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Sample records for stimuli enhance proton-gated

  1. Hypotonic stimuli enhance proton-gated currents of acid-sensing ion channel-1b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ugawa, Shinya; Ishida, Yusuke; Ueda, Takashi; Yu, Yong; Shimada, Shoichi

    2008-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are strong candidates for mammalian mechanoreceptors. We investigated whether mouse acid-sensing ion channel-1b (ASIC1b) is sensitive to mechanical stimuli using oocyte electrophysiology, because ASIC1b is located in the mechanosensory stereocilia of cochlear hair cells. Hypotonic stimuli that induced membrane stretch of oocytes evoked no significant current in ASIC1b-expressing oocytes at pH 7.5. However, acid (pH 4.0 or 5.0)-evoked currents in the oocytes were substantially enhanced by the hypotonicity, showing mechanosensitivity of ASIC1b and possible mechanogating of the channel in the presence of other components. Interestingly, the ASIC1b channel was permeable to K + (a principal charge carrier for cochlear sensory transduction) and the affinity of the channel for amiloride (IC 50 (inhibition constant) = approximately 48.3 μM) was quite similar to that described for the mouse hair cell mechanotransducer current. Taken together, these data raise the possibility that ASIC1b participates in cochlear mechanoelectrical transduction

  2. Flexible Proton-Gated Oxide Synaptic Transistors on Si Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Gao, Ping Qi; Liu, Yang Hui; Xiao, Hui; Ye, Ji Chun; Wan, Qing

    2016-08-24

    Ion-conducting materials have received considerable attention for their applications in fuel cells, electrochemical devices, and sensors. Here, flexible indium zinc oxide (InZnO) synaptic transistors with multiple presynaptic inputs gated by proton-conducting phosphorosilicate glass-based electrolyte films are fabricated on ultrathin Si membranes. Transient characteristics of the proton gated InZnO synaptic transistors are investigated, indicating stable proton-gating behaviors. Short-term synaptic plasticities are mimicked on the proposed proton-gated synaptic transistors. Furthermore, synaptic integration regulations are mimicked on the proposed synaptic transistor networks. Spiking logic modulations are realized based on the transition between superlinear and sublinear synaptic integration. The multigates coupled flexible proton-gated oxide synaptic transistors may be interesting for neuroinspired platforms with sophisticated spatiotemporal information processing.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Nanogranular SiO{sub 2} proton gated silicon layer transistor mimicking biological synapses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, M. J.; Huang, G. S., E-mail: gshuang@fudan.edu.cn, E-mail: pfeng@nju.edu.cn; Guo, Q. L.; Tian, Z. A.; Li, G. J.; Mei, Y. F. [Department of Materials Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Feng, P., E-mail: gshuang@fudan.edu.cn, E-mail: pfeng@nju.edu.cn; Shao, F.; Wan, Q. [School of Electronic Science and Engineering and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)

    2016-06-20

    Silicon on insulator (SOI)-based transistors gated by nanogranular SiO{sub 2} proton conducting electrolytes were fabricated to mimic synapse behaviors. This SOI-based device has both top proton gate and bottom buried oxide gate. Electrical transfer properties of top proton gate show hysteresis curves different from those of bottom gate, and therefore, excitatory post-synaptic current and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) behavior of biological synapses are mimicked. Moreover, we noticed that PPF index can be effectively tuned by the spike interval applied on the top proton gate. Synaptic behaviors and functions, like short-term memory, and its properties are also experimentally demonstrated in our device. Such SOI-based electronic synapses are promising for building neuromorphic systems.

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

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    Kristine Rømer Thomsen

    2011-04-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Fernandez-Del-Olmo

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

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

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    Jiajin eYuan

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-03-01

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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    Yuanqing Li

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

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

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    Jamie eWard

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  15. Emotional content enhances true but not false memory for categorized stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hae-Yoon; Kensinger, Elizabeth A; Rajaram, Suparna

    2013-04-01

    Past research has shown that emotion enhances true memory, but that emotion can either increase or decrease false memory. Two theoretical possibilities-the distinctiveness of emotional stimuli and the conceptual relatedness of emotional content-have been implicated as being responsible for influencing both true and false memory for emotional content. In the present study, we sought to identify the mechanisms that underlie these mixed findings by equating the thematic relatedness of the study materials across each type of valence used (negative, positive, or neutral). In three experiments, categorically bound stimuli (e.g., funeral, pets, and office items) were used for this purpose. When the encoding task required the processing of thematic relatedness, a significant true-memory enhancement for emotional content emerged in recognition memory, but no emotional boost to false memory (exp. 1). This pattern persisted for true memory with a longer retention interval between study and test (24 h), and false recognition was reduced for emotional items (exp. 2). Finally, better recognition memory for emotional items once again emerged when the encoding task (arousal ratings) required the processing of the emotional aspect of the study items, with no emotional boost to false recognition (EXP. 3). Together, these findings suggest that when emotional and neutral stimuli are equivalently high in thematic relatedness, emotion continues to improve true memory, but it does not override other types of grouping to increase false memory.

  16. Stimuli-Responsive Nanodiamond-Based Biosensor for Enhanced Metastatic Tumor Site Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Gu, Mengjie; Toh, Tan Boon; Abdullah, Nurrul Lissa Binti; Chow, Edward Kai-Hua

    2018-02-01

    Metastasis is often critical to cancer progression and linked to poor survival and drug resistance. Early detection of metastasis, as well as identification of metastatic tumor sites, can improve cancer patient survival. Thus, developing technology to improve the detection of cancer metastasis biomarkers can improve both diagnosis and treatment. In this study, we investigated the use of nanodiamonds to develop a stimuli-responsive metastasis detection complex that utilizes matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) as a metastasis biomarker, as MMP9 increased expression has been shown to be indicative of metastasis. The nanodiamond-MMP9 biosensor complex consists of nanodiamonds functionalized with MMP9-specific fluorescent-labeled substrate peptides. Using this design, protease activity of MMP9 can be accurately measured and correlated to MMP9 expression. The nanodiamond-MMP9 biosensor also demonstrated an enhanced ability to protect the base sensor peptide from nonspecific serum protease cleavage. This enhanced peptide stability, combined with a quantitative stimuli-responsive output function, provides strong evidence for the further development of a nanodiamond-MMP9 biosensor for metastasis site detection. More importantly, this work provides the foundation for use of nanodiamonds as a platform for stimuli-responsive biosensors and theranostic complexes that can be implemented across a wide range of biomedical applications.

  17. Enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant stimuli in spider-fearful individuals

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    Carina eMosig

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Avoidance is considered as a central hallmark of all anxiety disorders. The acquisition and expression of avoidance which leads to the maintenance and exacerbation of pathological fear is closely linked to Pavlovian and operant conditioning processes. Changes in conditionability might represent a key feature of all anxiety disorders but the exact nature of these alterations might vary across different disorders. To date, no information is available on specific changes in conditionability for disorder-irrelevant stimuli in specific phobia (SP. The first aim of this study was to investigate changes in fear acquisition and extinction in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful participants by using the de novo fear conditioning paradigm. Secondly, we aimed to determine whether differences in the magnitude of context-dependent fear retrieval exist between spider-fearful and non-fearful individuals. Our findings point to an enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful individuals at both the physiological and subjective level. The enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals was neither mediated by increased state anxiety, depression, nor stress tension. Spider-fearful individuals displayed no changes in extinction learning and/or fear retrieval. Surprisingly, we found no evidence for context-dependent modulation of fear retrieval in either group. Here we provide first evidence that spider-fearful individuals show an enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant (de novo stimuli. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of fear acquisition and expression for the development and maintenance of maladaptive responses in the course of SP.

  18. tDCS over the left prefrontal cortex enhances cognitive control for positive affective stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; De Raedt, Rudi; Brunoni, Andre R; Campanhã, Camila; Baeken, Chris; Remue, Jonathan; Boggio, Paulo S

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulation technique with promising results for enhancing cognitive information processes. So far, however, research has mainly focused on the effects of tDCS on cognitive control operations for non-emotional material. Therefore, our aim was to investigate the effects on cognitive control considering negative versus positive material. For this sham-controlled, within-subjects study, we selected a homogeneous sample of twenty-five healthy participants. By using behavioral measures and event related potentials (ERP) as indexes, we aimed to investigate whether a single session of anodal tDCS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would have specific effects in enhancing cognitive control for positive and negative valenced stimuli. After tDCS over the left DLPFC (and not sham control stimulation), we observed more negative N450 amplitudes along with faster reaction times when inhibiting a habitual response to happy compared to sad facial expressions. Gender did not influence the effects of tDCS on cognitive control for emotional information. In line with the Valence Theory of side-lateralized activity, this stimulation protocol might have led to a left dominant (relative to right) prefrontal cortical activity, resulting in augmented cognitive control specifically for positive relative to negative stimuli. To verify that tDCS induces effects that are in line with all aspects of the well known Valence Theory, future research should investigate the effects of tDCS over the left vs. right DLPFC on cognitive control for emotional information.

  19. tDCS over the left prefrontal cortex enhances cognitive control for positive affective stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt

    Full Text Available Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS is a neuromodulation technique with promising results for enhancing cognitive information processes. So far, however, research has mainly focused on the effects of tDCS on cognitive control operations for non-emotional material. Therefore, our aim was to investigate the effects on cognitive control considering negative versus positive material. For this sham-controlled, within-subjects study, we selected a homogeneous sample of twenty-five healthy participants. By using behavioral measures and event related potentials (ERP as indexes, we aimed to investigate whether a single session of anodal tDCS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC would have specific effects in enhancing cognitive control for positive and negative valenced stimuli. After tDCS over the left DLPFC (and not sham control stimulation, we observed more negative N450 amplitudes along with faster reaction times when inhibiting a habitual response to happy compared to sad facial expressions. Gender did not influence the effects of tDCS on cognitive control for emotional information. In line with the Valence Theory of side-lateralized activity, this stimulation protocol might have led to a left dominant (relative to right prefrontal cortical activity, resulting in augmented cognitive control specifically for positive relative to negative stimuli. To verify that tDCS induces effects that are in line with all aspects of the well known Valence Theory, future research should investigate the effects of tDCS over the left vs. right DLPFC on cognitive control for emotional information.

  20. Enhanced ERPs to visual stimuli in unaffected male siblings of ASD children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzures, Gizelle; Goyet, Louise; Ganea, Natasa; Johnson, Mark H

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by deficits in social and communication abilities. While unaffected relatives lack severe deficits, milder impairments have been reported in some first-degree relatives. The present study sought to verify whether mild deficits in face perception are evident among the unaffected younger siblings of children with ASD. Children between 6-9 years of age completed a face-recognition task and a passive viewing ERP task with face and house stimuli. Sixteen children were typically developing with no family history of ASD, and 17 were unaffected children with an older sibling with ASD. Findings indicate that, while unaffected siblings are comparable to controls in their face-recognition abilities, unaffected male siblings in particular show relatively enhanced P100 and P100-N170 peak-to-peak amplitude responses to faces and houses. Enhanced ERPs among unaffected male siblings is discussed in relation to potential differences in neural network recruitment during visual and face processing.

  1. STIMULI-RESPONSIVE POLYMERS WITH ENHANCED EFFICIENCY IN RESERVOIR RECOVERY PROCESSES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Charles McCormick; Roger Hester

    2004-09-30

    This sixth and final progress report for DOE Award Number DE-FC26-01BC15317 describes research during the period March 01, 2004 through August 31, 2004 performed at the University of Southern Mississippi on ''Stimuli Responsive Polymers with Enhanced Efficiency in Reservoir Recovery'' processes. Significantly, terpolymers that are responsive to changes in pH and ionic strength have been synthesized, characterized, and their solution properties have been extensively examined. Terpolymers composed of acrylamide, a carboxylated acrylamido monomer (AMBA), and a quaternary ammonium monomer (AMBATAC) with balanced compositions of the latter two, exhibit increases in aqueous solution viscosity as NaCl concentration is increased. This increase in polymer coil size can be expected upon injection of this type of polymer into oil reservoirs of moderate-to-high salinity, leading to better mobility control. The opposite effect (loss of viscosity) is observed for conventional polymer systems. Additionally polymer mobility characteristics have been conducted for a number of hydrophilic copolymers utilizing an extensional flow apparatus and size exclusion chromatography. This study reveled that oil recovery enhancement through use of polymers in a water flood is due to the polymer's resistance to deformation as it flows through the reservoir. Individual polymers when in aqueous solution form coils. The larger the polymer's coil size, the greater the polymer's resistance to extensional flow and the more effective the polymer is in enhancing oil recovery. Large coil sizes are obtained by increasing the polymer molecular weight and having macromolecular structures that favor greater swelling of the coil by the aqueous solvent conditions (temperature, pH and electrolyte concentration) existing in the reservoir.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  3. Temporal processing of audiovisual stimuli is enhanced in musicians: evidence from magnetoencephalography (MEG.

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    Yao Lu

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have demonstrated that the structural and functional differences between professional musicians and non-musicians are not only found within a single modality, but also with regard to multisensory integration. In this study we have combined psychophysical with neurophysiological measurements investigating the processing of non-musical, synchronous or various levels of asynchronous audiovisual events. We hypothesize that long-term multisensory experience alters temporal audiovisual processing already at a non-musical stage. Behaviorally, musicians scored significantly better than non-musicians in judging whether the auditory and visual stimuli were synchronous or asynchronous. At the neural level, the statistical analysis for the audiovisual asynchronous response revealed three clusters of activations including the ACC and the SFG and two bilaterally located activations in IFG and STG in both groups. Musicians, in comparison to the non-musicians, responded to synchronous audiovisual events with enhanced neuronal activity in a broad left posterior temporal region that covers the STG, the insula and the Postcentral Gyrus. Musicians also showed significantly greater activation in the left Cerebellum, when confronted with an audiovisual asynchrony. Taken together, our MEG results form a strong indication that long-term musical training alters the basic audiovisual temporal processing already in an early stage (direct after the auditory N1 wave, while the psychophysical results indicate that musical training may also provide behavioral benefits in the accuracy of the estimates regarding the timing of audiovisual events.

  4. Temporal processing of audiovisual stimuli is enhanced in musicians: evidence from magnetoencephalography (MEG).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yao; Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Herholz, Sibylle C; Kuchenbuch, Anja; Pantev, Christo

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that the structural and functional differences between professional musicians and non-musicians are not only found within a single modality, but also with regard to multisensory integration. In this study we have combined psychophysical with neurophysiological measurements investigating the processing of non-musical, synchronous or various levels of asynchronous audiovisual events. We hypothesize that long-term multisensory experience alters temporal audiovisual processing already at a non-musical stage. Behaviorally, musicians scored significantly better than non-musicians in judging whether the auditory and visual stimuli were synchronous or asynchronous. At the neural level, the statistical analysis for the audiovisual asynchronous response revealed three clusters of activations including the ACC and the SFG and two bilaterally located activations in IFG and STG in both groups. Musicians, in comparison to the non-musicians, responded to synchronous audiovisual events with enhanced neuronal activity in a broad left posterior temporal region that covers the STG, the insula and the Postcentral Gyrus. Musicians also showed significantly greater activation in the left Cerebellum, when confronted with an audiovisual asynchrony. Taken together, our MEG results form a strong indication that long-term musical training alters the basic audiovisual temporal processing already in an early stage (direct after the auditory N1 wave), while the psychophysical results indicate that musical training may also provide behavioral benefits in the accuracy of the estimates regarding the timing of audiovisual events.

  5. Repetition Enhancement of Amygdala and Visual Cortex Functional Connectivity Reflects Nonconscious Memory for Negative Visual Stimuli.

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    Kark, Sarah M; Slotnick, Scott D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2016-12-01

    Most studies using a recognition memory paradigm examine the neural processes that support the ability to consciously recognize past events. However, there can also be nonconscious influences from the prior study episode that reflect repetition suppression effects-a reduction in the magnitude of activity for repeated presentations of stimuli-that are revealed by comparing neural activity associated with forgotten items to correctly rejected novel items. The present fMRI study examined the effect of emotional valence (positive vs. negative) on repetition suppression effects. Using a standard recognition memory task, 24 participants viewed line drawings of previously studied negative, positive, and neutral photos intermixed with novel line drawings. For each item, participants made an old-new recognition judgment and a sure-unsure confidence rating. Collapsed across valence, repetition suppression effects were found in ventral occipital-temporal cortex and frontal regions. Activity levels in the majority of these regions were not modulated by valence. However, repetition enhancement of the amygdala and ventral occipital-temporal cortex functional connectivity reflected nonconscious memory for negative items. In this study, valence had little effect on activation patterns but had a larger effect on functional connectivity patterns that were markers of nonconscious memory. Beyond memory and emotion, these findings are relevant to other cognitive and social neuroscientists that utilize fMRI repetition effects to investigate perception, attention, social cognition, and other forms of learning and memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Leslie R.; Trahiotis, Constantine

    2003-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jack H; French, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

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

  8. Age-related positivity enhancement is not universal: older Chinese look away from positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Helene H; Lu, Alice Y; Goren, Deborah; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Wadlinger, Heather A; Wilson, Hugh R

    2008-06-01

    Socioemotional selectivity theory postulates that with age, people are motivated to derive emotional meaning from life, leading them to pay more attention to positive relative to negative/neutral stimuli. The authors argue that cultures that differ in what they consider to be emotionally meaningful may show this preference to different extents. Using eye-tracking techniques, the authors compared visual attention toward emotional (happy, fearful, sad, and angry) and neutral facial expressions among 46 younger and 57 older Hong Kong Chinese. In contrast to prior Western findings, older but not younger Chinese looked away from happy facial expressions, suggesting that they do not show attentional preferences toward positive stimuli.

  9. Enhanced early visual processing in response to snake and trypophobic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.W. van Strien (Jan); Van der Peijl, M.K. (Manja K.)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Trypophobia refers to aversion to clusters of holes. We investigated whether trypophobic stimuli evoke augmented early posterior negativity (EPN). Methods: Twenty-four participants filled out a trypophobia questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 450

  10. Common Elements Enhance or Retard Negative Patterning Discrimination Learning Depending on Modality of Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redhead, Edward S.; Curtis, Cheryl

    2013-01-01

    Human contingency learning studies were used to compare the predictions of configural and elemental theories. In two experiments, participants were required to learn which stimuli were associated with an increase in core temperature of a fictitious nuclear plant. Experiments investigated the rate at which a simple negative patterning…

  11. Electrophysiological evidence for enhanced representation of food stimuli in working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutters, F.; Kumar, S.; Higgs, S.; Humphreys, G.W.

    2015-01-01

    Studies from our laboratory have shown that, relative to neutral objects, food-related objects kept in working memory (WM) are particularly effective in guiding attention to food stimuli (Higgs et al. in Appetite, 2012). Here, we used electrophysiological measurements to investigate the neural

  12. Enhanced early visual processing in response to snake and trypophobic stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Strien, Jan; Van der Peijl, M.K. (Manja K.)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Trypophobia refers to aversion to clusters of holes. We investigated whether trypophobic stimuli evoke augmented early posterior negativity (EPN). Methods: Twenty-four participants filled out a trypophobia questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 450 trypophobic pictures, 450 pictures of poisonous animals, 450 pictures of snakes, and 450 pictures of small birds (1800 pictures in total, at a rate of 3 pictures/s). The EPN was scored as the mean ...

  13. Face and voice as social stimuli enhance differential physiological responding in a Concealed Information Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang eAmbach

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Attentional, intentional, and motivational factors are known to influence the physiological responses in a Concealed Information Test (CIT. Although concealing information is essentially a social action closely related to motivation, CIT studies typically rely on testing participants in an environment lacking of social stimuli: Subjects interact with a computer while sitting alone in an experimental room. To address this gap, we examined the influence of social stimuli on the physiological responses in a CIT.Seventy-one participants underwent a mock-crime experiment with a modified CIT. In a between-subjects design, subjects were either questioned acoustically by a pre-recorded male voice presented together with a virtual male experimenter’s uniform face or by a text field on the screen, which displayed the question devoid of face and voice. Electrodermal activity (EDA, respiration line length (RLL, phasic heart rate (pHR, and finger pulse waveform length (FPWL were registered. The Psychopathic Personality Inventory - Revised (PPI-R was administered in addition. The differential responses of RLL, pHR, and FPWL to probe vs. irrelevant items were greater in the condition with social stimuli than in the text condition; interestingly, the differential responses of EDA did not differ between conditions. No modulatory influence of the PPI-R sum or subscale scores was found.The results emphasize the relevance of social aspects in the process of concealing information and in its detection. Attentional demands as well as the participants’ motivation to avoid detection might be the important links between social stimuli and physiological responses in the CIT.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-08-15

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

  15. Can a Virtual Design Environment Enhance Group Creativity and the Use of Stimuli?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elias, Ed; Chamakiotis, Petros; Howard, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    of generating idea in such a fashion. This paper puts together three ways of improving the group brainstorming session; working in nominal groups, using stimuli and working in a virtual team. The final sections sets out recommendations for a future virtual design environment capable of supporting group......It is a common perception that creativity for design is best performed in a collaborative, group environment. Group idea generation and brainstorm sessions are of widespread practice across industries. This technique remains popular despite numerous studies highlighting the inefficiencies...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten ePohl

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Electrophysiological evidence for enhanced representation of food stimuli in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutters, Femke; Kumar, Sanjay; Higgs, Suzanne; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2015-02-01

    Studies from our laboratory have shown that, relative to neutral objects, food-related objects kept in working memory (WM) are particularly effective in guiding attention to food stimuli (Higgs et al. in Appetite, 2012). Here, we used electrophysiological measurements to investigate the neural representation of food versus non-food items in WM. Subjects were presented with a cue (food or non-food item) to either attend to or hold in WM. Subsequently, they had to search for a target, while the target and distractor were each flanked by a picture of a food or non-food item. Behavioural data showed that a food cue held in WM modulated the deployment of visual attention to a search target more than a non-food cue, even though the cue was irrelevant for target selection. Electrophysiological measures of attention, memory and retention of memory (the P3, LPP and SPCN components) were larger when food was kept in WM, compared to non-food items. No such effect was observed in a priming task, when the initial cue was merely identified. Overall, our electrophysiological data are consistent with the suggestion that food stimuli are particularly strongly represented in the WM system.

  19. Enhanced pain and autonomic responses to ambiguous visual stimuli in chronic Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) type I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, H E; Hall, J; Harris, N; McCabe, C S; Blake, D R; Jänig, W

    2012-02-01

    Cortical reorganisation of sensory, motor and autonomic systems can lead to dysfunctional central integrative control. This may contribute to signs and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), including pain. It has been hypothesised that central neuroplastic changes may cause afferent sensory feedback conflicts and produce pain. We investigated autonomic responses produced by ambiguous visual stimuli (AVS) in CRPS, and their relationship to pain. Thirty CRPS patients with upper limb involvement and 30 age and sex matched healthy controls had sympathetic autonomic function assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry of the finger pulp at baseline and while viewing a control figure or AVS. Compared to controls, there were diminished vasoconstrictor responses and a significant difference in the ratio of response between affected and unaffected limbs (symmetry ratio) to a deep breath and viewing AVS. While viewing visual stimuli, 33.5% of patients had asymmetric vasomotor responses and all healthy controls had a homologous symmetric pattern of response. Nineteen (61%) CRPS patients had enhanced pain within seconds of viewing the AVS. All the asymmetric vasomotor responses were in this group, and were not predictable from baseline autonomic function. Ten patients had accompanying dystonic reactions in their affected limb: 50% were in the asymmetric sub-group. In conclusion, there is a group of CRPS patients that demonstrate abnormal pain networks interacting with central somatomotor and autonomic integrational pathways. © 2011 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters.

  20. Method for training honeybees to respond to olfactory stimuli and enhancement of memory retention therein

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCade, Kirsten J.; Wingo, Robert M.; Haarmann, Timothy K.; Sutherland, Andrew; Gubler, Walter D.

    2015-12-15

    A specialized conditioning protocol for honeybees that is designed for use within a complex agricultural ecosystem. This method ensures that the conditioned bees will be less likely to exhibit a conditioned response to uninfected plants, a false positive response that would render such a biological sensor unreliable for agricultural decision support. Also described is a superboosting training regime that allows training without the aid of expensive equipment and protocols for training in out in the field. Also described is a memory enhancing cocktail that aids in long term memory retention of a vapor signature. This allows the bees to be used in the field for longer durations and with fewer bees trained overall.

  1. Geophysical variables and behavior: XXI. Geomagnetic variation as possible enhancement stimuli for UFO reports preceding earthtremors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persinger, M A

    1985-02-01

    The contribution of geomagnetic variation to the occurrence of UFORs (reports of UFOs) within the New Madrid States during the 6-mo. increments before increases in the numbers of IV-V or less intensity earthquakes within the central USA was determined. Although statistically significant zero-order correlations existed between measures of earthquakes, UFORs and geomagnetic variability, the association between the latter two deteriorated markedly when their shared variance with earthquakes was held constant. These outcomes are compatible with the hypothesis that geomagnetic variability (or phenomena associated with it) may enhance UFORs but only if tectonic stress and strain are increasing within the region.

  2. Enhancement of conductance of GaAs sub-microwires under external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Xianlin; Deng, Qingsong; Zheng, Kun

    2018-03-01

    Semiconductors with one dimension on the micro-nanometer scale have many unique physical properties that are remarkably different from those of their bulk counterparts. Moreover, changes in the external field will further modulate the properties of the semiconductor micro-nanomaterials. In this study, we used focused ion beam technology to prepare freestanding ⟨111⟩-oriented GaAs sub-microwires from a GaAs substrate. The effects of laser irradiation and bending or buckling deformation induced by compression on the electrical transport properties of an individual GaAs sub-microwire were studied. The experimental results indicate that both laser irradiation and bending deformation can enhance their electrical transport properties, the laser irradiation resulted in a conductance enhancement of ˜30% compared to the result with no irradiation, and in addition, bending deformation changed the conductance by as much as ˜180% when the average strain was approximately 1%. The corresponding mechanisms are also discussed. This study provides beneficial insight into the fabrication of electronic and optoelectronic devices based on GaAs micro/nano-wires.

  3. Glucose administration enhances fMRI brain activation and connectivity related to episodic memory encoding for neutral and emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parent, Marise B; Krebs-Kraft, Desiree L; Ryan, John P; Wilson, Jennifer S; Harenski, Carla; Hamann, Stephan

    2011-04-01

    Glucose enhances memory in a variety of species. In humans, glucose administration enhances episodic memory encoding, although little is known regarding the neural mechanisms underlying these effects. Here we examined whether elevating blood glucose would enhance functional MRI (fMRI) activation and connectivity in brain regions associated with episodic memory encoding and whether these effects would differ depending on the emotional valence of the material. We used a double-blind, within-participants, crossover design in which either glucose (50g) or a saccharin placebo were administered before scanning, on days approximately 1 week apart. We scanned healthy young male participants with fMRI as they viewed emotionally arousing negative pictures and emotionally neutral pictures, intermixed with baseline fixation. Free recall was tested at 5 min after scanning and again after 1 day. Glucose administration increased activation in brain regions associated with successful episodic memory encoding. Glucose also enhanced activation in regions whose activity was correlated with subsequent successful recall, including the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and other regions, and these effects differed for negative vs. neutral stimuli. Finally, glucose substantially increased functional connectivity between the hippocampus and amygdala and a network of regions previously implicated in successful episodic memory encoding. These findings fit with evidence from nonhuman animals indicating glucose modulates memory by selectively enhancing neural activity in brain regions engaged during memory tasks. Our results highlight the modulatory effects of glucose and the importance of examining both regional changes in activity and functional connectivity to fully characterize the effects of glucose on brain function and memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Picturing survival memories: enhanced memory after fitness-relevant processing occurs for verbal and visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otgaar, Henry; Smeets, Tom; van Bergen, Saskia

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that processing words according to a survival scenario leads to superior retention relative to control conditions. Here, we examined whether a survival recall advantage could be elicited by using pictures. Furthermore, in Experiment 1, we were interested in whether survival processing also results in improved memory for details. Undergraduates rated the relevance of pictures in a survival, moving, or pleasantness scenario and were subsequently given a surprise free recall test. We found that survival processing yielded superior retention. We also found that distortions occurred more often in the survival condition than in the pleasantness condition. In Experiment 2, we directly compared the survival recall effect between pictures and words. A comparable survival recall advantage was found for pictures and words. The present findings support the idea that memory is enhanced by processing information in terms of fitness value, yet at the same time, the present results suggest that this may increase the risk for memory distortions.

  5. Stimuli Responsive/Rheoreversible Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Energy Production (Part I)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, C. A.; Jung, H. B.; Shao, H.; Bonneville, A.; Heldebrant, D.; Hoyt, D.; Zhong, L.; Holladay, J.

    2014-12-01

    Cost-effective yet safe creation of high-permeability reservoirs inside deep crystalline bedrock is the primary challenge for the viability of enhanced geothermal systems and unconventional oil/gas recovery. Current reservoir stimulation processes utilize brute force (hydraulic pressures in the order of hundreds of bar) to create/propagate fractures in the bedrock. Such stimulation processes entail substantial economic costs ($3.3 million per reservoir as of 2011). Furthermore, the environmental impacts of reservoir stimulation are only recently being determined. Widespread concerns about the environmental contamination have resulted in a number of regulations for fracturing fluids advocating for greener fracturing processes. To reduce the costs and environmental impact of reservoir stimulation, we developed an environmentally friendly and recyclable hydraulic fracturing fluid that undergoes a controlled and large volume expansion with a simultaneous increase in viscosity triggered by CO2 at temperatures relevant for reservoir stimulation in Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS). The volume expansion, which will specifically occurs at EGS depths of interest, generates an exceptionally large mechanical stress in fracture networks of highly impermeable rock propagating fractures at effective stress an order of magnitude lower than current technology. This paper will concentrate on the presentation of this CO2-triggered expanding hydrogel formed from diluted aqueous solutions of polyallylamine (PAA). Aqueous PAA-CO2 mixtures also show significantly higher viscosities than conventional rheology modifiers at similar pressures and temperatures due to the cross-linking reaction of PAA with CO2, which was demonstrated by chemical speciation studies using in situ HP-HT 13C MAS-NMR. In addtion, PAA shows shear-thinning behavior, a critical advantage for the use of this fluid system in EGS reservoir stimulation. The high pressure/temperature experiments and their results as well

  6. Cognitive behavioural therapy attenuates the enhanced early facial stimuli processing in social anxiety disorders: an ERP investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jianqin; Liu, Quanying; Li, Yang; Yang, Jun; Gu, Ruolei; Liang, Jin; Qi, Yanyan; Wu, Haiyan; Liu, Xun

    2017-07-28

    Previous studies of patients with social anxiety have demonstrated abnormal early processing of facial stimuli in social contexts. In other words, patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) tend to exhibit enhanced early facial processing when compared to healthy controls. Few studies have examined the temporal electrophysiological event-related potential (ERP)-indexed profiles when an individual with SAD compares faces to objects in SAD. Systematic comparisons of ERPs to facial/object stimuli before and after therapy are also lacking. We used a passive visual detection paradigm with upright and inverted faces/objects, which are known to elicit early P1 and N170 components, to study abnormal early face processing and subsequent improvements in this measure in patients with SAD. Seventeen patients with SAD and 17 matched control participants performed a passive visual detection paradigm task while undergoing EEG. The healthy controls were compared to patients with SAD pre-therapy to test the hypothesis that patients with SAD have early hypervigilance to facial cues. We compared patients with SAD before and after therapy to test the hypothesis that the early hypervigilance to facial cues in patients with SAD can be alleviated. Compared to healthy control (HC) participants, patients with SAD had more robust P1-N170 slope but no amplitude effects in response to both upright and inverted faces and objects. Interestingly, we found that patients with SAD had reduced P1 responses to all objects and faces after therapy, but had selectively reduced N170 responses to faces, and especially inverted faces. Interestingly, the slope from P1 to N170 in patients with SAD was flatter post-therapy than pre-therapy. Furthermore, the amplitude of N170 evoked by the facial stimuli was correlated with scores on the interaction anxiousness scale (IAS) after therapy. Our results did not provide electrophysiological support for the early hypervigilance hypothesis in SAD to faces, but

  7. Enhanced association between perceptual stimuli and trauma-related information in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Muyu; Hofmann, Stefan G; Qian, Mingyi; Li, Songwei

    2015-03-01

    Intrusive memories in traumatized individuals are often triggered by stimuli that are perceptually (rather than conceptually) similar to those present just before or during the trauma. The present study examined whether those individuals with high levels of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms show a memory bias recall to perceptual cues and trauma target words compared to those with low levels of PTSD. The sample consisted of 30 adult participants who were involved in motor-vehicle or work-related accidents; 15 of the participants endorsed clinically elevated symptoms of PTSD, while a comparison group of 15 participants reported low levels of symptoms. Participants performed an associative recognition task with conceptual or perceptual cue words and trauma-related or neutral target words. Participants were tested for their recognition accuracy by reporting the corresponding target when a cue was given. Both groups performed better for the perceptual word pairs than for the conceptual word pairs, irrespective of the target word type. However, only the high PTSD symptoms group exhibited an additional enhancement in performance for the perceptual word pairs with trauma-related target words. A nonclinical sample was utilized for this study; although PTSD was assessed, diagnoses were not confirmed. In addition, there was lack of a healthy non-traumatized control group. These results provide partial support for the cognitive model and the notion that intrusive memories are specific to the trauma-related event rather than to a general associative learning bias.

  8. Lesions of the amygdala central nucleus abolish lipoprivic-enhanced responding during oil-predicting conditioned stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, S C; Morell, J R; Davidson, T L

    1999-12-01

    T. L. Davidson, A. M. Altizer, S. C. Benoit, E. K. Walls, and T. L. Powley (1997) reported that rats show facilitated responding to conditioned stimuli (CSs) that predict oil, after administration of the lipoprivic agent, Na-2-mercaptoacetate (MA). This facilitation was blocked by vagal deafferentation. The present article extends that investigation to another structure, the amygdala central nucleus (CN). The CN receives inputs from dorsal vagal nuclei, and neurotoxic lesions of this nucleus are reported to abolish feeding in response to lipoprivic challenges. In Experiment 1, rats with ibotenic acid (IBO) lesions of the CN failed to show enhanced appetitive responding during oil-predicting CSs after administration of MA. Experiment 2 used a conditioned taste-aversion procedure to establish that rats with IBO lesions of the CN were able to discriminate the tastes of sucrose and peanut oil and had intact CS-US representations. It is concluded that the amygdala CN is a necessary structure for the detection of lipoprivic challenges.

  9. Magnetically actuated mechanical stimuli on Fe3O4/mineralized collagen coatings to enhance osteogenic differentiation of the MC3T3-E1 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Junjun; Lin, Suya; Dong, Lingqing; Cheng, Kui; Weng, Wenjian

    2018-04-15

    Mechanical stimuli at the bone-implant interface are considered to activate the mechanotransduction pathway of the cell to improve the initial osseointegration establishment and to guarantee clinical success of the implant. However, control of the mechanical stimuli at the bone-implant interface still remains a challenge. In this study, we have designed a strategy of a magnetically responsive coating on which the mechanical stimuli is controlled because of coating deformation under static magnetic field (SMF). The iron oxide nanoparticle/mineralized collagen (IOP-MC) coatings were electrochemically codeposited on titanium substrates in different quantities of IOPs and distributions; the resulting coatings were verified to possess swelling behavior with flexibility same as that of hydrogel. The relative quantity of IOP to collagen and the IOP distribution in the coatings were demonstrated to play a critical role in mediating cell behavior. The cells present on the outer layer of the distributed IOP-MC (O-IOP-MC) coating with a mass ratio of 0.67 revealed the most distinct osteogenic differentiation activity being promoted, which could be attributed to the maximized mechanical stimuli with exposure to SMF. Furthermore, the enhanced osteogenic differentiation of the stimulated MC3T3-E1 cells originated from magnetically actuated mechanotransduction signaling pathway, embodying the upregulated expression of osteogenic-related and mechanotransduction-related genes. This work therefore provides a promising strategy for implementing mechanical stimuli to activate mechanotransduction on the bone-implant interface and thus to promote osseointegration. The magnetically actuated coating is designed to produce mechanical stimuli to cells for promoting osteogenic differentiation based on the coating deformation. Iron oxide nanoparticles (IOPs) were incorporated into the mineralized collagen coatings (MC) forming the composite coatings (IOP-MC) with spatially distributed IOPs

  10. Glucose Administration Enhances fMRI Brain Activation and Connectivity Related to Episodic Memory Encoding for Neutral and Emotional Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parent, Marise B.; Krebs-Kraft, Desiree L.; Ryan, John P.; Wilson, Jennifer S.; Harenski, Carla; Hamann, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    Glucose enhances memory in a variety of species. In humans, glucose administration enhances episodic memory encoding, although little is known regarding the neural mechanisms underlying these effects. Here we examined whether elevating blood glucose would enhance functional MRI (fMRI) activation and connectivity in brain regions associated with…

  11. Bio-stimuli-responsive multi-scale hyaluronic acid nanoparticles for deepened tumor penetration and enhanced therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huo, Mengmeng; Li, Wenyan; Chaudhuri, Arka Sen; Fan, Yuchao; Han, Xiu; Yang, Chen; Wu, Zhenghong; Qi, Xiaole

    2017-09-01

    In this study, we developed bio-stimuli-responsive multi-scale hyaluronic acid (HA) nanoparticles encapsulated with polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers as the subunits. These HA/PAMAM nanoparticles of large scale (197.10±3.00nm) were stable during systematic circulation then enriched at the tumor sites; however, they were prone to be degraded by the high expressed hyaluronidase (HAase) to release inner PAMAM dendrimers and regained a small scale (5.77±0.25nm) with positive charge. After employing tumor spheroids penetration assay on A549 3D tumor spheroids for 8h, the fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) labeled multi-scale HA/PAMAM-FITC nanoparticles could penetrate deeply into these tumor spheroids with the degradation of HAase. Moreover, small animal imaging technology in male nude mice bearing H22 tumor showed HA/PAMAM-FITC nanoparticles possess higher prolonged systematic circulation compared with both PAMAM-FITC nanoparticles and free FITC. In addition, after intravenous administration in mice bearing H22 tumors, methotrexate (MTX) loaded multi-scale HA/PAMAM-MTX nanoparticles exhibited a 2.68-fold greater antitumor activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Meaning in meaninglessness: The propensity to perceive meaningful patterns in coincident events and randomly arranged stimuli is linked to enhanced attention in early sensory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rominger, Christian; Schulter, Günter; Fink, Andreas; Weiss, Elisabeth M; Papousek, Ilona

    2018-05-01

    Perception of objectively independent events or stimuli as being significantly connected and the associated proneness to perceive meaningful patterns constitute part of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, which are associated with altered attentional processes in lateralized speech perception. Since perceiving meaningful patterns is to some extent already prevalent in the general population, the aim of the study was to investigate whether the propensity to experience meaningful patterns in co-occurring events and random stimuli may be associated with similar altered attentional processes in lateralized speech perception. Self-reported and behavioral indicators of the perception of meaningful patterns were assessed in non-clinical individuals, along with EEG auditory evoked potentials during the performance of an attention related lateralized speech perception task (Dichotic Listening Test). A greater propensity to perceive meaningful patterns was associated with higher N1 amplitudes of the evoked potentials to the onset of the dichotically presented consonant-vowel syllables, indicating enhanced automatic attention in early sensory processing. The study suggests that more basic mechanisms in how people associate events may play a greater role in the cognitive biases that are manifest in personality expressions such as positive schizotypy, rather than that positive schizotypy moderates these cognitive biases directly. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Stress responses of adolescent male and female rats exposed repeatedly to cat odor stimuli, and long-term enhancement of adult defensive behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Lisa D; Muir, Katherine E; Perrot, Tara S

    2013-07-01

    In order to characterize the short- and long-term effects of repeated stressor exposure during adolescence, and to compare the effects of using two sources of cat odor as stressor stimuli, male and female adolescent rats (postnatal day (PND) ∼ 38-46) were exposed on five occasions to either a control stimulus, a cloth stimulus containing cat hair/dander, or a section of cat collar previously worn by a cat. Relative to control stimulus exposure, activity was suppressed and defensive behavior enhanced during exposure to either cat odor stimulus (most pervasively in rats exposed to the collar). Only cloth-exposed rats showed elevated levels of corticosterone (CORT), and only after repeated stressor exposure, but interestingly, rats exposed to the collar stimulus during adolescence continued to show increased behavioral indices of anxiety in adulthood. In this group, the time an individual spent in physical contact with a cagemate during the final adolescent exposure was negatively related to stress-induced CORT output in adulthood, which suggests that greater use of social support during adolescent stress may facilitate adult behavioral coping, without necessitating increased CORT release. These findings demonstrate that adolescent male and female rats respond defensively to cat odor stimuli across repeated exposures and that exposure to such stressors during adolescence can augment adult anxiety-like behavior in similar stressful conditions. These findings also suggest a potential role for social behavior during adolescent stressor exposure in mediating long-term outcomes. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  15. Enhancement of radiotherapy efficacy by miR-200c-loaded gelatinase-stimuli PEG-Pep-PCL nanoparticles in gastric cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cui FB

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Fang-bo Cui,1,* Qin Liu,1,* Ru-Tian Li,1 Jie Shen,1 Pu-yuan Wu,1 Li-Xia Yu,1 Wen-jing Hu,1 Feng-lei Wu,2 Chun-Ping Jiang,1 Guo-feng Yue,2 Xiao-Ping Qian,1 Xi-Qun Jiang,3 Bao-Rui Liu11The Comprehensive Cancer Center of Drum-Tower Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University and Clinical Cancer Institute of Nanjing University, Nanjing, 2Nanjing Medical University, 3Laboratory of Mesoscopic Chemistry and Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: Radiotherapy is the main locoregional control modality for many types of unresectable tumors, including gastric cancer. However, many patients fail radiotherapy due to intrinsic radioresistance of cancer cells, which has been found to be strongly associated with cancer stem cell (CSC-like properties. In this study, we developed a nanoparticle formulation to deliver miR-200c, which is reported to inhibit CSC-like properties, and then evaluated its potential activity as a radiosensitizer. miR-200c nanoparticles significantly augmented radiosensitivity in three gastric cancer cell lines (sensitization enhancement ratio 1.13–1.25, but only slightly in GES-1 cells (1.06. In addition to radioenhancement, miR-200c nanoparticles reduced the expression of CD44, a putative CSC marker, and the percentage of CD44+ BGC823 cells. Meanwhile, other CSC-like properties, including invasiveness and resistance to apoptosis, could be suppressed by miR-200c nanoparticles. CSC-associated radioresistance mechanisms, involving reactive oxygen species levels and DNA repair capacity, were also attenuated. We have demonstrated that miR-200c nanoparticles are an effective radiosensitizer in gastric cancer cells and induce little radiosensitization in normal cells, which suggests that they are as a promising candidate for further preclinical and clinical evaluation

  16. Enhancing the Effects of Extinction on Attention-Maintained Behavior through Noncontingent Delivery of Attention or Stimuli Identified Via a Competing Stimulus Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Wayne W.; DeLeon, Iser G.; Rodriguez-Catter, Vanessa; Keeney, Kris M.

    2004-01-01

    Recent research has shown that the noncontingent delivery of competing stimuli can effectively reduce rates of destructive behavior maintained by social-positive reinforcement, even when the contingency for destructive behavior remains intact. It may be useful, therefore, to have a systematic means for predicting which reinforcers do and do not…

  17. Worry-inducing stimuli in an aversive Go/NoGo task enhance reactive control in individuals with lower trait-anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leue, Anja; Rodilla, Carmen Cano; Beauducel, André

    2017-04-01

    This study relates predictions on reactive and proactive cognitive control to findings on anxious apprehension/worry and ERN/Ne. We investigated whether worry-inducing stimuli in an aversive performance setting lead to a more pronounced increase of the ERN/Ne in individuals with lower anxious apprehension/worry. We also explored the N2 amplitude in the context of worry-inducing stimuli. Fifty-eight participants performed an extended Go/NoGo task. A neutral or fearful face was presented at the beginning of each trial, with the fearful face as a worry-inducing, distracting stimulus. In an aversive feedback condition, aversive feedback was provided for false or too slow responses. We found a more pronounced decrease of the ERN/Ne after worry-inducing stimuli compared to neutral stimuli in participants with lower anxious apprehension/worry. Moreover, less pronounced N2 amplitudes were associated with shorter reaction times in the aversive feedback condition. Implications for future research on error monitoring and trait-anxiety are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Stimuli-Adaptable Materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frankær, Sarah Maria Grundahl

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

  19. XRD and solid state 13C-NMR evaluation of the crystallinity enhancement of 13C-labeled bacterial cellulose biosynthesized by Komagataeibacter xylinus under different stimuli: A comparative strategy of analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meza-Contreras, Juan C; Manriquez-Gonzalez, Ricardo; Gutiérrez-Ortega, José A; Gonzalez-Garcia, Yolanda

    2018-05-22

    The production and crystallinity of 13 C bacterial cellulose (BC) was examined in static culture of Komagataeibacter xylinus with different chemical and physical stimuli: the addition of NaCl or cloramphenicol as well as exposure to a magnetic field or to UV light. Crystalline BC biosynthesized under each stimulus was studied by XRD and solid state 13 C NMR analyses. All treatments produced BC with enhanced crystallinity over 90% (XRD) and 80% (NMR) compared to the control (83 and 76%, respectively) or to Avicel (77 and 62%, respectively). The XRD data indicated that the crystallite size was 80-85 Å. Furthermore, changes on the allomorphs (I α and I β ) ratio tendency of BC samples addressed to the stimuli were estimated using the C4 signal from 13 C NMR data. These results showed a decrease of the allomorph I α (3%) when BC was biosynthesized with UV light and chloramphenicol compared to control (58.79%). In contrast, the BC obtained with NaCl increased up to 60.31% of the I α allomorph ratio. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. On the Versatility of Rheoreversible, Stimuli-responsive Hydraulic-Fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Systems: Effect of Reservoir pH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandez, Carlos A.; Shao, Hongbo; Bonneville, Alain; Varga, Tamas; Zhong, Lirong

    2016-04-25

    Abstract The primary challenge for the feasibility of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) is to cost-effectively create high-permeability reservoirs inside deep crystalline bedrock. Although fracturing fluids are commonly used for oil/gas, standard fracturing methods are not developed or proven for EGS temperatures and pressures. Furthermore, the environmental impacts of currently used fracturing methods are only recently being determined. These authors recently reported an environmentally benign, CO2-activated, rheoreversible fracturing fluid that enhances permeability through fracturing due to in situ volume expansion and gel formation. The potential of this novel fracturing fluid is evaluated in this work towards its application at geothermal sites under different pH conditions. Laboratory-scale fracturing experiments using Coso Geothermal rock cores under different pH environments were performed followed by X-ray microtomography characterization. The results demonstrate that CO2-reactive aqueous solutions of environmentally amenable polyallylamine (PAA) consistently and reproducibly creates/propagates fracture networks through highly impermeable crystalline rock from Coso EGS sites at considerably lower effective stress as compared to conventional fracturing fluids. In addition, permeability was significantly enhanced in a wide range of formation-water pH values. This effective, and environmentally-friendly fracturing fluid technology represents a potential alternative to conventional fracturing fluids.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Cardiorespiratory interactions to external stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanuki, Shigeki; Kim, Yeon-Kyu

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Stimuli-Regulated Smart Polymeric Systems for Gene Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ansuja Pulickal Mathew

    2017-04-01

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

  7. Emotional stimuli and motor conversion disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bastian Stippekohl

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Perceiving, imaging, and preferring physiognomic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindauer, M S

    1986-01-01

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

  11. Emotional Stimuli and Motor Conversion Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  16. Virtual reality stimuli for force platform posturography.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  1. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Instructed fear stimuli bias visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebrowitz, Leslie A; Zhang, Yi

    2012-07-01

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

  5. Multi-Functional Stimuli-Responsive Materials

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Newborns' Discrimination of Chromatic from Achromatic Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Russell J.; And Others

    1986-01-01

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

  7. Generalized Habituation of Concept Stimuli in Toddlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkender, Patricia J.; And Others

    1974-01-01

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

  8. The mere exposure effect with scene stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    八木 , 善彦

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Binocular Combination of Second-Order Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Dynamic bioactive stimuli-responsive polymeric surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Heather Marie

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  12. Recall and recognition hypermnesia for Socratic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazén, Miguel; Solís-Macías, Víctor M

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Lingering representations of stimuli influence recall organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  15. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise O'Hare

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

  16. VEP Responses to Op-Art Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  18. Stimuli responsive nanomaterials for controlled release applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karli K Watson

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Stimuli-responsive liquid crystalline materials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Enhanced

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin I. Bayala

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Land Surface Temperature (LST is a key parameter in the energy balance model. However, the spatial resolution of the retrieved LST from sensors with high temporal resolution is not accurate enough to be used in local-scale studies. To explore the LST–Normalised Difference Vegetation Index relationship potential and obtain thermal images with high spatial resolution, six enhanced image sharpening techniques were assessed: the disaggregation procedure for radiometric surface temperatures (TsHARP, the Dry Edge Quadratic Function, the Difference of Edges (Ts∗DL and three models supported by the relationship of surface temperature and water stress of vegetation (Normalised Difference Water Index, Normalised Difference Infrared Index and Soil wetness index. Energy Balance Station data and in situ measurements were used to validate the enhanced LST images over a mixed agricultural landscape in the sub-humid Pampean Region of Argentina (PRA, during 2006–2010. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (EOS-MODIS thermal datasets were assessed for different spatial resolutions (e.g., 960, 720 and 240 m and the performances were compared with global and local TsHARP procedures. Results suggest that the Ts∗DL technique is the most adequate for simulating LST to high spatial resolution over the heterogeneous landscape of a sub-humid region, showing an average root mean square error of less than 1 K.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, Kazuhisa; Mather, Mara

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  7. Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterr, Annette; Green, Lisa; Elbert, Thomas

    2003-05-01

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

  8. Preparation of stimuli for timbre perception studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labuschagne, Ilse B; Hanekom, Johan J

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marran, L; Schor, C

    1997-09-01

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

  10. Simulation of Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Gruhn

    2013-11-01

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

  11. Anagrus breviphragma Soyka Short Distance Search Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Chiappini

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Music Influences Ratings of the Affect of Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waldie E Hanser

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  15. Stimuli-responsive Smart Liposomes in Cancer Targeting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Ankit; Jain, Sanjay K

    2018-02-08

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syouya Tanabe

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Emotion attribution to basic parametric static and dynamic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Audiovisual Capture with Ambiguous Audiovisual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Michel Hupé

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leventon, Jacqueline S; Bauer, Patricia J

    2016-02-01

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

  4. A direct examination of the effect of intranasal administration of oxytocin on approach-avoidance motor responses to emotional stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angeliki Theodoridou

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been shown to promote a host of social behaviors in humans but the exact mechanisms by which it exerts its effects are unspecified. One prominent theory suggests that oxytocin increases approach and decreases avoidance to social stimuli. Another dominant theory posits that oxytocin increases the salience of social stimuli. Herein, we report a direct test of these hypotheses. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined approach-avoidance motor responses to social and non-social emotional stimuli. One hundred and twenty participants self-administered either 24 IU oxytocin or placebo and moved a lever toward or away from pictures of faces depicting emotional expressions or from natural scenes appearing before them on a computer screen. Lever movements toward stimuli decreased and movements away increased stimuli size producing the illusion that stimuli moved away from or approached participants. Reaction time data were recorded. The task produced the effects that were anticipated on the basis of the approach-avoidance literature in relation to emotional stimuli, yet the anticipated speeded approach and slowed avoidance responses to emotional faces by the oxytocin group were not observed. Interestingly, the oxytocin treatment group was faster to approach and avoid faces depicting disgust relative to the placebo group, suggesting a salience of disgust for the former group. Results also showed that within the oxytocin group women's reaction times to all emotional faces were faster than those of men, suggesting sex specific effects of oxytocin. The present findings provide the first direct evidence that intranasal oxytocin administration does not enhance approach/avoidance to social stimuli and does not exert a stronger effect on social vs. non-social stimuli in the context of processing of emotional expressions and scenes. Instead, our data suggest that oxytocin administration increases the salience of certain social stimuli

  5. Can persons with dementia be engaged with stimuli?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona eCroy

    2013-09-01

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

  7. Stimuli-responsive PEGylated prodrugs for targeted doxorubicin delivery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela M. Pfabigan

    2014-12-01

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

  11. The impact of emotion on perception: bias or enhanced processing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeelenberg, René; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan; Rotteveel, Mark

    2006-04-01

    Recent studies have shown that emotionally significant stimuli are often better identified than neutral stimuli. It is not clear, however, whether these results are due to enhanced perceptual processing or to a bias favoring the identification of emotionally significant stimuli over neutral stimuli. The present study used a two-alternative forced-choice perceptual identification task to disentangle the effects of bias and enhanced processing. We found that emotionally significant targets were better identified than neutral targets. In contrast, the emotional significance of the foil alternative had no effect on performance. The present results support the hypothesis that perceptual encoding of emotionally significant stimuli is enhanced.

  12. Enhanced Associative Memory for Colour (but Not Shape or Location) in Synaesthesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Jamie; Rothen, Nicolas; Coolbear, Daniel; Ward, Jamie

    2013-01-01

    People with grapheme-colour synaesthesia have been shown to have enhanced memory on a range of tasks using both stimuli that induce synaesthesia (e.g. words) and, more surprisingly, stimuli that do not (e.g. certain abstract visual stimuli). This study examines the latter by using multi-featured stimuli consisting of shape, colour and location…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overveld, Mark; Borg, Charmaine

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Attribute amnesia is greatly reduced with novel stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weijia Chen

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couperus, J W

    2010-11-26

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Schlinger, Henry D.

    1993-01-01

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

  17. 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....

  18. Salient stimuli in advertising: the effect of contrast interval length and type on recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, G Douglas

    2002-09-01

    Salient auditory stimuli (e.g., music or sound effects) are commonly used in advertising to elicit attention. However, issues related to the effectiveness of such stimuli are not well understood. This research examines the ability of a salient auditory stimulus, in the form of a contrast interval (CI), to enhance recall of message-related information. Researchers have argued that the effectiveness of the CI is a function of the temporal duration between the onset and offset of the change in the background stimulus and the nature of this stimulus. Three experiments investigate these propositions and indicate that recall is enhanced, providing the CI is 3 s or less. Information highlighted with silence is recalled better than information highlighted with music.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Kazuya; Sato, Nobuya

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Developing Affective Mental Imagery Stimuli with Multidimensional Scaling

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    Matthew J. Facciani

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Stimuli-responsive cement-reinforced rubber.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-14

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

  2. Happiness increases distraction by auditory deviant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  3. Attentional bias to emotional stimuli is altered during moderate- but not high-intensity exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Qu; Smith, J Carson

    2011-12-01

    Little is known regarding how attention to emotional stimuli is affected during simultaneously performed exercise. Attentional biases to emotional face stimuli were assessed in 34 college students (17 women) using the dot-probe task during counterbalanced conditions of moderate- (heart rate at 45% peak oxygen consumption) and high-intensity exercise (heart rate at 80% peak oxygen consumption) compared with seated rest. The dot-probe task consisted of 1 emotional face (pleasant or unpleasant) paired with a neutral face for 1,000 ms; 256 trials (128 trials for each valence) were presented during each condition. Each condition lasted approximately 10 min. Participants were instructed to perform each trial of the dot-probe task as quickly and accurately as possible during the exercise and rest conditions. During moderate-intensity exercise, participants exhibited significantly greater attentional bias scores to pleasant compared with unpleasant faces (p bias scores to emotional faces did not differ at rest or during high-intensity exercise (p > .05). In addition, the attentional bias to unpleasant faces was significantly reduced during moderate-intensity exercise compared with that during rest (p emotional stimuli and away from unpleasant emotional stimuli. Future work is needed to determine whether acute exercise may be an effective treatment approach to reduce negative bias or enhance positive bias in individuals diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders, or whether attentional bias during exercise predicts adherence to exercise. (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.

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

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    Jun Yin

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaramaa, Teija

    2017-12-01

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

  10. Characterization of functional biopolymers under various external stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maleki, Atoosa

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Ahmad

    2016-08-01

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

  14. Consequences of a human TRPA1 genetic variant on the perception of nociceptive and olfactory stimuli.

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    Michael Schütz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: TRPA1 ion channels are involved in nociception and are also excited by pungent odorous substances. Based on reported associations of TRPA1 genetics with increased sensitivity to thermal pain stimuli, we therefore hypothesized that this association also exists for increased olfactory sensitivity. METHODS: Olfactory function and nociception was compared between carriers (n = 38 and non-carriers (n = 43 of TRPA1 variant rs11988795 G>A, a variant known to enhance cold pain perception. Olfactory function was quantified by assessing the odor threshold, odor discrimination and odor identification, and by applying 200-ms pulses of H2S intranasal. Nociception was assessed by measuring pain thresholds to experimental nociceptive stimuli (blunt pressure, electrical stimuli, cold and heat stimuli, and 200-ms intranasal pulses of CO2. RESULTS: Among the 11 subjects with moderate hyposmia, carriers of the minor A allele (n = 2 were underrepresented (34 carriers among the 70 normosmic subjects; p = 0.049. Moreover, carriers of the A allele discriminated odors significantly better than non-carriers (13.1±1.5 versus 12.3±1.6 correct discriminations and indicated a higher intensity of the H2S stimuli (29.2±13.2 versus 21±12.8 mm VAS, p = 0.006, which, however, could not be excluded to have involved a trigeminal component during stimulation. Finally, the increased sensitivity to thermal pain could be reproduced. CONCLUSIONS: The findings are in line with a previous association of a human TRPA1 variant with nociceptive parameters and extend the association to the perception of odorants. However, this addresses mainly those stimulants that involve a trigeminal component whereas a pure olfactory effect may remain disputable. Nevertheless, findings suggest that future TRPA1 modulating drugs may modify the perception of odorants.

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

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    Alejandro Frid

    2002-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, J; Meeter, M

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca J Lepping

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

  19. Perceptual Sensitivity and Response to Strong Stimuli Are Related

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    Anna C. Bolders

    2017-09-01

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

  20. External-stimuli responsive systems for cancer theranostic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhui Yao

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Adrienne; Schmeichel, Brandon J

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Reversed stereo depth and motion direction with anti-correlated stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, J C; Eagle, R A

    2000-01-01

    We used anti-correlated stimuli to compare the correspondence problem in stereo and motion. Subjects performed a two-interval forced-choice disparity/motion direction discrimination task for different displacements. For anti-correlated 1d band-pass noise, we found weak reversed depth and motion. With 2d anti-correlated stimuli, stereo performance was impaired, but the perception of reversed motion was enhanced. We can explain the main features of our data in terms of channels tuned to different spatial frequencies and orientation. We suggest that a key difference between the solution of the correspondence problem by the motion and stereo systems concerns the integration of information at different orientations.

  3. High-performance execution of psychophysical tasks with complex visual stimuli in MATLAB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asaad, Wael F.; Santhanam, Navaneethan; McClellan, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral, psychological, and physiological experiments often require the ability to present sensory stimuli, monitor and record subjects' responses, interface with a wide range of devices, and precisely control the timing of events within a behavioral task. Here, we describe our recent progress developing an accessible and full-featured software system for controlling such studies using the MATLAB environment. Compared with earlier reports on this software, key new features have been implemented to allow the presentation of more complex visual stimuli, increase temporal precision, and enhance user interaction. These features greatly improve the performance of the system and broaden its applicability to a wider range of possible experiments. This report describes these new features and improvements, current limitations, and quantifies the performance of the system in a real-world experimental setting. PMID:23034363

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingwei An

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Brent M; Elias, Lorin J

    2005-04-01

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

  6. Stimuli-Responsive Materials for Controlled Release Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Adding stimuli-responsive extensions to antifouling hairy particles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gori, Simone; Giora, Enrico; Pedersini, Riccardo

    2008-11-01

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

  9. Conditioned Subjective Responses to Socially Relevant Stimuli in Social Anxiety Disorder and Subclinical Social Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinoco-González, Daniella; Fullana, Miquel Angel; Torrents-Rodas, David; Bonillo, Albert; Vervliet, Bram; Pailhez, Guillem; Farré, Magí; Andión, Oscar; Perez, Víctor; Torrubia, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Although enhanced fear conditioning has been implicated in the origins of social anxiety disorder (SAD), laboratory evidence in support of this association is limited. Using a paradigm employing socially relevant unconditioned stimuli, we conducted two separate studies to asses fear conditioning in individuals with SAD and non-clinical individuals with high social anxiety (subclinical social anxiety [SSA]). They were compared with age-matched and gender-matched individuals with another anxiety disorder (panic disorder with agoraphobia) and healthy controls (Study 1) and with individuals with low social anxiety (Study 2). Contrary to our expectations, in both studies, self-report measures (ratings of anxiety, unpleasantness and arousal to the conditioned stimuli) of fear conditioning failed to discriminate between SAD or SSA and the other participant groups. Our results suggest that enhanced fear conditioning does not play a major role in pathological social anxiety. We used a social conditioning paradigm to study fear conditioning in clinical and subclinical social anxiety. We found no evidence of enhanced fear conditioning in social anxiety individuals. Enhanced fear conditioning may not be a hallmark of pathological social anxiety. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Effects of methylphenidate and MDMA on appraisal of erotic stimuli and intimate relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Yasmin; Hysek, Cédric M; Preller, Katrin H; Bosch, Oliver G; Bilderbeck, Amy C; Rogers, Robert D; Quednow, Boris B; Liechti, Matthias E

    2015-01-01

    Methylphenidate mainly enhances dopamine neurotransmission whereas 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") mainly enhances serotonin neurotransmission. However, both drugs also induce a weaker increase of cerebral noradrenaline exerting sympathomimetic properties. Dopaminergic psychostimulants are reported to increase sexual drive, while serotonergic drugs typically impair sexual arousal and functions. Additionally, serotonin has also been shown to modulate cognitive perception of romantic relationships. Whether methylphenidate or MDMA alter sexual arousal or cognitive appraisal of intimate relationships is not known. Thus, we evaluated effects of methylphenidate (40 mg) and MDMA (75 mg) on subjective sexual arousal by viewing erotic pictures and on perception of romantic relationships of unknown couples in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 30 healthy adults. Methylphenidate, but not MDMA, increased ratings of sexual arousal for explicit sexual stimuli. The participants also sought to increase the presentation time of implicit sexual stimuli by button press after methylphenidate treatment compared with placebo. Plasma levels of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone were not associated with sexual arousal ratings. Neither MDMA nor methylphenidate altered appraisal of romantic relationships of others. The findings indicate that pharmacological stimulation of dopaminergic but not of serotonergic neurotransmission enhances sexual drive. Whether sexual perception is altered in subjects misusing methylphenidate e.g., for cognitive enhancement or as treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is of high interest and warrants further investigation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  11. Visual arts training is linked to flexible attention to local and global levels of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan

    2015-10-01

    Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Characterization of Ferrofluid-based Stimuli-responsive Elastomers

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Analyzing the User Behavior toward Electronic Commerce Stimuli

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Analyzing the user behavior towards Electronic Commerce stimuli

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Effects of Auditory Stimuli on Visual Velocity Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiaki Shibata

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Wilson

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

  17. Auditory Emotional Cues Enhance Visual Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeelenberg, Rene; Bocanegra, Bruno R.

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies show that emotional stimuli impair performance to subsequently presented neutral stimuli. Here we show a cross-modal perceptual enhancement caused by emotional cues. Auditory cue words were followed by a visually presented neutral target word. Two-alternative forced-choice identification of the visual target was improved by…

  18. Different types of theta rhythmicity are induced by social and fearful stimuli in a network associated with social memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tendler, Alex; Wagner, Shlomo

    2015-02-16

    Rhythmic activity in the theta range is thought to promote neuronal communication between brain regions. In this study, we performed chronic telemetric recordings in socially behaving rats to monitor electrophysiological activity in limbic brain regions linked to social behavior. Social encounters were associated with increased rhythmicity in the high theta range (7-10 Hz) that was proportional to the stimulus degree of novelty. This modulation of theta rhythmicity, which was specific for social stimuli, appeared to reflect a brain-state of social arousal. In contrast, the same network responded to a fearful stimulus by enhancement of rhythmicity in the low theta range (3-7 Hz). Moreover, theta rhythmicity showed different pattern of coherence between the distinct brain regions in response to social and fearful stimuli. We suggest that the two types of stimuli induce distinct arousal states that elicit different patterns of theta rhythmicity, which cause the same brain areas to communicate in different modes.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestage, David Jackson

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

  2. Action video game players' visual search advantage extends to biologically relevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-07-01

    Research investigating the effects of action video game experience on cognition has demonstrated a host of performance improvements on a variety of basic tasks. Given the prevailing evidence that these benefits result from efficient control of attentional processes, there has been growing interest in using action video games as a general tool to enhance everyday attentional control. However, to date, there is little evidence indicating that the benefits of action video game playing scale up to complex settings with socially meaningful stimuli - one of the fundamental components of our natural environment. The present experiment compared action video game player (AVGP) and non-video game player (NVGP) performance on an oculomotor capture task that presented participants with face stimuli. In addition, the expression of a distractor face was manipulated to assess if action video game experience modulated the effect of emotion. Results indicate that AVGPs experience less oculomotor capture than NVGPs; an effect that was not influenced by the emotional content depicted by distractor faces. It is noteworthy that this AVGP advantage emerged despite participants being unaware that the investigation had to do with video game playing, and participants being equivalent in their motivation and treatment of the task as a game. The results align with the notion that action video game experience is associated with superior attentional and oculomotor control, and provides evidence that these benefits can generalize to more complex and biologically relevant stimuli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Measures of extents of laterality for high-frequency ``transposed'' stimuli under conditions of binaural interference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Leslie R.; Trahiotis, Constantine

    2005-09-01

    Our purpose in this study was to determine whether across-frequency binaural interference would occur if ITD-based extents of laterality were measured using high-frequency transposed stimuli as targets. The results of an earlier study [L. R. Bernstein and C. Trahiotis, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 3062-3069 (2004)], which focused on threshold-ITDs, rather than extents of laterality, suggested that high-frequency transposed stimuli might be ``immune'' to binaural interference effects resulting from the addition of a spectrally remote, low-frequency interferer. In contrast to the earlier findings, the data from this study indicate that high-frequency transposed targets are susceptible to binaural interference. Nevertheless, high-frequency transposed targets, even when presented along with an interferer, yielded greater extents of ITD-based laterality than did high-frequency Gaussian noise targets presented in isolation. That is, the ``enhanced potency'' of ITDs conveyed by transposed stimuli persisted, even in the presence of a low-frequency interferer. Predictions made using an extension of the model of Heller and Trahiotis [L. M. Heller and C. Trahiotis, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 99, 3632-3637 (1996)] accounted well for across-frequency binaural interference obtained with conventional Gaussian noise targets but, in all but one case, overpredicted the amounts of interference found with the transposed targets.

  4. Tracking functional brain changes in patients with depression under psychodynamic psychotherapy using individualized stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Wiswede

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Neurobiological models of depression posit limbic hyperactivity that should normalize after successful treatment. For psychotherapy, though, brain changes in patients with depression show substantial variability. Two critical issues in relevant studies concern the use of unspecific stimulation experiments and relatively short treatment protocols. Therefore changes in brain reactions to individualized stimuli were studied in patients with depression after eight months of psychodynamic psychotherapy. METHODS: 18 unmedicated patients with recurrent major depressive disorder were confronted with individualized and clinically derived content in a functional MRI experiment before (T1 and after eight months (T2 of psychodynamic therapy. A control group of 17 healthy subjects was also tested twice without intervention. The experimental stimuli were sentences describing each participant's dysfunctional interpersonal relationship patterns derived from clinical interviews based on Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnostics (OPD. RESULTS: At T1 patients showed enhanced activation compared to controls in several limbic and subcortical regions, including amygdala and basal ganglia, when confronted with OPD sentences. At T2 the differences in brain activity between patients and controls were no longer apparent. Concurrently, patients had improved significantly in depression scores. CONCLUSIONS: Using ecologically valid stimuli, this study supports the model of limbic hyperactivity in depression that normalizes after treatment. Without a control group of untreated patients measured twice, though, changes in patients' brain activity could also be attributed to other factors than psychodynamic therapy.

  5. Audiovisual Integration Delayed by Stimulus Onset Asynchrony Between Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yanna; Yang, Weiping; Nakahashi, Kohei; Takahashi, Satoshi; Wu, Jinglong

    2017-02-01

    Although neuronal studies have shown that audiovisual integration is regulated by temporal factors, there is still little knowledge about the impact of temporal factors on audiovisual integration in older adults. To clarify how stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between auditory and visual stimuli modulates age-related audiovisual integration, 20 younger adults (21-24 years) and 20 older adults (61-80 years) were instructed to perform an auditory or visual stimuli discrimination experiment. The results showed that in younger adults, audiovisual integration was altered from an enhancement (AV, A ± 50 V) to a depression (A ± 150 V). In older adults, the alterative pattern was similar to that for younger adults with the expansion of SOA; however, older adults showed significantly delayed onset for the time-window-of-integration and peak latency in all conditions, which further demonstrated that audiovisual integration was delayed more severely with the expansion of SOA, especially in the peak latency for V-preceded-A conditions in older adults. Our study suggested that audiovisual facilitative integration occurs only within a certain SOA range (e.g., -50 to 50 ms) in both younger and older adults. Moreover, our results confirm that the response for older adults was slowed and provided empirical evidence that integration ability is much more sensitive to the temporal alignment of audiovisual stimuli in older adults.

  6. Brain mechanisms that underlie the effects of motivational audiovisual stimuli on psychophysiological responses during exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigliassi, Marcelo; Silva, Vinícius B; Karageorghis, Costas I; Bird, Jonathan M; Santos, Priscila C; Altimari, Leandro R

    2016-05-01

    Motivational audiovisual stimuli such as music and video have been widely used in the realm of exercise and sport as a means by which to increase situational motivation and enhance performance. The present study addressed the mechanisms that underlie the effects of motivational stimuli on psychophysiological responses and exercise performance. Twenty-two participants completed fatiguing isometric handgrip-squeezing tasks under two experimental conditions (motivational audiovisual condition and neutral audiovisual condition) and a control condition. Electrical activity in the brain and working muscles was analyzed by use of electroencephalography and electromyography, respectively. Participants were asked to squeeze the dynamometer maximally for 30s. A single-item motivation scale was administered after each squeeze. Results indicated that task performance and situational motivational were superior under the influence of motivational stimuli when compared to the other two conditions (~20% and ~25%, respectively). The motivational stimulus downregulated the predominance of low-frequency waves (theta) in the right frontal regions of the cortex (F8), and upregulated high-frequency waves (beta) in the central areas (C3 and C4). It is suggested that motivational sensory cues serve to readjust electrical activity in the brain; a mechanism by which the detrimental effects of fatigue on the efferent control of working muscles is ameliorated. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Marini

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedetto eArnone

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. Stimuli-Responsive Materials for Controlled Release Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Song

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-28

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

  12. Steady-state VEP responses to uncomfortable stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hare, Louise

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Misha; Mason, Georgia J

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Pedophilic brain potential responses to adult erotic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  19. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirce, Jonathan W

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Generating stimuli for neuroscience using PsychoPy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan W Peirce

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials for therapeutic protein delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yue; Sun, Wujin; Gu, Zhen

    2014-11-28

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

  2. Attentional capture by social stimuli in young infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxie eGluckman

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hemanth N. Shetty

    2012-08-01

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

  4. Generating Stimuli for Neuroscience Using PsychoPy

    OpenAIRE

    Peirce, Jonathan W.

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Shape-Morphing Materials from Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogel Hybrids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Seog-Jin; Hauser, Adam W; Hayward, Ryan C

    2017-02-21

    The formation of well-defined and functional three-dimensional (3D) structures by buckling of thin sheets subjected to spatially nonuniform stresses is common in biological morphogenesis and has become a subject of great interest in synthetic systems, as such programmable shape-morphing materials hold promise in areas including drug delivery, biomedical devices, soft robotics, and biomimetic systems. Given their ability to undergo large changes in swelling in response to a wide variety of stimuli, hydrogels have naturally emerged as a key type of material in this field. Of particular interest are hybrid systems containing rigid inclusions that can define both the anisotropy and spatial nonuniformity of swelling as well as nanoparticulate additives that can enhance the responsiveness and functionality of the material. In this Account, we discuss recent progress in approaches to achieve well-defined shape morphing in hydrogel hybrids. First, we provide an overview of materials and methods that facilitate fabrication of such systems and outline the geometry and mechanics behind shape morphing of thin sheets. We then discuss how patterning of stiff inclusions within soft responsive hydrogels can be used to program both bending and swelling, thereby providing access to a wide array of complex 3D forms. The use of discretely patterned stiff regions to provide an effective composite response offers distinct advantages in terms of scalability and ease of fabrication compared with approaches based on smooth gradients within a single layer of responsive material. We discuss a number of recent advances wherein control of the mechanical properties and geometric characteristics of patterned stiff elements enables the formation of 3D shapes, including origami-inspired structures, concatenated helical frameworks, and surfaces with nonzero Gaussian curvature. Next, we outline how the inclusion of functional elements such as nanoparticles can enable unique pathways to programmable

  6. Heterogeneity reduces sensitivity of cell death for TNF-Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schliemann Monica

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death essential for the maintenance of homeostasis and the removal of potentially damaged cells in multicellular organisms. By binding its cognate membrane receptor, TNF receptor type 1 (TNF-R1, the proinflammatory cytokine Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF activates pro-apoptotic signaling via caspase activation, but at the same time also stimulates nuclear factor κB (NF-κB-mediated survival pathways. Differential dose-response relationships of these two major TNF signaling pathways have been described experimentally and using mathematical modeling. However, the quantitative analysis of the complex interplay between pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways is an open question as it is challenging for several reasons: the overall signaling network is complex, various time scales are present, and cells respond quantitatively and qualitatively in a heterogeneous manner. Results This study analyzes the complex interplay of the crosstalk of TNF-R1 induced pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways based on an experimentally validated mathematical model. The mathematical model describes the temporal responses on both the single cell level as well as the level of a heterogeneous cell population, as observed in the respective quantitative experiments using TNF-R1 stimuli of different strengths and durations. Global sensitivity of the heterogeneous population was quantified by measuring the average gradient of time of death versus each population parameter. This global sensitivity analysis uncovers the concentrations of Caspase-8 and Caspase-3, and their respective inhibitors BAR and XIAP, as key elements for deciding the cell's fate. A simulated knockout of the NF-κB-mediated anti-apoptotic signaling reveals the importance of this pathway for delaying the time of death, reducing the death rate in the case of pulse stimulation and significantly increasing cell-to-cell variability. Conclusions Cell

  7. Multifunctional fluorescent sensing of chemical and physical stimuli using smart riboflavin-5'-phosphate/Eu3+ coordination polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Shi-Fan; Zhang, Jing-Fei; Chen, Zi-Han; Han, Xin-Yue; Zhang, Min; Shi, Guoyue

    2018-07-05

    A novel type of stimuli-responsive fluorescent polymers has been developed via the self-assembly of riboflavin-5'-phosphate (RiP) as ligand and europium (III) (Eu 3+ ) as central metal ion coordinated with the ligand. The as-prepared RiP/Eu 3+ coordination polymers (RiP/Eu 3+ CPs) are smart and multifunctional for respectively responding to chemical and physical stimuli, in which RiP acts as the stimuli-responsive fluorescent signal indicator. For sensing chemical stimuli, 2,6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid (DPA, an anthrax biomarker) having higher bonding force towards Eu 3+ can grab it from smart RiP/Eu 3+ CPs through competition reaction, resulting in the release of RiP for highly sensitive and selective DPA monitoring in a mix-and-read fluorescent enhancement format, and the detection limit is as low as 41.5 nM. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations has been also performed to verify the DPA sensing principle. For sensing physical stimuli, the smart RiP/Eu 3+ CPs can be acting as a novel sensory probe for the determination of temperature from 10 °C to 40 °C based on the thermal-induced disruption of the binding between Eu 3+ and RiP and the disassembly of the smart RiP/Eu 3+ CPs accompanying with the recovery of the fluorescence of RiP. This work establishes an effective platform for multifunctional sensing of chemical and physical stimuli utilizing both smart lanthanide nanoscale coordination polymers (LNCPs) and novel sensing strategies. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Todd D; Garvey, Katherine T

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-30

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

  10. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  12. Positive mood broadens visual attention to positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M

    2006-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1970-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Exposure to Virtual Social Stimuli Modulates Subjective Pain Reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob M Vigil

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Music influences ratings of the affect of visual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-11-30

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-12-15

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

  2. Large protonation-gated photochromism of an OPE-embedded difurylperfluorocyclopentene

    KAUST Repository

    Wolf, Jannic Sebastian; Huhn, Thomas; Steiner, Ulrich E.

    2015-01-01

    in detail. The reaction system (So, SoH+, SoH2 2+, Sc, ScH+, ScH2 2+) comprising three protolytic forms in both open and closed configuration, is characterized by four protolytic equilibrium constants and six photochemical quantum yields of ring closing

  3. Large protonation-gated photochromism of an OPE-embedded difurylperfluorocyclopentene

    KAUST Repository

    Wolf, Jannic Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    A recently reported protolytic gating effect on the ring closing reaction of an oligo(phenylene ethynylene) (OPE) embedded difurylperfluorocyclopentene (S) with a dimethylaminophenyl chain link in each of the side arms, was quantitatively analyzed in detail. The reaction system (So, SoH+, SoH2 2+, Sc, ScH+, ScH2 2+) comprising three protolytic forms in both open and closed configuration, is characterized by four protolytic equilibrium constants and six photochemical quantum yields of ring closing and ring opening. The absorption spectra, conductivity, and effective photochemical quantum yields were measured in acetonitrile as functions of solvent acidity varied by addition of trifluoroacetic acid and triethylamine and characterized by an effective pHnon-aq. Based on the derivation of a rigorous method for assessing the individual quantum yields of ring closure and ring opening of the six species, it was shown that it is specifically the second protonation step that is responsible for a more than 10-fold increase in the quantum yield of ring closure.

  4. Alpha-Band Brain Oscillations Shape the Processing of Perceptible as well as Imperceptible Somatosensory Stimuli during Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forschack, Norman; Nierhaus, Till; Müller, Matthias M; Villringer, Arno

    2017-07-19

    Attention filters and weights sensory information according to behavioral demands. Stimulus-related neural responses are increased for the attended stimulus. Does alpha-band activity mediate this effect and is it restricted to conscious sensory events (suprathreshold), or does it also extend to unconscious stimuli (subthreshold)? To address these questions, we recorded EEG in healthy male and female volunteers undergoing subthreshold and suprathreshold somatosensory electrical stimulation to the left or right index finger. The task was to detect stimulation at the randomly alternated cued index finger. Under attention, amplitudes of somatosensory evoked potentials increased 50-60 ms after stimulation (P1) for both suprathreshold and subthreshold events. Prestimulus amplitude of peri-Rolandic alpha, that is mu, showed an inverse relationship to P1 amplitude during attention compared to when the finger was unattended. Interestingly, intermediate and high amplitudes of mu rhythm were associated with the highest P1 amplitudes during attention and smallest P1 during lack of attention, that is, these levels of alpha rhythm seemed to optimally support the behavioral goal ("detect" stimuli at the cued finger while ignoring the other finger). Our results show that attention enhances neural processing for both suprathreshold and subthreshold stimuli and they highlight a rather complex interaction between attention, Rolandic alpha activity, and their effects on stimulus processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Attention is crucial in prioritizing processing of relevant perceptible (suprathreshold) stimuli: it filters and weights sensory input. The present study investigates the controversially discussed question whether this attention effect extends to imperceptible (subthreshold) stimuli as well. We found noninvasive EEG signatures for attentional modulation of neural events following perceptible and imperceptible somatosensory stimulation in human participants. Specifically

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-04-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulman-Galambos, C; Galambos, R

    1978-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Muller-Gass

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Integration of motion energy from overlapping random background noise increases perceived speed of coherently moving stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Jason; Ausloos, Emily C; Schwebach, Courtney A; Huang, Xin

    2016-12-01

    The perception of visual motion can be profoundly influenced by visual context. To gain insight into how the visual system represents motion speed, we investigated how a background stimulus that did not move in a net direction influenced the perceived speed of a center stimulus. Visual stimuli were two overlapping random-dot patterns. The center stimulus moved coherently in a fixed direction, whereas the background stimulus moved randomly. We found that human subjects perceived the speed of the center stimulus to be significantly faster than its veridical speed when the background contained motion noise. Interestingly, the perceived speed was tuned to the noise level of the background. When the speed of the center stimulus was low, the highest perceived speed was reached when the background had a low level of motion noise. As the center speed increased, the peak perceived speed was reached at a progressively higher background noise level. The effect of speed overestimation required the center stimulus to overlap with the background. Increasing the background size within a certain range enhanced the effect, suggesting spatial integration. The speed overestimation was significantly reduced or abolished when the center stimulus and the background stimulus had different colors, or when they were placed at different depths. When the center- and background-stimuli were perceptually separable, speed overestimation was correlated with perceptual similarity between the center- and background-stimuli. These results suggest that integration of motion energy from random motion noise has a significant impact on speed perception. Our findings put new constraints on models regarding the neural basis of speed perception. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

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

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    Cyril R Pernet

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Adaptation to Variance of Stimuli in Drosophila Larva Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolk, Jason; Gepner, Ruben; Gershow, Marc

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspelin, Nicholas; Luck, Steven J

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-06-08

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gonçalves, Ana Margarida Silva

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Neural correlates of quality during perception of audiovisual stimuli

    CERN Document Server

    Arndt, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Psychophysiological effects of audiovisual stimuli during cycle exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munger Steven D

    2009-03-01

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

  20. Endogenous sequential cortical activity evoked by visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-10

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

  1. Dynamism of Stimuli-Responsive Nanohybrids: Environmental Implications

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    Jaime Plazas-Tuttle

    2015-06-01

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

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

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    Marcello Siniscalchi

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

  3. Reward modulates oculomotor competition between differently valued stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

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    Ahmed Nagy

    2014-01-01

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

  6. The Commonality of Loss Aversion across Procedures and Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Lee

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

  8. Stimuli-responsive magnetic particles for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Masaki; Seno, Takeharu

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-16

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

  12. Existential neuroscience: self-esteem moderates neuronal responses to mortality-related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klackl, Johannes; Jonas, Eva; Kronbichler, Martin

    2014-11-01

    According to terror management theory, self-esteem serves as a buffer against existential anxiety. This proposition is well supported empirically, but its neuronal underpinnings are poorly understood. Therefore, in the present neuroimaging study, our aim was to test how self-esteem affects our neural circuitry activation when death-related material is processed. Consistent with previous findings, the bilateral insula responded less to death-related stimuli relative to similarly unpleasant, but death-unrelated sentences, an effect that might reflect a decrease in the sense of oneself in the face of existential threat. In anterior parts of the insula, this 'deactivation' effect was more pronounced for high self-esteem individuals, suggesting that the insula might be of core importance to understanding the anxiety-buffering effect of self-esteem. In addition, low self-esteem participants responded with enhanced activation to death-related over unpleasant stimuli in bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal and medial orbitofrontal cortex, suggesting that regulating death-related thoughts might be more effortful to these individuals. Together, this suggests that the anxiety-buffering effect of self-esteem might be implemented in the brain in the form of both insula-dependent awareness mechanisms and prefrontal cortex-dependent regulation mechanisms. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Coding of time-dependent stimuli in homogeneous and heterogeneous neural populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beiran, Manuel; Kruscha, Alexandra; Benda, Jan; Lindner, Benjamin

    2018-04-01

    We compare the information transmission of a time-dependent signal by two types of uncoupled neuron populations that differ in their sources of variability: i) a homogeneous population whose units receive independent noise and ii) a deterministic heterogeneous population, where each unit exhibits a different baseline firing rate ('disorder'). Our criterion for making both sources of variability quantitatively comparable is that the interspike-interval distributions are identical for both systems. Numerical simulations using leaky integrate-and-fire neurons unveil that a non-zero amount of both noise or disorder maximizes the encoding efficiency of the homogeneous and heterogeneous system, respectively, as a particular case of suprathreshold stochastic resonance. Our findings thus illustrate that heterogeneity can render similarly profitable effects for neuronal populations as dynamic noise. The optimal noise/disorder depends on the system size and the properties of the stimulus such as its intensity or cutoff frequency. We find that weak stimuli are better encoded by a noiseless heterogeneous population, whereas for strong stimuli a homogeneous population outperforms an equivalent heterogeneous system up to a moderate noise level. Furthermore, we derive analytical expressions of the coherence function for the cases of very strong noise and of vanishing intrinsic noise or heterogeneity, which predict the existence of an optimal noise intensity. Our results show that, depending on the type of signal, noise as well as heterogeneity can enhance the encoding performance of neuronal populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauli, Paul; Herbert, Beate M.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Replay of conditioned stimuli during late REM and stage N2 sleep influences affective tone rather than emotional memory strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rihm, Julia S; Rasch, Björn

    2015-07-01

    Emotional memories are reprocessed during sleep, and it is widely assumed that this reprocessing occurs mainly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In support for this notion, vivid emotional dreams occur mainly during REM sleep, and several studies have reported emotional memory enhancement to be associated with REM sleep or REM sleep-related parameters. However, it is still unknown whether reactivation of emotional memories during REM sleep strengthens emotional memories. Here, we tested whether re-presentation of emotionally learned stimuli during REM sleep enhances emotional memory. In a split-night design, participants underwent Pavlovian conditioning after the first half of the night. Neutral sounds served as conditioned stimuli (CS) and were either paired with a negative odor (CS+) or an odorless vehicle (CS-). During sound replay in subsequent late REM or N2 sleep, half of the CS+ and half of the CS- were presented again. In contrast to our hypothesis, replay during sleep did not affect emotional memory as measured by the differentiation between CS+ and CS- in expectancy, arousal and valence ratings. However, replay unspecifically decreased subjective arousal ratings of both emotional and neutral sounds and increased positive valence ratings also for both CS+ and CS- sounds, respectively. These effects were slightly more pronounced for replay during REM sleep. Our results suggest that re-exposure to previously conditioned stimuli during late sleep does not affect emotional memory strength, but rather influences the affective tone of both emotional and neutral memories. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyiler, Ersan

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligeza, Tomasz S; Wyczesany, Miroslaw

    2017-10-01

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

  4. PENILAIAN PEDOFILIA MENGGUNAKAN RESPON HEMODINAMIK OTAK TERHADAP STIMULI SEKSUAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuhelan Mahendran

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyzwa, Dominika

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

  11. Attentional capture by social stimuli in young infants

    OpenAIRE

    Gluckman, Maxie; Johnson, Scott P.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikkel Wallentin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  15. Investigating vision in schizophrenia through responses to humorous stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Tschacher

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Dynamic Stimuli And Active Processing In Human Visual Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haber, Ralph N.

    1990-03-01

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

  17. Medial temporal lobe damage impairs representation of simple stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Warren

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana Tchumatchenko

    2011-10-01

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

  19. Auditory stimuli elicit hippocampal neuronal responses during sleep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina eVinnik

    2012-06-01

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

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

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    Babbitt, B C

    1982-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoqiang; Meng, Harper; Hu, Jinlian

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Analyzing the User Behavior toward Electronic Commerce Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Analyzing the user behavior towards Electronic Commerce stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlota Lorenzo-Romero

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masoud, Hassan; Alexeev, Alexander

    2012-11-01

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

  6. Moving Stimuli Facilitate Synchronization But Not Temporal Perception.

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    Silva, Susana; Castro, São Luís

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganin, I P; Kaplan, A Ia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, David A E; Staines, W Richard

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagerstrom, Asle

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Distinct neural systems underlying reduced emotional enhancement for positive and negative stimuli in early Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistridis, Panagiota; Taylor, Kirsten I; Kissler, Johanna M; Monsch, Andreas U; Kressig, Reto W; Kivisaari, Sasa L

    2013-01-01

    Emotional information is typically better remembered than neutral content, and previous studies suggest that this effect is subserved particularly by the amygdala together with its interactions with the hippocampus. However, it is not known whether amygdala damage affects emotional memory performance at immediate and delayed recall, and whether its involvement is modulated by stimulus valence. Moreover, it is unclear to what extent more distributed neocortical regions involved in e.g., autobiographical memory, also contribute to emotional processing. We investigated these questions in a group of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), which affects the amygdala, hippocampus and neocortical regions. Healthy controls (n = 14), patients with AD (n = 15) and its putative prodrome amnestic mild cognitive impairment (n = 11) completed a memory task consisting of immediate and delayed free recall of a list of positive, negative and neutral words. Memory performance was related to brain integrity in region of interest and whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses. In the brain-behavioral analyses, the left amygdala volume predicted the immediate recall of both positive and negative material, whereas at delay, left and right amygdala volumes were associated with performance with positive and negative words, respectively. Whole-brain analyses revealed additional associations between left angular gyrus integrity and the immediate recall of positive words as well as between the orbitofrontal cortex and the delayed recall of negative words. These results indicate that emotional memory impairments in AD may be underpinned by damage to regions implicated in emotional processing as well as frontoparietal regions, which may exert their influence via autobiographical memories and organizational strategies.

  11. fMRI neurofeedback of amygdala response to aversive stimuli enhances prefrontal-limbic brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paret, Christian; Ruf, Matthias; Gerchen, Martin Fungisai; Kluetsch, Rosemarie; Demirakca, Traute; Jungkunz, Martin; Bertsch, Katja; Schmahl, Christian; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-15

    Down-regulation of the amygdala with real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI NF) potentially allows targeting brain circuits of emotion processing and may involve prefrontal-limbic networks underlying effective emotion regulation. Little research has been dedicated to the effect of rtfMRI NF on the functional connectivity of the amygdala and connectivity patterns in amygdala down-regulation with neurofeedback have not been addressed yet. Using psychophysiological interaction analysis of fMRI data, we present evidence that voluntary amygdala down-regulation by rtfMRI NF while viewing aversive pictures was associated with increased connectivity of the right amygdala with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in healthy subjects (N=16). In contrast, a control group (N=16) receiving sham feedback did not alter amygdala connectivity (Group×Condition t-contrast: pneurofeedback to influence functional connectivity in key networks of emotion processing and regulation. This may be beneficial for patients suffering from severe emotion dysregulation by improving neural self-regulation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-07

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

  13. PREFACE: Stimuli Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queisser, Hans J.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziyu Lv

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, M

    2001-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, D J; Cacace, A T

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Stimuli Responsive Ionogels for Sensing Applications—An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Kavanagh

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Olfactory stimuli as context cues in human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cann, A; Ross, D A

    1989-01-01

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

  4. Pupillary response to direct and consensual chromatic light stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottoboni, Giovanni; Russo, Gabriele; Tessari, Alessia

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Vinod

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Starc

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

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    Akio eNishimura

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blois-Heulin Catherine

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Analyzing the User Behavior toward Electronic Commerce Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iijima Atsuhiko

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Junior Manuel Godinez Tello

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

  17. Physical activity, pain responses to heat stimuli, and conditioned pain modulation in postmenopausal women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian, Amanda L; O'Connor, Patrick J; Ward-Ritacco, Christie L; Evans, Ellen M

    2015-08-01

    Postmenopausal women (PMW) are at high risk for disabling pain and physical inactivity. This study sought to enhance the understanding of relationships between physical activity (PA) and pain among PMW using heat pain sensitivity test and conditioned pain modulation test. We hypothesized that, compared with active women, (i) inactive women would report higher pain intensity and pain unpleasantness ratings; (ii) inactive women in disabling pain would report higher pain intensity and pain unpleasantness at high, but not low, stimulus intensities; and (iii) inactive women would have less modulation. Sixty-eight PMW rated the pain intensity and pain unpleasantness of hot stimuli presented to the thenar eminence of the hand. A subset of 31 women rated the pain intensity of a test stimulus (noxious heat) and a conditioning stimulus (cold water) as part of the conditioned pain modulation task. PA was assessed objectively with accelerometry. Mixed-model analysis of variance (2 × 4 × 2; PA × Temperature × Pain Status) showed that inactive women in disabling pain rated pain unpleasantness higher than active women in disabling pain (F3,192 = 3.526, ∂η = 0.052, P = 0.016). Significantly lower pain unpleasantness ratings were found at the highest stimulus intensity (49°C) only for active women in disabling pain compared with inactive women in disabling pain (t11 = 2.523, P = 0.028). The other hypotheses were not supported. PA is associated with a reduced sensitivity to the unpleasantness of painful high-intensity heat stimuli among women in disabling pain.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice eTomassini

    2011-09-01

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

  1. Surface Modified Multifunctional and Stimuli Responsive Nanoparticles for Drug Targeting: Current Status and Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panoraia I. Siafaka

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Nanocarriers, due to their unique features, are of increased interest among researchers working with pharmaceutical formulations. Polymeric nanoparticles and nanocapsules, involving non-toxic biodegradable polymers, liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles, and inorganic–organic nanomaterials, are among the most used carriers for drugs for a broad spectrum of targeted diseases. In fact, oral, injectable, transdermal-dermal and ocular formulations mainly consist of the aforementioned nanomaterials demonstrating promising characteristics such as long circulation, specific targeting, high drug loading capacity, enhanced intracellular penetration, and so on. Over the last decade, huge advances in the development of novel, safer and less toxic nanocarriers with amended properties have been made. In addition, multifunctional nanocarriers combining chemical substances, vitamins and peptides via coupling chemistry, inorganic particles coated by biocompatible materials seem to play a key role considering that functionalization can enhance characteristics such as biocompatibility, targetability, environmental friendliness, and intracellular penetration while also have limited side effects. This review aims to summarize the “state of the art” of drug delivery carriers in nanosize, paying attention to their surface functionalization with ligands and other small or polymeric compounds so as to upgrade active and passive targeting, different release patterns as well as cell targeting and stimuli responsibility. Lastly, future aspects and potential uses of nanoparticulated drug systems are outlined.

  2. Middle latency response correlates of single and double deviant stimuli in a multi-feature paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Althen, H; Huotilainen, M; Grimm, S; Escera, C

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to test single and double deviance-related modulations of the middle latency response (MLR) and the applicability of the optimum-2 multi-feature paradigm. The MLR and the MMN to frequency, intensity and double-feature deviants of an optimum-2 multi-feature paradigm and the MMN to double-feature deviants of an oddball paradigm were recorded in young adults. Double deviants elicited significant enhancements of the Nb and Pb MLR waves compared with the waves elicited by standard stimuli. These enhancements equalled approximately the sum of the numerical amplitude differences elicited by the single deviants. In contrast, the MMN to double deviants did not show such additivity. MMNs elicited by double deviants of the multi-feature and the oddball paradigm showed no significant difference in amplitude or latency. The optimum-2 multi-feature paradigm is suitable for recording double deviance-related modulations of the MLR. Interspersed intensity and frequency deviants in the standard trace of the optimum-2 condition multi-feature paradigm did not weaken the double MMN. The optimum-2 multi-feature paradigm could be especially beneficial for clinical studies on early deviance-related modulations in the MLR, due to its optimized utilization of the recording time. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Macroscopic brain dynamics during verbal and pictorial processing of affective stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keil, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Emotions can be viewed as action dispositions, preparing an individual to act efficiently and successfully in situations of behavioral relevance. To initiate optimized behavior, it is essential to accurately process the perceptual elements indicative of emotional relevance. The present chapter discusses effects of affective content on neural and behavioral parameters of perception, across different information channels. Electrocortical data are presented from studies examining affective perception with pictures and words in different task contexts. As a main result, these data suggest that sensory facilitation has an important role in affective processing. Affective pictures appear to facilitate perception as a function of emotional arousal at multiple levels of visual analysis. If the discrimination between affectively arousing vs. nonarousing content relies on fine-grained differences, amplification of the cortical representation may occur as early as 60-90 ms after stimulus onset. Affectively arousing information as conveyed via visual verbal channels was not subject to such very early enhancement. However, electrocortical indices of lexical access and/or activation of semantic networks showed that affectively arousing content may enhance the formation of semantic representations during word encoding. It can be concluded that affective arousal is associated with activation of widespread networks, which act to optimize sensory processing. On the basis of prioritized sensory analysis for affectively relevant stimuli, subsequent steps such as working memory, motor preparation, and action may be adjusted to meet the adaptive requirements of the situation perceived.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-19

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Cui

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gondan, Matthias

    2009-01-01

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

  8. The development and characterization of stimuli-responsive systems for performance materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Melissa B.

    In nature, living organisms adjust to their surroundings by responding to environmental cues, such as light, temperature or force. Stimuli-triggered processes, such as the contraction of eyes in response to bright light or wound healing in skin after a cut, motivate the design of "smart" materials which are designed to respond to environmental stimuli. Responsive materials are used as self-healing materials, shape memory polymers and responsive coatings; moreover, responsive materials may also be employed as model systems, which enhance understanding of complex behavior. The overall goal of this work is to design a material that offers self-healing functionality, which will allow for self-repair following material fatigue or failure, and increased strength in response to ballistic or puncture threats through the incorporation of colloidal particles. The target application for this material is as a protective barrier in extreme environments, such as outer space. Towards this end, the dissertation is focused on the development and characterization of each component of the protective material by (1) designing and testing novel light- and force-sensitive polymers for self-healing applications and (2) examining and characterizing long-time behavior (i.e., aging) in model thermoreversible colloidal gels and glasses. Towards the development of novel stimuli-responsive materials, a photo-responsive polymer network is developed in which a dynamic bond is incorporated into the network architecture to enable a light-triggered, secondary polymerization, which increases the modulus by two orders of magnitude while strengthening the network by over 100%. Unlike traditional two-stage polymerization systems, in which the secondary polymerization is triggered by a leachable photoinitiator, the dynamic nature is imparted by the material itself via the dissociation of its own crosslinks to become stronger in response to light. Several attributes of the photo-responsive network are

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Jun

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casco, C; Ganis, G

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormark, Kjell Morten; Torkildsen, Øivind

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth J Leehr

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

  17. Effects of emotional stimuli on working memory processes in male criminal offenders with borderline and antisocial personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prehn, Kristin; Schulze, Lars; Rossmann, Sabine; Berger, Christoph; Vohs, Knut; Fleischer, Monika; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Keiper, Peter; Domes, Gregor; Herpertz, Sabine C

    2013-02-01

    OBJECTIVE. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of concurrently presented emotional stimuli on cognitive task processing in violent criminal offenders primarily characterized by affective instability. METHODS. Fifteen male criminal offenders with antisocial and borderline personality disorder (ASPD and BPD) and 17 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a working memory task with low and high working memory load. In a second experimental run, to investigate the interaction of emotion and cognition, we presented emotionally neutral, low, or high salient social scenes in the background of the task. RESULTS. During the memory task without pictures, both groups did not differ in general task performance and neural representation of working memory processes. During the memory task with emotional background pictures, however, ASPD-BPD subjects compared to healthy controls showed delayed responses and enhanced activation of the left amygdala in the presence of emotionally high salient pictures independent of working memory load. CONCLUSIONS. These results illustrate an interaction of emotion and cognition in affective instable individuals with enhanced reactivity to emotionally salient stimuli which might be an important factor regarding the understanding of aggressive and violent behaviour in these individuals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothen, Nicolas; Meier, Beat

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Wu

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

  1. Stimuli-Responsive Liposomes for Controlled Drug Delivery

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Wengang

    2014-09-01

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

  2. Sensory sensitivity and identification and hedonic assessment ofolfactory stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borys Ruszpel

    2012-06-01

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

  3. Infectious Agents as Stimuli of Trained Innate Immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulina Rusek

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Pattern transformations in periodic cellular solids under external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  7. The Hv1 proton channel responds to mechanical stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zani Alberto

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga eSchröder

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Differences in cortical response to acupressure and electroacupuncture stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vangel Mark G

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Elhakeem

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Kanaka; Marre, Olivier; Tkačik, Gašper

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy

    1999-01-01

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

  16. Source memory enhancement for emotional words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerksen, S; Shimamura, A P

    2001-03-01

    The influence of emotional stimuli on source memory was investigated by using emotionally valenced words. The words were colored blue or yellow (Experiment 1) or surrounded by a blue or yellow frame (Experiment 2). Participants were asked to associate the words with the colors. In both experiments, emotionally valenced words elicited enhanced free recall compared with nonvalenced words; however, recognition memory was not affected. Source memory for the associated color was also enhanced for emotional words, suggesting that even memory for contextual information is benefited by emotional stimuli. This effect was not due to the ease of semantic clustering of emotional words because semantically related words were not associated with enhanced source memory, despite enhanced recall (Experiment 3). It is suggested that enhancement resulted from facilitated arousal or attention, which may act to increase organization processes important for source memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartels, Laura Grand; Feinbloom, Jessica

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

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

  20. Brief report: Inhibitory control of socially relevant stimuli in children with high functioning autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Begeer, S.; Stockman, L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study explored whether inhibitory control deficits in high functioning autism (HFA) emerged when socially relevant stimuli were used and whether arousal level affected the performance. A Go/NoGo paradigm, with socially relevant stimuli and varying presentation rates, was applied in 18

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MAY, FRANK B.; TABACHNICK, B. ROBERT

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Attentional and Affective Processing of Sexual Stimuli in Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brauer, Marieke; van Leeuwen, Matthijs; Janssen, Erick; Newhouse, Sarah K.; Heiman, Julia R.; Laan, Ellen

    2012-01-01

    Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most common sexual problem in women. From an incentive motivation perspective, HSDD may be the result of a weak association between sexual stimuli and rewarding experiences. As a consequence, these stimuli may either lose or fail to acquire a positive

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  5. Comparison of Verbal Preference Assessments in the Presence and Absence of the Actual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, David E.; DeLeon, Iser G.; Terlonge, Cindy; Goysovich, Richard

    2006-01-01

    Stimulus preference assessments for individuals with developmental disabilities typically involve offering choices among stimuli and providing immediate access to the chosen stimuli. Several researchers have explored the utility of presenting choices verbally, thereby obviating the need to present the choices in tangible form and deliver access to…

  6. Time and Number Discrimination in a Bisection Task with a Sequence of Stimuli: A Developmental Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droit-Volet, Sylvie; Clement, Angelique; Fayol, Michel

    2003-01-01

    This study tested 5- and 8-year-olds and adults in a bisection task with a sequence of stimuli in which time and number co-varied. Findings indicated that the number of stimuli interfered with 5-year-olds' performance on the temporal bisection task. Number interference decreased both with age and counting strategy. In the numerical bisection task,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila Jacques Oppitz

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Chromatic induction from surrounding stimuli under perceptual suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiuchi, Koji; Kuriki, Ichiro; Tokunaga, Rumi; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Shioiri, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    The appearance of colors can be affected by their spatiotemporal context. The shift in color appearance according to the surrounding colors is called color induction or chromatic induction; in particular, the shift in opponent color of the surround is called chromatic contrast. To investigate whether chromatic induction occurs even when the chromatic surround is imperceptible, we measured chromatic induction during interocular suppression. A multicolor or uniform color field was presented as the surround stimulus, and a colored continuous flash suppression (CFS) stimulus was presented to the dominant eye of each subject. The subjects were asked to report the appearance of the test field only when the stationary surround stimulus is invisible by interocular suppression with CFS. The resulting shifts in color appearance due to chromatic induction were significant even under the conditions of interocular suppression for all surround stimuli. The magnitude of chromatic induction differed with the surround conditions, and this difference was preserved regardless of the viewing conditions. The chromatic induction effect was reduced by CFS, in proportion to the magnitude of chromatic induction under natural (i.e., no-CFS) viewing conditions. According to an analysis with linear model fitting, we revealed the presence of at least two kinds of subprocesses for chromatic induction that reside at higher and lower levels than the site of interocular suppression. One mechanism yields different degrees of chromatic induction based on the complexity of the surround, which is unaffected by interocular suppression, while the other mechanism changes its output with interocular suppression acting as a gain control. Our results imply that the total chromatic induction effect is achieved via a linear summation of outputs from mechanisms that reside at different levels of visual processing.

  10. Alcoholics' selective attention to alcohol stimuli: automated processing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormark, K M; Laberg, J C; Nordby, H; Hugdahl, K

    2000-01-01

    This study investigated alcoholics' selective attention to alcohol words in a version of the Stroop color-naming task. Alcoholic subjects (n = 23) and nonalcoholic control subjects (n = 23) identified the color of Stroop versions of alcohol, emotional, neutral and color words. Manual reaction times (RTs), skin conductance responses (SCRs) and heart rate (HR) were recorded. Alcoholics showed overall longer RTs than controls while both groups were slower in responding to the incongruent color words than to the other words. Alcoholics showed longer RTs to both alcohol (1522.7 milliseconds [ms]) and emotional words (1523.7 ms) than to neutral words (1450.8 ms) which suggests that the content of these words interfered with the ability to attend to the color of the words. There was also a negative correlation (r = -.41) between RT and response accuracy to alcohol words for the alcoholics, reflecting that the longer time the alcoholics used to respond to the color of the alcohol words, the more incorrect their responses were. The alcoholics also showed significantly greater SCRs to alcohol words (0.16 microSiemens) than to any of the other words (ranging from 0.04-0.08 microSiemens), probably reflecting the emotional significance of the alcohol words. Finally, the alcoholics evidenced smaller HR acceleration to alcohol (1.9 delta bpm) compared to neutral (2.8 delta bpm), which could be related to difficulties alcoholics experience in terminating their attention to the alcohol words. These findings indicate that it is difficult for alcoholics to regulate their attention to alcohol stimuli, suggesting that alcoholics' processing of alcohol information is automated.

  11. Alpha oscillations correlate with the successful inhibition of unattended stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Händel, Barbara F; Haarmeier, Thomas; Jensen, Ole

    2011-09-01

    Because the human visual system is continually being bombarded with inputs, it is necessary to have effective mechanisms for filtering out irrelevant information. This is partly achieved by the allocation of attention, allowing the visual system to process relevant input while blocking out irrelevant input. What is the physiological substrate of attentional allocation? It has been proposed that alpha activity reflects functional inhibition. Here we asked if inhibition by alpha oscillations has behavioral consequences for suppressing the perception of unattended input. To this end, we investigated the influence of alpha activity on motion processing in two attentional conditions using magneto-encephalography. The visual stimuli used consisted of two random-dot kinematograms presented simultaneously to the left and right visual hemifields. Subjects were cued to covertly attend the left or right kinematogram. After 1.5 sec, a second cue tested whether subjects could report the direction of coherent motion in the attended (80%) or unattended hemifield (20%). Occipital alpha power was higher contralateral to the unattended side than to the attended side, thus suggesting inhibition of the unattended hemifield. Our key finding is that this alpha lateralization in the 20% invalidly cued trials did correlate with the perception of motion direction: Subjects with pronounced alpha lateralization were worse at detecting motion direction in the unattended hemifield. In contrast, lateralization did not correlate with visual discrimination in the attended visual hemifield. Our findings emphasize the suppressive nature of alpha oscillations and suggest that processing of inputs outside the field of attention is weakened by means of increased alpha activity.

  12. Multiple distinct stimuli increase measured nucleosome occupancy around human promoters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuong D Pham

    Full Text Available Nucleosomes can block access to transcription factors. Thus the precise localization of nucleosomes relative to transcription start sites and other factor binding sites is expected to be a critical component of transcriptional regulation. Recently developed microarray approaches have allowed the rapid mapping of nucleosome positions over hundreds of kilobases (kb of human genomic DNA, although these approaches have not yet been widely used to measure chromatin changes associated with changes in transcription. Here, we use custom tiling microarrays to reveal changes in nucleosome positions and abundance that occur when hormone-bound glucocorticoid receptor (GR binds to sites near target gene promoters in human osteosarcoma cells. The most striking change is an increase in measured nucleosome occupancy at sites spanning ∼1 kb upstream and downstream of transcription start sites, which occurs one hour after addition of hormone, but is lost at 4 hours. Unexpectedly, this increase was seen both on GR-regulated and GR-non-regulated genes. In addition, the human SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling factor (a GR co-activator was found to be important for increased occupancy upon hormone treatment and also for low nucleosome occupancy without hormone. Most surprisingly, similar increases in nucleosome occupancy were also seen on both regulated and non-regulated promoters during differentiation of human myeloid leukemia cells and upon activation of human CD4+ T-cells. These results indicate that dramatic changes in chromatin structure over ∼2 kb of human promoters may occur genomewide and in response to a variety of stimuli, and suggest novel models for transcriptional regulation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolaus Kriegeskorte

    2015-03-01

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

  14. Design, challenge, and promise of stimuli-responsive nanoantibiotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edson, Julius A.; Kwon, Young Jik

    2016-10-01

    Over the past few years, there have been calls for novel antimicrobials to combat the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. While some promising new discoveries have met this call, it is not nearly enough. The major problem is that although these new promising antimicrobials serve as a short-term solution, they lack the potential to provide a long-term solution. The conventional method of creating new antibiotics relies heavily on the discovery of an antimicrobial compound from another microbe. This paradigm of development is flawed due to the fact that microbes can easily transfer a resistant mechanism if faced with an environmental pressure. Furthermore, there has been some evidence to indicate that the environment of the microbe can provide a hint as to their virulence. Because of this, the use of materials with antimicrobial properties has been garnering interest. Nanoantibiotics, (nAbts), provide a new way to circumvent the current paradigm of antimicrobial discovery and presents a novel mechanism of attack not found in microbes yet; which may lead to a longer-term solution against drug-resistance formation. This allows for environment-specific activation and efficacy of the nAbts but may also open up and create new design methods for various applications. These nAbts provide promise, but there is still ample work to be done in their development. This review looks at possible ways of improving and optimizing nAbts by making them stimuli-responsive, then consider the challenges ahead, and industrial applications.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  15. Offenders with antisocial personality disorder show attentional bias for violence-related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domes, Gregor; Mense, Julia; Vohs, Knut; Habermeyer, Elmar

    2013-08-30

    Offenders with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) may be characterized by a lack in emotional functioning that manifests in irritability and a lack of remorse. The proposed link between ASPD and negative emotionality led to the question of emotional processing anomalies in ASPD. Furthermore, the effect of childhood maltreatment/abuse on emotional processing was tested in the present study. Violent and sexual offenders with ASPD (n=35), without ASPD (n=34), and healthy non-criminal controls (n=24) were compared in an Emotional Stroop Task (EST) using neutral, negative, and violence-related words. Secondary analyses focused on the effect of psychopathic traits and childhood maltreatment. Offenders with ASPD showed a stronger attentional bias to violence-related and negative words as compared to controls. Comparable results were obtained when grouping offenders to high, medium, and low psychopathic subgroups. Offenders with childhood maltreatment specifically showed stronger violence-related attentional bias than non-maltreated offenders. The data suggest that enhanced attention to violence-related stimuli in adult criminal offenders is associated with adverse developmental experiences and delinquency but to a lesser extent with antisocial or psychopathic traits. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun-Min Kim

    2017-05-01

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

  19. Effects of different musical stimuli in vital signs and facial expressions in patients with cerebral damage: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Ana Sofia Fernandes; Ramos, Antonio; Bermejo, Emilia; Casero, Mónica; Corrales, José Manuel; Grantham, Sarah

    2014-04-01

    Along history, music has been used in a variety of ways for therapeutic purposes and has long been recognized for its physiological and psychological effects. Music listening can be an effective nursing intervention, to enhance relaxation, provide distraction, and reduce pain. The aims of this study were to identify changes produced by different musical stimuli in blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), and oxygen saturations (SpO2) and to verify the influence of music listening on patients' facial expressions with severe cerebral damage. A quasiexperimental study was performed in 26 patients with severe cerebral damage, divided into control and case groups. Patients belonging to the case group were exposed to musical stimuli, radio, classical relaxing music (CRM), and relaxing music with nature sounds (RMNS). Patients were evaluated by measuring vital signs before and after exposure to each musical stimulus, as were the patients within the control group. Patients in the control group were exempt from any musical stimulus. Facial expressions were observed in each patient within the case group during the intervention. The results show that radio produced a slight increase in systolic BP, HR, RR, and SpO2. The CRM induced a decrease of RR and an increase of SpO2 and also produced alterations of the facial expression. When RMNS was played, a decrease was displayed in BP, HR, and RR and an increase was displayed in SpO2. Alterations in facial expression were displayed in each patient. The results of the study suggest that the application of musical stimuli such as CRM and RMNS can be used to provide a state of relaxation in patients with severe cerebral damage.

  20. Assessment of Responsiveness to Everyday Non-Noxious Stimuli in Pain-Free Migraineurs With Versus Without Aura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granovsky, Yelena; Shor, Merav; Shifrin, Alla; Sprecher, Elliot; Yarnitsky, David; Bar-Shalita, Tami

    2018-03-27

    Migraineurs with aura (MWA) express higher interictal response to non-noxious and noxious experimental sensory stimuli compared with migraineurs without aura (MWoA), but whether these differences also prevail in response to everyday non-noxious stimuli is not yet explored. This is a cross-sectional study testing 53 female migraineurs (30 MWA; 23 MWoA) who underwent a wide battery of noxious psychophysical testing at a pain-free phase, and completed a Sensory Responsiveness Questionnaire and pain-related psychological questionnaires. The MWA group showed higher questionnaire-based sensory over-responsiveness (P = .030), higher magnitude of pain temporal summation (P = .031) as well as higher monthly attack frequency (P = .027) compared with the MWoA group. Overall, 45% of migraineurs described abnormal sensory (hyper- or hypo-) responsiveness; its incidence was higher among MWA (19 of 30, 63%) versus MWoA (6 of 23, 27%, P = .012), with an odds ratio of 3.58 for MWA. Sensory responsiveness scores were positively correlated with attack frequency (r = .361, P = .008) and temporal summation magnitude (r = .390, P = .004), both regardless of migraine type. MWA express higher everyday sensory responsiveness than MWoA, in line with higher response to experimental noxious stimuli. Abnormal scores of sensory responsiveness characterize people with sensory modulation dysfunction, suggesting possible underlying mechanisms overlap, and possibly high incidence of both clinical entities. This article presents findings distinguishing MWA, showing enhanced pain amplification, monthly attack frequency, and over-responsiveness to everyday sensations, compared with MWoA. Further, migraine is characterized by a high incidence of abnormal responsiveness to everyday sensation, specifically sensory over-responsiveness, that was also found related to pain. Copyright © 2018 The American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Time course and hemispheric lateralization effects of complex pitch processing: evoked magnetic fields in response to rippled noise stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus; Lutzenberger, Werner; Ackermann, Hermann

    2004-01-01

    To delineate the time course and processing stages of pitch encoding at the level of the supratemporal plane, the present study recorded evoked magnetic fields in response to rippled noise (RN) stimuli. RN largely masks simple tonotopic representations and addresses pitch processing within the temporal domain (periodicity encoding). Four dichotic stimulus types (111 or 133 Hz RN at one ear, white noise to the other one) were applied in randomized order during either visual distraction or selective auditory attention. Strictly periodic signals, noise-like events, and mixtures of both signals served as control conditions. (1) Attention-dependent ear x hemisphere interactions were observed within the time domain of the M50 field, indicating early streaming of auditory information. (2) M100 responses to strictly periodic stimuli were found lateralized to the right hemisphere. Furthermore, the higher-pitched stimuli yielded enhanced activation as compared to the lower-pitch signals (pitch scaling), conceivably reflecting sensory memory operations. (3) Besides right-hemisphere pitch scaling, the relatively late M100 component in association with the RN condition (latency = 136 ms) showed significantly stronger field strengths over the left hemisphere. Control experiments revealed this lateralization effect to be related to noise rather than pitch processing. Furthermore, subtle noise variations interacted with signal periodicity. Obviously, thus, complex task demands such as RN encoding give rise to functional segregation of auditory processing across the two hemispheres (left hemisphere: noise, right hemisphere: periodicity representation). The observed noise/periodicity interactions, furthermore, might reflect pitch-synchronous spectral evaluation at the level of the left supratemporal plane, triggered by right-hemisphere representation of signal periodicity. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Threat/reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality modulate cognitive-control and attentional neural processes to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Hu, Xiaoqing; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-11-01

    Temperamental-traits (e.g. threat/reward-sensitivity) are found to modulate cognitive-control and attentional-processes. Yet, it is unclear exactly how these traits interact with emotional-stimuli in the modulation of cognitive-control, as reflected by the N2 event-related potential (ERP), and attentional-processes, as reflected by the P2 and P3 ERPs. Here in an ERP emotional-Go/NoGo task, 36 participants were instructed to inhibit their response to Fearful- and Happy-faces. Individual-differences in threat-sensitivity, reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality were assessed through self-report. Hypomanic-personality was assessed, given its relationship with reward-sensitivity and relevance to mood-disorder symptoms. Concerning cognitive-control, individuals with elevated threat-sensitivity displayed more-negative N2s to Happy-NoGo (relative to Fearful-NoGo) faces, whereas both individuals with elevated reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality displayed more-negative N2s to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. Accordingly, when cognitive-control is required (during Go/NoGo), a mismatch between one's temperament and the valence of the NoGo-stimulus elevates detection of the need for cognitive-control. Conversely, the modulation of attentional-processing was specific to threat-sensitivity, as there was no relationship between either reward-sensitivity or hypomanic-personality and attentional-processing. Elevated threat-sensitivity was associated with enhanced early (P2s) and later (P3s) attentional-processing to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. These latter findings support the negative attentional-bias model relating elevated threat-sensitivity with attentional-biases toward negative-stimuli and away from positive-stimuli. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Dynamical responses to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization in a complex neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2017-10-01

    For studying how dynamical responses to external stimuli depend on the synaptic-coupling type, we consider two types of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization (i.e., synchronization via synaptic excitation and inhibition) in complex small-world networks of excitatory regular spiking (RS) pyramidal neurons and inhibitory fast spiking (FS) interneurons. For both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization, effects of synaptic couplings on dynamical responses to external time-periodic stimuli S ( t ) (applied to a fraction of neurons) are investigated by varying the driving amplitude A of S ( t ). Stimulated neurons are phase-locked to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory couplings. On the other hand, the stimulation effect on non-stimulated neurons depends on the type of synaptic coupling. The external stimulus S ( t ) makes a constructive effect on excitatory non-stimulated RS neurons (i.e., it causes external phase lockings in the non-stimulated sub-population), while S ( t ) makes a destructive effect on inhibitory non-stimulated FS interneurons (i.e., it breaks up original inhibitory synchronization in the non-stimulated sub-population). As results of these different effects of S ( t ), the type and degree of dynamical response (e.g., synchronization enhancement or suppression), characterized by the dynamical response factor [Formula: see text] (given by the ratio of synchronization degree in the presence and absence of stimulus), are found to vary in a distinctly different way, depending on the synaptic-coupling type. Furthermore, we also measure the matching degree between the dynamics of the two sub-populations of stimulated and non-stimulated neurons in terms of a "cross-correlation" measure [Formula: see text]. With increasing A , based on [Formula: see text], we discuss the cross-correlations between the two sub-populations, affecting the dynamical responses to S ( t ).

  4. Acute stress-induced cortisol elevations mediate reward system activity during subconscious processing of sexual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Nicole Y L; Both, Stephanie; van Heemst, Diana; van der Grond, Jeroen

    2014-01-01

    Stress is thought to alter motivational processes by increasing dopamine (DA) secretion in the brain's "reward system", and its key region, the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). However, stress studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), mainly found evidence for stress-induced decreases in NAcc responsiveness toward reward cues. Results from both animal and human PET studies indicate that the stress hormone cortisol may be crucial in the interaction between stress and dopaminergic actions. In the present study we therefore investigated whether cortisol mediated the effect of stress on DA-related responses to -subliminal-presentation of reward cues using the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), which is known to reliably enhance cortisol levels. Young healthy males (n = 37) were randomly assigned to the TSST or control condition. After stress induction, brain activation was assessed using fMRI during a backward-masking paradigm in which potentially rewarding (sexual), emotionally negative and neutral stimuli were presented subliminally, masked by pictures of inanimate objects. A region of interest analysis showed that stress decreased activation in the NAcc in response to masked sexual cues (voxel-corrected, pcortisol levels were related to stronger NAcc activation, showing that cortisol acted as a suppressor variable in the negative relation between stress and NAcc activation. The present findings indicate that cortisol is crucially involved in the relation between stress and the responsiveness of the reward system. Although generally stress decreases activation in the NAcc in response to rewarding stimuli, high stress-induced cortisol levels suppress this relation, and are associated with stronger NAcc activation. Individuals with a high cortisol response to stress might on one hand be protected against reductions in reward sensitivity, which has been linked to anhedonia and depression, but they may ultimately be more vulnerable to increased reward

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freijy, Tanya; Mullan, Barbara; Sharpe, Louise

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles for multiple anti-HIV microbicides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giri, Namita; Oh, Byeongtaek; Lee, Chi H., E-mail: leech@umkc.edu [University of Missouri at Kansas City, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences (United States)

    2016-05-15

    This study is aimed to develop and evaluate an advanced intravaginal formulation for the delivery of multiple anti-HIV microbicides. Novel stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles (NPs) which protected the encapsulated drugs from being degraded in acidic pH conditions were made of Eudragit S-100{sup ®} (ES100{sup ®}), a pH-sensitive polymer. ES100{sup ®} NPs were prepared using the quasi-emulsion solvent diffusion technique and loaded with two microbicides namely Tenofovir (TNF) and Etravirine (ETV). The effects of various fabrication parameters on the formulation properties were evaluated for the optimization of ES100{sup ®} NPs. The morphology of the ES100{sup ®} NPs was examined by scanning electron microscopy. The cytotoxicity of NPs containing microbicides individually or in a combination was assessed using cell viability and trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements. The cellular uptake rates of the model microbicides by human vaginal epithelial cells, VK2 E6/E7 cells, were evaluated using confocal microscopy and florescence-assisted cell sorting technique. ES100{sup ®} NPs had a spherical shape, smooth surface, and uniform texture with a little aggregation. The average particle size for NPs loaded with TNF ranged from 125 to 230 nm, whereas those for ETV-loaded NPs ranged from 160 to 280 nm. ES100{sup ®} NPs had zeta potential in the range of −5 to −10 mV. In-vitro release studies displayed the potential benefits of ES100{sup ®} NPs in retaining and protecting the loaded microbicides at vaginal pH (acidic), but immediately releasing them as the pH changes to neutral or 7.4 (physiological pH). Cell viability studies demonstrated that ES100{sup ®} NPs did not exert any cytotoxicity individually or in a combination of both microbicides. TEER measurements confirmed that ES100{sup ®} NPs loaded with TNF and ETV did not cause any changes in the barrier integrity of VK2 E6/E7 cell monolayer. The cellular uptake study revealed that ES100{sup

  7. Stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles for multiple anti-HIV microbicides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giri, Namita; Oh, Byeongtaek; Lee, Chi H.

    2016-01-01

    This study is aimed to develop and evaluate an advanced intravaginal formulation for the delivery of multiple anti-HIV microbicides. Novel stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles (NPs) which protected the encapsulated drugs from being degraded in acidic pH conditions were made of Eudragit S-100"® (ES100"®), a pH-sensitive polymer. ES100"® NPs were prepared using the quasi-emulsion solvent diffusion technique and loaded with two microbicides namely Tenofovir (TNF) and Etravirine (ETV). The effects of various fabrication parameters on the formulation properties were evaluated for the optimization of ES100"® NPs. The morphology of the ES100"® NPs was examined by scanning electron microscopy. The cytotoxicity of NPs containing microbicides individually or in a combination was assessed using cell viability and trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements. The cellular uptake rates of the model microbicides by human vaginal epithelial cells, VK2 E6/E7 cells, were evaluated using confocal microscopy and florescence-assisted cell sorting technique. ES100"® NPs had a spherical shape, smooth surface, and uniform texture with a little aggregation. The average particle size for NPs loaded with TNF ranged from 125 to 230 nm, whereas those for ETV-loaded NPs ranged from 160 to 280 nm. ES100"® NPs had zeta potential in the range of −5 to −10 mV. In-vitro release studies displayed the potential benefits of ES100"® NPs in retaining and protecting the loaded microbicides at vaginal pH (acidic), but immediately releasing them as the pH changes to neutral or 7.4 (physiological pH). Cell viability studies demonstrated that ES100"® NPs did not exert any cytotoxicity individually or in a combination of both microbicides. TEER measurements confirmed that ES100"® NPs loaded with TNF and ETV did not cause any changes in the barrier integrity of VK2 E6/E7 cell monolayer. The cellular uptake study revealed that ES100"® NPs were taken by vaginal epithelial cells through

  8. Enhanced associative memory for colour (but not shape or location) in synaesthesia.

    OpenAIRE

    Pritchard Jamie; Rothen Nicolas; Coolbear Daniel; Ward Jamie

    2013-01-01

    People with grapheme colour synaesthesia have been shown to have enhanced memory on a range of tasks using both stimuli that induce synaesthesia (e.g. words) and more surprisingly stimuli that do not (e.g. certain abstract visual stimuli). This study examines the latter by using multi featured stimuli consisting of shape colour and location conjunctions (e.g. shape A+colour A+location A; shape B+colour B+location B) presented in a recognition memory paradigm. This enables distractor items to ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andoni Mujika

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-09

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

  16. Differential coactivation in a redundant signals task with weak and strong go/no-go stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minakata, Katsumi; Gondan, Matthias

    2018-01-01

    When participants respond to stimuli of two sources, response times (RT) are often faster when both stimuli are presented together relative to the RTs obtained when presented separately (redundant signals effect, RSE). Race models and coactivation models can explain the RSE. In race models......, separate channels process the two stimulus components, and the faster processing time determines the overall RT. In audiovisual experiments, the RSE is often higher than predicted by race models, and coactivation models have been proposed that assume integrated processing of the two stimuli. Where does...

  17. Effects of acoustical stimuli delivered through hearing aids on tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweetow, Robert W; Sabes, Jennifer Henderson

    2010-01-01

    range of preferences observed for fractal settings, with most participants preferring fractals with a slow or medium tempo and restricted dynamic range. The majority (86%) indicated that it was easier to relax while listening to fractal signals. Participants had preferences for certain programs and fractal characteristics. Although seven participants rated the noise-only condition as providing the least tinnitus annoyance, only two opted to have noise only as a program during the field trial, and none selected the noise-only condition as the preferred setting. Furthermore, while all four of the experienced hearing aid users selected noise as producing the least annoying tinnitus in the laboratory, only one selected it for field wear. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire scores were improved over the course of the 6 mo trial, with clinically significant improvements occurring for over half of the participants on at least one of the measures. The results suggest that use of acoustic stimuli, particularly fractal tones, delivered though hearing aids can provide amplification while allowing for relief for some tinnitus sufferers. It is important to recognize, however, that tinnitus management procedures need to be supplemented with appropriate counseling. American Academy of Audiology.

  18. Multisensory integration produces an initial response enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin A Rowland

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The brain has evolved the ability to integrate information across the senses in order to improve the detection and disambiguation of biologically significant events. This multisensory synthesis of information leads to faster (and more accurate behavioral responses, yet the underlying neural mechanisms by which these responses are speeded are as yet unclear. The aim of these experiments was to evaluate the temporal properties of multisensory enhancement in the physiological responses of neuron in the superior colliculus (SC. Of specific interest was the temporal evolution of their responses to individual modality-specific stimuli as well as to cross-modal combinations of these stimuli. The results demonstrate that cross-modal stimuli typically elicit faster, more robust, and more reliable physiological responses than do their modality-specific component stimuli. Response measures sensitive to the time domain showed that these multisensory responses were enhanced from their very onset, and that the acceleration of the enhancement was greatest within the first 40 ms (or 50% of the response. The latter half of the multisensory response was typically only as robust and informative as predicted by a linear combination of the unisensory component responses. These results may reveal some of the key physiological changes underlying many of the SC-mediated behavioral benefits of multisensory integration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  1. 4D bioprinting: the next-generation technology for biofabrication enabled by stimuli-responsive materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Changes in Plasma Copeptin Levels during Hemodialysis : Are the Physiological Stimuli Active in Hemodialysis Patients?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ettema, Esmee M.; Kuipers, Johanna; Assa, Solmaz; Bakker, Stephan J. L.; Groen, Henk; Westerhuis, Ralf; Gaillard, Carlo A. J. M.; Gansevoort, Ron T.; Franssen, Casper F. M.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Plasma levels of copeptin, a surrogate marker for the vasoconstrictor hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP), are increased in hemodialysis patients. Presently, it is unknown what drives copeptin levels in hemodialysis patients. We investigated whether the established physiological stimuli

  5. Suppressed visual looming stimuli are not integrated with auditory looming signals: Evidence from continuous flash suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moors, Pieter; Huygelier, Hanne; Wagemans, Johan; de-Wit, Lee; van Ee, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies using binocular rivalry have shown that signals in a modality other than the visual can bias dominance durations depending on their congruency with the rivaling stimuli. More recently, studies using continuous flash suppression (CFS) have reported that multisensory integration influences how long visual stimuli remain suppressed. In this study, using CFS, we examined whether the contrast thresholds for detecting visual looming stimuli are influenced by a congruent auditory stimulus. In Experiment 1, we show that a looming visual stimulus can result in lower detection thresholds compared to a static concentric grating, but that auditory tone pips congruent with the looming stimulus did not lower suppression thresholds any further. In Experiments 2, 3, and 4, we again observed no advantage for congruent multisensory stimuli. These results add to our understanding of the conditions under which multisensory integration is possible, and suggest that certain forms of multisensory integration are not evident when the visual stimulus is suppressed from awareness using CFS.

  6. Iconic-Memory Processing of Unfamiliar Stimuli by Retarded and Nonretarded Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornstein, Henry A.; Mosley, James L.

    1979-01-01

    The iconic-memory processing of unfamiliar stimuli by 11 mentally retarded males (mean age 22 years) was undertaken employing a visually cued partial-report procedure and a visual masking procedure. (Author/CL)

  7. Affective states leak into movement execution: Automatic avoidance of threatening stimuli in fear of spider is visible in reach trajectories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buetti, S.; Juan, E.; Rinck, M.; Kerzel, D.

    2012-01-01

    Approach-like actions are initiated faster with stimuli of positive valence. Conversely, avoidance-like actions are initiated faster with threatening stimuli of negative valence. We went beyond reaction time measures and investigated whether threatening stimuli also affect the way in which an action

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Molecular dynamics and brownian dynamics investigation of ion permeation and anesthetic halothane effects on a proton-gated ion channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Mary Hongying; Coalson, Rob D; Tang, Pei

    2010-11-24

    Bacterial Gloeobacter violaceus pentameric ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC) is activated to cation permeation upon lowering the solution pH. Its function can be modulated by anesthetic halothane. In the present work, we integrate molecular dynamics (MD) and Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations to elucidate the ion conduction, charge selectivity, and halothane modulation mechanisms in GLIC, based on recently resolved X-ray crystal structures of the open-channel GLIC. MD calculations of the potential of mean force (PMF) for a Na(+) revealed two energy barriers in the extracellular domain (R109 and K38) and at the hydrophobic gate of transmembrane domain (I233), respectively. An energy well for Na(+) was near the intracellular entrance: the depth of this energy well was modulated strongly by the protonation state of E222. The energy barrier for Cl(-) was found to be 3-4 times higher than that for Na(+). Ion permeation characteristics were determined through BD simulations using a hybrid MD/continuum electrostatics approach to evaluate the energy profiles governing the ion movement. The resultant channel conductance and a near-zero permeability ratio (P(Cl)/P(Na)) were comparable to experimental data. On the basis of these calculations, we suggest that a ring of five E222 residues may act as an electrostatic gate. In addition, the hydrophobic gate region may play a role in charge selectivity due to a higher dehydration energy barrier for Cl(-) ions. The effect of halothane on the Na(+) PMF was also evaluated. Halothane was found to perturb salt bridges in GLIC that may be crucial for channel gating and open-channel stability, but had no significant impact on the single ion PMF profiles.

  10. Exterior Site Occupancy Infers Chloride-Induced Proton Gating in a Prokaryotic Homolog of the ClC Chloride Channel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostick, David L.; Berkowitz, Max L.

    2004-01-01

    The ClC family of anion channels mediates the efficient, selective permeation of Cl− across the biological membranes of living cells under the driving force of an electrochemical gradient. In some eukaryotes, these channels are known to exhibit a unique gating mechanism, which appears to be triggered by the permeant Cl− anion. We infer details of this gating mechanism by studying the free energetics of Cl− occupancy in the pore of a prokaryotic ClC homolog. These free energetics were gleaned from 30 ns of molecular dynamics simulation on an ∼133,000-atom system consisting of a hydrated membrane embedded StClC transporter. The binding sites for Cl− in the transporter were determined for the cases where the putative gating residue, Glu148, was protonated and unprotonated. When the glutamate gate is protonated, Cl− favorably occupies an exterior site, Sext, to form a queue of anions in the pore. However, when the glutamate gate is unprotonated, Cl− cannot occupy this site nor, consequently, pass through the pore. An additional, previously undetected, site was found in the pore near the outer membrane that exists regardless of the protonation state of Glu148. Although this suggests that, for the prokaryotic homolog, protonation of Glu148 may be the first step in transporting Cl− at the expense of H+ transport in the opposite direction, an evolutionary argument might suggest that Cl− opens the ClC gate in eukaryotic channels by inducing the conserved glutamate's protonation. During an additional 20 ns free dynamics simulation, the newly discovered outermost site, Sout, and the innermost site, Sint, were seen to allow spontaneous exchange of Cl− ions with the bulk electrolyte while under depolarization conditions. PMID:15345547

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Statistical modeling of the response characteristics of mechanosensitive stimuli in the human esophagus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drewes, A.M.; Reddy, H.; Staahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    by using a statistical model based on correlation analysis. The esophagus was distended with a bag in 32 healthy subjects by using an inflation rate of 25 mL/min. The luminal cross-sectional areas and sensory ratings were determined during the distentions. The stimuli were repeated after relaxation...... of mechanical gut stimuli in human beings. This might increase our understanding of visceral pain in health and disease and guide the statistical analysis of experimental data obtained in the gastrointestinal tract....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  14. The influence of response competition on cerebral asymmetries for processing hierarchical stimuli revealed by ERP recordings

    OpenAIRE

    Malinowski, Peter; Hübner, Ronald; Keil, Andreas; Gruber, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the left and right hemispheres differ with respect to the processing of global and local aspects of visual stimuli. Recently, behavioural experiments have shown that this processing asymmetry strongly depends on the response competition between the global and local levels of a stimulus. Here we report electrophysiological data that underline this observation. Hemispheric differences for global/local processing were mainly observed for responseincompatible stimuli an...

  15. Emotion and Attention Interaction: a trade-off between stimuli relevance, motivation and individual differences

    OpenAIRE

    Leticia eOliveira; Izabela eMocaiber; Isabel A David; Fatima eErthal; Eliane eVolchan; Mirtes ePereira

    2013-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that the neural processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized. However, whether the processing of emotional stimuli is dependent on attention remains debatable. Several studies have investigated this issue by testing the capacity of emotional distracters to divert processing resources from an attentional main task. The attentional load theory postulates that the perceptual load of the main task determines the selective processing of the distracter. Although we agre...

  16. Morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide at air–water interface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shin, Sungchul; Ahn, Sungmin; Cheng, Jie; Chang, Hyejin; Jung, Dae-Hong; Hyun, Jinho

    2016-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • It is the first report on the interfacial properties of ELP monolayers formed at the air–water interface. • ELP monolayers could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. • The compressive behavior of thermo-sensitive ELP monolayers was imaged. • The SERS spectra showed a change in the ELP secondary structure at different preparation conditions. - Abstract: The morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide molecules at the air–water interface as a function of temperature and compression was described. The surface pressure–area (π–A) isotherms of an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) monolayer were obtained under variable external conditions, and Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) monolayers were deposited onto a mica substrate for characterization. As the compression of the ELP monolayer increased, the surface pressure increased gradually, indicating that the ELP monolayer could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. The temperature in the subphase of the ELP monolayer was critical in the preparation of LB monolayers. The change in temperature induced a shift in the π–A isotherms as well as a change in ELP secondary structures. Surprisingly, the compression of the ELP monolayer influenced the ELP secondary structure due to the reduction in the phase transition temperature with decreasing temperature. The change in the ELP secondary structure formed at the air–water interface was investigated by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Moreover, the morphology of the ELP monolayer was subsequently imaged using atomic force microscopy. The temperature responsive behavior resulted in changes in surface morphology from relatively flat structures to rugged labyrinth structures, which suggested conformational changes in the ELP monolayers.

  17. Morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide at air–water interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, Sungchul; Ahn, Sungmin; Cheng, Jie [Department of Biosystems and Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Chang, Hyejin; Jung, Dae-Hong [Department of Chemical Education, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-741 (Korea, Republic of); Hyun, Jinho, E-mail: jhyun@snu.ac.kr [Department of Biosystems and Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Center for Food and Bioconvergence, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Republic of Korea. (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-12-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • It is the first report on the interfacial properties of ELP monolayers formed at the air–water interface. • ELP monolayers could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. • The compressive behavior of thermo-sensitive ELP monolayers was imaged. • The SERS spectra showed a change in the ELP secondary structure at different preparation conditions. - Abstract: The morphological variation of stimuli-responsive polypeptide molecules at the air–water interface as a function of temperature and compression was described. The surface pressure–area (π–A) isotherms of an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) monolayer were obtained under variable external conditions, and Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) monolayers were deposited onto a mica substrate for characterization. As the compression of the ELP monolayer increased, the surface pressure increased gradually, indicating that the ELP monolayer could be prepared with high stability at the air–water interface. The temperature in the subphase of the ELP monolayer was critical in the preparation of LB monolayers. The change in temperature induced a shift in the π–A isotherms as well as a change in ELP secondary structures. Surprisingly, the compression of the ELP monolayer influenced the ELP secondary structure due to the reduction in the phase transition temperature with decreasing temperature. The change in the ELP secondary structure formed at the air–water interface was investigated by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Moreover, the morphology of the ELP monolayer was subsequently imaged using atomic force microscopy. The temperature responsive behavior resulted in changes in surface morphology from relatively flat structures to rugged labyrinth structures, which suggested conformational changes in the ELP monolayers.

  18. Reduced DICER1 Expression Bestows Rheumatoid Arthritis Synoviocytes Proinflammatory Properties and Resistance to Apoptotic Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsaleh, Ghada; Nehmar, Ramzi; Blüml, Stephan; Schleiss, Cédric; Ostermann, Eleonore; Dillenseger, Jean-Philippe; Sayeh, Amira; Choquet, Philippe; Dembele, Doulaye; Francois, Antoine; Salmon, Jean-Hugues; Paul, Nicodème; Schabbauer, Gernot; Bierry, Guillaume; Meyer, Alain; Gottenberg, Jacques-Eric; Haas, Gabrielle; Pfeffer, Sebastien; Vallat, Laurent; Sibilia, Jean; Bahram, Seiamak; Georgel, Philippe

    2016-08-01

    While the regulatory role of individual microRNAs (miRNAs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is well established, the role of DICER1 in the pathogenesis of the disease has not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to analyze the expression of factors involved in miRNA biogenesis in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from RA patients and to monitor the arthritis triggered by K/BxN serum transfer in mice deficient in the Dicer gene (Dicer(d/d) ). The expression of genes and precursor miRNAs was quantified by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). MicroRNA macroarray profiling was monitored by qRT-PCR. Cytokines were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Experimental arthritis in mice was achieved by the transfer of serum from K/BxN donors. Apoptosis was quantified using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We found decreased DICER1 and mature miRNA expression in synovial fibroblasts from RA patients. These cells were hyperresponsive to lipopolysaccharide, as evidenced by their increased interleukin-6 secretion upon stimulation. Experimental serum-transfer arthritis in Dicer(d/d) mice confirmed that an unbalanced biogenesis of miRNAs correlated with an enhanced inflammatory response. Synoviocytes from both RA patients and Dicer(d/d) mice exhibited increased resistance to apoptotic stimuli. The findings of this study further substantiate the important role of DICER1 in the maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of inflammatory responses. © 2016, American College of Rheumatology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Vicario-de-la-Torre

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  5. Non-target adjacent stimuli classification improves performance of classical ERP-based brain computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, G. A.; Hernández, L. F.

    2015-04-01

    Objective. The classical ERP-based speller, or P300 Speller, is one of the most commonly used paradigms in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). Several alterations to the visual stimuli presentation system have been developed to avoid unfavorable effects elicited by adjacent stimuli. However, there has been little, if any, regard to useful information contained in responses to adjacent stimuli about spatial location of target symbols. This paper aims to demonstrate that combining the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli with standard classification (target versus non-target) significantly improves classical ERP-based speller efficiency. Approach. Four SWLDA classifiers were trained and combined with the standard classifier: the lower row, upper row, right column and left column classifiers. This new feature extraction procedure and the classification method were carried out on three open databases: the UAM P300 database (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico), BCI competition II (dataset IIb) and BCI competition III (dataset II). Main results. The inclusion of the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli improves target classification in the classical row/column paradigm. A gain in mean single trial classification of 9.6% and an overall improvement of 25% in simulated spelling speed was achieved. Significance. We have provided further evidence that the ERPs produced by adjacent stimuli present discriminable features, which could provide additional information about the spatial location of intended symbols. This work promotes the searching of information on the peripheral stimulation responses to improve the performance of emerging visual ERP-based spellers.

  6. Gene expression analysis in response to osmotic stimuli in the intervertebral disc with DNA microarray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenzhi; Li, Xu; Shang, Xifu; Zhao, Qichun; Hu, Yefeng; Xu, Xiang; He, Rui; Duan, Liqun; Zhang, Feng

    2013-12-27

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) cells experience a broad range of physicochemical stimuli under physiologic conditions, including alterations in their osmotic environment. At present, the molecular mechanisms underlying osmotic regulation in IVD cells are poorly understood. This study aims to screen genes affected by changes in osmotic pressure in cells of subjects aged 29 to 63 years old, with top-scoring pair (TSP) method. Gene expression data set GSE1648 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including four hyper-osmotic stimuli samples, four iso-osmotic stimuli samples, and three hypo-osmotic stimuli samples. A novel, simple method, referred to as the TSP, was used in this study. Through this method, there was no need to perform data normalization and transformation before data analysis. A total of five pairs of genes ((CYP2A6, FNTB), (PRPF8, TARDBP), (RPS5, OAZ1), (SLC25A3, NPM1) and (CBX3, SRSF9)) were selected based on the TSP method. We inferred that all these genes might play important roles in response to osmotic stimuli and age in IVD cells. Additionally, hyper-osmotic and iso-osmotic stimuli conditions were adverse factors for IVD cells. We anticipate that our results will provide new thoughts and methods for the study of IVD disease.

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

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    Ng, Rowena; Bellugi, Ursula; Järvinen, Anna

    2016-12-01

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

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

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    Laura eLorenzo-López

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Cultures differ in the ability to enhance affective neural responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varnum, Michael E W; Hampton, Ryan S

    2017-10-01

    The present study (N = 55) used an event-related potential paradigm to investigate whether cultures differ in the ability to upregulate affective responses. Using stimuli selected from the International Affective Picture System, we found that European-Americans (N = 29) enhanced central-parietal late positive potential (LPP) (400-800 ms post-stimulus) responses to affective stimuli when instructed to do so, whereas East Asians (N = 26) did not. We observed cultural differences in the ability to enhance central-parietal LPP responses for both positively and negativelyvalenced stimuli, and the ability to enhance these two types of responses was positively correlated for Americans but negatively for East Asians. These results are consistent with the notion that cultural variations in norms and values regarding affective expression and experiences shape how the brain regulates emotions.

  13. Response Function of the Crayfish Caudal Photoreceptor to Hydrodynamic Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breite, Sally; Bahar, Sonya; Neiman, Alexander; Moss, Frank

    2002-03-01

    In its abdominal 6th ganglion the crayfish houses 2 light-sensitive neurons (caudal photoreceptors, or CPRs). It is known that these neurons work in tandem with a mechanosensory system of tiny hairs spread across the tailfan, which make synaptic contact with the photoreceptors. A stochastic resonance effect has been shown in this system in which light enhances the transduction of a weak, periodic mechanosensory (hydrodynamic) stimulus. It is not known, however, whether an optimal response from the CPR is induced by a single sine wave cycle or some other waveform. We have experimentally investigated this favorable waveform by driving a tailfan preparation with mechanical 10 Hz correlated Ornstein-Uhlenbeck noise and calculating the response function from the spike-triggered average of the applied noise waveform. We will discuss differences in the shape of the optimal waveform under dark and light conditions, as well as what seems to be a noticeable difference in the magnitude of the animals' response to a noisy stimulus in comparison with a periodic stimulus.

  14. Rhythmic Haptic Stimuli Improve Short-Term Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shusheng; Wang, Dangxiao; Afzal, Naqash; Zhang, Yuru; Wu, Ruilin

    2016-01-01

    Brainwave entrainment using rhythmic visual and/or auditory stimulation has shown its efficacy in modulating neural activities and cognitive ability. In the presented study, we aim to investigate whether rhythmic haptic stimulation could enhance short-term attention. An experiment with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) increasing protocol was performed in which participants were presented sinusoidal vibrotactile stimulus of 15 Hz on their palm. Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.) was performed before and after the stimulating session. Electroencephalograph (EEG) was recorded across the stimulating session and the two attention test sessions. SMR band power manifested a significant increase after stimulation. Results of T.O.V.A. tests indicated an improvement in the attention of participants who had received the stimulation compared to the control group who had not received the stimulation. The D prime score of T.O.V.A. reveals that participants performed better in perceptual sensitivity and sustaining attention level compared to their baseline performance before the stimulating session. These findings highlight the potential value of using haptics-based brainwave entrainment for cognitive training.

  15. Possible stimuli for strength and power adaptation : acute metabolic responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crewther, Blair; Cronin, John; Keogh, Justin

    2006-01-01

    The metabolic response to resistance exercise, in particular lactic acid or lactate, has a marked influence upon the muscular environment, which may enhance the training stimulus (e.g. motor unit activation, hormones or muscle damage) and thereby contribute to strength and power adaptation. Hypertrophy schemes have resulted in greater lactate responses (%) than neuronal and dynamic power schemes, suggesting possible metabolic-mediated changes in muscle growth. Factors such as age, sex, training experience and nutrition may also influence the lactate responses to resistance exercise and thereafter, muscular adaptation. Although the importance of the mechanical and hormonal stimulus to strength and power adaptation is well recognised, the contribution of the metabolic stimulus is largely unknown. Relatively few studies for example, have examined metabolic change across neuronal and dynamic power schemes, and not withstanding the fact that those mechanisms underpinning muscular adaptation, in relation to the metabolic stimulus, remain highly speculative. Inconsistent findings and methodological limitations within research (e.g. programme design, sampling period, number of samples) make interpretation further difficult. We contend that strength and power research needs to investigate those metabolic mechanisms likely to contribute to weight-training adaptation. Further research is also needed to examine the metabolic responses to different loading schemes, as well as interactions across age, sex and training status, so our understanding of how to optimise strength and power development is improved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  17. The power of auditory-motor synchronization in sports: Enhancing running performance by coupling cadence with the right beats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bood, R.J.; Nijssen, M; van der Kamp, J.; Roerdink, M.

    2013-01-01

    Acoustic stimuli, like music and metronomes, are often used in sports. Adjusting movement tempo to acoustic stimuli (i.e., auditory-motor synchronization) may be beneficial for sports performance. However, music also possesses motivational qualities that may further enhance performance. Our

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lun; Wei, Jin-he

    2003-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, N. J.; Schölkopf, B.

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michida, Nanae; Hayashi, Mitsuo; Hori, Tadao

    2005-07-01

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

  1. Investigating the Predictive Value of Functional MRI to Appetitive and Aversive Stimuli: A Pattern Classification Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciara McCabe

    Full Text Available Dysfunctional neural responses to appetitive and aversive stimuli have been investigated as possible biomarkers for psychiatric disorders. However it is not clear to what degree these are separate processes across the brain or in fact overlapping systems. To help clarify this issue we used Gaussian process classifier (GPC analysis to examine appetitive and aversive processing in the brain.25 healthy controls underwent functional MRI whilst seeing pictures and receiving tastes of pleasant and unpleasant food. We applied GPCs to discriminate between the appetitive and aversive sights and tastes using functional activity patterns.The diagnostic accuracy of the GPC for the accuracy to discriminate appetitive taste from neutral condition was 86.5% (specificity = 81%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001. If a participant experienced neutral taste stimuli the probability of correct classification was 92. The accuracy to discriminate aversive from neutral taste stimuli was 82.5% (specificity = 73%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001 and appetitive from aversive taste stimuli was 73% (specificity = 77%, sensitivity = 69%, p = 0.001. In the sight modality, the accuracy to discriminate appetitive from neutral condition was 88.5% (specificity = 85%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001, to discriminate aversive from neutral sight stimuli was 92% (specificity = 92%, sensitivity = 92%, p = 0.001, and to discriminate aversive from appetitive sight stimuli was 63.5% (specificity = 73%, sensitivity = 54%, p = 0.009.Our results demonstrate the predictive value of neurofunctional data in discriminating emotional and neutral networks of activity in the healthy human brain. It would be of interest to use pattern recognition techniques and fMRI to examine network dysfunction in the processing of appetitive, aversive and neutral stimuli in psychiatric disorders. Especially where problems with reward and punishment processing have been implicated in the pathophysiology of the disorder.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate A. Woodcock

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Sanz Simon

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Implicit and Explicit Associations with Erotic Stimuli in Women with and Without Sexual Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lankveld, Jacques J D M; Bandell, Myrthe; Bastin-Hurek, Eva; van Beurden, Myra; Araz, Suzan

    2018-02-20

    Conceptual models of sexual functioning have suggested a major role for implicit cognitive processing in sexual functioning. The present study aimed to investigate implicit and explicit cognition in sexual functioning in women. Gynecological patients with (N = 38) and without self-reported sexual problems (N = 41) were compared. Participants performed two Single-Target Implicit Association Tests (ST-IAT), measuring the implicit association of visual erotic stimuli with attributes representing, respectively, valence and motivation. Participants also rated the erotic pictures that were shown in the ST-IATs on the dimensions of valence, attractiveness, and sexual excitement, to assess their explicit associations with these erotic stimuli. Participants completed the Female Sexual Functioning Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale for continuous measures of sexual functioning, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale to assess depressive symptoms. Compared to nonsymptomatic women, women with sexual problems were found to show more negative implicit associations of erotic stimuli with wanting (implicit sexual motivation). Across both groups, stronger implicit associations of erotic stimuli with wanting predicted higher level of sexual functioning. More positive explicit ratings of erotic stimuli predicted lower level of sexual distress across both groups.

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

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    Vincenzo eRomei

    2011-09-01

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

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

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

    2006-12-01

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

  9. Bio-inspired fabrication of stimuli-responsive photonic crystals with hierarchical structures and their applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Tao; Peng, Wenhong; Zhu, Shenmin; Zhang, Di

    2016-01-01

    When the constitutive materials of photonic crystals (PCs) are stimuli-responsive, the resultant PCs exhibit optical properties that can be tuned by the stimuli. This can be exploited for promising applications in colour displays, biological and chemical sensors, inks and paints, and many optically active components. However, the preparation of the required photonic structures is the first issue to be solved. In the past two decades, approaches such as microfabrication and self-assembly have been developed to incorporate stimuli-responsive materials into existing periodic structures for the fabrication of PCs, either as the initial building blocks or as the surrounding matrix. Generally, the materials that respond to thermal, pH, chemical, optical, electrical, or magnetic stimuli are either soft or aggregate, which is why the manufacture of three-dimensional hierarchical photonic structures with responsive properties is a great challenge. Recently, inspired by biological PCs in nature which exhibit both flexible and responsive properties, researchers have developed various methods to synthesize metals and metal oxides with hierarchical structures by using a biological PC as the template. This review will focus on the recent developments in this field. In particular, PCs with biological hierarchical structures that can be tuned by external stimuli have recently been successfully fabricated. These findings offer innovative insights into the design of responsive PCs and should be of great importance for future applications of these materials. (topical review)

  10. The componential processing of fractions in adults and children: effects of stimuli variability and contextual interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Fang, Qiaochu; Gabriel, Florence C; Szücs, Dénes

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that people have a strong tendency to compare fractions based on constituent numerators or denominators. This is called componential processing. This study explored whether componential processing was preferred in tasks involving high stimuli variability and high contextual interference, when fractions could be compared based either on the holistic values of fractions or on their denominators. Here, stimuli variability referred to the fact that fractions were not monotonous but diversiform. Contextual interference referred to the fact that the processing of fractions was interfered by other stimuli. To our ends, three tasks were used. In Task 1, participants compared a standard fraction 1/5 to unit fractions. This task was used as a low stimuli variability and low contextual interference task. In Task 2 stimuli variability was increased by mixing unit and non-unit fractions. In Task 3, high contextual interference was created by incorporating decimals into fractions. The RT results showed that the processing patterns of fractions were very similar for adults and children. In task 1 and task 3, only componential processing was utilzied. In contrast, both holistic processing and componential processing were utilized in task 2. These results suggest that, if individuals are presented with the opportunity to perform componential processing, both adults and children will tend to do so, even if they are faced with high variability of fractions or high contextual interference.

  11. Artificial Cochlear Sensory Epithelium with Functions of Outer Hair Cells Mimicked Using Feedback Electrical Stimuli

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    Tetsuro Tsuji

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available We report a novel vibration control technique of an artificial auditory cochlear epithelium that mimics the function of outer hair cells in the organ of Corti. The proposed piezoelectric and trapezoidal membrane not only has the acoustic/electric conversion and frequency selectivity of the previous device developed mainly by one of the authors and colleagues, but also has a function to control local vibration according to sound stimuli. Vibration control is achieved by applying local electrical stimuli to patterned electrodes on an epithelium made using micro-electro-mechanical system technology. By choosing appropriate phase differences between sound and electrical stimuli, it is shown that it is possible to both amplify and dampen membrane vibration, realizing better control of the response of the artificial cochlea. To be more specific, amplification and damping are achieved when the phase difference between the membrane vibration by sound stimuli and electrical stimuli is zero and π , respectively. We also demonstrate that the developed control system responds automatically to a change in sound frequency. The proposed technique can be applied to mimic the nonlinear response of the outer hair cells in a cochlea, and to realize a high-quality human auditory system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne E. Ferrey

    2012-12-01

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

  1. Depersonalization disorder: disconnection of cognitive evaluation from autonomic responses to emotional stimuli.

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    Matthias Michal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Patients with depersonalization disorder (DPD typically complain about emotional detachment. Previous studies found reduced autonomic responsiveness to emotional stimuli for DPD patients as compared to patients with anxiety disorders. We aimed to investigate autonomic responsiveness to emotional auditory stimuli of DPD patients as compared to patient controls. Furthermore, we examined the modulatory effect of mindful breathing on these responses as well as on depersonalization intensity. METHODS: 22 DPD patients and 15 patient controls balanced for severity of depression and anxiety, age, sex and education, were compared regarding 1 electrodermal and heart rate data during a resting period, and 2 autonomic responses and cognitive appraisal of standardized acoustic affective stimuli in two conditions (normal listening and mindful breathing. RESULTS: DPD patients rated the emotional sounds as significantly more neutral as compared to patient controls and standardized norm ratings. At the same time, however, they responded more strongly to acoustic emotional stimuli and their electrodermal response pattern was more modulated by valence and arousal as compared to patient controls. Mindful breathing reduced severity of depersonalization in DPD patients and increased the arousal modulation of electrodermal responses in the whole sample. Finally, DPD patients showed an increased electrodermal lability in the rest period as compared to patient controls. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrated that the cognitive evaluation of emotional sounds in DPD patients is disconnected from their autonomic responses to those emotional stimuli. The increased electrodermal lability in DPD may reflect increased introversion and cognitive control of emotional impulses. The findings have important psychotherapeutic implications.

  2. The effects of dissociation on information processing for analogue trauma and neutral stimuli: a laboratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Shira A; Beck, J Gayle

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of high and low levels of dissociation on information processing for analogue trauma and neutral stimuli. Fifty-four undergraduate females who reported high and low levels of trait dissociation were presented with two films, one depicting traumatic events, the other containing neutral material. Participants completed a divided attention task (yielding a proxy measure of attention), as well as explicit memory (free-recall) and implicit memory (word-stem completion) tasks for both films. Results indicated that the high DES group showed less attention and had poorer recall for the analogue trauma stimuli, relative to the neutral stimuli and the low DES group. These findings suggest that high levels of trait dissociation are associated with reductions in attention and memory for analogue trauma stimuli, relative to neutral stimuli and relative to low trait dissociation. Implications for the role of cognitive factors in the etiology of negative post-trauma responses are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Tsuneto; Tawara, Akihiko; Miyake, Nobuyuki

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel de Zilva

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhbandner, Christof; Spitzer, Bernhard; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2011-05-01

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

  6. Relating Attentional Biases for Stimuli Associated with Social Reward and Punishment to Autistic Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian A. Anderson

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for impaired attention to social stimuli in autism has been mixed. The role of social feedback in shaping attention to other, non-social stimuli that are predictive of such feedback has not been examined in the context of autism. In the present study, participants searched for a color-defined target during a training phase, with the color of the target predicting the emotional reaction of a face that appeared after each trial. Then, participants performed visual search for a shape-defined target while trying to ignore the color of stimuli. On a subset of trials, one of the non-targets was rendered in the color of a former target from training. Autistic traits were measured for each participant using the Autism Quotient (AQ. Our findings replicate robust attentional capture by stimuli learned to predict valenced social feedback. There was no evidence that autistic traits are associated with blunted attention to predictors of social outcomes. Consistent with an emerging body of literature, our findings cast doubt on strong versions of the claim that autistic traits can be explained by a blunted influence of social information on the attention system. We extend these findings to non-social stimuli that predict socially relevant information.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, Alek

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pascucci

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Nicole; Cahill, Larry

    2015-09-01

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

  14. The subliminal mere exposure effect does not generalize to structurally related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newell, Ben R; Bright, James E H

    2003-03-01

    R.F. Bornstein (1994) questioned whether subliminal mere exposure effects might generalize to structurally related stimuli, thereby providing evidence for the existence of implicit learning. Two experiments examined this claim using letter string stimuli constructed according to the rules of an artificial grammar. Experiment 1 demonstrated that brief, masked exposure to grammatical strings impaired recognition but failed to produce a mere exposure effect on novel structurally related strings seen at test. Experiment 2 replicated this result but also demonstrated that a reliable mere exposure effect could be obtained, provided the same grammatical strings were presented at test. The results suggest that the structural relationship between training and test items prevents the mere exposure effect when participants are unaware of the exposure status of stimuli, and therefore provide no evidence for the existence of implicit learning.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanna Ren

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Enhanced attention amplifies face adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Evangelista, Emma; Ewing, Louise; Peters, Marianne; Taylor, Libby

    2011-08-15

    Perceptual adaptation not only produces striking perceptual aftereffects, but also enhances coding efficiency and discrimination by calibrating coding mechanisms to prevailing inputs. Attention to simple stimuli increases adaptation, potentially enhancing its functional benefits. Here we show that attention also increases adaptation to faces. In Experiment 1, face identity aftereffects increased when attention to adapting faces was increased using a change detection task. In Experiment 2, figural (distortion) face aftereffects increased when attention was increased using a snap game (detecting immediate repeats) during adaptation. Both were large effects. Contributions of low-level adaptation were reduced using free viewing (both experiments) and a size change between adapt and test faces (Experiment 2). We suggest that attention may enhance adaptation throughout the entire cortical visual pathway, with functional benefits well beyond the immediate advantages of selective processing of potentially important stimuli. These results highlight the potential to facilitate adaptive updating of face-coding mechanisms by strategic deployment of attentional resources. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Novelty enhances visual perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Schomaker

    Full Text Available The effects of novelty on low-level visual perception were investigated in two experiments using a two-alternative forced-choice tilt detection task. A target, consisting of a Gabor patch, was preceded by a cue that was either a novel or a familiar fractal image. Participants had to indicate whether the Gabor stimulus was vertically oriented or slightly tilted. In the first experiment tilt angle was manipulated; in the second contrast of the Gabor patch was varied. In the first, we found that sensitivity was enhanced after a novel compared to a familiar cue, and in the second we found sensitivity to be enhanced for novel cues in later experimental blocks when participants became more and more familiarized with the familiar cue. These effects were not caused by a shift in the response criterion. This shows for the first time that novel stimuli affect low-level characteristics of perception. We suggest that novelty can elicit a transient attentional response, thereby enhancing perception.

  18. Novelty enhances visual perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, Judith; Meeter, Martijn

    2012-01-01

    The effects of novelty on low-level visual perception were investigated in two experiments using a two-alternative forced-choice tilt detection task. A target, consisting of a Gabor patch, was preceded by a cue that was either a novel or a familiar fractal image. Participants had to indicate whether the Gabor stimulus was vertically oriented or slightly tilted. In the first experiment tilt angle was manipulated; in the second contrast of the Gabor patch was varied. In the first, we found that sensitivity was enhanced after a novel compared to a familiar cue, and in the second we found sensitivity to be enhanced for novel cues in later experimental blocks when participants became more and more familiarized with the familiar cue. These effects were not caused by a shift in the response criterion. This shows for the first time that novel stimuli affect low-level characteristics of perception. We suggest that novelty can elicit a transient attentional response, thereby enhancing perception.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. A SSVEP Stimuli Encoding Method Using Trinary Frequency-Shift Keying Encoded SSVEP (TFSK-SSVEP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing Zhao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available SSVEP is a kind of BCI technology with advantage of high information transfer rate. However, due to its nature, frequencies could be used as stimuli are scarce. To solve such problem, a stimuli encoding method which encodes SSVEP signal using Frequency Shift–Keying (FSK method is developed. In this method, each stimulus is controlled by a FSK signal which contains three different frequencies that represent “Bit 0,” “Bit 1” and “Bit 2” respectively. Different to common BFSK in digital communication, “Bit 0” and “Bit 1” composited the unique identifier of stimuli in binary bit stream form, while “Bit 2” indicates the ending of a stimuli encoding. EEG signal is acquired on channel Oz, O1, O2, Pz, P3, and P4, using ADS1299 at the sample rate of 250 SPS. Before original EEG signal is quadrature demodulated, it is detrended and then band-pass filtered using FFT-based FIR filtering to remove interference. Valid peak of the processed signal is acquired by calculating its derivative and converted into bit stream using window method. Theoretically, this coding method could implement at least 2n−1 (n is the length of bit command stimulus while keeping the ITR the same. This method is suitable to implement stimuli on a monitor and where the frequency and phase could be used to code stimuli is limited as well as implementing portable BCI devices which is not capable of performing complex calculations.

  1. Automatic affective appraisal of sexual penetration stimuli in women with vaginismus or dyspareunia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huijding, Jorg; Borg, Charmaine; Weijmar-Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J

    2011-03-01

    Current psychological views are that negative appraisals of sexual stimuli lie at the core of sexual dysfunctions. It is important to differentiate between deliberate appraisals and more automatic appraisals, as research has shown that the former are most relevant to controllable behaviors, and the latter are most relevant to reflexive behaviors. Accordingly, it can be hypothesized that in women with vaginismus, the persistent difficulty to allow vaginal entry is due to global negative automatic affective appraisals that trigger reflexive pelvic floor muscle contraction at the prospect of penetration. To test whether sexual penetration pictures elicited global negative automatic affective appraisals in women with vaginismus or dyspareunia and to examine whether deliberate appraisals and automatic appraisals differed between the two patient groups. Women with persistent vaginismus (N = 24), dyspareunia (N = 23), or no sexual complaints (N = 30) completed a pictorial Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST), and then made a global affective assessment of the EAST stimuli using visual analogue scales (VAS). The EAST assessed global automatic affective appraisals of sexual penetration stimuli, while the VAS assessed global deliberate affective appraisals of these stimuli. Automatic affective appraisals of sexual penetration stimuli tended to be positive, independent of the presence of sexual complaints. Deliberate appraisals of the same stimuli were significantly more negative in the women with vaginismus than in the dyspareunia group and control group, while the latter two groups did not differ in their appraisals. Unexpectedly, deliberate appraisals seemed to be most important in vaginismus, whereas dyspareunia did not seem to implicate negative deliberate or automatic affective appraisals. These findings dispute the view that global automatic affect lies at the core of vaginismus and indicate that a useful element in therapeutic interventions may be the modification of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich S Tusch

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

  3. Gustatory stimuli representing different perceptual qualities elicit distinct patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geraedts, Maartje C P; Munger, Steven D

    2013-04-24

    Taste stimuli that evoke different perceptual qualities (e.g., sweet, umami, bitter, sour, salty) are detected by dedicated subpopulations of taste bud cells that use distinct combinations of sensory receptors and transduction molecules. Here, we report that taste stimuli also elicit unique patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds that are correlated with those perceptual qualities. We measured tastant-dependent secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucagon, and neuropeptide Y (NPY) from circumvallate papillae of Tas1r3(+/+), Tas1r3(+/-) and Tas1r3 (-/-) mice. Isolated tongue epithelia were mounted in modified Ussing chambers, permitting apical stimulation of taste buds; secreted peptides were collected from the basal side and measured by specific ELISAs. Appetitive stimuli (sweet: glucose, sucralose; umami: monosodium glutamate; polysaccharide: Polycose) elicited GLP-1 and NPY secretion and inhibited basal glucagon secretion. Sweet and umami stimuli were ineffective in Tas1r3(-/-) mice, indicating an obligatory role for the T1R3 subunit common to the sweet and umami taste receptors. Polycose responses were unaffected by T1R3 deletion, consistent with the presence of a distinct polysaccharide taste receptor. The effects of sweet stimuli on peptide secretion also required the closing of ATP-sensitive K(+) (KATP) channels, as the KATP channel activator diazoxide inhibited the effects of glucose and sucralose on both GLP-1 and glucagon release. Both sour citric acid and salty NaCl increased NPY secretion but had no effects on GLP-1 or glucagon. Bitter denatonium showed no effects on these peptides. Together, these results suggest that taste stimuli of different perceptual qualities elicit unique patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds.

  4. Reuse of ideas and concepts for creative stimuli in engineering design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Howard, Thomas J.; Culley, Steve J.; Dekoninck, Elies A.

    2011-01-01

    Creative idea generation is essential to novel concept development and ultimately innovation. The following paper describes an extensive industry-based study investigating the use of creative stimuli during a brainstorming session at the conceptual stages of design.A new approach to retrieving...... real, industrially-based experiment regarding brainstorming. The results and observations suggest that having a guided approach to sourcing creative stimuli is very beneficial. The use of the TRIZ contradiction matrix and inventive principles is also shown to be a good example of a guided approach...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Shepherd

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. The psychosocial implications in young exposure to aggressive verbal stimuli evidenced by the polygraph

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudiu PAPASTERI

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the study is to reveal the influence of aggressive words in physiological reactivity at polygraph.The method: the participants were 48 students at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, aged between 18 and 25 years (m=21.6, S.D.=1.8. Instruments: polygraph Lafayette LX 4000 Series; audio stimuli.Results: The aggressive words had a strong impact in both galvanic skin response and hart rate recorded by polygraph.Conclusion: The young exposed to aggressive stimuli register for a short period of time a high sensorial reactivity and after, suffer a radical desensitization.

  8. Judgment and memory performance for emotional stimuli in patients with alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labudda, Kirsten; Todorovski, Saso; Markowitsch, Hans J; Brand, Matthias

    2008-02-01

    In this study we investigated whether alcoholic Korsakoff patients are impaired in categorizing neutral and emotional stimuli according to their valence and whether memory performance for this material is reduced. In a group of Korsakoff patients and a comparison group two experimental tasks--one containing emotional and neutral pictures and the other containing words-were administered. Results showed that patients had difficulties in affective judgments due to problems in classifying neutral stimuli. Memory for emotional and neutral material was impaired to a similar degree. Thus, the facilitating effect of emotional valence on memory performance is absent in Korsakoff patients.

  9. A stimuli-responsive smart lanthanide nanocomposite for multidimensional optical recording and encryption

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Xiang; Xie, Yujie; Zhang, Hao-Li; Chen, Hao; Cai, Huijuan; Liu, Weisheng; Tang, Yu [State Key Lab. of Applied Organic Chemistry, Key Lab. of Nonferrous Metal Chemistry and Resources Utilization of Gansu Province, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou Univ. (China); Song, Bo [State Key Lab. of Fine Chemicals, School of Chemistry, Dalian Univ. of Technology, Dalian (China)

    2017-03-01

    A stimuli-responsive lanthanide-based smart nanocomposite has been fabricated by supramolecular assembly and applied as an active material in multidimensional memory materials. Conjugation of the lanthanide complexes with carbon dots provides a stimuli response that is based on the modulation of the energy level of the ligand and affords microsecond-to-nanosecond fluorescence lifetimes, giving rise to intriguing memory performance in the spatial and temporal dimension. The present study points to a new direction for the future development of multidimensional memory materials based on inorganic-organic hybrid nanosystems. (copyright 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  10. Synthesis and Characterization of Stimuli Responsive Block Copolymers, Self-Assembly Behavior and Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Determan, Michael Duane [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2005-12-17

    The central theme of this thesis work is to develop new block copolymer materials for biomedical applications. While there are many reports of stimuli-responsive amphiphilic [19-21] and crosslinked hydrogel materials [22], the development of an in situ gel forming, pH responsive pentablock copolymer is a novel contribution to the field, Figure 1.1 is a sketch of an ABCBA pentablock copolymer. The A blocks are cationic tertiary amine methacrylates blocked to a central Pluronic F127 triblock copolymer. In addition to the prerequisite synthetic and macromolecular characterization of these new materials, the self-assembled supramolecular structures formed by the pentablock were experimentally evaluated. This synthesis and characterization process serves to elucidate the important structure property relationships of these novel materials, The pH and temperature responsive behavior of the pentablock copolymer were explored especially with consideration towards injectable drug delivery applications. Future synthesis work will focus on enhan