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Sample records for surface-tilt stimuli sensory

  1. Cognitive control modulates preferential sensory processing of affective stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinhauser, Marco; Flaisch, Tobias; Meinzer, Marcus; Schupp, Harald T

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive human behavior crucially relies on the ability of the brain to allocate resources automatically to emotionally significant stimuli. This ability has consistently been demonstrated by studies showing preferential processing of affective stimuli in sensory cortical areas. It is still unclear, however, whether this putatively automatic mechanism can be modulated by cognitive control processes. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether preferential processing of an affective face distractor is suppressed when an affective distractor has previously elicited a response conflict in a word-face Stroop task. We analyzed this for three consecutive stages in the ventral stream of visual processing for which preferential processing of affective stimuli has previously been demonstrated: the striate area (BA 17), category-unspecific extrastriate areas (BA 18/19), and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that response conflict led to a selective suppression of affective face processing in category-unspecific extrastriate areas and the FFA, and this effect was accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between these areas and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, preferential processing of affective face distractors was unaffected in the striate area. Our results indicate that cognitive control processes adaptively suppress preferential processing of affective stimuli under conditions where affective processing is detrimental because it elicits response conflict.

  2. Reduced modulation of thalamocortical connectivity during exposure to sensory stimuli in ASD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Shulamite A; Hernandez, Leanna; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Dapretto, Mirella

    2017-05-01

    Recent evidence for abnormal thalamic connectivity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sensory processing disorders suggests the thalamus may play a role in sensory over-responsivity (SOR), an extreme negative response to sensory stimuli, which is common in ASD. However, there is yet little understanding of changes in thalamic connectivity during exposure to aversive sensory inputs in individuals with ASD. In particular, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus is implicated in atypical sensory processing given its role in selective attention, regulation, and sensory integration. This study aimed to examine the role of pulvinar connectivity in ASD during mildly aversive sensory input. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine connectivity with the pulvinar during exposure to mildly aversive auditory and tactile stimuli in 38 youth (age 9-17; 19 ASD, 19 IQ-matched typically developing (TD)). Parents rated children's SOR severity on two standard scales. Compared to TD, ASD participants displayed aberrant modulation of connectivity between pulvinar and cortex (including sensory-motor and prefrontal regions) during sensory stimulation. In ASD participants, pulvinar-amygdala connectivity was correlated with severity of SOR symptoms. Deficits in modulation of thalamocortical connectivity in youth with ASD may reflect reduced thalamo-cortical inhibition in response to sensory stimulation, which could lead to difficulty filtering out and/or integrating sensory information. An increase in amygdala connectivity with the pulvinar might be partially responsible for deficits in selective attention as the amygdala signals the brain to attend to distracting sensory stimuli. Autism Res 2017, 10: 801-809. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. The Analysis of Sensory Stimuli of Terror in A Rose for Emily

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    尚慧敏

    2015-01-01

    William Faulkner drew impressive pictures of terror in A Rose for Emily by visual descriptions, auditory descriptions, tactile descriptions, and olfactory descriptions. Through the biological analysis, people can figure out what kinds of stimuli in this work can produce terror, how the sensory organs respond to the terror stimuli and why readers fear them. It is proved that Faulkner’s description of terror is based on the system of men’s receiving information and the production mechanism of terror.

  4. Effect of sensory stimuli on restless legs syndrome: a randomized crossover study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozeman, Anouk D; Ottolini, Truus; Grootendorst, Diana C; Vogels, Oscar J M; Rijsman, Roselyne M

    2014-08-15

    A variety of sensory stimuli relieve restless legs syndrome symptoms. Because systematic evaluations of sensory stimulation in restless legs syndrome are largely lacking, we performed a randomized crossover study to evaluate the effect of external sensory stimulation on restless legs syndrome symptoms. Eighteen patients underwent 3 consecutive suggestive immobilization tests with the order of the following 3 conditions randomly assigned: no electrical stimulation (condition 1), tactile and proprioceptive sensory stimulation (condition 2), and tactile sensory stimulation only (condition 3). Restless legs syndrome symptoms were quantified by visual analog scales, and periodic leg movements during wake were measured. Baseline visual analogue scale score was 4.5 (range 0-60) in condition 1, 10.5 (range 0-96) in condition 2, and 8.5 in condition 3 (p = 0.21). There was a tendency towards a higher maximum visual analogue scale score and visual analogue scale score at the end of the suggested immobilization test in the conditions with tactile sensory stimulation, though not significant (p = 0.74 and p = 0.29, respectively). Fifteen patients suffered from periodic leg movements during wake. Median indices were 18 (range 0-145) in condition 1, 26 (range 0-190) in condition 2, and 49 (range 0-228) in condition 3 (p = 0.76). We found a tendency towards less leg discomfort in the conditions in which an external sensory input was applied. This potential benefit of sensory stimuli on restless legs syndrome severity merits further investigation as this could open new ways towards a better pathophysiological understanding and non-pharmacological treatments.

  5. Combining multi-sensory stimuli in virtual worlds - a progress report

    OpenAIRE

    Fröhlich, Julia; Wachsmuth, Ipke; Shumaker, Randall

    2014-01-01

    In order to make a significant step towards more realistic virtual experiences, we created a multi-sensory stimuli display for a CAVE-like environment. It comprises graphics, sound, tactile feedback, wind and warmth. In the present report we discuss the possibilities and constraints tied to such an enhancement. To use a multi-modal display in a proper way, many considerations have to be taken into account. This includes safety requirements, hardware devices and software integration. For each ...

  6. Mechanical resonance enhances the sensitivity of the vibrissa sensory system to near-threshold stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andermann, M L; Moore, C I

    2008-10-15

    The representation of high-frequency sensory information is a crucial problem faced by the nervous system. Rodent facial vibrissae constitute a high-resolution sensory system, capable of discriminating and detecting subtle changes in tactual input. During active sensing, the mechanical properties of vibrissae may play a key role in filtering sensory information and translating it into neural activity. Previous studies have shown that rat vibrissae resonate, conferring frequency specificity to trigeminal ganglion (NV) and primary somatosensory cortex (SI) neurons during suprathreshold sensory stimulation. In addition to frequency specificity, a further potential impact of vibrissa resonance is enhancement of sensitivity to near-threshold stimuli through signal amplification. To examine the effect of resonance on peri-threshold inputs (threshold for evoked neural activity, in many cases by an order of magnitude compared to stimuli presented at off-resonance frequencies. When stimulated at the fundamental resonance frequency, motions as small as 8 microm at the vibrissa tip, corresponding to angular deflections of less than 0.2 degrees, drove neural firing in the periphery and cortex. Second, a closer match between vibrissal and neural frequency tuning was found for lower amplitude motions. Third, simultaneous paired recordings demonstrated that the minimal amplitude of resonant vibrissa stimulation required to evoke responses in SI increased significantly for recordings outside the primary vibrissa barrel column, providing additional evidence for somatotopically localized frequency columns. These data demonstrate that resonant amplification can increase the sensitivity of the vibrissa sensory system to an ecologically relevant range of low-amplitude, high-frequency stimuli.

  7. Check-All-That-Apply (CATA), Sorting, and Polarized Sensory Positioning (PSP) with Astringent Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Erin E; Ziegler, Gregory R; Hayes, John E

    2015-10-01

    Multiple rapid sensory profiling techniques have been developed as more efficient alternatives to traditional sensory descriptive analysis. Here, we compare the results of three rapid sensory profiling techniques - check-all-that-apply (CATA), sorting, and polarized sensory positioning (PSP) - using a diverse range of astringent stimuli. These rapid methods differ in their theoretical basis, implementation, and data analyses, and the relative advantages and limitations are largely unexplored. Additionally, we were interested in using these methods to compare varied astringent stimuli, as these compounds are difficult to characterize using traditional descriptive analysis due to high fatigue and potential carry-over. In the CATA experiment, subjects (n=41) were asked to rate the overall intensity of each stimulus as well as to endorse any relevant terms (from a list of 13) which characterized the sample. In the sorting experiment, subjects (n=30) assigned intensity-matched stimuli into groups 1-on-1 with the experimenter. In the PSP experiment, (n=41) subjects first sampled and took notes on three blind references ('poles') before rating each stimulus for its similarity to each of the 3 poles. Two-dimensional perceptual maps from correspondence analysis (CATA), multidimensional scaling (sorting), and multiple factor analysis (PSP) were remarkably similar, with normalized RV coefficients indicating significantly similar plots, regardless of method. Agglomerative hierarchical clustering of all data sets using Ward's minimum variance as the linkage criteria showed the clusters of astringent stimuli were approximately based on the respective class of astringent agent. Based on the descriptive CATA data, it appears these differences may be due to the presence of side tastes such as bitterness and sourness, rather than astringent sub-qualities per se. Although all three methods are considered 'rapid,' our prior experience with sorting suggests it is best performed 1

  8. Estímulos emocionais: processamento sensorial e respostas motoras Emotional stimuli: sensory processing and motor responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Volchan

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A emoção pode ser funcionalmente considerada como uma disposição à ação que prepara o organismo para comportamentos relacionados à aproximação e esquiva. Para preparar uma saída motora apropriada, o organismo tem que ser eficiente na codificação de estímulos relevantes. Neste trabalho, apresentamos evidências a partir de estudos de neuroimagem que revelam que a visualização de imagens emocionais promove uma maior ativação do córtex visual do que a observação de figuras neutras. Além desta facilitação do processamento sensorial, os estímulos emocionais desencadeiam reações somáticas e vegetativas. Registros da dinâmica postural e da freqüência cardíaca enquanto voluntários assistiam a um bloco de figuras desagradáveis revelou uma redução significativa na oscilação corporal e bradicardia. Uma investigação paralela mostrou que o tempo de reação também lentifica após a visualização de figuras negativas. Este conjunto de respostas - imobilidade, bradicardia e tempo de reação mais lento - pode refletir o engajamento do sistema defensivo, similar às reações defensivas desencadeadas em ambiente natural por estímulos ameaçadores distantes. Em resumo, o sistema afetivo influencia um nível precoce de codificação sensorial e a saída motora favorecendo, portanto, disposições para as ações apropriadas.Emotion can be functionally considered as action dispositions preparing the organism for either avoidance- or approach- related behaviors. In order to prepare an appropriate behavioral output, the organism has to be efficient in the encoding of relevant stimuli. We herein present evidence from neuroimaging studies that seeing emotional and arousing pictures leads to greater activation in visual cortex than seeing neutral ones. In addition to this facilitation of sensory processing, emotional stimuli prompt somatic and vegetative reactions. Recordings of postural oscillations and heart rate while

  9. A mental architecture modeling of inference of sensory stimuli to the teaching of the deaf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubens Santos Guimaraes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The transmission and retention of knowledge rests on the cognitive faculty of the concepts linked to it. The repeatability of your applications builds a solid foundation for Education, according to cultural and behavioral standards set by the Society. This cognitive ability to infer on what we observe and perceive, regarded as intrinsic human beings, independent of their physical capacity. This article presents a conceptual model Mental Architecture Digitized – AMD, enabling reproduce inferences about sensory stimuli deaf, focused on the implementation of a web system that aims to improve the teaching and learning of students with hearing disability. In this proposal, we evaluate the contextual aspects experienced by learners during the interactions between the constituent elements of a study session, based on experiments with two deaf students enrolled in regular high school. The results allow us to infer the potential of a computer communications environment to expand the possibilities of social inclusion of these students.

  10. Lesion classification using 3D skin surface tilt orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    She, Zhishun; Excell, P S

    2013-02-01

    Current non-invasive diagnostic procedures to detect skin cancer rely on two-dimensional (2D) views of the skin surface. For example, the most commonly-used ABCD features are extracted from the 2D images of skin lesion. However, because the skin surface is an object in three-dimensional (3D) space, valuable additional information can be obtained from a perspective of 3D skin objects. The aim of this work is to discover the new diagnostic features by considering 3D views of skin artefacts. A surface tilt orientation parameter was proposed to quantify the skin and the lesion in 3D space. The skin pattern was first extracted from simply captured white light optical clinical (WLC) skin images by high-pass filtering. Then the directions of the projected skin lines were determined by skin pattern analysis. Next the surface tilt orientations of skin and lesion were estimated using the shape from texture technique. Finally the difference of tilt orientation in the lesion and normal skin areas, combined with the ABCD features, was used as a lesion classifier. The proposed method was validated by processing a set of images of malignant melanoma and benign naevi. The scatter plot of classification using the feature of surface tilt orientation alone showed the potential of the new 3D feature, enclosing an area of 0.78 under the ROC curve. The scatter plot of classification, combining the new feature with the ABCD features by use of Principal Component Analysis (PCA), demonstrated an excellent separation of benign and malignant lesions. An ROC plot for this case enclosed an area of 0.85. Compared with the ABCD analysis where the area under the ROC curve was 0.65, it indicated that the surface tilt orientation (3D information) was able to enhance the classification results significantly. The initial classification results show that the surface tilt orientation has a potential to increase lesion classifier accuracy. Combined with the ABCD features, it is very promising to

  11. Comparing dynamic surface tilt with velocity using an LDV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Robert A.

    2004-06-01

    If a laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) probe beam is normally incident on a resonating metal strip with a mirror-finish, the retro-reflected beam has corresponding dynamic deflections. These lateral beam offsets are proportional to the dynamic surface tilt and can be measured along with the LDV velocity using a separating beam-splitter and a two-dimensional position sensitive detector (PSD). On a thin unbound strip resonating with 'pure mode' deformation, these derivative motions, velocity and tilt, are completely complementary. On a thin unbound plate resonating with 'hybrid mode' deformation, velocity and now two orthogonal tilts are nearly complementary. Maximal tilt has zero velocity, and maximum deformation or velocity has zero tilt. Intermediate values range in complementary fashion except near 'cross-nodes' zones. Here both motion types drop to zero at these cross-node locations. Both velocity and tilt signals are compared simultaneously using a special test fixture. This fixture consists of a stainless steel strip supported on its edges in the center, which can be excited by small speakers at the ends. Two comparison/calibration approaches are demonstrated with a pure 3-0 mode. Significant modal details are also demonstrated by analyzing multiple modes from pulsed excitation, and mapping a 3-1 mode-shape using the combined sensing approaches.

  12. Focus variation microscope: linear theory and surface tilt sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolaev, Nikolay; Petzing, Jon; Coupland, Jeremy

    2016-05-01

    In a recent publication [3rd International Conference on Surface Metrology, Annecy, France, 2012, p. 1] it was shown that surface roughness measurements made using a focus variation microscope (FVM) are influenced by surface tilt. The effect appears to be most significant when the surface has microscale roughness (Ra≈50  nm) that is sufficient to provide a diffusely scattered signal that is comparable in magnitude to the specular component. This paper explores, from first principles, image formation using the focus variation method. With the assumption of incoherent scattering, it is shown that the process is linear and the 3D point spread characteristics and transfer characteristics of the instrument are well defined. It is argued that for the case of microscale roughness and through the objective illumination, the assumption of incoherence cannot be justified and more rigorous analysis is required. Using a foil model of surface scattering, the images that are recorded by a FVM have been calculated. It is shown that for the case of through-the-objective illumination at small tilt angles, the signal quality is degraded in a systematic manner. This is attributed to the mixing of specular and diffusely reflected components and leads to an asymmetry in the k-space representation of the output signals. It is shown that by using extra-aperture illumination or tilt angles greater than the acceptance angle of aperture (such that the specular component is lost), the incoherent assumption can be justified once again. The work highlights the importance of using ring-light illumination and/or polarizing optics, which are often available as options on commercial instruments, as a means to mitigate or prevent these effects.

  13. Spontaneously Emerging Patterns in Human Visual Cortex Reflect Responses to Naturalistic Sensory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilf, Meytal; Strappini, Francesca; Golan, Tal; Hahamy, Avital; Harel, Michal; Malach, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    In the absence of stimulus or task, the cortex spontaneously generates rich and consistent functional connectivity patterns (termed resting state networks) which are evident even within individual cortical areas. We and others have previously hypothesized that habitual cortical network activations during daily life contribute to the shaping of these connectivity patterns. Here we tested this hypothesis by comparing, using blood oxygen level-dependent-functional magnetic resonance imaging, the connectivity patterns that spontaneously emerge during rest in retinotopic visual areas to the patterns generated by naturalistic visual stimuli (repeated movie segments). These were then compared with connectivity patterns produced by more standard retinotopic mapping stimuli (polar and eccentricity mapping). Our results reveal that the movie-driven patterns were significantly more similar to the spontaneously emerging patterns, compared with the connectivity patterns of either eccentricity or polar mapping stimuli. Intentional visual imagery of naturalistic stimuli was unlikely to underlie these results, since they were duplicated when participants were engaged in an auditory task. Our results suggest that the connectivity patterns that appear during rest better reflect naturalistic activations rather than controlled, artificially designed stimuli. The results are compatible with the hypothesis that the spontaneous connectivity patterns in human retinotopic areas reflect the statistics of cortical coactivations during natural vision. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Modeling and identifying the ascending sensory system with the psychophysical binary Rrsponses and electrocutaneous stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, H.; Doll, Robert; Meijer, Hil Gaétan Ellart; Buitenweg, Jan R.; Nyssen, M.

    2011-01-01

    In psychophysics, the response to a stimulus is usually limited to a single value during some time interval. Moreover, the response is usually quantified, e.g., binary (yes or no). Such data is very limited information for parameter estimation. A particular example is the response to a sensory

  15. Reactivation of the Same Synapses during Spontaneous Up States and Sensory Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowei Chen

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, calcium signals in dendritic spines are involved in many neuronal functions, particularly in the induction of synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have identified sensory stimulation-evoked spine calcium signals in cortical neurons in vivo. However, spine signaling during ongoing cortical activity in the absence of sensory input, which is essential for important functions like memory consolidation, is not well understood. Here, by using in vivo two-photon imaging of auditory cortical neurons, we demonstrate that subthreshold, NMDA-receptor-dependent spine calcium signals are abundant during up states, but almost absent during down states. In each neuron, about 500 nonclustered spines, which are widely dispersed throughout the dendritic field, are on average active during an up state. The same subset of spines is reliably active during both sensory stimulation and up states. Thus, spontaneously recurring up states evoke in these spines “patterned” calcium activity that may control consolidation of synaptic strength following epochs of sensory stimulation.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Croy, Ilona; Laqua, Kerstin; Süß, Frank; Joraschky, Peter; Ziemssen, Tjalf; Hummel, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  17. Analysing neuronal correlates of the comparison of two sequentially presented sensory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brody, Carlos D; Hernández, Adrián; Zainos, Antonio; Lemus, Luis; Romo, Ranulfo

    2002-01-01

    In a typical sequential sensory discrimination task, subjects are required to make a decision based on comparing a sensory stimulus against the memory trace left by a previous stimulus. What is the neuronal substrate for such comparisons and the resulting decisions? This question was studied by recording neuronal responses in a variety of cortical areas of awake monkeys (Macaca mulatta), trained to carry out a vibrotactile sequential discrimination task. We describe methods to analyse responses obtained during the comparison and decision phases of the task, and describe the resulting findings from recordings in secondary somatosensory cortical area (S2). A subset of neurons in S2 become highly correlated with the monkey's decision in the task. PMID:12626017

  18. Irrelevant sensory stimuli interfere with working memory storage: evidence from a computational model of prefrontal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bancroft, Tyler D; Hockley, William E; Servos, Philip

    2013-03-01

    The encoding of irrelevant stimuli into the memory store has previously been suggested as a mechanism of interference in working memory (e.g., Lange & Oberauer, Memory, 13, 333-339, 2005; Nairne, Memory & Cognition, 18, 251-269, 1990). Recently, Bancroft and Servos (Experimental Brain Research, 208, 529-532, 2011) used a tactile working memory task to provide experimental evidence that irrelevant stimuli were, in fact, encoded into working memory. In the present study, we replicated Bancroft and Servos's experimental findings using a biologically based computational model of prefrontal neurons, providing a neurocomputational model of overwriting in working memory. Furthermore, our modeling results show that inhibition acts to protect the contents of working memory, and they suggest a need for further experimental research into the capacity of vibrotactile working memory.

  19. Macaque cardiac physiology is sensitive to the valence of passively viewed sensory stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliza Bliss-Moreau

    Full Text Available Autonomic nervous system activity is an important component of affective experience. We demonstrate in the rhesus monkey that both the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system respond differentially to the affective valence of passively viewed video stimuli. We recorded cardiac impedance and an electrocardiogram while adult macaques watched a series of 300 30-second videos that varied in their affective content. We found that sympathetic activity (as measured by cardiac pre-ejection period increased and parasympathetic activity (as measured by respiratory sinus arrhythmia decreased as video content changes from positive to negative. These findings parallel the relationship between autonomic nervous system responsivity and valence of stimuli in humans. Given the relationship between human cardiac physiology and affective processing, these findings suggest that macaque cardiac physiology may be an index of affect in nonverbal animals.

  20. 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.

  1. Exposure to salient, dynamic sensory stimuli during development increases distractibility in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadas, Itay; Gal, Ram; Bokovza, Lihi; Meiran, Nachshon; Feifel, David; Zangen, Abraham

    2016-02-17

    It has been suggested that excessive exposure of children to the dynamic and highly salient audio-visual stimuli conveyed by electronic media may induce attention-related deficits in adulthood. This study was designed to evaluate this hypothesis in a controlled animal model setup. Building on their natural responsiveness to odors, we exposed juvenile rats for 1 h daily to a dynamic series of interchanging, highly salient odors, while controls were exposed to a non-changing mixture of these odors. Upon reaching adulthood, we tested the attentional capacity of the rats and measured their brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels as a proxy of neuronal plasticity. As compared with controls, rats exposed to the dynamic stimulation showed no attentional deficits under baseline task conditions, but their performance was dramatically impaired when an auditory distractor was introduced in the task. In addition, BDNF levels in the dorsal striatum of these rats were significantly increased relative to controls. These findings provide first empirical evidence that a continuous exposure to dynamic, highly salient stimuli has long-term effects on attentional functions later in life, and that these effects may have neural correlates in the dorsal striatum.

  2. Stimuli of sensory-motor nerves terminate arterial contractile effects of endothelin-1 by CGRP and dissociation of ET-1/ET(A)-receptor complexes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meens, Merlijn J P M T; Compeer, Matthijs G; Hackeng, Tilman M

    2010-01-01

    but did not prevent persistent effects of the peptide. Stimuli of peri-vascular vasodilator sensory-motor nerves such as capsaicin not only reduced but also terminated long-lasting effects of ET-1. This was prevented by CGRP-receptor antagonists and was mimicked by exogenous calcitonin gene...... at an antagonist-insensitive site of the receptor and (ii) are selectively terminated by endogenously released CGRP. Hence, natural stimuli of sensory-motor nerves that stimulate release of endogenous CGRP can be considered for therapy of diseases involving ET-1....

  3. The Human Thalamic Somatic Sensory Nucleus [Ventral Caudal (Vc)] Shows Neuronal Mechanoreceptor-Like Responses to Optimal Stimuli for Peripheral Mechanoreceptors

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, N; Ohara, S; Johnson, K. O.; Lenz, F.A.

    2008-01-01

    Although the response of human cutaneous mechanoreceptors to controlled stimuli is well studied, it is not clear how these peripheral signals may be reflected in neuronal activity of the human CNS. We now test the hypothesis that individual neurons in the human thalamic principal somatic sensory nucleus [ventral caudal (Vc)] respond selectively to the optimal stimulus for one of the four mechanoreceptors. The optimal stimuli for particular mechanoreceptors were defined as follows: Pacinian co...

  4. A method for closed-loop presentation of sensory stimuli conditional on the internal brain-state of awake animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutishauser, Ueli; Kotowicz, Andreas; Laurent, Gilles

    2013-04-30

    Brain activity often consists of interactions between internal-or on-going-and external-or sensory-activity streams, resulting in complex, distributed patterns of neural activity. Investigation of such interactions could benefit from closed-loop experimental protocols in which one stream can be controlled depending on the state of the other. We describe here methods to present rapid and precisely timed visual stimuli to awake animals, conditional on features of the animal's on-going brain state; those features are the presence, power and phase of oscillations in local field potentials (LFP). The system can process up to 64 channels in real time. We quantified its performance using simulations, synthetic data and animal experiments (chronic recordings in the dorsal cortex of awake turtles). The delay from detection of an oscillation to the onset of a visual stimulus on an LCD screen was 47.5ms and visual-stimulus onset could be locked to the phase of ongoing oscillations at any frequency ≤40Hz. Our software's architecture is flexible, allowing on-the-fly modifications by experimenters and the addition of new closed-loop control and analysis components through plugins. The source code of our system "StimOMatic" is available freely as open-source.

  5. Synaptic inputs from stroke-injured brain to grafted human stem cell-derived neurons activated by sensory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tornero, Daniel; Tsupykov, Oleg; Granmo, Marcus; Rodriguez, Cristina; Grønning-Hansen, Marita; Thelin, Jonas; Smozhanik, Ekaterina; Laterza, Cecilia; Wattananit, Somsak; Ge, Ruimin; Tatarishvili, Jemal; Grealish, Shane; Brüstle, Oliver; Skibo, Galina; Parmar, Malin; Schouenborg, Jens; Lindvall, Olle; Kokaia, Zaal

    2017-03-01

    Transplanted neurons derived from stem cells have been proposed to improve function in animal models of human disease by various mechanisms such as neuronal replacement. However, whether the grafted neurons receive functional synaptic inputs from the recipient's brain and integrate into host neural circuitry is unknown. Here we studied the synaptic inputs from the host brain to grafted cortical neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells after transplantation into stroke-injured rat cerebral cortex. Using the rabies virus-based trans-synaptic tracing method and immunoelectron microscopy, we demonstrate that the grafted neurons receive direct synaptic inputs from neurons in different host brain areas located in a pattern similar to that of neurons projecting to the corresponding endogenous cortical neurons in the intact brain. Electrophysiological in vivo recordings from the cortical implants show that physiological sensory stimuli, i.e. cutaneous stimulation of nose and paw, can activate or inhibit spontaneous activity in grafted neurons, indicating that at least some of the afferent inputs are functional. In agreement, we find using patch-clamp recordings that a portion of grafted neurons respond to photostimulation of virally transfected, channelrhodopsin-2-expressing thalamo-cortical axons in acute brain slices. The present study demonstrates, for the first time, that the host brain regulates the activity of grafted neurons, providing strong evidence that transplanted human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cortical neurons can become incorporated into injured cortical circuitry. Our findings support the idea that these neurons could contribute to functional recovery in stroke and other conditions causing neuronal loss in cerebral cortex. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Prediction of solar global radiation on a surface tilted to the south

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudish, Avraham I.; Evseev, Efim G.

    2008-08-01

    Solar global and diffuse radiation intensities are, in general, measured on horizontal surfaces, whereas stationary solar conversion systems (both flat plate solar collector and PV) are tilted towards the sun in order to maximize the amount of solar radiation incident on the collector surface. Consequently, the solar radiation incident on a surface tilted to the south (northern hemisphere) must be determined by converting the solar radiation intensities measured on a horizontal surface to that incident on the tilted surface of interest. There exist a large number of models designed to perform such a conversion. Eleven such models have been tested utilizing data measured in Beer Sheva, Israel. The data consist of hourly solar global and diffuse radiation on a horizontal surface, normal incidence beam and global radiation on a south-oriented surface tilted at 40°. The individual model performance is assessed by an inter-comparison between the calculated and measured solar global radiation on the south-oriented surface tilted at 40° using both graphical and statistical methods. The relative performance of the different models under different sky conditions, i.e., clear, partially cloudy and cloudy as defined by the hourly clearness index value, has been studied.

  7. Influx-Operated Ca2+ Entry via PKD2-L1 and PKD1-L3 Channels Facilitates Sensory Responses to Polymodal Transient Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingfeng Hu

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The polycystic TRP subfamily member PKD2-L1, in complex with PKD1-L3, is involved in physiological responses to diverse stimuli. A major challenge to understanding whether and how PKD2-L1/PKD1-L3 acts as a bona fide molecular transducer is that recombinant channels usually respond with small or undetectable currents. Here, we discover a type of Ca2+ influx-operated Ca2+ entry (ICE that generates pronounced Ca2+ spikes. Triggered by rapid onset/offset of Ca2+, voltage, or acid stimuli, Ca2+-dependent activation amplifies a small Ca2+ influx via the channel. Ca2+ concurrently drives a self-limiting negative feedback (Ca2+-dependent inactivation that is regulated by the Ca2+-binding EF hands of PKD2-L1. Our results suggest a biphasic ICE with opposite Ca2+ feedback regulation that facilitates sensory responses to multimodal transient stimuli. We suggest that such a mechanism may also occur for other sensory modalities and other Ca2+ channels.

  8. Stimuli of sensory-motor nerves terminate arterial contractile effects of endothelin-1 by CGRP and dissociation of ET-1/ET(A-receptor complexes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merlijn J P M T Meens

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Endothelin-1 (ET-1, a long-acting paracrine mediator, is implicated in cardiovascular diseases but clinical trials with ET-receptor antagonists were not successful in some areas. We tested whether the quasi-irreversible receptor-binding of ET-1 (i limits reversing effects of the antagonists and (ii can be selectively dissociated by an endogenous counterbalancing mechanism. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In isolated rat mesenteric resistance arteries, ET(A-antagonists, endothelium-derived relaxing factors and synthetic vasodilators transiently reduced contractile effects of ET-1 but did not prevent persistent effects of the peptide. Stimuli of peri-vascular vasodilator sensory-motor nerves such as capsaicin not only reduced but also terminated long-lasting effects of ET-1. This was prevented by CGRP-receptor antagonists and was mimicked by exogenous calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP. Using 2-photon laser scanning microscopy in vital intact arteries, capsaicin and CGRP, but not ET(A-antagonism, were observed to promote dissociation of pre-existing ET-1/ET(A-receptor complexes. CONCLUSIONS: Irreversible binding and activation of ET(A-receptors by ET-1 (i occur at an antagonist-insensitive site of the receptor and (ii are selectively terminated by endogenously released CGRP. Hence, natural stimuli of sensory-motor nerves that stimulate release of endogenous CGRP can be considered for therapy of diseases involving ET-1.

  9. Disrupted integration of sensory stimuli with information about the movement of the body as a mechanism explaining LSD-induced experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juszczak, Grzegorz R

    2017-03-01

    LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a model psychedelic drug used to study mechanism underlying the effects induced by hallucinogens. However, despite advanced knowledge about molecular mechanism responsible for the effects induced by LSD and other related substances acting at serotonergic 5-HT2a receptors, we still do not understand how these drugs trigger specific sensory experiences. LSD-induced experience is characterised by perception of movement in the environment and by presence of various bodily sensations such as floating in space, merging into surroundings and movement out of the physical body (the out-of-body experience). It means that a large part of the experience induced by the LSD can be simplified to the illusory movement that can be attributed to the self or to external objects. The phenomenology of the LSD-induced experience has been combined with the fact that serotonergic neurons provide all major parts of the brain with information about the level of tonic motor activity, occurrence of external stimuli and the execution of orienting responses. Therefore, it has been proposed that LSD-induced stimulation of 5-HT2a receptors disrupts the integration of the sensory stimuli with information about the movement of the body leading to perception of illusory movement. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effects of Space Flight-Associated Stimuli on Development of Murine and Medaka Sensory-Motor Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolgemuth, Debra J.

    1999-01-01

    The major goal of these studies was to continue investigations into the influence of altered gravitational fields on the development and function of the vertebrate brain and nervous system. Of major focus during the 18-month finding period of this award was the maintenance of the animals used in the experimental mouse and medaka model paradigms. The experiments focused on characterization of stress-sensitive periods in neural development and immediate or delayed effects on gene expression, physiology and behavior. The hypothesis under investigation was that the environment of space will have biologically significant effects on the development and function of the vertebrate nervous system. We have postulated that these effects will be more significant on certain neural compartments, such as the vestibular-motor system, and that these effects will have greater impact at particular stages of embryonic and post-natal development of the animal. Development of the central nervous system is well known for its vulnerability and sensitivity to environmental stimuli, although the effects of gravitational influences are poorly understood. The long-term goals of this research effort, initiated previously and continued in limited capacity during this interim period, were to provide important new information on the effects of altered environments during these critical periods.

  11. The Pleiotropism of Nerve Growth Factor Sensorial Pathway: Supplemental Growth Stimuli Could be Required During Danger Signalization Like a Surviving “Proclaim”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ervin Ç. Mingomataj

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Nerve growth factor (NGF is the founder-member of neurotrophins family that provides growth and surviving effect not only for neuronal tissue but also for various non-neuronal cellular populations. It effectuates its physiologic or pathologic functions in sensorial neuronal system and some certain tissues through NGF-receptors such as tyrosinkinase A and p75, involving also transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, substance P and its receptor NK1 (members of NGF-pathways - NGFP. In different situations, such as stress-related or inflammatory pathologies (including allergy, asthma, depression, multiple chemical sensivity, stressful or dangerous events, etc, are reported elevated local and serologic concentrations of these mediators. Reflecting on the pleiotropic effects of mentioned substances, it could be suggested that over-regulation of NGFP mediators is generally required during identification of somatic or psycho-emotional integrity threatening like a surviving proclaim. In this context, the identification of a danger may induce NGFP-mediated growth stimuli to assure better surviving possibilities for the organism, maybe as a compensatory effect. Experiments in knockout animals with regards to genes of NGFP mediators could be helpful for the verification of its role as leader of information in the mentioned processes. Some investigations in such animals have demonstrated their abnormal passivity to fight for vital demands, whereas the behavior of subjects with down-regulation of aforementioned factors is associated with sensory or cognitive disorders such as congenital insensivity for pain with anhidrosis, schizophrenia, diabetes, or self-mutilatory behaviors. The last mentioned facts manifest the inability to recognize the situation of bodily and mental integrity during the NGFP insufficiency, leading to the necessity for further pharmacologic investigations with regards to NGFP mediators in the related pathologies.

  12. The human thalamic somatic sensory nucleus [ventral caudal (Vc)] shows neuronal mechanoreceptor-like responses to optimal stimuli for peripheral mechanoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, N; Ohara, S; Johnson, K O; Lenz, F A

    2009-02-01

    Although the response of human cutaneous mechanoreceptors to controlled stimuli is well studied, it is not clear how these peripheral signals may be reflected in neuronal activity of the human CNS. We now test the hypothesis that individual neurons in the human thalamic principal somatic sensory nucleus [ventral caudal (Vc)] respond selectively to the optimal stimulus for one of the four mechanoreceptors. The optimal stimuli for particular mechanoreceptors were defined as follows: Pacinian corpuscles (PC), vibration at 128 Hz; rapidly adapting (RA), vibration at 32 or 64 Hz; slowly adapting type 1 (SA1), edge; slowly adapting type 2 (SA2), skin stretch. Nineteen neurons had a significant response to at least one optimal stimulus, and 17 had a significantly greater response to one stimulus than to the other three, including 7 PC-related, 7 RA-like, 3 SA1-like, and 2 SA2-like neurons. One of each of the SA1- and SA2-like thalamic neurons responded to vibration with firing rates that were lower than those to edge or stretch but not significantly. Except in the case of PC-related neurons, the receptive field (RF) sizes were larger for these thalamic neurons than for the corresponding mechanoreceptor. Von Frey thresholds were higher than those for the corresponding human RA and SA1 mechanoreceptors. These results suggest that there is a convergence of pathways transmitting input from multiple mechanoreceptors of one type on single thalamic neurons via the dorsal columns. They are also consistent with the presence of primate thalamic elements of modality and somatotopic isorepresentation.

  13. In vivo whole-cell patch-clamp recording of sensory synaptic responses of cingulate pyramidal neurons to noxious mechanical stimuli in adult mice

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    Descalzi Giannina

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC plays important roles in emotion, learning, memory and persistent pain. Our previous in vitro studies have demonstrated that pyramidal neurons in layer II/III of the adult mouse ACC can be characterized into three types: regular spiking (RS, intermediate (IM and intrinsic bursting (IB cells, according to their action potential (AP firing patterns. However, no in vivo information is available for the intrinsic properties and sensory responses of ACC neurons of adult mice. Here, we performed in vivo whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from pyramidal neurons in adult mice ACC under urethane anesthetized conditions. First, we classified the intrinsic properties and analyzed their slow oscillations. The population ratios of RS, IM and IB cells were 10, 62 and 28%, respectively. The mean spontaneous APs frequency of IB cells was significantly greater than those of RS and IM cells, while the slow oscillations were similar among ACC neurons. Peripheral noxious pinch stimuli induced evoked spike responses in all three types of ACC neurons. Interestingly, IB cells showed significantly greater firing frequencies than RS and IM cells. In contrast, non-noxious brush did not induce any significant response. Our studies provide the first in vivo characterization of ACC neurons in adult mice, and demonstrate that ACC neurons are indeed nociceptive. These findings support the critical roles of ACC in nociception, from mice to humans.

  14. FM1-43 is a permeant blocker of mechanosensitive ion channels in sensory neurons and inhibits behavioural responses to mechanical stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drew Liam J

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The molecular identity and pharmacological properties of mechanically gated ion channels in sensory neurons are poorly understood. We show that FM1-43, a styryl dye used to fluorescently label cell membranes, permeates mechanosensitive ion channels in cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons, resulting in blockade of three previously defined subtypes of mechanically activated currents. Blockade and dye uptake is voltage dependent and regulated by external Ca2+. The structurally related larger dye FM3-25 inhibited mechanically activated currents to a lesser degree and did not permeate the channels. In vivo, FMI-43 decreases pain sensitivity in the Randall-Selitto test and increases the withdrawal threshold from von Frey hairs, together suggesting that the channels expressed at the cell body in culture mediate mechanosensation in the intact animal. These data give further insight into the mechanosensitive ion channels expressed by somatosensory neurons and suggest FM dyes are an interesting tool for studying them.

  15. Relato de caso: privação sensorial de estímulos e comportamentos autísticos Case report: deprivation of sensory stimuli and autistic behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina de Castro Coelho

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available O objetivo deste trabalho foi relatar o caso de uma criança que apresenta características autísticas e sofreu privação de estímulos por negligência materna. O acompanhamento da criança foi feito pela equipe da Clínica de Fonoaudiologia da Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru (FOB-USP. A criança era do gênero masculino e tinha dois anos e 10 meses, na época da avaliação fonoaudiológica. O diagnóstico foi distúrbio de linguagem como parte de um transtorno global do desenvolvimento e foi indicada terapia fonoaudiológica. Devido a características de comprometimento do desenvolvimento global e nutricional, a criança também foi encaminhada a uma instituição especializada em autismo e a atendimento médico. Com o início da terapia fonoaudiológica, a criança apresentou aumento de contato ocular, aceitação de contato corporal, maior interesse pelos objetos, iniciação de vocalizações e diminuição dos movimentos repetitivos; porém, o resultado terapêutico foi comprometido devido à problemática envolvida. Todo o trabalho foi realizado em conjunto com as creches que a criança freqüentou e com os órgãos assistenciais relevantes, já que foi feita uma denúncia formal da negligência materna. O intuito deste relato de caso é demonstrar que, em casos graves como este, é necessária uma intervenção global, com a atuação de diversos profissionais da saúde, a fim de proporcionar o desenvolvimento em todos os aspectos comprometidos. O apoio da família é fator determinante no desenvolvimento da criança e, por isso, não se sabe até que ponto a manutenção das características autísticas e os comportamentos apresentados pela criança estão sendo determinados pela privação sensorial que esta sofre ou pela severidade do quadro autístico em si, devendo o trabalho de investigação e de intervenção ter continuidade.The aim of this study was to report the case of a child with autistic characteristics, who was

  16. Instabilities in sensory processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balakrishnan, J.

    2014-07-01

    In any organism there are different kinds of sensory receptors for detecting the various, distinct stimuli through which its external environment may impinge upon it. These receptors convey these stimuli in different ways to an organism's information processing region enabling it to distinctly perceive the varied sensations and to respond to them. The behavior of cells and their response to stimuli may be captured through simple mathematical models employing regulatory feedback mechanisms. We argue that the sensory processes such as olfaction function optimally by operating in the close proximity of dynamical instabilities. In the case of coupled neurons, we point out that random disturbances and fluctuations can move their operating point close to certain dynamical instabilities triggering synchronous activity.

  17. 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

  18. Social facilitation of insect reproduction with motor-driven tactile stimuli

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Uzsák, Adrienn; Dieffenderfer, James; Bozkurt, Alper; Schal, Coby

    2014-01-01

    ..., and thermo-, hygro- and mechanoreception. The antennae, being the anteriormost sensory appendages, play a prominent role in social interactions with conspecifics that involve primarily chemosensory and tactile stimuli...

  19. 汶川地震强震动地面倾斜研究%Study of ground surface tilts from strong motion records of the Wenchuan earthquake

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    彭小波; 李小军

    2012-01-01

    根据三分量强震动传感器水平摆和竖向摆对倾斜的动力响应差异,利用谱比法计算出汶川Ms8.0地震中近断层强震动的断层法线方向和平行方向的同震地面倾斜.结果表明,本次地震中强震动观测台处地面倾斜一般小于1°,影响频段主要在0.1 Hz以下,发生较大倾斜的台站主要在距地表破裂迹线30 km以内,在100 km之外或水平向加速度幅值均方根在200 cm/s2以下时很少发生0.01°以上的同震地面倾斜.总体上看,上盘区域的倾斜值普遍小于下盘区域,法线方向倾斜值一般大于平行线方向倾斜值.位于前山断裂与中央断裂之间区域的绵竹清平台谱比较低但平缓且频带较宽,可能反应了该区域的运动特殊性,而汶川卧龙台则显示了上盘边缘区域地面倾斜较大.逆冲段与走滑段台站倾斜对比显示,地面倾斜可能受局部场地条件影响较大.%Based on the difference of dynamic response to tilts between horizontal pendulums and vertical pendulum, spectral ratio method was applied to estimate the coseismic surface tilts deduced from strong motion records of the Wen-chuan earthquake. The result shows that the ground surface tilts are generally less than 1 degree and mainly appears within 30 km to fault rupture surface traces, while rarely discovered in the area outside 100 km or root-mean-squared horizontal peak accelerations are less than 200 cm/s2. The frequency band influenced by tilts is less than 0. 1 Hz. In general, tilts in hanging wall is greater than that in footwall in near fault areas, and tilts in normal direction of fault is less than those in parallel direction. The spectral ratio of Qingping station located between central fault and front mount fault is relatively low and stable, which may imply ae special movement feature of the area. The tilts of Wolong station may be controlled by deformation transition from the hanging wall to laterally stationary area. Comparison of tilts

  20. Describing the Sensory Abnormalities of Children and Adults with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leekam, Susan R.; Nieto, Carmen; Libby, Sarah J.; Wing, Lorna; Gould, Judith

    2007-01-01

    Patterns of sensory abnormalities in children and adults with autism were examined using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). This interview elicits detailed information about responsiveness to a wide range of sensory stimuli. Study 1 showed that over 90% of children with autism had sensory abnormalities and had…

  1. Glia Are Essential for Sensory Organ Function in C. elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Bacaj, Taulant; Tevlin, Maya; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2008-01-01

    Sensory organs are composed of neurons, which convert environmental stimuli to electrical signals, and glia-like cells, whose functions are not well-understood. To decipher glial roles in sensory organs, we ablated the sheath glial cell of the major sensory organ of Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that glia-ablated animals exhibit profound sensory deficits and that glia provide activities that affect neuronal morphology, behavior generation, and neuronal uptake of lipophilic dyes. To underst...

  2. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Austin L.; Ramot, Daniel; Goodman, Miriam B.

    The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has a well-defined and comparatively simple repertoire of sensory-guided behaviors, all of which rely on its ability to detect chemical, mechanical or thermal stimuli. In this chapter, we review what is known about the ion channels that mediate sensation in this remarkable model organism. Genetic screens for mutants defective in sensory-guided behaviors have identified genes encoding channel proteins, which are likely transducers of chemical, thermal, and mechanical stimuli. Such classical genetic approaches are now being coupled with molecular genetics and in vivo cellular physiology to elucidate how these channels are activated in specific sensory neurons. The ion channel superfamilies implicated in sensory transduction in C. elegans - CNG, TRP, and DEG/ENaC - are conserved across phyla and also appear to contribute to sensory transduction in other organisms, including vertebrates. What we learn about the role of these ion channels in C. elegans sensation is likely to illuminate analogous processes in other animals, including humans.

  3. Brief Report: DSM-5 Sensory Behaviours in Children with and without an Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dido; Chandler, Susie; Charman, Tony; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian

    2016-01-01

    Atypical responses to sensory stimuli are a new criterion in DSM-5 for the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but are also reported in other developmental disorders. Using the Short Sensory profile (SSP) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised we compared atypical sensory behaviour (hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual…

  4. Brief Report: DSM-5 Sensory Behaviours in Children with and without an Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dido; Chandler, Susie; Charman, Tony; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian

    2016-01-01

    Atypical responses to sensory stimuli are a new criterion in DSM-5 for the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but are also reported in other developmental disorders. Using the Short Sensory profile (SSP) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised we compared atypical sensory behaviour (hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual…

  5. Differences in Sensorimotor Processing of Visual and Proprioceptive Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamen, Gary and Morris, Harold H.

    1988-01-01

    A paradox in studying sensory perception is that people often attend to a stimulus which provides the least optimal information. Usually, this is a visual stimulus. The study sought to lessen this reliance on vision by training subjects to respond to proprioceptive stimuli. Results are discussed. (Author/JL)

  6. Discrimination of auditory stimuli during isoflurane anesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, Manuel J; Navas, Jinna A; Greene, Stephen A; Rector, David M

    2008-10-01

    Deep isoflurane anesthesia initiates a burst suppression pattern in which high-amplitude bursts are preceded by periods of nearly silent electroencephalogram. The burst suppression ratio (BSR) is the percentage of suppression (silent electroencephalogram) during the burst suppression pattern and is one parameter used to assess anesthesia depth. We investigated cortical burst activity in rats in response to different auditory stimuli presented during the burst suppression state. We noted a rapid appearance of bursts and a significant decrease in the BSR during stimulation. The BSR changes were distinctive for the different stimuli applied, and the BSR decreased significantly more when stimulated with a voice familiar to the rat as compared with an unfamiliar voice. These results show that the cortex can show differential sensory responses during deep isoflurane anesthesia.

  7. Case report: deprivation of sensory stimuli and autistic behaviors

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    O objetivo deste trabalho foi relatar o caso de uma criança que apresenta características autísticas e sofreu privação de estímulos por negligência materna. O acompanhamento da criança foi feito pela equipe da Clínica de Fonoaudiologia da Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru (FOB-USP). A criança era do gênero masculino e tinha dois anos e 10 meses, na época da avaliação fonoaudiológica. O diagnóstico foi distúrbio de linguagem como parte de um transtorno global do desenvolvimento e foi indicada ...

  8. Sensory stimuli reduce the dimensionality of cortical activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzucato, Luca; Fontanini, Alfredo; La Camera, Giancarlo

    Neural ensembles in alert animals generate complex patterns of activity. Although cortical activity unfolds in a space whose dimension is equal to the number of neurons, it is often restricted to a lower dimensional subspace. Dimensionality is the minimal number of dimensions that accurately capture neural dynamics, and may be related to the computational tasks supported by the neural circuit. Here, we investigate the dimensionality of neural ensembles from the insular cortex of alert rats during periods of `ongoing' (spontaneous) and stimulus-evoked activity. We find that the dimensionality grows with ensemble size, and does so significantly faster during ongoing compared to evoked activity. We explain both results using a recurrent spiking network with clustered architecture, and obtain analytical results on the dependence of dimensionality on ensemble size, number of clusters, and pair-wise noise correlations. The theory predicts a characteristic scaling with ensemble size and the existence of an upper bound on dimensionality, which grows with the number of clusters and decreases with the amount of noise correlations. To our knowledge, this is the first mechanistic model of neural dimensionality in cortex during both spontaneous and evoked activity.

  9. The role of sensory cortex in behavioral flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Lan; Ponvert, Nicholas D; Jaramillo, Santiago

    2017-03-14

    To thrive in a changing environment, organisms evolved strategies for rapidly modifying their behavioral responses to sensory stimuli. In this review, we investigate the role of sensory cortical circuits in these flexible behaviors. First, we provide a framework for classifying tasks in which flexibility is required. We then present studies in animal models which demonstrate that responses of sensory cortical neurons depend on the expected outcome associated with a stimulus. Last, we discuss inactivation studies which indicate that sensory cortex facilitates behavioral flexibility, but is not always required for adapting to changes in environmental conditions. This analysis provides insights into the contributions of cortical and subcortical sensory circuits to flexibility in behavior.

  10. Enticing consumers to enter fashion stores : a sensory marketing perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Abazi, Jeton; Sohani, Armin

    2016-01-01

    During the past years, there has been a re-emergence of sensory marketing in the paradigm of marketing. However, there is a lack of empirical studies done on the subject. Furthermore, the previous literature has focused on whether senses affects, rather than how they affect. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to study how sensory stimuli affects the consumers’ choice of entering physical fashion stores. This thesis is based on sensory marketing, consumer behaviour, and retail marketing...

  11. Perceptual Sensitivity and Response to Strong Stimuli Are Related

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C. Bolders

    2017-09-01

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

  12. Rescuing Stimuli from Invisibility: Inducing a Momentary Release from Visual Masking with Pre-Target Entrainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathewson, Kyle E.; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele; Beck, Diane M.; Lleras, Alejandro

    2010-01-01

    At near-threshold levels of stimulation, identical stimulus parameters can result in very different phenomenal experiences. Can we manipulate which stimuli reach consciousness? Here we show that consciousness of otherwise masked stimuli can be experimentally induced by sensory entrainment. We preceded a backward-masked stimulus with a series of…

  13. The vanilloid receptor family of calcium-permeable channels: molecular integrators of microenvironmental stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neil, Roger G; Brown, Rachel C

    2003-12-01

    The TRPV subfamily of calcium-permeable channels is widely distributed in sensory and nonsensory cells from nematodes to mammals. These channels can be variably activated by a diverse range of stimuli (osmotic/mechanical stress, noxious chemicals and heat, endogenous mediators) that often converge on the same channel. Evidence is presented that TRPV channels function as novel "molecular integrators" of diverse microenvironmental stimuli.

  14. Bayesian-based integration of multisensory naturalistic perithreshold stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regenbogen, Christina; Johansson, Emilia; Andersson, Patrik; Olsson, Mats J; Lundström, Johan N

    2016-07-29

    Most studies exploring multisensory integration have used clearly perceivable stimuli. According to the principle of inverse effectiveness, the added neural and behavioral benefit of integrating clear stimuli is reduced in comparison to stimuli with degraded and less salient unisensory information. Traditionally, speed and accuracy measures have been analyzed separately with few studies merging these to gain an understanding of speed-accuracy trade-offs in multisensory integration. In two separate experiments, we assessed multisensory integration of naturalistic audio-visual objects consisting of individually-tailored perithreshold dynamic visual and auditory stimuli, presented within a multiple-choice task, using a Bayesian Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Model that combines response time and accuracy. For both experiments, unisensory stimuli were degraded to reach a 75% identification accuracy level for all individuals and stimuli to promote multisensory binding. In Experiment 1, we subsequently presented uni- and their respective bimodal stimuli followed by a 5-alternative-forced-choice task. In Experiment 2, we controlled for low-level integration and attentional differences. Both experiments demonstrated significant superadditive multisensory integration of bimodal perithreshold dynamic information. We present evidence that the use of degraded sensory stimuli may provide a link between previous findings of inverse effectiveness on a single neuron level and overt behavior. We further suggest that a combined measure of accuracy and reaction time may be a more valid and holistic approach of studying multisensory integration and propose the application of drift diffusion models for studying behavioral correlates as well as brain-behavior relationships of multisensory integration.

  15. Evolution of a polymodal sensory response network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sternberg Paul W

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Avoidance of noxious stimuli is essential for the survival of an animal in its natural habitat. Some avoidance responses require polymodal sensory neurons, which sense a range of diverse stimuli, whereas other stimuli require a unimodal sensory neuron, which senses a single stimulus. Polymodality might have evolved to help animals quickly detect and respond to diverse noxious stimuli. Nematodes inhabit diverse habitats and most nematode nervous systems are composed of a small number of neurons, despite a wide assortment in nematode sizes. Given this observation, we speculated that cellular contribution to stereotyped avoidance behaviors would also be conserved between nematode species. The ASH neuron mediates avoidance of three classes of noxious stimuli in Caenorhabditis elegans. Two species of parasitic nematodes also utilize the ASH neuron to avoid certain stimuli. We wanted to extend our knowledge of avoidance behaviors by comparing multiple stimuli in a set of free-living nematode species. Results We used comparative behavioral analysis and laser microsurgery to examine three avoidance behaviors in six diverse species of free-living nematodes. We found that all species tested exhibit avoidance of chemo-, mechano- and osmosensory stimuli. In C. elegans, the bilaterally symmetric polymodal ASH neurons detect all three classes of repellant. We identified the putative ASH neurons in different nematode species by their anatomical positions and showed that in all six species ablation of the ASH neurons resulted in an inability to avoid noxious stimuli. However, in the nematode Pristionchus pacificus, the ADL neuron in addition to the ASH neuron contributed to osmosensation. In the species Caenorhabditis sp. 3, only the ASH neuron was required to mediate nose touch avoidance instead of three neurons in C. elegans. These data suggest that different species can increase or decrease the contribution of additional, non-ASH sensory

  16. Sensory reweighting dynamics following removal and addition of visual and proprioceptive cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assländer, Lorenz; Peterka, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Removing or adding sensory cues from one sensory system during standing balance causes a change in the contribution of the remaining sensory systems, a process referred to as sensory reweighting. While reweighting changes have been described in many studies under steady-state conditions, less is known about the temporal dynamics of reweighting following sudden transitions to different sensory conditions. The present study changed sensory conditions by periodically adding or removing visual (lights On/Off) or proprioceptive cues (surface sway referencing On/Off) in 12 young, healthy subjects. Evidence for changes in sensory contributions to balance was obtained by measuring the time course of medial-lateral sway responses to a constant-amplitude 0.56-Hz sinusoidal stimulus, applied as support surface tilt (proprioceptive contribution), as visual scene tilt (visual contribution), or as binaural galvanic vestibular stimulation (vestibular contribution), and by analyzing the time course of sway variability. Sine responses and variability of body sway velocity showed significant changes following transitions and were highly correlated under steady-state conditions. A dependence of steady-state responses on upcoming transitions was observed, suggesting that knowledge of impending changes can influence sensory weighting. Dynamic changes in sway in the period immediately following sensory transitions were very inhomogeneous across sway measures and in different experimental tests. In contrast to steady-state results, sway response and variability measures were not correlated with one another in the dynamic transition period. Several factors influence sway responses following addition or removal of sensory cues, partly instigated by but also obscuring the effects of reweighting dynamics.

  17. Whisker sensory system - from receptor to decision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Mathew E; Arabzadeh, Ehsan

    2013-04-01

    One of the great challenges of systems neuroscience is to understand how the neocortex transforms neuronal representations of the physical characteristics of sensory stimuli into the percepts which can guide the animal's decisions. Here we present progress made in understanding behavioral and neurophysiological aspects of a highly efficient sensory apparatus, the rat whisker system. Beginning with the 1970s discovery of "barrels" in the rat and mouse brain, one line of research has focused on unraveling the circuits that transmit information from the whiskers to the sensory cortex, together with the cellular mechanisms that underlie sensory responses. A second, more recent line of research has focused on tactile psychophysics, that is, quantification of the behavioral capacities supported by whisker sensation. The opportunity to join these two lines of investigation makes whisker-mediated sensation an exciting platform for the study of the neuronal bases of perception and decision-making. Even more appealing is the beginning-to-end prospective offered by this system: the inquiry can start at the level of the sensory receptor and conclude with the animal's choice. We argue that rats can switch between two modes of operation of the whisker sensory system: (1) generative mode and (2) receptive mode. In the generative mode, the rat moves its whiskers forward and backward to actively seek contact with objects and to palpate the object after initial contact. In the receptive mode, the rat immobilizes its whiskers to optimize the collection of signals from an object that is moving by its own power. We describe behavioral tasks that rats perform in these different modes. Next, we explore which neuronal codes in sensory cortex account for the rats' discrimination capacities. Finally, we present hypotheses for mechanisms through which "downstream" brain regions may read out the activity of sensory cortex in order to extract the significance of sensory stimuli and, ultimately

  18. Hierarchical sparse coding in the sensory system of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaslaver, Alon; Liani, Idan; Shtangel, Oshrat; Ginzburg, Shira; Yee, Lisa; Sternberg, Paul W

    2015-01-27

    Animals with compact sensory systems face an encoding problem where a small number of sensory neurons are required to encode information about its surrounding complex environment. Using Caenorhabditis elegans worms as a model, we ask how chemical stimuli are encoded by a small and highly connected sensory system. We first generated a comprehensive library of transgenic worms where each animal expresses a genetically encoded calcium indicator in individual sensory neurons. This library includes the vast majority of the sensory system in C. elegans. Imaging from individual sensory neurons while subjecting the worms to various stimuli allowed us to compile a comprehensive functional map of the sensory system at single neuron resolution. The functional map reveals that despite the dense wiring, chemosensory neurons represent the environment using sparse codes. Moreover, although anatomically closely connected, chemo- and mechano-sensory neurons are functionally segregated. In addition, the code is hierarchical, where few neurons participate in encoding multiple cues, whereas other sensory neurons are stimulus specific. This encoding strategy may have evolved to mitigate the constraints of a compact sensory system.

  19. Taste coding of complex naturalistic taste stimuli and traditional taste stimuli in the parabrachial pons of the awake, freely licking rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammons, Joshua D; Weiss, Michael S; Victor, Jonathan D; Di Lorenzo, Patricia M

    2016-07-01

    Several studies have shown that taste-responsive cells in the brainstem taste nuclei of rodents respond to sensory qualities other than gustation. Such data suggest that cells in the classical gustatory brainstem may be better tuned to respond to stimuli that engage multiple sensory modalities than to stimuli that are purely gustatory. Here, we test this idea by recording the electrophysiological responses to complex, naturalistic stimuli in single neurons in the parabrachial pons (PbN, the second neural relay in the central gustatory pathway) in awake, freely licking rats. Following electrode implantation and recovery, we presented both prototypical and naturalistic taste stimuli and recorded the responses in the PbN. Prototypical taste stimuli (NaCl, sucrose, citric acid, and caffeine) and naturalistic stimuli (clam juice, grape juice, lemon juice, and coffee) were matched for taste quality and intensity (concentration). Umami (monosodium glutamate + inosine monophosphate) and fat (diluted heavy cream) were also tested. PbN neurons responded to naturalistic stimuli as much or more than to prototypical taste stimuli. Furthermore, they convey more information about naturalistic stimuli than about prototypical ones. Moreover, multidimensional scaling analyses showed that across unit responses to naturalistic stimuli were more widely separated than responses to prototypical taste stimuli. Interestingly, cream evoked a robust and widespread response in PbN cells. Collectively, these data suggest that natural foods are more potent stimulators of PbN cells than purely gustatory stimuli. Probing PbN cells with pure taste stimuli may underestimate the response repertoire of these cells.

  20. 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....... Awareness of visual verbal stimuli differentially activated medial parietal association cortex (precuneus), which is a polymodal sensory cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is thought to be primarily executive. Our results suggest participation of these higher order perceptual and executive...... cortical structures in visual verbal awareness....

  1. Bilateral sensory abnormalities in patients with unilateral neuropathic pain; a quantitative sensory testing (QST study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl-Heinz Konopka

    Full Text Available In patients who experience unilateral chronic pain, abnormal sensory perception at the non-painful side has been reported. Contralateral sensory changes in these patients have been given little attention, possibly because they are regarded as clinically irrelevant. Still, bilateral sensory changes in these patients could become clinically relevant if they challenge the correct identification of their sensory dysfunction in terms of hyperalgesia and allodynia. Therefore, we have used the standardized quantitative sensory testing (QST protocol of the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS to investigate somatosensory function at the painful side and the corresponding non-painful side in unilateral neuropathic pain patients using gender- and age-matched healthy volunteers as a reference cohort. Sensory abnormalities were observed across all QST parameters at the painful side, but also, to a lesser extent, at the contralateral, non-painful side. Similar relative distributions regarding sensory loss/gain for non-nociceptive and nociceptive stimuli were found for both sides. Once a sensory abnormality for a QST parameter at the affected side was observed, the prevalence of an abnormality for the same parameter at the non-affected side was as high as 57% (for Pressure Pain Threshold. Our results show that bilateral sensory dysfunction in patients with unilateral neuropathic pain is more rule than exception. Therefore, this phenomenon should be taken into account for appropriate diagnostic evaluation in clinical practice. This is particularly true for mechanical stimuli where the 95% Confidence Interval for the prevalence of sensory abnormalities at the non-painful side ranges between 33% and 50%.

  2. Bilateral Sensory Abnormalities in Patients with Unilateral Neuropathic Pain; A Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Karl-Heinz; Harbers, Marten; Houghton, Andrea; Kortekaas, Rudie; van Vliet, Andre; Timmerman, Wia; den Boer, Johan A.; Struys, Michel M.R.F.; van Wijhe, Marten

    2012-01-01

    In patients who experience unilateral chronic pain, abnormal sensory perception at the non-painful side has been reported. Contralateral sensory changes in these patients have been given little attention, possibly because they are regarded as clinically irrelevant. Still, bilateral sensory changes in these patients could become clinically relevant if they challenge the correct identification of their sensory dysfunction in terms of hyperalgesia and allodynia. Therefore, we have used the standardized quantitative sensory testing (QST) protocol of the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS) to investigate somatosensory function at the painful side and the corresponding non-painful side in unilateral neuropathic pain patients using gender- and age-matched healthy volunteers as a reference cohort. Sensory abnormalities were observed across all QST parameters at the painful side, but also, to a lesser extent, at the contralateral, non-painful side. Similar relative distributions regarding sensory loss/gain for non-nociceptive and nociceptive stimuli were found for both sides. Once a sensory abnormality for a QST parameter at the affected side was observed, the prevalence of an abnormality for the same parameter at the non-affected side was as high as 57% (for Pressure Pain Threshold). Our results show that bilateral sensory dysfunction in patients with unilateral neuropathic pain is more rule than exception. Therefore, this phenomenon should be taken into account for appropriate diagnostic evaluation in clinical practice. This is particularly true for mechanical stimuli where the 95% Confidence Interval for the prevalence of sensory abnormalities at the non-painful side ranges between 33% and 50%. PMID:22629414

  3. Pain when walking: individual sensory profiles in the foot soles of torture victims - a controlled study using quantitative sensory testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prip, K.; Persson, A. L.; Sjolund, B. H.

    2012-01-01

    Background: With quantitative sensory testing (QST) we recently found no differences in sensory function of the foot soles between groups of torture victims with or without exposure to falanga (beatings under the feet). Compared to matched controls the torture victims had hyperalgesia to deep...... mechano-nociceptive stimuli and hypoesthesia to non-noxious cutaneous stimuli. The purpose of the present paper was to extend the group analysis into individual sensory profiles of victims' feet to explore possible relations between external violence (torture), reported pain, sensory symptoms and QST data...... to help clarify the underlying mechanisms. Methods: We employed interviews and assessments of the pain and sensory symptoms and QST by investigators blinded to whether the patients, 32 male torture victims from the Middle East, had (n=15), or had not (n=17) been exposed to falanga. Pain intensity, area...

  4. Learning Enhances Sensory and Multiple Non-sensory Representations in Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poort, Jasper; Khan, Adil G; Pachitariu, Marius; Nemri, Abdellatif; Orsolic, Ivana; Krupic, Julija; Bauza, Marius; Sahani, Maneesh; Keller, Georg B; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D; Hofer, Sonja B

    2015-06-17

    We determined how learning modifies neural representations in primary visual cortex (V1) during acquisition of a visually guided behavioral task. We imaged the activity of the same layer 2/3 neuronal populations as mice learned to discriminate two visual patterns while running through a virtual corridor, where one pattern was rewarded. Improvements in behavioral performance were closely associated with increasingly distinguishable population-level representations of task-relevant stimuli, as a result of stabilization of existing and recruitment of new neurons selective for these stimuli. These effects correlated with the appearance of multiple task-dependent signals during learning: those that increased neuronal selectivity across the population when expert animals engaged in the task, and those reflecting anticipation or behavioral choices specifically in neuronal subsets preferring the rewarded stimulus. Therefore, learning engages diverse mechanisms that modify sensory and non-sensory representations in V1 to adjust its processing to task requirements and the behavioral relevance of visual stimuli.

  5. Sensory Coding in Oscillatory Peripheral Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neiman, Alexander

    2014-03-01

    Rhythmical activity have been observed in several types of peripheral sensory receptors, e.g. in senses of hearing, balance and electroreception. We use two examples of spontaneously oscillating peripheral sensory receptors: bullfrog saccular hair cells and electroreceptors of paddlefish, to discuss how oscillations emerge, how these sensors may utilize oscillations to optimize their sensitivity and information processing. In the hair cell system oscillations occur on two very different levels: first, the mechano-sensory hair bundle itself can undergo spontaneous mechanical oscillations and second, self-sustained voltage oscillations across the membrane of the hair cell have been documented. Modelling show that interaction of these two compartment results in enhanced sensitivity to periodic mechanical stimuli. The second example, a single peripheral electroreceptor, is a complex system comprised of several thousands of sensory epithelial cells innervated by a few primary sensory neurons. It embeds two distinct oscillators: one residing in a population of epithelial cells, synaptically coupled to another oscillator residing in a branched myelinated afferent axon. We show how neuronal oscillations emerge in a complex network of excitable nodes. We further demonstrate that epithelial oscillations results in extended serial correlations of neruonal discharges enhancing coding of external stimuli.

  6. Attentional load and sensory competition in human vision: modulation of fMRI responses by load at fixation during task-irrelevant stimulation in the peripheral visual field

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schwartz, Sophie; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Hutton, Chloe; Maravita, Angelo; Dolan, Raymond J; Driver, Jon

    2005-01-01

    Perceptual suppression of distractors may depend on both endogenous and exogenous factors, such as attentional load of the current task and sensory competition among simultaneous stimuli, respectively...

  7. 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.

  8. Behavioral detection of passive whisker stimuli requires somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Toshio; Feldman, Daniel E

    2013-07-01

    Rodent whisker sensation occurs both actively, as whiskers move rhythmically across objects, and in a passive mode in which externally applied deflections are sensed by static, non-moving whiskers. Passive whisker stimuli are robustly encoded in the somatosensory (S1) cortex, and provide a potentially powerful means of studying cortical processing. However, whether S1 contributes to passive sensation is debated. We developed 2 new behavioral tasks to assay passive whisker sensation in freely moving rats: Detection of unilateral whisker deflections and discrimination of right versus left whisker deflections. Stimuli were simple, simultaneous multi-whisker deflections. Local muscimol inactivation of S1 reversibly and robustly abolished sensory performance on these tasks. Thus, S1 is required for the detection and discrimination of simple stimuli by passive whiskers, in addition to its known role in active whisker sensation.

  9. Stomatin and sensory neuron mechanotransduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Salgado, Carlos; Benckendorff, Anne G; Chiang, Li-Yang; Wang, Rui; Milenkovic, Nevena; Wetzel, Christiane; Hu, Jing; Stucky, Cheryl L; Parra, Marilyn G; Mohandas, Narla; Lewin, Gary R

    2007-12-01

    Somatic sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia are necessary for a large part of our mechanosensory experience. However, we only have a good knowledge of the molecules required for mechanotransduction in simple invertebrates such as the nematode Caenorhabiditis elegans. In C. elegans, a number of so-called mec genes have been isolated that are required for the transduction of body touch. One such gene, mec-2 codes for an integral membrane protein of the stomatin family, a large group of genes with a stomatin homology domain. Using stomatin null mutant mice, we have tested the hypothesis that the founding member of this family, stomatin might play a role in the transduction of mechanical stimuli by primary sensory neurons. We used the in vitro mouse skin nerve preparation to record from a large population of low- and high-threshold mechanoreceptors with myelinated A-fiber (n = 553) and unmyelinated C-fiber (n = 157) axons. One subtype of mechanoreceptor, the d-hair receptor, which is a rapidly adapting mechanoreceptor, had reduced sensitivity to mechanical stimulation in the absence of stomatin. Other cutaneous mechanoreceptors, including nociceptive C-fibers were not affected by the absence of a functional stomatin protein. Patch-clamp analysis of presumptive D-hair receptor mechanoreceptive neurons, which were identified by a characteristic rosette morphology in culture, showed no change in membrane excitability in the absence of the stomatin protein. We conclude that stomatin is required for normal mechanotransduction in a subpopulation of vertebrate sensory neurons.

  10. Just do it: action-dependent learning allows sensory prediction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Novick

    Full Text Available Sensory-motor learning is commonly considered as a mapping process, whereby sensory information is transformed into the motor commands that drive actions. However, this directional mapping, from inputs to outputs, is part of a loop; sensory stimuli cause actions and vice versa. Here, we explore whether actions affect the understanding of the sensory input that they cause. Using a visuo-motor task in humans, we demonstrate two types of learning-related behavioral effects. Stimulus-dependent effects reflect stimulus-response learning, while action-dependent effects reflect a distinct learning component, allowing the brain to predict the forthcoming sensory outcome of actions. Together, the stimulus-dependent and the action-dependent learning components allow the brain to construct a complete internal representation of the sensory-motor loop.

  11. Auditory stimuli mimicking ambient sounds drive temporal "delta-brushes" in premature infants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathilde Chipaux

    Full Text Available In the premature infant, somatosensory and visual stimuli trigger an immature electroencephalographic (EEG pattern, "delta-brushes," in the corresponding sensory cortical areas. Whether auditory stimuli evoke delta-brushes in the premature auditory cortex has not been reported. Here, responses to auditory stimuli were studied in 46 premature infants without neurologic risk aged 31 to 38 postmenstrual weeks (PMW during routine EEG recording. Stimuli consisted of either low-volume technogenic "clicks" near the background noise level of the neonatal care unit, or a human voice at conversational sound level. Stimuli were administrated pseudo-randomly during quiet and active sleep. In another protocol, the cortical response to a composite stimulus ("click" and voice was manually triggered during EEG hypoactive periods of quiet sleep. Cortical responses were analyzed by event detection, power frequency analysis and stimulus locked averaging. Before 34 PMW, both voice and "click" stimuli evoked cortical responses with similar frequency-power topographic characteristics, namely a temporal negative slow-wave and rapid oscillations similar to spontaneous delta-brushes. Responses to composite stimuli also showed a maximal frequency-power increase in temporal areas before 35 PMW. From 34 PMW the topography of responses in quiet sleep was different for "click" and voice stimuli: responses to "clicks" became diffuse but responses to voice remained limited to temporal areas. After the age of 35 PMW auditory evoked delta-brushes progressively disappeared and were replaced by a low amplitude response in the same location. Our data show that auditory stimuli mimicking ambient sounds efficiently evoke delta-brushes in temporal areas in the premature infant before 35 PMW. Along with findings in other sensory modalities (visual and somatosensory, these findings suggest that sensory driven delta-brushes represent a ubiquitous feature of the human sensory cortex

  12. Sensory competition in the face processing areas of the human brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krisztina Nagy

    Full Text Available The concurrent presentation of multiple stimuli in the visual field may trigger mutually suppressive interactions throughout the ventral visual stream. While several studies have been performed on sensory competition effects among non-face stimuli relatively little is known about the interactions in the human brain for multiple face stimuli. In the present study we analyzed the neuronal basis of sensory competition in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study using multiple face stimuli. We varied the ratio of faces and phase-noise images within a composite display with a constant number of peripheral stimuli, thereby manipulating the competitive interactions between faces. For contralaterally presented stimuli we observed strong competition effects in the fusiform face area (FFA bilaterally and in the right lateral occipital area (LOC, but not in the occipital face area (OFA, suggesting their different roles in sensory competition. When we increased the spatial distance among pairs of faces the magnitude of suppressive interactions was reduced in the FFA. Surprisingly, the magnitude of competition depended on the visual hemifield of the stimuli: ipsilateral stimulation reduced the competition effects somewhat in the right LOC while it increased them in the left LOC. This suggests a left hemifield dominance of sensory competition. Our results support the sensory competition theory in the processing of multiple faces and suggests that sensory competition occurs in several cortical areas in both cerebral hemispheres.

  13. Sensory and non-sensory factors and the concept of externality in obese subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, R M; Brake, S J; Reyes, B; Maestas, D

    1983-08-01

    9 obese and 9 normal subjects performed a psychophysical task in which food- or non-food-related stimuli were briefly flashed tachistoscopically at a speed and intensity near the visual threshold. A signal was presented on one-half the trials and noise only on the other one-half of the trials. Using signal detection theory methodology, separate measures of sensory sensitivity (d') and response bias (beta) were calculated. No differences were noted between obese and normal subjects on measures of sensory sensitivity but significant differences on response bias. Obese subjects had consistently lower response criteria than normal ones. Analysis for subjects categorized by whether they were restrained or unrestrained eaters gave findings identical to those for obese and normal. The importance of using a methodology that separates sensory and non-sensory factors in research on obesity is discussed.

  14. Discriminating Children with Autism from Children with Learning Difficulties with an Adaptation of the Short Sensory Profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Justin; Tsermentseli, Stella; Cummins, Omar; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela; Spencer, Janine

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we examine the extent to which children with autism and children with learning difficulties can be discriminated from their responses to different patterns of sensory stimuli. Using an adapted version of the Short Sensory Profile (SSP), sensory processing was compared in 34 children with autism to 33 children with typical…

  15. Neuropathic pain: is quantitative sensory testing helpful?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krumova, Elena K; Geber, Christian; Westermann, Andrea; Maier, Christoph

    2012-08-01

    Neuropathic pain arises as a consequence of a lesion or disease affecting the somatosensory system and is characterised by a combination of positive and negative sensory symptoms. Quantitative sensory testing (QST) examines the sensory perception after application of different mechanical and thermal stimuli of controlled intensity and the function of both large (A-beta) and small (A-delta and C) nerve fibres, including the corresponding central pathways. QST can be used to determine detection, pain thresholds and stimulus-response curves and can thus detect both negative and positive sensory signs, the second ones not being assessed by other methods. Similarly to all other psychophysical tests QST requires standardised examination, instructions and data evaluation to receive valid and reliable results. Since normative data are available, QST can contribute also to the individual diagnosis of neuropathy, especially in the case of isolated small-fibre neuropathy, in contrast to the conventional electrophysiology which assesses only large myelinated fibres. For example, detection of early stages of subclinical neuropathy in symptomatic or asymptomatic patients with diabetes mellitus can be helpful to optimise treatment and identify diabetic foot at risk of ulceration. QST assessed the individual's sensory profile and thus can be valuable to evaluate the underlying pain mechanisms which occur in different frequencies even in the same neuropathic pain syndromes. Furthermore, assessing the exact sensory phenotype by QST might be useful in the future to identify responders to certain treatments in accordance to the underlying pain mechanisms.

  16. STDP in the developing sensory neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rylan S Larsen

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP has been proposed as a mechanism for optimizing the tuning of neurons to sensory inputs, a process that underlies the formation of receptive field properties and associative memories. The properties of STDP must adjust during development to enable neurons to optimally tune their selectivity for environmental stimuli, but these changes are poorly understood. Here we review the properties of STDP and how these may change during development in primary sensory cortical layers 2/3 and 4, initial sites for intracortical processing. We provide a primer discussing postnatal developmental changes in synaptic proteins and neuromodulators that are thought to influence STDP induction and expression. We propose that STDP is shaped by, but also modifies, synapses to produce refinements in neuronal responses to sensory inputs.

  17. What is Sensory about Multi-Sensory Enhancement of Vision by Sounds?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexis Pérez-Bellido

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Can auditory input influence the sensory processing of visual information? Many studies have reported cross-modal enhancement in visual tasks, but the nature of such gain is still unclear. Some authors argue for ‘high-order’ expectancy or attention effects, whereas others propose ‘low-order’ stimulus-driven multisensory integration. The present study applies a psychophysical analysis of reaction time distributions in order to disentangle sensory changes from other kind of high-order (not sensory-specific effects. Observers performed a speeded simple detection task on Gabor patches of different spatial frequencies and contrasts, with and without accompanying sounds. The data were adjusted using chronometric functions in order to separate changes is sensory evidence from changes in decision or motor times. The results supported the existence of a stimulus unspecific auditory-induced enhancement in RTs across all types of visual stimuli, probably mediated by higher-order effects (eg, reduction of temporal uncertainty. Critically, we also singled out a sensory gain that was selective to low spatial frequency stimuli, highlighting the role of the magno-cellular visual pathway in multisensory integration for fast detection. The present findings help clarify previous mixed findings in the area, and introduce a novel form to evaluate cross-modal enhancement.

  18. Encoding of naturalistic stimuli by local field potential spectra in networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Mazzoni

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Recordings of local field potentials (LFPs reveal that the sensory cortex displays rhythmic activity and fluctuations over a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes. Yet, the role of this kind of activity in encoding sensory information remains largely unknown. To understand the rules of translation between the structure of sensory stimuli and the fluctuations of cortical responses, we simulated a sparsely connected network of excitatory and inhibitory neurons modeling a local cortical population, and we determined how the LFPs generated by the network encode information about input stimuli. We first considered simple static and periodic stimuli and then naturalistic input stimuli based on electrophysiological recordings from the thalamus of anesthetized monkeys watching natural movie scenes. We found that the simulated network produced stimulus-related LFP changes that were in striking agreement with the LFPs obtained from the primary visual cortex. Moreover, our results demonstrate that the network encoded static input spike rates into gamma-range oscillations generated by inhibitory-excitatory neural interactions and encoded slow dynamic features of the input into slow LFP fluctuations mediated by stimulus-neural interactions. The model cortical network processed dynamic stimuli with naturalistic temporal structure by using low and high response frequencies as independent communication channels, again in agreement with recent reports from visual cortex responses to naturalistic movies. One potential function of this frequency decomposition into independent information channels operated by the cortical network may be that of enhancing the capacity of the cortical column to encode our complex sensory environment.

  19. Crocodylians evolved scattered multi-sensory micro-organs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background During their evolution towards a complete life cycle on land, stem reptiles developed both an impermeable multi-layered keratinized epidermis and skin appendages (scales) providing mechanical, thermal, and chemical protection. Previous studies have demonstrated that, despite the presence of a particularly armored skin, crocodylians have exquisite mechanosensory abilities thanks to the presence of small integumentary sensory organs (ISOs) distributed on postcranial and/or cranial scales. Results Here, we analyze and compare the structure, innervation, embryonic morphogenesis and sensory functions of postcranial, cranial, and lingual sensory organs of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus). Our molecular analyses indicate that sensory neurons of crocodylian ISOs express a large repertoire of transduction channels involved in mechano-, thermo-, and chemosensory functions, and our electrophysiological analyses confirm that each ISO exhibits a combined sensitivity to mechanical, thermal and pH stimuli (but not hyper-osmotic salinity), making them remarkable multi-sensorial micro-organs with no equivalent in the sensory systems of other vertebrate lineages. We also show that ISOs all exhibit similar morphologies and modes of development, despite forming at different stages of scale morphogenesis across the body. Conclusions The ancestral vertebrate diffused sensory system of the skin was transformed in the crocodylian lineages into an array of discrete multi-sensory micro-organs innervated by multiple pools of sensory neurons. This discretization of skin sensory expression sites is unique among vertebrates and allowed crocodylians to develop a highly-armored, but very sensitive, skin. PMID:23819918

  20. P50 sensory gating in infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Anne Spencer; Hunter, Sharon Kay; Groth, Mark A; Ross, Randal Glenn

    2013-12-26

    Attentional deficits are common in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, autism, bipolar mood disorder, and schizophrenia. There has been increasing interest in the neurodevelopmental components of these attentional deficits; neurodevelopmental meaning that while the deficits become clinically prominent in childhood or adulthood, the deficits are the results of problems in brain development that begin in infancy or even prenatally. Despite this interest, there are few methods for assessing attention very early in infancy. This report focuses on one method, infant auditory P50 sensory gating. Attention has several components. One of the earliest components of attention, termed sensory gating, allows the brain to tune out repetitive, noninformative sensory information. Auditory P50 sensory gating refers to one task designed to measure sensory gating using changes in EEG. When identical auditory stimuli are presented 500 ms apart, the evoked response (change in the EEG associated with the processing of the click) to the second stimulus is generally reduced relative to the response to the first stimulus (i.e. the response is "gated"). When response to the second stimulus is not reduced, this is considered a poor sensory gating, is reflective of impaired cerebral inhibition, and is correlated with attentional deficits. Because the auditory P50 sensory gating task is passive, it is of potential utility in the study of young infants and may provide a window into the developmental time course of attentional deficits in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. The goal of this presentation is to describe the methodology for assessing infant auditory P50 sensory gating, a methodology adapted from those used in studies of adult populations.

  1. Report sensory analyses veal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldman, M.; Schelvis-Smit, A.A.M.

    2005-01-01

    On behalf of a client of Animal Sciences Group, different varieties of veal were analyzed by both instrumental and sensory analyses. The sensory evaluation was performed with a sensory analytical panel in the period of 13th of May and 31st of May, 2005. The three varieties of veal were: young bull,

  2. Sensory TRP channels: the key transducers of nociception and pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickle, Aaron D; Shepherd, Andrew J; Mohapatra, Durga P

    2015-01-01

    Peripheral detection of nociceptive and painful stimuli by sensory neurons involves a complex repertoire of molecular detectors and/or transducers on distinct subsets of nerve fibers. The majority of such molecular detectors/transducers belong to the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of cation channels, which comprise both specific receptors for distinct nociceptive stimuli, as well as for multiple stimuli. This chapter discusses the classification, distribution, and functional properties of individual TRP channel types that have been implicated in various nociceptive and/or painful conditions.

  3. Bimodal Stimuli Do Not Always Facilitate Infants' Rule Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sin Mei Tsui

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Seven-month-old infants possess the ability to extract and generalize abstract rules from unimodal sequences of auditory syllables such as ABA and ABB whereas five-month-old infants are facilitated in their learning of these rules by bimodal sequences. In the current study, we investigated whether bimodal stimuli could also help infants acquire what we consider a more difficult abstract rule: AAB. Nineteen 8- to 9-month-old infants were habituated to the AAB rule with simultaneous visual shapes and speech sounds. They were later tested on their ability to discriminate this sequence from ABA and ABB with their looking times measured after each stimulus presentation at test periods. There was no significant difference in looking times amongst the different sequences, suggesting infants were not able to formulate an AAB rule different from those for ABA and ABB. Older infants' inability to utilize extra sensory information to acquire an abstract rule in which younger ones were ready to learn from unimodal stimulus (speech was unexpected. It is unclear what leads to the failure of rule learning from bimodal stimuli, but possible explanations including perceptual narrowing in the inter-sensory integration and the difference in sensory representation of abstract rules with different difficulties are discussed.

  4. 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,

  5. Accessibility and sensory experiences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryhl, Camilla

    2010-01-01

    This article introduces a new design concept; sensory accessibility. While acknowledging the importance of sensory experiences in architectural quality, as well as the importance of accommodating user needs the concept combines three equally important factors; architecture, the senses and accessi......This article introduces a new design concept; sensory accessibility. While acknowledging the importance of sensory experiences in architectural quality, as well as the importance of accommodating user needs the concept combines three equally important factors; architecture, the senses...... and accessibility. Sensory accessibility accommodates aspects of a sensory disability and describes architectural design requirements needed to ensure access to architectural experiences. In the context of architecture accessibility has become a design concept of its own. It is generally described as ensuring...... physical access to the built environment by accommodating physical disabilities. While the existing concept of accessibility ensures the physical access of everyone to a given space, sensory accessibility ensures the choice of everyone to stay and be able to participate and experience....

  6. Common dynamical features of sensory adaptation in photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Giovanna De Palo; Giuseppe Facchetti; Monica Mazzolini; Anna Menini; Vincent Torre; Claudio Altafini

    2013-01-01

    Sensory systems adapt, i.e., they adjust their sensitivity to external stimuli according to the ambient level. In this paper we show that single cell electrophysiological responses of vertebrate olfactory receptors and of photoreceptors to different input protocols exhibit several common features related to adaptation, and that these features can be used to investigate the dynamical structure of the feedback regulation responsible for the adaptation. In particular, we point out that two diffe...

  7. Sensory processing by neural circuits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, Allyson J; Sternberg, Paul W

    2004-08-01

    The anatomical and developmental constancy of Caenorhabditis elegans belies the complexity of its numerically small nervous system. Indeed, there is an increased appreciation of C. elegans as an organism to study systems level questions. Many recent studies focus on the circuits that control locomotion, egg-laying, and male mating behaviors and their modulation by multiple sensory stimuli.

  8. Bacteria activate sensory neurons that modulate pain and inflammation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chiu, Isaac M.; Heesters, Balthasar A.; Ghasemlou, Nader; Von Hehn, Christian A.; Zhao, Fan; Tran, Johnathan; Wainger, Brian; Strominger, Amanda; Muralidharan, Sriya; Horswill, Alexander R.; Wardenburg, Juliane Bubeck; Hwang, Sun Wook; Carroll, Michael C.; Woolf, Clifford J.

    2013-01-01

    Nociceptor sensory neurons are specialized to detect potentially damaging stimuli, protecting the organism by initiating the sensation of pain and eliciting defensive behaviours. Bacterial infections produce pain by unknown molecular mechanisms, although they are presumed to be secondary to immune a

  9. Sensory and motor components of reproductive behavior : pathways and plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holstege, Gert; Van der Horst, Veronique G.J.M.

    Reproductive behavior in most mammalian species consists of a highly stereotyped pattern of movements, is elicited by specific sensory stimuli and is sex steroid dependent. The present paper describes a concept of the pathways in the midbrain, brainstem and spinal cord which control the receptive

  10. VR-MDS: multidimensional scaling for classification tasks of virtual and real stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, S

    2014-04-01

    Evaluating the perceptual similarity between virtual and real sensory stimuli has been a serious problem for virtual reality interface researchers for a long time. One of the most commonly used evaluation methods is a classification task where assessors classify randomly presented stimuli into multiple candidate types. The results of this method are summarized using two types of confusion matrices, which have different stimulus sets. The present study developed a method that computes the locations of simulated and real stimuli in a perceptual space on the basis of the two confusion matrices. The spatial distribution of the stimuli allows us to visually interpret the perceptual relationships between stimuli and their perceptual dimensionality. This method is recommended when the guidance index based on the answer ratios of the confusion matrices is fairly high.

  11. Delivery of continuously-varying stimuli using ChR2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana eTchumatchenko

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available To study sensory processing, stimuli are delivered to the sensory organs of animals and evoked neural activity is recorded downstream. However, noise and uncontrolled modulatory input can interfere with repeatable delivery of sensory stimuli to higher brain regions. Here we show how channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 can be used to deliver continuous time-varying currents to neurons at any point along the sensory-motor pathway. To do this, we first deduce the frequency response function of ChR2 using a Markov model of channel kinetics. We confirm ChR2's frequency response characteristics using continuously-varying optical stimulation of neurons that express one of three ChR2 variants. We find that wild-type ChR2 and the E123T/H134R mutant (`CheTA' can pass continuously-varying stimuli with frequencies up to 70 Hz. Additionally, we find that wild-type ChR2 exhibits a strong resonance at 6-10 Hz. Together, these results indicate that ChR2-derived optogenetic tools are useful for delivering highly repeatable artificial stimuli that mimic in-vivo synaptic bombardment.

  12. Consistency of Border-Ownership Cells across Artificial Stimuli, Natural Stimuli, and Stimuli with Ambiguous Contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Janis K; Tsao, Doris Y

    2016-11-02

    Segmentation and recognition of objects in a visual scene are two problems that are hard to solve separately from each other. When segmenting an ambiguous scene, it is helpful to already know the present objects and their shapes. However, for recognizing an object in clutter, one would like to consider its isolated segment alone to avoid confounds from features of other objects. Border-ownership cells (Zhou et al., 2000) appear to play an important role in segmentation, as they signal the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli. The present work explores the role of border-ownership cells in dorsal macaque visual areas V2 and V3 in the segmentation of natural object stimuli and locally ambiguous stimuli. We report two major results. First, compared with previous estimates, we found a smaller percentage of cells that were consistent across artificial stimuli used previously. Second, we found that the average response of those neurons that did respond consistently to the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli also consistently signaled, as a population, the side-of-figure for borders of single faces, occluding faces and, with higher latencies, even stimuli with illusory contours, such as Mooney faces and natural faces completely missing local edge information. In contrast, the local edge or the outlines of the face alone could not always evoke a significant border-ownership signal. Our results underscore that border ownership is coded by a population of cells, and indicate that these cells integrate a variety of cues, including low-level features and global object context, to compute the segmentation of the scene.

  13. Stimuli, Reinforcers, and Private Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevin, John A.

    2008-01-01

    Radical behaviorism considers private events to be a part of ongoing observable behavior and to share the properties of public events. Although private events cannot be measured directly, their roles in overt action can be inferred from mathematical models that relate private responses to external stimuli and reinforcers according to the same…

  14. Stimuli, Reinforcers, and Private Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevin, John A.

    2008-01-01

    Radical behaviorism considers private events to be a part of ongoing observable behavior and to share the properties of public events. Although private events cannot be measured directly, their roles in overt action can be inferred from mathematical models that relate private responses to external stimuli and reinforcers according to the same…

  15. Sensory Neuron-Specific Deletion of TRPA1 Results in Mechanical Cutaneous Sensory Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The nonselective cation channel transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) is known to be a key contributor to both somatosensation and pain. Recent studies have implicated TRPA1 in additional physiologic functions and have also suggested that TRPA1 is expressed in nonneuronal tissues. Thus, it has become necessary to resolve the importance of TRPA1 expressed in primary sensory neurons, particularly since previous research has largely used global knock-out animals and chemical TRPA1 antagonists. We therefore sought to isolate the physiological relevance of TRPA1 specifically within sensory neurons. To accomplish this, we used Advillin-Cre mice, in which the promoter for Advillin is used to drive expression of Cre recombinase specifically within sensory neurons. These Advillin-Cre mice were crossed with Trpa1fl/fl mice to generate sensory neuron-specific Trpa1 knock-out mice. Here, we show that tissue-specific deletion of TRPA1 from sensory neurons produced strong deficits in behavioral sensitivity to mechanical stimulation, while sensitivity to cold and heat stimuli remained intact. The mechanical sensory deficit was incomplete compared to the mechanosensory impairment of TRPA1 global knock-out mice, in line with the incomplete (∼80%) elimination of TRPA1 from sensory neurons in the tissue-specific Advillin-Cre knock-out mice. Equivalent findings were observed in tissue-specific knock-out animals originating from two independently-generated Advillin-Cre lines. As such, our results show that sensory neuron TRPA1 is required for mechanical, but not cold, responsiveness in noninjured skin.

  16. HIV Associated Sensory Neuropathy

    OpenAIRE

    G, Amruth; S, Praveen-kumar; B, Nataraju; BS, Nagaraja

    2014-01-01

    Background: In the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy, sensory neuropathies have increased in prevalence. We have documented the frequency and profile of the two most common forms of sensory neuropathies associated with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and looked into clinicoelectrophysiological correlates to differentiate the two entities.

  17. Dermatomal sensory manifestations in lateral medullary infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongo, Hiroki; Tanaka, Yasutaka; Shimada, Yoshiaki; Tanaka, Ryota; Hattori, Nobutaka; Urabe, Takao

    2014-01-01

    A 61-year-old man who experienced a sudden onset of unstable gait followed by nuchal pain was admitted to our department. The neurologic examination revealed right-sided limb ataxia, right partial ptosis, and decreased sensation to 50% of the normal side to pinprick and temperature stimuli on the left side below the level of the T-6 dermatome. A lateral medullary infarction caused by spontaneous vertebral artery dissection was diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography angiography. In conclusion, lateral medullary infarction is an important entity to consider in the differential diagnosis of dermatomal sensory manifestations.

  18. UNCOMMON SENSORY METHODOLOGIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimír Vietoris

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Sensory science is the young but the rapidly developing field of the food industry. Actually, the great emphasis is given to the production of rapid techniques of data collection, the difference between consumers and trained panel is obscured and the role of sensory methodologists is to prepare the ways for evaluation, by which a lay panel (consumers can achieve identical results as a trained panel. Currently, there are several conventional methods of sensory evaluation of food (ISO standards, but more sensory laboratories are developing methodologies that are not strict enough in the selection of evaluators, their mechanism is easily understandable and the results are easily interpretable. This paper deals with mapping of marginal methods used in sensory evaluation of food (new types of profiles, CATA, TDS, napping.

  19. Sensory fusion in Physarum polycephalum and implementing multi-sensory functional computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, James G H; de Lacy Costello, Ben P J; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Surface electrical potential and observational growth recordings were made of a protoplasmic tube of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum in response to a multitude of stimuli with regards to sensory fusion or multisensory integration. Each stimulus was tested alone and in combination in order to evaluate for the first time the effect that multiple stimuli have on the frequency of streaming oscillation. White light caused a decrease in frequency whilst increasing the temperature and applying a food source in the form of oat flakes both increased the frequency. Simultaneously stimulating P. polycephalum with light and oat flake produced no net change in frequency, while combined light and heat stimuli showed an increase in frequency smaller than that observed for heat alone. When the two positive stimuli, oat flakes and heat, were combined, there was a net increase in frequency similar to the cumulative increases caused by the individual stimuli. Boolean logic gates were derived from the measured frequency change. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  20. Pain when walking: individual sensory profiles in the foot soles of torture victims - a controlled study using quantitative sensory testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prip Karen

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With quantitative sensory testing (QST we recently found no differences in sensory function of the foot soles between groups of torture victims with or without exposure to falanga (beatings under the feet. Compared to matched controls the torture victims had hyperalgesia to deep mechano-nociceptive stimuli and hypoesthesia to non-noxious cutaneous stimuli. The purpose of the present paper was to extend the group analysis into individual sensory profiles of victims’ feet to explore possible relations between external violence (torture, reported pain, sensory symptoms and QST data to help clarify the underlying mechanisms. Methods We employed interviews and assessments of the pain and sensory symptoms and QST by investigators blinded to whether the patients, 32 male torture victims from the Middle East, had (n=15, or had not (n=17 been exposed to falanga. Pain intensity, area and stimulus dependence were used to characterize the pain. QST included thresholds for touch, cold, warmth, cold-pain, heat-pain, deep pressure pain and wind-up to cutaneous noxious stimuli. An ethnically matched control group was available.The normality criterion, from our control group data, was set as the mean +/− 1.28SD, thus including 80% of all values.QST data were transformed into three categories in relation to our normality range; hypoesthesia, normoesthesia or hyperesthesia/hyperalgesia. Results Most patients, irrespective of having been exposed to falanga or not, reported severe pain when walking. This was often associated with hyperalgesia to deep mechanical pressure. Hypoesthesia to mechanical stimuli co-occurred with numbness, burning and with deep mechanical hyperalgesia more often than not, but otherwise, a hypoesthesia to cutaneous sensory modalities did not co-occur systematically to falanga, pain or sensory symptoms. Conclusion In torture victims, there seem to be overriding mechanisms, manifested by hyperalgesia to pressure pain

  1. Improvements of sensorimotor processes during action cascading associated with changes in sensory processing architecture-insights from sensory deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-06-20

    In most everyday situations sensorimotor processes are quite complex because situations often require to carry out several actions in a specific temporal order; i.e. one has to cascade different actions. While it is known that changes to stimuli affect action cascading mechanisms, it is unknown whether action cascading changes when sensory stimuli are not manipulated, but the neural architecture to process these stimuli is altered. In the current study we test this hypothesis using prelingually deaf subjects as a model to answer this question. We use a system neurophysiological approach using event-related potentials (ERPs) and source localization techniques. We show that prelingually deaf subjects show improvements in action cascading. However, this improvement is most likely not due to changes at the perceptual (P1-ERP) and attentional processing level (N1-ERP), but due to changes at the response selection level (P3-ERP). It seems that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is important for these effects to occur, because the TPJ comprises overlapping networks important for the processing of sensory information and the selection of responses. Sensory deprivation thus affects cognitive processes downstream of sensory processing and only these seem to be important for behavioral improvements in situations requiring complex sensorimotor processes and action cascading.

  2. Balancing bilateral sensory activity: callosal processing modulates sensory transmission through the contralateral thalamus by altering the response threshold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lu; Ebner, Ford F

    2006-07-01

    Rats tactually explore a nearly spherical space field around their heads with their whiskers. The information sampled by the two sets of whiskers is integrated bilaterally at the cortical level in an activity dependent manner via the corpus callosum. We have recently shown that sensory activity in one barrel field cortex (BFC) modulates the processing of incoming sensory information to the other BFC. Whether interhemispheric integration is dynamically linked with corticothalamic modulation of incoming sensory activity is an important hypothesis to test, since subcortical relay neurons are directly modulated by cortical neurons through top-down processes. In the present study, we compared the direct sensory responses of single thalamic relay neurons under urethane anesthesia before and after inactivating the BFC contralateral to a thalamic neuron. The data show that silencing one BFC reduces response magnitude in contralateral thalamic relay neurons, significantly and reversibly, in response to test stimuli applied to the principal whisker at two times response threshold (2T) intensity for each unit. Neurons in the ventral posterior medial (VPM) nucleus and the medial division of the posterior nucleus (POm) react in a similar manner, although POm neurons are more profoundly depressed by inactivation of the contralateral BFC than VPM neurons. The results support the novel idea that the subcortical relay of sensory information to one hemisphere is strongly modulated by activity levels in the contralateral as well as in the ipsilateral SI cortex. The mechanism of the modulation appears to be based on shifting the stimulus-response curves of thalamic neurons, thereby rendering them more or less sensitive to sensory stimuli. We conclude that global sensory processing is created by combining activity in each cerebral hemisphere and continually balancing the flow of information to cortex by adjusting the responsiveness of ascending sensory pathways.

  3. Social facilitation of insect reproduction with motor-driven tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzsák, Adrienn; Dieffenderfer, James; Bozkurt, Alper; Schal, Coby

    2014-05-22

    Tactile stimuli provide animals with important information about the environment, including physical features such as obstacles, and biologically relevant cues related to food, mates, hosts and predators. The antennae, the principal sensory organs of insects, house an array of sensory receptors for olfaction, gustation, audition, nociception, balance, stability, graviception, static electric fields, and thermo-, hygro- and mechanoreception. The antennae, being the anteriormost sensory appendages, play a prominent role in social interactions with conspecifics that involve primarily chemosensory and tactile stimuli. In the German cockroach (Blattella germanica) antennal contact during social interactions modulates brain-regulated juvenile hormone production, ultimately accelerating the reproductive rate in females. The primary sensory modality mediating this social facilitation of reproduction is antennal mechanoreception. We investigated the key elements, or stimulus features, of antennal contact that socially facilitate reproduction in B. germanica females. Using motor-driven antenna mimics, we assessed the physiological responses of females to artificial tactile stimulation. Our results indicate that tactile stimulation with artificial materials, some deviating significantly from the native antennal morphology, can facilitate female reproduction. However, none of the artificial stimuli matched the effects of social interactions with a conspecific female.

  4. Behaviorally relevant burst coding in primary sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabourin, Patrick; Pollack, Gerald S

    2009-08-01

    Bursts of action potentials in sensory interneurons are believed to signal the occurrence of particularly salient stimulus features. Previous work showed that bursts in an identified, ultrasound-tuned interneuron (AN2) of the cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus code for conspicuous increases in amplitude of an ultrasound stimulus, resulting in behavioral responses that are interpreted as avoidance of echolocating bats. We show that the primary sensory neurons that inform AN2 about high-frequency acoustic stimuli also produce bursts. As is the case for AN2, bursts in sensory neurons perform better as feature detectors than isolated, nonburst, spikes. Bursting is temporally correlated between sensory neurons, suggesting that on occurrence of a salient stimulus feature, AN2 will receive strong synaptic input in the form of coincident bursts, from several sensory neurons, and that this might result in bursting in AN2. Our results show that an important feature of the temporal structure of interneuron spike trains can be established at the earliest possible level of sensory processing, i.e., that of the primary sensory neuron.

  5. Cortical network reorganization guided by sensory input features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgard, Michael P; Pandya, Pritesh K; Engineer, Navzer D; Moucha, Raluca

    2002-12-01

    Sensory experience alters the functional organization of cortical networks. Previous studies using behavioral training motivated by aversive or rewarding stimuli have demonstrated that cortical plasticity is specific to salient inputs in the sensory environment. Sensory experience associated with electrical activation of the basal forebrain (BasF) generates similar input specific plasticity. By directly engaging plasticity mechanisms and avoiding extensive behavioral training, BasF stimulation makes it possible to efficiently explore how specific sensory features contribute to cortical plasticity. This review summarizes our observations that cortical networks employ a variety of strategies to improve the representation of the sensory environment. Different combinations of receptive-field, temporal, and spectrotemporal plasticity were generated in primary auditory cortex neurons depending on the pitch, modulation rate, and order of sounds paired with BasF stimulation. Simple tones led to map expansion, while modulated tones altered the maximum cortical following rate. Exposure to complex acoustic sequences led to the development of combination-sensitive responses. This remodeling of cortical response characteristics may reflect changes in intrinsic cellular mechanisms, synaptic efficacy, and local neuronal connectivity. The intricate relationship between the pattern of sensory activation and cortical plasticity suggests that network-level rules alter the functional organization of the cortex to generate the most behaviorally useful representation of the sensory environment.

  6. Mechanisms of Intentional Binding and Sensory Attenuation: The Role of Temporal Prediction, Temporal Control, Identity Prediction, and Motor Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Gethin; Desantis, Andrea; Waszak, Florian

    2013-01-01

    Sensory processing of action effects has been shown to differ from that of externally triggered stimuli, with respect both to the perceived timing of their occurrence (intentional binding) and to their intensity (sensory attenuation). These phenomena are normally attributed to forward action models, such that when action prediction is consistent…

  7. Mechanisms of Intentional Binding and Sensory Attenuation: The Role of Temporal Prediction, Temporal Control, Identity Prediction, and Motor Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Gethin; Desantis, Andrea; Waszak, Florian

    2013-01-01

    Sensory processing of action effects has been shown to differ from that of externally triggered stimuli, with respect both to the perceived timing of their occurrence (intentional binding) and to their intensity (sensory attenuation). These phenomena are normally attributed to forward action models, such that when action prediction is consistent…

  8. A revised view of sensory cortical parcellation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Mark T.; Ramachandran, Ramnarayan; Stein, Barry E.

    2004-01-01

    Traditional cortical parcellation schemes have emphasized the presence of sharply defined visual, auditory, and somatosensory domains populated exclusively by modality-specific neurons (i.e., neurons responsive to sensory stimuli from a single sensory modality). However, the modality-exclusivity of this scheme has recently been challenged. Observations in a variety of species suggest that each of these domains is subject to influences from other senses. Using the cerebral cortex of the rat as a model, the present study systematically examined the capability of individual neurons in visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortex to be activated by stimuli from other senses. Within the major modality-specific domains, the incidence of inappropriate (i.e., nonmatching) and/or multisensory neurons was very low. However, at the borders between each of these domains a concentration of multisensory neurons was found whose modality profile matched the representations in neighboring cortices and that were able to integrate their cross-modal inputs to give rise to enhanced and/or depressed responses. The results of these studies are consistent with some features of both the traditional and challenging views of cortical organization, and they suggest a parcellation scheme in which modality-specific cortical domains are separated from one another by transitional multisensory zones. PMID:14766982

  9. 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…

  10. Subconscious Subliminal Stimuli And rrrsssssshhhppp!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lewis Brooks, Anthony

    2003-01-01

    in a ‘remarkable reductive retraction’ from ‘fixation centers’ such that a more human intuitive interaction to the ‘New World’ becomes apparent in design scenarios. Ubiquitous ‘Virtual Interactive Space’ (Brooks, 1999) will become a more utilized and higher resolution capture resource integrative to design...... of such issues as outlined in my opening statement. I suggest that successful design of the future will take much more into account the neural stimuli & potential subliminal synesthesia design aspects as an integrated element of the envisioned Virtual Interactive Space. Keywords: remarkable reductive retraction...

  11. Methodological considerations to understand the sensory function of TRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meseguer, Víctor M; Denlinger, Bristol L; Talavera, Karel

    2011-01-01

    Transient Receptor Potential channels are exquisite molecular transducers of multiple physical and chemical stimuli, hence the raising interest to study their relevance to Sensory Biology. Here we discuss a number of aspects of the biophysical and pharmacological properties of TRP channels, which we consider essential for a clear understanding of their sensory function in vivo. By examining concrete examples extracted from recent literature we illustrate that TRP channel research is a field in motion, and that many established dogmas on biophysical properties, drug specificity and physiological role are continuously reshaped, and sometimes even dismantled.

  12. Impulsivity is associated with early sensory inhibition in neurophysiological processing of affective sounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro eSoshi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Impulsivity is widely related to socially problematic behaviors and psychiatric illness. Previous studies have investigated the relationship between response inhibition and impulsivity. However, no study has intensively examined how impulsivity correlates with automatic sensory processing before the drive for response inhibition to sensory inputs. Sensory gating is an automatic inhibitory function that attenuates the neural response to redundant sensory information and protects higher cognitive functions from the burst of information processing. Although sensory gating functions abnormally in several clinical populations, there is very little evidence supporting sensory gating changes in conjunction with impulsivity traits in non-clinical populations. The present study recruited healthy adults (n = 23 to conduct a neurophysiological experiment using a paired click paradigm and self-report scales assessing impulsive behavioral traits. Auditory stimuli included not only a pure tone, but also white noise, to explore the differences in auditory evoked potential responses between the two stimuli. White noise is more affective than pure tones; therefore, we predicted that the sensory gating of auditory evoked potentials (P50, N100, P200 for white noise would correlate more with self-reported impulsivity than with those for pure tones. Our main findings showed that sensory gating of the P50 and P200 amplitudes significantly correlated with self-reported reward responsiveness and fun-seeking, respectively, only for white noise stimuli, demonstrating that higher-scoring impulsivity subcomponents were related to greater sensory gating. Frequency-domain analyses also revealed that greater desynchronization of the beta band for the second white noise stimulus was associated with higher motor impulsivity scores, suggesting that an impulsivity-related change of sensory gating was associated with attentional modulation. These findings indicate that the

  13. Design of a robotic device for assessment and rehabilitation of hand sensory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambercy, Olivier; Robles, Alejandro Juárez; Kim, Yeongmi; Gassert, Roger

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the design and implementation of the Robotic Sensory Trainer, a robotic interface for assessment and therapy of hand sensory function. The device can provide three types of well controlled stimuli: (i) angular displacement at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint using a remote-center-of-motion double-parallelogram structure, (ii) vibration stimuli at the fingertip, proximal phalange and palm, and (iii) pressure at the fingertip, while recording position, interaction force and feedback from the user over a touch screen. These stimuli offer a novel platform to investigate sensory perception in healthy subjects and patients with sensory impairments, with the potential to assess deficits and actively train detection of specific sensory cues in a standardized manner. A preliminary study with eight healthy subjects demonstrates the feasibility of using the Robotic Sensory Trainer to assess the sensory perception threshold in MCP angular position. An average just noticeable difference (JND) in the MCP joint angle of 2.46° (14.47%) was found, which is in agreement with previous perception studies. © 2011 IEEE

  14. Multisensory aversive stimuli differentially modulate negative feelings in near and far space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taffou, Marine; Ondřej, Jan; O'Sullivan, Carol; Warusfel, Olivier; Dubal, Stéphanie; Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle

    2016-05-05

    Affect, space, and multisensory integration are processes that are closely linked. However, it is unclear whether the spatial location of emotional stimuli interacts with multisensory presentation to influence the emotional experience they induce in the perceiver. In this study, we used the unique advantages of virtual reality techniques to present potentially aversive crowd stimuli embedded in a natural context and to control their display in terms of sensory and spatial presentation. Individuals high in crowdphobic fear navigated in an auditory-visual virtual environment, in which they encountered virtual crowds presented through the visual channel, the auditory channel, or both. They reported the intensity of their negative emotional experience at a far distance and at a close distance from the crowd stimuli. Whereas auditory-visual presentation of close feared stimuli amplified negative feelings, auditory-visual presentation of distant feared stimuli did not amplify negative feelings. This suggests that spatial closeness allows multisensory processes to modulate the intensity of the emotional experience induced by aversive stimuli. Nevertheless, the specific role of auditory stimulation must be investigated to better understand this interaction between multisensory, affective, and spatial representation processes. This phenomenon may serve the implementation of defensive behaviors in response to aversive stimuli that are in position to threaten an individual's feeling of security.

  15. Cortical activation elicited by unrecognized stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Badgaiyan Rajendra D

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is unclear whether a stimulus that cannot be recognized consciously, could elicit a well-processed cognitive response. Methods We used functional imaging to examine the pattern of cortical activation elicited by unrecognized stimuli during memory processing. Subjects were given a recognition task using recognizable and non-recognizable subliminal stimuli. Results Unrecognized stimuli activated the cortical areas that are associated with retrieval attempt (left prefrontal, and novelty detection (left hippocampus. This indicates that the stimuli that were not consciously recognized, activated neural network associated with aspects of explicit memory processing. Conclusion Results suggest that conscious recognition of stimuli is not necessary for activation of cognitive processing.

  16. Hypersensitivity to mechanical and intra-articular electrical stimuli in persons with painful temporomandibular joints

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ayesh, Emad; Jensen, Troels Staehelin; Svensson, P

    2007-01-01

    This study tested whether persons with TMJ arthralgia have a modality-specific and site-specific hypersensitivity to somatosensory stimuli assessed by quantitative sensory tests (QST). Forty-three healthy persons and 20 with TMJ arthralgia participated. The QST consisted of: sensory and pain...... detection thresholds and summation threshold to intra-articular electrical stimulation, tactile and pin-prick sensitivity in the TMJ area, pressure-pain threshold and tolerance on the lateral side of the TMJ and on the finger. Persons with TMJ arthralgia had lower pain detection and summation thresholds (P...

  17. 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.

  18. Adaptive stimulus optimization for sensory systems neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiMattina, Christopher; Zhang, Kechen

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we review several lines of recent work aimed at developing practical methods for adaptive on-line stimulus generation for sensory neurophysiology. We consider various experimental paradigms where on-line stimulus optimization is utilized, including the classical optimal stimulus paradigm where the goal of experiments is to identify a stimulus which maximizes neural responses, the iso-response paradigm which finds sets of stimuli giving rise to constant responses, and the system identification paradigm where the experimental goal is to estimate and possibly compare sensory processing models. We discuss various theoretical and practical aspects of adaptive firing rate optimization, including optimization with stimulus space constraints, firing rate adaptation, and possible network constraints on the optimal stimulus. We consider the problem of system identification, and show how accurate estimation of non-linear models can be highly dependent on the stimulus set used to probe the network. We suggest that optimizing stimuli for accurate model estimation may make it possible to successfully identify non-linear models which are otherwise intractable, and summarize several recent studies of this type. Finally, we present a two-stage stimulus design procedure which combines the dual goals of model estimation and model comparison and may be especially useful for system identification experiments where the appropriate model is unknown beforehand. We propose that fast, on-line stimulus optimization enabled by increasing computer power can make it practical to move sensory neuroscience away from a descriptive paradigm and toward a new paradigm of real-time model estimation and comparison.

  19. Sensory brain areas in mesopelagic fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, H J

    2001-03-01

    Four areas of the brain that receive primary projections from chemical senses ([1] olfactory bulb, [2] facial and vagal lobes), the eye ([3] optic tectum), and somato- and mechanosensory systems such as the lateral line, vestibular and auditory systems ([4] trigeminal and octavolateral regions) have been studied and relative size differences used to deduce the sensory specializations of 67 species of mesopelagic fishes. One type of analysis used the average relative volumes of brain areas and identified 'specialists' with only one brain area above-average (36%), species 'dominated' by two sensory brain regions (49%), and generalists (15%), with three areas above-average. In addition, a cluster analysis was performed that separated 49 species which were mostly visually oriented from 18 non-visual species, among which 16 were characterized by an association of above-average trigeminal/octavolateral and gustatory areas, and a single species with a dominant olfactory bulb. The results support the idea that these species occupy a rich sensory environment for which the absence of sunlight is compensated by chemical and mechanosensory stimuli as well as by bioluminescent signals. This has lead to the development of specializations for the perception of single stimulus-modes, most notably for the visual system, as well as for combinations of various receptors and central processing areas, with a preference for associating either the chemical senses, including the olfactory and facial/vagal systems, or the trigeminal/octavolateral systems.

  20. Test-retest studies in quantitative sensory testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Werner, M U; Petersen, M A; Bischoff, J M

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative sensory testing (QST) investigates the graded psychophysical response to controlled thermal, mechanical, electrical or chemical stimuli, allowing quantification of clinically relevant perception and pain thresholds. The methods are ubiquitously used in experimental and clinical pain...... research, and therefore, the need for uniform assessment procedures has been emphasised. However, varying consistency and transparency in the statistical methodology seem to occur in the QST literature. Sixteen publications, evaluating aspects of QST variability, from 2010 to 2012, were critically reviewed...

  1. Sensory experience – between the tourist and the marketer

    OpenAIRE

    Mihail-Cristian DIŢOIU; Aurelia-Felicia STĂNCIOIU; Nicolae TEODORESCU; Lucian-Florin ONIŞOR; Anamaria-Cătălina RADU

    2014-01-01

    In order to influence the decision making process in tourism, and to keep account with the “tough” competition environment in the current economy, destinations find themselves “fighting” more and more for the attainment of an image as favourable as possible in the mind of the tourist. It is for this reason that the marketer projects the image identity and develops contact points, so that, through the application of suitable stimuli, the tourist will have a memorable sensory experience through...

  2. Cerebellar damage impairs internal predictions for sensory and motor function

    OpenAIRE

    Therrien, Amanda S.; Bastian, Amy J.

    2015-01-01

    The cerebellum is connected to cerebral areas that subserve a range of sensory and motor functions. In this review, we summarize new literature demonstrating deficits in visual perception, proprioception, motor control, and motor learning performance following cerebellar damage. In particular, we highlight novel results that together suggest a general role of the cerebellum in estimating and predicting movement dynamics of the body and environmental stimuli. These findings agree with the hypo...

  3. Cross-sensory facilitation reveals neural interactions between visual and tactile motion in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica eGori

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Many recent studies show that the human brain integrates information across the different senses and that stimuli of one sensory modality can enhance the perception of other modalities. Here we study the processes that mediate cross-modal facilitation and summation between visual and tactile motion. We find that while summation produced a generic, non-specific improvement of thresholds, probably reflecting higher-order interaction of decision signals, facilitation reveals a strong, direction-specific interaction, which we believe reflects sensory interactions. We measured visual and tactile velocity discrimination thresholds over a wide range of base velocities and conditions. Thresholds for both visual and tactile stimuli showed the characteristic dipper function, with the minimum thresholds occurring at a given pedestal speed. When visual and tactile coherent stimuli were combined (summation condition the thresholds for these multi-sensory stimuli also showed a dipper function with the minimum thresholds occurring in a similar range to that for unisensory signals. However, the improvement of multisensory thresholds was weak and not directionally specific, well predicted by the maximum likelihood estimation model (agreeing with previous research. A different technique (facilitation did, however, reveal direction-specific enhancement. Adding a non-informative pedestal motion stimulus in one sensory modality (vision or touch selectively lowered thresholds in the other, by the same amount as pedestals in the same modality. Facilitation did not occur for neutral stimuli like sounds (that would also have reduced temporal uncertainty, nor for motion in opposite direction, even in blocked trials where the subjects knew that the motion was in the opposite direction showing that the facilitation was not under subject control. Cross-sensory facilitation is strong evidence for functionally relevant cross-sensory integration at early levels of sensory

  4. [Pathophysiology of sensory ataxic neuropathy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobue, G

    1996-12-01

    The main lesions of sensory ataxic neuropathy such as chronic idiopathic sensory ataxic neuropathy, (ISAN), carcinomatous neuropathy, Sjögren syndrome-associated neuropathy and acute autonomic and sensory neuropathy (AASN) are the large-diameter sensory neurons and dosal column of the spinal cord and the large myelinated fibers in the peripheral nerve trunks. In addition, afferent fibers to the Clarke's nuclei are also severely involved, suggesting Ia fibers being involved in these neuropathies. In NT-3 knockout mouse, an animal model of sensory ataxia, large-sized la neurons as well as muscle spindle and Golgi tendon organs are depleted, and are causative for sensory ataxia. Thus, the proprioceptive Ia neurons would play a role in pathogenesis of sensory ataxia in human sensory ataxic neuropathies, but the significance of dorsal column involvement in human sensory ataxia is still needed to evaluate.

  5. Involvement of Sensory Regions in Affective Experience: A Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satpute, Ajay B; Kang, Jian; Bickart, Kevin C; Yardley, Helena; Wager, Tor D; Barrett, Lisa F

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of work suggests that sensory processes may also contribute to affective experience. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis of affective experiences driven through visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and somatosensory stimulus modalities including study contrasts that compared affective stimuli to matched neutral control stimuli. We found, first, that limbic and paralimbic regions, including the amygdala, anterior insula, pre-supplementary motor area, and portions of orbitofrontal cortex were consistently engaged across two or more modalities. Second, early sensory input regions in occipital, temporal, piriform, mid-insular, and primary sensory cortex were frequently engaged during affective experiences driven by visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and somatosensory inputs. A classification analysis demonstrated that the pattern of neural activity across a contrast map diagnosed the stimulus modality driving the affective experience. These findings suggest that affective experiences are constructed from activity that is distributed across limbic and paralimbic brain regions and also activity in sensory cortical regions.

  6. Involvement of sensory regions in affective experience: A meta-analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay eSatpute

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A growing body of work suggests that sensory processes may also contribute to affective experience. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis of affective experiences driven through visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and somatosensory stimulus modalities including study contrasts that compared affective stimuli to matched neutral control stimuli. We found, first, that limbic and paralimbic regions, including the amygdala, anterior insula, pre-supplementary motor area and portions of orbitofrontal cortex were consistently engaged across two or more modalities. Second, early sensory input regions in occipital, temporal, piriform, mid-insular, and primary sensory cortex were frequently engaged during affective experiences driven by visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and somatosensory inputs. A classification analysis demonstrated that the pattern of neural activity across a contrast map diagnosed the stimulus modality driving the affective experience. These findings suggest that affective experiences are constructed from activity that is distributed across limbic and paralimbic brain regions and also activity in sensory cortical regions.

  7. Cryptogenic sensory polyneuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasnoor, Mamatha; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Barohn, Richard J

    2013-05-01

    Chronic sensory or sensorimotor polyneuropathy is a common cause for referral to neurologists. Despite extensive diagnostic testing, up to one-third of these patients remain without a known cause, and are referred to as having cryptogenic sensory peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms progress slowly. On examination, there may be additional mild toe flexion and extension weakness. Electrophysiologic testing and histology reveals axonal neuropathy. Prognosis is usually favorable, as most patients maintain independent ambulation. Besides patient education and reassurance, management is focused on pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain and physical therapy for balance training, and, occasionally, assistive devices.

  8. Active sensing via movement shapes spatiotemporal patterns of sensory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamper, Sarah A; Roth, Eatai; Cowan, Noah J; Fortune, Eric S

    2012-05-01

    Previous work has shown that animals alter their locomotor behavior to increase sensing volumes. However, an animal's own movement also determines the spatial and temporal dynamics of sensory feedback. Because each sensory modality has unique spatiotemporal properties, movement has differential and potentially independent effects on each sensory system. Here we show that weakly electric fish dramatically adjust their locomotor behavior in relation to changes of modality-specific information in a task in which increasing sensory volume is irrelevant. We varied sensory information during a refuge-tracking task by changing illumination (vision) and conductivity (electroreception). The gain between refuge movement stimuli and fish tracking responses was functionally identical across all sensory conditions. However, there was a significant increase in the tracking error in the dark (no visual cues). This was a result of spontaneous whole-body oscillations (0.1 to 1 Hz) produced by the fish. These movements were costly: in the dark, fish swam over three times further when tracking and produced more net positive mechanical work. The magnitudes of these oscillations increased as electrosensory salience was degraded via increases in conductivity. In addition, tail bending (1.5 to 2.35 Hz), which has been reported to enhance electrosensory perception, occurred only during trials in the dark. These data show that both categories of movements - whole-body oscillations and tail bends - actively shape the spatiotemporal dynamics of electrosensory feedback.

  9. TRPV4 in the sensory organs of adult zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, V; Viña, E; Calavia, M G; Guerrera, M C; Laurà, R; Navarro, M; De Carlos, F; Cobo, J; Germanà, A; Vega, J A

    2012-01-01

    TRPV4 is a nonselective cation channel that belongs to the vanilloid (V) subfamily of transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels. While TRP channels have been found to be involved in sensing temperature, light, pressure, and chemical stimuli, TPRV4 is believed to be primarily a mechanosensor although it can also respond to warm temperatures, acidic pH, and several chemical compounds. In zebrafish, the expression of trpv4 has been studied during embryonic development, whereas its pattern of TPRV4 expression during the adult life has not been thoroughly analyzed. In this study, the occurrence of TRPV4 was addressed in the zebrafish sensory organs at the mRNA (RT-PCR) and protein (Westernblot) levels. Once the occurrence of TRPV4 was demonstrated, the TRPV4 positive cells were identified by using immunohistochemistry. TPRV4 was detected in mantle and sensory cells of neuromasts, in a subpopulation of hair sensory cells in the macula and in the cristae ampullaris of the inner ear, in sensory cells in the taste buds, in crypt neurons and ciliated sensory neurons of the olfactory epithelium, and in cells of the retina. These results demonstrate the presence of TRPV4 in all sensory organs of adult zebrafish and are consistent with the multiple physiological functions suspected for TRPV4 in mammals (mechanosensation, hearing, and temperature sensing), but furthermore suggest potential roles in olfaction and vision in zebrafish.

  10. Atypical sensory sensitivity as a shared feature between synaesthesia and autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jamie; Hoadley, Claire; Hughes, James E. A.; Smith, Paula; Allison, Carrie; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Simner, Julia

    2017-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that there is a link between synaesthesia and autism but the nature of that link remains poorly characterised. The present study considers whether atypical sensory sensitivity may be a common link between the conditions. Sensory hypersensitivity (aversion to certain sounds, touch, etc., or increased ability to make sensory discriminations) and/or hyposensitivity (desire to stimulate the senses , or a reduced response to sensory stimuli are a recently introduced diagnostic feature of autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Synaesthesia is defined by unusual sensory experiences and has also been linked to a typical cortical hyper-excitability. The Glasgow Sensory Questionnaire (GSQ) was administered to synaesthetes and people with ASC. Both groups reported increased sensory sensitivity relative to controls with a large effect size. Both groups also reported a similar pattern of both increased hyper- and hypo-sensitivities across multiple senses. The AQ (Autism-Spectrum Quotient) scores were elevated in the synaesthetes, and one subscale of this measure (attention to detail) placed synaesthetes within the autistic range. A standard laboratory test of visual stress (the Pattern Glare Test), administered online, corroborated the findings of increased sensitivity to aversive visual stimuli in synaesthetes. We conclude that atypical sensory sensitivity is an important shared feature between autism and synaesthesia. PMID:28266503

  11. Vasopressin Proves Es-sense-tial: Vasopressin and the Modulation of Sensory Processing in Mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet Kay Bester-Meredith

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available As mammals develop, they encounter increasing social complexity in the surrounding world. In order to survive, mammals must show appropriate behaviors toward their mates, offspring, and same-sex conspecifics. Although the behavioral effects of the neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP have been studied in a variety of social contexts, the effects of this neuropeptide on multimodal sensory processing has received less attention. AVP is widely distributed through sensory regions of the brain and has been demonstrated to modulate olfactory, auditory, gustatory, and visual processing. Here we review the evidence linking AVP to the processing of social stimuli in sensory regions of the brain and explore how sensory processing can shape behavioral responses to these stimuli. In addition, we address the interplay between hormonal and neural AVP in regulating sensory processing of social cues. Because AVP pathways show plasticity during development, early life experiences may shape life-long processing of sensory information. Furthermore, disorders of social behavior such as autism and schizophrenia that have been linked with AVP also have been linked with dysfunctions in sensory processing. Together, these studies suggest that AVP’s diversity of effects on social behavior across a variety of mammalian species may result from the effects of this neuropeptide on sensory processing.

  12. Motor development and sensory processing: A comparative study between preterm and term infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral, Thais Invenção; Pereira da Silva, Louise Gracelli; Tudella, Eloisa; Simões Martinez, Cláudia Maria

    2014-10-16

    Infants born preterm and/or with low birth weight may present a clinical condition of organic instability and usually face a long period of hospitalization in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units, being exposed to biopsychosocial risk factors to their development due to decreased spontaneous movement and excessive sensory stimuli. This study assumes that there are relationships between the integration of sensory information of preterm infants, motor development and their subsequent effects.

  13. Sensory neurobiological analysis of neuropeptide modulation of meal size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Gary J; Azzara, Anthony V

    2004-08-01

    Gerry Smith's emphasis on the meal as the functional unit of ingestion spurred experiments designed to (1) identify oral and postoral stimuli that affect meal size, and (2) identify peripheral and central neural mechanisms involved in the processing of sensory signals generated by these stimuli. His observations that gut-brain peptides can limit meal size were important in formulating the idea that neuropeptides involved in the control of food intake modulate the peripheral and central neural processing of meal-stimulated sensory signals. This focus on meal size continues to foster the development of hypotheses and the design of experiments that characterize the sites and modes of action of feeding modulatory neuropeptides. These investigations have focused attention on the gut-brain neuraxis as a critical sensory pathway in the control of ingestive behavior, and have revealed important integrative properties of peripheral and central neurons along this axis. The neuromodulatory function of peptides that alter food intake is supported by their ability to recruit the activation of neurons at multiple central nodes of the gut-brain axis and to affect the neural processing and behavioral potency of meal-related gastrointestinal signals important in the negative feedback control of meal size. This sensory neurobiological perspective may also be applied to determine whether feeding modulatory neuropeptides affect the neural and behavioral potency of oral positive feedback signals that promote ingestion.

  14. Conscious perception of emotional stimuli: brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Derek G V; Greening, Steven G

    2012-08-01

    Emotional stimuli are thought to gain rapid and privileged access to processing resources in the brain. The structures involved in this enhanced access are thought to support subconscious, reflexive processes. Whether these pathways contribute to the phenomenological experience of emotional visual awareness (i.e., conscious perception) is unclear. In this review, it is argued that subcortical networks associated with the rapid detection of emotionally salient stimuli also play a key role in shaping awareness. This proposal is based on the idea that awareness of visual stimuli should be considered along a continuum, having intermediate levels, rather than as an all-or-none construct. It is also argued that awareness of emotional stimuli requires less input from frontoparietal structures that are often considered crucial for visual awareness. Evidence is also presented that implicates a region of the medial prefrontal cortex, involved in emotion regulation, in modulating amygdala output to determine awareness of emotional visual stimuli; when emotional stimuli are present, the conscious perception of alternative stimuli requires greater regulatory influences from cortical structures. Thus, emotional stimuli are privileged not only for neuronal representation and impact on subconscious processes, but also for awareness, allowing humans to deal flexibly rather than merely reflexively to biologically significant stimuli.

  15. Transcendence and Sensoriness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Protestant theology and culture are known for a reserved, at times skeptical, attitude to the use of art and aesthetic forms of expression in a religious context. In Transcendence and Sensoriness, this attitude is analysed and discussed both theoretically and through case studies considered...

  16. Cerebral processing of auditory stimuli in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Viola Andresen; Peter Kobelt; Claus Zimmer; Bertram Wiedenmann; Burghard F Klapp; Hubert Monnikes; Alexander Poellinger; Chedwa Tsrouya; Dominik Bach; Albrecht Stroh; Annette Foerschler; Petra Georgiewa; Marco Schmidtmann; Ivo R van der Voort

    2006-01-01

    AIM: To determine by brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) whether cerebral processing of non-visceral stimuli is altered in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients compared with healthy subjects. To circumvent spinal viscerosomatic convergence mechanisms,we used auditory stimulation, and to identify a possible influence of psychological factors the stimuli differed in their emotional quality.METHODS: In 8 IBS patients and 8 controls, fMRI measurements were performed using a block design of 4 auditory stimuli of different emotional quality (pleasant sounds of chimes, unpleasant peep (2000 Hz), neutral words, and emotional words). A gradient echo T2*-weighted sequence was used for the functional scans.Statistical maps were constructed using the general linear model.RESULTS: To emotional auditory stimuli, IBS patients relative to controls responded with stronger deactivations in a greater variety of emotional processing regions, while the response patterns, unlike in controls, did not differentiate between distressing or pleasant sounds.To neutral auditory stimuli, by contrast, only IBS patients responded with large significant activations.CONCLUSION: Altered cerebral response patterns to auditory stimuli in emotional stimulus-processing regions suggest that altered sensory processing in IBS may not be specific for visceral sensation, but might reflect generalized changes in emotional sensitivity and affectire reactivity, possibly associated with the psychological comorbidity often found in IBS patients.

  17. 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.

  18. Responses to conflicting stimuli in a simple stimulus-response pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baljon, Pieter Laurens; Wagenaar, Daniel A

    2015-02-11

    The "local bend response" of the medicinal leech (Hirudo verbana) is a stimulus-response pathway that enables the animal to bend away from a pressure stimulus applied anywhere along its body. The neuronal circuitry that supports this behavior has been well described, and its responses to individual stimuli are understood in quantitative detail. We probed the local bend system with pairs of electrical stimuli to sensory neurons that could not logically be interpreted as a single touch to the body wall and used multiple suction electrodes to record simultaneously the responses in large numbers of motor neurons. In all cases, responses lasted much longer than the stimuli that triggered them, implying the presence of some form of positive feedback loop to sustain the response. When stimuli were delivered simultaneously, the resulting motor neuron output could be described as an evenly weighted linear combination of the responses to the constituent stimuli. However, when stimuli were delivered sequentially, the second stimulus had greater impact on the motor neuron output, implying that the positive feedback in the system is not strong enough to render it immune to further input.

  19. 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.

  20. Sensory analysis of lipstick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, K C S; Aminah, A

    2011-06-01

    Sensory analysis of lipstick product by trained panellists started with recruiting female panels who are lipstick users, in good health condition and willing to be a part of sensory members. This group of people was further scrutinized with duo-trio method using commercial lipstick samples that are commonly used among them. About 40% of the 15 panels recruited were unable to differentiate the lipstick samples they usually use better than chance. The balance of nine panels that were corrected at least with 65% across all trials in panels screening process was formed a working group to develop sensory languages as a means of describing product similarities and differences and a scoring system. Five sessions with each session took about 90 min were carried out using 10 types of lipsticks with different waxes mixture ratio in the formulation together with six commercial lipsticks that are the most common to the panels. First session was focus on listing out the panels' perception towards the characteristic of the lipstick samples after normal application on their lips. Second session was focus on the refining and categorizing the responses gathered from the first session and translated into sensory attributes with its definition. Third session was focus on the scoring system. Fourth and fifth sessions were repetition of the third session to ensure consistency. In a collective effort of the panels, sensory attributes developed for lipstick were Spreadability, Off flavour, Hardness, Smoothness, Moist, Not messy, Glossy and Greasy. Analysis of variance was able to provide ample evidence on gauging the panel performance. A proper panels selecting and training was able to produce a reliable and sensitive trained panel for evaluating the product based on the procedures being trained. © 2011 The Authors. ICS © 2011 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.

  1. Conditioning with compound stimuli in Drosophila melanogaster in the flight simulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brembs, B; Heisenberg, M

    2001-08-01

    Short-term memory in Drosophila melanogaster operant visual learning in the flight simulator is explored using patterns and colours as a compound stimulus. Presented together during training, the two stimuli accrue the same associative strength whether or not a prior training phase rendered one of the two stimuli a stronger predictor for the reinforcer than the other (no blocking). This result adds Drosophila to the list of other invertebrates that do not exhibit the robust vertebrate blocking phenomenon. Other forms of higher-order learning, however, were detected: a solid sensory preconditioning and a small second-order conditioning effect imply that associations between the two stimuli can be formed, even if the compound is not reinforced.

  2. Processing of pictorial food stimuli in patients with eating disorders--a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giel, Katrin Elisabeth; Teufel, Martin; Friederich, Hans-Christoph; Hautzinger, Martin; Enck, Paul; Zipfel, Stephan

    2011-03-01

    The processing of food cues in eating-disordered patients has recently been increasingly investigated. Outlined is current evidence from pictorial food stimuli studies. PubMed and PsychINFO were searched for quantitative pictorial food stimuli studies investigating healthy controls and expert-diagnosed eating-disordered patients. Patients with eating disorders (ED) demonstrated cue reactivity to food stimuli. Results from functional imaging suggest sensory disengagement and higher emotional involvement while self-reported data and facial EMG revealed that food pictures were perceived as less pleasurable. Different experimental paradigms have demonstrated an attentional bias for food cues in ED. Currently, psychophysiological data is widely inconclusive. Evidence suggests cue reactivity to food pictures in eating-disordered patients. However, the overall picture is inconclusive because methodological problems and the integration of findings from different experimental approaches pose a challenge to the research field. Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pascucci

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

  4. Statistical modeling of the response characteristics of mechanosensitive stimuli in the human esophagus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drewes, Asbjørn Mohr; Reddy, Hari Prasad; Ståhl, Camilla

    2005-01-01

    It is believed that mechanical stimuli of the human gut activate afferents responding to either noxious or normal, physiologic stimuli. They might be able to sensitize without relation to the contractile state of the smooth muscle. The current study aimed to verify the above characteristics by us...... 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....... 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...... esophagus are not correlated and thus probably represent different populations. The response characteristics have no physiologic relationship to the contractile state of the smooth muscle, and sensitization affects all types of afferents. Perspectives The article adds information about sensory processing...

  5. Detection of hydrodynamic stimuli by the postcranial body of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Mann, David A; Boerner, Katharine; Denum, Laura; Frances, Candice; Reep, Roger L

    2017-02-01

    Manatees live in shallow, frequently turbid waters. The sensory means by which they navigate in these conditions are unknown. Poor visual acuity, lack of echolocation, and modest chemosensation suggest that other modalities play an important role. Rich innervation of sensory hairs that cover the entire body and enlarged somatosensory areas of the brain suggest that tactile senses are good candidates. Previous tests of detection of underwater vibratory stimuli indicated that they use passive movement of the hairs to detect particle displacements in the vicinity of a micron or less for frequencies from 10 to 150 Hz. In the current study, hydrodynamic stimuli were created by a sinusoidally oscillating sphere that generated a dipole field at frequencies from 5 to 150 Hz. Go/no-go tests of manatee postcranial mechanoreception of hydrodynamic stimuli indicated excellent sensitivity but about an order of magnitude less than the facial region. When the vibrissae were trimmed, detection thresholds were elevated, suggesting that the vibrissae were an important means by which detection occurred. Manatees were also highly accurate in two-choice directional discrimination: greater than 90% correct at all frequencies tested. We hypothesize that manatees utilize vibrissae as a three-dimensional array to detect and localize low-frequency hydrodynamic stimuli.

  6. Entrainment of slow oscillations of auditory thalamic neurons by repetitive sound stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Lixia; Meng, Xiankai; Ye, Changquan; Zhang, Haitian; Liu, Chunhua; Dan, Yang; Poo, Mu-Ming; He, Jufang; Zhang, Xiaohui

    2009-05-06

    Slow oscillations at frequencies potential. Although up and down states are known to differentially affect sensory-evoked responses, whether and how they are modulated by sensory stimuli are not well understood. In the present study, intracellular recording in anesthetized guinea pigs showed that membrane potentials of nonlemniscal auditory thalamic neurons exhibited spontaneous up/down transitions at random intervals in the range of 2-30 s, which could be entrained to a regular interval by repetitive sound stimuli. After termination of the entraining stimulation (ES), regular up/down transitions persisted for several cycles at the ES interval. Furthermore, the efficacy of weak sound stimuli in triggering the up-to-down transition was potentiated specifically at the ES interval for at least 10 min. Extracellular recordings in the auditory thalamus of unanesthetized guinea pigs also showed entrainment of slow oscillations by rhythmic sound stimuli during slow wave sleep. These results demonstrate a novel form of network plasticity, which could help to retain the information of stimulus interval on the order of seconds.

  7. Understanding Sensory Integration. ERIC Digest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiMatties, Marie E.; Sammons, Jennifer H.

    This brief paper summarizes what is known about sensory integration and sensory integration dysfunction (DSI). It outlines evaluation of DSI, treatment approaches, and implications for parents and teachers, including compensatory strategies for minimizing the impact of DSI on a child's life. Review of origins of sensory integration theory in the…

  8. 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.

  9. Cerebral processing of food-related stimuli: effects of fasting and gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uher, Rudolf; Treasure, Janet; Heining, Maike; Brammer, Michael J; Campbell, Iain C

    2006-04-25

    To maintain nutritional homeostasis, external food-related stimuli have to be evaluated in relation to the internal states of hunger or satiety. To examine the neural circuitry responsible for integration of internal and external determinants of human eating behaviour, brain responses to visual and complex gustatory food-related stimuli were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 18 healthy non-smokers (10 women, 8 men). Each individual was studied on two occasions, the order of which was counterbalanced; after eating as usual and after 24 h fasting. Raised plasma free fatty acids and lower insulin and leptin concentrations confirmed that participants fasted as requested. When fasted, participants reported more hunger, nervousness and worse mood and rated the visual (but not gustatory) food-related stimuli as more pleasant. The effect of fasting on hunger was stronger in women than in men. No circuitry was identified as differentially responsive in fasting compared to satiety to both visual and gustatory food-related stimuli. The left insula response to the gustatory stimuli was stronger during fasting. The inferior occipito-temporal response to visual food-related stimuli also tended to be stronger during fasting. The responses in the occipito-temporal cortex to visual and in the insula to gustatory stimuli were stronger in women than in men. There was no interaction between gender and fasting. In conclusion, food reactivity in modality-specific sensory cortical areas is modulated by internal motivational states. The stronger reactivity to external food-related stimuli in women may be explored as a marker of gender-related susceptibility to eating disorders.

  10. Comparing intensities and modalities within the sensory attenuation paradigm: Preliminary evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burin, Dalila; Battaglini, Alvise; Pia, Lorenzo; Falvo, Giusy; Palombella, Mattia; Salatino, Adriana

    2017-11-01

    It is well-documented that the intensity of a self-generated somatosensory stimulus is perceived to be attenuated in respect to an identical stimulus generated by others. At present, it is not clear whether such a phenomenon, known as somatosensory attenuation, is based not only on feedforward motor signals but also on re-afferences towards the body. To answer this question, in the present pilot investigation on twelve healthy subjects, three types of stimulations (sensory non-nociceptive electrical - ES, nociceptive electrical - NES, and vibrotactile - VTS) and intensities (1 = sensory threshold ∗ 2.5 + 2 mA, 2 = sensory threshold ∗ 2.5 + 3 mA, 3 = sensory threshold ∗ 2.5 + 4 mA for ES and NES; 1 = sensory threshold ∗ 2 Hz, 2 = sensory threshold ∗ 3 Hz, 3 = sensory threshold ∗ 4 Hz for VTS) have been directly compared in a somatosensory attenuation paradigm. The results show that the attenuation effect emerged only with electrical stimuli and that it increased with higher intensities. These pilot findings suggest that, depending on the type and the intensity of stimulation, re-afferences can have a role in somatosensory attenuation. Additionally, it is possible to speculate the effect is present only with electrical stimuli because those stimuli are prospectively judged as potentially dangerous. This, in turn, would optimize planning successful reactions to incoming threatening stimuli.

  11. The effects of selective and divided attention on sensory precision and integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odegaard, Brian; Wozny, David R; Shams, Ladan

    2016-02-12

    In our daily lives, our capacity to selectively attend to stimuli within or across sensory modalities enables enhanced perception of the surrounding world. While previous research on selective attention has studied this phenomenon extensively, two important questions still remain unanswered: (1) how selective attention to a single modality impacts sensory integration processes, and (2) the mechanism by which selective attention improves perception. We explored how selective attention impacts performance in both a spatial task and a temporal numerosity judgment task, and employed a Bayesian Causal Inference model to investigate the computational mechanism(s) impacted by selective attention. We report three findings: (1) in the spatial domain, selective attention improves precision of the visual sensory representations (which were relatively precise), but not the auditory sensory representations (which were fairly noisy); (2) in the temporal domain, selective attention improves the sensory precision in both modalities (both of which were fairly reliable to begin with); (3) in both tasks, selective attention did not exert a significant influence over the tendency to integrate sensory stimuli. Therefore, it may be postulated that a sensory modality must possess a certain inherent degree of encoding precision in order to benefit from selective attention. It also appears that in certain basic perceptual tasks, the tendency to integrate crossmodal signals does not depend significantly on selective attention. We conclude with a discussion of how these results relate to recent theoretical considerations of selective attention.

  12. Sensory Perception: Lessons from Synesthesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Joshua Paul

    2013-01-01

    Synesthesia, the conscious, idiosyncratic, repeatable, and involuntary sensation of one sensory modality in response to another, is a condition that has puzzled both researchers and philosophers for centuries. Much time has been spent proving the condition’s existence as well as investigating its etiology, but what can be learned from synesthesia remains a poorly discussed topic. Here, synaesthesia is presented as a possible answer rather than a question to the current gaps in our understanding of sensory perception. By first appreciating the similarities between normal sensory perception and synesthesia, one can use what is known about synaesthesia, from behavioral and imaging studies, to inform our understanding of “normal” sensory perception. In particular, in considering synesthesia, one can better understand how and where the different sensory modalities interact in the brain, how different sensory modalities can interact without confusion ― the binding problem ― as well as how sensory perception develops. PMID:23766741

  13. Sensory Processing Difficulties in Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome: A Pilot Project of Presentation and Possible Prevalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dido; Lim, Ming; Lang, Bethan; Pohl, Keith; Turk, Jeremy

    2016-07-01

    Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome is a rare but serious neurological condition resulting in loss of control of eye movements, often accompanied by difficulties in posture and movement control with reports of sensory sensitivities potentially impacting on behavior. This pilot study characterizes the presence of atypical sensory behaviors in opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome through questionnaire survey of a cohort of families. The Short Sensory Profile, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and Developmental Behaviour Checklist were distributed to 30 families; 16 were returned anonymously. Atypical sensory behaviors were identified in a large proportion (62.5%). Children reported as being more anxious showed greater sensitivity to auditory stimuli, U(14) 11, P = .026. This is consistent with recent recognition of more extensive disease neurocognitive effects in Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome. Further research is needed to increase understanding of the complex pathology of this disease and to provide indicators for sensory and behavioral as well as pharmacological interventions. © The Author(s) 2016.

  14. A review of human sensory dynamics for application to models of driver steering and speed control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Christopher J; Cole, David J; Bigler, Robert S

    2016-06-01

    In comparison with the high level of knowledge about vehicle dynamics which exists nowadays, the role of the driver in the driver-vehicle system is still relatively poorly understood. A large variety of driver models exist for various applications; however, few of them take account of the driver's sensory dynamics, and those that do are limited in their scope and accuracy. A review of the literature has been carried out to consolidate information from previous studies which may be useful when incorporating human sensory systems into the design of a driver model. This includes information on sensory dynamics, delays, thresholds and integration of multiple sensory stimuli. This review should provide a basis for further study into sensory perception during driving.

  15. Elemental or contextual? It depends: Individual difference in the hippocampal dependence of associative learning for a simple sensory stimulus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Jennifer Lee

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Learning theories categorize learning systems into elemental and contextual systems, the former being processed by non-hippocampal regions and the latter being processed in the hippocampus. A set of complex stimuli such as a visual background is often considered a contextual stimulus and simple sensory stimuli such as pure tone and light are considered elemental stimuli. However, this elemental-contextual categorization scheme has only been tested in limited behavioral paradigms and it is largely unknown whether it can be generalized across different learning situations. By requiring rats to respond differently to a common object in association with various types of sensory cues including contextual and elemental stimuli, we tested whether different types of elemental and contextual sensory stimuli depended on the hippocampus to different degrees. In most rats, a surrounding visual background and a tactile stimulus served as contextual (hippocampal dependent and elemental (non-hippocampal dependent stimuli, respectively. However, simple tone and light stimuli frequently used as elemental cues in traditional experiments required the hippocampus to varying degrees among rats. Specifically, one group of rats showed a normal contextual bias when both contextual and elemental cues were present. These rats effectively switched to using elemental cues when the hippocampus was inactivated. The other group showed a strong contextual bias (and hippocampal dependence because these rats were not able to use elemental cues when the hippocampus was unavailable. It is possible that the latter group of rats might have interpreted the elemental cues (light and tone as background stimuli and depended more on the hippocampus in associating the cues with choice responses. Although exact mechanisms underlying these individual variances are unclear, our findings recommend a caution for adopting a simple sensory stimulus as a non-hippocampal sensory cue only based on

  16. Elemental or contextual? It depends: individual difference in the hippocampal dependence of associative learning for a simple sensory stimulus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyung J.; Park, Seong-Beom; Lee, Inah

    2014-01-01

    Learning theories categorize learning systems into elemental and contextual systems, the former being processed by non-hippocampal regions and the latter being processed in the hippocampus. A set of complex stimuli such as a visual background is often considered a contextual stimulus and simple sensory stimuli such as pure tone and light are considered elemental stimuli. However, this elemental-contextual categorization scheme has only been tested in limited behavioral paradigms and it is largely unknown whether it can be generalized across different learning situations. By requiring rats to respond differently to a common object in association with various types of sensory cues including contextual and elemental stimuli, we tested whether different types of elemental and contextual sensory stimuli depended on the hippocampus to different degrees. In most rats, a surrounding visual background and a tactile stimulus served as contextual (hippocampal dependent) and elemental (non-hippocampal dependent) stimuli, respectively. However, simple tone and light stimuli frequently used as elemental cues in traditional experiments required the hippocampus to varying degrees among rats. Specifically, one group of rats showed a normal contextual bias when both contextual and elemental cues were present. These rats effectively switched to using elemental cues when the hippocampus was inactivated. The other group showed a strong contextual bias (and hippocampal dependence) because these rats were not able to use elemental cues when the hippocampus was unavailable. It is possible that the latter group of rats might have interpreted the elemental cues (light and tone) as background stimuli and depended more on the hippocampus in associating the cues with choice responses. Although exact mechanisms underlying these individual variances are unclear, our findings recommend a caution for adopting a simple sensory stimulus as a non-hippocampal sensory cue only based on the literature

  17. Effective stimuli for constructing reliable neuron models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaul Druckmann

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The rich dynamical nature of neurons poses major conceptual and technical challenges for unraveling their nonlinear membrane properties. Traditionally, various current waveforms have been injected at the soma to probe neuron dynamics, but the rationale for selecting specific stimuli has never been rigorously justified. The present experimental and theoretical study proposes a novel framework, inspired by learning theory, for objectively selecting the stimuli that best unravel the neuron's dynamics. The efficacy of stimuli is assessed in terms of their ability to constrain the parameter space of biophysically detailed conductance-based models that faithfully replicate the neuron's dynamics as attested by their ability to generalize well to the neuron's response to novel experimental stimuli. We used this framework to evaluate a variety of stimuli in different types of cortical neurons, ages and animals. Despite their simplicity, a set of stimuli consisting of step and ramp current pulses outperforms synaptic-like noisy stimuli in revealing the dynamics of these neurons. The general framework that we propose paves a new way for defining, evaluating and standardizing effective electrical probing of neurons and will thus lay the foundation for a much deeper understanding of the electrical nature of these highly sophisticated and non-linear devices and of the neuronal networks that they compose.

  18. Effects of delivery method on the sensory perception of semisolid dairy desserts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelen, L.; Wijk, de R.A.; Prinz, J.F.

    2004-01-01

    A trained panel of 19 subjects were asked to rate a number of sensory attributes of commercially available vanilla custard desserts. Stimuli were placed in plastic cups and were sampled using 11-mm-diameter straws. In total, 304 samples were weighed before and after sampling and the volume ingested

  19. Phonological and Sensory Short-Term Memory Are Correlates and Both Affected in Developmental Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laasonen, Marja; Virsu, Veijo; Oinonen, Suvi; Sandbacka, Mirja; Salakari, Anita; Service, Elisabet

    2012-01-01

    We investigated whether poor short-term memory (STM) in developmental dyslexia affects the processing of sensory stimulus sequences in addition to phonological material. STM for brief binary non-verbal stimuli (light flashes, tone bursts, finger touches, and their crossmodal combinations) was studied in 20 Finnish adults with dyslexia and 24…

  20. Eliciting Naturalistic Cortical Responses with a Sensory Prosthesis via Optimized Microstimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-12

    by electrical stimulation along the sensory neural pathways. Such stimulation, when informed by electronic sensors , could provide naturalistic... naturally occurring stimuli into biomimetic percepts via multi-channel microstimulation are lacking. More specifically, generating spatiotemporal patterns... naturally occurring touch responses as closely as possible. Main results. Here we show that such optimization produces responses in the S1 cortex of the

  1. Effects of bite size on the sensory properties of vanilla custard desserts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prinz, J.F.; Wijk, de R.A.

    2007-01-01

    A trained panel of 19 subjects were asked to rate a number of sensory attributes of commercially available vanilla custard desserts. Stimuli were placed in plastic cups and were sampled using 11-mm-diameter straws. In total, 304 samples were weighed before and after sampling and the volume ingested

  2. 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.

  3. Brain activity in response to Trauma-specific, Negative and Neutral stimuli. A fMRI study of recent Road Traffic Accident Survivors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre Sevenius Nilsen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Most studies of neuro-functional patterns in trauma-exposed individuals have been conducted considerable time after the traumatic event. Hence little is known about neurofunctional processing shortly after trauma-exposure. We investigated brain activity patterns in response to trauma reminders as well as neutral and negative stimuli in individuals who had recently (within 3 weeks been involved in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA.Twenty-three RTA survivors and 17 non-trauma-exposed Healthy Controls (HC underwent functional MRI while viewing Trauma-specific, Negative and Neutral pictures. Data were analyzed from four a-priori Regions of Interest (ROI, including bilateral amygdala, subcallosal cortex, and medial prefrontal cortex. In addition, we performed a whole brain analysis and functional connectivity analysis during stimulus presentation.For both groups, Negative stimuli elicited more activity in the amygdala bilaterally than did Neutral and Trauma-specific stimuli. The whole brain analysis revealed higher activation in sensory processing related areas (bilateral occipital and temporal cortices and thalamus as well as frontal and superior parietal areas, for the RTA group compared to HC, for Trauma-specific stimuli contrasted with Neutral stimuli. We also observed higher functional connectivity for Trauma-Specific stimuli, between bilateral amygdala and somatosensory areas, for the RTA group compared to controls, when contrasted with Neutral stimuli. We argue that these results might indicate an attentional sensory processing bias towards Trauma-specific stimuli for trauma exposed individuals, a result in line with findings from the PTSD literature.

  4. High pain sensitivity is distinct from high susceptibility to non-painful sensory input at threshold level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Thomas; Springborn, Maria; Croy, Ilona; Kaiser, Jochen; Lötsch, Jörn

    2011-04-01

    Individuals may differ considerably in their sensitivity towards various painful stimuli supporting the notion of a person as stoical or complaining about pain. Molecular and functional imaging research provides support that this may extend also to other sensory qualities. Whether a person can be characterized as possessing a generally high or low sensory acuity is unknown. This was therefore assessed with thresholds to painful and non-painful stimuli, with a focus on chemical stimuli that besides pain may evoke clearly non-painful sensations such as taste or smell. In 36 healthy men and 78 women (ages 18 to 52 years), pain thresholds to chemo-somatosensory (intranasal gaseous CO(2)) and electrical stimuli (cutaneous stimulation) were significantly correlated (ρ(2)=0.2268, psensory qualities, i.e., for the rose-like odor phenyl ethyl alcohol and gustatory thresholds for sour (citric acid) and salty (NaCl). Similarly, pain clusters showed no differences in thresholds to other stimuli. Moreover, no clustering was obtained for thresholds to both painful and non-painful stimuli together. Thus, individuals could not be characterized as highly sensitive (or insensitive) to all chemical stimuli no matter of evoking pain. This suggests that pain is primarily a singular sensory perception distinct from others such as olfaction or taste. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Sensory syndromes in parietal stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassetti, C; Bogousslavsky, J; Regli, F

    1993-10-01

    We studied 20 patients with an acute parietal stroke with hemisensory disturbances but no visual field deficit and no or only slight motor weakness, without thalamic involvement on CT or MRI and found three main sensory syndromes. (1) The pseudothalamic sensory syndrome consists of a faciobrachiocrural impairment of elementary sensation (touch, pain, temperature, vibration). All patients have an inferior-anterior parietal stroke involving the parietal operculum, posterior insula, and, in all but one patient, underlying white matter. (2) The cortical sensory syndrome consists of an isolated loss of discriminative sensation (stereognosis, graphesthesia, position sense) involving one or two parts of the body. These patients show a superior-posterior parietal stroke. (3) The atypical sensory syndrome consists of a sensory loss involving all modalities of sensation in a partial distribution. Parietal lesions of different topography are responsible for this clinical picture, which probably represents a minor variant of the two previous sensory syndromes. Neuropsychological dysfunction was present in 17 patients. The only constant association was between conduction aphasia and right-sided pseudothalamic sensory deficit. We conclude that parietal stroke can cause different sensory syndromes depending on the topography of the underlying lesion. Sensory deficits can be monosymptomatic but never present as a "pure sensory stroke" involving face, arm, leg, and trunk together.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo eRomei

    2011-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Multisensory stimuli elicit altered oscillatory brain responses at gamma frequencies in patients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Stone

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in auditory and visual unisensory responses are well documented in patients with schizophrenia; however, potential abnormalities elicited from multisensory audio-visual stimuli are less understood. Further, schizophrenia patients have shown abnormal patterns in task-related and task-independent oscillatory brain activity, particularly in the gamma frequency band. We examined oscillatory responses to basic unisensory and multisensory stimuli in schizophrenia patients (N = 46 and healthy controls (N = 57 using magnetoencephalography (MEG. Time-frequency decomposition was performed to determine regions of significant changes in gamma band power by group in response to unisensory and multisensory stimuli relative to baseline levels. Results showed significant behavioral differences between groups in response to unisensory and multisensory stimuli. In addition, time-frequency analysis revealed significant decreases and increases in gamma-band power in schizophrenia patients relative to healthy controls, which emerged both early and late over both sensory and frontal regions in response to unisensory and multisensory stimuli. Unisensory gamma-band power predicted multisensory gamma-band power differently by group. Furthermore, gamma-band power in these regions predicted performance in select measures of the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS test battery differently by group. These results reveal a unique pattern of task-related gamma-band power in schizophrenia patients relative to controls that may indicate reduced inhibition in combination with impaired oscillatory mechanisms in patients with schizophrenia.

  9. Sensory impairment in mental retardation: a potential role for NGF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, Anna

    2011-06-01

    Sensory impairment is defined as the inability to interpret outside stimuli such as visual, auditory, verbal, sense of touch, taste or smell or feelings of pain. This leads to absence of sensation and neuronal coordination. The impairment may be caused by ageing and other physiological changes, accident or injuries or can be found in some cases of mental retardation (MR) also referred to as intellectual disability. Known cases of MR involving inability to accurately interpret an outside source or stimuli are: Fragile-X syndrome; Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) with associated autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Rett syndrome; Autism and ASD with or without MR; Chromosome 22q13.3 deletion syndrome; familial dysautonomia, Prader-Willi's syndrome, Williams syndrome. In this review we will discuss in particular form of ASD and altered sensory sensitivity. The role of NGF in causing pronociceptive activity and its role in peripheral sensitisation is discussed under the light of its involvement in forms of MR where loss of pain perception is a main feature due to mutations to NGF receptors or NGF genes during development. Other forms of MR with altered sensory impairment will be considered as well as additional potential mechanisms involved.

  10. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-02-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  11. Modeling auditory evoked potentials to complex stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønne, Filip Munch

    The auditory evoked potential (AEP) is an electrical signal that can be recorded from electrodes attached to the scalp of a human subject when a sound is presented. The signal is considered to reflect neural activity in response to the acoustic stimulation and is a well established clinical...... clinically and in research towards using realistic and complex stimuli, such as speech, to electrophysiologically assess the human hearing. However, to interpret the AEP generation to complex sounds, the potential patterns in response to simple stimuli needs to be understood. Therefore, the model was used...... to simulate auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) evoked by classic stimuli like clicks, tone bursts and chirps. The ABRs to these simple stimuli were compared to literature data and the model was shown to predict the frequency dependence of tone-burst ABR wave-V latency and the level-dependence of ABR wave...

  12. Modeling Stimuli-Responsive Nanoparticle Monolayer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Xin

    2015-03-01

    Using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), we model a monolayer formed at the water-oil interface, which comprises stimuli-responsive nanoparticles. The solid core of the nanoparticle encompasses beads arranged in an fcc lattice structure and its surface is uniformly grafted with stimuli-responsive polymer chains. The surface-active nanoparticles adsorb to the interface from the suspension to minimize total energy of the system and create a monolayer covering the interface. We investigate the monolayer formation by characterizing the detailed adsorption kinetics. We explore the microstructure of the monolayer at different surface coverage, including the particle crowding and ordering, and elucidate the response of monolayer to external stimuli. The collective behavior of the particles within the monolayer is demonstrated quantitatively by vector-vector autocorrelation functions. This study provides a fundamental understanding of the interfacial behavior of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles.

  13. Nanovesicle-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Structures Mimicking Mammalian Pain Sensory System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Youngtac; Jin, Hye Jun; An, Jeong Mi; Park, Juhun; Moon, Seok Jun; Hong, Seunghun

    2015-03-01

    We developed a ``chemical-pain sensor'' based on a single-walled carbon nanotube-based field effect transistor (SWNT-FET) functionalized with rat pain sensory receptor, rat transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (rTRPV1) mimicking a mammalian pain sensory system. The sensor can selectively detect chemical pain stimuli such as capsaicin and resiniferatoxin with a sensitivity of a 1 pM detection limit. Since this sensor allows one to quantitatively measure the concentration of chemical pain stimuli just like animal sensory systems, it can be used for various practical applications such as food screening. In addition, TRP families including rTRPV1 protein used for the sensor are now suggested as potential drug targets related to nerve and circulation disorders. Thus, the capability of measuring TRP responses using our sensor platform should open up other applications such as drug screening and basic research related with nerve and circulation systems.

  14. Chills in Different Sensory Domains: Frisson Elicited by Acoustical, Visual, Tactile and Gustatory Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grewe, Oliver; Katzur, Bjorn; Kopiez, Reinhard; Altenmuller, Eckart

    2011-01-01

    "Chills" (frisson manifested as goose bumps or shivers) have been used in an increasing number of studies as indicators of emotions in response to music (e.g., Craig, 2005; Guhn, Hamm, & Zentner, 2007; McCrae, 2007; Panksepp, 1995; Sloboda, 1991). In this study we present evidence that chills can be induced through aural, visual, tactile, and…

  15. Chills in Different Sensory Domains: Frisson Elicited by Acoustical, Visual, Tactile and Gustatory Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grewe, Oliver; Katzur, Bjorn; Kopiez, Reinhard; Altenmuller, Eckart

    2011-01-01

    "Chills" (frisson manifested as goose bumps or shivers) have been used in an increasing number of studies as indicators of emotions in response to music (e.g., Craig, 2005; Guhn, Hamm, & Zentner, 2007; McCrae, 2007; Panksepp, 1995; Sloboda, 1991). In this study we present evidence that chills can be induced through aural, visual, tactile, and…

  16. Preparing to grasp emotionally laden stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Alice Santos de Oliveira

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Contemporary theories of motor control propose that motor planning involves the prediction of the consequences of actions. These predictions include the associated costs as well as the rewarding nature of movements' outcomes. Within the estimation of these costs and rewards would lie the valence, that is, the pleasantness or unpleasantness of a given stimulus with which one is about to interact. The aim of this study was to test if motor preparation encompasses valence. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The readiness potential, an electrophysiological marker of motor preparation, was recorded before the grasping of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant stimuli. Items used were balanced in weight and placed inside transparent cylinders to prompt a similar grip among trials. Compared with neutral stimuli, the grasping of pleasant stimuli was preceded by a readiness potential of lower amplitude, whereas that of unpleasant stimuli was associated with a readiness potential of higher amplitude. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We show for the first time that the sensorimotor cortex activity preceding the grasping of a stimulus is affected by its valence. Smaller readiness potential amplitudes found for pleasant stimuli could imply in the recruitment of pre-set motor repertoires, whereas higher amplitudes found for unpleasant stimuli would emerge from a discrepancy between the required action and their aversiveness. Our results indicate that the prediction of action outcomes encompasses an estimate of the valence of a stimulus with which one is about to interact.

  17. Preparing to Grasp Emotionally Laden Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Laura Alice Santos; Imbiriba, Luís Aureliano; Russo, Maitê Mello; Nogueira-Campos, Anaelli A.; Rodrigues, Erika de C.; Pereira, Mirtes G.; Volchan, Eliane; Vargas, Cláudia Domingues

    2012-01-01

    Background Contemporary theories of motor control propose that motor planning involves the prediction of the consequences of actions. These predictions include the associated costs as well as the rewarding nature of movements’ outcomes. Within the estimation of these costs and rewards would lie the valence, that is, the pleasantness or unpleasantness of a given stimulus with which one is about to interact. The aim of this study was to test if motor preparation encompasses valence. Methodology/Principal Findings The readiness potential, an electrophysiological marker of motor preparation, was recorded before the grasping of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant stimuli. Items used were balanced in weight and placed inside transparent cylinders to prompt a similar grip among trials. Compared with neutral stimuli, the grasping of pleasant stimuli was preceded by a readiness potential of lower amplitude, whereas that of unpleasant stimuli was associated with a readiness potential of higher amplitude. Conclusions/Significance We show for the first time that the sensorimotor cortex activity preceding the grasping of a stimulus is affected by its valence. Smaller readiness potential amplitudes found for pleasant stimuli could imply in the recruitment of pre-set motor repertoires, whereas higher amplitudes found for unpleasant stimuli would emerge from a discrepancy between the required action and their aversiveness. Our results indicate that the prediction of action outcomes encompasses an estimate of the valence of a stimulus with which one is about to interact. PMID:23024811

  18. Sensory Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Martin STEVENS; Guest Editor

    2010-01-01

    @@ 1 Introduction Sensory ecology deals with how animals capture in formation from their environment, and the sensory sys tems involved in doing so (Hailman, 1977; Lythgoe, 1979; Dusenbery, 1992; Mappes and Stevens 2010). Although the term sensory ecology itself is compara tively recent, its basis has a long history, in part due to numerous links with subjects such as neurobiology, physiology, ethology, and evolutionary behavioral ecology.

  19. Sensory gating of an embryonic zebrafish interneuron during spontaneous motor behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Danielle Knogler

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In all but the simplest monosynaptic reflex arcs, sensory stimuli are encoded by sensory neurons that transmit a signal via sensory interneurons to downstream partners in order to elicit a response. In the embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio, cutaneous Rohon-Beard (RB sensory neurons fire in response to mechanical stimuli and excite downstream glutamatergic CoPA (commissural primary ascending interneurons to produce a flexion response contralateral to the site of stimulus. In the absence of sensory stimuli, zebrafish spinal locomotor circuits are spontaneously active during development due to pacemaker activity resulting in repetitive coiling of the trunk. Self-generated movement must therefore be distinguishable from external stimuli in order to ensure the appropriate activation of touch reflexes. Here, we recorded from CoPAs during spontaneous and evoked fictive motor behaviors in order to examine how responses to self-movement are gated in sensory interneurons. During spontaneous coiling, CoPAs received glycinergic inputs coincident with contralateral flexions that shunted firing for the duration of the coiling event. Shunting inactivation of CoPAs was caused by a slowly deactivating chloride conductance that resulted in lowered membrane resistance and increased action potential threshold. During spontaneous burst swimming, which develops later, CoPAs received glycinergic inputs that arrived in phase with excitation to ipsilateral motoneurons and provided persistent shunting. During a touch stimulus, short latency glutamatergic inputs produced cationic currents through AMPA receptors that drove a single, large amplitude action potential in the CoPA before shunting inhibition began, providing a brief window for the activation of downstream neurons. We compared the properties of CoPAs to those of other spinal neurons and propose that glycinergic signalling onto CoPAs acts as a corollary discharge signal for reflex inhibition during movement.

  20. Sensory gating of an embryonic zebrafish interneuron during spontaneous motor behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knogler, Laura D; Drapeau, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    In all but the simplest monosynaptic reflex arcs, sensory stimuli are encoded by sensory neurons that transmit a signal via sensory interneurons to downstream partners in order to elicit a response. In the embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio), cutaneous Rohon-Beard (RB) sensory neurons fire in response to mechanical stimuli and excite downstream glutamatergic commissural primary ascending (CoPA) interneurons to produce a flexion response contralateral to the site of stimulus. In the absence of sensory stimuli, zebrafish spinal locomotor circuits are spontaneously active during development due to pacemaker activity resulting in repetitive coiling of the trunk. Self-generated movement must therefore be distinguishable from external stimuli in order to ensure the appropriate activation of touch reflexes. Here, we recorded from CoPAs during spontaneous and evoked fictive motor behaviors in order to examine how responses to self-movement are gated in sensory interneurons. During spontaneous coiling, CoPAs received glycinergic inputs coincident with contralateral flexions that shunted firing for the duration of the coiling event. Shunting inactivation of CoPAs was caused by a slowly deactivating chloride conductance that resulted in lowered membrane resistance and increased action potential threshold. During spontaneous burst swimming, which develops later, CoPAs received glycinergic inputs that arrived in phase with excitation to ipsilateral motoneurons and provided persistent shunting. During a touch stimulus, short latency glutamatergic inputs produced cationic currents through AMPA receptors that drove a single, large amplitude action potential in the CoPA before shunting inhibition began, providing a brief window for the activation of downstream neurons. We compared the properties of CoPAs to those of other spinal neurons and propose that glycinergic signaling onto CoPAs acts as a corollary discharge signal for reflex inhibition during movement.

  1. Multi-sensory Sculpting (MSS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    von Wallpach, Sylvia; Kreuzer, Maria

    2013-01-01

    -conscious and modality-specific level and use multi-sensory metaphors to express embodied knowledge. Retrieving embodied brand knowledge requires methods that (a) stimulate various senses that have been involved in brand knowledge formation and (b) give consumers the opportunity to express themselves metaphorically...... in a format similar to their cognitive representations. This article introduces multi-sensory sculpting (MSS) as a method that allows retrieving embodied brand knowledge via multi-sensory metaphors and proposes a multi-layered metaphor analysis procedure to interpret these multi-sensory data. The paper...

  2. SENSORY AND CONSUMER TESTING LABORATORY

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — These laboratories conduct a wide range of studies to characterize the sensory properties of and consumer responses to foods, beverages, and other consumer products....

  3. Alpha and gamma oscillation amplitudes synergistically predict the perception of forthcoming nociceptive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Yiheng; Zhang, Zhiguo; Tan, Ao; Peng, Weiwei; Hung, Yeung Sam; Moayedi, Massieh; Iannetti, Gian Domenico; Hu, Li

    2016-02-01

    Ongoing fluctuations of intrinsic cortical networks determine the dynamic state of the brain, and influence the perception of forthcoming sensory inputs. The functional state of these networks is defined by the amplitude and phase of ongoing oscillations of neuronal populations at different frequencies. The contribution of functionally different cortical networks has yet to be elucidated, and only a clear dependence of sensory perception on prestimulus alpha oscillations has been clearly identified. Here, we combined electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a large sample of healthy participants to investigate how ongoing fluctuations in the activity of different cortical networks affect the perception of subsequent nociceptive stimuli. We observed that prestimulus EEG oscillations in the alpha (at bilateral central regions) and gamma (at parietal regions) bands negatively modulated the perception of subsequent stimuli. Combining information about alpha and gamma oscillations predicted subsequent perception significantly more accurately than either measure alone. In a parallel experiment, we found that prestimulus fMRI activity also modulated the perception of subsequent stimuli: perceptual ratings were higher when the BOLD signal was higher in nodes of the sensorimotor network and lower in nodes of the default mode network. Similar to what observed in the EEG data, prediction accuracy was improved when the amplitude of prestimulus BOLD signals in both networks was combined. These findings provide a comprehensive physiological basis to the idea that dynamic changes in brain state determine forthcoming behavioral outcomes. Hum Brain Mapp 37:501-514, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. The gut-brain axis rewired: adding a functional vagal nicotinic "sensory synapse".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Burgos, Azucena; Mao, Yu-Kang; Bienenstock, John; Kunze, Wolfgang A

    2014-07-01

    It is generally accepted that intestinal sensory vagal fibers are primary afferent, responding nonsynaptically to luminal stimuli. The gut also contains intrinsic primary afferent neurons (IPANs) that respond to luminal stimuli. A psychoactive Lactobacillus rhamnosus (JB-1) that affects brain function excites both vagal fibers and IPANs. We wondered whether, contrary to its primary afferent designation, the sensory vagus response to JB-1 might depend on IPAN to vagal fiber synaptic transmission. We recorded ex vivo single- and multiunit afferent action potentials from mesenteric nerves supplying mouse jejunal segments. Intramural synaptic blockade with Ca(2+) channel blockers reduced constitutive or JB-1-evoked vagal sensory discharge. Firing of 60% of spontaneously active units was reduced by synaptic blockade. Synaptic or nicotinic receptor blockade reduced firing in 60% of vagal sensory units that were stimulated by luminal JB-1. In control experiments, increasing or decreasing IPAN excitability, respectively increased or decreased nerve firing that was abolished by synaptic blockade or vagotomy. We conclude that >50% of vagal afferents function as interneurons for stimulation by JB-1, receiving input from an intramural functional "sensory synapse." This was supported by myenteric plexus nicotinic receptor immunohistochemistry. These data offer a novel therapeutic target to modify pathological gut-brain axis activity.-Perez-Burgos, A., Mao, Y.-K., Bienenstock, J., Kunze, W. A. The gut-brain axis rewired: adding a functional vagal nicotinic "sensory synapse."

  5. 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.

  6. Stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhuang; Wang, Wei; Xie, Rui; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Chu, Liang-Yin

    2016-02-07

    Membranes are playing paramount roles in the sustainable development of myriad fields such as energy, environmental and resource management, and human health. However, the unalterable pore size and surface properties of traditional porous membranes restrict their efficient applications. The performances of traditional membranes will be weakened upon unavoidable membrane fouling, and they cannot be applied to cases where self-regulated permeability and selectivity are required. Inspired by natural cell membranes with stimuli-responsive channels, artificial stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes are developed by chemically/physically incorporating stimuli-responsive materials as functional gates into traditional porous membranes, to provide advanced functions and enhanced performances for breaking the bottlenecks of traditional membrane technologies. Smart gating membranes, integrating the advantages of traditional porous membrane substrates and smart functional gates, can self-regulate their permeability and selectivity via the flexible adjustment of pore sizes and surface properties based on the "open/close" switch of the smart gates in response to environmental stimuli. This tutorial review summarizes the recent developments in stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes, including the design strategies and the fabrication strategies that are based on the introduction of the stimuli-responsive gates after or during membrane formation, and the positively and negatively responsive gating models of versatile stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes, as well as the advanced applications of smart gating membranes for regulating substance concentration in reactors, controlling the release rate of drugs, separating active molecules based on size or affinity, and the self-cleaning of membrane surfaces. With self-regulated membrane performances, smart gating membranes show great power for use in global sustainable development.

  7. Sensory receptors in monotremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proske, U; Gregory, J E; Iggo, A

    1998-01-01

    This is a summary of the current knowledge of sensory receptors in skin of the bill of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, and the snout of the echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus. Brief mention is also made of the third living member of the monotremes, the long-nosed echidna, Zaglossus bruijnii. The monotremes are the only group of mammals known to have evolved electroreception. The structures in the skin responsible for the electric sense have been identified as sensory mucous glands with an expanded epidermal portion that is innervated by large-diameter nerve fibres. Afferent recordings have shown that in both platypuses and echidnas the receptors excited by cathodal (negative) pulses and inhibited by anodal (positive) pulses. Estimates give a total of 40,000 mucous sensory glands in the upper and lower bill of the platypus, whereas there are only about 100 in the tip of the echidna snout. Recording of electroreceptor-evoked activity from the brain of the platypus have shown that the largest area dedicated to somatosensory input from the bill, S1, shows alternating rows of mechanosensory and bimodal neurons. The bimodal neurons respond to both electrosensory and mechanical inputs. In skin of the platypus bill and echidna snout, apart from the electroreceptors, there are structures called push rods, which consist of a column of compacted cells that is able to move relatively independently of adjacent regions of skin. At the base of the column are Merkel cell complexes, known to be type I slowly adapting mechanoreceptors, and lamellated corpuscles, probably vibration receptors. It has been speculated that the platypus uses its electric sense to detect the electromyographic activity from moving prey in the water and for obstacle avoidance. Mechanoreceptors signal contact with the prey. For the echidna, a role for the electrosensory system has not yet been established during normal foraging behaviour, although it has been shown that it is able to detect the presence

  8. Hybridization leads to sensory repertoire expansion in a gynogenetic fish, the Amazon molly (poecilia formosa): a test of the hybrid-sensory expansion hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandkam, Benjamin A; Joy, Jeffrey B; Watson, Corey T; Gonzalez-Bendiksen, Pablo; Gabor, Caitlin R; Breden, Felix

    2013-01-01

    Expansions in sensory systems usually require processes such as gene duplication and divergence, and thus evolve slowly. We evaluate a novel mechanism leading to rapid sensory repertoire expansion: hybrid-sensory expansion (HSE). HSE occurs when two species with differently tuned sensory systems form a hybrid, bringing together alleles from each of the parental species. In one generation, a sensory repertoire is created that is the sum of the variance between parental species. The Amazon molly presents a unique opportunity to test the HSE hypothesis in a "frozen" hybrid. We compared opsin sequences of the Amazon molly, Poecilia formosa, to those of the parental species. Both parental species are homozygous at the RH2-1 locus and each of the four long wavelength sensitive loci, while P. formosa possess two different alleles at these loci; one matching each parental allele. Gene expression analysis showed P. formosa use the expanded opsin repertoire that was the result of HSE. Additionally, behavioral tests revealed P. formosa respond to colored stimuli in a manner similar or intermediate to the parental species P. mexicana and P. latipinna. Together these results strongly support the HSE hypothesis. Hybrid-sensory repertoire expansion is likely important in other hybrid species and in other sensory systems.

  9. Cortical plasticity as a mechanism for storing Bayesian priors in sensory perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hania Köver

    Full Text Available Human perception of ambiguous sensory signals is biased by prior experiences. It is not known how such prior information is encoded, retrieved and combined with sensory information by neurons. Previous authors have suggested dynamic encoding mechanisms for prior information, whereby top-down modulation of firing patterns on a trial-by-trial basis creates short-term representations of priors. Although such a mechanism may well account for perceptual bias arising in the short-term, it does not account for the often irreversible and robust changes in perception that result from long-term, developmental experience. Based on the finding that more frequently experienced stimuli gain greater representations in sensory cortices during development, we reasoned that prior information could be stored in the size of cortical sensory representations. For the case of auditory perception, we use a computational model to show that prior information about sound frequency distributions may be stored in the size of primary auditory cortex frequency representations, read-out by elevated baseline activity in all neurons and combined with sensory-evoked activity to generate a perception that conforms to Bayesian integration theory. Our results suggest an alternative neural mechanism for experience-induced long-term perceptual bias in the context of auditory perception. They make the testable prediction that the extent of such perceptual prior bias is modulated by both the degree of cortical reorganization and the magnitude of spontaneous activity in primary auditory cortex. Given that cortical over-representation of frequently experienced stimuli, as well as perceptual bias towards such stimuli is a common phenomenon across sensory modalities, our model may generalize to sensory perception, rather than being specific to auditory perception.

  10. Women's clitoris, vagina, and cervix mapped on the sensory cortex: fMRI evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komisaruk, Barry R; Wise, Nan; Frangos, Eleni; Liu, Wen-Ching; Allen, Kachina; Brody, Stuart

    2011-10-01

    The projection of vagina, uterine cervix, and nipple to the sensory cortex in humans has not been reported. The aim of this study was to map the sensory cortical fields of the clitoris, vagina, cervix, and nipple, toward an elucidation of the neural systems underlying sexual response. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we mapped sensory cortical responses to clitoral, vaginal, cervical, and nipple self-stimulation. For points of reference on the homunculus, we also mapped responses to the thumb and great toe (hallux) stimulation. The main outcome measures used for this study were the fMRI of brain regions activated by the various sensory stimuli. Clitoral, vaginal, and cervical self-stimulation activated differentiable sensory cortical regions, all clustered in the medial cortex (medial paracentral lobule). Nipple self-stimulation activated the genital sensory cortex (as well as the thoracic) region of the homuncular map. The genital sensory cortex, identified in the classical Penfield homunculus based on electrical stimulation of the brain only in men, was confirmed for the first time in the literature by the present study in women applying clitoral, vaginal, and cervical self-stimulation, and observing their regional brain responses using fMRI. Vaginal, clitoral, and cervical regions of activation were differentiable, consistent with innervation by different afferent nerves and different behavioral correlates. Activation of the genital sensory cortex by nipple self-stimulation was unexpected, but suggests a neurological basis for women's reports of its erotogenic quality. © 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  11. Sensory processing and motor skill performance in elementary school children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ting

    2013-02-01

    Research to examine both sensory processing and motor skill performance in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited. This study assessed whether children with ASD would show sensory and motor delays compared to typically developing children and examined the relationship between sensory processing and motor performance. 32 children diagnosed with ASD were assessed using the Short Sensory Profile (SSP) and the Movement ABC-2 (MABC-2). The SSP measures children's sensory processing in daily life and the MABC-2 measures children's fine and gross motor skill performance. Overall, the samples' scores on the SSP indicated atypical sensory processing and scores on the MABC-2 showed poorer fine and gross motor performance as compared to age-matched norms. Furthermore, the samples' scores for sensory processing were positively correlated with their motor performance. The results suggest that fine and gross motor difficulties of children with ASD may be related to their delayed sensory processing to visual, auditory, tactile, and movement stimuli, and that this hypothesis needs to be tested in future research.

  12. Sensory Robot Gripper

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drimus, Alin

    The project researches and proposes a tactile sensor system for equipping robotic grippers, thus giving them a sense of touch. We start by reviewing work that covers the building of tactile sensors and we focus on the flexible sensors with multiple sensing elements. As the piezoresistive...... by the human skin, namely the dynamic and static stimuli, are covered by different types of sensing units and this inspires us to design hybrid sensors. After looking into biology, we turn to engineering, reviewing the ad- vantages and limitations of the existing technologies. Before we start developing...... a tactile sensing solution, we formulate a set of sensor specific requirements inspired by the properties of the human touch sense. Our main interests are dynamic range, sensitivity, ease of manufacturing and cost. We find that the piezoresistive rubbers are the best candidate for meeting the proposed...

  13. Reindeer & Wolves: Exploring Sensory Deprivation in Multiplayer Digital Bodily Play

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finnegan, Daniel; Velloso, Eduardo; Mitchell, Robb;

    2014-01-01

    Games designed around digital bodily play involve bodily movement and expression to create engaging gameplay experiences. Most feedback in these games takes the form of visual stimuli. To explore the gameplay mechanics afforded by depriving players from these visual cues, we designed Reindeer & W...... & Wolves, a role-playing game where blindfolded players capture other players relying on their hearing alone. Based on our design and play testing, we devised four strategies for designing games that incorporate sensory deprivation as an element of the core mechanic.......Games designed around digital bodily play involve bodily movement and expression to create engaging gameplay experiences. Most feedback in these games takes the form of visual stimuli. To explore the gameplay mechanics afforded by depriving players from these visual cues, we designed Reindeer...

  14. Spatial segregation of somato-sensory and pain activations in the human operculo-insular cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzola, Laure; Faillenot, Isabelle; Barral, Fabrice-Guy; Mauguière, François; Peyron, Roland

    2012-03-01

    The role of operculo-insular region in the processing of somato-sensory inputs, painful or not, is now well established. However, available maps from previous literature show a substantial overlap of cortical areas activated by these stimuli, and the region referred to as the "secondary somatosensory area (SII)" is widely distributed in the parietal operculum. Differentiating SII from posterior insula cortex, which is anatomically contiguous, is not easy, explaining why the "operculo-insular" label has been introduced to describe activations by somatosensory stimuli in this cortical region. Based on the recent cyto-architectural parcellation of the human insular/SII cortices (Eickhoff et al., 2006, Kurth et al., 2010), the present study investigates with functional MRI (fMRI), whether these structural subdivisions could subserve distinct aspects of discriminative somato-sensory functions, including pain. Responses to five types of stimuli applied on the left hand of 25 healthy volunteers were considered: i) tactile stimuli; ii) passive movements; iii) innocuous cold stimuli; iv) non-noxious warm and v) heat pain. Our results show different patterns of activation depending on the type of somato-sensory stimulation. The posterior part of SII (OP1 area), contralateral to stimuli, was the only sub-region activated by all type of stimuli and might therefore be considered as a common cortical target for different types of somato-sensory inputs. Proprioceptive stimulation by passive finger movements activated the posterior part of SII (OP1 sub-region) bilaterally and the contralateral median part of insula (PreCG and MSG). Innocuous cooling activated the contralateral posterior part of SII (OP1) and the dorsal posterior and median part of insula (OP2, PostCG). Pain stimuli induced the most widespread and intense activation that was bilateral in SII (OP1, OP4) and distributed to all sub-regions of contralateral insula (except OP2) and to the anterior part of the

  15. [Sensory processing could be temporally organized by ultradian brain rhythms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedemonte, M; Velluti, R A

    Neuronal activity of sensory systems depends on input from the environment, the body and the brain itself. Various rhythms have been shown to affect sensory processing, such as the waking-sleep cycle and hippocampal theta waves, our aim in this revision. The hippocampus, known as a structure involved in learning and memory processing, has the theta rhythm (4-10 Hz), present in all behavioural states. This rhythm has been temporally related to automatic, reflex and voluntary movements, both during wakefulness and sleep, and in the autonomic control of the heart rate. On the other hand theta rhythm has been considered as a novelty detector expressing different level of attention, selecting the information and protecting from interference. Our research is based on the hypothesis that sensory processing needs a timer to be processed and stored, and hippocampal theta rhythm could contribute to the temporal organization of these events. We have demonstrated that auditory and visual unitary discharges in guinea pigs show phase-locking to the hippocampal theta rhythm. This temporal correlation appears during both spontaneous and specific sensory stimulation evoked discharges. Neuronal discharges fluctuate between phase-locked and uncorrelated firing modes relative to the theta rhythm. This changing state depends on known and unknown situations. We have provoked, changing the visual stimuli, a power theta rhythm increment and the phase-locking between this rhythm and the lateral geniculate neurone discharge during wakefulness. In slow wave sleep results were different demonstrating that the ways of the inputs processing have changed.

  16. Tactile sensory system: encoding from the periphery to the cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lynette A; Smith, Allan M

    2014-01-01

    Specialized mechanoreceptors in the skin respond to mechanical deformation and provide the primary input to the tactile sensory system. Although the morphology of these receptors has been documented, there is still considerable uncertainty as to the relation between cutaneous receptor morphology and the associated physiological responses to stimulation. Labelled-line models of somatosensory processes in which specific mechanoreceptors are associated with particular sensory qualities fail to account for the evidence showing that all types of tactile afferent units respond to a varying extent to most types of natural stimuli. Neurophysiological and psychophysical experiments have provided the framework for determining the relation between peripheral afferent or cortical activity and tactile perception. Neural codes derived from these afferent signals are evaluated in terms of their capacity to predict human perceptual performance. One particular challenge in developing models of the tactile sensory system is the dual use of sensory signals from the skin. In addition to their perceptual function they serve as inputs to the sensorimotor control system involved in manipulation. Perceptions generated through active touch differ from those resulting from passive stimulation of the skin because they are the product of self-generated exploratory processes. Recent research in this area has highlighted the importance of shear forces in these exploratory movements and has shown that fingertip skin is particularly sensitive to shear generated during both object manipulation and tactile exploration.

  17. Nonlinear high-order mode locking in stochastic sensory neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Michael; Afghan, Muhammad; Neiman, Alexander

    2004-03-01

    Excitable systems demonstrate various mode locking regimes when driven by periodic external signals. With noise taken into account, such regimes represent complex nonlinear responses which depend crucially on the frequency and amplitude of the periodic drive as well as on the noise intensity. We study this using a computational model of a stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley neuron in combination with the turtle vestibular sensory system as an experimental model. A bifurcation analysis of the model is performed. Extracellular recordings from primary vestibular afferent neurons with two types of stimuli are used in the experimental study. First, mechanical stimuli applied to the labyrinth allow us to study the responses of the entire system, including transduction by the hair cells and spike generation in the primary afferents. Second, a galvanic stimuli applied directly to an afferent are used to study the responses of afferent spike generator directly. The responses to galvanic stimuli reveal multiple high-order mode locking regimes which are well reproduced in numerical simulation. Responses to mechanical stimulation are characterized by larger variability so that fewer mode-locking regimes can be observed.

  18. Exploring the cortical evidence of a sensory-discrimination process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romo, Ranulfo; Hernández, Adrián; Zainos, Antonio; Brody, Carlos; Salinas, Emilio

    2002-01-01

    Humans and monkeys have similar abilities to discriminate the difference in frequency between two consecutive mechanical vibrations applied to their fingertips. This task can be conceived as a chain of neural operations: encoding the two consecutive stimuli, maintaining the first stimulus in working memory, comparing the second stimulus with the memory trace left by the first stimulus and communicating the result of the comparison to the motor apparatus. We studied this chain of neural operations by recording and manipulating neurons from different areas of the cerebral cortex while monkeys performed the task. The results indicate that neurons of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) generate a neural representation of vibrotactile stimuli which correlates closely with psychophysical performance. Discrimination based on microstimulation patterns injected into clusters of S1 neurons is indistinguishable from that produced by natural stimuli. Neurons from the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), prefrontal cortex and medial premotor cortex (MPC) display at different times the trace of the first stimulus during the working-memory component of the task. Neurons from S2 and MPC appear to show the comparison between the two stimuli and correlate with the behavioural decisions. These neural operations may contribute to the sensory-discrimination process studied here. PMID:12217172

  19. Early modality-specific somatosensory cortical regions are modulated by attended visual stimuli: interaction of vision, touch and behavioral intent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Richard Staines

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bimodal interactions between relevant visual and tactile inputs can facilitate attentional modulation at early stages in somatosensory cortices to achieve goal-oriented behaviors. However, the specific contribution of each sensory system during attentional processing and, importantly, how these interact with the required behavioural motor goals remains unclear. Here we used EEG and event-related potentials (ERPs to test the hypothesis that activity from modality-specific somatosensory cortical regions would be enhanced with task-relevant bimodal (visual-tactile stimuli and that the degree of modulation would depend on the difficulty of the associated sensory-motor task demands. Tactile stimuli were discrete vibrations to the index finger and visual stimuli were horizontal bars on a computer screen, both with random amplitudes. Streams of unimodal (tactile and crossmodal (visual and tactile stimuli were randomly presented and participants were instructed to attend to one type of stimulus (unimodal or crossmodal and responses involved either an indication of the presence of an attended stimulus (detect, or the integration and summation of 2 stimulus amplitudes using a pressure-sensitive ball (grade. Force-amplitude associations were learned in a training session, and no feedback was provided during the task. ERPs were time-locked to tactile stimuli and extracted for early modality-specific components (P50, P100, N140. The P50 was enhanced with bimodal (visual-tactile stimuli that were attended to. This was maximal when the motor requirements involved integration of the 2 stimuli in the grade task and when the visual stimulus occurred before (100 ms the tactile stimulus. These results suggest that visual information relevant for movement modulates early somatosensory processing and that the motor behavioral context influences this likely through interaction of top-down attentional and motor preparatory systems with more bottom-up crossmodal

  20. Sensory analysis of pet foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppel, Kadri

    2014-08-01

    Pet food palatability depends first and foremost on the pet and is related to the pet food sensory properties such as aroma, texture and flavor. Sensory analysis of pet foods may be conducted by humans via descriptive or hedonic analysis, pets via acceptance or preference tests, and through a number of instrumental analysis methods. Sensory analysis of pet foods provides additional information on reasons behind palatable and unpalatable foods as pets lack linguistic capabilities. Furthermore, sensory analysis may be combined with other types of information such as personality and environment factors to increase understanding of acceptable pet foods. Most pet food flavor research is proprietary and, thus, there are a limited number of publications available. Funding opportunities for pet food studies would increase research and publications and this would help raise public awareness of pet food related issues. This mini-review addresses current pet food sensory analysis literature and discusses future challenges and possibilities.

  1. The Evolution of Sensory Placodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francoise Mazet

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The vertebrate cranial sensory placodes are ectodermal embryonic patches that give rise to sensory receptor cells of the peripheral paired sense organs and to neurons in the cranial sensory ganglia. Their differentiation and the genetic pathways that underlay their development are now well understood. Their evolutionary history, however, has remained obscure. Recent molecular work, performed on close relatives of the vertebrates, demonstrated that some sensory placodes (namely the adenohypophysis, the olfactory, and accoustico-lateralis placodes first evolved at the base of the chordate lineage, while others might be specific to vertebrates. Combined with morphological and cellular fate data, these results also suggest that the sensory placodes of the ancestor of all chordates differentiated into a wide range of structures, most likely to fit the lifestyle and environment of each species.

  2. Sensory aspects of movement disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Neepa; Jankovic, Joseph; Hallett, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Movement disorders, which include disorders such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, Tourette's syndrome, restless legs syndrome, and akathisia, have traditionally been considered to be disorders of impaired motor control resulting predominantly from dysfunction of the basal ganglia. This notion has been revised largely because of increasing recognition of associated behavioural, psychiatric, autonomic, and other non-motor symptoms. The sensory aspects of movement disorders include intrinsic sensory abnormalities and the effects of external sensory input on the underlying motor abnormality. The basal ganglia, cerebellum, thalamus, and their connections, coupled with altered sensory input, seem to play a key part in abnormal sensorimotor integration. However, more investigation into the phenomenology and physiological basis of sensory abnormalities, and about the role of the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and related structures in somatosensory processing, and its effect on motor control, is needed.

  3. Timing of moderate level prenatal alcohol exposure influences gene expression of sensory processing behavior in rhesus monkeys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary L Schneider

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Sensory processing disorder (SPD, characterized by over- or under-responsivity to non-noxious environmental stimuli, is a common but poorly understood disorder. We examined the role of prenatal alcohol exposure, serotonin transporter gene polymorphic region variation (rh5-HTTLPR, and striatal dopamine (DA function on behavioral measures of sensory responsivity to repeated non-noxious sensory stimuli in macaque monkeys. Results indicated that early gestation alcohol exposure induced behavioral under-responsivity to environmental stimuli in monkeys carrying the short (s rh5-HTTLPR allele compared to both early-exposed monkeys homozygous for the long (l allele and monkeys from middle-to-late exposed pregnancies and controls, regardless of genotype. Moreover, prenatal timing of alcohol exposure altered the relationship between sensory scores and DA D2R availability. In early-exposed monkeys, a positive relationship was shown between sensory scores and DA D2R availability, with low or blunted DA function associated with under-responsive sensory function. The opposite pattern was found for the middle-to-late gestation alcohol-exposed group. These findings raise questions about how the timing of prenatal perturbation and genotype contributes to effects on neural processing and possibly alters neural connections.

  4. State-dependent changes in auditory sensory gating in different cortical areas in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renli Qi

    Full Text Available Sensory gating is a process in which the brain's response to a repetitive stimulus is attenuated; it is thought to contribute to information processing by enabling organisms to filter extraneous sensory inputs from the environment. To date, sensory gating has typically been used to determine whether brain function is impaired, such as in individuals with schizophrenia or addiction. In healthy subjects, sensory gating is sensitive to a subject's behavioral state, such as acute stress and attention. The cortical response to sensory stimulation significantly decreases during sleep; however, information processing continues throughout sleep, and an auditory evoked potential (AEP can be elicited by sound. It is not known whether sensory gating changes during sleep. Sleep is a non-uniform process in the whole brain with regional differences in neural activities. Thus, another question arises concerning whether sensory gating changes are uniform in different brain areas from waking to sleep. To address these questions, we used the sound stimuli of a Conditioning-testing paradigm to examine sensory gating during waking, rapid eye movement (REM sleep and Non-REM (NREM sleep in different cortical areas in rats. We demonstrated the following: 1. Auditory sensory gating was affected by vigilant states in the frontal and parietal areas but not in the occipital areas. 2. Auditory sensory gating decreased in NREM sleep but not REM sleep from waking in the frontal and parietal areas. 3. The decreased sensory gating in the frontal and parietal areas during NREM sleep was the result of a significant increase in the test sound amplitude.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Sensory subtraction in robot-assisted surgery: fingertip skin deformation feedback to ensure safety and improve transparency in bimanual haptic interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meli, Leonardo; Pacchierotti, Claudio; Prattichizzo, Domenico

    2014-04-01

    This study presents a novel approach to force feedback in robot-assisted surgery. It consists of substituting haptic stimuli, composed of a kinesthetic component and a skin deformation, with cutaneous stimuli only. The force generated can then be thought as a subtraction between the complete haptic interaction, cutaneous, and kinesthetic, and the kinesthetic part of it. For this reason, we refer to this approach as sensory subtraction. Sensory subtraction aims at outperforming other nonkinesthetic feedback techniques in teleoperation (e.g., sensory substitution) while guaranteeing the stability and safety of the system. We tested the proposed approach in a challenging 7-DoF bimanual teleoperation task, similar to the Pegboard experiment of the da Vinci Skills Simulator. Sensory subtraction showed improved performance in terms of completion time, force exerted, and total displacement of the rings with respect to two popular sensory substitution techniques. Moreover, it guaranteed a stable interaction in the presence of a communication delay in the haptic loop.

  8. Early influence of auditory stimuli on upper-limb movements in young human infants: an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscilla Augusta Monteiro Ferronato

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Given that the auditory system is rather well developed at the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, it is likely that couplings between acoustics and motor activity can be integrated as early as at the beginning of postnatal life. The aim of the present mini-review was to summarize and discuss studies on early auditory-motor integration, focusing particularly on upper-limb movements (one of the most crucial means to interact with the environment in association with auditory stimuli, to develop further understanding of their significance with regard to early infant development. Many studies have investigated the relationship between various infant behaviors (e.g., sucking, visual fixation, head turning and auditory stimuli, and established that human infants can be observed displaying couplings between action and environmental sensory stimulation already from just after birth, clearly indicating a propensity for intentional behavior. Surprisingly few studies, however, have investigated the associations between upper-limb movements and different auditory stimuli in newborns and young infants, infants born at risk for developmental disorders/delays in particular. Findings from studies of early auditory-motor interaction support that the developing integration of sensory and motor systems is a fundamental part of the process guiding the development of goal-directed action in infancy, of great importance for continued motor, perceptual and cognitive development. At-risk infants (e.g., those born preterm may display increasing central auditory processing disorders, negatively affecting early sensory-motor integration, and resulting in long-term consequences on gesturing, language development and social communication. Consequently, there is a need for more studies on such implications

  9. 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.

  10. Acquired auditory-visual synesthesia: A window to early cross-modal sensory interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afra, Pegah; Funke, Michael; Matsuo, Fumisuke

    2009-01-01

    Synesthesia is experienced when sensory stimulation of one sensory modality elicits an involuntary sensation in another sensory modality. Auditory-visual synesthesia occurs when auditory stimuli elicit visual sensations. It has developmental, induced and acquired varieties. The acquired variety has been reported in association with deafferentation of the visual system as well as temporal lobe pathology with intact visual pathways. The induced variety has been reported in experimental and post-surgical blindfolding, as well as intake of hallucinogenic or psychedelics. Although in humans there is no known anatomical pathway connecting auditory areas to primary and/or early visual association areas, there is imaging and neurophysiologic evidence to the presence of early cross modal interactions between the auditory and visual sensory pathways. Synesthesia may be a window of opportunity to study these cross modal interactions. Here we review the existing literature in the acquired and induced auditory-visual synesthesias and discuss the possible neural mechanisms. PMID:22110319

  11. Intermodal transfer in temporal discrimination. [of visual and acoustic stimuli duration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warm, J. S.; Stutz, R. M.; Vassolo, P. A.

    1975-01-01

    This study determined if training for accuracy in temporal discrimination would transfer across sensory modalities. A fractionation method was used in which subjects bisected the durations of acoustic and visual signals at three standard intervals (6, 12, and 18 sec). Absolute error was the performance index. Half of the subjects were trained with acoustic stimuli and then tested in vision; the remainder were trained in vision and tested in audition. Similar negatively accelerated acquisition functions were noted for both modalities. Positive intermodal transfer, characterized by symmetry across modalities, was obtained at all standard durations. The results were considered to provide support for the notion that a common mechanism underlies temporal discriminations in different sensory systems.

  12. Intense pain influences the cortical processing of visual stimuli projected onto the sensitized skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torta, DM; Van Den Broeke, EN; Filbrich, L; Jacob, B; Lambert, J; Mouraux, A

    2017-01-01

    Sensitization is a form of implicit learning produced by the exposure to a harmful stimulus. In humans and other mammals, sensitization following skin injury increases the responsiveness of peripheral nociceptors, and enhances the synaptic transmission of nociceptive input in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that sensitization-related changes in the CNS are not restricted to nociceptive pathways and, instead, also affect other sensory modalities, especially if that modality conveys information relevant for the sensitized body part. Specifically, we show that after sensitizing the forearm using high-frequency electrical stimulation of the skin (HFS), visual stimuli projected onto the sensitized forearm elicit significantly enhanced brain responses. Whereas mechanical hyperalgesia was present both 20 and 45 minutes after HFS, the enhanced responsiveness to visual stimuli was present only 20 minutes after HFS. Taken together, our results indicate that sensitization involves both nociceptive-specific and multimodal mechanisms, having distinct time courses. PMID:28030473

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folgieri, Raffaella; Lucchiari, Claudio; Marini, Daniele

    2013-02-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Objective determinations of sensibility in the upper extremity. Part II. Application of cutaneous stimuli in control subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, S L; Nahai, F; Brown, D M; Jordan, N; Kutner, M

    1977-10-01

    Sensitization statements were read to two groups of normal subjects to determine whether quantifiable thresholds for pressure, electrical, or tactile stimuli could be altered. Significant reductions in perception thresholds were observed for pressure and digital pulsed stimulation, but not for stimulation to the discomfort threshold, or two point discrimination. These data seem to suggest that increased sensitization is related to the ease of stimulus applications and the comparative simplicity of sensory processing.

  16. Testing sensory and multisensory function in children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baum, Sarah H; Stevenson, Ryan A; Wallace, Mark T

    2015-04-22

    In addition to impairments in social communication and the presence of restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, deficits in sensory processing are now recognized as a core symptom in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our ability to perceive and interact with the external world is rooted in sensory processing. For example, listening to a conversation entails processing the auditory cues coming from the speaker (speech content, prosody, syntax) as well as the associated visual information (facial expressions, gestures). Collectively, the "integration" of these multisensory (i.e., combined audiovisual) pieces of information results in better comprehension. Such multisensory integration has been shown to be strongly dependent upon the temporal relationship of the paired stimuli. Thus, stimuli that occur in close temporal proximity are highly likely to result in behavioral and perceptual benefits--gains believed to be reflective of the perceptual system's judgment of the likelihood that these two stimuli came from the same source. Changes in this temporal integration are expected to strongly alter perceptual processes, and are likely to diminish the ability to accurately perceive and interact with our world. Here, a battery of tasks designed to characterize various aspects of sensory and multisensory temporal processing in children with ASD is described. In addition to its utility in autism, this battery has great potential for characterizing changes in sensory function in other clinical populations, as well as being used to examine changes in these processes across the lifespan.

  17. Cross-Modal Sensory Integration of Visual-Tactile Motion Information: Instrument Design and Human Psychophysics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice M. K. Wong

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Information obtained from multiple sensory modalities, such as vision and touch, is integrated to yield a holistic percept. As a haptic approach usually involves cross-modal sensory experiences, it is necessary to develop an apparatus that can characterize how a biological system integrates visual-tactile sensory information as well as how a robotic device infers object information emanating from both vision and touch. In the present study, we develop a novel visual-tactile cross-modal integration stimulator that consists of an LED panel to present visual stimuli and a tactile stimulator with three degrees of freedom that can present tactile motion stimuli with arbitrary motion direction, speed, and indentation depth in the skin. The apparatus can present cross-modal stimuli in which the spatial locations of visual and tactile stimulations are perfectly aligned. We presented visual-tactile stimuli in which the visual and tactile directions were either congruent or incongruent, and human observers reported the perceived visual direction of motion. Results showed that perceived direction of visual motion can be biased by the direction of tactile motion when visual signals are weakened. The results also showed that the visual-tactile motion integration follows the rule of temporal congruency of multi-modal inputs, a fundamental property known for cross-modal integration.

  18. Cross-modal sensory integration of visual-tactile motion information: instrument design and human psychophysics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Yu-Cheng; Chang, Ting-Yu; Lee, Tsung-Chi; Saha, Sudipta; Lai, Hsin-Yi; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Chou, Shih-Wei; Wong, Alice M K

    2013-05-31

    Information obtained from multiple sensory modalities, such as vision and touch, is integrated to yield a holistic percept. As a haptic approach usually involves cross-modal sensory experiences, it is necessary to develop an apparatus that can characterize how a biological system integrates visual-tactile sensory information as well as how a robotic device infers object information emanating from both vision and touch. In the present study, we develop a novel visual-tactile cross-modal integration stimulator that consists of an LED panel to present visual stimuli and a tactile stimulator with three degrees of freedom that can present tactile motion stimuli with arbitrary motion direction, speed, and indentation depth in the skin. The apparatus can present cross-modal stimuli in which the spatial locations of visual and tactile stimulations are perfectly aligned. We presented visual-tactile stimuli in which the visual and tactile directions were either congruent or incongruent, and human observers reported the perceived visual direction of motion. Results showed that perceived direction of visual motion can be biased by the direction of tactile motion when visual signals are weakened. The results also showed that the visual-tactile motion integration follows the rule of temporal congruency of multi-modal inputs, a fundamental property known for cross-modal integration.

  19. Modality-independent reduction mechanisms of primary sensory evoked fields in a one-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanke, David; Huonker, Ralph; Weiss, Thomas; Witte, Otto W; Götz, Theresa

    2016-01-01

    Attentional modulation of early, primary sensory components is still a topic of debate, as studies have produced conflicting results concerning the existence of a modulation within the primary somatosensory cortex and its direction. We previously showed that attention to tactile stimuli in a stream with visual stimuli leads to a reduction of primary somatosensory components when discrimination of different stimulus locations is requested. The question arises whether this effect is universal and independent from the distracting or attended modality. To test this, we compared the magnitude of primary somatosensory evoked fields (somatosensory P50m) in a one-back task after tactile finger stimulation during attention to tactile stimuli vs. auditory distraction in 28 volunteers. In comparison to acoustic distraction, we found a significantly decreased primary somatosensory activity when attending to tactile stimuli. Strikingly, similar results were produced within the auditory modality: when attention was focused on acoustic targets, primary auditory (auditory P50m) fields were lower as compared to the situation when attention was directed to the tactile stimulation. Our results clearly indicate that the type of task, independent from the modality, is actually the crucial factor for the direction of modulation of early sensory components by attention. Therefore, our finding of reduced primary sensory components in a discrimination task represents a universal effect independent from the distracting or attended modality.

  20. Alterations of sensory perceptions in healthy elderly subjects during fasting and refeeding. A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Catherine; Moreau, Karine; Brandolini, Marion; Livingstone, Barbara; Beaufrère, Bernard; Boirie, Yves

    2002-01-01

    Sensory perception losses may contribute to age-related malnutrition by affecting food selection and consumption. To determine the effects of a 36-hour fast followed by a 6-hour refeeding period on sensory perceptions in 7 healthy elderly subjects (65-80 years of age) and 6 healthy young subjects (18-35 years of age). Self-perceived hunger and olfactory ratings were recorded on visual analogue scales in response to three different classes of odorant stimuli (salt, sweet and sour). Odorant stimuli were administered three times during the study, twice during the fasting period (12 and 24 h fasted) and once at the end of the re-nutrition period. A significant difference was found between the two groups for the self-perceived hunger ratings in response to the sour stimuli. A significant difference was observed between the two groups for olfactory ratings as regards the salt and sour odorant stimuli. Among the metabolic changes associated with fasting and refeeding, blood glucose was significantly related (r(2) = 0.97, p = 0.001) to the perception of hunger in the control group subjects, but no such relationship was found for the elderly subjects (r(2) = 0.16, p = NS). (1) Self-perceived hunger and olfactory ratings are specifically affected in healthy elderly. (2) Nutritional status can modulate sensory perceptions in elderly and young during the transition from fasting to refeeding. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

  1. Semantic congruence effects across olfactory and visual stimuli on product perception : an implicit and explicit approach

    OpenAIRE

    Nibbe, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    The thesis focused on advancing the cross-modal research, in particular on the usage of scent in product packages,using implicit and explicit approaches. The implicit approach using an IAT is new in sensory marketing and has never been used before. It proved to be a good method to measure semantic congruence of cross-modal stimuli. Study 2 and 3 use an explicit approach. The results show that the usage of a semantic congruent scent on a product package can enhance purchase intention in co...

  2. Promoting the use of personally relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Fabien; Castro, Maïté; Tillmann, Barbara; Luauté, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC) following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally relevant stimuli (i.e., with emotional, autobiographical, or self-related characteristics) are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music’s capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness. PMID:26284020

  3. Promoting the use of personally-relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien ePerrin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally-relevant stimuli (i.e. with emotional, autobiographical or self-related characteristics are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally-relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music’s capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness.

  4. Innocuous skin cooling modulates perception and neurophysiological correlates of brief CO2 laser stimuli in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nahra, Hicham; Plaghki, Léon

    2005-10-01

    The present study examined the influence of innocuous skin cooling on the perception and neurophysiological correlates of brief noxious CO2 laser stimuli. In nine normal subjects, brief CO2 laser pulses of four different intensities (duration 50 ms; diameter 5 mm; intensity range 5.8-10.6 mJ/mm2) were delivered at random every 5-10 s on the dorsum of the hand. Innocuous skin cooling was performed by a thermode (20 degrees C; 3x3 cm) with a central hole for the laser test stimuli. Quality and intensity (VAS) of perceptions, reaction times and laser evoked potentials (LEPs) were examined. Signal detection theory analysis was performed to evaluate discrimination performance and decision criterion. During innocuous skin cooling, detection threshold increased from 4.8+/-1.81 to 8.2+/-1.05 mJ/mm2 and pain threshold from 8.7+/-1.53 to 13.5+/-1.57 mJ/mm2. proportion of detected stimuli decreased from 87% to 48% and pain reports from 42% to 10%. The well localized 'pricking' sensation mediated by Adelta-nociceptors almost vanished. The intensity of sensations (VAS scores) was considerably reduced. Sensory discriminative performance was significantly depressed but decision criterion remained unchanged. Reaction times were delayed. The late-LEPs, correlates of Adelta-nociceptor activations, were also significantly depressed while the ultra-late LEPs, correlates of C-nociceptors, were not affected. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that innocuous skin cooling interfered with the sensory processing of laser heat stimuli and more prominently with those related to Adelta-nociceptive input.

  5. System identification of Drosophila olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Anmo J; Lazar, Aurel A; Slutskiy, Yevgeniy B

    2011-02-01

    The lack of a deeper understanding of how olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) encode odors has hindered the progress in understanding the olfactory signal processing in higher brain centers. Here we employ methods of system identification to investigate the encoding of time-varying odor stimuli and their representation for further processing in the spike domain by Drosophila OSNs. In order to apply system identification techniques, we built a novel low-turbulence odor delivery system that allowed us to deliver airborne stimuli in a precise and reproducible fashion. The system provides a 1% tolerance in stimulus reproducibility and an exact control of odor concentration and concentration gradient on a millisecond time scale. Using this novel setup, we recorded and analyzed the in-vivo response of OSNs to a wide range of time-varying odor waveforms. We report for the first time that across trials the response of OR59b OSNs is very precise and reproducible. Further, we empirically show that the response of an OSN depends not only on the concentration, but also on the rate of change of the odor concentration. Moreover, we demonstrate that a two-dimensional (2D) Encoding Manifold in a concentration-concentration gradient space provides a quantitative description of the neuron's response. We then use the white noise system identification methodology to construct one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) Linear-Nonlinear-Poisson (LNP) cascade models of the sensory neuron for a fixed mean odor concentration and fixed contrast. We show that in terms of predicting the intensity rate of the spike train, the 2D LNP model performs on par with the 1D LNP model, with a root mean-square error (RMSE) increase of about 5 to 10%. Surprisingly, we find that for a fixed contrast of the white noise odor waveforms, the nonlinear block of each of the two models changes with the mean input concentration. The shape of the nonlinearities of both the 1D and the 2D LNP model appears to be

  6. 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.

  7. Multisensory integration in non-human primates during a sensory-motor task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eLanz

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Daily our central nervous system receives inputs via several sensory modalities, processes them and integrates information in order to produce a suitable behaviour. The amazing part is that such a multisensory integration brings all information into a unified percept. An approach to start investigating this property is to show that perception is better and faster when multimodal stimuli are used as compared to unimodal stimuli. This forms the first part of the present study conducted in a non-human primate’s model (n=2 engaged in a detection sensory-motor task where visual and auditory stimuli were displayed individually or simultaneously. The measured parameters were the reaction time (RT between stimulus and onset of arm movement, successes and errors percentages, as well as the evolution as a function of time of these parameters with training. As expected, RTs were shorter when the subjects were exposed to combined stimuli. The gains for both subjects were around 20 and 40 msec, as compared with the auditory and visual stimulus alone, respectively. Moreover the number of correct responses increased in response to bimodal stimuli. We interpreted such multisensory advantage through redundant signal effect which decreases perceptual ambiguity, increases speed of stimulus detection and improves performance accuracy.The second part of the study presents single unit recordings derived from the premotor cortex (PM of the same subjects during the sensory-motor task. Response patterns to sensory/multisensory stimulation are documented and specific type proportions are reported. Characterization of bimodal neurons indicates a mechanism of audio-visual integration possibly through a decrease of inhibition. Nevertheless the neural processing leading to faster motor response from PM as a polysensory association cortical area remains still unclear.

  8. Sub-Second Temporal Integration of Vibro-Tactile Stimuli: Intervals between Adjacent, Weak, and Within-Channel Stimuli Are Underestimated

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scinob Kuroki

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Tactile estimation of sub-second time is essential for correct recognition of sensory inputs and dexterous manipulation of objects. Despite our intuitive understanding that time is robustly estimated in any situation, tactile sub-second time is altered by, for example, body movement, similar to how visual time is modulated by eye movement. The effects of simpler factors, such as stimulus location, intensity, and frequency, have also been reported in temporal tasks in other modalities, but their effects on tactile sub-second interval estimation remain obscure. Here, we were interested in whether a perceived short interval presented by tactile stimuli is altered only by changing stimulus features. The perceived interval between a pair of stimuli presented on the same finger apparently became short relative to that on different fingers; that of a weak-intensity pair relative to that of a pair with stronger intensity was decreased; and that of a pair with the same frequency relative to one with different frequencies was underestimated. These findings can be ascribed to errors in encoding temporal relationships: nearby-space/weak-intensity/similar-frequency stimuli presented within a short time difference are likely to be integrated into a single event and lead to relative time compression.

  9. Computer programming for generating visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukhari, Farhan; Kurylo, Daniel D

    2008-02-01

    Critical to vision research is the generation of visual displays with precise control over stimulus metrics. Generating stimuli often requires adapting commercial software or developing specialized software for specific research applications. In order to facilitate this process, we give here an overview that allows nonexpert users to generate and customize stimuli for vision research. We first give a review of relevant hardware and software considerations, to allow the selection of display hardware, operating system, programming language, and graphics packages most appropriate for specific research applications. We then describe the framework of a generic computer program that can be adapted for use with a broad range of experimental applications. Stimuli are generated in the context of trial events, allowing the display of text messages, the monitoring of subject responses and reaction times, and the inclusion of contingency algorithms. This approach allows direct control and management of computer-generated visual stimuli while utilizing the full capabilities of modern hardware and software systems. The flowchart and source code for the stimulus-generating program may be downloaded from www.psychonomic.org/archive.

  10. Capsicum--production, technology, chemistry, and quality. Part III. Chemistry of the color, aroma, and pungency stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govindarajan, V S

    1986-01-01

    The spice capsicum, the fruits of the genus Capsicum (Family Solanaceae), is a very popular food additive in many parts of the world, valued for the important sensory attributes of color, pungency, and aroma. A large number of varieties are widely cultivated and traded. The characteristic carotenoids of the bright red paprika and cayenne-type chillies, the high character impact aroma stimuli, the methoxy pyrazine of green bell capsicum, the esters of ripe tabasco and the highly potent pungency stimuli, and the capsaicinoids of African and other Asian varieties of chillies, have been of great interest to chemists and biochemists. Research workers in other disciplines such as genetics and breeding, agriculture, and technology have been interested in this spice to develop new varieties with combinations of different optimal levels of the stimuli for the sensory attributes and to maximize production of storable products for specific end uses. Physiologists have been intensely studying the action of the highly potent pungency stimuli and social psychologists the curious aspect of growing acceptance and preference for the initially unacceptable pungency sensation. In the sequential review of all these aspects of the fruit spice Capsicum, the earlier two parts covered history, botany, cultivation and primary processing, and processed products, standards, world production, and trade. In Part III, the chemistry, the compositional variations, synthesis and biosynthesis of the functional components, the carotenoids, the volatiles, and the capsaicinoids are comprehensively reviewed.

  11. Single-cell RNA-Seq resolves cellular complexity in sensory organs from the neonatal inner ear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Joseph C; Kelly, Michael C; Hoa, Michael; Morell, Robert J; Kelley, Matthew W

    2015-10-15

    In the inner ear, cochlear and vestibular sensory epithelia utilize grossly similar cell types to transduce different stimuli: sound and acceleration. Each individual sensory epithelium is composed of highly heterogeneous populations of cells based on physiological and anatomical criteria. However, limited numbers of each cell type have impeded transcriptional characterization. Here we generated transcriptomes for 301 single cells from the utricular and cochlear sensory epithelia of newborn mice to circumvent this challenge. Cluster analysis indicates distinct profiles for each of the major sensory epithelial cell types, as well as less-distinct sub-populations. Asynchrony within utricles allows reconstruction of the temporal progression of cell-type-specific differentiation and suggests possible plasticity among cells at the sensory-nonsensory boundary. Comparisons of cell types from utricles and cochleae demonstrate divergence between auditory and vestibular cells, despite a common origin. These results provide significant insights into the developmental processes that form unique inner ear cell types.

  12. Timing actions to avoid refractoriness: a simple solution for streaming sensory signals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Nogueira

    Full Text Available Segmenting self- from allo-generated signals is crucial for active sensory processing. We report a dynamic filter used by South American pulse electric fish to distinguish active electro-sensory signals carried by their own electric discharges from other concomitant electrical stimuli (i.e. communication signals. The filter has a sensory component, consisting of an onset type central electro-sensory neuron, and a motor component, consisting of a change in the fish's discharge rate when allo-generated electrical events occur in temporal proximity to the fish's own discharge. We investigated the sensory component of the filter by in vitro mimicking synaptic inputs occurring during behavioral responses to allo-generated interfering signals. We found that active control of the discharge enhances self-generated over allo-generated responses by forcing allo-generated signals into a central refractory period. This hypothesis was confirmed by field potential recordings in freely discharging fish. Similar sensory-motor mechanisms may also contribute to signal segmentation in other sensory systems.

  13. Cellular nanoscale sensory wave computing

    CERN Document Server

    Baatar, Chagaan; Roska, Tamas

    2010-01-01

    This fresh perspective of sensory computing successfully bridges the gap between nanoscale devices and CMOS integrated circuits. Practical and complex algorithms are also discussed, in addition to new developments like the nanoscale antenna.

  14. Effects of acupuncture on sensory perception: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeumler, Petra I; Fleckenstein, Johannes; Takayama, Shin; Simang, Michael; Seki, Takashi; Irnich, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    The effect of acupuncture on sensory perception has never been systematically reviewed; although, studies on acupuncture mechanisms are frequently based on the idea that changes in sensory thresholds reflect its effect on the nervous system. Pubmed, EMBASE and Scopus were screened for studies investigating the effect of acupuncture on thermal or mechanical detection or pain thresholds in humans published in English or German. A meta-analysis of high quality studies was performed. Out of 3007 identified articles 85 were included. Sixty five studies showed that acupuncture affects at least one sensory threshold. Most studies assessed the pressure pain threshold of which 80% reported an increase after acupuncture. Significant short- and long-term effects on the pressure pain threshold in pain patients were revealed by two meta-analyses including four and two high quality studies, respectively. In over 60% of studies, acupuncture reduced sensitivity to noxious thermal stimuli, but measuring methods might influence results. Few but consistent data indicate that acupuncture reduces pin-prick like pain but not mechanical detection. Results on thermal detection are heterogeneous. Sensory threshold changes were equally frequent reported after manual acupuncture as after electroacupuncture. Among 48 sham-controlled studies, 25 showed stronger effects on sensory thresholds through verum than through sham acupuncture, but in 9 studies significant threshold changes were also observed after sham acupuncture. Overall, there is a lack of high quality acupuncture studies applying comprehensive assessments of sensory perception. Our findings indicate that acupuncture affects sensory perception. Results are most compelling for the pressure pain threshold, especially in pain conditions associated with tenderness. Sham acupuncture can also cause such effects. Future studies should incorporate comprehensive, standardized assessments of sensory profiles in order to fully characterize its

  15. Effects of acupuncture on sensory perception: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra I Baeumler

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The effect of acupuncture on sensory perception has never been systematically reviewed; although, studies on acupuncture mechanisms are frequently based on the idea that changes in sensory thresholds reflect its effect on the nervous system. METHODS: Pubmed, EMBASE and Scopus were screened for studies investigating the effect of acupuncture on thermal or mechanical detection or pain thresholds in humans published in English or German. A meta-analysis of high quality studies was performed. RESULTS: Out of 3007 identified articles 85 were included. Sixty five studies showed that acupuncture affects at least one sensory threshold. Most studies assessed the pressure pain threshold of which 80% reported an increase after acupuncture. Significant short- and long-term effects on the pressure pain threshold in pain patients were revealed by two meta-analyses including four and two high quality studies, respectively. In over 60% of studies, acupuncture reduced sensitivity to noxious thermal stimuli, but measuring methods might influence results. Few but consistent data indicate that acupuncture reduces pin-prick like pain but not mechanical detection. Results on thermal detection are heterogeneous. Sensory threshold changes were equally frequent reported after manual acupuncture as after electroacupuncture. Among 48 sham-controlled studies, 25 showed stronger effects on sensory thresholds through verum than through sham acupuncture, but in 9 studies significant threshold changes were also observed after sham acupuncture. Overall, there is a lack of high quality acupuncture studies applying comprehensive assessments of sensory perception. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that acupuncture affects sensory perception. Results are most compelling for the pressure pain threshold, especially in pain conditions associated with tenderness. Sham acupuncture can also cause such effects. Future studies should incorporate comprehensive, standardized

  16. Analyzing sensory data with R

    CERN Document Server

    Le, Sebastien

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative Descriptive Approaches When panelists rate products according to one single list of attributes Data, sensory issues, notations In practice For experienced users: Measuring the impact of the experimental design on the perception of the products? When products are rated according to one single list of attributesData, sensory issues, notations In practice For experienced users: Adding supplementary information to the product space When products are rated according to several lists

  17. Spinal sensory circuits in motion

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    International audience; The role of sensory feedback in shaping locomotion has been long debated. Recent advances in genetics and behavior analysis revealed the importance of proprioceptive pathways in spinal circuits. The mechanisms underlying peripheral mechanosensation enabled to unravel the networks that feedback to spinal circuits in order to modulate locomotion. Sensory inputs to the vertebrate spinal cord were long thought to originate from the periphery. Recent studies challenge this ...

  18. Sensory Topography of Oral Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearelly, Shethal; Cheung, Steven W

    2017-01-01

    Sensory function in the oral cavity and oropharynx is integral to effective deglutition and speech production. The main hurdle to evaluation of tactile consequences of upper aerodigestive tract diseases and treatments is access to a reliable clinical tool. We propose a rapid and reliable procedure to determine tactile thresholds using buckling monofilaments to advance care. To develop novel sensory testing monofilaments and map tactile thresholds of oral cavity and oropharyngeal structures. A prospective cross-sectional study of 37 healthy adults (12 men, 25 women), specifically without a medical history of head and neck surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, was carried out in an academic tertiary medical center to capture normative data on tactile sensory function in oral structures. Cheung-Bearelly monofilaments were constructed by securing nylon monofilament sutures (2-0 through 9-0) in the lumen of 5-French ureteral catheters, exposing 20 mm for tapping action. Buckling force consistency was evaluated for 3 lots of each suture size. Sensory thresholds of 4 oral cavity and 2 oropharyngeal subsites in healthy participants (n = 37) were determined by classical signal detection methodology (d-prime ≥1). In 21 participants, test-retest reliability of sensory thresholds was evaluated. Separately in 16 participants, sensory thresholds determined by a modified staircase method were cross-validated with those obtained by classical signal detection. Buckling forces of successive suture sizes were distinct (P sensory threshold determination was high (Cronbach α, >0.7). The lower lip, anterior tongue, and buccal mucosa were more sensitive than the soft palate, posterior tongue, and posterior pharyngeal wall (P Threshold determination by classical signal detection and modified staircase methods were highly correlated (r = 0.93, P sensory function assessment of oral cavity and oropharyngeal structures.

  19. Sensory Dissonance Using Memory Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Karl Kristoffer

    2015-01-01

    Music may occur concurrently or in temporal sequences. Current machine-based methods for the estimation of qualities of the music are unable to take into account the influence of temporal context. A method for calculating dissonance from audio, called sensory dissonance is improved by the use...... of a memory model. This approach is validated here by the comparison of the sensory dissonance using memory model to data obtained using human subjects....

  20. Linear superposition of sensory-evoked and ongoing cortical hemodynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Saka

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Modern non-invasive brain imaging techniques utilise changes in cerebral blood flow, volume and oxygenation that accompany brain activation. However, stimulus-evoked hemodynamic responses display considerable inter-trial variability even when identical stimuli are presented and the sources of this variability are poorly understood. One of the sources of this response variation could be ongoing spontaneous hemodynamic fluctuations. To investigate this issue, 2-dimensional optical imaging spectroscopy was used to measure cortical hemodynamics in response to sensory stimuli in anaesthetised rodents Pre-stimulus cortical hemodynamics displayed spontaneous periodic fluctuations and as such, data from individual stimulus presentation trials were assigned to one of four groups depending on the phase angle of pre-stimulus hemodynamic fluctuations and averaged. This analysis revealed that sensory evoked cortical hemodynamics displayed distinctive response characteristics and magnitudes depending on the phase angle of ongoing fluctuations at stimulus onset. To investigate the origin of this phenomenon, ‘null-trails’ were collected without stimulus presentation. Subtraction of phase averaged ‘null trials’ from their phase averaged stimulus-evoked counterparts resulted in four similar time series that resembled the mean stimulus-evoked response. These analyses suggest that linear superposition of evoked and ongoing cortical hemodynamic changes may be a property of the structure of inter-trial variability.

  1. Agreeable smellers and sensitive neurotics--correlations among personality traits and sensory thresholds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona Croy

    Full Text Available Correlations between personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds were examined. Participants (N = 124 completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants was revealed. It is postulated that varied sensory processing may influence an individual's perception of the environment; particularly their perception of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality.

  2. Test-retest Agreement and Reliability of Quantitative Sensory Testing 1 Year After Breast Cancer Surgery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Kenneth Geving; Kehlet, Henrik; Aasvang, Eske Kvanner

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is used to assess sensory dysfunction and nerve damage by examining psychophysical responses to controlled, graded stimuli such as mechanical and thermal detection and pain thresholds. In the breast cancer population, 4 studies have used QST to examine...... of the present study was to assess test-retest properties of QST after breast cancer surgery. METHODS: A total of 32 patients recruited from a larger ongoing prospective trial were examined with QST 12 months after breast cancer surgery and reexamined a week later. A standardized QST protocol was used, including...

  3. Agreeable smellers and sensitive neurotics--correlations among personality traits and sensory thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croy, Ilona; Springborn, Maria; Lötsch, Jörn; Johnston, Amy N B; Hummel, Thomas

    2011-04-27

    Correlations between personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds were examined. Participants (N = 124) completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI) and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants was revealed. It is postulated that varied sensory processing may influence an individual's perception of the environment; particularly their perception of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality.

  4. Sensory Processing Disorder in a Primate Model: Evidence from a Longitudinal Study of Prenatal Alcohol and Prenatal Stress Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Mary L.; Moore, Colleen F.; Gajewski, Lisa L.; Larson, Julie A.; Roberts, Andrew D.; Converse, Alexander K.; DeJesus, Onofre T.

    2008-01-01

    Disrupted sensory processing, characterized by over- or underresponsiveness to environmental stimuli, has been reported in children with a variety of developmental disabilities. This study examined the effects of prenatal stress and moderate-level prenatal alcohol exposure on tactile sensitivity and its relationship to striatal dopamine system…

  5. An Introduction to Intelligent Sensory Evaluation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    曾宪奕; 丁永生

    2004-01-01

    Sensory evaluation is the evaluation of signals that a buman receives via its sensory organs. Nowadays sensory evaluation is widely used in quality inspection and quality control of products. and many other fields. Actually sensory evaluation always give. uncertain and inprecise results, therefore it derivates many problems. we reviews in detail these problem and give some cumputing methods to resolve them.

  6. Effects of stimulus-driven synchronization on sensory perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holden Jameson K

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A subject's ability to differentiate the loci of two points on the skin depends on the stimulus-evoked pericolumnar lateral inhibitory interactions which increase the spatial contrast between regions of SI cortex that are activated by stimulus-evoked afferent drive. Nevertheless, there is very little known about the impact that neuronal interactions – such as those evoked by mechanical skin stimuli that project to and coordinate synchronized activity in adjacent and/or near-adjacent cortical columns – could have on sensory information processing. Methods The temporal order judgment (TOJ and temporal discriminative threshold (TDT of 20 healthy adult subjects were assessed both in the absence and presence of concurrent conditions of tactile stimulation. These measures were obtained across a number of paired sites – two unilateral and one bilateral – and several conditions of adapting stimuli were delivered both prior to and concurrently with the TOJ and TDT tasks. The pairs of conditioning stimuli were synchronized and periodic, synchronized and non-periodic, or asynchronous and non-periodic. Results In the absence of any additional stimuli, TOJ and TDT results obtained from the study were comparable across a number of pairs of stimulus sites – unilateral as well as bilateral. In the presence of a 25 Hz conditioning sinusoidal stimulus which was delivered both before, concurrently and after the TOJ task, there was a significant change in the TOJ measured when the two stimuli were located unilaterally on digits 2 and 3. However, in the presence of the same 25 Hz conditioning stimulus, the TOJ obtained when the two stimuli were delivered bilaterally was not impacted. TDT measures were not impacted to the same degree by the concurrent stimuli that were delivered to the unilateral or bilateral stimulus sites. This led to the speculation that the impact that the conditioning stimuli – which were sinusoidal, periodic and

  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. Contingent stimuli signal subsequent reinforcer ratios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutros, Nathalie; Davison, Michael; Elliffe, Douglas

    2011-07-01

    Conditioned reinforcer effects may be due to the stimulus' discriminative rather than its strengthening properties. While this was demonstrated in a frequently-changing choice procedure, a single attempt to replicate in a relatively static choice environment failed. We contend that this was because the information provided by the stimuli was nonredundant in the frequently-changing preparation, and redundant in the steady-state arrangement. In the present experiments, 6 pigeons worked in a steady-state concurrent schedule procedure with nonredundant informative stimuli (red keylight illuminations). When a response-contingent red keylight signaled that the next food delivery was more likely on one of the two alternatives, postkeylight choice responding was reliably for that alternative. This effect was enhanced after a history of extended informative red keylight presentation (Experiment 2). These results lend support to recent characterizations of conditioned reinforcer effects as reflective of a discriminative, rather than a reinforcing, property of the stimulus.

  9. Photonic water dynamically responsive to external stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sano, Koki; Kim, Youn Soo; Ishida, Yasuhiro; Ebina, Yasuo; Sasaki, Takayoshi; Hikima, Takaaki; Aida, Takuzo

    2016-08-01

    Fluids that contain ordered nanostructures with periodic distances in the visible-wavelength range, anomalously exhibit structural colours that can be rapidly modulated by external stimuli. Indeed, some fish can dynamically change colour by modulating the periodic distance of crystalline guanine sheets cofacially oriented in their fluid cytoplasm. Here we report that a dilute aqueous colloidal dispersion of negatively charged titanate nanosheets exhibits structural colours. In this `photonic water', the nanosheets spontaneously adopt a cofacial geometry with an ultralong periodic distance of up to 675 nm due to a strong electrostatic repulsion. Consequently, the photonic water can even reflect near-infrared light up to 1,750 nm. The structural colour becomes more vivid in a magnetic flux that induces monodomain structural ordering of the colloidal dispersion. The reflective colour of the photonic water can be modulated over the entire visible region in response to appropriate physical or chemical stimuli.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Brain activity from stimuli that are not perceived: Visual mismatch negativity during binocular rivalry suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack, Bradley N; Widmann, Andreas; O'Shea, Robert P; Schröger, Erich; Roeber, Urte

    2017-05-01

    Predictive coding explains visual perception as the result of an interaction between bottom-up sensory input and top-down generative models at each level of the visual hierarchy. Evidence for this comes from the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN): a more negative ERP for rare, unpredictable visual stimuli-deviants, than for frequent, predictable visual stimuli-standards. Here, we show that the vMMN does not require conscious experience. We measured the vMMN from monocular luminance-decrement deviants that were either perceived or not during binocular rivalry dominance or suppression, respectively. We found that both sorts of deviants elicited the vMMN at about 250 ms after stimulus onset, with perceived deviants eliciting a bigger vMMN than not-perceived deviants. These results show that vMMN occurs in the absence of consciousness, and that consciousness enhances the processing underlying vMMN. We conclude that generative models of visual perception are tested, even when sensory input for those models is not perceived. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  13. Emotional Responses to Multisensory Environmental Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Schreuder

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available How we perceive our environment affects the way we feel and behave. The impressions of our ambient environment are influenced by its entire spectrum of physical characteristics (e.g., luminosity, sound, scents, temperature in a dynamic and interactive way. The ability to manipulate the sensory aspects of an environment such that people feel comfortable or exhibit a desired behavior is gaining interest and social relevance. Although much is known about the sensory effects of individual environmental characteristics, their combined effects are not a priori evident due to a wide range of non-linear interactions in the processing of sensory cues. As a result, it is currently not known how different environmental characteristics should be combined to effectively induce desired emotional and behavioral effects. To gain more insight into this matter, we performed a literature review on the emotional effects of multisensory stimulation. Although we found some interesting mechanisms, the outcome also reveals that empirical evidence is still scarce and haphazard. To stimulate further discussion and research, we propose a conceptual framework that describes how environmental interventions are likely to affect human emotional responses. This framework leads to some critical research questions that suggest opportunities for further investigation.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Pollution going multimodal: the complex impact of the human-altered sensory environment on animal perception and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halfwerk, Wouter; Slabbekoorn, Hans

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic sensory pollution is affecting ecosystems worldwide. Human actions generate acoustic noise, emanate artificial light and emit chemical substances. All of these pollutants are known to affect animals. Most studies on anthropogenic pollution address the impact of pollutants in unimodal sensory domains. High levels of anthropogenic noise, for example, have been shown to interfere with acoustic signals and cues. However, animals rely on multiple senses, and pollutants often co-occur. Thus, a full ecological assessment of the impact of anthropogenic activities requires a multimodal approach. We describe how sensory pollutants can co-occur and how covariance among pollutants may differ from natural situations. We review how animals combine information that arrives at their sensory systems through different modalities and outline how sensory conditions can interfere with multimodal perception. Finally, we describe how sensory pollutants can affect the perception, behaviour and endocrinology of animals within and across sensory modalities. We conclude that sensory pollution can affect animals in complex ways due to interactions among sensory stimuli, neural processing and behavioural and endocrinal feedback. We call for more empirical data on covariance among sensory conditions, for instance, data on correlated levels in noise and light pollution. Furthermore, we encourage researchers to test animal responses to a full-factorial set of sensory pollutants in the presence or the absence of ecologically important signals and cues. We realize that such approach is often time and energy consuming, but we think this is the only way to fully understand the multimodal impact of sensory pollution on animal performance and perception.

  17. Cross-modal plasticity in sensory deprived animal models: From the thalamocortical development point of view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezzera, Cecilia; López-Bendito, Guillermina

    2016-09-01

    Over recent decades, our understanding of the plasticity of the central nervous system has expanded enormously. Accordingly, it is now widely accepted that the brain can adapt to changes by reorganizing its circuitry, both in response to external stimuli and experience, as well as through intrinsic mechanisms. A clear example of this is the activation of a deprived sensory area and the expansion of spared sensory cortical regions in individuals who suffered peripheral sensory loss. Despite the efforts to understand these neuroplastic changes, the mechanisms underlying such adaptive remodeling remains poorly understood. Progress in understanding these events may be hindered by the highly varied data obtained from the distinct experimental paradigms analyzed, which include different animal models and neuronal systems, as well as studies into the onset of sensory loss. Here, we will establish the current state-of-the-art describing the principal observations made according to the time of sensory deprivation with respect to the development of the thalamocortical connectivity. We will review the experimental data obtained from animal models where sensory deprivation has been induced either before or after thalamocortical axons reach and invade their target cortical areas. The anatomical and functional effects of sensory loss on the primary sensory areas of the cortex will be presented. Indeed, we consider that the comparative approach of this review is a necessary step in order to help deciphering the processes that underlie sensory neuroplasticity, for which studies in animal models have been indispensable. Understanding these mechanisms will then help to develop restorative strategies and prostheses that will overcome the functional loss.

  18. Temperament trait of sensory processing sensitivity moderates cultural differences in neural response

    OpenAIRE

    Aron, Arthur; Ketay, Sarah; Hedden, Trey; Aron, Elaine N; Rose Markus, Hazel; John D E Gabrieli

    2010-01-01

    This study focused on a possible temperament-by-culture interaction. Specifically, it explored whether a basic temperament/personality trait (sensory processing sensitivity; SPS), perhaps having a genetic component, might moderate a previously established cultural difference in neural responses when making context-dependent vs context-independent judgments of simple visual stimuli. SPS has been hypothesized to underlie what has been called inhibitedness or reactivity in infants, introversion ...

  19. Sensation and perception of sucrose and fat stimuli predict the reinforcing value of food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panek-Scarborough, Leah M; Dewey, Amber M; Temple, Jennifer L

    2012-03-20

    Chronic overeating can lead to weight gain and obesity. Sensory system function may play a role in the types of foods people select and the amount of food people eat. Several studies have shown that the orosensory components of eating play a strong role in driving food intake and food selection. In addition, previous work has shown that motivation to get food, or the reinforcing value of food, is a predictor of energy intake. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that higher detection thresholds and lower suprathreshold intensity ratings of sweet and fat stimuli are associated with greater reinforcing value of food. In addition, we sought to determine if the sensory ratings of the stimuli would differ depending on whether they were expectorated or swallowed. The reinforcing value of food was measured by having participants perform operant responses for food on progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement. Taste detection thresholds and suprathresholds for solutions containing varied concentrations of sucrose and fat were also measured in two different Experiments. In Experiment 1, we found that sucrose, but not fat, detection predicted the reinforcing value of food with the reinforcing value of food increasing as sucrose detection threshold increased (indicating poorer detection). In Experiment 2, we found that lower suprathreshold ratings of expectorated fat and sucrose predicted greater reinforcing value of food. In addition, higher detection thresholds for fat stimuli (indicating poorer detection) were associated with greater reinforcing value of food. When taken together, these studies suggest that there is a relationship between taste detection and perception and reinforcing value of food and that these relationships vary based on whether the stimulus is swallowed or expectorated. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Taste quality and intensity of 100 stimuli as reported by rats: the taste-location association task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shree Hari eGautam

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The interpretation of neural activity related to sensory stimulation requires an understanding of the subject's perception of the stimulation. Previous methods used to evaluate the perception of chemosensory stimuli by rodents have distinct limitations. We developed a novel behavioral paradigm, the taste-location association task, to complement these methods. First we tested if rats are able to learn associations between five basic taste stimuli and their spatial locations. This spatial task was based on 4 prototypical tastants and water. All four rats trained to perform the task reached levels of performance well above chance. Control trials demonstrated that the rats used only taste cues. Further, the learned stimulus set was resistant to interference, allowing for generalization experiments performed subsequently. We tested the rats' gustatory generalizations of 100 tastants to the five trained stimuli, both regarding their taste qualities as well as intensity ratings. The taste profiles generated by these experiments contribute to the understanding of how perception of the specific taste stimuli relate to the perception of the five basic taste qualities in intact behaving rats. In this large taste space we found that intensity plays a major role. Furthermore, umami stimuli were not reported as being similar to other basic tastants. Our new paradigm enables neurophysiological studies of taste-based learning and memory in awake, freely moving animals.

  1. The manual orienting response habituation to repeated tactile stimuli in preterm neonates: Discrimination of stimulus locations and interstimulus intervals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumont, Victoria; Bulla, Jan; Bessot, Nicolas; Gonidec, Julie; Zabalia, Marc; Guillois, Bernard; Roche-Labarbe, Nadège

    2017-07-01

    Preterm infants frequently develop atypical sensory profiles, the tactile modality being particularly affected. However, there is a lack of recent investigation of neonatal tactile perception in a passive context, especially in preterms who are particularly exposed to this tactile stimuli. Our aims were to provide evidence of orienting responses (behavioral modifications directing subject's attention towards stimuli) and habituation to passive tactile stimuli in preterm neonates, to explore their ability to perceive spatial and temporal aspects of the stimulus, and to evaluate the effect of clinical factors on these abilities. We included 61 preterm neonates, born between 32 and 34 weeks of gestational age. At 35 weeks of corrected gestational age, we measured orienting responses (forearm, hand, and fingers movements) during vibrotactile stimulation of their hand and forearm; during a habituation and dishabituation paradigm, the dishabituation being either a location change or a pause in the stimulation sequence. Preterm newborns displayed a manual orienting response to vibrotactile stimuli which significantly decreased when the stimulus was repeated, regardless of the stimulated location on the limb. Habituation was delayed in subjects born at a younger gestational age, smaller birth weight, and having experienced more painful care procedures. Preterm neonates perceived changes in stimulus location and interstimulus time interval. Our findings provide insights on several aspects of the perception of repeated tactile stimuli by preterm neonates, and the first evidence of the early development of temporal processing abilities in the tactile modality. Future work will investigate the links between this ability and neurodevelopmental disorders. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Voluntary movement affects simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to a non-moving body part.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Qiao; Ora, Hiroki; Ogawa, Ken-Ichiro; Ogata, Taiki; Miyake, Yoshihiro

    2016-09-13

    The simultaneous perception of multimodal sensory information has a crucial role for effective reactions to the external environment. Voluntary movements are known to occasionally affect simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to the moving body part. However, little is known about spatial limits on the effect of voluntary movements on simultaneous perception, especially when tactile stimuli are presented to a non-moving body part. We examined the effect of voluntary movement on the simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to the non-moving body part. We considered the possible mechanism using a temporal order judgement task under three experimental conditions: voluntary movement, where participants voluntarily moved their right index finger and judged the temporal order of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to their non-moving left index finger; passive movement; and no movement. During voluntary movement, the auditory stimulus needed to be presented before the tactile stimulus so that they were perceived as occurring simultaneously. This subjective simultaneity differed significantly from the passive movement and no movement conditions. This finding indicates that the effect of voluntary movement on simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli extends to the non-moving body part.

  3. Voluntary movement affects simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to a non-moving body part

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Qiao; Ora, Hiroki; Ogawa, Ken-ichiro; Ogata, Taiki; Miyake, Yoshihiro

    2016-01-01

    The simultaneous perception of multimodal sensory information has a crucial role for effective reactions to the external environment. Voluntary movements are known to occasionally affect simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to the moving body part. However, little is known about spatial limits on the effect of voluntary movements on simultaneous perception, especially when tactile stimuli are presented to a non-moving body part. We examined the effect of voluntary movement on the simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to the non-moving body part. We considered the possible mechanism using a temporal order judgement task under three experimental conditions: voluntary movement, where participants voluntarily moved their right index finger and judged the temporal order of auditory and tactile stimuli presented to their non-moving left index finger; passive movement; and no movement. During voluntary movement, the auditory stimulus needed to be presented before the tactile stimulus so that they were perceived as occurring simultaneously. This subjective simultaneity differed significantly from the passive movement and no movement conditions. This finding indicates that the effect of voluntary movement on simultaneous perception of auditory and tactile stimuli extends to the non-moving body part. PMID:27622584

  4. Sensory analysis in grapes benitaka

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santillo, Amanda G.; Rodrigues, Flavio T.; Arthur, Paula B.; Villavicencio, Ana Lucia C.H. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2011-07-01

    Abstract Sensory analysis is considered one of the main techniques when you want to know the organoleptic qualities of foods. Marketing strategies, showing that some foods produced organically is more nutritious, flavorful than conventional ones are affecting some consumers. The advantages of using radiation in sensory analysis are not the formation of waste, the less nutritional loss and little change in taste of food. The possibility that the fruit is harvested at more advanced maturity, when all characteristics of flavor and external appearance are fully developed is another advantage. The possibility of fruits being packed irradiated prevents contamination after processing. This type of study, ionizing radiation associated with sensory evaluation scarce, making it necessary for future discoveries. The objective this paper was to evaluate the quality of grapes Benitaka after the irradiation process with doses 0,5; 1; 1,5 e 2 kGy. (author)

  5. Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auer-Grumbach, Michaela

    2013-01-01

    Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies (HSN/HSAN) are clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders of the peripheral nervous system that predominantly affect the sensory and autonomic neurons. Hallmark features comprise not only prominent sensory signs and symptoms and ulcerative mutilations but also variable autonomic and motor disturbances. Autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive inheritance has been reported. Molecular genetics studies have identified disease-causing mutations in 11 genes. Some of the affected proteins have nerve-specific roles but underlying mechanisms have also been shown to involve sphingolipid metabolism, vesicular transport, structural integrity, and transcription regulation. Genetic and functional studies have substantially improved the understanding of the pathogenesis of the HSN/HSAN and will help to find preventive and causative therapies in the future.

  6. Differences in early sensory-perceptual processing in synesthesia: a visual evoked potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Kylie J; Foxe, John J; Molholm, Sophie; Kelly, Simon P; Shalgi, Shani; Mitchell, Kevin J; Newell, Fiona N

    2008-11-15

    Synesthesia is a condition where stimulation of a single sensory modality or processing stream elicits an idiosyncratic, yet reliable perception in one or more other modalities or streams. Various models have been proposed to explain synesthesia, which have in common aberrant cross-activation of one cortical area by another. This has been observed directly in cases of linguistic-color synesthesia as cross-activation of the 'color area', V4, by stimulation of the grapheme area. The underlying neural substrates that mediate cross-activations in synesthesia are not well understood, however. In addition, the overall integrity of the visual system has never been assessed and it is not known whether wider differences in sensory-perceptual processing are associated with the condition. To assess whether fundamental differences in perceptual processing exist in synesthesia, we utilised high-density 128-channel electroencephalography (EEG) to measure sensory-perceptual processing using stimuli that differentially bias activation of the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways of the visual system. High and low spatial frequency gratings and luminance-contrast squares were presented to 15 synesthetes and 15 controls. We report, for the first time, early sensory-perceptual differences in synesthetes relative to non-synesthete controls in response to simple stimuli that do not elicit synesthetic color experiences. The differences are manifested in the early sensory components of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to stimuli that bias both magnocellular and parvocellular responses, but are opposite in direction, suggesting a differential effect on these two pathways. We discuss our results with reference to widespread connectivity differences as a broader phenotype of synesthesia.

  7. Sensory nerve conduction studies in neuralgic amyotrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Alfen, Nens; Huisman, Willem J; Overeem, S; van Engelen, B G M; Zwarts, M J

    2009-11-01

    Neuralgic amyotrophy is a painful, episodic peripheral nerve disorder localized to the brachial plexus. Sensory symptoms occur in 80% of the patients. We assessed the frequency of abnormalities in sensory nerve conduction studies of the lateral and medial antebrachial cutaneous, radial sensory, median sensory, and ulnar sensory nerves in 112 patients. Sensory nerve conduction studies showed abnormalities in nerves, even when the nerve was clinically affected. The lateral and medial antebrachial cutaneous nerves were most often abnormal, in 15% and 17% of nerves. No correlation with the presence or localization of clinical deficits was found. Brachial plexus sensory nerve conduction studies seem to be of little diagnostic value in neuralgic amyotrophy. Our findings also indicate that some sensory lesions may be in the nerve roots instead of the plexus. An examination of normal sensory nerve conduction studies does not preclude neuralgic amyotrophy as a diagnosis.

  8. Directional locomotion of C. elegans in the absence of external stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margherita Peliti

    Full Text Available Many organisms respond to food deprivation by altering their pattern of movement, often in ways that appear to facilitate dispersal. While the behavior of the nematode C. elegans in the presence of attractants has been characterized, long-range movement in the absence of external stimuli has not been examined in this animal. Here we investigate the movement pattern of individual C. elegans over times of ∼1 hour after removal from food, using two custom imaging set-ups that allow us to track animals on large agar surfaces of 22 cm×22 cm. We find that a sizeable fraction of the observed trajectories display directed motion over tens of minutes. Remarkably, this directional persistence is achieved despite a local orientation memory that decays on the scale of about one minute. Furthermore, we find that such trajectories cannot be accounted for by simple random, isotropic models of animal locomotion. This directional behavior requires sensory neurons, but appears to be independent of known sensory signal-transduction pathways. Our results suggest that long-range directional behavior of C. elegans may not be driven by sensory cues.

  9. Amplitude-modulated stimuli reveal auditory-visual interactions in brain activity and brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laing, Mark; Rees, Adrian; Vuong, Quoc C

    2015-01-01

    The temporal congruence between auditory and visual signals coming from the same source can be a powerful means by which the brain integrates information from different senses. To investigate how the brain uses temporal information to integrate auditory and visual information from continuous yet unfamiliar stimuli, we used amplitude-modulated tones and size-modulated shapes with which we could manipulate the temporal congruence between the sensory signals. These signals were independently modulated at a slow or a fast rate. Participants were presented with auditory-only, visual-only, or auditory-visual (AV) trials in the fMRI scanner. On AV trials, the auditory and visual signal could have the same (AV congruent) or different modulation rates (AV incongruent). Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, we found that auditory regions showed increased functional connectivity predominantly with frontal regions for AV incongruent relative to AV congruent stimuli. We further found that superior temporal regions, shown previously to integrate auditory and visual signals, showed increased connectivity with frontal and parietal regions for the same contrast. Our findings provide evidence that both activity in a network of brain regions and their connectivity are important for AV integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies.

  10. 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.

  11. Personality traits associated with perception of noxious stimuli in women with vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, Michal

    2005-03-01

    Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS) is associated with enhanced pain sensitivity. The present study explores the role of personality on the perception of noxious stimuli among women with VVS. More specifically, the aim of the study was to explore whether the personality traits assessed by Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) (harm avoidance [HA], novelty seeking [NS], and reward dependence [RD]) are associated with the augmented pain perception in women with VVS. Quantitative sensory tests were applied to the forearm of 98 women with VVS and 135 control subjects, all of whom completed the TPQ. The women with VVS scored higher than the control subjects on HA and RD with no significant differences in NS. Linear regression analyses revealed that in the VVS group, lower pain thresholds and higher magnitude estimations of suprathreshold pain stimuli were associated with higher HA and RD scores. The enhanced pain perception among women with VVS might reflect their tendency to respond intensely to signals of reward and to elevate the perceived risk. This might lead them to avoid hazards by overestimating the level of potential harm, as represented by greater pain sensitivity. The association between personality traits assessed by Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, ie, harm avoidance, novelty seeking, and reward dependence, and the enhanced perception of noxious stimuli in vulvar vestibulitis syndrome might suggest neurochemical mechanisms of pain experience affected by personality, with possible application for future treatment approaches toward pain disorders.

  12. 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

  13. Multimodal sensory reliance in the nocturnal homing of the amblypygid Phrynus pseudoparvulus (Class Arachnida, Order Amblypygi)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebets, Eileen A; Aceves-Aparicio, Alfonso; Aguilar-Argüello, Samuel; Bingman, Verner P; Escalante, Ignacio; Gering, Eben J; Nelsen, David R; Rivera, Jennifer; Sánchez-Ruiz, José Ángel; Segura-Hernández, Laura; Settepani, Virginia; Wiegmann, Daniel D; Stafstrom, Jay A

    2014-10-01

    Like many other nocturnal arthropods, the amblypygid Phrynus pseudoparvulus is capable of homing. The environment through which these predators navigate is a dense and heterogeneous tropical forest understory and the mechanism(s) underlying their putatively complex navigational abilities are presently unknown. This study explores the sensory inputs that might facilitate nocturnal navigation in the amblypygid P. pseudoparvulus. Specifically, we use sensory system manipulations in conjunction with field displacements to examine the potential involvement of multimodal - olfactory and visual - stimuli in P. pseudoparvulus' homing behavior. In a first experiment, we deprived individuals of their olfactory capacity and displaced them to the opposite side of their home trees (<5m). We found that olfaction-intact individuals were more likely to be re-sighted in their home refuges than olfaction-deprived individuals. In a second experiment, we independently manipulated both olfactory and visual sensory capacities in conjunction with longer-distance displacements (8m) from home trees. We found that sensory-intact individuals tended to be re-sighted on their home tree more often than sensory-deprived individuals, with a stronger effect of olfactory deprivation than visual deprivation. Comparing across sensory modality manipulations, olfaction-manipulated individuals took longer to return to their home trees than vision-manipulated individuals. Together, our results indicate that olfaction is important in the nocturnal navigation of P. pseudoparvulus and suggest that vision may also play a more minor role.

  14. Intrinsic frequency response patterns in mechano-sensory neurons of the leech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Linda; Scherbarth, Frank; Chagnaud, Boris; Felmy, Felix

    2017-07-15

    Animals employ mechano-sensory systems to detect and explore their environment. Mechano-sensation encompasses stimuli such as constant pressure, surface movement or vibrations at various intensities that need to be segregated in the central nervous system. Besides different receptor structures, sensory filtering via intrinsic response properties could provide a convenient way to solve this problem. In leech, three major mechano-sensory cell types can be distinguished, according to their stimulus sensitivity, as nociceptive, pressure and touch cells. Using intracellular recordings, we show that the different mechano-sensory neuron classes in Hirudo medicinalis differentially respond supra-threshold to distinct frequencies of sinusoidal current injections between 0.2 and 20 Hz. Nociceptive cells responded with a low-pass filter characteristic, pressure cells as high-pass filters and touch cells as an intermediate band-pass filter. Each class of mechano-sensory neurons is thus intrinsically tuned to a specific frequency range of voltage oscillation that could help segregate mechano-sensory information centrally. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. A comparative ultrastructural investigation of the cephalic sensory organs in Opisthobranchia (Mollusca, Gastropoda).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göbbeler, K; Klussmann-Kolb, A

    2007-12-01

    Cephalic sensory organs (CSOs) are specialised structures in the head region of adult Opisthobranchia involved in perception of different stimuli. The gross morphology of these organs differs considerably among taxa. The current study aims at describing the cellular morphology of the CSOs in order to reveal cellular patterns, especially of sensory epithelia, common for opisthobranchs. Transmission electron microscopy was used to characterise the fine structure of the organs and to compare the CSOs of four different opisthobranch species. The cellular composition of the sensory system is conserved among taxa. The epidermal cells in sensory regions are always columnar and ciliated cells are frequently apparent. The sensory cells are primary receptors arranged in subepidermal cell clusters. They extend dendrites which penetrate the epithelium and reach the surface. Some of the dendrites bear cilia, whereas others only build a small protuberance. Processing of sensory information takes place in the peripheral glomeruli of all species. Moreover, few taxa possess additional peripheral ganglia at the base of their CSOs. The results of the present study might support other investigations indicating that the posterior CSOs are primarily involved in distance chemoreception, whereas the anterior CSOs might be used for contact chemoreception and mechanoreception.

  16. 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

  17. 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 accordin

  18. HyVE-hybrid vibro-electrotactile stimulation-is an efficient approach to multi-channel sensory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alonzo, Marco; Dosen, Strahinja; Cipriani, Christian; Farina, Dario

    2014-01-01

    An important reason for the abandonment of commercial actuated hand prostheses by the users is the lack of sensory feedback. Wearable afferent interfaces capable of providing electro- or vibro-tactile stimulation have high potential to restore the missing tactile and/or proprioceptive information to the user. By definition, these devices can elicit single modality (i.e., either vibrotactile or electrotactile) substitute sensations. In a recent research we have presented a novel approach comprising hybrid vibro-electrotactile (HyVE) combined stimulation, in order to provide multimodal sensory feedback. An important advantage of this approach is in the size of the design: the HyVE interface is much more compact than two separated single-modality interfaces, since electro- and vibro-tactile stimulators are placed one on top of the other. The HyVE approach has been previously tested in healthy subjects and has shown to provide a range of hybrid stimuli that could be properly discriminated. However, this approach has never been assessed as a method to provide multi-channel stimuli, i.e., stimuli from a variety of stimulators, mapping information from a multitude of sensors on a prosthesis. In this study, the ability of ten healthy subjects to discriminate stimuli and patterns of stimuli from four different five-channel interfaces applied on their forearms was evaluated. We showed that multiple HyVE units could be used to provide multi-channel sensory information with equivalent performance (∼95 percent for single stimuli and ∼80 percent for pattern) to single modality interfaces (vibro- or electro-tactile) larger in size and with better performance than vibrotactile interfaces (i.e., 73 percent for single stimuli and 69 percent for pattern) with the same size. These results are promising in relation to the current availability of multi-functional prostheses with multiple sensors.

  19. Chemogenetic silencing of neurons in retrosplenial cortex disrupts sensory preconditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Siobhan; Todd, Travis P; Pasternak, Anna R; Luikart, Bryan W; Skelton, Patrick D; Urban, Daniel J; Bucci, David J

    2014-08-13

    An essential aspect of episodic memory is the formation of associations between neutral sensory cues in the environment. In light of recent evidence that this critical aspect of learning does not require the hippocampus, we tested the involvement of the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) in this process using a chemogenetic approach that allowed us to temporarily silence neurons along the entire rostrocaudal extent of the RSC. A viral vector containing the gene for a synthetic inhibitory G-protein-coupled receptor (hM4Di) was infused into RSC. When the receptor was later activated by systemic injection of clozapine-N-oxide, neural activity in RSC was transiently silenced (confirmed using a patch-clamp procedure). Rats expressing hM4Di and control rats were trained in a sensory preconditioning procedure in which a tone and light were paired on some trials and a white noise stimulus was presented alone on the other trials during the Preconditioning phase. Thus, rats were given the opportunity to form an association between a tone and a light in the absence of reinforcement. Later, the light was paired with food. During the test phase when the auditory cues were presented alone, controls exhibited more conditioned responding during presentation of the tone compared with the white noise reflecting the prior formation of a tone-light association. Silencing RSC neurons during the Preconditioning phase prevented the formation of an association between the tone and light and eliminated the sensory preconditioning effect. These findings indicate that RSC may contribute to episodic memory formation by linking essential sensory stimuli during learning. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3410982-07$15.00/0.

  20. Cracking the Neural Code for Sensory Perception by Combining Statistics, Intervention, and Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panzeri, Stefano; Harvey, Christopher D; Piasini, Eugenio; Latham, Peter E; Fellin, Tommaso

    2017-02-08

    The two basic processes underlying perceptual decisions-how neural responses encode stimuli, and how they inform behavioral choices-have mainly been studied separately. Thus, although many spatiotemporal features of neural population activity, or "neural codes," have been shown to carry sensory information, it is often unknown whether the brain uses these features for perception. To address this issue, we propose a new framework centered on redefining the neural code as the neural features that carry sensory information used by the animal to drive appropriate behavior; that is, the features that have an intersection between sensory and choice information. We show how this framework leads to a new statistical analysis of neural activity recorded during behavior that can identify such neural codes, and we discuss how to combine intersection-based analysis of neural recordings with intervention on neural activity to determine definitively whether specific neural activity features are involved in a task.

  1. Dendritic channelopathies contribute to neocortical and sensory hyperexcitability in Fmr1(-/y) mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; Bonnan, Audrey; Bony, Guillaume; Ferezou, Isabelle; Pietropaolo, Susanna; Ginger, Melanie; Sans, Nathalie; Rossier, Jean; Oostra, Ben; LeMasson, Gwen; Frick, Andreas

    2014-12-01

    Hypersensitivity in response to sensory stimuli and neocortical hyperexcitability are prominent features of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and autism spectrum disorders, but little is known about the dendritic mechanisms underlying these phenomena. We found that the primary somatosensory neocortex (S1) was hyperexcited in response to tactile sensory stimulation in Fmr1(-/y) mice. This correlated with neuronal and dendritic hyperexcitability of S1 pyramidal neurons, which affect all major aspects of neuronal computation, from the integration of synaptic input to the generation of action potential output. Using dendritic electrophysiological recordings, calcium imaging, pharmacology, biochemistry and a computer model, we found that this defect was, at least in part, attributable to the reduction and dysfunction of dendritic h- and BKCa channels. We pharmacologically rescued several core hyperexcitability phenomena by targeting BKCa channels. Our results provide strong evidence pointing to the utility of BKCa channel openers for the treatment of the sensory hypersensitivity aspects of FXS.

  2. Dopamine neurons code subjective sensory experience and uncertainty of perceptual decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lafuente, Victor; Romo, Ranulfo

    2011-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons respond to sensory stimuli associated with future rewards. When reward is delivered probabilistically, DA neurons reflect this uncertainty by increasing their firing rates in a period between the sensory cue and reward delivery time. Probability of reward, however, has been externally conveyed by visual cues, and it is not known whether DA neurons would signal uncertainty arising internally. Here we show that DA neurons code the uncertainty associated with a perceptual judgment about the presence or absence of a vibrotactile stimulus. We observed that uncertainty modulates the activity elicited by a go cue instructing monkey subjects to communicate their decisions. That is, the same go cue generates different DA responses depending on the uncertainty level of a judgment made a few seconds before the go instruction. Easily detected suprathreshold stimuli elicit small DA responses, indicating that future reward will not be a surprising event. In contrast, the absence of a sensory stimulus generates large DA responses associated with uncertainty: was the stimulus truly absent, or did a low-amplitude vibration go undetected? In addition, the responses of DA neurons to the stimulus itself increase with vibration amplitude, but only when monkeys correctly detect its presence. This finding suggests that DA activity is not related to actual intensity but rather to perceived intensity. Therefore, in addition to their well-known role in reward prediction, DA neurons code subjective sensory experience and uncertainty arising internally from perceptual decisions. PMID:22106310

  3. Brief exposure to sensory cues elicits stimulus-nonspecific general sensitization in an insect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Minoli

    Full Text Available The effect of repeated exposure to sensory stimuli, with or without reward is well known to induce stimulus-specific modifications of behaviour, described as different forms of learning. In recent studies we showed that a brief single pre-exposure to the female-produced sex pheromone or even a predator sound can increase the behavioural and central nervous responses to this pheromone in males of the noctuid moth Spodoptera littoralis. To investigate if this increase in sensitivity might be restricted to the pheromone system or is a form of general sensitization, we studied here if a brief pre-exposure to stimuli of different modalities can reciprocally change behavioural and physiological responses to olfactory and gustatory stimuli. Olfactory and gustatory pre-exposure and subsequent behavioural tests were carried out to reveal possible intra- and cross-modal effects. Attraction to pheromone, monitored with a locomotion compensator, increased after exposure to olfactory and gustatory stimuli. Behavioural responses to sucrose, investigated using the proboscis extension reflex, increased equally after pre-exposure to olfactory and gustatory cues. Pheromone-specific neurons in the brain and antennal gustatory neurons did, however, not change their sensitivity after sucrose exposure. The observed intra- and reciprocal cross-modal effects of pre-exposure may represent a new form of stimulus-nonspecific general sensitization originating from modifications at higher sensory processing levels.

  4. Toward an artificial sensory feedback system for prosthetic mobility rehabilitation: Examination of sensorimotor responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aman Sharma, MHSc

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available People with lower-limb amputation have reduced mobility due to loss of sensory information, which may be restored by artificial sensory feedback systems built into prostheses. For an effective system, it is important to understand how humans sense, interpret, and respond to the feedback that would be provided. The goal of this study was to examine sensorimotor responses to mobility-relevant stimuli. Three experiments were performed to examine the effects of location of stimuli, frequency of stimuli, and means for providing the response. Stimuli, given as vibrations, were applied to the thigh region, and responses involved leg movements. Sensorimotor reaction time (RT was measured as the duration between application of the stimulus and initiation of the response. Accuracy of response was also measured. Overall average RTs for one response option were 0.808 +/– 0.142 s, and response accuracies were >90%. Higher frequencies (220 vs 140 Hz of vibration stimulus provided in anterior regions of the thigh produced the fastest RTs. When participants were presented with more than one stimulus and response option, RTs increased. Findings suggest that long sensorimotor responses may be a limiting factor in the development of an artificial feedback system for mobility rehabilitation applications; however, feed-forward techniques could potentially help to address these limitations

  5. Relationships among Sensory Responsiveness, Anxiety, and Ritual Behaviors in Children with and without Atypical Sensory Responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Orit; Bar-Shalita, Tami; Mansour, Hanin; Dar, Reuven

    2017-08-01

    To explore relationships between sensory responsiveness, anxiety, and ritual behaviors in boys with typical and atypical sensory responsiveness. Forty-eight boys, ages 5-9 participated in the study (28 boys with atypical sensory responsiveness and 20 controls). Atypical sensory responsiveness was defined as a score of ≤154 on the Short Sensory Profile. Parents completed the Sensory Profile, the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders, and the Childhood Routines Inventory. Children with atypical sensory responsiveness had significantly higher levels of anxiety and a higher frequency of ritual behaviors than controls. Atypical sensory responsiveness was significantly related to both anxiety and ritual behaviors, with anxiety mediating the relationship between sensory modulation and ritual behaviors. The findings elucidate the potential consequences of atypical sensory responsiveness and could support the notion that ritual behaviors develop as a coping mechanism in response to anxiety stemming from primary difficulty in modulating sensory input.

  6. Sensory Hierarchical Organization and Reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skapof, Jerome

    The purpose of this study was to judge the viability of an operational approach aimed at assessing response styles in reading using the hypothesis of sensory hierarchical organization. A sample of 103 middle-class children from a New York City public school, between the ages of five and seven, took part in a three phase experiment. Phase one…

  7. Sensory imagination and narrative perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grünbaum, Thor

    2013-01-01

    I argue that we can clarify and explain an important form of focalization or narrative perspective by the structure of perspective in sensory imagination. Understanding focalization in this way enables us to see why one particular form of focalization has to do with the representation of perceptu...

  8. Sensory Dissonance Using Memory Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Karl Kristoffer

    2015-01-01

    Music may occur concurrently or in temporal sequences. Current machine-based methods for the estimation of qualities of the music are unable to take into account the influence of temporal context. A method for calculating dissonance from audio, called sensory dissonance is improved by the use...

  9. Pyridoxine-Induced Sensory Neuropathy

    OpenAIRE

    1995-01-01

    An 18-year-old man with seizures from birth was followed in the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, and was found to have developed a sensory neuropathy by 2 years of age following treatment with pyridoxine in doses up to 2000 mg/day.

  10. Cell-type-specific recruitment of amygdala interneurons to hippocampal theta rhythm and noxious stimuli in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bienvenu, Thomas C M; Busti, Daniela; Magill, Peter J; Ferraguti, Francesco; Capogna, Marco

    2012-06-21

    Neuronal synchrony in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is critical for emotional behavior. Coordinated theta-frequency oscillations between the BLA and the hippocampus and precisely timed integration of salient sensory stimuli in the BLA are involved in fear conditioning. We characterized GABAergic interneuron types of the BLA and determined their contribution to shaping these network activities. Using in vivo recordings in rats combined with the anatomical identification of neurons, we found that the firing of BLA interneurons associated with network activities was cell type specific. The firing of calbindin-positive interneurons targeting dendrites was precisely theta-modulated, but other cell types were heterogeneously modulated, including parvalbumin-positive basket cells. Salient sensory stimuli selectively triggered axo-axonic cells firing and inhibited firing of a disctinct projecting interneuron type. Thus, GABA is released onto BLA principal neurons in a time-, domain-, and sensory-specific manner. These specific synaptic actions likely cooperate to promote amygdalo-hippocampal synchrony involved in emotional memory formation.

  11. Push-pull receptive field organization and synaptic depression: Mechanisms for reliably encoding naturalistic stimuli in V1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens eKremkow

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurons in the primary visual cortex are known for responding vigorously but with high variability to classical stimuli such as drifting bars or gratings. By contrast, natural scenes are encoded more efficiently by sparse and temporal precise spiking responses. We used a conductance-based model of the visual system in higher mammals to investigate how two specific features of the thalamo-cortical pathway, namely push-pull receptive field organization and synaptic depression, can contribute to this contextual reshaping of V1 responses. By comparing cortical dynamics evoked respectively by natural vs. artificial stimuli in a comprehensive parametric space analysis, we demonstrate that the reliability and sparseness of the spiking responses during natural vision is not a mere consequence of the increased bandwidth in the sensory input spectrum. Rather, it results from the combined impacts of synaptic depression and push-pull inhibition, the later acting for natural scenes as a form of effective feed-forward inhibition as demonstrated in other sensory systems. Thus, the combination of feedforward-like inhibition with fast thalamo-cortical synaptic depression by simple cells receiving a direct structured input from thalamus composes a generic computational mechanism for generating a sparse and reliable encoding of natural sensory events.

  12. Combined non-adaptive light and smell stimuli lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate and reduced negative affect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shan; Jacob, Tim J C

    2016-03-15

    Bright light therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression and anxiety. Smell has also has been shown to have effects on mood, stress, anxiety and depression. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the combination of light and smell in a non-adaptive cycle. Human subjects were given smell (lemon, lavender or peppermint) and light stimuli in a triangular wave (60scycle) for 15min. Blood pressure and heart rate were monitored before and after each session for 5 consecutive days and a Profile of Mood States (POMS) test was administered before and after the sensory stimulation on days 1, 3 and 5. The light-smell stimulus lowered blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, and reduced heart rate for all odours compared to control. Of the two sensory stimuli, the odour stimulus contributed most to this effect. The different aromas in the light-smell combinations could be distinguished by their different effects on the mood factors with lemon inducing the greatest mood changes in Dejection-Depression, Anger-Hostility, Tension-Anxiety. In conclusion, combined light and smell stimulation was effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing heart rate and improving mood. The combination was more effective than either smell or light stimuli alone, suggesting that a light-smell combination would be a more robust and efficacious alternative treatment for depression, anxiety and stress. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Proximate composition, bread characteristics and sensory ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Proximate composition, bread characteristics and sensory evaluation of ... African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development ... This study was carried out to investigate proximate composition, bread characteristics and sensory ...

  14. Validity of Sensory Systems as Distinct Constructs

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Confirmatory factor analysis testing whether sensory questionnaire items represented distinct sensory system constructs found, using data from two age groups, that such constructs can be measured validly using questionnaire data.

  15. A review on intelligent sensory modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tham, H. J.; Tang, S. Y.; Teo, K. T. K.; Loh, S. P.

    2016-06-01

    Sensory evaluation plays an important role in the quality control of food productions. Sensory data obtained through sensory evaluation are generally subjective, vague and uncertain. Classically, factorial multivariate methods such as Principle Component Analysis (PCA), Partial Least Square (PLS) method, Multiple Regression (MLR) method and Response Surface Method (RSM) are the common tools used to analyse sensory data. These methods can model some of the sensory data but may not be robust enough to analyse nonlinear data. In these situations, intelligent modelling techniques such as Fuzzy Logic and Artificial neural network (ANNs) emerged to solve the vagueness and uncertainty of sensory data. This paper outlines literature of intelligent sensory modelling on sensory data analysis.

  16. Parallel processing streams for motor output and sensory prediction during action preparation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenner, Max-Philipp; Bauer, Markus; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Haggard, Patrick; Dolan, Raymond J

    2015-03-15

    Sensory consequences of one's own actions are perceived as less intense than identical, externally generated stimuli. This is generally taken as evidence for sensory prediction of action consequences. Accordingly, recent theoretical models explain this attenuation by an anticipatory modulation of sensory processing prior to stimulus onset (Roussel et al. 2013) or even action execution (Brown et al. 2013). Experimentally, prestimulus changes that occur in anticipation of self-generated sensations are difficult to disentangle from more general effects of stimulus expectation, attention and task load (performing an action). Here, we show that an established manipulation of subjective agency over a stimulus leads to a predictive modulation in sensory cortex that is independent of these factors. We recorded magnetoencephalography while subjects performed a simple action with either hand and judged the loudness of a tone caused by the action. Effector selection was manipulated by subliminal motor priming. Compatible priming is known to enhance a subjective experience of agency over a consequent stimulus (Chambon and Haggard 2012). In line with this effect on subjective agency, we found stronger sensory attenuation when the action that caused the tone was compatibly primed. This perceptual effect was reflected in a transient phase-locked signal in auditory cortex before stimulus onset and motor execution. Interestingly, this sensory signal emerged at a time when the hemispheric lateralization of motor signals in M1 indicated ongoing effector selection. Our findings confirm theoretical predictions of a sensory modulation prior to self-generated sensations and support the idea that a sensory prediction is generated in parallel to motor output (Walsh and Haggard 2010), before an efference copy becomes available.

  17. Subclinical sensory involvement in monomelic amyotrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Jenny P; Waclawik, Andrew J; Lotz, Barend P

    2005-12-01

    An 18-year-old woman presented with weakness and atrophy in her hand without associated sensory symptoms, preceding events, or structural abnormalities on neuroimaging. No sensory deficits were detected on neurologic examination. Electrophysiological studies showed not only the expected motor findings for monomelic amyotrophy (MA) in the affected limb, but also markedly reduced sensory nerve action potentials when compared with the unaffected side. These findings suggest that subclinical sensory involvement can exist in patients with otherwise classic presentations of MA.

  18. The sensory transduction pathways in bacterial chemotaxis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Barry L.

    1989-01-01

    Bacterial chemotaxis is a useful model for investigating in molecular detail the behavioral response of cells to changes in their environment. Peritrichously flagellated bacteria such as coli and typhimurium swim by rotating helical flagella in a counterclockwise direction. If flagellar rotation is briefly reversed, the bacteria tumble and change the direction of swimming. The bacteria continuously sample the environment and use a temporal sensing mechanism to compare the present and immediate past environments. Bacteria respond to a broad range of stimuli including changes in temperature, oxygen concentration, pH and osmotic strength. Bacteria are attracted to potential sources of nutrition such as sugars and amino acids and are repelled by other chemicals. In the methylation-dependent pathways for sensory transduction and adaptation in E. coli and S. typhimurium, chemoeffectors bind to transducing proteins that span the plasma membrane. The transducing proteins are postulated to control the rate of autophosphorylation of the CheA protein, which in turn phosphorylates the CheY protein. The phospho-CheY protein binds to the switch on the flagellar motor and is the signal for clockwise rotation of the motor. Adaptation to an attractant is achieved by increasing methylation of the transducing protein until the attractant stimulus is cancelled. Responses to oxygen and certain sugars involve methylation-independent pathways in which adaption occurs without methylation of a transducing protein. Taxis toward oxygen is mediated by the electron transport system and changes in the proton motive force. Recent studies have shown that the methylation-independent pathway converges with the methylation-dependent pathway at or before the CheA protein.

  19. Sensory nerve conduction studies in neuralgic amyotrophy.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alfen, N. van; Huisman, W.J.; Overeem, S.; Engelen, B.G.M. van; Zwarts, M.J.

    2009-01-01

    Neuralgic amyotrophy is a painful, episodic peripheral nerve disorder localized to the brachial plexus. Sensory symptoms occur in 80% of the patients. We assessed the frequency of abnormalities in sensory nerve conduction studies of the lateral and medial antebrachial cutaneous, radial sensory, medi

  20. Motor-sensory confluence in tactile perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saig, Avraham; Gordon, Goren; Assa, Eldad; Arieli, Amos; Ahissar, Ehud

    2012-10-03

    Perception involves motor control of sensory organs. However, the dynamics underlying emergence of perception from motor-sensory interactions are not yet known. Two extreme possibilities are as follows: (1) motor and sensory signals interact within an open-loop scheme in which motor signals determine sensory sampling but are not affected by sensory processing and (2) motor and sensory signals are affected by each other within a closed-loop scheme. We studied the scheme of motor-sensory interactions in humans using a novel object localization task that enabled monitoring the relevant overt motor and sensory variables. We found that motor variables were dynamically controlled within each perceptual trial, such that they gradually converged to steady values. Training on this task resulted in improvement in perceptual acuity, which was achieved solely by changes in motor variables, without any change in the acuity of sensory readout. The within-trial dynamics is captured by a hierarchical closed-loop model in which lower loops actively maintain constant sensory coding, and higher loops maintain constant sensory update flow. These findings demonstrate interchangeability of motor and sensory variables in perception, motor convergence during perception, and a consistent hierarchical closed-loop perceptual model.

  1. Termination of pinned spirals by local stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiang-Xing; Guo, Ming-Ming; Ma, Jun

    2016-02-01

    The termination of pinned spirals on a defect by means of local stimuli is studied. On a completely unexcitable defect, the elimination process is discussed and its corresponding mechanism is presented. Especially, the mechanism of unpinning spirals on a partially unexcitable defect, which has not been investigated so far, is explored. With fixed pacing frequency ω L , there exists a maximal radius R max above which the pinned spiral cannot be removed. It is found that the value of R max does not increase as ω L in a dynamical regime, forming a platform in the R\\textit{max}\\text-ωL curves. Based on analyzing the dispersion relation on the spiral tip around the obstacle, the underlying mechanism is clarified. Also, it is found that when multiple spirals are pinned, the value of R max decreases on a partially unexcitable defect while the change is very slight on a completely unexcitable one.

  2. Working memory of emotional stimuli: Electrophysiological characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessel, Dominique; García-Rubio, María J; González, E Kirstin; Tapia, Manuel; López-Martín, Sara; Román, Francisco J; Capilla, Almudena; Martínez, Kenia; Colom, Roberto; Carretié, Luis

    2016-09-01

    Memorizing emotional stimuli in a preferential way seems to be one of the adaptive strategies brought on by evolution for supporting survival. However, there is a lack of electrophysiological evidence on this bias in working memory. The present study analyzed the influence of emotion on the updating component of working memory. Behavioral and electrophysiological indices were measured from a 3-back task using negative, neutral, and positive faces. Electrophysiological data evidenced an emotional influence on the working memory sensitive P3 component, which presented larger amplitudes for negative matching faces compared to neutral ones. This effect originated in the superior parietal cortex, previously reported to be involved in N-back tasks. Additionally, P3 results showed a correlation with reaction times, where higher amplitudes were associated with faster responses for negative matching faces. These findings indicate that electrophysiological measures seem to be very suitable indices of the emotional influence on working memory.

  3. Characterization of persistent postoperative pain by quantitative sensory testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Werner, Mads U.; Kehlet, Henrik

    2010-01-01

    Postoperative pain remains inadequately treated, and it has been estimated that 5-10% undergoing surgery will develop moderate to severe persistent pain leading to chronic physical disability and psychosocial distress. Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is a graded, standardized activation...... research tool in studies investigating the correlation between responses to preoperatively applied experimental pain stimuli and clinical postoperative pain. Second, the use of QST as a valuable prognostic, sequential assessment tool in surgical procedure specific research is presented. Third......, the implications of these findings for use of QST in future research are discussed. More rational design of predictive studies in PPP, based on surgical procedure specific approaches, is needed in order to improve our understanding of prevention and management of this debilitating postsurgical condition....

  4. Characterization of persistent postoperative pain by quantitative sensory testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Werner, Mads U.; Kehlet, Henrik

    2010-01-01

    research tool in studies investigating the correlation between responses to preoperatively applied experimental pain stimuli and clinical postoperative pain. Second, the use of QST as a valuable prognostic, sequential assessment tool in surgical procedure specific research is presented. Third......Postoperative pain remains inadequately treated, and it has been estimated that 5-10% undergoing surgery will develop moderate to severe persistent pain leading to chronic physical disability and psychosocial distress. Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is a graded, standardized activation......, the implications of these findings for use of QST in future research are discussed. More rational design of predictive studies in PPP, based on surgical procedure specific approaches, is needed in order to improve our understanding of prevention and management of this debilitating postsurgical condition....

  5. Postural balance in Alzheimer's disease patients undergoing sensory pitfalls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brunna Berton

    Full Text Available Abstract Despite consensus regarding the interference of cognitive processes on the human balance, the impact that different sensory stimuli have on the stabilometric measures remains unclear. Here, we investigated changes in the postural balance of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD and in healthy controls undergoing different proprioceptive and somesthetic pitfalls. We included 17 subjects submitted to eight sensorimotor dynamics with differences in the support bases, contact surfaces, and visual clues. The measurements used to assess participants balance were as follows: position of the body in space, range of instability, area of the support base, and velocity of postural control. From a total of 56 cross-sectional analyses, 21.42% pointed out differences between groups. Longitudinal analyses showed that tasks with proprioceptive and somesthetic pitfalls similarly impact imbalance in both groups. The current results suggest that AD subjects and healthy controls had different patterns submitted to balance, but suffered similar interference when undergoing proprioceptive and somesthetic challenges.

  6. Sensory feedback in interlimb coordination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gervasio, Sabata; Voigt, Michael; Kersting, Uwe G.

    2017-01-01

    direct communication between the two sides without the need for the involvement of higher centers. These may also exist in humans since sensory feedback elicited by tibial nerve stimulation on one side (ipsilateral) can affect the muscles activation in the opposite side (contralateral), provoking short......-latency crossed responses (SLCRs). The current study investigated whether contralateral afferent feedback contributes to the mechanism controlling the SLCR in human gastrocnemius muscle. Surface electromyogram, kinematic and kinetic data were recorded from subjects during normal walking and hybrid walking (with.......04). Moreover, estimated spindle secondary afferent and Golgi tendon organ activity were significantly different (P ≤ 0.01) when opposite responses have been observed, that is during normal (facilitation) and hybrid walking (inhibition) conditions. Contralateral sensory feedback, specifically spindle secondary...

  7. CONGENITAL SENSORY NEUROPATHY (HSAN II

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkata Chalam

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A 5 year old girl having hereditary sensory neuropathy, type II manifesting as congenital absence of pain sensation and trophic changes in the skin is reported. This child presented with presented with multiple ulcers over hands and feet since 2 years of age. The ulcers were non - healing type with serosanguineous discharge. There is abnormal gait and weakness in upper and lower limbs. On examination there are deep ulcers measuring 5x7x2cms over left feet. Fingers of both hands and feet were mutilated with loss of phalanges, sensations to fine touch, pain and temperature are decreased bilaterally below the mid arm and feet, vibration sensations were normal, proprioception could not be tested due to deformities. Sensory and motor nerve conduction studies showed evidence of sensorimotor axonal neuropathy.

  8. Oral sensory dysfunction following radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearelly, Shethal; Wang, Steven J; Cheung, Steven W

    2017-10-01

    To assess differences in oral tactile sensation between subjects who have undergone radiation therapy (XRT) compared to healthy controls. Cross-sectional cohort comparison. Thirty-four subjects with a history of XRT were compared with 23 healthy controls. There was no difference in age (P = .23), but there were slightly more males in the XRT cohort (P = .03). The mean (standard deviation) time after XRT completion was 3.84 (4.84) years. Fifty-six percent of the XRT cohort received chemotherapy. Using our previously validated methodology to measure oral tactile sensory threshold quantitatively with Cheung-Bearelly monofilaments, sensory thresholds of four subsites (anterior tongue, buccal mucosa, posterior tongue, soft palate) were compared for the two cohorts. Site-by-site comparisons showed higher forces were required for stimulus detection at all four subsites among subjects in the XRT cohort compared to healthy controls. Mean force in grams for XRT versus control cohorts were: anterior tongue, 0.39 (1.0) versus 0.02 (0.01); buccal mucosa, 0.42 (0.95) versus 0.06 (0.05); posterior tongue, 0.76 (1.46) versus 0.10 (0.07); and soft palate, 0.86 (1.47) versus 0.08 (0.05) (P sensory dysfunction, manifested by increased tactile forces required for stimulus detection. The magnitude of sensory impairment is 18.7 dB. 3b. Laryngoscope, 127:2282-2286, 2017. © 2017 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  9. Sensory Coordination of Insect Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-22

    migratory flight in the neotropical moth Urania fulgens. Biology Letters, 6, 406–409. Sane S.P.* and McHenry M.J. (2009) The biomechanics of sensory...organs. Integrative and Comparative Biology , 49(6):i8-i23. Zhao, L., Huang, Q., Deng, X. and Sane, S.P. (2010). Aerodynamic effects of flexibility...and behavioral insights into insect flight Invited Speaker, International Workshop on Nocturnal Pollination , March 24-27, 2009 Indian Institute of

  10. Localized experimental bone metastasis drives osteolysis and sensory hypersensitivity at distant non-tumor-bearing sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelaziz, Dareen M; Stone, Laura S; Komarova, Svetlana V

    2015-08-01

    Patients with breast cancer metastasis to bone suffer from inadequate pain relief. Animal models provide increased understanding of cancer-induced bone and sensory alterations. The objective of this study was to investigate the measures of pain at distant non-tumor-bearing sites in animals with localized bone metastasis. Immunocompetent BALB/c mice are injected intra-tibially with murine mammary carcinoma cells (4T1) or saline, and the sensitivity to mechanical and thermal stimuli in the contralateral paw was examined. In addition to previously demonstrated development of osteolysis and hypersensitivity to mechanical and thermal stimuli in the cancer-injected tibia, these animals exhibited an increase in sensory hypersensitivity in the contralateral limb. No bone lesions were evident on radiographs of the contralateral limbs. Histomorphometry detected decreased bone volume per tissue volume and increased osteoclast number in the contralateral tibia and vertebral bones of cancer-bearing animals. Neuroplasticity was examined by immunofluorescence for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in sensory neurons and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in lumbar spinal cords. CGRP-immunoreactivity and GFAP-immunoreactivity were significantly elevated both ipsilateral and contralateral in tumor-bearing animals. The anti-inflammatory and osteolysis-targeting drug rapamycin reduced hypersensitivity to mechanical and cold stimuli, attenuated GFAP over-expression, and lowered osteoclast number. The osteoclast-targeting drug pamidronate reduced sensitivity to cold and protected against bone loss. Localized bone cancer drives hypersensitivity, bone remodeling, and sensory neuron plasticity at sites distant from the primary tumor area. Drugs targeting these mechanisms may be useful in the treatment of pain distant from the primary tumor site.

  11. Sensory integration across modalities: how kinaesthesia integrates with vision in visual orientation discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treisman, Michel; Lages, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Stimuli in one modality can affect the appearance and discriminability of stimuli in another, but how they do so is not well understood. Here we propose a theory of the integration of sensory information across modalities. This is based on criterion setting theory (CST; Treisman and Williams, 1984), an extension of signal detection theory which models the setting and adjustment of decision criteria. The theory of sensory integration based on CST (CST-SI) offers an account of cross-modal effects on sensory decision-making; here we consider its application to orientation anisotropy. In this case, CST-SI postulates that the postural senses are concerned with the relations between momentary body posture and the cardinal dimensions of space, vertical and horizontal, and that they also contribute to stabilizing perception of the cardinal orientations in vision through actions on the corresponding visual decision criteria, but that they have little effect on perception of diagonal orientations. Predictions from CST-SI are tested by experimentally separating the contributions that different information sources make to stabilizing the visual criteria. It is shown that reducing relevant kinaesthetic input may increase the variance for discrimination of the visual cardinal axes but not the obliques. Predictions that shift in the location of the psychometric function would be induced by varying the distribution of the test stimuli, and that this effect would be greater for oblique than cardinal axes were confirmed. In addition, peripheral visual stimuli were shown to affect the discrimination of cardinal but not oblique orientations at the focus of vision. These results support the present account of anisotropies.

  12. Methodology of oral sensory tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, R; Wu, C-H; Van Loven, K; Desnyder, M; Kolenaar, B; Van Steenberghed, D

    2002-08-01

    Different methods of oral sensory tests including light touch sensation, two-point discrimination, vibrotactile function and thermal sensation were compared. Healthy subjects were tested to assess the results obtained from two psychophysical approaches, namely the staircase and the ascending & descending method of limits for light touch sensation and two-point discrimination. Both methods appeared to be reliable for examining oral sensory function. The effect of topical anaesthesia was also evaluated but no conclusion could be drawn as too few subjects were involved. Newly developed simple testing tools for two-point discrimination and thermal sensation in a clinical situation were developed prior to this study and tested for their reproducibility. Thermal sensation could be reliably detected in repeated trials. Although the hand-held instruments have some drawbacks, the outcome of these instruments in a clinical environment is suitable for assessing oral sensory function. Three different frequencies (32, 128 and 256 Hz) were used to estimate the vibrotactile function. Different threshold levels were found at different frequencies.

  13. Sensory evaluation of buffalo butter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.C.S. Carneiro

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Butter obtained from buffalo milk was compared with commercial products obtained from cow milk. One buffalo butter and two cow butters were subjected to sensory analysis using non-trained panelists. The acceptance related to sensorial characteristics (color, flavor, and firmness was evaluated through a 9 point structured hedonic scale varying from “I displeased extremely” to “I liked extremely”. Analysis of variance (ANOVA was performed to evaluate the sensory characteristics and the means were compared by Tukey’s Test at 5% of significance. The buffalo butter received lower scores than the others for all attributes. The greatest difference was observed for color, as the buffalo butter exhibited a white color contrasting with the yellow color of commercial butters, which is the pattern expected by the consumers. For flavor and firmness attributes, the buffalo butter received scores similar to the commercial products. These results show. These results shows that the buffalo’s butter has a good acceptance on local market, and this could be improved through the correction of product’s color, what can be obtained by adding a dye.

  14. A self-organized artificial neural network architecture for sensory integration with applications to letter-phoneme integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jantvik, Tamas; Gustafsson, Lennart; Papliński, Andrew P

    2011-08-01

    The multimodal self-organizing network (MMSON), an artificial neural network architecture carrying out sensory integration, is presented here. The architecture is designed using neurophysiological findings and imaging studies that pertain to sensory integration and consists of interconnected lattices of artificial neurons. In this artificial neural architecture, the degree of recognition of stimuli, that is, the perceived reliability of stimuli in the various subnetworks, is included in the computation. The MMSON's behavior is compared to aspects of brain function that deal with sensory integration. According to human behavioral studies, integration of signals from sensory receptors of different modalities enhances perception of objects and events and also reduces time to detection. In neocortex, integration takes place in bimodal and multimodal association areas and result, not only in feedback-mediated enhanced unimodal perception and shortened reaction time, but also in robust bimodal or multimodal percepts. Simulation data from the presented artificial neural network architecture show that it replicates these important psychological and neuroscientific characteristics of sensory integration.

  15. The Chemical Background for Sensory Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Shujuan

    In the food industry, high sensory quality and stability of products are crucial factors for consumer satisfaction and market shares. Sensory quality is normally being evaluated by two major approaches: instrumental (volatile and nonvolatile compounds) approach and sensory approach by trained...... and sensory methods in understanding the pre-fermentation treatment on sensory quality of wine (Study 3). In Study 4, the RATA method was used to provide the intensity of significant sensory descriptors that discriminate the significant differences between chocolate samples. Part three step by step moves......; detecting changes of volatiles as a result of production errors in chocolate production, and monitoring aroma release provide useful information to food sensory quality control. For each application, both techniques were faced with challenges that need to be handled in different ways. Due to the complex...

  16. Bioinspired Sensory Systems for Shear Flow Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colvert, Brendan; Chen, Kevin K.; Kanso, Eva

    2017-03-01

    Aquatic organisms such as copepods exhibit remarkable responses to changes in ambient flows, especially shear gradients, when foraging, mating and escaping. To accomplish these tasks, the sensory system of the organism must decode the local sensory measurements to detect the flow properties. Evidence suggests that organisms sense differences in the hydrodynamic signal rather than absolute values of the ambient flow. In this paper, we develop a mathematical framework for shear flow detection using a bioinspired sensory system that measures only differences in velocity. We show that the sensory system is capable of reconstructing the properties of the ambient shear flow under certain conditions on the flow sensors. We discuss these conditions and provide explicit expressions for processing the sensory measurements and extracting the flow properties. These findings suggest that by combining suitable velocity sensors and physics-based methods for decoding sensory measurements, we obtain a powerful approach for understanding and developing underwater sensory systems.

  17. Individual perception of different stimuli: Implications for managers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santos- Álvarez, M.V.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Managerial perception is the process by which managers form an image of the stimuli they receive. According to research, perception is conditioned by the individual’s cognitive profile. But the different nature of incoming stimuli suggests that it would be interesting to study whether the cognitive profile’s influence varies in the presence of different stimuli. This paper analyses the effect of the cognitive profile on perception of differently-structured stimuli. The results clearly show that the cognitive style, tolerance of ambiguity, and proactivity have an effect. Specifically, they condition the recognition of stimuli, particularly when the stimuli are relatively unstructured. The results also show that the cognitive variables have less influence in the interpretation stage.

  18. Relationship between the COI test and other sensory profiles by statistical procedures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Calvente, J. J.

    1994-04-01

    Full Text Available Relationships between 139 sensory attributes evaluated on 32 samples of virgin olive oil have been analysed by a statistical sensory wheel that guarantees the objectiveness and prediction of its conclusions concerning the best clusters of attributes: green, bitter-pungent, ripe fruit, fruity, sweet fruit, undesirable attributes and two miscellanies. The procedure allows the sensory notes evaluated for potential consumers of this edible oil from the point of view of its habitual consumers to be understood with special reference to The European Communities Regulation n-2568/91. Five different panels: Spanish, Greek, Italian, Dutch and British, have been used to evaluate the samples. Analysis of the relationships between stimuli perceived by aroma, flavour, smell, mouthfeel and taste together with Linear Sensory Profiles based on Fuzzy Logic are provided. A 3-dimensional plot indicates the usefulness of the proposed procedure in the authentication of different varieties of virgin olive oil. An analysis of the volatile compounds responsible for most of the attributes gives weight to the conclusions. Directions which promise to improve the E.G. Regulation on the sensory quality of olive oil are also given.

  19. Sensory and motor characterization in the postnatal valproate rat model of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Stacey; Millette, Alexandre; Devine, Darragh P

    2012-01-01

    Although autism is diagnosed according to three core features of social deficits, communication impairments, and repetitive or stereotyped behaviors, other behavioral features such as sensory and motor impairments are present in more than 70% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Exposure of rat pups to the teratogen valproate during sensitive periods of brain development has been shown to elicit behavioral features associated with autism diagnosis and has been proposed as a valid animal model of the disorder. The purpose of this study was to characterize sensory and motor performance in rats postnatally treated with valproate. Thirty-four rat pups were injected with either valproate (150 mg/kg) or saline on postnatal days 6-12. Auditory and tactile startle as well as auditory sensory gating was assessed during both the juvenile and adolescent stages of development; motor testing was conducted during late adolescence and included a sunflower seed eating task and a vermicelli handling task. Valproate-treated rats were underresponsive to auditory stimuli, showed deficits in auditory sensory gating, and demonstrated impairments in motor speed and performance. These findings suggest that postnatal valproate treatment elicits sensory and motor features often seen in individuals with ASD. Further, the hyposensitivity seen in postnatally valproate-treated rats contrasted with hypersensitivity previously reported in prenatally valproate-exposed rats. This suggests that timing of teratogenic exposure during early brain development may be important to consider when investigating the neurobiological basis of sensorimotor impairments in ASD.

  20. Catastrophizing and pain sensitivity among chronic pain patients: moderating effects of sensory and affect focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, Elizabeth S; Burns, John W

    2004-06-01

    Pain catastrophizing is a particularly harmful cognitive factor among patients with chronic pain, but little is known of mechanisms linking this factor to pain and disability. The study examined whether attentional focus on sensory versus affective information about pain constitutes a pathway by which catastrophizing affects responses to painful stimuli. Participants were 82 chronic pain patients assigned randomly to sensory focus, affect focus, or control conditions. They underwent cold pressors first prior to and then following an information focus manipulation, and they completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). Regressions produced significant Condition x PCS interaction effects on threshold and tolerance change from first to second cold pressor, such that PCS scores were significantly and negatively related to these changes in both sensory and affect focus conditions, but not in the control condition. Only a main effect for PCS scores emerged for self-reported pain changes. Solving regression equations for hypothetical PCS values (+- 1 SD from the mean) revealed that (a) high catastrophizers decreased threshold and tolerance in the affect focus condition and showed no appreciable changes in sensory focus and (b) low catastrophziers showed increases in threshold and tolerance in sensory focus, but no appreciable changes in affect focus. Further, the degree to which patients focused on emotions during pain partly mediated effects of PCS scores on threshold and tolerance changes. Catastrophizing about pain may affect pain severity and distress of chronic pain patients through a bias toward processing the most disturbing elements of a painful stimulus.

  1. Pig Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Rosettes Parallel Human Differentiation Into Sensory Neural Subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Robin L; Gallegos-Cárdenas, Amalia; Miller, Colette N; Solomotis, Nicholas J; Liu, Hong-Xiang; West, Franklin D; Stice, Steven L

    2017-04-01

    The pig is the large animal model of choice for study of nerve regeneration and wound repair. Availability of porcine sensory neural cells would conceptually allow for analogous cell-based peripheral nerve regeneration in porcine injuries of similar severity and size to those found in humans. After recently reporting that porcine (or pig) induced pluripotent stem cells (piPSCs) differentiate into neural rosette (NR) structures similar to human NRs, here we demonstrate that pig NR cells could differentiate into neural crest cells and other peripheral nervous system-relevant cell types. Treatment with either bone morphogenetic protein 4 or fetal bovine serum led to differentiation into BRN3A-positive sensory cells and increased expression of sensory neuron TRK receptor gene family: TRKA, TRKB, and TRKC. Porcine sensory neural cells would allow determination of parallels between human and porcine cells in response to noxious stimuli, analgesics, and reparative mechanisms. In vitro differentiation of pig sensory neurons provides a novel model system for neural cell subtype specification and would provide a novel platform for the study of regenerative therapeutics by elucidating the requirements for innervation following injury and axonal survival.

  2. A Flight Sensory-Motor to Olfactory Processing Circuit in the Moth Manduca sexta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Samual P; Chapman, Phillip D; Lizbinski, Kristyn M; Daly, Kevin C; Dacks, Andrew M

    2016-01-01

    Neural circuits projecting information from motor to sensory pathways are common across sensory domains. These circuits typically modify sensory function as a result of motor pattern activation; this is particularly so in cases where the resultant behavior affects the sensory experience or its processing. However, such circuits have not been observed projecting to an olfactory pathway in any species despite well characterized active sampling behaviors that produce reafferent mechanical stimuli, such as sniffing in mammals and wing beating in the moth Manduca sexta. In this study we characterize a circuit that connects a flight sensory-motor center to an olfactory center in Manduca. This circuit consists of a single pair of histamine immunoreactive (HA-ir) neurons that project from the mesothoracic ganglion to innervate a subset of ventral antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Furthermore, within the AL we show that the M. sexta histamine B receptor (MsHisClB) is exclusively expressed by a subset of GABAergic and peptidergic LNs, which broadly project to all olfactory glomeruli. Finally, the HA-ir cell pair is present in fifth stage instar larvae; however, the absence of MsHisClB-ir in the larval antennal center indicates that the circuit is incomplete prior to metamorphosis and importantly prior to the expression of flight behavior. Although the functional consequences of this circuit remain unknown, these results provide the first detailed description of a circuit that interconnects an olfactory system with motor centers driving flight behaviors including odor-guided flight.

  3. A sensory feedback system for prosthetic hand based on evoked tactile sensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X X; Chai, G H; Qu, H E; Lan, N

    2015-01-01

    The lack of reliable sensory feedback has been one of the barriers in prosthetic hand development. Restoring sensory function from prosthetic hand to amputee remains a great challenge to neural engineering. In this paper, we present the development of a sensory feedback system based on the phenomenon of evoked tactile sensation (ETS) at the stump skin of residual limb induced by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). The system could map a dynamic pattern of stimuli to an electrode placed on the corresponding projected finger areas on the stump skin. A pressure transducer placed at the tip of prosthetic fingers was used to sense contact pressure, and a high performance DSP processor sampled pressure signals, and calculated the amplitude of feedback stimulation in real-time. Biphasic and charge-balanced current pulses with amplitude modulation generated by a multi-channel laboratory stimulator were delivered to activate sensory nerves beneath the skin. We tested this sensory feedback system in amputee subjects. Preliminary results showed that the subjects could perceive different levels of pressure at the tip of prosthetic finger through evoked tactile sensation (ETS) with distinct grades and modalities. We demonstrated the feasibility to restore the perceptual sensation from prosthetic fingers to amputee based on the phenomenon of evoked tactile sensation (ETS) with TENS.

  4. The dog nose "KNOWS" fear: Asymmetric nostril use during sniffing at canine and human emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siniscalchi, Marcello; d'Ingeo, Serenella; Quaranta, Angelo

    2016-05-01

    Previous studies have reported striking asymmetries in the nostril use of dogs during sniffing at different emotive stimuli. Here we report, for the first time, that this asymmetry is also manifested during sniffing of both human and canine odours collected during different emotional events. Results showed that during sniffing of conspecific odour collected during a stressful situation (e.g. an "isolation" situation in which a dog was isolated from its owner in an unfamiliar environment) dogs consistently used their right nostril (right hemisphere). On the other hand, dogs consistently used the left nostril to sniff human odours collected during fearful situations (emotion-eliciting movies) and physical stress, suggesting the prevalent activation of the left hemisphere. The opposite bias shown in nostril use during sniffing at canine versus human odours suggests that chemosignals communicate conspecific and heterospecific emotional cues using different sensory pathways.

  5. 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.

  6. Neuronal encoding of texture in the whisker sensory pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehsan Arabzadeh

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge of sensory systems neuroscience is to quantify brain activity underlying perceptual experiences and to explain this activity as the outcome of elemental neuronal response properties. Rats make extremely fine discriminations of texture by "whisking" their vibrissae across an object's surface, yet the neuronal coding underlying texture sensations remains unknown. Measuring whisker vibrations during active whisking across surfaces, we found that each texture results in a unique "kinetic signature" defined by the temporal profile of whisker velocity. We presented these texture-induced vibrations as stimuli while recording responses of first-order sensory neurons and neurons in the whisker area of cerebral cortex. Each texture is encoded by a distinctive, temporally precise firing pattern. To look for the neuronal coding properties that give rise to texture-specific firing patterns, we delivered horizontal and vertical whisker movements that varied randomly in time ("white noise" and found that the response probabilities of first-order neurons and cortical neurons vary systematically according to whisker speed and direction. We applied the velocity-tuned spike probabilities derived from white noise to the sequence of velocity features in the texture to construct a simulated texture response. The close match between the simulated and real responses indicates that texture coding originates in the selectivity of neurons to elemental kinetic events.

  7. The Grueneberg ganglion: a novel sensory system in the nose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischer, Joerg; Breer, Heinz

    2010-07-01

    Within the nasal epithelium of mammals, there are several compartments which are populated with neuronal cells. One of them - the so-called Grueneberg ganglion - is composed of ciliated neurons residing in the anterior region of the nose. Although cells of the Grueneberg ganglion lack direct contact with the lumen of the nasal cavity, they are endowed with features indicative of olfactory sensory neurons, such as the olfactory marker protein and distinct olfactory receptors, as well as projection of axonal processes to the olfactory bulb of the brain. These findings have led to the notion that the Grueneberg ganglion might be a novel olfactory subsystem; a concept which was lately supported by the observation that chemical cues activate Grueneberg ganglion neurons. Unexpectedly, it was recently found that these cells also respond to cool ambient temperatures, presumably via a signaling pathway mediated by second messengers. Thus, the Grueneberg ganglion may operate as a dual sensory organ involved in the detection of both chemical and thermal stimuli.

  8. Sensory integration regulating male courtship behavior in Drosophila.

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    Dimitrije Krstic

    Full Text Available The courtship behavior of Drosophila melanogaster serves as an excellent model system to study how complex innate behaviors are controlled by the nervous system. To understand how the underlying neural network controls this behavior, it is not sufficient to unravel its architecture, but also crucial to decipher its logic. By systematic analysis of how variations in sensory inputs alter the courtship behavior of a naïve male in the single-choice courtship paradigm, we derive a model describing the logic of the network that integrates the various sensory stimuli and elicits this complex innate behavior. This approach and the model derived from it distinguish (i between initiation and maintenance of courtship, (ii between courtship in daylight and in the dark, where the male uses a scanning strategy to retrieve the decamping female, and (iii between courtship towards receptive virgin females and mature males. The last distinction demonstrates that sexual orientation of the courting male, in the absence of discriminatory visual cues, depends on the integration of gustatory and behavioral feedback inputs, but not on olfactory signals from the courted animal. The model will complement studies on the connectivity and intrinsic properties of the neurons forming the circuitry that regulates male courtship behavior.

  9. Gyroscopic stimulation of the semicircular canals during sensory deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, B. D.; Brady, J. F.; Stumm, J. E.

    1971-01-01

    A static object revolving at a constant velocity is stationary with respect to that environment. When the object is rotated outside the plane of spin, a gyroscopic or cross-coupled acceleration is produced orthogonal to the two planes of rotation. In this situation, a man feels himself moving in a direction other than that which his visual or proprioceptive sensors perceive. The conflict in spatial orientation is the cross-coupled acceleration imposed on the semicircular canals. This perceptual conflict and the thresholds involved were studied by partial isolation of the physiological stimuli through sensory deprivation. Subjects weighted to neutral buoyancy were submerged in 94 F water in the dark. The subjects were then rotated while being revolved about a displaced axis. Thresholds for detection of angular acceleration were higher than those reported in the literature for detection of acceleration of a single plane. This discrepancy may be attributable to the length of time the stimuli are imposed to each of the canals and the cupular response periods.

  10. 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.

  11. Psychophysiological response patterns to affective film stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke G N Bos

    Full Text Available Psychophysiological research on emotion utilizes various physiological response measures to index activation of the defense system. Here we tested 1 whether acoustic startle reflex (ASR, skin conductance response (SCR and heart rate (HR elicited by highly arousing stimuli specifically reflect a defensive state and 2 the relation between resting heart rate variability (HRV and affective responding. In a within-subject design, participants viewed film clips with a positive, negative and neutral content. In contrast to SCR and HR, we show that ASR differentiated between negative, neutral and positive states and can therefore be considered as a reliable index of activation of the defense system. Furthermore, resting HRV was associated with affect-modulated characteristics of ASR, but not with SCR or HR. Interestingly, individuals with low-HRV showed less differentiation in ASR between affective states. We discuss the important value of ASR in psychophysiological research on emotion and speculate on HRV as a potential biological marker for demarcating adaptive from maladaptive responding.

  12. 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.

  13. Anchoring in Numeric Judgments of Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeborg, Linda; Eriksson, Mårten

    2016-01-01

    This article investigates effects of anchoring in age estimation and estimation of quantities, two tasks which to different extents are based on visual stimuli. The results are compared to anchoring in answers to classic general knowledge questions that rely on semantic knowledge. Cognitive load was manipulated to explore possible differences between domains. Effects of source credibility, manipulated by differing instructions regarding the selection of anchor values (no information regarding anchor selection, information that the anchors are randomly generated or information that the anchors are answers from an expert) on anchoring were also investigated. Effects of anchoring were large for all types of judgments but were not affected by cognitive load or by source credibility in either one of the researched domains. A main effect of cognitive load on quantity estimations and main effects of source credibility in the two visually based domains indicate that the manipulations were efficient. Implications for theoretical explanations of anchoring are discussed. In particular, because anchoring did not interact with cognitive load, the results imply that the process behind anchoring in visual tasks is predominantly automatic and unconscious.

  14. Sensory reinforcement-enhancing effects of nicotine via smoking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Kenneth A; Karelitz, Joshua L

    2014-12-01

    As has been found in nicotine research on animals, research on humans has shown that acute nicotine enhances reinforcement from rewards unrelated to nicotine intake, but this effect may be specific to rewards from stimuli that are "sensory" in nature. We assessed acute effects of nicotine via smoking on responding for music or video rewards (sensory), for monetary reward (nonsensory), or for no reward (control), to gauge the generalizability of nicotine's reinforcement-enhancing effects. Using a fully within-subjects design, dependent smokers (N = 20) participated in 3 similar experimental sessions, each following overnight abstinence (verified by carbon monoxide smoking condition. Sessions involved no smoking or smoking "denicotinized" ("denic;" 0.05 mg) or nicotine (0.6 mg) Quest brand cigarettes in controlled fashion prior to responding on a simple operant computer task for each reward separately using a progressive ratio schedule. The reinforcing effects of music and video rewards, but not money, were significantly greater due to the nicotine versus denic cigarette (i.e., nicotine per se), whereas there were no differences between denic cigarette smoking and no smoking (i.e., smoking behavior per se), except for no reward. These effects were not influenced by withdrawal relief from either cigarette. Results that generalize from an auditory to a visual reward confirm that acute nicotine intake per se enhances the reinforcing value of sensory rewards, but its effects on the value of other (perhaps nonsensory) types of rewards may be more modest. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. Neonatal sensory deprivation and the development of cortical function: unilateral and bilateral sensory deprivation result in different functional outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, Maria V; Ebner, Ford F

    2010-07-01

    The normal development of sensory perception in mammals depends on appropriate sensory experience between birth and maturity. Numerous reports have shown that trimming some or all of the large mystacial vibrissa (whiskers) on one side of the face after birth has a detrimental effect on the maturation of cortical function. The objective of the present study was to understand the differences that occur after unilateral whisker trimming compared with those that occur after bilateral deprivation. Physiological deficits produced by bilateral trimming (BD) of all whiskers for 2 mo after birth were compared with the deficits produced by unilateral trimming (UD) for the same period of time using extracellular recording under urethan anesthesia from single cells in rat barrel cortex. Fast spiking (FSUs) and regular spiking (RSUs) units were separated and their properties compared in four subregions identified by histological reconstructions of the electrode penetrations, namely: layer IV barrel and septum, and layers II/III above a barrel and above a septum. UD upregulated responses in layer IV septa and in layers II/III above septa and perturbed the timing of responses to whisker stimuli. After BD, nearly all responses were decreased, and poststimulus latencies were increased. Circuit changes are proposed as an argument for how inputs arising from the spared whiskers project to the undeprived cortex and, via commissural fibers, could upregulate septal responses after UD. Following BD, more global neural deficits create a signature difference in the outcome of UD and BD in rat barrel cortex.

  16. Processing of voiced and unvoiced acoustic stimuli in musicians

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    Cyrill Guy Martin Ott

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Past research has shown that musical training induces changes in the processing of supra-segmental aspects of speech, such as pitch and prosody. The aim of the present study was to determine whether musical expertise also leads to an altered neurophysiological processing of sub-segmental information available in the speech signal, in particular the voice onset time (VOT. Using high-density EEG recordings we analysed the neurophysiological responses to voiced and unvoiced CV syllables and noise analogues in 26 German speaking adult musicians and non-musicians. From the EEG the N1 amplitude of the event-related potential (ERP and two microstates from the topographical EEG analysis (one around the N1 amplitude and one immediately preceding the N1 microstate were calculated to the different stimuli. Similar to earlier studies the N1 amplitude was different to voiced and unvoiced stimuli in non-musicians with larger amplitudes to voiced stimuli. The more refined microstate analysis revealed that the microstate within the N1 time window was shorter to unvoiced stimuli in non-musicians. For musicians there was no difference for the N1 amplitudes and the corresponding microstates between voiced and unvoiced stimuli. In addition, there was a longer very early microstate preceding the microstate at the N1 time window to non-speech stimuli only in musicians. Taken together, our findings suggest that musicians process unvoiced stimuli (irrespective whether these stimuli are speech or non-speech stimuli differently. We propose that musicians utilise the same network to analyse unvoiced stimuli as for the analysis of voiced stimuli. As a further explanation it is also possible that musicians devote more neurophysiological resources into the analysis of unvoiced segments.

  17. On the identification of sensory information from mixed nerves by using single-channel cuff electrodes

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    Udina Esther

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several groups have shown that the performance of motor neuroprostheses can be significantly improved by detecting specific sensory events related to the ongoing motor task (e.g., the slippage of an object during grasping. Algorithms have been developed to achieve this goal by processing electroneurographic (ENG afferent signals recorded by using single-channel cuff electrodes. However, no efforts have been made so far to understand the number and type of detectable sensory events that can be differentiated from whole nerve recordings using this approach. Methods To this aim, ENG afferent signals, evoked by different sensory stimuli were recorded using single-channel cuff electrodes placed around the sciatic nerve of anesthetized rats. The ENG signals were digitally processed and several features were extracted and used as inputs for the classification. The work was performed on integral datasets, without eliminating any noisy parts, in order to be as close as possible to real application. Results The results obtained showed that single-channel cuff electrodes are able to provide information on two to three different afferent (proprioceptive, mechanical and nociceptive stimuli, with reasonably good discrimination ability. The classification performances are affected by the SNR of the signal, which in turn is related to the diameter of the fibers encoding a particular type of neurophysiological stimulus. Conclusions Our findings indicate that signals of acceptable SNR and corresponding to different physiological modalities (e.g. mediated by different types of nerve fibers may be distinguished.

  18. Impact of Fruit Piece Structure in Yogurts on the Dynamics of Aroma Release and Sensory Perception

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    Isabelle Souchon

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to gain insight into the effect of food formulation on aroma release and perception, both of which playing an important role in food appreciation. The quality and quantity of retronasal aroma released during food consumption affect the exposure time of olfactory receptors to aroma stimuli, which can influence nutritional and hedonic characteristics, as well as consumption behaviors. In yogurts, fruit preparation formulation can be a key factor to modulate aroma stimulation. In this context, the impact of size and hardness of fruit pieces in fat-free pear yogurts was studied. Proton Transfer Reaction-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS was used to allow sensitive and on-line monitoring of volatile odorous compound release in the breath during consumption. In parallel, a trained panel used sensory profile and Temporal Dominance of Sensations (TDS methods to characterize yogurt sensory properties and their dynamic changes during consumption. Results showed that the size of pear pieces had few effects on aroma release and perception of yogurts, whereas fruit hardness significantly influenced them. Despite the fact that yogurts presented short and similar residence times in the mouth, this study showed that fruit preparation could be an interesting formulation factor to enhance exposure time to stimuli and thus modify food consumption behaviors. These results could be taken into account to formulate new products that integrate both nutritional and sensory criteria.

  19. Noise Enhances Action Potential Generation in Mouse Sensory Neurons via Stochastic Resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onorato, Irene; D'Alessandro, Giuseppina; Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Renzi, Massimiliano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; Musarò, Antonio; Salvetti, Marco; Limatola, Cristina; Crisanti, Andrea; Grassi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Noise can enhance perception of tactile and proprioceptive stimuli by stochastic resonance processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this general phenomenon remain to be characterized. Here we studied how externally applied noise influences action potential firing in mouse primary sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia, modelling a basic process in sensory perception. Since noisy mechanical stimuli may cause stochastic fluctuations in receptor potential, we examined the effects of sub-threshold depolarizing current steps with superimposed random fluctuations. We performed whole cell patch clamp recordings in cultured neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia. Noise was added either before and during the step, or during the depolarizing step only, to focus onto the specific effects of external noise on action potential generation. In both cases, step + noise stimuli triggered significantly more action potentials than steps alone. The normalized power norm had a clear peak at intermediate noise levels, demonstrating that the phenomenon is driven by stochastic resonance. Spikes evoked in step + noise trials occur earlier and show faster rise time as compared to the occasional ones elicited by steps alone. These data suggest that external noise enhances, via stochastic resonance, the recruitment of transient voltage-gated Na channels, responsible for action potential firing in response to rapid step-wise depolarizing currents. PMID:27525414

  20. Probing the Dynamic Updating of Value in Schizophrenia Using a Sensory-Specific Satiety Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltz, James A; Brown, Jaime K; Gold, James M; Ross, Thomas J; Salmeron, Betty J; Stein, Elliot A

    2015-09-01

    It has been proposed that both positive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia (SZ) may derive, at least in part, from a disrupted ability to accurately and flexibly represent the value of stimuli and actions. To assess relationships between dimensions of psychopathology in SZ, and the tendency to devalue food stimuli, on which subjects were fed to satiety, we administered a sensory-specific satiety (SSS) paradigm to 42 SZ patients and 44 controls. In each of 2 sessions, subjects received 16 0.7-ml squirts of each of 2 rewarding foods and 32 squirts of a control solution, using syringes. In between the 2 sessions, each subject was instructed to drink one of the foods until he/she felt "full, but not uncomfortable." At 10 regular intervals, interspersed throughout the 2 sessions, subjects rated each liquid for pleasantness, using a Likert-type scale. Mann-Whitney U-tests revealed group differences in SSS effects. Within-group tests revealed that, while controls showed an effect of satiety that was sensory specific, patients showed an effect of satiety that was not, devaluing the sated and unsated foods similarly. In SZ patients, we observed correlations between the magnitude of SSS effects and measures of both positive and negative symptoms. We argue that the ability to flexibly and rapidly update representations of the value of stimuli and actions figures critically in the ability of patients with psychotic illness to process salient events and adaptively engage in goal-directed behavior.

  1. Attentive novelty detection in humans is governed by pre-attentive sensory memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiitinen, H; May, P; Reinikainen, K; Näätänen, R

    1994-11-03

    Being able to detect unusual, possibly dangerous events in the environment is a fundamental ability that helps ensure the survival of biological organisms. Novelty detection requires a memory system that models (builds neural representations of) events in the environment, so that changes are detected because they violate the predictions of the model. The earliest physiologically measurable brain response to novel auditory stimuli is the mismatch negativity, MMN, a component of the event-related potential. It is elicited when a predictable series of unvarying stimuli is unexpectedly followed by a deviating stimulus. As the occurrence of MMN is not usually affected by the direction of attention, MMN reflects the operation of automatic sensory (echoic) memory, the earliest memory system that builds traces of the acoustic environment against which new stimuli can be compared. The dependence of attentive novelty detection on earlier, pre-attentive processes, however, has remained elusive. Previous, related studies seem to suggest a relationship between MMN and attentive processes, although no conclusive evidence has so far been shown. Here we address novelty detection in humans both on a physiological and behavioural level, and show how attentive novelty detection is governed by a pre-attentive sensory memory mechanism.

  2. Detection of hydrodynamic stimuli by the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Reep, Roger L; Dziuk, Kimberly; Read, Latoshia; Mann, David A

    2013-06-01

    Florida manatees inhabit the coastal and inland waters of the peninsular state. They have little difficulty navigating the turbid waterways, which often contain obstacles that they must circumnavigate. Anatomical and behavioral research suggests that the vibrissae and associated follicle-sinus complexes that manatees possess over their entire body form a sensory array system for detecting hydrodynamic stimuli analogous to the lateral line system of fish. This is consistent with data highlighting that manatees are tactile specialists, evidenced by their specialized facial morphology and use of their vibrissae during feeding and active investigation/manipulation of objects. Two Florida manatees were tested in a go/no-go procedure using a staircase method to assess their ability to detect low-frequency water movement. Hydrodynamic vibrations were created by a sinusoidally oscillating sphere that generated a dipole field at frequencies from 5 to 150 Hz, which are below the apparent functional hearing limit of the manatee. The manatees detected particle displacement of less than 1 μm for frequencies of 15-150 Hz and of less than a nanometer at 150 Hz. Restricting the facial vibrissae with various size mesh openings indicated that the specialized sensory hairs played an important role in the manatee's exquisite tactile sensitivity.

  3. A cooperative function for multisensory stimuli in the induction of approach behavior of a potential mate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ågmo, Anders

    2017-01-01

    Intrasexual competition is an important element of natural selection in which the most attractive conspecific has a considerable reproductive advantage over the others. The conspecifics that are approached first often become the preferred mate partners, and could thus from a biological perspective have a reproductive advantage. This underlines the importance of the initial approach and raises the question of what induces this approach, or what makes a conspecific attractive. Identification of the sensory modalities crucial for the activation of approach is necessary for elucidating the central nervous processes involved in the activation of sexual motivation and eventually copulatory behavior. The initial approach to a potential mate depends on distant stimuli in the modalities of audition, olfaction, vision, and other undefined characteristics. This study investigated the role of the different modalities and the combination of these modalities in the sexual incentive value of a female rat. This study provides evidence that the presence of a single-sensory stimulus with one modality (olfaction, vision, or ‘others’, but not audition) is sufficient to attenuate the preference for a social contact with a male rat. However, a multisensory stimulus of multiple modalities is necessary to induce preference for the stimulus over social contact to a level of an intact receptive female. The initial approach behavior, therefore, seems to be induced by the combination of at least two modalities among which olfaction is crucial. This suggests that there is a cooperative function for the different modalities in the induction of approach behavior of a potential mate. PMID:28306729

  4. The Matrix: a new tool for probing the whisker-to-barrel system with natural stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Vincent; Estebanez, Luc; Le Cam, Julie; Tiercelin, Jean-Yves; Parra, Patrick; Parésys, Gérard; Shulz, Daniel E

    2010-05-30

    The whisker to barrel system in rodents has become one of the major models for the study of sensory processing. Several tens of whiskers (or vibrissae) are distributed in a regular manner on both sides of the snout. Many tactile discrimination tasks using this system need multiple contacts with more than one whisker to be solved. With the aim of mimicking those multi-whisker stimuli during electrophysiological recordings, we developed a novel mechanical stimulator composed of 24 independent multi-directional piezoelectric benders adapted to the five rows and the five caudal arcs of the rat whisker pad. The most widely used technology for producing mechanical deflections of the whiskers is based on piezoelectric benders that display a non-linear behavior when driven with high frequency input commands and, if not compensated, show high unwanted ringing at particular resonance frequencies. If not corrected, this non-linear behavior precludes the application of high frequency deflections and the study of cortical responses to behaviorally relevant stimuli. To cope with the ringing problem, a mechanical and a software based solutions have been developed. With these corrections, the upper bound of the linear range of the bender is increased to 1 kHz. This new device allows the controlled delivery of large scale natural patterns of whisker deflections characterized by rapid high frequency vibrations of multiple whiskers. (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Cilioplasm is a cellular compartment for calcium signaling in response to mechanical and chemical stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xingjian; Mohieldin, Ashraf M; Muntean, Brian S; Green, Jill A; Shah, Jagesh V; Mykytyn, Kirk; Nauli, Surya M

    2014-06-01

    Primary cilia with a diameter of ~200 nm have been implicated in development and disease. Calcium signaling within a primary cilium has never been directly visualized and has therefore remained a speculation. Fluid-shear stress and dopamine receptor type-5 (DR5) agonist are among the few stimuli that require cilia for intracellular calcium signal transduction. However, it is not known if these stimuli initiate calcium signaling within the cilium or if the calcium signal originates in the cytoplasm. Using an integrated single-cell imaging technique, we demonstrate for the first time that calcium signaling triggered by fluid-shear stress initiates in the primary cilium and can be distinguished from the subsequent cytosolic calcium response through the ryanodine receptor. Importantly, this flow-induced calcium signaling depends on the ciliary polycystin-2 calcium channel. While DR5-specific agonist induces calcium signaling mainly in the cilioplasm via ciliary CaV1.2, thrombin specifically induces cytosolic calcium signaling through the IP3 receptor. Furthermore, a non-specific calcium ionophore triggers both ciliary and cytosolic calcium responses. We suggest that cilia not only act as sensory organelles but also function as calcium signaling compartments. Cilium-dependent signaling can spread to the cytoplasm or be contained within the cilioplasm. Our study thus provides the first model to understand signaling within the cilioplasm of a living cell.

  6. Faithful representation of stimuli with a population of integrate-and-fire neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazar, Aurel A; Pnevmatikakis, Eftychios A

    2008-11-01

    We consider a formal model of stimulus encoding with a circuit consisting of a bank of filters and an ensemble of integrate-and-fire neurons. Such models arise in olfactory systems, vision, and hearing. We demonstrate that bandlimited stimuli can be faithfully represented with spike trains generated by the ensemble of neurons. We provide a stimulus reconstruction scheme based on the spike times of the ensemble of neurons and derive conditions for perfect recovery. The key result calls for the spike density of the neural population to be above the Nyquist rate. We also show that recovery is perfect if the number of neurons in the population is larger than a threshold value. Increasing the number of neurons to achieve a faithful representation of the sensory world is consistent with basic neurobiological thought. Finally we demonstrate that in general, the problem of faithful recovery of stimuli from the spike train of single neurons is ill posed. The stimulus can be recovered, however, from the information contained in the spike train of a population of neurons.

  7. Discrimination of two neighboring intra- and intermodal empty time intervals marked by three successive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroda, Tsuyoshi; Hasuo, Emi; Labonté, Katherine; Laflamme, Vincent; Grondin, Simon

    2014-06-01

    We investigated the discrimination of two neighboring intra- or inter-modal empty time intervals marked by three successive stimuli. Each of the three markers was a flash (visual-V) or a sound (auditory-A). The first and last markers were of the same modality, while the second one was either A or V, resulting in four conditions: VVV, VAV, AVA and AAA. Participants judged whether the second interval, whose duration was systematically varied, was shorter or longer than the 500-ms first interval. Compared with VVV and AAA, discrimination was impaired with VAV, but not so much with AVA (in Experiment 1). Whereas VAV and AVA consisted of the same set of single intermodal intervals (VA and AV), discrimination was impaired in the VAV compared to the AVA condition. This difference between VAV and AVA could not be attributed to the participants' strategy to perform the discrimination task, e.g., ignoring the standard interval or replacing the visual stimuli with sounds in their mind (in Experiment 2). These results are discussed in terms of sequential grouping according to sensory similarity.

  8. Attention Strongly Modulates Reliability of Neural Responses to Naturalistic Narrative Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ki, Jason J; Kelly, Simon P; Parra, Lucas C

    2016-03-09

    Attentional engagement is a major determinant of how effectively we gather information through our senses. Alongside the sheer growth in the amount and variety of information content that we are presented with through modern media, there is increased variability in the degree to which we "absorb" that information. Traditional research on attention has illuminated the basic principles of sensory selection to isolated features or locations, but it provides little insight into the neural underpinnings of our attentional engagement with modern naturalistic content. Here, we show in human subjects that the reliability of an individual's neural responses with respect to a larger group provides a highly robust index of the level of attentional engagement with a naturalistic narrative stimulus. Specifically, fast electroencephalographic evoked responses were more strongly correlated across subjects when naturally attending to auditory or audiovisual narratives than when attention was directed inward to a mental arithmetic task during stimulus presentation. This effect was strongest for audiovisual stimuli with a cohesive narrative and greatly reduced for speech stimuli lacking meaning. For compelling audiovisual narratives, the effect is remarkably strong, allowing perfect discrimination between attentional state across individuals. Control experiments rule out possible confounds related to altered eye movement trajectories or order of presentation. We conclude that reliability of evoked activity reproduced across subjects viewing the same movie is highly sensitive to the attentional state of the viewer and listener, which is aided by a cohesive narrative. Copyright © 2016 Ki et al.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkhipov, A Yu; Strelets, V B

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Análisis Sensorial

    OpenAIRE

    Barris Vilor, Jacinto

    2010-01-01

    En nuestro caso queremos desarrollar un programa que nos facilite la labor de preparar las pruebas de los alimentos y su recogida de datos para el Laboratorio de la Fundación Miquel Agustí. En el laboratorio actualmente el análisis sensorial de los datos se obtiene a partir de análisis realizados por catadores entrenados en una sala especialmente diseñada para este tipo de análisis. Actualmente la toma de datos se realiza a través de unas fichas de cata en formato papel. ...

  11. Análisis Sensorial

    OpenAIRE

    Barris Vilor, Jacinto

    2010-01-01

    En nuestro caso queremos desarrollar un programa que nos facilite la labor de preparar las pruebas de los alimentos y su recogida de datos para el Laboratorio de la Fundación Miquel Agustí. En el laboratorio actualmente el análisis sensorial de los datos se obtiene a partir de análisis realizados por catadores entrenados en una sala especialmente diseñada para este tipo de análisis. Actualmente la toma de datos se realiza a través de unas fichas de cata en formato papel. ...

  12. Hereditary sensory neuropathy type I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auer-Grumbach Michaela

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Hereditary sensory neuropathy type I (HSN I is a slowly progressive neurological disorder characterised by prominent predominantly distal sensory loss, autonomic disturbances, autosomal dominant inheritance, and juvenile or adulthood disease onset. The exact prevalence is unknown, but is estimated as very low. Disease onset varies between the 2nd and 5th decade of life. The main clinical feature of HSN I is the reduction of sensation sense mainly distributed to the distal parts of the upper and lower limbs. Variable distal muscle weakness and wasting, and chronic skin ulcers are characteristic. Autonomic features (usually sweating disturbances are invariably observed. Serious and common complications are spontaneous fractures, osteomyelitis and necrosis, as well as neuropathic arthropathy which may even necessitate amputations. Some patients suffer from severe pain attacks. Hypacusis or deafness, or cough and gastrooesophageal reflux have been observed in rare cases. HSN I is a genetically heterogenous condition with three loci and mutations in two genes (SPTLC1 and RAB7 identified so far. Diagnosis is based on the clinical observation and is supported by a family history. Nerve conduction studies confirm a sensory and motor neuropathy predominantly affecting the lower limbs. Radiological studies, including magnetic resonance imaging, are useful when bone infections or necrosis are suspected. Definitive diagnosis is based on the detection of mutations by direct sequencing of the SPTLC1 and RAB7 genes. Correct clinical assessment and genetic confirmation of the diagnosis are important for appropriate genetic counselling and prognosis. Differential diagnosis includes the other hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies (HSAN, especially HSAN II, as well as diabetic foot syndrome, alcoholic neuropathy, neuropathies caused by other neurotoxins/drugs, immune mediated neuropathy, amyloidosis, spinal cord diseases, tabes dorsalis, lepra

  13. Evidence of a visual-to-auditory cross-modal sensory gating phenomenon as reflected by the human P50 event-related brain potential modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebib, Riadh; Papo, David; de Bode, Stella; Baudonnière, Pierre Marie

    2003-05-08

    We investigated the existence of a cross-modal sensory gating reflected by the modulation of an early electrophysiological index, the P50 component. We analyzed event-related brain potentials elicited by audiovisual speech stimuli manipulated along two dimensions: congruency and discriminability. The results showed that the P50 was attenuated when visual and auditory speech information were redundant (i.e. congruent), in comparison with this same event-related potential component elicited with discrepant audiovisual dubbing. When hard to discriminate, however, bimodal incongruent speech stimuli elicited a similar pattern of P50 attenuation. We concluded to the existence of a visual-to-auditory cross-modal sensory gating phenomenon. These results corroborate previous findings revealing a very early audiovisual interaction during speech perception. Finally, we postulated that the sensory gating system included a cross-modal dimension.

  14. The Chemical Background for Sensory Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Shujuan

    In the food industry, high sensory quality and stability of products are crucial factors for consumer satisfaction and market shares. Sensory quality is normally being evaluated by two major approaches: instrumental (volatile and nonvolatile compounds) approach and sensory approach by trained...... or consumer panels. Sensory evaluation is a primary measurement for providing immediate information of human perception on the products. Instrumental methods give objective analysis of compounds that potentially contribute to food flavour. These two kinds of analysis, basically, give different types...... of information about food flavour but correlate to each other. The exploration of relationships between sensory and instrumental data is one important aspect for fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of sensory perception. This thesis has investigated the importance and limitation of aroma analysis...

  15. Multivariate analysis of data in sensory science

    CERN Document Server

    Naes, T; Risvik, E

    1996-01-01

    The state-of-the-art of multivariate analysis in sensory science is described in this volume. Both methods for aggregated and individual sensory profiles are discussed. Processes and results are presented in such a way that they can be understood not only by statisticians but also by experienced sensory panel leaders and users of sensory analysis. The techniques presented are focused on examples and interpretation rather than on the technical aspects, with an emphasis on new and important methods which are possibly not so well known to scientists in the field. Important features of the book are discussions on the relationship among the methods with a strong accent on the connection between problems and methods. All procedures presented are described in relation to sensory data and not as completely general statistical techniques. Sensory scientists, applied statisticians, chemometricians, those working in consumer science, food scientists and agronomers will find this book of value.

  16. Cognitive mechanisms associated with auditory sensory gating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, L A; Hills, P J; Dick, K M; Jones, S P; Bright, P

    2016-02-01

    Sensory gating is a neurophysiological measure of inhibition that is characterised by a reduction in the P50 event-related potential to a repeated identical stimulus. The objective of this work was to determine the cognitive mechanisms that relate to the neurological phenomenon of auditory sensory gating. Sixty participants underwent a battery of 10 cognitive tasks, including qualitatively different measures of attentional inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence. Participants additionally completed a paired-stimulus paradigm as a measure of auditory sensory gating. A correlational analysis revealed that several tasks correlated significantly with sensory gating. However once fluid intelligence and working memory were accounted for, only a measure of latent inhibition and accuracy scores on the continuous performance task showed significant sensitivity to sensory gating. We conclude that sensory gating reflects the identification of goal-irrelevant information at the encoding (input) stage and the subsequent ability to selectively attend to goal-relevant information based on that previous identification.

  17. Logical Rules and the Classification of Integral-Dimension Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Daniel R.; Nosofsky, Robert M.; Donkin, Christopher; Denton, Stephen E.

    2013-01-01

    A classic distinction in perceptual information processing is whether stimuli are composed of separable dimensions, which are highly analyzable, or integral dimensions, which are processed holistically. Previous tests of a set of logical-rule models of classification have shown that separable-dimension stimuli are processed serially if the…

  18. Inverse Target- and Cue-Priming Effects of Masked Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattler, Uwe

    2007-01-01

    The processing of a visual target that follows a briefly presented prime stimulus can be facilitated if prime and target stimuli are similar. In contrast to these positive priming effects, inverse priming effects (or negative compatibility effects) have been found when a mask follows prime stimuli before the target stimulus is presented: Responses…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Design and technical construction of a tactile display for sensory feedback in a hand prosthesis system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antfolk Christian

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The users of today's commercial prosthetic hands are not given any conscious sensory feedback. To overcome this deficiency in prosthetic hands we have recently proposed a sensory feedback system utilising a "tactile display" on the remaining amputation residual limb acting as man-machine interface. Our system uses the recorded pressure in a hand prosthesis and feeds back this pressure onto the forearm skin. Here we describe the design and technical solution of the sensory feedback system aimed at hand prostheses for trans-radial/humeral amputees. Critical parameters for the sensory feedback system were investigated. Methods A sensory feedback system consisting of five actuators, control electronics and a test application running on a computer has been designed and built. Firstly, we investigate which force levels were applied to the forearm skin of the user while operating the sensory feedback system. Secondly, we study if the proposed system could be used together with a myoelectric control system. The displacement of the skin caused by the sensory feedback system would generate artefacts in the recorded myoelectric signals. Accordingly, EMG recordings were performed and an analysis of the these are included. The sensory feedback system was also preliminarily evaluated in a laboratory setting on two healthy non-amputated test subjects with a computer generating the stimuli, with regards to spatial resolution and force discrimination. Results We showed that the sensory feedback system generated approximately proportional force to the angle of control. The system can be used together with a myoelectric system as the artefacts, generated by the actuators, were easily removed using a simple filter. Furthermore, the application of the system on two test subjects showed that they were able to discriminate tactile sensation with regards to spatial resolution and level of force. Conclusions The results of these initial experiments

  6. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc R. Kamke

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color. In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  7. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality. PMID:24920945

  8. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  9. Sensory quality criteria for five fish species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warm, Karin; Nielsen, Jette; Hyldig, Grethe;

    2000-01-01

    Sensory profiling has been used to develop one sensory vocabulary for five fish species: cod (Gadus morhua), saithe (Pollachius virens), rainbow trout (Salmo gardineri), herring (Clupea harengus) and flounder (Platichthys flessus). A nine- member trained panel assessed 18 samples with variation...... variation and by presenting references, panel discussions and interpreting plots from multivariate data analysis. The developed profile can be used as a sensory wheel for these species, and with minor changes it may be adapted to similar species...

  10. Experienced Sensory Modalities in Dream Recall

    OpenAIRE

    岡田, 斉

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of the present study is to survey the frequency of visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, cutaneous, organic, gustatory, and olfactory experience in dream recall. A total of 1267 undergraduate students completed a dream recall frequency questionnaire, which contained a question about dream recall frequency and about recall frequency of seven sensory modalities. Results showed that seven sensory modalities were divided into two groups; normally perceived sensory modalities in dreaming, wh...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

    was not significantly different between the two zones of hyperalgesia. In conclusion, secondary hyperalgesia in man is not restricted to mechanical stimuli, as significant hyperalgesia to heat developed within the zone of secondary hyperalgesia to punctate mechanical stimuli. The data, combined with other evidence......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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J L; Kehlet, H

    1998-01-01

    area). The burns decreased pain thresholds and increased pain responses to both thermal and mechanical stimuli within the burn (P hyperalgesia (mean 89 cm2) to punctate mechanical stimuli (P ...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...

  13. Effects of mechanical stimuli on adaptive remodeling of condylar cartilage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriram, D; Jones, A; Alatli-Burt, I; Darendeliler, M A

    2009-05-01

    Trabecular bone has been shown to be responsive to low-magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli. This study aimed to assess the effects of these stimuli on condylar cartilage and its endochondral bone. Forty female 12-week-old C3H mice were divided into 3 groups: baseline control (killed at day 0), sham (killed at day 28 without exposure to mechanical stimuli), and experimental (killed following 28 days of exposure to mechanical stimuli). The experimental group was subjected to mechanical vibration of 30 Hz, for 20 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 28 days. The specimens were analyzed by micro-computed tomography. The experimental group demonstrated a significant decrease in the volume of condylar cartilage and also a significant increase in bone histomorphometric parameters. The results suggest that the low-magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli enhance adaptive remodeling of condylar cartilage, evidenced by the advent of endochondral bone replacing the hypertrophic cartilage.

  14. Modulation of Motion Perception of Ipsilateral Tactile Stimuli Using Sound

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuika Suzuki

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We report the modulation of tactile motion perception by presenting static sounds with two alternately and repeatedly presented vibrotactile stimuli for the perception of tactile apparent motion. Previous research on tactile motion perception has used direction judgment tasks for apparent motion that consist of two non-repeating, or more than two repeating stimuli. However, the direction of two repeating apparent motion stimuli has been considered too ambiguous to be judged. The present study shows that the additional presentation of sounds with manipulated timings could help to determine the perceived direction of tactile motion despite the ambiguity in the interpretation of tactile stimuli at ipsilateral locations. Furthermore, we found that there is a limited alternation rate for tactile stimuli that can be used to achieve significant modulation using sound. We relate the temporal properties observed during crossmodal effects in tactile motion perception, to those observed during some other crossmodal phenomena.

  15. 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.

  16. Sensorial evaluation of irradiated mangoes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broisler, Paula Olhe; Cruz, Juliana Nunes da; Sabato, Susy Frey [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)]. E-mails: paulabroisler@hotmail.com; juliananc@ig.com.br; sfsabato@ipen.br

    2007-07-01

    Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is a tropical fruit of great economical relevance in the world, mainly for tropical countries like Brazil. It consists in the second tropical fruit more important grown in the world. On the other hand it is a very perishable fruit and its delivery to distant points is restricted due to short shelf life at environmental temperature. Food irradiation process is applied to fruits for their preservation, once it promotes disinfestation and even maturation retard, among other mechanisms. The Brazilian legislation permits the food irradiation and does not restrict the doses to be delivered. In order to verify eventual changes, sensorial evaluation is very important to study how irradiation affects the quality of the fruit and its acceptability. Mangoes were irradiated in a Cobalto-60 source, from the Radiation Technology Center, CTR, of IPEN/CNEN-SP at doses 0,5 kGy e 0,75 kGy. The sensorial evaluation was measured through Acceptance Test where irradiated samples were offered together with control sample to the tasters who answered their perception through hedonic scale. The parameters Color, Odor, Flavor and Texture were analyzed. Statistical analysis showed that only Odor parameter was different from control (sample irradiated at 0.5 kGy). Few tasters indicated that irradiated mangoes had fewer odors in relation to non-irradiated samples. (author)

  17. [Acute Sensory Neuropathies and Acute Autonomic Neuropathies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koike, Haruki

    2015-11-01

    From the perspective of neuropathies with an acute onset mimicking that of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), cases with profound sensory and/or autonomic impairment without any significant weakness have been reported. Although the possibility of infectious or toxic etiologies should be carefully excluded, immune mechanisms similar to those in GBS are suggested to be involved in these so-called acute sensory neuropathies and acute autonomic neuropathies. The types of neuropathy include those with predominant sensory manifestations, predominant autonomic manifestations such as autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy, and both sensory and autonomic manifestations such as acute autonomic and sensory neuropathy. Neuronopathy in the sensory and/or autonomic ganglia (i.e., ganglionopathy) has been commonly suggested in patients with these types of neuropathies. The presence of Anti-GD1b antibodies has been reported in some of the patients with acute sensory neuropathy with deep sensory impairment, whereas anti-ganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibodies are reported to be present in half of the patients with autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy. The discovery of anti-ganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibodies significantly expanded the spectrum of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy. This is because some of the patients with chronic progression mimicking neurodegenerative diseases such as pure autonomic failure were positive for these antibodies. In contrast, pathologically significant autoantibodies have not been identified in acute autonomic and sensory neuropathy. Further studies are needed to clarify the pathogenesis and the spectrum of these types of neuropathies.

  18. Sensory neuropathies, from symptoms to treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botez, Stephan A; Herrmann, David N

    2010-10-01

    The present review focuses on recent developments in diagnosis and treatment of sensory neuropathies. It does not seek to establish a comprehensive classification of sensory neuropathies, nor treatment guidelines per se. Diagnostic criteria and guidelines have been developed for distal symmetric polyneuropathies, small fiber sensory neuropathies and sensory neuronopathies. Novel diagnostic tools such as skin biopsies now allow diagnosis of small fiber sensory neuropathies. Genetic testing has defined new subtypes of mitochondrial neuropathies and inherited neuropathies with sensory involvement. Intravenous immunoglobulin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors show promise for some dysimmune sensory neuropathies or neuronopathies. Additional options for management of neuropathic pain are emerging. Diagnostic methods for both acquired and hereditary sensory neuropathies have progressed in recent years, leading to earlier and more specific diagnoses and a better understanding of disease mechanisms. Much progress remains to be made regarding symptomatic and disease-modifying therapy for a range of sensory neuropathies, including those due to diabetes, HIV infection and from dysimmune or hereditary causes.

  19. Hereditary motor-sensory, motor, and sensory neuropathies in childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landrieu, Pierre; Baets, Jonathan; De Jonghe, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Hereditary neuropathies (HN) are categorized according to clinical presentation, pathogenic mechanism based on electrophysiology, genetic transmission, age of occurrence, and, in selected cases, pathological findings. The combination of these parameters frequently orients towards specific genetic disorders. Ruling out a neuropathy secondary to a generalized metabolic disorder remains the first pediatric concern. Primary, motor-sensory are the most frequent HN and are dominated by demyelinating AD forms (CMT1). Others are demyelinating AR forms, axonal AD/AR forms, and forms with "intermediate" electrophysiological phenotype. Pure motor HN represent40 genes with various biological functions have been found responsible for HN. Many are responsible for various phenotypes, including some without the polyneuropathic trait: for the pediatric neurologist, phenotype/genotype correlations constitute a permanent bidirectional exercise.

  20. Contribution of different taste cells and signaling pathways to the discrimination of "bitter" taste stimuli by an insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glendinning, John I; Davis, Adrienne; Ramaswamy, Sudha

    2002-08-15

    Animals can discriminate among many different types of foods. This discrimination process involves multiple sensory systems, but the sense of taste is known to play a central role. We asked how the taste system contributes to the discrimination of different "bitter" taste stimuli in Manduca sexta caterpillars. This insect has approximately eight bilateral pairs of taste cells that respond selectively to bitter taste stimuli. Each bilateral pair of bitter-sensitive taste cells has a different molecular receptive range (MRR); some of these taste cells also contain two signaling pathways with distinctive MRRs and temporal patterns of spiking. To test for discrimination, we habituated the caterpillar's taste-mediated aversive response to one bitter taste stimulus (salicin) and then asked whether this habituation phenomenon generalized to four other bitter taste stimuli (caffeine, aristolochic acid, Grindelia extract, and Canna extract). We inferred that the two compounds were discriminable if the habituation phenomenon failed to generalize (e.g., from salicin to aristolochic acid). We found that M. sexta could discriminate between salicin and those bitter taste stimuli that activate (1) different populations of bitter-sensitive taste cells (Grindelia extract and Canna extract) or (2) different signaling pathways within the same bitter-sensitive taste cell (aristolochic acid). M. sexta could not discriminate between salicin and a bitter taste stimulus that activates the same signaling pathway within the same bitter-sensitive taste cell (caffeine). We propose that the heterogeneous population of bitter-sensitive taste cells and signaling pathways within this insect facilitates the discrimination of bitter taste stimuli.

  1. Representations of modality-specific affective processing for visual and auditory stimuli derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinkareva, Svetlana V; Wang, Jing; Kim, Jongwan; Facciani, Matthew J; Baucom, Laura B; Wedell, Douglas H

    2014-07-01

    There is converging evidence that people rapidly and automatically encode affective dimensions of objects, events, and environments that they encounter in the normal course of their daily routines. An important research question is whether affective representations differ with sensory modality. This research examined the nature of the dependency of affect and sensory modality at a whole-brain level of analysis in an incidental affective processing paradigm. Participants were presented with picture and sound stimuli that differed in positive or negative valence in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment. Global statistical tests, applied at a level of the individual, demonstrated significant sensitivity to valence within modality, but not valence across modalities. Modality-general and modality-specific valence hypotheses predict distinctly different multidimensional patterns of the stimulus conditions. Examination of lower dimensional representation of the data demonstrated separable dimensions for valence processing within each modality. These results provide support for modality-specific valence processing in an incidental affective processing paradigm at a whole-brain level of analysis. Future research should further investigate how stimulus-specific emotional decoding may be mediated by the physical properties of the stimuli.

  2. How Attention Modulates Encoding of Dynamic Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, Noga; Shapira-Lichter, Irit; Lerner, Yulia; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Hendler, Talma; Giladi, Nir; Ash, Elissa L.

    2016-01-01

    When encoding a real-life, continuous stimulus, the same neural circuits support processing and integration of prior as well as new incoming information. This ongoing interplay is modulated by attention, and is evident in regions such as the prefrontal cortex section of the task positive network (TPN), and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), a hub of the default mode network (DMN). Yet the exact nature of such modulation is still unclear. To investigate this issue, we utilized an fMRI task that employed movies as the encoded stimuli and manipulated attentional load via an easy or hard secondary task that was performed simultaneously with encoding. Results showed increased intersubject correlation (inter-SC) levels when encoding movies in a condition of high, as compared to low attentional load. This was evident in bilateral ventrolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and the dorsal PCC (dPCC). These regions became more attuned to the combination of the movie and the secondary task as the attentional demand of the latter increased. Activation analyses revealed that at higher load the prefrontal TPN regions were more activated, whereas the dPCC was more deactivated. Attentional load also influenced connectivity within and between the networks. At high load the dPCC was anti-correlated to the prefrontal regions, which were more functionally coherent amongst themselves. Finally and critically, greater inter-SC in the dPCC at high load during encoding predicted lower memory strength when that information was retrieved. This association between inter-SC levels and memory strength suggest that as attentional demands increased, the dPCC was more attuned to the secondary task at the expense of the encoded stimulus, thus weakening memory for the encoded stimulus. Together, our findings show that attentional load modulated the function of core TPN and DMN regions. Furthermore, the observed relationship between memory strength and the modulation of the dPCC points

  3. 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

  4. The Presentation of Olfactory-Trigeminal Mixed Stimuli Increases the Response to Subsequent Olfactory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walliczek-Dworschak, Ute; Poncelet, Johan; Baum, Daniel; Baki, Ramona; Sinding, Charlotte; Warr, Jonathan; Hummel, Thomas

    2017-01-09

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of (1) the addition of trigeminal stimuli to an olfactory stimulus and (2) the congruence in the odorous mixture after repeated odor presentation. Twenty-five normosmic volunteers were enrolled and presented stimulation blocks, consisting of three habituation stimuli (H) (orange odor), one dishabituation (DH) (control condition, orange odor; congruent condition, orange odor + CO2; incongruent condition, orange odor + l-isopulegol), and one dishabituated stimulus (D) (orange odor). Olfactory event-related potentials were analyzed. Response amplitudes differed significantly in the incongruent condition (N1P2 between H3 and D; peak to peak N1P2 at electrode positions Cz, Fz, and Pz; response amplitudes between H3 and DH). The addition of CO2 modified the perception of orange odor, pronouncing a fruity note, whereas the addition of l-isopulegol as a DH pronounced the l-isopulegol note. This study provides evidence that incongruent trigeminal-olfactory stimulants increase the response to subsequent olfactory stimulus.

  5. Sensory Sensitivities and Performance on Sensory Perceptual Tasks in High-Functioning Individuals with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minshew, Nancy J.; Hobson, Jessica A.

    2008-01-01

    Most reports of sensory symptoms in autism are second hand or observational, and there is little evidence of a neurological basis. Sixty individuals with high-functioning autism and 61 matched typical participants were administered a sensory questionnaire and neuropsychological tests of elementary and higher cortical sensory perception. Thirty-two…

  6. How well do you see what you hear? The acuity of visual-to-auditory sensory substitution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alastair eHaigh

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Sensory substitution devices (SSDs aim to compensate for the loss of a sensory modality, typically vision, by converting information from the lost modality into stimuli in a remaining modality. The vOICe is a visual-to-auditory SSD which encodes images taken by a camera worn by the user into soundscapes such that an experienced user can extract information about their surroundings. Here we investigated how much detail was resolvable during the early induction stages by testing the acuity of blindfolded sighted, naïve vOICe users. Initial performance was well above chance. Participants who took the test twice as a form of minimal training showed a marked improvement on the second test. Acuity was slightly but not significantly impaired when participants wore a camera and judged letter orientations live. A positive correlation was found between participants’ musical training and their acuity. The relationship between auditory expertise via musical training and the lack of a relationship with visual imagery, suggests that early use of a sensory substitution device draws primarily on the mechanisms of the sensory modality being used rather than the one being substituted. If vision is lost, audition represents the sensory channel of highest bandwidth of those remaining. The level of acuity found here, and the fact it was achieved with very little experience in sensory substitution by naïve users is promising.

  7. Meet the Fribbles: Novel stimuli for use within behavioural research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Joseph Barry

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Clinical researchers make use of experimental models for mental disorders. In many cases, these models use stimuli that are relevant to the disorder under scrutiny, which allows one to experimentally investigate the factors that contribute to the development of the disorder. For example, one might use spiders or spider-like stimuli in the study of specific phobia. More broadly, researchers often make use of real-world stimuli such as images of animals, geometrical shapes or emotional words. However, these stimuli are often limited in their experimental controllability and their applicability to the disorder in question. We present a novel set of animal-like stimuli, called Fribbles, for use within behavioural research. Fribbles have desirable properties for use in research because they are similar to real-world stimuli, but due to their novelty, participants will not have had previous experience with them. They also have known properties that can be experimentally manipulated. We present an investigation into similarity between Fribbles in order to illustrate their utility in research that relies on comparisons between similar stimuli. Fribbles offer both experimental control and generalisability to the real world, although some consideration must be made concerning the properties that influence similarity between Fribbles when selecting them along a dimension of similarity.

  8. [The effect of sensory stimuli of varying modality on the human body functioning and indices of tense muscular activity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaĭdalin, V S; Kamchatnikov, A G; Sentiabrev, N N; Katuntsev, V P

    2007-01-01

    The work had a purpose to study benefits of aromatic blends of tonic and relaxing essences and functional music on some of the psychophysiological properties of the human functional state and motor activeity. Participants were 30 sprinters (18-22 y.o. males) having the first-class and master ranks. The psychophysiological indices of the athletes' functional state were evaluated with the use of the "CAH" and Spilberger situational anxiety tests, calculated Cardeu vegetative index, time for simple motor reaction and reaction to a moving object. Motor activity was evaluated by top running speed determined with a photo-electronic time-keeper and by duration of pedaling on bicycle ergometer at maximal power. The running step parameters were recorded with electropodography. It was shown that the positive effect of the aromatic essence blends and functional music on motor activity developed fairly rapidly but did not last long. The article discusses features and possible ways the aromatic blends and music effect human organism.

  9. A role of the claustrum in auditory scene analysis by reflecting sensory change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remedios, Ryan; Logothetis, Nikos K; Kayser, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    The biological function of the claustrum remains speculative, despite many years of research. On the basis of its widespread connections it is often hypothesized that the claustrum may have an integrative function mainly reflecting objects rather than the details of sensory stimuli. Given the absence of a clear demonstration of any sensory integration in claustral neurons, however, we propose an alternative, data-driven, hypothesis: namely that the claustrum detects the occurrence of novel or salient sensory events. The detection of new events is critical for behavior and survival, as suddenly appearing objects may require rapid and coordinated reactions. Sounds are of particular relevance in this regard, and our conclusions are based on the analysis of neurons in the auditory zone of the primate claustrum. Specifically, we studied the responses to natural sounds, their preference to various sound categories, and to changes in the auditory scene. In a test for sound-category preference claustral neurons responded to but displayed a clear lack of selectivity between monkey vocalizations, other animal vocalizations or environmental sounds (Esnd). Claustral neurons were however able to detect target sounds embedded in a noisy background and their responses scaled with target signal to noise ratio (SNR). The single trial responses of individual neurons suggest that these neurons detected and reflected the occurrence of a change in the auditory scene. Given its widespread connectivity with sensory, motor and limbic structures the claustrum could play the essential role of identifying the occurrence of important sensory changes and notifying other brain areas-hence contributing to sensory awareness.

  10. Sensory cortical response to uncertainty and low salience during recognition of affective cues in musical intervals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Fernando; Cross, Ian; Stamatakis, Emmanuel Andreas; Rohrmeier, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have shown an increased sensory cortical response (i.e., heightened weight on sensory evidence) under higher levels of predictive uncertainty. The signal enhancement theory proposes that attention improves the quality of the stimulus representation, and therefore reduces uncertainty by increasing the gain of the sensory signal. The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates for ambiguous valence inferences signaled by auditory information within an emotion recognition paradigm. Participants categorized sound stimuli of three distinct levels of consonance/dissonance controlled by interval content. Separate behavioural and neuroscientific experiments were conducted. Behavioural results revealed that, compared with the consonance condition (perfect fourths, fifths and octaves) and the strong dissonance condition (minor/major seconds and tritones), the intermediate dissonance condition (minor thirds) was the most ambiguous, least salient and more cognitively demanding category (slowest reaction times). The neuroscientific findings were consistent with a heightened weight on sensory evidence whilst participants were evaluating intermediate dissonances, which was reflected in an increased neural response of the right Heschl's gyrus. The results support previous studies that have observed enhanced precision of sensory evidence whilst participants attempted to represent and respond to higher degrees of uncertainty, and converge with evidence showing preferential processing of complex spectral information in the right primary auditory cortex. These findings are discussed with respect to music-theoretical concepts and recent Bayesian models of perception, which have proposed that attention may heighten the weight of information coming from sensory channels to stimulate learning about unknown predictive relationships.

  11. Sensory cortical response to uncertainty and low salience during recognition of affective cues in musical intervals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Ian; Stamatakis, Emmanuel Andreas; Rohrmeier, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have shown an increased sensory cortical response (i.e., heightened weight on sensory evidence) under higher levels of predictive uncertainty. The signal enhancement theory proposes that attention improves the quality of the stimulus representation, and therefore reduces uncertainty by increasing the gain of the sensory signal. The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates for ambiguous valence inferences signaled by auditory information within an emotion recognition paradigm. Participants categorized sound stimuli of three distinct levels of consonance/dissonance controlled by interval content. Separate behavioural and neuroscientific experiments were conducted. Behavioural results revealed that, compared with the consonance condition (perfect fourths, fifths and octaves) and the strong dissonance condition (minor/major seconds and tritones), the intermediate dissonance condition (minor thirds) was the most ambiguous, least salient and more cognitively demanding category (slowest reaction times). The neuroscientific findings were consistent with a heightened weight on sensory evidence whilst participants were evaluating intermediate dissonances, which was reflected in an increased neural response of the right Heschl’s gyrus. The results support previous studies that have observed enhanced precision of sensory evidence whilst participants attempted to represent and respond to higher degrees of uncertainty, and converge with evidence showing preferential processing of complex spectral information in the right primary auditory cortex. These findings are discussed with respect to music-theoretical concepts and recent Bayesian models of perception, which have proposed that attention may heighten the weight of information coming from sensory channels to stimulate learning about unknown predictive relationships. PMID:28422990

  12. Multilevel modulation of a sensory motor circuit during C. elegans sleep and arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Julie Y; Sternberg, Paul W

    2014-01-16

    Sleep is characterized by behavioral quiescence, homeostasis, increased arousal threshold, and rapid reversibility. Understanding how these properties are encoded by a neuronal circuit has been difficult, and no single molecular or neuronal pathway has been shown to be responsible for the regulation of sleep. Taking advantage of the well-mapped neuronal connections of Caenorhabditis elegans and the sleep-like states in this animal, we demonstrate the changed properties of both sensory neurons and downstream interneurons that mediate sleep and arousal. The ASH sensory neuron displays reduced sensitivity to stimuli in the sleep-like state, and the activity of the corresponding interneurons in ASH's motor circuit becomes asynchronous. Restoration of interneuron synchrony is sufficient for arousal. The multilevel circuit depression revealed provides an elegant strategy to promote a robust decrease in arousal while allowing for rapid reversibility of the sleep state.

  13. Sensory function and pain in a population of patients treated for breast cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vilholm, O J; Cold, S; Rasmussen, Lars

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Chronic pain is often reported after surgery for breast cancer. This study examined pain and sensory abnormalities in women following breast cancer surgery. METHODS: Sensory tests were carried out on the operated and contra-lateral side in 55 women with chronic pain after breast cancer...... treatment and in a reference group of 27 pain-free women, who had also undergone treatment for breast cancer. Testing included a numeric rating score of spontaneous pain, detection and pain threshold to thermal and dynamic mechanical stimuli and temporal summation to repetitive pinprick stimulation....... The neuropathic pain symptom inventory was applied for participants with chronic pain. RESULTS: The mean age was 58.6 years for the pain patients and 60.6 years for the pain-free patients. Thermal thresholds were significantly higher on the operated side than on the contra-lateral side in both groups and side...

  14. Fruit and vegetable consumption in children and their mothers. Moderating effects of child sensory sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulthard, Helen; Blissett, Jackie

    2009-04-01

    A cross-sectional study was carried out to ascertain the relative contribution of food neophobia and taste sensitivity to the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed in a typical day by 73, 2-5-year-old children attending nurseries in the South Birmingham area, UK. Sensory processing, parental control, child food neophobia and fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption of both mothers and children were measured. Parental and child FV consumption in the sample were positively associated (pstimuli ate fewer fruit and vegetables, regardless of their mothers FV consumption. This finding implies that those children, who are sensitive to taste/smell stimuli, may be less likely to model maternal FV consumption. For these children, a more gradual route to encouraging acceptance, with attention to small sensory changes in foods, may be necessary to increase FV consumption.

  15. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR: a flow-like mental state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L. Barratt

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR is a previously unstudied sensory phenomenon, in which individuals experience a tingling, static-like sensation across the scalp, back of the neck and at times further areas in response to specific triggering audio and visual stimuli. This sensation is widely reported to be accompanied by feelings of relaxation and well-being. The current study identifies several common triggers used to achieve ASMR, including whispering, personal attention, crisp sounds and slow movements. Data obtained also illustrates temporary improvements in symptoms of depression and chronic pain in those who engage in ASMR. A high prevalence of synaesthesia (5.9% within the sample suggests a possible link between ASMR and synaesthesia, similar to that of misophonia. Links between number of effective triggers and heightened flow state suggest that flow may be necessary to achieve sensations associated with ASMR.

  16. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barratt, Emma L; Davis, Nick J

    2015-01-01

    Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a previously unstudied sensory phenomenon, in which individuals experience a tingling, static-like sensation across the scalp, back of the neck and at times further areas in response to specific triggering audio and visual stimuli. This sensation is widely reported to be accompanied by feelings of relaxation and well-being. The current study identifies several common triggers used to achieve ASMR, including whispering, personal attention, crisp sounds and slow movements. Data obtained also illustrates temporary improvements in symptoms of depression and chronic pain in those who engage in ASMR. A high prevalence of synaesthesia (5.9%) within the sample suggests a possible link between ASMR and synaesthesia, similar to that of misophonia. Links between number of effective triggers and heightened flow state suggest that flow may be necessary to achieve sensations associated with ASMR.

  17. Real-time control of stepper motors for mechano-sensory stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñiz, Carlos; Levi, Rafael; Benkrid, Meriem; Rodríguez, Francisco B; Varona, Pablo

    2008-07-15

    Mechanical stimulation is widely used to study sensory encoding in the nervous system of living organisms. The stimulation of mechano-receptor neurons is achieved through a large variety of devices that generate movement or vibration. In many situations, a hard real-time (RT) control of the device (in the millisecond time scale) is needed to produce realistic mechanical stimuli. The real-time control can be required to achieve the desired precision in the device or to implement activity-dependent stimulation protocols that imply the detection of physiological events to drive the stimulus in real time. In this paper we show that real-time software technology can be used to control stepper motors for mechano-receptor stimulation, and to implement artificial closed-loops to address the sensory-motor transformation. We illustrate this using as an example the control of a stepper motor to precisely move gravimetric organs in in vitro preparations.

  18. True and Perceived Synchrony are Preferentially Associated With Particular Sensory Pairings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noel, Jean-Paul; Wallace, Mark T.; Orchard-Mills, Emily; Alais, David; Van der Burg, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Perception and behavior are fundamentally shaped by the integration of different sensory modalities into unique multisensory representations, a process governed by spatio-temporal correspondence. Prior work has characterized temporal perception using the point in time at which subjects are most likely to judge multisensory stimuli to be simultaneous (PSS) and the temporal binding window (TBW) over which participants are likely to do so. Here we examine the relationship between the PSS and the TBW within and between individuals, and within and between three sensory combinations: audiovisual, audiotactile and visuotactile. We demonstrate that TBWs correlate within individuals and across multisensory pairings, but PSSs do not. Further, we reveal that while the audiotactile and audiovisual pairings show tightly related TBWs, they also exhibit a differential relationship with respect to true and perceived multisensory synchrony. Thus, audiotactile and audiovisual temporal processing share mechanistic features yet are respectively functionally linked to objective and subjective synchrony. PMID:26621493

  19. Neural interface methods and apparatus to provide artificial sensory capabilities to a subject

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buerger, Stephen P.; Olsson, III, Roy H.; Wojciechowski, Kenneth E.; Novick, David K.; Kholwadwala, Deepesh K.

    2017-01-24

    Embodiments of neural interfaces according to the present invention comprise sensor modules for sensing environmental attributes beyond the natural sensory capability of a subject, and communicating the attributes wirelessly to an external (ex-vivo) portable module attached to the subject. The ex-vivo module encodes and communicates the attributes via a transcutaneous inductively coupled link to an internal (in-vivo) module implanted within the subject. The in-vivo module converts the attribute information into electrical neural stimuli that are delivered to a peripheral nerve bundle within the subject, via an implanted electrode. Methods and apparatus according to the invention incorporate implantable batteries to power the in-vivo module allowing for transcutaneous bidirectional communication of low voltage (e.g. on the order of 5 volts) encoded signals as stimuli commands and neural responses, in a robust, low-error rate, communication channel with minimal effects to the subjects' skin.

  20. Neural interface methods and apparatus to provide artificial sensory capabilities to a subject

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buerger, Stephen P.; Olsson, III, Roy H.; Wojciechowski, Kenneth E.; Novick, David K.; Kholwadwala, Deepesh K.

    2017-01-24

    Embodiments of neural interfaces according to the present invention comprise sensor modules for sensing environmental attributes beyond the natural sensory capability of a subject, and communicating the attributes wirelessly to an external (ex-vivo) portable module attached to the subject. The ex-vivo module encodes and communicates the attributes via a transcutaneous inductively coupled link to an internal (in-vivo) module implanted within the subject. The in-vivo module converts the attribute information into electrical neural stimuli that are delivered to a peripheral nerve bundle within the subject, via an implanted electrode. Methods and apparatus according to the invention incorporate implantable batteries to power the in-vivo module allowing for transcutaneous bidirectional communication of low voltage (e.g. on the order of 5 volts) encoded signals as stimuli commands and neural responses, in a robust, low-error rate, communication channel with minimal effects to the subjects' skin.

  1. Artificial redirection of sensation from prosthetic fingers to the phantom hand map on transradial amputees: vibrotactile versus mechanotactile sensory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antfolk, Christian; D'Alonzo, Marco; Controzzi, Marco; Lundborg, Göran; Rosén, Birgitta; Sebelius, Fredrik; Cipriani, Christian

    2013-01-01

    This work assesses the ability of transradial amputees to discriminate multi-site tactile stimuli in sensory discrimination tasks. It compares different sensory feedback modalities using an artificial hand prosthesis in: 1) a modality matched paradigm where pressure recorded on the five fingertips of the hand was fed back as pressure stimulation on five target points on the residual limb; and 2) a modality mismatched paradigm where the pressures were transformed into mechanical vibrations and fed back. Eight transradial amputees took part in the study and were divided in two groups based on the integrity of their phantom map; group A had a complete phantom map on the residual limb whereas group B had an incomplete or nonexisting map. The ability in localizing stimuli was compared with that of 10 healthy subjects using the vibration feedback and 11 healthy subjects using the pressure feedback (in a previous study), on their forearms, in similar experiments. Results demonstrate that pressure stimulation surpassed vibrotactile stimulation in multi-site sensory feedback discrimination. Furthermore, we demonstrate that subjects with a detailed phantom map had the best discrimination performance and even surpassed healthy participants for both feedback paradigms whereas group B had the worst performance overall. Finally, we show that placement of feedback devices on a complete phantom map improves multi-site sensory feedback discrimination, independently of the feedback modality.

  2. Sensory Metrics of Neuromechanical Trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Softky, William; Benford, Criscillia

    2017-09-01

    that individuals can improve sensory and sociosensory resolution through deliberate sensory reintegration practices. We conclude that we humans are the victims of our own success, our hands so skilled they fill the world with captivating things, our eyes so innocent they follow eagerly.

  3. External-stimuli responsive systems for cancer theranostic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhui Yao

    2016-10-01

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

  4. Response properties of cat AMLS neurons to optic flow stimuli

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI; Baowang(李宝旺); LI; Bing(李兵); CHEN; Hui(陈辉); XU; Ying(徐颖); DIAO; Yuncheng(刁云程)

    2002-01-01

    Spiral and translation stimuli were used to investigate the response properties of cat AMLS (anteromedial lateral suprasylvian area) neurons to optic flow. The overwhelming majority of cells could be significantly excited by the two modes of stimuli and most responsive cells displayed obvious direction selectivity. It is the first time to find a visual area in mammalian brain preferring rotation stimuli. Two representative hypotheses are discussed here on the neural mechanism of optic flow analysis in visual cortex, and some new viewpoints are proposed to explain the experimental results.

  5. Multisensory integration, sensory substitution and visual rehabilitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Proulx, Michael J; Ptito, Maurice; Amedi, Amir

    2014-01-01

    Sensory substitution has advanced remarkably over the past 35 years since first introduced to the scientific literature by Paul Bach-y-Rita. In this issue dedicated to his memory, we describe a collection of reviews that assess the current state of neuroscience research on sensory substitution...

  6. Sensory testing of the human gastrointestinal tract.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brock, C.; Arendt-Nielsen, L.; Wilder-Smith, O.H.G.; Drewes, A.M.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this appraisal is to shed light on the various approaches to screen sensory information in the human gut. Understanding and characterization of sensory symptoms in gastrointestinal disorders is poor. Experimental methods allowing the investigator to control stimulus intensity and mo

  7. Sensory Discrimination as Related to General Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, G. Scott; Schroeder, David H.

    2001-01-01

    Attempted to replicate the pitch discrimination findings of previous research and expand them to the modality of color discrimination in a sample of 899 teenagers and adults by correlating 2 sensory discrimination measures with the general factor from a battery of 13 cognitive ability tests. Results suggest that sensory discrimination is…

  8. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Sensory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metherate, Raju

    2004-01-01

    Acetylcholine release in sensory neocortex contributes to higher-order sensory function, in part by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Molecular studies have revealed a bewildering array of nAChR subtypes and cellular actions; however, there is some consensus emerging about the major nAChR subtypes and their functions in…

  9. WHAT IS LACKING, STATEMENT ON SENSORY DEPRIVATION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    REGAN, J.

    THIS PAPER, WHICH ANNOUNCES THE THEME OF A SEMINAR ON THEORIES OF LANGUAGE AND LEARNING, QUESTIONS THE VIEW THAT A CHILD'S POOR SCHOOL PERFORMANCE DERIVES FROM AN IMPOVERISHED SENSORY EXPERIENCE. A DEPRIVED TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT IS DEPICTED TO CAST DOUBTS ON THIS THEORY. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE EFFECTS OF SENSORY DEPRIVATION IS INCLUDED. THIS…

  10. Sensory characteristics of different cod products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sveinsdottir, K.; Martinsdottir, E.; Hyldig, Grethe

    2010-01-01

    atmosphere) were evaluated with quantitative descriptive analysis by a trained sensory panel. Signal-to-noise analysis, p*MSE (discrimination and repeatability) and line plots proved to be very useful in studying panelists' performance. Most sensory attributes described significant differences between...

  11. Selective inattention to anxiety-linked stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, G S; Barbour, J S

    1979-06-01

    prior hypnotic programming of the same three subjects was similar to Experiment 1, used an anagram approach to comparable four-letter words, except that pleasure-loaded words were introduced as a control along with filler words. Four durations of tachistoscopic exposure of the anagrams were used with each individual, and the major dependent variable was response latency measured in milliseconds. An independent measure of perceptual discriminability of the scrambled stimulus letters was obtained to isolate perceptual from cognitive aspects of the task. The results indicated that both low perceivability and high solvability increase the likelihood of response delays specifically in the presence of anxiety-linked stimuli. Experiment 3 was a nonhypnotic replication of Experiment 2, using 12 male and 13 female subjects. The potential affective loading of key anxiety and pleasure words was accomplished by structured scenarios for the Blacky pictures in which subjects were asked to place themselves as vividly as possible...

  12. Sensory re-weighting in human postural control during moving-scene perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahboobin, Arash; Loughlin, Patrick J; Redfern, Mark S; Sparto, Patrick J

    2005-11-01

    The aim of the current study was to further investigate a recently proposed "sensory re-weighting" hypothesis, by evoking anterior-posterior (AP) body sway using visual stimuli during sway-referencing of the support surface. Twelve healthy adults participated in this study. Subjects stood on the platform while looking at a visual scene that encompassed the full horizontal field of view. A sequence of scene movements was presented to the subjects consisting of multiple visual push/pull perturbations; in between the first two push/pull sequences, the scene either moved randomly or was stationary. The peak-squared velocity of AP center-of-pressure (COP) was computed within a 6 s window following each push and pull. The peak-squared velocity was lowest for the push/pull sequence immediately following the random moving scene. These results are consistent with the sensory re-weighting hypothesis, wherein the sensory integration process reduced the contribution of visual sensory input during the random moving scene interval. We also found evidence of habituation to moving scene perturbations with repeated exposure.

  13. Dorsal sensory impairment in hands and feet of people affected by Hansen's disease in Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wexler, Ruth; Melchior, Hanna

    2007-12-01

    Sensory testing in people affected by Hansen's disease is usually performed on palms and soles only. In Israel, both palmar/plantar and dorsal aspects of limbs are routinely tested. The aim of this study was to describe the magnitude of dorsal sensory impairment (SI) in limbs and compare the frequency of SI on palms and soles with that on the dorsum of hands and feet. In a cross-sectional study, limbs of 140 patients registered at The Israel Hansen's Disease Centre during the years 1999-2003 were tested for their sensory status. Both palmar/plantar and dorsal aspects were tested using Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments. SI was defined as not feeling stimuli applied with the 2 g monofilament. SI was detected on the dorsum in 43% of sites on hands and only in 27% on palms. 64% of sites on dorsum of feet had SI compared to 53% on the soles. SI was detected in up to 18% in hands with no palmar SI, and in 6% of feet with no plantar SI. Furthermore, SI on palms and soles was found to be accompanied by dorsal SI in all hands and in 97% of feet. SI on dorsum of limbs occurs more frequently than SI on palms and soles. Therefore sensory testing should also consider inclusion of the dorsal aspect of hands and feet.

  14. Effects of Spinal Cord Stimulation on Pain Thresholds and Sensory Perceptions in Chronic Pain Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Shihab U; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Lucy; St Hillary, Kristin; Cohen, Abigail; Vo, Trang; Houghton, Mary; Mao, Jianren

    2015-07-01

    Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been in clinical use for nearly four decades. In earliest observations, researchers found a significant increase in pain threshold during SCS therapy without changes associated with touch, position, and vibration sensation. Subsequent studies yielded diverse results regarding how SCS impacts pain and other sensory thresholds. This pilot study uses quantitative sensory testing (QST) to objectively quantify the impact of SCS on warm sensation, heat pain threshold, and heat pain tolerance. Nineteen subjects with an indwelling SCS device for chronic pain were subjected to QST with heat stimuli. QST was performed on an area of pain covered with SCS-induced paresthesia and an area without pain and without paresthesia, while the SCS was turned off and on. The temperature at which the patient detected warm sensation, heat pain, and maximal tolerable heat pain was used to define the thresholds. We found that all three parameters, the detection of warm sensation, heat pain threshold, and heat pain tolerance, were increased during the period when SCS was on compared with when it was off. This increase was observed in both painful and non-painful sites. The observed pain relief during SCS therapy seems to be related to its impact on increased sensory threshold as detected in this study. The increased sensory threshold on areas without pain and without the presence of SCS coverage may indicate a central (spinal and/or supra-spinal) influence from SCS. © 2015 International Neuromodulation Society.

  15. Crossmodal interactions of haptic and visual texture information in early sensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eck, Judith; Kaas, Amanda L; Goebel, Rainer

    2013-07-15

    Both visual and haptic information add to the perception of surface texture. While prior studies have reported crossmodal interactions of both sensory modalities at the behavioral level, neuroimaging studies primarily investigated texture perception in separate visual and haptic paradigms. These experimental designs, however, only allowed to identify overlap in both sensory processing streams but no interaction of visual and haptic texture processing. By varying texture characteristics in a bimodal task, the current study investigated how these crossmodal interactions are reflected at the cortical level. We used fMRI to compare cortical activation in response to matching versus non-matching visual-haptic texture information. We expected that passive simultaneous presentation of matching visual-haptic input would be sufficient to induce BOLD responses graded with varying texture characteristics. Since no cognitive evaluation of the stimuli was required, we expected to find changes primarily at a rather early processing stage. Our results confirmed our assumptions by showing crossmodal interactions of visual-haptic texture information in early somatosensory and visual cortex. However, the nature of the crossmodal effects was slightly different in both sensory cortices. In early visual cortex, matching visual-haptic information increased the average activation level and induced parametric BOLD signal variations with varying texture characteristics. In early somatosensory cortex only the latter was true. These results challenge the notion that visual and haptic texture information is processed independently and indicate a crossmodal interaction of sensory information already at an early cortical processing stage. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. ZBTB20 regulates nociception and pain sensation by modulating TRP channel expression in nociceptive sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, An-Jing; Wang, Kai; Zhang, Huan; Liu, Anjun; Ma, Xianhua; Liang, Qing; Cao, Dongmei; Wood, John N; He, David Z; Ding, Yu-Qiang; Yuan, Wen-Jun; Xie, Zhifang; Zhang, Weiping J

    2014-11-05

    In mammals, pain sensation is initiated by the detection of noxious stimuli through specialized transduction ion channels and receptors in nociceptive sensory neurons. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are the key sensory transducers that confer nociceptors distinct sensory modalities. However, the regulatory mechanisms about their expression are poorly defined. Here we show that the zinc-finger protein ZBTB20 regulates TRP channels expression in nociceptors. ZBTB20 is highly expressed in nociceptive sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia. Disruption of ZBTB20 in nociceptors led to a marked decrease in the expression levels of TRPV1, TRPA1 and TRPM8 and the response of calcium flux and whole-cell currents evoked by their respective specific agonists. Phenotypically, the mice lacking ZBTB20 specifically in nociceptors showed a defect in nociception and pain sensation in response to thermal, mechanical and inflammatory stimulation. Our findings point to ZBTB20 as a critical regulator of nociception and pain sensation by modulating TRP channels expression in nociceptors.

  17. Acquired auditory-visual synesthesia: A window to early cross-modal sensory interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pegah Afra

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Pegah Afra, Michael Funke, Fumisuke MatsuoDepartment of Neurology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USAAbstract: Synesthesia is experienced when sensory stimulation of one sensory modality elicits an involuntary sensation in another sensory modality. Auditory-visual synesthesia occurs when auditory stimuli elicit visual sensations. It has developmental, induced and acquired varieties. The acquired variety has been reported in association with deafferentation of the visual system as well as temporal lobe pathology with intact visual pathways. The induced variety has been reported in experimental and post-surgical blindfolding, as well as intake of hallucinogenic or psychedelics. Although in humans there is no known anatomical pathway connecting auditory areas to primary and/or early visual association areas, there is imaging and neurophysiologic evidence to the presence of early cross modal interactions between the auditory and visual sensory pathways. Synesthesia may be a window of opportunity to study these cross modal interactions. Here we review the existing literature in the acquired and induced auditory-visual synesthesias and discuss the possible neural mechanisms.Keywords: synesthesia, auditory-visual, cross modal

  18. A Two-Stage Process Model of Sensory Discrimination: An Alternative to Drift-Diffusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Peng; Landy, Michael S

    2016-11-02

    Discrimination of the direction of motion of a noisy stimulus is an example of sensory discrimination under uncertainty. For stimuli that are extended in time, reaction time is quicker for larger signal values (e.g., discrimination of opposite directions of motion compared with neighboring orientations) and larger signal strength (e.g., stimuli with higher contrast or motion coherence, that is, lower noise). The standard model of neural responses (e.g., in lateral intraparietal cortex) and reaction time for discrimination is drift-diffusion. This model makes two clear predictions. (1) The effects of signal strength and value on reaction time should interact multiplicatively because the diffusion process depends on the signal-to-noise ratio. (2) If the diffusion process is interrupted, as in a cued-response task, the time to decision after the cue should be independent of the strength of accumulated sensory evidence. In two experiments with human participants, we show that neither prediction holds. A simple alternative model is developed that is consistent with the results. In this estimate-then-decide model, evidence is accumulated until estimation precision reaches a threshold value. Then, a decision is made with duration that depends on the signal-to-noise ratio achieved by the first stage. Sensory decision-making under uncertainty is usually modeled as the slow accumulation of noisy sensory evidence until a threshold amount of evidence supporting one of the possible decision outcomes is reached. Furthermore, it has been suggested that this accumulation process is reflected in neural responses, e.g., in lateral intraparietal cortex. We derive two behavioral predictions of this model and show that neither prediction holds. We introduce a simple alternative model in which evidence is accumulated until a sufficiently precise estimate of the stimulus is achieved, and then that estimate is used to guide the discrimination decision. This model is consistent with the

  19. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in sensory-specific encoding of associations in pavlovian and instrumental conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delamater, Andrew R

    2007-12-01

    A wide variety of associative learning tasks have been employed to assess the functional role of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and related structures in learning. Many of these tasks were designed to assess the learning of highly specific associations between Pavlovian conditioned stimuli (or instrumental responses) and the sensory properties of reinforcement (i.e., sensory-specific associations). Current research suggests that OFC lesions impair behavioral control by these sensory-specific associations in unconditioned stimulus (US) devaluation, differential outcome, and Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer experiments. In addition, although the OFC has been shown to be important in conditioned reinforcement but not in potentiated feeding tasks, versions of these tasks that assess control by sensory-specific associations have either not been run or they have not examined the effects of OFC lesions. Thus, firm conclusions from conditioned reinforcement and potentiated feeding studies cannot yet be drawn. Furthermore, studies examining the OFC's involvement in reversal learning have also suggested that associations between stimuli and reinforcement importantly depend upon a functioning OFC, possibly because this structure is needed to generate outcome expectancies useful in the computation of prediction errors ultimately used to "update" associations elsewhere (e.g., basolateral amygdala). Other work has shown that both original and reversed sensory-specific associations can control performance after different time delays following reversal learning. This suggests that structures outside of the OFC may be involved in the storage of originally acquired associations. Overall, this review makes clear that the OFC plays an important role in the encoding of sensory-specific associations in a wide variety of learning tasks.

  20. Sensory extinction and sensory reinforcement principles for programming multiple adaptive behavior change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rincover, A; Cook, R; Peoples, A; Packard, D

    1979-01-01

    The role of sensory reinforcement was examined in programming multiple treatment gains in self-stimulation and spontaneous play for developmentally disabled children. Two phases were planned. First, we attempted to identify reinforcers maintaining self-stimulation. Sensory Extinction procedures were implemented in which auditory, proprioceptive, or visual sensory consequences of self-stimulatory behavior were systematically removed and reintroduced in a reversal design. When self-stimulation was decreased or eliminated as a result of removing one of these sensory consequences, the functional sensory consequence was designated as a child's preferred sensory reinforcer. In Phase 2, we assessed whether children would play selectively with toys producing the preferred kind of sensory stimulation. The results showed the following. (1) Self-stimulatory behavior was found to be maintained by sensory reinforcement. When the sensory reinforcer was removed, self-stimulation extinguished. (2) The sensory reinforcers identified for self-stimulatory behavior also served as reinforcers for new, appropriate toy play. (3) The multiple treatment gains observed appeared to be relatively durable in the absence of external reinforcers for play or restraints on self-stimulation. These results illustrate one instance in which multiple behavior change may be programmed in a predictable, lawful fashion by using "natural communities of sensory reinforcement."

  1. Sensory perception: lessons from synesthesia: using synesthesia to inform the understanding of sensory perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Joshua Paul

    2013-06-01

    Synesthesia, the conscious, idiosyncratic, repeatable, and involuntary sensation of one sensory modality in response to another, is a condition that has puzzled both researchers and philosophers for centuries. Much time has been spent proving the condition's existence as well as investigating its etiology, but what can be learned from synesthesia remains a poorly discussed topic. Here, synaesthesia is presented as a possible answer rather than a question to the current gaps in our understanding of sensory perception. By first appreciating the similarities between normal sensory perception and synesthesia, one can use what is known about synaesthesia, from behavioral and imaging studies, to inform our understanding of "normal" sensory perception. In particular, in considering synesthesia, one can better understand how and where the different sensory modalities interact in the brain, how different sensory modalities can interact without confusion - the binding problem - as well as how sensory perception develops.

  2. An improvement in perception of self-generated tactile stimuli following theta-burst stimulation of primary motor cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Martin; Bays, Paul M.; Rothwell, John C.; Wolpert, Daniel M.

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that self-generated tactile sensations are perceived as weaker than the same sensations externally generated. This has been linked to a central comparator mechanism that uses efference copy to attenuate the predictable component of sensory inputs arising from one's own actions in order to enhance the salience of external stimuli. To provide a quantitative measure of this attenuation, a force-matching task was developed in which subjects experience a force applied to their finger and are then required to match the perceived force by actively pushing on the finger using their other hand. The attenuation of predictable sensory input results in subjects producing a larger active force than was experienced passively. Here, we have examined the effects of a novel rTMS protocol, theta-burst stimulation (TBS), over primary motor cortex on this attenuation. TBS can alter the excitability of motor cortex to incoming activity. We show that application of a 20 s continuous train of TBS, that depresses motor cortex, significantly improves performance in a force-matching task. This suggests that the TBS intervention disturbed the predictive process that uses efference copy signals to attenuate predictable sensory input. A possible explanation for the effect is that TBS has a differential effect on the populations of neurones that generate motor output in M1 than on those neural structures that are involved in generating an efference copy of the motor command. PMID:17560617

  3. Do extraverts process social stimuli differently from introverts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Inna; Ng, Rowena; Bellugi, Ursula

    2011-01-01

    The personality trait of extraversion has been linked to the network of brain systems controlling sensitivity to cues of reward and generating approach behavior in response, but little is known about whether extraverts' neural circuits are especially sensitive to social stimuli, given their preference for social engagement. Utilizing event-related potential (ERP) methodology, this study demonstrates that variation on the extraversion dimension is associated with the extent to which social stimuli evoke enhanced allocation of attention. Specifically, higher scores on extraversion were found to be associated with higher amplitudes of the P300 component of the ERPs elicited by human faces. This finding suggests that social stimuli carry enhanced motivational significance for individuals characterized by high extraversion, and that individual differences in personality are related to meaningful individual differences in neural responses to social stimuli.

  4. Sensory analysis for magnetic resonance-image analysis: Using human perception and cognition to segment and assess the interior of potatoes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martens, Harald; Thybo, A.K.; Andersen, H.J.

    2002-01-01

    The human ability to detect, interpret, assess and report visual stimuli is employed for qualitative and quantitative image analysis. Cross-sectional T, weighted MR images were acquired from a series of intact potatoes. Descriptive sensory image: analysis was performed on the images. The sensory...... results were compared to conventional computer-assisted grey tone intensity histogram descriptors. A total of 60 tubers (2 varieties x 2 storage times x 15 replicate tubers) were submitted to MR-imaging. A trained panel of 9 assessors, used 16 sensory descriptors to assess the images. These descriptors......-assisted image analysis. The present results offer new information about using sensory analysis of MR-images not only for food science but also for medical applications for analysing MR and X-ray images and for training of personnel, such as radiologists and radiographers. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd....

  5. Prefrontal cortex neurons reflect categorical decisions about ambiguous stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Roy, Jefferson E.; Buschman, Timothy J.; Miller, Earl K

    2014-01-01

    We examined whether prefrontal cortex (PFC) neuron activity reflects categorical decisions in monkeys categorizing ambiguous stimuli. A morphing system was used to systematically vary stimulus shape and precisely define category boundaries. Ambiguous stimuli were centered on a category boundary, i.e., they were a mix of 50% of two prototypes and therefore had no category information, so monkeys guessed at their category membership. We found that the monkey's trial-by-trial decision about the ...

  6. Animation Stimuli System for Research on Instructor Gestures in Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jian; Popescu, Voicu; Adamo-Villani, Nicoletta; Wagner Cook, Susan; Duggan, Katherine A; Friedman, Howard S

    2017-01-01

    Education research has shown that instructor gestures can help capture, maintain, and direct the student's attention during a lecture as well as enhance learning and retention. Traditional education research on instructor gestures relies on video stimuli, which are time consuming to produce, especially when gesture precision and consistency across conditions are strictly enforced. The proposed system allows users to efficiently create accurate and effective stimuli for complex studies on gesture, without the need for computer animation expertise or artist talent.

  7. Hemodynamic and Light-Scattering Changes of Rat Spinal Cord and Primary Somatosensory Cortex in Response to Innocuous and Noxious Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Wei He

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging technologies with an exceptional spatial resolution and noninvasiveness have become a powerful tool for assessing neural activity in both animals and humans. However, the effectiveness of neuroimaging for pain remains unclear partly because the neurovascular coupling during pain processing is not completely characterized. Our current work aims to unravel patterns of neurovascular parameters in pain processing. A novel fiber-optic method was used to acquire absolute values of regional oxy- (HbO and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations, oxygen saturation rates (SO2, and the light-scattering coefficients from the spinal cord and primary somatosensory cortex (SI in 10 rats. Brief mechanical and electrical stimuli (ranging from innocuous to noxious intensities as well as a long-lasting noxious stimulus (formalin injection were applied to the hindlimb under pentobarbital anesthesia. Interhemispheric comparisons in the spinal cord and SI were used to confirm functional activation during sensory processing. We found that all neurovascular parameters showed stimulation-induced changes; however, patterns of changes varied with regions and stimuli. Particularly, transient increases in HbO and SO2 were more reliably attributed to brief stimuli, whereas a sustained decrease in SO2 was more reliably attributed to formalin. Only the ipsilateral SI showed delayed responses to brief stimuli. In conclusion, innocuous and noxious stimuli induced significant neurovascular responses at critical centers (e.g., the spinal cord and SI along the somatosensory pathway; however, there was no single response pattern (as measured by amplitude, duration, lateralization, decrease or increase that was able to consistently differentiate noxious stimuli. Our results strongly suggested that the neurovascular response patterns differ between brief and long-lasting noxious stimuli, and can also differ between the spinal cord and SI. Therefore, a use of multiple

  8. The use of visual stimuli during auditory assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearlman, R C; Cunningham, D R; Williamson, D G; Amerman, J D

    1975-01-01

    Two groups of male subjects beyond 50 years of age were given audiometric tasks with and without visual stimulation to determine if visual stimuli changed auditory perception. The first group consisted of 10 subjects with normal auditory acuity; the second, 10 with sensorineural hearing losses greater than 30 decibels. The rate of presentation of the visual stimuli, consisting of photographic slides of various subjects, was determined in experiment I of the study. The subjects, while viewing the slides at their own rate, took an audiotry speech discrimination test. Advisedly they changed the slides at a speed which they felt facilitated attention while performing the auditory task. The mean rate of slide-changing behavior was used as the "optimum" visual stimulation rate in experiment II, which was designed to explore the interaction of the bisensory presentation of stimuli. Bekesy tracings and Rush Hughes recordings were administered without and with visual stimuli, the latter presented at the mean rate of slide changes found in experiment I. Analysis of data indicated that (1) no statistically significant difference exists between visual and nonvisual conditions during speech discrimination and Bekesy testing; and (2) subjects did not believe that visual stimuli as presented in this study helped them to listen more effectively. The experimenter concluded that the various auditory stimuli encountered in the auditory test situation may actually be a deterrent to boredom because of the variety of tasks required in a testing situation.

  9. Multisensory perceptual learning and sensory substitution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proulx, Michael J; Brown, David J; Pasqualotto, Achille; Meijer, Peter

    2014-04-01

    One of the most exciting recent findings in neuroscience has been the capacity for neural plasticity in adult humans and animals. Studies of perceptual learning have provided key insights into the mechanisms of neural plasticity and the changes in functional neuroanatomy that it affords. Key questions in this field of research concern how practice of a task leads to specific or general improvement. Although much of this work has been carried out with a focus on a single sensory modality, primarily visual, there is increasing interest in multisensory perceptual learning. Here we will examine how advances in perceptual learning research both inform and can be informed by the development and advancement of sensory substitution devices for blind persons. To allow 'sight' to occur in the absence of visual input through the eyes, visual information can be transformed by a sensory substitution device into a representation that can be processed as sound or touch, and thus give one the potential to 'see' through the ears or tongue. Investigations of auditory, visual and multisensory perceptual learning can have key benefits for the advancement of sensory substitution, and the study of sensory deprivation and sensory substitution likewise will further the understanding of perceptual learning in general and the reverse hierarchy theory in particular. It also has significant importance for the developing understanding of the brain in metamodal terms, where functional brain areas might be best defined by the computations they carry out rather than by their sensory-specific processing role.

  10. Initiating the development of multisensory integration by manipulating sensory experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Liping; Rowland, Benjamin A; Stein, Barry E

    2010-04-07

    The multisensory integration capabilities of superior colliculus neurons emerge gradually during early postnatal life as a consequence of experience with cross-modal stimuli. Without such experience neurons become responsive to multiple sensory modalities but are unable to integrate their inputs. The present study demonstrates that neurons retain sensitivity to cross-modal experience well past the normal developmental period for acquiring multisensory integration capabilities. Experience surprisingly late in life was found to rapidly initiate the development of multisensory integration, even more rapidly than expected based on its normal developmental time course. Furthermore, the requisite experience was acquired by the anesthetized brain and in the absence of any of the stimulus-response contingencies generally associated with learning. The key experiential factor was repeated exposure to the relevant stimuli, and this required that the multiple receptive fields of a multisensory neuron encompassed the cross-modal exposure site. Simple exposure to the individual components of a cross-modal stimulus was ineffective in this regard. Furthermore, once a neuron acquired multisensory integration capabilities at the exposure site, it generalized this experience to other locations, albeit with lowered effectiveness. These observations suggest that the prolonged period during which multisensory integration normally appears is due to developmental factors in neural circuitry in addition to those required for incorporating the statistics of cross-modal events; that neurons learn a multisensory principle based on the specifics of experience and can then apply it to other stimulus conditions; and that the incorporation of this multisensory information does not depend on an alert brain.

  11. Making decisions with unknown sensory reliability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deneve, Sophie

    2012-01-01

    To make fast and accurate behavioral choices, we need to integrate noisy sensory input, take prior knowledge into account, and adjust our decision criteria. It was shown previously that in two-alternative-forced-choice tasks, optimal decision making can be formalized in the framework of a sequential probability ratio test and is then equivalent to a diffusion model. However, this analogy hides a "chicken and egg" problem: to know how quickly we should integrate the sensory input and set the optimal decision threshold, the reliability of the sensory observations must be known in advance. Most of the time, we cannot know this reliability without first observing the decision outcome. We consider here a Bayesian decision model that simultaneously infers the probability of two different choices and at the same time estimates the reliability of the sensory information on which this choice is based. We show that this can be achieved within a single trial, based on the noisy responses of sensory spiking neurons. The resulting model is a non-linear diffusion to bound where the weight of the sensory inputs and the decision threshold are both dynamically changing over time. In difficult decision trials, early sensory inputs have a stronger impact on the decision, and the threshold collapses such that choices are made faster but with low accuracy. The reverse is true in easy trials: the sensory weight and the threshold increase over time, leading to slower decisions but at much higher accuracy. In contrast to standard diffusion models, adaptive sensory weights construct an accurate representation for the probability of each choice. This information can then be combined appropriately with other unreliable cues, such as priors. We show that this model can account for recent findings in a motion discrimination task, and can be implemented in a neural architecture using fast Hebbian learning.

  12. Visual stimuli induced by self-motion and object-motion modify odour-guided flight of male moths (Manduca sexta L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verspui, Remko; Gray, John R

    2009-10-01

    Animals rely on multimodal sensory integration for proper orientation within their environment. For example, odour-guided behaviours often require appropriate integration of concurrent visual cues. To gain a further understanding of mechanisms underlying sensory integration in odour-guided behaviour, our study examined the effects of visual stimuli induced by self-motion and object-motion on odour-guided flight in male M. sexta. By placing stationary objects (pillars) on either side of a female pheromone plume, moths produced self-induced visual motion during odour-guided flight. These flights showed a reduction in both ground and flight speeds and inter-turn interval when compared with flight tracks without stationary objects. Presentation of an approaching 20 cm disc, to simulate object-motion, resulted in interrupted odour-guided flight and changes in flight direction away from the pheromone source. Modifications of odour-guided flight behaviour in the presence of stationary objects suggest that visual information, in conjunction with olfactory cues, can be used to control the rate of counter-turning. We suggest that the behavioural responses to visual stimuli induced by object-motion indicate the presence of a neural circuit that relays visual information to initiate escape responses. These behavioural responses also suggest the presence of a sensory conflict requiring a trade-off between olfactory and visually driven behaviours. The mechanisms underlying olfactory and visual integration are discussed in the context of these behavioural responses.

  13. Electromagnetic Characterization Of Metallic Sensory Alloy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wincheski, Russell A.; Simpson, John; Wallace, Terryl A.; Newman, John A.; Leser, Paul; Lahue, Rob

    2012-01-01

    Ferromagnetic shape-memory alloy (FSMA) particles undergo changes in both electromagnetic properties and crystallographic structure when strained. When embedded in a structural material, these attributes can provide sensory output of the strain state of the structure. In this work, a detailed characterization of the electromagnetic properties of a FSMA under development for sensory applications is performed. In addition, a new eddy current probe is used to interrogate the electromagnetic properties of individual FSMA particles embedded in the sensory alloy during controlled fatigue tests on the multifunctional material.

  14. Sensory Marketing:Designing Pleasurable Products

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lageat Thierry

    2004-01-01

    Luxury products, household appliances, cosmetics and products for the general public all use the techniques of sensory marketing in the very first phases of conception to specify or give a distinct character to the way they are perceived. Creating the visio-tactile qualities of a mobile phone or dashboard, designing the acoustics used in a lipstick tube closure: these considerations offer industry a way of managing and mastering the sensorial identity which will set their products apart from those of their competitors. Sensory marketing is based upon the objective definition, the analysis and the mastering of the qualitative characteristics of the object to be conceived.

  15. Receptive field properties of trigeminothalamic neurons in the rostral trigeminal sensory nuclei of cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ro, J Y; Capra, N F

    1994-01-01

    This study described topographic and receptive field representation in the region of the rostral trigeminal nuclei, and evaluated whether thalamic neurons from the principal sensory nucleus relay muscle afferent information to the thalamus. Extracellular single-unit activity was recorded from anesthetized cats. Units were tested for responses to natural stimuli (i.e., air bursts, brushing, light pressure, and pinch) applied to the face and oral cavity, electrical stimulation of the masseter nerve, and ramp-and-hold movements of the jaw. The receptive fields and physiological properties for 110 units were studied; we were able to verify the recording site for 96 of these units. Most of the units had discrete receptive fields in the oral cavity, skin, hair, and masseter muscle. Only 2 units received convergent inputs. Stimulation of the ipsilateral and contralateral ventroposteromedial nucleus of the thalamus was performed to identify antidromically activated units. The results showed that the dorsal principal sensory nucleus received its input primarily from the oral cavity. Most of the units (85%) that were activated by antidromic stimulation from the ipsilateral thalamus were located in this nucleus. In contrast, 82% of the units that projected to the contralateral thalamus were located in the ventral principal sensory nucleus. A complete somatotopic representation of the ipsilateral face and oral cavity was observed in the ventral principal sensory nucleus. Although 24 units had muscle receptive fields, none were activated by stimulation of the ipsilateral thalamus, and only 1 responded to stimulation of the contralateral thalamus. Most of the units that were not antidromically driven were recorded outside of the cytoarchitectural boundaries of the principal sensory nucleus. Retrograde labeling of the rostral trigeminal nuclei indicated that most of the neurons in the dorsal principal sensory nucleus projected to the ipsilateral thalamus, whereas those in the

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnone, Benedetto; Pompili, Assunta; Tavares, Maria Clotilde; Gasbarri, Antonella

    2011-01-01

    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 behavior, 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.

  18. Sensory feedback synchronizes motor and sensory neuronal networks in the neonatal rat spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inácio, Ana R; Nasretdinov, Azat; Lebedeva, Julia; Khazipov, Roustem

    2016-10-07

    Early stages of sensorimotor system development in mammals are characterized by the occurrence of spontaneous movements. Whether and how these movements support correlated activity in developing sensorimotor spinal cord circuits remains unknown. Here we show highly correlated activity in sensory and motor zones in the spinal cord of neonatal rats in vivo. Both during twitches and complex movements, movement-generating bursts in motor zones are followed by bursts in sensory zones. Deafferentation does not affect activity in motor zones and movements, but profoundly suppresses activity bursts in sensory laminae and results in sensorimotor uncoupling, implying a primary role of sensory feedback in sensorimotor synchronization. This is further supported by largely dissociated activity in sensory and motor zones observed in the isolated spinal cord in vitro. Thus, sensory feedback resulting from spontaneous movements is instrumental for coordination of activity in developing sensorimotor spinal cord circuits.

  19. Positive Effect of Noises on Sensory Systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun Liu; Guang Li

    2004-01-01

    Stochastic resonance phenomenon in the biological sensory systems has been studied through the signal detection theories and the psychophysical experiments. In this paper, sensory systems are considered as a threshold detector including the receiver part and the classifier part. Compared with conventional models regarding the receiver part of sensory system as a linear or single non-linear system, a summing network was constructed by MacCulloch-Pitts neurons to simulate the receiver part. The simulation results show that the relevant index of the detectability of signal exhibit the stochastic resonance behaviours. The psychophysical experiments were carried out through the 2IFC (two interval two alternative forced choice) method. The experimental results qualitatively verify the conclusion in accordance with the theoretical model.These works give a proof that stochastic resonance is not only epiphenonmenon in sensory systems.

  20. [Sensory illusions in hang-gliding].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bousquet, F; Bizeau, A; Resche-Rigon, P; Taillemite, J P; De Rotalier

    1997-01-01

    Sensory illusions in hang-gliding and para-gliding. Hang-gliding and para-gliding are at the moment booming sports. Sensory illusions are physiological phenomena sharing the wrong perception of the pilote's real position in space. These phenomena are very familiar to aeroplane pilotes, they can also be noticed on certain conditions with hang-gliding pilotes. There are many and various sensory illusions, but only illusions of vestibular origin will be dealt with in this article. Vestibular physiology is reminded with the working principle of a semicircular canal. Physiology and laws of physics explain several sensory illusions, especially when the pilote loses his visual landmarks: flying through a cloud, coriolis effect. Also some specific stages of hang-gliding foster those phenomena: spiraling downwards, self-rotation, following an asymetric closing of the parachute, spin on oneself. Therefore a previous briefing for the pilotes seems necessary.

  1. Sensory properties of menthol and smoking topography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoffman Allison C

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Although there is a great deal known about menthol as a flavoring agent in foods and confections, less is known about the particular sensory properties of menthol cigarette smoke. Similarly, although smoking topography (the unique way an individual smokes a cigarette has been well studied using non-menthol cigarettes, there is relatively less known about how menthol affects smoking behavior. The objective of this review is to assess the sensory properties of menthol tobacco smoke, and smoking topography associated with menthol cigarettes. The cooling, analgesic, taste, and respiratory effects of menthol are well established, and studies have indicated that menthol’s sensory attributes can have an influence on the positive, or rewarding, properties associated smoking, including ratings of satisfaction, taste, perceived smoothness, and perceived irritation. Despite these sensory properties, the data regarding menthol’s effect on smoking topography are inconsistent. Many of the topography studies have limitations due to various methodological issues.

  2. Heterogeneous sensory processing in persistent postherniotomy pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aasvang, Eske Kvanner; Brandsborg, Birgitte; Jensen, Troels Staehelin

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies on sensory function in persistent postherniotomy pain (PPP) have only identified pressure pain threshold to be significantly different from pain-free patients despite several patients reporting cutaneous pain and wind-up phenomena. However the limited number of patients studied...... hinders evaluation of potential subgroups for further investigation and/or treatment allocation. Thus we used a standardized QST protocol to evaluate sensory functions in PPP and pain-free control patients, to allow individual sensory characterization of pain patients from calculated Z-values. Seventy PPP...... patients with pain related impairment of everyday activities were compared with normative data from 40 pain-free postherniotomy patients operated>1 year previously. Z-values showed a large variation in sensory disturbances ranging from pronounced detection hypoesthesia (Z=6, cold) to pain hyperalgesia (Z...

  3. The Influence of Spatiotemporal Structure of Noisy Stimuli in Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deco, Gustavo; Romo, Ranulfo

    2014-01-01

    Decision making is a process of utmost importance in our daily lives, the study of which has been receiving notable attention for decades. Nevertheless, the neural mechanisms underlying decision making are still not fully understood. Computational modeling has revealed itself as a valuable asset to address some of the fundamental questions. Biophysically plausible models, in particular, are useful in bridging the different levels of description that experimental studies provide, from the neural spiking activity recorded at the cellular level to the performance reported at the behavioral level. In this article, we have reviewed some of the recent progress made in the understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie decision making. We have performed a critical evaluation of the available results and address, from a computational perspective, aspects of both experimentation and modeling that so far have eluded comprehension. To guide the discussion, we have selected a central theme which revolves around the following question: how does the spatiotemporal structure of sensory stimuli affect the perceptual decision-making process? This question is a timely one as several issues that still remain unresolved stem from this central theme. These include: (i) the role of spatiotemporal input fluctuations in perceptual decision making, (ii) how to extend the current results and models derived from two-alternative choice studies to scenarios with multiple competing evidences, and (iii) to establish whether different types of spatiotemporal input fluctuations affect decision-making outcomes in distinctive ways. And although we have restricted our discussion mostly to visual decisions, our main conclusions are arguably generalizable; hence, their possible extension to other sensory modalities is one of the points in our discussion. PMID:24743140

  4. The influence of spatiotemporal structure of noisy stimuli in decision making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Insabato

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Decision making is a process of utmost importance in our daily lives, the study of which has been receiving notable attention for decades. Nevertheless, the neural mechanisms underlying decision making are still not fully understood. Computational modeling has revealed itself as a valuable asset to address some of the fundamental questions. Biophysically plausible models, in particular, are useful in bridging the different levels of description that experimental studies provide, from the neural spiking activity recorded at the cellular level to the performance reported at the behavioral level. In this article, we have reviewed some of the recent progress made in the understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie decision making. We have performed a critical evaluation of the available results and address, from a computational perspective, aspects of both experimentation and modeling that so far have eluded comprehension. To guide the discussion, we have selected a central theme which revolves around the following question: how does the spatiotemporal structure of sensory stimuli affect the perceptual decision-making process? This question is a timely one as several issues that still remain unresolved stem from this central theme. These include: (i the role of spatiotemporal input fluctuations in perceptual decision making, (ii how to extend the current results and models derived from two-alternative choice studies to scenarios with multiple competing evidences, and (iii to establish whether different types of spatiotemporal input fluctuations affect decision-making outcomes in distinctive ways. And although we have restricted our discussion mostly to visual decisions, our main conclusions are arguably generalizable; hence, their possible extension to other sensory modalities is one of the points in our discussion.

  5. Interictal neurocognitive processing of visual stimuli in migraine: evidence from event-related potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marla J S Mickleborough

    Full Text Available Research has established decreased sensory habituation as a defining feature in migraine, while decreased cognitive habituation has only been found with regard to cognitive assessment of the relative probability of the occurrence of a stimulus event. Our study extended the investigation of interictal habituation in migraine to include cognitive processing when viewing of a series of visually-complex images, similar to those we encounter on the internet everyday. We examined interictal neurocognitive function in migraine from a habituation perspective, using a novel paradigm designed to assess how the response to a series of images changes over time. Two groups of participants--migraineurs (N = 25 and non-migraine controls (N = 25--were asked to view a set of 232 unfamiliar logos in the context of a target identification task as their brain electrical responses were recorded via event-related potentials (ERPs. The set of logos was viewed serially in each of 10 separate trial blocks, with data analysis focusing on how the ERP responses to the logos in frontal electrodes from 200-600 ms changed across time within each group. For the controls, we found that the amplitude of the late positive potential (LPP ERP component elicited by the logos had no significant change across trial blocks. In contrast, in migraineurs we found that the LPP significantly increased in amplitude across trial blocks, an effect consistent with a lack of habituation to visual stimuli seen in previous research. Our findings provide empirical support abnormal cognitive processing of complex visual images across time in migraineurs that goes beyond the sensory-level habituation found in previous research.

  6. Pulse and entrainment to non-isochronous auditory stimuli: the case of north Indian alap.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Udo Will

    Full Text Available Pulse is often understood as a feature of a (quasi- isochronous event sequence that is picked up by an entrained subject. However, entrainment does not only occur between quasi-periodic rhythms. This paper demonstrates the expression of pulse by subjects listening to non-periodic musical stimuli and investigates the processes behind this behaviour. The stimuli are extracts from the introductory sections of North Indian (Hindustani classical music performances (alap, jor and jhala. The first of three experiments demonstrates regular motor responses to both irregular alap and more regular jor sections: responses to alap appear related to individual spontaneous tempi, while for jor they relate to the stimulus event rate. A second experiment investigated whether subjects respond to average periodicities of the alap section, and whether their responses show phase alignment to the musical events. In the third experiment we investigated responses to a broader sample of performances, testing their relationship to spontaneous tempo, and the effect of prior experience with this music. Our results suggest an entrainment model in which pulse is understood as the experience of one's internal periodicity: it is not necessarily linked to temporally regular, structured sensory input streams; it can arise spontaneously through the performance of repetitive motor actions, or on exposure to event sequences with rather irregular temporal structures. Greater regularity in the external event sequence leads to entrainment between motor responses and stimulus sequence, modifying subjects' internal periodicities in such a way that they are either identical or harmonically related to each other. This can be considered as the basis for shared (rhythmic experience and may be an important process supporting 'social' effects of temporally regular music.

  7. Sensory neurons do not induce motor neuron loss in a human stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to paralysis and early death due to reduced SMN protein. It is unclear why there is such a profound motor neuron loss, but recent evidence from fly and mouse studies indicate that cells comprising the whole sensory-motor circuit may contribute to motor neuron dysfunction and loss. Here, we used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from SMA patients to test whether sensory neurons directly contribute to motor neuron loss. We generated sensory neurons from SMA induced pluripotent stem cells and found no difference in neuron generation or survival, although there was a reduced calcium response to depolarizing stimuli. Using co-culture of SMA induced pluripotent stem cell derived sensory neurons with control induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons, we found no significant reduction in motor neuron number or glutamate transporter boutons on motor neuron cell bodies or neurites. We conclude that SMA sensory neurons do not overtly contribute to motor neuron loss in this human stem cell system.

  8. Pyridoxine dependent epilepsy with iatrogenic sensory neuronopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLachlan, R S; Brown, W F

    1995-02-01

    An 18-year-old man was treated from birth with chronic high dose pyridoxine (vitamin B6) up to 2000 mg per day for pyridoxine-dependent seizures. Within two years of onset of treatment, he developed a sensory neuropathy which did not progress over the following 16 years. Electrophysiological studies were consistent with a pure sensory neuronopathy expressed as centripetal degeneration of processes of the dorsal root ganglion cells.

  9. Cognitive mechanisms associated with auditory sensory gating

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, L. A.; Hills, P.J.; Dick, K.M.; Jones, S. P.; Bright, P

    2015-01-01

    Sensory gating is a neurophysiological measure of inhibition that is characterised by a reduction in the P50 event-related potential to a repeated identical stimulus. The objective of this work was to determine the cognitive mechanisms that relate to the neurological phenomenon of auditory sensory gating. Sixty participants underwent a battery of 10 cognitive tasks, including qualitatively different measures of attentional inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence. Participants addit...

  10. Effects of the neurotrophic factor artemin on sensory afferent development and sensitivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shuying WANG; Christopher M. Elitt; Sacha A. Malin; Kathryn M. Albers

    2008-01-01

    Artemin is a neuronal survival and differentiation factor in the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family. Its receptor GFRα3 is expressed by a subpopulation of nociceptor type sensory neurons in the dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia (DRG and TG). These neurons co-express the heat, capsaicin and proton-sensitive channel TRPV 1 and the cold and chemical-sensitive channel TRPA1. To further investigate the effects of artemin on sensory neurons, we isolated transgenic mice (ARTN-OE mice) that overexpress artemin in keratinocytes of the skin and tongue. Enhanced levels of artemin led to a 20% increase in the total number of DRG neurons and increases in the level of mRNA encoding TRPV1 and TRPAI. Calcium imaging showed that isolated sensory neurons from ARTN-OE mice were hypersensitive to the TRPV 1 agonist capsaicin and the TRPA1 agonist mustard oil. Behavioral testing of ARTN-OE mice also showed an increased sensitivity to heat, cold, capsaicin and mustard oil stimuli applied either to the skin or in the drinking water. Sensory neurons from wildtype mice also exhibited potentiated capsaicin responses following artemin addition to the media. In addition, injection of artemin into hindpaw skin produced transient thermal hyperalgesia. These findings indicate that artemin can modulate sensory function and that this regulation may occur through changes in channel gene expression. Because artemin mRNA expression is up-regulated in inflamed tissue and following nerve injury, it may have a significant role in cellular changes that underlie pain associated with pathological conditions. Manipulation of artemin expression may therefore offer a new pain treatment strategy.

  11. Motor empathy is a consequence of misattribution of sensory information in observers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahayana, Indra T; Banissy, Michael J; Chen, Chiao-Yun; Walsh, Vincent; Juan, Chi-Hung; Muggleton, Neil G

    2014-01-01

    Human behavior depends crucially on the ability to interact with others and empathy has a critical role in enabling this to occur effectively. This can be an unconscious process and based on natural instinct and inner imitation (Montag et al., 2008) responding to observed and executed actions (Newman-Norlund et al., 2007). Motor empathy relating to painful stimuli is argued to occur via the mirror system in motor areas (Rizzolatti and Luppino, 2001). Here we investigated the effects of the location of emotional information on the responses of this system. Motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes from the right first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle in the hand elicited by single pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) delivered over the left motor cortex were measured while participants observed a video of a needle entering a hand over the FDI muscle, representing a painful experience for others. To maintain subjects' internal representation across different viewing distances, we used the same size of hand stimuli both in peripersonal and extrapersonal space. We found a reduced MEP response, indicative of inhibition of the corticospinal system, only for stimuli presented in peripersonal space and not in extrapersonal space. This empathy response only occurring for near space stimuli suggests that it may be a consequence of misidentification of sensory information as being directly related to the observer. A follow up experiment confirmed that the effect was not a consequence of the size of the stimuli presented, in agreement with the importance of the near space/far space boundary for misattribution of body related information. This is consistent with the idea that empathy is, at least partially, a consequence of misattribution of perceptual information relating to another to the observer and that pain perception is modulated by the nature of perception of the pain.

  12. Motor Empathy is a Consequence of Misattribution of Sensory Information in Observers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indra Tri Mahayana

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Human behavior depends crucially on the ability to interact with others and empathy has a critical role in enabling this to occur effectively. This can be an unconscious process and based on natural instinct and inner imitation (Montag et al., 2008 responding to observed and executed actions (Newman-Norlund et al., 2007. Motor empathy relating to painful stimuli is argued to occur via the mirror system in motor areas (Rizzolatti and Luppino, 2001. Here we investigated the effects of the location of emotional information on the responses of this system. Motor evoked potential (MEP amplitudes from the right first dorsal interosseus (FDI muscle in the hand elicited by single pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS delivered over the left motor cortex were measured while participants observed a video of a needle entering a hand over the FDI muscle, representing a painful experience for others. To maintain subjects’ internal representation across different viewing distances, we used the same size of hand stimuli both in peripersonal and extrapersonal space. We found a reduced MEP response, indicative of inhibition of the corticospinal system, only for stimuli presented in peripersonal space and not in extrapersonal space. This empathy response only occurring for near space stimuli suggests that it may be a consequence of misidentification of sensory information as being directly related to the observer. A follow up experiment confirmed that the effect was not a consequence of the size of the stimuli presented, in agreement with the importance of the near space/far space boundary for misattribution of body related information. This is consistent with the idea that empathy is, at least partially, a consequence of misattribution of perceptual information relating to another to the observer and that pain perception is modulated by the nature of perception of the pain.

  13. Preferential effect of isoflurane on top-down versus bottom-up pathways in sensory cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aeyal eRaz

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism of loss of consciousness (LOC under anesthesia is unknown. Because consciousness depends on activity in the cortico-thalamic network, anesthetic actions on this network are likely critical for LOC. Competing theories stress the importance of anesthetic actions on bottom-up ‘core’ thalamo-cortical (TC versus top-down cortico-cortical (CC and matrix TC connections. We tested these models using laminar recordings in rat auditory cortex in-vivo and murine brain slices. We selectively activated bottom-up vs. top-down afferent pathways using sensory stimuli in vivo and electrical stimulation in brain slices, and compared effects of isoflurane on responses evoked via the two pathways. Auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferent stimulation in brain slices evoked short latency current sinks in middle layers, consistent with activation of core TC afferents. By contrast, visual stimuli in vivo and stimulation of CC and matrix TC afferents in brain slices evoked responses mainly in superficial and deep layers, consistent with projection patterns of top-down afferents that carry visual information to auditory cortex. Responses to auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferents in brain slices were significantly less affected by isoflurane compared to responses triggered by visual stimuli in vivo and CC/matrix TC afferents in slices. At a just-hypnotic dose in vivo, auditory responses were enhanced by isoflurane, whereas visual responses were dramatically reduced. At a comparable concentration in slices, isoflurane suppressed both core TC and CC/matrix TC responses, but the effect on the latter responses was far greater than on core TC responses, indicating that at least part of the differential effects observed in vivo were due to local actions of isoflurane in auditory cortex. These data support a model in which disruption of top-down connectivity contributes to anesthesia-induced LOC, and have implications for understanding the neural

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Nociceptive TRP Channels: Sensory Detectors and Transducers in Multiple Pain Pathologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron D. Mickle

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Specialized receptors belonging to the transient receptor potential (TRP family of ligand-gated ion channels constitute the critical detectors and transducers of pain-causing stimuli. Nociceptive TRP channels are predominantly expressed by distinct subsets of sensory neurons of the peripheral nervous system. Several of these TRP channels are also expressed in neurons of the central nervous system, and in non-neuronal cells that communicate with sensory nerves. Nociceptive TRPs are activated by specific physico-chemical stimuli to provide the excitatory trigger in neurons. In addition, decades of research has identified a large number of immune and neuromodulators as mediators of nociceptive TRP channel activation during injury, inflammatory and other pathological conditions. These findings have led to aggressive targeting of TRP channels for the development of new-generation analgesics. This review summarizes the complex activation and/or modulation of nociceptive TRP channels under pathophysiological conditions, and how these changes underlie acute and chronic pain conditions. Furthermore, development of small-molecule antagonists for several TRP channels as analgesics, and the positive and negative outcomes of these drugs in clinical trials are discussed. Understanding the diverse functional and modulatory properties of nociceptive TRP channels is critical to function-based drug targeting for the development of evidence-based and efficacious new generation analgesics.

  17. Neonatal sensory nerve injury-induced synaptic plasticity in the trigeminal principal sensory nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Fu-Sun; Erzurumlu, Reha S

    2016-01-01

    Sensory deprivation studies in neonatal mammals, such as monocular eye closure, whisker trimming, and chemical blockade of the olfactory epithelium have revealed the importance of sensory inputs in brain wiring during distinct critical periods. But very few studies have paid attention to the effects of neonatal peripheral sensory nerve damage on synaptic wiring of the central nervous system (CNS) circuits. Peripheral somatosensory nerves differ from other special sensory afferents in that they are more prone to crush or severance because of their locations in the body. Unlike the visual and auditory afferents, these nerves show regenerative capabilities after damage. Uniquely, damage to a somatosensory peripheral nerve does not only block activity incoming from the sensory receptors but also mediates injury-induced neuro- and glial chemical signals to the brain through the uninjured central axons of the primary sensory neurons. These chemical signals can have both far more and longer lasting effects than sensory blockade alone. Here we review studies which focus on the consequences of neonatal peripheral sensory nerve damage in the principal sensory nucleus of the brainstem trigeminal complex.

  18. Sensory processing disorders among substance dependents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Batya Engel-Yeger

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: (1 To compare sensory processing patterns as expressed in daily life between substance dependents and typical controls; (2 profile the prevalence of sensory processing disorders (SPD among substance dependents; and (3 examine gender effect on SPD within and between groups. Methods: Two hundred ninety people aged 19-64 participated in this study. The study group included 145 individuals who lived in the community or took part in an outpatient program because of addiction to drugs/alcohol and had been clean for over three months. The control group included 145 individuals who were not exposed to drugs or alcohol on a regular basis and did not suffer from addictive behavior. All participants filled a demographic questionnaire. Those who met the inclusion criteria completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP so that their sensory processing patterns could be assessed. Results: When comparing both groups, the study group showed greater sensory sensitivity and significantly higher prevalence of SPD. Significant group/gender interaction was found in regard to sensation seeking. Discussion: SPD among substance dependents may be expressed in daily life by either hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity. The behavioral outcomes reflected by the AASP support neurophysiological manifestations about SPD of substance dependents. The evaluation process of substance dependents should refer to their sensory processing abilities. In case SPD is diagnosed, Occupational Therapy and specific sensory–based interventions should be considered in order to fit the specific needs of individuals and enhance their performance, meaningful participation, and quality of life.

  19. Sensory correlates of pain in peripheral neuropathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng Wing Tin, Sophie; Ciampi de Andrade, Daniel; Goujon, Colette; Planté-Bordeneuve, Violaine; Créange, Alain; Lefaucheur, Jean-Pascal

    2014-05-01

    To characterize sensory threshold alterations in peripheral neuropathies and the relationship between these alterations and the presence of pain. Seventy-four patients with length-dependent sensory axonal neuropathy were enrolled, including 38 patients with painful neuropathy (complaining of chronic, spontaneous neuropathic pain in the feet) and 36 patients with painless neuropathy. They were compared to 28 age-matched normal controls. A standardized quantitative sensory testing protocol was performed in all individuals to assess large and small fiber function at the foot. Large fibers were assessed by measuring mechanical (pressure and vibration) detection thresholds and small fibers by measuring pain and thermal detection thresholds. Between patients with neuropathy and controls, significant differences were found for mechanical and thermal detection thresholds but not for pain thresholds. Patients with painful neuropathy and those with painless neuropathy did not differ regarding mechanical or thermal thresholds, but only by a higher incidence of thermal or dynamic mechanical allodynia in case of painful neuropathy. Pain intensity correlated with the alteration of thermal detection and mechanical pain thresholds. Quantitative sensory testing can support the diagnosis of sensory neuropathy when considering detection threshold measurement. Thermal threshold deterioration was not associated with the occurrence of pain but with its intensity. There is a complex relationship between the loss or functional deficit of large and especially small sensory nerve fibers and the development of pain in peripheral neuropathy. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Bioinspired sensory systems for local flow characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colvert, Brendan; Chen, Kevin; Kanso, Eva

    2016-11-01

    Empirical evidence suggests that many aquatic organisms sense differential hydrodynamic signals.This sensory information is decoded to extract relevant flow properties. This task is challenging because it relies on local and partial measurements, whereas classical flow characterization methods depend on an external observer to reconstruct global flow fields. Here, we introduce a mathematical model in which a bioinspired sensory array measuring differences in local flow velocities characterizes the flow type and intensity. We linearize the flow field around the sensory array and express the velocity gradient tensor in terms of frame-independent parameters. We develop decoding algorithms that allow the sensory system to characterize the local flow and discuss the conditions under which this is possible. We apply this framework to the canonical problem of a circular cylinder in uniform flow, finding excellent agreement between sensed and actual properties. Our results imply that combining suitable velocity sensors with physics-based methods for decoding sensory measurements leads to a powerful approach for understanding and developing underwater sensory systems.

  1. Convergence of sensory systems in the orbitofrontal cortex in primates and brain design for emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolls, Edmund T

    2004-11-01

    In primates, stimuli to sensory systems influence motivational and emotional behavior via neural relays to the orbitofrontal cortex. This article reviews studies on the effects of stimuli from multiple sensory modalities on the brain of humans and some other higher primates. The primate orbitofrontal cortex contains the secondary taste cortex, in which the reward value of taste is represented. It also contains the secondary and tertiary olfactory cortical areas, in which information about the identity and also about the reward value of odors is represented. A somatosensory input is revealed by neurons that respond to the viscosity of food in the mouth, to the texture (mouth feel) of fat in the mouth, and to the temperature of liquids placed into the mouth. The orbitofrontal cortex also receives information about the sight of objects from the temporal lobe cortical visual areas. Information about each of these modalities is represented separately by different neurons, but in addition, other neurons show convergence between different types of sensory input. This convergence occurs by associative learning between the visual or olfactory input and the taste. In that emotions can be defined as states elicited by reinforcers, the neurons that respond to primary reinforcers (such as taste and touch), as well as learn associations to visual and olfactory stimuli that become secondary reinforcers, provide a basis for understanding the functions of the orbitofrontal cortex in emotion. In complementary neuroimaging studies in humans, it is being found that areas of the orbitofrontal cortex are activated by pleasant touch, by painful touch, by taste, by smell, and by more abstract reinforcers such as winning or losing money. Damage to the orbitofrontal cortex in humans can impair the learning and reversal of stimulus-reinforcement associations and thus the correction of behavioral responses when these are no longer appropriate because previous reinforcement contingencies

  2. Proficiency testing for sensory profile panels : measuring panel performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mcewan, J.A.; Hunter, E.A.; Gemert, L.J. van; Lea, P.

    2002-01-01

    Proficiency testing in sensory analysis is an important step towards demonstrating that results from one sensory panel are consistent with the results of other sensory panels. The uniqueness of sensory analysis poses some specific problems for measuring the proficiency of the human instrument (panel

  3. 38 CFR 17.149 - Sensori-neural aids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Sensori-neural aids. 17... Prosthetic, Sensory, and Rehabilitative Aids § 17.149 Sensori-neural aids. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, VA will furnish needed sensori-neural aids (i.e., eyeglasses, contact...

  4. High false positive rates in common sensory threshold tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Running, Cordelia A

    2015-02-01

    Large variability in thresholds to sensory stimuli is observed frequently even in healthy populations. Much of this variability is attributed to genetics and day-to-day fluctuation in sensitivity. However, false positives are also contributing to the variability seen in these tests. In this study, random number generation was used to simulate responses in threshold methods using different "stopping rules": ascending 2-alternative forced choice (AFC) with 5 correct responses; ascending 3-AFC with 3 or 4 correct responses; staircase 2-AFC with 1 incorrect up and 2 incorrect down, as well as 1 up 4 down and 5 or 7 reversals; staircase 3-AFC with 1 up 2 down and 5 or 7 reversals. Formulas are presented for rates of false positives in the ascending methods, and curves were generated for the staircase methods. Overall, the staircase methods generally had lower false positive rates, but these methods were influenced even more by number of presentations than ascending methods. Generally, the high rates of error in all these methods should encourage researchers to conduct multiple tests per individual and/or select a method that can correct for false positives, such as fitting a logistic curve to a range of responses.

  5. Peripheral Sensory Neurons Expressing Melanopsin Respond to Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matynia, Anna; Nguyen, Eileen; Sun, Xiaoping; Blixt, Frank W.; Parikh, Sachin; Kessler, Jason; Pérez de Sevilla Müller, Luis; Habib, Samer; Kim, Paul; Wang, Zhe Z.; Rodriguez, Allen; Charles, Andrew; Nusinowitz, Steven; Edvinsson, Lars; Barnes, Steven; Brecha, Nicholas C.; Gorin, Michael B.

    2016-01-01

    The ability of light to cause pain is paradoxical. The retina detects light but is devoid of nociceptors while the trigeminal sensory ganglia (TG) contain nociceptors but not photoreceptors. Melanopsin-expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are thought to mediate light-induced pain but recent evidence raises the possibility of an alternative light responsive pathway independent of the retina and optic nerve. Here, we show that melanopsin is expressed in both human and mouse TG neurons. In mice, they represent 3% of small TG neurons that are preferentially localized in the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve and are likely nociceptive C fibers and high-threshold mechanoreceptor Aδ fibers based on a strong size-function association. These isolated neurons respond to blue light stimuli with a delayed onset and sustained firing, similar to the melanopsin-dependent intrinsic photosensitivity observed in ipRGCs. Mice with severe bilateral optic nerve crush exhibit no light-induced responses including behavioral light aversion until treated with nitroglycerin, an inducer of migraine in people and migraine-like symptoms in mice. With nitroglycerin, these same mice with optic nerve crush exhibit significant light aversion. Furthermore, this retained light aversion remains dependent on melanopsin-expressing neurons. Our results demonstrate a novel light-responsive neural function independent of the optic nerve that may originate in the peripheral nervous system to provide the first direct mechanism for an alternative light detection pathway that influences motivated behavior. PMID:27559310

  6. Computer-aided training sensorimotor cortex functions in humans before the upper limb transplantation using virtual reality and sensory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurzynski, Marek; Jaskolska, Anna; Marusiak, Jaroslaw; Wolczowski, Andrzej; Bierut, Przemyslaw; Szumowski, Lukasz; Witkowski, Jerzy; Kisiel-Sajewicz, Katarzyna

    2017-08-01

    One of the biggest problems of upper limb transplantation is lack of certainty as to whether a patient will be able to control voluntary movements of transplanted hands. Based on findings of the recent research on brain cortex plasticity, a premise can be drawn that mental training supported with visual and sensory feedback can cause structural and functional reorganization of the sensorimotor cortex, which leads to recovery of function associated with the control of movements performed by the upper limbs. In this study, authors - based on the above observations - propose the computer-aided training (CAT) system, which generating visual and sensory stimuli, should enhance the effectiveness of mental training applied to humans before upper limb transplantation. The basis for the concept of computer-aided training system is a virtual hand whose reaching and grasping movements the trained patient can observe on the VR headset screen (visual feedback) and whose contact with virtual objects the patient can feel as a touch (sensory feedback). The computer training system is composed of three main components: (1) the system generating 3D virtual world in which the patient sees the virtual limb from the perspective as if it were his/her own hand; (2) sensory feedback transforming information about the interaction of the virtual hand with the grasped object into mechanical vibration; (3) the therapist's panel for controlling the training course. Results of the case study demonstrate that mental training supported with visual and sensory stimuli generated by the computer system leads to a beneficial change of the brain activity related to motor control of the reaching in the patient with bilateral upper limb congenital transverse deficiency. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Diffusion Based Modeling of Human Brain Response to External Stimuli

    CERN Document Server

    Namazi, Hamidreza

    2012-01-01

    Human brain response is the overall ability of the brain in analyzing internal and external stimuli in the form of transferred energy to the mind/brain phase-space and thus, making the proper decisions. During the last decade scientists discovered about this phenomenon and proposed some models based on computational, biological, or neuropsychological methods. Despite some advances in studies related to this area of the brain research there was less effort which have been done on the mathematical modeling of the human brain response to external stimuli. This research is devoted to the modeling of human EEG signal, as an alert state of overall human brain activity monitoring, due to receiving external stimuli, based on fractional diffusion equation. The results of this modeling show very good agreement with the real human EEG signal and thus, this model can be used as a strong representative of the human brain activity.

  13. Electrotactile stimuli delivered across fingertips inducing the Cutaneous Rabbit Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Jay P; Santello, Marco; Helms Tillery, Stephen I

    2010-10-01

    Previous studies have been unable to induce the Cutaneous Rabbit Effect (CRE) when the most likely perceived location of the illusory stimulus is on a non-continuous skin area. To determine whether the CRE could be elicited when each of the delivered stimuli were on non-continuous skin areas, we developed a new electrotactile stimulation paradigm attempting to induce the CRE across the fingertips. Though our stimulation paradigm differed from classic reduced CRE paradigms through the use of electrotactile stimuli, focusing the subject attention to a 'likely' illusory site, and the inclusion of a fourth stimulation site (two stimuli after the illusory stimulus), these factors were not the cause of the illusory effect we observed. Experiments conducted on the forearm validated that our paradigm elicited similar results to those reported in previous CRE studies that used either 3-stimulation-point mechanical or electrotactile stimuli with subject attention focused on the 'likely' illusory site. Across the fingertips, we observed an increase in stimulus mislocalization onto the middle fingertip, the 'likely' perceived location of the illusory stimuli, under Illusory Rabbit Trains compared to the Motion Bias Trains. Because the Motion Bias Trains should not induce a perceived location shift of the illusory stimulus but stimulates the adjacent digits in a similar way to the Illusory Rabbit Trains, differences observed between their mislocalization rates between these trains indicate that the CRE can be induced across the fingertips. These results provide the first evidence that the CRE can 'jump' when the stimuli occur across non-continuous skin areas.

  14. A comparison of vernier acuity for narrowband and broadband stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Brendan T; Whitaker, David

    2004-01-01

    This study investigates the influence of contrast and exposure duration on vernier acuity thresholds for abutting and separated narrowband stimuli, and asks whether these data can predict broadband vernier performance. Vernier thresholds were determined for sinusoidal grating stimuli at two spatial frequencies (1 and 8 c/deg) across a range of contrasts (0.05-0.8) and exposure durations (35-2100 ms). Performance was assessed for the abutting configuration, and when a gap equivalent to 0.5 to 1.5 times the spatial period of the grating was introduced between the upper and lower halves of the grating. Vernier thresholds were also determined for a square-wave stimulus as a function of contrast (0.06 to 0.78). Exposure duration was fixed at 2100 ms. In addition, thresholds were determined at the appropriate contrast levels for the fundamental frequency (1.8 c/deg) of the square-wave, and for a number of the harmonics (3F, 5F, 7F, 9F). Our results provide support for filter models of vernier acuity by showing that vernier performance for abutting and closely-separated broadband stimuli represents the envelope of vernier sensitivity of those spatial frequency mechanisms that are activated by the broadband stimulus. In the case of high frequency grating stimuli presented for long exposure durations, vernier performance can be invariant across much of the contrast range. Despite this, however, contrast independence is not exhibited for abutting broadband stimuli because, within the broadband stimuli, the contrast of the higher harmonic components never reaches a level to reveal this plateau.

  15. The Efficiency of Sensory Integration Interventions in Preterm Infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekçetin, Serkan; Akı, Esra; Üstünyurt, Zeynep; Kayıhan, Hülya

    2016-10-01

    This study aimed to explore the effects of individualized sensory integration interventions on the sensory processing functions of preterm infants. Thirty-four preterm infants (intervention group) at a corrected age of seven months and 34 term infants (control group) were included. The preterm infants underwent an eight-week sensory integration intervention. Before and after the intervention, the preterm infants' sensory processing functions were evaluated using the Test of Sensory Functions in Infants and compared with those of term infants. Preterm infants had significantly poorer sensory processing function preintervention when compared with term infants. There was a significant improvement in preterm infants' sensory processing functions after the sensory integration intervention. In conclusion, preterm infants should be evaluated for sensory processing disorders and individualized sensory integration interventions should be implemented.

  16. Joint attention for stimuli on the hands: Ownership matters

    OpenAIRE

    Eric eTaylor; Jay ePratt; Jessica eWitt

    2015-01-01

    The visual system treats the space near the hands with unique, action-related priorities. For example, attention orients slowly to stimuli on the hands (Taylor and Witt, 2014). In this article, we asked whether jointly attended hands are attended in the same way. Specifically, we examined whether ownership over the hand mattered: do we attend to our hands and the hands of others in the same way? Pairs of participants performed a spatial cueing task with stimuli that could be projected onto on...

  17. Thermo-Responsive Hydrogels for Stimuli-Responsive Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evan Mah

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Composite membranes with stimuli-responsive properties can be made by coating a thermo-responsive hydrogel onto a micro- or macroporous support. These hydrogels undergo a temperature induced volume-phase transition, which contributes towards the composite membrane’s stimuli-responsive properties. This paper reviews research done on complimentary forms of temperature responsive “thermophilic” hydrogels, those exhibiting positive volume-phase transitions in aqueous solvent. The influences of intermolecular forces on the mechanism of phase-transition are discussed along with case examples of typical thermophilic hydrogels.

  18. Sub-threshold cross-modal sensory interaction in the thalamus: lemniscal auditory response in the medial geniculate nucleus is modulated by somatosensory stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donishi, T; Kimura, A; Imbe, H; Yokoi, I; Kaneoke, Y

    2011-02-03

    Recent studies have highlighted cross-modal sensory modulations in the primary sensory areas in the cortex, suggesting that cross-modal sensory interactions occur at early stages in the hierarchy of sensory processing. Multi-modal sensory inputs from non-lemniscal thalamic nuclei and cortical inputs from the secondary sensory and association areas are considered responsible for the modulations. On the other hand, there is little evidence of cross-sensory modal sensitivities in lemniscal thalamic nuclei. In the present study, we were interested in a possibility that somatosensory stimulation may affect auditory response in the ventral division (MGV) of the medial geniculate nucleus (MG), a lemniscal thalamic nucleus that is considered to be dedicated to auditory uni-modal processing. Experiments were performed on anesthetized rats. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the hindpaw, which is thought to evoke nociception and seems unrelated to auditory processing, modulated unit discharges in response to auditory stimulation (noise bursts). The modulation was observed in the MGV and non-lemniscal auditory thalamic nuclei such as the dorsal and medial divisions of the MG. The major effect of somatosensory stimulation was suppression. The most robust suppression was induced by electrical stimuli given simultaneously with noise bursts or preceding noise bursts by 10 to 20 ms. The results indicate that the lemniscal (MGV) and non-lemniscal auditory nuclei are subject to somatosensory influence. In everyday experience intense somatosensory stimuli such as pain interrupt our ongoing hearing or interfere with clear recognition of sound. The modulation of lemniscal auditory response by somatosensory stimulation may underlie such cross-modal disturbance of auditory perception as a form of cross-modal switching of attention. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Measuring information acquisition from sensory input using automated scoring of natural-language descriptions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel R Saunders

    Full Text Available Information acquisition, the gathering and interpretation of sensory information, is a basic function of mobile organisms. We describe a new method for measuring this ability in humans, using free-recall responses to sensory stimuli which are scored objectively using a "wisdom of crowds" approach. As an example, we demonstrate this metric using perception of video stimuli. Immediately after viewing a 30 s video clip, subjects responded to a prompt to give a short description of the clip in natural language. These responses were scored automatically by comparison to a dataset of responses to the same clip by normally-sighted viewers (the crowd. In this case, the normative dataset consisted of responses to 200 clips by 60 subjects who were stratified by age (range 22 to 85 y and viewed the clips in the lab, for 2,400 responses, and by 99 crowdsourced participants (age range 20 to 66 y who viewed clips in their Web browser, for 4,000 responses. We compared different algorithms for computing these similarities and found that a simple count of the words in common had the best performance. It correctly matched 75% of the lab-sourced and 95% of crowdsourced responses to their corresponding clips. We validated the measure by showing that when the amount of information in the clip was degraded using defocus lenses, the shared word score decreased across the five predetermined visual-acuity levels, demonstrating a dose-response effect (N = 15. This approach, of scoring open-ended immediate free recall of the stimulus, is applicable not only to video, but also to other situations where a measure of the information that is successfully acquired is desirable. Information acquired will be affected by stimulus quality, sensory ability, and cognitive processes, so our metric can be used to assess each of these components when the others are controlled.

  20. Measuring information acquisition from sensory input using automated scoring of natural-language descriptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Daniel R; Bex, Peter J; Rose, Dylan J; Woods, Russell L

    2014-01-01

    Information acquisition, the gathering and interpretation of sensory information, is a basic function of mobile organisms. We describe a new method for measuring this ability in humans, using free-recall responses to sensory stimuli which are scored objectively using a "wisdom of crowds" approach. As an example, we demonstrate this metric using perception of video stimuli. Immediately after viewing a 30 s video clip, subjects responded to a prompt to give a short description of the clip in natural language. These responses were scored automatically by comparison to a dataset of responses to the same clip by normally-sighted viewers (the crowd). In this case, the normative dataset consisted of responses to 200 clips by 60 subjects who were stratified by age (range 22 to 85 y) and viewed the clips in the lab, for 2,400 responses, and by 99 crowdsourced participants (age range 20 to 66 y) who viewed clips in their Web browser, for 4,000 responses. We compared different algorithms for computing these similarities and found that a simple count of the words in common had the best performance. It correctly matched 75% of the lab-sourced and 95% of crowdsourced responses to their corresponding clips. We validated the measure by showing that when the amount of information in the clip was degraded using defocus lenses, the shared word score decreased across the five predetermined visual-acuity levels, demonstrating a dose-response effect (N = 15). This approach, of scoring open-ended immediate free recall of the stimulus, is applicable not only to video, but also to other situations where a measure of the information that is successfully acquired is desirable. Information acquired will be affected by stimulus quality, sensory ability, and cognitive processes, so our metric can be used to assess each of these components when the others are controlled.

  1. Functional Selectivity of Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonists in Peripheral Sensory Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamshidi, Raehannah J.; Jacobs, Blaine A.; Sullivan, Laura C.; Chavera, Teresa A.; Saylor, Rachel M.; Prisinzano, Thomas E.; Clarke, William P.

    2015-01-01

    Activation of kappa opioid receptors (KORs) expressed by peripheral sensory neurons that respond to noxious stimuli (nociceptors) can reduce neurotransmission of pain stimuli from the periphery to the central nervous system. We have previously shown that the antinociception dose-response curve for peripherally restricted doses of the KOR agonist (–)-(trans)-3,4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-[2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)cyclohexyl]benzeneacetamide (U50488) has an inverted U shape. Here, we found that the downward phase of the U50488 dose-response curve was blocked by an inhibitor of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation U0126. Local administration of the selective KOR agonist salvinorin A (Sal-A), also resulted in an inverted U-shaped curve; however, the downward phase was insensitive to U0126. By contrast, inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) partially blocked the downward phase of the dose-response curve to Sal-A, suggesting a role for JNK. In cultures of peripheral sensory neurons, U50488 and Sal-A inhibited adenylyl cyclase activity with similar efficacies; however, their ability to activate ERK and JNK differed. Whereas U50488 activated ERK but not JNK, Sal-A activated JNK but not ERK. Moreover, although both U50488 and Sal-A produced homologous desensitization, desensitization to U50488 was blocked by inhibition of ERK activation, whereas desensitization to Sal-A was blocked by inhibition of JNK. Substitution of an ethoxymethyl ether for the C2 position acetyl group of Sal-A reduced stimulation of JNK, prevented desensitization by ethoxymethyl ether for the C2 position acetyl group of Sal-A, and resulted in a monotonic antinociception dose-response curve. Collectively, these data demonstrate the functional selectivity of KOR ligands for signaling in peripheral sensory neurons, which results in differential effects on behavioral responses in vivo. PMID:26297384

  2. Atypical central pain processing in sensory modulation disorder: absence of temporal summation and higher after-sensation.

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    Bar-Shalita, T; Vatine, J-J; Yarnitsky, D; Parush, S; Weissman-Fogel, I

    2014-02-01

    Sensory over-responsivity (SOR), a subtype of the proposed sensory modulation disorder (SMD), is characterized by over-responsiveness to stimuli in several sensory modalities. SMD individuals demonstrate abnormal responses to naturally occurring stimuli in a manner that interferes with daily life participation. Previous psychophysical testing of the somatosensory system revealed that SOR individuals rated pain sensations higher than controls, demonstrating hyperalgesia that can be centrally mediated. Temporal summation (TS) of second pain and after-sensation are manifestations of central sensitization; therefore, this study explored these measures for better characterization of central pain processing in SOR. Twelve SOR adults and 12 healthy controls participated. TS was produced by a train of fifteen repetitive heat pulses, 0.7 s duration each, and 2 s of inter-stimulus interval, applied to the thenar-eminence, while four pain ratings were obtained. An after-sensation was then measured for 5 min, obtaining six pain ratings. No TS of pain was indicated in the SOR group (SOR: p = 0.36; control: p pain after-sensation, individuals with SOR continued to report pain for the duration of the 5 min measured (p = 0.002). These results demonstrate an atypical response pattern, suggesting alteration in pain processing and/or modulation at a central level in individuals with SOR. These possible neural changes may manifest themselves as interference with daily functioning as well as shed light on some of the between-subject variability seen in psychophysical testing in non-painful subjects.

  3. Body mass index and distribution of body fat can influence sensory detection and pain sensitivity.

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    Tashani, O A; Astita, R; Sharp, D; Johnson, M I

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of body fat percentage and its distribution on sensory detection and pain sensitivity responses to experimentally induced noxious stimuli in otherwise pain-free individuals. Seventy-two participants were divided into three equal groups according to their body mass index (BMI: normal, overweight and obese). Percentage body fat was estimated using a four-site skinfold method. Measurements of cold pressor pain threshold, tolerance and intensity; contact thermal sensory detection and heat pain threshold and tolerance (TSA-II - NeuroSensory Analyzer, Medoc); and blunt pressure pain threshold (algometer, Somedic SenseLab AB) were taken at the waist and thenar eminence. Mean ± SD pressure pain threshold of the obese group (620.72 ± 423.81 kPa) was significantly lower than normal (1154.70 ± 847.18 kPa) and overweight (1285.14 ± 998.89 kPa) groups. Repeated measures ANOVA found significant effects for site for cold detection threshold (F1,68  = 8.3, p = 0.005) and warm detection threshold (F1,68  = 38.69, p = 0.001) with waist having lower sensory detection thresholds than thenar eminence. For heat pain threshold, there were significant effects for site (F1,68  = 4.868, p = 0.031) which was lower for waist compared with thenar eminence (mean difference = 0.89 °C). Obese individuals were more sensitive than non-obese individuals to pressure pain but not to thermal pain. Body sites may vary in their response to different types and intensities of stimuli. The inconsistency of findings within and between research studies should catalyse further research in this field. This study provided evidence that body mass index and distribution of body fat can influence sensory detection and pain sensitivity. Obese individuals were more sensitive than normal range body mass index individuals to pressure pain but not to thermal pain. Pain response varied according to subcutaneous body fat at different body

  4. Peripheral sensory cells in the cephalic sensory organs of Lymnaea stagnalis.

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    Wyeth, Russell C; Croll, Roger P

    2011-07-01

    The peripheral nervous system in gastropods plays a key role in the neural control of behaviors, but is poorly studied in comparison with the central nervous system. Peripheral sensory neurons, although known to be widespread, have been studied in a patchwork fashion across several species, with no comprehensive treatment in any one species. We attempted to remedy this limitation by cataloging peripheral sensory cells in the cephalic sensory organs of Lymnaea stagnalis employing backfills, vital stains, histochemistry, and immunohistochemistry. By using at least two independent methods to corroborate observations, we mapped four different cell types. We have found two different populations of bipolar sensory cells that appear to contain catecholamines(s) and histamine, respectively. Each cell had a peripheral soma, an epithelial process bearing cilia, and a second process projecting to the central nervous system. We also found evidence for two populations of nitric oxide-producing sensory cells, one bipolar, probably projecting centrally, and the second unipolar, with only a single epithelial process and no axon. The various cell types are presumably either mechanosensory or chemosensory, but the complexity of their distributions does not allow formation of hypotheses regarding modality. In addition, our observations indicate that yet more peripheral sensory cell types are present in the cephalic sensory organs of L. stagnalis. These results are an important step toward linking sensory cell morphology to modality. Moreover, our observations emphasize the size of the peripheral nervous system in gastropods, and we suggest that greater emphasis be placed on understanding its role in gastropod neuroethology.

  5. Sensory cues involved in social facilitation of reproduction in Blattella germanica females.

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    Uzsák, Adrienn; Schal, Coby

    2013-01-01

    Cockroaches, like many other animal species, form aggregations in which social stimuli from conspecifics can alter the physiology, morphology, or behavior of individuals. In adult females of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, social isolation slows oocyte development, sexual maturation, and sexual receptivity, whereas social interactions as minimal as between just two females accelerate reproduction; however, the sensory modalities and pathways that mediate these physiological and behavioral changes are poorly understood. We explored the roles of visual, olfactory, and tactile cues in the reproductive physiology of German cockroach females, and whether their effects are species-specific and related to circadian time. Our results show that tactile cues are the primary sensory input associated with social conditions--with no evidence for involvement of the visual and olfactory systems--and that the antennae play an important role in the reception of these tactile cues. This conclusion is supported by the observation that interactions with other insect species of similar or larger size and with similar antennal morphology also stimulate oocyte development in B. germanica. Social facilitation of reproduction is expected to be influenced by the circadian timing system, as females engage in more social contact during the day when they shelter in aggregations with conspecifics. Surprisingly, however, the female's reproductive rate was unresponsive to social interactions during the photophase, whereas social interactions as short as two hours during the scotophase were sufficient to induce faster reproduction.We discuss the adaptive significance of these sensory-neuroendocrine responses in the German cockroach.

  6. Error-based analysis of optimal tuning functions explains phenomena observed in sensory neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Yaeli

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological systems display impressive capabilities in effectively responding to environmental signals in real time. There is increasing evidence that organisms may indeed be employing near optimal Bayesian calculations in their decision-making. An intriguing question relates to the properties of optimal encoding methods, namely determining the properties of neural populations in sensory layers that optimize performance, subject to physiological constraints. Within an ecological theory of neural encoding/decoding, we show that optimal Bayesian performance requires neural adaptation which reflects environmental changes. Specifically, we predict that neuronal tuning functions possess an optimal width, which increases with prior uncertainty and environmental noise, and decreases with the decoding time window. Furthermore, even for static stimuli, we demonstrate that dynamic sensory tuning functions, acting at relatively short time scales, lead to improved performance. Interestingly, the narrowing of tuning functions as a function of time was recently observed in several biological systems. Such results set the stage for a functional theory which may explain the high reliability of sensory systems, and the utility of neuronal adaptation occurring at multiple time scales.

  7. Comparison of current perception threshold electrical testing to clinical sensory testing for lingual nerve injuries.

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    Ziccardi, Vincent B; Dragoo, Joel; Eliav, Eli; Benoliel, Rafael

    2012-02-01

    We performed a retrospective study of lingual nerve injury assessment comparing the techniques of current perception threshold testing versus clinical sensory testing. We designed and implemented a cross-sectional study and enrolled a patient sample with lingual nerve injuries presenting for treatment to the principal investigator. The predictor variables were clinical sensory testing modalities (ie, temperature, nocioception, vibration, 2-point discrimination, brush stroke, and von Frey monofilament perception). The primary outcome variable was the electrical current perception thresholds of the tongue dorsum (neurometer measurements at 5, 250, and 2,000 Hz). Comparisons were established with the ipsilateral affected and contralateral unaffected lingual nerve distributions. The associations between the clinical sensory testing and current perception threshold measurements were assessed using correlation coefficients, with the level of statistical significance set at P thresholds at 2,000 Hz and the 2-point discrimination, reaction to brushing, reaction to vibration, and von Frey fiber thresholds, between the electrical stimulation thresholds at 250 Hz to the nociceptive and thermal thresholds, and between the electrical stimulation thresholds at 5 Hz to thermal stimuli. The significant correlations observed in the present study indicate that current perception threshold can be a complementary or alternative tool in the assessment and evaluation of lingual nerve injuries. Copyright © 2012 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Electrophysiological Evidence for a Sensory Recruitment Model of Somatosensory Working Memory.

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    Katus, Tobias; Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Sensory recruitment models of working memory assume that information storage is mediated by the same cortical areas that are responsible for the perceptual processing of sensory signals. To test this assumption, we measured somatosensory event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during a tactile delayed match-to-sample task. Participants memorized a tactile sample set at one task-relevant hand to compare it with a subsequent test set on the same hand. During the retention period, a sustained negativity (tactile contralateral delay activity, tCDA) was elicited over primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to the relevant hand. The amplitude of this component increased with memory load and was sensitive to individual limitations in memory capacity, suggesting that the tCDA reflects the maintenance of tactile information in somatosensory working memory. The tCDA was preceded by a transient negativity (N2cc component) with a similar contralateral scalp distribution, which is likely to reflect selection of task-relevant tactile stimuli at the encoding stage. The temporal sequence of N2cc and tCDA components mirrors previous observations from ERP studies of working memory in vision. The finding that the sustained somatosensory delay period activity varies as a function of memory load supports a sensory recruitment model for spatial working memory in touch.

  9. Sensory modality-specific spatio-temporal dynamics in response to counting tasks.

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    Gohel, Bakul; Jeong, Yong

    2014-10-01

    From perception to behavior, the human brain processes information in a flexible and abstract manner independent of an input sensory modality. However, the mechanism of such multisensory neural information processing in the brain remains under debate. Relatedly, studies often aim to investigate whether certain brain regions behave in a modality-specific manner or invariantly. Previous studies regarding multisensory information processing have commonly reported only on the activation of brain regions in response to unimodal or multimodal sensory stimuli. However, less attention has been given to the modality effect on the dynamics of such regions, which could advance our understanding of neuronal information processing. In this study, we investigated whether brain regions show modality-specific or invariant high-temporal dynamics. Electrocardiogram (EEG) was recorded from healthy, normal subjects during beep-, flash- and click-counting tasks, which corresponded to auditory, visual and tactile modalities, respectively. EEG dynamics regarding event-related spectral perturbations (ERSP) in ICA time-series data were compared across the sensory modalities using a multivariate pattern analysis. We found modality-specific EEG dynamics in the prefrontal cortex, whereas we found modality-specific and cross-modal dynamics in the early visual cortex.

  10. Sensory Stimulation Prior to Spinal Cord Injury Induces Post-Injury Dysesthesia in Mice

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    Hoschouer, Emily L.; Finseth, Taylor; Flinn, Sharon; Basso, D. Michele

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Chronic pain and dysesthesias are debilitating conditions that can arise following spinal cord injury (SCI). Research studies frequently employ rodent models of SCI to better understand the underlying mechanisms and develop better treatments for these phenomena. While evoked withdrawal tests can assess hypersensitivity in these SCI models, there is little consensus over how to evaluate spontaneous sensory abnormalities that are seen in clinical SCI subjects. Overgrooming (OG) and biting after peripheral nerve injury or spinal cord excitotoxic lesions are thought to be one behavioral demonstration of spontaneous neuropathic pain or dysesthesia. However, reports of OG after contusion SCI are largely anecdotal and conditions causing this response are poorly understood. The present study investigated whether repeated application of sensory stimuli to the trunk prior to mid-thoracic contusion SCI would induce OG after SCI in mice. One week prior to SCI or laminectomy, mice were subjected either to nociceptive and mechanical stimulation, mechanical stimulation only, the testing situation without stimulation, or no treatment. They were then examined for 14 days after surgery and the sizes and locations of OG sites were recorded on anatomical maps. Mice subjected to either stimulus paradigm showed increased OG compared with unstimulated or uninjured mice. Histological analysis showed no difference in spinal cord lesion size due to sensory stimulation, or between mice that overgroomed or did not overgroom. The relationship between prior stimulation and contusion injury in mice that display OG indicates a critical interaction that may underlie one facet of spontaneous neuropathic symptoms after SCI. PMID:20121420

  11. Toll-like receptor 9 deficiency impacts sensory and motor behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khariv, Veronika; Pang, Kevin; Servatius, Richard J; David, Brian T; Goodus, Matthew T; Beck, Kevin D; Heary, Robert F; Elkabes, Stella

    2013-08-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediate the induction of the innate immune system in response to pathogens, injury and disease. However, they also play non-immune roles and are expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) during prenatal and postnatal stages including adulthood. Little is known about their roles in the CNS in the absence of pathology. Several members of the TLR family have been implicated in the development of neural and cognitive function although the contribution of TLR9 to these processes has not been well defined. The current studies were undertaken to determine whether developmental TLR9 deficiency affects motor, sensory or cognitive functions. We report that TLR9 deficient (TLR9(-/-)) mice show a hyper-responsive sensory and motor phenotype compared to wild type (TLR9(+/+)) controls. This is indicated by hypersensitivity to thermal stimuli in the hot plate paw withdrawal test, enhanced motor-responsivity under anxious conditions in the open field test and greater sensorimotor reactivity in the acoustic startle response. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response was also enhanced, which indicates abnormal sensorimotor gating. In addition, subtle, but significant, gait abnormalities were noted in the TLR9(-/-) mice on the horizontal balance beam test with higher foot slip numbers than TLR9(+/+) controls. In contrast, spatial learning and memory, assessed by the Morris water maze, was similar in the TLR9(-/-) and TLR9(+/+) mice. These findings support the notion that TLR9 is important for the appropriate development of sensory and motor behaviors.

  12. A transition from unimodal to multimodal activations in four sensory modalities in humans: an electrophysiological study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshima Yasuyuki

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To investigate the long-latency activities common to all sensory modalities, electroencephalographic responses to auditory (1000 Hz pure tone, tactile (electrical stimulation to the index finger, visual (simple figure of a star, and noxious (intra-epidermal electrical stimulation to the dorsum of the hand stimuli were recorded from 27 scalp electrodes in 14 healthy volunteers. Results Results of source modeling showed multimodal activations in the anterior part of the cingulate cortex (ACC and hippocampal region (Hip. The activity in the ACC was biphasic. In all sensory modalities, the first component of ACC activity peaked 30–56 ms later than the peak of the major modality-specific activity, the second component of ACC activity peaked 117–145 ms later than the peak of the first component, and the activity in Hip peaked 43–77 ms later than the second component of ACC activity. Conclusion The temporal sequence of activations through modality-specific and multimodal pathways was similar among all sensory modalities.

  13. Divided multimodal attention sensory trace and context coding strategies in spatially congruent auditory and visual presentation.

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    Kristjánsson, Tómas; Thorvaldsson, Tómas Páll; Kristjánsson, Arni

    2014-01-01

    Previous research involving both unimodal and multimodal studies suggests that single-response change detection is a capacity-free process while a discriminatory up or down identification is capacity-limited. The trace/context model assumes that this reflects different memory strategies rather than inherent differences between identification and detection. To perform such tasks, one of two strategies is used, a sensory trace or a context coding strategy, and if one is blocked, people will automatically use the other. A drawback to most preceding studies is that stimuli are presented at separate locations, creating the possibility of a spatial confound, which invites alternative interpretations of the results. We describe a series of experiments, investigating divided multimodal attention, without the spatial confound. The results challenge the trace/context model. Our critical experiment involved a gap before a change in volume and brightness, which according to the trace/context model blocks the sensory trace strategy, simultaneously with a roaming pedestal, which should block the context coding strategy. The results clearly show that people can use strategies other than sensory trace and context coding in the tasks and conditions of these experiments, necessitating changes to the trace/context model.

  14. Combined effects of motor response, sensory modality, and stimulus intensity on temporal reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indraccolo, Allegra; Spence, Charles; Vatakis, Argiro; Harrar, Vanessa

    2016-05-01

    The ability to estimate a filled interval of time is affected by numerous non-temporal factors, such as the sensory modality, duration, and the intensity of the stimulus. Here we explore the role of modality (auditory or visual), stimulus intensity (low vs. high), and motor response speed on the ability to reproduce the duration of short (modality and the intensity of the stimulus; longer reproduction times were generally observed for visual as compared to auditory stimuli, and for low as compared to high-intensity stimuli. We used general estimating equations in order to determine whether these factors independently affected participants' ability to reproduce a given duration, after eliminating the variability associated with reaction time, since it covaried with the reproduced durations. This analysis revealed that stimulus duration, modality, and intensity were all significant independent predictors of the reproduced durations. Additionally, duration interacted with intensity when reproducing auditory intervals. That is, after taking into account the general speeding-up effect that high-intensity stimuli have on responses, they seem to have an additional effect on the rate of the internal clock. These results support previous evidence suggesting that auditory and visual clocks run at different speeds.

  15. An Examination of Personality Traits Associated with Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredborg, Beverley; Clark, Jim; Smith, Stephen D.

    2017-01-01

    Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a perceptual condition in which the presentation of particular audio-visual stimuli triggers intense, pleasurable tingling sensations in the head and neck regions, which may spread to the periphery of the body. These triggering stimuli are often socially intimate in nature, and usually involve repetition of movements and/or sounds (e.g., hearing whispering, watching someone brush her hair). Reports of ASMR experiences first appeared in online communities in 2010; since this time, these communities have expanded, with some groups consisting of over 100,000 members. However, despite the apparent prevalence of ASMR, there is currently no research on the personality characteristics that co-occur with this condition. In the current study, 290 individuals with ASMR and 290 matched controls completed the Big Five Personality Inventory (BFI; John et al., 1991); participants with ASMR also completed a questionnaire related to their ASMR phenomenology. Individuals with ASMR demonstrated significantly higher scores on Openness-to-Experience and Neuroticism, and significantly lower levels of Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness compared to matched controls. Further, ratings of subjective ASMR intensity in response to 14 common ASMR stimuli were positively correlated with the Openness-to-Experience and Neuroticism dimensions of the BFI. These results provide preliminary evidence that ASMR is associated with specific personality traits and suggest avenues for further investigation. PMID:28280478

  16. Cross-modal sensory processing in the anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurienti, Paul J; Wallace, Mark T; Maldjian, Joseph A; Susi, Christina M; Stein, Barry E; Burdette, Jonathan H

    2003-08-01

    One of the principal functions of the nervous system is to synthesize information from multiple sensory channels into a coherent behavioral and perceptual gestalt. A critical feature of this multisensory synthesis is the sorting and coupling of information derived from the same event. One of the singular features of stimuli conveying such information is their contextual or semantic congruence. Illustrating this fact, subjects are typically faster and more accurate when performing tasks that include congruent compared to incongruent cross-modal stimuli. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrate that activity in select brain areas is sensitive to the contextual congruence among cross-modal cues and to task difficulty. The anterior cingulate gyrus and adjacent medial prefrontal cortices showed significantly greater activity when visual and auditory stimuli were contextually congruent (i.e., matching) than when they were nonmatching. Although activity in these regions was also dependent on task difficulty, showing decreased activity with decreasing task difficulty, the activity changes associated with stimulus congruence predominated.

  17. Combined compared to dissociated oral and intestinal sucrose stimuli induce different brain hedonic processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clouard, Caroline; Meunier-Salaün, Marie-Christine; Meurice, Paul; Malbert, Charles-Henri; Val-Laillet, David

    2014-01-01

    The characterization of brain networks contributing to the processing of oral and/or intestinal sugar signals in a relevant animal model might help to understand the neural mechanisms related to the control of food intake in humans and suggest potential causes for impaired eating behaviors. This study aimed at comparing the brain responses triggered by oral and/or intestinal sucrose sensing in pigs. Seven animals underwent brain single photon emission computed tomography (99mTc-HMPAO) further to oral stimulation with neutral or sucrose artificial saliva paired with saline or sucrose infusion in the duodenum, the proximal part of the intestine. Oral and/or duodenal sucrose sensing induced differential cerebral blood flow changes in brain regions known to be involved in memory, reward processes and hedonic (i.e., pleasure) evaluation of sensory stimuli, including the dorsal striatum, prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, insular cortex, hippocampus, and parahippocampal cortex. Sucrose duodenal infusion only and combined sucrose stimulation induced similar activity patterns in the putamen, ventral anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus. Some brain deactivations in the prefrontal and insular cortices were only detected in the presence of oral sucrose stimulation. Finally, activation of the right insular cortex was only induced by combined oral and duodenal sucrose stimulation, while specific activity patterns were detected in the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex with oral sucrose dissociated from caloric load. This study sheds new light on the brain hedonic responses to sugar and has potential implications to unravel the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying food pleasure and motivation. PMID:25147536

  18. Botulinum toxin A for palmar hyperhidrosis: assessment with sympathetic skin responses evoked by train of stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hashel, J Y; Youssry, D; Rashaed, H M; Shamov, T; Rousseff, R T

    2016-07-01

    Objective assessment of the effect of botulinum toxin A (BT) treatment in primary palmar hyperhidrosis (PH) is attempted by different methods. We decided to use for this purpose sympathetic skin responses evoked by train of stimuli (TSSR). Twenty patients with severe PH (five female, median age 24, range 18-36) were examined regularly over 3 months after receiving 50 UI BT in each palm. TSSR were recorded from the palms after sensory stimulation by a train of three supramaximal electric pulses 3 millisecond apart. Results were compared to longitudinally studied TSSR of 20 healthy sex- and age-matched control subjects. All hyperhidrosis patients reported excellent improvement. TSSR amplitudes decreased at week 1 (mean 54% range 48%-67%) and over the following months in a clinically significant trend (slope R=-.82, P<.0001). TSSR in controls changed insignificantly (±13% from the baseline). The difference between patients and controls was highly significant at any time point (P<.001). This study suggests that TSSR may help in assessment of treatments in PH. It confirms objectively the efficacy of BT in PH.

  19. Light and color as biological stimuli for the well-being in space long duration missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlacht, I.; Masali, M.; Ferrino, M.

    Foreword In a microgravitational space environment the human biorhythm its sensory perception and all its psycho-physiological system comes completely upset by the absence of gravity and of external terrestrial references beyond the effects of constraint in a limited space This type of environment is defined extreme confined In order to create a human centered design in sight of missions of long duration We will have to consider above all these factors in order to try to increase the well-being the comfort and the productivity of the astronauts In this context we have elaborated a design concept that forecasts to resume the variety and the variability of the terrestrial stimuli through factors like the light and the color so as to recreate the input of the normal circadian cycle subsubsection Light and color and psycho-physiological well-being The human circadian rhythms day all around cycle of the organism s function are regulated by a sort of biological clock presumably localized in the hypothalamus The more obvious examples of this clock are the heartbeat the menstrual cycle the variation of the body temperature and the hormonal production during the day the behavior of plants and animals Those organism functions are influenced by the variation of the light around of the 24 hours The emission of an environmental light can restore sout s the earthly solar cycle irradiating the subject with the same frequency beams present on the Earth this irradiation should vary the intensity during the day like the

  20. Serotonin in the inferior colliculus fluctuates with behavioral state and environmental stimuli.

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    Hall, Ian C; Rebec, George V; Hurley, Laura M

    2010-04-01

    Neuromodulation by serotonin (5-HT) could link behavioral state and environmental events with sensory processing. Within the auditory system, the presence of 5-HT alters the activity of neurons in the inferior colliculus (IC), but the conditions that influence 5-HT neurotransmission in this region of the brain are unknown. We used in vivo voltammetry to measure extracellular 5-HT in the IC of behaving mice to address this issue. Extracellular 5-HT increased with the recovery from anesthesia, suggesting that the neuromodulation of auditory processing is correlated with the level of behavioral arousal. Awake mice were further exposed to auditory (broadband noise), visual (light) or olfactory (2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline, TMT) stimuli, presented with food or confined in a small arena. Only the auditory stimulus or restricted movement increased the concentration of extracellular 5-HT in the IC. Changes occurred within minutes of stimulus onset, with the auditory stimulus increasing extracellular 5-HT by an average of 5% and restricted movement increasing it by an average of 14%. These findings suggest that the neuromodulation of auditory processing by 5-HT is a dynamic process that is dependent on internal state and behavioral conditions.