Nekovarova, Tereza; Nedvidek, Jan; Bures, Jan
Our study investigates whether macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are able to make spatial choices in a real space according to abstract visual stimuli presented on a computer screen. We tested whether there was a difference in the processing of stimuli reflecting the configuration of a response space ("spatial stimuli") and stimuli of simple geometrical patterns lacking implicit spatial information. We trained two monkeys to choose one of nine touch-holes on a transparent panel attached to a computer monitor according to one of four visual stimuli successively displayed on the screen. The first monkey followed the visual stimuli designed as a representation of the response space ("configurations"), the second monkey observed geometrical patterns or pictures without information about the response space. In the first phase the position or the size of the stimuli varied but the shapes remained the same. In the second phase we changed the stimuli - "configurations" represented the response space in a similar way as in the previous phase, but marked different touch-holes - the patterns were changed entirely. The comparison of these two monkeys using different stimuli was expected to reveal potential differences between pattern discrimination and using configuration information included in the stimuli. The results of this experiment showed that both monkeys were able to use visual stimuli in phase 1 effectively (independently on their position on the screen), but only the monkey that obtained configuration information learnt an effective strategy after the change of stimuli in phase 2.
Hunnius, Sabine; Geuze, Reint H.
The characteristics of scanning patterns between the ages of 6 and 26 weeks were investigated through repeated assessments of 10 infants. Eye movements were recorded using a corneal-reflection system while the infants looked at 2 dynamic stimuli: the naturally moving face of their mother and an abstract stimulus. Results indicated that the way…
Young, A W; Hellawell, D J; Wright, S; Ellis, H D
Investigation of P.T., a man who experienced reduplicative delusions, revealed significant impairments on tests of recognition memory for faces and understanding of emotional facial expressions. On formal tests of his recognition abilities, P.T. showed reduplication to familiar faces, buildings, and written names, but not to familiar voices. Reduplication may therefore have been a genuinely visual problem in P.T.'s case, since it was not found to auditory stimuli. This is consistent with hypotheses which propose that the basis of reduplication can lie in part in malfunction of the visual system.
Farley, Andrew P.; Ramonda, Kris; Liu, Xun
According to the Dual-Coding Theory (Paivio & Desrochers, 1980), words that are associated with rich visual imagery are more easily learned than abstract words due to what is termed the concreteness effect (Altarriba & Bauer, 2004; de Groot, 1992, de Groot et al., 1994; ter Doest & Semin, 2005). The present study examined the effects of attaching…
The fundamental properties of light and the principles of the structure and function of the visual system were discovered at a time when the only light sources were the sun and the flame of a candle. Contributions by Newton, Huygens, Thomas Young and Purkinje, Helmholtz's ophthalmoscope - all preceded the first incandescent filament. Light bulbs, Xenon arcs, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), computer monitors then sequentially enlarged the arsenal, and so did the steps from Nicol prism to Polaroid in polarizing light, and from glass and interference filters to laser light in generating monochromatic light. Technological advances have a deep impact on the research topics at any one time, expanding their scope. In particular, utilization of computers now allows the generation and manipulation of targets permitting questions to be approached that could not have been envisaged at the dawn of the technological era of vision research. Just beyond the immediate grasp of even the most thoughtful vision scientist, however, is the concern that stimulus sets originating in mathematicians' and physicists' toolboxes fail to capture some essential ingredients indigenous to human vision. The quest to study vision with stimuli in its own terms continues.
Morris, J S; Friston, K J; Dolan, R J
The neural mechanisms involved in the selective processing of salient or behaviourally important stimuli are uncertain. We used an aversive conditioning paradigm in human volunteer subjects to manipulate the salience of visual stimuli (emotionally expressive faces) presented during positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging. Increases in salience, and conflicts between the innate and acquired value of the stimuli, produced augmented activation of the pulvinar nucleus of the right thalamus. Furthermore, this pulvinar activity correlated positively with responses in structures hypothesized to mediate value in the brain right amygdala and basal forebrain (including the cholinergic nucleus basalis of Meynert). The results provide evidence that the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus plays a crucial modulatory role in selective visual processing, and that changes in perceptual salience are mediated by value-dependent plasticity in pulvinar responses. PMID:9178546
Miller, Jae-eun Kang; Ayzenshtat, Inbal; Carrillo-Reid, Luis; Yuste, Rafael
The cortical microcircuit is built with recurrent excitatory connections, and it has long been suggested that the purpose of this design is to enable intrinsically driven reverberating activity. To understand the dynamics of neocortical intrinsic activity better, we performed two-photon calcium imaging of populations of neurons from the primary visual cortex of awake mice during visual stimulation and spontaneous activity. In both conditions, cortical activity is dominated by coactive groups of neurons, forming ensembles whose activation cannot be explained by the independent firing properties of their contributing neurons, considered in isolation. Moreover, individual neurons flexibly join multiple ensembles, vastly expanding the encoding potential of the circuit. Intriguingly, the same coactive ensembles can repeat spontaneously and in response to visual stimuli, indicating that stimulus-evoked responses arise from activating these intrinsic building blocks. Although the spatial properties of stimulus-driven and spontaneous ensembles are similar, spontaneous ensembles are active at random intervals, whereas visually evoked ensembles are time-locked to stimuli. We conclude that neuronal ensembles, built by the coactivation of flexible groups of neurons, are emergent functional units of cortical activity and propose that visual stimuli recruit intrinsically generated ensembles to represent visual attributes.
Bukhari, Farhan; Kurylo, Daniel D
Critical to vision research is the generation of visual displays with precise control over stimulus metrics. Generating stimuli often requires adapting commercial software or developing specialized software for specific research applications. In order to facilitate this process, we give here an overview that allows nonexpert users to generate and customize stimuli for vision research. We first give a review of relevant hardware and software considerations, to allow the selection of display hardware, operating system, programming language, and graphics packages most appropriate for specific research applications. We then describe the framework of a generic computer program that can be adapted for use with a broad range of experimental applications. Stimuli are generated in the context of trial events, allowing the display of text messages, the monitoring of subject responses and reaction times, and the inclusion of contingency algorithms. This approach allows direct control and management of computer-generated visual stimuli while utilizing the full capabilities of modern hardware and software systems. The flowchart and source code for the stimulus-generating program may be downloaded from www.psychonomic.org/archive.
Song, Chen; Yao, Haishan
Unconscious processing of subliminal visual information, as illustrated by the above-chance accuracy in discriminating invisible visual stimuli, is evident in both blindsight patients and healthy human observers. However, the dependence of such unconscious processing on stimulus properties remains unclear. Here we studied the impact of stimulus luminance and stimulus complexity on the extent of unconscious processing. A testing stimulus presented to one eye was rendered invisible by a masking stimulus presented to the other eye, and healthy human participants made a forced-choice discrimination of the stimulus identity followed by a report of the perceptual awareness. Without awareness of the stimulus existence, participants could nevertheless reach above-chance accuracy in discriminating the stimulus identity. Importantly, the discrimination accuracy for invisible stimuli increased with the stimulus luminance and decreased with the stimulus complexity. These findings suggested that the input signal strength and the input signal complexity can affect the extent of unconscious processing without altering the subjective awareness. PMID:27941851
A nested cross-over design was used to examine the effects of visual condition, type of stimuli, and language proficiency on listening comprehension items of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Three two-way interactions were significant: proficiency by type of stimuli, type of stimuli by visual condition, and type of stimuli by time.…
Kimura, Tsukasa; Katayama, Jun'ichi
This study examines how the regularity of visual stimuli approaching the body influences spatial expectations of subsequent somatosensory stimuli by recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during a simple reaction time (RT) task involving responses to somatosensory stimuli. Twenty-one participants were instructed to put their arms on a desk, and three LEDs were placed equidistantly between their arms. Electrical stimuli were presented with a high probability (80%) of being applied to one wrist and a low probability (20%) of being applied to the opposite wrist. One trial was composed of three visual stimuli followed by one electrical stimulus. In the regular approach condition, LEDs flashed sequentially toward the wrist with the high-probability somatosensory stimulus. In the irregular approach condition, the first and second visual stimuli were presented randomly, but the third visual stimulus was invariably presented near the wrist with the high-probability stimulus. In both conditions, RTs for low-probability stimuli were slower than those for high-probability stimuli, and the low-probability stimuli elicited larger P3 amplitudes than the high-probability stimuli. Furthermore, the largest P3 amplitude was elicited by low-probability stimuli under the regular approach condition, whereas the amplitudes of contingent negative variation (CNV) elicited before the presentation of the somatosensory stimuli did not differ between conditions. These results indicate that regularity of visual stimuli approaching the body facilitates an automatic spatial expectation for subsequent somatosensory stimuli.
Langeborg, Linda; Eriksson, Mårten
This article investigates effects of anchoring in age estimation and estimation of quantities, two tasks which to different extents are based on visual stimuli. The results are compared to anchoring in answers to classic general knowledge questions that rely on semantic knowledge. Cognitive load was manipulated to explore possible differences between domains. Effects of source credibility, manipulated by differing instructions regarding the selection of anchor values (no information regarding anchor selection, information that the anchors are randomly generated or information that the anchors are answers from an expert) on anchoring were also investigated. Effects of anchoring were large for all types of judgments but were not affected by cognitive load or by source credibility in either one of the researched domains. A main effect of cognitive load on quantity estimations and main effects of source credibility in the two visually based domains indicate that the manipulations were efficient. Implications for theoretical explanations of anchoring are discussed. In particular, because anchoring did not interact with cognitive load, the results imply that the process behind anchoring in visual tasks is predominantly automatic and unconscious. PMID:26941684
Supin, A Ia
The responses of visual cortical neurons to patterned visual stimuli were studied in squirrel Sciurus vulgaris. The direction selective, orientation-selective and non-selective neurons were observed. Most direction-selective and non-selective neurons were sensitive to high speeds of stimulus movement--hundreds deg/s. The direction-selective neurons exhibited their selectivity at such high speeds in spite of the short time of the stimulus movement through the receptive field. Orientation-selective neurons (with simple or complex receptive fields) were sensitive to lower speeds of the stimulus movement (tens deg/s). Some mechanisms of the properties described are discussed.
Nekovarova, Tereza; Nedvidek, Jan; Klement, Daniel; Bures, Jan
We showed previously that macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) could orient in real space using abstract visual stimuli presented on a computer screen. They made correct choices according to both spatial stimuli (designed as an abstract representation of a real space) and nonspatial stimuli (pictures lacking any inner configuration information). However, we suggested that there were differences in processing spatial and nonspatial stimuli. In the present experiment we show that monkeys could also use as a cue abstract spatial stimuli rotated with respect to the real response space. We studied the ability of monkeys to decode abstract spatial information provided in one spatial frame (computer screen) and to perform spatial choices in another spatial frame (touch panel separated from the screen). We analyzed how the monkeys were affected by the type of training, whether they perceived the stimuli as "spatial" or "nonspatial," and which cues they used to decode them. We compared humans to monkeys in a similar test to find out which cognitive strategy they used and whether they perceive spatial stimuli in the same way. We demonstrated that there were two possible strategies to solve the task, simple "fitting" ignoring rotations and "remapping," when the stimulus was represented as an "abstract space" per se.
Shibuya, Satoshi; Takahashi, Toshimitsu; Kitazawa, Shigeru
Successive tactile stimuli, delivered one to each hand, are referred to spatial representation before they are ordered in time (Yamamoto and Kitazawa in Nat Neurosci 4:759-765 2001a). In the present study, we examined if this applies even when they are delivered unilaterally to fingers of a single hand. Tactile stimuli were delivered left-to-rightward relative to the body (2nd-3rd-4th) or in reverse with stimulus onset asynchrony of 100 ms. Simultaneously with the delivery of tactile stimuli, three of nine small squares arranged in a matrix of 3 x 3 were turned on as if they appeared near the tips of the fingers. Although subjects were instructed to ignore the visual stimuli and make a forced choice between the two orders of tactile stimuli, the correct-judgment probability depended on the direction of visual stimuli. It was greater than 95% when the direction of visual stimuli matched that of the tactile stimuli, but less than 50% when they were opposite to each other. When the right hand was rotated counterclockwise on the horizontal plane (90 degrees ) so that the fingers were pointing to the left, the preferred direction of visual stimuli that yielded the peak correct judgment was also rotated, although not to the full extent. These results show that subjects cannot be basing their tactile temporal order judgment solely on a somatotopic map, but rather on a spatial map on which both visual and tactile signals converge.
Pearlman, R C; Cunningham, D R; Williamson, D G; Amerman, J D
Two groups of male subjects beyond 50 years of age were given audiometric tasks with and without visual stimulation to determine if visual stimuli changed auditory perception. The first group consisted of 10 subjects with normal auditory acuity; the second, 10 with sensorineural hearing losses greater than 30 decibels. The rate of presentation of the visual stimuli, consisting of photographic slides of various subjects, was determined in experiment I of the study. The subjects, while viewing the slides at their own rate, took an audiotry speech discrimination test. Advisedly they changed the slides at a speed which they felt facilitated attention while performing the auditory task. The mean rate of slide-changing behavior was used as the "optimum" visual stimulation rate in experiment II, which was designed to explore the interaction of the bisensory presentation of stimuli. Bekesy tracings and Rush Hughes recordings were administered without and with visual stimuli, the latter presented at the mean rate of slide changes found in experiment I. Analysis of data indicated that (1) no statistically significant difference exists between visual and nonvisual conditions during speech discrimination and Bekesy testing; and (2) subjects did not believe that visual stimuli as presented in this study helped them to listen more effectively. The experimenter concluded that the various auditory stimuli encountered in the auditory test situation may actually be a deterrent to boredom because of the variety of tasks required in a testing situation.
Ando, Soichi; Komiyama, Takaaki; Kokubu, Masahiro; Sudo, Mizuki; Kiyonaga, Akira; Tanaka, Hiroaki; Higaki, Yasuki
Recently, we proposed that strenuous exercise impairs peripheral visual perception because visual responses to peripheral visual stimuli were slowed during strenuous exercise. However, this proposal was challenged because strenuous exercise is also likely to affect the brain network underlying motor responses. The purpose of the current study was to resolve this issue. Fourteen participants performed a visual reaction-time (RT) task at rest and while exercising at 50% (moderate) and 75% (strenuous) peak oxygen uptake. Visual stimuli were randomly presented at different distances from fixation in two task conditions: the Central condition (2° or 5° from fixation) and the Peripheral condition (30° or 50° from fixation). We defined premotor time as the time between stimulus onset and the motor response, as determined using electromyographic recordings. In the Central condition, premotor time did not change during moderate (167±19ms) and strenuous (168±24ms) exercise from that at rest (164±17ms). In the Peripheral condition, premotor time significantly increased during moderate (181±18ms, P<0.05) and strenuous exercise (189±23ms, P<0.001) from that at rest (173±17ms). These results suggest that increases in Premotor Time to the peripheral visual stimuli did not result from an impaired motor-response network, but rather from impaired peripheral visual perception. We conclude that slowed response to peripheral visual stimuli during strenuous exercise primarily results from impaired visual perception of the periphery.
Clough, Curtis W.; Meyer, Careen S.; Miguel, Caio F.
We assessed the effects of blocking on the accuracy of arranging visual stimuli in sequences as an attempt to assess whether verbal behavior mediates nonverbal performance. Across three experiments, college students were trained to echo and tact the names of abstract images vocally (Experiments 1 and 3) and with hand signs (Experiment 2), and…
Armstrong, Alan; Issartel, Johann
Understanding how we synchronize our actions with stimuli from different sensory modalities plays a central role in helping to establish how we interact with our multisensory environment. Recent research has shown better performance with multisensory over unisensory stimuli; however, the type of stimuli used has mainly been auditory and tactile. The aim of this article was to expand our understanding of sensorimotor synchronization with multisensory audio-visual stimuli and compare these findings to their individual unisensory counterparts. This research also aims to assess the role of spatio-temporal structure for each sensory modality. The visual and/or auditory stimuli had either temporal or spatio-temporal information available and were presented to the participants in unimodal and bimodal conditions. Globally, the performance was significantly better for the bimodal compared to the unimodal conditions; however, this benefit was limited to only one of the bimodal conditions. In terms of the unimodal conditions, the level of synchronization with visual stimuli was better than auditory, and while there was an observed benefit with the spatio-temporal compared to temporal visual stimulus, this was not replicated with the auditory stimulus.
Sperdin, Holger F; Spierer, Lucas; Becker, Robert; Michel, Christoph M; Landis, Theodor
Subliminal perception is strongly associated to the processing of meaningful or emotional information and has mostly been studied using visual masking. In this study, we used high density 256-channel EEG coupled with an liquid crystal display (LCD) tachistoscope to characterize the spatio-temporal dynamics of the brain response to visual checkerboard stimuli (Experiment 1) or blank stimuli (Experiment 2) presented without a mask for 1 ms (visible), 500 µs (partially visible), and 250 µs (subliminal) by applying time-wise, assumption-free nonparametric randomization statistics on the strength and on the topography of high-density scalp-recorded electric field. Stimulus visibility was assessed in a third separate behavioral experiment. Results revealed that unmasked checkerboards presented subliminally for 250 µs evoked weak but detectable visual evoked potential (VEP) responses. When the checkerboards were replaced by blank stimuli, there was no evidence for the presence of an evoked response anymore. Furthermore, the checkerboard VEPs were modulated topographically between 243 and 296 ms post-stimulus onset as a function of stimulus duration, indicative of the engagement of distinct configuration of active brain networks. A distributed electrical source analysis localized this modulation within the right superior parietal lobule near the precuneus. These results show the presence of a brain response to submillisecond unmasked subliminal visual stimuli independently of their emotional saliency or meaningfulness and opens an avenue for new investigations of subliminal stimulation without using visual masking.
Kamen, Gary and Morris, Harold H.
A paradox in studying sensory perception is that people often attend to a stimulus which provides the least optimal information. Usually, this is a visual stimulus. The study sought to lessen this reliance on vision by training subjects to respond to proprioceptive stimuli. Results are discussed. (Author/JL)
Leib, Allison Yamanashi; Kosovicheva, Anna; Whitney, David
Much of the richness of perception is conveyed by implicit, rather than image or feature-level, information. The perception of animacy or lifelikeness of objects, for example, cannot be predicted from image level properties alone. Instead, perceiving lifelikeness seems to be an inferential process and one might expect it to be cognitively demanding and serial rather than fast and automatic. If perceptual mechanisms exist to represent lifelikeness, then observers should be able to perceive this information quickly and reliably, and should be able to perceive the lifelikeness of crowds of objects. Here, we report that observers are highly sensitive to the lifelikeness of random objects and even groups of objects. Observers' percepts of crowd lifelikeness are well predicted by independent observers' lifelikeness judgements of the individual objects comprising that crowd. We demonstrate that visual impressions of abstract dimensions can be achieved with summary statistical representations, which underlie our rich perceptual experience. PMID:27848949
Potapov, A. S.; Rozhkov, A. S.
The problem of learning of complex visual stimuli in cognitive robotics is considered. These stimuli should be selected on the base of rules supporting arbitrary comparisons of stimulus features with features of other salient objects (context). New perceptual knowledge representation based on the predicate logic is implemented to express such rules. Computable predicates are provided by low-level vision system. The rules are constructed using genetic algorithms on the base of a set of examples obtained by a robot during consequent trials. Dependence between the number of necessary trials and rule complexity is studied.
Haber, Ralph N.
Theories of visual perception traditionally have considered a static retinal image to be the starting point for processing; and has considered processing both to be passive and a literal translation of that frozen, two dimensional, pictorial image. This paper considers five problem areas in the analysis of human visually guided locomotion, in which the traditional approach is contrasted to newer ones that utilize dynamic definitions of stimulation, and an active perceiver: (1) differentiation between object motion and self motion, and among the various kinds of self motion (e.g., eyes only, head only, whole body, and their combinations); (2) the sources and contents of visual information that guide movement; (3) the acquisition and performance of perceptual motor skills; (4) the nature of spatial representations, percepts, and the perceived layout of space; and (5) and why the retinal image is a poor starting point for perceptual processing. These newer approaches argue that stimuli must be considered as dynamic: humans process the systematic changes in patterned light when objects move and when they themselves move. Furthermore, the processing of visual stimuli must be active and interactive, so that perceivers can construct panoramic and stable percepts from an interaction of stimulus information and expectancies of what is contained in the visual environment. These developments all suggest a very different approach to the computational analyses of object location and identification, and of the visual guidance of locomotion.
Cléry, Justine; Guipponi, Olivier; Odouard, Soline; Wardak, Claire; Ben Hamed, Suliann
From an ecological point of view, approaching objects are potentially more harmful than receding objects. A predator, a dominant conspecific, or a mere branch coming up at high speed can all be dangerous if one does not detect them and produce the appropriate escape behavior fast enough. And indeed, looming stimuli trigger stereotyped defensive responses in both monkeys and human infants. However, while the heteromodal somatosensory consequences of visual looming stimuli can be fully predicted by their spatiotemporal dynamics, few studies if any have explored whether visual stimuli looming toward the face predictively enhance heteromodal tactile sensitivity around the expected time of impact and at its expected location on the body. In the present study, we report that, in addition to triggering a defensive motor repertoire, looming stimuli toward the face provide the nervous system with predictive cues that enhance tactile sensitivity on the face. Specifically, we describe an enhancement of tactile processes at the expected time and location of impact of the stimulus on the face. We additionally show that a looming stimulus that brushes past the face also enhances tactile sensitivity on the nearby cheek, suggesting that the space close to the face is incorporated into the subjects' body schema. We propose that this cross-modal predictive facilitation involves multisensory convergence areas subserving the representation of a peripersonal space and a safety boundary of self.
Nedvidek, Jan; Nekovarova, Tereza; Bures, Jan
In earlier experiments we have demonstrated that macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are able to use abstract visual stimuli presented on a computer screen to make spatial choices in the real environment. In those experiments a touch board ("response space") was directly connected to the computer screen ("virtual space"). The goal of the present experiment was to find out whether macaque monkeys are able: (1) To make spatial choices in a response space which is completely separated from the screen where the stimuli (designed as representation of the response space) are presented. (2) To make spatial choices based on visual stimuli representing the configuration of the response space which are rotated with respect to this response space. The monkeys were trained to choose one of the nine "touch holes" on a transparent touch panel situated beside a computer monitor on which the visual stimuli were presented. The visual stimuli were designed as an abstract representation of the response space: the rewarded position was shown as a bright circle situated at a certain position in the rectangle representing the contours of the touch panel. At first, the monkeys were trained with non-rotated spatial stimuli. After this initial training, the visual stimuli were gradually rotated by 20 degrees in each step. In the last phase, the stimulus was suddenly rotated in the opposite direction by 60 degrees in one step. The results of the experiment suggest that the monkeys are able to use successfully abstract stimuli from one spatial frame for spatial choices in another frame. Effective use of the stimuli after their rotation suggested that the monkeys perceived the stimuli as a representation of the configuration of the touch holes in the real space, not only as different geometrical patterns without configuration information.
Kawamichi, Hiroaki; Kitada, Ryo; Yoshihara, Kazufumi; Takahashi, Haruka K.; Sadato, Norihiro
Social contact is essential for survival in human society. A previous study demonstrated that interpersonal contact alleviates pain-related distress by suppressing the activity of its underlying neural network. One explanation for this is that attention is shifted from the cause of distress to interpersonal contact. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a functional MRI (fMRI) study wherein eight pairs of close female friends rated the aversiveness of aversive and non-aversive visual stimuli under two conditions: joining hands either with a rubber model (rubber-hand condition) or with a close friend (human-hand condition). Subsequently, participants rated the overall comfortableness of each condition. The rating result after fMRI indicated that participants experienced greater comfortableness during the human-hand compared to the rubber-hand condition, whereas aversiveness ratings during fMRI were comparable across conditions. The fMRI results showed that the two conditions commonly produced aversive-related activation in both sides of the visual cortex (including V1, V2, and V5). An interaction between aversiveness and hand type showed rubber-hand-specific activation for (aversive > non-aversive) in other visual areas (including V1, V2, V3, and V4v). The effect of interpersonal contact on the processing of aversive stimuli was negatively correlated with the increment of attentional focus to aversiveness measured by a pain-catastrophizing scale. These results suggest that interpersonal touch suppresses the processing of aversive visual stimuli in the occipital cortex. This effect covaried with aversiveness-insensitivity, such that aversive-insensitive individuals might require a lesser degree of attentional capture to aversive-stimulus processing. As joining hands did not influence the subjective ratings of aversiveness, interpersonal touch may operate by redirecting excessive attention away from aversive characteristics of the stimuli. PMID:25904856
Delamater, Andrew R; Derman, Rifka C; Harris, Justin A
Three experiments with rats compared the relative ease with which different sets of visual or temporal cues could participate in Pavlovian learning. In Experiment 1, 1 group was trained to discriminate between visual cues (Light vs. Dark), whereas the other group learned to discriminate between temporal cues (early [10 s] vs. late [90 s]). Both groups learned to distinguish food-paired from nonpaired periods equally well. In Experiment 2, 2 groups were trained on an ambiguous occasion setting task. For Group Visual, a 2-min Light period signaled that 1 10-s auditory conditioned stimulus, CS1, was reinforced with 1 unconditioned stimulus, US1, but that CS2 was not reinforced; whereas a 2-min dark period signaled that CS1 was not reinforced, but CS2 was reinforced with US2 (i.e., Light: CS1-US1, CS2-; Dark: CS1-, CS2-US2). For Group Temporal, early (10-s) or late (90-s) temporal cues within each of these Light and Dark periods were diagnostic of these contingencies (i.e., Early: CS1-US1, CS2-; Late: CS1-, CS2-US2). Group Visual learned the task, but Group Temporal did not. In Experiment 3 we demonstrated that animals could not solve a related temporal ambiguous occasion setting task in which 1 visual stimulus signaled that both CSs were reinforced early whereas the other visual stimulus signaled that the CSs were reinforced only late. Contrary to a currently popular information theory approach to timing in Pavlovian learning, these results suggest that overt nontemporal visual stimuli are better incorporated into conditional discrimination learning than are temporal stimuli. (PsycINFO Database Record
Whiteley, Louise; Kennett, Steffan; Taylor-Clarke, Marisa; Haggard, Patrick
Recent work on tactile perception has revealed enhanced tactile acuity and speeded spatial-choice reaction times (RTs) when viewing the stimulated body site as opposed to viewing a neutral object. Here we examine whether this body-view enhancement effect extends to visual targets. Participants performed a speeded spatial discrimination between two lights attached either to their own left index finger or to a wooden finger-shaped object, making a simple distal--proximal decision. We filmed either the finger-mounted or the object-mounted lights in separate experimental blocks and the live scene was projected onto a screen in front of the participants. Thus, participants responded to identical visual targets varying only in their context: on the body or not. Results revealed a large performance advantage for the finger-mounted stimuli: reaction times were substantially reduced, while discrimination accuracy was unaffected. With this finding we address concerns associated with previous work on the processing of stimuli attributed to the self and extend the finding of a performance advantage for such stimuli to vision.
Rorvig, Mark E.
Visual documents--motion sequences on film, videotape, and digital recording--constitute a major source of information for the Space Agency, as well as all other government and private sector entities. This article describes a method for automatically selecting key frames from visual documents. These frames may in turn be used to represent the total image sequence of visual documents in visual libraries, hypermedia systems, and training algorithm reduces 51 minutes of video sequences to 134 frames; a reduction of information in the range of 700:1.
Plummer, Prudence; Dunai, Judith; Morris, Meg E.
Moving visual stimuli have been shown to reduce unilateral neglect (ULN), however, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain poorly understood. This study compared lateralised and non-lateralised moving visual stimuli to investigate whether the spatial characteristics or general alerting properties of moving visual stimuli are responsible for…
Nummela, Samuel U; Krauzlis, Richard J
The primate superior colliculus (SC) is important for the winner-take-all selection of targets for orienting movements. Such selection takes time, however, and the earliest motor responses typically are guided by a weighted vector average of the visual stimuli, before the winner-take-all selection of a single target. We tested whether SC activity plays a role in this initial stage of orienting by inactivating the SC in two macaques (Macaca mulatta) with local muscimol injections. After SC inactivation, initial orienting responses still followed a vector average, but the contribution of the visual stimulus inside the affected field was decreased, and the contribution of the stimulus outside the affected field was increased. These results demonstrate that the SC plays an important role in the weighted integration of visual signals for orienting, in addition to its role in the winner-take-all selection of the target.
Debert, Paula; Matos, Maria Amelia; McIlvane, William
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether emergent conditional relations could be established with a go/no-go procedure using compound abstract stimuli. The procedure was conducted with 6 adult humans. During training, responses emitted in the presence of certain stimulus compounds (A1B1, A2B2, A3B3, B1C1, B2C2, and B3C3) were followed by…
Schulman-Galambos, C; Galambos, R
Event-related potentials (ERPs) time-locked to the onset of visual stimuli were extracted from the EEG of normal adult (N = 16) and infant (N = 23) subjects. Subjects were not required to make any response. Stimuli delivered to the adults were 150 msec exposures of 2 sets of colored slides projected in 4 blocks, 2 in focus and 2 out of focus. Infants received 2-sec exposures of slides showing people, colored drawings or scenes from Disneyland, as well as 2-sec illuminations of the experimenter as she played a game or of a TV screen the baby was watching. The adult ERPs showed 6 waves (N1 through P4) in the 140--600-msec range; this included a positive wave at around 350 msec that was large when the stimuli were focused and smaller when they were not. The waves in the 150--200-msec range, by contrast, steadily dropped in amplitude as the experiment progressed. The infant ERPs differed greatly from the adult ones in morphology, usually showing a positive (latency about 200 msec)--negative(5--600msec)--positive(1000msec) sequence. This ERP appeared in all the stimulus conditions; its presence or absence, furthermore, was correlated with whether or not the baby seemed interested in the stimuli. Four infants failed to produce these ERPs; an independent measure of attention to the stimuli, heart rate deceleration, was demonstrated in two of them. An electrode placed beneath the eye to monitor eye movements yielded ERPs closely resembling those derived from the scalp in most subjects; reasons are given for assigning this response to activity in the brain, probably at the frontal pole. This study appears to be one of the first to search for cognitive 'late waves' in a no-task situation. The results suggest that further work with such task-free paradigms may yield additional useful techniques for studying the ERP.
Background Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. Results We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously) to familiar objects (known but never manipulated) to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously). At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Conclusion Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their fission-fusion social system
Ngo, Mary Kim; Spence, Charles
When identifying a rapidly masked visual target display in a stream of visual distractor displays, a high-frequency tone (presented in synchrony with the target display) in a stream of low-tone distractors results in better performance than when the same low tone accompanies each visual display (Ngo and Spence in Atten Percept Psychophys 72:1938-1947, 2010; Vroomen and de Gelder in J Exp Psychol Hum 26:1583-1590, 2000). In the present study, we tested three oddball conditions: a louder tone presented amongst quieter tones, a quieter tone presented amongst louder tones, and the absence of a tone, within an otherwise identical tone sequence. Across three experiments, all three oddball conditions resulted in the crossmodal facilitation of participants' visual target identification performance. These results therefore suggest that salient oddball stimuli in the form of deviating tones, when synchronized with the target, may be sufficient to capture participants' attention and facilitate visual target identification. The fact that the absence of a sound in an otherwise-regular sequence of tones also facilitated performance suggests that multisensory integration cannot provide an adequate account for the 'freezing' effect. Instead, an attentional capture account is proposed to account for the benefits of oddball cuing in Vroomen and de Gelder's task.
Harvey, S; Klandorf, H; Lam, S K
The deprivation of drinking water for 30 h resulted in increased corticosterone concentrations in the plasma of 8- to 10-week-old chickens. When water-deprived birds were allowed to drink ad libitum the corticosterone concentration declined within 45 min, to the level in hydrated controls, and remained suppressed thereafter. Similar reductions in the corticosterone concentrations were also observed in water-deprived chicks which were allowed to drink for only 5 min, 1 min or 5 s. The involvement of visual stimuli in mediating this adrenocortical response was demonstrated by a comparable decline in the corticosterone concentration in water-deprived birds which were presented with water but not allowed access to it. Non-visual stimuli also appeared to be causally involved in the adrenocortical suppression after drinking, since the intraperitoneal injection of tap water (40 ml per bird) also resulted in a lowering of the corticosterone level. However, in the absence of appropriate reinforcement from metabolic stimuli, a rebound in the corticosterone concentration was observed in birds prevented from drinking, in birds unable to satiate their thirst and in birds rehydrated (orally or intraperitoneally) without feeding. These results demonstrate adrenocortical suppression in water-deprived chickens after free access to food and water and the involvement of visual and non-visual stimuli in mediating this response. The maintenance of adrenocortical suppression is dependent upon metabolic stimuli associated with food and water intake.
Lloyd, David R; Gancarz, Amy M; Ashrafioun, Lisham; Kausch, Michael A; Richards, Jerry B
The term "sensory reinforcer" has been used to refer to sensory stimuli (e.g. light onset) that are primary reinforcers in order to differentiate them from other more biologically important primary reinforcers (e.g. food and water). Acquisition of snout poke responding for a visual stimulus (5 s light onset) with fixed ratio 1 (FR 1), variable-interval 1 min (VI 1 min), or variable-interval 6 min (VI 6 min) schedules of reinforcement was tested in three groups of rats (n=8/group). The VI 6 min schedule of reinforcement produced a higher response rate than the FR 1 or VI 1 min schedules of visual stimulus reinforcement. One explanation for greater responding on the VI 6 min schedule relative to the FR 1 and VI 1 min schedules is that the reinforcing effectiveness of light onset habituated more rapidly in the FR 1 and VI 1 min groups as compared to the VI 6 min group. The inverse relationship between response rate and the rate of visual stimulus reinforcement is opposite to results from studies with biologically important reinforcers which indicate a positive relationship between response and reinforcement rate. Rapid habituation of reinforcing effectiveness may be a fundamental characteristic of sensory reinforcers that differentiates them from biologically important reinforcers, which are required to maintain homeostatic balance.
Tan, Zhongchao; Sun, Wenzhi; Chen, Tsai-Wen; Kim, Douglas; Ji, Na
The mouse has become an important model for understanding the neural basis of visual perception. Although it has long been known that mouse lens transmits ultraviolet (UV) light and mouse opsins have absorption in the UV band, little is known about how UV visual information is processed in the mouse brain. Using a custom UV stimulation system and in vivo calcium imaging, we characterized the feature selectivity of layer 2/3 neurons in mouse primary visual cortex (V1). In adult mice, a comparable percentage of the neuronal population responds to UV and visible stimuli, with similar pattern selectivity and receptive field properties. In young mice, the orientation selectivity for UV stimuli increased steadily during development, but not direction selectivity. Our results suggest that, by expanding the spectral window through which the mouse can acquire visual information, UV sensitivity provides an important component for mouse vision. PMID:26219604
Haines, R. F.; Dawson, L. M.; Galvan, T.; Reid, L. M.
Peripheral visual response time was measured in seven dark adapted subjects to the onset of small (45' arc diam), brief (50 msec), colored (blue, yellow, green, red) and white stimuli imaged at 72 locations within their binocular field of view. The blue, yellow, and green stimuli were matched for brightness at about 2.6 sub log 10 units above their absolute light threshold, and they appeared at an unexpected time and location. These data were obtained to provide response time and no-response data for use in various design disciplines involving instrument panel layout. The results indicated that the retina possesses relatively concentric regions within each of which mean response time can be expected to be of approximately the same duration. These regions are centered near the fovea and extend farther horizontally than vertically. Mean foveal response time was fastest for yellow and slowest for blue. Three and one-half percent of the total 56,410 trials presented resulted in no-responses. Regardless of stimulus color, the lowest percentage of no-responses occurred within 30 deg arc from the fovea and the highest within 40 deg to 80 deg arc below the fovea.
Kiyota, Takeo; Fujiwara, Katsuo
This study measured the postural sway and brain potentials evoked by a visual depth stimulus. Thirteen subjects maintained standing posture on a force platform, and were administered two types of depth stimuli, strong and weak. The latency and amplitude of evoked potentials as well as changes in center of foot pressure (CFP) and the electromyogram (EMG) were examined. CFP displacement was found to change according to stimulus intensity. In the occipital lobe, evoked potentials exhibited a triphasic peak, with the first positive peak at approximately 120 ms (P120), the first negative peak at approximately 160 ms (N200), and the second positive peak at approximately 260 ms (P250). Brain evoked potentials correlated with CFP displacement as well as the latency of onset of EMG response. Onset of EMG response was probably related to the P120 component, whereas CFP displacement was related to the P250 component.
Both humans and animals like to watch neutral and biologically insignificant visual stimuli. Behavioral studies have revealed that animals more frequently select stimuli with symmetrical and regular patterns and short movies compared to stimuli with unsymmetrical and irregular patterns and photographs. Preferred visual stimuli can serve as rewards for animals performing behavioral tasks. Preferences for visual stimuli are determined by the magnitude of the pleasant feelings that are experienced when the stimuli are seen. The orbitofrontal cortex is known to participate in the detection and prediction of reward, the estimation of the value of the stimuli as a reward, and positive emotion. Human neuroimaging studies and animal neurophysiological studies have shown that the magnitude of orbitofrontal responses to the presentation of neutral visual stimuli correlates with the strength of the preference for the stimuli in the behavioral studies. These results suggest that the magnitude of orbitofrontal responses to the visual stimuli correlates with the strength of the pleasant feelings that are produced by the stimuli and that the orbitofrontal cortex plays an important role in the judgment of the preference for visual stimuli.
Duncum, A. J. F.; Atkins, K. J.; Beilharz, F. L.; Mundy, M. E.
Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and clinically concerning body-image concern (BIC) appear to possess abnormalities in the way they perceive visual information in the form of a bias towards local visual processing. As inversion interrupts normal global processing, forcing individuals to process locally, an upright-inverted stimulus discrimination task was used to investigate this phenomenon. We examined whether individuals with nonclinical, yet high levels of BIC would show signs of this bias, in the form of reduced inversion effects (i.e., increased local processing). Furthermore, we assessed whether this bias appeared for general visual stimuli or specifically for appearance-related stimuli, such as faces and bodies. Participants with high-BIC (n = 25) and low-BIC (n = 30) performed a stimulus discrimination task with upright and inverted faces, scenes, objects, and bodies. Unexpectedly, the high-BIC group showed an increased inversion effect compared to the low-BIC group, indicating perceptual abnormalities may not be present as local processing biases, as originally thought. There was no significant difference in performance across stimulus types, signifying that any visual processing abnormalities may be general rather than appearance-based. This has important implications for whether visual processing abnormalities are predisposing factors for BDD or develop throughout the disorder. PMID:27152128
Duncum, A J F; Atkins, K J; Beilharz, F L; Mundy, M E
Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and clinically concerning body-image concern (BIC) appear to possess abnormalities in the way they perceive visual information in the form of a bias towards local visual processing. As inversion interrupts normal global processing, forcing individuals to process locally, an upright-inverted stimulus discrimination task was used to investigate this phenomenon. We examined whether individuals with nonclinical, yet high levels of BIC would show signs of this bias, in the form of reduced inversion effects (i.e., increased local processing). Furthermore, we assessed whether this bias appeared for general visual stimuli or specifically for appearance-related stimuli, such as faces and bodies. Participants with high-BIC (n = 25) and low-BIC (n = 30) performed a stimulus discrimination task with upright and inverted faces, scenes, objects, and bodies. Unexpectedly, the high-BIC group showed an increased inversion effect compared to the low-BIC group, indicating perceptual abnormalities may not be present as local processing biases, as originally thought. There was no significant difference in performance across stimulus types, signifying that any visual processing abnormalities may be general rather than appearance-based. This has important implications for whether visual processing abnormalities are predisposing factors for BDD or develop throughout the disorder.
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan
Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts.
dimensions: form , color , and crosshatching. There were in all 10 different forms, 10 different colors, and 4 different crosshatchings. A tri...test stimuli. For each of the 80 test stimuli Ss had to judge whether its form , color , and crosshatching was or was not the same as the form , color , and
Evolution might have set the basic foundations for abstract mental representation long ago. Because of language, mental abilities would have reached different degrees of sophistication in mammals and in humans but would be, essentially, of the same nature. Thus, humans and animals might rely on the same basic mechanisms that could be masked in humans by the use of sophisticated strategies. In this paper, monkey and human abilities are compared in a variety of perceptual tasks including visual categorization to assess behavioural similarities and dissimilarities, and to determine the level of abstraction of monkeys' mental representations. The question of how these abstract representations might be encoded in the brain is then addressed. A comparative study of the neural processing underlying abstract cognitive operations in animals and humans might help to understand when abstraction emerged in the phylogenetic scale, and how it increased in complexity. PMID:12903657
Kim, JiYoung; Kim, SeongYoel
[Purpose] Several action observation/imagery training studies have been conducted in patients with limited physical activity showing improvements in motor function. However, most studies compared effects of action observation and imagery, so little is known about the changes caused by subsequent observation of target objects. Moreover, few studies analyzed brain wave changes in the EEG mu rhythm. [Subjects and Methods] Eighteen healthy female adults participated in this study, and were divided into two groups: 'Visual Stimuli' and 'Non-Visual Stimuli'. EEG amplitude in the 8-13 Hz frequency band over the sensorimotor cortex was evaluated. [Results] Significant mu suppression was obtained in the action observation trials. Mu power showed a main effect of visual stimuli, with decreased power during action observation, and increased power post-observation in both conditions. Comparing the 'Visual Stimuli' and 'Non-Visual Stimuli' conditions during the post-observation period, mu power demonstrated a greater increase in the 'Non-Visual Stimuli' condition. Furthermore, mu power was lower post-observation than pre-observation. [Conclusion] These results show the effects of visual input between maintaining target objects and no visual input, and their relevance to modulations of the mirror neuron system. It also suggests that greater visual input may be more effective for cognitive rehabilitation.
Brodeur, Mathieu B.; Dionne-Dostie, Emmanuelle; Montreuil, Tina; Lepage, Martin
There are currently stimuli with published norms available to study several psychological aspects of language and visual cognitions. Norms represent valuable information that can be used as experimental variables or systematically controlled to limit their potential influence on another experimental manipulation. The present work proposes 480 photo stimuli that have been normalized for name, category, familiarity, visual complexity, object agreement, viewpoint agreement, and manipulability. Stimuli are also available in grayscale, blurred, scrambled, and line-drawn version. This set of objects, the Bank Of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS), was created specifically to meet the needs of scientists in cognition, vision and psycholinguistics who work with photo stimuli. PMID:20532245
Brodeur, Mathieu B; Dionne-Dostie, Emmanuelle; Montreuil, Tina; Lepage, Martin
There are currently stimuli with published norms available to study several psychological aspects of language and visual cognitions. Norms represent valuable information that can be used as experimental variables or systematically controlled to limit their potential influence on another experimental manipulation. The present work proposes 480 photo stimuli that have been normalized for name, category, familiarity, visual complexity, object agreement, viewpoint agreement, and manipulability. Stimuli are also available in grayscale, blurred, scrambled, and line-drawn version. This set of objects, the Bank Of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS), was created specifically to meet the needs of scientists in cognition, vision and psycholinguistics who work with photo stimuli.
Wallentin, Mikkel; Skakkebæk, Anne; Bojesen, Anders; Fedder, Jens; Laurberg, Peter; Østergaard, John R; Hertz, Jens Michael; Pedersen, Anders Degn; Gravholt, Claus Højbjerg
Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY) (KS) is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS relative to a group of Controls to basic motor, perceptual, executive and adaptation tasks. Participants (N: KS = 49; Controls = 49) responded to whether the words "GREEN" or "RED" were displayed in green or red (incongruent versus congruent colors). One of the colors was presented three times as often as the other, making it possible to study both congruency and adaptation effects independently. Auditory stimuli saying "GREEN" or "RED" had the same distribution, making it possible to study effects of perceptual modality as well as Frequency effects across modalities. We found that KS had an increased response to motor output in primary motor cortex and an increased response to auditory stimuli in auditory cortices, but no difference in primary visual cortices. KS displayed a diminished response to written visual stimuli in secondary visual regions near the Visual Word Form Area, consistent with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop) or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain's motor network with no difference between groups. No effects of testosterone level or brain volume were found. In sum, the present findings suggest that auditory and motor systems in KS are selectively affected, perhaps as a compensatory strategy, and that this is not a systemic effect as it is not seen in the visual system.
Wallentin, Mikkel; Skakkebæk, Anne; Bojesen, Anders; Fedder, Jens; Laurberg, Peter; Østergaard, John R.; Hertz, Jens Michael; Pedersen, Anders Degn; Gravholt, Claus Højbjerg
Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY) (KS) is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS relative to a group of Controls to basic motor, perceptual, executive and adaptation tasks. Participants (N: KS = 49; Controls = 49) responded to whether the words “GREEN” or “RED” were displayed in green or red (incongruent versus congruent colors). One of the colors was presented three times as often as the other, making it possible to study both congruency and adaptation effects independently. Auditory stimuli saying “GREEN” or “RED” had the same distribution, making it possible to study effects of perceptual modality as well as Frequency effects across modalities. We found that KS had an increased response to motor output in primary motor cortex and an increased response to auditory stimuli in auditory cortices, but no difference in primary visual cortices. KS displayed a diminished response to written visual stimuli in secondary visual regions near the Visual Word Form Area, consistent with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop) or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain's motor network with no difference between groups. No effects of testosterone level or brain volume were found. In sum, the present findings suggest that auditory and motor systems in KS are selectively affected, perhaps as a compensatory strategy, and that this is not a systemic effect as it is not seen in the visual system. PMID:26958463
Miner, M H; West, M A; Day, D M
154 Ss were tested using penile plethysmography as part of intake into a voluntary inpatient sex offender treatment program. The testing protocol included slide stimuli of nude males and females in four age categories ranging from age 1 to adult; audiotaped descriptions of sexual activity with children of both genders which included fondling, sexual contact with no resistance, coercive sexual contact, sexual assault, nonsexual assault, and consensual sexual contact with an adult; videotaped depictions of rape of an adult woman, nonsexual assault of an adult woman and consensual sexual involvement with an adult woman, and audiotaped descriptions that paralleled the videotapes. The results indicated that child molesters (male victim) show a decidedly more offense related arousal profile than either child molesters (female victim) or rapists, and that the profiles of child molesters (female victim) and rapists are remarkably similar, although statistically significantly different from each other. Rapists respond significantly more to rape and nonsexual assault than either of the two child molester groups, with child molesters with female victims responding more than those with male victims. In all three groups, the highest level of noncoercive adult responding was to women, with differences among offense groups present for visual stimuli, but not in response to auditory stimuli. Overall, the patterns of results are similar whether they are based on composites across stimulus modality or on the individual stimuli.
Capelari, Edla D P; Uribe, Carlos; Brasil-Neto, Joaquim P
The visual capture phenomenon has recently been explored, especially in the context of the rubber-hand illusion (RHI)--an illusion in which tactile sensations are referred to an illusory limb. We have induced the RHI with the difference that tactile-painful stimuli were added in order to verify the interaction between vision, touch, proprioception, and pain. Thirty volunteers were used. We found that tactile-painful stimuli could cause the same illusion as purely tactile stimuli. This result suggests that localisation of pain may also be distorted by spurious visual cues. The implications of this finding for distorted human proprioception (as in amputees with phantom pain or limbs) are discussed.
De Clercq, Armand; Buysse, Ann; Roeyers, Herbert; Verhofstadt, Lesley; Antrop, Inge; De Corte, Kim; Peene, Olivier
Some psychological experiments require placement of visual and auditory stimuli on predefined frames in a videotape. We introduce STIVID (STImuli on VIDeo) as a method of performing this task STIVID can add images, words, simple shapes, and audio tones to specific frames of existing video files created in AVI format. STIVID is written in Visual Basic and uses VBScripts to modify the AVI files. Three applications of this program are discussed: adding stimuli for reaction time experiments with couples watching a relational conflict, use of distractors in ADHD experiments, and placing eye masks on actors in existing videotapes to manipulate perceptibility of the target's facial expression during the mind-reading process.
Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint
Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention , competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye . Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.
Modenesi, Rafael Diego; Debert, Paula
Contextual control has been described as (1) a five-term contingency, in which the contextual stimulus exerts conditional control over conditional discriminations, and (2) allowing one stimulus to be a member of different equivalence classes without merging them into one. Matching-to-sample is the most commonly employed procedure to produce and study contextual control. The present study evaluated whether the go/no-go procedure with compound stimuli produces equivalence classes that share stimuli. This procedure does not allow the identification of specific stimulus functions (e.g., contextual, conditional, or discriminative functions). If equivalence classes were established with this procedure, then only the latter part of the contextual control definition (2) would be met. Six undergraduate students participated in the present study. In the training phases, responses to AC, BD, and XY compounds with stimuli from the same classes were reinforced, and responses to AC, BD, and XY compounds with stimuli from different classes were not. In addition, responses to X1A1B1, X1A2B2, X2A1B2, and X2A2B1 compounds were reinforced and responses to the other combinations were not. During the tests, the participants had to respond to new combinations of stimuli compounds YCD to indicate the formation of four equivalence classes that share stimuli: X1A1B1Y1C1D1, X1A2B2Y1C2D2, X2A1B2Y2C1D2, and X2A2B1Y2C2D1. Four of the six participants showed the establishment of these classes. These results indicate that establishing contextual stimulus functions is unnecessary to produce equivalence classes that share stimuli. Therefore, these results are inconsistent with the first part of the definition of contextual control.
Li, Qi; Yang, Huamin; Sun, Fang; Wu, Jinglong
Sensory information is multimodal; through audiovisual interaction, task-irrelevant auditory stimuli tend to speed response times and increase visual perception accuracy. However, mechanisms underlying these performance enhancements have remained unclear. We hypothesize that task-irrelevant auditory stimuli might provide reliable temporal and spatial cues for visual target discrimination and behavioral response enhancement. Using signal detection theory, the present study investigated the effects of spatiotemporal relationships on auditory facilitation of visual target discrimination. Three experiments were conducted where an auditory stimulus maintained reliable temporal and/or spatial relationships with visual target stimuli. Results showed that perception sensitivity (d') to visual target stimuli was enhanced only when a task-irrelevant auditory stimulus maintained reliable spatiotemporal relationships with a visual target stimulus. When only reliable spatial or temporal information was contained, perception sensitivity was not enhanced. These results suggest that reliable spatiotemporal relationships between visual and auditory signals are required for audiovisual integration during a visual discrimination task, most likely due to a spread of attention. These results also indicate that auditory facilitation of visual target discrimination follows from late-stage cognitive processes rather than early stage sensory processes.
Yilmaz, Melis; Meister, Markus
Much of brain science is concerned with understanding the neural circuits that underlie specific behaviors. While the mouse has become a favorite experimental subject, the behaviors of this species are still poorly explored. For example, the mouse retina, like that of other mammals, contains ∼20 different circuits that compute distinct features of the visual scene [1, 2]. By comparison, only a handful of innate visual behaviors are known in this species--the pupil reflex , phototaxis , the optomotor response , and the cliff response --two of which are simple reflexes that require little visual processing. We explored the behavior of mice under a visual display that simulates an approaching object, which causes defensive reactions in some other species [7, 8]. We show that mice respond to this stimulus either by initiating escape within a second or by freezing for an extended period. The probability of these defensive behaviors is strongly dependent on the parameters of the visual stimulus. Directed experiments identify candidate retinal circuits underlying the behavior and lead the way into detailed study of these neural pathways. This response is a new addition to the repertoire of innate defensive behaviors in the mouse that allows the detection and avoidance of aerial predators.
Carretié, Luis; Hinojosa, José A; López-Martín, Sara; Tapia, Manuel
Previous studies suggest that the magnocellular pathway, a visual processing system that rapidly provides low spatial frequency information to fast-responding structures such as the amygdala, is more involved in the processing of emotional facial expressions than the parvocellular pathway (which conveys all spatial frequencies). The present experiment explored the spatio-temporal characteristics of the spatial frequency modulation of affect-related neural processing, as well as its generalizability to non-facial stimuli. To that aim, the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by low-pass filtered (i.e., high spatial frequencies are eliminated) and intact non-facial emotional images were recorded from 31 participants using a 60-electrode array. The earliest significant effect of spatial frequency was observed at 135 ms from stimulus onset: N135 component of the ERPs. In line with previous studies, the origin of N135 was localized at secondary visual areas for low-pass filtered stimuli and at primary areas for intact stimuli. Importantly, this component showed an interaction between spatial frequency and emotional content: within low-pass filtered pictures, negative stimuli elicited the highest N135 amplitudes. By contrast, within intact stimuli, neutral pictures were those eliciting the highest amplitudes. These results suggest that high spatial frequencies are not essential for the initial affect-related processing of visual stimuli, which would mainly rely on low spatial frequency visual information. According to present data, high spatial frequencies would come into play later on.
Li, Kang; Kozyrev, Vladislav; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Treue, Stefan; Ditlevsen, Susanne; Bundesen, Claus
A fundamental question concerning representation of the visual world in our brain is how a cortical cell responds when presented with more than a single stimulus. We find supportive evidence that most cells presented with a pair of stimuli respond predominantly to one stimulus at a time, rather than a weighted average response. Traditionally, the firing rate is assumed to be a weighted average of the firing rates to the individual stimuli (response-averaging model) (Bundesen et al., 2005). Here, we also evaluate a probability-mixing model (Bundesen et al., 2005), where neurons temporally multiplex the responses to the individual stimuli. This provides a mechanism by which the representational identity of multiple stimuli in complex visual scenes can be maintained despite the large receptive fields in higher extrastriate visual cortex in primates. We compare the two models through analysis of data from single cells in the middle temporal visual area (MT) of rhesus monkeys when presented with two separate stimuli inside their receptive field with attention directed to one of the two stimuli or outside the receptive field. The spike trains were modeled by stochastic point processes, including memory effects of past spikes and attentional effects, and statistical model selection between the two models was performed by information theoretic measures as well as the predictive accuracy of the models. As an auxiliary measure, we also tested for uni- or multimodality in interspike interval distributions, and performed a correlation analysis of simultaneously recorded pairs of neurons, to evaluate population behavior. PMID:28082892
King, Bernardine; Wood, Clare; Faulkner, Dorothy
An investigation was conducted into the visual and auditory temporal processing profiles of two groups of 4- to 6-year-old children: "pre-alphabetic" children, who showed no alphabetic ability (failing to read any non-words in a test), and those who demonstrated some alphabetic ability. This "alphabetic" group showed higher scores in reading and…
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3 PMID:27630555
Yuasa, Kenichi; Yotsumoto, Yuko
When an object is presented visually and moves or flickers, the perception of its duration tends to be overestimated. Such an overestimation is called time dilation. Perceived time can also be distorted when a stimulus is presented aurally as an auditory flutter, but the mechanisms and their relationship to visual processing remains unclear. In the present study, we measured interval timing perception while modulating the temporal characteristics of visual and auditory stimuli, and investigated whether the interval times of visually and aurally presented objects shared a common mechanism. In these experiments, participants compared the durations of flickering or fluttering stimuli to standard stimuli, which were presented continuously. Perceived durations for auditory flutters were underestimated, while perceived durations of visual flickers were overestimated. When auditory flutters and visual flickers were presented simultaneously, these distortion effects were cancelled out. When auditory flutters were presented with a constantly presented visual stimulus, the interval timing perception of the visual stimulus was affected by the auditory flutters. These results indicate that interval timing perception is governed by independent mechanisms for visual and auditory processing, and that there are some interactions between the two processing systems. PMID:26292285
Yuasa, Kenichi; Yotsumoto, Yuko
When an object is presented visually and moves or flickers, the perception of its duration tends to be overestimated. Such an overestimation is called time dilation. Perceived time can also be distorted when a stimulus is presented aurally as an auditory flutter, but the mechanisms and their relationship to visual processing remains unclear. In the present study, we measured interval timing perception while modulating the temporal characteristics of visual and auditory stimuli, and investigated whether the interval times of visually and aurally presented objects shared a common mechanism. In these experiments, participants compared the durations of flickering or fluttering stimuli to standard stimuli, which were presented continuously. Perceived durations for auditory flutters were underestimated, while perceived durations of visual flickers were overestimated. When auditory flutters and visual flickers were presented simultaneously, these distortion effects were cancelled out. When auditory flutters were presented with a constantly presented visual stimulus, the interval timing perception of the visual stimulus was affected by the auditory flutters. These results indicate that interval timing perception is governed by independent mechanisms for visual and auditory processing, and that there are some interactions between the two processing systems.
Rampone, Giulia; O' Sullivan, Noreen; Bertamini, Marco
This study tested preference for abstract patterns, comparing random patterns to a two-fold bilateral symmetry. Stimuli were presented at random locations in the periphery. Preference for bilateral symmetry has been extensively studied in central vision, but evaluation at different locations had not been systematically investigated. Patterns were presented for 200 ms within a large circular region. On each trial participant changed fixation and were instructed to select any location. Eccentricity values were calculated a posteriori as the distance between ocular coordinates at pattern onset and coordinates for the centre of the pattern. Experiment 1 consisted of two Tasks. In Task 1, participants detected pattern regularity as fast as possible. In Task 2 they evaluated their liking for the pattern on a Likert-scale. Results from Task 1 revealed that with our parameters eccentricity did not affect symmetry detection. However, in Task 2, eccentricity predicted more negative evaluation of symmetry, but not random patterns. In Experiment 2 participants were either presented with symmetry or random patterns. Regularity was task-irrelevant in this task. Participants discriminated the proportion of black/white dots within the pattern and then evaluated their liking for the pattern. Even when only one type of regularity was presented and regularity was task-irrelevant, preference evaluation for symmetry decreased with increasing eccentricity, whereas eccentricity did not affect the evaluation of random patterns. We conclude that symmetry appreciation is higher for foveal presentation in a way not fully accounted for by sensitivity.
Abrams, Richard A; Weidler, Blaire J
It is known that stimuli near the hands receive preferential processing. In the present study, we explored changes in early vision near the hands. Participants were more sensitive to low-spatial-frequency information and less sensitive to high-spatial-frequency information for stimuli presented close to the hands. This pattern suggests enhanced processing in the magnocellular visual pathway for such stimuli, and impaired processing in the parvocellular pathway. Consistent with that possibility, we found that the effects of hand proximity in several tasks were eliminated by illumination with red diffuse light-a manipulation known to impair magnocellular processing. These results help clarify how the hands affect vision.
Carretié, L; Iglesias, J; García, T; Ballesteros, M
Two components of the ERPs elicited by emotional visual stimuli, N300 and P300, were investigated. The emotional charge is explained through two dimensions: arousal (relaxing (R) or activating (A)) and valence (attractive (+) or repulsive (-)). Stimuli were slides of nudes (A+), human remains (A-), landscapes (R), and buildings (neutral (N)). The peculiar structure of the stimuli, along with a distracting task which allowed us to disguise the real aim of the experiment, helped to avoid a sort of 'relevance-for-task effect', mainly related to cognitive processes, which could explain P300 reactions in response to emotional visual stimuli found in several experiments. The ERPs were recorded from 32 subjects at F3, Fz, F4, C3, Cz, C4, P3, Pz and P4. In contrast to previous studies, P300 did not show greater amplitudes in response to emotional stimuli than to N. N300 showed greater amplitudes in response to A+ at parietal sites, the greatest differences being those with respect to A-. No inter-hemispheric differences were found. N300 confirms its usefulness as a variable for studying emotional reactions to visual stimuli.
Yu, K.; Prasad, I.; Mir, H.; Thakor, N.; Al-Nashash, H.
Objective. Our experiments explored the effect of visual stimuli degradation on cognitive workload. Approach. We investigated the subjective assessment, event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as electroencephalogram (EEG) as measures of cognitive workload. Main results. These experiments confirm that degradation of visual stimuli increases cognitive workload as assessed by subjective NASA task load index and confirmed by the observed P300 amplitude attenuation. Furthermore, the single-trial multi-level classification using features extracted from ERPs and EEG is found to be promising. Specifically, the adopted single-trial oscillatory EEG/ERP detection method achieved an average accuracy of 85% for discriminating 4 workload levels. Additionally, we found from the spatial patterns obtained from EEG signals that the frontal parts carry information that can be used for differentiating workload levels. Significance. Our results show that visual stimuli can modulate cognitive workload, and the modulation can be measured by the single trial EEG/ERP detection method.
Flynn, Maria; Liasis, Alki; Gardner, Mark; Towell, Tony
Mismatch negativity (MMN) has been characterised as a 'pre-attentive' component of an event-related potential (ERP) that is related to discrimination and error prediction processes. The aim of the current experiment was to establish whether visual MMN could be recorded to briefly presented, backward and forward masked visual stimuli, given both below and above levels of subjective experience. Evidence of visual MMN elicitation in the absence of the ability to consciously report stimuli would provide strong evidence for the automaticity of the visual MMN mechanism. Using an oddball paradigm, two stimuli that differed in orientation from each other, a + and an ×, were presented on a computer screen. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded from nine participants (six females), mean age 21.4 years. Results showed that for stimuli that were effectively masked at 7 ms presentation, there was little variation in the ERPs evoked to standard and deviant stimuli or in the subtraction waveform employed to delineate the visual MMN. At 14 ms stimulus presentation, when participants were able to report stimulus presence, an enhanced negativity at around 175 and 305 ms was observed to the deviant and was evident in the subtraction waveform. However, some of the difference observed in the ERPs can be attributed to stimulus characteristics, as the use of a 'lonely' deviant protocol revealed attenuated visual MMN components at 14 ms stimulus presentation. Overall, results suggest that some degree of conscious attention is required before visual MMN components emerge, suggesting visual MMN is not an entirely pre-attentive process.
Ortiz, T; Pérez-Serrano, J M; Coullaut, J; Fudio, S; Coullaut, J; Criado, J
Event related Potentials, which seem to be an objective parameter reflecting cognitive functions, have been examined in depression. To evaluate the influence of visual and auditory stimuli on the P300 latency we studied 42 patients with major depression and 21 normal subjects. The experimental tasks applied were first a series of 300 auditory stimuli [255 (85%) were tones of 1000 Hz, and considered the frequent stimulus, whereas 45 (15%) were tones of 2000 Hz and referred to as the rare stimulus and second a series of 300 visual stimuli 255 (85%) were black circles on a white background, and considered the frequent stimulus, 9 cm diameter, 200 ms duration whereas 45 (15%) were back squares on a white background and referred to as the rare stimulus, 9 cm diameter, 200 ms duration] in the center of a computer screen. The results shown an increase of P300 latency in depressive patients during auditory and visual tasks. Non differences were found in reaction time to visual or auditory stimuli. These results are consistent with an impairment in brain function in depressive patients that is associated with cortical hypoactivity and deficits in perceptive, auditory or visual, functions.
Desbordes, Gaëlle; Jin, Jianzhong; Alonso, Jose-Manuel; Stanley, Garrett B.
Natural visual stimuli have highly structured spatial and temporal properties which influence the way visual information is encoded in the visual pathway. In response to natural scene stimuli, neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) are temporally precise – on a time scale of 10–25 ms – both within single cells and across cells within a population. This time scale, established by non stimulus-driven elements of neuronal firing, is significantly shorter than that of natural scenes, yet is critical for the neural representation of the spatial and temporal structure of the scene. Here, a generalized linear model (GLM) that combines stimulus-driven elements with spike-history dependence associated with intrinsic cellular dynamics is shown to predict the fine timing precision of LGN responses to natural scene stimuli, the corresponding correlation structure across nearby neurons in the population, and the continuous modulation of spike timing precision and latency across neurons. A single model captured the experimentally observed neural response, across different levels of contrasts and different classes of visual stimuli, through interactions between the stimulus correlation structure and the nonlinearity in spike generation and spike history dependence. Given the sensitivity of the thalamocortical synapse to closely timed spikes and the importance of fine timing precision for the faithful representation of natural scenes, the modulation of thalamic population timing over these time scales is likely important for cortical representations of the dynamic natural visual environment. PMID:21151356
Recio, Sergio A; Iliescu, Adela F; Mingorance, Simón P; Bergés, Germán D; Hall, Geoffrey; de Brugada, Isabel
Although modeled on procedures used with nonhuman animals, some recent studies of perceptual learning in humans, using complex visual stimuli, differ in that they usually instruct participants to look for differences between the to-be-discriminated stimuli. This could encourage the use of mechanisms not available to animal subjects. To investigate the role of instructions, in 2 experiments, participants were given preexposure to checkerboards that were similar except for the presence of a small distinctive feature on each. For participants instructed to look for differences, performance on a same-different test was enhanced by preexposure in which the critical stimuli were presented on alternate trials-the usual perceptual learning effect. No such effect was found in 2 other preexposure conditions: when participants were told only to look at the stimuli and not explicitly told to look for differences; and when participants were instructed on an alternative task requiring attention to the stimuli. These results indicate a role for a learning process reinforced by success in finding stimulus differences; they challenge previous interpretations of results from studies using complex visual stimuli in the study of perceptual learning. (PsycINFO Database Record
Schaeckeler, Stefan; Shang, Weijia; Davis, Ruth
There is an active research community concentrating on visualizations of algorithms taught in CS1 and CS2 courses. These visualizations can help students to create concrete visual images of the algorithms and their underlying concepts. Not only "fundamental algorithms" can be visualized, but also algorithms used in compilers. Visualizations that…
Meeren, Hanneke K. M.; Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Hämäläinen, Matti S.; de Gelder, Beatrice
Emotional expressions of others are salient biological stimuli that automatically capture attention and prepare us for action. We investigated the early cortical dynamics of automatic visual discrimination of fearful body expressions by monitoring cortical activity using magnetoencephalography. We show that right parietal cortex distinguishes between fearful and neutral bodies as early as 80-ms after stimulus onset, providing the first evidence for a fast emotion-attention-action link through human dorsal visual stream. PMID:27095660
Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Ojanen, Ville; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Auranen, Toni; Levänen, Sari; Möttönen, Riikka; Tarnanen, Iina; Sams, Mikko
The technique of 306-channel magnetoencephalogaphy (MEG) was used in eight healthy volunteers to test whether silent lip-reading modulates auditory-cortex processing of phonetic sounds. Auditory test stimuli (either Finnish vowel /ae/ or /ø/) were preceded by a 500 ms lag by either another auditory stimulus (/ae/, /ø/ or the second-formant midpoint between /ae/ and /ø/), or silent movie of a person articulating /ae/ or /ø/. Compared with N1 responses to auditory /ae/ and /ø/ when presented without a preceding stimulus, the amplitudes of left-hemisphere N1 responses to the test stimuli were significantly suppressed both when preceded by auditory and visual stimuli, this effect being significantly stronger with preceding auditory stimuli. This suggests that seeing articulatory gestures of a speaker influences auditory speech perception by modulating the responsiveness of auditory-cortex neurons.
Laing, Mark; Rees, Adrian; Vuong, Quoc C.
The temporal congruence between auditory and visual signals coming from the same source can be a powerful means by which the brain integrates information from different senses. To investigate how the brain uses temporal information to integrate auditory and visual information from continuous yet unfamiliar stimuli, we used amplitude-modulated tones and size-modulated shapes with which we could manipulate the temporal congruence between the sensory signals. These signals were independently modulated at a slow or a fast rate. Participants were presented with auditory-only, visual-only, or auditory-visual (AV) trials in the fMRI scanner. On AV trials, the auditory and visual signal could have the same (AV congruent) or different modulation rates (AV incongruent). Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, we found that auditory regions showed increased functional connectivity predominantly with frontal regions for AV incongruent relative to AV congruent stimuli. We further found that superior temporal regions, shown previously to integrate auditory and visual signals, showed increased connectivity with frontal and parietal regions for the same contrast. Our findings provide evidence that both activity in a network of brain regions and their connectivity are important for AV integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies. PMID:26483710
De Paepe, Annick L.; Crombez, Geert; Legrain, Valéry
Objects approaching us may pose a threat, and signal the need to initiate defensive behavior. Detecting these objects early is crucial to either avoid the object or prepare for contact most efficiently. This requires the construction of a coherent representation of our body, and the space closely surrounding our body, i.e. the peripersonal space. This study, with 27 healthy volunteers, investigated how the processing of nociceptive stimuli applied to the hand is influenced by dynamical visual stimuli either approaching or receding from the hand. On each trial a visual stimulus was either approaching or receding the participant’s left or right hand. At different temporal delays from the onset of the visual stimulus, a nociceptive stimulus was applied either at the same or the opposite hand, so that it was presented when the visual stimulus was perceived at varying distances from the hand. Participants were asked to respond as fast as possible at which side they perceived a nociceptive stimulus. We found that reaction times were fastest when the visual stimulus appeared near the stimulated hand. Moreover, investigating the influence of the visual stimuli along the continuous spatial range (from near to far) showed that approaching lights had a stronger spatially dependent effect on nociceptive processing, compared to receding lights. These results suggest that the coding of nociceptive information in a peripersonal frame of reference may constitute a safety margin around the body that is designed to protect it from potential physical threat. PMID:27224421
Stewart, Claire R.; Sanchez, Sandra S.; Grenesko, Emily L.; Brown, Christine M.; Chen, Colleen P.; Keehn, Brandon; Velasquez, Francisco; Lincoln, Alan J.; Müller, Ralph-Axel
Atypical sensory responses are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While evidence suggests impaired auditory-visual integration for verbal information, findings for nonverbal stimuli are inconsistent. We tested for sensory symptoms in children with ASD (using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile) and examined unisensory and bisensory…
Schall, Sonja; Quigley, Cliodhna; Onat, Selim; König, Peter
Disparate sensory streams originating from a common underlying event share similar dynamics, and this plays an important part in multisensory integration. Here we investigate audiovisual binding by presenting continuously changing, temporally congruent and incongruent stimuli. Recorded EEG signals are used to quantify spectrotemporal and waveform locking of neural activity to stimulus dynamics. Spectrotemporal analysis reveals locking to visual stimulus dynamics in both a broad alpha and the beta band. The properties of these effects suggest they are a correlate of bottom-up processing in the visual system. Waveform locking reveals two cortically distinct processes that lock to visual stimulus dynamics with differing topographies and time lags relative to the stimuli. Most importantly, these are modulated in strength by the congruency of an accompanying auditory stream. In addition, the waveform locking found at occipital electrodes shows an increase over stimulus duration for visual and congruent audiovisual stimuli. Hence we argue that these effects reflect audiovisual interaction. We thus propose that spectrotemporal and waveform locking reflect different mechanisms involved in the processing of dynamic audiovisual stimuli.
Waytowich, Nicholas R.; Krusienski, Dean J.
Objective. Recently, paradigms using code-modulated visual evoked potentials (c-VEPs) have proven to achieve among the highest information transfer rates for noninvasive brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). One issue with current c-VEP paradigms, and visual-evoked paradigms in general, is that they require direct foveal fixation of the flashing stimuli. These interfaces are often visually unpleasant and can be irritating and fatiguing to the user, thus adversely impacting practical performance. In this study, a novel c-VEP BCI paradigm is presented that attempts to perform spatial decoupling of the targets and flashing stimuli using two distinct concepts: spatial separation and boundary positioning. Approach. For the paradigm, the flashing stimuli form a ring that encompasses the intended non-flashing targets, which are spatially separated from the stimuli. The user fixates on the desired target, which is classified using the changes to the EEG induced by the flashing stimuli located in the non-foveal visual field. Additionally, a subset of targets is also positioned at or near the stimulus boundaries, which decouples targets from direct association with a single stimulus. This allows a greater number of target locations for a fixed number of flashing stimuli. Main results. Results from 11 subjects showed practical classification accuracies for the non-foveal condition, with comparable performance to the direct-foveal condition for longer observation lengths. Online results from 5 subjects confirmed the offline results with an average accuracy across subjects of 95.6% for a 4-target condition. The offline analysis also indicated that targets positioned at or near the boundaries of two stimuli could be classified with the same accuracy as traditional superimposed (non-boundary) targets. Significance. The implications of this research are that c-VEPs can be detected and accurately classified to achieve comparable BCI performance without requiring potentially irritating
King, Bernardine; Wood, Clare; Faulkner, Dorothy
This study considered the extent to which 23 children with dyslexia differed from 23 reading age (RA) and 23 chronological age (CA) matched controls in their ability to make temporal judgements about auditory and visual sequences of stimuli, and in the speed of their reactions to the onsets and offsets of visual and auditory stimuli. The children with dyslexia were slower (p = 0.039) than the CA controls in their reactions to non-verbal auditory onsets (tones), were less able to recognize the first stimulus of a sequence of tones (p = 0.022), and were less accurate in identifying the initial phoneme of a sequence of three (p < 0.001). These characteristics may be manifestations of an impaired temporal processing system for rapid auditory stimuli. CA controls responded more quickly to tone onsets than to tone offsets (p = 0.025), but the dyslexic and RA groups showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) in their reaction times to onsets and offsets of these non-verbal auditory stimuli. Dyslexic readers showed impairment compared with CA controls in responding to the last of a sequence of three non-verbal visual stimuli (shapes), p = 0.02. Reaction times in the visual and auditory onset and offset tasks were richly intercorrelated in the control groups, but the dyslexic group did not show as many significant correlations in reaction times between the auditory and visual domains, or between the onset and offset RTs within each modality. These results suggest that there may be a less integrated cross-modal and intra-modal temporal system in children with dyslexia than in controls. In many of the measures in this study, the performance of the dyslexic group resembled that of the RA control group but differed from CA controls, which implies a developmental delay. The possibility that such a cognitive delay may be related to an underlying neurological disorder is discussed.
Lorenzo-López, Laura; Maseda, Ana; Buján, Ana; de Labra, Carmen; Amenedo, Elena; Millán-Calenti, José C
Previous studies have suggested that older adults with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) may show a significant decline in attentional resource capacity and inhibitory processes in addition to memory impairment. In the present paper, the potential attentional capture by task-irrelevant stimuli was examined in older adults with AAMI compared to healthy older adults using scalp-recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs). ERPs were recorded during the execution of a visual search task, in which the participants had to detect the presence of a target stimulus that differed from distractors by orientation. To explore the automatic attentional capture phenomenon, an irrelevant distractor stimulus defined by a different feature (color) was also presented without previous knowledge of the participants. A consistent N2pc, an electrophysiological indicator of attentional deployment, was present for target stimuli but not for task-irrelevant color stimuli, suggesting that these irrelevant distractors did not attract attention in AAMI older adults. Furthermore, the N2pc for targets was significantly delayed in AAMI patients compared to healthy older controls. Together, these findings suggest a specific impairment of the attentional selection process of relevant target stimuli in these individuals and indicate that the mechanism of top-down suppression of entirely task-irrelevant stimuli is preserved, at least when the target and the irrelevant stimuli are perceptually very different.
Landy, David; Brookes, David; Smout, Ryan
Formal algebras are among the most powerful and general mechanisms for expressing quantitative relational statements; yet, even university engineering students, who are relatively proficient with algebraic manipulation, struggle with and often fail to correctly deploy basic aspects of algebraic notation (Clement, 1982). In the cognitive tradition, it has often been assumed that skilled users of these formalisms treat situations in terms of semantic properties encoded in an abstract syntax that governs the use of notation without particular regard to the details of the physical structure of the equation itself (Anderson, 2005; Hegarty, Mayer, & Monk, 1995). We explore how the notational structure of verbal descriptions or algebraic equations (e.g., the spatial proximity of certain words or the visual alignment of numbers and symbols in an equation) plays a role in the process of interpreting or constructing symbolic equations. We propose in particular that construction processes involve an alignment of notational structures across representation systems, biasing reasoners toward the selection of formal notations that maintain the visuospatial structure of source representations. For example, in the statement "There are 5 elephants for every 3 rhinoceroses," the spatial proximity of 5 and elephants and 3 and rhinoceroses will bias reasoners to write the incorrect expression 5E = 3R, because that expression maintains the spatial relationships encoded in the source representation. In 3 experiments, participants constructed equations with given structure, based on story problems with a variety of phrasings. We demonstrate how the notational alignment approach accounts naturally for a variety of previously reported phenomena in equation construction and successfully predicts error patterns that are not accounted for by prior explanations, such as the left to right transcription heuristic.
Wallen, Kim; Rupp, Heather A
This study investigated whether women's interest in visual sexual stimuli varied with their hormonal state. Viewing times of 30 women, 15 normal cycling (NC) and 15 oral contracepting (OC), to sexually explicit photos were measured at three different times. NC women were tested during their menstrual, periovulatory, and luteal phases, and OC women were tested at equivalent temporal intervals. Subjects viewed stimuli as long as desired, thus viewing time measured subject interest. Subjective ratings of stimulus sexual attractiveness were obtained on each test. There was no overall relationship between menstrual cycle phase and viewing time. However the participant's menstrual cycle phase during first exposure to sexual stimuli predicted subsequent interest in sexual stimuli during the next two tests. NC women who first viewed stimuli during their periovulatory phase looked longer at the sexual stimuli across all sessions than did women first tested in their luteal phase. OC women first exposed to the sexual stimuli during menstruation looked longer at the stimuli across all sessions than did OC women first exposed at other test phases. Neither current test phase nor initial cycle phase influenced subjective ratings. Women had increased interest in sexual stimuli across all sessions if first exposed to sexual stimuli when endogenous estrogens were most likely highest. These data suggest that women's interest in visual sexual stimuli is modulated by hormones such that the hormonal condition at first exposure possibly determines the stimuli's emotional valence, markedly affecting subsequent interest in sexual stimuli.
Porcu, Emanuele; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
We investigated whether unattended visual, auditory and tactile stimuli compete for capacity-limited early sensory processing across senses. In three experiments, we probed competitive audio-visual, visuo-tactile and audio-tactile stimulus interactions. To this end, continuous visual, auditory and tactile stimulus streams ('reference' stimuli) were frequency-tagged to elicit steady-state responses (SSRs). These electrophysiological oscillatory brain responses indexed ongoing stimulus processing in corresponding senses. To induce competition, we introduced transient frequency-tagged stimuli in same and/or different senses ('competitors') during reference presentation. Participants performed a separate visual discrimination task at central fixation to control for attentional biases of sensory processing. A comparison of reference-driven SSR amplitudes between competitor-present and competitor-absent periods revealed reduced amplitudes when a competitor was presented in the same sensory modality as the reference. Reduced amplitudes indicated the competitor's suppressive influence on reference stimulus processing. Crucially, no such suppression was found when a competitor was presented in a different than the reference modality. These results strongly suggest that early sensory competition is exclusively modality-specific and does not extend across senses. We discuss consequences of these findings for modeling the neural mechanisms underlying intermodal attention.
Luria, Roy; Vogel, Edward K
The integrated object view of visual working memory (WM) argues that objects (rather than features) are the building block of visual WM, so that adding an extra feature to an object does not result in any extra cost to WM capacity. Alternative views have shown that complex objects consume additional WM storage capacity so that it may not be represented as bound objects. Additionally, it was argued that two features from the same dimension (i.e., color-color) do not form an integrated object in visual WM. This led some to argue for a "weak" object view of visual WM. We used the contralateral delay activity (the CDA) as an electrophysiological marker of WM capacity, to test those alternative hypotheses to the integrated object account. In two experiments we presented complex stimuli and color-color conjunction stimuli, and compared performance in displays that had one object but varying degrees of feature complexity. The results supported the integrated object account by showing that the CDA amplitude corresponded to the number of objects regardless of the number of features within each object, even for complex objects or color-color conjunction stimuli.
Toga, A.W.; Collins, R.C.
The functional organization of the visual system was studied in the albino rat. Metabolic differences were measured using the /sup 14/C-2-deoxyglucose (DG) autoradiographic technique during visual stimulation of one entire retina in unrestrained animals. All optic centers responded to changes in light intensity but to different degrees. The greatest change occurred in the superior colliculus, less in the lateral geniculate, and considerably less in second-order sites such as layer IV of visual cortex. These optic centers responded in particular to on/off stimuli, but showed no incremental change during pattern reversal or movement of orientation stimuli. Both the superior colliculus and lateral geniculate increased their metabolic rate as the frequency of stimulation increased, but the magnitude was twice as great in the colliculus. The histological pattern of metabolic change in the visual system was not homogenous. In the superior colliculus glucose utilization increased only in stratum griseum superficiale and was greatest in visuotopic regions representing the peripheral portions of the visual field. Similarly, in the lateral geniculate, only the dorsal nucleus showed an increased response to greater stimulus frequencies. Second-order regions of the visual system showed changes in metabolism in response to visual stimulation, but no incremental response specific for type or frequency of stimuli. To label proteins of axoplasmic transport to study the terminal fields of retinal projections /sup 14/C-amino acids were used. This was done to study how the differences in the magnitude of the metabolic response among optic centers were related to the relative quantity of retinofugal projections to these centers.
Jack, Bradley N; Widmann, Andreas; O'Shea, Robert P; Schröger, Erich; Roeber, Urte
Predictive coding explains visual perception as the result of an interaction between bottom-up sensory input and top-down generative models at each level of the visual hierarchy. Evidence for this comes from the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN): a more negative ERP for rare, unpredictable visual stimuli-deviants, than for frequent, predictable visual stimuli-standards. Here, we show that the vMMN does not require conscious experience. We measured the vMMN from monocular luminance-decrement deviants that were either perceived or not during binocular rivalry dominance or suppression, respectively. We found that both sorts of deviants elicited the vMMN at about 250 ms after stimulus onset, with perceived deviants eliciting a bigger vMMN than not-perceived deviants. These results show that vMMN occurs in the absence of consciousness, and that consciousness enhances the processing underlying vMMN. We conclude that generative models of visual perception are tested, even when sensory input for those models is not perceived.
Dadarlat, Maria C; Stryker, Michael P
Neurons in mouse primary visual cortex (V1) are selective for particular properties of visual stimuli. Locomotion causes a change in cortical state that leaves their selectivity unchanged but strengthens their responses. Both locomotion and the change in cortical state are thought to be initiated by projections from the mesencephalic locomotor region, the latter through a disinhibitory circuit in V1. By recording simultaneously from a large number of single neurons in alert mice viewing moving gratings, we investigated the relationship between locomotion and the information contained within the neural population. We found that locomotion improved encoding of visual stimuli in V1 by two mechanisms. First, locomotion-induced increases in firing rates enhanced the mutual information between visual stimuli and single neuron responses over a fixed window of time. Second, stimulus discriminability was improved, even for fixed population firing rates, because of a decrease in noise correlations across the population. These two mechanisms contributed differently to improvements in discriminability across cortical layers, with changes in firing rates most important in the upper layers and changes in noise correlations most important in layer V. Together, these changes resulted in a threefold to fivefold reduction in the time needed to precisely encode grating direction and orientation. These results support the hypothesis that cortical state shifts during locomotion to accommodate an increased load on the visual system when mice are moving.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This paper contains three novel findings about the representation of information in neurons within the primary visual cortex of the mouse. First, we show that locomotion reduces by at least a factor of 3 the time needed for information to accumulate in the visual cortex that allows the distinction of different visual stimuli. Second, we show that the effect of locomotion is to increase information in cells of all
Soto-Rey, Javier; Pérez-Tejero, Javier; Rojo-González, Jesús J; Reina, Raúl
This study analyzes the differences in manual reaction time (RT) to visual stimuli in two samples of physically active persons: a group of athletes without hearing impairment (n = 79; M age = 22.6 yr., SD = 3.7) and a group of athletes with hearing impairment (n = 44, M age = 25.6 yr., SD = 5.0). Reaction time (RT) was measured and then differences between both groups were assessed by sex, type of sport (individual vs team sports), and competition level. RT to visual stimuli was significantly shorter for athletes with hearing impairment than for those without hearing impairment, with a significant sex difference (shorter RT for males), but no differences regarding type of sport or competition level. Suggestions for further research and sport applications are provided.
Torta, DM; Van Den Broeke, EN; Filbrich, L; Jacob, B; Lambert, J; Mouraux, A
Sensitization is a form of implicit learning produced by the exposure to a harmful stimulus. In humans and other mammals, sensitization following skin injury increases the responsiveness of peripheral nociceptors, and enhances the synaptic transmission of nociceptive input in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that sensitization-related changes in the CNS are not restricted to nociceptive pathways and, instead, also affect other sensory modalities, especially if that modality conveys information relevant for the sensitized body part. Specifically, we show that after sensitizing the forearm using high-frequency electrical stimulation of the skin (HFS), visual stimuli projected onto the sensitized forearm elicit significantly enhanced brain responses. Whereas mechanical hyperalgesia was present both 20 and 45 minutes after HFS, the enhanced responsiveness to visual stimuli was present only 20 minutes after HFS. Taken together, our results indicate that sensitization involves both nociceptive-specific and multimodal mechanisms, having distinct time courses. PMID:28030473
Chen, Ling-Chia; Sandmann, Pascale; Thorne, Jeremy D; Herrmann, Christoph S; Debener, Stefan
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been proven reliable for investigation of low-level visual processing in both infants and adults. Similar investigation of fundamental auditory processes with fNIRS, however, remains only partially complete. Here we employed a systematic three-level validation approach to investigate whether fNIRS could capture fundamental aspects of bottom-up acoustic processing. We performed a simultaneous fNIRS-EEG experiment with visual and auditory stimulation in 24 participants, which allowed the relationship between changes in neural activity and hemoglobin concentrations to be studied. In the first level, the fNIRS results showed a clear distinction between visual and auditory sensory modalities. Specifically, the results demonstrated area specificity, that is, maximal fNIRS responses in visual and auditory areas for the visual and auditory stimuli respectively, and stimulus selectivity, whereby the visual and auditory areas responded mainly toward their respective stimuli. In the second level, a stimulus-dependent modulation of the fNIRS signal was observed in the visual area, as well as a loudness modulation in the auditory area. Finally in the last level, we observed significant correlations between simultaneously-recorded visual evoked potentials and deoxygenated hemoglobin (DeoxyHb) concentration, and between late auditory evoked potentials and oxygenated hemoglobin (OxyHb) concentration. In sum, these results suggest good sensitivity of fNIRS to low-level sensory processing in both the visual and the auditory domain, and provide further evidence of the neurovascular coupling between hemoglobin concentration changes and non-invasive brain electrical activity.
Jastorff, Jan; Kourtzi, Zoe; Giese, Martin A
Recognition of actions and complex movements is fundamental for social interactions and action understanding. While the relationship between motor expertise and visual recognition of body movements has received a vast amount of interest, the role of visual learning remains largely unexplored. Combining psychophysics and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments, we investigated neural correlates of visual learning of complex movements. Subjects were trained to visually discriminate between very similar complex movement stimuli generated by motion morphing that were either compatible (experiments 1 and 2) or incompatible (experiment 3) with human movement execution. Employing an fMRI adaptation paradigm as index of discriminability, we scanned human subjects before and after discrimination training. The results of experiment 1 revealed three different effects as a consequence of training: (1) Emerging fMRI-selective adaptation in general motion-related areas (hMT/V5+, KO/V3b) for the differences between human-like movements. (2) Enhanced of fMRI-selective adaptation already present before training in biological motion-related areas (pSTS, FBA). (3) Changes covarying with task difficulty in frontal areas. Moreover, the observed activity changes were specific to the trained movement patterns (experiment 2). The results of experiment 3, testing artificial movement stimuli, were strikingly similar to the results obtained for human movements. General and biological motion-related areas showed movement-specific changes in fMRI-selective adaptation for the differences between the stimuli after training. These results support the existence of a powerful visual machinery for the learning of complex motion patterns that is independent of motor execution. We thus propose a key role of visual learning in action recognition.
Çetin, Yakup; Griffiths, Carol; Özel, Zeynep Ebrar Yetkiner; Kinay, Hüseyin
There has been considerable interest in cognitive load in recent years, but the effect of affective load and its relationship to mental functioning has not received as much attention. In order to investigate the effects of affective stimuli on cognitive function as manifest in the ability to remember foreign language vocabulary, two groups of student volunteers (N = 64) aged from 17 to 25 years were shown a Powerpoint presentation of 21 target language words with a picture, audio, and written form for every word. The vocabulary was presented in comfortable rooms with padded chairs and the participants were provided with snacks so that they would be comfortable and relaxed. After the Powerpoint they were exposed to two forms of visual stimuli for 27 min. The different formats contained either visually affective content (sexually suggestive, violent or frightening material) or neutral content (a nature documentary). The group which was exposed to the emotive visual stimuli remembered significantly fewer words than the group which watched the emotively neutral nature documentary. Implications of this finding are discussed and suggestions made for ongoing research.
Smith, David V.; Davis, Ben; Niu, Kathy; Healy, Eric W.; Bonilha, Leonardo; Fridriksson, Julius; Morgan, Paul S.; Rorden, Chris
Neuroimaging studies suggest that a fronto-parietal network is activated when we expect visual information to appear at a specific spatial location. Here we examined whether a similar network is involved for auditory stimuli. We used sparse fMRI to infer brain activation while participants performed analogous visual and auditory tasks. On some trials, participants were asked to discriminate the elevation of a peripheral target. On other trials, participants made a nonspatial judgment. We contrasted trials where the participants expected a peripheral spatial target to those where they were cued to expect a central target. Crucially, our statistical analyses were based on trials where stimuli were anticipated but not presented, allowing us to directly infer perceptual orienting independent of perceptual processing. This is the first neuroimaging study to use an orthogonal-cuing paradigm (with cues predicting azimuth and responses involving elevation discrimination). This aspect of our paradigm is important, as behavioral cueing effects in audition are classically only observed when participants are asked to make spatial judgments. We observed similar fronto-parietal activation for both vision and audition. In a second experiment that controlled for stimulus properties and task difficulty, participants made spatial and temporal discriminations about musical instruments. We found that the pattern of brain activation for spatial selection of auditory stimuli was remarkably similar to what we found in our first experiment. Collectively, these results suggest that the neural mechanisms supporting spatial attention are largely similar across both visual and auditory modalities. PMID:19400684
Ptak, Radek; Schnider, Armin
Repetition blindness (RB) is the failure to report a visual stimulus presented shortly after a first occurrence of the same stimulus (Kanwisher, 1987). A similar phenomenon is that visual extinction, the failure to identify a contralesional stimulus presented simultaneously with an ipsilesional stimulus, increases with increasing similarity between the contralesional and ipsilesional stimulus (Baylis, Driver, & Rafal, 1993). We report a patient who, after a right parietal stroke, presented increased extinction for letters in repeated (e.g., A + A) than in unrepeated (e.g., T + U) displays. Increased extinction due to RB was observed in all experimental conditions probing item identification and varied between 5.4% and 40.6% across conditions. RB was unaffected by temporal modulation of the display, but was significantly reduced when stimuli grouped by a surrounding contour. Identification of contralesional repeated and unrepeated letters could be enhanced by auditory cues presented prior to the visual display. These results suggest that perceptual processing of extinguished stimuli that are similar to the stimulus presented on the preserved side is relatively unimpaired, but that the patient fails to ascribe to the stimulus a separate identity, supporting the distinction between type recognition and token individuation (Kanwisher, 1987). The extinction patterns for similar and dissimilar stimuli indicate that competition for attentional selection does not only occur at low (perceptual) levels, but also at higher processing levels, suggesting the presence of attentional competition on different levels of analysis.
Kurzhals, Kuno; Weiskopf, Daniel
We introduce a visual analytics method to analyze eye movement data recorded for dynamic stimuli such as video or animated graphics. The focus lies on the analysis of data of several viewers to identify trends in the general viewing behavior, including time sequences of attentional synchrony and objects with strong attentional focus. By using a space-time cube visualization in combination with clustering, the dynamic stimuli and associated eye gazes can be analyzed in a static 3D representation. Shotbased, spatiotemporal clustering of the data generates potential areas of interest that can be filtered interactively. We also facilitate data drill-down: the gaze points are shown with density-based color mapping and individual scan paths as lines in the space-time cube. The analytical process is supported by multiple coordinated views that allow the user to focus on different aspects of spatial and temporal information in eye gaze data. Common eye-tracking visualization techniques are extended to incorporate the spatiotemporal characteristics of the data. For example, heat maps are extended to motion-compensated heat maps and trajectories of scan paths are included in the space-time visualization. Our visual analytics approach is assessed in a qualitative users study with expert users, which showed the usefulness of the approach and uncovered that the experts applied different analysis strategies supported by the system.
American Biology Teacher, 1977
Included are over 50 abstracts of papers being presented at the 1977 National Association of Biology Teachers Convention. Included in each abstract are the title, author, and summary of the paper. Topics include photographic techniques environmental studies, and biological instruction. (MA)
Voluntary and stimulus-driven shifts of attention can modulate the representation of behaviorally relevant stimuli in early areas of visual cortex. In turn, attended items are processed faster and more accurately, facilitating the selection of appropriate behavioral responses. Information processing is also strongly influenced by past experience and recent studies indicate that the learned value of a stimulus can influence relatively late stages of decision making such as the process of selecting a motor response. However, the learned value of a stimulus can also influence the magnitude of cortical responses in early sensory areas such as V1 and S1. These early effects of stimulus value are presumed to improve the quality of sensory representations; however, the nature of these modulations is not clear. They could reflect nonspecific changes in response amplitude associated with changes in general arousal or they could reflect a bias in population responses so that high-value features are represented more robustly. To examine this issue, subjects performed a two-alternative forced choice paradigm with a variable-interval payoff schedule to dynamically manipulate the relative value of two stimuli defined by their orientation (one was rotated clockwise from vertical, the other counterclockwise). Activation levels in visual cortex were monitored using functional MRI and feature-selective voxel tuning functions while subjects performed the behavioral task. The results suggest that value not only modulates the relative amplitude of responses in early areas of human visual cortex, but also sharpens the response profile across the populations of feature-selective neurons that encode the critical stimulus feature (orientation). Moreover, changes in space- or feature-based attention cannot easily explain the results because representations of both the selected and the unselected stimuli underwent a similar feature-selective modulation. This sharpening in the population
Bianco, Isaac H.; Kampff, Adam R.; Engert, Florian
Understanding how the nervous system recognizes salient stimuli in the environment and selects and executes the appropriate behavioral responses is a fundamental question in systems neuroscience. To facilitate the neuroethological study of visually guided behavior in larval zebrafish, we developed “virtual reality” assays in which precisely controlled visual cues can be presented to larvae whilst their behavior is automatically monitored using machine vision algorithms. Freely swimming larvae responded to moving stimuli in a size-dependent manner: they directed multiple low amplitude orienting turns (∼20°) toward small moving spots (1°) but reacted to larger spots (10°) with high-amplitude aversive turns (∼60°). The tracking of small spots led us to examine how larvae respond to prey during hunting routines. By analyzing movie sequences of larvae hunting paramecia, we discovered that all prey capture routines commence with eye convergence and larvae maintain their eyes in a highly converged position for the duration of the prey-tracking and capture swim phases. We adapted our virtual reality assay to deliver artificial visual cues to partially restrained larvae and found that small moving spots evoked convergent eye movements and J-turns of the tail, which are defining features of natural hunting. We propose that eye convergence represents the engagement of a predatory mode of behavior in larval fish and serves to increase the region of binocular visual space to enable stereoscopic targeting of prey. PMID:22203793
Wilmsen, Saskia; Gottlieb, Robin; Junker, Robert R; Lunau, Klaus
Flower visits are complex encounters, in which animals are attracted by floral signals, guided toward the site of the first physical contact with a flower, land, and finally take up floral rewards. At close range, signals of stamens and pollen play an important role to facilitate flower handling in bees, yet the pollen stimuli eliciting behavioral responses are poorly known. In this study, we test the response of flower-naive bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) toward single and multimodal pollen stimuli as compared to natural dandelion pollen. As artificial pollen stimuli, we used the yellow flavonoid pigment quercetin, the scent compound eugenol, the amino acid proline, the monosaccharide glucose, and the texture of pollen-grain-sized glass pellets as a tactile stimulus. Three test stimuli, dandelion pollen, one out of various uni- and multimodal stimulus combinations, and a solvent control were presented simultaneously to individual bumblebees, whose response was recorded. The results indicate that bumblebees respond in an irreversible sequence of behavioral reactions. Bumblebees approached the visual stimulus quercetin as often as natural dandelion pollen. An additional olfactory stimulus resulted in slightly more frequent landings. The multimodal stimulus combinations including visual, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile stimuli elicited approaches, antennal contacts, and landings as often as natural pollen. Subsequent reactions like proboscis extension, mandible biting, and buzzing were more often but not regularly observed at dandelion pollen. Our study shows that visual signals of pollen are sufficient to trigger initial responses of bumblebees, whereas multimodal pollen stimuli elicit full behavioral response as compared to natural pollen. Our results suggest a major role of pollen cues for the attraction of bees toward flowers and also explain, why many floral guides mimic the visual signals of pollen and anthers, that is, the yellow and UV-absorbing color, to
Ren, Yanna; Yang, Weiping; Nakahashi, Kohei; Takahashi, Satoshi; Wu, Jinglong
Although neuronal studies have shown that audiovisual integration is regulated by temporal factors, there is still little knowledge about the impact of temporal factors on audiovisual integration in older adults. To clarify how stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between auditory and visual stimuli modulates age-related audiovisual integration, 20 younger adults (21-24 years) and 20 older adults (61-80 years) were instructed to perform an auditory or visual stimuli discrimination experiment. The results showed that in younger adults, audiovisual integration was altered from an enhancement (AV, A ± 50 V) to a depression (A ± 150 V). In older adults, the alterative pattern was similar to that for younger adults with the expansion of SOA; however, older adults showed significantly delayed onset for the time-window-of-integration and peak latency in all conditions, which further demonstrated that audiovisual integration was delayed more severely with the expansion of SOA, especially in the peak latency for V-preceded-A conditions in older adults. Our study suggested that audiovisual facilitative integration occurs only within a certain SOA range (e.g., -50 to 50 ms) in both younger and older adults. Moreover, our results confirm that the response for older adults was slowed and provided empirical evidence that integration ability is much more sensitive to the temporal alignment of audiovisual stimuli in older adults.
Ozolinsh, Maris; Danilenko, Olga; Zavjalova, Varvara
Visual stimuli were demonstrated on a 4.3'' mobile phone screen inside a "Virtual Reality" adapter that allowed separation of the left and right eye visual fields. Contrast of the retina image thus can be controlled by the image on the phone screen and parallel to that at appropriate geometry by the AC voltage applied to scattering PDLC cell inside the adapter. Such optical pathway separation allows to demonstrate to both eyes spatially variant images, that after visual binocular fusion acquire their characteristic indications. As visual stimuli we used grey and different color (two opponent components to vision - red-green in L*a*b* color space) spatially periodical stimuli for left and right eyes; and with spatial content that by addition or subtraction resulted as clockwise or counter clockwise slanted Gabor gratings. We performed computer modeling with numerical addition or subtraction of signals similar to processing in brain via stimuli input decomposition in luminance and color opponency components. It revealed the dependence of the perception psychophysical equilibrium point between clockwise or counter clockwise perception of summation on one eye image contrast and color saturation, and on the strength of the retinal aftereffects. Existence of a psychophysical equilibrium point in perception of summation is only in the presence of a prior adaptation to a slanted periodical grating and at the appropriate slant orientation of adaptation grating and/or at appropriate spatial grating pattern phase according to grating nods. Actual observer perception experiments when one eye images were deteriorated by simulated cataract approved the shift of mentioned psychophysical equilibrium point on the degree of artificial cataract. We analyzed also the mobile devices stimuli emission spectra paying attention to areas sensitive to macula pigments absorption spectral maxima and blue areas where the intense irradiation can cause in abnormalities in periodic melatonin
Falkmer, Marita; Bjallmark, Anna; Larsson, Matilda; Falkmer, Torbjorn
Several studies, using eye tracking methodology, suggest that different visual strategies in persons with autism spectrum conditions, compared with controls, are applied when viewing facial stimuli. Most eye tracking studies are, however, made in laboratory settings with either static (photos) or non-interactive dynamic stimuli, such as video…
Asaad, Wael F.; Santhanam, Navaneethan; McClellan, Steven
Behavioral, psychological, and physiological experiments often require the ability to present sensory stimuli, monitor and record subjects' responses, interface with a wide range of devices, and precisely control the timing of events within a behavioral task. Here, we describe our recent progress developing an accessible and full-featured software system for controlling such studies using the MATLAB environment. Compared with earlier reports on this software, key new features have been implemented to allow the presentation of more complex visual stimuli, increase temporal precision, and enhance user interaction. These features greatly improve the performance of the system and broaden its applicability to a wider range of possible experiments. This report describes these new features and improvements, current limitations, and quantifies the performance of the system in a real-world experimental setting. PMID:23034363
Asaad, Wael F; Santhanam, Navaneethan; McClellan, Steven; Freedman, David J
Behavioral, psychological, and physiological experiments often require the ability to present sensory stimuli, monitor and record subjects' responses, interface with a wide range of devices, and precisely control the timing of events within a behavioral task. Here, we describe our recent progress developing an accessible and full-featured software system for controlling such studies using the MATLAB environment. Compared with earlier reports on this software, key new features have been implemented to allow the presentation of more complex visual stimuli, increase temporal precision, and enhance user interaction. These features greatly improve the performance of the system and broaden its applicability to a wider range of possible experiments. This report describes these new features and improvements, current limitations, and quantifies the performance of the system in a real-world experimental setting.
Mendelson, Morton J.
Students in grades two, four, six, and college sorted abstract visual patterns that varied both in amount of contour and in type of visual organization (unstructured, simple symmetries, multiple symmetries, and rotational). Results suggested that children attend to both amount of contour and visual organization, but that attention to visual…
Garaizar, Pablo; Vadillo, Miguel A.; López-de-Ipiña, Diego; Matute, Helena
Because of the features provided by an abundance of specialized experimental software packages, personal computers have become prominent and powerful tools in cognitive research. Most of these programs have mechanisms to control the precision and accuracy with which visual stimuli are presented as well as the response times. However, external factors, often related to the technology used to display the visual information, can have a noticeable impact on the actual performance and may be easily overlooked by researchers. The aim of this study is to measure the precision and accuracy of the timing mechanisms of some of the most popular software packages used in a typical laboratory scenario in order to assess whether presentation times configured by researchers do not differ from measured times more than what is expected due to the hardware limitations. Despite the apparent precision and accuracy of the results, important issues related to timing setups in the presentation of visual stimuli were found, and they should be taken into account by researchers in their experiments. PMID:24409318
Geeraerts, Sarah; Michiels, Karla; Lafosse, Christophe; Vandenbussche, Erik; Verfaillie, Karl
Visual extinction was investigated in six right brain-damaged patients with left visual neglect, using a psychophysical paradigm. Orientation discrimination thresholds were determined for both left and right hemifield gratings presented either in isolation or simultaneously with a contralateral distractor grating. To minimize the influence of possible sensory-perceptual deficits, the luminances of both target and distractor gratings were chosen to be 20 times the luminances necessary to discriminate between horizontal and vertical grating orientations. When the visibility of target and distractor gratings was subjectively equalized in this way, neglect patients still showed a significant extinction effect, i.e. a significant interference of the right hemifield distractor with left hemifield orientation sensitivity. By manipulating the luminances of left and right hemifield gratings during bilateral simultaneous stimulus presentation, we demonstrated the role of luminance-contrast imbalances in eliciting visual extinction. Both decreasing the right distractor luminance and increasing the left target stimulus luminance resulted in an elimination of the observed extinction effects. These results show that not the absolute salience of one of two simultaneously presented stimuli, but the relative salience of both stimuli, is the crucial factor for inducing extinction.
Lutfi-Proctor, Danielle A; Elliott, Emily M; Cowan, Nelson
It has long been known that naming the color of a color word leads to what is known as the Stroop effect (Stroop, 1935). In the traditional Stroop task, when compared to naming the color of a color-neutral stimulus (e.g. an X or color patch), the presence of an incongruent color word decreases performance (Stroop interference), and a congruent color word increases performance (Stroop facilitation). Research has also shown that auditory color words can impact the color naming performance of colored items in a similar way in a variation known as cross-modal Stroop (Cowan & Barron, 1987). However, whether the item that is colored interacts with the auditory distractor to affect cross-modal Stroop interference is unclear. Research with the traditional, visual Stroop task has suggested that the amount of color the visual item displays and the semantic and phonetic components of the colored word can affect the magnitude of the resulting Stroop interference; as such, it is possible the same components could play a role in cross-modal Stroop interference. We conducted two experiments to examine the impact of the composition of the colored visual item on cross-modal Stroop interference. However, across two different experiments, three test versions, and numerous sets of trials, we were only able to find a small effect of the visual stimulus. This finding suggests that while the impact of the auditory stimuli is consistent and robust, the influence of non-word visual stimuli is quite small and unreliable and, while occasionally being statistically significant, it is not practically so.
Tien, Nai-Wen; Pearson, James T.; Heller, Charles R.; Demas, Jay
Spike trains of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the sole source of visual information to the brain; and understanding how the ∼20 RGC types in mammalian retinae respond to diverse visual features and events is fundamental to understanding vision. Suppressed-by-contrast (SbC) RGCs stand apart from all other RGC types in that they reduce rather than increase firing rates in response to light increments (ON) and decrements (OFF). Here, we genetically identify and morphologically characterize SbC-RGCs in mice, and target them for patch-clamp recordings under two-photon guidance. We find that strong ON inhibition (glycine > GABA) outweighs weak ON excitation, and that inhibition (glycine > GABA) coincides with decreases in excitation at light OFF. These input patterns explain the suppressive spike responses of SbC-RGCs, which are observed in dim and bright light conditions. Inhibition to SbC-RGC is driven by rectified receptive field subunits, leading us to hypothesize that SbC-RGCs could signal pattern-independent changes in the retinal image. Indeed, we find that shifts of random textures matching saccade-like eye movements in mice elicit robust inhibitory inputs and suppress spiking of SbC-RGCs over a wide range of texture contrasts and spatial frequencies. Similarly, stimuli based on kinematic analyses of mouse blinking consistently suppress SbC-RGC spiking. Receiver operating characteristics show that SbC-RGCs are reliable indicators of self-generated visual stimuli that may contribute to central processing of blinks and saccades. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study genetically identifies and morphologically characterizes suppressed-by-contrast retinal ganglion cells (SbC-RGCs) in mice. Targeted patch-clamp recordings from SbC-RGCs under two-photon guidance elucidate the synaptic mechanisms mediating spike suppression to contrast steps, and reveal that SbC-RGCs respond reliably to stimuli mimicking saccade-like eye movements and blinks. The similarity of
Ogawa, Yutaro; Takeno, Shohei; Kotani, Kiyoshi; Jimbo, Yasuhiko
Event Related Potential (ERP) of brain EEG (Electroencephalogram) activity plays an important role in EEG phase synchronization and/or hemodynamic responses measured by fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). However, the specific mechanism of ERP generation is still unclear. In this study, pulse and noise type visual stimuli are administered to subjects. Then the phase response of the EEG in α-waves is analyzed. As a result, the magnitudes of the phase response are varied by the stimulus administered phase and no power increase is observed. These results indicate that the ERP in α-waves is generated by the phase resetting of brain activity.
Mason, J R; Reidinger, R F
Redwinged blackbirds were trained to locate and peck apple slices in two discrimination problems with four times more training on one problem than on the other. The birds were then given transfer tests with the stimuli re-paired. Nonreinforced (S-) stimuli exerted greater control over behavior than did reinforced (S+) stimuli. We inferred that the blackbirds learned more about what to avoid than what to approach when searching for food in the two-choice situation. That inference is contrary to the notion that, by being alert to the visual cues which signal foods (i.e., S+ stimuli), birds can more successfully cope with irrelevant visual information encountered during foraging. Rather, being alert to cues which signal the absence of food (i.e., S- stimuli) may be relatively more important.
Johnson, Aaron P; Horseman, B Geoff; Macauley, Martin W S; Barnes, W Jon P
A PC-based visual-stimulus-generation package for behavioural and electrophysiological studies of responses to optic flow is described. Developed for studies of crab vision, the package is particularly well suited for use with animals that have very large fields of view, i.e. +/-120 degrees. Programs, written in the Borland Delphi language, use the OpenGL graphics library to create realistic representations of motion in a three dimensional environment. Large-field stimuli include simulations of self-motion (rotation and translation, separately or in combination) relative to a square-wave grating or other, user-selected, background. The package also includes representations of approaching and receding objects, and rotating spiral patterns for the investigation of neural responses to looming/anti-looming. Additionally, the package provides local motion stimuli, translating or rotating targets presented at many points in the receptive field, which can be used to derive response maps of large-field motion-sensitive interneurones. In all these stimuli, inconsistencies in animation timing that have hitherto hindered the use of standard PCs running Microsoft Windows for such applications have been minimised by using an improved real-time clock to control the animation cycle.
Haines, R. F.; Gross, M. M.; Nylen, D.; Dawson, L. M.
Two male observers were administered a binocular visual response time task to small (45 min arc), flashed, photopic stimuli at four dominant wavelengths (632 nm red; 583 nm yellow; 526 nm green; 464 nm blue) imaged across the horizontal retinal meridian. The stimuli were imaged at 10 deg arc intervals from 80 deg left to 90 deg right of fixation. Testing followed either prior light adaptation or prior dark adaptation. Results indicated that mean response time (RT) varies with stimulus color. RT is faster to yellow than to blue and green and slowest to red. In general, mean RT was found to increase from fovea to periphery for all four colors, with the curve for red stimuli exhibiting the most rapid positive acceleration with increasing angular eccentricity from the fovea. The shape of the RT distribution across the retina was also found to depend upon the state of light or dark adaptation. The findings are related to previous RT research and are discussed in terms of optimizing the color and position of colored displays on instrument panels.
Scarano, Florencia; Tomsic, Daniel
Historically, arthropod behavior has been considered to be a collection of simple, automaton-like routines commanded by domain-specific brain modules working independently. Nowadays, it is evident that the extensive behavioral repertoire of these animals and its flexibility necessarily imply far more complex abilities than originally assumed. For example, even what was thought to be a straightforward behavior of crabs, the escape response to visual danger stimuli, proved to involve a number of sequential stages, each of which implying decisions made on the bases of stimulus and contextual information. Inspired in previous observations on how the stimulus trajectory can affect the escape response of crabs in the field, we investigated the escape response to images of objects approaching directly toward the crab (looming stimuli: LS) or moving parallel to it (translational stimuli: TS) in the laboratory. Computer simulations of moving objects were effective to elicit escapes. LS evoked escapes with higher probability and intensity (speed and distance of escape) than TS, but responses started later. In addition to the escape run, TS also evoked a defensive response of the animal with its claws. Repeated presentations of TS or LS were both capable of inducing habituation. Results are discussed in connection with the possibilities offered by crabs to investigate the neural bases of behaviors occurring in the natural environment.
King, Alison J; Adamo, Shelley A
When startled, some animals reduce ventilation rate and heart rate, and become motionless. The function of this response, if any, remains unknown. We used non-invasive ultrasound imaging to monitor the ventilatory, cardiac and postural responses of cuttlefish exposed to sudden visual stimuli. Simultaneously, we recorded cuttlefish behaviour using an overhead video camera. Upon presentation of the sudden visual stimulus (rapidly approaching bird cut-out), cuttlefish rapidly changed the colour and the texture of their skin, taking on characteristics of the Deimatic Display. Cuttlefish also became motionless (behavioural freezing), hyperinflated their mantles, and decreased their ventilation rate and heart rate. We found no evidence of a relationship between the intensity of the Deimatic Display and the intensity of any other measured parameter. Ventilation rate decreased during behavioural freezing. Hyperinflation of the mantle was most intense in preparation for and during behavioural freezing. Heart rate decreases occurred during mantle hyperinflation and were greatest in animals showing the most hyperinflation. Decreased heart rate may not be adaptive per se. Instead, it might be a product of the unusual arrangement of the cuttlefish peripheral vasculature, which could be compressed during mantle hyperinflation. By filling the mantle with water (hyperinflation), this response to sudden stimuli may help cuttlefish prepare for possible flight by jet propulsion, which often follows the Deimatic Display.
Rothemund, Yvonne; Preuschhof, Claudia; Bohner, Georg; Bauknecht, Hans-Christian; Klingebiel, Randolf; Flor, Herta; Klapp, Burghard F
The neural systems regulating food intake in obese individuals remain poorly understood. Previous studies applied positron emission tomography and manipulated hunger and satiety to investigate differences in appetitive processing between obese and normal-weight individuals. However, it is not known whether manipulation of stimulus value may yield different neural activity in obese as compared to control subjects when intrinsic physiological states are kept constant. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate 13 obese and 13 normal-weight subjects and manipulated food motivation by presenting visual food stimuli differing in their caloric content and energy density. In contrast to controls, obese women selectively activated the dorsal striatum while viewing high-caloric foods. Moreover, in the high-calorie condition body mass index (BMI) predicted activation in the dorsal striatum, anterior insula, claustrum, posterior cingulate, postcentral and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. The results indicate that in obese individuals simple visual stimulation with food stimuli activates regions related to reward anticipation and habit learning (dorsal striatum). Additionally, high-calorie food images yielded BMI-dependent activations in regions associated with taste information processing (anterior insula and lateral orbitofrontal cortex), motivation (orbitofrontal cortex), emotion as well as memory functions (posterior cingulate). Collectively, the results suggest that the observed activation is independent of the physiological states of hunger and satiation, and thus may contribute to pathological overeating and obesity. Some of the observed activations (dorsal striatum, orbitofrontal cortex) are likely to be dopamine-mediated.
Liu, Zhongming; Rios, Cristina; Zhang, Nanyin; Yang, Lin; Chen, Wei; He, Bin
In the present study, the cascaded interactions between stimuli and neural and hemodynamic responses were modeled using linear systems. These models provided the theoretical hypotheses that were tested against the electroencephalography (EEG) and blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data recorded from human subjects during prolonged periods of repeated visual stimuli with a variable setting of the inter-stimulus interval (ISI) and visual contrast. Our results suggest that (1) neural response is nonlinear only when ISI<0.2 s, (2) BOLD response is nonlinear with an exclusively vascular origin when 0.25
Harvey, S; Klandorf, H; Pinchasov, Y
Concentrations of corticosterone were determined in the plasma of fasted domestic fowl before and at intervals after refeeding. The deprivation of food markedly increased (p less than 0.001) the level of plasma corticosterone. When refed ad libitum the corticosterone concentration declined (by 70%) within 45 min to the level in fed birds and remained at this concentration thereafter. A similar depression in the corticosterone concentration was observed when fasted birds were merely given the sight of the same diet, although the concentration returned to the fasting level within 60 min of food presentation. Refeeding diets with different metabolic energy contents demonstrated that the duration of the feeding-induced adrenocortical suppression was energy related. In fasted birds the presentation of an inert cellulose diet caused a temporary decline in the corticosterone level. In the absence of visual stimuli the administration (by force feeding) of the inert diet had no effect on the corticosterone concentration, whereas force feeding of metabolizable diets still induced adrenocortical suppression. These results demonstrate that adrenocortical suppression occurs in fasted refed birds and both visual and metabolic stimuli are involved in this response.
Baker, Joseph M; Mahamane, Salif P; Jordan, Kerry E
Infants possess basic capabilities to assess various quantitative properties such as number, size, and time. Preverbal discriminations are approximate, however, and are similarly limited across these dimensions. Here, we present the first evidence that multiple sources of quantitative unisensory information about dynamic stimuli-namely, simultaneous visual cues to changes in both number and surface area-may accelerate 6-month-olds' quantitative competence. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, results from Experiment 1 demonstrate that, when provided with such visual cues to multiple quantitative properties that occur in the same direction, infants make more precise discriminations than has been shown when they receive information about either cue alone. Moreover, Experiment 2 demonstrates that infants' discrimination also benefits from simultaneous visual cues to quantitative changes that occur in opposite directions. Finally, Experiment 3 demonstrates that these findings are not driven by infants' ability to discriminate a 2:3 ratio change in surface area of a dynamic stimulus alone. Thus, we hypothesize that enhanced quantitative discrimination occurs because simultaneous visual quantitative changes may be more salient than single-source information, which could better recruit attention and result in more precise learning and remembering.
Stropahl, Maren; Schellhardt, Sebastian; Debener, Stefan
The concurrent presentation of different auditory and visual syllables may result in the perception of a third syllable, reflecting an illusory fusion of visual and auditory information. This well-known McGurk effect is frequently used for the study of audio-visual integration. Recently, it was shown that the McGurk effect is strongly stimulus-dependent, which complicates comparisons across perceivers and inferences across studies. To overcome this limitation, we developed the freely available Oldenburg audio-visual speech stimuli (OLAVS), consisting of 8 different talkers and 12 different syllable combinations. The quality of the OLAVS set was evaluated with 24 normal-hearing subjects. All 96 stimuli were characterized based on their stimulus disparity, which was obtained from a probabilistic model (cf. Magnotti & Beauchamp, 2015). Moreover, the McGurk effect was studied in eight adult cochlear implant (CI) users. By applying the individual, stimulus-independent parameters of the probabilistic model, the predicted effect of stronger audio-visual integration in CI users could be confirmed, demonstrating the validity of the new stimulus material.
Background Anecdotal reports and a few scientific publications suggest that flyovers of helicopters at low altitude may elicit fear- or anxiety-related behavioral reactions in grazing feral and farm animals. We investigated the behavioral and physiological stress reactions of five individually housed dairy goats to different acoustic and visual stimuli from helicopters and to combinations of these stimuli under controlled environmental (indoor) conditions. The visual stimuli were helicopter animations projected on a large screen in front of the enclosures of the goats. Acoustic and visual stimuli of a tractor were also presented. On the final day of the study the goats were exposed to two flyovers (altitude 50 m and 75 m) of a Chinook helicopter while grazing in a pasture. Salivary cortisol, behavior, and heart rate of the goats were registered before, during and after stimulus presentations. Results The goats reacted alert to the visual and/or acoustic stimuli that were presented in their room. They raised their heads and turned their ears forward in the direction of the stimuli. There was no statistically reliable rise of the average velocity of moving of the goats in their enclosure and no increase of the duration of moving during presentation of the stimuli. Also there was no increase in heart rate or salivary cortisol concentration during the indoor test sessions. Surprisingly, no physiological and behavioral stress responses were observed during the flyover of a Chinook at 50 m, which produced a peak noise of 110 dB. Conclusions We conclude that the behavior and physiology of goats are unaffected by brief episodes of intense, adverse visual and acoustic stimulation such as the sight and noise of overflying helicopters. The absence of a physiological stress response and of elevated emotional reactivity of goats subjected to helicopter stimuli is discussed in relation to the design and testing schedule of this study. PMID:21496239
D’Angiulli, Amedeo; Griffiths, Gordon; Marmolejo-Ramos, Fernando
The neural correlates of visualization underlying word comprehension were examined in preschool children. On each trial, a concrete or abstract word was delivered binaurally (part 1: post-auditory visualization), followed by a four-picture array (a target plus three distractors; part 2: matching visualization). Children were to select the picture matching the word they heard in part 1. Event-related potentials (ERPs) locked to each stimulus presentation and task interval were averaged over sets of trials of increasing word abstractness. ERP time-course during both parts of the task showed that early activity (i.e., <300 ms) was predominant in response to concrete words, while activity in response to abstract words became evident only at intermediate (i.e., 300–699 ms) and late (i.e., 700–1000 ms) ERP intervals. Specifically, ERP topography showed that while early activity during post-auditory visualization was linked to left temporo-parietal areas for concrete words, early activity during matching visualization occurred mostly in occipito-parietal areas for concrete words, but more anteriorly in centro-parietal areas for abstract words. In intermediate ERPs, post-auditory visualization coincided with parieto-occipital and parieto-frontal activity in response to both concrete and abstract words, while in matching visualization a parieto-central activity was common to both types of words. In the late ERPs for both types of words, the post-auditory visualization involved right-hemispheric activity following a “post-anterior” pathway sequence: occipital, parietal, and temporal areas; conversely, matching visualization involved left-hemispheric activity following an “ant-posterior” pathway sequence: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital areas. These results suggest that, similarly, for concrete and abstract words, meaning in young children depends on variably complex visualization processes integrating visuo-auditory experiences and supramodal embodying
D'Angiulli, Amedeo; Griffiths, Gordon; Marmolejo-Ramos, Fernando
The neural correlates of visualization underlying word comprehension were examined in preschool children. On each trial, a concrete or abstract word was delivered binaurally (part 1: post-auditory visualization), followed by a four-picture array (a target plus three distractors; part 2: matching visualization). Children were to select the picture matching the word they heard in part 1. Event-related potentials (ERPs) locked to each stimulus presentation and task interval were averaged over sets of trials of increasing word abstractness. ERP time-course during both parts of the task showed that early activity (i.e., <300 ms) was predominant in response to concrete words, while activity in response to abstract words became evident only at intermediate (i.e., 300-699 ms) and late (i.e., 700-1000 ms) ERP intervals. Specifically, ERP topography showed that while early activity during post-auditory visualization was linked to left temporo-parietal areas for concrete words, early activity during matching visualization occurred mostly in occipito-parietal areas for concrete words, but more anteriorly in centro-parietal areas for abstract words. In intermediate ERPs, post-auditory visualization coincided with parieto-occipital and parieto-frontal activity in response to both concrete and abstract words, while in matching visualization a parieto-central activity was common to both types of words. In the late ERPs for both types of words, the post-auditory visualization involved right-hemispheric activity following a "post-anterior" pathway sequence: occipital, parietal, and temporal areas; conversely, matching visualization involved left-hemispheric activity following an "ant-posterior" pathway sequence: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital areas. These results suggest that, similarly, for concrete and abstract words, meaning in young children depends on variably complex visualization processes integrating visuo-auditory experiences and supramodal embodying
Park, Mi-Sook; Byun, Ki-Won; Park, Yong-Kyung; Kim, Mi-Han; Jung, Sung-Hwa; Kim, Hong
We investigated the effects of complex treatment using visual and auditory stimuli on the symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Forty-seven male children (7–13 yr old), who were clinically diagnosed with ADHD at the Balance Brain Center in Seoul, Korea, were included in this study. The complex treatment consisted of visual and auditory stimuli, core muscle exercise, targeting ball exercise, ocular motor exercise, and visual motor integration. All subjects completed the complex treatment for 60 min/day, 2–3 times/week for more than 12 weeks. Data regarding visual and auditory reaction time and cognitive function were obtained using the Neurosync program, Stroop Color-Word Test, and test of nonverbal intelligence (TONI) at pre- and post-treatment. The complex treatment significantly decreased the total reaction time, while it increased the number of combo actions on visual and auditory stimuli (P< 0.05). The Stroop color, word, and color-word scores were significantly increased at post-treatment compared to the scores at pretreatment (P< 0.05). There was no significant change in the TONI scores, although a tendency toward an increase in these scores was observed. In conclusion, complex treatment using visual and auditory stimuli alleviated the symptoms of ADHD and improved cognitive function in children. In addition, visual and auditory function might be possible indicators for demonstrating effective ADHD intervention. PMID:24278878
Park, Mi-Sook; Byun, Ki-Won; Park, Yong-Kyung; Kim, Mi-Han; Jung, Sung-Hwa; Kim, Hong
We investigated the effects of complex treatment using visual and auditory stimuli on the symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Forty-seven male children (7-13 yr old), who were clinically diagnosed with ADHD at the Balance Brain Center in Seoul, Korea, were included in this study. The complex treatment consisted of visual and auditory stimuli, core muscle exercise, targeting ball exercise, ocular motor exercise, and visual motor integration. All subjects completed the complex treatment for 60 min/day, 2-3 times/week for more than 12 weeks. Data regarding visual and auditory reaction time and cognitive function were obtained using the Neurosync program, Stroop Color-Word Test, and test of nonverbal intelligence (TONI) at pre- and post-treatment. The complex treatment significantly decreased the total reaction time, while it increased the number of combo actions on visual and auditory stimuli (P< 0.05). The Stroop color, word, and color-word scores were significantly increased at post-treatment compared to the scores at pretreatment (P< 0.05). There was no significant change in the TONI scores, although a tendency toward an increase in these scores was observed. In conclusion, complex treatment using visual and auditory stimuli alleviated the symptoms of ADHD and improved cognitive function in children. In addition, visual and auditory function might be possible indicators for demonstrating effective ADHD intervention.
Chiao, Chuan-Chin; Chubb, Charles; Buresch, Kendra C; Barbosa, Alexandra; Allen, Justine J; Mäthger, Lydia M; Hanlon, Roger T
Cuttlefish and other cephalopods achieve dynamic background matching with two general classes of body patterns: uniform (or uniformly stippled) patterns and mottle patterns. Both pattern types have been described chiefly by the size scale and contrast of their skin components. Mottle body patterns in cephalopods have been characterized previously as small-to-moderate-scale light and dark skin patches (i.e. mottles) distributed somewhat evenly across the body surface. Here we move beyond this commonly accepted qualitative description by quantitatively measuring the scale and contrast of mottled skin components and relating these statistics to specific visual background stimuli (psychophysics approach) that evoke this type of background-matching pattern. Cuttlefish were tested on artificial and natural substrates to experimentally determine some primary visual background cues that evoke mottle patterns. Randomly distributed small-scale light and dark objects (or with some repetition of small-scale shapes/sizes) on a lighter substrate with moderate contrast are essential visual cues to elicit mottle camouflage patterns in cuttlefish. Lowering the mean luminance of the substrate without changing its spatial properties can modulate the mottle pattern toward disruptive patterns, which are of larger scale, different shape and higher contrast. Backgrounds throughout nature consist of a continuous range of spatial scales; backgrounds with medium-sized light/dark patches of moderate contrast are those in which cuttlefish Mottle patterns appear to be the most frequently observed.
Otálora-Luna, Fernando; Lapointe, Stephen L.; Dickens, Joseph C.
The tropical root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus is a major pest of multiple crops in the Caribbean Islands and has become a serious constraint to citrus production in the United States. Recent work has identified host and conspecific volatiles that mediate host- and mate-finding by D. abbreviatus. The interaction of light, color, and odors has not been studied in this species. The responses of male and female D. abbreviatus to narrow bandwidths of visible light emitted by LEDs offered alone and in combination with olfactory stimuli were studied in a specially-designed multiple choice arena combined with a locomotion compensator. Weevils were more attracted to wavelengths close to green and yellow compared with blue or ultraviolet, but preferred red and darkness over green. Additionally, dim green light was preferred over brighter green. Adult weevils were also attracted to the odor of its citrus host + conspecifics. However, the attractiveness of citrus + conspecific odors disappeared in the presence of a green light. Photic stimulation induced males but not females to increase their speed. In the presence of light emitted by LEDs, turning speed decreased and path straightness increased, indicating that weevils tended to walk less tortuously. Diaprepes abbreviatus showed a hierarchy between chemo- and photo-taxis in the series of experiments presented herein, where the presence of the green light abolished upwind anemotaxis elicited by the pheromone + host plant odor. Insight into the strong responses to visual stimuli of chemically stimulated insects may be provided when the amount of information supplied by vision and olfaction is compared, as the information transmission capacity of compound eyes is estimated to be several orders of magnitude higher compared with the olfactory system. Subordination of olfactory responses by photic stimuli should be considered in the design of strategies aimed at management of such insects. PMID:23341926
Beran, Michael J.; Parrish, Audrey E.
Nonhuman animals are highly proficient at judging relative quantities presented in a variety of formats including visual, auditory, and even cross modal formats. Performance typically is constrained by the ratio between sets, as would be expected under Weber's Law, and as is described in the Approximate Number System (ANS) hypothesis. In most cases, tests are designed to avoid any perceptual confusion for animals regarding the stimulus sets, but despite this, animals show some of the perceptual biases that humans show based on organization of stimuli. Here, we demonstrate an additional perceptual bias that emerges from the illusion of nested sets. When arrays of circles were presented on a computer screen and were to be classified as larger than or as smaller than an established central value, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) underestimated quantities when circles were nested within each other. This matched a previous report with adult humans (Chesney & Gelman, 2012), indicating that macaques, like humans, show the pattern of biased perception predicted by ANS estimation. Although some macaques overcame this perceptual bias demonstrating that they could come to view nested stimuli as individual elements to be included in the estimates of quantity used for classifying arrays, the majority of the monkeys showed the bias of underestimating nested arrays throughout the experiment. PMID:23709063
Chuang, Lan-Ya; Huang, Chung-Ju; Hung, Tsung-Min
Attentional training has been used to modify attentional bias patterns in anxious individuals. This study examined the effect of attentional training on anxious archers' information processing using electrophysiological indices. Eighteen experienced archers with relatively high levels of competitive anxiety were assigned to either a training group or a control group. The training group received a 6-week attentional training protocol that was designed to switch attention away from threats, whereas the control group participated in a placebo training. The results revealed a smaller P1 difference wave for the training group in the posttest compared with pretest, whereas no change in N1 amplitude was found after training. The P1 difference wave finding suggests that more similar visual attentional resources were invested in probes replacing positive cues compared with probes replacing threatening cues after attentional bias training. In particular, archers who accepted training deployed similar attention resources to threatening and positive stimuli but those who accepted sham training avoided attention from threatening stimuli.
Peters, Megan A K; Lau, Hakwan
Many believe that humans can ‘perceive unconsciously’ – that for weak stimuli, briefly presented and masked, above-chance discrimination is possible without awareness. Interestingly, an online survey reveals that most experts in the field recognize the lack of convincing evidence for this phenomenon, and yet they persist in this belief. Using a recently developed bias-free experimental procedure for measuring subjective introspection (confidence), we found no evidence for unconscious perception; participants’ behavior matched that of a Bayesian ideal observer, even though the stimuli were visually masked. This surprising finding suggests that the thresholds for subjective awareness and objective discrimination are effectively the same: if objective task performance is above chance, there is likely conscious experience. These findings shed new light on decades-old methodological issues regarding what it takes to consider a neurobiological or behavioral effect to be 'unconscious,' and provide a platform for rigorously investigating unconscious perception in future studies. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09651.001 PMID:26433023
Warm, J. S.; Stutz, R. M.; Vassolo, P. A.
This study determined if training for accuracy in temporal discrimination would transfer across sensory modalities. A fractionation method was used in which subjects bisected the durations of acoustic and visual signals at three standard intervals (6, 12, and 18 sec). Absolute error was the performance index. Half of the subjects were trained with acoustic stimuli and then tested in vision; the remainder were trained in vision and tested in audition. Similar negatively accelerated acquisition functions were noted for both modalities. Positive intermodal transfer, characterized by symmetry across modalities, was obtained at all standard durations. The results were considered to provide support for the notion that a common mechanism underlies temporal discriminations in different sensory systems.
Palomäki, Jussi; Kivikangas, Markus; Alafuzoff, Aleksander; Hakala, Tero; Krause, Christina M
Brain oscillatory responses of 4-35 Hz EEG frequencies elicited during performance of a visual n-back task with complex visual stimuli were assessed in 20 adult volunteers. Spectral power changes were assessed separately for target and non-target stimuli in four different memory load conditions (0, 1, 2, and 3-back). The presentation of both target and non-target stimuli elicited long-lasting ~4-8 Hz power increases, which were more prominent at the beginning of stimulus onset during presentation of target stimuli, as compared to non-target stimuli, in the 0-back memory load condition. ~8-25 Hz power decreases appeared at stimulus onset. These power decreases were more prominent during the presentation of target stimuli, as compared to non-target stimuli, and their duration increased as a function of memory load between the 0-, 1-, and 2-back, but not the 3-back, memory load conditions. The current results provide further evidence in support of the notion of a complex interplay between both ~4-8 Hz power increases and ~8-25 Hz power decreases during cognitive memory task performance.
Ohyanagi, Toshio; Sengoku, Yasuhito
This article presents a new solution for measuring accurate reaction time (SMART) to visual stimuli. The SMART is a USB device realized with a Cypress Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) mixed-signal array programmable microcontroller. A brief overview of the hardware and firmware of the PSoC is provided, together with the results of three experiments. In Experiment 1, we investigated the timing accuracy of the SMART in measuring reaction time (RT) under different conditions of operating systems (OSs; Windows XP or Vista) and monitor displays (a CRT or an LCD). The results indicated that the timing error in measuring RT by the SMART was less than 2 msec, on average, under all combinations of OS and display and that the SMART was tolerant to jitter and noise. In Experiment 2, we tested the SMART with 8 participants. The results indicated that there was no significant difference among RTs obtained with the SMART under the different conditions of OS and display. In Experiment 3, we used Microsoft (MS) PowerPoint to present visual stimuli on the display. We found no significant difference in RTs obtained using MS DirectX technology versus using the PowerPoint file with the SMART. We are certain that the SMART is a simple and practical solution for measuring RTs accurately. Although there are some restrictions in using the SMART with RT paradigms, the SMART is capable of providing both researchers and health professionals working in clinical settings with new ways of using RT paradigms in their work.
Geller, James; Ochs, Christopher; Perl, Yehoshua; Xu, Junchuan
Medical terminologies are large and complex. Frequently, errors are hidden in this complexity. Our objective is to find such errors, which can be aided by deriving abstraction networks from a large terminology. Abstraction networks preserve important features but eliminate many minor details, which are often not useful for identifying errors. Providing visualizations for such abstraction networks aids auditors by allowing them to quickly focus on elements of interest within a terminology. Previously we introduced area taxonomies and partial area taxonomies for SNOMED CT. In this paper, two advanced, novel kinds of abstraction networks, the relationship-constrained partial area subtaxonomy and the root-constrained partial area subtaxonomy are defined and their benefits are demonstrated. We also describe BLUSNO, an innovative software tool for quickly generating and visualizing these SNOMED CT abstraction networks. BLUSNO is a dynamic, interactive system that provides quick access to well organized information about SNOMED CT.
Lee, S W; Jeong, B S; Choi, J; Kim, J-W
Men tend to have greater positive responses than women to explicit visual erotic stimuli (EVES). However, it remains unclear, which brain network makes men more sensitive to EVES and which factors contribute to the brain network activity. In this study, we aimed to assess the effect of sex difference on brain connectivity patterns by EVES. We also investigated the association of testosterone with brain connection that showed the effects of sex difference. During functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, 14 males and 14 females were asked to see alternating blocks of pictures that were either erotic or non-erotic. Psychophysiological interaction analysis was performed to investigate the functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens (NA) as it related to EVES. Men showed significantly greater EVES-specific functional connection between the right NA and the right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). In addition, the right NA and the right LOC network activity was positively correlated with the plasma testosterone level in men. Our results suggest that the reason men are sensitive to EVES is the increased interaction in the visual reward networks, which is modulated by their plasma testosterone level.
Clayton, Sarah; Gilmore, Camilla; Inglis, Matthew
The most common method of indexing Approximate Number System (ANS) acuity is to use a nonsymbolic dot comparison task. Currently there is no standard protocol for creating the dot array stimuli and it is unclear whether tasks that control for different visual cues, such as cumulative surface area and convex hull size, measure the same cognitive constructs. Here we investigated how the accuracy and reliability of magnitude judgements is influenced by visual controls through a comparison of performance on dot comparison trials created with two standard methods: the Panamath program and Gebuis & Reynvoet's script. Fifty-one adult participants completed blocks of trials employing images constructed using the two protocols twice to obtain a measure of immediate test-retest reliability. We found no significant correlation between participants' accuracy scores on trials created with the two protocols, suggesting that tasks employing these protocols may measure different cognitive constructs. Additionally, there were significant differences in the test-retest reliabilities for trials created with each protocol. Finally, strong congruency effects for convex hull size were found for both sets of protocol trials, which provides some clarification for conflicting results in the literature.
Epstein, Leonard H; Saad, Frances G; Giacomelli, April M; Roemmich, James N
Responding to food cues may be disrupted by allocating attention to other tasks. We report two experiments examining the effects of allocation of attention on salivary habituation to olfactory plus visual food cues in 8-12-year-old children. In Experiment 1, 42 children were presented with a series of 8 hamburger food stimulus presentations. During each intertrial interval, participants completed a controlled (hard), or automatic (easy) visual memory task, or no task (control). In Experiment 2, 22 children were presented with 10 presentations of a pizza food stimulus and either listened to an audiobook or no audiobook control. Results of Experiment 1 showed group differences in rate of change in salivation (p=0.014). Children in the controlled task did not habituate to repeated food cues, while children in the automatic (p<0.005) or no task (p<0.001) groups decreased responding over time. In Experiment 2, groups differed in the rate of change in salivation (p=0.004). Children in the no audiobook group habituated (p<0.001), while children in the audiobook group did not habituate. Changes in the rate of habituation when attending to non-food stimuli while eating may be a mechanism for increasing energy intake.
Wang, Rong; Wu, Lingjie; Tang, Zuohua; Sun, Xinghuai; Feng, Xiaoyuan; Tang, Weijun; Qian, Wen; Wang, Jie; Jin, Lixin; Zhong, Yufeng; Xiao, Zebin
Cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices of early binocularly blind macaques is not well studied. In this study, four healthy neonatal macaques were assigned to group A (control group) or group B (binocularly blind group). Sixteen months later, blood oxygenation level-dependent functional imaging (BOLD-fMRI) was conducted to examine the activation in the visual and auditory cortices of each macaque while being tested using pure tones as auditory stimuli. The changes in the BOLD response in the visual and auditory cortices of all macaques were compared with immunofluorescence staining findings. Compared with group A, greater BOLD activity was observed in the bilateral visual cortices of group B, and this effect was particularly obvious in the right visual cortex. In addition, more activated volumes were found in the bilateral auditory cortices of group B than of group A, especially in the right auditory cortex. These findings were consistent with the fact that there were more c-Fos-positive cells in the bilateral visual and auditory cortices of group B compared with group A (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the bilateral visual cortices of binocularly blind macaques can be reorganized to process auditory stimuli after visual deprivation, and this effect is more obvious in the right than the left visual cortex. These results indicate the establishment of cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices.
Shigihara, Yoshihito; Zeki, Semir
We used easily distinguishable stimuli of faces and houses constituted from straight lines, with the aim of learning whether they activate V1 on the one hand, and the specialized areas that are critical for the processing of faces and houses on the other, with similar latencies. Eighteen subjects took part in the experiment, which used magnetoencephalography (MEG) coupled to analytical methods to detect the time course of the earliest responses which these stimuli provoke in these cortical areas. Both categories of stimuli activated V1 and areas of the visual cortex outside it at around 40 ms after stimulus onset, and the amplitude elicited by face stimuli was significantly larger than that elicited by house stimuli. These results suggest that “low-level” and “high-level” features of form stimuli are processed in parallel by V1 and visual areas outside it. Taken together with our previous results on the processing of simple geometric forms (Shgihara and Zeki, 2013; Shigihara and Zeki, 2014), the present ones reinforce the conclusion that parallel processing is an important component in the strategy used by the brain to process and construct forms. PMID:25426050
Van De Poll, Matthew N; Zajaczkowski, Esmi L; Taylor, Gavin J; Srinivasan, Mandyam V; van Swinderen, Bruno
Closed-loop paradigms provide an effective approach for studying visual choice behaviour and attention in small animals. Different flying and walking paradigms have been developed to investigate behavioural and neuronal responses to competing stimuli in insects such as bees and flies. However, the variety of stimulus choices that can be presented over one experiment is often limited. Current choice paradigms are mostly constrained as single binary choice scenarios that are influenced by the linear structure of classical conditioning paradigms. Here, we present a novel behavioural choice paradigm that allows animals to explore a closed geometry of interconnected binary choices by repeatedly selecting among competing objects, thereby revealing stimulus preferences in an historical context. We used our novel paradigm to investigate visual flicker preferences in honeybees (Apis mellifera) and found significant preferences for 20-25 Hz flicker and avoidance of higher (50-100 Hz) and lower (2-4 Hz) flicker frequencies. Similar results were found when bees were presented with three simultaneous choices instead of two, and when they were given the chance to select previously rejected choices. Our results show that honeybees can discriminate among different flicker frequencies and that their visual preferences are persistent even under different experimental conditions. Interestingly, avoided stimuli were more attractive if they were novel, suggesting that novelty salience can override innate preferences. Our recursive virtual reality environment provides a new approach to studying visual discrimination and choice behaviour in animals.
Patching, Geoffrey R.; Englund, Mats P.; Hellstrom, Ake
Despite the importance of both response probability and response time for testing models of choice, there is a dearth of chronometric studies examining systematic asymmetries that occur over time- and space-orders in the method of paired comparisons. In this study, systematic asymmetries in discriminating the magnitude of paired visual stimuli are…
Kyllingsbaek, Soren; Markussen, Bo; Bundesen, Claus
The authors propose and test a simple model of the time course of visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks. The model implies that during stimulus analysis, tentative categorizations that stimulus i belongs to category j are made at a constant Poisson rate, v(i, j). The analysis is…
Zupan, Barbra; Sussman, Joan E.
Experiment 1 examined modality preferences in children and adults with normal hearing to combined auditory-visual stimuli. Experiment 2 compared modality preferences in children using cochlear implants participating in an auditory emphasized therapy approach to the children with normal hearing from Experiment 1. A second objective in both…
Ochs, Christopher; Geller, James; Perl, Yehoshua; Musen, Mark A
Software tools play a critical role in the development and maintenance of biomedical ontologies. One important task that is difficult without software tools is ontology quality assurance. In previous work, we have introduced different kinds of abstraction networks to provide a theoretical foundation for ontology quality assurance tools. Abstraction networks summarize the structure and content of ontologies. One kind of abstraction network that we have used repeatedly to support ontology quality assurance is the partial-area taxonomy. It summarizes structurally and semantically similar concepts within an ontology. However, the use of partial-area taxonomies was ad hoc and not generalizable. In this paper, we describe the Ontology Abstraction Framework (OAF), a unified framework and software system for deriving, visualizing, and exploring partial-area taxonomy abstraction networks. The OAF includes support for various ontology representations (e.g., OWL and SNOMED CT's relational format). A Protégé plugin for deriving "live partial-area taxonomies" is demonstrated.
Stoléru, Serge; Redouté, Jérôme; Costes, Nicolas; Lavenne, Frank; Bars, Didier Le; Dechaud, Henri; Forest, Maguelone G; Pugeat, Michel; Cinotti, Luc; Pujol, Jean François
Although hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is a common condition and has long been hypothesized to result from malfunctions of the cerebral control mechanisms that adjust the level of sexual motivation, very little is known about the pathophysiology of this disorder. The primary objective was to identify in patients with HSDD brain regions where functional perturbations disrupt the regulation of sexual motivation. We used positron emission tomography to compare seven male patients with HSDD with eight healthy men on their regional cerebral blood flow responses to visual sexual stimuli (VSS) of graded intensity. Statistical Parametric Mapping was used to locate brain regions that demonstrated a differential activation (or deactivation) across the groups. Whereas in control subjects the medial orbitofrontal cortex showed a deactivation in response to VSS, in HSDD patients there was an abnormally maintained activity of this region, which has been implicated in the inhibitory control of motivated behavior. By contrast, the reverse pattern-activation in control subjects, deactivation or unchanged activity in patients-was found in the secondary somatosensory cortex and inferior parietal lobules, regions mediating emotional and motor imagery processes, as well as in those areas of the anterior cingulate gyrus and of the frontal lobes that are involved in premotor processes.
Giulioni, Massimiliano; Corradi, Federico; Dante, Vittorio; del Giudice, Paolo
Neuromorphic chips embody computational principles operating in the nervous system, into microelectronic devices. In this domain it is important to identify computational primitives that theory and experiments suggest as generic and reusable cognitive elements. One such element is provided by attractor dynamics in recurrent networks. Point attractors are equilibrium states of the dynamics (up to fluctuations), determined by the synaptic structure of the network; a ‘basin’ of attraction comprises all initial states leading to a given attractor upon relaxation, hence making attractor dynamics suitable to implement robust associative memory. The initial network state is dictated by the stimulus, and relaxation to the attractor state implements the retrieval of the corresponding memorized prototypical pattern. In a previous work we demonstrated that a neuromorphic recurrent network of spiking neurons and suitably chosen, fixed synapses supports attractor dynamics. Here we focus on learning: activating on-chip synaptic plasticity and using a theory-driven strategy for choosing network parameters, we show that autonomous learning, following repeated presentation of simple visual stimuli, shapes a synaptic connectivity supporting stimulus-selective attractors. Associative memory develops on chip as the result of the coupled stimulus-driven neural activity and ensuing synaptic dynamics, with no artificial separation between learning and retrieval phases. PMID:26463272
Barras, Caroline; Kerzel, Dirk
In visual search for a shape target, interference from salient-but-irrelevant color singletons can be resisted in feature search mode, but not in singleton detection mode. In singleton detection mode, we observed a contralateral positivity (PD) after 260-340ms, suggesting that the salient distractor was suppressed. Because RTs in singleton detection mode increased when a distractor was present, we conclude that active suppression of distractors takes time. In feature search mode, no increase in RTs and no PD to the distractor was observed, showing that resistance to interference was not accomplished by suppression. Rather, the smaller N2pc to the target in feature search than in singleton detection mode suggests that enhancement of target features avoided interference. Thus, the strong top-down set in feature search mode eliminated the need to suppress the early attend-to-me signal (corresponding to the Ppc, from 160 to 210ms) that was generated by salient stimuli independently of search mode.
Giulioni, Massimiliano; Corradi, Federico; Dante, Vittorio; Del Giudice, Paolo
Neuromorphic chips embody computational principles operating in the nervous system, into microelectronic devices. In this domain it is important to identify computational primitives that theory and experiments suggest as generic and reusable cognitive elements. One such element is provided by attractor dynamics in recurrent networks. Point attractors are equilibrium states of the dynamics (up to fluctuations), determined by the synaptic structure of the network; a ‘basin’ of attraction comprises all initial states leading to a given attractor upon relaxation, hence making attractor dynamics suitable to implement robust associative memory. The initial network state is dictated by the stimulus, and relaxation to the attractor state implements the retrieval of the corresponding memorized prototypical pattern. In a previous work we demonstrated that a neuromorphic recurrent network of spiking neurons and suitably chosen, fixed synapses supports attractor dynamics. Here we focus on learning: activating on-chip synaptic plasticity and using a theory-driven strategy for choosing network parameters, we show that autonomous learning, following repeated presentation of simple visual stimuli, shapes a synaptic connectivity supporting stimulus-selective attractors. Associative memory develops on chip as the result of the coupled stimulus-driven neural activity and ensuing synaptic dynamics, with no artificial separation between learning and retrieval phases.
Chinese Education, 1973
Improvement of the student's ability to analyze and solve problems by effectively relating the use of visual aids to the cultivation of capacity for scientific abstraction is discussed. These basic theory courses are based on the dialectical materialistic theory of knowledge and Mao's instruction on the unity of theory and reality.'' (SM)
Horner, A J; Henson, R N
Repetition priming can be caused by the rapid retrieval of previously encoded stimulus-response (S-R) bindings. S-R bindings have recently been shown to simultaneously code multiple levels of response representation, from specific Motor-actions to more abstract Decisions ("yes"/"no") and Classifications (e.g., "man-made"/"natural"). Using an experimental design that reverses responses at all of these levels, we assessed whether S-R bindings also code multiple levels of stimulus representation. Across two experiments, we found effects of response reversal on priming when switching between object pictures and object names, consistent with S-R bindings that code stimuli at an abstract level. Nonetheless, the size of this reversal effect was smaller for such across-format (e.g., word-picture) repetition than for within-format (e.g., picture-picture) repetition, suggesting additional coding of format-specific stimulus representations. We conclude that S-R bindings simultaneously represent both stimuli and responses at multiple levels of abstraction.
Hirst, Priscilla; Javadi Khomami, Pasha; Gharat, Amol; Zangenehpour, Shahin
Recent studies suggest that exposure to only one component of audiovisual events can lead to cross-modal cortical activation. However, it is not certain whether such crossmodal recruitment can occur in the absence of explicit conditioning, semantic factors, or long-term associations. A recent study demonstrated that crossmodal cortical recruitment can occur even after a brief exposure to bimodal stimuli without semantic association. In addition, the authors showed that the primary visual cortex is under such crossmodal influence. In the present study, we used molecular activity mapping of the immediate early gene zif268. We found that animals, which had previously been exposed to a combination of auditory and visual stimuli, showed increased number of active neurons in the primary visual cortex when presented with sounds alone. As previously implied, this crossmodal activation appears to be the result of implicit associations of the two stimuli, likely driven by their spatiotemporal characteristics; it was observed after a relatively short period of exposure (~45 min) and lasted for a relatively long period after the initial exposure (~1 day). These results suggest that the previously reported findings may be directly rooted in the increased activity of the neurons occupying the primary visual cortex.
Gianna-Poulin, C.C.; Peterka, R.J.
High-velocity rotational stimuli have the potential to improve the diagnostic capabilities of clinical rotation testing by revealing nonlinear vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) responses that are indicative of asymmetric vestibular function. However, eye movements evoked by high-velocity rotations often are inconsistent over time and therefore do not yield reliable diagnostic measures. This study investigated whether use of a novel “visual guide” could improve the consistency and quality of VORs obtained during testing with pulse-step-sine (PSS) stimuli providing periodic high-velocity, horizontal-plane rotations with peak velocities up to 290 deg/s. The visual guide (narrow phosphorescent line spanning 180° field of view) was mounted horizontally on the rotation chair at the subject's eye level. Eight healthy human subjects were tested either in complete darkness while performing an alerting task, or while viewing the visual guide in an otherwise dark room. We found that the visual guide improved the quality of VOR responses as shown by an increased proportion of slow-phase velocity data segments retained for analysis, by a decreased variance of the processed eye velocity data, and by a reduction of outlying VOR response measures. We also found that the visual guide did not induce visual suppression because VOR gain measures were not diminished. PMID:18776595
Mathewson, Kyle E.; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele; Beck, Diane M.; Lleras, Alejandro
At near-threshold levels of stimulation, identical stimulus parameters can result in very different phenomenal experiences. Can we manipulate which stimuli reach consciousness? Here we show that consciousness of otherwise masked stimuli can be experimentally induced by sensory entrainment. We preceded a backward-masked stimulus with a series of…
Justus, Timothy; List, Alexandra
Two priming experiments demonstrated exogenous attentional persistence to the fundamental auditory dimensions of frequency (Experiment 1) and time (Experiment 2). In a divided-attention task, participants responded to an independent dimension, the identification of three-tone sequence patterns, for both prime and probe stimuli. The stimuli were…
The sensory channel of presentation alters subjective ratings and autonomic responses toward disgusting stimuli-Blood pressure, heart rate and skin conductance in response to visual, auditory, haptic and olfactory presented disgusting stimuli.
Croy, Ilona; Laqua, Kerstin; Süß, Frank; Joraschky, Peter; Ziemssen, Tjalf; Hummel, Thomas
Disgust causes specific reaction patterns, observable in mimic responses and body reactions. Most research on disgust deals with visual stimuli. However, pictures may cause another disgust experience than sounds, odors, or tactile stimuli. Therefore, disgust experience evoked by four different sensory channels was compared. A total of 119 participants received 3 different disgusting and one control stimulus, each presented through the visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory channel. Ratings of evoked disgust as well as responses of the autonomic nervous system (heart rate, skin conductance level, systolic blood pressure) were recorded and the effect of stimulus labeling and of repeated presentation was analyzed. Ratings suggested that disgust could be evoked through all senses; they were highest for visual stimuli. However, autonomic reaction toward disgusting stimuli differed according to the channel of presentation. In contrast to the other, olfactory disgust stimuli provoked a strong decrease of systolic blood pressure. Additionally, labeling enhanced disgust ratings and autonomic reaction for olfactory and tactile, but not for visual and auditory stimuli. Repeated presentation indicated that participant's disgust rating diminishes to all but olfactory disgust stimuli. Taken together we argue that the sensory channel through which a disgust reaction is evoked matters.
Peng, Weiwei; Hu, Yong; Mao, Yanhui; Babiloni, Claudio
Previous studies have shown that alpha event-related desynchronization (α-ERD) is associated with reaction to visual stimuli in oddball paradigm, as a reflection of attention allocation and memory updating. The present study tested the hypothesis that it reflects a modality and/or frequency specific mechanism. Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings (64 channels) were performed on 18 healthy subjects during visual, auditory, somatosensory, and pain oddball paradigms. Low- and high-frequency α-rhythm were analyzed on individual basis, and their sources were estimated by low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). α-ERD, served as an index of cortical activation, was computed on the cortical voxel level and compared across the conditions (target vs. non-target), α sub-bands (lower vs. higher frequency), and modalities (visual, auditory, somatosensory, and pain). The results showed that visual α-ERD was mainly generated from occipital cortex for both target and non-target conditions. Its magnitude was enhanced across widespread cortical regions (e.g., bilateral occipital, parietal, and frontal areas) in the target condition and was greater in high-frequency α-band. Finally, α-ERD difference between target and non-target conditions was not higher in visual than that in other control modalities. All these findings indicated that human high-frequency α-ERD reflects cognitive attention processes underlying reaction to oddball target stimuli regardless of stimulus modality.
Greco, V.; Frijia, F.; Mikellidou, K.; Montanaro, D.; Farini, A.; D’Uva, M.; Poggi, P.; Pucci, M.; Sordini, A.; Morrone, M. C.; Burr, D. C.
We have constructed and tested a custom-made magnetic-imaging-compatible visual projection system designed to project on a very wide visual field (~80°). A standard projector was modified with a coupling lens, projecting images into the termination of an image fiber. The other termination of the fiber was placed in the 3-T scanner room with a projection lens, which projected the images relayed by the fiber onto a screen over the head coil, viewed by a participant wearing magnifying goggles. To validate the system, wide-field stimuli were presented in order to identify retinotopic visual areas. The results showed that this low-cost and versatile optical system may be a valuable tool to map visual areas in the brain that process peripheral receptive fields. PMID:26092392
Greco, V; Frijia, F; Mikellidou, K; Montanaro, D; Farini, A; D'Uva, M; Poggi, P; Pucci, M; Sordini, A; Morrone, M C; Burr, D C
We have constructed and tested a custom-made magnetic-imaging-compatible visual projection system designed to project on a very wide visual field (~80°). A standard projector was modified with a coupling lens, projecting images into the termination of an image fiber. The other termination of the fiber was placed in the 3-T scanner room with a projection lens, which projected the images relayed by the fiber onto a screen over the head coil, viewed by a participant wearing magnifying goggles. To validate the system, wide-field stimuli were presented in order to identify retinotopic visual areas. The results showed that this low-cost and versatile optical system may be a valuable tool to map visual areas in the brain that process peripheral receptive fields.
Truppa, Valentina; Carducci, Paola; De Simone, Diego Antonio; Bisazza, Angelo; De Lillo, Carlo
In the last two decades, comparative research has addressed the issue of how the global and local levels of structure of visual stimuli are processed by different species, using Navon-type hierarchical figures, i.e. smaller local elements that form larger global configurations. Determining whether or not the variety of procedures adopted to test different species with hierarchical figures are equivalent is of crucial importance to ensure comparability of results. Among non-human species, global/local processing has been extensively studied in tufted capuchin monkeys using matching-to-sample tasks with hierarchical patterns. Local dominance has emerged consistently in these New World primates. In the present study, we assessed capuchins' processing of hierarchical stimuli with a method frequently adopted in studies of global/local processing in non-primate species: the conflict-choice task. Different from the matching-to-sample procedure, this task involved processing local and global information retained in long-term memory. Capuchins were trained to discriminate between consistent hierarchical stimuli (similar global and local shape) and then tested with inconsistent hierarchical stimuli (different global and local shapes). We found that capuchins preferred the hierarchical stimuli featuring the correct local elements rather than those with the correct global configuration. This finding confirms that capuchins' local dominance, typically observed using matching-to-sample procedures, is also expressed as a local preference in the conflict-choice task. Our study adds to the growing body of comparative studies on visual grouping functions by demonstrating that the methods most frequently used in the literature on global/local processing produce analogous results irrespective of extent of the involvement of memory processes.
Pegado, Felipe; Vankrunkelsven, Hendrik; Steyaert, Jean; Boets, Bart; Op de Beeck, Hans
Is it possible to passively induce visual learning/unlearning in humans for complex stimuli such as faces? We addressed this question in a series of behavioral studies using passive visual stimulation (flickering of faces at specific temporal frequencies) inspired by well-known synaptic mechanisms of learning: long-term potentiation (LTP) vs long-term depression (LTD). We administered a face identity change detection task before and after a passive stimulation protocol to test for potential changes in visual performance. First, with bilateral stimulation, subjects undergoing high-frequency LTP-like stimulation outperformed those submitted to low-frequency LTD-like stimulation despite equivalent baseline performance (exp. 1). Second, unilateral stimulation replicated the differential modulation of performance, but in a hemifield-specific way (exp. 2). Third, for both stimulation groups, a sudden temporary drop in performance on the stimulated side immediately after the stimulation, followed by progressive recovering, can suggest either ‘visual fatigue’ or ‘face adaptation’ effects due to the stimulation. Fourth, we tested the life-time of these modulatory effects, revealing they vanish after one hour delay (exp. 3). Fifth, a control study (exp. 4) using low-level visual stimuli also failed to show longer-term effects of sensory stimulation, despite reports of strong effects in the literature. Future studies should determine the necessary and sufficient conditions enabling robust long-term modulation of visual performance using this technique. This step is required to consider further use in fundamental research (e.g., to study neural circuits involved in selective visual processing) and potential educational or clinical applications (e.g., inhibiting socially-irrelevant aspects of face processing in autism). PMID:27341210
Lutz, Nicolas D; Diekelmann, Susanne; Hinse-Stern, Patricia; Born, Jan; Rauss, Karsten
Sleep benefits the consolidation of individual episodic memories. In the long run, however, it may be more efficient to retain the abstract gist of single, related memories, which can be generalized to similar instances in the future. While episodic memory is enhanced after one night of sleep, effective gist abstraction is thought to require multiple nights. We tested this hypothesis using a visual Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm, examining gist abstraction and episodic-like memory consolidation after 20 min, after 10 hours, as well as after one year of retention. While after 10 hours, sleep enhanced episodic-like memory for single items, it did not affect gist abstraction. One year later, however, we found significant gist knowledge only if subjects had slept immediately after encoding, while there was no residual memory for individual items. These findings indicate that sleep after learning strengthens episodic-like memories in the short term and facilitates long-term gist abstraction.
Lutz, Nicolas D.; Diekelmann, Susanne; Hinse-Stern, Patricia; Born, Jan; Rauss, Karsten
Sleep benefits the consolidation of individual episodic memories. In the long run, however, it may be more efficient to retain the abstract gist of single, related memories, which can be generalized to similar instances in the future. While episodic memory is enhanced after one night of sleep, effective gist abstraction is thought to require multiple nights. We tested this hypothesis using a visual Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm, examining gist abstraction and episodic-like memory consolidation after 20 min, after 10 hours, as well as after one year of retention. While after 10 hours, sleep enhanced episodic-like memory for single items, it did not affect gist abstraction. One year later, however, we found significant gist knowledge only if subjects had slept immediately after encoding, while there was no residual memory for individual items. These findings indicate that sleep after learning strengthens episodic-like memories in the short term and facilitates long-term gist abstraction. PMID:28211489
Squire, Larry R.; Levy, Daniel A.; Shrager, Yael
The perirhinal cortex is known to be important for memory, but there has recently been interest in the possibility that it might also be involved in visual perceptual functions. In four experiments, we assessed visual discrimination ability and visual discrimination learning in severely amnesic patients with large medial temporal lobe lesions that…
Haines, R. F.
Simple onset response time (RT) experiments, previously shown to exhibit binocular summation effects for white stimuli along the horizontal meridian, were performed for red and green stimuli along 5 oblique meridians. Binocular RT was significantly shorter than monocular RT for a 45-min-diameter spot of red, green, or white light within eccentricities of about 50 deg from the fovea. Relatively large meridian differences were noted that appear to be due to the degree to which the images fall on corresponding retinal areas.
Medan, Violeta; Oliva, Damián; Tomsic, Daniel
In the grapsid crab Chasmagnathus, a visual danger stimulus elicits a strong escape response that diminishes rapidly on stimulus repetition. This behavioral modification can persist for several days as a result of the formation of an associative memory. We have previously shown that a generic group of large motion-sensitive neurons from the lobula of the crab respond to visual stimuli and accurately reflect the escape performance. Additional evidence indicates that these neurons play a key role in visual memory and in the decision to initiate an escape. Although early studies recognized that the group of lobula giant (LG) neurons consisted of different classes of motion-sensitive cells, a distinction between these classes has been lacking. Here, we recorded in vivo the responses of individual LG neurons to a wide range of visual stimuli presented in different segments of the animal's visual field. Physiological characterizations were followed by intracellular dye injections, which permitted comparison of the functional and morphological features of each cell. All LG neurons consisted of large tangential arborizations in the lobula with axons projecting toward the midbrain. Functionally, these cells proved to be more sensitive to single objects than to flow field motion. Despite these commonalities, clear differences in morphology and physiology allowed us to identify four distinct classes of LG neurons. These results will permit analysis of the role of each neuronal type for visually guided behaviors and will allow us to address specific questions on the neuronal plasticity of LGs that underlie the well-recognized memory model of the crab.
Baeken, Chris; Van Schuerbeek, Peter; De Raedt, Rudi; Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; De Mey, Johan; Bossuyt, Axel; Luypaert, Robert
The amygdalae are key players in the processing of a variety of emotional stimuli. Especially aversive visual stimuli have been reported to attract attention and activate the amygdalae. However, as it has been argued that passively viewing withdrawal-related images could attenuate instead of activate amygdalae neuronal responses, its role under…
Çetin, Yakup; Griffiths, Carol; Özel, Zeynep Ebrar Yetkiner; Kinay, Hüseyin
There has been considerable interest in cognitive load in recent years, but the effect of affective load and its relationship to mental functioning has not received as much attention. In order to investigate the effects of affective stimuli on cognitive function as manifest in the ability to remember foreign language vocabulary, two groups of…
Shen, Zeqian; Ma, Kwan-Liu; Eliassi-Rad, Tina
Social network analysis is an active area of study beyond sociology. It uncovers the invisible relationships between actors in a network and provides understanding of social processes and behaviors. It has become an important technique in a variety of application areas such as the Web, organizational studies, and homeland security. This paper presents a visual analytics tool, OntoVis, for understanding large, heterogeneous social networks, in which nodes and links could represent different concepts and relations, respectively. These concepts and relations are related through an ontology (also known as a schema). OntoVis is named such because it uses information in the ontology associated with a social network to semantically prune a large, heterogeneous network. In addition to semantic abstraction, OntoVis also allows users to do structural abstraction and importance filtering to make large networks manageable and to facilitate analytic reasoning. All these unique capabilities of OntoVis are illustrated with several case studies.
Serchi, V.; Peruzzi, A.; Cereatti, A.; Della Croce, U.
The knowledge of the visual strategies adopted while walking in cognitively engaging environments is extremely valuable. Analyzing gaze when a treadmill and a virtual reality environment are used as motor rehabilitation tools is therefore critical. Being completely unobtrusive, remote eye-trackers are the most appropriate way to measure the point of gaze. Still, the point of gaze measurements are affected by experimental conditions such as head range of motion and visual stimuli. This study assesses the usability limits and measurement reliability of a remote eye-tracker during treadmill walking while visual stimuli are projected. During treadmill walking, the head remained within the remote eye-tracker workspace. Generally, the quality of the point of gaze measurements declined as the distance from the remote eye-tracker increased and data loss occurred for large gaze angles. The stimulus location (a dot-target) did not influence the point of gaze accuracy, precision, and trackability during both standing and walking. Similar results were obtained when the dot-target was replaced by a static or moving 2D target and “region of interest” analysis was applied. These findings foster the feasibility of the use of a remote eye-tracker for the analysis of gaze during treadmill walking in virtual reality environments. PMID:26904671
Serchi, V; Peruzzi, A; Cereatti, A; Della Croce, U
The knowledge of the visual strategies adopted while walking in cognitively engaging environments is extremely valuable. Analyzing gaze when a treadmill and a virtual reality environment are used as motor rehabilitation tools is therefore critical. Being completely unobtrusive, remote eye-trackers are the most appropriate way to measure the point of gaze. Still, the point of gaze measurements are affected by experimental conditions such as head range of motion and visual stimuli. This study assesses the usability limits and measurement reliability of a remote eye-tracker during treadmill walking while visual stimuli are projected. During treadmill walking, the head remained within the remote eye-tracker workspace. Generally, the quality of the point of gaze measurements declined as the distance from the remote eye-tracker increased and data loss occurred for large gaze angles. The stimulus location (a dot-target) did not influence the point of gaze accuracy, precision, and trackability during both standing and walking. Similar results were obtained when the dot-target was replaced by a static or moving 2D target and "region of interest" analysis was applied. These findings foster the feasibility of the use of a remote eye-tracker for the analysis of gaze during treadmill walking in virtual reality environments.
Seemüller, A; Müller, E M; Rösler, F
We investigated EEG-power and EEG-coherence changes in a unimodal and a crossmodal matching-to-sample working memory task with either visual or kinesthetic stimuli. Angle-shaped trajectories were used as stimuli presented either as a moving dot on a screen or as a passive movement of a haptic device. Effects were evaluated during the different phases of encoding, maintenance, and recognition. Alpha power was modulated during encoding by the stimulus modality, and in crossmodal conditions during encoding and maintenance by the expected modality of the upcoming test stimulus. These power modulations were observed over modality-specific cortex regions. Systematic changes of coherence for crossmodal compared to unimodal tasks were not observed during encoding and maintenance but only during recognition. There, coherence in the theta-band increased between electrode sites over left central and occipital cortex areas in the crossmodal compared to the unimodal conditions. The results underline the importance of modality-specific representations and processes in unimodal and crossmodal working memory tasks. Crossmodal recognition of visually and kinesthetically presented object features seems to be related to a direct interaction of somatosensory/motor and visual cortex regions by means of long-range synchronization in the theta-band and such interactions seem to take place at the beginning of the recognition phase, i.e. when crossmodal transfer is actually necessary.
Weber, Gunther H.; Rübel, Oliver; Huang, Min-Yu; DePace, Angela H.; Fowlkes, Charless C.; Keränen, Soile V. E.; Luengo Hendriks, Cris L.; Hagen, Hans; Knowles, David W.; Malik, Jitendra; Biggin, Mark D.; Hamann, Bernd
During animal development, complex patterns of gene expression provide positional information within the embryo. To better understand the underlying gene regulatory networks, the Berkeley Drosophila Transcription Network Project (BDTNP) has developed methods that support quantitative computational analysis of three-dimensional (3D) gene expression in early Drosophila embryos at cellular resolution. We introduce PointCloudXplore, an interactive visualization tool that supports visual exploration of relationships between different genes’ expression using a combination of established visualization techniques. Two aspects of gene expression are of particular interest: (i) gene expression patterns defined by the spatial locations of cells expressing a gene, and (ii) relationships between the expression levels of multiple genes. PointCloudXplore provides users with two corresponding classes of data views: (i) Physical Views based on the spatial relationships of cells in the embryo, and (ii) Abstract Views that discard spatial information and plot expression levels of multiple genes with respect to each other. Cell Selectors highlight data associated with subsets of embryo cells within a View. Using linking, these selected cells can be viewed in multiple representations. We describe PCX as a 3D gene expression visualization tool and provide examples of how it has been used by BDTNP biologists to generate new hypotheses. PMID:19407353
Weber, Gunther H; Rübel, Oliver; Huang, Min-Yu; DePace, Angela H; Fowlkes, Charless C; Keränen, Soile V E; Luengo Hendriks, Cris L; Hagen, Hans; Knowles, David W; Malik, Jitendra; Biggin, Mark D; Hamann, Bernd
During animal development, complex patterns of gene expression provide positional information within the embryo. To better understand the underlying gene regulatory networks, the Berkeley Drosophila Transcription Network Project (BDTNP) has developed methods that support quantitative computational analysis of three-dimensional (3D) gene expression in early Drosophila embryos at cellular resolution. We introduce PointCloudXplore (PCX), an interactive visualization tool that supports visual exploration of relationships between different genes' expression using a combination of established visualization techniques. Two aspects of gene expression are of particular interest: 1) gene expression patterns defined by the spatial locations of cells expressing a gene and 2) relationships between the expression levels of multiple genes. PCX provides users with two corresponding classes of data views: 1) Physical Views based on the spatial relationships of cells in the embryo and 2) Abstract Views that discard spatial information and plot expression levels of multiple genes with respect to each other. Cell Selectors highlight data associated with subsets of embryo cells within a View. Using linking, these selected cells can be viewed in multiple representations. We describe PCX as a 3D gene expression visualization tool and provide examples of how it has been used by BDTNP biologists to generate new hypotheses.
Martini, Nicola; Menicucci, Danilo; Sebastiani, Laura; Bedini, Remo; Pingitore, Alessandro; Vanello, Nicola; Milanesi, Matteo; Landini, Luigi; Gemignani, Angelo
Many electroencephalographic (EEG) studies on the cortical dynamics induced by unpleasant picture viewing demonstrated the modulation of event-related potentials (ERPs) components as a function of valence and the increase of gamma band responses to emotional stimuli; while only a few studies investigated phase synchronization phenomena such as inter-trial or between regions phase locking of gamma responses to emotional stimulation. The aim of this study was to provide a complete description of the cortical dynamics induced by unpleasant and neutral pictures viewing, from the ERP averages to gamma rhythm modulation, and its phase synchronization. Gamma rhythm modulation was estimated by the event-related synchronization (ERS) approach, and phase synchrony between trials and between cortical regions was studied by extending the phase-locking statistics (PLS) approach. Consistent with previous literature, an increase in P300 and late positive potential and an increase in gamma activity during viewing of unpleasant pictures as compared to neutral ones were found. No inter-trial synchronization was evoked by the stimuli, whereas widespread phase locking between sites was identified. In particular, differences in gamma synchronization between unpleasant and neutral stimuli were found. Specifically, at early (0-250 ms) lags from stimulus onset, in the 38-45 Hz gamma interval, stronger inter-site synchronizations for the unpleasant stimuli, even though quite widespread across the scalp, mainly involved the interhemispheric synchronization between temporal and frontal regions. In contrast, in the 30-37 Hz gamma interval, stronger synchronizations for the responses to neutral trials were found in the 500-750 time interval, mainly involving the temporo-parietal regions. These findings suggest that the full elaboration of unpleasant stimuli requires a tight interhemispheric communication between temporal and frontal regions that is realized by means of phase synchronization at
Tokro, P G; Saxena, K N
The orientational responses of 4th instar larvae of Chilo partellus to different sources of stimuli being artificial diet, leaves and stems of maize and sorghum were tested, under free choice and no-choice situations. Larvae were attracted to maize and sorghum in a moderate to high degree dependent on what choice they were given. The orientational preference of the larvae, offered a choice between the visual and the odour sources, depended upon their stimulating capacities which were represented by the percentages of individuals responding to the sources of stimuli. Odour played a greater role than visual stimuli in this close range attraction when the two competed with each other.
Zilioli, Samuele; Ponzi, Davide; Henry, Andrea; Kubicki, Konrad; Nickels, Nora; Wilson, M Claire; Maestripieri, Dario
Men's testosterone may be an important physiological mechanism mediating motivational and behavioral aspects of the mating/parenting trade-off not only over time but also in terms of stable differences between mating-oriented and parenting-oriented individuals. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that self-reported interest in babies is inversely related to testosterone reactivity to cues of short-term mating among heterosexual young men. Among 100 participants, interest in babies was related to a slow life-history strategy, as assessed by the Mini-K questionnaire, and negatively related to testosterone responses to an erotic video. Interest in babies was not associated with baseline testosterone levels or with testosterone reactivity to nonsexual social stimuli. These results provide the first evidence that differential testosterone reactivity to sexual stimuli may be an important aspect of individual differences in life-history strategies among human males.
Ngo, Mary Kim; Spence, Charles
Presenting an auditory or tactile cue in temporal synchrony with a change in the color of a visual target can facilitate participants' visual search performance. In the present study, we compared the magnitude of unimodal auditory, vibrotactile, and bimodal (i.e., multisensory) cuing benefits when the nonvisual cues were presented in temporal synchrony with the changing of the target's color (Experiments 1 and 2). The target (a horizontal or vertical line segment) was presented among a number of distractors (tilted line segments) that also changed color at various times. In Experiments 3 and 4, the cues were also made spatially informative with regard to the location of the visual target. The unimodal and bimodal cues gave rise to an equivalent (significant) facilitation of participants' visual search performance relative to a no-cue baseline condition. Making the unimodal auditory and vibrotactile cues spatially informative produced further performance improvements (on validly cued trials), as compared with cues that were spatially uninformative or otherwise spatially invalid. A final experiment was conducted in order to determine whether cue location (close to versus far from the visual display) would influence participants' visual search performance. Auditory cues presented close to the visual search display were found to produce significantly better performance than cues presented over headphones. Taken together, these results have implications for the design of nonvisual and multisensory warning signals used in complex visual displays.
Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan
Research investigating the effects of action video game experience on cognition has demonstrated a host of performance improvements on a variety of basic tasks. Given the prevailing evidence that these benefits result from efficient control of attentional processes, there has been growing interest in using action video games as a general tool to enhance everyday attentional control. However, to date, there is little evidence indicating that the benefits of action video game playing scale up to complex settings with socially meaningful stimuli - one of the fundamental components of our natural environment. The present experiment compared action video game player (AVGP) and non-video game player (NVGP) performance on an oculomotor capture task that presented participants with face stimuli. In addition, the expression of a distractor face was manipulated to assess if action video game experience modulated the effect of emotion. Results indicate that AVGPs experience less oculomotor capture than NVGPs; an effect that was not influenced by the emotional content depicted by distractor faces. It is noteworthy that this AVGP advantage emerged despite participants being unaware that the investigation had to do with video game playing, and participants being equivalent in their motivation and treatment of the task as a game. The results align with the notion that action video game experience is associated with superior attentional and oculomotor control, and provides evidence that these benefits can generalize to more complex and biologically relevant stimuli.
Leontiev, Oleg; Buracas, Giedrius T.; Liang, Christine; Ances, Beau M.; Perthen, Joanna E.; Shmuel, Amir; Buxton, Richard B.
The ratio of the changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) during brain activation is a critical determinant of the magnitude of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Cytochrome oxidase (CO), a key component of oxidative metabolism in the mitochondria, is non-uniformly distributed in visual area V1 in distinct blob and interblob regions, suggesting significant spatial variation in the capacity for oxygen metabolism. The goal of this study was to test whether CBF/CMRO2 coupling differed when these subpopulations of neurons were preferentially stimulated, using chromatic and luminance stimuli to preferentially stimulate either the blob or interblob regions. A dual-echo spiral arterial spin labeling (ASL) technique was used to measure CBF and BOLD responses simultaneously in 7 healthy human subjects. When the stimulus contrast levels were adjusted to evoke similar CBF responses (mean 65.4%±19.0% and 64.6%±19.9%, respectively for chromatic and luminance contrast), the BOLD responses were remarkably similar (1.57%±0.39% and 1.59%±0.35%) for both types of stimuli. We conclude that CBF-CMRO2 coupling is conserved for the chromatic and luminance stimuli used, suggesting a consistent coupling for blob and inter-blob neuronal populations despite the difference in CO concentration. PMID:23238435
Leontiev, Oleg; Buracas, Giedrius T; Liang, Christine; Ances, Beau M; Perthen, Joanna E; Shmuel, Amir; Buxton, Richard B
The ratio of the changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)) during brain activation is a critical determinant of the magnitude of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Cytochrome oxidase (CO), a key component of oxidative metabolism in the mitochondria, is non-uniformly distributed in visual area V1 in distinct blob and interblob regions, suggesting significant spatial variation in the capacity for oxygen metabolism. The goal of this study was to test whether CBF/CMRO(2) coupling differed when these subpopulations of neurons were preferentially stimulated, using chromatic and luminance stimuli to preferentially stimulate either the blob or interblob regions. A dual-echo spiral arterial spin labeling (ASL) technique was used to measure CBF and BOLD responses simultaneously in 7 healthy human subjects. When the stimulus contrast levels were adjusted to evoke similar CBF responses (mean 65.4% ± 19.0% and 64.6% ± 19.9%, respectively for chromatic and luminance contrast), the BOLD responses were remarkably similar (1.57% ± 0.39% and 1.59% ± 0.35%) for both types of stimuli. We conclude that CBF-CMRO(2) coupling is conserved for the chromatic and luminance stimuli used, suggesting a consistent coupling for blob and inter-blob neuronal populations despite the difference in CO concentration.
Rauschecker, Andreas M; Bestmann, Sven; Walsh, Vincent; Thilo, Kai V
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the occipital lobe is frequently used to induce visual percepts by direct stimulation of visual cortex. The threshold magnetic field strength necessary to elicit a visual percept is often regarded as a measure of electrical excitability of visual cortex. Using single-pulse TMS during visual motion stimulus presentation, we investigated the relationship between different degrees of visual cortical preactivation and cortical phosphene threshold (PT). The two possible, mutually exclusive, predictions on the outcome of this experiment were that a) PT increases with stronger preactivation because of a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio, or b) that PT decreases with increased preactivation because of the increase in neuronal response towards some threshold. PTs for single-pulse stimulation of the occipital lobe were determined for eight subjects while they passively viewed a horizontally drifting luminance-modulated sinewave grating. Gratings used were of four different luminance contrasts while the spatial and temporal frequencies remained constant. PTs were shown to increase significantly as the background grating increased in contrast. These results suggest that the neural activity underlying the perception of a phosphene can be considered a type of signal that can be partially masked by another signal, in this case the visual cortical activation produced by passive viewing of drifting gratings.
Yang, Lei; Tian, Jie; Wang, Xiaoxiang; Hu, Jin
The comprehensive understanding of human emotion processing needs consideration both in the spatial distribution and the temporal sequencing of neural activity. The aim of our work is to identify brain regions involved in emotional recognition as well as to follow the time sequence in the millisecond-range resolution. The effect of activation upon visual stimuli in different gender by International Affective Picture System (IAPS) has been examined. Hemodynamic and electrophysiological responses were measured in the same subjects. Both fMRI and ERP study were employed in an event-related study. fMRI have been obtained with 3.0 T Siemens Magnetom whole-body MRI scanner. 128-channel ERP data were recorded using an EGI system. ERP is sensitive to millisecond changes in mental activity, but the source localization and timing is limited by the ill-posed 'inversed' problem. We try to investigate the ERP source reconstruction problem in this study using fMRI constraint. We chose ICA as a pre-processing step of ERP source reconstruction to exclude the artifacts and provide a prior estimate of the number of dipoles. The results indicate that male and female show differences in neural mechanism during emotion visual stimuli.
Birkett, Emma E.; Talcott, Joel B.
Motor timing tasks have been employed in studies of neurodevelopmental disorders such as developmental dyslexia and ADHD, where they provide an index of temporal processing ability. Investigations of these disorders have used different stimulus parameters within the motor timing tasks that are likely to affect performance measures. Here we assessed the effect of auditory and visual pacing stimuli on synchronised motor timing performance and its relationship with cognitive and behavioural predictors that are commonly used in the diagnosis of these highly prevalent developmental disorders. Twenty-one children (mean age 9.6 years) completed a finger tapping task in two stimulus conditions, together with additional psychometric measures. As anticipated, synchronisation to the beat (ISI 329 ms) was less accurate in the visually paced condition. Decomposition of timing variance indicated that this effect resulted from differences in the way that visual and auditory paced tasks are processed by central timekeeping and associated peripheral implementation systems. The ability to utilise an efficient processing strategy on the visual task correlated with both reading and sustained attention skills. Dissociations between these patterns of relationship across task modality suggest that not all timing tasks are equivalent. PMID:22900054
Birkett, Emma E; Talcott, Joel B
Motor timing tasks have been employed in studies of neurodevelopmental disorders such as developmental dyslexia and ADHD, where they provide an index of temporal processing ability. Investigations of these disorders have used different stimulus parameters within the motor timing tasks that are likely to affect performance measures. Here we assessed the effect of auditory and visual pacing stimuli on synchronised motor timing performance and its relationship with cognitive and behavioural predictors that are commonly used in the diagnosis of these highly prevalent developmental disorders. Twenty-one children (mean age 9.6 years) completed a finger tapping task in two stimulus conditions, together with additional psychometric measures. As anticipated, synchronisation to the beat (ISI 329 ms) was less accurate in the visually paced condition. Decomposition of timing variance indicated that this effect resulted from differences in the way that visual and auditory paced tasks are processed by central timekeeping and associated peripheral implementation systems. The ability to utilise an efficient processing strategy on the visual task correlated with both reading and sustained attention skills. Dissociations between these patterns of relationship across task modality suggest that not all timing tasks are equivalent.
Thilo, Kai V; Kleinschmidt, Andreas; Gresty, Michael A
In a previous functional neuroimaging study we found that early visual areas deactivated when a rotating optical flow stimulus elicited the illusion of self-motion (vection) compared with when it was perceived as a moving object. Here, we investigated whether electrical cortical responses to an independent central visual probe stimulus change as a function of whether optical flow stimulation in the periphery induces the illusion of self-motion or not. Visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) were obtained in response to pattern-reversals in the central visual field in the presence of a constant peripheral large-field optokinetic stimulus that rotated around the naso-occipital axis and induced intermittent sensations of vection. As control, VEPs were also recorded during a stationary peripheral stimulus and showed no difference than those obtained during optokinetic stimulation. The VEPs during constant peripheral stimulation were then divided into two groups according to the time spans where the subjects reported object- or self-motion, respectively. The N70 VEP component showed a significant amplitude reduction when, due to the peripheral stimulus, subjects experienced self-motion compared to when the peripheral stimulus was perceived as object-motion. This finding supplements and corroborates our recent evidence from functional neuroimaging that early visual cortex deactivates when a visual flow stimulus elicits the illusion of self-motion compared with when the same sensory input is interpreted as object-motion. This dampened responsiveness might reflect a redistribution of sensorial and attentional resources when the monitoring of self-motion relies on a sustained and veridical processing of optic flow and may be compromised by other sources of visual input.
Wang, Mengxing; Su, Jingjing; Zhang, Jilei; Zhao, Ying; Yao, Qian; Zhang, Qiting; Zhang, Hui; Wang, Shuo; Li, Ge-Fei; Liu, Jian-Ren; Du, Xiaoxia
Migraines are a common and undertreated disease and often have psychiatric comorbidities; however, the abnormal mechanism of emotional processing in migraine patients has not been well clarified. This study sought to investigate the different brain functional activation to neutral, positive and negative emotional stimuli between migraine and healthy subjects. Twenty-six adults with migraines and 26 healthy adults, group-matched for sex and age, participated in this experiment. Although there were no significant differences between two groups during the viewing of positive affective pictures vs. neutral affective pictures, there were different activation patterns during the viewing of negative to neutral affective pictures in the two groups; the control group showed both increased and decreased activation patterns, while the migraine subjects showed only increased activation. Negative affective pictures elicited stronger activation than neutral affective pictures in migraineurs, which included the bilateral cerebellum anterior lobe/culmen, the bilateral lingual gyri, the bilateral precuneus and the left cuneus. Our data indicated that migraine patients were hypersensitive to negative stimuli, which might provide clues to aid in the understanding of the pathophysiology and psychiatric comorbidities of migraines. PMID:28181500
Dominick, Wayne D. (Editor); Chum, Frank Y.; Gallagher, Suzy; Granier, Martin; Hall, Philip P.; Moreau, Dennis R.; Triantafyllopoulos, Spiros
This Working Paper Series entry represents the abstracts and visuals associated with presentations delivered by six USL NASA/RECON research team members at the above named conference. The presentations highlight various aspects of NASA contract activities pursued by the participants as they relate to individual research projects. The titles of the six presentations are as follows: (1) The Specification and Design of a Distributed Workstation; (2) An Innovative, Multidisciplinary Educational Program in Interactive Information Storage and Retrieval; (3) Critical Comparative Analysis of the Major Commercial IS and R Systems; (4) Design Criteria for a PC-Based Common User Interface to Remote Information Systems; (5) The Design of an Object-Oriented Graphics Interface; and (6) Knowledge-Based Information Retrieval: Techniques and Applications.
Vierheilig, Nina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Polak, Thomas; Herrmann, Martin J
Both functional imaging or EEG studies and studies including neurological patients found the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC) to be an important brain area for the processing of emotion and attention. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether emotion and attention can be modulated through bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the dLPFC. Therefore, we measured electroencephalographic occipital (early posterior negativity, EPN) and parietal ERPs (late positive potential, LPP) during an emotional picture viewing paradigm with an additional attentional instruction while applying bilateral anodal and cathodal tDC-stimulation to the left and right dLPFC. Beyond the well-known emotion and attention effects for both EPN and LPP, we found that left cathodal/right anodal tDCS leads to increased LPP amplitudes to target stimuli. In contrast to our hypothesis bilateral tDCS over the dLPFC did not influence emotional processing.
Combinations of female wingbeat acoustic cues and visual cues were evaluated to determine their potential for use in male Aedes aegypti (L.) traps in peridomestic environments. A modified Centers for Disease control (CDC) light trap using a 350-500 Hz frequency-sweep broadcast from a speaker as an a...
Kensinger, Elizabeth A.; Garoff-Eaton, Rachel J.; Schacter, Daniel L.
Two different types of trade-offs have been discussed with regard to memory for emotional information: A trade-off in the ability to remember the gist versus the visual detail of emotional information, and a trade-off in the ability to remember the central emotional elements of an event versus the nonemotional (peripheral) elements of that same…
Kim, Jeesun; Davis, Chris; Burnham, Denis; Luksaneeyanawin, Sudaporn
The current research examined performance of good and poor readers of Thai on two tasks that assess sensitivity to dynamic visual displays. Readers of Thai, a complex alphabetic script that nonetheless has a regular orthography, were chosen in order to contrast patterns of performance with readers of Korean Hangul (a similarly regular language but…
Grewe, Oliver; Katzur, Bjorn; Kopiez, Reinhard; Altenmuller, Eckart
"Chills" (frisson manifested as goose bumps or shivers) have been used in an increasing number of studies as indicators of emotions in response to music (e.g., Craig, 2005; Guhn, Hamm, & Zentner, 2007; McCrae, 2007; Panksepp, 1995; Sloboda, 1991). In this study we present evidence that chills can be induced through aural, visual, tactile, and…
Ochs, Christopher; Perl, Yehoshua; Geller, James; Haendel, Melissa; Brush, Matthew; Arabandi, Sivaram; Tu, Samson
Biomedical ontologies are a critical component in biomedical research and practice. As an ontology evolves, its structure and content change in response to additions, deletions and updates. When editing a biomedical ontology, small local updates may affect large portions of the ontology, leading to unintended and potentially erroneous changes. Such unwanted side effects often go unnoticed since biomedical ontologies are large and complex knowledge structures. Abstraction networks, which provide compact summaries of an ontology's content and structure, have been used to uncover structural irregularities, inconsistencies and errors in ontologies. In this paper, we introduce Diff Abstraction Networks ("Diff AbNs"), compact networks that summarize and visualize global structural changes due to ontology editing operations that result in a new ontology release. A Diff AbN can be used to support curators in identifying unintended and unwanted ontology changes. The derivation of two Diff AbNs, the Diff Area Taxonomy and the Diff Partial-area Taxonomy, is explained and Diff Partial-area Taxonomies are derived and analyzed for the Ontology of Clinical Research, Sleep Domain Ontology, and eagle-i Research Resource Ontology. Diff Taxonomy usage for identifying unintended erroneous consequences of quality assurance and ontology merging are demonstrated.
Koide, Naoko; Kubo, Takatomi; Nishida, Satoshi; Shibata, Tomohiro; Ikeda, Kazushi
When viewing a painting, artists perceive more information from the painting on the basis of their experience and knowledge than art novices do. This difference can be reflected in eye scan paths during viewing of paintings. Distributions of scan paths of artists are different from those of novices even when the paintings contain no figurative object (i.e. abstract paintings). There are two possible explanations for this difference of scan paths. One is that artists have high sensitivity to high-level features such as textures and composition of colors and therefore their fixations are more driven by such features compared with novices. The other is that fixations of artists are more attracted by salient features than those of novices and the fixations are driven by low-level features. To test these, we measured eye fixations of artists and novices during the free viewing of various abstract paintings and compared the distribution of their fixations for each painting with a topological attentional map that quantifies the conspicuity of low-level features in the painting (i.e. saliency map). We found that the fixation distribution of artists was more distinguishable from the saliency map than that of novices. This difference indicates that fixations of artists are less driven by low-level features than those of novices. Our result suggests that artists may extract visual information from paintings based on high-level features. This ability of artists may be associated with artists’ deep aesthetic appreciation of paintings. PMID:25658327
limbs for presentation of somatic stimuli. Each hamster’s eyes were covered with clear contact lenses to prevent corneal drying. The eyelids were held...the visual topography of the superior colliculus was basically the same as for other mammalian species (see above, PHYSIOLOGY). Mapping a visual...visual space. This topography is described in greater detail for the hamster by Tiao and Blakemorel1 3 and Finlay et. al. 22 for the mouse by Drager
Kihara, Ken; Takeuchi, Tatsuto; Yoshimoto, Sanae; Kondo, Hirohito M; Kawahara, Jun I
It has been argued that attentional processing of visual stimuli is facilitated by a voluntary action that triggers the stimulus onset. However, the relationship between action-induced facilitation of attention and the neural substrates has not been well established. The present study investigated whether the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA) system is involved in this facilitation effect. A rapid serial visual presentation paradigm was used to assess the dynamics of transient attention in humans. Participants were instructed to change a digit stream to a letter stream by pressing a button and specifying successive targets of four letters. Pupil dilation was measured as an index of LC-NA function. Accuracy of target identification was better when the temporal delay between participants' key press and target onset was 800 ms than when targets appeared just after the key press or when targets appeared without key press. Accuracy of target identification was positively correlated with both the peak amplitude of pupil dilation and the pupil size at the time of the key press. These results indicate that target identification in the visual task is closely linked to pupil dilation. We conclude that the LC-NA system plays an important role in the facilitation of transient attention driven by voluntary action.
have the same punctate spatial spectrum. A basic premise of our original Proposal was that finite band noise masking was more effective than very narrow...band or coherent masking. Our basic experiments have already confirmed this. For example, if a Subject cannot distinguish between patterns composed...relation for resolution in orientation, spatial frequency, and space optimized by two- dimensional visul filters. Fifth European Conference on Visual
Dumenko, V N; Kozlov, M K
The dynamics of power of short-term (0.8 s) induced responses to facial stimuli (wavelet transform in the 15-60 Hz band) were assessed in the study of the visual cognitive set under conditions of different loads on working memory in two groups of subjects. Subjects of the first group had to react only to facial stimuli (n = 29), whereas the second group solved an additional task loading the working memory (they had to find a target stimulus in a matrix of letters, n = 35). We estimated wavelet spectra in the occipital, temporal, central and frontal areas of both hemispheres. In both groups of subjects with the plastic form of set, the power level in the gamma2 band (41-60 Hz) was significantly higher than in subject with the rigid form. In group A at the set-testing stage, the largest increase in the gamma2 band was related to the central areas of the left hemisphere. In more complex situation (group ), the increase in power in the gamma2 and gamma1 (21-40 Hz) bands was observed in the occipital and temporal areas of both hemispheres. At the same time, the EEG power of the central areas in these gamma bands was significantly lower. In the frontal areas there were no significant differences in the dynamics of power between the subjects of both groups.
Patching, Geoffrey R; Englund, Mats P; Hellström, Ake
Despite the importance of both response probability and response time for testing models of choice, there is a dearth of chronometric studies examining systematic asymmetries that occur over time- and space-orders in the method of paired comparisons. In this study, systematic asymmetries in discriminating the magnitude of paired visual stimuli are examined by way of log odds ratios of binary responses as well as by signed response speed. Hierarchical Bayesian modeling is used to map response probabilities and response speed onto constituent psychological process, and processing capacity is also assessed using response time distribution hazard functions. The findings include characteristic order effects that change systematically in magnitude and direction with changes in the magnitude and separation of the stimuli. After Hellström (1979, 2000), sensation weighting (SW) model analyses show that such order effects are reflected in the weighted accumulation of noisy information about the difference between stimulus values over time, and interindividual differences in weightings asymmetries are related to the relative processing capacity of participants. An account of SW based on the use of reference level information and maximization of signal-to-noise ratios is posited, which finds support from theoretically driven analyses of behavioral data.
Frantzidis, Christos A; Bratsas, Charalampos; Papadelis, Christos L; Konstantinidis, Evdokimos; Pappas, Costas; Bamidis, Panagiotis D
This paper proposes a methodology for the robust classification of neurophysiological data into four emotional states collected during passive viewing of emotional evocative pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System. The proposed classification model is formed according to the current neuroscience trends, since it adopts the independency of two emotional dimensions, namely arousal and valence, as dictated by the bidirectional emotion theory, whereas it is gender-specific. A two-step classification procedure is proposed for the discrimination of emotional states between EEG signals evoked by pleasant and unpleasant stimuli, which also vary in their arousal/intensity levels. The first classification level involves the arousal discrimination. The valence discrimination is then performed. The Mahalanobis (MD) distance-based classifier and support vector machines (SVMs) were used for the discrimination of emotions. The achieved overall classification rates were 79.5% and 81.3% for the MD and SVM, respectively, significantly higher than in previous studies. The robust classification of objective emotional measures is the first step toward numerous applications within the sphere of human-computer interaction.
Kessel, Dominique; Carboni, Alejandra; López-Martín, Sara; Albert, Jacobo; Tapia, Manuel; Mercado, Francisco; Capilla, Almudena; Hinojosa, José A.
The capacity of the two types of non-symbolic emotional stimuli most widely used in research on affective processes, faces and (non-facial) emotional scenes, to capture exogenous attention, was compared. Negative, positive and neutral faces and affective scenes were presented as distracters to 34 participants while they carried out a demanding digit categorization task. Behavioral (reaction times and number of errors) and electrophysiological (event-related potentials—ERPs) indices of exogenous attention were analyzed. Globally, facial expressions and emotional scenes showed similar capabilities to attract exogenous attention. Electrophysiologically, attentional capture was reflected in the P2a component of ERPs at the scalp level, and in left precentral areas at the source level. Negatively charged faces and scenes elicited maximal P2a/precentral gyrus activity. In the case of scenes, this negativity bias was also evident at the behavioral level. Additionally, a specific effect of facial distracters was observed in N170 at the scalp level, and in the fusiform gyrus and inferior parietal lobule at the source level. This effect revealed maximal attention to positive expressions. This facial positivity offset was also observed at the behavioral level. Taken together, the present results indicate that faces and non-facial scenes elicit partially different and, to some extent, complementary exogenous attention mechanisms. PMID:22689218
Kellermann, Thilo; Scholle, Ruben; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute
Recent views of information processing in the (human) brain emphasize the hierarchical structure of the central nervous system, which is assumed to form the basis of a functional hierarchy. Hierarchical predictive processing refers to the notion that higher levels try to predict activity in lower areas, while lower levels transmit a prediction error up the hierarchy whenever the predictions fail. The present study aims at testing hypothetical modulatory effects of unpredictable visual motion on forward connectivities within the visual cortex. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was acquired from 35 healthy volunteers while viewing a moving ball under three different levels of predictability. In two different runs subjects were asked to attend to direction changes in the ball's motion, where a button-press was required in one of these runs only. Dynamic causal modeling was applied to a network comprising V1, V5 and posterior parietal cortex in the right hemisphere. The winning model of a Bayesian model selection indicated an enhanced strength in the forward connection from V1 to V5 with decreasing predictability for the run requiring motor response. These results support the notion of hierarchical predictive processing in the sense of an augmented bottom-up transmission of prediction error with increasing uncertainty about motion direction. This finding may be of importance for promoting our understanding of trait characteristics in psychiatric disorders, as an increased forward propagation of prediction error is assumed to underlie schizophrenia and may be observable at early stages of the disease.
Masseck, Olivia Andrea; Hoffmann, Klaus-Peter
Single-unit recordings were performed from a retinorecipient pretectal area (corpus geniculatum laterale) in Scyliorhinus canicula. The function and homology of this nucleus has not been clarified so far. During visual stimulation with a random dot pattern, 45 (35%) neurons were found to be direction selective, 10 (8%) were axis selective (best neuronal responses to rotations in both directions around one particular stimulus axis), and 75 (58%) were movement sensitive. Direction-selective responses were found to the following stimulus directions (in retinal coordinates): temporonasal and nasotemporal horizontal movements, up- and downward vertical movements, and oblique movements. All directions of motion were represented equally by our sample of pretectal neurons. Additionally we tested the responses of 58 of the 130 neurons to random dot patterns rotating around the semicircular canal or body axes to investigate whether direction-selective visual information is mapped into vestibular coordinates in pretectal neurons of this chondrichthyan species. Again all rotational directions were represented equally, which argues against a direct transformation from a retinal to a vestibular reference frame. If a complete transformation had occurred, responses to rotational axes corresponding to the axes of the semicircular canals should have been overrepresented. In conclusion, the recorded direction-selective neurons in the Cgl are plausible detectors for retinal slip created by body rotations in all directions.
Thompson, R R; Moore, F L
Previous studies have found that vasotocin (AVT) administration to male roughskin newts (Taricha granulosa) enhances courtship clasping as well as appetitive responses to specific sexual stimuli and that treating female newts with androgens plus AVT induces the expression of male-typical courtship clasping (the selective clasping of females). However, the unique and/or interactive effects of sex steroids and AVT on appetitive responses to specific sexual stimuli have not yet been determined. To first identify male-typical, sexually dimorphic appetitive responses to female sexual stimuli, we tested intact newts during the breeding season and found that males, but not females, are attracted to female visual and pheromonal sexual stimuli. We then used ovariectomized (ovx) females implanted with empty silastic capsules (Blk) or with capsules containing testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), or estradiol (E2) and then injected with either saline or AVT to determine the effects of steroids and AVT, alone or in combination with each other, on male-typical behavioral responses to those stimuli. E2 treatment depressed responses toward female visual stimuli independently of AVT. On the other hand, only T-implanted, AVT-injected females displayed male-typical behavioral responses toward female olfactory stimuli, preferring to spend more time in proximity to female-scented than unscented newt models and selectively clasping the female-scented models. Together, these results support the conclusion that sex steroids and AVT influence behavioral responses to sexual stimuli via sensory-specific mechanisms. Furthermore, they suggest that T and AVT interact within the brain to influence sensorimotor processing in the pathways that integrate olfactory sexual stimuli into male-typical courtship behaviors.
Song, Sutao; Chen, Gongxiang; Zhan, Yu; Zhang, Jiacai; Yao, Li
Recently, sparse algorithms, such as Sparse Multinomial Logistic Regression (SMLR), have been successfully applied in decoding visual information from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, where the contrast of visual stimuli was predicted by a classifier. The contrast classifier combined brain activities of voxels with sparse weights. For sparse algorithms, the goal is to learn a classifier whose weights distributed as sparse as possible by introducing some prior belief about the weights. There are two ways to introduce a sparse prior constraints for weights: the Automatic Relevance Determination (ARD-SMLR) and Laplace prior (LAP-SMLR). In this paper, we presented comparison results between the ARD-SMLR and LAP-SMLR models in computational time, classification accuracy and voxel selection. Results showed that, for fMRI data, no significant difference was found in classification accuracy between these two methods when voxels in V1 were chosen as input features (totally 1017 voxels). As for computation time, LAP-SMLR was superior to ARD-SMLR; the survived voxels for ARD-SMLR was less than LAP-SMLR. Using simulation data, we confirmed the classification performance for the two SMLR models was sensitive to the sparsity of the initial features, when the ratio of relevant features to the initial features was larger than 0.01, ARD-SMLR outperformed LAP-SMLR; otherwise, LAP-SMLR outperformed LAP-SMLR. Simulation data showed ARD-SMLR was more efficient in selecting relevant features.
Retell, James D; Becker, Stefanie I; Remington, Roger W
In the context of visual search, surprise is the phenomenon by which a previously unseen and unexpected stimulus exogenously attracts spatial attention. Capture by such a stimulus occurs, by definition, independent of task goals and is thought to be dependent on the extent to which the stimulus deviates from expectations. However, the relative contributions of prior-exposure and explicit knowledge of an unexpected event to the surprise response have not yet been systematically investigated. Here observers searched for a specific color while ignoring irrelevant cues of different colors presented prior to the target display. After a brief familiarization period, we presented an irrelevant motion cue to elicit surprise. Across conditions we varied prior exposure to the motion stimulus - seen versus unseen - and top-down expectations of occurrence - expected versus unexpected - to assess the extent to which each of these factors contributes to surprise. We found no attenuation of the surprise response when observers were pre-exposed to the motion cue and or had explicit knowledge of its occurrence. Our results show that it is neither sufficient nor necessary that a stimulus be new and unannounced to elicit surprise and suggest that the expectations that determine the surprise response are highly context specific.
Kemp, Andrew H; Gray, Marcus A; Silberstein, Richard B; Armstrong, Stuart M; Nathan, Pradeep J
The serotonergic system is one of the major systems targeted in the pharmacological treatment of a wide range of mood disorders including depression; however, little is known about the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of serotonin (5-HT) on affective phenomena including emotional behaviours, mood and emotional processing. The aim of the current study was to investigate how 5-HT acutely modulates steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP), heart rate (HR) and verbal ratings associated with the viewing of differently valent emotional images. In a randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 17 healthy subjects were tested under two acute treatment conditions: placebo and citalopram (20 mg) (a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or SSRI). Participants were tested 2 h post treatment whilst viewing 75 images (categorised as pleasant, neutral or unpleasant). Results indicate that under placebo treatment, processing of unpleasant valence [unpleasant (-) neutral images] was associated with decreases in SSVEP amplitude and latency in frontal and occipital cortices, whereas processing of pleasant valence [pleasant (-) neutral images] was associated with amplitude decreases and latency increases within frontal and left temporoparietal cortices. Decreases in both amplitude and latency are both interpreted as surrogate measures of cortical activation or excitation. Citalopram relative to placebo attenuated the electrophysiological activation to unpleasant valence within frontal and occipital cortices, but potentiated electrophysiological activation (amplitude only) to pleasant valence within parietooccipital cortices. Citalopram relative to placebo also suppressed differences in heart rate associated with the viewing of pleasant and unpleasant images, but did not alter subject's subjective responses to emotional images. Results suggest that responsiveness to pleasant and unpleasant stimuli following neurochemical modulation may vary across
Etxeberria, Ainhoa; Hokanson, Kenton C.; Dao, Dang Q.; Mayoral, Sonia R.; Mei, Feng; Redmond, Stephanie A.; Ullian, Erik M.
Myelin controls the time required for an action potential to travel from the neuronal soma to the axon terminal, defining the temporal manner in which information is processed within the CNS. The presence of myelin, the internodal length, and the thickness of the myelin sheath are powerful structural factors that control the velocity and fidelity of action potential transmission. Emerging evidence indicates that myelination is sensitive to environmental experience and neuronal activity. Activity-dependent modulation of myelination can dynamically alter action potential conduction properties but direct functional in vivo evidence and characterization of the underlying myelin changes is lacking. We demonstrate that in mice long-term monocular deprivation increases oligodendrogenesis in the retinogeniculate pathway but shortens myelin internode lengths without affecting other structural properties of myelinated fibers. We also demonstrate that genetically attenuating synaptic glutamate neurotransmission from retinal ganglion cells phenocopies the changes observed after monocular deprivation, suggesting that glutamate may constitute a signal for myelin length regulation. Importantly, we demonstrate that visual deprivation and shortened internodes are associated with a significant reduction in nerve conduction velocity in the optic nerve. Our results reveal the importance of sensory input in the building of myelinated fibers and suggest that this activity-dependent alteration of myelination is important for modifying the conductive properties of brain circuits in response to environmental experience. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Oligodendrocyte precursor cells differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes and are capable of ensheathing axons with myelin without molecular cues from neurons. However, this default myelination process can be modulated by changes in neuronal activity. Here, we show, for the first time, that experience-dependent activity modifies the length of myelin
Poirel, Nicolas; Mellet, Emmanuel; Houde, Olivier; Pineau, Arlette
This study investigated how global and local perceptual processes evolve during childhood according to the meaningfulness of the stimuli. Children had to decide whether visually presented pairs of items were identical or not. Items consisted of global forms made up of local forms. Both global and local forms could represent either objects or…
Moreno, Roxana; Ozogul, Gamze; Reisslein, Martin
In 3 experiments, we examined the effects of using concrete and/or abstract visual problem representations during instruction on students' problem-solving practice, near transfer, problem representations, and learning perceptions. In Experiments 1 and 2, novice students learned about electrical circuit analysis with an instructional program that…
Sztarker, Julieta; Tomsic, Daniel
When confronted with predators, animals are forced to take crucial decisions such as the timing and manner of escape. In the case of the crab Chasmagnathus, cumulative evidence suggests that the escape response to a visual danger stimulus (VDS) can be accounted for by the response of a group of lobula giant (LG) neurons. To further investigate this hypothesis, we examined the relationship between behavioral and neuronal activities within a variety of experimental conditions that affected the level of escape. The intensity of the escape response to VDS was influenced by seasonal variations, changes in stimulus features, and whether the crab perceived stimuli monocularly or binocularly. These experimental conditions consistently affected the response of LG neurons in a way that closely matched the effects observed at the behavioral level. In other words, the intensity of the stimulus-elicited spike activity of LG neurons faithfully reflected the intensity of the escape response. These results support the idea that the LG neurons from the lobula of crabs are deeply involved in the decision for escaping from VDS.
Dawson, Samantha J.; Chivers, Meredith L.
Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women’s gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men’s attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men’s initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women’s were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems. PMID:27088358
Woi, Pui Juan; Kaur, Sharanjeet; Waugh, Sarah J.; Hairol, Mohd Izzuddin
The human visual system is sensitive in detecting objects that have different luminance level from their background, known as first-order or luminance-modulated (LM) stimuli. We are also able to detect objects that have the same mean luminance as their background, only differing in contrast (or other attributes). Such objects are known as second-order or contrast-modulated (CM), stimuli. CM stimuli are thought to be processed in higher visual areas compared to LM stimuli, and may be more susceptible to ageing. We compared visual acuities (VA) of five healthy older adults (54.0±1.83 years old) and five healthy younger adults (25.4±1.29 years old) with LM and CM letters under monocular and binocular viewing. For monocular viewing, age had no effect on VA [F(1, 8)= 2.50, p> 0.05]. However, there was a significant main effect of age on VA under binocular viewing [F(1, 8)= 5.67, p< 0.05]. Binocular VA with CM letters in younger adults was approximately two lines better than that in older adults. For LM, binocular summation ratios were similar for older (1.16±0.21) and younger (1.15±0.06) adults. For CM, younger adults had higher binocular summation ratio (1.39±0.08) compared to older adults (1.12±0.09). Binocular viewing improved VA with LM letters for both groups similarly. However, in older adults, binocular viewing did not improve VA with CM letters as much as in younger adults. This could reflect a decline of higher visual areas due to ageing process, most likely higher than V1, which may be missed if measured with luminance-based stimuli alone. PMID:28184281
Woi, Pui Juan; Kaur, Sharanjeet; Waugh, Sarah J; Hairol, Mohd Izzuddin
The human visual system is sensitive in detecting objects that have different luminance level from their background, known as first-order or luminance-modulated (LM) stimuli. We are also able to detect objects that have the same mean luminance as their background, only differing in contrast (or other attributes). Such objects are known as second-order or contrast-modulated (CM), stimuli. CM stimuli are thought to be processed in higher visual areas compared to LM stimuli, and may be more susceptible to ageing. We compared visual acuities (VA) of five healthy older adults (54.0±1.83 years old) and five healthy younger adults (25.4±1.29 years old) with LM and CM letters under monocular and binocular viewing. For monocular viewing, age had no effect on VA [F(1, 8)= 2.50, p> 0.05]. However, there was a significant main effect of age on VA under binocular viewing [F(1, 8)= 5.67, p< 0.05]. Binocular VA with CM letters in younger adults was approximately two lines better than that in older adults. For LM, binocular summation ratios were similar for older (1.16±0.21) and younger (1.15±0.06) adults. For CM, younger adults had higher binocular summation ratio (1.39±0.08) compared to older adults (1.12±0.09). Binocular viewing improved VA with LM letters for both groups similarly. However, in older adults, binocular viewing did not improve VA with CM letters as much as in younger adults. This could reflect a decline of higher visual areas due to ageing process, most likely higher than V1, which may be missed if measured with luminance-based stimuli alone.
Bowers, Jeffrey S.; Turner, Emma L.
Two experiments assessed masked priming for words presented to the left and right visual fields in a lexical decision task. In both Experiments, the same magnitude and pattern of priming was obtained for visually similar ("kiss"-"KISS") and dissimilar ("read"-"READ") prime-target pairs. These findings…
Sarlo, Michela; Buodo, Giulia
A large body of research on gender differences in response to erotic stimuli has focused on genital and/or subjective sexual arousal. On the other hand, studies assessing gender differences in emotional psychophysiological responding to sexual stimuli have only employed erotic pictures of male-female couples or female/male nudes. The present study aimed at investigating differences between gynephilic men and androphilic women in emotional responding to visual sexual stimuli depicting female-male, female-female and male-male couples. Affective responses were explored in multiple response systems, including autonomic indices of emotional activation, i.e., heart rate and skin conductance, along with standardized measures of valence and arousal. Blood pressure was measured as an index of autonomic activation associated with sexual arousal, and free viewing times as an index of interest/avoidance. Overall, men showed gender-specific activation characterized by clearly appetitive reactions to the target of their sexual attraction (i.e., women), with physiological arousal discriminating female-female stimuli as the most effective sexual cues. In contrast, women's emotional activation to sexual stimuli was clearly non-specific in most of the considered variables, with the notable exception of the self-report measures. Overall, affective responses replicate patterns of gender-specific and gender-nonspecific sexual responses in gynephilic men and androphilic women.
Liu, B; Jin, Z; Wang, Z; Gong, C
In this study, we manipulated the temporal asynchrony between auditory and visual inputs, and contrasted event-related potentials (ERPs) evoked by multisensory stimuli with the summation of the ERPs evoked by unisensory-auditory (A) and unisensory-visual (V) stimuli with the same temporal asynchrony. Our goal was to investigate the influence of temporal asynchrony on multisensory integration. In our experiment, the auditory and visual inputs in the multisensory stimuli had a stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of -300 ms, 0 ms, or 300 ms. The results suggested that when the auditory and visual inputs were synchronous, multisensory integrations would occur in the time windows of 110-160 ms, 210-250 ms and 300-350 ms after auditory onset. When the auditory onset preceded the critical action onset by 300 ms, multisensory integrations were involved in the time windows of 110-160 ms and 300-350 ms after auditory onset. When the critical action onset preceded the auditory onset by 300 ms, multisensory integrations would occur in the time windows of 110-160 ms, 210-250 ms, 290-320 ms and 350-400 ms after auditory onset. In addition, in the time windows of 110-160 ms and 210-250 ms, the integrations were stronger when the auditory and visual inputs were synchronous, and in the time window of 250-400 ms, multisensory integrations would be different as the SOAs were different. It was suggested that multisensory integration would occur regardless of the asynchrony between auditory and visual inputs, and multisensory integration could be influenced by temporal asynchrony.
McMenamin, Brenton W; Deason, Rebecca G; Steele, Vaughn R; Koutstaal, Wilma; Marsolek, Chad J
Previous research indicates that dissociable neural subsystems underlie abstract-category (AC) recognition and priming of objects (e.g., cat, piano) and specific-exemplar (SE) recognition and priming of objects (e.g., a calico cat, a different calico cat, a grand piano, etc.). However, the degree of separability between these subsystems is not known, despite the importance of this issue for assessing relevant theories. Visual object representations are widely distributed in visual cortex, thus a multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) approach to analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data may be critical for assessing the separability of different kinds of visual object processing. Here we examined the neural representations of visual object categories and visual object exemplars using multi-voxel pattern analyses of brain activity elicited in visual object processing areas during a repetition-priming task. In the encoding phase, participants viewed visual objects and the printed names of other objects. In the subsequent test phase, participants identified objects that were either same-exemplar primed, different-exemplar primed, word-primed, or unprimed. In visual object processing areas, classifiers were trained to distinguish same-exemplar primed objects from word-primed objects. Then, the abilities of these classifiers to discriminate different-exemplar primed objects and word-primed objects (reflecting AC priming) and to discriminate same-exemplar primed objects and different-exemplar primed objects (reflecting SE priming) was assessed. Results indicated that (a) repetition priming in occipital-temporal regions is organized asymmetrically, such that AC priming is more prevalent in the left hemisphere and SE priming is more prevalent in the right hemisphere, and (b) AC and SE subsystems are weakly modular, not strongly modular or unified.
Slotnick, Scott D; White, Rachel C
The fusiform face area (FFA) is widely believed to be specialized for processing faces. Although the FFA is most responsive to faces, this region also consistently responds to non-face items. This suggests that the FFA may be tuned to a feature that is shared by faces and non-face items. Based on the known left visual field face-processing bias along with evidence that the FFA responds to the visual feature of shape, we hypothesized that the FFA may be particularly tuned to shapes presented in the left visual field. We tested this hypothesis using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In a face localizer run, participants viewed blocks of faces or objects. In a separate run, blocks of intact or scrambled abstract shapes were presented in the left, the central, or the right visual field. Within each of the eleven face-processing regions-of-interest (identified by contrasting faces and objects), the magnitude of activity associated with faces was compared to the magnitude of activity associated with intact shapes. Consistent with previous results, collapsing over shape visual field location, the magnitude of activity associated with faces was greater than the magnitude of activity associated with shapes in the FFA. However, separating by shape visual field location revealed an equivalent magnitude of activity associated with faces and shapes in the FFA when shapes were presented in the left and central visual fields. These findings indicate that the FFA, rather than being specialized for holistic face processing, mediates shape processing in the left and central visual fields.
EPA’s Real-Time Geospatial (RETIGO) Data Viewer web-based tool is a new program reducing the technical barrier to visualize and understand geospatial air data time series collected using wearable, bicycle-mounted, or vehicle-mounted air sensors. The RETIGO tool, with anticipated...
Chen, Zhongzhou; Gladding, Gary
Visual representations play a critical role in teaching physics. However, since we do not have a satisfactory understanding of how visual perception impacts the construction of abstract knowledge, most visual representations used in instructions are either created based on existing conventions or designed according to the instructor's intuition,…
Bulthé, Jessica; De Smedt, Bert; Op de Beeck, Hans P
In numerical cognition, there is a well-known but contested hypothesis that proposes an abstract representation of numerical magnitude in human intraparietal sulcus (IPS). On the other hand, researchers of object cognition have suggested another hypothesis for brain activity in IPS during the processing of number, namely that this activity simply correlates with the number of visual objects or units that are perceived. We contrasted these two accounts by analyzing multivoxel activity patterns elicited by dot patterns and Arabic digits of different magnitudes while participants were explicitly processing the represented numerical magnitude. The activity pattern elicited by the digit "8" was more similar to the activity pattern elicited by one dot (with which the digit shares the number of visual units but not the magnitude) compared to the activity pattern elicited by eight dots, with which the digit shares the represented abstract numerical magnitude. A multivoxel pattern classifier trained to differentiate one dot from eight dots classified all Arabic digits in the one-dot pattern category, irrespective of the numerical magnitude symbolized by the digit. These results were consistently obtained for different digits in IPS, its subregions, and many other brain regions. As predicted from object cognition theories, the number of presented visual units forms the link between the parietal activation elicited by symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers. The current study is difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis that parietal activation elicited by numbers would reflect a format-independent representation of number.
McManus, I C; Stöver, Katharina; Kim, Do
In Art and Visual Perception, Rudolf Arnheim, following on from Denman Ross's A Theory of Pure Design, proposed a Gestalt theory of visual composition. The current paper assesses a physicalist interpretation of Arnheim's theory, calculating an image's centre of mass (CoM). Three types of data are used: a large, representative collection of art photographs of recognised quality; croppings by experts and non-experts of photographs; and Ross and Arnheim's procedure of placing a frame around objects such as Arnheim's two black disks. Compared with control images, the CoM of art photographs was closer to an axis (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal), as was the case for photographic croppings. However, stronger, within-image, paired comparison studies, comparing art photographs with the CoM moved on or off an axis (the 'gamma-ramp study'), or comparing adjacent croppings on or off an axis (the 'spider-web study'), showed no support for the Arnheim-Ross theory. Finally, studies moving a frame around two disks, of different size, greyness, or background, did not support Arnheim's Gestalt theory. Although the detailed results did not support the Arnheim-Ross theory, several significant results were found which clearly require explanation by any adequate theory of the aesthetics of visual composition.
Jang, Sujin; Elmqvist, Niklas; Ramani, Karthik
Pattern analysis of human motions, which is useful in many research areas, requires understanding and comparison of different styles of motion patterns. However, working with human motion tracking data to support such analysis poses great challenges. In this paper, we propose MotionFlow, a visual analytics system that provides an effective overview of various motion patterns based on an interactive flow visualization. This visualization formulates a motion sequence as transitions between static poses, and aggregates these sequences into a tree diagram to construct a set of motion patterns. The system also allows the users to directly reflect the context of data and their perception of pose similarities in generating representative pose states. We provide local and global controls over the partition-based clustering process. To support the users in organizing unstructured motion data into pattern groups, we designed a set of interactions that enables searching for similar motion sequences from the data, detailed exploration of data subsets, and creating and modifying the group of motion patterns. To evaluate the usability of MotionFlow, we conducted a user study with six researchers with expertise in gesture-based interaction design. They used MotionFlow to explore and organize unstructured motion tracking data. Results show that the researchers were able to easily learn how to use MotionFlow, and the system effectively supported their pattern analysis activities, including leveraging their perception and domain knowledge.
McManus, I C; Stöver, Katharina; Kim, Do
In Art and Visual Perception, Rudolf Arnheim, following on from Denman Ross's A Theory of Pure Design, proposed a Gestalt theory of visual composition. The current paper assesses a physicalist interpretation of Arnheim's theory, calculating an image's centre of mass (CoM). Three types of data are used: a large, representative collection of art photographs of recognised quality; croppings by experts and non-experts of photographs; and Ross and Arnheim's procedure of placing a frame around objects such as Arnheim's two black disks. Compared with control images, the CoM of art photographs was closer to an axis (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal), as was the case for photographic croppings. However, stronger, within-image, paired comparison studies, comparing art photographs with the CoM moved on or off an axis (the ‘gamma-ramp study’), or comparing adjacent croppings on or off an axis (the ‘spider-web study’), showed no support for the Arnheim–Ross theory. Finally, studies moving a frame around two disks, of different size, greyness, or background, did not support Arnheim's Gestalt theory. Although the detailed results did not support the Arnheim–Ross theory, several significant results were found which clearly require explanation by any adequate theory of the aesthetics of visual composition. PMID:23145250
Strong, Samantha L; Silson, Edward H; Gouws, Andre D; Morland, Antony B; McKeefry, Declan J
Human neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have raised the possibility that different attributes of optic flow stimuli, namely radial direction and the position of the focus of expansion (FOE), are processed within separate cortical areas. In the human brain, visual areas V5/MT+ and V3A have been proposed as integral to the analysis of these different attributes of optic flow stimuli. In order to establish direct causal relationships between neural activity in V5/MT+ and V3A and the perception of radial motion direction and FOE position, we used Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to disrupt cortical activity in these areas whilst participants performed behavioural tasks dependent on these different aspects of optic flow stimuli. The cortical regions of interest were identified in seven human participants using standard fMRI retinotopic mapping techniques and functional localisers. TMS to area V3A was found to disrupt FOE positional judgements, but not radial direction discrimination, whilst the application of TMS to an anterior sub-division of hV5/MT+, MST/TO-2, produced the reverse effects, disrupting radial direction discrimination but eliciting no effect on the FOE positional judgement task. This double dissociation demonstrates that FOE position and radial direction of optic flow stimuli are signalled independently by neural activity in areas hV5/MT+ and V3A.
Mills, Monique T.
Purpose: This study investigated the fictional narrative performance of school-age African American children across 3 elicitation contexts that differed in the type of visual stimulus presented. Method: A total of 54 children in Grades 2 through 5 produced narratives across 3 different visual conditions: no visual, picture sequence, and single…
Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Hoffmann, Michael B; Rostrup, Egill; Larsson, Henrik B W; Asghar, Mohammad Sohail; Larsen, Vibeke Andrée; Olesen, Jes; Ashina, Messoud
Migraine sufferers with aura often report photosensitivity and visual discomfort outside of attacks and many consider bright or flickering light an attack-precipitating factor. The nature of this visual hypersensitivity and its relation to the underlying pathophysiology of the migraine aura is unknown. Using fMRI measurements during visual stimulation we examined the visual cortical responsiveness of patients with migraine with aura. We applied a within-patient design by assessing functional interhemispheric differences in patients consistently experiencing visual aura in the same visual hemifield. We recruited 20 patients with frequent side-fixed visual aura attacks (≥90% of auras occurring in the same visual hemifield) and 20 age and sex matched healthy controls and compared the fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses to visual stimulation between symptomatic and asymptomatic hemispheres during the interictal phase and between migraine patients and controls. BOLD responses were selectively increased in the symptomatic hemispheres. This was found in the inferior parietal lobule (P = 0.002), the inferior frontal gyrus (P = 0.003), and the superior parietal lobule (P = 0.017). The affected cortical areas comprise a visually driven functional network involved in oculomotor control, guidance of movement, motion perception, visual attention, and visual spatial memory. The patients also had significantly increased response in the same cortical areas when compared to controls (P < 0.05). We discovered a lateralized alteration of a visually driven functional network in patients with side-fixed aura. These findings suggest a hyperexcitability of the visual system in the interictal phase of migraine with visual aura.
Masterson, Travis D; Kirwan, C Brock; Davidson, Lance E; LeCheminant, James D
The extent that neural responsiveness to visual food stimuli is influenced by time of day is not well examined. Using a crossover design, 15 healthy women were scanned using fMRI while presented with low- and high-energy pictures of food, once in the morning (6:30-8:30 am) and once in the evening (5:00-7:00 pm). Diets were identical on both days of the fMRI scans and were verified using weighed food records. Visual analog scales were used to record subjective perception of hunger and preoccupation with food prior to each fMRI scan. Six areas of the brain showed lower activation in the evening to both high- and low-energy foods, including structures in reward pathways (P < 0.05). Nine brain regions showed significantly higher activation for high-energy foods compared to low-energy foods (P < 0.05). High-energy food stimuli tended to produce greater fMRI responses than low-energy food stimuli in specific areas of the brain, regardless of time of day. However, evening scans showed a lower response to both low- and high-energy food pictures in some areas of the brain. Subjectively, participants reported no difference in hunger by time of day (F = 1.84, P = 0.19), but reported they could eat more (F = 4.83, P = 0.04) and were more preoccupied with thoughts of food (F = 5.51, P = 0.03) in the evening compared to the morning. These data underscore the role that time of day may have on neural responses to food stimuli. These results may also have clinical implications for fMRI measurement in order to prevent a time of day bias.
Crook, Robyn J.; Lewis, Trevor; Hanlon, Roger T.; Walters, Edgar T.
SUMMARY Survivable injuries are a common yet costly experience. The ability to sense and respond to noxious stimuli is an almost universal trait, and prolonged behavioral alterations, including sensitization to touch and other stimuli, may function to ameliorate fitness costs associated with injury. Cephalopods can modify their behavior by learned association with noxious electric shock, but non-associative alterations of behavioral responses after tissue injury have not been studied. The aim of this study was to make the first systematic investigations in any cephalopod of behavioral responses and alterations elicited by explicit, minor injury. By testing responsiveness in the longfin squid, Loligo pealeii, to the approach and contact of an innocuous filament applied to different parts of the body both before and after injury to the distal third of one arm, we show that a cephalopod expresses behavioral alterations persisting for at least 2 days after injury. These alterations parallel forms of nociceptive plasticity in other animals, including general and site-specific sensitization to tactile stimuli. A novel finding is that hyper-responsiveness after injury extends to visual stimuli. Injured squid are more likely to employ crypsis than escape in response to an approaching visual stimulus shortly after injury, but initiate escape earlier and continue escape behaviors for longer when tested from 1 to 48 h after injury. Injury failed to elicit overt wound-directed behavior (e.g. grooming) or change hunting success. Our results show that long-lasting nociceptive sensitization occurs in cephalopods, and suggest that it may function to reduce predation risk after injury. PMID:21900465
Czekóová, Kristína; Shaw, Daniel J; Urbánek, Tomáš; Chládek, Jan; Lamoš, Martin; Roman, Robert; Brázdil, Milan
Two experiments were performed to investigate the principles by which emotional stimuli are classified on the dimensions of valence and arousal. In Experiment 1, a large sample of healthy participants rated emotional stimuli according to both broad dimensions. Hierarchical cluster analyses performed on these ratings revealed that stimuli were clustered according to their semantic content at the beginning of the agglomerative process. Example semantic themes include food, violence, nudes, death, and objects. Importantly, this pattern occurred in a parallel fashion for ratings on both dimensions. In Experiment 2, we investigated if the same semantic clusters were differentiated at the neurophysiological level. Intracerebral EEG was recorded from 18 patients with intractable epilepsy who viewed the same set of stimuli. Not only did electrocortical responses differentiate between these data-defined semantic clusters, they converged with the behavioral measurements to highlight the importance of categories associated with survival and reproduction. These findings provide strong evidence that the semantic content of affective material influences their classification along the broad dimensions of valence and arousal, and this principle of categorization exerts an effect on the evoked emotional response. Future studies should consider data-driven techniques rather than normative ratings to identify more specific, semantically related emotional images.
Griffeth, Valerie E M; Simon, Aaron B; Buxton, Richard B
Quantitative functional MRI (fMRI) experiments to measure blood flow and oxygen metabolism coupling in the brain typically rely on simple repetitive stimuli. Here we compared such stimuli with a more naturalistic stimulus. Previous work on the primary visual cortex showed that direct attentional modulation evokes a blood flow (CBF) response with a relatively large oxygen metabolism (CMRO2) response in comparison to an unattended stimulus, which evokes a much smaller metabolic response relative to the flow response. We hypothesized that a similar effect would be associated with a more engaging stimulus, and tested this by measuring the primary human visual cortex response to two contrast levels of a radial flickering checkerboard in comparison to the response to free viewing of brief movie clips. We did not find a significant difference in the blood flow-metabolism coupling (n=%ΔCBF/%ΔCMRO2) between the movie stimulus and the flickering checkerboards employing two different analysis methods: a standard analysis using the Davis model and a new analysis using a heuristic model dependent only on measured quantities. This finding suggests that in the primary visual cortex a naturalistic stimulus (in comparison to a simple repetitive stimulus) is either not sufficient to provoke a change in flow-metabolism coupling by attentional modulation as hypothesized, that the experimental design disrupted the cognitive processes underlying the response to a more natural stimulus, or that the technique used is not sensitive enough to detect a small difference.
Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Renken, Remco J.; Spoelstra, Symen K.; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J.
It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity for contamination and may thus set the stage for eliciting pathogen disgust. Building on this, it has been argued that the involuntary muscle contraction characteristic of vaginismus (i.e., inability to have vaginal penetration) may be elicited by the prospect of penetration by potential contaminants. To further investigate this disgust-based interpretation of vaginismus (in DSM-5 classified as a Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, GPPPD) we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine if women with vaginismus (n = 21) show relatively strong convergence in their brain responses towards sexual penetration- and disgust-related pictures compared to sexually asymptomatic women (n = 21) and women suffering from vulvar pain (dyspareunia/also classified as GPPPD in the DSM-5, n = 21). At the subjective level, both clinical groups rated penetration stimuli as more disgusting than asymptomatic women. However, the brain responses to penetration stimuli did not differ between groups. In addition, there was considerable conjoint brain activity in response to penetration and disgust pictures, which yield for both animal-reminder (e.g., mutilation) and core (e.g., rotten food) disgust domains. However, this overlap in brain activation was similar for all groups. A possible explanation for the lack of vaginismus-specific brain responses lies in the alleged female ambiguity (procreation/pleasure vs. contamination/disgust) toward penetration: generally in women a (default) disgust response tendency may prevail in the absence of sexual readiness. Accordingly, a critical next step would be to examine the processing of penetration stimuli following the
Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R; Renken, Remco J; Spoelstra, Symen K; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J
It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity for contamination and may thus set the stage for eliciting pathogen disgust. Building on this, it has been argued that the involuntary muscle contraction characteristic of vaginismus (i.e., inability to have vaginal penetration) may be elicited by the prospect of penetration by potential contaminants. To further investigate this disgust-based interpretation of vaginismus (in DSM-5 classified as a Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, GPPPD) we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine if women with vaginismus (n = 21) show relatively strong convergence in their brain responses towards sexual penetration- and disgust-related pictures compared to sexually asymptomatic women (n = 21) and women suffering from vulvar pain (dyspareunia/also classified as GPPPD in the DSM-5, n = 21). At the subjective level, both clinical groups rated penetration stimuli as more disgusting than asymptomatic women. However, the brain responses to penetration stimuli did not differ between groups. In addition, there was considerable conjoint brain activity in response to penetration and disgust pictures, which yield for both animal-reminder (e.g., mutilation) and core (e.g., rotten food) disgust domains. However, this overlap in brain activation was similar for all groups. A possible explanation for the lack of vaginismus-specific brain responses lies in the alleged female ambiguity (procreation/pleasure vs. contamination/disgust) toward penetration: generally in women a (default) disgust response tendency may prevail in the absence of sexual readiness. Accordingly, a critical next step would be to examine the processing of penetration stimuli following the
Hendrich, Elisabeth; Strobach, Tilo; Buss, Martin; Müller, Hermann J.; Schubert, Torsten
Temporal-order judgment (TOJ) tasks are an important paradigm to investigate processing times of information in different modalities. There are a lot of studies on how temporal order decisions can be influenced by stimuli characteristics. However, so far it has not been investigated whether the addition of a choice reaction time (RT) task has an influence on TOJ. Moreover, it is not known when during processing the decision about the temporal order of two stimuli is made. We investigated the first of these two questions by comparing a regular TOJ task with a dual task (DT). In both tasks, we manipulated different processing stages to investigate whether the manipulations have an influence on TOJ and to determine thereby the time of processing at which the decision about temporal order is made. The results show that the addition of a choice RT task does have an influence on the TOJ, but the influence seems to be linked to the kind of manipulation of the processing stages that is used. The results of the manipulations indicate that the temporal order decision in the DT paradigm is made after perceptual processing of the stimuli. PMID:22936902
Horner, Aidan J; Henson, Richard N
Stimulus repetition often leads to facilitated processing, resulting in neural decreases (repetition suppression) and faster RTs (repetition priming). Such repetition-related effects have been attributed to the facilitation of repeated cognitive processes and/or the retrieval of previously encoded stimulus-response (S-R) bindings. Although previous research has dissociated these two forms of learning, their interaction in the brain is not fully understood. Utilizing the spatial and temporal resolutions of fMRI and EEG, respectively, we examined a long-lag classification priming paradigm that required response repetitions or reversals at multiple levels of response representation. We found a repetition effect in occipital/temporal cortex (fMRI) that was time-locked to stimulus onset (EEG) and robust to switches in response, together with a repetition effect in inferior pFC (fMRI) that was time-locked to response onset (EEG) and sensitive to switches in response. The response-sensitive effect occurred even when changing from object names (words) to object pictures between repetitions, suggesting that S-R bindings can code abstract representations of stimuli. Most importantly, we found evidence for interference effects when incongruent S-R bindings were retrieved, with increased neural activity in inferior pFC, demonstrating that retrieval of S-R bindings can result in facilitation or interference, depending on the congruency of response between repetitions.
Guo, Jia; Xu, Peng; Yao, Li; Shu, Hua; Zhao, Xiaojie
Neural mechanism of auditory-visual speech integration is always a hot study of multi-modal perception. The articulation conveys speech information that helps detect and disambiguate the auditory speech. As important characteristic of EEG, oscillations and its synchronization have been applied to cognition research more and more. This study analyzed the EEG data acquired by unimodal and bimodal stimuli using time frequency and phase synchrony approach, investigated the oscillatory activities and its synchrony modes behind evoked potential during auditory-visual integration, in order to reveal the inherent neural integration mechanism under these modes. It was found that beta activity and its synchronization differences had relationship with gesture N1-P2, which happened in the earlier stage of speech coding to pronouncing action. Alpha oscillation and its synchronization related with auditory N1-P2 might be mainly responsible for auditory speech process caused by anticipation from gesture to sound feature. The visual gesture changing enhanced the interaction of auditory brain regions. These results provided explanations to the power and connectivity change of event-evoked oscillatory activities which matched ERPs during auditory-visual speech integration.
The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is generally thought to be involved in affect and emotional processing; however, the specific contribution of each hemisphere continues to be debated. In the present study, we employed unilateral tDCS to test the unique contribution of left DLPFC in the encoding and retrieval of emotional stimuli in healthy subjects. Forty-two right handed undergraduate students received either anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation of left DLPFC while viewing neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures. After completing a filler task, participants were asked to remember as many pictures as possible. Results showed that participants were able to remember a larger amount of emotional (both pleasant and unpleasant) pictures than of neutral ones, regardless of the type of tDCS condition. Participants who received anodal stimulation recalled a significantly higher number of pleasant images than participants in the sham and cathodal conditions, while no differences emerged in the recall of neutral and unpleasant pictures. We conclude that our results provide some support to the role of left prefrontal cortex in the encoding and retrieval of pleasant stimuli. PMID:27433807
Brown, David J.; Simpson, Andrew J. R.; Proulx, Michael J.
A critical task for the brain is the sensory representation and identification of perceptual objects in the world. When the visual sense is impaired, hearing and touch must take primary roles and in recent times compensatory techniques have been developed that employ the tactile or auditory system as a substitute for the visual system. Visual-to-auditory sonifications provide a complex, feature-based auditory representation that must be decoded and integrated into an object-based representation by the listener. However, we don’t yet know what role the auditory system plays in the object integration stage and whether the principles of auditory scene analysis apply. Here we used coarse sonified images in a two-tone discrimination task to test whether auditory feature-based representations of visual objects would be confounded when their features conflicted with the principles of auditory consonance. We found that listeners (N = 36) performed worse in an object recognition task when the auditory feature-based representation was harmonically consonant. We also found that this conflict was not negated with the provision of congruent audio–visual information. The findings suggest that early auditory processes of harmonic grouping dominate the object formation process and that the complexity of the signal, and additional sensory information have limited effect on this. PMID:26528202
Little, Anthony C
Steroid sex hormones are responsible for some of the differences between men and women. In this article, I review evidence that steroid sex hormones impact on visual processing. Given prominent sex-differences, I focus on three topics for sex hormone effects for which there is most research available: 1. Preference and mate choice, 2. Emotion and recognition, and 3. Cerebral/perceptual asymmetries and visual-spatial abilities. For each topic, researchers have examined sex hormones and visual processing using various methods. I review indirect evidence addressing variation according to: menstrual cycle phase, pregnancy, puberty, and menopause. I further address studies of variation in testosterone and a measure of prenatal testosterone, 2D:4D, on visual processing. The most conclusive evidence, however, comes from experiments. Studies in which hormones are administrated are discussed. Overall, many studies demonstrate that sex steroids are associated with visual processing. However, findings are sometimes inconsistent, differences in methodology make strong comparisons between studies difficult, and we generally know more about activational than organizational effects.
Brown, David J; Simpson, Andrew J R; Proulx, Michael J
A critical task for the brain is the sensory representation and identification of perceptual objects in the world. When the visual sense is impaired, hearing and touch must take primary roles and in recent times compensatory techniques have been developed that employ the tactile or auditory system as a substitute for the visual system. Visual-to-auditory sonifications provide a complex, feature-based auditory representation that must be decoded and integrated into an object-based representation by the listener. However, we don't yet know what role the auditory system plays in the object integration stage and whether the principles of auditory scene analysis apply. Here we used coarse sonified images in a two-tone discrimination task to test whether auditory feature-based representations of visual objects would be confounded when their features conflicted with the principles of auditory consonance. We found that listeners (N = 36) performed worse in an object recognition task when the auditory feature-based representation was harmonically consonant. We also found that this conflict was not negated with the provision of congruent audio-visual information. The findings suggest that early auditory processes of harmonic grouping dominate the object formation process and that the complexity of the signal, and additional sensory information have limited effect on this.
Janz, C; Schmitt, C; Speck, O; Hennig, J
Experiments with three different types of basic visual stimulation were performed to compare cortical activation in single-event and block trials. Independent of the stimulation paradigm, the single-event presentation leads to highly consistent signal responses regarding both the activated cortical areas and the dynamics of the signal time course. In contrast, signal time courses during block paradigms depend on the stimulus applied and are a complex and nonlinear function of the single-event responses. Additionally, the initial dip during the first 2 seconds after stimulus onset is consistently observed. However, the small amplitude change (-0.1% to -0.3%) requires signal averaging to establish statistical significance of the effect. Furthermore, different patterns of activation were observed within the primary visual cortex. In an anterior part of the primary visual cortex, activation was only observed at the onset and at the cessation of stimulation involving luminance changes.
Pérez-Cobo, J C; Ruiz-Beramendi, M; Pérez-Arroyo, M
The visually evoked potentials in the hemisphere contralateral to the stimulated eye in rabbit, can be described topographically as follows. While a positive wave (P1) begins forming in the anterior zones and in the V I binocular zone, the N0 wave, at times very large, is produced in a more occipital zone, which corresponds to the visual streak. Immediately afterwards, the positivity, P1, practically invades the whole of the hemisphere. After this, the N1 wave which is produced in the most posterior parts of the V I, begins forming. The whole phenomenon comes to an end when the P2 wave is generated in the most occipital zones.
Sokhadze, Estate M
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of music and white noise on the recovery of physiological measures after stressful visual stimulation. Twenty-nine participants took part in the experiment. Visual stimulation with slides eliciting disgust was followed by subjectively pleasant music, sad music, and white noise in three consecutive sessions. The spectral power of the frontal and temporal EEG, skin conductance, heart rate, heart period variability, facial capillary blood flow, and respiration rate were recorded and analyzed. Aversive visual stimulation evoked heart rate deceleration, increased high frequency component of heart period variability, increased skin conductance level and skin conductance response frequency, decreased facial blood flow and velocity, decreased temporal slow alpha and increased frontal fast beta power in all three sessions. Both subjectively pleasant and sad music led to the restoration of baseline levels on most parameters; while white noise did not enhance the recovery process. The effects of pleasant music on post-stress recovery, when compared to white noise, were significantly different on heart rate, respiration rate, and peripheral blood flow. Both positive and negative music exerted positive modulatory effects on cardiovascular and respiratory activity, namely increased heart rate, balanced heart period variability, increased vascular blood flow and respiration rate during the post-stress recovery. Data only partially supported the "undoing" hypothesis, which states that positive emotions may facilitate the process of physiological recovery following negative emotions.
Partos, Timea R.; Cropper, Simon J.; Rawlings, David
Everyone has their own unique version of the visual world and there has been growing interest in understanding the way that personality shapes one’s perception. Here, we investigated meaningful visual experiences in relation to the personality dimension of schizotypy. In a novel approach to this issue, a non-clinical sample of subjects (total n = 197) were presented with calibrated images of scenes, cartoons and faces of varying visibility embedded in noise; the spatial properties of the images were constructed to mimic the natural statistics of the environment. In two experiments, subjects were required to indicate what they saw in a large number of unique images, both with and without actual meaningful structure. The first experiment employed an open-ended response paradigm and used a variety of different images in noise; the second experiment only presented a series of faces embedded in noise, and required a forced-choice response from the subjects. The results in all conditions indicated that a high positive schizotypy score was associated with an increased tendency to perceive complex meaning in images comprised purely of random visual noise. Individuals high in positive schizotypy seemed to be employing a looser criterion (response bias) to determine what constituted a ‘meaningful’ image, while also being significantly less sensitive at the task than those low in positive schizotypy. Our results suggest that differences in perceptual performance for individuals high in positive schizotypy are not related to increased suggestibility or susceptibility to instruction, as had previously been suggested. Instead, the observed reductions in sensitivity along with increased response bias toward seeing something that is not there, indirectly implicated subtle neurophysiological differences associated with the personality dimension of schizotypy, that are theoretically pertinent to the continuum of schizophrenia and hallucination-proneness. PMID:26954696
Herrmann, Martin J; Huter, Theresa; Plichta, Michael M; Ehlis, Ann-Christine; Alpers, Georg W; Mühlberger, Andreas; Fallgatter, Andreas J
In this study we investigated whether event-related near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is suitable to measure changes in brain activation of the occipital cortex modulated by the emotional content of the visual stimuli. As we found in a previous pilot study that only positive but not negative stimuli differ from neutral stimuli (with respect to oxygenated haemoglobin), we now measured the event-related EEG potentials and NIRS simultaneously during the same session. Thereby, we could evaluate whether the subjects (n = 16) processed the positive as well as the negative emotional stimuli in a similar way. During the task, the subjects passively viewed positive, negative, and neutral emotional pictures (40 presentations were shown in each category, and pictures were taken from the International Affective Picture System, IAPS). The stimuli were presented for 3 s in a randomized order (with a mean of 3 s interstimulus interval). During the task, we measured the event-related EEG potentials over the electrode positions O1, Oz, O2, and Pz and the changes of oxygenated and deoxygenated haemoglobin by multichannel NIRS over the occipital cortex. The EEG results clearly show an increased early posterior negativity over the occipital cortex for both positive as well as negative stimuli compared to neutral. The results for the NIRS measurement were less clear. Although positive as well as negative stimuli lead to significantly higher decrease in deoxygenated haemoglobin than neutral stimuli, this was not found for the oxygenated haemoglobin.
Kondo, Toshiyuki; Saeki, Midori; Hayashi, Yoshikatsu; Nakayashiki, Kosei; Takata, Yohei
Event-related desynchronization (ERD) of the electroencephalogram (EEG) from the motor cortex is associated with execution, observation, and mental imagery of motor tasks. Generation of ERD by motor imagery (MI) has been widely used for brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) linked to neuroprosthetics and other motor assistance devices. Control of MI-based BCIs can be acquired by neurofeedback training to reliably induce MI-associated ERD. To develop more effective training conditions, we investigated the effect of static and dynamic visual representations of target movements (a picture of forearms or a video clip of hand grasping movements) during the BCI neurofeedback training. After 4 consecutive training days, the group that performed MI while viewing the video showed significant improvement in generating MI-associated ERD compared with the group that viewed the static image. This result suggests that passively observing the target movement during MI would improve the associated mental imagery and enhance MI-based BCIs skills.
Eastman, Kyler M.; Huk, Alexander C.
Neurophysiological studies in awake, behaving primates (both human and non-human) have focused with increasing scrutiny on the temporal relationship between neural signals and behaviors. Consequently, laboratories are often faced with the problem of developing experimental equipment that can support data recording with high temporal precision and also be flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of experimental paradigms. To this end, we have developed a MATLAB toolbox that integrates several modern pieces of equipment, but still grants experimenters the flexibility of a high-level programming language. Our toolbox takes advantage of three popular and powerful technologies: the Plexon apparatus for neurophysiological recordings (Plexon, Inc., Dallas, TX, USA), a Datapixx peripheral (Vpixx Technologies, Saint-Bruno, QC, Canada) for control of analog, digital, and video input–output signals, and the Psychtoolbox MATLAB toolbox for stimulus generation (Brainard, 1997; Pelli, 1997; Kleiner et al., 2007). The PLDAPS (“Platypus”) system is designed to support the study of the visual systems of awake, behaving primates during multi-electrode neurophysiological recordings, but can be easily applied to other related domains. Despite its wide range of capabilities and support for cutting-edge video displays and neural recording systems, the PLDAPS system is simple enough for someone with basic MATLAB programming skills to design their own experiments. PMID:22319490
Eastman, Kyler M; Huk, Alexander C
Neurophysiological studies in awake, behaving primates (both human and non-human) have focused with increasing scrutiny on the temporal relationship between neural signals and behaviors. Consequently, laboratories are often faced with the problem of developing experimental equipment that can support data recording with high temporal precision and also be flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of experimental paradigms. To this end, we have developed a MATLAB toolbox that integrates several modern pieces of equipment, but still grants experimenters the flexibility of a high-level programming language. Our toolbox takes advantage of three popular and powerful technologies: the Plexon apparatus for neurophysiological recordings (Plexon, Inc., Dallas, TX, USA), a Datapixx peripheral (Vpixx Technologies, Saint-Bruno, QC, Canada) for control of analog, digital, and video input-output signals, and the Psychtoolbox MATLAB toolbox for stimulus generation (Brainard, 1997; Pelli, 1997; Kleiner et al., 2007). The PLDAPS ("Platypus") system is designed to support the study of the visual systems of awake, behaving primates during multi-electrode neurophysiological recordings, but can be easily applied to other related domains. Despite its wide range of capabilities and support for cutting-edge video displays and neural recording systems, the PLDAPS system is simple enough for someone with basic MATLAB programming skills to design their own experiments.
Drummond, Cláudia; Coutinho, Gabriel; Fonseca, Rochele Paz; Assunção, Naima; Teldeschi, Alina; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Moll, Jorge; Tovar-Moll, Fernanda; Mattos, Paulo
Language batteries used to assess the skills of elderly individuals, such as naming and semantic verbal fluency, present some limitations in differentiating healthy controls from patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). Deficits in narrative discourse occur early in dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the narrative discourse abilities of a-MCI patients are poorly documented. The present study sought to propose and evaluate parameters for investigating narrative discourse in these populations. After a pilot study of 30 healthy subjects who served as a preliminary investigation of macro- and micro-linguistic aspects, 77 individuals (patients with AD and a-MCI and a control group) were evaluated. The experimental task required the participants to narrate a story based on a sequence of actions visually presented. The Control and AD groups differed in all parameters except narrative time and the total number of words recalled. The a-MCI group displayed mild discursive difficulties that were characterized as an intermediate stage between the Control and AD groups' performances. The a-MCI and Control groups differed from the AD group with respect to global coherence, discourse type and referential cohesion. The a-MCI and AD groups were similar to one another but differed from the Control group with respect to the type of words recalled, the repetition of words in the same sentence, the narrative structure and the inclusion of irrelevant propositions in the narrative. The narrative parameter that best distinguished the three groups was the speech effectiveness index. The proposed task was able to reveal differences between healthy controls and groups with cognitive decline. According to our findings, patients with a-MCI already present narrative deficits that are characterized by mild discursive difficulties that are less severe than those found in patients with AD.
Drummond, Cláudia; Coutinho, Gabriel; Fonseca, Rochele Paz; Assunção, Naima; Teldeschi, Alina; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Moll, Jorge; Tovar-Moll, Fernanda; Mattos, Paulo
Language batteries used to assess the skills of elderly individuals, such as naming and semantic verbal fluency, present some limitations in differentiating healthy controls from patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). Deficits in narrative discourse occur early in dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the narrative discourse abilities of a-MCI patients are poorly documented. The present study sought to propose and evaluate parameters for investigating narrative discourse in these populations. After a pilot study of 30 healthy subjects who served as a preliminary investigation of macro- and micro-linguistic aspects, 77 individuals (patients with AD and a-MCI and a control group) were evaluated. The experimental task required the participants to narrate a story based on a sequence of actions visually presented. The Control and AD groups differed in all parameters except narrative time and the total number of words recalled. The a-MCI group displayed mild discursive difficulties that were characterized as an intermediate stage between the Control and AD groups' performances. The a-MCI and Control groups differed from the AD group with respect to global coherence, discourse type and referential cohesion. The a-MCI and AD groups were similar to one another but differed from the Control group with respect to the type of words recalled, the repetition of words in the same sentence, the narrative structure and the inclusion of irrelevant propositions in the narrative. The narrative parameter that best distinguished the three groups was the speech effectiveness index. The proposed task was able to reveal differences between healthy controls and groups with cognitive decline. According to our findings, patients with a-MCI already present narrative deficits that are characterized by mild discursive difficulties that are less severe than those found in patients with AD. PMID:26074814
Mejia, William Ernesto
Thanks to different multimedia authoring tools and specialized software that facilitate the design and development of computer-based simulations, science teachers and instructional media designers have a variety of simulations to support instructional delivery. However, there is a lack of research on how instructional designers and science teachers can select, design, and implement science simulations most effectively based on the simulations' visual attributes. One of the design principles that play an important part in the simulation design process is the visual representation of on-screen objects used to describe science concepts or principles. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of abstract and concrete visual representation of electricity concepts and principles in an instructional simulation on students' declarative knowledge, learning transfer, and perceptions of the simulation. The participants in this study were 39 elementary education pre-service teachers who were randomly assigned to either the concrete or the abstract treatment. The educational intervention was conducted over three 100-minute sessions. Since the sample violated the normality assumption, Mann-Whitney tests were conducted to verify whether the independent variable had significant effects on the three dependent variables. The data analysis found no statistically significant difference on learners' declarative knowledge, learning transfer, and perceptions about the simulation's attributes between those assigned to the concrete treatment and those assigned to the abstract treatment (p>.05). This finding did not favor one type of visual representation over the other.
Sayer, R. Drew; Amankwaah, Akua F.; Tamer, Gregory G.; Chen, Ningning; Wright, Amy J.; Tregellas, Jason R.; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Kareken, David A.; Talavage, Thomas M.; McCrory, Megan A.; Campbell, Wayne W.
Increasing either protein or fiber at mealtimes has relatively modest effects on ingestive behavior. Whether protein and fiber have additive or interactive effects on ingestive behavior is not known. Fifteen overweight adults (5 female, 10 male; BMI: 27.1 ± 0.2 kg/m2; aged 26 ± 1 year) consumed four breakfast meals in a randomized crossover manner (normal protein (12 g) + normal fiber (2 g), normal protein (12 g) + high fiber (8 g), high protein (25 g) + normal fiber (2 g), high protein (25 g) + high fiber (8 g)). The amount of protein and fiber consumed at breakfast did not influence postprandial appetite or ad libitum energy intake at lunch. In the fasting-state, visual food stimuli elicited significant responses in the bilateral insula and amygdala and left orbitofrontal cortex. Contrary to our hypotheses, postprandial right insula responses were lower after consuming normal protein vs. high protein breakfasts. Postprandial responses in other a priori brain regions were not significantly influenced by protein or fiber intake at breakfast. In conclusion, these data do not support increasing dietary protein and fiber at breakfast as effective strategies for modulating neural reward processing and acute ingestive behavior in overweight adults. PMID:26742068
Chen, Zhongzhou; Gladding, Gary
Visual representations play a critical role in teaching physics. However, since we do not have a satisfactory understanding of how visual perception impacts the construction of abstract knowledge, most visual representations used in instructions are either created based on existing conventions or designed according to the instructor's intuition, which leads to a significant variance in their effectiveness. In this paper we propose a cognitive mechanism based on grounded cognition, suggesting that visual perception affects understanding by activating "perceptual symbols": the basic cognitive unit used by the brain to construct a concept. A good visual representation activates perceptual symbols that are essential for the construction of the represented concept, whereas a bad representation does the opposite. As a proof of concept, we conducted a clinical experiment in which participants received three different versions of a multimedia tutorial teaching the integral expression of electric potential. The three versions were only different by the details of the visual representation design, only one of which contained perceptual features that activate perceptual symbols essential for constructing the idea of "accumulation." On a following post-test, participants receiving this version of tutorial significantly outperformed those who received the other two versions of tutorials designed to mimic conventional visual representations used in classrooms.
Gosálvez, Miguel A
VisualTAPAS is a self-contained, user-friendly, graphical user interface based simulator of wet etching and deep reactive ion etching with multi-masking capabilities, built upon an octree representation of the silicon substrate (www.fyslab.hut.fi/∼mag/VisualTAPAS/Home.html). The program allows the use of a wide range of kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) and cellular automata time-evolution algorithms, including a fast octree search algorithm for the KMC simulations. 'VisualTAPAS' stands for 'visual three-dimensional anisotropic processing at all scales'. The use of the term 'visual' stresses the interactive visual capabilities of the program. Here, a brief history of the evolution of VisualTAPAS as a research tool will be presented: from the initial efforts, explaining the anisotropy of wet etching as a result of steric hindrance using a combination of density functional theory (DFT) and KMC simulations, to the most recent implementation, focusing on the propagation of the etch front for engineering applications by making use of the analytical solution of the continuous cellular automaton (CCA) method; and in between, a recent example of DFT assisted understanding of the effects of metal impurities on the surface morphology of the etched surfaces will be presented. We try to bridge together three complementary simulation tools, namely, DFT, KMC and CCA methods. Our experience with the use of the three methods for the simulation of anisotropic etching shows that DFT is very useful and, many times, an unavoidable approach. Similarly, the KMC approach is the method of choice for understanding the large variety of etched surface morphologies while the CCA is an outstanding tool for the simulation of the process at an engineering level.
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Vessel, Edward A; Rubin, Nava
How individual are visual preferences? For real-world scenes, there is high agreement in observer's preference ratings. This could be driven by visual attributes of the images but also by non-visual associations, since those are common to most individuals. To investigate this, we developed a set of novel abstract, visually diverse images. At the individual observer level both abstract and real-world images yielded robust and consistent visual preferences, and yet abstract images yielded much lower across observer agreement in preferences than did real-world images. This suggests that visual preferences are typically driven by the semantic content of stimuli, and that shared semantic interpretations then lead to shared preferences. Further experiments showed that highly individual preferences can nevertheless emerge also for real-world scenes, in contexts which de-emphasize their semantic associations.
Brunetti, Marcella; Sepede, Gianna; Ferretti, Antonio; Mingoia, Gianluca; Romani, Gian Luca; Babiloni, Claudio
Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to misinterpret innocuous stimuli as potential threats, possibly due to a conditioning provoked by traumatic episodes. Previous neuroimaging evidence has shown an abnormal activation of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in PTSD patients during fear conditioning and extinction. Nevertheless, the effects of a single-type adverse stressor on that circuit remain poorly explored. We tested the hypothesis that a single-type adverse episode is able to affect the prefrontal cortex and amygdala response to conditioned stimuli. To test this hypothesis, fMRI recordings were performed in PTSD patients and trauma-exposed controls during the observation of neutral and negative paired or non-paired pictures with an adverse stimulus by means of a single association. Results showed that left amygdala activation during negative reinforced stimuli was correlated with the score of PTSD clinical scale across all subjects. Furthermore, in the traumatized non-PTSD group, the activation of the dorso-medial prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala was lower during the observation of the reinforced (CS(+)) versus non-reinforced pictures (CS(-)) in response to emotionally negative stimuli. This was not the case in the PTSD patients. These results suggest that in PTSD patients, a single-episode conditioning unveils the failure of an inhibitory mechanism moderating the activity of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala in response to adverse and neutral stimuli.
Ikeda, Hanako; Watanabe, Katsumi; Cavanagh, Patrick
It is difficult to identify a target in the peripheral visual field when it is flanked by distractors. In the present study, we investigated this "crowding" effect for biological motion stimuli. Three walking biological motion stimuli were presented horizontally in the periphery with various distances between them, and observers reported the walking direction of the central figure. When the inter-walker distance was small, discriminating the direction became difficult. Moreover, the reported direction for the central target was not simply noisier, but reflected a degree of pooling of the three directions from the target and two flankers. However, when the two flanking distractors were scrambled walking biological motion stimuli, crowding was not seen. This result suggests that the crowding of biological motion stimuli occurs at a high-level of motion perception.
Mitchell, Derek G V; Greening, Steven G
Emotional stimuli are thought to gain rapid and privileged access to processing resources in the brain. The structures involved in this enhanced access are thought to support subconscious, reflexive processes. Whether these pathways contribute to the phenomenological experience of emotional visual awareness (i.e., conscious perception) is unclear. In this review, it is argued that subcortical networks associated with the rapid detection of emotionally salient stimuli also play a key role in shaping awareness. This proposal is based on the idea that awareness of visual stimuli should be considered along a continuum, having intermediate levels, rather than as an all-or-none construct. It is also argued that awareness of emotional stimuli requires less input from frontoparietal structures that are often considered crucial for visual awareness. Evidence is also presented that implicates a region of the medial prefrontal cortex, involved in emotion regulation, in modulating amygdala output to determine awareness of emotional visual stimuli; when emotional stimuli are present, the conscious perception of alternative stimuli requires greater regulatory influences from cortical structures. Thus, emotional stimuli are privileged not only for neuronal representation and impact on subconscious processes, but also for awareness, allowing humans to deal flexibly rather than merely reflexively to biologically significant stimuli.
Al-Hilawani, Yasser A.
A small sample of 20 hearing students and 20 students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing participated in this study, which compared their performances on two measures of metacognition. The first measure required participants to visually analyse real-life pictures and then to choose a response from four options (voiced or signed) indicating which was…
Maekawa, Toshihiko; Tobimatsu, Shozo; Inada, Naoko; Oribe, Naoya; Onitsuka, Toshiaki; Kanba, Shigenobu; Kamio, Yoko
Individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) often show superior performance in simple visual tasks, despite difficulties in the perception of socially important information such as facial expression. The neural basis of visual perception abnormalities associated with HF-ASD is currently unclear. We sought to elucidate the…
Azizi, Elham; Abel, Larry A; Stainer, Matthew J
Action game playing has been associated with several improvements in visual attention tasks. However, it is not clear how such changes might influence the way we overtly select information from our visual world (i.e. eye movements). We examined whether action-video-game training changed eye movement behaviour in a series of visual search tasks including conjunctive search (relatively abstracted from natural behaviour), game-related search, and more naturalistic scene search. Forty nongamers were trained in either an action first-person shooter game or a card game (control) for 10 hours. As a further control, we recorded eye movements of 20 experienced action gamers on the same tasks. The results did not show any change in duration of fixations or saccade amplitude either from before to after the training or between all nongamers (pretraining) and experienced action gamers. However, we observed a change in search strategy, reflected by a reduction in the vertical distribution of fixations for the game-related search task in the action-game-trained group. This might suggest learning the likely distribution of targets. In other words, game training only skilled participants to search game images for targets important to the game, with no indication of transfer to the more natural scene search. Taken together, these results suggest no modification in overt allocation of attention. Either the skills that can be trained with action gaming are not powerful enough to influence information selection through eye movements, or action-game-learned skills are not used when deciding where to move the eyes.
Bellis, Teri James; Billiet, Cassie; Ross, Jody
Two experiments were conducted to examine the performance of normal adults, normal children, and children diagnosed with central auditory dysfunction presumed to involve the interhemispheric pathways on a dichotic digits test in common clinical use for the diagnosis of central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) and its corresponding visual analog. Results of the first experiment revealed a significant right ear advantage (REA) for the dichotic listening task and a left-visual-field advantage (LVFA) for the corresponding visual analog in normal adults and children. In the second experiment, results revealed a significantly larger REA in the children with CAPD as compared to the normal children. Results also revealed a reversed cerebral asymmetry (RVFA) for the children with CAPD on the visual task. Significant cross-modal correlations suggest that the two tasks may reflect, at least in part, similar interhemispheric processing mechanisms in children. Findings are discussed in relation to differential diagnosis and modality-specificity of CAPD.
Hesse, Janis K; Tsao, Doris Y
Segmentation and recognition of objects in a visual scene are two problems that are hard to solve separately from each other. When segmenting an ambiguous scene, it is helpful to already know the present objects and their shapes. However, for recognizing an object in clutter, one would like to consider its isolated segment alone to avoid confounds from features of other objects. Border-ownership cells (Zhou et al., 2000) appear to play an important role in segmentation, as they signal the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli. The present work explores the role of border-ownership cells in dorsal macaque visual areas V2 and V3 in the segmentation of natural object stimuli and locally ambiguous stimuli. We report two major results. First, compared with previous estimates, we found a smaller percentage of cells that were consistent across artificial stimuli used previously. Second, we found that the average response of those neurons that did respond consistently to the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli also consistently signaled, as a population, the side-of-figure for borders of single faces, occluding faces and, with higher latencies, even stimuli with illusory contours, such as Mooney faces and natural faces completely missing local edge information. In contrast, the local edge or the outlines of the face alone could not always evoke a significant border-ownership signal. Our results underscore that border ownership is coded by a population of cells, and indicate that these cells integrate a variety of cues, including low-level features and global object context, to compute the segmentation of the scene.
Umilta', M. Alessandra; Berchio, Cristina; Sestito, Mariateresa; Freedberg, David; Gallese, Vittorio
The role of the motor system in the perception of visual art remains to be better understood. Earlier studies on the visual perception of abstract art (from Gestalt theory, as in Arnheim, 1954 and 1988, to balance preference studies as in Locher and Stappers, 2002, and more recent work by Locher et al., 2007; Redies, 2007, and Taylor et al., 2011), neglected the question, while the field of neuroesthetics (Ramachandran and Hirstein, 1999; Zeki, 1999) mostly concentrated on figurative works. Much recent work has demonstrated the multimodality of vision, encompassing the activation of motor, somatosensory, and viscero-motor brain regions. The present study investigated whether the observation of high-resolution digitized static images of abstract paintings by Lucio Fontana is associated with specific cortical motor activation in the beholder's brain. Mu rhythm suppression was evoked by the observation of original art works but not by control stimuli (as in the case of graphically modified versions of these works). Most interestingly, previous visual exposure to the stimuli did not affect the mu rhythm suppression induced by their observation. The present results clearly show the involvement of the cortical motor system in the viewing of static abstract art works. PMID:23162456
Finlay, David; Ivinskis, Algis
Compares the responses of four-month-olds in two situations, one in which a moving peripheral stimulus follows a central fixation stimulus and another where the peripheral stimulus is simultaneous with the central fixation. Simultaneous presentation decreases visual orientation to the peripheral stimulus, but cardiac data indicate that the…
Strauss, Gregory P.; Herbener, Ellen S.
The current study examined whether patterns of emotional response are differentially associated with symptom presentation and functional outcome in individuals with schizophrenia. Participants included 49 outpatients with schizophrenia and 50 demographically matched controls. All participants rated their emotional response to 131 images from the International Affective Picture Systems (IAPS) library on both arousal and valence scales. Stimuli were split into categories of positive versus negatively valenced stimulibased on control subject ratings. Cluster analysis was used to assess whether there were reliably distinct patterns of emotional response within the patient sample. Follow-up discriminant function analysis indicated that these groups were adequately separated. Sixty percent of the individuals with schizophrenia rated valence and arousal similarly to healthy subjects, while 40% displayed an atypical profile. Schizophrenia sub-groups classified by these two emotional response styles significantly differed on measures of functional outcome, severity of negative symptoms, and self-reported anhedonia. Findings are discussed in relation to current theories of emotional experience in schizophrenia. PMID:21330110
Gray, J R; Lee, J K; Robertson, R M
We recorded the activity of the right and left descending contralateral movement detectors responding to 10-cm (small) or 20-cm (large) computer-generated spheres approaching along different trajectories in the locust's frontal field of view. In separate experiments we examined the steering responses of tethered flying locusts to identical stimuli. The descending contralateral movement detectors were more sensitive to variations in target trajectory in the horizontal plane than in the vertical plane. Descending contralateral movement detector activity was related to target trajectory and to target size and was most sensitive to small objects converging on a direct collision course from above and to one side. Small objects failed to induce collision avoidance manoeuvres whereas large objects produced reliable collision avoidance responses. Large targets approaching along a converging trajectory produced steering responses that were either away from or toward the side of approach of the object, whereas targets approaching along trajectories that were offset from the locust's mid-longitudinal body axis primarily evoked responses away from the target. We detected no differences in the discharge properties of the descending contralateral movement detector pair that could account for the different collision avoidance behaviours evoked by varying the target size and trajectories. We suggest that descending contralateral movement detector properties are better suited to predator evasion than collision avoidance.
Noguchi, Yasuki; Tomoike, Kouta
Recent studies argue that strongly-motivated positive emotions (e.g. desire) narrow a scope of attention. This argument is mainly based on an observation that, while humans normally respond faster to global than local information of a visual stimulus (global advantage), positive affects eliminated the global advantage by selectively speeding responses to local (but not global) information. In other words, narrowing of attentional scope was indirectly evidenced by the elimination of global advantage (the same speed of processing between global and local information). No study has directly shown that strongly-motivated positive affects induce faster responses to local than global information while excluding a bias for global information (global advantage) in a baseline (emotionally-neutral) condition. In the present study, we addressed this issue by eliminating the global advantage in a baseline (neutral) state. Induction of positive affects under this state resulted in faster responses to local than global information. Our results provided direct evidence that positive affects in high motivational intensity narrow a scope of attention.
Green, T A; Prokopy, R J; Hosmer, D W
Mature female apple maggot flies,Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh), were released individually onto a single potted, fruitless hawthorne tree in the center of an open field. The tree was surrounded by four 1-m(2) plywood host tree models painted green or white, with or without synthetic host fruit odor (butyl hexanoate), and placed at one of several distances from the release tree. Each fly was permitted to forage freely on the release tree for up to 1 hr, or until it left the tree. Flies left the tree significantly sooner when green models with host fruit were present at 0.5, 1.5, or 2.5 m distance from the release tree than when these models were placed at a greater distance (4.5 m) from the release tree or when no models were present. Flies responded detectably to 1-m(2) models without odor up to a maximum distance of 1.5 m. These results suggest that female apple maggot flies did not detect green 1-m(2) models with odor 4.5 m away or models without odor 2.5 m or more away. Flies responded to white models with and without odor to a much lesser extent, both in terms of response distance and flight to and alightment upon models. Increasing model size to 2 m(2) increased the distance to 2.5 m at which flies responded to green models without odor. Decreasing model size to 0.5 m(2) reduced fly responsiveness to green or white models. The presence of host fruit odor alone, without the visual stimulus of a green model, did not influence residence time on the release tree.
Presents research abstracts from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. Topics include: classroom communication apprehension and distance education; outcomes of a distance-delivered science course; the NASA/Kennedy Space Center Virtual Science Mentor program; survey of traditional and distance learning higher education members;…
Presents six research abstracts from the ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) database. Topics include: effectiveness of distance versus traditional on-campus education; improved attribution recall from diversification of environmental context during computer-based instruction; qualitative analysis of situated Web-based learning;…
Describes a lesson designed to culminate a year of eighth-grade art classes in which students explore elements of design and space by creating 3-D abstract constructions. Outlines the process of using foam board and markers to create various shapes and optical effects. (DSK)
Haines, R. F.; Fitzgerald, J. W.; Rositano, S. A. (Inventor)
An automated visual examination apparatus for measuring visual sensitivity and mapping blind spot location is described. The apparatus includes a projection system for displaying to a patient a series of visual stimuli, a response switch enabling him to indicate his reaction to the stimuli, and a recording system responsive to both the visual stimuli per se and the patient's response. The recording system provides a correlated permanent record of both stimuli and response from which a substantive and readily apparent visual evaluation can be made.
Gropper, Robert; Woodcock, Richard W.
This study was divided into two parts: the primary purpose of the visual discrimination study was to examine the relationship between four rebus sizes and discriminability; and the primary purpose of the auditory visual association study was to examine the relationship between four sizes of rebus symbols and the ability to associate them with…
Dabbs, J M
Low-, medium-, and high-testosterone subjects listened to four 30-s recorded stimuli while a computer system continuously measured their pupil size. The stimuli dealt with sex, aggression, and two neutral topics. Subjects dilated more to sex than to the other topics. Male and female subjects responded similarly, although low-testosterone males did not dilate as long as other subjects to the sexual stimulus. Auditory stimuli avoid a brightness artifact associated with visual stimuli. Auditory stimuli can be used in a variety of pupillometry studies, including studies of ongoing conversation and social interaction.
Zariņa, L.; Fomins, S.
Collinear stimuli facilitate the neural signal in the case of Gabor's stimuli when a low-contrast stimulus inside the receptive field is flanked by higher contrast collinear elements located in surrounding regions of the visual space. Our previous studies pointed to the contextual modulation in the case of the textured stimuli. Collinear suppression was observed in 63% of the responses. In the current research we used Gabor's primitives for building the circular texture objects of vertical and diagonal orientation to be recognized on the horizontally-oriented background in the presence of collinear and orthogonal peripheral stimuli. The two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) psychophysical method with constant stimuli was used to gather the responses of the subjects which choose between left or right position of diagonally-oriented stimuli. The experimental stimuli consisted of two circularly shaped objects presented in visual angle of 2.76 degrees. The expositions of the stimuli varied from 13.3 to 93.3 ms arbitrarily. Visual stimuli were presented with a CRS Visage stimulus generator and shown on a CRT monitor of 75 Hz refresh rate. Our new findings support the concept of suppressing the target stimuli of the same orientation in the presence of a peripheral collinear stimulation.
Berg, Mark E.; Grace, Randolph C.
Six pigeons responded in a visual category learning task in which the stimuli were dimensionally separable Gabor patches that varied in frequency and orientation. We compared performance in two conditions which varied in terms of whether accurate performance required that responding be controlled jointly by frequency and orientation, or…
In a given social context, artistic creation comprises a set of processes, which relate to the activity of the artist and the activity of the spectator. Through these processes we see and understand that the world is vaster than it is said to be. Artistic processes are mediated experiences that open up the world. A successful work of art expresses a reality beyond actual reality: it suggests an unknown world using the means and the signs of the known world. Artistic practices incorporate the means of creation developed by science and technology and change forms as they change. Artists and the public follow different processes of abstraction at different levels, in the definition of the means of creation, of representation and of perception of a work of art. This paper examines how the processes of abstraction are used within the framework of the visual arts and abstract painting, which appeared during a period of growing importance for the processes of abstraction in science and technology, at the beginning of the twentieth century. The development of digital platforms and new man-machine interfaces allow multimedia creations. This is performed under the constraint of phases of multidisciplinary conceptualization using generic representation languages, which tend to abolish traditional frontiers between the arts: visual arts, drama, dance and music. PMID:12903659
Izard, Véronique; Sann, Coralie; Spelke, Elizabeth S; Streri, Arlette
Although infants and animals respond to the approximate number of elements in visual, auditory, and tactile arrays, only human children and adults have been shown to possess abstract numerical representations that apply to entities of all kinds (e.g., 7 samurai, seas, or sins). Do abstract numerical concepts depend on language or culture, or do they form a part of humans' innate, core knowledge? Here we show that newborn infants spontaneously associate stationary, visual-spatial arrays of 4-18 objects with auditory sequences of events on the basis of number. Their performance provides evidence for abstract numerical representations at the start of postnatal experience.
Kazén, Miguel; Solís-Macías, Víctor M
In two experiments, we investigate hypermnesia, net memory improvements with repeated testing of the same material after a single study trial. In the first experiment, we found hypermnesia across three trials for the recall of word solutions to Socratic stimuli (dictionary-like definitions of concepts) replicating Erdelyi, Buschke, and Finkelstein and, for the first time using these materials, for their recognition. In the second experiment, we had two "yes/no" recognition groups, a Socratic stimuli group presented with concrete and abstract verbal materials and a word-only control group. Using signal detection measures, we found hypermnesia for concrete Socratic stimuli-and stable performance for abstract stimuli across three recognition tests. The control group showed memory decrements across tests. We interpret these findings with the alternative retrieval pathways (ARP) hypothesis, contrasting it with alternative theories of hypermnesia, such as depth of processing, generation and retrieve-recognise. We conclude that recognition hypermnesia for concrete Socratic stimuli is a reliable phenomenon, which we found in two experiments involving both forced-choice and yes/no recognition procedures.
Lazareva, Olga F.; Smirnova, Anna A.; Bagozkaja, Maria S.; Zorina, Zoya A.; Rayevsky, Vladimir V.; Wasserman, Edward A.
Eight crows were taught to discriminate overlapping pairs of visual stimuli (A+ B-, B+ C-, C+ D-, and D+ E-). For 4 birds, the stimuli were colored cards with a circle of the same color on the reverse side whose diameter decreased from A to E (ordered feedback group). These circles were made available for comparison to potentially help the crows…
Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W.
The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink…
The processing of a visual target that follows a briefly presented prime stimulus can be facilitated if prime and target stimuli are similar. In contrast to these positive priming effects, inverse priming effects (or negative compatibility effects) have been found when a mask follows prime stimuli before the target stimulus is presented: Responses…
Pena, Tracy; Pitts, Raymond C.; Galizio, Mark
Identity matching-to-sample has been difficult to demonstrate in rats, but most studies have used visual stimuli. There is evidence that rats can acquire complex forms of olfactory stimulus control, and the present study explored the possibility that identity matching might be facilitated in rats if olfactory stimuli were used. Four rats were…
Else, Jane E; Ellis, Jason; Orme, Elizabeth
Art is one of life's great joys, whether it is beautiful, ugly, sublime or shocking. Aesthetic responses to visual art involve sensory, cognitive and visceral processes. Neuroimaging studies have yielded a wealth of information regarding aesthetic appreciation and beauty using visual art as stimuli, but few have considered the effect of expertise on visual and visceral responses. To study the time course of visual, cognitive and emotional processes in response to visual art we investigated the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited whilst viewing and rating the visceral affect of three categories of visual art. Two groups, artists and non-artists viewed representational, abstract and indeterminate 20th century art. Early components, particularly the N1, related to attention and effort, and the P2, linked to higher order visual processing, was enhanced for artists when compared to non-artists. This effect was present for all types of art, but further enhanced for abstract art (AA), which was rated as having lowest visceral affect by the non-artists. The later, slow wave processes (500-1000 ms), associated with arousal and sustained attention, also show clear differences between the two groups in response to both type of art and visceral affect. AA increased arousal and sustained attention in artists, whilst it decreased in non-artists. These results suggest that aesthetic response to visual art is affected by both expertise and semantic content.
Else, Jane E.; Ellis, Jason; Orme, Elizabeth
Art is one of life’s great joys, whether it is beautiful, ugly, sublime or shocking. Aesthetic responses to visual art involve sensory, cognitive and visceral processes. Neuroimaging studies have yielded a wealth of information regarding aesthetic appreciation and beauty using visual art as stimuli, but few have considered the effect of expertise on visual and visceral responses. To study the time course of visual, cognitive and emotional processes in response to visual art we investigated the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited whilst viewing and rating the visceral affect of three categories of visual art. Two groups, artists and non-artists viewed representational, abstract and indeterminate 20th century art. Early components, particularly the N1, related to attention and effort, and the P2, linked to higher order visual processing, was enhanced for artists when compared to non-artists. This effect was present for all types of art, but further enhanced for abstract art (AA), which was rated as having lowest visceral affect by the non-artists. The later, slow wave processes (500–1000 ms), associated with arousal and sustained attention, also show clear differences between the two groups in response to both type of art and visceral affect. AA increased arousal and sustained attention in artists, whilst it decreased in non-artists. These results suggest that aesthetic response to visual art is affected by both expertise and semantic content. PMID:27242497
O’Hare, Louise; Clarke, Alasdair D. F.; Pollux, Petra M. J.
Several types of striped patterns have been reported to cause adverse sensations described as visual discomfort. Previous research using op-art-based stimuli has demonstrated that spurious eye movement signals can cause the experience of illusory motion, or shimmering effects, which might be perceived as uncomfortable. Whilst the shimmering effects are one cause of discomfort, another possible contributor to discomfort is excessive neural responses: As striped patterns do not have the statistical redundancy typical of natural images, they are perhaps unable to be encoded efficiently. If this is the case, then this should be seen in the amplitude of the EEG response. This study found that stimuli that were judged to be most comfortable were also those with the lowest EEG amplitude. This provides some support for the idea that excessive neural responses might also contribute to discomfort judgements in normal populations, in stimuli controlled for perceived contrast. PMID:26422207
Young, L. R.
Preliminary tests and evaluation are presented of pilot performance during landing (flight paths) using computer generated images (video tapes). Psychophysiological factors affecting pilot visual perception were measured. A turning flight maneuver (pitch and roll) was specifically studied using a training device, and the scaling laws involved were determined. Also presented are medical studies (abstracts) on human response to gravity variations without visual cues, acceleration stimuli effects on the semicircular canals, and neurons affecting eye movements, and vestibular tests.
Tsui, Angeline Sin Mei; Ma, Yuen Ki; Ho, Anna; Chow, Hiu Mei; Tseng, Chia-huei
Extracting general rules from specific examples is important, as we must face the same challenge displayed in various formats. Previous studies have found that bimodal presentation of grammar-like rules (e.g. ABA) enhanced 5-month-olds' capacity to acquire a rule that infants failed to learn when the rule was presented with visual presentation of the shapes alone (circle-triangle-circle) or auditory presentation of the syllables (la-ba-la) alone. However, the mechanisms and constraints for this bimodal learning facilitation are still unknown. In this study, we used audio-visual relation congruency between bimodal stimulation to disentangle possible facilitation sources. We exposed 8- to 10-month-old infants to an AAB sequence consisting of visual faces with affective expressions and/or auditory voices conveying emotions. Our results showed that infants were able to distinguish the learned AAB rule from other novel rules under bimodal stimulation when the affects in audio and visual stimuli were congruently paired (Experiments 1A and 2A). Infants failed to acquire the same rule when audio-visual stimuli were incongruently matched (Experiment 2B) and when only the visual (Experiment 1B) or the audio (Experiment 1C) stimuli were presented. Our results highlight that bimodal facilitation in infant rule learning is not only dependent on better statistical probability and redundant sensory information, but also the relational congruency of audio-visual information. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KYTyjH1k9RQ.
Gullick, Margaret M; Mitra, Priya; Coch, Donna
Previous event-related potential studies have indicated that both a widespread N400 and an anterior N700 index differential processing of concrete and abstract words, but the nature of these components in relation to concreteness and imagery has been unclear. Here, we separated the effects of word concreteness and task demands on the N400 and N700 in a single word processing paradigm with a within-subjects, between-tasks design and carefully controlled word stimuli. The N400 was larger to concrete words than to abstract words, and larger in the visualization task condition than in the surface task condition, with no interaction. A marked anterior N700 was elicited only by concrete words in the visualization task condition, suggesting that this component indexes imagery. These findings are consistent with a revised or extended dual coding theory according to which concrete words benefit from greater activation in both verbal and imagistic systems.
Talsma, Durk; Senkowski, Daniel; Woldorff, Marty G
The temporal asynchrony between inputs to different sensory modalities has been shown to be a critical factor influencing the interaction between such inputs. We used scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the effects of attention on the processing of audiovisual multisensory stimuli as the temporal asynchrony between the auditory and visual inputs varied across the audiovisual integration window (i.e., up to 125 ms). Randomized streams of unisensory auditory stimuli, unisensory visual stimuli, and audiovisual stimuli (consisting of the temporally proximal presentation of the visual and auditory stimulus components) were presented centrally while participants attended to either the auditory or the visual modality to detect occasional target stimuli in that modality. ERPs elicited by each of the contributing sensory modalities were extracted by signal processing techniques from the combined ERP waveforms elicited by the multisensory stimuli. This was done for each of the five different 50-ms subranges of stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA: e.g., V precedes A by 125-75 ms, by 75-25 ms, etc.). The extracted ERPs for the visual inputs of the multisensory stimuli were compared among each other and with the ERPs to the unisensory visual control stimuli, separately when attention was directed to the visual or to the auditory modality. The results showed that the attention effects on the right-hemisphere visual P1 was largest when auditory and visual stimuli were temporally aligned. In contrast, the N1 attention effect was smallest at this latency, suggesting that attention may play a role in the processing of the relative temporal alignment of the constituent parts of multisensory stimuli. At longer latencies an occipital selection negativity for the attended versus unattended visual stimuli was also observed, but this effect did not vary as a function of SOA, suggesting that by that latency a stable representation of the auditory and visual stimulus
Regenbogen, Christina; Johansson, Emilia; Andersson, Patrik; Olsson, Mats J; Lundström, Johan N
Most studies exploring multisensory integration have used clearly perceivable stimuli. According to the principle of inverse effectiveness, the added neural and behavioral benefit of integrating clear stimuli is reduced in comparison to stimuli with degraded and less salient unisensory information. Traditionally, speed and accuracy measures have been analyzed separately with few studies merging these to gain an understanding of speed-accuracy trade-offs in multisensory integration. In two separate experiments, we assessed multisensory integration of naturalistic audio-visual objects consisting of individually-tailored perithreshold dynamic visual and auditory stimuli, presented within a multiple-choice task, using a Bayesian Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Model that combines response time and accuracy. For both experiments, unisensory stimuli were degraded to reach a 75% identification accuracy level for all individuals and stimuli to promote multisensory binding. In Experiment 1, we subsequently presented uni- and their respective bimodal stimuli followed by a 5-alternative-forced-choice task. In Experiment 2, we controlled for low-level integration and attentional differences. Both experiments demonstrated significant superadditive multisensory integration of bimodal perithreshold dynamic information. We present evidence that the use of degraded sensory stimuli may provide a link between previous findings of inverse effectiveness on a single neuron level and overt behavior. We further suggest that a combined measure of accuracy and reaction time may be a more valid and holistic approach of studying multisensory integration and propose the application of drift diffusion models for studying behavioral correlates as well as brain-behavior relationships of multisensory integration.
Era, Vanessa; Candidi, Matteo; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria
Emotions have a profound influence on aesthetic experiences. Studies using affective priming procedures demonstrate, for example, that inducing a conscious negative emotional state biases the perception of abstract stimuli towards the sublime (Eskine et al. Emotion 12:1071-1074, 2012. doi: 10.1037/a0027200). Moreover, subliminal happy facial expressions have a positive impact on the aesthetic evaluation of abstract art (Flexas et al. PLoS ONE 8:e80154, 2013). Little is known about how emotion influences aesthetic perception of non-abstract, representational stimuli, especially those that are particularly relevant for social behaviour, like human bodies. Here, we explore whether the subliminal presentation of emotionally charged visual primes modulates the explicit subjective aesthetic judgment of body images. Using a forward/backward masking procedure, we presented subliminally positive and negative, arousal-matched, emotional or neutral primes and measured their effect on the explicit evaluation of perceived beauty (high vs low) and emotion (positive vs negative) evoked by abstract and body images. We found that negative primes increased subjective aesthetic evaluations of target bodies or abstract images in comparison with positive primes. No influence of primes on the emotional dimension of the targets was found, thus ruling out an unspecific arousal effect and strengthening the link between emotional valence and aesthetic appreciation. More specifically, that subliminal negative primes increase beauty ratings compared to subliminal positive primes indicates a clear link between negative emotions and positive aesthetic evaluations and vice versa, suggesting a possible link between negative emotion and the experience of sublime in art. The study expands previous research by showing the effect of subliminal negative emotions on the subjective aesthetic evaluation not only of abstract but also of body images.
Kim, Junsuk; Schultz, Johannes; Rohe, Tim; Wallraven, Christian; Lee, Seong-Whan; Bülthoff, Heinrich H
Emotions can be aroused by various kinds of stimulus modalities. Recent neuroimaging studies indicate that several brain regions represent emotions at an abstract level, i.e., independently from the sensory cues from which they are perceived (e.g., face, body, or voice stimuli). If emotions are indeed represented at such an abstract level, then these abstract representations should also be activated by the memory of an emotional event. We tested this hypothesis by asking human participants to learn associations between emotional stimuli (videos of faces or bodies) and non-emotional stimuli (fractals). After successful learning, fMRI signals were recorded during the presentations of emotional stimuli and emotion-associated fractals. We tested whether emotions could be decoded from fMRI signals evoked by the fractal stimuli using a classifier trained on the responses to the emotional stimuli (and vice versa). This was implemented as a whole-brain searchlight, multivoxel activation pattern analysis, which revealed successful emotion decoding in four brain regions: posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus, MPFC, and angular gyrus. The same analysis run only on responses to emotional stimuli revealed clusters in PCC, precuneus, and MPFC. Multidimensional scaling analysis of the activation patterns revealed clear clustering of responses by emotion across stimulus types. Our results suggest that PCC, precuneus, and MPFC contain representations of emotions that can be evoked by stimuli that carry emotional information themselves or by stimuli that evoke memories of emotional stimuli, while angular gyrus is more likely to take part in emotional memory retrieval.
Ministry of Technology, London (England). Warren Spring Lab.
IN THIS COLLECTION OF ERGONOMICS ABSTRACTS AND ANNOTATIONS THE FOLLOWING AREAS OF CONCERN ARE REPRESENTED--GENERAL REFERENCES, METHODS, FACILITIES, AND EQUIPMENT RELATING TO ERGONOMICS, SYSTEMS OF MAN AND MACHINES, VISUAL, AUDITORY, AND OTHER SENSORY INPUTS AND PROCESSES (INCLUDING SPEECH AND INTELLIGIBILITY), INPUT CHANNELS, BODY MEASUREMENTS,…
Bradley, M M; Lang, P J
Emotional reactions to naturally occurring sounds (e.g., screams, erotica, bombs, etc.) were investigated in two studies. In Experiment 1, subjects rated the pleasure and arousal elicited when listening to each of 60 sounds, followed by an incidental free recall task. The shape of the two-dimensional affective space defined by the mean ratings for each sound was similar to that previously obtained for pictures, and, like memory for pictures, free recall was highest for emotionally arousing stimuli. In Experiment 2, autonomic and facial electromyographic (EMG) activity were recorded while a new group of subjects listened to the same set of sounds; the startle reflex was measured using visual probes. Listening to unpleasant sounds resulted in larger startle reflexes, more corrugator EMG activity, and larger heart rate deceleration compared with listening to pleasant sounds. Electrodermal reactions were larger for emotionally arousing than for neutral materials. Taken together, the data suggest that acoustic cues activate the appetitive and defensive motivational circuits underlying emotional expression in ways similar to pictures.
Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W
The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink effect. Emotional distractors did not cause more interference than neutral distractors on target identification when perceptual or phonological processing of stimuli was required, showing that emotional processing is not as automatic as previously hypothesized. Only when semantic processing of stimuli was required did emotional distractors capture more attention than neutral distractors and increase attentional blink magnitude. Combining the results from 5 experiments, the authors conclude that semantic processing can modulate the attentional capture effect of emotional stimuli.
Fogelson, Noa; Fernandez-Del-Olmo, Miguel; Acero, Rafael Martín
We investigated the effect of abstract versus real-life meaningful images from sports on local contextual processing in two groups of professional athletes. Local context was defined as the occurrence of a short predictive series of stimuli occurring before delivery of a target event. EEG was recorded in 10 professional basketball players and 9 professional athletes of individual sports during three sessions. In each session, a different set of visual stimuli were presented: triangles facing left, up, right, or down; four images of a basketball player throwing a ball; four images of a baseball player pitching a baseball. Stimuli consisted of 15 % targets and 85 % of equal numbers of three types of standards. Recording blocks consisted of targets preceded by randomized sequences of standards and by sequences including a predictive sequence signaling the occurrence of a subsequent target event. Subjects pressed a button in response to targets. In all three sessions, reaction times and peak P3b latencies were shorter for predicted targets compared with random targets, the last most informative stimulus of the predictive sequence induced a robust P3b, and N2 amplitude was larger for random targets compared with predicted targets. P3b and N2 peak amplitudes were larger in the professional basketball group in comparison with professional athletes of individual sports, across the three sessions. The findings of this study suggest that local contextual information is processed similarly for abstract and for meaningful images and that professional basketball players seem to allocate more attentional resources in the processing of these visual stimuli.
Cremmins, Edward T.
A three-stage analytical reading method for the composition of informative and indicative abstracts by authors and abstractors is presented in this monograph, along with background information on the abstracting process and a discussion of professional considerations in abstracting. An introduction to abstracts and abstracting precedes general…
Ye, Zhipeng; Liu, Peng; Zhao, Wei; Tang, Xianglong
Semantic gap limits the performance of bag-of-visual-words. To deal with this problem, a hierarchical abstract semantics method that builds abstract semantic layers, generates semantic visual vocabularies, measures semantic gap, and constructs classifiers using the Adaboost strategy is proposed. First, abstract semantic layers are proposed to narrow the semantic gap between visual features and their interpretation. Then semantic visual words are extracted as features to train semantic classifiers. One popular form of measurement is used to quantify the semantic gap. The Adaboost training strategy is used to combine weak classifiers into strong ones to further improve performance. For a testing image, the category is estimated layer-by-layer. Corresponding abstract hierarchical structures for popular datasets, including Caltech-101 and MSRC, are proposed for evaluation. The experimental results show that the proposed method is capable of narrowing semantic gaps effectively and performs better than other categorization methods.
Ware, Emma; Saunders, Daniel R.; Troje, Nikolaus F.
ABSTRACT Visual motion, a critical cue in communication, can be manipulated and studied using video playback methods. A primary concern for the video playback researcher is the degree to which objects presented on video appear natural to the non-human subject. Here we argue that the quality of motion cues on video, as determined by the video's image presentation rate (IPR), are of particular importance in determining a subject's social response behaviour. We present an experiment testing the effect of variations in IPR on pigeon (Columbia livia) response behaviour towards video images of courting opposite sex partners. Male and female pigeons were presented with three video playback stimuli, each containing a different social partner. Each stimulus was then modified to appear at one of three IPRs: 15, 30 or 60 progressive (p) frames per second. The results showed that courtship behaviour became significantly longer in duration as IPR increased. This finding implies that the IPR significantly affects the perceived quality of motion cues impacting social behaviour. In males we found that the duration of courtship also depended on the social partner viewed and that this effect interacted with the effects of IPR on behaviour. Specifically, the effect of social partner reached statistical significance only when the stimuli were displayed at 60 p, demonstrating the potential for erroneous results when insufficient IPRs are used. In addition to demonstrating the importance of IPR in video playback experiments, these findings help to highlight and describe the role of visual motion processing in communication behaviour. PMID:25964659
Berger, Christopher C.; Ehrsson, H. Henrik
The visual motion aftereffect is a visual illusion in which exposure to continuous motion in one direction leads to a subsequent illusion of visual motion in the opposite direction. Previous findings have been mixed with regard to whether this visual illusion can be induced cross-modally by auditory stimuli. Based on research on multisensory perception demonstrating the profound influence auditory perception can have on the interpretation and perceived motion of visual stimuli, we hypothesized that exposure to auditory stimuli with strong directional motion cues should induce a visual motion aftereffect. Here, we demonstrate that horizontally moving auditory stimuli induced a significant visual motion aftereffect—an effect that was driven primarily by a change in visual motion perception following exposure to leftward moving auditory stimuli. This finding is consistent with the notion that visual and auditory motion perception rely on at least partially overlapping neural substrates. PMID:27994538
Deen, Ben; Richardson, Hilary; Dilks, Daniel D.; Takahashi, Atsushi; Keil, Boris; Wald, Lawrence L.; Kanwisher, Nancy; Saxe, Rebecca
How much of the structure of the human mind and brain is already specified at birth, and how much arises from experience? In this article, we consider the test case of extrastriate visual cortex, where a highly systematic functional organization is present in virtually every normal adult, including regions preferring behaviourally significant stimulus categories, such as faces, bodies, and scenes. Novel methods were developed to scan awake infants with fMRI, while they viewed multiple categories of visual stimuli. Here we report that the visual cortex of 4–6-month-old infants contains regions that respond preferentially to abstract categories (faces and scenes), with a spatial organization similar to adults. However, precise response profiles and patterns of activity across multiple visual categories differ between infants and adults. These results demonstrate that the large-scale organization of category preferences in visual cortex is adult-like within a few months after birth, but is subsequently refined through development. PMID:28072399
Abstract The response properties of neurons to sensory stimuli have been used to identify their receptive fields and to functionally map sensory systems. In primary visual cortex, most neurons are selective to a particular orientation and spatial frequency of the visual stimulus. Using two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal populations from the primary visual cortex of mice, we have characterized the response properties of neurons to various orientations and spatial frequencies. Surprisingly, we found that the orientation selectivity of neurons actually depends on the spatial frequency of the stimulus. This dependence can be easily explained if one assumed spatially asymmetric Gabor-type receptive fields. We propose that receptive fields of neurons in layer 2/3 of visual cortex are indeed spatially asymmetric, and that this asymmetry could be used effectively by the visual system to encode natural scenes. PMID:27699210
Mulholland, Thomas B.
The effects of brain waves and alpha rhythms on attentiveness to visual stimuli are discussed, and preliminary research findings and research needs are considered in connection with measuring and training for attention. (LH)
Mattingly, Ignatius G.
Parallels between sign stimuli and speech cues suggest some interesting speculations about the origins of language. Speech cues may belong to the class of human sign stimuli which, as in animal behavior, may be the product of an innate releasing mechanism. Prelinguistic speech for man may have functioned as a social-releaser system. Human language…
Yang, Weiping; Li, Qi; Ochi, Tatsuya; Yang, Jingjing; Gao, Yulin; Tang, Xiaoyu; Takahashi, Satoshi; Wu, Jinglong
This article aims to investigate whether auditory stimuli in the horizontal plane, particularly originating from behind the participant, affect audiovisual integration by using behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measurements. In this study, visual stimuli were presented directly in front of the participants, auditory stimuli were presented at one location in an equidistant horizontal plane at the front (0°, the fixation point), right (90°), back (180°), or left (270°) of the participants, and audiovisual stimuli that include both visual stimuli and auditory stimuli originating from one of the four locations were simultaneously presented. These stimuli were presented randomly with equal probability; during this time, participants were asked to attend to the visual stimulus and respond promptly only to visual target stimuli (a unimodal visual target stimulus and the visual target of the audiovisual stimulus). A significant facilitation of reaction times and hit rates was obtained following audiovisual stimulation, irrespective of whether the auditory stimuli were presented in the front or back of the participant. However, no significant interactions were found between visual stimuli and auditory stimuli from the right or left. Two main ERP components related to audiovisual integration were found: first, auditory stimuli from the front location produced an ERP reaction over the right temporal area and right occipital area at approximately 160–200 milliseconds; second, auditory stimuli from the back produced a reaction over the parietal and occipital areas at approximately 360–400 milliseconds. Our results confirmed that audiovisual integration was also elicited, even though auditory stimuli were presented behind the participant, but no integration occurred when auditory stimuli were presented in the right or left spaces, suggesting that the human brain might be particularly sensitive to information received from behind than both sides. PMID:23799097
Scherzer, B P; Charbonneau, S; Solomon, C R; Lepore, F
Abstract abilities were studied in a sample of 34 individuals with severe TBI and a control group. The results indicate that TBI interferes with performance on tests requiring individuals to process information into new categories. There appears to be a dissociation between verbal abstract abilities and visual-perceptual abstract abilities. There is evidence that Goldstein and Sheerer's  postulate of a general 'abstract attitude' was at least partially correct. This attitude does not appear to be related to a general verbal ideational process, as dysphasic subjects were only deficient on a purely verbal abstract task.
Marran, L; Schor, C
Virtual reality environments can introduce multiple and sometimes conflicting accommodative stimuli. For instance, with the high-powered lenses commonly used in head-mounted displays, small discrepancies in screen lens placement, caused by manufacturer error or user adjustment focus error, can change the focal depths of the image by a couple of diopters. This can introduce a binocular accommodative stimulus or, if the displacement between the two screens is unequal, an unequal (anisometropic) accommodative stimulus for the two eyes. Systems that allow simultaneous viewing of virtual and real images can also introduce a conflict in accommodative stimuli: When real and virtual images are at different focal planes, both cannot be in focus at the same time, though they may appear to be in similar locations in space. In this paper four unique designs are described that minimize the range of accommodative stimuli and maximize the visual system's ability to cope efficiently with the focus conflicts that remain: pinhole optics, monocular lens addition combined with aniso-accommodation, chromatic bifocal, and bifocal lens system. The advantages and disadvantages of each design are described and recommendation for design choice is given after consideration of the end use of the virtual reality system (e.g., low or high end, entertainment, technical, or medical use). The appropriate design modifications should allow greater user comfort and better performance.
Creating charts and graphs is all about visual abstraction: the process of representing aspects of data with imagery that can be interpreted by the reader. Children may need help making the link between the "real" and the image. This abstraction can be achieved using symbols, size, colour and position. Where the representation is close to what…
(Abstract only) The AAVSO is in the process of expanding its education, outreach and speakers bureau program. powerpoint presentations prepared for specific target audiences such as AAVSO members, educators, students, the general public, and Science Olympiad teams, coaches, event supervisors, and state directors will be available online for members to use. The presentations range from specific and general content relating to stellar evolution and variable stars to specific activities for a workshop environment. A presentation—even with a general topic—that works for high school students will not work for educators, Science Olympiad teams, or the general public. Each audience is unique and requires a different approach. The current environment necessitates presentations that are captivating for a younger generation that is embedded in a highly visual and sound-bite world of social media, twitter and U-Tube, and mobile devices. For educators, presentations and workshops for themselves and their students must support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Common Core Content Standards, and the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative. Current best practices for developing relevant and engaging powerpoint presentations to deliver information to a variety of targeted audiences will be presented along with several examples.
Le Cerf, D
The polymers can be found in different forms in solution (particles, capsules, pseudo-micelles, hydrogels…) or on surface with important prospects in many field applications. These polymer systems are particularly very good candidates to entrap, transport and deliver an active substance in biomedical applications however with many limitations on control of release of a given target. The stimuli-sensitive polymers, also called smart or environmentally sensitive polymers, present physical or chemical changes under the action of small variations of an external stimulus. This signal acts as a stimulus which causes the change of conformation and/or solvation of the macromolecular chains by modifying their various interactions. The stimuli are classified into two broad categories: physical or external stimuli: temperature, mechanical stress, light, magnetic and electric fields; chemical and biochemical or internal stimuli: pH, ionic strength, chemical molecule (glucose, redox) or biochemical (enzymes, antigens…). The use of stimuli-sensitive pathway is widely used in the literature to enhance or trigger the release of an active compound. In this paper, we present the different stimuli addressing the theoretical aspects, polymers corresponding to these stimuli. Some examples illustrate these systems for the controlled release of active compounds.
How Does the Hippocampal Formation Mediate Memory for Stimuli Processed by the Magnocellular and Parvocellular Visual Pathways? Evidence from the Comparison of Schizophrenia and Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI)
Keri, Szabolcs; Szamosi, Andras; Benedek, Gyorgy; Kelemen, Oguz
Paired associates learning is impaired in both schizophrenia and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which may reflect hippocampal pathology. In addition, schizophrenia is characterized by the dysfunction of the retino-geniculo-striatal magnocellular (M) visual pathway. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction between…
Peirce, Jonathan W
PsychoPy is a software library written in Python, using OpenGL to generate very precise visual stimuli on standard personal computers. It is designed to allow the construction of as wide a variety of neuroscience experiments as possible, with the least effort. By writing scripts in standard Python syntax users can generate an enormous variety of visual and auditory stimuli and can interact with a wide range of external hardware (enabling its use in fMRI, EEG, MEG etc.). The structure of scripts is simple and intuitive. As a result, new experiments can be written very quickly, and trying to understand a previously written script is easy, even with minimal code comments. PsychoPy can also generate movies and image sequences to be used in demos or simulated neuroscience experiments. This paper describes the range of tools and stimuli that it provides and the environment in which experiments are conducted.
Begault, Durand R.; Wenzel, Elizabeth M.
Recently, three dimensional acoustic display systems have been developed that synthesize virtual sound sources over headphones based on filtering by Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs), the direction-dependent spectral changes caused primarily by the outer ears. Here, 11 inexperienced subjects judged the apparent spatial location of headphone-presented speech stimuli filtered with non-individualized HRTFs. About half of the subjects 'pulled' their judgements toward either the median or the lateral-vertical planes, and estimates were almost always elevated. Individual differences were pronounced for the distance judgements; 15 to 46 percent of stimuli were heard inside the head with the shortest estimates near the median plane. The results infer that most listeners can obtain useful azimuth information from speech stimuli filtered by nonindividualized RTFs. Measurements of localization error and reversal rates are comparable with a previous study that used broadband noise stimuli.
Hagler, Donald J.
Behavioral responses to visual stimuli exhibit visual field asymmetries, but cortical folding and the close proximity of visual cortical areas make electrophysiological comparisons between different stimulus locations problematic. Retinotopy-constrained source estimation (RCSE) uses distributed dipole models simultaneously constrained by multiple stimulus locations to provide separation between individual visual areas that is not possible with conventional source estimation methods. Magnetoencephalography and RCSE were used to estimate time courses of activity in V1, V2, V3, and V3A. Responses to left and right hemifield stimuli were not significantly different. Peak latencies for peripheral stimuli were significantly shorter than those for perifoveal stimuli in V1, V2, and V3A, likely related to the greater proportion of magnocellular input to V1 in the periphery. Consistent with previous results, sensor magnitudes for lower field stimuli were about twice as large as for upper field, which is only partially explained by the proximity to sensors for lower field cortical sources in V1, V2, and V3. V3A exhibited both latency and amplitude differences for upper and lower field responses. There were no differences for V3, consistent with previous suggestions that dorsal and ventral V3 are two halves of a single visual area, rather than distinct areas V3 and VP. PMID:25527151
Reynolds, Greg D.; Zhang, Dantong; Guy, Maggie W.
The goal of this study was to examine developmental change in visual attention to dynamic visual and audiovisual stimuli in 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old infants. Infant look duration was measured during exposure to dynamic geometric patterns and Sesame Street video clips under three different stimulus modality conditions: unimodal visual, synchronous…
Monaghan, John; Ozmantar, Mehmet Fatih
What is involved in consolidating a new mathematical abstraction? This paper examines the work of one student who was working on a task designed to consolidate two recently constructed absolute function abstractions. The study adopts an activity theoretic model of abstraction in context. Selected protocol data are presented. The initial state of…
Monaghan, John; Ozmantar, Mehmet Fatih
The framework for this paper is a recently developed theory of abstraction in context. The paper reports on data collected from one student working on tasks concerned with absolute value functions. It examines the relationship between mathematical constructions and abstractions. It argues that an abstraction is a consolidated construction that can…
Boucher, Olivier; Chouinard-Leclaire, Christine; Muckle, Gina; Westerlund, Alissa; Burden, Matthew J; Jacobson, Sandra W; Jacobson, Joseph L
Recognition memory for concrete, nameable pictures is typically faster and more accurate than for abstract pictures. A dual-coding account for these findings suggests that concrete pictures are processed into verbal and image codes, whereas abstract pictures are encoded in image codes only. Recognition memory relies on two successive and distinct processes, namely familiarity and recollection. Whether these two processes are similarly or differently affected by stimulus concreteness remains unknown. This study examined the effect of picture concreteness on visual recognition memory processes using event-related potentials (ERPs). In a sample of children involved in a longitudinal study, participants (N=96; mean age=11.3years) were assessed on a continuous visual recognition memory task in which half the pictures were easily nameable, everyday concrete objects, and the other half were three-dimensional abstract, sculpture-like objects. Behavioral performance and ERP correlates of familiarity and recollection (respectively, the FN400 and P600 repetition effects) were measured. Behavioral results indicated faster and more accurate identification of concrete pictures as "new" or "old" (i.e., previously displayed) compared to abstract pictures. ERPs were characterized by a larger repetition effect, on the P600 amplitude, for concrete than for abstract images, suggesting a graded recollection process dependent on the type of material to be recollected. Topographic differences were observed within the FN400 latency interval, especially over anterior-inferior electrodes, with the repetition effect more pronounced and localized over the left hemisphere for concrete stimuli, potentially reflecting different neural processes underlying early processing of verbal/semantic and visual material in memory.
Guo, Jing; McLeod, Poppy Lauretta
Drawing upon the Search for Ideas in Associative Memory (SIAM) model as the theoretical framework, the impact of heterogeneity and topic relevance of visual stimuli on ideation performance was examined. Results from a laboratory experiment showed that visual stimuli increased productivity and diversity of idea generation, that relevance to the…
Chen, Min; Botchen, Ralf P; Hashim, Rudy R; Weiskopf, Daniel; Ertl, Thomas; Thornton, Ian M
Video visualization is a computation process that extracts meaningful information from original video data sets and conveys the extracted information to users in appropriate visual representations. This paper presents a broad treatment of the subject, following a typical research pipeline involving concept formulation, system development, a path-finding user study, and a field trial with real application data. In particular, we have conducted a fundamental study on the visualization of motion events in videos. We have, for the first time, deployed flow visualization techniques in video visualization. We have compared the effectiveness of different abstract visual representations of videos. We have conducted a user study to examine whether users are able to learn to recognize visual signatures of motions, and to assist in the evaluation of different visualization techniques. We have applied our understanding and the developed techniques to a set of application video clips. Our study has demonstrated that video visualization is both technically feasible and cost-effective. It has provided the first set of evidence confirming that ordinary users can be accustomed to the visual features depicted in video visualizations, and can learn to recognize visual signatures of a variety of motion events.
In work done jointly with Toby Walsh, the author has provided a sound theoretical foundation to the process of reasoning with abstraction (GW90c, GWS9, GW9Ob, GW90a). The notion of abstraction formalized in this work can be informally described as: (property 1), the process of mapping a representation of a problem, called (following historical convention (Sac74)) the 'ground' representation, onto a new representation, called the 'abstract' representation, which, (property 2) helps deal with the problem in the original search space by preserving certain desirable properties and (property 3) is simpler to handle as it is constructed from the ground representation by "throwing away details". One desirable property preserved by an abstraction is provability; often there is a relationship between provability in the ground representation and provability in the abstract representation. Another can be deduction or, possibly inconsistency. By 'throwing away details' we usually mean that the problem is described in a language with a smaller search space (for instance a propositional language or a language without variables) in which formulae of the abstract representation are obtained from the formulae of the ground representation by the use of some terminating rewriting technique. Often we require that the use of abstraction results in more efficient .reasoning. However, it might simply increase the number of facts asserted (eg. by allowing, in practice, the exploration of deeper search spaces or by implementing some form of learning). Among all abstractions, three very important classes have been identified. They relate the set of facts provable in the ground space to those provable in the abstract space. We call: TI abstractions all those abstractions where the abstractions of all the provable facts of the ground space are provable in the abstract space; TD abstractions all those abstractions wllere the 'unabstractions' of all the provable facts of the abstract space are
Rosser, Rosemary A.; And Others
The ability of 40 children four and five years of age to discriminate reflections and rotations of visual stimuli was examined in a kinetic imagery task. Results revealed that prediction accuracy was associated with the existence of orientation markers on the stimuli, as well as age, sex, type of discrimination, and several interactions among the…
Hubner, Ronald; Studer, Tobias
Up to now functional hemispheric asymmetries for global/local processing have mainly been investigated with hierarchical letters as stimuli. In the present study, three experiments were conducted to examine whether corresponding visual-field (VF) effects can also be obtained with more naturalistic stimuli. To this end, images of animals with a…
Ferrari, Pier Luigi
Some current interpretations of abstraction in mathematical settings are examined from different perspectives, including history and learning. It is argued that abstraction is a complex concept and that it cannot be reduced to generalization or decontextualization only. In particular, the links between abstraction processes and the emergence of new objects are shown. The role that representations have in abstraction is discussed, taking into account both the historical and the educational perspectives. As languages play a major role in mathematics, some ideas from functional linguistics are applied to explain to what extent mathematical notations are to be considered abstract. Finally, abstraction is examined from the perspective of mathematics education, to show that the teaching ideas resulting from one-dimensional interpretations of abstraction have proved utterly unsuccessful. PMID:12903658
Vigil, Jacob M; Torres, Daniel; Wolff, Alexander; Hughes, Katy
BACKGROUND: Contextual factors, including the gender of researchers, influence experimental and patient pain reports. It is currently not known how social stimuli influence pain percepts, nor which types of sensory modalities of communication, such as auditory, visual or olfactory cues associated with person perception and gender processing, produce these effects. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether exposure to two forms of social stimuli (audio and visual) from a virtual male or female stranger modulates cold pressor task (CPT) pain reports. METHODS: Participants with similar demographic characteristics conducted a CPT in solitude, without the physical presence of an experimenter or another person. During the CPT, participants were exposed to the voice and image of a virtual male or female stranger. The voices had analogous vocal prosody, provided no semantic information (spoken in a foreign language) and differed only in pitch; the images depicted a middle-age male or female health care practitioner. RESULTS: Male participants, but not females, showed higher CPT pain intensity when they were exposed to the female stimuli compared with the male stimuli. Follow-up analyses showed that the association between the social stimuli and variability in pain sensitivity was not moderated by individual differences in subjective (eg, self-image) or objective measurements of one’s physical stature. DISCUSSION: The findings show that exposure to virtual, gender-based auditory and visual social stimuli influences exogenous pain sensitivity. CONCLUSION: Further research on how contextual factors, such as the vocal properties of health care examiners and exposure to background voices, may influence momentary pain perception is necessary for creating more standardized methods for measuring patient pain reports in clinical settings. PMID:24911175
Huckauf, Anke; Knops, Andre; Nuerk, Hans-Christoph; Willmes, Klaus
Effects of semantic processing of crowded characters were investigated using numbers as stimuli. In an identification task, typical spacing effects in crowding were replicated. Using the same stimuli in a magnitude comparison task, a smaller effect of spacing was observed as well as an effect of response congruency. These effects were replicated in a second experiment with varying stimulus-onset asynchronies. In addition, decreasing performance with increasing onset-asynchrony (so-called type-B masking) for incongruent flankers indicates semantic processing of target and flankers. The data show that semantic processing takes place even in crowded stimuli. This argues strongly against common accounts of crowding in terms of early stimulus-driven impairments of processing.
Munyan, Benson G.; Neer, Sandra M.; Beidel, Deborah C.; Jentsch, Florian
Background Exposure therapy (EXP) is the most empirically supported treatment for anxiety and trauma-related disorders. EXP consists of repeated exposure to a feared object or situation in the absence of the feared outcome in order to extinguish associated anxiety. Key to the success of EXP is the need to present the feared object/event/situation in as much detail and utilizing as many sensory modalities as possible, in order to augment the sense of presence during exposure sessions. Various technologies used to augment the exposure therapy process by presenting multi-sensory cues (e.g., sights, smells, sounds). Studies have shown that scents can elicit emotionally charged memories, but no prior research has examined the effect of olfactory stimuli upon the patient’s sense of presence during simulated exposure tasks. Methods 60 adult participants navigated a mildly anxiety-producing virtual environment (VE) similar to those used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Participants had no autobiographical memory associated with the VE. State anxiety, Presence ratings, and electrodermal (EDA) activity were collected throughout the experiment. Results Utilizing a Bonferroni corrected Linear Mixed Model, our results showed statistically significant relationships between olfactory stimuli and presence as assessed by both the Igroup Presence Questionnaire (IPQ: R2 = 0.85, (F(3,52) = 6.625, p = 0.0007) and a single item visual-analogue scale (R2 = 0.85, (F(3,52) = 5.382, p = 0.0027). State anxiety was unaffected by the presence or absence of olfactory cues. EDA was unaffected by experimental condition. Conclusion Olfactory stimuli increase presence in virtual environments that approximate those typical in exposure therapy, but did not increase EDA. Additionally, once administered, the removal of scents resulted in a disproportionate decrease in presence. Implications for incorporating the use of scents to increase the efficacy of exposure therapy is discussed. PMID
Nevin, John A
Radical behaviorism considers private events to be a part of ongoing observable behavior and to share the properties of public events. Although private events cannot be measured directly, their roles in overt action can be inferred from mathematical models that relate private responses to external stimuli and reinforcers according to the same quantitative relations that characterize public operant behavior. This approach is illustrated by a model of attending to stimuli and to anticipated reinforcers in delayed matching to sample, in which the probabilities of attending are related to reinforcer rates by an expression derived from research on behavioral momentum. PMID:22478505
Tullis, Jonathan G; Braverman, Michael; Ross, Brian H; Benjamin, Aaron S
Remindings-stimulus-guided retrievals of prior events-may help us interpret ambiguous events by linking the current situation to relevant prior experiences. Evidence suggests that remindings play an important role in interpreting complex ambiguous stimuli (Ross & Bradshaw Memory & Cognition, 22, 591-605, 1994); here, we evaluate whether remindings will influence word interpretation and memory in a new paradigm. Learners studied words on distinct visual backgrounds and generated a sentence for each word. Homographs were preceded by a biasing cue on the same background three items earlier, preceded by a biasing cue on a different background three items earlier, or followed by a biasing cue on the same background three items later. When biasing cues preceded the homographs on the same backgrounds as the homographs, the meanings of the homographs in learner-generated sentences were consistent with the biasing cues more often than in the other two conditions. These results show that remindings can influence word interpretation. In addition, later memory for the homographs and cues was greater when the meaning of the homograph in the sentence was consistent with the earlier biasing cue, suggesting that remindings enhanced mnemonic performance. Remindings play an important role in how we interpret ambiguous stimuli and enhance memory for the involved material.
Thompson, Nancy S.
Because audio-visual information is pervasive in contemporary cultural communications, this study looked at the importance of audio-visual information and how it can be used for educational purposes. Specifically, the study compared the effectiveness of audio-pictorial slide-tape presentations and printed verbal language selections as stimuli for…
Peh, W C G; Ng, K H
The abstract of a scientific paper represents a concise, accurate and factual mini-version of the paper contents. Abstract format may vary according to the individual journal. For original articles, a structured abstract usually consists of the following headings: aims (or objectives), materials and methods, results and conclusion. A few keywords that capture the main topics of the paper help indexing in the medical literature.
The aim of this paper is to present the results concerning the influence of visual echo and reverberation on the speech process of stutterers. Visual stimuli along with the influence of acoustic and visual-acoustic stimuli have been compared. Following this the methods of implementing visual feedback with the aid of electroluminescent diodes directed by speech signals have been presented. The concept of a computerized visual echo based on the acoustic recognition of Polish syllabic vowels has been also presented. All the research nd trials carried out at our center, aside from cognitive aims, generally aim at the development of new speech correctors to be utilized in stuttering therapy.
Bechtold, A. Gordon; And Others
This study is an investigation of 2-month-old infants' abilities to visually localize visual and auditory peripheral stimuli. Each subject (N=40) was presented with 50 trials; 25 of these visual and 25 auditory. The infant was placed in a semi-upright infant seat positioned 122 cm from the center speaker of an arc formed by five loudspeakers. At…
Procyk, Christopher A.; Brown, Timothy M.; Lucas, Robert J.
Key points Using in vivo electrophysiology, we find that a subset of whisker‐responsive neurons in the ventral posterior medial region (VPM) respond to visual stimuli.These light‐responsive neurons in the VPM are particularly sensitive to optic flow.Presentation of optic flow stimuli modulates the amplitude of concurrent whisker responses.Visual information reaches the VPM via a circuit encompassing the visual cortex.These data represent a new example of cross‐modal integration in the primary sensory thalamus. Abstract Sensory signals reach the cortex via sense‐specific thalamic nuclei. Here we report that neurons in the primary sensory thalamus of the mouse vibrissal system (the ventral posterior medial region; VPM) can be excited by visual as well as whisker stimuli. Using extracellular electrophysiological recordings from anaesthetized mice we first show that simple light steps can excite a subset of VPM neurons. We then test the ability of the VPM to respond to spatial patterns and show that many units are excited by visual motion in a direction‐selective manner. Coherent movement of multiple objects (an artificial recreation of ‘optic flow’ that would usually occur during head rotations or body movements) best engages this visual motion response. We next show that, when co‐applied with visual stimuli, the magnitude of responses to whisker deflections is highest in the presence of optic flow going in the opposite direction. Importantly, whisker response amplitude is also modulated by presentation of a movie recreating the mouse's visual experience during natural exploratory behaviour. We finally present functional and anatomical data indicating a functional connection (probably multisynaptic) from the primary visual cortex to VPM. These data provide a rare example of multisensory integration occurring at the level of the sensory thalamus, and provide evidence for dynamic regulation of whisker responses according to visual experience. PMID
Nevin, John A.
Radical behaviorism considers private events to be a part of ongoing observable behavior and to share the properties of public events. Although private events cannot be measured directly, their roles in overt action can be inferred from mathematical models that relate private responses to external stimuli and reinforcers according to the same…
This document is a compilation of the abstracts from unclassified documents published by Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) during the calendar year 1988. Many abstracts summarize work completed and published in report form. These are UCRL-90,000 and 100,000 series documents, which include the full text of articles to be published in journals and of papers to be presented at meetings, and UCID reports, which are informal documents. Not all UCIDs contain abstracts: short summaries were generated when abstracts were not included. Technical Abstracts also provides brief descriptions of those documents assigned to the MISC (miscellaneous) category. These are generally viewgraphs or photographs presented at meetings. The abstracts cover the broad range of technologies within Mechanical Engineering and are grouped by the principal author's division. An eighth category is devoted to abstracts presented at the CUBE symposium sponsored jointly by LLNL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia Laboratories. Within these areas, abstracts are listed numerically. An author index and title index are provided at the back of the book for cross referencing. The publications listed may be obtained by contacting LLNL's TID library or the National Technical Information Service, US Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161. Further information may be obtained by contacting the author directly or the persons listed in the introduction of each subject area.
Abstraction is, in effect, a simplification and reduction of shapes with an absence of detail designed to comprise the essence of the more naturalistic images being depicted. Without even intending to, young children consistently create interesting, and sometimes beautiful, abstract compositions. A child's creations, moreover, will always seem to…
Milliron, Mark D., Ed.
The abstracts in this series provide brief discussions of issues related to leadership, administration, professional development, technology, and education in community colleges. Volume 10 for 1997 contains the following 12 abstracts: (1) "On Community College Renewal" (Nathan L. Hodges and Mark D. Milliron); (2) "The Community College Niche in a…
For this author, one of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching elementary art is the willingness of students to embrace the different styles of art introduced to them. In this article, she describes a project that allows upper-elementary students to learn about abstract art and the lives of some of the master abstract artists, implement the idea…
Pratt, Dave; Noss, Richard
Our focus is on the design of systems (pedagogical, technical, social) that encourage mathematical abstraction, a process we refer to as "designing for abstraction." In this paper, we draw on detailed design experiments from our research on children's understanding about chance and distribution to re-present this work as a case study in designing…
Johnson, Larry, Ed.
The abstracts in this series provide two-page discussions of issues related to leadership, administration, professional development, technology, and education in community colleges. Volume 9 for 1996 includes the following 12 abstracts: (1) "Tech-Prep + School-To-Work: Working Together To Foster Educational Reform," (Roderick F. Beaumont); (2)…
Falcione, Raymond L.; And Others
This document includes nearly 700 brief abstracts of works published in 1975 that are relevant to the field of organizational communication. The introduction presents a rationale for the project, a review of research methods developed by the authors for the preparation of abstracts, a statement of limitations as to the completeness of the coverage…
Owre, Sam; Shankar, Natarajan
PVS (Prototype Verification System) is a general-purpose environment for developing specifications and proofs. This document deals primarily with the abstract datatype mechanism in PVS which generates theories containing axioms and definitions for a class of recursive datatypes. The concepts underlying the abstract datatype mechanism are illustrated using ordered binary trees as an example. Binary trees are described by a PVS abstract datatype that is parametric in its value type. The type of ordered binary trees is then presented as a subtype of binary trees where the ordering relation is also taken as a parameter. We define the operations of inserting an element into, and searching for an element in an ordered binary tree; the bulk of the report is devoted to PVS proofs of some useful properties of these operations. These proofs illustrate various approaches to proving properties of abstract datatype operations. They also describe the built-in capabilities of the PVS proof checker for simplifying abstract datatype expressions.
Taffou, Marine; Ondřej, Jan; O'Sullivan, Carol; Warusfel, Olivier; Dubal, Stéphanie; Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle
Affect, space, and multisensory integration are processes that are closely linked. However, it is unclear whether the spatial location of emotional stimuli interacts with multisensory presentation to influence the emotional experience they induce in the perceiver. In this study, we used the unique advantages of virtual reality techniques to present potentially aversive crowd stimuli embedded in a natural context and to control their display in terms of sensory and spatial presentation. Individuals high in crowdphobic fear navigated in an auditory-visual virtual environment, in which they encountered virtual crowds presented through the visual channel, the auditory channel, or both. They reported the intensity of their negative emotional experience at a far distance and at a close distance from the crowd stimuli. Whereas auditory-visual presentation of close feared stimuli amplified negative feelings, auditory-visual presentation of distant feared stimuli did not amplify negative feelings. This suggests that spatial closeness allows multisensory processes to modulate the intensity of the emotional experience induced by aversive stimuli. Nevertheless, the specific role of auditory stimulation must be investigated to better understand this interaction between multisensory, affective, and spatial representation processes. This phenomenon may serve the implementation of defensive behaviors in response to aversive stimuli that are in position to threaten an individual's feeling of security.
Euler, Matthew J; Weisend, Michael P; Jung, Rex E; Thoma, Robert J; Yeo, Ronald A
The ability to reliably respond to stimuli could be an important biological determinant of differences in fluid intelligence (Gf). However, most electrophysiological studies of Gf employ event-related potential (ERP) measures that average brain activity over trials, and hence have limited power to quantify neural variability. Time-frequency analyses can capture cross-trial variation in the phase of neural activity, and thus can help address the importance of neural reliability to differences in Gf. This study recruited a community sample of healthy adults and measured inter-trial phase clustering (ITPC), total spectral power, and ERP amplitudes elicited by Repeated and Novel non-target stimuli during two visual oddball tasks. Condition effects, relations among the EEG measures, and relations with Gf were assessed. Early visual responses to Repeated stimuli elicited higher ITPC, yet only ITPC elicited by Novel stimuli was associated with Gf. Analyses of spectral power further highlighted the contribution of phase consistency to the findings. The link between Gf and reliable responding to changing inputs suggests an important role for flexible resource allocation in fluid intellectual skills.
Jiang, Tao; Soussignan, Robert; Rigaud, Daniel; Martin, Sylviane; Royet, Jean-Pierre; Brondel, Laurent; Schaal, Benoist
Negative alliesthesia to olfactory and visual stimuli was assessed in 29 normal-weight women who, on alternate days, were either fasting or in a postprandial state after an ad libitum lunch. The participants were alternatively exposed to food and non-food pictures and odorants, and then rated for their hedonic appreciation (liking) and their desire to ingest (wanting) the evoked foods. While negative alliesthesia was observed only for food stimuli, it did not equally affect all food categories in either sensory modality. The stimuli representing foods eaten in typical local main dishes or having high energy density (e.g., pizza, bacon, beef, cheese) evoked clear negative alliesthesia, whereas this was not the case for those less consumed within a customary meal or associated with desserts (i.e., fruits). Furthermore, the visual food stimuli triggered a more negative shift in liking than did the food odours. Finally, the shift in wanting between pre- and post-meal state was more important than the shift in liking. These results suggest that alliesthesia may be influenced by both metabolic and non-metabolic factors.
The set of experiments comprising the Spacelab 1ES201 package designed to investigate the human vestibular system and equilibratory function in weightlessness are described. The specific objectives of the experiments include: (1) the determination of the threshold of perception of linear oscillatory motion; (2) measurement of physiological and subjective responses to supra threshold, linear and angular motion stimuli; (3) study of the postural adjustments, eye movements, and illusions of attitude and motion evoked by optokinetic stimuli, (i.e., moving visual patterns) in order to assess visual/vestibular interactions; (4) examination of the effect of thermal stimulations of the vestibular apparatus to determine if the eye movements elicited by the 'caloric test' are used by a density gradient in the semicircular canal; and (5) investigation of the pathogenesis of space motion sickness by recording signs and symptoms during the course of vestibular stimulation and, specifically, when the test subject is exposed to sustained, linear oscillatory motion.
Pacheco-Unguetti, Antonia Pilar; Parmentier, Fabrice B R
Rare and unexpected changes (deviants) in an otherwise repeated stream of task-irrelevant auditory distractors (standards) capture attention and impair behavioural performance in an ongoing visual task. Recent evidence indicates that this effect is increased by sadness in a task involving neutral stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that such effect may not be limited to negative emotions but reflect a general depletion of attentional resources by examining whether a positive emotion (happiness) would increase deviance distraction too. Prior to performing an auditory-visual oddball task, happiness or a neutral mood was induced in participants by means of the exposure to music and the recollection of an autobiographical event. Results from the oddball task showed significantly larger deviance distraction following the induction of happiness. Interestingly, the small amount of distraction typically observed on the standard trial following a deviant trial (post-deviance distraction) was not increased by happiness. We speculate that happiness might interfere with the disengagement of attention from the deviant sound back towards the target stimulus (through the depletion of cognitive resources and/or mind wandering) but help subsequent cognitive control to recover from distraction.
Traditionally, abstraction in planning has been accomplished by either state abstraction or operator abstraction, neither of which has been fully automatic. We present a new method, predicate relaxation, for automatically performing state abstraction. PABLO, a nonlinear hierarchical planner, implements predicate relaxation. Theoretical, as well as empirical results are presented which demonstrate the potential advantages of using predicate relaxation in planning. We also present a new definition of hierarchical operators that allows us to guarantee a limited form of completeness. This new definition is shown to be, in some ways, more flexible than previous definitions of hierarchical operators. Finally, a Classical Truth Criterion is presented that is proven to be sound and complete for a planning formalism that is general enough to include most classical planning formalisms that are based on the STRIPS assumption.
Kerbel, Sandra Sandor
Describes the scope, content, and retrieval characteristics of Sociological Abstracts, an online database of literature in the social sciences. Sample searches are displayed, and the strengths and weaknesses of the database are summarized. (FM)
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 1982
Abstracts from nine selected papers presented at the 1982 Association for Educational Data Systems (AEDS) conference are provided. Copies of conference proceedings may be obtained for fifteen dollars from the Association. (MP)
Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting, 1997
Presents abstracts of SIG Sessions. Highlights include digital collections; information retrieval methods; public interest/fair use; classification and indexing; electronic publication; funding; globalization; information technology projects; interface design; networking in developing countries; metadata; multilingual databases; networked…
Rajsic, Jason; Taylor, J Eric T; Pratt, Jay
Confirmation bias has recently been reported in visual search, where observers who were given a perceptual rule to test (e.g. "Is the p on a red circle?") search stimuli that could confirm the rule stimuli preferentially (Rajsic, Wilson, & Pratt, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41(5), 1353-1364, 2015). In this study, we compared the ability of concrete and abstract visual templates to guide attention using the visual confirmation bias. Experiment 1 showed that confirmatory search tendencies do not result from simple low-level priming, as they occurred when color templates were verbally communicated. Experiment 2 showed that confirmation bias did not occur when targets needed to be reported as possessing or not possessing the absence of a feature (i.e., reporting whether a target was on a nonred circle). Experiment 3 showed that confirmatory search also did not occur when search prompts referred to a set of visually heterogenous features (i.e., reporting whether a target on a colorful circle, regardless of the color). Together, these results show that the confirmation bias likely results from a matching heuristic, such that visual codes involved in representing the search goal prioritize stimuli possessing these features.
This volume contains 571 abstracts of contributed papers to be presented during the Twelfth US National Congress of Applied Mechanics. Abstracts are arranged in the order in which they fall in the program -- the main sessions are listed chronologically in the Table of Contents. The Author Index is in alphabetical order and lists each paper number (matching the schedule in the Final Program) with its corresponding page number in the book.
Schubert, Claus; Gfeller, Mary; Donohue, Christopher
This study explores the use of Group Explorer in an undergraduate mathematics course in abstract algebra. The visual nature of Group Explorer in representing concepts in group theory is an attractive incentive to use this software in the classroom. However, little is known about students' perceptions on this technology in learning concepts in…
(Abstract only) I will present the evidence and discovery stories of three cataclysmic variables who appear to be members of the Z Cam class of dwarf novae. One discovered by a lone visual observer and his unwavering patience and persistence, one through the directed effort of the ongoing Z CamPaign and one via survey data from the Gaia satellite.
This booklet contains 51 abstracts of papers presented at the 1992 conference for the Research Council for Diagnostic and Prescriptive Mathematics (RCDPM). Topics covered include: the use of expressive writing to enhance metacognition, adult assessment, cooperative learning assessment, visualization in problem solving, deaf students' beliefs about…
Explores the similarities between paintings of the abstract expressionists and those of young children. Similarities include total surface coverage, disregard for details, direct application of pigment, disregard for visual perspective, and use of the painting surface as a frontal plane. (CB)
Markovits, Henry; Thompson, Valerie A; Brisson, Janie
The nature of people's meta-representations of deductive reasoning is critical to understanding how people control their own reasoning processes. We conducted two studies to examine whether people have a metacognitive representation of abstract validity and whether familiarity alone acts as a separate metacognitive cue. In Study 1, participants were asked to make a series of (1) abstract conditional inferences, (2) concrete conditional inferences with premises having many potential alternative antecedents and thus specifically conducive to the production of responses consistent with conditional logic, or (3) concrete problems with premises having relatively few potential alternative antecedents. Participants gave confidence ratings after each inference. Results show that confidence ratings were positively correlated with logical performance on abstract problems and concrete problems with many potential alternatives, but not with concrete problems with content less conducive to normative responses. Confidence ratings were higher with few alternatives than for abstract content. Study 2 used a generation of contrary-to-fact alternatives task to improve levels of abstract logical performance. The resulting increase in logical performance was mirrored by increases in mean confidence ratings. Results provide evidence for a metacognitive representation based on logical validity, and show that familiarity acts as a separate metacognitive cue.
Calvo-Merino, B; Urgesi, C; Orgs, G; Aglioti, S M; Haggard, P
Humans appear to be the only animals to have developed the practice and culture of art. This practice presumably relies on special processing circuits within the human brain associated with a distinct subjective experience, termed aesthetic experience, and preferentially evoked by artistic stimuli. We assume that positive or negative aesthetic judgments are an important function of neuroaesthetic circuits. The localisation of these circuits in the brain remains unclear, though neuroimaging studies have suggested several possible neural correlates of aesthetic preference. We applied repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over candidate brain areas to disrupt aesthetic processing while healthy volunteers made aesthetic preference judgments between pairs of dance postures, or control non-body stimuli. Based on evidence from visual body perception studies, we targeted the ventral premotor cortex (vPMC) and extrastriate body area (EBA), in the left and right hemispheres. rTMS over EBA reduced aesthetic sensitivity for body stimuli relative to rTMS over vPMC, while no such difference was found for non-body stimuli. We interpret our results within the framework of dual routes for visual body processing. rTMS over either EBA or vPMC reduced the contributions of the stimulated area to body processing, leaving processing more reliant on the unaffected route. Disruption of EBA reduces the local processing of the stimuli and reduced observers' aesthetic sensitivity. Conversely, disruption of the global route via vPMC increased the relative contribution of the local route via EBA and thus increased aesthetic sensitivity. In this way, we suggest a complementary contribution of both local and global routes to aesthetic processing.
A study examined three different visual formats (studio presenter only, realistic visuals, or schematic visuals) of an educational television program. Recognition and recall of the abstract subject matter were measured in 101 adult viewers directly after the program and 3 months later. The schematic version yielded better recall of the program,…
Voon, Valerie; Brezing, Christina; Gallea, Cecile; Ameli, Rezvan; Roelofs, Karin; LaFrance, W. Curt, Jr.; Hallett, Mark
Conversion disorder is characterized by neurological signs and symptoms related to an underlying psychological issue. Amygdala activity to affective stimuli is well characterized in healthy volunteers with greater amygdala activity to both negative and positive stimuli relative to neutral stimuli, and greater activity to negative relative to…
Grush, Joseph E.
Ten Turkish words were used as stimuli in an exposure experiment. Twenty-five students from the University of Illinois subject pool were divided into five subgroups, differing only with respect to which stimuli occurred in which exposure conditions. After the stimuli were evaluated on 7-point "good-bad" scales, subjects completed a questionnaire…
Uher, Rudolf; Treasure, Janet; Heining, Maike; Brammer, Michael J; Campbell, Iain C
To maintain nutritional homeostasis, external food-related stimuli have to be evaluated in relation to the internal states of hunger or satiety. To examine the neural circuitry responsible for integration of internal and external determinants of human eating behaviour, brain responses to visual and complex gustatory food-related stimuli were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 18 healthy non-smokers (10 women, 8 men). Each individual was studied on two occasions, the order of which was counterbalanced; after eating as usual and after 24 h fasting. Raised plasma free fatty acids and lower insulin and leptin concentrations confirmed that participants fasted as requested. When fasted, participants reported more hunger, nervousness and worse mood and rated the visual (but not gustatory) food-related stimuli as more pleasant. The effect of fasting on hunger was stronger in women than in men. No circuitry was identified as differentially responsive in fasting compared to satiety to both visual and gustatory food-related stimuli. The left insula response to the gustatory stimuli was stronger during fasting. The inferior occipito-temporal response to visual food-related stimuli also tended to be stronger during fasting. The responses in the occipito-temporal cortex to visual and in the insula to gustatory stimuli were stronger in women than in men. There was no interaction between gender and fasting. In conclusion, food reactivity in modality-specific sensory cortical areas is modulated by internal motivational states. The stronger reactivity to external food-related stimuli in women may be explored as a marker of gender-related susceptibility to eating disorders.
Zampini, Massimiliano; Guest, Steve; Shore, David I; Spence, Charles
The relative spatiotemporal correspondence between sensory events affects multisensory integration across a variety of species; integration is maximal when stimuli in different sensory modalities are presented from approximately the same position at about the same time. In the present study, we investigated the influence of spatial and temporal factors on audio-visual simultaneity perception in humans. Participants made unspeeded simultaneous versus successive discrimination responses to pairs of auditory and visual stimuli presented at varying stimulus onset asynchronies from either the same or different spatial positions using either the method of constant stimuli (Experiments 1 and 2) or psychophysical staircases (Experiment 3). The participants in all three experiments were more likely to report the stimuli as being simultaneous when they originated from the same spatial position than when they came from different positions, demonstrating that the apparent perception of multisensory simultaneity is dependent on the relative spatial position from which stimuli are presented.
Wilson, Cynthia, Ed.
This is volume 14 of Leadership Abstracts, a newsletter published by the League for Innovation (California). Issue 1 of February 2001, "Developmental Education: A Policy Primer," discusses developmental programs in the community college. According to the article, community college trustees and presidents would serve their constituents well by…
Le Grice, Malcolm
A theoretical and historical account of the main preoccupations of makers of abstract films is presented in this book. The book's scope includes discussion of nonrepresentational forms as well as examination of experiments in the manipulation of time in films. The ten chapters discuss the following topics: art and cinematography, the first…
Doucette, Don, Ed.
This document includes 10 issues of Leadership Abstracts (volume 6, 1993), a newsletter published by the League for Innovation in the Community College (California). The featured articles are: (1) "Reinventing Government" by David T. Osborne; (2) "Community College Workforce Training Programs: Expanding the Mission to Meet Critical Needs" by…
Leadership Abstracts, 1999
This document contains five Leadership Abstracts publications published February-December 1999. The article, "Teaching the Teachers: Meeting the National Teacher Preparation Challenge," authored by George R. Boggs and Sadie Bragg, examines the community college role and makes recommendations and a call to action for teacher education.…
Nwabueze, Kenneth K.
The current emphasis on flexible modes of mathematics delivery involving new information and communication technology (ICT) at the university level is perhaps a reaction to the recent change in the objectives of education. Abstract algebra seems to be one area of mathematics virtually crying out for computer instructional support because of the…
Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 2002
Contains abstracts from the 2002 conference of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. The publication is divided into three sections: the preconference workshop, "Effective Teaching Methods in the Classroom;" symposia (motor development, motor learning and control, and sport psychology); and free…
Clement, B.; Barrett, A.
r describes a way to schedule high level activities before distributing them across multiple rovers in order to coordinate the resultant use of shared resources regardless of how each rover decides how to perform its activities. We present an algorithm for summarizing the metric resource requirements of an abstract activity based n the resource usages of its potential refinements.
Baird, William E.
The Association of Educational Data Systems (AEDS) conference included 102 presentations. Abstracts of seven of these presentations are provided. Topic areas considered include LOGO, teaching probability through a computer game, writing effective computer assisted instructional materials, computer literacy, research on instructional…
Wilson, Cynthia, Ed.; Milliron, Mark David, Ed.
This 2002 volume of Leadership Abstracts contains issue numbers 1-12. Articles include: (1) "Skills Certification and Workforce Development: Partnering with Industry and Ourselves," by Jeffrey A. Cantor; (2) "Starting Again: The Brookhaven Success College," by Alice W. Villadsen; (3) "From Digital Divide to Digital Democracy," by Gerardo E. de los…
Journal of Engineering Education, 1972
Includes abstracts of papers presented at the 80th Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education. The broad areas include aerospace, affiliate and associate member council, agricultural engineering, biomedical engineering, continuing engineering studies, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computers, cooperative…
Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting, 1994
Includes abstracts of 18 special interest group (SIG) sessions. Highlights include natural language processing, information science and terminology science, classification, knowledge-intensive information systems, information value and ownership issues, economics and theories of information science, information retrieval interfaces, fuzzy thinking…
COLETTE, SISTER M.
THIS SIXTH VOLUME OF RESEARCH ABSTRACTS PRESENTS REPORTS OF 35 RESEARCH STUDIES COMPLETED BY CANDIDATES FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE AT THE CARDINAL STRITCH COLLEGE IN 1964. TWENTY-NINE STUDIES ARE CONCERNED WITH READING, AND SIX ARE CONCERNED WITH THE EDUCATION OF THE MENTALLY HANDICAPPED. OF THE READING STUDIES, FIVE PERTAIN TO THE JUNIOR HIGH LEVEL…
League for Innovation in the Community Coll.
This document contains volume two of Learning Abstracts, a bimonthly newsletter from the League for Innovation in the Community College. Articles in these seven issues include: (1) "Get on the Fast Track to Learning: An Accelerated Associate Degree Option" (Gerardo E. de los Santos and Deborah J. Cruise); (2) "The Learning College:…
Engineering Education, 1976
Presents the abstracts of 158 papers presented at the American Society for Engineering Education's annual conference at Knoxville, Tennessee, June 14-17, 1976. Included are engineering topics covering education, aerospace, agriculture, biomedicine, chemistry, computers, electricity, acoustics, environment, mechanics, and women. (SL)
Potter, Lee Ann
President Ronald Reagan nominated a woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He did so through a single-page form letter, completed in part by hand and in part by typewriter, announcing Sandra Day O'Connor as his nominee. While the document serves as evidence of a historic event, it is also a tangible illustration of abstract concepts…
Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting, 1995
Presents abstracts of 15 special interest group (SIG) sessions. Topics include navigation and information utilization in the Internet, natural language processing, automatic indexing, image indexing, classification, users' models of database searching, online public access catalogs, education for information professions, information services,…
The primary purpose of this model report is to develop abstractions for the response of engineered barrier system (EBS) components to seismic hazards at a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and to define the methodology for using these abstractions in a seismic scenario class for the Total System Performance Assessment - License Application (TSPA-LA). A secondary purpose of this model report is to provide information for criticality studies related to seismic hazards. The seismic hazards addressed herein are vibratory ground motion, fault displacement, and rockfall due to ground motion. The EBS components are the drip shield, the waste package, and the fuel cladding. The requirements for development of the abstractions and the associated algorithms for the seismic scenario class are defined in ''Technical Work Plan For: Regulatory Integration Modeling of Drift Degradation, Waste Package and Drip Shield Vibratory Motion and Seismic Consequences'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 171520]). The development of these abstractions will provide a more complete representation of flow into and transport from the EBS under disruptive events. The results from this development will also address portions of integrated subissue ENG2, Mechanical Disruption of Engineered Barriers, including the acceptance criteria for this subissue defined in Section 220.127.116.11.2.3 of the ''Yucca Mountain Review Plan, Final Report'' (NRC 2003 [DIRS 163274]).
Avraamidou, Antri; Monaghan, John; Walker, Aisha
This paper examines the computer game play of an 11-year-old boy. In the course of building a virtual house he developed and used, without assistance, an artefact and an accompanying strategy to ensure that his house was symmetric. We argue that the creation and use of this artefact-strategy is a mathematical abstraction. The discussion…
The purpose of this work is to develop the Engineered Barrier System (EBS) radionuclide transport abstraction model, as directed by a written development plan (CRWMS M&O 1999a). This abstraction is the conceptual model that will be used to determine the rate of release of radionuclides from the EBS to the unsaturated zone (UZ) in the total system performance assessment-license application (TSPA-LA). In particular, this model will be used to quantify the time-dependent radionuclide releases from a failed waste package (WP) and their subsequent transport through the EBS to the emplacement drift wall/UZ interface. The development of this conceptual model will allow Performance Assessment Operations (PAO) and its Engineered Barrier Performance Department to provide a more detailed and complete EBS flow and transport abstraction. The results from this conceptual model will allow PA0 to address portions of the key technical issues (KTIs) presented in three NRC Issue Resolution Status Reports (IRSRs): (1) the Evolution of the Near-Field Environment (ENFE), Revision 2 (NRC 1999a), (2) the Container Life and Source Term (CLST), Revision 2 (NRC 1999b), and (3) the Thermal Effects on Flow (TEF), Revision 1 (NRC 1998). The conceptual model for flow and transport in the EBS will be referred to as the ''EBS RT Abstraction'' in this analysis/modeling report (AMR). The scope of this abstraction and report is limited to flow and transport processes. More specifically, this AMR does not discuss elements of the TSPA-SR and TSPA-LA that relate to the EBS but are discussed in other AMRs. These elements include corrosion processes, radionuclide solubility limits, waste form dissolution rates and concentrations of colloidal particles that are generally represented as boundary conditions or input parameters for the EBS RT Abstraction. In effect, this AMR provides the algorithms for transporting radionuclides using the flow geometry and radionuclide concentrations determined by other
Silva, Susana; Castro, São Luís
Recent studies have shown that a moving visual stimulus (e.g., a bouncing ball) facilitates synchronization compared to a static stimulus (e.g., a flashing light), and that it can even be as effective as an auditory beep. We asked a group of participants to perform different tasks with four stimulus types: beeps, siren-like sounds, visual flashes (static) and bouncing balls. First, participants performed synchronization with isochronous sequences (stimulus-guided synchronization), followed by a continuation phase in which the stimulus was internally generated (imagery-guided synchronization). Then they performed a perception task, in which they judged whether the final part of a temporal sequence was compatible with the previous beat structure (stimulus-guided perception). Similar to synchronization, an imagery-guided variant was added, in which sequences contained a gap in between (imagery-guided perception). Balls outperformed flashes and matched beeps (powerful ball effect) in stimulus-guided synchronization but not in perception (stimulus- or imagery-guided). In imagery-guided synchronization, performance accuracy decreased for beeps and balls, but not for flashes and sirens. Our findings suggest that the advantages of moving visual stimuli over static ones are grounded in action rather than perception, and they support the hypothesis that the sensorimotor coupling mechanisms for auditory (beeps) and moving visual stimuli (bouncing balls) overlap. PMID:27909419
Silva, Susana; Castro, São Luís
Recent studies have shown that a moving visual stimulus (e.g., a bouncing ball) facilitates synchronization compared to a static stimulus (e.g., a flashing light), and that it can even be as effective as an auditory beep. We asked a group of participants to perform different tasks with four stimulus types: beeps, siren-like sounds, visual flashes (static) and bouncing balls. First, participants performed synchronization with isochronous sequences (stimulus-guided synchronization), followed by a continuation phase in which the stimulus was internally generated (imagery-guided synchronization). Then they performed a perception task, in which they judged whether the final part of a temporal sequence was compatible with the previous beat structure (stimulus-guided perception). Similar to synchronization, an imagery-guided variant was added, in which sequences contained a gap in between (imagery-guided perception). Balls outperformed flashes and matched beeps (powerful ball effect) in stimulus-guided synchronization but not in perception (stimulus- or imagery-guided). In imagery-guided synchronization, performance accuracy decreased for beeps and balls, but not for flashes and sirens. Our findings suggest that the advantages of moving visual stimuli over static ones are grounded in action rather than perception, and they support the hypothesis that the sensorimotor coupling mechanisms for auditory (beeps) and moving visual stimuli (bouncing balls) overlap.
Tsetserukou, D.; Neviarouskaya, A.
The paper focuses on a novel concept of emotional telepresence. The iFeel_IM! system which is in the vanguard of this technology integrates 3D virtual world Second Life, intelligent component for automatic emotion recognition from text messages, and innovative affective haptic interfaces providing additional nonverbal communication channels through simulation of emotional feedback and social touch (physical co-presence). Users can not only exchange messages but also emotionally and physically feel the presence of the communication partner (e.g., family member, friend, or beloved person). The next prototype of the system will include the tablet computer. The user can realize haptic interaction with avatar, and thus influence its mood and emotion of the partner. The finger gesture language will be designed for communication with avatar. This will bring new level of immersion of on-line communication.
B). 105:60-92. MacLeod, D. I. A. 1972. Rods cancel cones in flicker. Nature. 235: 173-174. Motokawa, K. and Mita, T. 1942. Uber eine einfachere... Mexico 88002 (1) Commander Chief 10th Medical Laboratory Benet Weapons Laboratory ATTN: DEHE (Audiologist) LCWSL, USA ARRADCOM APO New York 09180 (1
As the vector of the global disease of citrus greening or huanglongbing, Asian citrus pysllids, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera; Liviidae) are the greatest threat to the worldwide citrus industry. Critical to management of D. citri and huanglongbing, is optimization of surveillance methodologie...
Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp
This study investigates the interpretative bias in spider phobia with respect to rapid visuomotor processing. We compared perception, evaluation, and visuomotor processing of ambiguous schematic stimuli between spider-fearful and control participants. Stimuli were produced by gradually morphing schematic flowers into spiders. Participants rated these stimuli related to their perceptual appearance and to their feelings of valence, disgust, and arousal. Also, they responded to the same stimuli within a response priming paradigm that measures rapid motor activation. Spider-fearful individuals showed an interpretative bias (i.e., ambiguous stimuli were perceived as more similar to spiders) and rated spider-like stimuli as more unpleasant, disgusting, and arousing. However, we observed no differences between spider-fearful and control participants in priming effects for ambiguous stimuli. For non-ambiguous stimuli, we observed a similar enhancement for phobic pictures as has been reported previously for natural images. We discuss our findings with respect to the visual representation of morphed stimuli and to perceptual learning processes.
Bacon, Alison M; Handley, Simon J
Effective reasoning is fundamental to problem solving and achievement in education and employment. Protocol studies have previously suggested that people with dyslexia use reasoning strategies based on visual mental representations, whereas non-dyslexics use abstract verbal strategies. This research presents converging evidence from experimental and individual differences perspectives. In Experiment 1, dyslexic and non-dyslexic participants were similarly accurate on reasoning problems, but scores on a measure of visual memory ability only predicted reasoning accuracy for dyslexics. In Experiment 2, a secondary task loaded visual memory resources during concurrent reasoning. Dyslexics were significantly less accurate when reasoning under conditions of high memory load and showed reduced ability to subsequently recall the visual stimuli, suggesting that the memory and reasoning tasks were competing for the same visual cognitive resource. The results are consistent with an explanation based on limitations in the verbal and executive components of working memory in dyslexia and the use of compensatory visual strategies for reasoning. There are implications for cognitive activities that do not readily support visual thinking, whether in education, employment or less formal everyday settings.
Zitnick, C Lawrence; Vedantam, Ramakrishna; Parikh, Devi
Relating visual information to its linguistic semantic meaning remains an open and challenging area of research. The semantic meaning of images depends on the presence of objects, their attributes and their relations to other objects. But precisely characterizing this dependence requires extracting complex visual information from an image, which is in general a difficult and yet unsolved problem. In this paper, we propose studying semantic information in abstract images created from collections of clip art. Abstract images provide several advantages over real images. They allow for the direct study of how to infer high-level semantic information, since they remove the reliance on noisy low-level object, attribute and relation detectors, or the tedious hand-labeling of real images. Importantly, abstract images also allow the ability to generate sets of semantically similar scenes. Finding analogous sets of real images that are semantically similar would be nearly impossible. We create 1,002 sets of 10 semantically similar abstract images with corresponding written descriptions. We thoroughly analyze this dataset to discover semantically important features, the relations of words to visual features and methods for measuring semantic similarity. Finally, we study the relation between the saliency and memorability of objects and their semantic importance.
Steinhauser, Marco; Flaisch, Tobias; Meinzer, Marcus; Schupp, Harald T
Adaptive human behavior crucially relies on the ability of the brain to allocate resources automatically to emotionally significant stimuli. This ability has consistently been demonstrated by studies showing preferential processing of affective stimuli in sensory cortical areas. It is still unclear, however, whether this putatively automatic mechanism can be modulated by cognitive control processes. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether preferential processing of an affective face distractor is suppressed when an affective distractor has previously elicited a response conflict in a word-face Stroop task. We analyzed this for three consecutive stages in the ventral stream of visual processing for which preferential processing of affective stimuli has previously been demonstrated: the striate area (BA 17), category-unspecific extrastriate areas (BA 18/19), and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that response conflict led to a selective suppression of affective face processing in category-unspecific extrastriate areas and the FFA, and this effect was accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between these areas and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, preferential processing of affective face distractors was unaffected in the striate area. Our results indicate that cognitive control processes adaptively suppress preferential processing of affective stimuli under conditions where affective processing is detrimental because it elicits response conflict.
Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R
Research concerning the impact of psychological stress on visual selective attention has produced mixed results. The current paper describes two experiments which utilise a novel auditory oddball paradigm to test the impact of psychological stress on auditory selective attention. Participants had to report the location of emotionally-neutral auditory stimuli, while ignoring task-irrelevant changes in their content. The results of the first experiment, in which speech stimuli were presented, suggested that stress improves the ability to selectively attend to left, but not right ear stimuli. When this experiment was repeated using tonal stimuli the same result was evident, but only for female participants. Females were also found to experience greater levels of distraction in general across the two experiments. These findings support the goal-shielding theory which suggests that stress improves selective attention by reducing the attentional resources available to process task-irrelevant information. The study also demonstrates, for the first time, that this goal-shielding effect extends to auditory perception.
Person, Suzette; Dwyer, Matthew B.
Current techniques for validating and verifying program changes often consider the entire program, even for small changes, leading to enormous V&V costs over a program s lifetime. This is due, in large part, to the use of syntactic program techniques which are necessarily imprecise. Building on recent advances in symbolic execution of heap manipulating programs, in this paper, we develop techniques for performing abstract semantic differencing of program behaviors that offer the potential for improved precision.
Martinaud, Olivier; Mirlink, Nicolas; Bioux, Sandrine; Bliaux, Evangéline; Lebas, Axel; Gerardin, Emmanuel; Hannequin, Didier
Only seven cases of agnosia for mirror stimuli have been reported, always with an extensive lesion. We report a new case of an agnosia for mirror stimuli due to a circumscribed lesion. An extensive battery of neuropsychological tests and a new experimental procedure to assess visual object mirror and orientation discrimination were assessed 10 days after the onset of clinical symptoms, and 5 years later. The performances of our patient were compared with those of four healthy control subjects matched for age. This test revealed an agnosia for mirror stimuli. Brain imaging showed a small right occipitoparietal hematoma, encompassing the extrastriate cortex adjoining the inferior parietal lobe. This new case suggests that: (i) agnosia for mirror stimuli can persist for 5 years after onset and (ii) the posterior part of the right intraparietal sulcus could be critical in the cognitive process of mirror stimuli discrimination. PMID:25037846
Martinaud, Olivier; Mirlink, Nicolas; Bioux, Sandrine; Bliaux, Evangéline; Lebas, Axel; Gerardin, Emmanuel; Hannequin, Didier
Only seven cases of agnosia for mirror stimuli have been reported, always with an extensive lesion. We report a new case of an agnosia for mirror stimuli due to a circumscribed lesion. An extensive battery of neuropsychological tests and a new experimental procedure to assess visual object mirror and orientation discrimination were assessed 10 days after the onset of clinical symptoms, and 5 years later. The performances of our patient were compared with those of four healthy control subjects matched for age. This test revealed an agnosia for mirror stimuli. Brain imaging showed a small right occipitoparietal hematoma, encompassing the extrastriate cortex adjoining the inferior parietal lobe. This new case suggests that: (i) agnosia for mirror stimuli can persist for 5 years after onset and (ii) the posterior part of the right intraparietal sulcus could be critical in the cognitive process of mirror stimuli discrimination.
Caragea, Cornelia; Silvescu, Adrian; Caragea, Doina; Honavar, Vasant
High accuracy sequence classification often requires the use of higher order Markov models (MMs). However, the number of MM parameters increases exponentially with the range of direct dependencies between sequence elements, thereby increasing the risk of overfitting when the data set is limited in size. We present abstraction augmented Markov models (AAMMs) that effectively reduce the number of numeric parameters of k(th) order MMs by successively grouping strings of length k (i.e., k-grams) into abstraction hierarchies. We evaluate AAMMs on three protein subcellular localization prediction tasks. The results of our experiments show that abstraction makes it possible to construct predictive models that use significantly smaller number of features (by one to three orders of magnitude) as compared to MMs. AAMMs are competitive with and, in some cases, significantly outperform MMs. Moreover, the results show that AAMMs often perform significantly better than variable order Markov models, such as decomposed context tree weighting, prediction by partial match, and probabilistic suffix trees.
The purpose of this report is to develop and analyze the engineered barrier system (EBS) radionuclide transport abstraction model, consistent with Level I and Level II model validation, as identified in Technical Work Plan for: Near-Field Environment and Transport: Engineered Barrier System: Radionuclide Transport Abstraction Model Report Integration (BSC 2005 [DIRS 173617]). The EBS radionuclide transport abstraction (or EBS RT Abstraction) is the conceptual model used in the total system performance assessment (TSPA) to determine the rate of radionuclide releases from the EBS to the unsaturated zone (UZ). The EBS RT Abstraction conceptual model consists of two main components: a flow model and a transport model. Both models are developed mathematically from first principles in order to show explicitly what assumptions, simplifications, and approximations are incorporated into the models used in the TSPA. The flow model defines the pathways for water flow in the EBS and specifies how the flow rate is computed in each pathway. Input to this model includes the seepage flux into a drift. The seepage flux is potentially split by the drip shield, with some (or all) of the flux being diverted by the drip shield and some passing through breaches in the drip shield that might result from corrosion or seismic damage. The flux through drip shield breaches is potentially split by the waste package, with some (or all) of the flux being diverted by the waste package and some passing through waste package breaches that might result from corrosion or seismic damage. Neither the drip shield nor the waste package survives an igneous intrusion, so the flux splitting submodel is not used in the igneous scenario class. The flow model is validated in an independent model validation technical review. The drip shield and waste package flux splitting algorithms are developed and validated using experimental data. The transport model considers advective transport and diffusive transport
Carmel, David; Thorne, Jeremy D.; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
Increasing perceptual load reduces the processing of visual stimuli outside the focus of attention, but the mechanism underlying these effects remains unclear. Here we tested an account attributing the effects of perceptual load to modulations of visual cortex excitability. In contrast to stimulus competition accounts, which propose that load…
Kuai, Shu-Guang; Yu, Cong
The visual system integrates discrete but aligned local stimuli to form percept of global contours. Previous experiments using "snake" contours showed that contour integration was mainly present in foveal vision but absent or greatly weakened in peripheral vision. In this study, we demonstrated that, for contour stimuli such as circles and ellipses, which bore good Gestalt properties, contour integration for shape detection and discrimination was nearly constant from the fovea to up to 35 degrees visual periphery! Contour integration was impaired by local orientation and position jitters of contour elements, indicating that the same local contour linking mechanisms revealed with snake contour stimuli also played critical roles in integration of our good Gestalt stimuli. Contour integration was also unaffected by global position jittering up to 20% of the contour size and by dramatic shape jittering, which excluded non-contour integration processes such as detection of various local cues and template matching as alternative mechanisms for uncompromised peripheral perception of good Gestalt stimuli. Peripheral contour integration also presented an interesting upper-lower visual field symmetry after asymmetries of contrast sensitivity and shape discrimination were discounted. The constant peripheral performance might benefit from easy detection of good Gestalt stimuli, which popped out from background noise, from a boost of local contour linking by top-down influences and/or from multielement contour linking by long-range interactions.
Cattaneo, Zaira; Lega, Carlotta; Boehringer, Jana; Gallucci, Marcello; Girelli, Luisa; Carbon, Claus-Christian
Emotion recognition is mediated by a complex network of cortical and subcortical areas, with the two hemispheres likely being differently involved in processing positive and negative emotions. As results on valence-dependent hemispheric specialisation are quite inconsistent, we carried out three experiments with emotional stimuli with a task being sensitive to measure specific hemispheric processing. Participants were required to bisect visual lines that were delimited by emotional face flankers, or to haptically bisect rods while concurrently listening to emotional vocal expressions. We found that prolonged (but not transient) exposition to concurrent happy stimuli significantly shifted the bisection bias to the right compared to both sad and neutral stimuli, indexing a greater involvement of the left hemisphere in processing of positively connoted stimuli. No differences between sad and neutral stimuli were observed across the experiments. In sum, our data provide consistent evidence in favour of a greater involvement of the left hemisphere in processing positive emotions and suggest that (prolonged) exposure to stimuli expressing happiness significantly affects allocation of (spatial) attentional resources, regardless of the sensory (visual/auditory) modality in which the emotion is perceived and space is explored (visual/haptic).
Taylor, J. E. T.; Pratt, Jay; Witt, Jessica K.
The visual system treats the space near the hands with unique, action-related priorities. For example, attention orients slowly to stimuli on the hands (Taylor and Witt, 2014). In this article, we asked whether jointly attended hands are attended in the same way. Specifically, we examined whether ownership over the hand mattered: do we attend to our hands and the hands of others in the same way? Pairs of participants performed a spatial cueing task with stimuli that could be projected onto one partner’s hands or on a control surface. Results show delayed orienting of attention to targets appearing on the hands, but only for the owner of the hands. For an observer, others’ hands are like any other surface. This result emphasizes the importance of ownership for hand-based effects on vision, and in doing so, is inconsistent with some expectations of the joint action literature. PMID:25983713
Baetens, Kris L. M. R.; Ma, Ning; Van Overwalle, Frank
The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is part of the mentalizing network, a set of brain regions consistently engaged in inferring mental states. However, its precise function in this network remains unclear. It has recently been proposed that the dmPFC is involved in high-level abstract (i.e., categorical) identification or construction of both social and non-social stimuli, referred to as “high construal.” This was based on the observation of greater activation in the dmPFC shared by a high construal social condition (trait inference based on visually presented behavior) and a high construal non-social condition (categorization of visually presented objects) vs. matched low construal conditions (visual description of the same pictures). However, dmPFC activation has been related to task contexts requiring responses based on self-guided generation of mental content or decisions as compared to responses more directly determined by the experimental context (e.g., free vs. rule-governed choice). The previously reported dmPFC activity may reflect differences in task constraint (i.e., the extent to which the task context guided the process) confounded with the construal manipulation. Therefore, in the present study, we manipulated construal level and constraint independently, while participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). As before, participants visually described (low level construal) or categorized (high level construal) pictures of objects. Orthogonal to this, the description or categorization task had to be performed on either one object (low constraint) or on two objects simultaneously (high constraint), limiting the number of possible responses. Statistical analysis revealed common greater activation in both high construal conditions (high and low constraint) than in their low construal counterparts, replicating the influence of construal level on dmPFC activation (greater involvement in high than low construal), but no
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Tempesta, Daniela; Couyoumdjian, Alessandro; Curcio, Giuseppe; Moroni, Fabio; Marzano, Cristina; De Gennaro, Luigi; Ferrara, Michele
Sleep deprivation (SD) negatively affects various cognitive performances, but surprisingly evidence about a specific impact of sleep loss on subjective evaluation of emotional stimuli remains sparse. In the present study, we assessed the effect of SD on the emotional rating of standardized visual stimuli selected from the International Affective Picture System. Forty university students were assigned to the sleep group (n=20), tested before and after one night of undisturbed sleep at home, or to the deprivation group, tested before and after one night of total SD. One-hundred and eighty pictures (90 test, 90 retest) were selected and categorized as pleasant, neutral and unpleasant. Participants were asked to judge their emotional reactions while viewing pictures by means of the Self-Assessment Manikin. Subjective mood ratings were also obtained by means of Visual Analog Scales. No significant effect of SD was observed on the evaluation of pleasant and unpleasant stimuli. On the contrary, SD subjects perceived the neutral pictures more negatively and showed an increase of negative mood and a decrease of subjective alertness compared to non-deprived subjects. Finally, an analysis of covariance on mean valence ratings of neutral pictures using negative mood as covariate confirmed the effect of SD. Our results indicate that sleep is involved in regulating emotional evaluation. The emotional labeling of neutral stimuli biased toward negative responses was not mediated by the increase of negative mood. This effect can be interpreted as an adaptive reaction supporting the "better safe than sorry" principle. It may also have applied implications for healthcare workers, military and law-enforcement personnel.
Ruiz, Octavio; Paradiso, Michael A
Vision in natural situations is different from the paradigms generally used to study vision in the laboratory. In natural vision, stimuli usually appear in a receptive field as the result of saccadic eye movements rather than suddenly flashing into view. The stimuli themselves are rich with meaningful and recognizable objects rather than simple abstract patterns. In this study we examined the sensitivity of neurons in macaque area V1 to saccades and to complex background contexts. Using a variety of visual conditions, we find that natural visual response patterns are unique. Compared with standard laboratory situations, in more natural vision V1 responses have longer latency, slower time course, delayed orientation selectivity, higher peak selectivity, and lower amplitude. Furthermore, the influences of saccades and background type (complex picture vs. uniform gray) interact to give a distinctive, and presumably more natural, response pattern. While in most of the experiments natural images were used as background, we find that similar synthetic unnatural background stimuli produce nearly identical responses (i.e., complexity matters more than "naturalness"). These findings have important implications for our understanding of vision in more natural situations. They suggest that with the saccades used to explore complex images, visual context ("surround effects") would have a far greater effect on perception than in standard experiments with stimuli flashed on a uniform background. Perceptual thresholds for contrast and orientation should also be significantly different in more natural situations.
Dillon, Moira R; Huang, Yi; Spelke, Elizabeth S
Human adults from diverse cultures share intuitions about the points, lines, and figures of Euclidean geometry. Do children develop these intuitions by drawing on phylogenetically ancient and developmentally precocious geometric representations that guide their navigation and their analysis of object shape? In what way might these early-arising representations support later-developing Euclidean intuitions? To approach these questions, we investigated the relations among young children's use of geometry in tasks assessing: navigation; visual form analysis; and the interpretation of symbolic, purely geometric maps. Children's navigation depended on the distance and directional relations of the surface layout and predicted their use of a symbolic map with targets designated by surface distances. In contrast, children's analysis of visual forms depended on the size-invariant shape relations of objects and predicted their use of the same map but with targets designated by corner angles. Even though the two map tasks used identical instructions and map displays, children's performance on these tasks showed no evidence of integrated representations of distance and angle. Instead, young children flexibly recruited geometric representations of either navigable layouts or objects to interpret the same spatial symbols. These findings reveal a link between the early-arising geometric representations that humans share with diverse animals and the flexible geometric intuitions that give rise to human knowledge at its highest reaches. Although young children do not appear to integrate core geometric representations, children's use of the abstract geometry in spatial symbols such as maps may provide the earliest clues to the later construction of Euclidean geometry.
The purpose of this report is to develop and analyze the engineered barrier system (EBS) radionuclide transport abstraction model, consistent with Level I and Level II model validation, as identified in ''Technical Work Plan for: Near-Field Environment and Transport: Engineered Barrier System: Radionuclide Transport Abstraction Model Report Integration'' (BSC 2005 [DIRS 173617]). The EBS radionuclide transport abstraction (or EBS RT Abstraction) is the conceptual model used in the total system performance assessment for the license application (TSPA-LA) to determine the rate of radionuclide releases from the EBS to the unsaturated zone (UZ). The EBS RT Abstraction conceptual model consists of two main components: a flow model and a transport model. Both models are developed mathematically from first principles in order to show explicitly what assumptions, simplifications, and approximations are incorporated into the models used in the TSPA-LA. The flow model defines the pathways for water flow in the EBS and specifies how the flow rate is computed in each pathway. Input to this model includes the seepage flux into a drift. The seepage flux is potentially split by the drip shield, with some (or all) of the flux being diverted by the drip shield and some passing through breaches in the drip shield that might result from corrosion or seismic damage. The flux through drip shield breaches is potentially split by the waste package, with some (or all) of the flux being diverted by the waste package and some passing through waste package breaches that might result from corrosion or seismic damage. Neither the drip shield nor the waste package survives an igneous intrusion, so the flux splitting submodel is not used in the igneous scenario class. The flow model is validated in an independent model validation technical review. The drip shield and waste package flux splitting algorithms are developed and validated using experimental data. The transport model considers
Parés, Narcís; Carreras, Anna; Durany, Jaume; Ferrer, Jaume; Freixa, Pere; Gómez, David; Kruglanski, Orit; Parés, Roc; Ribas, J Ignasi; Soler, Miquel; Sanjurjo, Alex
On starting to think about interaction design for low-functioning persons in the autistic spectrum (PAS), especially children, one finds a number of questions that are difficult to answer: Can we typify the PAS user? Can we engage the user in interactive communication without generating frustrating or obsessive situations? What sort of visual stimuli can we provide? Will they prefer representational or abstract visual stimuli? Will they understand three-dimensional (3D) graphic representation? What sort of interfaces will they accept? Can we set ambitious goals such as education or therapy? Unfortunately, most of these questions have no answer yet. Hence, we decided to set an apparently simple goal: to design a "fun application," with no intention to reach the level of education or therapy. The goal was to be attained by giving the users a sense of agency--by providing first a sense of control in the interaction dialogue. Our approach to visual stimuli design has been based on the use of geometric, abstract, two-dimensional (2D), real-time computer graphics in a full-body, non-invasive, interactive space. The results obtained within the European-funded project MultiSensory Environment Design for an Interface between Autistic and Typical Expressiveness (MEDIATE) have been extremely encouraging.
Fernandez-Del-Olmo, Miguel; Río-Rodríguez, Dan; Iglesias-Soler, Eliseo; Acero, Rafael M
Fast reaction times and the ability to develop a high rate of force development (RFD) are crucial for sports performance. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of auditory stimuli of different intensities on the performance of a concentric bench-press exercise. Concentric bench-presses were performed by thirteen trained subjects in response to three different conditions: a visual stimulus (VS); a visual stimulus accompanied by a non-startle auditory stimulus (AS); and a visual stimulus accompanied by a startle auditory stimulus (SS). Peak RFD, peak velocity, onset movement, movement duration and electromyography from pectoralis and tricep muscles were recorded. The SS condition induced an increase in the RFD and peak velocity and a reduction in the movement onset and duration, in comparison with the VS and AS condition. The onset activation of the pectoralis and tricep muscles was shorter for the SS than for the VS and AS conditions. These findings point out to specific enhancement effects of loud auditory stimulation on the rate of force development. This is of relevance since startle stimuli could be used to explore neural adaptations to resistance training.
Fernandez-Del-Olmo, Miguel; Río-Rodríguez, Dan; Iglesias-Soler, Eliseo; Acero, Rafael M.
Fast reaction times and the ability to develop a high rate of force development (RFD) are crucial for sports performance. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of auditory stimuli of different intensities on the performance of a concentric bench-press exercise. Concentric bench-presses were performed by thirteen trained subjects in response to three different conditions: a visual stimulus (VS); a visual stimulus accompanied by a non-startle auditory stimulus (AS); and a visual stimulus accompanied by a startle auditory stimulus (SS). Peak RFD, peak velocity, onset movement, movement duration and electromyography from pectoralis and tricep muscles were recorded. The SS condition induced an increase in the RFD and peak velocity and a reduction in the movement onset and duration, in comparison with the VS and AS condition. The onset activation of the pectoralis and tricep muscles was shorter for the SS than for the VS and AS conditions. These findings point out to specific enhancement effects of loud auditory stimulation on the rate of force development. This is of relevance since startle stimuli could be used to explore neural adaptations to resistance training. PMID:24489967
Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Sander, David
Despite an initial focus on negative threatening stimuli, researchers have more recently expanded the investigation of attentional biases toward positive rewarding stimuli. The present meta-analysis systematically compared attentional bias for positive compared with neutral visual stimuli across 243 studies (N = 9,120 healthy participants) that used different types of attentional paradigms and positive stimuli. Factors were tested that, as postulated by several attentional models derived from theories of emotion, might modulate this bias. Overall, results showed a significant, albeit modest (Hedges' g = .258), attentional bias for positive as compared with neutral stimuli. Moderator analyses revealed that the magnitude of this attentional bias varied as a function of arousal and that this bias was significantly larger when the emotional stimulus was relevant to specific concerns (e.g., hunger) of the participants compared with other positive stimuli that were less relevant to the participants' concerns. Moreover, the moderator analyses showed that attentional bias for positive stimuli was larger in paradigms that measure early, rather than late, attentional processing, suggesting that attentional bias for positive stimuli occurs rapidly and involuntarily. Implications for theories of emotion and attention are discussed.
Noles, Nicholaus S.; Gelman, Susan A.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the claim that young children display preferences for auditory stimuli over visual stimuli. This study was motivated by concerns that the visual stimuli employed in prior studies were considerably more complex and less distinctive than the competing auditory stimuli, resulting in an illusory preference for…
Bliss, Donna Z
Writing and submitting a research abstract provides timely dissemination of the findings of a study and offers peer input for the subsequent development of a quality manuscript. Acceptance of abstracts is competitive. Understanding the expected content of an abstract, the abstract review process and tips for skillful writing will improve the chance of acceptance.
Chipaux, Mathilde; Colonnese, Matthew T.; Mauguen, Audrey; Fellous, Laure; Mokhtari, Mostafa; Lezcano, Oscar; Milh, Mathieu; Dulac, Olivier; Chiron, Catherine; Khazipov, Rustem; Kaminska, Anna
In the premature infant, somatosensory and visual stimuli trigger an immature electroencephalographic (EEG) pattern, “delta-brushes,” in the corresponding sensory cortical areas. Whether auditory stimuli evoke delta-brushes in the premature auditory cortex has not been reported. Here, responses to auditory stimuli were studied in 46 premature infants without neurologic risk aged 31 to 38 postmenstrual weeks (PMW) during routine EEG recording. Stimuli consisted of either low-volume technogenic “clicks” near the background noise level of the neonatal care unit, or a human voice at conversational sound level. Stimuli were administrated pseudo-randomly during quiet and active sleep. In another protocol, the cortical response to a composite stimulus (“click” and voice) was manually triggered during EEG hypoactive periods of quiet sleep. Cortical responses were analyzed by event detection, power frequency analysis and stimulus locked averaging. Before 34 PMW, both voice and “click” stimuli evoked cortical responses with similar frequency-power topographic characteristics, namely a temporal negative slow-wave and rapid oscillations similar to spontaneous delta-brushes. Responses to composite stimuli also showed a maximal frequency-power increase in temporal areas before 35 PMW. From 34 PMW the topography of responses in quiet sleep was different for “click” and voice stimuli: responses to “clicks” became diffuse but responses to voice remained limited to temporal areas. After the age of 35 PMW auditory evoked delta-brushes progressively disappeared and were replaced by a low amplitude response in the same location. Our data show that auditory stimuli mimicking ambient sounds efficiently evoke delta-brushes in temporal areas in the premature infant before 35 PMW. Along with findings in other sensory modalities (visual and somatosensory), these findings suggest that sensory driven delta-brushes represent a ubiquitous feature of the human sensory
The locations of cortical activity evoked by visual stimuli presented at different positions in the visual field are deduced from the scalp topography of visually evoked potentials in humans. To accomplish this, the Laplacian evoked potential is measured using a multi-electrode array. It is shown that the Laplacian response has the following useful attributes for this purpose. It is reference-free. Its spatial resolution is approximately 2 cm referred to the surface of the cortex. Its spatial sensitivity characteristic is that of a spatial band-pass filter. It is relatively insensitive to source--sink configurations that are oriented tangentially to the surface of the scalp. Only modest assumptions about the source--sink configuration are required to obtain a unique inversion of the scalp topography. Stimuli consisting of checkerboard-filled octant or annular octant segments are presented as appearance-disappearance pulses at sixteen different positions in the visual field in randomized order. The locations of evoked cortical activity in the occipital, parietal and temporal lobes are represented on a Mercator projection map for each octant or octant segment stimulated. Lower hemifield stimuli activate cortex which lies mainly on the convexity of the occipital lobe contralateral to the side of stimulus presentation in the visual field. The more peripheral the stimulus is in the visual field, the more rostral is the location of the active cortex. The rostral-to-caudal location of the evoked activity varies from subject to subject by as much as 3 cm on the surface of the occipital cortex. Furthermore, in any single subject there is a substantial amount of hemispheric asymmetry. Upper hemifield stimuli activate cortex that lies on the extreme caudal pole of the occipital lobe. This activity is relatively weak, and in some subjects it is almost unmeasurable. It is suggested that the representation of the upper hemifield in the cortex lies mostly on the inferior and
Catricalà, Eleonora; Della Rosa, Pasquale A; Plebani, Valentina; Vigliocco, Gabriella; Cappa, Stefano F
We assessed the performance of patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) and of the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (sv-PPA) in a series of tasks involving both abstract and concrete stimuli, which were controlled for most of the variables that have been shown to affect performance on lexical-semantic tasks. Our aims were to compare the patients׳ performance on abstract and concrete stimuli and to assess category-effects within the abstract and concrete domains. The results showed: (i) a better performance on abstract than concrete concepts in sv-PPA patients. (ii) Category-related effects in the abstract domain, with emotion concepts being preserved in AD and social relations being selectively impaired in sv-PPA. In addition, a living-non living dissociation may be (infrequently) observed in individual AD patients after controlling for an extensive set of potential confounds. Thus, differences between and within the concrete or abstract domain may be present in patients with semantic memory disorders, mirroring the different brain regions involved by the different pathologies.
Hart, Verna; Ferrell, Kay
Twenty-four congenitally visually handicapped infants, aged 6-24 months, participated in a study to determine (1) those stimuli best able to elicit visual attention, (2) the stability of visual acuity over time, and (3) the effects of binaural sensory aids on both visual attention and visual acuity. Ss were dichotomized into visually handicapped…
Post, R. S.
(Abstract only) We are developing a system of robotic telescopes for automatic recognition of Supernovas as well as other transient events in collaboration with the Puckett Supernova Search Team. At the SAS2014 meeting, the discovery program, SNARE, was first described. Since then, it has been continuously improved to handle searches under a wide variety of atmospheric conditions. Currently, two telescopes are used to build a reference library while searching for PSN with a partial library. Since data is taken every night without clouds, we must deal with varying atmospheric and high background illumination from the moon. Software is configured to identify a PSN, reshoot for verification with options to change the run plan to acquire photometric or spectrographic data. The telescopes are 24-inch CDK24, with Alta U230 cameras, one in CA and one in NM. Images and run plans are sent between sites so the CA telescope can search while photometry is done in NM. Our goal is to find bright PSNs with magnitude 17.5 or less which is the limit of our planned spectroscopy. We present results from our first automated PSN discoveries and plans for PSN data acquisition.
(Abstract only) To the ancients, the Earth was the Universe, of a size to be crossed by a god in a day, by boat or chariot, and by humans in a lifetime. Thus an exoplanet would have been a multiverse. The ideas gradually separated over centuries, with gradual acceptance of a sun-centered solar system, the stars as suns likely to have their own planets, other galaxies beyond the Milky Way, and so forth. And whenever the community divided between "just one' of anything versus "many," the "manies" have won. Discoveries beginning in 1991 and 1995 have gradually led to a battalion or two of planets orbiting other stars, very few like our own little family, and to moderately serious consideration of even larger numbers of other universes, again very few like our own. I'm betting, however, on habitable (though not necessarily inhabited) exoplanets to be found, and habitable (though again not necessarily inhabited) universes. Only the former will yield pretty pictures.
Siniscalchi, Marcello; Quaranta, Angelo; Rogers, Lesley J
Considerable experimental evidence shows that functional cerebral asymmetries are widespread in animals. Activity of the right cerebral hemisphere has been associated with responses to novel stimuli and the expression of intense emotions, such as aggression, escape behaviour and fear. The left hemisphere uses learned patterns and responds to familiar stimuli. Although such lateralization has been studied mainly for visual responses, there is evidence in primates that auditory perception is lateralized and that vocal communication depends on differential processing by the hemispheres. The aim of the present work was to investigate whether dogs use different hemispheres to process different acoustic stimuli by presenting them with playbacks of a thunderstorm and their species-typical vocalizations. The results revealed that dogs usually process their species-typical vocalizations using the left hemisphere and the thunderstorm sounds using the right hemisphere. Nevertheless, conspecific vocalizations are not always processed by the left hemisphere, since the right hemisphere is used for processing vocalizations when they elicit intense emotion, including fear. These findings suggest that the specialisation of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication is more ancient that previously thought, and so is specialisation of the right hemisphere for intense emotions.
Ceballos, G. A.; Hernández, L. F.
Objective. The classical ERP-based speller, or P300 Speller, is one of the most commonly used paradigms in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). Several alterations to the visual stimuli presentation system have been developed to avoid unfavorable effects elicited by adjacent stimuli. However, there has been little, if any, regard to useful information contained in responses to adjacent stimuli about spatial location of target symbols. This paper aims to demonstrate that combining the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli with standard classification (target versus non-target) significantly improves classical ERP-based speller efficiency. Approach. Four SWLDA classifiers were trained and combined with the standard classifier: the lower row, upper row, right column and left column classifiers. This new feature extraction procedure and the classification method were carried out on three open databases: the UAM P300 database (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico), BCI competition II (dataset IIb) and BCI competition III (dataset II). Main results. The inclusion of the classification of non-target adjacent stimuli improves target classification in the classical row/column paradigm. A gain in mean single trial classification of 9.6% and an overall improvement of 25% in simulated spelling speed was achieved. Significance. We have provided further evidence that the ERPs produced by adjacent stimuli present discriminable features, which could provide additional information about the spatial location of intended symbols. This work promotes the searching of information on the peripheral stimulation responses to improve the performance of emerging visual ERP-based spellers.
Vatakis, Argiro; Spence, Charles
Vatakis, A. and Spence, C. (in press) [Crossmodal binding: Evaluating the 'unity assumption' using audiovisual speech stimuli. Perception &Psychophysics] recently demonstrated that when two briefly presented speech signals (one auditory and the other visual) refer to the same audiovisual speech event, people find it harder to judge their temporal order than when they refer to different speech events. Vatakis and Spence argued that the 'unity assumption' facilitated crossmodal binding on the former (matching) trials by means of a process of temporal ventriloquism. In the present study, we investigated whether the 'unity assumption' would also affect the binding of non-speech stimuli (video clips of object action or musical notes). The auditory and visual stimuli were presented at a range of stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) using the method of constant stimuli. Participants made unspeeded temporal order judgments (TOJs) regarding which modality stream had been presented first. The auditory and visual musical and object action stimuli were either matched (e.g., the sight of a note being played on a piano together with the corresponding sound) or else mismatched (e.g., the sight of a note being played on a piano together with the sound of a guitar string being plucked). However, in contrast to the results of Vatakis and Spence's recent speech study, no significant difference in the accuracy of temporal discrimination performance for the matched versus mismatched video clips was observed. Reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.
Soto, David; Wriglesworth, Alice; Bahrami-Balani, Alex; Humphreys, Glyn W.
We show that perceptual sensitivity to visual stimuli can be modulated by matches between the contents of working memory (WM) and stimuli in the visual field. Observers were presented with an object cue (to hold in WM or to merely attend) and subsequently had to identify a brief target presented within a colored shape. The cue could be…
This model report documents the abstraction of drift seepage, conducted to provide seepage-relevant parameters and their probability distributions for use in Total System Performance Assessment for License Application (TSPA-LA). Drift seepage refers to the flow of liquid water into waste emplacement drifts. Water that seeps into drifts may contact waste packages and potentially mobilize radionuclides, and may result in advective transport of radionuclides through breached waste packages [''Risk Information to Support Prioritization of Performance Assessment Models'' (BSC 2003 [DIRS 168796], Section 3.3.2)]. The unsaturated rock layers overlying and hosting the repository form a natural barrier that reduces the amount of water entering emplacement drifts by natural subsurface processes. For example, drift seepage is limited by the capillary barrier forming at the drift crown, which decreases or even eliminates water flow from the unsaturated fractured rock into the drift. During the first few hundred years after waste emplacement, when above-boiling rock temperatures will develop as a result of heat generated by the decay of the radioactive waste, vaporization of percolation water is an additional factor limiting seepage. Estimating the effectiveness of these natural barrier capabilities and predicting the amount of seepage into drifts is an important aspect of assessing the performance of the repository. The TSPA-LA therefore includes a seepage component that calculates the amount of seepage into drifts [''Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) Model/Analysis for the License Application'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 168504], Section 18.104.22.168)]. The TSPA-LA calculation is performed with a probabilistic approach that accounts for the spatial and temporal variability and inherent uncertainty of seepage-relevant properties and processes. Results are used for subsequent TSPA-LA components that may handle, for example, waste package corrosion or radionuclide transport.
Vannucci, M; Viggiano, M P; Argenti, F
The different weight of spatial frequency content in the identification of visual objects was investigated. Subjects were required to identify spatially filtered pictures of animals, vegetables and nonliving objects, displayed at 9 resolution levels of filtering following a coarse-to-fine order. Results showed that spatial frequency content differentially affected the three categories of stimuli. Data suggested a different involvement of low and high spatial frequency channels in visual processing of objects in relation to the semantic category.
Warren, David E; Duff, Melissa C; Tranel, Daniel; Cohen, Neal J
Medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage in humans is typically thought to produce a circumscribed impairment in the acquisition of new enduring memories, but recent reports have documented deficits even in short-term maintenance. We examined possible maintenance deficits in a population of MTL amnesics, with the goal of characterizing their impairments as either representational drift or outright loss of representation over time. Patients and healthy comparisons performed a visual search task in which the similarity of various lures to a target was varied parametrically. Stimuli were simple shapes varying along one of several visual dimensions. The task was performed in two conditions, one presenting a sample target simultaneously with the search array and the other imposing a delay between sample and array. Eye-movement data collected during search revealed that the duration of fixations to items varied with lure-target similarity for all participants, i.e., fixations were longer for items more similar to the target. In the simultaneous condition, patients and comparisons exhibited an equivalent effect of similarity on fixation durations. However, imposing a delay modulated the effect differently for the two groups: in comparisons, fixation duration to similar items was exaggerated; in patients, the original effect was diminished. These findings indicate that MTL lesions subtly impair short-term maintenance of even simple stimuli, with performance reflecting not the complete loss of the maintained representation but rather a degradation or progressive drift of the representation over time.
Despite their subjective invisibility, stimuli presented within regions of absolute cortical blindness can both guide forced-choice behavior when they are task-relevant and modulate responses to visible targets when they are task-irrelevant. We here tested three hemianopic patients to learn whether their performance in an attention-demanding rapid serial visual presentation task would be affected by task-irrelevant stimuli. Per trial, nine black letters and one white target letter appeared briefly at fixation; the white letter was to be named at the end of each trial. On 50% of trials, a task-irrelevant disk (-0.6 log contrast) was presented to the blind field; in separate blocks, the same or a very low negative contrast distractor was presented to the sighted field. Mean error rates were high and independent of distractor condition, although the high-contrast sighted-field disk impaired performance significantly in one participant. However, when trials with and without distractors were considered separately, performance was most impaired by the high-contrast disk in the blind field, whereas the same disk in the sighted field had no effect. As this disk was least visible in the blind and most visible in the sighted field, attentional suppression was inversely related to visibility. We suggest that visual awareness, or the processes that generate it and are compromised in the blind hemisphere, enhances or enables effective attentional suppression.
Huang, Tsung-Ren; Watanabe, Takeo
Attention plays a fundamental role in visual learning and memory. One highly established principle of visual attention is that the harder a central task is, the more attentional resources are used to perform the task and the smaller amount of attention is allocated to peripheral processing because of limited attention capacity. Here we show that this principle holds true in a dual-task setting but not in a paradigm of task-irrelevant perceptual learning. In Experiment 1, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim number targets at the screen center and to remember concurrently presented scene backgrounds. Their recognition performances for scenes paired with dim/hard targets were worse than those for scenes paired with bright/easy targets. In Experiment 2, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim letter targets at the screen center while a task-irrelevant coherent motion was concurrently presented in the background. After five days of training on letter identification, participants improved their motion sensitivity to the direction paired with hard/dim targets improved but not to the direction paired with easy/bright targets. Taken together, these results suggest that task-irrelevant stimuli are not subject to the attentional control mechanisms that task-relevant stimuli abide. PMID:22563424
Kullmann, Jennifer S; Grigoleit, Jan-Sebastian; Lichte, Philipp; Kobbe, Philipp; Rosenberger, Christina; Banner, Christina; Wolf, Oliver T; Engler, Harald; Oberbeck, Reiner; Elsenbruch, Sigrid; Bingel, Ulrike; Forsting, Michael; Gizewski, Elke R; Schedlowski, Manfred
Increases in peripheral cytokines during acute inflammation may affect various neuropsychological functions. The aim of this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to investigate the effects of acute endotoxemia on mood and the neural response to emotionally aversive visual stimuli in healthy human subjects. In a double-blind, randomized crossover study, 18 healthy males received a bolus injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 0.4 ng/kg) or saline. Plasma levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and cortisol as well as mood ratings were analyzed together with the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) response during the presentation of aversive versus neutral pictures. Endotoxin administration induced pronounced transient increases in plasma levels of TNF-α, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-10, and cortisol. Positive mood was decreased and state anxiety increased. In addition, activation of right inferior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in response to emotional visual stimuli was significantly increased in the LPS condition. Increased prefrontal activation during the presentation of emotional material may reflect enhanced cognitive regulation of emotions as an adaptive response during an acute inflammation. These findings may have implications for the putative role of inflammatory processes in the pathophysiology of depression.
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) visually shows the expression of proteins by fluorescing when exposed to certain wavelengths of light. The GFP in this experiment was used to identify cells actively releasing viruses. The experiment focused on the effect of microgravity on the GFP expression of Akata B-cells infected with Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). Two flasks were prepared with 30 million cells each and two bioreactors were prepared with 50 million cells each. All four cultures were incubated for 16 days and fed every four days. Cellometer readings were taken on the feeding days to find cell size, viability, and GFP expression. In addition, the cells were treated with Propodium monoazide (PMA) and run through real time PCR to determine viral load on the feeding days. On the International Space Station air samples are taken to analyze the bacterial and fungal organisms in the air. The Sartorius Portable Airport is being investigated for potential use on the ISS to analyze for viral content in the air. Multiple samples were taken around Johnson Space Center building 37 and in Clear Lake Pediatric Clinic. The filter used was the gelatin membrane filter and the DNA was extracted directly from the filter. The DNA was then run through real time PCR for Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) and EBV as well as GAPDH to test for the presence of DNA. The results so far have shown low DNA yield and no positive results for VZV or EBV. Further inquiry involves accurately replicating an atmosphere with high viral load from saliva as would be found on the ISS to run the air sampler in. Another line of research is stress hormones that may be correlated to the reactivation of latent viruses. The stress hormones from saliva samples are analyzed rather than blood samples. The quantity found in saliva shows the quantity of the hormones actually attached to cells and causing a reaction, whereas in the blood the quantity of hormones is the total amount released to cause a reaction. The particular
Garcea, Frank E; Kristensen, Stephanie; Almeida, Jorge; Mahon, Bradford Z
Viewing images of manipulable objects elicits differential blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) contrast across parietal and dorsal occipital areas of the human brain that support object-directed reaching, grasping, and complex object manipulation. However, it is unknown which object-selective regions of parietal cortex receive their principal inputs from the ventral object-processing pathway and which receive their inputs from the dorsal object-processing pathway. Parietal areas that receive their inputs from the ventral visual pathway, rather than from the dorsal stream, will have inputs that are already filtered through object categorization and identification processes. This predicts that parietal regions that receive inputs from the ventral visual pathway should exhibit object-selective responses that are resilient to contralateral visual field biases. To test this hypothesis, adult participants viewed images of tools and animals that were presented to the left or right visual fields during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that the left inferior parietal lobule showed robust tool preferences independently of the visual field in which tool stimuli were presented. In contrast, a region in posterior parietal/dorsal occipital cortex in the right hemisphere exhibited an interaction between visual field and category: tool-preferences were strongest contralateral to the stimulus. These findings suggest that action knowledge accessed in the left inferior parietal lobule operates over inputs that are abstracted from the visual input and is contingent on analysis by the ventral visual pathway, consistent with its putative role in supporting object manipulation knowledge.
Wu, Rachel; Nako, Rebecca; Band, Jared; Pizzuto, Jacquelyne; Ghoreishi, Yalda; Scerif, Gaia; Aslin, Richard
Visual experiences increase our ability to discriminate environmentally relevant stimuli (native stimuli, e.g., human faces) at the cost of a reduced sensitivity to irrelevant or infrequent stimuli (non-native stimuli, e.g., monkey/ape faces)-a developmental progression known as perceptual narrowing. One possible source of the reduced sensitivity in distinguishing non-native stimuli (e.g., one ape face vs. another ape face) could be underspecified attentional search templates (i.e., working memory representations). To determine whether perceptual narrowing stems from underspecified attentional templates for non-native exemplars, this study used ERP (the N2pc component) and behavioral measures in a visual search task, where the target was either an exemplar (e.g., a specific ape face) or a category (e.g., any ape face). The N2pc component, an ERP marker of early attentional selection emerging at 200 msec poststimulus, is typically modulated by the specificity of the target and, therefore, by the attentional template-the N2pc is larger for specific items versus categories. In two experiments using both human and ape faces (i.e., native and non-native stimuli), we found that perceptual narrowing affects later response selection (i.e., manual RT and accuracy), but not early attentional selection relying on attentional templates (i.e., the N2pc component). Our ERP results show that adults deploy exemplar level attentional templates for non-native stimuli (as well as native stimuli), despite poor downstream behavioral performance. Our findings suggest that long-term previous experience with reduced exemplar level judgments (i.e., perceptual narrowing) does not appear to eliminate early attentional selection of non-native exemplars.
Sbriscia-Fioretti, Beatrice; Berchio, Cristina; Freedberg, David; Gallese, Vittorio; Umiltà, Maria Alessandra
The aim of this study was to test the involvement of sensorimotor cortical circuits during the beholding of the static consequences of hand gestures devoid of any meaning.In order to verify this hypothesis we performed an EEG experiment presenting to participants images of abstract works of art with marked traces of brushstrokes. The EEG data were analyzed by using Event Related Potentials (ERPs). We aimed to demonstrate a direct involvement of sensorimotor cortical circuits during the beholding of these selected works of abstract art. The stimuli consisted of three different abstract black and white paintings by Franz Kline. Results verified our experimental hypothesis showing the activation of premotor and motor cortical areas during stimuli observation. In addition, abstract works of art observation elicited the activation of reward-related orbitofrontal areas, and cognitive categorization-related prefrontal areas. The cortical sensorimotor activation is a fundamental neurophysiological demonstration of the direct involvement of the cortical motor system in perception of static meaningless images belonging to abstract art. These results support the role of embodied simulation of artist’s gestures in the perception of works of art. PMID:24130693
Vannetzel, Leonard; Chaby, Laurence; Cautru, Fabienne; Cohen, David; Plaza, Monique
Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) represents up to two-thirds of autism spectrum disorders; however, it is usually described in terms of the symptoms not shared by autism. The study explores processing of neutral and emotional human stimuli (by auditory, visual and multimodal channels) in children with PDD-NOS (n =…
Staats, Arthur W.; And Others
An experiement was conducted to test the hypothesis that interest inventory items would function as reinforcing stimuli in a visual discrimination task. When previously rated liked and disliked items from the Strong Vocational Interest Blank were differentially presented following one of two responses, subjects learned to respond to the stimulus…
Li, Winston; Meekins, Kelsey; Schirillo, James
In an experimental paradigm adapted from Hari (1995), forty observers listened via headphones to 8 binaural clicks: 4 left-ear leading followed by 4 right-ear leading with either 38 or 140 ms interstimulus intervals (ISIs). Concurrently, they viewed either foveal or peripheral visual stimuli designed to activate either the parvocellular or…
Mazerolle, Erin L.; Marchand, Yannick
Research into typing patterns has broad applications in both psycholinguistics and biometrics (i.e., improving security of computer access via each user's unique typing patterns). We present a new software package, TypingSuite, which can be used for presenting visual and auditory stimuli, collecting typing data, and summarizing and analyzing the…
Miller, Jeff; Van Nes, Fenna
Two experiments tested predictions of the hemispheric coactivation model for redundancy gain (J. O. Miller, 2004). Simple reaction time was measured in divided attention tasks with visual stimuli presented to the left or right of fixation or redundantly to both sides. Experiment 1 tested the prediction that redundancy gain--the decrease in…
Pessoa, Luiz; Ungerleider, Leslie G
Because the processing capacity of the visual system is limited, selective attention to one part of the visual field comes at the cost of neglecting other parts. In this paper, we review evidence from single-cell studies in monkeys and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in humans for neural competition and how competition is biased by attention. We suggest that, at the neural level, an important consequence of attention is to enhance the influence of behaviorally relevant stimuli at the expense of irrelevant ones, providing a mechanism for the filtering of distracting information in cluttered visual scenes. Psychophysical evidence suggests that processing outside the focus of attention is attenuated and may be even eliminated under some conditions. A major exception to the critical role of attention may be in the neural processing of emotion-laden stimuli, which are reported to be processed automatically, namely, without attention. Contrary to this prevailing view, in a recent study we found that all brain regions responding differentially to faces with emotional content, including the amygdala, did so only when sufficient resources were available to process those faces. After reviewing our findings, we discuss their implications, in particular (1) how emotional stimuli can bias competition for processing resources; (2) the source of the biasing signal for emotional stimuli; (3) how visual information reaches the amygdala; and finally (4) the relationship between attention and awareness.
Schroter, Hannes; Fiedler, Anja; Miller, Jeff; Ulrich, Rolf
In a simple reaction time (RT) experiment, visual stimuli were stereoscopically presented either to one eye (single stimulation) or to both eyes (redundant stimulation), with brightness matched for single and redundant stimulations. Redundant stimulation resulted in two separate percepts when noncorresponding retinal areas were stimulated, whereas…
Taniguchi, Darcy A A; Gagnon, Yakir; Wheeler, Benjamin R; Johnsen, Sönke; Jaffe, Jules S
Cuttlefish are cephalopods capable of rapid camouflage responses to visual stimuli. However, it is not always clear to what these animals are responding. Previous studies have found cuttlefish to be more responsive to lateral stimuli rather than substrate. However, in previous works, the cuttlefish were allowed to settle next to the lateral stimuli. In this study, we examine whether juvenile cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) respond more strongly to visual stimuli seen on the sides versus the bottom of an experimental aquarium, specifically when the animals are not allowed to be adjacent to the tank walls. We used the Sub Sea Holodeck, a novel aquarium that employs plasma display screens to create a variety of artificial visual environments without disturbing the animals. Once the cuttlefish were acclimated, we compared the variability of camouflage patterns that were elicited from displaying various stimuli on the bottom versus the sides of the Holodeck. To characterize the camouflage patterns, we classified them in terms of uniform, disruptive, and mottled patterning. The elicited camouflage patterns from different bottom stimuli were more variable than those elicited by different side stimuli, suggesting that S. officinalis responds more strongly to the patterns displayed on the bottom than the sides of the tank. We argue that the cuttlefish pay more attention to the bottom of the Holodeck because it is closer and thus more relevant for camouflage.
Taniguchi, Darcy A. A.; Gagnon, Yakir; Wheeler, Benjamin R.; Johnsen, Sönke; Jaffe, Jules S.
Cuttlefish are cephalopods capable of rapid camouflage responses to visual stimuli. However, it is not always clear to what these animals are responding. Previous studies have found cuttlefish to be more responsive to lateral stimuli rather than substrate. However, in previous works, the cuttlefish were allowed to settle next to the lateral stimuli. In this study, we examine whether juvenile cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) respond more strongly to visual stimuli seen on the sides versus the bottom of an experimental aquarium, specifically when the animals are not allowed to be adjacent to the tank walls. We used the Sub Sea Holodeck, a novel aquarium that employs plasma display screens to create a variety of artificial visual environments without disturbing the animals. Once the cuttlefish were acclimated, we compared the variability of camouflage patterns that were elicited from displaying various stimuli on the bottom versus the sides of the Holodeck. To characterize the camouflage patterns, we classified them in terms of uniform, disruptive, and mottled patterning. The elicited camouflage patterns from different bottom stimuli were more variable than those elicited by different side stimuli, suggesting that S. officinalis responds more strongly to the patterns displayed on the bottom than the sides of the tank. We argue that the cuttlefish pay more attention to the bottom of the Holodeck because it is closer and thus more relevant for camouflage. PMID:26465786
Nguyen, Andy; Cabrera, Densil
Auditory spatial impression is widely studied for its contribution to auditorium acoustical quality. By contrast, visual spatial impression in auditoria has received relatively little attention in formal studies. This paper reports results from a series of experiments investigating the auditory and visual spatial impression of concert auditoria. For auditory stimuli, a fragment of an anechoic recording of orchestral music was convolved with calibrated binaural impulse responses, which had been made with the dummy head microphone at a wide range of positions in three auditoria and the sound source on the stage. For visual stimuli, greyscale photographs were used, taken at the same positions in the three auditoria, with a visual target on the stage. Subjective experiments were conducted with auditory stimuli alone, visual stimuli alone, and visual and auditory stimuli combined. In these experiments, subjects rated apparent source width, listener envelopment, intimacy and source distance (auditory stimuli), and spaciousness, envelopment, stage dominance, intimacy and target distance (visual stimuli). Results show target distance to be of primary importance in auditory and visual spatial impression-thereby providing a basis for covariance between some attributes of auditory and visual spatial impression. Nevertheless, some attributes of spatial impression diverge between the senses.
Using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), we model a monolayer formed at the water-oil interface, which comprises stimuli-responsive nanoparticles. The solid core of the nanoparticle encompasses beads arranged in an fcc lattice structure and its surface is uniformly grafted with stimuli-responsive polymer chains. The surface-active nanoparticles adsorb to the interface from the suspension to minimize total energy of the system and create a monolayer covering the interface. We investigate the monolayer formation by characterizing the detailed adsorption kinetics. We explore the microstructure of the monolayer at different surface coverage, including the particle crowding and ordering, and elucidate the response of monolayer to external stimuli. The collective behavior of the particles within the monolayer is demonstrated quantitatively by vector-vector autocorrelation functions. This study provides a fundamental understanding of the interfacial behavior of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles.
Yamane, Shogo; Tanabe, Kana; Sagara, Yoshimitsu; Kato, Takashi
We describe mechanochromic and thermochromic photoluminescent liquid crystals. In particular, mechanochromic photoluminescent liquid crystals found recently, which are new stimuli-responsive materials are reported. For example, photoluminescent liquid crystals having bulky dendritic moieties with long alkyl chains change their photoluminescent colors by mechanical stimuli associated with isothermal phase transitions. The photoluminescent properties of molecular assemblies depend on their assembled structures. Therefore, controlling the structures of molecular assemblies with external stimuli leads to the development of stimuli-responsive luminescent materials. Mechanochromic photoluminescent properties are also observed for a photoluminescent metallomesogen and a liquid-crystalline polymer. We also show thermochromic photoluminescent liquid crystals based on origo-(p-phenylenevinylene) and anthracene moieties and a thermochromic photoluminescent metallocomplex.
Nevin, John A.
This article reviews evidence from basic and translational research with pigeons and humans suggesting that the persistence of operant behavior depends on the contingency between stimuli and reinforcers, and considers some implications for clinical interventions. (Contains 4 figures.)
Agarwal, K; Bronstein, A M; Faldon, M E; Mandalà, M; Murray, K; Silove, Y
The increased visual dependence noted in some vestibular patients may be secondary to their vertigo. We examine whether a single, brief vertigo attack, such as in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), modifies visual dependency. Visual dependency was measured before and after the Hallpike manoeuvre with (a) the Rod and Frame and the Rod and Disc techniques whilst seated and (b) the postural sway induced by visual roll-motion stimulation. Three subject groups were studied: 20 patients with BPPV (history and positive Hallpike manoeuvre; PosH group), 20 control patients (history of BPPV but negative Hallpike manoeuvre; NegH group) and 20 normal controls. Our findings show that while both patient groups showed enhanced visual dependency, the PosH and the normal control group decreased visual dependency on repetition of the visual tasks after the Hallpike manoeuvre. NegH patients differed from PosH patients in that their high visual dependency did not diminish on repetition of the visual stimuli; they scored higher on the situational characteristic questionnaire ('visual vertigo' symptoms) and showed higher incidence of migraine. We conclude that long term vestibular symptoms increase visual dependence but a single BPPV attack does not increase it further. Repetitive visual motion stimulation induces adaptation in visual dependence in peripheral vestibular disorders such as BPPV. A positional form of vestibular migraine may underlie the symptoms of some patients with a history of BPPV but negative Hallpike manoeuvre. The finding that they have non adaptable increased visual dependency may explain visuo-vestibular symptoms in this group and, perhaps more widely, in patients with migraine.
Voon, Valerie; Brezing, Christina; Gallea, Cecile; Ameli, Rezvan; Roelofs, Karin; LaFrance, W Curt; Hallett, Mark
Conversion disorder is characterized by neurological signs and symptoms related to an underlying psychological issue. Amygdala activity to affective stimuli is well characterized in healthy volunteers with greater amygdala activity to both negative and positive stimuli relative to neutral stimuli, and greater activity to negative relative to positive stimuli. We investigated the relationship between conversion disorder and affect by assessing amygdala activity to affective stimuli. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a block design incidental affective task with fearful, happy and neutral face stimuli and compared valence contrasts between 16 patients with conversion disorder and 16 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. The patients with conversion disorder had positive movements such as tremor, dystonia or gait abnormalities. We also assessed functional connectivity between the amygdala and regions associated with motor preparation. A group by affect valence interaction was observed. Post hoc analyses revealed that whereas healthy volunteers had greater right amygdala activity to fearful versus neutral compared with happy versus neutral as expected, there were no valence differences in patients with conversion disorder. There were no group differences observed. The time course analysis also revealed greater right amygdala activity in patients with conversion disorder for happy stimuli (t = 2.96, P = 0.006) (with a trend for fearful stimuli, t = 1.81, P = 0.08) compared with healthy volunteers, with a pattern suggestive of impaired amygdala habituation even when controlling for depressive and anxiety symptoms. Using psychophysiological interaction analysis, patients with conversion disorder had greater functional connectivity between the right amygdala and the right supplementary motor area during both fearful versus neutral, and happy versus neutral 'stimuli' compared with healthy volunteers. These results were confirmed with
Wakslak, Cheryl J; Smith, Pamela K; Han, Albert
Power can be gained through appearances: People who exhibit behavioral signals of power are often treated in a way that allows them to actually achieve such power (Ridgeway, Berger, & Smith, 1985; Smith & Galinsky, 2010). In the current article, we examine power signals within interpersonal communication, exploring whether use of concrete versus abstract language is seen as a signal of power. Because power activates abstraction (e.g., Smith & Trope, 2006), perceivers may expect higher power individuals to speak more abstractly and therefore will infer that speakers who use more abstract language have a higher degree of power. Across a variety of contexts and conversational subjects in 7 experiments, participants perceived respondents as more powerful when they used more abstract language (vs. more concrete language). Abstract language use appears to affect perceived power because it seems to reflect both a willingness to judge and a general style of abstract thinking.
Lynch, J C; McLaren, J W
1. Visual attention is often profoundly disturbed in humans after damage to the cortex of the posterior parietal lobe, particularly of the minor hemisphere, with some patients being totally unaware of visual stimuli in the hemifield of extrapersonal space contralateral to the cortical damage. This severe form of visual inattention is usually called contralateral neglect and has occasionally been reported following posterior parietal lesions in monkeys. However, in monkeys, only qualitative observations have been published and those reports are not in agreement concerning the severity of the deficit. The present experiments were designed to measure quantitatively the amount of disruption of selective visual attention which is produced by lesions of posterior parietal and parietooccipital cortical lesions in monkeys. 2. Five monkeys were trained to visually fixate and follow with their gaze a small visual stimulus as it suddenly moved varying distances (8, 16, or 24 degrees) from the midline into the left or right visual hemifields. Two animals then received a unilateral cortical lesion limited to the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Three animals received unilateral lesions which included both the inferior parietal lobule and a portion of adjacent dorsal prestriate cortex (IPL-PS). 3. Visual inattention is commonly divided into two levels of severity. The more severe form, contralateral neglect, is the complete absence of behavioral response to a stimulus in the visual field contralateral to hemisphere damage. The less severe deficit, usually called visual extinction, is a tendency to ignore the contralateral of two visual stimuli when they appear simultaneously and symmetrically placed with respect to the center of the subject's surroundings. The five monkeys in this study were tested on a stimulus paradigm which simultaneously measured the severity of visual neglect and also the amount and duration of visual extinction which were produced by the cortical lesions. 4
Medina, Jared; Drebing, Daniel E.; Hamilton, Roy H.; Coslett, H. Branch
Recent studies have found preferential responses for brief, transient visual stimuli near the hands, suggesting a link between magnocellular visual processing and peripersonal representations. We report an individual with a right hemisphere lesion whose illusory phantom percepts may be attributable to an impairment in the peripersonal system specific to transient visual stimuli. When presented with a single, brief (250 ms) visual stimulus to her ipsilesional side, she reported visual percepts on both sides – synchiria. These contralesional phantoms were significantly more frequent when visual stimuli were presented on the hands versus off the hands. We next manipulated stimulus duration to examine the relationship between these phantom percepts and transient visual processing. We found a significant position by duration interaction, with substantially more phantom synchiric percepts on the hands for brief compared to sustained stimuli. This deficit provides novel evidence both for preferential processing of transient visual stimuli near the hands, and for mechanisms that, when damaged, result in phantom percepts. PMID:26779938
Schubert, Claus; Gfeller, Mary; Donohue, Christopher
This study explores the use of Group Explorer in an undergraduate mathematics course in abstract algebra. The visual nature of Group Explorer in representing concepts in group theory is an attractive incentive to use this software in the classroom. However, little is known about students' perceptions on this technology in learning concepts in abstract algebra. A total of 26 participants in an undergraduate course studying group theory were surveyed regarding their experiences using Group Explorer. Findings indicate that all participants believed that the software was beneficial to their learning and described their attitudes regarding the software in terms of using the technology and its helpfulness in learning concepts. A multiple regression analysis reveals that representational fluency of concepts with the software correlated significantly with participants' understanding of group concepts yet, participants' attitudes about Group Explorer and technology in general were not significant factors.
Cohen, Michael A; Nakayama, Ken; Konkle, Talia; Stantić, Mirta; Alvarez, George A
Visual perception and awareness have strict limitations. We suggest that one source of these limitations is the representational architecture of the visual system. Under this view, the extent to which items activate the same neural channels constrains the amount of information that can be processed by the visual system and ultimately reach awareness. Here, we measured how well stimuli from different categories (e.g., faces and cars) blocked one another from reaching awareness using two distinct paradigms that render stimuli invisible: visual masking and continuous flash suppression. Next, we used fMRI to measure the similarity of the neural responses elicited by these categories across the entire visual hierarchy. Overall, we found strong brain-behavior correlations within the ventral pathway, weaker correlations in the dorsal pathway, and no correlations in early visual cortex (V1-V3). These results suggest that the organization of higher level visual cortex constrains visual awareness and the overall processing capacity of visual cognition.
Borghi, Anna M; Zarcone, Edoardo
One key issue for theories of cognition is how abstract concepts, such as freedom, are represented. According to the WAT (Words As social Tools) proposal, abstract concepts activate both sensorimotor and linguistic/social information, and their acquisition modality involves the linguistic experience more than the acquisition of concrete concepts. We report an experiment in which participants were presented with abstract and concrete definitions followed by concrete and abstract target-words. When the definition and the word matched, participants were required to press a key, either with the hand or with the mouth. Response times and accuracy were recorded. As predicted, we found that abstract definitions and abstract words yielded slower responses and more errors compared to concrete definitions and concrete words. More crucially, there was an interaction between the target-words and the effector used to respond (hand, mouth). While responses with the mouth were overall slower, the advantage of the hand over the mouth responses was more marked with concrete than with abstract concepts. The results are in keeping with grounded and embodied theories of cognition and support the WAT proposal, according to which abstract concepts evoke linguistic-social information, hence activate the mouth. The mechanisms underlying the mouth activation with abstract concepts (re-enactment of acquisition experience, or re-explanation of the word meaning, possibly through inner talk) are discussed. To our knowledge this is the first behavioral study demonstrating with real words that the advantage of the hand over the mouth is more marked with concrete than with abstract concepts, likely because of the activation of linguistic information with abstract concepts.
Borghi, Anna M.; Zarcone, Edoardo
One key issue for theories of cognition is how abstract concepts, such as freedom, are represented. According to the WAT (Words As social Tools) proposal, abstract concepts activate both sensorimotor and linguistic/social information, and their acquisition modality involves the linguistic experience more than the acquisition of concrete concepts. We report an experiment in which participants were presented with abstract and concrete definitions followed by concrete and abstract target-words. When the definition and the word matched, participants were required to press a key, either with the hand or with the mouth. Response times and accuracy were recorded. As predicted, we found that abstract definitions and abstract words yielded slower responses and more errors compared to concrete definitions and concrete words. More crucially, there was an interaction between the target-words and the effector used to respond (hand, mouth). While responses with the mouth were overall slower, the advantage of the hand over the mouth responses was more marked with concrete than with abstract concepts. The results are in keeping with grounded and embodied theories of cognition and support the WAT proposal, according to which abstract concepts evoke linguistic-social information, hence activate the mouth. The mechanisms underlying the mouth activation with abstract concepts (re-enactment of acquisition experience, or re-explanation of the word meaning, possibly through inner talk) are discussed. To our knowledge this is the first behavioral study demonstrating with real words that the advantage of the hand over the mouth is more marked with concrete than with abstract concepts, likely because of the activation of linguistic information with abstract concepts. PMID:27777563
Arntzen, Erik; Nartey, Richard K; Fields, Lanny
Undergraduates in six groups of 10 attempted to form three 3-node 5-member equivalence classes (A → B → C → D → E) under the simultaneous protocol. In five of six groups, all stimuli were abstract shapes; in the PIC group, C stimuli were pictures with the remainder being abstract shapes. Before class formation, participants in the Identity-S and Identity-D groups were given preliminary training to form identity conditional discriminations with the C stimuli using simultaneous and 6 s delayed matching-to-sample procedures, respectively. In the Arbitrary-S and Arbitrary-D groups, before class formation, arbitrary conditional discriminations were formed between C and X stimuli using simultaneous and 6 s delayed matching-to-sample procedures, respectively. With no preliminary training, classes in the PIC and ABS groups were formed by 80% and 0% of participants, respectively. After preliminary training, class formation (yield) increased with delay, regardless of relational type. For each of the two delays, yield was slightly greater after forming arbitrary- instead of identity-relations. Yield was greatest, however, when a class contained a meaningful stimulus (PIC). During failed class formation, probes produced experimenter-defined relations, participant-defined relations, and unsystematic responding; delay, but not the relation type in preliminary training influenced relational and indeterminate responding. These results suggest how meaningful stimuli enhance equivalence class formation.
Liu, Zhuang; Wang, Wei; Xie, Rui; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Chu, Liang-Yin
Membranes are playing paramount roles in the sustainable development of myriad fields such as energy, environmental and resource management, and human health. However, the unalterable pore size and surface properties of traditional porous membranes restrict their efficient applications. The performances of traditional membranes will be weakened upon unavoidable membrane fouling, and they cannot be applied to cases where self-regulated permeability and selectivity are required. Inspired by natural cell membranes with stimuli-responsive channels, artificial stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes are developed by chemically/physically incorporating stimuli-responsive materials as functional gates into traditional porous membranes, to provide advanced functions and enhanced performances for breaking the bottlenecks of traditional membrane technologies. Smart gating membranes, integrating the advantages of traditional porous membrane substrates and smart functional gates, can self-regulate their permeability and selectivity via the flexible adjustment of pore sizes and surface properties based on the "open/close" switch of the smart gates in response to environmental stimuli. This tutorial review summarizes the recent developments in stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes, including the design strategies and the fabrication strategies that are based on the introduction of the stimuli-responsive gates after or during membrane formation, and the positively and negatively responsive gating models of versatile stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes, as well as the advanced applications of smart gating membranes for regulating substance concentration in reactors, controlling the release rate of drugs, separating active molecules based on size or affinity, and the self-cleaning of membrane surfaces. With self-regulated membrane performances, smart gating membranes show great power for use in global sustainable development.
The Mechanical Engineering Department publishes listings of technical abstracts twice a year to inform readers of the broad range of technical activities in the Department, and to promote an exchange of ideas. Details of the work covered by an abstract may be obtained by contacting the author(s). Overall information about current activities of each of the Department's seven divisions precedes the technical abstracts.
Talcott, Joel B; Gram, Aashild; Van Ingelghem, Mieke; Witton, Caroline; Stein, John F; Toennessen, Finn Egil
The mappings from grapheme to phoneme are much less consistent in English than they are for most other languages. Therefore, the differences found between English-speaking dyslexics and controls on sensory measures of temporal processing might be related more to the irregularities of English orthography than to a general deficit affecting reading ability in all languages. However, here we show that poor readers of Norwegian, a language with a relatively regular orthography, are less sensitive than controls to dynamic visual and auditory stimuli. Consistent with results from previous studies of English-readers, detection thresholds for visual motion and auditory frequency modulation (FM) were significantly higher in 19 poor readers of Norwegian compared to 22 control readers of the same age. Over two-thirds (68.4%) of the children identified as poor readers were less sensitive than controls to either or both of the visual coherent motion or auditory 2Hz FM stimuli.
The preparation of a strong, convincing abstract is a necessary professional skill and prized art form for nurse scientists and clinical scholars. The power and the role of an abstract are often overlooked. Abstracts are used in a variety of scholarly forums including articles submitted for publication, research proposals, and responses to "calls for abstracts" for presentations at scientific conferences. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the highlights of the "art" rather than the "cookbook" details associated with preparing an abstract. Each of the critical stages of abstract development is explored-planning, drafting, reviewing, peer reviewing, editing, and packaging. Likewise, a few, hopefully helpful, hints on developing the six key elements-background, purpose, sample, methods, results, and implications-of the scientific abstract are given. Polishing, the essential skill of preparing an abstract, takes time and persistence and will pay off in the long run. The well-crafted abstract is an initial step in the process of getting research and scholarly pursuits noticed and accepted.
Tusch, Erich S.; Alperin, Brittany R.; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Daffner, Kirk R.
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. PMID:27806081
Allen, William L; Higham, James P
The study of visual signal design is gaining momentum as techniques for studying signals become more sophisticated and more freely available. In this paper we discuss methods for analyzing the color and form of visual signals, for integrating signal components into visual scenes, and for producing visual signal stimuli for use in psychophysical experiments. Our recommended methods aim to be rigorous, detailed, quantitative, objective, and where possible based on the perceptual representation of the intended signal receiver(s). As methods for analyzing signal color and luminance have been outlined in previous publications we focus on analyzing form information by discussing how statistical shape analysis (SSA) methods can be used to analyze signal shape, and spatial filtering to analyze repetitive patterns. We also suggest the use of vector-based approaches for integrating multiple signal components. In our opinion elliptical Fourier analysis (EFA) is the most promising technique for shape quantification but we await the results of empirical comparison of techniques and the development of new shape analysis methods based on the cognitive and perceptual representations of receivers. Our manuscript should serve as an introductory guide to those interested in measuring visual signals, and while our examples focus on primate signals, the methods are applicable to quantifying visual signals in most taxa.
Brodeur, Mathieu B.; Guérard, Katherine; Bouras, Maria
Researchers have only recently started to take advantage of the developments in technology and communication for sharing data and documents. However, the exchange of experimental material has not taken advantage of this progress yet. In order to facilitate access to experimental material, the Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS) project was created as a free standardized set of visual stimuli accessible to all researchers, through a normative database. The BOSS is currently the largest existing photo bank providing norms for more than 15 dimensions (e.g. familiarity, visual complexity, manipulability, etc.), making the BOSS an extremely useful research tool and a mean to homogenize scientific data worldwide. The first phase of the BOSS was completed in 2010, and contained 538 normative photos. The second phase of the BOSS project presented in this article, builds on the previous phase by adding 930 new normative photo stimuli. New categories of concepts were introduced, including animals, building infrastructures, body parts, and vehicles and the number of photos in other categories was increased. All new photos of the BOSS were normalized relative to their name, familiarity, visual complexity, object agreement, viewpoint agreement, and manipulability. The availability of these norms is a precious asset that should be considered for characterizing the stimuli as a function of the requirements of research and for controlling for potential confounding effects. PMID:25211489
Brodeur, Mathieu B; Guérard, Katherine; Bouras, Maria
Researchers have only recently started to take advantage of the developments in technology and communication for sharing data and documents. However, the exchange of experimental material has not taken advantage of this progress yet. In order to facilitate access to experimental material, the Bank of Standardized Stimuli (BOSS) project was created as a free standardized set of visual stimuli accessible to all researchers, through a normative database. The BOSS is currently the largest existing photo bank providing norms for more than 15 dimensions (e.g. familiarity, visual complexity, manipulability, etc.), making the BOSS an extremely useful research tool and a mean to homogenize scientific data worldwide. The first phase of the BOSS was completed in 2010, and contained 538 normative photos. The second phase of the BOSS project presented in this article, builds on the previous phase by adding 930 new normative photo stimuli. New categories of concepts were introduced, including animals, building infrastructures, body parts, and vehicles and the number of photos in other categories was increased. All new photos of the BOSS were normalized relative to their name, familiarity, visual complexity, object agreement, viewpoint agreement, and manipulability. The availability of these norms is a precious asset that should be considered for characterizing the stimuli as a function of the requirements of research and for controlling for potential confounding effects.
Zinchenko, Artyom; Kim, Hyojung; Danek, Adrian; Müller, Hermann J; Rangelov, Dragan
There is evidence that the cognitive system processes human faces faster and more precisely than other stimuli. Also, faces summon visual attention in an automatic manner, as evidenced by efficient, 'pop-out' search for face targets amongst homogeneous non-face distractors. Pop-out for faces implies that faces are processed as a basic visual 'feature' by specialized face-tuned detectors, similar to the coding of other features (e.g., color, orientation, motion, etc.). However, it is unclear whether such face detectors encode only the global face configuration or both global and local face features. If the former were correct, the face detectors should be unable to support search for a local face feature, rendering search slower relative to non-face stimuli; that is, there would be local feature suppression (LFS) for faces. If the latter was the case, there should be no difference in the processing of local and, respectively, global face features. In two experiments, participants discerned the presence (vs. absence) of a local target defined as a part of either a normal or a scrambled (schematic or realistic) face or of a non-face (Kanizsa diamond or realistic house) configuration. The results consistently showed a robust LFS effect in both reaction times and error rates for face stimuli, and either no difference or even a local feature enhancement effect for the control stimuli. Taken together, these findings indicate that faces are encoded as a basic visual feature by means of globally tuned face detectors.
Sharpee, Tatyana O; Miller, Kenneth D; Stryker, Michael P
Understanding neural responses with natural stimuli has increasingly become an essential part of characterizing neural coding. Neural responses are commonly characterized by a linear-nonlinear (LN) model, in which the output of a linear filter applied to the stimulus is transformed by a static nonlinearity to determine neural response. To estimate the linear filter in the LN model, studies of responses to natural stimuli commonly use methods that are unbiased only for a linear model (in which there is no static nonlinearity): spike-triggered averages with correction for stimulus power spectrum, with or without regularization. Although these methods work well for artificial stimuli, such as Gaussian white noise, we show here that they estimate neural filters of LN models from responses to natural stimuli much more poorly. We studied simple cells in cat primary visual cortex. We demonstrate that the filters computed by directly taking the nonlinearity into account have better predictive power and depend less on the stimulus than those computed under the linear model. With noise stimuli, filters computed using the linear and LN models were similar, as predicted theoretically. With natural stimuli, filters of the two models can differ profoundly. Noise and natural stimulus filters differed significantly in spatial properties, but these differences were exaggerated when filters were computed using the linear rather than the LN model. Although regularization of filters computed under the linear model improved their predictive power, it also led to systematic distortions of their spatial frequency profiles, especially at low spatial and temporal frequencies.
Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Sander, David
Some stimuli can orient attentional resources and access awareness even if they appear outside the focus of voluntary attention. Stimuli with low-level perceptual salience and stimuli with an emotional content can modulate attention independently of voluntary processes. In Experiment 1, we used a spatial cuing task to investigate whether stimuli that are controlled for their perceptual salience can modulate the rapid orienting of attention based exclusively on their affective relevance. Affective relevance was manipulated through a Pavlovian conditioning paradigm in which an arbitrary and affectively neutral perceptual stimulus was associated with a primary reward (i.e., a chocolate odor). Results revealed that, after conditioning, attentional resources were rapidly oriented toward the stimulus that was previously associated with the reward. In Experiment 2, we used the very same conditioning procedure, but we devaluated the reward after conditioning for half of the participants through a sensory-specific satiation procedure. Strikingly, when the reward was devaluated, attention was no longer oriented toward reward-associated stimuli. Our findings therefore suggest that reward associations rapidly modulate visual processing independently of both voluntary processing and the perceptual salience of the stimulus. This supports the notion that stimuli associated with primary rewards modulate rapid attention orienting on the basis of the affective relevance of the stimulus.
Das, Anasuya; Tadin, Duje; Huxlin, Krystel R
Damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) or its immediate afferents results in a dense scotoma, termed cortical blindness (CB). CB subjects have residual visual abilities, or blindsight, which allow them to detect and sometimes discriminate stimuli with high temporal and low spatial frequency content. Recent work showed that with training, discriminations in the blind field can become more reliable, and even reach consciousness. However, the narrow spatiotemporal bandwidth of blindsight limits its functional usefulness in everyday vision. Here, we asked whether visual training can induce recovery outside the spatiotemporal bandwidth of blindsight. Specifically, could human CB subjects learn to discriminate static, nonflickering stimuli? Can such learning transfer to untrained stimuli and tasks, and does double training with moving and static stimuli provide additional advantages relative to static training alone? We found CB subjects capable of relearning static orientation discriminations following single as well as double training. However, double training with complex, moving stimuli in a separate location was necessary to recover complex motion thresholds at locations trained with static stimuli. Subjects trained on static stimuli alone could only discriminate simple motion. Finally, both groups had approximately equivalent, incomplete recovery of fine orientation and direction discrimination thresholds, as well as contrast sensitivity. These results support two conclusions: (1) from a practical perspective, complex moving stimuli and double training may be superior training tools for inducing visual recovery in CB, and (2) the cortically blind visual system can relearn to perform a wider range of visual discriminations than predicted by blindsight alone.
Perea, Manuel; Mallouh, Reem Abu; Carreiras, Manuel
A commonly shared assumption in the field of visual-word recognition is that retinotopic representations are rapidly converted into abstract representations. Here we examine the role of visual form vs. abstract representations during the early stages of word processing--as measured by masked priming--in young children (3rd and 6th Graders) and…
5000 Ultimate Free SDK, $2000; Single Seat $4000 Basic $250, Professional $1000, Studio $ 3000 Kind of Free Overall UI (ease of use) 5...full, high definition ( HD ) stereoscopic 3D display. It works by synching LCD wireless active shutter glasses through an IR emitter and advanced...software, to a Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ, 120 Hz, LCD display that provides the full HD stereoscopic 3D. Subjects will view the display, seated at the
Landy, David; Brookes, David; Smout, Ryan
Formal algebras are among the most powerful and general mechanisms for expressing quantitative relational statements; yet, even university engineering students, who are relatively proficient with algebraic manipulation, struggle with and often fail to correctly deploy basic aspects of algebraic notation (Clement, 1982). In the cognitive tradition,…
Walter, Carmen; Dimova, Violeta; Bu, Julia; Parnham, Michael J.; Oertel, Bruno G.; Lötsch, Jörn
Objective The perception of pain is susceptible to modulation by psychological and contextual factors. It has been shown that subjects judge noxious stimuli as more painful in a respective suggestive context, which disappears when the modifying context is resolved. However, a context in which subjects judge the painfulness of a nociceptive stimulus in exactly the opposite direction to that of the cues has never been shown so far. Methods Nociceptive stimuli (300 ms intranasal gaseous CO2) at the individual pain threshold level were applied after a visual cue announcing the stimulus as either “no pain”, merely a “stimulus”, or “pain”. Among the stimuli at threshold level, other CO2 stimuli that were clearly below or above pain threshold were randomly interspersed. These were announced beforehand in 12 subjects randomly with correct or incorrect cues, i.e., clearly painful or clearly non-painful stimuli were announced equally often as not painful or painful. By contrast, in a subsequent group of another 12 subjects, the stimuli were always announced correctly with respect to the evoked pain. Results The random and often incorrect announcement of stimuli clearly below or above pain threshold caused the subjects to rate the stimuli at pain-threshold level in the opposite direction of the cue, i.e., when the stimuli were announced as “pain” significantly more often than as non-painful and vice versa (p < 10-4). By contrast, in the absence of incongruence between announcement and perception of the far-from-threshold stimuli, stimuli at pain threshold were rated in the cued direction. Conclusions The present study revealed the induction of associations incongruent with a given message in the perception of pain. We created a context of unreliable cues whereby subjects perceived the stimulus opposite to that suggested by a prior cue, i.e., potentially nociceptive stimuli at pain threshold level that were announced as painful were judged as non-painful and
Doucette, Don, Ed.
"Leadership Abstracts" is published bimonthly and distributed to the chief executive officer of every two-year college in the United States and Canada. This document consists of the 15 one-page abstracts published in 1991. Addressing a variety of topics of interest to the community college administrators, this volume includes: (1) "Delivering the…
Roueche, Suanne D., Ed.
This volume of 30 one- to two-page abstracts from 1993 highlights a variety of innovative approaches to teaching and learning in the community college. Topics covered in the abstracts include: (1) role-playing to encourage critical thinking; (2) team learning techniques to cultivate business skills; (3) librarian-instructor partnerships to create…
This study examined abstracts for a British Association for Applied Linguistics conference and a Sociolinguistics Symposium, to define the genre of conference abstracts in terms of vague language, specifically universal general nouns (e.g. people) and research general nouns (e.g. results), and to discover if the language used reflected the level…
Chan, Stephanie C Y; Applegate, Marissa C; Morton, Neal W; Polyn, Sean M; Norman, Kenneth A
Several prominent theories posit that information about recent experiences lingers in the brain and organizes memories for current experiences, by forming a temporal context that is linked to those memories at encoding. According to these theories, if the thoughts preceding an experience X resemble the thoughts preceding an experience Y, then X and Y should show an elevated probability of being recalled together. We tested this prediction by using multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) of fMRI data to measure neural evidence for lingering processing of preceding stimuli. As predicted, memories encoded with similar lingering thoughts about the category of preceding stimuli were more likely to be recalled together. Our results demonstrate that the "fading embers" of previous stimuli help to organize recall, confirming a key prediction of computational models of episodic memory.
Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Shepherd, Elizabeth; Spencer, Rebecca M.C.; Marcello, Matthew; Tucker, Matthew; Propper, Ruth E.; Stickgold, Robert
The effects of a daytime nap on inter-session habituation to aversive visual stimuli were investigated. Healthy young adult volunteers viewed repeated presentations of highly negative and emotionally neutral (but equally arousing) International Affective Picture System (IAPS) photographs during two afternoon sessions separated by 2.5 hrs. Half of the photographs were shown at both sessions (Repeated Sets) and half differed between sessions (Novel Sets). For each stimulus presentation, evoked skin conductance response (SCR), heart rate deceleration (HRD) and corrugator supercilii EMG response (EMG), were computed and range corrected using respective maximum session-1 responses. Following each presentation, subjects rated each photograph on dimensions of pleasantness and arousability. During the inter-session interval, Nap subjects had a 120-min polysomnographically monitored sleep opportunity, whereas Wake subjects watched a non-stimulating video. Nap and Wake subjects did not differ in their subjective ratings of photographs. However, for Repeated-Set photographs, Nap subjects demonstrated greater inter-session habituation in SCR and EMG but a trend toward lesser inter-session habituation in HRD. These group differences were absent for Novel-Set photographs. Group differences across all measures were greater for negative stimuli. Occurrence of SWS during the nap was associated with greater inter-session habituation of EMG whereas occurrence of REM was associated with lesser inter-session habituation of SCR to negative stimuli. Sleep may therefore promote emotional adjustment at the level of somatic responses. Physiological but not subjective inter-session habituation to aversive images was enhanced by a daytime nap. PMID:20969968
This document is a compilation of the published, unclassified abstracts produced by mechanical engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) during the calendar year 1990. Many abstracts summarize work completed and published in report form. These are UCRL-JC series documents, which include the full text of articles to be published in journals and of papers to be presented at meetings, and UCID reports, which are informal documents. Not all UCIDs contain abstracts: short summaries were generated when abstracts were not included. Technical Abstracts also provides descriptions of those documents assigned to the UCRL-MI (miscellaneous) category. These are generally viewgraphs or photographs presented at meetings. An author index is provided at the back of this volume for cross referencing.
Measuring cosmological parameters with GRBs: status and perspectives New interpretation of the Amati relation The SED Machine - a dedicated transient spectrograph PTF10iue - evidence for an internal engine in a unique Type Ic SN Direct evidence for the collapsar model of long gamma-ray bursts On pair instability supernovae and gamma-ray bursts Pan-STARRS1 observations of ultraluminous SNe The influence of rotation on the critical neutrino luminosity in core-collapse supernovae General relativistic magnetospheres of slowly rotating and oscillating neutron stars Host galaxies of short GRBs GRB 100418A: a bridge between GRB-associated hypernovae and SNe Two super-luminous SNe at z ~ 1.5 from the SNLS Prospects for very-high-energy gamma-ray bursts with the Cherenkov Telescope Array The dynamics and radiation of relativistic flows from massive stars The search for light echoes from the supernova explosion of 1181 AD The proto-magnetar model for gamma-ray bursts Stellar black holes at the dawn of the universe MAXI J0158-744: the discovery of a supersoft X-ray transient Wide-band spectra of magnetar burst emission Dust formation and evolution in envelope-stripped core-collapse supernovae The host galaxies of dark gamma-ray bursts Keck observations of 150 GRB host galaxies Search for properties of GRBs at large redshift The early emission from SNe Spectral properties of SN shock breakout MAXI observation of GRBs and short X-ray transients A three-dimensional view of SN 1987A using light echo spectroscopy X-ray study of the southern extension of the SNR Puppis A All-sky survey of short X-ray transients by MAXI GSC Development of the CALET gamma-ray burst monitor (CGBM)
Parsegian, V. L., Ed.
Includes summaries of six articles dealing with engineering education, population management, blood sampling, international pollution control, environmental quality index, and scientific phases in political science. (CC)
Butler, David M.; Pendley, Michael H.
We introduce the visualization management system (ViMS), a new approach to the development of software for visualization in scientific computing (ViSC). The conceptual foundation for a ViMS is an abstract visualization model which specifies a class of geometric objects, the graphic representations of the objects and the operations on both. A ViMS provides a modular implementation of its visualization model. We describe ViMS requirements and a model-independent ViMS architecture. We briefly describe the vector bundle visualization model and the visualization taxonomy it generates. We conclude by summarizing the benefits of the ViMS approach.
Chikazoe, Junichi; Lee, Daniel H.; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Anderson, Adam K.
It remains unclear how the brain represents external objective sensory events alongside our internal subjective impressions of them—affect. Representational mapping of population level activity evoked by complex scenes and basic tastes uncovered a neural code supporting a continuous axis of pleasant-to-unpleasant valence. This valence code was distinct from low-level physical and high-level object properties. While ventral temporal and anterior insular cortices supported valence codes specific to vision and taste, both the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortices (OFC), maintained a valence code independent of sensory origin. Further only the OFC code could classify experienced affect across participants. The entire valence spectrum is represented as a collective pattern in regional neural activity as sensory-specific and abstract codes, whereby the subjective quality of affect can be objectively quantified across stimuli, modalities, and people. PMID:24952643
Westheimer, G; Levi, D M
Interaction in the domain of disparity can be either of the kind where the depth difference between adjacent targets is enhanced, as if the two targets repelled each other in depth, or it may be in the opposite direction, i.e. having the character of attraction. In the fovea, interaction between stimuli is of the latter kind if targets are separated by less than 2-8 min of arc, dependent on their positions and the observer; for further separations, repulsion is exhibited. When disparate neighbors induce a change in depth of a visual feature, only a portion of the effect can be ascribed to monocular localization shifts in the two monocular retinal images. Both attraction and repulsion can occur between targets of opposite contrast. Depth interaction measured by a psychophysical nulling method increases monotonically with disparity in the regions clearly governed by the repulsion and the attraction regimen; in the transition region, repulsion overtakes attraction when the disparity becomes larger. If the concept of "pooling" of disparity is invoked to account for the affinity of seen depth of closely-adjacent stimuli, the signals involved cannot be simply those of light weighted by disparity, but must be associated with individual features.
Erwin, Donald E.
This research sought to distinguish among three concepts of visual persistence by substituting the physical presence of the target stimulus while simultaneously inhibiting the formation of a persisting representation. Reportability of information about the stimuli was compared to a condition in which visual persistence was allowed to fully develop…
White, Charles W.
Visual masking occurs when one stimulus interferes with the perception of another stimulus. Investigates which matters more for visual masking--that the target and masking stimuli are flashed on the same part of the retina, or, that the target and mask appear in the same place. (Author/RK)
Calvo, Manuel G.; Lang, Peter J.
The authors investigated whether emotional pictorial stimuli are especially likely to be processed in parafoveal vision. Pairs of emotional and neutral visual scenes were presented parafoveally (2.1[degrees] or 2.5[degrees] of visual angle from a central fixation point) for 150-3,000 ms, followed by an immediate recognition test (500-ms delay).…
Jingling, Li; Tseng, Chia-Huei
In visual searches, stimuli following the law of good continuity attract attention to the global structure and receive attentional priority. Also, targets that have unique features are of high feature contrast and capture attention in visual search. We report on a salient global structure combined with a high orientation contrast to the…
Dunlop, Joseph; Ketcherside, Ariel; Baine, Jessica; Rhinehardt, Tyler; Kuhn, Brittany; DeWitt, Sam; Alvi, Talha
Abstract Although there is emergent evidence illustrating neural sensitivity to cannabis cues in cannabis users, the specificity of this effect to cannabis cues as opposed to a generalized hyper‐sensitivity to hedonic stimuli has not yet been directly tested. Using fMRI, we presented 53 daily, long‐term cannabis users and 68 non‐using controls visual and tactile cues for cannabis, a natural reward, and, a sensory‐perceptual control object to evaluate brain response to hedonic stimuli in cannabis users. The results showed an interaction between group and reward type such that the users had greater response during cannabis cues relative to natural reward cues (i.e., fruit) in the orbitofrontal cortex, striatum, anterior cingulate gyrus, and ventral tegmental area compared to non‐users (cluster‐threshold z = 2.3, P < 0.05). In the users, there were positive brain‐behavior correlations between neural response to cannabis cues in fronto‐striatal‐temporal regions and subjective craving, marijuana‐related problems, withdrawal symptoms, and levels of THC metabolites (cluster‐threshold z = 2.3, P < 0.05). These findings demonstrate hyper‐responsivity, and, specificity of brain response to cannabis cues in long‐term cannabis users that are above that of response to natural reward cues. These observations are concordant with incentive sensitization models suggesting sensitization of mesocorticolimbic regions and disruption of natural reward processes following drug use. Although the cross‐sectional nature of this study does not provide information on causality, the positive correlations between neural response and indicators of cannabis use (i.e., THC levels) suggest that alterations in the reward system are, in part, related to cannabis use. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3431–3443, 2016. © 2016 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27168331
Allen, Annette E.; Procyk, Christopher A.; Howarth, Michael; Walmsley, Lauren
Key points The lateral posterior and posterior thalamic nuclei have been implicated in aspects of visually guided behaviour and reflex responses to light, including those dependent on melanopsin photoreception.Here we investigated the extent and basic properties of visually evoked activity across the mouse lateral posterior and posterior thalamus.We show that a subset of retinal projections to these regions derive from melanopsin‐expressing retinal ganglion cells and find many cells that exhibit melanopsin‐dependent changes in firing.We also show that subsets of cells across these regions integrate signals from both eyes in various ways and that, within the lateral posterior thalamus, visual responses are retinotopically ordered. Abstract In addition to the primary thalamocortical visual relay in the lateral geniculate nuclei, a number of other thalamic regions contribute to aspects of visual processing. Thus, the lateral posterior thalamic nuclei (LP/pulvinar) appear important for various functions including determining visual saliency, visually guided behaviours and, alongside dorsal portions of the posterior thalamic nuclei (Po), multisensory processing of information related to aversive stimuli. However, despite the growing importance of mice as a model for understanding visual system organisation, at present we know very little about the basic visual response properties of cells in the mouse LP or Po. Prompted by earlier suggestions that melanopsin photoreception might be important for certain functions of these nuclei, we first employ specific viral tracing to show that a subset of retinal projections to the LP derive from melanopsin‐expressing retinal ganglion cells. We next use multielectrode electrophysiology to demonstrate that LP and dorsal Po cells exhibit a variety of responses to simple visual stimuli including two distinct classes that express melanopsin‐dependent changes in firing (together comprising ∼25% of neurons we recorded). We also