after the VS program. Significant gains in VA were found after the VS training [VA = 1.05 logMAR ± 0.80 to 0.61 logMAR ± 0.53, Z = -2.20, asymptotic significance (2-tailed) = 0.028]. No significant changes were observed in the FVQ assessment [92.8 ± 12.6 to 100.8 ±SD = 15.4, Z = -1.46, asymptotic significance (2-tailed) = 0.144]. VEP measurement showed improvement in P100 latency and amplitude or integration of the waveform in two participants. Our results indicate that a computer-based VS program with passive checkerboard stimulation, oddball stimulus design, and interesting auditory feedback could be considered as a potential intervention option to improve the VA of a wide age range of VI children and children with impaired VA combined with other neurological disorders.

  16. A new visual stimulation program for improving visual acuity in children with visual impairment: a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Ting eTsai

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of visual rehabilitation of a computer-based visual stimulation (VS program combining checkerboard pattern reversal (passive stimulation with oddball stimuli (attentional modulation for improving the visual acuity (VA of visually impaired (VI children and children with amblyopia and additional developmental problems. Six children (3 females, 3 males; mean age = 3.9 ± 2.3 years with impaired VA caused by deficits along the anterior and/or posterior visual pathways were recruited. Participants received eight rounds of VS training (two rounds per week of at least 8 sessions per round. Each session consisted of stimulation with 200 or 300 pattern reversals. Assessments of VA (assessed with the Lea symbol VA test or Teller VA cards, visual evoked potential (VEP, and functional vision (assessed with the Chinese-version Functional Vision Questionnaire, FVQ were carried out before and after the VS program. Significant gains in VA were found after the VS training (VA=1.05 logMAR ± 0.80 to 0.61 logMAR ± 0.53, Z=-2.20, asymptotic significance (2-tailed =0.028. No significant changes were observed in the FVQ assessment (92.8 ± 12.6 to 100.8 ± SD=15.4, Z=-1.46, asymptotic significance (2-tailed = 0.144. VEP measurement showed improvement in P100 latency and amplitude or integration of the waveform in two participants. Our results indicate that a computer-based VS program with passive checkerboard stimulation, oddball stimulus design, and interesting auditory feedback could be considered as a potential intervention option to improve the VA of a wide age range of VI children and children with impaired VA combined with other neurological disorders.

  17. Spatial Visualization ability improves with and without studying Technical Drawing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, María José; Escrig, Rebeca; Prieto, Gerardo; Elosúa, M Rosa

    2018-03-27

    The results of several studies suggest that spatial ability can be improved through direct training with tasks similar to those integrated in the tests used to measure the ability. However, there is a greater interest in analyzing the effectiveness of indirect training such as games or of learning subjects that involve spatial processes to a certain extent. Thus, the objective of the present study was to analyze whether the indirect training in Technical Drawing improved the Spatial Visualization ability of Architecture students. For this purpose, a group of students enrolled in Fundamentals of Architecture were administered two tests, a Spatial Visualization task and an Abstract Reasoning task, at the beginning and the end of a semester, after having received training through the subjects "Technical Drawing I: Geometry and Perception" and "Projects I." The results of this group were compared with those of a control group of students enrolled in a Mathematics degree, who were also pre-post evaluated but had not received the training in Technical Drawing. The study showed a significant pre-post improvement in both, Visualization and reasoning. However, this improvement occurred in both groups, thereby concluding that this improvement was not due to indirect training. Furthermore, no significant differences were found between men and women in any of the groups or conditions. These results clarify those of an earlier study where improvement in Visualization after training in Technical Drawing was found but did not include a comparison with a control condition. The control condition has proved to be important in order to consider the limitations of the effect of Technical Drawing on said improvement.

  18. Visual training paired with electrical stimulation of the basal forebrain improves orientation-selective visual acuity in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jun Il; Groleau, Marianne; Dotigny, Florence; Giguère, Hugo; Vaucher, Elvire

    2014-07-01

    The cholinergic afferents from the basal forebrain to the primary visual cortex play a key role in visual attention and cortical plasticity. These afferent fibers modulate acute and long-term responses of visual neurons to specific stimuli. The present study evaluates whether this cholinergic modulation of visual neurons results in cortical activity and visual perception changes. Awake adult rats were exposed repeatedly for 2 weeks to an orientation-specific grating with or without coupling this visual stimulation to an electrical stimulation of the basal forebrain. The visual acuity, as measured using a visual water maze before and after the exposure to the orientation-specific grating, was increased in the group of trained rats with simultaneous basal forebrain/visual stimulation. The increase in visual acuity was not observed when visual training or basal forebrain stimulation was performed separately or when cholinergic fibers were selectively lesioned prior to the visual stimulation. The visual evoked potentials show a long-lasting increase in cortical reactivity of the primary visual cortex after coupled visual/cholinergic stimulation, as well as c-Fos immunoreactivity of both pyramidal and GABAergic interneuron. These findings demonstrate that when coupled with visual training, the cholinergic system improves visual performance for the trained orientation probably through enhancement of attentional processes and cortical plasticity in V1 related to the ratio of excitatory/inhibitory inputs. This study opens the possibility of establishing efficient rehabilitation strategies for facilitating visual capacity.

  19. Visual Enhancements: Improving Deaf Students' Transition Skills Using Multimedia Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Cheryl D.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses developments in technology that provide high-quality visual access to transition information and multimedia instruction for learners with deafness. Identifies a variety of considerations in using multimedia products and describes the pros and cons of different media in the context of several multimedia projects. (Author/CR)

  20. Training visual imagery: Improvements of metacognition, but not imagery strength

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosanne Lynn Rademaker

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual imagery has been closely linked to brain mechanisms involved in perception. Can visual imagery, like visual perception, improve by means of training? Previous research has demonstrated that people can reliably evaluate the vividness of single episodes of sensory imagination – might the metacognition of imagery also improve over the course of training? We had participants imagine colored Gabor patterns for an hour a day, over the course of five consecutive days, and again two weeks after training. Participants rated the subjective vividness and effort of their mental imagery on each trial. The influence of imagery on subsequent binocular rivalry dominance was taken as our measure of imagery strength. We found no overall effect of training on imagery strength. Training did, however, improve participant’s metacognition of imagery. Trial-by-trial ratings of vividness gained predictive power on subsequent rivalry dominance as a function of training. These data suggest that, while imagery strength might be immune to training in the current context, people’s metacognitive understanding of mental imagery can improve with practice.

  1. Improving Interdisciplinary Provider Communication Through a Unified Paging System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidemann, Lauren; Petrilli, Christopher; Gupta, Ashwin; Campbell, Ian; Thompson, Maureen; Cinti, Sandro; Stewart, David A

    2016-06-01

    Interdisciplinary communication at a Veterans Affairs (VA) academic teaching hospital is largely dependent on alphanumeric paging, which has limitations as a result of one-way communication and lack of reliable physician identification. Adverse patient outcomes related to difficulty contacting the correct consulting provider in a timely manner have been reported. House officers were surveyed on the level of satisfaction with the current VA communication system and the rate of perceived adverse patient outcomes caused by potential delays within this system. Respondents were then asked to identify the ideal paging system. These results were used to develop and deploy a new Web site. A postimplementation survey was repeated 1 year later. This study was conducted as a quality improvement project. House officer satisfaction with the preintervention system was 3%. The majority used more than four modalities to identify consultants, with 59% stating that word of mouth was a typical source. The preferred mode of paging was the university hospital paging system, a Web-based program that is used at the partnering academic institution. Following integration of VA consulting services within the university hospital paging system, the level of satisfaction improved to 87%. Significant decreases were seen in perceived adverse patient outcomes (from 16% to 2%), delays in patient care (from 90% to 16%), and extended hospitalizations (from 46% to 4%). Our study demonstrates significant improvement in physician satisfaction with a newly implemented paging system that was associated with a decreased perceived number of adverse patient events and delays in care.

  2. Can Global Visual Features Improve Tag Recommendation for Image Annotation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oge Marques

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in the fields of digital photography, networking and computing, have made it easier than ever for users to store and share photographs. However without sufficient metadata, e.g., in the form of tags, photos are difficult to find and organize. In this paper, we describe a system that recommends tags for image annotation. We postulate that the use of low-level global visual features can improve the quality of the tag recommendation process when compared to a baseline statistical method based on tag co-occurrence. We present results from experiments conducted using photos and metadata sourced from the Flickr photo website that suggest that the use of visual features improves the mean average precision (MAP of the system and increases the system's ability to suggest different tags, therefore justifying the associated increase in complexity.

  3. Do Bedside Visual Tools Improve Patient and Caregiver Satisfaction? A Systematic Review of the Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Anupama A; Tur, Komalpreet; Mann, Jason; Townsend, Whitney; Flanders, Scott A; Chopra, Vineet

    2017-11-01

    Although common, the impact of low-cost bedside visual tools, such as whiteboards, on patient care is unclear. To systematically review the literature and assess the influence of bedside visual tools on patient satisfaction. Medline, Embase, SCOPUS, Web of Science, CINAHL, and CENTRAL. Studies of adult or pediatric hospitalized patients reporting physician identification, understanding of provider roles, patient-provider communication, and satisfaction with care from the use of visual tools were included. Outcomes were categorized as positive, negative, or neutral based on survey responses for identification, communication, and satisfaction. Two reviewers screened studies, extracted data, and assessed the risk of study bias. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Visual tools included whiteboards (n = 4), physician pictures (n = 7), whiteboard and picture (n = 1), electronic medical record-based patient portals (n = 3), and formatted notepads (n = 1). Tools improved patients' identification of providers (13/13 studies). The impact on understanding the providers' roles was largely positive (8/10 studies). Visual tools improved patient-provider communication (4/5 studies) and satisfaction (6/8 studies). In adults, satisfaction varied between positive with the use of whiteboards (2/5 studies) and neutral with pictures (1/5 studies). Satisfaction related to pictures in pediatric patients was either positive (1/3 studies) or neutral (1/3 studies). Differences in tool format (individual pictures vs handouts with pictures of all providers) and study design (randomized vs cohort) may explain variable outcomes. The use of bedside visual tools appears to improve patient recognition of providers and patient-provider communication. Future studies that include better design and outcome assessment are necessary before widespread use can be recommended. © 2017 Society of Hospital Medicine

  4. Refreshing memory traces: thinking of an item improves retrieval from visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Rerko, Laura; Oberauer, Klaus

    2015-03-01

    This article provides evidence that refreshing, a hypothetical attention-based process operating in working memory (WM), improves the accessibility of visual representations for recall. "Thinking of", one of several concurrently active representations, is assumed to refresh its trace in WM, protecting the representation from being forgotten. The link between refreshing and WM performance, however, has only been tenuously supported by empirical evidence. Here, we controlled which and how often individual items were refreshed in a color reconstruction task by presenting cues prompting participants to think of specific WM items during the retention interval. We show that the frequency with which an item is refreshed improves recall of this item from visual WM. Our study establishes a role of refreshing in recall from visual WM and provides a new method for studying the impact of refreshing on the amount of information we can keep accessible for ongoing cognition. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. Fine-scale features on bioreplicated decoys of the emerald ash borer provide necessary visual verisimilitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingue, Michael J.; Pulsifer, Drew P.; Narkhede, Mahesh S.; Engel, Leland G.; Martín-Palma, Raúl J.; Kumar, Jayant; Baker, Thomas C.; Lakhtakia, Akhlesh

    2014-03-01

    The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive tree-killing pest in North America. Like other buprestid beetles, it has an iridescent coloring, produced by a periodically layered cuticle whose reflectance peaks at 540 nm wavelength. The males perform a visually mediated ritualistic mating flight directly onto females poised on sunlit leaves. We attempted to evoke this behavior using artificial visual decoys of three types. To fabricate decoys of the first type, a polymer sheet coated with a Bragg-stack reflector was loosely stamped by a bioreplicating die. For decoys of the second type, a polymer sheet coated with a Bragg-stack reflector was heavily stamped by the same die and then painted green. Every decoy of these two types had an underlying black absorber layer. Decoys of the third type were produced by a rapid prototyping machine and painted green. Fine-scale features were absent on the third type. Experiments were performed in an American ash forest infested with EAB, and a European oak forest home to a similar pest, the two-spotted oak borer (TSOB), Agrilus biguttatus. When pinned to leaves, dead EAB females, dead TSOB females, and bioreplicated decoys of both types often evoked the complete ritualized flight behavior. Males also initiated approaches to the rapidly prototyped decoy, but would divert elsewhere without making contact. The attraction of the bioreplicated decoys was also demonstrated by providing a high dc voltage across the decoys that stunned and killed approaching beetles. Thus, true bioreplication with fine-scale features is necessary to fully evoke ritualized visual responses in insects, and provides an opportunity for developing insecttrapping technologies.

  6. Improved data visualization techniques for analyzing macromolecule structural changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jae Hyun; Iyer, Vidyashankara; Joshi, Sangeeta B; Volkin, David B; Middaugh, C Russell

    2012-10-01

    The empirical phase diagram (EPD) is a colored representation of overall structural integrity and conformational stability of macromolecules in response to various environmental perturbations. Numerous proteins and macromolecular complexes have been analyzed by EPDs to summarize results from large data sets from multiple biophysical techniques. The current EPD method suffers from a number of deficiencies including lack of a meaningful relationship between color and actual molecular features, difficulties in identifying contributions from individual techniques, and a limited ability to be interpreted by color-blind individuals. In this work, three improved data visualization approaches are proposed as techniques complementary to the EPD. The secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structural changes of multiple proteins as a function of environmental stress were first measured using circular dichroism, intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy, and static light scattering, respectively. Data sets were then visualized as (1) RGB colors using three-index EPDs, (2) equiangular polygons using radar charts, and (3) human facial features using Chernoff face diagrams. Data as a function of temperature and pH for bovine serum albumin, aldolase, and chymotrypsin as well as candidate protein vaccine antigens including a serine threonine kinase protein (SP1732) and surface antigen A (SP1650) from S. pneumoniae and hemagglutinin from an H1N1 influenza virus are used to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of each type of data visualization technique. Copyright © 2012 The Protein Society.

  7. Improving the visual appearance for a small business

    OpenAIRE

    Niemonen, Jyri

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this thesis was to improve the brand and visual appearance for a small local business in Oulu. The commission by the client was to design a website, logo, and business cards. The company had been without a website and business cards since establishing the business in 1993. The old logo was last time updated in 2005. The thesis covers a theoretical research on colour, responsive design, and a usage of typography. The theoretical basis for the research was gathered from sev...

  8. Contralateral delay activity provides a neural measure of the number of representations in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikkai, Akiko; McCollough, Andrew W; Vogel, Edward K

    2010-04-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) helps to temporarily represent information from the visual environment and is severely limited in capacity. Recent work has linked various forms of neural activity to the ongoing representations in VWM. One piece of evidence comes from human event-related potential studies, which find a sustained contralateral negativity during the retention period of VWM tasks. This contralateral delay activity (CDA) has previously been shown to increase in amplitude as the number of memory items increases, up to the individual's working memory capacity limit. However, significant alternative hypotheses remain regarding the true nature of this activity. Here we test whether the CDA is modulated by the perceptual requirements of the memory items as well as whether it is determined by the number of locations that are being attended within the display. Our results provide evidence against these two alternative accounts and instead strongly support the interpretation that this activity reflects the current number of objects that are being represented in VWM.

  9. Working memory training improves visual short-term memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarb, Hillary; Nail, Jayde; Schumacher, Eric H

    2016-01-01

    Since antiquity, philosophers, theologians, and scientists have been interested in human memory. However, researchers today are still working to understand the capabilities, boundaries, and architecture. While the storage capabilities of long-term memory are seemingly unlimited (Bahrick, J Exp Psychol 113:1-2, 1984), working memory, or the ability to maintain and manipulate information held in memory, seems to have stringent capacity limits (e.g., Cowan, Behav Brain Sci 24:87-185, 2001). Individual differences, however, do exist and these differences can often predict performance on a wide variety of tasks (cf. Engle What is working-memory capacity? 297-314, 2001). Recently, researchers have promoted the enticing possibility that simple behavioral training can expand the limits of working memory which indeed may also lead to improvements on other cognitive processes as well (cf. Morrison and Chein, Psychol Bull Rev 18:46-60 2011). However, initial investigations across a wide variety of cognitive functions have produced mixed results regarding the transferability of training-related improvements. Across two experiments, the present research focuses on the benefit of working memory training on visual short-term memory capacity-a cognitive process that has received little attention in the training literature. Data reveal training-related improvement of global measures of visual short-term memory as well as of measures of the independent sub-processes that contribute to capacity (Awh et al., Psychol Sci 18(7):622-628, 2007). These results suggest that the ability to inhibit irrelevant information within and between trials is enhanced via n-back training allowing for selective improvement on untrained tasks. Additionally, we highlight a potential limitation of the standard adaptive training procedure and propose a modified design to ensure variability in the training environment.

  10. Improving Educational Outcomes by Providing Educational Services through Mobile Technology

    OpenAIRE

    Hosam Farouk El-Sofany

    2013-01-01

    The use of Computers, Networks, and Internet has successfully enabled educational institutions to provide their students and instructors with various online educational services. With the recent developments in M-learning and mobile technology, further possibilities are emerging to provide such services through mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. By providing the educational services using wireless and mobile technologies, the educational institutions can potentially bring great co...

  11. MEDICARE: Improvements Needed in Provider Communications and Contracting Procedures

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aronovitz, Leslie

    2001-01-01

    .... Under Medicare's fee-for-service system-which accounts for over 80 percent of program beneficiaries physicians, hospitals, and other providers submit claims to receive reimbursement for services...

  12. An interdisciplinary visual team in an acute and sub-acute stroke unit: Providing assessment and early rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norup, Anne; Guldberg, Anne-Mette; Friis, Claus Radmer; Deurell, Eva Maria; Forchhammer, Hysse Birgitte

    2016-07-15

    To describe the work of an interdisciplinary visual team in a stroke unit providing early identification and assessment of patients with visual symptoms, and secondly to investigate frequency, type of visual deficits after stroke and self-evaluated impact on everyday life after stroke. For a period of three months, all stroke patients with visual or visuo-attentional deficits were registered, and data concerning etiology, severity and localization of the stroke and initial visual symptoms were registered. One month after discharge patients were contacted for follow-up. Of 349 acute stroke admissions, 84 (24.1%) had visual or visuo-attentional deficits initially. Of these 84 patients, informed consent was obtained from 22 patients with a mean age of 67.7 years(SD 10.1), and the majority was female (59.1%). Based on the initial neurological examination, 45.4% had some kind of visual field defect, 27.2% had some kind of oculomotor nerve palsy, and about 31.8% had some kind of inattention or visual neglect. The patients were contacted for a phone-based follow-up one month after discharge, where 85.7% reported changes in their vision since their stroke. In this consecutive sample, a quarter of all stroke patients had visual or visuo-attentional deficits initially. This emphasizes how professionals should have increased awareness of the existence of such deficits after stroke in order to provide the necessary interdisciplinary assessment and rehabilitation.

  13. Improving palliative care outcomes for Aboriginal Australians: service providers' perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, Shaouli; Bessarab, Dawn; van Schaik, Katherine D; Aoun, Samar M; Thompson, Sandra C

    2013-07-23

    Aboriginal Australians have a lower rate of utilisation of palliative care services than the general population. This study aimed to explore care providers' experiences and concerns in providing palliative care for Aboriginal people, and to identify opportunities for overcoming gaps in understanding between them and their Aboriginal patients and families. In-depth, qualitative interviews with urban, rural and remote palliative care providers were undertaken in inpatient and community settings in Western Australia. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded independently by two researchers with QSR NVivo 10 software used to help manage data. Data analysis was informed by multiple theoretical standpoints, including the social ecological model, critical cultural theories and the 'cultural security' framework. Thematic analysis was carried out that identified patterns within data. Fifteen palliative care providers were interviewed. Overall they reported lack of understanding of Aboriginal culture and being uncertain of the needs and priorities of Aboriginal people during end-of-life care. According to several participants, very few Aboriginal people had an understanding of palliative care. Managing issues such as anger, denial, the need for non-medical support due to socioeconomic disadvantage, and dealing with crises and conflicts over funeral arrangements were reported as some of the tensions between Aboriginal patients and families and the service providers. Early referral to palliative care is important in demonstrating and maintaining a caring therapeutic relationship. Paramount to meeting the needs for Aboriginal patients was access to appropriate information and logistical, psychological and emotional support. These were often seen as essential but additional to standard palliative care services. The broader context of Aboriginal history and historical distrust of mainstream services was seen to impinge on Aboriginal people's willingness and

  14. Provide good air quality for people and improve their productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fanger, Povl Ole

    2000-01-01

    Three recent independent studies have documented that the quality of indoor air has a significant and positive influence on the productivity of office workers. A combined analysis of the results of the three studies shows a significant relationship between productivity and perceived indoor air...... quality. The impact on productivity justifies a much higher indoor air quality than the minimum levels prescribed in present standards and guidelines. One way of providing air of high quality for people to breathe, without involving excessive ventilation rates and energy use, is to provide "personalized...... air" to each individual. The application of this concept is discussed....

  15. Improved Collaborative Transport Planning at Dutch Logistics Service Provider Fritom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijs, Paul; Lopez Alvarez, Jose Alejandro; Veenstra, Marjolein; Roodbergen, Kees Jan

    2016-01-01

    We study the collaborative transport planning for two autonomous business units of Fritom, a Dutch logistics service provider. This difficult planning problem does not fit any existing type of vehicle routing problem proposed in the academic literature; therefore, we define a new problem class, the

  16. Improving Educational Outcomes by Providing Educational Services through Mobile Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hosam Farouk El-Sofany

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of Computers, Networks, and Internet has successfully enabled educational institutions to provide their students and instructors with various online educational services. With the recent developments in M-learning and mobile technology, further possibilities are emerging to provide such services through mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. By providing the educational services using wireless and mobile technologies, the educational institutions can potentially bring great convenience to those off-campus students who do not always have time to find Internet enabled computers to get the important educational information from their academic institutions. With the mobile or M-educational services, both the students and the instructors can access the services anytime and anywhere they want. This paper discusses those M-educational services that can be moved to the mobile platform and then presents the system prototype and architecture that integrate these services into the mobile technology platform. The paper will conclude with a description of the formative evaluation of the system prototype.

  17. How Chinese Semantics Capability Improves Interpretation in Visual Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Chu-Yu; Ou, Yang-Kun; Kin, Ching-Lung

    2017-01-01

    A visual representation involves delivering messages through visually communicated images. The study assumed that semantic recognition can affect visual interpretation ability, and the result showed that students graduating from a general high school achieve satisfactory results in semantic recognition and image interpretation tasks than students…

  18. Using Symmetrical Regions of Interest to Improve Visual SLAM

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kootstra, Geert; Schomaker, Lambertus

    2009-01-01

    Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) based on visual information is a challenging problem. One of the main problems with visual SLAM is to find good quality landmarks, that can be detected despite noise and small changes in viewpoint. Many approaches use SIFT interest points as visual

  19. Visual control improves the accuracy of hand positioning in Huntington’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilia J. Sitek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: The study aimed at demonstrating dependence of visual feedback during hand and finger positioning task performance among Huntington’s disease patients in comparison to patients with Parkinson’s disease and cervical dystonia. Material and methods: Eighty-nine patients participated in the study (23 with Huntington’s disease, 25 with Parkinson’s disease with dyskinesias, 21 with Parkinson’s disease without dyskinesias, and 20 with cervical dystonia, scoring ≥20 points on Mini-Mental State Examination in order to assure comprehension of task instructions. Neurological examination comprised of the motor section from the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale for Huntington’s disease, the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale Part II–IV for Parkinson’s disease and the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale for cervical dystonia. In order to compare hand position accuracy under visually controlled and blindfolded conditions, the patient imitated each of the 10 examiner’s hand postures twice, once under the visual control condition and once with no visual feedback provided. Results: Huntington’s disease patients imitated examiner’s hand positions less accurately under blindfolded condition in comparison to Parkinson’s disease without dyskinesias and cervical dystonia participants. Under visually controlled condition there were no significant inter-group differences. Conclusions: Huntington’s disease patients exhibit higher dependence on visual feedback while performing motor tasks than Parkinson’s disease and cervical dystonia patients. Possible improvement of movement precision in Huntington’s disease with the use of visual cues could be potentially useful in the patients’ rehabilitation.

  20. Improving Communication During Cardiac ICU Multidisciplinary Rounds Through Visual Display of Patient Daily Goals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Lindsey B; Cooper, David S; Henderson, Carla; Brown, James; Simon, Katherine; Clark, Lindsey; Fleckenstein, Elizabeth; Benscoter, Alexis; Nelson, David P

    2016-07-01

    To improve communication during daily cardiac ICU multidisciplinary rounds. Quality improvement methodology. Twenty-five-bed cardiac ICUs in an academic free-standing pediatric hospital. All patients admitted to the cardiac ICU. Implementation of visual display of patient daily goals through a write-down and read-back process. The Rounds Effectiveness Assessment and Communication Tool was developed based on the previously validated Patient Knowledge Assessment Tool to evaluate comprehension of patient daily goals. Rounds were assessed for each patient by the bedside nurse, nurse practitioner or fellow, and attending physician, and answers were compared to determine percent agreement per day. At baseline, percent agreement for patient goals was only 62%. After initial implementation of the daily goal write-down/read-back process, which was written on paper by the bedside nurse, the Rounds Effectiveness Assessment and Communication Tool survey revealed no improvement. With adaptation of the intervention so goals were written on whiteboards for visual display during rounds, the percent agreement improved to 85%. Families were also asked to complete a survey (1-6 Likert scale) of their satisfaction with rounds and understanding of daily goals before and after the intervention. Family survey results improved from a mean of 4.6-5.7. Parent selection of the best possible score for each question was 19% at baseline and 75% after the intervention. Visual display of patient daily goals via a write-down/read-back process improves comprehension of goals by all team members and improves parent satisfaction. The daily goal whiteboard facilitates consistent development of a comprehensive plan of care for each patient, fosters goal-directed care, and provides a checklist for providers and parents to review throughout the day.

  1. Improvement in Visual Search with Practice : Mapping Learning-Related Changes in Neurocognitive Stages of Processing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clark, Kait; Appelbaum, L. Gregory; van den Berg, Berry; Mitroff, Stephen R.; Woldorff, Marty G.

    2015-01-01

    Practice can improve performance on visual search tasks; the neural mechanisms underlying such improvements, however, are not clear. Response time typically shortens with practice, but which components of the stimulus-response processing chain facilitate this behavioral change? Improved search

  2. Sound improves diminished visual temporal sensitivity in schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer-Schellekens, L.; Stekelenburg, J.J.; Maes, J.P.; van Gool, A.R.; Vroomen, J.

    2014-01-01

    Visual temporal processing and multisensory integration (MSI) of sound and vision were examined in individuals with schizophrenia using a visual temporal order judgment (TOJ) task. Compared to a non-psychiatric control group, persons with schizophrenia were less sensitive judging the temporal order

  3. Assignment about providing of substitute haptic interface for visually disabled persons

    OpenAIRE

    浅川, 貴史

    2013-01-01

    [Abstract] This paper is described about an assignment of haptic interface. We have made a proposal for a music baton system for visually disabled persons. The system is constituted by an acceleration sensor, a radio module, and a haptic interface device. We have carried out an experiment of comparing the visual and the haptic interface. The assignments are declared by the results that are rise-time of a motor and pre-motion. In the paper, we make a proposal for new method of the voltage cont...

  4. Visual syntax does matter: Improving the cognitive effectiveness of the i* visual notation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moody, D.L.; Heymans, Patrick; Matulevicius, Raimundas

    2010-01-01

    Goal-oriented modelling is one of the most important research developments in the requirements engineering (RE) field. This paper conducts a systematic analysis of the visual syntax of i*, one of the leading goal-oriented languages. Like most RE notations, i* is highly visual. Yet surprisingly,

  5. Audio-visual feedback improves the BCI performance in the navigational control of a humanoid robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuele eTidoni

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Advancement in brain computer interfaces (BCI technology allows people to actively interact in the world through surrogates. Controlling real humanoid robots using BCI as intuitively as we control our body represents a challenge for current research in robotics and neuroscience. In order to successfully interact with the environment the brain integrates multiple sensory cues to form a coherent representation of the world. Cognitive neuroscience studies demonstrate that multisensory integration may imply a gain with respect to a single modality and ultimately improve the overall sensorimotor performance. For example, reactivity to simultaneous visual and auditory stimuli may be higher than to the sum of the same stimuli delivered in isolation or in temporal sequence. Yet, knowledge about whether audio-visual integration may improve the control of a surrogate is meager. To explore this issue, we provided human footstep sounds as audio feedback to BCI users while controlling a humanoid robot. Participants were asked to steer their robot surrogate and perform a pick-and-place task through BCI-SSVEPs. We found that audio-visual synchrony between footsteps sound and actual humanoid’s walk reduces the time required for steering the robot. Thus, auditory feedback congruent with the humanoid actions may improve motor decisions of the BCI’s user and help in the feeling of control over it. Our results shed light on the possibility to increase robot’s control through the combination of multisensory feedback to a BCI user.

  6. Models Provide Specificity: Testing a Proposed Mechanism of Visual Working Memory Capacity Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmering, Vanessa R.; Patterson, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have established that visual working memory has a limited capacity that increases during childhood. However, debate continues over the source of capacity limits and its developmental increase. Simmering (2008) adapted a computational model of spatial cognitive development, the Dynamic Field Theory, to explain not only the source…

  7. Automated Box-Cox Transformations for Improved Visual Encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciejewski, Ross; Pattath, Avin; Ko, Sungahn; Hafen, Ryan; Cleveland, William S; Ebert, David S

    2013-01-01

    The concept of preconditioning data (utilizing a power transformation as an initial step) for analysis and visualization is well established within the statistical community and is employed as part of statistical modeling and analysis. Such transformations condition the data to various inherent assumptions of statistical inference procedures, as well as making the data more symmetric and easier to visualize and interpret. In this paper, we explore the use of the Box-Cox family of power transformations to semiautomatically adjust visual parameters. We focus on time-series scaling, axis transformations, and color binning for choropleth maps. We illustrate the usage of this transformation through various examples, and discuss the value and some issues in semiautomatically using these transformations for more effective data visualization.

  8. Working memory load improves early stages of independent visual processing

    OpenAIRE

    Cocchi, Luca; Toepel, Ulrike; De Lucia, Marzia; Martuzzi, Roberto; Wood, Stephen J.; Carter, Olivia; Murray, Micah M.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that working memory and perceptual processes are dynamically interrelated due to modulating activity in overlapping brain networks. However, the direct influence of working memory on the spatio-temporal brain dynamics of behaviorally relevant intervening information remains unclear. To investigate this issue, subjects performed a visual proximity grid perception task under three different visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) load conditions. VSWM load was manipula...

  9. Improving texture optimization with application to visualizing meat products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Line Katrine Harder; Laursen, Lasse Farnung

    2011-01-01

    When inspecting food quality, CT Scanning is among the primary tools used to gain insight. It provides valuable volumetric data using a process, which leaves the product unspoiled and untouched. However, volumetric data is merely a measure of density and therefore contains no appearance information...... et al. in 2007. This method accepts a number of 2D input exemplars, from which it generates a solid texture volume. The volume is iteratively improved via an expectation maximization algorithm. The bottleneck of Texture Optimization occurs during a nearest neighbor search, between texture patches...

  10. D Web Visualization of Environmental Information - Integration of Heterogeneous Data Sources when Providing Navigation and Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, L.; Řezník, T.

    2015-08-01

    3D information is essential for a number of applications used daily in various domains such as crisis management, energy management, urban planning, and cultural heritage, as well as pollution and noise mapping, etc. This paper is devoted to the issue of 3D modelling from the levels of buildings to cities. The theoretical sections comprise an analysis of cartographic principles for the 3D visualization of spatial data as well as a review of technologies and data formats used in the visualization of 3D models. Emphasis was placed on the verification of available web technologies; for example, X3DOM library was chosen for the implementation of a proof-of-concept web application. The created web application displays a 3D model of the city district of Nový Lískovec in Brno, the Czech Republic. The developed 3D visualization shows a terrain model, 3D buildings, noise pollution, and other related information. Attention was paid to the areas important for handling heterogeneous input data, the design of interactive functionality, and navigation assistants. The advantages, limitations, and future development of the proposed concept are discussed in the conclusions.

  11. Oregon State University Softball: Dynamic Visual Acuity Training for Improving Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Madsen, Bruce; Blair, Kyle

    2017-01-01

    Sports vision training involves eye focusing and movement workouts that center on the visual tracking of objects. The purpose of sports vision training is to improve performance in various sports by improving visual responses and processing, such as by lowering reaction times. In 2015, the Athletic Eye Institute started a sports vision-training program study with the Oregon State University Softball Team in the hopes of increasing the dynamic visual skills of their players. There were two aim...

  12. Use of visualization technology to improve decision-making performance in nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanes, Lewis F.; Naser, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    This paper contains a description of modern 2.5-D and 3-D visualization technology that may be applied to improve human situation awareness and decision-making in nuclear power plants. Visualization technology is being applied widely and successfully in several industries. Examples are presented of successful applications in the military, aviation, medical, entertainment, and nuclear industries. Additional opportunities are identified in the nuclear industry that may benefit from improved visualization

  13. Retrospective cues based on object features improve visual working memory performance in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilchrist, Amanda L; Duarte, Audrey; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Research with younger adults has shown that retrospective cues can be used to orient top-down attention toward relevant items in working memory. We examined whether older adults could take advantage of these cues to improve memory performance. Younger and older adults were presented with visual arrays of five colored shapes; during maintenance, participants were presented either with an informative cue based on an object feature (here, object shape or color) that would be probed, or with an uninformative, neutral cue. Although older adults were less accurate overall, both age groups benefited from the presentation of an informative, feature-based cue relative to a neutral cue. Surprisingly, we also observed differences in the effectiveness of shape versus color cues and their effects upon post-cue memory load. These results suggest that older adults can use top-down attention to remove irrelevant items from visual working memory, provided that task-relevant features function as cues.

  14. Improving Readability of an Evaluation Tool for Low-Income Clients Using Visual Information Processing Theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, Marilyn S.; Sylva, Kathryn; Martin, Anna; Metz, Diane; Wooten-Swanson, Patti

    2008-01-01

    Literacy is an issue for many low-income audiences. Using visual information processing theories, the goal was improving readability of a food behavior checklist and ultimately improving its ability to accurately capture existing changes in dietary behaviors. Using group interviews, low-income clients (n = 18) evaluated 4 visual styles. The text…

  15. Improving mathematical problem solving skills through visual media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widodo, S. A.; Darhim; Ikhwanudin, T.

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this article was to find out the enhancement of students’ mathematical problem solving by using visual learning media. The ability to solve mathematical problems is the ability possessed by students to solve problems encountered, one of the problem-solving model of Polya. This preliminary study was not to make a model, but it only took a conceptual approach by comparing the various literature of problem-solving skills by linking visual learning media. The results of the study indicated that the use of learning media had not been appropriated so that the ability to solve mathematical problems was not optimal. The inappropriateness of media use was due to the instructional media that was not adapted to the characteristics of the learners. Suggestions that can be given is the need to develop visual media to increase the ability to solve problems.

  16. Visual improvement for bad handwriting based on Monte-Carlo method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Cao; Xiao, Jianguo; Xu, Canhui; Jia, Wenhua

    2014-03-01

    A visual improvement algorithm based on Monte Carlo simulation is proposed in this paper, in order to enhance visual effects for bad handwriting. The whole improvement process is to use well designed typeface so as to optimize bad handwriting image. In this process, a series of linear operators for image transformation are defined for transforming typeface image to approach handwriting image. And specific parameters of linear operators are estimated by Monte Carlo method. Visual improvement experiments illustrate that the proposed algorithm can effectively enhance visual effect for handwriting image as well as maintain the original handwriting features, such as tilt, stroke order and drawing direction etc. The proposed visual improvement algorithm, in this paper, has a huge potential to be applied in tablet computer and Mobile Internet, in order to improve user experience on handwriting.

  17. Task-specific visual cues for improving process model understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petrusel, Razvan; Mendling, Jan; Reijers, Hajo A.

    2016-01-01

    Context Business process models support various stakeholders in managing business processes and designing process-aware information systems. In order to make effective use of these models, they have to be readily understandable. Objective Prior research has emphasized the potential of visual cues to

  18. Working memory load improves early stages of independent visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchi, Luca; Toepel, Ulrike; De Lucia, Marzia; Martuzzi, Roberto; Wood, Stephen J; Carter, Olivia; Murray, Micah M

    2011-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that working memory and perceptual processes are dynamically interrelated due to modulating activity in overlapping brain networks. However, the direct influence of working memory on the spatio-temporal brain dynamics of behaviorally relevant intervening information remains unclear. To investigate this issue, subjects performed a visual proximity grid perception task under three different visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) load conditions. VSWM load was manipulated by asking subjects to memorize the spatial locations of 6 or 3 disks. The grid was always presented between the encoding and recognition of the disk pattern. As a baseline condition, grid stimuli were presented without a VSWM context. VSWM load altered both perceptual performance and neural networks active during intervening grid encoding. Participants performed faster and more accurately on a challenging perceptual task under high VSWM load as compared to the low load and the baseline condition. Visual evoked potential (VEP) analyses identified changes in the configuration of the underlying sources in one particular period occurring 160-190 ms post-stimulus onset. Source analyses further showed an occipito-parietal down-regulation concurrent to the increased involvement of temporal and frontal resources in the high VSWM context. Together, these data suggest that cognitive control mechanisms supporting working memory may selectively enhance concurrent visual processing related to an independent goal. More broadly, our findings are in line with theoretical models implicating the engagement of frontal regions in synchronizing and optimizing mnemonic and perceptual resources towards multiple goals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Improving user-friendliness by using visually supported speech recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waals, J.A.J.S.; Kooi, F.L.; Kriekaard, J.J.

    2002-01-01

    While speech recognition in principle may be one of the most natural interfaces, in practice it is not due to the lack of user-friendliness. Words are regularly interpreted wrong, and subjects tend to articulate in an exaggerated manner. We explored the potential of visually supported error

  20. Kinesthetic Imagery Provides Additive Benefits to Internal Visual Imagery on Slalom Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callow, Nichola; Jiang, Dan; Roberts, Ross; Edwards, Martin G

    2017-02-01

    Recent brain imaging research demonstrates that the use of internal visual imagery (IVI) or kinesthetic imagery (KIN) activates common and distinct brain areas. In this paper, we argue that combining the imagery modalities (IVI and KIN) will lead to a greater cognitive representation (with more brain areas activated), and this will cause a greater slalom-based motor performance compared with using IVI alone. To examine this assertion, we randomly allocated 56 participants to one of the three groups: IVI, IVI and KIN, or a math control group. Participants performed a slalom-based driving task in a driving simulator, with average lap time used as a measure of performance. Results revealed that the IVI and KIN group achieved significantly quicker lap times than the IVI and the control groups. The discussion includes a theoretical advancement on why the combination of imagery modalities might facilitate performance, with links made to the cognitive neuroscience literature and applied practice.

  1. Improving Aviation Safety with information Visualization: A Flight Simulation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragon, Cecilia R.; Hearst, Marti

    2005-01-01

    Many aircraft accidents each year are caused by encounters with invisible airflow hazards. Recent advances in aviation sensor technology offer the potential for aircraft-based sensors that can gather large amounts of airflow velocity data in real-time. With this influx of data comes the need to study how best to present it to the pilot - a cognitively overloaded user focused on a primary task other than that of information visualization. In this paper, we present the results of a usability study of an airflow hazard visualization system that significantly reduced the crash rate among experienced helicopter pilots flying a high fidelity, aerodynamically realistic fixed-base rotorcraft flight simulator into hazardous conditions. We focus on one particular aviation application, but the results may be relevant to user interfaces in other operationally stressful environments.

  2. Improved custom statistics visualization for CA Performance Center data

    CERN Document Server

    Talevi, Iacopo

    2017-01-01

    The main goal of my project is to understand and experiment the possibilities that CA Performance Center (CA PC) offers for creating custom applications to display stored information through interesting visual means, such as maps. In particular, I have re-written some of the network statistics web pages in order to fetch data from new statistics modules in CA PC, which has its own API, and stop using the RRD data.

  3. Spatial attention improves the quality of population codes in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T

    2010-08-01

    Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.

  4. Sodium oxybate therapy provides multidimensional improvement in fibromyalgia: results of an international phase 3 trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaeth, Michael; Bennett, Robert M; Benson, Beverly A; Wang, Y Grace; Lai, Chinglin; Choy, Ernest H

    2012-01-01

    Background Fibromyalgia is characterised by chronic musculoskeletal pain and multiple symptoms including fatigue, multidimensional function impairment, sleep disturbance and tenderness. Along with pain and fatigue, non-restorative sleep is a core symptom of fibromyalgia. Sodium oxybate (SXB) is thought to reduce non-restorative sleep abnormalities. This study evaluated effects of SXB on fibromyalgia-related pain and other symptoms. Methods 573 patients with fibromyalgia according to 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria were enrolled at 108 centres in eight countries. Subjects were randomly assigned to placebo, SXB 4.5 g/night or SXB 6 g/night. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects with ≥30% reduction in pain visual analogue scale from baseline to treatment end. Other efficacy assessments included function, sleep quality, effect of sleep on function, fatigue, tenderness, health-related quality of life and subject's impression of change in overall wellbeing. Results Significant improvements in pain, sleep and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia were seen in SXB treated subjects compared with placebo. The proportion of subjects with ≥30% pain reduction was 42.0% for SXB4.5 g/night (p=0.002) and 51.4% for SXB6 g/night (pQuality of sleep (Jenkins sleep scale) improved by 20% for SXB4.5 g/night (p≤0.001) and 25% for SXB6 g/night (p≤0.001) versus 0.5% for placebo. Adverse events with an incidence ≥5% and twice placebo were nausea, dizziness, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, somnolence, fatigue, muscle spasms and peripheral oedema. Conclusion These results, combined with findings from previous phase 2 and 3 studies, provide supportive evidence that SXB therapy affordsimportant benefits across multiple symptoms in subjects with fibromyalgia. PMID:22294641

  5. Improved Visualization of Gastrointestinal Slow Wave Propagation Using a Novel Wavefront-Orientation Interpolation Technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayne, Terence P; Paskaranandavadivel, Niranchan; Erickson, Jonathan C; OGrady, Gregory; Cheng, Leo K; Angeli, Timothy R

    2018-02-01

    High-resolution mapping of gastrointestinal (GI) slow waves is a valuable technique for research and clinical applications. Interpretation of high-resolution GI mapping data relies on animations of slow wave propagation, but current methods remain as rudimentary, pixelated electrode activation animations. This study aimed to develop improved methods of visualizing high-resolution slow wave recordings that increases ease of interpretation. The novel method of "wavefront-orientation" interpolation was created to account for the planar movement of the slow wave wavefront, negate any need for distance calculations, remain robust in atypical wavefronts (i.e., dysrhythmias), and produce an appropriate interpolation boundary. The wavefront-orientation method determines the orthogonal wavefront direction and calculates interpolated values as the mean slow wave activation-time (AT) of the pair of linearly adjacent electrodes along that direction. Stairstep upsampling increased smoothness and clarity. Animation accuracy of 17 human high-resolution slow wave recordings (64-256 electrodes) was verified by visual comparison to the prior method showing a clear improvement in wave smoothness that enabled more accurate interpretation of propagation, as confirmed by an assessment of clinical applicability performed by eight GI clinicians. Quantitatively, the new method produced accurate interpolation values compared to experimental data (mean difference 0.02 ± 0.05 s) and was accurate when applied solely to dysrhythmic data (0.02 ± 0.06 s), both within the error in manual AT marking (mean 0.2 s). Mean interpolation processing time was 6.0 s per wave. These novel methods provide a validated visualization platform that will improve analysis of high-resolution GI mapping in research and clinical translation.

  6. Improved visualization of delayed perfusion in lung MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Risse, Frank; Eichinger, Monika; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich; Semmler, Wolfhard; Puderbach, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: The investigation of pulmonary perfusion by three-dimensional (3D) dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) was proposed recently. Subtraction images are generated for clinical evaluation, but temporal information is lost and perfusion defects might therefore be masked in this process. The aim of this study is to demonstrate a simple analysis strategy and classification for 3D-DCE-MRI perfusion datasets in the lung without omitting the temporal information. Materials and methods: Pulmonary perfusion measurements were performed in patients with different lung diseases using a 1.5 T MR-scanner with a time-resolved 3D-GRE pulse sequence. 25 3D-volumes were acquired after iv-injection of 0.1 mmol/kg KG Gadolinium-DTPA. Three parameters were determined for each pixel: (1) peak enhancement S n,max normalized to the arterial input function to detect regions of reduced perfusion; (2) time between arterial peak enhancement in the large pulmonary artery and tissue peak enhancement τ to visualize regions with delayed bolus onset; and (3) ratio R = S n,max /τ was calculated to visualize impaired perfusion, irrespectively of whether related to reduced or delayed perfusion. Results: A manual selection of peak perfusion images is not required. Five different types of perfusion can be found: (1) normal perfusion; (2) delayed non-reduced perfusion; (3) reduced non-delayed perfusion; (4) reduced and delayed perfusion; and (5) no perfusion. Types II and IV could not be seen in subtraction images since the temporal information is necessary for this purpose. Conclusions: The analysis strategy in this study allows for a simple and observer-independent visualization and classification of impaired perfusion in dynamic contrast-enhanced pulmonary perfusion MRI by using the temporal information of the datasets.

  7. Improving Empathy and Communication Skills of Visually Impaired Early Adolescents through a Psycho-Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildiz, Mehmet Ali; Duy, Baki

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an interpersonal communication skills psycho-education program to improve empathy and communication skills of visually impaired adolescents. Participants of the study were sixteen early adolescents schooling in an elementary school for visually impaired youth in Diyarbakir. The…

  8. Visual Working Memory in Deaf Children with Diverse Communication Modes: Improvement by Differential Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Crespo, Ginesa; Daza, Maria Teresa; Mendez-Lopez, Magdalena

    2012-01-01

    Although visual functions have been proposed to be enhanced in deaf individuals, empirical studies have not yet established clear evidence on this issue. The present study aimed to determine whether deaf children with diverse communication modes had superior visual memory and whether their performance was improved by the use of differential…

  9. Intensive video gaming improves encoding speed to visual short-term memory in young male adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilms, Inge L; Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of action video gaming on central elements of visual attention using Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention. To examine the cognitive impact of action video gaming, we tested basic functions of visual attention in 42 young male adults. Participants were divided into three groups depending on the amount of time spent playing action video games: non-players (15h/month, N=20). All participants were tested in three tasks which tap central functions of visual attention and short-term memory: a test based on the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA), an enumeration test and finally the Attentional Network Test (ANT). The results show that action video gaming does not seem to impact the capacity of visual short-term memory. However, playing action video games does seem to improve the encoding speed of visual information into visual short-term memory and the improvement does seem to depend on the time devoted to gaming. This suggests that intense action video gaming improves basic attentional functioning and that this improvement generalizes into other activities. The implications of these findings for cognitive rehabilitation training are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Forging partnerships between optometrists and ergonomists to improve visual comfort and productivity in the workplace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    Ergonomists and optometrists often have mutual clients/patients with complex visual needs in the workplace but communication between the professionals is usually indirect through the client/patient. This paper describes a joint professional development meeting between optometrists and ergonomists in Canberra, Australia, which included a discussion to explore how to improve communication between the two professions. Optometrists and ergonomists reported they would prefer more information before conducting assessments and providing advice. Vision screening forms commonly in use for computer workers were viewed as inadequate to meet these needs. Communication between the two professions was hampered by absence of contact details of the optometrist/ergonomist, perceptions that the other profession is too busy to talk, privacy considerations in sharing information and funding issues for shared care arrangements. There are opportunities for increasing awareness of good vision in workplaces. Communication between optometrists and ergonomists can be improved by developing information-sharing documents relevant to modern workplaces.

  11. Complementary and conventional providers in cancer care: experience of communication with patients and steps to improve communication with other providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stub, Trine; Quandt, Sara A; Arcury, Thomas A; Sandberg, Joanne C; Kristoffersen, Agnete E

    2017-06-08

    Effective interdisciplinary communication is important to achieve better quality in health care. The aims of this study were to compare conventional and complementary providers' experience of communication about complementary therapies and conventional medicine with their cancer patients, and to investigate how they experience interdisciplinary communication and cooperation. This study analyzed data from a self-administrated questionnaire. A total of 606 different health care providers, from four counties in Norway, completed the questionnaire. The survey was developed to describe aspects of the communication pattern among oncology doctors, nurses, family physicians and complementary therapists (acupuncturists, massage therapists and reflexologists/zone-therapists). Between-group differences were analyzed using chi-square, ANOVA and Fisher's exact tests. Significance level was defined as p communication with their cancer patients regarding complementary therapies. While complementary therapists advised their patients to apply both complementary and conventional modalities, medical doctors were less supportive of their patients' use of complementary therapies. Of conventional providers, nurses expressed more positive attitudes toward complementary therapies. Opportunities to improve communication between conventional and complementary providers were most strongly supported by complementary providers and nurses; medical doctors were less supportive of such attempts. A number of doctors showed lack of respect for complementary therapists, but asked for more research, guidelines for complementary modalities and training in conventional medicine for complementary therapists. For better quality of care, greater communication about complementary therapy use is needed between cancer patients and their conventional and complementary providers. In addition, more communication between conventional and complementary providers is needed. Nurses may have a crucial role in

  12. Fourier-based automatic alignment for improved Visual Cryptography schemes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machizaud, Jacques; Chavel, Pierre; Fournel, Thierry

    2011-11-07

    In Visual Cryptography, several images, called "shadow images", that separately contain no information, are overlapped to reveal a shared secret message. We develop a method to digitally register one printed shadow image acquired by a camera with a purely digital shadow image, stored in memory. Using Fourier techniques derived from Fourier Optics concepts, the idea is to enhance and exploit the quasi periodicity of the shadow images, composed by a random distribution of black and white patterns on a periodic sampling grid. The advantage is to speed up the security control or the access time to the message, in particular in the cases of a small pixel size or of large numbers of pixels. Furthermore, the interest of visual cryptography can be increased by embedding the initial message in two shadow images that do not have identical mathematical supports, making manual registration impractical. Experimental results demonstrate the successful operation of the method, including the possibility to directly project the result onto the printed shadow image.

  13. Action video game playing is associated with improved visual sensitivity, but not alterations in visual sensory memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, L Gregory; Cain, Matthew S; Darling, Elise F; Mitroff, Stephen R

    2013-08-01

    Action video game playing has been experimentally linked to a number of perceptual and cognitive improvements. These benefits are captured through a wide range of psychometric tasks and have led to the proposition that action video game experience may promote the ability to extract statistical evidence from sensory stimuli. Such an advantage could arise from a number of possible mechanisms: improvements in visual sensitivity, enhancements in the capacity or duration for which information is retained in visual memory, or higher-level strategic use of information for decision making. The present study measured the capacity and time course of visual sensory memory using a partial report performance task as a means to distinguish between these three possible mechanisms. Sensitivity measures and parameter estimates that describe sensory memory capacity and the rate of memory decay were compared between individuals who reported high evels and low levels of action video game experience. Our results revealed a uniform increase in partial report accuracy at all stimulus-to-cue delays for action video game players but no difference in the rate or time course of the memory decay. The present findings suggest that action video game playing may be related to enhancements in the initial sensitivity to visual stimuli, but not to a greater retention of information in iconic memory buffers.

  14. Data visualization

    CERN Document Server

    Azzam, Tarek

    2013-01-01

    Do you communicate data and information to stakeholders? In Part 1, we introduce recent developments in the quantitative and qualitative data visualization field and provide a historical perspective on data visualization, its potential role in evaluation practice, and future directions. Part 2 delivers concrete suggestions for optimally using data visualization in evaluation, as well as suggestions for best practices in data visualization design. It focuses on specific quantitative and qualitative data visualization approaches that include data dashboards, graphic recording, and geographic information systems (GIS). Readers will get a step-by-step process for designing an effective data dashboard system for programs and organizations, and various suggestions to improve their utility.

  15. Improvement of visual acuity and VEP after optic nerve contusion by NGF and its safety analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zhao

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available AIM:To investigate the effect of neuropathic factor(NGFon visual acuity and visual evoked potential(VEPin patients with optic nerve contusion. METHODS:Totally 78 patients(78 eyeswith optic nerve contusion were selected. From January 2013 to June 2016, 39 cases(39 eyeswere divided into observation group and control group respectively according to the random number table method. Prednisone, vitamins and mecobalamin tablets treatment were given to both groups, based on that, the observation group was given NGF treatment, continuous treatment of 2 courses(21d for a course of treatment. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in visual field defect and visual field sensitivity between the observation group and the control group before treatment(P>0.05. After treatment, the visual field defect degree of the observation group was smaller, the visual field sensitivity was better than that of the control group(PP>0.05. After treatment, the P100 wave latency of the observation group was significantly shorter than that of the control group(PPPCONCLUSION: NGF treatment for optic nerve contusion can significantly improve the patient's visual acuity, VEP indicators, reduce visual field defects, improve visual field sensitivity.

  16. Application of visualization and simulation program to improve work zone safety and mobility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    "A previous study sponsored by the Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative, Feasibility of Visualization and Simulation Applications to Improve Work Zone Safety and Mobility, demonstrated the feasibility of combining readily available, inexpensiv...

  17. Improving the Efficiency and Ease of Healthcare Analysis Through Use of Data Visualization Dashboards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadler, Jennifer G; Donlon, Kipp; Siewert, Jordan D; Franken, Tessa; Lewis, Nathaniel E

    2016-06-01

    The digitization of a patient's health record has profoundly impacted medicine and healthcare. The compilation and accessibility of medical history has provided clinicians an unprecedented, holistic account of a patient's conditions, procedures, medications, family history, and social situation. In addition to the bedside benefits, this level of information has opened the door for population-level monitoring and research, the results of which can be used to guide initiatives that are aimed at improving quality of care. Cerner Corporation partners with health systems to help guide population management and quality improvement projects. With such an enormous and diverse client base-varying in geography, size, organizational structure, and analytic needs-discerning meaning in the data and how they fit with that particular hospital's goals is a slow, difficult task that requires clinical, statistical, and technical literacy. This article describes the development of dashboards for efficient data visualization at the healthcare facility level. Focusing on two areas with broad clinical importance, sepsis patient outcomes and 30-day hospital readmissions, dashboards were developed with the goal of aggregating data and providing meaningful summary statistics, highlighting critical performance metrics, and providing easily digestible visuals that can be understood by a wide range of personnel with varying levels of skill and areas of expertise. These internal-use dashboards have allowed associates in multiple roles to perform a quick and thorough assessment on a hospital of interest by providing the data to answer necessary questions and to identify important trends or opportunities. This automation of a previously manual process has greatly increased efficiency, saving hours of work time per hospital analyzed. Additionally, the dashboards have standardized the analysis process, ensuring use of the same metrics and processes so that overall themes can be compared across

  18. Providing Access and Visualization to Global Cloud Properties from GEO Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chee, T.; Nguyen, L.; Minnis, P.; Spangenberg, D.; Palikonda, R.; Ayers, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    Providing public access to cloud macro and microphysical properties is a key concern for the NASA Langley Research Center Cloud and Radiation Group. This work describes a tool and method that allows end users to easily browse and access cloud information that is otherwise difficult to acquire and manipulate. The core of the tool is an application-programming interface that is made available to the public. One goal of the tool is to provide a demonstration to end users so that they can use the dynamically generated imagery as an input into their own work flows for both image generation and cloud product requisition. This project builds upon NASA Langley Cloud and Radiation Group's experience with making real-time and historical satellite cloud product imagery accessible and easily searchable. As we see the increasing use of virtual supply chains that provide additional value at each link there is value in making satellite derived cloud product information available through a simple access method as well as allowing users to browse and view that imagery as they need rather than in a manner most convenient for the data provider. Using the Open Geospatial Consortium's Web Processing Service as our access method, we describe a system that uses a hybrid local and cloud based parallel processing system that can return both satellite imagery and cloud product imagery as well as the binary data used to generate them in multiple formats. The images and cloud products are sourced from multiple satellites and also "merged" datasets created by temporally and spatially matching satellite sensors. Finally, the tool and API allow users to access information that spans the time ranges that our group has information available. In the case of satellite imagery, the temporal range can span the entire lifetime of the sensor.

  19. Visiting Richard Serra’s Promenade sculpture improves postural control and judgment of subjective visual vertical.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoï eKapoula

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Body sway while maintaining an upright quiet stance reflects an active process of balance based on the integration of visual, vestibular, somatosensory and proprioceptive inputs. Richard Serra’s Promenade sculpture featured in the 2008 Monumenta exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, France is herein hypothesised to have stimulated the body’s vertical and longitudinal axes as it showcased 5 monumental rectangular solids pitched at a 1.69° angle.Using computerised dynamic posturography we measured the body sway of 23 visitors when fixating a cross, or when observing the artwork (fixating it or actively exploring it with eye movements before and after walking around and alongside the sculpture (i.e., before and after a promenade. A first fixation at the sculpture increased medio-lateral stability (in terms of spectral power of body sway. Eye movement exploration in the depth of the sculpture increased antero-posterior stability (in terms of spectral power and cancelling time of body sway at the expense of medio-lateral stability (in terms of cancelling time. Moreover, a medio-lateral instability associated with eye movement exploration before the promenade (in terms of body sway sensu stricto was cancelled after the promenade. Finally, the overall medio-lateral stability (in terms of spectral power increased after the promenade.Fourteen additional visitors were asked to sit in a dark room and adjust a luminous line to what they considered to be the earth-vertical axis. The promenade executed within the sculpted environment afforded by Serra’s monumental statuary works resulted in significantly improved performances on the subjective visual vertical test.We attribute these effects to the sculpted environment provided by the exhibition which may have acted as a kind of physiologic training ground thereby improving the visitors’ overall sense of visual perspective, equilibrium and gravity.

  20. Multisensory Rehabilitation Training Improves Spatial Perception in Totally but Not Partially Visually Deprived Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Cappagli

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Since it has been shown that spatial development can be delayed in blind children, focused sensorimotor trainings that associate auditory and motor information might be used to prevent the risk of spatial-related developmental delays or impairments from an early age. With this aim, we proposed a new technological device based on the implicit link between action and perception: ABBI (Audio Bracelet for Blind Interaction is an audio bracelet that produces a sound when a movement occurs by allowing the substitution of the visuo-motor association with a new audio-motor association. In this study, we assessed the effects of an extensive but entertaining sensorimotor training with ABBI on the development of spatial hearing in a group of seven 3–5 years old children with congenital blindness (n = 2; light perception or no perception of light or low vision (n = 5; visual acuity range 1.1–1.7 LogMAR. The training required the participants to play several spatial games individually and/or together with the psychomotor therapist 1 h per week for 3 months: the spatial games consisted of exercises meant to train their ability to associate visual and motor-related signals from their body, in order to foster the development of multisensory processes. We measured spatial performance by asking participants to indicate the position of one single fixed (static condition or moving (dynamic condition sound source on a vertical sensorized surface. We found that spatial performance of congenitally blind but not low vision children is improved after the training, indicating that early interventions with the use of science-driven devices based on multisensory capabilities can provide consistent advancements in therapeutic interventions, improving the quality of life of children with visual disability.

  1. A novel summary report of colonoscopy: timeline visualization providing meaningful colonoscopy video information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Minwoo; Kim, Jee Hyun; Kong, Hyoun Joong; Hong, Kyoung Sup; Kim, Sungwan

    2018-05-01

    The colonoscopy adenoma detection rate depends largely on physician experience and skill, and overlooked colorectal adenomas could develop into cancer. This study assessed a system that detects polyps and summarizes meaningful information from colonoscopy videos. One hundred thirteen consecutive patients had colonoscopy videos prospectively recorded at the Seoul National University Hospital. Informative video frames were extracted using a MATLAB support vector machine (SVM) model and classified as bleeding, polypectomy, tool, residue, thin wrinkle, folded wrinkle, or common. Thin wrinkle, folded wrinkle, and common frames were reanalyzed using SVM for polyp detection. The SVM model was applied hierarchically for effective classification and optimization of the SVM. The mean classification accuracy according to type was over 93%; sensitivity was over 87%. The mean sensitivity for polyp detection was 82.1%, and the positive predicted value (PPV) was 39.3%. Polyps detected using the system were larger (6.3 ± 6.4 vs. 4.9 ± 2.5 mm; P = 0.003) with a more pedunculated morphology (Yamada type III, 10.2 vs. 0%; P < 0.001; Yamada type IV, 2.8 vs. 0%; P < 0.001) than polyps missed by the system. There were no statistically significant differences in polyp distribution or histology between the groups. Informative frames and suspected polyps were presented on a timeline. This summary was evaluated using the system usability scale questionnaire; 89.3% of participants expressed positive opinions. We developed and verified a system to extract meaningful information from colonoscopy videos. Although further improvement and validation of the system is needed, the proposed system is useful for physicians and patients.

  2. Communicative interactions improve visual detection of biological motion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Manera

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the context of interacting activities requiring close-body contact such as fighting or dancing, the actions of one agent can be used to predict the actions of the second agent. In the present study, we investigated whether interpersonal predictive coding extends to interactive activities--such as communicative interactions--in which no physical contingency is implied between the movements of the interacting individuals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants observed point-light displays of two agents (A and B performing separate actions. In the communicative condition, the action performed by agent B responded to a communicative gesture performed by agent A. In the individual condition, agent A's communicative action was substituted with a non-communicative action. Using a simultaneous masking detection task, we demonstrate that observing the communicative gesture performed by agent A enhanced visual discrimination of agent B. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our finding complements and extends previous evidence for interpersonal predictive coding, suggesting that the communicative gestures of one agent can serve as a predictor for the expected actions of the respondent, even if no physical contact between agents is implied.

  3. Visualizing the Immune System: Providing Key Insights into HIV/SIV Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob D. Estes

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Immunological inductive tissues, such as secondary lymphoid organs, are composed of distinct anatomical microenvironments for the generation of immune responses to pathogens and immunogens. These microenvironments are characterized by the compartmentalization of highly specialized immune and stromal cell populations, as well as the presence of a complex network of soluble factors and chemokines that direct the intra-tissue trafficking of naïve and effector cell populations. Imaging platforms have provided critical contextual information regarding the molecular and cellular interactions that orchestrate the spatial microanatomy of relevant cells and the development of immune responses against pathogens. Particularly in HIV/SIV disease, imaging technologies are of great importance in the investigation of the local interplay between the virus and host cells, with respect to understanding viral dynamics and persistence, immune responses (i.e., adaptive and innate inflammatory responses, tissue structure and pathologies, and changes to the surrounding milieu and function of immune cells. Merging imaging platforms with other cutting-edge technologies could lead to novel findings regarding the phenotype, function, and molecular signatures of particular immune cell targets, further promoting the development of new antiviral treatments and vaccination strategies.

  4. Self-Study Guide for Florida VPK Provider Improvement Plan Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Beth M.; Mazzeo, Debbie; Smith, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    This Self-Study Guide has been developed to support Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Providers (VPK) who are required to complete an improvement plan process (i.e., low-performing providers). The guide has sections that can be used during both the process of selecting target areas for an improvement plan and the process of implementing new or…

  5. Endothelin: Visualization of mRNAs by in situ hybridization provides evidence for local action

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacCumber, M.W.; Ross, C.A.; Glaser, B.M.; Snyder, S.H.

    1989-01-01

    Endothelin (ET) is a recently identified vasoactive peptide with three isoforms for which three genes have been cloned. The cellular sites of synthesis of this peptide have not yet been identified in vivo. Using Northern blot analysis, we have detected two forms of ET mRNA in rat tissues: a 3.7-kilobase form in the kidney, eye, and brain, a 2.5-kilobase form in the intestine, and both forms in the lung. We have localized these forms of ET mRNA in several rat tissues using in situ hybridization. In the 19-day rat fetus, ET mRNA is highest in the lung, intestine, and meninges. At high resolution, ET mRNA is localized in the lung to respiratory epithelial cells of bronchioles and apparently in blood vessels. In adult tissues, ET mRNA is present throughout the lung, in the renal medulla vasa recta, and in the iris of the eye. ET mRNA is synthesized in close proximity to ET binding sites in many organs (e.g., lung, kidney, intestine, and eye), suggesting a local action of this peptide. However, in other areas (e.g., heart and renal cortex), ET binding sites are present in the absence of ET mRNA, suggesting an action of ET from the bloodstream or from neurons. Northern blot analysis of ET mRNA in microvascular endothelial cells in culture indicates that ET is synthesized in small blood vessels and regulated similarly to its regulation in large vessels. Our results provide evidence that ET, like other regulatory peptides, may serve in several tissues as a neuromodulator or local hormone

  6. IMPROVEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL COGNITIVE ACTIVITY STUDENTS IN THE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION ON THE BASIS OF VISUALIZATION TECHNOLOGY OF EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliya A. Kolmakova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study is to consider the problem of improving the quality of education in the professional educational organizations.Methods. The scientific and pedagogical analyses of the concepts forming a terminological field of a problem are used. The system, competence-based and personal approaches are used for development of models of cognitive visualization. Questioning of students was carried out to establish the level of development of their informative activity.Results. The constituent parts of the modern educational process and the need to create specific conditions for its implementation are identified and described. The author gives a generalized characteristic of visualization technology of educational information. The application of cognitive visualization models using information and communication technologies are proved. The results showing the evolution of motivational indicators of students’ activity before and after application of LSM and the «Metaplan» in the educational process are presented.Scientific novelty. The pedagogical conditions that allow using information and communication technologies as means of the trainees’ educational informative activity improvement in the professional educational organization are defined. Features of the directed application of methods of cognitive visualization of educational information, both for improvement of educational cognitive activity, and for formation of professional competences of students by profession «A chef, a confectioner» are noted.Practical importance. Use of methods of cognitive visualization in educational process on the example of studying of Chemistry and Biology in the professional educational organization is considered in details. The teaching package providing application of methods of cognitive visualization of educational information for the purpose of improvement of educational cognitive activity of students in the professional educational organization

  7. Visual discrimination training improves Humphrey perimetry in chronic cortically induced blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanaugh, Matthew R; Huxlin, Krystel R

    2017-05-09

    To assess if visual discrimination training improves performance on visual perimetry tests in chronic stroke patients with visual cortex involvement. 24-2 and 10-2 Humphrey visual fields were analyzed for 17 chronic cortically blind stroke patients prior to and following visual discrimination training, as well as in 5 untrained, cortically blind controls. Trained patients practiced direction discrimination, orientation discrimination, or both, at nonoverlapping, blind field locations. All pretraining and posttraining discrimination performance and Humphrey fields were collected with online eye tracking, ensuring gaze-contingent stimulus presentation. Trained patients recovered ∼108 degrees 2 of vision on average, while untrained patients spontaneously improved over an area of ∼16 degrees 2 . Improvement was not affected by patient age, time since lesion, size of initial deficit, or training type, but was proportional to the amount of training performed. Untrained patients counterbalanced their improvements with worsening of sensitivity over ∼9 degrees 2 of their visual field. Worsening was minimal in trained patients. Finally, although discrimination performance improved at all trained locations, changes in Humphrey sensitivity occurred both within trained regions and beyond, extending over a larger area along the blind field border. In adults with chronic cortical visual impairment, the blind field border appears to have enhanced plastic potential, which can be recruited by gaze-controlled visual discrimination training to expand the visible field. Our findings underscore a critical need for future studies to measure the effects of vision restoration approaches on perimetry in larger cohorts of patients. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology.

  8. Improvement of visual acuity by refraction in a low-vision population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunness, Janet S; El Annan, Jaafar

    2010-07-01

    Refraction often may be overlooked in low-vision patients, because the main cause of vision decrease is not refractive, but rather is the result of underlying ocular disease. This retrospective study was carried out to determine how frequently and to what extent visual acuity is improved by refraction in a low-vision population. Cross-sectional study. Seven hundred thirty-nine low-vision patients seen for the first time. A database with all new low-vision patients seen from November 2005 through June 2008 recorded presenting visual acuity using an Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart; it also recorded the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) if it was 2 lines or more better than the presenting visual acuity. Retinoscopy was carried out on all patients, followed by manifest refraction. Improvement in visual acuity. Median presenting acuity was 20/80(-2) (interquartile range, 20/50-20/200). There was an improvement of 2 lines or more of visual acuity in 81 patients (11% of all patients), with 22 patients (3% of all patients) improving by 4 lines or more. There was no significant difference in age or in presenting visual acuity between the group that did not improve by refraction and the group that did improve. When stratified by diagnosis, the only 2 diagnoses with a significantly higher rate of improvement than the age-related macular degeneration group were myopic degeneration and progressive myopia (odds ratio, 4.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.0-6.7) and status post-retinal detachment (odds ratio, 7.1; 95% CI, 5.2-9.0). For 5 patients (6% of those with improvement), the eye that was 1 line or more worse than the fellow eye at presentation became the eye that was 1 line or more better than the fellow eye after refraction. A significant improvement in visual acuity was attained by refraction in 11% of the new low-vision patients. Improvement was seen across diagnoses and the range of presenting visual acuity. The worse-seeing eye at presentation may

  9. Hand placement near the visual stimulus improves orientation selectivity in V2 neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergio, Lauren E.; Crawford, J. Douglas; Fallah, Mazyar

    2015-01-01

    Often, the brain receives more sensory input than it can process simultaneously. Spatial attention helps overcome this limitation by preferentially processing input from a behaviorally-relevant location. Recent neuropsychological and psychophysical studies suggest that attention is deployed to near-hand space much like how the oculomotor system can deploy attention to an upcoming gaze position. Here we provide the first neuronal evidence that the presence of a nearby hand enhances orientation selectivity in early visual processing area V2. When the hand was placed outside the receptive field, responses to the preferred orientation were significantly enhanced without a corresponding significant increase at the orthogonal orientation. Consequently, there was also a significant sharpening of orientation tuning. In addition, the presence of the hand reduced neuronal response variability. These results indicate that attention is automatically deployed to the space around a hand, improving orientation selectivity. Importantly, this appears to be optimal for motor control of the hand, as opposed to oculomotor mechanisms which enhance responses without sharpening orientation selectivity. Effector-based mechanisms for visual enhancement thus support not only the spatiotemporal dissociation of gaze and reach, but also the optimization of vision for their separate requirements for guiding movements. PMID:25717165

  10. Using a Teaching Intervention and Calibrated Peer Review™ Diagnostics to Improve Visual Communication Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saterbak, Ann; Moturu, Anoosha; Volz, Tracy

    2018-03-01

    Rice University's bioengineering department incorporates written, oral, and visual communication instruction into its undergraduate curriculum to aid student learning and to prepare students to communicate their knowledge and discoveries precisely and persuasively. In a tissue culture lab course, we used a self- and peer-review tool called Calibrated Peer Review™ (CPR) to diagnose student learning gaps in visual communication skills on a poster assignment. We then designed an active learning intervention that required students to practice the visual communication skills that needed improvement and used CPR to measure the changes. After the intervention, we observed that students performed significantly better in their ability to develop high quality graphs and tables that represent experimental data. Based on these outcomes, we conclude that guided task practice, collaborative learning, and calibrated peer review can be used to improve engineering students' visual communication skills.

  11. Association of auditory-verbal and visual hallucinations with impaired and improved recognition of colored pictures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brébion, Gildas; Stephan-Otto, Christian; Usall, Judith; Huerta-Ramos, Elena; Perez del Olmo, Mireia; Cuevas-Esteban, Jorge; Haro, Josep Maria; Ochoa, Susana

    2015-09-01

    A number of cognitive underpinnings of auditory hallucinations have been established in schizophrenia patients, but few have, as yet, been uncovered for visual hallucinations. In previous research, we unexpectedly observed that auditory hallucinations were associated with poor recognition of color, but not black-and-white (b/w), pictures. In this study, we attempted to replicate and explain this finding. Potential associations with visual hallucinations were explored. B/w and color pictures were presented to 50 schizophrenia patients and 45 healthy individuals under 2 conditions of visual context presentation corresponding to 2 levels of visual encoding complexity. Then, participants had to recognize the target pictures among distractors. Auditory-verbal hallucinations were inversely associated with the recognition of the color pictures presented under the most effortful encoding condition. This association was fully mediated by working-memory span. Visual hallucinations were associated with improved recognition of the color pictures presented under the less effortful condition. Patients suffering from visual hallucinations were not impaired, relative to the healthy participants, in the recognition of these pictures. Decreased working-memory span in patients with auditory-verbal hallucinations might impede the effortful encoding of stimuli. Visual hallucinations might be associated with facilitation in the visual encoding of natural scenes, or with enhanced color perception abilities. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. 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.

  13. Progressive improvement of impaired visual acuity during the first year after transsphenoidal surgery for non-functioning pituitary macroadenoma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekkers, O. M.; de Keizer, R. J. W.; Roelfsema, F.; Vd Klaauw, A. A.; Honkoop, P. J.; van Dulken, H.; Smit, J. W. A.; Romijn, J. A.; Pereira, A. M.

    2007-01-01

    Improvement of visual field defects continues even years after the initial surgical treatment. Because this process of continuing improvement has not been documented for visual acuity, we audited our data to explore the pattern of recovery of visual acuity until 1 year after transsphenoidal surgery

  14. Improving Mobility Performance in Low Vision With a Distance-Based Representation of the Visual Scene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Rheede, Joram J; Wilson, Iain R; Qian, Rose I; Downes, Susan M; Kennard, Christopher; Hicks, Stephen L

    2015-07-01

    Severe visual impairment can have a profound impact on personal independence through its effect on mobility. We investigated whether the mobility of people with vision low enough to be registered as blind could be improved by presenting the visual environment in a distance-based manner for easier detection of obstacles. We accomplished this by developing a pair of "residual vision glasses" (RVGs) that use a head-mounted depth camera and displays to present information about the distance of obstacles to the wearer as brightness, such that obstacles closer to the wearer are represented more brightly. We assessed the impact of the RVGs on the mobility performance of visually impaired participants during the completion of a set of obstacle courses. Participant position was monitored continuously, which enabled us to capture the temporal dynamics of mobility performance. This allowed us to find correlates of obstacle detection and hesitations in walking behavior, in addition to the more commonly used measures of trial completion time and number of collisions. All participants were able to use the smart glasses to navigate the course, and mobility performance improved for those visually impaired participants with the worst prior mobility performance. However, walking speed was slower and hesitations increased with the altered visual representation. A depth-based representation of the visual environment may offer low vision patients improvements in independent mobility. It is important for further work to explore whether practice can overcome the reductions in speed and increased hesitation that were observed in our trial.

  15. Subjective evaluation of two stereoscopic imaging systems exploiting visual attention to improve 3D quality of experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanhart, Philippe; Ebrahimi, Touradj

    2014-03-01

    Crosstalk and vergence-accommodation rivalry negatively impact the quality of experience (QoE) provided by stereoscopic displays. However, exploiting visual attention and adapting the 3D rendering process on the fly can reduce these drawbacks. In this paper, we propose and evaluate two different approaches that exploit visual attention to improve 3D QoE on stereoscopic displays: an offline system, which uses a saliency map to predict gaze position, and an online system, which uses a remote eye tracking system to measure real time gaze positions. The gaze points were used in conjunction with the disparity map to extract the disparity of the object-of-interest. Horizontal image translation was performed to bring the fixated object on the screen plane. The user preference between standard 3D mode and the two proposed systems was evaluated through a subjective evaluation. Results show that exploiting visual attention significantly improves image quality and visual comfort, with a slight advantage for real time gaze determination. Depth quality is also improved, but the difference is not significant.

  16. From Static to Interactive: Transforming Data Visualization to Improve Transparency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracey L Weissgerber

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Data presentation for scientific publications in small sample size studies has not changed substantially in decades. It relies on static figures and tables that may not provide sufficient information for critical evaluation, particularly of the results from small sample size studies. Interactive graphics have the potential to transform scientific publications from static reports of experiments into interactive datasets. We designed an interactive line graph that demonstrates how dynamic alternatives to static graphics for small sample size studies allow for additional exploration of empirical datasets. This simple, free, web-based tool (http://statistika.mfub.bg.ac.rs/interactive-graph/ demonstrates the overall concept and may promote widespread use of interactive graphics.

  17. Fourier power, subjective distance, and object categories all provide plausible models of BOLD responses in scene-selective visual areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescroart, Mark D.; Stansbury, Dustin E.; Gallant, Jack L.

    2015-01-01

    Perception of natural visual scenes activates several functional areas in the human brain, including the Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA), Retrosplenial Complex (RSC), and the Occipital Place Area (OPA). It is currently unclear what specific scene-related features are represented in these areas. Previous studies have suggested that PPA, RSC, and/or OPA might represent at least three qualitatively different classes of features: (1) 2D features related to Fourier power; (2) 3D spatial features such as the distance to objects in a scene; or (3) abstract features such as the categories of objects in a scene. To determine which of these hypotheses best describes the visual representation in scene-selective areas, we applied voxel-wise modeling (VM) to BOLD fMRI responses elicited by a set of 1386 images of natural scenes. VM provides an efficient method for testing competing hypotheses by comparing predictions of brain activity based on encoding models that instantiate each hypothesis. Here we evaluated three different encoding models that instantiate each of the three hypotheses listed above. We used linear regression to fit each encoding model to the fMRI data recorded from each voxel, and we evaluated each fit model by estimating the amount of variance it predicted in a withheld portion of the data set. We found that voxel-wise models based on Fourier power or the subjective distance to objects in each scene predicted much of the variance predicted by a model based on object categories. Furthermore, the response variance explained by these three models is largely shared, and the individual models explain little unique variance in responses. Based on an evaluation of previous studies and the data we present here, we conclude that there is currently no good basis to favor any one of the three alternative hypotheses about visual representation in scene-selective areas. We offer suggestions for further studies that may help resolve this issue. PMID:26594164

  18. Visual Acuity Improvement in Continuous vs Divided Occlusion in Anisometropic Amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irfani, Irawati; Feriyanto, Feri; Oktarima, Primawita; Kartasasmita, Arief

    2018-01-01

    To compare visual acuity improvement between continuous and split part-time occlusion for the treatment of moderate and severe anisometropic amblyopia. Randomised clinical trials in 6 - 13 y.o children with moderate and severe anisometropic amblyopia. Each patient was consecutively selected with continuous or split part-time occlusion. Best corrected visual acuity's improvement was followed up to six weeks and statistical data were analyzed using chi square and unpaired t-test. Best corrected visual acuity's improvement was comparable between continuous and split part-time occlusion (0.20±0.27 vs 0.21±0.25; p = 0.79). Split part-time occlusion may be considered as an alternative treatment for moderate and severe anisometropic amblyopia treatment.

  19. Visual Spatial Attention Training Improve Spatial Attention and Motor Control for Unilateral Neglect Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Ji, Xiangtong; Ni, Jun; Ye, Qian; Zhang, Sicong; Chen, Wenli; Bian, Rong; Yu, Cui; Zhang, Wenting; Shen, Guangyu; Machado, Sergio; Yuan, Tifei; Shan, Chunlei

    2015-01-01

    To compare the effect of visual spatial training on the spatial attention to that on motor control and to correlate the improvement of spatial attention to motor control progress after visual spatial training in subjects with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). 9 cases with USN after right cerebral stroke were randomly divided into Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention and Conventional treatment group. The Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention received conventional rehabilitation therapy (physical and occupational therapy) and visual spatial attention training (optokinetic stimulation and right half-field eye patching). The Conventional treatment group was only treated with conventional rehabilitation training (physical and occupational therapy). All patients were assessed by behavioral inattention test (BIT), Fugl-Meyer Assessment of motor function (FMA), equilibrium coordination test (ECT) and non-equilibrium coordination test (NCT) before and after 4 weeks treatment. Total scores in both groups (without visual spatial attention/with visual spatial attention) improved significantly (BIT: P=0.021/P=0.000, d=1.667/d=2.116, power=0.69/power=0.98, 95%CI[-0.8839,45.88]/95%CI=[16.96,92.64]; FMA: P=0.002/P=0.000, d=2.521/d=2.700, power=0.93/power=0.98, 95%CI[5.707,30.79]/95%CI=[16.06,53.94]; ECT: P=0.002/ P=0.000, d=2.031/d=1.354, power=0.90/power=0.17, 95%CI[3.380,42.61]/95%CI=[-1.478,39.08]; NCT: P=0.013/P=0.000, d=1.124/d=1.822, power=0.41/power=0.56, 95%CI[-7.980,37.48]/95%CI=[4.798,43.60],) after treatment. Among the 2 groups, the group with visual spatial attention significantly improved in BIT (P=0.003, d=3.103, power=1, 95%CI[15.68,48.92]), FMA of upper extremity (P=0.006, d=2.771, power=1, 95%CI[5.061,20.14]) and NCT (P=0.010, d=2.214, power=0.81-0.90, 95%CI[3.018,15.88]). Correlative analysis shows that the change of BIT scores is positively correlated to the change of FMA total score (r=0.77, Pvisual spatial training could

  20. Discovery learning model with geogebra assisted for improvement mathematical visual thinking ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juandi, D.; Priatna, N.

    2018-05-01

    The main goal of this study is to improve the mathematical visual thinking ability of high school student through implementation the Discovery Learning Model with Geogebra Assisted. This objective can be achieved through study used quasi-experimental method, with non-random pretest-posttest control design. The sample subject of this research consist of 62 senior school student grade XI in one of school in Bandung district. The required data will be collected through documentation, observation, written tests, interviews, daily journals, and student worksheets. The results of this study are: 1) Improvement students Mathematical Visual Thinking Ability who obtain learning with applied the Discovery Learning Model with Geogebra assisted is significantly higher than students who obtain conventional learning; 2) There is a difference in the improvement of students’ Mathematical Visual Thinking ability between groups based on prior knowledge mathematical abilities (high, medium, and low) who obtained the treatment. 3) The Mathematical Visual Thinking Ability improvement of the high group is significantly higher than in the medium and low groups. 4) The quality of improvement ability of high and low prior knowledge is moderate category, in while the quality of improvement ability in the high category achieved by student with medium prior knowledge.

  1. Showing the Unsayable: Participatory Visual Approaches and the Constitution of 'Patient Experience' in Healthcare Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papoulias, Constantina

    2018-06-01

    This article considers the strengths and potential contributions of participatory visual methods for healthcare quality improvement research. It argues that such approaches may enable us to expand our understanding of 'patient experience' and of its potential for generating new knowledge for health systems. In particular, they may open up dimensions of people's engagement with services and treatments which exceed both the declarative nature of responses to questionnaires and the narrative sequencing of self reports gathered through qualitative interviewing. I will suggest that working with such methods may necessitate a more reflexive approach to the constitution of evidence in quality improvement work. To this end, the article will first consider the emerging rationale for the use of visual participatory methods in improvement before outlining the implications of two related approaches-photo-elicitation and PhotoVoice-for the constitution of 'experience'. It will then move to a participatory model for healthcare improvement work, Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD). It will argue that EBCD exemplifies both the strengths and the limitations of adequating visual participatory approaches to quality improvement ends. The article will conclude with a critical reflection on a small photographic study, in which the author participated, and which sought to harness service user perspectives for the design of psychiatric facilities, as a way of considering the potential contribution of visual participatory methods for quality improvement.

  2. Pleasant music improves visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Mei-Ching; Tsai, Pei-Luen; Huang, Yu-Ting; Lin, Keh-Chung

    2013-01-01

    To investigate whether listening to pleasant music improves visual attention to and awareness of contralesional stimuli in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. A within-subject design was used with 19 participants with unilateral neglect following a right hemisphere stroke. Participants were tested in three conditions (pleasant music, unpleasant music and white noise) within 1 week. All musical pieces were chosen by the participants. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three sub-tests of the Behavioural Inattention Test (the Star Cancellation Test, the Line Bisection Test and the Picture Scanning test) and a visual exploration task with everyday scenes. Eye movements in the visual exploration task were recorded simultaneously. Mood and arousal induced by different auditory stimuli were assessed using visual analogue scales, heart rate and galvanic skin response. Compared with unpleasant music and white noise, participants rated their moods as more positive and arousal as higher with pleasant music, but also showed significant improvement on all tasks and eye movement data, except the Line Bisection Test. The findings suggest that pleasant music can improve visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. Additional research using randomized controlled trials is required to validate these findings.

  3. An Internet-Based GIS Platform Providing Data for Visualization and Spatial Analysis of Urbanization in Major Asian and African Cities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Gong

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Rapid urbanization in developing countries has been observed to be relatively high in the last two decades, especially in the Asian and African regions. Although many researchers have made efforts to improve the understanding of the urbanization trends of various cities in Asia and Africa, the absence of platforms where local stakeholders can visualize and obtain processed urbanization data for their specific needs or analysis, still remains a gap. In this paper, we present an Internet-based GIS platform called MEGA-WEB. The Platform was developed in view of the urban planning and management challenges in developing countries of Asia and Africa due to the limited availability of data resources, effective tools, and proficiency in data analysis. MEGA-WEB provides online access, visualization, spatial analysis, and data sharing services following a mashup framework of the MEGA-WEB Geo Web Services (GWS, with the third-party map services using HTML5/JavaScript techniques. Through the integration of GIS, remote sensing, geo-modelling, and Internet GIS, several indicators for analyzing urbanization are provided in MEGA-WEB to give diverse perspectives on the urbanization of not only the physical land surface condition, but also the relationships of population, energy use, and the environment. The design, architecture, system functions, and uses of MEGA-WEB are discussed in the paper. The MEGA-WEB project is aimed at contributing to sustainable urban development in developing countries of Asia and Africa.

  4. Visual working memory in deaf children with diverse communication modes: improvement by differential outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Crespo, Ginesa; Daza, María Teresa; Méndez-López, Magdalena

    2012-01-01

    Although visual functions have been proposed to be enhanced in deaf individuals, empirical studies have not yet established clear evidence on this issue. The present study aimed to determine whether deaf children with diverse communication modes had superior visual memory and whether their performance was improved by the use of differential outcomes. Severely or profoundly deaf children who employed spoken Spanish, Spanish Sign Language (SSL), and both spoken Spanish and SSL modes of communication were tested in a delayed matching-to-sample task for visual working memory assessment. Hearing controls were used to compare performance. Participants were tested in two conditions, differential outcome and non-differential outcome conditions. Deaf groups with either oral or SSL modes of communication completed the task with less accuracy than bilingual and control hearing children. In addition, the performances of all groups improved through the use of differential outcomes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Provider perceptions of an integrated primary care quality improvement strategy: The PPAQ toolkit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beehler, Gregory P; Lilienthal, Kaitlin R

    2017-02-01

    The Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model of integrated primary care is challenging to implement with high fidelity. The Primary Care Behavioral Health Provider Adherence Questionnaire (PPAQ) was designed to assess provider adherence to essential model components and has recently been adapted into a quality improvement toolkit. The aim of this pilot project was to gather preliminary feedback on providers' perceptions of the acceptability and utility of the PPAQ toolkit for making beneficial practice changes. Twelve mental health providers working in Department of Veterans Affairs integrated primary care clinics participated in semistructured interviews to gather quantitative and qualitative data. Descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis were used to analyze data. Providers identified several positive features of the PPAQ toolkit organization and structure that resulted in high ratings of acceptability, while also identifying several toolkit components in need of modification to improve usability. Toolkit content was considered highly representative of the (PCBH) model and therefore could be used as a diagnostic self-assessment of model adherence. The toolkit was considered to be high in applicability to providers regardless of their degree of prior professional preparation or current clinical setting. Additionally, providers identified several system-level contextual factors that could impact the usefulness of the toolkit. These findings suggest that frontline mental health providers working in (PCBH) settings may be receptive to using an adherence-focused toolkit for ongoing quality improvement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Management of natural health products in pediatrics: a provider-focused quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Emily; Silbert-Flagg, JoAnne; Vohra, Sunita

    2015-01-01

    The use of natural health products by pediatric patients is common, yet health care providers often do not provide management guidance. The purpose of this project was to improve management of natural health products by pediatric nurse practitioners. Pediatric nurse practitioners from large metropolitan city were recruited (n = 32). A paired pretest-posttest design was used. Study participants were engaged to improve knowledge of natural health products, and a management toolkit was created and tested. Mean knowledge scores increased from 59.19 to 76.3 (p improved with regard to patient guidance (p product use (p = .51) and drug/herb interactions (p = .35) were not significant. This investigation is the first known study to improve knowledge and management of natural health products in pediatric clinical practice. Copyright © 2015 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. An Efficient Adaptive Window Size Selection Method for Improving Spectrogram Visualization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shibli Nisar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT is an important technique for the time-frequency analysis of a time varying signal. The basic approach behind it involves the application of a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT to a signal multiplied with an appropriate window function with fixed resolution. The selection of an appropriate window size is difficult when no background information about the input signal is known. In this paper, a novel empirical model is proposed that adaptively adjusts the window size for a narrow band-signal using spectrum sensing technique. For wide-band signals, where a fixed time-frequency resolution is undesirable, the approach adapts the constant Q transform (CQT. Unlike the STFT, the CQT provides a varying time-frequency resolution. This results in a high spectral resolution at low frequencies and high temporal resolution at high frequencies. In this paper, a simple but effective switching framework is provided between both STFT and CQT. The proposed method also allows for the dynamic construction of a filter bank according to user-defined parameters. This helps in reducing redundant entries in the filter bank. Results obtained from the proposed method not only improve the spectrogram visualization but also reduce the computation cost and achieves 87.71% of the appropriate window length selection.

  8. The Role of Visual Learning in Improving Students' High-Order Thinking Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiyn, Jamal

    2016-01-01

    Various concepts have been introduced to improve students' analytical thinking skills based on problem based learning (PBL). This paper introduces a new concept to increase student's analytical thinking skills based on a visual learning strategy. Such a strategy has three fundamental components: a teacher, a student, and a learning process. The…

  9. Spatially valid proprioceptive cues improve the detection of a visual stimulus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jackson, Carl P T; Miall, R Chris; Balslev, Daniela

    2010-01-01

    , which has been demonstrated for other modality pairings. The aim of this study was to test whether proprioceptive signals can spatially cue a visual target to improve its detection. Participants were instructed to use a planar manipulandum in a forward reaching action and determine during this movement...

  10. Design Improvements on Graded Insulation of Power Transformers Using Transient Electric Field Analysis and Visualization Technique

    OpenAIRE

    Yamashita, Hideo; Nakamae, Eihachiro; Namera, Akihiro; Cingoski, Vlatko; Kitamura, Hideo

    1998-01-01

    This paper deals with design improvements on graded insulation of power transformers using transient electric field analysis and a visualization technique. The calculation method for transient electric field analysis inside a power transformer impressed with impulse voltage is presented: Initially, the concentrated electric network for the power transformer is concentrated by dividing transformer windings into several blocks and by computing the electric circuit parameters.

  11. Better Together: Co-Location of Dental and Primary Care Provides Opportunities to Improve Oral Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourat, Nadereh; Martinez, Ana E; Crall, James J

    2015-09-01

    Community Health Centers (CHCs) are one of the principal safety-net providers of health care for low-income and uninsured populations. Co-locating dental services in primary care settings provides an opportunity to improve access to dental care. Yet this study of California CHCs that provide primary care services shows that only about one-third of them co-located primary and dental care services on-site. An additional one-third were members of multisite organizations in which at least one other site provided dental care. The remaining one-third of CHC sites had no dental care capacity. Policy options to promote co-location include requiring on-site availability of dental services, providing infrastructure funding to build and equip dental facilities, and offering financial incentives to provide dental care and recruit dental providers.

  12. Provider-Payer Partnerships as an Engine for Continuous Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfour, Margaret E; Zinn, Tylar E; Cason, Karena; Fox, Jerimya; Morales, Myra; Berdeja, Cesar; Gray, Jay

    2018-03-01

    The authors describe a quality improvement approach in which a crisis center and a payer collaborate to improve care. Each crisis visit is considered as a potentially missed opportunity for community stabilization. Daily data on crisis visits are sent to the payer for a more up-to-date analysis of trends than is possible with financial claims data, which may lag behind services provided by up to 90 days. Using these trend data, the two organizations collaborate to identify patterns that lead to opportunities for improvement and develop multiple rapid-cycle projects for better management of services, resulting in significant decreases in readmissions and in the number of high utilizers.

  13. Capacity and readiness for quality improvement among home and community-based service providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrahamson, Kathleen; Myers, Jaclyn; Arling, Greg; Davila, Heather; Mueller, Christine; Abery, Brian; Cai, Yun

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to explore home and community-based service (HCBS) providers' perspectives of organizational readiness for quality improvement (QI). Data were obtained from a survey of participants (N = 56) in a state-sponsored HCBS QI initiative. Quality improvement challenges included lack of time and resources, staff apprehension or resistance, resistance from consumers and families, and project sustainability. Support from leadership was viewed as an important factor in participating organizations' decision to engage in QI. Internal resources available to support QI varied widely between participating organizations, with differences observed between smaller and larger agencies, as well as between provider types and populations served.

  14. Improvement of visual field defects after focal resection for occipital lobe epilepsy: case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Takahiro; Hamasaki, Tadashi; Nakamura, Hideo; Yamada, Kazumichi

    2018-03-01

    Improvement of visual field defects after surgical treatment for occipital lobe epilepsy is rare. Here, the authors report on a 24-year-old man with a 15-year history of refractory epilepsy that developed after he had undergone an occipital craniotomy to remove a cerebellar astrocytoma at the age of 4. His seizures started with an elementary visual aura, followed by secondary generalized tonic-clonic convulsion. Perimetry revealed left-sided incomplete hemianopia, and MRI showed an old contusion in the right occipital lobe. After evaluation with ictal video-electroencephalography, electrocorticography, and mapping of the visual cortex with subdural electrodes, the patient underwent resection of the scarred tissue, including the epileptic focus at the occipital lobe. After surgery, he became seizure free and his visual field defect improved gradually. In addition, postoperative 123 I-iomazenil (IMZ) SPECT showed partly normalized IMZ uptake in the visual cortex. This case is a practical example suggesting that neurological deficits attributable to the functional deficit zone can be remedied by successful focal resection.

  15. Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, Shaouli; Durey, Angela; Bessarab, Dawn; Aoun, Samar M; Thompson, Sandra C

    2013-11-04

    Aboriginal Australians experience poorer outcomes from cancer compared to the non-Aboriginal population. Some progress has been made in understanding Aboriginal Australians' perspectives about cancer and their experiences with cancer services. However, little is known of cancer service providers' (CSPs) thoughts and perceptions regarding Aboriginal patients and their experiences providing optimal cancer care to Aboriginal people. Communication between Aboriginal patients and non-Aboriginal health service providers has been identified as an impediment to good Aboriginal health outcomes. This paper reports on CSPs' views about the factors impairing communication and offers practical strategies for promoting effective communication with Aboriginal patients in Western Australia (WA). A qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with 62 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal CSPs from across WA was conducted between March 2006-September 2007 and April-October 2011. CSPs were asked to share their experiences with Aboriginal patients and families experiencing cancer. Thematic analysis was carried out. Our analysis was primarily underpinned by the socio-ecological model, but concepts of Whiteness and privilege, and cultural security also guided our analysis. CSPs' lack of knowledge about the needs of Aboriginal people with cancer and Aboriginal patients' limited understanding of the Western medical system were identified as the two major impediments to communication. For effective patient-provider communication, attention is needed to language, communication style, knowledge and use of medical terminology and cross-cultural differences in the concept of time. Aboriginal marginalization within mainstream society and Aboriginal people's distrust of the health system were also key issues impacting on communication. Potential solutions to effective Aboriginal patient-provider communication included recruiting more Aboriginal staff, providing appropriate cultural training for CSPs

  16. Reverse alignment "mirror image" visualization as a laparoscopic training tool improves task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunnican, Ward J; Singh, T Paul; Ata, Ashar; Bendana, Emma E; Conlee, Thomas D; Dolce, Charles J; Ramakrishnan, Rakesh

    2010-06-01

    Reverse alignment (mirror image) visualization is a disconcerting situation occasionally faced during laparoscopic operations. This occurs when the camera faces back at the surgeon in the opposite direction from which the surgeon's body and instruments are facing. Most surgeons will attempt to optimize trocar and camera placement to avoid this situation. The authors' objective was to determine whether the intentional use of reverse alignment visualization during laparoscopic training would improve performance. A standard box trainer was configured for reverse alignment, and 34 medical students and junior surgical residents were randomized to train with either forward alignment (DIRECT) or reverse alignment (MIRROR) visualization. Enrollees were tested on both modalities before and after a 4-week structured training program specific to their modality. Student's t test was used to determine differences in task performance between the 2 groups. Twenty-one participants completed the study (10 DIRECT, 11 MIRROR). There were no significant differences in performance time between DIRECT or MIRROR participants during forward or reverse alignment initial testing. At final testing, DIRECT participants had improved times only in forward alignment performance; they demonstrated no significant improvement in reverse alignment performance. MIRROR participants had significant time improvement in both forward and reverse alignment performance at final testing. Reverse alignment imaging for laparoscopic training improves task performance for both reverse alignment and forward alignment tasks. This may be translated into improved performance in the operating room when faced with reverse alignment situations. Minimal lab training can account for drastic adaptation to this environment.

  17. BioTapestry now provides a web application and improved drawing and layout tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Suzanne M; Leinonen, Kalle; Longabaugh, William J R

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) control embryonic development, and to understand this process in depth, researchers need to have a detailed understanding of both the network architecture and its dynamic evolution over time and space. Interactive visualization tools better enable researchers to conceptualize, understand, and share GRN models. BioTapestry is an established application designed to fill this role, and recent enhancements released in Versions 6 and 7 have targeted two major facets of the program. First, we introduced significant improvements for network drawing and automatic layout that have now made it much easier for the user to create larger, more organized network drawings. Second, we revised the program architecture so it could continue to support the current Java desktop Editor program, while introducing a new BioTapestry GRN Viewer that runs as a JavaScript web application in a browser. We have deployed a number of GRN models using this new web application. These improvements will ensure that BioTapestry remains viable as a research tool in the face of the continuing evolution of web technologies, and as our understanding of GRN models grows.

  18. Improvement of visual debugging tool. Shortening the elapsed time for getting data and adding new functions to compare/combine a set of visualized data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuda, Katsuyuki; Takemiya, Hiroshi

    2001-03-01

    The visual debugging tool 'vdebug' has been improved, which was designed for the debugging of programs for scientific computing. Improved were the following two points; (1) shortening the elapsed time required for getting appropriate data to visualize; (2) adding new functions which enable to compare and/or combine a set of visualized data originated from two or more different programs. As for shortening elapsed time for getting data, with the improved version of 'vdebug', we could achieve the following results; over hundred times shortening the elapsed time with dbx, pdbx of SX-4 and over ten times with ndb of SR2201. As for the new functions to compare/combine visualized data, it was confirmed that we could easily checked the consistency between the computational results obtained in each calculational steps on two different computers: SP and ONYX. In this report, we illustrate how the tool 'vdebug' has been improved with an example. (author)

  19. Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Aboriginal Australians experience poorer outcomes from cancer compared to the non-Aboriginal population. Some progress has been made in understanding Aboriginal Australians’ perspectives about cancer and their experiences with cancer services. However, little is known of cancer service providers’ (CSPs) thoughts and perceptions regarding Aboriginal patients and their experiences providing optimal cancer care to Aboriginal people. Communication between Aboriginal patients and non-Aboriginal health service providers has been identified as an impediment to good Aboriginal health outcomes. This paper reports on CSPs’ views about the factors impairing communication and offers practical strategies for promoting effective communication with Aboriginal patients in Western Australia (WA). Methods A qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with 62 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal CSPs from across WA was conducted between March 2006 - September 2007 and April-October 2011. CSPs were asked to share their experiences with Aboriginal patients and families experiencing cancer. Thematic analysis was carried out. Our analysis was primarily underpinned by the socio-ecological model, but concepts of Whiteness and privilege, and cultural security also guided our analysis. Results CSPs’ lack of knowledge about the needs of Aboriginal people with cancer and Aboriginal patients’ limited understanding of the Western medical system were identified as the two major impediments to communication. For effective patient–provider communication, attention is needed to language, communication style, knowledge and use of medical terminology and cross-cultural differences in the concept of time. Aboriginal marginalization within mainstream society and Aboriginal people’s distrust of the health system were also key issues impacting on communication. Potential solutions to effective Aboriginal patient-provider communication included recruiting more Aboriginal staff

  20. Trifocal intraocular lenses: a comparison of the visual performance and quality of vision provided by two different lens designs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gundersen KG

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Kjell G Gundersen,1 Rick Potvin2 1IFocus Øyeklinikk AS, Haugesund, Norway; 2Science in Vision, Akron, NY, USA Purpose: To compare two different diffractive trifocal intraocular lens (IOL designs, evaluating longer-term refractive outcomes, visual acuity (VA at various distances, low contrast VA and quality of vision.Patients and methods: Patients with binocularly implanted trifocal IOLs of two different designs (FineVision [FV] and Panoptix [PX] were evaluated 6 months to 2 years after surgery. Best distance-corrected and uncorrected VA were tested at distance (4 m, intermediate (80 and 60 cm and near (40 cm. A binocular defocus curve was collected with the subject’s best distance correction in place. The preferred reading distance was determined along with the VA at that distance. Low contrast VA at distance was also measured. Quality of vision was measured with the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire near subset and the Quality of Vision questionnaire.Results: Thirty subjects in each group were successfully recruited. The binocular defocus curves differed only at vergences of −1.0 D (FV better, P=0.02, −1.5 and −2.00 D (PX better, P<0.01 for both. Best distance-corrected and uncorrected binocular vision were significantly better for the PX lens at 60 cm (P<0.01 with no significant differences at other distances. The preferred reading distance was between 42 and 43 cm for both lenses, with the VA at the preferred reading distance slightly better with the PX lens (P=0.04. There were no statistically significant differences by lens for low contrast VA (P=0.1 or for quality of vision measures (P>0.3.Conclusion: Both trifocal lenses provided excellent distance, intermediate and near vision, but several measures indicated that the PX lens provided better intermediate vision at 60 cm. This may be important to users of tablets and other handheld devices. Quality of vision appeared similar between the two lens designs

  1. Audio-Visual Fusion for Sound Source Localization and Improved Attention

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Byoung Gi; Choi, Jong Suk; Yoon, Sang Suk; Choi, Mun Taek; Kim, Mun Sang; Kim, Dai Jin

    2011-01-01

    Service robots are equipped with various sensors such as vision camera, sonar sensor, laser scanner, and microphones. Although these sensors have their own functions, some of them can be made to work together and perform more complicated functions. AudioFvisual fusion is a typical and powerful combination of audio and video sensors, because audio information is complementary to visual information and vice versa. Human beings also mainly depend on visual and auditory information in their daily life. In this paper, we conduct two studies using audioFvision fusion: one is on enhancing the performance of sound localization, and the other is on improving robot attention through sound localization and face detection

  2. Audio-Visual Fusion for Sound Source Localization and Improved Attention

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Byoung Gi; Choi, Jong Suk; Yoon, Sang Suk; Choi, Mun Taek; Kim, Mun Sang [Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Dai Jin [Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang (Korea, Republic of)

    2011-07-15

    Service robots are equipped with various sensors such as vision camera, sonar sensor, laser scanner, and microphones. Although these sensors have their own functions, some of them can be made to work together and perform more complicated functions. AudioFvisual fusion is a typical and powerful combination of audio and video sensors, because audio information is complementary to visual information and vice versa. Human beings also mainly depend on visual and auditory information in their daily life. In this paper, we conduct two studies using audioFvision fusion: one is on enhancing the performance of sound localization, and the other is on improving robot attention through sound localization and face detection.

  3. Factors predicting visual improvement post pars plana vitrectomy for proliferative diabetic retinopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn Tai Li Min

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available AIM: To identify factors predicting visual improvement post vitrectomy for sequelae of proliferative diabetic retinopathy(PDR.METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of pars plana vitrectomy indicated for sequelae of PDR from Jan. to Dec. 2014 in Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Star, Kedah, Malaysia. Data collected included patient demographics, baseline visual acuity(VAand post-operative logMAR best corrected VA at 1y. Data analysis was performed with IBM SPSS Statistics Version 22.0. RESULTS: A total of 103 patients were included. The mean age was 51.2y. On multivariable analysis, each pre-operative positive deviation of 1 logMAR from a baseline VA of 0 logMAR was associated with a post-operative improvement of 0.859 logMAR(P0.001. Likewise, an attached macula pre-operatively was associated with a 0.374(P=0.003logMAR improvement post vitrectomy. Absence of iris neovascularisation and absence of post-operative complications were associated with a post vitrectomy improvement in logMAR by 1.126(P=0.001and 0.377(P=0.005respectively. Absence of long-acting intraocular tamponade was associated with a 0.302(P=0.010improvement of logMAR post vitrectomy.CONCLUSION: Factors associated with visual improvement after vitrectomy are poor pre-operative VA, an attached macula, absence of iris neovascularisation, absence of post-operative complications and abstaining from use of long-acting intraocular tamponade. A thorough understanding of the factors predicting visual improvement will facilitate decision-making in vitreoretinal surgery.

  4. Reducing Anxiety and Improving Engagement in Health Care Providers Through an Auricular Acupuncture Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Teresa M; Reilly, Patricia M; Vafides, Carol; Dykes, Patricia

    Stress and anxiety are experienced by health care providers as a consequence of caregiving and may result in physical, emotional, and psychological outcomes that negatively impact work engagement. The purpose of this study was to determine whether auricular acupuncture can reduce provider anxiety and improve work engagement. Study participants received 5 auricular acupuncture sessions within a 16-week period utilizing the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol for treating emotional trauma. Each participant completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9) prior to their first session and again after their fifth treatment. Significant reductions were found in state and trait anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), as well as significant increases in the overall scores on the UWES as compared with baseline. Only the dedication subcategory of the UWES showed significant improvement. Engagement has been linked to increased productivity and well-being and improved patient and organizational outcomes. Providing effective strategies such as auricular acupuncture to support health care providers in reducing anxiety in the workplace may improve engagement.

  5. Quality Quandaries: Improving a customer value stream at a financial service provider

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiper, A.; van de Hoef, R.; Wesseling, M.; Lameijer, B.A.; Does, R.J.M.M.

    2016-01-01

    In the wake of the financial crisis, the financial sector had to make tremendous efforts in being more transparent and cost efficient (Blom and Kuenen 2009). As a consequence, over the last decade, various financial service providers have embraced a range of methods for improving their customer

  6. Music training improves verbal but not visual memory: cross-sectional and longitudinal explorations in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Yim-Chi; Cheung, Mei-Chun; Chan, Agnes S

    2003-07-01

    The hypothesis that music training can improve verbal memory was tested in children. The results showed that children with music training demonstrated better verbal but not visual memory than did their counterparts without such training. When these children were followed up after a year, those who had begun or continued music training demonstrated significant verbal memory improvement. Students who discontinued the training did not show any improvement. Contrary to the differences in verbal memory between the groups, their changes in visual memory were not significantly different. Consistent with previous findings for adults (A. S. Chan, Y. Ho, & M. Cheung, 1998), the results suggest that music training systematically affects memory processing in accordance with possible neuroanatomical modifications in the left temporal lobe.

  7. Visual feedback training using WII Fit improves balance in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalecki, Tomasz; Gorecka-Mazur, Agnieszka; Pietraszko, Wojciech; Surowka, Artur D; Novak, Pawel; Moskala, Marek; Krygowska-Wajs, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Postural instability including imbalance is the most disabling long term problem in Parkinson's disease (PD) that does not respond to pharmacotherapy. This study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of a novel visual-feedback training method, using Wii Fit balance board in improving balance in patients with PD. Twenty four patients with moderate PD were included in the study which comprised of a 6-week home-based balance training program using Nintendo Wii Fit and balance board. The PD patients significantly improved their results in Berg Balance Scale, Tinnet's Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment, Timed Up-and-Go, Sit-to-stand test, 10-Meter Walk test and Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale at the end of the programme. This study suggests that visual feedback training using Wii-Fit with balance board could improve dynamic and functional balance as well as motor disability in PD patients.

  8. Visual analytics in medical education: impacting analytical reasoning and decision making for quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2015-01-01

    The medical curriculum is the main tool representing the entire undergraduate medical education. Due to its complexity and multilayered structure it is of limited use to teachers in medical education for quality improvement purposes. In this study we evaluated three visualizations of curriculum data from a pilot course, using teachers from an undergraduate medical program and applying visual analytics methods. We found that visual analytics can be used to positively impacting analytical reasoning and decision making in medical education through the realization of variables capable to enhance human perception and cognition on complex curriculum data. The positive results derived from our evaluation of a medical curriculum and in a small scale, signify the need to expand this method to an entire medical curriculum. As our approach sustains low levels of complexity it opens a new promising direction in medical education informatics research.

  9. Iraqi primary care system in Kurdistan region: providers' perspectives on problems and opportunities for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabila, Nazar P; Al-Tawil, Namir G; Al-Hadithi, Tariq S; Sondorp, Egbert; Vaughan, Kelsey

    2012-09-27

    As part of a comprehensive study on the primary health care system in Iraq, we sought to explore primary care providers' perspectives about the main problems influencing the provision of primary care services and opportunities to improve the system. A qualitative study based on four focus groups involving 40 primary care providers from 12 primary health care centres was conducted in Erbil governorate in the Iraqi Kurdistan region between July and October 2010. A topic guide was used to lead discussions and covered questions on positive aspects of and current problems with the primary care system in addition to the priority needs for its improvement. The discussions were fully transcribed and the qualitative data was analyzed by content analysis, followed by a thematic analysis. Problems facing the primary care system included inappropriate health service delivery (irrational use of health services, irrational treatment, poor referral system, poor infrastructure and poor hygiene), health workforce challenges (high number of specialists, uneven distribution of the health workforce, rapid turnover, lack of training and educational opportunities and discrepancies in the salary system), shortage in resources (shortage and low quality of medical supplies and shortage in financing), poor information technology and poor leadership/governance. The greatest emphasis was placed on poor organization of health services delivery, particularly the irrational use of health services and the related overcrowding and overload on primary care providers and health facilities. Suggestions for improving the system included application of a family medicine approach and ensuring effective planning and monitoring. This study has provided a comprehensive understanding of the factors that negatively affect the primary care system in Iraq's Kurdistan region from the perspective of primary care providers. From their experience, primary care providers have a role in informing the community and

  10. Use of visual CO2 feedback as a retrofit solution for improving classroom air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wargocki, P; Da Silva, N A F

    2015-02-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) sensors that provide a visual indication were installed in classrooms during normal school operation. During 2-week periods, teachers and students were instructed to open the windows in response to the visual CO2 feedback in 1 week and open them, as they would normally do, without visual feedback, in the other week. In the heating season, two pairs of classrooms were monitored, one pair naturally and the other pair mechanically ventilated. In the cooling season, two pairs of naturally ventilated classrooms were monitored, one pair with split cooling in operation and the other pair with no cooling. Classrooms were matched by grade. Providing visual CO2 feedback reduced CO2 levels, as more windows were opened in this condition. This increased energy use for heating and reduced the cooling requirement in summertime. Split cooling reduced the frequency of window opening only when no visual CO2 feedback was present. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Stroboscopic visual training improves information encoding in short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, L Gregory; Cain, Matthew S; Schroeder, Julia E; Darling, Elise F; Mitroff, Stephen R

    2012-11-01

    The visual system has developed to transform an undifferentiated and continuous flow of information into discrete and manageable representations, and this ability rests primarily on the uninterrupted nature of the input. Here we explore the impact of altering how visual information is accumulated over time by assessing how intermittent vision influences memory retention. Previous work has shown that intermittent, or stroboscopic, visual training (i.e., practicing while only experiencing snapshots of vision) can enhance visual-motor control and visual cognition, yet many questions remain unanswered about the mechanisms that are altered. In the present study, we used a partial-report memory paradigm to assess the possible changes in visual memory following training under stroboscopic conditions. In Experiment 1, the memory task was completed before and immediately after a training phase, wherein participants engaged in physical activities (e.g., playing catch) while wearing either specialized stroboscopic eyewear or transparent control eyewear. In Experiment 2, an additional group of participants underwent the same stroboscopic protocol but were delayed 24 h between training and assessment, so as to measure retention. In comparison to the control group, both stroboscopic groups (immediate and delayed retest) revealed enhanced retention of information in short-term memory, leading to better recall at longer stimulus-to-cue delays (640-2,560 ms). These results demonstrate that training under stroboscopic conditions has the capacity to enhance some aspects of visual memory, that these faculties generalize beyond the specific tasks that were trained, and that trained improvements can be maintained for at least a day.

  12. Improving UGV teleoperation performance using novel visualization techniques and manual interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vozar, Steven; Tilbury, Dawn M.

    2012-06-01

    Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are well-suited to a variety of tasks that are dangerous or repetitive for humans to perform. Despite recent advances, UGVs still suffer from reliability issues, and human operation failures have been identified as one root cause of UGV system failure. However, most literature relevant to UGV reliability does not address the effects of human errors or the user interface. Our previous work investigated the issue of user situational awareness and sense of presence in the robot workspace by implementing a Mixed Reality interface featuring a first-person video feed with an Augmented Reality overlay and a third-person Virtual Reality display. The interface was evaluated in a series of user tests in which users manually controlled a UGV with a manipulator arm using traditional input modalities including a computer mouse, keyboard and gamepad. In this study, we learned that users found it challenging to mentally map commands from the manual inputs to the robot arm behavior. Also, switching between control modalities seemed to add to the cognitive load during teleoperation tasks. A master-slave style manual controller can provide an intuitive one-to-one mapping from user input to robot pose, and has the potential to improve both operator situational awareness for teleoperation tasks and decrease mission completion time. This paper describes the design and implementation of a teleoperated UGV with a Mixed Reality visualization interface and a master-slave controller that is suitable for teleoperated mobile manipulation tasks.

  13. Visual Fatigue Evaluation: Improvement of Reflected Glare on Touch Screen for Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Kang Hung; Yang, Chih Wei; Hwang, Sheue Ling; Liou, Jin Liang

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to evaluate the visual fatigue of operators caused by glare problems in the main control room of nuclear power plant. Within the limitation in the main control room, reflectors were set under the light source which generates reflected glare on touch screens. Through avoiding the light directly shines on touch screens, reflected glare were eliminated. This research matched up the setting process of reflectors, evaluated the visual fatigue of operators, and collected user's opinions before reflector setting, after the first setting, and after the second setting. The design of reflectors could refer the result of evaluations and the collection of opinions. Nevertheless, the improvement of reflected glare on touch screens could be verified by this evaluations. The result showed that setting reflectors under the light source could eliminate reflected glare effectively, and the visual fatigue was reduced both on subject and object evaluations. However, the setting direction of reflectors has potential effect on operators' visual fatigue, so the real setting of reflectors still need to be evaluated completely. The near point accommodation could reflect the effect of visual fatigue caused by changes of lighting environment. Thus, the verification of new lighting environment according to the near point accommodation is suggested

  14. Can walking motions improve visually induced rotational self-motion illusions in virtual reality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riecke, Bernhard E; Freiberg, Jacob B; Grechkin, Timofey Y

    2015-02-04

    Illusions of self-motion (vection) can provide compelling sensations of moving through virtual environments without the need for complex motion simulators or large tracked physical walking spaces. Here we explore the interaction between biomechanical cues (stepping along a rotating circular treadmill) and visual cues (viewing simulated self-rotation) for providing stationary users a compelling sensation of rotational self-motion (circular vection). When tested individually, biomechanical and visual cues were similarly effective in eliciting self-motion illusions. However, in combination they yielded significantly more intense self-motion illusions. These findings provide the first compelling evidence that walking motions can be used to significantly enhance visually induced rotational self-motion perception in virtual environments (and vice versa) without having to provide for physical self-motion or motion platforms. This is noteworthy, as linear treadmills have been found to actually impair visually induced translational self-motion perception (Ash, Palmisano, Apthorp, & Allison, 2013). Given the predominant focus on linear walking interfaces for virtual-reality locomotion, our findings suggest that investigating circular and curvilinear walking interfaces offers a promising direction for future research and development and can help to enhance self-motion illusions, presence and immersion in virtual-reality systems. © 2015 ARVO.

  15. Visual evoked potentials (VEP and visual acuity improvement after cytidine 52 -diphosphocholine (CDP-Choline therapy in amblyopic patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina Halfeld Furtado de Mendonça

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Citicoline may be used in many neurological disorders. Combined treatment of citicoline with patching in amblyopia has previously been researched. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the effect of citicoline in non-patching amblyopic patient. A 11-year-old amblyopic boy underwent complete ophthalmological examinations, including VEP with flash and pattern stimulus. Two averages of 100 sweep were performed for flash stimulus. Pattern reversal stimulus obtained with high contrast was performed with 60', 30' and 15' checks stimuli. The VEP was repeated 90 days later after a therapy with citicoline and vitamin and the results compared with the responses of the previous recording session. The visual acuity (VA was 0,7 in the RE and 1,0 in the LE. The VEP pattern amplitude was normal in both eyes. Delayed in latency was detected for all spatial frequency stimulus (SFS in the RE. Delay in latency was detected only for high SFS in the LE. After the treatment, the VA was 1,0 in both eyes. The latency was normalized with low SFS on the RE and with high SFS on the LE. The flash VEP was normal before and after the therapy. In conclusion, the citicoline demonstrated that it was effective in the treatment of amblyopic eye without patching. The VA and the VEP latency improvement demonstrated that the citicoline enhance the transmission of the electric impulse from retina to visual cortex. Further research is required to understand the immediate and long-term effect of coline treatment in amblyopic patients.

  16. Provider Communication, Prompts, and Feedback to Improve HPV Vaccination Rates in Resident Clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, Cynthia M; Schaffer, Stanley J; Dhepyasuwan, Nui; Blumkin, Aaron; Albertin, Christina; Serwint, Janet R; Darden, Paul M; Humiston, Sharon G; Mann, Keith J; Stratbucker, William; Szilagyi, Peter G

    2018-04-01

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates lag behind vaccination rates for other adolescent vaccines; a bundled intervention may improve HPV vaccination rates. Our objective is to evaluate the impact of quality improvement (QI) training plus a bundled practice-based intervention (provider prompts plus communication skills training plus performance feedback) on improving HPV vaccinations in pediatric resident continuity clinics. Staff and providers in 8 resident clinics participated in a 12-month QI study. The intervention included training to strengthen provider communication about the HPV vaccine. Clinics also implemented provider prompts, received monthly performance feedback, and participated in learning collaborative calls. The primary outcome measure was eligible visits with vaccination divided by vaccine-eligible visits (captured HPV vaccination opportunities). Practices performed chart audits that were fed into monthly performance feedback on captured HPV vaccination opportunities. We used conditional logistic regression (conditioning on practice) to assess captured vaccination opportunities, with the time period of the study (before and after the QI intervention) as the independent variable. Overall, captured opportunities for HPV vaccination increased by 16.4 percentage points, from 46.9% to 63.3%. Special cause was demonstrated by centerline shift, with 8 consecutive points above the preintervention mean. On adjusted analyses, patients were more likely to receive a vaccine during, versus before, the intervention (odds ratio: 1.87; 95% confidence interval: 1.54-2.28). Captured HPV vaccination rates improved at both well-child and other visits (by 11.7 and 13.0 percentage points, respectively). A bundled intervention of provider prompts and training in communication skills plus performance feedback increased captured opportunities for HPV vaccination. Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  17. A management framework for training providers to improve skills development in the workplace

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    D.Ed. A skills revolution was launched in the South African workplace by the Department of Labour in 1998. Various skills development legislation were introduced to meet international standards, redress skills imbalances, curb skills shortages and improve the general skills in the current workforce. Training providers were the drivers of workplace training, yet are now displaced by skills authorities, such as the SET As, the ETQAs and SAQA. While the custody of skills development is placed...

  18. Blood Pressure Directed Booster Trainings Improve Intensive Care Unit Provider Retention of Excellent Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Heather; Maltese, Matthew R; Niles, Dana E; Fischman, Elizabeth; Legkobitova, Veronika; Leffelman, Jessica; Berg, Robert A; Nadkarni, Vinay M; Sutton, Robert M

    2015-11-01

    Brief, intermittent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training sessions, "Booster Trainings," improve CPR skill acquisition and short-term retention. The objective of this study was to incorporate arterial blood pressure (ABP) tracings into Booster Trainings to improve CPR skill retention. We hypothesized that ABP-directed CPR "Booster Trainings" would improve intensive care unit (ICU) provider 3-month retention of excellent CPR skills without need for interval retraining. A CPR manikin creating a realistic relationship between chest compression depth and ABP was used for training/testing. Thirty-six ICU providers were randomized to brief, bedside ABP-directed CPR manikin skill retrainings: (1) Booster Plus (ABP visible during training and testing) versus (2) Booster Alone (ABP visible only during training, not testing) versus (3) control (testing, no intervention). Subjects completed skill tests pretraining (baseline), immediately after training (acquisition), and then retention was assessed at 12 hours, 3 and 6 months. The primary outcome was retention of excellent CPR skills at 3 months. Excellent CPR was defined as systolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher and compression rate 100 to 120 per minute. Overall, 14 of 24 (58%) participants acquired excellent CPR skills after their initial training (Booster Plus 75% vs 50% Booster Alone, P = 0.21). Adjusted for age, ABP-trained providers were 5.2× more likely to perform excellent CPR after the initial training (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.3-21.2; P = 0.02), and to retain these skills at 12 hours (adjusted odds ratio, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.3-14.9; P = 0.018) and 3 months (adjusted odds ratio, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.2-13.9; P = 0.023) when compared to baseline performance. The ABP-directed CPR booster trainings improved ICU provider 3-month retention of excellent CPR skills without the need for interval retraining.

  19. Hyper-Realistic, Team-Centered Fleet Surgical Team Training Provides Sustained Improvements in Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Tuan N; Kang, Jeff; Siriratsivawong, Kris; LaPorta, Anthony; Heck, Amber; Ferraro, Jessica; Robinson, Douglas; Walsh, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    The high-stress, fast-paced environment of combat casualty care relies on effective teamwork and communication which translates into quality patient care. A training course was developed for U.S. Navy Fleet Surgical Teams to address these aspects of patient care by emphasizing efficiency and appropriate patient care. An effective training course provides knowledge and skills to pass the course evaluation and sustain the knowledge and skills acquired over time. The course included classroom didactic hours, and hands-on simulation sessions. A pretest was administered before the course, a posttest upon completion, and a sustainment test 5 months following course completion. The evaluation process measured changes in patient time to disposition and critical errors made during patient care. Naval Base San Diego, with resuscitation and surgical simulations carried out within the shipboard medical spaces. United States Navy medical personnel including physicians of various specialties, corpsmen, nurses, and nurse anesthetists deploying aboard ships. Time to disposition improved significantly, 11 ± 3 minutes, from pretest to posttest, and critical errors improved by 4 ± 1 errors per encounter. From posttest to sustainment test, time to disposition increased by 3 ± 1, and critical errors decreased by 1 ± 1. This course showed value in improving teamwork and communication skills of participants, immediately upon completion of the course, and after 5 months had passed. Therefore, with ongoing sustainment activities within 6 months, this course can substantially improve trauma care provided by shipboard deployed Navy medical personnel to wounded service members. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. [Efficacy of topical ketorolac for improving visual function after photocoagulation in diabetic patients with focal macular edema].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razo Blanco-Hernández, Dulce Milagros; Lima-Gómez, Virgilio; Asbun-Bojalil, Juan

    2014-01-01

    Photocoagulation reduces the incidence of visual loss in diabetic patients with focal macular edema, but it can induce it for Efficacy of topical ketorolac for improving visual function after photocoagulation in diabetic patients with focal macular edema 6 weeks after treatment and produces visual improvement in some cases. Topical ketorolac may reduce the inflammation caused by photocoagulation and improve visual outcome. To determine the efficacy of topical ketorolac for improving visual function after photocoagulation in diabetic patients with focal macular edema. An experimental, comparative, prospective, longitudinal study in diabetic patients with focal macular edema was conducted. Eyes were randomized into two groups of topical treatment for 3 weeks after photocoagulation (A: ketorolac, B: placebo). Best corrected visual acuity before and after treatment was compared in each group (paired t test), and the proportion of eyes with visual improvement was compared between groups (χ(2)). The evaluation was repeated after stratifying for initial visual acuity (≥ 0.5, < 0.5). There were 105 eyes included. In group A (n= 46) mean visual acuity changed from 0.50 to 0.58 (p= 0.003), and from 0.55 to 0.55 in group B (n= 59, p= 0.83); mean percent change was 22.3% in group A and 3.5% in group B (p= 0.03). Visual improvement was identified in 25 eyes from group A (54.3%) and 19 from group B (32.2%, p= 0.019, RR 1.65); the difference only persisted when initial visual acuity was ≥ 0.5 (10 [40%], group A, 5 [14.7%], group B, p= 0.02, RR 2.72). Topical ketorolac was more effective than placebo to improve best corrected visual acuity in diabetic patients with focal macular edema.

  1. Improvement in Visual Symptomatology after Endovascular Treatment of Cavernous Carotid Aneurysms: A Multicenter Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drazin, Doniel; Choulakian, Armen; Nuño, Miriam; Gandhi, Ravi; Edgell, Randall C; Alexander, Michael J

    2013-06-01

    Aneurysms arising from the cavernous internal carotid artery (CCAs) pose technical challenges for surgical management and such patients are frequently referred for endovascular treatment. These aneurysms often produce a variety of neurological deficits, primarily those related to oculoparesis. Our purpose was to determine the visual and neurological outcome of patients with treated CCAs. We reviewed the medical records and angiograms for patients who underwent endovascular treatment for CCAs at three academic medical centers. The following outcomes were analyzed: angiographic assessment, visual improvement and outcome at 3 months using Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). Thirty-four patients (mean age 54.7 years) were treated for CCAs. The mean aneurysm size was 14.2 mm (range: 3-45 mm), and fourteen patients (41.2%) required stent assistance. Twenty-one aneurysms (61.8%) were completely occluded; nine aneurysms (26.6%) had near-complete occlusion; 4 aneurysms (11.8%) had partial occlusion. Seven patients (20.6%) required retreatment. Fifteen of the 34 patients (44.1%) presented with visual symptoms, while only eight patients had residual visual symptomatology at follow-up (44.1% vs. 23.5%; p=0.02). Patients that presented with visual symptoms (N=15) had a mean aneurysm size of 24.5 mm, while those without visual symptoms (N=19) had a size of 7.5 mm (p=0.001). Follow-up GOS was good (4-5) in 29 patients (90.6%). No thromboembolic complications were observed. One patient died (3.1%) of an unrelated cause. Most patients in this multicenter series improved or remained stable after treatment. The results of this study indicate that endovascular treatment may improve the outcome of visual symptoms in patients with large cavernous aneurysms with low periprocedural morbidity. MJA is a consultant for Stryker and Codman. AC receives a Cordis Endovascular Fellowship Training Grant and a Stryker Endovascular Neurosurgery Post-graduate Fellow Grant. Dr. Drazin: Conception and Design

  2. The Improved SVM Multi Objects' Identification For the Uncalibrated Visual Servoing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Wang

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available For the assembly of multi micro objects in micromanipulation, the first task is to identify multi micro parts. We present an improved support vector machine algorithm, which employs invariant moments based edge extraction to obtain feature attribute and then presents a heuristic attribute reduction algorithm based on rough set's discernibility matrix to obtain attribute reduction, with using support vector machine to identify and classify the targets. The visual servoing is the second task. For avoiding the complicated calibration of intrinsic parameter of camera, We apply an improved broyden's method to estimate the image jacobian matrix online, which employs chebyshev polynomial to construct a cost function to approximate the optimization value, obtaining a fast convergence for online estimation. Last, a two DOF visual controller based fuzzy adaptive PD control law for micro-manipulation is presented. The experiments of micro-assembly of micro parts in microscopes confirm that the proposed methods are effective and feasible.

  3. The Improved SVM Multi Objects's Identification for the Uncalibrated Visual Servoing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangjin Zeng

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available For the assembly of multi micro objects in micromanipulation, the first task is to identify multi micro parts. We present an improved support vector machine algorithm, which employs invariant moments based edge extraction to obtain feature attribute and then presents a heuristic attribute reduction algorithm based on rough set's discernibility matrix to obtain attribute reduction, with using support vector machine to identify and classify the targets. The visual servoing is the second task. For avoiding the complicated calibration of intrinsic parameter of camera, We apply an improved broyden's method to estimate the image jacobian matrix online, which employs chebyshev polynomial to construct a cost function to approximate the optimization value, obtaining a fast convergence for online estimation. Last, a two DOF visual controller based fuzzy adaptive PD control law for micro-manipulation is presented. The experiments of micro-assembly of micro parts in microscopes confirm that the proposed methods are effective and feasible.

  4. Novel combined patient instruction and discharge summary tool improves timeliness of documentation and outpatient provider satisfaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith Gilliam

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Incomplete or delayed access to discharge information by outpatient providers and patients contributes to discontinuity of care and poor outcomes. Objective: To evaluate the effect of a new electronic discharge summary tool on the timeliness of documentation and communication with outpatient providers. Methods: In June 2012, we implemented an electronic discharge summary tool at our 145-bed university-affiliated Veterans Affairs hospital. The tool facilitates completion of a comprehensive discharge summary note that is available for patients and outpatient medical providers at the time of hospital discharge. Discharge summary note availability, outpatient provider satisfaction, and time between the decision to discharge a patient and discharge note completion were all evaluated before and after implementation of the tool. Results: The percentage of discharge summary notes completed by the time of first post-discharge clinical contact improved from 43% in February 2012 to 100% in September 2012 and was maintained at 100% in 2014. A survey of 22 outpatient providers showed that 90% preferred the new summary and 86% found it comprehensive. Despite increasing required documentation, the time required to discharge a patient, from physician decision to discharge note completion, improved from 5.6 h in 2010 to 4.1 h in 2012 (p = 0.04, and to 2.8 h in 2015 (p < 0.001. Conclusion: The implementation of a novel discharge summary tool improved the timeliness and comprehensiveness of discharge information as needed for the delivery of appropriate, high-quality follow-up care, without adversely affecting the efficiency of the discharge process.

  5. Efficiency and hospital effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems ratings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Amin, Mona; Makarem, Suzanne C; Rosko, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Efficiency has emerged as a central goal to the operations of health care organizations. There are two competing perspectives on the relationship between efficiency and organizational performance. Some argue that organizational slack is a waste and that efficiency contributes to organizational performance, whereas others maintain that slack acts as a buffer, allowing organizations to adapt to environmental demands and contributing to organizational performance. As value-based purchasing becomes more prevalent, health care organizations are incented to become more efficient and, at the same time, improve their patients' experiences and outcomes. Unused slack resources might facilitate the timely implementation of these improvements. Building on previous research on organizational slack and inertia, we test whether efficiency and other organizational factors predict organizational effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings. We rely on data from the American Hospital Association and HCAHPS. We estimate hospital cost-efficiency by Stochastic Frontier Analysis and use regression analysis to determine whether efficiency, competition, hospital size, and other organizational factors are significant predictors of hospital effectiveness. Our findings indicate that efficiency and hospital size have a significant negative association with organizational ability to improve HCAHPS ratings. Although achieving organizational efficiency is necessary for health care organizations, given the changes that are currently occurring in the U.S. health care system, it is important for health care managers to maintain a certain level of slack to respond to environmental demands and have the resources needed to improve their performance.

  6. Retrospective Cues Based on Object Features Improve Visual Working Memory Performance in Older Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Gilchrist, Amanda L.; Duarte, Audrey; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Research with younger adults has shown that retrospective cues can be used to orient top-down attention toward relevant items in working memory. We examined whether older adults could take advantage of these cues to improve memory performance. Younger and older adults were presented with visual arrays of five colored shapes; during maintenance, participants were either presented with an informative cue based on an object feature (here, object shape or color) that would be probed, or with an u...

  7. Improvement in distance and near visual acuities using low vision devices in diabetic retinopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarika Gopalakrishnan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The aim of this study is to elucidate the causes and level of visual impairment (VI in patients with different pathologies of diabetic retinopathy (DR who presented to a low vision care (LVC clinic, to analyze the type of distant and near devices prescribed to them and the visual benefits thereof. Methods: A retrospective chart review was done for 100 consecutive patients with DR who were referred to the LVC clinic from June 2015 to June 2016. The reason for referral was assessed from the electronic medical records and available fundus photographs, fundus fluorescein angiograms, and optical coherence tomography images by a retina specialist. The details of low-vision devices and subsequent improvements were noted. Results: Of the 100 patients, 52% had moderate VI, 19% mild VI, 16% severe VI, and 13% had profound VI or blindness. The most commonly prescribed low vision device was half-eye spectacles (38.4%. The pathologies which had statistically significant improvement (P < 0.05 in distance vision with low vision devices were DR with disc pallor (4.4% improvement, ischemic maculopathy (11.9% improvement, and plaque of hard exudate (10.1% improvement. However, in all pathologies, there was statistically significant improvement (P < 0.05 in near vision. Conclusion: Usually, the patients with DR presented to the LVC clinic with moderate VI. The use of low vision devices can help these patients in cases where medical and surgical treatment have no or a limited role in restoring useful vision.

  8. Provider and Patient Directed Financial Incentives to Improve Care and Outcomes for Patients with Diabetes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorincz, Ilona S.; Lawson, Brittany C. T.

    2012-01-01

    Incentive programs directed at both providers and patients have become increasingly widespread. Pay-for-performance (P4P) where providers receive financial incentives to carry out specific care or improve clinical outcomes has been widely implemented. The existing literature indicates they probably spur initial gains which then level off or partially revert if incentives are withdrawn. The literature also indicates that process measures are easier to influence through P4P programs but that intermediate outcomes such as glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol control are harder to influence, and the long term impact of P4P programs on health is largely unknown. Programs directed at patients show greater promise as a means to influence patient behavior and intermediate outcomes such as weight loss; however, the evidence for long term effects are lacking. In combination, both patient and provider incentives are potentially powerful tools but whether they are cost-effective has yet to be determined. PMID:23225214

  9. Effectiveness of Interventions to Address Visual and Visual-Perceptual Impairments to Improve Occupational Performance in Adults With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Sue; Kaldenberg, Jennifer; Selmane, Romeissa; Carlo, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Visual and visual-perceptual impairments occur frequently with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and influence occupational performance. This systematic review examined the effectiveness of interventions within the scope of occupational therapy to improve occupational performance for adults with visual and visual-perceptual impairments as a result of TBI. Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, OTseeker, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched, and 66 full text articles were reviewed. Sixteen articles were included in the review. Strong evidence supports the use of scanning, limited evidence supports the use of adaptive strategies, and mixed evidence supports the use of cognitive interventions to improve occupational performance for adults with TBI. Evidence related to vision therapy varies on the basis of the specific intervention implemented. Although the strength of the research varied, implications are discussed for practice, education, and research. Copyright © 2016 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

  10. Exploring Service Providers' Perspectives in Improving Childhood Obesity Prevention among CALD Communities in Victoria, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila Cyril

    Full Text Available Childhood obesity rates have been increasing disproportionately among disadvantaged communities including culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD migrant groups in Australia due to their poor participation in the available obesity prevention initiatives. We sought to explore service providers' perceptions of the key factors influencing the participation of CALD communities in the existing obesity prevention services and the service requirements needed to improve CALD communities' participation in these services.We conducted a qualitative study using focus group discussions involving fifty-nine service providers from a range of services, who are involved in the health and wellbeing of children from CALD groups living in four socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Victoria, Australia.Thematic analysis of the data showed three major themes including community-level barriers to CALD engagement in childhood obesity prevention services; service-level barriers to the delivery of these services; and proposed changes to current childhood obesity prevention approaches. Integrating obesity prevention messages within existing programs, better coordination between prevention and treatment services and the establishment of a childhood obesity surveillance system, were some of the important changes suggested by service providers.This study has found that low CALD health literacy, lack of knowledge of cultural barriers among service providers and co-existing deficiencies in the structure and delivery of obesity prevention services negatively impacted the participation of CALD communities in obesity prevention services. Cultural competency training of service providers would improve their understanding of the cultural influences of childhood obesity and incorporate them into the design and development of obesity prevention initiatives. Service providers need to be educated on the pre-migratory health service experiences and health conditions of CALD

  11. Exploring Service Providers' Perspectives in Improving Childhood Obesity Prevention among CALD Communities in Victoria, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cyril, Sheila; Green, Julie; Nicholson, Jan M; Agho, Kingsley; Renzaho, Andre M N

    2016-01-01

    Childhood obesity rates have been increasing disproportionately among disadvantaged communities including culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrant groups in Australia due to their poor participation in the available obesity prevention initiatives. We sought to explore service providers' perceptions of the key factors influencing the participation of CALD communities in the existing obesity prevention services and the service requirements needed to improve CALD communities' participation in these services. We conducted a qualitative study using focus group discussions involving fifty-nine service providers from a range of services, who are involved in the health and wellbeing of children from CALD groups living in four socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Victoria, Australia. Thematic analysis of the data showed three major themes including community-level barriers to CALD engagement in childhood obesity prevention services; service-level barriers to the delivery of these services; and proposed changes to current childhood obesity prevention approaches. Integrating obesity prevention messages within existing programs, better coordination between prevention and treatment services and the establishment of a childhood obesity surveillance system, were some of the important changes suggested by service providers. This study has found that low CALD health literacy, lack of knowledge of cultural barriers among service providers and co-existing deficiencies in the structure and delivery of obesity prevention services negatively impacted the participation of CALD communities in obesity prevention services. Cultural competency training of service providers would improve their understanding of the cultural influences of childhood obesity and incorporate them into the design and development of obesity prevention initiatives. Service providers need to be educated on the pre-migratory health service experiences and health conditions of CALD communities to ensure

  12. Cross-modal attention influences auditory contrast sensitivity: Decreasing visual load improves auditory thresholds for amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciaramitaro, Vivian M; Chow, Hiu Mei; Eglington, Luke G

    2017-03-01

    We used a cross-modal dual task to examine how changing visual-task demands influenced auditory processing, namely auditory thresholds for amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds. Observers had to attend to two consecutive intervals of sounds and report which interval contained the auditory stimulus that was modulated in amplitude (Experiment 1) or frequency (Experiment 2). During auditory-stimulus presentation, observers simultaneously attended to a rapid sequential visual presentation-two consecutive intervals of streams of visual letters-and had to report which interval contained a particular color (low load, demanding less attentional resources) or, in separate blocks of trials, which interval contained more of a target letter (high load, demanding more attentional resources). We hypothesized that if attention is a shared resource across vision and audition, an easier visual task should free up more attentional resources for auditory processing on an unrelated task, hence improving auditory thresholds. Auditory detection thresholds were lower-that is, auditory sensitivity was improved-for both amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds when observers engaged in a less demanding (compared to a more demanding) visual task. In accord with previous work, our findings suggest that visual-task demands can influence the processing of auditory information on an unrelated concurrent task, providing support for shared attentional resources. More importantly, our results suggest that attending to information in a different modality, cross-modal attention, can influence basic auditory contrast sensitivity functions, highlighting potential similarities between basic mechanisms for visual and auditory attention.

  13. Improved medical image modality classification using a combination of visual and textual features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrovski, Ivica; Kocev, Dragi; Kitanovski, Ivan; Loskovska, Suzana; Džeroski, Sašo

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present the approach that we applied to the medical modality classification tasks at the ImageCLEF evaluation forum. More specifically, we used the modality classification databases from the ImageCLEF competitions in 2011, 2012 and 2013, described by four visual and one textual types of features, and combinations thereof. We used local binary patterns, color and edge directivity descriptors, fuzzy color and texture histogram and scale-invariant feature transform (and its variant opponentSIFT) as visual features and the standard bag-of-words textual representation coupled with TF-IDF weighting. The results from the extensive experimental evaluation identify the SIFT and opponentSIFT features as the best performing features for modality classification. Next, the low-level fusion of the visual features improves the predictive performance of the classifiers. This is because the different features are able to capture different aspects of an image, their combination offering a more complete representation of the visual content in an image. Moreover, adding textual features further increases the predictive performance. Finally, the results obtained with our approach are the best results reported on these databases so far. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Long-term musical training may improve different forms of visual attention ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Loureiro, Maurício Alves; Caramelli, Paulo

    2013-08-01

    Many studies have suggested that structural and functional cerebral neuroplastic processes result from long-term musical training, which in turn may produce cognitive differences between musicians and non-musicians. We aimed to investigate whether intensive, long-term musical practice is associated with improvements in three different forms of visual attention ability: selective, divided and sustained attention. Musicians from symphony orchestras (n=38) and non-musicians (n=38), who were comparable in age, gender and education, were submitted to three neuropsychological tests, measuring reaction time and accuracy. Musicians showed better performance relative to non-musicians on four variables of the three visual attention tests, and such an advantage could not solely be explained by better sensorimotor integration. Moreover, in the group of musicians, significant correlations were observed between the age at the commencement of musical studies and reaction time in all visual attention tests. The results suggest that musicians present augmented ability in different forms of visual attention, thus illustrating the possible cognitive benefits of long-term musical training. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Expertise for upright faces improves the precision but not the capacity of visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenc, Elizabeth S; Pratte, Michael S; Angeloni, Christopher F; Tong, Frank

    2014-10-01

    Considerable research has focused on how basic visual features are maintained in working memory, but little is currently known about the precision or capacity of visual working memory for complex objects. How precisely can an object be remembered, and to what extent might familiarity or perceptual expertise contribute to working memory performance? To address these questions, we developed a set of computer-generated face stimuli that varied continuously along the dimensions of age and gender, and we probed participants' memories using a method-of-adjustment reporting procedure. This paradigm allowed us to separately estimate the precision and capacity of working memory for individual faces, on the basis of the assumptions of a discrete capacity model, and to assess the impact of face inversion on memory performance. We found that observers could maintain up to four to five items on average, with equally good memory capacity for upright and upside-down faces. In contrast, memory precision was significantly impaired by face inversion at every set size tested. Our results demonstrate that the precision of visual working memory for a complex stimulus is not strictly fixed but, instead, can be modified by learning and experience. We find that perceptual expertise for upright faces leads to significant improvements in visual precision, without modifying the capacity of working memory.

  16. Low-level laser therapy improves visual acuity in adolescent and adult patients with amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivandic, Boris T; Ivandic, Tomislav

    2012-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on visual acuity in adolescent and adult patients with amblyopia. Currently, amblyopia can be treated successfully only in children. In this single-blinded, placebo-controlled study, 178 patients (mean age 46.8 years) with amblyopia caused by ametropia (110 eyes) or strabismus (121 eyes) were included. For LLLT, the area of the macula was irradiated through the conjunctiva from 1 cm distance for 30 sec with laser light (780 nm, 292 Hz, 1:1 duty cycle; average power 7.5 mW; spot area 3 mm(2)). The treatment was repeated on average 3.5 times, resulting in a mean total dose of 0.77 J/cm(2). No occlusion was applied, and no additional medication was administered. Best corrected distant visual acuity was determined using Snellen projection optotypes. In 12 patients (12 eyes), the multifocal visual evoked potential (M-VEP) was recorded. A control group of 20 patients (20 eyes) received mock treatment. Visual acuity improved in ∼90% of the eyes treated with LLLT (pamblyopia caused by ametropia and strabismus, respectively. The treatment effect was maintained for at least 6 months. The mean M-VEP amplitude increased by 1207 nV (pamblyopia caused by ametropia or strabismus.

  17. Exploring Service Providers' Perspectives in Improving Childhood Obesity Prevention among CALD Communities in Victoria, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cyril, Sheila; Green, Julie; Nicholson, Jan M.; Agho, Kingsley; Renzaho, Andre M. N.

    2016-01-01

    Background Childhood obesity rates have been increasing disproportionately among disadvantaged communities including culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrant groups in Australia due to their poor participation in the available obesity prevention initiatives. We sought to explore service providers’ perceptions of the key factors influencing the participation of CALD communities in the existing obesity prevention services and the service requirements needed to improve CALD communities’ participation in these services. Methods We conducted a qualitative study using focus group discussions involving fifty-nine service providers from a range of services, who are involved in the health and wellbeing of children from CALD groups living in four socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Victoria, Australia. Results Thematic analysis of the data showed three major themes including community-level barriers to CALD engagement in childhood obesity prevention services; service-level barriers to the delivery of these services; and proposed changes to current childhood obesity prevention approaches. Integrating obesity prevention messages within existing programs, better coordination between prevention and treatment services and the establishment of a childhood obesity surveillance system, were some of the important changes suggested by service providers. Conclusion This study has found that low CALD health literacy, lack of knowledge of cultural barriers among service providers and co-existing deficiencies in the structure and delivery of obesity prevention services negatively impacted the participation of CALD communities in obesity prevention services. Cultural competency training of service providers would improve their understanding of the cultural influences of childhood obesity and incorporate them into the design and development of obesity prevention initiatives. Service providers need to be educated on the pre-migratory health service experiences and health

  18. Playing shooter and driving videogames improves top-down guidance in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Sijing; Spence, Ian

    2013-05-01

    Playing action videogames is known to improve visual spatial attention and related skills. Here, we showed that playing action videogames also improves classic visual search, as well as the ability to locate targets in a dual search that mimics certain aspects of an action videogame. In Experiment 1A, first-person shooter (FPS) videogame players were faster than nonplayers in both feature search and conjunction search, and in Experiment 1B, they were faster and more accurate in a peripheral search and identification task while simultaneously performing a central search. In Experiment 2, we showed that 10 h of play could improve the performance of nonplayers on each of these tasks. Three different genres of videogames were used for training: two action games and a 3-D puzzle game. Participants who played an action game (either an FPS or a driving game) achieved greater gains on all search tasks than did those who trained using the puzzle game. Feature searches were faster after playing an action videogame, suggesting that players developed a better target template to guide search in a top-down manner. The results of the dual search suggest that, in addition to enhancing the ability to divide attention, playing an action game improves the top-down guidance of attention to possible target locations. The results have practical implications for the development of training tools to improve perceptual and cognitive skills.

  19. Sequencing of allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1) provides a resource for fiber improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tianzhen; Hu, Yan; Jiang, Wenkai; Fang, Lei; Guan, Xueying; Chen, Jiedan; Zhang, Jinbo; Saski, Christopher A; Scheffler, Brian E; Stelly, David M; Hulse-Kemp, Amanda M; Wan, Qun; Liu, Bingliang; Liu, Chunxiao; Wang, Sen; Pan, Mengqiao; Wang, Yangkun; Wang, Dawei; Ye, Wenxue; Chang, Lijing; Zhang, Wenpan; Song, Qingxin; Kirkbride, Ryan C; Chen, Xiaoya; Dennis, Elizabeth; Llewellyn, Danny J; Peterson, Daniel G; Thaxton, Peggy; Jones, Don C; Wang, Qiong; Xu, Xiaoyang; Zhang, Hua; Wu, Huaitong; Zhou, Lei; Mei, Gaofu; Chen, Shuqi; Tian, Yue; Xiang, Dan; Li, Xinghe; Ding, Jian; Zuo, Qiyang; Tao, Linna; Liu, Yunchao; Li, Ji; Lin, Yu; Hui, Yuanyuan; Cao, Zhisheng; Cai, Caiping; Zhu, Xiefei; Jiang, Zhi; Zhou, Baoliang; Guo, Wangzhen; Li, Ruiqiang; Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2015-05-01

    Upland cotton is a model for polyploid crop domestication and transgenic improvement. Here we sequenced the allotetraploid Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1 genome by integrating whole-genome shotgun reads, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-end sequences and genotype-by-sequencing genetic maps. We assembled and annotated 32,032 A-subgenome genes and 34,402 D-subgenome genes. Structural rearrangements, gene loss, disrupted genes and sequence divergence were more common in the A subgenome than in the D subgenome, suggesting asymmetric evolution. However, no genome-wide expression dominance was found between the subgenomes. Genomic signatures of selection and domestication are associated with positively selected genes (PSGs) for fiber improvement in the A subgenome and for stress tolerance in the D subgenome. This draft genome sequence provides a resource for engineering superior cotton lines.

  20. Using surface imaging and visual coaching to improve the reproducibility and stability of deep-inspiration breath hold for left-breast-cancer radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cervino, Laura I; Gupta, Sonia; Rose, Mary A; Yashar, Catheryn; Jiang, Steve B

    2009-01-01

    Late cardiac complications may arise after left-breast radiation therapy. Deep-inspiration breath hold (DIBH) allows reduction of the irradiated heart volume at the same time as it reduces tumor bed motion and increases lung sparing. In the present study, we have evaluated the improvement in reproducibility and stability of the DIBH for left-breast-cancer treatment when visual coaching is provided with the aid of 3D video surface imaging and video goggles. Five left-breast-cancer patients and fifteen healthy volunteers were asked to perform a series of DIBHs without and with visual coaching. Reproducibility and stability of DIBH were measured for each individual with and without visual coaching. The average reproducibility and stability changed from 2.1 mm and 1.5 mm, respectively, without visual feedback to 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm with visual feedback, showing a significant statistical difference (p 2 mm) in reproducibility and stability were observed in 35% and 15% of the subjects, respectively. The average chest wall excursion of the DIBH with respect to the free breathing preceding the DIBH was found to be 11.3 mm. The reproducibility and stability of the DIBH improve significantly from the visual coaching provided to the patient, especially in those patients with poor reproducibility and stability.

  1. Using surface imaging and visual coaching to improve the reproducibility and stability of deep-inspiration breath hold for left-breast-cancer radiotherapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cervino, Laura I; Gupta, Sonia; Rose, Mary A; Yashar, Catheryn; Jiang, Steve B [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Diego, 3855 Health Sciences Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037-0843 (United States)], E-mail: sbjiang@ucsd.edu

    2009-11-21

    Late cardiac complications may arise after left-breast radiation therapy. Deep-inspiration breath hold (DIBH) allows reduction of the irradiated heart volume at the same time as it reduces tumor bed motion and increases lung sparing. In the present study, we have evaluated the improvement in reproducibility and stability of the DIBH for left-breast-cancer treatment when visual coaching is provided with the aid of 3D video surface imaging and video goggles. Five left-breast-cancer patients and fifteen healthy volunteers were asked to perform a series of DIBHs without and with visual coaching. Reproducibility and stability of DIBH were measured for each individual with and without visual coaching. The average reproducibility and stability changed from 2.1 mm and 1.5 mm, respectively, without visual feedback to 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm with visual feedback, showing a significant statistical difference (p < 0.001 for reproducibility, p < 0.01 for stability). Significant changes (>2 mm) in reproducibility and stability were observed in 35% and 15% of the subjects, respectively. The average chest wall excursion of the DIBH with respect to the free breathing preceding the DIBH was found to be 11.3 mm. The reproducibility and stability of the DIBH improve significantly from the visual coaching provided to the patient, especially in those patients with poor reproducibility and stability.

  2. Tandem-robot assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy to improve the neurovascular bundle visualization: a feasibility study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Misop; Kim, Chunwoo; Mozer, Pierre; Schäfer, Felix; Badaan, Shadie; Vigaru, Bogdan; Tseng, Kenneth; Petrisor, Doru; Trock, Bruce; Stoianovici, Dan

    2011-02-01

    To examine the feasibility of image-guided navigation using transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) to visualize the neurovascular bundle (NVB) during robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP). The preservation of the NVB during radical prostatectomy improves the postoperative recovery of sexual potency. The accompanying blood vessels in the NVB can serve as a macroscopic landmark to localize the microscopic cavernous nerves in the NVB. A novel, robotic transrectal ultrasound probe manipulator (TRUS Robot) and three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction software were developed and used concurrently with the daVinci surgical robot (Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) in a tandem-robot assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (T-RALP). After appropriate approval and informed consent were obtained, 3 subjects underwent T-RALP without associated complications. The TRUS Robot allowed a steady handling and remote manipulation of the TRUS probe during T-RALP. It also tracked the TRUS probe position accurately and allowed 3-D image reconstruction of the prostate and surrounding structures. Image navigation was performed by observing the tips of the daVinci surgical instruments in the live TRUS image. Blood vessels in the NVB were visualized using Doppler ultrasound. Intraoperative 3-D image-guided navigation in T-RALP is feasible. The use of TRUS during radical prostatectomy can potentially improve the visualization and preservation of the NVB. Further studies are needed to assess the clinical benefit of T-RALP. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Visual Acuity Improvement of Amblyopia in an Adult With Levodopa/Carbidopa Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orge, Faruk H; Dar, Suhail A

    2015-09-09

    Amblyopia is the leading cause of visual loss in children, affecting 2% to 3% of the population. Occlusion of the dominant eye is the primary and best treatment, although efficacy decreases after 6 years of age. As a result, levodopa/carbidopa has been explored as an adjunct to conventional therapy and has been shown to have an immediate impact on visual acuity. Several studies to date have shown mixed results on the benefit of supplementing occlusion therapy with levodopa/carbidopa, although they have primarily studied children. The authors describe the oldest patient (46 years old) documented in the literature to have shown improvement in visual acuity using levodopa/carbidopa. He was given a 16-week course at a dose in line with previous studies while being effectively occluded full time due to a glaucomatous right eye with no light perception. On 3-month follow-up, his left eye improved two lines and stabilized at 6 months. Copyright 2015, SLACK Incorporated.

  4. Improving the frequency of visual infusion phlebitis (VIP) scoring on an oncology ward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzolos, Evangelos; Salawu, Abdulazeez

    2014-01-01

    Phlebitis from peripheral intravenous infusions is an important potential source of oncology patient morbidity. Important factors found to determine phlebitis incidence include the kind of infusion and dwell time of intravenous cannula. Early studies showed incidence rates of between 25–70% worldwide, and association with up to 10% of S. aureus bacteraemia. The introduction of the visual infusion phlebitis (VIP) score tool for assessment of the early signs of phlebitis, along with prompt removal of peripheral intravenous cannulas, has been very successful in reducing the incidence below the acceptable rate of 5%. However, achieving this goal depends on strict compliance with guidelines for cannula insertion, documentation, and assessment using the VIP tool. This study aimed to increase the use of VIP scoring tool to 100% on an oncology ward during a four to six month period in order to maximise its utility in phlebitis prevention. Three plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles were carried out, during which two major interventions were introduced. The first cycle aimed to improve junior doctors’ awareness of VIP scoring using presentations in induction meetings and posters. The second cycle ensured that ready access to the VIP tool was provided in the form of bedside intentional rounding charts. Proportions of intravenous cannulas with proper documentation and VIP assessment were measured before intervention and at nine subsequent bi-weekly time points. Pre-intervention, under 30% of cannulas were properly documented and assessed. This proportion rose to around 80% by the end of the second PDSA cycle and achieved 100% by the end of the third cycle. PMID:26734282

  5. Improvements in clinical and functional vision and perceived visual disability after first and second eye cataract surgery

    OpenAIRE

    Elliott, D.; Patla, A.; Bullimore, M.

    1997-01-01

    AIMS—To determine the improvements in clinical and functional vision and perceived visual disability after first and second eye cataract surgery.
METHODS—Clinical vision (monocular and binocular high and low contrast visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and disability glare), functional vision (face identity and expression recognition, reading speed, word acuity, and mobility orientation), and perceived visual disability (Activities of Daily Vision Scale) were measured in 25 subjects before a...

  6. Organization Complexity and Primary Care Providers' Perceptions of Quality Improvement Culture Within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korom-Djakovic, Danijela; Canamucio, Anne; Lempa, Michele; Yano, Elizabeth M; Long, Judith A

    2016-01-01

    This study examined how aspects of quality improvement (QI) culture changed during the introduction of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patient-centered medical home initiative and how they were influenced by existing organizational factors, including VHA facility complexity and practice location. A voluntary survey, measuring primary care providers' (PCPs') perspectives on QI culture at their primary care clinics, was administered in 2010 and 2012. Participants were 320 PCPs from hospital- and community-based primary care practices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. PCPs in community-based outpatient clinics reported an improvement in established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation from 2010 to 2012. However, their peers in hospital-based clinics did not report any significant improvements in QI culture. In both years, compared with high-complexity facilities, medium- and low-complexity facilities had better scores on the scales assessing established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation. © The Author(s) 2014.

  7. The Improvement of Students’ Leadership Ethic in Studying History by Using Baratayuda Audio Visual Media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendhy Rachmadhany

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research is to know the improvement of students’ leadership ethic in studying History after the implementation of Baratayuda Audio Visual Media. The population of this research is XI-Social Science-1 Class of SMAN 1 Pare, Kediri Regency, in academic year 2016/2017, consisted of 39 students. This Classroom Action Research (CAR is arranged by Pre-test, Cycle-1 and Cycle-2 which consisted by some steps, such like; planning, implementation, observation, and reflection. Collecting the data is by using questionnaire of leadership ethic, interview, and documentation. The method of data analysis in this research is descriptive analysis by comparing the improvement from one cycle to another. The result of the research is showing that: There is an improvement of leadership ethic in studying History after the implementation of Baratayuda Audio Visual media. It is shown by the results as follows; Pre-test indicates that the passing score is about 17, 95%. On Cycle-1 indicates 46, 1% and on Cycle-2 indicates a significant improvement about 71, 83%.

  8. How Visual Management for Continuous Improvement Might Guide and Affect Hospital Staff: A Case Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulhassan, Waqar; von Thiele Schwarz, Ulrica; Westerlund, Hugo; Sandahl, Christer; Thor, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Visual management (VM) tools such as whiteboards, often employed in Lean thinking applications, are intended to be helpful in improving work processes in different industries including health care. It remains unclear, however, how VM is actually applied in health care Lean interventions and how it might influence the clinical staff. We therefore examined how Lean-inspired VM using whiteboards for continuous improvement efforts related to the hospital staff's work and collaboration. Within a case study design, we combined semistructured interviews, nonparticipant observations, and photography on 2 cardiology wards. The fate of VM differed between the 2 wards; in one, it was well received by the staff and enhanced continuous improvement efforts, whereas in the other ward, it was not perceived to fit in the work flow or to make enough sense in order to be sustained. Visual management may enable the staff and managers to allow communication across time and facilitate teamwork by enabling the inclusion of team members who are not present simultaneously; however, its adoption and value seem contingent on finding a good fit with the local context. A combination of continuous improvement and VM may be helpful in keeping the staff engaged in the change process in the long run.

  9. Learning temporal context shapes prestimulus alpha oscillations and improves visual discrimination performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toosi, Tahereh; K Tousi, Ehsan; Esteky, Hossein

    2017-08-01

    Time is an inseparable component of every physical event that we perceive, yet it is not clear how the brain processes time or how the neuronal representation of time affects our perception of events. Here we asked subjects to perform a visual discrimination task while we changed the temporal context in which the stimuli were presented. We collected electroencephalography (EEG) signals in two temporal contexts. In predictable blocks stimuli were presented after a constant delay relative to a visual cue, and in unpredictable blocks stimuli were presented after variable delays relative to the visual cue. Four subsecond delays of 83, 150, 400, and 800 ms were used in the predictable and unpredictable blocks. We observed that predictability modulated the power of prestimulus alpha oscillations in the parieto-occipital sites: alpha power increased in the 300-ms window before stimulus onset in the predictable blocks compared with the unpredictable blocks. This modulation only occurred in the longest delay period, 800 ms, in which predictability also improved the behavioral performance of the subjects. Moreover, learning the temporal context shaped the prestimulus alpha power: modulation of prestimulus alpha power grew during the predictable block and correlated with performance enhancement. These results suggest that the brain is able to learn the subsecond temporal context of stimuli and use this to enhance sensory processing. Furthermore, the neural correlate of this temporal prediction is reflected in the alpha oscillations. NEW & NOTEWORTHY It is not well understood how the uncertainty in the timing of an external event affects its processing, particularly at subsecond scales. Here we demonstrate how a predictable timing scheme improves visual processing. We found that learning the predictable scheme gradually shaped the prestimulus alpha power. These findings indicate that the human brain is able to extract implicit subsecond patterns in the temporal context of

  10. Academic Detailing with Provider Audit and Feedback Improve Prescribing Quality for Older Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenberg, Ann E; Echt, Katharina V; Kemp, Lawanda; McGwin, Gerald; Perkins, Molly M; Mirk, Anna K

    2018-03-01

    Suboptimal prescribing persists as a driver of poor quality care of older veterans and is associated with risk of hospitalization and emergency department visits. We adapted a successful medication management model, Integrated Management and Polypharmacy Review of Vulnerable Elders (IMPROVE), from an urban geriatric specialty clinic to rural community-based clinics that deliver primary care. The goals were to promote prescribing quality and safety for older adults, including reduced prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). We augmented the original model, which involved a pharmacist-led, one-on-one medication review with high-risk older veterans, to provide rural primary care providers (PCPs) and pharmacists with educational outreach through academic detailing and tools to support safe geriatric prescribing practices, as well as individual audit and feedback on prescribing practice and confidential peer benchmarking. Twenty PCPs and 4 pharmacists at 4 rural Georgia community-based outpatient clinics participated. More than 7,000 older veterans were seen in more than 20,000 PCP encounters during the 14-month intervention period. Implementation of the IMPROVE intervention reduced PIM prescribing incidence from 9.6 new medications per 100 encounters during baseline to 8.7 after the intervention (P = .009). IMPROVE reduced PIM prevalence (proportion of encounters involving veterans who were taking at least 1 PIM) from 22.6% to 16.7% (P < .001). These approaches were effective in reducing PIMs prescribed to older veterans in a rural setting and constitute a feasible model for disseminating geriatric best practices to the primary care setting. © 2018, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2018, The American Geriatrics Society.

  11. Evaluation of Total Nitrite Pattern Visualization as an Improved Method for Gunshot Residue Detection and its Application to Casework Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Jason; Upton, Colin; Springer, Elyah

    2018-04-23

    Visualization of nitrite residues is essential in gunshot distance determination. Current protocols for the detection of nitrites include, among other tests, the Modified Griess Test (MGT). This method is limited as nitrite residues are unstable in the environment and limited to partially burned gunpowder. Previous research demonstrated the ability of alkaline hydrolysis to convert nitrates to nitrites, allowing visualization of unburned gunpowder particles using the MGT. This is referred to as Total Nitrite Pattern Visualization (TNV). TNV techniques were modified and a study conducted to streamline the procedure outlined in the literature to maximize the efficacy of the TNV in casework, while reducing the required time from 1 h to 5 min, and enhancing effectiveness on blood-soiled samples. The TNV method was found to provide significant improvement in the ability to detect significant nitrite residues, without sacrificing efficiency, that would allow for the determination of the muzzle-to-target distance. © 2018 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  12. Visual feedback attenuates mean concentric barbell velocity loss, and improves motivation, competitiveness, and perceived workload in male adolescent athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weakley, Jonathon Js; Wilson, Kyle M; Till, Kevin; Read, Dale B; Darrall-Jones, Joshua; Roe, Gregory; Phibbs, Padraic J; Jones, Ben

    2017-07-12

    It is unknown whether instantaneous visual feedback of resistance training outcomes can enhance barbell velocity in younger athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of visual feedback on mean concentric barbell velocity in the back squat, and to identify changes in motivation, competitiveness, and perceived workload. In a randomised-crossover design (Feedback vs. Control) feedback of mean concentric barbell velocity was or was not provided throughout a set of 10 repetitions in the barbell back squat. Magnitude-based inferences were used to assess changes between conditions, with almost certainly greater differences in mean concentric velocity between the Feedback (0.70 ±0.04 m·s) and Control (0.65 ±0.05 m·s) observed. Additionally, individual repetition mean concentric velocity ranged from possibly (repetition number two: 0.79 ±0.04 vs. 0.78 ±0.04 m·s) to almost certainly (repetition number 10: 0.58 ±0.05 vs. 0.49 ±0.05 m·s) greater when provided feedback, while almost certain differences were observed in motivation, competitiveness, and perceived workload, respectively. Providing adolescent male athletes with visual kinematic information while completing resistance training is beneficial for the maintenance of barbell velocity during a training set, potentially enhancing physical performance. Moreover, these improvements were observed alongside increases in motivation, competitiveness and perceived workload providing insight into the underlying mechanisms responsible for the performance gains observed. Given the observed maintenance of barbell velocity during a training set, practitioners can use this technique to manipulate training outcomes during resistance training.

  13. A management framework for training providers to improve workplace skills development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Govender

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Deputy President, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, says a skills revolution is necessary for South Africa’s (SA skills crisis. The SA skills revolution began with the skills legislation of 1998-9 when the Departments of Labour (DOL and Education (DOE intended a seamless, integrated approach to rapid skills development. The National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS, the Sector Education and Training Providers (SETAs, the South African Qualifications Authorities (SAQA and the National Qualifications Framework (NQF were established to drive the human resource and skills development revolutionary strategy. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of the 2001-3 research investigating an internal management framework for training providers, employers and managers to accelerate workplace skills development. Design/Methodology/Approach: An integrated, multi-method research model was employed to gather empirical evidence on skills practices. A robust quantitative survey was conducted within 600 organisations. Simultaneously, rich, descriptive data was gathered from managers and employees using a structured qualitative interview strategy. The integrated data pool was factor analysed. The research findings, conclusion and recommended framework were reported in a PhD thesis. Findings: The research findings reveal major gaps in the effectiveness of SA training providers to radically accelerate and improve workplace skills development as per national skills legislation, implementation and management criteria. Implications: If the skills revolution in SA is to succeed, training providers especially, must become less complacent, more assertive and fully equipped when participating in the skills development arena. Originality/Value: Via this research, training providers will gain critical, reflective insight into their management framework for meeting skills legislative criteria and for managing training interventions and skills projects.

  14. Adaptation effects in static postural control by providing simultaneous visual feedback of center of pressure and center of gravity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Kenta; Mani, Hiroki; Hasegawa, Naoya; Sato, Yuki; Tanaka, Shintaro; Maejima, Hiroshi; Asaka, Tadayoshi

    2017-07-19

    The benefit of visual feedback of the center of pressure (COP) on quiet standing is still debatable. This study aimed to investigate the adaptation effects of visual feedback training using both the COP and center of gravity (COG) during quiet standing. Thirty-four healthy young adults were divided into three groups randomly (COP + COG, COP, and control groups). A force plate was used to calculate the coordinates of the COP in the anteroposterior (COP AP ) and mediolateral (COP ML ) directions. A motion analysis system was used to calculate the coordinates of the center of mass (COM) in both directions (COM AP and COM ML ). The coordinates of the COG in the AP direction (COG AP ) were obtained from the force plate signals. Augmented visual feedback was presented on a screen in the form of fluctuation circles in the vertical direction that moved upward as the COP AP and/or COG AP moved forward and vice versa. The COP + COG group received the real-time COP AP and COG AP feedback simultaneously, whereas the COP group received the real-time COP AP feedback only. The control group received no visual feedback. In the training session, the COP + COG group was required to maintain an even distance between the COP AP and COG AP and reduce the COG AP fluctuation, whereas the COP group was required to reduce the COP AP fluctuation while standing on a foam pad. In test sessions, participants were instructed to keep their standing posture as quiet as possible on the foam pad before (pre-session) and after (post-session) the training sessions. In the post-session, the velocity and root mean square of COM AP in the COP + COG group were lower than those in the control group. In addition, the absolute value of the sum of the COP - COM distances in the COP + COG group was lower than that in the COP group. Furthermore, positive correlations were found between the COM AP velocity and COP - COM parameters. The results suggest that the novel visual feedback

  15. Economic Insights into Providing Access to Improved Groundwater Sources in Remote, Low-Resource Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, A.; Lazarovitch, N.; Adar, E.

    2013-12-01

    Groundwater is often the most or only feasible drinking water source in remote, low-resource areas. Yet the economics of its development have not been systematically outlined. We applied CBARWI (Cost-Benefit Analysis for Remote Water Improvements), a recently developed Decision Support System, to investigate the economic, physical and management factors related to the costs and benefits of non-networked groundwater supply in remote areas. Synthetic profiles of community water services (n = 17,962), defined across 14 parameters' values and ranges relevant to remote areas, were imputed into the decision framework, and the parameter effects on economic outcomes were investigated through regression analysis (Table 1). Several approaches were included for financing the improvements, after Abramson et al, 2011: willingness-to -pay (WTP), -borrow (WTB) and -work (WTW) in community irrigation (';water-for-work'). We found that low-cost groundwater development approaches are almost 7 times more cost-effective than conventional boreholes fitted with handpumps. The costs of electric, submersible borehole pumps are comparable only when providing expanded water supplies, and off-grid communities pay significantly more for such expansions. In our model, new source construction is less cost-effective than improvement of existing wells, but necessary for expanding access to isolated households. The financing approach significantly impacts the feasibility of demand-driven cost recovery; in our investigation, benefit exceeds cost in 16, 32 and 48% of water service configurations financed by WTP, WTB and WTW, respectively. Regressions of total cost (R2 = 0.723) and net benefit under WTW (R2 = 0.829) along with analysis of output distributions indicate that parameters determining the profitability of irrigation are different from those determining costs and other measures of net benefit. These findings suggest that the cost-benefit outcomes associated with groundwater-based water

  16. An improved visualization-based force-measurement technique for short-duration hypersonic facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laurence, Stuart J.; Karl, Sebastian [Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, Spacecraft Section, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Goettingen (Germany)

    2010-06-15

    This article is concerned with describing and exploring the limitations of an improved version of a recently proposed visualization-based technique for the measurement of forces and moments in short-duration hypersonic wind tunnels. The technique is based on tracking the motion of a free-flying body over a sequence of high-speed visualizations; while this idea is not new in itself, the use of high-speed digital cinematography combined with a highly accurate least-squares tracking algorithm allows improved results over what have been previously possible with such techniques. The technique precision is estimated through the analysis of artificially constructed and experimental test images, and the resulting error in acceleration measurements is characterized. For wind-tunnel scale models, position measurements to within a few microns are shown to be readily attainable. Image data from two previous experimental studies in the T5 hypervelocity shock tunnel are then reanalyzed with the improved technique: the uncertainty in the mean drag acceleration is shown to be reduced to the order of the flow unsteadiness, 2-3%, and time-resolved acceleration measurements are also shown to be possible. The response time of the technique for the configurations studied is estimated to be {proportional_to}0.5 ms. Comparisons with computations using the DLR TAU code also yield agreement to within the overall experimental uncertainty. Measurement of the pitching moment for blunt geometries still appears challenging, however. (orig.)

  17. Improving Science and IT Literacy by Providing Urban-Based Environmental Science Research Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuff, K. E.; Corazza, L.; Liang, J.

    2007-12-01

    A U.C. Berkeley-based outreach program known as Environmental Science Information Technology Activities has been in operation over the past four years. The primary aim of the program is to provide opportunities for grades 9 and 10 students in diverse East San Francisco Bay Area communities to develop deeper understandings of the nature and conduct of science, which will increase their capacity to enroll and perform successfully in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses in the future. Design of the program has been informed by recent research that indicates a close relationship between educational activities that promote the perception of STEM as being relevant and the ability to foster development of deeper conceptual understandings among teens. Accordingly, ESITA includes an important student-led environmental science research project component, which provides participants with opportunities to engage in research investigations that are directly linked to relevant, real-world environmental problems and issues facing their communities. Analysis of evidence gleaned from questionnaires, interviews with participants and specific assessment/evaluation instruments indicates that ESITA program activities, including after-school meetings, summer and school year research projects, and conference preparations and presentations has provided students with high-quality inquiry science experiences that increased their knowledge of STEM and IT concepts, as well as their understanding of the nature of the scientific enterprise. In addition, the program has achieved a high degree of success in that it has: enhanced participants' intellectual self-confidence with regard to STEM; developed deeper appreciation of how scientific research can contribute to the maintenance of healthy local environments; developed a greater interest in participating in STEM-related courses of study and after school programs; and improved attitudes toward STEM. Overall

  18. Cotinine improves visual recognition memory and decreases cortical Tau phosphorylation in the Tg6799 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grizzell, J Alex; Patel, Sagar; Barreto, George E; Echeverria, Valentina

    2017-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with the progressive aggregation of hyperphosphorylated forms of the microtubule associated protein Tau in the central nervous system. Cotinine, the main metabolite of nicotine, reduced working memory deficits, synaptic loss, and amyloid β peptide aggregation into oligomers and plaques as well as inhibited the cerebral Tau kinase, glycogen synthase 3β (GSK3β) in the transgenic (Tg)6799 (5XFAD) mice. In this study, the effect of cotinine on visual recognition memory and cortical Tau phosphorylation at the GSK3β sites Serine (Ser)-396/Ser-404 and phospho-CREB were investigated in the Tg6799 and non-transgenic (NT) littermate mice. Tg mice showed short-term visual recognition memory impairment in the novel object recognition test, and higher levels of Tau phosphorylation when compared to NT mice. Cotinine significantly improved visual recognition memory performance increased CREB phosphorylation and reduced cortical Tau phosphorylation. Potential mechanisms underlying theses beneficial effects are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Improvement to visualization of nodes in breast cancer patients following audit: are we seeing the problem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, Carolyn L; Hendry, Fraser R; Bolster, Alison A

    2018-06-01

    Successful localization of nodes in breast cancer patients depends upon the effectiveness of the lymphoscintigraphy technique employed. A benefit of performing imaging as part of this procedure is that it allows sites to audit their technique. An audit of breast cancer patients at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) hospital showed nodes to be visualized in only 81% of patients. Current guidelines state that nodes should be seen in more than 95% of patients. A period of investigation and review led to changes being made to the injection and imaging technique employed at the GRI site. Following these changes a re-audit was performed that showed that the node visualization rate has successfully been increased to 97%, thereby meeting the standards set in the guidelines. This technical note details the results of the initial audit and re-audit, and explains the investigation and changes made to clinical procedures at the GRI site to improve the node visualization rate. The challenges that can occur when performing breast sentinel node procedures are also discussed.

  20. Expert advice provided through telemedicine improves healing of chronic wounds: prospective cluster controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarchi, Kian; Haugaard, Vibeke B; Dufour, Deirdre N; Jemec, Gregor B E

    2015-03-01

    Telemedicine is widely considered as an efficient approach to manage the growing problem of chronic wounds. However, to date, there is no convincing evidence to support the clinical efficacy of telemedicine in wound management. In this prospective cluster controlled study, we tested the hypothesis that advice on wound management provided by a team of wound-care specialists through telemedicine would significantly improve the likelihood of wound healing compared with the best available conventional practice. A total of 90 chronic wound patients in home care met all study criteria and were included: 50 in the telemedicine group and 40 in the conventional group. Patients with pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, and cancer wounds were excluded. During the 1-year follow-up, complete wound healing was achieved in 35 patients (70%) in the telemedicine group compared with 18 patients (45%) in the conventional group. After adjusting for important covariates, offering advice on wound management through telemedicine was associated with significantly increased healing compared with the best available conventional practice (telemedicine vs. conventional practice: adjusted hazard ratio 2.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.15-4.17; P=0.017). This study strongly supports the use of telemedicine to connect home-care nurses to a team of wound experts in order to improve the management of chronic wounds.

  1. SeSaMoNet 2.0: Improving a Navigation System for Visually Impaired People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceipidor, Ugo Biader; Medaglia, Carlo Maria; Sciarretta, Eliseo

    The authors present the improvements obtained during the work done for the last installation of SeSaMoNet, a navigation system for blind people. First the mobility issues of visually impaired people are shown together with strategies to solve them. Then an overview of the system and of its main elements is given. Afterward, the reasons which brought to a re-design are explained and finally the main features of the last system revision for the application are presented and compared to the previous one.

  2. [A web information system for enhancing management and improving special care services provided to dependent persons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Bermejo, J A; Hernández-Capel, D M; Belmonte-Ureña, L J; Roca-Piera, J

    2009-01-01

    Ensuring the quality of services provided in centres where dependent persons are seen by specialist services, by improving and enhancing how information -salary, control of tasks, patients' records, etc.- is shared between staff and carers. A web information system has been developed and experimentally deployed to accomplish this. The accuracy of the system was evaluated by assessing how confident the employees were with it rather than relying on statistical data. It was experimentally deployed since January 2009 in Asociación de Personas con Discapacidad "El Saliente" that manages several day centres in Almeria, for dependent persons over 65 years old, particularly those affected by Alzheimer' disease. Incidence data was collected during the experimental period. A total of 84% of the employees thought that the system helped to manage documents, administrative duties, etc., and 92.4% said they could attend to really important tasks because the system was responsible for alerting them of every task, such as medication timetables, checking all patients were present (to prevent an Alzheimer affected person leaving the centre) etc. During this period the incidences reported were reduced by about a 30%, although data is still partially representative. As the life expectancy of the population gets longer, these centres will increase. Providing systems such as the one presented here would be of great help for administrative duties (sensitive data protection...) as well as ensuring high quality care and attention.

  3. A survey on the knowledge and attitudes of anaesthesia providers in the United States of America, United Kingdom and Singapore on visual experiences during cataract surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, C S H; Kumar, C M; Fanning, G L; Lai, Y C; Au Eong, K G

    2006-04-01

    To assess the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of anaesthesia providers on the patients' possible intraoperative visual experiences during cataract surgery under local anaesthesia. Anaesthesia providers from the Ophthalmic Anaesthesia Society (USA); British Ophthalmic Anaesthesia Society (UK); Alexandra Hospital, National University Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and Changi General Hospital (Singapore) were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. A total of 146 anaesthesiologists (81.6%), 10 ophthalmologists (5.6%) and 23 nurse anaesthetists (12.8%) responded to the survey. Most respondents believed that patients would experience light perception and many also felt that patients might encounter other visual sensations such as movements, flashes, colours, surgical instruments, hands/fingers and the surgeon during the surgery. A significantly higher proportion of anaesthesia providers with previous experience of monitoring patients under topical anaesthesia believed that patients might experience the various visual sensations compared to those who have not previously monitored. For both topical and regional anaesthesia, anaesthesia providers who routinely counsel their patients are (1) more likely to believe that preoperative counselling helps or (2) were previously told by patients that they could see intraoperatively and/or that they were frightened by their visual sensations. These findings were statistically significant. The majority of anaesthesia providers in the USA, UK and Singapore are aware that patients may experience a variety of visual sensations during cataract surgery under regional or topical anaesthesia. Those who have previously managed patients undergoing cataract surgery under topical anaesthesia are more likely to believe this compared to those who have not.

  4. A brief bedside visual art intervention decreases anxiety and improves pain and mood in patients with haematologic malignancies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saw, J J; Curry, E A; Ehlers, S L; Scanlon, P D; Bauer, B A; Rian, J; Larson, D R; Wolanskyj, A P

    2018-04-17

    Treatment of cancer-related symptoms represents a major challenge for physicians. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine whether a brief bedside visual art intervention (BVAI) facilitated by art educators improves mood, reduces pain and anxiety in patients with haematological malignancies. Thirty-one patients (21 women and 10 men) were invited to participate in a BVAI where the goal of the session was to teach art technique for ~30 min. Primary outcome measures included the change in visual analog scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule scale, from baseline prior to and immediately post-BVAI. Total of 21 patients (19 women and two men) participated. A significant improvement in positive mood and pain scores (p = .003 and p = .017 respectively) as well as a decrease in negative mood and anxiety (p = .016 and p = .001 respectively) was observed. Patients perceived BVAI as overall positive (95%) and wished to participate in future art-based interventions (85%). This accessible experience, provided by artists within the community, may be considered as an adjunct to conventional treatments in patients with cancer-related mood symptoms and pain, and future studies with balanced gender participation may support the generalisability of these findings. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Comparative evaluation of audio and audio - tactile methods to improve oral hygiene status of visually impaired school children

    OpenAIRE

    R Krishnakumar; Swarna Swathi Silla; Sugumaran K Durai; Mohan Govindarajan; Syed Shaheed Ahamed; Logeshwari Mathivanan

    2016-01-01

    Background: Visually impaired children are unable to maintain good oral hygiene, as their tactile abilities are often underdeveloped owing to their visual disturbances. Conventional brushing techniques are often poorly comprehended by these children and hence, it was decided to evaluate the effectiveness of audio and audio-tactile methods in improving the oral hygiene of these children. Objective: To evaluate and compare the effectiveness of audio and audio-tactile methods in improving oral h...

  6. Visual Arts Education improves self-esteem for persons with dementia and reduces caregiver burden: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Allan G; Tietyen, Ann C; Jicha, Gregory A; Bardach, Shoshana H; Schmitt, Frederick A; Fardo, David W; Kryscio, Richard J; Abner, Erin L

    2018-01-01

    A Visual Arts Education program was tested among 26 pairs of persons with dementia and their caregivers. Pairs were randomized to Visual Arts Education or control groups, and each group met once per week for two months (8 weeks) to participate in activities with a trained arts instructor. Groups were assessed at baseline, two months, and six months. The Visual Arts Education group received instruction and produced a different type of artistic work each week. The pedagogical strategy was designed so that each activity was increasingly novel, challenging, and complex. The control group viewed slide shows, participated in discussions about art, and made paintings. At the six-month follow-up, significant improvements in caregiver burden and self-esteem for the persons with dementia were found in the Visual Arts Education group. The Visual Arts Education pedagogical approach shows the potential for effectiveness for improving quality of life for persons with dementia and their caregivers.

  7. Numerical integration methods and layout improvements in the context of dynamic RNA visualization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabash, Boris; Wiese, Kay C

    2017-05-30

    RNA visualization software tools have traditionally presented a static visualization of RNA molecules with limited ability for users to interact with the resulting image once it is complete. Only a few tools allowed for dynamic structures. One such tool is jViz.RNA. Currently, jViz.RNA employs a unique method for the creation of the RNA molecule layout by mapping the RNA nucleotides into vertexes in a graph, which we call the detailed graph, and then utilizes a Newtonian mechanics inspired system of forces to calculate a layout for the RNA molecule. The work presented here focuses on improvements to jViz.RNA that allow the drawing of RNA secondary structures according to common drawing conventions, as well as dramatic run-time performance improvements. This is done first by presenting an alternative method for mapping the RNA molecule into a graph, which we call the compressed graph, and then employing advanced numerical integration methods for the compressed graph representation. Comparing the compressed graph and detailed graph implementations, we find that the compressed graph produces results more consistent with RNA drawing conventions. However, we also find that employing the compressed graph method requires a more sophisticated initial layout to produce visualizations that would require minimal user interference. Comparing the two numerical integration methods demonstrates the higher stability of the Backward Euler method, and its resulting ability to handle much larger time steps, a high priority feature for any software which entails user interaction. The work in this manuscript presents the preferred use of compressed graphs to detailed ones, as well as the advantages of employing the Backward Euler method over the Forward Euler method. These improvements produce more stable as well as visually aesthetic representations of the RNA secondary structures. The results presented demonstrate that both the compressed graph representation, as well as the Backward

  8. Active training and driving-specific feedback improve older drivers' visual search prior to lane changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavallière Martin

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Driving retraining classes may offer an opportunity to attenuate some effects of aging that may alter driving skills. Unfortunately, there is evidence that classroom programs (driving refresher courses do not improve the driving performance of older drivers. The aim of the current study was to evaluate if simulator training sessions with video-based feedback can modify visual search behaviors of older drivers while changing lanes in urban driving. Methods In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the video-based feedback training, 10 older drivers who received a driving refresher course and feedback about their driving performance were tested with an on-road standardized evaluation before and after participating to a simulator training program (Feedback group. Their results were compared to a Control group (12 older drivers who received the same refresher course and in-simulator active practice as the Feedback group without receiving driving-specific feedback. Results After attending the training program, the Control group showed no increase in the frequency of the visual inspection of three regions of interests (rear view and left side mirrors, and blind spot. In contrast, for the Feedback group, combining active training and driving-specific feedbacks increased the frequency of blind spot inspection by 100% (32.3 to 64.9% of verification before changing lanes. Conclusions These results suggest that simulator training combined with driving-specific feedbacks helped older drivers to improve their visual inspection strategies, and that in-simulator training transferred positively to on-road driving. In order to be effective, it is claimed that driving programs should include active practice sessions with driving-specific feedbacks. Simulators offer a unique environment for developing such programs adapted to older drivers' needs.

  9. Active training and driving-specific feedback improve older drivers' visual search prior to lane changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavallière, Martin; Simoneau, Martin; Tremblay, Mathieu; Laurendeau, Denis; Teasdale, Normand

    2012-03-02

    Driving retraining classes may offer an opportunity to attenuate some effects of aging that may alter driving skills. Unfortunately, there is evidence that classroom programs (driving refresher courses) do not improve the driving performance of older drivers. The aim of the current study was to evaluate if simulator training sessions with video-based feedback can modify visual search behaviors of older drivers while changing lanes in urban driving. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the video-based feedback training, 10 older drivers who received a driving refresher course and feedback about their driving performance were tested with an on-road standardized evaluation before and after participating to a simulator training program (Feedback group). Their results were compared to a Control group (12 older drivers) who received the same refresher course and in-simulator active practice as the Feedback group without receiving driving-specific feedback. After attending the training program, the Control group showed no increase in the frequency of the visual inspection of three regions of interests (rear view and left side mirrors, and blind spot). In contrast, for the Feedback group, combining active training and driving-specific feedbacks increased the frequency of blind spot inspection by 100% (32.3 to 64.9% of verification before changing lanes). These results suggest that simulator training combined with driving-specific feedbacks helped older drivers to improve their visual inspection strategies, and that in-simulator training transferred positively to on-road driving. In order to be effective, it is claimed that driving programs should include active practice sessions with driving-specific feedbacks. Simulators offer a unique environment for developing such programs adapted to older drivers' needs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Contemporary management of median arcuate ligament syndrome provides early symptom improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Columbo, Jesse A.; Trus, Thadeus; Nolan, Brian; Goodney, Philip; Rzucidlo, Eva; Powell, Richard; Walsh, Daniel; Stone, David

    2017-01-01

    Objective Optimal diagnosis and management of median arcuate ligament (MAL) syndrome (MALS) remains unclear in contemporary practice. The advent and evolution of laparoscopic and endovascular techniques has redirected management toward a less invasive therapeutic algorithm. This study examined our contemporary outcomes of patients treated for MALS. Methods All patients treated for MALS at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center from 2000 to 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographics and comorbidities were recorded. Freedom from symptoms and freedom from reintervention were the primary end points. Return to work or school was assessed. Follow-up by clinic visits and telephone allowed quantitative comparisons among the patients. Results During the study interval, 21 patients (24% male), with a median age of 42 years, were treated for MALS. All patients complained of abdominal pain in the presence of a celiac stenosis, 16 (76%) also reported weight loss at the time of presentation, and 57% had a concomitant psychiatric history. Diagnostic imaging most commonly used included duplex ultrasound (81%), computed tomography angiography (66%), angiography (57%), and magnetic resonance angiography (5%). Fourteen patients (67%) underwent multiple diagnostic studies. All patients underwent initial laparoscopic MAL release. Seven patients (33%) underwent subsequent celiac stent placement in the setting of recurrent or unresolved symptoms with persistent celiac stenosis at a mean interval of 49 days. Two patients required surgical bypass after an endovascular intervention failed. The 6-month freedom from symptoms was 75% and freedom from reintervention was 64%. Eighteen patients (81%) reported early symptom improvement and weight gain, and 66% were able to return to work. Conclusions A multidisciplinary treatment approach using initial laparoscopic release and subsequent stent placement and bypass surgery provides symptom improvement in most patients treated for MALS. The

  12. Feedback to providers improves evidence-based implantable cardioverter-defibrillator programming and reduces shocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Marc T; Sterns, Laurence D; Piccini, Jonathan P; Joung, Boyoung; Ching, Chi-Keong; Pickett, Robert A; Rabinovich, Rafael; Liu, Shufeng; Peterson, Brett J; Lexcen, Daniel R

    2015-03-01

    Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) shocks are associated with increased anxiety, health care utilization, and potentially mortality. The purpose of the Shock-Less Study was to determine if providing feedback reports to physicians on their adherence to evidence-based shock reduction programming could improve their programming behavior and reduce shocks. Shock-Less enrolled primary prevention (PP) and secondary prevention (SP) ICD patients between 2009 and 2012 at 118 study centers worldwide and followed patients longitudinally after their ICD implant. Center-specific therapy programming reports (TPRs) were delivered to each center 9 to 12 months after their first enrollment. The reports detailed adherence to evidence-based programming targets: number of intervals to detect ventricular fibrillation (VF NID), longest treatment interval (LTI), supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) discriminators (Wavelet, PR Logic), SVT limit, Lead Integrity Alert (LIA), and antitachycardia pacing (ATP). Clinicians programmed ICDs at their discretion. The primary outcome measure was the change in utilization of evidence-based shock reduction programming before (phase I, n = 2694 patients) and after initiation of the TPR (phase II, n = 1438 patients). Patients implanted after feedback reports (phase II) were up to 20% more likely to have their ICDs programmed in line with evidence-based shock reduction programming (eg, VF NID in PP patients 30/40 in 33.5% vs 18.6%, P programming feedback reports improves adherence to evidence-based shock reduction programming and is associated with lower risk of ICD shocks. Copyright © 2015 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Medical Image Visual Appearance Improvement Using Bihistogram Bezier Curve Contrast Enhancement: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Hong-Seng; Swee, Tan Tian; Abdul Karim, Ahmad Helmy; Sayuti, Khairil Amir; Abdul Kadir, Mohammed Rafiq; Tham, Weng-Kit; Wong, Liang-Xuan; Chaudhary, Kashif T.; Yupapin, Preecha P.

    2014-01-01

    Well-defined image can assist user to identify region of interest during segmentation. However, complex medical image is usually characterized by poor tissue contrast and low background luminance. The contrast improvement can lift image visual quality, but the fundamental contrast enhancement methods often overlook the sudden jump problem. In this work, the proposed bihistogram Bezier curve contrast enhancement introduces the concept of “adequate contrast enhancement” to overcome sudden jump problem in knee magnetic resonance image. Since every image produces its own intensity distribution, the adequate contrast enhancement checks on the image's maximum intensity distortion and uses intensity discrepancy reduction to generate Bezier transform curve. The proposed method improves tissue contrast and preserves pertinent knee features without compromising natural image appearance. Besides, statistical results from Fisher's Least Significant Difference test and the Duncan test have consistently indicated that the proposed method outperforms fundamental contrast enhancement methods to exalt image visual quality. As the study is limited to relatively small image database, future works will include a larger dataset with osteoarthritic images to assess the clinical effectiveness of the proposed method to facilitate the image inspection. PMID:24977191

  14. Motivation and Academic Improvement Using Augmented Reality for 3D Architectural Visualization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David FONSECA ESCUDERO

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper discuss about the results from the evaluation of the motivation, user profile and level of satisfaction in the workflow using 3D augmented visualization of complex models in educational environments. The study shows the results of different experiments conducted with first and second year students from Architecture and Science and Construction Technologies (Old Spanish degree of Building Engineering, which is recognized at a European level. We have used a mixed method combining both quantitative and qualitative student assessment in order to complete a general overview of using new technologies, mobile devices and advanced visual methods in academic environments. The results show us how the students involved in the experiments improved their academic results and their implication in the subject, which allow us to conclude that the hybrid technologies improve both spatial skills and the student motivation, a key concept in the actual educational framework composed by digital-native students and a great range of different applications and interfaces useful for teaching and learning.

  15. Medical Image Visual Appearance Improvement Using Bihistogram Bezier Curve Contrast Enhancement: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Seng Gan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Well-defined image can assist user to identify region of interest during segmentation. However, complex medical image is usually characterized by poor tissue contrast and low background luminance. The contrast improvement can lift image visual quality, but the fundamental contrast enhancement methods often overlook the sudden jump problem. In this work, the proposed bihistogram Bezier curve contrast enhancement introduces the concept of “adequate contrast enhancement” to overcome sudden jump problem in knee magnetic resonance image. Since every image produces its own intensity distribution, the adequate contrast enhancement checks on the image’s maximum intensity distortion and uses intensity discrepancy reduction to generate Bezier transform curve. The proposed method improves tissue contrast and preserves pertinent knee features without compromising natural image appearance. Besides, statistical results from Fisher’s Least Significant Difference test and the Duncan test have consistently indicated that the proposed method outperforms fundamental contrast enhancement methods to exalt image visual quality. As the study is limited to relatively small image database, future works will include a larger dataset with osteoarthritic images to assess the clinical effectiveness of the proposed method to facilitate the image inspection.

  16. Spinal Cord Stimulation Provides Pain Relief with Improved Psychosocial Function: Results from EMP3OWER.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Jason; Fabi, Alain; Candido, Kenneth; Knezevic, Nick; Creamer, Michael; Carayannopoulos, Alexios; Ghodsi, Abdi; Nelson, Christopher; Bennett, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    The EMP 3 OWER™ study evaluated spinal cord stimulation (SCS) safety and efficacy and the associated changes in psychosocial and functional outcomes. Upon informed consent and IRB approval, 620 eligible subjects were enrolled prior to SCS trial evaluation and were assessed at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months post-implant. Patient-reported pain relief (PRP), numerical rating scale (NRS), satisfaction, quality of life (QOL), and pain disability index (PDI) were assessed at all follow-up visits while the pain catastrophizing scale (PCS), short form-36 (SF-36), short form-McGill pain questionnaire version 2 (SF-MPQ-2), and the state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) were assessed at the 6- and 12-month follow-up visits. Device and/or procedure-related adverse events were also recorded and reported. Subjects reporting a PRP ≥ 50% were considered responders. Repeated measures analysis of variance (RMANOVA) examined the changes across time for all continuous measures. A total of 401 (71%) subjects received a permanent implant. Mean (±SD) patient-reported pain relief was 59.3% (±26.2), 59.2% (±28.9), and 58.2% (±32.0) at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. A majority of enrolled subjects were responders at 3 (75.5%), 6 (74.7%), and 12 months (69.7%). RMANOVA revealed a statistically significant change for NRS, PCS, PDI, SF-36, SF-MPQ-2, and STAI scores. At 3 months, the majority of subjects (85.7%) were either very satisfied or satisfied with their device, with similar results at 6 and 12 months. At 3 months, the majority of subjects (73.3%) reported greatly improved or improved QOL with similar results at 6 and 12 months. Spinal cord stimulation provided pain relief and significant improvement of patient psychological and functional outcome measures. © 2016 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Improving Multisensor Positioning of Land Vehicles with Integrated Visual Odometry for Next-Generation Self-Driving Cars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammed Tahsin Rahman

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available For their complete realization, autonomous vehicles (AVs fundamentally rely on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS to provide positioning and navigation information. However, in area such as urban cores, parking lots, and under dense foliage, which are all commonly frequented by AVs, GNSS signals suffer from blockage, interference, and multipath. These effects cause high levels of errors and long durations of service discontinuity that mar the performance of current systems. The prevalence of vision and low-cost inertial sensors provides an attractive opportunity to further increase the positioning and navigation accuracy in such GNSS-challenged environments. This paper presents enhancements to existing multisensor integration systems utilizing the inertial navigation system (INS to aid in Visual Odometry (VO outlier feature rejection. A scheme called Aided Visual Odometry (AVO is developed and integrated with a high performance mechanization architecture utilizing vehicle motion and orientation sensors. The resulting solution exhibits improved state covariance convergence and navigation accuracy, while reducing computational complexity. Experimental verification of the proposed solution is illustrated through three real road trajectories, over two different land vehicles, and using two low-cost inertial measurement units (IMUs.

  18. Use of visual CO2 feedback as a retrofit solution for improving classroom air quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wargocki, Pawel; Da Silva, Nuno Alexandre Faria

    2015-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors that provide a visual indication were installed in classrooms during normal school operation. During 2-week periods, teachers and students were instructed to open the windows in response to the visual CO2 feedback in 1week and open them, as they would normally do, wit...

  19. Feedback providing improvement strategies and reflection on feedback use: Effects on students' writing motivation, process, and performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duijnhouwer, H.; Prins, F.J.; Stokking, K.M.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of feedback providing improvement strategies and a reflection assignment on students’ writing motivation, process, and performance. Students in the experimental feedback condition (n = 41) received feedback including improvement strategies, whereas students in the

  20. Providing Quality Therapeutics in Switzerland: Role of the Stakeholders and Recent Incentives for Further Improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Marie; Samer, Caroline; Rollason, Victoria; Dayer, Pierre; Desmeules, Jules

    2015-07-01

    Quality therapeutics play an important role in Switzerland's health care and economy. Switzerland holds a key position in the world of research and development, as well as in drug production. Recently, new emphasis has been placed on promoting clinical research and maintaining Switzerland's position as a center of excellence in the field. Recent revisions to the law regarding medical trials in human research allow for better allocation of regulatory resources and simplified procedures for drugs already authorized in Switzerland. The country has its own regulatory agency, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic), which is a public institution of the Swiss government. Swissmedic is responsible for ensuring safety in medicines, particularly regarding authorizations and market surveillance in the sector of medicinal products and medical devices. Although the centralized authorization procedure of the European Union for medicines does not apply to Switzerland, there are mutual recognition mechanisms between the Swiss medicine regulatory authority and the European Medicines Agency. Swissmedic is also in charge of postmarketing safety and oversees the national pharmacovigilance center, which collaborates closely with the World Health Organization center in Uppsala. In addition, university hospital-based clinical pharmacologists, who are involved in basic science and clinical research, regulatory affairs, ethics committees, and pharmacovigilance, promote quality therapeutics. This article discusses the role of the various stakeholders and the recent efforts made to provide a better allocation of resources aimed at further improving quality therapeutics in Switzerland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The Importance of Providing Multiple-Channel Sections in Dredging Activities to Improve Fish Habitat Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hung-Pin Chiu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available After Typhoon Morakot, dredging engineering was conducted while taking the safety of humans and structures into consideration, but partial stream reaches were formed in the multiple-channel sections in Cishan Stream because of anthropogenic and natural influences. This study mainly explores the distribution of each fish species in both the multiple- and single-channel sections in the Cishan Stream. Parts of the environments did not exhibit significant differences according to a one-way ANOVA comparing the multiple- and single-channel sections, but certain areas of the multiple-channel sections had more diverse habitats. Each fish species was widely distributed by non-metric multidimensional scaling in the multiple-channel sections as compared to those in the single-channel sections. In addition, according to the principal component analysis, each fish species has a preferred environment, and all of them have a wide choice of habitat environments in the multiple-channel sections. Finally, the existence of multiple-channel sections could significantly affect the existence of the fish species under consideration in this study. However, no environmental factors were found to have an influence on fish species in the single-channel sections, with the exception of Rhinogobius nantaiensis. The results show that providing multiple-channel sections in dredging activities could improve fish habitat environments.

  2. The DEDUCE Guided Query tool: providing simplified access to clinical data for research and quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, Monica M; Winfield, Stephanie; Evans, Steve; Slopek, Steve; Shang, Howard; Ferranti, Jeffrey

    2011-04-01

    In many healthcare organizations, comparative effectiveness research and quality improvement (QI) investigations are hampered by a lack of access to data created as a byproduct of patient care. Data collection often hinges upon either manual chart review or ad hoc requests to technical experts who support legacy clinical systems. In order to facilitate this needed capacity for data exploration at our institution (Duke University Health System), we have designed and deployed a robust Web application for cohort identification and data extraction--the Duke Enterprise Data Unified Content Explorer (DEDUCE). DEDUCE is envisioned as a simple, web-based environment that allows investigators access to administrative, financial, and clinical information generated during patient care. By using business intelligence tools to create a view into Duke Medicine's enterprise data warehouse, DEDUCE provides a Guided Query functionality using a wizard-like interface that lets users filter through millions of clinical records, explore aggregate reports, and, export extracts. Researchers and QI specialists can obtain detailed patient- and observation-level extracts without needing to understand structured query language or the underlying database model. Developers designing such tools must devote sufficient training and develop application safeguards to ensure that patient-centered clinical researchers understand when observation-level extracts should be used. This may mitigate the risk of data being misunderstood and consequently used in an improper fashion. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Improving visual functions in adult amblyopia with combined perceptual training and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianluca eCampana

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Amblyopia is a visual disorder due to an abnormal pattern of functional connectivity of the visual cortex and characterized by several visual deficits of spatial vision including impairments of visual acuity (VA and of the contrast sensitivity function (CSF. Despite being a developmental disorder caused by reduced visual stimulation during early life (critical period, several studies have shown that extensive visual perceptual training can improve VA and CSF in people with amblyopia even in adulthood. With the present study we assessed whether a much shorter perceptual training regime, in association with high-frequency transcranial electrical stimulation (hf-tRNS, was able to improve visual functions in a group of adult participants with amblyopia. Results show that, in comparison with previous studies where a large number sessions with a similar training regime were used (Polat, Ma-Naim, Belkin & Sagi, 2004, here just eight sessions of training in contrast detection under lateral masking conditions combined with hf-tRNS, were able to substantially improve VA and CSF in adults with amblyopia.

  4. Interprofessional Oral Health Education Improves Knowledge, Confidence, and Practice for Pediatric Healthcare Providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devon Cooper

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Dental caries is the most prevalent chronic childhood disease in the United States. Dental caries affects the health of 60–90% of school-aged children worldwide. The prevalence of untreated early childhood dental caries is 19% for children 2–5 years of age in the U.S. Some factors that contribute to the progression of dental caries include socioeconomic status, access to dental care, and lack of anticipatory guidance. The prevalence of dental caries remains highest for children from specific ethnic or racial groups, especially those living in underserved areas where there may be limited access to a dentist. Although researchers have acknowledged the various links between oral health and overall systemic health, oral health care is not usually a component of pediatric primary health care. To address this public health crisis and oral health disparity in children, new collaborative efforts among health professionals is critical for dental disease prevention and optimal oral health. This evaluation study focused on a 10-week interprofessional practice and education (IPE course on children’s oral health involving dental, osteopathic medical, and nurse practitioner students at the University of California, San Francisco. This study’s objective was to evaluate changes in knowledge, confidence, attitude, and clinical practice in children’s oral health of the students completed the course. Thirty-one students participated in the IPE and completed demographic questionnaires and four questionnaires before and after the IPE course: (1 course content knowledge, (2 confidence, (3 attitudes, and (4 clinical practice. Results showed a statistically significant improvement in the overall knowledge of children’s oral health topics, confidence in their ability to provide oral health services, and clinical practice. There was no statistically significant difference in attitude, but there was an upward trend toward positivity. To conclude, this IPE

  5. A Framework to Improve Communication and Reliability Between Cloud Consumer and Provider in the Cloud

    OpenAIRE

    Vivek Sridhar

    2014-01-01

    Cloud services consumers demand reliable methods for choosing appropriate cloud service provider for their requirements. Number of cloud consumer is increasing day by day and so cloud providers, hence requirement for a common platform for interacting between cloud provider and cloud consumer is also on the raise. This paper introduces Cloud Providers Market Platform Dashboard. This will act as not only just cloud provider discoverability but also provide timely report to consumer on cloud ser...

  6. Performance improvements from imagery:evidence that internal visual imagery is superior to external visual imagery for slalom performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nichola eCallow

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We report three experiments investigating the hypothesis that use of internal visual imagery (IVI would be superior to external visual imagery (EVI for the performance of different slalom-based motor tasks. In Experiment 1, three groups of participants (IVI, EVI, and a control group performed a driving-simulation slalom task. The IVI group achieved significantly quicker lap times than EVI and the control group. In Experiment 2, participants performed a downhill running slalom task under both IVI and EVI conditions. Performance was again quickest in the IVI compared to EVI condition, with no differences in accuracy. Experiment 3 used the same group design as Experiment 1, but with participants performing a downhill ski-slalom task. Results revealed the IVI group to be significantly more accurate than the control group, with no significant differences in time taken to complete the task. These results support the beneficial effects of IVI for slalom-based tasks, and significantly advances our knowledge related to the differential effects of visual imagery perspectives on motor performance.

  7. Improving the performance of solar still by using nanofluids and providing vacuum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kabeel, A.E.; Omara, Z.M.; Essa, F.A.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Modified solar still integrated with an external condenser and used nanofluids were studied. • The results obtained that using cuprous oxide increased the distilled productivity by 133.64%. • Using the aluminum oxide–water nanofluid increased the distillate productivity of the modified still by 125.0%. - Abstract: The experimental modifications were carried out into the conventional solar still, considerably increasing the distillate water productivity. The effects of using different types of nanomaterials on the performance of solar still were studied. The investigated solid nanoparticles are the cuprous and aluminum oxides. The performance was investigated at different weight fraction concentrations of nanoparticles in the basin water with and without providing vacuum. These additions and modifications greatly improve the evaporation and condensation rates and hence the distillate yield was augmented. The research was conducted for range of concentrations starting from 0.02% to 0.2% with a step of 0.02%. The maxima productivity was obtained for using the cuprous oxide nanoparticles with a concentration of 0.2% with operating the vacuum fan. The results obtained that using cuprous oxide nanoparticles increased the distilled productivity by 133.64% and 93.87% with and without the fan respectively. On the other hand, using aluminum oxide nanoparticles enhanced the distillate by 125.0% and 88.97% with and without the fan respectively as compared to the conventional still. The estimated cost of 1.0 l of distillate are approximately 0.035$, 0.045$ when using the cuprous oxide nanomaterial with and without the fan and, as well as the aluminum oxide nanoparticles, 0.038$ and 0.051$ respectively, and for the conventional still is 0.048$

  8. Accuracy of the visual estimation method as a predictor of food intake in Alzheimer's patients provided with different types of food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Nobuko; Nakamura, Tomiyo

    2018-02-01

    The visual estimation method is commonly used in hospitals and other care facilities to evaluate food intake through estimation of plate waste. In Japan, no previous studies have investigated the validity and reliability of this method under the routine conditions of a hospital setting. The present study aimed to evaluate the validity and reliability of the visual estimation method, in long-term inpatients with different levels of eating disability caused by Alzheimer's disease. The patients were provided different therapeutic diets presented in various food types. This study was performed between February and April 2013, and 82 patients with Alzheimer's disease were included. Plate waste was evaluated for the 3 main daily meals, for a total of 21 days, 7 consecutive days during each of the 3 months, originating a total of 4851 meals, from which 3984 were included. Plate waste was measured by the nurses through the visual estimation method, and by the hospital's registered dietitians through the actual measurement method. The actual measurement method was first validated to serve as a reference, and the level of agreement between both methods was then determined. The month, time of day, type of food provided, and patients' physical characteristics were considered for analysis. For the 3984 meals included in the analysis, the level of agreement between the measurement methods was 78.4%. Disagreement of measurements consisted of 3.8% of underestimation and 17.8% of overestimation. Cronbach's α (0.60, P visual estimation method was within the acceptable range. The visual estimation method was found to be a valid and reliable method for estimating food intake in patients with different levels of eating impairment. The successful implementation and use of the method depends upon adequate training and motivation of the nurses and care staff involved. Copyright © 2017 European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Association Between Adherence to Glasses Wearing During Amblyopia Treatment and Improvement in Visual Acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maconachie, Gail D E; Farooq, Shegufta; Bush, Glen; Kempton, Julie; Proudlock, Frank A; Gottlob, Irene

    2016-12-01

    Occlusion dose monitors have helped establish that better adherence to occlusion is associated with improved visual outcomes in patients undergoing amblyopia treatment. However, the role of adherence to glasses wearing is unknown. To establish the feasibility and reliability of objectively monitoring adherence to glasses wearing using age-based norms, establish the association between adherence to glasses wearing and improvement in visual acuity (VA) after optical treatment and occlusion therapy, and analyze the effect of age, sex, refractive errors, type of amblyopia, and adherence to glasses wearing on improvement in VA. A prospective, observational, nonmasked, cohort study was conducted between June 8, 2008, and June 30, 2013, among patients at a pediatric ophthalmology clinic of a tertiary care hospital who were newly diagnosed with anisometropic and/or strabismic amblyopia and had not undergone previous treatment. The study consisted of a glasses phase (18 weeks) and a patching phase (glasses and occlusion for 10 hours per day for 12 weeks). Reliability of the glasses monitors was assessed by comparing diary entries and monitor recordings in adults. Objective monitoring of glasses wearing and occlusion. Adherence to glasses wearing (hours per day) and effect on VA. Among 20 children with anisometropia (mean [SD] age, 6.20 [2.16] years; 11 boys and 9 girls) and 20 with strabismic or mixed amblyopia (mean [SD] age, 4.90 [1.36] years; 10 boys and 10 girls), adherence to glasses wearing was successfully monitored in all but 1 patient. Agreement between diaries and monitored times wearing glasses in adults was high (intraclass correlation coefficient, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.999-1.00). Median (SD) adherence to glasses wearing was 70% (25.3%). A moderate correlation was observed between adherence to glasses wearing and percentage improvement in VA during the glasses phase (r = 0.462; P = .003). Multiple regression revealed that age (β = -0.535; P = .001

  10. Improved Visual Hook Capturing and Tracking for Precision Hoisting of Tower Crane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanming Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available To maintain safe operation of the tower crane, it is important to monitor the activities of the hook system. Visual monitoring and image recognition are the optimum methods for crane hook tracking and precision hoisting. High real-time performance and low computation requirements are required for tower crane hook capturing and tracking system which is implemented on the embedded Advanced RISC Machines (ARM processor or Microcontrol Unit (MCU. Using the lift rope of a tower crane as the target object, a new high-performance hook tracking method suitble for ARM processor or MCU applications is presented. The features of the lifting process are analyzed, and an improved progressive probabilistic Hough transform (IPPHT algorithm is proposed which canreduce capturing time by up to 80%. Combining color histogram with a binary search algorithm, an adaptive zooming method for precise hoisting is presented. Using this method the optimum zoom scale can be achieved within a few iterations.

  11. Provider Profiling: A Population Health Improvement Tool for the Southeast Military Health System

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pemberton, Phillip

    1999-01-01

    ...). Profiling with Provider Perspectives, a Primary Care Management Tool, provides the SEMHS with a standardized performance measurement system that offers feedback in a user friendly and non-threatening format...

  12. Aversive reinforcement improves visual discrimination learning in free-flying honeybees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurore Avarguès-Weber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Learning and perception of visual stimuli by free-flying honeybees has been shown to vary dramatically depending on the way insects are trained. Fine color discrimination is achieved when both a target and a distractor are present during training (differential conditioning, whilst if the same target is learnt in isolation (absolute conditioning, discrimination is coarse and limited to perceptually dissimilar alternatives. Another way to potentially enhance discrimination is to increase the penalty associated with the distractor. Here we studied whether coupling the distractor with a highly concentrated quinine solution improves color discrimination of both similar and dissimilar colors by free-flying honeybees. As we assumed that quinine acts as an aversive stimulus, we analyzed whether aversion, if any, is based on an aversive sensory input at the gustatory level or on a post-ingestional malaise following quinine feeding. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We show that the presence of a highly concentrated quinine solution (60 mM acts as an aversive reinforcer promoting rejection of the target associated with it, and improving discrimination of perceptually similar stimuli but not of dissimilar stimuli. Free-flying bees did not use remote cues to detect the presence of quinine solution; the aversive effect exerted by this substance was mediated via a gustatory input, i.e. via a distasteful sensory experience, rather than via a post-ingestional malaise. CONCLUSION: The present study supports the hypothesis that aversion conditioning is important for understanding how and what animals perceive and learn. By using this form of conditioning coupled with appetitive conditioning in the framework of a differential conditioning procedure, it is possible to uncover discrimination capabilities that may remain otherwise unsuspected. We show, therefore, that visual discrimination is not an absolute phenomenon but can be modulated by experience.

  13. Visualizing stressful aspects of repetitive motion tasks and opportunities for ergonomic improvements using computer vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Runyu L; Azari, David P; Hu, Yu Hen; Radwin, Robert G

    2017-11-01

    Patterns of physical stress exposure are often difficult to measure, and the metrics of variation and techniques for identifying them is underdeveloped in the practice of occupational ergonomics. Computer vision has previously been used for evaluating repetitive motion tasks for hand activity level (HAL) utilizing conventional 2D videos. The approach was made practical by relaxing the need for high precision, and by adopting a semi-automatic approach for measuring spatiotemporal characteristics of the repetitive task. In this paper, a new method for visualizing task factors, using this computer vision approach, is demonstrated. After videos are made, the analyst selects a region of interest on the hand to track and the hand location and its associated kinematics are measured for every frame. The visualization method spatially deconstructs and displays the frequency, speed and duty cycle components of tasks that are part of the threshold limit value for hand activity for the purpose of identifying patterns of exposure associated with the specific job factors, as well as for suggesting task improvements. The localized variables are plotted as a heat map superimposed over the video, and displayed in the context of the task being performed. Based on the intensity of the specific variables used to calculate HAL, we can determine which task factors most contribute to HAL, and readily identify those work elements in the task that contribute more to increased risk for an injury. Work simulations and actual industrial examples are described. This method should help practitioners more readily measure and interpret temporal exposure patterns and identify potential task improvements. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Improving motor performance without training: the effect of combining mirror visual feedback with transcranial direct current stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Rein, Erik; Hoff, Maike; Kaminski, Elisabeth; Sehm, Bernhard; Steele, Christopher J; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    Mirror visual feedback (MVF) during motor training has been shown to improve motor performance of the untrained hand. Here we thought to determine if MVF-induced performance improvements of the left hand can be augmented by upregulating plasticity in right primary motor cortex (M1) by means of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) while subjects trained with the right hand. Participants performed a ball-rotation task with either their left (untrained) or right (trained) hand on two consecutive days (days 1 and 2). During training with the right hand, MVF was provided concurrent with two tDCS conditions: group 1 received a-tDCS over right M1 (n = 10), whereas group 2 received sham tDCS (s-tDCS, n = 10). On day 2, performance was reevaluated under the same experimental conditions compared with day 1 but without tDCS. While baseline performance of the left hand (day 1) was not different between groups, a-tDCS exhibited stronger MVF-induced performance improvements compared with s-tDCS. Similar results were observed for day 2 (without tDCS application). A control experiment (n = 8) with a-tDCS over right M1 as outlined above but without MVF revealed that left hand improvement was significantly less pronounced than that induced by combined a-tDCS and MVF. Based on these results, we provide novel evidence that upregulating activity in the untrained M1 by means of a-tDCS is capable of augmenting MVF-induced performance improvements in young normal volunteers. Our findings suggest that concurrent MVF and tDCS might have synergistic and additive effects on motor performance of the untrained hand, a result of relevance for clinical approaches in neurorehabilitation and/or exercise science. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Visual Input Enhancement via Essay Coding Results in Deaf Learners' Long-Term Retention of Improved English Grammatical Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berent, Gerald P.; Kelly, Ronald R.; Schmitz, Kathryn L.; Kenney, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    This study explored the efficacy of visual input enhancement, specifically "essay enhancement", for facilitating deaf college students' improvement in English grammatical knowledge. Results documented students' significant improvement immediately after a 10-week instructional intervention, a replication of recent research. Additionally, the…

  16. Developmental improvements in the resolution and capacity of visual working memory share a common source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmering, Vanessa R.; Miller, Hilary E.

    2016-01-01

    The nature of visual working memory (VWM) representations is currently a source of debate between characterizations as slot-like versus a flexibly-divided pool of resources. Recently, a dynamic neural field model has been proposed as an alternative account that focuses more on the processes by which VWM representations are formed, maintained, and used in service of behavior. This dynamic model has explained developmental increases in VWM capacity and resolution through strengthening excitatory and inhibitory connections. Simulations of developmental improvements in VWM resolution suggest that one important change is the accuracy of comparisons between items held in memory and new inputs. Thus, the ability to detect changes is a critical component of developmental improvements in VWM performance across tasks, leading to the prediction that capacity and resolution should correlate during childhood. Comparing 5- to 8-year-old children’s performance across color discrimination and change detection tasks revealed the predicted correlation between estimates of VWM capacity and resolution, supporting the hypothesis that increasing connectivity underlies improvements in VWM during childhood. These results demonstrate the importance of formalizing the processes that support the use of VWM, rather than focusing solely on the nature of representations. We conclude by considering our results in the broader context of VWM development. PMID:27329264

  17. Providing Elementary Teachers in South Texas with Professional Development to Improve Earth Science Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrego, H.; Ellins, K. K.

    2011-12-01

    Through three years of participation in the TeXas Earth and Space Science (TXESS) Revolution, an NSF-sponsored teacher professional development program, my knowledge of earth science, new pedagogical approaches, and confidence has improved dramatically. I have also received instructional materials and learned how to access high quality online resources and use a variety of web-based tools. In this session, I will share my experiences and report on how I used my own learning to help both teachers and students to become more earth science literate individuals. Earth Science test scores at the elementary level throughout South Texas are consistently low in comparison to other regions in the state. The majority of the teachers lack the content-knowledge, confidence, or experience to teach Earth Sciences. My TXESS Revolution experience helped me to understand the needs of these teachers and to identify teaching resources that would be useful to them. Particularly noteworthy are TERC's EarthLabs: Earth System Science and GLOBE activities. Although these Earthlab investigations are designed for high schools students, I demonstrated how they could be adapted for elementary students. As a result, I have provided professional development in the Earth Sciences to about 300 South Texas elementary teachers. TXESS Revolution has also equipped me to empower the students I teach. My students this past year presented their challenge Legacy Cycle Project to the community. The TXESS Revolution teamed up with the Texas Water Development Board to deliver training on the implementation of a new online challenged-based curriculum called the Water Exploration Legacy Cycles. This training gave me the tools to guide my students learning through authentic scientific research. To carry out their challenge, students researched an area of interest, read literature, consulted with experts in the field, consider different prospective, and presented their final products via PowerPoint, poster

  18. A Three Pronged Approach for Improved Data Understanding: 3-D Visualization, Use of Gaming Techniques, and Intelligent Advisory Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-10-01

    Pronged Approach for Improved Data Understanding: 3-D Visualization, Use of Gaming Techniques, and Intelligent Advisory Agents. In Visualising Network...University at the start of each fall semester, when numerous new students arrive on campus and begin downloading extensive amounts of audio and...SIGGRAPH ’92 • C. Cruz-Neira, D.J. Sandin, T.A. DeFanti, R.V. Kenyon and J.C. Hart, "The CAVE: Audio Visual Experience Automatic Virtual Environment

  19. Improving the visualization of electron-microscopy data through optical flow interpolation

    KAUST Repository

    Carata, Lucian

    2013-01-01

    Technical developments in neurobiology have reached a point where the acquisition of high resolution images representing individual neurons and synapses becomes possible. For this, the brain tissue samples are sliced using a diamond knife and imaged with electron-microscopy (EM). However, the technique achieves a low resolution in the cutting direction, due to limitations of the mechanical process, making a direct visualization of a dataset difficult. We aim to increase the depth resolution of the volume by adding new image slices interpolated from the existing ones, without requiring modifications to the EM image-capturing method. As classical interpolation methods do not provide satisfactory results on this type of data, the current paper proposes a re-framing of the problem in terms of motion volumes, considering the depth axis as a temporal axis. An optical flow method is adapted to estimate the motion vectors of pixels in the EM images, and this information is used to compute and insert multiple new images at certain depths in the volume. We evaluate the visualization results in comparison with interpolation methods currently used on EM data, transforming the highly anisotropic original dataset into a dataset with a larger depth resolution. The interpolation based on optical flow better reveals neurite structures with realistic undistorted shapes, and helps to easier map neuronal connections. © 2011 ACM.

  20. VISA: AN AUTOMATIC AWARE AND VISUAL AIDS MECHANISM FOR IMPROVING THE CORRECT USE OF GEOSPATIAL DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H. Hong

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available With the fast growth of internet-based sharing mechanism and OpenGIS technology, users nowadays enjoy the luxury to quickly locate and access a variety of geospatial data for the tasks at hands. While this sharing innovation tremendously expand the possibility of application and reduce the development cost, users nevertheless have to deal with all kinds of “differences” implicitly hidden behind the acquired georesources. We argue the next generation of GIS-based environment, regardless internet-based or not, must have built-in knowledge to automatically and correctly assess the fitness of data use and present the analyzed results to users in an intuitive and meaningful way. The VISA approach proposed in this paper refer to four different types of visual aids that can be respectively used for addressing analyzed results, namely, virtual layer, informative window, symbol transformation and augmented TOC. The VISA-enabled interface works in an automatic-aware fashion, where the standardized metadata serve as the known facts about the selected geospatial resources, algorithms for analyzing the differences of temporality and quality of the geospatial resources were designed and the transformation of analyzed results into visual aids were automatically executed. It successfully presents a new way for bridging the communication gaps between systems and users. GIS has been long seen as a powerful integration tool, but its achievements would be highly restricted if it fails to provide a friendly and correct working platform.

  1. Using a familiar risk comparison within a risk ladder to improve risk understanding by low numerates: a study of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Carmen

    2011-07-01

    Previous experimental research provides evidence that a familiar risk comparison within a risk ladder is understood by low- and high-numerate individuals. It especially helps low numerates to better evaluate risk. In the present study, an eye tracker was used to capture individuals' visual attention to a familiar risk comparison, such as the risk associated with smoking. Two parameters of information processing-efficiency and level-were derived from visual attention. A random sample of participants from the general population (N= 68) interpreted a given risk level with the help of the risk ladder. Numeracy was negatively correlated with overall visual attention on the risk ladder (r(s) =-0.28, p= 0.01), indicating that the lower the numeracy, the more the time spent looking at the whole risk ladder. Numeracy was positively correlated with the efficiency of processing relevant frequency (r(s) = 0.34, p improving risk communication formats. © 2011 Society for Risk Analysis.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bizley, Jennifer; Wood, Katherine; Freeman, Laura

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation transiently improves contrast sensitivity and normalizes visual cortex activation in individuals with amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Daniel P; Byblow, Winston D; Hess, Robert F; Thompson, Benjamin

    2013-10-01

    Amblyopia is a neurodevelopmental disorder of vision that is associated with abnormal patterns of neural inhibition within the visual cortex. This disorder is often considered to be untreatable in adulthood because of insufficient visual cortex plasticity. There is increasing evidence that interventions that target inhibitory interactions within the visual cortex, including certain types of noninvasive brain stimulation, can improve visual function in adults with amblyopia. We tested the hypothesis that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) would improve visual function in adults with amblyopia by enhancing the neural response to inputs from the amblyopic eye. Thirteen adults with amblyopia participated and contrast sensitivity in the amblyopic and fellow fixing eye was assessed before, during and after a-tDCS or cathodal tDCS (c-tDCS). Five participants also completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study designed to investigate the effect of a-tDCS on the blood oxygen level-dependent response within the visual cortex to inputs from the amblyopic versus the fellow fixing eye. A subgroup of 8/13 participants showed a transient improvement in amblyopic eye contrast sensitivity for at least 30 minutes after a-tDCS. fMRI measurements indicated that the characteristic cortical response asymmetry in amblyopes, which favors the fellow eye, was reduced by a-tDCS. These preliminary results suggest that a-tDCS deserves further investigation as a potential tool to enhance amblyopia treatment outcomes in adults.

  4. Spontaneous Resolution of Long-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikakis, Efstratios A; Chatziralli, Irini P; Peponis, Vasileios G; Karagiannis, Dimitrios; Stratos, Aimilianos; Tsiotra, Vasileia A; Mitropoulos, Panagiotis G

    2014-01-01

    To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  5. Spontaneous Resolution ofLong-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efstratios A. Parikakis

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. Case Presentation: A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT. The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. Conclusion: We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  6. Trunk motion visual feedback during walking improves dynamic balance in older adults: Assessor blinded randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anson, Eric; Ma, Lei; Meetam, Tippawan; Thompson, Elizabeth; Rathore, Roshita; Dean, Victoria; Jeka, John

    2018-05-01

    Virtual reality and augmented feedback have become more prevalent as training methods to improve balance. Few reports exist on the benefits of providing trunk motion visual feedback (VFB) during treadmill walking, and most of those reports only describe within session changes. To determine whether trunk motion VFB treadmill walking would improve over-ground balance for older adults with self-reported balance problems. 40 adults (75.8 years (SD 6.5)) with self-reported balance difficulties or a history of falling were randomized to a control or experimental group. Everyone walked on a treadmill at a comfortable speed 3×/week for 4 weeks in 2 min bouts separated by a seated rest. The control group was instructed to look at a stationary bulls-eye target while the experimental group also saw a moving cursor superimposed on the stationary bulls-eye that represented VFB of their walking trunk motion. The experimental group was instructed to keep the cursor in the center of the bulls-eye. Somatosensory (monofilaments and joint position testing) and vestibular function (canal specific clinical head impulses) was evaluated prior to intervention. Balance and mobility were tested before and after the intervention using Berg Balance Test, BESTest, mini-BESTest, and Six Minute Walk. There were no significant differences between groups before the intervention. The experimental group significantly improved on the BESTest (p = 0.031) and the mini-BEST (p = 0.019). The control group did not improve significantly on any measure. Individuals with more profound sensory impairments had a larger improvement on dynamic balance subtests of the BESTest. Older adults with self-reported balance problems improve their dynamic balance after training using trunk motion VFB treadmill walking. Individuals with worse sensory function may benefit more from trunk motion VFB during walking than individuals with intact sensory function. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Improvement of Fine Motor Skills in Children with Visual Impairment: An Explorative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, A. M.; Cox, R. F. A.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M. W. G.; Boonstra, F. N.

    2011-01-01

    In this study we analysed the potential spin-off of magnifier training on the fine-motor skills of visually impaired children. The fine-motor skills of 4- and 5-year-old visually impaired children were assessed using the manual skills test for children (6-12 years) with a visual impairment (ManuVis) and movement assessment for children (Movement…

  8. Map Learning with a 3D Printed Interactive Small-Scale Model: Improvement of Space and Text Memorization in Visually Impaired Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Giraud

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Special education teachers for visually impaired students rely on tools such as raised-line maps (RLMs to teach spatial knowledge. These tools do not fully and adequately meet the needs of the teachers because they are long to produce, expensive, and not versatile enough to provide rapid updating of the content. For instance, the same RLM can barely be used during different lessons. In addition, those maps do not provide any interactivity, which reduces students’ autonomy. With the emergence of 3D printing and low-cost microcontrollers, it is now easy to design affordable interactive small-scale models (SSMs which are adapted to the needs of special education teachers. However, no study has previously been conducted to evaluate non-visual learning using interactive SSMs. In collaboration with a specialized teacher, we designed a SSM and a RLM representing the evolution of the geography and history of a fictitious kingdom. The two conditions were compared in a study with 24 visually impaired students regarding the memorization of the spatial layout and historical contents. The study showed that the interactive SSM improved both space and text memorization as compared to the RLM with braille legend. In conclusion, we argue that affordable home-made interactive small scale models can improve learning for visually impaired students. Interestingly, they are adaptable to any teaching situation including students with specific needs.

  9. Map Learning with a 3D Printed Interactive Small-Scale Model: Improvement of Space and Text Memorization in Visually Impaired Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraud, Stéphanie; Brock, Anke M; Macé, Marc J-M; Jouffrais, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Special education teachers for visually impaired students rely on tools such as raised-line maps (RLMs) to teach spatial knowledge. These tools do not fully and adequately meet the needs of the teachers because they are long to produce, expensive, and not versatile enough to provide rapid updating of the content. For instance, the same RLM can barely be used during different lessons. In addition, those maps do not provide any interactivity, which reduces students' autonomy. With the emergence of 3D printing and low-cost microcontrollers, it is now easy to design affordable interactive small-scale models (SSMs) which are adapted to the needs of special education teachers. However, no study has previously been conducted to evaluate non-visual learning using interactive SSMs. In collaboration with a specialized teacher, we designed a SSM and a RLM representing the evolution of the geography and history of a fictitious kingdom. The two conditions were compared in a study with 24 visually impaired students regarding the memorization of the spatial layout and historical contents. The study showed that the interactive SSM improved both space and text memorization as compared to the RLM with braille legend. In conclusion, we argue that affordable home-made interactive small scale models can improve learning for visually impaired students. Interestingly, they are adaptable to any teaching situation including students with specific needs.

  10. A Process Improvement Evaluation of Sequential Compression Device Compliance and Effects of Provider Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beachler, Jason A; Krueger, Chad A; Johnson, Anthony E

    This process improvement study sought to evaluate the compliance in orthopaedic patients with sequential compression devices and to monitor any improvement in compliance following an educational intervention. All non-intensive care unit orthopaedic primary patients were evaluated at random times and their compliance with sequential compression devices was monitored and recorded. Following a 2-week period of data collection, an educational flyer was displayed in every patient's room and nursing staff held an in-service training event focusing on the importance of sequential compression device use in the surgical patient. Patients were then monitored, again at random, and compliance was recorded. With the addition of a simple flyer and a single in-service on the importance of mechanical compression in the surgical patient, a significant improvement in compliance was documented at the authors' institution from 28% to 59% (p < .0001).

  11. Providing Transthoracic Echocardiography Training for Intensive Care Unit Trainees: An Educational Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuza, Catherine M; Hanifi, M Tariq; Koç, Melissa; Stopfkuchen-Evans, Matthias

    2018-04-09

    Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is important in the management of critically ill patients, yet it has not been incorporated into many residency programs' curricula. Our objective is to determine if trainees undergoing a 60-minute training session on TTE have improved knowledge, ultrasound skills, and increases the utilization of TTE during their rotation in the intensive care unit (ICU). We will also compare the results of participants with prior TTE exposure to TTE-naïve trainees. Our hypothesis is that after the training, participants' will have improved knowledge and ultrasound skills compared to before training. Our secondary hypotheses are that TTE-naïve trainees will have greater improvements in knowledge scores compared to those who have had prior TTE experience and trainees will increase their use of TTE in the ICU. Single-center, prospective trial. Brigham and Women's Hospital (academic hospital). Residents and fellows rotating through the ICU, at any level of postgraduate training. Forty-two trainees participated in the study. Statistically significant improvement after training was observed for all multiple choice questions (MCQ) and practical assessments (p < 0.001). When assessing the differences in score improvement between TTE-experienced versus TTE-naïve users, mean score improvements were notably higher for TTE-naïve participants (MCQ: 28.2 ± 11.6; echo clinical: 48.6 ± 23.4) compared to TTE-experienced users (MCQ: 18.6 ± 13.5, p = 0.01; echo clinical: 38.3 ± 30.2, p = 0.04). A short didactic presentation on TTE use may be useful in teaching ICU trainees basic TTE skills and encouraging the use of bedside TTE in the ICU. Copyright © 2018 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The Efficacy of Private Sector Providers in Improving Public Educational Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, Carolyn J.; Nisar, Hiren

    2013-01-01

    School districts required under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to provide supplemental educational services (SES) to students in schools that are not making adequate yearly progress rely heavily on the private sector to offer choice in services. If the market does not drive out ineffective providers, students may not gain through SES participation.…

  13. RCSB PDB Mobile: iOS and Android mobile apps to provide data access and visualization to the RCSB Protein Data Bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Gregory B; Bi, Chunxiao; Christie, Cole H; Pang, Kyle; Prlić, Andreas; Nakane, Takanori; Zardecki, Christine; Voigt, Maria; Berman, Helen M; Bourne, Philip E; Rose, Peter W

    2015-01-01

    The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB) resource provides tools for query, analysis and visualization of the 3D structures in the PDB archive. As the mobile Web is starting to surpass desktop and laptop usage, scientists and educators are beginning to integrate mobile devices into their research and teaching. In response, we have developed the RCSB PDB Mobile app for the iOS and Android mobile platforms to enable fast and convenient access to RCSB PDB data and services. Using the app, users from the general public to expert researchers can quickly search and visualize biomolecules, and add personal annotations via the RCSB PDB's integrated MyPDB service. RCSB PDB Mobile is freely available from the Apple App Store and Google Play (http://www.rcsb.org). © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  14. Multisensory teamwork: using a tactile or an auditory display to exchange gaze information improves performance in joint visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahn, Basil; Schwandt, Jessika; Krüger, Matti; Crafa, Daina; Nunnendorf, Vanessa; König, Peter

    2016-06-01

    In joint tasks, adjusting to the actions of others is critical for success. For joint visual search tasks, research has shown that when search partners visually receive information about each other's gaze, they use this information to adjust to each other's actions, resulting in faster search performance. The present study used a visual, a tactile and an auditory display, respectively, to provide search partners with information about each other's gaze. Results showed that search partners performed faster when the gaze information was received via a tactile or auditory display in comparison to receiving it via a visual display or receiving no gaze information. Findings demonstrate the effectiveness of tactile and auditory displays for receiving task-relevant information in joint tasks and are applicable to circumstances in which little or no visual information is available or the visual modality is already taxed with a demanding task such as air-traffic control. Practitioner Summary: The present study demonstrates that tactile and auditory displays are effective for receiving information about actions of others in joint tasks. Findings are either applicable to circumstances in which little or no visual information is available or when the visual modality is already taxed with a demanding task.

  15. Rubisco catalytic properties of wild and domesticated relatives provide scope for improving wheat photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prins, Anneke; Orr, Douglas J; Andralojc, P John; Reynolds, Matthew P; Carmo-Silva, Elizabete; Parry, Martin A J

    2016-03-01

    Rubisco is a major target for improving crop photosynthesis and yield, yet natural diversity in catalytic properties of this enzyme is poorly understood. Rubisco from 25 genotypes of the Triticeae tribe, including wild relatives of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), were surveyed to identify superior enzymes for improving photosynthesis in this crop. In vitro Rubisco carboxylation velocity (V c), Michaelis-Menten constants for CO2 (K c) and O2 (K o) and specificity factor (S c/o) were measured at 25 and 35 °C. V c and K c correlated positively, while V c and S c/o were inversely related. Rubisco large subunit genes (rbcL) were sequenced, and predicted corresponding amino acid differences analysed in relation to the corresponding catalytic properties. The effect of replacing native wheat Rubisco with counterparts from closely related species was analysed by modelling the response of photosynthesis to varying CO2 concentrations. The model predicted that two Rubisco enzymes would increase photosynthetic performance at 25 °C while only one of these also increased photosynthesis at 35 °C. Thus, under otherwise identical conditions, catalytic variation in the Rubiscos analysed is predicted to improve photosynthetic rates at physiological CO2 concentrations. Naturally occurring Rubiscos with superior properties amongst the Triticeae tribe can be exploited to improve wheat photosynthesis and crop productivity. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  16. Providing Students with Interdisciplinary Support to Improve Their Organic Chemistry Posters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widanski, Bozena; Thompson, Jo Ann; Foran-Mulcahy, Katie; Abafo, Amy

    2016-01-01

    A two-semester-long interdisciplinary support effort to improve student posters in organic chemistry lab is described. In the first semester, students' literature search report is supported by a workshop conducted by an Instruction Librarian. During the subsequent semester, a second workshop is presented by the Instruction Librarian, an English…

  17. Partnership working and improved service delivery: views of staff providing sexual health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pow, Janette; Elliott, Lawrie; Raeside, Robert; Themessl-Huber, Markus; Claveirole, Anne

    2013-07-01

    Successful partnership working has theoretically been linked to improvements in service delivery and is dependent on the strength of the partnership, trust, communication, professional roles and resource sharing. Empirical evidence to confirm the relationships between these factors and improved service provision, however, is lacking. Our aim was to assess the views of staff as to the conditions required for partnership working. This study was a cross-sectional survey of 687 staff offering sexual health education, information or support to young people in the Healthy Respect intervention area in Scotland. Views of each variable were scored and structural equation modelling was used to assess the theoretical model. Responses were received from 284 (41%) staff. Greater strength of partnership was directly associated with increasing the number of referrals. Establishing professional roles between organizations was also associated with increasing the number of referrals. Strength of partnership was indirectly associated with working more effectively with young people and this relationship depended on clear communication, trust, established professional roles and shared resources. Effective partnership working depends on a number of interdependent relationships between organizations, which act synergistically to improve organizational outcomes. Effective partnership working leads to improved service delivery though there is a need for better controlled studies which demonstrate the effect on health outcomes.

  18. Quality of provided care in vascular surgery : outcome assessment & improvement strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flu, Hans Christiaan

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the quality of care in vascular surgery in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD): intermittent claudication (IC) and critical lower limb ischaemia (CLI) patients. Therefore firstly it focused on the improvement of the

  19. Improving participation rates by providing choice of participation mode: two randomized controlled trials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijmans, N.; Lieshout, J. van; Wensing, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Low participation rates reduce effective sample size, statistical power and can increase risk for selection bias. Previous research suggests that offering choice of participation mode can improve participation rates. However, few head-to-head trials compared choice of participation mode

  20. [Association between visual improvement after photocoagulation and the use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in diabetic macular oedema].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somilleda-Ventura, Selma Alin; García-Rubio, Yatzul Zuhaila; Razo Blanco-Hernández, Dulce Milagros; Lima-Gómez, Virgilio

    2016-01-01

    Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors are effective in delaying the progression of diabetic retinopathy. It is unknown if their use is associated with a better visual outcome in patients with diabetic macular oedema. A non-experimental, comparative, longitudinal and retrospective study was performed on patients with diabetic macular oedema treated by focal photocoagulation, and with systemic arterial hypertension treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (Group 1), and without hypertension (Group 2). The dependent variable was the proportion with visual improvement, operatively defined as the gain of one or more lines of vision three weeks after photocoagulation. The independent variable was the use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. The proportion of eyes with visual improvement after treatment was compared between groups using the Chi squared (χ(2)) test. A total of 33 eyes (51.6%) were assigned to group 1, and 31 (48.2%), to group 2. The mean of visual acuity improved after three weeks, compared with baseline (p=0.002). The proportion of eyes with visual improvement did not differ between patients treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (45.5%) and those that did not use them (51.6%, p=0.4). There was no statistical difference in the proportion of eyes with visual improvement between patients treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and in those where they were not used. There is no support for the inhibition of angiotensin II in addition to photocoagulation for improving the outcome in patients with diabetic macular oedema. Copyright © 2015 Academia Mexicana de Cirugía A.C. Published by Masson Doyma México S.A. All rights reserved.

  1. Provider-Initiated Patient Satisfaction Reporting Yields Improved Physician Ratings Relative to Online Rating Websites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardi, Benjamin F; Waddell, Brad S; Nodzo, Scott R; Lange, Jeffrey; Nocon, Allina A; Amundsen, Spencer; Tarity, T David; McLawhorn, Alexander S

    2017-09-01

    Recently, providers have begun to publicly report the results of patient satisfaction surveys from their practices. However, these outcomes have never been compared with the findings of commercial online physician rating websites. The goals of the current study were to (1) compare overall patient satisfaction ratings for orthopedic surgeons derived from provider-based third-party surveys with existing commercial physician rating websites and (2) determine the association between patient ratings and provider characteristics. The authors identified 12 institutions that provided publicly available patient satisfaction outcomes derived from third-party surveys for their orthopedic surgeons as of August 2016. Orthopedic surgeons at these institutions were eligible for inclusion (N=340 surgeons). Provider characteristics were recorded from publicly available data. Four high-traffic commercial online physician rating websites were identified: Healthgrades.com, UCompareHealthCare.com, Vitals.com, and RateMDs.com. For each surgeon, overall ratings (on a scale of 1-5), total number of ratings, and percentage of negative ratings were compared between provider-initiated internal ratings and each commercial online website. Associations between baseline factors and overall physician ratings and negative ratings were assessed. Provider-initiated internal patient satisfaction ratings showed a greater number of overall patient ratings, higher overall patient satisfaction ratings, and a lower percentage of negative comments compared with commercial online physician rating websites. A greater number of years in practice had a weak association with lower internal ratings, and an academic practice setting and a location in the Northeast were protective factors for negative physician ratings. Compared with commercial online physician rating websites, provider-initiated patient satisfaction ratings of orthopedic surgeons appear to be more favorable, with greater numbers of responses

  2. Provide a model to improve the performance of intrusion detection systems in the cloud

    OpenAIRE

    Foroogh Sedighi

    2016-01-01

    High availability of tools and service providers in cloud computing and the fact that cloud computing services are provided by internet and deal with public, have caused important challenges for new computing model. Cloud computing faces problems and challenges such as user privacy, data security, data ownership, availability of services, and recovery after breaking down, performance, scalability, programmability. So far, many different methods are presented for detection of intrusion in clou...

  3. Improving visual observation skills through the arts to aid radiographic interpretation in veterinary practice: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Cathy; Gaunt, Heather; Chiavaroli, Neville

    2017-09-01

    Radiographic interpretation is a perceptual and cognitive skill. Recently core veterinary radiology textbooks have focused on the cognitive (i.e., the clinical aspects of radiographic interpretation) rather than the features of visual observation that improve identification of abnormalities. As a result, the skill of visual observation is underemphasized and thus often underdeveloped by trainees. The study of the arts in medical education has been used to train and improve visual observation and empathy. The use of the arts to improve visual observation skills in Veterinary Science has not been previously described. Objectives of this pilot study were to adapt the existing Visual Arts in Health Education Program for medical and dental students at the University of Melbourne, Australia to third year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students and evaluate their perceptions regarding the program's effects on visual observation skills and confidence with respect to radiographic interpretation. This adaptation took the form of a single seminar given to third year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students. Following the seminar, students reported an improved approach to radiographic interpretation and felt they had gained skills which would assist them throughout their career. In the year following the seminar, written reports of the students who attended the seminar were compared with reports from a matched cohort of students who did not attend the seminar. This demonstrated increased identification of abnormalities and greater description of the abnormalities identified. Findings indicated that explicit training in visual observation may be a valuable adjunct to the radiology training of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students. © 2017 American College of Veterinary Radiology.

  4. Evaluating role of interactive visualization tool in improving students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampath Kumar, Bharath

    interviews pre and post revealed students' mental model or thought process towards chemical equilibrium. Simulations used in the study were developed using the SCRATCH software platform. In order to test the effect of visualization tool on students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium, an ANCOVA analysis was conducted. Results from a one-factor ANCOVA showed posttest scores were significantly higher for the experimental group (Mpostadj. = 7.27 SDpost = 1.387) relative to the control group (Mpostadj. = 2.67, SDpost = 1.371) after adjusting for pretest scores, F (1,24) = 71.82, MSE = 1.497, p = 0.03, eta 2p = 0.75, d = 3.33. Cohen's d was converted to an attenuated effect size d* using the procedure outlined in Thompson (2006). The adjusted (for pretest scores) group mean difference estimate without measure error correction for the posttest scores and the pretest scores was 4.2 with a Cohen's d = 3.04. An alternate approach reported in Cho and Preacher (2015) was used to determine effect size. The adjusted (for pretest scores) group mean difference estimate with measurement error correction only for the posttest scores (but not with measurement error correction for the pretest scores) was 4.99 with a Cohen's d = 3.61. Finally, the adjusted (for pretest scores) group mean difference estimate with measurement error correction for both pretest and posttest scores was 4.23 with a Cohen's d = 3.07. From a quantitative perspective, these effect size indicate a strong relationship between the experimental intervention provided and students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts. That is, those students who received the experimental intervention had exceptionally higher. KEYWORDS: Chemical Equilibrium, Visualization, Alternate Conceptions, Ontological Shift. Simulations.

  5. Job satisfaction and career commitment among Alzheimer's care providers: addressing turnover and improving staff empowerment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coogle, Constance L; Parham, Iris A; Rachel, Colleen A

    2011-11-01

    This study investigated the relation between job satisfaction and career commitment among 262 Alzheimer's care staff working in long-term and community-based care settings. It was anticipated that the results would suggest whether career commitment could be enhanced to positively influence job satisfaction, and conversely, if improvements in job satisfaction might contribute to a deepened sense of vocational empowerment. Participants attended dementia-specific training and completed 2 short work-related questionnaires that measured job satisfaction and career commitment. The results of stepwise regression revealed interrelations between the 2 constructs. Congruence appeared to be reciprocal with respect to the overall scale scores and the intrinsic job satisfaction measure. Unexpected relations appeared in analyses of the extrinsic job satisfaction measure and the career planning subscale. Results are indicative of the fundamental distinction between job satisfaction and career commitment. Implications for efforts to reduce turnover and improve staff empowerment are also considered.

  6. Non-ablative fractional laser provides long-term improvement of mature burn scars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taudorf, Elisabeth H; Danielsen, Patricia L; Paulsen, Ida F

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Non-ablative fractional laser-treatment is evolving for burn scars. The objective of this study was to evaluate clinical and histological long-term outcome of 1,540 nm fractional Erbium: Glass laser, targeting superficial, and deep components of mature burn scars....... MATERIALS & METHODS: Side-by-side scar-areas were randomized to untreated control or three monthly non-ablative fractional laser-treatments using superficial and extra-deep handpieces. Patient follow-up were at 1, 3, and 6 months. Primary outcome was improvement in overall scar-appearance on a modified...... of scar-appearance. CONCLUSIONS: Combined superficial and deep non-ablative fractional laser-treatments induce long-term clinical and histological improvement of mature burn scars....

  7. The improving of the heat networks operating process under the conditions of the energy efficiency providing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blinova Tatiana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Among the priorities it is important to highlight the modernization and improvement of energy efficiency of housing and communal services, as well as the transition to the principle of using the most efficient technologies used in reproduction (construction, creation of objects of municipal infrastructure and housing modernization. The main hypothesis of this study lies in the fact that in modern conditions the realization of the most important priorities of the state policy in the sphere of housing and communal services, is possible in the conditions of use of the most effective control technologies for the reproduction of thermal networks. It is possible to raise the level of information security Heat Distribution Company, and other market participants by improving business processes through the development of organizational and economic mechanism in the conditions of complex monitoring of heat network operation processes

  8. Completion plug design provides improved operational efficiency and safety while minimizing environmental risks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dum, Frank [T.D. Williamson, Inc., Tulsa, OK (United States)

    2012-07-01

    Pipeline repair standards have been raised with recent improvements for completion plugs when used with a brand new setting tool, resulting in lower environmental risks, improved operational efficiency and safety. The design changes were originally made to serve in an offshore environment in order to minimize the diver's time in the water and simplify steps by the diver to execute pipeline repair operations in cold, dark conditions. Enhancements in the design include fewer number of fittings, plugs, o-rings and gaskets isolating the pipeline product found inside the pipe. The new design is a step toward meeting strict operational and safety standards demanded in the field of pipeline maintenance and repair. (author)

  9. A novel class of laboratory middleware. Promoting information flow and improving computerized provider order entry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisson, Ricky; Kim, Ji Yeon; Brodsky, Victor; Kamis, Irina K; Singh, Balaji; Belkziz, Sidi M; Batra, Shalini; Myers, Harold J; Demyanov, Alexander; Dighe, Anand S

    2010-06-01

    A central duty of the laboratory is to inform clinicians about the availability and usefulness of laboratory testing. In this report, we describe a new class of laboratory middleware that connects the traditional clinical laboratory information system with the rest of the enterprise, facilitating information flow about testing services. We demonstrate the value of this approach in efficiently supporting an inpatient order entry application. We also show that order entry monitoring and iterative middleware updates can enhance ordering efficiency and promote improved ordering practices. Furthermore, we demonstrate the value of algorithmic approaches to improve the accuracy and completeness of laboratory test searches. We conclude with a discussion of design recommendations for middleware applications and discuss the potential role of middleware as a sharable, centralized repository of laboratory test information.

  10. Applying BI Techniques To Improve Decision Making And Provide Knowledge Based Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Maria Ioana FLOREA

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper focuses on BI techniques and especially data mining algorithms that can support and improve the decision making process, with applications within the financial sector. We consider the data mining techniques to be more efficient and thus we applied several techniques, supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms The case study in which these algorithms have been implemented regards the activity of a banking institution, with focus on the management of lending activities.

  11. Improving Deployment-Related Primary Care Provider Assessments of PTSD and Mental Health Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-01

    Eich, P., Kiss , A., & Wossmer, B. (1998). Improving communication skills--a randomized controlled behaviorally oriented intervention study for...cases this misconduct was drug-related (Highfill-McRoy, Larson, Booth - Kewley, and Garland 2010).  Both experiencing trauma (i.e. being wounded...their data (Highfill-McRoy, Larson, Booth -Kewley, and Garland 2010). o In an article that reviewed 29 other studies on PTSD found that studies with the

  12. How do I provide leukapheresis products? Blood center experience and evidence for process improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginzburg, Yelena; Kessler, Debra; Narici, Manlio; Caltabiano, Melinda; Rebosa, Mark; Strauss, Donna; Shaz, Beth

    2013-10-01

    The past few decades have seen a resurgence of interest in leukapheresis products to improve the survival of infected patients with neutropenia. These products have a short shelf life and require donor stimulation with dexamethasone before collection. Additionally, a system with good communications and logistical support is essential. A recent survey of blood centers in North America revealed that the majority of centers collecting leukapheresis products use steroid-stimulated donors. The survey results suggested that an analysis of the process and potential process improvement would be of interest to the transfusion medicine community. Data from 2008 to 2011 regarding donor selection, donor dexamethasone stimulation, leukapheresis collection, and correlations between potentially pertinent variables for process improvement were analyzed. Results from an analysis of cost are also included. We evaluate 432 leukapheresis donations and demonstrate correlations between 1) pre- and poststimulation white blood cell (WBC) count (pproduct granulocyte yield (pimprovement in granulocyte quality and yield can be accomplished in dexamethasone-stimulated donors, by selecting eligible donors with relatively high normal prestimulation WBC counts and/or previously good responses to dexamethasone, increasing the duration between dexamethasone stimulation and granulocyte collection, and maintaining optimal hematocrit (5%-10%) in granulocyte collections. Because the majority of surveyed blood centers collecting stimulated granulocytes use steroids alone, modifications presented here may prove useful. Further assessment of correlation between granulocyte yield and clinical outcome will await results of additional studies. © 2012 American Association of Blood Banks.

  13. An improved mixing model providing joint statistics of scalar and scalar dissipation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, Daniel W. [Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (United States); Jenny, Patrick [Institute of Fluid Dynamics, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)

    2008-11-15

    For the calculation of nonpremixed turbulent flames with thin reaction zones the joint probability density function (PDF) of the mixture fraction and its dissipation rate plays an important role. The corresponding PDF transport equation involves a mixing model for the closure of the molecular mixing term. Here, the parameterized scalar profile (PSP) mixing model is extended to provide the required joint statistics. Model predictions are validated using direct numerical simulation (DNS) data of a passive scalar mixing in a statistically homogeneous turbulent flow. Comparisons between the DNS and the model predictions are provided, which involve different initial scalar-field lengthscales. (author)

  14. The cost-effectiveness of using financial incentives to improve provider quality: a framework and application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meacock, R.; Kristensen, Søren Rud; Sutton, M.

    2014-01-01

    Despite growing adoption of pay-for-performance (P4P) programmes in health care, there is remarkably little evidence on the cost-effectiveness of such schemes. We review the limited number of previous studies and critique the frameworks adopted and the narrow range of costs and outcomes considered......, and whether performance improvement is a transitory or investment activity. Our application to the Advancing Quality initiative demonstrates that the incentive payments represented less than half of the 13m pound total programme costs. By generating approximately 5200 quality-adjusted life years and 4.4m...

  15. Improved Ribosome-Footprint and mRNA Measurements Provide Insights into Dynamics and Regulation of Yeast Translation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-11

    unlimited. Improved Ribosome-Footprint and mRNA Measurements Provide Insights into Dynamics and Regulation of Yeast Translation The views, opinions and...into Dynamics and Regulation of Yeast Translation Report Title Ribosome-footprint profiling provides genome-wide snapshots of translation, but...tend to slow translation. With the improved mRNA measurements, the variation attributable to translational control in exponentially growing yeast was

  16. Editorial: Advances in healthcare provider and patient training to improve the quality and safety of patient care

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth M. Borycki

    2015-01-01

    This special issue of the Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal is dedicated to describing “Advances in Healthcare Provider and Patient Training to Improve the Quality and Safety of Patient Care.” Patient safety is an important and fundamental requirement of ensuring the quality of patient care. Training and education has been identified as a key to improving healthcare provider patient safety competencies especially when working with new technologies such as electronic ...

  17. Macular Carotenoid Supplementation Improves Visual Performance, Sleep Quality, and Adverse Physical Symptoms in Those with High Screen Time Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringham, James M; Stringham, Nicole T; O'Brien, Kevin J

    2017-06-29

    The dramatic rise in the use of smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers over the past decade has raised concerns about potentially deleterious health effects of increased "screen time" (ST) and associated short-wavelength (blue) light exposure. We determined baseline associations and effects of 6 months' supplementation with the macular carotenoids (MC) lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin on the blue-absorbing macular pigment (MP) and measures of sleep quality, visual performance, and physical indicators of excessive ST. Forty-eight healthy young adults with at least 6 h of daily near-field ST exposure participated in this placebo-controlled trial. Visual performance measures included contrast sensitivity, critical flicker fusion, disability glare, and photostress recovery. Physical indicators of excessive screen time and sleep quality were assessed via questionnaire. MP optical density (MPOD) was assessed via heterochromatic flicker photometry. At baseline, MPOD was correlated significantly with all visual performance measures ( p eye strain, eye fatigue, and all visual performance measures, versus placebo ( p < 0.05 for all). Increased MPOD significantly improves visual performance and, in turn, improves several undesirable physical outcomes associated with excessive ST. The improvement in sleep quality was not directly related to increases in MPOD, and may be due to systemic reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation.

  18. Action video games improve reading abilities and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting in English-speaking children with dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, Sandro; Trevisan, Piergiorgio; Ronconi, Luca; Bertoni, Sara; Colmar, Susan; Double, Kit; Facoetti, Andrea; Gori, Simone

    2017-07-19

    Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties in learning to read and there is some evidence that action video games (AVG), without any direct phonological or orthographic stimulation, improve reading efficiency in Italian children with dyslexia. However, the cognitive mechanism underlying this improvement and the extent to which the benefits of AVG training would generalize to deep English orthography, remain two critical questions. During reading acquisition, children have to integrate written letters with speech sounds, rapidly shifting their attention from visual to auditory modality. In our study, we tested reading skills and phonological working memory, visuo-spatial attention, auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli localization, and cross-sensory attentional shifting in two matched groups of English-speaking children with dyslexia before and after they played AVG or non-action video games. The speed of words recognition and phonological decoding increased after playing AVG, but not non-action video games. Furthermore, focused visuo-spatial attention and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting also improved only after AVG training. This unconventional reading remediation program also increased phonological short-term memory and phoneme blending skills. Our report shows that an enhancement of visuo-spatial attention and phonological working memory, and an acceleration of visual-to-auditory attentional shifting can directly translate into better reading in English-speaking children with dyslexia.

  19. Feedback Providing Improvement Strategies and Reflection on Feedback Use: Effects on Students' Writing Motivation, Process, and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duijnhouwer, Hendrien; Prins, Frans J.; Stokking, Karel M.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of feedback providing improvement strategies and a reflection assignment on students' writing motivation, process, and performance. Students in the experimental feedback condition (n = 41) received feedback including improvement strategies, whereas students in the control feedback condition (n = 41) received…

  20. Redesigning geriatric healthcare: how cross-functional teams and process improvement provide a competitive advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, B C; Kaye, J; Bowcutt, M; Campbell, J

    2001-01-01

    This study examines the consequences of adding a geriatric subacute unit to the traditional health care mix offered by a nonprofit hospital. Historically, geriatric health care offerings have been limited to either acute care units or long-term care facilities. The study's findings demonstrate that the addition of a subacute unit that is operated by an interdisciplinary team is a competitively rational move for two reasons. First, it provides a continuum of care that integrates services and departments, thereby reducing costs. Second, it provides a supportive environment for patients and their families. As a consequence patients have a higher probability of returning home than patients who are assigned to more traditional modes of care.

  1. The Otolaryngologist's Role in Providing Gender-Affirming Care: An Opportunity for Improved Education and Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaiet, Scott R; Yoshikawa, Noriko; Sturm, Angela; Flanary, Valerie; Ishman, Stacey; Streed, Carl G

    2018-06-01

    Currently, there are limited resources and training available for otolaryngologists and otolaryngology practice personnel to provide gender-affirming care for transgender or gender nonconforming patients. This unique patient population may present to our offices for gender-specific care or with complaints of the ear, nose, and throat unrelated to gender identity. Our current practice has unintentional but direct consequences on our patients care, as transgender patients often report negative experiences in the healthcare setting related to their gender identity. The absence of resources and training is also seen in other specialties. Physicians who create an environment where patients of all gender identities feel welcome can better meet their patients' health care needs. In addition, otolaryngologists can play a role in easing the gender dysphoria experienced by transgender patients. We suggest educational content should be created for and made available to otolaryngologists and office staff to provide gender-affirming care.

  2. Modifying Provider Practice To Improve Assessment of Unhealthy Weight and Lifestyle in Young Children: Translating Evidence in a Quality Improvement Initiative for At-Risk Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Nadine L; Robert, Rebecca C; Nash, Jessica E; Lichtenstein, Cara B; Dawes, Candice S; Kelly, Katherine Patterson

    2017-06-01

    We designed a quality improvement (QI) project to address the high prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity (OW/OB) in our patient population and the inconsistencies among primary care providers in recognizing and addressing OW/OB. We used mixed methods data collection approach to evaluate a QI project, the Childhood Healthy Behaviors Intervention (CHBI), to improve provider obesity prevention practice in two low-income, predominantly African American pediatric primary care clinics. Electronic record data were extracted from all 2-9 year well visits pre- and postintervention for frequency of appropriate diagnostic coding of OW/OB. We reviewed a random sample of records for details of health habit assessment and counseling documentation. Focused interviews were conducted to elicit provider responses regarding impressions of the intervention. The preintervention sample of records (n = 267) was extracted from 18 providers and the postsample (n = 253) from 19 providers. Providers showed improvement in the recognition of OW/OB with appropriate diagnostic coding (52% pre, 68% post), improvement in assessment of health habits informed by the habit survey (0% pre, 76% post), improvement in counseling of healthy behaviors (86% pre, 92% post), and improvement in goal setting of healthy behaviors (12% pre, 70% post). Our findings suggest that implementing a time efficient primary care intervention with brief provider training can improve provider recognition of OW/OB, as well as improve provider behavior targeted at childhood obesity prevention. This project contributes needed QI evidence on interventions to prevent and address OW/OB in primary care settings and calls for further work to strengthen implementation in similar contexts.

  3. Quality and use of consumer information provided with home test kits: room for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grispen, Janaica E J; Ickenroth, Martine H P; de Vries, Nanne K; van der Weijden, Trudy; Ronda, Gaby

    2014-10-01

    Diagnostic self-tests (tests on body materials that are initiated by consumers with the aim of diagnosing a disorder or risk factor) are becoming increasingly available. Although the pros and cons of self-testing are currently not clear, it is an existing phenomenon that is likely to gain further popularity. To examine consumers' use of and needs for information about self-testing, and to assess the quality of consumer information provided with home test kits, as perceived by consumers and as assessed using a checklist of quality criteria. A cross-sectional Internet survey among 305 self-testers assessed their use of and needs for information and their perception of the quality of consumer information provided with self-test kits. A meta-search engine was used to identify Dutch and English consumer information for home diagnostic tests available online at the time of the study. The quality of this consumer information was evaluated using a checklist of quality criteria. The consumers' information needs were in line with the most frequently used information, and the information was perceived as being of moderate to good quality. The information was mostly in agreement with clinical practice guidelines, although information on reliability and follow-up behaviour was limited. Approximately half of the instruction leaflets did not include information on the target group of the test. Although generally of moderate to good quality, some aspects of the information provided were in many cases insufficient. European legislation concerning self-tests and accompanying information needs to be adapted and adhered to more closely. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Rapid Improvement in Visual Selective Attention Related to Action Video Gaming Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nan Qiu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available A central issue in cognitive science is understanding how learning induces cognitive and neural plasticity, which helps illuminate the biological basis of learning. Research in the past few decades showed that action video gaming (AVG offered new, important perspectives on learning-related cognitive and neural plasticity. However, it is still unclear whether cognitive and neural plasticity is observable after a brief AVG session. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, this study examined the plasticity of visual selective attention (VSA associated with a 1 h AVG session. Both AVG experts and non-experts participated in this study. Their VSA was assessed prior to and after the AVG session. Within-group comparisons on the participants' performance before and after the AVG session showed improvements in response time in both groups and modulations of electrophysiological measures in the non-experts. Furthermore, between-group comparisons showed that the experts had superior VSA, relative to the non-experts, prior to the AVG session. These findings suggested an association between the plasticity of VSA and AVG. Most importantly, this study showed that the plasticity of VSA was observable after even a 1 h AVG session.

  5. Rapid Improvement in Visual Selective Attention Related to Action Video Gaming Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Nan; Ma, Weiyi; Fan, Xin; Zhang, Youjin; Li, Yi; Yan, Yuening; Zhou, Zhongliang; Li, Fali; Gong, Diankun; Yao, Dezhong

    2018-01-01

    A central issue in cognitive science is understanding how learning induces cognitive and neural plasticity, which helps illuminate the biological basis of learning. Research in the past few decades showed that action video gaming (AVG) offered new, important perspectives on learning-related cognitive and neural plasticity. However, it is still unclear whether cognitive and neural plasticity is observable after a brief AVG session. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, this study examined the plasticity of visual selective attention (VSA) associated with a 1 h AVG session. Both AVG experts and non-experts participated in this study. Their VSA was assessed prior to and after the AVG session. Within-group comparisons on the participants' performance before and after the AVG session showed improvements in response time in both groups and modulations of electrophysiological measures in the non-experts. Furthermore, between-group comparisons showed that the experts had superior VSA, relative to the non-experts, prior to the AVG session. These findings suggested an association between the plasticity of VSA and AVG. Most importantly, this study showed that the plasticity of VSA was observable after even a 1 h AVG session.

  6. Improving health care strategy planning through assessment of perceptions of consumers, providers and administrators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scammon, D; Kennard, L

    1983-01-01

    Perceptions of consumers, health care administrators, and physicians regarding health care providers are analyzed. Ratings on 26 dimensions of health care services were obtained from members of the three participant groups using measures of image and satisfaction of both physicians in general, and of specific physicians. Discriminant analysis reveals significantly different perceptions of the health care system among the three groups of respondents. These differences suggest some changes in health care administration which could lead to increased consumer satisfaction and competitive advantages for physicians and health care institutions.

  7. Training providers on issues of race and racism improve health care equity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Stephen C; Prasad, Shailendra; Hackman, Heather W

    2015-05-01

    Race is an independent factor in health disparity. We developed a training module to address race, racism, and health care. A group of 19 physicians participated in our training module. Anonymous survey results before and after the training were compared using a two-sample t-test. The awareness of racism and its impact on care increased in all participants. White participants showed a decrease in self-efficacy in caring for patients of color when compared to white patients. This training was successful in deconstructing white providers' previously held beliefs about race and racism. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Intraocular Injection of ES Cell-Derived Neural Progenitors Improve Visual Function in Retinal Ganglion Cell-Depleted Mouse Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mundackal S. Divya

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Retinal ganglion cell (RGC transplantation is a promising strategy to restore visual function resulting from irreversible RGC degeneration occurring in glaucoma or inherited optic neuropathies. We previously demonstrated FGF2 induced differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC to RGC lineage, capable of retinal ganglion cell layer (GCL integration upon transplantation. Here, we evaluated possible improvement of visual function by transplantation of ES cell derived neural progenitors in RGC depleted glaucoma mice models. ESC derived neural progenitors (ES-NP were transplanted into N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA injected, RGC-ablated mouse models and a pre-clinical glaucoma mouse model (DBA/2J having sustained higher intra ocular pressure (IOP. Visual acuity and functional integration was evaluated by behavioral experiments and immunohistochemistry, respectively. GFP-expressing ES-NPs transplanted in NMDA-injected RGC-depleted mice differentiated into RGC lineage and possibly integrating into GCL. An improvement in visual acuity was observed after 2 months of transplantation, when compared to the pre-transplantation values. Expression of c-Fos in the transplanted cells, upon light induction, further suggests functional integration into the host retinal circuitry. However, the transplanted cells did not send axonal projections into optic nerve. Transplantation experiments in DBA/2J mouse showed no significant improvement in visual functions, possibly due to both host and transplanted retinal cell death which could be due to an inherent high IOP. We showed that, ES NPs transplanted into the retina of RGC-ablated mouse models could survive, differentiate to RGC lineage, and possibly integrate into GCL to improve visual function. However, for the survival of transplanted cells in glaucoma, strategies to control the IOP are warranted.

  9. Improved fixation quality provided by a Bessel beacon in an adaptive optics system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Andrew J; Daly, Elizabeth M; Dainty, Christopher J

    2013-07-01

    We investigate whether a structured probe beam that creates the beacon for use in a retinal imaging adaptive optics system can provide useful side effects. In particular we investigate whether a Bessel beam that is seen by the subject as a set of concentric rings has a dampening effect on fixation variations of the subject under observation. This calming effect would allow longer periods of observation, particularly for patients with abnormal fixation. An experimental adaptive optics system developed for retinal imaging is used to monitor the fluctuations in aberrations for artificial and human subjects. The probe beam is alternated between a traditional beacon and one provided by a Bessel beam created by SLM. Time-frequency analysis is used to indicate the differences in power and time variation during fixation depending on whether the Bessel beam or the traditional beacon is employed. Comparison is made with the response for an artificial eye to discount systemic variations. Significant evidence is accrued to indicate the reduced fluctuations in fixation when the Bessel beam is employed to create the beacon. © 2013 The Authors Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics © 2013 The College of Optometrists.

  10. Improved Neural Signal Classification in a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation Task Using Active Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marathe, Amar R; Lawhern, Vernon J; Wu, Dongrui; Slayback, David; Lance, Brent J

    2016-03-01

    The application space for brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies is rapidly expanding with improvements in technology. However, most real-time BCIs require extensive individualized calibration prior to use, and systems often have to be recalibrated to account for changes in the neural signals due to a variety of factors including changes in human state, the surrounding environment, and task conditions. Novel approaches to reduce calibration time or effort will dramatically improve the usability of BCI systems. Active Learning (AL) is an iterative semi-supervised learning technique for learning in situations in which data may be abundant, but labels for the data are difficult or expensive to obtain. In this paper, we apply AL to a simulated BCI system for target identification using data from a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm to minimize the amount of training samples needed to initially calibrate a neural classifier. Our results show AL can produce similar overall classification accuracy with significantly less labeled data (in some cases less than 20%) when compared to alternative calibration approaches. In fact, AL classification performance matches performance of 10-fold cross-validation (CV) in over 70% of subjects when training with less than 50% of the data. To our knowledge, this is the first work to demonstrate the use of AL for offline electroencephalography (EEG) calibration in a simulated BCI paradigm. While AL itself is not often amenable for use in real-time systems, this work opens the door to alternative AL-like systems that are more amenable for BCI applications and thus enables future efforts for developing highly adaptive BCI systems.

  11. Microfocused Ultrasound with Visualization and Calcium Hydroxylapatite for Improving Skin Laxity and Cellulite Appearance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Gregório

    2017-01-01

    Background: Age-associated skin laxity contributes to worsening of cellulite appearance. This study evaluated the effects of microfocused ultrasound with visualization (MFU-V; Ultherapy) in combination with diluted calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA; Radiesse) on cellulite appearance and on neocollagenesis. Methods: Twenty women (18–55 years old) with skin laxity and moderate-to-severe cellulite on the buttocks and thighs were retrospectively enrolled. MFU-V was applied using 4 and 7 MHz transducers (25 lines/transducer/site) and immediately followed by subdermal CaHA injection (1 ml/buttock or thigh). Photographs at baseline and 90 days were assessed by 2 independent, blinded evaluators using a 5-item cellulite severity scale. One subject scheduled for thighplasty received treatment with 6 different CaHA dilutions (0.3 ml/5 cm2) followed by MFU-V. Tissue specimens from each dilution site were examined under polarized light microscopy to assess neocollagenesis. Results: Both evaluators reported statistically significant improvements compared with baseline for each item on the cellulite severity scale (P treatment. At 90 days, histologic analysis showed peak neocollagenesis in samples treated with the 1:1 dilution, whether with CaHA alone or in combination with MFU-V. The highest conversion of collagen type III into collagen type I at month 3 occurred in samples injected with 1:1 and 1:0.6 CaHA dilutions without subsequent MFU-V treatment. Both procedures were well tolerated, and subject satisfaction was high. Conclusions: Combination treatment with MFU-V and diluted CaHA is effective for improving skin laxity and the appearance of cellulite on the buttocks and upper thighs. PMID:28831339

  12. Primary healthcare providers' views on improving sexual and reproductive healthcare for adolescents in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaruseviciene, L.; Orozco, M.; Ibarra, M.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: To elicit the views of primary healthcare providers from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua on how adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) care in their communities can be improved. Methods: Overall, 126 healthcare providers (46 from Bolivia, 39 from Ecuador, and 41 from Nicarag...

  13. A Dynamical Model of Pitch Memory Provides an Improved Basis for Implied Harmony Estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ji Chul

    2017-01-01

    Tonal melody can imply vertical harmony through a sequence of tones. Current methods for automatic chord estimation commonly use chroma-based features extracted from audio signals. However, the implied harmony of unaccompanied melodies can be difficult to estimate on the basis of chroma content in the presence of frequent nonchord tones. Here we present a novel approach to automatic chord estimation based on the human perception of pitch sequences. We use cohesion and inhibition between pitches in auditory short-term memory to differentiate chord tones and nonchord tones in tonal melodies. We model short-term pitch memory as a gradient frequency neural network, which is a biologically realistic model of auditory neural processing. The model is a dynamical system consisting of a network of tonotopically tuned nonlinear oscillators driven by audio signals. The oscillators interact with each other through nonlinear resonance and lateral inhibition, and the pattern of oscillatory traces emerging from the interactions is taken as a measure of pitch salience. We test the model with a collection of unaccompanied tonal melodies to evaluate it as a feature extractor for chord estimation. We show that chord tones are selectively enhanced in the response of the model, thereby increasing the accuracy of implied harmony estimation. We also find that, like other existing features for chord estimation, the performance of the model can be improved by using segmented input signals. We discuss possible ways to expand the present model into a full chord estimation system within the dynamical systems framework. PMID:28522983

  14. A Dynamical Model of Pitch Memory Provides an Improved Basis for Implied Harmony Estimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ji Chul

    2017-01-01

    Tonal melody can imply vertical harmony through a sequence of tones. Current methods for automatic chord estimation commonly use chroma-based features extracted from audio signals. However, the implied harmony of unaccompanied melodies can be difficult to estimate on the basis of chroma content in the presence of frequent nonchord tones. Here we present a novel approach to automatic chord estimation based on the human perception of pitch sequences. We use cohesion and inhibition between pitches in auditory short-term memory to differentiate chord tones and nonchord tones in tonal melodies. We model short-term pitch memory as a gradient frequency neural network, which is a biologically realistic model of auditory neural processing. The model is a dynamical system consisting of a network of tonotopically tuned nonlinear oscillators driven by audio signals. The oscillators interact with each other through nonlinear resonance and lateral inhibition, and the pattern of oscillatory traces emerging from the interactions is taken as a measure of pitch salience. We test the model with a collection of unaccompanied tonal melodies to evaluate it as a feature extractor for chord estimation. We show that chord tones are selectively enhanced in the response of the model, thereby increasing the accuracy of implied harmony estimation. We also find that, like other existing features for chord estimation, the performance of the model can be improved by using segmented input signals. We discuss possible ways to expand the present model into a full chord estimation system within the dynamical systems framework.

  15. A Dynamical Model of Pitch Memory Provides an Improved Basis for Implied Harmony Estimation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Chul Kim

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Tonal melody can imply vertical harmony through a sequence of tones. Current methods for automatic chord estimation commonly use chroma-based features extracted from audio signals. However, the implied harmony of unaccompanied melodies can be difficult to estimate on the basis of chroma content in the presence of frequent nonchord tones. Here we present a novel approach to automatic chord estimation based on the human perception of pitch sequences. We use cohesion and inhibition between pitches in auditory short-term memory to differentiate chord tones and nonchord tones in tonal melodies. We model short-term pitch memory as a gradient frequency neural network, which is a biologically realistic model of auditory neural processing. The model is a dynamical system consisting of a network of tonotopically tuned nonlinear oscillators driven by audio signals. The oscillators interact with each other through nonlinear resonance and lateral inhibition, and the pattern of oscillatory traces emerging from the interactions is taken as a measure of pitch salience. We test the model with a collection of unaccompanied tonal melodies to evaluate it as a feature extractor for chord estimation. We show that chord tones are selectively enhanced in the response of the model, thereby increasing the accuracy of implied harmony estimation. We also find that, like other existing features for chord estimation, the performance of the model can be improved by using segmented input signals. We discuss possible ways to expand the present model into a full chord estimation system within the dynamical systems framework.

  16. A Spreadsheet-Based Visualized Mindtool for Improving Students' Learning Performance in Identifying Relationships between Numerical Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Chiu-Lin; Hwang, Gwo-Jen

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a spreadsheet-based visualized Mindtool was developed for improving students' learning performance when finding relationships between numerical variables by engaging them in reasoning and decision-making activities. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, an experiment was conducted on the "phenomena of climate…

  17. Developing Teachers' Work for Improving Teaching and Learning of Children with Visual Impairment Accommodated in Ordinary Primary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mnyanyi, Cosmas B. F.

    2009-01-01

    The study investigated how to facilitate teachers in developing their work in improving the teaching and learning of children with visual impairment (CVI) accommodated in ordinary classrooms. The study takes the form of collaborative action research where the researcher works in collaboration with the teachers. The project is being conducted in…

  18. Improving training of laparoscopic tissue manipulation skills using various visual force feedback types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, Daan; Spruit, Edward; Dankelman, J.; Tuijthof, G.J.M.; Hamming, J; Horeman, T.

    2017-01-01

    Background Visual force feedback allows trainees to learn laparoscopic tissue manipulation skills. The aim of this experimental study was to find the most efficient visual force feedback method to acquire these skills. Retention and transfer validity to an untrained task were assessed. Methods

  19. Improving physics teaching materials on sound for visually impaired students in high school

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toenders, Frank G.C.; De Putter-Smits, Lesley G.A.; Sanders, Wendy T.M.; Den Brok, Perry

    2017-01-01

    When visually impaired students attend regular high school, additional materials are necessary to help them understand physics concepts. The time for teachers to develop teaching materials for such students is scarce. Visually impaired students in regular high school physics classes often use a

  20. Can Dynamic Visualizations Improve Middle School Students' Understanding of Energy in Photosynthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryoo, Kihyun; Linn, Marcia C.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamic visualizations have the potential to make abstract scientific phenomena more accessible and visible to students, but they can also be confusing and difficult to comprehend. This research investigates how dynamic visualizations, compared to static illustrations, can support middle school students in developing an integrated understanding of…

  1. Methylphenidate Improves Visual-Spatial Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit- hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on visual-spatial memory, as measured by subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB), in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Visual-spatial memory is a core component of working memory that has been shown to be impaired in…

  2. From Demonstration System to Prototype: ShakeAlert Beta Users Provide Feedback to Improve Alert Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, J. A.; Vinci, M.; Steele, W. P.; Allen, R. M.; Hellweg, M.

    2013-12-01

    Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) is a system that can provide a few to tens of seconds to minutes of warning prior to ground shaking at a given location. The goal and purpose of such a system is to reduce the damage, costs, and casualties resulting from an earthquake. A prototype earthquake early warning system (ShakeAlert) is in development by the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, Caltech, ETH Zurich, University of Washington, and the USGS. Events are published to the UserDisplay--ShakeAlert's Java based graphical interface, which is being tested by a small group of beta users throughout California. The beta users receive earthquake alerts in real-time and are providing feedback on their experiences. For early warning alerts to be useful, people, companies, and institutions must know beforehand what actions they will perform when they receive the information. Beta user interactions allow the ShakeAlert team to discern: which alert delivery options are most effective, what changes would make the UserDisplay more useful in a pre-disaster situation, and most importantly, what actions users plan to take for various scenarios. We also collect feedback detailing costs of implementing actions and challenges within the beta user organizations, as well as anticipated benefits and savings. Thus, creating a blueprint for a fully operational system that will meet the needs of the public. New California users as well as the first group of Pacific Northwest users are slated to join the ShakeAlert beta test group in the fall of 2013.

  3. Documentation of high impact visualizations and improvement plans for utilization of VisIt for reactor simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R.Childs, H; Bremer, D J

    2008-10-03

    The primary goal of this milestone was to enable the visualization and analysis needs of the campaign's simulation codes. This goal was well accomplished. We have extended the VisIt visualization and analysis tool to be suitable for the Nek, UNIC, SAS, and DIABLO code teams. This represented a significant development effort, primarily in terms of tuning the processing of the very large data sets produced by the Nek code. As a result of our development, and of the support we provided, these groups have been able to successfully accomplish their visualization and analysis activities using VisIt. Visualization is an important part of the simulation process. It allows stakeholders to explore simulations and discover phenomena, to confirm assumptions, and to convey findings to a larger audience. Further, visualization software is complex and is an active research area, especially in the area of visualization of very large data sets, such as those produced by the Reactor campaign's Nek code. To meet the campaign's visualization and analysis needs, we chose to leverage the existing software tool, VisIt. VisIt is an open source, parallel visualization and analysis tool for interactively exploring scientific data. The tool represents approximately fifty man-years worth of effort, much of which was dedicated to techniques for processing large data and also to user interfaces. VisIt originated in the DOE's Advanced Simulation and Computing Initiative (ASCI) program, but is also actively developed by the Office of Science's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, as well as by the at large open source community, including university partners. Our work for this effort consisted of both customizing VisIt to meet Reactor campaign needs and of providing support for stakeholders in the Reactor campaign to ensure they were successful using the tool.

  4. Nutritional Supplement of Hatchery Eggshell Membrane Improves Poultry Performance and Provides Resistance against Endotoxin Stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S K Makkar

    Full Text Available Eggshells are significant part of hatchery waste which consist of calcium carbonate crust, membranes, and proteins and peptides of embryonic origins along with other entrapped contaminants including microbes. We hypothesized that using this product as a nutritional additive in poultry diet may confer better immunity to the chickens in the paradigm of mammalian milk that enhances immunity. Therefore, we investigated the effect of hatchery eggshell membranes (HESM as a short term feed supplement on growth performance and immunity of chickens under bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS challenged condition. Three studies were conducted to find the effect of HESM supplement on post hatch chickens. In the first study, the chickens were fed either a control diet or diets containing 0.5% whey protein or HESM as supplement and evaluated at 5 weeks of age using growth, hematology, clinical chemistry, plasma immunoglobulins, and corticosterone as variables. The second and third studies were done to compare the effects of LPS on control and HESM fed birds at 5 weeks of age following at 4 and 24 h of treatment where the HESM was also sterilized with ethanol to deplete bacterial factors. HESM supplement caused weight gain in 2 experiments and decreased blood corticosterone concentrations. While LPS caused a significant loss in body weight at 24 h following its administration, the HESM supplemented birds showed significantly less body weight loss compared with the control fed birds. The WBC, heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, and the levels of IgG were low in chickens fed diets with HESM supplement compared with control diet group. LPS challenge increased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine gene IL-6 but the HESM fed birds showed its effect curtailed, also, which also, favored the up-regulation of anti-inflammatory genes compared with control diet fed chickens. Post hatch supplementation of HESM appears to improve performance, modulate immunity, and increase

  5. [Assessment of financial performance improves the quality of healthcare provided by medical organizations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afek, Arnon; Meilik, Ahuva; Rotstein, Zeev

    2009-01-01

    Today, medical organizations have to contend with a highly competitive environment, an atmosphere saturated with a multitude of innovative new technologies and ever-increasing costs. The ability of these organizations to survive and to develop and expand their services mandates adoption of management guidelines based on the world of finance/commerce, adapted to make them relevant to the world of medical service. In this article the authors chose to present a management administration assessment which is a process that ensures that the management will effectively administer the organization's resources, and meet the goals set by the organization. The system demands that hospital "centers of responsibility" be defined, a management information system be set up, activities be priced, budget be defined and the expenses assessed. These processes make it possible to formulate a budget and assess any possible deviation between the budget and the actual running costs. An assessment of deviations will reveal any possible deviation of the most significant factor--efficiency. Medical organization managers, with the cooperation of the directors of the "centers of responsibility", can assess subunit activities and gain an understanding of the significance of management decisions and thus improve the quality of management, and the medical organization. The goal of this management system is not only to Lower costs and to meet the financial goals that were set; it is a tool that ensures quality. Decreasing expenditure is important in this case, but is only secondary in importance and will be a result of reducing the costs incurred by services lacking in quality.

  6. Nutritional Supplement of Hatchery Eggshell Membrane Improves Poultry Performance and Provides Resistance against Endotoxin Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makkar, S K; Rath, N C; Packialakshmi, B; Zhou, Z Y; Huff, G R; Donoghue, A M

    2016-01-01

    Eggshells are significant part of hatchery waste which consist of calcium carbonate crust, membranes, and proteins and peptides of embryonic origins along with other entrapped contaminants including microbes. We hypothesized that using this product as a nutritional additive in poultry diet may confer better immunity to the chickens in the paradigm of mammalian milk that enhances immunity. Therefore, we investigated the effect of hatchery eggshell membranes (HESM) as a short term feed supplement on growth performance and immunity of chickens under bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenged condition. Three studies were conducted to find the effect of HESM supplement on post hatch chickens. In the first study, the chickens were fed either a control diet or diets containing 0.5% whey protein or HESM as supplement and evaluated at 5 weeks of age using growth, hematology, clinical chemistry, plasma immunoglobulins, and corticosterone as variables. The second and third studies were done to compare the effects of LPS on control and HESM fed birds at 5 weeks of age following at 4 and 24 h of treatment where the HESM was also sterilized with ethanol to deplete bacterial factors. HESM supplement caused weight gain in 2 experiments and decreased blood corticosterone concentrations. While LPS caused a significant loss in body weight at 24 h following its administration, the HESM supplemented birds showed significantly less body weight loss compared with the control fed birds. The WBC, heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, and the levels of IgG were low in chickens fed diets with HESM supplement compared with control diet group. LPS challenge increased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine gene IL-6 but the HESM fed birds showed its effect curtailed, also, which also, favored the up-regulation of anti-inflammatory genes compared with control diet fed chickens. Post hatch supplementation of HESM appears to improve performance, modulate immunity, and increase resistance of

  7. Dehydration protection provided by a maternal cuticle improves offspring fitness in the moss Funaria hygrometrica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budke, Jessica M; Goffinet, Bernard; Jones, Cynthia S

    2013-05-01

    In bryophytes the sporophyte offspring are in contact with, nourished from, and partially surrounded by the maternal gametophyte throughout their lifespan. During early development, the moss sporophyte is covered by the calyptra, a cap of maternal gametophyte tissue that has a multilayered cuticle. In this study the effects on sporophyte offspring fitness of removing the maternal calyptra cuticle, in combination with dehydration stress, is experimentally determined. Using the moss Funaria hygrometrica, calyptra cuticle waxes were removed by chemical extraction and individuals were exposed to a short-term dehydration event. Sporophytes were returned to high humidity to complete development and then aspects of sporophyte survival, development, functional morphology, and reproductive output were measured. It was found that removal of calyptra cuticle under low humidity results in significant negative impacts to moss sporophyte fitness, resulting in decreased survival, increased tissue damage, incomplete sporophyte development, more peristome malformations, and decreased reproductive output. This study represents the strongest evidence to date that the structure of the calyptra cuticle functions in dehydration protection of the immature moss sporophyte. The investment in a maternal calyptra with a multilayered cuticle increases offspring fitness and provides a functional explanation for calyptra retention across mosses. The moss calyptra may represent the earliest occurance of maternal protection via structural provisioning of a cuticle in green plants.

  8. Improved Visualization of Hydroacoustic Plumes Using the Split-Beam Aperture Coherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blomberg, Ann E A; Weber, Thomas C; Austeng, Andreas

    2018-06-25

    Natural seepage of methane into the oceans is considerable, and plays a role in the global carbon cycle. Estimating the amount of this greenhouse gas entering the water column is important in order to understand their environmental impact. In addition, leakage from man-made structures such as gas pipelines may have environmental and economical consequences and should be promptly detected. Split beam echo sounders (SBES) detect hydroacoustic plumes due to the significant contrast in acoustic impedance between water and free gas. SBES are also powerful tools for plume characterization, with the ability to provide absolute acoustic measurements, estimate bubble trajectories, and capture the frequency dependent response of bubbles. However, under challenging conditions such as deep water and considerable background noise, it can be difficult to detect the presence of gas seepage from the acoustic imagery alone. The spatial coherence of the wavefield measured across the split beam sectors, quantified by the coherence factor (CF), is a computationally simple, easily available quantity which complements the acoustic imagery and may ease the ability to automatically or visually detect bubbles in the water column. We demonstrate the benefits of CF processing using SBES data from the Hudson Canyon, acquired using the Simrad EK80 SBES. We observe that hydroacoustic plumes appear more clearly defined and are easier to detect in the CF imagery than in the acoustic backscatter images.

  9. Improved Visualization of Hydroacoustic Plumes Using the Split-Beam Aperture Coherence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann E. A. Blomberg

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural seepage of methane into the oceans is considerable, and plays a role in the global carbon cycle. Estimating the amount of this greenhouse gas entering the water column is important in order to understand their environmental impact. In addition, leakage from man-made structures such as gas pipelines may have environmental and economical consequences and should be promptly detected. Split beam echo sounders (SBES detect hydroacoustic plumes due to the significant contrast in acoustic impedance between water and free gas. SBES are also powerful tools for plume characterization, with the ability to provide absolute acoustic measurements, estimate bubble trajectories, and capture the frequency dependent response of bubbles. However, under challenging conditions such as deep water and considerable background noise, it can be difficult to detect the presence of gas seepage from the acoustic imagery alone. The spatial coherence of the wavefield measured across the split beam sectors, quantified by the coherence factor (CF, is a computationally simple, easily available quantity which complements the acoustic imagery and may ease the ability to automatically or visually detect bubbles in the water column. We demonstrate the benefits of CF processing using SBES data from the Hudson Canyon, acquired using the Simrad EK80 SBES. We observe that hydroacoustic plumes appear more clearly defined and are easier to detect in the CF imagery than in the acoustic backscatter images.

  10. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groenendyk, Derek G.; Ferré, Ty P.A.; Thorp, Kelly R.; Rice, Amy K.

    2015-01-01

    Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth’s surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization of landscape

  11. No age deficits in the ability to use attention to improve visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S

    2016-08-01

    Maintenance of information in mind to the moment-to-moment cognition is accomplished by working memory (WM). WM capacity is reduced in old age, but the nature of this decline is yet not clear. The current study examined the hypothesis that the decline in visual WM performance with age is related to a reduced ability to use attention to control the contents of WM. Young (M = 26 years) and old (M = 71 years) adults performed a color reproduction task in which the precise color of a set of dots had to be maintained in mind over a brief interval and later reproduced using a continuous color wheel. Attention was manipulated by presenting a spatial cue before the onset of the memory array (a precue) or during the maintenance phase (retro-cue). The cue indicated with 100% certainty the item to be tested at the end of the trial. A precue allows the selective encoding of only the relevant item to WM, whereas a retro-cue allows WM contents to be updated by refreshing the relevant (cued) item and removing nonrelevant (noncued) items. Aging was associated with a lower capacity in the baseline (no-cue) condition. Precues and (to a smaller extent) retro-cues improved WM performance (in terms of probability of recall and memory precision). Critically, the benefits of cueing were of similar magnitude in young and older adults showing that the ability to use attention to selectively encode and update the contents of WM is preserved with aging. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Improving visual spatial working memory in younger and older adults: effects of cross-modal cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Ashley F; Turner, Gary R; Park, Norman W; Murtha, Susan J E

    2017-11-06

    Spatially informative auditory and vibrotactile (cross-modal) cues can facilitate attention but little is known about how similar cues influence visual spatial working memory (WM) across the adult lifespan. We investigated the effects of cues (spatially informative or alerting pre-cues vs. no cues), cue modality (auditory vs. vibrotactile vs. visual), memory array size (four vs. six items), and maintenance delay (900 vs. 1800 ms) on visual spatial location WM recognition accuracy in younger adults (YA) and older adults (OA). We observed a significant interaction between spatially informative pre-cue type, array size, and delay. OA and YA benefitted equally from spatially informative pre-cues, suggesting that attentional orienting prior to WM encoding, regardless of cue modality, is preserved with age.  Contrary to predictions, alerting pre-cues generally impaired performance in both age groups, suggesting that maintaining a vigilant state of arousal by facilitating the alerting attention system does not help visual spatial location WM.

  13. A Qualitative Study of Multidisciplinary Providers' Experiences With the Transfer Process for Injured Children and Ideas for Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawel, Marcie; Emerson, Beth; Giuliano, John S; Rosenberg, Alana; Minges, Karl E; Feder, Shelli; Violano, Pina; Morrell, Patricia; Petersen, Judy; Christison-Lagay, Emily; Auerbach, Marc

    2018-02-01

    Most injured children initially present to a community hospital, and many will require transfer to a regional pediatric trauma center. The purpose of this study was 1) to explore multidisciplinary providers' experiences with the process of transferring injured children and 2) to describe proposed ideas for process improvement. This qualitative study involved 26 semistructured interviews. Subjects were recruited from 6 community hospital emergency departments and the trauma and transport teams of a level I pediatric trauma center in New Haven, Conn. Participants (n = 34) included interprofessional providers from sending facilities, transport teams, and receiving facilities. Using the constant comparative method, a multidisciplinary team coded transcripts and collectively refined codes to generate recurrent themes across interviews until theoretical saturation was achieved. Participants reported that the transfer process for injured children is complex, stressful, and necessitates collaboration. The transfer process was perceived to involve numerous interrelated components, including professions, disciplines, and institutions. The 5 themes identified as areas to improve this transfer process included 1) Creation of a unified standard operating procedure that crosses institutions/teams, 2) Enhancing 'shared sense making' of all providers, 3) Improving provider confidence, expertise, and skills in caring for pediatric trauma transfer cases, 4) Addressing organization and environmental factors that may impede/delay transfer, and 5) Fostering institutional and personal relationships. Efforts to improve the transfer process for injured children should be guided by the experiences of and input from multidisciplinary frontline emergency providers.

  14. Visualization Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — FUNCTION: Evaluates and improves the operational effectiveness of existing and emerging electronic warfare systems. By analyzing and visualizing simulation results...

  15. Distributed data discovery, access and visualization services to Improve Data Interoperability across different data holdings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanisamy, G.; Krassovski, M.; Devarakonda, R.; Santhana Vannan, S.

    2012-12-01

    The current climate debate is highlighting the importance of free, open, and authoritative sources of high quality climate data that are available for peer review and for collaborative purposes. It is increasingly important to allow various organizations around the world to share climate data in an open manner, and to enable them to perform dynamic processing of climate data. This advanced access to data can be enabled via Web-based services, using common "community agreed" standards without having to change their internal structure used to describe the data. The modern scientific community has become diverse and increasingly complex in nature. To meet the demands of such diverse user community, the modern data supplier has to provide data and other related information through searchable, data and process oriented tool. This can be accomplished by setting up on-line, Web-based system with a relational database as a back end. The following common features of the web data access/search systems will be outlined in the proposed presentation: - A flexible data discovery - Data in commonly used format (e.g., CSV, NetCDF) - Preparing metadata in standard formats (FGDC, ISO19115, EML, DIF etc.) - Data subseting capabilities and ability to narrow down to individual data elements - Standards based data access protocols and mechanisms (SOAP, REST, OpenDAP, OGC etc.) - Integration of services across different data systems (discovery to access, visualizations and subseting) This presentation will also include specific examples of integration of various data systems that are developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's - Climate Change Science Institute, their ability to communicate between each other to enable better data interoperability and data integration. References: [1] Devarakonda, Ranjeet, and Harold Shanafield. "Drupal: Collaborative framework for science research." Collaboration Technologies and Systems (CTS), 2011 International Conference on. IEEE, 2011. [2

  16. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlemmix, Floortje; Rosman, Ageeth N.; Rijnders, Marlies E.; Beuckens, Antje; Opmeer, Brent C.; Mol, Ben W. J.; Kok, Marjolein; Fleuren, Margot A. H.

    2015-01-01

    To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the Netherlands. Singleton breech

  17. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlemmix, F.; Rosman, A.N.; Rijnders, M.E.; Beuckens, A.; Opmeer, B.C.; Mol, B.W.J.; Kok, M.; Fleuren, M.A.H.

    2015-01-01

    Onjective: To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Design: Cluster randomized controlled trial.Setting: Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the

  18. Improving visual memory, attention, and school function with atomoxetine in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Chi-Yung; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2012-10-01

    Atomoxetine is efficacious in reducing symptoms of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but its effect on visual memory and attention needs more investigation. This study aimed to assess the effect of atomoxetine on visual memory, attention, and school function in boys with ADHD in Taiwan. This was an open-label 12 week atomoxetine treatment trial among 30 drug-naíve boys with ADHD, aged 8-16 years. Before administration of atomoxetine, the participants were assessed using psychiatric interviews, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd edition (WISC-III), the school function of the Chinese version of the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents (SAICA), the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CPT), and the tasks of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) involving visual memory and attention: Pattern Recognition Memory, Spatial Recognition Memory, and Reaction Time, which were reassessed at weeks 4 and 12. Our results showed there was significant improvement in pattern recognition memory and spatial recognition memory as measured by the CANTAB tasks, sustained attention and response inhibition as measured by the CPT, and reaction time as measured by the CANTAB after treatment with atomoxetine for 4 weeks or 12 weeks. In addition, atomoxetine significantly enhanced school functioning in children with ADHD. Our findings suggested that atomoxetine was associated with significant improvement in visual memory, attention, and school functioning in boys with ADHD.

  19. Optimizing the reconstruction filter in cone-beam CT to improve periodontal ligament space visualization: An in vitro study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houno, Yuuki; Kodera, Yoshie [Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya (Japan); Hishikawa, Toshimitsu; Naitoh, Munetaka; Mitani, Akio; Noguchi, Toshihide; Ariji, Eiichiro [Aichi Gakuin University, Nisshin (Japan); Gotoh, Kenichi [Div. of Radiology, Dental Hospital, Aichi Gakuin University, Nisshin (Japan)

    2017-09-15

    Evaluation of alveolar bone is important in the diagnosis of dental diseases. The periodontal ligament space is difficult to clearly depict in cone-beam computed tomography images because the reconstruction filter conditions during image processing cause image blurring, resulting in decreased spatial resolution. We examined different reconstruction filters to assess their ability to improve spatial resolution and allow for a clearer visualization of the periodontal ligament space. Cone-beam computed tomography projections of 2 skull phantoms were reconstructed using 6 reconstruction conditions and then compared using the Thurstone paired comparison method. Physical evaluations, including the modulation transfer function and the Wiener spectrum, as well as an assessment of space visibility, were undertaken using experimental phantoms. Image reconstruction using a modified Shepp-Logan filter resulted in better sensory, physical, and quantitative evaluations. The reconstruction conditions substantially improved the spatial resolution and visualization of the periodontal ligament space. The difference in sensitivity was obtained by altering the reconstruction filter. Modifying the characteristics of a reconstruction filter can generate significant improvement in assessments of the periodontal ligament space. A high-frequency enhancement filter improves the visualization of thin structures and will be useful when accurate assessment of the periodontal ligament space is necessary.

  20. Optimizing the reconstruction filter in cone-beam CT to improve periodontal ligament space visualization: An in vitro study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houno, Yuuki; Kodera, Yoshie; Hishikawa, Toshimitsu; Naitoh, Munetaka; Mitani, Akio; Noguchi, Toshihide; Ariji, Eiichiro; Gotoh, Kenichi

    2017-01-01

    Evaluation of alveolar bone is important in the diagnosis of dental diseases. The periodontal ligament space is difficult to clearly depict in cone-beam computed tomography images because the reconstruction filter conditions during image processing cause image blurring, resulting in decreased spatial resolution. We examined different reconstruction filters to assess their ability to improve spatial resolution and allow for a clearer visualization of the periodontal ligament space. Cone-beam computed tomography projections of 2 skull phantoms were reconstructed using 6 reconstruction conditions and then compared using the Thurstone paired comparison method. Physical evaluations, including the modulation transfer function and the Wiener spectrum, as well as an assessment of space visibility, were undertaken using experimental phantoms. Image reconstruction using a modified Shepp-Logan filter resulted in better sensory, physical, and quantitative evaluations. The reconstruction conditions substantially improved the spatial resolution and visualization of the periodontal ligament space. The difference in sensitivity was obtained by altering the reconstruction filter. Modifying the characteristics of a reconstruction filter can generate significant improvement in assessments of the periodontal ligament space. A high-frequency enhancement filter improves the visualization of thin structures and will be useful when accurate assessment of the periodontal ligament space is necessary

  1. A Simple, Visually Oriented Communication System to Improve Postoperative Care Following Microvascular Free Tissue Transfer: Development, Results, and Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Peter W; Landford, Wilmina; Gardenier, Jason; Otterburn, David M; Rohde, Christine H; Spector, Jason A

    2016-07-01

    Background Communication, particularly transmission of information between the surgical and nursing teams, has been identified as one of the most crucial determinants of patient outcomes. Nonetheless, transfer of information among and between the physician and nursing teams in the immediate postoperative period is often informal, verbal, and inconsistent. Methods An iterative process of multidisciplinary information gathering was undertaken to create a novel postoperative communication system (the "Pop-form"). Once developed, nurses were surveyed on multiple measures regarding the perceived likelihood that it would improve their ability to provide directed patient care. Data were quantified using a Likert scale (0-10), and statistically analyzed. Results The Pop-form records and transfers operative details, specific anatomic monitoring parameters, and senior physician contact information. Sixty-eight nurses completed surveys. The perceived usefulness of different components of the Pop-form system was as follows: 8.9 for the description of the procedure; 9.3 for the operative diagram; 9.4 for the monitoring details and parameters; and 9.4 for the direct contact information for the appropriate surgical team member. All respondents were in favor of widespread adoption of the Pop-form. Conclusion This uniform, visual communication system requires less than 1 minute to compose, yet formalizes and standardizes inter-team communication, and therefore shows promise for improving outcomes following microvascular free tissue transfer. We believe that this simple, innovative communication tool has the potential to be more broadly applied to many other health care settings. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  2. Narrative review of provider behavior in primary care behavioral health: How process data can inform quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beehler, Gregory P; Lilienthal, Kaitlin R; Possemato, Kyle; Johnson, Emily M; King, Paul R; Shepardson, Robyn L; Vair, Christina L; Reyner, Jacqueline; Funderburk, Jennifer S; Maisto, Stephen A; Wray, Laura O

    2017-09-01

    Primary care behavioral health (PCBH) is a population-based approach to delivering mental and behavioral health care in the primary care setting. Implementation of the PCBH model varies across practice settings, which can impact how PCBH providers deliver services to patients and in turn may predict a variety of important outcomes. This article aims to characterize PCBH provider engagement in key processes of integrated care as demonstrated in results from empirical studies of real-world clinical practice. For this narrative review of published studies on PCBH provider engagement in processes of care, PubMed and PsycINFO databases were searched from January 1990 through May 2016 to identify relevant articles. Provider adherence to the brief, time-limited treatment model appears suboptimal. Common mental health conditions, such as depression, were often the primary focus of provider attention, with less consistent emphasis on behavioral medicine concerns. Whereas providers regularly conducted qualitative functional assessments with patients, routine use of standardized measures was low. Engagement in interprofessional collaboration with the primary care team was also low, but engagement in behaviors that fostered therapeutic relationships was high. This review identified several strengths and weaknesses of typical PCBH provider practices. Results are discussed in relation to their value as areas for future quality improvement initiatives that can improve PCBH service delivery and, ultimately, patient outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Improving physics teaching materials on sound for visually impaired students in high school

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toenders, Frank G. C.; de Putter-Smits, Lesley G. A.; Sanders, Wendy T. M.; den Brok, Perry

    2017-09-01

    When visually impaired students attend regular high school, additional materials are necessary to help them understand physics concepts. The time for teachers to develop teaching materials for such students is scarce. Visually impaired students in regular high school physics classes often use a braille version of the physics textbook. Previously, we evaluated the physics learning environment of a blind high school student in a regular Dutch high school. In this research we evaluate the use of a revised braille textbook, relief drawings and 3D models. The research focussed on the topic of sound in grade 10.

  4. A CAI System for Visually Impaired Children to Improve Abilities of Orientation and Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneda, Takahiro; Kudo, Hiroaki; Minagawa, Hiroki; Ohnishi, Noboru; Matsubara, Shizuya

    Some visually impaired children have difficulty in simple locomotion, and need orientation and mobility training. We developed a computer assisted instruction system which assists this training. A user realizes a task given by a tactile map and synthesized speech. The user walks around a room according to the task. The system gives the gap of walk path from its target path via both auditory and tactile feedback after the end of a task. Then the user can understand how well the user walked. We describe the detail of the proposed system and task, and the experimental result with three visually impaired children.

  5. Image Processing Tools for Improved Visualization and Analysis of Remotely Sensed Images for Agriculture and Forest Classifications

    OpenAIRE

    SINHA G. R.

    2017-01-01

    This paper suggests Image Processing tools for improved visualization and better analysis of remotely sensed images. There are methods already available in literature for the purpose but the most important challenge among the limitations is lack of robustness. We propose an optimal method for image enhancement of the images using fuzzy based approaches and few optimization tools. The segmentation images subsequently obtained after de-noising will be classified into distinct information and th...

  6. Editorial: Advances in healthcare provider and patient training to improve the quality and safety of patient care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth M. Borycki

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This special issue of the Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal is dedicated to describing “Advances in Healthcare Provider and Patient Training to Improve the Quality and Safety of Patient Care.” Patient safety is an important and fundamental requirement of ensuring the quality of patient care. Training and education has been identified as a key to improving healthcare provider patient safety competencies especially when working with new technologies such as electronic health records and mobile health applications. Such technologies can be harnessed to improve patient safety; however, if not used properly they can negatively impact on patient safety. In this issue we focus on advances in training that can improve patient safety and the optimal use of new technologies in healthcare. For example, use of clinical simulations and online computer based training can be employed both to facilitate learning about new clinical discoveries as well as to integrate technology into day to day healthcare practices. In this issue we are publishing papers that describe advances in healthcare provider and patient training to improve patient safety as it relates to the use of educational technologies, health information technology and on-line health resources. In addition, in the special issue we describe new approaches to training and patient safety including, online communities, clinical simulations, on-the-job training, computer based training and health information systems that educate about and support safer patient care in real-time (i.e. when health professionals are providing care to patients. These educational and technological initiatives can be aimed at health professionals (i.e. students and those who are currently working in the field. The outcomes of this work are significant as they lead to safer care for patients and their family members. The issue has both theoretical and applied papers that describe advances in patient

  7. Improving timeliness and efficiency in the referral process for safety net providers: application of the Lean Six Sigma methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deckard, Gloria J; Borkowski, Nancy; Diaz, Deisell; Sanchez, Carlos; Boisette, Serge A

    2010-01-01

    Designated primary care clinics largely serve low-income and uninsured patients who present a disproportionate number of chronic illnesses and face great difficulty in obtaining the medical care they need, particularly the access to specialty physicians. With limited capacity for providing specialty care, these primary care clinics generally refer patients to safety net hospitals' specialty ambulatory care clinics. A large public safety net health system successfully improved the effectiveness and efficiency of the specialty clinic referral process through application of Lean Six Sigma, an advanced process-improvement methodology and set of tools driven by statistics and engineering concepts.

  8. Real-time visual biofeedback during weight bearing improves therapy compliance in patients following lower extremity fractures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raaben, Marco; Holtslag, Herman R; Leenen, Luke P H; Augustine, Robin; Blokhuis, Taco J

    2018-01-01

    Individuals with lower extremity fractures are often instructed on how much weight to bear on the affected extremity. Previous studies have shown limited therapy compliance in weight bearing during rehabilitation. In this study we investigated the effect of real-time visual biofeedback on weight bearing in individuals with lower extremity fractures in two conditions: full weight bearing and touch-down weight bearing. 11 participants with full weight bearing and 12 participants with touch-down weight bearing after lower extremity fractures have been measured with an ambulatory biofeedback system. The participants first walked 15m and the biofeedback system was only used to register the weight bearing. The same protocol was then repeated with real-time visual feedback during weight bearing. The participants could thereby adapt their loading to the desired level and improve therapy compliance. In participants with full weight bearing, real-time visual biofeedback resulted in a significant increase in loading from 50.9±7.51% bodyweight (BW) without feedback to 63.2±6.74%BW with feedback (P=0.0016). In participants with touch-down weight bearing, the exerted lower extremity load decreased from 16.7±9.77kg without feedback to 10.27±4.56kg with feedback (P=0.0718). More important, the variance between individual steps significantly decreased after feedback (P=0.018). Ambulatory monitoring weight bearing after lower extremity fractures showed that therapy compliance is low, both in full and touch-down weight bearing. Real-time visual biofeedback resulted in significantly higher peak loads in full weight bearing and increased accuracy of individual steps in touch-down weight bearing. Real-time visual biofeedback therefore results in improved therapy compliance after lower extremity fractures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Entrainment and high-density three-dimensional mapping in right atrial macroreentry provide critical complementary information: Entrainment may unmask "visual reentry" as passive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathik, Bhupesh; Lee, Geoffrey; Nalliah, Chrishan; Joseph, Stephen; Morton, Joseph B; Sparks, Paul B; Sanders, Prashanthan; Kistler, Peter M; Kalman, Jonathan M

    2017-10-01

    With the recent advent of high-density (HD) 3-dimensional (3D) mapping, the utility of entrainment is uncertain. However, the limitations of visual representation and interpretation of these high-resolution 3D maps are unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the strengths and limitations of both HD 3D mapping and entrainment mapping during mapping of right atrial macroreentry. Fifteen patients were studied. The number and type of circuits accounting for ≥90% of the tachycardia cycle length using HD 3D mapping were verified using systematic entrainment mapping. Entrainment sites with an unexpectedly long postpacing interval despite proximity to the active circuit were evaluated. Based on HD 3D mapping, 27 circuits were observed: 12 peritricuspid, 2 upper loop reentry, 10 lower loop reentry, and 3 lateral wall circuits. With entrainment, 17 of the 27 circuits were active: all 12 peritricuspid and 2 upper loop reentry. However, lower loop reentry was confirmed in only 3 of 10, and none of the 3 lateral wall circuits were present. Mean percentage of tachycardia cycle length covered by active circuits was 98% ± 1% vs 97% ± 2% for passive circuits (P = .09). None of the 345 entrainment runs terminated tachycardia or changed tachycardia mechanism. In 8 of 15 patients, 13 examples of unexpectedly long postpacing interval were observed at entrainment sites located distal to localized zones of slow conduction seen on HD 3D mapping. Using HD 3D mapping, "visual reentry" may be due to passive circuitous propagation rather than a critical reentrant circuit. HD 3D mapping provides new insights into regional conduction and helps explain unusual entrainment phenomena. Copyright © 2017 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Rapid Resumption of Interrupted Search Is Independent of Age-Related Improvements in Visual Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lleras, Alejandro; Porporino, Mafalda; Burack, Jacob A.; Enns, James T.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, 7-19-year-olds performed an interrupted visual search task in two experiments. Our question was whether the tendency to respond within 500 ms after a second glimpse of a display (the "rapid resumption" effect ["Psychological Science", 16 (2005) 684-688]) would increase with age in the same way as overall search efficiency. The…

  11. Improving Image Segmentation with Adaptive, Recurrent, Spiking Neural Network Models of the Primary Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-19

    Vijay Singh, Martin Tchernookov, Rebecca Butterfield, Ilya Nemenman, Rongrong Ji. Director Field Model of the Primary Visual Cortex for Contour...FTE Equivalent: Total Number: DISCIPLINE Vijay Singh 40 Physics 0.40 1 PERCENT_SUPPORTEDNAME FTE Equivalent: Total Number: Martin Tchernookov 0.20

  12. Improved visual function in IDDM patients with unchanged cumulative incidence of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rossing, K; Jacobsen, P; Rossing, P

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate trends in visual acuity and the cumulative incidence of diabetic retinopathy in a clinic-based observational follow-up study. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: All patients visiting Hvidore Hospital in 1984 whose diagnosis of IDDM had been made before 41 years of age and between...

  13. Traditional Project Management and the Visual Workplace Environment to Improve Project Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fichera, Christopher E.

    2016-01-01

    A majority of large IT projects fail to meet scheduled deadlines, are over budget and do not satisfy the end user. Many projects fail in spite of utilizing traditional project management techniques. Research of project management has not identified the use of a visual workspace as a feature affecting or influencing the success of a project during…

  14. Pip and pop : Non-spatial auditory signals improve spatial visual search

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.

    2008-01-01

    Searching for an object within a cluttered, continuously changing environment can be a very time-consuming process. The authors show that a simple auditory pip drastically decreases search times for a synchronized visual object that is normally very difficult to find. This effect occurs even though

  15. Investigation of echogenic surface enhancements for improved needle visualization in ultrasonography: A PRISMA systematic review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hovgesen, Caroline Harder; Wilhjelm, Jens E.; Vilmann, Peter

    : A systematic search was performed in five databases: Cochrane Library, Embase (through Ovid), MEDLINE (through PubMed), Scopus, and Web of Science from inception to April 12th, 2017. Each search was based on the search terms: ultrasound, needle, visualization, and comparison, with related synonyms and spelling...

  16. Improving the visualization of electron-microscopy data through optical flow interpolation

    KAUST Repository

    Carata, Lucian; Shao, Dan; Hadwiger, Markus; Grö eller, Eduard

    2013-01-01

    with electron-microscopy (EM). However, the technique achieves a low resolution in the cutting direction, due to limitations of the mechanical process, making a direct visualization of a dataset difficult. We aim to increase the depth resolution of the volume

  17. Understanding and Improving Blind Students' Access to Visual Information in Computer Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Catherine M.

    2017-01-01

    Teaching people with disabilities tech skills empowers them to create solutions to problems they encounter and prepares them for careers. However, computer science is typically taught in a highly visual manner which can present barriers for people who are blind. The goal of this dissertation is to understand and decrease those barriers. The first…

  18. Improving the Audio Game-Playing Performances of People with Visual Impairments through Multimodal Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balan, Oana; Moldoveanu, Alin; Moldoveanu, Florica; Nagy, Hunor; Wersenyi, Gyorgy; Unnporsson, Runar

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: As the number of people with visual impairments (that is, those who are blind or have low vision) is continuously increasing, rehabilitation and engineering researchers have identified the need to design sensory-substitution devices that would offer assistance and guidance to these people for performing navigational tasks. Auditory…

  19. Improving Access to Accommodations: Reducing Political and Institutional Barriers for Canadian Postsecondary Students with Visual Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrowski, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    Challenges to obtaining quality academic accommodations for students with visual impairments in postsecondary education hinder accessibility and the success of such students. The limitations of current policies and practices intended to address the needs of students in Canada are examined and potential solutions are discussed. Further systemic…

  20. Consumers' Interest In Provider Ratings Grows, And Improved Report Cards And Other Steps Could Accelerate Their Use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, Steven D

    2016-04-01

    Encouraging patients and consumers to use data and other information in choosing health care providers is an important way to enhance patient engagement and improve the quality of care. The growing use of technology, including smart phones and near-ubiquitous Internet access, provides consumers with easy access to websites that collect and report assessments and ratings of providers, primarily physicians and hospitals. In addition to new technology, recent laws and changes in society and the delivery of care are laying the foundation for greater use by consumers of provider performance report cards. Such use could be accelerated if the shortcomings of current report card efforts were addressed. Recommendations include making online report cards easier to use and more understandable, engaging, substantive, and relevant to consumers' health and medical concerns and choices. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  1. Unifying Water Data Sources: How the CUAHSI Water Data Center is Enabling and Improving Access to a Growing Catalog of over 100 Data Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollak, J.; Berry, K.; Couch, A.; Arrigo, J.; Hooper, R. P.

    2013-12-01

    Scientific data about water are collected and distributed by numerous sources which can differ tremendously in scale. As competition for water resources increases, increasing access to and understanding of information about water will be critical. The mission of the new CUAHSI Water Data Center (WDC) is to provide those researchers who collect data a medium to publish their datasets and give those wanting to discover data the proper tools to efficiently find the data that they seek. These tools include standards-based data publication, data discovery tools based upon faceted and telescoping search, and a data analysis tool HydroDesktop that downloads and unifies data in standardized formats. The CUAHSI Hydrologic Information System (HIS) is a community developed and open source system for sharing water data. As a federated, web service oriented system it enables data publication for a diverse user population including scientific investigators (Research Coordination Networks, Critical Zone Observatories), government agencies (USGS, NASA, EPA), and citizen scientists (watershed associations). HydroDesktop is an end user application for data consumption in this system that the WDC supports. This application can be used for finding, downloading, and analyzing data from the HIS. It provides a GIS interface that allows users to incorporate spatial data that are not accessible via HIS, simple analysis tools to facilitate graphing and visualization, tools to export data to common file types, and provides an extensible architecture that developers can build upon. HydroDesktop, however, is just one example of a data access client for HIS. The web service oriented architecture enables data access by an unlimited number of clients provided they can consume the web services used in HIS. One such example developed at the WDC is the 'Faceted Search Client', which capitalizes upon exploratory search concepts to improve accuracy and precision during search. We highlight such

  2. 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.

  3. The impact of a quality-improvement package on reproductive health services delivered by private providers in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Sohail

    2010-09-01

    This study assesses the effectiveness of a quality-improvement (QI) package designed to enable small-scale commercial reproductive health (RH) service providers to improve the services they offer. The study was conducted among midwives who are members of the Uganda Private Midwives Association. A pretest-post-test quasi-experimental panel study design was used wherein midwife clinics were allocated to two experimental groups and one control group. Baseline and follow-up measurements of structural and process attributes of quality were taken at the clinics by means of a facility inventory, interviews with midwives, and observations of client-provider interactions. Nearly 70 percent of the midwives who were trained to use the package reported that it was easy to use. Among clinics in which midwives received training in the use of the self-assessment tool and in developing action plans, structural and process attributes of quality improved only among those clinics in which the midwives' supervisors received training in finding solutions to the problems identified through self-assessments. The QI package may be implemented with small-scale private providers of RH services who are part of a professional association, network, or franchise that supervises their performance.

  4. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlemmix, Floortje; Rosman, Ageeth N; Rijnders, Marlies E; Beuckens, Antje; Opmeer, Brent C; Mol, Ben W J; Kok, Marjolein; Fleuren, Margot A H

    2015-05-01

    To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the Netherlands. Singleton breech presentation from 32 weeks of gestation onwards. We randomized clusters to a client strategy (written information leaflets and decision aid), a care-provider strategy (1-day counseling course focused on knowledge and counseling skills), a combined client and care-provider strategy and care-as-usual strategy. We performed an intention-to-treat analysis. Rate of external cephalic version in various strategies. Secondary outcomes were the percentage of women counseled and opting for a version attempt. The overall implementation rate of external cephalic version was 72% (1169 of 1613 eligible clients) with a range between clusters of 8-95%. Neither the client strategy (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4-1.5) nor the care-provider strategy (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.6-2.3) showed significant improvements. Results were comparable when we limited the analysis to those women who were actually offered intervention (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4 and OR 2.0, 95% CI 0.7-4.5). Neither a client nor a care-provider strategy improved the external cephalic version implementation rate for breech presentation, neither with regard to the number of version attempts offered nor the number of women accepting the procedure. © 2015 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  5. A continuous quality improvement intervention to improve the effectiveness of community health workers providing care to mothers and children: a cluster randomised controlled trial in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwood, Christiane; Butler, Lisa; Barker, Pierre; Phakathi, Sifiso; Haskins, Lyn; Grant, Merridy; Mntambo, Ntokozo; Rollins, Nigel

    2017-06-13

    Community health workers (CHWs) play key roles in delivering health programmes in many countries worldwide. CHW programmes can improve coverage of maternal and child health services for the most disadvantaged and remote communities, leading to substantial benefits for mothers and children. However, there is limited evidence of effective mentoring and supervision approaches for CHWs. This is a cluster randomised controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) intervention amongst CHWs providing home-based education and support to pregnant women and mothers. Thirty CHW supervisors were randomly allocated to intervention (n = 15) and control (n = 15) arms. Four CHWs were randomly selected from those routinely supported by each supervisor (n = 60 per arm). In the intervention arm, these four CHWs and their supervisor formed a quality improvement team. Intervention CHWs received a 2-week training in WHO Community Case Management followed by CQI mentoring for 12 months (preceded by 3 months lead-in to establish QI processes). Baseline and follow-up surveys were conducted with mothers of infants Improved training and CQI-based mentoring of CHWs can improve quantity and quality of CHW-mother interactions at household level, leading to improvements in mothers' knowledge and infant feeding practices. ClinicalTrials.Gov NCT01774136.

  6. Development and implementation of an online program to improve how patients communicate emotional concerns to their oncology providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Laura S; Pollak, Kathryn I; Farrell, David; Cooper, Meredith; Arnold, Robert M; Jeffreys, Amy S; Tulsky, James A

    2015-10-01

    Patients often struggle to express their emotional concerns to their oncology providers and may therefore experience unmet needs. This paper describes the development and implementation of an online program that teaches patients how to communicate their emotions to their oncology providers. The intervention was developed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of palliative care physicians, psychologists, and an intervention software developer and included input from patients. It incorporated elements of Social Cognitive Theory and validated cognitive behavioral strategies for communication skills training. Strategies to increase intervention adherence were implemented midway through the study. The intervention consists of four interactive, online modules to teach patients strategies for expressing emotional concerns to their providers and asking for support. In addition to skill-building, the intervention was designed to raise patients' expectations that expressing emotional concerns to providers would be helpful, to enhance their self-efficacy for doing so, and to help them overcome barriers to having these conversations. After implementing strategies to improve adherence, usage rates increased from 47 to 64 %. This intervention addresses an unmet educational need for patients with advanced cancer. Strategies to increase adherence led to improvements in usage rates in this population of older patients. We are currently evaluating the intervention in a randomized clinical trial to determine its efficacy in increasing patient expression of emotional concerns and requests for support. If successful, this intervention could serve as a model for future online patient education programs.

  7. Improving of Junior High School Visual Thinking Representation Ability in Mathematical Problem Solving by CTL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edy Surya

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The students’  difficulty which was found is in the problem of understanding, drawing diagrams, reading the charts correctly, conceptual formal  mathematical understanding, and  mathematical problem solving. The appropriate problem representation is the basic way in order to understand the problem itself and make a plan to solve it. This research was the experimental classroom design with a pretest-posttest control in order to increase the representation of visual thinking ability on mathematical problem solving approach  with  contextual learning. The research instrument was a test, observation and interviews. Contextual approach increases of mathematical representations ability increases in students with high initial category, medium, and low compared to conventional approaches. Keywords: Visual Thinking Representation, Mathematical  Problem Solving, Contextual Teaching Learning Approach DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22342/jme.4.1.568.113-126

  8. Two Sudden Onsets Capture Attention but Do Not Improve Visual Short-Term Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Chi-Hsiang

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Onset stimulus can capture attention and then transfer into visual short-term memory. It remains unknown whether two sudden onsets also capture attention and are stored in vSTM. We modified Belopolsky, Kramer, and Godijn's (2008 visual search paradigm to test this issue. Experiment 1 using one onset and replicated Belopolsky et al's results. Two onsets in Experiment 2 were found to capture attention; however, recognition performance for the onsets was only at chance level, showing poor memory. Experiment 3 used a retro-cue to test whether only one of these two onsets can be stored in vSTM. Experiment 4 tested whehter this poor recognition was caused by interference from meory probe. This study has important insights on how attention interacts with memory.

  9. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy

    2013-01-01

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  10. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy [Department of Anesthesiology Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA (United States)

    2013-12-15

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  11. Improving diabetes care for young people with type 1 diabetes through visual learning on mobile phones: mixed-methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frøisland, Dag Helge; Arsand, Eirik; Skårderud, Finn

    2012-08-06

    Only 17% of Norwegian children and adolescents with diabetes achieve international treatment goals measured by glycated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)). Classic patient-physician consultations seem to be poorly adapted to young children. New strategies that are better attuned to young people to improve support of adolescents' self-management of diabetes need to be tested and evaluated. (1) To explore how applications for mobile phones can be used in follow-up of adolescents with type 1 diabetes, and (2) to use the findings to guide further development of the applications and as a basis for future studies. We pilot tested two mobile phone applications: (1) an application that contained a picture-based diabetes diary to record physical activity and photos taken with the phone camera of food eaten, where the phone also communicated with the glucometer by Bluetooth technology to capture blood glucose values, and (2) a Web-based, password-secured and encrypted short message service (SMS), based on access using login passwords received via SMS to be used by participants to send messages to their providers when they faced obstacles in everyday life, and to send educational messages to the participants. At the end of the 3-month pilot study, 12 participants (7 girls and 5 boys ) aged 13-19 years completed semistructured interviews. The participants had a mean HbA(1c )value of 8.3 (SD 0.3), mean age of 16.2 (SD 1.7) years, mean body mass index of 23.3 (SD 3.2) kg/m(2), and mean diabetes duration of 7.5 (SD 4.6) years. We applied three additional measurements: change in metabolic control as measured by HbA(1c), the System Usability Scale, and diabetes knowledge. From the interviews, three main categories emerged: visualization, access, and software changes. Participants appreciated the picture-based diary more than the SMS solution. Visualization of cornerstones in diabetes self-care (ie, diet, insulin dosage, physical activity, and pre- and postprandial glucose measurements all

  12. Do Three-dimensional Visualization and Three-dimensional Printing Improve Hepatic Segment Anatomy Teaching? A Randomized Controlled Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Xiangxue; Nie, Lanying; Zhang, Huijian; Wang, Zhanglin; Ye, Qiang; Tang, Lei; Li, Jianyi; Huang, Wenhua

    2016-01-01

    Hepatic segment anatomy is difficult for medical students to learn. Three-dimensional visualization (3DV) is a useful tool in anatomy teaching, but current models do not capture haptic qualities. However, three-dimensional printing (3DP) can produce highly accurate complex physical models. Therefore, in this study we aimed to develop a novel 3DP hepatic segment model and compare the teaching effectiveness of a 3DV model, a 3DP model, and a traditional anatomical atlas. A healthy candidate (female, 50-years old) was recruited and scanned with computed tomography. After three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, the computed 3D images of the hepatic structures were obtained. The parenchyma model was divided into 8 hepatic segments to produce the 3DV hepatic segment model. The computed 3DP model was designed by removing the surrounding parenchyma and leaving the segmental partitions. Then, 6 experts evaluated the 3DV and 3DP models using a 5-point Likert scale. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the educational effectiveness of these models compared with that of the traditional anatomical atlas. The 3DP model successfully displayed the hepatic segment structures with partitions. All experts agreed or strongly agreed that the 3D models provided good realism for anatomical instruction, with no significant differences between the 3DV and 3DP models in each index (p > 0.05). Additionally, the teaching effects show that the 3DV and 3DP models were significantly better than traditional anatomical atlas in the first and second examinations (p < 0.05). Between the first and second examinations, only the traditional method group had significant declines (p < 0.05). A novel 3DP hepatic segment model was successfully developed. Both the 3DV and 3DP models could improve anatomy teaching significantly. Copyright © 2015 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Improving sexual health communication between older women and their providers: how the integrative model of behavioral prediction can help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Anne K; Rostant, Ola S; Curran, Paul G

    2014-07-01

    Talking about sexual health can be a challenge for some older women. This project was initiated to identify key factors that improve communication between aging women and their primary care providers. A sample of women (aged 60+) completed an online survey regarding their intent to communicate with a provider about sexual health. Using the integrative model of behavioral prediction as a guide, the survey instrument captured data on attitudes, perceived norms, self-efficacy, and intent to communicate with a provider about sexual health. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Self-efficacy and perceived norms were the most important factors predicting intent to communicate for this sample of women. Intent did not vary with race, but mean scores of the predictors of intent varied for African American and White women. Results can guide practice and intervention with ethnically diverse older women who may be struggling to communicate about their sexual health concerns. © The Author(s) 2013.

  14. Verbal to visual code switching improves working memory in older adults: An fMRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariko eOsaka

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The effects of verbal to visual code switching training on working memory performance were investigated in the elderly. Twenty-five elderly people were introduced to a verbal to visual code switching strategy (training group while the other 25 were not (control group. During this strategy training period, participants in the training group practiced focusing their attention on a target word both by drawing the target’s figure and by forming mental images of the target. To explore the neural substrates underlying strategy effects, fMRI was used to measure brain activity of the elderly in both groups while they performed a working memory task (reading span test, RST, before and after the attention training period. RST recognition accuracy was enhanced only in the training group. fMRI data for this group showed increased activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, a region that typically shows activation in young adults performing the RST. Furthermore, activation was found both in the left and right inferior parietal lobule (IPL and right superior parietal lobule (SPL, while there was no activation in these areas for the control group. These findings suggest that using a strategy of verbal to visual code switching helped the elderly participants to maintain the words in working memory.

  15. Improving slowness estimate stability and visualization using limited sensor pair correlation on seismic arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, Steven J.; Näsholm, S. P.; Ruigrok, E.; Kværna, T.

    2018-04-01

    Seismic arrays enhance signal detection and parameter estimation by exploiting the time-delays between arriving signals on sensors at nearby locations. Parameter estimates can suffer due to both signal incoherence, with diminished waveform similarity between sensors, and aberration, with time-delays between coherent waveforms poorly represented by the wave-front model. Sensor-to-sensor correlation approaches to parameter estimation have an advantage over direct beamforming approaches in that individual sensor-pairs can be omitted without necessarily omitting entirely the data from each of the sensors involved. Specifically, we can omit correlations between sensors for which signal coherence in an optimal frequency band is anticipated to be poor or for which anomalous time-delays are anticipated. In practice, this usually means omitting correlations between more distant sensors. We present examples from International Monitoring System seismic arrays with poor parameter estimates resulting when classical f-k analysis is performed over the full array aperture. We demonstrate improved estimates and slowness grid displays using correlation beamforming restricted to correlations between sufficiently closely spaced sensors. This limited sensor-pair correlation (LSPC) approach has lower slowness resolution than would ideally be obtained by considering all sensor-pairs. However, this ideal estimate may be unattainable due to incoherence and/or aberration and the LSPC estimate can often exploit all channels, with the associated noise-suppression, while mitigating the complications arising from correlations between very distant sensors. The greatest need for the method is for short-period signals on large aperture arrays although we also demonstrate significant improvement for secondary regional phases on a small aperture array. LSPC can also provide a robust and flexible approach to parameter estimation on three-component seismic arrays.

  16. Improving maternal and neonatal departments in high and low resource settings: the opinion of local health providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevisanuto, Daniele; Bavuusuren, Bayasgalantai; Wickramasinghe, Chandani S; Dharmaratne, Saminda M; Doglioni, Nicoletta; Giordan, Alessia; Zanardo, Vincenzo; Carlo, Waldemar A

    2011-10-01

    We compared local health caregivers' opinions regarding the priority areas for improving the maternal and neonatal departments in low and high resource countries. Personnel involved in maternal and neonatal care operating in level III, teaching hospitals in four countries (Sri Lanka, Mongolia, USA, and Italy) were asked to fill out an anonymous, written questionnaire. The questionnaire was completed by 1112 out of 1265 (87.9%) participants. "Personnel's education" was classified as the first most important intervention by health providers working in high (49.0%) as well as in low (29.9%) resource countries, respectively. Improvement in salary, equipment, internet access, and organizational protocols were considered as the most important interventions by a significantly larger percentage of personnel from low resource countries in comparison with those from high resource countries. Health providers from high resource countries considered organizational aspects (to define specific roles and responsibilities) as a priority more frequently than their colleagues from low resource countries. Although education of personnel was valued as the highest priority for improving maternal and neonatal departments there are substantial differences in priorities associated with the working setting. Local caregivers' opinion may contribute to better design interventions in settings with high or limited resources.

  17. An integrated methodology for process improvement and delivery system visualization at a multidisciplinary cancer center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singprasong, Rachanee; Eldabi, Tillal

    2013-01-01

    Multidisciplinary cancer centers require an integrated, collaborative, and stream-lined workflow in order to provide high quality of patient care. Due to the complex nature of cancer care and continuing changes to treatment techniques and technologies, it is a constant struggle for centers to obtain a systemic and holistic view of treatment workflow for improving the delivery systems. Project management techniques, Responsibility matrix and a swim-lane activity diagram representing sequence of activities can be combined for data collection, presentation, and evaluation of the patient care. This paper presents this integrated methodology using multidisciplinary meetings and walking the route approach for data collection, integrated responsibility matrix and swim-lane activity diagram with activity time for data representation and 5-why and gap analysis approach for data analysis. This enables collection of right detail of information in a shorter time frame by identifying process flaws and deficiencies while being independent of the nature of the patient's disease or treatment techniques. A case study of a multidisciplinary regional cancer centre is used to illustrate effectiveness of the proposed methodology and demonstrates that the methodology is simple to understand, allowing for minimal training of staff and rapid implementation. © 2011 National Association for Healthcare Quality.

  18. Variable effectiveness of stepwise implementation of nudge-type interventions to improve provider compliance with intraoperative low tidal volume ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly-Shah, Vikas N; Easton, George S; Jabaley, Craig S; Lynde, Grant C

    2018-05-18

    Identifying mechanisms to improve provider compliance with quality metrics is a common goal across medical disciplines. Nudge interventions are minimally invasive strategies that can influence behavioural changes and are increasingly used within healthcare settings. We hypothesised that nudge interventions may improve provider compliance with lung-protective ventilation (LPV) strategies during general anaesthesia. We developed an audit and feedback dashboard that included information on both provider-level and department-level compliance with LPV strategies in two academic hospitals, two non-academic hospitals and two academic surgery centres affiliated with a single healthcare system. Dashboards were emailed to providers four times over the course of the 9-month study. Additionally, the default setting on anaesthesia machines for tidal volume was decreased from 700 mL to 400 mL. Data on surgical cases performed between 1 September 2016 and 31 May 2017 were examined for compliance with LPV. The impact of the interventions was assessed via pairwise logistic regression analysis corrected for multiple comparisons. A total of 14 793 anaesthesia records were analysed. Absolute compliance rates increased from 59.3% to 87.8%preintervention to postintervention. Introduction of attending physician dashboards resulted in a 41% increase in the odds of compliance (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.69, p=0.002). Subsequently, the addition of advanced practice provider and resident dashboards lead to an additional 93% increase in the odds of compliance (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.52 to 2.46, p<0.001). Lastly, modifying ventilator defaults led to a 376% increase in the odds of compliance (OR 3.76, 95% CI 3.1 to 4.57, p<0.001). Audit and feedback tools in conjunction with default changes improve provider compliance. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise

  19. The development of real-time stability supports visual working memory performance: Young children's feature binding can be improved through perceptual structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmering, Vanessa R; Wood, Chelsey M

    2017-08-01

    Working memory is a basic cognitive process that predicts higher-level skills. A central question in theories of working memory development is the generality of the mechanisms proposed to explain improvements in performance. Prior theories have been closely tied to particular tasks and/or age groups, limiting their generalizability. The cognitive dynamics theory of visual working memory development has been proposed to overcome this limitation. From this perspective, developmental improvements arise through the coordination of cognitive processes to meet demands of different behavioral tasks. This notion is described as real-time stability, and can be probed through experiments that assess how changing task demands impact children's performance. The current studies test this account by probing visual working memory for colors and shapes in a change detection task that compares detection of changes to new features versus swaps in color-shape binding. In Experiment 1, 3- to 4-year-old children showed impairments specific to binding swaps, as predicted by decreased real-time stability early in development; 5- to 6-year-old children showed a slight advantage on binding swaps, but 7- to 8-year-old children and adults showed no difference across trial types. Experiment 2 tested the proposed explanation of young children's binding impairment through added perceptual structure, which supported the stability and precision of feature localization in memory-a process key to detecting binding swaps. This additional structure improved young children's binding swap detection, but not new-feature detection or adults' performance. These results provide further evidence for the cognitive dynamics and real-time stability explanation of visual working memory development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Visual Aids for Improving Patient Decision Making in Severe Symptomatic Carotid Stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fridman, Sebastian; Saposnik, Gustavo; Sposato, Luciano A

    2017-12-01

    Because of the large amount of information to process and the limited time of a clinical consult, choosing between carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid angioplasty with stenting (CAS) can be confusing for patients with severe symptomatic internal carotid stenosis (ICA). We aim to develop a visual aid tool to help clinicians and patients in the decision-making process of selecting between CEA and CAS. Based on pooled analysis from randomized controlled trials including patients with symptomatic and severe ICA (SSICA), we generated visual plots comparing CEA with CAS for 3 prespecified postprocedural time points: (1) any stroke or death at 4 months, and (2) any stroke or death in the first 30 days and ipsilateral stroke thereafter at 5 years and (3) at 10 years. A total of 4574 participants (2393 assigned to CAS, and 2361 to CEA) were included in the analyses. For every 100 patients with SSICA, 6 would develop any stroke or death in the CEA group compared with 9 undergoing CAS at 4 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.53; 95%CI 1.20-1.95). At 5 years, 7 patients in the CEA group would develop any periprocedural stroke or death and ipsilateral stroke thereafter versus 12 undergoing CAS (HR 1.72; 95%CI 1.24-2.39), compared with 10 patients in the CEA and 13 in the CAS groups at 10 years (HR 1.17; 95%CI 0.82-1.66). Visual aids presented in this study could potentially help patients with severe symptomatic internal carotid stenosis to better weigh the risks and benefits of CEA versus CAS as a function of time, allowing for the prioritization of personal preferences, and should be prospectively assessed. Copyright © 2017 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Simultaneous modeling of visual saliency and value computation improves predictions of economic choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towal, R Blythe; Mormann, Milica; Koch, Christof

    2013-10-01

    Many decisions we make require visually identifying and evaluating numerous alternatives quickly. These usually vary in reward, or value, and in low-level visual properties, such as saliency. Both saliency and value influence the final decision. In particular, saliency affects fixation locations and durations, which are predictive of choices. However, it is unknown how saliency propagates to the final decision. Moreover, the relative influence of saliency and value is unclear. Here we address these questions with an integrated model that combines a perceptual decision process about where and when to look with an economic decision process about what to choose. The perceptual decision process is modeled as a drift-diffusion model (DDM) process for each alternative. Using psychophysical data from a multiple-alternative, forced-choice task, in which subjects have to pick one food item from a crowded display via eye movements, we test four models where each DDM process is driven by (i) saliency or (ii) value alone or (iii) an additive or (iv) a multiplicative combination of both. We find that models including both saliency and value weighted in a one-third to two-thirds ratio (saliency-to-value) significantly outperform models based on either quantity alone. These eye fixation patterns modulate an economic decision process, also described as a DDM process driven by value. Our combined model quantitatively explains fixation patterns and choices with similar or better accuracy than previous models, suggesting that visual saliency has a smaller, but significant, influence than value and that saliency affects choices indirectly through perceptual decisions that modulate economic decisions.

  2. Structural Aging Program approach to providing an improved basis for aging management of safety-related concrete structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naus, D.J.; Oland, C.B.; Ellingwood, B.

    1993-01-01

    The Structural Aging (SAG) Program is being conducted at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). The SAG Program is addressing the aging management of safety-related concrete structures in nuclear power plants for the purpose of providing improved technical bases for their continued service. The program is organized into four tasks: Program Management, Materials Property Data Base, Structural Component Assessment/Repair Technologies, and Quantitative Methodology for Continued Service Determinations. Objectives and a summary of recent accomplishments under each of these tasks are presented

  3. High baseline activity in inferior temporal cortex improves neural and behavioral discriminability during visual categorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emadi, Nazli; Rajimehr, Reza; Esteky, Hossein

    2014-01-01

    Spontaneous firing is a ubiquitous property of neural activity in the brain. Recent literature suggests that this baseline activity plays a key role in perception. However, it is not known how the baseline activity contributes to neural coding and behavior. Here, by recording from the single neurons in the inferior temporal cortex of monkeys performing a visual categorization task, we thoroughly explored the relationship between baseline activity, the evoked response, and behavior. Specifically we found that a low-frequency (baseline activity. This enhancement of the baseline activity was then followed by an increase in the neural selectivity and the response reliability and eventually a higher behavioral performance. PMID:25404900

  4. Public-private partnerships to improve primary healthcare surgeries: clarifying assumptions about the role of private provider activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudyarabikwa, Oliver; Tobi, Patrick; Regmi, Krishna

    2017-07-01

    Aim To examine assumptions about public-private partnership (PPP) activities and their role in improving public procurement of primary healthcare surgeries. PPPs were developed to improve the quality of care and patient satisfaction. However, evidence of their effectiveness in delivering health benefits is limited. A qualitative study design was employed. A total of 25 interviews with public sector staff (n=23) and private sector managers (n=2) were conducted to understand their interpretations of assumptions in the activities of private investors and service contractors participating in Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) partnerships. Realist evaluation principles were applied in the data analysis to interpret the findings. Six thematic areas of assumed health benefits were identified: (i) quality improvement; (ii) improved risk management; (iii) reduced procurement costs; (iv) increased efficiency; (v) community involvement; and (vi) sustainable investment. Primary Care Trusts that chose to procure their surgeries through LIFT were expected to support its implementation by providing an environment conducive for the private participants to achieve these benefits. Private participant activities were found to be based on a range of explicit and tacit assumptions perceived helpful in achieving government objectives for LIFT. The success of PPPs depended upon private participants' (i) capacity to assess how PPP assumptions added value to their activities, (ii) effectiveness in interpreting assumptions in their expected activities, and (iii) preparedness to align their business principles to government objectives for PPPs. They risked missing some of the expected benefits because of some factors constraining realization of the assumptions. The ways in which private participants preferred to carry out their activities also influenced the extent to which expected benefits were achieved. Giving more discretion to public than private participants over critical

  5. Audio-Visual and Autogenic Relaxation Alter Amplitude of Alpha EEG Band, Causing Improvements in Mental Work Performance in Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikicin, Mirosław; Kowalczyk, Marek

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of regular audio-visual relaxation combined with Schultz's autogenic training on: (1) the results of behavioral tests that evaluate work performance during burdensome cognitive tasks (Kraepelin test), (2) changes in classical EEG alpha frequency band, neocortex (frontal, temporal, occipital, parietal), hemisphere (left, right) versus condition (only relaxation 7-12 Hz). Both experimental (EG) and age-and skill-matched control group (CG) consisted of eighteen athletes (ten males and eight females). After 7-month training EG demonstrated changes in the amplitude of mean electrical activity of the EEG alpha bend at rest and an improvement was significantly changing and an improvement in almost all components of Kraepelin test. The same examined variables in CG were unchanged following the period without the intervention. Summing up, combining audio-visual relaxation with autogenic training significantly improves athlete's ability to perform a prolonged mental effort. These changes are accompanied by greater amplitude of waves in alpha band in the state of relax. The results suggest usefulness of relaxation techniques during performance of mentally difficult sports tasks (sports based on speed and stamina, sports games, combat sports) and during relax of athletes.

  6. Improved color matching of metal ceramic restorations. Part II: Procedures for visual communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, J A; Torres, T J

    1987-12-01

    Most ceramic restorations are fabricated in a location remote from the dental office. Successful fabrication of matching life-like ceramic restorations necessitates a collaborative effort between the dentist and the ceramist. To meet the demands for visual communication of shade and surface texture, the following steps are recommended. 1. A means of communicating and recording surface texture that facilitates blending the restorations with the natural dentition should be used. 2. The system should use an esthetics prescription form that functions with the Shade Indicator Chart system to relate the shade of opaque, body, and incisal porcelains and their arrangement to the ceramist. 3. An easily made identification mold to form shade tabs is needed. 4. Identification shade tabs should be made to verify and document shade formulations selected with the Shade Indicator Chart system. 5. Methods for precisely mapping and reproducing individual characterization patterns are needed. This information permits the visualization of the end result, allowing the artistic expression of the ceramist to create vital-appearing restorations intrinsically and in harmony with the natural dentition.

  7. Improved superficial brain hemorrhage visualization in susceptibility weighted images by constrained minimum intensity projection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Marcelo A.; Pham, Dzung L.; Butman, John

    2016-03-01

    Minimum intensity projection is a technique commonly used to display magnetic resonance susceptibility weighted images, allowing the observer to better visualize hemorrhages and vasculature. The technique displays the minimum intensity in a given projection within a thick slab, allowing different connectivity patterns to be easily revealed. Unfortunately, the low signal intensity of the skull within the thick slab can mask superficial tissues near the skull base and other regions. Because superficial microhemorrhages are a common feature of traumatic brain injury, this effect limits the ability to proper diagnose and follow up patients. In order to overcome this limitation, we developed a method to allow minimum intensity projection to properly display superficial tissues adjacent to the skull. Our approach is based on two brain masks, the largest of which includes extracerebral voxels. The analysis of the rind within both masks containing the actual brain boundary allows reclassification of those voxels initially missed in the smaller mask. Morphological operations are applied to guarantee accuracy and topological correctness, and the mean intensity within the mask is assigned to all outer voxels. This prevents bone from dominating superficial regions in the projection, enabling superior visualization of cortical hemorrhages and vessels.

  8. Utilizing General Purpose Graphics Processing Units to Improve Performance of Computer Modelling and Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monk, J.; Zhu, Y.; Koons, P. O.; Segee, B. E.

    2009-12-01

    With the introduction of the G8X series of cards by nVidia an architecture called CUDA was released, virtually all subsequent video cards have had CUDA support. With this new architecture nVidia provided extensions for C/C++ that create an Application Programming Interface (API) allowing code to be executed on the GPU. Since then the concept of GPGPU (general purpose graphics processing unit) has been growing, this is the concept that the GPU is very good a algebra and running things in parallel so we should take use of that power for other applications. This is highly appealing in the area of geodynamic modeling, as multiple parallel solutions of the same differential equations at different points in space leads to a large speedup in simulation speed. Another benefit of CUDA is a programmatic method of transferring large amounts of data between the computer's main memory and the dedicated GPU memory located on the video card. In addition to being able to compute and render on the video card, the CUDA framework allows for a large speedup in the situation, such as with a tiled display wall, where the rendered pixels are to be displayed in a different location than where they are rendered. A CUDA extension for VirtualGL was developed allowing for faster read back at high resolutions. This paper examines several aspects of rendering OpenGL graphics on large displays using VirtualGL and VNC. It demonstrates how performance can be significantly improved in rendering on a tiled monitor wall. We present a CUDA enhanced version of VirtualGL as well as the advantages to having multiple VNC servers. It will discuss restrictions caused by read back and blitting rates and how they are affected by different sizes of virtual displays being rendered.

  9. Consumer Health Informatics: The Application of ICT in Improving Patient-Provider Partnership for a Better Health Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abaidoo, Benjamin; Larweh, Benjamin Teye

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing interest concerning the potential of ICT solutions that are customized to consumers. This emerging discipline referred to as consumer health informatics (CHI) plays a major role in providing information to patients and the public, and facilitates the promotion of self-management. The concept of CHI has emerged out of the desire of most patients to shoulder responsibilities regarding their health and a growing desire of health practitioners to fully appreciate the potential of the patient. To describe the role of ICT in improving the patient-provider partnership in consumer health informatics. Systematic reviewing of literature, identification of reference sources and formulation of search strategies and manual search regarding the significance of developed CHI applications in healthcare delivery. New consumer health IT applications have been developed to be used on a variety of different platforms, including the Web, messaging systems, PDAs, and cell phones. These applications assists patients with self-management through reminders and prompts, delivery of real-time data on a patient's health condition to patients and providers, web-based communication and personal electronic health information. New tools are being developed for the purposes of providing information to patients and the public which has enhanced decision making in health matters and an avenue for clinicians and consumers to exchange health information for personal and public use. This calls for corroboration among healthcare organizations, governments and the ICT industry to develop new research and IT innovations which are tailored to the health needs of the consumer.

  10. Toward an improved haptic zooming algorithm for graphical information accessed by individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rastogi, Ravi; Pawluk, Dianne T V

    2013-01-01

    An increasing amount of information content used in school, work, and everyday living is presented in graphical form. Unfortunately, it is difficult for people who are blind or visually impaired to access this information, especially when many diagrams are needed. One problem is that details, even in relatively simple visual diagrams, can be very difficult to perceive using touch. With manually created tactile diagrams, these details are often presented in separate diagrams which must be selected from among others. Being able to actively zoom in on an area of a single diagram so that the details can be presented at a reasonable size for exploration purposes seems a simpler approach for the user. However, directly using visual zooming methods have some limitations when used haptically. Therefore, a new zooming method is proposed to avoid these pitfalls. A preliminary experiment was performed to examine the usefulness of the algorithm compared to not using zooming. The results showed that the number of correct responses improved with the developed zooming algorithm and participants found it to be more usable than not using zooming for exploration of a floor map.

  11. Development and Operation of the nuclear technology program for improving the public acceptance by providing the right information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Juwoon; Kang, Mincheol; Min, Sangky; Yi, Jongmin; Yi, Yunyoung

    2013-11-01

    This detailed assignment conducted to improve the communication efficiency through the operation of differentiated programs to accomplish 'Establishment of knowledge diffusion system for improvement of Nuclear understanding', which is the purpose of the general assignment. We developed the programs on each social opinion leader groups by providing the right information on nuclear(radiation) technology, and had a forum for providing the right information on each social groups. Also, Consisted the consultant group, which participates humanities and social sciences, civic group, science teachers, the press, national assembly workers. Technology PR was performed 4 times, which is 1 time more than the original plan of 4 times. In the theme of affection of radiation, we broadened the vision of various fields which enabled to approach in general for the PR program. We Induced a positive reaction from the participants in political areas which coexistent of uncertain expectation and difficult vision of nuclear and radiation, by sharing the development possibility in relation with potential values of radiation industry and other industries and delivering accurate information, not a fragmentary knowledge, but in general. We hope that this results will contribute to establishing the effective nuclear knowledge diffusion program system

  12. Development and Operation of the nuclear technology program for improving the public acceptance by providing the right information

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Juwoon; Kang, Mincheol; Min, Sangky; Yi, Jongmin; Yi, Yunyoung

    2013-11-15

    This detailed assignment conducted to improve the communication efficiency through the operation of differentiated programs to accomplish 'Establishment of knowledge diffusion system for improvement of Nuclear understanding', which is the purpose of the general assignment. We developed the programs on each social opinion leader groups by providing the right information on nuclear(radiation) technology, and had a forum for providing the right information on each social groups. Also, Consisted the consultant group, which participates humanities and social sciences, civic group, science teachers, the press, national assembly workers. Technology PR was performed 4 times, which is 1 time more than the original plan of 4 times. In the theme of affection of radiation, we broadened the vision of various fields which enabled to approach in general for the PR program. We Induced a positive reaction from the participants in political areas which coexistent of uncertain expectation and difficult vision of nuclear and radiation, by sharing the development possibility in relation with potential values of radiation industry and other industries and delivering accurate information, not a fragmentary knowledge, but in general. We hope that this results will contribute to establishing the effective nuclear knowledge diffusion program system.

  13. Improvement of AEP Predictions Using Diurnal CFD Modelling with Site-Specific Stability Weightings Provided from Mesoscale Simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hristov, Y; Oxley, G; Žagar, M

    2014-01-01

    The Bolund measurement campaign, performed by Danish Technical University (DTU) Wind Energy Department (also known as RISØ), provided significant insight into wind flow modeling over complex terrain. In the blind comparison study several modelling solutions were submitted with the vast majority being steady-state Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approaches with two equation k-ε turbulence closure. This approach yielded the most accurate results, and was identified as the state-of-the-art tool for wind turbine generator (WTG) micro-siting. Based on the findings from Bolund, further comparison between CFD and field measurement data has been deemed essential in order to improve simulation accuracy for turbine load and long-term Annual Energy Production (AEP) estimations. Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a major WTG original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with an installed base of over 60GW in over 70 countries accounting for 19% of the global installed base. The Vestas Performance and Diagnostic Centre (VPDC) provides online live data to more than 47GW of these turbines allowing a comprehensive comparison between modelled and real-world energy production data. In previous studies, multiple sites have been simulated with a steady neutral CFD formulation for the atmospheric surface layer (ASL), and wind resource (RSF) files have been generated as a base for long-term AEP predictions showing significant improvement over predictions performed with the industry standard linear WAsP tool. In this study, further improvements to the wind resource file generation with CFD are examined using an unsteady diurnal cycle approach with a full atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) formulation, with the unique stratifications throughout the cycle weighted according to mesoscale simulated sectorwise stability frequencies

  14. Bolivian health providers' attitudes toward alternative technologies for cervical cancer prevention: a focus on visual inspection with acetic acid and cryotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormo, Analía Romina; Altamirano, Victor Conde; Pérez-Castells, Macarena; Espey, David; Padilla, Haydee; Panameño, Karen; Soria, Milton; Santos, Carlos; Saraiya, Mona; Luciani, Silvana

    2012-08-01

    Little is known about health providers' attitudes toward visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and cryotherapy in the prevention of cervical cancer, as most research in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has examined attitudes of the general population. This study describes attitudes of Bolivian health professionals toward new technologies for cervical cancer prevention, focusing on VIA and cryotherapy. Between February 2011 and March 2012, we surveyed 7 nurses and 35 physicians who participated in 5-day workshops on VIA and cryotherapy conducted in Bolivia. Multiple choice and open-ended questions were used to assess participants' acceptability of these procedures and the feasibility of their implementation in the context of perceived barriers for the early detection of cervical cancer in this country. Most believed that cultural factors represent the main barrier for the early detection of cervical cancer (70%), although all stated that VIA and cryotherapy would be accepted by women, citing the advantages of VIA over cytology for this belief. Most also believed their colleagues would accept VIA and cryotherapy (71%) and that VIA should replace Pap testing (61%), reiterating the advantages of VIA for these beliefs. Those who believed the contrary expressed a general resistance to change associated with an already existing cytology program and national norms prioritizing Pap testing. Most participants had favorable attitudes toward VIA and cryotherapy; however, a sizable minority cited challenges to their adoption by colleagues and believed VIA should not replace cytology. This report can inform the development of strategies to expand the use of alternative cervical cancer screening methods in LAC and Bolivia.

  15. Exercise and physical training improve physical function in older adults with visual impairments but their effect on falls is unclear: a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Gleeson

    2014-09-01

    [Gleeson M, Sherrington C, Keay L (2014 Exercise and physical training improve physical function in older adults with visual impairments but their effect on falls is unclear: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy 60: 130–135

  16. Visualization of liposomes by magnetic resonance imaging: an opportunity to improve antitumoral liposome therapies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez Bedoya, Darel

    2012-01-01

    Controlled release of drugs at the tumor site and the development of non-invasive monitoring techniques are two of the main challenges currently facing antitumoral therapies. The paper analyzes some of the potential uses of liposomes as vehicles for the transport of drugs to the tumors, particularly directionalized variants to tumor antigens through antibody coupling (immunoliposomes). These vesicles may also be used in combination with magnetic resonance, one of the most widely used imaging techniques, and one exhibiting great visualization potential at molecular level. Joint use of these two techniques makes it possible to control the amount of drug administered, as well as predict the efficacy of the treatment and monitor its progress

  17. Using a model of human visual perception to improve deep learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stettler, Michael; Francis, Gregory

    2018-04-17

    Deep learning algorithms achieve human-level (or better) performance on many tasks, but there still remain situations where humans learn better or faster. With regard to classification of images, we argue that some of those situations are because the human visual system represents information in a format that promotes good training and classification. To demonstrate this idea, we show how occluding objects can impair performance of a deep learning system that is trained to classify digits in the MNIST database. We describe a human inspired segmentation and interpolation algorithm that attempts to reconstruct occluded parts of an image, and we show that using this reconstruction algorithm to pre-process occluded images promotes training and classification performance. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Two items remembered as precisely as one: how integral features can improve visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi Yeul; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2013-10-01

    In the ongoing debate about the efficacy of visual working memory for more than three items, a consensus has emerged that memory precision declines as memory load increases from one to three. Many studies have reported that memory precision seems to be worse for two items than for one. We argue that memory for two items appears less precise than that for one only because two items present observers with a correspondence challenge that does not arise when only one item is stored--the need to relate observations to their corresponding memory representations. In three experiments, we prevented correspondence errors in two-item trials by varying sample items along task-irrelevant but integral (as opposed to separable) dimensions. (Initial experiments with a classic sorting paradigm identified integral feature relationships.) In three memory experiments, our manipulation produced equally precise representations of two items and of one item.

  19. High baseline activity in inferior temporal cortex improves neural and behavioral discriminability during visual categorization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nazli eEmadi

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Spontaneous firing is a ubiquitous property of neural activity in the brain. Recent literature suggests that this baseline activity plays a key role in perception. However, it is not known how the baseline activity contributes to neural coding and behavior. Here, by recording from the single neurons in the inferior temporal cortex of monkeys performing a visual categorization task, we thoroughly explored the relationship between baseline activity, the evoked response, and behavior. Specifically we found that a low-frequency (< 8 Hz oscillation in the spike train, prior and phase-locked to the stimulus onset, was correlated with increased gamma power and neuronal baseline activity. This enhancement of the baseline activity was then followed by an increase in the neural selectivity and the response reliability and eventually a higher behavioral performance.

  20. Visualization of the diaphragm muscle with ultrasound improves diagnostic accuracy of phrenic nerve conduction studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Nicholas E; Utz, Michael; Patrick, Erica; Rheinwald, Nicole; Downs, Marlene; Dilek, Nuran; Dogra, Vikram; Logigian, Eric L

    2014-05-01

    Evaluation of phrenic neuropathy (PN) with phrenic nerve conduction studies (PNCS) is associated with false negatives. Visualization of diaphragmatic muscle twitch with diaphragm ultrasound (DUS) when performing PNCS may help to solve this problem. We performed bilateral, simultaneous DUS-PNCS in 10 healthy adults and 12 patients with PN. The amplitude of the diaphragm compound muscle action potential (CMAP) (on PNCS) and twitch (on DUS) was calculated. Control subjects had phrenic CMAP (on PCNS). In the 12 patients with PN, 12 phrenic neuropathies were detected. Three of these patients had either significant side-to-side asymmetry or absolute reduction in diaphragm movement that was not detected with PNCS. There were no cases in which the PNCS showed an abnormality but the DUS did not. The addition of DUS to PNCS enhances diagnostic accuracy in PN. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. The Effect of a Computerized Visual Perception and Visual-Motor Integration Training Program on Improving Chinese Handwriting of Children with Handwriting Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, K. W.; Li-Tsang, C. W .P.; Weiss, T. P. L.; Rosenblum, S.

    2010-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of a computerized visual perception and visual-motor integration training program to enhance Chinese handwriting performance among children with learning difficulties, particularly those with handwriting problems. Participants were 26 primary-one children who were assessed by educational psychologists and…

  2. Prefrontal Neurons Represent Motion Signals from Across the Visual Field But for Memory-Guided Comparisons Depend on Neurons Providing These Signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, Klaus; Spinelli, Philip; Pasternak, Tatiana

    2016-09-07

    Visual decisions often involve comparisons of sequential stimuli that can appear at any location in the visual field. The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) in nonhuman primates, shown to play an important role in such comparisons, receives information about contralateral stimuli directly from sensory neurons in the same hemisphere, and about ipsilateral stimuli indirectly from neurons in the opposite hemisphere. This asymmetry of sensory inputs into the LPFC poses the question of whether and how its neurons incorporate sensory information arriving from the two hemispheres during memory-guided comparisons of visual motion. We found that, although responses of individual LPFC neurons to contralateral stimuli were stronger and emerged 40 ms earlier, they carried remarkably similar signals about motion direction in the two hemifields, with comparable direction selectivity and similar direction preferences. This similarity was also apparent around the time of the comparison between the current and remembered stimulus because both ipsilateral and contralateral responses showed similar signals reflecting the remembered direction. However, despite availability in the LPFC of motion information from across the visual field, these "comparison effects" required for the comparison stimuli to appear at the same retinal location. This strict dependence on spatial overlap of the comparison stimuli suggests participation of neurons with localized receptive fields in the comparison process. These results suggest that while LPFC incorporates many key aspects of the information arriving from sensory neurons residing in opposite hemispheres, it continues relying on the interactions with these neurons at the time of generating signals leading to successful perceptual decisions. Visual decisions often involve comparisons of sequential visual motion that can appear at any location in the visual field. We show that during such comparisons, the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) contains

  3. Multimodal cues provide redundant information for bumblebees when the stimulus is visually salient, but facilitate red target detection in a naturalistic background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcobado, Guadalupe; Trillo, Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    Our understanding of how floral visitors integrate visual and olfactory cues when seeking food, and how background complexity affects flower detection is limited. Here, we aimed to understand the use of visual and olfactory information for bumblebees (Bombus terrestris terrestris L.) when seeking flowers in a visually complex background. To explore this issue, we first evaluated the effect of flower colour (red and blue), size (8, 16 and 32 mm), scent (presence or absence) and the amount of training on the foraging strategy of bumblebees (accuracy, search time and flight behaviour), considering the visual complexity of our background, to later explore whether experienced bumblebees, previously trained in the presence of scent, can recall and make use of odour information when foraging in the presence of novel visual stimuli carrying a familiar scent. Of all the variables analysed, flower colour had the strongest effect on the foraging strategy. Bumblebees searching for blue flowers were more accurate, flew faster, followed more direct paths between flowers and needed less time to find them, than bumblebees searching for red flowers. In turn, training and the presence of odour helped bees to find inconspicuous (red) flowers. When bees foraged on red flowers, search time increased with flower size; but search time was independent of flower size when bees foraged on blue flowers. Previous experience with floral scent enhances the capacity of detection of a novel colour carrying a familiar scent, probably by elemental association influencing attention. PMID:28898287

  4. Verbal and visual memory improve after choline supplementation in long-term total parenteral nutrition: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchman, A L; Sohel, M; Brown, M; Jenden, D J; Ahn, C; Roch, M; Brawley, T L

    2001-01-01

    Previous investigations have demonstrated that choline deficiency, manifested in low plasma-free choline concentration and hepatic injury, may develop in patients who require long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Preliminary studies have suggested lecithin or choline supplementation might lead to improved visual memory in the elderly and reverse abnormal neuropsychological development in children. We sought to determine if choline-supplemented TPN would lead to improvement in neuropsychological test scores in a group of adult, choline-deficient outpatients receiving TPN. Eleven subjects (8 males, 3 females) who received nightly TPN for more than 80% of their nutritional needs for at least 12 weeks before entry in the study were enrolled. Exclusion criteria included active drug abuse, mental retardation, cerebral vascular accident, head trauma, hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, (prothrombin time [PT] >2x control), or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Patients were randomly assigned to receive their usual TPN regimen (n = 6, aged 34.0 +/- 12.6 years) over a 12-hour nightly infusion or their usual TPN regimen plus choline chloride (2 g) (n = 5, aged 37.3 +/- 7.3 years). The following neuropsychological tests were administered at baseline and after 24 weeks of choline supplementation (or placebo): Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R, intellectual functioning), Weschler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R, two subtests, verbal and visual memory), Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (visuospatial functioning and perceptual organization), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (verbal fluency), Grooved Pegboard (manual dexterity and motor speed), California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT, rote verbal learning ability), and Trail Making Parts A & B (visual scanning, psychomotor speed and set shifting). Scores were reported in terms of standard scores including z scores and percentile ranks. Mean absolute changes in raw scores were compared between groups

  5. Visual metaphors on anaesthesia monitors do not improve anaesthetists' performance in the operating theatre

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Amsterdam, K.; Cnossen, F.; Ballast, A.; Struys, M. M. R. F.

    Background. Previous research using a metaphorical anaesthesia monitor, where dimensions of rectangles proportionally represent 30 patient variable values, showed improved performance in diagnosing adverse events compared with the standard monitor. Steady-state values were represented by a frame

  6. Analysis of laser photocoagulation with cataract surgery for improvement of visual acuity and macular edema in patients with cataract and diabetic macular edema

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao-Yu Wang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available AIM:To explore laser photocoagulation with cataract surgery for improvement of visual acuity and macular edema in patients with cataract and diabetic macular edema.METHODS:A total of 60 patients(72 eyesfrom January 2014 to July 2015 in our hospital were selected, which all were diagnosed as cataract with diabetic macular edema. According to a random number table method, the patients were divided into observation group and control group, 30 cases(36 eyesin each group. The observation group was treated with combination therapy of laser photocoagulation before cataract surgeries, while the control group with the combination therapy of laser photocoagulation after cataract surgeries. At 2mo after surgeries, some routine examination, such as visual acuity, fundus examination after mydriasis, slit lamp examination, optical coherence tomography(OCTexamination, fluorescence angiography examination(FFAfor retinal blood vessels were applied in all the patients. RESULTS:The visual acuity of the observation group and the control group before treatments was not significantly different(P>0.05. At 2mo after treatments, the visual inspection showed that compared with the visual acuity before treatment, the visual acuity of the two groups were both significantly improved(PPP>0.05. At 2mo after treatments, compared with those before treatments, the macular thickness of two groups were both significantly improved(PPCONCLUSION:The laser photocoagulation before cataract surgery for patients with cataract and diabetic macular edema can significantly improve their visual acuity and macular thickness.

  7. Human retinal gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis shows advancing retinal degeneration despite enduring visual improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Cideciyan, Artur V.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Beltran, William A.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Swider, Malgorzata; Iwabe, Simone; Roman, Alejandro J.; Olivares, Melani B.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Komáromy, András M.; Hauswirth, William W.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2013-01-01

    The first retinal gene therapy in human blindness from RPE65 mutations has focused on safety and efficacy, as defined by improved vision. The disease component not studied, however, has been the fate of photoreceptors in this progressive retinal degeneration. We show that gene therapy improves vision for at least 3 y, but photoreceptor degeneration progresses unabated in humans. In the canine model, the same result occurs when treatment is at the disease stage equivalent to humans. The study ...

  8. Regulations To Be Made In Urban Areas In Order To Improve Accessibility Of The “Visually-Impaired

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pelin Gökgür

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In our country, disabled people encounter many problems in integrating with the city and city life. The most important one is the "accessibility" in the physical space. Providing accessibility require disabled to move without being in need of any help, without any prevention and to participate in the life activities. It is seen in our country that the obstacle-free walkways for the disabled do not exist in the cities including the pedestrian areas, the legal arrangements with respect thereto are not yet able to achieve the required conditions in the physical environment, and the required sanctions and controls are not sufficient. Moreover, inability to present accurately the difference in the needs as based on the disability type is exposed in the problems that occur in the arrangements realized. The basic needs of "visually-impaired" people in the urban space, which constitutes the subject matter of the study can be listed as; safety, to understand where s/he is going, to know where s/he is and to obtain information about the surrounding. For the visually-impaired people to obtain such needs depends on their ability to move alone in the urban space. One of the most important issues in achieving this is "orientation". "Orientation" involves the process of determination of the person's own position and relation with the important objects around. It is known that the "accessibility" of a visually-impaired person is based on orientation and the arrangements in the physical environment in achieving this are very important. In this study, the purpose is to present the significance of "orientation" directed to increase the accessibility of the "visually-impaired" people in the urban space and as based on this, to discuss "the arrangements required to be realized in the physical environment”.

  9. POSSIBILITY OF IMPROVING EXISTING STANDARDS AND METHODOLOGIES FOR AUDITING INFORMATION SYSTEMS TO PROVIDE E-GOVERNMENT SERVICES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Евгений Геннадьевич Панкратов

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available This article analyzes the existing methods of e-government systems audit, their shortcomings are examined.  The approaches to improve existing techniques and adapt them to the specific characteristics of e-government systems are suggested. The paper describes the methodology, providing possibilities of integrated assessment of information systems. This methodology uses systems maturity models and can be used in the construction of e-government rankings, as well as in the audit of their implementation process. Maturity models are based on COBIT, COSO methodologies and models of e-government, developed by the relevant committee of the UN. The methodology was tested during the audit of information systems involved in the payment of temporary disability benefits. The audit was carried out during analysis of the outcome of the pilot project for the abolition of the principle of crediting payments for disability benefits.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12731/2218-7405-2014-2-5

  10. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids provided during embryonic development improve the growth performance and welfare of Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baéza, E; Chartrin, P; Bordeau, T; Lessire, M; Thoby, J M; Gigaud, V; Blanchet, M; Alinier, A; Leterrier, C

    2017-09-01

    The welfare of ducks can be affected by unwanted behaviors such as excessive reactivity and feather pecking. Providing long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) during gestation and early life has been shown to improve the brain development and function of human and rodent offspring. The aim of this study was to test whether the pecking behavior of Muscovy ducks during rearing could be reduced by providing LC n-3 PUFA during embryonic and/or post-hatching development of ducklings. Enrichment of eggs, and consequently embryos, with LC n-3 PUFA was achieved by feeding female ducks (n-3F) a diet containing docosahexaenoic (DHA) and linolenic acids (microalgae and linseed oil). A control group of female ducks (CF) was fed a diet containing linoleic acid (soybean oil). Offspring from both groups were fed starter and grower diets enriched with DHA and linolenic acid or only linoleic acid, resulting in four treatment groups with 48 ducklings in each. Several behavioral tests were performed between 1 and 3 weeks of age to analyze the adaptation ability of ducklings. The growth performance, time budget, social interactions, feather growth, and pecking behavior of ducklings were recorded regularly during the rearing period. No significant interaction between maternal and duckling feeding was found. Ducklings from n-3F ducks had a higher body weight at day 0, 28, and 56, a lower feed conversion ratio during the growth period, and lower reactivity to stress than ducklings from CF ducks. Ducklings from n-3F ducks also exhibited a significantly reduced feather pecking frequency at 49 and 56 days of age and for the whole rearing period. Moreover, consumption of diets enriched with n-3 PUFA during the starter and grower post-hatching periods significantly improved the tibia mineralization of ducklings and the fatty acid composition of thigh muscles at 84 days of age by increasing the n-3 FA content. © 2017 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  11. Understanding and Improving Blind Students' Access to Visual Information in Computer Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Catherine M.

    Teaching people with disabilities tech skills empowers them to create solutions to problems they encounter and prepares them for careers. However, computer science is typically taught in a highly visual manner which can present barriers for people who are blind. The goal of this dissertation is to understand and decrease those barriers. The first projects I present looked at the barriers that blind students face. I first present the results of my survey and interviews with blind students with degrees in computer science or related fields. This work highlighted the many barriers that these blind students faced. I then followed-up on one of the barriers mentioned, access to technology, by doing a preliminary accessibility evaluation of six popular integrated development environments (IDEs) and code editors. I found that half were unusable and all had some inaccessible portions. As access to visual information is a barrier in computer science education, I present three projects I have done to decrease this barrier. The first project is Tactile Graphics with a Voice (TGV). This project investigated an alternative to Braille labels for those who do not know Braille and showed that TGV was a potential alternative. The next project was StructJumper, which created a modified abstract syntax tree that blind programmers could use to navigate through code with their screen reader. The evaluation showed that users could navigate more quickly and easily determine the relationships of lines of code when they were using StructJumper compared to when they were not. Finally, I present a tool for dynamic graphs (the type with nodes and edges) which had two different modes for handling focus changes when moving between graphs. I found that the modes support different approaches for exploring the graphs and therefore preferences are mixed based on the user's preferred approach. However, both modes had similar accuracy in completing the tasks. These projects are a first step towards

  12. Allium sativum L. Improves Visual Memory and Attention in Healthy Human Volunteers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasnim, Sara; Haque, Parsa Sanjana; Bari, Md. Sazzadul; Hossain, Md. Monir; Islam, Sardar Mohd. Ashraful; Shahriar, Mohammad; Bhuiyan, Mohiuddin Ahmed; Bin Sayeed, Muhammad Shahdaat

    2015-01-01

    Studies have shown that Allium sativum L. (AS) protects amyloid-beta peptide-induced apoptosis, prevents oxidative insults to neurons and synapses, and thus prevent Alzheimer's disease progression in experimental animals. However, there is no experimental evidence in human regarding its putative role in memory and cognition. We have studied the effect of AS consumption by healthy human volunteers on visual memory, verbal memory, attention, and executive function in comparison to control subjects taking placebo. The study was conducted over five weeks and twenty volunteers of both genders were recruited and divided randomly into two groups: A (AS) and B (placebo). Both groups participated in the 6 computerized neuropsychological tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) twice: at the beginning and after five weeks of the study. We found statistically significant difference (p 0.05) beneficial effects on verbal memory and executive function within a short period of time among the volunteers. Study for a longer period of time with patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases might yield more relevant results regarding the potential therapeutic role of AS. PMID:26351508

  13. Using Visual Aids to Improve Communication of Risks about Health: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocio Garcia-Retamero

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has shown that patients frequently experience difficulties understanding health-relevant numerical concepts. A prominent example is denominator neglect, or the tendency to pay too much attention to numerators in ratios (e.g., number of treated patients who died with insufficient attention to denominators (e.g., overall number of treated patients. Denominator neglect can lead to inaccurate assessments of treatment risk reduction and thus can have important consequences for decisions about health. Here, we reviewed a series of studies investigating (1 different factors that can influence patients’ susceptibility to denominator neglect in medical decision making—including numerical or language-related abilities; (2 the extent to which denominator neglect can be attenuated by using visual aids; and (3 a factor that moderates the effectiveness of such aids (i.e., graph literacy. The review spans probabilistic national U.S. and German samples, as well as immigrant (i.e., Polish people living in the United Kingdom and undergraduate samples in Spain. Theoretical and prescriptive implications are discussed.

  14. Using visual aids to improve communication of risks about health: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Okan, Yasmina; Cokely, Edward T

    2012-01-01

    Recent research has shown that patients frequently experience difficulties understanding health-relevant numerical concepts. A prominent example is denominator neglect, or the tendency to pay too much attention to numerators in ratios (e.g., number of treated patients who died) with insufficient attention to denominators (e.g., overall number of treated patients). Denominator neglect can lead to inaccurate assessments of treatment risk reduction and thus can have important consequences for decisions about health. Here, we reviewed a series of studies investigating (1) different factors that can influence patients' susceptibility to denominator neglect in medical decision making--including numerical or language-related abilities; (2) the extent to which denominator neglect can be attenuated by using visual aids; and (3) a factor that moderates the effectiveness of such aids (i.e., graph literacy). The review spans probabilistic national U.S. and German samples, as well as immigrant (i.e., Polish people living in the United Kingdom) and undergraduate samples in Spain. Theoretical and prescriptive implications are discussed.

  15. Exploring interoperability: The advancements and challenges of improving data discovery, access, and visualization of scientific data through the NOAA Earth Information System (NEIS). (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, J.; Lynge, J.; Hackathorn, E.; MacDermaid, C.; Pierce, R.; Smith, J.

    2013-12-01

    Interoperability is a complex subject and often leads to different definitions in different environments. An interoperable framework of web services can improve the user experience by providing an interface for interaction with data regardless of it's format or physical location. This in itself improves accessibility to data, fosters data exploration and use, and provides a framework for new tools and applications. With an interoperable system you have: -- Data ready for action. Services model facilitates agile response to events. Services can be combined or reused quickly, upgraded or modified independently. -- Any data available through an interoperable framework can be operated on or combined with other data. Integrating standardized formats and access. -- New and existing systems have access to wide variety of data. Any new data added is easily incorporated with minimal changes required. The possibilities are limitless. The NOAA Earth Information System (NEIS) at the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is continuing research into an interoperable framework of layered services designed to facilitate the discovery, access, integration, visualization, and understanding of all NOAA (past, present, and future) data. An underlying philosophy of NEIS is to take advantage of existing off-the-shelf technologies and standards to minimize development of custom code allowing everyone to take advantage of the framework to meet these goals above. This framework, while built by NOAA are not limited to NOAA data or applications. Any other data available through similar services or applications that understand these standards can work interchangeably. Two major challenges are under active research at ESRL are data discoverability and fast access to big data. This presentation will provide an update on development of NEIS, including these challenges, the findings, and recommendations on what is needed for an interoperable system, as well as ongoing research activities

  16. Improvement of beef cattle genetics provided increasing sustainability of beef cattle production and protein consumption in Thailand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boonyanuwat, K. [Beef Cattle Research and Development Group, Division of Animal Husbandry, Department of Livestock Development, Bangkok (Thailand)], E-mail: kalayabo@yahoo.com; Sirisom, P [Tak Livestock Breeding and Research Center, Meung (Thailand); Putharatanung, A [Nongkwang Livestock Research and Breeding Center, Photharam (Thailand)

    2009-07-01

    .00%. They were the smallest size. Farmers raised them by main of grass-fed and some added with concentrate. Meat quality from this group was the lowest. The meat texture of this group is the most firm. It was suitable for Thai food cooking. Meat from this group was used to make meatball and Thai food. The second group was around 38.50%. They were fattening 3-6 month. Meat from this group was medium quality. Farmers fed them with grass, agricultural by product, and concentrate. Meat from this group was used for general Thai food and steak cooking. The third and forth group were around 20.00%. In this group, it was added with other beef cattle: Kampangsaen and Ponyangkhum beef cattle. They were fed higher concentrate, up to 90% of concentrate in the last month of fattening. They were fattening 6-12 month. Farmers fed them following feeding plan of cooperative, so they had the greatest ADG and % carcass. Quality of meat from this group was the best, most tender. Meat from this group was used for steak and shabushabu. Meat from this group had quality the same as import meat. Some of them were better than import meat. It was tenderer. The fifth group was less than 0.5%. They were on experiment to establish new breed by DLD. This group was optimized for Thai farmers, small size and low mature age. Meat from this group had the most tenderness and marbling. Meat from this group had more quality than import meat. It was used for steak and shabushabu. Farmers could earn money from beef cattle raising occupation. Beef cattle genetic improvement provided sustainable productivity, profitability, quality of products, and sustained economic growth in rural Thailand. Beef meat production would be the mainly red meat production and provided protein sources for consumer in Thailand. (author)

  17. Frontline health workers as brokers: provider perceptions, experiences and mitigating strategies to improve access to essential medicines in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magadzire, Bvudzai Priscilla; Budden, Ashwin; Ward, Kim; Jeffery, Roger; Sanders, David

    2014-11-05

    Front-line health providers have a unique role as brokers (patient advocates) between the health system and patients in ensuring access to medicines (ATM). ATM is a fundamental component of health systems. This paper examines in a South African context supply- and demand- ATM barriers from the provider perspective using a five dimensional framework: availability (fit between existing resources and clients' needs); accessibility (fit between physical location of healthcare and location of clients); accommodation (fit between the organisation of services and clients' practical circumstances); acceptability (fit between clients' and providers' mutual expectations and appropriateness of care) and affordability (fit between cost of care and ability to pay). This cross-sectional, qualitative study uses semi-structured interviews with nurses, pharmacy personnel and doctors. Thirty-six providers were purposively recruited from six public sector Community Health Centres in two districts in the Eastern Cape Province representing both rural and urban settings. Content analysis combined structured coding and grounded theory approaches. Finally, the five dimensional framework was applied to illustrate the interconnected facets of the issue. Factors perceived to affect ATM were identified. Availability of medicines was hampered by logistical bottlenecks in the medicines supply chain; poor public transport networks affected accessibility. Organization of disease programmes meshed poorly with the needs of patients with comorbidities and circular migrants who move between provinces searching for economic opportunities, proximity to services such as social grants and shopping centres influenced where patients obtain medicines. Acceptability was affected by, for example, HIV related stigma leading patients to seek distant services. Travel costs exacerbated by the interplay of several ATM barriers influenced affordability. Providers play a brokerage role by adopting flexible

  18. Network Visualization Project (NVP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-07-01

    Application data flow .............................................................................2 Fig. 2 Sample JSON data...interface supporting improved network analysis and network communication visualization. 2. Application Design NVP consists of 2 parts: back-end data...notation ( JSON ) format. This JSON is provided as input to the front-end application of the project. This interaction of the user with the back-end

  19. Training complexity is not decisive factor for improving adaptation to visual sensory conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Pu, Fang; Li, Shuyu; Li, Yan; Li, Deyu; Fan, Yubo

    2012-01-01

    Ground-based preflight training utilizing unusual visual stimuli is useful for decreasing the susceptibility to space motion sickness (SMS). The effectiveness of the sensorimotor adaptation training is affected by the training tasks, but what kind of task is more effective remains unknown. Whether the complexity is the decisive factor to consider for designing the training and if other factors are more important need to be analyzed. The results from the analysis can help to optimize the preflight training tasks for astronauts. Twenty right-handed subjects were asked to draw the right path of 45° rotated maze before and after 30 min training. Subjects wore an up-down reversing prism spectacle in test and training sessions. Two training tasks were performed: drawing the right path of the horizontal maze (complex task but with different orientation feature) and drawing the L-shape lines (easy task with same orientation feature). The error rate and the executing time were measured during the test. Paired samples t test was used to compare the effects of the two training tasks. After each training, the error rate and the executing time were significantly decreased. However, the training effectiveness of the easy task was better as the test was finished more quickly and accurately. The complexity is not always the decisive factor for designing the adaptation training task, e.g. the orientation feature is more important in this study. In order to accelerate the adaptation and to counter SMS, the task for astronauts preflight adaptation training could be simple activities with the key features.

  20. Visual improvements in vaginal mucosa correlate with symptoms of VVA: data from a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, James A; Archer, David F; Kagan, Risa; Bernick, Brian; Graham, Shelli; Constantine, Ginger D; Mirkin, Sebastian

    2017-09-01

    To evaluate the response of the vaginal mucosa with TX-004HR and its correlation with vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) symptoms, and whether visual examination is a useful measure for assessing VVA. REJOICE was a 12-week, phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a vaginal, muco-adhesive, 17β-estradiol softgel capsule (TX-004HR 4, 10, and 25 μg) in postmenopausal women with VVA and moderate-to-severe dyspareunia. Treatments were self-administered vaginally once per day for 2 weeks, then twice per week for 10 weeks. The vagina was visually examined at baseline and at weeks 2, 6, 8, and 12; changes were evaluated using a 4-item scale for vaginal color, vaginal epithelial integrity, vaginal epithelial surface thickness, and vaginal secretions. Significant improvements were observed with all three TX-004HR doses versus placebo in vaginal color (least square mean score changes of -0.96 to -1.06 for TX-004HR doses vs -0.60 for placebo at week 12), epithelial integrity (-0.97 to -1.07 vs -0.60), epithelial surface thickness (-0.94 to -1.03 vs -0.61), and secretions (-1.01 to -1.06 vs -0.64) (P vaginal dryness (P vaginal mucosa of postmenopausal women with VVA and moderate-to-severe dyspareunia were observed with TX-004HR versus placebo, and vaginal mucosa assessment scores correlated with vaginal symptoms of dyspareunia and dryness. Visual vaginal assessment by healthcare professionals is a useful measure for diagnosing VVA and assessing response to treatment.

  1. Mirror Visual Feedback Training Improves Intermanual Transfer in a Sport-Specific Task: A Comparison between Different Skill Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Steinberg

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Mirror training therapy is a promising tool to initiate neural plasticity and facilitate the recovery process of motor skills after diseases such as stroke or hemiparesis by improving the intermanual transfer of fine motor skills in healthy people as well as in patients. This study evaluated whether these augmented performance improvements by mirror visual feedback (MVF could be used for learning a sport-specific skill and if the effects are modulated by skill level. A sample of 39 young, healthy, and experienced basketball and handball players and 41 novices performed a stationary basketball dribble task at a mirror box in a standing position and received either MVF or direct feedback. After four training days using only the right hand, performance of both hands improved from pre- to posttest measurements. Only the left hand (untrained performance of the experienced participants receiving MVF was more pronounced than for the control group. This indicates that intermanual motor transfer can be improved by MVF in a sport-specific task. However, this effect cannot be generalized to motor learning per se since it is modulated by individuals’ skill level, a factor that might be considered in mirror therapy research.

  2. Global policy and programme guidance on maternal nutrition: what exists, the mechanisms for providing it, and how to improve them?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrimpton, Roger

    2012-07-01

    Undernutrition in one form or another affects the majority of women of reproductive age in most developing countries. However, there are few or no effective programmes trying to solve maternal undernutrition problems. The purpose of the paper is to examine global policy and programme guidance mechanisms for nutrition, what their content is with regard to maternal nutrition in particular, as well as how these might be improved. Almost all countries have committed themselves politically to ensuring the right of pregnant and lactating women to good nutrition through the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Despite this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not endorsed any policy commitments with regard to maternal nutrition. The only policy guidance coming from the various technical departments of WHO relates to the control of maternal anaemia. There is no policy or programme guidance concerning issues of maternal thinness, weight gain during pregnancy and/or low birthweight prevention. Few if any countries have maternal nutrition programmes beyond those for maternal anaemia, and most of those are not effective. The lack of importance given to maternal nutrition is related in part to a weakness of evidence, related to the difficulty of getting ethical clearance, as well as a generalised tendency to downplay the importance of those interventions found to be efficacious. No priority has been given to implementing existing policy and programme guidance for the control of maternal anaemia largely because of a lack of any dedicated funding, linked to a lack of Millennium Development Goals indicator status. This is partly due to the poor evidence base, as well as to the common belief that maternal anaemia programmes were not effective, even if efficacious. The process of providing evidence-based policy and programme guidance to member states is currently being revamped and strengthened by the Department of Nutrition for Health and

  3. An integrated scheme to improve pan-sharpening visual quality of satellite images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Helmy

    2015-03-01

    In experiments with IKONOS, Quick Bird and GeoEye satellite data, we demonstrated that our scheme has good spectral quality and efficiency. Spectral and spatial quality metrics in terms of SAM, RASE, RMSE, CC, ERGAS and QNR are used in our experiments. We compared our scheme with the state-of-the-art pan-sharpening techniques and found that our new scheme improved quantitative and qualitative results.

  4. Olympic weightlifting and plyometric training with children provides similar or greater performance improvements than traditional resistance training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaouachi, Anis; Hammami, Raouf; Kaabi, Sofiene; Chamari, Karim; Drinkwater, Eric J; Behm, David G

    2014-06-01

    A number of organizations recommend that advanced resistance training (RT) techniques can be implemented with children. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Olympic-style weightlifting (OWL), plyometrics, and traditional RT programs with children. Sixty-three children (10-12 years) were randomly allocated to a 12-week control OWL, plyometric, or traditional RT program. Pre- and post-training tests included body mass index (BMI), sum of skinfolds, countermovement jump (CMJ), horizontal jump, balance, 5- and 20-m sprint times, isokinetic force and power at 60 and 300° · s(-1). Magnitude-based inferences were used to analyze the likelihood of an effect having a standardized (Cohen's) effect size exceeding 0.20. All interventions were generally superior to the control group. Olympic weightlifting was >80% likely to provide substantially better improvements than plyometric training for CMJ, horizontal jump, and 5- and 20-m sprint times, whereas >75% likely to substantially exceed traditional RT for balance and isokinetic power at 300° · s(-1). Plyometric training was >78% likely to elicit substantially better training adaptations than traditional RT for balance, isokinetic force at 60 and 300° · s(-1), isokinetic power at 300° · s(-1), and 5- and 20-m sprints. Traditional RT only exceeded plyometric training for BMI and isokinetic power at 60° · s(-1). Hence, OWL and plyometrics can provide similar or greater performance adaptations for children. It is recommended that any of the 3 training modalities can be implemented under professional supervision with proper training progressions to enhance training adaptations in children.

  5. Attention Cueing and Activity Equally Reduce False Alarm Rate in Visual-Auditory Associative Learning through Improving Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikouei Mahani, Mohammad-Ali; Haghgoo, Hojjat Allah; Azizi, Solmaz; Nili Ahmadabadi, Majid

    2016-01-01

    In our daily life, we continually exploit already learned multisensory associations and form new ones when facing novel situations. Improving our associative learning results in higher cognitive capabilities. We experimentally and computationally studied the learning performance of healthy subjects in a visual-auditory sensory associative learning task across active learning, attention cueing learning, and passive learning modes. According to our results, the learning mode had no significant effect on learning association of congruent pairs. In addition, subjects' performance in learning congruent samples was not correlated with their vigilance score. Nevertheless, vigilance score was significantly correlated with the learning performance of the non-congruent pairs. Moreover, in the last block of the passive learning mode, subjects significantly made more mistakes in taking non-congruent pairs as associated and consciously reported lower confidence. These results indicate that attention and activity equally enhanced visual-auditory associative learning for non-congruent pairs, while false alarm rate in the passive learning mode did not decrease after the second block. We investigated the cause of higher false alarm rate in the passive learning mode by using a computational model, composed of a reinforcement learning module and a memory-decay module. The results suggest that the higher rate of memory decay is the source of making more mistakes and reporting lower confidence in non-congruent pairs in the passive learning mode.

  6. A paradoxical improvement of misreaching in optic ataxia: new evidence for two separate neural systems for visual localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, A D; Paulignan, Y; Dijkerman, H C; Michel, F; Jeannerod, M

    1999-11-07

    We tested a patient (A. T.) with bilateral brain damage to the parietal lobes, whose resulting 'optic ataxia' causes her to make large pointing errors when asked to locate single light emitting diodes presented in her visual field. We report here that, unlike normal individuals, A. T.'s pointing accuracy improved when she was required to wait for 5 s before responding. This counter-intuitive result is interpreted as reflecting the very brief time-scale on which visuomotor control systems in the superior parietal lobe operate. When an immediate response was required, A. T.'s damaged visuomotor system caused her to make large errors; but when a delay was required, a different, more flexible, visuospatial coding system--presumably relatively intact in her brain--came into play, resulting in much more accurate responses. The data are consistent with a dual processing theory whereby motor responses made directly to visual stimuli are guided by a dedicated system in the superior parietal and premotor cortices, while responses to remembered stimuli depend on perceptual processing and may thus crucially involve processing within the temporal neocortex.

  7. Randomized crossover trial of a pressure sensing visual feedback system to improve mask fitting in noninvasive ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brill, Anne-Kathrin; Moghal, Mohammad; Morrell, Mary J; Simonds, Anita K

    2017-10-01

    A good mask fit, avoiding air leaks and pressure effects on the skin are key elements for a successful noninvasive ventilation (NIV). However, delivering practical training for NIV is challenging, and it takes time to build experience and competency. This study investigated whether a pressure sensing system with real-time visual feedback improved mask fitting. During an NIV training session, 30 healthcare professionals (14 trained in mask fitting and 16 untrained) performed two mask fittings on the same healthy volunteer in a randomized order: one using standard mask-fitting procedures and one with additional visual feedback on mask pressure on the nasal bridge. Participants were required to achieve a mask fit with low mask pressure and minimal air leak (mask fit and staff- confidence were measured. Compared with standard mask fitting, a lower pressure was exerted on the nasal bridge using the feedback system (71.1 ± 17.6 mm Hg vs 63.2 ± 14.6 mm Hg, P mask-fitting training, resulted in a lower pressure on the skin and better mask fit for the volunteer, with increased staff confidence. © 2017 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.

  8. Bariatric Surgery Prior to Total Joint Arthroplasty May Not Provide Dramatic Improvements In Post Arthroplasty Surgical Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxton, Elizabeth W.; Fisher, David; Li, Robert A.; Barber, Thomas C.; Singh, Jasvinder A.

    2014-01-01

    This study compared the total joint arthroplasty (TJA) surgical outcomes of patients who had bariatric surgery prior to TJA to TJA patients who were candidates but did not have bariatric surgery. Patients were retrospectively grouped into: Group 1 (n=69), those with bariatric surgery >2 years prior to TJA, Group 2 (n=102), those with surgery within 2 years of TJA, and Group 3 (n=11,032), those without bariatric surgery. In Group 1, 2.9% (95%CI 0.0–6.9%) had complications within 1 year compared to 5.9% (95%CI 1.3–10.4%) in Group 2, and 4.1% (95%CI 3.8–4.5%) in Group 3. 90-day readmission (7.2%, 95%CI 1.1–13.4%) and revision density (3.4/100 years of observation) was highest in Group 1. Bariatric surgery prior to TJA may not provide dramatic improvements in post-operative TJA surgical outcomes. PMID:24674730

  9. Parallel experimental design and multivariate analysis provides efficient screening of cell culture media supplements to improve biosimilar product quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühlmann, David; Sokolov, Michael; Butté, Alessandro; Sauer, Markus; Hemberger, Jürgen; Souquet, Jonathan; Broly, Hervé; Jordan, Martin

    2017-07-01

    Rational and high-throughput optimization of mammalian cell culture media has a great potential to modulate recombinant protein product quality. We present a process design method based on parallel design-of-experiment (DoE) of CHO fed-batch cultures in 96-deepwell plates to modulate monoclonal antibody (mAb) glycosylation using medium supplements. To reduce the risk of losing valuable information in an intricate joint screening, 17 compounds were separated into five different groups, considering their mode of biological action. The concentration ranges of the medium supplements were defined according to information encountered in the literature and in-house experience. The screening experiments produced wide glycosylation pattern ranges. Multivariate analysis including principal component analysis and decision trees was used to select the best performing glycosylation modulators. Subsequent D-optimal quadratic design with four factors (three promising compounds and temperature shift) in shake tubes confirmed the outcome of the selection process and provided a solid basis for sequential process development at a larger scale. The glycosylation profile with respect to the specifications for biosimilarity was greatly improved in shake tube experiments: 75% of the conditions were equally close or closer to the specifications for biosimilarity than the best 25% in 96-deepwell plates. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1448-1458. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Does routine psychosocial screening improve referral to psychosocial care providers and patient-radiotherapist communication? A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braeken, Anna P B M; Lechner, Lilian; Eekers, Daniëlle B P; Houben, Ruud M A; van Gils, Francis C J M; Ambergen, Ton; Kempen, Gertrudis I J M

    2013-11-01

    This study tests whether using a screening instrument improves referral to psychosocial care providers (e.g. psychologist) and facilitates patient-radiotherapist communication. A cluster randomized controlled trial was used. Fourteen radiotherapists were randomly allocated to the experimental or control group and 568 of their patients received care in accordance with the group to which their radiotherapist was allocated. Patients in the experimental group were asked to complete a screening instrument before and at the end of the radiation treatment period. All patients were requested to complete questionnaires concerning patient-physician communication after the first consultation and concerning psychosocial care 3 and 12 months post-intervention. Patients who completed the screening instrument were referred to social workers at an earlier stage than patients who did not (Pcommunication. Our results suggest that a simple screening procedure can be valuable for the timely treatment of psychosocial problems in patients. Future efforts should be directed at appropriate timing of screening and enhancing physicians' awareness regarding the importance of identifying, discussing and treating psychosocial problems in cancer patients. Psychosocial screening can be enhanced by effective radiotherapist-patient communication. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Modeling the Ecosystem Services Provided by Trees in Urban Ecosystems: Using Biome-BGC to Improve i-Tree Eco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Molly E.; McGroddy, Megan; Spence, Caitlin; Flake, Leah; Sarfraz, Amna; Nowak, David J.; Milesi, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    As the world becomes increasingly urban, the need to quantify the effect of trees in urban environments on energy usage, air pollution, local climate and nutrient run-off has increased. By identifying, quantifying and valuing the ecological activity that provides services in urban areas, stronger policies and improved quality of life for urban residents can be obtained. Here we focus on two radically different models that can be used to characterize urban forests. The i-Tree Eco model (formerly UFORE model) quantifies ecosystem services (e.g., air pollution removal, carbon storage) and values derived from urban trees based on field measurements of trees and local ancillary data sets. Biome-BGC (Biome BioGeoChemistry) is used to simulate the fluxes and storage of carbon, water, and nitrogen in natural environments. This paper compares i-Tree Eco's methods to those of Biome-BGC, which estimates the fluxes and storage of energy, carbon, water and nitrogen for vegetation and soil components of the ecosystem. We describe the two models and their differences in the way they calculate similar properties, with a focus on carbon and nitrogen. Finally, we discuss the implications of further integration of these two communities for land managers such as those in Maryland.

  12. Glucose improves object-location binding in visual-spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollery, Brian; Christian, Leonie

    2016-02-01

    There is evidence that glucose temporarily enhances cognition and that processes dependent on the hippocampus may be particularly sensitive. As the hippocampus plays a key role in binding processes, we examined the influence of glucose on memory for object-location bindings. This study aims to study how glucose modifies performance on an object-location memory task, a task that draws heavily on hippocampal function. Thirty-one participants received 30 g glucose or placebo in a single 1-h session. After seeing between 3 and 10 objects (words or shapes) at different locations in a 9 × 9 matrix, participants attempted to immediately reproduce the display on a blank 9 × 9 matrix. Blood glucose was measured before drink ingestion, mid-way through the session, and at the end of the session. Glucose significantly improves object-location binding (d = 1.08) and location memory (d = 0.83), but not object memory (d = 0.51). Increasing working memory load impairs object memory and object-location binding, and word-location binding is more successful than shape-location binding, but the glucose improvement is robust across all difficulty manipulations. Within the glucose group, higher levels of circulating glucose are correlated with better binding memory and remembering the locations of successfully recalled objects. The glucose improvements identified are consistent with a facilitative impact on hippocampal function. The findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between cognitive processes, hippocampal function, and the implications for glucose's mode of action.

  13. FlyTact : A tactile display improves a helicopter pilot's landing performance in degraded visual environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, C.; Wennemers, A.S.; Vos, W.K.; Groen, E.L.

    2008-01-01

    Helicopter landings are more challenging in 'brownout' conditions, in which sand and dust is stirred up by the rotary wing aircraft, obscuring visibility. Safe brownout landings require new sensor and display technologies to provide the pilot with information on helicopter motion. In this respect

  14. Traffic Visualization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Picozzi, Matteo; Verdezoto, Nervo; Pouke, Matti

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we present a space-time visualization to provide city's decision-makers the ability to analyse and uncover important "city events" in an understandable manner for city planning activities. An interactive Web mashup visualization is presented that integrates several visualization...... techniques to give a rapid overview of traffic data. We illustrate our approach as a case study for traffic visualization systems, using datasets from the city of Oulu that can be extended to other city planning activities. We also report the feedback of real users (traffic management employees, traffic police...

  15. Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of Visual Cue Training to Improve Adaptability of Walking after Stroke: Multi-Centre, Single-Blind Randomised Control Pilot Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollands, Kristen L.; Pelton, Trudy A.; Wimperis, Andrew; Whitham, Diane; Tan, Wei; Jowett, Sue; Sackley, Catherine M.; Wing, Alan M.; Tyson, Sarah F.; Mathias, Jonathan; Hensman, Marianne; van Vliet, Paulette M.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Given the importance of vision in the control of walking and evidence indicating varied practice of walking improves mobility outcomes, this study sought to examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of varied walking practice in response to visual cues, for the rehabilitation of walking following stroke. Design This 3 arm parallel, multi-centre, assessor blind, randomised control trial was conducted within outpatient neurorehabilitation services Participants Community dwelling stroke survivors with walking speed adaptability practice using visual cues are feasible and may improve mobility and balance. Future studies should continue a carefully phased approach using identified methods to improve retention. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01600391 PMID:26445137

  16. A critical assessment of visual identification of marine microplastic using Raman spectroscopy for analysis improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenz, Robin; Enders, Kristina; Stedmon, Colin

    2015-01-01

    (n = 1279) were spectroscopically confirmed being plastic. The percentage varied with type, colour and size of the MP. Fibres had a higher success rate (75%) than particles (64%).We tested Raman micro-spectroscopy applicability for MP identification with respect to varying chemical composition...... (additives), degradation state and organic matter coating. Partially UV-degraded postconsumer plastics provided identifiable Raman spectra for polymers most common among marine MP, i.e. polyethylene and polypropylene...

  17. Reducing Short-Wavelength Blue Light in Dry Eye Patients with Unstable Tear Film Improves Performance on Tests of Visual Acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaido, Minako; Toda, Ikuko; Oobayashi, Tomoo; Kawashima, Motoko; Katada, Yusaku; Tsubota, Kazuo

    2016-01-01

    To investigate whether suppression of blue light can improve visual function in patients with short tear break up time (BUT) dry eye (DE). Twenty-two patients with short BUT DE (10 men, 12 women; mean age, 32.4 ± 6.4 years; age range, 23-43 years) and 18 healthy controls (10 men, 8 women; mean age, 30.1 ± 7.4 years; age range, 20-49 years) underwent functional visual acuity (VA) examinations with and without wearing eyeglasses with 50% blue light blocked lenses. The functional VA parameters were starting VA, functional VA, and visual maintenance ratio. The baseline mean values (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, logMAR) of functional VA and the visual maintenance ratio were significantly worse in the DE patients than in the controls (P 0.05). The DE patients had significant improvement in mean functional VA and visual maintenance ratio while wearing the glasses (P 0.05). Protecting the eyes from short-wavelength blue light may help to ameliorate visual impairment associated with tear instability in patients with DE. This finding represents a new concept, which is that the blue light exposure might be harmful to visual function in patients with short BUT DE.

  18. Reducing Short-Wavelength Blue Light in Dry Eye Patients with Unstable Tear Film Improves Performance on Tests of Visual Acuity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minako Kaido

    Full Text Available To investigate whether suppression of blue light can improve visual function in patients with short tear break up time (BUT dry eye (DE.Twenty-two patients with short BUT DE (10 men, 12 women; mean age, 32.4 ± 6.4 years; age range, 23-43 years and 18 healthy controls (10 men, 8 women; mean age, 30.1 ± 7.4 years; age range, 20-49 years underwent functional visual acuity (VA examinations with and without wearing eyeglasses with 50% blue light blocked lenses. The functional VA parameters were starting VA, functional VA, and visual maintenance ratio.The baseline mean values (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, logMAR of functional VA and the visual maintenance ratio were significantly worse in the DE patients than in the controls (P 0.05. The DE patients had significant improvement in mean functional VA and visual maintenance ratio while wearing the glasses (P 0.05.Protecting the eyes from short-wavelength blue light may help to ameliorate visual impairment associated with tear instability in patients with DE. This finding represents a new concept, which is that the blue light exposure might be harmful to visual function in patients with short BUT DE.

  19. Passive design solutions to improve thermal and visual indoor environment. Case Study: University of Informatics Sciences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    González Couret, Dania; Rodríguez García, Elizabeth; González Milián, Nataly; Llovet Salazar, Mónica

    2017-01-01

    The results of a research carried out in order to improve sustainability in the University of Informatics Sciences in Havana are presented in the paper. The initial qualitative evaluation of the three more energy consumer buildings allow to identify main problems and to select indoor spaces where temperature and relative humidity were measured. Intervention proposals were elaborated which positive impact was verified by automatized simulation of results and its comparison to the departing situation. The results of the empirical research corroborate the integral qualitative evaluation carries out. It has been demonstrated that it is possible to reduce indoor temperature by modifying the envelope without high investments, if advantage is taken from benefit of green shadow. (author)

  20. Improving communication when seeking informed consent: a randomised controlled study of a computer-based method for providing information to prospective clinical trial participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunaratne, Asuntha S; Korenman, Stanley G; Thomas, Samantha L; Myles, Paul S; Komesaroff, Paul A

    2010-04-05

    To assess the efficacy, with respect to participant understanding of information, of a computer-based approach to communication about complex, technical issues that commonly arise when seeking informed consent for clinical research trials. An open, randomised controlled study of 60 patients with diabetes mellitus, aged 27-70 years, recruited between August 2006 and October 2007 from the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Alfred Hospital and Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne. Participants were asked to read information about a mock study via a computer-based presentation (n = 30) or a conventional paper-based information statement (n = 30). The computer-based presentation contained visual aids, including diagrams, video, hyperlinks and quiz pages. Understanding of information as assessed by quantitative and qualitative means. Assessment scores used to measure level of understanding were significantly higher in the group that completed the computer-based task than the group that completed the paper-based task (82% v 73%; P = 0.005). More participants in the group that completed the computer-based task expressed interest in taking part in the mock study (23 v 17 participants; P = 0.01). Most participants from both groups preferred the idea of a computer-based presentation to the paper-based statement (21 in the computer-based task group, 18 in the paper-based task group). A computer-based method of providing information may help overcome existing deficiencies in communication about clinical research, and may reduce costs and improve efficiency in recruiting participants for clinical trials.

  1. Opportunities for improved diabetes care among patients of safety net practices: a safety net providers' strategic alliance study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichsman, Ann; Werner, James; Cella, Peggi; Bobiak, Sarah; Stange, Kurt C

    2009-01-01

    To identify barriers and opportunities for quality diabetes care in safety net practices. In 3 federally qualified health centers and 1 free clinic, 19 primary care clinicians profiled patient and visit characteristics and quality of care measures for 181 consecutive visits by adult type 2 diabetic patients. Open-ended questions assessed patient and clinician perception of barriers to diabetes care and patient report of enabling factors. A multidisciplinary team identified themes from open-ended responses. Logistic regression analyses assessed the association of the identified barriers/enablers with 2 measures of quality care: glycosylated hemoglobin and prophylactic aspirin use. Ranked barriers noted by patients included adherence (40%), financial/insurance (23%), and psychosocial (13%) factors. Clinicians ranked systemic factors, including financial/ insurance (32%) and cultural/psychosocial (29%) factors, as important to adherence (29%) in determining quality diabetes care. Patients reported dietary and medical adherence (37%) and family/health care worker support (17%) as helpful factors. Among 175 patients with available data, glycosylated hemoglobin levels were associated with patient report of financial/insurance factors both as a barrier when visits and medications were unaffordable and as an opportunity when free or low-cost medications and services were provided. Patients' adherence with aspirin prophylaxis was strongly associated with African American race, prior prescription of aspirin and distribution of aspirin at the practice site (p<.001). Patients were less likely than clinicians to identify systemic and contextual factors contributing to poor diabetes care. From the front line's perspective, enabling patient self-management and systemic support is a target for improving diabetes care in safety net practices.

  2. Sun protection provided by regulation school uniforms in Australian schools: an opportunity to improve personal sun protection during childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Denise; Harrison, Simone L

    2014-01-01

    Childhood sun exposure is linked to excessive pigmented mole development and melanoma risk. Clothing provides a physical barrier, protecting skin from ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Extending sleeves to elbow length and shorts to knee length has been shown to significantly reduce mole acquisition in preschoolers from tropical Queensland. We used publicly available uniform images and guidelines from primary schools in Townsville (latitude 19.25°S, n = 43 schools), Cairns (16.87°S, n = 46) and the Atherton Tablelands (17.26°S, n = 23) in tropical Australia to objectively determine the body surface proportion covered by regulation school uniforms. Uniforms of nongovernment, large (≥800 students), urban, educationally advantaged schools with comprehensive sun protection policies covered more skin than those of government schools (63.2% vs 62.0%; P schools (63.4% vs 62.3%; P = 0.009), rural (62.7% vs 61.9%; P = 0.002) and educationally disadvantaged schools (62.8% vs 62.3%; P school uniforms covered identical body surface proportions (62.4%, P = 0.084). Although wearing regulation school uniforms is mandatory at most Australian primary schools, this opportunity to improve children's sun protection is largely overlooked. Recent evidence suggests that even encouraging minor alterations to school uniforms (e.g. slightly longer sleeves/dresses/skirts/shorts) to increase skin coverage may reduce mole acquisition and melanoma risk, especially in high-risk populations. © 2014 The American Society of Photobiology.

  3. Undergraduate medical textbooks do not provide adequate information on intravenous fluid therapy: a systematic survey and suggestions for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Arfon G M T; Paterson-Brown, Simon; Drummond, Gordon B

    2014-02-20

    Inappropriate prescribing of intravenous (IV) fluid, particularly 0.9% sodium chloride, causes post-operative complications. Fluid prescription is often left to junior medical staff and is frequently poorly managed. One reason for poor intravenous fluid prescribing practices could be inadequate coverage of this topic in the textbooks that are used. We formulated a comprehensive set of topics, related to important common clinical situations involving IV fluid therapy, (routine fluid replacement, fluid loss, fluids overload) to assess the adequacy of textbooks in common use. We assessed 29 medical textbooks widely available to students in the UK, scoring the presence of information provided by each book on each of the topics. The scores indicated how fully the topics were considered: not at all, partly, and adequately. No attempt was made to judge the quality of the information, because there is no consensus on these topics. The maximum score that a book could achieve was 52. Three of the topics we chose were not considered by any of the books. Discounting these topics as "too esoteric", the maximum possible score became 46. One textbook gained a score of 45, but the general score was poor (median 11, quartiles 4, 21). In particular, coverage of routine postoperative management was inadequate. Textbooks for undergraduates cover the topic of intravenous therapy badly, which may partly explain the poor knowledge and performance of junior doctors in this important field. Systematic revision of current textbooks might improve knowledge and practice by junior doctors. Careful definition of the remit and content of textbooks should be applied more widely to ensure quality and "fitness for purpose", and avoid omission of vital knowledge.

  4. Educating early childhood care and education providers to improve knowledge and attitudes about reporting child maltreatment: A randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Mathews

    Full Text Available Early childhood care and education providers (CCPs work with over 7 million young children. These children are vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. However, CCPs make less than 1% of all reports of suspected child abuse and neglect that are made to child protective services. CCPs are therefore an untapped resource in the public health response to child maltreatment. However, their knowledge and attitudes about duties to report child maltreatment are poorly understood. Moreover, no rigorous research has tested whether their knowledge and attitudes about reporting child maltreatment can be improved. These gaps in knowledge are important because knowledge of the duty and positive attitudes towards it produce more effective reporting, and little evidence exists about how to enhance cognitive and affective attributes. Using the CONSORT approach, we report a single-blind test-retest randomized controlled trial evaluating iLook Out for Child Abuse, a customized online educational intervention for CCPs to increase knowledge and attitudes towards the reporting duty. 762 participants were randomized with results analyzed for 741 participants (372 in the intervention group; 369 in the control. Knowledge of the reporting duty increased in the intervention group from 13.54 to 16.19 out of 21 (2.65 increase, 95% CI: (2.37, 2.93; large effect size 0.95, p < 0.001; the control group remained stable, moving from 13.54 to 13.59 (0.05 increase, 95% CI: (-0.12, 0.22; negligible effect size 0.03, p = 0.684. Attitudes were enhanced on all 13 items for the intervention group, remaining stable in the control, with significant differences between groups on all items (p < 0.05. Gains were largely sustained at four month follow-up. Findings support education for CCPs and other professions. Future research should also explore effects of education on reporting behavior.US National Institutes of Health NCT02225301.

  5. Educating early childhood care and education providers to improve knowledge and attitudes about reporting child maltreatment: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Ben; Yang, Chengwu; Lehman, Erik B; Mincemoyer, Claudia; Verdiglione, Nicole; Levi, Benjamin H

    2017-01-01

    Early childhood care and education providers (CCPs) work with over 7 million young children. These children are vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. However, CCPs make less than 1% of all reports of suspected child abuse and neglect that are made to child protective services. CCPs are therefore an untapped resource in the public health response to child maltreatment. However, their knowledge and attitudes about duties to report child maltreatment are poorly understood. Moreover, no rigorous research has tested whether their knowledge and attitudes about reporting child maltreatment can be improved. These gaps in knowledge are important because knowledge of the duty and positive attitudes towards it produce more effective reporting, and little evidence exists about how to enhance cognitive and affective attributes. Using the CONSORT approach, we report a single-blind test-retest randomized controlled trial evaluating iLook Out for Child Abuse, a customized online educational intervention for CCPs to increase knowledge and attitudes towards the reporting duty. 762 participants were randomized with results analyzed for 741 participants (372 in the intervention group; 369 in the control). Knowledge of the reporting duty increased in the intervention group from 13.54 to 16.19 out of 21 (2.65 increase, 95% CI: (2.37, 2.93); large effect size 0.95, p < 0.001); the control group remained stable, moving from 13.54 to 13.59 (0.05 increase, 95% CI: (-0.12, 0.22); negligible effect size 0.03, p = 0.684). Attitudes were enhanced on all 13 items for the intervention group, remaining stable in the control, with significant differences between groups on all items (p < 0.05). Gains were largely sustained at four month follow-up. Findings support education for CCPs and other professions. Future research should also explore effects of education on reporting behavior. US National Institutes of Health NCT02225301.

  6. Non-dental primary care providers' views on challenges in providing oral health services and strategies to improve oral health in Australian rural and remote communities: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Tony; Hoang, Ha; Stuart, Jackie; Crocombe, Len

    2015-10-29

    To investigate the challenges of providing oral health advice/treatment as experienced by non-dental primary care providers in rural and remote areas with no resident dentist, and their views on ways in which oral health and oral health services could be improved for their communities. Qualitative study with semistructured interviews and thematic analysis. Four remote communities in outback Queensland, Australia. 35 primary care providers who had experience in providing oral health advice to patients and four dental care providers who had provided oral health services to patients from the four communities. In the absence of a resident dentist, rural and remote residents did present to non-dental primary care providers with oral health problems such as toothache, abscess, oral/gum infection and sore mouth for treatment and advice. Themes emerged from the interview data around communication challenges and strategies to improve oral health. Although, non-dental care providers commonly advised patients to see a dentist, they rarely communicated with the dentist in the nearest regional town. Participants proposed that oral health could be improved by: enabling access to dental practitioners, educating communities on preventive oral healthcare, and building the skills and knowledge base of non-dental primary care providers in the field of oral health. Prevention is a cornerstone to better oral health in rural and remote communities as well as in more urbanised communities. Strategies to improve the provision of dental services by either visiting or resident dental practitioners should include scope to provide community-based oral health promotion activities, and to engage more closely with other primary care service providers in these small communities. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  7. Improved classification and visualization of healthy and pathological hard dental tissues by modeling specular reflections in NIR hyperspectral images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usenik, Peter; Bürmen, Miran; Fidler, Aleš; Pernuš, Franjo; Likar, Boštjan

    2012-03-01

    Despite major improvements in dental healthcare and technology, dental caries remains one of the most prevalent chronic diseases of modern society. The initial stages of dental caries are characterized by demineralization of enamel crystals, commonly known as white spots, which are difficult to diagnose. Near-infrared (NIR) hyperspectral imaging is a new promising technique for early detection of demineralization which can classify healthy and pathological dental tissues. However, due to non-ideal illumination of the tooth surface the hyperspectral images can exhibit specular reflections, in particular around the edges and the ridges of the teeth. These reflections significantly affect the performance of automated classification and visualization methods. Cross polarized imaging setup can effectively remove the specular reflections, however is due to the complexity and other imaging setup limitations not always possible. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach based on modeling the specular reflections of hard dental tissues, which significantly improves the classification accuracy in the presence of specular reflections. The method was evaluated on five extracted human teeth with corresponding gold standard for 6 different healthy and pathological hard dental tissues including enamel, dentin, calculus, dentin caries, enamel caries and demineralized regions. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used for multivariate local modeling of healthy and pathological dental tissues. The classification was performed by employing multiple discriminant analysis. Based on the obtained results we believe the proposed method can be considered as an effective alternative to the complex cross polarized imaging setups.

  8. Switching from pro re nata to treat-and-extend regimen improves visual acuity in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvannli, Line; Krohn, Jørgen

    2017-11-01

    To evaluate the visual outcome after transitioning from a pro re nata (PRN) intravitreal injection regimen to a treat-and-extend (TAE) regimen for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A retrospective review of patients who were switched from a PRN regimen with intravitreal injections of bevacizumab, ranibizumab or aflibercept to a TAE regimen. The best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central retinal thickness (CRT) and type of medication used at baseline, at the time of changing treatment regimen and at the end of the study were analysed. Twenty-one eyes of 21 patients met the inclusion criteria. Prior to the switch, the patients received a mean of 13.8 injections (median, 10; range, 3-39 injections) with the PRN regimen for 44 months (range, 3-100 months), which improved the visual acuity in five patients (24%). After a mean of 6.1 injections (median, 5; range, 3-14 injections) with the TAE regimen over 8 months (range, 2-16 months), the visual acuity improved in 12 patients (57%). The improvement in visual acuity during treatment with the TAE regimen was statistically significant (p = 0.005). The proportion of patients with a visual acuity of 0.2 or better was significantly higher after treatment with the TAE regimen than after treatment with the PRN regimen (p = 0.048). No significant differences in CRT were found between the two treatment regimens. Even after prolonged treatment and a high number of intravitreal injections, switching AMD patients from a PRN regimen to a strict TAE regimen significantly improves visual acuity. © 2017 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. An Experimental Investigation of Improving Human Problem-Solving Performance by Guiding Attention and Adaptively Providing Details on Information Displays

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Narayanan, N. H

    2007-01-01

    .... Results showed that various display strategies for augmenting information presented based on knowledge about both the viewer's gaze patterns and the problem solving procedure he or she is employing could indeed improve problem-solving performance.

  10. Coaching and Quality Assistance in Quality Rating Improvement Systems: Approaches Used by TA Providers to Improve Quality in Early Care and Education Programs and Home-Based Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sheila; Robbins, Taylor; Schneider, Will; Kreader, J. Lee; Ong, Christine

    2012-01-01

    Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRISs) commonly offer on-site technical assistance (TA) and coaching to help early care and education settings achieve quality improvements and a higher QRIS rating. In surveys of administrators overseeing statewide QRISs, almost all states reported the use of on-site TA and coaching in both center-based and…

  11. 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.

  12. CMS tracker visualization tools

    CERN Document Server

    Zito, G; Osborne, I; Regano, A

    2005-01-01

    This document will review the design considerations, implementations and performance of the CMS Tracker Visualization tools. In view of the great complexity of this sub-detector (more than 50 millions channels organized in 16540 modules each one of these being a complete detector), the standard CMS visualization tools (IGUANA and IGUANACMS) that provide basic 3D capabilities and integration within CMS framework, respectively, have been complemented with additional 2D graphics objects. Based on the experience acquired using this software to debug and understand both hardware and software during the construction phase, we propose possible future improvements to cope with online monitoring and event analysis during data taking.

  13. CMS tracker visualization tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mennea, M.S. [Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica ' Michelangelo Merlin' e INFN sezione di Bari, Via Amendola 173 - 70126 Bari (Italy); Osborne, I. [Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 (United States); Regano, A. [Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica ' Michelangelo Merlin' e INFN sezione di Bari, Via Amendola 173 - 70126 Bari (Italy); Zito, G. [Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica ' Michelangelo Merlin' e INFN sezione di Bari, Via Amendola 173 - 70126 Bari (Italy)]. E-mail: giuseppe.zito@ba.infn.it

    2005-08-21

    This document will review the design considerations, implementations and performance of the CMS Tracker Visualization tools. In view of the great complexity of this sub-detector (more than 50 millions channels organized in 16540 modules each one of these being a complete detector), the standard CMS visualization tools (IGUANA and IGUANACMS) that provide basic 3D capabilities and integration within CMS framework, respectively, have been complemented with additional 2D graphics objects. Based on the experience acquired using this software to debug and understand both hardware and software during the construction phase, we propose possible future improvements to cope with online monitoring and event analysis during data taking.

  14. CMS tracker visualization tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mennea, M.S.; Osborne, I.; Regano, A.; Zito, G.

    2005-01-01

    This document will review the design considerations, implementations and performance of the CMS Tracker Visualization tools. In view of the great complexity of this sub-detector (more than 50 millions channels organized in 16540 modules each one of these being a complete detector), the standard CMS visualization tools (IGUANA and IGUANACMS) that provide basic 3D capabilities and integration within CMS framework, respectively, have been complemented with additional 2D graphics objects. Based on the experience acquired using this software to debug and understand both hardware and software during the construction phase, we propose possible future improvements to cope with online monitoring and event analysis during data taking

  15. A 'special effort' to provide improved sounding and cloud-motion wind data for FGGE. [First GARP Global Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greaves, J. R.; Dimego, G.; Smith, W. L.; Suomi, V. E.

    1979-01-01

    Enhancement and editing of high-density cloud motion wind assessments and research satellite soundings have been necessary to improve the quality of data used in The Global Weather Experiment. Editing operations are conducted by a man-computer interactive data access system. Editing will focus on such inputs as non-US satellite data, NOAA operational sounding and wind data sets, wind data from the Indian Ocean satellite, dropwindsonde data, and tropical mesoscale wind data. Improved techniques for deriving cloud heights and higher resolution sounding in meteorologically active areas are principal parts of the data enhancement program.

  16. Integration of interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rengier, Fabian; Häfner, Matthias F; Unterhinninghofen, Roland; Nawrotzki, Ralph; Kirsch, Joachim; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich; Giesel, Frederik L

    2013-08-01

    Integrating interactive three-dimensional post-processing software into undergraduate radiology teaching might be a promising approach to synergistically improve both visual-spatial ability and radiological skills, thereby reducing students' deficiencies in image interpretation. The purpose of this study was to test our hypothesis that a hands-on radiology course for medical students using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software improves radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability. A hands-on radiology course was developed using interactive three-dimensional image post-processing software. The course consisted of seven seminars held on a weekly basis. The 25 participating fourth- and fifth-year medical students learnt to systematically analyse cross-sectional imaging data and correlated the two-dimensional images with three-dimensional reconstructions. They were instructed by experienced radiologists and collegiate tutors. The improvement in radiological knowledge, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability was assessed immediately before and after the course by multiple-choice tests comprising 64 questions each. Wilcoxon signed rank test for paired samples was applied. The total number of correctly answered questions improved from 36.9±4.8 to 49.5±5.4 (pability by 11.3% (psoftware into undergraduate radiology education effectively improves radiological reasoning, diagnostic skills and visual-spatial ability, and thereby even diagnostic skills for imaging modalities not included in the course. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Effectiveness of Provider and Community Interventions to Improve Treatment of Uncomplicated Malaria in Nigeria: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obinna Onwujekwe

    Full Text Available The World Health Organization recommends that malaria be confirmed by parasitological diagnosis before treatment using Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT. Despite this, many health workers in malaria endemic countries continue to diagnose malaria based on symptoms alone. This study evaluates interventions to help bridge this gap between guidelines and provider practice. A stratified cluster-randomized trial in 42 communities in Enugu state compared 3 scenarios: Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs with basic instruction (control; RDTs with provider training (provider arm; and RDTs with provider training plus a school-based community intervention (provider-school arm. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients treated according to guidelines, a composite indicator requiring patients to be tested for malaria and given treatment consistent with the test result. The primary outcome was evaluated among 4946 (93% of the 5311 patients invited to participate. A total of 40 communities (12 in control, 14 per intervention arm were included in the analysis. There was no evidence of differences between the three arms in terms of our composite indicator (p = 0.36: stratified risk difference was 14% (95% CI -8.3%, 35.8%; p = 0.26 in the provider arm and 1% (95% CI -21.1%, 22.9%; p = 0.19 in the provider-school arm, compared with control. The level of testing was low across all arms (34% in control; 48% provider arm; 37% provider-school arm; p = 0.47. Presumptive treatment of uncomplicated malaria remains an ingrained behaviour that is difficult to change. With or without extensive supporting interventions, levels of testing in this study remained critically low. Governments and researchers must continue to explore alternative ways of encouraging providers to deliver appropriate treatment and avoid the misuse of valuable medicines.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01350752.

  18. The contributions of visual and central attention to visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus

    2017-10-01

    We investigated the role of two kinds of attention-visual and central attention-for the maintenance of visual representations in working memory (WM). In Experiment 1 we directed attention to individual items in WM by presenting cues during the retention interval of a continuous delayed-estimation task, and instructing participants to think of the cued items. Attending to items improved recall commensurate with the frequency with which items were attended (0, 1, or 2 times). Experiments 1 and 3 further tested which kind of attention-visual or central-was involved in WM maintenance. We assessed the dual-task costs of two types of distractor tasks, one tapping sustained visual attention and one tapping central attention. Only the central attention task yielded substantial dual-task costs, implying that central attention substantially contributes to maintenance of visual information in WM. Experiment 2 confirmed that the visual-attention distractor task was demanding enough to disrupt performance in a task relying on visual attention. We combined the visual-attention and the central-attention distractor tasks with a multiple object tracking (MOT) task. Distracting visual attention, but not central attention, impaired MOT performance. Jointly, the three experiments provide a double dissociation between visual and central attention, and between visual WM and visual object tracking: Whereas tracking multiple targets across the visual filed depends on visual attention, visual WM depends mostly on central attention.

  19. Module structure of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP may provide bases for its complex role in the visual cycle – structure/function study of Xenopus IRBP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghosh Debashis

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein's (IRBP remarkable module structure may be critical to its role in mediating the transport of all-trans and 11-cis retinol, and 11-cis retinal between rods, cones, RPE and Müller cells during the visual cycle. We isolated cDNAs for Xenopus IRBP, and expressed and purified its individual modules, module combinations, and the full-length polypeptide. Binding of all-trans retinol, 11-cis retinal and 9-(9-anthroyloxy stearic acid were characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy monitoring ligand-fluorescence enhancement, quenching of endogenous protein fluorescence, and energy transfer. Finally, the X-ray crystal structure of module-2 was used to predict the location of the ligand-binding sites, and compare their structures among modules using homology modeling. Results The full-length Xenopus IRBP cDNA codes for a polypeptide of 1,197 amino acid residues beginning with a signal peptide followed by four homologous modules each ~300 amino acid residues in length. Modules 1 and 3 are more closely related to each other than either is to modules 2 and 4. Modules 1 and 4 are most similar to the N- and C-terminal modules of the two module IRBP of teleosts. Our data are consistent with the model that vertebrate IRBPs arose through two genetic duplication events, but that the middle two modules were lost during the evolution of the ray finned fish. The sequence of the expressed full-length IRBP was confirmed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The recombinant full-length Xenopus IRBP bound all-trans retinol and 11-cis retinaldehyde at 3 to 4 sites with Kd's of 0.2 to 0.3 μM, and was active in protecting all-trans retinol from degradation. Module 2 showed selectivity for all-trans retinol over 11-cis retinaldehyde. The binding data are correlated to the results of docking of all-trans-retinol to the crystal structure of Xenopus module 2 suggesting two ligand-binding sites

  20. SQ house dust mite (HDM) SLIT-tablet provides clinical improvement in HDM-induced allergic rhinitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klimek, Ludger; Mosbech, Holger; Zieglmayer, Petra

    2016-01-01

    -consuming treatment regimen and a risk of systemic adverse reactions, sublingually administered allergy immunotherapy (SLIT) has been investigated as a more convenient treatment option with similar levels of efficacy and an improved safety profile that allows for at-home daily administration. In this Drug Profile, we...

  1. B-CAN: a resource sharing platform to improve the operation, visualization and integrated analysis of TCGA breast cancer data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Can-Hong; Ou, Shao-Min; Guo, Xiao-Bo; Liu, Chen-Feng; Shen, Yan-Bo; You, Na; Cai, Wei-Hong; Shen, Wen-Jun; Wang, Xue-Qin; Tan, Hai-Zhu

    2017-12-12

    Breast cancer is a high-risk heterogeneous disease with myriad subtypes and complicated biological features. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) breast cancer database provides researchers with the large-scale genome and clinical data via web portals and FTP services. Researchers are able to gain new insights into their related fields, and evaluate experimental discoveries with TCGA. However, it is difficult for researchers who have little experience with database and bioinformatics to access and operate on because of TCGA's complex data format and diverse files. For ease of use, we build the breast cancer (B-CAN) platform, which enables data customization, data visualization, and private data center. The B-CAN platform runs on Apache server and interacts with the backstage of MySQL database by PHP. Users can customize data based on their needs by combining tables from original TCGA database and selecting variables from each table. The private data center is applicable for private data and two types of customized data. A key feature of the B-CAN is that it provides single table display and multiple table display. Customized data with one barcode corresponding to many records and processed customized data are allowed in Multiple Tables Display. The B-CAN is an intuitive and high-efficient data-sharing platform.

  2. Improving the United States airline industry's capacity to provide safe and dignified services to travelers with disabilities: focus group findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Michael J

    2011-01-01

    As a component of a training development project for intercity air travel providers, we investigated the capacity of the airline industry to meet the needs of travelers with disabilities by exploring: (1) the level of sensitivity among personnel to travelers' needs, (2) training currently provided, (3) areas in which additional training might be beneficial, and (4) organisational/systems-level commitment to dignified assistance to all travelers. Forty-four airline/vendor employees participated in nine focus groups in four US cities. Groups were audio recorded and transcribed. A grounded-theory approach was used to develop a coding system which was then applied to transcripts to identify themes. Factors influencing capacity grouped broadly into four areas: characteristics of the job/system, characteristics of current training, characteristics of providers themselves, and characteristics of travelers. At an interpersonal level, providers were empathetic and desired to provide dignified services. They lacked training and adequate equipment in some cases, however, and organisational commitment varied between companies. Traveler characteristics were also shown to impact service delivery. Results are promising but additional regulatory and organisational policies are needed to ensure quality services. Providers and consumers of intercity air travel services may benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study.

  3. ZnO nanopowder induced light scattering for improved visualization of emission sites in carbon nanotube films and arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meško, Marcel; Ou, Qiongrong; Matsuda, Takafumi; Ishikawa, Tomokazu; Veis, Martin; Antoš, Roman; Ogino, Akihisa; Nagatsu, Masaaki

    2009-06-01

    We report on ZnO nanopowder induced light scattering for improved visualization of emission sites in carbon nanotube films and arrays. We observed a significant reduction of the internal multiple light scattering phenomena, which are characteristic for ZnO micropowders. The microsized grains of the commercially available ZnO:Zn (P 15) were reduced to the nanometre scale by pulsed laser ablation at an oxygen ambient pressure of 10 kPa. Our investigations show no crystalline change and no shift of the broad green emission peak at 500 nm for the ZnO nanopowder. For the application in field emission displays, we demonstrate the possibility of achieving cathodoluminescence with a fine pitch size of 100 µm of the patterned pixels without requiring additional electron beam focusing and without a black matrix. Moreover, the presented results show the feasibility of employing ZnO nanopowder as a detection material for the phosphorus screen method, which is able to localize emission sites of carbon nanotube films and arrays with an accuracy comparable to scanning anode field emission microscopy.

  4. ZnO nanopowder induced light scattering for improved visualization of emission sites in carbon nanotube films and arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mesko, Marcel; Ou Qiongrong; Matsuda, Takafumi; Ishikawa, Tomokazu; Ogino, Akihisa; Nagatsu, Masaaki; Veis, Martin; Antos, Roman

    2009-01-01

    We report on ZnO nanopowder induced light scattering for improved visualization of emission sites in carbon nanotube films and arrays. We observed a significant reduction of the internal multiple light scattering phenomena, which are characteristic for ZnO micropowders. The microsized grains of the commercially available ZnO:Zn (P 15) were reduced to the nanometre scale by pulsed laser ablation at an oxygen ambient pressure of 10 kPa. Our investigations show no crystalline change and no shift of the broad green emission peak at 500 nm for the ZnO nanopowder. For the application in field emission displays, we demonstrate the possibility of achieving cathodoluminescence with a fine pitch size of 100 μm of the patterned pixels without requiring additional electron beam focusing and without a black matrix. Moreover, the presented results show the feasibility of employing ZnO nanopowder as a detection material for the phosphorus screen method, which is able to localize emission sites of carbon nanotube films and arrays with an accuracy comparable to scanning anode field emission microscopy.

  5. Improving support for parents of children with hearing loss: provider training on use of targeted communication strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Karen; Nelson, Lauri; Blaiser, Kristina; Price, Tanner; Twohig, Michael

    2015-02-01

    When proper protocols are followed, children who are identified with a permanent hearing loss early in life have opportunities to develop language on par with their typical hearing peers. Young children with hearing loss are dependent on their parents to manage intervention during early years critical to their development, and parents' ability to effectively integrate recommendations in daily life is foundational for intervention success. Audiologists and early intervention professionals not only need to provide current evidence-based services, but also must address parents' emotional and learning needs related to their child's hearing loss. This study explored practice patterns related to education and support provided to parents of children with hearing loss and the influence of an in-service training on provider attitudes. This study used a prepost design with a self-report questionnaire to identify practice patterns related to communication skills and support used by providers when working with parents of children with hearing loss. A total of 45 participants (21 professionals and 24 graduate students) currently working with children completed the pretraining questionnaire, and 29 participants (13 professionals and 16 graduate students) completed the postquestionnaire. Data were collected using an online questionnaire before the training and 1 mo after training. Descriptive analyses were done to identify trends, and paired-samples t-tests were used to determine changes pretraining to posttraining. Findings revealed that professionals most frequently teach skills to mothers (91%) and infrequently teach skills to fathers (19%) and other caregivers (10%). Professionals reported frequently collaborating with other intervention providers (76%) and infrequently collaborating with primary care physicians (19%). One-third of the professionals reported addressing symptoms of depression and anxiety as an interfering factor with the ability to implement management

  6. A cell-free scaffold-based cartilage repair provides improved function hyaline-like repair at one year.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siclari, Alberto; Mascaro, Gennaro; Gentili, Chiara; Cancedda, Ranieri; Boux, Eugenio

    2012-03-01

    Bone marrow stimulation techniques in cartilage repair such as drilling are limited by the formation of fibrous to hyaline-like repair tissue. It has been suggested such techniques can be enhanced by covering the defect with scaffolds. We present an innovative approach using a polyglycolic acid (PGA)-hyaluronan scaffold with platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) in drilling. We asked whether (1) PRP immersed in a cell-free PGA-hyaluronan scaffold improves patient-reported 1-year outcomes for the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Score (KOOS), and (2) implantation of the scaffold in combination with bone marrow stimulation leads to the formation of hyaline-like cartilage repair tissue. We reviewed 52 patients who had arthroscopic implantation of the PGA-hyaluronan scaffold immersed with PRP in articular cartilage defects of the knee pretreated with Pridie drilling. Patients were assessed by KOOS. At 9 months followup, histologic staining was performed in specimens obtained from five patients to assess the repair tissue quality. The KOOS subscores improved for pain (55 to 91), symptoms (57 to 88), activities of daily living (69 to 86), sports and recreation (36 to 70), and quality of life (38 to 73). The histologic evaluation showed a homogeneous hyaline-like cartilage repair tissue. The cell-free PGA-hyaluronan scaffold combined with PRP leads to cartilage repair and improved patient-reported outcomes (KOOS) during 12 months of followup. Histologic sections showed morphologic features of hyaline-like repair tissue. Long-term followup is needed to determine if the cartilage repair tissue is durable. Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

  7. Functional Visual Improvement After Cataract Surgery in Eyes With Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Results of the Ophthalmic Surgical Outcomes Data Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, Michael V; Vollman, David E; Baze, Elizabeth F; Chomsky, Amy S; Daly, Mary K; Lawrence, Mary G

    2015-04-01

    To determine if cataract surgery on eyes with AMD confers as much functional visual improvement as surgery on eyes without retinal pathology. This is a retrospective analysis of 4924 cataract surgeries from the Veterans Healthcare Administration Ophthalmic Surgical Outcomes Data Project (OSOD). We included cases of eyes with AMD that had both preoperative and postoperative NEI-VFQ-25 questionnaires submitted and compared their outcomes with controls without retinal pathology. We excluded patients with other retinal pathologies (740 patients). The analyses compared changes in visual acuity and overall functional visual improvement and its subscales using t-tests, multivariate logistic regressions, and linear regression modeling. Preoperative and postoperative questionnaires were submitted by 58.3% of AMD and 63.8% of no retinal pathology cases (controls). Analysis of overall score showed that cataract surgery on eyes with AMD led to increased visual function (13.8 ± 2.4 NEI-VFQ units, P < 0.0001); however, increases were significantly less when compared with controls (-6.4 ± 2.9 NEI-VFQ units, P < 0.0001). Preoperative best-corrected visual acuity (preBCVA) in AMD was predictive of postoperative visual function (r = -0.38, P < 0.0001). In controls, postoperative visual function was only weakly associated with preBCVA (r = -0.075, P = 0.0002). Patients with AMD with vision of 20/40 or better had overall outcomes similar to controls (-2.2 ± 4.7 NEI-VFQ units, P = 0.37). Cataract surgery on eyes with AMD offers an increase in functional visual improvement; however, the amount of benefit is associated with the eye's preBCVA. For eyes with preBCVA of 20/40 or greater, the improvement is similar to that of patients without retinal pathology. However, if preBCVA is less than 20/40, the amount of improvement was shown to be significantly less and decreased with decreasing preBCVA.

  8. The Healthcare Improvement Scotland evidence note rapid review process: providing timely, reliable evidence to inform imperative decisions on healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Heather M; Calvert, Julie; Macpherson, Karen J; Thompson, Lorna

    2016-06-01

    Rapid review has become widely adopted by health technology assessment agencies in response to demand for evidence-based information to support imperative decisions. Concern about the credibility of rapid reviews and the reliability of their findings has prompted a call for wider publication of their methods. In publishing this overview of the accredited rapid review process developed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, we aim to raise awareness of our methods and advance the discourse on best practice. Healthcare Improvement Scotland produces rapid reviews called evidence notes using a process that has achieved external accreditation through the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Key components include a structured approach to topic selection, initial scoping, considered stakeholder involvement, streamlined systematic review, internal quality assurance, external peer review and updating. The process was introduced in 2010 and continues to be refined over time in response to user feedback and operational experience. Decision-makers value the responsiveness of the process and perceive it as being a credible source of unbiased evidence-based information supporting advice for NHSScotland. Many agencies undertaking rapid reviews are striving to balance efficiency with methodological rigour. We agree that there is a need for methodological guidance and that it should be informed by better understanding of current approaches and the consequences of different approaches to streamlining systematic review methods. Greater transparency in the reporting of rapid review methods is essential to enable that to happen.

  9. Neural correlates of atomoxetine improving inhibitory control and visual processing in Drug-naïve adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Li-Ying; Chou, Tai-Li; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2017-10-01

    Atomoxetine improves inhibitory control and visual processing in healthy volunteers and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, little is known about the neural correlates of these two functions after chronic treatment with atomoxetine. This study aimed to use the counting Stroop task with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) to investigate the changes related to inhibitory control and visual processing in adults with ADHD. This study is an 8-week, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of atomoxetine in 24 drug-naïve adults with ADHD. We investigated the changes of treatment with atomoxetine compared to placebo-treated counterparts using the counting Stroop fMRI and two CANTAB tests: rapid visual information processing (RVP) for inhibitory control and delayed matching to sample (DMS) for visual processing. Atomoxetine decreased activations in the right inferior frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex, which were correlated with the improvement in inhibitory control assessed by the RVP. Also, atomoxetine increased activation in the left precuneus, which was correlated with the improvement in the mean latency of correct responses assessed by the DMS. Moreover, anterior cingulate activation in the pre-treatment was able to predict the improvements of clinical symptoms. Treatment with atomoxetine may improve inhibitory control to suppress interference and may enhance the visual processing to process numbers. In addition, the anterior cingulate cortex might play an important role as a biological marker for the treatment effectiveness of atomoxetine. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4850-4864, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Enhancing the relationship and improving communication between adolescents and their health care providers: a school based intervention by medical students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towle, Angela; Godolphin, William; Van Staalduinen, Samantha

    2006-08-01

    To develop, implement and evaluate a workshop to help adolescents develop independent and active relationships with their physicians. A needs-assessment survey informed the development of a workshop delivered by medical student volunteers and incorporated into the career and personal planning curriculum of high schools in Vancouver, Canada. Over a 6-year period, 64 workshops were delivered by 181 medical students to 1651 high school students in six schools. The workshop is acceptable, do-able, effective and sustainable, characteristics that arise from the mutual benefits to all the groups involved: the medical school, the school board, the medical students, the high school teachers and students. The workshop provides a model for providing health care education to adolescents in the community. Teaching adolescents the importance of good doctor-patient communication encourages them to take ongoing responsibility for their health care and is an alternative route to direct health care education.

  11. Estimated capacity of object files in visual short-term memory is not improved by retrieval cueing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiki, Jun; Miyatsuji, Hirofumi

    2009-03-23

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) has been claimed to maintain three to five feature-bound object representations. Some results showing smaller capacity estimates for feature binding memory have been interpreted as the effects of interference in memory retrieval. However, change-detection tasks may not properly evaluate complex feature-bound representations such as triple conjunctions in VSTM. To understand the general type of feature-bound object representation, evaluation of triple conjunctions is critical. To test whether interference occurs in memory retrieval for complete object file representations in a VSTM task, we cued retrieval in novel paradigms that directly evaluate the memory for triple conjunctions, in comparison with a simple change-detection task. In our multiple object permanence tracking displays, observers monitored for a switch in feature combination between objects during an occlusion period, and we found that a retrieval cue provided no benefit with the triple conjunction tasks, but significant facilitation with the change-detection task, suggesting that low capacity estimates of object file memory in VSTM reflect a limit on maintenance, not retrieval.

  12. The Puzzle of Visual Development: Behavior and Neural Limits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiorpes, Lynne

    2016-11-09

    The development of visual function takes place over many months or years in primate infants. Visual sensitivity is very poor near birth and improves over different times courses for different visual functions. The neural mechanisms that underlie these processes are not well understood despite many decades of research. The puzzle arises because research into the factors that limit visual function in infants has found surprisingly mature neural organization and adult-like receptive field properties in very young infants. The high degree of visual plasticity that has been documented during the sensitive period in young children and animals leaves the brain vulnerable to abnormal visual experience. Abnormal visual experience during the sensitive period can lead to amblyopia, a developmental disorder of vision affecting ∼3% of children. This review provides a historical perspective on research into visual development and the disorder amblyopia. The mismatch between the status of the primary visual cortex and visual behavior, both during visual development and in amblyopia, is discussed, and several potential resolutions are considered. It seems likely that extrastriate visual areas further along the visual pathways may set important limits on visual function and show greater vulnerability to abnormal visual experience. Analyses based on multiunit, population activity may provide useful representations of the information being fed forward from primary visual cortex to extrastriate processing areas and to the motor output. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/3611384-10$15.00/0.

  13. Appearance traits in fish farming: progress from classical genetics to genomics, providing insight into current and potential genetic improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson eColihueque

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Appearance traits in fish, those external body characteristics that influence consumer acceptance at point of sale, have come to the forefront of commercial fish farming, as culture profitability is closely linked to management of these traits. Appearance traits comprise mainly body shape and skin pigmentation. Analysis of the genetic basis of these traits in different fish reveals significant genetic variation within populations, indicating potential for their genetic improvement. Work into ascertaining the minor or major genes underlying appearance traits for commercial fish is emerging, with substantial progress in model fish in terms of identifying genes that control body shape and skin colors. In this review, we describe research progress to date, especially with regard to commercial fish, and discuss genomic findings in model fish in order to better address the genetic basis of the traits. Given that appearance traits are important in commercial fish, the genomic information related to this issue promises to accelerate the selection process in coming years.

  14. Appearance traits in fish farming: progress from classical genetics to genomics, providing insight into current and potential genetic improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colihueque, Nelson; Araneda, Cristian

    2014-01-01

    Appearance traits in fish, those external body characteristics that influence consumer acceptance at point of sale, have come to the forefront of commercial fish farming, as culture profitability is closely linked to management of these traits. Appearance traits comprise mainly body shape and skin pigmentation. Analysis of the genetic basis of these traits in different fish reveals significant genetic variation within populations, indicating potential for their genetic improvement. Work into ascertaining the minor or major genes underlying appearance traits for commercial fish is emerging, with substantial progress in model fish in terms of identifying genes that control body shape and skin colors. In this review, we describe research progress to date, especially with regard to commercial fish, and discuss genomic findings in model fish in order to better address the genetic basis of the traits. Given that appearance traits are important in commercial fish, the genomic information related to this issue promises to accelerate the selection process in coming years. PMID:25140172

  15. Does providing prescription information or services improve medication adherence among patients discharged from the emergency department? A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Melissa L; Ding, Ru; Roderer, Nancy K; Steinwachs, Donald M; Ortmann, Melinda J; Pham, Julius Cong; Bessman, Edward S; Kelen, Gabor D; Atha, Walter; Retezar, Rodica; Bessman, Sara C; Zeger, Scott L

    2013-09-01

    We determine whether prescription information or services improve the medication adherence of emergency department (ED) patients. Adult patients treated at one of 3 EDs between November 2010 and September 2011 and prescribed an antibiotic, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, cardiac, or respiratory drug at discharge were eligible. Subjects were randomly assigned to usual care or one of 3 prescription information or services intervention groups: (1) practical services to reduce barriers to prescription filling (practical prescription information or services); (2) consumer drug information from MedlinePlus (MedlinePlus prescription information or services); or (3) both services and information (combination prescription information or services). Self-reported medication adherence, measured by primary adherence (prescription filling) and persistence (receiving medicine as prescribed) rates, was determined during a telephone interview 1 week postdischarge. Of the 3,940 subjects enrolled and randomly allocated to treatment, 86% (N=3,386) completed the follow-up interview. Overall, primary adherence was 88% and persistence was 48%. Across the sites, primary adherence and persistence did not differ significantly between usual care and the prescription information or services groups. However, at site C, subjects who received the practical prescription information or services (odds ratio [OR]=2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4 to 4.3) or combination prescription information or services (OR=1.8; 95% CI 1.1 to 3.1) were more likely to fill their prescription compared with usual care. Among subjects prescribed a drug that treats an underlying condition, subjects who received the practical prescription information or services were more likely to fill their prescription (OR=1.8; 95% CI 1.0 to 3.1) compared with subjects who received usual care. Prescription filling and receiving medications as prescribed was not meaningfully improved by offering patients patient

  16. Visual Memories Bypass Normalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloem, Ilona M; Watanabe, Yurika L; Kibbe, Melissa M; Ling, Sam

    2018-05-01

    How distinct are visual memory representations from visual perception? Although evidence suggests that briefly remembered stimuli are represented within early visual cortices, the degree to which these memory traces resemble true visual representations remains something of a mystery. Here, we tested whether both visual memory and perception succumb to a seemingly ubiquitous neural computation: normalization. Observers were asked to remember the contrast of visual stimuli, which were pitted against each other to promote normalization either in perception or in visual memory. Our results revealed robust normalization between visual representations in perception, yet no signature of normalization occurring between working memory stores-neither between representations in memory nor between memory representations and visual inputs. These results provide unique insight into the nature of visual memory representations, illustrating that visual memory representations follow a different set of computational rules, bypassing normalization, a canonical visual computation.

  17. Visualization rhetoric: framing effects in narrative visualization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hullman, Jessica; Diakopoulos, Nicholas

    2011-12-01

    Narrative visualizations combine conventions of communicative and exploratory information visualization to convey an intended story. We demonstrate visualization rhetoric as an analytical framework for understanding how design techniques that prioritize particular interpretations in visualizations that "tell a story" can significantly affect end-user interpretation. We draw a parallel between narrative visualization interpretation and evidence from framing studies in political messaging, decision-making, and literary studies. Devices for understanding the rhetorical nature of narrative information visualizations are presented, informed by the rigorous application of concepts from critical theory, semiotics, journalism, and political theory. We draw attention to how design tactics represent additions or omissions of information at various levels-the data, visual representation, textual annotations, and interactivity-and how visualizations denote and connote phenomena with reference to unstated viewing conventions and codes. Classes of rhetorical techniques identified via a systematic analysis of recent narrative visualizations are presented, and characterized according to their rhetorical contribution to the visualization. We describe how designers and researchers can benefit from the potentially positive aspects of visualization rhetoric in designing engaging, layered narrative visualizations and how our framework can shed light on how a visualization design prioritizes specific interpretations. We identify areas where future inquiry into visualization rhetoric can improve understanding of visualization interpretation. © 2011 IEEE

  18. Making Memories: The Development of Long-Term Visual Knowledge in Children with Visual Agnosia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziana Metitieri

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There are few reports about the effects of perinatal acquired brain lesions on the development of visual perception. These studies demonstrate nonseverely impaired visual-spatial abilities and preserved visual memory. Longitudinal data analyzing the effects of compromised perceptions on long-term visual knowledge in agnosics are limited to lesions having occurred in adulthood. The study of children with focal lesions of the visual pathways provides a unique opportunity to assess the development of visual memory when perceptual input is degraded. We assessed visual recognition and visual memory in three children with lesions to the visual cortex having occurred in early infancy. We then explored the time course of visual memory impairment in two of them at 2 years and 3.7 years from the initial assessment. All children exhibited apperceptive visual agnosia and visual memory impairment. We observed a longitudinal improvement of visual memory modulated by the structural properties of objects. Our findings indicate that processing of degraded perceptions from birth results in impoverished memories. The dynamic interaction between perception and memory during development might modulate the long-term construction of visual representations, resulting in less severe impairment.

  19. Making memories: the development of long-term visual knowledge in children with visual agnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metitieri, Tiziana; Barba, Carmen; Pellacani, Simona; Viggiano, Maria Pia; Guerrini, Renzo

    2013-01-01

    There are few reports about the effects of perinatal acquired brain lesions on the development of visual perception. These studies demonstrate nonseverely impaired visual-spatial abilities and preserved visual memory. Longitudinal data analyzing the effects of compromised perceptions on long-term visual knowledge in agnosics are limited to lesions having occurred in adulthood. The study of children with focal lesions of the visual pathways provides a unique opportunity to assess the development of visual memory when perceptual input is degraded. We assessed visual recognition and visual memory in three children with lesions to the visual cortex having occurred in early infancy. We then explored the time course of visual memory impairment in two of them at 2  years and 3.7  years from the initial assessment. All children exhibited apperceptive visual agnosia and visual memory impairment. We observed a longitudinal improvement of visual memory modulated by the structural properties of objects. Our findings indicate that processing of degraded perceptions from birth results in impoverished memories. The dynamic interaction between perception and memory during development might modulate the long-term construction of visual representations, resulting in less severe impairment.

  20. A feast of visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    Strength through structure The visualization and assessment of inner human bone structures can provide better predictions of fracture risk due to osteoporosis. Using micro-computed tomography (µCT), Christoph Räth from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and colleagues based in Munich, Vienna and Salzburg have shown how complex lattice-shaped bone structures can be visualized. The structures were quantified by calculating certain "texture measures" that yield new information about the stability of the bone. A 3D visualization showing the variation with orientation of one of the texture measures for four different bone specimens (from left to right) is shown above. Such analyses may help us to improve our understanding of disease and drug-induced changes in bone structure (C Räth et al. 2008 New J. Phys. 10 125010).

  1. Functionalized bioengineered spider silk spheres improve nuclease resistance and activity of oligonucleotide therapeutics providing a strategy for cancer treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlowska, Anna Karolina; Florczak, Anna; Smialek, Maciej; Dondajewska, Ewelina; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Kortylewski, Marcin; Dams-Kozlowska, Hanna

    2017-09-01

    Cell-selective delivery and sensitivity to serum nucleases remain major hurdles to the clinical application of RNA-based oligonucleotide therapeutics, such as siRNA. Spider silk shows great potential as a biomaterial due to its biocompatibility and biodegradability. Self-assembling properties of silk proteins allow for processing into several different morphologies such as fibers, scaffolds, films, hydrogels, capsules and spheres. Moreover, bioengineering of spider silk protein sequences can functionalize silk by adding peptide moieties with specific features including binding or cell recognition domains. We demonstrated that modification of silk protein by adding the nucleic acid binding domain enabled the development of a novel oligonucleotide delivery system that can be utilized to improve pharmacokinetics of RNA-based therapeutics, such as CpG-siRNA. The MS2 bioengineered silk was functionalized with poly-lysine domain (KN) to generate hybrid silk MS2KN. CpG-siRNA efficiently bound to MS2KN in contrary to control MS2. Both MS2KN complexes and spheres protected CpG-siRNA from degradation by serum nucleases. CpG-siRNA molecules encapsulated into MS2KN spheres were efficiently internalized and processed by TLR9-positive macrophages. Importantly, CpG-STAT3siRNA loaded in silk spheres showed delayed and extended target gene silencing compared to naked oligonucleotides. The prolonged Stat3 silencing resulted in the more pronounced downregulation of interleukin 6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine and upstream activator of STAT3, which limits the efficacy of TLR9 immunostimulation. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using spider silk spheres as a carrier of therapeutic nucleic acids. Moreover, the modified kinetic and activity of the CpG-STAT3siRNA embedded into silk spheres is likely to improve immunotherapeutic effects in vivo. We demonstrated that modification of silk protein by adding the nucleic acid binding domain enabled the development of a novel

  2. The geographic distribution of eye care providers in the United States: Implications for a national strategy to improve vision health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Diane M

    2015-04-01

    To describe the patterns of local eye care provider availability in the US. Data from 2011 on the number of ophthalmologists and optometrists in each of the 3143 counties in the US were drawn from the Area Health Resources File. Population-weighted quartiles of the county-level number of ophthalmologists per capita and the county-level number of optometrists per capita were defined. Descriptive statistics were calculated and a cross tabulation of quartiles of ophthalmologist availability and quartiles of optometrist availability was conducted for all the counties in the US and for the set of counties in each region of the US. 24.0% of US counties had no ophthalmologists or optometrists. 60.7% of counties in the US were in one of the lower two quartiles of both ophthalmologist availability and optometrist availability, and 24.1% of counties were in one of the lower two quartiles of ophthalmologist availability but in one of the upper two quartiles of optometrist availability. Public health interventions that are effective in a context of limited local eye care provider availability or that are able to leverage optometrist availability effectively in areas with limited ophthalmologist availability could be of widespread use in the US. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Combined DNA, toxicological and heavy metal analyses provides an auditing toolkit to improve pharmacovigilance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coghlan, Megan L.; Maker, Garth; Crighton, Elly; Haile, James; Murray, Dáithí C.; White, Nicole E.; Byard, Roger W.; Bellgard, Matthew I.; Mullaney, Ian; Trengove, Robert; Allcock, Richard J. N.; Nash, Christine; Hoban, Claire; Jarrett, Kevin; Edwards, Ross; Musgrave, Ian F.; Bunce, Michael

    2015-12-01

    Globally, there has been an increase in the use of herbal remedies including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). There is a perception that products are natural, safe and effectively regulated, however, regulatory agencies are hampered by a lack of a toolkit to audit ingredient lists, adulterants and constituent active compounds. Here, for the first time, a multidisciplinary approach to assessing the molecular content of 26 TCMs is described. Next generation DNA sequencing is combined with toxicological and heavy metal screening by separation techniques and mass spectrometry (MS) to provide a comprehensive audit. Genetic analysis revealed that 50% of samples contained DNA of undeclared plant or animal taxa, including an endangered species of Panthera (snow leopard). In 50% of the TCMs, an undeclared pharmaceutical agent was detected including warfarin, dexamethasone, diclofenac, cyproheptadine and paracetamol. Mass spectrometry revealed heavy metals including arsenic, lead and cadmium, one with a level of arsenic >10 times the acceptable limit. The study showed 92% of the TCMs examined were found to have some form of contamination and/or substitution. This study demonstrates that a combination of molecular methodologies can provide an effective means by which to audit complementary and alternative medicines.

  4. Providing education on evidence-based practice improved knowledge but did not change behaviour: a before and after study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lovarini Meryl

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many health professionals lack the skills to find and appraise published research. This lack of skills and associated knowledge needs to be addressed, and practice habits need to change, for evidence-based practice to occur. The aim of this before and after study was to evaluate the effect of a multifaceted intervention on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour of allied health professionals. Methods 114 self-selected occupational therapists were recruited. The intervention included a 2-day workshop combined with outreach support for eight months. Support involved email and telephone contact and a workplace visit. Measures were collected at baseline, post-workshop, and eight months later. The primary outcome was knowledge, measured using the Adapted Fresno Test of Evidence-Based Practice (total score 0 to 156. Secondary outcomes were attitude to evidence-based practice (% reporting improved skills and confidence; % reporting barriers, and behaviour measured using an activity diary (% engaging/not engaging in search and appraisal activities, and assignment completion. Results Post-workshop, there were significant gains in knowledge which were maintained at follow-up. The mean difference in the Adapted Fresno Test total score was 20.6 points (95% CI, 15.6 to 25.5. The change from post-workshop to follow-up was small and non-significant (mean difference 1.2 points, 95% CI, -6.0 to 8.5. Fewer participants reported lack of searching and appraisal skills as barriers to evidence-based practice over time (searching = 61%, 53%, 24%; appraisal 60%, 65%, 41%. These differences were statistically significant (p = 0.0001 and 0.010 respectively. Behaviour changed little. Pre-workshop, 6% engaged in critical appraisal increasing to 18% post-workshop and 18% at follow-up. Nearly two thirds (60% were not reading any research literature at follow-up. Twenty-three participants (20.2% completed their assignment. Conclusion Evidence

  5. Software attribute visualization for high integrity software

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pollock, G.M.

    1998-03-01

    This report documents a prototype tool developed to investigate the use of visualization and virtual reality technologies for improving software surety confidence. The tool is utilized within the execution phase of the software life cycle. It provides a capability to monitor an executing program against prespecified requirements constraints provided in a program written in the requirements specification language SAGE. The resulting Software Attribute Visual Analysis Tool (SAVAnT) also provides a technique to assess the completeness of a software specification.

  6. Time Matters: Increasing the Efficiency of Antarctic Marine Geology and Paleoceanography Expeditions by Providing Improved Sediment Chronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenheim, B. E.; Domack, E. W.; Shevenell, A.; Subt, C.

    2015-12-01

    To maximize the areal extent of Antarctic sedimentary records of past deglaciation, it is necessary to ensure more sediment cores can be adequately dated. Antarctic margin sediment is challenging to date due to the lack of preserved calcium carbonate, but the records contained in these sediments readily recount the history of deglaciation. Recent and continued development of new chronological methods for Antarctic margin sediments have allowed better use of the efforts of marine geological coring expeditions to the region. The development of Ramped PyrOx radiocarbon dating has allowed us to 1. improve dates in deglacial sediments where no carbonate is preserved, 2. date glacial sediments lying below the tills marking the last glaciation, and 3. compile core chronologies into a regional framework of ice shelf collapse that has eluded many marine geology campaigns over the last few decades. These advances in a fundamental aspect of geological sciences will put the U.S. and international community on a better foothold to interpret the past as it relates to our warming future. We will present these advances in chronology as well as the science that is enabled by them, while arguing that the future of Antarctic marine science also depends on investments in shore-based technologies that come at a relatively low cost.

  7. Draft genome sequence of Cicer reticulatum L., the wild progenitor of chickpea provides a resource for agronomic trait improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Sonal; Nawaz, Kashif; Parween, Sabiha; Roy, Riti; Sahu, Kamlesh; Kumar Pole, Anil; Khandal, Hitaishi; Srivastava, Rishi; Kumar Parida, Swarup; Chattopadhyay, Debasis

    2017-02-01

    Cicer reticulatum L. is the wild progenitor of the fourth most important legume crop chickpea (C. arietinum L.). We assembled short-read sequences into 416 Mb draft genome of C. reticulatum and anchored 78% (327 Mb) of this assembly to eight linkage groups. Genome annotation predicted 25,680 protein-coding genes covering more than 90% of predicted gene space. The genome assembly shared a substantial synteny and conservation of gene orders with the genome of the model legume Medicago truncatula. Resistance gene homologs of wild and domesticated chickpeas showed high sequence homology and conserved synteny. Comparison of gene sequences and nucleotide diversity using 66 wild and domesticated chickpea accessions suggested that the desi type chickpea was genetically closer to the wild species than the kabuli type. Comparative analyses predicted gene flow between the wild and the cultivated species during domestication. Molecular diversity and population genetic structure determination using 15,096 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms revealed an admixed domestication pattern among cultivated (desi and kabuli) and wild chickpea accessions belonging to three population groups reflecting significant influence of parentage or geographical origin for their cultivar-specific population classification. The assembly and the polymorphic sequence resources presented here would facilitate the study of chickpea domestication and targeted use of wild Cicer germplasms for agronomic trait improvement in chickpea. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  8. From disability to ability: comprehensive rehabilitation providing a holistic functional improvement in a child with neglected neural tube defect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Kriti; Siddharth, V

    2017-09-25

    Neural Tube defects are one of the most common congenital disorders, presenting in a paediatric rehabilitation set-up. With its wide spectrum of clinical presentation and possible complications, the condition can significantly impact an individual's functional capacity and quality of life. The condition also affects the family of the child leaving them with a lifelong impairment to cope up with. Through this 16-year-old child, we shed light on the effects of providing rehabilitation, even at a later stage and its benefits. We also get a glimpse of difficulties in availing rehabilitation services in developing countries and the need to reach out many more neglected children like him with good functional abilities. © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd (unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  9. Continuous quality improvement programs provide new opportunities to drive value innovation initiatives in hospital-based radiology practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Joseph R; Schomer, Don F

    2009-07-01

    Imaging services constitute a huge portion of the of the total dollar investment within the health care enterprise. Accordingly, this generates competition among medical specialties organized along service lines for their pieces of the pie and increased scrutiny from third-party payers and government regulators. These market and political forces create challenge and opportunity for a hospital-based radiology practice. Clearly, change that creates or builds greater value for patients also creates sustainable competitive advantage for a radiology practice. The somewhat amorphous concept of quality constitutes a significant value driver for innovation in this scenario. Quality initiatives and programs seek to define and manage this amorphous concept and provide tools for a radiology practice to create or build more value. Leadership and the early adoption of these inevitable programs by a radiology practice strengthens relationships with hospital partners and slows the attrition of imaging service lines to competitors.

  10. Formative evaluation of the STAR intervention: improving teachers' ability to provide psychosocial support for vulnerable individuals in the school community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Ronél; Ebersöhn, Liesel

    2011-04-01

    The article describes the pilot phase of a participatory reflection and action (PRA) study. The longitudinal investigation explores teachers' ability to provide psychosocial support within the context of HIV/AIDS following an asset-based intervention. The study ensued from our desire to understand and contribute to knowledge about the changed roles of teachers due to adversity in the community, specifically in relation to HIV/AIDS and education. The supportive teachers, assets and resilience (STAR) intervention was facilitated from November 2003 to October 2005 and consisted of the research team undertaking nine field visits and facilitating 20 intervention sessions (2-3 hours each), and 12 post-intervention research visits have been conducted to date. Ten female teachers were selected for participation through random purposeful sampling at a primary school in an informal settlement outside Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Data-generation included PRA activities, observation, informal interactive interviews, and focus group discussions. The data were analysed by means of inductive thematic analysis. We found that the teachers did not view vulnerability as being related to children or HIV/AIDS in isolation, but rather that their psychosocial support to children and the school community was inclusive across a spectrum of vulnerabilities and services. We argue that teachers who are inclined to provide such support will fulfil this role irrespective of understanding policy or receiving training. We contend that teachers are well-positioned to manage school-based psychosocial support in order to create relevant and caring spaces for vulnerable individuals in the school community.

  11. Public health nurse perceptions of Omaha System data visualization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seonah; Kim, Era; Monsen, Karen A

    2015-10-01

    Electronic health records (EHRs) provide many benefits related to the storage, deployment, and retrieval of large amounts of patient data. However, EHRs have not fully met the need to reuse data for decision making on follow-up care plans. Visualization offers new ways to present health data, especially in EHRs. Well-designed data visualization allows clinicians to communicate information efficiently and effectively, contributing to improved interpretation of clinical data and better patient care monitoring and decision making. Public health nurse (PHN) perceptions of Omaha System data visualization prototypes for use in EHRs have not been evaluated. To visualize PHN-generated Omaha System data and assess PHN perceptions regarding the visual validity, helpfulness, usefulness, and importance of the visualizations, including interactive functionality. Time-oriented visualization for problems and outcomes and Matrix visualization for problems and interventions were developed using PHN-generated Omaha System data to help PHNs consume data and plan care at the point of care. Eleven PHNs evaluated prototype visualizations. Overall PHNs response to visualizations was positive, and feedback for improvement was provided. This study demonstrated the potential for using visualization techniques within EHRs to summarize Omaha System patient data for clinicians. Further research is needed to improve and refine these visualizations and assess the potential to incorporate visualizations within clinical EHRs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Incorporating technology buying behaviour into UK-based long term domestic stock energy models to provide improved policy analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Timothy; Yao, Runming

    2013-01-01

    The UK has a target for an 80% reduction in CO 2 emissions by 2050 from a 1990 base. Domestic energy use accounts for around 30% of total emissions. This paper presents a comprehensive review of existing models and modelling techniques and indicates how they might be improved by considering individual buying behaviour. Macro (top-down) and micro (bottom-up) models have been reviewed and analysed. It is found that bottom-up models can project technology diffusion due to their higher resolution. The weakness of existing bottom-up models at capturing individual green technology buying behaviour has been identified. Consequently, Markov chains, neural networks and agent-based modelling are proposed as possible methods to incorporate buying behaviour within a domestic energy forecast model. Among the three methods, agent-based models are found to be the most promising, although a successful agent approach requires large amounts of input data. A prototype agent-based model has been developed and tested, which demonstrates the feasibility of an agent approach. This model shows that an agent-based approach is promising as a means to predict the effectiveness of various policy measures. - Highlights: ► Long term energy models are reviewed with a focus on UK domestic stock models. ► Existing models are found weak in modelling green technology buying behaviour. ► Agent models, Markov chains and neural networks are considered as solutions. ► Agent-based modelling (ABM) is found to be the most promising approach. ► A prototype ABM is developed and testing indicates a lot of potential.

  13. Time Delay Mechanical-noise Cancellation (TDMC) to Provide Order of Magnitude Improvements in Radio Science Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, D. H.; Babuscia, A.; Lazio, J.; Asmar, S.

    2017-12-01

    Many Radio Science investigations, including the determinations of planetary masses, measurements of planetary atmospheres, studies of the solar wind, and solar system tests of relativistic gravity, rely heavily on precision Doppler tracking. Recent and currently proposed missions such as VERITAS, Bepi Colombo, Juno have shown that the largest error source in the precision Doppler tracking data is noise in the Doppler system. This noise is attributed to un-modeled motions of the ground antenna's phase center and is commonly referred to as "antenna mechanical noise." Attempting to reduce this mechanical noise has proven difficult since the deep space communications antennas utilize large steel structures that are already optimized for mechanical stability. Armstrong et al. (2008) have demonstrated the Time Delay Mechanical-noise Cancellation (TDMC) concept using Goldstone DSN antennas (70 m & 34 m) and the Cassinispacecraft to show that the mechanical noise of the 70 m antenna could be suppressed when two-way Doppler tracking from the 70 m antenna and the receive-only Doppler data from the smaller, stiffer 34 m antenna were combined with suitable delays. The proof-of-concept confirmed that the mechanical noise in the final Doppler observable was reduced to that of the stiffer, more stable antenna. Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) near Bishop, CA now has six 10.4 m diameter antennas, a consequence of the closure of Combined Array for Research in Millimeter Astronomy (CARMA). In principle, a 10 m antenna can lead to an order-of-magnitude improvement for the mechanical noise correction, as the smaller dish offers better mechanical stability compared to a DSN 34-m antenna. These antennas also have existing Ka-band receiving systems, and preliminary discussions with the OVRO staff suggest that much of the existing signal path could be used for Radio Science observations.

  14. Innovative PCM-desiccant packet to provide dry microclimate and improve performance of cooling vest in hot environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Itani, Mariam; Ghaddar, Nesreen; Ghali, Kamel

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • A PCM and desiccant packet is proposed for use in personal cooling vest to keep dry air next to skin. • A PCM-Desiccant model for clothed heated wet cylinder is developed and validated experimentally. • The microclimate air temperature was 0.6 °C higher in PCM-Desiccant case compared to PCM-only case. • Microclimate humidity content decreased due to desiccant from 21.23 to 19.74 g/kg dry air. • PCM melted fraction increased due to desiccant from 0.24 to 0.5. - Abstract: A novel combination of phase change material (PCM) and a solid desiccant layer is proposed for the aim of maintaining dry cool microclimate air adjacent to wet warm skin and hence improve PCM performance in cooling vests used in hot humid environment. A fabric-PCM-Desiccant model is developed to predict the temperature and moisture content of the microclimate air layer in the presence of a PCM-Desiccant packet. The developed model is validated through experiments conducted on a wet clothed heated cylinder for the two cases of using (i) a PCM only packet and (ii) a PCM-Desiccant packet. Microclimate air temperatures and humidity content as well as PCM and desiccant temperatures were measured experimentally and were compared with predicted values by the fabric-PCM-Desiccant model. Good agreement was attained with a maximum relative error of 7% in measured temperatures. A decrease is observed in the humidity content of the microclimate air in the presence of the solid desiccant from 21.23 g/kg dry air to 19.74 g/kg dry air and an increase in the melted fraction of the PCM at the end of the experiment from 0.24 to 0.5.

  15. An amalgamation of 3D city models in urban air quality modelling for improving visual impact analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ujang, U.; Anton, F.; Ariffin, A.

    2015-01-01

    is predominantly vehicular engines, the situation will become worse when pollutants are trapped between buildings and disperse inside the street canyon and move vertically to create a recirculation vortex. Studying and visualizing the recirculation zone in 3D visualization is conceivable by using 3D city models......,engineers and policy makers to design the street geometry (building height and width, green areas, pedestrian walks, roads width, etc.)....

  16. Does an increase in compression force really improve visual image quality in mammography? – An initial investigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mercer, C.E.; Hogg, P.; Cassidy, S.; Denton, E.R.E.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Literature speculates that visual image quality (IQ) and compression force levels may be directly related. This small study investigates whether a relationship exists between compression force levels and visual IQ. Method: To investigate how visual IQ varies with different levels of compression force, 39 clients were selected over a 6 year screening period that had received markedly different amounts of compression force on each of their three sequential screens. Images for the 3 screening episodes for all women were scored visually using 3 different IQ scales. Results: Correlation coefficients between the 3 IQ scales were positive and high (0.82, 0.9 and 0.85). For the scales, the IQ scores their correlation does not vary significantly, even though different compression levels had been applied. Kappa IQ scale 1: 0.92, 0.89, 0.89. ANOVA IQ scale 2: p = 0.98, p = 0.55, p = 0.56. ICC IQ scale 3: 0.97, 0.93, 0.91. Conclusion: For the 39 clients there is no difference in visual IQ when different amounts of compression are applied. We believe that further work should be conducted into compression force and image quality as ‘higher levels’ of compression force may not be justified in the attainment of suitable visual image quality

  17. Evaluating the impact of healthcare provider training to improve tuberculosis management: a systematic review of methods and outcome indicators used.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shishi; Roychowdhury, Imara; Khan, Mishal

    2017-03-01

    Developing human resources capacity is vital for tuberculosis (TB) control in low- and middle-income countries. Although investments in TB healthcare provider (HCP) training programmes have increased, it is unclear whether these are robustly evaluated. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize the methods and outcome indicators used to assess TB HCP training programmes. A systematic scoping review of publications reporting on evaluations of training programmes for TB HCPs - including doctors, nurses, paramedics, and lay health workers - was conducted through a search in three electronic databases, Google Scholar, and five websites of non-profit organizations. Data on the study location, population trained, outcomes assessed, and evaluation approach were extracted. After screening 499 unique publications, 21 were eligible for inclusion in the analysis. The majority of evaluations were conducted in Africa. The most common evaluation methods were a review of patient records (n=8, 38%) and post-training interview with trainees (n=7, 33%). In terms of outcomes, more than half of the studies (n=12, 57%) evaluated knowledge acquisition of trainees, with only six (29%) assessing on-the-job behaviour change. Even though more funds have been invested in TB HCP training, publications from robust evaluations assessing the impact on quality of care and behaviour change are limited. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Estimation and improvement of the RF government plan for providing the sustainable social-economic development of Russia in 2016

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitriy V. Manushin

    2016-09-01

    interestfree loans for initial setting of personal farms for the citizens who have received free land from the state to intensify the work in the field of infrastructure projects implementation to solve organizational problems of state management of society and the economy etc. Practical significance implementation of the proposed measures will improve the crisis management in the Russian macroeconomics.

  19. Polar Bears or People?: How Framing Can Provide a Useful Analytic Tool to Understand & Improve Climate Change Communication in Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, K. C.

    2014-12-01

    study indicates that framing may be a useful theory for investigating how climate change is taught and learned in classrooms. In addition, suggestions are made for how to develop effective professional development for teachers to improve their communication of climate change.

  20. Dual-energy CT-cholangiography in potential donors for living-related liver transplantation: Improved biliary visualization by intravenous morphine co-medication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sommer, C.M.; Schwarzwaelder, C.B.; Stiller, W.; Schindera, S.T.; Heye, T.; Stampfl, U.; Bellemann, N.; Holzschuh, M.; Schmidt, J.; Weitz, J.; Grenacher, L.; Kauczor, H.U.; Radeleff, B.A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To prospectively evaluate whether intravenous morphine co-medication improves bile duct visualization of dual-energy CT-cholangiography. Materials and methods: Forty potential donors for living-related liver transplantation underwent CT-cholangiography with infusion of a hepatobiliary contrast agent over 40 min. Twenty minutes after the beginning of the contrast agent infusion, either normal saline (n = 20 patients; control group [CG]) or morphine sulfate (n = 20 patients; morphine group [MG]) was injected. Forty-five minutes after initiation of the contrast agent, a dual-energy CT acquisition of the liver was performed. Applying dual-energy post-processing, pure iodine images were generated. Primary study goals were determination of bile duct diameters and visualization scores (on a scale of 0 to 3: 0—not visualized; 3—excellent visualization). Results: Bile duct visualization scores for second-order and third-order branch ducts were significantly higher in the MG compared to the CG (2.9 ± 0.1 versus 2.6 ± 0.2 [P < 0.001] and 2.7 ± 0.3 versus 2.1 ± 0.6 [P < 0.01], respectively). Bile duct diameters for the common duct and main ducts were significantly higher in the MG compared to the CG (5.9 ± 1.3 mm versus 4.9 ± 1.3 mm [P < 0.05] and 3.7 ± 1.3 mm versus 2.6 ± 0.5 mm [P < 0.01], respectively). Conclusion: Intravenous morphine co-medication significantly improved biliary visualization on dual-energy CT-cholangiography in potential donors for living-related liver transplantation

  1. Dual-energy CT-cholangiography in potential donors for living-related liver transplantation: Improved biliary visualization by intravenous morphine co-medication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sommer, C.M., E-mail: christof.sommer@med.uni-heidelberg.de [Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Schwarzwaelder, C.B.; Stiller, W. [Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Schindera, S.T. [Department of Diagnostic, Interventional, and Pediatric Radiology, University Hospital and University of Berne, Berne (Switzerland); Heye, T.; Stampfl, U.; Bellemann, N.; Holzschuh, M. [Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Schmidt, J.; Weitz, J. [Department of General, Abdominal and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Grenacher, L.; Kauczor, H.U.; Radeleff, B.A. [Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany)

    2012-09-15

    Purpose: To prospectively evaluate whether intravenous morphine co-medication improves bile duct visualization of dual-energy CT-cholangiography. Materials and methods: Forty potential donors for living-related liver transplantation underwent CT-cholangiography with infusion of a hepatobiliary contrast agent over 40 min. Twenty minutes after the beginning of the contrast agent infusion, either normal saline (n = 20 patients; control group [CG]) or morphine sulfate (n = 20 patients; morphine group [MG]) was injected. Forty-five minutes after initiation of the contrast agent, a dual-energy CT acquisition of the liver was performed. Applying dual-energy post-processing, pure iodine images were generated. Primary study goals were determination of bile duct diameters and visualization scores (on a scale of 0 to 3: 0—not visualized; 3—excellent visualization). Results: Bile duct visualization scores for second-order and third-order branch ducts were significantly higher in the MG compared to the CG (2.9 ± 0.1 versus 2.6 ± 0.2 [P < 0.001] and 2.7 ± 0.3 versus 2.1 ± 0.6 [P < 0.01], respectively). Bile duct diameters for the common duct and main ducts were significantly higher in the MG compared to the CG (5.9 ± 1.3 mm versus 4.9 ± 1.3 mm [P < 0.05] and 3.7 ± 1.3 mm versus 2.6 ± 0.5 mm [P < 0.01], respectively). Conclusion: Intravenous morphine co-medication significantly improved biliary visualization on dual-energy CT-cholangiography in potential donors for living-related liver transplantation.

  2. Optimization of Visual Information Presentation for Visual Prosthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Guo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Visual prosthesis applying electrical stimulation to restore visual function for the blind has promising prospects. However, due to the low resolution, limited visual field, and the low dynamic range of the visual perception, huge loss of information occurred when presenting daily scenes. The ability of object recognition in real-life scenarios is severely restricted for pros