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Sample records for surprising saccade strategies

  1. Quantitative analysis of saccadic search strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Over, E.A.B.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis deals with the quantitative analysis of saccadic search strategy. The goal of the research presented was twofold: 1) to quantify overall characteristics of fixation location and saccade direction, and 2) to identify search strategies, with the use of a quantitative description of eye mov

  2. Quantitative analysis of saccadic search strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Over, E.A.B.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis deals with the quantitative analysis of saccadic search strategy. The goal of the research presented was twofold: 1) to quantify overall characteristics of fixation location and saccade direction, and 2) to identify search strategies, with the use of a quantitative description of eye

  3. Surprise as a design strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludden, G.D.S.; Schifferstein, H.N.J.; Hekkert, P.P.M.

    2008-01-01

    Imagine yourself queuing for the cashier’s desk in a supermarket. Naturally, you have picked the wrong line, the one that does not seem to move at all. Soon, you get tired of waiting. Now, how would you feel if the cashier suddenly started to sing? Many of us would be surprised and, regardless of

  4. Surprise as a design strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludden, G.D.S.; Schifferstein, H.N.J.; Hekkert, P.P.M.

    2008-01-01

    Imagine yourself queuing for the cashier’s desk in a supermarket. Naturally, you have picked the wrong line, the one that does not seem to move at all. Soon, you get tired of waiting. Now, how would you feel if the cashier suddenly started to sing? Many of us would be surprised and, regardless of th

  5. 2014 Presidential elections in Romania – surprising result or strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Mihalache

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The presidential elections in Romania which took place in November 2014 were won by Klaus Iohannis, who clearly defeated the incumbent prime-minister Victor Ponta by 10%. The result was considered by many a surprise, as none of the opinion polls were able to predict it. This article reveals a part of the strategy of Klaus Iohannis’s campaign and it offers a few clues about how this is result was possible, without having the aim to explain it fully. As the authors were accountable for strategy and political message in the electoral campaign for Klaus Iohannis, the scientific approach is combined with the inside view, to provide the reader a better understanding of the November 2014 events.

  6. Age-related deficits in voluntary control over saccadic eye movements: consideration of electrical brain stimulation as a therapeutic strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Po Ling; Machado, Liana

    2016-05-01

    Sudden changes in our visual environment trigger reflexive eye movements, so automatically they often go unnoticed. Consequently, voluntary control over reflexive eye movements entails considerable effort. In relation to frontal-lobe deterioration, adult aging adversely impacts voluntary saccadic eye movement control in particular, which compromises effective performance of daily activities. Here, we review the nature of age-related changes in saccadic control, focusing primarily on the antisaccade task because of its assessment of 2 key age-sensitive control functions: reflexive saccade inhibition and voluntary saccade generation. With an ultimate view toward facilitating development of therapeutic strategies, we systematically review the neuroanatomy underpinning voluntary control over saccadic eye movements and natural mechanisms that kick in to compensate for age-related declines. We then explore the potential of noninvasive electrical brain stimulation to counteract aging deficits. Based on evidence that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation can confer a range of benefits specifically relevant to aging brains, we put forward this neuromodulation technique as a therapeutic strategy for improving voluntary saccadic eye movement control in older adults. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Saccadic compression of symbolic numerical magnitude.

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    Paola Binda

    Full Text Available Stimuli flashed briefly around the time of saccadic eye movements are subject to complex distortions: compression of space and time; underestimate of numerosity. Here we show that saccadic distortions extend to abstract quantities, affecting the representation of symbolic numerical magnitude. Subjects consistently underestimated the results of rapidly computed mental additions and subtractions, when the operands were briefly displayed before a saccade. However, the recognition of the number symbols was unimpaired. These results are consistent with the hypothesis of a common, abstract metric encoding magnitude along multiple dimensions. They suggest that a surprising link exists between the preparation of action and the representation of abstract quantities.

  8. Memory-guided saccades show effect of perceptual illusion whereas visually-guided saccades do not.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massendari, Delphine; Lisi, Matteo; Collins, Thérèse; Cavanagh, Patrick

    2017-09-27

    The double-drift stimulus (a drifting Gabor with orthogonal internal motion) generates a large discrepancy between its physical and perceived path. Surprisingly, saccades directed to the double-drift stimulus land along the physical, and not perceived, path (Lisi & Cavanagh, 2015). Here we asked whether memory-guided saccades exhibited the same dissociation from perception. Participants were asked to keep their gaze centered on a fixation dot while the double-drift stimulus moved back and forth on a linear path in the periphery. The offset of the fixation was the go-signal to make a saccade to the target. In the visually-guided saccade condition, the Gabor kept moving on its trajectory after the go-signal but was removed once the saccade began. In the memory conditions, the Gabor disappeared before or at the same time as the go-signal (0 to 1000 ms delay) and participants made a saccade to its remembered location. The results showed that visually-guided saccades again targeted the physical rather than the perceived location. However, memory saccades, even with 0 ms delay, had landing positions shifted toward the perceived location. Our result shows that memory- and visually-guided saccades are based on different spatial information. Copyright © 2017, Journal of Neurophysiology.

  9. Hovering by Gazing: A Novel Strategy for Implementing Saccadic Flight-based Navigation in GPS-denied Environments

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    Augustin Manecy

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Hovering flies are able to stay still in place when hovering above flowers and burst into movement towards a new object of interest (a target. This suggests that sensorimotor control loops implemented onboard could be usefully mimicked for controlling Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs. In this study, the fundamental head-body movements occurring in free-flying insects was simulated in a sighted twin-engine robot with a mechanical decoupling inserted between its eye (or gaze and its body. The robot based on this gaze control system achieved robust and accurate hovering performances, without an accelerometer, over a ground target despite a narrow eye field of view (±5◦. The gaze stabilization strategy validated under Processor-In-the-Loop (PIL and inspired by three biological Oculomotor Reflexes (ORs enables the aerial robot to lock its gaze onto a fixed target regardless of its roll angle. In addition, the gaze control mechanism allows the robot to perform short range target to target navigation by triggering an automatic fast "target jump" behaviour based on a saccadic eye movement.

  10. How to Produce a Surprise Ending for Readers---Writing Strategies in O. Henry’s The Last Leaf

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    姚雪莹

    2014-01-01

    “Twist ending”is well used by writers in a novel in order to leave readers a strong impression. In this essay, the author will focus on the narrative strategies that produce such a surprise ending in a short story, using as the example O. Henry’s The Last Leaf (1907). The author gives each of strategies O. Henry used in the novel a name and explains how it is used to produce a surprise ending, standing at the readers’perspective.

  11. Reading between eye saccades.

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    Caroline Blais

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Skilled adult readers, in contrast to beginners, show no or little increase in reading latencies as a function of the number of letters in words up to seven letters. The information extraction strategy underlying such efficiency in word identification is still largely unknown, and methods that allow tracking of the letter information extraction through time between eye saccades are needed to fully address this question. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The present study examined the use of letter information during reading, by means of the Bubbles technique. Ten participants each read 5,000 five-letter French words sampled in space-time within a 200 ms window. On the temporal dimension, our results show that two moments are especially important during the information extraction process. On the spatial dimension, we found a bias for the upper half of words. We also show for the first time that letter positions four, one, and three are particularly important for the identification of five-letter words. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings are consistent with either a partially parallel reading strategy or an optimal serial reading strategy. We show using computer simulations that this serial reading strategy predicts an absence of a word-length effect for words from four- to seven letters in length. We believe that the Bubbles technique will play an important role in further examining the nature of reading between eye saccades.

  12. Saccade-related activity in areas 18 and 21a of cats freely viewing complex scenes.

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    Moeller, Gudrun U; Kayser, Christoph; König, Peter

    2007-03-26

    Although saccadic eye movements can radically change the retinal image, perceptually their impact is surprisingly small. Here, we investigate possible neuronal correlates of saccadic suppression in cats freely viewing natural stimuli. By comparing changes attributable to saccadic events with passive stimulus changes, we find that during saccades: (i) evoked and induced activity is reduced in areas 18 and 21a by equal amounts, (ii) the variability of neuronal activity with stimulus category is abolished in both areas, and (iii) the high-power transient induced by stimulus change is not observed. These results present electrophysiological evidence for saccadic suppression at the level of primary and higher visual cortex under natural conditions.

  13. Ontological Surprises

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leahu, Lucian

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates how we might rethink design as the technological crafting of human-machine relations in the context of a machine learning technique called neural networks. It analyzes Google’s Inceptionism project, which uses neural networks for image recognition. The surprising output of...... a hybrid approach where machine learning algorithms are used to identify objects as well as connections between them; finally, it argues for remaining open to ontological surprises in machine learning as they may enable the crafting of different relations with and through technologies....

  14. Surprise Trips

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korn, Matthias; Kawash, Raghid; Andersen, Lisbet Møller

    We report on a platform that augments the natural experience of exploration in diverse indoor and outdoor environments. The system builds on the theme of surprises in terms of user expectations and finding points of interest. It utilizes physical icons as representations of users' interests and a...

  15. Body saccades of Drosophila consist of stereotyped banked turns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muijres, F.T.; Elzinga, M.J.; Iwasaki, N.A.; Dickinson, M.H.

    2015-01-01

    The flight pattern of many fly species consists of straight flight segments interspersed with rapid turns called body saccades, a strategy that is thought to minimize motion blur. We analyzed the body saccades of fruit flies (Drosophila hydei), using high-speed 3D videography to track body and wing

  16. Charming surprise

    CERN Multimedia

    Antonella Del Rosso

    2011-01-01

    The CP violation in charm quarks has always been thought to be extremely small. So, looking at particle decays involving matter and antimatter, the LHCb experiment has recently been surprised to observe that things might be different. Theorists are on the case.   The study of the physics of the charm quark was not in the initial plans of the LHCb experiment, whose letter “b” stands for “beauty quark”. However, already one year ago, the Collaboration decided to look into a wider spectrum of processes that involve charm quarks among other things. The LHCb trigger allows a lot of these processes to be selected, and, among them, one has recently shown interesting features. Other experiments at b-factories have already performed the same measurement but this is the first time that it has been possible to achieve such high precision, thanks to the huge amount of data provided by the very high luminosity of the LHC. “We have observed the decay modes of t...

  17. Charming surprise

    CERN Multimedia

    Antonella Del Rosso

    2011-01-01

    The CP violation in charm quarks has always been thought to be extremely small. So, looking at particle decays involving matter and antimatter, the LHCb experiment has recently been surprised to observe that things might be different. Theorists are on the case. The study of the physics of the charm quark was not in the initial plans of the LHCb experiment, whose letter “b” stands for “beauty quark”. However, already one year ago, the Collaboration decided to look into a wider spectrum of processes that involve charm quarks among other things. The LHCb trigger allows a lot of these processes to be selected, and, among them, one has recently shown interesting features. Other experiments at b-factories have already performed the same measurement but this is the first time that it has been possible to achieve such high precision, thanks to the huge amount of data provided by the very high luminosity of the LHC. “We have observed the decay modes of the D0, a pa...

  18. Reaching affects saccade trajectories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tipper, S P; Howard, L A; Paul, M A

    2001-01-01

    The pre-motor theory suggests that, when attention is oriented to a location, the motor systems that are involved in achieving current behavioural goals are activated. For example, when a task requires accurate reaching, attention to a location activates the motor circuits controlling saccades and manual reaches. These actions involve separate neural systems for the control of eye and hand, but we believe that the selection processes acting on neural population codes within these systems are similar and can affect each other. The attentional effect can be revealed in the subsequent movement. The present study shows that the path the eye takes as it saccades to a target is affected by whether a reach to the target is also produced. This effect is interpreted as the influence of a hand-centred frame used in reaching on the spatial frame of reference required for the saccade.

  19. Visual mislocalization during double-step saccades

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    Eckart eZimmermann

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Visual objects presented briefly at the time of saccade onset appear compressed toward the saccade target. Compression strength depends on the presentation of a visual saccade target signal and is strongly reduced during the second saccade of a double-step saccade sequence (Zimmermann et al., 2014; 2014. Here, I tested whether perisaccadic compression is linked to saccade planning by contrasting two double-step paradigms. In the same-direction double-step paradigm, subjects were required to perform two rightward 10° saccades successively. At various times around execution of the saccade sequence a probe dot was briefly flashed. Subjects had to localize the position of the probe dot after they had completed both saccades. I found compression of visual space only at the time of the first but not at the time of the second saccade. In the reverse-direction paradigm, subjects performed first a rightward 10° saccade followed by a leftward 10° saccade back to initial fixation. In this paradigm compression was found in similar magnitude during both saccades. Analysis of the saccade parameters did not reveal indications of saccade sequence preplanning in this paradigm. I therefore conclude that saccade planning, rather than saccade execution factors, is involved in perisaccadic compression.

  20. Directional interactions between current and prior saccades

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    Stephanie Anne Holland Jones

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available One way to explore how prior sensory and motor events impact eye movements is to ask someone to look to targets located about a central point, returning gaze to the central point after each eye movement. Concerned about the contribution of this return to centre movement, Anderson et al. (2008 used a sequential saccade paradigm in which participants made a continuous series of saccades to peripheral targets that appeared to the left or right of the currently fixated location in a random sequence (the next eye movement began from the last target location. Examining the effects of previous saccades (n-x on current saccade latency (n, they found that saccadic reaction times (RT were reduced when the direction of the current saccade matched that of a preceding saccade (e.g. two left saccades, even when the two saccades in question were separated by multiple saccades in any direction. We examined if this pattern extends to conditions in which targets appear inside continuously marked locations that provide stable visual features (i.e. target ‘placeholders’ and when saccades are prompted by central arrows. Participants completed 3 conditions: peripheral targets (PT; continuous, sequential saccades to peripherally presented targets without placeholders; PT with placeholders; and centrally presented arrows (CA; left or right pointing arrows at the currently fixated location instructing participants to saccade to the left or right. We found reduced saccadic RT when the immediately preceding saccade (n-1 was in the same (vs. opposite direction in the PT without placeholders and CA conditions. This effect varied when considering the effect of the previous 2-5 (n-x saccades on current saccade latency (n. The effects of previous eye movements on current saccade latency may be determined by multiple, time-varying mechanisms related to sensory (i.e., retinotopic location, motor (i.e., saccade direction, and environmental (i.e., persistent visual objects

  1. Saccadic search performance: the effect of element spacing.

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    Vlaskamp, Björn N S; Over, Eelco A B; Hooge, Ignace Th C

    2005-11-01

    In a saccadic search task, we investigated whether spacing between elements affects search performance. Since it has been suggested in the literature that element spacing can affect the eye movement strategy in several ways, its effects on search time per element are hard to predict. In the first experiment, we varied the element spacing (3.4 degrees -7.1 degrees distance between elements) and target-distracter similarity. As expected, search time per element increased with target-distracter similarity. Decreasing element spacing decreased the search time per element. However, this effect was surprisingly small in comparison to the effect of varying target-distracter similarity. In a second experiment, we elaborated on this finding and decreased element spacing even further (between 0.8 degrees and 3.2 degrees). Here, we did not find an effect on search time per element for element spacings from 3.2 degrees to spacings as small as 1.5 degrees . It was only at distances smaller than 1.5 degrees that search time per element increased with decreasing element spacing. In order to explain the remarkable finding that search time per element was not affected for such a wide range of element spacings, we propose that irrespective of the spacing crowding kept the number of elements processed per fixation more or less constant.

  2. Abnormalities of fixation, saccade and pursuit in posterior cortical atrophy.

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    Shakespeare, Timothy J; Kaski, Diego; Yong, Keir X X; Paterson, Ross W; Slattery, Catherine F; Ryan, Natalie S; Schott, Jonathan M; Crutch, Sebastian J

    2015-07-01

    The clinico-neuroradiological syndrome posterior cortical atrophy is the cardinal 'visual dementia' and most common atypical Alzheimer's disease phenotype, offering insights into mechanisms underlying clinical heterogeneity, pathological propagation and basic visual phenomena (e.g. visual crowding). Given the extensive attention paid to patients' (higher order) perceptual function, it is surprising that there have been no systematic analyses of basic oculomotor function in this population. Here 20 patients with posterior cortical atrophy, 17 patients with typical Alzheimer's disease and 22 healthy controls completed tests of fixation, saccade (including fixation/target gap and overlap conditions) and smooth pursuit eye movements using an infrared pupil-tracking system. Participants underwent detailed neuropsychological and neurological examinations, with a proportion also undertaking brain imaging and analysis of molecular pathology. In contrast to informal clinical evaluations of oculomotor dysfunction frequency (previous studies: 38%, current clinical examination: 33%), detailed eyetracking investigations revealed eye movement abnormalities in 80% of patients with posterior cortical atrophy (compared to 17% typical Alzheimer's disease, 5% controls). The greatest differences between posterior cortical atrophy and typical Alzheimer's disease were seen in saccadic performance. Patients with posterior cortical atrophy made significantly shorter saccades especially for distant targets. They also exhibited a significant exacerbation of the normal gap/overlap effect, consistent with 'sticky fixation'. Time to reach saccadic targets was significantly associated with parietal and occipital cortical thickness measures. On fixation stability tasks, patients with typical Alzheimer's disease showed more square wave jerks whose frequency was associated with lower cerebellar grey matter volume, while patients with posterior cortical atrophy showed large saccadic intrusions

  3. Saccadic head and thorax movements in freely walking blowflies.

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    Blaj, G; van Hateren, J H

    2004-11-01

    Visual information processing is adapted to the statistics of natural visual stimuli, and these statistics depend to a large extent on the movements of an animal itself. To investigate such movements in freely walking blowflies, we measured the orientation and position of their head and thorax, with high spatial and temporal accuracy. Experiments were performed on Calliphora vicina, Lucilia cuprina and L. caesar. We found that thorax and head orientation of walking flies is typically different from the direction of walking, with differences of 45 degrees common. During walking, the head and the thorax turn abruptly, with a frequency of 5-10 Hz and angular velocities in the order of 1,000 degrees /s. These saccades are stereotyped: head and thorax start simultaneously, with the head turning faster, and finishing its turn before the thorax. The changes in position during walking are saccade-like as well, occurring synchronously, but on average slightly after the orientation saccades. Between orientation saccades the angular velocities are low and the head is held more stable than the thorax. We argue that the strategy of turning by saccades improves the performance of the visual system of blowflies.

  4. Redundant visual signals boost saccade execution.

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    Turatto, Massimo; Betta, Elena

    2006-10-01

    The redundant signal effect (RSE) refers to the fact that human beings react more quickly to a pair of stimuli than to only one stimulus. In previous studies of the RSE in the oculomotor system, bimodal signals have been used as the goal of the saccade. In consistency with studies using manual response times (RTs), saccadic RTs have been shown to be shorter for redundant multimodal stimuli than for single unimodal stimuli. In the present experiments, we extended these findings by demonstrating an RSE in the saccadic system elicited only by unimodal visual stimuli. In addition, we found that shorter saccadic RTs were accompanied by an increased saccadic peak velocity. The present results are of relevance for neurophysiological models of saccade execution, since the boost of saccades was elicited by two visual transients (acting as a "go" signal) that were presented not at the goal of the saccade but at various other locations.

  5. The parallel programming of voluntary and reflexive saccades.

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    Walker, Robin; McSorley, Eugene

    2006-06-01

    A novel two-step paradigm was used to investigate the parallel programming of consecutive, stimulus-elicited ('reflexive') and endogenous ('voluntary') saccades. The mean latency of voluntary saccades, made following the first reflexive saccades in two-step conditions, was significantly reduced compared to that of voluntary saccades made in the single-step control trials. The latency of the first reflexive saccades was modulated by the requirement to make a second saccade: first saccade latency increased when a second voluntary saccade was required in the opposite direction to the first saccade, and decreased when a second saccade was required in the same direction as the first reflexive saccade. A second experiment confirmed the basic effect and also showed that a second reflexive saccade may be programmed in parallel with a first voluntary saccade. The results support the view that voluntary and reflexive saccades can be programmed in parallel on a common motor map.

  6. Human visual search does not maximize the post-saccadic probability of identifying targets.

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    Camille Morvan

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Researchers have conjectured that eye movements during visual search are selected to minimize the number of saccades. The optimal Bayesian eye movement strategy minimizing saccades does not simply direct the eye to whichever location is judged most likely to contain the target but makes use of the entire retina as an information gathering device during each fixation. Here we show that human observers do not minimize the expected number of saccades in planning saccades in a simple visual search task composed of three tokens. In this task, the optimal eye movement strategy varied, depending on the spacing between tokens (in the first experiment or the size of tokens (in the second experiment, and changed abruptly once the separation or size surpassed a critical value. None of our observers changed strategy as a function of separation or size. Human performance fell far short of ideal, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

  7. Inhibition of saccades elicits attentional suppression.

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    Dhawan, Saurabh; Deubel, Heiner; Jonikaitis, Donatas

    2013-05-17

    Visuospatial attention has been shown to have a central role in planning and generation of saccades but what role, if any, it plays in inhibition of saccades remains unclear. In this study, we used an oculomotor delayed match- or nonmatch-to-sample task in which a cued location has to be encoded and memorized for one of two very different goals-to plan a saccade to it or to avoid making a saccade to it. We measured the spatial allocation of attention during the delay and found that while marking a location as a future saccade target resulted in an attentional benefit at that location, marking it as forbidden to saccades led to an attentional cost. Additionally, saccade trajectories were found to deviate away more from the "don't look" location than from a saccade-irrelevant distractor confirming greater inhibition of an actively forbidden location in oculomotor programming. Our finding that attention is suppressed at locations forbidden to saccades confirms and complements the claim of a selective and obligatory coupling between saccades and attention-saccades at the memorized location could neither be planned nor suppressed independent of a corresponding effect on attentional performance.

  8. Pupil size reveals preparatory processes in the generation of pro-saccades and anti-saccades.

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    Wang, Chin-An; Brien, Donald C; Munoz, Douglas P

    2015-04-01

    The ability to generate flexible behaviors to accommodate changing goals in response to identical sensory stimuli is a signature that is inherited in humans and higher-level animals. In the oculomotor system, this function has often been examined with the anti-saccade task, in which subjects are instructed, prior to stimulus appearance, to either automatically look at the peripheral stimulus (pro-saccade) or to suppress the automatic response and voluntarily look in the opposite direction from the stimulus (anti-saccade). Distinct neural preparatory activity between the pro-saccade and anti-saccade conditions has been well documented, particularly in the superior colliculus (SC) and the frontal eye field (FEF), and this has shown higher inhibition-related fixation activity in preparation for anti-saccades than in preparation for pro-saccades. Moreover, the level of preparatory activity related to motor preparation is negatively correlated with reaction times. We hypothesised that preparatory signals may be reflected in pupil size through a link between the SC and the pupil control circuitry. Here, we examined human pupil dynamics during saccade preparation prior to the execution of pro-saccades and anti-saccades. Pupil size was larger in preparation for correct anti-saccades than in preparation for correct pro-saccades and erroneous pro-saccades made in the anti-saccade condition. Furthermore, larger pupil dilation prior to stimulus appearance accompanied saccades with faster reaction times, with a trial-by-trial correlation between dilation size and anti-saccade reaction times. Overall, our results demonstrate that pupil size is modulated by saccade preparation, and neural activity in the SC, together with the FEF, supports these findings, providing unique insights into the neural substrate coordinating cognitive processing and pupil diameter.

  9. Salient Distractors Can Induce Saccade Adaptation

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    Afsheen Khan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available When saccadic eye movements consistently fail to land on their intended target, saccade accuracy is maintained by gradually adapting the movement size of successive saccades. The proposed error signal for saccade adaptation has been based on the distance between where the eye lands and the visual target (retinal error. We studied whether the error signal could alternatively be based on the distance between the predicted and actual locus of attention after the saccade. Unlike conventional adaptation experiments that surreptitiously displace the target once a saccade is initiated towards it, we instead attempted to draw attention away from the target by briefly presenting salient distractor images on one side of the target after the saccade. To test whether less salient, more predictable distractors would induce less adaptation, we separately used fixed random noise distractors. We found that both visual attention distractors were able to induce a small degree of downward saccade adaptation but significantly more to the more salient distractors. As in conventional adaptation experiments, upward adaptation was less effective and salient distractors did not significantly increase amplitudes. We conclude that the locus of attention after the saccade can act as an error signal for saccade adaptation.

  10. More Supernova Surprises

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-24

    SEP 2010 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2010 to 00-00-2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE More Supernova Surprises 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT...PERSPECTIVES More Supernova Surprises ASTRONOMY J. Martin Laming Spectroscopic observations of the supernova SN1987A are providing a new window into high...a core-collapse supernova ) have stretched and motivated research that has expanded our knowledge of astrophysics. The brightest such event in

  11. The fixation and saccade P3.

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    Dandekar, Sangita; Ding, Jian; Privitera, Claudio; Carney, Thom; Klein, Stanley A

    2012-01-01

    Although most instances of object recognition during natural viewing occur in the presence of saccades, the neural correlates of objection recognition have almost exclusively been examined during fixation. Recent studies have indicated that there are post-saccadic modulations of neural activity immediately following eye movement landing; however, whether post-saccadic modulations affect relatively late occurring cognitive components such as the P3 has not been explored. The P3 as conventionally measured at fixation is commonly used in brain computer interfaces, hence characterizing the post-saccadic P3 could aid in the development of improved brain computer interfaces that allow for eye movements. In this study, the P3 observed after saccadic landing was compared to the P3 measured at fixation. No significant differences in P3 start time, temporal persistence, or amplitude were found between fixation and saccade trials. Importantly, sensory neural responses canceled in the target minus distracter comparisons used to identify the P3. Our results indicate that relatively late occurring cognitive neural components such as the P3 are likely less sensitive to post saccadic modulations than sensory neural components and other neural activity occurring shortly after eye movement landing. Furthermore, due to the similarity of the fixation and saccade P3, we conclude that the P3 following saccadic landing could possibly be used as a viable signal in brain computer interfaces allowing for eye movements.

  12. Face recognition increases during saccade preparation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai Lin

    Full Text Available Face perception is integral to human perception system as it underlies social interactions. Saccadic eye movements are frequently made to bring interesting visual information, such as faces, onto the fovea for detailed processing. Just before eye movement onset, the processing of some basic features, such as the orientation, of an object improves at the saccade landing point. Interestingly, there is also evidence that indicates faces are processed in early visual processing stages similar to basic features. However, it is not known whether this early enhancement of processing includes face recognition. In this study, three experiments were performed to map the timing of face presentation to the beginning of the eye movement in order to evaluate pre-saccadic face recognition. Faces were found to be similarly processed as simple objects immediately prior to saccadic movements. Starting ∼ 120 ms before a saccade to a target face, independent of whether or not the face was surrounded by other faces, the face recognition gradually improved and the critical spacing of the crowding decreased as saccade onset was approaching. These results suggest that an upcoming saccade prepares the visual system for new information about faces at the saccade landing site and may reduce the background in a crowd to target the intended face. This indicates an important role of pre-saccadic eye movement signals in human face recognition.

  13. Face recognition increases during saccade preparation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hai; Rizak, Joshua D; Ma, Yuan-ye; Yang, Shang-chuan; Chen, Lin; Hu, Xin-tian

    2014-01-01

    Face perception is integral to human perception system as it underlies social interactions. Saccadic eye movements are frequently made to bring interesting visual information, such as faces, onto the fovea for detailed processing. Just before eye movement onset, the processing of some basic features, such as the orientation, of an object improves at the saccade landing point. Interestingly, there is also evidence that indicates faces are processed in early visual processing stages similar to basic features. However, it is not known whether this early enhancement of processing includes face recognition. In this study, three experiments were performed to map the timing of face presentation to the beginning of the eye movement in order to evaluate pre-saccadic face recognition. Faces were found to be similarly processed as simple objects immediately prior to saccadic movements. Starting ∼ 120 ms before a saccade to a target face, independent of whether or not the face was surrounded by other faces, the face recognition gradually improved and the critical spacing of the crowding decreased as saccade onset was approaching. These results suggest that an upcoming saccade prepares the visual system for new information about faces at the saccade landing site and may reduce the background in a crowd to target the intended face. This indicates an important role of pre-saccadic eye movement signals in human face recognition.

  14. What triggers catch-up saccades during visual tracking?

    OpenAIRE

    2002-01-01

    When tracking moving visual stimuli, primates orient their visual axis by combining two kinds of eye movements, smooth pursuit and saccades, that have very different dynamics. Yet, the mechanisms that govern the decision to switch from one type of eye movement to the other are still poorly understood, even though they could bring a significant contribution to the understanding of how the CNS combines different kinds of control strategies to achieve a common motor and sensory goal. In this stu...

  15. Pre-saccadic perception: Separate time courses for enhancement and spatial pooling at the saccade target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buonocore, Antimo; Fracasso, Alessio; Melcher, David

    2017-01-01

    We interact with complex scenes using eye movements to select targets of interest. Studies have shown that the future target of a saccadic eye movement is processed differently by the visual system. A number of effects have been reported, including a benefit for perceptual performance at the target ("enhancement"), reduced influences of backward masking ("un-masking"), reduced crowding ("un-crowding") and spatial compression towards the saccade target. We investigated the time course of these effects by measuring orientation discrimination for targets that were spatially crowded or temporally masked. In four experiments, we varied the target-flanker distance, the presence of forward/backward masks, the orientation of the flankers and whether participants made a saccade. Masking and randomizing flanker orientation reduced performance in both fixation and saccade trials. We found a small improvement in performance on saccade trials, compared to fixation trials, with a time course that was consistent with a general enhancement at the saccade target. In addition, a decrement in performance (reporting the average flanker orientation, rather than the target) was found in the time bins nearest saccade onset when random oriented flankers were used, consistent with spatial pooling around the saccade target. We did not find strong evidence for un-crowding. Overall, our pattern of results was consistent with both an early, general enhancement at the saccade target and a later, peri-saccadic compression/pooling towards the saccade target.

  16. Saccades to the seeing visual hemifield in hemidecorticate patients exhibit task-dependent reaction times and hypometria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herter, Troy M; Guitton, Daniel

    2007-09-01

    In three patients who had one cortical hemisphere removed surgically (hemidecortication), we studied visually-triggered saccades directed contralateral to the intact cortical hemisphere (i.e., ipsilesional saccades). Both saccade reaction times (SRTs) and accuracy of these saccades have been reported as abnormal in hemidecorticate patients, but not monkeys. One explanation for this difference is that deficits in hemidecorticate patients may not have been directly caused by removal of cortical oculomotor structures themselves, but may have been a manifestation of compensatory strategies used to cope with contralesional hemianopia. We hypothesized that deficits in saccade performance to the ipsilesional (seeing) visual hemifield would be directly linked to how easily patients could localize targets in their blind hemifield with searching saccades. To test this hypothesis, we examined how deficits in our patients varied when targets were: (1) randomly presented to either the seeing or blind hemifield for long durations thereby permitting searching saccades in the blind hemifield; (2) presented as in Experiment 1, but briefly flashed thereby removing visual feedback prior to saccade onset thereby rendering searching saccades useless; (3) briefly flashed as in Experiment 2, but at random locations in only the seeing hemifield (blind hemifield irrelevant). Mean SRTs to the seeing hemifield were 165 ms longer than normal in Experiment 2, but only about 40 ms longer in Experiments 1 and 3. Saccade accuracy was characterized by task-dependent hypometria in all three experiments with a mean undershoot of about twice the amplitude variance. The largest undershoots were in Experiments 2 and 3. Our data suggest that deficits resulted from the direct effects of the lesions themselves coupled with context-dependent strategies used to cope with contralesional hemianopia.

  17. Plasticity during vestibular compensation: the role of saccades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamish Gavin MacDougall

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper is focussed on one major aspect of compensation: the recent behavioural findings concerning oculomotor responses in human vestibular compensation and their possible implications for recovery after unilateral vestibular loss (UVL. New measurement techniques have provided new insights into how patients recover after UVL and have given clues for vestibular rehabilitation. Prior to this it has not been possible to quantify the level of function of all the peripheral vestibular sense organs. Now it is. By using vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials to measure utricular and saccular function and by new video head impulse testing to measure semicircular canal function to natural values of head accelerations. With these new video procedures it is now possible to measure both slow phase eye velocity and also saccades during natural head movements. The present evidence is that there is little or no recovery of slow phase eye velocity responses to natural head accelerations. It is doubtful as to whether the modest changes in slow phase eye velocity to small angular accelerations are functionally effective during compensation. On the other hand it is now clear that saccades can play a very important role in helping patients compensate and return to a normal lifestyle. Preliminary evidence suggests that different patterns of saccadic response may predict how well patients recover. It may be possible to train patients to produce more effective saccadic patterns in the first days after their unilateral loss. Some patients do learn new strategies, new behaviours, to conceal their inadequate VOR but when those strategies are prevented from operating by using passive, unpredictable, high acceleration natural head movements, as in the head impulse test, their vestibular loss can be demonstrated. It is those very strategies which the tests exclude, which may be the cause of their successful compensation.

  18. Spatial consequences of bridging the saccadic gap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yarrow, Kielan; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Rothwell, John C;

    2006-01-01

    with the post-saccadic image. We first demonstrate that this illusion holds for moving objects, implying that the perception of time, velocity, and distance traveled become discrepant. We then show that this discrepancy is partially resolved up to 500 ms after a saccade: the perceived offset position of a post...

  19. Refixation saccades with normal gain values

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsager, Leise Elisabeth Hviid; Faber, Christian Emil; Schmidt, Jesper Hvass

    2017-01-01

    Refixation saccades with normal gain value occur more frequently with increasing age. The phenomenon has also been observed in different vestibular disorders. In this case, we present a young male with normal gain value and refixation saccades tested with the video head impulse test (vHIT) the da...

  20. Delayed saccadic eye movements in glaucoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanjee R

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Raageen Kanjee,1 Yeni H Yücel,1,2 Martin J Steinbach,3,4 Esther G González,3,4 Neeru Gupta1,2,51Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, St Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, 2Keenan Research Centre at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael's Hospital, 3Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, 4Centre for Vision Research, York University, 5Glaucoma and Nerve Protection Unit, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, CanadaPurpose: To determine whether saccadic eye movements are altered in glaucoma patients.Patients and methods: Sixteen patients with glaucoma and 21 control subjects were prospectively studied. Patients participated in a pro-saccade step task. Saccades were recorded using a noninvasive infrared oculometric device with head-mounted target projection. Medians of saccade reaction time, duration, amplitude, and peak velocity; frequency of express saccades; and percentage of trials with direction error were recorded. t-tests were used to compare the glaucoma and age-matched control groups. A correlation analysis of saccade parameters with visual field loss was also performed.Results: Median saccade reaction times were significantly prolonged in glaucoma patients compared with controls (220.9 ± 49.02 ms vs 192.1 ± 31.24 ms; t-test: P = 0.036. Median duration, median amplitude, and median peak velocity of saccades did not show significant differences between glaucoma and control groups (P > 0.05. Frequency of express saccades was significantly decreased in glaucoma patients compared with controls (1.75 ± 2.32 vs 7.0 ± 6.99; t-test: P = 0.007. Saccade parameters in glaucoma patients showed no significant correlation with visual field loss.Conclusion: Saccadic eye movements are significantly delayed in patients with early, moderate, or advanced glaucoma. Determination of median saccade reaction time may offer a novel functional test to quantify visual function in glaucoma

  1. Surprises with Nonrelativistic Naturalness

    CERN Document Server

    Horava, Petr

    2016-01-01

    We explore the landscape of technical naturalness for nonrelativistic systems, finding surprises which challenge and enrich our relativistic intuition already in the simplest case of a single scalar field. While the immediate applications are expected in condensed matter and perhaps in cosmology, the study is motivated by the leading puzzles of fundamental physics involving gravity: The cosmological constant problem and the Higgs mass hierarchy problem.

  2. Inherited ataxia with slow saccades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R T Chakor

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ataxia is a symptom of cerebellar dysfunction. Slowly progressive ataxia, dysarthria in an adult with a positive family history suggests an inherited cerebellar ataxia. We present an adult with gradually progressive ataxia and slow saccades. There was history of similar illness in his son. Genetic testing for spinocerebellar ataxia 2 was positive. We discuss the various inherited ataxias, causes of acute, progressive ataxia syndromes, episodic ataxias and ataxia associated with other neurological signs like peripheral neuropathy, pyramidal features, movement disorders and cognitive decline.

  3. Saccade execution suppresses discrimination at distractor locations rather than enhancing the saccade goal location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Aarlenne Z; Blohm, Gunnar; Pisella, Laure; Munoz, Douglas P

    2015-06-01

    As we have limited processing abilities with respect to the plethora of visual information entering our brain, spatial selection mechanisms are crucial. These mechanisms result in both enhancing processing at a location of interest and in suppressing processing at other locations; together, they enable successful further processing of locations of interest. It has been suggested that saccade planning modulates these spatial selection mechanisms; however, the precise influence of saccades on the distribution of spatial resources underlying selection remains unclear. To this end, we compared discrimination performance at different locations (six) within a work space during different saccade tasks. We used visual discrimination performance as a behavioral measure of enhancement and suppression at the different locations. A total of 14 participants performed a dual discrimination/saccade countermanding task, which allowed us to specifically isolate the consequences of saccade execution. When a saccade was executed, discrimination performance at the cued location was never better than when fixation was maintained, suggesting that saccade execution did not enhance processing at a location more than knowing the likelihood of its appearance. However, discrimination was consistently lower at distractor (uncued) locations in all cases where a saccade was executed compared with when fixation was maintained. Based on these results, we suggest that saccade execution specifically suppresses distractor locations, whereas attention shifts (with or without an accompanying saccade) are involved in enhancing perceptual processing at the goal location.

  4. Control of reflexive saccades following hemispherectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A; Herter, Troy M; Guitton, Daniel

    2011-06-01

    Individuals who have undergone hemispherectomy for treatment of intractable epilepsy offer a rare and valuable opportunity to examine the ability of a single cortical hemisphere to control oculomotor performance. We used peripheral auditory events to trigger saccades, thereby circumventing dense postsurgical hemianopia. In an antisaccade task, patients generated numerous unintended short-latency saccades toward contralesional auditory events, indicating pronounced limitations in the ability of a single hemicortex to exert normal inhibitory control over ipsilateral (i.e., contralesional) reflexive saccade generation. Despite reflexive errors, patients retained an ability to generate correct antisaccades in both directions. The prosaccade task revealed numerous contralesional express saccades, a robust contralesional gap effect, but the absence of both effects for ipsilesional saccades. These results indicate limits to the saccadic control capabilities following hemispherectomy: A single hemicortex can mediate antisaccades in both directions, but plasticity does not extend fully to the bilateral inhibition of reflexive saccades. We posit that these effects are due to altered control dynamics that reduce the responsivity of the superior colliculus on the intact side and facilitate the release of an auditory-evoked ocular grasp reflex into the blind hemifield that the intact hemicortex has difficulty suppressing.

  5. Saccadic Eye Movements in Anorexia Nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillipou, Andrea; Rossell, Susan Lee; Gurvich, Caroline; Hughes, Matthew Edward; Castle, David Jonathan; Nibbs, Richard Grant; Abel, Larry Allen

    2016-01-01

    Anorexia Nervosa (AN) has a mortality rate among the highest of any mental illness, though the factors involved in the condition remain unclear. Recently, the potential neurobiological underpinnings of the condition have become of increasing interest. Saccadic eye movement tasks have proven useful in our understanding of the neurobiology of some other psychiatric illnesses as they utilise known brain regions, but to date have not been examined in AN. The aim of this study was to investigate whether individuals with AN differ from healthy individuals in performance on a range of saccadic eye movements tasks. 24 females with AN and 25 healthy individuals matched for age, gender and premorbid intelligence participated in the study. Participants were required to undergo memory-guided and self-paced saccade tasks, and an interleaved prosaccade/antisaccade/no-go saccade task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). AN participants were found to make prosaccades of significantly shorter latency than healthy controls. AN participants also made an increased number of inhibitory errors on the memory-guided saccade task. Groups did not significantly differ in antisaccade, no-go saccade or self-paced saccade performance, or fMRI findings. The results suggest a potential role of GABA in the superior colliculus in the psychopathology of AN.

  6. Saccadic Eye Movements in Anorexia Nervosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Phillipou

    Full Text Available Anorexia Nervosa (AN has a mortality rate among the highest of any mental illness, though the factors involved in the condition remain unclear. Recently, the potential neurobiological underpinnings of the condition have become of increasing interest. Saccadic eye movement tasks have proven useful in our understanding of the neurobiology of some other psychiatric illnesses as they utilise known brain regions, but to date have not been examined in AN. The aim of this study was to investigate whether individuals with AN differ from healthy individuals in performance on a range of saccadic eye movements tasks.24 females with AN and 25 healthy individuals matched for age, gender and premorbid intelligence participated in the study. Participants were required to undergo memory-guided and self-paced saccade tasks, and an interleaved prosaccade/antisaccade/no-go saccade task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI.AN participants were found to make prosaccades of significantly shorter latency than healthy controls. AN participants also made an increased number of inhibitory errors on the memory-guided saccade task. Groups did not significantly differ in antisaccade, no-go saccade or self-paced saccade performance, or fMRI findings.The results suggest a potential role of GABA in the superior colliculus in the psychopathology of AN.

  7. Surprises in astrophysical gasdynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Balbus, Steven A

    2016-01-01

    Much of astrophysics consists of the study of ionised gas under the influence of gravitational and magnetic fields. Thus, it is not possible to understand the astrophysical universe without a detailed knowledge of the dynamics of magnetised fluids. Fluid dynamics is, however, a notoriously tricky subject, in which it is all too easy for one's a priori intuition to go astray. In this review, we seek to guide the reader through a series of illuminating yet deceptive problems, all with an enlightening twist. We cover a broad range of topics including the instabilities acting in accretion discs, the hydrodynamics governing the convective zone of the Sun, the magnetic shielding of a cooling galaxy cluster, and the behaviour of thermal instabilities and evaporating clouds. The aim of this review is to surprise and intrigue even veteran astrophysical theorists with an idiosynchratic choice of problems and counterintuitive results. At the same time, we endeavour to bring forth the fundamental ideas, to set out import...

  8. Neural Network Controlled Visual Saccades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey D.; Grogan, Timothy A.

    1989-03-01

    The paper to be presented will discuss research on a computer vision system controlled by a neural network capable of learning through classical (Pavlovian) conditioning. Through the use of unconditional stimuli (reward and punishment) the system will develop scan patterns of eye saccades necessary to differentiate and recognize members of an input set. By foveating only those portions of the input image that the system has found to be necessary for recognition the drawback of computational explosion as the size of the input image grows is avoided. The model incorporates many features found in animal vision systems, and is governed by understandable and modifiable behavior patterns similar to those reported by Pavlov in his classic study. These behavioral patterns are a result of a neuronal model, used in the network, explicitly designed to reproduce this behavior.

  9. Saccadic Alterations in Severe Developmental Dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Pensiero

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is not sure if persons with dyslexia have ocular motor deficits in addition to their deficits in rapid visual information processing. A 15-year-old boy afflicted by severe dyslexia was submitted to saccadic eye movement recording. Neurological and ophthalmic examinations were normal apart from the presence of an esophoria for near and slightly longer latencies of pattern visual evoked potentials. Subclinical saccadic alterations were present, which could be at the basis of the reading pathology: (1 low velocities (and larger durations of the adducting saccades of the left eye with undershooting and long-lasting postsaccadic onward drift, typical of the internuclear ophthalmoplegia; (2 saccades interrupted in mid-flight and fixation instability, which are present in cases of brainstem premotor disturbances.

  10. Infantile-onset saccade initiation delay (congenital ocular motor apraxia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salman, Michael S

    2015-05-01

    Infantile-onset saccade initiation delay, also known as congenital ocular motor apraxia, typically presents in early infancy with horizontal head thrusts once head control is achieved. Defective initiation of horizontal saccades and saccade hypometria with normal saccadic velocity are characteristic findings. Isolated impairment of vertical saccades is rare. Impaired smooth ocular pursuit may be seen. Other relatively common features include developmental delay, hypotonia, ataxia, or clumsiness. Brain MRI may be normal or show a diverse range of abnormalities, most commonly involving the cerebellum. Defective slow phases of the optokinetic response are commonly associated with brain MRI abnormalities. Isolated defect of vertical saccade initiation may indicate supratentorial brain abnormalities on MRI. Joubert syndrome, a developmental midbrain-hindbrain malformation, and ataxia telangiectasia are both commonly associated with defective volitional and reflexive saccade initiation, saccade hypometria, and head thrusts. Both horizontal and vertical saccades are impaired in these two disorders.

  11. Visual contrast processing is largely unaltered during saccades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A García-Pérez

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Saccadic suppression refers to a reduction in visual sensitivity during saccadic eye movements. This reduction is conventionally regarded as mediated by either of two sources. One is a simple passive process of motion smear during saccades also accompanied by visual masking exerted by high-contrast pre- and post-saccadic images. The other is an active process exerted by a neural mechanism that turns off visual processing so that the perception of a stable visual environment is not disrupted during saccades. Some studies have actually shown that contrast sensitivity is significantly lower during saccades than under fixation, but these experiments were not designed in a way that could weigh the differential contribution of active and passive sources of saccadic suppression. We report the results of measurements of psychometric functions for contrast detection using stimuli that are only visible during saccades, thus effectively isolating any visual processing that actually takes place during the saccades and also preventing any pre- and post-saccadic visual masking. We also report measurements of psychometric functions for detection under fixation for stimuli that are comparable in duration and spatio-temporal characteristics to the intrasaccadic retinal stimulus. Whether during saccades or under fixation, the psychometric functions for detection turned out to be very similar, leaving room only for a small amount of sensitivity reduction during saccades. This suggests that contrast processing is largely unaltered during saccades and, thus, that no neural mechanism seems to be actively involved in saccadic suppression.

  12. Cognitive regulation of saccadic velocity by reward prospect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lewis L; Hung, Leroy Y; Quinet, Julie; Kosek, Kevin

    2013-08-01

    It is known that expectation of reward speeds up saccades. Past studies have also shown the presence of a saccadic velocity bias in the orbit, resulting from a biomechanical regulation over varying eccentricities. Nevertheless, whether and how reward expectation interacts with the biomechanical regulation of saccadic velocities over varying eccentricities remains unknown. We addressed this question by conducting a visually guided double-step saccade task. The role of reward expectation was tested in monkeys performing two consecutive horizontal saccades, one associated with reward prospect and the other not. To adequately assess saccadic velocity and avoid adaptation, we systematically varied initial eye positions, saccadic directions and amplitudes. Our results confirmed the existence of a velocity bias in the orbit, i.e., saccadic peak velocity decreased linearly as the initial eye position deviated in the direction of the saccade. The slope of this bias increased as saccadic amplitudes increased. Nevertheless, reward prospect facilitated velocity to a greater extent for saccades away from than for saccades toward the orbital centre, rendering an overall reduction in the velocity bias. The rate (slope) and magnitude (intercept) of reward modulation over this velocity bias were linearly correlated with amplitudes, similar to the amplitude-modulated velocity bias without reward prospect, which presumably resulted from a biomechanical regulation. Small-amplitude (≤ 5°) saccades received little modulation. These findings together suggest that reward expectation modulated saccadic velocity not as an additive signal but as a facilitating mechanism that interacted with the biomechanical regulation.

  13. Critical Factors for Inducing Curved Somatosensory Saccades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamami Nakano

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We are able to make a saccade toward a tactile stimuli to one hand, but trajectories of many saccades curved markedly when the arms were crossed (Groh & Sparks, 2006. However, it remains unknown why some curved and others did not. We therefore examined critical factors for inducing the curved somatosensory saccades. Participants made a saccade as soon as possible from a central fixation point toward a tactile stimulus delivered to one of the two hands, and switched between arms-crossed and arms-uncrossed postures every 6 trials. Trajectories were generally straight when the arms were uncrossed, but all participants made curved saccades when the arms were crossed (12–64%. We found that the probability of curved saccades depended critically on the onset latency: the probability was less than 5% when the latency was larger than 250 ms, but the probability increased up to 70–80% when the onset latency was 160 ms. This relationship was shared across participants. The results suggest that a touch in the arms-crossed posture was always mapped to the wrong hand in the initial phase up to 160 ms, and then remapped to the correct hand during the next 100 ms by some fundamental neural mechanisms shared across participants.

  14. Surprises in astrophysical gasdynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balbus, Steven A.; Potter, William J.

    2016-06-01

    Much of astrophysics consists of the study of ionized gas under the influence of gravitational and magnetic fields. Thus, it is not possible to understand the astrophysical universe without a detailed knowledge of the dynamics of magnetized fluids. Fluid dynamics is, however, a notoriously tricky subject, in which it is all too easy for one’s a priori intuition to go astray. In this review, we seek to guide the reader through a series of illuminating yet deceptive problems, all with an enlightening twist. We cover a broad range of topics including the instabilities acting in accretion discs, the hydrodynamics governing the convective zone of the Sun, the magnetic shielding of a cooling galaxy cluster, and the behaviour of thermal instabilities and evaporating clouds. The aim of this review is to surprise and intrigue even veteran astrophysical theorists with an idiosyncratic choice of problems and counterintuitive results. At the same time, we endeavour to bring forth the fundamental ideas, to set out important assumptions, and to describe carefully whatever novel techniques may be appropriate to the problem at hand. By beginning at the beginning, and analysing a wide variety of astrophysical settings, we seek not only to make this review suitable for fluid dynamic veterans, but to engage novice recruits as well with what we hope will be an unusual and instructive introduction to the subject.

  15. Surprises in astrophysical gasdynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balbus, Steven A; Potter, William J

    2016-06-01

    Much of astrophysics consists of the study of ionized gas under the influence of gravitational and magnetic fields. Thus, it is not possible to understand the astrophysical universe without a detailed knowledge of the dynamics of magnetized fluids. Fluid dynamics is, however, a notoriously tricky subject, in which it is all too easy for one's a priori intuition to go astray. In this review, we seek to guide the reader through a series of illuminating yet deceptive problems, all with an enlightening twist. We cover a broad range of topics including the instabilities acting in accretion discs, the hydrodynamics governing the convective zone of the Sun, the magnetic shielding of a cooling galaxy cluster, and the behaviour of thermal instabilities and evaporating clouds. The aim of this review is to surprise and intrigue even veteran astrophysical theorists with an idiosyncratic choice of problems and counterintuitive results. At the same time, we endeavour to bring forth the fundamental ideas, to set out important assumptions, and to describe carefully whatever novel techniques may be appropriate to the problem at hand. By beginning at the beginning, and analysing a wide variety of astrophysical settings, we seek not only to make this review suitable for fluid dynamic veterans, but to engage novice recruits as well with what we hope will be an unusual and instructive introduction to the subject.

  16. Saccade-induced image motion cannot account for post-saccadic enhancement of visual processing in primate MST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun L Cloherty

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Primates use saccadic eye movements to make gaze changes. In many visual areas, including the dorsal medial superior temporal area (MSTd of macaques, neural responses to visual stimuli are reduced during saccades but enhanced afterwards. How does this enhancement arise – from an internal mechanism associated with saccade generation or through visual mechanisms activated by the saccade sweeping the image of the visual scene across the retina? Spontaneous activity in MSTd is elevated even after saccades made in darkness, suggesting a central mechanism for post-saccadic enhancement. However, based on the timing of this effect, it may arise from a different mechanism than occurs in normal vision. Like neural responses in MSTd, initial ocular following eye speed is enhanced after saccades, with evidence suggesting both internal and visually mediated mechanisms. Here we recorded from visual neurons in MSTd and measured responses to motion stimuli presented soon after saccades and soon after simulated saccadessaccade-like displacements of the background image during fixation. We found that neural responses in MSTd were enhanced when preceded by real saccades but not when preceded by simulated saccades. Furthermore, we also observed enhancement following real saccades made across a blank screen that generated no motion signal within the recorded neurons’ receptive fields. We conclude that in MSTd the mechanism leading to post-saccadic enhancement has internal origins.

  17. Memory-guided saccade processing in visual form agnosia (patient DF).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossit, Stéphanie; Szymanek, Larissa; Butler, Stephen H; Harvey, Monika

    2010-01-01

    According to Milner and Goodale's model (The visual brain in action, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006) areas in the ventral visual stream mediate visual perception and oV-line actions, whilst regions in the dorsal visual stream mediate the on-line visual control of action. Strong evidence for this model comes from a patient (DF), who suffers from visual form agnosia after bilateral damage to the ventro-lateral occipital region, sparing V1. It has been reported that she is normal in immediate reaching and grasping, yet severely impaired when asked to perform delayed actions. Here we investigated whether this dissociation would extend to saccade execution. Neurophysiological studies and TMS work in humans have shown that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), on the right in particular (supposedly spared in DF), is involved in the control of memory-guided saccades. Surprisingly though, we found that, just as reported for reaching and grasping, DF's saccadic accuracy was much reduced in the memory compared to the stimulus-guided condition. These data support the idea of a tight coupling of eye and hand movements and further suggest that dorsal stream structures may not be sufficient to drive memory-guided saccadic performance.

  18. The Influence of the Saccade Direction on the Direction of the Consecutive Saccade during Free Viewing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Taniuchi

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Motter and Belky (1997 analyzed monkey eye movements during search tasks. They took the relative directional headings for consecutive saccades and found a slight directional bias against saccades to areas between the previously fixated stimulus and the current fixation location. In the current research, an analysis of human eye movements during free viewing was made. Eight images of natural scene were tested with 118 subjects. The subject viewed every image freely for 10 sec. The relative directional headings for consecutive saccade were broken out of the data set and analyzed for directional biases. Saccade direction polar histograms average across subjects showed directional biases: a consecutive saccade took a straight line slightly more than a left or right turn, and it went backward definitely more than the other directions.

  19. Saccade plan overlap and cancellation during free viewing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Esther X W; Chua, Fook-Kee; Yen, Shih-Cheng

    2016-10-01

    In the current study, we examined how the saccadic system responds when visual information changes dynamically in our environment. Previous studies, using the double-step task, have shown that (a) saccade plans could overlap, such that saccade preparation to an object started even while the saccade preparation to another object was ongoing, and (b) saccade plans could be cancelled before they were completed. In these studies, saccade targets were restricted to a few, experimenter-defined locations. Here, we examined whether saccade plan overlap and cancellation mechanisms could be observed in free-viewing conditions. For each trial, we constructed sets of two images, each containing five objects. All objects have unique positions. Image 1 was presented for several fixations, before Image 2 was presented during a fixation, presumably while a saccade plan to an object in Image 1 was ongoing. There were two crucial findings: (a) First, the saccade immediately following the transition was sometimes executed towards objects in Image 2, and not an object in Image 1, suggesting that the earlier saccade plan to an Image 1 object had been cancelled. Second, analysis of the temporal data also suggested that preparation of the first post-transition saccade started before an earlier saccade plan to an Image 1 object was executed, implying that saccade plans overlapped.

  20. Patterns of Activity in the Human Frontal and Parietal Cortex Differentiate Large and Small Saccades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Helene Grosbras

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available A vast literature indicates that small and large saccades, respectively, subserve different perceptual and cognitive strategies and may rely on different programming modes. While it is well established that in monkeys’ main oculomotor brain regions small and large eye movements are controlled by segregated neuronal populations, the representation of saccade amplitude in the human brain remains unclear. To address this question we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to scan participants while they performed saccades towards targets at either short (4 degrees or large (30 degrees eccentricity. A regional multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA reveals that patterns of activity in the frontal (FEF and parietal eye fields discriminate between the execution of large or small saccades. This was not the case in the supplementary eye fields nor in the inferior precentral cortex. These findings provide the first evidence of a representation of saccadic eye movement size in the fronto-parietal occulomotor circuit. They shed light on the respective roles of the different cortical oculomotor regions with respect to space perception and exploration, as well as on the homology of eye movement control between human and non-human primates.

  1. Saccadic adaptation in visually normal individuals using saccadic endpoint variability from amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raashid, Rana Arham; Wong, Agnes M F; Blakeman, Alan; Goltz, Herbert C

    2015-01-15

    Saccadic adaptation is affected by the spatial variability of the adapting error signal. Recently, we have shown that saccadic adaptation is reduced in anisometropic amblyopia, possibly impacted by spatially imprecise saccades. Here, we tested this idea by quantifying the saccadic endpoint variability difference between people with anisometropic amblyopia and visually normal individuals. We then applied this difference to the second target step distribution during saccadic adaptation in visually normal people to test whether their performance diminished to a similar extent as participants with amblyopia. Ten visually normal adults performed a double-step adaptation task (±19°, followed by 4° back-steps) with the nondominant eye under two conditions: "consistent error," using a constant back-step; and "variable error," using a variable (σdiff) back-step determined by subtracting the saccadic endpoint variability in controls from that in anisometropic amblyopia during amblyopic/nondominant eye viewing. Percentage change in saccadic gains, percentage retention, and adaptation time constants were analyzed. Percentage change in saccadic gains decreased significantly during the variable error condition (50% ± 10%) compared to the consistent error condition (69% ± 9%; P = 0.0008). Percentage retention and time constants did not differ between conditions. The adaptation magnitude during the variable error condition was comparable to the previous percentage adaptation in people with anisometropic amblyopia during the consistent error condition with amblyopic eye viewing. Our findings indicate that adding exogenous spatial noise to the adapting step consistent with the saccadic endpoint variability difference between amblyopic and visually normal groups is sufficient to reduce saccadic adaptation in healthy individuals. Copyright 2015 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.

  2. Adaptation of saccadic sequences with and without remapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delphine Lévy-Bencheton

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available It is relatively easy to adapt visually-guided saccades because the visual vector and the saccade vector match. The retinal error at the saccade landing position is compared to the prediction error, based on target location and efference copy. If these errors do not match, planning processes at the level(s of the visual and/or motor vectors processing are assumed to be inaccurate and the saccadic response is adjusted. In the case of a sequence of two saccades, the final error can be attributed to the last saccade vector or to the entire saccadic displacement. Here, we asked whether and how adaptation can occur in the case of remapped saccades, such as during the classic double-step saccade paradigm, where the visual and motor vectors of the second saccade do not coincide and so the attribution of error is ambiguous. Participants performed saccades sequences to two targets briefly presented prior to first saccade onset. The second saccade target was either briefly re-illuminated (visually-guided paradigm or not (remapping paradigm upon first saccade offset. To drive adaptation, the second target was presented at a displaced location (backward or forward jump condition or control – no jump at the end of the second saccade. Pre- and post-adaptation trials were identical, without the re-appearance of the target after the second saccade. For the 1st saccade endpoints, there was no change as a function of adaptation. For the 2nd saccade, there was a similar increase in gain in the forward jump condition (52% and 61% of target jump in the two paradigms, whereas the gain decrease in the backward condition was much smaller for the remapping paradigm than for the visually-guided paradigm (41% vs. 94%. In other words, the absolute gain change was similar between backward and forward adaptation for remapped saccades.In conclusion, we show that remapped saccades can be adapted, suggesting that the error is attributed to the visuo-motor transformation of

  3. Emotional Scene Content Drives the Saccade Generation System Reflexively

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nummenmaa, Lauri; Hyona, Jukka; Calvo, Manuel G.

    2009-01-01

    The authors assessed whether parafoveal perception of emotional content influences saccade programming. In Experiment 1, paired emotional and neutral scenes were presented to parafoveal vision. Participants performed voluntary saccades toward either of the scenes according to an imperative signal (color cue). Saccadic reaction times were faster…

  4. Attentional sensitivity and asymmetries of vertical saccade generation in monkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wu; King, W. M.; Shelhamer, M. J. (Principal Investigator)

    2002-01-01

    The first goal of this study was to systematically document asymmetries in vertical saccade generation. We found that visually guided upward saccades have not only shorter latencies, but higher peak velocities, shorter durations and smaller errors. The second goal was to identify possible mechanisms underlying the asymmetry in vertical saccade latencies. Based on a recent model of saccade generation, three stages of saccade generation were investigated using specific behavioral paradigms: attention shift to a visual target (CUED paradigm), initiation of saccade generation (GAP paradigm) and release of the motor command to execute the saccade (DELAY paradigm). Our results suggest that initiation of a saccade (or "ocular disengagement") and its motor release contribute little to the asymmetry in vertical saccade latency. However, analysis of saccades made in the CUED paradigm indicated that it took less time to shift attention to a target in the upper visual field than to a target in the lower visual field. These data suggest that higher attentional sensitivity to targets in the upper visual field may contribute to shorter latencies of upward saccades.

  5. Voluntary Saccadic Eye Movements Ride the Attentional Rhythm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2016-10-01

    Visual perception seems continuous, but recent evidence suggests that the underlying perceptual mechanisms are in fact periodic-particularly visual attention. Because visual attention is closely linked to the preparation of saccadic eye movements, the question arises how periodic attentional processes interact with the preparation and execution of voluntary saccades. In two experiments, human observers made voluntary saccades between two placeholders, monitoring each one for the presentation of a threshold-level target. Detection performance was evaluated as a function of latency with respect to saccade landing. The time course of detection performance revealed oscillations at around 4 Hz both before the saccade at the saccade origin and after the saccade at the saccade destination. Furthermore, oscillations before and after the saccade were in phase, meaning that the saccade did not disrupt or reset the ongoing attentional rhythm. Instead, it seems that voluntary saccades are executed as part of an ongoing attentional rhythm, with the eyes in flight during the troughs of the attentional wave. This finding for the first time demonstrates that periodic attentional mechanisms affect not only perception but also overt motor behavior.

  6. The saccadic and neurological deficits in type 3 Gaucher disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Benko

    Full Text Available Our objective was to characterize the saccadic eye movements in patients with type 3 Gaucher disease (chronic neuronopathic in relationship to neurological and neurophysiological abnormalities. For approximately 4 years, we prospectively followed a cohort of 15 patients with Gaucher type 3, ages 8-28 years, by measuring saccadic eye movements using the scleral search coil method. We found that patients with type 3 Gaucher disease had a significantly higher regression slope of duration vs amplitude and peak duration vs amplitude compared to healthy controls for both horizontal and vertical saccades. Saccadic latency was significantly increased for horizontal saccades only. Downward saccades were more affected than upward saccades. Saccade abnormalities increased over time in some patients reflecting the slowly progressive nature of the disease. Phase plane plots showed individually characteristic patterns of abnormal saccade trajectories. Oculo-manual dexterity scores on the Purdue Pegboard test were low in virtually all patients, even in those with normal cognitive function. Vertical saccade peak duration vs amplitude slope significantly correlated with IQ and with the performance on the Purdue Pegboard but not with the brainstem and somatosensory evoked potentials. We conclude that, in patients with Gaucher disease type 3, saccadic eye movements and oculo-manual dexterity are representative neurological functions for longitudinal studies and can probably be used as endpoints for therapeutic clinical trials.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00001289.

  7. The amblyopic eye in subjects with anisometropia show increased saccadic latency in the delayed saccade task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej ePerdziak

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The term amblyopia is used to describe reduced visual function in one eye (or both eyes, though not so often which cannot be fully improved by refractive correction and explained by the organic cause observed during regular eye examination. This developmental disorder of spatial vision affects about 2-5% of the population and is associated with abnormal visual experience (e.g. anisometropia, strabismus during infancy or early childhood. Several studies have shown prolongation of saccadic latency time in amblyopic eye. In our opinion, study of saccadic latency in the context of central vision deficits assessment, should be based on central retina stimulation. For this reason, we proposed saccade delayed task. It requires inhibitory processing for maintaining fixation on the central target until it disappears – what constitutes the GO signal for saccade. The experiment consisted of 100 trials for each eye and was performed under two viewing conditions: monocular amblyopic / non-dominant eye and monocular dominant eye. We examined saccadic latency in 16 subjects (mean age 30±11 years with anisometropic amblyopia (two subjects had also microtropia and in 17 control subjects (mean age 28±8 years. Participants were instructed to look at central (fixation target and when it disappears, to make the saccade toward the periphery (10 deg as fast as possible, either left or the right target. The study results have proved the significant difference in saccadic latency between the amblyopic (mean 262±48 ms and dominant (mean 237±45 ms eye, in anisometropic group. In the control group, the saccadic latency for dominant (mean 226±32ms and non-dominant (mean 230±29 ms eye was not significantly different.By the use of LATER (Linear Approach to the Threshold with Ergodic Rate decision model we interpret our findings as a decrease in accumulation of visual information acquired by means of central (affected retina in subjects with anisometropic amblyopia.

  8. Saccade performance in the nasal and temporal hemifields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jóhannesson, Ómar Ingi; Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2012-01-01

    There are numerous asymmetries in anatomy between the nasal and temporal hemiretinae, which have been connected to various asymmetries in behavioral performance. These include asymmetries in Vernier acuity, saccade selection, and attentional function, in addition to some evidence for latency...... differences for saccadic eye movements. There is also evidence for stronger retinotectal neural projection from the nasal than the temporal he- miretina. There is, accordingly, good reason to predict asymmetries in saccadic performance depending on which hemifield the saccade trigger stimuli are presented in......, but the evidence on this is mixed. We tested for asymmetries in both saccade latency and landing point accuracy in a variety of different saccade tasks. We found no evidence for any asymmetries in saccade latency and only modest evidence for asymmetries in landing point accuracy. While this lack of asymmetry...

  9. Saccadic adaptation in 10-41 month-old children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christelle eLemoine-Lardennois

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available When saccade amplitude becomes systematically inaccurate, adaptation mechanisms gradually decrease or increase it until accurate saccade targeting is recovered. Adaptive shortening and adaptive lengthening of saccade amplitude rely on separate mechanisms in adults. When these adaptation mechanisms emerge during development is poorly known except that adaptive shortening processes are functional in children above 8 years of age. Yet, saccades in infants are consistently inaccurate (hypometric as if adaptation mechanisms were not fully functional in early childhood. Here, we tested reactive saccade adaptation in 10-41 month-old children compared to a group of 20-30 years-old adults. A visual target representing a cartoon character appeared at successive and unpredictable locations 10° apart on a computer screen. During the eye movement toward the target, it systematically stepped in the direction opposite to the saccade to induce an adaptive shortening of saccade amplitude (Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, the target stepped in the same direction as the ongoing saccade to induce an adaptive lengthening of saccade amplitude. In both backward and forward adaptation experiments, saccade adaptation was compared to a control condition where there was no intrasaccadic target step. Analysis of baseline performance revealed both longer saccade reaction times and hypometric saccades in children compared to adults. In both experiments, children on average showed gradual changes in saccade amplitude consistent with the systematic intrasaccadic target steps. Moreover, the amount of amplitude change was similar between children and adults for both backward and forward adaptation. Finally, adaptation abilities in our child group were not related to age. Overall the results suggest that the neural mechanisms underlying reactive saccade adaptation are in place early during development.

  10. Pre-saccadic shifts of visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William J Harrison

    Full Text Available The locations of visual objects to which we attend are initially mapped in a retinotopic frame of reference. Because each saccade results in a shift of images on the retina, however, the retinotopic mapping of spatial attention must be updated around the time of each eye movement. Mathôt and Theeuwes [1] recently demonstrated that a visual cue draws attention not only to the cue's current retinotopic location, but also to a location shifted in the direction of the saccade, the "future-field". Here we asked whether retinotopic and future-field locations have special status, or whether cue-related attention benefits exist between these locations. We measured responses to targets that appeared either at the retinotopic or future-field location of a brief, non-predictive visual cue, or at various intermediate locations between them. Attentional cues facilitated performance at both the retinotopic and future-field locations for cued relative to uncued targets, as expected. Critically, this cueing effect also occurred at intermediate locations. Our results, and those reported previously [1], imply a systematic bias of attention in the direction of the saccade, independent of any predictive remapping of attention that compensates for retinal displacements of objects across saccades [2].

  11. Multipulse control of saccadic eye movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehman, S. L.; Stark, L.

    1981-01-01

    We present three conclusions regarding the neural control of saccadic eye movements, resulting from comparisons between recorded movements and computer simulations. The controller signal to the muscles is probably a multipulse-step. This kind of signal drives the fastest model trajectories. Finally, multipulse signals explain differences between model and electrophysiological results.

  12. Surprise... Surprise..., An Empirical Investigation on How Surprise is Connected to Customer Satisfaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Vanhamme (Joëlle)

    2003-01-01

    textabstractThis research investigates the specific influence of the emotion of surprise on customer transaction-specific satisfaction. Four empirical studies-two field studies (a diary study and a cross section survey) and two experiments-were conducted. The results show that surprise positively

  13. Surprise... Surprise..., An Empirical Investigation on How Surprise is Connected to Customer Satisfaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Vanhamme (Joëlle)

    2003-01-01

    textabstractThis research investigates the specific influence of the emotion of surprise on customer transaction-specific satisfaction. Four empirical studies-two field studies (a diary study and a cross section survey) and two experiments-were conducted. The results show that surprise positively [n

  14. Counterproductive effect of saccadic suppression during attention shifts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Zénon

    Full Text Available During saccadic eye movements, the processing of visual information is transiently interrupted by a mechanism known as "saccadic suppression" [1] that is thought to ensure perceptual stability [2]. If, as proposed in the premotor theory of attention [3], covert shifts of attention rely on sub-threshold recruitment of oculomotor circuits, then saccadic suppression should also occur during covert shifts. In order to test this prediction, we designed two experiments in which participants had to orient towards a cued letter, with or without saccades. We analyzed the time course of letter identification score in an "attention" task performed without saccades, using the saccadic latencies measured in the "saccade" task as a marker of covert saccadic preparation. Visual conditions were identical in all tasks. In the "attention" task, we found a drop in perceptual performance around the predicted onset time of saccades that were never performed. Importantly, this decrease in letter identification score cannot be explained by any known mechanism aligned on cue onset such as inhibition of return, masking, or microsaccades. These results show that attentional allocation triggers the same suppression mechanisms as during saccades, which is relevant during eye movements but detrimental in the context of covert orienting.

  15. No Evidence for a Saccadic Range Effect for Visually Guided and Memory-Guided Saccades in Simple Saccade-Targeting Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitu, Françoise; Engbert, Ralf; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2016-01-01

    Saccades to single targets in peripheral vision are typically characterized by an undershoot bias. Putting this bias to a test, Kapoula [1] used a paradigm in which observers were presented with two different sets of target eccentricities that partially overlapped each other. Her data were suggestive of a saccadic range effect (SRE): There was a tendency for saccades to overshoot close targets and undershoot far targets in a block, suggesting that there was a response bias towards the center of eccentricities in a given block. Our Experiment 1 was a close replication of the original study by Kapoula [1]. In addition, we tested whether the SRE is sensitive to top-down requirements associated with the task, and we also varied the target presentation duration. In Experiments 1 and 2, we expected to replicate the SRE for a visual discrimination task. The simple visual saccade-targeting task in Experiment 3, entailing minimal top-down influence, was expected to elicit a weaker SRE. Voluntary saccades to remembered target locations in Experiment 3 were expected to elicit the strongest SRE. Contrary to these predictions, we did not observe a SRE in any of the tasks. Our findings complement the results reported by Gillen et al. [2] who failed to find the effect in a saccade-targeting task with a very brief target presentation. Together, these results suggest that unlike arm movements, saccadic eye movements are not biased towards making saccades of a constant, optimal amplitude for the task. PMID:27658191

  16. The Fastest Saccadic Responses Escape Visual Masking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    M. Crouzet, Sébastien; Overgaard, Morten; Busch, Niko A.

    2014-01-01

    , which gives access to very early stages of visual processing, target visibility was reduced either by OSM, conventional backward masking, or low stimulus contrast. A general reduction of performance was observed in all three conditions. However, the fastest saccades did not show any sign of interference......Object-substitution masking (OSM) occurs when a briefly presented target in a search array is surrounded by small dots that remain visible after the target disappears. The reduction of target visibility occurring after OSM has been suggested to result from a specific interference with reentrant...... visual processing while the initial feedforward processing is thought to be left intact. We tested a prediction derived from this hypothesis: the fastest responses, being triggered before the beginning of reentrant processing, should escape the OSM interference. In a saccadic choice reaction time task...

  17. A neural locus for spatial-frequency specific saccadic suppression in visual-motor neurons of the primate superior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Yang; Hafed, Ziad M

    2017-04-01

    Saccades cause rapid retinal-image shifts that go perceptually unnoticed several times per second. The mechanisms for saccadic suppression have been controversial, in part because of sparse understanding of neural substrates. In this study we uncovered an unexpectedly specific neural locus for spatial frequency-specific saccadic suppression in the superior colliculus (SC). We first developed a sensitive behavioral measure of suppression in two macaque monkeys, demonstrating selectivity to low spatial frequencies similar to that observed in earlier behavioral studies. We then investigated visual responses in either purely visual SC neurons or anatomically deeper visual motor neurons, which are also involved in saccade generation commands. Surprisingly, visual motor neurons showed the strongest visual suppression, and the suppression was dependent on spatial frequency, as in behavior. Most importantly, suppression selectivity for spatial frequency in visual motor neurons was highly predictive of behavioral suppression effects in each individual animal, with our recorded population explaining up to ~74% of behavioral variance even on completely different experimental sessions. Visual SC neurons had mild suppression, which was unselective for spatial frequency and thus only explained up to ~48% of behavioral variance. In terms of spatial frequency-specific saccadic suppression, our results run contrary to predictions that may be associated with a hypothesized SC saccadic suppression mechanism, in which a motor command in the visual motor and motor neurons is first relayed to the more superficial purely visual neurons, to suppress them and to then potentially be fed back to cortex. Instead, an extraretinal modulatory signal mediating spatial-frequency-specific suppression may already be established in visual motor neurons.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Saccades, which repeatedly realign the line of sight, introduce spurious signals in retinal images that normally go unnoticed. In

  18. An in-depth look at saccadic search in infancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessels, Roy S; Hooge, Ignace T C; Kemner, Chantal

    2016-06-01

    Two questions were posed in the present study: (1) Do infants search for discrepant items in the absence of instructions? We outline where previous research has been inconclusive in answering this question. (2) In what manner do infants search, and what are the fixation and saccade characteristics in saccadic search? A thorough characterization of saccadic search in infancy is of great importance as a reference for future eye-movement studies in infancy. We presented 10-month-old infants with 24 visual search displays in two separate sessions within two weeks. We report that infant saccadic search performance at 10 months is above what may be expected by our model of chance, and is dependent on the specific target. Infant fixation and saccade characteristics show similarities to adult fixation and saccade characteristics in saccadic search. All findings were highly consistent across two separate sessions on the group level. An examination of the reliability of saccadic search revealed that test-retest reliability for oculomotor characteristics was high, particularly for fixation duration. We suggest that future research into saccadic search in infancy adopt the presented model of chance as a baseline against which to compare search performance. Researchers investigating both the typical and atypical development of visual search may benefit from the presented results.

  19. [Systematic deviations of saccadic eye movements in Wallenberg syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, K U

    1979-01-01

    A patient suffering from lateral medullary infarction (Wallenberg's syndrome) is presented, exhibiting a striking bias of all saccadic eye movements toward the side of the lesion. Oculographic tracings demonstrate this oculomotor disorder. Other disturbances of ocular motility which resemble this one superficially are discussed. Interruption of fixation leads to a gliding movement veeringly to the side of the infarction. Since all saccades generated under different circumstances are affected, it is contemplated where the pathological signal is intruded into the prenuclear level, to adulterate all saccades causing lateropulsion of saccadic eye movements.

  20. Surprise Leads to Noisier Perceptual Decisions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta I Garrido

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Surprising events in the environment can impair task performance. This might be due to complete distraction, leading to lapses during which performance is reduced to guessing. Alternatively, unpredictability might cause a graded withdrawal of perceptual resources from the task at hand and thereby reduce sensitivity. Here we attempt to distinguish between these two mechanisms. Listeners performed a novel auditory pitch—duration discrimination, where stimulus loudness changed occasionally and incidentally to the task. Responses were slower and less accurate in the surprising condition, where loudness changed unpredictably, than in the predictable condition, where the loudness was held constant. By explicitly modelling both lapses and changes in sensitivity, we found that unpredictable changes diminished sensitivity but did not increase the rate of lapses. These findings suggest that background environmental uncertainty can disrupt goal-directed behaviour. This graded processing strategy might be adaptive in potentially threatening contexts, and reflect a flexible system for automatic allocation of perceptual resources.

  1. Effects of Reduced Acuity and Stereo Acuity on Saccades and Reaching Movements in Adults With Amblyopia and Strabismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niechwiej-Szwedo, Ewa; Goltz, Herbert C; Colpa, Linda; Chandrakumar, Manokaraananthan; Wong, Agnes M F

    2017-02-01

    Our previous work has shown that amblyopia disrupts the planning and execution of visually-guided saccadic and reaching movements. We investigated the association between the clinical features of amblyopia and aspects of visuomotor behavior that are disrupted by amblyopia. A total of 55 adults with amblyopia (22 anisometropic, 18 strabismic, 15 mixed mechanism), 14 adults with strabismus without amblyopia, and 22 visually-normal control participants completed a visuomotor task while their eye and hand movements were recorded. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the association between three clinical predictors of amblyopia (amblyopic eye [AE] acuity, stereo sensitivity, and eye deviation) and seven kinematic outcomes, including saccadic and reach latency, interocular saccadic and reach latency difference, saccadic and reach precision, and PA/We ratio (an index of reach control strategy efficacy using online feedback correction). Amblyopic eye acuity explained 28% of the variance in saccadic latency, and 48% of the variance in mean saccadic latency difference between the amblyopic and fellow eyes (i.e., interocular latency difference). In contrast, for reach latency, AE acuity explained only 10% of the variance. Amblyopic eye acuity was associated with reduced endpoint saccadic (23% of variance) and reach (22% of variance) precision in the amblyopic group. In the strabismus without amblyopia group, stereo sensitivity and eye deviation did not explain any significant variance in saccadic and reach latency or precision. Stereo sensitivity was the best clinical predictor of deficits in reach control strategy, explaining 23% of total variance of PA/We ratio in the amblyopic group and 12% of variance in the strabismus without amblyopia group when viewing with the amblyopic/nondominant eye. Deficits in eye and limb movement initiation (latency) and target localization (precision) were associated with amblyopic acuity deficit, whereas changes in

  2. Latency and Accuracy Characteristics of Saccades and Corrective Saccades in Children and Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Mark E.; Ross, Leonard E.

    1978-01-01

    Examines the latency and the accuracy of adult's and children's saccades under optimal warning and no-warning conditions. Subjects were nine adults (mean age =23.7) and nine elementary school students (mean age =8.5). (Author/MP)

  3. Emotional scene content drives the saccade generation system reflexively.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nummenmaa, Lauri; Hyönä, Jukka; Calvo, Manuel G

    2009-04-01

    The authors assessed whether parafoveal perception of emotional content influences saccade programming. In Experiment 1, paired emotional and neutral scenes were presented to parafoveal vision. Participants performed voluntary saccades toward either of the scenes according to an imperative signal (color cue). Saccadic reaction times were faster when the cue pointed toward the emotional picture rather than toward the neutral picture. Experiment 2 replicated these findings with a reflexive saccade task, in which abrupt luminosity changes were used as exogenous saccade cues. In Experiment 3, participants performed vertical reflexive saccades that were orthogonal to the emotional-neutral picture locations. Saccade endpoints and trajectories deviated away from the visual field in which the emotional scenes were presented. Experiment 4 showed that computationally modeled visual saliency does not vary as a function of scene content and that inversion abolishes the rapid orienting toward the emotional scenes. Visual confounds cannot thus explain the results. The authors conclude that early saccade target selection and execution processes are automatically influenced by emotional picture content. This reveals processing of meaningful scene content prior to overt attention to the stimulus.

  4. Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation effects on saccade adaptation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Avila (Eric); J.N. van der Geest (Jos); S. Kengne Kamga (Sandra); M.C. Verhage (M. Claire); O. Donchin (Opher); M.A. Frens (Maarten)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractSaccade adaptation is a cerebellar-mediated type of motor learning in which the oculomotor system is exposed to repetitive errors. Different types of saccade adaptations are thought to involve distinct underlying cerebellar mechanisms. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induc

  5. Spatiotopic buildup of saccade target representation depends on target size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Eckart

    2016-12-01

    How we maintain spatial stability across saccade eye movements is an open question in visual neuroscience. A phenomenon that has received much attention in the field is our seemingly poor ability to discriminate the direction of transsaccadic target displacements. We have recently shown that discrimination performance increases the longer the saccade target has been previewed before saccade execution (Zimmermann, Morrone, & Burr, 2013). We have argued that the spatial representation of briefly presented stimuli is weak but that a strong representation is needed for transsaccadic, i.e., spatiotopic localization. Another factor that modulates the representation of saccade targets is stimulus size. The representation of spatially extended targets is more noisy than that of point-like targets. Here, I show that the increase in transsaccadic displacement discrimination as a function of saccade target preview duration depends on target size. This effect was found for spatially extended targets-thus replicating the results of Zimmermann et al. (2013)-but not for point-like targets. An analysis of saccade parameters revealed that the constant error for reaching the saccade target was bigger for spatially extended than for point-like targets, consistent with weaker representation of bigger targets. These results show that transsaccadic displacement discrimination becomes accurate when saccade targets are spatially extended and presented longer, thus resembling closer stimuli in real-world environments.

  6. How Saccade Intrusions Affect Subsequent Motor and Oculomotor Actions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terao, Yasuo; Fukuda, Hideki; Tokushige, Shin-ichi; Inomata-Terada, Satomi; Ugawa, Yoshikazu

    2017-01-01

    In daily activities, there is a close spatial and temporal coupling between eye and hand movements that enables human beings to perform actions smoothly and accurately. If this coupling is disrupted by inadvertent saccade intrusions, subsequent motor actions suffer from delays, and lack of coordination. To examine how saccade intrusions affect subsequent voluntary actions, we used two tasks that require subjects to make motor/oculomotor actions in response to a visual cue. One was the memory guided saccade (MGS) task, and the other the hand reaction time (RT) task. The MGS task required subjects to initiate a voluntary saccade to a memorized target location, which is indicated shortly before by a briefly presented cue. The RT task required subjects to release a button on detection of a visual target, while foveating on a central fixation point. In normal subjects of various ages, inadvertent saccade intrusions delayed subsequent voluntary motor, and oculomotor actions. We also studied patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), who are impaired not only in initiating voluntary saccades but also in suppressing unwanted reflexive saccades. Saccade intrusions also delayed hand RT in PD patients. However, MGS was affected by the saccade intrusion differently. Saccade intrusion did not delay MGS latency in PD patients who could perform MGS with a relatively normal latency. In contrast, in PD patients who were unable to initiate MGS within the normal time range, we observed slightly decreased MGS latency after saccade intrusions. What explains this paradoxical phenomenon? It is known that motor actions slow down when switching between controlled and automatic behavior. We discuss how the effect of saccade intrusions on subsequent voluntary motor/oculomotor actions may reflect a similar switching cost between automatic and controlled behavior and a cost for switching between different motor effectors. In contrast, PD patients were unable to initiate internally guided MGS in

  7. An Analog VLSI Saccadic Eye Movement System

    OpenAIRE

    1994-01-01

    In an effort to understand saccadic eye movements and their relation to visual attention and other forms of eye movements, we - in collaboration with a number of other laboratories - are carrying out a large-scale effort to design and build a complete primate oculomotor system using analog CMOS VLSI technology. Using this technology, a low power, compact, multi-chip system has been built which works in real-time using real-world visual inputs. We describe in this paper the performance of a...

  8. Visual working memory modulates low-level saccade target selection: evidence from rapidly generated saccades in the global effect paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingworth, Andrew; Matsukura, Michi; Luck, Steven J

    2013-11-04

    In three experiments, we examined the influence of visual working memory (VWM) on the metrics of saccade landing position in a global effect paradigm. Participants executed a saccade to the more eccentric object in an object pair appearing on the horizontal midline, to the left or right of central fixation. While completing the saccade task, participants maintained a color in VWM for an unrelated memory task. Either the color of the saccade target matched the memory color (target match), the color of the distractor matched the memory color (distractor match), or the colors of neither object matched the memory color (no match). In the no-match condition, saccades tended to land at the midpoint between the two objects: the global, or averaging, effect. However, when one of the two objects matched VWM, the distribution of landing position shifted toward the matching object, both for target match and for distractor match. VWM modulation of landing position was observed even for the fastest quartile of saccades, with a mean latency as low as 112 ms. Effects of VWM on such rapidly generated saccades, with latencies in the express-saccade range, indicate that VWM interacts with the initial sweep of visual sensory processing, modulating perceptual input to oculomotor systems and thereby biasing oculomotor selection. As a result, differences in memory match produce effects on landing position similar to the effects generated by differences in physical salience.

  9. The Word Frequency Effect on Saccade Targeting during Chinese Reading: Evidence from a Survival Analysis of Saccade Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanping; Huang, Ren; Li, Yugang; Gao, Dingguo

    2017-01-01

    Our study employs distributional analysis (i.e., survival analysis) to examine how the frequency of target words influences saccade lengths into and out of these target words in Chinese reading. The results of survival analysis indicate the survival curves in the high- and low-frequency conditions diverge for a short saccade length, with more than 80% of the lengths of incoming and outgoing saccades being larger than the divergence points. These results as well as simulations using the novel Dynamic-adjustment Model of saccadic targeting (Liu et al., 2016) are consistent with previous mean-based results and provide more precise information to support this novel model. The implications for saccade target selection during the reading of Chinese are discussed.

  10. Luminance contrast in the background makes flashes harder to detect during saccades

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maij, F.; Matziridi, M.; Smeets, J.B.J.; Brenner, E.M.

    2012-01-01

    To explore a visual scene we make many fast eye movements (saccades) every second. During those saccades the image of the world shifts rapidly across our retina. These shifts are normally not detected, because perception is suppressed during saccades. In this paper we study the origin of this saccad

  11. The use of recurrent signals about adaptation for subsequent saccade programming depends on object structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doré-Mazars, Karine; Vergilino-Perez, Dorine; Collins, Thérèse; Bohacova, Katarina; Beauvillain, Cécile

    2006-10-03

    Executing sequences of accurate saccadic eye movements supposes the use of signals carrying information about the first saccade for updating the predetermined motor plan of the subsequent saccades. The present study examines the signals used in planning a second saccade when subjects made two successive saccades towards one long or two short peripheral objects displayed before the first saccade execution. Different first eye movement signals could be used: desired eye movement signals, representing the movement necessary for attaining the intended target, or actual eye movement signals, representing the movement actually executed. Experimental dissociation of desired and actual eye movement signals is made possible by adaptive modifications of the first saccade, obtained by transfer of single saccade adaptation, during which the motor vector was progressively modified in response to the systematic intra-saccadic step of a single target. Whether the second saccade used the actual eye movement signal to compensate or not for the adaptive changes in the first saccade depended on which object properties were relevant for saccade planning. Compensation was observed for saccades that aimed for a new object (between-object saccades) because adaptation modifies relative object location. No compensation was observed for saccades that explored an extended object (within-object saccades). Implications for the on-line control of subsequent eye movements are discussed.

  12. Neurophysiology and Neuroanatomy of Reflexive and Volitional Saccades: Evidence from Studies of Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, Jennifer E.; Dyckman, Kara A.; Austin, Benjamin P.; Clementz, Brett A.

    2008-01-01

    This review provides a summary of the contributions made by human functional neuroimaging studies to the understanding of neural correlates of saccadic control. The generation of simple visually guided saccades (redirections of gaze to a visual stimulus or pro-saccades) and more complex volitional saccades require similar basic neural circuitry…

  13. Brazilian rescue plan sparks surprise

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    According to Financial Times,when Guido Mantega,Brazil's finance minister,suddenly proposed a “Bric” rescue package for the eurozone this week,he caught not only other world leaders by surprise but also many of his fellow countrymen.Even as officials from other members of the so-called Bric grouping,Russia,India and China,said it was the first they heard of the idea,many ordinary Brazilians expressed shock at the notion of bailing out the world's richest trading bloc.

  14. The fastest saccadic responses escape visual masking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien M Crouzet

    Full Text Available Object-substitution masking (OSM occurs when a briefly presented target in a search array is surrounded by small dots that remain visible after the target disappears. The reduction of target visibility occurring after OSM has been suggested to result from a specific interference with reentrant visual processing while the initial feedforward processing is thought to be left intact. We tested a prediction derived from this hypothesis: the fastest responses, being triggered before the beginning of reentrant processing, should escape the OSM interference. In a saccadic choice reaction time task, which gives access to very early stages of visual processing, target visibility was reduced either by OSM, conventional backward masking, or low stimulus contrast. A general reduction of performance was observed in all three conditions. However, the fastest saccades did not show any sign of interference under either OSM or backward masking, as they did under the low-contrast condition. This finding supports the hypothesis that masking interferes mostly with reentrant processing at later stages, while leaving early feedforward processing largely intact.

  15. Saccadic eye movement applications for psychiatric disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittencourt, Juliana; Velasques, Bruna; Teixeira, Silmar; Basile, Luis F; Salles, José Inácio; Nardi, Antonio Egídio; Budde, Henning; Cagy, Mauricio; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Objective The study presented here analyzed the patterns of relationship between oculomotor performance and psychopathology, focusing on depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety disorder. Methods Scientific articles published from 1967 to 2013 in the PubMed/Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, Cochrane, and SciELO databases were reviewed. Results Saccadic eye movement appears to be heavily involved in psychiatric diseases covered in this review via a direct mechanism. The changes seen in the execution of eye movement tasks in patients with psychopathologies of various studies confirm that eye movement is associated with the cognitive and motor system. Conclusion Saccadic eye movement changes appear to be heavily involved in the psychiatric disorders covered in this review and may be considered a possible marker of some disorders. The few existing studies that approach the topic demonstrate a need to improve the experimental paradigms, as well as the methods of analysis. Most of them report behavioral variables (latency/reaction time), though electrophysiological measures are absent. PMID:24072973

  16. The Influence of Onsets and Offsets on Saccade Programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frouke Hermens

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available When making a saccadic eye movement to a peripheral target, a simultaneous stimulus onset at central fixation generally increases saccadic latency, while offsets reduce latency (‘gap effect’. Visual onsets remote from fixation also increase latency (‘remote distractor effect’; however, the influence of remote visual offsets is less clear. Previous studies, which used a search task, found that remote offsets either facilitated, inhibited, or did nothing to saccade latencies towards a peripheral target. It cannot be excluded, however, that the target selection process in such search tasks influenced the results. We therefore simplified the task and asked participants to make eye movements to a predictable target. Simultaneously with target onset, either one or multiple remote stimulus onsets and offsets were presented. It was found that peripheral onsets increased saccade latencies, but offsets did not influence the initiation of a saccade to the target. Moreover, the number of onsets and offsets did not affect the results. These results suggest that earlier effects of remote stimulus offsets and of the number of remote distractor onsets reside in the target identification process of the visual search task rather than the competition between possible saccade goals. The results are discussed in the context of models of saccade target selection.

  17. Extraretinal signal metrics in multiple-saccade sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Thérèse

    2010-12-06

    Executing sequences of memory-guided movements requires combining sensory information with information about previously made movements. In the oculomotor system, extraretinal information must be combined with stored visual information about target location. The use of extraretinal signals in oculomotor planning can be probed in the double-step task. Using this task and a multiple-step version, the present study examined whether an extraretinal signal was used on every trial, whether its metrics represented desired or actual eye displacement, and whether it was best characterized as a direct estimate of orbital eye position or a vector representation of eye displacement. The results show that accurate information, including saccadic adaptation, about the first saccade is used to plan the second saccade. Furthermore, with multiple saccades, endpoint variability increases with the number of saccades. Controls ruled out that this was due to the perceptual or memory requirements of storing several target locations. Instead, each memory-guided movement depends on an internal copy of an executed movement, which may present a small discrepancy with the actual movement. Increasing the number of estimates increases the variability because this small discrepancy accumulates over several saccades. Such accumulation is compatible with a corollary discharge signal carrying metric information about saccade vectors.

  18. Time course of the effect of the Muller-Lyer illusion on saccades and perceptual judgments

    OpenAIRE

    Brouwer, A.J. de; Brenner, E.; Medendorp, W. P.; Smeets, J. B. J.

    2014-01-01

    The amplitude of saccadic eye movements is affected by size illusions such as the Muller-Lyer illusion, but this effect varies highly between studies. Here we examine the origin of this variability by testing the influence of three temporal factors on the effect of the Muller-Lyer illusion: presentation time, response delay, and saccade latency. Subjects performed reflexive saccades, deferred saccades, and memory-guided saccades along the shaft of the illusion. We evaluated the time course of...

  19. Kinesthetic information facilitates saccades towards proprioceptive-tactile targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voudouris, Dimitris; Goettker, Alexander; Mueller, Stefanie; Fiehler, Katja

    2016-05-01

    Saccades to somatosensory targets have longer latencies and are less accurate and precise than saccades to visual targets. Here we examined how different somatosensory information influences the planning and control of saccadic eye movements. Participants fixated a central cross and initiated a saccade as fast as possible in response to a tactile stimulus that was presented to either the index or the middle fingertip of their unseen left hand. In a static condition, the hand remained at a target location for the entire block of trials and the stimulus was presented at a fixed time after an auditory tone. Therefore, the target location was derived only from proprioceptive and tactile information. In a moving condition, the hand was first actively moved to the same target location and the stimulus was then presented immediately. Thus, in the moving condition additional kinesthetic information about the target location was available. We found shorter saccade latencies in the moving compared to the static condition, but no differences in accuracy or precision of saccadic endpoints. In a second experiment, we introduced variable delays after the auditory tone (static condition) or after the end of the hand movement (moving condition) in order to reduce the predictability of the moment of the stimulation and to allow more time to process the kinesthetic information. Again, we found shorter latencies in the moving compared to the static condition but no improvement in saccade accuracy or precision. In a third experiment, we showed that the shorter saccade latencies in the moving condition cannot be explained by the temporal proximity between the relevant event (auditory tone or end of hand movement) and the moment of the stimulation. Our findings suggest that kinesthetic information facilitates planning, but not control, of saccadic eye movements to proprioceptive-tactile targets.

  20. Some Surprises in Relativistic Gravity

    CERN Document Server

    Santos, N O

    2016-01-01

    General Relativity has had tremendous success both on the theoretical and the experimental fronts for over a century now. However, the contents of the theory are far from exhausted. Only very recently, with the detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, we have started probing the behavior of gravity in the strongly non-linear regime. Even today, the studies of black holes keep revealing more and more paradoxes and bizarre results. In this paper, inspired by David Hilbert's startling observation, we show that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, a freely falling test particle feels gravitational repulsion by a black hole as seen by the asymptotic observer. We dig deeper into this surprising behavior of relativistic gravity and offer some explanations.

  1. Rewards modulate saccade latency but not exogenous spatial attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eDunne

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The eye movement system is sensitive to reward. However, whilst the eye movement system is extremely flexible, the extent to which changes to oculomotor behaviour induced by reward paradigms persist beyond the training period or transfer to other oculomotor tasks is unclear. To address these issues we examined the effects of presenting feedback that represented small monetary rewards to spatial locations on the latency of saccadic eye movements, the time-course of learning and extinction of the effects of rewarding saccades on exogenous spatial attention and oculomotor IOR. Reward feedback produced a relative facilitation of saccadic latency in a stimulus driven saccade task which persisted for 3 blocks of extinction trials. However this hemifield-specific effect failed to transfer to peripheral cueing tasks. We conclude that rewarding specific spatial locations is unlikely to induce long-term, systemic changes to the human oculomotor or attention systems.

  2. Prefrontal cortex is involved in internal decision of forthcoming saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milea, Dan; Lobel, Elie; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Leboucher, Pierre; Pochon, Jean-Baptiste; Pierrot-Deseilligny, Charles; Berthoz, Alain

    2007-08-06

    Deciding where to look is mandatory to explore the visual world. To study the neural correlates subserving the cognitive phase of self-initiated eye movements in humans, we tested 12 healthy participants, using event-related functional MRI. Changes in the frontal-cortical activity preceding voluntary saccades were studied when the participants freely decided the direction of a forthcoming saccade, compared with a condition in which they had only to prepare an externally cued saccade. Self-initiation of saccades, before their execution, was specifically associated with frontal-lobe activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and in the right presupplementary eye field and frontal eye fields, suggesting the roles of these areas in the decision process of where to look when facing two possible visual targets.

  3. The peri-saccadic perception of objects and space.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fred H Hamker

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Eye movements affect object localization and object recognition. Around saccade onset, briefly flashed stimuli appear compressed towards the saccade target, receptive fields dynamically change position, and the recognition of objects near the saccade target is improved. These effects have been attributed to different mechanisms. We provide a unifying account of peri-saccadic perception explaining all three phenomena by a quantitative computational approach simulating cortical cell responses on the population level. Contrary to the common view of spatial attention as a spotlight, our model suggests that oculomotor feedback alters the receptive field structure in multiple visual areas at an intermediate level of the cortical hierarchy to dynamically recruit cells for processing a relevant part of the visual field. The compression of visual space occurs at the expense of this locally enhanced processing capacity.

  4. Context-specific adaptation of saccade gain in parabolic flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelhamer, Mark; Clendaniel, Richard A.; Roberts, Dale C.

    2002-01-01

    Previous studies established that vestibular reflexes can have two adapted states (e.g., gains) simultaneously, and that a context cue (e.g., vertical eye position) can switch between the two states. Our earlier work demonstrated this phenomenon of context-specific adaptation for saccadic eye movements: we asked for gain decrease in one context state and gain increase in another context state, and then determined if a change in the context state would invoke switching between the adapted states. Horizontal and vertical eye position and head orientation could serve, to varying degrees, as cues for switching between two different saccade gains. In the present study, we asked whether gravity magnitude could serve as a context cue: saccade adaptation was performed during parabolic flight, which provides alternating levels of gravitoinertial force (0 g and 1.8 g). Results were less robust than those from ground experiments, but established that different saccade magnitudes could be associated with different gravity levels.

  5. Between-object and within-object saccade programming in a visual search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergilino-Perez, Dorine; Findlay, John M

    2006-07-01

    The role of the perceptual organization of the visual display on eye movement control was examined in two experiments using a task where a two-saccade sequence was directed toward either a single elongated object or three separate shorter objects. In the first experiment, we examined the consequences for the second saccade of a small displacement of the whole display during the first saccade. We found that between-object saccades compensated for the displacement to aim for a target position on the new object whereas within-object saccades did not show compensation but were coded as a fixed motor vector applied irrespective of wherever the preceding saccade landed. In the second experiment, we extended the paradigm to examine saccades performed in different directions. The results suggest that the within-object and between-object saccade distinction is an essential feature of saccadic planning.

  6. Survey of Saccadic Parameters Using Videonystagmography in Patients with Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease and Normal Subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Hosseinabadi

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Patients with Parkinson’s disease manifest oculomotor abnormalities. This is the consequence of basal ganglia impairment. The most common abnormalities include increased saccade latency, hypometric saccades and decreased saccade velocity. The purpose of this study was comparison of saccadic parameters using videonystagmography in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and normal subjects.Materials and Methods: In this cross sectional study, saccadic movements were investigated in thirty patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and thirty age matched subjects were 35-70 years old. Saccade latency, velocity and accuracy were quantitatively analyzed. Results: Results of this study indicated increased saccade latency, reduction of saccade velocity and accuracy in patients with Parkinson’s disease(P<0.001.Conclusion: This study showed that patients with Parkinson’s disease manifest saccadic deficits. This suggests dopaminergic control of these ocular movements.

  7. Saccadic Palsy following Cardiac Surgery: Possible Role of Perineuronal Nets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott D Z Eggers

    Full Text Available Perineuronal nets (PN form a specialized extracellular matrix around certain highly active neurons within the central nervous system and may help to stabilize synaptic contacts, promote local ion homeostasis, or play a protective role. Within the ocular motor system, excitatory burst neurons and omnipause neurons are highly active cells that generate rapid eye movements - saccades; both groups of neurons contain the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin and are ensheathed by PN. Experimental lesions of excitatory burst neurons and omnipause neurons cause slowing or complete loss of saccades. Selective palsy of saccades in humans is reported following cardiac surgery, but such cases have shown normal brainstem neuroimaging, with only one clinicopathological study that demonstrated paramedian pontine infarction. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that lesions of PN surrounding these brainstem saccade-related neurons may cause saccadic palsy.Together with four controls we studied the brain of a patient who had developed a permanent selective saccadic palsy following cardiac surgery and died several years later. Sections of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded brainstem blocks were applied to double-immunoperoxidase staining of parvalbumin and three different components of PN. Triple immunofluorescence labeling for all PN components served as internal controls. Combined immunostaining of parvalbumin and synaptophysin revealed the presence of synapses.Excitatory burst neurons and omnipause neurons were preserved and still received synaptic input, but their surrounding PN showed severe loss or fragmentation.Our findings support current models and experimental studies of the brainstem saccade-generating neurons and indicate that damage to PN may permanently impair the function of these neurons that the PN ensheathe. How a postulated hypoxic mechanism could selectively damage the PN remains unclear. We propose that the well-studied saccadic eye movement

  8. Suppression of Face Perception during Saccadic Eye Movements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrdad Seirafi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Lack of awareness of a stimulus briefly presented during saccadic eye movement is known as saccadic omission. Studying the reduced visibility of visual stimuli around the time of saccade—known as saccadic suppression—is a key step to investigate saccadic omission. To date, almost all studies have been focused on the reduced visibility of simple stimuli such as flashes and bars. The extension of the results from simple stimuli to more complex objects has been neglected. In two experimental tasks, we measured the subjective and objective awareness of a briefly presented face stimuli during saccadic eye movement. In the first task, we measured the subjective awareness of the visual stimuli and showed that in most of the trials there is no conscious awareness of the faces. In the second task, we measured objective sensitivity in a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC face detection task, which demonstrated chance-level performance. Here, we provide the first evidence of complete suppression of complex visual stimuli during the saccadic eye movement.

  9. Saccades improve postural control: a developmental study in normal children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Layla Ajrezo

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Dual-task performance is known to affect postural stability in children. This study focused on the effect of oculomotor tasks like saccadic eye movements on postural stability, studied in a large population of children by recording simultaneously their eye movements and posture. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ninety-five healthy children from 5.8 to 17.6 years old were examined. All children were free of any vestibular, neurological, ophtalmologic and orthoptic abnormalities. Postural control was measured with a force platform TechnoConcept®, and eye movements with video oculography (MobilEBT®. Children performed two oculomotor tasks: fixation of a stable central target and horizontal saccades. We measured the saccade latency and the number of saccades during fixation as well as the surface, length and mean velocity of the center of pressure. RESULTS: During postural measurement, we observed a correlation between the age on the one hand and a decrease in saccade latency as well as an improvement in the quality of fixation on the other. Postural sway decreases with age and is reduced in the dual task (saccades in comparison with a simple task of fixation. DISCUSSION - CONCLUSION: These results suggest a maturation of neural circuits controlling posture and eye movements during childhood. This study also shows the presence of an interaction between the oculomotor system and the postural system. Engaging in oculomotor tasks results in a reduction of postural sway.

  10. Some Surprising Introductory Physics Facts and Numbers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallmann, A. James

    2016-01-01

    In the entertainment world, people usually like, and find memorable, novels, short stories, and movies with surprise endings. This suggests that classroom teachers might want to present to their students examples of surprising facts associated with principles of physics. Possible benefits of finding surprising facts about principles of physics are…

  11. LATEST: A model of saccadic decisions in space and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatler, Benjamin W; Brockmole, James R; Carpenter, R H S

    2017-04-01

    Many of our actions require visual information, and for this it is important to direct the eyes to the right place at the right time. Two or three times every second, we must decide both when and where to direct our gaze. Understanding these decisions can reveal the moment-to-moment information priorities of the visual system and the strategies for information sampling employed by the brain to serve ongoing behavior. Most theoretical frameworks and models of gaze control assume that the spatial and temporal aspects of fixation point selection depend on different mechanisms. We present a single model that can simultaneously account for both when and where we look. Underpinning this model is the theoretical assertion that each decision to move the eyes is an evaluation of the relative benefit expected from moving the eyes to a new location compared with that expected by continuing to fixate the current target. The eyes move when the evidence that favors moving to a new location outweighs that favoring staying at the present location. Our model provides not only an account of when the eyes move, but also what will be fixated. That is, an analysis of saccade timing alone enables us to predict where people look in a scene. Indeed our model accounts for fixation selection as well as (and often better than) current computational models of fixation selection in scene viewing. (PsycINFO Database Record

  12. Young Galaxy's Magnetism Surprises Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-01

    Astronomers have made the first direct measurement of the magnetic field in a young, distant galaxy, and the result is a big surprise. Looking at a faraway protogalaxy seen as it was 6.5 billion years ago, the scientists measured a magnetic field at least 10 times stronger than that of our own Milky Way. They had expected just the opposite. The GBT Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF The scientists made the discovery using the National Science Foundation's ultra-sensitive Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia. "This new measurement indicates that magnetic fields may play a more important role in the formation and evolution of galaxies than we have realized," said Arthur Wolfe, of the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). At its great distance, the protogalaxy is seen as it was when the Universe was about half its current age. According to the leading theory, cosmic magnetic fields are generated by the dynamos of rotating galaxies -- a process that would produce stronger fields with the passage of time. In this scenario, the magnetic fields should be weaker in the earlier Universe, not stronger. The new, direct magnetic-field measurement comes on the heels of a July report by Swiss and American astronomers who made indirect measurements that also implied strong magnetic fields in the early Universe. "Our results present a challenge to the dynamo model, but they do not rule it out," Wolfe said. There are other possible explanations for the strong magnetic field seen in the one protogalaxy Wolfe's team studied. "We may be seeing the field close to the central region of a massive galaxy, and we know such fields are stronger toward the centers of nearby galaxies. Also, the field we see may have been amplified by a shock wave caused by the collision of two galaxies," he said. The protogalaxy studied with the GBT, called DLA-3C286, consists of gas with little or no star formation occurring in it. The astronomers suspect that

  13. Slow saccades in bulbar-onset motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaghy, Colette; Pinnock, Ralph; Abrahams, Sharon; Cardwell, Chris; Hardiman, Orla; Patterson, Victor; McGivern, R Canice; Gibson, J Mark

    2010-07-01

    Historical studies of eye movements in motor neurone disease (MND) have been conflicting although current findings suggest that eye movement abnormalities relate to frontal lobe impairment. Numerous case reports, however, describe slow saccades and supranuclear gaze palsies in patients with MND often associated with bulbar-onset disease. We performed a study of saccades and smooth pursuit in a large group of patients with MND to examine for any differences between bulbar-onset and spinal-onset patients. Forty-four patients (14 bulbar-onset and 30 spinal-onset patients) and 45 controls were recruited. Reflexive saccades, antisaccades and smooth pursuit were examined using infra-red oculography and all subjects then underwent neuropsychological evaluation. Reflexive saccades were found to be slower in bulbar-onset compared to spinal-onset patients and controls (p = 0.03, p = 0.05). Antisaccade latency (p = 0.01) and antisaccade type 1 errors (p = 0.03, p = 0.04) were increased in patients compared to controls. 'Proportion of time spent in smooth pursuit' and smooth pursuit 'velocity gain' were reduced in patients compared to controls (p = 0.000, p = 0.001). Antisaccade errors and velocity gain correlated with neuropsychological measures sensitive to lesions of the frontal lobes. This is the first study to highlight the presence of slow saccades in bulbar-onset MND. These findings suggest that slow saccades may be due to increased brainstem pathology in bulbar-onset disease that involves burst cell neurons. Furthermore these observations highlight the potential for overlap between bulbar-onset MND and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) as both can have a bulbar palsy and slowed saccades.

  14. Saccade learning with concurrent cortical and subcortical basal ganglia loops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve eN'guyen

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The Basal Ganglia is a central structure involved in multiple cortical and subcortical loops. Some of these loops are believed to be responsible for saccade target selection. We study here how the very specific structural relationships of these saccadic loops can affect the ability of learning spatial and feature-based tasks.We propose a model of saccade generation with reinforcement learning capabilities based onour previous basal ganglia and superior colliculus models. It is structured around the interactions of two parallel cortico-basal loops and one tecto-basal loop. The two cortical loops separately deal with spatial and non-spatial information to select targets in a concurrent way. The subcortical loop is used to make the final target selection leading to the production of thesaccade. These different loops may work in concert or disturb each other regarding reward maximization. Interactions between these loops and their learning capabilities are tested on different saccade tasks.The results show the ability of this model to correctly learn basic target selection based on different criteria (spatial or not. Moreover the model reproduces and explains training dependent express saccades toward targets based on a spatial criterion. Finally, the model predicts that in absence of prefrontal control, the spatial loop should dominate.

  15. Continuous perception of motion and shape across saccadic eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fracasso, Alessio; Caramazza, Alfonso; Melcher, David

    2010-11-24

    Although our naïve experience of visual perception is that it is smooth and coherent, the actual input from the retina involves brief and discrete fixations separated by saccadic eye movements. This raises the question of whether our impression of stable and continuous vision is merely an illusion. To test this, we examined whether motion perception can "bridge" a saccade in a two-frame apparent motion display in which the two frames were separated by a saccade. We found that transformational apparent motion, in which an object is seen to change shape and even move in three dimensions during the motion trajectory, continues across saccades. Moreover, participants preferred an interpretation of motion in spatial, rather than retinal, coordinates. The strength of the motion percept depended on the temporal delay between the two motion frames and was sufficient to give rise to a motion-from-shape aftereffect, even when the motion was defined by a second-order shape cue ("phantom transformational apparent motion"). These findings suggest that motion and shape information are integrated across saccades into a single, coherent percept of a moving object.

  16. Lateralized EEG components with direction information for the preparation of saccades versus finger movements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lubbe, van der Rob H.J.; Wauschkuhn, Bernd; Wascher, Edmund; Niehoff, Torsten; Kömpf, Detlef; Verleger, Rolf

    2000-01-01

    During preparation of horizontal saccades in humans, several lateralized (relative to saccade direction), event-related EEG components occur that have been interpreted as reflecting activity of frontal and parietal eye fields. We investigated to what degree these components are specific to saccade p

  17. Decoding target distance and saccade amplitude from population activity in the macaque lateral intraparietal area (LIP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Bremmer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Primates perform saccadic eye movements in order to bring the image of an interesting target onto the fovea. Compared to stationary targets, saccades towards moving targets are computationally more demanding since the oculomotor system must use speed and direction information about the target as well as knowledge about its own processing latency to program an adequate, predictive saccade vector. In monkeys, different brain regions have been implicated in the control of voluntary saccades, among them the lateral intraparietal area (LIP. Here we asked, if activity in area LIP reflects the distance between fovea and saccade target, or the amplitude of an upcoming saccade, or both. We recorded single unit activity in area LIP of two macaque monkeys. First, we determined for each neuron its preferred saccade direction. Then, monkeys performed visually guided saccades along the preferred direction towards either stationary or moving targets in pseudo-randomized order. LIP population activity allowed to decode both, the distance between fovea and saccade target as well as the size of an upcoming saccade. Previous work has shown comparable results for saccade direction (Graf and Andersen, 2014a, b. Hence, LIP population activity allows to predict any two-dimensional saccade vector. Functional equivalents of macaque area LIP have been identified in humans. Accordingly, our results provide further support for the concept of activity from area LIP as neural basis for the control of an oculomotor brain-machine interface.

  18. Toward a visual cognitive system using active top-down saccadic control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    LaCroix, J.; Postma, E.; van den Herik, J.; Murre, J.

    2008-01-01

    The saccadic selection of relevant visual input for preferential processing allows the efficient use of computational resources. Based on saccadic active human vision, we aim to develop a plausible saccade-based visual cognitive system for a humanoid robot. This paper presents two initial steps towa

  19. Saccadic eye movement applications for psychiatric disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bittencourt J

    2013-09-01

    Med/Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, Cochrane, and SciELO databases were reviewed. Results: Saccadic eye movement appears to be heavily involved in psychiatric diseases covered in this review via a direct mechanism. The changes seen in the execution of eye movement tasks in patients with psychopathologies of various studies confirm that eye movement is associated with the cognitive and motor system. Conclusion: Saccadic eye movement changes appear to be heavily involved in the psychiatric disorders covered in this review and may be considered a possible marker of some disorders. The few existing studies that approach the topic demonstrate a need to improve the experimental paradigms, as well as the methods of analysis. Most of them report behavioral variables (latency/reaction time, though electrophysiological measures are absent. Keywords: depression, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder

  20. Breaking object correspondence across saccadic eye movements deteriorates object recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian H. Poth

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Visual perception is based on information processing during periods of eye fixations that are interrupted by fast saccadic eye movements. The ability to sample and relate information on task-relevant objects across fixations implies that correspondence between presaccadic and postsaccadic objects is established. Postsaccadic object information usually updates and overwrites information on the corresponding presaccadic object. The presaccadic object representation is then lost. In contrast, the presaccadic object is conserved when object correspondence is broken. This helps transsaccadic memory but it may impose attentional costs on object recognition. Therefore, we investigated how breaking object correspondence across the saccade affects postsaccadic object recognition. In Experiment 1, object correspondence was broken by a brief postsaccadic blank screen. Observers made a saccade to a peripheral object which was displaced during the saccade. This object reappeared either immediately after the saccade or after the blank screen. Within the postsaccadic object, a letter was briefly presented (terminated by a mask. Observers reported displacement direction and letter identity in different blocks. Breaking object correspondence by blanking improved displacement identification but deteriorated postsaccadic letter recognition. In Experiment 2, object correspondence was broken by changing the object’s contrast-polarity. There were no object displacements and observers only reported letter identity. Again, breaking object correspondence deteriorated postsaccadic letter recognition. These findings identify transsaccadic object correspondence as a key determinant of object recognition across the saccade. This is in line with the recent hypothesis that breaking object correspondence results in separate representations of presaccadic and postsaccadic objects which then compete for limited attentional processing resources (Schneider, 2013. Postsaccadic

  1. Evaluative Appraisals of Environmental Mystery and Surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasar, Jack L.; Cubukcu, Ebru

    2011-01-01

    This study used a desktop virtual environment (VE) of 15 large-scale residential streets to test the effects of environmental mystery and surprise on response. In theory, mystery and surprise should increase interest and visual appeal. For each VE, participants walked through an approach street and turned right onto a post-turn street. We designed…

  2. Evaluative Appraisals of Environmental Mystery and Surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasar, Jack L.; Cubukcu, Ebru

    2011-01-01

    This study used a desktop virtual environment (VE) of 15 large-scale residential streets to test the effects of environmental mystery and surprise on response. In theory, mystery and surprise should increase interest and visual appeal. For each VE, participants walked through an approach street and turned right onto a post-turn street. We designed…

  3. Analyst Information Precision and Small Earnings Surprises

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Bissessur; D. Veenman

    2014-01-01

    Prior research attributes zero and small positive earnings surprises to managers’ incentives for earnings management. In contrast, this study introduces and empirically tests an explanation for zero and small positive earnings surprises based on predictable variation in analyst forecast errors. We a

  4. Cognitive and Social Perspectives on Surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhami, Mundler

    2007-01-01

    Meanings of "surprise" are wide and include uplifting and engaging facets like wonder and amazement on the one hand as well as ones that may be of the opposite nature like interruption and disrupt on the other. Pedagogically, educators who use surprise in class activities are focusing on students being "taken aback" by a situation, hopefully…

  5. Relationship between saccadic eye movements and cortical activity as measured by fMRI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kimmig, H.; Greenlee, M.W.; Gondan, Matthias;

    2001-01-01

    quantitative changes in cortical activity associated with qualitative changes in the saccade task for comparable levels of saccadic activity. All experiments required the simultaneous acquisition of eye movement and fMRI data. For this purpose we used a new high-resolution limbus-tracking technique...... that repeated processing of saccades is integrated over time in the BOLD response. In contrast, there was no comparable BOLD change with variation of saccade amplitude. This finding speaks for a topological rather than activity-dependent coding of saccade amplitudes in most cortical regions. In the experiments...

  6. Incomplete suppression of distractor-related activity in the frontal eye field results in curved saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPeek, Robert M

    2006-11-01

    Saccades in the presence of distractors show significant trajectory curvature. Based on previous work in the superior colliculus (SC), we speculated that curvature arises when a movement is initiated before competition between the target and distractor goals has been fully resolved. To test this hypothesis, we recorded frontal eye field (FEF) activity for curved and straight saccades in search. In contrast to the SC, activity in FEF is normally poorly correlated with saccade dynamics. However, the FEF, like the SC, is involved in target selection. Thus if curvature is caused by incomplete target selection, we expect to see its neural correlates in the FEF. We found that saccades that curve toward a distractor are accompanied by an increase in perisaccadic activity of FEF neurons coding the distractor location, and saccades that curve away are accompanied by a decrease in activity. In contrast, for FEF neurons coding the target location, there is no significant difference in activity between curved and straight saccades. To establish that the distractor-related activity is causally related to saccade curvature, we applied microstimulation to sites in the FEF before saccades to targets presented without distractors. The stimulation was subthreshold for evoking saccades and the temporal structure of the stimulation train resembled the activity recorded for curved saccades. The resulting movements curved toward the location coded by the stimulation site. These results support the idea that saccade curvature results from incomplete suppression of distractor-related activity during target selection.

  7. An in-depth look at saccadic search in infancy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hessels, Roy S.; Hooge, Ignace T C; Kemner, Chantal

    2016-01-01

    Two questions were posed in the present study: (1) Do infants search for discrepant items in the absence of instructions? We outline where previous research has been inconclusive in answering this question. (2) In what manner do infants search, and what are the fixation and saccade characteristics i

  8. An in-depth look at saccadic search in infancy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hessels, Roy S.; Hooge, Ignace T C; Kemner, Chantal

    Two questions were posed in the present study: (1) Do infants search for discrepant items in the absence of instructions? We outline where previous research has been inconclusive in answering this question. (2) In what manner do infants search, and what are the fixation and saccade characteristics

  9. Discovery of neural circuits for saccadic modulation of visual perception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ In daily life, we move our eyes frequently to search for or fixate a target of interest with the retinal fovea. Usually, the eyes would dart from one position to another in the visual field at velocities higher than 500 degrees per second. This rapid eye movement is called a saccade.

  10. Temporal uncertainty separates flashes from their background during saccades

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maij, F.; Brenner, E.M.; Smeets, J.B.J.

    2011-01-01

    It is known that spatial localization of flashed objects fails around the time of rapid eye movements (saccades). This mislocalization is often interpreted in terms of a combination of shifts and deformations of the brain's representation of space to account for the eye movement. Such temporary

  11. Temporal uncertainty separates flashes from their background during saccades.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maij, F.; Brenner, E.; Smeets, J.B.J.

    2011-01-01

    It is known that spatial localization of flashed objects fails around the time of rapid eye movements (saccades). This mislocalization is often interpreted in terms of a combination of shifts and deformations of the brain’s representation of space to account for the eye movement. Such temporary

  12. A toolkit for detecting technical surprise.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trahan, Michael Wayne; Foehse, Mark C.

    2010-10-01

    The detection of a scientific or technological surprise within a secretive country or institute is very difficult. The ability to detect such surprises would allow analysts to identify the capabilities that could be a military or economic threat to national security. Sandia's current approach utilizing ThreatView has been successful in revealing potential technological surprises. However, as data sets become larger, it becomes critical to use algorithms as filters along with the visualization environments. Our two-year LDRD had two primary goals. First, we developed a tool, a Self-Organizing Map (SOM), to extend ThreatView and improve our understanding of the issues involved in working with textual data sets. Second, we developed a toolkit for detecting indicators of technical surprise in textual data sets. Our toolkit has been successfully used to perform technology assessments for the Science & Technology Intelligence (S&TI) program.

  13. Deciphering network community structure by surprise

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aldecoa, Rodrigo; Marín, Ignacio

    2011-01-01

    .... A fundamental, unsolved problem is how to characterize the community structure of a network. Here, using both standard and novel benchmarks, we show that maximization of a simple global parameter, which we call Surprise...

  14. A Surprising Culprit Behind Celiac Disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... news/fullstory_164503.html A Surprising Culprit Behind Celiac Disease? Study suggests harmless viruses may set stage ... typically harmless type of virus might sometimes trigger celiac disease, a new study suggests. Celiac disease is ...

  15. Binocular Saccade Coordination in Reading and Visual Search: A Developmental Study in Typical Reader and Dyslexic Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magali eSeassau

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Studies dealing with developmental aspects of binocular eye movement behavior during reading are scarce. In this study we have explored binocular strategies during reading and visual search tasks in a large population of dyslexic and typical readers. Binocular eye movements were recorded using a video-oculography system in 43 dyslexic children (aged 8 to 13 and in a group of 42 age-matched typical readers. The main findings are (i ocular motor characteristics of dyslexic children are impaired in comparison to those reported in typical children in reading task ; (ii a developmental effect exists in reading in control children; in dyslexic children the effect of development was observed only on fixation durations ; (iii ocular motor behavior in the visual search tasks is similar for dyslexic children and for typical readers, except for the disconjugacy during and after the saccade: dyslexic children are impaired in comparison to typical children. Data reported here confirms and expands previous studies on children’s reading. Both reading skills and binocular saccades coordination improve with age in typical readers. The atypical eye movement’s patterns observed in dyslexic children suggest a deficiency in the visual attentional processing as well as an impairment of the ocular motor saccade and vergence systems interaction.

  16. Binocular saccade coordination in reading and visual search: a developmental study in typical reader and dyslexic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seassau, Magali; Gérard, Christophe Loic; Bui-Quoc, Emmanuel; Bucci, Maria Pia

    2014-01-01

    Studies dealing with developmental aspects of binocular eye movement behavior during reading are scarce. In this study we have explored binocular strategies during reading and visual search tasks in a large population of dyslexic and typical readers. Binocular eye movements were recorded using a video-oculography system in 43 dyslexic children (aged 8-13) and in a group of 42 age-matched typical readers. The main findings are: (i) ocular motor characteristics of dyslexic children are impaired in comparison to those reported in typical children in reading task; (ii) a developmental effect exists in reading in control children, in dyslexic children the effect of development was observed only on fixation durations; and (iii) ocular motor behavior in the visual search tasks is similar for dyslexic children and for typical readers, except for the disconjugacy during and after the saccade: dyslexic children are impaired in comparison to typical children. Data reported here confirms and expands previous studies on children's reading. Both reading skills and binocular saccades coordination improve with age in typical readers. The atypical eye movement's patterns observed in dyslexic children suggest a deficiency in the visual attentional processing as well as an impairment of the ocular motor saccade and vergence systems interaction.

  17. Saccadic inhibition and the remote distractor effect: One mechanism or two?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bompas, Aline; Sumner, Petroc

    2015-01-01

    It has been hotly debated whether a single mechanism underlies two established and highly robust oculomotor phenomena thought to index the competitive nature of eye movement plans: the remote distractor effect and saccadic inhibition (SI). It has been suggested that a transient mechanism underlying SI would not be able to account for the shift in the saccade latency distribution produced by early distractors (e.g., those appearing 60 ms before target onset) without additional assumptions or a more sustained source of inhibition. Here we tested this prediction with a model previously optimized to capture SI for late distractors. Where behavioral studies have intermingled stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) within the same block, the model captures the pattern of RDEs and SI effects with no parameter changes. Where SOAs have been blocked behaviorally, the pattern of RDEs can also be captured by the same model architecture, but requires changes to the inputs of the model between SOAs. Such changes plausibly reflect likely changes in participants' expectations and attentional strategy across block types.

  18. Saccade suppression exerts global effects on the motor system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessel, Jan R; Reynoso, H Sequoyah; Aron, Adam R

    2013-08-01

    Stopping inappropriate eye movements is a cognitive control function that allows humans to perform well in situations that demand attentional focus. The stop-signal task is an experimental model for this behavior. Participants initiate a saccade toward a target and occasionally have to try to stop the impending saccade if a stop signal occurs. Prior research using a version of this paradigm for limb movements (hand, leg) as well as for speech has shown that rapidly stopping action leads to apparently global suppression of the motor system, as indexed by the corticospinal excitability (CSE) of task-unrelated effectors in studies with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of M1. Here we measured CSE from the hand with high temporal precision while participants made saccades and while they successfully and unsuccessfully stopped these saccades in response to a stop signal. We showed that 50 ms before the estimated time at which a saccade is successfully stopped there was reduced CSE for the hand, which was task irrelevant. This shows that rapidly stopping eye movements also has global motor effects. We speculate that this arises because rapidly stopping eye movements, like skeleto-motor movements, is possibly achieved via input to the subthalamic nucleus of the basal ganglia, with a putatively broad suppressive effect on thalamocortical drive. Since recent studies suggest that this suppressive effect could also impact nonmotor representations, the present finding points to a possible mechanistic basis for some kinds of distractibility: abrupt-onset stimuli will interrupt ongoing processing by generating global motor and nonmotor effects.

  19. Cultural diversity and saccade similarities: culture does not explain saccade latency differences between Chinese and Caucasian participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, Paul C; Wolohan, Felicity D A

    2014-01-01

    A central claim of cultural neuroscience is that the culture to which an individual belongs plays a key role in shaping basic cognitive processes and behaviours, including eye movement behaviour. We previously reported a robust difference in saccade behaviour between Chinese and Caucasian participants; Chinese participants are much more likely to execute low latency express saccades, in circumstances in which these are normally discouraged. To assess the extent to which this is the product of culture we compared a group of 70 Chinese overseas students (whose primary cultural exposure was that of mainland China), a group of 45 participants whose parents were Chinese but who themselves were brought up in the UK (whose primary cultural exposure was western European) and a group of 70 Caucasian participants. Results from the Schwartz Value Survey confirmed that the UK-Chinese group were culturally similar to the Caucasian group. However, their patterns of saccade latency were identical to the mainland Chinese group, and different to the Caucasian group. We conclude that at least for the relatively simple reflexive saccade behaviour we have investigated, culture cannot explain the observed differences in behaviour.

  20. The art of braking : Post saccadic oscillations in the eye tracker signal decrease with increasing saccade size

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooge, Ignace; Cornelissen, Tim; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has shown that the pupil signal from video-based eye trackers contains post saccadic oscillations (PSOs). These reflect pupil motion relative to the limbus (Nyström, Hooge, & Holmqvist, 2013). More knowledge about video-based eye tracker signals is essential to allow comparison betwe

  1. Differences in saccade dynamics between spinocerebellar ataxia 2 and late-onset cerebellar ataxias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federighi, Pamela; Cevenini, Gabriele; Dotti, Maria T; Rosini, Francesca; Pretegiani, Elena; Federico, Antonio; Rufa, Alessandra

    2011-03-01

    The cerebellum is implicated in maintaining the saccadic subsystem efficient for vision by minimizing movement inaccuracy and by learning from endpoint errors. This ability is often disrupted in degenerative cerebellar diseases, as demonstrated by saccade kinetic abnormalities. The study of saccades in these patients may therefore provide insights into the neural substrate underlying saccadic motor control. We investigated the different extent of saccade dynamic abnormalities in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 and late-onset cerebellar ataxias, genetically undefined and with prevalent cerebellar atrophy. Reflexive and voluntary saccades of different amplitude (10°-18°) were studied in seven patients with spinocerebellar ataxia 2, eight patients with late-onset cerebellar ataxia and 25 healthy controls. Quantitative analysis of saccade parameters and measures of saccade accuracy were performed. Detailed neurological, neurophysiological and magnetic resonance imaging assessment was obtained for each patient. Genetic and laboratory screening for spinocerebellar ataxias and other forms of late-onset cerebellar ataxias were also performed. A lower peak saccade velocity and longer duration was observed in patients with spinocerebellar ataxia 2 with respect to those with late-onset cerebellar ataxia and controls. Unlike subjects with spinocerebellar ataxia 2, patients with late-onset cerebellar ataxia showed main sequence relationships to similar saccades made by normal subjects. Saccades were significantly more inaccurate, namely hypometric, in late-onset cerebellar ataxia than in spinocerebellar ataxia 2 and inaccuracy increased with saccade amplitude. The percentage of hypometric primary saccades and of larger secondary corrective saccades were consistently higher in late-onset cerebellar ataxia than in spinocerebellar ataxia 2 and controls. No other significant differences were found between groups. Two different mechanisms were adopted to redirect the fovea as fast

  2. Differential roles of the frontal and parietal cortices in the control of saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Julia; Tark, Kyeong-Jin; Reuter, Benedikt; Kathmann, Norbert; Curtis, Clayton E

    2013-10-01

    Although externally as well as internally-guided eye movements allow us to flexibly explore the visual environment, their differential neural mechanisms remain elusive. A better understanding of these neural mechanisms will help us to understand the control of action and to elucidate the nature of cognitive deficits in certain psychiatric populations (e.g., schizophrenia) that show increased latencies in volitional but not visually-guided saccades. Both the superior precentral sulcus (sPCS) and the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) are implicated in the control of eye movements. However, it remains unknown what differential contributions the two areas make to the programming of visually-guided and internally-guided saccades. In this study we tested the hypotheses that sPCS and IPS distinctly encode internally-guided saccades and visually-guided saccades. We scanned subjects with fMRI while they generated visually-guided and internally-guided delayed saccades. We used multi-voxel pattern analysis to test whether patterns of cue related, preparatory and saccade related activation could be used to predict the direction of the planned eye movement. Results indicate that patterns in the human sPCS predicted internally-guided saccades but not visually-guided saccades in all trial periods and patterns in the IPS predicted internally-guided saccades and visually-guided saccades equally well. The results support the hypothesis that the human sPCS and IPS make distinct contributions to the control of volitional eye movements.

  3. Aging increases compensatory saccade amplitude in the video head impulse test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric R Anson

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Rotational vestibular function declines with age resulting in saccades as a compensatory mechanism to improve impaired gaze stability. Small reductions in rotational vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR gain that would be considered clinically normal have been associated with compensatory saccades. We evaluated whether compensatory saccade characteristics varied as a function of age, independent of semicircular canal function as quantified by VOR gain.Methods: Horizontal VOR gain was measured in 243 participants age 27-93 from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging using video head impulse testing (HIT. Latency and amplitude of the first saccade (either covert – occurring during head impulse, or overt – occurring following head impulse were measured for head impulses with compensatory saccades (n = 2230 head impulses. The relationship between age and saccade latency, as well as the relationship between age and saccade amplitude, were evaluated using regression analyses adjusting for VOR gain, gender, and race.Results: Older adults (mean age 75.9 made significantly larger compensatory saccades relative to younger adults (mean age 45.0. In analyses adjusted for VOR gain, there was a significant association between age and amplitude of the first compensatory covert saccade (β = 0.015, p = 0.008. In analyses adjusted for VOR gain, there was a significant association between age and amplitude of the first compensatory overt saccade (β = 0.02, p < 0.001. Compensatory saccade latencies did not vary significantly by age. Conclusions: We observed that aging increases the compensatory catch-up saccade amplitude in healthy adults after controlling for VOR gain. Size of compensatory saccades may be useful in addition to VOR gain for characterizing vestibular function in aging adults.

  4. Ocular-motor profile and effects of memantine in a familial form of adult cerebellar ataxia with slow saccades and square wave saccadic intrusions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Rosini

    Full Text Available Fixation instability due to saccadic intrusions is a feature of autosomal recessive spinocerebellar ataxias, and includes square wave intrusions (SWI and macrosaccadic oscillations (MSO. A recent report suggested that the non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors, memantine, could decrease MSO and improve fixation in patients with spinocerebellar ataxia with saccadic intrusions (SCASI. We similarly tested two sisters, respectively of 58 and 60 years, with an unrecognized form of recessive, adult-onset cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy and slow saccades, who showed prominent SWI and also complained with difficulty in reading. We tested horizontal visually guided saccades (10°-18° and three minutes of steady fixation in each patient and in thirty healthy controls. Both patients showed a significant reduction of peak and mean velocity compared with control subjects. Large SWI interrupting steady fixation were prominent during steady fixation and especially following visually guided saccades. Eye movements were recorded before and during the treatment with memantine, 20 mg/daily for 6 months. The treatment with memantine reduced both the magnitude and frequency of SWI (the former significantly, but did not modified neurological conditions or saccade parameters. Thus, our report suggests that memantine may have some general suppressive effect on saccadic intrusions, including both SWI and MSO, thereby restoring the capacity of reading and visual attention in these and in other recessive forms of ataxia, including Friedreich's, in which saccadic intrusions are prominent.

  5. Saccades during attempted fixation in parkinsonian disorders and recessive ataxia: from microsaccades to square-wave jerks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Otero-Millan

    Full Text Available During attempted visual fixation, saccades of a range of sizes occur. These "fixational saccades" include microsaccades, which are not apparent in regular clinical tests, and "saccadic intrusions", predominantly horizontal saccades that interrupt accurate fixation. Square-wave jerks (SWJs, the most common type of saccadic intrusion, consist of an initial saccade away from the target followed, after a short delay, by a "return saccade" that brings the eye back onto target. SWJs are present in most human subjects, but are prominent by their increased frequency and size in certain parkinsonian disorders and in recessive, hereditary spinocerebellar ataxias. Here we asked whether fixational saccades showed distinctive features in various parkinsonian disorders and in recessive ataxia. Although some saccadic properties differed between patient groups, in all conditions larger saccades were more likely to form SWJs, and the intervals between the first and second saccade of SWJs were similar. These findings support the proposal of a common oculomotor mechanism that generates all fixational saccades, including microsaccades and SWJs. The same mechanism also explains how the return saccade in SWJs is triggered by the position error that occurs when the first saccadic component is large, both in the healthy brain and in neurological disease.

  6. Covert oculo-manual coupling induced by visually guided saccades.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca eFalciati

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Hand pointing to objects under visual guidance is one of the most common motor behaviors in everyday life. In natural conditions, gaze and arm movements are commonly aimed at the same target and the accuracy of both systems is considerably enhanced if eye and hand move together. Evidence supports the viewpoint that gaze and limb control systems are not independent but at least partially share a common neural controller. The aim of the present study was to verify whether a saccade execution induces excitability changes in the upper-limb corticospinal system (CSS, even in the absence of a manual response. This effect would provide evidence for the existence of a common drive for ocular and arm motor systems during fast aiming movements. Single-pulse TMS was applied to the left motor cortex of 19 subjects during a task involving visually guided saccades, and motor evoked potentials (MEPs induced in hand and wrist muscles of the contralateral relaxed arm were recorded. Subjects had to make visually guided saccades to one of 6 positions along the horizontal meridian (±5°, ±10° or ±15°. During each trial, TMS was randomly delivered at one of 3 different time delays: shortly after the end of the saccade or 300 ms or 540 ms after saccade onset. Fast eye movements towards a peripheral target were accompanied by changes in upper-limb CSS excitability. MEP amplitude was highest immediately after the end of the saccade and gradually decreased at longer TMS delays. In addition to the change in overall CSS excitability, MEPs were specifically modulated in different muscles, depending on the target position and the TMS delay. By applying a simple model of a manual pointing movement, we demonstrated that the observed changes in CSS excitability are compatible with the facilitation of an arm motor program for a movement aimed at the same target of the gaze. These results provide evidence in favor of the existence of a common drive for both eye and arm

  7. Surprises in numerical expressions of physical constants

    CERN Document Server

    Amir, Ariel; Tokieda, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    In science, as in life, `surprises' can be adequately appreciated only in the presence of a null model, what we expect a priori. In physics, theories sometimes express the values of dimensionless physical constants as combinations of mathematical constants like pi or e. The inverse problem also arises, whereby the measured value of a physical constant admits a `surprisingly' simple approximation in terms of well-known mathematical constants. Can we estimate the probability for this to be a mere coincidence, rather than an inkling of some theory? We answer the question in the most naive form.

  8. Relationship between saccadic eye movements and cortical activity as measured by fMRI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kimmig, H.; Greenlee, M.W.; Gondan, Matthias;

    2001-01-01

    quantitative changes in cortical activity associated with qualitative changes in the saccade task for comparable levels of saccadic activity. All experiments required the simultaneous acquisition of eye movement and fMRI data. For this purpose we used a new high-resolution limbus-tracking technique......We investigated the quantitative relationship between saccadic activity (as reflected in frequency of occurrence and amplitude of saccades) and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) changes in the cerebral cortex using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Furthermore, we investigated....... The latter finding is taken to indicate a more demanding cortical processing in the "anti" task than the "pro" task, which could explain the observed difference in BOLD activation. We hold that a quantitative analysis of saccade parameters (especially saccade frequency and latency) is important...

  9. Saccade-confounded image statistics explain visual crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandy, Anirvan S; Tjan, Bosco S

    2012-01-08

    Processing of shape information in human peripheral visual fields is impeded beyond what can be expected by poor spatial resolution. Visual crowding, the inability to identify objects in clutter, has been shown to be the primary factor limiting shape perception in peripheral vision. Despite the well-documented effects of crowding, its underlying causes remain poorly understood. Given that spatial attention both facilitates learning of image statistics and directs saccadic eye movements, we propose that the acquisition of image statistics in peripheral visual fields is confounded by eye-movement artifacts. Specifically, the image statistics acquired under a peripherally deployed spotlight of attention are systematically biased by saccade-induced image displacements. These erroneously represented image statistics lead to inappropriate contextual interactions in the periphery and cause crowding.

  10. VOR Gain Is Related to Compensatory Saccades in Healthy Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anson, Eric R.; Bigelow, Robin T.; Carey, John P.; Xue, Qian-Li; Studenski, Stephanie; Schubert, Michael C.; Agrawal, Yuri

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain is well-suited for identifying rotational vestibular dysfunction, but may miss partial progressive decline in age-related vestibular function. Since compensatory saccades might provide an alternative method for identifying subtle vestibular decline, we describe the relationship between VOR gain and compensatory saccades in healthy older adults. Methods: Horizontal VOR gain was measured in 243 subjects age 60 and older from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging using video head impulse testing (HIT). Saccades in each HIT were identified as either “compensatory” or “compensatory back-up,” i.e., same or opposite direction as the VOR response respectively. Saccades were also classified as “covert” (occurring during head movement) and “overt” (occurring after head movement). The relationship between VOR gain and percentage of HITs with saccades, as well as the relationship between VOR gain and saccade latency and amplitude, were evaluated using regression analyses adjusting for age, gender, and race. Results: In adjusted analyses, the percentage of HITs with compensatory saccades increased 4.5% for every 0.1 decrease in VOR gain (p < 0.0001). Overt compensatory saccade amplitude decreased 0.6° (p < 0.005) and latency increased 90 ms (p < 0.001) for every 0.1 increase in VOR gain. Covert back-up compensatory saccade amplitude increased 0.4° for every 0.1 increase in VOR gain. Conclusion: We observed significant relationships between VOR gain and compensatory saccades in healthy older adults. Lower VOR gain was associated with larger amplitude, shorter latency compensatory saccades. Compensatory saccades reflect underlying rotational vestibular hypofunction, and may be particularly useful at identifying partial vestibular deficits as occur in aging adults. PMID:27445793

  11. Surprising Connections between Partitions and Divisors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osler, Thomas J.; Hassen, Abdulkadir; Chandrupatla, Tirupathi R.

    2007-01-01

    The sum of the divisors of a positive integer is one of the most interesting concepts in multiplicative number theory, while the number of ways of expressing a number as a sum is a primary topic in additive number theory. In this article, we describe some of the surprising connections between and similarities of these two concepts.

  12. Surprises from extragalactic propagation of UHECRs

    CERN Document Server

    Boncioli, Denise; Grillo, Aurelio

    2015-01-01

    Ultra-high energy cosmic ray experimental data are now of very good statistical significance even in the region of the expected GZK feature. The identification of their sources requires sophisticate analysis of their propagation in the extragalactic space. When looking at the details of this propagation some unforeseen features emerge. We will discuss some of these "surprises".

  13. Shrimps that pay attention: saccadic eye movements in stomatopod crustaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, N J; Land, M F; Cronin, T W

    2014-01-01

    Discovering that a shrimp can flick its eyes over to a fish and follow up by tracking it or flicking back to observe something else implies a 'primate-like' awareness of the immediate environment that we do not normally associate with crustaceans. For several reasons, stomatopods (mantis shrimp) do not fit the general mould of their subphylum, and here we add saccadic, acquisitional eye movements to their repertoire of unusual visual capabilities. Optically, their apposition compound eyes contain an area of heightened acuity, in some ways similar to the fovea of vertebrate eyes. Using rapid eye movements of up to several hundred degrees per second, objects of interest are placed under the scrutiny of this area. While other arthropod species, including insects and spiders, are known to possess and use acute zones in similar saccadic gaze relocations, stomatopods are the only crustacean known with such abilities. Differences among species exist, generally reflecting both the eye size and lifestyle of the animal, with the larger-eyed more sedentary species producing slower saccades than the smaller-eyed, more active species. Possessing the ability to rapidly look at and assess objects is ecologically important for mantis shrimps, as their lifestyle is, by any standards, fast, furious and deadly.

  14. Pupil size influences the eye-tracker signal during saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, Marcus; Hooge, Ignace; Andersson, Richard

    2016-04-01

    While it is known that scleral search coils-measuring the rotation of the eye globe--and modern, video based eye trackers-tracking the center of the pupil and the corneal reflection (CR)--produce signals with different properties, the mechanisms behind the differences are less investigated. We measure how the size of the pupil affects the eye-tracker signal recorded during saccades with a common pupil-CR eye-tracker. Eye movements were collected from four healthy participants and one person with an aphakic eye while performing self-paced, horizontal saccades at different levels of screen luminance and hence pupil size. Results show that pupil-, and gaze-signals, but not the CR-signal, are affected by the size of the pupil; changes in saccade peak velocities in the gaze signal of more than 30% were found. It is important to be aware of this pupil size dependent change when comparing fine grained oculomotor behavior across participants and conditions.

  15. Development and learning of saccadic eye movements in 7- to 42-month-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alahyane, Nadia; Lemoine-Lardennois, Christelle; Tailhefer, Coline; Collins, Thérèse; Fagard, Jacqueline; Doré-Mazars, Karine

    2016-01-01

    From birth, infants move their eyes to explore their environment, interact with it, and progressively develop a multitude of motor and cognitive abilities. The characteristics and development of oculomotor control in early childhood remain poorly understood today. Here, we examined reaction time and amplitude of saccadic eye movements in 93 7- to 42-month-old children while they oriented toward visual animated cartoon characters appearing at unpredictable locations on a computer screen over 140 trials. Results revealed that saccade performance is immature in children compared to a group of adults: Saccade reaction times were longer, and saccade amplitude relative to target location (10° eccentricity) was shorter. Results also indicated that performance is flexible in children. Although saccade reaction time decreased as age increased, suggesting developmental improvements in saccade control, saccade amplitude gradually improved over trials. Moreover, similar to adults, children were able to modify saccade amplitude based on the visual error made in the previous trial. This second set of results suggests that short visual experience and/or rapid sensorimotor learning are functional in children and can also affect saccade performance.

  16. Linking express saccade occurance to stimulus properties and sensorimotor integration in the superior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Robert A; Levy, Ron; Munoz, Douglas P

    2015-08-01

    Express saccades represent the fastest possible eye movements to visual targets with reaction times that approach minimum sensory-motor conduction delays. Previous work in monkeys has identified two specific neural signals in the superior colliculus (SC: a midbrain sensorimotor integration structure involved in gaze control) that are required to execute express saccades: 1) previsual activity consisting of a low-frequency increase in action potentials in sensory-motor neurons immediately before the arrival of a visual response; and 2) a transient visual-sensory response consisting of a high-frequency burst of action potentials in visually responsive neurons resulting from the appearance of a visual target stimulus. To better understand how these two neural signals interact to produce express saccades, we manipulated the arrival time and magnitude of visual responses in the SC by altering target luminance and we examined the corresponding influences on SC activity and express saccade generation. We recorded from saccade neurons with visual-, motor-, and previsual-related activity in the SC of monkeys performing the gap saccade task while target luminance was systematically varied between 0.001 and 42.5 cd/m(2) against a black background (∼0.0001 cd/m(2)). Our results demonstrated that 1) express saccade latencies were linked directly to the arrival time in the SC of visual responses produced by abruptly appearing visual stimuli; 2) express saccades were generated toward both dim and bright targets whenever sufficient previsual activity was present; and 3) target luminance altered the likelihood of producing an express saccade. When an express saccade was generated, visuomotor neurons increased their activity immediately before the arrival of the visual response in the SC and saccade initiation. Furthermore, the visual and motor responses of visuomotor neurons merged into a single burst of action potentials, while the visual response of visual-only neurons was

  17. Electrical stimulation of the primate lateral habenula suppresses saccadic eye movement through a learning mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki Matsumoto

    Full Text Available The lateral habenula (LHb is a brain structure which represents negative motivational value. Neurons in the LHb are excited by unpleasant events such as reward omission and aversive stimuli, and transmit these signals to midbrain dopamine neurons which are involved in learning and motivation. However, it remains unclear whether these phasic changes in LHb neuronal activity actually influence animal behavior. To answer this question, we artificially activated the LHb by electrical stimulation while monkeys were performing a visually guided saccade task. In one block of trials, saccades to one fixed direction (e.g., right direction were followed by electrical stimulation of the LHb while saccades to the other direction (e.g., left direction were not. The direction-stimulation contingency was reversed in the next block. We found that the post-saccadic stimulation of the LHb increased the latencies of saccades in subsequent trials. Notably, the increase of the latency occurred gradually as the saccade was repeatedly followed by the stimulation, suggesting that the effect of the post-saccadic stimulation was accumulated across trials. LHb stimulation starting before saccades, on the other hand, had no effect on saccade latency. Together with previous studies showing LHb activation by reward omission and aversive stimuli, the present stimulation experiment suggests that LHb activity contributes to learning to suppress actions which lead to unpleasant events.

  18. Saccades and fixations in children with delayed reading skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinuela-Navarro, Valldeflors; Erichsen, Jonathan T; Williams, Cathy; Woodhouse, J Margaret

    2017-07-01

    Previous studies have reported that eye movements differ between good/average and poor readers. However, these studies have been limited to investigating eye movements during reading related tasks, and thus, the differences found could arise from deficits in higher cognitive processes involved in reading rather than oculomotor performance. The purpose of the study is to determine the extent to which eye movements in children with delayed reading skills are different to those obtained from children with good/average reading skills in non-reading related tasks. After a screening optometric assessment, eye movement recordings were obtained from 120 children without delayed reading skills and 43 children with delayed reading skills (4 to 11 years) using a Tobii TX300 eye tracker. Cartoon characters were presented horizontally from -20° to +20° in steps of 5° to study saccades. An animated stimulus in the centre of the screen was presented for 8 seconds to study fixation stability. Saccadic main sequences, and the number and amplitude of the saccades during fixation were obtained for each participant. Children with delayed reading skills (n = 43) were unmasked after data collection was completed. Medians and quartiles were calculated for each eye movement parameter for children without (n = 120) and with (n = 43) delayed reading skills. Independent t-tests with Bonferroni correction showed no significant differences in any of the saccadic main sequence parameters (Slope, Intercept, A, n and Q ratio) between children without and with delayed reading (p > 0.01). Similarly, no significant differences were found in the number of saccades and their amplitude during the fixation task between the two groups (p > 0.05). Further, none of the gross optometric parameters assessed (visual acuity, refractive error, ocular alignment, convergence, stereopsis and accommodation accuracy) were found to be associated with delayed reading skills (p > 0.05). Eye movements in

  19. Radar Design to Protect Against Surprise

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doerry, Armin W. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2015-02-01

    Technological and doctrinal surprise is about rendering preparations for conflict as irrelevant or ineffective . For a sensor, this means essentially rendering the sensor as irrelevant or ineffective in its ability to help determine truth. Recovery from this sort of surprise is facilitated by flexibility in our own technology and doctrine. For a sensor, this mean s flexibility in its architecture, design, tactics, and the designing organizations ' processes. - 4 - Acknowledgements This report is the result of a n unfunded research and development activity . Sandia National Laboratories is a multi - program laboratory manage d and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE - AC04 - 94AL85000.

  20. Radar Design to Protect Against Surprise.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doerry, Armin W.

    2015-02-01

    Technological and doctrinal surprise is about rendering preparations for conflict as irrelevant or ineffective . For a sensor, this means essentially rendering the sensor as irrelevant or ineffective in its ability to help determine truth. Recovery from this sort of surprise is facilitated by flexibility in our own technology and doctrine. For a sensor, this mean s flexibility in its architecture, design, tactics, and the designing organizations ' processes. - 4 - Acknowledgements This report is the result of a n unfunded research and development activity . Sandia National Laboratories is a multi - program laboratory manage d and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE - AC04 - 94AL85000.

  1. Surprise-Based Learning for Autonomous Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-28

    for scientific theories containing recursive theoretical terms". British Journal of Philosophy of Science, 44. 641-652, 1993. Piaget J.. "The Origins...paradigm stems from Piaget’s theory of Developmental Psychology [5], Herben Simon’s theory on dual-space search for knowledge and problem solving [6...34, Twenty-First Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2005. [34] Itti L., Baldi P., "A Surprising Theory of

  2. Role of early visual cortex in trans-saccadic memory of object features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Pankhuri; Dessing, Joost C; Crawford, J Douglas

    2015-08-01

    Early visual cortex (EVC) participates in visual feature memory and the updating of remembered locations across saccades, but its role in the trans-saccadic integration of object features is unknown. We hypothesized that if EVC is involved in updating object features relative to gaze, feature memory should be disrupted when saccades remap an object representation into a simultaneously perturbed EVC site. To test this, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over functional magnetic resonance imaging-localized EVC clusters corresponding to the bottom left/right visual quadrants (VQs). During experiments, these VQs were probed psychophysically by briefly presenting a central object (Gabor patch) while subjects fixated gaze to the right or left (and above). After a short memory interval, participants were required to detect the relative change in orientation of a re-presented test object at the same spatial location. Participants either sustained fixation during the memory interval (fixation task) or made a horizontal saccade that either maintained or reversed the VQ of the object (saccade task). Three TMS pulses (coinciding with the pre-, peri-, and postsaccade intervals) were applied to the left or right EVC. This had no effect when (a) fixation was maintained, (b) saccades kept the object in the same VQ, or (c) the EVC quadrant corresponding to the first object was stimulated. However, as predicted, TMS reduced performance when saccades (especially larger saccades) crossed the remembered object location and brought it into the VQ corresponding to the TMS site. This suppression effect was statistically significant for leftward saccades and followed a weaker trend for rightward saccades. These causal results are consistent with the idea that EVC is involved in the gaze-centered updating of object features for trans-saccadic memory and perception.

  3. Using temporally aligned event-related potentials for the investigation of attention shifts prior to and during saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber-Huber, Christoph; Ditye, Thomas; Marchante Fernández, María; Ansorge, Ulrich

    2016-11-01

    According to the pre-motor theory of attention, attention is shifted to a saccade's landing position before the saccade is executed. Such pre-saccadic attention shifts are usually studied in psychophysical dual-task conditions, with a target-discrimination task before saccade onset. Here, we present a novel approach to investigate pre-saccadic attention shifts with the help of event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants executed one or two saccades to color-defined targets while ERPs and eye-movements were recorded. In single-target blocks participants executed a single saccade. In two-targets blocks participants made either a single saccade to one of the targets, or two successive saccades to both targets. Importantly, in two-targets blocks, targets could appear on the same or on opposite sides of the vertical midline. This allowed us to study contra-to-ipsilateral ERP differences (such as the N2pc or PCN) that reflect attention shifts to the targets, prior to saccade onset and during saccades. If pre-saccadic attention shifts to saccade target locations are necessary for saccade execution and if searched-for saccade targets capture attention, there should be enhanced attentional competition (1) between two targets compared to single targets; (2) between two opposite-sides targets compared to two same-side targets; and (3) in two saccades rather than one saccade conditions: More attentional competition was expected to delay saccade latency and to weaken pre-saccadic laterality effects in ERPs. Hypotheses were tested by means of temporally aligned ERPs that were simultaneously time-locked to stimulus onsets, saccade onsets, and saccade offsets. Predictions (1) and (2) were partly and fully confirmed, respectively, but no evidence was found for (3). We explain the implications of our results for the role of attention during saccade preparation, and we point out how temporally aligned ERPs compare to ICA-based electroencephalogram (EEG) artifact correction

  4. Trans-saccadic integration of peripheral and foveal feature information is close to optimal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christian; Schütz, Alexander C

    2015-01-01

    Due to the inhomogenous visual representation across the visual field, humans use peripheral vision to select objects of interest and foveate them by saccadic eye movements for further scrutiny. Thus, there is usually peripheral information available before and foveal information after a saccade. In this study we investigated the integration of information across saccades. We measured reliabilities--i.e., the inverse of variance-separately in a presaccadic peripheral and a postsaccadic foveal orientation--discrimination task. From this, we predicted trans-saccadic performance and compared it to observed values. We show that the integration of incongruent peripheral and foveal information is biased according to their relative reliabilities and that the reliability of the trans-saccadic information equals the sum of the peripheral and foveal reliabilities. Both results are consistent with and indistinguishable from statistically optimal integration according to the maximum-likelihood principle. Additionally, we tracked the gathering of information around the time of the saccade with high temporal precision by using a reverse correlation method. Information gathering starts to decline between 100 and 50 ms before saccade onset and recovers immediately after saccade offset. Altogether, these findings show that the human visual system can effectively use peripheral and foveal information about object features and that visual perception does not simply correspond to disconnected snapshots during each fixation.

  5. The effects of video game play on the characteristics of saccadic eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, David J; Ilg, Uwe J

    2014-09-01

    Video game play has become a common leisure activity all around the world. To reveal possible effects of playing video games, we measured saccades elicited by video game players (VGPs) and non-players (NVGPs) in two oculomotor tasks. First, our subjects performed a double-step task. Second, we asked our subjects to move their gaze opposite to the appearance of a visual target, i.e. to perform anti-saccades. As expected on the basis of previous studies, VGPs had significantly shorter saccadic reaction times (SRTs) than NVGPs for all saccade types. However, the error rates in the anti-saccade task did not reveal any significant differences. In fact, the error rates of VGPs were actually slightly lower compared to NVGPs (34% versus 40%, respectively). In addition, VGPs showed significantly higher saccadic peak velocities in every saccade type compared to NVGP. Our results suggest that faster SRTs in VGPs were associated with a more efficient motor drive for saccades. Taken together, our results are in excellent agreement with earlier reports of beneficial video game effects through the general reduction in SRTs. Our data clearly provides additional experimental evidence for an higher efficiency of the VGPs on the one hand and refutes the notion of a reduced impulse control in VGPs on the other.

  6. Parallel programming of saccades during natural scene viewing: evidence from eye movement positions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Esther X W; Gilani, Syed Omer; van Boxtel, Jeroen J A; Amihai, Ido; Chua, Fook Kee; Yen, Shih-Cheng

    2013-10-24

    Previous studies have shown that saccade plans during natural scene viewing can be programmed in parallel. This evidence comes mainly from temporal indicators, i.e., fixation durations and latencies. In the current study, we asked whether eye movement positions recorded during scene viewing also reflect parallel programming of saccades. As participants viewed scenes in preparation for a memory task, their inspection of the scene was suddenly disrupted by a transition to another scene. We examined whether saccades after the transition were invariably directed immediately toward the center or were contingent on saccade onset times relative to the transition. The results, which showed a dissociation in eye movement behavior between two groups of saccades after the scene transition, supported the parallel programming account. Saccades with relatively long onset times (>100 ms) after the transition were directed immediately toward the center of the scene, probably to restart scene exploration. Saccades with short onset times (programming of saccades during scene viewing. Additionally, results from the analyses of intersaccadic intervals were also consistent with the parallel programming hypothesis.

  7. Pupil size tracks perceptual content and surprise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloosterman, Niels A; Meindertsma, Thomas; van Loon, Anouk M; Lamme, Victor A F; Bonneh, Yoram S; Donner, Tobias H

    2015-04-01

    Changes in pupil size at constant light levels reflect the activity of neuromodulatory brainstem centers that control global brain state. These endogenously driven pupil dynamics can be synchronized with cognitive acts. For example, the pupil dilates during the spontaneous switches of perception of a constant sensory input in bistable perceptual illusions. It is unknown whether this pupil dilation only indicates the occurrence of perceptual switches, or also their content. Here, we measured pupil diameter in human subjects reporting the subjective disappearance and re-appearance of a physically constant visual target surrounded by a moving pattern ('motion-induced blindness' illusion). We show that the pupil dilates during the perceptual switches in the illusion and a stimulus-evoked 'replay' of that illusion. Critically, the switch-related pupil dilation encodes perceptual content, with larger amplitude for disappearance than re-appearance. This difference in pupil response amplitude enables prediction of the type of report (disappearance vs. re-appearance) on individual switches (receiver-operating characteristic: 61%). The amplitude difference is independent of the relative durations of target-visible and target-invisible intervals and subjects' overt behavioral report of the perceptual switches. Further, we show that pupil dilation during the replay also scales with the level of surprise about the timing of switches, but there is no evidence for an interaction between the effects of surprise and perceptual content on the pupil response. Taken together, our results suggest that pupil-linked brain systems track both the content of, and surprise about, perceptual events.

  8. Stimulation of the substantia nigra influences the specification of memory-guided saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahamed, Safraaz; Garrison, Tiffany J; Shires, Joel; Basso, Michele A

    2014-02-01

    In the absence of sensory information, we rely on past experience or memories to guide our actions. Because previous experimental and clinical reports implicate basal ganglia nuclei in the generation of movement in the absence of sensory stimuli, we ask here whether one output nucleus of the basal ganglia, the substantia nigra pars reticulata (nigra), influences the specification of an eye movement in the absence of sensory information to guide the movement. We manipulated the level of activity of neurons in the nigra by introducing electrical stimulation to the nigra at different time intervals while monkeys made saccades to different locations in two conditions: one in which the target location remained visible and a second in which the target location appeared only briefly, requiring information stored in memory to specify the movement. Electrical manipulation of the nigra occurring during the delay period of the task, when information about the target was maintained in memory, altered the direction and the occurrence of subsequent saccades. Stimulation during other intervals of the memory task or during the delay period of the visually guided saccade task had less effect on eye movements. On stimulated trials, and only when the visual stimulus was absent, monkeys occasionally (∼20% of the time) failed to make saccades. When monkeys made saccades in the absence of a visual stimulus, stimulation of the nigra resulted in a rotation of the endpoints ipsilaterally (∼2°) and increased the reaction time of contralaterally directed saccades. When the visual stimulus was present, stimulation of the nigra resulted in no significant rotation and decreased the reaction time of contralaterally directed saccades slightly. Based on these measurements, stimulation during the delay period of the memory-guided saccade task influenced the metrics of saccades much more than did stimulation during the same period of the visually guided saccade task. Because these effects

  9. Visual working memory modulates within-object metrics of saccade landing position.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingworth, Andrew

    2015-03-01

    In two experiments, we examined the influence of visual working memory (VWM) on oculomotor selection, testing whether the landing positions of rapidly generated saccades are biased toward the region of an object that matches a feature held in VWM. Participants executed a saccade to the center of a single saccade target, divided into two colored regions and presented on the horizontal midline. Concurrently, participants maintained a color in VWM for an unrelated memory task. This color either matched one of the two regions or neither of the regions. Relative to the no-match baseline, the landing positions of rapidly generated saccades (mean latency < 150 ms) were biased toward the region that matched the remembered color. The results support the hypothesis that VWM modulates early, spatially organized sensory representations to bias selection toward locations with features that match VWM content. In addition, the results demonstrate that saccades to spatially extended objects are sensitive to within-object differences in salience.

  10. Gliding and Saccadic Gaze Gesture Recognition in Real Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rozado, David; San Agustin, Javier; Rodriguez, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    paradigm in the context of human-machine interaction as low-cost gaze trackers become more ubiquitous. The viability of gaze gestures as an innovative way to control a computer rests on how easily they can be assimilated by potential users and also on the ability of machine learning algorithms...... to discriminate intentional gaze gestures from typical gaze activity performed during standard interaction with electronic devices. In this work, through a set of experiments and user studies, we evaluate the performance of two different gaze gestures modalities, gliding gaze gestures and saccadic gaze gestures...

  11. Impaired Saccadic Eye Movement in Primary Open-angle Glaucoma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamirel, Cédric; Milea, Dan; Cochereau, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE:: Our study aimed at investigating the extent to which saccadic eye movements are disrupted in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). This approach followed upon the discovery of differences in the eye-movement behavior of POAG patients during the exploration of complex visual...... scenes. METHODS:: The eye movements of 8 POAG patients and 4 healthy age-matched controls were recorded. Four of the patients had documented visual field scotoma, and 4 had no identifiable scotoma on visual field testing. The eye movements were monitored as the observers watched static and kinetic...

  12. Informative Cues Facilitate Saccadic Localization in Blindsight Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masatoshi; Hafed, Ziad M; Isa, Tadashi

    2017-01-01

    Patients with damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) demonstrate residual visual performance during laboratory tasks despite denying having a conscious percept. The mechanisms behind such performance, often called blindsight, are not fully understood, but the use of surgically-induced unilateral V1 lesions in macaque monkeys provides a useful animal model for exploring such mechanisms. For example, V1-lesioned monkeys localize stimuli in a forced-choice condition while at the same time failing to report awareness of identical stimuli in a yes-no detection condition, similar to human patients. Moreover, residual cognitive processes, including saliency-guided eye movements, bottom-up attention with peripheral non-informative cues, and spatial short-term memory, have all been demonstrated in these animals. Here we examined whether post-lesion residual visuomotor processing can be modulated by top-down task knowledge. We tested two V1-lesioned monkeys with a visually guided saccade task in which we provided an informative foveal pre-cue about upcoming target location. Our monkeys fixated while we presented a leftward or rightward arrow (serving as a pre-cue) superimposed on the fixation point (FP). After various cue-target onset asynchronies (CTOAs), a saccadic target (of variable contrast across trials) was presented either in the affected (contra-lesional) or seeing (ipsi-lesional) hemifield. Critically, target location was in the same hemifield that the arrow pre-cue pointed towards in 80% of the trials (valid-cue trials), making the cue highly useful for task performance. In both monkeys, correct saccade reaction times were shorter during valid than invalid trials. Moreover, in one monkey, the ratio of correct saccades towards the affected hemifield was higher during valid than invalid trials. We replicated both reaction time and correct ratio effects in the same monkey using a symbolic color cue. These results suggest that V1-lesion monkeys can use informative

  13. Informative Cues Facilitate Saccadic Localization in Blindsight Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masatoshi; Hafed, Ziad M.; Isa, Tadashi

    2017-01-01

    Patients with damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) demonstrate residual visual performance during laboratory tasks despite denying having a conscious percept. The mechanisms behind such performance, often called blindsight, are not fully understood, but the use of surgically-induced unilateral V1 lesions in macaque monkeys provides a useful animal model for exploring such mechanisms. For example, V1-lesioned monkeys localize stimuli in a forced-choice condition while at the same time failing to report awareness of identical stimuli in a yes-no detection condition, similar to human patients. Moreover, residual cognitive processes, including saliency-guided eye movements, bottom-up attention with peripheral non-informative cues, and spatial short-term memory, have all been demonstrated in these animals. Here we examined whether post-lesion residual visuomotor processing can be modulated by top-down task knowledge. We tested two V1-lesioned monkeys with a visually guided saccade task in which we provided an informative foveal pre-cue about upcoming target location. Our monkeys fixated while we presented a leftward or rightward arrow (serving as a pre-cue) superimposed on the fixation point (FP). After various cue-target onset asynchronies (CTOAs), a saccadic target (of variable contrast across trials) was presented either in the affected (contra-lesional) or seeing (ipsi-lesional) hemifield. Critically, target location was in the same hemifield that the arrow pre-cue pointed towards in 80% of the trials (valid-cue trials), making the cue highly useful for task performance. In both monkeys, correct saccade reaction times were shorter during valid than invalid trials. Moreover, in one monkey, the ratio of correct saccades towards the affected hemifield was higher during valid than invalid trials. We replicated both reaction time and correct ratio effects in the same monkey using a symbolic color cue. These results suggest that V1-lesion monkeys can use informative

  14. Binocular coordination of saccades during reading in children with clinically assessed poor vergence capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaertner, Chrystal; Bucci, Maria Pia; Ajrezo, Layla; Wiener-Vacher, Sylvette

    2013-07-19

    Prior studies have pointed toward a link between the saccadic and vergence systems, coordinating binocular saccadic movements. Recent studies have shown that vergence deficits in children induce poor binocular coordination during saccades, but none of them have studied ocular motility in children during a daily task such as reading. The present study tests whether vergence deficits in children perturb binocular coordination of saccades and fixation during reading. Our second objective was to explore whether vergence training could improve the quality of binocular coordination. Twelve patients (from 7.3 to 13.4 years old) complaining from vertigo but without vestibular and neurological pathology underwent orthoptic tests and were selected for our study when they presented vergence deficits. Eye movements were recorded during a reading task with a Mobile EyeBrain® Tracker video-oculography system. Data were compared to twelve age-matched controls with normal orthoptic values. While there was no statistically significant difference in saccade amplitudes between the two groups (p=0.29), patients showed higher disconjugacy during and after the saccades compared to controls (pbinocular saccade coordination. We suggest that the larger disconjugacy during reading observed in patients before training could be due to poor vergence as initially assessed by orthoptic examination. Such findings support the hypothesis of a tight relationship between the saccadic and vergence systems for controlling the binocular coordination of saccades. The improvement reported after orthoptic training is in line with the hypothesis of an adaptative interaction on a premotor level between the saccadic and vergence system.

  15. N-acetylgalactosamine positive perineuronal nets in the saccade-related-part of the cerebellar fastigial nucleus do not maintain saccade gain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne Mueller

    Full Text Available Perineuronal nets (PNNs accumulate around neurons near the end of developmental critical periods. PNNs are structures of the extracellular matrix which surround synaptic contacts and contain chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. Previous studies suggest that the chondroitin sulfate chains of PNNs inhibit synaptic plasticity and thereby help end critical periods. PNNs surround a high proportion of neurons in the cerebellar nuclei. These PNNs form during approximately the same time that movements achieve normal accuracy. It is possible that PNNs in the cerebellar nuclei inhibit plasticity to maintain the synaptic organization that produces those accurate movements. We tested whether or not PNNs in a saccade-related part of the cerebellar nuclei maintain accurate saccade size by digesting a part of them in an adult monkey performing a task that changes saccade size (long term saccade adaptation. We use the enzyme Chondroitinase ABC to digest the glycosaminoglycan side chains of proteoglycans present in the majority of PNNs. We show that this manipulation does not result in faster, larger, or more persistent adaptation. Our result indicates that intact perineuronal nets around saccade-related neurons in the cerebellar nuclei are not important for maintaining long-term saccade gain.

  16. The Effects of Short-Lasting Anti-Saccade Training in Homonymous Hemianopia with and without Saccadic Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lévy-Bencheton, Delphine; Pélisson, Denis; Prost, Myriam; Jacquin-Courtois, Sophie; Salemme, Roméo; Pisella, Laure; Tilikete, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Homonymous Visual Field Defects (HVFD) are common following stroke and can be highly debilitating for visual perception and higher level cognitive functions such as exploring visual scene or reading a text. Rehabilitation using oculomotor compensatory methods with automatic training over a short duration (~15 days) have been shown as efficient as longer voluntary training methods (>1 month). Here, we propose to evaluate and compare the effect of an original HVFD rehabilitation method based on a single 15 min voluntary anti-saccades task (AS) toward the blind hemifield, with automatic sensorimotor adaptation to increase AS amplitude. In order to distinguish between adaptation and training effect, 14 left- or right-HVFD patients were exposed, 1 month apart, to three trainings, two isolated AS task (Delayed-shift and No-shift paradigm), and one combined with AS adaptation (Adaptation paradigm). A quality of life questionnaire (NEI-VFQ 25) and functional measurements (reading speed, visual exploration time in pop-out and serial tasks) as well as oculomotor measurements were assessed before and after each training. We could not demonstrate significant adaptation at the group level, but we identified a group of nine adapted patients. While AS training itself proved to demonstrate significant functional improvements in the overall patient group, we could also demonstrate in the sub-group of adapted patients and specifically following the adaptation training, an increase of saccade amplitude during the reading task (left-HVFD patients) and the Serial exploration task, and improvement of the visual quality of life. We conclude that short-lasting AS training combined with adaptation could be implemented in rehabilitation methods of cognitive dysfunctions following HVFD. Indeed, both voluntary and automatic processes have shown interesting effects on the control of visually guided saccades in different cognitive tasks. PMID:26778986

  17. Some surprising facts about (the problem of) surprising facts (from the Dusseldorf Conference, February 2011).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, D

    2014-03-01

    A common intuition about evidence is that if data x have been used to construct a hypothesis H, then x should not be used again in support of H. It is no surprise that x fits H, if H was deliberately constructed to accord with x. The question of when and why we should avoid such "double-counting" continues to be debated in philosophy and statistics. It arises as a prohibition against data mining, hunting for significance, tuning on the signal, and ad hoc hypotheses, and as a preference for predesignated hypotheses and "surprising" predictions. I have argued that it is the severity or probativeness of the test--or lack of it--that should determine whether a double-use of data is admissible. I examine a number of surprising ambiguities and unexpected facts that continue to bedevil this debate.

  18. Stroke Recovery: Surprising Influences and Residual Consequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Argye E. Hillis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available There is startling individual variability in the degree to which people recover from stroke and the duration of time over which recovery of some symptoms occurs. There are a variety of mechanisms of recovery from stroke which take place at distinct time points after stroke and are influenced by different variables. We review recent studies from our laboratory that unveil some surprising findings, such as the role of education in chronic recovery. We also report data showing that the consequences that most plague survivors of stroke and their caregivers are loss of high level cortical functions, such as empathy or written language. These results have implications for rehabilitation and management of stroke.

  19. Surprises and mysteries in urban soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groffman, P. M.

    2015-12-01

    In the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, one of two urban long-term ecological research (LTER) projects funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, we are using "the watershed approach" to integrate ecological, physical and social sciences. Urban and suburban watershed input/output budgets for nitrogen have shown surprisingly high retention which has led to detailed analysis of sources and sinks in soils these watersheds. Home lawns, thought to be major sources of reactive nitrogen in suburban watersheds, have more complex coupled carbon and nitrogen dynamics than previously thought, and are likely the site of much nitrogen retention. Riparian zones, thought to be an important sink for reactive nitrogen in many watersheds, have turned out be nitrogen sources in urban watersheds due to hydrologic changes that disconnect streams from their surrounding landscape. Urban effects on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and nitrogen deposition have strong effects on soil nitrogen cycling processes and soil:atmosphere fluxes of nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane. Efforts to manage urban soils and watersheds through geomorphic stream restoration, creation of stormwater management features and changes in lawn and forest management can have significant effects on watershed carbon and nitrogen dynamics. Urban soils present a basic and applied science frontier that challenges our understanding of biological, physical, chemical and social science processes. The watershed approach provides an effective platform for integrating these disciplines and for articulating critical questions that arise from surprising results. This approach can help us to meet the challenge of urban soils, which is critical to achieving sustainability goals in cities across the world.

  20. Intentional signals during saccadic and reaching delays in the human posterior parietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galati, Gaspare; Committeri, Giorgia; Pitzalis, Sabrina; Pelle, Gina; Patria, Fabiana; Fattori, Patrizia; Galletti, Claudio

    2011-12-01

    In the monkey posterior parietal cortex (PPC), there is clear evidence of anatomically segregated neuronal populations specialized for planning saccades and arm-reaching movements. However, functional neuroimaging studies in humans have yielded controversial results. Here we show that the human PPC contains distinct subregions responsive to salient visual cues, some of which combine spatial and action-related signals into 'intentional' signals. Participants underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing delayed saccades and long-range arm reaches instructed by visual cues. We focused on activity in the time period following the cue and preceding the actual movement. The use of individual cortical surface reconstructions with detailed sulcal labeling allowed the definition of six responsive regions with distinctive anatomical locations in the PPC. Each region exhibited a distinctive combination of transient and sustained signals during the delay, modulated by either the cue spatial location (contralateral vs. ipsilateral), the instructed action (saccades vs. reaching) or both. Importantly, a lateral and a medial dorsal parietal region showed sustained responses during the delay preferentially for contralateral saccadic and reaching trials, respectively. In the lateral region, preference for saccades was evident only as a more sustained response during saccadic vs. reaching delays, whereas the medial region also showed a higher transient response to cues signaling reaching vs. saccadic actions. These response profiles closely match the behavior of neurons in the macaque lateral and medial intraparietal area, respectively, and suggest that these corresponding human regions are encoding spatially directed action plans or 'intentions'.

  1. The neural basis of parallel saccade programming: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yanbo; Walker, Robin

    2011-11-01

    The neural basis of parallel saccade programming was examined in an event-related fMRI study using a variation of the double-step saccade paradigm. Two double-step conditions were used: one enabled the second saccade to be partially programmed in parallel with the first saccade while in a second condition both saccades had to be prepared serially. The intersaccadic interval, observed in the parallel programming (PP) condition, was significantly reduced compared with latency in the serial programming (SP) condition and also to the latency of single saccades in control conditions. The fMRI analysis revealed greater activity (BOLD response) in the frontal and parietal eye fields for the PP condition compared with the SP double-step condition and when compared with the single-saccade control conditions. By contrast, activity in the supplementary eye fields was greater for the double-step condition than the single-step condition but did not distinguish between the PP and SP requirements. The role of the frontal eye fields in PP may be related to the advanced temporal preparation and increased salience of the second saccade goal that may mediate activity in other downstream structures, such as the superior colliculus. The parietal lobes may be involved in the preparation for spatial remapping, which is required in double-step conditions. The supplementary eye fields appear to have a more general role in planning saccade sequences that may be related to error monitoring and the control over the execution of the correct sequence of responses.

  2. The effects of TMS over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on trans-saccadic memory of multiple objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, L L; Dessing, J C; Malik, P; Prime, S L; Crawford, J D

    2014-10-01

    Humans typically make several rapid eye movements (saccades) per second. It is thought that visual working memory can retain and spatially integrate three to four objects or features across each saccade but little is known about this neural mechanism. Previously we showed that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the posterior parietal cortex and frontal eye fields degrade trans-saccadic memory of multiple object features (Prime, Vesia, & Crawford, 2008, Journal of Neuroscience, 28(27), 6938-6949; Prime, Vesia, & Crawford, 2010, Cerebral Cortex, 20(4), 759-772.). Here, we used a similar protocol to investigate whether dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area involved in spatial working memory, is also involved in trans-saccadic memory. Subjects were required to report changes in stimulus orientation with (saccade task) or without (fixation task) an eye movement in the intervening memory interval. We applied single-pulse TMS to left and right DLPFC during the memory delay, timed at three intervals to arrive approximately 100 ms before, 100 ms after, or at saccade onset. In the fixation task, left DLPFC TMS produced inconsistent results, whereas right DLPFC TMS disrupted performance at all three intervals (significantly for presaccadic TMS). In contrast, in the saccade task, TMS consistently facilitated performance (significantly for left DLPFC/perisaccadic TMS and right DLPFC/postsaccadic TMS) suggesting a dis-inhibition of trans-saccadic processing. These results are consistent with a neural circuit of trans-saccadic memory that overlaps and interacts with, but is partially separate from the circuit for visual working memory during sustained fixation.

  3. The conceptualization model problem—surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredehoeft, John

    2005-03-01

    The foundation of model analysis is the conceptual model. Surprise is defined as new data that renders the prevailing conceptual model invalid; as defined here it represents a paradigm shift. Limited empirical data indicate that surprises occur in 20-30% of model analyses. These data suggest that groundwater analysts have difficulty selecting the appropriate conceptual model. There is no ready remedy to the conceptual model problem other than (1) to collect as much data as is feasible, using all applicable methods—a complementary data collection methodology can lead to new information that changes the prevailing conceptual model, and (2) for the analyst to remain open to the fact that the conceptual model can change dramatically as more information is collected. In the final analysis, the hydrogeologist makes a subjective decision on the appropriate conceptual model. The conceptualization problem does not render models unusable. The problem introduces an uncertainty that often is not widely recognized. Conceptual model uncertainty is exacerbated in making long-term predictions of system performance. C'est le modèle conceptuel qui se trouve à base d'une analyse sur un modèle. On considère comme une surprise lorsque le modèle est invalidé par des données nouvelles; dans les termes définis ici la surprise est équivalente à un change de paradigme. Des données empiriques limitées indiquent que les surprises apparaissent dans 20 à 30% des analyses effectuées sur les modèles. Ces données suggèrent que l'analyse des eaux souterraines présente des difficultés lorsqu'il s'agit de choisir le modèle conceptuel approprié. Il n'existe pas un autre remède au problème du modèle conceptuel que: (1) rassembler autant des données que possible en utilisant toutes les méthodes applicables—la méthode des données complémentaires peut conduire aux nouvelles informations qui vont changer le modèle conceptuel, et (2) l'analyste doit rester ouvert au fait

  4. Surprising characteristics of visual systems of invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Martín-Moro, J; Hernández-Verdejo, J L; Jiménez-Gahete, A E

    2017-01-01

    To communicate relevant and striking aspects about the visual system of some close invertebrates. Review of the related literature. The capacity of snails to regenerate a complete eye, the benefit of the oval shape of the compound eye of many flying insects as a way of stabilising the image during flight, the potential advantages related to the extreme refractive error that characterises the ocelli of many insects, as well as the ability to detect polarised light as a navigation system, are some of the surprising capabilities present in the small invertebrate eyes that are described in this work. The invertebrate eyes have capabilities and sensorial modalities that are not present in the human eye. The study of the eyes of these animals can help us to improve our understanding of our visual system, and inspire the development of optical devices. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Española de Oftalmología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  5. Surprises from Saturn: Implications for Other Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, A. J.

    2014-05-01

    The exploration of Saturn by Cassini has provided many surprises regarding: Saturn's rapidly rotating magnetosphere, interactions with its diverse moons, and interactions with the solar wind. Enceladus, orbiting at 4 Saturn radii (RS), was found to have plumes of water vapour and ice which are the dominant source for the inner magnetosphere. Charged water clusters, charged dust and photoelectrons provide key populations in the 'dusty plasma' observed. Direct pickup is seen near Enceladus and field-aligned currents create a spot in Saturn's aurora. At Titan, orbiting at 20 RS, unexpected heavy negative and positive ions are seen in the ionosphere, which provide the source for Titan's haze. Ionospheric plasma is seen in Titan's tail, enabling ion escape to be estimated at 7 tonnes per day. Saturn's ring ionosphere was seen early in the mission and a return will be made in 2017. In addition, highly accelerated electrons are seen at Saturn's high Mach number (MA˜100) quasi-parallel bow shock. Here we review some of these key new results, and discuss the implications for other solar system objects.

  6. Attentional disengagement is modulated by the offset of unpleasant pictures: a saccadic reaction time study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado-Pinheiro, Walter; Faria, Aydamari; Braga, Filipe; Guerra, Pedro; Perakakis, Pandelis; Caldas, Ariane Leão; Mocaiber, Izabela; Oliveira, Letícia; Pereira, Mirtes Garcia; Volchan, Eliane; Vila, Jaime

    2013-12-01

    We studied the influence of passively viewing a picture on saccade latencies to peripheral targets. Thirty-two volunteers were instructed to look at a central picture, wait for the onset of a peripheral target, and execute a saccade toward it as quickly as possible - saccadic reaction time (SRT). The central picture (neutral or unpleasant) could be turned off simultaneously with target onset (the no-gap condition) or 200ms prior to target onset (the gap-200 condition). We found that saccade latencies were influenced by emotional valence and condition. In the no-gap condition, SRTs were longer after viewing unpleasant pictures. In the gap-200 condition, the pattern was reversed, and unpleasant pictures induced shorter SRTs in relation to neutral pictures. Furthermore, the influence of unpleasant pictures gradually decreased when images were re-exposed to the participants - affective habituation. The results are discussed in terms of attentional avoidance and disengagement from unpleasant emotional pictures.

  7. Saccade generation and suppression in schizophrenia: effects of response switching and perseveration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franke, Cosima; Arndt, Doris; Ploner, Christoph J; Heinz, Andreas; Reuter, Benedikt

    2008-09-01

    Poor antisaccade performance is a reliable index of action control deficits in schizophrenia. To further elucidate the underlying cognitive impairments, the current study aimed to confirm effects of switching the response direction on saccadic performance and to investigate whether response switch effects relate to perseveration. Fourteen schizophrenia patients and 14 healthy controls performed sequences of 1 to 3 simple volitional saccades to one direction and a subsequent volitional saccade with distractor to the same or the opposite direction. Response switches increased error rates in schizophrenia if they followed 3 saccades to the opposite side, suggesting that response switching affects performance on conditions of strong persisting response programs. The increase of response switch error rates with multiple repetitions of the prior response points to a relationship between perseveration and response selection.

  8. Deficient saccadic inhibition in Asperger's disorder and the social-emotional processing disorder

    OpenAIRE

    2004-01-01

    Background: Both Asperger's disorder and the social-emotional processing disorder (SEPD), a form of non-verbal learning disability, are associated with executive function deficits. SEPD has been shown to be associated with deficient saccadic inhibition.

  9. Changes in saccadic reaction time while maintaining neck flexion in men and women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiwara, K; Kunita, K; Toyama, H

    2000-03-01

    We investigated changes in saccadic reaction time in relation to the degree of increase in activity of neck extensor muscles when neck flexion occurred, and assessed the reliability of the measurements. Saccadic reaction time was measured firstly, during neck flexion angles set at 5 degrees increments from 0 degrees (resting position) to 25 degrees, with the chin either resting on a stand or not, and secondly, during shoulder girdle elevator muscles providing a relative muscle force of 30%, with the neck flexion angle maintained at 0 degrees by having the subjects rest their chins on a stand. Saccadic reaction time was evaluated by the latency to the beginning of eye movement toward the lateral target, which was moved at random intervals in 20 degrees amplitude jumps. Muscle activity in the trapezius muscle was evaluated using the mean amplitude of electromyogram recordings. Very high coefficients of reliability in muscle activity and saccadic reaction time were observed between the two sets of tests at 1-h intervals and also among the three trials with a 1-min rest. When their necks were flexed and the subjects rested their chins on a stand, muscle activity increased slightly in accordance with the enlargement of this angle, with no significant change in saccadic reaction time. With the chin not resting on the stand, muscle activity increased gradually, while the saccadic reaction time decreased to that obtained at an average neck flexion angle of 20 degrees. However, the angle where the shortest reaction time was obtained showed considerable individual variation (5-25 degrees ). Activity in the trapezius muscle at a 20 degrees neck flexion angle, with the chin not resting on the stand, was far less than that for 30% maximal voluntary contraction in shoulder girdle elevator muscles. Nevertheless, the saccadic reaction times were roughly equivalent under the two different sets of conditions. No sex differences were observed in terms of saccadic reaction time under

  10. Subliminal Reorientation and Repositioning in Immersive Virtual Environments using Saccadic Suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolte, Benjamin; Lappe, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Virtual reality strives to provide a user with an experience of a simulated world that feels as natural as the real world. Yet, to induce this feeling, sometimes it becomes necessary for technical reasons to deviate from a one-to-one correspondence between the real and the virtual world, and to reorient or reposition the user's viewpoint. Ideally, users should not notice the change of the viewpoint to avoid breaks in perceptual continuity. Saccades, the fast eye movements that we make in order to switch gaze from one object to another, produce a visual discontinuity on the retina, but this is not perceived because the visual system suppresses perception during saccades. As a consequence, our perception fails to detect rotations of the visual scene during saccades. We investigated whether saccadic suppression of image displacement (SSID) can be used in an immersive virtual environment (VE) to unconsciously rotate and translate the observer's viewpoint. To do this, the scene changes have to be precisely time-locked to the saccade onset. We used electrooculography (EOG) for eye movement tracking and assessed the performance of two modified eye movement classification algorithms for the challenging task of online saccade detection that is fast enough for SSID. We investigated the sensitivity of participants to translations (forward/backward) and rotations (in the transverse plane) during trans-saccadic scene changes. We found that participants were unable to detect approximately ±0.5m translations along the line of gaze and ±5° rotations in the transverse plane during saccades with an amplitude of 15°. If the user stands still, our approach exploiting SSID thus provides the means to unconsciously change the user's virtual position and/or orientation. For future research and applications, exploiting SSID has the potential to improve existing redirected walking and change blindness techniques for unlimited navigation through arbitrarily-sized VEs by real walking.

  11. Saccadic and smooth-pursuit eye movements during reading of drifting texts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsecchi, Matteo; Gegenfurtner, Karl R; Schütz, Alexander C

    2013-08-16

    Reading is a complex visuomotor behavior characterized by an alternation of fixations and saccadic eye movements. Despite the widespread use of drifting texts in various settings, very little is known about eye movements under these conditions. Here we investigated oculomotor behavior during reading of texts which were drifting horizontally or vertically at different speeds. Consistent with previous reports, drifting texts were read by an alternation of smooth-pursuit and saccadic eye movements. Detailed analysis revealed several interactions between smooth pursuit and saccades. On one side, the gain of smooth pursuit was increased after the execution of a saccade. On the other side, the peak velocity of saccades was reduced for the horizontally drifting text, in which saccades and pursuit were executed in opposite directions. In addition, we show that well-known findings from the reading of static texts extend to drifting text, such as the preferred viewing location, the inverted optimal viewing position, and the correlation between saccade amplitude and subsequent pursuit/fixation duration. In general, individual eye-movement parameters such as saccade amplitude and fixation/pursuit durations were correlated across self-paced reading of static text and time-constrained reading of static and drifting texts. These results show that findings from basic oculomotor research also apply to the reading of drifting texts. Similarly, basic reading principles apply to the reading of static and drifting texts in a similar way. This exemplifies the reading of drifting text as a visuomotor behavior which is influenced by low-level eye-movement control as well as by cognitive and linguistic processing.

  12. A Shocking Surprise in Stephan's Quintet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    This false-color composite image of the Stephan's Quintet galaxy cluster clearly shows one of the largest shock waves ever seen (green arc). The wave was produced by one galaxy falling toward another at speeds of more than one million miles per hour. The image is made up of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and a ground-based telescope in Spain. Four of the five galaxies in this picture are involved in a violent collision, which has already stripped most of the hydrogen gas from the interiors of the galaxies. The centers of the galaxies appear as bright yellow-pink knots inside a blue haze of stars, and the galaxy producing all the turmoil, NGC7318b, is the left of two small bright regions in the middle right of the image. One galaxy, the large spiral at the bottom left of the image, is a foreground object and is not associated with the cluster. The titanic shock wave, larger than our own Milky Way galaxy, was detected by the ground-based telescope using visible-light wavelengths. It consists of hot hydrogen gas. As NGC7318b collides with gas spread throughout the cluster, atoms of hydrogen are heated in the shock wave, producing the green glow. Spitzer pointed its infrared spectrograph at the peak of this shock wave (middle of green glow) to learn more about its inner workings. This instrument breaks light apart into its basic components. Data from the instrument are referred to as spectra and are displayed as curving lines that indicate the amount of light coming at each specific wavelength. The Spitzer spectrum showed a strong infrared signature for incredibly turbulent gas made up of hydrogen molecules. This gas is caused when atoms of hydrogen rapidly pair-up to form molecules in the wake of the shock wave. Molecular hydrogen, unlike atomic hydrogen, gives off most of its energy through vibrations that emit in the infrared. This highly disturbed gas is the most turbulent molecular hydrogen ever seen. Astronomers were surprised not only by the turbulence

  13. Latency of saccadic eye movement during contraction of bilateral and unilateral shoulder girdle elevators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiwara, Katsuo; Kunita, Kenji; Toyama, Hiroshi

    2003-02-01

    We compared the timed latencies of saccadic eye movement during isometric contraction of the bilateral and unilateral shoulder girdle elevators in a sitting posture. Muscle contraction force was increased in 10% increments from 0% to 60% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of each side. Saccadic latency was measured as the latency to the beginning of eye movement toward the lateral target that was moved at random intervals in 20 degree amplitude jumps. Eye movement was measured using the electro-oculogram technique. During bilateral contraction, saccadic latency decreased until 30% MVC and then began to increase at 40% MVC. During unilateral contraction, saccadic latency decreased until 30% MVC in a similar pattern as in bilateral condition, was constant from 30% MVC to 50% MVC, followed by a slight increase at 60% MVC. The saccadic latencies at 10% and 40-60% MVC were significantly shorter during unilateral contraction than bilateral contraction. Thus, the relative force for producing a marked shortening of saccadic latency is observed within a wider range during unilateral contraction than bilateral contraction.

  14. Visual Attention Saccadic Models Learn to Emulate Gaze Patterns From Childhood to Adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Meur, Olivier; Coutrot, Antoine; Liu, Zhi; Rama, Pia; Le Roch, Adrien; Helo, Andrea

    2017-10-01

    How people look at visual information reveals fundamental information about themselves, their interests and their state of mind. While previous visual attention models output static 2D saliency maps, saccadic models aim to predict not only where observers look at but also how they move their eyes to explore the scene. In this paper, we demonstrate that saccadic models are a flexible framework that can be tailored to emulate observer's viewing tendencies. More specifically, we use fixation data from 101 observers split into five age groups (adults, 8-10 y.o., 6-8 y.o., 4-6 y.o., and 2 y.o.) to train our saccadic model for different stages of the development of human visual system. We show that the joint distribution of saccade amplitude and orientation is a visual signature specific to each age group, and can be used to generate age-dependent scan paths. Our age-dependent saccadic model does not only output human-like, age-specific visual scan paths, but also significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art saliency models. We demonstrate that the computational modeling of visual attention, through the use of saccadic model, can be efficiently adapted to emulate the gaze behavior of a specific group of observers.

  15. A closer look at visually guided saccades in autism and Asperger’s disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth eJohnson

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Motor impairments have been found to be a significant clinical feature associated with autism and Asperger’s disorder (AD in addition to core symptoms of communication and social cognition deficits. Motor deficits in high-functioning autism (HFA and AD may differentiate these disorders, particularly with respect to the role of the cerebellum in motor functioning. Current neuroimaging and behavioural evidence suggests greater disruption of the cerebellum in HFA than AD. Investigations of ocular motor functioning have previously been used in clinical populations to assess the integrity of the cerebellar networks, through examination of saccade accuracy and the integrity of saccade dynamics. Previous investigations of visually guided saccades in HFA and AD have only assessed basic saccade metrics, such as latency, amplitude and gain, as well as peak velocity. We used a simple visually guided saccade paradigm to further characterize the profile of visually guided saccade metrics and dynamics in HFA and AD. It was found that children with HFA, but not AD, were more inaccurate across both small (5° and large (10° target amplitudes, and final eye position was hypometric at 10°. These findings suggest greater functional disturbance of the cerebellum in HFA than AD, and suggest fundamental difficulties with visual error monitoring in HFA.

  16. Differential auditory-oculomotor interactions in patients with right versus left sided subjective tinnitus: A saccade study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre eLang

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Subjective tinnitus (ST is a frequent but poorly understood medical condition. Recent studies demonstrated abnormalities in several types of eye movements (smooth pursuit, optokinetic nystagmus, fixation and vergence in ST patients. The present study investigates horizontal and vertical saccades in patients with tinnitus lateralized predominantly to the left or to the right side. Compared to left sided ST, tinnitus perceived on the right side impaired almost all the parameters of saccades (latency, amplitude, velocity, etc. and noticeably the upward saccades. Relative to controls, saccades from both groups were more dysmetric and were characterized by increased saccade disconjugacy (i.e. poor binocular coordination. Although the precise mechanisms linking ST and saccadic control remain unexplained, these data suggest that ST can lead to detrimental auditory, visuomotor and perhaps vestibular interactions.

  17. Saccade-related activity in the prefrontal cortex: its role in eye movement control and cognitive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shintaro eFunahashi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Prefrontal neurons exhibit saccade-related activity and pre-saccadic memory-related activity often encodes the directions of forthcoming eye movements, in line with demonstrated prefrontal contribution to flexible control of voluntary eye movements. However, many prefrontal neurons exhibit post-saccadic activity that is initiated well after the initiation of eye movement. Although post-saccadic activity has been observed in the frontal eye field, this activity is thought to be a corollary discharge from oculomotor centers, because this activity shows no directional tuning and is observed whenever the monkeys perform eye movements regardless of goal-directed or not. However, prefrontal post-saccadic activities exhibit directional tunings similar as pre-saccadic activities and show context dependency, such that post-saccadic activity is observed only when monkeys perform goal-directed saccades. Context-dependency of prefrontal post-saccadic activity suggests that this activity is not a result of corollary signals from oculomotor centers, but contributes to other functions of the prefrontal cortex. One function might be the termination of memory-related activity after a behavioral response is done. This is supported by the observation that the termination of memory-related activity coincides with the initiation of post-saccadic activity in population analyses of prefrontal activities. The termination of memory-related activity at the end of the trial ensures that the subjects can prepare to receive new and updated information. Another function might be the monitoring of behavioral performance, since the termination of memory-related activity by post-saccadic activity could be associated with informing the correctness of the response and the termination of the trial. However, further studies are needed to examine the characteristics of saccade-related activities in the prefrontal cortex and their functions in eye movement control and a variety of

  18. Are there any left-right asymmetries in saccade parameters? Examination of latency, gain, and peak velocity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergilino-Perez, Dorine; Fayel, Alexandra; Lemoine, Christelle; Senot, Patrice; Vergne, Judith; Doré-Mazars, Karine

    2012-06-05

    Hemispheric specialization in saccadic control is still under debate. Here we examine the latency, gain, and peak velocity of reactive and voluntary leftward and rightward saccades to assess the respective roles of eye and hand dominance. Participants with contrasting hand and eye dominance were asked to make saccades toward a target displayed at 5°, 10°, or 15° left or right of the central fixation point. In separate sessions, reactive and voluntary saccades were elicited by Gap-200, Gap-0, Overlap-600, and Antisaccade procedures. Left-right asymmetries were not found in saccade latencies but appeared in saccade gain and peak velocity. Regardless of the dominant hand, saccades directed to the ipsilateral side relative to the dominant eye had larger amplitudes and faster peak velocities. Left-right asymmetries can be explained by naso-temporal differences for some subjects and by eye dominance for others. Further investigations are needed to examine saccadic parameters more systematically in relation to eye dominance. Indeed, any method that allows one to determine ocular dominance from objective measures based on saccade parameters should greatly benefit clinical applications, such as monovision surgery.

  19. The Influence of Negative Surprise on Hedonic Adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Kieling

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available After some time using a product or service, the consumer tends to feel less pleasure with consumption. This reduction of pleasure is known as hedonic adaptation. One of the emotions that interfere in this process is surprise. Based on two experiments, we suggest that negative surprise – differently to positive – influences with the level of pleasure foreseen and experienced by the consumer. Study 1 analyzes the influence of negative (vs. positive surprise on the consumer’s post-purchase hedonic adaptation expectation. Results showed that negative surprise influences the intensity of adaptation, augmenting its strength. Study 2 verifies the influence of negative (vs positive surprise over hedonic adaptation. The findings suggested that negative surprise makes adaptation happen more intensively and faster as time goes by, which brings consequences to companies and consumers in the post-purchase process, such as satisfaction and loyalty.

  20. Neural activity in the macaque putamen associated with saccades and behavioral outcome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica M Phillips

    Full Text Available It is now widely accepted that the basal ganglia nuclei form segregated, parallel loops with neocortical areas. The prevalent view is that the putamen is part of the motor loop, which receives inputs from sensorimotor areas, whereas the caudate, which receives inputs from frontal cortical eye fields and projects via the substantia nigra pars reticulata to the superior colliculus, belongs to the oculomotor loop. Tracer studies in monkeys and functional neuroimaging studies in human subjects, however, also suggest a potential role for the putamen in oculomotor control. To investigate the role of the putamen in saccadic eye movements, we recorded single neuron activity in the caudal putamen of two rhesus monkeys while they alternated between short blocks of pro- and anti-saccades. In each trial, the instruction cue was provided after the onset of the peripheral stimulus, thus the monkeys could either generate an immediate response to the stimulus based on the internal representation of the rule from the previous trial, or alternatively, could await the visual rule-instruction cue to guide their saccadic response. We found that a subset of putamen neurons showed saccade-related activity, that the preparatory mode (internally- versus externally-cued influenced the expression of task-selectivity in roughly one third of the task-modulated neurons, and further that a large proportion of neurons encoded the outcome of the saccade. These results suggest that the caudal putamen may be part of the neural network for goal-directed saccades, wherein the monitoring of saccadic eye movements, context and performance feedback may be processed together to ensure optimal behavioural performance and outcomes are achieved during ongoing behaviour.

  1. Changes to Saccade Behaviors in Parkinson’s Disease Following Dancing and Observation of Dancing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Ian G. M.; Brien, Donald C.; Links, Kira; Robichaud, Sarah; Ryan, Jennifer D.; Munoz, Douglas P.; Chow, Tiffany W.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The traditional view of Parkinson’s disease (PD) as a motor disorder only treated by dopaminergic medications is now shifting to include non-pharmacologic interventions. We have noticed that patients with PD obtain an immediate, short-lasting benefit to mobility by the end of a dance class, suggesting some mechanism by which dancing reduces bradykinetic symptoms. We have also found that patients with PD are unimpaired at initiating highly automatic eye movements to visual stimuli (pro-saccades) but are impaired at generating willful eye movements away from visual stimuli (anti-saccades). We hypothesized that the mechanisms by which a dance class improves movement initiation may generalize to the brain networks impacted in PD (frontal lobe and basal ganglia, BG), and thus could be assessed objectively by measuring eye movements, which rely on the same neural circuitry. Methods: Participants with PD performed pro- and anti-saccades before, and after, a dance class. “Before” and “after” saccade performance measurements were compared. These measurements were then contrasted with a control condition (observing a dance class in a video), and with older and younger adult populations, who rested for an hour between measurements. Results: We found an improvement in anti-saccade performance following the observation of dance (but not following dancing), but we found a detriment in pro-saccade performance following dancing. Conclusion: We suggest that observation of dance induced plasticity changes in frontal-BG networks that are important for executive control. Dancing, in contrast, increased voluntary movement signals that benefited mobility, but interfered with the automaticity of efficient pro-saccade execution. PMID:23483834

  2. Effects of Surprisal and Locality on Danish Sentence Processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balling, Laura Winther; Kizach, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    An eye-tracking experiment in Danish investigates two dominant accounts of sentence processing: locality-based theories that predict a processing advantage for sentences where the distance between the major syntactic heads is minimized, and the surprisal theory which predicts that processing time...... constructions with two postverbal NP-objects. An eye-tracking experiment showed a clear advantage for local syntactic relations, with only a marginal effect of lexicalised surprisal and no effect of syntactic surprisal. We conclude that surprisal has a relatively marginal effect, which may be clearest for verbs...

  3. Disrupted Saccade Control in Chronic Cerebral Injury: Upper Motor Neuron-Like Disinhibition in the Ocular Motor System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, John-Ross; Hudson, Todd E; Abdou, Andrew; Lui, Yvonne W; Rucker, Janet C; Raghavan, Preeti; Landy, Michael S

    2017-01-01

    Saccades rapidly direct the line of sight to targets of interest to make use of the high acuity foveal region of the retina. These fast eye movements are instrumental for scanning visual scenes, foveating targets, and, ultimately, serve to guide manual motor control, including eye-hand coordination. Cerebral injury has long been known to impair ocular motor control. Recently, it has been suggested that alterations in control may be useful as a marker for recovery. We measured eye movement control in a saccade task in subjects with chronic middle cerebral artery stroke with both cortical and substantial basal ganglia involvement and in healthy controls. Saccade latency distributions were bimodal, with an early peak at 60 ms (anticipatory saccades) and a later peak at 250 ms (regular saccades). Although the latencies corresponding to these peaks were the same in the two groups, there were clear differences in the size of the peaks. Classifying saccade latencies relative to the saccade "go signal" into anticipatory (latencies up to 80 ms), "early" (latencies between 80 and 160 ms), and "regular" types (latencies longer than 160 ms), stroke subjects displayed a disproportionate number of anticipatory saccades, whereas control subjects produced the majority of their saccades in the regular range. We suggest that this increase in the number of anticipatory saccade events may result from a disinhibition phenomenon that manifests as an impairment in the endogenous control of ocular motor events (saccades) and interleaved fixations. These preliminary findings may help shed light on the ocular motor deficits of neurodegenerative conditions, results that may be subclinical to an examiner, but clinically significant secondary to their functional implications.

  4. Disrupted Saccade Control in Chronic Cerebral Injury: Upper Motor Neuron-Like Disinhibition in the Ocular Motor System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, John-Ross; Hudson, Todd E.; Abdou, Andrew; Lui, Yvonne W.; Rucker, Janet C.; Raghavan, Preeti; Landy, Michael S.

    2017-01-01

    Saccades rapidly direct the line of sight to targets of interest to make use of the high acuity foveal region of the retina. These fast eye movements are instrumental for scanning visual scenes, foveating targets, and, ultimately, serve to guide manual motor control, including eye–hand coordination. Cerebral injury has long been known to impair ocular motor control. Recently, it has been suggested that alterations in control may be useful as a marker for recovery. We measured eye movement control in a saccade task in subjects with chronic middle cerebral artery stroke with both cortical and substantial basal ganglia involvement and in healthy controls. Saccade latency distributions were bimodal, with an early peak at 60 ms (anticipatory saccades) and a later peak at 250 ms (regular saccades). Although the latencies corresponding to these peaks were the same in the two groups, there were clear differences in the size of the peaks. Classifying saccade latencies relative to the saccade “go signal” into anticipatory (latencies up to 80 ms), “early” (latencies between 80 and 160 ms), and “regular” types (latencies longer than 160 ms), stroke subjects displayed a disproportionate number of anticipatory saccades, whereas control subjects produced the majority of their saccades in the regular range. We suggest that this increase in the number of anticipatory saccade events may result from a disinhibition phenomenon that manifests as an impairment in the endogenous control of ocular motor events (saccades) and interleaved fixations. These preliminary findings may help shed light on the ocular motor deficits of neurodegenerative conditions, results that may be subclinical to an examiner, but clinically significant secondary to their functional implications. PMID:28184211

  5. Are the visual transients from microsaccades helpful? Measuring the influences of small saccades on contrast sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostofi, Naghmeh; Boi, Marco; Rucci, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Like all saccades, microsaccades cause both spatial and temporal changes in the input to the retina. In space, recent studies have shown that these small shifts precisely relocate a narrow (smaller than the foveola) high-acuity retinal locus on the stimulus. However, it has long been questioned whether the temporal modulations resulting from microsaccades are also beneficial for vision. To address this question, we combined spectral analysis of the visual input to the retina with measurements of contrast sensitivity in humans. Estimation of how different types of eye movements redistribute the power of an otherwise stationary stimulus shows that small saccades contribute more temporal power than ocular drift in the low-frequency range, suggesting a specific role for these movements in the encoding of low spatial frequencies. However, an influence on contrast sensitivity was only found for saccades with amplitudes larger than 30'. Contrast thresholds remained highly similar in the presence and absence of smaller saccades. Furthermore, saccades of all amplitudes, including microsaccades, were strongly suppressed during exposure to the stimulus. These findings do not support an important function of the visual transients caused by microsaccades.

  6. Saccade amplitude disconjugacy induced by aniseikonia: role of monocular depth cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pia Bucci, M; Kapoula, Z; Eggert, T

    1999-09-01

    The conjugacy of saccades is rapidly modified if the images are made unequal for the two eyes. Disconjugacy persists even in the absence of disparity which indicates learning. Binocular visual disparity is a major cue to depth and is believed to drive the disconjugacy of saccades to aniseikonic images. The goal of the present study was to test whether monocular depth cues can also influence the disconjugacy of saccades. Three experiments were performed in which subjects were exposed for 15-20 min to a 10% image size inequality. Three different images were used: a grid that contained a single monocular depth cue strongly indicating a frontoparallel plane; a random-dot pattern that contained a less prominent monocular depth cue (absence of texture gradient) which also indicates the frontoparallel plane; and a complex image with several overlapping geometric forms that contained a variety of monocular depth cues. Saccades became disconjugate in all three experiments. The disconjugacy was larger and more persistent for the experiment using the random-dot pattern that had the least prominent monocular depth cues. The complex image which had a large variety of monocular depth cues produced the most variable and less persistent disconjugacy. We conclude that the monocular depth cues modulate the disconjugacy of saccades stimulated by the disparity of aniseikonic images.

  7. New supervised learning theory applied to cerebellar modeling for suppression of variability of saccade end points.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Masahiko

    2013-06-01

    A new supervised learning theory is proposed for a hierarchical neural network with a single hidden layer of threshold units, which can approximate any continuous transformation, and applied to a cerebellar function to suppress the end-point variability of saccades. In motor systems, feedback control can reduce noise effects if the noise is added in a pathway from a motor center to a peripheral effector; however, it cannot reduce noise effects if the noise is generated in the motor center itself: a new control scheme is necessary for such noise. The cerebellar cortex is well known as a supervised learning system, and a novel theory of cerebellar cortical function developed in this study can explain the capability of the cerebellum to feedforwardly reduce noise effects, such as end-point variability of saccades. This theory assumes that a Golgi-granule cell system can encode the strength of a mossy fiber input as the state of neuronal activity of parallel fibers. By combining these parallel fiber signals with appropriate connection weights to produce a Purkinje cell output, an arbitrary continuous input-output relationship can be obtained. By incorporating such flexible computation and learning ability in a process of saccadic gain adaptation, a new control scheme in which the cerebellar cortex feedforwardly suppresses the end-point variability when it detects a variation in saccadic commands can be devised. Computer simulation confirmed the efficiency of such learning and showed a reduction in the variability of saccadic end points, similar to results obtained from experimental data.

  8. Vestibulo-ocular reflex suppression during head-fixed saccades reveals gaze feedback control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daye, Pierre M; Roberts, Dale C; Zee, David S; Optican, Lance M

    2015-01-21

    Previous experiments have shown that the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) is partially suppressed during large head-free gaze (gaze = eye-in-head + head-in-space) shifts when both the eyes and head are moving actively, on a fixed body, or when the eyes are moving actively and the head passively on a fixed body. We tested, in human subjects, the hypothesis that the VOR is also suppressed during gaze saccades made with en bloc, head and body together, rotations. Subjects made saccades by following a target light. During some trials, the chair rotated so as to move the entire body passively before, during, or after a saccade. The modulation of the VOR was a function of both saccade amplitude and the time of the head perturbation relative to saccade onset. Despite the perturbation, gaze remained accurate. Thus, VOR modulation is similar when gaze changes are programmed for the eyes alone or for the eyes and head moving together. We propose that the brain always programs a change in gaze using feedback based on gaze and head signals, rather than on separate eye and head trajectories.

  9. Surprise and Sense Making: Undergraduate Placement Experiences in SMEs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walmsley, Andreas; Thomas, Rhodri; Jameson, Stephanie

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: This paper seeks to explore undergraduate placement experiences in tourism and hospitality SMEs, focusing on the notions of surprise and sense making. It aims to argue that surprises and sense making are important elements not only of the adjustment process when entering new work environments, but also of the learning experience that…

  10. Conference of “Uncertainty and Surprise: Questions on Working with the Unexpected and Unknowable”

    CERN Document Server

    McDaniel, Reuben R; Uncertainty and Surprise in Complex Systems : Questions on Working with the Unexpected

    2005-01-01

    Complexity science has been a source of new insight in physical and social systems and has demonstrated that unpredictability and surprise are fundamental aspects of the world around us. This book is the outcome of a discussion meeting of leading scholars and critical thinkers with expertise in complex systems sciences and leaders from a variety of organizations sponsored by the Prigogine Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the Plexus Institute to explore strategies for understanding uncertainty and surprise. Besides distributions to the conference it includes a key digest by the editors as well as a commentary by the late nobel laureat Ilya Prigogine, "Surprises in half of a century". The book is intended for researchers and scientists in complexity science as well as for a broad interdisciplinary audience of both practitioners and scholars. It will well serve those interested in the research issues and in the application of complexity science to physical and social systems.

  11. Neural Responses to Rapid Facial Expressions of Fear and Surprise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke Zhao

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Facial expression recognition is mediated by a distributed neural system in humans that involves multiple, bilateral regions. There are six basic facial expressions that may be recognized in humans (fear, sadness, surprise, happiness, anger, and disgust; however, fearful faces and surprised faces are easily confused in rapid presentation. The functional organization of the facial expression recognition system embodies a distinction between these two emotions, which is investigated in the present study. A core system that includes the right parahippocampal gyrus (BA 30, fusiform gyrus, and amygdala mediates the visual recognition of fear and surprise. We found that fearful faces evoked greater activity in the left precuneus, middle temporal gyrus (MTG, middle frontal gyrus, and right lingual gyrus, whereas surprised faces were associated with greater activity in the right postcentral gyrus and left posterior insula. These findings indicate the importance of common and separate mechanisms of the neural activation that underlies the recognition of fearful and surprised faces.

  12. CarPrice versus CarpRice: Word Boundary Ambiguity Influences Saccade Target Selection during the Reading of Chinese Sentences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Ming; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2016-01-01

    As a contribution to a theoretical debate about the degree of high-level influences on saccade targeting during sentence reading, we investigated eye movements during the reading of structurally ambiguous Chinese character strings and examined whether parafoveal word segmentation could influence saccade-target selection. As expected, ambiguous…

  13. CarPrice versus CarpRice: Word boundary ambiguity influences saccade target selection during the reading of Chinese sentences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Ming; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2016-11-01

    As a contribution to a theoretical debate about the degree of high-level influences on saccade targeting during sentence reading, we investigated eye movements during the reading of structurally ambiguous Chinese character strings and examined whether parafoveal word segmentation could influence saccade-target selection. As expected, ambiguous strings took longer to process. More critically there were theoretically relevant interactions between ambiguity and launch site when first-fixation location and saccade amplitude served as dependent variables: Ambiguous strings in the parafovea triggered longer saccades and more rightward fixations for close launch sites than unambiguous ones; the reverse result was obtained for far launch sites. These crossover interactions indicate that parafoveal word segmentation influences saccade generation in Chinese and provide support of the hypothesis that high-level information can be involved in the decision about where to fixate next. (PsycINFO Database Record

  14. Saccadic and Postsaccadic Disconjugacy in Zebrafish Larvae Suggests Independent Eye Movement Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chien-Cheng; Bockisch, Christopher J.; Straumann, Dominik; Huang, Melody Ying-Yu

    2016-01-01

    Spontaneous eye movements of zebrafish larvae in the dark consist of centrifugal saccades that move the eyes from a central to an eccentric position and postsaccadic centripetal drifts. In a previous study, we showed that the fitted single-exponential time constants of the postsaccadic drifts are longer in the temporal-to-nasal (T->N) direction than in the nasal-to-temporal (N->T) direction. In the present study, we further report that saccadic peak velocities are higher and saccadic amplitudes are larger in the N->T direction than in the T->N direction. We investigated the underlying mechanism of this ocular disconjugacy in the dark with a top-down approach. A mathematic ocular motor model, including an eye plant, a set of burst neurons and a velocity-to-position neural integrator (VPNI), was built to simulate the typical larval eye movements in the dark. The modeling parameters, such as VPNI time constants, neural impulse signals generated by the burst neurons and time constants of the eye plant, were iteratively adjusted to fit the average saccadic eye movement. These simulations suggest that four pools of burst neurons and four pools of VPNIs are needed to explain the disconjugate eye movements in our results. A premotor mechanism controls the synchronous timing of binocular saccades, but the pools of burst and integrator neurons in zebrafish larvae seem to be different (and maybe separate) for both eyes and horizontal directions, which leads to the observed ocular disconjugacies during saccades and postsaccadic drifts in the dark. PMID:27761109

  15. Response times for visually guided saccades in persons with Parkinson's disease: a meta-analytic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jonathan M; Prescott, Tony J

    2010-03-01

    Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) show marked impairments in their ability to generate self-initiated, or "voluntary", saccadic eye movements. Investigations of visually guided, or "reflexive", saccades have, on the other hand, produced inconclusive results with studies showing response times (RTs) in persons with PD that are slower, faster, or indistinguishable from those of controls. We performed a meta-analysis to establish whether there are consistent effects of PD on the metrics of visually guided saccades. Combining results across 47 studies we found that reflexive saccades are overall initiated more slowly in persons with PD than in controls, however, this analysis also revealed considerable heterogeneity across studies. Step-wise meta-regression, using eleven potential predictors, subsequently showed that differences in mean RT between controls and persons with PD may arise due to aspects of experimental design. In particular, mean target eccentricity was shown to impact substantially on RTs such that persons with PD predictably initiate saccades faster than controls at small target eccentricities, while responding more slowly for large target eccentricities. Changes in eye-tracking and display equipment over the period covered by the review were also found to have impacted on the pattern of results obtained. We conclude that a, previously unsuspected, eccentricity effect could explain why the saccadic eye movements of persons with PD are sometimes found to be "hyper-reflexive" compared to controls, and suggest that this effect may arise due to PD-induced changes in both peripheral perceptual processing and in central executive mechanisms involving the basal ganglia.

  16. The impact of microsaccades on vision: towards a unified theory of saccadic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Conde, Susana; Otero-Millan, Jorge; Macknik, Stephen L

    2013-02-01

    When we attempt to fix our gaze, our eyes nevertheless produce so-called 'fixational eye movements', which include microsaccades, drift and tremor. Fixational eye movements thwart neural adaptation to unchanging stimuli and thus prevent and reverse perceptual fading during fixation. Over the past 10 years, microsaccade research has become one of the most active fields in visual, oculomotor and even cognitive neuroscience. The similarities and differences between microsaccades and saccades have been a most intriguing area of study, and the results of this research are leading us towards a unified theory of saccadic and microsaccadic function.

  17. Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Suppression during Head-Fixed Saccades Reveals Gaze Feedback Control

    OpenAIRE

    Daye, Pierre M.; Dale C Roberts; David S Zee; Optican, Lance M.

    2015-01-01

    Previous experiments have shown that the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) is partially suppressed during large head-free gaze (gaze = eye-in-head + head-in-space) shifts when both the eyes and head are moving actively, on a fixed body, or when the eyes are moving actively and the head passively on a fixed body. We tested, in human subjects, the hypothesis that the VOR is also suppressed during gaze saccades made with en bloc, head and body together, rotations. Subjects made saccades by following...

  18. Gaze strategy in the free flying zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Eckmeier

    Full Text Available Fast moving animals depend on cues derived from the optic flow on their retina. Optic flow from translational locomotion includes information about the three-dimensional composition of the environment, while optic flow experienced during a rotational self motion does not. Thus, a saccadic gaze strategy that segregates rotations from translational movements during locomotion will facilitate extraction of spatial information from the visual input. We analysed whether birds use such a strategy by highspeed video recording zebra finches from two directions during an obstacle avoidance task. Each frame of the recording was examined to derive position and orientation of the beak in three-dimensional space. The data show that in all flights the head orientation was shifted in a saccadic fashion and was kept straight between saccades. Therefore, birds use a gaze strategy that actively stabilizes their gaze during translation to simplify optic flow based navigation. This is the first evidence of birds actively optimizing optic flow during flight.

  19. Gaze strategy in the free flying zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckmeier, Dennis; Geurten, Bart R H; Kress, Daniel; Mertes, Marcel; Kern, Roland; Egelhaaf, Martin; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2008-01-01

    Fast moving animals depend on cues derived from the optic flow on their retina. Optic flow from translational locomotion includes information about the three-dimensional composition of the environment, while optic flow experienced during a rotational self motion does not. Thus, a saccadic gaze strategy that segregates rotations from translational movements during locomotion will facilitate extraction of spatial information from the visual input. We analysed whether birds use such a strategy by highspeed video recording zebra finches from two directions during an obstacle avoidance task. Each frame of the recording was examined to derive position and orientation of the beak in three-dimensional space. The data show that in all flights the head orientation was shifted in a saccadic fashion and was kept straight between saccades. Therefore, birds use a gaze strategy that actively stabilizes their gaze during translation to simplify optic flow based navigation. This is the first evidence of birds actively optimizing optic flow during flight.

  20. Defense Science Board (DSB) Summer Study Report on Strategic Surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

    DSB Summer Study Report on Strategic Surprise July 2015 Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden...SUBTITLE DSB Summer Study Report on Strategic Surprise 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT...NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Defense Science Board ( DSB ),The Pentagon ,OUSD(AT&L

  1. A nonparametric method for detecting fixations and saccades using cluster analysis: removing the need for arbitrary thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Seth D; Buffalo, Elizabeth A

    2014-04-30

    Eye tracking is an important component of many human and non-human primate behavioral experiments. As behavioral paradigms have become more complex, including unconstrained viewing of natural images, eye movements measured in these paradigms have become more variable and complex as well. Accordingly, the common practice of using acceleration, dispersion, or velocity thresholds to segment viewing behavior into periods of fixations and saccades may be insufficient. Here we propose a novel algorithm, called Cluster Fix, which uses k-means cluster analysis to take advantage of the qualitative differences between fixations and saccades. The algorithm finds natural divisions in 4 state space parameters-distance, velocity, acceleration, and angular velocity-to separate scan paths into periods of fixations and saccades. The number and size of clusters adjusts to the variability of individual scan paths. Cluster Fix can detect small saccades that were often indistinguishable from noisy fixations. Local analysis of fixations helped determine the transition times between fixations and saccades. Because Cluster Fix detects natural divisions in the data, predefined thresholds are not needed. A major advantage of Cluster Fix is the ability to precisely identify the beginning and end of saccades, which is essential for studying neural activity that is modulated by or time-locked to saccades. Our data suggest that Cluster Fix is more sensitive than threshold-based algorithms but comes at the cost of an increase in computational time. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Cortical control of vertical and horizontal saccades in progressive supranuclear palsy: An exploratory fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos, J; Pereira, D; Almendra, L; Rebelo, D; Patrício, M; Castelhano, J; Cunha, G; Januário, C; Cunha, L; Freire, A; Castelo-Branco, M

    2017-02-15

    Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative disorder showing predominant brainstem involvement, characterized by marked slowing of rapid eye movements (saccades), particularly along the vertical plane. While the contribution of the brainstem damage for the saccadic disturbance in PSP has been extensively studied, much less is known about its cortical and subcortical pathomechanisms. We measured reflexive (prosaccades) and voluntary (antisaccades) saccades in the vertical and horizontal plane in PSP patients (n=8) and controls (n=10) in an eye tracking study, followed by the measurement of blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activation (PSP, n=6; controls, n=10) during similar saccade paradigms. Behaviorally, PSP patients evidenced slower and lower amplitude prosaccades (horizontal and vertical) and lower amplitude antisaccades (vertical) than controls. Functionally, patients showed decreased frontostriatal BOLD activation during prosaccades (horizontal and vertical) and antisaccades (vertical), relative to controls. Additionally, PSP patients showed less default mode network (DMN) deactivation than controls for all types of saccades. Within groups, controls showed no BOLD differences between horizontal and vertical prosaccades while PSP patients demonstrated greater DMN deactivation during vertical prosaccades. Both groups evidenced greater DMN deactivation during vertical antisaccades when compared to their horizontal counterpart and patients further showed relative frontostriatal BOLD hypoactivity during vertical antisaccades. We found fMRI evidence of frontostriatal hypoactivity in PSP patients relative to controls, especially during vertical saccades. These new findings highlight the impact of cortical impairment in saccadic disturbance of PSP. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Nonconjugate adaptation of human saccades to anisometropic spectacles: Meridian-specificity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H.G. Lemij (Hans); H. Collewijn (Han)

    1992-01-01

    textabstractAbstract Recently it has been demonstrated that saccades become different in size in the two eyes if a subject is adapted to anisometropic spectacles, which provide visual images of different magnitude to the two eyes. These nonconjugate adaptations adequately meet the requirements of th

  4. Eye movements during saccadic and fixation tasks in patients with homonymous hemianopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhard, Jens I; Damm, Ingelene; Ivanov, Iliya V; Trauzettel-Klosinski, Susanne

    2014-12-01

    The aim of our study was to quantify ocular motor performance in patients with homonymous hemianopia and in healthy controls during saccadic and fixation tasks and to detect potential spontaneous adaptive mechanisms in the hemianopic patients. Eye movements were recorded in 33 hemianopic patients (15 right, 18 left; disease duration, 0.2-29 years) and 14 healthy subjects by scanning laser ophthalmoscope allowing determination of the absolute fovea position relative to the stimulus without calibration. Landing accuracy of saccades was determined for 5° saccades, indicated by the number of dysmetric saccades (DS), and fixation stability (FS) after landing. In addition, during continuous fixation of a central cross, FS, and distribution of fixational eye movements (FEMs) were measured. Size of macular sparing was determined using custom microperimetry software (stimulus grid, 0.5°). Compared with controls, landing accuracy was decreased in hemianopic patients, indicated by significantly more DS (hypometric and hypermetric) to the blind side compared with the seeing side. The number of DS was greater in patients with macular sparing of FEM during continuous fixation was asymmetrically shifted to the blind side, especially in cases of macular sparing of FEMs during continuous fixation indicate an advantageous adaptive mechanism to shift the visual field border towards the hemianopic side.

  5. Saccadic selection and crowding in visual search : stronger lateral masking leads to shorter search times

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Jelmer P.; Hooge, Ignace T. C.; Wiering, Marco A.; Verstraten, Frans A. J.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the role of crowding in saccadic selection during visual search. To guide eye movements, often information from the visual periphery is used. Crowding is known to deteriorate the quality of peripheral information. In four search experiments, we studied the role of crowding, by accomp

  6. Saccadic distractibility is elevated in schizophrenia patients, but not in their unaffected relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccabe, James H; Simon, Helen; Zanelli, Jolanta W; Walwyn, Rebecca; McDonald, Colm D; Murray, Robin M

    2005-12-01

    Saccadic distractibility, as measured by the antisaccade task, has attracted attention as a putative endophenotypic marker for schizophrenia. Some studies have suggested that this measure is elevated in the unaffected relatives of schizophrenia patients. However, recent studies have called this into question and the topic remains controversial. Saccadic distractibility was measured in 53 patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia, 80 unaffected first-degree relatives and 41 unaffected controls.Results. Schizophrenia patients performed worse than relatives and controls combined (p<0.00001), but relatives did not differ significantly from controls. Performance in multiply affected families was no worse than that in singly affected families. Relatives with a high presumed genetic risk for schizophrenia performed no worse than other relatives. The performance of the patients did not predict that of their relatives. These results demonstrate that saccadic distractibility is strongly associated with disease status but not with genetic loading for schizophrenia. We conclude that saccadic distractibility is unlikely to be useful as an endophenotypic marker in schizophrenia.

  7. The phase of ongoing EEG oscillations predicts the amplitude of peri-saccadic mislocalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLelland, Douglas; Lavergne, Louisa; VanRullen, Rufin

    2016-01-01

    Our constant eye movements mean that updating processes, such as saccadic remapping, are essential for the maintenance of a stable spatial representation of the world around us. It has been proposed that, rather than continually update a full spatiotopic map, only the location of a few key objects is updated, suggesting that the process is linked to attention. At the same time, mounting evidence links attention to oscillatory neuronal processes. We therefore hypothesized that updating processes should themselves show oscillatory characteristics, inherited from underlying attentional processes. To test this, we carried out a combined psychophysics and EEG experiment in human participants, using a saccadic mislocalization task as a behaviourally measureable proxy for spatial updating, and simultaneously recording 64-channel EEG. We then used a time-frequency analysis to test for a correlation between oscillation phase and perceptual outcome. We found a significant phase-dependence of mislocalization in a time-frequency region from around 400 ms prior to saccade initiation and peaking at around 7 Hz, principally apparent over occipital electrodes. Thus the degree of perceived mislocalization is correlated with the phase of a theta-frequency oscillation prior to saccade onset. We conclude that spatial updating processes are indeed linked to rhythmic processes in the brain. PMID:27403937

  8. Stimulus-response incompatibility eliminates inhibitory cueing effects with saccadic but not manual responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eng, Vivian; Lim, Alfred; Kwon, Simon; Gan, Su Ren; Jamaluddin, S Azrin; Janssen, Steve M J; Satel, Jason

    2017-05-01

    There are thought to be two forms of inhibition of return (IOR) depending on whether the oculomotor system is activated or suppressed. When saccades are allowed, output-based IOR is generated, whereas input-based IOR arises when saccades are prohibited. In a series of 4 experiments, we mixed or blocked compatible and incompatible trials with saccadic or manual responses to investigate whether cueing effects would follow the same pattern as those observed with more traditional peripheral onsets and central arrows. In all experiments, an uninformative cue was displayed, followed by a cue-back stimulus that was either red or green, indicating whether a compatible or incompatible response was required. The results showed that IOR was indeed observed for compatible responses in all tasks, whereas IOR was eliminated for incompatible trials-but only with saccadic responses. These findings indicate that the dissociation between input- and output-based forms of IOR depends on more than just oculomotor activation, providing further support for the existence of an inhibitory cueing effect that is distinct to the manual response modality.

  9. Neurophysiology and Neuroanatomy of Reflexive and Voluntary Saccades in Non-Human Primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Kevin; Everling, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    A multitude of cognitive functions can easily be tested by a number of relatively simple saccadic eye movement tasks. This approach has been employed extensively with patient populations to investigate the functional deficits associated with psychiatric disorders. Neurophysiological studies in non-human primates performing the same tasks have…

  10. Saccadic peak velocity and EEG as end-points for a serotonergic challenge test.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gijsman, H.J.; Gerven, J.M.A. van; Verkes, R.J.; Schoemaker, R.C.; Pieters, M.; Pennings, E.J.; Hessing, T.J.; Cohen, A.

    2002-01-01

    We previously reported that a single dose of the serotonin receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine increased the peak velocity of saccadic eye movements and decreased low-frequency electroencephalographic activity. METHODS: We administered a single dose of the serotonin releaser dexfenfluramine

  11. Impaired Oculomotor Behavior of Children with Developmental Dyslexia in Antisaccades and Predictive Saccades Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukasova, Katerina; Silva, Isadora P; Macedo, Elizeu C

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of eye movement patterns during tracking tasks represents a potential way to identify differences in the cognitive processing and motor mechanisms underlying reading in dyslexic children before the occurrence of school failure. The current study aimed to evaluate the pattern of eye movements in antisaccades, predictive saccades and visually guided saccades in typical readers and readers with developmental dyslexia. The study included 30 children (age M = 11; SD = 1.67), 15 diagnosed with developmental dyslexia (DG) and 15 regular readers (CG), matched by age, gender and school grade. Cognitive assessment was performed prior to the eye-tracking task during which both eyes were registered using the Tobii® 1750 eye-tracking device. The results demonstrated a lower correct antisaccades rate in dyslexic children compared to the controls (p < 0.001, DG = 25%, CC = 37%). Dyslexic children also made fewer saccades in predictive latency (p < 0.001, DG = 34%, CG = 46%, predictive latency within -300-120 ms with target as 0 point). No between-group difference was found for visually guided saccades. In this task, both groups showed shorter latency for right-side targets. The results indicated altered oculomotor behavior in dyslexic children, which has been reported in previous studies. We extend these findings by demonstrating impaired implicit learning of target's time/position patterns in dyslexic children.

  12. Head rotation trajectories compared with eye saccades by main sequence relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, L; Zangemeister, W H; Edwards, J; Grinberg, J; Jones, A; Lehman, S; Lubock, P; Narayan, V; Nystrom, M

    1980-08-01

    A helmet apparatus permitted duration, peak velocity, and peak acceleration measurements as functions of magnitude of horizontal head rotation; these "main sequence" data give evidence for multipulse-step neurological signals appropriate for time optimal control of head rotation similar to those of saccadic eye movements.

  13. Impaired Oculomotor Behavior of Children with Developmental Dyslexia in Antisaccades and Predictive Saccades Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukasova, Katerina; Silva, Isadora P.; Macedo, Elizeu C.

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of eye movement patterns during tracking tasks represents a potential way to identify differences in the cognitive processing and motor mechanisms underlying reading in dyslexic children before the occurrence of school failure. The current study aimed to evaluate the pattern of eye movements in antisaccades, predictive saccades and visually guided saccades in typical readers and readers with developmental dyslexia. The study included 30 children (age M = 11; SD = 1.67), 15 diagnosed with developmental dyslexia (DG) and 15 regular readers (CG), matched by age, gender and school grade. Cognitive assessment was performed prior to the eye-tracking task during which both eyes were registered using the Tobii® 1750 eye-tracking device. The results demonstrated a lower correct antisaccades rate in dyslexic children compared to the controls (p < 0.001, DG = 25%, CC = 37%). Dyslexic children also made fewer saccades in predictive latency (p < 0.001, DG = 34%, CG = 46%, predictive latency within −300–120 ms with target as 0 point). No between-group difference was found for visually guided saccades. In this task, both groups showed shorter latency for right-side targets. The results indicated altered oculomotor behavior in dyslexic children, which has been reported in previous studies. We extend these findings by demonstrating impaired implicit learning of target's time/position patterns in dyslexic children. PMID:27445945

  14. Saccadic Eye Movements Impose a Natural Bottleneck on Visual Short-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohl, Sven; Rolfs, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is a crucial repository of information when events unfold rapidly before our eyes, yet it maintains only a fraction of the sensory information encoded by the visual system. Here, we tested the hypothesis that saccadic eye movements provide a natural bottleneck for the transition of fragile content in sensory memory…

  15. Bilateral Saccadic Eye Movements and Tactile Stimulation, but Not Auditory Stimulation, Enhance Memory Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieuwenhuis, Sander; Elzinga, Bernet M.; Ras, Priscilla H.; Berends, Floris; Duijs, Peter; Samara, Zoe; Slagter, Heleen A.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown superior memory retrieval when participants make a series of horizontal saccadic eye movements between the memory encoding phase and the retrieval phase compared to participants who do not move their eyes or move their eyes vertically. It has been hypothesized that the rapidly alternating activation of the two hemispheres…

  16. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and motor plasticity in human lateral cerebellum : Dual effect on saccadic adaptation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Panouilleres, Muriel; Neggers, Sebastiaan F. W.; Gutteling, Tjerk P.; Salemme, Romeo; van der Stigchel, Stefan; van der Geest, Josef N.; Frens, Maarten A.; Pelisson, Denis

    2012-01-01

    The cerebellum is a key area for movement control and sensory-motor plasticity. Its medial part is considered as the exclusive cerebellar center controlling the accuracy and adaptive calibration of saccadic eye movements. However, the contribution of other zones situated in its lateral part is unkno

  17. Effects of Saccadic Bilateral Eye Movements on Memory in Children and Adults: An Exploratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Andrew; Dagnall, Neil

    2012-01-01

    The effects of saccadic bilateral (horizontal) eye movements on true and false memory in adults and children were investigated. Both adults and children encoded lists of associated words in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm followed by a test of recognition memory. Just prior to retrieval, participants were asked to engage in 30 s of bilateral…

  18. Bilateral saccadic eye movements and tactile stimulation, but not auditory stimulation, enhance memory retrieval

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenhuis, S.; Elzinga, B.M.; Ras, P.H.; Berends, F.; Duijs, P.; Samara, Z.; Slagter, H.A.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown superior memory retrieval when participants make a series of horizontal saccadic eye movements between the memory encoding phase and the retrieval phase compared to participants who do not move their eyes or move their eyes vertically. It has been hypothesized that the rapi

  19. The effect of spatial-temporal audiovisual disparities on saccades in a complex scene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wanrooij, M.M. van; Bell, A.H.; Munoz, D.P.; Opstal, A.J. van

    2009-01-01

    In a previous study we quantified the effect of multisensory integration on the latency and accuracy of saccadic eye movements toward spatially aligned audiovisual (AV) stimuli within a rich AV-background (Corneil et al. in J Neurophysiol 88:438-454, 2002). In those experiments both stimulus modalit

  20. A model of saccade generation based on parallel processing and competitive inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, J M; Walker, R

    1999-08-01

    During active vision, the eyes continually scan the visual environment using saccadic scanning movements. This target article presents an information processing model for the control of these movements, with some close parallels to established physiological processes in the oculomotor system. Two separate pathways are concerned with the spatial and the temporal programming of the movement. In the temporal pathway there is spatially distributed coding and the saccade target is selected from a "salience map." Both pathways descend through a hierarchy of levels, the lower ones operating automatically. Visual onsets have automatic access to the eye control system via the lower levels. Various centres in each pathway are interconnected via reciprocal inhibition. The model accounts for a number of well-established phenomena in target-elicited saccades: the gap effect, express saccades, the remote distractor effect, and the global effect. High-level control of the pathways in tasks such as visual search and reading is discussed; it operates through spatial selection and search selection, which generally combine in an automated way. The model is examined in relation to data from patients with unilateral neglect.

  1. Differential effects of olanzapine and risperidone on cognition in schizophrenia? A saccadic eye movement study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broerse, A; Crawford, TJ; den Boer, JA

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that novel antipsychotics have positive effects on certain cognitive functions in schizophrenia. The present study investigated this claim by means of saccadic paradigms, which provide a selective index of cognitive function. Thirty-three first-episode schizophrenic patients w

  2. Influence of gap and overlap paradigms on saccade latencies and vergence eye movements in seven-year-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucci, Maria Pia; Pouvreau, Nathalie; Yang, Qing; Kapoula, Zoï

    2005-07-01

    The latency of eye movements is influenced by the fixation task; when the fixation stimulus is switched off before the target presentation (gap paradigm) the latency becomes short and express movements occur. In contrast, when the fixation stimulus remains on when the target appears (overlap paradigm), eye movement latency is longer. Several previous studies have shown increased rates of express saccades in children; however the presence of an express type of latency for vergence and combined movements in children has never been explored. The present study examines the effects of the gap and the overlap paradigms on horizontal saccades at far (150 cm) and at close (20 cm) viewing distances, on vergence along the median plane, and on saccades combined with convergence or divergence in 15 normal seven-year-old children. The results show that the gap paradigm produced shorter latency for all eye movements than the overlap paradigm, but the difference was only significant for saccades at close viewing distances, for divergence (pure and combined), and for saccades combined with vergence. The gap paradigm produced significantly higher rates of express latencies for saccades at close viewing distances, for divergence, and for saccades combined with divergence; in contrast, the frequencies of express latencies for saccades at far viewing distances and for convergence (pure or combined) were similar in the gap and the overlap paradigms. Interestingly, the rate of anticipatory latencies (gap paradigm. Our collective findings suggest that the initiation of saccades at close viewing distances and of divergence is more reflexive, particularly in the gap paradigm. The finding of frequent anticipatory divergence that occurs at similar rates for seven-year-old children (this study) and for adults (Coubard et al., 2004, Exp Brain Res 154:368-381) indicates that predictive initiation of divergence is dominant.

  3. Small saccades and image complexity during free viewing of natural images in schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Ignacio Egaña

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In schizophrenia, patients display dysfunctions during the execution of simple visual tasks such as anti-saccade or smooth pursuit. In more ecological scenarios, such as free viewing of natural images, patients appear to make fewer and longer visual fixations and display shorter scanpaths. It is not clear whether these measurements reflect alterations in their proficiency to perform basic eye movements, such as saccades and fixations, or are related to high-level mechanisms, such as exploration or attention. We utilized free exploration of natural images of different complexities as a model of an ecological context where normally operative mechanisms of visual control can be accurately measured. We quantified visual exploration as Euclidean distance, scanpaths, saccades and visual fixation, using the standard SR-Research eye tracker algorithm (SR. We then compared this result with a computation that includes microsaccades (EM. We evaluated 8 schizophrenia patients and corresponding healthy controls (HC. Next, we tested whether the decrement in the number of saccades and fixations, as well as their increment in duration reported previously in schizophrenia patients, resulted from the increasing occurrence of undetected microsaccades. We found that when utilizing the standard SR algorithm, patients displayed shorter scanpaths as well as fewer and shorter saccades and fixations. When we employed the EM algorithm, the differences in these parameters between patients and HC were no longer significant. On the other hand, we found that image complexity plays an important role in exploratory behaviors, demonstrating that this factor explains most of differences between eye-movement behaviors in schizophrenia patients. These results help elucidate the mechanisms of visual motor control that are affected in schizophrenia and contribute to the finding of adequate markers for diagnosis and treatment for this condition.

  4. On the reduced influence of contour on saccade metrics and its competition with stimulus size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massendari, Delphine; Tandonnet, Christophe; Vitu, Françoise

    2014-08-01

    It is well known that the metrical properties of saccadic eye movements are strongly influenced by the extraction of low-level visual features (e.g., luminance). Higher-level visual features (e.g., contour) also play a role, but their relative contribution and time course remain undetermined. Here, we investigated this issue, by testing the influence of contour on saccade metrics. We used a saccade-targeting task in which a peripheral target was, on some trials, simultaneously displayed with a less eccentric distractor. This paradigm is known to yield a global effect, that is a deviation of the eyes towards an intermediate location between the stimuli. The novelty was to test whether this effect would vary with the alignment of the distractor's elementary features. Distractors were of high vs. low luminance, and composed of 16 pixels that were either aligned or misaligned by 0.23° or 0.43°. Our prediction, under the hypothesis that contour intervenes, was that aligned distractors, which formed a definite contour, would deviate the eyes more strongly than misaligned distractors. On the contrary, we found that distractors of high luminance produced greater eye deviations when they were misaligned, and hence more largely spread, than when they were aligned. Furthermore, low-luminance distractors deviated the eyes to the same extent irrespective of their alignment, though showing a reversed, contour-like, effect of alignment for early-triggered saccades. We proposed that contour has only limited influence on saccade metrics, when other, lower-level and more salient visual features, such as the extent of the stimulus pattern, are available.

  5. Performance Monitoring and Response Inhibition in a Saccadic Countermanding Task in High and Low proficient bilinguals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niharika eSingh

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We compared Hindi-English bilinguals differing in their L2 fluency on a saccadic countermanding task which taps inhibitory control as well as monitoring. We particularly explored whether response inhibition and performance monitoring within the oculomotor domain are affected by language proficiency in bilinguals. There were two different oculomotor redirect tasks: Visually Guided Redirect (VGR task (Experiment1 and Memory Guided Redirect (MGR task (Experiment 2. In this task typically a target is presented to which subject must make saccade (No step trials, unless a new target appears on the other location after some delay from the first target onset (Step trials. On such trials participants are required to inhibit and cancel the saccade to the first instead program a saccade to the new target. Using trial switch reaction time (TSRT, which is the time taken to inhibit the initiated saccade to the first target, as a measure of response inhibition, and post-stop slowing as a measure of performance monitoring, we observed two important results. It was found that high proficiency bilinguals showed more post-stop slowing on the no-step trials as compared to the low proficiency bilinguals for both VGR and MGR. Secondly, high and low proficiency bilingual exhibited comparable TSRT in both VGR and MGR, showing no altering effect of language proficiency on the response inhibition in bilinguals. These results suggest that bilingualism impacts performance monitoring which is modulated by language proficiency if not the inhibitory control system. Higher fluency may lead to superior cognitive flexibility, and ability to adjust behaviour that facilitates attainment of cognitive goal. These findings are in consonance with other current studies that suggest a top-down effect of bilingualism on action control systems.

  6. Trans-saccadic interactions in human parietal and occipital cortex during the retention and comparison of object orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunkley, Benjamin T; Baltaretu, Bianca; Crawford, J Douglas

    2016-09-01

    The cortical sites for the trans-saccadic storage and integration of visual object features are unknown. Here, we used a variant of fMRI-Adaptation where subjects fixated to the left or right of a briefly presented visual grating, maintained fixation or saccaded to the opposite side, then judged whether a re-presented grating had the same or different orientation. fMRI analysis revealed trans-saccadic interactions (different > same orientation) in a visual field-insensitive cluster within right supramarginal gyrus. This cluster was located at the anterolateral pole of the parietal eye field (identified in a localizer task). We also observed gaze centered, field-specific interactions (same > different orientation) in an extrastriate cluster overlapping with putative 'V4'. Based on these data and our literature review, we conclude that these supramarginal and extrastriate areas are involved in the retention, spatial updating, and evaluation of object orientation information across saccades.

  7. Ganzfeld stimulation or sleep enhance long term motor memory consolidation compared to normal viewing in saccadic adaptation paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Voges

    Full Text Available Adaptation of saccade amplitude in response to intra-saccadic target displacement is a type of implicit motor learning which is required to compensate for physiological changes in saccade performance. Once established trials without intra-saccadic target displacement lead to de-adaptation or extinction, which has been attributed either to extra-retinal mechanisms of spatial constancy or to the influence of the stable visual surroundings. Therefore we investigated whether visual deprivation ("Ganzfeld"-stimulation or sleep can partially maintain this motor learning compared to free viewing of the natural surroundings. Thirty-five healthy volunteers performed two adaptation blocks of 100 inward adaptation trials - interspersed by an extinction block - which were followed by a two-hour break with or without visual deprivation (VD. Using additional adaptation and extinction blocks short and long (4 weeks term memory of this implicit motor learning were tested. In the short term, motor memory tested immediately after free viewing was superior to adaptation performance after VD. In the long run, however, effects were opposite: motor memory and relearning of adaptation was superior in the VD conditions. This could imply independent mechanisms that underlie the short-term ability of retrieving learned saccadic gain and its long term consolidation. We suggest that subjects mainly rely on visual cues (i.e., retinal error in the free viewing condition which makes them prone to changes of the visual stimulus in the extinction block. This indicates the role of a stable visual array for resetting adapted saccade amplitudes. In contrast, visual deprivation (GS and sleep, might train subjects to rely on extra-retinal cues, e.g., efference copy or prediction to remap their internal representations of saccade targets, thus leading to better consolidation of saccadic adaptation.

  8. Avoiding surprises when implementing a single quality system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donawa, Maria

    2009-01-01

    European medical device manufacturers are sometimes surprised to learn that operating ISO 13485 alone is not sufficient to meet United States (US) quality system requirements. This article discusses important considerations for meeting US and European requirements when operating under a single quality system.

  9. Reconsiderations: Donald Murray and the Pedagogy of Surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballenger, Bruce

    2008-01-01

    Toward the end of his life, Donald Murray felt that his approach to writing instruction was no longer appreciated by journals in his field. Nevertheless, his emphasis on encouraging students to surprise themselves through informal writing still has considerable value. (Contains 1 note.)

  10. Reconsiderations: Donald Murray and the Pedagogy of Surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballenger, Bruce

    2008-01-01

    Toward the end of his life, Donald Murray felt that his approach to writing instruction was no longer appreciated by journals in his field. Nevertheless, his emphasis on encouraging students to surprise themselves through informal writing still has considerable value. (Contains 1 note.)

  11. Errors and surprise in patients with focal brain lesions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ullsperger, M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent theories of performance monitoring suggest that not only errors and negative action outcomes but also valence-free expectancy violations can trigger cognitive and behavioral adaptations. EEG and fMRI evidence suggests that monitoring of both errors and surprising but valence-free action

  12. Back to basics: The effects of block vs. interleaved trial administration on pro- and anti-saccade performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeligman, Liran; Zivotofsky, Ari Z

    2017-01-01

    The pro and anti-saccade task (PAT) is a widely used tool in the study of overt and covert attention with promising potential role in neurocognitive and psychiatric assessment. However, specific PAT protocols can vary significantly between labs, potentially resulting in large variations in findings across studies. In light of recent calls towards a standardization of PAT the current study's objective was to systematically and purposely evaluate the effects of block vs. interleaved administration-a fundamental consideration-on PAT measures in a within subject design. Additionally, this study evaluated whether measures of a Posner-type cueing paradigm parallels measures of the PAT paradigm. As hypothesized, results indicate that PAT performance is highly susceptible to administration mode. Interleaved mode resulted in larger error rates not only for anti (blocks: M = 22%; interleaved: M = 42%) but also for pro-saccades (blocks: M = 5%; interleaved: M = 12%). This difference between block and interleaved administration was significantly larger in anti-saccades compared to pro-saccades and cannot be attributed to a 'speed/accuracy tradeoff'. Interleaved mode produced larger pro and anti-saccade differences in error rates while block administration produced larger latency differences. Results question the reflexive nature of pro-saccades, suggesting they are not purely reflexive. These results were further discussed and compared to previous studies that included within subject data of blocks and interleaved trials.

  13. The Reduction of the Effect of the Müller—Lyer Illusion on Saccade Amplitude by Classic Adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Knox

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The effect of Müller—Lyer stimuli on saccade amplitude varies across studies. One methodological difference between studies is stimulus display time; studies with long stimulus display times tend to report smaller effects than studies with short display times. Is it possible that long display times might provide conditions in which saccade adaption takes place? Five adult subjects were exposed to runs of the same illusion-inducing Müller—Lyer stimulus, presented for 1 s, interspersed with probe trials in which a point target was presented for 200 ms. While saccade amplitude was consistently larger with ‘in-configurations’ than with ‘out-configurations’ at the beginning of runs, amplitude declined over runs with the in-configuration. On average, it was constant in out-configuration runs. The net effect was a decline in the apparent effect size (in-amp - out-amp / out-amp of the Müller—Lyer stimulus. Probe trial saccade amplitude increased in ‘out’ runs and decreased in ‘in’ runs. These effects were not present in control experiments, in which stimulus display time was 200 ms. One explanation for this pattern of results is that long stimulus presentation times allow for the generation of retinal error signals. This in turn leads to saccade adaptation, causing an underestimation of the effect of this type of stimulus on saccade amplitude.

  14. Geometry and Gesture-Based Features from Saccadic Eye-Movement as a Biometric in Radiology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammond, Tracy [Texas A& M University, College Station; Tourassi, Georgia [ORNL; Yoon, Hong-Jun [ORNL; Alamudun, Folami T. [ORNL

    2017-07-01

    In this study, we present a novel application of sketch gesture recognition on eye-movement for biometric identification and estimating task expertise. The study was performed for the task of mammographic screening with simultaneous viewing of four coordinated breast views as typically done in clinical practice. Eye-tracking data and diagnostic decisions collected for 100 mammographic cases (25 normal, 25 benign, 50 malignant) and 10 readers (three board certified radiologists and seven radiology residents), formed the corpus for this study. Sketch gesture recognition techniques were employed to extract geometric and gesture-based features from saccadic eye-movements. Our results show that saccadic eye-movement, characterized using sketch-based features, result in more accurate models for predicting individual identity and level of expertise than more traditional eye-tracking features.

  15. Association of Attention Deficit Disorder With Bedside Anti-saccades in Survivors of Childhood Leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Raja B; Hudson, Melissa M; Ness, Kirsten K; Liang, Zhu; Srivastava, Deokumar; Krull, Kevin R

    2016-02-01

    Impaired attention is well recognized in childhood cancer survivors. We prospectively evaluated 162 long-term survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia to study an association between presence of neurologic soft signs as measured by Zurich Neuromotor Scale, bedside evaluation of anti-saccades, and attention deficit disorder. Attention deficit disorder was recognized in 10.5% of the study cohort. We did not find an association of attention deficit with presence of any soft sign. However, there was an association between presence of abnormal anti-saccades and attention deficit (P = .04). These results will require further validation and if confirmed may introduce a quick bedside method of assessing impaired attention in cancer survivors.

  16. How Lovebirds Maneuver Rapidly Using Super-Fast Head Saccades and Image Feature Stabilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kress, Daniel; van Bokhorst, Evelien; Lentink, David

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal flying animals such as birds depend primarily on vision to coordinate their flight path during goal-directed flight tasks. To extract the spatial structure of the surrounding environment, birds are thought to use retinal image motion (optical flow) that is primarily induced by motion of their head. It is unclear what gaze behaviors birds perform to support visuomotor control during rapid maneuvering flight in which they continuously switch between flight modes. To analyze this, we measured the gaze behavior of rapidly turning lovebirds in a goal-directed task: take-off and fly away from a perch, turn on a dime, and fly back and land on the same perch. High-speed flight recordings revealed that rapidly turning lovebirds perform a remarkable stereotypical gaze behavior with peak saccadic head turns up to 2700 degrees per second, as fast as insects, enabled by fast neck muscles. In between saccades, gaze orientation is held constant. By comparing saccade and wingbeat phase, we find that these super-fast saccades are coordinated with the downstroke when the lateral visual field is occluded by the wings. Lovebirds thus maximize visual perception by overlying behaviors that impair vision, which helps coordinate maneuvers. Before the turn, lovebirds keep a high contrast edge in their visual midline. Similarly, before landing, the lovebirds stabilize the center of the perch in their visual midline. The perch on which the birds land swings, like a branch in the wind, and we find that retinal size of the perch is the most parsimonious visual cue to initiate landing. Our observations show that rapidly maneuvering birds use precisely timed stereotypic gaze behaviors consisting of rapid head turns and frontal feature stabilization, which facilitates optical flow based flight control. Similar gaze behaviors have been reported for visually navigating humans. This finding can inspire more effective vision-based autopilots for drones.

  17. An Attention-Sensitive Memory Trace in Macaque MT Following Saccadic Eye Movements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Yao

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We experience a visually stable world despite frequent retinal image displacements induced by eye, head, and body movements. The neural mechanisms underlying this remain unclear. One mechanism that may contribute is transsaccadic remapping, in which the responses of some neurons in various attentional, oculomotor, and visual brain areas appear to anticipate the consequences of saccades. The functional role of transsaccadic remapping is actively debated, and many of its key properties remain unknown. Here, recording from two monkeys trained to make a saccade while directing attention to one of two spatial locations, we show that neurons in the middle temporal area (MT, a key locus in the motion-processing pathway of humans and macaques, show a form of transsaccadic remapping called a memory trace. The memory trace in MT neurons is enhanced by the allocation of top-down spatial attention. Our data provide the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of the influence of top-down attention on the memory trace anywhere in the brain. We find evidence only for a small and transient effect of motion direction on the memory trace (and in only one of two monkeys, arguing against a role for MT in the theoretically critical yet empirically contentious phenomenon of spatiotopic feature-comparison and adaptation transfer across saccades. Our data support the hypothesis that transsaccadic remapping represents the shift of attentional pointers in a retinotopic map, so that relevant locations can be tracked and rapidly processed across saccades. Our results resolve important issues concerning the perisaccadic representation of visual stimuli in the dorsal stream and demonstrate a significant role for top-down attention in modulating this representation.

  18. Functional Asymmetries Revealed in Visually Guided Saccades: An fMRI Study

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    Petit, L.; Zago, L.; Vigneau, M.; Crivello, F.; Mazoyer, B.; Mellet, E.; Tzourio-Mazoyer, N. [Centre for Imaging, Neurosciences and Applications to Pathologies, UMR6232 CNRS CEA (France); Mazoyer, B. [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Caen (France); Andersson, F. [Institut Federatif de Recherche 135, Imagerie fonctionnelle, Tours (France); Mazoyer, B. [Institut Universitaire de France, Paris (France)

    2009-07-01

    Because eye movements are a fundamental tool for spatial exploration, we hypothesized that the neural bases of these movements in humans should be under right cerebral dominance, as already described for spatial attention. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging in 27 right-handed participants who alternated central fixation with either large or small visually guided saccades (VGS), equally performed in both directions. Hemispheric functional asymmetry was analyzed to identify whether brain regions showing VGS activation elicited hemispheric asymmetries. Hemispheric anatomical asymmetry was also estimated to assess its influence on the VGS functional lateralization. Right asymmetrical activations of a saccadic/attentional system were observed in the lateral frontal eye fields (FEF), the anterior part of the intra-parietal sulcus (aIPS), the posterior third of the superior temporal sulcus (STS), the occipito-temporal junction (MT/V5 area), the middle occipital gyrus, and medially along the calcarine fissure (V1). The present rightward functional asymmetries were not related to differences in gray matter (GM) density/sulci positions between right and left hemispheres in the pre-central, intra-parietal, superior temporal, and extrastriate regions. Only V1 asymmetries were explained for almost 20% of the variance by a difference in the position of the right and left calcarine fissures. Left asymmetrical activations of a saccadic motor system were observed in the medial FEF and in the motor strip eye field along the Rolando sulcus. They were not explained by GM asymmetries. We suggest that the leftward saccadic motor asymmetry is part of a general dominance of the left motor cortex in right-handers, which must include an effect of sighting dominance. Our results demonstrate that, although bilateral by nature, the brain network involved in the execution of VGSs, irrespective of their direction, presented specific right and left asymmetries that were not related to

  19. Free Exploration of Painting Uncovers Particularly Loose Yoking of Saccades in Dyslexics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapoula, Zoi; Ganem, Rebecca; Poncet, Sarah; Gintautas, Daunys; Eggert, Thomas; Bremond-Gignac, Dominique; Bucci, Maria Pia

    2009-01-01

    Binocular yoking of saccades is essential for single vision of words during reading. This study examines the quality of binocular coordination in individuals with dyslexia, independent of the process of reading. Fifteen dyslexia children (11.2 plus or minus 1.4 years) and 15 non-dyslexia individuals (8 children, aged 11.1 plus or minus 1.3 years,…

  20. Saccade selection when reward probability is dynamically manipulated using Markov chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nummela, Samuel U; Lovejoy, Lee P; Krauzlis, Richard J

    2008-05-01

    Markov chains (stochastic processes where probabilities are assigned based on the previous outcome) are commonly used to examine the transitions between behavioral states, such as those that occur during foraging or social interactions. However, relatively little is known about how well primates can incorporate knowledge about Markov chains into their behavior. Saccadic eye movements are an example of a simple behavior influenced by information about probability, and thus are good candidates for testing whether subjects can learn Markov chains. In addition, when investigating the influence of probability on saccade target selection, the use of Markov chains could provide an alternative method that avoids confounds present in other task designs. To investigate these possibilities, we evaluated human behavior on a task in which stimulus reward probabilities were assigned using a Markov chain. On each trial, the subject selected one of four identical stimuli by saccade; after selection, feedback indicated the rewarded stimulus. Each session consisted of 200-600 trials, and on some sessions, the reward magnitude varied. On sessions with a uniform reward, subjects (n = 6) learned to select stimuli at a frequency close to reward probability, which is similar to human behavior on matching or probability classification tasks. When informed that a Markov chain assigned reward probabilities, subjects (n = 3) learned to select the greatest reward probability more often, bringing them close to behavior that maximizes reward. On sessions where reward magnitude varied across stimuli, subjects (n = 6) demonstrated preferences for both greater reward probability and greater reward magnitude, resulting in a preference for greater expected value (the product of reward probability and magnitude). These results demonstrate that Markov chains can be used to dynamically assign probabilities that are rapidly exploited by human subjects during saccade target selection.

  1. How Lovebirds Maneuver Rapidly Using Super-Fast Head Saccades and Image Feature Stabilization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Kress

    Full Text Available Diurnal flying animals such as birds depend primarily on vision to coordinate their flight path during goal-directed flight tasks. To extract the spatial structure of the surrounding environment, birds are thought to use retinal image motion (optical flow that is primarily induced by motion of their head. It is unclear what gaze behaviors birds perform to support visuomotor control during rapid maneuvering flight in which they continuously switch between flight modes. To analyze this, we measured the gaze behavior of rapidly turning lovebirds in a goal-directed task: take-off and fly away from a perch, turn on a dime, and fly back and land on the same perch. High-speed flight recordings revealed that rapidly turning lovebirds perform a remarkable stereotypical gaze behavior with peak saccadic head turns up to 2700 degrees per second, as fast as insects, enabled by fast neck muscles. In between saccades, gaze orientation is held constant. By comparing saccade and wingbeat phase, we find that these super-fast saccades are coordinated with the downstroke when the lateral visual field is occluded by the wings. Lovebirds thus maximize visual perception by overlying behaviors that impair vision, which helps coordinate maneuvers. Before the turn, lovebirds keep a high contrast edge in their visual midline. Similarly, before landing, the lovebirds stabilize the center of the perch in their visual midline. The perch on which the birds land swings, like a branch in the wind, and we find that retinal size of the perch is the most parsimonious visual cue to initiate landing. Our observations show that rapidly maneuvering birds use precisely timed stereotypic gaze behaviors consisting of rapid head turns and frontal feature stabilization, which facilitates optical flow based flight control. Similar gaze behaviors have been reported for visually navigating humans. This finding can inspire more effective vision-based autopilots for drones.

  2. Effects of preparation time and trial type probability on performance of anti- and pro-saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Jordan E; McDowell, Jennifer E

    2016-02-01

    Cognitive control optimizes responses to relevant task conditions by balancing bottom-up stimulus processing with top-down goal pursuit. It can be investigated using the ocular motor system by contrasting basic prosaccades (look toward a stimulus) with complex antisaccades (look away from a stimulus). Furthermore, the amount of time allotted between trials, the need to switch task sets, and the time allowed to prepare for an upcoming saccade all impact performance. In this study the relative probabilities of anti- and pro-saccades were manipulated across five blocks of interleaved trials, while the inter-trial interval and trial type cue duration were varied across subjects. Results indicated that inter-trial interval had no significant effect on error rates or reaction times (RTs), while a shorter trial type cue led to more antisaccade errors and faster overall RTs. Responses following a shorter cue duration also showed a stronger effect of trial type probability, with more antisaccade errors in blocks with a low antisaccade probability and slower RTs for each saccade task when its trial type was unlikely. A longer cue duration yielded fewer errors and slower RTs, with a larger switch cost for errors compared to a short cue duration. Findings demonstrated that when the trial type cue duration was shorter, visual motor responsiveness was faster and subjects relied upon the implicit trial probability context to improve performance. When the cue duration was longer, increased fixation-related activity may have delayed saccade motor preparation and slowed responses, guiding subjects to respond in a controlled manner regardless of trial type probability.

  3. Difference between visually and electrically evoked gaze saccades disclosed by altering the head moment of inertia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coimbra, A J; Lefèvre, P; Missal, M; Olivier, E

    2000-02-01

    Differences between gaze shifts evoked by collicular electrical stimulation and those triggered by the presentation of a visual stimulus were studied in head-free cats by increasing the head moment of inertia. This maneuver modified the dynamics of these two types of gaze shifts by slowing down head movements. Such an increase in the head moment of inertia did not affect the metrics of visually evoked gaze saccades because their duration was precisely adjusted to compensate for these changes in movement dynamics. In contrast, the duration of electrically evoked gaze shifts remained constant irrespective of the head moment of inertia, and therefore their amplitude was significantly reduced. These results suggest that visually and electrically evoked gaze saccades are controlled by different mechanisms. Whereas the accuracy of visually evoked saccades is likely to be assured by on-line feedback information, the absence of duration adjustment in electrically evoked gaze shifts suggests that feedback information necessary to maintain their metrics is not accessible or is corrupted during collicular stimulation. This is of great importance when these two types of movements are compared to infer the role of the superior colliculus in the control of orienting gaze shifts.

  4. Changes in saccadic reaction time while maintaining neck flexion in the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunita, Kenji; Fujiwara, Katsuo

    2006-05-01

    We investigated changes in saccadic reaction time during maintenance of neck flexion in elderly individuals. Subjects comprised 49 volunteers, including 19 young adults and 30 elderly adults. Elderly subjects were separated into 2 groups (trained group: n=18; untrained group: n=12) based on responses to a questionnaire concerning activities of daily living. Saccadic reaction time was measured at angles of neck flexion of 0 degrees (resting position), 10 degrees and 20 degrees , with the chin either resting on a stand (chin-on) or not (chin-off). Reaction time was determined as the latency to the beginning of eye movement toward the lateral target, which was moved at random intervals in jumps of 20 degrees amplitude. In the chin-on posture, the angle of neck flexion had no significant effect on reaction time in any group. In the chin-off posture, the flexion angle significantly affected reaction time in both young and elderly trained groups. Significant shortenings of the reaction time were obtained at 10 degrees and 20 degrees neck flexion in the young group, and at 20 degrees neck flexion in the elderly trained group. No significant shortening of reaction time was noted in the elderly untrained group. These findings suggest that neural function associated with shortening of saccadic reaction time due to neck extensor activity decreases with age, and the decrements become more marked with inactivity in daily life.

  5. Normal Speed and Accuracy of Saccade and Vergence Eye Movements in Dyslexic Reader Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Pia Bucci

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Latency of eye movements depends on cortical structures while speed of execution and accuracy depends mostly on subcortical brainstem structures. Prior studies reported in dyslexic reader children abnormalities of latencies of saccades (isolated and combined with vergence; such abnormalities were attributed to deficits of fixation control and of visual attention. In this study we examine speed and accuracy characteristics of horizontal eye movements in natural space (saccades, vergence and combined movements in dyslexic reader children. Methods. Two paradigms are tested: gap paradigm (fixation offset 200 ms prior to target onset, producing shorter latencies, in both non-dyslexic reader and dyslexic reader children and simultaneous paradigm. Seventeen dyslexic reader children (mean age: 12±0.08 years and thirteen non-dyslexic reader children (mean age: 12±1 years were tested. Horizontal eye movements from both eyes were recorded simultaneously by a photoelectric device (Oculometer, Dr. Bouis. Results. For all movements tested (saccades, vergence, isolated or combined and for both paradigms, the mean velocity and accuracy were similar in dyslexic readers and non-dyslexic readers; no significant difference was found. Conclusion. This negative but important result, suggests no dysfunction of brainstem ocular motor circuits in dyslexic readers. It contrasts results on latencies related to visual attention dysfunction at cortical level.

  6. [Development of auditory-visual spatial integration using saccadic response time as the index].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Masaharu; Konishi, Kaoru; Kurosawa, Makiko; Konishi, Yukuo

    2006-05-01

    We measured saccadic response time (SRT) to investigate developmental changes related to spatially aligned or misaligned auditory and visual stimuli responses. We exposed 4-, 5-, and 11-month-old infants to ipsilateral or contralateral auditory-visual stimuli and monitored their eye movements using an electro-oculographic (EOG) system. The SRT analyses revealed four main results. First, saccades were triggered by visual stimuli but not always triggered by auditory stimuli. Second, SRTs became shorter as the children grew older. Third, SRTs for the ipsilateral and visual-only conditions were the same in all infants. Fourth, SRTs for the contralateral condition were longer than for the ipsilateral and visual-only conditions in 11-month-old infants but were the same for all three conditions in 4- and 5-month-old infants. These findings suggest that infants acquire the function of auditory-visual spatial integration underlying saccadic eye movement between the ages of 5 and 11 months. The dependency of SRTs on the spatial configuration of auditory and visual stimuli can be explained by cortical control of the superior colliculus. Our finding of no differences in SRTs between the ipsilateral and visual-only conditions suggests that there are multiple pathways for controlling the superior colliculus and that these pathways have different developmental time courses.

  7. Eye-tracking in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A longitudinal study of saccadic and cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proudfoot, Malcolm; Menke, Ricarda A L; Sharma, Rakesh; Berna, Claire M; Hicks, Stephen L; Kennard, Christopher; Talbot, Kevin; Turner, Martin R

    2015-01-01

    A relative preservation of eye movements is notable in ALS, but saccadic functions have not been studied longitudinally. ALS overlaps with FTD, typically involving executive dysfunction, and eye-tracking offers additional potential for the assessment of extramotor pathology where writing and speaking are both impaired. Eye-tracking measures (including anti-saccade, trail-making and visual search tasks) were assessed at six-monthly intervals for up to two years in a group of ALS (n = 61) and primary lateral sclerosis (n = 7) patients, compared to healthy age-matched controls (n = 39) assessed on a single occasion. Task performance was explored speculatively in relation to resting-state functional MRI (R-FMRI) network connectivity. Results showed that ALS patients were impaired on executive and visual search tasks despite normal basic saccadic function, and impairments in the PLS patients were unexpectedly often more severe. No significant progression was detected longitudinally in either group. No changes in R-FMRI network connectivity were identified in relation to patient performance. In conclusion, eye-tracking offers an objective means to assess extramotor cerebral involvement in ALS. The relative resistance of pure oculomotor function is confirmed, and higher-level executive impairments do not follow the same rate of decline as physical disability. PLS patients may have more cortical dysfunction than has been previously appreciated.

  8. Manipulation of stimulus onset delay in reading: evidence for parallel programming of saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, R E

    1984-10-01

    On-line eye movement recording of 12 subjects who read short stories on a cathode ray tube enabled a test of direct control and preprogramming models of eye movements in reading. Contingent upon eye position, a mask was displayed in place of the letters in central vision after each saccade, delaying the onset of the stimulus in each eye fixation. The duration of the delay was manipulated in fixed or randomized blocks. Although the length of the delay strongly affected the duration of the fixations, there was no difference due to the conditions of delay manipulation, indicating that fixation duration is under direct control. However, not all fixations were lengthened by the period of the delay. Some ended while the mask was still present, suggesting they had been preprogrammed. But these "anticipation" eye movements could not have been completely determined before the fixation was processed because their fixation durations and saccade lengths were affected by the spatial extent of the mask, which varied randomly. Neither preprogramming nor existing serial direct control models of eye guidance can adequately account for these data. Instead, a model with direct control and parallel programming of saccades is proposed to explain the data and eye movements in reading in general.

  9. Spatial attention, precision, and Bayesian inference: a study of saccadic response speed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vossel, Simone; Mathys, Christoph; Daunizeau, Jean; Bauer, Markus; Driver, Jon; Friston, Karl J; Stephan, Klaas E

    2014-06-01

    Inferring the environment's statistical structure and adapting behavior accordingly is a fundamental modus operandi of the brain. A simple form of this faculty based on spatial attentional orienting can be studied with Posner's location-cueing paradigm in which a cue indicates the target location with a known probability. The present study focuses on a more complex version of this task, where probabilistic context (percentage of cue validity) changes unpredictably over time, thereby creating a volatile environment. Saccadic response speed (RS) was recorded in 15 subjects and used to estimate subject-specific parameters of a Bayesian learning scheme modeling the subjects' trial-by-trial updates of beliefs. Different response models-specifying how computational states translate into observable behavior-were compared using Bayesian model selection. Saccadic RS was most plausibly explained as a function of the precision of the belief about the causes of sensory input. This finding is in accordance with current Bayesian theories of brain function, and specifically with the proposal that spatial attention is mediated by a precision-dependent gain modulation of sensory input. Our results provide empirical support for precision-dependent changes in beliefs about saccade target locations and motivate future neuroimaging and neuropharmacological studies of how Bayesian inference may determine spatial attention.

  10. Saccade generation by the frontal eye fields in rhesus monkeys is separable from visual detection and bottom-up attention shift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyoung-Min; Ahn, Kyung-Ha; Keller, Edward L

    2012-01-01

    The frontal eye fields (FEF), originally identified as an oculomotor cortex, have also been implicated in perceptual functions, such as constructing a visual saliency map and shifting visual attention. Further dissecting the area's role in the transformation from visual input to oculomotor command has been difficult because of spatial confounding between stimuli and responses and consequently between intermediate cognitive processes, such as attention shift and saccade preparation. Here we developed two tasks in which the visual stimulus and the saccade response were dissociated in space (the extended memory-guided saccade task), and bottom-up attention shift and saccade target selection were independent (the four-alternative delayed saccade task). Reversible inactivation of the FEF in rhesus monkeys disrupted, as expected, contralateral memory-guided saccades, but visual detection was demonstrated to be intact at the same field. Moreover, saccade behavior was impaired when a bottom-up shift of attention was not a prerequisite for saccade target selection, indicating that the inactivation effect was independent of the previously reported dysfunctions in bottom-up attention control. These findings underscore the motor aspect of the area's functions, especially in situations where saccades are generated by internal cognitive processes, including visual short-term memory and long-term associative memory.

  11. Saccade generation by the frontal eye fields in rhesus monkeys is separable from visual detection and bottom-up attention shift.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyoung-Min Lee

    Full Text Available The frontal eye fields (FEF, originally identified as an oculomotor cortex, have also been implicated in perceptual functions, such as constructing a visual saliency map and shifting visual attention. Further dissecting the area's role in the transformation from visual input to oculomotor command has been difficult because of spatial confounding between stimuli and responses and consequently between intermediate cognitive processes, such as attention shift and saccade preparation. Here we developed two tasks in which the visual stimulus and the saccade response were dissociated in space (the extended memory-guided saccade task, and bottom-up attention shift and saccade target selection were independent (the four-alternative delayed saccade task. Reversible inactivation of the FEF in rhesus monkeys disrupted, as expected, contralateral memory-guided saccades, but visual detection was demonstrated to be intact at the same field. Moreover, saccade behavior was impaired when a bottom-up shift of attention was not a prerequisite for saccade target selection, indicating that the inactivation effect was independent of the previously reported dysfunctions in bottom-up attention control. These findings underscore the motor aspect of the area's functions, especially in situations where saccades are generated by internal cognitive processes, including visual short-term memory and long-term associative memory.

  12. Sleeping beauties in theoretical physics 26 surprising insights

    CERN Document Server

    Padmanabhan, Thanu

    2015-01-01

    This book addresses a fascinating set of questions in theoretical physics which will both entertain and enlighten all students, teachers and researchers and other physics aficionados. These range from Newtonian mechanics to quantum field theory and cover several puzzling issues that do not appear in standard textbooks. Some topics cover conceptual conundrums, the solutions to which lead to surprising insights; some correct popular misconceptions in the textbook discussion of certain topics; others illustrate deep connections between apparently unconnected domains of theoretical physics; and a few provide remarkably simple derivations of results which are not often appreciated. The connoisseur of theoretical physics will enjoy a feast of pleasant surprises skilfully prepared by an internationally acclaimed theoretical physicist. Each topic is introduced with proper background discussion and special effort is taken to make the discussion self-contained, clear and comprehensible to anyone with an undergraduate e...

  13. The June surprises: balls, strikes, and the fog of war.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Charles

    2013-04-01

    At first, few constitutional experts took seriously the argument that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exceeded Congress's power under the commerce clause. The highly political opinions of two federal district judges - carefully chosen by challenging plaintiffs - of no particular distinction did not shake that confidence that the act was constitutional. This disdain for the challengers' arguments was only confirmed when the act was upheld by two highly respected conservative court of appeals judges in two separate circuits. But after the hostile, even mocking questioning of the government's advocate in the Supreme Court by the five Republican-appointed justices, the expectation was that the act would indeed be struck down on that ground. So it came as no surprise when the five opined the act did indeed exceed Congress's commerce clause power. But it came as a great surprise when Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the four Democrat-appointed justices, ruled that the act could be sustained as an exercise of Congress's taxing power - a ground urged by the government almost as an afterthought. It was further surprising, even shocking, that Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito not only wrote a joint opinion on the commerce clause virtually identical to that of their chief, but that in writing it they did not refer to or even acknowledge his opinion. Finally surprising was the fact that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer joined the chief in holding that aspects of the act's Medicaid expansion were unconstitutional. This essay ponders and tries to unravel some of these puzzles.

  14. Saccadic Suppression of Flash Detection: the Uncertainty Theory VS. Alternative Theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhouse, Daniel Stephen

    Helmholtz('1) and others have proposed that when a saccadic eye movement occurs, stability of the visual world is maintained by a process that utilizes a corollary to the efferent motor signal for the eye movement, allowing the visual frame of reference to translate equal in magnitude, but opposite in sign, to the movement itself. This process is now known to be synchronous neither with the saccadic trajectory('2,3) nor in all parts of the visual field.('4) In addition, this process has been shown to have variability('2) whereby the perceived visual direction of a flash presented to a fixed retinal locus during a saccade may change from trial to trial. Hence, uncertainty with respect to visual location of a stimulus may exist during and just before a saccade. It has been established for normal vision that uncertainty produces a decline in detectability of a weak stimulus.('5,6,7) The research reported in this dissertation was performed to test the notion, first suggested by L. Matin,('8) that uncertainty is responsible for saccadic suppression, the decline in detectability that has been reported('9,10,11) for a brief flash presented during a saccade. After having established the existence of suppression under the conditions we employed (1(DEGREES) foveal flash occurring 2 1/2(DEGREES) into a 10(DEGREES) voluntary saccade, presented against an illuminated background) we conducted an initial test of the uncertainty theory. We employed a pedestal (flash at the spatial, temporal, and chromatic locus of the stimulus, occurring on all trials, and sufficiently intense as to be visible during saccades) in an attempt to reduce uncertainty. Suppression was nearly eliminated for all subjects. We interpreted this result in terms of the uncertainty theory, but were unable to reject alternative theories of suppression, which include forms of neural inhibition,('10,11) increaed noise level in the retina during saccades,('12) and metacontrast masking.('13). The next experiment

  15. The effect of vestibulo-ocular reflex deficits and covert saccades on dynamic vision in opioid-induced vestibular dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramaioli, Cecilia; Colagiorgio, Paolo; Sağlam, Murat; Heuser, Fabian; Schneider, Erich; Ramat, Stefano; Lehnen, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Patients with bilateral vestibular dysfunction cannot fully compensate passive head rotations with eye movements, and experience disturbing oscillopsia. To compensate for the deficient vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), they have to rely on re-fixation saccades. Some can trigger "covert" saccades while the head still moves; others only initiate saccades afterwards. Due to their shorter latency, it has been hypothesized that covert saccades are particularly beneficial to improve dynamic visual acuity, reducing oscillopsia. Here, we investigate the combined effect of covert saccades and the VOR on clear vision, using the Head Impulse Testing Device-Functional Test (HITD-FT), which quantifies reading ability during passive high-acceleration head movements. To reversibly decrease VOR function, fourteen healthy men (median age 26 years, range 21-31) were continuously administrated the opioid remifentanil intravenously (0.15 µg/kg/min). VOR gain was assessed with the video head-impulse test, functional performance (i.e. reading) with the HITD-FT. Before opioid application, VOR and dynamic reading were intact (head-impulse gain: 0.87±0.08, mean±SD; HITD-FT rate of correct answers: 90±9%). Remifentanil induced impairment in dynamic reading (HITD-FT 26±15%) in 12/14 subjects, with transient bilateral vestibular dysfunction (head-impulse gain 0.63±0.19). HITD-FT score correlated with head-impulse gain (R = 0.63, p = 0.03) and with gain difference (before/with remifentanil, R = -0.64, p = 0.02). One subject had a non-pathological head-impulse gain (0.82±0.03) and a high HITD-FT score (92%). One subject triggered covert saccades in 60% of the head movements and could read during passive head movements (HITD-FT 93%) despite a pathological head-impulse gain (0.59±0.03) whereas none of the 12 subjects without covert saccades reached such high performance. In summary, early catch-up saccades may improve dynamic visual function. HITD-FT is an appropriate method

  16. The effect of vestibulo-ocular reflex deficits and covert saccades on dynamic vision in opioid-induced vestibular dysfunction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Ramaioli

    Full Text Available Patients with bilateral vestibular dysfunction cannot fully compensate passive head rotations with eye movements, and experience disturbing oscillopsia. To compensate for the deficient vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR, they have to rely on re-fixation saccades. Some can trigger "covert" saccades while the head still moves; others only initiate saccades afterwards. Due to their shorter latency, it has been hypothesized that covert saccades are particularly beneficial to improve dynamic visual acuity, reducing oscillopsia. Here, we investigate the combined effect of covert saccades and the VOR on clear vision, using the Head Impulse Testing Device-Functional Test (HITD-FT, which quantifies reading ability during passive high-acceleration head movements. To reversibly decrease VOR function, fourteen healthy men (median age 26 years, range 21-31 were continuously administrated the opioid remifentanil intravenously (0.15 µg/kg/min. VOR gain was assessed with the video head-impulse test, functional performance (i.e. reading with the HITD-FT. Before opioid application, VOR and dynamic reading were intact (head-impulse gain: 0.87±0.08, mean±SD; HITD-FT rate of correct answers: 90±9%. Remifentanil induced impairment in dynamic reading (HITD-FT 26±15% in 12/14 subjects, with transient bilateral vestibular dysfunction (head-impulse gain 0.63±0.19. HITD-FT score correlated with head-impulse gain (R = 0.63, p = 0.03 and with gain difference (before/with remifentanil, R = -0.64, p = 0.02. One subject had a non-pathological head-impulse gain (0.82±0.03 and a high HITD-FT score (92%. One subject triggered covert saccades in 60% of the head movements and could read during passive head movements (HITD-FT 93% despite a pathological head-impulse gain (0.59±0.03 whereas none of the 12 subjects without covert saccades reached such high performance. In summary, early catch-up saccades may improve dynamic visual function. HITD-FT is an appropriate

  17. The Müller-Lyer illusion: investigation of a center of gravity effect on the amplitudes of saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilster, R; Kuhtz-Buschbeck, J P

    2010-01-21

    Previous research has compared the effects of visual illusions on perception with their effects on action to investigate if the action system and the perceptual system use different or common codes. Appropriate conclusions based on this comparison rely on effects that reflect the internal parameter estimates of the action and of the perceptual system. We investigated an additional factor that can possibly change the amplitudes of saccades along the Müller-Lyer illusion, the center of gravity effect. It refers to the finding that the endpoints of saccades can be diverted from the target point in the direction of the center of gravity of a stimulus configuration. We measured the perceptual (adjustment method) and the action effects (amplitudes of saccades) of the illusion. In addition, we let subjects carry out saccades along Müller-Lyer figures and a neutral figure that appeared to have the same size (but differed in actual sizes). The amplitudes of saccades differed for these figures. This was interpreted as evidence for a center of gravity effect. Its quantification allowed a correction of the action effect, which was then remarkably similar to the perceptual effect. Our results are in agreement with the notion of a common internal representation for perception and action.

  18. An analysis of the dependence of saccadic latency on target position and target characteristics in human subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosenberg Jay R

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Predictions from conduction velocity data for primate retinal ganglion cell axons indicate that the conduction time to the lateral geniculate nucleus for stimulation of peripheral retina should be no longer than for stimulation of central retina. On this basis, the latency of saccadic eye movements should not increase for more peripherally located targets. However, previous studies have reported relatively very large increases, which has the implication of a very considerable increase in central processing time for the saccade-generating system. Results In order to resolve this paradox, we have undertaken an extended series of experiments in which saccadic eye movements were recorded by electro-oculography in response to targets presented in the horizontal meridian in normal young subjects. For stationary or moving targets of either normal beam intensity or reduced red intensity, with the direction of gaze either straight ahead with respect to the head or directed eccentrically, the saccadic latency was shown to remain invariant with respect to a wide range of target angular displacements. Conclusions These results indicate that, irrespective of the angular displacement of the target, the direction of gaze or the target intensity, the saccade-generating system operates with a constant generation time.

  19. Estimations of expectedness and potential surprise in possibility theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prade, Henri; Yager, Ronald R.

    1992-01-01

    This note investigates how various ideas of 'expectedness' can be captured in the framework of possibility theory. Particularly, we are interested in trying to introduce estimates of the kind of lack of surprise expressed by people when saying 'I would not be surprised that...' before an event takes place, or by saying 'I knew it' after its realization. In possibility theory, a possibility distribution is supposed to model the relative levels of mutually exclusive alternatives in a set, or equivalently, the alternatives are assumed to be rank-ordered according to their level of possibility to take place. Four basic set-functions associated with a possibility distribution, including standard possibility and necessity measures, are discussed from the point of view of what they estimate when applied to potential events. Extensions of these estimates based on the notions of Q-projection or OWA operators are proposed when only significant parts of the possibility distribution are retained in the evaluation. The case of partially-known possibility distributions is also considered. Some potential applications are outlined.

  20. 10 years of surprises at Saturn: CAPS and INMS highlights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, A. J.; Waite, J. H.

    2014-04-01

    The Cassini mission at Saturn has provided many surprises on Saturn's rapidly rotating magnetosphere and its interaction with the diverse moons, as well as its interaction with the solar wind. One of the early discoveries was the water-rich composition of the magnetosphere. Its structure and dynamics indicate remarkable injections, periodicities and interchange events. Enceladus, orbiting at 4 RS, was found to have plumes of water vapour and ice which are the dominant source for the inner magnetosphere. Charged water clusters, charged dust and photoelectrons provide key populations in the 'dusty plasma' seen here, as well as chemical complexity in the plume material. Direct pickup is seen near Enceladus and field aligned currents create a spot in Saturn's aurora. At Titan, orbiting at 20 RS, heavy negative and positive ions are seen in the ionosphere, as well as neutrals, all of which have surprising chemical complexity. These provide the source for Titan's haze. Ionospheric plasma is seen in Titan's tail, enabling ion escape to be estimated at 7 tonnes per day. Saturn's ring ionosphere was seen early in the mission, which was oxygen rich and produced photoelectrons; a return will be made in 2017. At Rhea, pickup positive and negative ions indicated weak atmospheres sustained by energetic particle impact, seen in the neutrals also. A weak atmosphere was also seen at Dione. The exosphere production process operates at Jupiter's moons also. Here we review some of the key new results, and discuss the implications for other solar system contexts.

  1. Post-saccadic oscillations in eye movement data recorded with pupil-based eye trackers reflect motion of the pupil inside the iris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, Marcus; Hooge, Ignace; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    2013-11-01

    Current video eye trackers use information about the pupil center to estimate orientation and movement of the eye. While dual Purkinje eye trackers suffer from lens wobble and scleral search coils may be influenced by contact lens slippage directly after saccades, it is not known whether pupil-based eye trackers produces similar artifacts in the data. We recorded eye movements from participants making repetitive, horizontal saccades and compared the movement in the data with pupil- and iris movements extracted from the eye images. Results showed that post-saccadic instabilities clearly exist in data recorded with a pupil-based eye tracker. They also exhibit a high degree of reproducibility across saccades and within participants. While the recorded eye movement data correlated well with the movement of the pupil center, the iris center showed only little post-saccadic movement. This means that the pupil moves relative to the iris during post-saccadic eye movements, and that the eye movement data reflect pupil movement rather than eyeball rotation. Besides introducing inaccuracies and additional variability in the data, the pupil movement inside the eyeball influences the decision of when a saccade should end and the subsequent fixation should begin, and consequently higher order analyses based on fixations and saccades.

  2. The time-course of visual masking effects on saccadic responses indicates that masking interferes with reentrant processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crouzet, S.; Pin, Simon Hviid Del; Overgaard, Morten;

    2013-01-01

    with reentrant processing, then the first feedforward sweep should be left relatively intact. Using a standard OSM paradigm in combination with a saccadic choice task, giving access to an early phase of visual processing (the fastest saccades occurring only 100 ms after target onset), we compared the masking...... time-course of OSM, noise backward masking, as well as a simple target contrast decrease. Consistently with a reentrant account, a significantly stronger masking effect was observed for slow (larger than median RT; average median RT = 177 ms) relatively to fast saccades in the OSM condition......Object substitution masking (OSM) occurs when a briefly presented target in a search array is surrounded by small dots that remain visible after the target disappears. Here, we tested the widespread assumption that OSM selectively impairs reentrant processing. If OSM interferes selectively...

  3. Increased risk for age-related impairment in visual attention associated with mild traumatic brain injury: Evidence from saccadic response times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, David M.; Ettenhofer, Mark L.

    2017-01-01

    It was hypothesized that risk for age-related impairment in attention would be greater among those with remote history of mild TBI than individuals without history of head injury. Twenty-seven adults with remote history of mild TBI and a well-matched comparison group of 54 uninjured controls completed a computerized test of visual attention while saccadic and manual response times were recorded. Within the mild TBI group only, older age was associated with slower saccadic responses and poorer saccadic inhibition. Saccadic slowing was mitigated in situations where the timing and location of attention targets was fully predictable. Mild TBI was not associated with age-related increases in risk for neuropsychological impairment or neurobehavioral symptoms. These results provide preliminary evidence that risk for age-related impairment in visual attention may be higher among those with a history of mild TBI. Saccadic measures may provide enhanced sensitivity to this subtle form of cognitive impairment. PMID:28166259

  4. Integrated Bayesian models of learning and decision making for saccadic eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodersen, Kay H; Penny, Will D; Harrison, Lee M; Daunizeau, Jean; Ruff, Christian C; Duzel, Emrah; Friston, Karl J; Stephan, Klaas E

    2008-11-01

    The neurophysiology of eye movements has been studied extensively, and several computational models have been proposed for decision-making processes that underlie the generation of eye movements towards a visual stimulus in a situation of uncertainty. One class of models, known as linear rise-to-threshold models, provides an economical, yet broadly applicable, explanation for the observed variability in the latency between the onset of a peripheral visual target and the saccade towards it. So far, however, these models do not account for the dynamics of learning across a sequence of stimuli, and they do not apply to situations in which subjects are exposed to events with conditional probabilities. In this methodological paper, we extend the class of linear rise-to-threshold models to address these limitations. Specifically, we reformulate previous models in terms of a generative, hierarchical model, by combining two separate sub-models that account for the interplay between learning of target locations across trials and the decision-making process within trials. We derive a maximum-likelihood scheme for parameter estimation as well as model comparison on the basis of log likelihood ratios. The utility of the integrated model is demonstrated by applying it to empirical saccade data acquired from three healthy subjects. Model comparison is used (i) to show that eye movements do not only reflect marginal but also conditional probabilities of target locations, and (ii) to reveal subject-specific learning profiles over trials. These individual learning profiles are sufficiently distinct that test samples can be successfully mapped onto the correct subject by a naïve Bayes classifier. Altogether, our approach extends the class of linear rise-to-threshold models of saccadic decision making, overcomes some of their previous limitations, and enables statistical inference both about learning of target locations across trials and the decision-making process within trials.

  5. A functional and structural investigation of the human fronto-basal volitional saccade network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiaan F W Neggers

    Full Text Available Almost all cortical areas are connected to the subcortical basal ganglia (BG through parallel recurrent inhibitory and excitatory loops, exerting volitional control over automatic behavior. As this model is largely based on non-human primate research, we used high resolution functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI to investigate the functional and structural organization of the human (prefrontal cortico-basal network controlling eye movements. Participants performed saccades in darkness, pro- and antisaccades and observed stimuli during fixation. We observed several bilateral functional subdivisions along the precentral sulcus around the human frontal eye fields (FEF: a medial and lateral zone activating for saccades in darkness, a more fronto-medial zone preferentially active for ipsilateral antisaccades, and a large anterior strip along the precentral sulcus activating for visual stimulus presentation during fixation. The supplementary eye fields (SEF were identified along the medial wall containing all aforementioned functions. In the striatum, the BG area receiving almost all cortical input, all saccade related activation was observed in the putamen, previously considered a skeletomotor striatal subdivision. Activation elicited by the cue instructing pro or antisaccade trials was clearest in the medial FEF and right putamen. DTI fiber tracking revealed that the subdivisions of the human FEF complex are mainly connected to the putamen, in agreement with the fMRI findings. The present findings demonstrate that the human FEF has functional subdivisions somewhat comparable to non-human primates. However, the connections to and activation in the human striatum preferentially involve the putamen, not the caudate nucleus as is reported for monkeys. This could imply that fronto-striatal projections for the oculomotor system are fundamentally different between humans and monkeys. Alternatively, there could be a bias in published reports of

  6. A computational vector-map model of neonate saccades: modulating the externality effect through refraction periods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Peter A; Fiacconi, Chris M; Gibson, Laura C

    2010-11-23

    The present study develops an explicit and predictive computational model of neonate saccades based on the interaction of several simple mechanisms, including the tendency to fixate towards areas of high contrast, and the decay and recovery of a world-centered contrast representation simulating a low-level inhibition of return mechanism. Emergent properties similar to early visual behaviors develop, including the externality effect (or tendency to focus on external then internal features). The age-associated progression of this effect is modulated by the decay period of the model's contrast representation, where the high-level behavior of either scanning broadly or locally is modulated by a single decay parameter.

  7. OCT corneal topography within ¼ diopter in the presence of saccadic eye movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayegh, Samir I.

    2013-03-01

    Refractive surgeons and cataract surgeons need accurate measurements of corneal curvature/power. Increased expectations of patients, the increasing number of patients having undergone prior surgeries and patients with corneal pathologies dictate the need for reliable curvature measurements to enhance the predictability and the quality of surgical outcomes. Eye movements can negatively influence these measurements. We present a model of eye movements based on peak saccade velocities and formulate criteria for obtaining OCT topography within ¼ of a diopter. Using these criteria we illustrate how next generation MHz systems will allow full corneal OCT topography in both healthy and pathological corneas

  8. Numerical simulation of nonlinear feedback model of saccade generation circuit implemented in the LabView graphical programming language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, M E; Gnadt, J W

    1999-03-01

    The object-oriented graphical programming language LabView was used to implement the numerical solution to a computational model of saccade generation in primates. The computational model simulates the activity and connectivity of anatomical strictures known to be involved in saccadic eye movements. The LabView program provides a graphical user interface to the model that makes it easy to observe and modify the behavior of each element of the model. Essential elements of the source code of the LabView program are presented and explained. A copy of the model is available for download from the internet.

  9. A new familial disease of saccadic oscillations and limb tremor provides clues to mechanisms of common tremor disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaikh, Aasef G; Miura, Kenichiro; Optican, Lance M; Ramat, Stefano; Leigh, R John; Zee, David S

    2007-11-01

    Tremor disorders pose fundamental questions about disease mechanisms, and challenges to successful neurotherapeutics: What causes motor circuits to oscillate in disorders in which the central nervous system otherwise seems normal? How does inheritance 'determine' the clinical phenotype in familial tremor disorders? Here, we address these questions. Analogies between the neural circuits controlling rapid eye movements (saccades) and those controlling limb movements allow us to translate the interpretations from the saccadic systems to the limb movement system. Moreover, the relatively well understood neurophysiology of the ocular motor system offers a unique opportunity to test specific hypotheses about normal and abnormal motor control of both eye and limb movements. We describe a new familial disorder--'micro-saccadic oscillations and limb tremor (microSOLT)'--in a mother and daughter who had tiny saccadic oscillations of the eyes and tremor of the hands. This unique oscillatory movement disorder resembles other common tremor disorders (such as essential tremor) that occur in patients who have an otherwise normally functioning central nervous system. We hypothesize that microSOLT is caused by an inherited abnormality that results in abnormal membrane properties causing reduced external inhibition in the premotor neurons that generate the high-frequency discharge (burst) for saccades and for ballistic limb movements. To test this hypothesis, we recorded hand tremor and eye movements in two patients with microSOLT and particularly during natural circumstances when inhibition of the premotor saccadic burst neurons is removed (e.g. eye closure). We then simulated a conductance-based model for the premotor commands which included excitatory and reciprocally inhibitory burst neurons. The structure of this physiologically realistic model was based upon known cell types and anatomical connections in the brainstem (for saccades) and the thalamus (for limb movements). The

  10. Measured Zero Net Energy Performance: Results, Lessons, and Surprises

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Carrie; LaRue, Anna; Pigman, Margaret; Roberts, Jon; Kaneda, David; Connelly, Dylan; Elliott, John; Pless, Shanti; Pande, Abhijeet; Dean, Edward; Anbarlilar, Can

    2016-08-26

    As more and more zero net energy (ZNE) buildings are built and monitored, we can learn from both careful case studies of individual projects as well as a broader perspective of trends over time. In a forum sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), eight expert speakers discussed: results and lessons from monitoring occupied ZNE buildings; best practices for setting performance targets and getting actionable performance information, and; things that have surprised them about monitored ZNE buildings. This paper distills the content of the forum by laying out the most common hurdles that are encountered in setting up monitoring projects, frequent performance issues that the monitoring uncovers, and lessons learned that can be applied to future projects.

  11. Surprising hair analysis results following acute carbofuran intoxication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulaurent, S; Gaulier, J M; Zouaoui, K; Moesch, C; François, B; Lachâtre, G

    2011-10-10

    We present two non fatal cases of intoxication with carbofuran (CBF) documented by hair analysis. Carbofuran and 3-hydroxycarbofuran (OHCBF, its main metabolite) hair concentrations were determined using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method. The obtained results were surprising if we consider several hair analyses previously published and based on a theory of the presence of xenobiotic in the only segment that comprised its intake. Among the two intoxication cases, we noticed the presence of CBF and OHCBF in hair segments corresponding to 45 days before, and more than 100 days after, the day of intoxication. Additionally, repeated hair samplings and subsequent analysis revealed a decrease of the carbofuran's concentration during the hair life.

  12. Physics Nobel prize 2004: Surprising theory wins physics Nobel

    CERN Multimedia

    2004-01-01

    From left to right: David Politzer, David Gross and Frank Wilczek. For their understanding of counter-intuitive aspects of the strong force, which governs quarks inside protons and neutrons, on 5 October three American physicists were awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics. David J. Gross (Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara), H. David Politzer (California Institute of Technology), and Frank Wilczek (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) made a key theoretical discovery with a surprising result: the closer quarks are together, the weaker the force - opposite to what is seen with electromagnetism and gravity. Rather, the strong force is analogous to a rubber band stretching, where the force increases as the quarks get farther apart. These physicists discovered this property of quarks, known as asymptotic freedom, in 1976. It later became a key part of the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and the Standard Model, the current best theory to describe the interac...

  13. Probability and Surprisal in Auditory Comprehension of Morphologically Complex Words

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balling, Laura Winther; Baayen, R. Harald

    2012-01-01

    Two auditory lexical decision experiments document for morphologically complex words two points at which the probability of a target word given the evidence shifts dramatically. The first point is reached when morphologically unrelated competitors are no longer compatible with the evidence....... Adapting terminology from Marslen-Wilson (1984), we refer to this as the word’s initial uniqueness point (UP1). The second point is the complex uniqueness point (CUP) introduced by Balling and Baayen (2008), at which morphologically related competitors become incompatible with the input. Later initial...... in the course of the word co-determines response latencies. The presence of effects of surprisal, both at the initial uniqueness point of complex words, and cumulatively throughout the word, challenges the Shortlist B model of Norris and McQueen (2008), and suggests that a Bayesian approach to auditory...

  14. Exploring the concept of climate surprises. A review of the literature on the concept of surprise and how it is related to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glantz, M.H.; Moore, C.M. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Streets, D.G.; Bhatti, N.; Rosa, C.H. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States). Decision and Information Sciences Div.; Stewart, T.R. [State Univ. of New York, Albany, NY (United States)

    1998-01-01

    This report examines the concept of climate surprise and its implications for environmental policymaking. Although most integrated assessment models of climate change deal with average values of change, it is usually the extreme events or surprises that cause the most damage to human health and property. Current models do not help the policymaker decide how to deal with climate surprises. This report examines the literature of surprise in many aspects of human society: psychology, military, health care, humor, agriculture, etc. It draws together various ways to consider the concept of surprise and examines different taxonomies of surprise that have been proposed. In many ways, surprise is revealed to be a subjective concept, triggered by such factors as prior experience, belief system, and level of education. How policymakers have reacted to specific instances of climate change or climate surprise in the past is considered, particularly with regard to the choices they made between proactive and reactive measures. Finally, the report discusses techniques used in the current generation of assessment models and makes suggestions as to how climate surprises might be included in future models. The report concludes that some kinds of surprises are simply unpredictable, but there are several types that could in some way be anticipated and assessed, and their negative effects forestalled.

  15. Infant eye and head movements toward the side opposite the cue in the anti-saccade paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukigara Masune

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The anti-saccade task, when people must respond in the direction opposite to a visual stimulus, has been used as a marker of operation of the frontal cortical oculomotor area. However, early development of oculomotor control has been little studied with the infant anti-saccade paradigm, and a few studies did not recognize anti-saccades in infants in light of the results of adult anti-saccade. Since the characteristics of infant eye movements are little known, applying the criteria used in adult study is by no means the best way to study infant anti-saccade. As it is indicated that coordinated eye and head movements often enable infants to control the direction of their gaze, head movements should be examined as an infant orienting response. The aim of this study was to address how infants used eye and head movements during the anti-saccade paradigm. To distinguish infants' responses, we also investigated eye and head movements during a task for an inhibition of return. Inhibition of return, in which delayed responses occur in the direction to which attention had previously been oriented, has been thought to mark activity of the superior colliculus. Since the superior colliculus is thought to develop much earlier in life than the frontal lobes, we thought it useful to compare these task performances during infancy. Methods Infants were divided into three groups according to age. Anti-saccade and inhibition-of-return tasks were given. Their eye and head movements during tasks were independently recorded by the corneal reflection method in the head-free condition. Results Younger infants tended to initiate eye movement less than older ones in both tasks. In the anti-saccade task, responses opposite to the cue tended to show longer latency than responses to the cue. Infants made faster responses toward the side opposite the cue when it was to the right than when it was left of fixation. Regarding the comparison of responses

  16. Saccadic gain adaptation is predicted by the statistics of natural fluctuations in oculomotor function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark V Albert

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to multiple factors such as fatigue, muscle strengthening, and neural plasticity, the responsiveness of the motor apparatus to neural commands changes over time. To enable precise movements the nervous system must adapt to compensate for these changes. Recent models of motor adaptation derive from assumptions about the way the motor apparatus changes. Characterizing these changes is difficult because motor adaptation happens at the same time, masking most of the effects of ongoing changes. Here, we analyze eye movements of monkeys with lesions to the posterior cerebellar vermis that impair adaptation. Their fluctuations better reveal the underlying changes of the motor system over time. When these measured, unadapted changes are used to derive optimal motor adaptation rules the prediction precision significantly improves. Among three models that similarly fit single-day adaptation results, the model that also matches the temporal correlations of the nonadapting saccades most accurately predicts multiple day adaptation. Saccadic gain adaptation is well matched to the natural statistics of fluctuations of the oculomotor plant.

  17. Attentional Capture and Inhibition of Saccades after Irrelevant and Relevant Cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heinz-Werner Priess

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Attentional capture is usually stronger for task-relevant than irrelevant stimuli, whereas irrelevant stimuli can trigger equal or even stronger amounts of inhibition than relevant stimuli. Capture and inhibition, however, are typically assessed in separate trials, leaving it open whether or not inhibition of irrelevant stimuli is a consequence of preceding attentional capture by the same stimuli or whether inhibition is the only response to these stimuli. Here, we tested the relationship between capture and inhibition in a setup allowing for estimates of the capture and inhibition based on the very same trials. We recorded saccadic inhibition after relevant and irrelevant stimuli. At the same time, we recorded the N2pc, an event-related potential, reflecting initial capture of attention. We found attentional capture not only for, relevant but importantly also for irrelevant stimuli, although the N2pc was stronger for relevant than irrelevant stimuli. In addition, inhibition of saccades was the same for relevant and irrelevant stimuli. We conclude with a discussion of the mechanisms that are responsible for these effects.

  18. Probing the attentional control theory in social anxiety: an emotional saccade task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieser, Matthias J; Pauli, Paul; Mühlberger, Andreas

    2009-09-01

    Volitional attentional control has been found to rely on prefrontal neuronal circuits. According to the attentional control theory of anxiety, impairment in the volitional control of attention is a prominent feature in anxiety disorders. The present study investigated this assumption in socially anxious individuals using an emotional saccade task with facial expressions (happy, angry, fearful, sad, neutral). The gaze behavior of participants was recorded during the emotional saccade task, in which participants performed either pro- or antisaccades in response to peripherally presented facial expressions. The results show that socially anxious persons have difficulties in inhibiting themselves to reflexively attend to facial expressions: They made more erratic prosaccades to all facial expressions when an antisaccade was required. Thus, these findings indicate impaired attentional control in social anxiety. Overall, the present study shows a deficit of socially anxious individuals in attentional control-for example, in inhibiting the reflexive orienting to neutral as well as to emotional facial expressions. This result may be due to a dysfunction in the prefrontal areas being involved in attentional control.

  19. Changes in absolute theta power in bipolar patients during a saccadic attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Consuelo; Diniz, Claudia; Di Girogio, Luiza; Bittencourt, Juliana; Gongora, Mariana; Ken Tanaka, Guaraci; Teixeira, Silmar; Basile, Luis F; Novis, Fernanda; Angélica Silveira, Luciana; da Silva, Rafael de Assis; Cagy, Mauricio; Cheniaux, Elie; Ribeiro, Pedro; Velasques, Bruna

    2015-08-30

    The present study analyzed absolute theta power (ATP) in brain areas involved with attention in the three phase of BD while the patients performing a saccadic attention task. We hypothesized that patients in depression and mania states show a higher ATP compared to euthymic patients, since a higher ATP is indicative of attention deficit. We analyzed the frontal (F7, F3, Fz, F4 and F8) and central (C3, Cz and C4) areas. Thirty bipolar patients were enrolled in this study. The subjects performed a saccadic attention task while their brain activity pattern was recorded using quantitative electroencephalography (20 channels). Our results showed a main effect for group over C3, C4, Cz, F7, F4, F8 electrodes, and a main effect for moment over Cz, F7, F8 electrodes. These results indicate that both task and groups produce changes in theta activity in distinct cortical areas that participate in the organization of attention. Our results therefore demonstrate that, although it is well established in the literature that theta has a relevant role in the attention process, it is necessary to deepen the investigations to better understand the specifics of theta during visual processing tasks that have a demand for attention.

  20. Decoding of intended saccade direction in an oculomotor brain-computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Nan; Brincat, Scott L.; Salazar-Gómez, Andrés F.; Panko, Mikhail; Guenther, Frank H.; Miller, Earl K.

    2017-08-01

    Objective. To date, invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) research has largely focused on replacing lost limb functions using signals from the hand/arm areas of motor cortex. However, the oculomotor system may be better suited to BCI applications involving rapid serial selection from spatial targets, such as choosing from a set of possible words displayed on a computer screen in an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) application. Here we aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of a BCI utilizing the oculomotor system. Approach. We developed a chronic intracortical BCI in monkeys to decode intended saccadic eye movement direction using activity from multiple frontal cortical areas. Main results. Intended saccade direction could be decoded in real time with high accuracy, particularly at contralateral locations. Accurate decoding was evident even at the beginning of the BCI session; no extensive BCI experience was necessary. High-frequency (80-500 Hz) local field potential magnitude provided the best performance, even over spiking activity, thus simplifying future BCI applications. Most of the information came from the frontal and supplementary eye fields, with relatively little contribution from dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Significance. Our results support the feasibility of high-accuracy intracortical oculomotor BCIs that require little or no practice to operate and may be ideally suited for ‘point and click’ computer operation as used in most current AAC systems.

  1. The effect of spatial-temporal audiovisual disparities on saccades in a complex scene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Wanrooij, Marc M; Bell, Andrew H; Munoz, Douglas P; Van Opstal, A John

    2009-09-01

    In a previous study we quantified the effect of multisensory integration on the latency and accuracy of saccadic eye movements toward spatially aligned audiovisual (AV) stimuli within a rich AV-background (Corneil et al. in J Neurophysiol 88:438-454, 2002). In those experiments both stimulus modalities belonged to the same object, and subjects were instructed to foveate that source, irrespective of modality. Under natural conditions, however, subjects have no prior knowledge as to whether visual and auditory events originated from the same, or from different objects in space and time. In the present experiments we included these possibilities by introducing various spatial and temporal disparities between the visual and auditory events within the AV-background. Subjects had to orient fast and accurately to the visual target, thereby ignoring the auditory distractor. We show that this task belies a dichotomy, as it was quite difficult to produce fast responses (al. in J Neurophysiol 88:438-454, 2002). In contrast, with increasing spatial disparity, integration gradually broke down, as the subjects' responses became bistable: saccades were directed either to the auditory (fast responses), or to the visual stimulus (late responses). Interestingly, also in this case responses were faster and more accurate than to the respective unisensory stimuli.

  2. Explicit and implicit emotional processing in peripheral vision: A saccadic choice paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Hondt, Fabien; Szaffarczyk, Sébastien; Sequeira, Henrique; Boucart, Muriel

    2016-09-01

    We investigated explicit and implicit emotional processing in peripheral vision using saccadic choice tasks. Emotional-neutral pairs of scenes were presented peripherally either at 10, 30 or 60° away from fixation. The participants had to make a saccadic eye movement to the target scene: emotional vs neutral in the explicit task, and oval vs rectangular in the implicit task. In the explicit task, pleasant scenes were reliably categorized as emotional up to 60° while performance for unpleasant scenes decreased between 10° and 30° and did not differ from chance at 60°. Categorization of neutral scenes did not differ from chance. Performance in the implicit task was significantly better for emotional targets than for neutral targets at 10° and this beneficial effect of emotion persisted only for pleasant scenes at 30°. Thus, these findings show that explicit and implicit emotional processing in peripheral vision depends on eccentricity and valence of stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The surprising diversity of clostridial hydrogenases: a comparative genomic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calusinska, Magdalena; Happe, Thomas; Joris, Bernard; Wilmotte, Annick

    2010-06-01

    Among the large variety of micro-organisms capable of fermentative hydrogen production, strict anaerobes such as members of the genus Clostridium are the most widely studied. They can produce hydrogen by a reversible reduction of protons accumulated during fermentation to dihydrogen, a reaction which is catalysed by hydrogenases. Sequenced genomes provide completely new insights into the diversity of clostridial hydrogenases. Building on previous reports, we found that [FeFe] hydrogenases are not a homogeneous group of enzymes, but exist in multiple forms with different modular structures and are especially abundant in members of the genus Clostridium. This unusual diversity seems to support the central role of hydrogenases in cell metabolism. In particular, the presence of multiple putative operons encoding multisubunit [FeFe] hydrogenases highlights the fact that hydrogen metabolism is very complex in this genus. In contrast with [FeFe] hydrogenases, their [NiFe] hydrogenase counterparts, widely represented in other bacteria and archaea, are found in only a few clostridial species. Surprisingly, a heteromultimeric Ech hydrogenase, known to be an energy-converting [NiFe] hydrogenase and previously described only in methanogenic archaea and some sulfur-reducing bacteria, was found to be encoded by the genomes of four cellulolytic strains: Clostridum cellulolyticum, Clostridum papyrosolvens, Clostridum thermocellum and Clostridum phytofermentans.

  4. Atom Surprise: Using Theatre in Primary Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peleg, Ran; Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet

    2011-10-01

    Early exposure to science may have a lifelong effect on children's attitudes towards science and their motivation to learn science in later life. Out-of-class environments can play a significant role in creating favourable attitudes, while contributing to conceptual learning. Educational science theatre is one form of an out-of-class environment, which has received little research attention. This study aims to describe affective and cognitive learning outcomes of watching such a play and to point to connections between theatrical elements and specific outcomes. "Atom Surprise" is a play portraying several concepts on the topic of matter. A mixed methods approach was adopted to investigate the knowledge and attitudes of children (grades 1-6) from two different school settings who watched the play. Data were gathered using questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Analysis suggested that in both schools children's knowledge on the topic of matter increased after the play with younger children gaining more conceptual knowledge than their older peers. In the public school girls showed greater gains in conceptual knowledge than boys. No significant changes in students' general attitudes towards science were found, however, students demonstrated positive changes towards science learning. Theatrical elements that seemed to be important in children's recollection of the play were the narrative, props and stage effects, and characters. In the children's memory, science was intertwined with the theatrical elements. Nonetheless, children could distinguish well between scientific facts and the fictive narrative.

  5. Novelty biases attention and gaze in a surprise trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horstmann, Gernot; Herwig, Arvid

    2016-01-01

    While the classical distinction between task-driven and stimulus-driven biasing of attention appears to be a dichotomy at first sight, there seems to be a third category that depends on the contrast or discrepancy between active representations and the upcoming stimulus, and may be termed novelty, surprise, or prediction failure. For previous demonstrations of the discrepancy-attention link, stimulus-driven components (saliency) may have played a decisive role. The present study was conducted to evaluate the discrepancy-attention link in a display where novel and familiar stimuli are equated for saliency. Eye tracking was used to determine fixations on novel and familiar stimuli as a proxy for attention. Results show a prioritization of attention by the novel color, and a de-prioritization of the familiar color, which is clearly present at the second fixation, and spans over the next couple of fixations. Saliency, on the other hand, did not prioritize items in the display. The results thus reinforce the notion that novelty captures and binds attention.

  6. A Well-Known But Still Surprising Generator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haugland, Ole Anton

    2014-12-01

    The bicycle generator is often mentioned as an example of a method to produce electric energy. It is cheap and easily accessible, so it is a natural example to use in teaching. There are different types, but I prefer the old side-wall dynamo. The most common explanation of its working principle seems to be something like the illustration in Fig. 1. The illustration is taken from a popular textbook in the Norwegian junior high school.1 Typically it is explained as a system of a moving magnet or coils that directly results in a varying magnetic field through the coils. According to Faraday's law a voltage is induced in the coils. Simple and easy! A few times I have had a chance to glimpse into a bicycle generator, and I was somewhat surprised to sense that the magnet rotated parallel to the turns of the coil. How could the flux through the coil change and induce a voltage when the magnet rotated parallel to the turns of the coil? When teaching electromagnetic induction I have showed the students a dismantled generator and asked them how this could work. They naturally found that this was more difficult to understand than the principle illustrated in Fig. 1. Other authors in this journal have discussed even more challenging questions concerning electric generators.2,3

  7. Trial-type probability and task-switching effects on behavioral response characteristics in a mixed saccade task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Jordan E; McCardel, J Brett; McDowell, Jennifer E

    2015-03-01

    Eye movement circuitry involved in saccade production offers a model for studying cognitive control: visually guided prosaccades are stimulus-directed responses, while goal-driven antisaccades rely upon more complex control processes to inhibit the prepotent tendency to look toward a cue, transform its spatial location, and generate a volitional saccade in the opposite direction. By manipulating the relative probability of these saccade types, we measured participants' behavioral responses to different levels of implicit trial-type probability and task-switching demands in conditions with relatively long inter-trial fixation and trial-type cue lengths. Results indicated that when prosaccades were less probable in a run, more prosaccade errors were generated; however, for antisaccades, trial-type probability had no effect on the percent of correct responses. For reaction times, specifically in runs with a larger probability of antisaccade trials, latencies increased for both anti- and pro-saccades. Furthermore, task switching resulted in a lower percentage of correct responses on switched trials, but a prior antisaccade trial led to slower reaction times for both trial types (i.e., a task switch cost for prosaccades and switch benefit for antisaccades). These findings indicate that cognitive control demands and residual inhibition from antisaccades alter performance relative to trial-type probability and task switching within a run, with the prosaccade task showing greater susceptibility to the influence of a large probability of cognitively complex antisaccades.

  8. Saccades during visual exploration align hippocampal 3-8 Hz rhythms in human and non-human primates

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    Kari L Hoffman

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Visual exploration in primates depends on saccadic eye movements that cause alternations of neural suppression and enhancement. This modulation extends beyond retinotopic areas, and is thought to facilitate perception; yet saccades may also influence brain regions critical for forming memories of these exploratory episodes. The hippocampus, for example, shows oscillatory activity that is generally associated with encoding of information. Whether or how hippocampal oscillations are influenced by eye movements is unknown. We recorded the neural activity in the human and macaque hippocampus during visual scene search. Across species, saccadic eye movements were associated with a time-limited alignment of a low-frequency (3-8 Hz rhythm. The phase alignment depended on the task and not only on eye movements per se, and the frequency band was not a direct consequence of saccade rate. Hippocampal theta-frequency oscillations are produced by other mammals during repetitive exploratory behaviors, including whisking, sniffing, echolocation and locomotion. The present results may reflect a similar yet distinct primate homologue supporting active perception during exploration.

  9. Electrical Microstimulation of the Pulvinar Biases Saccade Choices and Reaction Times in a Time-Dependent Manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The pulvinar complex is interconnected extensively with brain regions involved in spatial processing and eye movement control. Recent inactivation studies have shown that the dorsal pulvinar (dPul) plays a role in saccade target selection; however, it remains unknown whether it exerts effects on visual processing or at planning/execution stages. We used electrical microstimulation of the dPul while monkeys performed saccade tasks toward instructed and freely chosen targets. Timing of stimulation was varied, starting before, at, or after onset of target(s). Stimulation affected saccade properties and target selection in a time-dependent manner. Stimulation starting before but overlapping with target onset shortened saccadic reaction times (RTs) for ipsiversive (to the stimulation site) target locations, whereas stimulation starting at and after target onset caused systematic delays for both ipsiversive and contraversive locations. Similarly, stimulation starting before the onset of bilateral targets increased ipsiversive target choices, whereas stimulation after target onset increased contraversive choices. Properties of dPul neurons and stimulation effects were consistent with an overall contraversive drive, with varying outcomes contingent upon behavioral demands. RT and choice effects were largely congruent in the visually-guided task, but stimulation during memory-guided saccades, while influencing RTs and errors, did not affect choice behavior. Together, these results show that the dPul plays a primary role in action planning as opposed to visual processing, that it exerts its strongest influence on spatial choices when decision and action are temporally close, and that this choice effect can be dissociated from motor effects on saccade initiation and execution. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Despite a recent surge of interest, the core function of the pulvinar, the largest thalamic complex in primates, remains elusive. This understanding is crucial given the central

  10. Surprise disrupts cognition via a fronto-basal ganglia suppressive mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessel, Jan R; Jenkinson, Ned; Brittain, John-Stuart; Voets, Sarah H E M; Aziz, Tipu Z; Aron, Adam R

    2016-04-18

    Surprising events markedly affect behaviour and cognition, yet the underlying mechanism is unclear. Surprise recruits a brain mechanism that globally suppresses motor activity, ostensibly via the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of the basal ganglia. Here, we tested whether this suppressive mechanism extends beyond skeletomotor suppression and also affects cognition (here, verbal working memory, WM). We recorded scalp-EEG (electrophysiology) in healthy participants and STN local field potentials in Parkinson's patients during a task in which surprise disrupted WM. For scalp-EEG, surprising events engage the same independent neural signal component that indexes action stopping in a stop-signal task. Importantly, the degree of this recruitment mediates surprise-related WM decrements. Intracranially, STN activity is also increased post surprise, especially when WM is interrupted. These results suggest that surprise interrupts cognition via the same fronto-basal ganglia mechanism that interrupts action. This motivates a new neural theory of how cognition is interrupted, and how distraction arises after surprising events.

  11. Hic-Et-Nunc (Here-and-Now Encoding of a Moving Target for its Saccadic Foveation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Goffart

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The neural representation of a moving target undergoes a spatiotemporal “diffusion” while the associated retinal activity propagates toward the motor centers and recruits the appropriate muscles for its interception in the external world. Indeed, the divergent projections within the visual system and the transmissions of signals through multiple relays, with diverse conduction velocities and integration times, lead to activities that are spatially and temporally distributed across several brain regions. In spite of this neural “blurring”, accurate saccadic eye movements can be made to bring the image of a moving target onto the fovea. Such a performance indicates that the brain is able to rapidly estimate the current spatiotemporal coordinates of the target, at least at the time of saccade landing. We tested in the monkey the robustness of this estimate when a change in eye position and a delay are experimentally added before the animal launches a saccade toward a moving target and in the absence of visual feedback. These spatiotemporal perturbations were induced by a brief microstimulation in the deep superior colliculus. The results show that the interceptive saccades can remain accurate and relatively independent of the time taken to react and to foveate the target. We propose that the brain builds an estimate of the expected and current spatiotemporal (hic-et-nunc coordinates of the target and that this signal feeds the same local feedback loop as the mechanism proposed for guiding saccades toward a stationary target (Fleuriet and Goffart, 2012 Journal of Neuroscience 32 452–461.

  12. Distinct control of initiation and metrics of memory-guided saccades and vergence by the FEF: a TMS study.

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    Qing Yang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The initiation of memory guided saccades is known to be controlled by the frontal eye field (FEF. Recent physiological studies showed the existence of an area close to FEF that controls also vergence initiation and execution. This study is to explore the effect of transcranial magnetic simulation (TMS over FEF on the control of memory-guided saccade-vergence eye movements. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Subjects had to make an eye movement in dark towards a target flashed 1 sec earlier (memory delay; the location of the target relative to fixation point was such as to require either a vergence along the median plane, or a saccade, or a saccade with vergence; trials were interleaved. Single pulse TMS was applied on the left or right FEF; it was delivered at 100 ms after the end of memory delay, i.e. extinction of fixation LED that was the "go" signal. Twelve healthy subjects participated in the study. TMS of left or right FEF prolonged the latency of all types of eye movements; the increase varied from 21 to 56 ms and was particularly strong for the divergence movements. This indicates that FEF is involved in the initiation of all types of memory guided movement in the 3D space. TMS of the FEF also altered the accuracy but only for leftward saccades combined with either convergence or divergence; intrasaccadic vergence also increased after TMS of the FEF. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest anisotropy in the quality of space memory and are discussed in the context of other known perceptual motor anisotropies.

  13. SacLab: A toolbox for saccade analysis to increase usability of eye tracking systems in clinical ophthalmology practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cercenelli, Laura; Tiberi, Guido; Corazza, Ivan; Giannaccare, Giuseppe; Fresina, Michela; Marcelli, Emanuela

    2017-01-01

    Many open source software packages have been recently developed to expand the usability of eye tracking systems to study oculomotor behavior, but none of these is specifically designed to encompass all the main functions required for creating eye tracking tests and for providing the automatic analysis of saccadic eye movements. The aim of this study is to introduce SacLab, an intuitive, freely-available MATLAB toolbox based on Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) that we have developed to increase the usability of the ViewPoint EyeTracker (Arrington Research, Scottsdale, AZ, USA) in clinical ophthalmology practice. SacLab consists of four processing modules that enable the user to easily create visual stimuli tests (Test Designer), record saccadic eye movements (Data Recorder), analyze the recorded data to automatically extract saccadic parameters of clinical interest (Data Analyzer) and provide an aggregate analysis from multiple eye movements recordings (Saccade Analyzer), without requiring any programming effort by the user. A demo application of SacLab to carry out eye tracking tests for the analysis of horizontal saccades was reported. We tested the usability of SacLab toolbox with three ophthalmologists who had no programming experience; the ophthalmologists were briefly trained in the use of SacLab GUIs and were asked to perform the demo application. The toolbox gained an enthusiastic feedback from all the clinicians in terms of intuitiveness, ease of use and flexibility. Test creation and data processing were accomplished in 52±21s and 46±19s, respectively, using the SacLab GUIs. SacLab may represent a useful tool to ease the application of the ViewPoint EyeTracker system in clinical routine in ophthalmology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Properties and Surprises of Solar Activity XXIII Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishkov, V. N.

    2010-12-01

    The main properties of the 23rd cycle match almost completely those of average-magnitude solar cycles, and some of the features of the cycle may indicate a change in the generation mode of magnetic fields in the solar convection zone. If this is the case, the Sun enters a period of intermediate and weak cycles of solar activity (SA) in terms of the Wolf number, which may last for 3 to 6 solar cycles. The main development stages of solar cycle 23 are the following: minimum of solar cycle 22: April 1996 (W* = 8.0); maximum of the smoothed relative sunspot number: April 2000; global polarity reversal of the general solar magnetic field: July to December 2000; secondary maximum of the relative sunspot number: November 2001; maximum of the 10.7-cm radio flux: February 2002; phase of the cycle maximum: October 1999 to June 2002; beginning of the decrease phase: July 2002; the point of minimum of the current SA cycle: December 2008. Solar cycle 23 has presented two powerful flare-active sunspot groups, in September 2005 and December 2006 (+5.5 and +6.6 years from the maximum) which by flare potential occupy 4th and 20th place among the most flare-active regions for the last four solar cycles. The unprecedented duration of the relative sunspot numbers fall that has led to already record duration of the last solar cycle among authentic cycles (since 1849) became the next surprise of development of solar activity during the last cycle. The phase of the minimum began in May 2005 and lasted for 4.5 years. Thus, the new solar cycle 24 has begun in January 2009.

  15. Dracunculiasis eradication - Finishing the job before surprises arise

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Benjamin Jelle Visser

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Dracunculiasis(Guinea worm disease) is a preventable waterborne parasitic disease that affects the poorest people living in remote rural areas in sub-SaharanAfrican countries, who do not have access to safe drinking water.The Guinea Worm Eradication Program, a25-year old campaign to rid the world ofGuineaWorm disease has now reached its final stage accelerating to zero cases in all endemic countries.During the19th and20th centuries, dracunculiasis was common in much ofSouthernAsia and theAfrican continent.The overall number of cases has been reduced tremendously by≥99%, from the3.32 million cases estimated to have occurred in1986 inAfrica to only1797 cases reported in2010 reported in only five countries(Sudan,Mali,Ethiopia,Chad andGhana) andAsia free of the disease.This achievement is unique in its kind - the only previously eradicated disease is smallpox, a viral infection for which vaccination was possible - and it has been achieved through primary community-based prevention and health education programs.Most efforts need to be taken in two countries,SouthSudan(comprising94% or1698 out of1797 of the cases reported world-wide in2010) andMali because of frequent movements of nomads in a vast area inside and outsideMali’s borders.All factors favourable to dracunculiasis eradication are available including adequate financial resources, community and political support and high levels of advocacy.Thus there is no reason that this disabling parasitic disease cannot be eradicated soon before surprises arise such as new civil conflicts in currently endemic countries.

  16. Reading strategies in mild to moderate strabismic amblyopia: an eye movement investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanonidou, Evgenia; Proudlock, Frank A; Gottlob, Irene

    2010-07-01

    PURPOSE. To investigate oculomotor strategies in strabismic amblyopia and evaluate abnormalities during monocular and binocular reading. METHODS. Eye movements were recorded with a head-mounted infrared video eye-tracker (250 Hz, <0.01 degrees resolution) in 20 strabismic amblyopes (mean age, 44.9 +/- 10.7 years) and 20 normal control subjects (mean age, 42.8 +/- 10.9 years) while they silently read paragraphs of text. Monocular reading comparisons were made between the amblyopic eye and the nondominant eye of control subjects and the nonamblyopic eye and the dominant eye of the control subjects. Binocular reading between the amblyopic and control subjects was also compared. RESULTS. Mean reading speed, number of progressive and regressive saccades per line, saccadic amplitude (of progressive saccades), and fixation duration were estimated. Inter- and intrasubject statistical comparisons were made. Reading speed was significantly slower in amblyopes than in control subjects during monocular reading with amblyopic (13.094 characters/s vs. 22.188 characters/s; P < 0.0001) and nonamblyopic eyes (16.241 characters/s vs. 22.349 characters/s, P < 0.0001), and binocularly (15.698 characters/s vs. 23.425 characters/s, P < 0.0001). In amblyopes, reading was significantly slower with the amblyopic eye than with the nonamblyopic eye in binocular viewing (P < 0.05). These differences were associated with significantly more regressive saccades and longer fixation durations, but not with changes in saccadic amplitudes. CONCLUSIONS. In strabismic amblyopia, reading is impaired, not only during monocular viewing with the amblyopic eye, but also with the nonamblyopic eye and binocularly, even though normal visual acuity pertains to the latter two conditions. The impaired reading performance is associated with differences in both the saccadic and fixational patterns, most likely as adaptation strategies to abnormal sensory experiences such as crowding and suppression.

  17. Surprising Sensitivities in Simulations of Radiative Convective Equilibrium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drotos, Gabor; Becker, Tobias; Mauritsen, Thorsten; Stevens, Bjorn

    2017-04-01

    The climate and climate-sensitivity of a global model run in radiative equilibrium is explored. Results from simulations with ECHAM6.3 coupled to a slab ocean and run in a wide range of configurations are presented. Simulations both with and without a parameterised representation of deep convection are conducted for CO2 concentrations ranging from one eighth of present day values to thirty-two times the present day, and for variations in the solar constant of more than a factor of two. Very long simulations, in some case more than a thousand years, are performed to adequately sample the attractor of the different climate states of the model, and provide robust estimates of the system's climate sensitivity parameter. For the standard configuration of the model the climate sensitivity progressively decreases from very large values (6-7K) for the coldest climates to well below 1 K for the warmest climates. For very high CO2 levels (16 and 32 times the present value) fluctuations of globally averaged temperature as large as 10 K arise on decadal time-scales. These fluctuations manifest as quasi-period coolings, driven by large and persistent global scale decks of stratiform low clouds, so that for a period of several years global temperatures drop to levels below the lowest temperatures of the climate with present day values of CO2. The same configuration of the model has more modest sensitivities when the insolation is reduced, but runaway warming results for small (10%) increases. Simulations without parameterised convection have colder (by roughly 10K) climates and smaller (1K) sensitivities, allowing a stable climate with earth-like temperatures even for insolation much (50%) larger than the present day. Such values of insolation are possible because over a large range of the insolation the climate sensitivity parameter is very near zero. The surprising sensitivities of the system, and the limit-cycle like behaviour of the very CO2 rich climates, can be traced to

  18. Correcting LCD luminance non-uniformity for threshold Saccadic Vector Optokinetic Perimetry (SVOP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perperidis, Antonios; Murray, Ian; Brash, Harry; McTrusty, Alice; Cameron, Lorraine; Fleck, Brian; Minns, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The accurate assessment of visual field function can provide valuable information on a range of visual disorders. Saccadic Vector Optokinetic Perimetry (SVOP) is a novel instrument for measuring supra-threshold visual fields in young children who are otherwise unable to perform Automated Static Perimetry (ASP). However, limitations in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology restrict the ability of SVOP to determine threshold values at various points in the visual field, often required in detailed perimetry examinations. This paper introduces a purpose-specific LCD luminance non-uniformity compensation approach to address this limitation. Thorough quantitative evaluation identifies the effectiveness of the proposed approach in (i) compensating for luminance non-uniformities across an LCD, and (ii) enabling SVOP to perform accurate and precise threshold visual field tests. The findings demonstrate that SVOP provides a promising alternative to the current threshold ASP standard (Humphrey Field Analyser).

  19. Threat but not arousal narrows attention: Evidence from pupil dilation and saccade control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henk eVan Steenbergen

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available It has been shown that negative affect causes attentional narrowing. According to Easterbrook’s (1959 influential hypothesis this effect is driven by the withdrawal motivation inherent to negative emotions and might be related to increases in arousal. We investigated whether valence-unspecific increases in physiological arousal, as measured by pupil dilation, could account for attentional narrowing effects in a cognitive control task. Following the presentation of a negative, positive, or neutral picture, participants performed a saccade task with a prosaccade versus an antisaccade instruction. The reaction time difference between pro- and antisaccades was used to index attentional selectivity, and while pupil diameter was used as an index of physiological arousal. Pupil dilation was observed for both negative and positive pictures, which indicates increased physiological arousal. However, increased attentional selectivity was only observed following negative pictures. Our data show that motivational intensity effects on attentional narrowing can occur independently of physiological arousal effects.

  20. Comparison of saccadic reaction time between normal and glaucoma using an eye movement perimeter

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    Deepmala Mazumdar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To compare the saccadic reaction time (SRT in both the central and peripheral visual field in normal and glaucomatous eyes using eye movement perimetery (EMP. Materials and Methods: Fifty-four normal and 25 glaucoma subjects underwent EMP and visual field testing on the Humphrey Field Analyser (HFA 24-2 program. The EMP is based on infrared tracking of the corneal reflex. Fifty-four test locations corresponding to the locations on the 24-2 HFA program were tested. SRTs at different eccentricities and for different severities of glaucoma were compared between normal and glaucoma subjects. Results: Mean SRT was calculated for both normal and glaucoma subjects. Mann-Whitney U test showed statistically significant (P < 0.001 differences in SRT′s between normal and glaucoma subjects in all zones. Conclusion: SRT was prolonged in eyes with glaucoma across different eccentricities.

  1. Saccadic reaction times to audiovisual stimuli show effects of oscillatory phase reset.

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    Adele Diederich

    Full Text Available Initiating an eye movement towards a suddenly appearing visual target is faster when an accessory auditory stimulus occurs in close spatiotemporal vicinity. Such facilitation of saccadic reaction time (SRT is well-documented, but the exact neural mechanisms underlying the crossmodal effect remain to be elucidated. From EEG/MEG studies it has been hypothesized that coupled oscillatory activity in primary sensory cortices regulates multisensory processing. Specifically, it is assumed that the phase of an ongoing neural oscillation is shifted due to the occurrence of a sensory stimulus so that, across trials, phase values become highly consistent (phase reset. If one can identify the phase an oscillation is reset to, it is possible to predict when temporal windows of high and low excitability will occur. However, in behavioral experiments the pre-stimulus phase will be different on successive repetitions of the experimental trial, and average performance over many trials will show no signs of the modulation. Here we circumvent this problem by repeatedly presenting an auditory accessory stimulus followed by a visual target stimulus with a temporal delay varied in steps of 2 ms. Performing a discrete time series analysis on SRT as a function of the delay, we provide statistical evidence for the existence of distinct peak spectral components in the power spectrum. These frequencies, although varying across participants, fall within the beta and gamma range (20 to 40 Hz of neural oscillatory activity observed in neurophysiological studies of multisensory integration. Some evidence for high-theta/alpha activity was found as well. Our results are consistent with the phase reset hypothesis and demonstrate that it is amenable to testing by purely psychophysical methods. Thus, any theory of multisensory processes that connects specific brain states with patterns of saccadic responses should be able to account for traces of oscillatory activity in observable

  2. Stars Form Surprisingly Close to Milky Way's Black Hole

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-10-01

    The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way has surprisingly helped spawn a new generation of stars, according to observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This novel mode of star formation may solve several mysteries about the supermassive black holes that reside at the centers of nearly all galaxies. "Massive black holes are usually known for violence and destruction," said Sergei Nayakshin of the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, and coauthor of a paper on this research in an upcoming issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "So it's remarkable that this black hole helped create new stars, not just destroy them." Black holes have earned their fearsome reputation because any material -- including stars -- that falls within the so-called event horizon is never seen again. However, these new results indicate that the immense disks of gas known to orbit many black holes at a "safe" distance from the event horizon can help nurture the formation of new stars. Animation of Stars Forming Around Black Hole Animation of Stars Forming Around Black Hole This conclusion came from new clues that could only be revealed in X-rays. Until the latest Chandra results, astronomers have disagreed about the origin of a mysterious group of massive stars discovered by infrared astronomers to be orbiting less than a light year from the Milky Way's central black hole, a.k.a. Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*. At such close distances to Sgr A*, the standard model for star formation predicts that gas clouds from which stars form should have been ripped apart by tidal forces from the black hole. Two models to explain this puzzle have been proposed. In the disk model, the gravity of a dense disk of gas around Sgr A* offsets the tidal forces and allows stars to form; in the migration model, the stars formed in a star cluster far away from the black hole and migrated in to form the ring of massive stars. The migration scenario predicts about a

  3. Model simulation studies to clarify the effect on saccadic eye movements of initial condition velocities set by the Vestibular Ocular Reflex (VOR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, M. H.; Winters, J. M.; Stark, L.

    1981-01-01

    Voluntary active head rotations produced vestibulo-ocular reflex eye movements (VOR) with the subject viewing a fixation target. When this target jumped, the size of the refixation saccades were a function of the ongoing initial velocity of the eye. Saccades made against the VOR were larger in magnitude. Simulation of a reciprocally innervated model eye movement provided results comparable to the experimental data. Most of the experimental effect appeared to be due to linear summation for saccades of 5 and 10 degree magnitude. For small saccades of 2.5 degrees, peripheral nonlinear interaction of state variables in the neuromuscular plant also played a role as proven by comparable behavior in the simulated model with known controller signals.

  4. Inter-Trial Correlations in Predictive-Saccade Endpoints: Fractal Scaling Reflects Differential Control along Task-Relevant and Orthogonal Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federighi, Pamela; Wong, Aaron L.; Shelhamer, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Saccades exhibit variation in performance from one trial to the next, even when paced at a constant rate by targets at two fixed locations. We previously showed that amplitude fluctuations in consecutive predictive saccades have fractal structure: the spectrum of the sequence of consecutive amplitudes has a power-law (f −α) form, indicative of inter-trial correlations that reflect the storage of prior performance information to guide the planning of subsequent movements. More gradual decay of these inter-trial correlations coincides with a larger magnitude of spectral slope α, and indicates stronger information storage over longer times. We have previously demonstrated that larger decay exponents (α) are associated with faster adaptation in a saccadic double-step task. Here, we extend this line of investigation to predictive saccade endpoints (i.e., movement errors). Subjects made predictive, paced saccades between two fixed targets along a horizontal or vertical axis. Endpoint fluctuations both along (on-axis) and orthogonal to (off-axis) the direction of target motion were examined for correlations and fractal structure. Endpoints in the direction of target motion had little or no correlation or power-law scaling, suggesting that successive movements were uncorrelated (white noise). In the orthogonal direction, however, the sequence of endpoints did exhibit inter-trial correlations and scaling. In contrast, in our previous work the scaling of saccade amplitudes is strong along the target direction. This may reflect the fact that while saccade amplitudes are neurally programmed, endpoints are not directly controlled but instead serve as a source of error feedback. Hence, the lack of correlations in on-axis endpoint errors suggests that maximum information has been extracted from previous movement errors to plan subsequent movement amplitudes. In contrast, correlations in the off-axis component indicate that useful information still remains in this error

  5. Carbon Dioxide: Surprising Effects on Decision Making and Neurocognitive Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, John T.

    2013-01-01

    The occupants of modern submarines and the International Space Station (ISS) have much in common as far as their air quality is concerned. Air is polluted by materials offgassing, use of utility compounds, leaks of systems chemicals, and anthropogenic sources. The primary anthropogenic compound of concern to submariners and astronauts has been carbon dioxide (CO2). NASA and the US Navy rely on the National Research Council Committee on Toxicology (NRC-COT) to help formulate exposure levels to CO2 that are thought to be safe for exposures of 3-6 months. NASA calls its limits Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations (SMACs). Years of experience aboard the ISS and a recent publication on deficits in decision making in ground-based subjects exposed briefly to 0.25% CO2 suggest that exposure levels that have been presumed acceptable to preserve health and performance need to be reevaluated. The current CO2 exposure limits for 3-6 months set by NASA and the UK Navy are 0.7%, and the limit for US submariners is 0.5%, although the NRC-COT recommended a 90-day level of 0.8% as safe a few years ago. NASA has set a 1000-day SMAC at 0.5% for exploration-class missions. Anecdotal experience with ISS operations approaching the current 180-day SMAC of 0.7% suggest that this limit is too high. Temporarily, NASA has limited exposures to 0.5% until further peer-reviewed data become available. In the meantime, a study published last year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (Satish U, et al. 2012) demonstrated that complexdecision- making performance is somewhat affected at 0.1% CO2 and becomes "dysfunctional" for at least half of the 9 indices of performance at concentrations approaching 0.25% CO2. The investigators used the Strategic Management Simulation (SMS) method of testing for decisionmaking ability, and the results were so surprising to the investigators that they declared that their findings need to be independently confirmed. NASA has responded to the

  6. Are seismic hazard assessment errors and earthquake surprises unavoidable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kossobokov, Vladimir

    2013-04-01

    Why earthquake occurrences bring us so many surprises? The answer seems evident if we review the relationships that are commonly used to assess seismic hazard. The time-span of physically reliable Seismic History is yet a small portion of a rupture recurrence cycle at an earthquake-prone site, which makes premature any kind of reliable probabilistic statements about narrowly localized seismic hazard. Moreover, seismic evidences accumulated to-date demonstrate clearly that most of the empirical relations commonly accepted in the early history of instrumental seismology can be proved erroneous when testing statistical significance is applied. Seismic events, including mega-earthquakes, cluster displaying behaviors that are far from independent or periodic. Their distribution in space is possibly fractal, definitely, far from uniform even in a single segment of a fault zone. Such a situation contradicts generally accepted assumptions used for analytically tractable or computer simulations and complicates design of reliable methodologies for realistic earthquake hazard assessment, as well as search and definition of precursory behaviors to be used for forecast/prediction purposes. As a result, the conclusions drawn from such simulations and analyses can MISLEAD TO SCIENTIFICALLY GROUNDLESS APPLICATION, which is unwise and extremely dangerous in assessing expected societal risks and losses. For example, a systematic comparison of the GSHAP peak ground acceleration estimates with those related to actual strong earthquakes, unfortunately, discloses gross inadequacy of this "probabilistic" product, which appears UNACCEPTABLE FOR ANY KIND OF RESPONSIBLE SEISMIC RISK EVALUATION AND KNOWLEDGEABLE DISASTER PREVENTION. The self-evident shortcomings and failures of GSHAP appeals to all earthquake scientists and engineers for an urgent revision of the global seismic hazard maps from the first principles including background methodologies involved, such that there becomes: (a) a

  7. The Surprising Role of Amyloid Fibrils in HIV Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Laura M; Shorter, James

    2012-01-01

    Despite its discovery over 30 years ago, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues to threaten public health worldwide. Semen is the principal vehicle for the transmission of this retrovirus and several endogenous peptides in semen, including fragments of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP248-286 and PAP85-120) and semenogelins (SEM1 and SEM2), assemble into amyloid fibrils that promote HIV infection. For example, PAP248-286 fibrils, termed SEVI (Semen derived Enhancer of Viral Infection), potentiate HIV infection by up to 105-fold. Fibrils enhance infectivity by facilitating virion attachment and fusion to target cells, whereas soluble peptides have no effect. Importantly, the stimulatory effect is greatest at low viral titers, which mimics mucosal transmission of HIV, where relatively few virions traverse the mucosal barrier. Devising a method to rapidly reverse fibril formation (rather than simply inhibit it) would provide an innovative and urgently needed preventative strategy for reducing HIV infection via the sexual route. Targeting a host-encoded protein conformer represents a departure from traditional microbicidal approaches that target the viral machinery, and could synergize with direct antiviral approaches. Here, we review the identification of these amyloidogenic peptides, their mechanism of action, and various strategies for inhibiting their HIV-enhancing effects.

  8. Supermagnetic Neutron Star Surprises Scientists, Forces Revision of Theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-08-01

    magnetars because their magnetic fields are 100-1,000 times stronger than those of typical pulsars. It is the decay of those incredibly strong fields that powers their strange X-ray emission. "The magnetic field from a magnetar would make an aircraft carrier spin around and point north quicker than a compass needle moves on Earth," said David Helfand, of Columbia University. A magnetar's field is 1,000 trillion times stronger than Earth's, Helfand pointed out. The new object -- named XTE J1810-197 -- was first discovered by NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer when it emitted a strong burst of X-rays in 2003. While the X-rays were fading in 2004, Jules Halpern of Columbia University and collaborators identified the magnetar as a radio-wave emitter using the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico. Any radio emission is highly unusual for a magnetar. Because magnetars had not been seen to regularly emit radio waves, the scientists presumed that the radio emission was caused by a cloud of particles thrown off the neutron star at the time of its X-ray outburst, an idea they soon would realize was wrong. With knowledge that the magnetar emitted some form of radio waves, Camilo and his colleagues observed it with the Parkes radio telescope in Australia in March and immediately detected astonishingly strong radio pulsations every 5.5 seconds, corresponding to the previously-determined rotation rate of the neutron star. As they continued to observe XTE J1810-197, the scientists got more surprises. Whereas most pulsars become weaker at higher radio frequencies, XTE J1810-197 does not, remaining a strong emitter at frequencies up to 140 GHz, the highest frequency ever detected from a radio pulsar. In addition, unlike normal pulsars, the object's radio emission fluctuates in strength from day to day, and the shape of the pulsations changes as well. These variations likely indicate that the magnetic fields around the pulsar are changing

  9. Chandra Finds Surprising Black Hole Activity In Galaxy Cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-09-01

    Scientists at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, have uncovered six times the expected number of active, supermassive black holes in a single viewing of a cluster of galaxies, a finding that has profound implications for theories as to how old galaxies fuel the growth of their central black holes. The finding suggests that voracious, central black holes might be as common in old, red galaxies as they are in younger, blue galaxies, a surprise to many astronomers. The team made this discovery with NASA'S Chandra X-ray Observatory. They also used Carnegie's 6.5-meter Walter Baade Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile for follow-up optical observations. "This changes our view of galaxy clusters as the retirement homes for old and quiet black holes," said Dr. Paul Martini, lead author on a paper describing the results that appears in the September 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. "The question now is, how do these black holes produce bright X-ray sources, similar to what we see from much younger galaxies?" Typical of the black hole phenomenon, the cores of these active galaxies are luminous in X-ray radiation. Yet, they are obscured, and thus essentially undetectable in the radio, infrared and optical wavebands. "X rays can penetrate obscuring gas and dust as easily as they penetrate the soft tissue of the human body to look for broken bones," said co-author Dr. Dan Kelson. "So, with Chandra, we can peer through the dust and we have found that even ancient galaxies with 10-billion-year-old stars can have central black holes still actively pulling in copious amounts of interstellar gas. This activity has simply been hidden from us all this time. This means these galaxies aren't over the hill after all and our theories need to be revised." Scientists say that supermassive black holes -- having the mass of millions to billions of suns squeezed into a region about the size of our Solar System -- are the engines in the cores of

  10. The time-course of visual masking effects on saccadic responses indicates that masking interferes with reentrant processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crouzet, S.; Pin, Simon Hviid Del; Overgaard, Morten

    2013-01-01

    Object substitution masking (OSM) occurs when a briefly presented target in a search array is surrounded by small dots that remain visible after the target disappears. Here, we tested the widespread assumption that OSM selectively impairs reentrant processing. If OSM interferes selectively...... with reentrant processing, then the first feedforward sweep should be left relatively intact. Using a standard OSM paradigm in combination with a saccadic choice task, giving access to an early phase of visual processing (the fastest saccades occurring only 100 ms after target onset), we compared the masking....... Interestingly, the same result was observed using backward masking. In a follow-up experiment, where we assessed observer’s visual awareness using single-trial visibility ratings, we demonstrated that these ultra-fast responses were actually linked to subsequent reported visibility. Taken together...

  11. Trait Anxiety Is Associated with Negative Interpretations When Resolving Valence Ambiguity of Surprised Faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Gewnhi; Vasey, Michael W; Kim, Grace; Hu, Dixie D; Thayer, Julian F

    2016-01-01

    The current research examines whether trait anxiety is associated with negative interpretation bias when resolving valence ambiguity of surprised faces. To further isolate the neuro-cognitive mechanism, we presented angry, happy, and surprised faces at broad spatial frequency (BSF), high spatial frequency (HSF), and low spatial frequency (LSF) and asked participants to determine the valence of each face. High trait anxiety was associated with more negative interpretations of BSF (i.e., intact) surprised faces. However, the modulation of trait anxiety on the negative interpretation of surprised faces disappeared at HSF and LSF. The current study provides evidence that trait anxiety modulates negative interpretations of BSF surprised faces. However, the negative interpretation of LSF surprised faces appears to be a robust default response that occurs regardless of individual differences in trait anxiety.

  12. Trait anxiety is associated with negative interpretations when resolving valence ambiguity of surprised faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gewnhi Park

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The current research examines whether trait anxiety is associated with negative interpretation bias when resolving valence ambiguity of surprised faces. To further isolate the neuro-cognitive mechanism, we presented angry, happy, and surprised faces at broad, high, and low spatial frequency and asked participants to determine the valence of each face. High trait anxiety was associated with more negative interpretations of broad spatial frequency (i.e., intact surprised faces. However, the modulation of trait anxiety on the negative interpretation of surprised faces disappeared at high and low spatial frequencies. The current study provides evidence that trait anxiety modulates negative interpretations of broad spatial frequency surprised faces. However, the negative interpretation of low spatial frequency surprised faces appears to be a robust default response that occurs regardless of individual differences in trait anxiety.

  13. Effects of Surprisal and Locality on Danish Sentence Processing: An Eye-Tracking Investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balling, Laura Winther; Kizach, Johannes

    2017-03-22

    An eye-tracking experiment in Danish investigates two dominant accounts of sentence processing: locality-based theories that predict a processing advantage for sentences where the distance between the major syntactic heads is minimized, and the surprisal theory which predicts that processing time increases with big changes in the relative entropy of possible parses, sometimes leading to anti-locality effects. We consider both lexicalised surprisal, expressed in conditional trigram probabilities, and syntactic surprisal expressed in the manipulation of the expectedness of the second NP in Danish constructions with two postverbal NP-objects. An eye-tracking experiment showed a clear advantage for local syntactic relations, with only a marginal effect of lexicalised surprisal and no effect of syntactic surprisal. We conclude that surprisal has a relatively marginal effect, which may be clearest for verbs in verb-final languages, while locality is a robust predictor of sentence processing.

  14. Saccades and vergence performance in a population of children with vertigo and clinically assessed abnormal vergence capabilities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Pia Bucci

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Early studies reported some abnormalities in saccade and vergence eye movements in children with vertigo and vergence deficiencies. The purpose of this study was to further examine saccade and vergence performance in a population of 44 children (mean age: 12.3±1.6 years with vertigo symptoms and with different levels of vergence abnormalities, as assessed by static orthoptic examination (near point of convergence, prism bar and cover-uncover test. METHODS: Three groups were identified on the basis of the orthoptic tests: group 1 (n = 13 with vergence spasms and mildly perturbed orthoptic scores, group 2 (n = 14 with moderately perturbed orthoptic scores, and group 3 (n = 17 with severely perturbed orthoptic scores. Data were compared to those recorded from 28 healthy children of similar ages. Latency, accuracy and peak velocity of saccades and vergence movements were measured in two different conditions: gap (fixation offset 200 ms prior to target onset and simultaneous paradigms. Binocular horizontal movements were recorded by a photoelectric device. RESULTS: Group 2 of children with vergence abnormalities showed significantly longer latency than normal children in several types of eye movements recorded. For all three groups of children with vergence abnormalities, the gain was poor, particularly for vergence movement. The peak velocity values did not differ between the different groups of children examined. INTERPRETATION: Eye movement measures together with static orthoptic evaluation allowed us to better identify children with vergence abnormalities based on their slow initiation of eye movements. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis of a central deficit in the programming and triggering of saccades and vergence in these children.

  15. Distractor Evoked Deviations of Saccade Trajectory Are Modulated by Fixation Activity in the Superior Colliculus: Computational and Behavioral Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Zhiguo Wang; Jan Theeuwes

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that saccades may deviate towards or away from task irrelevant visual distractors. This observation has been attributed to active suppression (inhibition) of the distractor location unfolding over time: early in time inhibition at the distractor location is incomplete causing deviation towards the distractor, while later in time when inhibition is complete the eyes deviate away from the distractor. In a recent computational study, Wang, Kruijne and Theeuwes propose...

  16. Trait Anxiety Is Associated with Negative Interpretations When Resolving Valence Ambiguity of Surprised Faces

    OpenAIRE

    Gewnhi Park; Vasey, Michael W.; Grace Kim; Dixie D Hu; Thayer, Julian F

    2016-01-01

    The current research examines whether trait anxiety is associated with negative interpretation bias when resolving valence ambiguity of surprised faces. To further isolate the neuro-cognitive mechanism, we presented angry, happy, and surprised faces at broad, high, and low spatial frequency and asked participants to determine the valence of each face. High trait anxiety was associated with more negative interpretations of broad spatial frequency (i.e., intact) surprised faces. However, the mo...

  17. Immaturity of the Oculomotor Saccade and Vergence Interaction in Dyslexic Children: Evidence from a Reading and Visual Search Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucci, Maria Pia; Nassibi, Naziha; Gerard, Christophe-Loic; Bui-Quoc, Emmanuel; Seassau, Magali

    2012-01-01

    Studies comparing binocular eye movements during reading and visual search in dyslexic children are, at our knowledge, inexistent. In the present study we examined ocular motor characteristics in dyslexic children versus two groups of non dyslexic children with chronological/reading age-matched. Binocular eye movements were recorded by an infrared system (mobileEBT®, e(ye)BRAIN) in twelve dyslexic children (mean age 11 years old) and a group of chronological age-matched (N = 9) and reading age-matched (N = 10) non dyslexic children. Two visual tasks were used: text reading and visual search. Independently of the task, the ocular motor behavior in dyslexic children is similar to those reported in reading age-matched non dyslexic children: many and longer fixations as well as poor quality of binocular coordination during and after the saccades. In contrast, chronological age-matched non dyslexic children showed a small number of fixations and short duration of fixations in reading task with respect to visual search task; furthermore their saccades were well yoked in both tasks. The atypical eye movement's patterns observed in dyslexic children suggest a deficiency in the visual attentional processing as well as an immaturity of the ocular motor saccade and vergence systems interaction. PMID:22438934

  18. Decoupling eye and hand movement control: visual short-term memory influences reach planning more than saccade planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issen, Laurel A; Knill, David C

    2012-01-04

    When reaching for objects, humans make saccades to fixate the object at or near the time the hand begins to move. In order to address whether the CNS relies on a common representation of target positions to plan both saccades and hand movements, we quantified the contributions of visual short-term memory (VSTM) to hand and eye movements executed during the same coordinated actions. Subjects performed a sequential movement task in which they picked up one of two objects on the right side of a virtual display (the "weapon"), moved it to the left side of the display (to a "reloading station") and then moved it back to the right side to hit the other object (the target). On some trials, the target was perturbed by 1° of visual angle while subjects moved the weapon to the reloading station. Although subjects did not notice the change, the original position of the target, encoded in VSTM, influenced the motor plans for both the hand and the eye back to the target. Memory influenced motor plans for distant targets more than for near targets, indicating that sensorimotor planning is sensitive to the reliability of available information; however, memory had a larger influence on hand movements than on eye movements. This suggests that spatial planning for coordinated saccades and hand movements are dissociated at the level of processing at which online visual information is integrated with information in short-term memory.

  19. A Neural Mechanism for Surprise-related Interruptions of Visuospatial Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessel, Jan R

    2016-11-30

    Surprising perceptual events recruit a fronto-basal ganglia mechanism for inhibition, which suppresses motor activity following surprise. A recent study found that this inhibitory mechanism also disrupts the maintenance of verbal working memory (WM) after surprising tones. However, it is unclear whether this same mechanism also relates to surprise-related interruptions of non-verbal WM. We tested this hypothesis using a change-detection task, in which surprising tones impaired visuospatial WM. Participants also performed a stop-signal task (SST). We used independent component analysis and single-trial scalp-electroencephalogram to test whether the same inhibitory mechanism that reflects motor inhibition in the SST relates to surprise-related visuospatial WM decrements, as was the case for verbal WM. As expected, surprising tones elicited activity of the inhibitory mechanism, and this activity correlated strongly with the trial-by-trial level of surprise. However, unlike for verbal WM, the activity of this mechanism was unrelated to visuospatial WM accuracy. Instead, inhibition-independent activity that immediately succeeded the inhibitory mechanism was increased when visuospatial WM was disrupted. This shows that surprise-related interruptions of visuospatial WM are not effected by the same inhibitory mechanism that interrupts verbal WM, and instead provides evidence for a 2-stage model of distraction.

  20. Distinct functional properties of the vertical and horizontal saccadic network in Health and Parkinson's disease: An eye-tracking and fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos, J; Pereira, D; Almendra, L; Rebelo, D; Patrício, M; Castelhano, J; Cunha, G; Januário, C; Cunha, L; Freire, A; Castelo-Branco, M

    2016-10-01

    Saccadic behaviour ranges from reflexive (e.g., prosaccade) to goal oriented voluntary movements (e.g., antisaccade). Behavioural asymmetries between vertical and horizontal saccades have been described both in normal individuals (greater delay of vertical prosaccades) and in disease states such as Parkinson's disease (PD) (prosaccades are short and antisaccades are delayed, especially in the vertical plane, possibly due to a frontostriatal deficit). Importantly, the cortical mechanisms for the generation of vertical saccades are largely unknown, both in health and disease, when compared with their horizontal counterpart. Moreover, studies exploring saccadic neural correlates and putative compensatory mechanisms at a functional level in PD are scarce. We investigated horizontal and vertical prosaccades and antisaccades in an eye tracking paradigm in 19 PD patients off medication and 22 healthy controls, followed by a block-design functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study, consisting of two runs (prosaccade, antisaccade) of 6 blocks each (3 vertical, 3 horizontal). While saccade metrics were not significantly different between groups, PD showed left frontal underactivation during horizontal prosaccades and right parietal overactivation during horizontal and vertical prosaccades and horizontal antisaccades. Moreover, controls showed greater deactivation of the default-mode network (DMN) during antisaccades. Vertical prosaccades were associated with greater right frontal and cerebellar activity in controls, and cuneus hypoactivity in PD. Vertical antisaccades were associated with greater DMN deactivation in both groups and left frontal hypoactivity in PD. Putative functional compensatory changes in the right parietal cortex in PD patients may help to keep saccadic behaviour at the same level as the healthy controls. We provide first time evidence showing that functional cortical asymmetries between vertical and horizontal saccades occur distinctively in PD

  1. Surprisal-based comparison between a symbolic and a connectionist model of sentence processing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frank, S.L.; Taatgen, N.; van Rijn, H.

    2009-01-01

    The 'unlexicalized surprisal' of a word in sentence context is defined as the negative logarithm of the probability of the word's part-of-speech given the sequence of previous parts-of-speech of the sentence. Unlexicalized surprisal is known to correlate with word reading time. Here, it is shown

  2. The role of surprising events in a math game on proportional reasoning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, P.; Oostendorp, van H.; Vrugte, ter J.; Jong, de T.; Vandercruysse, S.; Elen, J.

    2015-01-01

    This study examines whether surprising events can be used to stimulate students’ playful learning in a GBL environment in the domain of proportional reasoning. The assumed effect of surprise is that unexpected events interrupt an expectation and therefore triggers the player to evaluate the new situ

  3. Distinct medial temporal networks encode surprise during motivation by reward versus punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murty, Vishnu P; LaBar, Kevin S; Adcock, R Alison

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive motivated behavior requires predictive internal representations of the environment, and surprising events are indications for encoding new representations of the environment. The medial temporal lobe memory system, including the hippocampus and surrounding cortex, encodes surprising events and is influenced by motivational state. Because behavior reflects the goals of an individual, we investigated whether motivational valence (i.e., pursuing rewards versus avoiding punishments) also impacts neural and mnemonic encoding of surprising events. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants encountered perceptually unexpected events either during the pursuit of rewards or avoidance of punishments. Despite similar levels of motivation across groups, reward and punishment facilitated the processing of surprising events in different medial temporal lobe regions. Whereas during reward motivation, perceptual surprises enhanced activation in the hippocampus, during punishment motivation surprises instead enhanced activation in parahippocampal cortex. Further, we found that reward motivation facilitated hippocampal coupling with ventromedial PFC, whereas punishment motivation facilitated parahippocampal cortical coupling with orbitofrontal cortex. Behaviorally, post-scan testing revealed that reward, but not punishment, motivation resulted in greater memory selectivity for surprising events encountered during goal pursuit. Together these findings demonstrate that neuromodulatory systems engaged by anticipation of reward and punishment target separate components of the medial temporal lobe, modulating medial temporal lobe sensitivity and connectivity. Thus, reward and punishment motivation yield distinct neural contexts for learning, with distinct consequences for how surprises are incorporated into predictive mnemonic models of the environment.

  4. Do horizontal saccadic eye movements increase interhemispheric coherence? Investigation of a hypothesized neural mechanism underlying EMDR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe eSamara

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Series of horizontal saccadic eye movements (EMs are known to improve episodic memory retrieval in healthy adults and to facilitate the processing of traumatic memories in eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR therapy. Several authors have proposed that EMs achieve these effects by increasing the functional connectivity of the two brain hemispheres, but direct evidence for this proposal is lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate whether memory enhancement following bilateral EMs is associated with increased interhemispheric coherence in the electroencephalogram (EEG. Fourteen healthy young adults were asked to freely recall lists of studied neutral and emotional words after a series of bilateral EMs and a control procedure. Baseline EEG activity was recorded before and after the EM and control procedures. Phase and amplitude coherence between bilaterally homologous brain areas were calculated for six frequency bands and electrode pairs across the entire scalp. Behavioral analyses showed that participants recalled more emotional (but not neutral words following the EM procedure than following the control procedure. However, the EEG analyses indicated no evidence that the EMs altered participants’ interhemispheric coherence or that improvements in recall were correlated with such changes in coherence. These findings cast doubt on the interhemispheric interaction hypothesis, and therefore may have important implications for future research on the neurobiological mechanism underlying EMDR.

  5. Brain Activations Related to Saccadic Response Conflict are not Sensitive to Time on Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldzik, Ewa; Domagalik, Aleksandra; Oginska, Halszka; Marek, Tadeusz; Fafrowicz, Magdalena

    2015-01-01

    Establishing a role of the dorsal medial frontal cortex in the performance monitoring and cognitive control has been a challenge to neuroscientists for the past decade. In light of recent findings, the conflict monitoring hypothesis has been elaborated to an action-outcome predictor theory. One of the findings that led to this re-evaluation was the fMRI study in which conflict-related brain activity was investigated in terms of the so-called time on task effect, i.e., a linear increase of the BOLD signal with longer response times. The aim of this study was to investigate brain regions involved in the processing of saccadic response conflict and to account for the time on task effect. A modified spatial cueing task was implemented in the event-related fMRI study with oculomotor responses. The results revealed several brain regions which show higher activity for incongruent trials in comparison to the congruent ones, including pre-supplementary motor area together with the frontal and parietal regions. Further analysis accounting for the effect of response time provided evidence that these brain activations were not sensitive to time on task but reflected purely the congruency effect.

  6. Brain activations related to saccadic response conflict are not sensitive to time on task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa eBeldzik

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Establishing a role of the dorsal medial frontal cortex in the performance monitoring and cognitive control has been a challenge to neuroscientists for the past decade. In light of recent findings, the conflict monitoring hypothesis has been elaborated to an action-outcome predictor theory. One of the findings that led to this re-evaluation was the fMRI study in which conflict-related brain activity was investigated in terms of the so-called time on task effect, i.e. a linear increase of the BOLD signal with longer response times. The aim of this study was to investigate brain regions involved in the processing of saccadic response conflict and to account for the time on task effect. A modified spatial cueing task was implemented in the event-related fMRI study with oculomotor responses. The results revealed several brain regions which show higher activity for incongruent trials in comparison to the congruent ones, including pre-supplementary motor area together with the frontal and parietal regions. Further analysis accounting for the effect of response time provided evidence that these brain activations were not sensitive to time on task but reflected purely the congruency effect.

  7. Effect of saccades in tongue electrotactile stimulation for vision substitution applications

    CERN Document Server

    Chekhchoukh, Abdessalem; Payan, Yohan; Glade, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The visual substitution paradigm aims to facilitate the life of blind people. Generally one uses electro-stimulating devices where electrodes are arranged into arrays to stimulate the skin or the tongue mucosa to send signals of visual type to the subjects. When an electro-stimulation signal is applied continuously (e.g. when static visual scenes are displayed for a long period of time), the receptors of the affected region can get saturated and the patient may lose the displayed information. We propose here some mechanisms that ameliorate the quality of perception of the electro-stimulation information. The electrical signal is encoded as 2D scenes projected onto the tongue via a Tongue Display Unit, i.e. an electro-tactile stimulator formed by a 12x12 matrix of electrodes. We propose to apply stochastic saccades on this signal. Our assumption is that this eye-inspired mechanism should make the visual substitution more efficient (by improving the perception) because of the reduction of the tactile receptors ...

  8. Cognitive mechanisms and motor control during a saccadic eye movement task: evidence from quantitative electroencephalography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Diniz

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The saccadic movement is an important behavioral measure used to investigate several cognitive processes, including attention and sensorimotor integration. The present study aimed at investigating changes in beta coherence over frontal, motor, occipital, and parietal cortices during the performance of two different conditions of a prosacadic paradigm. The conditions involved a different pattern of stimulus presentation: a fixed and random stimulus presentation. Twelve healthy volunteers (three male, mean age of 26.25 (SD=4.13 performed the task, while their brain activity pattern was recorded using quantitative electroencephalography. The results showed an interaction between factors condition and moment for the pair of electrode C3/C4. We observed a main effect for moment to CZ/C4, FZ/F3, and P3/PZ. We also found a main effect for condition to FZ/F4, P3/P4, and O1/O2. Our results demonstrated an important role of the inter-connection of the two hemispheres in visual search and movement preparation. The study demonstrates an automation of action and reduction of the focus of attention during the task. We also found that the inter-hemispheric beta coherence plays an important role in the differentiation of the two conditions, and that beta in the right frontal cortex is able to differentiate the conditions, demonstrating a greater involvement of procedural memory in fixed condition. Our results suggest a neuronal specialization in the execution of prosacadic paradigm involving motor task sequence.

  9. ERP indices of persisting and current inhibitory control: a study of saccadic task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, S C; Swainson, R; Jackson, G M

    2009-03-01

    Previous studies have found that inhibition of a biologically dominant prepotent response tendency is required during the execution of a less familiar, non-prepotent response. However, the lasting impact of this inhibition and the cognitive mechanisms to flexibly switch between prepotent and non-prepotent responses are poorly understood. We examined the neurophysiological (ERP) correlates of switching between prosaccade and antisaccade responses in 22 healthy volunteers. The behavioural data showed significant switch costs in terms of response latency for the prosaccade task only. These costs occurred exclusively in trials when preparation for the switch was limited to 300 ms, suggesting that inhibition of the prepotent prosaccade task either passively dissipated or was actively overcome during the longer 1000 ms preparation interval. In the neurophysiological data, a late frontal negativity (LFN) was visible during preparation for a switch to the prosaccade task that was absent when switching to the antisaccade task, which may reflect the overcoming of persisting inhibition. During task implementation both saccade types were associated with a late parietal positivity (LPP) for switch relative to repetition trials, possibly indicating attentional reorienting to the switched-to task, and visible only with short preparation intervals. When the prosaccade and antisaccade task were contrasted directly during task implementation, the antisaccade task exhibited increased stimulus-locked N2 and decreased P3 amplitudes indicative of active inhibition. The present findings indicate that neurophysiological markers of persisting and current inhibition can be revealed using a prosaccade/antisaccade-switching task.

  10. A Saccade Based Framework for Real-Time Motion Segmentation Using Event Based Vision Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Abhishek; Ghosh, Rohan; Principe, Jose C.; Thakor, Nitish V.; Kukreja, Sunil L.

    2017-01-01

    Motion segmentation is a critical pre-processing step for autonomous robotic systems to facilitate tracking of moving objects in cluttered environments. Event based sensors are low power analog devices that represent a scene by means of asynchronous information updates of only the dynamic details at high temporal resolution and, hence, require significantly less calculations. However, motion segmentation using spatiotemporal data is a challenging task due to data asynchrony. Prior approaches for object tracking using neuromorphic sensors perform well while the sensor is static or a known model of the object to be followed is available. To address these limitations, in this paper we develop a technique for generalized motion segmentation based on spatial statistics across time frames. First, we create micromotion on the platform to facilitate the separation of static and dynamic elements of a scene, inspired by human saccadic eye movements. Second, we introduce the concept of spike-groups as a methodology to partition spatio-temporal event groups, which facilitates computation of scene statistics and characterize objects in it. Experimental results show that our algorithm is able to classify dynamic objects with a moving camera with maximum accuracy of 92%. PMID:28316563

  11. Associating peripheral and foveal visual input across saccades: a default mode of the human visual system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiß, Katharina; Schneider, Werner X; Herwig, Arvid

    2014-09-09

    Spatial processing resolution of a particular object in the visual field can differ considerably due to eye movements. The same object will be represented with high acuity in the fovea but only coarsely in periphery. Herwig and Schneider (in press) proposed that the visual system counteracts such resolution differences by predicting, based on previous experience, how foveal objects will look in the periphery and vice versa. They demonstrated that previously learned transsaccadic associations between peripheral and foveal object information facilitate performance in visual search, irrespective of the correctness of these associations. False associations were learned by replacing the presaccadic object with a slightly different object during the saccade. Importantly, participants usually did not notice this object change. This raises the question of whether perception of object continuity is a critical factor in building transsaccadic associations. We disturbed object continuity during learning with a postsaccadic blank or a task-irrelevant shape change. Interestingly, visual search performance revealed that neither disruption of temporal object continuity (blank) nor disruption of spatial object continuity (shape change) impaired transsaccadic learning. Thus, transsaccadic learning seems to be a very robust default mechanism of the visual system that is probably related to the more general concept of action-effect learning.

  12. Previously seen and expected stimuli elicit surprise in the context of visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retell, James D; Becker, Stefanie I; Remington, Roger W

    2016-04-01

    In the context of visual search, surprise is the phenomenon by which a previously unseen and unexpected stimulus exogenously attracts spatial attention. Capture by such a stimulus occurs, by definition, independent of task goals and is thought to be dependent on the extent to which the stimulus deviates from expectations. However, the relative contributions of prior-exposure and explicit knowledge of an unexpected event to the surprise response have not yet been systematically investigated. Here observers searched for a specific color while ignoring irrelevant cues of different colors presented prior to the target display. After a brief familiarization period, we presented an irrelevant motion cue to elicit surprise. Across conditions we varied prior exposure to the motion stimulus - seen versus unseen - and top-down expectations of occurrence - expected versus unexpected - to assess the extent to which each of these factors contributes to surprise. We found no attenuation of the surprise response when observers were pre-exposed to the motion cue and or had explicit knowledge of its occurrence. Our results show that it is neither sufficient nor necessary that a stimulus be new and unannounced to elicit surprise and suggest that the expectations that determine the surprise response are highly context specific.

  13. A Statistical Analysis of the Relationship between Harmonic Surprise and Preference in Popular Music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Scott A; Rosen, David S; Grzywacz, Norberto M

    2017-01-01

    Studies have shown that some musical pieces may preferentially activate reward centers in the brain. Less is known, however, about the structural aspects of music that are associated with this activation. Based on the music cognition literature, we propose two hypotheses for why some musical pieces are preferred over others. The first, the Absolute-Surprise Hypothesis, states that unexpected events in music directly lead to pleasure. The second, the Contrastive-Surprise Hypothesis, proposes that the juxtaposition of unexpected events and subsequent expected events leads to an overall rewarding response. We tested these hypotheses within the framework of information theory, using the measure of "surprise." This information-theoretic variable mathematically describes how improbable an event is given a known distribution. We performed a statistical investigation of surprise in the harmonic structure of songs within a representative corpus of Western popular music, namely, the McGill Billboard Project corpus. We found that chords of songs in the top quartile of the Billboard chart showed greater average surprise than those in the bottom quartile. We also found that the different sections within top-quartile songs varied more in their average surprise than the sections within bottom-quartile songs. The results of this study are consistent with both the Absolute- and Contrastive-Surprise Hypotheses. Although these hypotheses seem contradictory to one another, we cannot yet discard the possibility that both absolute and contrastive types of surprise play roles in the enjoyment of popular music. We call this possibility the Hybrid-Surprise Hypothesis. The results of this statistical investigation have implications for both music cognition and the human neural mechanisms of esthetic judgments.

  14. October Surprises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    Ushered in with the rampage of Hurricane Matthew, later days brightened in this month that has often been harbinger of both good and bad news for Cuba and the world. Hurricane Matthew ripped through Eastern Cuba, devastating the historic town of Baracoa (Cuba's first capital, founded in 1511) and the village of Maisí, where the morning sun first rises over Cuban territory. Wind and flood leveled hundreds of homes, brought down the power grid and destroyed crops. Yet there was no loss of human life, unlike in neighboring Haiti and other countries in Matthew's path, and unlike in Cuba in 1963, when Hurricane Flora caused more than 1200 deaths. In Haiti, efforts of health workers-including hundreds of Haitian graduates from Cuba's Latin American Medical School and 600 Cuban health professionals already there-were bolstered by dozens of specially trained Cuban disaster medical personnel in the wake of the storm.

  15. Surprising Resists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Stephie

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses an art adventure with her third, fourth, and fifth grade enrichment kids to the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado. The author demonstrates and teaches her students how to use the art tissue paper and oil pastel complementing the creative spirit of the Jaune Quick-to-See Smith work presented…

  16. Estimation of mental workload using saccadic eye movements in a free-viewing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokuda, Satoru; Obinata, Goro; Palmer, Evan; Chaparro, Alex

    2011-01-01

    This study proposes a new method to automatically estimate a person's mental workload (MWL) using a specific type of eye movements called saccadic intrusions (SI). Previously, the most accurate existing method to estimate MWL was the pupil diameter measure [1]. However, pupil diameter is not practical in a vehicle driving environment because it is overly sensitive to brightness changes. A new method should be independent from environment brightness changes, robust in most driving environments, and accurately reflect MWL. This study used SI as an indicator of MWL because eye movements, including SI, are independent from brightness changes. SI are a specific type of eye-gaze deviations. SI are known to be closely related to cognitive activities [2], [3]. This means that SI may be also closely related to MWL. Eye movements were recorded using a non-intrusive eye tracking camera, located 550 mm away from a participant. Participants were instructed to move their eye gaze to examine a highway driving scenery picture. In the data set of the recorded eye movements, our new algorithm detected SI and quantified SI behavior into a SI measure. Participants were also engaged in a secondary N-back task. The N-back task is a popular task used in cognitive sciences to systematically control a MWL level of participants. In our results, all 14 participants exhibited more SI eye movements when their MWL level was high compared to when their MWL level was low. Moreover, our results showed that the SI measure was a more accurate measure of MWL than the pupil diameter measure. This finding indicates that MWL of the person can be estimated by observation of SI eye movements. This new method has a wide range of applications. One of them is to predict a person's MWL, thus predicting when a person is capable of driving a vehicle in a safe or dangerous manner.

  17. Widely applicable MATLAB routines for automated analysis of saccadic reaction times.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leppänen, Jukka M; Forssman, Linda; Kaatiala, Jussi; Yrttiaho, Santeri; Wass, Sam

    2015-06-01

    Saccadic reaction time (SRT) is a widely used dependent variable in eye-tracking studies of human cognition and its disorders. SRTs are also frequently measured in studies with special populations, such as infants and young children, who are limited in their ability to follow verbal instructions and remain in a stable position over time. In this article, we describe a library of MATLAB routines (Mathworks, Natick, MA) that are designed to (1) enable completely automated implementation of SRT analysis for multiple data sets and (2) cope with the unique challenges of analyzing SRTs from eye-tracking data collected from poorly cooperating participants. The library includes preprocessing and SRT analysis routines. The preprocessing routines (i.e., moving median filter and interpolation) are designed to remove technical artifacts and missing samples from raw eye-tracking data. The SRTs are detected by a simple algorithm that identifies the last point of gaze in the area of interest, but, critically, the extracted SRTs are further subjected to a number of postanalysis verification checks to exclude values contaminated by artifacts. Example analyses of data from 5- to 11-month-old infants demonstrated that SRTs extracted with the proposed routines were in high agreement with SRTs obtained manually from video records, robust against potential sources of artifact, and exhibited moderate to high test-retest stability. We propose that the present library has wide utility in standardizing and automating SRT-based cognitive testing in various populations. The MATLAB routines are open source and can be downloaded from http://www.uta.fi/med/icl/methods.html .

  18. Designing driver assistance systems with crossmodal signals: multisensory integration rules for saccadic reaction times apply.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rike Steenken

    Full Text Available Modern driver assistance systems make increasing use of auditory and tactile signals in order to reduce the driver's visual information load. This entails potential crossmodal interaction effects that need to be taken into account in designing an optimal system. Here we show that saccadic reaction times to visual targets (cockpit or outside mirror, presented in a driving simulator environment and accompanied by auditory or tactile accessories, follow some well-known spatiotemporal rules of multisensory integration, usually found under confined laboratory conditions. Auditory nontargets speed up reaction time by about 80 ms. The effect tends to be maximal when the nontarget is presented 50 ms before the target and when target and nontarget are spatially coincident. The effect of a tactile nontarget (vibrating steering wheel was less pronounced and not spatially specific. It is shown that the average reaction times are well-described by the stochastic "time window of integration" model for multisensory integration developed by the authors. This two-stage model postulates that crossmodal interaction occurs only if the peripheral processes from the different sensory modalities terminate within a fixed temporal interval, and that the amount of crossmodal interaction manifests itself in an increase or decrease of second stage processing time. A qualitative test is consistent with the model prediction that the probability of interaction, but not the amount of crossmodal interaction, depends on target-nontarget onset asynchrony. A quantitative model fit yields estimates of individual participants' parameters, including the size of the time window. Some consequences for the design of driver assistance systems are discussed.

  19. The role of loudness in detection of surprising events in music recordings

    OpenAIRE

    Holonowicz, Piotr; Herrera, Perfecto; Purwins, Hendrik

    2009-01-01

    The abrupt change of loudness is a salient event that is not always expected by a music listener. Therefore loudness is an important cue when seeking for events in a music stream that could violate human expectations. The concept of expectation and surprise in music has become recently the subject of extensive research, however mostly using symbolic data. The aim of this work is to investigate the circumstances when a change of sound intensity could be surprising for a listener. Then, using t...

  20. Computational surprisal analysis speeds-up genomic characterization of cancer processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kravchenko-Balasha, Nataly; Simon, Simcha; Levine, R D; Remacle, F; Exman, Iaakov

    2014-01-01

    Surprisal analysis is increasingly being applied for the examination of transcription levels in cellular processes, towards revealing inner network structures and predicting response. But to achieve its full potential, surprisal analysis should be integrated into a wider range computational tool. The purposes of this paper are to combine surprisal analysis with other important computation procedures, such as easy manipulation of the analysis results--e.g. to choose desirable result sub-sets for further inspection--, retrieval and comparison with relevant datasets from public databases, and flexible graphical displays for heuristic thinking. The whole set of computation procedures integrated into a single practical tool is what we call Computational Surprisal Analysis. This combined kind of analysis should facilitate significantly quantitative understanding of different cellular processes for researchers, including applications in proteomics and metabolomics. Beyond that, our vision is that Computational Surprisal Analysis has the potential to reach the status of a routine method of analysis for practitioners. The resolving power of Computational Surprisal Analysis is here demonstrated by its application to a variety of cellular cancer process transcription datasets, ours and from the literature. The results provide a compact biological picture of the thermodynamic significance of the leading gene expression phenotypes in every stage of the disease. For each transcript we characterize both its inherent steady state weight, its correlation with the other transcripts and its variation due to the disease. We present a dedicated website to facilitate the analysis for researchers and practitioners.

  1. Computational surprisal analysis speeds-up genomic characterization of cancer processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataly Kravchenko-Balasha

    Full Text Available Surprisal analysis is increasingly being applied for the examination of transcription levels in cellular processes, towards revealing inner network structures and predicting response. But to achieve its full potential, surprisal analysis should be integrated into a wider range computational tool. The purposes of this paper are to combine surprisal analysis with other important computation procedures, such as easy manipulation of the analysis results--e.g. to choose desirable result sub-sets for further inspection--, retrieval and comparison with relevant datasets from public databases, and flexible graphical displays for heuristic thinking. The whole set of computation procedures integrated into a single practical tool is what we call Computational Surprisal Analysis. This combined kind of analysis should facilitate significantly quantitative understanding of different cellular processes for researchers, including applications in proteomics and metabolomics. Beyond that, our vision is that Computational Surprisal Analysis has the potential to reach the status of a routine method of analysis for practitioners. The resolving power of Computational Surprisal Analysis is here demonstrated by its application to a variety of cellular cancer process transcription datasets, ours and from the literature. The results provide a compact biological picture of the thermodynamic significance of the leading gene expression phenotypes in every stage of the disease. For each transcript we characterize both its inherent steady state weight, its correlation with the other transcripts and its variation due to the disease. We present a dedicated website to facilitate the analysis for researchers and practitioners.

  2. Greater disruption to control of voluntary saccades in autistic disorder than Asperger's disorder: evidence for greater cerebellar involvement in autism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley-Cary, Chloe; Rinehart, Nicole; Tonge, Bruce; White, Owen; Fielding, Joanne

    2011-03-01

    It remains unclear whether autism and Asperger's disorder (AD) exist on a symptom continuum or are separate disorders with discrete neurobiological underpinnings. In addition to impairments in communication and social cognition, motor deficits constitute a significant clinical feature in both disorders. It has been suggested that motor deficits and in particular the integrity of cerebellar modulation of movement may differentiate these disorders. We used a simple volitional saccade task to comprehensively profile the integrity of voluntary ocular motor behaviour in individuals with high functioning autism (HFA) or AD, and included measures sensitive to cerebellar dysfunction. We tested three groups of age-matched young males with normal intelligence (full scale, verbal, and performance IQ estimates >70) aged between 11 and 19 years; nine with AD, eight with HFA, and ten normally developing males as the comparison group. Overall, the metrics and dynamics of the voluntary saccades produced in this task were preserved in the AD group. In contrast, the HFA group demonstrated relatively preserved mean measures of ocular motricity with cerebellar-like deficits demonstrated in increased variability on measures of response time, final eye position, and movement dynamics. These deficits were considered to be consistent with reduced cerebellar online adaptation of movement. The results support the notion that the integrity of cerebellar modulation of movement may be different in AD and HFA, suggesting potentially differential neurobiological substrates may underpin these complex disorders.

  3. Different types of errors in saccadic task are sensitive to either time of day or chronic sleep restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachowicz, Barbara; Beldzik, Ewa; Domagalik, Aleksandra; Fafrowicz, Magdalena; Gawlowska, Magda; Janik, Justyna; Lewandowska, Koryna; Oginska, Halszka; Marek, Tadeusz

    2015-01-01

    Circadian rhythms and restricted sleep length affect cognitive functions and, consequently, the performance of day to day activities. To date, no more than a few studies have explored the consequences of these factors on oculomotor behaviour. We have implemented a spatial cuing paradigm in an eye tracking experiment conducted four times of the day after one week of rested wakefulness and after one week of chronic partial sleep restriction. Our aim was to verify whether these conditions affect the number of a variety of saccadic task errors. Interestingly, we found that failures in response selection, i.e. premature responses and direction errors, were prone to time of day variations, whereas failures in response execution, i.e. omissions and commissions, were considerably affected by sleep deprivation. The former can be linked to the cue facilitation mechanism, while the latter to wake state instability and the diminished ability of top-down inhibition. Together, these results may be interpreted in terms of distinctive sensitivity of orienting and alerting systems to fatigue. Saccadic eye movements proved to be a novel and effective measure with which to study the susceptibility of attentional systems to time factors, thus, this approach is recommended for future research.

  4. Cross-frequency phase synchrony around the saccade period as a correlate of perceiver’s internal state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chie eNakatani

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In active vision, eye-movements depend on perceivers’ internal state. We investigated peri-fixation brain activity for internal state-specific tagging. Human participants performed a task, in which a visual object was presented for identification in lateral visual field, to which they moved their eyes as soon as possible from a central fixation point. Next, a phrase appeared in the same location; the phrase could either be an easy or hard question about the object, answered by pressing one of two alternative response buttons, or it could be an instruction to simply press one of these two buttons. Depending on whether these messages were blocked or randomly mixed, one of two different internal states was induced: either the task was known in advance or it wasn’t. Eye movements and electroencephalogram (EEG were recorded simultaneously during task performance. Using eye-event-time-locked averaging and independent component analysis, saccade- and fixation-related components were identified. Coss-frequency phase-synchrony was observed between the alpha/beta1 ranges of fixation-related and beta2/gamma1 ranges of saccade-related activity 50 ms prior to fixation onset in the mixed-phrase condition only. We interpreted this result as evidence for internal state-specific tagging.

  5. Distractor evoked deviations of saccade trajectory are modulated by fixation activity in the superior colliculus: computational and behavioral evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiguo Wang

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that saccades may deviate towards or away from task irrelevant visual distractors. This observation has been attributed to active suppression (inhibition of the distractor location unfolding over time: early in time inhibition at the distractor location is incomplete causing deviation towards the distractor, while later in time when inhibition is complete the eyes deviate away from the distractor. In a recent computational study, Wang, Kruijne and Theeuwes proposed an alternative theory that the lateral interactions in the superior colliculus (SC, which are characterized by short-distance excitation and long-distance inhibition, are sufficient for generating both deviations towards and away from distractors. In the present study, we performed a meta-analysis of the literature, ran model simulations and conducted two behavioral experiments to further explore this unconventional theory. Confirming predictions generated by the model simulations, the behavioral experiments show that a saccades deviate towards close distractors and away from remote distractors, and b the amount of deviation depends on the strength of fixation activity in the SC, which can be manipulated by turning off the fixation stimulus before or after target onset (Experiment 1, or by varying the eccentricity of the target and distractor (Experiment 2.

  6. Distractor evoked deviations of saccade trajectory are modulated by fixation activity in the superior colliculus: computational and behavioral evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhiguo; Theeuwes, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that saccades may deviate towards or away from task irrelevant visual distractors. This observation has been attributed to active suppression (inhibition) of the distractor location unfolding over time: early in time inhibition at the distractor location is incomplete causing deviation towards the distractor, while later in time when inhibition is complete the eyes deviate away from the distractor. In a recent computational study, Wang, Kruijne and Theeuwes proposed an alternative theory that the lateral interactions in the superior colliculus (SC), which are characterized by short-distance excitation and long-distance inhibition, are sufficient for generating both deviations towards and away from distractors. In the present study, we performed a meta-analysis of the literature, ran model simulations and conducted two behavioral experiments to further explore this unconventional theory. Confirming predictions generated by the model simulations, the behavioral experiments show that a) saccades deviate towards close distractors and away from remote distractors, and b) the amount of deviation depends on the strength of fixation activity in the SC, which can be manipulated by turning off the fixation stimulus before or after target onset (Experiment 1), or by varying the eccentricity of the target and distractor (Experiment 2).

  7. A system outlook on the vision problem associated with observation of light flickering at the micro-saccades' frequency

    CERN Document Server

    Gluskin, Emanuel; Topalis, Frangiskos V; Bisketzis, Nikolas

    2010-01-01

    The flickering of the light of fluorescent lamps (FL), whose basic frequency, 100 Hz, is close to that of the micro-saccadic (the eye-muscles' tremor component) eye movement, is a severe problem for autists (autistic humans), a problem for newborn babies, for people after some traumatic accidents, and for some 10% of otherwise absolutely normal humans. Taking the line of a "system-terms" discussion of the vision-disturbance problem, the present work provides a constructive framework for investigating the problem. Using the results of light intensity measurements and some simple analytical models for the instantaneous light-intensity function, and analyzing the role of the coincidence (closeness) of the frequencies of the ripple of and the micro saccades, we suggest a block-diagram for the biological vision control system. We also show that a singularity of the waveform of, which is typical for most FL, may be important for brain control of the eye tremor. The latter conclusion is supported by a simulation of ...

  8. Surprise and Opportunity for Learning in Grand Canyon: the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melis, T. S.; Walters, C. J.; Korman, J.

    2013-12-01

    . The repeated surprises were initially viewed with dismay by some managers and stakeholders who had unrealistic expectations about science and modeling to start with, yet actually represent scientific successes in terms of revealing new opportunities for developing better flow and non-flow policies. A new Long Term Experiment and Management Plan EIS (see URL) started in 2011, and co-led by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service, is underway and provides Colorado River managers, other stakeholders and the public a unique opportunity to refocus and weight resource objectives, conduct trade-off evaluations within the context of structured decision analyses, and identify key uncertainties with the goal of improving past experimental designs and monitoring strategies so as to take advantage of future learning opportunities over the next two decades. Perhaps the single greatest uncertainty now facing river managers is trying to anticipate how climate change and global warming will affect the supply of water from the Upper Colorado River Basin, Lake Powell storage that is known to control the river's thermal regime and native and nonnative fish interactions in GCNP, and the already highly-limited tributary sand supply below the dam from the Paria and Little Colorado Rivers required to manage sandbars along river shorelines.

  9. Efficient reduction of complex noise in passive millimeter-wavelength video utilizing Bayesian surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundhenk, T. Nathan; Baron, Josh; Matic, Roy M.

    2011-06-01

    Passive millimeter wavelength (PMMW) video holds great promise given its ability to see targets and obstacles through fog, smoke and rain. However, current imagers produce undesirable complex noise. This can come as a mixture of fast shot (snow like) noise and a slower forming circular fixed pattern. Shot noise can be removed by a simple gain style filter. However, this can produce blurring of objects in the scene. To alleviate this, we measure the amount of Bayesian surprise in videos. Bayesian surprise is feature change in time which is abrupt, but cannot be accounted for as shot noise. Surprise is used to attenuate the shot noise filter in locations of high surprise. Since high Bayesian surprise in videos is very salient to observers, this reduces blurring particularly in places where people visually attend. Fixed pattern noise is removed after the shot noise using a combination of Non-uniformity correction (NUC) and Eigen Image Wavelet Transformation. The combination allows for online removal of time varying fixed pattern noise even when background motion may be absent. It also allows for online adaptation to differing intensities of fixed pattern noise. The fixed pattern and shot noise filters are all efficient allowing for real time video processing of PMMW video. We show several examples of PMMW video with complex noise that is much cleaner as a result of the noise removal. Processed video clearly shows cars, houses, trees and utility poles at 20 frames per second.

  10. Saccadic movements using eye-tracking technology in individuals with autism spectrum disorders: pilot study Movimentos sacádicos de indivíduos do espectro autista por varredura visual: estudo piloto

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos T. Mercadante

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To verify differences in the visual scanning strategies between pervasive developmental disorders (PDD and controls when they are observing social and non-social pictures. METHOD: PDD group (PDDG comprised by 10 non-retarded subjects (age from 4 to 41 and age-matched control group (CG. Nine social pictures with human beings (including two pictures of cat mask, and 3 nonsocial pictures of objects were presented for 5 seconds. Saccadic movements and fixation were recorded with equipment EyeGaze® (LC Technologies Inc.. RESULTS: PDDG (mean=292.73, SE=67.62 presented longer duration of saccadic movements for social pictures compared to CG (mean=136.06, SE=14.01 (p=0.04. The CG showed a higher number of fixations in the picture 7 (a women using a cat mask, with the eyes erased (CG: mean=3.40; PDDG: mean=1.80; p=0.007. CONCLUSION: The results suggest differences in strategies that PDD explore human picture. Moreover, these strategies seem not to be affected by the lack of expected part of the face (the eyes.OBJETIVO: Verificar diferenças nas estratégias de varredura visual de indivíduos com transtorno invasivo do desenvolvimento (TID comparados a controles normais na observação de figuras sociais e não sociais. MÉTODO: Estudo caso-controle. Grupo TID: dez sujeitos com TID, inteligência normal e idade entre 4 e 41 anos; Grupo Controle: dez sujeitos pareados por idade. Os sujeitos observaram por 5 segundos 9 figuras de seres humanos e 3 figuras de objetos. Os movimentos sacádicos e o número de fixações foram gravados em equipamento EyeGaze® (LC Technologies Inc.. RESULTADOS: O grupo TID apresentou maior duração dos movimentos sacádicos na observação de figuras humanas [TID=292,73 (EP=67,62; controle= 136,06 (EP=14,01; p=0,04]. O grupo controle apresentou maior número de fixações na figura 7 (mulher com máscara de gato sem os olhos (TID=1,8; controle=3,4; p=0,007. CONCLUSÃO: Indivíduos com TID parecem utilizar estrat

  11. Age-Related Change of the Mean Level and Intraindividual Variability of Saccadic Reaction Time Performance in Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haishi, Koichi; Okuzumi, Hideyuki; Kokubun, Mitsuru

    2013-01-01

    The current study examined age-related change of saccadic reaction time (SRT) in persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). Participants were 29 persons with intellectual disabilities aged between 14 and 34 years whose IQs were between 14 and 70. Participants were divided into Group I (IQ greater than or equal to 35) and Group II (IQ less than…

  12. Reliability and comparison of gain values with occurrence of saccades in the EyeSeeCam video head impulse test (vHIT)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid Korsager, Leise Elisabeth; Schmidt, Jesper Hvass; Faber, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The vHIT (video head impulse test) investigates the vestibular function in two ways: a VOR (vestibulo-ocular reflex) gain value and a head impulse diagram. From the diagram covert and overt saccades can be detected. Evaluation of the vestibular function based on vHIT depends on both parameters. T...

  13. Neurophysiology and Neuroanatomy of Reflexive and Volitional Saccades as Revealed by Lesion Studies with Neurological Patients and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muri, Rene M.; Nyffeler, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    This review discusses the neurophysiology and neuroanatomy of the cortical control of reflexive and volitional saccades in humans. The main focus is on classical lesion studies and studies using the interference method of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). To understand the behavioural function of a region, it is essential to assess…

  14. Some surprising findings on the involvement of the parietal lobe in human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Ingrid R; Berryhill, Marian

    2009-02-01

    The posterior parietal lobe is known to play some role in a far-flung list of mental processes: linking vision to action (saccadic eye movements, reaching, grasping), attending to visual space, numerical calculation, and mental rotation. Here, we review findings from humans and monkeys that illuminate an untraditional function of this region: memory. Our review draws on neuroimaging findings that have repeatedly identified parietal lobe activations associated with short-term or working memory and episodic memory. We also discuss recent neuropsychological findings showing that individuals with parietal lobe damage exhibit both working memory and long-term memory deficits. These deficits are not ubiquitous; they are only evident under certain retrieval demands. Our review elaborates on these findings and evaluates various theories about the mechanistic role of the posterior parietal lobe in memory. The available data point towards the conclusion that the posterior parietal lobe plays an important role in memory retrieval irrespective of elapsed time. However, the available data do not support simple dichotomies such as recall versus recognition, working versus long-term memory. We conclude by formalizing several open questions that are intended to encourage future research in this rapidly developing area of memory research.

  15. What is a surprise earthquake? The example of the 2002, San Giuliano (Italy event

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mucciarelli

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Both in scientific literature and in the mass media, some earthquakes are defined as «surprise earthquakes». Based on his own judgment, probably any geologist, seismologist or engineer may have his own list of past «surprise earthquakes». This paper tries to quantify the underlying individual perception that may lead a scientist to apply such a definition to a seismic event. The meaning is different, depending on the disciplinary approach. For geologists, the Italian database of seismogenic sources is still too incomplete to allow for a quantitative estimate of the subjective degree of belief. For seismologists, quantification is possible defining the distance between an earthquake and its closest previous neighbor. Finally, for engineers, the San Giuliano quake could not be considered a surprise, since probabilistic site hazard estimates reveal that the change before and after the earthquake is just 4%.

  16. 自主控制眼跳脑神经机制%The neural mechanisms of voluntary control of saccadic eye movements

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴静; 李秀红

    2016-01-01

    Voluntary control of saccadic eye movements is a kind of saccades controlled by conscious and always used to investigate the brain areas related to saccades and ability of response inhibition and work memory.Researching the neural mechanisms of voluntary control of saccadic eye movements could provide a basis to study the advanced cognitive function of brain and facilitate to explore basic neural mechanisms of abnormal saccadic in brain disorders.As neuroimaging technologies develops,intensive studies about the neural mechanisms of voluntary control of saccadic eye movements have been made great progress.It is showed that several brain areas such as prefrontal cortex,subcortical areas and parietal cortex mainly in participate.These multiple brain regions are involved in voluntary control of saccadic eye movements at different stages.Antisaccades and memory-guided saccades including different brain regions because of their different characteristics of saccadic.The future direction of the research is to combine study with neural imaging technology,and to study more about the brain regions and their functional connectivity involved in voluntary control of saccadic eye movements.%自主控制眼跳是一种受意识控制的眼跳,可用来考察调控眼跳的大脑区域、反应抑制和空间工作记忆等能力.研究自主控制眼跳的脑神经机制可为探讨大脑的高级认知功能提供依据,对于探索一些脑功能失调疾病中异常眼跳的脑神经基础有重要意义.随着神经成像技术的发展,自主控制眼跳的脑神经机制有了较深入的研究,自主控制眼跳需要额叶皮层、皮层下区域和顶叶区域等多个脑区的共同参与,这些脑区参与了自主控制眼跳的不同阶段,而且反向眼跳和记忆导向眼跳由于各自眼跳特征不同分别涉及不同的脑区.未来的研究方向是将研究与神经成像技术相结合,更多地考察参与自主控制眼跳的大脑区域和脑区间的功能连接.

  17. Salience and Attention in Surprisal-Based Accounts of Language Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarcone, Alessandra; van Schijndel, Marten; Vogels, Jorrig; Demberg, Vera

    2016-01-01

    The notion of salience has been singled out as the explanatory factor for a diverse range of linguistic phenomena. In particular, perceptual salience (e.g., visual salience of objects in the world, acoustic prominence of linguistic sounds) and semantic-pragmatic salience (e.g., prominence of recently mentioned or topical referents) have been shown to influence language comprehension and production. A different line of research has sought to account for behavioral correlates of cognitive load during comprehension as well as for certain patterns in language usage using information-theoretic notions, such as surprisal. Surprisal and salience both affect language processing at different levels, but the relationship between the two has not been adequately elucidated, and the question of whether salience can be reduced to surprisal / predictability is still open. Our review identifies two main challenges in addressing this question: terminological inconsistency and lack of integration between high and low levels of representations in salience-based accounts and surprisal-based accounts. We capitalize upon work in visual cognition in order to orient ourselves in surveying the different facets of the notion of salience in linguistics and their relation with models of surprisal. We find that work on salience highlights aspects of linguistic communication that models of surprisal tend to overlook, namely the role of attention and relevance to current goals, and we argue that the Predictive Coding framework provides a unified view which can account for the role played by attention and predictability at different levels of processing and which can clarify the interplay between low and high levels of processes and between predictability-driven expectation and attention-driven focus. PMID:27375525

  18. Salience and attention in surprisal-based accounts of language processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra eZarcone

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The notion of salience has been singled out as the explanatory factor for a diverse range oflinguistic phenomena. In particular, perceptual salience (e.g. visual salience of objects in the world,acoustic prominence of linguistic sounds and semantic-pragmatic salience (e.g. prominence ofrecently mentioned or topical referents have been shown to influence language comprehensionand production. A different line of research has sought to account for behavioral correlates ofcognitive load during comprehension as well as for certain patterns in language usage usinginformation-theoretic notions, such as surprisal. Surprisal and salience both affect languageprocessing at different levels, but the relationship between the two has not been adequatelyelucidated, and the question of whether salience can be reduced to surprisal / predictability isstill open. Our review identifies two main challenges in addressing this question: terminologicalinconsistency and lack of integration between high and low levels of representations in salience-based accounts and surprisal-based accounts. We capitalise upon work in visual cognition inorder to orient ourselves in surveying the different facets of the notion of salience in linguisticsand their relation with models of surprisal. We find that work on salience highlights aspects oflinguistic communication that models of surprisal tend to overlook, namely the role of attentionand relevance to current goals, and we argue that the Predictive Coding framework provides aunified view which can account for the role played by attention and predictability at different levelsof processing and which can clarify the interplay between low and high levels of processes andbetween predictability-driven expectation and attention-driven focus.

  19. One In Five Inpatient Emergency Department Cases May Lead To Surprise Bills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garmon, Christopher; Chartock, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    A surprise medical bill is a bill from an out-of-network provider that was not expected by the patient or that came from an out-of-network provider not chosen by the patient. In 2014, 20 percent of hospital inpatient admissions that originated in the emergency department (ED), 14 percent of outpatient visits to the ED, and 9 percent of elective inpatient admissions likely led to a surprise medical bill. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  20. Risk, surprises and black swans fundamental ideas and concepts in risk assessment and risk management

    CERN Document Server

    Aven, Terje

    2014-01-01

    Risk, Surprises and Black Swans provides an in depth analysis of the risk concept with a focus on the critical link to knowledge; and the lack of knowledge, that risk and probability judgements are based on.Based on technical scientific research, this book presents a new perspective to help you understand how to assess and manage surprising, extreme events, known as 'Black Swans'. This approach looks beyond the traditional probability-based principles to offer a broader insight into the important aspects of uncertain events and in doing so explores the ways to manage them.

  1. Saccade-vergence properties remain more stable over short-time repetition under overlap than under gap task: a preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre eLang

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Under natural circumstances, saccade-vergence eye movements are among the most frequently occurring. This study examines the properties of such movements focusing on short-term repetition effects. Are such movements robust over time or are they subject to tiredness ? Twelve healthy adults performed convergent and divergent combined eye movements either in a gap task (i.e., 200 ms between the end of the fixation stimulus and the beginning of the target stimulus or in an overlap task (i.e., the peripheral target begins 200 ms before the end of the fixation stimulus. Latencies were shorter in the gap task than in the overlap task for both saccade and vergence components. Repetition had no effect on latency, which is a novel result. In both tasks, saccades were initiated later and executed faster (mean and peak velocities than the vergence component. The mean and peak velocities of both components decreased over trials in the gap task but remained constant in the overlap task. This result is also novel and has some clinical implications. Another novel result concerns the accuracy of the saccade component that was better in the gap than in the overlap task. The accuracy also decreased over trials in the gap task but remained constant in the overlap task. The major result of this study is that under a controlled mode of initiation (overlap task properties of combined eye movements are more stable than under automatic triggering (gap task. These results are discussed in terms of saccade-vergence interactions, convergence-divergence specificities and repetition versus adaptation protocols.

  2. Did the FED Surprise the Markets in 2001? A Case Study for Vars with Sign Restrictions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S.

    2001-01-01

    In 2001, the Fed has lowered interest rates in a series of cuts, starting from 6.5 % at the end of 2000 to 2.0 % by early November.This paper asks, whether the Federal Reserve Bank has been surprising the markets, taking as given the conventional view about the effect of monetary policy shocks.New

  3. Surprise Gift” Purchases of Small Electric Appliances: A Pilot Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Vanhamme (Joëlle); C.J.P.M. de Bont (Cees)

    2005-01-01

    textabstractUnderstanding decision-making processes for gifts is of strategic importance for companies selling small electrical appliances as gifts account for a large part of their sales. Among all gifts, the ones that are surprising are the most valued by recipients. However, research about

  4. Surprising convergence of the Monte Carlo renormalization group for the three-dimensional Ising model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ron, Dorit; Brandt, Achi; Swendsen, Robert H

    2017-05-01

    We present a surprisingly simple approach to high-accuracy calculations of the critical properties of the three-dimensional Ising model. The method uses a modified block-spin transformation with a tunable parameter to improve convergence in the Monte Carlo renormalization group. The block-spin parameter must be tuned differently for different exponents to produce optimal convergence.

  5. Bagpipes and Artichokes: Surprise as a Stimulus to Learning in the Elementary Music Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobi, Bonnie Schaffhauser

    2016-01-01

    Incorporating surprise into music instruction can stimulate student attention, curiosity, and interest. Novelty focuses attention in the reticular activating system, increasing the potential for brain memory storage. Elementary ages are ideal for introducing novel instruments, pieces, composers, or styles of music. Young children have fewer…

  6. The Educational Philosophies of Mordecai Kaplan and Michael Rosenak: Surprising Similarities and Illuminating Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schein, Jeffrey; Caplan, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The thoughts of Mordecai Kaplan and Michael Rosenak present surprising commonalities as well as illuminating differences. Similarities include the perception that Judaism and Jewish education are in crisis, the belief that Jewish peoplehood must include commitment to meaningful content, the need for teachers to teach from a position of…

  7. Surprise, Memory, and Retrospective Judgment Making: Testing Cognitive Reconstruction Theories of the Hindsight Bias Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ash, Ivan K.

    2009-01-01

    Hindsight bias has been shown to be a pervasive and potentially harmful decision-making bias. A review of 4 competing cognitive reconstruction theories of hindsight bias revealed conflicting predictions about the role and effect of expectation or surprise in retrospective judgment formation. Two experiments tested these predictions examining the…

  8. Did the FED Surprise the Markets in 2001? A Case Study for Vars with Sign Restrictions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S.

    2001-01-01

    In 2001, the Fed has lowered interest rates in a series of cuts, starting from 6.5 % at the end of 2000 to 2.0 % by early November.This paper asks, whether the Federal Reserve Bank has been surprising the markets, taking as given the conventional view about the effect of monetary policy shocks.New e

  9. The influence of crystalline lens accommodation on post-saccadic oscillations in pupil-based eye trackers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, Marcus; Andersson, Richard; Magnusson, Måns; Pansell, Tony; Hooge, Ignace

    2015-02-01

    It is well known that the crystalline lens (henceforth lens) can oscillate (or 'wobble') relative to the eyeball at the end of saccades. Recent research has proposed that such wobbling of the lens is a source of post-saccadic oscillations (PSOs) seen in data recorded by eye trackers that estimate gaze direction from the location of the pupil. Since the size of the lens wobbles increases with accommodative effort, one would predict a similar increase of PSO-amplitude in data recorded with a pupil based eye tracker. In four experiments, we investigated the role of lens accommodation on PSOs in a video-based eye tracker. In Experiment 1, we replicated previous results showing that PSO-amplitudes increase at near viewing distances (large vergence angles), when the lens is highly accommodated. In Experiment 2a, we manipulated the accommodative state of the lens pharmacologically using eye drops at a fixed viewing distance and found, in contrast to Experiment 1, no significant difference in PSO-amplitude related to the accommodative state of the lens. Finally, in Experiment 2b, the effect of vergence angle was investigated by comparing PSO-amplitudes at near and far while maintaining a fixed lens accommodation. Despite the pharmacologically fixed degree of accommodation, PSO-amplitudes were systematically larger in the near condition. In summary, PSOs cannot exhaustively be explained by lens wobbles. Possible confounds related to pupil size and eye-camera angle are investigated in Experiments 3 and 4, and alternative mechanisms behind PSOs are probed in the discussion.

  10. Effects of a pretarget distractor on saccade reaction times across space and time in monkeys and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Aarlenne Z; Munoz, Douglas P; Takahashi, Naomi; Blohm, Gunnar; McPeek, Robert M

    2016-05-01

    Previous studies have shown that the influence of a behaviorally irrelevant distractor on saccade reaction times (SRTs) varies depending on the temporal and spatial relationship between the distractor and the saccade target. We measured distractor influence on SRTs to a subsequently presented target, varying the spatial location and the timing between the distractor and the target. The distractor appeared at one of four equally eccentric locations, followed by a target (either 50 ms or 200 ms after) at one of 136 different locations encompassing an area of 20° square. We extensively tested two humans and two monkeys on this task to determine interspecies similarities and differences, since monkey neurophysiology is often used to interpret human behavioral findings. Results were similar across species; for the short interval (50 ms), SRTs were shortest to a target presented close to or at the distractor location and increased primarily as a function of the distance from the distractor. There was also an effect of distractor-target direction and visual field. For the long interval (200 ms) the results were inverted; SRTs were longest for short distances between the distractor and target and decreased as a function of distance from distractor. Both SRT patterns were well captured by a two-dimensional dynamic field model with short-distance excitation and long-distance inhibition, based upon known functional connectivity found in the superior colliculus that includes wide-spread excitation and inhibition. Based on these findings, we posit that the different time-dependent patterns of distractor-related SRTs can emerge from the same underlying neuronal mechanisms common to both species.

  11. Movimentos sacádicos em indivíduos com alterações cerebelares Saccadic Movements in subjects with cerebellar disorders

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    Aloysio Augusto Tahan de Campos Netto

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available A pesquisa dos movimentos sacádicos ou sacadas é parte da bateria de testes da eletro-oculografia. O cerebelo apresenta importantes conexões com o tronco cerebral e estruturas talâmicas que possuem função na geração das sacadas. OBJETIVO: Estudar as sacadas de indivíduos com cerebelopatias. FORMA DE ESTUDO: Clínico prospectivo. MATERIAL E MÉTODO: Foram selecionados 11 indivíduos com doenças cerebelares e um grupo controle com outros 27 indivíduos. Os pacientes dos dois grupos foram submetidos à pesquisa das sacadas (fixo e randomizado. A comparação das respostas foi feita entre os grupos controle e o com cerebelopatias. Foram analisadas velocidade, latência e acurácia das respostas nos grupos controle e patológico. Além disso, as variáveis sexo e idade também foram avaliadas. RESULTADOS: Não foram encontradas diferenças nos parâmetros quantitativos nos dois grupos. Idade e sexo também não exerceram influência nestes parâmetros. A morfologia das respostas, porém, foi que apresentou profundas diferenças entre os dois grupos. CONCLUSÃO: Os parâmetros quantitativos das sacadas horizontais de cerebelopatas não diferem daquelas apresentadas por indivíduos normais. Sexo e idade não exercem influência nestes parâmetros.Saccades are part of the electrooculography tests battery. The cerebellum has important connections with the brainstem and thalamic structures involved in the generation of saccades. AIM: to study saccadic movements in subjects with cerebellar disorders. STUDY METHOD: Prospective clinical study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 11 subjects with cerebellar disorders were selected, together with a control group with 27 normal subjects. The patients of both groups had their saccadic movements registered (fixed and randomized. We compared and quantitatively analyzed the responses from both groups. RESULTS: We did not find any differences among the quantitative parameters between the two. Age and gender did not

  12. Surprising electronic structure of the BeH- dimer: a full-configuration-interaction study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdicchio, Marco; Bendazzoli, Gian Luigi; Evangelisti, Stefano; Leininger, Thierry

    2013-01-10

    The electronic structure of the beryllium hydride anion, BeH(-), was investigated at valence full-configuration-interaction (FCI) level, using large cc-pV6Z basis sets. It appears that there is a deep change of the wave function nature as a function of the internuclear distance: the ion structure goes from a weakly bonded Be···H(-) complex, at long distance, to a rather strongly bonded system (more than 2 eV) at short distance, having a (:Be-H)(-) Lewis structure. In this case, it is the beryllium atom that formally bears the negative charge, a surprising result in view of the fact that it is the hydrogen atom that has a larger electronegativity. Even more surprisingly, at very short distances the average position of the total electronic charge is close to the beryllium atom but on the opposite side with respect to the hydrogen position.

  13. Investigating locality effects and surprisal in written English syntactic choice phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajkumar, Rajakrishnan; van Schijndel, Marten; White, Michael; Schuler, William

    2016-10-01

    We investigate the extent to which syntactic choice in written English is influenced by processing considerations as predicted by Gibson's (2000) Dependency Locality Theory (DLT) and Surprisal Theory (Hale, 2001; Levy, 2008). A long line of previous work attests that languages display a tendency for shorter dependencies, and in a previous corpus study, Temperley (2007) provided evidence that this tendency exerts a strong influence on constituent ordering choices. However, Temperley's study included no frequency-based controls, and subsequent work on sentence comprehension with broad-coverage eye-tracking corpora found weak or negative effects of DLT-based measures when frequency effects were statistically controlled for (Demberg & Keller, 2008; van Schijndel, Nguyen, & Schuler 2013; van Schijndel & Schuler, 2013), calling into question the actual impact of dependency locality on syntactic choice phenomena. Going beyond Temperley's work, we show that DLT integration costs are indeed a significant predictor of syntactic choice in written English even in the presence of competing frequency-based and cognitively motivated control factors, including n-gram probability and PCFG surprisal as well as embedding depth (Wu, Bachrach, Cardenas, & Schuler, 2010; Yngve, 1960). Our study also shows that the predictions of dependency length and surprisal are only moderately correlated, a finding which mirrors Dember & Keller's (2008) results for sentence comprehension. Further, we demonstrate that the efficacy of dependency length in predicting the corpus choice increases with increasing head-dependent distances. At the same time, we find that the tendency towards dependency locality is not always observed, and with pre-verbal adjuncts in particular, non-locality cases are found more often than not. In contrast, surprisal is effective in these cases, and the embedding depth measures further increase prediction accuracy. We discuss the implications of our findings for theories of

  14. Surprise and sense making: what newcomers experience in entering unfamiliar organizational settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, M R

    1980-06-01

    Growing disillusionment among new members of organizations has been traced to inadequacies in approaches to organizational entry. Current directions of research on organizational entry and their limitations are described, and a new perspective is proposed. The new perspective identifies key features of newcomers' entry experiences, including surprise, contrast, and change, and describes the sense-making processes by which individuals cope with their entry experiences. Implications for research and practice on organizational entry are drawn.

  15. Each individual is a surprise: a conversation with Marianne Horney Eckardt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Jeffrey B

    2014-06-01

    "Each Individual is a Surprise" is a brief account of a dialogue between Marianne Horney Eckardt and myself about the state of psychoanalysis and the psychoanalytic process, the danger of idolatry, the damaging impact of psychoanalytic schools when they create a standardized and pathologizing approach to people, the value of curiosity and humility and retaining one's clinical creativity. The role of Rank, Horney, Sullivan, and Fromm in Dr. Eckardt's long life and rich work is touched upon.

  16. Surprise and Opportunity for Learning in Grand Canyon: the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodore S. Melis

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available With a focus on resources of the Colorado River ecosystem below Glen Canyon Dam, the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program has included a variety of experimental policy tests, ranging from manipulation of water releases from the dam to removal of non-native fish within Grand Canyon National Park. None of these field-scale experiments has yet produced unambiguous results in terms of management prescriptions. But there has been adaptive learning, mostly from unanticipated or surprising resource responses relative to predictions from ecosystem modeling. Surprise learning opportunities may often be viewed with dismay by some stakeholders who might not be clear about the purpose of science and modeling in adaptive management. However, the experimental results from the Glen Canyon Dam program actually represent scientific successes in terms of revealing new opportunities for developing better river management policies. A new long-term experimental management planning process for Glen Canyon Dam operations, started in 2011 by the U.S. Department of the Interior, provides an opportunity to refocus management objectives, identify and evaluate key uncertainties about the influence of dam releases, and refine monitoring for learning over the next several decades. Adaptive learning since 1995 is critical input to this long-term planning effort. Embracing uncertainty and surprise outcomes revealed by monitoring and ecosystem modeling will likely continue the advancement of resource objectives below the dam, and may also promote efficient learning in other complex programs.

  17. Surprise and Uncertainty—Framing Regional Geohazards in the Theory of Complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beate M. W. Ratter

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyzes the concepts of uncertainty and surprise as key variables of a socio-ecological system’s behavior in the context of the theory of complexity. Experiences from the past have shown that living with uncertainty is part of our daily life and surprises are only surprising because our perspective of system trajectories is basically linear and non-dynamic. The future of humanity is dependent on the understanding of the system’s behavior and needs a change in perspective of linearity to non-linearity and from the planning imperative to a management hedging uncertainty and surprise. In the context of humanity’s future, the theory of complexity offers a new perspective on system trajectories and their understanding of surprises and uncertainty. There is a need for a Gestaltwechsel—a change in perception—which helps to see things differently and fosters the search for new answers to emerging questions at the human-nature interface. Drawing on the case study of hazard management the paper will explain the necessity of analysis system’s behavior and the taking into account of multi-agent behavior on the micro level which led to emergent behavior on the macro-level of the system. Regional geohazards are explained as the regional impact of an uncontrolled risk based on a state of a natural feature that has a direct impact on a regional population being affected by the appearance of a hazard and its development into damage. By acting in space, time and connectivity, people construct hazardscapes and change risk into regional geohazards. This concept shows relevance for future mitigation and adaptation measures. The theory of complexity can help in engendering the necessary shift in perspective. What is non-linear dynamic thinking as suggested by the theory of complexity? Why is the consideration of the system’s behavior crucial and not just the number of system’s elements? What is the role of agents in these systems? In

  18. Modulation of cognitive control levels via manipulation of saccade trial-type probability assessed with event-related BOLD fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Jordan E; McDowell, Jennifer E

    2016-02-01

    Cognitive control supports flexible behavior adapted to meet current goals and can be modeled through investigation of saccade tasks with varying cognitive demands. Basic prosaccades (rapid glances toward a newly appearing stimulus) are supported by neural circuitry, including occipital and posterior parietal cortex, frontal and supplementary eye fields, and basal ganglia. These trials can be contrasted with complex antisaccades (glances toward the mirror image location of a stimulus), which are characterized by greater functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the aforementioned regions and recruitment of additional regions such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The current study manipulated the cognitive demands of these saccade tasks by presenting three rapid event-related runs of mixed saccades with a varying probability of antisaccade vs. prosaccade trials (25, 50, or 75%). Behavioral results showed an effect of trial-type probability on reaction time, with slower responses in runs with a high antisaccade probability. Imaging results exhibited an effect of probability in bilateral pre- and postcentral gyrus, bilateral superior temporal gyrus, and medial frontal gyrus. Additionally, the interaction between saccade trial type and probability revealed a strong probability effect for prosaccade trials, showing a linear increase in activation parallel to antisaccade probability in bilateral temporal/occipital, posterior parietal, medial frontal, and lateral prefrontal cortex. In contrast, antisaccade trials showed elevated activation across all runs. Overall, this study demonstrated that improbable performance of a typically simple prosaccade task led to augmented BOLD signal to support changing cognitive control demands, resulting in activation levels similar to the more complex antisaccade task.

  19. Low-level and high-level modulations of fixational saccades and high frequency oscillatory brain activity in a visual object classification task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej eKosilo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Until recently induced gamma-band activity (GBA was considered a neural marker of cortical object representation. However induced GBA in the electroencephalogram (EEG is susceptible to artifacts caused by miniature fixational saccades. Recent studies have demonstrated that fixational saccades also reflect high-level representational processes. Do high-level as opposed to low-level factors influence fixational saccades? What is the effect of these factors on artifact-free GBA? To investigate this, we conducted separate eye tracking and EEG experiments using identical designs. Participants classified line drawings as objects or non-objects. To introduce low-level differences, contours were defined along different directions in cardinal colour space: S-cone-isolating, intermediate isoluminant, or a full-colour stimulus, the latter containing an additional achromatic component. Prior to the classification task, object discrimination thresholds were measured and stimuli were scaled to matching suprathreshold levels for each participant. In both experiments, behavioural performance was best for full-colour stimuli and worst for S-cone isolating stimuli. Saccade rates 200-700 ms after stimulus onset were modulated independently by low and high-level factors, being higher for full-colour stimuli than for S-cone isolating stimuli and higher for objects. Low-amplitude evoked GBA and total GBA were observed in very few conditions, showing that paradigms with isoluminant stimuli may not be ideal for eliciting such responses. We conclude that cortical loops involved in the processing of objects are preferentially excited by stimuli that contain achromatic information. Their activation can lead to relatively early exploratory eye movements even for foveally-presented stimuli.

  20. Saccadic performance and cortical excitability as trait-markers and state-markers in rapid-cycling bipolar disorder: a 2-case follow-up study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer eMalsert

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The understanding of physiopathology and cognitive impairments in mood disorders requires finding objective markers. Mood disorders have often been linked to hypometabolism in the prefrontal dorsolateral cortex, and to GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission dysfunction. The present study aimed to discover whether saccadic tasks (involving DPLFC activity, and cortical excitability (involving GABA/Glutamate neurotransmission could provide neuropsychophysical markers for mood disorders, and/or of its phases, in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorders (rcBD. Methods: Two rcBD patients were followed for a cycle, and were compared to 9 healthy controls. A saccade task, mixing prosaccades, antisaccades and nosaccades, and an evaluation of cortical excitability using transcranial magnetic stimulation were performed. Results: We observed a deficit in antisaccade in patients independently of thymic phase, and in nosaccade in the manic phase only. Cortical excitability data revealed global intracortical deficits in all phases, switching according to cerebral hemisphere and thymic phase. Conclusion: Specific patterns of performance in saccade tasks and cortical excitability could characterize mood disorders (trait-markers and its phases (state-markers. Moreover, a functional relationship between oculometric performance and cortical excitability is discussed.

  1. Modeling control of eye orientation in three dimensions. I. Role of muscle pulleys in determining saccadic trajectory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphan, T

    1998-05-01

    This study evaluates the effects of muscle axis shifts on the performance of a vector velocity-position integrator in the CNS. Earlier models of the oculomotor plant assumed that the muscle axes remained fixed relative to the head as the eye rotated into secondary and tertiary eye positions. Under this assumption, the vector integrator model generates torsional transients as the eye moves from secondary to tertiary positions of fixation. The torsional transient represents an eye movement response to a spatial mismatch between the torque axes that remain fixed in the head and the displacement plane that changes by half the angle of the change in eye orientation. When muscle axis shifts were incorporated into the model, the torque axes were closer to the displacement plane at each eye orientation throughout the trajectory, and torsional transients were reduced dramatically. Their size and dynamics were close to reported data. It was also shown that when the muscle torque axes were rotated by 50% of the eye rotation, there was no torsional transient and Listing's law was perfectly obeyed. When muscle torque axes rotated >50%, torsional transients reversed direction compared with what occurred for muscle axis shifts of law is implemented by the oculomotor plant subject to a two-dimensional command signal that is confined to the pitch-yaw plane, having zero torsion. Saccades that bring the eye to orientations outside Listing's plane could easily be corrected by a roll pulse that resets the roll state of the velocity-position integrator to zero. This would be a simple implementation of the corrective controller suggested by Van Opstal and colleagues. The model further indicates that muscle axis shifts together with the torque orientation relationship for tissue surrounding the eye and Newton's laws of motion form a sufficient plant model to explain saccadic trajectories and periods of fixation when driven by a vector command confined to the pitch-yaw plane. This implies

  2. A strange and surprising debate: mountains, original sin and 'science' in seventeenth-century England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wragge-Morley, Alexander

    2009-06-01

    It could come as a shock to learn that some seventeenth-century men of science and learning thought that mountains were bad. Even more alarmingly, some thought that God had imposed them on the earth to punish man for his sins. By the end of the seventeenth century, surprisingly many English natural philosophers and theologians were engaged in a debate about whether mountains were 'good' or 'bad', useful or useless. At stake in this debate were not just the careers of its participants, but arguments about the best ways of looking at and reckoning with 'nature' itself.

  3. Saccadic eye movements in a high-speed bimanual stacking task: changes of attentional control during learning and automatization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Rebecca M; Carbone, Elena; Koesling, Hendrik; Schneider, Werner X

    2011-06-10

    Principles of saccadic eye movement control in the real world have been derived by the study of self-paced well-known tasks such as sandwich or tea making. Little is known whether these principles generalize to high-speed sensorimotor tasks and how they are affected by learning and automatization. In the present study, right-handers practiced the speed-stacking task in 14 consecutive daily training sessions, while their eye movements were recorded. Speed stacking is a high-speed sensorimotor task that requires grasping, moving, rotating, and placing of objects. The following main results emerged. Throughout practice, the eyes led the hands, displayed by a positive eye-hand time span. Moreover, visual information was gathered for the subsequent manual sub-action, displayed by a positive eye-hand unit span. With automatization, the eye-hand time span became shorter, yet it increased when corrected by the decreasing trial duration. In addition, fixations were mainly allocated to the goal positions of the right hand or objects in the right hand. The number of fixations decreased while the fixation rate remained constant. Importantly, all participants fixated on the same task-relevant locations in a similar scan path across training days, revealing a long-term memory-based mode of attention control after automatization of a high-speed sensorimotor task.

  4. Influence of sparkle and saccades on tongue electro-stimulation-based vision substitution of 2D vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chekhchoukh, Abdessalem; Glade, Nicolas

    2012-06-01

    Vision substitution by electro-stimulation has been studied since the 60s beginning with P. Bach-y-Rita. Camera pictures or movies encoded in gray levels are displayed using an electro-stimulation display device on the surface of a body part, such as the skin or the tongue. Medical-technical devices have been developed on this principle to compensate for sensory-motor disabilities such as blindness or loss of balance, or to guide specific actions, such as surgery. However, the electrical signals of stationary or moving slowly moving objects, displayed on a Tongue display unit (TDU), are quickly lost due to saturation of receptors undergoing electrostimulation. We propose to add random saccades or sparkle to the displayed visual scene to increase the quality of pattern recognition by the subjects. In the present experimental trimodal study (normal vision, TDU vision substitution, or both), we show that the presence of a moderate sparkle level enhances the perception of the direction of lines drawn on a TDU and reduces the response time.

  5. Sensitivity to communicative and non-communicative gestures in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder: saccadic and pupillary responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldaqre, Iyad; Schuwerk, Tobias; Daum, Moritz M; Sodian, Beate; Paulus, Markus

    2016-09-01

    Nonverbal communication using social cues, like gestures, governs a great part of our daily interactions. It has been proposed that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show a deviant processing of social cues throughout their social cognitive development. However, social cues do not always convey an intention to communicate. Hence, the aim of this study was to test the sensitivity of adolescents and adults with ASD and neurotypical controls to social cues of high communicative (pointing) and low communicative values (grasping). For this purpose, we employed a spatial cueing paradigm with both Cue Types and compared saccadic reaction times (SRTs) between conditions in which the target appeared at a location which was congruent versus incongruent with the direction of the cue. Results showed that both adolescents and adults with ASD had slower SRTs for the incongruent relative to the congruent condition for both Cue Types, reflecting sensitivity to these cues. Additionally, mental effort during the processing of these social cues was assessed by means of pupil dilation. This analysis revealed that, while individuals with and without ASD required more mental effort to process incongruent compared to the congruent cues, cues with higher communicative value posed more processing load for the ASD group. These findings suggest that the perception of social gestures is intact in ASD but requires additional mental effort for gestures with higher communicative value.

  6. Expectation and surprise determine neural population responses in the ventral visual stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egner, Tobias; Monti, Jim M; Summerfield, Christopher

    2010-12-08

    Visual cortex is traditionally viewed as a hierarchy of neural feature detectors, with neural population responses being driven by bottom-up stimulus features. Conversely, "predictive coding" models propose that each stage of the visual hierarchy harbors two computationally distinct classes of processing unit: representational units that encode the conditional probability of a stimulus and provide predictions to the next lower level; and error units that encode the mismatch between predictions and bottom-up evidence, and forward prediction error to the next higher level. Predictive coding therefore suggests that neural population responses in category-selective visual regions, like the fusiform face area (FFA), reflect a summation of activity related to prediction ("face expectation") and prediction error ("face surprise"), rather than a homogenous feature detection response. We tested the rival hypotheses of the feature detection and predictive coding models by collecting functional magnetic resonance imaging data from the FFA while independently varying both stimulus features (faces vs houses) and subjects' perceptual expectations regarding those features (low vs medium vs high face expectation). The effects of stimulus and expectation factors interacted, whereby FFA activity elicited by face and house stimuli was indistinguishable under high face expectation and maximally differentiated under low face expectation. Using computational modeling, we show that these data can be explained by predictive coding but not by feature detection models, even when the latter are augmented with attentional mechanisms. Thus, population responses in the ventral visual stream appear to be determined by feature expectation and surprise rather than by stimulus features per se.

  7. Infants’ Looking to Surprising Events: When Eye-Tracking Reveals More than Looking Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, H. Henny; Denison, Stephanie; Johnson, Scott P.

    2016-01-01

    Research on infants’ reasoning abilities often rely on looking times, which are longer to surprising and unexpected visual scenes compared to unsurprising and expected ones. Few researchers have examined more precise visual scanning patterns in these scenes, and so, here, we recorded 8- to 11-month-olds’ gaze with an eye tracker as we presented a sampling event whose outcome was either surprising, neutral, or unsurprising: A red (or yellow) ball was drawn from one of three visible containers populated 0%, 50%, or 100% with identically colored balls. When measuring looking time to the whole scene, infants were insensitive to the likelihood of the sampling event, replicating failures in similar paradigms. Nevertheless, a new analysis of visual scanning showed that infants did spend more time fixating specific areas-of-interest as a function of the event likelihood. The drawn ball and its associated container attracted more looking than the other containers in the 0% condition, but this pattern was weaker in the 50% condition, and even less strong in the 100% condition. Results suggest that measuring where infants look may be more sensitive than simply how much looking there is to the whole scene. The advantages of eye tracking measures over traditional looking measures are discussed. PMID:27926920

  8. A key role for the caudoventral pontine tegmentum in the simultaneous generation of eye saccades in bursts and associated ponto-geniculo-occipital waves during paradoxical sleep in the cat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanni-Mercier, G; Debilly, G

    1998-09-01

    Ponto-geniculo-occipital waves and rapid eye movements (eye saccades) are two prominent phasic events of paradoxical sleep which occur in conjunction. Although they have been studied intensively, the neuronal link between these two events is still poorly understood. On the basis of our previous results, combining brainstem transections and carbachol microinjections, we postulated that the oculomotor and ponto-geniculo-occipital systems do not work in series, but in parallel, and that the caudoventral pontine tegmentum might represent a structure controlling and/or co-ordinating the simultaneous production of the two phenomena. This hypothesis was further supported by the demonstration that, during paradoxical sleep, the instantaneous velocity of eye saccades in bursts is higher than that of isolated ones which, in turn, are more rapid than waking saccades. This acceleration of eye saccades in bursts also seems to be under the cholinergic control of the caudoventral pontine tegmentum. In order to test the hypothesis that this area may be a prime mover leading to the simultaneous appearance of these two phasic events as a whole, we investigated, in the present study, the effects of pharmacological stimulation (with carbachol) and inhibition (with atropine) of the caudoventral pontine tegmentum on the production and the characteristics of eye saccades and ponto-geniculo-occipital waves. Cats' eye movements were recorded using the technique of the scleral search coil in a magnetic field, together with sleep-waking parameters. We found that: (i) unilateral microinjections of carbachol (0.4 microg) induced, during waking, a majority of long bursts of ponto-geniculo-occipital waves (i.e. bursts containing at least five waves) which had intra-burst intervals similar to natural ones (48-259 ms) and decreased the frequency of isolated ponto-geniculo-occipital waves; (ii) unilateral microinjections of atropine (2.4 microg) strongly decreased, during paradoxical sleep, the

  9. Surprises from the resummation of ladders in the ABJ(M) cusp anomalous dimension

    CERN Document Server

    Bonini, Marisa; Preti, Michelangelo; Seminara, Domenico

    2016-01-01

    We study the cusp anomalous dimension in N=6 ABJ(M) theory, identifying a scaling limit in which the ladder diagrams dominate. The resummation is encoded into a Bethe-Salpeter equation that is mapped to a Schroedinger problem, exactly solvable due to the surprising supersymmetry of the effective Hamiltonian. In the ABJ case the solution implies the diagonalization of the U(N) and U(M) building blocks, suggesting the existence of two independent cusp anomalous dimensions and an unexpected exponentiation structure for the related Wilson loops. While consistent with previous perturbative analysis, the strong coupling limit of our result does not agree with the string theory computation, emphasizing a difference with the analogous resummation in the N=4 case.

  10. Probing Critical Point Energies of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides: Surprising Indirect Gap of Single Layer WSe 2

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Chendong

    2015-09-21

    By using a comprehensive form of scanning tunneling spectroscopy, we have revealed detailed quasi-particle electronic structures in transition metal dichalcogenides, including the quasi-particle gaps, critical point energy locations, and their origins in the Brillouin zones. We show that single layer WSe surprisingly has an indirect quasi-particle gap with the conduction band minimum located at the Q-point (instead of K), albeit the two states are nearly degenerate. We have further observed rich quasi-particle electronic structures of transition metal dichalcogenides as a function of atomic structures and spin-orbit couplings. Such a local probe for detailed electronic structures in conduction and valence bands will be ideal to investigate how electronic structures of transition metal dichalcogenides are influenced by variations of local environment.

  11. OCEAN CIRCULATION. Observing the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation yields a decade of inevitable surprises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srokosz, M A; Bryden, H L

    2015-06-19

    The importance of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) heat transport for climate is well acknowledged. Climate models predict that the AMOC will slow down under global warming, with substantial impacts, but measurements of ocean circulation have been inadequate to evaluate these predictions. Observations over the past decade have changed that situation, providing a detailed picture of variations in the AMOC. These observations reveal a surprising degree of AMOC variability in terms of the intraannual range, the amplitude and phase of the seasonal cycle, the interannual changes in strength affecting the ocean heat content, and the decline of the AMOC over the decade, both of the latter two exceeding the variations seen in climate models. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation occurs often in cryptogenic ischaemic stroke. Final results from the SURPRISE study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Louisa; Krieger, D W; Højberg, S;

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Atrial fibrillation (AF) increases the risk of stroke fourfold and is associated with a poor clinical outcome. Despite work-up in compliance with guidelines, up to one-third of patients have cryptogenic stroke (CS). The prevalence of asymptomatic paroxysmal atrial...... fibrillation (PAF) in CS remains unknown. The SURPRISE project aimed at determining this rate using long-term cardiac monitoring. METHODS: Patients with CS after protocolled work-up including electrocardiography (ECG) and telemetry were included after informed consent. An implantable loop recorder (ILR...... patients (16.1%). In three patients PAF was detected by other methods before or after monitoring and was undiscovered due to device sensitivity in one case. The first event of PAF was documented at a mean of 109 days (SD ±48) after stroke onset. PAF was asymptomatic in all cases and occurred in episodes...

  13. Probing Critical Point Energies of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides: Surprising Indirect Gap of Single Layer WSe2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chendong; Chen, Yuxuan; Johnson, Amber; Li, Ming-Yang; Li, Lain-Jong; Mende, Patrick C; Feenstra, Randall M; Shih, Chih-Kang

    2015-10-14

    By using a comprehensive form of scanning tunneling spectroscopy, we have revealed detailed quasi-particle electronic structures in transition metal dichalcogenides, including the quasi-particle gaps, critical point energy locations, and their origins in the Brillouin zones. We show that single layer WSe2 surprisingly has an indirect quasi-particle gap with the conduction band minimum located at the Q-point (instead of K), albeit the two states are nearly degenerate. We have further observed rich quasi-particle electronic structures of transition metal dichalcogenides as a function of atomic structures and spin-orbit couplings. Such a local probe for detailed electronic structures in conduction and valence bands will be ideal to investigate how electronic structures of transition metal dichalcogenides are influenced by variations of local environment.

  14. Beyond surprise: the puzzle of infants' expressive reactions to expectancy violation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Klaus R; Zentner, Marcel R; Stern, Daniel

    2004-12-01

    The reactions of 58 infants to expectancy violation by digitally filtering the experimenter's voice were studied in a cross-sectional design for ages 5, 7, 9, 11-12, and 14 months. The results show that behavioral freezing and changes in gaze direction, but not facial or vocal expression, are reliable responses to expectancy violation. The pattern suggests that a transition in the infant's capacity for cognitive evaluation of novel and discrepant events may occur around age 9 months. These findings confirm the consistent failure to find prototypical facial surprise reactions in research on novel or impossible situations. Componential theories of emotion, which predict adaptive behavior patterns from appraisal processes, may provide clues for underlying mechanisms and generate hypotheses on age-related changes in emotional expression. copyright (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. Pronunciation Learning Strategies: A First Look.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Susan S.

    In recent years, articles about second language learning strategies and about second language pronunciation instruction have been on the increase. Surprisingly, there appears to be no published study to date that focuses on the relationship between pronunciation and learning strategies. This exploratory study focuses solely on documenting and…

  16. Surprising judgments about robot drivers: Experiments on rising expectations and blaming humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Danielson

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available N-Reasons is an experimental Internet survey platform designed to enhance public participation in applied ethics and policy. N-Reasons encourages individuals to generate reasons to support their judgments, and groups to converge on a common set of reasons pro and con various issues.  In the Robot Ethics Survey some of the reasons contributed surprising judgments about autonomous machines. Presented with a version of the trolley problem with an autonomous train as the agent, participants gave unexpected answers, revealing high expectations for the autonomous machine and shifting blame from the automated device to the humans in the scenario. Further experiments with a standard pair of human-only trolley problems refine these results. While showing the high expectations even when no autonomous machine is involved, human bystanders are only blamed in the machine case. A third experiment explicitly aimed at responsibility for driverless cars confirms our findings about shifting blame in the case of autonomous machine agents. We conclude methodologically that both results point to the power of an experimental survey based approach to public participation to explore surprising assumptions and judgments in applied ethics. However, both results also support using caution when interpreting survey results in ethics, demonstrating the importance of qualitative data to provide further context for evaluating judgments revealed by surveys. On the ethics side, the result about shifting blame to humans interacting with autonomous machines suggests caution about the unintended consequences of intuitive principles requiring human responsibility.http://dx.doi.org/10.5324/eip.v9i1.1727

  17. The impact of salience and visual working memory on the monitoring and control of saccadic behavior: An eye-tracking and EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Matthew D; Hickey, Clayton; van Zoest, Wieske

    2017-01-10

    In a concurrent eye-tracking and EEG study, we investigated the impact of salience on the monitoring and control of eye movement behavior and the role of visual working memory (VWM) capacity in mediating this effect. Participants made eye movements to a unique line-segment target embedded in a search display also containing a unique distractor. Target and distractor salience was manipulated by varying degree of orientation offset from a homogenous background. VWM capacity was measured using a change-detection task. Results showed greater likelihood of incorrect saccades when the distractor was relatively more salient than when the target was salient. Misdirected saccades to salient distractors were strongly represented in the error-monitoring system by rapid and robust error-related negativity (ERN), which predicted a significant adjustment of oculomotor behavior. Misdirected saccades to less-salient distractors, while arguably representing larger errors, were not as well detected or utilized by the error/performance-monitoring system. This system was instead better engaged in tasks requiring greater cognitive control and by individuals with higher VWM capacity. Our findings show that relative salience of task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli can define situations where an increase in cognitive control is necessary, with individual differences in VWM capacity explaining significant variance in the degree of monitoring and control of goal-directed eye movement behavior. The present study supports a conflict-monitoring interpretation of the ERN, whereby the level of competition between different responses, and the stimuli that define these responses, was more important in the generation of an enhanced ERN than the error commission itself.

  18. Brain-computer interface combining eye saccade two-electrode EEG signals and voice cues to improve the maneuverability of wheelchair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ker-Jiun; Zhang, Lan; Luan, Bo; Tung, Hsiao-Wei; Liu, Quanfeng; Wei, Jiacheng; Sun, Mingui; Mao, Zhi-Hong

    2017-07-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) largely augment human capabilities by translating brain wave signals into feasible commands to operate external devices. However, many issues face the development of BCIs such as the low classification accuracy of brain signals and the tedious human-learning procedures. To solve these problems, we propose to use signals associated with eye saccades and blinks to control a BCI interface. By extracting existing physiological eye signals, the user does not need to adapt his/her brain waves to the device. Furthermore, using saccade signals to control an external device frees the limbs to perform other tasks. In this research, we use two electrodes placed on top of the left and right ears of thirteen participants. Then we use Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to extract meaningful EEG signals associated with eye movements. A sliding-window technique was implemented to collect relevant features. Finally, we classified the features as horizontal or blink eye movements using KNN and SVM. We were able to achieve a mean classification accuracy of about 97%. The two electrodes were then integrated with off-the-shelf earbuds to control a wheelchair. The earbuds can generate voice cues to indicate when to rotate the eyeballs to certain locations (i.e., left or right) or blink, so that the user can select directional commands to drive the wheelchair. In addition, through properly designing the contents of voice menus, we can generate as many commands as possible, even though we only have limited numbers of states of the identified eye saccade movements.

  19. The Nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Lots of Surprises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Rosetta Science Working Team

    2016-10-01

    ESA's Rosetta mission has made many new and unexpected discoveries since its arrival at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. The first of these was the unusual shape of the cometary nucleus. Although bilobate nuclei had been seen before, the extreme concavities on 67P were unexpected. Evidence gathered during the mission suggests that two independent bodies came together to form 67P, rather than the nucleus being a single body that was sculpted by sublimation and/or other processes. Although not a surprise, early observations showed that the nucleus rotation period had decreased by ~22 minutes since the previous aphelion passage. A similar rotation period decrease was seen post-perihelion during the encounter. These changes likely arise from asymmetric jetting forces from the irregular nucleus. Initially, Rosetta's instruments found little evidence for water ice on the surface; the presence of surface water ice increased substantially as the nucleus approached perihelion. The nucleus bulk density, 533 ± 6 kg/m3, was measured with Radio Science and OSIRIS imaging of the nucleus volume. This confirmed previous estimates based on indirect methods that the bulk density of cometary nuclei was on the order of 500-600 kg/m3 and on measurement of the density of 9P/Tempel 1's nucleus by Deep Impact. Nucleus topography proved to be highly varied, from smooth dust-covered plains to shallow circular basins, to the very rough terrain where the Philae lander came to rest. Evidence of thermal cracking is everywhere. The discovery of cylindrical pits on the surface, typically 100-200m in diameter with similar depths was a major surprise and has been interpreted as sinkholes. "Goose-bump" terrain consisting of apparently random piles of boulders 2-3 m in diameter was another unexpected discovery. Apparent layering with scales of meters to many tens of meters was seen but there was little or no evidence for impact features. Radar tomography of the interior of the "head

  20. Investigation of the heat source(s) of the Surprise Valley Geothermal System, Northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, N.; Holt, C. D.; Hawkes, S.; McClain, J. S.; Safford, L.; Mink, L. L.; Rose, C.; Zierenberg, R. A.

    2016-12-01

    Concerns about environmental impacts and energy security have led to an increased interest in sustainable and renewable energy resources, including geothermal systems. It is essential to know the permeability structure and possible heat source(s) of a geothermal area in order to assess the capacity and extent of the potential resource. We have undertaken geophysical surveys at the Surprise Valley Hot Springs in Cedarville, California to characterize essential parameters related to a fault-controlled geothermal system. At present, the heat source(s) for the system are unknown. Igneous bodies in the area are likely too old to have retained enough heat to supply the system, so it is probable that fracture networks provide heat from some deeper or more distributed heat sources. However, the fracture system and permeability structure remain enigmatic. The goal of our research is to identify the pathways for fluid transport within the Surprise Valley geothermal system using a combination of geophysical methods including active seismic surveys and short- and long-period magnetotelluric (MT) surveys. We have collected 14 spreads, consisting of 24 geophones each, of active-source seismic data. We used a "Betsy Gun" source at 8 to 12 locations along each spread and have collected and analyzed about 2800 shot-receiver pairs. Seismic velocities reveal shallow lake sediments, as well as velocities consistent with porous basalts. The latter, with velocities of greater than 3.0 km/s, lie along strike with known hot springs and faulted and tilted basalt outcrops outside our field area. This suggests that basalts may provide a permeable pathway through impermeable lake deposits. We conducted short-period (10Hz-60kHz) MT measurements at 33 stations. Our short-period MT models indicate shallow resistive blocks (>100Ωm) with a thin cover of more conductive sediments ( 10Ωm) at the surface. Hot springs are located in gaps between resistive blocks and are connected to deeper low

  1. Surprising results on phylogenetic tree building methods based on molecular sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonnet Gaston H

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We analyze phylogenetic tree building methods from molecular sequences (PTMS. These are methods which base their construction solely on sequences, coding DNA or amino acids. Results Our first result is a statistically significant evaluation of 176 PTMSs done by comparing trees derived from 193138 orthologous groups of proteins using a new measure of quality between trees. This new measure, called the Intra measure, is very consistent between different groups of species and strong in the sense that it separates the methods with high confidence. The second result is the comparison of the trees against trees derived from accepted taxonomies, the Taxon measure. We consider the NCBI taxonomic classification and their derived topologies as the most accepted biological consensus on phylogenies, which are also available in electronic form. The correlation between the two measures is remarkably high, which supports both measures simultaneously. Conclusions The big surprise of the evaluation is that the maximum likelihood methods do not score well, minimal evolution distance methods over MSA-induced alignments score consistently better. This comparison also allows us to rank different components of the tree building methods, like MSAs, substitution matrices, ML tree builders, distance methods, etc. It is also clear that there is a difference between Metazoa and the rest, which points out to evolution leaving different molecular traces. We also think that these measures of quality of trees will motivate the design of new PTMSs as it is now easier to evaluate them with certainty.

  2. Pooling designs with surprisingly high degree of error correction in a finite vector space

    CERN Document Server

    Guo, Jun

    2011-01-01

    Pooling designs are standard experimental tools in many biotechnical applications. It is well-known that all famous pooling designs are constructed from mathematical structures by the "containment matrix" method. In particular, Macula's designs (resp. Ngo and Du's designs) are constructed by the containment relation of subsets (resp. subspaces) in a finite set (resp. vector space). Recently, we generalized Macula's designs and obtained a family of pooling designs with more high degree of error correction by subsets in a finite set. In this paper, as a generalization of Ngo and Du's designs, we study the corresponding problems in a finite vector space and obtain a family of pooling designs with surprisingly high degree of error correction. Our designs and Ngo and Du's designs have the same number of items and pools, respectively, but the error-tolerant property is much better than that of Ngo and Du's designs, which was given by D'yachkov et al. \\cite{DF}, when the dimension of the space is large enough.

  3. IP Eri: A surprising long-period binary system hosting a He white dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    Merle, T; Masseron, T; Van Eck, S; Siess, L; Van Winckel, H

    2014-01-01

    We determine the orbital elements for the K0 IV + white dwarf (WD) system IP Eri, which appears to have a surprisingly long period of 1071 d and a significant eccentricity of 0.25. Previous spectroscopic analyses of the WD, based on a distance of 101 pc inferred from its Hipparcos parallax, yielded a mass of only 0.43 M$_\\odot$, implying it to be a helium-core WD. The orbital properties of IP Eri are similar to those of the newly discovered long-period subdwarf B star (sdB) binaries, which involve stars with He-burning cores surrounded by extremely thin H envelopes, and are therefore close relatives to He WDs. We performed a spectroscopic analysis of high-resolution spectra from the HERMES/Mercator spectrograph and concluded that the atmospheric parameters of the K0 component are $T_{\\rm eff} = 4960$ K, $\\log{g} = 3.3$, [Fe/H] = 0.09 and $\\xi = 1.5$ km/s. The detailed abundance analysis focuses on C, N, O abundances, carbon isotopic ratio, light (Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti) and s-process (Sr, Y, Zr, Ba, La, Ce, N...

  4. Surprising dissimilarities in a newly formed pair of 'identical twin' stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stassun, Keivan G; Mathieu, Robert D; Cargile, Phillip A; Aarnio, Alicia N; Stempels, Eric; Geller, Aaron

    2008-06-19

    The mass and chemical composition of a star are the primary determinants of its basic physical properties-radius, temperature and luminosity-and how those properties evolve with time. Accordingly, two stars born at the same time, from the same natal material and with the same mass, are 'identical twins,' and as such might be expected to possess identical physical attributes. We have discovered in the Orion nebula a pair of stellar twins in a newborn binary star system. Each star in the binary has a mass of 0.41 +/- 0.01 solar masses, identical to within 2 per cent. Here we report that these twin stars have surface temperatures differing by approximately 300 K ( approximately 10 per cent) and luminosities differing by approximately 50 per cent, both at high confidence level. Preliminary results indicate that the stars' radii also differ, by 5-10 per cent. These surprising dissimilarities suggest that one of the twins may have been delayed by several hundred thousand years in its formation relative to its sibling. Such a delay could only have been detected in a very young, definitively equal-mass binary system. Our findings reveal cosmic limits on the age synchronization of young binary stars, often used as tests for the age calibrations of star-formation models.

  5. The Surprising Composition of the Salivary Proteome of Preterm Human Newborn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castagnola, Massimo; Inzitari, Rosanna; Fanali, Chiara; Iavarone, Federica; Vitali, Alberto; Desiderio, Claudia; Vento, Giovanni; Tirone, Chiara; Romagnoli, Costantino; Cabras, Tiziana; Manconi, Barbara; Teresa Sanna, Maria; Boi, Roberto; Pisano, Elisabetta; Olianas, Alessandra; Pellegrini, Mariagiuseppina; Nemolato, Sonia; Wilhelm Heizmann, Claus; Faa, Gavino; Messana, Irene

    2011-01-01

    Saliva is a body fluid of a unique composition devoted to protect the mouth cavity and the digestive tract. Our high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-electrospray ionization-MS analysis of the acidic soluble fraction of saliva from preterm human newborn surprisingly revealed more than 40 protein masses often undetected in adult saliva. We were able to identify the following proteins: stefin A and stefin B, S100A7 (two isoforms), S100A8, S100A9 (four isoforms), S100A11, S100A12, small proline-rich protein 3 (two isoforms), lysozyme C, thymosins β4 and β10, antileukoproteinase, histone H1c, and α and γ globins. The average mass value reported in international data banks was often incongruent with our experimental results mostly because of post-translational modifications of the proteins, e.g. acetylation of the N-terminal residue. A quantitative label-free MS analysis showed protein levels altered in relation to the postconceptional age and suggested coordinate and hierarchical functions for these proteins during development. In summary, this study shows for the first time that analysis of these proteins in saliva of preterm newborns might represent a noninvasive way to obtain precious information of the molecular mechanisms of development of human fetal oral structures. PMID:20943598

  6. Marine Protected Areas, Multiple-Agency Management, and Monumental Surprise in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John N. Kittinger

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Large, regional-scale marine protected areas (MPAs and MPA networks face different challenges in governance systems than locally managed or community-based MPAs. An emerging theme in large-scale MPA management is the prevalence of governance structures that rely on institutional collaboration, presenting new challenges as agencies with differing mandates and cultures work together to implement ecosystem-based management. We analyzed qualitative interview data to investigate multi-level social interactions and institutional responses to the surprise establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (monument in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI. The governance arrangement for the monument represents a new model in US MPA management, requiring two federal agencies and the State of Hawai‘i to collaboratively manage the NWHI. We elucidate the principal barriers to institutional cotrusteeship, characterize institutional transformations that have occurred among the partner agencies in the transition to collaborative management, and evaluate the governance arrangement for the monument as a model for MPAs. The lessons learned from the NWHI governance arrangement are critical as large-scale MPAs requiring multiple-agency management become a prevalent feature on the global seascape.

  7. You'll Never Guess Who Wrote That: 78 Surprising Authors of Psychological Publications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilienfeld, Scott O; Lynn, Steven Jay

    2016-07-01

    One can find psychological authors in the most unexpected places. We present a capsule summary of scholarly publications of psychological interest authored or coauthored by 78 surprising individuals, most of whom are celebrities or relatives of celebrities, historical figures, or people who have otherwise achieved visibility in academic circles, politics, religion, art, and diverse realms of popular culture. Still other publications are authored by individuals who are far better known for their contributions to popular than to academic psychology. The publications, stretching across more than two centuries, encompass a wide swath of domains of psychological inquiry and highlight the intersection of psychology with fields that fall outside its traditional borders, including public health, economics, law, neurosurgery, and even magic. Many of these scholarly contributions have enriched psychology and its allied disciplines, such as psychiatry, in largely unappreciated ways, and they illustrate the penetration of psychological knowledge into multiple scientific disciplines and everyday life. At the same time, our author list demonstrates that remarkable intellectual accomplishments in one scientific domain, such as physics, do not necessarily translate into success in psychology and underscores the distinction between intelligence, on the one hand, and critical thinking and wisdom, on the other.

  8. Surprise responses in the human brain demonstrate statistical learning under high concurrent cognitive demand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Marta Isabel; Teng, Chee Leong James; Taylor, Jeremy Alexander; Rowe, Elise Genevieve; Mattingley, Jason Brett

    2016-06-01

    The ability to learn about regularities in the environment and to make predictions about future events is fundamental for adaptive behaviour. We have previously shown that people can implicitly encode statistical regularities and detect violations therein, as reflected in neuronal responses to unpredictable events that carry a unique prediction error signature. In the real world, however, learning about regularities will often occur in the context of competing cognitive demands. Here we asked whether learning of statistical regularities is modulated by concurrent cognitive load. We compared electroencephalographic metrics associated with responses to pure-tone sounds with frequencies sampled from narrow or wide Gaussian distributions. We showed that outliers evoked a larger response than those in the centre of the stimulus distribution (i.e., an effect of surprise) and that this difference was greater for physically identical outliers in the narrow than in the broad distribution. These results demonstrate an early neurophysiological marker of the brain's ability to implicitly encode complex statistical structure in the environment. Moreover, we manipulated concurrent cognitive load by having participants perform a visual working memory task while listening to these streams of sounds. We again observed greater prediction error responses in the narrower distribution under both low and high cognitive load. Furthermore, there was no reliable reduction in prediction error magnitude under high-relative to low-cognitive load. Our findings suggest that statistical learning is not a capacity limited process, and that it proceeds automatically even when cognitive resources are taxed by concurrent demands.

  9. A surprisingly simple correlation between the classical and quantum structural networks in liquid water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamm, Peter; Fanourgakis, George S.; Xantheas, Sotiris S.

    2017-08-14

    Nuclear quantum effects in liquid water have profound implications for several of its macroscopic properties related to structure, dynamics, spectroscopy and transport. Although several of water’s macroscopic properties can be reproduced by classical descriptions of the nuclei using potentials effectively parameterized for a narrow range of its phase diagram, a proper account of the nuclear quantum effects is required in order to ensure that the underlying molecular interactions are transferable across a wide temperature range covering different regions of that diagram. When performing an analysis of the hydrogen bonded structural networks in liquid water resulting from the classical (class.) and quantum (q.m.) descriptions of the nuclei with the transferable, flexible, polarizable TTM3-F interaction potential, we found that the two results can be superimposed over the temperature range of T=270-350 K using a surprisingly simple, linear scaling of the two temperatures according to T(q.m.)=aT(class)- T , where a=1.2 and T=51 K. The linear scaling and constant shift of the temperature scale can be considered as a generalization of the previously reported temperature shifts (corresponding to structural changes and the melting T) induced by quantum effects in liquid water.

  10. Polar F-layer model-observation comparisons: a neutral wind surprise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. J. Sojka

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The existence of a month-long continuous database of incoherent scatter radar observations of the ionosphere from the EISCAT Savlbard Radar (ESR at Longyearbyen, Norway, provides an unprecedented opportunity for model/data comparisons. Physics-based ionospheric models, such as the Utah State University Time Dependent Ionospheric Model (TDIM, are usually only compared with observations over restricted one or two day events or against climatological averages. In this study, using the ESR observations, the daily weather, day-to-day variability, and month-long climatology can be simultaneously addressed to identify modeling shortcomings and successes. Since for this study the TDIM is driven by climatological representations of the magnetospheric convection, auroral oval, neutral atmosphere, and neutral winds, whose inputs are solar and geomagnetic indices, it is not surprising that the daily weather cannot be reproduced. What is unexpected is that the horizontal neutral wind has come to the forefront as a decisive model input parameter in matching the diurnal morphology of density structuring seen in the observations.

  11. Disruptive behavior disorders and indicators of disinhibition in adolescents: The BRIEF-SR, anti-saccade task, and D-KEFS color-word interference test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, E C; Hill, J; Luna, B; Verhulst, B; Clark, D B

    2015-10-01

    Disinhibition contributes to the development of disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) in adolescents. Self-reports and behavioral tasks are commonly used to assess disinhibition, each with their unique strengths and limitations. Accordingly, it is important to identify which measure, or combination thereof, is the most effective in predicting DBD symptoms. This study assessed the relationship between DBD (symptoms of ADHD/ODD/CD) and two behavioral disinhibition tasks: the anti-saccade task and the D-KEFS color-word interference test, as well as a self-report measure (the BRIEF-SR). The results indicated that the BRIEF-Inhibit scale accounted for the majority of the variance in the DBD sum score. The anti-saccade task and color-word interference test were also significantly associated with an increase in the number of DBD symptoms endorsed. These behavioral tasks accounted for 9% additional variance than the self-report alone. Therefore, combining self-report measures with behavioral disinhibition tasks may provide the most thorough assessment of adolescent DBD.

  12. Geophysical Investigation of the Lake City Fault Zone, Surprise Valley, California, and Implications for Geothermal Circulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPhee, D. K.; Glen, J. M.; Egger, A. E.; Chuchel, B. A.

    2009-12-01

    New audiomagnetotelluric (AMT), gravity, and magnetic data were collected in Surprise Valley, northwestern Basin and Range, in order to investigate the role that the Lake City Fault Zone (LCFZ) may play in controlling geothermal circulation in the area. Surprise Valley hosts an extensional geothermal system currently undergoing exploration for development on several scales. The focus of much of that exploration has been the LCFZ, a set of NW-SE-trending structures that has been suggested on the basis of (1) low-relief scarps in the NW portion of the zone, (2) dissolved mineral-rich groundwater chemistry along its length, and (3) parallelism with a strong regional fabric that includes the Brothers Fault Zone. The LCFZ extends across the valley at a topographic high, intersecting the N-S-trending basin-bounding faults where major hot springs occur. This relationship suggests that the LCFZ may be a zone of permeability for flow of hydrothermal fluids. Previous potential field data indicate that there is no vertical offset along this fault zone, and little signature at all in either the gravity or magnetic data; along with the lack of surface expression along most of its length, the subsurface geometry of the LCFZ and its influence on geothermal fluid circulation remains enigmatic. The LCFZ therefore provides an ideal opportunity to utilize AMT data, which measures subsurface resistivity and therefore - unlike potential field data - is highly sensitive to the presence of saline fluids. AMT data and additional gravity and magnetic data were collected in 2009 along 3 profiles perpendicular to the LCFZ in order to define the subsurface geometry and conductivity of the fault zone down to depths of ~ 500 m. AMT soundings were collected using the Geometrics Stratagem EH4 system, a four channel, natural and controlled-source tensor system recording in the range of 10 to 92,000 Hz. To augment the low signal in the natural field a transmitter of two horizontal-magnetic dipoles

  13. Lymphocytic alveolitis: A surprising index of poor prognosis in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalavanga, Y A; Voulgari, P V; Georgiadis, A N; Leontaridi, C; Katsenos, S; Vassiliou, M; Drosos, A A; Constantopoulos, S H

    2006-07-01

    Twelve years ago we reported that lymphocytic alveolitis [or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) lymphocytosis] correlates with clinical pulmonary involvement in primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS). Our thesis was based on subtle clinical and functional evidence of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in pSS patients with "high lymphocytic alveolitis" (>15% lymphocytes in BAL). This report is a follow-up study of these patients. Basic clinical and functional re-evaluation of the 22 patients with pSS, studied in 1991, emphasized the differences between those with alveolitis and those without alveolitis. There was no significant functional decline. There were, however, two statistically significant differences between the two groups: (1) only patients with BAL lymphocytosis had to be treated with steroids (5/12 vs. 0/10, P < 0.05) and (2) only patients with BAL lymphocytosis had died in the mean time (6/12 vs. 0/10, P < 0.01). The causes of death were various. On only two occasions were they related to respiratory infections while there were no deaths from respiratory failure secondary to ILD. BAL lymphocytosis appears to be a surprisingly serious index of dismal prognosis in patients with pSS. We offer no unifying pathophysiologic mechanism for it and, therefore, all we propose is that BAL is performed early, in as many patients with pSS as possible. These patients should then be followed up systematically, in order to evaluate if BAL lymphocytosis has any pathophysiologic importance in the development of clinically serious pSS, which is serious enough to lead to death.

  14. A post-genomic surprise. The molecular reinscription of race in science, law and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duster, Troy

    2015-03-01

    The completion of the first draft of the Human Genome Map in 2000 was widely heralded as the promise and future of genetics-based medicines and therapies - so much so that pundits began referring to the new century as 'The Century of Genetics'. Moreover, definitive assertions about the overwhelming similarities of all humans' DNA (99.9 per cent) by the leaders of the Human Genome Project were trumpeted as the end of racial thinking about racial taxonomies of human genetic differences. But the first decade of the new century brought unwelcomed surprises. First, gene therapies turned out to be far more complicated than any had anticipated - and instead the pharmaceutical industry turned to a focus on drugs that might be 'related' to population differences based upon genetic markers. While the language of 'personalized medicine' dominated this frame, research on racially and ethnically designated populations differential responsiveness to drugs dominated the empirical work in the field. Ancestry testing and 'admixture research' would play an important role in a new kind of molecular reification of racial categories. Moreover, the capacity of the super-computer to map differences reverberated into personal identification that would affect both the criminal justice system and forensic science, and generate new levels of concern about personal privacy. Social scientists in general, and sociologists in particular, have been caught short by these developments - relying mainly on assertions that racial categories are socially constructed, regionally and historically contingent, and politically arbitrary. While these assertions are true, the imprimatur of scientific legitimacy has shifted the burden, since now 'admixture research' can claim that its results get at the 'reality' of human differentiation, not the admittedly flawed social constructions of racial categories. Yet what was missing from this framing of the problem: 'admixture research' is itself based upon socially

  15. Explanatory models of health and disease: surprises from within the former Soviet Union

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana I Andreeva

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Extract The review of anthropological theories as applied to public health by Jennifer J. Carroll (Carroll, 2013 published in this issue of TCPHEE made me recollect my first and most surprising discoveries of how differently same things can be understood in different parts of the world. Probably less unexpectedly, these impressions concern substance abuse and addiction behaviors, similarly to many examples deployed by Jennifer J. Carroll. The first of these events happened soon after the break-up of the Soviet Union when some of the most active people from the West rushed to discover what was going on behind the opening iron curtain. A director of an addiction clinic, who had just come into contact with a Dutch counterpart, invited me to join the collaboration and the innovation process he planned to launch. Being a participant of the exchange program started within this collaboration, I had an opportunity to discover how addictive behaviors were understood and explained in books (English, 1961; Kooyman, 1992; Viorst, 1986 recommended by the colleagues in the Netherlands and, as I could observe with my own eyes, addressed in everyday practice. This was a jaw-dropping contrast to what I learnt at the soviet medical university and some post-graduate courses, where all the diseases related to alcohol, tobacco, or drug abuse were considered predominantly a result of the substance intake. In the Soviet discourse, the intake itself was understood as 'willful and deliberate' or immoral behavior which, in some cases, was to be rectified in prison-like treatment facilities. In the West, quite oppositely, substance abuse was seen rather as a consequence of a constellation of life-course adversities thoroughly considered by developmental psychology. This approach was obviously deeply ingrained in how practitioners diagnosed and treated their patients.

  16. The genome of Pelobacter carbinolicus reveals surprising metabolic capabilities and physiological features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aklujkar Muktak

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The bacterium Pelobacter carbinolicus is able to grow by fermentation, syntrophic hydrogen/formate transfer, or electron transfer to sulfur from short-chain alcohols, hydrogen or formate; it does not oxidize acetate and is not known to ferment any sugars or grow autotrophically. The genome of P. carbinolicus was sequenced in order to understand its metabolic capabilities and physiological features in comparison with its relatives, acetate-oxidizing Geobacter species. Results Pathways were predicted for catabolism of known substrates: 2,3-butanediol, acetoin, glycerol, 1,2-ethanediol, ethanolamine, choline and ethanol. Multiple isozymes of 2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase, ATP synthase and [FeFe]-hydrogenase were differentiated and assigned roles according to their structural properties and genomic contexts. The absence of asparagine synthetase and the presence of a mutant tRNA for asparagine encoded among RNA-active enzymes suggest that P. carbinolicus may make asparaginyl-tRNA in a novel way. Catabolic glutamate dehydrogenases were discovered, implying that the tricarboxylic acid (TCA cycle can function catabolically. A phosphotransferase system for uptake of sugars was discovered, along with enzymes that function in 2,3-butanediol production. Pyruvate:ferredoxin/flavodoxin oxidoreductase was identified as a potential bottleneck in both the supply of oxaloacetate for oxidation of acetate by the TCA cycle and the connection of glycolysis to production of ethanol. The P. carbinolicus genome was found to encode autotransporters and various appendages, including three proteins with similarity to the geopilin of electroconductive nanowires. Conclusions Several surprising metabolic capabilities and physiological features were predicted from the genome of P. carbinolicus, suggesting that it is more versatile than anticipated.

  17. Virtual Volatility, an Elementary New Concept with Surprising Stock Market Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prange, Richard; Silva, A. Christian

    2006-03-01

    Textbook investors start by predicting the future price distribution, PDF, of a candidate stock (or portfolio) at horizon T, e.g. a year hence. A (log)normal PDF with center (=drift =expected return) μT and width (=volatility) σT is often assumed on Central Limit Theorem grounds, i.e. by a random walk of daily (log)price increments δs. The standard deviation, stdev, of historical (ex post) δs `s is usually a fair predictor of the coming year's (ex ante) stdev(δs) = σdaily, but the historical mean E(δs) at best roughly limits the true, to be predicted, drift by μtrueT˜ μhistT ± σhistT. Textbooks take a PDF with σ ˜ σdaily and μ as somehow known, as if accurate predictions of μ were possible. It is elementary and presumably new to argue that an average of PDF's over a range of μ values should be taken, e.g. an average over forecasts by different analysts. We estimate that this leads to a PDF with a `virtual' volatility σ ˜ 1.3σdaily. It is indeed clear that uncertainty in the value of the expected gain parameter increases the risk of investment in that security by most measures, e. g. Sharpe's ratio μT/σT will be 30% smaller because of this effect. It is significant and surprising that there are investments which benefit from this 30% virtual increase in the volatility

  18. Surprising results from abiotic enzyme digestion of dissolved organic matter at the molecular scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, N. J.; Tfaily, M. M.; Heredia-Langnar, A.; Rodriguez, L.; Purvine, E.; Todd-Brown, K. E.

    2016-12-01

    Sometimes even the simplest of experiments leads to unexpected results and new understanding. We extract dissolved organic matter using water from peat soil obtained from the S1 bog at the Marcell Experimental Forest in northern Minnesota. We characterized the dissolved organic matter in the water extract before and after adding glucosidase, peroxidase and β-N-Acetylglucosaminidase enzymes using electrospray Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry in negative ion mode. Based on mass measurement accuracy of less than 1 ppm for singly charged ions, we assigned putative chemical formula to greater than 80% of the measured mass spectrometry features. For each enzyme tested we are able to easily distinguish between the types and composition of dissolved organic molecules that are susceptible to enzyme degradation - and those that are not - based on the presence new compounds in reacted extracts and loss of compounds from the initial water extract. Next, we created a consensus molecular network analysis based on the neutral mass loss between the measured compounds for each enzyme. The connectivity within these networks suggested a unique, distinctive chemistry for each enzyme. Some results were expected, like the nondiscriminatory oxidation of organic molecules by peroxidase and preferential loss of lignin and tannin-like molecules by glucosidase. However, surprising results include the apparent reactivity of glucosidase enzymatic products to reassemble, forming larger mass organic molecules. While these experiments were conducted abiotically, these molecular-resolved results suggest that biotic enzymatic processes may result in product compounds with unexpected chemistry and reactivity, implying that our current conceptual model of microbial enzymatic activity may be overly simplistic.

  19. The analysis of eight transcriptomes from all poriferan classes reveals surprising genetic complexity in sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesgo, Ana; Farrar, Nathan; Windsor, Pamela J; Giribet, Gonzalo; Leys, Sally P

    2014-05-01

    Sponges (Porifera) are among the earliest evolving metazoans. Their filter-feeding body plan based on choanocyte chambers organized into a complex aquiferous system is so unique among metazoans that it either reflects an early divergence from other animals prior to the evolution of features such as muscles and nerves, or that sponges lost these characters. Analyses of the Amphimedon and Oscarella genomes support this view of uniqueness-many key metazoan genes are absent in these sponges-but whether this is generally true of other sponges remains unknown. We studied the transcriptomes of eight sponge species in four classes (Hexactinellida, Demospongiae, Homoscleromorpha, and Calcarea) specifically seeking genes and pathways considered to be involved in animal complexity. For reference, we also sought these genes in transcriptomes and genomes of three unicellular opisthokonts, two sponges (A. queenslandica and O. carmela), and two bilaterian taxa. Our analyses showed that all sponge classes share an unexpectedly large complement of genes with other metazoans. Interestingly, hexactinellid, calcareous, and homoscleromorph sponges share more genes with bilaterians than with nonbilaterian metazoans. We were surprised to find representatives of most molecules involved in cell-cell communication, signaling, complex epithelia, immune recognition, and germ-lineage/sex, with only a few, but potentially key, absences. A noteworthy finding was that some important genes were absent from all demosponges (transcriptomes and the Amphimedon genome), which might reflect divergence from main-stem lineages including hexactinellids, calcareous sponges, and homoscleromorphs. Our results suggest that genetic complexity arose early in evolution as shown by the presence of these genes in most of the animal lineages, which suggests sponges either possess cryptic physiological and morphological complexity and/or have lost ancestral cell types or physiological processes.

  20. Guerilla-Pedagogy: On the Importance of Surprise and Responsibility in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weems, Lisa D.

    2013-01-01

    This article examines the need for an epistemological and ethical shift to a "guerilla pedagogy" in education. Guerilla pedagogy is characterized as a form of engagement that utilizes a wide variety of strategies, tactics, and missives toward the goal of "reterritorializing" both the academy and what counts as knowledge…

  1. Young stars in old galaxies - surprising discovery with the world's leading telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-06-01

    similar to the way a palaeontologist uses the skeletons of dinosaurs to deduce information about the era in which they lived. A surprising discovery The team combined images of a number of galaxies from Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 with infrared images obtained from the multi-mode ISAAC instrument on the 8.2m VLT Antu telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). To their great surprise, they discovered that many of the globular clusters in one of these galaxies, NGC 4365, a member of the large Virgo cluster of galaxies, were only a few thousand million years old, much younger than most of the other stars in this galaxy (roughly 12 thousand million years old). The astronomers were able to identify three major groups of stellar clusters. There is an old population of clusters of metal-poor stars, some clusters of old but metal-rich stars and now, seen for the first time, a population of clusters with young and metal-rich stars. These results have been fully confirmed by spectroscopic observations made with another of the world's giant telescopes, the 10-metre Keck on Hawaii. "It is a great pleasure to see two projects wholly or partly funded by Europe - VLT and Hubble - work in concert to produce such an important scientific result", says Piero Benvenuti, ESA Hubble Project Scientist. "The synergy between the most advanced ground and space telescopes continues to prove its effectiveness, paving the way to impressive new discoveries that would not otherwise be possible." The discovery of young globular clusters within old galaxies is surprising since the stars in the giant elliptical galaxies were until now believed to have formed during a single period early in the history of the Universe. It is now clear that some of the galaxies may be hiding their true nature and have indeed experienced much more recent periods of major star formation. Notes for editors This press release is issued in coordination between ESA and ESO. The Hubble Space Telescope project

  2. A conceptual review of the psychosocial genomics of expectancy and surprise: neuroscience perspectives about the deep psychobiology of therapeutic hypnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Ernest L

    2002-10-01

    This conceptual review explores some speculative associations between the neuroscience of expectancy and surprise during stress and therapeutic hypnosis. Current neuroscience is exploring how novel interactions between the organism and the environment initiate cascades of gene expression, protein synthesis, neurogenesis, and healing that operate via Darwinian principles of natural variation and selection on all levels from the molecular-genomic to the subjective states of consciousness. From a neuroscience perspective, the novel and surprising experiences of consciousness appear to have as important a role as expectancy in memory, learning and behavior change in the psychobiology of therapeutic hypnosis. This paper explores how we may integrate the psychosocial genomics of expectancy and surprise in therapeutic hypnosis as a complex system of creative adaptation on all levels of human experience from mind to gene expression.

  3. The Most Distant Mature Galaxy Cluster - Young, but surprisingly grown-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    Astronomers have used an armada of telescopes on the ground and in space, including the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile to discover and measure the distance to the most remote mature cluster of galaxies yet found. Although this cluster is seen when the Universe was less than one quarter of its current age it looks surprisingly similar to galaxy clusters in the current Universe. "We have measured the distance to the most distant mature cluster of galaxies ever found", says the lead author of the study in which the observations from ESO's VLT have been used, Raphael Gobat (CEA, Paris). "The surprising thing is that when we look closely at this galaxy cluster it doesn't look young - many of the galaxies have settled down and don't resemble the usual star-forming galaxies seen in the early Universe." Clusters of galaxies are the largest structures in the Universe that are held together by gravity. Astronomers expect these clusters to grow through time and hence that massive clusters would be rare in the early Universe. Although even more distant clusters have been seen, they appear to be young clusters in the process of formation and are not settled mature systems. The international team of astronomers used the powerful VIMOS and FORS2 instruments on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) to measure the distances to some of the blobs in a curious patch of very faint red objects first observed with the Spitzer space telescope. This grouping, named CL J1449+0856 [1], had all the hallmarks of being a very remote cluster of galaxies [2]. The results showed that we are indeed seeing a galaxy cluster as it was when the Universe was about three billion years old - less than one quarter of its current age [3]. Once the team knew the distance to this very rare object they looked carefully at the component galaxies using both the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes, including the VLT. They found evidence suggesting that most of the

  4. High technology in developing countries: Analysis of technology strategy, technology transfer, and success factors in the aircraft industry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenhuis, Harm-Jan; Bruijn, de Erik J.

    2004-01-01

    Economical development is highly related to technological development. It is therefore not surprising that many of the industrially developing nations follow explicit strategies to increase their technological competence level. Industrially developing countries may even pursue a strategy of developi

  5. High technology in developing countries: Analysis of technology strategy, technology transfer, and success factors in the aircraft industry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenhuis, H.J.; de Bruijn, E.J.

    2004-01-01

    Economical development is highly related to technological development. It is therefore not surprising that many of the industrially developing nations follow explicit strategies to increase their technological competence level. Industrially developing countries may even pursue a strategy of

  6. Investor Reaction to Market Surprises on the Istanbul Stock Exchange Investor Reaction to Market Surprises on the Istanbul Stock Exchange = İstanbul Menkul Kıymetler Borsasında Piyasa Sürprizlerine Yatırımcı Tepkisi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaman Ömer ERZURUMLU

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the reaction of investors to the arrival of unexpected information on the Istanbul Stock Exchange. The empirical results suggest that the investor reaction following unexpected news on the ISE100 is consistent with Overreaction Hypothesis especially after unfavorable market surprises. Interestingly such pattern does not exist for ISE30 index which includes more liquid and informationally efficient securities. A possible implication of this study for investors is that employing a semi contrarian investment strategy of buying losers in ISE100 may generate superior returns. Moreover, results are supportive of the last regulation change of Capital Market Board of Turkey which mandates more disclosure regarding the trading of less liquid stocks with lower market capitalization.

  7. Sermon and surprise: The meaning of scheduling in broadcast radio history - and - CBC Radio 3: A disquieting revolution

    OpenAIRE

    Sahota, Anu

    2006-01-01

    Essay 1 : 'Sermon & Surprise' explores the importance of scheduling to radio's communicative uses. The essay argues that its capacity for continuous transmission and promotion of shared listening is unique to terrestrial radio. The strengths of traditional radio relative to contemporary on-demand audio media are explored. Early Canadian and British broadcasting policies and scheduling practices demonstrate how radio's programming conceits may innovatively accommodate broadcasting philosop...

  8. VICTÓRIA GROCERY: CHALLENGES AND SURPRISES IN THAT “BE ENTREPREUNER”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Claudia Afra Neitzke

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The analytical framework outlined in the case at hand presents a business woman facing management decisions that impact business’ financial welfare. Lacking funds for both venture opening and short and long term support strategies, Amelia often resorts to family resources, and as a result, the financial crisis gets worse. Inasmuch, the case illustrates the importance of using financial controls in small businesses. However, it does not limit itself to this, since it describes everyday situations directly related to these businesses. The crime of embezzlement is also contextualized by the case, regarding the poor attitude of the accounting professional. The situation narrated actually happened with an entrepreneur who, while not possessing managerial skills, decided to open a business. Although centered in the perspective of a single subject, the case above fits into the story of many Brazilian entrepreneurs - since the lack of managerial expertise reveals one of the main reasons factors related to mortality in these businesses. Fateful situations in the context of failures in management process and insufficient working capital of small enterprise may lead to the early death of business.

  9. Surprisal analysis characterizes the free energy time course of cancer cells undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zadran, Sohila; Arumugam, Rameshkumar; Herschman, Harvey; Phelps, Michael E; Levine, R D

    2014-09-09

    The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) initiates the invasive and metastatic behavior of many epithelial cancers. Mechanisms underlying EMT are not fully known. Surprisal analysis of mRNA time course data from lung and pancreatic cancer cells stimulated to undergo TGF-β1-induced EMT identifies two phenotypes. Examination of the time course for these phenotypes reveals that EMT reprogramming is a multistep process characterized by initiation, maturation, and stabilization stages that correlate with changes in cell metabolism. Surprisal analysis characterizes the free energy time course of the expression levels throughout the transition in terms of two state variables. The landscape of the free energy changes during the EMT for the lung cancer cells shows a stable intermediate state. Existing data suggest this is the previously proposed maturation stage. Using a single-cell ATP assay, we demonstrate that the TGF-β1-induced EMT for lung cancer cells, particularly during the maturation stage, coincides with a metabolic shift resulting in increased cytosolic ATP levels. Surprisal analysis also characterizes the absolute expression levels of the mRNAs and thereby examines the homeostasis of the transcription system during EMT.

  10. Acoustic feedback system with digital signal processor to alert the subject and quantitative visualization of arousal reaction induced by the sound using dynamic characteristics of saccadic eye movement: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, A; Manabe, S; Uchikawa, Y

    2005-01-01

    A new system has been developed to assess human alertness and to alert the subject with acoustic stimulation in accordance with the assessed level of alertness. Dynamic characteristics of saccadic eye movement (saccade: SC) were used to calculate an alertness index. Digital signal processor was adopted for the calculation. The system was tested through eye tracking tasks. The results indicated that the developed system could awaken the subject by feeding sound back to the subject. Also, arousal reaction induced by the sound was visualized quantitatively by analyzing values of the alertness index after the stimulation. These results indicate applicability of the system not only to awakening device for accident prevention, but also to a tool for investigating effects of the stimulation.

  11. Modeling peripheral visual acuity enables discovery of gaze strategies at multiple time scales during natural scene search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramkumar, Pavan; Fernandes, Hugo; Kording, Konrad; Segraves, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Like humans, monkeys make saccades nearly three times a second. To understand the factors guiding this frequent decision, computational models of vision attempt to predict fixation locations using bottom-up visual features and top-down goals. How do the relative influences of these factors evolve over multiple time scales? Here we analyzed visual features at fixations using a retinal transform that provides realistic visual acuity by suitably degrading visual information in the periphery. In a task in which monkeys searched for a Gabor target in natural scenes, we characterized the relative importance of bottom-up and task-relevant influences by decoding fixated from nonfixated image patches based on visual features. At fast time scales, we found that search strategies can vary over the course of a single trial, with locations of higher saliency, target-similarity, edge–energy, and orientedness looked at later on in the trial. At slow time scales, we found that search strategies can be refined over several weeks of practice, and the influence of target orientation was significant only in the latter of two search tasks. Critically, these results were not observed without applying the retinal transform. Our results suggest that saccade-guidance strategies become apparent only when models take into account degraded visual representation in the periphery. PMID:25814545

  12. Communication Management and Trust: Their Role in Building Resilience to "Surprises" Such As Natural Disasters, Pandemic Flu, and Terrorism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. H. Longstaff

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available In times of public danger such as natural disasters and health emergencies, a country's communication systems will be some of its most important assets because access to information will make individuals and groups more resilient. Communication by those charged with dealing with the situation is often critical. We analyzed reports from a wide variety of crisis incidents and found a direct correlation between trust and an organization's preparedness and internal coordination of crisis communication and the effectiveness of its leadership. Thus, trust is one of the most important variables in effective communication management in times of "surprise."

  13. Featural, configural, and holistic face-processing strategies evoke different scan patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombari, Dario; Mast, Fred W; Lobmaier, Janek S

    2009-01-01

    In two experiments we investigated the role of eye movements during face processing. In experiment 1, using modified faces with primarily featural (scrambled faces) or configural (blurred faces) information as cue stimuli, we manipulated the way participants processed subsequently presented intact faces. In a sequential same-different task, participants decided whether the identity of an intact test face matched a preceding scrambled or blurred cue face. Analysis of eye movements for test faces showed more interfeatural saccades when they followed a blurred face, and longer gaze duration within the same feature when they followed scrambled faces. In experiment 2, we used a similar paradigm except that test faces were cued by intact faces, low-level blurred stimuli, or second-order scrambled stimuli (features were cut out but maintained their first-order relations). We found that in the intact condition participants performed fewer interfeatural saccades than in low-level blurred condition and had shorter gaze duration than in second-order scrambled condition. Moreover, participants fixated the centre of the test face to grasp the information from the whole face. Our findings suggest a differentiation between featural, configural, and holistic processing strategies, which can be associated with specific patterns of eye movements.

  14. Analysis of slow- and fast-α band asymmetry during performance of a saccadic eye movement task: dissociation between memory- and attention-driven systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanfim, Antonio; Velasques, Bruna; Machado, Sergio; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Paes, Flávia; Teixeira, Silmar; Santos, Joana Luz; Bittencourt, Juliana; Basile, Luis F; Cagy, Mauricio; Piedade, Roberto; Sack, Alexander T; Nardi, Antonio Egídio; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2012-01-15

    This study aimed at analyzing the relationship between slow- and fast-alpha asymmetry within frontal cortex and the planning, execution and voluntary control of saccadic eye movements (SEM), and quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) was recorded using a 20-channel EEG system in 12 healthy participants performing a fixed (i.e., memory-driven) and a random SEM (i.e., stimulus-driven) condition. We find main effects for SEM condition in slow- and fast-alpha asymmetry at electrodes F3-F4, which are located over premotor cortex, specifically a negative asymmetry between conditions. When analyzing electrodes F7-F8, which are located over prefrontal cortex, we found a main effect for condition in slow-alpha asymmetry, particularly a positive asymmetry between conditions. In conclusion, the present approach supports the association of slow- and fast-alpha bands with the planning and preparation of SEM, and the specific role of these sub-bands for both, the attention network and the coordination and integration of sensory information with a (oculo)-motor response.

  15. Different target-discrimination times can be followed by the same saccade-initiation timing in different stimulus conditions during visual searches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Tomohiro; Nishida, Satoshi; Ogawa, Tadashi

    2015-07-01

    The neuronal processes that underlie visual searches can be divided into two stages: target discrimination and saccade preparation/generation. This predicts that the length of time of the prediscrimination stage varies according to the search difficulty across different stimulus conditions, whereas the length of the latter postdiscrimination stage is stimulus invariant. However, recent studies have suggested that the length of the postdiscrimination interval changes with different stimulus conditions. To address whether and how the visual stimulus affects determination of the postdiscrimination interval, we recorded single-neuron activity in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) when monkeys (Macaca fuscata) performed a color-singleton search involving four stimulus conditions that differed regarding luminance (Bright vs. Dim) and target-distractor color similarity (Easy vs. Difficult). We specifically focused on comparing activities between the Bright-Difficult and Dim-Easy conditions, in which the visual stimuli were considerably different, but the mean reaction times were indistinguishable. This allowed us to examine the neuronal activity when the difference in the degree of search speed between different stimulus conditions was minimal. We found that not only prediscrimination but also postdiscrimination intervals varied across stimulus conditions: the postdiscrimination interval was longer in the Dim-Easy condition than in the Bright-Difficult condition. Further analysis revealed that the postdiscrimination interval might vary with stimulus luminance. A computer simulation using an accumulation-to-threshold model suggested that the luminance-related difference in visual response strength at discrimination time could be the cause of different postdiscrimination intervals.

  16. No surprises, please!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Dena S

    2013-01-01

    This narrative symposium examines the relationship of bioethics practice to personal experiences of illness. A call for stories was developed by Tod Chambers, the symposium editor, and editorial staff and was sent to several commonly used bioethics listservs and posted on the Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics website. The call asked authors to relate a personal story of being ill or caring for a person who is ill, and to describe how this affected how they think about bioethical questions and the practice of medicine. Eighteen individuals were invited to submit full stories based on review of their proposals. Twelve stories are published in this symposium, and six supplemental stories are published online only through Project MUSE. Authors explore themes of vulnerability, suffering, communication, voluntariness, cultural barriers, and flaws in local healthcare systems through stories about their own illnesses or about caring for children, partners, parents and grandparents. Commentary articles by Arthur Frank, Bradley Lewis, and Carol Taylor follow the collection of personal narratives.

  17. Tohoku earthquake: a surprise?

    CERN Document Server

    Kagan, Yan Y

    2011-01-01

    We consider three issues related to the 2011 Tohoku mega-earthquake: (1) how to evaluate the earthquake maximum size in subduction zones, (2) what is the repeat time for the largest earthquakes in Tohoku area, and (3) what are the possibilities of short-term forecasts during the 2011 sequence. There are two quantitative methods which can be applied to estimate the maximum earthquake size: a statistical analysis of the available earthquake record and the moment conservation principle. The latter technique studies how much of the tectonic deformation rate is released by earthquakes. For the subduction zones, the seismic or historical record is not sufficient to provide a reliable statistical measure of the maximum earthquake. The moment conservation principle yields consistent estimates of maximum earthquake size: for all the subduction zones the magnitude is of the order 9.0--9.7, and for major subduction zones the maximum earthquake size is statistically indistinguishable. Starting in 1999 we have carried out...

  18. A Pleasant Goat Surprise

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JING XIAOLEI

    2010-01-01

    @@ For decades,Chinese children have sat in front of television sets mesmerized as American cartoon cat Tom chased mouse rival Jerry,or as the Japanese manga robot feline Doraemon helped his schoolboy companion Nobita Nobi.Now,the animated tables are turning and foreign kids are able to enjoy Chinese cartoons from the comfort of their couches.

  19. More statistics, less surprise

    CERN Multimedia

    Antonella Del Rosso & the LHCb collaboration

    2013-01-01

    The LHCb collaboration has recently announced new results for a parameter that measures the CP violation effect in particles containing charm quarks. The new values obtained with a larger data set and with a new independent method are showing that the effect is smaller than previous measurements had  suggested. The parameter is back into the Standard Model picture.   CP violation signals – in particles containing charm quarks, such as the D0 particle, is a powerful probe of new physics. Indeed, such effects could result in unexpected values of parameters whose expectation values in the Standard Model are known. Although less precise than similar approaches used in particles made of b quarks, the investigation of the charm system has proven  to be intriguing. The LHCb collaboration has reported new measurements of ΔACP, the difference in CP violation between the D0→K+K– and D0→π+π– decays. The results are ob...

  20. Monotony and Surprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolico, Alberto

    This paper reviews models and tools emerged in recent years in the author’s work in connection with the discovery of interesting or anomalous patterns in sequences. Whereas customary approaches to pattern discovery proceed from either a statistical or a syntactic characterization alone, the approaches described here present the unifying feature of combining these two descriptors in a solidly intertwined, composite paradigm, whereby both syntactic structure and occurrence lists concur to define and identify a pattern in a subject. In turn, this supports a natural notion of pattern saturation, which enables one to partition patterns into equivalence classes over intervals of monotonicity of commonly adopted scores, in such a way that the subset of class representatives, consisting solely of saturated patterns, suffices to account for all patterns in the subject. The benefits at the outset consist not only of an increased descriptive power, but especially of a mitigation of the often unmanageable roster of candidates unearthed in a discovery attempt, and of the daunting computational burden that goes with it.

  1. Surprised by selectivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Krijn P|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/06885580X

    2016-01-01

    Lower olefins, particularly ethylene (C2H4), propylene (C3H6), and butylene (C4H8), are important intermediates in the manufacture of products such as plastics, solvents, paints, and medicines. They are produced worldwide in amounts exceeding 200 million tons per year (see the photo) (1), mostly

  2. The surprising superconductor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taner Yildirim

    2002-04-01

    The serendipitous discovery by Akimitsu’s group1 of the superconductivity of MgB2 at Tc=39 K, almost twice the temperature of other simple intermetallic compounds, has sparked a race to uncover its basic properties and to find other related diborides with even higher Tcs. After the first announcement, the number of preprints appearing on the Los Alamos preprint server (Fig. 1 grew almost exponentially, reaching a maximum of about 60 studies in March (two papers a day, then decreasing linearly down to a paper every other day in August, and staying steady at about this rate until now. During the first year of the MgB2 era, more than 300 studies were published, exploring both fundamental and practical issues, such as the mechanism of the superconductivity; synthesis of MgB2 in the form of powder, thin films, wires, and tapes; the effect on Tc of substitution with various elements and on critical current and fields.

  3. Surprises in aperiodic diffraction

    CERN Document Server

    Baake, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Mathematical diffraction theory is concerned with the diffraction image of a given structure and the corresponding inverse problem of structure determination. In recent years, the understanding of systems with continuous and mixed spectra has improved considerably. Moreover, the phenomenon of homometry shows various unexpected new facets. Here, we report on some of the recent results in an exemplary and informal fashion.

  4. Jordan: Surprisingly Stable

    OpenAIRE

    Ådnegard, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    Over the years, research has demonstrated that conflict spreads to the host country as a consequence of massive influx of refugees. Most studies gathered empirical evidence from African countries and focused on cases where conflict had already spread. In contrast to this literature, the main objective of this thesis is to examine the absence of conflict in Jordan after receiving Syrian refugees that amount to about 10 percent of Jordan s original population over the past three years, 2011-201...

  5. Surprising quantum bounces

    CERN Document Server

    Nesvizhevsky, Valery

    2015-01-01

    This unique book demonstrates the undivided unity and infinite diversity of quantum mechanics using a single phenomenon: quantum bounces of ultra-cold particles. Various examples of such "quantum bounces" are: gravitational quantum states of ultra-cold neutrons (the first observed quantum states of matter in a gravitational field), the neutron whispering gallery (an observed matter-wave analog of the whispering gallery effect well known in acoustics and for electromagnetic waves), and gravitational and whispering gallery states for anti-matter atoms that remain to be observed. These quantum states are an invaluable tool in the search for additional fundamental short-range forces, for exploring the gravitational interaction and quantum effects of gravity, for probing physics beyond the standard model, and for furthering studies into the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum optics, and surface science.

  6. No More Surprises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorrel, Amy

    2016-05-01

    Texas Medical Association research shows that health plans' shrinking networks, caps on payments for medical care, inaccurate directories, and other tactics - not physician billing - are bearing down on patients in the form of unexpected, out-of-network balance bills.

  7. Surprising radiation detectors

    CERN Document Server

    Fleischer, Robert

    2003-01-01

    Radiation doses received by the human body can be measured indirectly and retrospectively by counting the tracks left by particles in ordinary objects like pair of spectacles, glassware, compact disks...This method has been successfully applied to determine neutron radiation doses received 50 years ago on the Hiroshima site. Neutrons themselves do not leave tracks in bulk matter but glass contains atoms of uranium that may fission when hurt by a neutron, the recoil of the fission fragments generates a track that is detectable. The most difficult is to find adequate glass items and to evaluate the radiation shield they benefited at their initial place. The same method has been used to determine the radiation dose due to the pile-up of radon in houses. In that case the tracks left by alpha particles due to the radioactive decay of polonium-210 have been counted on the superficial layer of the window panes. Other materials like polycarbonate plastics have been used to determine the radiation dose due to heavy io...

  8. Neurotransmitter Switching? No Surprise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzer, Nicholas C

    2015-06-03

    Among the many forms of brain plasticity, changes in synaptic strength and changes in synapse number are particularly prominent. However, evidence for neurotransmitter respecification or switching has been accumulating steadily, both in the developing nervous system and in the adult brain, with observations of transmitter addition, loss, or replacement of one transmitter with another. Natural stimuli can drive these changes in transmitter identity, with matching changes in postsynaptic transmitter receptors. Strikingly, they often convert the synapse from excitatory to inhibitory or vice versa, providing a basis for changes in behavior in those cases in which it has been examined. Progress has been made in identifying the factors that induce transmitter switching and in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which it is achieved. There are many intriguing questions to be addressed.

  9. Surprise Trips 

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korn, Matthias; Kawash, Raghid; Andersen, Lisbet Møller

    2010-01-01

    Little treasures in nature often go unnoticed by visitors when roaming about in a national park. Ubiquitous technology with its less intrusive character may be apt to enhance this natural experience of exploration. In this paper, we report on a system that augments this experience. It builds on t...

  10. Global Strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Peter Ping

    2013-01-01

    Global strategy differs from domestic strategy in terms of content and process as well as context and structure. The content of global strategy can contain five key elements, while the process of global strategy can have six major stages. These are expounded below. Global strategy is influenced...... by rich and complementary local contexts with diverse resource pools and game rules at the national level to form a broad ecosystem at the global level. Further, global strategy dictates the interaction or balance between different entry strategies at the levels of internal and external networks....

  11. Microhydrodynamics of deformable particles: surprising responses of drops and vesicles to uniform electric field or shear flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlahovska, Petia

    2015-11-01

    Particle motion in a viscous fluid is a classic problem that continues to surprise researchers. In this talk, I will discuss some intriguing, experimentally-observed behaviors of droplets and giant vesicles (cell-size lipid membrane sacs) in electric or flow fields. In a uniform electric field, a droplet deforms into an ellipsoid that can either be steadily tilted relative to the applied field direction or undergo unsteady motions (periodic shape oscillations or irregular flipping); a spherical vesicle can adopt a transient square shape or reversibly porate. In a steady shear flow, a vesicle can tank-tread, tumble or swing. Theoretical models show that the nonlinear drop dynamics originates from the interplay of Quincke rotation and interface deformation, while the vesicle dynamics stems from the membrane inextensibility. The practical motivation for this research lies in an improved understanding of technologies that rely on the manipulation of drops and cells by flow or electric fields.

  12. ‘Surprise’: Outbreak of Campylobacter infection associated with chicken liver pâté at a surprise birthday party, Adelaide, Australia, 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Denehy

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: In July 2012, an outbreak of Campylobacter infection was investigated by the South Australian Communicable Disease Control Branch and Food Policy and Programs Branch. The initial notification identified illness at a surprise birthday party held at a restaurant on 14 July 2012. The objective of the investigation was to identify the potential source of infection and institute appropriate intervention strategies to prevent further illness.Methods: A guest list was obtained and a retrospective cohort study undertaken. A combination of paper-based and telephone questionnaires were used to collect exposure and outcome information. An environmental investigation was conducted by Food Policy and Programs Branch at the implicated premises.Results: All 57 guests completed the questionnaire (100% response rate, and 15 met the case definition. Analysis showed a significant association between illness and consumption of chicken liver pâté (relative risk: 16.7, 95% confidence interval: 2.4–118.6. No other food or beverage served at the party was associated with illness. Three guests submitted stool samples; all were positive for Campylobacter. The environmental investigation identified that the cooking process used in the preparation of chicken liver pâté may have been inconsistent, resulting in some portions not cooked adequately to inactivate potential Campylobacter contamination.Discussion: Chicken liver products are a known source of Campylobacter infection; therefore, education of food handlers remains a high priority. To better identify outbreaks among the large number of Campylobacter notifications, routine typing of Campylobacter isolates is recommended.

  13. Comparison of Threshold Saccadic Vector Optokinetic Perimetry (SVOP) and Standard Automated Perimetry (SAP) in Glaucoma. Part II: Patterns of Visual Field Loss and Acceptability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTrusty, Alice D; Cameron, Lorraine A; Perperidis, Antonios; Brash, Harry M; Tatham, Andrew J; Agarwal, Pankaj K; Murray, Ian C; Fleck, Brian W; Minns, Robert A

    2017-09-01

    We compared patterns of visual field loss detected by standard automated perimetry (SAP) to saccadic vector optokinetic perimetry (SVOP) and examined patient perceptions of each test. A cross-sectional study was done of 58 healthy subjects and 103 with glaucoma who were tested using SAP and two versions of SVOP (v1 and v2). Visual fields from both devices were categorized by masked graders as: 0, normal; 1, paracentral defect; 2, nasal step; 3, arcuate defect; 4, altitudinal; 5, biarcuate; and 6, end-stage field loss. SVOP and SAP classifications were cross-tabulated. Subjects completed a questionnaire on their opinions of each test. We analyzed 142 (v1) and 111 (v2) SVOP and SAP test pairs. SVOP v2 had a sensitivity of 97.7% and specificity of 77.9% for identifying normal versus abnormal visual fields. SAP and SVOP v2 classifications showed complete agreement in 54% of glaucoma patients, with a further 23% disagreeing by one category. On repeat testing, 86% of SVOP v2 classifications agreed with the previous test, compared to 91% of SAP classifications; 71% of subjects preferred SVOP compared to 20% who preferred SAP. Eye-tracking perimetry can be used to obtain threshold visual field sensitivity values in patients with glaucoma and produce maps of visual field defects, with patterns exhibiting close agreement to SAP. Patients preferred eye-tracking perimetry compared to SAP. This first report of threshold eye tracking perimetry shows good agreement with conventional automated perimetry and provides a benchmark for future iterations.

  14. Strategie podniku

    OpenAIRE

    Podhradská, Martina

    2013-01-01

    This paper deals with a process of strategy definition of Starkl -- zahradník s.r.o. company. The main target of this diploma thesis is to elaborate external and internal analysis and to assess present strategy, alternatively to suggest a new strategy reflecting competitive environment.

  15. The plant host can affect the encapsidation of brome mosaic virus (BMV) RNA: BMV virions are surprisingly heterogeneous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Peng; Vaughan, Robert C; Tragesser, Brady; Hoover, Haley; Kao, C Cheng

    2014-03-01

    Brome mosaic virus (BMV) packages its genomic and subgenomic RNAs into three separate viral particles. BMV purified from barley, wheat, and tobacco have distinct relative abundances of the encapsidated RNAs. We seek to identify the basis for the host-dependent differences in viral RNA encapsidation. Sequencing of the viral RNAs revealed recombination events in the 3' untranslated region of RNA1 of BMV purified from barley and wheat, but not from tobacco. However, the relative amounts of the BMV RNAs that accumulated in barley and wheat are similar and RNA accumulation is not sufficient to account for the difference in RNA encapsidation. Virions purified from barley and wheat were found to differ in their isoelectric points, resistance to proteolysis, and contacts between the capsid residues and the RNA. Mass spectrometric analyses revealed that virions from the three hosts had different post-translational modifications that should impact the physiochemical properties of the virions. Another major source of variation in RNA encapsidation was due to the purification of BMV particles to homogeneity. Highly enriched BMV present in lysates had a surprising range of sizes, buoyant densities, and distinct relative amounts of encapsidated RNAs. These results show that the encapsidated BMV RNAs reflect a combination of host effects on the physiochemical properties of the viral capsids and the enrichment of a subset of virions. The previously unexpected heterogeneity in BMV should influence the timing of the infection and also the host innate immune responses.

  16. Benford's law predicted digit distribution of aggregated income taxes: the surprising conformity of Italian cities and regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mir, Tariq Ahmad; Ausloos, Marcel; Cerqueti, Roy

    2014-11-01

    The yearly aggregated tax income data of all, more than 8000, Italian municipalities are analyzed for a period of five years, from 2007 to 2011, to search for conformity or not with Benford's law, a counter-intuitive phenomenon observed in large tabulated data where the occurrence of numbers having smaller initial digits is more favored than those with larger digits. This is done in anticipation that large deviations from Benford's law will be found in view of tax evasion supposedly being widespread across Italy. Contrary to expectations, we show that the overall tax income data for all these years is in excellent agreement with Benford's law. Furthermore, we also analyze the data of Calabria, Campania and Sicily, the three Italian regions known for strong presence of mafia, to see if there are any marked deviations from Benford's law. Again, we find that all yearly data sets for Calabria and Sicily agree with Benford's law whereas only the 2007 and 2008 yearly data show departures from the law for Campania. These results are again surprising in view of underground and illegal nature of economic activities of mafia which significantly contribute to tax evasion. Some hypothesis for the found conformity is presented.

  17. Medial superior olivary neurons receive surprisingly few excitatory and inhibitory inputs with balanced strength and short-term dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couchman, Kiri; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix

    2010-12-15

    Neurons in the medial superior olive (MSO) process microsecond interaural time differences, the major cue for localizing low-frequency sounds, by comparing the relative arrival time of binaural, glutamatergic excitatory inputs. This coincidence detection mechanism is additionally shaped by highly specialized glycinergic inhibition. Traditionally, it is assumed that the binaural inputs are conveyed by many independent fibers, but such an anatomical arrangement may decrease temporal precision. Short-term depression on the other hand might enhance temporal fidelity during ongoing activity. For the first time we show that binaural coincidence detection in MSO neurons may require surprisingly few but strong inputs, challenging long-held assumptions about mammalian coincidence detection. This study exclusively uses adult gerbils for in vitro electrophysiology, single-cell electroporation and immunohistochemistry to characterize the size and short-term plasticity of inputs to the MSO. We find that the excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the MSO are well balanced both in strength and short-term dynamics, redefining this fastest of all mammalian coincidence detector circuits.

  18. Food insecurity and mental health: surprising trends among community health volunteers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the 2008 food crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Kenneth C; Hadley, Craig; Tesfaye, Fikru; Shifferaw, Selamawit

    2010-05-01

    The 2008 food crisis may have increased household food insecurity and caused distress among impoverished populations in low-income countries. Policy researchers have attempted to quantify the impact that a sharp rise in food prices might have on population wellbeing by asking what proportion of households would drop below conventional poverty lines given a set increase in prices. Our understanding of the impact of food crises can be extended by conducting micro-level ethnographic studies. This study examined self-reported household food insecurity (FI) and common mental disorders (CMD) among 110 community health AIDS care volunteers living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the height of the 2008 food crisis. We used generalized estimating equations that account for associations between responses given by the same participants over 3 survey rounds during 2008, to model the longitudinal response profiles of FI, CMD symptoms, and socio-behavioral and micro-economic covariates. To help explain the patterns observed in the response profiles and regression results, we examine qualitative data that contextualize the cognition and reporting behavior of AIDS care volunteers, as well as potential observation biases inherent in longitudinal, community-based research. Our data show that food insecurity is highly prevalent, that is it associated with household economic factors, and that it is linked to mental health. Surprisingly, the volunteers in this urban sample did not report increasingly severe FI or CMD during the peak of the 2008 food crisis. This is a counter-intuitive result that would not be predicted in analyses of population-level data such as those used in econometrics simulations. But when these results are linked to real people in specific urban ecologies, they can improve our understanding of the psychosocial consequences of food price shocks.

  19. Surprisingly low compliance to local guidelines for risk factor based screening for gestational diabetes mellitus - A population-based study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winkvist Anna

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM is routine during pregnancy in many countries in the world. The screening programs are either based on general screening offered to all pregnant women or risk factor based screening stipulated in local clinical guidelines. The aims of this study were to investigate: 1 the compliance with local guidelines of screening for GDM and 2 the outcomes of pregnancy and birth in relation to risk factors of GDM and whether or not exposed to oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT. Methods This study design was a population-based retrospective cross-sectional study of 822 women. A combination of questionnaire data and data collected from medical records was applied. Compliance to the local guidelines of risk factor based screening for GDM was examined and a comparison of outcomes of pregnancy and delivery in relation to risk factor groups for GDM was performed. Results Of the 822 participants, 257 (31.3% women fulfilled at least one criterion for being exposed to screening for GDM according to the local clinical guidelines. However, only 79 (30.7% of these women were actually exposed to OGTT and of those correctly exposed for screening, seven women were diagnosed with GDM. Women developing risk factors for GDM during pregnancy had a substantially increased risk of giving birth to an infant with macrosomia. Conclusion Surprisingly low compliance with the local clinical guidelines for screening for GDM during pregnancy was found. Furthermore, the prevalence of the risk factors of GDM in our study was almost doubled compared to previous Swedish studies. Pregnant women developing risk factors of GDM during pregnancy were found to be at substantially increased risk of giving birth to an infant with macrosomia. There is a need of actions improving compliance to the local guidelines.

  20. A new in vivo model of pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration reveals a surprising role for transcriptional regulation in pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varun ePandey

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pantothenate Kinase-Associated Neurodegeneration (PKAN is a neurodegenerative disorder with a poorly understood molecular mechanism. It is caused by mutations in Pantothenate Kinase, the first enzyme in the Coenzyme A (CoA biosynthetic pathway. Here, we developed a Drosophila model of PKAN (tim-fbl flies that allows us to continuously monitor the modeled disease in the brain. In tim-fbl flies, downregulation of fumble, the Drosophila PanK homologue in the cells containing a circadian clock results in characteristic features of PKAN such as developmental lethality, hypersensitivity to oxidative stress, and diminished life span. Despite quasi-normal circadian transcriptional rhythms, tim-fbl flies display brain-specific aberrant circadian locomotor rhythms, and a unique transcriptional signature. Comparison with expression data from flies exposed to paraquat demonstrates that, as previously suggested, pathways others than oxidative stress are affected by PANK downregulation. Surprisingly we found a significant decrease in the expression of key components of the photoreceptor recycling pathways, which could lead to retinal degeneration, a hallmark of PKAN. Importantly, these defects are not accompanied by changes in structural components in eye genes suggesting that changes in gene expression in the eye precede and may cause the retinal degeneration. Indeed tim-fbl flies have diminished response to light transitions, and their altered day/night patterns of activity demonstrates defects in light perception. This suggest that retinal lesions are not solely due to oxidative stress and demonstrates a role for the transcriptional response to CoA deficiency underlying the defects observed in dPanK deficient flies. Moreover, in the present study we developed a new fly model that can be applied to other diseases and that allows the assessment of neurodegeneration in the brains of living flies.

  1. An optimal tuning strategy for tidal turbines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vennell, Ross

    2016-11-01

    Tuning wind and tidal turbines is critical to maximizing their power output. Adopting a wind turbine tuning strategy of maximizing the output at any given time is shown to be an extremely poor strategy for large arrays of tidal turbines in channels. This `impatient-tuning strategy' results in far lower power output, much higher structural loads and greater environmental impacts due to flow reduction than an existing `patient-tuning strategy' which maximizes the power output averaged over the tidal cycle. This paper presents a `smart patient tuning strategy', which can increase array output by up to 35% over the existing strategy. This smart strategy forgoes some power generation early in the half tidal cycle in order to allow stronger flows to develop later in the cycle. It extracts enough power from these stronger flows to produce more power from the cycle as a whole than the existing strategy. Surprisingly, the smart strategy can often extract more power without increasing maximum structural loads on the turbines, while also maintaining stronger flows along the channel. This paper also shows that, counterintuitively, for some tuning strategies imposing a cap on turbine power output to limit loads can increase a turbine's average power output.

  2. An optimal tuning strategy for tidal turbines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vennell, Ross

    2016-11-01

    Tuning wind and tidal turbines is critical to maximizing their power output. Adopting a wind turbine tuning strategy of maximizing the output at any given time is shown to be an extremely poor strategy for large arrays of tidal turbines in channels. This 'impatient-tuning strategy' results in far lower power output, much higher structural loads and greater environmental impacts due to flow reduction than an existing 'patient-tuning strategy' which maximizes the power output averaged over the tidal cycle. This paper presents a 'smart patient tuning strategy', which can increase array output by up to 35% over the existing strategy. This smart strategy forgoes some power generation early in the half tidal cycle in order to allow stronger flows to develop later in the cycle. It extracts enough power from these stronger flows to produce more power from the cycle as a whole than the existing strategy. Surprisingly, the smart strategy can often extract more power without increasing maximum structural loads on the turbines, while also maintaining stronger flows along the channel. This paper also shows that, counterintuitively, for some tuning strategies imposing a cap on turbine power output to limit loads can increase a turbine's average power output.

  3. Environmental strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zabkar, Vesna; Cater, Tomaz; Bajde, Domen

    2013-01-01

    perspective, appropriate environmental strategies in compliance with environmental requirements aim at building competitive advantages through sustainable development. There is no universal “green” strategy that would be appropriate for each company, regardless of its market requirements and competitive...... situations. Instead, managers undertake careful consideration of the circumstances in which their company operates, paying special attention to their customers’ environmental preferences....

  4. Evaluation Strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Coto Chotto, Mayela; Wentzer, Helle; Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Lone

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents an evaluation strategy based on deliberate ideals and principles of dialogue design. The evaluation strategy is based on experiential phenomenology taking the point of departure for design and evaluation processes in the experienced practitioners themselves. The article present...... the evaluation strategy and methodology of a research project Making Online Path to Enter new Markets, MOPEM. It is an EU-research project with partners from different Educational Institutions of Technology and Business in five European Countries.......The paper presents an evaluation strategy based on deliberate ideals and principles of dialogue design. The evaluation strategy is based on experiential phenomenology taking the point of departure for design and evaluation processes in the experienced practitioners themselves. The article presents...

  5. Evaluation Strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Coto Chotto, Mayela; Wentzer, Helle; Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Lone

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents an evaluation strategy based on deliberate ideals and principles of dialogue design. The evaluation strategy is based on experiential phenomenology taking the point of departure for design and evaluation processes in the experienced practitioners themselves. The article present...... the evaluation strategy and methodology of a research project Making Online Path to Enter new Markets, MOPEM. It is an EU-research project with partners from different Educational Institutions of Technology and Business in five European Countries.......The paper presents an evaluation strategy based on deliberate ideals and principles of dialogue design. The evaluation strategy is based on experiential phenomenology taking the point of departure for design and evaluation processes in the experienced practitioners themselves. The article presents...

  6. A surprise at the bottom of the main sequence: Rapid rotation and NO H-alpha emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basri, Gibor; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    1995-01-01

    We report Kech Observatory high-resolution echelle spectra from 640-850 nm for eight stars near the faint end of the main sequence. These spectra are the highest resolution spectra of such late-type stars, and clearly resolve the TiO, VO, and atomic lines. The sample includes the field brown-dwarf candidate, BRI 0021-0214 (M9.5+). Very unexpectedly, it shows the most rapid rotation in the entire samples, v sin i approximately 40 km/s, which is 20x faster than typical field nonemission M stars. Equally surprising is that BRI 0021 exhibits no emission or absorptionat H-alpha. We argue that this absence is not simply due to its cool photosphere, but that stellar activity declines in a fundamental way at the end of the main sequence. As it is the first very late M dwarf observed at high spectral resolution, BRI 0021 may be signaling a qualitative change in the angular momentum loss rate among the lowest mass stars. Conventionally, its rapid rotation would have marked BRI 0021 as very young, consistent with the selection effect which arises if the latest-type dwarfs are really brown dwarfs on cooling curves. In any case, it is unprecedented to find no sign of stellar activity in such a rapidly rotating convective star. We also discuss the possible conflict between this observation and the extremely strong H-alpha seen in another very cool star, PC 0025+0447. Extrapolation of M-L relations for BRI 0021 yields M approximately 0.065 solar mass, and the other sample objects have expected masses near the H-burning limit. These include two Pleiades brown-dwarf candidates, four field M6 dwarfs and one late-type T Tauri star. The two Pleiades M6 dwarfs have v sin i of 26 and 37 km/s, H-alpha in emission, and radial velocities consistent with Pleiades M6 dwarfs have v sin i of 26 and 37 km/s, H-alpha in emission, and radial velocities consistent with Pleiades membership. Similarly, the late-type T Tauri star has v sin i approximately 30 km/s and H alpha emission indicate of its

  7. Surprising Impact of Remote Groups on the Folding-Unfolding and Dimer-Chain Equilibria of Bifunctionl H-Bonding Unimers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Rui; Cheng, Shuang; Baker, Erin Shammel; Smith, Richard D.; Zeng, Xiao Cheng; Gong, Bing

    2016-01-28

    Oligoamide 1, consisting of two H-bonding units linked by a trimethylene linker, was previously found to form a very stable, folded dimer. In this work, replacing the side chains and end groups of 1 led to derivatives that show the surprising impact of end groups on the folding and dimer-chain equilibria of the resultant molecules.

  8. Export strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Thorbjørn; Koed Madsen, Tage

    2002-01-01

    It is argued here that traditional export strategy research (encompassing the study of internationalization processes and export performance) is characterized by weak theoretical foundations and could benefit from a reorientation towards a dynamic capabilities perspective (DCP). We seek to draw...... on insights from DCP in order to devise a theoretical basis that could enrich export strategy research. Although our development of DCP insights builds on previous work, it also adds a crucial distinction between knowledge stocks and informational architecture. Changes in architecture are of greater...... importance. Following this elaboration of the dynamic capabilities perspective, we outline some implications and guidelines for future export strategy research....

  9. Environmental strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zabkar, Vesna; Cater, Tomaz; Bajde, Domen

    2013-01-01

    Environmental issues and the inclusion of environmental strategies in strategic thinking is an interesting subject of investigation. In general, managerial practices organized along ecologically sound principles contribute to a more environmentally sustainable global economy. From the managerial...... perspective, appropriate environmental strategies in compliance with environmental requirements aim at building competitive advantages through sustainable development. There is no universal “green” strategy that would be appropriate for each company, regardless of its market requirements and competitive...... situations. Instead, managers undertake careful consideration of the circumstances in which their company operates, paying special attention to their customers’ environmental preferences....

  10. Cetacean Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliland, Denise DelGrosso

    1991-01-01

    Suggested are activities about whales for children in schools not near the ocean. Activities designed to pique students' interest in whales and to investigate the size, breathing, buoyancy, and feeding strategies of whales are discussed. (CW)

  11. EFL Students’ Writing Strategies in Saudi Arabian ESP Writing Classes: Perspectives on Learning Strategies in Self-access Language Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Alnufaie

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This study was part of a PhD research to explore the writing strategies of 121 second-year undergraduate Saudi student writers who are studying English as a foreign language and for specific purposes in one of the Saudi industrial colleges: Jubail Industrial College (JIC. The writing strategies under investigation had been classified into two categories (process-oriented writing strategies and product-oriented writing strategies based on their instructional philosophies. A strategy questionnaire was designed to collect data. Although JIC writing classes were assumed to be product-oriented as reported by the majority of the participants’ description of their teachers’ writing approach, the results showed that almost all of the participants (95.9% were mixing the two kinds of strategies. More surprisingly, the top five writing strategies used by the participants were process-oriented.

  12. Tolerance by surprise: evidence for a generalized reduction in prejudice and increased egalitarianism through novel category combination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasiljevic, Milica; Crisp, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    Prejudices towards different groups are interrelated, but research has yet to find a way to promote tolerance towards multiple outgroups. We devise, develop and implement a new cognitive intervention for achieving generalized tolerance based on scientific studies of social categorization. In five laboratory experiments and one field study the intervention led to a reduction of prejudice towards multiple outgroups (elderly, disabled, asylum seekers, HIV patients, gay men), and fostered generalized tolerance and egalitarian beliefs. Importantly, these effects persisted outside the laboratory in a context marked by a history of violent ethnic conflict, increasing trust and reconciliatory tendencies towards multiple ethnic groups in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We discuss the implications of these findings for intervention strategies focused on reducing conflict and promoting peaceful intergroup relations.

  13. Study Strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Camilla Kirketerp; Noer, Vibeke Røn

    ID: 1277 / 22 SES 06 B: 2 22. Research in Higher Education Format of Presentation: Paper Alternative EERA Network: 19. Ethnography Topics: NW 22: Teaching, learning and assessment in higher education Keywords: Profession-oriented learning, study strategies, professionalisation processes...... and the close-up analysis of different learning situations in different contexts aim to expand empirical knowledge on the actual teaching practices and student´s learning processes and to provide important perspectives on student´s study-strategies and their possible consequences in relation to both `life...... module”. The projects differ in terms of both starting point and main focus of research (an alternative educational model and profession-orientated Game-based learning). However, in the on-going process of research, an empirical ´harmony´ on common recurrent themes related to students `study strategies...

  14. Metacognitive Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiff, Rachel; Nuri Ben-Shushan, Yohi; Ben-Artzi, Elisheva

    This study assessed the effect of metacognitive instruction on the spelling and word reading of Hebrew-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI). Participants were 67 kindergarteners with SLI in a supported learning context. Children were classified into three spelling instruction groups: (a) metalinguistic instruction (ML), (b) ML that integrates metacognitive strategies (MCML), and (c) a control group. Letter naming, letter sounding, word spelling, and word recognition were assessed at pretest and posttest. Findings from spelling and reading tests as well as interviews indicated that both the ML and MCML groups made statistically significant gains in all measures, whereas the control group did not. However, children with SLI who received training in metacognitive strategies significantly outperformed those who received ML alone in spelling and reading skills. This study provides evidence that children with SLI benefit from applying of metacognitive strategies to spelling practices when acquiring early spelling and reading skills.

  15. Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foss, Nicolai

    The rise of the knowledge economy has far-reaching implications for the nature of economic organization as well as firm strategy. Not surprisingly, thinking in management studies as well as in economics has been profoundly affected by these changes. Thus, management thinking in particular has been...... basic argument is that knowledge-based and organizational economics approaches are not substitutes but complements. In particular, organizational economics has much to contribute with respect to furthering the understanding of efficient organization and strategy in the emerging knowledge economy...... increasingly characterized by a schism between those who advocate 'knowledge' or 'capabilities-based' approaches in the strategy and organization fields and those who adopt more economics-influenced approaches, notably the economics of organization. This book is a sustained attempt to overcome this schism. Its...

  16. The Supreme Court's surprising decision on the Medicaid expansion: how will the federal government and states proceed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Sara; Westmoreland, Timothy M

    2012-08-01

    In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the requirement that all Americans have affordable health insurance coverage. But in an unprecedented move, seven justices first declared the mandatory Medicaid eligibility expansion unconstitutional. Then five justices, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, prevented the outright elimination of the expansion by fashioning a remedy that simply limited the federal government's enforcement powers over its provisions and allowed states not to proceed with expanding Medicaid without losing all of their federal Medicaid funding. The Court's approach raises two fundamental issues: First, does the Court's holding also affect the existing Medicaid program or numerous other Affordable Care Act Medicaid amendments establishing minimum Medicaid program requirements? And second, does the health and human services secretary have the flexibility to modify the pace or scope of the expansion as a negotiating strategy with the states? The answers to these questions are key because of the foundational role played by Medicaid in health reform.

  17. [Potentiation strategies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doumy, Olivier; Bennabi, Djamila; El-Hage, Wissam; Allaïli, Najib; Bation, Rémy; Bellivier, Frank; Holtzmann, Jérôme; Bubrovszky, Maxime; Camus, Vincent; Charpeaud, Thomas; Courvoisier, Pierre; d'Amato, Thierry; Garnier, Marion; Haesebaert, Frédéric; Bougerol, Thierry; Lançon, Christophe; Moliere, Fanny; Nieto, Isabel; Richieri, Raphaëlle; Saba, Ghassen; Courtet, Philippe; Vaiva, Guillaume; Leboyer, Marion; Llorca, Pierre-Michel; Aouizerate, Bruno; Haffen, Emmanuel

    2016-03-01

    Lithium is among the most classically recommended add-on therapeutic strategy for the management of depressive patients showing unsuccessful response to standard antidepressant medications. The effectiveness of the add-on strategy with lithium requires achieving plasma levels above 0.5 mEq/L. Mood-stabilizing antiepileptic drugs such as carbamazepine, valproate derivatives or lamotrigine have not demonstrated conclusive therapeutic effects for the management of depressive patients showing unsuccessful response to standard antidepressant medications. Thyroid hormones are considered among the currently recommended add-on therapeutic strategy for the management of depressive patients showing unsuccessful response to standard antidepressant medications. The effectiveness of the add-on strategy with thyroid hormones requires achieving plasma concentration of TSH close to the lower limits at the normal range (0.4 μUI/L) or even below it. Second-generation antipsychotics such as aripiprazole or quetiapine have consistently demonstrated significant therapeutic effects for the management of depressive patients showing unsuccessful response to standard antidepressant medications. Second-generation antipsychotics however require the careful monitoring of both cardiovascular and metabolic adverse effects.

  18. Autocratic strategies for iterated games with arbitrary action spaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2016-03-29

    The recent discovery of zero-determinant strategies for the iterated prisoner's dilemma sparked a surge of interest in the surprising fact that a player can exert unilateral control over iterated interactions. These remarkable strategies, however, are known to exist only in games in which players choose between two alternative actions such as "cooperate" and "defect." Here we introduce a broader class of autocratic strategies by extending zero-determinant strategies to iterated games with more general action spaces. We use the continuous donation game as an example, which represents an instance of the prisoner's dilemma that intuitively extends to a continuous range of cooperation levels. Surprisingly, despite the fact that the opponent has infinitely many donation levels from which to choose, a player can devise an autocratic strategy to enforce a linear relationship between his or her payoff and that of the opponent even when restricting his or her actions to merely two discrete levels of cooperation. In particular, a player can use such a strategy to extort an unfair share of the payoffs from the opponent. Therefore, although the action space of the continuous donation game dwarfs that of the classic prisoner's dilemma, players can still devise relatively simple autocratic and, in particular, extortionate strategies.

  19. DOT strategies versus orbiter strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutten, R.J.

    2001-01-01

    The Dutch Open Telescope is a high-resolution solar imager coming on-line at La Palma. The definition of the DOT science niche, strategies, and requirements resemble Solar Orbiter considerations and deliberations. I discuss the latter in the light of the former, and claim that multi-line observation

  20. Moderate rates of late Quaternary slip along the northwestern margin of the Basin and Range Province, Surprise Valley fault, northeastern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Personius, Stephen F.; Crone, Anthony J.; Machette, Michael N.; Mahan, Shannon; Lidke, David J.

    2009-01-01

    The 86-km-long Surprise Valley normal fault forms part of the active northwestern margin of the Basin and Range province in northeastern California. We use trench mapping and radiocarbon, luminescence, and tephra dating to estimate displacements and timing of the past five surface-rupturing earthquakes on the central part of the fault near Cedarville. A Bayesian OxCal analysis of timing constraints indicates earthquake times of 18.2 ± 2.6, 10.9 ± 3.2, 8.5 ± 0.5, 5.8 ± 1.5, and 1.2 ± 0.1 ka. These data yield recurrence intervals of 7.3 ± 4.1, 2.5 ± 3.2, 2.7 ± 1.6, and 4.5 ± 1.5 ka and an elapsed time of 1.2 ± 0.1 ka since the latest surface-rupturing earthquake. Our best estimate of latest Quaternary vertical slip rate is 0.6 ?? 0.1 mm/a. This late Quaternary rate is remarkably similar to long-term (8-14 Ma) minimum vertical slip rates (>0.4-0.5 ± 0.3 mm/a) calculated from recently acquired seismic reflection and chronologic and structural data in Surprise Valley and the adjacent Warner Mountains. However, our slip rate yields estimates of extension that are lower than recent campaign GPS determinations by factors of 1.5-4 unless the fault has an unusually shallow (30°-35°) dip as suggested by recently acquired seismic reflection data. Coseismic displacements of 2-4.5 ± 1 m documented in the trench and probable rupture lengths of 53-65 km indicate a history of latest Quaternary earthquakes of M 6.8-7.3 on the central part of the. Surprise Valley fault.