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Sample records for task difficulty n50

  1. Blink activity and task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Y; Yamaoka, K

    1993-08-01

    This study investigated the relationship between task difficulty and blink activity, which includes blink rate, blink amplitude, and blink duration. Two kinds of tasks established two levels of difficulty. In Exp. 1, a mental arithmetic task was used to examine the relationship. Analysis showed that blink rate for a difficult task was significantly higher than that for an easier one. In Exp. 2, a letter-search task (hiragana Japanese alphabet) was used while the other conditions were the same as those in Exp. 1; however, the results of this experiment were not influenced by the difficulty of the task. As results indicate that blink rate is related to not only difficulty but also the nature of the task, the nature of the task is probably dependent on a mechanism in information processing. The results for blink amplitude and blink duration showed no systematic change during either experiment.

  2. The Impact of Motivation and Task Difficulty on Resource Engagement: Differential Influences on Cardiovascular Responses of Young and Older Adults

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    Smith, Brian T.; Hess, Thomas M.

    2018-01-01

    This study examined whether the level of cognitive engagement older adults were willing to invest is disproportionately influenced by the personal implications of the task, as suggested by Selective Engagement Theory. We experimentally altered the personal implications of the task by manipulating participants accountability for their performance. Young (N = 50) and older (N = 50) adults performed a memory-search task of moderate difficulty but within the capabilities of both age groups. Both physiological (systolic blood pressure responsivity; SBP-R) and subjective (NASA-TLX) measures of cognitive effort were assessed across all difficulty levels. The results replicated findings from previous research that indicated older adults must exert more effort than younger adults to achieve the same level of objective performance. Most importantly, our results showed that older adults were especially sensitive to our accountability manipulation, with the difference in SBP-R between accountability conditions being greater for older than for young adults. Finally, we found that there was little relation between subjective measures of workload and our physiological measures of task engagement. Together, the results of this study provide continued support for the Selective Engagement Theory. PMID:29670932

  3. Walking modality, but not task difficulty, influences the control of dual-task walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrightson, J G; Smeeton, N J

    2017-10-01

    During dual-task gait, changes in the stride-to-stride variability of stride time (STV) are suggested to represent the allocation of cognitive control to walking [1]. However, contrasting effects have been reported for overground and treadmill walking, which may be due to differences in the relative difficulty of the dual task. Here we compared the effect of overground and treadmill dual-task walking on STV in 18 healthy adults. Participants walked overground and on a treadmill for 120s during single-task (walking only) and dual-task (walking whilst performing serial subtractions in sevens) conditions. Dual-task effects on STV, cognitive task (serial subtraction) performance and perceived task difficulty were compared between walking modalities. STV was increased during overground dual-task walking, but was unchanged during treadmill dual-task walking. There were no differences in cognitive task performance or perceived task difficulty. These results show that gait is controlled differently during overground and treadmill dual-task walking. However, these differences are not solely due to differences in task difficulty, and may instead represent modality dependent control strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Measurement of functional task difficulty during motor learning: What level of difficulty corresponds to the optimal challenge point?

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    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2015-10-01

    The relationship between task difficulty and learning benefit was examined, as was the measurability of task difficulty. Participants were required to learn a postural control task on an unstable surface at one of four different task difficulty levels. Results from the retention test showed an inverted-U relationship between task difficulty during acquisition and motor learning. The second-highest level of task difficulty was the most effective for motor learning, while learning was delayed at the most and least difficult levels. Additionally, the results indicate that salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) are useful indices of task difficulty. Our findings suggested that instructors may be able to adjust task difficulty based on salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the NASA-TLX to enhance learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Performance monitoring in obsessive-compulsive undergraduates: Effects of task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesel, Anja; Richter, Anika; Kaufmann, Christian; Kathmann, Norbert; Endrass, Tanja

    2015-08-01

    Both obsessive-compulsive disorder and subclinical obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms seem to be associated with hyperactive error-related brain activity. The current study examined performance monitoring in subjects with subclinical OC symptoms using a new task with different levels of difficulty. Nineteen subjects with high and 18 subjects with low OC characteristics performed a random dot cinematogram (RDC) task with three levels of difficulty. The high and low OC groups did not differ in error-related negativity (ERN), correct-related negativity (CRN) and performance irrespective of task difficulty. The amplitude of the ERN decreased with increasing difficulty whereas the magnitude of CRN did not vary. ERN and CRN approached in size and topography with increasing difficulty, which suggests that errors and correct responses are processed more similarly. These results add to a growing number of studies that fail to replicate hyperactive performance monitoring in individuals with OC symptoms in task with higher difficulty or requiring learning. Together with these findings our results suggest that the relationship between OC symptoms and performance monitoring may be sensitive to type of task and task characteristics and cannot be observed in a RDC that differs from typically used tasks in difficulty and the amount of response-conflict. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Does spinal excitability scale to the difficulty of the dual-task?

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    Day, Devon M; Boivin, Mario T; Adkin, Allan L; Tokuno, Craig D

    2017-08-01

    This study examined whether spinal excitability, as measured by the soleus Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex), is scaled to the difficulty level of the dual-task being performed. Twenty-two participants completed a combination of three balance task and three secondary cognitive (visuo-motor) task difficulty levels for a total of nine dual-task conditions. An additional eight participants were tested while performing the same three balance task difficulty levels on its own (i.e., single-tasking). The balance task required participants to maintain their balance on a fixed or rotating stabilometer while the visuo-motor task required participants to respond to moving targets presented on a monitor. Throughout each single- and dual-task trial, H-reflexes were elicited from the soleus. Although dual-task performance, as quantified by visuo-motor task accuracy as well as the root mean square of the stabilometer position and velocity, decreased by 10-34% with increasing dual-task difficulty (p dual-task conditions (p = 0.483-0.758). This contrasts to when participants performed the balance task as a single-task, where the H-reflex amplitude decreased by ~25% from the easy to the hard balance task difficulty level (p = 0.037). In contrast to the commonly reported finding of a reduced soleus H-reflex amplitude when individuals perform a less posturally stable task by itself, the results indicate that spinal excitability is not modulated as a function of dual-task difficulty. It is possible that when an individual's attentional resource capacity is exceeded during dual-tasking, they become ineffective in regulating spinal excitability for balance control.

  7. Effects of Gait and Cognitive Task Difficulty on Cognitive-Motor Interference in Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prudence Plummer-D'Amato

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although gait-related dual-task interference in aging is well established, the effect of gait and cognitive task difficulty on dual-task interference is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of gait and cognitive task difficulty on cognitive-motor interference in aging. Fifteen older adults (72.1 years, SD 5.2 and 20 young adults (21.7 years, SD 1.6 performed three walking tasks of varying difficulty (self-selected speed, fast speed, and fast speed with obstacle crossing under single- and dual-task conditions. The cognitive tasks were the auditory Stroop task and the clock task. There was a significant Group × Gait Task × Cognitive Task interaction for the dual-task effect on gait speed. After adjusting for education, there were no significant effects of gait or cognitive task difficulty on the dual-task effects on cognitive task performance. The results of this study provide evidence that gait task difficulty influences dual-task effects on gait speed, especially in older adults. Moreover, the effects of gait task difficulty on dual-task interference appear to be influenced by the difficulty of the cognitive task. Education is an important factor influencing cognitive-motor interference effects on cognition, but not gait.

  8. Multisensory perceptual learning is dependent upon task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  9. Increasing Working Memory Load Reduces Processing of Cross-Modal Task-Irrelevant Stimuli Even after Controlling for Task Difficulty and Executive Capacity.

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    Simon, Sharon S; Tusch, Erich S; Holcomb, Phillip J; Daffner, Kirk R

    2016-01-01

    The classic account of the load theory (LT) of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC) and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM) load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual) and task-irrelevant modality (auditory). Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.

  10. Increasing working memory load reduces processing of cross-modal task-irrelevant stimuli even after controlling for task difficulty and executive capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Sanz Simon

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The classic account of the Load Theory (LT of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual and task-irrelevant modality (auditory. Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.

  11. Task difficulty, risk, effort and comfort in a simulated driving task--Implications for Risk Allostasis Theory.

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    Lewis-Evans, Ben; Rothengatter, Talib

    2009-09-01

    Risk Allostasis Theory states that drivers seek to maintain a feeling of risk within a preferred range [Fuller, R., 2008. What drives the driver? Surface tensions and hidden consensus. In: Keynote at the 4th International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology, Washington, DC, August 31-September 4, 2008]. Risk Allostasis Theory is the latest version of Task-Difficulty Homeostasis theory, and is in part based on the findings of experiments where participants were asked to rate the task difficulty, feeling of risk and chance of collision of scenes shown in digitally altered video clips [Fuller, R., McHugh, C., Pender, S., 2008b. Task difficulty and risk in the determination of driver behaviour. Revue européenne de psychologie appliqée 58, 13-21]. The focus of the current research was to expand upon the previous video based experiments using a driving simulator. This allowed participants to be in control of the vehicle rather than acting as passive observers, as well as providing additional speed cues. The results support previous findings that ratings of task difficulty and feeling of risk are related, and that they are also highly related to ratings of effort and moderately related to ratings of comfort and habit. However, the linearly increasing trend for task difficulty and feeling of risk described by the previous research was not observed: instead the findings of this experiment support a threshold effect where ratings of risk (feeling of and chance of loss of control/collision), difficulty, effort, and comfort go through a period of stability and only start to increase once a certain threshold has been crossed. It is within the period of stability where subjective experience of risk and difficulty is low, or absent, that drivers generally prefer to operate.

  12. The Effects of Locus of Control and Task Difficulty on Procrastination.

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    Janssen, Tracy; Carton, John S

    1999-12-01

    The authors investigated the effects of locus of control expectancies and task difficulty on procrastination. Forty-two college students were administered an academic locus of control scale and a task that was similar to a typical college homework assignment. The students were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 task difficulty levels. Although none of the results involving task difficulty was significant, several results involving locus of control were significant. Specifically, analyses revealed that students with internal locus of control expectancies tended to begin working on the assignment sooner than students with external locus of control expectancies. In addition, students with internal locus of control completed and returned the assignment sooner than students with external locus of control. The results are discussed within the context of J. B. Rotter's (1966, 1975, 1982) social learning theory.

  13. The effects of task difficulty and resource requirements on attention strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Teresa

    1991-01-01

    The patterns of attention strategies for task difficulty/resource tasks for which experimental results are presented and analyzed support the hypothesis that subjects may adopt an alternating (rather than concurrent one) when compelled to do so by either the size or the complexity of a visual display. According to the multiple resource model, if subjects had been performing the two tasks concurrently, the cost of this strategy would have been shown by a decrement in the spatial format, rather than the verbal format, due to competition for the same resource. Subjects may apply different strategies as a function of task difficulty and/or resource demand.

  14. Categorization difficulty modulates the mediated route for response selection in task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Darryl W

    2017-12-22

    Conflict during response selection in task switching is indicated by the response congruency effect: worse performance for incongruent targets (requiring different responses across tasks) than for congruent targets (requiring the same response). The effect can be explained by dual-task processing in a mediated route for response selection, whereby targets are categorized with respect to both tasks. In the present study, the author tested predictions for the modulation of response congruency effects by categorization difficulty derived from a relative-speed-of-processing hypothesis. Categorization difficulty was manipulated for the relevant and irrelevant task dimensions in a novel spatial task-switching paradigm that involved judging the locations of target dots in a grid, without repetition of dot configurations. Response congruency effects were observed and they varied systematically with categorization difficulty (e.g., being larger when irrelevant categorization was easy than when it was hard). These results are consistent with the relative-speed-of-processing hypothesis and suggest that task-switching models that implement variations of the mediated route for response selection need to address the time course of categorization.

  15. Self-Control of Task Difficulty During Early Practice Promotes Motor Skill Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Boutin, Arnaud; Thon, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to determine whether the effect of self-control of task difficulty on motor learning is a function of the period of self-control administration. In a complex anticipation-coincidence task that required participants to intercept 3 targets with a virtual racquet, the task difficulty was either self-controlled or imposed to the participants in the two phases of the acquisition session. First, the results confirmed the beneficial effects of self-control over fully prescribed conditions. Second, the authors also demonstrated that a partial self-control of task difficulty better promotes learning than does a complete self-controlled procedure. Overall, the results revealed that these benefits are increased when this choice is allowed during early practice. The findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and applied perspectives.

  16. Effects of Task Complexity, Task Conditions, and Task Difficulty on the Grammatical Accuracy of EFL Learners in Written Discourse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeideh Ahangari

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Different methods of language teaching have tried to help EFL learners to develop good language skills based on their various perspectives. Research findings have underscored the effect of using task types in promoting language skills in terms of accuracy in written discourse. Therefore, this study set out to investigate whether there is an evidence of correct use of simple past tense (Accuracy based on Task Complexity (Task type :Here-and now & There-and-then,Task Conditions (Gender: Male & Female, and Task Difficulty (Proficiency: Lower-intermediate & Intermediate. Sixty Iranian English learners in a language institute participated in the study and were assigned to four groups of lower-intermediate male, lower-intermediate female, intermediate male and intermediate female. Initial homogeneity of the groups was verified using two general proficiency tests; KET for lower-intermediate and PET for intermediate. All groups in here-and-now task type were asked to write a story using simple past based on a picture strip while for there-and-then task type the participants were supposed to write about their last birthday. The results from paired samples t-test, independent samples t-test and two-way ANOVA analysis of the written data revealed significant differences in performing task types, at different proficiency levels and interaction between them. The findings have significant pedagogical implications for EFL learners to understand the relationship among Task Complexity,Task Conditions, Task Difficulty and L2 written production leading to various degrees of Accuracy.

  17. Investigating the visual span in comparative search: the effects of task difficulty and divided attention.

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    Pomplun, M; Reingold, E M; Shen, J

    2001-09-01

    In three experiments, participants' visual span was measured in a comparative visual search task in which they had to detect a local match or mismatch between two displays presented side by side. Experiment 1 manipulated the difficulty of the comparative visual search task by contrasting a mismatch detection task with a substantially more difficult match detection task. In Experiment 2, participants were tested in a single-task condition involving only the visual task and a dual-task condition in which they concurrently performed an auditory task. Finally, in Experiment 3, participants performed two dual-task conditions, which differed in the difficulty of the concurrent auditory task. Both the comparative search task difficulty (Experiment 1) and the divided attention manipulation (Experiments 2 and 3) produced strong effects on visual span size.

  18. Post-stimulus endogenous and exogenous oscillations are differentially modulated by task difficulty.

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    Li, Yun; Lou, Bin; Gao, Xiaorong; Sajda, Paul

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the modulation of post-stimulus endogenous and exogenous oscillations when a visual discrimination is made more difficult. We use exogenous frequency tagging to induce steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) while subjects perform a face-car discrimination task, the difficulty of which varies on a trial-to-trial basis by varying the noise (phase coherence) in the image. We simultaneously analyze amplitude modulations of the SSVEP and endogenous alpha activity as a function of task difficulty. SSVEP modulation can be viewed as a neural marker of attention toward/away from the primary task, while modulation of post-stimulus alpha is closely related to cortical information processing. We find that as the task becomes more difficult, the amplitude of SSVEP decreases significantly, approximately 250-450 ms post-stimulus. Significant changes in endogenous alpha amplitude follow SSVEP modulation, occurring at approximately 400-700 ms post-stimulus and, unlike the SSVEP, the alpha amplitude is increasingly suppressed as the task becomes less difficult. Our results demonstrate simultaneous measurement of endogenous and exogenous oscillations that are modulated by task difficulty, and that the specific timing of these modulations likely reflects underlying information processing flow during perceptual decision-making.

  19. Teachers' Perspectives on Second Language Task Difficulty: Insights From Think-Alouds and Eye Tracking

    OpenAIRE

    Révész, A.; Gurzynski-Weiss, L.

    2016-01-01

    The majority of empirical studies that have so far investigated task features in order to inform task grading and sequencing decisions have been grounded in hypothesis-testing research. Few studies have attempted to adopt a bottom-up approach in order to explore what task factors might contribute to task difficulty. The aim of this study was to help fill this gap by eliciting teachers’ perspectives on sources of task difficulty. We asked 16 English as a second language (ESL) teachers to judge...

  20. Effects of Stress and Task Difficulty on Working Memory and Cortical Networking.

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    Kim, Yujin; Woo, Jihwan; Woo, Minjung

    2017-12-01

    This study investigated interactive effects of stress and task difficulty on working memory and cortico-cortical communication during memory encoding. Thirty-eight adolescent participants (mean age of 15.7 ± 1.5 years) completed easy and hard working memory tasks under low- and high-stress conditions. We analyzed the accuracy and reaction time (RT) of working memory performance and inter- and intrahemispheric electroencephalogram coherences during memory encoding. Working memory accuracy was higher, and RT shorter, in the easy versus the hard task. RT was shorter under the high-stress (TENS) versus low-stress (no-TENS) condition, while there was no difference in memory accuracy between the two stress conditions. For electroencephalogram coherence, we found higher interhemispheric coherence in all bands but only at frontal electrode sites in the easy versus the hard task. On the other hand, intrahemispheric coherence was higher in the left hemisphere in the easy (versus hard task) and higher in the right hemisphere (with one exception) in the hard (versus easy task). Inter- and intracoherences were higher in the low- versus high-stress condition. Significant interactions between task difficulty and stress condition were observed in coherences of the beta frequency band. The difference in coherence between low- and high-stress conditions was greater in the hard compared with the easy task, with lower coherence under the high-stress condition relative to the low-stress condition. Stress seemed to cause a decrease in cortical network communications between memory-relevant cortical areas as task difficulty increased.

  1. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Reading Difficulties: Memory Span and Dual Task Coordination

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    Wang, Shinmin; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the cause of the reported problems in working memory in children with reading difficulties. Verbal and visuospatial simple and complex span tasks, and digit span and reaction times tasks performed singly and in combination, were administered to 46 children with single word reading difficulties and 45 typically…

  2. Eye Movements Reveal How Task Difficulty Moulds Visual Search

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    Young, Angela H.; Hulleman, Johan

    2013-01-01

    In two experiments we investigated the relationship between eye movements and performance in visual search tasks of varying difficulty. Experiment 1 provided evidence that a single process is used for search among static and moving items. Moreover, we estimated the functional visual field (FVF) from the gaze coordinates and found that its size…

  3. Effects of dual task difficulty in motor and cognitive performance: Differences between adults and adolescents.

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    Bustillo-Casero, Pilar; Villarrasa-Sapiña, Israel; García-Massó, Xavier

    2017-10-01

    In the present study our aim was to compare dual-task performance in thirteen adolescents and fifteen young adults while concurrently performing a cognitive and a motor task. The postural control variables were obtained under three different conditions: i) bipedal stance, ii) tandem stance and iii) unipedal stance. The cognitive task consisted of a backward digit span test in which the participants were asked to memorize a sequence of numbers and then repeat the number in reverse order at three different difficulty levels (i.e. with 3, 4 and 5 digits). The difficulty of the cognitive task was seen to have different effects on adolescents and young adults. Adolescents seem to prioritize postural control during high difficulty postural conditions while a cross-domain competition model appeared in easy postural conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Influence of Ongoing Task Difficulty and Motivation Level on Children's Prospective Memory in a Chinese Sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Pi-Guo; Han, Lei; Bian, Yu-Long; Tian, Yu; Xu, Min-Xia; Gao, Feng-Qiang

    2017-01-01

    Prospective memory (PM) is the process associated with the task of realizing delayed intentions in the future. Researchers distinguish two types of PM, namely time-based PM (tbPM) and event-based PM (ebPM). Experiment 1 investigated the developmental trajectory of 3- to 5-year-old preschool children's PM ability, and the occurrence of delayed retrieval (children execute the PM task in a larger window of opportunity) in both tbPM and ebPM tasks. Results revealed that the 5-year-old children outperformed the 3- and 4-year-old children in PM. Moreover, delayed retrieval was more likely to occur in tbPM task than in ebPM task. In Experiment 2, the influence of ongoing task (OT) difficulty on PM performance was investigated with a sample of 5-year-old children. Results revealed no significant effect of OT difficulty on PM performance. In Experiment 3, we improved children's motivation level to complete the OT, then explored the influence of OT difficulty on children's PM performance. Results revealed that the effect of OT difficulty on PM performance became significant after increasing the children's motivation to complete the OT. These results provide insights into the mechanism of attentional resource allocation in PM tasks and have crucial educational and social implications.

  5. Teachers’ teaching practices and beliefs regarding context-based tasks and their relation with students’ difficulties in solving these tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijaya, Ariyadi; Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M.; Doorman, Michiel

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we investigated teachers’ teaching practices and their underlying beliefs regarding context-based tasks to find a possible explanation for students’ difficulties with these tasks. The research started by surveying 27 Junior High School teachers from seven schools in Indonesia through

  6. A Randomized Controlled ERP Study on the Effects of Multi-Domain Cognitive Training and Task Difficulty on Task Switching Performance in Older Adults

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    Küper, Kristina; Gajewski, Patrick D.; Frieg, Claudia; Falkenstein, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are subject to a marked age-related decline, but have been shown to benefit from cognitive training interventions. As of yet, it is, however, still relatively unclear which neural mechanism can mediate training-related performance gains. In the present electrophysiological study, we examined the effects of multi-domain cognitive training on performance in an untrained cue-based task switch paradigm featuring Stroop color words: participants either had to indicate the word meaning of Stroop stimuli (word task) or perform the more difficult task of color naming (color task). One-hundred and three older adults (>65 years old) were randomly assigned to a training group receiving a 4-month multi-domain cognitive training, a passive no-contact control group or an active (social) control group receiving a 4-month relaxation training. For all groups, we recorded performance and EEG measures before and after the intervention. For the cognitive training group, but not for the two control groups, we observed an increase in response accuracy at posttest, irrespective of task and trial type. No training-related effects on reaction times were found. Cognitive training was also associated with an overall increase in N2 amplitude and a decrease of P2 latency on single trials. Training-related performance gains were thus likely mediated by an enhancement of response selection and improved access to relevant stimulus-response mappings. Additionally, cognitive training was associated with an amplitude decrease in the time window of the target-locked P3 at fronto-central electrodes. An increase in the switch positivity during advance task preparation emerged after both cognitive and relaxation training. Training-related behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) effects were not modulated by task difficulty. The data suggest that cognitive training increased slow negative potentials during target processing which enhanced the N2 and reduced a subsequent P3-like

  7. Self-assessment of social cognitive ability in individuals with schizophrenia: Appraising task difficulty and allocation of effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornacchio, Danielle; Pinkham, Amy E; Penn, David L; Harvey, Philip D

    2017-01-01

    Patients with severe mental illnesses manifest substantial deficits in self-assessment of the abilities that impact everyday functioning. This study compares patients with schizophrenia to healthy individuals on their social cognitive performance, their assessment of that performance, and the convergence between performance and indicators of effort in solving tasks. Patients with schizophrenia (n=57) and healthy controls (HC; n=47) completed the Bell-Lysaker Emotion Recognition Test (BLERT), a psychometrically sound assessment of emotion recognition. Participants rated their confidence in the accuracy of their responses after each item. Participants were instructed to respond as rapidly as possible without sacrificing accuracy; the time to complete each item was recorded. Patients with schizophrenia performed less accurately on the BLERT than HC. Both patients and HC were more confident on items that they correctly answered than for items with errors, with patients being less confident overall; there was no significant interaction for confidence between group and accuracy. HC demonstrated a more substantial adjustment of response time to task difficulty by taking considerably longer to solve items that they got wrong, whereas patients showed only a minimal adjustment. These results expand knowledge about both self-assessment of social cognitive performance and the ability to appraise difficulty and adjust effort to social cognitive task demands in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Teachers' Teaching Practices and Beliefs Regarding Context-Based Tasks and Their Relation with Students' Difficulties in Solving These Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijaya, Ariyadi; van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, Marja; Doorman, Michiel

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we investigated teachers' teaching practices and their underlying beliefs regarding context-based tasks to find a possible explanation for students' difficulties with these tasks. The research started by surveying 27 Junior High School teachers from seven schools in Indonesia through a written questionnaire. Then, to further examine…

  9. Children's difficulty with true belief tasks: Competence deficit or performance problem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oktay-Gür, Nese; Rakoczy, Hannes

    2017-09-01

    According to the standard picture of explicit theory of mind (ToM) development, children begin to (explicitly) ascribe beliefs to others and themselves from around age 4. The empirical basis of this picture comes from numerous studies consistently showing that children master verbal false belief (FB) tasks from around age 4 while children much younger have no difficulty in mastering structurally analogous true belief (TB) tasks. The standard picture, though, has come under serious attack from recent studies using TB tasks with wider age ranges. These studies have found that, paradoxically, children begin to fail TB tasks once they master FB tasks. Such findings cast doubt on the standard picture and suggest, instead, that FB tasks may be solved by much simpler strategies than proper belief reasoning. In the present study, we tested for the development of FB and TB performance in comprehensive and systematic ways. In particular, we tested the competing predictions of competence accounts (according to which TB failure reflects lack of conceptual competence) versus performance limitation accounts (according to which the standard picture is true yet children from around age 4 fail TB tasks due to performance factors). Studies 1 and 2 showed that performance in a variety of novel TB tasks showed a clear U-shaped curve, with children until age 3 and from age 10 performing competently and children in between failing, with strong negative correlations between TB and FB. Crucially, these patterns were found for various kinds of TB tasks, including those for which existing competence limitation accounts would not even predict any difficulty. Study 3, therefore, directly tested performance limitation accounts in terms of pragmatic and related factors and found that these patterns (failure in TB and negative TB-FB correlations) disappear once the relevant performance factors have been removed from the TB tasks. Taken together, these findings suggest that previous TB findings

  10. Comparing the subjective task difficulty of human operators with task description levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Jin Kyun; Jung, Won Dea; Yang, Joon Eon

    2011-01-01

    Without the loss of generality, it is reasonable to say that an operating procedure consists of many steps including detailed descriptions that provide necessary information in conducting the required tasks safely and effectively. In this regard, since it is widely perceived that procedures are effective for reducing the occurrence of human performance related problems, the use of procedures is very popular in large process control systems including nuclear power plants (NPPs), commercial airplanes and railway systems. However, the secure of an operational safety by using an operating procedure can be accomplished only if human operators are able to effectively obtain necessary information from it. In other words, it is hard to expect the reduction of human performance related problems, if task descriptions are so ambiguous or incomplete that human operators feel an undue difficulty in identifying 'what have to be done' and 'how to do it' from procedures. Unfortunately, it seems that a systematic method that can be used to distinguish the proper level of task descriptions is rare. For this reason, Park et al. developed a decision chart that could be helpful for characterizing the level of task descriptions. In this study, in order to ensure the appropriateness of the suggested decision chart, more detailed investigations were conducted with the support of human operators who are working as the operating personnel of NPPs

  11. Motion perception tasks as potential correlates to driving difficulty in the elderly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghuram, A.; Lakshminarayanan, V.

    2006-09-01

    Changes in the demographics indicates that the population older than 65 is on the rise because of the aging of the ‘baby boom’ generation. This aging trend and driving related accident statistics reveal the need for procedures and tests that would assess the driving ability of older adults and predict whether they would be safe or unsafe drivers. Literature shows that an attention based test called the useful field of view (UFOV) was a significant predictor of accident rates compared to any other visual function tests. The present study evaluates a qualitative trend on using motion perception tasks as a potential visual perceptual correlates in screening elderly drivers who might have difficulty in driving. Data was collected from 15 older subjects with a mean age of 71. Motion perception tasks included—speed discrimination with radial and lamellar motion, time to collision using prediction motion and estimating direction of heading. A motion index score was calculated which was indicative of performance on all of the above-mentioned motion tasks. Scores on visual attention was assessed using UFOV. A driving habit questionnaire was also administered for a self report on the driving difficulties and accident rates. A qualitative trend based on frequency distributions show that thresholds on the motion perception tasks are successful in identifying subjects who reported to have had difficulty in certain aspects of driving and had accidents. Correlation between UFOV and motion index scores was not significant indicating that probably different aspects of visual information processing that are crucial to driving behaviour are being tapped by these two paradigms. UFOV and motion perception tasks together can be a better predictor for identifying at risk or safe drivers than just using either one of them.

  12. Numerical Magnitude Representation in Children With Mathematical Difficulties With or Without Reading Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobia, Valentina; Fasola, Anna; Lupieri, Alice; Marzocchi, Gian Marco

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to explore the spatial numerical association of response codes (SNARC), the flanker, and the numerical distance effects in children with mathematical difficulties. From a sample of 720 third, fourth, and fifth graders, 60 children were selected and divided into the following three groups: typically developing children (TD; n = 29), children with mathematical difficulties only (MD only; n = 21), and children with mathematical and reading difficulties (MD+RD; n = 10). Children were tested with a numerical Eriksen task that was built to assess SNARC, numerical distance, and flanker (first and second order congruency) effects. Children with MD only showed stronger SNARC and second order congruency effects than did TD children, whereas the numerical distance effects were similar across the three groups. Finally, the first order congruency effect was associated with reading difficulties. These results showed that children with mathematical difficulties with or without reading difficulties were globally more impaired when spatial incompatibilities were presented. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2014.

  13. Is effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on visuomotor coordination dependent on task difficulty?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Hyun Kwon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS, an emerging technique for non-invasive brain stimulation, is increasingly used to induce changes in cortical excitability and modulate motor behavior, especially for upper limbs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of tDCS of the primary motor cortex on visuomotor coordination based on three levels of task difficulty in healthy subjects. Thirty-eight healthy participants underwent real tDCS or sham tDCS. Using a single-blind, sham-controlled crossover design, tDCS was applied to the primary motor cortex. For real tDCS conditions, tDCS intensity was 1 mA while stimulation was applied for 15 minutes. For the sham tDCS, electrodes were placed in the same position, but the stimulator was turned off after 5 seconds. Visuomotor tracking task, consisting of three levels (levels 1, 2, 3 of difficulty with higher level indicating greater difficulty, was performed before and after tDCS application. At level 2, real tDCS of the primary motor cortex improved the accurate index compared to the sham tDCS. However, at levels 1 and 3, the accurate index was not significantly increased after real tDCS compared to the sham tDCS. These findings suggest that tasks of moderate difficulty may improve visuomotor coordination in healthy subjects when tDCS is applied compared with easier or more difficult tasks.

  14. Does conflict help or hurt cognitive control? Initial evidence for an inverted U-shape relationship between perceived task difficulty and conflict adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Steenbergen, Henk; Band, Guido P H; Hommel, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Sequential modulation of congruency effects in conflict tasks indicates that cognitive control quickly adapts to changing task demands. We investigated in four experiments how this behavioral congruency-sequence effect relates to different levels of perceived task difficulty in a flanker and a Stroop task. In addition, online measures of pupil diameter were used as a physiological index of effort mobilization. Consistent with motivational accounts predicting that increased levels of perceived task difficulty will increase effort mobilization only up to a certain limit, reliable dynamic conflict-driven adjustment in cognitive control was only observed when task difficulty was relatively low. Instead, tasks tentatively associated with high levels of difficulty showed no or reversed conflict adaptation. Although the effects could not be linked consistently to effects in self-reported task difficulty in all experiments, regression analyses showed associations between perceived task difficulty and conflict adaptation in some of the experiments, which provides some initial evidence for an inverted U-shape relationship between perceived difficulty and adaptations in cognitive control. Furthermore, high levels of task difficulty were associated with a conflict-driven reduction in pupil dilation, suggesting that pupil dilation can be used as a physiological marker of mental overload. Our findings underscore the importance of developing models that are grounded in motivational accounts of cognitive control.

  15. Modifications of EEG power spectra in mesial temporal lobe during n-back tasks of increasing difficulty. A sLORETA study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imperatori, Claudio; Farina, Benedetto; Brunetti, Riccardo; Gnoni, Valentina; Testani, Elisa; Quintiliani, Maria I; Del Gatto, Claudia; Indraccolo, Allegra; Contardi, Anna; Speranza, Anna M; Della Marca, Giacomo

    2013-01-01

    The n-back task is widely used to investigate the neural basis of Working Memory (WM) processes. The principal aim of this study was to explore and compare the EEG power spectra during two n-back tests with different levels of difficulty (1-back vs. 3-back). Fourteen healthy subjects were enrolled (seven men and seven women, mean age 31.21 ± 7.05 years, range: 23-48). EEG was recorded while performing the N-back test, by means of 19 surface electrodes referred to joint mastoids. EEG analysis were conducted by means of the standardized Low Resolution brain Electric Tomography (sLORETA) software. The statistical comparison between EEG power spectra in the two conditions was performed using paired t-statistics on the coherence values after Fisher's z transformation available in the LORETA program package. The frequency bands considered were: delta (0.5-4 Hz); theta (4.5-7.5 Hz); alpha (8-12.5 Hz); beta (13-30 Hz); gamma (30.5-100 Hz). Significant changes occurred in the delta band: in the 3-back condition an increased delta power was localized in a brain region corresponding to the Brodmann Area (BA) 28 in the left posterior entorhinal cortex (T = 3.112; p < 0.05) and in the BA 35 in the left perirhinal cortex in the parahippocampal gyrus (T = 2.876; p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the right hemisphere and in the alpha, theta, beta, and gamma frequency bands. Our results indicate that the most prominent modification induced by the increased complexity of the task occur in the mesial left temporal lobe structures.

  16. Modifications of EEG Power Spectra in Mesial Temporal Lobe during n-back tasks of increasing difficulty. A sLORETA study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio eImperatori

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The n-back task is widely used to investigate the neural basis of Working Memory (WM processes. The principal aim of this study was to explore and compare the EEG power spectra during two n-back tests with different levels of difficulty (1-back vs 3-back.Fourteen healthy subjects were enrolled (7 men and 7 women, mean age 31.21±7.05 years, range: 23-48. EEG was recorded while performing the N-back test, by means of 19 surface electrodes referred to joint mastoids. EEG analysis were conducted by means of the standardized LOw Resolution brain Electric Tomography (sLORETA software. The statistical comparison between EEG power spectra in the two conditions was performed using paired t-statistics on the coherence values after Fisher’s z transformation available in the LORETA program package. The frequency bands considered were: delta (0.5-4 Hz; theta (4.5–7.5 Hz; alpha (8–12.5 Hz; beta (13–30 Hz; gamma (30.5–100 Hz. Significant changes occurred in the delta band: in the 3-back condition an increased delta power was localized in a brain region corresponding to the Brodmann Area (BA 28 in the left posterior entorhinal cortex (T = 3.112; p<0.05 and in the BA 35 in the left peririnhal cortex in the parahippocampal gyrus (T = 2.876; p<0.05. No significant differences were observed in the right hemisphere and in the alpha, theta, beta and gamma frequency bands. Our results indicate that the most prominent modification induced by the increased complexity of the task occur in the mesial left temporal lobe structures.

  17. Does conflict help or hurt cognitive control? Initial evidence for an inverted U-shape relationship between perceived task difficulty and conflict adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henk eVan Steenbergen

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Sequential modulation of congruency effects in conflict tasks indicates that cognitive control quickly adapts to changing task demands. We investigated in four experiments how this behavioral congruency-sequence effect relates to different levels of perceived task difficulty in a flanker and a Stroop task. In addition, online measures of pupil diameter were used as a physiological index of effort mobilization. Consistent with motivational accounts predicting that increased levels of perceived task difficulty will increase effort mobilization only up to a certain limit, reliable dynamic conflict-driven adjustment in cognitive control was only observed when task difficulty was relatively low. Instead, tasks tentatively associated with high levels of difficulty showed no or reversed conflict adaptation. Although the effects could not be linked consistently to effects in self-reported task difficulty in all experiments, regression analyses showed associations between perceived task difficulty and conflict adaptation in some of the experiments, which provides some initial evidence for an inverted U-shape relationship between perceived difficulty and adaptations in cognitive control. Furthermore, high levels of task difficulty were associated with a conflict-driven reduction in pupil dilation, suggesting that pupil dilation can be used as a physiological marker of mental overload. Our findings underscore the importance of developing models that are grounded in motivational accounts of cognitive control.

  18. The effects of task difficulty, novelty and the size of the search space on intrinsically motivated exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranes, Adrien F; Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves; Gottlieb, Jacqueline

    2014-01-01

    Devising efficient strategies for exploration in large open-ended spaces is one of the most difficult computational problems of intelligent organisms. Because the available rewards are ambiguous or unknown during the exploratory phase, subjects must act in intrinsically motivated fashion. However, a vast majority of behavioral and neural studies to date have focused on decision making in reward-based tasks, and the rules guiding intrinsically motivated exploration remain largely unknown. To examine this question we developed a paradigm for systematically testing the choices of human observers in a free play context. Adult subjects played a series of short computer games of variable difficulty, and freely choose which game they wished to sample without external guidance or physical rewards. Subjects performed the task in three distinct conditions where they sampled from a small or a large choice set (7 vs. 64 possible levels of difficulty), and where they did or did not have the possibility to sample new games at a constant level of difficulty. We show that despite the absence of external constraints, the subjects spontaneously adopted a structured exploration strategy whereby they (1) started with easier games and progressed to more difficult games, (2) sampled the entire choice set including extremely difficult games that could not be learnt, (3) repeated moderately and high difficulty games much more frequently than was predicted by chance, and (4) had higher repetition rates and chose higher speeds if they could generate new sequences at a constant level of difficulty. The results suggest that intrinsically motivated exploration is shaped by several factors including task difficulty, novelty and the size of the choice set, and these come into play to serve two internal goals-maximize the subjects' knowledge of the available tasks (exploring the limits of the task set), and maximize their competence (performance and skills) across the task set.

  19. The effects of task difficulty, novelty and the size of the search space on intrinsically motivated exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrien Fredj Baranes

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Devising efficient strategies for exploration in large open-ended spaces is one of the most difficult computational problems of intelligent organisms. Because the available rewards are ambiguous or unknown during the exploratory phase, subjects must act in intrinsically motivated fashion. However, a vast majority of behavioral and neural studies to date have focused on decision making in reward-based tasks, and the rules guiding intrinsically motivated exploration remain largely unknown. To examine this question we developed a paradigm for systematically testing the choices of human observers in a free play context. Adult subjects played a series of short computer games of variable difficulty, and freely choose which game they wished to sample without external guidance or physical rewards. Subjects performed the task in three distinct conditions where they sampled from a small or a large choice set (7 vs 64 possible levels of difficulty, and where they did or did not have the possibility to sample new games at a constant level of difficulty. We show that despite the absence of external constraints, the subjects spontaneously adopted a structured exploration strategy whereby they (1 started with easier games and progressed to more difficult games, (2 sampled the entire choice set including extremely difficult games that could not be learnt, (3 repeated moderately and high difficulty games much more frequently than was predicted by chance, and (4 had higher repetition rates and chose higher speeds if they could generate new sequences at a constant level of difficulty. The results suggest that intrinsically motivated exploration is shaped by several factors including task difficulty, novelty and the size of the choice set, and these come into play to serve two internal goals - maximize the subjects’ knowledge of the available tasks (exploring the limits of the task set, and maximize their competence (performance and skills across the task set.

  20. Computer skills and internet use in adults aged 50-74 years: influence of hearing difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henshaw, Helen; Clark, Daniel P A; Kang, Sujin; Ferguson, Melanie A

    2012-08-24

    The use of personal computers (PCs) and the Internet to provide health care information and interventions has increased substantially over the past decade. Yet the effectiveness of such an approach is highly dependent upon whether the target population has both access and the skill set required to use this technology. This is particularly relevant in the delivery of hearing health care because most people with hearing loss are over 50 years (average age for initial hearing aid fitting is 74 years). Although PC skill and Internet use by demographic factors have been examined previously, data do not currently exist that examine the effects of hearing difficulties on PC skill or Internet use in older adults. To explore the effect that hearing difficulty has on PC skill and Internet use in an opportunistic sample of adults aged 50-74 years. Postal questionnaires about hearing difficulty, PC skill, and Internet use (n=3629) were distributed to adults aged 50-74 years through three family physician practices in Nottingham, United Kingdom. A subsample of 84 respondents completed a second detailed questionnaire on confidence in using a keyboard, mouse, and track pad. Summed scores were termed the "PC confidence index." The PC confidence index was used to verify the PC skill categories in the postal questionnaire (ie, never used a computer, beginner, and competent). The postal questionnaire response rate was 36.78% (1298/3529) and 95.15% (1235/1298) of these contained complete information. There was a significant between-category difference for PC skill by PC confidence index (PInternet use was greater in the younger respondents (50-62 years) than in the older respondents (63-74 years). The younger group's PC and Internet use was 81.0% and 60.9%, respectively; the older group's PC and Internet use was 54.0% and 29.8%, respectively. Those with slight hearing difficulties in the older group had significantly greater odds of PC use compared to those with no hearing

  1. The Effect of Question Format and Task Difficulty on Reasoning Strategies and Diagnostic Performance in Internal Medicine Residents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heemskerk, Laura; Norman, Geoff; Chou, Sophia; Mintz, Marcy; Mandin, Henry; McLaughlin, Kevin

    2008-01-01

    Background: Previous studies have suggested an association between reasoning strategies and diagnostic success, but the influence on this relationship of variables such as question format and task difficulty, has not been studied. Our objective was to study the association between question format, task difficulty, reasoning strategies and…

  2. Visual performance on detection tasks with double-targets of the same and different difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Alan H S; Courtney, Alan J; Ma, C W

    2002-10-20

    This paper reports a study of measurement of horizontal visual sensitivity limits for 16 subjects in single-target and double-targets detection tasks. Two phases of tests were conducted in the double-targets task; targets of the same difficulty were tested in phase one while targets of different difficulty were tested in phase two. The range of sensitivity for the double-targets test was found to be smaller than that for single-target in both the same and different target difficulty cases. The presence of another target was found to affect performance to a marked degree. Interference effect of the difficult target on detection of the easy one was greater than that of the easy one on the detection of the difficult one. Performance decrement was noted when correct percentage detection was plotted against eccentricity of target in both the single-target and double-targets tests. Nevertheless, the non-significant correlation found between the performance for the two tasks demonstrated that it was impossible to predict quantitatively ability for detection of double targets from the data for single targets. This indicated probable problems in generalizing data for single target visual lobes to those for multiple targets. Also lobe area values obtained from measurements using a single-target task cannot be applied in a mathematical model for situations with multiple occurrences of targets.

  3. Differential effects of emotionally versus neutrally cued autobiographical memories on performance of a subsequent cognitive task: Effects of task difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kymberly eYoung

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Attention is a limited resource, and in order to improve processing of the attended information, competing processes must be suppressed. Although it is well established that an experimentally induced change in mood state comprises one type of competing process that can impair performance on a subsequent task, no study has investigated whether an emotionally valenced autobiographical memory (AM also can alter performance on a subsequent task. We therefore examined the effects of AM recall on cognitive performance. Healthy participants (n=20 per experiment recalled AMs in response to positive, negative, and neutral cue words. Following each AM participants completed a simple perceptual task (Experiment 1 or solved moderately difficult subtraction problems (Experiment 2. In Experiment 1 participants performed less accurately following exposure to positive or negative versus neutral cue words (ps<0.001, and also were less accurate following negative versus positive cue words (p<0.001. In Experiment 2, in contrast, no difference in accuracy or response times reached statistical significance. Performance accuracy even trended towards being higher following exposure to negative versus neutral cue words (p=0.08. The results of Experiment 1 suggested that recalling emotionally salient AMs reduces the attention directed toward a simple continuous performance task administered immediately following the AM task, conceivably due to persistent contemplation of the AM. The negative results of Experiment 2 suggested that the effect of AMs on attention was attenuated, however, by increasing the difficulty of the subsequent task. Our results have implications for patients with MDD, as performing cognitively demanding tasks may allow them to attenuate the impairing effects of negative rumination on cognition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  5. Effects of Self-Esteem and Perceived Goal Difficulty on Goal Setting, Certainty, Task Performance, and Attributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Thomas Li-Ping; Reynolds, David B.

    1993-01-01

    Fifty-two subjects competed on a task against themselves, a difficult competitor, and an easy competitor. Certainty, ability attribution, and task satisfaction for those with low self-esteem were affected by perceived goal difficulty but not for those with high self-esteem. Low self-esteem groups had lower goals, certainty, and task performance.…

  6. Alcohol Hits You When It Is Hard: Intoxication, Task Difficulty, and Theta Brain Oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Burke Q; Padovan, Nevena; Marinkovic, Ksenija

    2016-04-01

    Alcohol intoxication is known to impair decision making in a variety of situations. Previous neuroimaging evidence suggests that the neurofunctional system subserving controlled processing is especially vulnerable to alcohol in conflict-evoking tasks. The present study investigated the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication on the spatiotemporal neural dynamics of event-related total theta (4 to 7 Hz) power as a function of task difficulty. Two variants of the Simon task manipulated incongruity via simple spatial stimulus-response mismatch and, in a more difficult version, by combining spatial and semantic interference. Healthy social drinkers participated in both alcohol (0.6 g/kg ethanol for men, 0.55 g/kg for women) and placebo conditions in a counterbalanced design. Whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals were acquired and event-related total theta power was calculated on each trial with Morlet wavelets. MEG sources were estimated using anatomically constrained, noise-normalized, spectral dynamic statistical parametric mapping. Longer reaction times and lower accuracy confirmed the difficulty manipulation. Response conflict (incongruity) increased and alcohol intoxication decreased event-related theta power overall during both tasks bilaterally in the medial and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices. However, alcohol-induced theta suppression was selective for conflict only in the more difficult task which engaged the dorsal anterior cingulate (dAC) and anterior inferolateral prefrontal cortices. Theta power correlated negatively with drinking levels and disinhibition, suggesting that cognitive control is susceptible in more impulsive individuals with higher alcohol intake. The spatiotemporal theta profile across the 2 tasks supports the concept of a rostrocaudal activity gradient in the medial prefrontal cortex that is modulated by task difficulty, with the dAC as the key node in the network subserving cognitive control. Conflict-related theta power was

  7. Task Difficulty and Prior Videogame Experience: Their Role in Performance and Motivation in Instructional Videogames

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Orvis, Karin A; Horn, Daniel B; Belanich, James

    2007-01-01

    .... Further, the influence of prior video game experience on these learning outcomes was examined, as well as the role prior experience played in determining the optimal approach for adjusting task difficulty...

  8. Development of a task difficulty measure for emergency operating procedures using entropy concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Jinkyun; Jung, Wondea; Kim, Jaewhan; Ha Jaejoo

    2000-01-01

    In this paper, a method to quantify the degree of step complexity (SC) of an EOP step is developed based on entropy measures that have been used to evaluate software complexity in software engineering. Developed measure consists of three sub-measures that can quantify step complexity from various viewpoints. To verify developed SC measure, estimated SC values are compared with subjective task load scores obtained from the NASA-TLX (task load index) technique and the step performance time data obtained from a full scope simulator. From these comparisons, it can be concluded that the SC measure seems be appropriate for step difficulty evaluations because estimated SC values generally agree with the results of subjective task load scores the step performance time data. (author)

  9. Normative data on the n-back task for children and young adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelegrina, Santiago; Lechuga, M Teresa; García-Madruga, Juan A; Elosúa, M Rosa; Macizo, Pedro; Carreiras, Manuel; Fuentes, Luis J; Bajo, M Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The n-back task is a frequently used measure of working memory (WM) in cognitive neuroscience research contexts, and it has become widely adopted in other areas over the last decade. This study aimed to obtain normative data for the n-back task from a large sample of children and adolescents. To this end, a computerized verbal n-back task with three levels of WM load (1-back, 2-back, and 3-back) was administered to 3722 Spanish school children aged 7-13 years. Results showed an overall age-related increase in performance for the different levels of difficulty. This trend was less pronounced at 1-back than at 2-back when hits were considered. Gender differences were also observed, with girls outperforming boys although taking more time to respond. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed. Normative data stratified by age and gender for the three WM load levels are provided.

  10. Normative data on the n-back task for children and young adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago ePelegrina

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The n-back task is a frequently used measure of working memory (WM in cognitive neuroscience research contexts, and it has become widely adopted in other areas over the last decade. This study aimed to obtain normative data for the n-back task from a large sample of children and adolescents. To this end, a computerized verbal n-back task with three levels of WM load (1-back, 2-back and 3-back was administered to 3722 Spanish school children aged 7–13 years. Results showed an overall age-related increase in performance for the different levels of difficulty. This trend was less pronounced at 1-back than at 2-back when hits were considered. Gender differences were also observed, with girls outperforming boys although taking more time to respond. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed. Normative data stratified by age and gender for the three WM load levels are provided.

  11. Differential Constraints on the Working Memory and Reading Abilities of Individuals with Learning Difficulties and Typically Developing Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayliss, Donna M.; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D.; Leigh, Eleanor

    2005-01-01

    This study examined the factors that constrain the working memory span performance and reading ability of individuals with generalized learning difficulties. In the study, 50 individuals with learning difficulties (LD) and 50 typically developing children (TD) matched for reading age completed two working memory span tasks. Participants also…

  12. Reduced self-regulation mirrors the distorting effects of burnout symptomatology on task difficulty perception during an inhibition task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wekenborg, Magdalena Katharina; Hill, LaBarron K; Miller, Robert; Stalder, Tobias; Thayer, Julian Francis; Sophie Penz, Marlene; Kirschbaum, Clemens

    2018-06-09

    Burnout, a pathological consequence of chronic work stress, shows an increasing incidence rate in industrialized countries. Previous findings indicate that burnout may be linked to a detachment of the negative association between subjectively appraised task demand and cognitive performance, which is typically seen in healthy individuals. The present study sought to confirm this relationship and to investigate whether this dissociation is mirrored in a biological marker of self-regulation, i.e., resting vagally mediated heart rate variability (HRV). A heterogeneous sample (N = 65) of working adults (M age = 43.3, SD = 10; 23.1 % male) with varying degrees of burnout symptomatology completed three cognitive tasks (2-back, number-letter, and go/nogo) to assess different domains of executive functioning (updating, set-shifting, and inhibition), and respective demand ratings. Additionally, vagally mediated HRV at rest, operationalized as the root-mean square differences of successive R-R intervals (RMSSD), was recorded. Burnout symptomatology moderated the association between subjective task difficulty and performance parameters of the go/nogo task, such that higher burnout scores were associated with reductions in the naturally occurring negative association between self-rated task demand and response inhibition. Intriguingly, this pattern was mirrored when replacing burnout with HRV. These findings suggest that burnout symptomatology, and individual differences in self-regulatory capacities (indexed by resting HRV), may alter one's capacity for accurate task evaluation, a mechanism which could potentially underlie the dissociation between self-rated cognitive function and actual performance among individuals experiencing burnout.

  13. The effect of question format and task difficulty on reasoning strategies and diagnostic performance in Internal Medicine residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heemskerk, Laura; Norman, Geoff; Chou, Sophia; Mintz, Marcy; Mandin, Henry; McLaughlin, Kevin

    2008-11-01

    Previous studies have suggested an association between reasoning strategies and diagnostic success, but the influence on this relationship of variables such as question format and task difficulty, has not been studied. Our objective was to study the association between question format, task difficulty, reasoning strategies and diagnostic success. Study participants were 13 Internal Medicine residents at the University of Calgary. Each was given eight problem-solving questions in four clinical presentations and were randomized to groups that differed only in the question format, such that a question presented as short answer (SA) to the first group was presented as extended matching (EM) to the second group. There were equal numbers of SA/EM questions and straightforward/difficult tasks. Participants performed think-aloud during diagnostic reasoning. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression. Question format was associated with reasoning strategies; hypothetico-deductive reasoning being used more frequently on EM questions and scheme-inductive reasoning on SA questions. For SA question, non-analytic reasoning alone was used more frequently to answer straightforward cases than difficult cases, whereas for EM questions no such association was observed. EM format and straightforward task increased the odds of diagnostic success, whereas hypothetico-deductive reasoning was associated with reduced odds of success. Question format and task difficulty both influence diagnostic reasoning strategies and studies that examine the effect of reasoning strategies on diagnostic success should control for these effects. Further studies are needed to investigate the effect of reasoning strategies on performance of different groups of learners.

  14. Task difficulty has no effect on haptic anchoring during tandem walking in young and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Andréia Abud da Silva; Santos, Luciana Oliveira Dos; Mauerberg-deCastro, Eliane; Moraes, Renato

    2018-02-14

    This study assessed the contribution of the "anchor system's" haptic information to balance control during walking at two levels of difficulty. Seventeen young adults and seventeen older adults performed 20 randomized trials of tandem walking in a straight line, on level ground and on a slightly-raised balance beam, both with and without the use of the anchors. The anchor consists of two flexible cables, whose ends participants hold in each hand, to which weights (125 g) are attached at the opposing ends, and which rest on the ground. As the participants walk, they pull on the cables, dragging the anchors. Spatiotemporal gait variables (step speed and single- and double-support duration) were processed using retro-reflective markers on anatomical sites. An accelerometer positioned in the cervical region registered trunk acceleration. Walking on the balance beam increased single- and double-support duration and reduced step speed in older adults, which suggests that this condition was more difficult than walking on the level ground. The anchors reduced trunk acceleration in the frontal plane, but the level of difficulty of the walking task showed no effect. Thus, varying the difficulty of the task had no influence on the way in which participants used the anchor system while tandem walking. The older adults exhibited more difficulty in walking on the balance beam as compared to the younger adults; however, the effect of the anchor system was similar in both groups. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The effect of emotional content on brain activation and the late positive potential in a word n-back task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Kopf

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: There is mounting evidence for the influence of emotional content on working memory performance. This is particularly important in light of the emotion processing that needs to take place when emotional content interferes with executive functions. In this study, we used emotional words of different valence but with similar arousal levels in an n-back task. METHODS: We examined the effects on activation in the prefrontal cortex by means of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS and on the late positive potential (LPP. FNIRS and LPP data were examined in 30 healthy subjects. RESULTS: BEHAVIORAL RESULTS SHOW AN INFLUENCE OF VALENCE ON THE ERROR RATE DEPENDING ON THE DIFFICULTY OF THE TASK: more errors were made when the valence was negative and the task difficult. Brain activation was dependent both on the difficulty of the task and on the valence: negative valence of a word diminished the increase in activation, whereas positive valence did not influence the increase in activation, while difficulty levels increased. The LPP also differentiated between the different valences, and in addition was influenced by the task difficulty, the more difficult the task, the less differentiation could be observed. CONCLUSIONS: Summarized, this study shows the influence of valence on a verbal working memory task. When a word contained a negative valence, the emotional content seemed to take precedence in contrast to words containing a positive valence. Working memory and emotion processing sites seemed to overlap and compete for resources even when words are carriers of the emotional content.

  16. The Effects of Different Types of Environmental Noise on Academic Performance and Perceived Task Difficulty in Adolescents With ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batho, Lauren P; Martinussen, Rhonda; Wiener, Judith

    2015-07-28

    To examine the effects of environmental noises (speech and white noise) relative to a no noise control condition on the performance and difficulty ratings of youth with ADHD (N = 52) on academic tasks. Reading performance was measured by an oral retell (reading accuracy) and the time spent reading. Writing performance was measured through the proportion of correct writing sequences (writing accuracy) and the total words written on an essay. Participants in the white noise condition took less time to read the passage and wrote more words on the essay compared with participants in the other conditions, though white noise did not improve academic accuracy. The participants in the babble condition rated the tasks as most difficult. Although white noise appears to improve reading time and writing fluency, the findings suggest that white noise does not improve performance accuracy. Educational implications are discussed. © 2015 SAGE Publications.

  17. The impact of age, ongoing task difficulty, and cue salience on preschoolers' prospective memory performance: the role of executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahy, Caitlin E V; Moses, Louis J; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-11-01

    The current study examined the impact of age, ongoing task (OT) difficulty, and cue salience on 4- and 5-year-old children's prospective memory (PM) and also explored the relation between individual differences in executive function (working memory, inhibition, and shifting) and PM. OT difficulty and cue salience are predicted to affect the detection of PM cues based on the multiprocess framework, yet neither has been thoroughly investigated in young children. OT difficulty was manipulated by requiring children to sort cards according to the size of pictured items (easy) or by opposite size (difficult), and cue salience was manipulated by placing a red border around half of the target cues (salient) and no border around the other cues (non-salient). The 5-year-olds outperformed the 4-year-olds on the PM task, and salient PM cues resulted in better PM cues compared with non-salient cues. There was no main effect of OT difficulty, and the interaction between cue salience and OT difficulty was not significant. However, a planned comparison revealed that the combination of non-salient cues and a difficult OT resulted in significantly worse PM performance than that in all of the other conditions. Inhibition accounted for significant variance in PM performance for non-salient cues and for marginally significant variance for salient cues. Furthermore, individual differences in inhibition fully mediated the effect of age on PM performance. Results are discussed in the context of the multiprocess framework and with reference to preschoolers' difficulty with the executive demands of dividing attention between the OT and PM task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Windowed correlation: a suitable tool for providing dynamic fMRI-based functional connectivity neurofeedback on task difficulty.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Zilverstand

    Full Text Available The goal of neurofeedback training is to provide participants with relevant information on their ongoing brain processes in order to enable them to change these processes in a meaningful way. Under the assumption of an intrinsic brain-behavior link, neurofeedback can be a tool to guide a participant towards a desired behavioral state, such as a healthier state in the case of patients. Current research in clinical neuroscience regarding the most robust indicators of pathological brain processes in psychiatric and neurological disorders indicates that fMRI-based functional connectivity measures may be among the most important biomarkers of disease. The present study therefore investigated the general potential of providing fMRI neurofeedback based on functional correlations, computed from short-window time course data at the level of single task periods. The ability to detect subtle changes in task performance with block-wise functional connectivity measures was evaluated based on imaging data from healthy participants performing a simple motor task, which was systematically varied along two task dimensions representing two different aspects of task difficulty. The results demonstrate that fMRI-based functional connectivity measures may provide a better indicator for an increase in overall (motor task difficulty than activation level-based measures. Windowed functional correlations thus seem to provide relevant and unique information regarding ongoing brain processes, which is not captured equally well by standard activation level-based neurofeedback measures. Functional connectivity markers, therefore, may indeed provide a valuable tool to enhance and monitor learning within an fMRI neurofeedback setup.

  19. Complementary roles of systems representing sensory evidence and systems detecting task difficulty during perceptual decision making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas A Ruff

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual decision making is a multi-stage process where incoming sensory information is used to select one option from several alternatives. Researchers typically have adopted one of two conceptual frameworks to define the criteria for determining whether a brain region is involved in decision computations. One framework, building on single unite recordings in monkeys, posits that activity in a region involved in decision making reflects the accumulation of evidence toward a decision threshold, thus showing the lowest level of BOLD signal during the hardest decisions. The other framework instead posits that activity in a decision-making region reflects the difficulty of a decision, thus showing the highest level of BOLD signal during the hardest decisions. We had subjects perform a face detection task on degraded face images while we simultaneously recorded BOLD activity. We searched for brain regions where changes in BOLD activity during this task supported either of these frameworks by calculating the correlation of BOLD activity with reaction time - a measure of task difficulty. We found that the right supplementary eye field, right frontal eye field and right inferior frontal gyrus had increased activity relative to baseline that positively correlated with reaction time, while the left superior frontal sulcus and left middle temporal gyrus had decreased activity relative to baseline that negatively correlated with reaction time. We propose that a simple mechanism that scales a region’s activity based on task demands can explain our results.

  20. Differential constraints on the working memory and reading abilities of individuals with learning difficulties and typically developing children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayliss, Donna M; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D; Leigh, Eleanor

    2005-09-01

    This study examined the factors that constrain the working memory span performance and reading ability of individuals with generalized learning difficulties. In the study, 50 individuals with learning difficulties (LD) and 50 typically developing children (TD) matched for reading age completed two working memory span tasks. Participants also completed independent measures of the processing and storage operations involved in each working memory span task and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices. The results showed that despite an equivalent level of working memory span, the relative importance of the constraints on working memory differed between the groups. In addition, working memory span was not closely related to word recognition or sentence comprehension performance in the LD group. These results suggest that the working memory span performance of LD and TD individuals may reflect different working memory limitations and that individuals with generalized learning difficulties may approach cognitive tasks in a qualitatively different way from that of typically developing individuals.

  1. How gender and task difficulty affect a sport-protective response in young adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipps, David B.; Eckner, James T.; Richardson, James K.; Ashton-Miller, James A.

    2013-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that gender and task difficulty affect the reaction, movement, and total response times associated with performing a head protective response. Twenty-four healthy young adults (13 females) performed a protective response of raising their hands from waist level to block a foam ball fired at their head from an air cannon. Participants initially stood 8.25 m away from the cannon (‘low difficulty’), and were moved successively closer in 60 cm increments until they failed to block at least 5 of 8 balls (‘high difficulty’). Limb motion was quantified using optoelectronic markers on the participants’ left wrist. Males had significantly faster total response times (p = 0.042), a trend towards faster movement times (p = 0.054), and faster peak wrist velocity (p softball pitchers and fielders should have sufficient time to protect their head from a batted ball under optimal conditions if they are adequately prepared for the task. PMID:23234296

  2. The facilitative effects of glucose ingestion on memory retrieval in younger and older adults: is task difficulty or task domain critical?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riby, Leigh M; McMurtrie, Hazel; Smallwood, Jonathan; Ballantyne, Carrie; Meikle, Andrew; Smith, Emily

    2006-02-01

    The ingestion of a glucose-containing drink has been shown to improve cognitive performance, particularly memory functioning. However, it remains unclear as to the extent to which task domain and task difficulty moderate the glucose enhancement effect. The aim of this research was to determine whether boosts in performance are restricted to particular classes of memory (episodic v. semantic) or to tasks of considerable cognitive load. A repeated measures (25 g glucose v. saccharin), counterbalanced, double-blind design was used with younger and older adults. Participants performed a battery of episodic (e.g. paired associate learning) and semantic memory (e.g. category verification) tasks under low and high cognitive load. Electrophysiological measures (heart rate and galvanic skin response) of arousal and mental effort were also gathered. The results indicated that whilst glucose appeared to aid episodic remembering, cognitive load did not exaggerate the facilitative effect. For semantic memory, there was little evidence to suggest that glucose can boost semantic memory retrieval even when the load was manipulated. One exception was that glucose facilitated performance during the difficult category fluency task. Regardless, the present findings are consistent with the domain-specific account in which glucose acts primarily on the hippocampal region, which is known to support episodic memory. The possible contribution of the hippocampus in semantic memory processing is also discussed.

  3. Do Tasks Make a Difference? Accounting for Heterogeneity of Performance of Children with Reading Difficulties on Tasks of Executive Function: Findings from a Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Josephine N.; Boyle, James M. E.; Kelly, Steve W.

    2010-01-01

    Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the…

  4. The Effect of Retention Interval Task Difficulty on Young Children's Prospective Memory: Testing the Intention Monitoring Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahy, Caitlin E. V.; Moses, Louis J.

    2015-01-01

    The current study examined the impact of retention interval task difficulty on 4- and 5-year-olds' prospective memory (PM) to test the hypothesis that children periodically monitor their intentions during the retention interval and that disrupting this monitoring may result in poorer PM performance. In addition, relations among PM, working memory,…

  5. Mental workload and motor performance dynamics during practice of reaching movements under various levels of task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuggi, Isabelle M; Oh, Hyuk; Shewokis, Patricia A; Gentili, Rodolphe J

    2017-09-30

    The assessment of mental workload can inform attentional resource allocation during task performance that is essential for understanding the underlying principles of human cognitive-motor behavior. While many studies have focused on mental workload in relation to human performance, a modest body of work has examined it in a motor practice/learning context without considering individual variability. Thus, this work aimed to examine mental workload by employing the NASA TLX as well as the changes in motor performance resulting from the practice of a novel reaching task. Two groups of participants practiced a reaching task at a high and low nominal difficulty during which a group-level analysis assessed the mental workload, motor performance and motor improvement dynamics. A secondary cluster analysis was also conducted to identify specific individual patterns of cognitive-motor responses. Overall, both group- and cluster-level analyses revealed that: (i) all participants improved their performance throughout motor practice, and (ii) an increase in mental workload was associated with a reduction of the quality of motor performance along with a slower rate of motor improvement. The results are discussed in the context of the optimal challenge point framework and in particular it is proposed that under the experimental conditions employed here, functional task difficulty: (i) would possibly depend on an individuals' information processing capabilities, and (ii) could be indexed by the level of mental workload which, when excessively heightened can decrease the quality of performance and more generally result in delayed motor improvements. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Marital dissolution and blood pressure reactivity: evidence for the specificity of emotional intrusion-hyperarousal and task-rated emotional difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sbarra, David A; Law, Rita W; Lee, Lauren A; Mason, Ashley E

    2009-06-01

    To assess blood pressure (BP) reactivity as recently separated adults completed a laboratory task asking to mentally reflect on their relationship experiences. Marital separations and the experience of divorce are associated with increased risk for early mortality and poor health outcomes. Few studies, however, have investigated the potential psychophysiological mechanisms that may account for these broad-based associations. Seventy recently separated or divorced community-dwelling adults (26 men) completed self-report measures of divorce-related psychological adjustment. During a laboratory visit, quasi-continuous BP was assessed across four task periods, including a divorce-specific mental activation task (DMAT). A task-rated emotional difficulty (TRED) index was computed based on participants' immediate appraisals of the task demands. After accounting for relevant health-related covariates and depressed mood, participants who reported higher degrees of divorce-related emotional intrusion and physical hyperarousal demonstrated significantly elevated resting BP at entry into the study. When assessing change from a within-person control task to the DMAT, a three-way interaction indicated that men reporting high TRED scores evidenced significant increases in BP, whereas men reporting low TRED scores evidenced significant decreases in BP. Women evidenced no significant changes in BP across study periods. Results suggest that divorce-related emotional intrusion-hyperarousal and real-time ratings of emotional difficulty (when people think about their separation experience) may play a specific role in BP reactivity, especially for men. These data shed new light on the potential mechanisms that may link marital dissolution and poor health.

  7. Do tasks make a difference? Accounting for heterogeneity of performance of children with reading difficulties on tasks of executive function: findings from a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Josephine N; Boyle, James M E; Kelly, Steve W

    2010-03-01

    Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the tasks of executive function that are utilized. A total of 48 studies comparing the performance on tasks of executive function of children with RD with their typically developing peers were included in the meta-analysis, yielding 180 effect sizes. An overall effect size of 0.57 (SE .03) was obtained, indicating that children with RD have impairments on tasks of executive function. However, effect sizes varied considerably suggesting that the impairment is not uniform. Moderator analysis revealed that task modality and IQ-achievement discrepancy definitions of RD influenced the magnitude of effect; however, the age and gender of participants and the nature of the RD did not have an influence. While the children's RD were associated with executive function impairments, variation in effect size is a product of the assessment task employed, underlying task demands, and definitional criteria.

  8. The effects of autonomous difficulty selection on engagement, motivation, and learning in a motion-controlled video game task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiker, Amber M; Bruzi, Alessandro T; Miller, Matthew W; Nelson, Monica; Wegman, Rebecca; Lohse, Keith R

    2016-10-01

    This experiment investigated the relationship between motivation, engagement, and learning in a video game task. Previous studies have shown increased autonomy during practice leads to superior retention of motor skills, but it is not clear why this benefit occurs. Some studies suggest this benefit arises from increased motivation during practice; others suggest the benefit arises from better information processing. Sixty novice participants were randomly assigned to a self-controlled group, who chose the progression of difficulty during practice, or to a yoked group, who experienced the same difficulty progression but did not have choice. At the end of practice, participants completed surveys measuring intrinsic motivation and engagement. One week later, participants returned for a series of retention tests at three different difficulty levels. RM-ANCOVA (controlling for pre-test) showed that the self-controlled group had improved retention compared to the yoked group, on average, β=46.78, 95% CI=[2.68, 90.87], p=0.04, but this difference was only statistically significant on the moderate difficulty post-test (p=0.004). The self-controlled group also showed greater intrinsic motivation during practice, t(58)=2.61, p=0.01. However, there was no evidence that individual differences in engagement (p=0.20) or motivation (p=0.87) were associated with learning, which was the relationship this experiment was powered to detect. These data are inconsistent with strictly motivational accounts of how autonomy benefits learning, instead suggesting the benefits of autonomy may be mediated through other mechanisms. For instance, within the information processing framework, the learning benefits may emerge from learners appropriately adjusting difficulty to maintain an appropriate level of challenge (i.e., maintaining the relationship between task demands and cognitive resources). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Which Behavioral and Personality Characteristics Are Associated with Difficulties in Selective Attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avisar, Alon

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The present study investigated the behavioral and personality profile associated with difficulties in selective attention. Method: A group of participants with ADHD were assessed for ADHD behaviors. Adults with ADHD (n = 22) and without ADHD (n = 84) were tested on the conjunctive visual-search task for selective attention and…

  10. Increased cognitive control after task conflict? Investigating the N-3 effect in task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuch, Stefanie; Grange, James A

    2018-05-25

    Task inhibition is considered to facilitate switching to a new task and is assumed to decay slowly over time. Hence, more persisting inhibition needs to be overcome when returning to a task after one intermediary trial (ABA task sequence) than when returning after two or more intermediary trials (CBA task sequence). Schuch and Grange (J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 41:760-767, 2015) put forward the hypothesis that there is higher task conflict in ABA than CBA sequences, leading to increased cognitive control in the subsequent trial. They provided evidence that performance is better in trials following ABA than following CBA task sequences. Here, this effect of the previous task sequence ("N-3 effect") is further investigated by varying the cue-stimulus interval (CSI), allowing for short (100 ms) or long (900 ms) preparation time for the upcoming task. If increased cognitive control after ABA involves a better preparation for the upcoming task, the N-3 effect should be larger with long than short CSI. The results clearly show that this is not the case. In Experiment 1, the N-3 effect was smaller with long than short CSI; in Experiment 2, the N-3 effect was not affected by CSI. Diffusion model analysis confirmed previous results in the literature (regarding the effect of CSI and of the ABA-CBA difference); however, the N-3 effect was not unequivocally associated with any of the diffusion model parameters. In exploratory analysis, we also tested the alternative hypothesis that the N-3 effect involves more effective task shielding, which would be reflected in reduced congruency effects in trials following ABA, relative to trials following CBA; congruency effects did not differ between these conditions. Taken together, we can rule out two potential explanations of the N-3 effect: Neither is this effect due to enhanced task preparation, nor to more effective task shielding.

  11. The Effect of Motor Difficulty on the Acquisition of a Computer Task: A Comparison between Young and Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fezzani, K.; Albinet, C.; Thon, B.; Marquie, J. -C.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which the impact of motor difficulty on the acquisition of a computer task varies as a function of age. Fourteen young and 14 older participants performed 352 sequences of 10 serial pointing movements with a wireless pen on a digitiser tablet. A conditional probabilistic structure governed the…

  12. Visual search in barn owls: Task difficulty and saccadic behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlowski, Julius; Ben-Shahar, Ohad; Wagner, Hermann

    2018-01-01

    How do we find what we are looking for? A target can be in plain view, but it may be detected only after extensive search. During a search we make directed attentional deployments like saccades to segment the scene until we detect the target. Depending on difficulty, the search may be fast with few attentional deployments or slow with many, shorter deployments. Here we study visual search in barn owls by tracking their overt attentional deployments-that is, their head movements-with a camera. We conducted a low-contrast feature search, a high-contrast orientation conjunction search, and a low-contrast orientation conjunction search, each with set sizes varying from 16 to 64 items. The barn owls were able to learn all of these tasks and showed serial search behavior. In a subsequent step, we analyzed how search behavior of owls changes with search complexity. We compared the search mechanisms in these three serial searches with results from pop-out searches our group had reported earlier. Saccade amplitude shortened and fixation duration increased in difficult searches. Also, in conjunction search saccades were guided toward items with shared target features. These data suggest that during visual search, barn owls utilize mechanisms similar to those that humans use.

  13. Semantic encoding and retrieval in the left inferior prefrontal cortex: a functional MRI study of task difficulty and process specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demb, J B; Desmond, J E; Wagner, A D; Vaidya, C J; Glover, G H; Gabrieli, J D

    1995-09-01

    Prefrontal cortical function was examined during semantic encoding and repetition priming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a noninvasive technique for localizing regional changes in blood oxygenation, a correlate of neural activity. Words studied in a semantic (deep) encoding condition were better remembered than words studied in both easier and more difficult nonsemantic (shallow) encoding conditions, with difficulty indexed by response time. The left inferior prefrontal cortex (LIPC) (Brodmann's areas 45, 46, 47) showed increased activation during semantic encoding relative to nonsemantic encoding regardless of the relative difficulty of the nonsemantic encoding task. Therefore, LIPC activation appears to be related to semantic encoding and not task difficulty. Semantic encoding decisions are performed faster the second time words are presented. This represents semantic repetition priming, a facilitation in semantic processing for previously encoded words that is not dependent on intentional recollection. The same LIPC area activated during semantic encoding showed decreased activation during repeated semantic encoding relative to initial semantic encoding of the same words. This decrease in activation during repeated encoding was process specific; it occurred when words were semantically reprocessed but not when words were nonsemantically reprocessed. The results were apparent in both individual and averaged functional maps. These findings suggest that the LIPC is part of a semantic executive system that contributes to the on-line retrieval of semantic information.

  14. Do dyslexics have auditory input processing difficulties?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Mads

    2011-01-01

    Word production difficulties are well documented in dyslexia, whereas the results are mixed for receptive phonological processing. This asymmetry raises the possibility that the core phonological deficit of dyslexia is restricted to output processing stages. The present study investigated whether....... The finding suggests that input processing difficulties are associated with the phonological deficit, but that these difficulties may be stronger above the level of phoneme perception.......Word production difficulties are well documented in dyslexia, whereas the results are mixed for receptive phonological processing. This asymmetry raises the possibility that the core phonological deficit of dyslexia is restricted to output processing stages. The present study investigated whether...... a group of dyslexics had word level receptive difficulties using an auditory lexical decision task with long words and nonsense words. The dyslexics were slower and less accurate than chronological age controls in an auditory lexical decision task, with disproportionate low performance on nonsense words...

  15. Is a Responsive Default Mode Network Required for Successful Working Memory Task Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čeko, Marta; Gracely, John L.; Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann; Seminowicz, David A.; Schweinhardt, Petra

    2015-01-01

    In studies of cognitive processing using tasks with externally directed attention, regions showing increased (external-task-positive) and decreased or “negative” [default-mode network (DMN)] fMRI responses during task performance are dynamically responsive to increasing task difficulty. Responsiveness (modulation of fMRI signal by increasing load) has been linked directly to successful cognitive task performance in external-task-positive regions but not in DMN regions. To investigate whether a responsive DMN is required for successful cognitive performance, we compared healthy human subjects (n = 23) with individuals shown to have decreased DMN engagement (chronic pain patients, n = 28). Subjects performed a multilevel working-memory task (N-back) during fMRI. If a responsive DMN is required for successful performance, patients having reduced DMN responsiveness should show worsened performance; if performance is not reduced, their brains should show compensatory activation in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. All subjects showed decreased accuracy and increased reaction times with increasing task level, with no significant group differences on either measure at any level. Patients had significantly reduced negative fMRI response (deactivation) of DMN regions (posterior cingulate/precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex). Controls showed expected modulation of DMN deactivation with increasing task difficulty. Patients showed significantly reduced modulation of DMN deactivation by task difficulty, despite their successful task performance. We found no evidence of compensatory neural recruitment in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. Individual responsiveness of the external-task-positive ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, but not of DMN regions, correlated with task accuracy. These findings suggest that a responsive DMN may not be required for successful cognitive performance; a responsive external-task-positive network may be sufficient

  16. Memory Abilities in Children with Mathematical Difficulties: Comorbid Language Difficulties Matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimann, Giselle; Gut, Janine; Frischknecht, Marie-Claire; Grob, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated cognitive abilities in children with difficulties in mathematics only (n = 48, M = 8 years and 5 months), combined mathematical and language difficulty (n = 27, M = 8 years and 1 month) and controls (n = 783, M = 7 years and 11 months). Cognitive abilities were measured with seven subtests, tapping visual perception,…

  17. Planning performance in schizophrenia patients: a meta-analysis of the influence of task difficulty and clinical and sociodemographic variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, F; Viechtbauer, W; Leonhart, R; Nitschke, K; Kaller, C P

    2017-08-01

    Despite a large body of research on planning performance in adult schizophrenia patients, results of individual studies are equivocal, suggesting either no, moderate or severe planning deficits. This meta-analysis therefore aimed to quantify planning deficits in schizophrenia and to examine potential sources of the heterogeneity seen in the literature. The meta-analysis comprised outcomes of planning accuracy of 1377 schizophrenia patients and 1477 healthy controls from 31 different studies which assessed planning performance using tower tasks such as the Tower of London, the Tower of Hanoi and the Stockings of Cambridge. A meta-regression analysis was applied to assess the influence of potential moderator variables (i.e. sociodemographic and clinical variables as well as task difficulty). The findings indeed demonstrated a planning deficit in schizophrenia patients (mean effect size: ; 95% confidence interval 0.56-0.78) that was moderated by task difficulty in terms of the minimum number of moves required for a solution. The results did not reveal any significant relationship between the extent of planning deficits and sociodemographic or clinical variables. The current results provide first meta-analytic evidence for the commonly assumed impairments of planning performance in schizophrenia. Deficits are more likely to become manifest in problem items with higher demands on planning ahead, which may at least partly explain the heterogeneity of previous findings. As only a small fraction of studies reported coherent information on sample characteristics, future meta-analyses would benefit from more systematic reports on those variables.

  18. The BOLD Response during Stroop Task-Like Inhibition Paradigms: Effects of Task Difficulty and Task-Relevant Modality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rachel L. C.

    2005-01-01

    Previous studies of the Stroop task propose two key mediators: the prefrontal and cingulate cortices but hints exist of functional specialization within these regions. This study aimed to examine the effect of task modality upon the prefrontal and cingulate response by examining the response to colour, number, and shape Stroop tasks whilst BOLD…

  19. Effective connectivity among the working memory regions during preparation for and during performance of the n-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manelis, Anna; Reder, Lynne M

    2014-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that working memory (WM) task difficulty can be decoded from patterns of brain activation in the WM network during preparation to perform those tasks. The inter-regional connectivity among the WM regions during task preparation has not yet been investigated. We examined this question using the graph modeling methods IMaGES and LOFS, applied to the previously published fMRI data of Manelis and Reder (2013). In that study, subjects performed 1-, 2-, and 3-back tasks. Each block of n-back was preceded by a preparation period and followed by a rest period. The analyses of task-related brain activity identified a network of 18 regions that increased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Increase network) and a network of 17 regions that decreased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Decrease network). The graph analyses revealed two types of connectivity sub-networks within the Increase and Decrease networks: "default" and "preparation-related." The "default" connectivity was present not only during task performance, but also during task preparation and during rest. We propose that this sub-network may serve as a core system that allows one to quickly activate cognitive, perceptual and motor systems in response to the relevant stimuli. The "preparation-related" connectivity was present during task preparation and task performance, but not at rest, and depended on the n-back condition. The role of this sub-network may be to pre-activate a connectivity "road map" in order to establish a top-down and bottom-up regulation of attention prior to performance on WM tasks.

  20. Effective connectivity among the working memory regions during preparation for and during performance of the n-back task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eManelis

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that working memory (WM task difficulty can be decoded from patterns of brain activation in the WM network during preparation to perform those tasks. The inter-regional connectivity among the WM regions during task preparation has not yet been investigated. We examined this question using the graph modeling methods IMaGES and LOFS, applied to the previously published fMRI data of Manelis and Reder (2013. In that study, subjects performed 1-, 2-, and 3-back tasks. Each block of n-back was preceded by a preparation period and followed by a rest period. The analyses of task-related brain activity identified a network of 18 regions that increased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Increase network and a network of 17 regions that decreased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Decrease network. The graph analyses revealed two types of connectivity sub-networks within the Increase and Decrease networks: default and preparation-related. The default connectivity was present not only during task performance, but also during task preparation and during rest. We propose that this sub-network may serve as a core system that allows one to quickly activate cognitive, perceptual and motor systems in response to the relevant stimuli. The preparation-related connectivity was present during task preparation and task performance, but not at rest, and depended on the n-back condition. The role of this sub-network may be to pre-activate a connectivity road map in order to establish a top-down and bottom-up regulation of attention prior to performance on WM tasks.

  1. Is a Responsive Default Mode Network Required for Successful Working Memory Task Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čeko, Marta; Gracely, John L; Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann; Seminowicz, David A; Schweinhardt, Petra; Bushnell, M Catherine

    2015-08-19

    In studies of cognitive processing using tasks with externally directed attention, regions showing increased (external-task-positive) and decreased or "negative" [default-mode network (DMN)] fMRI responses during task performance are dynamically responsive to increasing task difficulty. Responsiveness (modulation of fMRI signal by increasing load) has been linked directly to successful cognitive task performance in external-task-positive regions but not in DMN regions. To investigate whether a responsive DMN is required for successful cognitive performance, we compared healthy human subjects (n = 23) with individuals shown to have decreased DMN engagement (chronic pain patients, n = 28). Subjects performed a multilevel working-memory task (N-back) during fMRI. If a responsive DMN is required for successful performance, patients having reduced DMN responsiveness should show worsened performance; if performance is not reduced, their brains should show compensatory activation in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. All subjects showed decreased accuracy and increased reaction times with increasing task level, with no significant group differences on either measure at any level. Patients had significantly reduced negative fMRI response (deactivation) of DMN regions (posterior cingulate/precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex). Controls showed expected modulation of DMN deactivation with increasing task difficulty. Patients showed significantly reduced modulation of DMN deactivation by task difficulty, despite their successful task performance. We found no evidence of compensatory neural recruitment in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. Individual responsiveness of the external-task-positive ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, but not of DMN regions, correlated with task accuracy. These findings suggest that a responsive DMN may not be required for successful cognitive performance; a responsive external-task-positive network may be sufficient. We studied the

  2. The neural substrates associated with attentional resources and difficulty of concurrent processing of the two verbal tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Kei; Tanaka, Masaaki; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Sadato, Norihiro; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2012-07-01

    The kana pick-out test has been widely used in Japan to evaluate the ability to divide attention in both adult and pediatric patients. However, the neural substrates underlying the ability to divide attention using the kana pick-out test, which requires participants to pick out individual letters (vowels) in a story while also reading for comprehension, thus requiring simultaneous allocation of attention to both activities, are still unclear. Moreover, outside of the clinical area, neuroimaging studies focused on the mechanisms of divided attention during complex story comprehension are rare. Thus, the purpose of the present study, to clarify the neural substrates of kana pick-out test, improves our current understanding of the basic neural mechanisms of dual task performance in verbal memory function. We compared patterns of activation in the brain obtained during performance of the individual tasks of vowel identification and story comprehension, to levels of activation when participants performed the two tasks simultaneously during the kana pick-out test. We found that activations of the left dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and superior parietal lobule increase in functional connectivity to a greater extent during the dual task condition compared to the two single task conditions. In contrast, activations of the left fusiform gyrus and middle temporal gyrus, which are significantly involved in picking out letters and complex sentences during story comprehension, respectively, were reduced in the dual task condition compared to during the two single task conditions. These results suggest that increased activations of the dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and superior parietal lobule during dual task performance may be associated with the capacity for attentional resources, and reduced activations of the left fusiform gyrus and middle temporal gyrus may reflect the difficulty of concurrent processing of the two tasks. In addition, the increase in synchronization between

  3. Working Memory Deficits in ADHD: The Contribution of Age, Learning/Language Difficulties, and Task Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowerby, Paula; Seal, Simon; Tripp, Gail

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To further define the nature of working memory (WM) impairments in children with combined-type ADHD. Method: A total of 40 Children with ADHD and an age and gender-matched control group (n = 40) completed two measures of visuo-spatial WM and two measures of verbal WM. The effects of age and learning/language difficulties on performance…

  4. Balancing the Demands of Two Tasks: An Investigation of Cognitive-Motor Dual-Tasking in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butchard-MacDonald, Emma; Paul, Lorna; Evans, Jonathan J

    2018-03-01

    People with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (PwRRMS) suffer disproportionate decrements in gait under dual-task conditions, when walking and a cognitive task are combined. There has been much less investigation of the impact of cognitive demands on balance. This study investigated whether: (1) PwRRMS show disproportionate decrements in postural stability under dual-task conditions compared to healthy controls, and (2) dual-task decrements are associated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties. The impact of mood, fatigue, and disease severity on dual-tasking was also examined. A total of 34 PwRRMS and 34 matched controls completed cognitive (digit span) and balance (movement of center of pressure on Biosway on stable and unstable surfaces) tasks under single- and dual-task conditions. Everyday dual-tasking was measured using the Dual-Tasking Questionnaire. Mood was measured by the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale. Fatigue was measured via the Modified Fatigue Index Scale. No differences in age, gender, years of education, estimated pre-morbid IQ, or baseline digit span between groups. Compared with controls, PwRRMS showed significantly greater decrement in postural stability under dual-task conditions on an unstable surface (p=.007), but not a stable surface (p=.679). Balance decrement scores were not correlated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties or fatigue. Stable surface balance decrement scores were significantly associated with levels of anxiety (rho=0.527; p=.001) and depression (rho=0.451; p=.007). RRMS causes dual-tasking difficulties, impacting balance under challenging conditions, which may contribute to increased risk of gait difficulties and falls. The relationship between anxiety/depression and dual-task decrement suggests that emotional factors may be contributing to dual-task difficulties. (JINS, 2018, 24, 247-258).

  5. Tinnitus and Sleep Difficulties After Cochlear Implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierzycki, Robert H; Edmondson-Jones, Mark; Dawes, Piers; Munro, Kevin J; Moore, David R; Kitterick, Pádraig T

    To estimate and compare the prevalence of and associations between tinnitus and sleep difficulties in a sample of UK adult cochlear implant users and those identified as potential candidates for cochlear implantation. The study was conducted using the UK Biobank resource, a population-based cohort of 40- to 69-year olds. Self-report data on hearing, tinnitus, sleep difficulties, and demographic variables were collected from cochlear implant users (n = 194) and individuals identified as potential candidates for cochlear implantation (n = 211). These "candidates" were selected based on (i) impaired hearing sensitivity, inferred from self-reported hearing aid use and (ii) impaired hearing function, inferred from an inability to report words accurately at negative signal to noise ratios on an unaided closed-set test of speech perception. Data on tinnitus (presence, persistence, and related distress) and on sleep difficulties were analyzed using logistic regression models controlling for gender, age, deprivation, and neuroticism. The prevalence of tinnitus was similar among implant users (50%) and candidates (52%; p = 0.39). However, implant users were less likely to report that their tinnitus was distressing at its worst (41%) compared with candidates (63%; p = 0.02). The logistic regression model suggested that this difference between the two groups could be explained by the fact that tinnitus was less persistent in implant users (46%) compared with candidates (72%; p reported difficulties with sleep were similar among implant users (75%) and candidates (82%; p = 0.28), but participants with tinnitus were more likely to report sleep difficulties than those without (p explanation is supported by the similar prevalence of sleep problems among implant users and potential candidates for cochlear implantation, despite differences between the groups in tinnitus persistence and related emotional distress. Cochlear implantation may therefore not be an appropriate intervention

  6. Task Number and Cognitive Complexity as Determinants of Difficulty ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. O. E. OSUAGWU

    2013-09-01

    Sep 1, 2013 ... amenable to item analysis and are sample- ... as item difficulty, item discrimination, and .... The aim of this study is to determine: ... and then evaluators will have to pay significant ... calculated and the test statistics were used to.

  7. Stereotype threat in classroom settings: the interactive effect of domain identification, task difficulty and stereotype threat on female students' maths performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Johannes

    2007-06-01

    Stereotype threat research revealed that negative stereotypes can disrupt the performance of persons targeted by such stereotypes. This paper contributes to stereotype threat research by providing evidence that domain identification and the difficulty level of test items moderate stereotype threat effects on female students' maths performance. The study was designed to test theoretical ideas derived from stereotype threat theory and assumptions outlined in the Yerkes-Dodson law proposing a nonlinear relationship between arousal, task difficulty and performance. Participants were 108 high school students attending secondary schools. Participants worked on a test comprising maths problems of different difficulty levels. Half of the participants learned that the test had been shown to produce gender differences (stereotype threat). The other half learned that the test had been shown not to produce gender differences (no threat). The degree to which participants identify with the domain of maths was included as a quasi-experimental factor. Maths-identified female students showed performance decrements under conditions of stereotype threat. Moreover, the stereotype threat manipulation had different effects on low and high domain identifiers' performance depending on test item difficulty. On difficult items, low identifiers showed higher performance under threat (vs. no threat) whereas the reverse was true in high identifiers. This interaction effect did not emerge on easy items. Domain identification and test item difficulty are two important factors that need to be considered in the attempt to understand the impact of stereotype threat on performance.

  8. Cerebellar tDCS does not affect performance in the N-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wessel, Brenda W V; Claire Verhage, M; Holland, Peter; Frens, Maarten A; van der Geest, Jos N

    2016-01-01

    The N-back task is widely used in cognitive research. Furthermore, the cerebellum's role in cognitive processes is becoming more widely recognized. Studies using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have demonstrated effects of cerebellar stimulation on several cognitive tasks. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cerebellar tDCS on cognitive performance by using the N-back task. The cerebellum of 12 participants was stimulated during the task. Moreover, the cognitive load was manipulated in N = 2, N = 3, and N = 4. Every participant received three tDCS conditions (anodal, cathodal, and sham) divided over three separated days. It was expected that anodal stimulation would improve performance on the task. Each participant performed 6 repetitions of every load in which correct responses, false alarms, and reaction times were recorded. We found significant differences between the three levels of load in the rate of correct responses and false alarms, indicating that subjects followed the expected pattern of performance for the N-back task. However, no significant differences between the three tDCS conditions were found. Therefore, it was concluded that in this study cognitive performance on the N-back task was not readily influenced by cerebellar tDCS, and any true effects are likely to be small. We discuss several limitations in task design and suggest future experiments to address such issues.

  9. Dual-Tasking in Multiple Sclerosis - Implications for a Cognitive Screening Instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beste, Christian; Mückschel, Moritz; Paucke, Madlen; Ziemssen, Tjalf

    2018-01-01

    The monitoring of cognitive functions is central to the assessment and consecutive management of multiple sclerosis (MS). Though, especially cognitive processes that are central to everyday behavior like dual-tasking are often neglected. We examined dual-task performance using a psychological-refractory period (PRP) task in N = 21 patients and healthy controls and conducted standard neuropsychological tests. In dual-tasking, MS patients committed more erroneous responses when dual-tasking was difficult. In easier conditions, performance of MS patients did not differ to controls. Interestingly, the response times were generally not affected by the difficulty of the dual task, showing that the deficits observed do not reflect simple motor deficits or deficits in information processing speed but point out deficits in executive control functions and response selection in particular. Effect sizes were considerably large with d ∼0.80 in mild affected patients and the achieved power was above 99%. There are cognitive control and dual tasking deficits in MS that are not attributable to simple motor speed deficits. Scaling of the difficulty of dual-tasking makes the test applied suitable for a wide variety of MS-patients and may complement neuropsychological assessments in clinical care and research setting.

  10. Network Centric Operations (NCO) Case Study: U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet Task Force 50 in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Garstka, John; Holloman, Kimberly; Balisle, Christine W; Adkins, Mark; Kruse, Jon

    2006-01-01

    .... The focus is on the background and creation of Task Force 50 (TF-50), and primarily on the evolution of the transformational capabilities that permitted TF-50 to succeed in the manner that it did...

  11. Response actions to difficulties in using everyday technology after acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsson Lund, Maria; Lövgren Engström, Ann-Louice; Lexell, Jan

    2012-03-01

    People with acquired brain injury (ABI) have difficulties using everyday technology (ET) in daily tasks at home and in society. To support them in managing the demands imposed by using ET, knowledge is needed concerning their response actions to the difficulties. The aim of this study was to explore and describe what characterizes response actions to difficulties using ET, their conditions, and how they influence the experiences of tasks in daily life among people with ABI. Interviews and observations were undertaken with 13 persons with an ABI. Data were analysed qualitatively using the constant comparative method. The participants' response actions were categorized as (i) deliberate and organized planning, (ii) random and inflexible repeating (iii), re-evaluating tasks, (iv) explaining difficulties related to others, and (iv) proving and protecting capability. Certain conditions were decisive for the different response actions to be applied and also for their effectiveness in enabling engagement in tasks in daily life. Each participant used several types of response actions and the same action could be applied in several situations. To support people with an ABI to manage the demands imposed by using ET, it is important to identify the uniqueness of each client and his or her response actions to difficulties using ET and thereafter adjust the interventions accordingly.

  12. Validating office-based screening for psychosocial strengths and difficulties among youths in foster care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jee, Sandra H; Szilagyi, Moira; Conn, Anne-Marie; Nilsen, Wendy; Toth, Sheree; Baldwin, Constance D; Szilagyi, Peter G

    2011-05-01

    To assess the effectiveness of social-emotional screening in the primary care setting for youths in foster care. The setting was a primary care practice for all youth in home-based foster care in 1 county. Subjects were youths, aged 11 to 17 years, and their foster parents; both completed a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at well-child visits. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire is a previously validated 25-item tool that has 5 domains: emotional symptoms; conduct problems; hyperactivity/inattention; peer problems; and prosocial behaviors and an overall total difficulties score. We first compared youth versus parent Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores and then assessed the accuracy of these Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores by comparing them in a subsample of youths (n = 50) with results of home-based structured clinical interviews using the Children's Interview for Psychiatric Syndromes. Of 138 subjects with both youth and parent reports, 78% had prosocial behaviors (strengths), and 70% had 1 or more social-emotional problems. Parents reported significantly more conduct problems (38% vs 16%; P youth. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire had better agreement with the Children's Interview for Psychiatric Syndromes (n = 50) for any Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-identified problem for combined youth and foster-parent reports (93%), compared with youth report alone (54%) or parent report alone (71%). Although most youths in foster care have social-emotional problems, most have strengths as well. Youth and foster-parent perspectives on these problems differ. Systematic social-emotional screening in primary care that includes both youth and parent reports can identify youths who may benefit from services.

  13. Perception of difficulty and glucose control: Effects on academic performance in youth with type I diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Tiffany M; Nguyen, Jacqueline L; Ghai, Kanika; Li, Kathy; Perlmuter, Lawrence

    2015-04-15

    To investigate whether perceptions of task difficulty on neuropsychological tests predicted academic achievement after controlling for glucose levels and depression. Participants were type 1 diabetic adolescents, with a mean age = 12.5 years (23 females and 16 males), seen at a northwest suburban Chicago hospital. The sample population was free of co-morbid clinical health conditions. Subjects completed a three-part neuropsychological battery including the Digit Symbol Task, Trail Making Test, and Controlled Oral Word Association test. Following each task, individuals rated task difficulty and then completed a depression inventory. Performance on these three tests is reflective of neuropsychological status in relation to glucose control. Blood glucose levels were measured immediately prior to and after completing the neuropsychological battery using a glucose meter. HbA1c levels were obtained from medical records. Academic performance was based on self-reported grades in Math, Science, and English. Data was analyzed using multiple regression models to evaluate the associations between academic performance, perception of task difficulty, and glucose control. Perceptions of difficulty on a neuropsychological battery significantly predicted academic performance after accounting for glucose control and depression. Perceptions of difficulty on the neuropsychological tests were inversely correlated with academic performance (r = -0.48), while acute (blood glucose) and long-term glucose levels increased along with perceptions of task difficulty (r = 0.47). Additionally, higher depression scores were associated with poorer academic performance (r = -0.43). With the first regression analysis, perception of difficulty on the neuropsychological tasks contributed to 8% of the variance in academic performance after controlling for peripheral blood glucose and depression. In the second regression analysis, perception of difficulty accounted for 11% of the variance after

  14. The activity in the anterior insulae is modulated by perceptual decision-making difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, Bidhan; Adhikari, Bhim M; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2016-07-07

    Previous neuroimaging studies provide evidence for the involvement of the anterior insulae (INSs) in perceptual decision-making processes. However, how the insular cortex is involved in integration of degraded sensory information to create a conscious percept of environment and to drive our behaviors still remains a mystery. In this study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and four different perceptual categorization tasks in visual and audio-visual domains, we measured blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals and examined the roles of INSs in easy and difficult perceptual decision-making. We created a varying degree of degraded stimuli by manipulating the task-specific stimuli in these four experiments to examine the effects of task difficulty on insular cortex response. We hypothesized that significantly higher BOLD response would be associated with the ambiguity of the sensory information and decision-making difficulty. In all of our experimental tasks, we found the INS activity consistently increased with task difficulty and participants' behavioral performance changed with the ambiguity of the presented sensory information. These findings support the hypothesis that the anterior insulae are involved in sensory-guided, goal-directed behaviors and their activities can predict perceptual load and task difficulty. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Developmental trajectories in primary schoolchildren using n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica eLópez-Vicente

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Neuropsychological instruments to assess cognitive trajectories during childhood in epidemiological studies are needed. This would improve neurodevelopment characterization in order to identify its potential determinants. We aimed to study whether repeated measures of n-back, a working memory task, detect developmental trajectories in schoolchildren during a one-year follow-up.Methods: We administered the n-back task to 2,897 healthy children aged 7-11 years old from 39 schools in Barcelona (Spain. The task consisted of 2 levels of complexity or loads (2- and 3-back and 2 different stimuli (numbers and words. Participants performed the task four times from January 2012 to March 2013. To study the trajectories during the follow-up, we performed linear mixed-effects models including school, individual and age as random effects.Results: We observed improvements related to age in n-back outcomes d’, HRT and accuracy, as well as reduced cognitive growth at older ages in d’ and HRT. Greater improvements in performance were observed at younger ages, in 2-back, in verbal rather than numerical stimuli and in girls compared to boys. Boys responded faster at baseline, while girls showed increased growth in 2-back numbers. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms (15% of boys and 6% of girls had a lower working memory at baseline, but they showed similar cognitive growth trajectories in numbers variants of the task, as compared to children without ADHD symptoms. However, the age-related improvement in response speed was not observed in children with ADHD symptoms. Conclusions: Changes in n-back outcomes reflected developmental trajectories in one-year follow-up. The present results suggest that the repeated administration of this task can be used to study the factors that may alter the cognitive development during childhood.

  16. Player Modeling for Intelligent Difficulty Adjustment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Missura, Olana; Gärtner, Thomas

    In this paper we aim at automatically adjusting the difficulty of computer games by clustering players into different types and supervised prediction of the type from short traces of gameplay. An important ingredient of video games is to challenge players by providing them with tasks of appropriate and increasing difficulty. How this difficulty should be chosen and increase over time strongly depends on the ability, experience, perception and learning curve of each individual player. It is a subjective parameter that is very difficult to set. Wrong choices can easily lead to players stopping to play the game as they get bored (if underburdened) or frustrated (if overburdened). An ideal game should be able to adjust its difficulty dynamically governed by the player’s performance. Modern video games utilise a game-testing process to investigate among other factors the perceived difficulty for a multitude of players. In this paper, we investigate how machine learning techniques can be used for automatic difficulty adjustment. Our experiments confirm the potential of machine learning in this application.

  17. Physiological Signal Analysis for Evaluating Flow during Playing of Computer Games of Varying Difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Tian

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Flow is the experience of effortless attention, reduced self-consciousness, and a deep sense of control that typically occurs during the optimal performance of challenging tasks. On the basis of the person–artifact–task model, we selected computer games (tasks with varying levels of difficulty (difficult, medium, and easy and shyness (personality as flow precursors to study the physiological activity of users in a flow state. Cardiac and respiratory activity and mean changes in skin conductance (SC were measured continuously while the participants (n = 40 played the games. Moreover, the associations between self-reported psychological flow and physiological measures were investigated through a series of repeated-measures analyses. The results showed that the flow experience is related to a faster respiratory rate, deeper respiration, moderate heart rate (HR, moderate HR variability, and moderate SC. The main effect of shyness was non-significant, whereas the interaction of shyness and difficulty influenced the flow experience. These findings are discussed in relation to current models of arousal and valence. The results indicate that the flow state is a state of moderate mental effort that arises through the increased parasympathetic modulation of sympathetic activity.

  18. Physiological Signal Analysis for Evaluating Flow during Playing of Computer Games of Varying Difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yu; Bian, Yulong; Han, Piguo; Wang, Peng; Gao, Fengqiang; Chen, Yingmin

    2017-01-01

    Flow is the experience of effortless attention, reduced self-consciousness, and a deep sense of control that typically occurs during the optimal performance of challenging tasks. On the basis of the person-artifact-task model, we selected computer games (tasks) with varying levels of difficulty (difficult, medium, and easy) and shyness (personality) as flow precursors to study the physiological activity of users in a flow state. Cardiac and respiratory activity and mean changes in skin conductance (SC) were measured continuously while the participants ( n = 40) played the games. Moreover, the associations between self-reported psychological flow and physiological measures were investigated through a series of repeated-measures analyses. The results showed that the flow experience is related to a faster respiratory rate, deeper respiration, moderate heart rate (HR), moderate HR variability, and moderate SC. The main effect of shyness was non-significant, whereas the interaction of shyness and difficulty influenced the flow experience. These findings are discussed in relation to current models of arousal and valence. The results indicate that the flow state is a state of moderate mental effort that arises through the increased parasympathetic modulation of sympathetic activity.

  19. Benefits of extending and adjusting the level of difficulty on computerized cognitive training for children with intellectual disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottersen, Jon; Grill, Katja M

    2015-01-01

    Training on working memory (WM) improves attention and WM in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and memory impairments. However, for children with intellectual disabilities (ID), the results have been less encouraging. In this preliminary study it was hypothesized that children with ID would benefit from an extended amount of training and that the level of difficulty during training would affect the outcome. We included 21 children with mild or moderate ID aged 8-13 years. They went through between 37 and 50 training sessions with an adaptive computerized program on WM and non-verbal reasoning (NVR). The children were divided into two subgroups with different difficulty levels during training. The transfer to untrained cognitive tests was compared to the results of 22 children with ID training only 25 sessions, and to a control group. We found that the training group with the extended training program improved significantly on a block design task measuring NVR and on a WM task compared to the control group. There was also a significantly larger improvement on block design relative to the training group with the shorter training time. The children that received easier training tasks also improved significantly more on a verbal WM task compared to children with more demanding tasks. In conclusion, these preliminary data suggest that children with ID might benefit from cognitive training with longer training periods and less demanding tasks, compared to children without disabilities.

  20. Benefits of extending and adjusting the level of difficulty on computerized cognitive training for children with intellectual disabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon eOttersen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Training on working memory (WM improves attention and working memory in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and memory impairments. However, for children with intellectual disabilities (ID, the results have been less encouraging. In this preliminary study it was hypothesized that children with ID would benefit from an extended amount of training and that the level of difficulty during training would affect the outcome. We included 21 children with mild or moderate intellectual disabilities aged 8–13 years. They went through between 37 and 50 training sessions with an adaptive computerized program on WM and non-verbal reasoning (NVR. The children were divided into two subgroups with different difficulty levels during training. The transfer to untrained cognitive tests was compared to the results of 22 children with intellectual disabilities training only 25 sessions, and to a control group. We found that the training group with the extended training program improved significantly on a block design task measuring NVR and on a WM task compared to the control group. There was also a significantly larger improvement on block design relative to the training group with the shorter training time. The children that received easier training tasks also improved significantly more on a verbal WM task compared to children with more demanding tasks.In conclusion, these preliminary data suggest that children with ID might benefit from cognitive training with longer training periods and less demanding tasks, compared to children without disabilities.

  1. Mastoidectomy: anatomical parameters x surgical difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereira Júnior, Anastácio Rodrigues

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The lowered temporal meninges and/ or anterior sigmoid sinus are contiditions that can determine surgical difficulties in performing mastoidectomy. Objective: To correlate in the tomography the extent of the prolapse of the sigmoid sinus and of temporal meninges with the surgical difficulty in the mastoidectomy. Method: The tomographic measurements of prolapse sigmoid and of temporal meninges were correlated with the presence or non-presence of the surgical difficulty observed during the mastoidectomy procedure in patients with ostomatoiditis chronic (n=30. Form of study: Contemporary cohort transverse. Results: In 10 patients were observed surgical difficulty distributed as: due to prolapse of the sigmoid sinus (n = 2 or temporal meninges prolapse (n = 7 or both (n = 1. In patients in which the surgical difficulty was due to sigmoid sinus prolapse, the tomography distance of the anterior border of the sigmoid sinus to posterior wall of external auditory canal was lower than 9 mm. In patients in which surgical difficulty was due to temporal meninges prolapse, the tomographic distance to the upper plane of the petrous bone was 7 mm. Conclusion: The computerized tomography distance between the temporal meninges and the upper plane of the petrous bone 7 mm and the distance of the anterior border of the sigmoid sinus to posterior wall of external auditory canal was lower than 9 mm are predictive to the surgical difficulties to perform mastoidectomy.

  2. Effects of HD-tDCS on memory and metamemory for general knowledge questions that vary by difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Elizabeth F.; Ahmed, Rifat; Garcia, Sandry

    2016-01-01

    Background The ability to monitor one’s own memory is an important feature of normal memory and is an aspect of ‘metamemory’. Lesion studies have shown dissociations between memory and metamemory, but only single dissociations have been shown using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). One potential reason that only single dissociations have been shown is that tDCS effects may be moderated by task difficulty. Objective/Hypothesis We used high definition (HD) tDCS to test for dissociable roles of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior temporal lobe (ATL) in semantic long-term memory and metamemory tasks. We also tested whether general knowledge question difficulty moderated the effects of HD-tDCS. Methods Across 3 sessions, participants received active HD-tDCS over the left DLPFC or left ATL, or sham HD-tDCS during general knowledge recall and recognition tests, and a ‘feeling-of-knowing’ metamemory task. General knowledge questions were blocked by difficulty. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to examine the effects of HD-tDCS on memory and metamemory tasks by memory question difficulty. Results HD-tDCS over the ATL led to improved recall compared to DLPFC and sham HD-tDCS, and this occurred only for medium difficulty questions. In contrast, for non-recalled questions, HD-tDCS over the DLPFC led to improved recognition accuracy and improved feeling-of-knowing accuracy compared to ATL and sham HD-tDCS, and this was not moderated by memory question difficulty. Conclusion(s) HD-tDCS can be used to dissociate the roles of the ATL and DLPFC in different memory and ‘metamemory’ tasks. The effects of HD-tDCS on task may be moderated by task difficulty, depending on the nature of the task and site of stimulation. PMID:27876306

  3. Neural cascade of conflict processing: not just time-on-task

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Cameron C.; van den Berg, Berry; Woldorff, Marty G.

    2017-01-01

    In visual conflict tasks (e.g., Stroop or flanker), response times (RTs) are generally longer on incongruent trials relative to congruent ones. Two event-related-potential (ERP) components classically associated with the processing of stimulus conflict are the fronto-central, incongruency-related negativity (Ninc) and the posterior late-positive complex (LPC), which are derived from the ERP difference waves for incongruent minus congruent trials. It has been questioned, however, whether these effects, or other neural measures of incongruency (e.g., fMRI responses in the anterior cingulate), reflect true conflict processing, or whether such effects derive mainly from differential time-on-task. To address this question, we leveraged high-temporal-resolution ERP measures of brain activity during two behavioral tasks. The first task, a modified Erikson flanker paradigm (with congruent and incongruent trials), was used to evoke the classic RT and ERP effects associated with conflict. In the second, a non-conflict comparison condition, participants visually discriminated a single stimulus (with easy and hard discrimination conditions). Behaviorally, the parameters were titrated to yield similar RT effects of conflict and difficulty (27 ms). Neurally, both within-task contrasts showed an initial fronto-central negative-polarity wave (N2-latency effect), but they then diverged. In the difficulty difference wave, the initial negativity led directly into the posterior LPC, whereas in the incongruency contrast the initial negativity was followed a by a second fronto-central negative peak (Ninc), which was then followed by a considerably longer-latency LPC. These results provide clear evidence that the longer processing for incongruent stimulus inputs do not just reflect time-on-task or difficulty, but include a true conflict-processing component. PMID:28017818

  4. Being right is its own reward: load and performance related ventral striatum activation to correct responses during a working memory task in youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Ruparel, Kosha; Loughead, James; Elliott, Mark A; Gerraty, Raphael T; Calkins, Monica E; Hakonarson, Hakon; Gur, Ruben C; Gur, Raquel E; Wolf, Daniel H

    2012-07-02

    The ventral striatum (VS) is a critical brain region for reinforcement learning and motivation. Intrinsically motivated subjects performing challenging cognitive tasks engage reinforcement circuitry including VS even in the absence of external feedback or incentives. However, little is known about how such VS responses develop with age, relate to task performance, and are influenced by task difficulty. Here we used fMRI to examine VS activation to correct and incorrect responses during a standard n-back working memory task in a large sample (n=304) of healthy children, adolescents and young adults aged 8-22. We found that bilateral VS activates more strongly to correct than incorrect responses, and that the VS response scales with the difficulty of the working memory task. Furthermore, VS response was correlated with discrimination performance during the task, and the magnitude of VS response peaked in mid-adolescence. These findings provide evidence for scalable intrinsic reinforcement signals during standard cognitive tasks, and suggest a novel link between motivation and cognition during adolescent development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Experience in a Climate Microworld: Influence of Surface and Structure Learning, Problem Difficulty, and Decision Aids in Reducing Stock-Flow Misconceptions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medha Kumar

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Research shows that people’s wait-and-see preferences for actions against climate change are a result of several factors, including cognitive misconceptions. The use of simulation tools could help reduce these misconceptions concerning Earth’s climate. However, it is still unclear whether the learning in these tools is of the problem’s surface features (dimensions of emissions and absorptions and cover-story used or of the problem’s structural features (how emissions and absorptions cause a change in CO2 concentration under different CO2 concentration scenarios. Also, little is known on how problem’s difficulty in these tools (the shape of CO2 concentration trajectory, as well as the use of these tools as a decision aid influences performance. The primary objective of this paper was to investigate how learning about Earth’s climate via simulation tools is influenced by problem’s surface and structural features, problem’s difficulty, and decision aids. In experiment 1, we tested the influence of problem’s surface and structural features in a simulation called Dynamic Climate Change Simulator (DCCS on subsequent performance in a paper-and-pencil Climate Stabilization (CS task (N = 100 across four between-subject conditions. In experiment 2, we tested the effects of problem’s difficulty in DCCS on subsequent performance in the CS task (N = 90 across three between-subject conditions. In experiment 3, we tested the influence of DCCS as a decision aid on subsequent performance in the CS task (N = 60 across two between-subject conditions. Results revealed a significant reduction in people’s misconceptions in the CS task after performing in DCCS compared to when performing in CS task in the absence of DCCS. The decrease in misconceptions in the CS task was similar for both problems’ surface and structural features, showing both structure and surface learning in DCCS. However, the proportion of misconceptions was similar across

  6. Selecting Learning Tasks: Effects of Adaptation and Shared Control on Learning Efficiency and Task Involvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbalan, Gemma; Kester, Liesbeth; van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G.

    2008-01-01

    Complex skill acquisition by performing authentic learning tasks is constrained by limited working memory capacity [Baddeley, A. D. (1992). Working memory. "Science, 255", 556-559]. To prevent cognitive overload, task difficulty and support of each newly selected learning task can be adapted to the learner's competence level and perceived task…

  7. Students’ difficulties in solving linear equation problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wati, S.; Fitriana, L.; Mardiyana

    2018-03-01

    A linear equation is an algebra material that exists in junior high school to university. It is a very important material for students in order to learn more advanced mathematics topics. Therefore, linear equation material is essential to be mastered. However, the result of 2016 national examination in Indonesia showed that students’ achievement in solving linear equation problem was low. This fact became a background to investigate students’ difficulties in solving linear equation problems. This study used qualitative descriptive method. An individual written test on linear equation tasks was administered, followed by interviews. Twenty-one sample students of grade VIII of SMPIT Insan Kamil Karanganyar did the written test, and 6 of them were interviewed afterward. The result showed that students with high mathematics achievement donot have difficulties, students with medium mathematics achievement have factual difficulties, and students with low mathematics achievement have factual, conceptual, operational, and principle difficulties. Based on the result there is a need of meaningfulness teaching strategy to help students to overcome difficulties in solving linear equation problems.

  8. Structure of the N=50 As, Ge, Ga nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahin, E.; Angelis, G. de; Duchene, G.; Faul, T.; Gadea, A.; Lisetskiy, A.F.; Ackermann, D.; Algora, A.; Aydin, S.; Azaiez, F.; Bazzacco, D.; Benzoni, G.; Bostan, M.; Byrski, T.; Celikovic, I.; Chapman, R.; Corradi, L.

    2012-01-01

    The level structures of the N=50 83 As, 82 Ge, and 81 Ga isotones have been investigated by means of multi-nucleon transfer reactions. A first experiment was performed with the CLARA-PRISMA setup to identify these nuclei. A second experiment was carried out with the GASP array in order to deduce the γ-ray coincidence information. The results obtained on the high-spin states of such nuclei are used to test the stability of the N=50 shell closure in the region of 78 Ni (Z=28). The comparison of the experimental level schemes with the shell-model calculations yields an N=50 energy gap value of 4.7(3) MeV at Z=28. This value, in a good agreement with the prediction of the finite-range liquid-drop model as well as with the recent large-scale shell model calculations, does not support a weakening of the N=50 shell gap down to Z=28.

  9. A Novel Method for Assessing Task Complexity in Outpatient Clinical-Performance Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Amspoker, Amber B; Petersen, Laura A

    2016-04-01

    Clinical-performance measurement has helped improve the quality of health-care; yet success in attaining high levels of quality across multiple domains simultaneously still varies considerably. Although many sources of variability in care quality have been studied, the difficulty required to complete the clinical work itself has received little attention. We present a task-based methodology for evaluating the difficulty of clinical-performance measures (CPMs) by assessing the complexity of their component requisite tasks. Using Functional Job Analysis (FJA), subject-matter experts (SMEs) generated task lists for 17 CPMs; task lists were rated on ten dimensions of complexity, and then aggregated into difficulty composites. Eleven outpatient work SMEs; 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Clinical Performance: 17 outpatient CPMs (2000-2008) at 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Measure Difficulty: for each CPM, the number of component requisite tasks and the average rating across ten FJA complexity scales for the set of tasks comprising the measure. Measures varied considerably in the number of component tasks (M = 10.56, SD = 6.25, min = 5, max = 25). Measures of chronic care following acute myocardial infarction exhibited significantly higher measure difficulty ratings compared to diabetes or screening measures, but not to immunization measures ([Formula: see text] = 0.45, -0.04, -0.05, and -0.06 respectively; F (3, 186) = 3.57, p = 0.015). Measure difficulty ratings were not significantly correlated with the number of component tasks (r = -0.30, p = 0.23). Evaluating the difficulty of achieving recommended CPM performance levels requires more than simply counting the tasks involved; using FJA to assess the complexity of CPMs' component tasks presents an alternate means of assessing the difficulty of primary-care CPMs and accounting for performance variation among measures and performers. This in turn could be used in designing

  10. Guiding People to Interpret Their Experienced Difficulty as Importance Highlights Their Academic Possibilities and Improves Their Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyserman, Daphna; Elmore, Kristen; Novin, Sheida; Fisher, Oliver; Smith, George C.

    2018-01-01

    Does experiencing difficulty bolster or undermine future self-images, strategies to get there and actual performance? We build on four insights from prior research to predict that accessible interpretation-of-experienced-difficulty mindset shapes identity and performance. First, people have two different interpretation-of-experienced-difficulty mindsets available in memory; their difficulty-as-impossibility mindset focuses attention on difficulty as implying low odds and their difficulty-as-importance mindset focuses attention on difficulty as implying high value. Second, people are sensitive to contextual cues as to which mindset to apply to understand their experienced difficulty. Third, people apply the mindset that comes to mind unless they have reason to question why it is “on-the-mind.” Fourth, social class can be thought of as a chronic context influencing how much people endorse each interpretation-of-experienced-difficulty mindset. We used subtle primes to guide participants’ attention toward either a difficulty-as-importance or a difficulty-as-impossibility mindset (N = 591). Participants guided toward a difficulty-as-importance mindset performed better on difficult academic tasks (Studies 1, 2) than participants guided toward a difficulty-as-impossibility mindset; whether they had more school-focused possible identities and linked strategies depended on sample (Studies 3, 4). For college students, the effect of guided interpretation-of-experienced-difficulty mindset was not moderated by how much participants agreed with that mindset (Studies 1, 3, 4). College students mostly disagreed with a difficulty-as-impossibility mindset, but making that mindset accessible undermined their performance and sometimes their possible identities anyway. In contrast, middle school students (a younger and lower social class sample) were more likely to agree with a difficulty-as-impossibility mindset. In this sample (Study 2), we found an effect of mindset

  11. Metacognition Difficulty of Students with Visual-Spatial Intelligence during Solving Open-Ended Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimbatmojo, S.; Kusmayadi, T. A.; Riyadi, R.

    2017-09-01

    This study aims to find out students metacognition difficulty during solving open-ended problem in mathematics. It focuses on analysing the metacognition difficulty of students with visual-spatial intelligence in solving open-ended problem. A qualitative research with case study strategy is used in this study. Data in the form of visual-spatial intelligence test result and recorded interview during solving open-ended problems were analysed qualitatively. The results show that: (1) students with high visual-spatial intelligence have no difficulty on each metacognition aspects, (2) students with medium visual-spatial intelligence have difficulty on knowledge aspect on strategy and cognitive tasks, (3) students with low visual-spatial intelligence have difficulty on three metacognition aspects, namely knowledge on strategy, cognitive tasks and self-knowledge. Even though, several researches about metacognition process and metacognition literature recommended the steps to know the characteristics. It is still important to discuss that the difficulties of metacognitive is happened because of several factors, one of which on the characteristics of student’ visual-spatial intelligence. Therefore, it is really important for mathematics educators to consider and pay more attention toward students’ visual-spatial intelligence and metacognition difficulty in designing better mathematics learning.

  12. Objective threshold for distinguishing complicated tasks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Jin Kyun; Jung, Won Dea [KAERI, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-08-15

    Estimating the likelihood of human error in a reliable manner is really important for enhancing the safety of a large process control system such as Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). In this regard, from the point of view of Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA), various kinds of Human Reliability Analysis (HRA) methods have been used for several decades in order to systematically evaluate the effect of human error on the safety of NPPs. However, one of the recurrence issues is to determine the level of an important Performance Shaping Factor (PSF) by using a clear and objective manner with respect to the context of a given task. Unfortunately, there is no such criterion for a certain PSF such as the complexity of a task. For this reason, in this study, an objective criterion that is helpful for identifying a complicated task is suggested based on the Task Complexity (TACOM) measure. To this end, subjective difficulty scores rated by high speed train drivers are collected. After that, subjective difficulty scores are compared with the associated TACOM scores being quantified based on tasks to be conducted by high speed train drivers. As a result, it is expected that high speed train drivers feel a significant difficulty when they are faced with tasks of which the TACOM scores are greater than 4.2. Since TACOM measure is a kind of general tool to quantify the complexity of tasks to be done by human operators, it is promising to conclude that this value can be regarded as a common threshold representing what a complicated task is.

  13. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2016-03-30

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition.

  14. Study of shell closures N=40 and N=50 in neutron-rich nuclei; Etude des fermetures de couches N=40 et N=50 dans les noyaux riches en neutrons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perru, O

    2004-12-01

    For this thesis I have studied 2 neutron shell closures: N=40 and N=50. On N=50, an experiment was done in February 2001 on the ISOL line PARRNe, the issue was to measure the first excited states of {sup 83}Ge (Z=32, N=51) by studying the beta decay of {sup 83}Ga produced by fission of {sup 238}U.The extreme precision of the experimental device, with the operation of hot plasma ion sources made it possible to reach spectroscopic information of the Ge isotopes beyond the magic gap N=50. Two transitions have been attributed to {sup 83}Ge: at 867 keV and at 1238 keV. The level scheme of {sup 83}Ge could be interpreted in terms of weak coupling: the excited states of this nucleus are due to the couplings between the single neutron beyond N=50 and the remaining nucleons.On N=40, we wanted to determine the transition probability between ground state and first excited state, called B(E2), in {sup 70}Ni (N=42) and {sup 74}Zn (N=44) from Coulomb excitation. These exotic nuclei are produced by fragmentation of a primary beam of {sup 76}Ge on a target of {sup 58}Ni, selected by the spectrometer LISE, then interact with a secondary {sup 208}Pb target to induce the Coulomb excitation. At the end of this analysis, the following values have been obtained: B(E2,{sup 70}Ni)=860(170) e{sup 2}fm{sup 4}, B(E2,{sup 74}Zn)=1960(140) e{sup 2}fm{sup 4}. These values have been compared on the one hand to variational calculations which I have realised, on the other hand to published shell model calculations.These calculations point out the complex aspect of the Ni nuclei, which do not seem to have a typical behaviour of semi magic nuclei although they are located on a closed shell in protons (Z=28). (author)

  15. An evaluation of performance by older persons on a simulated telecommuting task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharit, Joseph; Czaja, Sara J; Hernandez, Mario; Yang, Yulong; Perdomo, Dolores; Lewis, John E; Lee, Chin Chin; Nair, Sankaran

    2004-11-01

    Telecommuting work represents a strategy for managing the growing number of older people in the workforce. This study involved a simulated customer service telecommuting task that used e-mail to answer customer queries about media-related products and company policies. Participants included 27 "younger" older adults (50-65 years) and 25 "older" older adults (66-80 years). The participants performed the task for two 2-hr sessions a day over 4 consecutive days. Although both age groups showed significant improvement across sessions on many of the performance criteria, in general the improvements were more marked for the older age-group participants. However, the participants from both age groups had difficulty meeting some of the task performance requirements. These results are discussed in terms of training strategies for older workers.

  16. Investigating Cognitive Task Difficulties and Expert Skills in E-Learning Storyboards Using a Cognitive Task Analysis Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusoff, Nor'ain Mohd; Salim, Siti Salwah

    2012-01-01

    E-learning storyboards have been a useful approach in distance learning development to support interaction between instructional designers and subject-matter experts. Current works show that researchers are focusing on different approaches for use in storyboards, and there is less emphasis on the effect of design and process difficulties faced by…

  17. From "five" to 5 for 5 minutes: Arabic number transcoding as a short, specific, and sensitive screening tool for mathematics learning difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Ricardo; Lopes-Silva, Júlia Beatriz; Vieira, Laura Rodrigues; Paiva, Giulia Moreira; Prado, Ana Carolina de Almeida; Wood, Guilherme; Haase, Vitor Geraldi

    2015-02-01

    Number transcoding (e.g., writing 29 when hearing "twenty-nine") is one of the most basic numerical abilities required in daily life and is paramount for mathematics achievement. The aim of this study is to investigate psychometric properties of an Arabic number-writing task and its capacity to identify children with mathematics difficulties. We assessed 786 children (55% girls) from first to fourth grades, who were classified as children with mathematics difficulties (n = 103) or controls (n = 683). Although error rates were low, the task presented adequate internal consistency (0.91). Analyses revealed effective diagnostic accuracy in first and second school grades (specificity equals to 0.67 and 0.76 respectively, and sensitivity equals to 0.70 and 0.88 respectively). Moreover, items tapping the understanding of place-value syntax were the most sensitive to mathematics achievement. Overall, we propose that number transcoding is a useful tool for the assessment of mathematics abilities in early elementary school. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Communication difficulties in teenagers with health impairments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samokhvalova, Anna G.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary psychological and pedagogical studies pay special attention to the socialization of physically impaired children, inclusive education and methods of providing such children with a safe environment to assist in their development. However, difficulties in interpersonal communication experienced by children with health impairments have remained beyond the research scope. The authors conducted a comparative analysis of communication difficulties in typically developed teenagers aged 12-13 years (n = 100 and the problems faced by their peers with visual (n = 30, auditory (n = 30, speech (n = 25 and motor (n = 15 impairments. Actual communication difficulties in teenagers were studied in two ways: the subjective component of impaired communication was registered through a content analysis of a sentence completion test and the objective manifestations of impaired communication were identified through expert evaluation of children’s communicative behavior (educators and psychologists who had been in close contact with the teenagers acted as experts. First, the authors identified typical standard communication problems that were characteristic of teenagers aged 12-13 years, that is, problems with aggression, tolerance, the ability to admit wrongdoing and make concessions, empathy, self-control, self-analysis and self-expression in communication. Second, typical communication difficulties characteristic of physically impaired children were revealed: failure to understand meaning; feelings of awkwardness and shame of oneself; expectations of a negative attitude toward oneself; gelotophobia; and manifestations of despotism, petulance and egotism as defensive reactions in situations of impaired communication. Third, the authors described specific communication difficulties in teenagers with auditory, visual, speech and motor impairments.

  19. Moving from graduation to post-graduation in portuguese universities : changing literacy practices, facing new difficulties

    OpenAIRE

    Carvalho, José António Brandão

    2012-01-01

    In this article we analyse Portuguese postgraduate students’ problems and difficulties when performing written tasks in the context of postgraduate programmes. The data presented are the result of a study based on two different data collection procedures: a) the analysis of students’ written work, organised in a portfolio; b) a questionnaire focussing on the difficulties encountered when performing different tasks involving writing: note-taking; planning a text; writing and editing a text (a ...

  20. Influence of Task Difficulty and Background Music on Working Memory Activity: Developmental Considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniel, Shlomo; Aram, Dorit

    1998-01-01

    A study of 300 children in kindergarten, grade 2, and grade 6 found that background music improved visual discrimination task performance at the youngest and middle ages and had no effect on the oldest participants. On a square identification task, background music had no influence on easy and difficult tasks but lowered performance on…

  1. Shift Work and Cognitive Flexibility: Decomposing Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Philip; Tallent, Gabriel; Bender, Thomas John; Tran, Kieulinh Michelle; Drake, Christopher L

    2017-04-01

    Deficits in cognitive functioning associated with shift work are particularly relevant to occupational performance; however, few studies have examined how cognitive functioning is associated with specific components of shift work. This observational study examined how circadian phase, nocturnal sleepiness, and daytime insomnia in a sample of shift workers ( N = 30) were associated with cognitive flexibility during the night shift. Cognitive flexibility was measured using a computerized task-switching paradigm, which produces 2 indexes of flexibility: switch cost and set inhibition. Switch cost represents the additional cognitive effort required in switching to a different task and can impact performance when multitasking is involved. Set inhibition is the efficiency in returning to previously completed tasks and represents the degree of cognitive perseveration, which can lead to reduced accuracy. Circadian phase was measured via melatonin assays, nocturnal sleepiness was assessed using the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, and daytime insomnia was assessed using the Insomnia Severity Index. Results indicated that those with an earlier circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness exhibited reduced cognitive flexibility; however, specific components of cognitive flexibility were differentially associated with circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness. Individuals with an earlier circadian phase (thus more misaligned to the night shift) exhibited larger switch costs, which was also associated with reduced task efficiency. Shift workers with more daytime insomnia demonstrated difficulties with cognitive inhibition, whereas nocturnal sleepiness was associated with difficulties in reactivating previous tasks. Deficits in set inhibition were also related to reduced accuracy and increased perseverative errors. Together, this study indicates that task performance deficits in shift work are complex and are variably impacted by different mechanisms. Future research may examine

  2. Approche multidimensionnelle de la difficulté objective dans une tâche d’anticipation coï ncidence Multidimensional approach of objective difficulty in an aiming task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Deneuve

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available

     

    Cet article a pour objet de proposer une nouvelle procédure pour classer les tâches motrices à caractère informationnel à partir d’une approche multidimensionnelle de la difficulté. L’expérimentation a consisté à faire passer des tests de pointage à 345 sujets sur cibles mobiles créées et gérées par ordinateur. Les paramètres des cibles ont été choisis pour leur indépendance et la possibilité de les positionner sur des échelles numériques. Trois descripteurs ont été retenus : la vitesse de déplacement, la surface de la cible et l’incertitude spatiale. La performance ne semblant pas être la seule variable dépendante résumant la difficulté, il lui a été adjoint trois autres variables : les tentatives, le temps de réaction et le temps moteur. En utilisant des outils statistiques permettant des analyses de données multidimensionnelles (CAH, AFC, il a été possible soit d’agréger des tâches aux profils identiques soit de les différencier en fonction du poids de chaque descripteur sur les variables dépendantes. Surtout, il est envisageable de préciser l’apport de chaque variable dans la définition de la difficulté que se donne a posteriori le chercheur.
    PALABRAS CLAVE: Difficulté, traitement de l’information, tâche motrice, classification, analyse de données.

    This article deals with a new method to classify informational motor tasks, through a multidimensional approach of difficulty. The following experiment is used: 345 subjects are asked to point at computer-managed mobile targets. The 3 selected target parameters are: velocity, area and spatial uncertainty. Independence and numerical scalability are the reasons for this choice. As performance does not sump up difficulty, other dependent variables have been added: number of attempts, reaction time and motor time. The use of

  3. Measuring working memory in aphasia: Comparing performance on complex span and N-back tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Ivanova

    2014-04-01

    No significant correlations were observed between performance on complex span task and N-back tasks.Furthermore, performance on the modified listening span was related to performance on the comprehension subtest of the QASA, while no relationship was found for 2-back and 0-back tasks.Our results mirror studies in healthy controls that demonstrated no relationship between performance on the two tasks(Jaeggi et al., 2010; Kane et al., 2007. Thus although N-back tasks seem similar to traditional complex span measures and may also index abilities related to cognitive processing, the evidence to date does not warrant their direct association with the construct of WM. Implications for future investigation of cognitive deficits in aphasia will be discussed.

  4. Relative association of processing speed, short-term memory and sustained attention with task on gait speed: a study of community-dwelling people 50 years and older.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killane, Isabelle; Donoghue, Orna A; Savva, George M; Cronin, Hilary; Kenny, Rose Anne; Reilly, Richard B

    2014-11-01

    For single gait tasks, associations have been reported between gait speed and cognitive domains. However, few studies have evaluated if this association is altered in dual gait tasks given gait speed changes with complexity and nature of task. We evaluated relative contributions of specific elements of cognitive function (including sustained attention and processing speed) to dual task gait speed in a nationally representative population of community-dwelling adults over 50 years. Gait speed was obtained using the GaitRite walkway during three gait tasks: single, cognitive (alternate letters), and motor (carrying a filled glass). Linear regression models, adjusted for covariates, were constructed to predict the relative contributions of seven neuropsychological tests to gait speed differences and to investigate gait task effects. The mean age and gait speed of the population (n = 4,431, 55% women) was 62.4 years (SD = 8.2) and 135.85 cm/s (SD = 20.20, single task), respectively. Poorer processing speed, short-term memory, and sustained attention were major cognitive contributors to slower gait speed for all gait tasks. Both dual gait tasks were robust to covariate adjustment and had a significant additional executive function element not found for the single gait task. For community-dwelling older adults processing speed, short-term memory and sustained attention were independently associated with gait speed for all gait tasks. Dual gait tasks were found to highlight specific executive function elements. This result forms a baseline value for dual task gait speed. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Effects of cues in a binary categorization task on dual-task performance, mental workload, and effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botzer, Assaf; Meyer, Joachim; Parmet, Yisrael

    2016-09-01

    Binary cues help operators perform binary categorization tasks, such as monitoring for system failures. They may also allow them to attend to other tasks they concurrently perform. If the time saved by using cues is allocated to other concurrent tasks, users' overall effort may remain unchanged. In 2 experiments, participants performed a simulated quality control task, together with a tracking task. In half the experimental blocks cues were available, and participants could use them in their decisions about the quality of products (intact or faulty). In Experiment 1, the difficulty of tracking was constant, while in Experiment 2, tracking difficulty differed in the 2 halves of the experiment. In both experiments, participants reported on the NASA Task Load Index that cues improved their performance and reduced their frustration. Consequently, their overall score on mental workload (MWL) was lower with cues. They also reported, however, that cues did not reduce their effort. We conclude that cues and other forms of automation may support task performance and reduce overall MWL, but this will not necessarily mean that users will work less hard. Thus, effort and overall MWL should be evaluated separately, if one wants to obtain a full picture of the effects of automation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Identifying objective criterion to determine a complicated task – A comparative study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Jinkyun; Jung, Wondea

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Reliable estimation on the likelihood of human error is very critical. • Still there is no clear and objective criterion on a complicated task. • Subjective difficulty scores rated by 75 high speed train drivers are collected. • Collected difficulty scores are compared with the associated TACOM scores. • Criteria for task complexity level seem to be determined by the TACOM measure. - Abstract: A reliable estimation on the likelihood of human error is very critical for evaluating the safety of a large process control system such as NPPs (Nuclear Power Plants). In this regard, one of the determinants is to decide the level of an important PSF (Performance Shaping Factor) through a clear and objective manner along with the context of a given task. Unfortunately, it seems that there are no such decision criteria for certain PSFs including the complexity of a task. Therefore, the feasibility of the TACOM (Task Complexity) measure in providing objective criteria that are helpful for distinguishing the level of a task complexity is investigated in this study. To this end, subjective difficulty scores rated by 75 high-speed train drivers are collected for 38 tasks. After that, subjective difficulty scores are compared with the associated TACOM scores being quantified based on these tasks. As a result, it is observed that there is a significant correlation between subjective difficulty scores rated by high-speed train drivers and the associated TACOM scores. Accordingly, it is promising to expect that the TACOM measure can be used as an objective tool to identify the level of a task complexity in terms of an HRA (Human Reliability Analysis)

  7. Coulomb Excitation of the N = 50 nucleus 80Zn

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van de Walle, J.; Cocolios, T. E.; Huyse, M.; Ivanov, O.; Mayet, P.; Raabe, R.; Sawicka, M.; Stefanescu, I.; Duppen, P. van; Aksouh, F.; Ames, F.; Habs, D.; Lutter, R.; Behrens, T.; Gernhauser, R.; Kroell, T.; Kruecken, R.; Bildstein, V.; Blazhev, A.; Eberth, J.

    2008-01-01

    Neutron rich Zinc isotopes, including the N = 50 nucleus 80 Zn, were produced and post-accelerated at the Radioactive Ion Beam (RIB) facility REX-ISOLDE (CERN). Low-energy Coulomb excitation was induced on these isotopes after post-acceleration, yielding B(E2) strengths to the first excited 2 + states. For the first time, an excited state in 80 Zn was observed and the 2 1 + state in 78 Zn was established. The measured B(E2,2 1 + →0 1 + ) values are compared to two sets of large scale shell model calculations. Both calculations reproduce the observed B(E2) systematics for the full Zinc isotopic chain. The results for N = 50 isotones indicate a good N = 50 shell closure and a strong Z = 28 proton core polarization. The new results serve as benchmarks to establish theoretical models, predicting the nuclear properties of the doubly magic nucleus 78 Ni

  8. Load-dependent brain activation assessed by time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molteni, Erika; Contini, Davide; Caffini, Matteo; Baselli, Giuseppe; Spinelli, Lorenzo; Cubeddu, Rinaldo; Cerutti, Sergio; Bianchi, Anna Maria; Torricelli, Alessandro

    2012-05-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a mixed attentional/working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Brain activation was assessed, and load-related oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin changes were studied. Generalized linear model (GLM) was applied to the data to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short-term memorization. GLM was applied to the data twice: for modeling the task as a whole and for specifically investigating brain activation at each cognitive load. This twofold employment of GLM allowed (1) the extraction and isolation of different information from the same signals, obtained through the modeling of different cognitive categories (sustained attention and working memory), and (2) the evaluation of model fitness, by inspection and comparison of residuals (i.e., unmodeled part of the signal) obtained in the two different cases. Results attest to the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Some hemispherical differences have also been highlighted frontally: deoxy-hemoglobin changes manifested a strong right lateralization, whereas modifications in oxy- and total hemoglobin showed a medial localization. The present work successfully explored the capability of fNIRS to detect the two neurophysiological categories under investigation and distinguish their activation patterns.

  9. Walking and non-walking space in an equivalent virtual reality task: Sexual dimorphism and aging decline of spatial abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tascón, Laura; Castillo, Joaquín; León, Irene; Cimadevilla, José Manuel

    2018-07-16

    Spatial memory enables us to locate places and objects in space, to determine our position and manage spatial relationships in our environment. Our operations are displayed in a space that sometimes is inaccessible. In this case, the impossibility of movement within the context forces individuals to rely on the information gathered from limited viewpoints. This study investigates the use of walking and non-walking spaces using two equivalent virtual reality tasks in which displacement is only permitted in one of them. One hundred and fifty participants were divided into three age groups: 50-59, 60-69 and 70-79 year-old subjects. The starting position changed pseudo-randomly and two difficulty levels were set, with one and three positions to be found. Results provided evidence for 70-79 year-old people impairment of their spatial abilities compared with 50-59 and 60-69 year-old groups. In both difficulty conditions, participants made more errors in the non-walking space than in the walking space. All participants showed an improvement in the last trials of the task. Moreover, sexual dimorphism was registered in the high level of difficulty, in which men outperformed women. This study supports the idea that aging impairs the organization of spatial representations of the environment, and that this aspect is more noticeable in conditions where displacement is limited. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Distraction during learning with hypermedia: Difficult tasks help to keep task goals on track

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina eScheiter

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In educational hypermedia environments, students are often confronted with potential sources of distraction arising from additional information that, albeit interesting, is unrelated to their current task goal. The paper investigates the conditions under which distraction occurs and hampers performance. Based on theories of volitional action control it was hypothesized that interesting information, especially if related to a pending goal, would interfere with task performance only when working on easy, but not on difficult tasks. In Experiment 1, 66 students learned about probability theory using worked examples and solved corresponding test problems, whose task difficulty was manipulated. As a second factor, the presence of interesting information unrelated to the primary task was varied. Results showed that students solved more easy than difficult probability problems correctly. However, the presence of interesting, but task-irrelevant information did not interfere with performance. In Experiment 2, 68 students again engaged in example-based learning and problem solving in the presence of task-irrelevant information. Problem-solving difficulty was varied as a first factor. Additionally, the presence of a pending goal related to the task-irrelevant information was manipulated. As expected, problem-solving performance declined when a pending goal was present during working on easy problems, whereas no interference was observed for difficult problems. Moreover, the presence of a pending goal reduced the time on task-relevant information and increased the time on task-irrelevant information while working on easy tasks. However, as revealed by mediation analyses these changes in overt information processing behavior did not explain the decline in problem-solving performance. As an alternative explanation it is suggested that goal conflicts resulting from pending goals claim cognitive resources, which are then no longer available for learning and

  11. Delayed Self-Recognition in Autism: A Unique Difficulty?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunphy-Lelii, Sarah; Wellman, Henry M.

    2012-01-01

    Achieving a sense of self is a crucial task of ordinary development. With which aspects of self do children with autism have particular difficulty? Two prior studies concluded that children with autism are unimpaired in delayed self-recognition; we confirm and clarify this conclusion by examining it in conjunction with another key aspect of self…

  12. Time-sharing visual and auditory tracking tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Pamela S.; Vidulich, Michael A.

    1987-01-01

    An experiment is described which examined the benefits of distributing the input demands of two tracking tasks as a function of task integrality. Visual and auditory compensatory tracking tasks were utilized. Results indicate that presenting the two tracking signals in two input modalities did not improve time-sharing efficiency. This was attributed to the difficulty insensitivity phenomenon.

  13. Perceived difficulty, importance, and satisfaction with physical function in COPD patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berry Michael J

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Research suggests that patients' satisfaction with their physical functioning (SPF is a critical component of HRQL. This study was designed to examine the extent to which perceptions of physical function and the value placed on physical function are related to satisfaction ratings. The sample consisted of older adults suffering from a progressively debilitating disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD. Methods During baseline assessments, COPD patients participating in a randomized controlled physical activity trial completed measures of SPF, perceived difficulty, and perceived importance. Results An ANCOVA controlling for age and gender indicated that perceived difficulty, perceived importance, and their interaction accounted for 43% of the variance in SPF. Additionally, participants were most satisfied with important tasks that they performed with little difficulty. Participants were least satisfied with important tasks that they perceived as highly difficult. Conclusion The results of the present study indicate that not being able to perform valued tasks produces discontent that is reflected in lower rating of satisfaction with physical functioning. Clearly, the significance of loss in function to individual patients is related to the importance of the functional activities that may be compromised. These data have implications for the scope of patient assessment in clinical care and for the conceptual basis of future research in the area of physical functioning.

  14. Differences in Perceived Difficulty in Print and Online Patient Education Materials

    OpenAIRE

    Farnsworth, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Patients are often intimidated by the task of reading patient education materials, perceiving the materials’ difficulty levels as prohibitive, even when they do not exceed the patients’ reading abilities. Some first-year college students perceived online patient education materials to be more difficult to read than print-based ones—even when the reading level of the patient education materials was similar. Patients’ perceptions of the difficulty of patient education materials influenced their...

  15. How age affects memory task performance in clinically normal hearing persons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vercammen, Charlotte; Goossens, Tine; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid

    2017-05-01

    The main objective of this study is to investigate memory task performance in different age groups, irrespective of hearing status. Data are collected on a short-term memory task (WAIS-III Digit Span forward) and two working memory tasks (WAIS-III Digit Span backward and the Reading Span Test). The tasks are administered to young (20-30 years, n = 56), middle-aged (50-60 years, n = 47), and older participants (70-80 years, n = 16) with normal hearing thresholds. All participants have passed a cognitive screening task (Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)). Young participants perform significantly better than middle-aged participants, while middle-aged and older participants perform similarly on the three memory tasks. Our data show that older clinically normal hearing persons perform equally well on the memory tasks as middle-aged persons. However, even under optimal conditions of preserved sensory processing, changes in memory performance occur. Based on our data, these changes set in before middle age.

  16. Association between fine motor skills and binocular visual function in children with reading difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niechwiej-Szwedo, Ewa; Alramis, Fatimah; Christian, Lisa W

    2017-12-01

    Performance of fine motor skills (FMS) assessed by a clinical test battery has been associated with reading achievement in school-age children. However, the nature of this association remains to be established. The aim of this study was to assess FMS in children with reading difficulties using two experimental tasks, and to determine if performance is associated with reduced binocular function. We hypothesized that in comparison to an age- and sex-matched control group, children identified with reading difficulties will perform worse only on a motor task that has been shown to rely on binocular input. To test this hypothesis, motor performance was assessed using two tasks: bead-threading and peg-board in 19 children who were reading below expected grade and age-level. Binocular vision assessment included tests for stereoacuity, fusional vergence, amplitude of accommodation, and accommodative facility. In comparison to the control group, children with reading difficulties performed significantly worse on the bead-threading task. In contrast, performance on the peg-board task was similar in both groups. Accommodative facility was the only measure of binocular function significantly associated with motor performance. Findings from our exploratory study suggest that normal binocular vision may provide an important sensory input for the optimal development of FMS and reading. Given the small sample size tested in the current study, further investigation to assess the contribution of binocular vision to the development and performance of FMS and reading is warranted. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. On the measurement of movement difficulty in the standard approach to Fitts' law.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yves Guiard

    Full Text Available Fitts' law is an empirical rule of thumb which predicts the time it takes people, under time pressure, to reach with some pointer a target of width W located at a distance D. It has been traditionally assumed that the predictor of movement time must be some mathematical transform of the quotient of D/W, called the index of difficulty (ID of the movement task. We ask about the scale of measurement involved in this independent variable. We show that because there is no such thing as a zero-difficulty movement, the IDs of the literature run on non-ratio scales of measurement. One notable consequence is that, contrary to a widespread belief, the value of the y-intercept of Fitts' law is uninterpretable. To improve the traditional Fitts paradigm, we suggest grounding difficulty on relative target tolerance W/D, which has a physical zero, unlike relative target distance D/W. If no one can explain what is meant by a zero-difficulty movement task, everyone can understand what is meant by a target layout whose relative tolerance W/D is zero, and hence whose relative intolerance 1-W/D is 1 or 100%. We use the data of Fitts' famous tapping experiment to illustrate these points. Beyond the scale of measurement issue, there is reason to doubt that task difficulty is the right object to try to measure in basic research on Fitts' law, target layout manipulations having never provided users of the traditional Fitts paradigm with satisfactory control over the variations of the speed and accuracy of movements. We advocate the trade-off paradigm, a recently proposed alternative, which is immune to this criticism.

  18. Pinyin Invented Spelling in Mandarin Chinese-Speaking Children With and Without Reading Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yi; Liu, Ru-De; McBride, Catherine; Zhang, Dake

    2015-01-01

    This study examined analytical pinyin (a phonological coding system for teaching pronunciation and lexical tones of Chinese characters) skills in 54 Mandarin-speaking fourth graders by using an invented spelling instrument that tapped into syllable awareness, phoneme awareness, lexical tones, and tone sandhi in Chinese. Pinyin invented spelling was significantly correlated with Chinese character recognition and Chinese phonological awareness (i.e., syllable deletion and phoneme deletion). In comparison to good and average readers, poor readers performed significantly worse on the invented spelling task, and a difference was also found between average and good readers. To differentiate readers at different levels, the pinyin invented spelling task, which examined both segmental and suprasegmental elements, was superior to the typical phonological awareness task, which examined segments only. Within this new task, items involving tone sandhi (Chinese language changes in which the tones of words alter according to predetermined rules) were more difficult to manipulate than were those without tone sandhi. The findings suggest that this newly developed task may be optimal for tapping unique phonological and linguistic features in reading of Chinese and examining particular tonal difficulties in struggling Chinese readers. In addition, the results suggest that phonics manipulations within tasks of phonological and tonal awareness can alter their difficulty levels. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2014.

  19. The Hanford Site N Reactor buildings task identification and evaluation of historic properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stapp, D.C.; Marceau, T.E.

    1996-01-01

    The New Production Reactor complex at Hanford (hereafter referred to as N Reactor) is proposed to be deactivated, decommissioned, and demolished in the coming years. Recognizing that the Hanford Site has been important to the nation, state, and local community, a task was funded to examine the effects that these activities may have on the historic properties of N Reactor. The objectives of the N Reactor buildings task were to identify potential historic properties at N Reactor, to complete Historic Property Inventory forms for all structures considered eligible and ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, and to prepare a Memorandum of Agreement that identifies the measures required to mitigate any adverse effects

  20. Dual Task of Fine Motor Skill and Problem Solving in Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goverover, Y; Sandroff, B M; DeLuca, J

    2018-04-01

    To (1) examine and compare dual-task performance in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls (HCs) using mathematical problem-solving questions that included an everyday competence component while performing an upper extremity fine motor task; and (2) examine whether difficulties in dual-task performance are associated with problems in performing an everyday internet task. Pilot study, mixed-design with both a within and between subjects' factor. A nonprofit rehabilitation research institution and the community. Participants (N=38) included persons with MS (n=19) and HCs (n=19) who were recruited from a nonprofit rehabilitation research institution and from the community. Not applicable. Participant were presented with 2 testing conditions: (1) solving mathematical everyday problems or placing bolts into divots (single-task condition); and (2) solving problems while putting bolts into divots (dual-task condition). Additionally, participants were required to perform a test of everyday internet competence. As expected, dual-task performance was significantly worse than either of the single-task tasks (ie, number of bolts into divots or correct answers, and time to answer the questions). Cognitive but not motor dual-task cost was associated with worse performance in activities of everyday internet tasks. Cognitive dual-task cost is significantly associated with worse performance of everyday technology. This was not observed in the motor dual-task cost. The implications of dual-task costs on everyday activity are discussed. Copyright © 2017 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Work first then play: Prior task difficulty increases motivation-related brain responses in a risk game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Barbara; Mussel, Patrick; Osinsky, Roman; Rasch, Björn; Debener, Stefan; Hewig, Johannes

    2017-05-01

    Task motivation depends on what we did before. A recent theory differentiates between tasks that we want to do and tasks that we have to do. After a have-to task, motivation shifts towards a want-to task. We measured this shift of motivation via brain responses to monetary feedback in a risk game that was used as want-to task in our study. We tested 20 healthy participants that were about 28 years old in a within-subjects design. Participants worked on a Stroop task (have-to task) or an easier version of the Stroop task as a control condition and played a risk game afterwards (want-to task). After the Stroop task, brain responses to monetary feedback in the risk game were larger compared to the easier control task, especially for feedback indicating higher monetary rewards. We conclude that higher amplitudes of feedback-related brain responses in the risk game reflect the shift of motivation after a have-to task towards a want-to task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Pointing Device Performance in Steering Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senanayake, Ransalu; Goonetilleke, Ravindra S

    2016-06-01

    Use of touch-screen-based interactions is growing rapidly. Hence, knowing the maneuvering efficacy of touch screens relative to other pointing devices is of great importance in the context of graphical user interfaces. Movement time, accuracy, and user preferences of four pointing device settings were evaluated on a computer with 14 participants aged 20.1 ± 3.13 years. It was found that, depending on the difficulty of the task, the optimal settings differ for ballistic and visual control tasks. With a touch screen, resting the arm increased movement time for steering tasks. When both performance and comfort are considered, whether to use a mouse or a touch screen for person-computer interaction depends on the steering difficulty. Hence, a input device should be chosen based on the application, and should be optimized to match the graphical user interface. © The Author(s) 2016.

  3. The effects of stimulus modality and task integrality: Predicting dual-task performance and workload from single-task levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, S. G.; Shively, R. J.; Vidulich, M. A.; Miller, R. C.

    1986-01-01

    The influence of stimulus modality and task difficulty on workload and performance was investigated. The goal was to quantify the cost (in terms of response time and experienced workload) incurred when essentially serial task components shared common elements (e.g., the response to one initiated the other) which could be accomplished in parallel. The experimental tasks were based on the Fittsberg paradigm; the solution to a SternBERG-type memory task determines which of two identical FITTS targets are acquired. Previous research suggested that such functionally integrated dual tasks are performed with substantially less workload and faster response times than would be predicted by suming single-task components when both are presented in the same stimulus modality (visual). The physical integration of task elements was varied (although their functional relationship remained the same) to determine whether dual-task facilitation would persist if task components were presented in different sensory modalities. Again, it was found that the cost of performing the two-stage task was considerably less than the sum of component single-task levels when both were presented visually. Less facilitation was found when task elements were presented in different sensory modalities. These results suggest the importance of distinguishing between concurrent tasks that complete for limited resources from those that beneficially share common resources when selecting the stimulus modalities for information displays.

  4. Increased Task Demand during Spatial Memory Testing Recruits the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Joshua K.; Fournier, Neil M.; Lehmann, Hugo

    2016-01-01

    We examined whether increasing retrieval difficulty in a spatial memory task would promote the recruitment of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) similar to what is typically observed during remote memory retrieval. Rats were trained on the hidden platform version of the Morris Water Task and tested three or 30 d later. Retrieval difficulty was…

  5. Student Computer Use in Selected Undergraduate Agriculture Courses: An Examination of Required Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Donald M.; Ferguson, James A.; Vokins, Nancy W.; Lester, Melissa L.

    2000-01-01

    Over 50% of faculty teaching undergraduate agriculture courses (n=58) required use of word processing, Internet, and electronic mail; less than 50% required spreadsheets, databases, graphics, or specialized software. They planned to maintain or increase required computer tasks in their courses. (SK)

  6. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) facilitates overall visual search response times but does not interact with visual search task factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Kyongje; Gordon, Barry

    2018-01-01

    Whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) affects mental functions, and how any such effects arise from its neural effects, continue to be debated. We investigated whether tDCS applied over the visual cortex (Oz) with a vertex (Cz) reference might affect response times (RTs) in a visual search task. We also examined whether any significant tDCS effects would interact with task factors (target presence, discrimination difficulty, and stimulus brightness) that are known to selectively influence one or the other of the two information processing stages posited by current models of visual search. Based on additive factor logic, we expected that the pattern of interactions involving a significant tDCS effect could help us colocalize the tDCS effect to one (or both) of the processing stages. In Experiment 1 (n = 12), anodal tDCS improved RTs significantly; cathodal tDCS produced a nonsignificant trend toward improvement. However, there were no interactions between the anodal tDCS effect and target presence or discrimination difficulty. In Experiment 2 (n = 18), we manipulated stimulus brightness along with target presence and discrimination difficulty. Anodal and cathodal tDCS both produced significant improvements in RTs. Again, the tDCS effects did not interact with any of the task factors. In Experiment 3 (n = 16), electrodes were placed at Cz and on the upper arm, to test for a possible effect of incidental stimulation of the motor regions under Cz. No effect of tDCS on RTs was found. These findings strengthen the case for tDCS having real effects on cerebral information processing. However, these effects did not clearly arise from either of the two processing stages of the visual search process. We suggest that this is because tDCS has a DIFFUSE, pervasive action across the task-relevant neuroanatomical region(s), not a discrete effect in terms of information processing stages.

  7. Mathematical difficulties in nonverbal learning disability or co-morbid dyscalculia and dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammarella, Irene C; Bomba, Monica; Caviola, Sara; Broggi, Fiorenza; Neri, Francesca; Lucangeli, Daniela; Nacinovich, Renata

    2013-01-01

    The main goal of the present study was to shed further light on the weaknesses of children with different profiles of mathematical difficulties, testing children with nonverbal learning disability (NLD), co-morbid dyscalculia and dyslexia (D&D), or typical development (TD). Sixteen children with NLD, 15 with D&D, and 16 with TD completed tasks derived from Butterworth (2003 ) and divided into: a capacity subscale (i.e., a number-dots comparison task, a number comparison task, and a dots comparison task); and an achievement subscale (i.e., mental calculations and arithmetical fact retrieval). Children with NLD were impaired in the dots comparison task, children with D&D in the mental calculation and arithmetical facts.

  8. THE BRIGHTENING OF Re50N: ACCRETION EVENT OR DUST CLEARING?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chiang, Hsin-Fang; Reipurth, Bo; Connelley, Michael S.; Walawender, Josh; Pessev, Peter; Geballe, T. R.; Best, William M. J.; Paegert, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The luminous Class I protostar HBC 494, embedded in the Orion A cloud, is associated with a pair of reflection nebulae, Re50 and Re50N, which appeared sometime between 1955 and 1979. We have found that a dramatic brightening of Re50N has taken place sometime between 2006 and 2014. This could result if the embedded source is undergoing a FUor eruption. However, the near-infrared spectrum shows a featureless very red continuum, in contrast to the strong CO bandhead absorption displayed by FUors. Such heavy veiling, and the high luminosity of the protostar, is indicative of strong accretion but seemingly not in the manner of typical FUors. We favor the alternative explanation that the major brightening of Re50N and the simultaneous fading of Re50 is caused by curtains of obscuring material that cast patterns of illumination and shadows across the surface of the molecular cloud. This is likely occurring as an outflow cavity surrounding the embedded protostar breaks through to the surface of the molecular cloud. Several Herbig–Haro objects are found in the region

  9. THE BRIGHTENING OF Re50N: ACCRETION EVENT OR DUST CLEARING?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chiang, Hsin-Fang; Reipurth, Bo; Connelley, Michael S. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 640 N. Aohoku Place, HI 96720 (United States); Walawender, Josh [Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Pessev, Peter [Gemini Observatory, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile); Geballe, T. R. [Gemini Observatory, 670 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Best, William M. J. [Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Paegert, Martin, E-mail: hchiang@ifa.hawaii.edu, E-mail: reipurth@ifa.hawaii.edu, E-mail: joshw@naoj.org, E-mail: pessev@gmail.com, E-mail: tgeballe@gemini.edu, E-mail: wbest@ifa.hawaii.edu, E-mail: martin.paegert@vanderbilt.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States)

    2015-05-20

    The luminous Class I protostar HBC 494, embedded in the Orion A cloud, is associated with a pair of reflection nebulae, Re50 and Re50N, which appeared sometime between 1955 and 1979. We have found that a dramatic brightening of Re50N has taken place sometime between 2006 and 2014. This could result if the embedded source is undergoing a FUor eruption. However, the near-infrared spectrum shows a featureless very red continuum, in contrast to the strong CO bandhead absorption displayed by FUors. Such heavy veiling, and the high luminosity of the protostar, is indicative of strong accretion but seemingly not in the manner of typical FUors. We favor the alternative explanation that the major brightening of Re50N and the simultaneous fading of Re50 is caused by curtains of obscuring material that cast patterns of illumination and shadows across the surface of the molecular cloud. This is likely occurring as an outflow cavity surrounding the embedded protostar breaks through to the surface of the molecular cloud. Several Herbig–Haro objects are found in the region.

  10. Attention Deficit ِDuring Dual-Task Performance in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Salehi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The aims of the present investigation was the evaluation of divided attention deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients by using dual-task paradigm in order to ascertain whether this method can be useful in the early diagnosis of AD or not.  Methods & Materials: A total of 23 elderly individuals (11 females and 12 males voluntarily participated in the investigation: 13 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD and 10 healthy elderly individuals. The experimental setup consisted of (a single -task and (b dual-task trials at two levels of difficulty. In singletask condition, the participants were asked to recite the months of the year continuously with normal order (easy and backward (difficult. They also performed a computerized visuospatial/motor tracking task. The participants then performed the tracking task in conjunction with each of the months reciting tasks as dual-task condition. Results: The results showed a significant interaction (disease×level of difficulty effect. So that, the performance impairment on combine performance in two simultaneous tasks was related to task difficulty, but the elderly control group did not differ in the easy and difficult conditions. Conclusion: These findings not only increase our understanding of the attention deficits in AD patients, but also have implications for the mediating effect of cognitive load in using dual-task paradigm for studying attention mechanisms of cognitively suffered individuals.

  11. Closed-Loop Task Difficulty Adaptation during Virtual Reality Reach-to-Grasp Training Assisted with an Exoskeleton for Stroke Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Florian; Naros, Georgios; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Stroke patients with severe motor deficits of the upper extremity may practice rehabilitation exercises with the assistance of a multi-joint exoskeleton. Although this technology enables intensive task-oriented training, it may also lead to slacking when the assistance is too supportive. Preserving the engagement of the patients while providing "assistance-as-needed" during the exercises, therefore remains an ongoing challenge. We applied a commercially available seven degree-of-freedom arm exoskeleton to provide passive gravity compensation during task-oriented training in a virtual environment. During this 4-week pilot study, five severely affected chronic stroke patients performed reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living. The subjects received virtual reality feedback from their three-dimensional movements. The level of difficulty for the exercise was adjusted by a performance-dependent real-time adaptation algorithm. The goal of this algorithm was the automated improvement of the range of motion. In the course of 20 training and feedback sessions, this unsupervised adaptive training concept led to a progressive increase of the virtual training space ( p learning curve was paralleled by a concurrent improvement of real world kinematic parameters, i.e., range of motion ( p = 0.008), accuracy of movement ( p = 0.01), and movement velocity ( p virtual reality provides customized rehabilitation environments for severely affected stroke patients. This approach may facilitate motor learning by progressively challenging the subject in accordance with the individual capacity for functional restoration. It might be necessary to apply concurrent restorative interventions to translate these improvements into relevant functional gains of severely motor impaired patients in activities of daily living.

  12. Effects of visual and verbal interference tasks on olfactory memory: the role of task complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annett, J M; Leslie, J C

    1996-08-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that visual and verbal suppression tasks interfere with olfactory memory in a manner which is partially consistent with a dual coding interpretation. However, it has been suggested that total task complexity rather than modality specificity of the suppression tasks might account for the observed pattern of results. This study addressed the issue of whether or not the level of difficulty and complexity of suppression tasks could explain the apparent modality effects noted in earlier experiments. A total of 608 participants were each allocated to one of 19 experimental conditions involving interference tasks which varied suppression type (visual or verbal), nature of complexity (single, double or mixed) and level of difficulty (easy, optimal or difficult) and presented with 13 target odours. Either recognition of the odours or free recall of the odour names was tested on one occasion, either within 15 minutes of presentation or one week later. Both recognition and recall performance showed an overall effect for suppression nature, suppression level and time of testing with no effect for suppression type. The results lend only limited support to Paivio's (1986) dual coding theory, but have a number of characteristics which suggest that an adequate account of olfactory memory may be broadly similar to current theories of face and object recognition. All of these phenomena might be dealt with by an appropriately modified version of dual coding theory.

  13. Protocol for a randomized comparison of integrated versus consecutive dual task practice in Parkinson's disease: the DUALITY trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strouwen, C.; Molenaar, E.A.L.M.; Keus, S.H.J.; Munks, L.; Munneke, M.; Vandenberghe, W.; Bloem, B.R.; Nieuwboer, A.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Multiple tasking is an integral part of daily mobility. Patients with Parkinson's disease have dual tasking difficulties due to their combined motor and cognitive deficits. Two contrasting physiotherapy interventions have been proposed to alleviate dual tasking difficulties: either to

  14. Visual Attention Allocation Between Robotic Arm and Environmental Process Control: Validating the STOM Task Switching Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher; Vieanne, Alex; Clegg, Benjamin; Sebok, Angelia; Janes, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Fifty six participants time shared a spacecraft environmental control system task with a realistic space robotic arm control task in either a manual or highly automated version. The former could suffer minor failures, whose diagnosis and repair were supported by a decision aid. At the end of the experiment this decision aid unexpectedly failed. We measured visual attention allocation and switching between the two tasks, in each of the eight conditions formed by manual-automated arm X expected-unexpected failure X monitoring- failure management. We also used our multi-attribute task switching model, based on task attributes of priority interest, difficulty and salience that were self-rated by participants, to predict allocation. An un-weighted model based on attributes of difficulty, interest and salience accounted for 96 percent of the task allocation variance across the 8 different conditions. Task difficulty served as an attractor, with more difficult tasks increasing the tendency to stay on task.

  15. Difficulties in using everyday technology after acquired brain injury: a qualitative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engström, Ann-Louice Lövgreen; Lexell, Jan; Lund, Maria Larsson

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to identify and describe the characteristics of the difficulties using everyday technology in persons with an aquired brain injury (ABI), and their experiences of how these difficulties influenced their life. Thirteen persons with an ABI were interviewed about their difficulties in using everyday technology and were observed in their use of technology. Data were analysed qualitatively with a constant comparative method. The results showed that the persons' experiences formed two categories: “A variety of combinations of difficulties in the use of everyday technology” and “Restrictions in life”. The difficulties identified were related not only to everyday technology itself but also to the interaction between the technology, the task, the person, and the environment. These difficulties influenced their experiences of restrictions in occupational performance, personal identification, and participation in society. The results emphasize that occupational therapists who design interventions for people with an ABI need to accommodate both the technology and other interacting aspects in order to overcome difficulties in using everyday technology.

  16. Impact of cardiac symptoms on self-reported household task performance in women with coronary artery disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimble, L P

    2001-01-01

    Household tasks are highly salient physical activities for women. Inability to perform household tasks may serve as an important marker of limitations imposed by cardiac symptoms. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of cardiac symptoms on perceived ability to perform household tasks in women with coronary artery disease and to examine relationships among age, whether the woman lived alone, ability to perform household tasks, and cardiac-related quality of life. Forty-one women with confirmed diagnosis of coronary artery disease and a mean age of 66 years (SD 12 years) were interviewed about the impact of their cardiac symptoms and perceived ability to perform household tasks (Household Activities Scale) and cardiac-related quality of life (Seattle Angina Questionnaire). The women were primarily white (89.4%) and retired (65.9%). Forty-six percent were married, and 26.8% lived alone. "Washing dishes" (51.3%) was the only task a majority of the sample could perform without limitation. Household tasks most commonly reported as no longer performed included carrying laundry (24.4%), vacuuming (30.0%), and scrubbing the floor (51.2%). The task most commonly modified because of cardiac symptoms was changing bed linens (60%). Of the 14 household tasks, women performed a mean of 3.39 (SD 3.36) activities without difficulty. Total number of household activities performed without difficulty was associated with better quality of life in the area of exertional capacity (r = 0.50, P = 0.001). Women who lived alone reported greater perceived ability to perform household tasks than women who did not live alone (r = 0.31, P = 0.05). Age was not significantly associated with perceived household task performance (r = -0.22, P = 0.17). Women with coronary artery disease (CAD) perceived cardiac symptoms as disrupting their ability to perform household tasks. Future research is needed to determine the independent impact of cardiac symptoms on functional limitations

  17. Carbon monoxide exposure and information processing during perceptual-motor performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mihevic, P.M.; Gliner, J.A.; Horvath, S.M.

    1983-01-01

    This study examined the influence of exposure to ambient carbon monoxide resulting in final carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels of approximately 5.0% on the ability to process information during motor performance. Subjects (n . 16) performed a primary reciprocal tapping task and a secondary digit manipulation task singly and/or concurrently during 2.5 h exposure to room air (0 ppm CO) or 100 ppm CO. Five levels of tapping difficulty and two levels of digit manipulation were employed. Tapping performance was unaffected when COHb levels were as high as 5%. However, at this level of COHb it was noted that CO exposure interacted with task difficulty of both tasks to influence reaction time on the digit manipulation task. It was concluded that motor performance was not influenced by exposure to CO leading to COHb concentrations of 5%. Task difficulty was a significant factor mediating behavioral effects of CO exposure.

  18. Carbon monoxide exposure and information processing during perceptual-motor performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mihevic, P.M.; Gliner, J.A.; Horvath, S.M.

    1983-04-01

    This study examined the influence of exposure to ambient carbon monoxide resulting in final carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels of approximately 5.0% on the ability to process information during motor performance. Subjects (n = 16) performed a primary reciprocal tapping task and a secondary digit manipulation task singly and/or concurrently during 2.5 h exposure to room air (0 ppm CO) or 100 ppm CO. Five levels of tapping difficulty and two levels of digit manipulation were employed. Tapping performance was unaffected when COHb levels were as high as 5%. However, at this level of COHb it was noted that CO exposure interacted with task difficulty of both tasks to influence reaction time on the digit manipulation task. It was concluded that motor performance was not influenced by exposure to CO leading to COHb concentrations of 5%. Task difficulty was a significant factor mediating behavioral effects of CO exposure.

  19. ¿Obedecer las leyes?: utilitarismo, retórica forense y autoridad en el Critón de Platón (50a6-50b5

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Esteban Magoja

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available En el Critón de Platón se instala un interesante argumento utilitarista para justificar la obligación política de los ciudadanos. El argumento sostiene que la violación de las leyes lleva a la destrucción de cualquier sistema jurídico y acarrea resultados perjudiciales para los miembros de la comunidad (50a6-50c. En este trabajo realizaremos un análisis crítico del argumento bajo los postulados de tres corrientes utilitaristas: el utilitarismo de acto, la generalización utilitarista y el utilitarismo de regla. Veremos cómo esta clase de argumentación presenta algunos inconvenientes a la hora de justificar la obediencia al derecho. Una vez realizado este estudio se propondrá otra interpretación complementaria sobre el significado del pasaje, en la que se destacará su costado retórico forense y la idea de la autoridad del derecho.

  20. Understanding handwriting difficulties: A comparison of children with and without motor impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prunty, Mellissa; Barnett, Anna L

    The nature of handwriting difficulties have been explored in children with specific developmental disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of handwriting difficulties in children with dysgraphia, a less studied group who have significant handwriting difficulties in the absence of motor control or cognitive difficulties. The performance of a dysgraphia group aged 8-14 years was compared to a group with Developmental Coordination Disorder and to typically developing (TD) controls. Participants completed two handwriting tasks on a digitizing writing tablet. The amount and accuracy of the handwriting product was measured, plus various temporal and spatial features of the writing process. There were no significant differences in performance between the two groups with handwriting difficulties but both performed more poorly than the TD group. Individual differences in the type and severity of handwriting impairments suggest the need for a range of classroom assessments to tailor intervention appropriately.

  1. Neurofeedback training improves the dual-task performance ability in stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young-Shin; Bae, Sea-Hyun; Lee, Sung-Hee; Kim, Kyung-Yoon

    2015-05-01

    Owing to the reduced capacity for information processing following a stroke, patients commonly present with difficulties in performing activities of daily living that combine two or more tasks. To address this problem, in the present study, we investigated the effects of neurofeedback training on the abilities of stroke patients to perform dual motor tasks. We randomly assigned 20 patients who had sustained a stroke within the preceding 6 months to either a pseudo-neurofeedback (n = 10) or neurofeedback (n = 10) group. Both groups participated in a general exercise intervention for 8 weeks, three times a week for 30 min per session, under the same conditions. An electrode was secured to the scalp over the region of the central lobe (Cz), in compliance with the International 10-20 System. The electrode was inactive for the pseudo-training group. Participants in the neurofeedback training group received the 30-min neurofeedback training per session for reinforcing the sensorimotor rhythm. Electroencephalographic activity of the two groups was compared. In addition, selected parameters of gait (velocity, cadence [step/min], stance phase [%], and foot pressure) were analyzed using a 10-m walk test, attention-demanding task, walk task and quantified by the SmartStep system. The neurofeedback group showed significantly improved the regulation of the sensorimotor rhythm (p neurofeedback training is effective to improve the dual-task performance in stroke patients.

  2. Safety analysis of patient transfers and handling tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Er; Kumar, S

    2009-10-01

    Low-back disorders are related to biomechanical demands, and nurses are among the professionals with the highest rates. Quantification of risk factors is important for safety assessment and reduction of low-back disorders. This study aimed to quantify physical demands of frequent nursing tasks and provide evidence-based recommendations to increase low-back safety. Thirty-six volunteer female nurses participated in a cross-sectional study of nine nursing tasks. Lumbar range of motion (ROM) and motion during nursing tasks were measured. Compression and shear forces at L5/S1, ligament strain and percentage of population without sufficient torso strength to perform 14 phases of nine nursing tasks were estimated. Peak flexions during trolley-to-bed, bed-to-chair and chair-to-bed transfers reached the maximum flexion ROM of the nurses. Average lumbar flexion during trolley-to-bed transfers was >50% of flexion ROM, being higher than during all other tasks. Mean (SD) compression at L5/S1 (4754 N (437 N)) and population without sufficient torso strength (37% (9%)) were highest during the pushing phase of bed-to-trolley transfers. Shear force (487 N (40 N)) and ligament strain (14% (5%)) were highest during the pulling phase of trolley-to-bed transfers. Nursing tasks impose high biomechanical demands on the lumbar spine. Excessive lumbar flexion and forces are critical aspects of manual transfers requiring most of the nurses' capabilities. Evidence-based recommendations to improve low-back safety in common nursing tasks were provided. Fitness to work, job modifications and training programs can now be designed and assessed based on the results.

  3. Effects of Direction and Index of Difficulty on Aiming Movements after Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Ribeiro Coqueiro

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Brain hemispheres play different roles in the control of aiming movements that are impaired after unilateral stroke. It is not clear whether those roles are influenced by the direction and the difficulty of the task. Objective. To evaluate the influence of direction and index of difficulty (ID of the task on performance of ipsilesional aiming movements after unilateral stroke. Methods. Ten individuals with right hemisphere stroke, ten with left hemisphere stroke, and ten age- and gender-matched controls performed the aiming movements on a digitizing tablet as fast as possible. Stroke individuals used their ipsilesional arm. The direction (ipsilateral or contralateral, size (0.8 or 1.6 cm, and distance (9 or 18 cm of the targets, presented on a monitor, were manipulated and determined to be of different ID (3.5, 4.5, and 5.5. Results. Individuals with right hemisphere lesion were more sensitive to ID of the task, affecting planning and final position accuracy. Left hemisphere lesion generated slower and less smooth movements and was more influenced by target distance. Contralateral movements and higher ID increased planning demands and hindered movement execution. Conclusion. Right and left hemisphere damages are differentially influenced by task constraints which suggest their complementary roles in the control of aiming movements.

  4. FMRI for Functional Localization and Task Difficulty Assessment During Visual Search for Military Vehicles

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Meitzler, Thomas; Bryk, Darryl; Sohn, Euijung; Hirsch, Joyce

    2005-01-01

    Past and current U.S. Army computational vision models designed to determine the difficulty of visual detection of camouflage for military vehicles are extremely limited in the sense that they do not encompass much...

  5. Poorer divided attention in children born very preterm can be explained by difficulty with each component task, not the executive requirement to dual-task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delane, Louise; Campbell, Catherine; Bayliss, Donna M; Reid, Corinne; Stephens, Amelia; French, Noel; Anderson, Mike

    2017-07-01

    Children born very preterm (VP, ≤ 32 weeks) exhibit poor performance on tasks of executive functioning. However, it is largely unknown whether this reflects the cumulative impact of non-executive deficits or a separable impairment in executive-level abilities. A dual-task paradigm was used in the current study to differentiate the executive processes involved in performing two simple attention tasks simultaneously. The executive-level contribution to performance was indexed by the within-subject cost incurred to single-task performance under dual-task conditions, termed dual-task cost. The participants included 77 VP children (mean age: 7.17 years) and 74 peer controls (mean age: 7.16 years) who completed Sky Search (selective attention), Score (sustained attention) and Sky Search DT (divided attention) from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children. The divided-attention task requires the simultaneous performance of the selective- and sustained-attention tasks. The VP group exhibited poorer performance on the selective- and divided-attention tasks, and showed a strong trend toward poorer performance on the sustained-attention task. However, there were no significant group differences in dual-task cost. These results suggest a cumulative impact of vulnerable lower-level cognitive processes on dual-tasking or divided attention in VP children, and fail to support the hypothesis that VP children show a separable impairment in executive-level abilities.

  6. Smoke-Free Medical Facility Campus Legislation: Support, Resistance, Difficulties and Cost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gary Wheeler

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Although medical facilities restrict smoking inside, many people continue to smoke outside, creating problems with second-hand smoke, litter, fire risks, and negative role modeling. In 2005, Arkansas passed legislation prohibiting smoking on medical facility campuses. Hospital administrators (N=113 were surveyed pre- and post-implementation. Administrators reported more support and less difficulty than anticipated. Actual cost was 10-50% of anticipated cost. Few negative effects and numerous positive effects on employee performance and retention were reported. The results may be of interest to hospital administrators and demonstrate that state legislation can play a positive role in facilitating broad health-related policy change.

  7. File list: Oth.Unc.50.Adenine_N6-methylation.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Unc.50.Adenine_N6-methylation.AllCell ce10 TFs and others Adenine N6-methylatio...n Unclassified http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/ce10/assembled/Oth.Unc.50.Adenine_N6-methylation.AllCell.bed ...

  8. File list: Oth.Emb.50.Adenine_N6-methylation.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Emb.50.Adenine_N6-methylation.AllCell ce10 TFs and others Adenine N6-methylatio...n Embryo http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/ce10/assembled/Oth.Emb.50.Adenine_N6-methylation.AllCell.bed ...

  9. PBF task and training requirements analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blackman, H.S.; Gertman, D.I.; Petersen, R.J.

    1983-05-01

    Task analyses were used to assist in identifying improvements needed in the training curriculum for selected positions at the Power Burst Facility (PBF). Four positions were examined: Experiment Power Reactor Operator, Experiment (EPRO-Ex); Experiment Power Reactor Operator, Plant (EPRO-P); Experiment Power Reactor Operator, Console (EPRO-Co), and Shift Supervisor (SS). A complete position task listing and core of tasks defined in terms of (a) level of difficulty to perform, (b) severity of consequence if performed improperly, and (c) associated error probability were identified by each position. The systems, academic, and administrative knowledge needed by job incumbents to perform each task was noted. Strategies for teaching the knowledge associated with these tasks are presented

  10. DIFFICULTIES TO LEARN AND TO TEACH MODERN PHYSICS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Antonowiski

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Physics is engaged in scientific and technological development in several areas, however, its learning in high school has high failure rates that demonstrate a low level of use. It is a science that allows us to understand the nature of the macroscopic and atomic matter, but it is taught in a disjointed manner, upon presentation of concepts, laws and mathematical sentences, repetitive exercises that have taken the preparatory character for college entrance. Thus, the student gets stuck sentences featuring a partial knowledge and disposable. This study aimed to analyze the main difficulties that undergraduate students in Physics have in Modern Physics learning. Point out the difficulties in teaching and learning Physics is not an easy task and to identify them comes the difficulty of how to solve them. After analysis of several hypotheses we can conclude that there is no single factor responsible for the difficulty of the teaching and learning of Modern Physics. The lack of time to work and developed since middle school, stimulating the curiosity of students, adequately trained teachers, lack of structure offered by the government, parents' responsibilities and students in learning, among others, constitute a major challenge for successful teaching and learning of Modern Physics

  11. Probing the N=50 shell gap near $^{78}$Ni

    CERN Multimedia

    Reiter, P; Blazhev, A A; Franchoo, S; Hadinia, B; Raabe, R; Diriken, J V J; Angus, L J

    An experiment is proposed to study the properties of low-lying states close to the N=50 shell gap by single nucleon transfer. The d($^{78}$Zn,p)$\\,^{79}$Zn reaction will be studied using the T-REX silicon-detector array coupled to the MINIBALL $\\gamma$-ray spectrometer. A $^{78}$Zn beam intensity of 5 x 10$^{4}$ pps is expected. The isotope $^{79}$Zn, with Z=30 and N =49, lies two protons above and one neutron below the double-shell closure at $^{78}$Ni. Determination of the single-particle structure of low-lying states in $^{79}$Zn will provide valuable information about the persistence of the N=50 shell gap in this neutron-rich region. In particular the behaviour of the g$_{9/2}$ and d$_{5/2}$ orbitals will be investigated. In total, 27 shifts of beam time are requested. This experiment is envisaged to be the first of a series of measurements on progressively more neutron-rich Zn isotopes.

  12. Role of Working Memory in Explaining the Performance of Individuals with Specific Reading Comprehension Difficulties: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretti, Barbara; Borella, Erika; Cornoldi, Cesare; De Beni, Rossana

    2009-01-01

    It is well established that working memory is related to reading comprehension ability. However, its role in explaining specific reading comprehension difficulties is still under debate: the issue mainly concerns whether the contribution of working memory is dependent on task modality (verbal tasks being more predictive than visuo-spatial tasks)…

  13. N-back Working Memory Task: Meta-analysis of Normative fMRI Studies With Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaple, Zachary; Arsalidou, Marie

    2018-05-07

    The n-back task is likely the most popular measure of working memory for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. Despite accumulating neuroimaging studies with the n-back task and children, its neural representation is still unclear. fMRI studies that used the n-back were compiled, and data from children up to 15 years (n = 260) were analyzed using activation likelihood estimation. Results show concordance in frontoparietal regions recognized for their role in working memory as well as regions not typically highlighted as part of the working memory network, such as the insula. Findings are discussed in terms of developmental methodology and potential contribution to developmental theories of cognition. © 2018 Society for Research in Child Development.

  14. Lexical Difficulty--Using Elicited Imitation to Study Child L2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campfield, Dorota E.

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports a post-hoc analysis of the influence of lexical difficulty of cue sentences on performance in an elicited imitation (EI) task to assess oral production skills for 645 child L2 English learners in instructional settings. This formed part of a large-scale investigation into effectiveness of foreign language teaching in Polish…

  15. Emotional and Personality-Related Aspects of Persistent Career Decision-Making Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saka, Noa; Gati, Itamar

    2007-01-01

    This study focused on examining the persistent aspects of career decision-making difficulties, using the Emotional and Personality-related Career decision-making Difficulties scale ("EPCD"; [Saka, N., Gati, I., & Kelly, K.R. (in press). Emotional and personality-related aspects of career decision-making difficulties. "Journal of Career…

  16. Theory of mind difficulties in patients with alcohol dependence: beyond the prefrontal cortex dysfunction hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurage, François; de Timary, Philippe; Tecco, Juan Martin; Lechantre, Stéphane; Samson, Dana

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals have difficulties inferring other people's emotion, understanding humor, and detecting a faux pas. This study aimed at further understanding the nature of such "Theory of Mind" (ToM) difficulties. A total of 34 recently detoxified AD and 34 paired controls were compared based on 2 nonverbal and video-based false belief tasks. These tasks were designed to identify 3 different types of deficits: (i) a deficit in dealing with the general task demands, (ii) a selective deficit in self-perspective inhibition, and (iii) a deficit in tracking the other person's mental state. (i) and (ii) are compatible with the hypothesis of a prefrontal cortex dysfunction being at the origin of AD individuals' social difficulties, while (iii) would suggest the possible contribution of a dysfunction of the temporo-parietal junction in explaining the social difficulties. Group analyses highlighted that AD individuals performed worse on the 2 false belief tasks than controls. Individual analyses showed, however, that just under half of the AD individuals were impaired compared to controls. Moreover, most of the AD individuals who were impaired showed a deficit in tracking the other person's belief. This deficit was linked to disease-related factors such as illness duration, average alcohol consumption, and craving but not to general reasoning abilities, depression, anxiety, or demographic variables. Just under half of the AD individuals tested showed a ToM deficit, and in most cases, the deficit concerned the tracking of other people's mental states. Such a type of deficit has previously been associated with lesions to the temporo-parietal brain areas, indicating that a prefrontal cortex dysfunction may not be the sole origin of the social cognition deficits observed in alcohol dependence. Copyright © 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  17. The influence of different doses of caffeine on visual task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lorist, MM; Snel, J; Ruijter, J

    1999-01-01

    Tn this study the influence of caffeine as an energy-increasing substance on visual information processing was examined. Subjects were presented with a dual-task consisting of two choice reaction time tasks. In addition, one of the tasks was presented at two levels of difficulty, influencing the

  18. Complementary coordination strategies in a joint Fitts’ reciprocal aiming task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konvalinka, Ivana; Skewes, Lea; Michael, J.

    How do dyads coordinate their actions to achieve a common goal when one person has the more difficult task? In the present study, dyads were instructed to engage in a Fitts’s reciprocal aiming task as accurately as possible, and at a given tempo sent through their headphones. They were in conditi...... a joint goal, by taking on leader-follower roles....... was assigned to either the target’s role – with varying target width, and hence task difficulty – or the reference role – with the widest (easiest) target. Results show that when the task was performed interactively with the other person, they were most synchronized, and also used the target most similarly......, while compromising rhythmic accuracy. In addition, as task difficulty increased for the member with the target’s role, the participant with the reference role became more adaptive to her tempo. This suggests that interacting members of a dyad optimally negotiate coordination strategies to achieve...

  19. The tasks presentation relating the academic degree of the football coaches La presentación de las tareas en función de la formación académica de los entrenadores de fútbol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pereira

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available

    The purpose of the present study was to characterize the pedagogical interventions of the football coaches during the task presentations, based on the coaches' specialized academic degree. The sample consisted of twelve football coaches (n=12. The dependent variables were as follows: the tasks' type nature (analyzed by Rink's system categories, 1993; the task explicitness level (analyzed by Silverman, Kullina y Crull's system categories, 1995. The independent variables of the study were the specialized academic degrees, differentiating between those with a graduation in physical education and those without. The results show that coaches predominantly present information tasks and the refinement, extension and application tasks were rarely used, which suggests a bad didactic development of the content. As to the task explicitness level, the majority of coaches' instructions are given through general instruction, which privileged clarifying the task outcome and situation tasks and some information about criteria-form and the outcome. The   coaches with a graduation in physical education use more refinement tasks and task explicitness, and refer significantly more to criteria-form than coaches with no graduation.
    Key Words:coach; academia degree; instructional tasks; task explicitness; football.

    El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo caracterizar la intervención pedagógica de los entrenadores de fútbol durante la presentación de las tareas, en función de su formación académica. La muestra  estuvo compuesta por doce entrenadores de fútbol (n=12. Las variables dependientes del estudio fueron: naturaleza de las tareas instruccionales (analizada mediante el sistema de categorías elaborado por Rink, 1993; nivel de explicitud de la información (analizado mediante el sistema categorial creado por Silverman, Kullina y Crull, 1995. La variable independiente del estudio fue la

  20. (Non-)symbolic magnitude processing in children with mathematical difficulties: A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwenk, Christin; Sasanguie, Delphine; Kuhn, Jörg-Tobias; Kempe, Sophia; Doebler, Philipp; Holling, Heinz

    2017-05-01

    Symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude representations, measured by digit or dot comparison tasks, are assumed to underlie the development of arithmetic skills. The comparison distance effect (CDE) has been suggested as a hallmark of the preciseness of mental magnitude representations. It implies that two magnitudes are harder to discriminate when the numerical distance between them is small, and may therefore differ in children with mathematical difficulties (MD), i.e. low mathematical achievement or dyscalculia. However, empirical findings on the CDE in children with MD are heterogeneous, and only few studies assess both symbolic and non-symbolic skills. This meta-analysis therefore integrates 44 symbolic and 48 non-symbolic response time (RT) outcomes reported in nineteen studies (N=1630 subjects, aged 6-14 years). Independent of age, children with MD show significantly longer mean RTs than typically achieving controls, particularly on symbolic (Hedges' g=0.75; 95% CI [0.51; 0.99]), but to a significantly lower extent also on non-symbolic (g=0.24; 95% CI [0.13; 0.36]) tasks. However, no group differences were found for the CDE. Extending recent work, these meta-analytical findings on children with MD corroborate the diagnostic importance of magnitude comparison speed in symbolic tasks. By contrast, the validity of CDE measures in assessing MD is questioned. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Reading comprehension difficulties in children with rolandic epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, Nicola K; Lew, Adina R; Palmer, Tom M; Basu, Helen; De Goede, Christian; Iyer, Anand; Cain, Kate

    2018-03-01

    Difficulties in reading comprehension can arise from either word reading or listening comprehension difficulties, or a combination of the two. We sought to determine whether children with rolandic epilepsy had poor reading comprehension relative to typically developing comparison children, and whether such difficulties were associated with word reading and/or general language comprehension difficulties. In this cross-sectional study, children with rolandic epilepsy (n=25; 16 males, 9 females; mean age 9y 1mo, SD 1y 7mo) and a comparison group (n=39; 25 males, 14 females; mean age 9y 1mo, SD 1y 3mo) completed assessments of reading comprehension, listening comprehension, word/non-word reading, speech articulation, and Non-verbal IQ. Reading comprehension and word reading were worse in children with rolandic epilepsy (F 1,61 =6.89, p=0.011, ηp2=0.10 and F 1,61 =6.84, p=0.011, ηp2=0.10 respectively), with listening comprehension being marginal (F 1,61 =3.81, p=0.055, ηp2=0.06). Word reading and listening comprehension made large and independent contributions to reading comprehension, explaining 70% of the variance. Children with rolandic epilepsy may be at risk of reading comprehension difficulties. Thorough assessment of individual children is required to ascertain whether the difficulties lie with decoding text, or with general comprehension skills, or both. Children with rolandic epilepsy may be at risk of poor reading comprehension. This was related to poor word reading, poor listening comprehension, or both. Reading comprehension interventions should be tailored to the profile of difficulties. © 2017 Mac Keith Press.

  2. Heat pump concepts for nZEB Technology developments, design tools and testing of heat pump systems for nZEB in the USA: Country report IEA HPT Annex 40 Task 2, Task 3 and Task 4 of the USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baxter, Van D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Payne, W. Vance [National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD (United States); Ling, Jiazhen [Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Radermacher, Reinhard [Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)

    2015-12-01

    The IEA HPT Annex 40 "Heat pump concepts for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings" deals with the application of heat pumps as a core component of the HVAC system for Nearly or Net Zero energy buildings (nZEB). This report covers Task 2 on the system comparison and optimisation and Task 3 dedicated to the development of adapted technologies for nZEB and field monitoring results of heat pump systems in nZEB. In the US team three institutions are involved and have worked on the following projects: The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will summarize development activities through the field demonstration stage for several integrated heat pump (IHP) systems electric ground-source (GS-IHP) and air-source (AS-IHP) versions and an engine driven AS-IHP version. The first commercial GS-IHP product was just introduced to the market in December 2012. This work is a contribution to Task 3 of the Annex. The University of Maryland will contribute a software development project to Task 2 of the Annex. The software ThermCom evaluates occupied space thermal comfort conditions accounting for all radiative and convective heat transfer effects as well as local air properties. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working on a field study effort on the NIST Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF). This residential building was constructed on the NIST campus and officially opened in summer 2013. During the first year, between July 2013 and June 2014, baseline performance of the NZERTF was monitored under a simulated occupancy protocol. The house was equipped with an air-to-air heat pump which included a dedicated dehumidification operating mode. Outdoor conditions, internal loads and modes of heat pump operation were monitored. Field study results with respect to heat pump operation will be reported and recommendations on heat pump optimization for a net zero energy building will be provided. This work is a contribution to Task 3 of the Annex.

  3. Crianças com dificuldades motoras apresentam baixos níveis de aptidão física? Do children with motor difficulties show low levels of physical fitness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Morais de Almeida Santos

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available O presente estudo tem como objetivo analisar se crianças com dificuldades motoras apresentariam baixos níveis de aptidão física relacionada à saúde em relação aos seus pares sem dificuldades. Dezesseis crianças com dificuldades motoras com aproximadamente oito anos foram pareadas em gênero e idade com outras 16 sem dificuldades motoras. Os participantes completaram os testes de aptidão física (sentar e alcançar, salto em distância parado, puxada em suspensão na barra modificado, abdominal e corrida de 9 minutos e os de coordenação motora (MABC-2. Os resultados indicaram diferenças significativas no salto em distância parado, puxada em suspensão na barra modificado, abdominal, mas não para sentar e alcançar e corrida de 9-m. Os resultados são semelhantes aos publicados na literatura internacional, com exceção da corrida de 9 minutos. A ideia de que em algum grau a coordenação é necessária para executar tarefas de aptidão física e pode impactar no desempenho da aptidão física é discutida no presente trabalho.The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with motor difficulties would show levels of health-related components of physical fitness lower than children without such difficulties. Sixteen children with motor difficulties with approximately 8 years of age were age-and gender-matched with other 16 children without motor difficulties. Participants completed the test batteries for physical fitness (seat and reach, standing long jump, sit-up, modified pull-up and 9-minute run and for motor coordination (MABC-2. The results indicated significant differences in standing long jump, sit-up, modified pull-up tests, but not for the seat and reach and the 9-minute run tests. Overall, the results are similar to those published in the international literature, with the exception of cardiorespiratory fitness. The idea that at to some degree coordination is required to perform physical fitness tasks and

  4. Formulación de metotrexato 50 mg solución inyectable Formulation of metotrexate 50 mg injectable solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Gato del Monte

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available El metotrexato es un antimetabolito que se agrupa entre los antagonistas del ácido fólico, para el tratamiento de cariocarcinoma gestacional, cariocarcinoma destructivo y lunar hidatiforme, leucemia linfocítica aguda, profilaxis y tratamiento de leucemias meníngeas y terapia de mantenimiento en combinación con otros agentes quimioterapéuticos en diferentes tumores sólidos y linfomas no Hogkin, así como en artritis y psoriasis. Para desarrollar este producto se elaboraron los ensayos preliminares en la etapa de preformulación, se determinaron las características organolépticas, el pH y la concentración del principio activo. Mediante estos estudios se logró obtener una formulación de metotrexato 50 mg solución inyectable con características adecuadas, estable física, química, biológica y microbiológicamente. La formulación que se obtuvo se escaló industrialmente, la cual se envasó en bulbos que cumplen satisfactoriamente con los parámetros de calidad establecidos. Mediante el estudio de estabilidad realizado a estos lotes se comprobaron los parámetros de calidad al producto terminado, que aparecen en la Farmacopea de los Estados Unidos 26 (USP. Se le estableció al medicamento una fecha de vencimiento de 2 años bajo las condiciones de temperatura controlada de 2-8 °C y protegido de la luzMetotrexate is an antimetabolite that groups itslef among the folic acid antagonists for the treatment of gestational choriocarcinoma, destructive choriocarcinoma, lunar hydatidiform choriocarcinoma, acute lymphocytic leukemia, prophylaxis and treatment of meningeal leukemias and maintenance therapy combined with other chemotherapeutic agents in different solid tumors and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, as well as in arthritis and psoriasis. To develop this product, preliminary trials were made in the preformulation stage, and the organoleptic characteristics, pH, and the active principle concentration were determined. By these studies, it was

  5. Strategic Adaptation to Task Characteristics, Incentives, and Individual Differences in Dual-Tasking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian P Janssen

    Full Text Available We investigate how good people are at multitasking by comparing behavior to a prediction of the optimal strategy for dividing attention between two concurrent tasks. In our experiment, 24 participants had to interleave entering digits on a keyboard with controlling a randomly moving cursor with a joystick. The difficulty of the tracking task was systematically varied as a within-subjects factor. Participants were also exposed to different explicit reward functions that varied the relative importance of the tracking task relative to the typing task (between-subjects. Results demonstrate that these changes in task characteristics and monetary incentives, together with individual differences in typing ability, influenced how participants choose to interleave tasks. This change in strategy then affected their performance on each task. A computational cognitive model was used to predict performance for a wide set of alternative strategies for how participants might have possibly interleaved tasks. This allowed for predictions of optimal performance to be derived, given the constraints placed on performance by the task and cognition. A comparison of human behavior with the predicted optimal strategy shows that participants behaved near optimally. Our findings have implications for the design and evaluation of technology for multitasking situations, as consideration should be given to the characteristics of the task, but also to how different users might use technology depending on their individual characteristics and their priorities.

  6. Working memory resources in young children with mathematical difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyttälä, Minna; Aunio, Pirjo; Hautamäki, Jarkko

    2010-02-01

    Working memory (WM) (Baddeley, 1986, 1997) is argued to be one of the most important cognitive resources underlying mathematical competence (Geary, 2004). Research has established close links between WM deficits and mathematical difficulties. This study investigated the possible deficits in WM, language and fluid intelligence that seem to characterize 4- to 6-year-old children with poor early mathematical skills before formal mathematics education. Children with early mathematical difficulties showed poor performance in both verbal and visuospatial WM tasks as well as on language tests and a fluid intelligence test indicating a thoroughly lower cognitive base. Poor WM performance was not moderated by fluid intelligence, but the extent of WM deficits was related to language skills. The educational implications are discussed.

  7. A human-machine interface evaluation method: A difficulty evaluation method in information searching (DEMIS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ha, Jun Su; Seong, Poong Hyun

    2009-01-01

    A human-machine interface (HMI) evaluation method, which is named 'difficulty evaluation method in information searching (DEMIS)', is proposed and demonstrated with an experimental study. The DEMIS is based on a human performance model and two measures of attentional-resource effectiveness in monitoring and detection tasks in nuclear power plants (NPPs). Operator competence and HMI design are modeled to be most significant factors to human performance. One of the two effectiveness measures is fixation-to-importance ratio (FIR) which represents attentional resource (eye fixations) spent on an information source compared to importance of the information source. The other measure is selective attention effectiveness (SAE) which incorporates FIRs for all information sources. The underlying principle of the measures is that the information source should be selectively attended to according to its informational importance. In this study, poor performance in information searching tasks is modeled to be coupled with difficulties caused by poor mental models of operators or/and poor HMI design. Human performance in information searching tasks is evaluated by analyzing the FIR and the SAE. Operator mental models are evaluated by a questionnaire-based method. Then difficulties caused by a poor HMI design are evaluated by a focused interview based on the FIR evaluation and then root causes leading to poor performance are identified in a systematic way.

  8. The Frequency of Rapid Pupil Dilations as a Measure of Linguistic Processing Difficulty.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Demberg

    Full Text Available While it has long been known that the pupil reacts to cognitive load, pupil size has received little attention in cognitive research because of its long latency and the difficulty of separating effects of cognitive load from the light reflex or effects due to eye movements. A novel measure, the Index of Cognitive Activity (ICA, relates cognitive effort to the frequency of small rapid dilations of the pupil. We report here on a total of seven experiments which test whether the ICA reliably indexes linguistically induced cognitive load: three experiments in reading (a manipulation of grammatical gender match/mismatch, an experiment of semantic fit, and an experiment comparing locally ambiguous subject versus object relative clauses, all in German, three dual-task experiments with simultaneous driving and spoken language comprehension (using the same manipulations as in the single-task reading experiments, and a visual world experiment comparing the processing of causal versus concessive discourse markers. These experiments are the first to investigate the effect and time course of the ICA in language processing. All of our experiments support the idea that the ICA indexes linguistic processing difficulty. The effects of our linguistic manipulations on the ICA are consistent for reading and auditory presentation. Furthermore, our experiments show that the ICA allows for usage within a multi-task paradigm. Its robustness with respect to eye movements means that it is a valid measure of processing difficulty for usage within the visual world paradigm, which will allow researchers to assess both visual attention and processing difficulty at the same time, using an eye-tracker. We argue that the ICA is indicative of activity in the locus caeruleus area of the brain stem, which has recently also been linked to P600 effects observed in psycholinguistic EEG experiments.

  9. The Relationship between Older Adults' Risk for a Future Fall and Difficulty Performing Activities of Daily Living.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamikonian-Zarpas, Ani; Laganá, Luciana

    2015-12-01

    Functional status is often defined by cumulative scores across indices of independence in performing basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL/IADL), but little is known about the unique relationship of each daily activity item with the fall outcome. The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the level of relative risk for a future fall associated with difficulty with performing various tasks of normal daily functioning among older adults who had fallen at least once in the past 12 months. The sample was comprised of community-dwelling individuals 70 years and older from the 1984-1990 Longitudinal Study of Aging by Kovar, Fitti, and Chyba (1992). Risk analysis was performed on individual items quantifying 6 ADLs and 7 IADLs, as well as 10 items related to mobility limitations. Within a subsample of 1,675 older adults with a history of at least one fall within the past year, the responses of individuals who reported multiple falls were compared to the responses of participants who had a single fall and reported 1) difficulty with walking and/or balance (FRAIL group, n = 413) vs. 2) no difficulty with walking or dizziness (NDW+ND group, n = 415). The items that had the strongest relationships and highest risk ratios for the FRAIL group (which had the highest probabilities for a future fall) included difficulty with: eating (73%); managing money (70%); biting or chewing food (66%); walking a quarter of a mile (65%); using fingers to grasp (65%); and dressing without help (65%). For the NDW+ND group, the most noteworthy items included difficulty with: bathing or showering (79%); managing money (77%); shopping for personal items (75%); walking up 10 steps without rest (72%); difficulty with walking a quarter of a mile (72%); and stooping/crouching/kneeling (70%). These findings suggest that individual items quantifying specific ADLs and IADLs have substantive relationships with the fall outcome among older adults who have difficulty with walking

  10. The Relationship between Older Adults’ Risk for a Future Fall and Difficulty Performing Activities of Daily Living

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamikonian-Zarpas, Ani; Laganá, Luciana

    2016-01-01

    Functional status is often defined by cumulative scores across indices of independence in performing basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL/IADL), but little is known about the unique relationship of each daily activity item with the fall outcome. The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the level of relative risk for a future fall associated with difficulty with performing various tasks of normal daily functioning among older adults who had fallen at least once in the past 12 months. The sample was comprised of community-dwelling individuals 70 years and older from the 1984–1990 Longitudinal Study of Aging by Kovar, Fitti, and Chyba (1992). Risk analysis was performed on individual items quantifying 6 ADLs and 7 IADLs, as well as 10 items related to mobility limitations. Within a subsample of 1,675 older adults with a history of at least one fall within the past year, the responses of individuals who reported multiple falls were compared to the responses of participants who had a single fall and reported 1) difficulty with walking and/or balance (FRAIL group, n = 413) vs. 2) no difficulty with walking or dizziness (NDW+ND group, n = 415). The items that had the strongest relationships and highest risk ratios for the FRAIL group (which had the highest probabilities for a future fall) included difficulty with: eating (73%); managing money (70%); biting or chewing food (66%); walking a quarter of a mile (65%); using fingers to grasp (65%); and dressing without help (65%). For the NDW+ND group, the most noteworthy items included difficulty with: bathing or showering (79%); managing money (77%); shopping for personal items (75%); walking up 10 steps without rest (72%); difficulty with walking a quarter of a mile (72%); and stooping/crouching/kneeling (70%). These findings suggest that individual items quantifying specific ADLs and IADLs have substantive relationships with the fall outcome among older adults who have difficulty with

  11. Aligning Mathematical Tasks to the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Raymond

    2016-01-01

    How do algebra teachers align mathematical tasks to the CCSSM Standards of Mathematical Practice? Using methods of design-based implementation research, we identified difficulties of alignment to practices and developed strategies identifying high-quality tasks.

  12. Effects of caffeine on prospective duration judgements of various intervals depend on task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Ronald P; Block, Richard A

    2005-06-01

    The effects of caffeine on prospective duration judgements were investigated in two double-blind placebo-controlled experiments. After taking either 200 mg of caffeine or a placebo, participants performed a task that demanded considerable attention, driving a car in a simulator (Experiment 1) or a task that demanded relatively little attention, watching a videotaped scene from a driven car (Experiment 2). Each participant made duration judgements of three target intervals: 15 s, 60 s and 300 s. Actively driving participants in the caffeine condition judged it as shorter than did those in the placebo condition. Caffeine had no effect on duration judgements following passive viewing. When people must perform a relatively difficult task, caffeine causes participants to allocate relatively more of their attentional resources to the task and relatively less to duration timing. Although caffeine may increase the pacemaker rate of an internal clock (via dopamine D(1) agonism), when external events are attention-demanding, caffeine mainly influences the relative allocation of attention to external events or to time (via dopamine D(2) agonism) in cerebral areas subserving the executive control of attention. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. ERRORS AND DIFFICULTIES IN TRANSLATING LEGAL TEXTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camelia, CHIRILA

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays the accurate translation of legal texts has become highly important as the mistranslation of a passage in a contract, for example, could lead to lawsuits and loss of money. Consequently, the translation of legal texts to other languages faces many difficulties and only professional translators specialised in legal translation should deal with the translation of legal documents and scholarly writings. The purpose of this paper is to analyze translation from three perspectives: translation quality, errors and difficulties encountered in translating legal texts and consequences of such errors in professional translation. First of all, the paper points out the importance of performing a good and correct translation, which is one of the most important elements to be considered when discussing translation. Furthermore, the paper presents an overview of the errors and difficulties in translating texts and of the consequences of errors in professional translation, with applications to the field of law. The paper is also an approach to the differences between languages (English and Romanian that can hinder comprehension for those who have embarked upon the difficult task of translation. The research method that I have used to achieve the objectives of the paper was the content analysis of various Romanian and foreign authors' works.

  14. Search for isomers in nuclei near N = 50

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taras, P.; Haas, B.; Merdinger, J.C.; Styczen, J.

    1979-01-01

    Targets of sup (58, 60, 61, 62, 64) Ni, Co, and Cu have been bombarded with 42 MeV 16 O beams. Several isomers were produced but no new isomer was found, in particular in 74 Kr which is expected to be a good candidate for yrast traps in the N = 50 region. (author)

  15. Information access in a dual-task context: testing a model of optimal strategy selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, C. D.; Seidler, K. S.

    1997-01-01

    Pilots were required to access information from a hierarchical aviation database by navigating under single-task conditions (Experiment 1) and when this task was time-shared with an altitude-monitoring task of varying bandwidth and priority (Experiment 2). In dual-task conditions, pilots had 2 viewports available, 1 always used for the information task and the other to be allocated to either task. Dual-task strategy, inferred from the decision of which task to allocate to the 2nd viewport, revealed that allocation was generally biased in favor of the monitoring task and was only partly sensitive to the difficulty of the 2 tasks and their relative priorities. Some dominant sources of navigational difficulties failed to adaptively influence selection strategy. The implications of the results are to provide tools for jumping to the top of the database, to provide 2 viewports into the common database, and to provide training as to the optimum viewport management strategy in a multitask environment.

  16. Assessing implementation difficulties in tobacco use prevention and cessation counselling among dental providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murtomaa Heikki

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tobacco use adversely affects oral health. Clinical guidelines recommend that dental providers promote tobacco abstinence and provide patients who use tobacco with brief tobacco use cessation counselling. Research shows that these guidelines are seldom implemented, however. To improve guideline adherence and to develop effective interventions, it is essential to understand provider behaviour and challenges to implementation. This study aimed to develop a theoretically informed measure for assessing among dental providers implementation difficulties related to tobacco use prevention and cessation (TUPAC counselling guidelines, to evaluate those difficulties among a sample of dental providers, and to investigate a possible underlying structure of applied theoretical domains. Methods A 35-item questionnaire was developed based on key theoretical domains relevant to the implementation behaviours of healthcare providers. Specific items were drawn mostly from the literature on TUPAC counselling studies of healthcare providers. The data were collected from dentists (n = 73 and dental hygienists (n = 22 in 36 dental clinics in Finland using a web-based survey. Of 95 providers, 73 participated (76.8%. We used Cronbach's alpha to ascertain the internal consistency of the questionnaire. Mean domain scores were calculated to assess different aspects of implementation difficulties and exploratory factor analysis to assess the theoretical domain structure. The authors agreed on the labels assigned to the factors on the basis of their component domains and the broader behavioural and theoretical literature. Results Internal consistency values for theoretical domains varied from 0.50 ('emotion' to 0.71 ('environmental context and resources'. The domain environmental context and resources had the lowest mean score (21.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 17.2 to 25.4 and was identified as a potential implementation difficulty. The domain emotion

  17. Assessing implementation difficulties in tobacco use prevention and cessation counselling among dental providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amemori, Masamitsu; Michie, Susan; Korhonen, Tellervo; Murtomaa, Heikki; Kinnunen, Taru H

    2011-05-26

    Tobacco use adversely affects oral health. Clinical guidelines recommend that dental providers promote tobacco abstinence and provide patients who use tobacco with brief tobacco use cessation counselling. Research shows that these guidelines are seldom implemented, however. To improve guideline adherence and to develop effective interventions, it is essential to understand provider behaviour and challenges to implementation. This study aimed to develop a theoretically informed measure for assessing among dental providers implementation difficulties related to tobacco use prevention and cessation (TUPAC) counselling guidelines, to evaluate those difficulties among a sample of dental providers, and to investigate a possible underlying structure of applied theoretical domains. A 35-item questionnaire was developed based on key theoretical domains relevant to the implementation behaviours of healthcare providers. Specific items were drawn mostly from the literature on TUPAC counselling studies of healthcare providers. The data were collected from dentists (n = 73) and dental hygienists (n = 22) in 36 dental clinics in Finland using a web-based survey. Of 95 providers, 73 participated (76.8%). We used Cronbach's alpha to ascertain the internal consistency of the questionnaire. Mean domain scores were calculated to assess different aspects of implementation difficulties and exploratory factor analysis to assess the theoretical domain structure. The authors agreed on the labels assigned to the factors on the basis of their component domains and the broader behavioural and theoretical literature. Internal consistency values for theoretical domains varied from 0.50 ('emotion') to 0.71 ('environmental context and resources'). The domain environmental context and resources had the lowest mean score (21.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 17.2 to 25.4) and was identified as a potential implementation difficulty. The domain emotion provided the highest mean score (60%; 95% CI, 55

  18. Evaluation of cross sections for 197Au(n,3n) and 197Au(n,4n) reactions from threshold to 50 MeV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Baosheng; Shen Qingbiao; Cai Dunjiu

    1994-01-01

    The measured data of cross sections for 197 Au(n,3n) and 197 Au(n,4n) reactions were collected and analysed. The theoretical calculations of above mentioned reactions were carried out to predict the data in higher energy region. The sets of cross sections for 197 Au(n,3n) and 197 Au(n,4n) reactions from threshold to 50 MeV were recommended on the basis of the experimental and calculated data. (2 figs)

  19. Symbolic and Nonsymbolic Equivalence Tasks: The Influence of Symbols on Students with Mathematics Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driver, Melissa K.; Powell, Sarah R.

    2015-01-01

    Students often experience difficulty with attaching meaning to mathematics symbols. Many students react to symbols, such as the equal sign, as a command to "do something" or "write an answer" without reflecting upon the proper relational meaning of the equal sign. One method for assessing equal-sign understanding is through…

  20. Working Memory, Attention Control, and the N-Back Task: A Question of Construct Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J.; Conway, Andrew R. A.; Miura, Timothy K.; Colflesh, Gregory J. H.

    2007-01-01

    The n-back task requires participants to decide whether each stimulus in a sequence matches the one that appeared n items ago. Although n-back has become a standard "executive" working memory (WM) measure in cognitive neuroscience, it has been subjected to few behavioral tests of construct validity. A combined experimental-correlational study…

  1. Frequency modulation of neural oscillations according to visual task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wutz, Andreas; Melcher, David; Samaha, Jason

    2018-02-06

    Temporal integration in visual perception is thought to occur within cycles of occipital alpha-band (8-12 Hz) oscillations. Successive stimuli may be integrated when they fall within the same alpha cycle and segregated for different alpha cycles. Consequently, the speed of alpha oscillations correlates with the temporal resolution of perception, such that lower alpha frequencies provide longer time windows for perceptual integration and higher alpha frequencies correspond to faster sampling and segregation. Can the brain's rhythmic activity be dynamically controlled to adjust its processing speed according to different visual task demands? We recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) while participants switched between task instructions for temporal integration and segregation, holding stimuli and task difficulty constant. We found that the peak frequency of alpha oscillations decreased when visual task demands required temporal integration compared with segregation. Alpha frequency was strategically modulated immediately before and during stimulus processing, suggesting a preparatory top-down source of modulation. Its neural generators were located in occipital and inferotemporal cortex. The frequency modulation was specific to alpha oscillations and did not occur in the delta (1-3 Hz), theta (3-7 Hz), beta (15-30 Hz), or gamma (30-50 Hz) frequency range. These results show that alpha frequency is under top-down control to increase or decrease the temporal resolution of visual perception.

  2. Analogous selection processes in declarative and procedural working memory: N-2 list-repetition and task-repetition costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gade, Miriam; Souza, Alessandra S; Druey, Michel D; Oberauer, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Working memory (WM) holds and manipulates representations for ongoing cognition. Oberauer (Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 51, 45-100, 2009) distinguishes between two analogous WM sub-systems: a declarative WM which handles the objects of thought, and a procedural WM which handles the representations of (cognitive) actions. Here, we assessed whether analogous effects are observed when participants switch between memory sets (declarative representations) and when they switch between task sets (procedural representations). One mechanism assumed to facilitate switching in procedural WM is the inhibition of previously used, but currently irrelevant task sets, as indexed by n-2 task-repetition costs (Mayr & Keele, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129(1), 4-26, 2000). In this study we tested for an analogous effect in declarative WM. We assessed the evidence for n-2 list-repetition costs across eight experiments in which participants switched between memory lists to perform speeded classifications, mental arithmetic, or a local recognition test. N-2 list-repetition costs were obtained consistently in conditions assumed to increase interference between memory lists, and when lists formed chunks in long-term memory. Further analyses across experiments revealed a substantial contribution of episodic memory to n-2 list-repetition costs, thereby questioning the interpretation of n-2 repetition costs as reflecting inhibition. We reanalyzed the data of eight task-switching experiments, and observed that episodic memory also contributes to n-2 task-repetition costs. Taken together, these results show analogous processing principles in declarative and procedural WM, and question the relevance of inhibitory processes for efficient switching between mental sets.

  3. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination

    OpenAIRE

    Zhe Charles Zhou; Chunxiu Yu; Kristin K. Sellers; Flavio Fröhlich

    2016-01-01

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contr...

  4. Task Complexity and Modality: Exploring Learners' Experience from the Perspective of Flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Minyoung

    2018-01-01

    Despite an increased awareness of language learner performance in task-based instruction, little is known about how learners perceive and respond to different task factors. This study investigates the effects of task complexity and modality on (a) learners' perception of task difficulty, skill, and its balance, and on (b) learners' task…

  5. Associations between narcissism and emotion regulation difficulties: Respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity as a moderator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Wang, Zhenhong; You, Xuqun; Lü, Wei; Luo, Yun

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to examine the direct and interactive effects of two types of narcissism (overt and covert) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) reactivity on emotion regulation difficulties in 227 undergraduate students. Overt and covert narcissism and emotion regulation difficulties were assessed with self-report measures (narcissistic personality inventory (NPI)-16, hypersensitive narcissism scale (HSNS), and difficulties in emotion regulation scale (DERS)), and physiological data were measured during the baseline, stress (a public-speaking task), and recovery periods in the laboratory. Results indicated that overt narcissism was negatively related to a lack of emotional awareness and emotional clarity, whereas covert narcissism was positively related to overall emotion regulation difficulties, nonacceptance of emotional responses, impulse control difficulties, limited access to emotion regulation strategies, and a lack of emotional clarity. RSA reactivity in response to a mock job interview moderated the associations between covert narcissism (as a predictor) and overall emotion regulation difficulties and impulse control difficulties (as outcomes). This finding showed that a greater stress-induced RSA decrease may serve as a protective factor and ameliorate the effect of covert narcissism on individuals' emotion regulation difficulties. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The effect of personality type and musical task on self-perceived arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Hayoung A

    2008-01-01

    This study was designed to measure the level of arousal influenced by 4 different musical experiences classified by task difficulty and to examine the relationship between music-induced arousal level and personality type. Participants included 32 university students who were neither musicians nor music majors. The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975) was used to identify participants as either extravert or introvert. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 types of musical tasks: listening, singing, rhythm tapping, or keyboard playing. Arousal level was measured using the Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List (ADACL) (Thayer, 1978) before and after the musical task. The ADACL is a self-report scale consisting of a list of 20 adjectives which describe various transitory arousal states, including energy, tiredness, tension, and calmness. Results showed no significant difference between personality types and the changes in arousal level. Result indicated a significant effect of listening on decreased tension arousal. Singing and rhythm tapping, which are regarded as having a relatively moderate task difficulty, increased energy arousal significantly and decreased tiredness arousal significantly. Participants' tiredness arousal levels also decreased significantly after keyboard playing. These findings suggest that engaging in musical experience that has a moderate level of task difficulty makes individuals more energetic and less tired.

  7. Vocabulary Learning in Collaborative Tasks: A Comparison of Pair and Small Group Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobao, Ana Fernández

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the opportunities that pair and small group interaction offer for collaborative dialogue and second language (L2) vocabulary learning. It compared the performance of the same collaborative writing task by learners working in groups of four (n = 60) and in pairs (n = 50), focusing on the occurrence of lexical language-related…

  8. Levels of Information Processing in a Fitts law task (LIPFitts)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosier, K. L.; Hart, S. G.

    1986-01-01

    State-of-the-art flight technology has restructured the task of human operators, decreasing the need for physical and sensory resources, and increasing the quantity of cognitive effort required, changing it qualitatively. Recent technological advances have the most potential for impacting a pilot in two areas: performance and mental workload. In an environment in which timing is critical, additional cognitive processing can cause performance decrements, and increase a pilot's perception of the mental workload involved. The effects of stimulus processing demands on motor response performance and subjective mental workload are examined, using different combinations of response selection and target acquisition tasks. The information processing demands of the response selection were varied (e.g., Sternberg memory set tasks, math equations, pattern matching), as was the difficulty of the response execution. Response latency as well as subjective workload ratings varied in accordance with the cognitive complexity of the task. Movement times varied according to the difficulty of the response execution task. Implications in terms of real-world flight situations are discussed.

  9. Variations in task constraints shape emergent performance outcomes and complexity levels in balancing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero Sánchez, Carla; Barbado Murillo, David; Davids, Keith; Moreno Hernández, Francisco J

    2016-06-01

    This study investigated the extent to which specific interacting constraints of performance might increase or decrease the emergent complexity in a movement system, and whether this could affect the relationship between observed movement variability and the central nervous system's capacity to adapt to perturbations during balancing. Fifty-two healthy volunteers performed eight trials where different performance constraints were manipulated: task difficulty (three levels) and visual biofeedback conditions (with and without the center of pressure (COP) displacement and a target displayed). Balance performance was assessed using COP-based measures: mean velocity magnitude (MVM) and bivariate variable error (BVE). To assess the complexity of COP, fuzzy entropy (FE) and detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were computed. ANOVAs showed that MVM and BVE increased when task difficulty increased. During biofeedback conditions, individuals showed higher MVM but lower BVE at the easiest level of task difficulty. Overall, higher FE and lower DFA values were observed when biofeedback was available. On the other hand, FE reduced and DFA increased as difficulty level increased, in the presence of biofeedback. However, when biofeedback was not available, the opposite trend in FE and DFA values was observed. Regardless of changes to task constraints and the variable investigated, balance performance was positively related to complexity in every condition. Data revealed how specificity of task constraints can result in an increase or decrease in complexity emerging in a neurobiological system during balance performance.

  10. Can we measure working memory via the Internet? The reliability and factorial validity of an online n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kulikowski Konrad

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to check whether an online n-back task conducted in the uncontrolled environment of the Internet can yield valid and reliable data. For this purpose, 169 participants completed an online n-back task with n1, n2 and n3 blocks on their home computers. The results have shown acceptable reliability for overall accuracy and reaction time indices across n1, n2, n3 blocks, as well as for reaction time indices for each n block. Unacceptable reliability has been found for separate n levels accuracy indices and for response bias indices. Confirmatory factor analysis has revealed that, among 8 proposed measurement models, the best fit for the data collected is a model with two uncorrelated factors: accuracy consisting of n1, n2, n3 indices and reaction time consisting of n2, n3 indices. The results of this study have demonstrated for the first time that a reliable administration of online n-back task is possible and may therefore give rise to new opportunities for working memory research.

  11. Particle-hole excitations in N=50 nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnstone, I.P.; Skouras, L.D.

    1997-01-01

    Energy levels in N=50 nuclei are calculated allowing single-particle excitations from the p 1/2 and g 9/2 shells into the d 5/2 , s 1/2 , d 3/2 , and g 7/2 shells. Important parts of the interaction are determined by least-squares fits to known levels. Agreement with experiment is very good. The high-spin particle-hole states appear to be mainly yrast levels in mass 93 and higher, but are not in 90 Zr. copyright 1997 The American Physical Society

  12. Emotion regulation difficulties in disordered eating: Examining the psychometric properties of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale among Spanish adults and its interrelations with personality and eating disorder severity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines eWolz

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aims of the study were to 1 validate the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS in a sample of Spanish adults with and without eating disorders, and 2 explore the role of emotion regulation difficulties in eating disorders, including its mediating role in the relation between key personality traits and ED severity Methods: 134 patients (121 female, mean age = 29 years with anorexia nervosa (n = 30, bulimia nervosa (n = 54, binge eating (n = 20, or Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (n = 30 and 74 healthy control participants (51 female, mean age = 21 years reported on general psychopathology, eating disorder severity, personality traits and difficulties in emotion regulation. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to examine the psychometrics of the DERS in this Spanish sample (Aim 1. Additionally, to examine the role of emotion regulation difficulties in eating disorders (Aim 2, differences in emotion regulation difficulties across eating disorder subgroups were examined and structural equation modeling was used to explore the interrelations among emotion regulation, personality traits, and eating disorder severity. Results: Results support the validity and reliability of the DERS within this Spanish adult sample and suggest that this measure has a similar factor structure in this sample as in the original sample. Moreover, emotion regulation difficulties were found to differ as a function of eating disorder subtype and to mediate the relation between two specific personality traits (i.e., high harm avoidance and low self-directedness and eating disorder severity. Conclusions: Personality traits of high harm avoidance and low self-directedness may increase vulnerability to eating disorder pathology indirectly, through emotion regulation difficulties.

  13. Validación del ensayo de disolución de las tabletas de propiltiuracilo 50 mg Validation of the dissolution assay of propylthiouracil 50 mg

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caridad M García Peña

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Se validó un método para evaluar la disolución de las tabletas de propiltiuracilo 50 mg por espectrofotometría, con detección ultravioleta a 274 nm. Se evaluaron los parámetros de especificidad, linealidad, precisión e influencia de la filtración. La curva de linealidad se realizó en el rango de 3,32 a 7,75 µg/mL con un coeficiente de correlación igual a 0,99984; la prueba estadística para el intercepto y la pendiente se consideró no significativa. En el estudio de la influencia de la filtración se demostró que en la filtración no se adsorbe el principio activo ni se aportan interferencias al filtrado, por lo que es posible su empleoA method to evaluate the dissolution of propylthiouracil tablets 50 mg by spectrophotometry, with ultraviolet detection of 274 nm, was validated. Specificity, linearity, precision and filtration influence were the evaluated parameters. The linearity curve was made at the range from 3.32 to 7.75 µg/mL with a correlation coefficient equal to 0.99984. The statistical test for the interval and the slope was not significant. In the study of filtration influence it was proved that the active principle was not absorbed in the filtration and that there were no interferences in the filtration, which made its use possible

  14. The effect of visual-motion time delays on pilot performance in a pursuit tracking task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, G. K., Jr.; Riley, D. R.

    1976-01-01

    A study has been made to determine the effect of visual-motion time delays on pilot performance of a simulated pursuit tracking task. Three interrelated major effects have been identified: task difficulty, motion cues, and time delays. As task difficulty, as determined by airplane handling qualities or target frequency, increases, the amount of acceptable time delay decreases. However, when relatively complete motion cues are included in the simulation, the pilot can maintain his performance for considerably longer time delays. In addition, the number of degrees of freedom of motion employed is a significant factor.

  15. [Usefulness and limitations of rapid automatized naming to predict reading difficulties after school entry in preschool children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Masato; Uno, Akira; Haruhara, Noriko; Awaya, Noriko

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the usability and limitations of Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) results in 6-year-old Japanese preschool children to estimate whether reading difficulties will be encountered after school entry. We administered a RAN task to 1,001 preschool children. Then after they had entered school, we performed follow-up surveys yearly to assess their reading performance when these children were in the first, second, third and fourth grades. Also, we examined Hiragana non-words and Kanji words at each time point to detect the children who were having difficulty with reading Hiragana and Kanji. Results by Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis showed that the RAN result in 6-year-old preschool children was predictive of Kanji reading difficulty in the lower grades of elementary school, especially in the second grade with a probability of 0.86, and the area under the curve showed a probability of 0.84 in the third grade. These results suggested that the RAN task was useful as a screening tool.

  16. Functional visual fields: a cross-sectional UK study to determine which visual field paradigms best reflect difficulty with mobility function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subhi, Hikmat; Latham, Keziah; Myint, Joy; Crossland, Michael

    2017-11-20

    To develop an appropriate method of assessing visual field (VF) loss which reflects its functional consequences, this study aims to determine which method(s) of assessing VF best reflect mobility difficulty. This cross-sectional observational study took place within a single primary care setting. Participants attended a single session at a University Eye Clinic, Cambridge, UK, with data collected by a single researcher (HS), a qualified optometrist. 50 adult participants with peripheral field impairment were recruited for this study. Individuals with conditions not primarily affecting peripheral visual function, such as macular degeneration, were excluded from the study. Participants undertook three custom and one standard binocular VF tests assessing VF to 60°, and also integrated monocular threshold 24-2 visual fields (IVF). Primary VF outcomes were average mean threshold, percentage of stimuli seen and VF area. VF outcomes were compared with self-reported mobility function assessed with the Independent Mobility Questionnaire, and time taken and patient acceptability were also considered. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves determined which tests best predicted difficulty with mobility tasks. Greater VF loss was associated with greater self-reported mobility difficulty with all field paradigms (R 2 0.38-0.48, all Pmobility tasks in ROC analysis. Mean duration of the tests ranged from 1 min 26 s (±9 s) for kinetic assessment to 9 min 23 s (±24 s) for IVF. The binocular VF tests extending to 60° eccentricity all relate similarly to self-reported mobility function, and slightly better than integrated monocular VFs. A kinetic assessment of VF area is quicker than and as effective at predicting mobility function as static threshold assessment. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  17. Effect of Task Presentation on Students' Performances in Introductory Statistics Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasetto, Carlo; Matteucci, Maria Cristina; Carugati, Felice; Selleri, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Research on academic learning indicates that many students experience major difficulties with introductory statistics and methodology courses. We hypothesized that students' difficulties may depend in part on the fact that statistics tasks are commonly viewed as related to the threatening domain of math. In two field experiments which we carried…

  18. Gaming is related to enhanced working memory performance and task-related cortical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisala, M; Salmela, V; Hietajärvi, L; Carlson, S; Vuontela, V; Lonka, K; Hakkarainen, K; Salmela-Aro, K; Alho, K

    2017-01-15

    Gaming experience has been suggested to lead to performance enhancements in a wide variety of working memory tasks. Previous studies have, however, mostly focused on adult expert gamers and have not included measurements of both behavioral performance and brain activity. In the current study, 167 adolescents and young adults (aged 13-24 years) with different amounts of gaming experience performed an n-back working memory task with vowels, with the sensory modality of the vowel stream switching between audition and vision at random intervals. We studied the relationship between self-reported daily gaming activity, working memory (n-back) task performance and related brain activity measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results revealed that the extent of daily gaming activity was related to enhancements in both performance accuracy and speed during the most demanding (2-back) level of the working memory task. This improved working memory performance was accompanied by enhanced recruitment of a fronto-parietal cortical network, especially the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In contrast, during the less demanding (1-back) level of the task, gaming was associated with decreased activity in the same cortical regions. Our results suggest that a greater degree of daily gaming experience is associated with better working memory functioning and task difficulty-dependent modulation in fronto-parietal brain activity already in adolescence and even when non-expert gamers are studied. The direction of causality within this association cannot be inferred with certainty due to the correlational nature of the current study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. The Effect of Tutoring With Nonstandard Equations for Students With Mathematics Difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Sarah R; Driver, Melissa K; Julian, Tyler E

    2015-01-01

    Students often misinterpret the equal sign (=) as operational instead of relational. Research indicates misinterpretation of the equal sign occurs because students receive relatively little exposure to equations that promote relational understanding of the equal sign. No study, however, has examined effects of nonstandard equations on the equation solving and equal-sign understanding of students with mathematics difficulty (MD). In the present study, second-grade students with MD (n = 51) were randomly assigned to standard equations tutoring, combined tutoring (standard and nonstandard equations), and no-tutoring control. Combined tutoring students demonstrated greater gains on equation-solving assessments and equal-sign tasks compared to the other two conditions. Standard tutoring students demonstrated improved skill on equation solving over control students, but combined tutoring students' performance gains were significantly larger. Results indicate that exposure to and practice with nonstandard equations positively influence student understanding of the equal sign. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2013.

  20. Task-Contingent Conscientiousness as a Unit of Personality at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minbashian, Amirali; Wood, Robert E.; Beckmann, Nadin

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined the viability of incorporating task-contingent units into the study of personality at work, using conscientiousness as an illustrative example. We used experience-sampling data from 123 managers to show that (a) momentary conscientiousness at work is contingent on the difficulty and urgency demands of the tasks people…

  1. Cross-modal integration in the brain is related to phonological awareness only in typical readers, not in those with reading difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris eMcnorgan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Fluent reading requires successfully mapping between visual orthographic and auditory phonological representations and is thus an intrinsically cross-modal process, though reading difficulty has often been characterized as a phonological deficit. However, recent evidence suggests that orthographic information influences phonological processing in typical developing (TD readers, but that this effect may be blunted in those with reading difficulty (RD, suggesting that the core deficit underlying reading may be a failure to integrate orthographic and phonological information. Twenty-six (13 TD and 13 RD children between 8 and 13 years of age participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiment designed to assess the role of phonemic awareness in cross-modal processing. Participants completed a rhyme judgment task for word pairs presented unimodally (auditory only and cross-modally (auditory followed by visual. For typically developing children, activations in a network of regions associated with processing and integrating phonology and orthography were correlated with elision (i.e. superior temporal sulcus and fusiform gyrus, a task that is particularly sensitive to phonemic awareness, but this correlation was found only in the cross-modal task. Elision was not correlated with activation for children with reading difficulty or for either group in the unimodal task. The results suggest that elision taps both phonemic awareness and cross-modal integration in typically developing readers, and that these processes are decoupled in children with reading difficulty.

  2. Closed-loop task difficulty adaptation during virtual reality reach-to-grasp training assisted with an exoskeleton for stroke rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Grimm

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Stroke patients with severe motor deficits of the upper extremity may practice rehabilitation exercises with the assistance of a multi-joint exoskeleton. Although this technology enables intensive task-oriented training, it may also lead to slacking when the assistance is too supportive. Preserving the engagement of the patients while providing assistance-as-needed during the exercises, therefore remains an ongoing challenge.We applied a commercially available seven degree-of-freedom arm exoskeleton to provide passive gravity compensation during task-oriented training in a virtual environment. During this four-week pilot study, five severely affected chronic stroke patients performed reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living. The subjects received virtual reality feedback from their three-dimensional movements. The level of difficulty for the exercise was adjusted by a performance-dependent real-time adaptation algorithm. The goal of this algorithm was the automated improvement of the range of motion. In the course of 20 training and feedback sessions, this unsupervised adaptive training concept led to a progressive increase of the virtual training space (p<0.001 in accordance with the subjects’ abilities. This learning curve was paralleled by a concurrent improvement of real world kinematic parameters, i.e., range of motion (p=0.008, accuracy of movement (p=0.01, and movement velocity (p<0.001. Notably, these kinematic gains were paralleled by motor improvements such as increased elbow movement (p=0.001, grip force (p<0.001, and upper extremity Fugl-Meyer-Assessment score from 14.3 ± 5 to 16.9 ± 6.1 (p=0.026.Combining gravity-compensating assistance with adaptive closed-loop feedback in virtual reality provides customized rehabilitation environments for severely affected stroke patients. This approach may facilitate motor learning by progressively challenging the subject in accordance with the individual capacity for

  3. Differences in perceived difficulty in print and online patient education materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnsworth, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Written patient education materials frequently exceed the reading ability of the general public. Patients are often intimidated by the task of reading patient education materials, perceiving the materials’ difficulty levels as prohibitive, even when they do not exceed the patients’ reading abilities. It is unclear how the delivery mechanism--print or a computer screen--affects a patient’s reading experience through his/her perception of its difficulty. To determine whether first-year college students perceived online or print-based patient education materials as more difficult to read. Convenience sampling of first-year college students. Some first-year college students perceived online patient education materials to be more difficult to read than print-based ones--even when the reading level of the patient education materials was similar. Demographic information about this sample’s high levels of digital literacy suggests that other populations might also perceive online patient education materials as more difficult to read than print-based equivalents. Patients’ perceptions of the difficulty of patient education materials influenced their ability to effectively learn from those materials. This article concludes with a call for more research into patients’ perceptions of difficulty of patient education materials in print vs on a screen.

  4. On the differentiation of N2 components in an appetitive choice task: evidence for the revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leue, Anja; Chavanon, Mira-Lynn; Wacker, Jan; Stemmler, Gerhard

    2009-11-01

    Task- and personality-related modulations of the N2 were probed within the framework of the revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST). Using an appetitive choice task, we investigated 58 students with extreme scores on the behavioral inhibition system and behavioral approach system (BIS/BAS) scales. The baseline-to-peak N2 amplitude was sensitive to the strength of decision conflict and demonstrated RST-related personality differences. In addition to the baseline N2 amplitude, temporal PCA results suggested two N2 components accounting for a laterality effect and capturing different N2 patterns for BIS/BAS groups with increasing conflict level. Evidence for RST-related personality differences was obtained for baseline-to-peak N2 and tPCA components in the present task. The results support the RST prediction that BAS sensitivity modulates conflict processing and confirm the cognitive-motivational conflict concept of RST.

  5. Feasibility of the adaptive and automatic presentation of tasks (ADAPT system for rehabilitation of upper extremity function post-stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choi Younggeun

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current guidelines for rehabilitation of arm and hand function after stroke recommend that motor training focus on realistic tasks that require reaching and manipulation and engage the patient intensively, actively, and adaptively. Here, we investigated the feasibility of a novel robotic task-practice system, ADAPT, designed in accordance with such guidelines. At each trial, ADAPT selects a functional task according to a training schedule and with difficulty based on previous performance. Once the task is selected, the robot picks up and presents the corresponding tool, simulates the dynamics of the tasks, and the patient interacts with the tool to perform the task. Methods Five participants with chronic stroke with mild to moderate impairments (> 9 months post-stroke; Fugl-Meyer arm score 49.2 ± 5.6 practiced four functional tasks (selected out of six in a pre-test with ADAPT for about one and half hour and 144 trials in a pseudo-random schedule of 3-trial blocks per task. Results No adverse events occurred and ADAPT successfully presented the six functional tasks without human intervention for a total of 900 trials. Qualitative analysis of trajectories showed that ADAPT simulated the desired task dynamics adequately, and participants reported good, although not excellent, task fidelity. During training, the adaptive difficulty algorithm progressively increased task difficulty leading towards an optimal challenge point based on performance; difficulty was then continuously adjusted to keep performance around the challenge point. Furthermore, the time to complete all trained tasks decreased significantly from pretest to one-hour post-test. Finally, post-training questionnaires demonstrated positive patient acceptance of ADAPT. Conclusions ADAPT successfully provided adaptive progressive training for multiple functional tasks based on participant's performance. Our encouraging results establish the feasibility of ADAPT; its

  6. Merits and difficulties in adopting codes, standards and nuclear regulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Saiedi, A.F.; Morsy, S.; Mariy, A.

    1978-01-01

    Developing countries planning for introducing nuclear power plants as a source of energy have to develop or adopt sound regulatory practices. These are necessary to help governmental authorities to assess the safety of nuclear power plants and to perform inspections needed to confirm the established safe and sound limits. The first requirement is to form an independent regulatory body capable of setting up and enforcing proper safety regulations. The formation of this body is governed by several considerations related to local conditions in the developing countries, which may not always be favourable. It is quite impractical for countries with limited experience in the nuclear power field to develop their own codes, standards and regulations required for the nuclear regulatory body to perform its tasks. A practical way is to adopt codes, standards and regulations of a well-developed country. This has merits as well as drawbacks. The latter are related to problems of personnel, software, equipment and facilities. The difficulties involved in forming a nuclear regulatory body, and the merits and difficulties in adopting foreign codes, standards and regulations required for such body to perform its tasks, are discussed in this paper. Discussions are applicable to many developing countries and particular emphasis is given to the conditions and practices in Egypt. (author)

  7. Ventrolateral prefrontal activation during a N-back task assessed with multichannel functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yuan; Zhu, Ye; Jiang, Tianzi

    2007-05-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been used to investigate the changes in the concentration of oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin in brain issue during several cognitive tasks. In the present study, by means of multichannel dual wavelength light-emitting diode continuous-wave (CW) NIRS, we investigated the blood oxygenation changes of prefrontal cortex in 18 healthy subjects while performing a verbal n-back task (0-back and 2-back), which has been rarely investigated by fNIRS. Compared to the 0-back task (control task), we found a significant increase of O2Hb and total amount of hemoglobin (THb) in left and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) during the execution of the 2-back task compared to the 0-back task (pdominance. In addition, the effects of gender and its interaction with task performance on O2Hb concentration change were suggested in the present study. Our findings not only confirm that multichannel fNIRS is suitable to detect spatially specific activation during the performance of cognitive tasks; but also suggest that it should be cautious of gender-dependent difference in cerebral activation when interpreting the fNIRS data during cognitive tasks.

  8. Catastrophe models for cognitive workload and fatigue in N-back tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guastello, Stephen J; Reiter, Katherine; Malon, Matthew; Timm, Paul; Shircel, Anton; Shaline, James

    2015-04-01

    N-back tasks place a heavy load on working memory, and thus make good candidates for studying cognitive workload and fatigue (CWLF). This study extended previous work on CWLF which separated the two phenomena with two cusp catastrophe models. Participants were 113 undergraduates who completed 2-back and 3-back tasks with both auditory and visual stimuli simultaneously. Task data were complemented by several measures hypothesized to be related to cognitive elasticity and compensatory abilities and the NASA TLX ratings of subjective workload. The adjusted R2 was .980 for the workload model, which indicated a highly accurate prediction with six bifurcation (elasticity versus rigidity) effects: algebra flexibility, TLX performance, effort, and frustration; and psychosocial measures of inflexibility and monitoring. There were also two cognitive load effects (asymmetry): 2 vs. 3-back and TLX temporal demands. The adjusted R2 was .454 for the fatigue model, which contained two bifurcation variables indicating the amount of work done, and algebra flexibility as the compensatory ability variable. Both cusp models were stronger than the next best linear alternative model. The study makes an important step forward by uncovering an apparently complete model for workload, finding the role of subjective workload in the context of performance dynamics, and finding CWLF dynamics in yet another type of memory-intensive task. The results were also consistent with the developing notion that performance deficits induced by workload and deficits induced by fatigue result from the impact of the task on the workspace and executive functions of working memory respectively.

  9. Brain activation and deactivation during location and color working memory tasks in 11-13-year-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuontela, Virve; Steenari, Maija-Riikka; Aronen, Eeva T; Korvenoja, Antti; Aronen, Hannu J; Carlson, Synnöve

    2009-02-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and n-back tasks we investigated whether, in 11-13-year-old children, spatial (location) and nonspatial (color) information is differentially processed during visual attention (0-back) and working memory (WM) (2-back) tasks and whether such cognitive task performance, compared to a resting state, results in regional deactivation. The location 0-back task, compared to the color 0-back task, activated segregated areas in the frontal, parietal and occipital cortices whereas no differentially activated voxels were obtained when location and color 2-back tasks were directly contrasted. Several midline cortical areas were less active during 0- and 2-back task performance than resting state. The task-induced deactivation increased with task difficulty as demonstrated by larger deactivation during 2-back than 0-back tasks. The results suggest that, in 11-13-year-old children, the visual attentional network is differently recruited by spatial and nonspatial information processing, but the functional organization of cortical activation in WM in this age group is not based on the type of information processed. Furthermore, 11-13-year-old children exhibited a similar pattern of cortical deactivation that has been reported in adults during cognitive task performance compared to a resting state.

  10. Measuring pilot workload in a moving-base simulator. I Asynchronous secondary choice-reaction task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantowitz, B. H.; Hart, S. G.; Bortolussi, M. R.

    1983-01-01

    The de facto method for measuring airplane pilot workload is based upon subjective ratings. While researchers agree that such subjective data should be bolstered by using objective behavioral measures, results to date have been mixed. No clear objective technique has surfaced as the metric of choice. It is believed that this difficulty is in part due to neglect of theoretical work in psychology that predicts some of the difficulties that are inherent in a futile search for 'the one and only' best secondary task to measure workload. An initial study that used both subjective ratings and an asynchronous choice-reaction secondary task was conducted to determine if such a secondary task could indeed meet the methodological constraints imposed by current theories of attention. Two variants of a flight scenario were combined with two levels of the secondary task. Appropriate single-task control conditions were also included. Results give grounds for cautious optimism but indicate that future research should use synchronous secondary tasks where possible.

  11. Contribution of Equal-Sign Instruction beyond Word-Problem Tutoring for Third-Grade Students with Mathematics Difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Sarah R; Fuchs, Lynn S

    2010-05-01

    Elementary school students often misinterpret the equal sign (=) as an operational rather than a relational symbol. Such misunderstanding is problematic because solving equations with missing numbers may be important for higher-order mathematics skills including word problems. Research indicates equal-sign instruction can alter how typically-developing students use the equal sign, but no study has examined effects for students with mathematics difficulty (MD) or how equal-sign instruction contributes to word-problem skill for students with or without MD. The present study assessed the efficacy of equal-sign instruction within word-problem tutoring. Third-grade students with MD (n = 80) were assigned to word-problem tutoring, word-problem tutoring plus equal-sign instruction (combined) tutoring, or no-tutoring control. Combined tutoring produced better improvement on equal sign tasks and open equations compared to the other 2 conditions. On certain forms of word problems, combined tutoring but not word-problem tutoring alone produced better improvement than control. When compared at posttest to 3(rd)-grade students without MD on equal sign tasks and open equations, only combined tutoring students with MD performed comparably.

  12. The association of sleep difficulties with health-related quality of life among patients with fibromyalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Jan-Samuel; DiBonaventura, Marco D; Chandran, Arthi B; Cappelleri, Joseph C

    2012-10-17

    Difficulty sleeping is common among patients with fibromyalgia (FM); however, its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is not well understood. The aim of the current study was to assess the burden of sleep difficulty symptoms on HRQoL among patients with FM. The current study included data from the 2009 National Health and Wellness Survey (N=75,000), which is a cross-sectional, Internet-based survey representative of the adult US population. The prevalence of sleep difficulty symptoms among patients with FM (n=2,196) were compared with matched controls (n=2,194), identified using propensity-score matching. Additionally, the relationship between the number of sleep difficulty symptoms (none, one, or two or more) and HRQoL (using the SF-12v2) was assessed using regression modeling, controlling for demographic and health history variables. Of the 2,196 patients with FM, 11.2% reported no sleep difficulty symptoms, 25.7% reported one sleep difficulty symptom, and 63.05% reported two or more sleep difficulty symptoms. The prevalence of sleep difficulty symptoms was significantly higher than matched controls. Patients with one and two sleep difficulty symptoms both reported significantly worse HRQoL summary and domain scores relative to those with no sleep difficulty symptoms (all p<.05). Further, the relationship between sleep difficulty symptoms and HRQoL was significantly different between those with FM than matched controls, suggesting a uniqueness of the burden of sleep difficulties within the FM population. Among the FM population, sleep difficulty symptoms were independently associated with clinically-meaningful decrements in mental and physical HRQoL. These results suggest that greater emphasis in the treatment of sleep difficulty symptoms among the FM population may be warranted.

  13. 33 CFR 207.50 - Hudson River Lock at Troy, N.Y.; navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Hudson River Lock at Troy, N.Y..., DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NAVIGATION REGULATIONS § 207.50 Hudson River Lock at Troy, N.Y.; navigation. (a...) [Reserved] (n) Trespass on U.S. property. Trespass on U.S. property, or willful injury to the banks, masonry...

  14. Laser spectroscopy of tin and cadmium: across N=82 and closing in on N=50

    CERN Multimedia

    We propose to study the isotopes of tin starting in proximity of N = 50 up to and beyond N = 82, as well as the "magic-plus-one" nuclei of cadmium at both shell closures. The objective is to determine model-independent properties of ground and isomeric states by high-resolution laser spectroscopy, which are essential for understanding the structure of nuclei and their astrophysical importance in this region of the nuclear chart.

  15. Visual scanning training for neglect after stroke with and without a computerized lane tracking dual task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.E. eVan Kessel

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Neglect patients typically fail to explore the contralesional half-space. During visual scanning training, these patients learn to consciously pay attention to contralesional target stimuli. It has been suggested that combining scanning training with methods addressing non-spatial attention might enhance training results. In the present study, a dual task training component was added to a visual scanning training (i.e. Training di Scanning Visuospaziale – TSVS; Pizzamiglio et al., 1990. Twenty-nine subacute right hemisphere stroke patients were semi-randomly assigned to an experimental (N=14 or a control group (N=15. Patients received 30 training sessions during six weeks. TSVS consisted of four standardized tasks (digit detection, reading/copying, copying drawings and figure description. Moreover, a driving simulator task was integrated in the training procedure. Control patients practiced a single lane tracking task for two days a week during six weeks. The experimental group was administered the same training schedule, but in weeks 4-6 of the training, the TSVS digit detection task was combined with lane tracking on the same projection screen, so as to create a dual task (CVRT-TR. Various neglect tests and driving simulator tasks were administered before and after training. No significant group and interaction effects were found that might reflect additional positive effects of dual task training. Significant improvements after training were observed in both groups taken together on most assessment tasks. Ameliorations were generally not correlated to post onset time, but spontaneous recovery, test-retest variability and learning effects could not be ruled out completely, since these were not controlled for. Future research might focus on increasing the amount of dual task training, the implementation of progressive difficulty levels in the driving simulator tasks and further exploration of relationships between dual task training and daily

  16. Motor and Coordination Difficulties in Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Elisabeth; Pratt, Michelle L; Kanji, Zara; Bartoli, Alice Jones

    2017-01-01

    To date, very few studies have explored the incidence of motor impairment amongst children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (social, emotional and mental health (SEMH); formerly SEBD in England). Following research that suggests an increase in motor difficulties in young children and adolescents with SEMH difficulties, this…

  17. Goal striving strategies and effort mobilization: When implementation intentions reduce effort-related cardiac activity during task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freydefont, Laure; Gollwitzer, Peter M; Oettingen, Gabriele

    2016-09-01

    Two experiments investigate the influence of goal and implementation intentions on effort mobilization during task performance. Although numerous studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of setting goals and making plans on performance, the effects of goals and plans on effort-related cardiac activity and especially the cardiac preejection period (PEP) during goal striving have not yet been addressed. According to the Motivational Intensity Theory, participants should increase effort mobilization proportionally to task difficulty as long as success is possible and justified. Forming goals and making plans should allow for reduced effort mobilization when participants perform an easy task. However, when the task is difficult, goals and plans should differ in their effect on effort mobilization. Participants who set goals should disengage, whereas participants who made if-then plans should stay in the field showing high effort mobilization during task performance. As expected, using an easy task in Experiment 1, we observed a lower cardiac PEP in both the implementation intention and the goal intention condition than in the control condition. In Experiment 2, we varied task difficulty and demonstrated that while participants with a mere goal intention disengaged from difficult tasks, participants with an implementation intention increased effort mobilization proportionally with task difficulty. These findings demonstrate the influence of goal striving strategies (i.e., mere goals vs. if-then plans) on effort mobilization during task performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Prospective memory in young and older adults: the effects of task importance and ongoing task load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Rebekah E; Hunt, R Reed

    2014-01-01

    Remembering to perform an action in the future, called prospective memory, often shows age-related differences in favor of young adults when tested in the laboratory. Recently Smith, Horn, and Bayen (2012; Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 19, 495) embedded a PM task in an ongoing color-matching task and manipulated the difficulty of the ongoing task by varying the number of colors on each trial of the task. Smith et al. found that age-related differences in PM performance (lower PM performance for older adults relative to young adults) persisted even when older adults could perform the ongoing task as well or better than the young adults. The current study investigates a possible explanation for the pattern of results reported by Smith et al. by including a manipulation of task emphasis: for half of the participants the prospective memory task was emphasize, while for the other half the ongoing color-matching task was emphasized. Older adults performed a 4-color version of the ongoing color-matching task, while young adults completed either the 4-color or a more difficult 6-color version of the ongoing task. Older adults failed to perform as well as the young adults on the prospective memory task regardless of task emphasis, even when older adults were performing as well or better than the young adults on the ongoing color-matching task. The current results indicate that the lack of an effect of ongoing task load on prospective memory task performance is not due to a perception that one or the other task is more important than the other.

  19. Luck is Hard to Beat: The Difficulty of Sports Prediction

    OpenAIRE

    Aoki, Raquel YS; Assuncao, Renato M; de Melo, Pedro OS Vaz

    2017-01-01

    Predicting the outcome of sports events is a hard task. We quantify this difficulty with a coefficient that measures the distance between the observed final results of sports leagues and idealized perfectly balanced competitions in terms of skill. This indicates the relative presence of luck and skill. We collected and analyzed all games from 198 sports leagues comprising 1503 seasons from 84 countries of 4 different sports: basketball, soccer, volleyball and handball. We measured the competi...

  20. Robot task space analyzer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamel, W.R.; Osborn, J.

    1997-01-01

    Many nuclear projects such as environmental restoration and waste management challenges involve radiation or other hazards that will necessitate the use of remote operations that protect human workers from dangerous exposures. Remote work is far more costly to execute than what workers could accomplish directly with conventional tools and practices because task operations are slow and tedious due to difficulties of remote manipulation and viewing. Decades of experience within the nuclear remote operations community show that remote tasks may take hundreds of times longer than hands-on work; even with state-of-the-art force- reflecting manipulators and television viewing, remote task performance execution is five to ten times slower than equivalent direct contact work. Thus the requirement to work remotely is a major cost driver in many projects. Modest improvements in the work efficiency of remote systems can have high payoffs by reducing the completion time of projects. Additional benefits will accrue from improved work quality and enhanced safety

  1. The effect of visual-motion time-delays on pilot performance in a simulated pursuit tracking task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, G. K., Jr.; Riley, D. R.

    1977-01-01

    An experimental study was made to determine the effect on pilot performance of time delays in the visual and motion feedback loops of a simulated pursuit tracking task. Three major interrelated factors were identified: task difficulty either in the form of airplane handling qualities or target frequency, the amount and type of motion cues, and time delay itself. In general, the greater the task difficulty, the smaller the time delay that could exist without degrading pilot performance. Conversely, the greater the motion fidelity, the greater the time delay that could be tolerated. The effect of motion was, however, pilot dependent.

  2. Pragmatics of language and theory of mind in children with dyslexia with associated language difficulties or nonverbal learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardillo, Ramona; Garcia, Ricardo Basso; Mammarella, Irene C; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2017-03-15

    The present study aims to find empirical evidence of deficits in linguistic pragmatic skills and theory of mind (ToM) in children with dyslexia with associated language difficulties or nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD), when compared with a group of typically developing (TD) children matched for age and gender. Our results indicate that children with dyslexia perform less well than TD children in most of the tasks measuring pragmatics of language, and in one of the tasks measuring ToM. In contrast, children with NLD generally performed better than the dyslexia group, and performed significantly worse than the TD children only in a metaphors task based on visual stimuli. A discriminant function analysis confirmed the crucial role of the metaphors subtest and the verbal ToM task in distinguishing between the groups. We concluded that, contrary to a generally-held assumption, children with dyslexia and associated language difficulties may be weaker than children with NLD in linguistic pragmatics and ToM, especially when language is crucially involved. The educational and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

  3. Is severity of motor coordination difficulties related to co-morbidity in children at risk for developmental coordination disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoemaker, Marina M; Lingam, Raghu; Jongmans, Marian J; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; Emond, Alan

    2013-10-01

    Aim of the study was to investigate whether 7-9 year old children with severe motor difficulties are more at risk of additional difficulties in activities in daily living, academic skills, attention and social skills than children with moderate motor difficulties. Children (N=6959) from a population based cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), were divided into three groups based on their scores on the ALSPAC Coordination Test at age 7: control children (scores above 15th centile; N=5719 [82.1%]); children with moderate (between 5th and 15th centile; N=951 [13.7%]); and children with severe motor difficulties (below 5th centile N=289 [4.2%]). Children with neurological disorders or an IQactivities of daily living (ADL); academic skills (reading, spelling and handwriting); attention; social skills (social cognition and nonverbal skills). Children with severe motor difficulties demonstrated a higher risk of difficulties in ADL, handwriting, attention, reading, and social cognition than children with moderate motor difficulties, who in turn had a higher risk of difficulties than control children in five out of seven domains. Screening and intervention of co-morbid problems is recommended for children with both moderate and severe motor difficulties. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills : A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostons, Danny; van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    For self-regulated learning to be effective, students need to be able to accurately assess their own performance on a learning task and use this assessment for the selection of a new learning task. Evidence suggests, however, that students have difficulties with accurate self-assessment and task

  5. [IgE myeloma. Laboratory typing difficulties].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovone, Nora S; Fuente, María Cristina; Gastiazoro, Ana María; Alfonso, Graciela; Freitas, María Josefina

    2014-01-01

    The IgE multiple myeloma is a rare neoplasm of plasma cell accounting for 0.01% of all plasma cell dyscrasias. They are generally of more aggressive development and to date there are no more than 50 cases published in current literature. Laboratory studies are, in these cases, essential for the classification of the monoclonal component in serum and urine. The aim of this presentation is to report a patient diagnosed with IgE myeloma and to point out that the laboratory difficulties noted in these rare cases can lead to an erroneous report.

  6. Analysis of operators' diagnosis tasks based on cognitive process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou Yong; Zhang Li

    2012-01-01

    Diagnosis tasks in nuclear power plants characterized as high-dynamic uncertainties are complex reasoning tasks. Diagnosis errors are the main causes for the error of commission. Firstly, based on mental model theory and perception/action cycle theory, a cognitive model for analyzing operators' diagnosis tasks is proposed. Then, the model is used to investigate a trip event which occurred at crystal river nuclear power plant. The application demonstrates typical cognitive bias and mistakes which operators may make when performing diagnosis tasks. They mainly include the strong confirmation tendency, difficulty to produce complete hypothesis sets, group mindset, non-systematic errors in hypothesis testing, and etc. (authors)

  7. Differences in Perceived Difficulty in Print and Online Patient Education Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnsworth, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Context: Written patient education materials frequently exceed the reading ability of the general public. Patients are often intimidated by the task of reading patient education materials, perceiving the materials’ difficulty levels as prohibitive, even when they do not exceed the patients’ reading abilities. It is unclear how the delivery mechanism—print or a computer screen—affects a patient’s reading experience through his/her perception of its difficulty. Objective: To determine whether first-year college students perceived online or print-based patient education materials as more difficult to read. Design: Convenience sampling of first-year college students. Results: Some first-year college students perceived online patient education materials to be more difficult to read than print-based ones—even when the reading level of the patient education materials was similar. Demographic information about this sample’s high levels of digital literacy suggests that other populations might also perceive online patient education materials as more difficult to read than print-based equivalents. Patients’ perceptions of the difficulty of patient education materials influenced their ability to effectively learn from those materials. Conclusion: This article concludes with a call for more research into patients’ perceptions of difficulty of patient education materials in print vs on a screen. PMID:25662526

  8. Common Developmental Tasks in Forming Reconstituted Families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinman, Judith

    1979-01-01

    Developmental tasks common to the formation of a reconstituted family are described, particularly the continued mourning of the old family; the formation of a solid marital relationship despite the difficulties presented by past failures and the presence of children; and the formation of sibling alliances across family lines. (Author)

  9. Individuals with Asperger’s Disorder Exhibit Difficulty in Switching Attention from a Local Level to a Global Level

    OpenAIRE

    Katagiri, Masatoshi; Kasai, Tetsuko; Kamio, Yoko; Murohashi, Harumitsu

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether individuals with Asperger’s disorder exhibit difficulty in switching attention from a local level to a global level. Eleven participants with Asperger’s disorder and 11 age- and gendermatched healthy controls performed a level-repetition switching task using Navontype hierarchical stimuli. In both groups, level-repetition was beneficial at both levels. Furthermore, individuals with Asperger’s disorder exhibited difficulty in switchi...

  10. Perceived Task-Difficulty Recognition from Log-File Information for the Use in Adaptive Intelligent Tutoring Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janning, Ruth; Schatten, Carlotta; Schmidt-Thieme, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Recognising students' emotion, affect or cognition is a relatively young field and still a challenging task in the area of intelligent tutoring systems. There are several ways to use the output of these recognition tasks within the system. The approach most often mentioned in the literature is using it for giving feedback to the students. The…

  11. Difficulties of Secondary school teachers implicating in the reading, innovation and research in science education (II: the problem of “hands-on”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliva Martínez, José María

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available This work is a continuation of another recent article in these pages (Oliva, 2011, which dealt with the difficulties of high school teachers to start in the dynamics of innovation and research in science education. In another study that examined the views expressed by a sample of 16 secondary science teachers around the obstacles to immersion in these tasks, as well as comments, expressed doubts and obstacles they face the task write a short article in the context of an introductory training course on this subject. From the same source, in this other paper the intrinsic difficulties that arise once the teachers decide to engage in this type of work and faces the tasks associated with these processes. The problems identified in this case are due, among other reasons, lack of trust in teachers' own possibilities, difficulties in the formulating of the problem object of research, lack of theoretical and problems in drafting written work. From the above results makes some conclusions and implications for teacher training in this field.

  12. Working memory: its role in dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffries, Sharman; Everatt, John

    2004-08-01

    This paper reports a study contrasting dyslexic children against a control group of children without special educational needs (SEN) and a group with varied SENs. Children's abilities were compared on tasks assessing phonological processing, visuo-spatial/motor coordination and executive/inhibitory functioning; being targeted for assessment based on theoretical proposals related to the working memory model. Primary and secondary school level children were tested: 21 assessed as dyslexic with no comorbid difficulties, 26 children assessed with difficulties including dyspraxia, emotional/behavioural problems and attention deficits, 40 children with no known education-related deficits were controls. Results indicated both SEN groups performed worse than controls on working memory phonological loop measures. However, SEN groups could only be differentiated on phonological awareness measures: the dyslexics showing lower scores. Dyslexics performed as well as controls on working memory visuo-spatial scratch pad measures and one of two additional visual-motor coordination tasks, whereas the performance of the other SEN children was lowest on the majority of these measures. Central executive and interference measures engendered mixed performances, both SEN groups showing evidence of deficits in one or more of these areas of functioning, although, of the two SEN groups, the dyslexics seem to have performed the worse when digit name processing was required.

  13. THE TASK-BASED APPROACH IN LANGUAGE TEACHING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aquilino Sánchez

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The Task-Based Approach (TBA has gained popularity in the field of language teaching since the last decade of the 20th Century and significant scholars have joined the discussion and increased the amount of analytical studies on the issue. Nevertheless experimental research is poor, and the tendency of some of the scholars is nowadays shifting towards a more tempered and moderate stand on their claims. Reasons for that are various: the difficulty in the implementation of the method in the classroom, the difficulty in elaborating materials following the TBA and the scarcity of task-based manuals count as important and perhaps decisive arguments. But there are also theoretical implications in the TBA which do not seem to be fully convincing or may lack sound foundations. In this paper I will attempt to describe the TBA criticaIly, pointing out what I consider positive in this approach, and underlining the inadequacy of some assumptions and conclusions. The design of a new TBA model is not the goal of this study. But the conclusions suggest that tasks may contribute to the production of a more refined and complete foreign language syllabus, helping to motivate the students and focus the attention of teachers and learners on meaning and communicative language use.

  14. How Task Features Impact Evidence from Assessments Embedded in Simulations and Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almond, Russell G.; Kim, Yoon Jeon; Velasquez, Gertrudes; Shute, Valerie J.

    2014-01-01

    One of the key ideas of evidence-centered assessment design (ECD) is that task features can be deliberately manipulated to change the psychometric properties of items. ECD identifies a number of roles that task-feature variables can play, including determining the focus of evidence, guiding form creation, determining item difficulty and…

  15. Perceived Sexual Difficulties and Sexual Counseling in Men and Women Across Heart Diagnoses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rundblad, Lucas; Zwisler, Ann Dorthe; Johansen, Pernille Palm

    2017-01-01

    -reported using single-item questions, and factors associated with sexual difficulties were collected from the survey and national registers. RESULTS: The study population consisted of 1,549 men and 807 women (35-98 years old) with heart failure (n = 243), ischemic heart disease (n = 1,036), heart valve surgery...... for improved information and counseling about sex and relationships for patients. STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: This large nationwide survey of men and women combined a survey with administrative data from national registries. However, this study used non-validated single-item questions to assess sexual......BACKGROUND: Ischemic heart disease and heart failure often lead to sexual difficulties in men, but little is known about the sexual difficulties in women and patients with other heart diagnoses or the level of information patients receive about the risk of sexual difficulties. AIM: To investigate...

  16. Walking and talking: an investigation of cognitive-motor dual tasking in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, F; Rochester, L; Paul, L; Rafferty, D; O'Leary, C P; Evans, J J

    2009-10-01

    Deficits in motor functioning, including walking, and in cognitive functions, including attention, are known to be prevalent in multiple sclerosis (MS), though little attention has been paid to how impairments in these areas of functioning interact. This study investigated the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive task when walking in people with MS. Level of task demand was manipulated to investigate whether this affected level of dual-task decrement. Eighteen participants with MS and 18 healthy controls took part. Participants completed walking and cognitive tasks under single- and dual-task conditions. Compared to healthy controls, MS participants showed greater decrements in performance under dual-task conditions in cognitive task performance, walking speed and swing time variability. In the MS group, the degree of decrement under dual-task conditions was related to levels of fatigue, a measure of general cognitive functioning and self-reported everyday cognitive errors, but not to measures of disease severity or duration. Difficulty with walking and talking in MS may be a result of a divided attention deficit or of overloading of the working memory system, and further investigation is needed. We suggest that difficulty with walking and talking in MS may lead to practical problems in everyday life, including potentially increasing the risk of falls. Clinical tools to assess cognitive-motor dual-tasking ability are needed.

  17. Emotional verbal fluency: a new task on emotion and executive function interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sass, Katharina; Fetz, Karolina; Oetken, Sarah; Habel, Ute; Heim, Stefan

    2013-09-01

    The present study introduces "Emotional Verbal Fluency" as a novel (partially computerized) task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects is hardly investigated. In the current study, a group of healthy subjects (n = 21, mean age 25 years, 76% females) were asked to generate items that are either part of a semantic category (e.g., plants, toys, vehicles; standard semantic verbal fluency) or can trigger the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The results of the task revealed no differences between performance on semantic and emotional categories, suggesting a comparable task difficulty for healthy subjects. Hence, these first results on the comparison between semantic and emotional verbal fluency seem to highlight that both might be suitable for examining executive functioning. However, an interaction was found between the category type and repetition (first vs. second sequence of the same category) with larger performance decrease for semantic in comparison to emotional categories. Best performance overall was found for the emotional category "joy" suggesting a positivity bias in healthy subjects. To conclude, emotional verbal fluency is a promising approach to investigate emotional components in an executive task, which may stimulate further research, especially in psychiatric patients who suffer from emotional as well as cognitive deficits.

  18. Emotional Verbal Fluency: A New Task on Emotion and Executive Function Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Oetken

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study introduces “Emotional Verbal Fluency” as a novel (partially computerized task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects is hardly investigated. In the current study, a group of healthy subjects (n = 21, mean age 25 years, 76% females were asked to generate items that are either part of a semantic category (e.g., plants, toys, vehicles; standard semantic verbal fluency or can trigger the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The results of the task revealed no differences between performance on semantic and emotional categories, suggesting a comparable task difficulty for healthy subjects. Hence, these first results on the comparison between semantic and emotional verbal fluency seem to highlight that both might be suitable for examining executive functioning. However, an interaction was found between the category type and repetition (first vs. second sequence of the same category with larger performance decrease for semantic in comparison to emotional categories. Best performance overall was found for the emotional category “joy” suggesting a positivity bias in healthy subjects. To conclude, emotional verbal fluency is a promising approach to investigate emotional components in an executive task, which may stimulate further research, especially in psychiatric patients who suffer from emotional as well as cognitive deficits.

  19. Comparable cerebral oxygenation patterns in younger and older adults during dual-task walking with increasing load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A. Fraser

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The neuroimaging literature on dual-task gait clearly demonstrates increased prefrontal cortex (PFC involvement when performing a cognitive task while walking. However, findings from direct comparisons of the cerebral oxygenation patterns of younger (YA and older (OA adults during dual-task walking are mixed and it is unclear how YA and OA respond to increasing cognitive load (difficulty while walking. This functional near infra-red (fNIRS study examined cerebral oxygenation of YA and OA during self-paced dual-task treadmill walking at two different levels of cognitive load (auditory n-back. Changes in accuracy (% as well as oxygenated (HbO and deoxygenated (HbR hemoglobin were examined. For the HbO and HbR measures, eight regions of interest (ROIs were assessed: the anterior and posterior dorsolateral and ventrolateral PFC (aDLPFC, pDLPFC, aVLPFC, pVLPFC in each hemisphere. Nineteen YA (M = 21.83 yrs and 14 OA (M = 66.85 yrs walked at a self-selected pace while performing auditory 1-back and 2-back tasks. Walking alone (single motor: SM and performing the cognitive tasks alone (single cognitive: SC were compared to dual-task walking (DT = SM + SC. In the behavioural data, participants were more accurate in the lowest level of load (1-back compared to the highest (2-back; p ˂ .001. YA were more accurate than OA overall (p = .009, and particularly in the 2-back task (p = .048. In the fNIRS data, both younger and older adults had task effects (SM < DT in specific ROIs for ∆HbO (3 YA, 1 OA and ∆HbR (7 YA, 8 OA. After controlling for walk speed differences, direct comparisons between YA and OA did not reveal significant age differences, but did reveal a difficulty effect in HbO in the left aDLPFC (p = .028 and significant task effects (SM < DT in HbR for 6 of the 8 ROIs. Findings suggest that YA and OA respond similarly to manipulations of cognitive load when walking on a treadmill at a self-selected pace.

  20. Cognitive Control of Auditory Distraction: Impact of Task Difficulty, Foreknowledge, and Working Memory Capacity Supports Duplex-Mechanism Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Robert W.; Hurlstone, Mark J.; Marsh, John E.; Vachon, Francois; Jones, Dylan M.

    2013-01-01

    The influence of top-down cognitive control on 2 putatively distinct forms of distraction was investigated. Attentional capture by a task-irrelevant auditory deviation (e.g., a female-spoken token following a sequence of male-spoken tokens)--as indexed by its disruption of a visually presented recall task--was abolished when focal-task engagement…

  1. Frontal brain activation during a working memory task: a time-domain fNIRS study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molteni, E.; Baselli, G.; Bianchi, A. M.; Caffini, M.; Contini, D.; Spinelli, L.; Torricelli, A.; Cerutti, S.; Cubeddu, R.

    2009-02-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-resolved fNIRS technique. Brain activation was computed, and was then separated into a "block-related" and a "tonic" components. Load-related increases of blood oxygenation were studied for the four different levels of task difficulty. Generalized Linear Models were applied to the data in order to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short term memorization. Results attest the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Moreover, a systemic component probably deriving from the extra-cerebral capillary bed was detected.

  2. Accelerated long-term forgetting and behavioural difficulties in children with epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, Michael B; Smith, Mary Lou; Barton, Belinda; Webster, Richard; Gill, Deepak; Lah, Suncica

    2018-03-30

    Patients with epilepsy have been shown to exhibit a range of memory deficits, including the rapid forgetting of newly-learned material over long, but not short, delays (termed accelerated long-term forgetting; ALF). Behavioural problems, such as mood disorders and social difficulties, are also overrepresented among children with epilepsy, when compared to patients with other chronic diseases and the general population. We investigated whether ALF was associated with behavioural or psychosocial deficits in children with epilepsy. Patients with either idiopathic generalised epilepsy (IGE; n = 20) or temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE; n = 23) and healthy controls (n = 53) of comparable age, sex, and socioeconomic status completed a battery of neuropsychological tests, including a list-learning task that required recall after short (30-min) and long (7-day) delays. Parents or guardians of all participants also completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Compared to control participants, patients with IGE and TLE had higher scores on all but one of the indices of behavioural problems. When patients with IGE and TLE were merged into a single group, they were found to have negative correlations between 7-day recall and internalising, social and total problem behaviour domains, where poorer 7-day recall was associated with behavioural problems of greater severity. These findings suggest that impaired episodic recall is associated with behavioural deficits, including social problems, which are routinely observed in patients with epilepsy. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The Creation of Task-Based Differentiated Learning Materials for Students with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Trevor; Jones, Sara; Britton, Carol; Messer, David

    This paper describes Horizon, a European-funded project designed to increase employment opportunities for students with disabilities or learning difficulties. The project established a working cafe/restaurant (Cafe Horizon) in East London staffed by students. Part of the project involved the creation of multimedia units linked directly to Level 1…

  4. Measuring moment-to-moment pilot workload using synchronous presentations of secondary tasks in a motion-base trainer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolussi, Michael R.; Hart, Sandra G.; Shively, Robert J.

    1987-01-01

    A simulation was conducted to determine whether the sensitivity of secondary task measures of pilot workload could be improved by synchronizing their presentation to the occurrence of specific events or pilot actions. This synchronous method of presentation was compared to the more typical asynchronous method, where secondary task presentations are independent of pilot's flight-related activities. Twelve pilots flew low- and high-difficulty scenarios in a motion-base trainer with and without concurrent secondary tasks (e.g., choice reaction time and time production). The difficulty of each scenario was manipulated by the addition of 21 flight-related tasks superimposed on a standard approach and landing sequence. The insertion of the secondary tasks did not affect primary flight performance. However, secondary task performance did reflect workload differences between scenarios and among flight segments within scenarios, replicating the results of an earlier study in which the secondary tasks were presented asynchronously (Bortolussi et al., 1986).

  5. A study of the performance of patients with frontal lobe lesions in a financial planning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, V; Grafman, J; Tajik, J; Gana, S; Danto, D

    1997-10-01

    It has long been argued that patients with lesions in the prefrontal cortex have difficulties in decision making and problem solving in real-world, ill-structured situations, particularly problem types involving planning and look-ahead components. Recently, several researchers have questioned our ability to capture and characterize these deficits adequately using just the standard neuropsychological test batteries, and have called for tests that reflect real-world task requirements more accurately. We present data from 10 patients with focal lesions to the prefrontal cortex and 10 normal control subjects engaged in a real-world financial planning task. We also introduce a theoretical framework and methodology developed in the cognitive science literature for quantifying and analysing the complex data generated by problem-solving tasks. Our findings indicate that patient performance is impoverished at a global level but not at the local level. Patients have difficulty in organizing and structuring their problem space. Once they begin problem solving, they have difficulty in allocating adequate effort to each problem-solving phase. Patients also have difficulty dealing with the fact that there are no right or wrong answers nor official termination points in real-world planning problems. They also find it problematic to generate their own feedback. They invariably terminate the session before the details are fleshed out and all the goals satisfied. Finally, patients do not take full advantage of the fact that constraints on real-world problems are negotiable. However, it is not necessary to postulate a 'planning' deficit. It is possible to understand the patients' difficulties in real world planning tasks in terms of the following four accepted deficits: inadequate access to 'structured event complexes', difficulty in generalizing from particulars, failure to shift between 'mental sets', and poor judgment regarding adequacy and completeness of a plan.

  6. Tasks of the Shipboard Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman. Task Training Adequacy and Performance Frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-11-01

    Frequency List E-1 Appendix F - Submarine Quick Reference Task Frequency List . F-1 0 Appendix G - Mean Performance...j~~~~~~, -,,-p.r.. ... .0 -. %... h. • - III APPENDIX E I SURFACE SHIP QUICK REFERENCE TASK FREQUENCY LIST A Q N E Dl It T T E A E H HI K I L L L1 L...34. - - - ----------------------------------------- ---.--- ---------------------- - - E-4 APPENDIX F " SUBMARINE QUICK REFERENCE TASK FREQUENCY LIST (N 1l0) "% R 0 W 4. A Q N E D R T T

  7. ERP Measures of Math Anxiety: How Math Anxiety Affects Working Memory and Mental Calculation Tasks?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manousos A. Klados

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available There have been several attempts to account for the impact of Mathematical Anxiety (MA on brain activity with variable results. The present study examines the effects of MA on ERP amplitude during performance of simple arithmetic calculations and working memory tasks. Data were obtained from 32 university students as they solved four types of arithmetic problems (one- and two-digit addition and multiplication and a working memory task comprised of three levels of difficulty (1,2,and 3-back task. Compared to the Low-MA group, High-MA individuals demonstrated reduced ERP amplitude at frontocentral (between 180-320 ms and centroparietal locations (between 380-420 ms. These effects were independent of task difficulty/complexity, individual performance, and general state/trait anxiety levels. Results support the hypothesis that higher levels of self-reported MA are associated with lower cortical activation during the early stages of the processing of numeric stimuli in the context of cognitive tasks.

  8. Emotional and cognitive influences in air traffic controller tasks: An investigation using a virtual environment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truschzinski, Martina; Betella, Alberto; Brunnett, Guido; Verschure, Paul F M J

    2018-05-01

    Air traffic controllers are required to perform complex tasks which require attention and high precision. This study investigates how the difficulty of such tasks influences emotional states, cognitive workload and task performance. We use quantitative and qualitative measurements, including the recording of pupil dilation and changes in affect using questionnaires. Participants were required to perform a number of air traffic control tasks using the immersive human accessible Virtual Reality space in the "eXperience Induction Machine". Based on the data collected, we developed and validated a model which integrates personality, workload and affective theories. Our results indicate that the difficulty of an air traffic control task has a direct influence on cognitive workload as well as on the self-reported mood; whereas both mood and workload seem to change independently. In addition, we show that personality, in particular neuroticism, affects both mood and performance of the participants. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Increase or Decrease of fMRI Activity in Adult Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: Does It Depend on Task Difficulty?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biehl, Stefanie C; Merz, Christian J; Dresler, Thomas; Heupel, Julia; Reichert, Susanne; Jacob, Christian P; Deckert, Jürgen; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-05-27

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has been shown to affect working memory, and fMRI studies in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder report hypoactivation in task-related attentional networks. However, studies with adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients addressing this issue as well as the effects of clinically valid methylphenidate treatment are scarce. This study contributes to closing this gap. Thirty-five adult patients were randomized to 6 weeks of double-blind placebo or methylphenidate treatment. Patients completed an fMRI n-back working memory task both before and after the assigned treatment, and matched healthy controls were tested and compared to the untreated patients. There were no whole-brain differences between any of the groups. However, when specified regions of interest were investigated, the patient group showed enhanced BOLD responses in dorsal and ventral areas before treatment. This increase was correlated with performance across all participants and with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in the patient group. Furthermore, we found an effect of treatment in the right superior frontal gyrus, with methylphenidate-treated patients exhibiting increased activation, which was absent in the placebo-treated patients. Our results indicate distinct activation differences between untreated adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients and matched healthy controls during a working memory task. These differences might reflect compensatory efforts by the patients, who are performing at the same level as the healthy controls. We furthermore found a positive effect of methylphenidate on the activation of a frontal region of interest. These observations contribute to a more thorough understanding of adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide impulses for the evaluation of therapy-related changes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf

  10. Ecological Relevance Determines Task Priority in Older Adults' Multitasking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doumas, Michail; Krampe, Ralf Th

    2015-05-01

    Multitasking is a challenging aspect of human behavior, especially if the concurrently performed tasks are different in nature. Several studies demonstrated pronounced performance decrements (dual-task costs) in older adults for combinations of cognitive and motor tasks. However, patterns of costs among component tasks differed across studies and reasons for participants' resource allocation strategies remained elusive. We investigated young and older adults' multitasking of a working memory task and two sensorimotor tasks, one with low (finger force control) and one with high ecological relevance (postural control). The tasks were performed in single-, dual-, and triple-task contexts. Working memory accuracy was reduced in dual-task contexts with either sensorimotor task and deteriorated further under triple-task conditions. Postural and force performance deteriorated with age and task difficulty in dual-task contexts. However, in the triple-task context with its maximum resource demands, older adults prioritized postural control over both force control and memory. Our results identify ecological relevance as the key factor in older adults' multitasking. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Divided attention: an undesirable difficulty in memory retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspelin, Nicholas; Ruthruff, Eric; Pashler, Harold

    2013-10-01

    How can we improve memory retention? A large body of research has suggested that difficulty encountered during learning, such as when practice sessions are distributed rather than massed, can enhance later memory performance (see R. A. Bjork & E. L. Bjork, 1992). Here, we investigated whether divided attention during retrieval practice can also constitute a desirable difficulty. Following two initial study phases and one test phase with Swahili-English word pairs (e.g., vuvi-snake), we manipulated whether items were tested again under full or divided attention. Two days later, participants were brought back for a final cued-recall test (e.g., vuvi-?). Across three experiments (combined N = 122), we found no evidence that dividing attention while practicing retrieval enhances memory retention. This finding raises the question of why many types of difficulty during practice do improve long-term retention, but dividing attention does not.

  12. Perceptual discrimination difficulty and familiarity in the Uncanny Valley: more like a "Happy Valley".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheetham, Marcus; Suter, Pascal; Jancke, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    The Uncanny Valley Hypothesis (UVH) predicts that greater difficulty perceptually discriminating between categorically ambiguous human and humanlike characters (e.g., highly realistic robot) evokes negatively valenced (i.e., uncanny) affect. An ABX perceptual discrimination task and signal detection analysis was used to examine the profile of perceptual discrimination (PD) difficulty along the UVH' dimension of human likeness (DHL). This was represented using avatar-to-human morph continua. Rejecting the implicitly assumed profile of PD difficulty underlying the UVH' prediction, Experiment 1 showed that PD difficulty was reduced for categorically ambiguous faces but, notably, enhanced for human faces. Rejecting the UVH' predicted relationship between PD difficulty and negative affect (assessed in terms of the UVH' familiarity dimension), Experiment 2 demonstrated that greater PD difficulty correlates with more positively valenced affect. Critically, this effect was strongest for the ambiguous faces, suggesting a correlative relationship between PD difficulty and feelings of familiarity more consistent with the metaphor happy valley. This relationship is also consistent with a fluency amplification instead of the hitherto proposed hedonic fluency account of affect along the DHL. Experiment 3 found no evidence that the asymmetry in the profile of PD along the DHL is attributable to a differential processing bias (cf. other-race effect), i.e., processing avatars at a category level but human faces at an individual level. In conclusion, the present data for static faces show clear effects that, however, strongly challenge the UVH' implicitly assumed profile of PD difficulty along the DHL and the predicted relationship between this and feelings of familiarity.

  13. Sexual dysfunctions and difficulties in denmark: prevalence and associated sociodemographic factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Birgitte S; Grønbaek, Morten; Osler, Merete

    2011-01-01

    Sexual dysfunctions and difficulties are common experiences that may impact importantly on the perceived quality of life, but prevalence estimates are highly sensitive to the definitions used. We used questionnaire data for 4415 sexually active Danes aged 16-95 years who participated in a national......%), and dyspareunia (0.1%); among women: lubrication insufficiency (7%), anorgasmia (6%), dyspareunia (3%), and vaginismus (0.4%). Highest frequencies of sexual dysfunction were seen in men above age 60 years and women below age 30 years or above age 50 years. In logistic regression analysis, indicators of economic...... health and morbidity survey in 2005 to estimate the prevalence of sexual dysfunctions and difficulties and to identify associated sociodemographic factors. Overall, 11% (95% CI, 10-13%) of men and 11% (10-13%) of women reported at least one sexual dysfunction (i.e., a frequent sexual difficulty...

  14. "I Want to Feel Like a Full Man": Conceptualizing Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men's Sexual Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonagh, Lorraine K; Nielsen, Elly-Jean; McDermott, Daragh T; Davies, Nathan; Morrison, Todd G

    2018-01-01

    Current understandings of sexual difficulties originate from a model that is based on the study of heterosexual men and women. Most research has focused on sexual difficulties experienced by heterosexual men incapable of engaging in vaginal penetration. To better understand men's perceptions and experiences of sexual difficulties, seven focus groups and 29 individual interviews were conducted with gay (n = 22), bisexual (n = 5), and heterosexual (n = 25) men. In addition, the extent to which difficulties reported by gay and bisexual men differ from heterosexual men was explored. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis applying an inductive approach. Two intercorrelated conceptualizations were identified: penis function (themes: medicalization, masculine identity, psychological consequences, coping mechanisms) and pain (themes: penile pain, pain during receptive anal sex). For the most part, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men reported similar sexual difficulties; differences were evident regarding alternative masculinity, penis size competition, and pain during receptive anal sex. The results of this study demonstrate the complexity of men's sexual difficulties and the important role of sociocultural, interpersonal, and psychological factors. Limitations and suggested directions for future research are outlined.

  15. Task-Difficulty Homeostasis in Car Following Models: Experimental Validation Using Self-Paced Visual Occlusion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jami Pekkanen

    Full Text Available Car following (CF models used in traffic engineering are often criticized for not incorporating "human factors" well known to affect driving. Some recent work has addressed this by augmenting the CF models with the Task-Capability Interface (TCI model, by dynamically changing driving parameters as function of driver capability. We examined assumptions of these models experimentally using a self-paced visual occlusion paradigm in a simulated car following task. The results show strong, approximately one-to-one, correspondence between occlusion duration and increase in time headway. The correspondence was found between subjects and within subjects, on aggregate and individual sample level. The long time scale aggregate results support TCI-CF models that assume a linear increase in time headway in response to increased distraction. The short time scale individual sample level results suggest that drivers also adapt their visual sampling in response to transient changes in time headway, a mechanism which isn't incorporated in the current models.

  16. TASK Channels on Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Modulate Electrocortical Signatures of Arousal by Histamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu, Michael T; Du, Guizhi; Bayliss, Douglas A; Horner, Richard L

    2015-10-07

    Basal forebrain cholinergic neurons are the main source of cortical acetylcholine, and their activation by histamine elicits cortical arousal. TWIK-like acid-sensitive K(+) (TASK) channels modulate neuronal excitability and are expressed on basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, but the role of TASK channels in the histamine-basal forebrain cholinergic arousal circuit is unknown. We first expressed TASK channel subunits and histamine Type 1 receptors in HEK cells. Application of histamine in vitro inhibited the acid-sensitive K(+) current, indicating a functionally coupled signaling mechanism. We then studied the role of TASK channels in modulating electrocortical activity in vivo using freely behaving wild-type (n = 12) and ChAT-Cre:TASK(f/f) mice (n = 12), the latter lacking TASK-1/3 channels on cholinergic neurons. TASK channel deletion on cholinergic neurons significantly altered endogenous electroencephalogram oscillations in multiple frequency bands. We then identified the effect of TASK channel deletion during microperfusion of histamine into the basal forebrain. In non-rapid eye movement sleep, TASK channel deletion on cholinergic neurons significantly attenuated the histamine-induced increase in 30-50 Hz activity, consistent with TASK channels contributing to histamine action on basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. In contrast, during active wakefulness, histamine significantly increased 30-50 Hz activity in ChAT-Cre:TASK(f/f) mice but not wild-type mice, showing that the histamine response depended upon the prevailing cortical arousal state. In summary, we identify TASK channel modulation in response to histamine receptor activation in vitro, as well as a role of TASK channels on cholinergic neurons in modulating endogenous oscillations in the electroencephalogram and the electrocortical response to histamine at the basal forebrain in vivo. Attentive states and cognitive function are associated with the generation of γ EEG activity. Basal forebrain

  17. Observational Measures of Parenting in Anxious and Nonanxious Mothers: Does Type of Task Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, Golda S.; Grover, Rachel L.; Cord, Jennalee J.; Ialongo, Nick

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the relation between type of parent–child interaction task and parenting behaviors among a predominantly African American community-based sample. Twenty-five anxious and matched nonanxious (N = 50) mothers were videotaped with their children (Mage = 5.8 years) engaging in both a structured and unstructured task. Blind raters coded 3 parent behaviors hypothesized to play a role in the development of child anxiety: overcontrol, anxious behavior, and criticism. Results indicated that higher levels of overcontrol, anxious behavior, and criticism were found in the structured compared to unstructured task. Levels of criticism, among anxious mothers only, were significantly correlated across tasks. Results suggest that situation specific aspects of parent–child interaction tasks may influence parenting behaviors. These findings help explain variations in observational research in the anxiety literature and highlight the need for careful selection ofparent–child tasks in future research. PMID:16597228

  18. Do Chinese Children With Math Difficulties Have a Deficit in Executive Functioning?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaochen Wang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown that Executive Functioning (EF is a unique predictor of mathematics performance. However, whether or not children with mathematics difficulties (MD experience deficits in EF remains unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine if Chinese children with MD experience deficits in EF. We assessed 23 children with MD (9 girls, mean age = 10.40 years, 30 children with reading difficulties and MD (RDMD; 12 girls, mean age = 10.82 years, and 31 typically-developing (TD peers (16 girls, mean age = 10.41 years on measures of inhibition (Color-Word Stroop, Inhibition, shifting of attention (Planned Connections, Rapid Alternating Stimuli, working memory (Digit Span Backwards, Listening Span, processing speed (Visual Matching, Planned Search, reading (Character Recognition, Sentence Verification, and mathematics (Addition and Subtraction Fluency, Math Standard Achievement Test. The results of MANOVA analyses showed first that the performance of the MD children in all EF tasks was worse than their TD peers. Second, with the exception of the shifting tasks in which the MD children performed better than the RDMD children, the performance of the two groups was similar in all measures of working memory and inhibition. Finally, covarying for the effects of processing speed eliminated almost all differences between the TD and MD groups (the only exception was Listening Span as well as the differences between the MD and RDMD groups in shifting of attention. Taken together, our findings suggest that although Chinese children with MD (with or without comorbid reading difficulties experience significant deficits in all EF skills, most of their deficits can be accounted by lower-level deficits in processing speed.

  19. Shell model study of high spin states in the N=50 nucleus 93Tc

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghugre, S.S.; Patel, S.B.; Bhowmik, R.K.

    1994-01-01

    High spin states in the N=50 nucleus 93 Tc were reinvestigated by using the reaction 64 Zn ( 35 Cl, 4p 2n) at a beam energy of 140 MeV. This was done particularly with a view to observe any γ rays upto 2.7 MeV which may have been missed in our earlier study where the experimental conditions were set to observe γ rays upto 2 MeV. We found four new γ rays of energy: 2484, 2164, 2130 and 69 keV. We have placed these γ rays in the level scheme and it now gets extended to 49/2 - . Though there is no substantial change in the level scheme, placing the γ rays in the level scheme has resulted into two important conclusions: (1) We have performed shell model calculations for 93 Tc nucleus within a model space which encompasses an enlarged proton configuration and allows for the excitation of the neutron across the N=50 core. The excitation of a single neutron across the N=50 core satisfactorily explains the new level scheme. (2) The energy of the 17/2 - isomeric state is now unambiguously placed at 2185 keV. (orig.)

  20. ELT Teacher Education Flipped Classroom: An Analysis of Task Challenge and Student Teachers' Views and Expectations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karaaslan, Hatice; Çelebi, Hatice

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we explore the interplay between task complexity, task conditions and task difficulty introduced by Robinson (2001) in flipped classroom instruction at tertiary level through the data we collected from undergraduate English Language Teaching (ELT) department students studying at an English-medium state university. For the…

  1. 5.0 kV breakdown-voltage vertical GaN p-n junction diodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, Hiroshi; Hayashi, Kentaro; Horikiri, Fumimasa; Yoshino, Michitaka; Nakamura, Tohru; Mishima, Tomoyoshi

    2018-04-01

    A high breakdown voltage of 5.0 kV has been achieved for the first time in vertical GaN p-n junction diodes by using our newly developed guard-ring structures. A resistance device was inserted between the main diode portion and the guard-ring portion in a ring-shaped p-n diode to generate a voltage drop over the resistance device by leakage current flowing through the guard-ring portion under negatively biased conditions before breakdown. The voltage at the outer mesa edge of the guard-ring portion, where the electric field intensity is highest and the destructive breakdown usually occurs, is decreased by the voltage drop, so the electric field concentration in the portion is reduced. By adopting this structure, the breakdown voltage (V B) is raised by about 200 V. Combined with a low measured on-resistance (R on) of 1.25 mΩ cm2, Baliga’s figure of merit (V\\text{B}2/R\\text{on}) was as high as 20 GW/cm2.

  2. [Efficacy of decoding training for children with difficulty reading hiragana].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Hitoshi; Tanaka, Daisuke; Seki, Ayumi; Wakamiya, Eiji; Hirasawa, Noriko; Iketani, Naotake; Kato, Ken; Koeda, Tatsuya

    2013-05-01

    The present study aimed to clarify the efficacy of decoding training focusing on the correspondence between written symbols and their readings for children with difficulty reading hiragana (Japanese syllabary). Thirty-five children with difficulty reading hiragana were selected from among 367 first-grade elementary school students using a reading aloud test and were then divided into intervention (n=15) and control (n=20) groups. The intervention comprised 5 minutes of decoding training each day for a period of 3 weeks using an original program on a personal computer. Reading time and number of reading errors in the reading aloud test were compared between the groups. The intervention group showed a significant shortening of reading time (F(1,33)=5.40, phiragana.

  3. 50 Años de Historia de la Asociación Colombiana de Diabetes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Sànchez Medina

    2005-03-01

    Seis años después de la fundación de la Asociación Colombiana de Diabetes se trasladaron a la sede actual, en donde se continua con la ardua y valerosa labor, sin ánimo de lucro, sólo con la retribución del «placer del deber cumplido». Han transcurrido 50 años de trabajo continuo, sus puertas siguen abiertas, con la esperanza de una mayor voluntad de aquellos que económicamente puedan vincularse y así establecer una equidad en las políticas de educación, prevención, investigación y asistencia del diabético. Por la Asociación han pasado, aproximadamente, 50 mil pacientes y actualmente hay un promedio de 45 consultas diarias. Se han conseguido desde entonces logros a diferentes niveles. Sin embargo, todavía falta continuar la labor y mirar el camino recorrido, dejado atrás, y luego apoyar que otros sigan adelante en el curso de la profundidad del tiempo; he aquí la ilusión de la inmortalidad de la obra realizada en esta vida. Todo esto es lo que la Asociación Colombiana de Diabetes tiene como lema grabado en dos palabras: «Ciencia y Servicio». Eso esperamos todos, especialmente su fundador, el padre vivo de esta Institución: el Dr. Mario Sánchez Medina...

  4. Musical expertise has minimal impact on dual task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchini, Gianna; Filardi, Maria Serena; Crhonkova, Marcela; Halpern, Andrea R

    2017-05-01

    Studies investigating effect of practice on dual task performance have yielded conflicting findings, thus supporting different theoretical accounts about the organisation of attentional resources when tasks are performed simultaneously. Because practice has been proven to reduce the demand of attention for the trained task, the impact of long-lasting training on one task is an ideal way to better understand the mechanisms underlying dual task decline in performance. Our study compared performance during dual task execution in expert musicians compared to controls with little if any musical experience. Participants performed a music recognition task and a visuo-spatial task separately (single task) or simultaneously (dual task). Both groups showed a significant but similar performance decline during dual tasks. In addition, the two groups showed a similar decline of dual task performance during encoding and retrieval of the musical information, mainly attributed to a decline in sensitivity. Our results suggest that attention during dual tasks is similarly distributed by expert and non-experts. These findings are in line with previous studies showing a lack of sensitivity to difficulty and lack of practice effect during dual tasks, supporting the idea that different tasks may rely on different and not-sharable attentional resources.

  5. People with Hemianopia Report Difficulty with TV, Computer, Cinema Use, and Photography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costela, Francisco M; Sheldon, Sarah S; Walker, Bethany; Woods, Russell L

    2018-05-01

    Our survey found that participants with hemianopia report more difficulties watching video in various formats, including television (TV), on computers, and in a movie theater, compared with participants with normal vision (NV). These reported difficulties were not as marked as those reported by people with central vision loss. The aim of this study was to survey the viewing experience (e.g., frequency, difficulty) of viewing video on TV, computers and portable visual display devices, and at the cinema of people with hemianopia and NV. This information may guide vision rehabilitation. We administered a cross-sectional survey to investigate the viewing habits of people with hemianopia (n = 91) or NV (n = 192). The survey, consisting of 22 items, was administered either in person or in a telephone interview. Descriptive statistics are reported. There were five major differences between the hemianopia and NV groups. Many participants with hemianopia reported (1) at least "some" difficulty watching TV (39/82); (2) at least "some" difficulty watching video on a computer (16/62); (3) never attending the cinema (30/87); (4) at least some difficulty watching movies in the cinema (20/56), among those who did attend the cinema; and (5) never taking photographs (24/80). Some people with hemianopia reported methods that they used to help them watch video, including video playback and head turn. Although people with hemianopia report more difficulty with viewing video on TV and at the cinema, we are not aware of any rehabilitation methods specifically designed to assist people with hemianopia to watch video. The results of this survey may guide future vision rehabilitation.

  6. The cross section measurement for the reactions of 48,46Ti(n,p) 48,46Sc, 50Ti(n, α)47Ca and 58Ni (n, 2n)57Ni, 58Ni(n,p)58m+gCo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan Junqian; Wang Yongchang; Kong Xiangzhong; Yang Jingkang

    1992-01-01

    The cross sections for the 50 Ti(n, α) 47 Ca, 46 Ti(n, p) 46 Sc, 48 Ti(n, p) 48 Sc and 58 Ni(n, 2n) 57 Ni, 58 Ni(n, p) 58m+g Co reactions have been measured by using the activation method relative to the cross sections of the 27 Al(n, α) 24 Na reaction in the neutron energy range of 13.50-14.81 MeV. The neutron energies were determined by the cross section ratios of the 90 Zr(n, 2n) 89m+g Zr and 93 Nb(n, 2n) 92m Nb reactions. The results obtained are compared with the published and to be published data of several authors

  7. Evaluating task-based syllabus for EFL learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luu, Hoang Mai

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This research is an evaluation of the effectiveness of task-based syllabus on EFL learners’ language competence at a private university in Vietnam educational context. This research resorts to questionnaire survey, semi-structured interview, and pretest and posttest as instruments for data collection. The research findings revealed that a strength of the current task-based syllabus is the match between lesson topics and students’ expectations. However, the syllabus still created difficulties for students including insufficient vocabulary, unfamiliar structures, and lack of life knowledge. The effect of teaching with task-based syllabus on students’ language performance is also reflected through a significant difference in mean scores between the pretest and the posttest. This research provides an insight into the effectiveness of English teaching through task-based syllabus at a private university in Vietnam setting. It implies to teachers that they need to be sustainable change catalysts for more interesting syllabus for learners

  8. Task-dependent changes of corticospinal excitability during observation and motor imagery of balance tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouthon, A; Ruffieux, J; Wälchli, M; Keller, M; Taube, W

    2015-09-10

    Non-physical balance training has demonstrated to be efficient to improve postural control in young people. However, little is known about the potential to increase corticospinal excitability by mental simulation in lower leg muscles. Mental simulation of isolated, voluntary contractions of limb muscles increase corticospinal excitability but more automated tasks like walking seem to have no or only minor effects on motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This may be related to the way of performing the mental simulation or the task itself. Therefore, the present study aimed to clarify how corticospinal excitability is modulated during AO+MI, MI and action observation (AO) of balance tasks. For this purpose, MEPs and H-reflexes were elicited during three different mental simulations (a) AO+MI, (b) MI and (c) passive AO. For each condition, two balance tasks were evaluated: (1) quiet upright stance (static) and (2) compensating a medio-lateral perturbation while standing on a free-swinging platform (dynamic). AO+MI resulted in the largest facilitation of MEPs followed by MI and passive AO. MEP facilitation was significantly larger in the dynamic perturbation than in the static standing task. Interestingly, passive observation resulted in hardly any facilitation independent of the task. H-reflex amplitudes were not modulated. The current results demonstrate that corticospinal excitability during mental simulation of balance tasks is influenced by both the type of mental simulation and the task difficulty. As H-reflexes and background EMG were not modulated, it may be argued that changes in excitability of the primary motor cortex were responsible for the MEP modulation. From a functional point of view, our findings suggest best training/rehabilitation effects when combining MI with AO during challenging postural tasks. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. The Effects of Guided Imagery on Heart Rate Variability in Simulated Spaceflight Emergency Tasks Performers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Yijing

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of guided imagery training on heart rate variability in individuals while performing spaceflight emergency tasks. Materials and Methods. Twenty-one student subjects were recruited for the experiment and randomly divided into two groups: imagery group (n=11 and control group (n=10. The imagery group received instructor-guided imagery (session 1 and self-guided imagery training (session 2 consecutively, while the control group only received conventional training. Electrocardiograms of the subjects were recorded during their performance of nine spaceflight emergency tasks after imagery training. Results. In both of the sessions, the root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD, the standard deviation of all normal NN (SDNN, the proportion of NN50 divided by the total number of NNs (PNN50, the very low frequency (VLF, the low frequency (LF, the high frequency (HF, and the total power (TP in the imagery group were significantly higher than those in the control group. Moreover, LF/HF of the subjects after instructor-guided imagery training was lower than that after self-guided imagery training. Conclusions. Guided imagery was an effective regulator for HRV indices and could be a potential stress countermeasure in performing spaceflight tasks.

  10. The Effects of Guided Imagery on Heart Rate Variability in Simulated Spaceflight Emergency Tasks Performers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yijing, Zhang; Xiaoping, Du; Fang, Liu; Xiaolu, Jing; Bin, Wu

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of guided imagery training on heart rate variability in individuals while performing spaceflight emergency tasks. Materials and Methods. Twenty-one student subjects were recruited for the experiment and randomly divided into two groups: imagery group (n = 11) and control group (n = 10). The imagery group received instructor-guided imagery (session 1) and self-guided imagery training (session 2) consecutively, while the control group only received conventional training. Electrocardiograms of the subjects were recorded during their performance of nine spaceflight emergency tasks after imagery training. Results. In both of the sessions, the root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), the standard deviation of all normal NN (SDNN), the proportion of NN50 divided by the total number of NNs (PNN50), the very low frequency (VLF), the low frequency (LF), the high frequency (HF), and the total power (TP) in the imagery group were significantly higher than those in the control group. Moreover, LF/HF of the subjects after instructor-guided imagery training was lower than that after self-guided imagery training. Conclusions. Guided imagery was an effective regulator for HRV indices and could be a potential stress countermeasure in performing spaceflight tasks. PMID:26137491

  11. The curation of genetic variants: difficulties and possible solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Kapil Raj; Maden, Narendra; Poudel, Barsha; Pradhananga, Sailendra; Sharma, Amit Kumar

    2012-12-01

    The curation of genetic variants from biomedical articles is required for various clinical and research purposes. Nowadays, establishment of variant databases that include overall information about variants is becoming quite popular. These databases have immense utility, serving as a user-friendly information storehouse of variants for information seekers. While manual curation is the gold standard method for curation of variants, it can turn out to be time-consuming on a large scale thus necessitating the need for automation. Curation of variants described in biomedical literature may not be straightforward mainly due to various nomenclature and expression issues. Though current trends in paper writing on variants is inclined to the standard nomenclature such that variants can easily be retrieved, we have a massive store of variants in the literature that are present as non-standard names and the online search engines that are predominantly used may not be capable of finding them. For effective curation of variants, knowledge about the overall process of curation, nature and types of difficulties in curation, and ways to tackle the difficulties during the task are crucial. Only by effective curation, can variants be correctly interpreted. This paper presents the process and difficulties of curation of genetic variants with possible solutions and suggestions from our work experience in the field including literature support. The paper also highlights aspects of interpretation of genetic variants and the importance of writing papers on variants following standard and retrievable methods. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Understanding Conservation Delays in Children with Specific Language Impairment: Task Representations Revealed in Speech and Gesture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainela-Arnold, Elina; Evans, Julia L.; Alibali, Martha W.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The authors investigated mental representations of Piagetian conservation tasks in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing peers. Children with SLI have normal nonverbal intelligence; however, they exhibit difficulties in Piagetian conservation tasks. The authors tested the hypothesis that conservation…

  13. Local and global processing in block design tasks in children with dyslexia or nonverbal learning disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardillo, Ramona; Mammarella, Irene C; Garcia, Ricardo Basso; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2017-05-01

    Visuo-constructive and perceptual abilities have been poorly investigated in children with learning disabilities. The present study focused on local or global visuospatial processing in children with nonverbal learning disability (NLD) and dyslexia compared with typically-developing (TD) controls. Participants were presented with a modified block design task (BDT), in both a typical visuo-constructive version that involves reconstructing figures from blocks, and a perceptual version in which respondents must rapidly match unfragmented figures with a corresponding fragmented target figure. The figures used in the tasks were devised by manipulating two variables: the perceptual cohesiveness and the task uncertainty, stimulating global or local processes. Our results confirmed that children with NLD had more problems with the visuo-constructive version of the task, whereas those with dyslexia showed only a slight difficulty with the visuo-constructive version, but were in greater difficulty with the perceptual version, especially in terms of response times. These findings are interpreted in relation to the slower visual processing speed of children with dyslexia, and to the visuo-constructive problems and difficulty in using flexibly-experienced global vs local processes of children with NLD. The clinical and educational implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Dificultades de la traducción jurídica y jurada / Difficulties in Sworn and Legal Translation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobel-Augusto Perdu Honeyman

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Resumen: Este artículo analiza algunas dificultades que conlleva la traducción jurada inglés-español. Se indaga en el contexto legal existente en España en torno a la figura profesional del traductor jurado. El análisis está enfocado a ilustrar ciertos problemas inherentes a toda traducción jurada, de las que se ofrecen algunos consejos de buenas prácticas. Al igual que en la traducción de los otros ámbitos, en contextos legales descifrar correctamente la verdadera intención del emisor constituye una de las mayores dificultades. La complejidad suele aumentar con la longitud de las oraciones y los párrafos. A esto se le suma el necesario dominio del lenguaje especializado. Abstract: This paper analyses some of the difficulties involved in English-Spanish legal translation and describes the legal context of the sworn translators in Spain. The analysis focuses on a number of challenges inherent to all legal translations, and offers advice for good practice. In legal translation contexts –as in translation of any other field– correctly deciphering the real intention of the author is one of the greatest challenges; complexity particularly increases with the length of sentences and paragraphs, not to mention the necessary command of the specialized language.

  15. ALE Meta-Analysis of Schizophrenics Performing the N-Back Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrell, Zachary

    2010-10-01

    MRI/fMRI has already proven itself as a valuable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of many illnesses of the brain, including cognitive problems. By exploiting the differences in magnetic susceptibility between oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin, fMRI can measure blood flow in various regions of interest within the brain. This can determine the level of brain activity in relation to motor or cognitive functions and provide a metric for tissue damage or illness symptoms. Structural imaging techniques have shown lesions or deficiencies in tissue volumes in schizophrenics corresponding to areas primarily in the frontal and temporal lobes. These areas are currently known to be involved in working memory and attention, which many schizophrenics have trouble with. The ALE (Activation Likelihood Estimation) Meta-Analysis is able to statistically determine the significance of brain area activations based on the post-hoc combination of multiple studies. This process is useful for giving a general model of brain function in relation to a particular task designed to engage the affected areas (such as working memory for the n-back task). The advantages of the ALE Meta-Analysis include elimination of single subject anomalies, elimination of false/extremely weak activations, and verification of function/location hypotheses.

  16. A Comparison of Self-Monitoring with and without Reinforcement to Improve On-Task Classroom Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Tonya N.; Dacus, Sharon; Bankhead, Jenna; Haupert, Megan; Fuentes, Lisa; Zoch, Tamara; Kang, Soyeon; Attai, Shanna; Lang, Russell

    2014-01-01

    In this study we analyzed the effects of a self-monitoring and self-monitoring plus reinforcement intervention on classroom behavior. A typically-developing high school student demonstrating difficulty staying on-task during classroom instruction was observed in three classroom settings associated with high levels of off-task behavior. During…

  17. Term Familiarity to indicate Perceived and Actual Difficulty of Text in Medical Digital Libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Gondy; Endicott, James E

    2011-10-01

    With increasing text digitization, digital libraries can personalize materials for individuals with different education levels and language skills. To this end, documents need meta-information describing their difficulty level. Previous attempts at such labeling used readability formulas but the formulas have not been validated with modern texts and their outcome is seldom associated with actual difficulty. We focus on medical texts and are developing new, evidence-based meta-tags that are associated with perceived and actual text difficulty. This work describes a first tag, term familiarity , which is based on term frequency in the Google corpus. We evaluated its feasibility to serve as a tag by looking at a document corpus (N=1,073) and found that terms in blogs or journal articles displayed unexpected but significantly different scores. Term familiarity was then applied to texts and results from a previous user study (N=86) and could better explain differences for perceived and actual difficulty.

  18. A Pseudo Fractional-N Clock Generator with 50% Duty Cycle Output

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wei-Bin; Lo, Yu-Lung; Chao, Ting-Sheng

    A proposed pseudo fractional-N clock generator with 50% duty cycle output is presented by using the pseudo fractional-N controller for SoC chips and the dynamic frequency scaling applications. The different clock frequencies can be generated with the particular phase combinations of a four-stage voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO). It has been fabricated in a 0.13µm CMOS technology, and work with a supply voltage of 1.2V. According to measured results, the frequency range of the proposed pseudo fractional-N clock generator is from 71.4MHz to 1GHz and the peak-to-peak jitter is less than 5% of the output period. Duty cycle error rates of the output clock frequencies are from 0.8% to 2% and the measured power dissipation of the pseudo fractional-N controller is 146µW at 304MHz.

  19. Effects of Fact Retrieval Tutoring on Third-Grade Students with Math Difficulties with and without Reading Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Sarah R; Fuchs, Lynn S; Fuchs, Douglas; Cirino, Paul T; Fletcher, Jack M

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of fact retrieval tutoring as a function of math difficulty (MD) subtype, that is, whether students have MD alone (MD-only) or have concurrent difficulty with math and reading (MDRD). Third graders (n = 139) at two sites were randomly assigned, blocking by site and MD subtype, to four tutoring conditions: fact retrieval practice, conceptual fact retrieval instruction with practice, procedural computation/estimation instruction, and control (no tutoring). Tutoring occurred for 45 sessions over 15weeks for 15-25 minutes per session. Results provided evidence of an interaction between tutoring condition and MD subtype status for assessment of fact retrieval. For MD-only students, students in both fact retrieval conditions achieved comparably and outperformed MD-only students in the control group as well as those in the procedural computation/estimation instruction group. By contrast, for MDRD students, there were no significant differences among intervention conditions.

  20. Robot Guided 'Pen Skill' Training in Children with Motor Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shire, Katy A; Hill, Liam J B; Snapp-Childs, Winona; Bingham, Geoffrey P; Kountouriotis, Georgios K; Barber, Sally; Mon-Williams, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Motor deficits are linked to a range of negative physical, social and academic consequences. Haptic robotic interventions, based on the principles of sensorimotor learning, have been shown previously to help children with motor problems learn new movements. We therefore examined whether the training benefits of a robotic system would generalise to a standardised test of 'pen-skills', assessed using objective kinematic measures [via the Clinical Kinematic Assessment Tool, CKAT]. A counterbalanced, cross-over design was used in a group of 51 children (37 male, aged 5-11 years) with manual control difficulties. Improved performance on a novel task using the robotic device could be attributed to the intervention but there was no evidence of generalisation to any of the CKAT tasks. The robotic system appears to have the potential to support motor learning, with the technology affording numerous advantages. However, the training regime may need to target particular manual skills (e.g. letter formation) in order to obtain clinically significant improvements in specific skills such as handwriting.

  1. Helping students with learning difficulties in medical and health-care education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, C R

    1990-05-01

    In health profession education many more students than is currently acknowledged experience often extreme difficulties with their studying. This booklet is intended to help them. It outlines an approach being adopted in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton by which students are encouraged to reflect on and discuss their approaches to studying, identifying their perception of their task and where necessary changing this. It is shown that students need to elaborate their knowledge, that is to structure the factual information they are receiving and to relate it to their practical experiences. A number of suggestions are made to encourage this, and their theoretical underpinnings are discussed. It is concluded that while inappropriate curricula and teaching methods and not some weakness on the part of students are largely the cause of learning difficulties, it will take time to change these. Establishing a kind of 'clinic' for helping students cope can be of value immediately.

  2. Disengagement from tasks as a function of cognitive load and depressive symptom severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowie, Christopher R; Milanovic, Melissa; Tran, Tanya; Cassidy, Sarah

    2017-01-01

    Depression is associated with impairment in cognition and everyday functioning. Mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in depression and the factors that influence strategic deployment of cognitive abilities in complex environments remain elusive. In this study we investigated whether depression symptom severity is associated with disengagement from a working memory task (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task; PASAT) with parametric adjustment of task difficulty. 235 participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory, low and high cognitive load conditions of the PASAT, and quality of life. Cognitive disengagement was the sum of consecutive items in which participants did not proffer a response to the trial. Individuals with higher depression severity showed more cognitive disengagement on the high but not low cognitive load trial of the PASAT; they did not differ in number of correct responses. Increased disengagement from the low to high cognitive load was associated with more impaired quality of life. Depression severity is associated with increased disengagement from tasks as difficulty increases. These findings suggest the importance of measuring how cognitive skills are avoided in complex environments in addition to considering performance accuracy. Individuals with depressive symptoms might preferentially avoid cognitive tasks that are perceived as more complex in spite of intact ability.

  3. Towards an explanation of age-related difficulties in crossing a two-way street

    OpenAIRE

    Dommes , Aurélie; LE LAY , Tristan; Vienne , Fabrice; DANG , Nguyen-Thong; PERROT BEAUDOIN , Alexandra; Do , Manh Cuong

    2015-01-01

    Crossing a two-way street is a complex task that involves visual, cognitive and motor abilities, all of which are known to decline with ageing. In particular, older pedestrians may experience difficulties when crossing two-way streets because of incorrect gap acceptance choices and impossible or unperceived evasive actions. To understand the overrepresentation of older pedestrians in crash statistics, several experimental studies have sought to identify traffic-related factors as well as thos...

  4. Human reliability analysis of performing tasks in plants based on fuzzy integral

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Washio, Takashi; Kitamura, Yutaka; Takahashi, Hideaki

    1991-01-01

    The effective improvement of the human working conditions in nuclear power plants might be a solution for the enhancement of the operation safety. The human reliability analysis (HRA) gives a methodological basis of the improvement based on the evaluation of human reliability under various working conditions. This study investigates some difficulties of the human reliability analysis using conventional linear models and recent fuzzy integral models, and provides some solutions to the difficulties. The following practical features of the provided methods are confirmed in comparison with the conventional methods: (1) Applicability to various types of tasks (2) Capability of evaluating complicated dependencies among working condition factors (3) A priori human reliability evaluation based on a systematic task analysis of human action processes (4) A conversion scheme to probability from indices representing human reliability. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakil, Eli; Lev-Ran Galon, Carmit

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Individuals with Asperger's Disorder Exhibit Difficulty in Switching Attention from a Local Level to a Global Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katagiri, Masatoshi; Kasai, Tetsuko; Kamio, Yoko; Murohashi, Harumitsu

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether individuals with Asperger's disorder exhibit difficulty in switching attention from a local level to a global level. Eleven participants with Asperger's disorder and 11 age- and gender-matched healthy controls performed a level-repetition switching task using Navon-type hierarchical…

  7. Arithmetic difficulties in children with cerebral palsy are related to executive function and working memory.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jenks, K.M.; Moor, J.M.H. de; Lieshout, E.C. van

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Although it is believed that children with cerebral palsy are at high risk for learning difficulties and arithmetic difficulties in particular, few studies have investigated this issue. METHODS: Arithmetic ability was longitudinally assessed in children with cerebral palsy in special (n

  8. When predictions take control: The effect of task predictions on task switching performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wout eDuthoo

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we aimed to investigate the role of self-generated predictions in the flexible control of behaviour. Therefore, we ran a task switching experiment in which participants were asked to try to predict the upcoming task in three conditions varying in switch rate (30%, 50% and 70%. Irrespective of their predictions, the colour of the target indicated which task participants had to perform. In line with previous studies (Mayr, 2006; Monsell & Mizon, 2006, the switch cost was attenuated as the switch rate increased. Importantly, a clear task repetition bias was found in all conditions, yet the task repetition prediction rate dropped from 78% over 66% to 49% with increasing switch probability in the three conditions. Irrespective of condition, the switch cost was strongly reduced in expectation of a task alternation compared to the cost of an unexpected task alternation following repetition predictions. Hence, our data suggest that the reduction in the switch cost with increasing switch probability is caused by a diminished expectancy for the task to repeat. Taken together, this paper highlights the importance of predictions in the flexible control of behaviour, and suggests a crucial role for task repetition expectancy in the context-sensitive adjusting of task switching performance.

  9. Warping similarity space in category learning by human subjects: the role of task difficulty

    OpenAIRE

    Pevtzow, Rachel; Harnad, Stevan

    1997-01-01

    In innate Categorical Perception (CP) (e.g., colour perception), similarity space is "warped," with regions of increased within-category similarity (compression) and regions of reduced between-category similarity (separation) enh ancing the category boundaries and making categorisation reliable and all-or-none rather than graded. We show that category learning can likewise warp similarity space, resolving uncertainty near category boundaries. Two Hard and two Easy texture learning tasks were ...

  10. Final report for 105-N Basin sediment disposition task, phase 2 samples BOMPC8 and BOMPC9

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esch, R.A.

    1998-01-01

    This document is the final report deliverable for Phase 2 analytical work for the 105-N Basin Sediment Disposition Task. On December 23, 1997, ten samples were received at the 222-S Laboratory as follows: two (2) bottles of potable water, six (6) samples for process control testing and two (2) samples for characterization. Analyses were performed in accordance with the Letter of Instruction for Phase 2 Analytical Work for the 105-N Basin Sediment Disposition Task (Logan and Kessner, 1997) (Attachment 7) and 105-N Basin Sediment Disposition Phase-Two Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) (Smith, 1997). The analytical results are included in Table 1. This document provides the values of X/Qs for the onsite and offsite receptors, taking into account the building wake and the atmospheric stability effects. X/Qs values for the potential fire accident were also calculated. In addition, the unit dose were calculated for the mixtures of isotopes

  11. Dual Frequency Head Maps: A New Method for Indexing Mental Workload Continuously during Execution of Cognitive Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thea Radüntz

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available One goal of advanced information and communication technology is to simplify work. However, there is growing consensus regarding the negative consequences of inappropriate workload on employee's health and the safety of persons. In order to develop a method for continuous mental workload monitoring, we implemented a task battery consisting of cognitive tasks with diverse levels of complexity and difficulty. We conducted experiments and registered the electroencephalogram (EEG, performance data, and the NASA-TLX questionnaire from 54 people. Analysis of the EEG spectra demonstrates an increase of the frontal theta band power and a decrease of the parietal alpha band power, both under increasing task difficulty level. Based on these findings we implemented a new method for monitoring mental workload, the so-called Dual Frequency Head Maps (DFHM that are classified by support vectors machines (SVMs in three different workload levels. The results are in accordance with the expected difficulty levels arising from the requirements of the tasks on the executive functions. Furthermore, this article includes an empirical validation of the new method on a secondary subset with new subjects and one additional new task without any adjustment of the classifiers. Hence, the main advantage of the proposed method compared with the existing solutions is that it provides an automatic, continuous classification of the mental workload state without any need for retraining the classifier—neither for new subjects nor for new tasks. The continuous workload monitoring can help ensure good working conditions, maintain a good level of performance, and simultaneously preserve a good state of health.

  12. Effects of cognitive appraisal and mental workload factors on performance in an arithmetic task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galy, Edith; Mélan, Claudine

    2015-12-01

    We showed in a previous study an additive interaction between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive loads and of participants' alertness in an 1-back working memory task. The interaction between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive loads was only observed when participants' alertness was low (i.e. in the morning). As alertness is known to reflect an individual's general functional state, we suggested that the working memory capacity available for germane cognitive load depends on a participant's functional state, in addition to intrinsic and extraneous loads induced by the task and task conditions. The relationships between the different load types and their assessment by specific load measures gave rise to a modified cognitive load model. The aim of the present study was to complete the model by determining to what extent and at what processing level an individual's characteristics intervene in order to implement efficient strategies in a working memory task. Therefore, the study explored participants' cognitive appraisal of the situation in addition to the load factors considered previously-task difficulty, time pressure and alertness. Each participant performed a mental arithmetic task in four different cognitive load conditions (crossover of two task difficulty conditions and of two time pressure conditions), both while their alertness was low (9 a.m.) and high (4 p.m.). Results confirmed an additive effect of task difficulty and time pressure, previously reported in the 1-back memory task, thereby lending further support to the modified cognitive load model. Further, in the high intrinsic and extraneous load condition, performance was reduced on the morning session (i.e. when alertness was low) on one hand, and in those participants' having a threat appraisal of the situation on the other hand. When these factors were included into the analysis, a performance drop occurred in the morning irrespective of cognitive appraisal, and with threat appraisal in the

  13. Teaching assistants’ performance at identifying common introductory student difficulties in mechanics revealed by the Force Concept Inventory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru Maries

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The Force Concept Inventory (FCI has been widely used to assess student understanding of introductory mechanics concepts by a variety of educators and physics education researchers. One reason for this extensive use is that many of the items on the FCI have strong distractor choices which correspond to students’ alternate conceptions in mechanics. Instruction is unlikely to be effective if instructors do not know the common alternate conceptions of introductory physics students and explicitly take into account students’ initial knowledge states in their instructional design. Here, we discuss research involving the FCI to evaluate one aspect of the pedagogical content knowledge of teaching assistants (TAs: knowledge of introductory student alternate conceptions in mechanics as revealed by the FCI. For each item on the FCI, the TAs were asked to identify the most common incorrect answer choice of introductory physics students. This exercise was followed by a class discussion with the TAs related to this task, including the importance of knowing student difficulties in teaching and learning. Then, we used FCI pretest and post-test data from a large population (∼900 of introductory physics students to assess the extent to which TAs were able to identify alternate conceptions of introductory students related to force and motion. In addition, we carried out think-aloud interviews with graduate students who had more than two semesters of teaching experience in recitations to examine how they reason about the task. We find that while the TAs, on average, performed better than random guessing at identifying introductory students’ difficulties with FCI content, they did not identify many common difficulties that introductory physics students have after traditional instruction. We discuss specific alternate conceptions, the extent to which TAs are able to identify them, and results from the think-aloud interviews that provided valuable information

  14. Managing social difficulties: roles and responsibilities of patients and staff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Penny; Bingham, Laura; Taylor, Sally; Hanif, Naheed; Podmore, Emma; Velikova, Galina

    2012-01-01

    Implementation of guidance on assessment and management of psychosocial and supportive-care problems or needs will be successful only if consideration is given to existing skills, experience and expectations of staff and patients. This study examines the roles and responsibilities of staff, patients and families in relation to management of social difficulties and proposes a pathway for response. A qualitative study was performed using staff and patient interviews. Seventeen doctors and 16 nurses were interviewed using patient scenarios and a support service questionnaire. Patients (n = 41) completed a screening questionnaire (the Social Difficulties Inventory) and were interviewed. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and subjected to a Framework analysis. Analysis examined (1) actions taken by staff and patients in response to social difficulties, (2) reasons given for action taken and (3) perceptions of staff and patients of who was responsible for taking action. Staff were confident concerning clinically related issues (i.e. mobility) but more hesitant concerning difficulties related to money, work and family concerns. Patients liked to cope with problems on their own where possible, would have liked information or support from staff but were uncertain how to access this. Results led to development of a hierarchy of interventions in response to detected social difficulties. For routine assessment of social difficulties, patients, nurses and doctors will have to work collaboratively, with nurses taking a lead in discussion. For specific clinically related problems doctors would play a more primary role. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. The effect of haptic guidance and visual feedback on learning a complex tennis task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchal-Crespo, Laura; van Raai, Mark; Rauter, Georg; Wolf, Peter; Riener, Robert

    2013-11-01

    While haptic guidance can improve ongoing performance of a motor task, several studies have found that it ultimately impairs motor learning. However, some recent studies suggest that the haptic demonstration of optimal timing, rather than movement magnitude, enhances learning in subjects trained with haptic guidance. Timing of an action plays a crucial role in the proper accomplishment of many motor skills, such as hitting a moving object (discrete timing task) or learning a velocity profile (time-critical tracking task). The aim of the present study is to evaluate which feedback conditions-visual or haptic guidance-optimize learning of the discrete and continuous elements of a timing task. The experiment consisted in performing a fast tennis forehand stroke in a virtual environment. A tendon-based parallel robot connected to the end of a racket was used to apply haptic guidance during training. In two different experiments, we evaluated which feedback condition was more adequate for learning: (1) a time-dependent discrete task-learning to start a tennis stroke and (2) a tracking task-learning to follow a velocity profile. The effect that the task difficulty and subject's initial skill level have on the selection of the optimal training condition was further evaluated. Results showed that the training condition that maximizes learning of the discrete time-dependent motor task depends on the subjects' initial skill level. Haptic guidance was especially suitable for less-skilled subjects and in especially difficult discrete tasks, while visual feedback seems to benefit more skilled subjects. Additionally, haptic guidance seemed to promote learning in a time-critical tracking task, while visual feedback tended to deteriorate the performance independently of the task difficulty and subjects' initial skill level. Haptic guidance outperformed visual feedback, although additional studies are needed to further analyze the effect of other types of feedback visualization on

  16. Mental workload during n-back task-quantified in the prefrontal cortex using fNIRS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herff, Christian; Heger, Dominic; Fortmann, Ole; Hennrich, Johannes; Putze, Felix; Schultz, Tanja

    2013-01-01

    When interacting with technical systems, users experience mental workload. Particularly in multitasking scenarios (e.g., interacting with the car navigation system while driving) it is desired to not distract the users from their primary task. For such purposes, human-machine interfaces (HCIs) are desirable which continuously monitor the users' workload and dynamically adapt the behavior of the interface to the measured workload. While memory tasks have been shown to elicit hemodynamic responses in the brain when averaging over multiple trials, a robust single trial classification is a crucial prerequisite for the purpose of dynamically adapting HCIs to the workload of its user. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in the processing of memory and the associated workload. In this study of 10 subjects, we used functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), a non-invasive imaging modality, to sample workload activity in the PFC. The results show up to 78% accuracy for single-trial discrimination of three levels of workload from each other. We use an n-back task (n ∈ {1, 2, 3}) to induce different levels of workload, forcing subjects to continuously remember the last one, two, or three of rapidly changing items. Our experimental results show that measuring hemodynamic responses in the PFC with fNIRS, can be used to robustly quantify and classify mental workload. Single trial analysis is still a young field that suffers from a general lack of standards. To increase comparability of fNIRS methods and results, the data corpus for this study is made available online.

  17. Mental workload during n-back task - quantified in the prefrontal cortex using fNIRS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian eHerff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available When interacting with technical systems, users experience mental workload. Particularly in multitasking scenarios (e.g. interacting with the car navigation system while driving it is desired to not distract the users from their primary task. For such purposes, human-machine interfaces (HCIs are desirable which continuously monitor the users' workload and dynamically adapt the behavior of the interface to the measured workload. While memory tasks have been shown to illicit hemodynamic responses in the brain when averaging over multiple trials, a robust single trial classification is a crucial prerequisite for the purpose of dynamically adapting HCIs to the workload of its user.The prefrontal cortex (PFC plays an important role in the processing of memory and the associated workload. In this study of 10 subjects, we used functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS, a non-invasive imaging modality, to sample workload activity in the PFC. The results show up to 78% accuracy for single-trial discrimination of three levels of workload from each other. We use an n-back task (n ∈ {1, 2, 3} to induce different levels of workload, forcing subjects to continuously remember the last one, two or three of rapidly changing items.Our experimental results show that measuring hemodynamic responses in the PFC with fNIRS, can be used to robustly quantify and classify mental workload.Single trial analysis is still a young field that suffers from a general lack of standards. To increase comparability of fNIRS methods and results, the data corpus for this study is made available online.

  18. Judgments of auditory-visual affective congruence in adolescents with and without autism: a pilot study of a new task using fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loveland, Katherine A; Steinberg, Joel L; Pearson, Deborah A; Mansour, Rosleen; Reddoch, Stacy

    2008-10-01

    One of the most widely reported developmental deficits associated with autism is difficulty perceiving and expressing emotion appropriately. Brain activation associated with performance on a new task, the Emotional Congruence Task, requires judging affective congruence of facial expression and voice, compared with their sex congruence. Participants in this pilot study were adolescents with normal IQ (n = 5) and autism or without (n = 4) autism. In the emotional congruence condition, as compared to the sex congruence of voice and face, controls had significantly more activation than the Autism group in the orbitofrontal cortex, the superior temporal, parahippocampal, and posterior cingulate gyri and occipital regions. Unlike controls, the Autism group did not have significantly greater prefrontal activation during the emotional congruence condition, but did during the sex congruence condition. Results indicate the Emotional Congruence Task can be used successfully to assess brain activation and behavior associated with integration of auditory and visual information for emotion. While the numbers in the groups are small, the results suggest that brain activity while performing the Emotional Congruence Task differed between adolescents with and without autism in fronto-limbic areas and in the superior temporal region. These findings must be confirmed using larger samples of participants.

  19. Computerization in industry causes problems for people with reading and writing difficulties (dyslexia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutsson, A

    1986-01-01

    For 10 years computerization in industry has advanced at a rapid pace. A problem which has not received attention is that of people with reading and writing difficulties who experience severe problems when they have to communicate with a computer monitor screen. These individuals are often embarrassed by their difficulties and conceal them from their fellow workers. A number of case studies are described which show the form the problems can take. In one case, an employee was compelled to move from department to department as each was computerized in turn. Computers transform a large number of manual tasks in industry into jobs which call for reading and writing skills. Better education at elementary school and at the workplace in connection with computerization are the most important means of overcoming this problem. Moreover, computer programs could be written in a more human way.

  20. Is severity of motor coordination difficulties related to co-morbidity in children at risk for developmental coordination disorder?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoemaker, Marina M.; Lingam, Raghu; Jongmans, Marian J.; van Heuvelen, Marieke J. G.; Emond, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Aim of the study was to investigate whether 7-9 year old children with severe motor difficulties are more at risk of additional difficulties in activities in daily living, academic skills, attention and social skills than children with moderate motor difficulties. Children (N = 6959) from a

  1. Control of force during rapid visuomotor force-matching tasks can be described by discrete time PID control algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dideriksen, Jakob Lund; Feeney, Daniel F; Almuklass, Awad M; Enoka, Roger M

    2017-08-01

    Force trajectories during isometric force-matching tasks involving isometric contractions vary substantially across individuals. In this study, we investigated if this variability can be explained by discrete time proportional, integral, derivative (PID) control algorithms with varying model parameters. To this end, we analyzed the pinch force trajectories of 24 subjects performing two rapid force-matching tasks with visual feedback. Both tasks involved isometric contractions to a target force of 10% maximal voluntary contraction. One task involved a single action (pinch) and the other required a double action (concurrent pinch and wrist extension). 50,000 force trajectories were simulated with a computational neuromuscular model whose input was determined by a PID controller with different PID gains and frequencies at which the controller adjusted muscle commands. The goal was to find the best match between each experimental force trajectory and all simulated trajectories. It was possible to identify one realization of the PID controller that matched the experimental force produced during each task for most subjects (average index of similarity: 0.87 ± 0.12; 1 = perfect similarity). The similarities for both tasks were significantly greater than that would be expected by chance (single action: p = 0.01; double action: p = 0.04). Furthermore, the identified control frequencies in the simulated PID controller with the greatest similarities decreased as task difficulty increased (single action: 4.0 ± 1.8 Hz; double action: 3.1 ± 1.3 Hz). Overall, the results indicate that discrete time PID controllers are realistic models for the neural control of force in rapid force-matching tasks involving isometric contractions.

  2. Invented Spelling, Word Stress, and Syllable Awareness in Relation to Reading Difficulties in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Sheena; Ding, Yi; Ness, Molly; Chen, Eric C

    2018-06-01

    The study assessed the clinical utility of an invented spelling tool and determined whether invented spelling with linguistic manipulation at segmental and supra-segmental levels can be used to better identify reading difficulties. We conducted linguistic manipulation by using real and nonreal words, incorporating word stress, alternating the order of consonants and vowels, and alternating the number of syllables. We recruited 60 third-grade students, of which half were typical readers and half were poor readers. The invented spelling task consistently differentiated those with reading difficulties from typical readers. It explained unique variance in conventional spelling, but not in word reading. Word stress explained unique variance in both word reading and conventional spelling, highlighting the importance of addressing phonological awareness at the supra-segmental level. Poor readers had poorer performance when spelling both real and nonreal words and demonstrated substantial difficulty in detecting word stress. Poor readers struggled with spelling words with double consonants at the beginning and ending of words, and performed worse on spelling two- and three-syllable words than typical readers. Practical implications for early identification and instruction are discussed.

  3. An fMRI study of sex differences in regional activation to a verbal and a spatial task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gur, R C; Alsop, D; Glahn, D; Petty, R; Swanson, C L; Maldjian, J A; Turetsky, B I; Detre, J A; Gee, J; Gur, R E

    2000-09-01

    Sex differences in cognitive performance have been documented, women performing better on some phonological tasks and men on spatial tasks. An earlier fMRI study suggested sex differences in distributed brain activation during phonological processing, with bilateral activation seen in women while men showed primarily left-lateralized activation. This blood oxygen level-dependent fMRI study examined sex differences (14 men, 13 women) in activation for a spatial task (judgment of line orientation) compared to a verbal-reasoning task (analogies) that does not typically show sex differences. Task difficulty was manipulated. Hypothesized ROI-based analysis documented the expected left-lateralized changes for the verbal task in the inferior parietal and planum temporal regions in both men and women, but only men showed right-lateralized increase for the spatial task in these regions. Image-based analysis revealed a distributed network of cortical regions activated by the tasks, which consisted of the lateral frontal, medial frontal, mid-temporal, occipitoparietal, and occipital regions. The activation was more left lateralized for the verbal and more right for the spatial tasks, but men also showed some left activation for the spatial task, which was not seen in women. Increased task difficulty produced more distributed activation for the verbal and more circumscribed activation for the spatial task. The results suggest that failure to activate the appropriate hemisphere in regions directly involved in task performance may explain certain sex differences in performance. They also extend, for a spatial task, the principle that bilateral activation in a distributed cognitive system underlies sex differences in performance. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  4. The Effect of Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on A Throwing Task Depends on Individual Level of Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Katayama, Takashi; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2018-02-10

    The effect of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on motor performance remains controversial. Some studies suggest that the effect of tDCS depends upon task-difficulty and individual level of task performance. Here, we investigated whether the effect of cerebellar tDCS on the motor performance depends upon the individual's level of performance. Twenty-four naïve participants practiced dart throwing while receiving a 2-mA cerebellar tDCS for 20 min under three stimulus conditions (anodal-, cathodal-, and sham-tDCS) on separate days with a double-blind, counter-balanced cross-over design. Task performance was assessed by measuring the distance between the center of the bull's eye and the dart's position. Although task performance tended to improve throughout the practice under all stimulus conditions, improvement within a given day was not significant as compared to the first no-stimulus block. In addition, improvement did not differ among stimulation conditions. However, the magnitude of improvement was associated with an individual's level of task performance only under cathodal tDCS condition (p performance improvement only for the sub-group of participants with lower performance levels as compared to that with sham-tDCS (p task performance. Thus, cerebellar tDCS would facilitate learning of a complex motor skill task only in a subset of individuals. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Towards an explanation of age-related difficulties in crossing a two-way street.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dommes, Aurélie; Lay, Tristan Le; Vienne, Fabrice; Dang, Nguyen-Thong; Beaudoin, Alexandra Perrot; Do, Manh Cuong

    2015-12-01

    Crossing a two-way street is a complex task that involves visual, cognitive and motor abilities, all of which are known to decline with ageing. In particular, older pedestrians may experience difficulties when crossing two-way streets because of incorrect gap acceptance choices and impossible or unperceived evasive actions. To understand the overrepresentation of older pedestrians in crash statistics, several experimental studies have sought to identify traffic-related factors as well as those related to the abilities of the individuals themselves. However, none of these studies has required participants to actually walk across an experimental two-way street with curbs, which is a particularly challenging situation for older pedestrians. To fill this research gap, a quasi-experiment was conducted in a simulator including a total of 58 healthy aged participants (25 younger-old [age 60-72] and 33 older-old [age 72-92]) and 25 young adults (aged 18-25 years). Participants carried out a street-crossing task in a simulated two-way traffic environment; curbs were present on both sides of the experimental street. Participants also undertook a battery of tests to assess their visual and cognitive abilities. In addition, during the experiment, the participants' gait parameters were recorded. In line with earlier findings, the older-old group of participants made a higher number of decisions that led to collisions with approaching cars compared with the other groups. The two groups of older participants experienced specific difficulties when vehicles were in the far lane or when they approached rapidly. A regression analysis identified visual acuity, speed of processing (assessed using the UFOV(®) test), and step length as significant predictors of collisions. Our results have implications for understanding the difficulties experienced by older pedestrians and allow to draw up several recommendations for improving their safety. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  6. Workload assessment for mental arithmetic tasks using the task-evoked pupillary response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Marquart

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Pupillometry is a promising method for assessing mental workload and could be helpful in the optimization of systems that involve human–computer interaction. The present study focuses on replicating the studies by Ahern (1978 and Klingner (2010, which found that for three levels of difficulty of mental multiplications, the more difficult multiplications yielded larger dilations of the pupil. Using a remote eye tracker, our research expands upon these two previous studies by statistically testing for each 1.5 s interval of the calculation period (1 the mean absolute pupil diameter (MPD, (2 the mean pupil diameter change (MPDC with respect to the pupil diameter during the pre-stimulus accommodation period, and (3 the mean pupil diameter change rate (MPDCR. An additional novelty of our research is that we compared the pupil diameter measures with a self-report measure of workload, the NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX, and with the mean blink rate (MBR. The results showed that the findings of Ahern and Klingner were replicated, and that the MPD and MPDC discriminated just as well between the lowest and highest difficulty levels as did the NASA-TLX. The MBR, on the other hand, did not differentiate between the difficulty levels. Moderate to strong correlations were found between the MPDC and the proportion of incorrect responses, indicating that the MPDC was higher for participants with a poorer performance. For practical applications, validity could be improved by combining pupillometry with other physiological techniques.

  7. Student difficulties with Gauss' law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanim, Stephen

    2000-09-01

    Many students in introductory courses have difficulty solving Gauss' law problems. Through interviews with students and analysis of solutions to homework and examination questions we have identified some specific conceptual difficulties that often contribute to students' inability to solve quantitative Gauss' law problems. We give examples of common difficulties and discuss instructional implications.

  8. Ability of aphasic individuals to perform numerical processing and calculation tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela De Luccia

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare performance on EC301 battery calculation task between aphasic subjects and normal controls of the same sex, age, and education. Method Thirty-two aphasic patients who had suffered a single left hemisphere stroke were evaluated. Forty-four healthy volunteers were also selected. All subjects underwent a comprehensive arithmetic battery to assess their numerical and calculation skills. Performances on numerical processing and calculation tasks were then analyzed. Results Aphasic individuals showed changes in their ability to perform numerical processing and calculation tasks that were not observed in the healthy population. Conclusion Compared with healthy subjects of the same age and education level, individuals with aphasia had difficulty performing various tasks that involved numerical processing and calculation.

  9. Self-Management of On-Task Homework Behavior: A Promising Strategy for Adolescents with Attention and Behavior Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelrod, Michael I.; Zhe, Elizabeth J.; Haugen, Kimberly A.; Klein, Jean A.

    2009-01-01

    Students with attention and behavior problems oftentimes experience difficulty finishing academic work. On-task behavior is frequently cited as a primary reason for students' failure to complete homework assignments. Researchers have identified self-monitoring and self-management of on-task behavior as effective tools for improving homework…

  10. Task oriented training improves the balance outcome & reducing fall risk in diabetic population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazal, Javeria; Malik, Arshad Nawaz; Amjad, Imran

    2016-01-01

    The objective was to determine the balance impairments and to compare task oriented versus traditional balance training in fall reduction among diabetic patients. The randomized control trial with descriptive survey and 196 diabetic patients were recruited to assess balance impairments through purposive sampling technique. Eighteen patients were randomly allocated into two groups; task oriented balance training group TOB (n=8) and traditional balance training group TBT (n=10). The inclusion criteria were 30-50 years age bracket and diagnosed cases of Diabetes Mellitus with neuropathy. The demographics were taken through standardized & valid assessment tools include Berg Balance Scale and Functional Reach Test. The measurements were obtained at baseline, after 04 and 08 weeks of training. The mean age of the participants was 49 ±6.79. The result shows that 165(84%) were at moderate risk of fall and 31(15%) were at mild risk of fall among total 196 diabetic patients. There was significant improvement (p balance training group for dynamic balance, anticipatory balance and reactive balance after 8 weeks of training as compare to traditional balance training. Task oriented balance training is effective in improving the dynamic, anticipator and reactive balance. The task oriented training reduces the risk of falling through enhancing balance outcome.

  11. Studies on usefulness of herical 3DCT imaging for difficulties of laparoscopic cholecystectomy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kudo, Shun; Kameyama, Jin-ichi; Suzuki, Akira; Sakai, Yousuke; Hasegawa, Shigeo; Suzuki, Kumiko

    1998-01-01

    It is exceedingly important to know the degree of inflammation or adhesion of the cystic duct in conducting the laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). In this study, we investigated the significance and usefulness of herical three dimensional CT imaging of the cystic duct for deciding the indication and for assessment of the difficulty in LC. Seventy patients who were tried LC were classified into three groups according to the difficulty of LC, converted group (n=4), performed with an effort group (n=20), and performed without an effort (control) group (n=46). And morphological differences of the cystic duct from the bifurcation to gallbladder neck reconstructed by herical three dimensional CT imaging were compared among three groups. As a result, common tendencies seen in the converted group and performed with an effort group, were absence of herical appearance of Heister's valves of cystic duct, acute angle of cystic ductcommon bile duct, and having moth-eaten appearance of the gall bladder neck. It is indicated that herical three dimensional CT imaging is useful for deciding the indication of LC and for preoperative assessment of the difficulty in LC. (author)

  12. Individuals with Asperger's disorder exhibit difficulty in switching attention from a local level to a global level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katagiri, Masatoshi; Kasai, Tetsuko; Kamio, Yoko; Murohashi, Harumitsu

    2013-02-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether individuals with Asperger's disorder exhibit difficulty in switching attention from a local level to a global level. Eleven participants with Asperger's disorder and 11 age- and gender-matched healthy controls performed a level-repetition switching task using Navon-type hierarchical stimuli. In both groups, level-repetition was beneficial at both levels. Furthermore, individuals with Asperger's disorder exhibited difficulty in switching attention from a local level to a global level compared to control individuals. These findings suggested that there is a problem with the inhibitory mechanism that influences the output of enhanced local visual processing in Asperger's disorder.

  13. 10 CFR Appendix N to Part 50 - Standardization of Nuclear Power Plant Designs: Permits To Construct and Licenses To Operate...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Standardization of Nuclear Power Plant Designs: Permits To Construct and Licenses To Operate Nuclear Power Reactors of Identical Design at Multiple Sites N Appendix N... FACILITIES Pt. 50, App.N Appendix N to Part 50—Standardization of Nuclear Power Plant Designs: Permits To...

  14. Correlates of academic procrastination: discomfort, task aversiveness, and task capability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milgram, N; Marshevsky, S; Sadeh, C

    1995-03-01

    The relationships among five aspects of academic procrastination--behavioral delay, personal upset about the delay, task aversiveness, task capability, and the desire to reduce behavioral delay--were investigated in 10th-grade Israeli students (N = 195). Upset about delay was weakly related to delay itself, and--unlike delay--was strongly related to perceived capability to perform academic tasks and to the desire to change delaying behavior. Students delayed more on academic tasks labeled unpleasant than pleasant, were neutral in between, and were correspondingly more upset about the former than the latter. They more frequently acknowledged reasons for academic procrastination that were less threatening to their self-image (e.g., problems in time management) than reasons that were more threatening (e.g., lack of ability). Interest in reducing delay is related more to self-perceived ability to handle tasks than to time spent procrastinating or reasons given for procrastinating.

  15. Cognitive-motor interference during fine and gross motor tasks in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schott, Nadja; El-Rajab, Inaam; Klotzbier, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    While typically developing children produce relatively automatized postural control processes, children with DCD seem to exhibit an automatization deficit. Dual tasks with various cognitive loads seem to be an effective way to assess the automatic deficit hypothesis. The aims of the study were: (1) to examine the effect of a concurrent cognitive task on fine and gross motor tasks in children with DCD, and (2) to determine whether the effect varied with different difficulty levels of the concurrent task. We examined dual-task performance (Trail-Making-Test, Trail-Walking-Test) in 20 children with DCD and 39 typically developing children. Based on the idea of the Trail-Making-Test, participants walked along a fixed pathway, following a prescribed path, delineated by target markers of (1) increasing sequential numbers, and (2) increasing sequential numbers and letters. The motor and cognitive dual-task effects (DTE) were calculated for each task. Regardless of the cognitive task, children with DCD performed equally well in fine and gross motor tasks, and were slower in the dual task conditions than under single task-conditions, compared with children without DCD. Increased cognitive task complexity resulted in slow trail walking as well as slower trail tracing. The motor interference for the gross motor tasks was least for the simplest conditions and greatest for the complex conditions and was more pronounced in children with DCD. Cognitive interference was low irrespective of the motor task. Children with DCD show a different approach to allocation of cognitive resources, and have difficulties making motor skills automatic. The latter notion is consistent with impaired cerebellar function and the "automatization deficit hypothesis", suggesting that any deficit in the automatization process will appear if conscious monitoring of the motor skill is made more difficult by integrating another task requiring attentional resources. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All

  16. Robot Guided 'Pen Skill' Training in Children with Motor Difficulties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katy A Shire

    Full Text Available Motor deficits are linked to a range of negative physical, social and academic consequences. Haptic robotic interventions, based on the principles of sensorimotor learning, have been shown previously to help children with motor problems learn new movements. We therefore examined whether the training benefits of a robotic system would generalise to a standardised test of 'pen-skills', assessed using objective kinematic measures [via the Clinical Kinematic Assessment Tool, CKAT]. A counterbalanced, cross-over design was used in a group of 51 children (37 male, aged 5-11 years with manual control difficulties. Improved performance on a novel task using the robotic device could be attributed to the intervention but there was no evidence of generalisation to any of the CKAT tasks. The robotic system appears to have the potential to support motor learning, with the technology affording numerous advantages. However, the training regime may need to target particular manual skills (e.g. letter formation in order to obtain clinically significant improvements in specific skills such as handwriting.

  17. Adults with dyslexia demonstrate large effects of crowding and detrimental effects of distractors in a visual tilt discrimination task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rizan Cassim

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that adults with dyslexia (AwD are disproportionately impacted by close spacing of stimuli and increased numbers of distractors in a visual search task compared to controls [1]. Using an orientation discrimination task, the present study extended these findings to show that even in conditions where target search was not required: (i AwD had detrimental effects of both crowding and increased numbers of distractors; (ii AwD had more pronounced difficulty with distractor exclusion in the left visual field and (iii measures of crowding and distractor exclusion correlated significantly with literacy measures. Furthermore, such difficulties were not accounted for by the presence of covarying symptoms of ADHD in the participant groups. These findings provide further evidence to suggest that the ability to exclude distracting stimuli likely contributes to the reported visual attention difficulties in AwD and to the aetiology of literacy difficulties. The pattern of results is consistent with weaker and asymmetric attention in AwD.

  18. Effects of sequential and discrete rapid naming on reading in Japanese children with reading difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakamiya, Eiji; Okumura, Tomohito; Nakanishi, Makoto; Takeshita, Takashi; Mizuta, Mekumi; Kurimoto, Naoko; Tamai, Hiroshi

    2011-06-01

    To clarify whether rapid naming ability itself is a main underpinning factor of rapid automatized naming tests (RAN) and how deep an influence the discrete decoding process has on reading, we performed discrete naming tasks and discrete hiragana reading tasks as well as sequential naming tasks and sequential hiragana reading tasks with 38 Japanese schoolchildren with reading difficulty. There were high correlations between both discrete and sequential hiragana reading and sentence reading, suggesting that some mechanism which automatizes hiragana reading makes sentence reading fluent. In object and color tasks, there were moderate correlations between sentence reading and sequential naming, and between sequential naming and discrete naming. But no correlation was found between reading tasks and discrete naming tasks. The influence of rapid naming ability of objects and colors upon reading seemed relatively small, and multi-item processing may work in relation to these. In contrast, in the digit naming task there was moderate correlation between sentence reading and discrete naming, while no correlation was seen between sequential naming and discrete naming. There was moderate correlation between reading tasks and sequential digit naming tasks. Digit rapid naming ability has more direct effect on reading while its effect on RAN is relatively limited. The ratio of how rapid naming ability influences RAN and reading seems to vary according to kind of the stimuli used. An assumption about components in RAN which influence reading is discussed in the context of both sequential processing and discrete naming speed. Copyright © 2010 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Study on the Strategy of Transforming Students with Learning Difficulties in Polytechnic Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Cui

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available As demand of China’s social construction increasing and as the development of vocational education, polytechnic school plays an increasing important part, which, on the other hand, constitutes unprecedented challenges to the teaching in polytechnic schools. Most students, in the aspect of vocational education, are those from middle schools who have difficulties in their study. These students are entitled “Underachievers”. They are short in intellectual study and poor in curricular foundations. Teaching tasks cannot be satisfactorily accomplished in many of the polytechnic schools for the increasing number of underachievers. What have been harnessing the polytechnic school development is the poor study effect of these students. In this article, the internal reason of character and the external reason of social influence are analyzed as the cause that contributes to learning difficulties. And this article offers a pragmatic set of ideas for underachiever transformation.

  20. Quantification of crew workload imposed by communications-related tasks in commercial transport aircraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, W. H.; Crabtree, M. S.; Simons, J. C.; Gomer, F. E.; Eckel, J. S.

    1983-01-01

    Information theoretic analysis and subjective paired-comparison and task ranking techniques were employed in order to scale the workload of 20 communications-related tasks frequently performed by the captain and first officer of transport category aircraft. Tasks were drawn from taped conversations between aircraft and air traffic controllers (ATC). Twenty crewmembers performed subjective message comparisons and task rankings on the basis of workload. Information theoretic results indicated a broad range of task difficulty levels, and substantial differences between captain and first officer workload levels. Preliminary subjective data tended to corroborate these results. A hybrid scale reflecting the results of both the analytical and the subjective techniques is currently being developed. The findings will be used to select representative sets of communications for use in high fidelity simulation.

  1. Residents in difficulty

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mette Krogh; O'Neill, Lotte; Hansen, Dorthe Høgh

    2016-01-01

    Background The majority of studies on prevalence and characteristics of residents in difficulty have been conducted in English-speaking countries and the existing literature may not reflect the prevalence and characteristics of residents in difficulty in other parts of the world such as the Scand...... in a healthcare system. From our perspective, further sociological and pedagogical investigations in educational cultures across settings and specialties could inform our understanding of and knowledge about pitfalls in residents’ and doctors’ socialization into the healthcare system....

  2. The Effects of Task Structures, Dynamics of Difficulty Changes, and Strategic Resource Allocation Training on Time-Sharing Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-10-01

    intergrated RMSE (averaged over a sliding 5-sec window) was higher than the standard. For the memory-traoking oonditions, a combined speed-accuracy score...group and .23 for the SF group as indicated by the horizontal line on the figures). In fact, the SF group actually reached the desired primary task...23 for the SF group (indicated by the horizontal line on Figure 4). The primary task of all four 5TH-Tl pairs responded to the priority instructions

  3. Sources of Cognitive Inflexibility in Set-Shifting Tasks: Insights Into Developmental Theories From Adult Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Anthony Steven

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments examined processes underlying cognitive inflexibility in set-shifting tasks typically used to assess the development of executive function in children. Adult participants performed a Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST) that requires shifting from categorizing by one dimension (e.g., color) to categorizing by a second orthogonal dimension (e.g., shape). The experiments showed performance of the FIST involves suppression of the representation of the ignored dimension; response times for selecting a target object in an immediately-following oddity task were slower when the oddity target was the previously-ignored stimulus of the FIST. However, proactive interference from the previously relevant stimulus dimension also impaired responding. The results are discussed with respect to two prominent theories of the source of difficulty for children and adults on dimensional shifting tasks: attentional inertia and negative priming . In contrast to prior work emphasizing one over the other process, the findings indicate that difficulty in the FIST, and by extension other set-shifting tasks, can be attributed to both the need to shift away from the previously attended representation ( attentional inertia ), and the need to shift to the previously ignored representation ( negative priming ). Results are discussed in relation to theoretical explanations for cognitive inflexibility in adults and children.

  4. Effects of age and type of picture on visuospatial working memory assessed with a computerized jigsaw-puzzle task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2017-09-15

    We investigated the effect of age and color in a computerized version of the jigsaw-puzzle task. In Experiment 1, young and older adults were presented with puzzles in color and black-and-white line drawings, varying in difficulty from 4 to 9 pieces. Older adults performed the task better with the black-and-white stimuli and younger adults performed better with the color ones. In Experiment 2, new older and young adults identified the same fragmented pictures as fast and accurately as possible. The older group identified the black-and-white stimuli faster than those presented in color, while the younger adults identified both similarly. In Experiment 3A, new older and young groups performed the puzzle task with the same color pictures and their monochrome versions. In Experiment 3B, participants performed a speeded identification task with the two sets. The findings of these experiments showed that older adults have a memory not a perceptual difficulty.

  5. Adolescent Bullying and Sleep Difficulties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon C. Hunter

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated whether adolescents who report having been bullied, being bullies, or report both being a bully and being bullied experience more sleep difficulties than children uninvolved in bullying. The study drew upon cognitive theories of insomnia, investigating whether the extent to which young people report worrying about bullying can moderate associations between victimization and sleep difficulties. Participants were 5420 adolescents who completed a self-report questionnaire. Pure Victims (OR = 1.72, 95% CI [1.07, 2.75], Pure Bullies (OR = 1.80, 95% CI [1.16, 2.81], and Bully-Victims (OR = 2.90, 95% CI [1.17, 4.92] were all more likely to experience sleep difficulties when compared to uninvolved young people. The extent to which young people reported worrying about being bullied did not moderate the links between victimization and sleep difficulties. In this way, bullying is clearly related to sleep difficulties among adolescents but the conceptual reach of the cognitive model of insomnia in this domain is questioned.

  6. Rhythm and Melody Tasks for School-Aged Children With and Without Musical Training: Age-Equivalent Scores and Reliability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kierla Ireland

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Measuring musical abilities in childhood can be challenging. When music training and maturation occur simultaneously, it is difficult to separate the effects of specific experience from age-based changes in cognitive and motor abilities. The goal of this study was to develop age-equivalent scores for two measures of musical ability that could be reliably used with school-aged children (7–13 with and without musical training. The children's Rhythm Synchronization Task (c-RST and the children's Melody Discrimination Task (c-MDT were adapted from adult tasks developed and used in our laboratories. The c-RST is a motor task in which children listen and then try to synchronize their taps with the notes of a woodblock rhythm while it plays twice in a row. The c-MDT is a perceptual task in which the child listens to two melodies and decides if the second was the same or different. We administered these tasks to 213 children in music camps (musicians, n = 130 and science camps (non-musicians, n = 83. We also measured children's paced tapping, non-paced tapping, and phonemic discrimination as baseline motor and auditory abilities We estimated internal-consistency reliability for both tasks, and compared children's performance to results from studies with adults. As expected, musically trained children outperformed those without music lessons, scores decreased as difficulty increased, and older children performed the best. Using non-musicians as a reference group, we generated a set of age-based z-scores, and used them to predict task performance with additional years of training. Years of lessons significantly predicted performance on both tasks, over and above the effect of age. We also assessed the relation between musician's scores on music tasks, baseline tasks, auditory working memory, and non-verbal reasoning. Unexpectedly, musician children outperformed non-musicians in two of three baseline tasks. The c-RST and c-MDT fill an important need for

  7. Rhythm and Melody Tasks for School-Aged Children With and Without Musical Training: Age-Equivalent Scores and Reliability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ireland, Kierla; Parker, Averil; Foster, Nicholas; Penhune, Virginia

    2018-01-01

    Measuring musical abilities in childhood can be challenging. When music training and maturation occur simultaneously, it is difficult to separate the effects of specific experience from age-based changes in cognitive and motor abilities. The goal of this study was to develop age-equivalent scores for two measures of musical ability that could be reliably used with school-aged children (7-13) with and without musical training. The children's Rhythm Synchronization Task (c-RST) and the children's Melody Discrimination Task (c-MDT) were adapted from adult tasks developed and used in our laboratories. The c-RST is a motor task in which children listen and then try to synchronize their taps with the notes of a woodblock rhythm while it plays twice in a row. The c-MDT is a perceptual task in which the child listens to two melodies and decides if the second was the same or different. We administered these tasks to 213 children in music camps (musicians, n = 130) and science camps (non-musicians, n = 83). We also measured children's paced tapping, non-paced tapping, and phonemic discrimination as baseline motor and auditory abilities We estimated internal-consistency reliability for both tasks, and compared children's performance to results from studies with adults. As expected, musically trained children outperformed those without music lessons, scores decreased as difficulty increased, and older children performed the best. Using non-musicians as a reference group, we generated a set of age-based z-scores, and used them to predict task performance with additional years of training. Years of lessons significantly predicted performance on both tasks, over and above the effect of age. We also assessed the relation between musician's scores on music tasks, baseline tasks, auditory working memory, and non-verbal reasoning. Unexpectedly, musician children outperformed non-musicians in two of three baseline tasks. The c-RST and c-MDT fill an important need for researchers

  8. Using Activity Schedules to Increase On-Task Behavior in Children at Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirelli, Christe A.; Sidener, Tina M.; Reeve, Kenneth F.; Reeve, Sharon A.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of activity schedules on on-task and on-schedule behavior were assessed with two boys at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and referred by their public school teachers as having difficulty during independent work time. On-task behavior increased for both participants after two training sessions. Teachers, peers,…

  9. Students’ difficulties in probabilistic problem-solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arum, D. P.; Kusmayadi, T. A.; Pramudya, I.

    2018-03-01

    There are many errors can be identified when students solving mathematics problems, particularly in solving the probabilistic problem. This present study aims to investigate students’ difficulties in solving the probabilistic problem. It focuses on analyzing and describing students errors during solving the problem. This research used the qualitative method with case study strategy. The subjects in this research involve ten students of 9th grade that were selected by purposive sampling. Data in this research involve students’ probabilistic problem-solving result and recorded interview regarding students’ difficulties in solving the problem. Those data were analyzed descriptively using Miles and Huberman steps. The results show that students have difficulties in solving the probabilistic problem and can be divided into three categories. First difficulties relate to students’ difficulties in understanding the probabilistic problem. Second, students’ difficulties in choosing and using appropriate strategies for solving the problem. Third, students’ difficulties with the computational process in solving the problem. Based on the result seems that students still have difficulties in solving the probabilistic problem. It means that students have not able to use their knowledge and ability for responding probabilistic problem yet. Therefore, it is important for mathematics teachers to plan probabilistic learning which could optimize students probabilistic thinking ability.

  10. Children with Speech Difficulties: A survey of clinical practice in the Western Cape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Pascoe

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper is based on a study by Joffe and Pring (2008 which investigated assessment and therapy methods used by Speech Language Therapists (SLTs in the United Kingdom for children with phonological difficulties. Joffe and Pring reported SLTs’ most favoured assessments and therapy approaches in that context. Children with speech difficulties are likely to form a considerable part of SLT caseloads in South Africa, but the choice of assessments may not be so clearcut given the linguistic diversity of the region and the fact that few assessments have been developed specifically for the SA population. Linked to difficulties with assessment, selection of intervention approaches may also pose challenges. This study aimed to investigate the methods of assessment and intervention used by SLTs in the Western Cape when working with children with speech difficulties. A questionnaire was sent to SLTs working with pre and/ or primary school- aged children. Twenty-nine clinicians of varying experience responded. The majority of SLTs (89% use informal assessment tools in combination with formal assessment. When using formal assessments, more than 50% of SLTs make modifications to better suit the population. Participants use a variety of intervention approaches, often in combination, and based on a child’s individual profile of difficulties and available resources. Forty-six percent of SLTs felt unsure about the selection of assessments and intervention for bi/multilingual children with speech difficulties. SLTs suggested that guidelines about accepted / typical speech development in the region would be helpful for their clinical practice. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed together with some suggestions for developing knowledge of children’s speech difficulties in the South African context.

  11. Differential facilitative effects of glucose administration on Stroop task conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Karen R; Gibson, E Leigh; Rackie, James M

    2013-12-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that glucose administration improves memory performance. These glucose facilitation effects have been most reliably demonstrated in medial temporal lobe tasks with the greatest effects found for cognitively demanding tasks. The aim of the proposed research was to first explore whether such effects might be demonstrated in a frontal lobe task. A second aim was to investigate whether any beneficial effects of glucose may arise more prominently under tasks of increasing cognitive demand. To achieve these aims, the Stroop Task was administered to participants and effects of a drink of glucose (25 g) were compared with an aspartame-sweetened control drink on performance in young adults. Results demonstrated that glucose ingestion significantly reduced RTs in the congruent and incongruent conditions. No effect on error rates was observed. Of most importance was the finding that this glucose facilitative effect was significantly greatest in the most cognitively demanding task, that is, the incongruent condition. The present results support the contention that the glucose facilitation effect is most robust under conditions of enhanced task difficulty and demonstrate that such benefits extend to frontal lobe function.

  12. Measuring Difficulty in English-Chinese Translation: Towards a General Model of Translation Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Sanjun

    2012-01-01

    Accurate assessment of a text's level of translation difficulty is critical for translator training and accreditation, translation research, and the language industry as well. Traditionally, people rely on their general impression to gauge a text's translation difficulty level. If the evaluation process is to be more effective and the…

  13. Energy taxation difficulties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landsberg, H.H.

    1993-01-01

    This paper assesses what may be the underlying reasons for the Clinton administration's recent failure to pass the Btu Tax on energy sources and the current difficulties that this Administration is experiencing in acquiring nation wide consensus on a gasoline tax proposal. Two difficulties stand out - regional differences in climate and thus winter heating requirements, and the differences from state to state in transportation system preferences. The paper cites the positive aspects of energy taxation by noting the petroleum industry's efforts to develop a new less polluting reformulated gasoline

  14. EARLY DIAGNOSIS AS DETERMINATING FACTOR FOR PROFESSIONAL, RATIONAL AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENT OF CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFICULTIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran AJDINSKI

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Early diagnosis of children with developmental difficulties is one of the most important segments in the process of rehabilitation. It is not only an assessment and evaluation of the functional conditions, but also and detection of the possibilities for treatment and it’s improvement.In our presentation we give the first noticing for diagnostics of children with developmental difficulties in the Republic of Macedonia, the present capacities, possibilities, needs and suggestions for it’s improvement and advancement. Speaking about that we stress the need of multidisciplinary and complete professional team in the present institutions and solving out a number of problems that exist on that plan. It especially relates to the unique terminology, the procedure and involvement of defectologists in the diagnostic process.Having in mind the bio-psycho and social aspects of the personality of children with developmental difficulties, together with the need of a complex diagnostic procedure, we have tried to give the professional activities of all the profiles of professionals that take part in the diagnostic process. So, we give a review of the work of:· physician-pediatrician who is involved in the diagnostics of all children· audiologist who is involved in the diagnostics of children with damaged hearing from a medical point of view.· the clinical psychologist who works in the institute for medical rehabilitation and whose task is to prepare and realize all the necessary tests for the personality of the child with developmental difficulties.· physiologist for children with somatic damages.· neuropsychiatrist for children with psychological difficulties· specialist for eye diseases giving his report about the child’s damaged eyesight etc.We consider that we shouldn’t neglect the role of the defectologist, his examinations on psycho-motor status, speech, i. e. the functions of the individual in relation to the social aspect in a close

  15. Detection of prospective memory deficits in mild cognitive impairment of suspected Alzheimer's disease etiology using a novel event-based prospective memory task.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Blanco-Campal, Alberto

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the relative discriminatory efficacy of an event-based prospective memory (PM) task, in which specificity of the instructions and perceptual salience of the PM cue were manipulated, compared with two widely used retrospective memory (RM) tests (Rivermead Paragraph Recall Test and CERAD-Word List Test), when detecting mild cognitive impairment of suspected Alzheimer\\'s disease etiology (MCI-AD) (N = 19) from normal controls (NC) (N = 21). Statistical analyses showed high discriminatory capacity of the PM task for detecting MCI-AD. The Non-Specific-Non-Salient condition proved particularly useful in detecting MCI-AD, possibly reflecting the difficulty of the task, requiring more strategic attentional resources to monitor for the PM cue. With a cutoff score of <4\\/10, the Non-Specific-Non-Salient condition achieved a sensitivity = 84%, and a specificity = 95%, superior to the most discriminative RM test used (CERAD-Total Learning: sensitivity = 83%; specificity = 76%). Results suggest that PM is an early sign of memory failure in MCI-AD and may be a more pronounced deficit than retrospective failure, probably reflecting the greater self-initiated retrieval demands involved in the PM task used. Limitations include the relatively small sample size, and the use of a convenience sample (i.e. memory clinic attenders and healthy active volunteers), reducing the generalizability of the results, which should be regarded as preliminary. (JINS, 2009, 15, 154-159.).

  16. Reflections on the institutional difficulties to perform actions on risk management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leoz M, Francisco Javier

    2008-01-01

    In Colombia, risk management is organised through a set of norms which define hierarchic levels where some state agencies, amongst other duties, assume the task to administer risk prevention. This set of rules creates difficulties amongst agencies responsible for risk reduction. One of these problems is related to jurisdiction limits, which render impossible investments destined to reduce risk in areas lying outside legally defined territories. Another problem is the structure of the National System for Prevention and Relief of Disasters, which obliges municipalities to assume the whole responsibility. Furthermore, rules and management related to technical data are considered as obstacles for efficient risk management

  17. A problem with double-blind photospread procedures: photospread administrators use one eyewitness's confidence to influence the identification of another eyewitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglass, Amy Bradfield; Smith, Caroline; Fraser-Thill, Rebecca

    2005-10-01

    In Experiment 1, photospread administrators (PAs, N = 50) showed a target-absent photospread to a confederate eyewitness (CW), who was randomly assigned to identify one photo with either high or low confidence. PAs subsequently administered the same target-absent photospread to participant eyewitnesses (PWs, N = 50), all of whom had viewed a live staged crime 1 week earlier. CWs were rated by the PAs as significantly more confident in the high-confidence condition versus low-confidence condition. More importantly, the confidence of the CW affected the identification decision of the PW. In the low-confidence condition, the photo identified by the CW was identified by the PW significantly more than the other photos; there was no significant difference in photo choice in the high-confidence condition. In spite of the obvious influence exerted in the low-confidence condition, observers were not able to detect bias in the photospread procedures. A second experiment was conducted to test a post-hoc explanation for the results of Experiment 1: PAs exerted influence in the low-confidence condition because they perceived the task as more difficult for the eyewitness than in the high-confidence condition. Independent observers (N = 84) rated the difficulty of the confederate's task as higher in the low-confidence condition compared with the high-confidence condition, suggesting that expectations of task difficulty might be driving the effect observed in Experiment 1. Results support recommendations for double-blind photospreads and emphasize that the same investigator should not administer photo lineups to multiple eyewitnesses in an investigation.

  18. Minding the gap: Children's difficulty conceptualizing spatial intervals as linear measurement units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Tracy L; Vasilyeva, Marina; Huttenlocher, Janellen; Levine, Susan C

    2015-11-01

    Understanding measurement units is critical to mathematics and science learning, but it is a topic that American students find difficult. In 3 studies, we investigated the challenges underlying this difficulty in kindergarten and second grade by comparing performance on different versions of a linear measurement task. Children measured crayons that were either aligned or shifted relative to the left edge of either a continuous ruler or a row of discrete units. The alignment (aligned, shifted) and the measuring tool (ruler, discrete units) were crossed to form 4 types of problems. Study 1 showed good performance in both grades on both types of aligned problems as well as on the shifted problems with discrete units. In contrast, performance was at chance on the shifted ruler problems. Study 2 showed that performance on shifted discrete unit problems declined when numbers were placed on the units, particularly for kindergarteners, suggesting that on the shifted ruler problems, the presence of numbers may have contributed to children's difficulty. However, Study 3 showed that the difficulty on the shifted ruler problems persisted even when the numbers were removed from the ruler. Taken together, these findings suggest that there are multiple challenges to understanding measurement, but that a key challenge is conceptualizing the ruler as a set of countable spatial interval units. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Task Selection is Critical for the Demonstration of Reciprocal Patterns of Sex Differences in Hand/Arm Motor Control and Near/Far Visual Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoff Sanders

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Women have been reported to perform better with hand rather than arm movements (Sanders and Walsh, 2007 and with visual stimuli in near rather than far space (Sanders, Sinclair and Walsh, 2007. Men performed better with the arm and in far space. These reciprocal patterns of sex differences appear as Muscle*Sex and Space*Sex interactions. We investigated these claims using target cancellation tasks in which task difficulty was manipulated by varying target size or the number of distracters. In Study 1 we did not find the Muscle*Sex or the Space*Sex interaction. We argue that ballistic movement was too simple to reveal the Muscle*Sex interaction. However, a trend for the Space*Sex interaction suggested task difficulty was set too high. Study 2 introduced easier levels of difficulty and the overall Space*Sex interaction narrowly failed to reach significance (p = 0.051. In Study 3 the Space*Sex interaction was significant (p = 0.001. A review of the present, and four previously published, studies indicates that task selection is critical if the Space*Sex interaction and its associated reciprocal within-sex differences are to be demonstrated without the obscuring effects of Space and Difficulty. These sex differences are compatible with predictions from the hunter-gatherer hypothesis. Implications for two-visual-system-models are considered.

  20. The validity and reliability of the 'Cancer Caregiving Tasks, Consequences and Needs Questionnaire' (CaTCoN)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Line; Ross, Lone; Petersen, Morten A

    2014-01-01

    and reliability of the multi-item scales in the CaTCoN using psychometric analyses as well as tests of convergent and discriminant validity with the existing instruments FAMCARE and Family Inventory of Needs (FIN). Material and methods. Based on theoretical considerations, a subscale structure in the Ca......TCoN and the existing questionnaires FAMCARE and FIN. Conclusion. Taken together the psychometric analyses and tests of convergent and discriminant validity indicate that the validity and reliability of the CaTCoN are satisfactory.......Background. Caregivers are often involved in and affected by the patient's disease. The questionnaire 'Cancer Caregiving Tasks, Consequences and Needs Questionnaire' (CaTCoN) was developed to measure caregivers' experiences. The aim of this study is to evaluate the construct validity...

  1. A dynamic 3D biomechanical evaluation of the load on the low back during different patient-handling tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skotte, J H; Essendrop, M; Hansen, A F; Schibye, B

    2002-10-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the low-back loading during common patient-handling tasks. Ten female health care workers without formal training in patient handling performed nine patient-handling tasks including turning, lifting and repositioning a male stroke patient. The low-back loading was quantified by net moment, compression, and shear forces at the L4/L5 joint, measured muscle activity (EMG) in erector spinae muscles and rate of perceived exertion (RPE; Borg scale). The experiments were videotaped with a 50Hz video system using five cameras, and the ground and bedside reaction forces of the health care worker were recorded by means of force platforms and force transducers on the bed. The biomechanical load was calculated using a dynamic 3D seven-segment model of the lower part of the body, and the forces at the L4/L5 joint were estimated by a 14 muscles cross-sectional model of the low back (optimisation procedure). Compression force and torque showed high task dependency whereas the EMG data and the RPE values were more dependent on the subject. The peak compression during two tasks involving lifting the patient (4132/4433N) was significantly higher than all other tasks. Four tasks involving repositioning the patient in the bed (3179/3091/2932/3094N) did not differ, but showed higher peak compression than two tasks turning the patient in the bed (1618/2197N). Thus, in this study the patient-handling tasks could be classified into three groups-characterised by lifting, repositioning or turning-with different levels of peak net torque and compression at the L4/L5 joint.

  2. A human brain atlas derived via n-cut parcellation of resting-state and task-based fMRI data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, George Andrew; Hazaroglu, Onder; Bush, Keith A

    2016-02-01

    The growth of functional MRI has led to development of human brain atlases derived by parcellating resting-state connectivity patterns into functionally independent regions of interest (ROIs). All functional atlases to date have been derived from resting-state fMRI data. But given that functional connectivity between regions varies with task, we hypothesized that an atlas incorporating both resting-state and task-based fMRI data would produce an atlas with finer characterization of task-relevant regions than an atlas derived from resting-state alone. To test this hypothesis, we derived parcellation atlases from twenty-nine healthy adult participants enrolled in the Cognitive Connectome project, an initiative to improve functional MRI's translation into clinical decision-making by mapping normative variance in brain-behavior relationships. Participants underwent resting-state and task-based fMRI spanning nine cognitive domains: motor, visuospatial, attention, language, memory, affective processing, decision-making, working memory, and executive function. Spatially constrained n-cut parcellation derived brain atlases using (1) all participants' functional data (Task) or (2) a single resting-state scan (Rest). An atlas was also derived from random parcellation for comparison purposes (Random). Two methods were compared: (1) a parcellation applied to the group's mean edge weights (mean), and (2) a two-stage approach with parcellation of individual edge weights followed by parcellation of mean binarized edges (two-stage). The resulting Task and Rest atlases had significantly greater similarity with each other (mean Jaccard indices JI=0.72-0.85) than with the Random atlases (JI=0.59-0.63; all pRest atlas similarity was greatest for the two-stage method (JI=0.85), which has been shown as more robust than the mean method; these atlases also better reproduced voxelwise seed maps of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during rest and performing the n-back working memory

  3. Regulatory difficulties in a developing country

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobs, W.R. Jr.

    1978-01-01

    The regulatory agency assigned the task of regulating the initial entry into the field of nuclear power generation by a developing country has a very difficult job. Based on the authors' experience during the start-up and initial operation of Ko-Ri Unit I, the first power reactor in the Republic of Korea, observations on regulatory difficulties and recommendations for improved regulatory effectiveness are offered. The problem areas can be loosely grouped into three general categories: (1) Lack of adequate technical knowledge which is the basis for all effective regulation; (2) Difficulties with understanding and utilization of the required regulatory documentation; (3) Failure to establish the proper regulatory environment. Examples are cited from actual experience during the Ko-Ri Unit I start-up to demonstrate the impact that regulatory activities can have on a plant construction and testing programme. The problems encountered are not unique to developing countries but also exist in the United States of America. Recommendations are offered which should be beneficial to either newly formed regulatory agencies or agencies wishing to improve their abilities and effectiveness. These include: (1) Additional training of regulatory inspectors in plant operations; (2) Additional experience gained by participation in regulatory activities in other countries; (3) Increased attention given to regulatory documents, especially plant technical specifications; (4) Establishment of formal lines of communication between the utility and the regulatory agency; (5) Clear definition of regulatory responsibilities to avoid areas of overlapping jurisdiction; (6) Active participation by the regulatory staff very early in the project. It is hoped that these and other recommendations offered will greatly improve regulatory effectiveness and at the same time demonstrate that when the decision is made to 'go nuclear', a strong commitment must be made to develop and support a technically

  4. Corrosion behavior of amorphous and crystalline Cu50Ti50 and Cu50Zr50 alloys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naka, M.; Hoshimoto, K.; Masumoto, T.

    1978-01-01

    Corrosion rates and anodic polarization curves of amorphous and crystalline Cu 50 Ti 50 and Cu 50 Zr 50 alloys have been examined in various acidic, neutral and alkaline solutions. The amorphous alloys are very stable in acidic and alkaline solutions, but unstable in agressive chloride solutions. The corrosion resistance of these amorphous alloys is higher than that of the crystallized alloys. The high corrosion resistance of amorphous alloys is attributable to the high chemical homogeneity of amorphous alloys without localized crystalline defects such as precipitates, segregates, grain boundaries, etc. Metalloid elements play an important role in the corrosion behavior of amorphous alloys; the addition of phosphorus to amorphous Cu-Ti alloy greatly increases the corrosion resistance, even in 1N HCl. (Auth.)

  5. The inhibition of the potassium channel TASK-1 in rat cardiac muscle by endothelin-1 is mediated by phospholipase C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiekel, Julia; Lindner, Moritz; Hetzel, Andrea; Wemhöner, Konstantin; Renigunta, Vijay; Schlichthörl, Günter; Decher, Niels; Oliver, Dominik; Daut, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    The two-pore-domain potassium channel TASK-1 is robustly inhibited by the activation of receptors coupled to the Gα(q) subgroup of G-proteins, but the signal transduction pathway is still unclear. We have studied the mechanisms by which endothelin receptors inhibit the current carried by TASK-1 channels (I(TASK)) in cardiomyocytes. Patch-clamp measurements were carried out in isolated rat cardiomyocytes. I(TASK) was identified by extracellular acidification to pH 6.0 and by the application of the TASK-1 blockers A293 and A1899. Endothelin-1 completely inhibited I(TASK) with an EC(50) of Application of 20 nM endothelin-1 caused a significant increase in action potential duration under control conditions; this was significantly reduced after pre-incubation of the cardiomyocytes with 200 nM A1899. The inhibition of I(TASK) by endothelin-1 was not affected by inhibitors of protein kinase C or rho kinase, but was strongly reduced by U73122, an inhibitor of phospholipase C (PLC). The ability of endothelin-1 to activate PLC-mediated signalling pathways was examined in mammalian cells transfected with TASK-1 and the endothelin-A receptor using patch-clamp measurements and total internal reflection microscopy. U73122 prevented the inhibition of I(TASK) by endothelin-1 and blocked PLC-mediated signalling, as verified with a fluorescent probe for phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate hydrolysis. Our results show that I(TASK) in rat cardiomyocytes is controlled by endothelin-1 and suggest that the inhibition of TASK-1 via endothelin receptors is mediated by the activation of PLC. The prolongation of the action potential observed with 20 nM endothelin-1 was mainly due to the inhibition of I(TASK).

  6. Task parameters affecting ergonomic demands and productivity of HVAC duct installation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitropoulos, Panagiotis; Hussain, Sanaa; Guarascio-Howard, Linda; Memarian, Babak

    2014-01-01

    Mechanical installation workers experience work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) at high rates. (1) Quantify the ergonomic demands during HVAC installation, (2) identify the tasks and task parameters that generated extreme ergonomic demands, and (3) propose improvements to reduce the WMSDs among mechanical workers. The study focused on installation of rectangular ductwork components using ladders, and analyzed five operations by two mechanical contractors. Using continuous time observational assessment, the videotaped operations were analyzed along two dimensions: (1) the production tasks and durations, and (2) the ergonomic demands for four body regions (neck, arms/shoulders, back, and knees). The analysis identified tasks with low portion of productive time and high portion of extreme postures, and task parameters that generated extreme postures. Duct alignment was the task with the highest portion of extreme postures. The position of the ladder (angle and distance from the duct) was a task parameter that strongly influenced the extreme postures for back, neck and shoulders. Other contributing factors included the difficulty to reach the hand tools when working on the ladder, the congestion of components in the ceiling, and the space between the duct and the ceiling. The identified tasks and factors provide directions for improvement.

  7. Faster on Easy Items, More Accurate on Difficult Ones: Cognitive Ability and Performance on a Task of Varying Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonova, Yulia A.; Dodonov, Yury S.

    2013-01-01

    Using more complex items than those commonly employed within the information-processing approach, but still easier than those used in intelligence tests, this study analyzed how the association between processing speed and accuracy level changes as the difficulty of the items increases. The study involved measuring cognitive ability using Raven's…

  8. Reproductive endocrine profiles and follicular growth after estrus induction in the riverine water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis, 2n=50 and riverine-swamp hybrid buffalo (2n = 49

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.H. BonDurant

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Ten adult female water buffalo were used in the present study (5 x [2n = 50] and 5 x [2n= 49] hybrids. Ovarian activity was monitored daily by transrectal ultrasonography between two consecutive ovulations. Observed follicular wave numbers were: 1 (n=1, 2 (n=4, and 3 (n=5. The interovulatory interval ranged 17 to 23 days. Differences in mean follicular diameter between follicles of the normal karyotype (2n=50 and buffalo hybrids (2n=49 were found on the second subordinate group of follicles (P0.05, whereas inhibin profiles were significantly higher in the hybrid group (P<0.05. Understanding the biological meaning of the difference in inhibin concentrations in B. bubalis female reproductive performance will require further investigation.

  9. The Effect of Writing Task and Task Conditions on Colombian EFL Learners' Language Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonough, Kim; Fuentes, César García

    2015-01-01

    This classroom study examines whether English L2 writers' language use differs depending on the writing task (operationalized as paragraph type), and task conditions (operationalized as individual or collaborative writing). The texts written by English L2 university students in Colombia (N = 26) in response to problem/solution and cause/effect…

  10. Results of the Gallium-Clad Phase 3 and Phase 4 tasks (canceled prior to completion)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, R.N.

    1998-08-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Gallium-Clad interactions Phase 3 and 4 tasks. Both tasks were to involve examining the out-of-pile stability of residual gallium in short fuel rods with an imposed thermal gradient. The thermal environment was to be created by an electrical heater in the center of the fuel rod and coolant flow on the rod outer cladding. Both tasks were canceled due to difficulties with fuel pellet fabrication, delays in the preparation of the test apparatus, and changes in the Fissile Materials Disposition program budget

  11. The Relationship of On-Call Work with Fatigue, Work-Home Interference, and Perceived Performance Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziebertz, Carla M; van Hooff, Madelon L M; Beckers, Debby G J; Hooftman, Wendela E; Kompier, Michiel A J; Geurts, Sabine A E

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between on-call duty exposure (active and total on-call hours a month, number of calls per duty) and employees' experiences of being on-call (stress due to unpredictability, ability to relax during inactive on-call periods, restrictions during on-call duties, on-call work demands, and satisfaction with compensation for on-call duties) on the one hand and fatigue, strain-based and time-based work-home interference (WHI), and perceived on-call performance difficulties (PPD) on the other hand. Cross-sectional survey data were collected among a large heterogeneous sample of Dutch employees (N = 5437). The final sample consisted of 157 on-call workers (23-69 years, 71% males). Data were analyzed by means of hierarchical regression analyses (controlling for age and job characteristics). Differences in on-call work exposure were not systematically related to fatigue, WHI, and PPD (all p's >0.50). The experience of being on-call explained a medium proportion of the variation in fatigue and strain-based WHI and a medium to large proportion of the variation in time-based WHI and PPD over and above the control variables. Our results suggest that it is employees' experience of being on-call, especially the experience of stress due to the unpredictability, rather than the amount of exposure, that is related to fatigue, WHI, and perceived on-call performance difficulties.

  12. Workplace bullying and sleep difficulties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Åse Marie; Hogh, Annie; Garde, Anne Helene

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE: The aims of the present study were to investigate whether being subjected to bullying and witnessing bullying at the workplace was associated with concurrent sleep difficulties, whether frequently bullied/witnesses have more sleep difficulties than occasionally bullied....../witnesses, and whether there were associations between being subjected to bullying or witnessing bullying at the workplace and subsequent sleep difficulties. METHODS: A total of 3,382 respondents (67 % women and 33 % men) completed a baseline questionnaire about their psychosocial work environment and health....... The overall response rate was 46 %. At follow-up 2 years later, 1671 of those responded to a second questionnaire (49 % of the 3,382 respondents at baseline). Sleep difficulties were measured in terms of disturbed sleep, awakening problems, and poor quality of sleep. RESULTS: Bullied persons and witnesses...

  13. A critical view to explanations for the maximal value of 50 % of genetic recombination Críticas a las explicaciones del máximo de 50 % de recombinación genética

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLOS Y VALENZUELA

    2001-03-01

    Full Text Available The maximal value of 50 % of genetic recombination (RF = recombination fraction between two linked gene loci has been explained by two models: (i the restriction of crossovers to only two of the four chromatids of a tetrad (tetrad model; (ii the limit of the occurrence of an odd number of crossovers between two loci, when the expected number of crossovers tends to infinite (odd-even model. This article shows that (i is wrong. If tetrads were responsible for the maximal 50 % RF, sister chromatid exchanges (SCE should display a maximal 100 % RF. In mammalian CHO cells we found that SCE yield a maximal 50 % recombination. Also, we demonstrated that the maximal 50 % RF for tetrads occurs because the sum of odd order coefficients in the binomial distribution is equal to the sum of even order coefficients. At the end of meiosis the two chromatids of a chromosome that receives K crossovers are separated. Then K breaks should distribute into two chromatids. Thus, the expected number of breaks per chromatid distributes, when K is large, in 50 % of chromatids having an even number of breaks (RF = 0 and 50 % having an odd number (RF = 1, irrespective of tetrads, hexads, octads or more complex meiotic chromosome configurationsEl máximo de 50 % de recombinación genética (RF entre dos loci ligados ha sido explicado por dos modelos. (i la restricción de los entrecruzamientos a dos de las cuatro cromátidas de una tétrada (modelo de tétrada; (ii el límite de la ocurrencia de un número impar de entrecruzamientos entre los dos loci, cuando el número esperado de entrecruzamientos tiende a infinito (modelo par-impar. Este artículo muestra que (i es erróneo, ya que, si la tétrada fuera responsable del máximo de 50 % de RF, el intercambio de cromátidas hermanas (SCE debería alcazar el 100 % de recombinación y esto no se da en células CHO, en las que encontramos un máximo de 50 %. Además, demostramos que el máximo de 50 % RF para las t

  14. Driving after brain injury: Does dual-task modality matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Kayci L; Schultheis, Maria T; Manning, Kevin J

    2018-01-01

    Virtual reality technology allows neuropsychologists to examine complex, real-world behaviors with high ecological validity and can provide an understanding of the impact of demanding dual-tasks on driving performance. We hypothesized that a task imposing high cognitive and physical demands (coin-sorting) would result in the greatest reduction in driving maintenance performance. Twenty participants with acquired brain injury and 28 healthy controls were included in the current study. All participants were licensed and drove regularly. Participants completed two standardized VRDS drives: (1) a baseline drive with no distractions, and (2) the same route with three, counterbalanced dual-tasks representing differing demands. A series of 3 (Task)×2 (Group) ANOVAs revealed that the ABI group tended to go slower than the HC group in the presence of a dual-task, F (1, 111) = 6.24, p = 0.01. Importantly, the ABI group also showed greater variability in speed, F (1, 110) = 10.97, p < 0.01, and lane position, F (1, 108) = 7.81, p < 0.01, an effect driven by dual-tasks with both a cognitive and motor demand. These results indicate that long-term driving difficulties following ABI are subtle and likely due to reduced cognitive resources.

  15. Cognitive strategies in the mental rotation task revealed by EEG spectral power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardony, Aaron L; Eddy, Marianna D; Brunyé, Tad T; Taylor, Holly A

    2017-11-01

    The classic mental rotation task (MRT; Shepard & Metzler, 1971) is commonly thought to measure mental rotation, a cognitive process involving covert simulation of motor rotation. Yet much research suggests that the MRT recruits both motor simulation and other analytic cognitive strategies that depend on visuospatial representation and visual working memory (WM). In the present study, we investigated cognitive strategies in the MRT using time-frequency analysis of EEG and independent component analysis. We scrutinized sensorimotor mu (µ) power reduction, associated with motor simulation, parietal alpha (pα) power reduction, associated with visuospatial representation, and frontal midline theta (fmθ) power enhancement, associated with WM maintenance and manipulation. µ power increased concomitant with increasing task difficulty, suggesting reduced use of motor simulation, while pα decreased and fmθ power increased, suggesting heightened use of visuospatial representation processing and WM, respectively. These findings suggest that MRT performance involves flexibly trading off between cognitive strategies, namely a motor simulation-based mental rotation strategy and WM-intensive analytic strategies based on task difficulty. Flexible cognitive strategy use may be a domain-general cognitive principle that underlies aptitude and spatial intelligence in a variety of cognitive domains. We close with discussion of the present study's implications as well as future directions. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Meta-analysis of fluid intelligence tests of children from the Chinese mainland with learning difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Fang; Fu, Tong

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the differences in fluid intelligence tests between normal children and children with learning difficulties in China. PubMed, MD Consult, and other Chinese Journal Database were searched from their establishment to November 2012. After finding comparative studies of Raven measurements of normal children and children with learning difficulties, full Intelligent Quotation (FIQ) values and the original values of the sub-measurement were extracted. The corresponding effect model was selected based on the results of heterogeneity and parallel sub-group analysis was performed. Twelve documents were included in the meta-analysis, and the studies were all performed in mainland of China. Among these, two studies were performed at child health clinics, the other ten sites were schools and control children were schoolmates or classmates. FIQ was evaluated using a random effects model. WMD was -13.18 (95% CI: -16.50- -9.85). Children with learning difficulties showed significantly lower FIQ scores than controls (Pintelligence of children with learning difficulties was lower than that of normal children. Delayed development in sub-items of C, D, and E was more obvious.

  17. Global (50°S–50°N) distribution of water vapor observed by COSMIC GPS RO: Comparison with GPS radiosonde, NCEP, ERA-Interim, and JRA-25 reanalysis data sets

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Kishore, P

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study, global (50°S–50°N) distribution of water vapor is investigated using COSMIC GPS RO measurements. Detailed comparisons have been made between COSMIC and high resolution GPS radiosonde measurements across 13 tropical stations and model...

  18. Change in economic difficulties and physical and mental functioning: Evidence from British and Finnish employee cohorts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallukka, Tea; Ferrie, Jane E; Rahkonen, Ossi; Shipley, Martin J; Pietiläinen, Olli; Kivimäki, Mika; Marmot, Michael G; Lahelma, Eero

    2013-09-01

    The main aims of this longitudinal study were to (i) examine associations between changes in economic difficulties and health functioning among middle-aged employees and (ii) assess whether the associations remained after considering conventional domains of socioeconomic position. The associations were tested in two European welfare state occupational cohorts to strengthen the evidence base and improve generalizability. Data came from two cohorts: the Finnish Helsinki Health Study (baseline 2000-2002, follow-up 2007, N = 6328) and the British Whitehall II Study (baseline 1997-1999, follow-up 2003-2004, N = 4350). Responses to the survey item "finding it hard to afford adequate food and clothes and pay bills" repeated at baseline and follow-up were used to examine persistent, increasing, and decreasing economic difficulties. Poor physical and mental health functioning were denoted as being in the lowest quartile of the Short Form 36 physical and mental component summary. Logistic regression analyses were adjusted for sex, age, childhood economic difficulties, household income at baseline and follow-up, employment status at follow-up, and baseline health functioning. We observed strong sex- and age-adjusted associations between increasing [odds ratio (OR) range 1.69-2.96] and persistent (OR range 2.54-3.21) economic difficulties and poorer physical and mental health functioning in both British and Finnish occupational cohorts. These associations remained after full adjustments. Those reporting decreasing difficulties over follow-up also had poorer functioning (OR range 1.30-1.61) compared to those who did not have difficulties at baseline, possibly reflecting residual effects of economic difficulties at baseline. Changes in economic difficulties are associated with poorer physical and mental health functioning independent of income, employment status, and baseline health functioning.

  19. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim S Kuschpel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i eyes-open resting, (ii listening to music and (iii playing the video game Angry Birds before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the Angry Birds video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity.

  20. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuschpel, Maxim S; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game "Angry Birds" before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the "Angry Birds" video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity.

  1. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuschpel, Maxim S.; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J.; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game “Angry Birds” before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the “Angry Birds” video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity. PMID:26579055

  2. Validation of a mechanism to balance exercise difficulty in robot-assisted upper-extremity rehabilitation after stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zimmerli Lukas

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The motivation of patients during robot-assisted rehabilitation after neurological disorders that lead to impairments of motor functions is of great importance. Due to the increasing number of patients, increasing medical costs and limited therapeutic resources, clinicians in the future may want patients to practice their movements at home or with reduced supervision during their stay in the clinic. Since people only engage in an activity and are motivated to practice if the outcome matches the effort at which they perform, an augmented feedback application for rehabilitation should take the cognitive and physical deficits of patients into account and incorporate a mechanism that is capable of balancing i.e. adjusting the difficulty of an exercise in an augmented feedback application to the patient's capabilities. Methods We propose a computational mechanism based on Fitts' Law that balances i.e. adjusts the difficulty of an exercise for upper-extremity rehabilitation. The proposed mechanism was implemented into an augmented feedback application consisting of three difficulty conditions (easy, balanced, hard. The task of the exercise was to reach random targets on the screen from a starting point within a specified time window. The available time was decreased with increasing condition difficulty. Ten subacute stroke patients were recruited to validate the mechanism through a study. Cognitive and motor functions of patients were assessed using the upper extremity section of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, the modified Ashworth scale as well as the Addenbrookes cognitive examination-revised. Handedness of patients was obtained using the Edinburgh handedness inventory. Patients' performance during the execution of the exercises was measured twice, once for the paretic and once for the non-paretic arm. Results were compared using a two-way ANOVA. Post hoc analysis was performed using a Tukey HSD with a significance level of p Results

  3. A Novel Eye-Tracking Method to Assess Attention Allocation in Individuals with and without Aphasia Using a Dual-Task Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Sabine; Hallowell, Brooke

    2015-01-01

    Numerous authors report that people with aphasia have greater difficulty allocating attention than people without neurological disorders. Studying how attention deficits contribute to language deficits is important. However, existing methods for indexing attention allocation in people with aphasia pose serious methodological challenges. Eye-tracking methods have great potential to address such challenges. We developed and assessed the validity of a new dual-task method incorporating eye tracking to assess attention allocation. Twenty-six adults with aphasia and 33 control participants completed auditory sentence comprehension and visual search tasks. To test whether the new method validly indexes well-documented patterns in attention allocation, demands were manipulated by varying task complexity in single- and dual-task conditions. Differences in attention allocation were indexed via eye-tracking measures. For all participants significant increases in attention allocation demands were observed from single- to dual-task conditions and from simple to complex stimuli. Individuals with aphasia had greater difficulty allocating attention with greater task demands. Relationships between eye-tracking indices of comprehension during single and dual tasks and standardized testing were examined. Results support the validity of the novel eye-tracking method for assessing attention allocation in people with and without aphasia. Clinical and research implications are discussed. PMID:25913549

  4. Spelling Difficulties in School-Aged Girls with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Behavioral, Psycholinguistic, Cognitive, and Graphomotor Correlates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Åsberg Johnels, Jakob; Kopp, Svenny; Gillberg, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Writing difficulties are common among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the nature of these difficulties has not been well studied. Here we relate behavioral, psycholinguistic, cognitive (memory/executive), and graphomotor measures to spelling skills in school-age girls with ADHD (n = 30) and an age-matched group…

  5. Symptom severity prediction from neuropsychiatric clinical records: Overview of 2016 CEGS N-GRID shared tasks Track 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filannino, Michele; Stubbs, Amber; Uzuner, Özlem

    2017-11-01

    The second track of the CEGS N-GRID 2016 natural language processing shared tasks focused on predicting symptom severity from neuropsychiatric clinical records. For the first time, initial psychiatric evaluation records have been collected, de-identified, annotated and shared with the scientific community. One-hundred-ten researchers organized in twenty-four teams participated in this track and submitted sixty-five system runs for evaluation. The top ten teams each achieved an inverse normalized macro-averaged mean absolute error score over 0.80. The top performing system employed an ensemble of six different machine learning-based classifiers to achieve a score 0.86. The task resulted to be generally easy with the exception of two specific classes of records: records with very few but crucial positive valence signals, and records describing patients predominantly affected by negative rather than positive valence. Those cases proved to be very challenging for most of the systems. Further research is required to consider the task solved. Overall, the results of this track demonstrate the effectiveness of data-driven approaches to the task of symptom severity classification. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The effect of episodic retrieval on inhibition in task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grange, James A; Kowalczyk, Agnieszka W; O'Loughlin, Rory

    2017-08-01

    Inhibition in task switching is inferred from n-2 repetition costs: the observation that ABA task switching sequences are responded to slower than CBA sequences. This is thought to reflect the persisting inhibition of Task A, which slows reactivation attempts. Mayr (2002) reported an experiment testing a critical noninhibitory account of this effect, namely episodic retrieval: If the trial parameters for Task A match across an ABA sequence, responses should be facilitated because of priming from episodic retrieval; a cost would occur if trial parameters mismatch. In a rule-switching paradigm, Mayr reported no significant difference in n-2 repetition cost when the trial parameters repeated or switched across an ABA sequence, in clear contrast to the episodic retrieval account. What remains unclear is whether successful episodic retrieval modulates the n-2 repetition cost. Across 3 experiments-including a close replication of Mayr-we find clear evidence of reduced n-2 task repetition costs when episodic retrieval is controlled. We find that the effect of episodic retrieval on the n-2 task repetition cost is increased when the cue-task relationship is made more abstract, suggesting the effect is because of interference in establishing the relevant attentional set. We also demonstrate that the episodic retrieval effect is not influenced by retrieval of low-level, perceptual, elements. Together, the data suggest the n-2 task repetition cost-typically attributable to an inhibitory mechanism-also reflects episodic retrieval effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Autistic children and the object permanence task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrien, J L; Tanguay, P; Barthélémy, C; Martineaú, J; Perrot, A; Hameury, L; Sauvage, D

    1993-01-01

    Many mentally retarded autistic children can understand the concept of object permanence, but, in comparison to developmental-age matched normal children, the behavioral strategies they employ in carrying out the Casati-Lezine Object Permanence Test are deficient and lead to failure. These deficiencies appear unrelated to interference of stereotypic or other bizarre behavior in task performance. Similar problem-solving deficiencies can be found in mentally retarded children who are not autistic, suggesting that the deficiencies themselves are less related to the social-communication deficits of autistic children, but more to the general problem-solving difficulties found in children with a lower developmental quotient. Nevertheless, the qualitative analysis of results shows a tendency in autistic children, despite their better developmental level, to use less coordinated and regular sequences to solve the task than normal or mentally retarded children.

  8. Los problemas evolutivos de coordinación en la adolescencia: Análisis de una dificultad oculta. Developmental coordination problems in the adolescence: analisys of a hidden difficulty.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiz Pérez , Luis Miguel

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available ResumenEl presente artículo realiza un análisis de los problemas evolutivos de coordinación motriz en la edad escolar, un asunto que ha recibido una escasa atención en los ámbitos educativos españoles. La existencia de estas dificultades de estos adolescentes tiene su mayor expresión más relevante en las sesiones de educación física, de aprendizaje deportivo o en los juegos, ha provocado una gran preocupación en los países de nuestro entorno y el desarrollo de programas de intervención que palie esta condición y la remedie. Más allá de las relevancias que se puedan otorgar a las diferentes materias del currículo escolar, la competencia motriz es un elemento imprescindible para favorecer un estilo de vida saludable entre los escolares de la educación secundaria, desvelar al existencia de esta dificultad es un primer paso en esta dirección.AbstractThe objective of this article has been to analyze developmental coordination problems in school ages, a matter that has received a short attention among educators in our country. The clear expression of this difficulty is in the physical education and sport classes. Many countries have begun to study and analyze this problem worried about the increased incidence of it, and have developed intervention programmes in order to improve the motor competence of these children. Physical education has the objective of developing of motor competence in all our secondary school children and promote a healthy life style among them, to uncover this hidden difficulty is a necessary step in this direction.

  9. Perceptual difficulty in source memory encoding and retrieval: prefrontal versus parietal electrical brain activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Trudy Y; Van Petten, Cyma

    2008-01-01

    It is well established that source memory retrieval--remembering relationships between a core item and some additional attribute of an event--engages prefrontal cortex (PFC) more than simple item memory. In event-related potentials (ERPs), this is manifest in a late-onset difference over PFC between studied items which mandate retrieval of a second attribute, and unstudied items which can be immediately rejected. Although some sorts of attribute conjunctions are easier to remember than others, the role of source retrieval difficulty on prefrontal activity has received little attention. We examined memory for conjunctions of object shape and color when color was an integral part of the depicted object, and when monochrome objects were surrounded by colored frames. Source accuracy was reliably worse when shape and color were spatially separated, but prefrontal activity did not vary across the object-color and frame-color conditions. The insensitivity of prefrontal ERPs to this perceptual manipulation of difficulty stands in contrast to their sensitivity to encoding task: deliberate voluntary effort to integrate objects and colors during encoding reduced prefrontal activity during retrieval, but perceptual organization of stimuli did not. The amplitudes of ERPs over parietal cortex were larger for frame-color than object-color stimuli during both study and test phases of the memory task. Individual variability in parietal ERPs was strongly correlated with memory accuracy, which we suggest reflects a contribution of visual working memory to long-term memory. We discuss multiple bottlenecks for source memory performance.

  10. Effects of Attentional Focus and Age on Suprapostural Task Performance and Postural Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNevin, Nancy; Weir, Patricia; Quinn, Tiffany

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Suprapostural task performance (manual tracking) and postural control (sway and frequency) were examined as a function of attentional focus, age, and tracking difficulty. Given the performance benefits often found under external focus conditions, it was hypothesized that external focus instructions would promote superior tracking and…

  11. Task-oriented maximally entangled states

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agrawal, Pankaj; Pradhan, B

    2010-01-01

    We introduce the notion of a task-oriented maximally entangled state (TMES). This notion depends on the task for which a quantum state is used as the resource. TMESs are the states that can be used to carry out the task maximally. This concept may be more useful than that of a general maximally entangled state in the case of a multipartite system. We illustrate this idea by giving an operational definition of maximally entangled states on the basis of communication tasks of teleportation and superdense coding. We also give examples and a procedure to obtain such TMESs for n-qubit systems.

  12. An evaluation of clinical treatment of convergence insufficiency for children with reading difficulties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dusek Wolfgang A

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The present study investigates two different treatment options for convergence insufficiency CI for a group of children with reading difficulties referred by educational institutes to a specialist eye clinic in Vienna. Methods One hundred and thirty four subjects (aged 7-14 years with reading difficulties were referred from an educational institute in Vienna, Austria for visual assessment. Each child was given either 8Δ base-in reading spectacles (n = 51 or computerised home vision therapy (HTS (n = 51. Thirty two participants refused all treatment offered (clinical control group. A full visual assessment including reading speed and accuracy were conducted pre- and post-treatment. Results Factorial analyses demonstrated statistically significant changes between results obtained for visits 1 and 2 for total reading time, reading error score, amplitude of accommodation and binocular accommodative facility (within subjects effects (p Conclusions Reading difficulties with no apparent intellectual or psychological foundation may be due to a binocular vision anomaly such as convergence insufficiency. Both the HTS and prismatic correction are highly effective treatment options for convergence insufficiency. Prismatic correction can be considered an effective alternative to HTS.

  13. Group-based exercise combined with dual-task training improves gait but not vascular health in active older adults without dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Michael A; Gill, Dawn P; Zou, Guangyong; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Shigematsu, Ryosuke; Fitzgerald, Clara; Hachinski, Vladimir; Shoemaker, Kevin; Petrella, Robert J

    2016-01-01

    Gait abnormalities and vascular disease risk factors are associated with cognitive impairment in aging. To determine the impact of group-based exercise and dual-task training on gait and vascular health, in active community-dwelling older adults without dementia. Participants [n=44, mean (SD) age: 73.5 (7.2) years, 68% female] were randomized to either intervention (exercise+dual-task; EDT) or control (exercise only; EO). Each week, for 26 weeks, both groups accumulated 50 or 75 min of aerobic exercise from group-based classes and 45 min of beginner-level square stepping exercise (SSE). Participants accumulating only 50 min of aerobic exercise were instructed to participate in an additional 25 min each week outside of class. The EDT group also answered cognitively challenging questions while performing SSE (i.e., dual-task training). The effect of the interventions on gait and vascular health was compared between groups using linear mixed effects models. At 26 weeks, the EDT group demonstrated increased dual-task (DT) gait velocity [difference between groups in mean change from baseline (95% CI): 0.29 m/s (0.16-0.43), pexercise combined with dual-task training can improve DT gait characteristics in active older adults without dementia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A Male Advantage for Spatial and Object but Not Verbal Working Memory Using the N-Back Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lejbak, Lisa; Crossley, Margaret; Vrbancic, Mirna

    2011-01-01

    Sex-related differences have been reported for performance and neural substrates on some working memory measures that carry a high cognitive load, including the popular n-back neuroimaging paradigm. Despite some evidence of a sex effect on the task, the influence of sex on performance represents a potential confound in neuroimaging research. The…

  15. Discrimination, Other Psychosocial Stressors, and Self-Reported Sleep Duration and Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slopen, Natalie; Williams, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: To advance understanding of the relationship between discrimination and sleep duration and difficulties, with consideration of multiple dimensions of discrimination, and attention to concurrent stressors; and to examine the contribution of discrimination and other stressors to racial/ ethnic differences in these outcomes. Design: Cross-sectional probability sample. Setting: Chicago, IL. Participants: There were 2,983 black, Hispanic, and white adults. Measurements and Results: Outcomes included self-reported sleep duration and difficulties. Discrimination, including racial and nonracial everyday and major experiences of discrimination, workplace harassment and incivilities, and other stressors were assessed via questionnaire. In models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, greater exposure to racial (β = -0.14)) and nonracial (β = -0.08) everyday discrimination, major experiences of discrimination attributed to race/ethnicity (β = -0.17), and workplace harassment and incivilities (β = -0.14) were associated with shorter sleep (P stressors (i.e., acute events, childhood adversity, and financial, community, employment, and relationship stressors). Racial (β = 0.04) and non-racial (β = 0.05) everyday discrimination and racial (β = 0.04) and nonracial (β = 0.04) major experiences of discrimination, and workplace harassment and incivilities (β = 0.04) were also associated with more (log) sleep difficulties, and associations between racial and nonracial everyday discrimination and sleep difficulties remained after adjustment for other stressors (P 0.05). Conclusions: Discrimination was associated with shorter sleep and more sleep difficulties, independent of socioeconomic status and other stressors, and may account for some of the racial/ethnic differences in sleep. Citation: Slopen N; Williams DR. Discrimination, other psychosocial stressors, and self-reported sleep duration and difficulties. SLEEP 2014;37(1):147-156. PMID:24381373

  16. Measuring prefrontal cortical activity during dual task walking in patients with Parkinson's disease: feasibility of using a new portable fNIRS device

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwhof, F.; Reelick, M.F.; Maidan, I.; Mirelman, A.; Hausdorff, J.M.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.; Bloem, B.R.; Muthalib, M.; Claassen, J.A.H.R.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Many patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have difficulties in performing a second task during walking (i.e., dual task walking). Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a promising approach to study the presumed contribution of dysfunction within the prefrontal cortex (PFC)

  17. Mobility Modification Alleviates Environmental Influence on Incident Mobility Difficulty among Community-Dwelling Older People: A Two-Year Follow-Up Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portegijs, Erja; Viljanen, Anne; Iwarsson, Susanne; Rantanen, Taina

    2016-01-01

    Background Environmental barriers increase risk for mobility difficulties in old age. Mobility difficulty is preceded by a phase where people try to postpone a difficulty through mobility modification. We studied whether perceived environmental mobility barriers outdoors correlate with mobility modification and mobility difficulty, predict development of mobility difficulty over a two-year follow-up, and whether mobility modification alleviates the risk for difficulty. Methods At baseline, 848 people aged 75–90 were interviewed face-to-face. Telephone follow-up interviews were conducted one (n = 816) and two years (n = 761) later. Environmental barriers to mobility were self-reported using a15-item structured questionnaire at baseline, summed and divided into tertiles (0, 1 and 2 or more barriers). Mobility difficulty was assessed as self-reported ability to walk 2 km at all assessment points and categorized into ‘no difficulty’, ‘no difficulty but mobility modifications’ (reducing frequency, stopping walking, using an aid, slowing down or resting during the performance) and ‘difficulty’. Results At baseline, 212 participants reported mobility modifications and 356 mobility difficulties. Those reporting one or multiple environmental barriers had twice the odds for mobility modifications and up to five times the odds for mobility difficulty compared to those reporting no environmental barriers. After multiple adjustments for health and functioning, reporting multiple environmental barriers outdoors continued to predict the development of incident mobility difficulty over the two-year follow-up. Mobility modifications attenuated the association. Conclusion For older people who successfully modify their performance, environmental influence on incident mobility difficulty can be diminished. Older people use mobility modification to alleviate environmental press on mobility. PMID:27104750

  18. Multi-criteria decision analysis: Limitations, pitfalls, and practical difficulties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kujawski, Edouard

    2003-02-01

    The 2002 Winter Olympics women's figure skating competition is used as a case study to illustrate some of the limitations, pitfalls, and practical difficulties of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). The paper compares several widely used models for synthesizing the multiple attributes into a single aggregate value. The various MCDA models can provide conflicting rankings of the alternatives for a common set of information even under states of certainty. Analysts involved in MCDA need to deal with the following challenging tasks: (1) selecting an appropriate analysis method, and (2) properly interpreting the results. An additional trap is the availability of software tools that implement specific MCDA models that can beguile the user with quantitative scores. These conclusions are independent of the decision domain and they should help foster better MCDA practices in many fields including systems engineering trade studies.

  19. Three-dimensional vision enhances task performance independently of the surgical method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, O J; Hagen, M; Kurmann, A; Horgan, S; Candinas, D; Vorburger, S A

    2012-10-01

    Within the next few years, the medical industry will launch increasingly affordable three-dimensional (3D) vision systems for the operating room (OR). This study aimed to evaluate the effect of two-dimensional (2D) and 3D visualization on surgical skills and task performance. In this study, 34 individuals with varying laparoscopic experience (18 inexperienced individuals) performed three tasks to test spatial relationships, grasping and positioning, dexterity, precision, and hand-eye and hand-hand coordination. Each task was performed in 3D using binocular vision for open performance, the Viking 3Di Vision System for laparoscopic performance, and the DaVinci robotic system. The same tasks were repeated in 2D using an eye patch for monocular vision, conventional laparoscopy, and the DaVinci robotic system. Loss of 3D vision significantly increased the perceived difficulty of a task and the time required to perform it, independently of the approach (P robot than with laparoscopy (P = 0.005). In every case, 3D robotic performance was superior to conventional laparoscopy (2D) (P < 0.001-0.015). The more complex the task, the more 3D vision accelerates task completion compared with 2D vision. The gain in task performance is independent of the surgical method.

  20. Access to care for children with emotional/behavioral difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning-Smith, Carrie; Alang, Sirry

    2016-06-01

    Emotional/behavioral difficulties (EBDs) are increasingly diagnosed in children, constituting some of the most common chronic childhood conditions. Left untreated, EBDs pose long-term individual and population-level consequences. There is a growing evidence of disparities in EBD prevalence by various demographic characteristics. This article builds on this research by examining disparities in access to medical care for children with EBD. From 2008 to 2011, using data from the US National Health Interview Survey (N = 31,631) on sample children aged 4-17, we investigate (1) whether having EBD affects access to care (modeled as delayed care due to cost and difficulty making an appointment) and (2) the role demographic characteristics, health insurance coverage, and frequency of service use play in access to care for children with EBD. Results indicate that children with EBD experience issues in accessing care at more than twice the rate of children without EBD, even though they are less likely to be uninsured than their counterparts without EBD. In multivariable models, children with EBD are still more likely to experience delayed care due to cost and difficulty making a timely appointment, even after adjusting for frequency of health service use, insurance coverage, and demographic characteristics. © The Author(s) 2015.

  1. Benefits of interhemispheric integration on the Japanese Kana script-matching tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizaki, K; Tsuji, Y

    2000-02-01

    We tested Banich's hypothesis that the benefits of bihemispheric processing were enhanced as task complexity increased, when some procedural shortcomings in the previous studies were overcome by using Japanese Kana script-matching tasks. In Exp. 1, the 20 right-handed subjects were given the Physical-Identity task (Katakana-Katakana scripts matching) and the Name-Identity task (Katakana-Hiragana scripts matching). On both tasks, a pair of Kana scripts was tachistoscopically presented in the left, right, and bilateral visual fields. Distractor stimuli were also presented with target Kana scripts on both tasks to equate the processing load between the hemispheres. Analysis showed that, while a bilateral visual-field advantage was found on the name-identity task, a unilateral visual-field advantage was found on the physical-identity task, suggesting that, as the computational complexity of the encoding stage was enhanced, the benefits of bilateral hemispheric processing increased. In Exp. 2, the 16 right-handed subjects were given the same physical-identity task as in Exp. 1, except Hiragana scripts were used as distractors instead of digits to enhance task difficulty. Analysis showed no differences in performance between the unilateral and bilateral visual fields. Taking into account these results of physical-identity tasks for both Exps. 1 and 2, enhancing task demand in the stage of ignoring distractors made the unilateral visual-field advantage obtained in Exp. 1 disappear in Exp. 2. These results supported Banich's hypothesis.

  2. De-identification of psychiatric intake records: Overview of 2016 CEGS N-GRID shared tasks Track 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, Amber; Filannino, Michele; Uzuner, Özlem

    2017-11-01

    The 2016 CEGS N-GRID shared tasks for clinical records contained three tracks. Track 1 focused on de-identification of a new corpus of 1000 psychiatric intake records. This track tackled de-identification in two sub-tracks: Track 1.A was a "sight unseen" task, where nine teams ran existing de-identification systems, without any modifications or training, on 600 new records in order to gauge how well systems generalize to new data. The best-performing system for this track scored an F1 of 0.799. Track 1.B was a traditional Natural Language Processing (NLP) shared task on de-identification, where 15 teams had two months to train their systems on the new data, then test it on an unannotated test set. The best-performing system from this track scored an F1 of 0.914. The scores for Track 1.A show that unmodified existing systems do not generalize well to new data without the benefit of training data. The scores for Track 1.B are slightly lower than the 2014 de-identification shared task (which was almost identical to 2016 Track 1.B), indicating that these new psychiatric records pose a more difficult challenge to NLP systems. Overall, de-identification is still not a solved problem, though it is important to the future of clinical NLP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Timing of Academic Difficulties for Neglected and Nonmaltreated Males and Females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall-Tackett, Kathleen

    1997-01-01

    Neglected or abused/neglected children (N=420) were compared with matched, nonmal-treated children on measures of school performance. Differences between the sexes in timing of academic difficulties was found for both math and English. Grades of neglected and abused/neglected students paralleled that of nonmal-treated students but were lower at…

  4. Self-reported difficulty and preferences of wheeled mobility device users for simulated low-floor bus boarding, interior circulation and disembarking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Clive; Paquet, Victor L; Lenker, James A; Steinfeld, Edward

    2017-11-13

    Low ridership of public transit buses among wheeled mobility device users suggests the need to identify vehicle design conditions that are either particularly accommodating or challenging. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of low-floor bus interior seating configuration and passenger load on wheeled mobility device user-reported difficulty, overall acceptability and design preference. Forty-eight wheeled mobility users evaluated three interior design layouts at two levels of passenger load (high vs. low) after simulating boarding and disembarking tasks on a static full-scale low-floor bus mockup. User self-reports of task difficulty, acceptability and design preference were analyzed across the different test conditions. Ramp ascent was the most difficult task for manual wheelchair users relative to other tasks. The most difficult tasks for users of power wheelchairs and scooters were related to interior circulation, including moving to the securement area, entry and positioning in the securement area and exiting the securement area. Boarding and disembarking at the rear doorway was significantly more acceptable and preferred compared to the layouts with front doorways. Understanding transit usability barriers, perceptions and preferences among wheeled mobility users is an important consideration for clinicians who recommend mobility-related device interventions to those who use public transportation. Implications for Rehabilitation In order to maximize community participation opportunities for wheeled mobility users, clinicians should consider potential public transit barriers during the processes of wheelchair device selection and skills training. Usability barriers experienced by wheeled mobility device users on transit vehicles differ by mobility device type and vehicle configurations. Full-scale environment simulations are an effective means of identifying usability barriers and design needs in people with mobility impairments and may

  5. Almeria spatial memory recognition test (ASMRT): Gender differences emerged in a new passive spatial task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tascón, Laura; García-Moreno, Luis Miguel; Cimadevilla, Jose Manuel

    2017-06-09

    Many different human spatial memory tasks were developed in the last two decades. Virtual reality based tasks make possible developing different scenarios and situations to assess spatial orientation but sometimes these tasks are complex for specific populations like children and older-adults. A new spatial task with a very limited technological requirement was developed in this study. It demanded the use of spatial memory for an accurate solution. It also proved to be sensitive to gender differences, with men outperforming women under high specific difficulty levels. Thanks to its simplicity it could be applied as a screening test and is easy to combine with EEG and fMRI studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Fundamentals of neurosurgery: virtual reality tasks for training and evaluation of technical skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Nusrat; Gélinas-Phaneuf, Nicholas; Delorme, Sébastien; Del Maestro, Rolando

    2013-11-01

    Technical skills training in neurosurgery is mostly done in the operating room. New educational paradigms are encouraging the development of novel training methods for surgical skills. Simulation could answer some of these needs. This article presents the development of a conceptual training framework for use on a virtual reality neurosurgical simulator. Appropriate tasks were identified by reviewing neurosurgical oncology curricula requirements and performing cognitive task analyses of basic techniques and representative surgeries. The tasks were then elaborated into training modules by including learning objectives, instructions, levels of difficulty, and performance metrics. Surveys and interviews were iteratively conducted with subject matter experts to delimitate, review, discuss, and approve each of the development stages. Five tasks were selected as representative of basic and advanced neurosurgical skill. These tasks were: 1) ventriculostomy, 2) endoscopic nasal navigation, 3) tumor debulking, 4) hemostasis, and 5) microdissection. The complete training modules were structured into easy, intermediate, and advanced settings. Performance metrics were also integrated to provide feedback on outcome, efficiency, and errors. The subject matter experts deemed the proposed modules as pertinent and useful for neurosurgical skills training. The conceptual framework presented here, the Fundamentals of Neurosurgery, represents a first attempt to develop standardized training modules for technical skills acquisition in neurosurgical oncology. The National Research Council Canada is currently developing NeuroTouch, a virtual reality simulator for cranial microneurosurgery. The simulator presently includes the five Fundamentals of Neurosurgery modules at varying stages of completion. A first pilot study has shown that neurosurgical residents obtained higher performance scores on the simulator than medical students. Further work will validate its components and use in a

  7. The Role Of Tasks That Supports Making Algebraic Generalisation In Forming 7th Grade Students’ Ability To Generalise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rukiye Gökce

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Number patterns play an important role in the formation of mathematical concepts, as mathematics is treated as a science of patterns and relations, and as it is important to learn mathematics with generalization. With the reform in the middle school mathematics curriculum, the concept of pattern entering the curriculum has brought some learning difficulties in the context of generalization In this study the potential of tasks which are developed by considering student difficulties reported in the literature, algebraic generalization process and task design principles to shape generalization skills is examined. The study was conducted with thirteen students in five weeks (16 hours. Data were collected through notes, video and audio recordings and observations held during the implementation process. The data were analyzed qualitatively. As a result of the research; it has been determined that tasks can play an important role in strategy and notation use, algebraic generalization and effective use of visual models in finding a rule.

  8. Searching for strategies to reduce the mechanical demands of the sit-to-stand task with a muscle-actuated optimal control model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bobbert, M.F.; Kistemaker, D.A.; Vaz, M.A.; Ackermann, M

    2016-01-01

    Background The sit-to-stand task, which involves rising unassisted from sitting on a chair to standing, is important in daily life. Many people with muscle weakness, reduced range of motion or loading-related pain in a particular joint have difficulty performing the task. How should a person

  9. Response to dynamic language tasks among typically developing Latino preschool children with bilingual experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Janet L; Rodríguez, Barbara L; Dale, Philip S

    2013-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether typically developing preschool children with bilingual experience show evidence of learning within brief dynamic assessment language tasks administered in a graduated prompting framework. Dynamic assessment has shown promise for accurate identification of language impairment in bilingual children, and a graduated prompting approach may be well-suited to screening for language impairment. Three dynamic language tasks with graduated prompting were presented to 32 typically developing 4-year-olds in the language to which the child had the most exposure (16 Spanish, 16 English). The tasks were a novel word learning task, a semantic task, and a phonological awareness task. Children's performance was significantly higher on the last 2 items compared with the first 2 items for the semantic and the novel word learning tasks among children who required a prompt on the 1st item. There was no significant difference between the 1st and last items on the phonological awareness task. Within-task improvements in children's performance for some tasks administered within a brief, graduated prompting framework were observed. Thus, children's responses to graduated prompting may be an indicator of modifiability, depending on the task type and level of difficulty.

  10. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

    In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs. PMID:29621292

  11. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róbert Adrian Rill

    Full Text Available In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs.

  12. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rill, Róbert Adrian; Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

    In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs.

  13. A novel task for the investigation of action acquisition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Stafford

    Full Text Available We present a behavioural task designed for the investigation of how novel instrumental actions are discovered and learnt. The task consists of free movement with a manipulandum, during which the full range of possible movements can be explored by the participant and recorded. A subset of these movements, the 'target', is set to trigger a reinforcing signal. The task is to discover what movements of the manipulandum evoke the reinforcement signal. Targets can be defined in spatial, temporal, or kinematic terms, can be a combination of these aspects, or can represent the concatenation of actions into a larger gesture. The task allows the study of how the specific elements of behaviour which cause the reinforcing signal are identified, refined and stored by the participant. The task provides a paradigm where the exploratory motive drives learning and as such we view it as in the tradition of Thorndike [1]. Most importantly it allows for repeated measures, since when a novel action is acquired the criterion for triggering reinforcement can be changed requiring a new action to be discovered. Here, we present data using both humans and rats as subjects, showing that our task is easily scalable in difficulty, adaptable across species, and produces a rich set of behavioural measures offering new and valuable insight into the action learning process.

  14. A School-Based Movement Programme for Children with Motor Learning Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannisto, Juha-Pekka; Cantell, Marja; Huovinen, Tommi; Kooistra, Libbe; Larkin, Dawne

    2006-01-01

    The study investigated the effectiveness of a school-based movement programme for a population of 5 to 7 year old children. Performance profiles on the Movement ABC were used to classify the children and to assess skill changes over time. Children were assigned to four different groups: motor learning difficulty (n = 10), borderline motor learning…

  15. Impaired performance on advanced Theory of Mind tasks in children with epilepsy is related to poor communication and increased attention problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, Judith; Lewis, Charlie; Sherlock, Christopher

    2015-02-01

    Children with epilepsy (CWE) have social difficulties that can persist into adulthood, and this could be related to problems with understanding others' thoughts, feelings, and intentions. This study assessed children's ability to interpret and reason on mental and emotional states (Theory of Mind) and examined the relationships between task scores and reports of communication and behavior. Performance of 56 CWE (8-16years of age) with below average IQ (n=17) or an average IQ (n=39) was compared with that of 62 healthy controls with an average IQ (6-16years of age) on cognition, language, and two advanced Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks that required children to attribute mental or emotional states to eye regions and to reason on internal mental states in order to explain behavior. The CWE-below average group were significantly poorer in both ToM tasks compared with controls. The CWE - average group showed a significantly poorer ability to reason on mental states in order to explain behavior, a difference that remained after accounting for lower IQ and language deficits. Poor ToM skills were related to increased communication and attention problems in both CWE groups. There is a risk for atypical social understanding in CWE, even for children with average cognitive function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Effect of aging on performance, muscle activation and perceived stress during mentally demanding computer tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alkjaer, Tine; Pilegaard, Marianne; Bakke, Merete

    2005-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effects of age on performance, muscle activation, and perceived stress during computer tasks with different levels of mental demand. METHODS: Fifteen young and thirteen elderly women performed two computer tasks [color word test and reference task] with different...... levels of mental demand but similar physical demands. The performance (clicking frequency, percentage of correct answers, and response time for correct answers) and electromyography from the forearm, shoulder, and neck muscles were recorded. Visual analogue scales were used to measure the participants......' perception of the stress and difficulty related to the tasks. RESULTS: Performance decreased significantly in both groups during the color word test in comparison with performance on the reference task. However, the performance reduction was more pronounced in the elderly group than in the young group...

  17. Musical Training, Bilingualism, and Executive Function: A Closer Look at Task Switching and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician)…

  18. La visión temprana del administrador: LA APROXIMACIÓN DE UN ECONOMISTA La visión temprana del administrador: LA APROXIMACIÓN DE UN ECONOMISTA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Santiago Ortiz Correa

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available After the reading of articles related to the managerial issues, published in the first 50 editionsin Universidad EAFIT Magazin -at the time called Managerial Topics- an analysis of theideas that have been gathered about the manager, his functions in the business and his relationships with the society is presented.  A possible definition of the manager, following theintroduction, is required to describe the transition, particularly important in Antioquia, fromthe entrepreneur to the manager. The relationships between the manager and the economicenvironment and the characterization of the managerial tasks are the last part of this article.And finally, it ends with some general conclusions.Luego de la lectura de artículos relacionados con los asuntos administrativos, publicados enlos primeros 50 números de la revista Universidad EAFIT – entonces denominada Temas Administrativos –, se presenta el análisis de las ideas  recopiladas sobre el administrador, sus funciones en la empresa y su relación con la sociedad. En la primera parte se trabaja sobre una  posible definición preliminar, del administrador. También se elabora una descripción del proceso, en que Antioquia, daría la transición del empresario al administrador.  Las relaciones del administrador con el entorno económico y una caracterización de las tareas administrativas, constituyen la última parte del texto.

  19. The impact of senior medical students' personal difficulties on their communication patterns in breaking bad news.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meitar, Dafna; Karnieli-Miller, Orit; Eidelman, Shmuel

    2009-11-01

    To evaluate the possible influence of personal difficulties and barriers that are within the news bearer and his or her self-awareness (SA) of them, on the patterns of communication during encounters involving breaking bad news (BBN). Following an intensive BBN course in 2004, 103 senior medical students at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, were evaluated for BBN competencies by the analysis of their written descriptions of how they visualized their manner of delivering bad news to a patient described in a challenging vignette. The students were further asked to reflect on their own difficulties and barriers that surfaced in response to reading the narrative presented in the vignette and in delivering the bad news. Using an immersion crystallization narrative analysis method, the authors analyzed the relationship between the students' BBN strategies and their self-perceived barriers and difficulties. Four types of communicators were identified and related to 45 different personal and professional barriers that the students, through self-reflection, found in themselves. These perceived barriers as well as the ability to self-reflect on them influenced their patterns of communication in their envisioned and written-down encounters, including the level of emotional connectedness, information provided, and the chosen focus-of-care paradigm (physician-centered, patient-centered, or relationship-centered). These findings empirically demonstrate that intrapersonal difficulties within the communicator and his or her level of SA about them influenced the manner and content of the communication during the encounter. This finding suggests that enhancing SA and addressing personal and professional difficulties could help physicians' capability to cope with challenging communication tasks. The authors propose a working tool (the Preparatory SPIKES) to facilitate the integration of self-reflection (by identifying personal difficulties) into day-by-day planning

  20. Concerning moderate seniority mixing and the high spin states of some N=50 isotones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amusa, A.

    1987-11-01

    The high spin states of some N=50 isotones are studied in a shell model scheme involving the restriction of the valence nucleons to 2p 1/2 and 1g 9/2 orbits as well as the use of an interaction that has slight seniority non-conservation. Our results indicate that the high spin states of these nuclei, in direct contrast to their low spin states, have extra-(2p 1/2 ,1g 9/2 ) n space contributions that support violation of seniority conservation. (author). 17 refs, 2 figs, 1 tab

  1. The Relationship of On-Call Work with Fatigue, Work-Home Interference, and Perceived Performance Difficulties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla M. Ziebertz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. This study examined the relationship between on-call duty exposure (active and total on-call hours a month, number of calls per duty and employees’ experiences of being on-call (stress due to unpredictability, ability to relax during inactive on-call periods, restrictions during on-call duties, on-call work demands, and satisfaction with compensation for on-call duties on the one hand and fatigue, strain-based and time-based work-home interference (WHI, and perceived on-call performance difficulties (PPD on the other hand. Methods. Cross-sectional survey data were collected among a large heterogeneous sample of Dutch employees (N=5437. The final sample consisted of 157 on-call workers (23–69 years, 71% males. Data were analyzed by means of hierarchical regression analyses (controlling for age and job characteristics. Results. Differences in on-call work exposure were not systematically related to fatigue, WHI, and PPD (all p’s >0.50. The experience of being on-call explained a medium proportion of the variation in fatigue and strain-based WHI and a medium to large proportion of the variation in time-based WHI and PPD over and above the control variables. Conclusions. Our results suggest that it is employees’ experience of being on-call, especially the experience of stress due to the unpredictability, rather than the amount of exposure, that is related to fatigue, WHI, and perceived on-call performance difficulties.

  2. Task analysis: How far are we from usable PRA input

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertman, D.I.; Blackman, H.S.; Hinton, M.F.

    1984-01-01

    This chapter reviews data collected at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory for three DOE-owned reactors (the Advanced Test Reactor, the Power Burst Facility, and the Loss of Fluids Test Reactor) in order to identify usable Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) input. Task analytic procedures involve the determination of manning and skill levels as a means of determining communication requirements, in assessing job performance aids, and in assessing the accuracy and completeness of emergency and maintenance procedures. The least understood aspect in PRA and plant reliability models is the human factor. A number of examples from the data base are discussed and offered as a means of providing more meaningful data than has been available to PRA analysts in the past. It is concluded that the plant hardware-procedures-personnel interfaces are essential to safe and efficient plant operations and that task analysis is a reasonably sound way of achieving a qualitative method for identifying those tasks most strongly associated with task difficulty, severity of consequence, and error probability

  3. 50 Años de Psicología Interamericana. Una Visión desde México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogelio Díaz Guerrero

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Dada la explosión en productividad de la Psicología en las Américas, que para varios países requeriría de un volumen anual, semejante al Annual Review of Psychology en Estados Unidos, esta sumaria presentación, aunque sea selectiva, apenas esbozará la opinión personal de lo que ha ocurrido en México en los últimos 50 años y procurará destacar los inicios y varios acontecimientos en este panamericanismo, así como aspectos de fortalezas de nuestra disciplina en Centro, Sudamérica y El Caribe

  4. Static and dynamic characteristics of Lg 50 nm InAlN/AlN/GaN HEMT with AlGaN back-barrier for high power millimeter wave applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Murugapandiyan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A novel 50 nm recessed T-gate AlN spacer based InAlN/GaN HEMT with AlGaN back-barrier is designed. The static and dynamic characteristics of the proposed device structure are investigated using Synopsys TCAD tool. The remarkable potential device features such as heavily doped source/drain region, Al2O3 passivated device surface helped the device to suppress the parasitic resistances and capacitances of the transistor for enhancing the microwave characteristics. The designed InAlN/GaN HEMT exhibits the sheet carrier density (ns of 1.9 × 1013 cm−2, the drain current density (Ids of 2.1 A/mm, the transconductance (gm of 800 mS/mm, the breakdown voltage (VBR of 40 V, the current gain cut-off frequency (ft of 221 GHz and the power gain cut-off frequency (fmax of 290 GHz. The superior static and dynamic characteristics of obtained InAlN/GaN HEMTs undoubtedly placed the device at the forefront for high power millimeter wave applications.

  5. Biochemical and Genetic Evidence that Enterococcus faecium L50 Produces Enterocins L50A and L50B, the sec-Dependent Enterocin P, and a Novel Bacteriocin Secreted without an N-Terminal Extension Termed Enterocin Q

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cintas, Luis M.; Casaus, Pilar; Herranz, Carmen; Håvarstein, Leiv Sigve; Holo, Helge; Hernández, Pablo E.; Nes, Ingolf F.

    2000-01-01

    Enterococcus faecium L50 grown at 16 to 32°C produces enterocin L50 (EntL50), consisting of EntL50A and EntL50B, two unmodified non-pediocin-like peptides synthesized without an N-terminal leader sequence or signal peptide. However, the bacteriocin activity found in the cell-free culture supernatants following growth at higher temperatures (37 to 47°C) is not due to EntL50. A purification procedure including cation-exchange, hydrophobic interaction, and reverse-phase liquid chromatography has shown that the antimicrobial activity is due to two different bacteriocins. Amino acid sequences obtained by Edman degradation and DNA sequencing analyses revealed that one is identical to the sec-dependent pediocin-like enterocin P produced by E. faecium P13 (L. M. Cintas, P. Casaus, L. S. Håvarstein, P. E. Hernández, and I. F. Nes, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:4321–4330, 1997) and the other is a novel unmodified non-pediocin-like bacteriocin termed enterocin Q (EntQ), with a molecular mass of 3,980. DNA sequencing analysis of a 963-bp region of E. faecium L50 containing the enterocin P structural gene (entP) and the putative immunity protein gene (entiP) reveals a genetic organization identical to that previously found in E. faecium P13. DNA sequencing analysis of a 1,448-bp region identified two consecutive but diverging open reading frames (ORFs) of which one, termed entQ, encodes a 34-amino-acid protein whose deduced amino acid sequence was identical to that obtained for EntQ by amino acid sequencing, showing that EntQ, similarly to EntL50A and EntL50B, is synthesized without an N-terminal leader sequence or signal peptide. The second ORF, termed orf2, was located immediately upstream of and in opposite orientation to entQ and encodes a putative immunity protein composed of 221 amino acids. Bacteriocin production by E. faecium L50 showed that EntP and EntQ are produced in the temperature range from 16 to 47°C and maximally detected at 47 and 37 to 47

  6. Conflict and inhibition differentially affect the N200/P300 complex in a combined go/nogo and stop-signal task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Konrad, Carsten; Pantev, Christo; Huster, René J

    2010-06-01

    Conflict and inhibition are considered to exert strong influences on the neurophysiological N200 and P300 brain responses as evoked in go/nogo and stop-signal tasks. In order to separate their underlying neural and functional mechanisms, the current experiment manipulated both conflict and inhibition. To do so, the go/nogo and stop-signal tasks were merged into one paradigm. Conflict was manipulated by varying go-trial frequencies across blocks (75% vs. 25%). Motor inhibition was manipulated by using go, nogo and stop trials each representing a different load of inhibition. Event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as current density reconstructions (CDRs) of fifteen healthy participants were analyzed. Overall, infrequent trials evoked significantly more pronounced N200s than frequent trials. The P300 predominantly revealed significant variations between trial types (go, nogo, stop). Estimated source activations of the MCC and the IFC supported the ERP results; N200-related effects were revealed in both regions, whereas the condition-specific variations of the P300 were only observed in the IFC. The results indicate that the N200 primarily reflects conflict-related effects whereas the P300 predominantly represents motor inhibition. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The strengths and weaknesses in verbal short-term memory and visual working memory in children with hearing impairment and additional language learning difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Suzi; Goldbart, Juliet; Stansfield, Jois

    2014-07-01

    To compare verbal short-term memory and visual working memory abilities of six children with congenital hearing-impairment identified as having significant language learning difficulties with normative data from typically hearing children using standardized memory assessments. Six children with hearing loss aged 8-15 years were assessed on measures of verbal short-term memory (Non-word and word recall) and visual working memory annually over a two year period. All children had cognitive abilities within normal limits and used spoken language as the primary mode of communication. The language assessment scores at the beginning of the study revealed that all six participants exhibited delays of two years or more on standardized assessments of receptive and expressive vocabulary and spoken language. The children with hearing-impairment scores were significantly higher on the non-word recall task than the "real" word recall task. They also exhibited significantly higher scores on visual working memory than those of the age-matched sample from the standardized memory assessment. Each of the six participants in this study displayed the same pattern of strengths and weaknesses in verbal short-term memory and visual working memory despite their very different chronological ages. The children's poor ability to recall single syllable words in relation to non-words is a clinical indicator of their difficulties in verbal short-term memory. However, the children with hearing-impairment do not display generalized processing difficulties and indeed demonstrate strengths in visual working memory. The poor ability to recall words, in combination with difficulties with early word learning may be indicators of children with hearing-impairment who will struggle to develop spoken language equal to that of their normally hearing peers. This early identification has the potential to allow for target specific intervention that may remediate their difficulties. Copyright © 2014. Published

  8. Prior and present evidence: how prior experience interacts with present information in a perceptual decision making task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhsin Karim

    Full Text Available Vibrotactile discrimination tasks have been used to examine decision making processes in the presence of perceptual uncertainty, induced by barely discernible frequency differences between paired stimuli or by the presence of embedded noise. One lesser known property of such tasks is that decisions made on a single trial may be biased by information from prior trials. An example is the time-order effect whereby the presentation order of paired stimuli may introduce differences in accuracy. Subjects perform better when the first stimulus lies between the second stimulus and the global mean of all stimuli on the judged dimension ("preferred" time-orders compared to the alternative presentation order ("nonpreferred" time-orders. This has been conceptualised as a "drift" of the first stimulus representation towards the global mean of the stimulus-set (an internal standard. We describe the influence of prior information in relation to the more traditionally studied factors of interest in a classic discrimination task.Sixty subjects performed a vibrotactile discrimination task with different levels of uncertainty parametrically induced by increasing task difficulty, aperiodic stimulus noise, and changing the task instructions whilst maintaining identical stimulus properties (the "context".The time-order effect had a greater influence on task performance than two of the explicit factors-task difficulty and noise-but not context. The influence of prior information increased with the distance of the first stimulus from the global mean, suggesting that the "drift" velocity of the first stimulus towards the global mean representation was greater for these trials.Awareness of the time-order effect and prior information in general is essential when studying perceptual decision making tasks. Implicit mechanisms may have a greater influence than the explicit factors under study. It also affords valuable insights into basic mechanisms of information

  9. Conservation Abilities, Visuospatial Skills, and Numerosity Processing Speed: Association With Math Achievement and Math Difficulties in Elementary School Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Katharina; Spinath, Birgit

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the associations between elementary school children's mathematical achievement and their conservation abilities, visuospatial skills, and numerosity processing speed. We also assessed differences in these abilities between children with different types of learning problems. In Study 1 ( N = 229), we investigated second to fourth graders and in Study 2 ( N = 120), third and fourth graders. Analyses revealed significant contributions of numerosity processing speed and visuospatial skills to math achievement beyond IQ. Conservation abilities were predictive in Study 1 only. Children with math difficulties showed lower visuospatial skills and conservation abilities than children with typical achievement levels and children with reading and/or spelling difficulties, whereas children with combined difficulties explicitly showed low conservation abilities. These findings provide further evidence for the relations between children's math skills and their visuospatial skills, conservation abilities, and processing speed and contribute to the understanding of deficits that are specific to mathematical difficulties.

  10. Implicit Behavioral Change in Response to Cognitive Tasks in Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomilcar, Iris; Morris, Robin G; Brown, Richard G; Mograbi, Daniel C

    2018-03-01

    Lack of awareness about impairments is commonly found in Alzheimer disease (AD), but recent evidence suggests that patients may respond to the experience of illness despite limited awareness. In this study, we explored whether implicit emotional responses to experiences of failure in cognitive tasks would result in longer-term change in behavior. Twenty-two patients with AD were seen 1 week after a previous session in which they performed computer tasks that had been manipulated to be either too difficult (failure condition) or very easy (success condition) for them. At the second session, both types of tasks were set to have medium difficulty and were administered so that the participants decided how long to persist on each task. Task persistence was determined by relative time spent doing the tasks, considering that participants would be more likely to stop performing tasks in which they had experienced failure during the first session. Task persistence in the second session was not affected by performance in the first session. However, when participants' awareness of performance in the first session was taken into account, differences were found in persistence between tasks in the second session. During the second session, participants stopped performing tasks after a sequence of errors. There were no self-reported changes in motivation or enjoyment in response to task failure. These findings suggest that implicit learning of task valence may be compromised in AD, but that initial moments of awareness of performance may influence long-term adaptation in unaware patients.

  11. Difficulties in Defining Social-Emotional Intelligence, Competences and Skills - a Theoretical Analysis and Structural Suggestion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moana Monnier

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Demands related to the frequency of and time required for interactional tasks in everyday occupational routines are continuously growing. When it comes to qualifying a person’s ability to interact with others, two prototypical concepts are often used: social competences and emotional intelligence. In connection to discussions about curriculum standards in Germany, these are viewed as important attributes that should be taught, supported and if possible assessed in educational pathways toward an occupation (KMK, 2007. However, in looking for a generally approved and widely used definition, many problems arise on the inter-conceptual and intra-conceptual level, triggering implementation difficulties in educational curricula. This article highlights these difficulties by selecting five well-established key theories and comparing their communalities and differences. Analyzing definitions of intelligence, competences and skills, taking an action regulation perspective and highlighting the interdependence of social and emotional aspects, a structural system to facilitate the transfer into the educational context is proposed.

  12. Behavioral Executive Functions Among Adolescents With Mathematics Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Marja E; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S

    2017-07-01

    This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.

  13. University Students with Reading Difficulties: Do Perceived Supports and Comorbid Difficulties Predict Well-being and GPA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack-Cutler, Holly L.; Parrila, Rauno K.; Torppa, Minna

    2016-01-01

    We examined the impact of the number of comorbid difficulties, social support, and community support on life satisfaction and academic achievement among 120 university students or recent graduates with self-reported reading difficulties. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing perceived social support, perceived community support, the…

  14. Autistic fluid intelligence: Increased reliance on visual functional connectivity with diminished modulation of coupling by task difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simard, Isabelle; Luck, David; Mottron, Laurent; Zeffiro, Thomas A.; Soulières, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Different test types lead to different intelligence estimates in autism, as illustrated by the fact that autistic individuals obtain higher scores on the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RSPM) test than they do on the Wechsler IQ, in contrast to relatively similar performance on both tests in non-autistic individuals. However, the cerebral processes underlying these differences are not well understood. This study investigated whether activity in the fluid “reasoning” network, which includes frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions, is differently modulated by task complexity in autistic and non-autistic individuals during the RSPM. In this purpose, we used fMRI to study autistic and non-autistic participants solving the 60 RSPM problems focussing on regions and networks involved in reasoning complexity. As complexity increased, activity in the left superior occipital gyrus and the left middle occipital gyrus increased for autistic participants, whereas non-autistic participants showed increased activity in the left middle frontal gyrus and bilateral precuneus. Using psychophysiological interaction analyses (PPI), we then verified in which regions did functional connectivity increase as a function of reasoning complexity. PPI analyses revealed greater connectivity in autistic, compared to non-autistic participants, between the left inferior occipital gyrus and areas in the left superior frontal gyrus, right superior parietal lobe, right middle occipital gyrus and right inferior temporal gyrus. We also observed generally less modulation of the reasoning network as complexity increased in autistic participants. These results suggest that autistic individuals, when confronted with increasing task complexity, rely mainly on visuospatial processes when solving more complex matrices. In addition to the now well-established enhanced activity observed in visual areas in a range of tasks, these results suggest that the enhanced reliance on visual perception has a

  15. Autistic fluid intelligence: Increased reliance on visual functional connectivity with diminished modulation of coupling by task difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Simard

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Different test types lead to different intelligence estimates in autism, as illustrated by the fact that autistic individuals obtain higher scores on the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RSPM test than they do on the Wechsler IQ, in contrast to relatively similar performance on both tests in non-autistic individuals. However, the cerebral processes underlying these differences are not well understood. This study investigated whether activity in the fluid “reasoning” network, which includes frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions, is differently modulated by task complexity in autistic and non-autistic individuals during the RSPM. In this purpose, we used fMRI to study autistic and non-autistic participants solving the 60 RSPM problems focussing on regions and networks involved in reasoning complexity. As complexity increased, activity in the left superior occipital gyrus and the left middle occipital gyrus increased for autistic participants, whereas non-autistic participants showed increased activity in the left middle frontal gyrus and bilateral precuneus. Using psychophysiological interaction analyses (PPI, we then verified in which regions did functional connectivity increase as a function of reasoning complexity. PPI analyses revealed greater connectivity in autistic, compared to non-autistic participants, between the left inferior occipital gyrus and areas in the left superior frontal gyrus, right superior parietal lobe, right middle occipital gyrus and right inferior temporal gyrus. We also observed generally less modulation of the reasoning network as complexity increased in autistic participants. These results suggest that autistic individuals, when confronted with increasing task complexity, rely mainly on visuospatial processes when solving more complex matrices. In addition to the now well-established enhanced activity observed in visual areas in a range of tasks, these results suggest that the enhanced reliance on visual

  16. Slowing down after a mild traumatic brain injury: a strategy to improve cognitive task performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozen, Lana J; Fernandes, Myra A

    2012-01-01

    Long-term persistent attention and memory difficulties following a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) often go undetected on standard neuropsychological tests, despite complaints by mild TBI individuals. We conducted a visual Repetition Detection working memory task to digits, in which we manipulated task difficulty by increasing cognitive load, to identify subtle deficits long after a mild TBI. Twenty-six undergraduate students with a self-report of one mild TBI, which occurred at least 6 months prior, and 31 non-head-injured controls took part in the study. Participants were not informed until study completion that the study's purpose was to examine cognitive changes following a mild TBI, to reduce the influence of "diagnosis threat" on performance. Neuropsychological tasks did not differentiate the groups, though mild TBI participants reported higher state anxiety levels. On our working memory task, the mild TBI group took significantly longer to accurately detect repeated targets on our task, suggesting that slowed information processing is a long-term consequence of mild TBI. Accuracy was comparable in the low-load condition and, unexpectedly, mild TBI performance surpassed that of controls in the high-load condition. Temporal analysis of target identification suggested a strategy difference between groups: mild TBI participants made a significantly greater number of accurate responses following the target's offset, and significantly fewer erroneous distracter responses prior to target onset, compared with controls. Results suggest that long after a mild TBI, high-functioning young adults invoke a strategy of delaying their identification of targets in order to maintain, and facilitate, accuracy on cognitively demanding tasks. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  17. 'All the better for not seeing you': effects of communicative context on the speech of an individual with acquired communication difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Carolyn; Braidwood, Ursula; Newton, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    Evidence shows that speakers adjust their speech depending on the demands of the listener. However, it is unclear whether people with acquired communication disorders can and do make similar adaptations. This study investigated the impact of different conversational settings on the intelligibility of a speaker with acquired communication difficulties. Twenty-eight assessors listened to recordings of the speaker reading aloud 40 words and 32 sentences to a listener who was either face-to-face or unseen. The speaker's ability to convey information was measured by the accuracy of assessors' orthographic transcriptions of the words and sentences. Assessors' scores were significantly higher in the unseen condition for the single word task particularly if they had heard the face-to-face condition first. Scores for the sentence task were significantly higher in the second presentation regardless of the condition. The results from this study suggest that therapy conducted in situations where the client is not able to see their conversation partner may encourage them to perform at a higher level and increase the clarity of their speech. Readers will be able to describe: (1) the range of conversational adjustments made by speakers without communication difficulties; (2) differences between these tasks in offering contextual information to the listener; and (3) the potential for using challenging communicative situations to improve the performance of adults with communication disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Awareness of rhythm patterns in speech and music in children with specific language impairments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth eCumming

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Children with specific language impairments (SLIs show impaired perception and production of language, and also show impairments in perceiving auditory cues to rhythm (amplitude rise time [ART] and sound duration and in tapping to a rhythmic beat. Here we explore potential links between language development and rhythm perception in 45 children with SLI and 50 age-matched controls. We administered three rhythmic tasks, a musical beat detection task, a tapping-to-music task, and a novel music/speech task, which varied rhythm and pitch cues independently or together in both speech and music. Via low-pass filtering, the music sounded as though it was played from a low-quality radio and the speech sounded as though it was muffled (heard behind the door. We report data for all of the SLI children (N = 45, IQ varying, as well as for two independent subgroupings with intact IQ. One subgroup, Pure SLI, had intact phonology and reading (N=16, the other, SLI PPR (N=15, had impaired phonology and reading. When IQ varied (all SLI children, we found significant group differences in all the rhythmic tasks. For the Pure SLI group, there were rhythmic impairments in the tapping task only. For children with SLI and poor phonology (SLI PPR, group differences were found in all of the filtered speech/music AXB tasks. We conclude that difficulties with rhythmic cues in both speech and music are present in children with SLIs, but that some rhythmic measures are more sensitive than others. The data are interpreted within a ‘prosodic phrasing’ hypothesis, and we discuss the potential utility of rhythmic and musical interventions in remediating speech and language difficulties in children.

  19. Local atomic structure inheritance in Ag50Sn50 melt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bai, Yanwen; Bian, Xiufang; Qin, Jingyu; Hu, Lina; Yang, Jianfei; Zhang, Kai; Zhao, Xiaolin; Yang, Chuncheng; Zhang, Shuo; Huang, Yuying

    2014-01-01

    Local structure inheritance signatures were observed during the alloying process of the Ag 50 Sn 50 melt, using high-temperature X-ray diffraction and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. The coordination number N m around Ag atom is similar in the alloy and in pure Ag melts (N m  ∼ 10), while, during the alloying process, the local structure around Sn atoms rearranges. Sn-Sn covalent bonds were substituted by Ag-Sn chemical bonds, and the total coordination number around Sn increases by about 70% as compared with those in the pure Sn melt. Changes in the electronic structure of the alloy have been studied by Ag and Sn K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy, as well as by calculations of the partial density of states. We propose that a leading mechanism for local structure inheritance in Ag 50 Sn 50 is due to s-p dehybridization of Sn and to the interplay between Sn-s and Ag-d electrons

  20. Mining Tasks from the Web Anchor Text Graph: MSR Notebook Paper for the TREC 2015 Tasks Track

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-20

    Mining Tasks from the Web Anchor Text Graph: MSR Notebook Paper for the TREC 2015 Tasks Track Paul N. Bennett Microsoft Research Redmond, USA pauben...anchor text graph has proven useful in the general realm of query reformulation [2], we sought to quantify the value of extracting key phrases from...anchor text in the broader setting of the task understanding track. Given a query, our approach considers a simple method for identifying a relevant

  1. Die zukünftige Ausrichtung der AGMB: ein Bericht aus der Task-Force / The future strategic concept of the AGMB: a preliminary report given by the task force

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kintzel, Melanie

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available In the spring of 2008 the managing-committee of the Medical Library Association (AGMB invited the members to form a task force in order to concentrate on a new strategic concept for the association and develop corresponding recommendations and visions. Stagnating attendance at the association’s annual conferences in recent years as well as difficulties in finding future venues and new candidates for the elections to the board gave reason to this scheme. This article introduces the members of the task force and their work hitherto with a special focus on the member survey conducted in the summer of 2008 and its first results.

  2. Task force for integral test of High Energy nuclear data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oyama, Yukio [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment

    1998-11-01

    According to completion of the JENDL-High Energy file for neutron nuclear cross sections up to 50 MeV, a task force for integral test of high energy nuclear data was organized to discuss a guide line for integral test activities. A status of existing differential and integral experiments and how to perform such a test were discussed in the task force. Here the purpose and outline of the task force is explained with some future problems raised in discussion among the task member. (author)

  3. Tracking Emotional and Behavioral Changes in Childhood: Does the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire Measure the Same Constructs across Time?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosu, Edward M.; Schmidt, Peter

    2017-01-01

    R. Goodman's Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is widely used to measure emotional and behavioral difficulties in childhood and adolescence. In the present study, we examined whether the SDQ measures the same construct across time, when used for longitudinal research. A nationally representative sample of parents (N = 3,375) provided…

  4. An exploratory study on the relationship between parents' passion for sport/exercise and children's self- and task-perceptions in sport/exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chen-Yueh

    2014-06-01

    This study investigated the relationship between parents' passion for sport/exercise and children's self- and task-perceptions in sport and exercise. Paired samples of 312 children, 312 fathers, and 312 mothers were collected using two-stage sampling; parents were classified based on their passion for sport and exercise as high concordance if both parents had a high passion for sport and exercise, low concordance if neither parent had a passion for sport and exercise, or discordant. Intrinsic interest value, attainment value/importance, extrinsic utility value, ability/expectancy, task difficulty, and required effort were measured, as well as harmonious and obsessive passion. Children's self- and task-perceptions in sport and exercise were examined with respect to parents' passion for sport and exercise. The results of the study indicated that children of parents with high concordance in harmonious passion for sport and exercise scored higher on intrinsic interest value, attainment value/importance, extrinsic utility value, ability/expectancy, task difficulty, and required effort in sport and exercise than counterparts with discordant and low concordance parents. Similar patterns were found for obsessive passion in parents.

  5. Hearing acuity as a predictor of walking difficulties in older women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viljanen, Anne; Kaprio, Jaakko; Pyykkö, Ilmari; Sorri, Martti; Koskenvuo, Markku; Rantanen, Taina

    2009-12-01

    To examine whether hearing acuity correlates with walking ability and whether impaired hearing at baseline predicts new self-reported walking difficulties after 3 years. Prospective follow-up. Research laboratory and community. Four hundred thirty-four women aged 63 to 76. Hearing was measured using clinical audiometry. A person was defined as having a hearing impairment if a pure-tone average of thresholds at 0.5 to 4 kHz in the better ear was 21 dB or greater. Maximal walking speed was measured over 10 m (m/s), walking endurance as the distance (m), covered in 6 minutes and difficulties in walking 2 km according to self-report. At baseline, women with hearing impairment (n=179) had slower maximal walking speed (1.7 +/- 0.3 m/s vs 1.8 +/- 0.3 m/s, P=.007), lower walking endurance (520 +/- 75 m vs 536 +/- 75 m, P=.08), and more selfreported major difficulties in walking 2 km (12.8% vs 5.5%, P=.02) than those without hearing impairment. During follow-up, major walking difficulties developed for 33 participants. Women with hearing impairment at baseline had a twice the age-adjusted risk for new walking difficulties as those without hearing impairment (odds ratio=2.04, 95% confidence interval=0.96-4.33). Hearing acuity correlated with mobility, which may be explained by the association between impaired hearing and poor balance and greater risk for falls, both of which underlie decline in mobility. Prevention of hearing loss is not only important for the ability to communicate, but may also have more wide-ranging influences on functional ability.

  6. An Intervention for Sensory Difficulties in Children with Autism: A Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaaf, Roseann C.; Benevides, Teal; Mailloux, Zoe; Faller, Patricia; Hunt, Joanne; van Hooydonk, Elke; Freeman, Regina; Leiby, Benjamin; Sendecki, Jocelyn; Kelly, Donna

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated a manualized intervention for sensory difficulties for children with autism, ages 4-8 years, using a randomized trial design. Diagnosis of autism was confirmed using gold standard measures. Results show that the children in the treatment group (n = 17) who received 30 sessions of the occupational therapy intervention scored…

  7. [Executive functioning and motivation in preschool children at risk for learning difficulties in mathematics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presentación-Herrero, M Jesús; Mercader-Ruiz, Jessica; Siegenthaler-Hierro, Rebeca; Fernández-Andrés, Inmaculada; Miranda-Casas, Ana

    2015-02-25

    Early identification of the factors involved in the development of learning difficulties in mathematics is essential to be able to understand their origin and implement successful interventions. This study analyses the capacity of executive functioning and of variables from the motivational belief system to differentiate and classify preschool children with and without risk of having difficulties in mathematics. A total of 146 subjects from the third year of preschool education took part in the study, divided into risk/no risk according to the score obtained on the operations subtest of the TEDI-MATH test. Working memory (verbal and visuospatial) and inhibition (with auditory and visual stimuli) neuropsychological tasks were applied. Teachers filled in a questionnaire on the children's motivation with regard to learning. Significant differences were found between the two groups on the working memory and inhibition-auditory factors, as well as on all the motivation variables. The results also show a similar power of classification, with percentages above 80%, for both groups of variables. The implications of these findings for educational practice are discussed.

  8. Musical training, bilingualism, and executive function: a closer look at task switching and dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  9. Thoughts in flight: automation use and pilots' task-related and task-unrelated thought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casner, Stephen M; Schooler, Jonathan W

    2014-05-01

    The objective was to examine the relationship between cockpit automation use and task-related and task-unrelated thought among airline pilots. Studies find that cockpit automation can sometimes relieve pilots of tedious control tasks and afford them more time to think ahead. Paradoxically, automation has also been shown to lead to lesser awareness. These results prompt the question of what pilots think about while using automation. A total of 18 airline pilots flew a Boeing 747-400 simulator while we recorded which of two levels of automation they used. As they worked, pilots were verbally probed about what they were thinking. Pilots were asked to categorize their thoughts as pertaining to (a) a specific task at hand, (b) higher-level flight-related thoughts (e.g.,planning ahead), or (c) thoughts unrelated to the flight. Pilots' performance was also measured. Pilots reported a smaller percentage of task-at-hand thoughts (27% vs. 50%) and a greater percentage of higher-level flight-related thoughts (56% vs. 29%) when using the higher level of automation. However, when all was going according to plan, using either level of automation, pilots also reported a higher percentage of task-unrelated thoughts (21%) than they did when in the midst of an unsuccessful performance (7%). Task-unrelated thoughts peaked at 25% when pilots were not interacting with the automation. Although cockpit automation may provide pilots with more time to think, it may encourage pilots to reinvest only some of this mental free time in thinking flight-related thoughts. This research informs the design of human-automation systems that more meaningfully engage the human operator.

  10. EEG correlates of task engagement and mental workload in vigilance, learning, and memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berka, Chris; Levendowski, Daniel J; Lumicao, Michelle N; Yau, Alan; Davis, Gene; Zivkovic, Vladimir T; Olmstead, Richard E; Tremoulet, Patrice D; Craven, Patrick L

    2007-05-01

    The ability to continuously and unobtrusively monitor levels of task engagement and mental workload in an operational environment could be useful in identifying more accurate and efficient methods for humans to interact with technology. This information could also be used to optimize the design of safer, more efficient work environments that increase motivation and productivity. The present study explored the feasibility of monitoring electroencephalo-graphic (EEG) indices of engagement and workload acquired unobtrusively and quantified during performance of cognitive tests. EEG was acquired from 80 healthy participants with a wireless sensor headset (F3-F4,C3-C4,Cz-POz,F3-Cz,Fz-C3,Fz-POz) during tasks including: multi-level forward/backward-digit-span, grid-recall, trails, mental-addition, 20-min 3-Choice Vigilance, and image-learning and memory tests. EEG metrics for engagement and workload were calculated for each 1 -s of EEG. Across participants, engagement but not workload decreased over the 20-min vigilance test. Engagement and workload were significantly increased during the encoding period of verbal and image-learning and memory tests when compared with the recognition/ recall period. Workload but not engagement increased linearly as level of difficulty increased in forward and backward-digit-span, grid-recall, and mental-addition tests. EEG measures correlated with both subjective and objective performance metrics. These data in combination with previous studies suggest that EEG engagement reflects information-gathering, visual processing, and allocation of attention. EEG workload increases with increasing working memory load and during problem solving, integration of information, analytical reasoning, and may be more reflective of executive functions. Inspection of EEG on a second-by-second timescale revealed associations between workload and engagement levels when aligned with specific task events providing preliminary evidence that second

  11. Memory processing and the glucose facilitation effect: the effects of stimulus difficulty and memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meikle, Andrew; Riby, Leigh M; Stollery, Brian

    2005-08-01

    Previous research has consistently found enhancement of memory after the ingestion of a glucose containing drink. The aims of the present study were to specify more precisely the nature of this facilitation by examining the cognitive demand hypothesis. This hypothesis predicts greater glucose induced facilitation on tasks that require significant mental effort. In two experiments, both employing an unrelated sample design, participants consumed either 25 g of glucose or a control solution. In experiment 1, participants first studied low and high imagery word-pairs and memory was assessed 1-, 7- and 14-days later by cued recall. Overall, glucose enhanced both encoding and consolidation processes only for the more difficult low imagery pairs. In experiment 2, the degree of mental effort in a verbal memory task was manipulated in two ways: (1) by varying the phonological similarity of the words; and (2) by varying the length of word lists. Glucose was found to enhance memory only for longer word lists. These data are consistent with the idea that glucose is especially effective in demanding memory tasks, but place some limits on the forms of difficulty that are susceptible to enhancement.

  12. [Decision making and executive function in severe traumatic brain injured patients: validation of a decision-making task and correlated features].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiederkehr, S; Barat, M; Dehail, P; de Sèze, M; Lozes-Boudillon, S; Giroire, J-M

    2005-02-01

    At the chronic stage, severe traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients experience difficulty in making decisions. Several studies have demonstrated the involvement of the prefrontal cortex, in particular the orbitofrontal region, in decision-making. The aim of the present study was to validate a decision-making task in this population and to ascertain whether the components of their dysexecutive syndrome may affect their decision-making and lead to difficulties for social rehabilitation. Fifteen TBI patients and 15 controlled subjects matched for age, sex and years of education were assessed by a battery of executive tests (GREFEX) and by the gambling task (GT). The TBI subjects performed significantly worse than the controlled group in five out of six GREFEX tests. The TBI choices are significantly more disadvantageous than the choices of the control group when considering the three last blocks of 20 cards of the GT. The GT total score correlated significantly with execution time of the Stroop interference condition and the Trail Making Task B, as well as with the two measures (correct sequence span and number of crossed boxes) of the double condition of Baddeley's task. We postulate that executive functioning (supervisory attentional system) influence performance in the gambling task through mechanisms of inhibitory control, divided attention and working memory. Thus, this task seems to be determined by multiple factors; the process of decision-making may depend on frontal integrity.

  13. Game-based training of flexibility and attention improves task-switch performance: near and far transfer of cognitive training in an EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olfers, Kerwin J F; Band, Guido P H

    2018-01-01

    There is a demand for ways to enhance cognitive flexibility, as it can be a limiting factor for performance in daily life. Video game training has been linked to advantages in cognitive functioning, raising the question if training with video games can promote cognitive flexibility. In the current study, we investigated if game-based computerized cognitive training (GCCT) could enhance cognitive flexibility in a healthy young adult sample (N = 72), as measured by task-switch performance. Three GCCT schedules were contrasted, which targeted: (1) cognitive flexibility and task switching, (2) attention and working memory, or (3) an active control involving basic math games, in twenty 45-min sessions across 4-6 weeks. Performance on an alternating-runs task-switch paradigm during pretest and posttest sessions indicated greater overall reaction time improvements after both flexibility and attention training as compared to control, although not related to local switch cost. Flexibility training enhanced performance in the presence of distractor-related interference. In contrast, attention training was beneficial when low task difficulty undermined sustained selective attention. Furthermore, flexibility training improved response selection as indicated by a larger N2 amplitude after training as compared to control, and more efficient conflict monitoring as indicated by reduced Nc/CRN and larger Pe amplitude after training. These results provide tentative support for the efficacy of GCCT and suggest that an ideal training might include both task switching and attention components, with maximal task diversity both within and between training games.

  14. Health worry, physical activity participation, and walking difficulty among older adults: a mediation analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kin-Kit; Cardinal, Bradley J; Vuchinich, Samuel

    2009-03-01

    This study examined the effect of health worry (i.e., cognitive aspect of anxiety resulting from concern for health) on walking difficulty in a nationally representative sample (N = 7,527) of older adults (M age = 76.83 years). The study further tested whether physical activity mediates the effect of health worry on walking difficulty in a 6-year follow-up design. Results of a mediation analysis using structural equation modeling showed that people with a high degree of health worry engaged in less physical activity (beta = -.24, p < .001), and people who participated in less physical activity were more likely to report walking difficulty at the 6-year follow-up (beta = -.22, p < .001). There was a significant indirect effect from health worry to walking difficulty through physical activity (beta = .05, p < .001), controlling for demographic, psychosocial, and health related factors. Results suggested that inducing threat and worry may not be effective for physical activity promotion in the older population. More promising coping and regulation strategies are discussed.

  15. Multivariate information-theoretic measures reveal directed information structure and task relevant changes in fMRI connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lizier, Joseph T; Heinzle, Jakob; Horstmann, Annette; Haynes, John-Dylan; Prokopenko, Mikhail

    2011-02-01

    The human brain undertakes highly sophisticated information processing facilitated by the interaction between its sub-regions. We present a novel method for interregional connectivity analysis, using multivariate extensions to the mutual information and transfer entropy. The method allows us to identify the underlying directed information structure between brain regions, and how that structure changes according to behavioral conditions. This method is distinguished in using asymmetric, multivariate, information-theoretical analysis, which captures not only directional and non-linear relationships, but also collective interactions. Importantly, the method is able to estimate multivariate information measures with only relatively little data. We demonstrate the method to analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging time series to establish the directed information structure between brain regions involved in a visuo-motor tracking task. Importantly, this results in a tiered structure, with known movement planning regions driving visual and motor control regions. Also, we examine the changes in this structure as the difficulty of the tracking task is increased. We find that task difficulty modulates the coupling strength between regions of a cortical network involved in movement planning and between motor cortex and the cerebellum which is involved in the fine-tuning of motor control. It is likely these methods will find utility in identifying interregional structure (and experimentally induced changes in this structure) in other cognitive tasks and data modalities.

  16. The Work Tasks Motivation Scale for Teachers (WTMST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernet, Claude; Senecal, Caroline; Guay, Frederic; Marsh, Herbert; Dowson, Martin

    2008-01-01

    The authors developed and validated a measure of teachers' motivation toward specific work tasks: The Work Tasks Motivation Scale for Teachers (WTMST). The WTMST is designed to assess five motivational constructs toward six work tasks (e.g., class preparation, teaching). The authors conducted a preliminary (n = 42) and a main study among…

  17. Object-directed imitation in autism spectrum disorder is differentially influenced by motoric task complexity, but not social contextual cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chetcuti, Lacey; Hudry, Kristelle; Grant, Megan; Vivanti, Giacomo

    2017-11-01

    We examined the role of social motivation and motor execution factors in object-directed imitation difficulties in autism spectrum disorder. A series of to-be-imitated actions was presented to 35 children with autism spectrum disorder and 20 typically developing children on an Apple ® iPad ® by a socially responsive or aloof model, under conditions of low and high motor demand. There were no differences in imitation performance (i.e. the number of actions reproduced within a fixed sequence), for either group, in response to a model who acted socially responsive or aloof. Children with autism spectrum disorder imitated the high motor demand task more poorly than the low motor demand task, while imitation performance for typically developing children was equivalent across the low and high motor demand conditions. Furthermore, imitative performance in the autism spectrum disorder group was unrelated to social reciprocity, though positively associated with fine motor coordination. These results suggest that difficulties in object-directed imitation in autism spectrum disorder are the result of motor execution difficulties, not reduced social motivation.

  18. Single-Task and Dual-Task Gait Among Collegiate Athletes of Different Sport Classifications: Implications for Concussion Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, David R; Oldham, Jessie R; DiFabio, Melissa; Vallabhajosula, Srikant; Hall, Eric E; Ketcham, Caroline J; Meehan, William P; Buckley, Thomas A

    2017-02-01

    Gait impairments have been documented following sport-related concussion. Whether preexisting gait pattern differences exist among athletes who participate in different sport classifications, however, remains unclear. Dual-task gait examinations probe the simultaneous performance of everyday tasks (ie, walking and thinking), and can quantify gait performance using inertial sensors. The purpose of this study was to compare the single-task and dual-task gait performance of collision/contact and noncontact athletes. A group of collegiate athletes (n = 265) were tested before their season at 3 institutions (mean age= 19.1 ± 1.1 years). All participants stood still (single-task standing) and walked while simultaneously completing a cognitive test (dual-task gait), and completed walking trials without the cognitive test (single-task gait). Spatial-temporal gait parameters were compared between collision/contact and noncontact athletes using MANCOVAs; cognitive task performance was compared using ANCOVAs. No significant single-task or dual-task gait differences were found between collision/contact and noncontact athletes. Noncontact athletes demonstrated higher cognitive task accuracy during single-task standing (P = .001) and dual-task gait conditions (P = .02) than collision/contact athletes. These data demonstrate the utility of a dual-task gait assessment outside of a laboratory and suggest that preinjury cognitive task performance during dual-tasks may differ between athletes of different sport classifications.

  19. Skills-demands compatibility as a determinant of flow experience in an inductive reasoning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiefele, Ulrich; Raabe, Andreas

    2011-10-01

    The skills-demands fit hypothesis of flow theory was examined. Based on the earlier finding that high demands in a game situation do not reduce the experience of flow, a cognitive task paradigm was used. The effect of skills-demands compatibility on the experience of flow but not of other, similar psychological states (i.e., concentration, negative and positive activation) was also investigated. Participants were 89 undergraduate students who worked on a number of inductive reasoning tasks in four successive trials with or without skills-demands compatibility. The results clearly supported the skills-demands fit hypothesis; concentration and activation were affected only by the tasks' difficulty. Inductive reasoning tasks are a useful tool for the experimental analysis of flow, and skills-demands compatibility is a significant and powerful condition of flow, but not of other, similar psychological states.

  20. The Production of Turkish Relative Clauses in Second Language Acquisition: Overcoming Student Difficulties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anjel Toczu

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This study focuses on teaching relative clauses (R.Cs in Turkish, a left-branching language, and discusses the relative difficulty of producing RCs in Turkish by English-speaking learners by investigating whether the production of subject relative clauses in Turkish is easier than that of the object relative clauses. It also offers suggestions as to how to help learners overcome these difficulties. Turkish and English belong to two different language families, Altaic and Inda-European respectively. This study lends further insight that Turkish does not have RCs similar to those found in Inda-European languages. Instead, in Turkish RCs comprise nominalized verbs and participles. The characteristics of Turkish are also explained such as its word order, agglutinating morphology, vowel and consonant harmony rules as well as case markers indicating grammatical relations between sentence constituents, which shed light to our understanding of RCs in Turkish. Data was collected through written and oral tasks from students enrolled in a military intensive Turkish language training program in the United States. Moreover, their performance was studied through classroom observations and one-on-one speaking activities.

  1. Working Memory Updating Training Improves Mathematics Performance in Middle School Students With Learning Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongxia; Chang, Lei; Chen, Xiaoying; Ma, Liang; Zhou, Renlai

    2018-01-01

    Working memory (WM) deficit is considered the key cause of learning difficulties (LDs). Studies have shown that WM is plastic and thus can be improved through training. This positive effect is transferable to fluid intelligence and academic performance. This study investigated whether WM updating ability and academic performance in children with LDs could be improved through WM updating training and explored the effects of this training on the children's brain activity. We used a running memory task lasting approximately 40 min per day for 28 days to train a group of 23 children with LDs (TLDs group). We also selected two control groups of 22 children with LDs (CLDs group) and 20 children without LDs (normal control [NC] group). The behavioral results of a pretest indicated that WM updating ability and academic performance in the TLDs and CLDs groups were significantly lower than those in the NC group before training. Compared with the CLDs group, the TLDs group exhibited significant performance improvement in a 2-back WM task, as well as in mathematical ability. Event-related potentials (ERPs) results suggested that the amplitudes of N160 (representative of visual recognition) and P300 (representative of updating processing, which is a valid index for updating WM) in the TLDs and CLDs groups were markedly lower than those in the NC group before training. In the TLDs group, these two components increased considerably after training, approaching levels similar to those in the NC group. The results of this study suggest that WM updating training can improve WM updating ability in children with LDs and the training effect can transfer to mathematical performance in such children. Furthermore, the participants' brain activity levels can exhibit positive changes. This article provides experimental evidence that WM updating training could mitigate the symptoms of LDs to a certain degree.

  2. New Model of Mapping Difficulties in Solving Analogical Problems among Adolescents and Adults with Intellectual Disability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lifshitz, Hefziba; Weiss, Itzhak; Tzuriel, David; Tzemach, Moran

    2011-01-01

    The main goal of the study was to map the difficulties and cognitive processes among adolescents (aged 13-21, N = 30) and adults (aged 25-66, N = 30) with mild and moderate intellectual disability (ID) when solving analogical problems. The participants were administered the "Conceptual and Perceptual Analogical Modifiability" test. A…

  3. RANKING THE SPECTATORS’ DIFFICULTIES IN PURCHASING ELECTRONIC TICKETS OF FOOTBALL PREMIER LEAGUE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Narimani

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to rank the spectators’ difficulties in buying electronic tickets of football premier league matches at Azadi stadium. The population consisted of all spectators of Esteghlal-Persepolis match in the fifteenth league at Azadi stadium (N= 100000. According to Morgan table and using simple random sampling method, 500 participants were selected as sample. A researcher-made questionnaire was used for collecting the data; its face validity was confirmed by 15 experts and performing a pilot study on 30 subjects, its Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to be 0.86. Using SPSS 22, the descriptive and inferential (including Friedman test statistics was applied for analyzing the data. The findings showed that there was a significant difference between rankings of difficulties in buying electronic tickets of Football premier league matches at Azadi Stadium. The difficulties were ranked as: problem in ticket systems, early selling out of electronic tickets, lack of confidence to electronic ticket sale, lack of skill to work with the internet, low speed of internet, and lack of access to the internet

  4. Oral and Written Expression in Children With Reading Comprehension Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretti, Barbara; Motta, Eleonora; Re, Anna Maria

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have highlighted that children with reading comprehension difficulties also have problems in tasks that involve telling a story, in writing or verbally. The main differences identified regard poor comprehenders' lower level of coherence in their productions by comparison with good comprehenders. Only one study has compared poor and good comprehenders' performance in both modalities (oral and written), however, to see whether these modalities differently influence poor comprehenders' performance. We qualitatively and quantitatively compared the performance of good and poor comprehenders in oral and written narrative tasks with the aim of shedding light on this issue. Regression analyses were also used to explore the role of working memory and vocabulary in explaining individual differences. Our results showed that the two groups produced narratives of comparable length, with similar percentages of spelling mistakes, whereas they differed in terms of the quality of their narratives, regardless of the modality. These differences were qualified by analyzing the children's use of connective devices, and poor comprehenders were found to use a higher proportion of additive devices than good comprehenders. Regression analyses showed that working memory (particularly the intrusion errors measure) explained a modest part of the qualitative differences in narrative production. Implications for our theoretical understanding of poor comprehenders' profiles and education are discussed. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2014.

  5. A neuroergonomic quasi-experiment: Predictors of situation awareness and display usability while performing complex tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbour, Steven D.; Christensen, James C.

    2015-05-01

    Situation awareness (SA) is the ability and capacity to perceive information and act on it acceptably. Head Up Display (HUD) versus Head Down Display (HDD) manipulation induced variation in task difficulty. HUD and HDD cockpit displays or display designs promoted or impaired SA. The quantitative research presented in this paper examines basic neurocognitive factors in order to identify their specific contributions to the formation of SA, while studying display usability and the effects on SA. Visual attentiveness (Va), perceptiveness (Vp), and spatial working memory (Vswm) were assessed as predictors of SA under varying task difficulty. The study participants were 19 tactical airlift pilots, selected from the Ohio Air National Guard. Neurocognitive tests were administered to the participants prior to flight. In-flight SA was objectively and subjectively assessed for 24 flights. At the completion of this field experiment, the data were analyzed and the tests were statistically significant for the three predictor visual abilities Vp, Va, and Vswm as task difficulty was varied, F(3,11) = 8.125, p = .008. In addition, multiple regression analyses revealed that the visual abilities together predicted a majority of the variance in SA, R2 = 0.753, p = .008. As validated and verified by ECG and EEG data, the HUD yielded a full ability and capacity to anticipate and accommodate trends were as the HDD yielded a saturated ability to anticipate and accommodate trends. Post-hoc tests revealed a Cohen's f2 = 3.05 yielding statistical power to be 0.98. This work results in a significant contribution to the field by providing an improved understanding of SA and path to safer travel for society worldwide. PA 88ABW-2015-1282.

  6. Navigation skill impairment: Another dimension of the driving difficulties in minimal hepatic encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajaj, Jasmohan S; Hafeezullah, Muhammad; Hoffmann, Raymond G; Varma, Rajiv R; Franco, Jose; Binion, David G; Hammeke, Thomas A; Saeian, Kia

    2008-02-01

    Patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) have attention, response inhibition, and working memory difficulties that are associated with driving impairment and high motor vehicle accident risk. Navigation is a complex system needed for safe driving that requires functioning working memory and other domains adversely affected by MHE. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of MHE on navigation skills and correlate them with psychometric impairment. Forty-nine nonalcoholic patients with cirrhosis (34 MHE+, 15 MHE-; divided on the basis of a battery of block design, digit symbol, and number connection test A) and 48 age/education-matched controls were included. All patients underwent the psychometric battery and inhibitory control test (ICT) (a test of response inhibition) and driving simulation. Driving simulation consisted of 4 parts: (1) training; (2) driving (outcome being accidents); (3) divided attention (outcome being missed tasks); and (4) navigation, driving along a marked path on a map in a "virtual city" (outcome being illegal turns). Illegal turns were significantly higher in MHE+ (median 1; P = 0.007) compared with MHE-/controls (median 0). Patients who were MHE+ missed more divided attention tasks compared with others (median MHE+ 1, MHE-/controls 0; P = 0.001). Similarly, accidents were higher in patients who were MHE+ (median 2.5; P = 0.004) compared with MHE- (median 1) or controls (median 2). Accidents and illegal turns were significantly correlated (P = 0.001, r = 0.51). ICT impairment was the test most correlated with illegal turns (r = 0.6) and accidents (r = 0.44), although impairment on the other tests were also correlated with illegal turns. Patients positive for MHE have impaired navigation skills on a driving simulator, which is correlated with impairment in response inhibition (ICT) and attention. This navigation difficulty may pose additional driving problems, compounding the pre-existing deleterious effect of attention

  7. Maternal abuse history and self-regulation difficulties in preadolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delker, Brianna C; Noll, Laura K; Kim, Hyoun K; Fisher, Philip A

    2014-12-01

    Although poor parenting is known to be closely linked to self-regulation difficulties in early childhood, comparatively little is understood about the role of other risk factors in the early caregiving environment (such as a parent's own experiences of childhood abuse) in developmental pathways of self-regulation into adolescence. Using a longitudinal design, this study aimed to examine how a mother's history of abuse in childhood relates to her offspring's self-regulation difficulties in preadolescence. Maternal controlling parenting and exposure to intimate partner aggression in the child's first 24-36 months were examined as important early social and environmental influences that may explain the proposed connection between maternal abuse history and preadolescent self-regulation. An ethnically diverse sample of mothers (N=488) who were identified as at-risk for child maltreatment was recruited at the time of their children's birth. Mothers and their children were assessed annually from the child's birth through 36 months, and at age 9-11 years. Structural equation modeling and bootstrap tests of indirect effects were conducted to address the study aims. Findings indicated that maternal abuse history indirectly predicted their children's self-regulation difficulties in preadolescence mainly through maternal controlling parenting in early childhood, but not through maternal exposure to aggression by an intimate partner. Maternal history of childhood abuse and maternal controlling parenting in her child's early life may have long-term developmental implications for child self-regulation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Dynamic range of frontoparietal functional modulation is associated with working memory capacity limitations in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakun, Jonathan G; Johnson, Nathan F

    2017-11-01

    Older adults tend to over-activate regions throughout frontoparietal cortices and exhibit a reduced range of functional modulation during WM task performance compared to younger adults. While recent evidence suggests that reduced functional modulation is associated with poorer task performance, it remains unclear whether reduced range of modulation is indicative of general WM capacity-limitations. In the current study, we examined whether the range of functional modulation observed over multiple levels of WM task difficulty (N-Back) predicts in-scanner task performance and out-of-scanner psychometric estimates of WM capacity. Within our sample (60-77years of age), age was negatively associated with frontoparietal modulation range. Individuals with greater modulation range exhibited more accurate N-Back performance. In addition, despite a lack of significant relationships between N-Back and complex span task performance, range of frontoparietal modulation during the N-Back significantly predicted domain-general estimates of WM capacity. Consistent with previous cross-sectional findings, older individuals with less modulation range exhibited greater activation at the lowest level of task difficulty but less activation at the highest levels of task difficulty. Our results are largely consistent with existing theories of neurocognitive aging (e.g. CRUNCH) but focus attention on dynamic range of functional modulation asa novel marker of WM capacity-limitations in older adults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Brain processing of task-relevant and task-irrelevant emotional words: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Villar, Alberto J; Triñanes, Yolanda; Zurrón, Montserrat; Carrillo-de-la-Peña, María T

    2014-09-01

    Although there is evidence for preferential perceptual processing of written emotional information, the effects of attentional manipulations and the time course of affective processing require further clarification. In this study, we attempted to investigate how the emotional content of words modulates cerebral functioning (event-related potentials, ERPs) and behavior (reaction times, RTs) when the content is task-irrelevant (emotional Stroop Task, EST) or task-relevant (emotional categorization task, ECT), in a sample of healthy middle-aged women. In the EST, the RTs were longer for emotional words than for neutral words, and in the ECT, they were longer for neutral and negative words than for positive words. A principal components analysis of the ERPs identified various temporospatial factors that were differentially modified by emotional content. P2 was the first emotion-sensitive component, with enhanced factor scores for negative nouns across tasks. The N2 and late positive complex had enhanced factor scores for emotional relative to neutral information only in the ECT. The results reinforce the idea that written emotional information has a preferential processing route, both when it is task-irrelevant (producing behavioral interference) and when it is task-relevant (facilitating the categorization). After early automatic processing of the emotional content, late ERPs become more emotionally modulated as the level of attention to the valence increases.

  10. Madrid, años 50: la investigación en torno a la vivienda social. Los poblados dirigidos

    OpenAIRE

    Esteban-Maluenda, A.M. (Ana María)

    2000-01-01

    A principios de los años 50, Madrid empieza a preocuparse por un problema creciente en la periferia de la ciudad: la proliferación de núcleos chabolistas. Aunque en la década anterior se intentó limitar el crecimiento de los asentamientos limítrofes mediante la creación de zonas destinadas a vivienda modesta, el problema del suburbio no empieza a preocupar seriamente a la Administración hasta esta fecha. A partir del año 1953 se produce una fuerte inmigración de población campesina sobre Madr...

  11. Semantic similarity estimation of tasks between telecommunications business processes Estimación de la similitud semántica de tareas entre procesos de negocio de telecomunicaciones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Ordóñez Ante

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available As a measure to improve competitiveness in the telecommunications market, currently companies in the sector create new value added services, in order to extend its services portfolio and to ensure either the retention of its customers or increase the number of its subscribers. These new services must rely on business processes defined by the Telecommunications Service Provider, which arecomposed of operation, management, maintenance and support tasks. Generally, Telco Architects reuse those tasks in order to optimize enterprise resourceand to ensure prompt return on investment, amortizing over the shortest possible time the outgoings due to creation and deployment of the new service.The reuse of Telco tasks involves constraints regarding the speed in selection, since usually, there are hundreds of tasks, and it requires the intervention of technical staff to carry out the recovery operations, based on their subjective interpretation of the business process to be implemented. There exist different approaches to automate the resources selection, generally focused on the semantic matching of concepts that describe their access interfaces (inputs and outputs; however, is shown that the application of these techniques omits relevant information contained in other attributes, such as identifiers. For this reason, this paper proposes a mechanism to determine the semantic similarityof tasks that make up telecommunications business processes, considering two perspectives: the inference on the tasks functionality specified in identifiers,and coverage analysis of inputs and outputs.Como una medida para mejorar la competitividad en el mercado de las telecomunicaciones, actualmente las empresas del sector crean nuevos servicios de valor agregado, con el fin de ampliar su portafolio de servicios y garantizar bien sea la permanencia de sus clientes o ampliar el número de suscriptores. Estos nuevos servicios deben estar soportados en los procesos de

  12. Algorithm-Dependent Generalization Bounds for Multi-Task Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tongliang; Tao, Dacheng; Song, Mingli; Maybank, Stephen J

    2017-02-01

    Often, tasks are collected for multi-task learning (MTL) because they share similar feature structures. Based on this observation, in this paper, we present novel algorithm-dependent generalization bounds for MTL by exploiting the notion of algorithmic stability. We focus on the performance of one particular task and the average performance over multiple tasks by analyzing the generalization ability of a common parameter that is shared in MTL. When focusing on one particular task, with the help of a mild assumption on the feature structures, we interpret the function of the other tasks as a regularizer that produces a specific inductive bias. The algorithm for learning the common parameter, as well as the predictor, is thereby uniformly stable with respect to the domain of the particular task and has a generalization bound with a fast convergence rate of order O(1/n), where n is the sample size of the particular task. When focusing on the average performance over multiple tasks, we prove that a similar inductive bias exists under certain conditions on the feature structures. Thus, the corresponding algorithm for learning the common parameter is also uniformly stable with respect to the domains of the multiple tasks, and its generalization bound is of the order O(1/T), where T is the number of tasks. These theoretical analyses naturally show that the similarity of feature structures in MTL will lead to specific regularizations for predicting, which enables the learning algorithms to generalize fast and correctly from a few examples.

  13. Increased Early Processing of Task-Irrelevant Auditory Stimuli in Older Adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich S Tusch

    Full Text Available The inhibitory deficit hypothesis of cognitive aging posits that older adults' inability to adequately suppress processing of irrelevant information is a major source of cognitive decline. Prior research has demonstrated that in response to task-irrelevant auditory stimuli there is an age-associated increase in the amplitude of the N1 wave, an ERP marker of early perceptual processing. Here, we tested predictions derived from the inhibitory deficit hypothesis that the age-related increase in N1 would be 1 observed under an auditory-ignore, but not auditory-attend condition, 2 attenuated in individuals with high executive capacity (EC, and 3 augmented by increasing cognitive load of the primary visual task. ERPs were measured in 114 well-matched young, middle-aged, young-old, and old-old adults, designated as having high or average EC based on neuropsychological testing. Under the auditory-ignore (visual-attend task, participants ignored auditory stimuli and responded to rare target letters under low and high load. Under the auditory-attend task, participants ignored visual stimuli and responded to rare target tones. Results confirmed an age-associated increase in N1 amplitude to auditory stimuli under the auditory-ignore but not auditory-attend task. Contrary to predictions, EC did not modulate the N1 response. The load effect was the opposite of expectation: the N1 to task-irrelevant auditory events was smaller under high load. Finally, older adults did not simply fail to suppress the N1 to auditory stimuli in the task-irrelevant modality; they generated a larger response than to identical stimuli in the task-relevant modality. In summary, several of the study's findings do not fit the inhibitory-deficit hypothesis of cognitive aging, which may need to be refined or supplemented by alternative accounts.

  14. The effects of dual tasking on handwriting in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeder, S; Nackaerts, E; Nieuwboer, A; Smits-Engelsman, B C M; Swinnen, S P; Heremans, E

    2014-03-28

    Previous studies have shown that patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience extensive problems during dual tasking. Up to now, dual-task interference in PD has mainly been investigated in the context of gait research. However, the simultaneous performance of two different tasks is also a prerequisite to efficiently perform many other tasks in daily life, including upper limb tasks. To address this issue, this study investigated the effect of a secondary cognitive task on the performance of handwriting in patients with PD. Eighteen PD patients and 11 age-matched controls performed a writing task involving the production of repetitive loops under single- and dual-task conditions. The secondary task consisted of counting high and low tones during writing. The writing tests were performed with two amplitudes (0.6 and 1.0cm) using a writing tablet. Results showed that dual-task performance was affected in PD patients versus controls. Dual tasking reduced writing amplitude in PD patients, but not in healthy controls (p=0.046). Patients' writing size was mainly reduced during the small-amplitude condition (small amplitude p=0.017; large amplitude p=0.310). This suggests that the control of writing at small amplitudes requires more compensational brain-processing recourses in PD and is as such less automatic than writing at large amplitudes. In addition, there was a larger dual-task effect on the secondary task in PD patients than controls (p=0.025). The writing tests on the writing tablet proved highly correlated to daily life writing as measured by the 'Systematic Screening of Handwriting Difficulties' test (SOS-test) and other manual dexterity tasks, particularly during dual-task conditions. Taken together, these results provide additional insights into the motor control of handwriting and the effects of dual tasking during upper limb movements in patients with PD. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Desirable difficulties in vocabulary learning

    OpenAIRE

    Bjork, RA; Kroll, JF

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. In this article we discuss the role of desirable diffic